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Reasons to Kiss Him

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He says, "I am..." and pauses. She lets go of the side of the door and rubs at her eyes with her forefinger and thumb, but it doesn't get rid of the dry, gummy feeling.

"I am very glad you're okay," she hears him say, his slight emphasis not going unnoticed, though she lowers her hand and stares at him anyway, not knowing quite how to respond.

"I'm exhausted," she answers, eventually, and it's the truth, coffee or no coffee.

"Of course," he says. She takes a deep breath, and tries that smile again, and this time it's less like a shade of one.

"Later, then," she says, and turns to go.

He says, "Utsumi," and taps her on the shoulder. She turns her head, and then freezes as he bends down to kiss her. It lands on a corner of her lips. At first she just blinks, with her eyes wide and doesn't respond, keeping herself very still. But, he doesn't move away, doesn't take his mouth from hers and something shifts inside her, moves from denial to acceptance -- this is right, this is good.

She closes her eyes and reaches up, to place her hands on his chest, fingers spreading flat, her little finger catching on the ribbing of his vest. She tips her head back. He leans forward, and she pushes herself into the spaces that are natural, more natural than before, now correct with an amazing suddenness. He slants his mouth across hers, the touch of his lips to hers slight and questing, and that hesitancy sends a charge, a stab of desire down through her belly. She opens her mouth to his, an unspoken invitation he takes full advantage of, and all thought melts and flows away under the onslaught of the heat of him and his mouth.

They cling and sway and breathe each other and in the dark behind her eyes, she can feel the entire life of them pulsing with the answer that he's doing this because he wants it. The realization tips and spills over, overwhelming in the space of a blink, so she pulls away, drags breath in and tastes him on the inhalation.

His mouth is open, breath heavy between his lips, and eyelids lowered, gaze dark, shadowed. She takes a few more guttering breaths, the space of each laden with indecision. She doesn't look away from him, sure that would end this. This would be the moment to dispel the bubble that's around them, but she can't do it.

He leans forward, putting his hands on her forearms, and bends to press a kiss right under her earlobe, in the hollow there and she feels her knees give, just a little, when she feels cool air rush against the strip of wetness the tip of his tongue leaves. "We need to," she starts, but she can't think, she can't be eloquent, not when he's teasing her with his mouth, with his tongue. She reaches behind her, trying to find the door. It's out of reach. She huffs and then stumbles forward as Yukawa lifts his head and tugs her forward, arm around her back, creating space to push the door closed, but when he returns his attention to her, Utsumi bows her head.

She says, "I--" and hesitates, unable to think of anything to explain herself, her sudden shyness. He's still so close, so much so she can feel him breathing and when he moves, she looks up, sees him lift his hand, but stop with a curious look on his face, one that speaks of hesitancy itself. Utsumi stares, caught by it. Her silence seems to encourage him, because he completes the motion, uses his forefinger and thumb to comb at the hair alongside her face.

"Your hair is mussed."

"Oh?"

A small smile touches his lips, brief amusement. "In the back, too," he says.

Utsumi breathes out through her nose, lowers her shoulders and head at the sudden tenseness of embarrassment across her back, and closes her eyes. "Fine," she says, and reaches up to yank at the elastic around her hair. It comes loose, but the day has compacted it into a hank that just hangs stiff at her back, something only to be expected, of course. It's still a relief, to not have the pressure around her head, and she spreads her fingers up through the back to comb through it.

She does it with her eyes closed, so she doesn't expect it when her fingers encounter his. Her eyelids fly open at the touch, to see that Yukawa has leaned in, joined her in fluffing out her hair. He's delicate, once again, about it, but each gentle pluck at whatever he's noted as disarranged sends a shiver down through the nape of her neck into the small of her back and all thought stops, and her hands go numb, until he stops, and then, she opens her eyes. When did she close them?

His hands have come to rest at her temples, palms warming her there. He should be stepping back, right? Should be ending this night because they both need rest. Should be urging her to go, to start recuperating from this atrocious start to her Christmas holiday. Instead, with his hands cupping her face, yet so -- withdrawn -- even so, intimate but not possessive, like he got stuck on the way from lowering them, just his fingertips there, in her hair, against her scalp, a barely skimming touch, she can't interpret why he's looking at her like... like he shouldn't have done anything. Like this was a mistake.

"Are you--" there's a lump in her throat and her words can't make their way around it without her lowering her voice, "waiting for something?"

"Are you?"

She reaches up to his hands, but he takes them away before she can touch them. He steps back and Utsumi's chest tightens, an uncomfortable sensation of being unable to get enough air into her lungs. That's a sign, that's the end, and it shouldn't be, not after all of this, not with the taste of his mouth on her lips and the touch of his hands quivering down through her.

She follows impulse: goes up on her toes, kisses his mouth, quick, but sure; settles back on her heels. The shiver hasn't stopped, has localized itself in her chest. "I didn't know this is what you wanted. I didn't."

He rocks back a little at that, eyes flickering as he examines her face. "Can I stay?" Utsumi asks, hides none of her desperation.

Yukawa reaches past her and turns the bolt on the door, moving into her space again, resting his other hand on her shoulder. She tips her head up, closes her eyes, as he turns back to her and tangles the fingers of his left hand into her hair, and she offers her neck to him. Even as he kisses her there, he curves his right hand against her rib cage, and at first she flinches, but she puts her hand over his, pushes it up against her breast, and it's not enough, too little contact of what she wants.

She wants to be touched, held, so ready for him to find the places that yield just so under fingers and tongue. She pushes herself up against him, lacing her arms around his neck, across his back, feeling the warmth of his body on hers, comforting and exciting and, oh, so very needed. She seeks out his mouth again, curving a hand up on the nape of his neck into his hair and he's even more warm there, bruises her mouth against his, coaxes his mouth open with hers, runs her tongue along the seam, gentle, pulls away to smile at him.

"Come," he says, his hand turning away from her side, skating down her forearm, to grab her hand, and pull her away from the door, back across to the table again, and she goes, a little gasp of delight and joy bursting out in a wide grin she can't contain. He swings her to face him, her back to the table's edge.

"Touch me again," she says, guides his hand up her rib cage, under her shirt, her hand over his, coaxing him to push her bra off her breasts, feeling his thumb catch under the band, then glide over her nipple. She lets go of him, clasps the edge of the table with both hands, and lets her eyes roll back into the shelter of dark, into the focus of sensation, for a brief second, until she feels his hand stop moving.

"Are you sure you want more than this?" he asks. "I have nothing to act as--"

She opens her eyes to see uncertainty, and recognizes it as a need for something other than permission, so she acts without thinking, puts her hand on his chest, right over his heart, and he goes quiet. She looks down at her hand, feels the forceful vibration of his heart against her palm. For a moment, it's almost like she can read his thoughts, too much of it tangled up in a sense of mortality -- they could have died, he said it himself. He's being sensible and she's not and still, still, she wants it, but --

She looks up at him. She says, "There are ways around that." And now time for what they might not have had, but she leaves that unsaid. She moves her hand, over cloth, over his body: this is real, this -- he is -- he wants her too, and she's much too impatient to dwell on what could have happened -- she'll face that later; she'll have to, but not now. She pulls him closer, arms around him, lines him up to her to feel how hard he is, and it all snaps into place, what she wants, how to say it, what to do. She wants to see his face, his eyes look up at her, see the annoying smugness he would doubtless wear like a king's cloak, as she pulls on his hair. She wants his mouth, hot and wet, there where her blood runs strong, lapping, tasting her.

She raises herself on tiptoes, pulls his head down enough so she can speak into his ear, quiet words, clear words. "I want to touch you and I want you to touch me and I don't care if we can't look each other in the eyes in the morning. I want this, have been wanting... you."

She pulls back just enough to look into his eyes. Her indecision is gone, but his... it remains.

"What do I have to do to convince you? You started this. I want to finish it." She moves her hand to his waist, starts to pull at his shirt. "I want you to know me. Starting here." His skin is under her fingers now and she slides her hand around, up his back. His eyes close, and breath escapes him, low subtle vibration not quite a sound. She holds him closer, wraps her legs around him, hands moving to his neck now, coaxing him to lean into her, to kiss her once again on her neck.

"You think I don't know you?" he murmurs against her skin, so low she has to hold her breath to listen. That point of touch is distracting, her focus almost completely drowning in sensation now, gaining an edge of surreal clarity.

"This is different. You can't tell--" she gasps as his teeth graze against her skin. "You can't tell me you don't know that."

"How did you get me here?" He murmurs against her neck, hands under her shirt.

"I didn't. You did. I didn't have the courage for it. How about that?"

He pulls back, dismayed, and Utsumi's hands move with his motion, curving to cup his face. For a moment, she allows her worry to show on her own face, allows herself that moment to acknowledge this night has been hard on him, as well, offers some comfort by caressing his cheekbones with her thumbs. She takes a deep breath, leaning forward, resting her head on his shoulder, as if by doing so it would help sap the tension of the night out of him, ease and dissipate it in herself, too. She says, voice low, feeling the exhalation of breath from each word come back warm on her lips from his closeness, "But now... now, all I want is for you to kiss me."