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A Touch of Lace for White Day

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It’s a universally acknowledged truth (apparently) that Kirishima Kei gives good relationship advice. What with being thirty-four and still without a significant other, having both zero interest in acquiring one and the intimate second hand knowledge of what a clusterfuck a relationship can be, he must be such a font of wisdom - in other words, Kirishima has no idea why one Takaba Akihito is calling him of all people to ask what Asami may want for White Day.

"Candy. The traditional gift for White Day is candy," Kirishima tells him, whispering into the phone after having to excuse himself from a meeting thinking it an emergency when Takaba's name flashed on his phone screen. "White candy, if you want to be specific, but honestly anything that isn't chocolate will do."

"Asami doesn't like sweet things," Takaba vetoes immediately. Of course he would. Difficult people deserve each other. "Do you know what else he may want?"

What to get a man who has everything except the certainty of one young man's affections; Kirishima can think of a few things, most of which he does not wish to dwell on, for fear of being executed by his boss for auto-seditious thought crimes.

Unable to vocalise “just tie yourself up with a bow and go sit on his desk”, Kirishima goes for more mundane suggestions. "Jewelry. Cufflinks? A tie pin maybe? A cravat ring?"

"There are literally boxes of cufflinks in the drawer of his closet. He gets them as gifts all the time," Takaba says, exacerbating a mutual headache. "And I can't afford anything too expensive."

Candy would definitely be in Takaba's budget, and candy would also be a fitting gift for his terrible boss who hates them, Kirishima thinks. The thought of Asami being forced to eat all of Takaba's homemade candy may at least balance some of the cosmic occupational karma of his many crimes, least of which is shoving him into a walk-in pantry.

There is exactly one traditional gift left: the self-serving choice for selfish men to give to their chocolate-giving girlfriends, but Asami being a boyfriend in this case renders the idea absolutely crazy. However, having Takaba hand Asami this particular gift may not be such a terrible thought, even if Kirishima is in no way imagining it in great detail.

Crap. He's never going to get that image out of his head.

"The only traditional choice left is white lingerie," Kirishima says, and the line goes dead long enough that he thinks Takaba may have hung up.

"Do you want me to die?" Takaba asks, reedy and on the cusp of nervous, hysterical laughter. "Putting aside how insane that sounds, where would I even find something that fits him?"

Kirishima forgets sometimes how young, innocent and utterly guileless Takaba can be, how much trust the kid has in him and maybe feels just a little bad for roping him into committing his revenge fantasies. But it's not like Takaba doesn't have a few lines in his ledger that need balancing out, anyhow.

"My friend owns this shop in Ni-chome," Kirishima says, already looking up the address. When he sends it off he adds without even an audible hint of glee, "They'll definitely have something in his size."


It's not the first time Takaba's been in Ni-chome, but he's never been here outside of work. Without the disguise of a giant DSLR and a camera bag, he must look like he's either lost or cruising, and after having to turn down four different middle-aged men trying to buy him, Takaba feels as trapped as a guppy swimming through shark infested waters, and it's dawning on him that maybe this is a tremendously bad idea.

Kirishima has been blithely solicitous (suspicious, that) and has supplied Takaba with directions to Yukihime: a basement shop with no windows and a single, heavy wooden door, the only indication that it's a shop at all is a white on baby-blue sign that says ‘Yukihime’ without any context. According to Kirishima, it's local, secluded, and staffed by experts. He's also sent over a photo of Asami's measurement card, which Takaba glances at twice before deciding that any inferiority complex he may get from seeing the numbers on a screen will be worth it once Asami dons the thing he's getting these measurements for.

But it takes too long to find the place, hidden away between a prohibitively exclusive looking bar and a bookstore with windows covered in riotous posters screaming for attention. By the time Takaba finds it he's traded in his expectations from kitting out Asami to yet another monogrammed bathrobe or maybe an embroidered pocket square. As much of a waste as it is not to put his giraffe of a lover with legs for miles in pantyhose, Takaba can't imagine any scenario in which Asami isn't murderous in it, and he values his life quite a bit and would like to keep breathing for as long as possible.

Even the drop-dead gorgeous six-foot tall Marilyn Monroe impersonator that greets him when he walks through Yukihime can't change his mind on his decision to keep on breathing, with her black garter belt peeking just past the fringe of a gold mini-dress, long legs that go on forever wrapped in dark silk.

On second thought, maybe a smidgen.

"Well, what are we looking for today?" Marilyn Monroe wears a nametag that helpfully says Mari, and speaks like she walked off the set of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. "A present? Something for yourself?"

Takaba's entire experience with underwear shopping for someone else can be compressed into one regrettable incident in Aoyama during a photoshoot involving fifteen buckets of paint and an errant fishing hook, and his idea of shopping for himself is pulling a bag of assorted Yen Exeo print boxers in size medium off a shelf and shoving it in a basket between a carton of eggs and red miso. It's not the kind of thing he associates with service staff, most notably not by someone in skimpy cosplay, and Takaba is tongue-tied, suddenly shy.

"I'm look for, um," Takaba stumbles over his words, smiles and scratches the back of his head, inexperience rendering him younger. "A White Day present."

"Oh my - oh," Mari says, has her fingers all together like a half-closed fan on her chest and tips out her chin, perfectly in character. "How wonderful. We're going to need some measurements."

Takaba immediately goes to dig in his sling backpack, "I brought a list from the tailor's -"

"No no no," Mari says while making a face, theatrically shaking her head like bringing measurements from a tailor is a crime against humanity. "Tailors measure on top of your clothes. We're going to need to strip you." And she drags Takaba by the arm towards a heavy red velour curtain near the back of the store, calling out, "Girls, I need you to turn on the espresso machine and lock the doors please, we're going to kit out this one!"

"What!?" Takaba stares down at the iron grip enclosing his wrist, already having many regrets. "But I'm not -"

"Shh, of course you are." Mari pats his hand like she's seen this panic regularly. "Don't be shy now - with skin like that you'd look good in anything."

Takaba's thrown into a changeroom the size of a walk-in closet, complete with a beige leather ottoman bench, an antique coat rack, calming (categorically unhelpful) sage green painted walls on both sides and a wall to wall, ceiling to floor mirror on the opposite end.

There's no background music, so the hustle of activity with two girls clacking about grabbing measuring tapes and clipboards and turning a deadbolt, sound like an army crossing a bridge. Mari's replaced by two other cosplayers, a meiko whose name tag identifies her as Hisano, and a loli-goth with no name tag who introduces herself as Ophelia plus surname unpronounceable.

Hisano's in a mini-kimono, flappy drop-sleeves hanging way below the hem of her skirt, hair stabbed full of hanging accessories, and Ophelia has gears on her nail art that must snag on everything and makes one wonder how she can work in a shop full of silk. They're both no-nonsense, barely smiling and reminds Takaba of his mother the one calamitous time she prepped for a dinner party, so when Hisano primly tilts her head and commands, "Take off your shirt," Takaba does.

It's not until after they've finished writing down all his measurements and go look for something suitable that Takaba remembers: he's not here to shop for something in his size.

Takaba's worked the copy desk at his old journalism job on an election night where three separate gangs operating out of kabuki-cho decided to start an all-out war and Momohara Ai decided to elope (allegedly) with rumoured (retracted) boyfriend, and he's still never seen people move this fast; he figures he may have about three minutes before this gets to the level of unsalvageable crazy.

"I was going to get him something," Takaba calls out to Mari, who's standing in a corner surrounded by white, sheer, frilly things on hangers. "I brought his measurements."

"Honey, you did say this is a White Day present, yes? For a man who gave you chocolate," Mari says, coming over to put her hand on his shoulder with a firm and oddly familiar grasp. "So wrap yourself in something white and gift that to him."

Takaba can't think of a present Asami would appreciate more, and at that realisation he turns a shade of tomato red that threatens to burst blood vessels.

"Unless you have better ideas," Mari adds, reading him perfectly.

There are two ways out of this.

One: put his clothes back on, find something innocuous but relatively expensive off the shelf and pay for that, and commit a cultural faux pas so grave it's akin to walking through the house of someone he barely knows with shoes on, or -

Two: let them dress him up like a doll. It can't be any worse than modelling mostly nude for that one Christmas job, and then ask for something a bit more conservative that doesn't involve garter belts, which Mari is pulling off the shelf now oh god.

The only other option is go full nuclear meltdown, wrap himself in Mari's collection of risque underwear and hand Asami the reins, because somehow Takaba's managed to land himself the kind of gift that's as subtle as renting a dekotora emblazoned with a confession at the scramble crossing in Shibuya on Christmas Eve.

But back in the reality of a lingerie shop where Takaba's unable to find a way out of the warrens of his head, the girls have each picked out a pile of fluff they believe fitting for him: Ophelia has a bundle of ruffles with ribbons and too many bows, Hisano's pile is noticeably smaller and shiny with silk, and Mari seems to be holding a cloud comprising entirely of see-through layers.

It takes them mere minutes to organise everything onto the many hooks on the wall. "It's a gift, so," Ophelia says, while negotiating the frilly pleats in a half see-through negligee. "What does he like?"

"I have no idea," Takaba says, conjuring up images of Asami in plain black briefs - if anything, Asami doesn't seem to care about what he wears under his clothes, as long as it's high quality. "Simple things?"

"He likes you, apparently," supplies Hisano, and as one their gazes turn to Takaba's crotch covered by a pair of camo briefs. If judgement was fire, he'd be toast in a raging inferno. "But we can't work with that," she adds.

"It's a crime," Ophelia says.

"Call the fashion police." Takaba is only slightly mortified.

"We all have costumes for that, if you want to be arrested," says Hisano, surprisingly daring for someone in traditional(ish) clothing.

"Let's fix that first. I can't look at that print any longer." Mari, sighing, takes a pair of lacy thongs with an opaque silk front panel off the wall and tears a piece of plastic out of it. "Consider this one a gift."

"I can't possibly -" Takaba protests, out of fear more so than politeness.

"Do you want me in a policewoman's uniform so I can arrest you?" Mari says, teasing. "Change into this, and we'll work on the rest."

Takaba's spent his life valuing utility over fashion, and he's quite aware that most of the time he's a fashion disaster, but he doesn't see the point of spending money on clothes when he spends half his work hours parked behind dumpsters and rappelling down walls. It's not like Asami's ever said anything about the clothes he wears. Asami's always been fine with Takaba just the way he is, so naturally Takaba is here being a total chicken shit about a pair of underwear.

"Your boyfriend gave you chocolates for Valentine's day, right? You can do this one thing." Mari must see him hesitating, written all over his face with floating hiragana for clarity he's so nervous. She lets her words trail along the curtain as she closes it behind her, "Do this for him."

Mari doesn't know the half of it, she doesn't have the weight of Asami's attention on her all day long like a fire blanket, suffocatingly warm. Takaba hardly feels adequate to be in the same house most days, and all this preemptive planning for something coming up in a week is beyond anything he's ever done, but so is Asami chopping up chocolate and heating up cream to devastate their kitchen, so.

It's hardly a life changing event to strip, to slip out of his camo briefs, exchanging them for a slip of a silk lace thong, but it goes on like a whisper and fits so well it feels like air - invisible. But Takaba takes one look in the mirror and his mind goes blank with what he looks like - what he can look like; it makes him want to throw the emergency brakes and stop everything.

Takaba Akihito lace lingerie

Hisano must be telepathic, because the moment he's ready she's through the curtain in a flurry of kimono-clad competence pulling matching pieces off the hooks and urging Takaba into things like a whirlwind; she doesn't even leave him time enough to get embarrassed between changing.

Ophelia coerces him into a garter belt and Mari dares him into the stockings and Takaba vetoes everything Hisano tries to put on him, up to and including three separate complicated looking contraptions with strategic cutouts and two things festooned with feathers. He finally accepts a modest looking lace tank babydoll with hanging sheer panels - probably what she wanted him to wear in the first place.

It's a lot of fabric; gauzy gossamer layered on lace layered on more lace, but it only serves to make him more naked without his criminally unfashionable underwear, shunted off along with all his reservations about lingerie.

It's really not that different from throwing on an expensive suit and a cravat with too much gel in his hair, either way he's pretending to be someone else: someone more desirable, who feels less young, someone fitting and mature who belongs by Asami's side.

"Don't worry," says Mari, noticing his uncertain face. "He'll love it."

"You can't know that," Takaba says.

"Yes, we do." Ophelia's busy gathering all the pieces that didn't make the cut, but she takes the time to add, "Do you even know what chocolate on Valentine's means?"

"He loves you. He'll love anything you wear for him," Hisano says, sounding almost bored, tossing out words into the world for Takaba to trip on without remorse.

But it's not like he has anyone to talk to about this, his frame of reference for love is all kinds of fucked. One of his bestfriends married his childhood (grade 3) sweetheart by twenty-three and the other one's a serial monogamist; their respective advice of “you'll know it when it happens” stroke “I don't, you just look at her and feels things I guess” leaves Takaba running shit scared half the time, like his heart's a cat inside schrodinger's box and reality hasn't yet collapsed.

Now that he's sipping espresso in a basement in Ni-chome with three women, two of whom look seventeen and talk like they're thirty-five and inordinately jaded, knows too much from a willingness to use a search engine without safesearch on, Takaba is just caffeined and hyper enough to think - why not. "What do I do with that?" he asks, twisting his fingers into a Chinese knot.

"I don't think I've ever been this young," Mari says, seeming bemused by his words while adjusting one of the shoulder straps. "Why, you have two choices: leave him, or love him back. Anything else wouldn't be fair."

Takaba's pretty sure the word 'fair' isn't in Asami Ryuichi's dictionary; it's been one-sided continuous coercion from the get go, a series of battles resulting in Takaba's eventual capitulation in the face of ‘Asami-related’ stroke ‘Asami-caused’ personal disasters.

Regardless, it doesn't change the fact that he's arrived here: when Asami comes in from the night, followed by a chemtrail of smoke or exhaustion or gunpowder, Takaba's there to take his briefcase and his coat and answer his "I'm home" with "welcome home."

"If you're even considering a return gift for his Honmei chocolate," Hisano shrugs, and doesn't complete her sentence.

"Love him back, obviously." Ophelia, whose child-like loli-goth appearance is a disguise for an utterly savage personality and who has no qualms about giving Takaba an anxiety attack, sits down on the cushion next to him and deadpans, "Wear the thing and wait on his bed. I'm sure he'll get the picture."

"Subtle," Hisano says, making a face that’s sardonic all of a sudden. She tips Takaba’s face up by the chin and seems to study the length of his eyelashes a moment. "I would suggest wearing that under a suit and maybe playing footsies halfway through dinner. The stockings get them every time."

Mari makes a suggestion on the relative merits of using fabric garter belts versus leather as bondage gear, and they're off - the other two chiming in with advice on things they can't possibly be old enough to know about, giggling over how easily Takaba blushes, so when the curtain is yanked open violently and Asami's staring him in the face, Takaba has turned a shade of pink he’ll never recover from. The girls are leaning in against him playing with his hair like they're at a cosplay slumber party and Takaba's the one hosting because he's the only one in his underthings.

"I'd hazard a guess that you want to tell me 'this isn't what it looks like,'" Asami says, after what has to be the longest staring contest of Takaba's life, looking so dark in the face it's like he's raced past angry, landed on homicidal, and building a house there.

Takaba doesn't know what he expected - of course Kirishima would spill the beans the moment Asami gets antsy over Takaba losing his tail yet again. But he's jittery on espresso and hardly feels like himself, like he’s in another person’s skin, so when he speaks again it's with more than a touch of hysteria, "I would love to tell you that, but I have no idea what this looks like," since 'I’m shopping for your White Day gift' does not easily translate to 'I'm sitting in a lingerie shop in Ni-chome mostly naked with three scantily dressed women in the changeroom exchanging secrets like a gaggle of school girls.'

Mari, who's evidently made of far tougher stuff, flagrantly ignores the man-shaped black hole who just joined them, sucking out all the air, and says, "Hisano, I thought I asked you to lock the door."

"I did," Hisano says, at the same time Takaba blurts out, "You didn't shoot it, did you?" throwing all caution to the wind, what the fuck, he may as well find out if Asami's wearing guns under that suit jacket too.

"I picked the lock," Asami says, hands in his pockets, casually admitting to breaking and entering.

"I hope you didn't scuff it," Mari says.

People who walk around all day in four-inch heels are amazing. Asami just gives her a scandalised look, telegraphing “what do you take me for?”

"Your boyfriend is hot." Ophelia pats Takaba on the back, as if that makes anything better.

Takaba's usual retort to this is "he's not my boyfriend," but the evidence to the polar contrary is staring at him in the mirror so what comes out of his mouth is instead an awkward, strangled giggle.

"You shouldn't date anyone who shoots locks," says Hisano, ever the voice of reason. "Actually, you shouldn't date anyone who shoots anything." She pauses, thinks for a second and adds, patting his thigh, (not helping in the least) "Even if he is hot."

"As much as I'm enjoying this ... conversation," Asami says, smiling like a shark and pulling a money clip out of his inside pocket to count out a stack of cash, pushing the whole wad at Mari. "If I could trouble you ladies to leave us alone, I promise that not one of you will die today."

It's far too specific for Takaba's liking, but they can sure take a hint. The speed with which three women in high heels can move is nothing short of astonishing, and the clop of their retreating steps abruptly segues into awkward silence, too fast for Takaba to fabricate any excuses.

"You. Stay there," Asami gives him a death glare and leaves the room as Takaba's about to rise from the bench, shutting the curtain. "And don't you dare change."

Waiting for Asami, Takaba decides, is the literal worst. Waiting for him while wrapped up like a wet dream out of a June Extra is logarithmically worse than that.

His best friends have mentioned on more than one occasion that they'd like him to be more of a coward, for self-preservation if nothing else, but Takaba's not sure if this counts; he's jumped off of buildings and rolled out of moving cars but the few times he's slipped up and agreed with Asami's egregious opinion that maybe Takaba really does belong to him has made him want to retreat into his shell - and he does too, until Asami drags him back out by the dick every single fucking time.

And now Takaba swears he's being dragged by a thrown gauntlet in the shape of a shapeless chocolate cake, which he's tempted to read like one of Asami's many whims; the way he reads lightly Asami's excruciatingly sweet chattering that passes for pillowtalk, which Takaba only half hears on account of having a cock up his ass, but even that's preferable to Asami playing dumb like a fox: kissing Takaba too long before he leaves for work, actually helping in the kitchen without molesting him halfway through whipping up salad dressing, leaving Takaba to stare at the door as it clicks shut and his mind reciting what the fuck over and over.

Takaba's always had a mouth on him, too, has a tendency to let it run off without his brain's consent, and the number of times he's chosen to shut up when he has something to say to Asami is probably an indication of an overarching unnamable illness. Either way, Asami's obviously waiting for Takaba to say something, has a front row seat in their empty theatre where Takaba fidgets over a lone microphone. Maybe it's easier to throw on all the frilly shit and tie himself up with a bow just so he can knock over the flimsy cardboard set and declare the show cancelled - fuck this, talking to Asami instead of just fucking him is apparently above his bravery paygrade.

He stares longingly at his messy clothes pile, and wonders why anyone ever chose to put camo print on underwear - what is the slightest purpose of that, is there a phalanx of the SDF some place crawling about in the woods with body paint and briefs solving conspiracies while swatting away mosquitoes in the tropics; anything to distract him from the sound of Asami doing who knows what on the other side of the curtain, turning the deadbolt with a dreadfully final sounding clack and taking something off a shelf and his footsteps coming ominously closer.

"So despite all my previous warnings," Asami doesn't bother opening the curtain, just ducks through it, placing a bottle on the floor with a label Takaba can't read on the way to prowling closer, "you're letting other men put their hands on you. Again."

"I'm sor-" Takaba thinks, right, may as well apologise to diffuse the situation and prevent three murders, about the same time his brain decides to catch up. "Wait, what?"

"The listing Kirishima sent you clearly says they feature okama shop assistants in cosplay," Asami shows Takaba on his phone, and there it is right beneath the title Yukihime and fitting for every size. "Do you even read?" he continues as Takaba gapes at it like a fish, "You have the weirdest quirk. Put a cute girl in front of you and you believe everything she says. It makes you really easy to fool - can't say I haven't made use of that myself."

Well, maybe Takaba wouldn't be so wary of men if it wasn't for Asami and his various Asami-related calamities. But Takaba does possess some measure of self-preservation, and knows Asami's more fragile than he pretends; he's thin as china where Takaba is concerned and cracks at the merest touch, already so angry Takaba's almost tempted to tease him about his eyebrows staying that way, and since it's been about seven years since his CPR course he decides maybe it's best to shut up and change the subject.

"They've been very professional," Takaba says instead, doesn't argue the insult. At Asami's raised eyebrow of a question, he adds, "They were friendly, but no more so than most pushy salespeople. Besides, I can take care of myself."

"Naturally. That's why men were pawing at you when I came in." Asami's smiling in a way that makes Takaba thinks this is his last second on earth, fuck if he isn't the most angry Takaba's ever seem him - he's in trouble. Asami goes on, "So you mean to tell me that all of this is intentional? You lost your tail so you could hang out in Ni-chome with a trio of okama half naked behind a locked door? Because that is not better."

"Well, that's not what I meant -"

"Not another word."

As if that's ever a deterrent to Takaba, "They weren't going to do anything to me! Besides, I knew I'd be safe here because Kirishima's the one who -" it's professional instinct, more than anything, that makes him snap his trap shut.

It could be the way Asami's looking at him - golden eyes glinting, in the way of big cats about to pounce, seconds before showing all his teeth. It's that or Takaba knows full well: Kirishima's in as much trouble as Takaba is over his current predicament.

"You were about to say?"

"Kirishima's the one who -" Takaba's mind's spinning in circles, but he hasn't been working for a weekly tabloid on and off for years without picking up the art of the spin " - tracked me down and told you where I was, right?"

"No. He didn't."

Oops. "He didn't?"

"He was more evasive than usual," Asami says, looking annoyed. "I'm not sure if I should be proud or worried that my men are willing to commit insubordination on behalf of you."

"That's because you treat him like a rented mule," says Takaba, whose mouth mostly operates without consulting his brain on his best day. "And I bring him lunch." Takaba watches as Asami's expression trips right back into murderous and adds, though nothing could help by this point, "Uh, sometimes."

"You what?"

"When I'm bringing you a bento at work I bring one for him too," Takaba says, hoping that he's not signing another death warrant here. "It'd be rude not to. What, 'I brought a lunch for Asami, could you take it to him, but you can go ahead and starve?' Of course I'd bring one for him too."

"Tch," Asami makes a disgusted noise, displaying one of Takaba's bad habit's he's picked up.; his face closes over, all the anger smoothing out to cold placidity and his eyes go the kind of sub-zero, the kind of cold metal that causes burns. "Come here."

Takaba feels his heart in his throat as he stands, as Asami's gaze strokes over him from head to toe. It's hard not to hide himself, cross his arms, or roll himself up as small as possible. But he goes as if reeled on an invisible string.

"Are you angry?" Takaba asks, stopping just short of touching, though he feels the attraction between them like dipoles - it takes everything to not fall into him.

It's been a strange few weeks. Takaba feels clumsy, finding his way around trying not to bump into the nebulous edges of them, a line from which he can never turn back.

That line's here probably: in the circle of Asami's arms as he's pulled in, enclosed, Asami dropping his chin to Takaba's shoulder, saying, "I'm only angry that someone else got to see you looking like this."

Takaba steals a glance in behind him at the mirror and takes in for a second what this looks like, his body in silk and lace, lattice work flowers and satin bows, each piece fits him like a second skin but he's not sure if it fits him - it makes him feel a touch crazy, on the verge of criminally daring, so when being in the warm embrace of Asami's arms becomes a desire to take Asami's face in his hands and kiss him, he does.

It's warm here in the shop, warmer still in the changeroom with a heated floor and the curtains closed. Asami runs hot even in cold weather, and in his winter wool suit, in the tight cotton weave of his white shirt, his tongue is feverish and his lips brand into Takaba's like a second degree burn; it makes Takaba sigh, moaning into his mouth.

"Do you like it?" Takaba whispers, not sure what he's afraid of. He's never gone out of his way to look seductive. It's easy enough to let himself be taken, to lose himself in fits of passion, to drown in whatever Asami hands him but this - this is a step above the rules of engagement they’ve designated for themselves, and this particular rule-bending is like climbing a mountain: so much more work than gliding down on the wind.

Asami runs his hand up the lace tops of the thigh-highs, the callused edges of his fingers snagging the silk as they glide up beneath a strap of the garter belt, making a full grab at Takaba's ass. Asami's thumb presses into his hip with bruising force and pulls him towards himself so he can drag Takaba's hard-on along the muscular top of his thigh with enough force to make him hiss through his teeth.

He smiles against Takaba's mouth. "You look exceedingly distracting," he says, his canines showing in a dark and dangerous smile. "But I'm still going to punish you."

Takaba's libido must be wired to the wrong part of his brain, because he shouldn't find that hot, and that twinge in his dick has to be a mistake. He can read Asami past his surface textures by now, beyond the claws he wears on the outside, the biting words and the snide remarks. Beneath his myriad defenses he's slow kisses up against the wall, casual touches to the back of Takaba's neck as he walks by and kisses on the cheek when he comes in at night. It's holding him for seconds too long and moving on, undemanding.

Takaba feels much like the proverbial frog in hot water, the temperature's rising, always on the edge of uncomfortable. Casual intimacy is downright insidious, and somewhere along the way he's moved onto acceptance, up to and including the mundane commercial traditions of Valentine's and White Day, and the parlous glint in Asami's eyes is scalding. Takaba wouldn't be himself if he didn't put up a fight though - even as he leans against Asami's skin, calibrated at his exact melting point.

"And why would I let you do that?" Takaba challenges, willfully ignoring how out of breath he is already, how needy he sounds.

Asami's playing dirty as usual, frots Takaba hard and rough with the hot line of his thigh so he can't see straight, the solid press of his chest through layers of fabric and the heat radiating off his skin teasing at his nipples. The snipping, softly caressing kisses he's taking at Takaba's lower lip would be lovely if it didn't also come with a smug little laugh.

"Because I'll make it good," Asami says, giving Takaba a push, sending him towards the mirror. "Climb on the bench and get on your hands and knees - no. Face the mirror."

The difference between underwear and lingerie is probably in how one disappears and the other reminds you of its presence in every move. The straps of the garter belt bites into the backs of his thighs, pulling at the lace that goes all the way down his legs, and the sheer fabric of his top drops down to brush at the backs of his arms - all of it pulls at him as Asami adjusts Takaba's posture: lowering his shoulders and raising his hips, curving his back into the dip of a wave, eyes forward so he can see the white straps and lace bordering his skin, the parabolic curves of his ass exposed, and Asami behind him looking on with appreciation.

It's witchcraft, the way Asami's insinuated himself between the sheers, the lace, and Takaba's skin; his fingers have inscribed indelible lines in the wisp of silk, soft and impenetrable over his cock, in the strands of lace stretching tight over his ass, in the sharp, taut lines biting into the backs of his thighs. When at last Asami presses a soft, chaste kiss over the small of Takaba's back, alighting as lightly as the flutter of a bird's wing, it is the sweetness of it, how it lingers, that makes Takaba gasp out loud.

"Put your fingers in your mouth," Asami says by his shoulder, sending humming words into his skin. "Get them wet. Stretch your hole open so you're ready for me," and Asami's mouth moves into a grin behind his ear, the reflection of his eyes coal black. "Go on."

He goes and leaves Takaba feeling bereft of his heat until he looks up and sees Asami in the mirror, arms crossed and leaning up against the wall, turning to look at him with expectant hunger in a predatory smile - looking at him like he's the sidedish Asami's always calling him. Asami's gaze sweeps over Takaba's back like a caress and Takaba feels it down to his toes - makes him want hands on him so bad he rushes to obey, sucks his fingers into his mouth and licks them until they're wet and glistening.

Takaba doesn't go back here when he touches himself; when he thinks of Asami's fingers on him it's on his cock, the scraping calluses of his thumb just beneath the crown, the hard lines of his chest flush against Takaba's back and a string of dirty suggestions whispered into his ear. So when he reaches back to push the thong aside he's not ready for how tight it is, how much his own body fights him as he circles and circles at the opening with a wet finger, taking ages before it gives way.

"Hah - fuck," he hasn't counted on how good it would feel either, it’s as thin and sensitive as his lips, and the lip of it grasps at his finger, wanting. His cheeks burn up at the thought of that, a tingling that only gets worse as he gasps, "I can't -" when he tries again to fit his second finger in past the first knuckle, tight, impossible, squeezing so hard it cuts off circulation.

Asami's looking at him like he's about to laugh - the bastard - before picking up that bottle he brought in earlier and drizzling a generous helping of something dreadfully cold on top of his fingers.

Takaba's already pushing, so the fresh slick on his fingers makes him plunge in as far as they could go and it's a shock and an out of body experience - makes him think of the way Asami touches him with an arm curled comfortingly along his back, another supporting him so he can drop all his weight into Asami, fall into him to moan into his perplexingly soft mouth. So when he's all the way in it's disappointing how he's cold, his belly exposed and his cock drooling through the fabric and onto the bench, arms trembling with the effort of pushing as far and as deep as he can but just short of deep enough.

"Look at you," Asami's grinning at him, eyes dark, all his amber gold eclipsed. "Look at your face in the mirror."

Takaba takes one look and wishes he hadn't, he's looking so unlike himself he gets dizzy with it - his mouth is wet and red, as lush as a ripe strawberry, his eyes are deep pools of dilated lust to match Asami's, and his cheeks are suffused with a glowing blush. The visible lines of his garter belt digs into the globes of his ass as he waves it in the air, so turned on he’s beyond embarrassment. His fingers moving in and out and scissoring looks downright obscene and the sight of himself sends his nipples hardening in his gauzy babydoll top, stretching the lace tighter and reminding him again of Asami's mouth, the flat of his tongue on pebbled skin and Asami's name is tumbling out of his throat before he can stop himself.

"That's not -" Takaba's about to say that the young man in the mirror - soft-limbed and shameless, making high-pitched, breathy noises, wrapped in layers of white - isn't him at all, but Asami's biting his lip, his eyes half lidded and there's a visible bulge in his pants and maybe Takaba wants to be just like that. Still, on the downward slide of a drawn out moan, he protests, "I'm not like that."

"But you are," Asami purrs softly from his perch, and the walls may be a calming green but when he's the one leaning against it, it's the colour of verdant and wild things, of deep forests and the kind of canopy that allows in only pinpoints of light - the gleaming gold edges of his eyes tearing Takaba to pieces. His voice drops lower, to the bass of a hum Takaba can nearly feel shuddering through his own chest, "But only when I'm inside you."

That's blatantly unfair, how Asami can attack Takaba with his voice and his eyes and fuck him from across the room, because it sure feels like it, how Asami's words turn Takaba inside out, strip him down until he's all exposed nerves, and the nucleus of want pulsating against his own fingers grows hotter over nothing but Asami's perfectly cultured clipped consonants as though each syllable is a stroke of his tongue.

"One more now," Asami says, and Takaba thinks he hears the onset of a laugh, filed down and hard like the edge of a blunt fingernail raking over his spine - so tangible and solid and real it goes shivering out of him in a moan. "Otherwise I'm never going to fit."

Takaba's panting and cussing by this point but it's hard not to turn his invectives directly at Asami, the smug bastard’s lucky he's out of kicking range, even if the way he keeps talking, mumbling directions and encouragements as his voice dips lower is the kind of heat that makes Takaba think spontaneous combustion is a genuine possibility. He's opened up by then, soft and yielding and slick, so when Asami seems to get impatient and urges again, "Akihito, one more, slip it in there for me," he does. The stretch of it is an exquisite burn, and impatiently he slams himself upwards to meet his hand. The moment he connects - the tip of his fingers just brushes that spot - the pleasure fibrillates through him like a lightning bolt, blinding, all-consuming.

"Ah - oh fuck," Takaba lets out a sigh and his reflection lists to one side like he would fall, and he tries chasing it, thrusts down so hard his fingers bottom out and he's not sure even Asami opens him up this wide, but he can't seem to reach it again.

"Not so easy, is it?" Asami's smile is an audible thing, dripping with mirth and imminently punchable. "It's a lovely picture watching you try, though. Curl your fingers in - see if you can find it."

Takaba uses up his entire vocabulary of swear words and makes up a dozen as he follows every direction - why he's being so obedient is baffling even to himself - contorting his back into a perfect curve. The glow of warmth over his thighs and the pool of heat low in his belly only gets warmer because Asami keeps talking, everything that comes out of his mouth both perfectly reasonable and filthy as fuck, but it doesn't get him closer to anything other than frustration and his shoulder hurts and he's on the edge of sobbing openly from the stretch and the ache and the empty clutch of his ass pulling his fingers in, demanding more - but he can't give himself any more.

He doesn't know how long he's been struggling, how long he’s been biting the inside of his mouth holding back his cries before a soothing hand lands on the dip of his back, possessing, painting a ribbon of heat over the sheer fabric and under. The heel of Asami’s hand slips on sweat soaked skin and Takaba whines at him, turns his head so he can find the telltale tightness at the corners of his eyes, the edge of his lip bitten raw - all the signals that he's as lost to this as Takaba feels.

Asami's hand moves down over Takaba's spine - over the hollows and the dimples and the round curve of his ass, sliding his hand through lube and sweat and teases two fingers just beneath where Takaba has three inside himself. Through his tears, Asami looks impatient, ravenously hungry, and far too pleased.

"What do you need?" Asami asks, finger and thumb rubbing maddeningly at the edge.

"Please," Takaba pleads with his eyes. He lets his mouth fall open, moaning every time Asami thumbs over his skin, pushing out his ass like he just wants to be filled up and used - completely shameless. "I need you - please."

"Yes. You need me," Asami says, positively cooing, and Takaba doesn't even have time to snipe at him for the condescension before he adds, "good boy. I guess I should reward you," and slips a finger in next to Takaba's, snug in the crook of them, casually entwined - like they're holding hands.

Takaba goes completely mute; all the rejoinders he had saved up flies out of his head with the last of his reason as he's touched, deeper than he ever could on his own with the pressure of Asami's familiar heat. The empty ache of the stretch warms up with him as Asami crooks his finger an infinitesimal fraction, the mirror image of himself is by turns bewildered and oddly erotic, panting with desperation and more excitement than he’d want to admit, his cheeks shiny with tears.

"Breathe," Asami says in a puff of air that rustles Takaba's hair, voice humming through his ear. "Let's try one more, shall we?"

Takaba has the presence of mind to shake his head - no way, this is too much, are you kidding? - but no words and no air. His eyes are fixated on the dangerous glint of Asami's smile, his body hushed and still in anticipation.

Asami doesn't take ‘no’ for an answer ever, the fucking menace that he is slips a second finger in as soon as he's finished talking, and Takaba feels himself sink - like the bench has fallen out beneath him and he's underwater, all the air gone from his lungs and all the water gone from his mouth and he's probably imploding, his body closing up like a fist. And even as he's overwhelmed to the point of being insensate, he seeks the warmth of Asami's mouth, teeth scraping at his lower lip and a dry, stuttering moan that's fueled by the air in Asami's lungs feeds into him with a sound like the snarling of a beast.

When Takaba wants to claw his way back up, Asami twists his fingers and he's lost again, making the most undignified sounds and Asami’s drinking him in, every little gasp swallowed back into his throat, and he thinks, here is all his air and his life and his everything; Asami has him wrapped in his hands still and with a tip of the man’s finger on his chin, he's turning towards the mirror, and being commanded, "Open your eyes. Don't look away."

"No - Asami -" He can't shake his head for the hand gripping his jaw, and it's unconscionable, how his lover disregards how he burns, all his oxygen fed to the flames.

"Look at what I get to see all the time," Asami says, but it's more than himself that Takaba sees; it's the fondness in Asami's eyes, the gentle, protective curve of his shoulder, crushingly tender through the hard geometric lines of his suit, draping over Takaba, cradling him - a hand on his jaw to complete the sensual reflection.

He's sure it's not what Asami meant for him to see, but Asami's meeting him in the mirror: eyes open with nothing to hide.

Takaba doesn't know what this feeling is - this ache spreading from his chest upwards and sweeping over his collarbones when he sees them together like this - but he can't stare overlong. He doesn't know why his lips tingle either when they kiss, why all his hairs stand on end when they're inches apart, but he'll chase it all the same - turning reflexively towards Asami so their lips could touch.

"Think you can do that again?" Asami's grinning at him, cat-like. "Let's see how many times I can make you come like this."

Oh no. "Not so soon," he protests, but Asami's already crooking his fingers, rubbing hard enough for it to blur the demarcation line between pleasure and pain, hard enough for Takaba's vision to black out in starts and stops and fill all the space behind his eyelids with afterimages of supernovae.

"We'll see about that."


He must’ve blacked out at some point, because Takaba's not even sure when Asami's moved to straddle the bench behind him, or when he's been maneuvered upright, leaning back against Asami's solid chest, two buttons down, tie and jacket already hung up neatly on the coat rack.

He's not the one of them that tends to cling. Only this morning he woke safe against this heat, his head tucked neatly underneath Asami's chin, but now he finds himself leaning back into him, instinctively greedy for the warmth of him as if he's been missing it for day and weeks.

His reflection stares back languid and unfocused, wrung out, glimmering in a sheen of sweat and layers of sheer lace clinging dark in places, his hair a bird's nest, Asami's arms closed and tight about his chest. Takaba feels half in a dream, his mind a haze, and the white he wears bleeds into Asami's white shirt. For a moment that lasts and lasts, stretched out like taffy as he lies back, drowsy, Takaba can't see where he ends and Asami begins.

He's not sure what it says about them, or what it says about himself, that he's both precipitously alarmed and drawn to the flames, lured by the warmth of him, the sight of them setting his heart to an unsettling beat.

"You do look very cute," Asami says, his hand running down over Takaba's hip, calluses rough against the top of his thigh. His mouth opens, as if to say something else, but he changes his mind and whatever words he's about to say turns into a huff of air and a wry smile.

"What? You looked like a fish just then." Takaba's been there, held words back time and time again, but Asami's not usually the one to pull his punches.

"Nothing," Asami says, turning to press a kiss to his temple. "Don't worry about it."

That only makes Takaba want to know more - he wants to know if the strangled feeling of words lodged in his throat is mutual, if even Asami can be afraid sometimes, the same way Takaba is afraid when he wakes up some mornings with their fingers laced together. He'd stare at how the lines of them converge, mid-morning light washing them in pale blue, until he notices Asami watching him, his expression unreadable.

The bifurcation of what they do and what he feels is clear, or so Takaba thought, how this touch is perfectly safe and can't breach all the walls he's built when it's a precursor to the bedroom. Now though, he's turning towards Asami to press a soft touch of his lips to Asami's cheek, over an eyelid and over his brow - soft and sweet and more daring than anything he's ever done.

Takaba touches their foreheads together and when he breathes out again, it shudders out of him.

It's tiring, being so scared all the time.

"I came here to get something for you. For white day. I thought - maybe something simple like a bathrobe or an embroidered pocket square," Takaba half confesses, discarding all of his Asami-in-stockings fantasies. He really prefers the white shirt, anyhow: a line of cool, smooth buttons digging into his back, the biting cold of a metal zipper on his skin until it fades into the warmth of his body - the heat of Asami a contradiction like the rest of him. "And then things sort of got out of hand."

"I would say so," Asami laughs, the softened gleam beneath the fringe of his eyelashes and the way his mouth curls at the corners a wonder, and Takaba marvels at it and thinks maybe he can be brave after all.

"What were you going to say?"

Asami answers with a question - evasive, "Didn't I just tell you not to worry about it?"

"It's not like you," Takaba says, not thinking about how he's being presumptuous, that he knows what Asami is like. "To hold back, I mean."

Takaba's not sure what he's expecting, but it's definitely not Asami turning his face into Takaba's neck so he can laugh into it, the sound and the vibration in his diaphragm rattling through them.

"What's so funny?"

"Akihito. If I wasn't holding back most of the time, you wouldn't be able to ride your scooter to work," Asami says, still chuckling into Takaba's neck, in the hollow of his collarbone, where he's missing the new blush spreading over his cheeks.

"You are incorrigible - " Takaba nearly takes the bait, but he realises in the last second what's happening "- wait. Don't change the subject. Spill."

"Spill," Asami repeats, amused. "Right. I had a question for you."

And this is probably how he gets dragged under every single time - Asami's smile is deceptively disarming. "Yeah?"

"How many men tried to buy you today?"

It's less than a split second before Takaba sees that this particular smile is sharp and glints like a blade and not nice at all. He's finding it suddenly difficult to turn away - Asami has him by the waist, a thumb tucked into the garter belt, his arms locked like steel - and he knows his tells are fucking easy and Asami would eat him alive over a game of poker but there's no harm in trying, right? "What? No way!" Which does not follow, so he hurries to add, "I mean, no one."

"You are so bad at that," Asami looks like he feels sorry for him, actually, which is just amazing. The best. "Look me in the eyes and say that again."

Takaba looks him in the eyes and grits out, "Uh," followed by a string of garbled words.

"Very articulate. Let me help," Asami grabs Takaba by the jaw, thumbs over his lip and immediately starts being everything but helpful with Takaba's blood pressure. "A pretty young thing like you walking through Ni-chome, alone, lost, staring down at every basement level door trying to find this place - do you think 'no one' is a believable answer?"

"Uh." Takaba throws on his most winsome smile - one for the cameras. "Maybe?"

It's rather like trying to charm a brick wall. "Tell me."

Takaba's decently sure he's hovering between terrified and hysterical - it's a toss-up. "Um, four."

Asami studies him for a beat, and what he sees there looks to satisfy him, and he just sighs, instead of the fight Takaba's expecting.

"That's what you wanted to know?" Takaba asks.

"No. It's not about what I know, it's about what you don't," says Asami, and to Takaba the words are entirely opaque, and what he adds in a quiet murmur doesn't make the whole thing more luculent, either. "You can lead a man to water."

But evidently Asami's done talking, his mouth is doing other things like biting down on Takaba's neck at the exact juncture that feels like it has a direct connection to his dick. Takaba arches into the mouth on him, into the hand tweaking his nipple, blatantly rubbing his drooling cock still wrapped in silk over Asami's pants - making a mess of them.

Belatedly, he has a passing interest in not leaking lube all over the fine wool of Asami's suit, but it passes as Asami presses himself against him, rock hard and so hot he feels the heat through three layers of fabric. The logic of getting cum on all their clothes and unable to get home without calling Kirishima for extra clothes and a car - well that's mortifying - barely registers as an afterthought when Asami reaches down for his belt and zipper.

"I swear you bring out the worst in men," Asami says, turning Takaba so he'd have to face the mirror, face the sight Asami's made of him; the silk of his panties all one dark wet patch, his thighs shiny with cum and sweat and lube. And then Asami pulls the thong aside so he'd have to look at his spent sac and his red, swollen hole behind it as Asami pulls one knee up against his chest so he's entirely exposed and feeling a finger pushing it agape and pulling and clenching at him like a hungry little mouth, Takaba thinks he may just expire from embarrassment.

"That's not true," Takaba's insisting as he resists the colour that tingles at his cheeks, rubbing at them and trying to cover his eyes, but he's too fascinated with the way he's soft and swollen where Asami's touching him - where Asami's scissoring his fingers to stretch him so wide open he can see inside - to look away.

"The worst in me, then," Asami says, his smile pulling into a mean line that usually shows halfway through the night, when his face is limned by moonlight and Takaba can just make it out above him, eyes like lit amber glittering in the dark, predatory. "At the very least."

There's white spots of cum over his collarbones and on his chin so naturally Asami's rubbing at it with a thumb, pushing it into Takaba's mouth, to make him lick off the salt and bitter spunk and the strange plasticky aftertaste of lube. Takaba sucks on it instinctively, feeling good to have that rough pad of Asami's thumb on his lips, have it scratch against his tongue, have anything to fill up the empty cavern of his mouth.

Asami lifts him higher, off balance and tipped so he's anchored by nothing but the heel of Asami's hand by his mouth and the hand behind his knee; the head of his cock - angry and purple by now, a clear line of precum drooling steadily down the side - nudging and teasing the ring of Takaba's hole, clenching rhythmically like it's trying to lure him in.

"If you want it, guide me in." Asami's voice is deep, dark and dangerous, the murk of deep oceans and the chasm of the unknown, amused, on the edge of a laugh Takaba can almost hear.

Takaba's so spent he thinks he can't come any more, he’s soaked through and hollowed out and in the mirror his ass pouts, the lip of it clutching at emptiness like it wants, and Takaba wants - not this soft teasing touch, even, but for Asami to plunge deep in him in one go, chase this empty feeling out of his insides, so he reaches down and lines them up, watches as Asami splits him open slow and listens to the litany of filth that spills forth from between his lips.

"It always looks like I'm about to break you, doesn't it?" Asami's grin is like a light in the deepest ocean - as bright and inviting as the lure of an angler, to be followed by nothing but teeth.

Takaba can only gasp as Asami nudges him open, all heat and stretch and no friction - he's already so fucked out by his fingers, slack and loose behind the tight red skin of his taint, rubbed raw, but it looks fucking impossible from his vantage point. He half expects it to hurt, half expecting himself to scream, but when the crown pushes through and he feels the fullness of it flaring out inside him, it's a moaning sigh he makes - a lazy pleasure and barely a stretch, and the sigh rolls through him, over his tongue and his lips nursing at Asami's hand, his eyes half closed and damp.

"You are a menace," Asami says, sliding the rest of the way in and Takaba's watching it all - the whole thing swallowed up in one smooth glide and he sees before he feels the short hairs at the base of Asami's cock brushing at the oversensitized skin at the rim. "So lewd it's hard not to just fill you up all the time. If I don't 'hold back,' as you say," and he's pulling out so far Takaba whines at the loss of him, before plugging him up all the way tight, hard enough for their balls to slap together with a wet sounding smack. "I'd make you ride me before I even get out of bed -" and Takaba's dizzy already, on the vertigo of getting dropped on Asami's cock every half sentence, like he's using their rhythm as punctuation, " - I'd hold you up, just like this, and have you in the shower. I'd bend you over the breakfast table, have you against the wall just before I leave for work."

"Ugh, stop that - stop - talking," Takaba makes a choking sound at that, feels a twinge in his dick as it springs back into life, very interested, despite how his balls ache and the tip of his dick is sore and he’s already covered in his spend. "Asami -" and he's not sure where this deathwish is coming from but he's begging for it, because no matter how he insists it’s too much, his body’s crying out not enough, "faster -"

"Not yet," Asami says, laughing, lifting Takaba again so he slides out nearly all the way dragging the wide flare of his cockhead to scrape over all the nerves in Takaba's insides. "You look too good like this - just like this."

Takaba's digging his nails into Asami's wool pants, gripping so hard he's leaving welts through the cloth and if he doesn't get any traction he thinks he may just strangle him with a garter belt, but Asami's taking his hand away so Takaba has nothing to bite on, leaving him too busy crying out to commit murder - fucking begging - as Asami plunges into him, crown to hilt every single time, with the kind of patience that threatens to drive Takaba mad.

A hand strokes over Takaba's nipples and his ribs and keeps moving down, and as he's bottomed out and Asami's cock has disappeared into him, he presses two fingers suggestively into the swell of Takaba's belly, in front of the slot he's carving out on the inside - his - so it'd always feel empty without him.

"You look good enough to eat." And Asami’s hand moves lower still, the pads of his fingers stroking over his taint and lower, brushing over the rim, oh my god he can't be thinking about doing that, "it makes me want to devour you whole."

"Oh no no no, don't -" Takaba's staring at where their bodies meet, where Asami has his entire cock inside, one finger pushing and pushing at the rim, and before he can even finish talking it's in him to the second knuckle and Takaba lets it out in one long wail as he comes, sobbing from the ache of it, the sum of his body clutching tight over too much, his cock only half hard and cum dribbling out of him slowly because he really is fucking on empty, and Asami’s speeding up finally, punching into him and filling him up - biting into Takaba's shoulder hard enough to leave a bruise.

He's barely coming to when Asami starts murmuring by his ear, "And I can't be the only one susceptible to your charms."

Takaba's on the edge of unconsciousness and strangely comfortable - their bodies still connected and Asami lets his legs down and he's holding Takaba tight - but at the sound of that he feels he must protest, so he turns enough to fold their mouths together, dry from moaning and wet from the sweat on his lip.

He must be too high on endorphins to remember fear, because he’s saying without a hint of doubt, "I only want you."

"I know," says Asami, smug, and if Takaba's not mistaken, getting hard again. "And you seem to like this rather a lot. Should I have a mirror installed on our bedroom ceiling?"

"Please don't," Takaba says, as if Asami needs an incentive to go for hours in a night.

"Maybe only in the secret room, then."

"You're a terrible person and I don't know why I -" Takaba begins, then stops himself before he even knows where he's going with that sentence.

Their eyes meet only a breath apart, and there's a heartbreaking beat that jumps between them for a moment before Asami lunges forward and pulls them into a soul devouring kiss; it's hard and hungry, all teeth, stubble scraping at Takaba's cheek and his hands so tight around Takaba's middle he can barely breathe, but it’s Asami’s conversant tongue in his mouth, the taste the texture and scent all familiar, and it puts a tingle in his scalp and chases away all the odd thoughts that don’t fit, and when they part Asami’s there to grind into him once again to make him gasp.

"I think I'm done," Asami says, making no sense at all and pushing them forward - pushing Takaba belly first into the mess he's made on the bench and pinning his cheek to the cushion at the end by his hair.

"What are you - oh god. I can't go again," Takaba says, already wrapping around the edges of the bench with his arms, bracing for impact.

Asami strokes the back of his hand over Takaba's cheek for a moment, achingly gentle, trailing it down to the middle of his back over the sheer fabric all matted. "That's what you think, sure. But you'll take it, won’t you?" He's thrusting in hard before he's even done saying, "You'll take it all, and you'll love it - you'll complain about how you're sore and you'll come and come and make those needy, lovely little screams for me."

"You just said you were done!" Takaba says, his teeth grinding from the force he's being pushed into the cushion and fucked and trying hard not to scream like he's being ordered. "You literally just said that!"

"Oh, I'm done holding back, yes," Asami says, kissing Takaba's cheek chaste and tender, sweet as anything, pulling back to reveal a terrifying, lopsided smile. "Thank you for your consideration and all that." And he grips so tight at Takaba's hip that those fingermarks will last a month, fucking into him without regard for the seams in his pants or how he's creating space inside of Takaba where there is none.

Takaba is sore and pissed off at himself for being so fucking turned on by this, but it's hard to breathe, harder to think, and in a moment of insanity Takaba thinks there isn't enough room in him for his heart to beat and he would expire; there is only room inside him for Asami, spreading him wide and carving out a space for himself, and Takaba's sobbing shamelessly into the leather bench, his hands digging into the edges of it for comfort, grasping for an anchor in a sea of sensations.

Takaba thinks Asami's carved himself in a long time ago, he can conjure up Asami's face and his hands behind his eyelids, and it's not a hyperbole or some dreamy notion that no one else will do - there isn't anyone else he wants - and if what he wants is pushing all the air out of his lungs, where every time their eyes meet he goes hypoxic, then in this moment Takaba doesn't even mind if he stops breathing.

Out of the corner of his eye Takaba can just catch the sight of Asami over him; his mouth an open snarl, bangs hanging loose over his eyes sharp and set to conquer - a beautiful wreck. Takaba wishes Asami would let him move, let him climb on top and make this a little easier, but this is good too - bonelessly taking Asami in, letting Asami drag him closer and closer to the edge, sweat dripping onto his back. It's a warm and sweet rippling in the pit of his belly, barely noticeable over the brutal way Asami's cock is coring him out. It radiates outwards through the lines of lace and through his nipples scratching against tight lattice flowers, in the thrum of blood in his scalp where the pulse in Asami's fingertips seem to sync with his heartbeat - filled with an overflowing tenderness that exists only in the conflux of sight and sound and the bruise on his shoulder he'll be seeing in the mirror all week.

When he finally comes again he’s giving Asami exactly what he wants, little mewling screams escaping his throat every time Asami's wool pants grates on his thighs, the zipper digging into his ass. It's also with Asami's overbearing weight on him, the line of his body an ineludible heat. And his legs, hot through his wool pants parked tight against the inside of Takaba's thighs straddling the bench, and their fingers of one hand lacing together, their lips meeting awkwardly as Asami grinds into him, desperate to be closer than they already are.

"You always heat up before you come, right in there," Asami says into his mouth, infuriatingly cogent still. "Fluttering all around me like you can't help yourself."

Takaba must say something accusatory, something mean and along the lines of “shut the fuck up already”, but Asami seems to like what he says and he closes his mouth over Takaba's, swallowing down every moan as he shudders and hums.

He lets himself be enveloped by the well-loved scent of Asami then, the sweetness of his skin and the tang of sweat and aftershave and latent cigarette smoke closing over him as delicately as the silk over his skin - and he's right, it hurts, he's sore but his whole body seizes up and the shivers reach all the way down to his fingertips.

He hears Asami groan behind his ear and slamming home once more, feels it like a punch inside him, knocking out all his air. Asami's rhythm falters, grinding in and in, and everything feels like too much; it’s always overwhelming, always on the other side of exhaustion and the edge of pain that he finds himself - beneath the immolating heat of Asami's chest, the comfort of his weight, the hard lines of his body molding into his back. And as Takaba feels himself filled, his head fills up with a strange effervescence he can't quite explain, with Asami faintly smiling down at him, inscrutable, yet so bright that Takaba can make out dancing motes of dust in the air.

Takaba has time to think, that's strange, Asami is glowing, before his brain decides that this would be the best time to expire. Star-like blackness creeps in on his vision, and the soft vignette spreads until he drowns - lost in the depths and cocooned in the arms of his -


It's been either twenty minutes or a few hours by the time Takaba wakes, curled up in Asami's lap with a suit jacket over his shoulders. Asami's hand is in his hair and a thumb brushes absentmindedly over his nape, and it feels nice, easy and sweet with all the urgency and heat dissipated. His muscles have settled into a morning-after ache, and when he rolls his shoulders, stretching out a knot, Asami turns away from his phone and says, quietly, "Hey."

"Hi," Takaba says, and reflexively loops his arms around Asami's neck so he could pull him close and kiss him, as short and intimate as a single word.

Takaba doesn't know what Asami does at work, on his phone, out at nights too late - he's bad habits wrapped in secrets that Takaba can't seem to leave behind. But there are things Takaba knows too; Asami likes his coffee black, his nikujaga with mirin and no sugar, buttons his shirt from the bottom up like an elementary school kid, leaves notes on the fridge for no one but Takaba and writes his name in hiragana on all of them.

And he knows too, that Asami's always there to change the subject or the mood for him when he feels overwrought - like right now, this very second, when he pulls away from the kiss and realises he has all the secrets he needs.

Asami's slipping a finger beneath one of Takaba's shoulder straps, turning it where it's flipped over when he asks, "You know what all this would look good under?"

Because he's warm, and feeling profoundly safe, Takaba doesn't think there's anything foreboding in Asami's question. Foolishly trusting, he asks, "What?"

Asami looks at him, serious, and without a care for whether he would be the immediate cause of sudden cardiac arrest, he says, "A white tuxedo."

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[EPILOGUE]

From: [Kirishima Kei] kirishima.kei@sion.co.jp

To: [Masahiro Uchida] mari@yuikihime.tokyo.jp

Subject: RE: (no subject)

On behalf of Sion, I would like to extend a complimentary 3-month membership, with VIP access, priority booking, as well as a 20% discount on all purchases, up to and including membership renewals valid at any one of our affiliated clubs.

Please forward any cleaning bills as well as damage claims as PDF files to this email address, and I will make sure to take care of them personally.

Sincerely,

Kirishima Kei

Chief Executive Assistant

Sion Corp.


From: [Masahiro Uchida] mari@yuikihime.tokyo.jp

To: [Kirishima Kei] kirishima.kei@sion.co.jp

Subject: RE:RE: (no subject)

Oh, please. Don't you talk to me like that, Kei. Pick up the fucking phone.

I've attached the cleaning bill and the contact info for my insurance agent. You can have your lawyers talk to her.

~~Mari


From: [Kirishima Kei] kirishima.kei@sion.co.jp

To: [Masahiro Uchida] mari@yuikihime.tokyo.jp

Subject: RE:RE:RE: (no subject)

Thank you for the paperwork. I'll process everything right away and send you a cheque before 9pm today.

Kirishima

P.S. I am sorry that he stole my phone at lunch break and got the address. I truly did not mean for any of this to happen. If it helps at all, I suffer worse behaviour from him on a weekly basis.

But you used to work here so you should know that already.


From: [Masahiro Uchida] mari@yuikihime.tokyo.jp

To: [Kirishima Kei] kirishima.kei@sion.co.jp

Subject: RE:RE:RE:RE: (no subject)

You know you can always come work for me, right? The hours are good, the pay is decent, you can have your own sexual harassment tip jar, wear whatever you want, and the best part: it's not life threatening.

Well, not unless your old friend sends Asami Ryuichi's boyfriend to your shop. Then the whole not-life-threatening thing gets kind of iffy. What were you thinking????

Well, what's done is done. Thankfully, I don't think he recognized me, and he's pretty happy with the *ahem* selection we chose, so he's not thinking about offing any of us. But really, Kei - keep your boss away from my businesses.

Honestly though, life expectancy's too short in your line of work. Geisha needs a new manager. If any of my customers bother you, I can step on them with my heels.

Think about it.

~Mari

P.S. I'm going to text you.


I'm hosting a party on the 19th @Geisha, bring yourself, let me dress you up and I'll forgive you - M.U.

I don't think I can make it, but I can send you a case of wine? - K.K.

You owe me and the girls a night of bar hopping. Choose a date and time, we're off Thursday nights. - M.U.

I won't have time for at least a month. - K.K.

I can be patient. - M.U.

Can I send over the wine anyway? - K.K.

What kind? -M.U.

Red. With sensuous notes of dark chocolate supposedly. The boss gave me three cases. - K.K.

Are you okay? - M.U.

No. - K.K.

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