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Kim Kitsuragi sits folded like a paper crane on the cramped sofa of your room at the Whirling-in-Rags. You cannot believe you convinced him to drink with you. The way he treats his body is like a machine in need of frequent tuning, in need of a regimen – one cigarette a day, no more, no less; this is the first time you’ve seen him imbibe anything more compromising than mineral water.

He is a stranger to hedonism; able to sip at the head of foam that tops his beer without tasting the entire ocean. You knock your third can of cheap booze back, firing it right at the back of your throat. You smell the brine. Your body thrums with its first post-apocalyptic-bender buzz. A pinch of envy wiggles in your gut.

You will never have a beer without a darker impulse raking its slimy fingers over you, demanding more. Someday, when you're weaker, maybe it will drag you under again.

Not today. The easy smile on Kim’s face softens the impact of your troublesome thoughts. His arm anchors you both to the couch, hand almost at your shoulder. He won’t let you drown.

“To a job well done.” Kim’s voice is soft. He holds his half-full can out to kiss your empty one. The hollow clip of aluminium on aluminium draws a slight frown across his face. “Another?”

Yes, a thought slithers into your ear. Drink up, Harry, you’ve earned it. Your diesel needs fueling, too. Thick, rich, noxious, delicious--

“Better not.” Your voice is abrupt, a gunshot. The thought drops dead with a whine, ignition sputtering.

Approval swarms the Lieutenant’s face. He tips his own can, almost draining it in one generous swig. You’re compelled to lick your lips.

A healthy rose color is creeping high on Kim’s cheekbones. His pupils are dark pinpoints in a granite sea. He holds the can out to you. Just a sip. Your fingers brush over his, curl around the can, pull it to your mouth and into you. The sweet splash of affordable beer on your tongue; yeast and additives. That’s the stuff, Harry. Isn’t it grand?

The Lieutenant is watching you through moon-shaped glasses. There’s rumbling under his hood; thoughts unspoken. He wants to tell you something.

Your own narcissism chortles happily on the undercarriage of your brain. He’s about to confess his undying love for you. He thinks you’re a rockstar. A fucking crime-solving, crisis-averting, booze-swilling disco maniac. He is in awe.

“You did well today, detective,” Kim tells you.

His quiet, clipped tone of admiration rains upon you. Your ego swells into a tidal wave. It might also be acid reflux.

An expression a bit too close to the expression pulls your features into a grin. “We did well today.”

Kitsuragi’s laces have been less and less straight since meeting you. He smiles, unfolding a bit. His knee bumps into yours and he leaves it there. It’s deliberate, whispers one of the voices in your head. The voices are becoming just like family; you know them too well and you’d prefer to only hear from them on holidays.

It can’t be deliberate, of course. It’s a flagrant breach of protocol. Not something Kim Kitsuragi would do without good reason, and you are not that.

Still, part of you relishes the contact. The warmth of another body near yours. Two people swimming in the same heat. How long has it been since you even considered such a thing? Misguided notion or not, you haven’t been touched in fucking years.

You’re attracted to him. It hits you like a punch to the gut. Does this mean something? Is it something you forgot about yourself, or something you never knew?

Focus, Harry. You’ve got so much going on under the surface that you’re forgetting to come up and breathe occasionally. Lieutenant Kim Kitsuragi is giving you a look you haven’t seen in, what, a decade? He’s parked his chassis up against you and it isn’t like he doesn’t know how to steer. It’s purposeful.

“Thank you, for celebrating with me.”

His wide pupils dart to your mouth and back to your eyes. Is he drunk enough to kiss you? You’re certain he’s thinking about it. Thinking about it carefully, unlike you, carried on the thrust of your impulses like a plastic bag in a harsh wind. Your impulses, by the way, don’t think that kissing the lieutenant sounds like such a bad idea.

He’s handsome. You’ve had the fleeting thought before, but your identity crisis took precedence – not to mention the hanged man in the back of the Whirling-in-Rags. Now the tree is bare, and you have a marginal idea of who you are and what you want. You sort of want to kiss Kim Kitsuragi until you soften the rigid embouchure of his mouth into breathless, gasping nothingness.

Kim’s arm twitches behind and around you. You’ve drifted closer, unthinking. No, thinking too much. That’s the trouble with you, Harry Du Bois. Your mind’s a swamp.

Don’t get mired. Say something. Tell him you want him.

“Lieutenant—” you begin but don’t finish. Typical.

He arcs a brow at you. You are intimately familiar with this expression. It is both exasperated and vaguely amused. A smile curls at the corners of his lips.

Kiss him, hisses your brain. Do something useful with your mouth for once.

You must not, of course, under any circumstances, do this.

Before you can reconcile the conflicting synapses firing in your brain, Kim leans forward and short-circuits the whole system. His lips mold against yours, testing, chaste. He is kissing you. Your body initiates a full system reboot. Protocols which haven’t activated in nearly a decade surge to life beneath your surface, executing with unexpected precision. Before Kim can pull away from you, your hand is at the back of his neck, deepening your kiss. He tastes like stale beer and cigarettes. It’s damn good.

He sighs into your mouth and the electro-current pinballs through your limbic system. You’re pure lightning, baby. You only stop to breathe when you can no longer stave off death. Kim sucks in a breath of his own when your lips part. For a beat, you stare at one another.

“Am I a good kisser?” You ask yourself with genuine curiosity, breaking the silence.

The lieutenant laughs. “Yes, detective. You are an exceptional kisser.”

Your entire nervous system demands less talking, more touching. You oblige, shifting forward to press your mouth to Kim’s. He makes another small, maddening noise against your lips. You feel slender fingers fasten a firm hold in your hair. An animal part of you growls, pushing until Kim has his back against the sofa, head against the armrest, legs folded against your side.

The back of your mind registers the sound of a sliding zipper. Kim is removing his jacket. He slips his arms free and into your own disco-ass blazer. Your muscles jump under the light brush of his fingers across your ribs. You are ticklish, you realize, internalizing this information for later.

Eagerness rolls off the lieutenant in waves, startlingly intense. His hands are everywhere they can reach as you kiss him breathless; they roam beneath your jacket and over your shoulders and into your hair. He threads his fingers through the thicket of your facial hair and caresses your jaw and moans into your mouth. He’s not just breaking protocol; his clever hands are shredding it into little pieces.

Your own hands fumble against the lieutenant’s frame. He’s lithe as a cat. Training has toned his naturally slender body into something more formidable, but he is still engulfed by the looming shadow you cast. Moonlight is filtering in behind you.

A voice snakes into your ear. You could really toss him about. He’d like it -- just look at him -- and he could take it. Probably even give it right back. That’s the story behind the desire blazing in his eyes. He wants you because he’s seen you in action and you’re fucking powerful. The thought makes your blood race.

Get yourself together, Harry. It’s Kim. Are you sure you want to let your hormones grab you by the nose and take off with you? Please. For god’s sake don’t fuck this up. You care about this, about him.

You’re the worst kind of repeat offender. Never could give up a good thing without a fight. Slave to the strongest addiction there is.

And look, while you’ve been thinking, he’s been acting. Like you should be. He’s already got your tie off and he’s halfway through with the buttons of your shirt. Sink or swim, Harry-boy.

You peel his tight undershirt off his body, exposing an expanse of pale skin. A bullet wound spirals outward like a sunburst from his shoulder. His glasses slip in the fray. He pushes them carefully back into place and surges forward. Greedy lips and tongue down the column of your neck, sending your nerves into a frenzy. Busy hands divest you of your jacket and your shirt, and then he’s kissing his way down the broad plane of your chest. He nuzzles his nose against you, inhaling deeply.

Shit, Harry, it’s not a fucking misnomer, is it? You’re one furry bastard.

You pause a moment to consider the miracle that is Kim Kitsuragi’s obvious desire for you. As though he is blind to your (many many many) imperfections. Praise be.

Kim’s touch on your thigh, bracingly sudden, drives the self-deprecation temporarily out of your mind. His hand slides fearlessly upward and suddenly, he’s stroking you through the thin, too-tight fabric of your tacky beige disco pants. Why do you wear those, Harry? Why on earth?

Your head tips back and Kim guides you reverently until you’re pressed back against the sofa and he’s half kneeling. His chin brushes against your belly, hovering near your belt buckle. The pressure of his hand is making stars explode behind your eyelids. You chance to look down at him. Unfailing confidence; determination. He’s calculating.

He’s done this before. Sex, with a man.

Insecurity quivers at the base of your brain. Which men? Handsome men? Almost definitely more handsome than you are.

Impossible. Look at you. Look at Kim looking at you.

Oh, god. You are struck with the terrifying thought that he might love you, a little. You want to curl into yourself until you blink out of existence like a dying star. You want to be so far inside him that you lose all sense of which of you is which.

“Kim.” Your voice is small.

He’s unfastened your belt, but he realizes you’ve frozen. He is patience personified, alighting his hands on each of your thighs.

“Should I stop?” he asks.

You’re going to chase your tail until you die. You can’t be afraid forever; you can’t shame yourself to death. Your saving grace isn’t at the bottom of the bottle, Harry. It’s right here. And you know it.

“No,” you breathe.

Kim’s relief is palpable. He peels the travesty that is your trousers down your thighs until they pool at your feet. Your heartbeat pounds in your ears. Fingers wrap firmly around the base of your cock and he draws you into his mouth in one quick motion. Your hips lift uncontrollably, and he wrangles you down, humming with pleasure around you. There is a wildfire inside you, spreading outward from where Kim’s mouth engulfs you and systematically consuming every inch of you. Another helpless animal noise escapes you.

It’s been so goddamn long. Put your hands in his hair. Push desperately toward completion. You’d love to cum in his mouth, wouldn’t you, Harry?

No. Never let it end. This is paradise.

Your hands hover near his tousled hair. Kim grunts and reaches out to guide them closer. His hair is fine, soft as down, and his eyes flutter prettily when you pull. Fuck.

You grasp a bit tighter and he pulls back with a sloppy sound, parting his lips around the tip of your cock. His mouth is rosy. He sucks in a deep breath before leaning forward again. Obediently, letting the pressure of your grip guide him, he takes you as far as he can manage. His eyes meet yours over the rim of his glasses, hungry. His tongue glides along the underside of your erection and you swallow hard around a groan.

He sucks you expertly, until you can’t feel anything but the burgeoning pleasure in your gut and the warm, wet, messy circle of Kim’s mouth. You’re beyond crashing; you’ve capsized. Tension coils like a spring, ready to snap. Your grip must be on the razor’s edge of painful in his hair, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

You’re close. Your hips move again, out of your control, drilling toward the orgasm that lingers just out of reach. Kim muffles an enthusiastic sound against your skin. Then your breath hitches, betraying you, and Kim forces his way out of your grip.

A petulant whine builds in your throat, which you barely suppress. Kim stands, panting through parted lips. Your eyes linger on the flat plane of his stomach, where his pants are hanging low and half undone. There are ridiculous little butterflies in your throat, a whole butterfly garden. The lieutenant just gave you the best head you’ve ever had.

He notices the state you’re in. A cocky grin spreads across his face.

Kiss it away. Tell him you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Fuck him until he can’t walk.

He reaches for his zipper. You knock his hand out of the way and do it yourself. Fair’s fair, Harry, and you can work it out as you go. You’ve always been good on your feet. Try it on your knees.

You crawl forward. You can feel the swell of his erection straining against the fabric of his pants. He gasps when you touch him, cradling his stiff cock through the thin material. Swallowing your nerves, you undress him, encouraged by his soft noises of pleasure. You wrap your fingers around his erection, marveling at the alien familiarity of touching another man. You have the daunting thought that you’ve probably never done this, and maybe shouldn’t at all.

Kim lets out a long, low sigh. Scratch that, you could make a living out of this.

Experimentally, you dart your tongue out to taste him. The lieutenant’s fingers twitch at his side. His breath is forcibly even. He’s trying to stay calm, but you can feel the light tremor running through his body. A wickedly pessimistic thought creeps across your mind. You’re going to be awful at this.

Bullshit. You were shot three days ago, Harry. You can suck a cock. You can do fucking anything.

Your blind courage in the face of the unknown wins out. Kim gasps when you wrap your lips around his cock, laving your tongue across his unyielding flesh. The thin veneer of his control snaps. He whimpers above you; arcs toward you. Your jaw aches with effort while you find a rhythm, letting him glide between your lips. His cock is heavy on your tongue, the scent of him is all around you, and with each stroke he lets out another, low-pitched moan. It’s perfection.

Your hand settles on his hip, where you can feel him tensing further each time you sheath him to the hilt in your mouth. There are satisfying little cracks running through the lieutenant’s composure, betraying his enthusiasm. You can still feel him trembling like moth wings where your fingers are digging into his skin.

“Harry,” he whispers, and just like that, a dam breaks. Your name becomes a litany.

That tidal wave of ego is quickly becoming a monsoon. You’re merciless, fueled by the praise; the mere fact that he’s coming undone for you has your blood high and your heart pounding. All he’s saying is your name.

You’re a rockstar, Harry. Make him cum for you. Watch the tide break.

Kim stops you with a shaky hand. You pull back, dazed.

“Come here,” he instructs.

You reluctantly let him push you backward toward the sofa, where you sit, obedient. Kim reaches for the orange jacket laying discarded next to you. He rummages through the pockets, producing a small bottle.

Lubricant. Obviously. You don’t really have to be a detective for that one, but it helps.

“You carry that around with you?” you ask.

He regards you coolly. “You’re going to complain?”

Liberally, he slicks his hand in the substance and strokes you, slathering your cock with something just on this side of pleasantly cool. Your hips twitch again, desperate to thrust toward the loose circle of his fist. He positions himself above you, then reaches to adjust his glasses with his free hand.

“Let me get those for you,” you offer.

“No,” he says softly, pushing them into place. “I’d like to see you.”

This is significant. The weight of it could be burdensome, but it isn’t. He trusts you; that, you already knew.

He lowers himself. You shift to support him, to give him leverage to sink slowly onto your cock. He’s tight, and impossibly hot. You narrowly resist bucking your hips into him, letting him ease himself down until he comes to rest on your thighs. Kim exhales slowly. In the stillness, you feel his heartbeat. It’s all around you, at every angle.

It’s a gift, Harry. Be fucking careful with it.

With a sigh, you bury your face against his chest and strain your thighs to thrust upward. He whimpers. Your arms encircle him, anchoring him fast to you. It’s Kim. You won’t let him drown.

His fingers are in your hair again. “Harry.”

“Kim,” you respond, voice hoarse.

And you move, together. His fingers tighten in your hair. You can barely feel it. All there is, is the tight, slick warmth of him around you and the smell of him, engulfing you. Thrust for thrust, he matches you. Your hips lift him, and he drives himself down against you. Point, counterpoint. Call, response. Something primal embedded in you both, beneath all rational and irrational thought. There are no voices here. You know what to do because it’s in your bones.

The resistance of his body ebbs away until it’s nothing but a smooth glide to bury yourself fully inside of him. You pick up the pace. The lieutenant’s thighs are locked tight at your sides, his body taut like a bow. You glance upward at him; at the blissful expression half-hidden behind the flaring lenses of his glasses. He’s catching the moonlight from the window. He’s stained-glass apocrypha; eat your heart out, Dolores Dei.

You reach between your bodies to stroke him, matching the rhythm you’ve set. He moans, loudly. Your legs ache. He’s saying your name again, every other word, and the rest are indecipherable little encouragements. It doesn’t matter the words, the meaning is clear: yes, yes, yes.

There’s urgency in his fingers now. He’s going to cum riding you; going to cum all over your hand. Undone. You didn’t just break protocol, you thoroughly fucked it and it’s begging you for more. You crane your neck toward him and Kim kisses you hard enough to bruise. He bites at your lower lip – fucking shit – and claws at your back. Grip tightening, you shift forward, angling yourself as deeply as you can.

Kim arches toward you, muffling a cry into your mouth. You feel the hot splash of his cum across your hand. And oh, Harry, you don’t stand a chance after that. The lieutenant’s legs tremble around you and your orgasm shatters, washing over you in waves until your hips come to a juddering halt. The world narrows to a singular pinpoint; it's only you and Kim, draped bonelessly across you.

Watch that heart of yours, Harry, it’s pounding out a lethal tempo against your rib cage. Your lungs rail at you, demanding the sweet taste of oxygen until you remember you need to breathe.

You blink open your eyes. Lieutenant Kitsuragi observes you astutely behind his moonish glasses. It is a long moment before he moves, disentangling himself from your grasp. You grunt softly when his weight lifts from your body. Exhaustion sweeps in for the aftermath, turning all your muscles to jelly.

Kim seats himself beside you, naked and pale and framed by moonlight. An inspirational tableau. You have a sudden urge to paint one of those bare walls here in Martinaise.

There’s a question forming on your tongue, but you don’t have to ask it, Harry. You could let the moment last forever and ever. Forever-ever-ever, baby, just post-coital euphoria and eternal conflict avoidance.

“So,” says your traitorous mouth. “What now?”

“Now?” Kim takes a thoughtful pause. “Now, we prepare a report for the 41st. I suggest we don’t include anything about our activities tonight.”

“Not even the—”

“No,” Kim interrupts, smirking. “Not even that.”

“And what about when you leave the Whirling-in-Rags?” You ask around a lump in your throat. Why doth your heart pound so, sire? What terror has come so suddenly upon you?

“When we leave the Whirling-in-Rags,” Kim corrects, “I’ll have to file my transfer paperwork.”

Relief is a powerful drug, Harry. You’d forgotten the kind of comfort that’s not concocted in a lab.

Kim is calculating again; you can see it on his face. Finally, he settles on a conclusion. Reaching across your naked lap, he grabs a fistful of the blankets draped over the sofa and pulls them pointedly around both of you.

He avoids your gaze and rests his head against your chest, where it gently rises and falls. He doesn’t want you to tell him to leave. He’s bracing for it.

“Good night, lieutenant,” you murmur, and feel him relax against you. Tension releasing like heat from a cooling engine.

“Good night.”

You rest your hand on his side. His breathing evens, chest expanding beneath your fingers, rhythmic and reassuring. His form anchors you to the ragged sofa. Outside, you think you can hear the soft rush of the tide coming in to Martinaise.