AN: so uh, this is inspired by the idea that Koutei could also end up getting Psyqualia this season. THERE ARE REASONS, but it would take too long to explain so ask me elsewhere if you want them.
this is also going off the assumption that even in season 2, Psyqualia can corrupt you, it just hasn't for Ren and Aichi because they've done this song and dance before and accepted that part of themselves, even if they don't really remember it. BUT PSY!KOUTEI WOULD BE LEGIT KIND OF TERRIFYING SO
Paring: Ren/Kenji (Koutei)
Rating: idk T
Warnings: THIS IS SEASON 2 COMPLIANT AND ASSUMES YOU'VE SEEN ALL OF IT. IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS OF SOME SORT, DON'T READ IT YET.
Summary: Koutei has Psyqualia and needs to have a few words with Ren. Ren is a troll and turns it into something more. I hate summaries.
Ren hummed to himself as he waited in the hallway and absently shuffled his deck over and over. Not long ago, Usui Gai had nervously approached him to say that Koutei wanted to meet him here, although he wouldn't say for what reason. And of course, Ren wasn't going to refuse. He'd been meaning to find a way to have his team hang out with Team Caesar a bit before it was their turn to fight in the finals-he quite liked all of them, and it would do them all some good to get to know their rivals a little better before facing them again, just like with Team Q4.
Besides, there was any number of reasons Koutei might have for calling him out, and there was no way of knowing which it might be without agreeing to meet with him. It was probably to have a couple practice fights before their match tomorrow, which was fine-he did like playing with Koutei-but secretly he was hoping for something else. He knew what Koutei was like in the arena. It was outside of it that he wasn't so familiar with.
Ren blinked and looked up, prepared to greet him with a bright smile, but...there was something about the way he said the name that made his smile falter just a bit. It was...disdainful? And when Koutei stopped a short distance away with his hands on his hips, his stance and the way he held his head was almost...arrogant?
But that couldn't be right. So Ren smiled anyway and finished one last shuffle. "Hello! Koutei-san~! Gai didn't say why you wanted to meet me-"
"I didn't tell him," Koutei interrupted. And he was smiling too, so maybe Ren was just imagining the hard edge to his voice. "This is between you and me, Suzugamori."
"Eh? Of course it is. You didn't invite anyone else."
Koutei cocked his head a bit and smirked like he was trying not to laugh. "Of course. That's why."
He fell silent for a moment, but he looked like he was thinking of exactly how to say what he was here to say, so Ren patiently waited for him to continue. And he took the opportunity to tuck his deck away; if Koutei had called him here for a cardfight, he would have said so immediately. It must be something else after all.
"Do you remember when you defeated me without even riding to grade three?" Koutei started, his voice a little softer now, more like what Ren had been expecting. "That second year you won Nationals?"
Ren blinked again and stared contemplatively up at the ceiling. To tell the truth, his memories of just about every fight from just before Kai left to his loss to Aichi at Nationals were a little fuzzy-he could generally remember the flow of the fight but rarely any details about what cards were actually used, despite his seemingly endless supply of knowledge about every clan that really just came from nowhere. He could, of course, remember defeating Koutei, and that it had been far too easy, but he couldn't remember exactly how it had happened.
It was frustrating, but thankfully he wasn't the only one. Kai and Tetsu both had privately expressed some frustration about their own memories to him. It was why Kai was even fighting with them, although Kai had made him promise not to mention that to anyone.
Apparently, he'd thought about it for far too long though, because when he looked down at Koutei again to answer, there was a look of rage on his face that Ren had had no idea he could even make.
"You don't remember."
Ren was careful not to smile too brightly when he answered; he didn't want Koutei to think he was making light of the whole thing. It obviously meant a lot to him. "I'm sorry, it was a long time ago. But I remember enough. That wasn't very fair of me, was it? I should have given you a better fight."
"A better fight, hm..." Koutei slowly smiled again, but this time there was no mistaking the arrogance in it. Not only was it completely wrong to see on his face, there was something familiar about it somehow, something that called out to him in a way that he only seemed to feel around Aichi.
And then suddenly Koutei was moving, and before he knew it, Ren found himself shoved back against the wall. He couldn't have been more than a couple centimetres shorter than the other teen, but he still found himself looking up at him a little too much for his taste. He felt a ridiculous urge to sneer and shove Koutei back against the wall instead, to see how he liked it-how dare he-and tamped down on it before he could act on it. What good would it do? He didn't want Koutei as an enemy.
"You really tried, didn't you?" Koutei said. "In Seoul. You tried to give me a better fight there. And I was satisfied with that...for a while."
He leaned in closer, thoroughly distracting Ren from coming up with any sort of response for that. He certainly wasn't one to care about personal space...but this was a little more intimate than his own usual behavior. And he was sure he should be annoyed by having someone lean over him like this, but he couldn't quite manage it.
It was an odd thing to notice, with Koutei trying his best to intimidate him, but Koutei's eyes were actually a lot more blue than he'd thought.
"I haven't forgotten," Koutei murmured, bringing Ren's attention back to what was actually being said, "how you humiliated me in that fight. How you humiliated and mocked all of us for doing our best and giving all we had to our fights, just because you thought you were so great."
Koutei shifted again and Ren was suddenly very aware of the hand on his arm that Koutei had left there from when he'd shoved him against the wall.
"And then, you couldn't even use your own deck to fight me in Seoul. I was too excited to finally beat you and show you your place at the time to care, but that isn't the fight I wanted. I want to defeat you and your deck, the one you used to humiliate me with. I won't be satisfied with anything else."
I want that too, but I don't have it anymore! was what Ren wanted to say, but that was an absurd thought even for him.
But Koutei wasn't going to let him say anything anyway. He reached up and brushed his fingers across Ren's jaw, then lightly grasped his chin to keep him looking right up into Koutei's eyes. Ren vaguely remembered doing something similar to Aichi once-and the similarity struck him as particularly relevant at the moment for some reason-but that was among his fuzzier memories. It didn't stop his breath from catching the slightest bit.
Koutei smirked again, none of his usual good humor present in it at all. "I'm going to take my revenge on you tomorrow, Suzugamori Ren. I finally gained the power to humiliate you as much as you once did me."
Those words and his actions so far and his attitude all clicked together right about when Koutei's eyes started glowing with an unnatural light. His eyes swirled with blue, but a more greenish-blue than Aichi's had been.
Psyqualia. Of course. Koutei would never be this arrogant and forceful all on his own. Ren himself had felt a little more apt to being mean and nasty while using his power, but he was aware of what caused it and could easily check himself-or Kai and Tetsu would point it out for him. Koutei must not have been quite so able.
And he must have gotten it in his fight with Aichi back in Hong Kong; Ren had thought Koutei had won that one a little too easily. Had he been nursing this vengeful personality since then? Gai had seemed a little stressed out when he'd shown up earlier; perhaps he'd noticed the changes too.
But Ren was going to have to dispel that hope of Koutei's that his Psyqualia would do anything to help him in their fight. He couldn't say where the certainty came from, but he was positive his own Psyqualia was more powerful. Only Aichi would be able to fight with him on even ground, once he accepted his own power.
It was a pity, really. He kind of liked Koutei like this. He liked Koutei the other way too, but this? This was interesting.
He reached for his own power and felt his own eyes warm slightly as they began to glow as well (he wondered what color they glowed; he'd have to ask Aichi or Kai some time). The familiar feeling of power rushed through him, and all at once he felt twice as irritated by being pinned against the wall, and twice the desire to mess with the serious blond pinning him there.
Koutei's eyes widened and he jerked back a bit, staring at him in annoyed disbelief. Ren just smiled and grabbed his jacket to tug him close again.
"Did you think you were the only one to have this power, Koutei? How do you think I humiliated you so badly in the first place?" The words just came out on their own, but he was sure there was some truth to them. He'd had Psyqualia before. He couldn't remember it, but he knew he had.
"How...? I thought...only Aichi and I..."
So, it had been the fight with Aichi. That boy was trying awfully hard to get Aichi to play along with them, it seemed. Ren smiled again, sure it was appropriately condescending. "That boy visited us during my fight with Aichi too. Back in Seoul."
Koutei looked satisfyingly baffled and outraged for a moment, and then just outraged as he pushed Ren harder against the wall. "You've had it all this time? But you didn't use it in our fight, did you? You made a mistake and I defeated you. Why didn't you use it?"
"Well, that's no fun, is it?" Ren said, pouting a bit. He had not made a mistake. "Psyqualia is amazing, but it's more fun to fight using your own abilities. Right? You haven't been using it either."
Koutei smirked and leaned close again, his eyes glowing even brighter. "I don't need to. It would be a waste of this power to use it on weaker cardfighters than you."
Well. Ren supposed that was a bit flattering, that Koutei thought so much of him, even if it was a bit mean to everyone else. He wondered if Koutei even realized how much he sounded like the National Champion Suzugamori Ren he'd described just a minute ago, saying things like that.
"Well, I guess I can agree with that," Ren said with another smile. Yes, it was fun to use his own abilities, but against someone else with Psyqualia or someone who he thought could compete with it, like Kai? He had no problem using it and going all out. Now he would just have to include Koutei in that number.
And now...Koutei had ended up far too close during his ranting, and he seemed to have gotten everything he needed to say out (and if he hadn't yet, Ren didn't really care), and Ren's desire to mess with him a bit had been growing since his let his own power go. So Ren tightened his grip on Koutei's jacket and tugged him forward the last few centimeters to kiss him squarely on the lips.
For a moment, both of them froze, Koutei presumably out of shock, and Ren because he hadn't quite expected to really enjoy it. And want more. And want Koutei to reciprocate with everything he had. It was nice enough with Koutei frozen in shock, but what if he actually kissed back...?
A moment later and Koutei was pushing away from him with one hand and covering his mouth with the other, a fierce blush forming on his cheeks. The glow in his eyes was completely gone. What a pity; that hadn't been the goal of kissing him at all.
"Wh-what was that for?" Koutei managed to squeak out.
Ren crossed his arms and pouted at him. "I was waiting for you do to it. That's what you're supposed to do when you shove someone against a wall, right?"
If it was possible, Koutei just grew redder at that. "I-I..."
"You ended too soon, though," Ren said, reaching up to take Koutei's hand and move it away from his mouth. "We should try that again. It was nice, wasn't it?"
"N-no, we...um..." But Koutei was starting to look a little less embarrassed and a little more unsure, and he didn't make any move to get Ren to let go of his hand. Ren smiled and brought it to his lips, ghosting kisses across his knuckles.
"You're not afraid, are you?" Ren said, staring straight up into Koutei's eyes. His own eyes were still glowing, he was sure, so he undoubtedly looked more intimidating than usual. "It's okay; I'll go easy on you..."
And that had exactly the effect he'd wanted. Koutei's eyes lit up again with their unearthly blue-green glow and his entire demeanor changed in an instant. He grabbed Ren's free hand with his own, flipped the other around to grab the hand holding it, and slammed them both against the wall above Ren's head as he leaned forward to initiate his own kiss. This one was angry and commanding and Ren found himself arching forward just to get closer to him somehow. Now if only he could get Koutei to channel some of this without Psyqualia and outside a cardfight...
Just when he was beginning to feel like he needed to breathe soon, Koutei shifted his hands so only one was pinning Ren's to the wall and dropped to the other trail across Ren's chin again as he pulled away.
"You're the only one to make me feel fear," Koutei murmured before stealing another kiss. "You're the only one to tower over me and make me worry about what you might send crashing down. I thought I'd finally surpassed you, but you even have this power to balance us out again." His fingers brushed over Ren's cheek, close to his eye, and Ren had to bite his lip to keep himself from making noise. "I like that about you, Suzugamori. That's why I see you as a rival..."
"Koutei...call me Ren. You don't need to be so formal..."
"Is that all you got out of that..." Koutei muttered, but his voice was a little softer than before, even with his eyes still brightly glowing. And he didn't wait for an answer before he leaned down to nip at Ren's neck.
But that was a little more than Ren was willing to do in the hallway, so he reluctantly tugged a hand free and gently pushed at Koutei to get him to let up.
"Koutei, can we finish this in a room instead...?"
Koutei looked like he was about to argue for half a second, but then his eyes passed over Ren again and the Psyqualia glow grew a little brighter and he grabbed the hand that was still pinned to the wall to start leading Ren down the corridor.
"We can finish talking in our room. Gai and Yuri should be out."
Ren smiled and carefully interlaced their fingers so he could more easily swing their hands while they walked. If he had his way, there wasn't going to be much talking, and he was sure he'd get it, because Koutei had the same idea in mind.