When he and Chiaki have to take it in turns to feed each other at dinner, Ryuunosuke is indignant.

When they have to make another bathroom trip during the evening, he's so indignant that he keeps his head adamantly turned while Chiaki does what he needs to do and tries to tune out the small satisfied noise that he's sure the other boy makes on purpose after he's finished.

When they have to try to change for bed, he's absolutely incensed. The struggles to sort out which arm and which leg belong to who at any given moment aren't helped by Mako as she circles them, contemplating the problem of how to get their jackets and shirts off when the sticky-rice spitballs have them handcuffed together at both wrists. After a minute, she brightens. A large pair of scissors appears from behind her back.

Chiaki nearly punches Ryuunosuke in the face in his efforts to get away. "Oi! Neesan, are you crazy?"

"Either both of you can spend the night in your clothes, or I can cut the seams and sew them back up tomorrow."

"Absolutely not!" Ryunnosuke thunders.

"Well, it's up to you." Mako waves a defeated hand at them, putting the scissors back into her pocket with the other. As she turns to head out of the room, she pauses and glances back over her shoulder, the picture of curious innocence she presents only marred by the twitch at the corner of her mouth. "By the way, have you decided whose bed you're sleeping in yet?"

It's only the muffled sound of what could have been a giggle as the shoji door slides across behind her, and the dismay mirrored in Chiaki's eyes when he turns to look at him that keeps Ryuunosuke from losing his tenuous grasp on the day altogether.


Within five minutes of lying down, Ryuunosuke has made the unwanted discovery that Chiaki likes to spread out in bed. In fact, as he finds himself with one arm hoisted somewhere above his head, Chiaki's right knee pressed painfully into his hip, and his own rear end quivering somewhere several inches over the edge of the mattress where it's been pushed, he decides that 'spread out' might be an understatement. Ryuunosuke's inner discipline might just, possibly have enabled him to get through this, if it weren't for the next revelation: that Chiaki's also a fidget. Sigh. Kick. Turn. Then thirty seconds of beautiful stillness before another sigh permeates the room and the entire cycle begins again. Ryuunosuke lies there, fuming silently as every position he tries to make himself comfortable in is instantly thwarted, until Chiaki gives a particularly vigorous heave and rolls over onto his side, pulling both of Ryuunosuke's arms and all of the covers with him.

"You are INTOLERABLE!"

Chiaki's head reappears from beneath the sheet, his scowl more tangible than visible. "What the hell's your problem?"

"Youare the problem! I was wrong... Tono-sama was wrong!" Only the cover of the darkness allowing him to voice the unthinkable idea, Ryuunosuke wrestles himself over to his own side of the bed again, sending Chiaki sprawling onto his back with several loud protestations. "Getting into synch with you - it's not possible with someone so... so aggravating! The sooner we're able to defeat Mochibetori, the better!"

Chiaki tries and fails to sit up, very ungraciously yanks Ryuunosuke's arm closer to lessen the stretch, and manages to prop himself on one elbow. The scowl's gained a weary tinge to it, but it's still present. "Ryuunosuke, believe it or not, I don't like this either! That's to say, I don't like it any time, but I really, really don't like it now. There's stuff I usually do when I get in bed, y'know? And I can't."

Ryuunosuke stares at him. Or, more precisely, he stares at where Chiaki's right hand and his left are laying on top of the sheet, and the proximity of both hands to certain parts of Chiaki's anatomy. He snatches them away as if he was on fire, his mouth dropping open in righteous pique.

"Look, why d'you think I can't get to sleep?"

"That is disgusting!"

"Are you trying to say you don't?"

"... not under Tono-sama's roof!"

"Liar. And my room's next to Takeru's, remember? He goes at it all the time."

"How dare you spy on him?"

"I don't have to. He's not exactly quiet."

Ryuunosuke doesn't believe what he's hearing, but he huffs through his nose and looks away, wishing he could do a peremptory arm-fold for emphasis. "I'm not listening to this. You should have more respect for his privacy!"

"It's okay for him to jack off, but not me?"

"That's completely beside the point, and I'm not continuing with this topic any longer!"

"Well, jeez, I'm sorry I embarrassed you." Chiaki rolls his eyes a little. "I forgot how you have a stick up your ass stiffer than - "

"I am NOT embarrassed!"

Both of them fall silent for a minute. The air in the room is practically seething. Ryuunosuke suddenly has the conviction that he's never wanted to destroy anything as much as Mochibetori. He will do it personally. He'll practise every day of his life until his skills are so honed that he can send the Ayakashi that did this to him roaring into black oblivion with a single swing.

"So you don't care?" Chiaki demands, abruptly. Ryuunosuke feels himself bristle just at the sound of his voice.

"Of course I don't!" he snaps.

"I haven't bothered you at all?"

"Not in the slightest!"

"Okay. Then I guess it doesn't make any difference, because this won't bother you either. Right?" And before Ryuunosuke can form another word, Chiaki has rolled back over again, hoiked up the hem of his own shirt, and delved downwards, taking Ryuunosuke's hand along for the ride.

What Ryuunosuke finds the most disconcerting is his total inability to fight back. The reflexes that he prides himself on are instantly replaced by paralysis at the first drag of his fingers over the other boy's hip, and he's simply unable to do anything except lie there in rigid shock as Chiaki emits a few brief throaty noises and Ryuunosuke feels him move, the unmistakable flick, stroke rhythm of his wrist.

"I... do not... believe you!"

"Don't worry about it," Chiaki mumbles in a distracted way. Ryuunosuke practises kamae in his mind. He silently recites the Kanjincho script. Anything to stop himself remembering where Chiaki's hand currently is, or, more pertinently, where his own hand is. Sweat starts to waft up into his nostrils; not tired, dirty fight-sweat, but the sweet-sour musk of arousal. Chiaki wriggles, his head tipping back momentarily against Ryuunosuke's shoulder and his hair brushing against his cheek.

"As soon as we're free, I'm going to kill you. I swear it!"

"Bite me, Ryuu."

"What if Jii-san wakes up and comes in here to check on us?" Ryuunosuke hisses.

"Nobody's going to wake up if you keep it down!" Chiaki inhales sharply through his nose as he slides his hand on himself in some way that Ryuunosuke doesn't even want to begin to picture, and then pants a bit. "Ah - shit -" he says, shakily, and rolls forwards, further onto his belly, jerking into his hand.

Every squirm that Chiaki makes now is causing him to rock up against Ryuunosuke's groin where the older boy's been pulled flush. Ryuunosuke attempts all the contortions that he's capable of to gain some space between them, but the more he tries to distance himself, the more, to his horror, he feels his body slowly but determinedly responding to the rhythm. He fights to hold still, but each time Chiaki moves backwards, he's unable to stop his own hips leaping up to meet him. It's unbecoming. It's humiliating, but by the time Chiaki suddenly chokes on a gasp and goes rigid against him, the white spot at the back of Ryuunosuke's brain is burning so hotly that he loses it, can't think of doing anything else except twisting his hands around in their bonds to grab at Chiaki's upper thighs and thrusting mindlessly against him until he orgasms through his own pants.

The first thing that goes through his mind as he drifts back to himself is, What would Tono-sama think? and the second thing is a vague sense of guilt that, at that precise moment, it doesn't worry him anywhere near as much as it ought to.

He doesn't realize that he's sweating all over until the pelvis next to his moves, and Chiaki pulls away, cricking his neck to look at Ryuunosuke over his shoulder. He's still breathing heavily, but his mouth is slowly stretching into something almost resembling a smirk. "Well, hell, Ryuu. Shows you never do know what's coming next, doesn't it?"

Ryuunosuke manages to lift his head just far enough to glare at him, even though he's not sure whether or not Chiaki can actually see it in the lack of light. "If you ever mention this again, even once, then I will kill you."

"Don't worry." Chiaki gives a soft snort. "D'you think I want to look at you next time we're all in a fight and remind you that you came all over my butt? Just remember you owe me one, if you want it to stay that way."

"Shut up," Ryuunosuke mutters, but possibly without the degree of conviction that he'd have liked. You might win some, he thinks, but, in the end, you can't win them all.