Their relationship was a thing of careful silences, of questions unasked.
It always started with lessons in swordplay, and there Hisoka was surprised to find that Oriya was actually a very patient, meticulous teacher. It wasn't all sparring, Oriya actually had Hisoka spend a lot of time on kata, on repetition after repetition of a sequence until he could do it without thinking. When they did spar, mostly Oriya used the back of the blade and pulled the force of his strikes just enough to leave Hisoka with very impressive bruises and the occasional fracture, but not one drop of his blood spilled. It was only once every few months that they had a real match, so that Hisoka could see where he'd improved, and where he hadn't; his speed was better, and his precision, but Oriya still made disarming him look infuriatingly effortless.
Oriya swung his sword back to rest on his shoulder, not even breathing hard, while Hisoka lay on the ground, bleeding and simmering with frustration. He smiled, and Hisoka tried to see the fondness and not the amusement in the expression. "Bon, I have twenty years of practice on you."
The reminder wasn't really all that helpful. Hisoka knew that, obviously, knew that the gap in skill wouldn't be closed easily or fast or maybe not at all until Oriya's body started to fail from age and Hisoka was still, forever, the same age he'd been when he died. But admitting the first part always led his thoughts to the last part, and he couldn't say that to Oriya. Couldn't think it, if he wanted to be anything but angry and depressed all night.
Hisoka's cuts were starting to close, but the blood on his keikogi wasn't going to go anywhere while he sat there letting it get dry and sticky and gross. Oriya wasn't going to touch him while he was covered in the stuff, so Hisoka groaned his way to his feet and started to strip. He turned away from Oriya and went invisible (he had less faith in the discretion of the Ko Kaku Rou staff than Oriya did), but he could feel the other man smiling at his back. Oriya could always still see him, and found his modesty funny. Well, fine, Hisoka found Oriya's fastidiousness about blood kind of funny.
Using a clean edge of the keikogi to wipe down his blade before re-sheathing it, then folding everything and leaving it in a pile beside the puddle of his blood, Hisoka wondered again what the Ko Kaku Rou staff thought about cleaning up all this every few months. Or was there some magic that did it as soon as Hisoka wasn't looking, restoring the courtyard to its usual timeless, perfect appearance? It was hard to tell what was real, in the shadow of that out-of-season sakura.
Oriya had disappeared inside by the time Hisoka finished, but the sliding doors were left open in invitation and a folded yukata was waiting for him on the porch, next to his own clothes. His choice, always. He put on the yukata, and entered the Ko Kaku Rou.
Hisoka knew the way to Oriya's room so well now that he could walk it blindfolded. He stayed invisible, even though he passed no one in the more private back halls. Maybe Oriya could explain him away as a student of the sword, but the staff here were like Oriya's family--there was probably no explanation in the world that would make them okay with a shinigami as Oriya's lover.
The grassy smell of matcha welcomed Hisoka as soon as he crossed the threshold, and he felt the frustrations of losing another match start to vanish even before he knelt opposite Oriya on the tatami. Did Oriya prepare tea for two even on the nights Hisoka went home instead of coming inside? Or did he just know which way Hisoka would choose? "Which one of us is the empath, again?"
An enigmatic smile was all the answer Hisoka ever got while Oriya's barriers were still up.
Neither of them spoke again as Oriya went through the ritual motions of making the tea, and Hisoka was glad of the time it gave him to calm himself; stillness spread through him with the warmth of the tea.
It was always up to Hisoka to make the first move, after. They never talked about why their broken parts fit together so well, in this. Their relationship hinged on never talking about a lot of things.
"Strip down to the nagajuban." Hisoka considered leaving Oriya fully dressed--he was beautiful in his kimono--but the thought of ruining such a fine garment always stopped him.
While Oriya stripped, Hisoka fetched the box out from its hiding place and pulled out several lengths of rope. Checking the rope was a ritual, too, and the smell of the hemp was even a little like the smell of the tea, relaxing him in the same way. The rope ran smoothly through Hisoka's fingers, nothing catching, no frayed spots weakening it, and he set each length aside as he judged it sound.
Finally, Hisoka finished with the rope and looked up. Oriya was kneeling, the thin black fabric of his nagajuban clinging to his muscular body, his hair loose and spilling over his shoulders like another layer of silk. He was never less than breathtaking, and if Hisoka let himself think about how little that man had appreciated this, the anger would break his focus.
Hisoka stood and walked behind Oriya, pressing a knee against his back and bending him forward. Oriya put a hand out to brace himself, but Hisoka grabbed it and pulled that arm behind his back, then the other, wrapping the rope around and around his wrists and tying it off. Doubled lengths of rope went around Oriya's chest, next, above and below his pectorals, and back through the loop connecting his wrists. A line over each shoulder, and Hisoka hitched them to the breast lines in front. Pulling it tight, he felt Oriya's breath catch as the pressure on his chest increased.
Sliding a finger under the rope, testing it for too much slack or too little, Hisoka let his finger brush over Oriya's nipple. Oriya gasped, twitching under Hisoka's hands, sensitive already, even through the nagajuban. Hisoka kissed the back of Oriya's neck and stepped away, removing the pressure of his knee. Using the knot at the middle of Oriya's back as a handle, he yanked the other man to his feet.
Oriya didn't so much as twitch, his muscles tense with the effort of holding still, as Hisoka started on the crotch harness, running the first length around Oriya's waist. He placed a single knot against the upper base of Oriya's cock, another just behind his balls, and then pulled the ropes firmly back, up between Oriya's legs, wringing another soft noise from Oriya.
Hisoka was careful of the scar they didn't talk about as he completed the diamond over Oriya's belly, and a matching one at his lower back. Again, he checked the tightness of each line, the placement of each knot, and took the opportunity to run his fingers down Oriya's cock, finding it already growing hard. A few light, teasing strokes broke Oriya's iron discipline just enough that he squirmed under Hisoka's hands.
Pulling his hands away as soon as he got what he wanted, Hisoka grabbed the knot at Oriya's mid-back again and shoved Oriya a few steps forward until he was under one of the sturdy overhead beams. Hisoka looked up, and swallowed a moment of nervousness; they'd been working towards this for a long time, and he was ready. He was.
These knots were vital, and Hisoka was so focused on getting them right that at first he didn't notice that Oriya was craning his neck to try to look back over his shoulder at what Hisoka was doing. Hisoka slapped him on the ass and scowled up at him. "Stop that. No peeking."
Oriya turned his face to the front again with a soft chuckle, and Hisoka swatted his ass once more for good measure.
Hisoka tossed the loose end of the rope up and over the beam, then tied it off through the loop he'd left at Oriya's upper back. He didn't pull it too tight, letting Oriya rest solidly on his feet, because he wasn't done.
Bending to grab Oriya's right ankle, Hisoka bent that leg at the knee, leaving Oriya standing on one foot. He bound calf to thigh, then wrapped a doubled length around several times just above Oriya's ankle. The ankle line, too, went up and over the beam, and this time Hisoka pulled the line tight, until Oriya's bound ankle was pulled up behind him, nearly to the level of his waist. The taut line at his upper back kept Oriya from tilting forward to relieve the strain on his leg, and Hisoka could feel his muscles tensing as he shifted weight onto his unbound leg.
Hisoka double- and triple-checked every knot, every line, and then stepped back to get a look at his handiwork. The nagajuban was pressed tight against Oriya's chest and back, but draped open at the hips to expose his thighs. Now, Oriya was breathing hard, panting like he never did when they faced each other with steel. His eyes were starting to get that slightly glassy, distant look, and his cock was hard and dripping with precome.
A pile of cushions gave Hisoka a comfortable spot to recline as he watched Oriya struggle to maintain his composure. The muscles in Oriya's legs trembled, sweat began to darken the fabric between Oriya's shoulder blades, and Hisoka began to lose all sense of time. It felt like hours, like days, before Oriya finally wobbled and gasped, "Hisoka..."
At his side in a moment, Hisoka pulled the quick-release at Oriya's ankle, letting the bound leg loose from the overhead line. The binding between thigh and calf kept Oriya from putting that foot down, and he sagged against Hisoka, the line at his back keeping him upright, but only just barely. Hisoka loosed the second overhead line next, and then Oriya's wrists. They sank to the floor together when Oriya's full weight came down on Hisoka, but it was a controlled fall. Oriya rolled onto his side, his head resting against Hisoka's chest, as soon as they were down.
The mental barriers that kept Hisoka from reading Oriya's emotions were down, too. Hisoka closed his eyes for just a moment, reeling under the onslaught; Oriya's emotions were always, at these times, a complex mix of things Hisoka couldn't--didn't want to--make sense of.
Hisoka rubbed Oriya's wrists--the skin was dented and red from the bite of the rope, but his fingers were warm to the touch and neither paler nor darker than they should be--and tried not to curse that man for the way Oriya's pleasure was all tangled up in endurance and pain. Cursing him meant thinking about him. Thinking about him meant thinking about how Hisoka's own pleasure was all tangled up in control and stubborn pride.
Oriya's cock was still hard against Hisoka's leg, and as his endorphin high started to settle Oriya slipped a hand under Hisoka's yukata. Hisoka tightened his grip on Oriya's wrist and pulled his hand away. Oriya made a questioning noise, but Hisoka only responded by rolling Oriya onto his back and straddling his chest. The smooth ropes of the chest and crotch harnesses rubbed against Hisoka's thighs as he slid down Oriya's torso until his ass just brushed against Oriya's erection.
He wasn't sure which of them moaned, then, and he grabbed the front of the chest harness and yanked Oriya into a sitting position, kissing him hard. When he broke the kiss, Oriya's lips were bloody, and Hisoka realised he'd bitten the other man. Licking the blood off apologetically, Hisoka leaned across Oriya's body to reach the box that held the lube. His cock was pressed between them for a moment, and Hisoka shivered at the feeling.
Sitting back up, Hisoka reached behind himself with a palmful of lube, slicking it over the length of Oriya's cock and feeling the other man tense up beneath him. "Don't you dare come yet." Hisoka meant it to sound playful, or teasing, but it came out like an order and he wondered when it had become so easy for him to give Oriya orders like it was nothing.
And Oriya obeyed, his breath catching as he fought for self-control.
Hisoka barely bothered with stretching himself, too impatient to do more than slip a single lubed-up finger into his hole for just a moment before rising up on his knees and sitting back onto Oriya's slick cock. It burned, a little, but still the feeling of sudden fullness as his muscles stretched to accommodate Oriya's girth had Hisoka's own cock twitching, close to the edge in just a few thrusts.
Oriya's upper arms were still bound to his sides but his wrists and hands were free, and Hisoka could see him digging his nails into the tatami to keep his hands still. He was so careful of Hisoka's broken parts, never touching unasked, and suddenly Hisoka was there. "It's okay, it's okay, come for me now, right now..."
Hisoka barely had to wrap his fingers around his own cock to reach his own climax, moments after Oriya came inside him. Both of them were breathing hard, now, and Hisoka was seeing stars.
Eventually, Hisoka had to move, and the feel of Oriya's spent cock sliding out of him left him gasping, and starting to harden again. Oriya laughed softly, not unkindly, and closed his eyes. "Teenagers."
"Yes, yes, you're a tired old man." Hisoka rolled off Oriya and began the process of untying him, slowly, missing no opportunity to caress Oriya's reddened, hyper-sensitive skin. Tease though he might, Hisoka knew it wouldn't take all that much longer for Oriya to be ready again, too.