Misaki watched him through tired eyelids. After a hot bath, all he wanted was a long sleep in the playground of a room he now considered his. However, something was keeping him from taking those shorts steps up to a pillow laden cloud where he could rest his exhausted mind. Long limbs sprawled across the couch, his lover laid with his sharply angled face turned to the side and his large, pale hands holding an open book against his bare chest. Beautiful shadows defined his collarbones and lean abdominal muscles and the deep crest of his hipbone. The hair sweeping across his smooth forehead and neck shone a brilliant pale color that accented his dark eyes hidden behind closed eyelids. Misaki unconsciously moved to his side and sat on the floor where he could see the gentle sweep of eyelashes and feel the warm breath from his slightly parted lips, those perfectly curved rosy lips that mesmerized him with lucid, yet ethereal memories. He still couldn't believe the lovely, sweet feeling he had for another man, the feelings that had become all encompassing and impossible to avoid. Without a second thought and drugged by fatigue, Misaki closed the inches between them and let his lips sweep over his, a gentle, lingering ghost of a kiss, but the touch sent a shiver down his spine. When he felt Akihiko's lips stretch into a smile, he opened his eyes to the intriguing, dark pools of color that captivated all of his senses.

"You kissed me," he said in a gentle voice, husky from the weight of sleep.

"I just-I…" Misaki pulled away a few inches, his face flushed a bright red and his fatigue drained at his newfound embarrassment, "I'm sorry, you can go back to sleep." He prepared to bolt up the stairs, but Akihiko's hand caught his wrist and pulled him back. Misaki squeezed his eyes shut, prepared for the feel of his lover's embrace, but after a few moments he opened his eyes to see a smile written on his face.

"Want to do it when I'm awake?" he asked in a slurred suggestive tone.

"NO-NO THANK YOU! I was just heading to bed. Goodnight!" He tried to pull away, but was easily and without struggle pulled back to his warm, welcoming flesh.

"Misaki, do you have any idea how happy you make me?" Misaki's face flushed a darker red and he concentrated on the clean, familiar smell of cigarettes and sweet shampoo. "I can't fathom a world without you. I'm yours whether you'll have me or not."

Misaki mumbled incoherently, but catching the intention, Akihiko's smile widened and he asked, "What was that?"

"I will," he said, more clearly and summoning up the rest of his courage, he looked back into his deep, swirling eyes and said, "I love you."

Akihiko's eyes widened in momentary surprise at the unexpected affectionate words, "I love you too, Misaki, so, so much." Before Misaki even had to think of a reply, he was swept away in another kiss. This one was different than the innocent, sweet kiss he had woken Akihiko up with, it was tainted with passion and unspoken words expressed with the movement of their lips. Akihiko's hands drifted beneath the fabric of Misaki's shirt and slowly pulled it over his soft skin, barely pausing their kiss to discard the fabric. With deft movements, he shifted Misaki onto his lap so his legs were straddling his waist.

"Usa-Usagi san," Misaki moaned, as his lover's lips nipped and kissed the flesh on his neck and chest.

"Misaki?" Akihiko asked. He gazed down with wide eyes at Akihiko's surprisingly vulnerable and desperate expression. "Promise me that you'll stay with me? Whatever anyone does or says, promise you'll always come back to me. Misaki leaned forward so his breath tickled Akihiko's ear.

"Okay," he whispered then kissed him, a tentative nervous kiss that quickly elevated into a tangled sun of feelings and thoughts and desires that all rushed out at once. Misaki's breathing accelerated and he combed one of his hands into Akihiko's soft, feathery hair when he felt one of Akihiko's hands tenderly massaging the bulge in his boxers.

"Misaki! Usagi!" A familiar voice called, the door swinging abruptly open.

In a useless attempt at disbanding their activities, Misaki sat back on his heels and dropped his hands onto his lap trying to cover his obvious erection, while Usagi grabbed a teddy bear nestled in the couch cushions to do the same.

Takahiro stared wide eyed at his brother's flushed shocked face and the inflamed marks covering his neck and chest.

"What are you two doing?!" he asked in horror.

"We-I…what are you doing here?" Misaki stammered.

"Misaki, answer my question! Or you!" he turned to face his long time best friend. "Care to tell me what you're doing with my little brother that you were supposed to be taking care of?"

"Takahiro, this isn't something that's exactly easy to explain."

"Well, why don't you give it a try," he glared angrily at his friend's abashed face and sat stiffly in the sofa opposite the one Misaki and Akihiko were occupying.

Misaki gave him a scared, tearful look and slid off his lap so their thighs were still pressed against each other's and Akihiko handed him his shirt that he quickly pulled over his head to hide most of the tender spots covering his body.

"So how long has whatever this is been going on?"

The couple exchanged a look and Akihiko answered, "A little bit before we moved in together."

"FOUR YEARS? You've kept this from me for four years. Oh, of course, you wouldn't want your good reputation bashed by your dirty, little secret."

"Misaki is not my dirty, little secret," Akihiko said, starting to feel angry with this whole situation.

"Then what is he? What were you planning on doing? Fucking him through college then ending it when he graduated? Was that his payment for living here?"

"Takahiro, I think you should leave."

"No! Answer my damn question. What have you been doing?"

"You're right, I have fucked your brother, but just because we're both guys doesn't mean that's all it is and just because we haven't made a point of publicizing our relationship doesn't make it any less valid than your damn marriage!"

"Misaki, I think you should come back and live with me. You need a family, not a fuck buddy."

Misaki busily plucked at the fabric of his shirt hoping he wouldn't be forced into having to say anything, but he knew his brother wouldn't listen until he said something. "Nii san, I know you don't understand and I don't blame you, but I'm an adult now, and I want to stay."

"No, you've been disillusioned by the…pleasures of the flesh. I can't force you to stay with me, but I beg that you at least give it a few weeks."

"He's not my fuck buddy. You raised me; you should know I'm not like that."

"I don't know Misaki, I never knew you were gay or that my best friend was. After over 15 years that seems like something that should've come up at some point, and for four years you two managed to hide your relationship from me."

Realizing his brother was just hurt, he quickly tried to find the words that would remedy this incredibly uncomfortable situation, but before he could begin, Akihiko said, "I know it doesn't matter to you now, but we were planning on telling you soon, before Misaki graduated and started working. However, if it would somehow put your mind at ease, maybe he should stay with you for a couple weeks."

"What?" Misaki asked, turning to face Akihiko.

"It would only be a little while and you could come back anytime, but I think your brother needs this." Akihiko said gently, grabbing Misaki's hand in both of his.

"Alright. You're right."

"Misaki go pack a bag. We're leaving."

"Takahiro, I'm driving him though. We'll meet you back at your place."

Twenty minutes later, Akihiko and Misaki were on the road, cruising silently through the calm streets and when they arrived Takahiro and his wife were quietly waiting in the living room with Mahiro asleep on his mother's lap.

"A couple weeks Takahiro, then he comes back at his own discretion."

Akihiko turned to leave and Misaki chased him down the hall, dropping his bag on the floor. "Usagi san, wait!...I..I don't want to stay here."

Akihiko bent down and lifted Misaki's chin so their lips were no more than an inch apart, "I want Takahiro to know you're with me because you want to be and I want you to be sure too," he swept a light kiss across his lips, "A few weeks for forever. I promise."

Misaki clung on to the front of his jacket. "Okay."

Takahiro watched their quiet conversation and the light kiss brushed across his brother's lips before his friend turned and walked out the door. He watched in a guilty despair at Misaki gazing longingly at the door for a full minute before turning and walking back to the living room.

"Where am I sleeping? I'm exhausted," he said, looking down at the floor boards.

"I'll show you in a minute, but I think we should have a little talk."

"Takahiro, let him go to sleep," Minami said, quietly, so she didn't disturb her sleeping son.

"She's right, we'll talk tomorrow, now show me where I'm sleeping."

Misaki lay on top of the comforter in the guest bedroom unable to drift into unconsciousness despite his exhaustion. Usagi san. He thought to himself. I can't sleep. I can't breathe, until you're resting here with me.

"Darling," Minami said gently to her husband, "Your brother has been walking around like a zombie for the last week. I think it's time you accept the inevitable, whether you approve or not, he's going to go back to him. They're happy together and if you try to make him choose you're only going to lose your brother."

"I just don't understand." Takahiro said, desperately.

"Well, it looks to me like they're in love."

"In love? How could he be in love? He wasn't gay."

"Maybe not, but sometimes, love looks past trivial, physical matters like gender. Your brother isn't a kid, he's 22 years old, it's time you let him make his own decisions."

"Misaki, it's time we talk."

Misaki plopped down on the couch refusing to make eye contact.

"You know I don't like the decision you made."

"Decision?" Misaki scoffed, "If we could decide our feelings a lot of things would be different."

"I know you must think you're in love-"

"What the hell do you know? Takahiro, our love is difficult, but it's real. I need to get out of the house." Without another word, Misaki grabbed his jacket and walked out the door into the frosty winter air.

Silent tears flowed in clear rivulets down Misaki's face as he thought about his hopeless situation. The man he'd fallen in love with or the brother who had raised him? Despite all his brother had been through for him, he knew what his choice would be. After only a week, his loneliness had become almost overpowering and he found himself unconsciously traveling the streets to the monstrous building where he had spent the last four years. About half way there with tears clouding his vision, he ran into someone and quickly sidestepped and apologized.

"Misaki?" The voice he longed for more than any other asked in surprise.

"Usagi san," Misaki said, trying to wipe the tears off his face.

"Misaki," Akihiko exhaled, wrapping him in a tight embrace. He wrapped his arms around the taller man's waist and clutched the fabric of his coat. "What are you doing here?" he asked, "its freezing."

"Going for a walk." Misaki hiccupped.

"In the snow when it's less than 10 degrees out?"

"Aren't you doing the same thing?"

"Well I-Misaki, will you come home with me? I know this goes against my agreement but-"

"Yes," Misaki interrupted, "Please, I want to go home."

Akihiko gave a short laugh. "I guess this is pretty pathetic, I used to hate being with people and now I can't go a week without you by my side."

Misaki closed his eyes and gave into the simple pleasure of feeling Akihiko's breath fill his lungs and smelling the sweet smoky smell that he could recognize anywhere.

"Wait," Akihiko asked, "were you planning on walking all the way to our house?"

"I don't know," Misaki confessed and grabbed Akihiko's hand to begin the long walk back to their house.

"My brother's going to be mad. He doesn't know where I'm at."

"Misaki, I have a question."

"Yeah?" he asked, looking up at him.

"Are you really okay with this?" Misaki was about to object, but Akihiko interrupted him, "I know you love me now, but…you didn't ask for this relationship and you were…straight before, so if you think your life would be better without me, I really don't want to hold you back from anything."

"Usagi san, without you, life would be meaningless, so please stop talking like this."

He kissed Misaki's cold fingers and continued walking down the quiet sidewalks with a serene smile pulling his lips.

When they finally reached their house both of their faces were flushed by the frigid air and they welcomed the high thermostat. The elevator ride was torturous for both of them and Akihiko found his fingertips wandering down the sensitive, soft skin on Misaki's neck and he shivered when Akihiko's fingers traced the length of his collarbone. "I want you," he said, leaning down to whisper in Misaki's ear. He turned his head and ran his lips across Akihiko's cheek. "I know," he whispered back, having no idea how seductive his voice sounded.

Akihiko pulled the door open and before it was closed all the way, he had Misaki pressed against the wall. Their hands and mouths rushed to fill in the week they had been apart and Misaki softly sighed in the playful gaps between kisses. Their hands knotted together then separated to feel each other's skin and remove the layers of clothes separating them. "Make me yours," Misaki sighed softly in the brief space between their lips. He felt a thrill run beneath his skin when Akihiko's hands traveled down his sweaty hip and slipped beneath the fabric of his pants. After all the times they'd had sex, every small touch still charged his bones with electricity, every time was a different experience and this time felt more different than the others, more honest, like their entire relationship was being poured into the movement of their hands and lips and waists. Radiant colors illuminated his skin wherever he was touched and he wanted his entire body to shine, so he just held on tighter as he was swept into Akihiko's arms and he wrapped his legs around his waist, Akihiko gently set him down on his bed and pulled away the rest of Misaki's clothes, he did this slowly, like every inch of flesh revealed was sacred. Then he quickly discarded the rest of his own clothing and wrapped his arms around Misaki's waist in a tight embrace so he could feel him tangibly beneath him. Misaki's body was yearning, but a long slow kiss sedated his mind and filled his eyes with candy coated, beautiful images and feelings and memories. Misaki reveled in the pleasure already saturating his veins just from the feeling of Akihiko's hands on his back and his tongue and lips covering his own. He groaned discontentedly when the ringing of his phone interrupted this moment that had ensconced the two of them in a bubble where they could be alone. "I should answer that," he said unhappily, "it's probably my brother."

Akihiko sat up with a sigh and retrieved the phone from Misaki's pants on the floor. "Hello," Misaki answered.

"Where are you?" came the worried voice of his brother.

"I went home," he said, anxious to get off the phone because he knew his brother could probably hear his uneven breathing and the kisses Akihiko was busy dropping on his hips wasn't helping clear his head.

"Misaki, we had a deal you'd give it two weeks!"

"I'm sorry, Nii san, but I'm staying, I'll go pick up my stuff from your place tomorrow. Or maybe the next day," he quickly added, his voice breaking when Akihiko's mouth laved over his nipples. He wasn't sure how active he'd be feeling tomorrow. "I made my choice and it's not going to change."

"Do you realize what you're doing?"

"I am very, very aware of what I'm doing actually," he said, accepting a gentle kiss on his lips. "I'm busy, I have to go. Bye, Nii san." Without bothering to hear his brother's reply, he tossed the phone across the bed and wrapped both his slender arms around Akihiko's shoulders and kissed him back hard. Using some of the cum already running between them, Akihiko slipped two of his long fingers into Misaki.

"Loosen up for me, Misaki," he whispered before pressing himself into the younger boy, "Does it hurt?" he asked when he was half in.

Misaki weakly shook his head and pulled him closer, urging him further inside.

Gentle sighs and moans fell between their mouths shattering the quiet air as Akihiko thrusted against Misaki's tender body. "Usa-Usagi san," Misaki gasped, when Akihiko paused at the most sensitive part of the climax, "You're killing me."

"Does it feel too good?" he asked, in a teasing, breathless voice. Before Misaki could cum, Akihiko pulled out most of the way, drawing him away from that precipice and repositioned his legs so his knees were almost to his chest. Misaki cried out at the change of angle and gripped the sheets until his knuckles were white. Tears formed in the corners of his eyes and he bit his lip to control all the noises escaping his throat. "I want to hear your voice," Akihiko said, when he noticed Misaki's failing attempts to be quiet.

"Usagi san, stop," Misaki stammered, and grabbed his hand when Akihiko was about to pull out, "I want you to cum inside me." Misaki looked away, ashamed of his words, but Akihiko smiled and kissed his parted lips.

"I love you, Misaki," he said, their bodies still entwined and their breath flowing in irregular patterns to match their pounding hearts. Misaki's bright flushed, pale skin glowed so alluringly and the passion in his dark eyes was so intriguing it made Akihiko's pulse race even faster.

"I love you," he replied and ran one of his hands down Akihiko's jaw line. "I wish my brother could see that. I don't want to lose him, but I can't lose you."

"It'll be alright. We just need to give him some time, but I don't want to think about it right now. Right now, you're all I want to think about."

Misaki wove his arms around his shoulders and kissed him. Akihiko pulled him gently into a sitting position and they sat with tangled limbs for countless minutes just feeling each other's flesh with their lips and hands and the boundaries it presented. Misaki saturated his fingertips with the feeling of Akihiko's ribcage and deep Ilium while Akihiko's hands traveled the length of Misaki's spine and down the smooth curve of his thigh. He ran his mouth over the soft flesh of his shoulder and up his neck. Reflexively, Misaki tilted his head back, allowing his lover's lips to cover the full length of his jaw line and neck with gentle, sugary kisses. "Misaki, can I make love to you again?" he asked in a tender, affectionate voice.

"Since when do you ask?" Misaki asked, looking into his eyes, "I was kind of prepared to not be able to walk tomorrow."

Akihiko's smile spread across his face and he pressed his lips to Misaki's forehead. "In that case…" he trailed off, leaning back against the stacks of pillows and teddybears, so Misaki was straddling his waist.

Misaki, understanding his intention, bit his lip and gently eased himself back until his lover completely filled him again. He grimaced at the bittersweet pain that pounded ecstasy and adrenaline into every crevice of his body. They both sat like that for long moments, mesmerized by the incredible heat of each other. The tensing and relaxing of Misaki's body was driving Akihiko crazy and he told him in a husky voice, "Now, you're the one who's killing me."

Pleased with himself, Misaki kissed his fingers and guided Akihiko's hand to his throbbing groin that was already dripping with pleasure and began moving himself in the way he remembered Akihiko doing to him so many times. Misaki's lust filled moans affected Akihiko more than they ever had and when they came at the same time, he flipped Misaki over on his back before he had time to catch his breath and took him in his mouth, making Misaki squirm and gasp in surprise. When they were both burning with desire once again, Misaki put his shaking hand on Akihiko's abdomen. "Umm, Usagi san?"

"Yeah?" he asked, kissing Misaki's jaw.

"Well, I've been thinking for awhile….we've been together for a long time now and I don't feel like I've been…fair."

Noticing the deep scarlet flush on Misaki's face, Akihiko smiled sweetly and kissed his forehead. "What is it?"

"You're always the one who…does everything and it just doesn't seem fair," he paused and somehow blushed brighter. "I-uh- well, I love when you touch me, but I feel selfish and spoiled." When Akihiko looked in his eyes, the honest concern in them made his heart pound.

"And what do you want to do about it?" he asked, gently.

Misaki was silent for a few moments. "I might not be good at it, but if you tell me what to do, I'll learn."