Hello and good to see you, reader! Apple Fairy here!

Ah, so here it is. My first smut fic. My first teikoku fic too! I apologize if I make any mistakes. But if you can enjoy this fic just a little, then that's good! Thanks for reading! Hope you like the fic!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Hetalia

Playing with Fire

Story by Apple Fairy

Sometimes Kiku thought to himself 'what would happen if I cut him in two?'

It was a thought he entertained whenever he saw the cocky smirk, something that flitted through his mind alongside side the 'I should drown him in the sea' and 'Someday I want to see him impaled on sharpened bamboo' thoughts. He'd had so many fantasies of this man getting his comeuppance he wondered why he hadn't acted on them yet.

Oh, yes, that's right. Because he was a nation and couldn't act without his boss' orders as much as he longed to draw a katana against his thin white neck.

He entertained those murderous thoughts again as he saw who stood at his doorstep, wearing the same stupid red coat and bearing the same stupid, cocky grin.

"Hullo, luv," he greeted.

At that moment Kiku wondered what sort of face he would make if lightning struck him dead right there. He reveled in it for a moment until he politely bowed his head.

"England-san," he spoke calmly, "I'm surprised. You never told me you would be coming to Japan."

"Thought my crew could stop here for a bit," he answered, "thought I'd drop by and see you. Apologies for the sudden visit."

Kiku bit back a rude comment. As if you're sorry, he thought to himself bitterly, You would be here even if I told you to throw yourself into a pack of wolves before even thinking of setting foot on my doorstep again.

He pushed aside this annoyance for he learned long ago Arthur enjoyed seeing him riled up, which was why he gave him an unbiased and polite treatment. He wouldn't let the man ruffle his feathers so easily. Yet, even now, he could see the mischievous malice in Arthur's eyes, the real reason he wanted to be here, the sort of behavior he would give Kiku. At this point it was a game of cat and mouse and Kiku was tired of running circles around him for the Brit's entertainment.

"Well," he spoke smoothly, tilting his head to the side, "aren't you going to invite me in?"

I was actually thinking of strangling you instead.

"Yes, yes," Kiku looked downward, the very image of humbleness, "of course. Please, come in."

He's not really sure how they got to be like this. Their first meeting had been mostly business and formalities. Somewhere along the way however they had figured out each other's personalities, found out how badly they clashed, and they've been this way ever since.

It was an era of discovery, survival, and desperation. It was a time you had to be too confident and ruthless to survive. It was a time when a nation was young and they had to act as an adult. And that was how Arthur and Kiku were; two teenagers trying to act bigger than they were, who puffed up their chests and turned up their noses, all to look the part.

Perhaps that's why they clashed. It was an ongoing battle of pride that never faltered and was too stubborn. They could see right through each other and loathed their partner all the more for it. They argued and spat and fought yet never reached out to understand. They shouldered the same burdens and faced the same hardships, could be so close but stayed too far away. It was complicated and messy but as much as they hated it they wouldn't trade it for the world. It was something tailored only to them, and they wouldn't let the other go; not without a fight.

That's just how they were; hostile and confused and so very, very addicted.

"Bitter as usual" he chuckled over the cup, "you always feed me the same slop."

He resisted the urge to kick him. He resisted the urge to throw him out. Instead Kiku bowed his head a bit, as if in apology.

"I'm sorry to hear the tea is not to your liking."

You don't have to drink it, He spat at him mentally, you don't even have to be here. Do us both a favor and leave already.

Arthur only sighed heavily and took another sip of the tea. Kiku watched him from across the table in his living room, that stupid red coat clashing with the traditional Japanese scene as usual. At least, Kiku thought to himself, he took off that ridiculous hat. It now sat next to Arthur and Kiku noted how much smaller he seemed without it, somehow shorter than he portrayed himself. It was fine with him though, for Arthur was only two inches taller than him and the less he bloated himself the better. It was annoying otherwise. However, he also noted how Arthur had failed to take off those heavy boots of his, despite Kiku having told him to. It was courtesy, he had to tell him, and yet he never listened. Of course he never listened; he believed he was above 'rules' and 'traditions' anyway.

Kiku believed it must be torture to live in England if this type of man was the one who represented them.

Said person looked over the cup's edge to him, leveling a spine-tingling gaze at him with piercing green eyes. "Well?" he asked, his voice low, and Kiku hated whatever would come next.

"Well, what?"

"Aren't you going to say how much you missed me?"

He steadied his hand. He longed to slap him, but thought wiser for it, for he was assured he would only be rewarded with a cocky, pirate's grin. He thought back over these last few months, for Arthur's visits were far and few in between seeing how long ship travel took. He denied the fact that he'd missed him for surely he couldn't begin to miss someone so rude and insufferable. He flinched at the mere idea.

Of course, all those dreams he had of him were nothing. In fact, Kiku would rather think to them as nightmares instead.

He doubted his aching heart meant anything. It must only be the deep regret that he hadn't sliced him in two is all.

And the only reason he remembered every word and moment of their last meeting was because it had annoyed him so much. Such things were hard to forget, what a misfortunate thing Kiku mused.

Yes. So with that in mind Kiku assured himself he hadn't missed him at all.


It wasn't as if he was lying to himself.

He smiled a polite smile at Arthur. "It's rude to assume something so easily, Arthur-san." He chided, "You can simply ask and I will answer accordingly."

"Why ask when I already know the answer?"

You cocky, rude, idiotic son-of-a-bitch.

Kiku laughed behind his sleeve. A soft, noncommittal chuckle that almost bordered on haughty.

"I'm sure many envy your impressive self-assurance, Arthur-san." He smiled at him again, and Kiku hoped he was smart enough to take the hint, "After all it takes me off-guard so many times."

With the way Arthur frowned at him, displeased, Kiku knew he'd gotten the message. He almost wanted to laugh at him unrestrained, mock him for his faults, but he held back the want once more. He could feel that want crawling at his throat for escape. Arthur placed down the cup, leaning back on his palms, looking down at Kiku.

"Quite the mouth you got. Still haven't fixed that?"

"I don't see what's broken." He answered, "So what is there to fix?"

He sneered at him and it sent pleasant chills up Kiku's spine. That same fire between them was being stoked once more, and he could feel the anticipation warming him up. He almost lusted for it. If you asked if he missed Arthur he would still tell you he never has. However, if you asked him if he missed this he would tell you it's what he longed for every day.

"Come now, Kiku, enough of this politeness," Arthur scoffed, "I'm already sick of this act. Treat me as you usually do, luv. There's no need to hold back."

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"You're no wallflower, you and I both know it."

He could be. He was, at most times. It was only with Arthur that he acted so spiteful and mean, only when he had to prove himself as a nation. With Arthur he was always on guard too, so it couldn't be avoided. He considered taking Arthur up on his offer, but he also wanted to aggravate him just a bit longer.

"Why, Arthur-san, it is as if you are describing someone else. Please, tell me more."

"Egoistic little whelp."

Kiku smiled again. "Please."

Arthur smirked back. Perhaps deciding to play along with this quaint charade, he indulged in Kiku's selfish wish. He leaned forward, arms resting on the table, as he balanced his head on one hand. He tilted it coyly, spoke of his rival (Lover? Comrade? Enemy? Even he couldn't say) with sultry words.

"The man I'm speaking of and that you are is cunning. Coy. He's like a smiling fox, always looking down on others."

"Surely you misjudge," Kiku cut in, sipping his tea, "perhaps you misunderstand him?"

"Oh no, I know him well enough, I assure you."

Another wave of shivers went up Kiku's spine. He could feel goose-bumps on his arm; felt his heart beat in anticipation. He wanted to hurt Arthur. Wanted to hurt him mentally and physically. He wanted to cut him to bits. He wanted to belittle him until he cried. He wanted to see his tears and his blood, he wanted to enjoy the sight.

He wanted to kiss him until he ran out of breath.

Kiku dared a glance upward to his Arthur. He was met with a smug grin that knew everything. He looked away once more.

"There's that self-assurance again." He chuckled again, keeping his cool. He wouldn't be the first to break down, not this time. "Please go on."

"He's also quite cruel. His face is pretty, but his gaze and words are cruel."

"It sounds as if you don't like him."

"Oh no, don't get me wrong." Arthur laughed, loud and confident, "I've taken a liking to him, to be honest."

A hitch in his breath. A sudden intake. Kiku calmed his frenzied heart, tried to ignore his hot cheeks, refused to even see Arthur's reaction to this. He resumed his polite façade, and spoke coolly once more.

"Oh? So you're in love with him?"

"I wouldn't say that."

Kiku was strangely relieved to hear that. After all, he knew they were much more than that, more than something as simple and pure as 'love'.

"Then what is it?"

"I want to see him cry." Arthur grinned, talking happily as if he was madly in love, "I want to knock him down from his pretty, little throne and have him beg at my feet. I want to hear that prim voice of his beg."

Kiku began to shake. Set down his tea cup before he risked spilling it. He still tried to calm his nerves but he could feel the anger burning at his neck, wanted to cut this man down, wanted to take him on for his veiled threats. The temptation was great and oh it would feel so wonderful…

(Just as it always did; it was something indulgent and wrong and amazing).

"…And if I may ask," Kiku cleared his throat, "what would you have him beg for?"

This time he stared Arthur straight in the eye, did not falter. They looked at each for a long, powerful moment; Kiku's gaze was daring, disapproving; Arthur's casual and conceited. They were at a standstill and now the outcome depended on Arthur, at his thinly-veiled desire. He kept his disgusting smile, his prideful stance, and he winked at Kiku.

"I want him to beg for my love."

That was the moment Kiku snapped.

In one fell swoop he picked up his teacup and threw its contents on Arthur who flinched at the heat, swore in surprise. Breaking his calm demeanor from before, he snapped his head back up in anger and found Kiku glowering down at him, breaking his own courteous façade as well. They both knew they were letting down their defenses, not holding back anymore. It was time to begin playing their game once more.

"And who, may I ask," Kiku laughed a mirthful laugh, "would ever want your love? Would ever want to love such a pathetic and stupid man such as you."

Arthur could feel his hand twitching as it longed to smack that pretty face in front of him. It was Arthur's short temper kicking in, the one that got him now where and made him look childish. How did Kiku always manage to get that side out of him? It was a knee-jerk reaction that only occurred at his provocation. But Arthur calmed his quick breath, brushed off the tea staining his clothes, brushed off the offense. To lose his cool now was letting Kiku win, and he never lost. Instead the Briton chuckled, smiled the smile he knew Kiku despised. Acted in a way he knew would push all his buttons.

"Now that's the Kiku I wanted. There's my love." He cooed. Seeing his rival tense at such affection was exactly what Arthur had wanted to see. Kiku slammed the cup down on the table, threw his head back, looking down his nose at him. Ah, now there was that assertive stance he so loved and missed.

Arthur wouldn't lie. It was true. For all this time, he had missed him.

"You're disgusting. Is that all you came for? You're trying my patience, gaijin."

Foreigner. A derogatory term; Arthur knew that much. He knew a wide variety of Japanese insults and what they meant for Kiku had called him so many at this point. Spat and yelled and laughed at him with such an array of cruel words.

"I missed you. I wanted to see you. Is that such a bad thing?"

"For someone unbearable like you? Yes."

Arthur almost wanted to reach over the table, grab his collar, and kiss the man. He wanted to push him down, strip him down, and love him with everything he had. It was exactly as he said; he wanted him begging for his love.

"Now, don't be like that. After I came all this way to see you-"

"No one said you had to."

"-and after all, I was right. You missed me too."

"I could never miss you."

"Kiku," Arthur sighed demurely, "haven't you had enough of lying to yourself?"

Kiku was silent, glaring at him still. My, if looks could kill, Arthur mused.

"…I have no idea what you're talking about." Kiku looked away from him with a quick motion, his black hair moving with him. But Arthur knew him, he knew him too well, and so as was their tradition, he proved it.

"I don't mean just with me." He shrugged, using his sleeve to wipe the tea from his face, "I mean with all of this. Acting so big and strong when you're still such a small island. Acting as if you're on the same level as the rest of the world−"

"Bite your tongue."

"Acting as if you have any power. Aren't you tired of it? You're sickly aren't you? Your empire can only put on so much airs, but it's a lie isn't it? You're just like the others; small and struggling and weak."

When he looked up he could see Kiku shaking with anger. It was every dark secret and worry he ignored, every truth he didn't want to admit. Arthur knew that. It was hard to admit in a world like theirs, when surviving was so hard, and faking it was necessary. He could tell he dealt a blow, hit him in his weak spot, but he didn't feel sorry for it. For the next step in their sadistic dance relied on Kiku. With the way Kiku began to smile then, Arthur knew he would execute his part gracefully as he always did.

"Of course the great British Empire would say such a thing. Someone so high and mighty, why it's little wonder why I'm not bowing at your feet." His words were double-edged, his tone sarcastic, "But you already have so many under your foot, I don't believe there's room." Kiku titled his head sweetly, his smile so kind it was conceited. "…But that's all you have, isn't it?"


"Lonely, little England stuck on his rainy little island without a friend in sight. The only way you can get close to people is by conquering them, isn't it? What a twisted form of love. What a lonely man you are."

"…Shut up."

"Do you cry yourself to sleep at night knowing that no one will ever love you, not unless you force them to? That at the end of this world, there will be no one at your side? I wonder how painful it is to live such a pathetic existence-"

"Shut up!"

Kiku glanced to him. "Why should I?" he smiled, "I only speak the truth."

Cruel truth it was, that only Kiku could know. They both knew each other's miserable secrets, the ones they didn't want to hear. It was what got them going, got them heated. Arthur couldn't help but lose his temper then, not when the pretty face in front of him looked so smug and victorious. Slamming his hands on the table he stood up, and quickly grabbed Kiku by his collar, forcing him up to meet his eyes.

"You're trying me." He hissed, an open threat that didn't even stir the Japanese empire.

"Am I?" Kiku asked, unaffected, cool, "I hadn't noticed."

"I should hit you."

"Always resorting to violence," he chuckled haughtily, "how typical of such an uncultured fool."

"You little-!"

He shook him once more, and although Kiku's heart was pounding, scared, he loved it too. He loved this, and loved the fact that Arthur had lost his cool all the more. For once Kiku had won, and he decided to take his prize, cherish his victory.

"Arthur-san," He cut in, before things could go further. Arthur glared at him, face red, breathing shallow, his anger apparent. He still held Kiku up, hated how modest he looked. He wanted to wipe that smug look off his face, make the man cry for what he said, make him regret all his words.

"What?" he spat out, shaking him a bit. Kiku blinked, placed a gentle hand on Arthur's own tight fist.

"I know why you really came here."

He frowned at him, kept him hoisted. "Do tell." He dared, curious despite himself.

"You need me."

His heart skipped a beat. Without thinking he lowered Kiku, let go of his kimono's fabric, but kept his eyes on him still. He almost forgot he was supposed to be angry, but reminded himself.

"Oh? Is that so? For what exactly?"

Kiku looked away shyly, and hid a smile behind his sleeve. It was something Arthur loved in how sensual a gesture it was, something that sent his heart racing. It was the subtle things Kiku did that really got him going: the exposed nape of his neck, the taunting glances he sent his way. He knew he was seducing him in these ways, and he knew he was doing it now. It was as he said; his Kiku was coy and this time was no different.

"For release." He clarified, acting as if he was embarrassed at such a thing. "We have both established we're quite…troubled individuals. You know I understand you. So the only reason you would come to me now is for release. You're stressed. I'm stressed. Why not we comfort each other?"

He could feel his heart beating furiously, his legs shake, his breathing become shallow. His body was craving him then, all the signs were there. The air between them was becoming tense with want, and it felt heavy to Arthur the way it became so hard to breathe. His ears and cheeks felt hot and he tried to keep up appearances, tried not to cave too easily into Kiku's temptation. It would be so easy to just pounce on him now, but that was not their way. Yet, he knew he was lost then; he had lost a long time ago and was already completely ensnared by his love.

He gulped. Breathed heavily. Wanted him so, so badly.

"…What are you trying to say?"

Kiku cast him an exasperated gaze, smiled at him bemused. Oh what a stupid thing you are, was what his look said, what a stupid, sad little thing.

He composed himself however, and got up, walked towards Arthur, bent over to look at him. Arthur became enchanted by those eyes, that coquettish gaze, and that sultry stance. He became so enchanted in fact that he found he could not react, couldn't move, couldn't find the will to speak. It reminded him of the stories of sirens, of men becoming so trapped in their beauty despite it spelling their ruin. Similarly, despite himself, Arthur slowly fell for Kiku's spell as the man reached out, and as he held Arthur's face in his soft, white hands. His voice became low, became intimate, and Arthur listened to it intently as if it was the siren's song.

"Do I have to spell it out for you? I suppose I'll have to say it more clearly, so that someone like you can understand."

He leaned forward more, their lips barely touching, and his smoky, smoldering voice completely enraptured him.

"Let's go up to my bedroom."

The stupid red coat was the first to go. Kiku had removed it with a cheerful flourish, glad to be rid of such a garish thing. The heavy boots, however, Arthur had to take off himself. Kiku had told him he wouldn't lay a finger on him until they were taken out of his sight.

It was after that that the fun began.

It wasn't anything new to them. They had done it all before; both forget when or how it started, but it was something unspoken and understood between them. Sometimes, they wanted to indulge in the other with quick and hungry kisses and enjoy the other's body through sensual and exploring hands. They knew that, were unashamed of it. Sometimes their bodies needed the other to complete them, had to fill the void the other left. Sometimes Kiku thought of Arthur as the key to his lock that unlocked such wonderful pleasure inside him. He just had that touch; that way that only he could please them.

You could call them sex buddies, but that wouldn't be exactly right. For they have never slept with each other.

For now such thoughts melted away in Kiku's mind. It was hard to think when he took these moments with Arthur, for this was all primal desire and need and it was hard to be human in such times. He instead let his body take over, stopped working his mind, let himself feel Arthur's tongue running over his neck, felt his hands struggle with his obi. Arthur's kisses were hard and greedy as they sucked on Kiku's neck, eliciting a low moan from him. It was all the Briton had thought of when he saw that neck; I want to lay marks on it, leave red love-bites to remind him that I had done that, that he was mine. With the way Kiku was running fingers through his blond hair he knew it was exactly what he wanted too.

Arthur's movements were always quick, trying to devour everything he could as soon as he could. While Kiku was slow and teasing, Arthur was greedy and selfish. At this time Kiku let him do as he pleased because he secretly liked it, and because he knew he would have his fill later. It was at these times they were equals, understanding, and un-judging. At these times, they were lovers.

Arthur continued to struggle with the obi. It was always so easy to just pull down the top part of Kiku's kimono, expose that delicious looking chest for the taking. But it had always been the obi that stopped him in exposing him any further. Above him, he heard Kiku sigh heavily, irritated.

"You still haven't figured out how to remove it? After all this time?" He drawled on, disappointed and Arthur frowned at him. It wasn't his fault the knot was so unnecessarily complicated. He looked up at him, however he struggled to make out Kiku's face in the dim bedroom. He was sure it was one of boredom, though; there was no doubt about that.

"Do you want to do this, perhaps?"

"You're going to make me do it? Surely, you're joking."

"Well if that's the case then be quiet." He snapped as he pulled Kiku even closer, sitting him on his lap. In a quick motion, he slipped his hands onto his thighs, snuck them under the kimono fabric. Kiku gasped in surprise, shivered, and Arthur smirked to himself, satisfied. Well that solved their dilemma. Kiku grabbed his blond locks again, pulled him forward into a rushed and cruel kiss. They both took it greedily, the soft lips and warm tongues. Arthur tilted his head to the side, mouth wide as he felt his lover's tongue explore his mouth, the taste of him primal and heated. The sound of their shallow breath and sucking filled the air around them. And Arthur felt up Kiku's thighs in the meantime, savoring the smooth skin, reaching them higher and higher until…

"Ah!" Kiku whimpered, throwing his head back. Arthur loved to see Kiku's reactions at these times for they were both shameless and loud. It was completely different from how he usually carried himself, somehow all the more erotic for it. He continued to rub Kiku's hips, feeling the hard bone under his circling thumbs. Long ago he'd found out his lover's hips were sensitive, that it was where his weak spot lied. Long ago he'd found out that if he wanted him to weaken under his touch, to spread his legs easily for him, all he had to do was tease and touch those thin hips.

"Hm? You like that?"

"Oh…Oh god…" he panted and Arthur smirked, reaching behind, giving Kiku's ass a generous squeeze. His lover moaned low again, shook under his hold.

"Not wearing anything underneath?" Arthur teased, placing light kisses on the chest in front of him, "So you were looking forward to seeing me."

"Don't…don't flatter yourself." He managed to laugh, still acting prideful as usual, "Be honest, gaijin, you rushed here as soon as your ship landed."

He couldn't deny it. He knew that. He couldn't deny how he felt as soon as they reached harbor, how excited he felt at the chance of seeing him once more. Meetings were far and few in between, news of each other scarce, visits fleeting. It never felt like enough for them, never could be enough. For they were young and drunk off power and they wanted more and more and more.

With that idea fueling him, Arthur pushed Kiku over, laying him flat on his back, taking him off guard. He lifted one leg, licking upward and Kiku moaned again, curled his toes. Arthur sucked and bit there too for he wanted his mark everywhere on him, wanted to leave as many reminders for him before he had to leave again. It was always that sad thought that spurred them even further than the lust and hunger ever could.

"A…Asa…" Kiku panted, speaking in the accent he knew Arthur loved, his words more so tuned breath than actual speaking. Arthur looked to him then and it all felt so vulnerable yet so safe. So unbearably real.

"Let me see you." He commanded, or at least tried to make it sound like that. Suddenly his voice failed him, sounded so fragile and desperate. He hated it, but a part of him wanted Kiku to see that too, that he was still just as young and scared as him. He heard the sound of rustling, of someone's head shaking on the sheets.

"You know I don't like when the lights on."

"Let me see you."

There was a pause, something uncertain. Arthur felt the leg slip from his grip then, the sound of fabric shuffling, and then a mouth on his own, of arms encircling his neck. He wasn't able to talk any longer for Kiku kept kissing and kissing him, toppled them over so that he was on top. With Kiku's lithe body pressed against his own, he decided to drop the subject entirely and let him take charge this time. Before they had been skirting towards unsafe territory, a taboo subject neither dared to touch. Kiku eased them back to their safety zone, to what they were comfortable and used to. They were too scared otherwise. Scared and young and just not ready.

Kiku did not struggle with the cravat. He did not struggle with the buttons, neither the pants. Not that he completely stripped Arthur, but merely slipped his hand into sensitive, hidden places that made Arthur whimper. Ran hands over his chest, over sensitive nipples, then downward over the fit stomach. Drifted over hips, under hips, on the outer thighs, then inward. Meanwhile he worked slowly kissing every place on his lover, was gentle and sweet. Yet Arthur knew he wasn't completely innocent; although Kiku lovingly kissed his collarbone, his hand worked more deviously lower. Rubbed and massaged and squeezed his member. It sent waves of pleasures through him, made him pant and moan and buck his hips trying to get more. His fingers dug into Kiku's back, trying to keep him there, trying to hold onto something so he wouldn't lose himself. For the way Kiku worked was slow and sensual. He took his sweet time teasing the cock, rubbing it gently, giving Arthur a taste but never his fill. To go faster would satisfy him; going slow made him want more. Arthur breathed heavily, automatically focused on how it just wasn't enough, on how his body begged for more. He looked into the darkness with half-lidded eyes, with impatience.

"Can you please," he began to hiss, but moaned as another squeeze caught him off guard, "ugh, go a bit faster?"

A low chuckle reverberated against his neck, and it made him shiver at its warmth.

"You're always so impatient," Kiku chided, easing back into their roles, "isn't it better when it's sweet and slow?"

"As if. It's much better when it's fast and heated."

Another stroke, slow and erotic, and Arthur whimpered once more, his voice somehow weaker and fragile. It was something that drove Kiku crazy for what he loved most was when Arthur showed signs of his more personal self; not when he played the part of 'empire'. He loved getting glimpses of that realness, but he loved all the more when he exposed that side of him. There was an art to it, a certain way to do it, and he loved the outcome of his hard work.

"Is that so?" He continued to tease, savored the sound of Arthur's shallow breath, "I'm not convinced. Perhaps you could prove it to me?"

Arthur shivered, body feeling alert and eager. Oh god, he wanted him. He wanted him so badly.

"…You want me to? You sure?"

"Only if I get to show you my technique too."

Arthur frowned, confused, cast him an uncertain gaze. Though in what features he could see he saw Kiku giving him another exasperated look, already predicting Arthur's question.

"Must I explain everything to you?" He leaned forward, voice low once more, "what I mean is that we help each other."



Kiku was relieved to see it finally dawn on him. He wasn't sure he could take much more of this type of ignorance. Though he supposed it showed just how young Arthur really was. For although Captain Kirkland prided himself on being an empire, and on being a supposed 'experienced man', it was Kiku who was able to see through the whole act. Arthur was still a virgin, although he would claim otherwise to save face. It was right to say they both were though, and both were too shy to change that.

Especially with each other.

Kiku completely abandoned this train of thought as he felt Arthur's warm lips on his own again, gratefully returned that kiss. Closed his eyes and felt Arthur's hands reach around to his obi again, try to conquer that challenge once more. Kiku smiled in the kiss, rather charmed by the action. So they continued as Arthur fumbled and worked the knot. Awhile after, Kiku was surprised to find his kimono loosening, falling open, the tie falling to the ground.

He finally got the obi undone. Kiku sighed heavily, annoyed.

"It took you that long? You're unbearably slow." He scolded. Arthur frowned, hands moving in the kimono, running fingers over a smooth white chest.

"Shut up." Was all he muttered as he kissed at the chest, leaving marks there too.

Kiku leaned closer, whimpered as he felt him suck on his nipple, barely noticed his hand brushing over his thigh. He felt a chill run up his spine though as Arthur took his cock in his hand, began to rub it, his hold rough and fast. Kiku took the cue, rubbing Arthur back and they pleasured each other with the crazy sort of speed that matched their lust. Kiku reached down then, kissing him greedily, and he barely noticed Arthur wrapping his free arm around his shoulder, pulling him closer and closer. Their body heat mixed and suffocated them, and Arthur had to come up for air then, throw his head back, moaning loudly. Kiku buried his head into Arthur's chest, his thighs shaking, struggling himself to keep his lower body in the air. His knees were so weak then he worried if he could last any longer. Together they pumped away, panted and moaned, rubbing chest against chest. The pleasure kept hitting them in waves over and over and in that moment there couldn't be words or reason or thoughts. Just basic, primal feeling, letting their bodies take over, getting lost in it, letting it overcome them.

Kiku gripped onto Arthur's shirt, and felt himself nearing his end. Looking up he was surprised to find Arthur staring at him. In the dark he could barely make out the features, but he could feel the stare of those green eyes. A part of him was relieved to know that he couldn't see him now, not when he was vulnerable and shameful. Another part of him wanted Arthur, and Arthur only, to see that side of him.

He hoped, at least, he could feel his gaze meeting his own.

They held that gaze, didn't look away as they reached their end. As Arthur came first into Kiku's hand, grunted in surprise, as Kiku soon followed after. He collapsed completely on Arthur then, tried to catch his breath, clutched onto that white shirt as he tried to calm his frenzied heart. He barely noticed Arthur holding him closer, a hand cupping over his shoulder, another rubbing itself on the sheets clean, and then gently rubbing his back. But when he did he cuddled into him more, faintly heard Arthur's own beating heart.

A long moment passed as they calmed down.

Staring into the dark, Kiku was happy for it. With his sight blinded he found himself savoring Arthur's warmth even more, on those careful arms encircling him. Felt the quiver of his legs more, the sweetness of his afterglow. Curled up into him, Kiku didn't want Arthur to see this at all. Cocky, rude, insufferable Arthur that he loved and knew he couldn't trust. It was unspoken between them, yet understood. They were nations. They were at their weakest. They were in love and also trying to survive.

This could only go so far.

"Satisfied?" Arthur asked, his touch more comforting than he would care to admit. Kiku struggled to remember what sort of person he was supposed to be in front of Arthur. He went back into character though as quickly and effortlessly as always.

"Well," he shrugged, "I've had worse."

He felt the rumble of Arthur's chest under him as he laughed. A know-it-all laugh accompanied with the shaking of a head.

"Yes, of course, love. As you say."

Kiku should've hit him. He knew that was the response that was expected. However he was too weak in the knees then, feeling too open and he didn't risk going any further. Instead he sighed heavily, and closed his eyes. He wanted to sleep with him. He wanted to lose himself in him. However he hushed all these wishes and desires. His mind was going to work again, foolish heart fueling it, and he ignored it. He already knew it wouldn't do him any good. Vaguely he wondered if Arthur ever felt the same.

The fact that it was hard to say is what hurt him the most.

"Can I ask something?" Arthur spoke again, tilting Kiku's head to look at him. Kiku considered kissing him, but decided that would come later.

"If you must."

"Why do you insist on the dark?"

He froze under his grip. Tried to think of a proper response that wouldn't show any weakness. Kiku looked away, so happy for that darkness that hid all his flaws and fears.

"Looking at your face is sickening. Seeing it puts me in a terrible mood."

Arthur was quiet for a moment. Kiku felt himself on edge then, hated that feeling. He had no reason to worry about his response. He shouldn't be worried if his excuse was good enough, or how Arthur felt, or about any of this. He was so sick of the emotions Arthur brought forth in him, but he also needed it so. And if he thought about it long enough he would realize that this was what love was in the end. A power struggle for dominance despite the care and love. It just so happened that theirs was an extreme version of that.

"Are you scared?"

He felt a chill go up his spine.


The voice that spoke was too fragile. Too raw. Too real, too much like Arthur. He looked at him and those green eyes were hard, were serious, and he didn't like where this was going, he didn't like it at all.

"Are you scared? Is that why?"

The question felt too much. Felt loaded. Kiku wasn't sure if he was asking if he was scared of being seen, or having to expose himself to him. Or that, perhaps, he was scared of this, of what they were. In any case, all possibilities were questioning if Kiku was weak and to admit weakness was unthinkable. He knew very well he could reach out then, coax them out of their game, out of this entire charade. However, knowing their circumstances, Kiku already knew that would be foolish. He wondered why Arthur even bothered asking in the first place.

(Was he reaching out? Or was he trying to destroy him?)

Kiku got up, breaking out of Arthur's hold. He re-tied his obi in the quick, frustrated action that showed he was not ok and he was scared.

"What are you doing?" Arthur asked. Kiku stood up, walked towards the window, grabbed his kiseru on the side table.

"I need a smoke." He spat out, lighting it quickly, back turned to his lover. Arthur watched with bored eyes as Kiku opened the window, his body tense, foot tapping impatiently on the floor. Arthur finally got to see all of him then, the moonlight giving them the light they had been missing. Yet still, he wasn't able to see Kiku's face, only his anxious back and the curling smoke from his pipe. Outside there was the faint sound of cicadas, and the air felt heavy between them. Felt breakable.

Arthur wondered if he should get up and embrace him. He decided not to because he told himself he didn't feel like it, but truthfully he was scared. Instead he set to fixing his clothes as he spoke again, voice still stable and persistent.

"Say, how long do you think this will go on?"

"Will what go on?"

"This." Arthur whispered, "Us."

Kiku was silent.

There had to be an end. He knew that. Thinking on it he saw only two types of endings: they get bored of each other and move on, or they finally cave in and confess. Right now they teetered on the edge, too scared to make any serious move. What they had was hard to describe, was toxic, was addictive, was so beautiful in how chaotic it was. They hated each other. They loved each other. They were too much all at once, children playing with fire, and they didn't want to stop.

Kiku wondered why this couldn't go on forever. It was such a fun game he wondered why they had to settle for something less. It just wasn't fair. He blew out a puff of smoke, took his sweet time to answer. He wondered how Arthur looked then with his heart in his hands. He hoped he was crying.

"…Will it always be like this?" Arthur asked again, voice still soft. Kiku closed his eyes, shrugged.

"Not until you catch me."

That was it. In the end this was still a power struggle between them. They would continue playing this game for dominance until one of them finally crumbled. Until one of them would finally say those three words. However they were both so prideful this game may very well continue on forever.

Kiku felt arms encircle his waist, a head lean on his shoulder. He leaned on him back, felt caged in those arms, but also protected. Looking at the full moon he felt Arthur kiss his shoulder, his lips brush against his ear.

"Then I should warn you," he whispered, voice husky and warm, "I'm not that easy to get rid of."

Kiku smirked and felt a strange sense of relief flood his heart.

"I know," he closed his eyes, "I wouldn't expect anything less from you, gaijin."

With careful movements, they kissed again despite themselves and their pride. For in the end they were still scared, yet so very addicted.

The end. Thank you for reading!

Sorry if the ending is a bit jarring orz

-Apple Fairy