He would have slept through the night, he would have woken up on the floor of Tsuna's house like he did every other weekend, achey but well rested, all smiles and kind words to see his friends still there when he woke. But he couldn't sleep. At least not tonight. Not when the orange light of the street lights cast such a shadow across Gokudera's neck. Not like that. The curve of his neck illuminated by the amber glow of the light through the clumsily drawn curtains, the soft rise and fall of his ribs as he slept, the way his ashen hair seemed to be aflame with the light.

Takeshi lay on his side, his arm long gone numb from the pressure of his own head leaning against it. But he didn't dare move, didn't dare wake Gokudera. Didn't dare lose this moment, didn't dare risk Gokudera find him watching him like this.

He didn't understand the other boy's allure, didn't understand why he was so captivated by someone so pointedly disinterested in him. Though, he supposed that was the way things were. Those girls who would go to baseball games and shout his name that he never gave a second glance, this must have been how they felt. This must have been what people meant about karma. And how it's a bitch.

It hurt him because Gokudera was his friend. That he could betray the trust they had as friends because he had ulterior motives. Hurt him because he was watching his friend sleep and he knew exactly how that would have looked. How Gokudera would have responded if he ever knew. If he ever knew he wanted to brush the hair away from the nape of his neck, wanted to fit himself against the curve of his spine and hold him there as he slept. Wanted to mark the skin of that neck. And he didn't even understand why. From the moment he met Gokudera Hayato all he wanted was some sort of emotional reciprocation. Takeshi had spent so much time just trying to make Gokudera like him, make him like him as much as he liked him. He had told himself for so long that he just wanted to be friends, but the hot ache in the pit of his stomach told him otherwise.

Gokudera shifted in his sleep, rolling towards Takeshi, his arm thrown to the side, his hand brushing against Takeshi's. His whole body shuddered, felt hot, as though he could crawl right out of his own skin because he just wanted to take that hand in his own, wanted those closed eyes (black lashes fanned against white skin) to simply look at him. If he could have it, just once, just once and he would be rid of it. The thoughts would surely be gone. But as Gokudera shifted again, his knee now grazing against Takeshi's own, he knew those feelings wouldn't simply disappear. That he would want them forever, that he would be selfish, that he would want every glance and every touch to last forever. But it wouldn't.

Even this moment wouldn't last forever.

Gokudera groaned sleepily, blindly stretching- his hand again brushing against Takeshi's, his legs briefly tangling with Takeshi's, his intentions entirely betrayed with the simplest shift of limbs - as his eyes cracked open. Takeshi wanted to screw his eyes closed, wanted to pretend he was asleep, avoid the confrontation, avoid the questions, avoid everything. But he didn't. His blood pounded in his ears and his heart in his chest because he had been caught. Because Gokudera's eyes locked with his own.

"What?" Gokudera mouthed, squinting in the light of the street lamp

Takeshi simply shook his head, swallowing hard.

"Fuck" he mouthed, only some continents voiced this time.

Takeshi simply shrugged, feeling sheepish and stupid.

Gokudera is closer now, in a rustle of blankets he is so much closer, his chest brushes against Takeshi's. He's certain he can feel his heart beat. Gokudera is cold, which was something of a paradox, but how he couldn't say. His thin fingers were tracing the lines of Takeshi's ribs through his shirt, ghosting over scars and pins from the day he made the greatest mistake. Takeshi's heart will beat out of his chest, surely he will explode, surely this isn't happening.

Gokudera's eyes are out of focus, like he's not really seeing it, like he's not accountable for his actions, like he's not truly there, like he's still asleep. But Takeshi can feel the pull of the corners of his mouth against his neck as his hand dips lower, his fingers tracing the scar that runs down his abdomen, dipping down below the waist of his pants.

"Why?" Takeshi breathes

"I don't know" is the only reply.

Hayato's breath is hot, his hands are cold, moving in two different directions. Takeshi doesn't feel like his skin is his own, not when Hayato takes him in hand. Not when his lip is bleeding, biting down to keep silent. Not when his breath hitches painfully in his chest and he can only smell the smoke in Hayato's hair.

It is everything and nothing he wanted, because he doesn't understand it. Because he wants Hayato to tell him he loves him, he wants this to mean something. He wants this to be the beginning of something. A conversation. A discussion. A relationship? But he can't form the thoughts, they can't compete with the hot sinking heat in his stomach, moving steadily lower with every languid shift of Hayato's fingers around him. He comes, silently, his spine arched and eyes wide, hand curled in the hair at the nape of Hayato's neck. The smell of gunpowder and nicotine filling his lungs and mouth, smothering all of his senses.

Shaking in the dark, Hayato pressed against his chest, a cold sweat running down his back he looks to brush his hand against the face tucked beneath his chin. To look him in the eye for some kind of answer. But as he nudges Hayato's face upward all that is uttered is a whispered;

"Don't."