Chapter 9

Ibiki nodded and teleported them out, arriving with a ruffle of wind in the foyer of his apartment. "We're home," he said quietly. He took off his coat and hung it on a peg by the door. He checked the door itself. Still locked. Then he nodded to himself and slipped off his sandals. In deference to Baki, he took his bandana off and hung it by the door, too.

Baki slipped off his sandals and his veil and bandages, returning the deference. He headed straight to Ibiki's couch and collapsed there.

Ibiki paused in the kitchen only long enough to grab them both a drink. He settled on plum wine because the alcohol content was higher, and the last time Baki's stress was this high, he'd gone for something hard. So Ibiki brought in a chilled bottle of plum wine and two glasses, setting them on the kotatsu table before sitting next to Baki and slipping his arm around Baki's shoulders.

"It's okay. You can cry if you want." Ibiki gestured at the plum wine. "You can also drink, you can yell, you can ignore everything and watch tv...whatever you want. You can do it here."

Baki considered doing several of those things at once.

After a moment, he gestured to the plum wine. "I think I'll start right there."

Ibiki nodded and poured Baki a glass of plum wine, handing it over.

"Want some?" Baki asked, prepared to return the gesture.

Ibiki gave him a little nod. "Sure. Thank you."

Ibiki planned on drinking some, at least, just to keep Baki company.

Baki poured him a glass as well, handing it to him. Then he sipped on his own glass, savoring the flavor...before putting down most of the glass in one gulp. He sighed and set the glass on the table, then nestled against Ibiki, resting his head against his shoulder.

Ibiki smiled sadly and sipped his plum wine slowly. His free arm was wrapped around Baki's waist. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything that's happened. It shouldn't have happened to you."

Baki sighed again. "Thank you..." He stared at the blank tv screen, then grabbed the remote, turning it on and then muting it. He didn't care what was on; it looked like some samurai show. He just blankly let the pictures wash over him. "Yondaime didn't deserve that."

The easy platitude was: No one deserved that, but Ibiki knew some people did. If Orochimaru had his face ripped off and his carcass thrown into the desert to be eaten by hyenas, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Depending on who did it, they'd also deserve a medal.

"No, he didn't," Ibiki said quietly. "Your sensei was a good man. He raised good children. Now you're going to do the same."

Baki nodded slowly. "Yes. I'll raise them as my own. I'll make sure they're love and safe. I won't let them down; I won't let my sensei down."

"No, you won't," Ibiki agreed. "You'd never do a thing like that. Because you're a good man."

And if I were a good man, I'd help him. Ibiki didn't like that thought. It spoke of unpleasant contradictions in his character.

Baki's smile was half-hearted. What mattered most in that moment was Ibiki's comfort, his presence. And maybe some more plum wine. "A second glass, please?"

Ibiki nodded. "Of course." He refilled Baki's glass. He still had half a glass, himself. He wasn't overly interested in drinking it.

Instead, he was thinking about Anko, and her crazy plans...whatever they were.

Maybe things are different now because of the scope of the damage. Ibiki didn't know if he was grasping at straws or what. He just knew Suna would need a lot of rebuilding if the Council was successfully indicted for treason.

Baki wasn't even letting himself think about such things. He was overwhelmed enough with his sensei's death, the impending adoption of three children, and stopping an invasion that would surely fail. He kicked back the second glass of wine more like it was a shot of sake, then thunked down the glass. "That might help." He leaned his head back on Ibiki's shoulder and pressed his forehead against his neck.

Ibiki set down his glass and wrapped both arms around Baki, holding him closely. "It might." He kissed the top of Baki's head. He sensed that their minds were on different tracks, but he didn't mind. If one of them was thinking about the future in a logistical way, it was better him anyway. "Listen," he said softly. "The invasion is as good as stopped. You did your duty. You've captured Kabuto and made him tell the truth, so that we can stop it."

It was just a matter of the timetable playing out.

Baki slipped his arms around Ibiki and nodded. "I suppose you're right. I at least should stop worrying about that."

"Yes." Ibiki squeezed him gently. "You should. And you should let me take your mind off it however you want me to."

Baki looked up, meeting Ibiki's gaze. "I want my mind completely off of it." He felt the faintest buzz from the wine. "I don't want to be able to think." He knew Ibiki would understand what he meant.

Ibiki ran a hand through Baki's hair tenderly and kissed Baki's lips, mouthing them slowly and gently.

Baki closed his eyes and let himself melt into the kiss. He mouthed Ibiki's lips in return, feeling their warmth and softness, tasting the plum wine there.

Ibiki slipped his tongue into Baki's mouth and tasted, caressing. He stroked the back of Baki's head as they kissed.

Baki moaned softly, meeting Ibiki's tongue; he reached up and cupped Ibiki's cheek. Ibiki's tongue felt heavenly in his mouth, caressing and exploring.

Ibiki moaned in return, humming in the back of his throat at how Baki responded with the same tenderness given. He wrapped his free arm around Baki more tightly. The hand stroking Baki's hair shifted to run fingers down the back of Baki's neck, trailing fingertips over Baki's warm skin lightly.

Baki shivered faintly, his neck feeling sensitive to the touch. He moaned again and teased Ibiki's tongue, pulling it over into his mouth so he could suck on it. He cupped the back of Ibiki's neck as well, caressing.

Ibiki moaned, and his brow furrowed at the stirring of arousal that shot through him. He panted against Baki's warm, soft lips. He didn't give up stroking Baki's neck, but he did yank his gloves off so that he could touch Baki with his bare hands. He tossed the gloves onto the kotatsu table without dislodging Baki, doing the whole thing behind Baki's back.

Then he caressed the back of Baki's neck, feeling the heat of Baki's skin against his own.

Capturing Ibiki's lips again, Baki moaned into his mouth, his neck tingling from the touches. He feathered his fingertips down Ibiki's neck, wondering if he could return the favor. "Ibiki..." he gasped, then slipped his tongue into Ibiki's mouth.

At that, Ibiki moaned deeply, and felt himself leaking against the front of his boxers. He caressed Baki's tongue with gentle desperation and then sucked on it, teasing it with the tip of his tongue. He wanted to give Baki the same kind of pleasure Baki had given him. His hands ended up stroking Baki's sides.

"Mm." Baki met those caresses, shivering at the teasing, and then decided the couch wasn't good enough. "Bedroom?" he asked, breaking the kiss.

"Yes," Ibiki said. He nodded, breathing heavily. He helped Baki up, rising himself, and walked them to the bedroom with his arm around Baki's waist.

Then, realizing he was covered in sweat and probably Baki was too from the stress of the evening, he pulled Baki towards the door to the master bathroom. "Or shower. Better yet. How about that?"

"Sounds perfect." Baki had been bloody earlier, after all, and his clothes were a mess.

Ibiki pulled Baki into the bathroom with him and proceeded to help pull off Baki's clothes, tossing them in the direction of the hamper.

Baki returned the favor, stripping Ibiki and running his hands over his bare torso as he did.

Ibiki moaned and let out a whimper, shivering. He stepped further into the bathroom and turned on the shower, testing the water with a few flicks of his hand before deciding a medium-warm was good. He helped Baki into the shower stall with him, closed the curtain, and redirected the water to come out of the showerhead by pulling the lever on the tap.

With a hissing sound, water sprayed down on them from above. When Ibiki decided he'd be living here for a while, he modified the showerhead so that it was higher up than most people's. He was tall and needed the adjustment.

Baki sighed as the water hit them. "Feels good." He ran his arms around Ibiki and caressed his back. "Feels even better." He grinned.

"Mmm." Ibiki shifted against him. "I agree." Ibiki took down the soap from the shelf, lathered up the clean washcloth hanging on a rung, and ran it over Baki's neck, washing and caressing at the same time.

Baki sighed in pleasure, leaning his head on Ibiki's shoulder again and soaking up the feeling of the caresses. He ran his hand up and down Ibiki's spine at the same time.

Ibiki shivered. His lips parted in a moan, rising up from deep in his chest. He kept up the caresses with the washcloth far longer than were needed to wash Baki's neck. He stroked the soft, soapy cloth down the back of Baki's neck, and across Baki's powerful shoulders.

Baki shivered at the caress to his neck, then shifted his face, nuzzling Ibiki's neck. It was warm and wet from the shower. He smiled to himself and kissed up Ibiki's neck to the spot right under his ear; he licked the spot, lapping over it slowly.

Ibiki cried out and shivered, momentarily freezing in place at the hot pulses of arousal. He felt himself grow fully hard, leaking beads of moisture lost in the spray of the shower. "Love you..." He whimpered and stroked Baki's back with the washcloth, running it over everything he could reach. He worked his way lower slowly.

Baki welcomed the touches, pressing into them as Ibiki slid lower. "Love you..." He kissed Ibiki's neck, teasing the spot gently, then gave it another long lick.

"Ah..." Ibiki closed his eyes and rubbed the washcloth over Baki's buttocks, caressing the sculpted curves. Then he had to re-wet his washcloth finally. He stroked all the way down Baki's spine, and resumed caressing Baki's bottom.

Baki pressed into the touch. "That's right," he whispered into Ibiki's ear. "I want to feel you down there. Press in; tease me. I want you to." He was fully hard now, and just saying the words made him leak. He sucked on Ibiki's neck, right on the spot under his ear, and moaned.

Ibiki felt his erection throb, and his breath hitched. He moaned, shivering. "Hai." He was glad for instructions. He wouldn't have known how far to go without Baki's express approval. He soaped up his hands and set the washcloth aside. He caressed Baki's buttocks with both hands for a moment, then slipped one hand down the cleft of Baki's bottom, pressing in lightly and rubbing slick fingers against Baki's entrance.

Baki moaned, a sharp spike of arousal shooting through him. "Ibiki..." He pressed into the touch again, shivering; his nipples hardened. "Oh, yes...that feels good. Very good." He was leaking. He lapped Ibiki's neck, sucking there again.

Ibiki moaned and squeezed his eyes shut tightly, his world narrowing to the sensation of Baki against him, his fingers stroking against Baki's heated, sensitive kin, Baki quivering. Ibiki circled Baki's entrance with his fingertips, and eventually used only his middle finger to stroke over it back and forth.

Baki shivered, his body aching with the need for penetration. "Would you like to feel it too?" he whispered into Ibiki's ear. "Would you like me to touch you the same way at the same time?"

Warmth shot through Ibiki, fluttering. "Um...okay," he whispered in return. "Let's do that." His erection ached and throbbed with arousal.

Baki reached up and got the soap, sudsing up his hands. Then he shifted them sideways in the shower so the soap wouldn't be washed away and massaged Ibiki's bottom with both hands, just as Ibiki had done for him. Slowly, he parted Ibiki and then traced one finger down to his entrance, circling it gently, teasing it. It quivered and contracted at the touch.

Ibiki twitched and shivered against Baki. His face and his erection instantly burned with heat. "O-Oh..." He gasped. "I think...that feels good..." His legs were shaking. He didn't know how long he could remain standing, or Baki either, but he wanted to try to reach their limits. " you want me to...put it in?" He stroked Baki's entrance with his finger questioningly.

Baki shivered as well. "Oh, yes...I want to feel you inside me." He caressed Ibiki's entrance again, circling it, teasing it.

Ibiki moaned. "Okay." His chest was heaving. "I'll just...go first, and can do that too." He gently pressed in, and felt his finger slide into Baki's slick heat. He thought he got maybe halfway in when Baki's body tightened around his finger. He moaned at the feeling of it; tight muscles massaging his finger. "You feel good...Baki-chan. Oh, god. That feels good, too." He needed all his willpower not to squirm with what Baki was doing.

Baki gasped at the penetration, then moaned deeply. "Oh, god, yes." It was all he could do not to press back onto Ibiki's finger, but his body wasn't ready yet. He panted against Ibiki's shoulder for a moment, then returned the favor, gently pressing in. He could feel immense heat and pressure surrounding his finger; he slipped in up to the second knuckle. Then Ibiki's body clamped down, stopping him. He dropped a kiss to Ibiki's neck.

Ibiki cried out, squeezing his eyes shut, and felt himself clamp down on Baki's finger hard. Heat rippled through him, burning. "Oh...Is that what that feels like?" His voice sounded faraway in his ears. "That's good." It felt like desperately needed pressure. The pleasure was so intense he was glad Baki wasn't moving. "I...ah..." He moaned deeply.

Baki stood in Ibiki's arms, thinking this was one of the hottest things he'd ever done with a boyfriend. "It's sexy, you know," he whispered, "for us to finger each other simultaneously." He felt his own body relax and moaned softly. "Oh, Ibiki...I need you deeper."

Ibiki nodded, moaning at Baki's whisper, and slid his finger in the rest of the way. His legs shook. "Like this?" He'd definitely never done anything of the sort before. Nothing even came close. He'd never imagined anything like this, either. His whole finger being encased in heat was a new feeling. "I can feel you. From the inside. And it feels warm. You feel so warm..."

He felt his body ripple and relax around Baki's finger, spreading warmth in tingling waves. It felt almost like fingers running down the inside of his legs.

Ibiki let his head fall back and moaned. "Ah. I'm ready, too. Please...more." He bit his lip and whimpered, leaking helplessly.

Baki leaked just as helplessly, moaning at Ibiki's plea. "Hai." He had felt Ibiki's body relax, so he pushed in slowly, Ibiki's body taking his entire finger and then clamping down again. "Oh, Ibiki..." He waited until Ibiki's body relaxed. "Okay," he whispered, his body relaxing as well. "It's time." He pumped his finger slowly in and out of Ibiki. "Take me, too," he whispered.

Ibiki let out a plaintive moan and pressed back against Baki's finger, unable to help himself. At the same time, he stroked his finger in and out of Baki's slick heat, feeling Baki's muscles ripple around his finger gently, caressing. Imagining how that would feel if his erection were inside Baki instead made this experience even more arousing.

Baki pressed back against Ibiki's finger as well, moaning deeply. "Ibiki!" he gasped. "Oh, yes...Good. It's good." As they moved, their erections brushed together, and Baki whimpered, his erection burning and tingling from the touch.

Ibiki let out a sob and shifted against Baki again, burning hot and tingling with arousal, unable to stop himself from moving with it. "I love you...I love you..." Feeling Baki press back on his finger was incredible. He felt a deep sense of tenderness and responsibility. "I love much." He couldn't give this up. He was a fool to try. And worst, he would be letting Baki down if he did.

Baki needed him. He couldn't be any more 'pragmatic' than that.

"I'm staying. Somehow, we'll make this work. I'll make it work. For once...I'm going to put something before my work. I'm going to put you..." He whimpered, unable to finish his sentence for a few moments. He choked back a sob at the pleasure. "...first." He penetrated Baki slowly and deeply, rubbing the inside of Baki's body with his fingertip.

Baki gasped at this. "Oh, god, Ibiki...I love you, too. And I need you..." That reassurance was one he'd been secretly desperate for. He shifted his finger until he found the swollen spot inside of Ibiki, then he caressed it gently with his fingertip.

Ibiki yelled. He sobbed unabashedly, shifting against Baki's finger. "Baki...Baki...Baki...what..."

He felt as though he was going to come at any moment. Hot, liquid surges of pleasure stole his ability to think.

Baki let off the pressure, letting Ibiki breathe and collect himself. "Inside us...our prostate. When it's swollen with our pleasure, it feels good to be touched." He smiled at Ibiki. "Find mine in me...about two-three inches in...and we'll come together." He paused in his thrusting so Ibiki could concentrate.

Ibiki shakily searched for it and found it, barely daring to brush his finger across it. His head spun. "Like this?"

He'd known about it in the abstract. He'd never been able to imagine what it felt like.

Baki cried out, sharp pangs of pleasure shooting down his legs. He leaned into Ibiki, stabilizing his balance and pinning Ibiki to the tile wall at the same time. "Hai, hai." He gasped for breath. "Now take me, just take me." He began thrusting his finger over Ibiki's again, feeling its immense heat.

Ibiki cried out, sobbing, and squirmed against the tile shower surround, working his finger against Baki's swollen prostate gently, desperately trying to impart some of the enormous pleasure he felt, transfer it back into Baki's body.

Baki feel into helpless moans, crying out. His legs shook with the pleasure, but he wanted it and needed it too much to give in. "Ibiki!" he cried out, whimpering. "Ibiki!" His world narrowed in, all other sensations flying away, and he knew he was close. "Oh, god, yes..." He gasped, his prostate burning with the pleasure, and felt his body contract. He came, his hips jerking.

Ibiki was stunned at the feeling of Baki's hips jerking. His own hips shifted, rubbing his erection against Baki's in the process. The feeling of hot liquid between them was too much, Baki's arousal was too much, and he came, sobbing, actually crying a little. He whimpered and moaned, still unbearably aroused by the feeling of Baki's finger inside of him. He squirmed, withdrawing his own finger gently and letting out a sigh of relief when Baki's finger slipped out as well. He finally came down, sinking into warm, deeply peaceful pleasure.

Baki was still leaning against him, feeling peaceful and almost sleepy as well. He rinsed off his hands, then wrapped his arms around Ibiki's waist, holding him. "Our water is almost cold," he murmured, amused.

"Mm." Ibiki didn't care, but he knew he would when the water got cold. He hated cold water. He washed off his hands, pulled Baki under the spray, and started determinedly washing Baki's hair, even though he could barely stand, and his hands were warm and tingly. He massaged Baki's scalp. "Then we're abandoning ship," he mumbled.

He kissed Baki's cheek, then gently rinsed out the shampoo. He stroked his fingers along Baki's jaw. "I love you. We're going to snuggle in bed. It's our bed. Wherever we are. It's always going to be 'our' bed."

He could tell his thoughts were still a little disconnected.

"Hai." Baki could agree to that easily. He helped Ibiki wash and rinse his hair, then they shut off the water before it got too cool. Carefully, they stepped out of the shower, then they helped each other dry off. Still naked, they relocated to the bed, climbing under the covers together.

Ibiki lay on his back and gathered Baki to his chest, stroking Baki's back. "I'm not going to be leaving you. Ever. I'm not doing that. I've decided."

The moment he saw the look on Baki's face in the interrogation room when Kabuto said the Council was involved, he knew that leaving Baki after giving him everything would be the worst torture he could possibly inflict.

"Oh thank God," Baki said, relaxing against Ibiki's chest. He slipped one hand under his waist and another under his shoulder blade, holding him in return.

Ibiki stroked Baki's damp hair. "That's right. You don't have to worry about that now. Anko doesn't have to convince me. Neither do you. I figured it out all by myself. I'm not going to torture you that way. I love you. I need to take care of you." He kissed Baki's ear tenderly. "You're mine, and I need to take care of you."

No one could have convinced him of this; he knew Anko would have tried. If he didn't understand it on his own, he was never going to. Being burned once by what happened to his brother didn't count as a great enough trauma to take it out on Baki. He knew he had a lack of commitment to things outside of work. A lack of commitment to anyone but himself, really. It had made him lonely, but it had also kept him safe from the only thing he was truly afraid of: failing people.

But he couldn't let that fear ruin Baki. That made all the difference. Knowing that was the only real reason he'd wanted to hold back meant that he couldn't; he didn't have a valid excuse for breaking the man's heart. He was better than that.

Loving someone meant setting the fear aside; at least enough to act.

Baki dropped a kiss to Ibiki's chest. "Thank you." It was all he could think of to say. "I wanted you to stay and help me, but I would've never asked or tried to force you to. It needed to be your decision on your own." He closed his eyes, feeling a deep peace. "I love you, too."

Ibiki felt tears in his eyes, hearing how much Baki had wanted to reach out to him but had been unable to. "I'm sorry for putting you through that. I was temporarily blind. I'm just glad I won't put you through anything worse. I'm with you now."

"I know," Baki whispered. "I'm glad." He paused. "Besides, it's your life. You have to be comfortable with your decision. I would only want what was best for you, too."

Ibiki let the tears in his eyes fall. "What's best for me is to be with you." He kissed the top of Baki's head and held Baki closely.

Baki reached up and brushed the tears away. "Then that is where you'll be, love."

Ibiki took a deep breath and nodded.