The sky was growing dark as Tsuzuki appeared inside the door of a small apartment, cradling a very precious burden against his chest. The younger man had fallen into one of his death-like sleeps again at the library, and despite their not particularly welcoming his presence, the Gushoshin had merely shook their heads and turned a blind eye as the tall man in the black coat swooped in to carry his partner home.

Tsuzuki almost regretted that he hadn't just carried him the entire way instead of teleporting, all so that he could hold that deceptively fragile body for just a while longer.

He carried the boy to his bed and laid him down gently, sitting beside him as he carefully removed the boy's sneakers, enjoying the freedom to just study his beautiful, peaceful face at his leisure. He watched, mesmerized, as that impossibly tiny mouth opened with a content sigh as the boy nestled into his pillow.

"Tsuzuki," Hisoka murmured.

Tsuzuki smiled, his heart swelling at that moment he so cherished. Hisoka never failed to say his name as he slept, when the other man was near. He wondered if it was because he sensed him, even in sleep, and liked to believe that it was because the boy somehow associated him with the comfort and safety he felt in his unguarded slumber.

He pulled the covers over Hisoka, almost to his chin, leaning over the boy with a familiar sense of bittersweet longing, mingled with guilt. Hisoka shifted, his thin arm throwing back the cover slightly as he rolled onto his back, his breath quickening slightly. Tsuzuki wondered what he dreamt of, the sound of his name passing those sweet lips echoing in his mind.

"Don't go," Hisoka murmured, sounding distressed, as Tsuzuki stood up straight.

Tsuzuki smiled, leaning near again, and pushing blonde bangs back from his face with a light caress. Hisoka inclined his cheek against his fingers with a satisfied little susurration that Tsuzuki could not quite catch.

Tsuzuki's fingers continued to graze freely over the sleeping boy's tender skin, running along his temple and cheekbones. His hand traveled over his scalp, petting his soft crown of hair, as the boy continued to make approving sounds.

I shouldn't be touching him like this while he sleeps, Tsuzuki thought, catching himself and pulling his hand away. Hisoka gave a gentle whimper, frowning as he tried to nuzzle absent fingers.

"Tsuzuki?" Hisoka called pitifully, making the older man's pulse quicken.

Just this once. Just this once, and I'll never do it again, Tsuzuki thought, his chest aching as he leaned close, feeling warm breath on his face as he held his own and captured the boy's mouth for one sweet, fleeting kiss.

So soft, Tsuzuki thought, as he met the yielding flesh of Hisoka's lips with his own. Opening his eyes for a fraction of the savored moment, they went wide as his vision become flooded with an intense sea of green.

Heaven was wrenched from him quite abruptly as the boy regained full consciousness and backed away quickly, panting with shock.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Hisoka gasped, pressed against the headboard.

Tsuzuki paled, his knees giving way as he sank upon the bed, giving the boy a sad, pleading look.

"Hisoka, I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me," Tsuzuki whispered feebly.

"Why -- why did you kiss me?" Hisoka asked.

Tsuzuki stared at Hisoka's bare foot, which peeked from beneath the covers, and took a deep breath.

"I don't know why, I just --"

"Liar," Hisoka said quickly, causing Tsuzuki to gaze up at his wide eyed stare, thinking the boy looked like a cornered wildcat.

"Okay, so I do know," Tsuzuki said with defeat, looking down once more. Hisoka said nothing, waiting for him to continue.

"You can read my disgusting thoughts, can't you?" Tsuzuki whispered, wincing with shame. "I can't help myself. I hate it, and I'm sorry."

"You think it's disgusting," Hisoka said flatly. Tsuzuki nodded.

"It's wrong for me to think of you that way," Tsuzuki said.

"Because I'm a male?" Hisoka asked. "Or because you still think of me as a child?"

"But don't you -- don't you think that it's wrong?" Tsuzuki asked, looking up at him questioningly. Hisoka evaded his gaze, his large green eyes rolling to focus on some unseen point beyond him.

"I think it's wrong to molest someone while they sleep," Hisoka said irritably.

"So you wouldn't have objected if you'd been awake?" Tsuzuki asked uncertainly. Hisoka's eyes rolled back to him, fixing him with a glare. "Okay!" Tsuzuki cried, throwing up his hands. "I'm just trying to understand what you're trying to tell me."

"You didn't answer me about why you think it's disgusting," Hisoka said.

"I -- I guess, well, yeah, because I'm a man and I'm so much older than you," Tsuzuki said. "I shouldn't be fantasizing about my own partner," Tsuzuki said, shaking his head.

"Tsuzuki," Hisoka started.

"And besides, you wouldn't want someone like me in a million years and it's not fair for you to have to put up with my being a pervert," Tsuzuki blurted out. "I'm so sorry."

"Do you even have any idea why I'm upset?" Hisoka said, pulling his knees to his chest. Tsuzuki looked up at him with a lost expression.

"Because I kissed you?" Tsuzuki asked with confusion. Hisoka sighed.

"Because -- before you woke me up, I was dreaming about you," Hisoka said, blushing lightly and scowling at the floor. "And I was afraid I might have said something in my sleep that made you kiss me."

"You were dreaming," Tsuzuki said slowly, "about me?" Hisoka nodded.

"I do sometimes," Hisoka said softly.

"What kind of dreams?" Tsuzuki asked.

"Do you really have to ask?" Hisoka asked with a groan, squirming with discomfort.

"Is it because I've been infecting you with my pervy thoughts?" Tsuzuki asked with horror. "Oh God, Hisoka, I'm so --"

"Stop apologizing, damn it! I do it because --" Hisoka said, shaking his head.

"Because?" Tsuzuki asked cautiously.

"I have dreams like that because I want you, too," Hisoka said, his voice muffled from where he'd buried his face in his arms. Tsuzuki stared at him with amazement, feeling a bit dizzy and wondering if he weren't just dreaming himself. Hisoka peered above his arms, fixing him with one green eye.

"So, you think it's wrong and perverted to feel that way?" Hisoka asked, his voice breaking. "Because if you do, then there's something wrong with me, too."

"Hisoka," Tsuzuki said, drawing closer to him carefully, as if he were afraid the boy might bolt or disappear. "I guess I was mostly just disgusted with myself for daring to hope for something so miraculous as your caring for me that way. I suppose I was just trying to look at things the way I imagined you would see them."

"Well, you were wrong, then," Hisoka said shakily, sniffing.

Tsuzuki placed his hand over the small foot he'd been absently staring at, running his palm over it reassuringly.

"I was. I was very wrong," Tsuzuki said apologetically, placing a light kiss behind Hisoka's ankle. "There's nothing wrong with you, baby. You're perfect."

Tsuzuki found Hisoka's eyes, darkened with emotion as he raised his head from his arms. Tsuzuki moved closer, encircling his waist with his arms and pulling him into an embrace.

"Can I kiss you again?" Tsuzuki asked, looking down at him lovingly. Hisoka nodded.

"Just as long as I'm awake," Hisoka reprimanded with a small frown.

"Okay," Tsuzuki said with a grin.

"I just don't want it to be wasted," Hisoka whispered, as Tsuzuki placed his lips to his.