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your name is heard in high places

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Master tells the stories of his past and stoppers them up neatly before morning. It’s a form of rakugo, Yotaro thinks, watching him. Sukeroku bleeds through in him, energetic and wild, and Yotaro wonders what it all really means. If this is his roundabout way of showing Yotaro more of the man he sees at night under the cover of darkness.

There were three promises made, but there is a fourth. For some nights Yotaro crawls out of his futon and into Yakumo’s. Konatsu must know what is happening-- Yotaro wonders if Sukeroku had done the same before him, and a thought like that is blasphemous-- but she says nothing.

On the first night, Master had sighed and surrendered his body to Yotaro, gasping softly into the night.

‘Master,’ Yotaro had said then; full of need for the body usually hidden beneath those prim robes. His Master had turned away to gaze at the moonlight spilling in through the window.

It was spring: Yotaro remembers this clearly. The cherry tree was blooming in the garden, and Master had told him to call him Bon.

‘But only when we are--’ And he had broken off, looking both embarrassed and defiant, a petulant set to his mouth. ‘When we are together like this.’

+

When Yotaro fucks him, he rolls the lonely syllable of Master’s name in his mouth, letting it wet his lips before he drives up inside his Master, bringing them as close together as possible.

How-- Yotaro doesn’t quite understand it himself-- how does Master compel him so? From the sly little gaze-and-grin he employs as the shinigami onstage to this, here, in the futon; with his mouth parted just a little, eyes closed with tears at the corners as he clings to Yotaro. 

‘You’re tight,’ Yotaro pants, groaning as Master’s legs tighten around his waist, pulling him in. ‘I’m going to hurt you.’

His Master does nothing. He stays the same, dishevelled and wanting, begging softly for Yotaro to fuck him harder. His hair is in a mess, and the lines of his face speak of years that Yotaro has yet to experience.

Bon,’ Yotaro groans, and feels his Master stiffen beneath him and whimper before coming, his cock twitching between their bodies. Yotaro rides out his own orgasm as Master pulses around him, feeling with each wave of pleasure the distance between the both of them grow. Yotaro is inconsiderate when he comes, pushing his Master’s thighs further apart and burying himself deep. 

After sex, Master smokes. He looks out of the window upon the garden for a while as Yotaro gathers himself. He doesn’t ask Yotaro to stay the night, and Yotaro isn’t sure if he wants to. It wouldn’t feel right. Just as there is a part of Master he can’t reach, even in the throes of pleasure, there is a part of him that is afraid to discover what he finds. Ever since Konatsu’s accusation...

‘You were very energetic today,’ Master says, and artfully pushes the heavy head of ash from the cigarette against the sides of the ashtray. ‘I’ll have to be more restrained with my performance tomorrow night.’

Yotaro has nearly finished cleaning up. ‘S-sorry. You were too...’ What’s the right word? Is there even a right word? There’s no handy how-to manual about complimenting one’s rakugo Master after sex. ‘... Seductive?’

Master laughs. ‘Is that so?’

Yotaro nods, relieved. When he leaves the room he turns back to shut the door. In that second before the door shuts it is as though he is watching a maiden pine for her lover. Master is still sitting by the window, cigarette forgotten in the ashtray. There is a delicate air about the scene. Ethereal, in fact, and if Yotaro squints hard enough he can imagine a ghostly arm around Master’s thin shoulders, protective and possessive.

Sukeroku.