A/N: Took me long enough, I know... I kinda fail at writing lately, so I'm surprised I even managed to finish this. Yes, it ties in with And Then We Kiss rather heavily, so it's a good idea to read this as well if you're following ATWK. Not necessary, but reccommended.


Stardust

"Zero?" Ichiru took my arm to stop me, tracing his fingers down to lace with mine. I complied, tilting my head slightly to ask him what was wrong. He looked hesitant to answer me, but he did anyway. "I'm worried about you. Kaname's always so gentle with me, but he hurts you... Are you in pain?"

I shook my head, though there was no denying the sting echoing throughout my whole body. "I'm fine. I can take it. You know that."

He nodded once, then leaned over to kiss my lips gently. I was startled by this, because, while I had always been close with my twin, that was pushing it a little. But I didn't pull away. Infact, I found myself pressing into him, craving his sweet taste and the delicate way that he pulled my own body toward his. Ichiru reached up to stroke my face, blushing hard when he pulled away and leaned his forehead on my shoulder. "Zero, I love you... I hate seeing him do those things to you. I hate watching him hurt you. I can't do this anymore... I can't... Anything to stop it. I would do anything so that I wouldn't have to see it. I love you. I love you." And the way he stressed it, I was sure he didn't mean that he loved me like a brother. And the scary part was that, even though I knew it was wrong to feel this way toward my own brother, I wrapped my arms around him to hold his body close to mine, cradling him gently as his hot tears soaked into my shirt and he just cried.

"I love you, too, Ichiru," I whispered, leaning my head against his. I looked up, then, at the portrait of Shizuka-sama riding a proud-looking dappled grey gelding, the one she had prized at the time of the painting. Gods know how long ago that was. "Come on," I broke from him then, but stayed close to his side. "Let's go to bed."

"Yeah."

Ichiru's fingers clasped hard around my own, and he stayed behind me, letting me lead. I could feel that there was something off about his attitude that morning, and even though I should have, I didn't question it. He made sure he was still in bodily contact with me, and he didn't talk, which was odd for him — Ichiru always had something to tell me that he had picked up in the mansion; but he said nothing as the sun streamed in through the windows in the entrance hall. We made our way up the wide stairs, then turned left to go down another hallway, all the way to the end. There was another hallway here that intersected, where windows allowed in the bright summer sun in both directions, but continuing farther to our right. We turned in this direction, walking steadily and silently until I saw a silver glint on one of the doors. Our door. KIRYUU, it read, plainly dictating that this was our room and no one else was to enter. I opened this door to allow Ichiru in ahead of me, like I normally did, but he hesitated, staring at the floor before he passed me, disappearing into the darkness of the small suite.

I followed him in, immediately going for the matches to light our oil lamps so that we could see eachother. I wasn't letting him get to sleep without explaining to me exactly what was going on. "Ichiru, I know there's something wrong. You're acting strange, like you're trying to tell me something, and yet still trying to hide it. It's so blatantly obvious that it's insulting."

"What? I'm sorry... I just..." It was then that I knew something was wrong. Ichiru sat down on his bed, and I sat next to him. He leaned over, resting his head on my shoulder, waiting for me to say something. I didn't know what to say. I was hoping that he did, and this resulted in a long, drawn out silence between us. It gave me time to think, time to wonder... what was he thinking about that was depressing him like this?

"Ichiru. I—"

"I love you, Zero." He'd already told me, but I assumed he liked the way it sounded. I know I did, and I tilted his chin up, kissing him gently, just to show him. I could feel it in the way he wrapped his arms around my neck and pressed his lips more roughly against mine... that overload of emotion. Among everything else, I felt passion and lust, which both scared and confused me; but then again, I was kissing my younger twin. What wasn't scary and confusing about that? It was worse that I didn't feel particularly appalled when he grabbed two handfuls of my shirt and pulled me down on top of him. It was strange for him to be making all the moves like this. It was strange to think that this was my brother underneath me. It was strange to think that Kaname probably wouldn't be very happy if he caught us together like this, but I didn't care about that. Why didn't I care? I could barely recall what Kaname looked like, allowing Ichiru to slip his tongue between my lips — all I could see was lavender eyes and silver hair, a body physically weaker than my own, and I wanted it. It was unexplainable. I love Kaname... but at that point I was pretty sure that I was in love with Ichiru. But Ichiru... I suppose what was so desirable about him was that he neededme. To Kaname I was a toy, an expendable object. To Ichiru, I was irreplacable, and I liked the way that felt, weighing down my chest.

He moved underneath me, postitioning his knees either side of my body, pressing up with one to rub against my side while he pushed up toward me. More contact. He wanted more contact. I stiffened, and not in a particularily pleasurable way, the only thought running through my mind was the fact that he was my brother. Still... I couldn't deny what I felt physically. I wanted him. This kind of encounter was still new to me. I was used to being handled roughly and taken without regard — I'd gotten so used to it, in fact, that I began to enjoy it. With Ichiru, I felt a different sort of sensation... I kissed him hard, he forced me to back off, to be more gentle with him. I gripped his sides and rocked his body, he pushed on my chest, took my hands and showed me a featherlite touch. Slowly, very slowly, I felt warmed and then that familiar began to build below. It wasn't all sudden rushes like it was with Kaname. I had the chance to work up, to savour this. To feel it. I began to kiss down his neck, sucking lightly and nipping every now and again to surprise him. He wasn't opposed to the thought of being bitten, but Kaname had always played so gently with him because even he could feel that too much would cause him to break. I didn't know enough to play nicely until I was shown. Fortunately, I knew he was alright from the contented sigh that escaped his lips as he wrapped his arms around my neck.

I began to unbutton his shirt, letting my lips follow the trail I blazed in sedated heat along his body. I pushed it back off his shoulders, running my hands softly along his bare skin, admiring his amiable beauty below me. I stopped thinking, at this point, that he was my carbon copy, and instead began to think of him as his own seperate being. It made it easier for me, less awkward, and not once after this did I let it bother me that he was my brother. I let one hand travel to the waistline of his pants, slipped the button from the catch, ran the zipper along its track and pressed long lithe fingers under the elastic band of his boxers. I felt him there, already hard, waiting to be released. The thought made me smile. I had this effect on someone. Someone had this effect on me. Ichiru pushed up to undress me, to pull his pants and underwear off, to remove his shirt from his shoulders... and there he was... Skin so pale white that it glowed under the light of the oil lamps, silver hair glinted orange from the fire, and soft amethyst eyes stained just slightly with tears. I didn't ask him why, mostly I'd just assumed it was from the building pressure, so the tears remained a mystery. He brushed them away before they had a chance to spill over his cheeks, which was quite a bit of relief for me — I didn't get a chance to admit to myself that this might be because of me.

Together we began to pull at my clothes, ripping them off in some sort of desperation that neither of us really understood, and when I was fully naked, I was pulled on top of him, a cold bottle shoved into my palm. "Just hurry up," he breathed into my ear, making me shiver hard. I felt compelled to obey him, and squeezed a small amount of the cool gel onto my fingers, rubbing it between them to warm it before I reached down and began to probe at his entrance, one finger first, and then slowly adding more. He was tight around my fingers even though he'd been taken several times before, and I really wasn't sure if it was going to be enough by the time I'd finished prepping him. Then again, I'd never topped before, so I really had no idea what I was doing. I pushed in deeper, searched for that something that I was familiar with only through what I'd felt with Kaname, and knew instantly when I'd found it. "Ahh!" Ichiru's back arched and he screwed his eyes shut, reaching out for me just to steady himself. Without being asked, I began to push at that spot again and again, rubbing over it while Ichiru begged for more. His grip on my shoulder tightened almost painfully, but I found myself relishing it, loving it. It wasn't the kind of pain Kaname inflicted on me. It was with a certain tenderness that he held onto me, like he just wanted to be near me; and I did find this all rather endearing... Until he pulled my hand away. Confused, I stared down at him; he took my wrist, bringing my hand to his mouth and sucking on each of my fingers. I could feel the tingling sensations shoot from my fingers to my wrists, travel up my arm and then course through my body, down to my already erect member. It was getting too hard to keep my focus.

"Ichiru, stop. Let me—"

Apparently still fully lucid, Ichiru shook his head and it took me by surprise. "No."

"No?"

"No," he breathed, sitting up and pushing me back until he was practically sitting in my lap. "You're taking too long." And he proceded to reach down between us, holding me in place as he moved himself down, setting his jaw and breathing deeply. I was overwhelmed with feeling — seeing him do this turned me on, and at the same time kind of apalled me. Where had he learned this? Definitely not from Kaname, who was too proud to let anyone top him, even if they were riding. No, that's just not how he worked. So what was he doing? I mean, it was fairly obvious, but I still couldn't understand. Didn't have to. Ichiru leaned into me, and I cradled him to my chest, running my fingers through his silky platinum tresses as he began to rock his hips against mine in a sort of friction that was almost instantly gratifying. I pressed my lips to his neck, screwing my eyes shut and pulling him closer. But once again Ichiru had his own ideas. I was rapidly beginning to realize that something about Ichiru now wasn't the Ichiru I knew, and I wondered how he'd slipped this past me. Did it matter? The fact was that I was seeing it now firsthand in stead of watching him do it with someone else. Maybe he'd just been waiting for someone he thought he could control and that's what this was about. Either way, I didn't get to think about it because he pushed me back away from him until I was laying all the way back on the bed, and he pressed his palms to my abdomen for more leverage. He was so heated about it that he was sweating, his eyes closed and his lips slightly parted for the stream of moans that broke from his lips between breaths.

This... for me... I couldn't look away from him. It was absolutely mesmerizing. He looked so perfect, like he'd rehearsed it a million times. He knew exactly how to move on top of me, how to arch his back and dig his nails into my flesh until I was hissing with the intoxicating mix of pain and pleasure that he provided me with. He kept his moans breathy so that no one would hear us, whispered my name through parted lips, and in turn his name began to escape mine rather frequently. My strong hands found his hips, learning the motion that he created, and began to take charge, pulling him down harder and faster, more insistant, speeding up the pace until he was biting his lip to keep quiet. Instead he only whimpered pathetically, and I could see the distress that racked his body as he came closer and closer. In turn, watching him reach up to bite down on his own fist while the other hand found himself, pumping wildly as the muscles in his thighs spasmed uncontrollably under the pressure... it fuelled my wild desires until I could nearly taste climax on the tip of my tongue. It's hard to explain... That few minutes with Ichiru felt like hours at the time, and at the same time it seemed like only a breath out of eternity... Before I knew it he had reached peak and with a few more thrusts, I had released inside him without even thinking twice about it. I was overwhelmed with a white-wash of pleasure that numbed my entire body, leaving a tingling trail along each line of my nervous system and I struggled to regain feeling in my limbs and my breath all at one time. Likewise, Ichiru shuddered pleasurably, collapsing onto my chest in his own seed and laid there, kissing my useless lips with a measure of exhaustion that neither of us could deny.

After a long few minutes, I helped him up and off of me, wandering into our bathroom to get a warm, damp cloth and began to clean him off slowly, saying nothing as I did so. As well, Ichiru stayed quiet, his eyelids fluttering as he fought off sleep futilely. I finished slowly, unable to register what exactly all this had really been about, stunned by the now lingering idea that I'd just had sex with my twin brother, and watched him give in with my mouth pressed into a firm line.

Really... What was this about, anyway...?