--The Blaze Keeps Burning--

Miya, biting her lip and trying to keep quiet, gave up all such restraint when she could no longer hold it in.

"Takaya fix your tie," she told him, and felt relief wash over her as she had gotten to say what had been on her mind since the death defying motorcycle ride over here.

Takaya, who had been looking completely bored out of his mind, snapped out of his daze and turned serpentine green eyes on his sister. "What the hell is your problem now?"

"Fix it. Fix your tie," she repeated, and looked around at the many others who were also in formal garb and pulling it off much better than her brother ever could.

Takaya looked down at the article of clothing in question. "What's wrong with it?"

Miya horrified beyond belief that her brother could not notice such an obvious flaw realized that it was solely her responsibility as his sister to clue him in. "It's crooked."

"No, it's not." After three years of wearing ties, he was quite sure he knew how to properly knot one of these things.

Miya was about to remind him, three years of knotting ties badly didn't count as wearing one at all.

"Look, can't you just find it within your small (microscopic) heart to do as your sister says. I don't want to take pictures of you wearing a crooked tie. C'mon Takaya, it's not often that an Ougi graduates--why I was sure you weren't even going to pass the--

"Are you trying to make me feel better?" Takaya asked her sarcastically, and made up his mind to definitely not fix his tie, because now it was just principle.

"Look, just fix it and I'll leave you alone," Miya compromised. It was her big brother's special day after all. She could be nice.

"I like it just fine, thank you. Now how 'bout you go back to audience and stop pestering me. Backstage is only for graduates." Takaya made a shooing motion that he knew would send his sister up the nearest wall.

"Uh, you're such a"-- Miya grabbed him by the tie before she could completely lose her temper and attempt to strangle him with the crooked piece of cloth. "This will only take a sec," she reasoned, but was promptly interrupted when Takaya snatched the tie away from her clutches.

"Just leave it alone." An aggravated noise escaped past his lips and was readily swallowed up by the sea of nervous chatter that was currently his graduating class.

"I'm going to fix that tie if it kills me," Miya announced, rolling up her sleeves menacingly and showing Takaya that she meant business.

The ensuing fight between the Ougi siblings had stopped all other conversations within the area, but had also alerted two other students who were plenty nervous without this bickering twosome adding to their troubles.

Saori, shoving her way through a throng of anxious graduates, who did not appreciate her riling them up even more, stumbled out into the space that Takaya and Miya had cleared with their voices alone. Yuzuru also pulled into the fray by Saori's firm grasp on his wrist, bit his lip nervously and made a plea to his best friend and his sister to stop.

Takaya and Miya promptly went onto ignore Yuzuru, and Saori insulted on behalf of her boyfriend, pushed herself within the circle of death that was the arguing pair.

"What the hell?" She hissed at the two of them, gesturing her hands up and down, so they would understand to lower the volume. Saori looked reproachfully at Takaya, then at Miya, and then back at Takaya, but halted on Takaya when she noticed something.

"God, fix your tie," she chastised, and pointed her finger at the lopsided thing. "Good grief Takaya, did you do a hand stand while you were dressing this morning." She and Miya shared an understanding look.

"Here let me fix that," Saori offered and reached out. She was quickly denied access as Takaya side-stepped her hands and bumped into his sister on the way. This started up another argument, but instead of two loud-mouths yelling at each other, there was now a third. Yuzuru stood by helplessly as Takaya, Miya and Saori bickered back and forth and caused a general commotion that he was sure would soon alert a teacher to the fighting.

"Wow. What's all this about?" A woman with blond hair and warm blue eyes stepped out of the crowd as easily as if she had magically appeared, and a tall man, who eternally wore tailored suits, also stepped out of the hustle of children, his height ensuring him a cleared path. Yuzuru breathed out a sigh of relief at the sight of the two possessors and then turned his distressed eyes on the center of the storm, as his friends were now caught up in a three-way tug of war, Takaya's tie caught in the middle.

"Damn. I'd hate to be poor bastard stuck between those two." Haruie prodded her companion in the side and nodded her head over to the fight.

The only time she could plainly see the family resemblance between Miya and Takaya was when someone got her angry. Miya obviously took after her brother temper-wise, and it was truly not a pretty sight to also have Saori, notorious for her temper tantrums as well, to be thrown into the mix.

"That tie's looking more like a hangman's noose than anything wearable," Haruie joked, but halted her teasing, when she caught the distraught look on Yuzuru's face.

She poked her companion in the arm again to get his attention. "Aw, can't you help this poor boy out. He looks like he's close to fainting." Haruie put a hand on the possessor's shoulder and nudged him forward.

The squabbling group of teenagers suddenly stopped when they noticed who had walked to the forefront and Takaya breathing out a sigh of relief at the now level playing field, called out the man's name.

"Naoe," Takaya said, the simple tone he used conveying easy affection and a sort of warmth that made the two girls at his side forget what they were bickering about.

Naoe smiled at them.

"Yay, you guys made it," Miya brightened and brushed past her brother, the other girl following suit to go greet Naoe and Haruie in joint cheery fashion.

"I was wondering when you'd get here," Takaya said, discreetly inching closer to Naoe and peering at him from the corner of an eye. "I got tag-teamed by those two head-cases over there. Man, you'd think they'd have some shame," Takaya complained, and even though his foul mood had gone the way of the dinosaurs, he still couldn't pass up a good grump for the life of him. It was in his blood after all.

Naoe gave him an appreciative once over, but his gaze stumbled over a part of Takaya's appearance that was not right. The older man ready to quickly correct the problem, reached out sure hands to shift the longer part of the tie to properly align with the shorter.

Takaya stood by and let Naoe amend the tie, like he hadn't just two seconds ago made a big fuss out of the whole thing, and Miya couldn't bring herself to glare at her brother like she wanted to, not when her brother-in-law was in the way and she didn't want to accidentally catch him in the crosshairs. Takaya would get it later though.

"Guess what I brought?" Haruie piped up and gave them no time to answer, as she pulled out a video recorder from her purse. She shook it menacingly at the graduates. "You guys better not embarrass yourselves up there, because not only will it be in front of moi and a fully assembled audience, but it will also be caught on tape and easily rewind-able for viewing pleasure."

"What the hell did you come here for?" Of course, Haruie hadn't just come to watch them graduate (like normal people) but had also appeared for the purposes of taping them embarrassing themselves.

"Go up there and break a leg," brushing Takaya's irritated question off like lint on her stylish jacket, she tugged on the arm of the man standing next to her. "Let's go get good seats Naoe. C'mon Miya-chan. I want to get a good shot of the stage if someone falls."

And with that, the woman went back the way she came, gracefully moving through the turbulent graduates with Naoe and Miya in tow. Her last words to them, not the most reassuring, as the other (nervous) graduates around them had also been subjected to that bit of advice.

"Okay guys line up!" A teacher with the worst timing possible suddenly shouted, corralling them like cattle into their designated lines and not giving a care in the world as to why his graduates were so nervous.


The ceremony had gone as planned, and no one had fallen on their face, fortunately for all the students concerned and unfortunately for one of the audience members. Chiaki had given the commencement speech, since he was at the top of their class, and everything had gone so smoothly that it was, as if, the gods themselves had planned the ceremony.

"Man, I'm finally finished with this place." Now outside the building, Takaya watched the familiar exterior that had been an essential part of his life for three years. Many students were also outside, looking upon the building with hopeful, nostalgic faces that made Takaya want to throw up.

"Aw, I'm gonna miss this place," Saori lamented and looked to Yuzuru to back her up.

The blond smiled warmly at her and gave her shoulder a tentative squeeze. "Yeah, I'm gonna miss this place too."

"I'm not," Takaya cut in abruptly, and subsequently killed the mood between them. "I had to study really hard to pass those stupid exams. Man, talk about no life for months…uh it was so aggravating. This place brings back nothin' but bad memories if you ask me."

Takaya finished with a firm nod. He dusted his hands together, as if, trying to wipe his palms clean of school residue, and then turned around so his back was the school and his front was his friends. "Man, let's get outta here. We should go celebrate." Takaya put his hands on his hips and looked resolute in the idea of partying.

"Sorry Takaya, my parents are taking me out for dinner. I wanted to get out of it, but you know, ever since that incident they hate to let me out of their sight for even a second. How 'bout we do something tomorrow. I'll definitely swing by."

"Yeah, sorry Takaya, my mom totally booked this expensive restaurant and invited all her friends, like it was her graduation. Talk about under-handed. I wish I could sneak out, but it'll look real bad if I do. I definitely wanna celebrate with you guys tomorrow though. I'll call you later, so pick up the phone when I call."

Takaya frowned at his two friends. "I can't believe you two--ah whatever." Takaya waved them away and turned his back on them to stare at the school one last time. When he was sure he had gotten a good look, he turned his neck slightly so he would be able to catch his friends in his peripheral.

"Yeah, I'll see you guys tomorrow then, so get ready to get massively drunk." Takaya turned back to face the building, hands still on hips and eyes firm, as if challenging the school to try and give him homework.

"Yeah, well you don't get too drunk when you go out tonight without us." Yuzuru laughed and gave his friend a little shove.

"Yeah Takaya, say bye to everyone for us so we don't look rude," Saori lectured, and also shoved him on the other shoulder.

"Gimme a break."

The laughter and the scuffing shoes of his two friends, as they ran off to prearrangements with their families gradually dimmed out, leaving the area strangely quiet, even with the amount of graduates still lingering around. The sun was setting behind Takaya, and orange strands were streaming past his shoulders and making the building in front of him glow a saffron color.

This was the last time he would stand in front of this building, with these people, who he had passed in the hallway innumerable amount of times, but had never personally gotten to know and never would.

His shadow was stretching itself out on the asphalt and gaining length with each second closer the sun got to the horizon. There was sudden movement at the entrance and three other shadows fell across the pavement and extended towards his, all in the shapes of spikes, crisscrossing each other and interlocking with his own.

"Where did Yuzuru and Saori go?" Chiaki's voice sifted through the warm, evening air and it almost felt like someone had gently tapped him on the shoulder.

"Did you scare them away?" Haruie taunted, and even her voice sounded mild in the glow of the late afternoon sun.

"Takaya are you feeling all right?" Concerned over the dazed look in Takaya's eyes, Naoe drew nearer to the boy and placed a considerate hand on his shoulder.

"Huh?" Takaya blinked Naoe into focus and instinctively reacted to the hand on his shoulder by covering it with his own. "Oh they couldn't stick around." Takaya slowly recovering from the strange blankness that had wrapped his mind in its warm haze slowly removed his hand from the reassuring palm on his shoulder. "Hey where've you guys been anyway?" Takaya started up, as they began to walk towards the parking lot.

"Chiaki's so important," Haruie teased. "A lot of people were talking to him about how good his speech was, and oh my god, I thought it would never end. It also didn't help that Chiaki's such a showoff."

Chiaki made a cross sound at the cheap shots being taken at him, and Haruie dropping her pace so she could come between Naoe and Takaya, tossed an arm over the boy's shoulders conspiratorially. "So it's just the four off us huh? Just like the good ole' days. Well, I'm gonna get so drunk tonight, one of you is going to have to carry me home."

"You shouldn't brag about that," Chiaki told her.

"Hey, I'm just preemptively warning you guys. Heh and looking at how cuddly Takaya's feeling tonight, I bet Chiaki's gonna be the one to carry me home, you lucky dog." Haruie slipped her hand from around Takaya and patted Chiaki on the back like he had won a prize.

Takaya laughed at the sour face Chiaki made, but stopped when he realized Haruie was also making fun of him. "Hey what's that supposed to mean?"


Takaya did not want to go to an expensive restaurant, so they had ended up in one of those sectioned off, low-tabled-ones that served good sashimi platters. Naoe had wanted to go to an expensive restaurant, but had consented when he realized that they had Haruie with them, and she was bound to get completely wasted by the time she polished off a bottle of sake by herself.

"Ah this brings back memories," Haruie said, plopping down on her cushion and breaking her chopsticks apart with a quick snap.

Takaya knew what she was alluding to, and it shocked him how much had happened since that night when he'd watched Haruie get shit-faced drunk and Naoe had to carry her to a hotel for the night.

To be able to still sit down with these same people, plus one more, was such a steady reoccurrence in his life that anyone could take it for granted.

Takaya had never obtained such routines with others that did not include his sister and the very few friends he had. But, to have this routine between them, where they would go out whenever they all had the free time and eat with each other, or do some other social gathering that just gave them an excuse to sit down together, it was something Takaya had come to depend on.

He'd grown so accustomed to these people that to even remember a time without them was almost unthinkable. Even though he could not reclaim his past life memories of them, it still felt like they had never left his side once they'd come back into his life.

"You haven't touched your food." Naoe seated next to him, scooted closer and placed a hand under the table on the leg nearest to him. Takaya looked forward and did not pay any attention to the hand, as he picked up his chopsticks and broke them apart.

"I'm just thirsty," Takaya said slyly and put out his saucer so Haruie could pour him some of her sake.

"No," Naoe said and aimed a stare Haruie's way to halt the woman from tipping the sake bottle any further in Takaya's direction.

"Aw it's just a little, a sip really." She slanted the mouth of the jar and clear, barley-tinted liquid poured forth. "He can't even get drunk from this stuff."

"Yeah Naoe, I can't even get drunk from this stuff," Takaya parroted, and accepted his drink. "And anyway," he said under his breath so Naoe was the only one who could hear him, "If I do get drunk, think how easy I'll be."

Resting his fingers on the hand that was currently on his leg, Takaya casually moved it so it was now lying higher up on his thigh. He took a sip from his sake and squeezed the man's hand so it was pressing more into his leg.

The underage drinking concept seemed to be much easier for Naoe to swallow now that Takaya's logic was swaying towards the bedroom. He could try to be stiff-lipped about it, but it was a very dirty, very effective trick to use sex against him like that.

--Not that he minded.

"Bottom's up." Takaya gulped down the contents of his saucer and tipped it in Naoe's direction so the possessor could get the hint.

With a resigned sigh, Naoe poured him another one, but under the table his hand had taken on a more defiant role, as he firmly passed it back and forth on Takaya's thigh. Takaya choked slightly on the sake, but pulled off not bringing attention to what Naoe was doing to him under the table.

"Don't you have classes tomorrow?" Chiaki said, reaching out a hand and somehow coming away with the sake bottle from Haruie. "You're gonna have one hell of a time getting up."

"Uh, what are you my father?"

"No, he's properly rolling over in his grave right now." Chiaki set the sake bottle in front of Takaya and it was implied that he should drink it down before Haruie could get her hands on it.

Takaya, swiping the bottle in one fluid motion from the center of the table, uncapped and began to pour. Naoe, reaching over, took the bottle from Takaya in another smooth motion and poured the rest of it in his cup.

"Behave." He told Takaya with a smirk and patted the leg under his hand.

"You say that now," Takaya announced louder than needed when Naoe was sitting right next to him.

It figured Takaya would be a loud drunk.

The understated chuckling coming from Chiaki's side of the room made Takaya peer out from under his bangs at the man sitting across from him. "What are you laughing at?"

Chiaki, looking over to Naoe instead of Takaya, grinned at the man and said, "You have a hard enough time dealing with him sober--I don't get why you'd want to make him drunk."

"Who said I was doing such a thing," Naoe said, like he had no idea what Chiaki was talking about.

Takaya, squinting at the two men and not appreciating the way they were talking about him when he was sitting right in front of them, cleared his throat so they would get a clue.

"Hey, pour me another, would yuh?" Takaya held his cup out to Naoe and leaned forward, and with the teenager on his way to becoming full-fledged drunk, the humor the two Possessors found in watching him try to boss Naoe around while in this condition was unlimited.

Haruie, getting ready to give her drinking buddy a helping hand, hitched a thumb at Chiaki to her side and began to lecture. "You men" she said and subsequently lost her train of thought.

Then she turned to Takaya and spoke only to him. "When you grow up Takaya, don't be like those two," she warned and slammed her bottle down. "They think they're so mature."

She tossed her hair up at them, and Chiaki concealed his smirk behind a well placed hand, while Naoe was blessed with the talent of keeping an utterly straight faced no matter the situation.

"No worries there." Takaya nodded his head along, and then through the semi-fuzziness that his mind was currently threading through, he was finally able to pick up on her words. "Hey! I'm already grown up--and Chiaki's the same age as me!"

Haruie shook her head at him and took another distracted sip. "That's not what I'm talking about. Just grow up decent."

Chiaki bit his lip to keep from chuckling outright at the stupidity.

Takaya, looking to Naoe and determining whether he was indeed growing up decent or not, gave the table top a dazed look before responding "I'm already decent. Naoe's the pervert" loud enough for people in the other sections to hear him. "The guy's got no morals. He totally tried to feel me up in the car when you guys weren't look--"

Naoe, placing a hand strategically over Takaya's mouth, was quickly reminded why he did not trust minors with alcohol. Chiaki gave him an unsympathetic smirk and chuckled from behind the brim of his glass. "Time we go, before they kick us out."


"I can walk on my own. I'm not drunk." Takaya told him matter-of-factly and nudged his hand away.

"Your pronunciation is remarkably clear--Well as clear as can be expected from you," Naoe noticed, and put a hand to steady Takaya, as he started to sway to one side.

"Are you making fun of me?" Takaya made it to the door and waited for Naoe to open it.

"You're quite lucid for having drunk as much as you did. However your motor skills aren't fairing too good." Naoe opened the door and held it out for the boy.

"Quit talking like I'm not here," Takaya said, and part of his sentence had been muffled by distance, as he stumbled into Naoe's apartment and went for the couch.

Closing the door behind him, Naoe entered into his apartment to see Takaya sprawled out on his couch, the flushed face and uneven breathing confirming what he expected of a novice drinker.

Takaya, squirming on the couch was able to slip out of his now wrinkled jacket. He toed off one shoe and Naoe not waiting for an invitation, bent down to untie the other one for him.

"Help me with this tie, would yuh? You knotted it too tight." Takaya tugged at the material and was only successful in making it tighter.

"No school tomorrow…that's so weird," Takaya distractedly whispered to himself, while watching Naoe's fingers work him out of both tie and shirt. He lost that train of thought when Naoe began to unbuckle his pants and he grinned up at the man.

"There's this job offering at this mechanics place that I checked out. My guidance counselor…" Takaya trailed off and lifted his hips to aid Naoe along in the process.

"My guidance counselor," he began again, "thought, since I wasn't going to college, he helped me get a job, but when he found out I got in, he was all like, 'you can't work now'…" Takaya did a poor imitation of Mr. Suzuki, his eyes turning up to see if Naoe had heard him.

He squinted in the near darkness at the person hovering over him and bringing a hand up to run along the back of Naoe's neck, he began again, "I need a job," he said quietly.

"No, you want a job," Naoe corrected and sat down on the edge of the cushion. "I could easily provide for you and your sister, but to you, it's a matter of-"

"You're not my pimp," Takaya cut him off and pushed himself up from his untidy slump to give the possessor a firm look. "I can take care of Miya and myself." There was no bite in his words, like there would have been some months ago, but there was still the stubbornness that clung to him wherever he went.

"You helped me out enough with studying. I wouldn't have gotten into college if not for that, but man how I never want to see a text book again…" Takaya said, diverting attention away from a serious topic and onto something that wouldn't entirely kill the mood between them.

"Am I too strict for your tastes?" Naoe sensed the need to not bring up that subject and was more than happy to go along with Takaya. He slid a finger up the boy's arm and watched those green eyes pulse in the darkness.

"Strict has nothin' to do with it," Takaya told him, as he stood up from the couch and swaggered to the bedroom, leaving the Possessor to look after him.

He stopped at the threshold of the bedroom door and dropped his boxers to the floor, tie and shirt soon following, as he left a trail of clothes in the direction of the bed.

Naoe watched Takaya's gradual strip-down from the couch and it didn't take long for him to find himself halfway across the living room when he saw Takaya climb naked onto the bed.

Naoe closed the door behind him and loosened his tie in two tugs.

Takaya had already opened up the drawer at the side of the bed and fished out a bottle of sweet-smelling oil.

"Too slow," he said to Naoe, while pouring liberal amounts of oil into the palm of his hand. "I might start without you," he warned and brought his hand up to watch the liquid drip down his forearm and onto the sheets.

There was the pressure of someone's hand suddenly clamping down on his ankle, and without warning, Takaya felt himself jerked and pulled to the edge of the bed. His heart, despite knowing it could be no one but Naoe, jumped in his chest and continued to beat frantically awaiting what would come next.

Naoe had knelt down in front of him, one of his hands holding onto his ankle and stretching his leg out to the side, while the other began to pry at his fingers clenched around the bottle.

Pressing a hot kiss to the inside of one of Takaya's knees, Naoe moved up that leg with deliberate slowness, as his other hand slide with a purpose between Takaya's legs and pushed against his opening.

The moist press of lips on the inside of his thigh brought Takaya's attention away from the firm probing for a few seconds, before Naoe found his prostate and pressed against it with the pads of his fingers.

He should have been used to it by now, but he still jolted from the shock of the contact, his back arching up off the bed and his head hitting the mattress with a firm thunk.

The hold Naoe had on his ankles tightened to keep him from unconsciously squirming out of it, and finally able to calm down, he relaxed back to the bed.

Naoe's mouth had continued to travel up his leg, slowly and lingering on spots that he thought needed attention. A few heart-stopping second later, and Naoe left the soft skin of his inner thigh and quested up between his legs.

The flinch that followed made the entire bed spasm. Naoe had swallowed him whole in one motion and began an up and down bob that had Takaya frantically twisting on the sheets.

His other leg that was not trapped under a questing hand had tucked itself behind Naoe's shoulder and arm, and had began to draw the man nearer, as Takaya unconsciously curled in on himself in the rush of pleasure that was tightening his stomach.

"Uh…please..sto"-- The warm and moist suction on his member made his stomach cramp almost in pain, and the slick probing, a continual pressure against his prostate that rolled into his gut and up his spine, had him incoherent.

He pulled at Naoe's hair, his fingers wrapped around strands and bringing nothing but disorder to that usually neatly combed hair.

Takaya felt his body jerk with that unseen, tightening pleasure in his stomach, and he knew he was close when he felt Naoe's tongue come in contact with the head of his erection, pressing firmly into the slit and licking.

After that, there was nothing but a scream and a sharp yank of hair that kept him from passing out. Takaya's body went slack with release, and Naoe, no longer having to hold him down, let go of his leg and climbed up his body.

Naoe had gone for his neck, hands fastening down around his thighs, as Takaya wrapped his legs around his waist.

"If I pass out…" Release had him indolent. Takaya wasn't sure if he could stay awake through the combination of orgasm, alcohol and the feather-light and utterly relaxing sensation of Naoe's lips on his neck.

"If you do that, then I won't be able to say I fucked you unconscious," Naoe replied, low and right up against his ear.

"But it's gonna happen--you might as well just cut out…" 'the middle man,' was what he would have said, if he could catch his breath. He had forgotten how to breathe, but had also lost interest in words and general thinking, as he wrapped an arm around the shoulders in front of him and pulled Naoe back to his mouth. He kissed him softly, steadily; an intermingling of resolved, yet insatiable longing that was pliant and tender.

Naoe had begun to ease into him, and the hands around his shoulders did not flex or tighten in stress or discomfort. Takaya's legs were helping him along, as they nudged him in the ribs with every hip flex it took for deeper penetration.

There was always some kind of tension in Takaya's frame when they did this. Naoe was pretty sure it was just Takaya's pride riling him up, or an embarrassment he could not let go off reaching to the surface--even if they did do this on a daily basis.

However, tonight, Takaya wasn't putting up a fight, that was just as much foreplay for them, as it was a play for power. Naoe couldn't say he minded, as it got him where he wanted to be faster, but the same could be said when he was trying to wrestle Takaya down. Sex between them was never timid and poetic. But on those rare moments when Takaya forgot how to act his rebellious self, Naoe was always willing to try something different.

Takaya sighed when he slid out, his other arm coming around, as his hand shaped itself to the back of Naoe's nape and rubbed him there gently.

Naoe felt himself harden, but his mind, instead of sharpening along with his usual fierceness, had easily untangled itself from that instinct, as his body seemed to be feeding off Takaya's calm.

There was no claiming hunger inside of him tonight, but a different kind of appetite. Like he was drinking honey and feeling the weight of it settle in the pit of his stomach, sweet and rich and heavy.

Takaya opened his legs even wider and Naoe didn't know how it was possible to sink deeper into a person without actually, physically doing so. He was pushing in and out of Takaya, but pushing seemed too rushed a word. More like he was being pulled in, drawn in, slow, inch by breathtaking inch.

It was too easy, too pleasurable and just too much. He felt Takaya's smooth hand on the back of his nape again, soothing him, and warm, and it was the same exact feeling that he was easing into right now. They'd made love too many times to count, but he'd never done this with Takaya.

Takaya wasn't making any sound. Naoe, looking up from the focus of his collarbone, caught the half-lidded stare watching him. A deep, smoldering, caramel color had set into those eyes and was slowly, gradually dragging Naoe, like a corpse to bury. That stare was heavier and thicker than the tiger's eye, and ten times more beautiful.

He couldn't breathe for a minute, even though they were slow and achingly tender with each other, the pleasure he was feeling was too intense. It was an involved, entrancing suffocation that could steal the very life out of him, but was all worth it in the end.

Takaya's mouth was open, but still no voice came from it. He looked too gone on pleasure to make even a sound, to even lash his eyes and roll his head back.

The hand behind his neck started up again, working him in the very same motion that Takaya's legs were, as they painstakingly milked him.

He was close, but to him it didn't matter. What mattered was the way Takaya was staring at him, calmly and resolutely behind dark lashes. What mattered was the hand behind his neck, comforting and gentle, and the open, noiseless mouth that was going to kiss him when he finally climaxed.

His pace hadn't slowed down or picked up, but had stayed steady throughout. There was no need to rush, no need to clamor for his pleasure, or hurt Takaya in anyway. All he needed to do was close his eyes and hold onto him and breath deeply and –

"Naoe…" he finally heard that voice, hoarse and stuttering, and it made something in his chest stop, to cease, because the noise of the beating would interrupt the lovely sound of Takaya's voice.

He was caught off-guard by the stare again, but Takaya's slow shuddering made his eyes trail back down to his mouth, those lips trembling and breathing something out and simultaneously giving them up.

There was a split second of reprieve, but then Takaya mouthed something, three words that he'd heard some months ago when he'd shown up in front of him with a deep longing in his heart to see him and too many scars on his back to count.

It was that same breaking dam of relief and ecstasy that had caught him in the chest, as it had those many months ago. And it was more than enough to get him to come, breathless and drunk on this sensation and wanting nothing more than that kiss that was silently promised to him.

He felt Takaya's release against his stomach, as soon as he touched their lips together and melted into the open mouth and hot tongue under him.

It had taken some time for them to pull away from each other, and Naoe, feeling suddenly drowsy, laid his head on Takaya's chest and closed his eyes for the second time that night.

"I'm going to be late for work," Naoe stated, as it was always a fact of tardiness when he had sex with Takaya and had to go to work the next day. He couldn't help that he slept much better on those days.

"I'm going to be late for that interview," Takaya also stated, and didn't sound very mad about it, even if it meant it could cost him a job that he wanted. "Ah well, I guess I'll be late for my entire life then." Takaya threw out causally, but Naoe knew those words were another version of rough sentiment that Takaya could never drop.

"And all the other lives after that…" Naoe reminded him, and was so close to sleep that he thought he was already dreaming.

"When they come…I guess," Takaya replied softly and his hand was back on Naoe's head, brushing the beige-colored strands under his fingers and letting that easy impetus guide him to the borders of sleep. "When they come…"

"I'll be right here," Naoe said, and his words were not a promise or something hope-filled. It was nothing. They were words that he wanted to say, because he could. Promises could alleviate the abandonment issues that Takaya had, but Naoe knew Takaya did not enjoy promises, because to him, it was just another form of betrayal waiting to happen.

It was a Possessor's life, to live in the moment and die with too much pride. Reincarnation was not always a sure thing, and even if it was, they might not be able to find each other afterwards. It was a sad cycle of death and blindness.

But at this moment, they were living outside of that time, outside of duty, and warfare, and that crushing hopeless void. They would continue to give each other heartbreak like no one else could. They would stumble and say things they didn't mean. They would fight. They would hurt each other. Naoe couldn't promise he wouldn't die and leave Takaya to fend off the heartache, and Takaya couldn't deny he might change one day and be a person that was too duty-bound to finally connect with Naoe…

But while they still could, while they still felt this, while they still had something to share, they would fiercely cling to each other.

The End.