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There was a terrible ache pulsating all throughout him. Bones creaked and muscles shredded, a heated pain soaking him entirely as he felt his body changing. It was worse now that he'd regained his mobility and started physical therapy, the stress of exercise both aiding and debilitating him all at once. Ren was home now, after so many lonely, sorrowful nights, and yet he still couldn't sleep. He'd always hurt, always heard echoes of Aoba's emotions in his skull, always cried wanting to reach out and touch him. Now that they were side by side in the same bed, Ren felt even lonelier.

Physically being near Aoba had only been a reality check: a reminder that this had really happened, and that Ren was really here-- because of Sei. His heart ached for the brother he never knew, who was so selfless in sacrificing himself for little more than an anomaly. A glitch. Ren shouldn't have even existed outside of Aoba, but here he was, laying next to his original vessel fighting with every fiber in his being to not roll over and kiss him.

His desire battled with disgust every time he looked at Aoba, the very idea that his love or lust or loneliness could force the most sensitive, compassionate person in the entire world to kiss his dead twin's shell. To make love to it. To be fucked savagely by it.

Ren was supposed to be the embodiment of restraint, yet Aoba seemed to have more of it on his own these days. Intense shame washed over him as his thoughts raced, his internal struggle only bringing up his temperature and tugging at his sore flesh.

There was a movement, and Ren froze. Strands of blue fell across his arm as Aoba leaned into Ren's shoulder, the sweetest sigh escaping his perfect lips.

Ren never wanted anything so badly in his life. He should have been more grateful, but all he thought about was that it wasn't enough. Maybe he'd give in, maybe he'd do all the things to Aoba that he feverishly dreamed of, but then what? He'd need more, he was sure of it. He'd take and take until there was no more to give, until the sweetest boy on the planet was drained, broken, and hollow. His selfishness was revolting.

Ignoring his pain and cursing his arousal, he carefully pulled himself from bed. Tiptoeing in the dark was extra perilous when Ren barely had enough energy or balance to walk across a room unassisted as it was, but he made it to the hall. The stairs were too daunting and the journey across Aoba's room had been too hellish for him to continue, so he crumpled into a ball of spindly limbs just outside the bedroom door.

Ren was sure he'd be scolded for the act, but he didn't mind. Even if the reason for the scolding was different than what he wanted it to be, it would still be deserved. The pain he was sure to feel in the morning would be deserved. The chill in his bones from sleeping without a blanket would be deserved. Ren would find his purpose again, he'd find his essence of restraint, and he'd be as grateful as he was supposed to be. He had to be.