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“Heard about the Shichibukai being disbanded and figured I should catch you before you clear out.”

Mihawk doesn’t turn from where he’s selecting bottles from the liquor cabinet. Shanks didn’t expect him to. The castle has an echo in all its warmer rooms. Mihawk had disposed of most of the furniture when he moved in, and Shanks knows he will have recognized the sound of sandals on stone reverberating in the empty corners.

“Why are you here, Red Hair?”

“I just said why—I came to see you. It’ll be harder when we’re both sailing.” Shanks tosses his cloak and sword into one velvet-lined chair before flopping down into another, his arm draping over the ornate back. “You gonna miss this place?” he continues, gesturing. “I still can’t believe how dramatic it is. So gloomy. So depressing. You’re really committed to your brand.”

Mihawk opens the cupboards. Candlelight flickers on the rows of glassware, individually immaculate but arranged without reason. Shanks has liked that about Mihawk since the first time he’d noticed: that for all his exacting behaviors, dig down just enough and you’ll strike human. He also likes that he can see two glasses in Mihawk’s hand. He wonders if Mihawk has a favorite glass, whether he’ll wrap it in paper and nest it in the top of his bag when he sets out to sea. Shanks puts his feet up on the coffee table and grins when the set of Mihawk’s mouth tightens disapprovingly as he finally turns to face him.

“The Marines will be here before the day is out,” Mihawk notes, rounding the kitchen island. Shanks sinks deeper into his seat.

“I won’t get too comfortable.”

“I’m asking if you’ll help me finish this.” Mihawk holds up the bottle in his hand, half full of amber liquid.

“When have I ever turned down a drink?”

“I’ve yet to see it.”

“It’d be terrible to start now, don’t y’think?”

Mihawk sets the liquor down and shoves Shanks’ feet off the table. Shanks complies easily, leaning forward instead to grab the bottle and hold it up to the light. The label glints gold and filigreed, and he spins it, humming approvingly.

“Oh wow, it’s the good stuff. You never give me the good stuff.”

“You can’t tell the difference,” Mihawk counters. He says it like he’d say the sky is blue, and Shanks would be more miffed if it weren’t mostly true. Shanks hands the bottle to Mihawk and bluffs anyway.

“Underestimating me will be your downfall, Hawkeyes.”

Mihawk holds his gaze, the tilt of his head dismissive.

“Somehow I’m not concerned.”

It’s always been like this with them. They push, they threaten, they belittle; they throw down a verbal gauntlet, a tease as a gambit. Though they spar more with words than weapons now, Shanks always feels like he’s chasing the particular kind of high he only gets with Mihawk: the high of their first encounter when he, a teenager out of his mind with grief, picked a fight with a dark-haired stranger after Roger’s execution in Loguetown and over their swords watched the disdain disappear from those unearthly eyes, something else lighting up to replace it. The high of their first duel after Hawkeyes had officially acquired the title of World’s Greatest Swordsman, when Mihawk wouldn’t allow himself to own it until he’d confirmed it against Shanks, both of them scuffed and bruised and bloodied and breathing hard because this time Shanks knew it had to be real—that there’d be no calling it quits to hit a bar or take a piss or whatever stupid excuse he’d given to weasel them out of the impasse between taking each other seriously and really not wanting the other to die. And with the sky crackling all around the Grand Line, Mihawk had knocked the sword out of Shanks’ hands, and Shanks had grabbed the back of Yoru’s blade with one, the back of Mihawk’s neck with the other, and kissed him over steel.

Mihawk pours generously into each glass and hands one to Shanks, which he raises. “Cheers,” Shanks quips, “to your being fired!”

Mihawk doesn’t return the toast, taking a sip instead.

“I wouldn’t call the abolishment of the Shichibukai system ‘being fired.’”

“Fine,” Shanks rolls his eyes and air quotes around the rim of his tumbler. “‘Laid off.’ ‘Restructured for workforce optimization.’”

He drinks, smacks his lips at the taste of smoke.

“Scotch?”

“It’s mezcal. Don’t try.”

Mihawk has such nice things. The metal ice bucket with silver tongs hooked through a loop on the side. The blown glass decanters, bitters in crystal vials, stirring rods capped with cabochons, delicate bowls of citrus with strips of rind peeled for garnish. Pirates usually don’t have the space or the lifespan to accumulate like that. Mihawk had settled down, had lived on this deserted isle for years—Shanks had passed a vegetable patch on the way in, for Christ’s sake—and all of it was slated to fall back into the ruin out of which the (now former) Shichibukai had built a home. Mihawk might have groused at Shanks’ comment about losing his position, but Shanks had caught the small smile warming the coldness of his words. Shanks knows Mihawk would trade the filigrees, the decanters, the vegetable patch, the very clothes off his back for a true challenge. He was entering a wanted man into a different world than the one he’d left for a contract; he’d seen the promise of it in one green-haired kid wielding a ridiculous number of swords.

Shanks drains the rest of his cup in one go, lets the heat warm his chest. He watches the pale line of Mihawk’s throat flex as he swallows, his lower lip wet now with drink.

“So,” Shanks places his empty tumbler on the table, “what’s your heading?”

Mihawk swirls his own glass with a thoughtful expression.

“‘Away’ seems wisest,” he concludes. Shanks throws his coaster at him.

“And people say Dracule Mihawk doesn’t have a sense of humor. Stop being such a shitbird, I’m being serious here.”

He is being serious. Being a full-blown pirate again means Mihawk could go anywhere in all the wide sea, and Shanks had gotten rather used to knowing where to find him. Mihawk didn’t have the same problem with him. Shanks had given him a scrap of his vivre card years ago, when after chance had brought them together once, twice, thrice, and their duels had started devolving into dinners, he’d decided he didn’t want to leave it to chance any longer. That was another, softer high, the next time they sparred, when Mihawk took off the ostentatious hat he’d started wearing to wipe the sweat from his brow, and Shanks caught the flash of white paper tucked into the inner band. Mihawk had never given Shanks a vivre card in turn. Shanks had been okay with that, chalking it up to Mihawk’s reticence. Still, he’d laughed like a fool when, after whining over snail phone about an eternal pose he’d left on Mihawk’s boat, a package arrived via seagull with a Kuraigana return address scrawled on the corner.

“I don’t have an answer for you,” Mihawk finally responds, pointedly placing the coaster under Shanks’ glass. “After I circumvent the Marines, I’ll see where the log pose points.”

Shanks scrubs his chin. “You’re saying you’re just gonna nap and see where you wake up,” he accuses.

“Possibly.”

“If you weren’t actually the best, that arrogance would be so unattractive.”

“But I am actually the best.”

“If you’re fishing for a compliment, yes, you’re fucking attractive.”

And just like that, they’ve returned to their dangerous banter, the air charged. Shanks thrills at this Mihawk, older now and without doubt. Others might deem his posture rigid, but Shanks sees instead the absolute confidence, the comfort of walking through a world he knows is his. Moreover, he sees how comfortable Mihawk is with him, his neck exposed and his sword in its mount on the far wall as he leans forward to refill their glasses, a smug little quirk at the corner of his lip. There’s a tightening feeling low in Shanks’ stomach as his gaze follows those long fingers wrap around the neck of the bottle, the candlelight lancing over a sharp cheekbone. Mihawk is terrifying before he is beautiful, but Shanks isn’t afraid of him, and Mihawk is so fucking pretty. The dim glow filtering in through the windows is beginning to tinge warm, reminding Shanks that they’re on borrowed time; he glances at the clock and decides. He reaches over before Mihawk can straighten and curls his fingers around the shell of his ear.

“Hey.”

Mihawk stills and looks at him from the corner of his eye, barely turning his head. The bottle is in his hand, and Shanks trails his fingers down Mihawk’s jaw to take the liquor from him and set it down on the table.

“Wanna bang?”

Mihawk makes a noise that could have been the beginning of a word but only sounds exasperated as Shanks quickly cuts him off.

“We don’t even have to take all our clothes off in case you have to run!”

Mihawk’s expression is unreadable but definitely not angry. Shanks takes his extended silence as indication that he is—at the least—considering.

“Come on, Birdy, it’ll be fun!” Shanks doesn’t even care that he’s whining. Sex with Mihawk is—fittingly—the best, in the way that only sex with a consistent partner over twenty (twenty!) years can be. They’d learned each others’ bodies and ticks and eccentricities over countless rendezvouses both on and off the battlefield, and for anything they couldn’t learn, well—the fact that they’re both kenbunshoku haki users is definitely a perk. Not to mention that Shanks frequently found himself missing Mihawk, their meetings having become rarer and rarer as their responsibilities grew, and as much as Shanks enjoys his trysts, there’s nothing quite like a night with his rival, his friend, his equal in all things.

He leans in closer, chasing the temptation from earlier, and runs his thumb over Mihawk’s lower lip, now dry. Mihawk locks eyes with him, and there’s a crinkle around their edges, which Shanks recognizes as the precursor to a smile. This is absurd, they seem to say, the Marines could arrive at any moment now. Without looking away, Mihawk parts his mouth to take Shanks’ thumb between his teeth, and Shanks’ grin spreads wider.

“Hell yeah.”

Not that he goes around saying it, but Shanks half wishes for everyone to know that the World’s Greatest Swordsman could be so fun, while the other half of him selfishly loves that he might be the only one in all the Grand Line to see this particular side of Mihawk. Shanks rises, stepping over the corner of the coffee table and into Mihawk’s space. He presses the swordsman deeper into his chair; Mihawk spreads his thighs to accommodate Shanks’ knee sliding between them. “Hell yeah,” Shanks murmurs again, as if to himself, and tangles his fingers in the cord holding Mihawk’s kogatana to pull him in for a kiss.

Mihawk angles his head to meet him, as he does with everything, his mouth opening easily under Shanks’ own. Shanks is always taken aback by how deceptively soft Mihawk’s lips are, warm and pliant as he presses deeper, dropping the necklace in favor of lacing his fingers through dark hair. Mihawk fists his hand in Shanks’ collar to draw him forward; his other hand trails lower over fabric, stroking Shanks’ thigh over the hem of his shirt before pushing it up and gripping his bare waist. Shanks hums into the kiss. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re going against the clock, but it isn’t always that Mihawk is this enthusiastic from the get-go, and it is very much appreciated. Holding Mihawk’s shoulder for balance, Shanks shifts to kiss along his jaw, noses under it to encourage him to lift his head so Shanks can scrape his teeth down the side of his neck. Mihawk gasps softly at that, and Shanks latches on with his lips and sucks hard enough to leave a mark just to see if he can make Mihawk do it again.

Mihawk does make a noise, immediately followed by fingers tightening in Shanks’ hair and pulling him back, those golden eyes narrowed disapprovingly.

“It won’t show under your coat,” Shanks reassures him, completely unapologetic. “Probably.”

“You—“

Shanks pulls against Mihawk’s grip in his hair and slides his knee further between Mihawk’s legs to feel the growing hardness there, pushes deliberately against it. Mihawk doesn’t seem inclined to finish his thought, instead steering Shanks back to the press of his mouth. Shanks tilts his head obligingly and licks at Mihawk’s teeth, makes a pleased sound when Mihawk responds with a light bite to his tongue, and another when he pulls back, bites again at Shanks’ lower lip.

Shanks loves that Mihawk knows just how to touch him, his hands firm and certain on his sides as they skim down to undo the drawstring on his pants. When he gets his fingers around Shanks’ cock, Shanks goes a little lightheaded from how quickly he moves from half-hard to really hard, not so much at the touch but rather at the sight of Mihawk pausing to spit in his own palm. It’s just downright dirty coming from him, unfairly so, his expression severe but for the slight flush at his throat, and now his grip is slick and good and Shanks doesn’t hold back the appreciative moan, doesn’t stop himself from rutting into Mihawk’s fist when he twists his wrist.

Shanks doesn’t know when he’d started white-knuckling the back of Mihawk’s chair, but he eases up now to brush his hand down the back of Mihawk’s head, stroking briefly at his nape before lightly dragging his nails across his collarbone and down his sternum. He flattens his palm against Mihawk’s chest, feels his pulse quicken; Mihawk slouches lower under him to press his crotch harder against Shanks’ knee as he strokes up Shanks’ shaft, rubs his thumb over the wetness at the head exactly the way he knows Shanks likes. Shanks expels a breathless little laugh at that. Aside from how good it feels, it’s always nice to be reminded how much Mihawk pays attention, again as the swordsman’s eyes dart up to read Shanks’ tells and find him looking down with abject fondness.

Mihawk quickly looks away, like he’s been caught, and Shanks is struck by the cuteness of it, as if he hadn’t already tracked Mihawk’s careful gaze and known his sentiment in every (cold, but nevertheless perennial) welcome. His chest swelling with warmth, Shanks leans down to kiss Mihawk’s hairline, smiles against it as he fists his hand in the front of Mihawk’s shirt and rucks the fabric up to untuck it from his trousers.

To his regret, Mihawk lets go of his cock to seize his wrist in warning.

“Don’t worry,” Shanks laughs, incredulous, at Mihawk’s look of suspicion. “I’m not taking it all the way off, you kinky bastard.”

Mihawk scoffs like he doesn’t believe him, and okay, Shanks will admit he’s gotten carried away during more than one supposed quickie, but Mihawk places his hands on the armrests of his chair regardless, and Shanks takes it as permission to make his way down Mihawk’s buttons. When he moves to unbuckle his belt, Mihawk pushes his hand aside to do it himself, undoes his trousers while he’s at it. Shanks smiles good-humoredly; he would have managed but can’t deny that it’s faster this way, and Mihawk’s haste is hot in its own right.

“Someone’s impatient,” Shanks can’t help but tease, batting Mihawk’s hand away to drag his zipper down. He gets his fingers under the band of Mihawk’s underwear and draws out his cock, firm in his grip, and grins at the small stutter of Mihawk’s hips. Mihawk’s expression hardens when he catches himself, and he wordlessly busies his hands with undoing Shanks’ shirt buttons.

At this point, Shanks has half a mind to fully get in Mihawk’s lap for that extra bit of contact, but the chair is just a little too small to accommodate the both of them. Mihawk, as if reading his mind, pushes Shanks off completely, stands, spins them around, and shoves Shanks back into the seat.

“Sit.”

“Gladly.”

Oh, and he’s definitely glad at the sight of Mihawk sinking to his knees, his palms dragging up along Shanks’ thighs to push them apart. He’s less glad, however, when Mihawk bypasses his cock to instead kiss his pelvis, mouth along its ridge.

Shanks suspects Mihawk’s getting back at him for that “impatient” comment, the way he’s brushing his lips over the taut skin of his lower stomach, Shanks’ cock hard against his neck, moving slow as anything to lick a stripe down the crease of his thigh. Shanks whines, shifts his hips restlessly. Unsympathetic, Mihawk rubs his cheek along his shaft, the scratch of his sideburn offering just the lightest bit of stimulation and his hands like iron as Shanks squirms in his seat.

Then suddenly, Mihawk is swallowing him deep, and Shanks’ entire body coils tight with heat.

“Yes! C’mon—“ he shouts.

But just as quickly, Mihawk pulls off again, kissing along his hipbone. Shanks tosses his head back with a frustrated groan. He feels a soft huff against his skin, and he doesn’t have to look to know Mihawk is smiling, that fucker. He could kick him, but he’ll do one better. Eyes to the ceiling, Shanks lets out a long breath and musters as much sugar as he can into his tone.

“Hey, Taka-chan—“

Mihawk bites him hard at the nickname, and Shanks misses his chance to gloat as he hisses, arching into the bright spot of pain centered around Mihawk’s mouth. Hawkeyes pulls off after a moment, running his tongue once over the reddened indents left by his teeth.

“I told you not to call me that,” he states flatly.

Shanks grins, glancing back down to meet Mihawk’s accusing gaze, and wiggles his hips.

“Just letting you know I’m not looking for gentle right now.”

“Don’t call me that again.”

“Aye-aye, daikengou.”

If this were chess, that’d be checkmate because that soft mouth is finally back for good, and Shanks moans at the spike of pleasure lancing through his core. He runs his hand through Mihawk’s hair, a small thrust to test the waters, and thrills as Mihawk moves with him. Shanks can see the concentration in Mihawk’s face, and it’s with infinite endearment that he strokes his thumb lightly over the furrow in his brow, over his hollowed cheek as he sucks hard enough to make Shanks’ toes curl in his sandals.

Mihawk’s eyes fall closed, and Shanks watches him without reservation when he moves one hand from Shanks’ thigh to stroke himself, matching the rhythm of his bobbing head. Shanks returns his fingers to Mihawk’s hair, drinks in the sight of the warlord on his knees. The flush at Mihawk’s throat has climbed down to the pale skin of his chest, lips stretched tight around Shanks’ girth, sweat beading at his temples as he pleasures himself, and the entire tableau is heady enough to ratchet Shanks’ arousal to breaking point, even before Mihawk crushes his tongue against the underside of Shanks’ cock and nearly tips him into orgasm.

Too soon too soon, Shanks thinks in a panic and yanks Mihawk’s head back by his hair. Mihawk’s sound of protest is lost to the clatter of the chair falling as Shanks rises and kicks it back with his foot, shoving Mihawk to the ground and swallowing his surprised punch of breath with his mouth.

Mihawk had gone over far too easily, betraying just how far gone he himself had been, and the thought puts a smile on Shanks’ face as he settles on his knees between Mihawk’s splayed legs, tastes himself on Mihawk’s tongue. He kisses him languidly, allowing the sharp buzz of arousal to soften. Mihawk catches his lower lip once and again between his teeth, more reluctant to slow, but eventually concedes to Shanks’ pace and lets his head drop back to the rug. Shanks takes the opportunity to kiss down Mihawk’s bared throat, noting gleefully that he had indeed left a visible mark earlier. He thinks he’ll let Mihawk notice on his own. In the meantime, he jigsaws Mihawk’s thighs over his own and presses their hips together.

Mihawk exhales sharply as their cocks rub over each other, and again when Shanks gets his hand around both of them and draws his fingers from root to tip, once, twice. Shanks moves up to kiss him again; Mihawk trails his hands under Shanks’ shirt, down the curve of his spine, dips into his waistband to grab his ass and pull his hips closer. Shanks groans and grips the both of them tighter, licking into Mihawk’s parted lips. He can feel the air shift anew, caught up in Mihawk’s enthusiasm, and he feels so lucky to be allowed this, to have context and opportunity to experience Mihawk’s intensity even if they should never cross swords again.

With a final swipe of his tongue across Mihawk’s lips, Shanks pulls back, his voice low against Mihawk’s mouth.

“I wanna fuck you. Can I fuck you?”

Mihawk’s gaze is steady on Shanks’ own, his pupils blown out enough to almost eclipse the gold to the first dark ring.

“Yes,” he responds, just above a whisper. Shanks smiles and kisses the tip of Mihawk’s nose.

“Perfect.”

Shanks sits up and looks around pointedly, mostly for show. He doesn’t think there’ll be anything nearby that can be used as lube, but he keeps it up, willing Mihawk to get the hint. Mihawk heaves a long-suffering sigh.

“Move.”

Shanks laughs once when Mihawk pushes him off to stand, and again at the sight of him, clothing delightfully disheveled and dick hard, walking with every bit of his dignity intact towards the kitchen cabinets.

Mihawk tosses a bottle of oil at him, which Shanks catches easily. So fun. He also rights the fallen chair on the way back and places it to the side, which of course, and Shanks can’t help but pull him down into his lap as soon as he comes within reach, and kiss the scowl off his face.

Shanks picks the bottle back up from where he placed it and passes it to Mihawk, leaving his hand open expectantly.

“Little help?” he smiles, mock-sheepish. Mihawk unscrews the lid and pours oil into Shanks’ open palm. Shanks squints down the line of his body to where Mihawk is sitting atop him, trousers open but fully on.

“Hmm…are we still trying to stay dressed?”

“That was the agreement.”

“Works for me.”

Shanks pivots his hips and rolls them over, accidentally wiping the oil from his hand all over the rug where he plants it for leverage. The seam of Mihawk’s pants pulls tight over Shanks’ thighs, and he places Mihawk’s legs on his shoulders long enough to yank the trousers over the curve of his ass. It would have been easier to ask him to get on his hands and knees, but there’s an itch under Shanks’ skin, and he wants to see Mihawk’s face, see everything, burn it into his memory to tide him over until their uncertain next meeting. So instead, Shanks grips Mihawk’s boot-clad calf and draws both legs over to one side before leaning over him, hand open again.

“Little help?” he repeats, ever cheeky.

Mihawk huffs a breath that could have been a scoff, could have been a laugh, and obliges, a little more awkwardly this time from his twisted position. He proceeds to almost drop the bottle when Shanks, without preamble, pushes two slick fingers into him before he can set it aside.

“Red Hair,” he grits out, his voice drawing tight, “you’re always so—“

Shanks scissors his fingers apart, and Mihawk’s throat spasms as he swallows.

“—so reckless.”

“I thought we were in a rush.”

Mihawk can’t argue with that, and neither is he complaining, if the strained sound when Shanks gets his fingers right there is anything to go by. Shanks strokes over that spot again, just to hear another one of those hissing breaths, before pulling all the way out and circling the rim of his hole. He knows he just said they were in a rush, but he finds himself taking his time, watching the muscle jump in Mihawk’s jaw as he repeatedly presses his fingers back in, the way Mihawk turns his head into the crook of his arm when Shanks twists his wrist to rub fingertips firmly over his prostate.

Shanks spreads his fingers apart again and drags them all the way out, Mihawk’s rim tight around his knuckles as he pushes back in with a third.

Shanks——

Mihawk’s voice is rough and urgent and goes straight to Shanks’ dick, so he grabs the bottle, dribbling more oil on his cock before grasping himself and pressing into the slick grip of Mihawk’s body.

His first thoughts are holy shit and tight, and his hand immediately goes to the dip of Mihawk’s waist to ground the both of them. Shanks’ gaze draws over Mihawk’s fluttering eyelids, the dark wetness visible between his parted lips, the air warming with their panted breaths. Tentatively, he thrusts, feels Mihawk open for him. So he keeps going, pushing a little more each time, until he’s fully seated inside that snug heat.

It’s not for Mihawk’s sake that he stops then but his own because fuck if he’s going to come now. Mihawk, however, doesn’t seem to care because he plants the toe of his boot in the rug, turns to plant his hand as well, and shoves back with whatever leverage he’s gained, and it’s all Shanks can do to drop his full weight down on Mihawk to stop him, frantically tapping his shoulder.

“Wait— I said wait, you son of a bitch!”

Shanks can feel Mihawk’s pulse under his skin, rabbit-quick and slowing as he takes a deep breath, calms himself enough to sag.

“You have the stamina of a teenager,” he comments dryly.

“And the refractory period.”

Mihawk snorts, and it’s such a delightful sound, especially as it hitches at the end when Shanks’ answering laugh jostles him in a manner that steals his breath.

Shanks turns his head, apologetic and a little loopy, into the crook of Mihawk’s neck. He kisses along the sharp line of Mihawk’s jaw, his collarbone, noses his way under the open neck of Mihawk’s shirt and scratches his stubble along his shoulder. Mihawk cards his fingers through Shanks’ hair, Shanks gratefully leaning into his hand because he can feel the restless thrum in Mihawk’s body and knows he’s being patient when he doesn’t have to be.

When he finally feels like he can move without bursting, Shanks picks himself up, Mihawk following him from the corner of his eye, and thrusts long and slow. Mihawk sucks in a breath to match, the friction and the grip palpable to both of them, and Shanks revels in the way Mihawk moves with him. Whatever urgency they’d started with has ebbed away into soft heat and soft touch, and everything just feels nice in a way that makes Shanks want to stay that way for more time than they have, for all the time he pretends they have. He wants to drink in Mihawk’s subdued sounds, the harsh clip of his breath when Shanks presses in fully and grinds, the way his fingers curl into his palm as he holds the back of one hand to his mouth in that restrained way of his, the other tangled and flexing in the fabric of Shanks’ shirt.

“God, you’re so fucking hot,” Shanks blurts out before he even realizes he’s speaking. “I could just do this all day.”

Mihawk pulls his hand away from his mouth and quirks a look at him.

“I thought you weren’t looking for gentle.”

His voice is breathy, distracting, and it takes Shanks’ brain a second to process Mihawk’s words. Once he’s caught up, he laughs, waggling his eyebrows.

“You saying you want it harder?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“So you don’t?”

“I didn’t say that either.”

“You’re really not gonna give me anything, huh.”

“I believe I’m giving you plenty at the moment.”

Shanks snaps his hips forward once with brutal force, grinning triumphantly when Mihawk grits his teeth against a startled grunt.

“Sure, fine,” Shanks indulges, “I want it harder.”

This is part of what makes Mihawk so fun, Shanks thinks, that the mood can turn on a dime and Mihawk will be right there with him, the same man who a moment prior held a blade to his throat stopping to join him in the grass. Shanks pulls out and swings Mihawk’s leg over, laying him out flat, before hooking his arm behind one knee and pushing it up against his chest. Mihawk’s trousers, bunched around his thighs, forces the other leg to follow; Shanks pushes the seam against Mihawk’s solar plexus to draw his leg up even further and nudges his shoulders behind Mihawk’s knees to fully fold him in half.

When he shoves back in, Mihawk has to throw his arms out to the side for balance, leaving nothing to muffle the tattered sound that erupts from him. Shanks surges forward, compressing him further, and kisses it from his lips.

Shanks can feel Mihawk’s boot buckles digging into the sides of his neck as he sets up a punishing pace, the threat of them driving him higher, because although Hawkeyes is a swordsman before all else, Shanks has witnessed firsthand a younger version of the World’s Greatest Swordsman scrapping in the dirt, had wheezed when those boots slammed against his ribs to buy time to retrieve a fallen blade and cut the victory out from under him. Mihawk could choke him out, snap his neck, at the very least toss him overhead, and instead Shanks senses against his pulse the tremor running through Mihawk’s calves, watches a man feared all the Grand Line over allow himself to come undone under the snap of his hips.

There’s electricity thrumming up Shanks’ spine, his whole body tensed in urgency, and he plants his hand by Mihawk’s head and lays into him, jolting the swordsman’s shoulder against his wrist with each ruthless thrust. Mihawk is making these little punched out gasps, barely voiced, eyes dark and narrowed to slits when they’re not pinched shut like it’s all too much, but whatever thought Shanks has about how he loves seeing Mihawk like this blips out as Mihawk tightens around him, surprising a moan from his lungs. When he gets his gaze to focus back on Mihawk’s face, he feels like he’s going to explode because alongside the bright flush across his cheekbones, the panting parted mouth, Mihawk is smirking. And Shanks knows this asshole is so pleased with himself when he meets his next thrust with another deliberate squeeze, and Shanks’ breath goes ragged.

He lets his forehead drop against Mihawk’s, sweat dripping from his hair. From this distance, Mihawk’s quiet, pitched sounds cut through the roar of blood in his ears, louder somehow than his own undignified gasping. The coil in Shanks’ gut is nearing the point of desperation, but no matter how mindlessly he chases the precipice of orgasm—maybe because he’s already staved it off twice—he just can’t get there.

“Fuck— c’mon, you bastard—!”

And Mihawk, seeing he needs just that little push over the edge, the only one who would even dare, reaches up with both hands, one tangling in Shanks’ hair to wrench his head back, baring the line of his neck, the other clamping over his throat, and with the first breath Shanks can’t take, he’s coming, and Mihawk lets go just in time to allow Shanks’ full-chested groan to escape into the air.

Shanks unlocks his elbow and sinks his weight down onto his forearm, his body shuddering as he tucks his face into Mihawk’s neck to catch his breath. In an admirable show of magnanimity, he refrains from pushing Shanks off, but Shanks can feel the agitated shift of his hips, the insistent press of his hard cock against his stomach.

When Shanks finally drags himself upright, Mihawk immediately takes the clearance to reach down in an attempt to stroke himself to completion. Unfortunately for him, by this point Shanks has recovered enough presence of mind to derive perverse glee from slapping his hand aside. Ignoring Mihawk’s noise of protest, he shuffles back on his knees, his softening cock slipping from Mihawk’s hole with a slick dribble of come (good thing the rug will probably get razed to the ground with the castle), and bends down to swallow him deep.

Mihawk bucks into his mouth right away, choking him momentarily before he can get his arm barred over Mihawk’s hips. Once he has him pinned, Shanks pulls all the way off.

“Hey,” he chides, joking. He knows he’s being unfair, but there’s nothing reserved about Mihawk’s expression anymore, so he lets him fist his hand in his hair, lets him push his head down, obligingly seals his lips tight around him and presses his tongue flat against the vein on the underside of his cock again, and again, and again.

Shanks——!”

God, he sounds wrecked. He can definitely get Mihawk off just like this, but there’s an edge to his voice that says Shanks can get him to absolutely lose it with a tiny bit more.

“Mihawk,” he calls, lifting his head. “Look at me.”

They’d tried this before, so he knows Mihawk won’t pass out, but Shanks still can’t say what it’s like to be the singular focus of conqueror’s haki at such close range. That Mihawk lets him, has let him, and that he can take it at all makes Shanks feel like the universe fucking loves him, to have introduced him to someone who, on top of everything else, can allow him this bit of fun.

It takes Mihawk a moment to hear him, he’s so scattered. Shanks waits until he turns his head back towards him, his eyes cracking open, and as soon as Shanks sees the gleam of gold, he lets the force of his will slam into him.

Mihawk’s entire frame tenses as the pressure pins him in place, whatever sound he would’ve made when Shanks gets his mouth back on him—at the same time he presses three fingers back into him—robbed from his lungs. Mihawk’s eyes are wide, pupils shaking, and Shanks would probably enjoy the view more if he wasn’t concentrating so hard, but hey, he’s fine with the tradeoff when he crooks his fingers up and feels Mihawk’s helpless shudder all the way down his arm.

And it’s just like that, with fingers pressed hard against that spot inside him and rubbing, that Mihawk really falls apart, and Shanks doesn’t let up until the first spurt of wetness hits his mouth, pulls off to watch Mihawk arch so prettily with a rare shout on his lips and come spattering the hard lines of his stomach.

The light is positively red over both of them, even through the fog, as Shanks flops over to lay side by side with Mihawk on a ruined rug, letting their breathing slow to normal. He looks over at his rival, his friend, the warm light grazing his pale skin with color. When Mihawk finally turns to him, those unearthly eyes are half-lidded—almost lazy—and touched with something that Shanks would flatter himself enough to call affection, and he feels so privileged. In response, he, ever helpful, grabs the hem of Mihawk’s shirt and wipes the come off his stomach.

Mihawk’s expression immediately sharpens into disgust, and he sits up, shoving Shanks’ hand away as Shanks grins. Mihawk opens his mouth as if to admonish him, but the room suddenly fills with the ear-shattering echo of a Marine loudspeaker: “Surrender at once, Hawkeyes Mihawk! We have you surrounded!” Shanks grimaces, scratching his ear.

“Think they’ll ever figure out announcing themselves like that doesn’t work?”

Mihawk rises to his feet. “One would hope.”

Mihawk pulls up his pants, buckling his belt with deft fingers, and Shanks snickers when he realizes this means he’s about to go decimate several warships with come trickling down his leg. Mihawk shoots him a dirty look as if he knows exactly what he’s thinking and goes to button up his shirt, remembers, peels it off and chucks it directly into the fireplace.

Mihawk picks up the glass he never finished from the coffee table, draining the rest of it in one hard swig. Shanks props himself up on his elbow and watches Hawkeyes move to the coat rack. He likes that the flush hasn’t fully left Mihawk’s throat, the air of him tousled and loose even as he composes himself into his usual severity, pulls on his coat, combs his hair neat with his fingers.

As Mihawk crosses back over towards his sword, Shanks sits up fully and reaches out, grabbing him by the flapping tail of his cloak to pull Mihawk towards him. Hawkeyes throws him a questioning glance. Shanks wets his thumb with his tongue and scrubs out a spot of drying come he’d missed on the swordsman’s exposed stomach. Mihawk’s face remains impassive, but Shanks can feel the muscle jump under his finger, can see the flush on Mihawk’s neck climb up to his ears.

Shanks lets him go with a finishing pat to the hip.

“You need any help?”

“Doubtful.”

Mihawk walks to the far wall and slips his sword from its mount, threads the Black Blade through the catch at the back of his coat. The castle shakes as the first cannonballs make landfall with the sickening crack of trees. Shanks rolls to his feet.

“Alright then, that’s my cue.”

Shanks fixes his pants as he looks around the chamber, taking in the furnishings, the books, the decanters and such, and notes that none of them are going in the duffel Mihawk now cinches shut. The next time they meet, it will be in a very different room under very different circumstances, and he wonders whether it’ll feel like they’re young all over again.

Shanks picks up the liquor bottle from the coffee table, an inch or so of alcohol still lining the bottom, and holds it up as a question to Mihawk, who waves permissively. Shanks downs the rest of it, puts the empty bottle down, wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. He wants to embrace Mihawk, maybe even kiss him, but the gesture feels like too final of a goodbye, and they’d established long ago that there’s no need. Instead, he throws his cloak over his shoulders, fastens his sword to his belt, and tosses a mock salute over his shoulder as he makes for the door.

“Don’t die on me, Hawkeyes. Let’s see each other at sea.”

Mihawk doesn’t respond, but Shanks glimpses the flash of white paper in his hat as he pulls it on and knows it’s answer enough.