Disclaimer: They belong to Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara, but you knew that.


Today it's lunch in the courtyard with Kazuo and Masa, the courtyard Shuri called "the best-looking place on campus, even before I set foot in it." The joke had gone over so well yesterday that today he's thinking of expanding upon it, and he's lost in that and a riceball, wondering if "the sky here is as blue as my eyes" is acceptable. Today it's spring everywhere; the ice-blue sky touches everything in Barsburg that matters. Shuri makes a note of it and moves on to consider the afternoon sunlight gathering at their feet, how close it might be to the color of his hair.

"Teito Klein didn't show up to morning practice again." Masa chews up the name and spits it out of his mouth; Shuri can't help but be impressed. They are all bitter about this.

"I guess he owes an apple to the teacher," Kazuo says around a mouthful of strawberry bread. "Or to Chairman Miroku, right?"

"Yeah, or maybe Chairman Miroku gave him something to lick on, if you know what I mean."

They laugh; Shuri joins them half a second later, having learned before he ever set foot in the academy what a useful skill it is to know when to laugh. In fact the joke hasn't sunk in yet. He gets it several seconds after they've all trailed off and the topic has changed, and for a rare instant he's thankful that neither boy is paying any attention to him, because he can feel the flush of blood baking the sun off his cheeks. Chairman Miroku and Teito Klein? It's one of those thoughts that is so absolutely appalling that Shuri is helpless to shake it off. It's like looking at his mother and aunt and realizing that they must have been beautiful enough once upon a time to be worth marrying, that they have bodies underneath what they wear and that his father and uncle have touched them, and what could they possibly look like? And what could Teito Klein, the aging Chairman's scrawny lap dog, possibly look like on his knees or on the polished wood of the desk which hides the parts of the Chairman that Shuri desperately wishes he could stop considering?

They are all bitter that Teito seems to be exempt from practical lessons, but he attends his other classes, in body if not in spirit. Even Shuri has been forced into his company, and Shuri doesn't keep the company of anyone he doesn't approve of. The first day Teito Klein ever showed his face in the academy, Shuri had been assisting the instructor, handing out something or other to the assembled students; Teito had pinned him in place with his sullen, steady gaze and taken the paper from him, startling Shuri with the long brush of their fingers. His touch on the back of Shuri's hand was the roughest Shuri had ever known. Not even Daddy's gardeners had calluses like that. The memory curls Shuri's lip, makes him wipe his hand on his pant leg, much as he had done back then. And what could a rough hand like that do for the Chairman? Huh! Disgusting.

The moment in the conversation has passed, but late is fashionable, especially when an Oak decides it is. He blurts it out. "And what good would Teito Klein's servant hands be for—" Shuri searches his memory and his reserves of courage, ends up simply with "—for that!" He spits the word out lamely. Nothing at all like Masa. He'll work on it.

The other boys take him in, share a look, snicker a bit awkwardly. They probably didn't quite get the joke, Shuri decides. Masa is nothing but the son of a sergeant, after all, respectable but undeniably inferior. He can't possibly grasp the implications of class differences the way an Oak can. It's only out of charity that Shuri even hangs around him.

"Ask Mikage," Kazuo says, and they all laugh again.


Fourth period is so boring that Shuri spends his time seriously considering it. In the row ahead of him, across the room and to his right, Mikage is hanging all over Teito, swiping a box of juice from him, dragging the tip of his tongue up the length of the straw to catch a non-existent drop of stray liquid and Teito's elbow in his side. A steward and a slave! Pathetic. Well, it makes more sense than a slave and the Chairman. Shuri chews on the end of his pencil and marvels at Mikage's ability to find someone who is actually lower on the social scale than he is. At least Mikage won't have to call Teito sir when they—that. A steward and a slave! What a sad wedding that would be. The Oaks paid their stewards well, but still, how lowly could you get? There's something, Shuri realizes. Any trifle Mikage could actually afford to pamper Teito would come, in a sense, straight out of Shuri's own pocket. Even his wedding ring! He thinks of Mikage shopping for a ring with Oak money and offering it to Teito on bended knee; it might as well be Shuri proposing to a scrawny, calloused slave, and the thought of it makes him bark with nervous laughter, drawing the eyes of everyone in the room but Teito, who is doodling on his notes and sucking apple juice and Mikage's spit through a straw.


It stands to reason, then, that Teito belongs to Shuri. Fifth period is free study, and Shuri spends it uncharacteristically alone with a book large enough to hide behind, but not large enough to prevent Teito meeting his gaze once half by chance, holding him there with his sullen eyes that had never, not once in Shuri's memory, changed or smiled. It's outrageous that Teito would dare look at him that way, but Shuri knows better than to expect Teito Klein to understand these newly-realized hidden depths of their relationship. The Oak family owns Mikage's family, pays them, could buy and sell them many times over; Mikage owns Teito. Therefore Shuri Oak owns Teito Klein. But the economic chain of command is beyond someone like Teito, too socially simple to even manage to catch Shuri staring at him a second or third or sixth time.

When Teito leaves with Mikage for the bathrooms, Shuri imagines the two of them slipping into a stall together, Teito plucking open Mikage's pants, which are really Shuri's pants, paid for with Oak money and hanging off the wrong hips. What does a slave call a steward? What does a servant call a servant? But maybe this bothers them too. If it were Shuri, Teito would know his place. Master Oak, Teito would whisper, his fingers slipping into Shuri's briefs, Master, let me serve you. And if they kissed it would be charity, really, and Shuri licking apple out of Teito's mouth, and Teito so drunk with it and hungry and hard against Shuri's thigh that he might forget his place and Shuri might forgive it, just let me serve you, Shuri, Shuri, Shuri—


He jumps; it's Kazuo; free study period is over, and his class is filtering out of the library and outside for the day's last hour of practice. Teito and Mikage are long gone.

"Can't you see I'm studying? If Teito Klein doesn't attend the practical lessons, I don't see why an Oak should have to!" He spits the name out of his mouth so impressively that Kazuo tosses him a grin and a thumbs-up and leaves Shuri there in the library, desperately happy to be sitting down.


The calluses aren't so bad after all, rough and scratchy around the base of Shuri's cock, sharp contrast to the soft heat of Teito's mouth parting around the tip. Shuri watches himself thrust in slowly, behind closed eyelids; Teito's face is hot and wet and open under Shuri's hips, and he squeezes his eyes shut without Shuri even needing to ask. Hard-skinned fingertips sneak up the softness of Shuri's inner thigh, they nudge his legs apart and make his knees buckle when they press up and scratch along like linen behind his balls. And it's fast, he's doing this fast, because Teito is Shuri's to command and Shuri just wants to be done with him and get to bed, he has a practical exam tomorrow which Teito won't have to take, but Shuri isn't bitter, only one of them is a slave, only one of them is on his knees, and it isn't—

"Ah," Shuri breathes when he comes hard over his fist and his knees hit the edge of the bed. He catches himself on one hand, the clean hand, and closes his eyes, sucks in air.

"Fuck," he thinks of adding, because "ah" wasn't very impressive. But there is no one around to hear, and he decides the moment has passed.