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The Sakurazuka estate was quiet despite being in Tokyo. The sounds of traffic were hardly noticeable behind the soft whispering of wind through the unseasonably blooming garden. Subaru wasn’t sure how long he had been here. Surely it was long enough for the Dragons of Heaven to be worried about him- Kamui in particular- but he couldn’t bring himself to leave this house that seemed to exist outside of time.

He sat up in the bed he had claimed. Had Seishirou slept in this bed once? He didn’t know. He wouldn’t ever know, now. He scanned the room around him. It was a largely traditional Japanese room, though it had a western style bed. There were no clues as to who once owned it. Afternoon sun flooded the room and glinted off of a floor mirror with a bloody coat haphazardly draped across it. Subaru groaned.

Covering the mirror had been the first thing Subaru had done once he had received Seishirou’s remaining eye; The contrast of Sumeragi green and the Sakurazuka gold on his twin’s face looking back at him was unsettling. Subaru’s coat, still stained with Seishirou’s blood, ended up being the object to cover the mirror. It must have slipped while Subaru was sleeping.

With a sigh he threw the blanket off of himself and stood. A few steps brought him to the mirror and he reached out to fix the position of the coat. His eyes subconsciously flicked to the exposed sliver of glass and he met Hokuto’s mismatched gaze for a second before looking away. Instead he focused on his exposed chest; he had removed his shirt to sleep and hadn’t cared to put it back on when he got up. There were several marks across his torso in varying colors and shapes depending on their age and how they got there.

Subaru had always bruised easily. Once, as a child, he tripped while playing with Hokuto and bruised his shin. Tears welled up as the mark formed, slowly becoming a deep purple. His sister had remarked on how colorful bruises could be; they started black and blue but became purple before eventually fading to yellow and green. She thought it was beautiful in a way, and Subaru came to agree.

Hesitantly the young man pushed the dirty coat from the mirror to the floor, uncovering it entirely. He twisted to look at his lower back where the oldest of his current bruises was located. It was mostly yellow, almost completely gone but was still visible if you knew where to look. It was thin but long and ran from hip to hip just above the waistband of his pants. A grim smile formed on his lips as he recalled where it came from.

The day after Seishirou had destroyed the kekkai at the Nakano Sun Plaza and the evening of Kotori Monou’s funeral Subaru returned to his own apartment understandably exhausted. Pulling Kamui out of his despair had taken a lot out of him and he was looking forward to distracting himself with his usual work; he knew he wouldn’t be able to properly rest.

He was correct that he wouldn’t be able to rest, though for a different reason than he originally expected. When Subaru entered his apartment Seishirou was seated on his sofa and casually reading a newspaper as if he belonged there. They locked eyes for a minute and the older man smiled amiably before the younger man turned away to remove his shoes and hang up his coat as if he hadn’t noticed him there. He walked straight into his bedroom without saying anything and began checking the faxes he had received from the main estate to determine which case was the most urgent.

Seishirou followed him, attempting conversation the whole time but receiving no response from Subaru. He walked up behind the younger man and said that they should catch up, it had been almost nine years, after all. Subaru refused to take the bait, that was, until Seishirou had remarked on how similar ‘poor Kotori’ had been to Hokuto.

Subaru saw red and reacted without thinking. He wasn’t sure what he thought he was doing, but he had spun around and punched Seishirou in the face. Even more surprising was that the older man let it happen. The young man’s anger faded into shock at what he had done and the older man used the hesitation caused by the shock to grab Subaru’s still clenched fist and pull him close. The two stared at each other for a moment, anger and confusion on Subaru’s face and a dark smile on Seishirou’s.

He couldn’t remember who had moved first but Subaru remembered fierce, furious kisses as they each pulled the other’s clothes off as quickly as possible. He was lifted onto the desk his fax machine sat on, and in the heat of the moment that was where they’d had sex. Subaru on his back, his hips hanging off of the edge only supported by one of Seishirou’s hands. His other hand was gripping the edge of the desk by Subaru’s head, granting him better leverage. Subaru’s own hands were tightly gripped onto the collar of the older man’s shirt which had been unbuttoned but not removed, never letting him pull too far away. The bruise was a result of his lower back slamming into the edge of desk with every thrust from Seishirou.

He must have fallen asleep soon after they both finished because he couldn’t remember what happened immediately after. Falling asleep made the most sense; he’d had an overwhelming couple of days. He had woken up alone and naked in his bed the following morning with only an aching, bruised back to prove that the previous evening was even real.

Subaru had never hit someone out of anger before that night. In defense of himself or others, sure, but pure anger? Never. He wasn’t sure what it was that pushed him over that edge; the non-stop overwhelming events of the days leading up to it or maybe it was just something unique to Seishirou. Whatever the reason for it, he couldn’t deny the satisfaction he had felt when his punch landed.

The satisfaction, of course, didn’t last.

Turning to look at the reflection of his chest once more the young man’s eyes stopped at a set of bruises this time; these ones were yellow and green, similar to the bruise on his back but slightly fresher. If someone looked closely enough, or had the right context, one could see that they were in the shape of a hand on Subaru’s waist. He attempted to line his own fingertips up with the bruises, but the hand that caused them was bigger than his own.

A week following their first encounter Subaru had a case at an office building. It wasn’t particularly difficult but it required him to go to the building fairly late so that he could get his work done after all of the employees had left for the day. After he finished he left the building and began to cross the parking lot outside when he noticed Seishirou watching him, leaning against a nondescript black car and smoking. He was wearing sunglasses despite it being almost midnight. Subaru sighed and made his way over.

Seishirou refused to actually answer any time Subaru asked why he was there, he would only deflect by saying that he still wanted to ‘catch up’. The younger man ignored that and plucked the cigarette from the older man’s hand, taking his own drag from it. He took a sideways glance at the sunglasses the other man wore, and felt a smug satisfaction at the thought that he was wearing them so late to hide a black eye from Subaru punching him the previous week.

The Sakurazukamori must have noticed him looking because he told Subaru not to worry, that he was fine, and he removed his glasses to reveal that he was not bruised in the least. Subaru’s mouth dropped slightly in surprise, but his brows furrowed in confusion. Seishirou said that he was sorry to disappoint, but that he had never bruised much and that it was helpful in his profession.

Could Subaru ever mark the Sakurazukamori the way he had been marked?

Once more Subaru saw red and raised his arm to punch, but this time his fist was caught before the hit could land and he was pushed against the car with Seishirou’s other hand on his throat. Instinctively Subaru used his free hand to jab the still burning cigarette he held onto the back of the hand on his throat. Seishirou pulled his hand away, knocking the cigarette to the ground and giving Subaru the ability to turn away. Before he could storm off he was grabbed by the arm and slammed against the car once more, knocking the wind out of him. He was kissed roughly unexpectedly, and it wasn’t long before the car door was opened and he was pushed into the backseat.

The car was an interesting place to have sex. The desk had been too, of course, but the car was cramped and technically in a public place, though the fact that it was public hadn’t occurred to Subaru until he was already half-naked and riding the older man like his life depended on it. It was dark and no one was around, so he doubted anyone would stumble across them by accident; if they did though they would get quite a sight.

Seishirou’s hands were gripping Subaru’s waist so tightly that it hurt, but the pain only added to the experience for the young man. His own hands were threaded through Seishirou’s hair, his grip was probably too tight but he couldn’t bring himself to care. The older man’s grip tightened the closer they got to the finish, and once they were done Subaru only allowed himself to catch his breath before he climbed out of the older man’s lap, pulled his pants on and left the car, speed walking away and back to his apartment while he processed what had just happened. He left his coat behind in the car but thankfully it was a warm enough night that he didn’t care.

He didn’t see Seishirou again for some time after their rendezvous in the car. In fact, he didn’t see the other man again until the night Shinjuku’s Kekkai fell.

Subaru had taken the evacuation of Shinjuku Hospital as his chance to be discharged. The staff was too busy to really notice that he probably shouldn’t be leaving in his condition, but he made his way back to the Dragons of Heaven lodging on Clamp campus without much difficulty. The others were gone, and he should be too; he felt the raising of someone’s kekkai but he also knew that in his current state he’d be more of a hindrance than a help.

He made his way to his room and the phone he had in there for work started to ring. Assuming it was one of the Seals updating him on the situation he answered, but no one ever spoke. He hung up after a moment and heard a knock on his bedroom door, which he answered.

Seishirou stood on the other side with a smile on his face and the coat Subaru had left behind draped over his arm. Subaru sighed and allowed him to enter his room before closing the door behind them. The young man asked how the other had gotten past the wards of the house, and the older man explained that he had been experimenting with sending spells through the phone lines ever since Subaru had the case with the girls calling the party line during the year of the bet. Since the phone linked their spaces he was able to use that to slip past the wards undetected.

It made sense, though Subaru didn’t feel up to thinking through the logistics at the moment. Subaru told Seishirou to leave, that he was too tired to deal with him that night; the pain medication he had to take left him groggy and wanting nothing more than to sleep. The other man didn’t respond, he just met Subaru’s gaze with an unfamiliar expression.

The young man turned his face away as if to hide the bandages that covered his empty eye socket. He felt almost embarrassed facing the person who inspired that wish. Seishirou turned Subaru’s face back with a gentle hand cupping his cheek under the bandages; the soft touch was uncharacteristic of the Sakurazukamori. They shared another gaze, Subaru’s face holding a hint of confusion at Seishirou’s expression. It was serious, though it didn’t look angry. Then again, Seishirou never seemed angry like other people did. He always tended to at least have a smug smile.

Subaru’s thoughts were broken by a gentle press of lips against his own. It was certainly the gentlest kiss the two of them had shared since they started whatever situation they had between them and it surprised him. Seishirou’s arms wound around his waist as Subaru finally reciprocated the kiss by cupping the taller man’s face in his hands.

Their kisses grew in intensity but lacked the roughness that all of their previous kisses had. This time when they had sex it was tender and in a bed. There was no fighting before it; Seishirou took his time exploring every inch of Subaru with his hands and mouth and making him tremble in desperation before moving forward.

The sounds of their breathing and motions were punctuated by sirens that could be heard off in the distance. Shinjuku was falling, and Subaru couldn’t bring himself to care, he had what he wanted and he wasn’t going to let go any time soon.

When they had finished that night they both stayed where they were. Seishirou had rewrapped the bandages covering Subaru’s wound since the old ones came loose during their exertions. He made sure the young man ate something and took another dose of his medicine, then held him as they slept.

Subaru snapped out of his reverie and glanced at his final bruise. It was still fairly dark and hurt when he ran his fingers over it. A bite mark on his shoulder, the only sign of their gentle lovemaking only a few days earlier. It too would fade, just like the others. Just like the scars on his hands that had been there most of his life. Bit by bit every piece of evidence that Seishirou ever existed would fade and Subaru would be left with nothing. He glanced back at his face.

No longer was it Hokuto’s face looking back at him with an obvious difference. Now it was his own face, with the last piece of Seishirou that would ever exist. That wouldn’t go away, it wouldn’t fade with time. It would always be there, with him.

Subaru grabbed the bloody coat from the floor and threw it into the pile of clothes to be washed. He would have to do a load of laundry soon.