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Delusions That Bite

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On that day at the beach, as the team watched their Amazons walk away with their brood, Shidou thought of the Buddhist practice of releasing life. It involved releasing one’s captive beasts into the wild to generate good karma for one’s future in the karmic cycle. This seemed similar to what the team was doing in releasing their beasts. However, Shidou suspected that what actually happened was the other way around, that the Amazons were the ones releasing them.

In the end, the orders he gave to the team’s Amazons on all their hunts for vermin—even simply calling them 'vermin' and not monsters—served to deny the truer relation of Amazons and humans as predator and prey respectively. This was all very obvious and in Shidou's opinion, not worth sharing. He didn't bother sharing his random spiritual tangents to the others either. The practice of releasing life, and its implication that only one party could do the releasing, was filed away in his mind as his occasional ineffective stab at spirituality.

That was, until the karmic cycle bit him in the ass. It happened in a nightmare when he had failed to sleep like the dead. After returning to his apartment from a side job, Shidou had no energy left for drinking and fell into sleep right away on his bed. His head hit the pillow and he found himself back in the base. The base was largely left as it was; the furniture, exercise equipment and the laptop through which surveillance contacted them still in their original places.

As someone who didn't live there anymore, Shidou was out of place. And so was Haruka; the only person alone with Shidou.

They were sitting on the floor, at the low table where the kotatsu used to be. Shidou couldn't believe that this person was Haruka, for that was definitely not Haruka's body. It was a body of a woman which was human-like in appearance, yet ten times more unsettling than if Haruka appeared in his green Amazon form. For this person in front of Shidou was nearly naked, save for one of the base's pink blankets wrapped around her torso.

This person began speaking like Haruka, begging for Shidou to keep their secret from mother. 'Mother' being Director Mizusawa, Haruka's adoptive mother who had brought more costs than benefits to Shidou's life. Though this familial connection was real, Shidou remained in denial that this person before him was actually Haruka.

That gave her no other choice—she who was there to bend Shidou to her will. To keep Shidou from communicating with mother, she grabbed him into a kiss, pouncing on him like a starved beast. Her lips felt too soft for her to be a mere figure of a dream, which she was.

It hit Shidou then that since this was all a dream, it didn't really matter whether this person was Haruka or not. None of what he did to this person would matter.

Shidou kissed Haruka back like he never would in real life.

Under his hand on Haruka’s cheek, Shidou could feel the distinct strands of Haruka’s hair. His perverse subconscious must be doing overtime in bringing forth his tactile memory of caressing a woman’s hair. Perhaps by pushing the perverseness even further, he could shock himself awake. How could he turn this dream into more of a full blown nightmare?

Breaking apart from Haruka’s lips, he looked down at the outline of a cleavage on Haruka’s chest, still covered by the pink blanket. This single glance was enough for a cue for Haruka to unbind the towel, allowing Shidou to see the breasts his subconscious had supplied Haruka’s female body with. In this respect, said subconscious showed some restraint.

Somehow Shidou got the notion that touching Haruka’s female body would erase its feminine features; that each touch would excavate Haruka’s familiar male body. He reached out to rest his hand against one of Haruka’s breasts, willing for it to burst like a bubble. When that didn’t happen, he applied more pressure, pressing hard on the nipple. With a hitched breath, Haruka pressed closer to him, rendering Shidou unable to deny the solidity of Haruka’s body.

Applying more drastic measures were useless. When Shidou placed his mouth over Haruka’s nipple, the breast it was attached to did not flatten into a flat plane no matter how hard he sucked. The way Haruka’s body responded were completely normal, returning pressure for pressure with one hand hanging onto the back of Shidou’s head and both thighs straddling Shidou’s lap, crotch grinding on Shidou’s growing erection.

Shidou must be hard in real life as well. It would be better to let his subconscious take care of it; to see sex with Haruka through and wake up having came in his clothes, rather than waking up to take care of it in a fit of self-loathing. He reversed his earlier wish to be freed from his subconscious and decided to go along with its whims.

His pleased subconscious did part of the work for him, leaping forward to the moment where he had his tongue on Haruka’s cunt. More wetness seeped with each of his licks over the clitoris and soon it was like he was drinking Haruka’s arousal. There was no way Haruka in real life would get this wet for him. Shidou replaced his tongue with a finger inside Haruka, relieving his mouth from speaking in order to raise his head and speak.

“Hey, kid,” Shidou said, getting Haruka’s attention. “What if this is your dream and not mine? What if you’re the one who called me into your dream to get you off?”

“Shut up and fuck me,” Haruka said.

Those turned out to be the magic words to trigger another leap in the dream. Shidou’s subconscious stripped him of all his clothes, putting him above and inside Haruka. He was spurred on by Haruka’s heels digging into the small of his back, spurring him on to thrust deeper. They were holding hands and if only Shidou knew why they did that in the first place, he would have a better chance of letting go.

Another inexplicable detail was the constant changing of Haruka’s hair. One moment featured Haruka with long hair in a braid; the next had Haruka with a mid-length ponytail and the next had Haruka as Shidou had seen him last in reality with slightly longer hair. There was no logic behind these changes, for Shidou had no preference or fetish for any one style. Nor did any one look made Haruka resemble any woman in Shidou’s past.

If his subconscious was trying to develop Haruka’s feminine appeal, it should have also erased the battle scars which still marred Haruka’s female body. Those raised welts down Haruka’s shoulder and the claw marks on Haruka’s chest matched the scars Shidou had seen on Haruka’s Amazon form. Scars which Haruka had gained when he tore his human life apart to live as a wild animal.

The thought of the wild cued Shidou’s subconscious to wrench him into a more frightening position. He was being pinned onto the floor, with Haruka above him holding him down. Haruka’s hair was in a braid again, which had strands escaping from it like a fraying rope. Shidou focused on that braid, draped over Haruka’s shoulder right over the double ridges of scars. He could not bear to look at Haruka’s face; the one part of Haruka that was unaltered by his dream.

“Why are we still doing this?” Shidou asked. “Haven’t you had enough?”

“Only you can stop it, Shidou,” Haruka said. “This is your dream, after all.”

Haruka leaned forward, cunt rubbing on Shidou’s bare chest, at once spreading wetness all over and intensifying Shidou’s awareness on their shared body heat. There was no stopping the current of Haruka’s arousal that pulled Shidou along.

As Haruka scooted down, Shidou felt his erection resting on the damp folds of Haruka’s cunt. Shidou needed to thrust in, but Haruka withheld answering his need to instead slide up and down the length of Shidou’s cock in a teasing motion.

“Haven’t you had enough?” Haruka mockingly echoed Shidou’s earlier words.

It was clearly up to Haruka whether Shidou was getting fucked or not, but Shidou refused to back down. He was not going to relent that it was impossible to get Haruka to obey to him even in his own damn mind.

“Why did I have to give you a woman’s body?” Shidou asked. “You’re frightening enough, as you are.”

Finally, Haruka descended onto his cock, just holding him in place without fucking.

“You don’t know half of what I can do to you,” Haruka hissed. “That’s the point of this dream.”

The heat within Haruka was inescapable, driving Shidou to the brink as Haruka allowed him to thrust. His release terminated the dream, flinging him back to reality. He jolted upright in his own bed, shivering with his skin clammy with cold sweat.

Shidou realized that he was as hard as he was in the dream and had yet to come. To masturbate would mean acknowledging that what he had was a wet dream and not a nightmare, and so he decided not to do it. He opted to cool off instead, heading for his fridge where he had only one can of beer to finish.

The last rays of daylight were long gone, but Shidou didn’t bother turning on the lights. He left his fridge open for some illumination and cool air as he drank. Once he was done, he would go down to the bar for more. As the outline of Haruka’s female body in his dream threatened to resurface in his mind, he sought for any other random thought to replace it. His mind settled on returning to the Buddhist concept of releasing life.

Haruka was little different from a wild animal demanding release towards the end, crashing against the confines of human society and snarling his provocative opinions at Shidou. Inevitably letting Haruka go, though he took Mamoru along with him, ought to be a relief for Shidou. Yet Shidou couldn’t stop thinking about how Haruka held in all his resentment towards humans; how this resentment could potentially justify Haruka’s hunger for human flesh.

In a way that had less to do with a predator’s instinct to prey on animals lower in the food chain, Haruka had held Shidou captive. And without understanding the true nature of his captivity, Shidou was incapable of setting himself free.

Though Mizusawa remained determined to bring Haruka back, she was unwilling to explain why. At first she emphasized to Shidou that she would like Haruka back without using excessive violence, but her tune changed as the seasons did without her so-called son’s return.

These days, Haruka was most likely to be found wherever there were wayward members of his herd to be culled. His job seemed to be to keep the community of leftover Amazons in check to ensure their continued survival. But who’s job was it to keep Haruka in check? Not Shidou’s, not any longer, that’s for sure.

“Use your stun guns and restrain him,” the director had instructed Shidou, and added, “but only if necessary.”

The last part sounded to Shidou like an afterthought, or a symptom of Mizusawa’s delusion that harsh reality would lead Haruka to willingly come home. Only Kanou, ever Mizusawa’s loyal secretary, vouched for the sincerity of Mizusawa’s intentions.

Over drinks, when the rest of the team weren’t around, Kanou had told Shidou this, “Consider her as acting on a mother’s love.”

This was relayed in Kanou’s usual matter of fact way. The secretary himself was deluded in thinking that employing a flat tone was enough to disguise his sentimental statements.

What lay behind these delusions was certainly a truth one could not make peace with. For Kanou, it was that his efforts and loyalty were wasted on Director Misuzawa’s self-serving goals. For Mizusawa, it was that she had bred an unstoppable monster in her boy.

Ever since Haruka contributed combat strength to the team, it was finally possible to exterminate Class A and B test subjects with what little manpower and resources they had. Meaning that Haruka, the green Amazon, could be classified under those dreaded Amazon categories. Yet even after Haruka became the object of the team’s most recent hunts, Mizusawa refused to put him under a classification and provide an objective view of what he was capable of. To complicate matters—when had the director done the opposite?—she also refused to clarify what exactly differentiated Haruka from other test subjects; why Shidou had to go to lengths from the start to make exceptions for Haruka.

It was the effect of Mizusawa and Kanou’s delusions on the team’s work which Shidou hated, not that they possessed these delusions. He believed that like the existence of the extermination team itself, delusions were a necessary evil to continue living in the world as they knew it. Which was how he convinced himself to take a detour to his bar past the Inoue building, in order to relive his past delusion that their old base was 'home'.

All Shidou was going to do was take a glance at Inoue Building on his way. The base had returned to its former state, only serving as the extermination team's meeting point like in the two years before they had to mobilize multiple times per day at irregular hours. It had been vacated ever since the team's disbanding, yet the director continued its upkeep just in case. Even after Nozama hired them again, not one of the team moved back in. Everyone was occupied with finding another steady source of income and attempting to live a somewhat normal life.

They were seeing less and less of each other these days. Since there were less awakened Amazons to hunt now, and Haruka usually getting to them first, the frequency of the team's hunts decreased as well. But as long as they were bound to keep the secret of the Amazons' existence among themselves, they were bound to one another until the bitter end.

So far every end the team faced merely led to a bitterer beginning. Take the end of their time with Maehara and Ootaki, which marked the beginning of Haruka's inclusion into the team.

As Shidou tread on the footpath by the river near Inoue Building, he retreaded the memory of turning Haruka away at that same place. That winter day was cold like hell had frozen over, and colder still was Shidou's rejection.

'Give me a break,' Shidou had thought when Haruka looked at him with petulant, downcast eyes. 'You’re a violent beast who just went on a killing spree on your kind mere hours ago.'

His renewed mental criticism of Haruka’s childlike response was presently interrupted by a commotion in the distance. Swishing sounds made by sharp objects slicing through the air and low, animalistic growls drifted from the bridge over the river. Sounds which instantly told Shidou that when he reached the bridge, he would not be finding any humans brawling there.

As he was about to reach for his phone and inform Nozama’s surveillance team, an echo of flesh being ripped apart punctured the air. A brief window of silence followed, and then came the sound of a body hitting the waters below the bridge.

The Amazon that had fallen into the river was most likely the only one left alive after the fight. Shidou’s guess on the winner’s identity was limited to two options—either Haruka or Takayama Jin. Once he had removed his shoes and rolled up his jeans, he waded into the river to find out, hoping that he wouldn’t be pulling up a wounded Amazon. Around the spot where the Amazon had fallen in, Shidou plunged his hand in and felt a distinctly human form. He hauled the body towards the riverbank, laying it on the grass.

The faint blue light from the streetlamp on the footpath revealed that it was Haruka. Shidou had the sense that he was being screwed by his subconscious all over again.

Summoning the surveillance team to recapture Haruka wouldn’t take even ten minutes. Before that, Shidou first had to make sure that Haruka was still alive.

“Hey, Haruka! Are you still there, you brat?”

Shidou shouted, patting Haruka’s face and shaking Haruka’s shoulder in vain. Haruka remained unconscious and his breaths were rapid and shallow. Shidou had no choice but to perform CPR, as he would to a human who nearly drowned. As he sealed his mouth over Haruka’s to deliver a rescue breath, he realized that he had braced himself for a trace of water pollution, but did not taste any on Haruka’s lips.

After Shidou performed a third round of chest compressions, Haruka coughed out water that had impeded his breathing. His eyes fluttered open, casting shadows down his cheeks.

“It’d take more than a river to kill you,” Shidou said.

He couldn’t make out what Haruka said in response and leaned closer to Haruka’s face to listen to him.

“Is that you, Shidou?” Haruka asked. “What are you doing here?”

“Confirming vermin, as always. Aren’t you going to thank me for saving you?”

“Thanks. But you’re going to hand me over to the director anyway.”

The last thing Shidou expected was Haruka speaking that bluntly. He had the urge to disarm Haruka as well, perhaps by repeating what Kanou had said about Mizusawa, but with sarcasm. “Consider her as acting on a mother’s love.”

He ended up thinking too much, for he failed to get his sarcasm out in time.

Haruka spoke again, “Are you sure you want to do something I don’t like…when I’m this close to your most vital parts?”

Haruka reinforced his threat by pressing down on the upper part of Shidou’s chest. Until he felt Haruka’s palm there, Shidou hadn’t realized how he had been too focused on looking at Haruka’s face, getting caught up in deluding himself that Haruka had become weak.

The nightmare Shidou wished for hours ago was about to unfold. He pointed out to Haruka, “Once my bones and parts you can’t eat are found, your mother will know better how to find you.”

“Shidou, you’ll be dead by then. You can save yourself the effort of caring.”

'The effort of caring? Don't put words in my mouth,' Shidou wanted to say. The words stopped in his throat when Haruka began moving his hand, using his finger to trace an outline over Shidou's chest.

"Here's your liver. You'll need it for drinking." Haruka slid his hand down. "And here's your heart. It's beating really fast."

He fully extended his five fingers above where Shidou's heart was, poising to dig inside at any moment. Shidou glanced at the Amazon belt around Haruka's waist. He wondered if he could remove it and prevent Haruka from transforming into his Amazon form.

As if he could read Shidou's mind, Haruka said, "I can transform just my hand into a claw. I don't need to use the belt for that."

"Good for you."

Keeping his hand on Shidou's chest, Haruka brought his knee up to push against Shidou's crotch. Shidou stiffened, and reminded himself that this was not the work of his subconscious. This was Haruka actually fucking with him in real life.

"You'll want to keep this too, won't you?" Haruka said.

"You can eat that when I'm dead."

Haruka glared at him and pursed his lips, seemingly out of threats. The best he could do next was to start grinding his knee along where Shidou's cock was under his jeans. Shidou didn't want to tell Haruka to stop, not because he was getting hard, but because he was unwilling to give Haruka a sense of power over him.

Having had done Haruka in his dream earlier, Shidou was not about to sink into a mental breakdown due to being aware that Haruka was turning him on. He even brought himself to push Haruka's thighs apart and ground back on Haruka's own crotch. The brat was hard too, as Shidou found out when their erections touched through the layers of their pants.

Haruka gasped and relaxed his fingers on Shidou's chest, opening a chance for Shidou to escape. Just when Shidou pulled away a fraction, Haruka tightened his hold and pulled Shidou back by the front of his shirt. Haruka's glare, which had been diluted by lust, was back in full force.

So much for escaping. Shidou wondered what would happen once their ill-advised dry humping was over; once they were past the sexual high. Despite the discomfort from the chafing of their clothes, they reached that point soon enough, both of them coming in their pants.

As Haruka got down from the high, he let go of Shidou's shirt, dropping his hand to the ground.

Unfortunately, Shidou had wasted his energy to run away on getting off. He reluctantly collapsed sideways onto the grass, catching his breath while laying beside Haruka. An accidental brush of arms between them made Shidou notice how Haruka was now completely dry, with his high Amazon’s body temperature having taken care of the river water.

"I could tell that you wanted to do it," Haruka said, this time speaking at a normal volume.


"I've become good at telling when people want two things—food and sex," Haruka explained. "In exchange for doing it, can you please let me go now?"

"You haven't done anything except make me piss in my pants."

Shidou really needed that drink. He rose from the grass and continued on his way to the bar. Behind him, Haruka was standing up too and immediately after Shidou could hear Haruka's footsteps coming from behind him.

When Haruka stopped at a bend, Shidou stopped to turn and watch what Haruka was doing.

That bend was marked with a bush, from which Haruka retrieved the sling bag he used to carry around his Amazon belt. In his rush to find and eliminate his rampaging comrades, Haruka tended to leave his things lying around like this, which was how the surveillance team managed to repossess the Junglaider and confirm that Haruka was still in the city. Rather than worry about whether Shidou would tell on him, Haruka should pay more attention to covering his tracks.

"I'm going to a bar where other people can see you," Shidou clearly pointed out the risk to Haruka. "Leave me here and go somewhere I don't know about."

"That's okay," Haruka said. "I have something to tell you anyway."

"Say whatever you need to say now."

"I'll tell you at the bar," Haruka insisted.

When they arrived, Shidou called the bartender for a glass of sake for him and told Haruka to order any drink he wanted. Both were to be be put on Shidou's permanent tab. Shidou had decided to change his strategy to be nice to Haruka for now and hoped that Haruka would leave him alone to return the favour.

Shidou left Haruka seated alone to use the bathroom, which he actually did. He wasn't going to become some fool who secretly climbed out of windows to avoid awkward encounters. Still, he reconsidered upon inspecting the sticky mess in his underwear.

As Shidou rejoined Haruka, he noticed a second glass of clear sake before Haruka. Could Amazons get drunk? He took a sip from his own glass and was ready to find out.

"What I have to tell you is," Haruka started without further preamble, "remember when you held up Mamoru’s coin at the beach, to call him back? It wasn’t actually his…it was mine. I had lost mine and Mamoru had given me his to wear. The extra one you have now is actually mine.”

Shidou had held up that coin, the charm that was meant to mark and protect each member of the team, to encourage Mamoru to take it back. To tell Mamoru, the team’s original Amazon, that he still had a place within the team. Shidou had wanted Mamoru to take back his place along with the coin, but that specific coin didn’t belong to Mamoru after all.

“I know you’re going to say that you don’t care,” Haruka continued. “But I want to find out whether you’re just pretending to not care, when you actually do. That’s why I needed to tell you this in person.”

Shidou downed more sake. He refused to give Haruka the satisfaction of finding out. Aside from the ruined symbolism of his gesture—what does it matter now— was this Haruka’s way of punishing him for not also calling Haruka back on that day?

This question threatened to loom over his future thoughts. Shidou avoided it completely by going off on a different tangent.

“Who knows, maybe you’ll one day be reborn as a more loveable human. Some want to be reborn as a good person, so they release animals they keep into the wild. You should release me too, and do some good for your future self.”

Haruka didn’t pick up on his sarcasm, and replied as if he thought Shidou was having a debate with him.

“I think that’s a bad thing to do. Those animals are used to being taken care of and might die in the wild. I would know. And if those people need to endanger animal lives to prove their goodness, then they have no chance of becoming good people.”

Haruka had been sipping from his glass throughout their conversation, and now his glass was half-full. As he took another sip, Shidou asked, "Are you drunk already?"

"I can't be drunk," Haruka said, setting his glass down. "It's water that I'm drinking."

Shidou needed to get through about four more glasses before he was drunk enough to overlook Haruka's nonsense.

"Haven't you drank enough from the river? Who drinks water at a bar?"

"What's wrong with that?" Haruka retorted. "I'm depressed and thirsty like any other person getting drunk."

"Here," Shidou moved his glass of sake to place it before Haruka, "Try drinking this and taste the difference."

One mouthful alone sent Haruka sputtering with the sake's burn in his throat. He recovered quickly and brought the glass to his mouth again for another try. Holding the liquor in his mouth, he put down Shidou's glass to pick up his glass of water…to spit the sake into.

Shidou was speechless. Though Haruka curled his hand over the rim of his glass to cover his mouth, his spitting was none too discreet. He gulped down the water along with the sake he spat into it.

"It's not so bad with water," Haruka concluded.

This boy could really find any way to do anything. A little longer in Haruka's company and Shidou might become deluded into thinking that Haruka could fit in his world, as he had mistakenly thought when he first accepted Haruka into the team.

Shidou rose from his seat, saying, "Go ahead and do that all night."

That was his farewell. He exited the bar, for once in a sober state, without much thought on where to go next and just walked. As payback for Haruka's nerve in trying to tear down his defenses, Shidou ought to realize Haruka's fear of getting captured.

He shouldn't have had that talk with Haruka on releasing captured animals. Before, he was confident that he could put Haruka down with an order from the director and without sentimental feelings, but now he couldn't help but wonder if he was trying to prove something in claiming that he could.

Was Shidou only deluding himself into thinking that he could be free from Haruka?

A resounding 'no' echoed in Shidou's mind when Haruka attacked him from behind, shoving him up against a closed shop's metal shutters. The impact of being slammed against the curtain of metal was doubled by Haruka kissing him, pushing him further up the shutters.

Haruka pulled back and said, "When you turn me in, are you going to tell my mother about this too?"

"What, that you're a horrible kisser?"

It was true. Haruka's kissing could be a substitute for punching.

With the lone streetlight a few meters away and with their faces close, Shidou discerned Haruka narrowing his eyes and frowning in disbelief. To convince Haruka how horrible he had been, Shidou kissed him like he meant it. Haruka followed his lead and soon they were kissing like they meant it.

Unlike their jerky humping on the river bank, they now deliberately grinded their hardening erections against each other's. Shidou was driven to use Haruka's body to get off, ironically to relieve himself of the tension from being in Haruka's presence.

When they had to cut their kissing short to inhale some air, Haruka asked, "Shidou, do you really want to do it with me?"

"Haven't you become good at telling when people want to do it?"

"I have. Sometimes people want to do it and I just happened to be around, not that they really want to do it with me."

"Don't worry. I really want to do it with you."

Shidou was satisfied that he didn't have to say 'I want you'. He moved first to undo Haruka's pants and shove them down along with Haruka's underwear.

This was his first time directly touching Haruka's cock. He deduced from touch and from what he could see by the faint light that it was a reasonable size for him to take. Yes, he was going to go there--he would risk some pain to inflict Haruka with excruciating pleasure; to upset Haruka's expectations on how people could undo each other.

While Haruka was busy with stripping Shidou's lower half, Shidou spat in his hand and reached down to rub his spit on Haruka's erection, coating it along with the pre-come already trickling down the length.

He whispered in Haruka's ear, "Hey. Go ahead and put it in."

"That's not how it's normally done, is it?"

He didn't wait for Shidou's answer and nudged his cock against Shidou's hole. As Shidou grasped Haruka's right bicep, Haruka took his cue to enter Shidou's ass. He groaned like he was gutted as he pushed his cock in.

Though Shidou had invited it, it still hurt like a bitch. But once a short while had passed, pleasure began to spike amidst the waves of pain. The metal shutters digging into his back added to the pain, yet whenever he arched his spine for two seconds of relief, the alternation of relief and pain increased the degree of the spiking pleasure.

"Is this too much?" Haruka asked, pushing in a little more after overcoming the first sensation of overwhelming tightness.

"Too much is just enough," Shidou said. "Keep your cock in there and don't thrust. I can make you come just like this."

"I want to make you come too."

They had gotten even closer now with Haruka inside Shidou. While resting his head against the side of Shidou's face, Haruka reached for Shidou's erection and ran a finger along its length. His teasing touch added to the contrast of pleasure and pain; both extreme sensations reverberating through Shidou's body.

The intensity of it all broke what little self-control Shidou still had. The words were out before he could evaluate how much he meant them.

"Haruka, I'm sorry."

The movements of Haruka's hand on Shidou's cock slowed for a brief second, and then Haruka recovered to ask, "For what?"

He kept his hand and hips still to allow Shidou to talk.

"Meeting you was my bad luck. But you got it worse. You had to learn about being human from me."

"It's okay," Haruka shifted his erection inside Shidou, "You keep saying that you're a bad person. But you're not the worst I've met."

Another minute thrust in and Haruka came. The shout he unleashed was deafening and the hot semen he injected into Shidou was too much to contain. Haruka's excess ejaculation ran down Shidou's thighs, giving Shidou the impression that he was being marked. He was about to push Haruka away when Haruka closed his palm over the sensitive head of Shidou's cock, stimulating him further and keeping him pinned to the shutters.

"Shidou, do you dream of monsters? When a scary one appears, I promise that I'll also be the more fearsome monster."

"Don't say such things with your hand on my cock," Shidou snapped, but he was coming anyway, into the hand of this fearsome monster.

As Haruka pulled out and backed away, Shidou supported his aching back and ass against the shutters. He grimaced and endured the sharpness of the edges, by then no longer offset by the rush of masochistic pleasure, for he was not going to crumble when Haruka was still within eyeshot.

In complete silence, they both refastened their pants and adjusted their clothes. Shidou was checking whether his wallet was in place when he found the extra protective charm in his jeans' pocket. Mamoru's golden coin…that was actually Haruka's.

Shidou called out to Haruka and tossed the charm over, which Haruka promptly caught.

"No wonder this didn't protect me at all tonight," Shidou said. "It really must be yours."

Haruka pocketed the charm without trying to convince Shidou that he deserved to own it; this emblem of the team which Shidou had kicked him out of.

Haruka only said, "Shidou, you can keep pretending to be a bad person all you like. But you’re really not."

He looked at Shidou with intent as silence reasserted itself between them. Perhaps Haruka was thinking of saying more, or perhaps he wanted to kiss Shidou again. He did neither, choosing to turn and take off into the darkness.

With Haruka gone, Shidou was free to let his legs give out and sank onto the hard ground. He passed the time needed to regain his energy in considering Haruka's last words. Haruka was not exactly saying that Shidou was a good person, but rather that Shidou should quit pretending to be worse.

What was more frightening, Haruka's potential to consume people or his mission to tear apart other people's delusions? No matter the emotional blows, the reality was that Shidou had survived experiencing the latter.