Hello girls. Sorry that I had to leave my last story with such negative vibes. I was just feeling very stressed about life in general. Actually, I still am, since I'm in the middle of exam week and I'm not in the clear yet. But instead of raging and bitching about it, I decided to channel my stress into writing (and into my boyfriend's... stress relieving expertise *blushes*) instead, so I'm sorry if this isn't too good.

This is actually an excerpt from the Yakuza!Rikkai story that I've thought of some time ago but had never really written down. I could most probably write down only excerpts for this plot because I don't have enough ideas to turn it into a full-blown story. And also, this is just me indulging one of my many kinks: guns and smoking. I know that Sanada and Yukimura would probably never smoke in their entire life, but a guy can dream, right? Also, if this isn't your thing, clear out immediately. Also, the 'pair' in Alpha Pair is rather ambiguous, so you could see them as close friends, lovers, more than friends less than lovers, or... whatever.

Warnings and Disclaimers are the same as always.

Sanada Genichirou stared outside, watching the quietly falling snow as it touched the frost covered garden. His shadow loomed over the white grounds, the paper doors behind him slid to the side and letting the opened lights from the room–his only light source– pass unfiltered from the room and into the veranda. His left leg was folded and was resting sideways, his ankle in between the space his right leg had created, propped up, his linked fingers resting lightly on his bent knee. It was cold, yet the long sleeved shirt and thick, black coat and leather shoes kept him warm, only feeling the chill on his bare face.

His body didn't hurt as much as it should, a thing that he was glad for, meaning that he still hadn't lost his touch. Sonka Heihou stood against his shoulder proudly, the silver blade once again sheathed properly and the black cord tightly wrapped around the guard. It had been a long time since he had last used his sword. He wasn't all that fond of using guns in the first place, yet primarily used it for its practicality and common sense. His sidearm, a M1911 Colt, was resting in its holster strapped to his shoulders, hidden by the black coat he had on. And yet, this particular... event needed him to once again unsheathe his long, unused katana to be used in battle.

They were attacked.

This, in itself, wasn't a problem. Their security was top-notched; even a small rat trying to enter the Rikkai estate would found itself pumped up with lead in a second. However, the Hyotei group was visiting in their territory, and Rikkai, ever the gracious and hospitable host, decided that they would give them a show.

And what an entertaining show it was indeed. Only three of them went out, after trapping the unfortunate fools into their gates: Sanada only with Sonka Heihou, the second wielding a gold-plated Desert Eagle, a gift from their visitors, and one of his sidearms, a modified Beretta 92FS Inox, and the last on the second floor, standing-by with a Dragunov sniper rifle. Sanada ran out first, cleanly slicing through the first body he saw, and dodged almost nonchalantly the bullets coming for him before going for his next victim. The three of them made quick work, supporting and backing each other up, a communicator attached to their ears to plan and coordinate, making sure that they wouldn't hurt each other in the process while applying devastating blows to their enemies.

It had been a long time since anyone saw the Rikkai Troika in action.

And once they were all lying down in their own pool of blood did the three of them stop, Sanada slashing the sword in mid-air, making a streak of read splatter on the hard earth. The garden was ruined, he thought with a grimace, giving a barely susceptible nod to his companions, and catching the eye of twin blue orbs, who was putting down his arms, his black coat still flapping wildly on his shoulders.

The footsteps were so quiet that Sanada almost didn't hear it, but he could instantly sense the presence of another person in the room behind him. His grip instantly went to the scabbard, keeping his breaths slow and even, body showing just the tiniest bit of tension, trying not to alert the newcomer of his knowledge of him. His other hand slid down and under to grasp the handgun, the steel cold against his warm fingers, his thoughts now centred on the presence, not able to ascertain if the man behind him was a threat or not. His thumb rested on the hammer, tapping it lightly.

Then the footsteps stopped, and another shadow mixed with his; the man was standing beside the paper doors. Now closer, Sanada allowed himself to heave a small exhale of breath, recognizing the presence, removing his hold on the gun but maintaining the one on the sword, not even bothering to look back as he continued to observe the falling snowflakes.

A muffled step, then a small creak. Sanada took this all in with sharp ears, quietly watching as the shadow slowly neared him, then suddenly shrinking in size. Sanada felt confused for a moment, but then quickly understood as a comfortable weight settled itself on his back, a brush of softness on his neck, tickling the bare skin, a head positioned behind his nape.

"Good job with your work."

Sanada didn't answer, only focused on the warmth being radiated on his back. A familiar scent assaulted his senses; lilies, violets and hydrangeas, and the faintest trace of blood, all colliding together to make an almost intoxicating mixture. No matter how much they cleaned themselves the scent of blood would never go away, always carrying it to the moment of their deaths. He exhaled, a thin stream of vapour escaping from his lips.

Together they shared the calm stillness. Sanada could all too easily see the other man's smiling expression in his mind's eye. There was a subtle shift, and more weight was applied on him, but it was manageable enough. What a sight they must've made, Sanada thought, knowing too well on how his companion was sitting down. The other man would have one leg propped up and the other stretching out in front of him, an elbow resting on his knee, and a palm pressing down on the wood beside him for leverage, right beside Sanada's own. If he just moved his hand a centimetre more their pinkie fingers would be touching.

There was no reason for his heart to start speeding and yet it did. The other man was too close, and Sanada leaned his head back, balancing each other out. He was exhausted. Sanada could feel it, the way the other man sat back against him. His back was completely lax, the full weight resting against him. Normally when one was sitting down like this, there would still be a certain amount of tension as to not over burden the person behind you, but there was none.

The fight must've tired him more than Sanada originally thought. And while the thought shouldn't have worried him, it did. Sanada too, was exhausted, but still had enough sense to stay alert to his surroundings.

In their kind of life, letting your guard down like that could very well cost your life.

But it was also a sign of trust, an entrustment of one life to another. He trusted Sanada enough to show his weakened, vulnerable state, trusting to protect him if ever something would happen. A relationship, a bond like theirs was rare in their world, and that simple knowledge made Sanada cherish it more than ever.

"You should rest."

Silence. A breathy sigh.

"... I know." Yukimura Seiichi answered softly. His head didn't turn back, merely staring out, the same as he was. "Are you all right?"

Sanada gave a small shrug, his gaze centring on the snow-dusted bushes. "I've had worse."

Yukimura hummed a little in thought, knowing that fact well. A short pause, rustle of clothes. Yukimura's hand left their place on the floor, and soon enough, Sanada could hear a distinct clink of something being flicked open, the minute scratches of something striking against a rough surface.

A click. A spark. A burn. Sanada didn't need to guess on what the other man was doing. He frowned, his forehead creasing in disapproval.

"You know I don't like it when you do that."

Another pause, then a deep exhale, wisps of white coloured smoke soon filling the air.

"... I'm sorry." Yukimura murmured, a tinge of regret in his voice. He tried, honest to god, he tried so hard and Sanada knew just how much, but it was ingrained in him as much as his responsibilities were. He knew Yukimura needed it, craved for it desperately, knowing that it was the only way for him to get a clear head, to make the world become a little more forgiving when they both perfectly knew that it wasn't.

And for that very reason, Sanada figured that he could allow it, just this once.

They returned back to silence, now punctuated with slow, deep breathing and the occasional cigarette smoke drifting through the air. Despite himself Sanada's body slowly began to unwind, muscles relaxing considerably as his senses were filled with the scent of tobacco. Yukimura would look pensive now, Sanada found himself thinking. Yukimura never kept his cigarette in his mouth when he was wasn't puffing on it, squeezing it instead between his middle and pointer fingers, his thumb resting on the tip. His arm would be resting on top of his knee, and would flick it every once in a while to make the collected ash fall while either watching the stick slowly burn or looking off into the distance, deep in thought.

It was rare that they had the time to do this; a tranquil moment where they could just be content in each other's presence. He knew Yukimura's habits well, perhaps even better than the person doing it himself. Sanada himself didn't even realize how much he watched Yukimura, his gestures, his actions, his words. They had very nearly lost Yukimura once, and it was an experience Sanada didn't want to go through again.


He also knew that his name would be called out. He also knew what Yukimura wanted to ask. And as much as he didn't want to, he too, felt the indescribable, intoxicating pull, and Sanada found it a little too easy to not resist.

Sanada reached his fingers back over his shoulder, just in time to slide his fingers over smooth, hard cardboard. Their fingers touched; steel slipping over silk. The carton was already popped open, two rows presented in front of him, the top already lessened significantly. Sanada took one out, the long, white stick looking almost frail in his fingers, easily crushable had he decided to.

His decision was already made for him.

Tapping the open end to the heel of his palm a few times, Sanada slid the stick in between his mouth, lips burning with cool fire as he breathed in slowly. He cocked his head back in the opposite way, using his fingers to keep the cigarette steady, and was about to ask for the lighter when Yukimura moved.

The weight on his back shifted to the side, as Yukimura's face filled his vision. Their heads neared, the other man's hand casually placed on top of his, the still alight cigarette on Yukimura's lips bobbing up and down slightly as his lips curled up into half a smile.

Their foreheads touched, white fingers curling underneath tanned ones. Slowly, gradually, Yukimura guided his cigarette to the tip of the unlit stick.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Glow. Burn. Smoke. Blue and brown flickered up to meet one another. They shared a connection, a deep, intimate one, cerulean orbs looking bright and glimmering despite the instant haze Sanada felt whenever he looked into them. The fingers surrounding his own squeezed lightly, and Sanada found that he couldn't look away. The tips smouldered, crackling silently, flakes of white and grey falling on top of their joined hands.

Deciding that it was already lit Sanada forced himself to pull away, taking the stick in between his fingers. He took a moment to inhale, nursing the highly addicting taste of mint and nicotine in his mouth, sending a dizzying jolt to his brain.

That's right, Sanada thought to himself vaguely. Yukimura only smoked menthol cigarettes. It really had been too long.

The smoke reached in his lungs, the nicotine high finally settling in. Once he had kept it in for as long as he could Sanada let the smoke flow freely from his lips in one rush, and at once it seemed like all of his worries and troubles went along with it. His body instantly relaxed, mind untangling itself from every mind process he possessed, leaving only a light, carefree weightlessness. Sanada still couldn't break their gaze, body and face warm even as he moved back, letting the small cloud brush against Yukimura's parted lips.

The feathery ribbons of white continued to curl up into the heavens, leaving a fragile, intertwined train whist two people continued to share fleeting, smoky kisses in the semi-darkness. Their hands remained twined, and didn't move away.

The snow continued to fall.

I find something sexy and artistically romantic about cigarette smoking. There's just something elegant about it for me. I like the thought of two people sharing indirect kisses because they're smoking together. And this is, in fact, how my boyfriend and I first met. He didn't realize that at first that he had fulfilled one of my many romantic ideas (sharing a cigarette light), and that was what made me notice him in the first place.

Oh, Sonka Heihou is the Japanese reading of the kanji of The Art of War, where Sanada's FuuRinKaZan was inspired from. The guns listed above are real, and I'll leave it to you to research on what they look like.

So girls, read and review.