A/N: If it's just for one night, it hurts more than having nothing. Limey, angsty. Put in your own pairing.


One Night


I heard the footsteps before the knocks on the door. I closed my eyes, counting in tandem with the short raps on wood.

One, two. One, two. One two three.

That was our code. Correction: that was his code.

I opened the door soundlessly. He came in, slid the door shut, and pulled me into a suffocating embrace. My hands ran up his back, soothing him gently as I always did in such situations. We settled on the low sofa, and I poured him tea. His captain's robe he left tossed over the back of the seat.

His voice was rough, as usual in such situations. He rambled on about her, what she did, what she said, and what he said in response, and how she left this time. Apparently, this time it had been for a nobody in the seventh division, not even a seated officer. She left, again.

It was always the last bit that tore at me.

If I had been her, I would never leave, not the way she did.

It was crippling him, this relationship, but like a good friend I never said a word against her. It was for him to determine that she was not good enough for him.

Then again, who did I think was good enough for him?

Soifon, with her boy-like rack and obsession over Yoruichi? Yoruichi herself, the one character in Soul Society free to do as she willed? Motherly Unohana? Insecure Kotetsu? Busty and airheaded Matsumoto? Damaged Daddy's girl Nemu? Bookish and shrill Ise Nanao? Deluded Hinamori?

No one, no one at all.

But he could never see, never see how much I ached when he broke down because of her. Never saw how much I wanted him to see me as something other than a source of comfort. Other than his friend.

Maybe this time, the gods for shinigami heard me.

He pulled away slightly, and for the first time in my life he looked at me. Not the friend, not the comforting presence, but at me.

His face lowered, as if drawn inexorably to my lips, and I liked to think that it was only my imagination until his warm lips touched mine. He drew away immediately.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"

I hushed him with a finger to his lips. It was too tender a gesture; his gaze clouded over and he began kissing the digit. That he reciprocated the tenderness caused my lids to flutter shut; he nibbled the tip of that finger, before kissing the knuckles on that hand, gently opening my palm for his exploration.

His breath was moist and warm on my skin. It felt too good; even the slight stubble was thrillingly tantalizing. I could feel shivers running up my arm down my spine and pooling at the small of my back.

His intense gaze met my half-lidded eyes. "This... is okay, isn't it?" he asked. I realized he was waiting for me to assure him, that he was not taking advantage of our friendship, that I wanted this as much as he did. I nodded quickly. In case he still did not comprehend my gesture, I cupped his cheek and pressed my lips on his, my tongue tracing over his lower lip until he granted me entrance, swallowing him into me.

"I shall take that as a yes then," he chuckled breathlessly when I slowed down and moved away. He carefully kissed up the inside of my arm, then to my shoulder and up my neck. I heard soft whining; that was me. Somehow we managed to lie down without falling off the sofa we were on. He insinuated himself in between my legs and shifted my left knee higher.

He was hard, pressing against me, but he did not try more than to thrust against my thigh lightly. I moaned again, wanting more friction and wriggling closer. When I heard a harsh gasp I was absurdly pleased. He sounded the way he did in my dreams – guttural, rough, wanting. Our tongues met again and chased each other in our mouths, his hands sliding up and down my sides, rubbing my clothes over my sensitized skin.

I was clutching his shoulders, I realized abstractedly, and decided to rake through his hair with one hand. The accompany sigh was celestial music to me. My fingers quested along the collar, tracing over heated skin, damp with perspiration, musky with his scent.

"Feels really good," he muttered as he began to mouth my ear, a sensitive spot he should never have found because now I writhed desperately against him. His breathing was shallow and the grinding between my legs had shifted; through our clothes I could feel us moving against each other, and each thrust sent little sparks of fire dancing up my nerves. He was near the edge, his panting erratic. "Too damn good."

I could not speak, capable only of gasping for air. I curled around him tightly, and then grabbed his hand to move it under my sleeping robe. He slipped his hand up and down my sides and then slid under the small of my back as I arched up for him. Patterns danced over that particularly heated patch of skin and I cried out, stiffening, thighs clenching him close. He shivered and tensed, a silent cry uttered into my neck, and then almost crushing me with his body weight. I welcomed the pressure; it reassured me that it had been real, that this had happened, that he had finally seen me.

"Sorry," he murmured as he climbed off me. Our clothing were rumpled. It felt uncomfortable between my legs, sticky and wet, and oddly arousing, knowing how that happened. I smiled at him, still shaky from the high, but to my surprise he turned away.

"I'm sorry," he said again. "I need to go."

"Wait." I stood, but he had returned to the entryway and was pulling on his sandals haphazardly. "Wait, why are you going?"

He stood at the doorway. "I... I can't. Not you. You mean too much to me for... for this. I'm sorry."

Sorry? For this? "I-"

"Don't," he cut me off before I could say the words. His gaze met mine again, this time tortured and in pain. "Please. Don't." He took a deep breath, opened the door, and stepped outside. "I should go now. Rest early. See you tomorrow." He slid the door shut.

My knees buckled and I sat heavily on the floor.

I thought you finally saw me.