Calligraphy - the dance in a tiny stage of the living, breathing hand. ~ Robert Bringhurst

Afterwards, Malik paints on his back.

It's a wordless, effortless motion as Malik brings the brush up to the dip in Ryou's shoulders. The first drops of ink bleed into his skin and claim him, like a pendant did a thousand years ago.

Much gentler, though. After all, they are the same. Fragile. Broken. Egypt's sands won't come off them no matter how hard they scrub.

So they paint over them.

With long, deep strokes that last until midnight; with short, quick crosses that last until sunrise. Sighing, Ryou closes his eyes and lets Malik's brush kiss him once more.