They end up spending a few months in Italy, sharing a tiny apartment in Rome, disinclined to dispel the illusion of their so-called honeymoon, before finally moving on. They don't own much – Goh has twice as many clothes as Taki does, though Taki's picked up a collection of spine-cracked books he's reluctant to leave behind – and it's easy to shove their lives into two over-sized backpacks. They each pick five cities, toss all the names into a hat Goh charmed off an American tourist, and end up in Stockholm.
They settle down again quickly – because they can, because neither of them want the honeymoon to end. Even if the honeymoon is mostly just a joke at this point. They rent a furnished, top floor apartment in Södermalm. They pay for the entire six-month lease upfront, the two of them huddled together as they carefully count out the exact amount in Swedish krona. Their landlord is a sweet older lady named Ida.
They are, they agree that first night over a plate of meatballs, as close to happy as they know how to be.
It's a perfect life.
They have sex all the time. It's not even that they're bored without Tsunuga slipping them slips of paper under their cups, though the excess of free time is helpful. It's because they want to – because Goh can't keep his hands off Taki, because Taki never asks him to try. Without Kanji or Mimi interrupting them at the worst possible times, they fuck with complete abandon, whenever they can, which is often.
Goh screws Taki over the couch, on the kitchen table, in the shower, and, of course, in their bed. He memorizes every curve of muscle on Taki's back and every shape his lips make when he comes. Taki is careful not to jizz on the furniture, which is far more considerate than Goh is about the same thing.
"She won't care," Goh assures him, lying beside Taki on the floor, scratching lazily at his own belly.
"It's the principle of the thing," Taki replies with a languid stretch. The light through the open window catches his hair. Goh imagines his hands in the light-coloured strands, holding his head and slipping his cock into Taki's laughing mouth. "We really should do something other than have sex all the time."
Goh scoffs dismissively. "That's a terrible idea."
"Yeah," Taki replies with a small little smile, looking over at him. "Sorry for being so foolish."
"You're forgiven," Goh tells him and lifts his hand to Taki's head, combing through his hair, unable to resist. Taki melts into him, easy, and they fuck right there on the floor, warmed by the morning sun.
So everything is great, except they are who they are. There's a cafe near their apartment, where they like to take a fika. It reminds them both of the Roost, though everything – the coffee, the pastries, the service – about it is better. They both vow to never, ever, ever tell Tsunuga that. It's their own little secret.
Goh is splitting his attention between a cinnamon bun and seeing how far Taki will allow Goh to feel him up under the table when he notices a couple things. One, the server behind the counter is afraid of someone in the cafe. Taki identifies the mark first with a minute shift of his eyes. Two, it's a drug deal, one that happens so quickly that Goh barely sees the exchange. He doesn't recognize the purple pills.
Sweden is not as strict as Japan, he reminds himself as he sips his coffee. It could be nothing.
But after that, the honeymoon is over. They both notice something isn't right – a rise in deaths due to overdose; people stumbling through the streets at night, half-clothed, dazed, visibly ill; the increasing fear of their normally polite barista – and it's not in their natures to ignore a problem they can solve.
"How do we do this?" Taki asks one night, over lukewarm takeout and map they've thoroughly marked with symbols that have meaning only to them. They're both in pyjama pants, no shirts. Normally, Goh would be busy ogling Taki's perfectly sculpted chest, but he's distracted. "Do we go undercover?"
It hurts to force out the truth. "Not both of us," he admits, scowling down at the table.
Taki nudges his foot with his slipper, holding out a fist. "Winner goes under, loser does recon."
Goh presses his lips together, but nods. They chant jan ken pon in unison. He swears when Taki's hand flattens out, covering the curl of Goh's fingers. Best two out of three hangs on his tongue, so close to tumbling out of his mouth, but Taki is almost as stubborn as he is. They both knew the rules going in.
With that settled, they spend the rest of the night fucking. Goh makes sure Taki remembers everything he's leaving behind, for however long this takes. Driving his hips hard between Taki's legs, he curls his cursed hand around the perfect arc of Taki's cock. Goh doesn't stop until Taki is practically weeping.
In the morning, Taki kisses him – a little desperate, a lot filthy – and then he's gone, just like that.
Goh sits in bed for a long time, sheet wrapped low around his hips, and stares out the window.
He misses Taki already.
Goh splits his time between researching and talking to people, charming them without sleeping with them. That element makes it harder, but it doesn't feel right, falling back into old habits. He practices his Swedish, which is abysmal, and travels to wherever the Storstockholms Lokaltrafik will take him, by rail, bus, boat and tram. Stockholm is a beautiful city. It just makes Goh angrier.
Whatever this drug is, it's bad. It's brutal, and it's poison, and it needs to be off the streets.
Goh wants his perfect life back.
Goh is single-minded in his determination. As the days become weeks, and the map on the kitchen table becomes an intricate web of theories, facts and RIPs, he becomes increasingly agitated. Taki leaves him messages when he can, in places he knows Goh will check, but Goh wants to see him.
Wants to confirm, with his own eyes, that everything is okay, even though he has complete faith in Taki's abilities. Taki is a thinker, filled to the brim with random facts that often get him out of trouble. Where Goh will rush into a situation and worry about the details later, Taki will blend in and make his move once he has all the information. It takes all of Goh's self control to hold up his end of the bargain.
It is the hardest thing Goh has ever done. He resolves never to do it again.
Goh makes one misstep, and he pays for it. They beat him soundly and thoroughly, in the street, and he loses consciousness. When he wakes up again, he's cuffed to a chair in a room, a single light hanging over his head. His left eye is swollen shut, and his right one squints at the painful shine of the bulb.
"Who are you?" someone asks from the shadows, rough, in Swedish. "Polisen?"
It isn't a word Goh knows, though he can guess what it means. With a smirk, he declines to answer.
His captor says something else – Goh is too proud to ask for English, at the very least – but he can guess what that means, too, when another man steps up to him and tries to beat the smile off his face. It's a noble effort, but Goh is made of tougher stuff than that. He keeps grinning. It infuriates them.
This keeps up for a while. Just when Goh thinks he might break – he contemplates giving them the smallest bit of information, just to catch his breath – Taki shows up at the side of a smartly dressed man. Through his only good eye, Goh looks him over. He's shirtless, which bolsters Goh's spirits, and two silver rings glint on his nipples. That is so hot, Goh thinks, and then Taki suddenly licks his lips.
Tongue ring! Goh's fevered brain screeches. Goh imagines Taki's lips stretched around his cock. Wonders what else is pierced. Wonders if his dick has one. Wonder how it would feel in his mouth.
They beat him again, but his brain is elsewhere, back in their apartment, fucking Taki in their bed. Taking his time, worshipping him as he deserves, playing with those piercings, using his lips, his teeth, his fingers. Heat covers his body. His cock could be pierced, he thinks with a dreamy smile.
They marvel at his willpower, his strength of character. Taki's expression remains professionally blank, his eyes betraying no hint of recognition, but Goh's sure that Taki knows exactly what's driving him.
Taki, after all, knows him best.
In the end, they resort to force-feeding him a handful of the purple pills.
Goh reels back, pressing his lips tightly together, and Taki picks that moment to strike. Goh appreciates the backup, but they're badly out-numbered. The room devolves into chaos. Amidst the meaty sound of Taki making contact, two men pry Goh's mouth open and try to stuff the pills in without losing fingers.
Goh spits most of them out, but between all the commotion, and the nose-pinching, and the bottles of water, he's sure at least three get washed down. The effect hits quickly, and he almost laughs, because it's familiar. He's had Sweet Death before. This feels like its twisted, angry brother.
The blood rushes to his cock. Goh starts to sweat. There's no pleasure, just unrelenting pain.
Goh watches as Taki takes on the room. His fists smash into angry faces; his legs kick into broken jaws. The man in the suit vows to kill him, but Taki silences him with a sharp jab to the throat. Goh longs to help, but he's in a terrible way, ass squirming against the uncomfortable seat of the chair, hips pumping desperately, looking for friction, for some sensation that will take the relentless burn in his cock away.
He thinks he might die if he doesn't get some relief. Knows he probably will. Cries out for help.
"I've got you," Taki assures him, tying everyone up then unlocking the man in the suit's cell phone. He dials a number, gives them an address, and hangs up. He kneels down behind Goh, making quick work of the cuffs. Goh's body is too weak to fuck him right there, but he tries anyway. Taki looks at him.
Goh opens his mouth to beg, to keen, to weep, but Taki puts a thumb on his lip, silencing him.
Taki unzips his jeans and blows him, right there, among all the unconscious strangers. Goh comes with a hoarse cry, head bent forwards, hair dripping over his face. Taki looks up at him again and smiles.
Taki carries him out of there. He wraps Goh in a coat and yanks a hat over his head. They make it three blocks before Goh loses it again. Tucked into a darkened alley, back against a stone wall, Goh stands there, legs threatening to buckle, gaze on Taki's face as Taki jerks him off with a quick, knowing hand.
In the distance, he hears the sound of sirens, faint, like in a dream.
Taki looks him in the eyes. "Will you be okay for five minutes if I leave you alone?" he asks slowly.
"No," Goh says, clutching at him, a hand twisted in the shirt Taki took from one of the unconscious men. There are spots of Goh's blood all over it, only barely covered by the stolen suit jacket. Even though Goh is one hundred percent serious, Taki just smiles and kisses him sweetly on swollen lips.
"Five minutes," he assures him, pulling away. He adds, over his shoulder, "don't fuck anybody else."
"Only you," Goh agrees faintly, banging his head against the wall, staring up at the night sky.
They somehow get to the hotel room without too much trouble. Taki pushes him onto the bed, yanks off his clothes, and slicks Goh's cock up with something. He sits down without any further prep, the clench of his ass perfect around Goh's dying cock. Taki rides him confidently, expertly, sweat dripping off his brow, salty against Goh's open mouth. Goh's fingers dig into Taki's hips, savouring the feeling.
Goh comes a third time, rushing hot into Taki's body. Taki drags him, ignoring his protests, into the bathroom. He runs a hot bath, steaming misting over the water, and guides Goh into it. With the deepest care, Taki washes the blood off with a soft cloth. Once Goh is clean, Taki drains the tub then refills it.
"Need me again?" Taki asks with a smile, stepping into the water.
Goh bends him over the porcelain edge and fucks him like his life depends on it.
The night passes in a fever dream. Goh hears himself speaking – babbling about their future together, about the home they'll have, the plants, the pets, the children. He weaves an elaborate vision, detailing everything with the most loving of care. Taki alternates between humming agreeably and moaning helplessly. None of this is anything Goh has thought about consciously – he knows the type of person he is, the kind of life he's led, and he's learned to live in the moment with little thought spared for the future – but his brain can't stop revealing all of his deepest hopes and dreams for their life together.
None of it feels like a lie.
He fucks Taki when Taki encourages him and accepts every handjob and blowjob when Taki needs a break. It should be the best night of his life, but Goh feels out of control. His heart thuds in his chest.
If either of them eat, Goh can't remember, but they definitely stay hydrated. Taki urges him to drink water, even though Goh physically recoils from the suggestion. His kindness erases any negative associations Goh might have developed during his brief but unfortunate stay with the drug dealers.
They fuck, and rest, and fuck again. Sometimes, when a mouth or a hand isn't enough but the warm clench of Taki's body is too much to ask for, Taki guides Goh's cock between his thighs. That's a new and unexpected sensation, and Goh resolves to try it again when his brain isn't leaking out of his dick.
The drug wears off around sunrise. Goh has lost count of how many time he's come. He hopes, for Taki's sake, that he's also enjoyed a few orgasms, even if Goh has no memory of them. Which is a shame because Taki's O-face is incredible, and Goh loves seeing it. He'll have to indulge himself another day.
For possibly the first time since they met, Goh has no desire to fuck Taki. He's simply too exhausted.
Goh settles on running a hand over the length of Taki's body, starting at the base of his neck and moving slowly downwards. Plays, idly, between his ass cheeks, because they're shapely and warm, and indulges in the fluffy hairs on the backs of his thighs. Taki hums softly, rumbling low in his throat.
"How are you feeling?" Taki asks, after a moment, voice warm and fuzzy, eyes still closed.
"I've been worse," Goh admits, palming Taki's ass. It really is fantastic. "How are you?"
"A little sore," Taki admits, eyes finally opening, just halfway. A delightful swatch of colour passes over his cheeks, and Goh resists the urge to kiss it until it's inflamed. It's an easy impulse to ignore. Every part of him is stiff, and the idea of ever leaving this bed fills him with dread. "But I'm good."
"If I hurt you..."
Taki makes a face. "No," he says quickly. "We had an agreement, didn't we?"
"We did," Goh agrees reluctantly.
They had talked about it, once, over a bottle of hot sake and a truly impressive mountain of food they had bought from 7-11. It had been a particularly difficult job, and Goh, for reasons he no longer recalled, had brought up Sweet Death and how it had felt. They had agreed, with a handshake that Goh had tried to turn into a kiss, that they would always do whatever was needed, to keep the other one alive.
"I'm sorry it took so long to reach the head of the snake," Taki says, rolling onto his side.
Goh flicks a finger at one of Taki's nipple rings. "You'll have to tell me all about it. I'm never leaving this bed again. It's too comfortable, and my muscles have locked up. I'm afraid you'll have to feed me."
"What a hardship," Taki says with a sigh, smiling.
Goh tugs lightly on the ring he's been playing with. "Will you keep the piercings?"
"If you want me to," Taki replies, licking his lips, a glint of silver on his tongue.
Goh feels a flicker of desire low in his groin. His dick – his sore, raw, aching dick – twitches with interest. Taki rolls his eyes, but his expression is fond. Later, Goh tells it with a dismissive pat, when I don't think you'll fall off if I use you again. "I didn't notice in all the excitement... is your cock pierced?"
Goh is unable to keep the hopeful note out of his voice. When Taki smiles, his eyes crinkle at the corners. "I knew that's what you were thinking. They marvelled at your ability to ignore pain, but I knew." He takes Goh's hand and guides it to the head of his dick. "It's not, but I'm open to the idea."
"I love you," Goh breathes, pressing a kiss to Taki's mouth. Taki's cock hardens in his hand. His body might be aching, but his fingers still work. Goh is unable to resist the temptation to stroke him a little, not just in thanks for helping him through the night. "You are the best thing to ever happen to me."
"I know that, too," Taki assures him, squeezing his hand, shivering delightfully, and kisses him back.