Ban wasn't home the time it took him to hang his coat, rainwater sloughing off it onto the floor just inside the door, before he was doing exactly what Gojyo had been worried he would do. He froze, his hand halfway between letting go his coat on the coat hook, and of course he could tell. It was cold out. The house was shut up against the weather, and Gojyo was shut up inside it, his stupid annual fucking cycle stinking the place up. Hell, if it'd been a nice day out, Banri probably would have been able to smell him from the letterbox, would have known. Anybody would have known. Not for the first time since he'd felt it come on in the early morning was Gojyo glad they lived in the middle of fucking nowhere.
But it was bad enough, sitting here all day wondering whether Ban, with his cruddy asshole timing, would pick today to come home. Sometimes when he went out it was for a couple of hours, sometimes he didn't come back for days. Gojyo'd had no way of knowing, and usually didn't much care. He'd thought about making tracks himself, just until his cycle was over, but it'd come on fast this year, and the weather had turned crap and he'd been feeling miserable enough as it was. So he'd just locked himself in and hoped Ban wouldn't appear. He should have known better than to trust his luck.
And so now there he was, staring at Gojyo as he sat at the kitchen table in a puddle of misery and beer, and he wasn't stopping. For almost ten seconds he was completely motionless, and then he said, "Huh," in the kind of surprised, speculative tone that made Gojyo wince, probably visibly.
Then he was walking across the room. Gojyo's shoulders climbed towards his ears with each step, but two steps from the table, he veered right and made a b-line for the icebox instead. By the time he was walking back, two cold beers uncapped and in his hands, Gojyo had convinced himself that it was maybe okay to relax a bit. Ban put one beer down in front of Gojyo, and then eased himself into the chair opposite, leaned across and tapped the neck of his own against the one he'd just put down.
"So," he said lightly. "Happy Birthday, I guess."
The misery returned with a vengeance, and with it the distinct urge to run. Or pick a fight. Gojyo wasn't actually sure which, right now. Unable to decide, he picked up his beer instead and gulped down half of it in one go. Banri sipped at his own and watched across the table full of empties.
"Booze not working, huh?" he observed after a moment.
"No, it's not," Gojyo managed sourly.
Ban grinned a little. "How bad is it?"
Gojyo frowned, and Ban grinned a little harder.
"I mean, is it, like, at the prowling around and looking twitchy stage, or the yowling and getting feisty stage?"
"What the fuck does it look like to you?" Gojyo snapped, suddenly irrationally annoyed. This wasn't fucking funny. He'd known Ban would make a joke out of it.
"Okay, so feisty and yowling then," Ban concluded. "Want a hand?"
Gojyo was just bringing the bottle back up – he maybe had some vague idea that he could fucking drown himself if he at least couldn't get drunk – when Ban's words sank in.
"What?" he said blankly, stopping with the beer neck almost to his lips.
Ban smiled, less of a grin this time, but not unkind. "I said," he repeated slowly and deliberately, like he was just trying to be sure Gojyo caught all the words, "do you want a hand?"
Gojyo blinked at him. "A hand?" he echoed. "As in, you? And me?"
Ban looked at him oddly then. "Yeah. Is there something wrong with that?"
Gojyo stared. What wasn't wrong with it? "But, that's not-" he tried. "I mean, you're- You're a full blood, right?" He tried to sound casual about it. "You don't want to dirty yourself with me."
Ban's face went still, devoid of almost all expression. He didn't move for another several long seconds.
"Dirty myself," he repeated tonelessly, and then got up from the table.
No sudden moves. The opposite in fact. He was moving very calmly, very carefully, like everything around him was suddenly breakable. Danger streaked up Gojyo's spine, dragging regret in its wake. But really, he was relieved. He knew this, he knew how it went. He watched as Banri turned, pushed his chair back with a soft scrape across the floor, stepped out from behind the table and around to Gojyo's side, but he didn't move. He didn't resist either, as Ban reached down and slid his hand under Gojyo's arm and pulled him gently to his feet. What would be the point? Banri was a full blood; Gojyo couldn't outrun him anyway and there was no point in making him angrier. It was going to hurt as it was - Ban could pack a mean punch, Gojyo had seen him in action – but that was okay, it was what Gojyo deserved, and-
And Banri's hand didn't come up. His fist didn't clench and connect with the side of Gojyo's head. Instead, it pushed into the hair at the back of his head, and pulled, and Gojyo stumbled forward in surprise. And while he was still trying to work out what the hell was going on, Ban's breath was on his face, his mouth, and right after it, his lips were there too.
Kissing. It was a kiss.
Gojyo, balanced on a cliff edge of biological imperative all day, fell, plummeted. All he could think of was hot, wet, strong. Suddenly his heart was racing and he felt flush all over, and he was hard, so hard. His throat was full of the smell of musk – his – and sweat, Ban's, and he couldn't get it close enough, couldn't swallow it down enough. He pushed and struggled against it, heard a gasp, a groan, a laugh.
"Okay, okay! Geez, G. Dial it down a notch."
"Sorry," Gojyo mumbled, although the words seemed far away, far less important than the wiry strength of Ban's body against his. "Sorry. I just need- I gotta-"
"I know, man," Ban murmured, his hands kneading Gojyo's shoulders, keeping him at bay, it was a strangely comforting gesture and it only made Gojyo want to get closer. "I know. We all go through it. Mine… kinda turns me into a bit of a kitten."
Gojyo laughed at that idea, the mental picture coming to him even through the haze of his need.
"Yeah, go ahead and laugh now," Ban griped, then promptly spun him round and crowded him back against their cheap kitchen table. Suddenly his fingers were tugging at Gojyo's fly and Gojyo had to force himself to focus on what he was saying and not, fuck, how much he wanted those fingers, those hands all over him. "Bet you don't like it so much when it actually happens."
Gojyo took a shaking breath. "Never know," he managed, only just biting back a moan as Ban's hand slid into his jeans, his boxers, his wrist pushing them open, down, as he gently eased out Gojyo's cock. "I might like it just fine."
Ban grinned at him then. "Not as much as you're going to like this, buddy."
Gojyo opened his mouth to say something, and promptly forgot what, because in the time it took to start to form a reply, Ban was on his knees and his mouth was on Gojyo's cock and Gojyo was shuddering, gasping for breath, trying desperately to stay up on suddenly useless legs. And oh fuck, he'd never- No one had ever- Ban's tongue, and the pressure of his lips and the way he just pushed forward, seemed to swallow Gojyo right down. Gojyo made a helpless, stupid sound, and thrust, because he couldn't not, and Ban's hands clamped onto his ass and encouraged him.
He didn't last long after that, and when he came it was a different kind of painful, fast and wrenching. He didn't even realise his fist was knotted in Ban's short hair just forcing him down, keeping him there until he looked down and saw what he was doing. When he did, he let go, and Ban slid off with a huge indrawn breath, and then rolled back onto his ass on the floor and looked up at Gojyo with the biggest, sloppiest grin he'd ever worn.
"Well, mostly everyone's a bit hair trigger when they're young," he concluded.
Gojyo was too, well, post orgasmic to really care that that was probably supposed to be a joke at his expense.
"Wow," he said. "I mean, wow."
Ban laughed, like it was one of the funniest things he'd heard Gojyo say.
"You're making me blush, man."
"You," Gojyo tried again. "That was. Great. That was."
"Feel a bit better?" Ban asked knowingly, and Gojyo blinked, because he actually did.
"Yeah," he said, a little disbelievingly. "I do. But, what about… I mean." He looked pointedly at Ban's crotch. That had to be hurting, crammed into his jeans like that. Looking at it, Gojyo felt something warm and sated stir lazily in the pit of his stomach. He wanted to touch it. He wanted to hear what Ban sounded like when he did. Maybe that was still his cycle talking, but what did it matter now?
"Yeah?" Ban said with a definite degree of interest. "You wanna, I ain't gonna complain. But no expectations, G. Not from me."
For a moment, as Gojyo digested the full implications of that, he didn't know what to say, because no one anywhere had ever treated him like what he wanted, or didn't want, was okay. Then, because it was the best answer he could make, he lowered himself to the floor and crawled his way into Ban's space. Ban let him, watching him with a half smile, but his eyes were serious.
"You ain't some dirty, no-good thing," Ban said softly, just as Gojyo moved to kiss him. "You remember that, yeah? Whoever fucking told you that, it ain't true."
Gojyo felt too raw. Words like that, possibilities like that, made him feel too exposed. Instead of answering, he leaned forward the rest of the way, put his mouth on Ban's, tried to kiss him gentle like it was some kind of thanks. Maybe it was. Ban sighed into his mouth, snaked his arms around him, drew him down, laughed a little when Gojyo swore at the way his dick got caught uncomfortably between them and he had to shift awkwardly into an arrangement that actually worked, and then grinned again at the first slow thrust of Gojyo's hips when he got it right. The second made him shudder, made them both shudder.
"See?" Ban said breathily, his eyes shining. "Birthday's ain't so bad."
Gojyo thrust again, grinning stupidly at the gasp Ban let out, and allowed, at least in the privacy of his own head, that maybe, just maybe, he could be right.