themaskisoff  
 
The Mask Is Off
Lemon Version

Bottou-chan

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Author's Note-

Based on Ch. 7, Vol. 17 of the manga. Errrmmm... this is my first lemon, written by request. It'll probably be a while before I try another one... it's just strange. I know what I want to say, but the words don't come out right. I guess some things are difficult to explain with words, ne? *^_^*

-Bottou-chan
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"...Kurei! Kurei!"

"...Oniichan!"

"...I've taken away everything you ever loved..."

"...Niichan, why?"

"...reduced to a pile of flesh!"

"...O-nii-chan!"

"...Assassinate him! Kill Kurei!"

Voices echoed insistently in his mind. Distorted, evil faces with cruel, gleaming teeth smiled maliciously at him. His body was being riddled with bullets-- he was falling-- falling-- falling over the cliff-- he could hear a woman scream-- a man's horrible laughter-- the pounding of the waves far below--

With a terrified scream, Kurei bolted upright in his bed. He panted, wide-eyed, brushing away the beads of sweat which had collected on his forehead.

He was alive. He wasn't floating, dead, in the ocean. His wounds had been dressed and bandaged. He was sitting in a bed in some dilapidated structure. Someone had rescued him... someone had saved his life.

Why? Why didn't they just let him die?

He slumped weakly back into his pillows, letting his eyes wander around the room. The plaster on the walls was peeling and mildewed; the bare wooden floorboards were dusty and grimy, with some gaping holes. There was the bed, a poor excuse for a bed, with a rusted, flaking brass frame; worn sheets; a scratchy gray blanket; and a floppy, musty-smelling pillow. A dilapidated bureau with several drawers missing had been pushed against one wall. Two low, rickety round tables had been drawn near the bedside.

Judging by the light coming in through a grimy, cracked window, it was late afternoon.

"Kurei-sama!" exclaimed a voice, and he whipped his head around to turn and face the newcomer. The sudden movement sparked waves of pain which coursed through his body; he couldn't completely stifle the moan of pain.

"Neon-san?" he asked, relaxing. So it had been Neon... yes, Neon had been there at the cliff during the shooting.

"Kurei-sama!" she smiled, standing in a doorframe, holding a small, round pan of water. She placed it on one of the tables and rushed over to her master. "Thank goodness," she sobbed, throwing her arms around him, sparking new waves of pain as she buried her face against his chest. "Thank goodness... you woke up! Finallly... oh, Kurei-sama, I was so worried for you..."

Kurei didn't have the heart to tell her she was hurting him. All he could do was stroke her hair awkwardly and attempt to make consoling noises. Of course he woke up. Of course he was all right. She shouldn't have bothered herself about him. He noticed absentmindedly that he had never seen her cry so hard. She hadn't been this emotional, even when undergoing her initiation into the Uruha.

"Where is this place?" he asked, hoping to distract her.

She sniffled and brushed the tears away from her eyes. "It's an abandoned construction yard," she explained, her eyes still bright and watery. "We were washed up... you've been asleep for ten days. I wanted to bring you to a hospital... I was afraid. I was afraid Mori-san might do something to you... I did my best. It's been hard, but I did my best. Forgive me." She looked earnestly into his eyes, looking for his approval.

Kurei leaned back down into his pillows. "You look like you need some rest," he suggested. "You look terrible."

"I'm sure I do," smiled Neon weakly, her eyes still brimming with residual tears. She sniffled. "But please, don't speak to me like that... I'm not used to you being so gentle with me. It makes me happy, just being able to take care of you. Being able to do my duty."

She sat up and bustled off into another room. When she returned, it was with a glass of water and a small plate of food.

"I don't need it," said Kurei, glancing over the contents of the plate. Nothing very appetizing. Even though he had been asleep for ten days, somehow, he didn't feel hungry. "You don't look like you've eaten anything for a while... you eat it."

Neon shook her head vehemently. In her most strict, schoolmarmish voice, she reprimanded him, "You need to get your strength back! You need to take care of yourself! Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you don't have to eat it. And besides, I'm on a diet..." She grinned impishly, giggling in spite of herself.

"H'm?" asked Kurei, slightly suspicious. "What's so funny?"

"I was just thinking... to back then. To when I was your maid," she replied, sitting down on the edge of the bed. "I was always so happy, being able to serve you... serving you brightened my life somehow. It made me content, serving my Kurei-sama." She took a spoon, scooped up some of the mush on the plate, and jabbed the spoon against his lips. He glared at her. She giggled again. "And Kurei-sama made my life difficult, even back then!"

"Is that so?" inquired Kurei nonchalantly. "Was I so much trouble back
then?"

"Every day," replied Neon firmly, as he reluctantly opened his mouth and accepted the mush.

Back then, he thought, disconsolantly. Back then... with him...

"...Kurei! Kurei!"

"...Oniichan!"

"...I've taken away everything you ever loved..."

"...Niichan, why?"

"...reduced to a pile of flesh!"

"...O-NII-chan!"

"...Assassinate him! Kill Kurei!"

His eyes widened in terror. "Nooo!" he screamed, coughing and sputtering. Neon leaped forward, cradling his head, stroking his hair, and whispering reassuringly.

"Kurei-sama... don't worry. You'll be all right. There's nothing to worry about here... we're safe... nothing will hurt you here... I'm with you," she murmured, pressing her lips into his hair, kissing his forehead.

Kurei was racked with sobs. "I don't-- I don't-- I don't want to fight anymore," he gasped, the tears streaming down his own face. All the years he had spent perfecting his calm exterior, the years he had spent suppressing his emotions, the years he had spent hiding his humanity and becoming only Mori Kouran's killing machine-- all his efforts were swept away at that moment as his shell broke and countless years' of anger, frustration, and rage came surging to the surface.

"You don't have to fight anymore," murmured Neon, continuing to hold him close. She scratched gently at the back of his neck. "Don't worry... it's only me... let it all out," she whispered encouragingly.

"Everyone's disappeared!" Kurei cried, pounding ineffectually at the pillow. "Everyone's lost... what I had worked so hard to build... they're all gone... they're gone!" He pulled away from Neon's soothing hands and, with a massive effort, stilled his sobs. "They're gone," he repeated, his voice dead. "I don't want to fight anymore."

"Then don't," replied Neon practically. She smiled cheerfully at him. "You've got too many painful memories, from that lifetime of fighting you've been up to. Stop. Stop now. You've had more than enough. You've experienced more than enough of death than most people should. You should learn to enjoy life. Why don't you lead a normal, peaceful life from now on? There's no one to shadow you... you can disappear, Kurei-sama, and start over. You'll do well in the world, I'm sure." She smiled encouragingly at him, patting him on the shoulder. "And I'll always be willing to accompany you, no matter where you go. And I won't disappear, I promise."

Kurei gazed back at her. Neon... she had always been there for him.

She had always been there for him, smiling cheerfully.

She had stood by him when he needed someone the most.

Her loyalty was unquestioning... unwavering...

He had never treated her as well as he should have... he had taken her loyalty for granted. And yet, where was everyone else now, at this critical moment? They were gone... yet Neon was here.

Neon had saved him. Had saved his miserable, nightmarish life. And miserable and nightmarish though it was, she continued to smile cheerfully for him, be there when he needed her, unquestioning, unwavering, attempting to help him as she could, attempting to console his unfathomable misery.

She was trying to help him. Trying to help him cast off his ugly past, trying to help him regain his humanity. The humanity which he himself had purposefully ignored for the last sixteen years of his life.

And she had found it. The humanity which he had attempted to deny for so long was suddenly... there...

With one sudden movement, he took hold of the hand which was patting him comfortingly on the shoulder. Another movement, and Neon had been pushed into a prone position, with Kurei kneeling over her, their faces inches apart.

Neon stared in numb, wide-eyed shock. She was perfectly aware of exactly what was happening, yet it didn't seem real. How often had she daydreamed of something like this? And yet now-- now that he was there-- with his face so close-- she could feel the warmth of his ragged breathing-- his eyes suddenly looked so peaceful-- affectionate, even? But why? Was this really her Kurei-sama?

She didn't care. She reached her hands up, placing them lightly on his arms. Neon gazed earnestly into his eyes.

"A normal, peaceful life," she whispered, sliding her hands up his arms and onto his shoulders. "Let's run away... where no one can find us..." She pulled his head down the last few inches towards her own. "...Always by your side... Kurei-sama." His lips brushed lightly over her own, once, twice-- she murmured in slight protest, and with a soft smile, he descended with a full, hungry kiss. She returned it with equal forcefulness, entwining her fingers in his hair, encouraging him to deepen their kiss. She parted her lips slightly, tugging at his lower lip softly with her teeth.

He broke their kiss abruptly, turning her head to the side. With his tongue, he traced a path from behind her ear down her jawline, traveling down her neck, stopping only at the collar of her dress. Annoyed by the interference, he gently bit her on the shoulder through the offending fabric. Neon moaned softly, sliding her hands down his bare back, dragging her nails gently across his skin.

"Kurei-sama..." she murmured, her hands freely roaming across his body. As her fingertips brushed against the bandages, she opened her eyes in alarm. "Gomen, Kurei-sama!" she said, in quite a different voice. Neon attempted to sit up. "I forgot... you were hurt... I was being selfish... gomen--"

He refused to allow her to free herself. "Is your Kurei-sama such a weakling that he can't judge his own capabilities?" he asked her, with a wry smile flickering on his lips. One hand lazily brushed against her breast. With a sudden movement, he pinched the peak between his fingers. A sudden gasp and a low moan rewarded him. He moved his mouth down, to bite where he had pinched, and his hands now traced the length of her legs.

"Kurei-sama... my buttons," gasped Neon. "Please... undo them..."

"In such a hurry, Neon-san?" he asked playfully, punctuating his question with another nip from his teeth. She inhaled sharply, but made no reply. Instead of asking her another question, she felt mildly surprised when he placed two of his fingers against her lips. She took them into her mouth, sucking greedily. He seemed pleased somehow, murmuring his approval. With great reluctance, he withdrew them from her mouth. Moments later, she gasped in surprise as she felt them enter her. She thrust her hips against his hand, wrapping her legs around his body. "My poor Neon-san," he said, the smile still curving his lips. "You seem so very hungry... am I right?" He gently brushed his thumb over her tiny bud.

"Y-yes, Kurei-sama," admitted Neon raggedly, concentrating on matching the rhythm of his hand.

"What would make you feel better?" He gently removed his hand, leaving her feeling cold and empty.

She moaned her protest softly, watching him taste his fingers. "You... you could make me feel better," she whispered. He helped pull her into a seated position.

"Could I?" He reached around behind her, his hands closing over the buttons. One... two... three... four... five... six. They came undone easily enough, and she easily slipped out of her dress. He knelt back to appraise her form and figure. "Neon-san, I'm sure you have a mirror... but you have quite an exquisite body. Such soft skin. Such lovely hair." He reached out and trailed his hand across her cheek.

"It's nice to be admired," she murmured, looping her arms around his neck and brushing her breasts against his chest. He bent down and took one of them into his mouth, first biting harshly, then bathing it gently with his tongue. Neon arched her back in pleasure as he alternated between one peak, then the other.

Her hands fumbled at the drawstring of his pants, trying to undo the knot. She finally succeeded, sliding them down his hips. He kicked them off the rest of the way, leaving them to fall unheeded on the floor next to her dress. She raked her eyes approvingly over his body. He was lean and strong, built like a classical athlete. And despite his steady control over the situation, there was no disguising the fact that he was as in need as she was.

Kurei almost missed the impish smile... it fluttered across her lips so quickly. The next moment, she had bent her head down and taken him deep into her mouth. Kurei couldn't hold back a ragged gasp as he found himself encompassed by the velvety wet warmth of her mouth. "Neon-san..."

Neon paused long enough to raise her head and give him a mischevious peck on the lips. "You talk too much," she said, imitating his voice. She then bent back to the task at hand, experimenting with subtle variations, using his murmured noises to guide her. He submitted to this for as long as he could, but was soon close to his edge. Summoning his willpower, he pushed Neon onto her back with a soft growl. He caught a self-satisfied glimmer in her eyes, and knew that she felt she had achieved some sort of triumph somehow.

"Please... Kurei-sama," she whispered. "I--" Her words were broken off abruptly and ended in a gasp as he entered her. She wrapped her legs around him as she matched his rhythm. His searching lips claimed hers in a frenzied kiss. Neon could feel his body tense as he tried to hold off the inevitable. She then allowed herself to be driven over the edge, and their worlds exploded simultaneously in a shower of sparks.

* * *

Kurei stood outside the shack, enjoying the quiet of the night. He had gently tucked Neon under the grungy blankets, and she was sleeping soundly. He folded his arms, alone with his thoughts.

The fighting could end. Not just yet. But it would end. There were a few things to take care of first before he could truly enjoy his peace. Just how he would take care of things, he wasn't sure. But he would.

He glanced behind him, where he knew Neon was curled up. There was a soft expression on his face.

He would find a way. For her.