Progression Through Kisses

Disclaimer: I do not own 07 Ghost, it belongs to Yuki Amemiya and Yukino Ichihara. I am making no money off of this, this is solely for my own entertainment.

AN: I'm not entirely sure what 07 Ghost is doing to me. I've written more separate stories about this anime/manga than I have about any anime/manga (with just a single pairing) since my obsession with Yugi/Yami back in 2004-2005. This particular must definitely hit me when I was trying to sleep last night and wouldn't leave me alone until I'd finished over half of it. I finally got to bed around 2, and I definitely had a test this morning...not fun. This is set in the manga timeline only.

Warning: There is mention of kissing and sex between two boys. Nothing graphic on the second, but it's still there. If you can't handle it, turn back now.

The first time was soft and quick. They had been in an isolated corner of the library, and Mikage was rambling on about something while Teito tuned him out in an effort to concentrate on the book he was reading. When he realized Mikage had stopped talking, he looked up, curious as to what had stopped his friend, only to find the blonde leaning over the table towards him. Their lips met softly and for just a second before Mikage sat back into his chair and picked up his story where he left off, like he had never stopped. Teito looked back down at his book, but he could no longer focus on it. All he could hear was Mikage's voice, and all he could think about was the kiss they had just shared.

The second time was sloppier but no less warm. They had just stumbled back into their shared room after a particularly brutal training session, during which it seemed their instructor was determined to make sure none of them really had the energy to get to the dorms by themselves and so half dragged others and were half dragged themselves back to their rooms. After struggling to find the energy to change into his pajamas, Teito looked at the ladder to his top bunk with mild dread. Spotting this, Mikage simply dragged the brunette onto his bunk while saying it was better than watching the smaller teen attempt to crawl up the ladder. Slightly miffed, but finding no real reason to argue, Teito settled in beside his friend. What he didn't expect was for said friend to pull him into a quick, slightly sloppy kiss before saying good night and promptly falling asleep. Teito spent the next hour lying awake and thinking about the two kisses before sleep finally dragged him under.

The third time was harder and longer. Mikage had just dragged the struggling Teito back to their room to cool down after the aforementioned brunette had nearly beat the living shit out of Shuri Oak for his insults towards Mikage. Once the door was shut, Teito found himself with his back pressed up against it and Mikage's mouth pressing down onto his own. He kissed back with just as much force, mouths opening and teeth clashing as they fought a battle for dominance that neither would've really minded losing. It likely would've gone much farther had the bell signaling that they had only ten minutes until their next class not rung. The rest of the day, Teito continually pondered over the three kisses and his evolving relationship with his only friend.

The fourth time it was sweet, flavored in part by the treats they had been snacking on before. Mikage had shared the box of sweets he had gotten in the mail from his family the other day, and he had been talking about nothing in particular when Teito had suddenly interrupted him, asking about the kisses and what they had meant. Mikage just smiled and asked if it wasn't obvious. When Teito shook his head, the blonde leaned over and kissed him again, long enough for Teito to note the sweetness on Mikage's lips and tongue from the earlier treats. When Mikage pulled back and told him it was because the smaller brunette was the one he cared about most in the world, Teito couldn't help the flush that spread across his cheeks nor the small smile that found its way to his lips as he told Mikage that the blonde was his most important person too.

The fifth time was unexpected, at least to the blonde. It was the night after the final exam, and likely their last night stationed at the same place, at least for a while. Mikage had stated he would sleep in Teito's bed because it was the last night. He hadn't expected the other teen to turn him around and initiate a kiss for the first time. When Teito pulled back, he told the blonde that if it was the last time, he wanted more to hold on to. They shared their next several kisses that night, and they made love for the first time. As Mikage lay beside his spent lover, he pulled him close and whispered words of love into the brunette's ear. Teito could barely reply in kind before falling asleep, still wrapped in Mikage's arms.

The sixth time was desperate. Mikage had snuck out of his room and through the empty halls to find the place where Teito was being kept. When he'd heard what had happened from the men who had com to search their room, he could hardly believe it, but he also knew Teito would've had to have had a good reason to attack Ayanami. He also knew he'd have to break his green-eyed lover out, so he'd set up what he needed. What he hadn't expected was to find Teito halfway to breaking out already with six unconscious guards around him despite the chains locking his wrists and ankles and the bent and broken weapons that obviously belonged to the guards. He also hadn't expected Teito to look up with a sad and apologetic smile, saying it seemed he couldn't keep his promise after all. He hadn't really paid attention to the words; he just strode over and pulled the brunette into a desperate kiss before dragging him to where the hawkzile was, ignoring and disputing the protests and warnings from Teito. When they were cornered by the two guards and Teito had pretended Mikage was a hostage, the blonde understood this was Teito's way of trying to protect him. He played along and cherished the 'I love you' Teito whispered into his ear before pushing him away.

The seventh time was hopeful. When Teito had seen Mikage walking towards him on the bridge leading to the church, he hadn't been able to stop himself from throwing himself bodily into the blonde's arms. The kiss they shared only lasted a second, but it had been filled with hope because despite how they'd been forced to separate, they were together again. Even when Mikage collapsed from exhaustion in his arms, and Teito called out for help from the bishops who had taking him in, he couldn't stop the little bubble of hope from firmly lodging itself into his heart.

The eighth time, the last time, was loving and yet so filled with goodbyes. It was the first time they'd been alone since Mikage had shown up at the church, and Mikage had pulled him into a kiss filled with so much love, yet Teito had thought he'd felt a goodbye in there as well. Before he could formulate the question, Mikage pulled him into an embrace and distracted him with another kiss. They made love for the second time that afternoon. Afterwards, Mikage had made him promise that, no matter what happened, he would continue to walk a path in the light, he would never again shut out others as he had before they'd become friends. Worried but willing to promise anything to get the desperate look out of his lover's eyes, he agreed. Later that afternoon, he told Mikage all that he'd remembered. That was the last peaceful moment he had shared with the blonde before his lover was ripped away from him and then died in his arms. It took a while before he could follow through with the last promise he had made to his lover, his best and first friend.

The first time was soft and quick. Again, it was in an isolated corner of a library, though this library was in the church in the seventh district rather than in the Barsburg Military Academy in the first district. They had been studying for the bishops' exam, and the amethyst-eyed blonde had asked him a question. He answered and was met with silence, so he looked up from the papers he'd been using to quiz the other. He was met with an odd sense of déjà vu as he saw Hakuren lean across the table to place a soft, swift kiss on his lips before sitting back and telling him to get on with asking the next question already. As they continued studying, Teito wondered about the kiss, about what Hakuren meant by it. He also wondered if this was what Mikage had meant when he'd told him to keep walking and not be caught up in the past. He would never forget his first friend, his first love and lover, but maybe he could find a place in his heart for Hakuren too.

AN: I just had to end it on a hopeful note. So what do you think? Good? Bad? Please review, it feeds the muse.