They were both sixteen. Mori was on his knees, face pressed against the tatami floor, bound by a back armlock. Honey laughed infectiously on top of him, making him smile, and right then two pairs of feet walked through the dojo's screen door.
"Mitsukuni." It was Mori's uncle, accompanied by a girl about their age who stood shyly beside him, dressed in a kimono and wearing wooden clogs with velvet straps. "This is Princess Naomi Ashikaga."
Honey let go of Mori's arms and dismounted him, walking away. Mori moved into a sitting position.
"Nice to meet you!" Honey hugged her, which was completely improper, and yet it had a positive effect on her, because she smiled.
"I have business with her father, and expect you to befriend her."
And so Honey did. She was a sweet, pretty girl, and Mori could tell she was enjoying the attention. Uncle would be happy - but he wasn't. He was upset. Scared. This felt like a direct threat to him, but he didn't know how he could defend against it, or even why it seemed so dreadful to him. It was only natural, wasn't it? They were all expected to get married someday.
Honey smiled at her, lighting up the room in a way that broke Mori's heart into many tiny little pieces. And then he offered her his Usa - something he did on occasion, and it never really bothered Mori. But this time he felt his heart turn to dust inside his chest.
Usa exchanged hands, and she held her a little too tightly against her breasts. It made Mori want to snatch Usa away from her, because she didn't belong in her arms at all. It was so wrong that he couldn't bear to watch anymore, and, powerless, he ran.
Honey asked Princess Naomi to take care of Usa and went in search of Mori, feeling very worried. He found him fairly fast, in a guest room not far from Honey's bedroom, sitting cross-legged on the floor with his back against a black armoire. Their eyes met, and Mori quickly looked down, as if ashamed. He seemed so miserable. Honey approached and knelt in front of him.
"What's wrong, Takashi? Did I do something?"
For a while, all Honey could hear was their breathing, and Mori kept alternating between looking intensely into Honey's eyes, and down at the same spot on the floor. But before Honey could press him for an answer, Mori suddenly grabbed his thighs, pulling him over and onto his lap, stretching his legs forward so that Honey's knees were on the floor on either side of him.
"Please, let me keep serving you."
It came out of nowhere and sounded so much like begging; his eyes held actual despair. Honey clutched the fabric on Mori's shoulders with shaky fingers, opening his kimono further.
"Don't ask me to stop. Ever." It was pleading. Honey had never heard Mori speak like that, and it moved him so much, even though he didn't understand why he was saying those things.
"Why would I do that? We are friends forever."
"Forever..." Mori echoed, placing his hands around Honey's waist. "You are a lord. I want to be bound to you, Mitsukuni."
Honey searched Mori's eyes.
"Takashi, are you sure?" Because this meant he would die for Honey. This meant a lifetime, and never parting ways. "What you're saying is very serious."
"It needs to be real. Please."
Honey touched his cheek to Mori's, in surrender to his sweet words. He couldn't resist, even if it was wrong, even if he didn't deserve this gift.
"I want you to have me." Mori's breath tickled Honey's ear, and his hands moved firmly up his back. Honey wasn't strong enough. He couldn't say no.
"All right. Let's make it real." At that moment, there was no other answer, no other person in the entire world. He would make it so real there would be no room for doubt. "I will find your sword for you... Takashi." It was the least he could do.
There was so much pressure on Honey right then. He understood very well what his father wanted from him, and he knew that soon he would be forced to grow up, and become the clan master he was supposed to be. He also understood what befriending Princess Naomi meant, but he had no desire whatsoever to date her, much less marry her, or anybody else; however, he was unsure if he would have any choice in it. His future promised him nothing but having to push away the things he loved. Amongst difficult decisions he didn't want to make, and pain that he couldn't see how to avoid, there was only one thing that served as comfort to Honey. Mori. The only person who called him a prince without asking him to change who he was.
They were both startled by the sound of bare footsteps on the floor. Honey's father stood at the doorway, looking as menacing as Honey had ever seen him.
"My son, you are an heir. My heir. I believe it's time you started acting like it. Come to the dojo." The sound of footsteps became ever softer, and died out.
Honey felt like he'd been punched in the stomach, and an unexpected tear ran down his cheek. Mori's hands found their way up the back of Honey's neck and into his hair.
"I'm with you."
That whisper soothed his entire body, and Honey couldn't help but smile a little through his tears, as he threw his arms around Mori's neck.
Honey sat down cross-legged on the fluffy sand, feeling upset, and a little ashamed. He knew there was a good possibility that he had overreacted, but it wasn't easy finding out that your fears were true. Even when your wishes were a bit naïve to begin with. Foolish him, but it didn't make Mori any less of an idiot. Idiot.
"Honey-senpai." Tamaki sank down on the sand beside Honey, who wiped his wet cheeks with his palms in an attempt to look decent.
"What are you doing here, Tama? Aren't you supposed to be practicing three-way kissing somewhere?"
Tamaki blushed, and pulled Honey against his chest, speaking in a choked up voice.
"I couldn't just leave you here. All alone. Poor Honey-senpai."
"There, there." Honey patted Tamaki on the chest and pulled away from his well-meaning but over-enthusiastic arms. "I know."
"Are you going to stay mad at Mori-senpai?" Tamaki asked, looking into Honey's eyes.
"I don't know. I don't even know why I care so much. It wasn't such a big deal, was it? I can separate sex and love, I'm not so silly. But still, he shouldn't have allowed things go this far, if he thinks we're better off as just friends."
"Honey-senpai, are you in love?"
Honey laughed. He laughed, because it was true, and it was pathetic. He didn't know who was more to blame though, because as stupid as his hopes might have been, he felt justified in them. Everything leading up to that point had been so fitting, so perfect, that he thought he finally had the last piece of the puzzle, except it was the wrong one. He could understand Mori not wanting to jeopardize their friendship, but was he not worth that risk? Wasn't the fact that Honey wanted it too the most important thing?
"Could Takashi really be that much of an idiot?"
Tamaki smiled brightly at him.
"You know that Mori-senpai agonizes over anything that has to do with you. He probably just needs a little reassuring. I wouldn't worry if I were you."
Honey didn't think the last part was true; but the rest of it made sense. Maybe they had been taking things a little too fast. Honey owed Mori at least the benefit of the doubt. He felt a little guilty that their relationship was so centered around himself - and he tried his best to even things out as best as he could - but he had a tendency to forget that things weren't always about him.
"Hey!" Honey turned to Tamaki in indignation. "How do you know so much about our fight? How much did you see?"
Honey pushed Tamaki sideways down into the sand, using his body to keep the other boy down.
"I didn't see anything, Honey-senpai, I swear!" Tamaki looked absolutely terrified. Honey was just kidding around, he had no idea Tamaki was that scared of him. "Maybe we heard something, towards the end. I mean, no! No, we didn't!"
Honey rolled over to lie on his back beside Tamaki.
"I'm sorry, Tama. I didn't mean to scare you." He held Tamaki's hand. "Are we still friends?"
"Don't do that again." Tamaki's eyes were perfectly round.
"I won't, I promise. But you should know that I would never attack you."
Tamaki didn't look like he believed Honey.
Kyouya was right. Mori had caused this, and needed to fix it – he would have to risk losing Honey to be able to keep him. It could not wait, he would have to take that step. Make it real. Really real. He could still taste Honey in his mouth. It was scary, so scary, and his hands were shaking, but it was right. He had already acted on his desire, and being best friends had never been enough to begin with. It was huge, and his knees were shaking, but there was only one thing that mattered, in the end. Whatever Honey wanted; it was his, he was his. If he ended up thrown to the curb someday, abandoned and alone, then so be it. Either way, it was Honey or nothing.
Mori swallowed, and started when someone suddenly spoke.
"Hey, Mori-senpai!" It was the twins, holding each other around the shoulders, joined at the hips.
"Kyouya said we can set off fireworks tomorrow!" said Kaoru.
"Yeah, as long as we don't do it sideways." They laughed and rolled their eyes. "Anyway, we are here to remind you that you still owe us a dare."
Kaoru took something out of his pocket, and held a small key on his open palm.
"Second floor, fourth door to the right. Your mission, whether you accept it or not, is to abduct Honey-senpai and lock yourself in with him. Don't worry, it's a proper bedroom. We did consider a cabinet, but decided to play nice. You can thank us later."
"You have to stay in for at least three hours. I, personally, only want to see your face again tomorrow morning, but those are the terms."
"And Honey-senpai better be smiling when he comes out."
This was just the kind of opportunity Mori was desperate for, so he picked up the key from Kaoru's hand.
"We saw him running towards the beach," they said together, pointing.
Mori nodded, taking care to give each of them a thankful look, and ran, his heart thumping out of control. He ran through the trees, and when his feet met with sand, he spotted Honey lying down beside Tamaki. Mori kept going, as fast as the sand beneath him would allow, and without giving himself any time to stop and think, he pulled Honey up by the hand and lifted him, settling him on his right shoulder like a sack. Then he held Honey around the waist, and started his walk back to the house.
"Takashi?" Mori could feel Honey's hands pushing against his back, and moved his hand from Honey's waist to the spot behind his knees.
"Are you kidnapping me?"
"What are you going to do to me?" Honey lifted his torso and pressed his side up against Mori's cheek, grabbing onto his hair.
"Whatever you want."
Honey giggled, and Mori smiled.
Mori turned the key. It felt surreal, to watch Honey walk over to light the lamps on both sides of the four-poster bed – they had frosted glass shades and let off a white, ghostly glow – and then sit on the edge of the huge mattress cross-legged. Waiting for him. When Mori took the first step in Honey's direction, he knew this was different. This time, there was maybe fear, but no hesitation. There was intent. There was no holding out. He walked all the way to Honey, sat beside him, and after taking a couple of deep breaths, looked at his face.
His heart was beating so violently that he had to open his mouth to breathe, knowing that he was about to kiss that mouth. Honey's mouth. God.
"Takashi, I realize I might have put some pressure on you, yes? But it's fine. I mean, if you want to wai--"
"No." It was the first time he had interrupted Honey in his entire life. Honey looked surprised, but the slight curve on the corner of his mouth communicated that it was in a positive way, and compelled Mori to touch Honey's knee.
Impulsively, he leaned down and pressed his lips to Honey's cheek. Then he planted many kisses all the way down the side of his neck, and made his way back up with one long lick. He could listen to Honey sigh like that all day. Forever.
Honey grabbed Mori's face with both hands and rubbed their parted lips together. Honey's lips were the softest things, rivaled only by the way his warm belly felt under Mori's palm. This was it. Mori was about to... kiss... Honey.
Their lips met again, and this time, it was a real kiss. Every part of Mori's body seemed aware of it, and he felt himself grow hard as he tasted the inside of Honey's mouth, as their tongues slid together painfully slow, so achingly slow that he thought he was going to burst. Mori held both of Honey's arms and lifted him, making him straddle his lap. Then he pulled Honey so close that he could feel the other boy's erection firmly pressing against his stomach, and kissed his mouth for a long time. He kissed Honey until he was red around his lips, until he was gasping for air. Mori wanted more, but allowed Honey to escape his mouth for a few seconds, before capturing his lips again; he felt like he'd never be able to stop.
Honey pulled away again, and Mori followed, trying to reach Honey's wet lips, craving for more – but Honey veered away.
"Takashi, my shorts are so tight, they're really starting to hurt me."
And then Honey just looked at him, as if waiting. When Mori finally understood, goosebumps shot down his back so intensely that he felt his spine undulate slightly with it. Honey stood in front of him, and Mori still couldn't quite believe what was happening, but he would take Honey's gift, and treat it with the greatest care, like the treasure it was. Invaluable treasure. Mori removed Honey's clothes as if he was performing a ritual, with sureness and care. Now, Honey was completely naked, the light brushing his skin with its pale luminosity, delineating his nose and parted mouth, making them look especially attractive. Mori couldn't resist pulling him into his arms, into a deep kiss, his hands running down the length of Honey's back, finding the dimples, and then the curve. Too soon, Honey broke off the kiss.
"Will you undress for me?" It was somewhere between a request and an order, and Mori would never disobey a direct order from his lord.
Honey crawled into the bed and sat right in the middle, leaning back on his arms.
Mori stood up – facing Honey – and took off his clothes, his movements a little awkward. He didn't really know how to make this look sexy for Honey, but his cousin seemed to be enjoying it quite enough. To know that Honey thought him attractive made his cheeks warm up, and he regretted having acted so stupidly; but his love was a desperate thing, and he couldn't help it.
A long time ago, Mori had taught himself to read Honey's eyes, to pick up on the slightest sign of pain or delight, to know how to please him just right. And at that moment, Honey's eyes wanted him. He couldn't have felt any more naked than he already did, but he also felt the deepest sort of gratification. His entire body was prickling with it.
"Takashi," Honey called, looking into Mori's eyes. "Back down there, when you... had me in your mouth. I like it when you do things to me. I'm all yours. Please, do things to me."
All fear dissipated from Mori's heart at the sound of those words. The only thing Mori had ever wanted from Honey was for him to take what Mori offered. By taking, he was giving Mori everything. It was all he needed.
Mori climbed onto the bed and bent down to kiss Honey lightly on the mouth. Then he started; kissing Honey's body from the neck down to his calves and heel, alternating the kissing with deep sucks of Honey's hard shaft – but he never sucked more than once. Mori knew he was torturing Honey badly, but it was a good kind of torture. Honey was sweating and panting heavily, and whimpered every time Mori closed his mouth around him, to suck hard and slow.
When Mori thought that Honey had had enough, he started something different. Now, he had Honey on all fours before him. This time, he spent as much time kissing and licking Honey's perfect, pink entrance as he had spent on the rest of his body, occasionally giving Honey's shaft a single stroke – never more than one. Mori pushed his tongue in, and Honey slid down on his elbows, moaning helplessly, and Mori was forced to hold on to Honey's hips to keep him up, as he slid his tongue in and out mercilessly, for a long time. Mori got on his fours on top of Honey for the last leisurely stroke, and Honey gave out a pained moan, his legs and arms rattling.
"Please, I can't take it anymore." Honey's breath was so shallow that his voice was weak. "Takashi, I'm going crazy, I can't wait any longer -- I want it inside."
Mori smiled with self-satisfaction, and buried his face in Honey's soft hair. He lived to please his beautiful lord.
Honey was on his back again, while Mori went looking for Kyouya's lube, which he found where he'd left it, in his right pocket. Kneeling on the bed again, he spread the green gel all over his shaft and hands without economy, until he was dripping with it. The room now smelled of mint, musk and fresh sweat. It smelled of Honey and sex.
Mori held Honey's hips to lift him, and because of their height difference, Honey had to prop himself up on his elbows; his cheeks were flushed, and parts of his hair had wet tips that clung to his skin. This was what Mori had been waiting for. Every step he had taken to approach Honey seemed to culminate at that moment, and Mori knew it would be without compare.
With great care Mori guided himself all the way in, very slowly, and Honey's eyes welled up with tears. It was excruciating to watch, but Mori remained still – Honey pressing tight around him – because he wouldn't stop until he had taken this to complete fruition, and Honey's eyes were resolute in their decision. Mori spent five quiet minutes soothing Honey, fondling his hair and body gently. Their eyes stayed locked the entire time, and when Honey was ready, he gave a slight nod. Mori was nervous and excited, his heart beating like crazy, out of rhythm. He slid out slowly, then in again, delicious tension driving a deep sigh out of his throat. He picked up a little speed, and soon Honey started moaning, complete abandon expressed on his pretty face. It was the best thing. So good that Mori thought he could die from it. Maybe he already had; surely heaven couldn't be any better than this.
Mori fell on his back bringing Honey with him, and thrust up into him as hard as he could. Honey had his nails firmly dug into the flesh of Mori's chest, and was moaning so loud that Mori was sure the entire house could hear him. It filled Mori with fierce, fierce pride.
Mori's pleasure swelled and swelled, wave after waver after wave, always higher, until he couldn't take it anymore and came inside Honey, gasping raggedly, his body almost cramping from the strong spasms. He stayed still for a bit, breathing heavily, with Honey looking down at him.
"I'm not done with you," Mori said, in between deep pants, grabbing Honey by the buttocks and pushing him towards his face, so Honey was kneeling over his chest. Honey understood, and bent forward, leaning on his extended arms. His hard shaft was right before Mori's face for him to revel on, and so he did – stroking and taking turns kissing and sucking, until Honey came, half on Mori's cheeks and around his parted lips, and half inside his mouth. Honey moaned and whimpered the entire time as if he was in deep pain, but Mori knew it was pleasure, and didn't stop until Honey pulled himself out and fell backwards on the bed, exhausted and out of breath.
Everything was still for a while, as they recovered their breaths. Mori realized he had been right; in all of his desperate attempts to become as close as he could to Honey, nothing had ever compared to this. Ever. And it made him ecstatic, because he knew what it meant. That Honey had accepted him.
Honey shuffled on the mattress and moved to lie beside Mori. They gazed at each other, Mori didn't know for how long. After a while, he felt like saying something.
"I'll always be loyal to you."
Those were the words of his oath. Honey touched his cheek.
"I love you, Takashi."
Mori looked into Honey's eyes, and felt like crying.