Title: Driven to Distraction

Author: Amethyst Hunter

Pairing: Ban/Akabane

Rating: R (adult content, language)

Warnings/Spoilers: Adult content. M/M pairing.

Disclaimer: The GBers are not mine. Woe.

Notes: Oneshot, complete. Belated birthday gift-fic done for theconcept.

Summary: Akabane wants to play. Ban doesn't. But what he wants, Akabane usually gets…even if it isn't quite how he expected…

--

They'd known each other for a while now, been rivals for at least half that time, allies for longer than he'd admit to anybody and had slept with each other at various off and on points in between. With this kind of history Ban would have thought he'd have gotten used to Akabane's odd schedule-keeping by now, but it never failed to surprise him how easily and seamlessly the jackal would come and go - sometimes without him ever knowing it.

But there were signs, if he cared to look. Like the bottle of expensive wine chilling in the small refrigerator of the hotel room they were currently sharing. Ban's first thought on seeing that was that he had first crack at it, as soon as he wrapped up this deal for the Get Backers. One thing he had to give Akabane credit for, the man had excellent taste. He lived simply but never cheaply, and it was something Ban would always be thankful for regardless of whatever bad blood lay between them at times.

It was also the reason he was cooling his heels in a comfortable space, instead of squeezing in a catnap inside his beloved Ladybug - his and Ginji's usual 'living space.' Of course Ginji had not been left out; he was happily treating the king-sized bed in his room as a trampoline when not dishing with his friends at the Honky Tonk or running errands with Ban, who still suspected that the reason Akabane had generously offered to set Ginji up with his own place was because he was secretly harboring a threesome fantasy involving the Get Backers. Knowing Jackal, Ban wouldn't have put it past him an inch.

He tapped his bare foot on the floor and cast another glower at his cell phone on top of the dresser. Ring, damn you, he willed it. Hevn had put him in contact with a businessman looking to secure a recovery service. The Get Backers' name had been dropped into the pot and she was supposed to call Ban with the details of a potentially big contract. He'd been on pins and needles all day waiting for her call.

The sound of a door opening down the hall drew Ban's attention. Ah, so he'd finally deigned to show up, had he? He trudged out of the bedroom and towards the main door. "'Bout time you dragged your skinny ass back. Who do you have to screw to get a decent meal around here?" He took a perverse pleasure in being as coarse as possible sometimes, just because it offset Akabane's prim and proper behavior so much. He'd have enjoyed it even more if his comments had garnered a shocked response, but somehow he could never seem to crack that cool exterior. Ban had that close to the top of his big list of Things To Do. In the meantime, he just hoped that he was as annoying to the other man as Jackal could sometimes be to Ban.

Akabane looked up from locking the door shut and right away Ban realized something was up. The transporter was dressed in his usual elegant style, nary a cloth or thread out of place - but his eyes shone with an unnatural fervor, though the rest of his expression was mild. "I apologize for the delay, Midou-kun," he said with his customary polish as he removed his boots and lined them neatly up by the door. That was another thing, this penchant for using a soft, modulated tone. Akabane was possibly the quietest person Ban had ever met. It weirded him out if he thought about it too long.

He pushed it from the forefront of his mind. "What delay? Are we talking an average, run-of-the-mill, where'd-we-park delay, or a delay?" Ban could always tell whether or not Akabane had been up to his tricks and this was no exception.

The question drew the typical enigmatic smile. "You needn't worry so, Midou-kun. I am fully capable of taking care of myself." Akabane approached him, every step a controlled slink, tension spiraled so tightly in his lithe body Ban could almost hear it squeal when he moved, despite the other's casual affectations. "I happened to meet with Kagami-kun during my trip. He and I had a…discussion. Although it was…stimulating…we were unable to conclude it satisfactorily, so we agreed to wait until another time."

Ah, so that explained it. Ban found it somewhat amusing that the jackal thought Babylon City's mirror-master to be so irksome. Not that he blamed him, really. He thought the bar host was an annoying fucker himself. At least Jackal was honest about his intentions - the same couldn't be said of Kagami.

Kyouji Kagami was perhaps the one person Akabane Kuroudo genuinely disliked, perhaps because the two were alike in more ways than either might care to admit. Though too, Ban wondered if a measure of that distaste was reserved for Kagami because he dwelled within and assisted Babylon in its endeavors. He'd heard whispers of rumors surrounding Akabane's origins, had almost been tempted to ask him outright about them - but for the glint of deadly steel he'd once glimpsed in Akabane's eyes when the subject of the ubiquitous city came up in casual conversation at the Honky Tonk.

Something about the way Akabane's eyes had narrowed, deepening from amethyst to violet at the name's mention, made Ban sense that Babylon was persona non grata as far as the jackal was concerned. To date, they'd never talked about it, nor had Ban ever asked. But curiosity gnawed at him, and he vowed that some day he'd learn the secret behind Akabane's mysterious reticence.

For now he was content to reap the benefits of their arrangement. Wherever Akabane had been, whatever he'd been doing (aside from having a glass-and-scalpel slashfest with Kagami), it had obviously left him in a state. The usually placid lavender in his eyes had darkened to a rosy hue, and Ban noticed that he was licking his lips in a manner not unlike the dainty one cats used when they were anticipating a feast. His own senses went on alert - with Akabane, one could never be entirely sure whether violence was a prelude to sex, or vice versa - and Ban much preferred the sharing of physical pleasure to that of bloodletting.

Fortunately it seemed Akabane's preferences were geared toward the former and not the latter today, as he pressed his body flush against Ban's and wound his arms leisurely around his neck. At the Honky Tonk, someone - maybe the thread-spool; Ban didn't remember - had commented recently that Shido wasn't the only one capable of taming wild animals, and was it possible that Ban's and Ginji's presences now had some influence on the jackal. In his less cynical moments Ban might have been inclined to agree, but then again, this was the infamous Dr. Jackal, signer of the dreaded J, and one must never, ever forget that wild animals might allow some but never all of their inherent predatorial nature harnessed.

Akabane nuzzled Ban's mouth with his own, long gloved fingers lightly sifting through the lower half of Ban's hair. "Miss me, lover? You don't sound as though you've had much fun today, being cooped up in this place." He drew back some, favoring Ban with a sly smile. "I, on the other hand…" Akabane deliberately let his sentence trail off.

Ban decided they had to settle something first before this went any further. He let his hands wander down to Akabane's slender hips as if he was going to cooperate in the seduction - then grasped the other man tightly and whirled, roughly pinning him against the wall. The rear brim of Jackal's favorite hat was partially mashed in the process, but that wasn't a concern at this point. Blue eyes bored into purple ones as Ban asked a question. "Did you?"

Akabane's serene expression didn't change. "Did I what?" He seemed unconcerned with the fact that Ban was holding him immobile for the moment.

Ban growled slightly. "You know what. Did you?" He squeezed Akabane's hip in a borderline painful grip with his right hand, giving the other not-so-subtle warning that an answer had better be forthcoming shortly, and it had damn well better be the right one.

Akabane chuckled, a defiant little gleam in his eye. He enjoyed messing with Ban and they both knew it; it was one of the things that pissed Ban off so much. "What's it to you, Midou-kun?" he said with honeyed poison.

"To me, jack shit. To Ginji, it's another nightmare he doesn't need. Now answer me, damn it, before I Snakebite your ass in half. Did you?"

A mock pout formed on Akabane's lips now that he understood Ban wasn't in the mood for games. "I didn't kill anybody at work today. Now shut up and love me," the transporter murmured huskily, leaning forward to seal his mouth against Ban's in a torrid kiss.

It might have been a lie, or it might have been the truth. At the moment, Ban's libido wasn't inclined to argue the situation any more. There was a raw hunger in Akabane's kisses that fueled his own lust and before long they were both writhing against the wall, against each other. "Bedroom," Ban gasped between kisses, and Akabane agreed, hooking his long legs around Ban's waist and hanging on to his shoulders as Ban hoisted him with both arms and stumbled towards the bedroom.

In his haste he nearly tripped on a length of trailing black overcoat and heard muted laughter near his ear. Ban retaliated by heaving Akabane unceremoniously onto the bed, but the mattress ensued a comfortable landing and the jackal sprang up, latching onto Ban's forearms and dragging him in for another kiss.

Ban pounced, sprawling on top of a slender body that wriggled and squirmed enticingly beneath him, slim hips driving upwards against his own in blatant invitation. Ban groaned into Jackal's mouth and reached up, yanking away that cursed hat and flinging it aside before burying his fingers in the thick, silky ebony that spilled loose.

Long legs entwined with his own and then suddenly Akabane bucked hard against him, throwing Ban off-balance and surprising him. With a swiftness that was nearly stunning in its ferocity, the jackal flipped them both over and pinned Ban on his back, those violet eyes gleaming triumphantly. My turn to play, Akabane silently taunted with this show of dominance.

Ban was willing to put up with it - to a point. Feeling the hot sting of claws in his shoulders spurred him to clamp his thighs around Jackal's waist and grab his wrists in a near-crushing grip. He wrenched his body to the side, throwing Akabane off and then wrestled him facedown to the bed, grunting with the effort it took to do so. For someone who looked as though a stiff breeze could blow him away like a kite Akabane was surprisingly powerful - his strength was at least equal to Ban's, and that was when they weren't seriously fighting. Recognizing that this could easily get out of hand and spiral into more dangerous territory Ban threw all his weight onto Akabane, gripping and forcing both his wrists behind his back with a one-handed vise. He used his other hand to sweep aside the tangled mane of dark hair and expose the back of Jackal's neck.

"Behave yourself. I'm not in the mood for silverware tonight, got it?" Ban leaned over and roughly sank his teeth into the skin of Akabane's neck, grasping the back of it in his mouth as he held them both in this position for a few moments. It was a trick he'd learned early on in their relationship. Akabane had a peculiar fondness for such things and Ban had found that the right application at the right time could reap him the most fantastic rewards.

Sure enough the other man's aggression instantly evaporated like fine mist. His body went limp and pliant beneath Ban and the tips of the knives that had been beginning to protrude from between his fingers receded. "Midou-kun." Akabane's moan was breathless and heavy with desire. "Don't tease me."

Still keeping his bite on Jackal's neck, Ban muttered, "Be good, and I won't." As a reward for cooperating, he used his free hand to reach underneath and rub the bulge at the apex of the other's thighs. He was gifted with another moan and felt the answering rise of hips under his own as a firm backside was pressed into his groin.

"Good boy." Ban released his mouth-hold on the back of Akabane's neck and eased his restraint, allowing him to turn and roll onto his back, presenting a most enticing sight. Violet eyes were nearly dark in their lust as the jackal licked his kiss-swollen lips and stared up at Ban with an expression that could only be described as starving. It was a little-known fact that this predator actually enjoyed playing both hunter and hunted. With his tousled black hair fanning across the bed and his skin flushed with excitement, Akabane looked like an ad for utter wantonness.

It was times like these that drove Ban nearly crazy with want. Akabane's list of faults definitely didn't include being a lousy lay.

He sat back on his haunches, fingers fumbling with the buttons on his shirt. "Clothes. Get 'em off. Now," Ban barked. Laughter bubbled up from the jackal and he coyly undid the buttons of his coat with slow, precise movements. Ban pulled his shirt off and flung it in a ball towards the corner, watching as Akabane peeled back the sides of his coat and splayed the ends open. He smoothed the coat over as if it was part of the bedspread, then tucked both hands under his head and smirked up at Ban, all but daring him to finish removing the rest.

Ban was quick to take him up on that offer. He hauled Jackal up by his tie, pulling him astride his lap so they could grope at each other while engaging in a duel of tongues. Ban's fingers loosened the tie and sprang several buttons on Akabane's shirt; gloved fingers sought and struggled with Ban's belt before pinging the clasp open and sliding along his lower stomach to attack the button of the fly. Groaning, Ban abandoned his assault on Akabane's vest and captured his jaw with both hands in a fierce kiss, sending his tongue plunging deep inside the jackal's mouth to taste the richness there.

A low growl issued from Akabane's throat and his tongue snaked forward to claim Ban's mouth just as thoroughly. Ban hissed with pleasure as cool material - just what the hell kind of gloves were those, anyway? - whisked across his heated skin in ringing vibrations -

- ringing?

Ah, dammit - "Stop. Stop!" Ban broke their kiss and pushed Akabane away, gasping for breath as his senses scrambled to process the sudden interruption. "I gotta take this." He tried to climb off the bed to get to his phone, which was trilling away on top of the dresser. Of all the times for it to summon him!

Akabane was not to be deterred. He dragged Ban back onto the bed, locking his legs around his waist. "Ignore it," he murmured, taking hold of Ban's shoulders and pressing their lips together again.

Ban fought him off. "I have to take this call, damn it!" The cell continued its noisy demand. "Let go," he grunted, shoving ineffectually at the clingy jackal.

Hands clawed at him, fingers digging painfully into his chest and shoulders. "Leave it," Akabane insisted, the tip of a moist, pink tongue darting out to dance around Ban's lower lip. "At this hour it can't possibly be anything of interest."

"The hell it can't, it's a friggin' job," Ban snapped, giving him a vicious shove backwards. "I need to answer it!"

"I need you."

Akabane would not relent and the phone was sounding more urgent, so Ban was forced to drag himself from the bed and stumble over to the dresser with the amorous jackal stuck like a burr to him. He grabbed the phone and flipped its case open on the tail end of a ringtone. "Hello?"

"Ban! It's about time." A feminine voice carried over the line, crisp in its indignation. Hevn was not one for being ignored when she wanted something. "I just spoke with the client. There are a few details to hash over before we can close on the contract."

Ban shook his head, trying to clear the muddled fog of lust so he could concentrate on her words. It wasn't easy, with Akabane slipping his hands underneath Ban's tank top so he could stroke his palms across his chest. "Uh, yeah, what's the list?" He took off his glasses, laying them on the dresser as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"Well, first off, he wants to know if you and Ginji can deliver the item to his son's house, instead of the shop."

"Yeah. Got it," Ban said, looking around for something to write on so he could have a list for later. Ordinarily he could remember without a problem, but under the circumstances he was better off taking notes. He stifled a hiss as deft fingers found and pinched one of his nipples under the top, sending bolts of desire straight to his still-turgid groin. "Cut that out," he snapped at Akabane - who was busily trying to lick the side of Ban's neck - as he sought paper and pen from one of the drawers.

"Second," Hevn continued, sounding less peeved now that business was the topic, "there's the matter of discretion. The son's wife is not to know about this until the item arrives at the house, understand?"

"Wife - not - to - know," Ban repeated, scribbling the words down. A thought struck him as he pressed the cell to his ear. "Hey! What's that about us not being discreet? What, are you saying the Get Backers can't do a job right?"

Hevn's laugh was still pleasant in its condescension. "With the damage reports you two rack up on a regular basis, I don't think 'discreet' would fit with your handle."

She started to rail off some more notes, which Ban continued to write down. Or he would have, if he hadn't been busy trying to fend off a lustful jackal. Akabane's tongue was tunneling into his other ear, making him lose focus on the rest of the details. "No - wait, what was that last part? Okay, got that - " Ban quickly covered the phone's mouthpiece and snarled a warning at his would-be lover - "yeah, and then there's the complex number…"

Annoyed that he couldn't rouse Ban from his conversation with the phone, Akabane reluctantly disengaged from his lap and slunk over to the bed, curling up on his side on top of the mattress while he waited. Idly he traced J-patterns with his fingertip on the bedspread, casting baleful looks at Ban every now and then as the call dragged on.

"Okay. Got all that," Ban said at length, checking his scrawled notes to make sure he'd gotten the important stuff. "Anything else?"

"A few small things," Hevn said.

"Go on."

"The client has agreed to the requested fee; however, he wishes to deposit it in a specially numbered account, from which he will draw a check for the funds. He'll sign this over to you, but my name will also be on the check, so we'll have to cash it together. Make sure you bring some ID when you come to the bank and - Ban? Are you there?" Hevn asked, curious as to why the mention of money hadn't prompted some type of outburst from him. Usually all one had to do was say the word 'money' to Ban and he was all over it like the dark on a thundercloud's underbelly.

Had she known the real reason for his ongoing silence she might well have been tempted to skip the mention of money altogether, for the sight that now greeted Ban's eyes had rendered him temporarily unable to consider the finer points of cold hard cash. Impatient with the speed at which their conversation was going, Akabane had left the bed and was approaching Ban with a feral gleam in his eyes. He'd wrapped his coat securely around himself, stopping just before Ban and turning around with his back facing the other. He gave Ban a coy look over his shoulder, extending a leg slightly outwards in a semi-dramatic pose…then slowly inched the coat down over his shoulders and back as he peeled it off with agonizing slowness and let it fall to the floor with a tantalizing wiggle of hips.

Striptease, Ban's brain prompted, but he was still shell-shocked by the sight to register it. "Um…yeah. Still here," he said into the phone, his eyes not leaving Akabane who was in the process of unbuttoning and removing his vest, all the while giving Ban suggestive looks.

"Are you okay? You sound like something's going on," Hevn said, her voice a mixture of puzzlement and suspicion.

Ban held up a hand, motioning to Akabane that he should stop, but the jackal kept coming closer. "Nothing's going on. I just - it's just - well, I've got another client at the moment and he's really riding me on this other deal," he grunted as Akabane straddled his lap once more and proceeded to undulate in slow waves against him. He lowered his head and claimed Ban's lips briefly, tongue flicking across teeth while sheathed nails scraped along his chest.

Ban indulged the kiss for a few moments while Hevn blasted him with irate demands as to what the hell was going on there and what was he doing with another client when this one was so important and so willing to pay an extravagant fee? He broke off for air and cut in when Hevn paused to spill into another half of her tirade. "Don't get your panties in a bunch, willya? Just tell the other guy we'll be there, we'll keep a lid on things, and the job'll get done like we say it will. That is what we're letting you rip us off for, isn't it?" he spat caustically into the receiver.

He pushed Akabane off his lap again. "You aren't done yet," he mouthed, pointing at the rest of the jackal's clothes. With a smile, the dark one moved to comply, biting the fingertip of one glove as he jerked it off with his teeth. He did the same to the other glove and dropped them both to the floor. A pair of black socks soon followed likewise.

"You don't pay me enough for what I put up with," Hevn sniffed. "You'd better not be holding out on me, Ban."

"I'm holding out, but not the way you think," Ban retorted, watching as Akabane unknotted his tie completely and flicked open the rest of the buttons on his shirt. He stepped closer and turned around so Ban could pull the shirt off of him, raking his fingernails down the center of Akabane's back as he did so. Jackal purred and arched against the rough caress before swinging around and latching onto Ban like glue, running his hands eagerly over his midsection.

"I mean it, Ban Midou, you'd better not stiff me on this deal," Hevn warned. "Finish up with whoever it is you've got there and then meet me at our agreed spot on time. You do remember those details, I hope."

"Yeah, yeah, I re - OW! You sneaky fuck! No! No! Not you," Ban rubbed the sore spot on his earlobe where Akabane's sharp teeth had nipped a little too strongly for his liking, as he hastily tried to placate the woman on the other line. "I ah - I just stubbed my toe - on something. The dresser."

"And you call Ginji a klutz," Hevn laughed. "How is he, by the way? I hope he's ready to go for the job."

Of all the - why now did Hevn have to turn chatty?! Ban sucked in a deep breath to stifle both his temper and lust, which were increasing at about the same rate as Akabane's impatience. "He's fine. Look, Hevn, I've got some business to take care of, can we -"

He heard the snick long before he felt the blade's cold-hot kiss on his skin; even so, Ban barely had enough time to pedal backwards before a red line sliced a thin path over his tank shirt and stomach. Tiny rubies began to swell and dot the mark in a swift wake.

"Goddammit! That is IT! Hevn, I gotta go." Ban smacked the phone's lid down before she could get in another surprised word and slammed the device on the dresser. Face mottled with fury, he confronted a smirking Akabane.

"You bastard, this was one of my favorite shirts!"

Smug laughter drifted forth from the jackal. "It's not nice to keep your company waiting, Midou-kun," Akabane mock-scolded with a wagging finger.

Ban advanced on him with a snarl. "Son of a bitch. I warned you about those knives of yours." He ripped off his ruined top. "You are buying me a new one when this is over with," he vowed.

"Of course." Akabane's eyes widened with feverish anticipation as Ban stalked him.

Jackal darted to one side and the chase was on. Ban was after him in a flash, blocking his path to the door and charging him in the next instant. Akabane sprinted out of the way, leaping up onto the mattress to cut Ban off, but Ban was already changing his course and hurtling onto the bed and on top of Akabane. He wrapped his fingers around a slender wrist and yanked the transporter against him, crushing those amoral lips of his in a brutal kiss. Akabane moaned softly but was far from conceding the fight. His free hand shot up to grab hold of Ban's jaw.

Ban seized his wrist before Jackal's claws could meet their intended target and whirled Akabane around, throwing him to the bed. Still keeping his fingers tight around the wrist he'd captured he dug one knee into the jackal's back, forcing him into a prone position while he reached over to the nightstand and fumbled with the top drawer. He didn't like resorting to this just-in-case measure, but he wasn't about to pick up a couple of extra knives in the back just because he had a frisky jackal on his hands.

Akabane had relaxed upon noticing Ban's focus on the drawer, but when a telltale clinking emerged that wasn't expected he renewed his efforts for freedom with a quiet snarl and a swipe of scalpels. Even he had his limits.

"Oh, no, Jackal. You wanted it, you're gonna get it. My way."

Ban hooked one cuff around the wrist he had and snapped it shut. He fought with Akabane to snare his other wrist, dodging the knives that sliced his way and managing to keep the other man pinned to the bed with his knee. He finally nabbed Akabane's free hand, grasping the bone hard enough to leave bruises on the pale skin. Ban brought both arms around in front of the jackal, wrestling with him to get the cuffed hand up.

The bed had a headboard that was made of wrought iron, fashioned into intricately shaped bars about the thickness of a rifle barrel. The space between these bars was just big enough for someone to slide a twisted-up bed sheet through…or a link of chain. Ban threaded the loose cuff through one of the upper bars and back out again and clamped it onto Akabane's other wrist. Now the jackal was effectively tethered, albeit partially. But it was enough for Ban's purposes.

Akabane hissed furiously as the metal bit into his skin. Ban had made sure the cuffs were plenty tight to hold him. Long dark hair lashed his shoulders as he twisted his head around to see what Ban was going to do next. He bared his teeth and snapped at the fingers that tried to glide across the tattoo on his upper arm.

"None of that!" Ban grabbed a fistful of black hair and wound it tightly in his fist, yanking Akabane's head backwards just hard enough for him to get the point. He leaned over and pressed his lips against the pulse beating wildly underneath the jackal's jaw. It was hard for Ban not to feel a heady sense of power at having him, one who was at least as dangerous as Ban himself, under his thrall. This was their mutually shared understanding. They didn't have to hide from one another; here in this odd cocoon of their making they could give everything they had and then some. But in order for this arrangement to work properly without the carnage inherent, certain compromises had to be made…

Ban let his mouth wander over Akabane's exposed throat, tongue sliding over the graceful arch of neck to tease the slight bump there. He felt it bob twice in rapid succession, and in another show of control he opened his mouth and placed his teeth over Jackal's throat in a firm but not damaging grasp. A thin whine escaped the other, not of fear that Ban might tear out his jugular but one of frustration mingled with longing and need: that his lover could tease him so mercilessly like this while he felt an intense longing to return Ban's affections with similar displays, if not the raw need to likewise exercise his own dominance.

Ban kept his bite-hold in place, savoring the salty taste of damp skin in his mouth. He reached down with his free hand and unbuckled Jackal's belt, drawing it through the loops on his trousers and tossing it to the floor when it was free. His fingers popped the buttons on the trousers free, one by one, and then struggled to pull the zipper down. Ban got his hand inside, finally, and sought what he wanted. The catch in Akabane's breath told him he'd found it.

Ban allowed himself a small smile and wrapped his fingers around rigid flesh. He began stroking him, fist tightening and relaxing in rhythmic counterpoint. He let go of Akabane's throat and nipped at a pale earlobe, suckling the bit of flesh. "Feels good, doesn't it?" he rasped, and heard a soft panting in response. "Well it's gonna feel even better when I fuck you into this bed. You owe me for tonight."

Akabane muttered something, too low for Ban to catch it. He withdrew his hand and let go of the jackal's hair, edging in front of him a bit to look him in the face. "What was that? You call me a bastard? You can if you want, you know. Not like I've never heard that one before." That and a dozen others like it.

Something shifted in Akabane's expression, a fluttering of shutters behind those violet eyes. His face smoothed itself out right before Ban's eyes, the cool appraisal settling onto features fine enough to rival Kazuki's for sheer beauty and neatly erasing any trace of the savage that had crept through earlier. Only the proud tilt of his jaw and the rebellious spark shining in his eyes revealed his anger. Otherwise he remained silent, body taut with a familiar battle tension.

These mercurial moods baffled and infuriated Ban to no small extent. He'd known that the jackal was unusually repressed, but until they'd begun seeing each other on a regular basis he'd had no idea just how far this astonishing self-control went. It was as if Akabane was determined to prove that by virtue of his strange abilities he was somehow rendered beyond mortal scope, that the mere trappings of humanity - emotions, feelings, and the expressions of such - were things that he preferred to rise above.

But I know you're in there, Ban thought, his fury rekindling at Akabane's cold refusal to acknowledge certain truths, his fantasies of shattering that well-mannered composure to shreds taking flight. You may not like it, but you can't hide from me, from any of us, now that we know you…you're as human as any of us are…

Ban cupped the back of Akabane's head and forced their lips together. His tongue sought entry into the jackal's mouth, but he wasn't cooperating. Jackal held still, lips pressed shut, not responding with anything other than chilly disdain.

Ban much preferred the sensual creature that had been riding his lap earlier, the lusty one whose devilish streak had gotten them into this in the first place. He released Jackal and slid behind him again.

Akabane spoke, his first words since their clash had started. His voice was pitched low and vibrated with subtle menace. "What do you think you're going to do, Midou-kun?"

Ban didn't answer him. Instead he pulled Akabane off his knees, making him flop on his stomach, facedown, his arms stretched above his head. With a single vicious yank he ripped the transporter's remaining clothes from his body, the harsh sound of rending fabric echoing in the room. His own pants quickly followed, though with much less damage.

He crawled on top of Jackal and leaned over towards the nightstand drawer again. Ban dug out the tube of lubricant and flicked the cap open, squeezing a huge glop of the stuff onto himself before tossing the container aside. He was glad he'd thought to get the self-warming kind and not the usual brand; that stuff was cold when applied straightaway. He slicked it liberally over his erection, gritting his teeth from the extra stimulation the friction provided.

By now the jackal knew it was pointless but he fought Ban anyway, his snarls soft but loaded with fury as they were interspersed with the scraping of metal against metal. Ban had no doubt that he'd pay dearly for this later when they had one of their infrequent fights, but right now, sheathing himself in tight, slick heat, he couldn't give a damn about that. His finger slid home, finding that sweet spot, stroking that for a few moments to tame his wild jackal somewhat before withdrawing and mounting him fully.

Ban's body blanketed the other's and he sank his fingers into pale flesh, gripping slim hips in a tight hold as he thrust inside, pulled back and rocked forward again. He couldn't deny that this type of rougher coupling had a certain primal appeal to it, and judging from his lover's reactions the pleasure was mutual, though his instincts clashed with his desire as his body thrashed underneath Ban's. Right now Jackal was trapped between his conflicting wants and it was driving him crazy, this inability to make up his mind as to what he wanted more, the fight or the sex. Ban couldn't help a small wicked chuckle at the frustrated mewls that were erotic music to his ears. You're just making it harder on yourself, he thought as he eased his thrusting for a moment to urge Akabane to his knees again.

"Shh. Let it go and I'll take us both for a ride," Ban rasped, strong hands fiercely palming the transporter's hips - which did have a bit of a curve to them. That visual effect wasn't just all trenchcoat. Jackal whimpered quietly in response, his muscles strung tight with arousal and yet supple as a willow reed when he finally surrendered to Ban with a low moan, arching against him while Ban's hand slid between his thighs to fondle his erection.

Ban spread nibbling kisses along a sweat-dampened neck and shoulder, relieved that they could dispense with the foreplay. He tilted his lover's hips higher in the air, sinking deep within and drawing out with a groan, setting up a rhythm for the two of them to fall into as their harsh, panting breaths mingled and echoed in the room. The handcuffs clinked and the bed creaked in sympathy, the iron headboard dully thumping against the wall from the force of their movements. Jackal was hanging white-knuckled onto it for support.

It had been awhile since they'd done it like this. But Ban's body remembered how good it felt, and his own hips quickened the pace as he began to climb that peak. His hands plundered the jackal's flesh, roaming sweat-slick skin he sought to claim for his own, fingers tracing firm planes and luscious curves where they found them. Akabane was finding it less and less easier to thwart Ban's craving for a howl or two. He bit down on his lower lip hard enough to draw blood, muffling a rather sharp moan after a particularly rough thrust left them both breathless with ecstasy.

Oh no you don't, thought Ban as his hand plunged again between the jackal's spread legs and caressed him in time with their thrusts. Give it to me. I want to hear you scream for me this time. His other hand dragged fingertips up the length of the biggest scar, brushing over a taut nipple, and splayed across a pale, moist throat. He pressed his palm against the yielding skin and forced Akabane's head back against his shoulder, feeling him twist around slightly so their lips could meet. Now the only dueling going on between them was that of tongues ravishing each other's mouth, swallowing each other's growls and groans of pleasure while Ban used Jackal's willing body like a rope in a tug-of-war between him and the bed's headboard.

Having capitulated to Ban's dominance, Akabane wasn't necessarily about to concede total defeat. He found ways to retaliate with sensual torture of his own, grinding his hips into Ban's groin, muscles flexing throughout his sleek frame as he sought to fit his body against the other's, gliding skin on skin and matching the frenetic pace. He turned his head and captured one of Ban's fingers in his mouth when Ban would have carded them through his sweat-dampened hair, nipping and sucking hungrily at the digit.

"Ahh. Oh, that's it. Oh yeah." Ban groaned loudly as the pull of wet, hot tongue on his finger corresponded with the sweet aching in his groin. He was hurtling up that cliff fast, ready to sail over the edge at any moment. He yanked his finger loose and wound his arms tightly around Akabane's torso, hugging him almost hard enough to squeeze the breath from him as he drove in for one more hard thrust, impulsively bending his head and sinking teeth into the corded muscle of shoulder and neck as he growled his release.

The climax washed over him in pounding waves, making the blood rush in his ears in a whirlpool of sensation. Ban shut his eyes and rode it out, sagging against the thin form in his hold as his body gradually spiraled down from the high. His breath spread hot moisture across Akabane's back as he inhaled deep, jagged breaths.

At length he recovered and realized that Jackal still needed him. His body was quivering, teetering on the edge of completion but not quite toppling over it. Ban's last thrust had pushed him to the brink and left him dangling there. Ban bracketed the sides of his ribcage with his hands, feeling the heaving of his chest with each ragged breath Akabane drew. Poor starving jackal, he thought, not without a measure of sympathy.

He still wanted his scream, however.

Ban reached down and gripped the base of the other's arousal, holding him firmly just so in order to take the knifelike edge off and bring him back down a notch or two for what he had in mind. "Hey," he breathed into Jackal's ear, lips teasing the flesh of his lobe. "Easy. I didn't forget you." It had to be driving him nuts, Ban knew, being bound to this passive role in their game, even though he was far from being bored by it. Akabane liked being able to play actively, the better to match wits with Ban.

Ban felt some of the tension dissipate in Jackal's body after a few moments, and he let go of him. He withdrew slowly and moved to the side, leaning over and gently prying Akabane's fingers loose from the headboard bars. "Just a minute," Ban told him, seeing the raised brow he got as he rubbed chafed skin, noting the angry red marks left on the pale wrists from the cuffs. He had clamped them on a little tight, but still…

Ban reached into the nightstand drawer again. This time when his hand emerged from it a silver key was in his fingers. He held it up, noting the flare of Jackal's eyes.

"Here's the plan. I'm gonna get you off like I promised, but there's a catch. You're not allowed to do anything but accept what I give you. You try to interfere in any way, and I'll stop right in the middle and leave you where you are. You try to touch me back, I stop. You use knives, I stop. If you speak, I stop. I don't want to hear anything out of you but sucking air. Does that sound like some interesting fun to you?"

Slowly Akabane nodded. A slight wariness had crept into his gaze, but Ban knew the jackal in him wouldn't be able to resist the lure of a challenge.

"Okay. Here we go." Ban lifted the key and unlocked the cuffs.

He was somewhat expecting a swipe of scalpels immediately thereafter; violet eyes shone through thick strands of dark hair as Akabane had initially glared daggers at him before his explanation, but the jackal was relaxing a bit and now seemed more willing to play by the rules. Freed from his captivity he let his arms fall to his sides as he sat on the mattress, watching Ban for a cue as to how he was supposed to act next. Ban rewarded him with a kiss, tongue gently dabbing at the spot he'd bitten earlier. He ignored the salty tang of blood and concentrated instead on soothing the wound.

When he pulled away he noticed an almost imperceptible flinch of muscles in Jackal's arms. He wanted to play, that was clear, but for the sake of finding out where this game led he remained obedient to Ban's edict of submission. And he wasn't yet near the point where restraint would become a serious difficulty.

Ban met an unflinching purple gaze as his fingers played along the length of an elegant neck, across the angular slope of a collarbone. Akabane's eyes had cooled to a grayish-lavender shade, but sultry violet still flickered within. What he wanted to see would need fresh coaxing. Ban smiled, a hint of determined retriever, and moved behind him.

He lowered his head and licked his tongue along the length of spine, starting at the lower half of the small of Jackal's back and continuing upwards, making it one long slow caress. One thing he had learned about Akabane was that while the other had grown so used to the kind of physical interaction that would cripple or even kill normal people, the gentlest of touches had the power to completely undo him and leave him putty in Ban's hands.

He was highly susceptible to back and foot rubs, for instance, dissolving almost boneless into his lover's touches as his hidden sensuality took control and indulged itself. Even just nuzzling his neck or nibbling an earlobe at the right time could earn Ban a fascinating glimpse into a person who kept the passionate side of his nature strictly under wraps - not unlike himself in a way, Ban understood. It had taken the entrance of Ginji into his life to get him to realize that being human was as marvelously complex and exciting as the analyzing and dispensation of fighting tactics.

Ban's lips reached the nape of Akabane's neck, and he paused to suck on one of the bones there. He felt the other's head bow in response, granting him easier access, and when his hands slid along that slender waist he could feel the tiniest shivers threading through him. He buried his face in the damp strands of hair, breathed in the healthy scent of perspiration and arousal, and slid his tongue around the side of a pale neck to lap just behind an earlobe.

A flinch, but silence. Ban smiled to himself. You can run but you can't hide from me.

He lowered his head, scraping his teeth lightly around each shoulder blade as he nipped the flesh. The muscles in Jackal's back flexed in a tiny ripple of motion and Ban heard the quiet inhalation of breath. He moved around and cupped the transporter's face in his hands, bringing him in for a kiss. Akabane liked kissing and this was no exception as he melted into Ban's embrace. A prompt from Ban's tongue and the other man's lips obediently parted to grant him entry. Ban spent the barest of seconds wandering the warm cavern and then he pulled away, much to the jackal's disappointment. But the simmering in those purple eyes had increased noticeably.

"Give me your hands."

One slender eyebrow quirked in curiosity, but he did as he was told and Ban guided him onto his knees, easing him onto his forearms so that his hips were raised in the air. Jackal's eyes narrowed slightly as if to say didn't we already just do this? One side of Ban's mouth twitched in a smirking response - you'll see.

He moved behind his lover and pushed those pale thighs to each side, spreading the long legs to reveal what he wanted. He saw the thin frame tremble ever so finely and wondered if it was anticipation or anxiety. Probably a little of both, he decided. Though he might get his kicks from letting his prey chase him every now and then, Jackal wasn't used to complete vulnerability. Ban leaned forward and grasped a firm mound in each hand, pulling them apart and licking the smooth strip of skin just underneath the still-erect sex.

Jackal nearly went wild.

Ban grinned to himself when he felt the other's hips suddenly leap and heard the stifled yelp directed into the pillows. Weren't expecting that, were you? He tongued the area again, eliciting more moans and shudders. Ban's head reeled with an almost drunken glee as he tasted his triumph in the heat, the moisture of musky male arousal. His own loins responded to the stimuli with appreciative stiffening.

Akabane's fingers were twisted tightly in the sheets, his breath coming harder now though he fought to keep it to an even rhythm. Ban bent his head back down again and suckled teasingly at the robust fullness dangling temptingly within reach below the erection. A sharp hiss was the answering reply. Ban drew up for air and saw knife-tips trying to inch their way through nimble fingers. Deciding to let it be for now - it seemed to be more of an unconscious response to the pleasure and Jackal was doing his damnedest to keep them from extending all the way - Ban applied his tongue again to explore those shadowy places of his lover's body.

Jackal lurched forward then and began trying to rub himself against the mattress for relief. He was panting eagerly, head bent down and hair spilling over his arms and the pillows in a river of dark gloss with each thrust. Ban quickly put a stop to his efforts by grasping his hips and lifting them higher, holding him in place. "Ah, ah," he warned, reminding him of the rules of this game.

An irritated purple gaze locked with his blue one as Akabane glared over his shoulder. Ban smiled unrepentantly back at him before pulling and rolling him over onto his back. Jackal's hands came partway up to grab at him before he caught himself and with gritted teeth laid his arms back by his sides, fingers clutching at the sheets.

Ban crawled over him till they were almost nose to nose. "Still interested, Jackal?" A low growl rumbled in the other man's throat and violet eyes flashed with seething fury. Aha, now we're getting somewhere! Ban thought wickedly. He kissed Akabane's mouth, sucking firmly on the lower lip, amused when as he pulled away his jackal tried to follow to keep their kiss intact. But Ban had other ideas. He moved lower and pressed his mouth to a starburst scar at the point where Akabane's arm met his shoulder.

A thin keening issued from the other's lips. Not surprisingly, another thing Ban had discovered was that Akabane's scars were very sensitive areas for him - in more ways than one. He ran his tongue along the rough edges of scar tissue, stroking the smoothness within its borders. He did the same to its twin, watching out of the corner of his eye as sinewy muscles twitched and jumped to keep from acting on the jackal's desires. Ban had an inspiration then and moved still lower, bending his head once more to pale flesh and licking-biting-sucking-kissing a steady trail up along Akabane's torso, taking the path of the biggest scar.

When he reached the top of his shoulder he dipped in for another shared kiss, swallowing his lover's moan of delight as their tongues waged a mock fight for dominance. Ban broke the kiss, sent Jackal a sly grin, and lifted one of his hands to his lips. A risky maneuver, he knew, but he couldn't resist and if his gamble paid off -

Their gazes still holding together, Ban pressed Akabane's palm to his mouth and sucked hard on the scar there.

"Uhh!" Jackal's eyes squeezed shut and his body jerked beneath Ban, who heard the rasp of blades and looked down. The transporter's other hand was digging fiercely into the bed, scalpels and all, his body trembling to keep from losing control in the face of such overwhelming pleasure.

Ban laughed quietly. "You like that, don't you?" He gave the scar-studded palm another mouth-caress and released it, moving aside just in time as Akabane unsheathed more scalpels to claw at the other side of the bed for purchase. The effort to stay silent and receptive was wearing harder on him now.

Pleased with the way things were going Ban traveled further south and thoughtfully eyed the neglected erection throbbing against Jackal's abdomen. This wasn't one of his most favorite things to do but in the long run it was worth whatever hassle it might bring. With that in mind Ban bent his head and ran his tongue over the moist tip of Jackal's sex before engulfing it completely.

"Nnnhh!"

Oh yes, he would have his scream, sooner or later. Ban smiled around his mouthful and sucked slowly, running his tongue around the rigid length before shaping the tip of his tongue into a point and dabbing it over the top. Jackal was positively thrashing now, head thrown back and hair twisting across the pillows, eyes tightly shut and hips surging in Ban's grasp. The tone of his whimpers and pants bordered on begging, exactly what Ban wanted to hear.

He released him for a moment to search out the tube of lubricant. He used the stuff to coat his finger and went for the jackal again, taking his hard flesh into his mouth while the fingers of his other hand played in the crisp black thatch surrounding the base, massaging that area for additional stimulation. Jackal sighed with ragged ecstasy and began thrusting as he took advantage of the wet heat pleasuring him.

Ban had his own advantages in mind. He slid his hand underneath Jackal to lift him slightly and pushed his lubricant-slicked finger against the tight opening until it accepted him all the way in.

Jackal uttered a shrill whine and would have come shooting up off the bed if Ban hadn't been holding him down. He twisted wildly in his lover's grasp, moaning between gasps for breath while Ban alternatively stroked and suckled him, changing the patterns of his touches so that the other never got a chance to anticipate them as they came. Uneven noises - of breath, of tumultuous cries - filled the room. Ban slicked more lubricant on a second finger and added it to his first, pulsing their tips against that spot, and Jackal's harsh sob echoed in its desperation.

Ban withdrew and lifted his head to regard the frustrated Akabane with cool satisfaction. "You know what I want to hear," he hissed. With that, he lifted Jackal up and placed him on his lap, the other's back to his chest, turning their bodies so that they could see their reflections in the dresser mirror. Ban raised those slender hips up and drove home with a sharp thrust.

Jackal's throaty groan coincided with his own, violet eyes widening ever so slightly to take in the scene in the looking glass: two predators mating, both sleek and darkly dangerous in their passion, their skin flushed with warmth and dappled with sweat as they shared an erotic respite from the rigors of hunting. Ban's eyes connected with Akabane's and a hand glided between the pale man's legs, capturing his erection. Fascinated by his own and his double's motions, each impaling himself shamelessly on a Ban, Jackal's panting grew rougher, faster, as he stared at the mirror, into a twin pair of blue eyes the owner of which had seduced him into this exciting challenge.

There, there it was - vivid purple sizzling with life!

Ban worked a firm hand over his lover's sex, fondling and stroking while he thrust repeatedly into him, feeling the other's rhythm align with his, feeling silky-slick muscles tighten around his hardness. His other hand pressed against Jackal's chest, fingers tweaking his nipples while he bent his head and nipped-suckled-bit at the length of graceful neck, and that did it for Akabane. Yet even in that penultimate moment the other denied Ban what he most wanted to hear, and transformed his beginning scream into a muted gasp as his body went rigid and then shook violently with the tremors of climax.

Ban growled loudly as hot stickiness splashed over his hand. Dammit! He'd been close, so damn close that time…and then he couldn't think of anything else because his own orgasm broadsided him, sending him rolling head over heels through wave after wave of pleasure. Next time, Ban vowed absently as his brain struggled up through the hazy layers of release, next time for sure he'd get what he wanted.

"How come you hardly make any noise when we do this?" he asked Akabane when they were both of sufficient presence of mind to make coherent answers.

"Mm?" Beside him, a sleepy purple eye half-opened, regarding him with drowsy interest. After sex Akabane was content to drape himself over Ban and doze like a sated feline as his lover idly petted him.

"Most people yowl like banshees when they get off. You, you're like this ghost or something. You have these breathy little gasps you make when you're about to come and that's it."

Purple eyes opened more fully, sparkling mischievously. "Would you prefer me to be more vocal in bed? I can be vocal, Midou-kun. Would it please you if I were to cry out 'Oh yes, Midou-kun, you're the best, the greatest in the world!'?"

"It's a start."

Akabane chuckled and loaded his barbed voice with coyness. "I shall put it on my list of things to do in the near future then." He nuzzled Ban's nose and kissed the corner of his mouth before speaking in a more serious tone. "If it would soothe your bruised ego, I'll have you know that you are most adept at bringing me pleasure." His smiling gaze momentarily cooled a bit. "When you aren't teasing me, that is. We really must work on your manners in that department."

An unimpressed Ban rolled his eyes. "If I was more gentlemanly, you wouldn't enjoy it as much, now would you?" He yawned and stretched his arms above his head. "Now I just gotta figure out what the hell I'm gonna tell Hevn," he muttered, thinking that she was still probably steamed over his abruptly hanging up on her.

Akabane raised an eyebrow at him. "Tell her the truth. You were unavoidably driven to distraction by a prior commitment." He smirked and there was no mistaking the smugness that time.

Ban glared at him. "I spent the evening fucking us both senseless. That's what I'm supposed to say?" He fell silent, considering.

Unfazed, Akabane replied, "You could. But Hevn-san probably will not like that, and she might deduct extra expenses from your fee as compensation."

Damn him, he had a point.