This is dedicated to the wonderful aria delac for her story 'dare', which is the very thing that inspired this long bout of procrastination.

"Is it true?" Mikan fearfully asked the boy she thought she could trust with anything, her boyfriend and long term crush. "Natsume? I really don't know anymore..."

"What is it now?" Natsume groaned disparagingly. "I've no idea what you're talking about, stupid."

"Permy says!" Mikan squawked. "She said-!"

"That girl says a lot," Natsume scorned, barely even looking up from his magazine. "I wouldn't listen to a word if I had half a braincell." He looked up at her. "Then again maybe..."

"I'm serious, Natsume!" Mikan yelled. "It's just that she said... well... uhm..." she trailed off into mumbles.

"Not got all day, Mikan," said Natsume irately as he flipped over a page.

"She said you and Ruka-"

Natsume's hand stopped dead mid-turn, he stared at Mikan in a kind of rabbit-in-the-headlights horror.

"What about me and Ruka?" he accused.

"She said to me that you two were... well... thatyoutwoweregay," she muttered, too fast for any word but the last to be properly audible. She also went bright red in the face and wouldn't look Natsume in the eye for some time. To think she'd have to say this to her boyfriend was too strange.

He stared at her in silence for a few moments, and then burst out laughing; so loud that Ruka himself, who had been over by the window of the student common room befriending a starling, turned around to look at him.

"Why would she say something like that?!" Natsume said amongst his convulsive laughter. "Hahaha, hahaha, hahaa... Ruka, come over here," he summoned, and Ruka dutifully made his way across the room.

"What's so funny?" he asked innocently, but Natsume was laughing too much to speak, so Mikan stepped in.

"I only said that... I'd heard... maybethatyoutwoweregaytogether!" she rushed, and after a similar moment of confusion, Ruka too started to laugh.

"Oh dear," he chuckled. "What a funny rumour." He sat down beside Natsume at the desk. "I thought you had a girlfriend, Natsume?" he said with deliberate pretence.

"Well so did I," Natusme responded with a huge smirk, looking over at Mikan cheekily. "Only she seems to think I'm in love with you." Ruka sighed and clicked his tongue.

"Ahhh, that's so disloyal of her..." he mused. Mikan's face flushed an even brighter red.

"I'm not disloyal!" she yelped. "I really like Natsume as my boyfriend! It's just Permy said...!"

"She would say anything to get you and I to break up," Natsume interrupted cruelly, and turned to face Ruka again. "She'd even say I was in love with a person like you," he addressed Ruka, who chuckled to himself.

"What a strange thing," he responded, snapping his tongue in his mouth again as he thought about his words. "I'm going out with Imai as well. Why would I tolerate her if I was in love with someone like you?"

"Beats me," concurred Natsume. "She treats you badly enough as it is."

"She doesn't!" Mikan wailed. "She's just... different... with her love..." Whilst Mikan was unfazed by such creations as the baka gun or the hooved attack tools, Ruka took it somewhat harder when his romance was periodically interrupted with fees, verbal and sometimes physical abuse. He stuck through it though, like a good boyfriend.

"You'd also wonder, if I was in love with you, Ruka..." Natsume proposed, "why on earth I put up with the daily idiocy of having this fool as my girlfriend."

"Yes... yes..." Ruka murmured, his fingertips pressed together and resting against his lips. "Just because two boys are great friends-"

"-Best friends," Natsume corrected.

"Best friends; just because we're best friends, people start making up rumours about us being like that together."

Natsume pulled a face. "As if," he said distastefully, and Ruka grinned.

"Exactly. I do care about you, I suppose," said Ruka thoughtfully, clicking his tongue once more. "But... do I love Natsume?"

"Careful how you answer," he teased. "Some stupid girls have been spreading rumours." Mikan scowled at them from the other side of the table; no matter how old they got, Natsume and Ruka would still gang up on her like a pair of naughty kids.

"You did come over to my room last night," Ruka pointed out, obviously to an intended effect. "What was it we did?"

Natsume sniggered and answered him, "I'm pretty sure we played video games. Did we do any lovey dovey stuff?" Ruka put on an act of thinking very hard.

"I... don't think so..." he replied carefully. "I could be wrong, I wonder if Mikan knows?" he suggested with a mischievous smile.

"Good idea. So Mikan, do you think Ruka and I got up to any lovey dovey stuff last night while you were with Hotaru?"

"Neh, Natsume," Ruka said to him quietly. "If we were doing lovely dovey stuff then maybe our girlfriends were doing-"

"WE WEREN'T!" screamed Mikan in shock. "We weren't doing anything! We are just friends!"

"Then so are WE!" snapped Natsume. "If you don't expect people to accuse you of such things when you spend time with your best friend, then don't go accusing it of other people!" He stood up from the table with a scowl. "As if I'd be with a guy like Ruka anyway," he muttered angrily, and after glaring at Mikan stormed out of the room.

Ruka gave her a look that suggested he was saying 'Look what you've done now' to her.

"Sastified?" he said coldly as the door slammed the other side of Nastume.

"Oh dear... I better go talk to him..." Mikan said worriedly; she hadn't meant for it to blow up like this, she'd just let Permy's words get to her and wanted to put her mind at rest. She didn't believe it... really... it had just seemed like maybe there was a grain of truth in it; before she brought it up at least.

"I wouldn't," Ruka remarked. "If he's stormed out then he hardly wants to be around you right now, surely?" Mikan looked down at her toes bashfully.

"Oh. Yeah. Rukaaa..." she mumured weakly. "Could you...?"

"Go and talk to him for you?" he guessed. "Sure. What are friends for?" Ruka got up with a sign and walked after Natsume.

"Thank you! Tell him I'm sorry!" Mikan called after him. "And I didn't believe it in the first place! And... and I didn't mean it either!" Ruka raised up a hand and waved her off to acknowledge her requests, and then stepped out of the common room.

He cast his gaze around the hallway, which way would Natsume have gone? In the end he picked a direction on gut instinct, and wandered until he came across a half-opened door into an unused secretarial office. Natsume was sat behind the dust-filmed desk with his back to the door; Ruka stepped inside and shut it behind him.

"Natsume," Ruka said breathily, "it's me."

"Oh," was the soft monosyllabic reply he offered. Natsume stood up and slowly brushed himself down, then took a step and met Ruka half way around the desk. He grabbed for his collar as Ruka reached for his shirt, and the clashed in the middle in a flurry of anxious gropes and kisses.

"Natsume..." Ruka sighed when his tongue was not wrestling with Natsume's, "uh..." he gasped, "Natsume..."

"Don't play shy with me," Natsume scolded hotly as he broke away from Ruka and ran a hand up through his hair, and then pushed him backwards until he hit the wall less than gently. "Sitting there clicking your tongue at me." He scowled pulled Ruka into another heavy kiss, only for Ruka to pull back again after a few seconds.

"You had your hand on my leg," he reminded Natsume, who in lieu of Ruka's mouth being used to speak turned his head to the side simply moved onto his neck, sinking in his teeth just enough to make Ruka bite his own lip hard enough to hurt.

"And?" Natsume groaned, loosening Ruka's collar and continuing his assault. It was as he did this that Ruka opened his mouth and caught Natsume's ear between his teeth, biting down on it unforgivingly. Natsume's entire body tensed up and he almost fell against Ruka, letting out a desperate moan and gripping Ruka's shirt tight enough to tear in his hands.

He groaned again as the tip of Ruka's tongue followed his teeth and traced up the curve of his ear; Ruka bit once more and Natsume shuddered, then pulled Ruka's hands off him and slammed them back against the wall, squeezing his wrists hard like he wanted to crush them.

Natsume's eyes were glazed over and dark, his expression sinful as he stared at Ruka; unkempt and flustered, pinned down, panting softly and licking the moisture from his own lips.

"Earlier," Natsume murmured, "you questioned if you loved me..." He looked straight at the other with a wicked gleam in his eyes. "Well?" His hands loosened to let Ruka's arms slip free, and with no more than a second's wait those hands were around his face, cupping his jaw and pulling him close until he was just a breath away from Ruka.

"Of course I do," Ruka replied playfully. With just a slight movement their lips pressed together for a chaste kiss, although the reality of that chastity came into question when Natsume's hands were soon running down Ruka's chest and heading for his belt.

"You said you'd never be with a guy like me," Ruka pointed out as he brushed Natsume's bottom lip with his own and held him back for a moment.

"You know I don't mean it," replied Natsume. His mouth desceneded on Ruka's neck.

"You just say it to tease..." Ruka said with a pout.

"Yeah?" Natsume countered. "What will you do about it?"

In response Ruka's teeth landed right between piercings on Natsume's ear, and the boy's breath choked in his own throat with the shock of pleasure that crushed him in its fist at that moment. His breathing grew ragged and he almost trembled as Ruka tugged on an earring and then caressed him with his tongue; with almost one movement Natsume pulled Ruka off the wall and threw him across onto the desk, spreading him out and then holding him down by his shoulders before Ruka could try to get up.

One hand lowered and went to grip the bulge in Ruka's pants; the boy shivered and twisted his eyes shut.

"Natsume... what will we tell them?" he panted as the hand slipped inside his clothes, and Ruka had to stuff his fingers inside his mouth to keep it quiet.

"Same thing we always do," Natsume replied as usual, his fingers getting to work unhesitantly. "Nothing."

Oooooh... shiny...

Thanks to the Delac lady for this little plot bunny of procrastination, and thank you to YOU for reading! If you enjoyed it leave a review!