Title: Bloody Rain

Author: Amethyst Hunter

Fandom: Get Backers

Rating: PG-13 (m/m)

Word count: 1525 total, 108 for each vignette, in honor of our favorite transporter. :D

Warnings/Spoilers: See above.

Disclaimer: I don't own GB.

Notes: Drabble request for Tsutsuji using the prompts "stormy weather," "broken silence," and "April Fool." Happy belated birthday! :)

Summary: Springtime brings renewal, even through a lovers' spat for Ban and Akabane.

--

Bloody showers bring more than May flowers. Romance wasn't high on Ban's list of retrievals, but when he met the man who became his pet Jackal the pleasure of an equal match took on a new dimension. The uneasy silence of things acknowledged but never spoken of suffered an abrupt death in a hurricane of erotic violence.

What they now have is exciting – and dangerous. Neither can dismiss the intriguing connection they share, despite their obvious differences. Agreements get worked out, argued over, until the covenant is satisfactory to both.

Initially, neither of them had expected anything more. But fate is full of surprises, and some seeds flourish…

--

The thunderstorm rages on, cloud and bolt knives cleaving the sky. Akabane is standing by the window, looking outside, thinking how fortunate it is that he made it home before the worst, when the entrance of someone draws his notice.

"One hell of a storm, huh, Jackal?" Ban says. "I wouldn't have believed how pissed off Raitei could get if I hadn't seen it for myself before."

Akabane's eyes flare. "This is Ginji-kun's doing?" he nearly gasps. Without waiting for confirmation, he snatches his hat off the post and rushes from the apartment, intent on locating the source of the action before he misses out.

"Sucker!" Ban laughs.

--

Akabane drips a steady trail into the bedroom, soaked to the bone from his excursion. Ban's inquiries as to what took him so long are met with cold silence, as he begins peeling off his soggy clothes.

"Hey, Jackal, it was just a joke. I didn't mean for you to take it seriously – "

"You mock me!" the transporter almost wails, his frustration palpable in the stormy atmosphere. "You know how much I long for that kind of unrestrained battle! Why is it acceptable for you to engage freely, but I'm expected to tolerate a choke collar?!"

Akabane slams the door in Ban's face, uninterested in apologies now.

--

The rain hasn't let up for three days. Neither has the foul mood. Akabane isn't speaking to Ban, let alone sleeping with him.

Ban keeps trying. Angry sex is better than no sex, he reasons. After the eighth volley of scalpels squelches that prelude at intimacy, however, he retreats from the lair of their bedroom to ponder new strategy. Akabane's concept of romance and his are obviously two different ideas. He's heard how love cuts like a knife, but this is ridiculous.

Ban thinks, grumbles, and dials Hevn's number. There's one surefire way he knows he can make it up to his lover for the trick he played…

--

It's always awkward when they have to face each other on rival sides. The choice of fight or flight is now complicated by the choice between fight, flight, and enough pleasure to ensure Ban won't be stuck in a lonely bed, yet not so much that they wind up with dead bodies to show for the effort.

They manage this balancing act like they do every other contentious aspect of their relationship: battling it out with words and weapons until a compromise is finally reached through either mutual agreement or sheer exhaustion.

But the still-sulking Akabane refuses to be placated by mere morsels. He wants a feast. So…

--

Akabane doesn't know whether to be disappointed or excited when Ban's Snakebite hold pins him to the ground. Perhaps it's both. Certainly, this tension thrumming in his body is arousing, but the circumstances instigating it are rather inauspicious.

"I don't want to take this further than our limits," Ban explains. "If we do, someone will die, and we'll lose what we had with each other. Then where will the fun in that be?"

He has a point, much though Akabane hates admitting it. "You promised me you would be serious," he murmurs.

"One day, maybe," Ban offers.

"Liar," Akabane hisses, bruised amethyst glaring daggers of betrayal at him.

--

The rain's making it harder. It beats down like icy blades, stabbing his bare skin and fueling the terrible dread clenching his insides. Ban runs on, heedless of anything but the limp form lying in a puddle of black and red ahead of him, sans hat.

He's never liked this kind of weather – it depresses him; it tempts Ginji – but now he despises it with a black fury he hasn't felt in ages. It keeps washing away those precious rubies that Akabane needs to survive, but if Ban can just get there in time he knows his lover won't die.

Right?

He wishes he'd taken Akabane's feelings seriously.

--

Dying isn't as easy as it looks. The body instinctively fights the current, flesh clinging to a thread of consciousness. Akabane feels curiously bereft even though the opponent was a worthy enemy, and he remembers Ban's words from a previous duel.

It really is true, what they say. One doesn't know what one has until it's about to be lost forever…

Bloody rain that isn't all water stains his face. He will miss his Midou-kun, the only person who truly understood him. He blinks through the red curtain, and sees a specter –

"Don't you dare welsh on me, Jackal!"

"Heaven would be hell without you," Akabane whispers compliance.

--

The road to recovery is a slow and bumpy one, pitted with more than a few serpentine tantrums and backstabbing attempts. Akabane is an excellent physician, but a very poor patient, so Ban is thankful when at last he can stop nursing both his sore pride and his injured lover.

When they finally do reconcile, their loving is gentle, like the mists of a summer rain; their foreplay bloodless, like the tussling of packmates each asserting a playful dominance. Their racing heartbeats and the passion burning each man's blood reminds them of the bond they share, and how close they came to losing everything for a moment's foolishness.

--

The blindfold descends upon Akabane's face. "Midou-kun?"

"I've got a surprise for you."

Ban leads him along as Akabane clutches at his arm, trusting that his mate will reveal something interesting. And when the blindfold finally is removed, something very interesting awaits indeed.

Raitei stands sizzling in all his wild glory.

"Playtime rules, you two," Ban says. "No killing, no wounds that take any longer than a day to heal. Other than that, knock yourselves out." He stands ready as referee, prepared to leap in and throttle back either Ginji or Akabane if it looks like the fight's straining those boundaries.

Fortunately, these lessons progress well for everyone.

--

The retrieval has not gone so well tonight, despite having gotten the item in question. The protection service is responsible for that.

Ban feels like shit. He's battered, bleeding, out all three uses of the Jagan, and he's pretty sure that grinding in his left arm means something's busted in there.

Ginji isn't faring much better. He's tapped out for current. Fighting the Miroku siblings is a surefire energy drain. Time to break out the trump card…

"Jackal," Ban says to his mate, who's transporting both Get Backers and treasure, "do a rain dance for me."

Akabane is only too happy to comply as the battle rages on.

--

The thunderstorm grumbles its way through the afternoon; Ban has a perfect view of it from his hospital bed. He would have fought tooth and nail not to come to this place, but Akabane dragged him here at knifepoint.

At least he can get some decent sleep for a change. Noisemaking is discouraged here.

That doesn't stop the imminent footsteps. Ban sighs. The only thing worse than a homicidal transporter is a mother-hen one. It's nice, in a way, to be fussed over, he supposes. But does Akabane really have to be so bloody cheerful about it?

"Oh, Ban-kun," his lover sings sweetly, "it's time for your medicine!"

--

At home, there are smokes, food, and a warm blanket purring in his arms. Ban smiles to himself and strokes Akabane's hair.

"Hey, Jackal…I'm sorry."

Akabane lifts his gaze, curious. "For what?"

"For tricking you that one time. I didn't mean to hurt you."

Purple softens. "I'm sorry too, Midou-kun."

"For what?"

"For taking you too seriously. I ought to have known better." Akabane smiles and kisses Ban's puzzled mouth. "You've always been faithful to me, and I to you. I want the challenge, but I also want you. So…I'll be impatient, I'll get bored, but…I'll wait for you, to teach me. When you're ready."

"Good," Ban agrees.

--

Order has been restored to the world. Darkness has given way to light, and old fights have surrendered to new bonds.

Ban senses something's up. He can feel it in the atmosphere, smell it in the air. But he doesn't know what…

"It's our anniversary, dearest. Remember?" Akabane hums contentedly as he curls up next to Ban on the bed. "It was so romantic, our first meeting."

"You call tearing each other up over a soggy piece of fruit romantic?" Ban thinks after he speaks, and remembers his mate's peculiarly endearing mentality. "Yeah, I guess it was love at first fight, huh?" he concedes with a wry grin.

--