Author Notes: Oh dear. I wasn't planning to start another CrossxYagari story again, at least not so soon, but what can I say? An adorable eye patched bunny appeared courtesy of AgateLinks and VaneCaos who both wanted an awkward lemon for this unexpectedly adorable couple.

Summary: What actually happened in Chapter Nine of my CrossxYagari story Brief Reflections. This story appears longer than it actually is, because I included some text (italicised) from Chapter Nine, to make the flow of the story better.

Pre-requisite: Oh, this would definitely make more sense if you've read Brief Reflections :D The chapters are pretty short, don't worry!

Warning: Yaoi lemon. Uhm…awkward yaoi lemon… –blushes–

Rating: M

Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Knight or its characters, that honour belongs to Matsuri Hino.

-- Start --

A different sort of silence grew between them now, no longer awkward but filled with awareness, desire and slowly building heat. After a moment, Cross swallowed. "You were saying...?" he murmured. Because there was no mistaking the sheer lust on his friend's face now.

That made Yagari look at him. "Forget it," he muttered thickly. Then he was reaching out with both arms and Cross found himself being crushed to that muscular frame as he was kissed hungrily. He reciprocated in kind and the kiss swiftly escalated into equally hungry and urgent caresses, Cross almost tearing the buttons off Yagari's shirt, half out of his mind with desire at his friend's strong but trembling hands on his shower cooled skin.

To heck with it all, so what if it was still insane...

Yagari's cotton shirt fell onto the floor for the second time in as many days and Cross' hands moved to his friend's belt buckle. He was unable to stop himself from dropping light, caressing kisses on the warm, muscular chest in front of him at the same time. The ex-hunter's trembling hands fumbled on the metal clasp because Yagari's fingers were busily roaming over him as well - thrusting into his wet hair to angle his face a little more to the side and make their lips fit more snugly against each other, moving his large and calloused palms down to map the smooth planes of Cross' shoulders and chest and unexpectedly gentling on the scarred side.

Cross broke the heated and demanding kiss, giving a little gasp as roughened fingertips found his taut nipples and teased them a little tentatively, but boldly. Somehow, the ex-hunter managed to yank his friend's jeans button free then set to work pulling the zipper below it downward, his breath coming out unevenly between his parted lips. Yagari muttered a fervent curse as he hooked his thumbs in his jeans, pushing them impatiently down his lean hips and stepping out of them. The hungry way Cross was staring at him now made Yagari reach for his friend again. Both of them were completely naked now, the wet towel having fallen unheeded to the floor. Neither of them bothered to deny the attraction between them; neither would have believed the other, anyway.

Warm lips met once again as damp bodies pressed together urgently. Hands grew more fevered, searching, rubbing, even pinching. Yagari closed his eye, letting instinct guide him as his lips travelled over Cross' ear, pushing the shampoo-fresh long hair out of the way before he sucked insistently on the flushed skin at the back of his friend's neck. The soft mewl from Cross and the way his body jerked a little made the tall hunter growl in sensual triumph.

Without quite knowing how, both men managed to stumble over to the bed and ended up kneeling on its edge, facing each other. Cross' hands slid urgently all over Yagari's chest, feeling the hot skin almost pulsing beneath his fingertips and palms. Vampire hunters were trained to make full use of all the senses they had. The very predatory nature of the vampires they hunted – faster, more agile than humans made this necessary not only for their success but for their very survival in the hunt. It had been years since Cross completed his training but all his senses were on full alert, each one of them tuned directly to Yagari. The ex-hunter opened his eyes, searching out Yagari's desire-flushed face, loving how he looked - long, tangled hair, scars and all. The eye patch was gone but the taller hunter seemed oblivious of it, his blue eye glowing with heated intent as he caressed and lavished kisses on his friend's body urgently.

Yagari bent his head further and claimed a taut nipple, making Cross breathe a curse that sounded almost like a prayer. Breathing raggedly, the ex-hunter clasped his friend's straining flesh almost reverently in both hands. Yagari groaned against his chest, stilling for a moment as he looked down. Cross looked as well - he wanted to see what he was holding. And he wanted to see his friend's reaction, too.

"Touga, look at me," he requested breathlessly.

Yagari's head came up, his expression startled and just a little bit uncertain. Cross drank in the rare but captivating sight and took the opportunity to stroke his friend's straining arousal with his fist, eliciting a rather scandalised-sounding gasp from Yagari as moisture from his engorged tip made Cross' fingers slide smoothly up and down his length. Cross looked up at the sound of that small gasp, his brown eyes dark now with desire. He smiled at Yagari, a smile his friend had never seen before, intense with need and passion but sweet with pleasure. "Touga," he murmured huskily, his hand moving faster now, more determined.

It was wonderful. It was deliriously wonderful, but... Biting off a curse, Yagari moved his hand over Cross', stilling him. "St-Stop, Kaien," he managed. "Otherwise, this is going to end up sooner than I want it to…"

Cross swallowed and nodded, loosening his fingers and letting his hand fall back onto his lap. "Uh, OK," he muttered, shifting back a little. He didn't even think of hiding the disappointment in his voice and that made Yagari's heart leap a little wildly into his throat, lodging and swelling there – for a moment, he couldn't even say a word.

Cross darted an uncertain look at him. He opened his mouth, hesitated, then forced himself to speak. "How - how do you want me, then?" he managed to get out past suddenly dry lips. Yagari scowled his confusion.

"Uh, I mean, that is –" stuttered Cross, flushing deeply. "On my back or – or on my…" The last word stuck in his throat. Somehow, he found it just too humiliating to voice out.

Oh. Well, er... Honestly, Yagari hadn't thought about that bit. His thoughts floundered as his mind immediately came up with mental picture of his nude friend in both positions, one at a time. Together, they almost short-circuited his sluggish thought processes.

Cross saw the confusion stamped on his friend's features and he decided for them both. The ex-hunter shifted sideways then fell forward, still on his knees and resting his forearms on the bed. He looked back at a stupefied Yagari. "Uh... like - like this?" Cross managed to stammer out, ignoring the fact that his face was now burning hot enough to burst into flames, and that his hair had likely dried out completely as a result.

Yagari blinked his eye a couple of times, staring down at his friend like he'd never seen him before. Well, definitely not in this position at least - this was a pose new to both of them! Cross flushed even more at his friend's disbelieving stare, feeling his ears burn as well. Crap, talk about awkward... come on, Touga, don't just stare at me like that!

The dark haired hunter cleared his throat. "So," he began then stopped. "You, ah, ready?" he asked uncertainly, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the deepening colour in his lean cheeks even though he could see his friend's face was already rosily so.

Yagari sounded like he was being forced to do something against his will. It wasn't a very reassuring fact to realise and Cross swallowed before turning back and pillowing his forehead on his crossed forearms, forcing himself to spread his knees a little – purely for balance, he told himself firmly. Then he stiffened – Yagari's large and roughened hands touched his vulnerably bare hips, pulling him back a little. His buttocks came up against warm skin and hard muscles – that had to be Yagari's flat abdomen. Cross then felt something hot and hard prod his inner thigh – that had to be his… uh… Oh God. Cross' eyes squeezed shut. I know he isn't small but please tell me that isn't as big as it feels...

Cross thought he heard a muttered prayer behind him and he held his breath, resolutely keeping his forehead on his arms. That blunt, hard length was now probing purposefully between his buttocks, rubbing up against his suddenly very, very vulnerable entrance. Those large hands on either side of his hips tightened now, fingers clamping onto soft flesh then Yagari pushed forward. It was more of a sudden, involuntary jerk rather than a smooth, sure motion and Cross gasped in shock and pain, his whole body tensing up, quivering.

God, that bloody hurt! Ow!

"Uh, Toug –"

Another purposeful jerk. What the - ouch!

Yagari was in. Just barely but they both knew he was in, no mistake about that.

"Uhm, wait – agh!" Yagari's hard fingers tightened even more on the softer flesh of his hips and Cross almost yelled out as his inexperienced and nervous partner dealt him a shove harder than the previous two had been. "Ouch, stop it! Damn it, stop what you're doing, Touga! You need to use something first!"

Yagari froze, his heart pounding wildly in his chest. A drop of sweat had trickled down his forehead and into his eye, smarting briefly. He swallowed past a dry throat – Cross was warm. Very warm. Actually, he felt hot. And tight. So very, very tight. Tighter than anyone he'd ever had, not that he'd actually tried this particular location...

Then he frowned as his half melted brain finally caught up and digested the rest of Cross' words. "Need to use what?" he asked somewhat curiously.

Cross had lifted his head and was looking over his shoulder at Yagari. The ex-hunter's mouth opened, then shut again. "Lu-lubrication, damnit, for – for easing the… uh, friction," he mumbled, trying his best to ignore the part of him that was still being stretched and aching fiercely.

Yagari blinked. This was new – he'd never really had to use any such thing with his ex-wife or the ladies he'd made love to in the past. He'd always made sure they were already amply... ah, ready, when he was. And he'd never taken them this way, either. He blinked again. So... taking a - male was really different, huh?

Cross shifted forward and disengaged them with a soft groan before he turned around and sat up, bare legs folded to one side. Yagari hadn't moved and was still kneeling there looking uncertain and perplexed. And more than a little anxious.

Whatever irritation or annoyance he'd felt drained away and Cross simply sighed, combing back his long hair with his fingers. He'd never done this before but he had read up on the subject previously - strictly for academic reasons, of course. Women were different, their bodies designed to provide natural lubrication once aroused. Men were designed similarly too, just not for the recipient of the same gender – a rather obvious fact but apparently one Yagari had either not thought of or had forgotten about.

"So... you have the stuff?" Yagari asked slowly, looking around him as if he expected some lube to magically appear right in front of him, ready for his use.

Cross snorted immediately. "Nope," he said promptly. "Never needed it..."

Yagari half glared at him. "Me neither" he countered.

For a moment, they looked grimly at each other, each daring the other to make some remark on their sexual prowess with the opposite sex.

Yagari's gaze fell first but after a moment, he looked enquiringly at his friend. "So... how do we do this?" he asked. Cross' lips thinned with sudden annoyance. Why did Touga think he had all the answers?! "Use something else!" he bit out tersely.

"Like what, Kaien?" Yagari persisted in feigning ignorance.

Cross glanced around his room, tried to say the words out loud, failed, looked at his friend again and found his attention caught by the few drops of clear moisture that were beading on the rosy tip of his friend's straining flesh. "That," he said succinctly and pointed.

"Ah..." The frown on Yagari's face cleared as he glanced downward at himself, then up again at Cross.

Cross nodded tentatively. "That, or… eh, saliva…"

Yagari paused in the midst of moistening his fingertips with his own fluids, now happily unconcerned at the fact that they were both naked. "Saliva," he mumbled. Then he froze as he thought of something. He glared suspiciously at Cross. "Yours or mine?" he asked.

Cross shrugged. "It doesn't matter, I guess," he answered, striving for a normal tone, as if this was something they discussed on a daily basis. Like where to go for drinks. Or the weather.

Yagari frowned dangerously. "I meant last night, Kaien," he elaborated, looking grimly at his friend.

Cross flushed even more as he bit his lip. "Mine, OK? Look - you were out of it, Touga!" he defended himself.

Yagari blinked. Oh. "And now?" he asked sceptically.

Cross huffed. "I don't know! Yours, mine, what does it matter?" he blurted out, trying to stop what seemed like his entire body from flushing hotly.

Yagari stared at him in silence. But it seemed like he was thinking about what Cross had said because unexpectedly, the taller hunter shrugged and gave a rare, crooked sort of half smile. "Well then, let's try it, shall we?" he suggested in a softer tone.

Cross' eyes widened in surprise then he nodded, feeling his heart melt a little under the force of that unexpected smile that was strangely... sweet. "I – OK," he said tentatively. He shifted and lay down on his back against the pillows, bending his knees and catching himself on his elbows. Yagari shifted closer then paused.

Cross lifted an eyebrow. "What?"

"Aren't... aren't you going to turn around, Kaien?"

The hunter was his usual blunt self again and Cross flushed anew. "I - I want to see you, Touga," he replied honestly. He found the other way rather... distant, in that he couldn't see Yagari's face, or even touch him. And he wanted to do both. Very much.

"Oh." Yagari sounded like that it had never occurred to him before what Cross wanted. The dark haired hunter sort of preferred the other way around, because he was half hoping he wouldn't have to see his friend's face when he took him. Yagari really didn't know how he was going to be able to look Cross in the eye again after this... He bent forward and reached his hand between his friend's legs, wet fingertips probing cautiously. Cross found himself holding his breath. One strong, lean finger pressed onto his sensitive flesh and pushed forward. Cross winced – ouch. That could have gone in a bit more slowly. Much more slowly, actually...

Yagari's gaze was on him and he had stopped. Cross held his look mutely and forced himself to relax. It took a substantial amount of trust on his part, but he nodded in silent encouragement. To his credit and to Cross' huge relief, Yagari saw and understood that trust. He experimented with that one finger, his movements awkward and uncertain... but at least gentle. Slowly, Cross relaxed for real on the bed.

It really was a very tight fit, even with only one finger and Yagari thought that he should stretch his friend a little more. After all, one finger was nothing compared to his erection, was it? He was also strangely fascinated by the uncertain but very real pleasure that appeared on Cross' face and he wanted to see more of it. Slowly, Yagari added a second finger but the moisture on it had long since evaporated and Cross gave an accidental whimper, his hips squirming on the bed. He didn't want to say anything but his eyes begged mutely for his friend to stop.

Yagari froze again.

"It's too dr - use your saliva, damnit!" Cross blurted out, panting a little.

"Oh - sorry," Yagari murmured as he withdrew his hand. He half turned away and spat as discreetly as he could onto his fingers, rubbing them together and coating them well. Then he turned back to Cross again, ignoring the look of trepidation his friend was half hiding. The first finger went in more easily this time, the second less so. Cross winced again, his breathing light and uneven. Already nervous muscles tensing up, his thighs swung close together in an instinctive, defensive movement. Yagari's other hand automatically moved to part them because his other hand was still trapped between Cross' legs. Then the taller hunter stopped, seeing the tenseness in his friend's face. Yagari stilled both his hands and just... waited. Despite his overall uncertainty and anxiousness, the one thing he was clear about was that he didn't want to hurt his friend.

Cross exhaled shakily and forced his thighs to stay relaxed and after a moment, they parted as the stretching discomfort faded. Yagari ignored his own aching arousal as he stroked and stretched his friend slowly, as best he could, taking satisfaction in the pleasure that showed on Cross face once more. But at length, Yagari pulled away, his own chest heaving and his breathing increasingly laboured. He wanted... more.

"Touga?" Cross' voice was soft and Yagari looked at him hesitantly.

"Do it. Now."

Yagari nodded and shifted closer, his large hands reaching under Cross' thighs, lifting him a little. Then he moved even closer. But Yagari was still sitting upright, and Cross' arms felt empty. "Wait – come closer, Touga. Bend over me," he requested softly.

Yagari gave him a startled look, stilling again. "What?" Then "Why?" he said, frowning in confusion.

Cross' smile was tentative but as honest as ever. "Because I want to hold you." Can't you see I'm still a bit… scared… here?

Yagari's frown disappeared. He nodded and released his friend's hips before bending forward, bracing his hands on the pillow on either side of his friend's head. "Like this, Kaien?" he asked huskily, his face just two inches away.

"Yes," murmured Cross with a heartfelt sigh, relaxing more onto the bed as their warm breath mingled between them. The ex-hunter reached up to offer his friend a light kiss, his hands sliding up as well to glide smoothly over warm and muscled shoulders before linking his fingers over the dark curls at the nape of Yagari's neck. Cross bent his legs more, letting the smooth skin of his inner thighs and knees rub sensuously over his friend's lean hips.

They silently traded one look seeking permission and one offering encouragement, then both of them held their breaths as Yagari's hips rocked forward once more and he dipped his head to capture his partner's lips with his own. Slowly, the taller hunter laid claim to his friend's willing body as they kissed.

It was incredible – Cross literally couldn't think. All he could feel, all he was aware of was the man half lying on top of him, claiming his lips and his body at the same time, past shaky breaths and soft sighs, past audible gasps and muted groans... past pain, embarrassment and hesitation... to pure pleasure. When they were finally merged as deeply as they could be, they laid still for a moment, breathing hard. Then Yagari lifted his head, his expression filled with awe. He never in a thousand years would have imagined that it could feel as good as it did now. For him, there was no physical pain, only incredible bliss, but for his friend...

"Kaien, you OK?" he asked somewhat anxiously. His thudding heart filled with sudden warmth as Cross smiled up at him. "Yeah," he murmured, shifting a little before slowly thrusting his hips up against his friend's. No further invitation was needed – Yagari rose up onto straightened arms and pushed down, his heart pounding in his ears and his breath shuddering hard in his chest as he slowly, slowly slid in and out of that tight, tight warmth that was his friend's voluntary offering to him, forcing himself to not just take Cross hard and rough.

Yagari's eyes fluttered close as did Cross'. Muscles bunched and flexed as lean hips moved faster now, settling into a new yet familiar rhythm that felt right, that felt unexpectedly good for both of them. Heated desire raced through veins, tendons and muscles, quickening their pace as they moved together on the bed, Yagari thrusting harder now, deeper each time, his lower body sliding enticingly against Cross' arousal each time. But it wasn't deep enough for Yagari - he longed to merge into his friend more completely. The taller hunter lowered himself onto Cross, gathering him up in his arms and holding him firmly. Ah, much better – Yagari's thrusts were deeper now and he went as deep as he could. Unexpectedly, each thrust made Cross' sweat slicked body jerk, both from being taken so intimately as well as from pleasurable tingles that radiated out from the very core of him, jolting his body and hitching his breath each time. What on earth…

"Touga!" Cross gasped as he thrust his hips up against his friend's, anticipating that instant when upward thrust met downward one, his fingers tightening on the flushed and damp skin of Yagari's heaving shoulders. His throbbing arousal was pinned between their bodies and he couldn't reach it but it didn't matter. His groin was full, aching... he knew it was only a matter of time before he climaxed on the strength of this alone. Each of Yagari's frantic movements filled him deeply, physically as well as emotionally. He'd never dreamed of being claimed like this, he'd never dreamed that he could even like it, but he could now and he did, because of who was the one taking him.

"Kaien, I can't... wait!" groaned Yagari in turn. White hot desire had wound tight and burning hot in him, centering in his groin and in his throbbing arousal, buried deeply in his friend. The feeling of continuously driving his length into his friend's tight and moist heat defied description and he spiralled helplessly to the edge of reason.

Instinctively, Yagari knew he was closer to release than Cross was. But he didn't want to be alone anymore... Freeing a hand and lifting his body up a little, Yagari balanced his weight onto his other elbow. Shuddering deeply, desperately trying to rein in his desire, the taller hunter groped blindly between their wildly bucking bodies. His urgent fingers found Cross' straining flesh and moist tip and he fisted that length, pumping it almost fiercely, wanting both of them to tumble into blissful release together.

Cross' head thrashed about on the pillow, his heartbeat drumming in his ears and in his chest – Yagari's fierce plundering of his body was a wild joy all his own but when he felt those warm, strong fingers grasping and stroking him from hard base to engorged tip and back down again, his own moisture making Yagari's fingers slide erotically against his velvety, flushed skin, Cross almost sobbed with the intensity of the pleasure racing through him, sweeping him to the edge. It was almost... too much pleasure.

His body tightened and he thrashed under Yagari with soft cries, he wanted to explode so much... and he did. Even as Yagari's frantic thrusts stilled, even as the taller hunter froze above him, letting loose a hoarse and inarticulate cry before jerking hard into him again and again, Cross reached his release as well, showing his pleasure in the sticky, liquid warmth that spurted out from him, coating Yagari's fingers and their stomachs. They collapsed together on the bed, panting hard, chests heaving and minds blissfully blanked out from the sheer pleasure of their releases.

Both men didn't say anything for the first few minutes. What had started out as being awkward and embarrassing, had ended up feeling incredibly good, better than either had tentatively expected or even hoped for.

Yagari was silent as he listened to the pounding of Cross' heart beneath his ear and felt his own ragged breathing started to slow down. His head was pillowed on Cross' chest, their sweat slicked bodies pressed closed together, and he relaxed, feeling gentle fingers caress his back slowly in soothing circular motions.

"Kaien, are - are you all right?" he asked quietly after a while. The fingers paused for a moment, then resumed. "Uhm hmm...," Cross sounded sleepy but sated, and Yagari raised his head. "Really?" he asked, somewhat curiously. The slightly vulnerable look on his face was adorable and Cross smiled lazily. "Really," he replied dryly. "I'd have thought that was pretty obvious just now..."

A slow smile tilted Yagari's lips. Yup, certain reactions just couldn't be faked... "It - it doesn't, you know, hurt?" he asked tentatively. Cross shifted slightly under him and grimaced. "Actually, now that you mention it, it does... a lot," he admitted. He sounded strangely unconcerned, though, and that only made Yagari frown even more. "You don't look like you mind too much," he countered, a dawning suspicion uncurling in his mind. Cross read that look accurately and chuckled. "No, this was my first time... like this," he reassured his friend.

Yagari braced his weight onto his hands, trying to slide off his friend but bare legs curled around his hips, stopping him, and Cross arched his neck to press a light kiss onto his lips. "But it's OK. Because it's you," he said simply. Cross knew it was kind of - risky - exposing his feelings to his friend so fast, but he wasn't the type to keep things to himself, unless he really had to. And besides, it was probably too late for hiding feelings now... after all, he could have said no to Touga last night, but he hadn't. And he needn't have offered himself just now in the kitchen, but he had.

Touga was looking uncertain again. "Sorry," he muttered after a moment, feeling an apology was due. After all, he didn't really know what he was doing, even though it'd felt pretty good to him. And he knew he had definitely hurt his friend... initially at least, if that pained gasp was anything to go by, even though it had ended most satisfactorily for both of them.

That unexpected apology made Cross smile - Touga really was something else under that brash and cock sure attitude of his, and it made all sorts of strangely protective feelings arise in the ex-hunter again. "Don't be," he said, then gave a small shrug. "I don't think I did it perfectly last night, either."

Yagari digested that, then nodded slowly. He slid off his friend now and sat up, but he couldn't seem to stop staring at Cross. "So... what now?" he asked finally. Talk about a screwed up situation...

Cross sat up as well, absently combing his fingers through his still damp hair. He sighed then pursed his lips, oblivious of the fact that it had caught Yagari's rapt attention. "I don't know," he admitted quietly. "We're still friends, aren't we?" he asked, raising his eyebrows at his friend.

"'Friends'?!" choked out Yagari, both eyebrows well up. "How can we still be friends, Kaien? I mean -" he gestured somewhat wildly at their bare chests. "... we just - I just - hell!" he broke off abruptly, shaking his head. But Cross only shrugged again. "Why not?" he asked quietly. "I still like you a lot, Touga, and...," he hesitated then plowed on, hoping this wouldn't blow up in his face "... and I may even already love you, a little..." His voice wasn't quite as steady as his look.

Yagari stared at him in amazement, then he swallowed hard. "You - you really mean that?" he asked, and that touchingly uncertain look made Cross reach for him. "Yes, I do," he accentuated his words with a light kiss, then drew back slightly to gauge his friend's reaction. But Yagari leaned forward, seeking to kiss him again as he pressed the ex-hunter back against the pillows. Cross placed his fingers against his friend's lips to stop him. "Wait, Touga, what about you?"

But the uncertain look had disappeared and Yagari was smiling at him seductively now. "Friends...," he murmured then bent down to capture his friend's lips in a slow and thorough kiss. "... and lovers," he added, before kissing him again.

So it was settled then, and nothing more needed to be said.

Then or now.

- o -

The following day, Kaien Cross broke off his budding relationship with the lady he'd been dating at that time. To him, it was pointless to go on seeing her when there was already someone else in his life – his ex-partner and good friend, vampire hunter Touga Yagari. Even though they'd barely started being lovers, Cross knew. There would not be anyone else for him, now that he'd made love with Yagari. He wasn't really sure of the extent of his friend's affection for him but Cross was an honest person. He could not love two people like that at the same time, regardless of their gender. It would be unfair to them, as well as to his own principles and even his heart.

But Yagari did not call him after leaving his house that momentous day. And Cross couldn't bring himself to call him either. As slowly passing days and nights stretched into a week, the ex-hunter grew increasingly nervous even as he tried to keep himself busy with his on-going plans for his new school and caring for little Yuuki. He couldn't help wondering if Yagari had changed his mind about having a relationship with his friend and ex-colleague. The past one week has healed any physical discomfort from their maiden attempts at making love with each other and had helped to blur the initial awkwardness and embarrassment as well.

Cross had actually picked up his phone many times only to weigh it indecisively in his hand before putting it down again. He suspected, or rather hoped, that his friend was doing the same thing since there had been no reservation at all about contacting each other in the past.

Then one night, Yagari had finally called. Cross was at home then, listlessly switching through TV channels. He was so nervous and excited when he saw his friend's name flashing on the screen of his cell phone that he had almost dropped it. As it was, he had to take a couple of deep breaths before he actually dared to answer it.

After the initial awkward and much too hearty greetings, both men lapsed into silence. Cross didn't know that Yagari was feeling the exact same thing he was. How could he have known then? The uncomfortable silence continued to stretch, each of them breaking into a cold sweat as they waited, hoped and prayed for the other to speak first, both of them trying to breathe normally at the same time.



How cliché. They'd spoken together. Wonderful.

"Sorry, I – "

"OK, you first – "

Again! Damn.

Both of them were silent for a moment. Then Cross cleared his throat, indicating that he was about to speak. "How – how have you been?" he asked cautiously.

"Fine. You?" Yagari's deep voice sounded clipped and more brusque than ever and Cross' heart sank. He should have said he was fine too, but he just... couldn't. He hated lies. He hated subterfuge. It wasn't that he couldn't lie if circumstances forced him to, he could and well enough too. But not in matters that were personal to him, not in matters of the heart. "Really?" he asked, unconsciously letting a note of hurt show in his voice.

Another round of silence issued. Then Yagari spoke again, sounding even angrier than before. "No, damnit! No, I'm not fine. I'm not fine at all, Kaien! Damnit!"

The note of confused bewilderment in his friend's strident voice made Cross weak with relief. It showed he wasn't the only one who'd thought unceaselessly of what had happened between them that day. And it made it easier for Cross to confess now.

"Touga, I - I missed you."

A third round of silence ensued but no less filled with tension.

"Kaien, you – you're not just saying that, are you?" All pretence had been dropped. Yagari sounded almost exactly like how he'd sounded that night in Cross' kitchen when he'd been drunk. Hurting, vulnerable, confused... but mixed with unmistakable hope at the same time.

Cross shook his head then realised his friend couldn't see him. "No, I'm not," he said as steadily as he could. "I have missed you, Touga. A lot. Heck, I'm missing you now."

A strangled laugh sounded at the other end of the line. "Then why the hell haven't you called me before?" Yagari demanded, sounding angry and upset and relieved all at once.

Cross couldn't help chuckling right there and then – sheer relief was making him light headed and Yagari's almost petulant sounding words reminded him of how one of his more immature ex-girlfriends had sounded like when he didn't call her for two days. "Well, why haven't you?" he countered.

Another round of silence - Cross lost count of how many it was.

"I... wasn't sure if you wanted me to," Yagari finally admitted, sounding unsure. It made Cross' eyes prickle with something warm. "I was thinking the same thing, Touga," he admitted honestly. A throaty laugh came over the phone, even though it was now heavily laced with self-deprecation. "We're fools, Kaien."

Cross nodded emphatically, grinning like an idiot to the oblivious TV screen in front of him. "You said it."

A loud drawn-out sigh now sounded over the phone; it was so reminiscent of the sound Yagari would make when he stood up and stretched after sitting at his desk for some time, or after taking a long pull of beer. It meant he was at ease and relaxing. A small smile played about Cross' lips as he pictured his friend leaning back in his chair and running a hand down his face, yet another familiar gesture.

A more comfortable if rather shy silence ensued this time. After a moment, Yagari spoke. "So, when are you coming to see me?" he drawled, sounding quite like himself again.

And Cross' grew wider – he couldn't help it. "Anytime, my friend." Now. Please say 'now', Touga...

"How about now?"

Cross' heart gave a funny lurch in his chest, then started beating faster. A lot faster.

"I'm on my way," he promised.

- o -

When the phone call ended, Yagari took a quick shower, even shampooing his already clean hair. He dressed in a fresh shirt and jeans then shaved, stopping himself just before he actually splashed on aftershave. After running his fingers nervously through his wavy, wet locks, he tied on a blue silk eye patch. It reminded him of the conversation he'd had with Cross on his past birthday, when the ex-hunter had presented his gift. Cross had been adamant that he didn't want his friend to hide his scars in front of him and Yagari didn't want to... but he wasn't too sure about that now.

Hands clenching by his sides, Yagari glanced from the little mirror on his dresser to the bed beside it. Crap, he hadn't made it. Well, OK so he hardly ever made his bed anyway but with company coming now... Ignoring the fact that usual company would remain in the living room and not venture into the bedroom, Yagari hurriedly straightened the rumpled covers and roughly plumped up the pillows, feeling unaccountably nervous and excited.

Excited? Yes, excited.

Nervous. Hell, yes - that too.

Of course there was no assurance that there'd be any bedroom activity this time. In all probability, Kaien was just coming over to have a drink and maybe talk about returning things to the way they were before. But something inside Yagari's heart, something stubborn just wouldn't give up. It told him that it expected some kissing tonight. And some hugging. And a lot of steamy sex as well.

There. He'd said it. He expected that Cross was coming here because he wanted a repeat of what had happened last time. OK? Satisfied? His face flushed, his heartbeat uneven, Yagari growled at that annoying thing in his heart to shut the hell up. The hunter escaped from his room and started pacing up and down his small living room instead. He couldn't believe it – Kaien had missed him too. Yagari had been so scared of calling his friend, of dreading and hoping to get his call, of wanting to tell him everything, of being afraid to say anything...

Needless to say, Touga Yagari, cold, hard and ruthless master vampire hunter was a surprising bundle of nerves.

So what if they'd made love not once but twice? So what if the second time had been incredible and mind blowingly satisfactory? Painful but satisfactory. OK, so it had been mind blowing for him and perhaps a little painful for his partner...

Yagari mentally veered away from that thought. OK, so what if Kaien had said he loved him then? It could all have been a lie. Well... no, not a lie since Cross couldn't lie to save himself. OK, so he could but he wouldn't - Yagari was sure about that. But maybe they'd both just been deluded. Maybe Cross had changed his mind and didn't know how to tell him that. Maybe the ex-hunter had decided that what they did that day was a mere fluke and he didn't want his life partner to be a rough and scarred on the outside, soft and scared on the inside vampire hunter who couldn't even make up his own mind about his weird attraction to his good friend of the same gender. God… Yagari ran his hand down his face again – he was such a mixed up, screwed up...

His doorbell rang and Yagari's heart almost stopped beating in his chest before it started slamming even faster now, both with nervousness as well as anticipation. A faint sheen of sweat broke out on his skin. He and Cross weren't strangers. They'd seen each other before numerous times, they'd been close friends for at least a year. They'd thought nothing of meeting each other over dinner or drinks. But Yagari still felt unaccountably like flushing when he opened the door and saw Cross standing there.



Bless Cross – even behind his spectacles, his clear brown eyes mirrored the same confused hope that Yagari felt. The dark haired hunter pulled his door wide open and jerked his head in silent invitation before turning around, hoping that Cross couldn't hear the deafening sound of his heartbeat. "Come on in," he threw over his shoulder.

The ex-hunter complied silently before closing the door. Yagari had gone back to sit on the couch and was now staring intently at the newly switched on TV, both hands tightly gripping the TV remote control in an attempt to disguise their slight shaking. Cross gave the TV a surreptitious glance even though he didn't need to. Both the music and voiceover confirmed it was a detergent commercial. He then eyed the intent way Yagari was studying the commercial as if it contained the latest, groundbreaking news on how to kill a rampaging vampire in two seconds flat, that he had to commit to memory the first time.

If Cross didn't know any better, he'd say his friend was nervous. Almost as nervous as he was. Yes, that was it. Yagari was nervous.

Despite the fact that this should have made Cross feel better, it didn't. It made the ex-hunter feel even more nervous. Because his friend's nervousness meant that there just had to be something wrong about why he was here, in his friend' apartment at a quarter to eleven at night, a rather late time to be just visiting a friend, hadn't it?

But Yagari wasn't just a 'friend', was he? And Cross wasn't just 'visiting', was he?

No. No, he wasn't just a friend, and he wasn't just visiting either. He was here because he missed Yagari. He missed seeing his friend, talking to him, hanging out with him. And damnit, he missed kissing him as well. They'd kissed that night and the next morning as well, many times, deeply and intimately. Cross missed that.

He also missed what had happened besides the kissing, too.

Heck, he almost even missed the pain.

But Yagari was refusing to look at him now and Cross didn't know what to do or what to say. He could only say so much, after all - Yagari had to meet him halfway, right? The ex-hunter sighed, a soft, hopeless sounding sigh. "I – I'd better go," he muttered to no one in particular.

As he neared the front door however, Yagari sprang into action. His knee knocked over the small coffee table in his haste but that didn't stop him. One moment, Cross' hand was reaching for the doorknob. The next, he was caught by both shoulders before being yanked backwards forcefully. Caught off balance, Cross found his back slamming into the wall adjacent to the door. His wide brown eyes behind their spectacles were suddenly looking at a furious-enough-to-kill Touga Yagari.

Then the dark head swooped down and Yagari kissed him. A passionate kiss that stopped just short of being violent, filled with pent up longing, confusion and frustration. A kiss that bruised Cross' soft mouth and forced his lips open. A kiss that demanded that he didn't do anything except reciprocate in kind but Cross did so willingly. His hands went up to spear trembling fingers through the damp and fragrant masses of Yagari's wavy hair and he pulled him even closer, angling his own face for a better fit as tongues mated wildly.

The kiss only gentled after Yagari finally realised his friend wasn't going to pull away. It grew less violent and more passionate... and when it finally ended, both men were panting hard, their hearts pounding in their chests, flesh throbbing to life as their hips pressed intimately together.

Despite the aggressiveness of the kiss he'd initiated, Yagari looked lost as he took a sudden step backwards, his hands falling back to his sides. Well, that was... sudden. He averted his gaze. Cross' glasses had been knocked askew, almost hanging off one ear. He removed it slowly with one hand, absently folding it before placing it in his coat pocket. "Thank God," he said huskily, his voice not quite steady.

The taller hunter's head snapped back and he frowned at Cross. "Huh? For what?" he asked.

Cross swallowed. He was going to make a fool of himself again. But then, he'd already broken up with his girlfriend for this, hadn't he? What else did he have to lose now?

"For the fact that kissing you still feels just as good, Touga," he replied, his eyes serious and honest even if his voice wasn't as steady as he'd hoped. The ex-hunter saw that Yagari's eye patch had slipped a little to one side. Without a word, he reached up and untied the tapes, slipping it off his friend's face and absently tucking it into his own coat pocket as well.

The blue eye closed in relief and Yagari's shoulders sagged as a deep and heartfelt sigh shuddered out of him. "Yeah," he said, just as shakily. He stepped closer and placed the palms of his hands on the wall, on either side of his friend's head. Cross's face tilted up a little and he continued to watch his friend steadily.

Then Yagari dipped his head again. This kiss was softer, gentler, almost tender. They took the time now to explore each other's mouths thoroughly, almost lovingly. The kiss took longer to end and left them more aroused than ever, their faces flushed with desire and their hips molded together.

Yagari swallowed. "Let's make love, Kaien," he suggested huskily, seductively, as he rested his hands on his friend's shoulders. Cross nodded almost fervently. "Yes," he agreed. But an unsure look crossed Yagari's face and he hesitated, taking a step back.

"What's wrong?" Cross murmured. Please don't say no... not now.

Yagari's eye darted away, then back to his friend. "Uh, who... I mean, how?" he gestured vaguely between them. Hell, this was still awkward even if it had happened before. Whenever he'd progressed to the stage where he made love with his female dates, there had never been any question about who claimed who. But with both of them being healthy, well-functioning males... well, Yagari was suddenly less sure.

Surprisingly, Cross didn't look hesitant at all as he shrugged. "Does it matter?" he asked softly. "Either way, it's still making love, right?"

That made Yagari look at him for a long moment. Yes. This was one of the reasons why he was so intensely drawn to this man standing in front of him, looking back with that open, honest gaze. Cross had a knack of making complicated and impossible situations sound so easy. And it had to be this easy – Yagari refused to believe otherwise. So...

"Yeah," he agreed softly.

A small smile touched Cross' lips. It made Yagari ache to kiss him again. "You choose, Touga," the ex-hunter offered generously. And when Yagari still hesitated, Cross continued, "We can always switch around later, you know."

There was an unexpected note of teasing in that matter of fact voice and Yagari gave an uncertain nod, his heart warming. He bent forward to kiss Cross again but the ex-hunter shook his head. "Your bedroom, Touga," he murmured. "Now."

Yagari nodded again, surer this time. His eye still on Cross, he reached for his friend's hand and led him to his bedroom. Both their hearts were racing with excitement but neither of them said anything. Both men were also holding hands, fingers twining intimately together, unconsciously drawing strength and support from each other's touch but neither said anything as well.

Why bother to say something that they already knew was obvious?

-- The End --