A/N: All formalistic decisions were made very intentionally. This piece is highly literary with switching point of views, tenses, and experimental sentence forms. It may be inaccessible to some readers who do not have familiarity in high modernism or postmodernist writing conventions or forms. It is not for everyone.


Something like gravity pulls them together.

Draws them in, until they crash like stars.

There is nothing tender about this, nothing gentle.

Nothing that might resemble how they used to lose themselves in one another, holding on as though if they let go, the world would fall apart with them. Tear in half the way their bodies would be torn away, arms reaching and hands grasping through air with nothing left to hold onto.

There is only this:

The violent crash of bodies and the taste of blood, the brutality of ripping and the sound of fabric tearing to make way for skin.

There's a madness in this, a kind of desperation, to hold onto what had been lost.

Kakashi doesn't know where to touch, his hands are everywhere at once as he loses himself to Iruka, mouth hungry and devouring, the kiss breathless and needy, shameless in the way it expresses itself. Maybe he had always already been lost and had been spending all this time trying to find himself again. He thought he could somehow manage to get by, learn how to live without this, learn how to be without him, but with the taste of Iruka in his mouth and the thrum of his heart against his own, he knows. He wasn't really living at all, didn't know howto really live without Iruka, because living is that thing people do who actually have something of their own to live for. Who actually belong to themselves. And Kakashi had never had anything of his own before Iruka, had never laid claim to anyone or anything other than him. And without anything to lay claim to or hold onto, or anyone to call as his own, he had nothing by which he could lay claim to himself - to the breath in his lungs and the heart in his chest and the blood that ran through his body - to life itself. He might as well have been dead this entire time. Not really living, but suspended in this not-life, in a muted existence that he could not even really call his own, when he did not belong to himself, and did not belong to anyone else.

Kakashi doesn't know how to belong to himself.

But he remembers what it was like to belong.

To have loved and wanted and needed, hungered and lusted and breathed the same breath he's now breathing, that same shared sweet breath that mingled with the stuff of dreams and hope, of having once known happiness and a kind of peace that went all the way down to the soul - the kind of thing you read about in fairytale books or hear about in legend, but never believe can be possible. He had that once, when he had Iruka, and when Iruka called him his own. It was then that he learned how to belong, if only to someone else. And through that belonging, that claiming of him by Iruka, he learned what it meant to live.

So this moment of violent reclamation is more than just a loss of control, more than a clashing of lust and need and desire and so much want it makes you crazy just to think about it, just to stand in the same space and breathe the same air when you stop and look across the grass at him, and he is standing with the sun shining gold and glorious through the trees, spilling on his skin like the golden honey of slow sweet summer mornings when his body would glisten in the light, steam rising from the hot water of the onsen, muscles pulled tight in a languid stretch. Or when he pins you with a look dark enough to make arousal rise hard and fast to the cool, gentle touch of his fingers, moments before he sinks to his knees on the floor and opens his mouth to swallow you all the way down. Or when he arches his neck and squeezes his eyes tight, mouth open and gasping your name with his arms wrapped all around and he's got you buried so deep inside you're not sure where he ends and where you begin. Or maybe you never did really begin until him. Maybe you had been waiting all that time to start. To resume what you had stopped all those years ago when that rock fell.

This is living, life itself.

And living, real living, has never been anything less than brutal, anything less than uncontained.

You open your mouth and breathe it in, drink down his breath and the taste of him. Feel the way he shudders under your touch and against your body; his own, a strong, slender bow rocking back against you every time you press your clothed cock against the bare nakedness of his own, emerging from the folds of what remains of his yukata. And you listen to the way his breath comes in these broken gasps, loving each breath and shudder of heart, the saltiness of his skin when your tongue and teeth scrape over the race of his pulse; the moan that hitches in his throat when you sink your teeth down hard enough to leave a mark. Something for him to remember you by, so he can't just say it was a dream. Can't just pretend was another trick of the imagination.

You want him to remember, to feel every moment of this, to know who it is that's doing this, that's claiming him as he has always already had you claimed, to claim yourself in the process and living itself.

This: this is living, the very heart of it, the very beat of life, of love.

And if all you can have is a moment of living, if all you can breathe is his air, you'll make this moment last as long as you can, and live as much as you can within it. Because you know all you'll be left with in the end is just a memory of what it was like to have once lived. Of this moment.

But a moment is all you need.


A/N: Reviewers may want to bear in mind that the writer is a professional academic who teaches and studies literature at an Ivy League university and is working on her Ph.D in literature. I appreciate feedback, but bear in mind that I know what I'm doing, and do this professionally. I would appreciate if you hold off on any "feedback" that targets form, narrative structure, or "punctuation" decisions.