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The Hunt

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The club was hot, stuffy, reeking of booze, sweat and sex; the air shivering with the movement of hundreds of bodies, music so loud that it vibrated up through the concrete floor and into a person's bones. Bodies swayed and twisted, slick with sweat, intertwining in ways that would have been better suited to a bedroom than a public dance floor.

"Well, what do you think Ryou-kun?"

The silver-haired man squinted into the shadows, thickened with scented clouds of dry-ice fog and tried to make sense of what he was seeing. It looked like a giant mass of flesh and neon fabric, shimmering underneath the flashing lights.

"It's…loud," he announced finally, shouting to be heard.

Goro laughed, "Hell yeah! This is the best club in the country man – the best party you'll ever go to. You're lucky I'm here to help you get in," he clapped Ryou on one pale shoulder, his fingers lingering on Ryou's skin for just an instant before his hand fell back to his side "keep you eyes open for the guys wearing the red dragon symbol – they'll help you out with some serious party favours if you know what I mean. Now get out there and have some fun!"

He dissolved into the surging crowd. Ryou doubted he would ever see the man again. They had met only hours ago at a popular bar and had little to nothing in common beneath the surface.

Got me into the party though – that's the important part.

Ryou took one last look around, pausing to adjust the patch over his eye, before turning himself towards the bar. People were packed shoulder to shoulder ordering drinks, and he muscled his way through them, heedless to the protests and curses lobbed in his direction, leaning on the wooden counter and drawing the attention of one of the girls behind the bar with little more than a wave of his hand.

"Hey handsome," she leaned in close to avoid having to shout over the volume of the music, "what can I get for you?"

Ryou graced her with his most winning smile – she should have felt honoured, it wasn't something that very many people got to see, "I could really go for – something smooth, sweet and hard."

"Then I've got just the thing," a sensuous, masculine voice purred directly in Ryou's ear, a solid, heated, sweat-dampened body pressing up against his back, a tanned hand reaching in front of his body, dangling a small plastic baggie between thumb and forefinger.

Ryou eyed the pale blue crystals contained in the plastic for a moment, before turning to face their purveyor, drink now securely in hand. The young tanned man grinned at him, wrinkling the pale scar across the bridge of his nose. He wore a pair of bright blue board-shorts, barely clinging to prominent hip bones, and a neon tie-dyed T-shirt was tucked into his waistband. The only adornment on his sweat-slick upper body was a leather bracelet with metal studs, an assortment of scars, and what looked like a tattoo – the symbol of the red dragon, just below his collar bone on the left side. His eyes didn't leave Ryou's for an instant as he held the baggie out to him like an offering of peace.

"It's the best stuff in the house, I promise."

"How do I know you're telling the truth?" Ryou slid away from the bar, sipping his drink. It was almost pure whiskey and burned all the way down his throat, settling as a powerful heat deep in the pit of his stomach.

"There's more than enough people here who can vouch for me," the man raked his fingers through the sweat-stringed tendrils of his chocolate brown hair, still grinning from ear to ear, "You're the one I wonder about – don't think I've ever seen you here before."


The tanned man's face went serious for an instant, "Usagi."

The club's speakers began pumping a bass-line like a primal heartbeat, making Ryou's skin shiver and his muscles tremble. The seriousness on Usagi's face melted away, replaced seamlessly with a seductive smile, glittering with a flash of perfectly white teeth. He slid the bag of blue crystals into the pocket of his shorts and took two steps back towards the dance floor on sandaled feet.

"So? Either you want it – or you don't."

"Oh…" Ryou drained the last half of his drink in a single breath, hissing through his teeth at the cathartic burn, "believe me, I want it."

Usagi spun away across the dance floor, and Ryou went after him, hurrying through the nearly impenetrable press of bodies.

The chase was a game; he could tell by the way Usagi kept looking back over his shoulder and smiling with wicked promise. Someone's shoulder stuck Ryou, and nearly knocked him off his feet; for a moment, he lost sight of the brunette, and cursed his own clumsiness – then he saw a flash of tanned skin, a spark of blue, and the hunt was on again.

He followed Usagi to the shadowed edges of the club, where couples of all persuasion tangled in various states of coitus, but Usagi ignored them, moving effortlessly through the deepening shadows to a stairwell almost completely concealed behind a black-velvet curtain. Ryou followed after a moment's hesitation, relieved as the music almost instantly subsided to a dull roar, like the ocean inside a seashell. A sign hanging on a rope across the stairs read "members only" and Ryou's progress was halted by a man who looked as if he ate whole cows for breakfast – bones, hide and all.

"It's okay Ken," Usagi called down from the top of he flight of stairs, "He's with me."

Ken gave Ryou a short, disgusted look, and then drew back the rope, allowing Ryou to continue following his prey.

In the hallway at the top of the stairs, the music and clamour of the club was a hum, like the sound of distant water, almost drowned out by the lingering ringing noise in Ryou's ears.

"This way," Usagi urged, beckoning playfully. Ryou followed, almost mindless, stepping through the open door into a tiny room that contained a broken-down bed on a water-stained floor, and a dresser with two drawers missing, piled high with discarded clothes. The room reeked of too much incense to cover up the smell of sweat and alcohol that wafted up through the floorboards, and the window was covered over with old newspaper to keep out light and prying eyes.

Ryou turned to say something to Usagi, only to have his lips caught by the other man, a fiercely hungry tongue plundering his mouth. Ryou drew it in eagerly, tasting some sweet, fruity alcohol that he didn't recognize and something that was achingly familiar.

"Damn pretty baby," he gasped as he pulled back for air, "I missed you so much you wouldn't even believe."

Iruka gave him a short, scolding look, "It's 'Usagi', and don't forget it Kakashi."

"Ryouken," Kakashi corrected, throwing back his head and allowing the tanned Chunin to molest his neck with lips and teeth, "why can't anyone come up with decent codenames these days?"

Iruka laughed softly, digging into his pocket and pulling out the bag of blue crystals, passing it into Kakashi's, "Well – it'll all be over soon right?"

"That's the stuff?"

"Yeah – Tsunade can analyze it if she wants. The full shipment comes in three days from now, according to the information I've got. It's worse than we thought – increased speed, strength, stamina. If our enemies got a hold of this it would be a bloodbath," he said all this while removing Kakashi's sleeveless fishnet shirt and leaving a long line of possessive bite-marks along his collarbone, "you have no idea how happy I am to see you – I thought Genma was meeting me."

"I hope this wasn't the reception you were planning on giving him," Kakashi laughed lightly.

"Shut up," Iruka growled warningly, pushing him towards the bed and plundering his mouth again, fingers seeking the button on the front of Kakashi's jeans. Kakashi's knees hit the edge of the bed and he allowed himself to fall, pulling Iruka with him, burying his face in his lover's shoulder, inhaling the scent of sweat, chalk and Satsuma oranges – Iruka's scent.

The mattress was thin and dingy, and one of the support bars dug painfully into Kakashi's left knee as he eagerly turned himself over and kicked his pants away onto the floor.

"Hurry," he panted, suppressing a groan as Iruka's teeth sank into the back of his neck. He knew that whatever they were about to do had to be long enough to be noticed by the guard on the stairs, but short enough to still seem impersonal; but it had been three weeks since Iruka had made love to him, so painfully long that the familiar sound of Iruka's breathing, his touch and his scent, was almost enough to make Kakashi too fast out of the gate. He badly needed whatever Iruka could give him. "I thought rabbits are supposed to be fast."

Iruka's cock bumped suddenly against the cleft of Kakashi's ass, slick with spit and sweat, making the Jonin draw a sharp breath of surprise. That first bump became a steady press, and Kakashi shuddered with delight and desire; it took only a few moments for his muscles to relax around the intrusion, for every part of his core to become loose and welcoming, drawing Iruka in until the Chunin was buried deep inside him.

A trembling hand ran down Kakashi's back, from his shoulder to the base of his spine, up and down in a rhythm that almost matched the timing of Iruka's thrusts. Kakashi boosted himself up, gripping the headboard with one hand for support, reaching down with the other to stroke his own aching arousal, moaning almost frantically and trying not to call out a name that no one else in the building was supposed to know as he came.

Iruka held out longer – only a dozen thrusts or so – but by that time Kakashi felt like his body was going to disintegrate from aftershocks of pleasure so intense there were tears in his eyes.

Iruka held him for a moment afterwards, tight against his chest, body hot and shaking, staying sheathed inside Kakashi for as long as he could bear before kissing the side of the Jonin's neck apologetically and easing out.

"You have to go."

Kakashi suppressed a sigh and eased himself off the bed, favouring his left leg, which tingled and ached from having the circulation partially cut off. Both men dressed quickly, but as Kakashi walked to the door to let himself out, Iruka caught him by the wrist and pulled him back into one last kiss, which was chaste compared to what they had shared before.

"Three days," he promised, "be there to meet me."

Kakashi limped down the hallway, favouring his aching leg, hobbled down the stairs, smelling of sweat and sex, pale skin covered in fresh hickeys that were already blossoming into dark circles. As he moved to pass by the muscle-bound stairwell guard, the man sneered at him. Kakashi ignored him until he was just about to step through the curtain into the chaos of the club, when he turned back and smiled.

"You wish," he said simply.

He was practically sleepwalking as he moved through the club, exiting into a night that seemed obscenely cold compared to inside. For a moment he stood, shivering as others moved around him to get inside, sweat chilling on his skin. When he moved, he could feel the slickness of fluid running down the backs of his thighs. It wasn't a sensation he ever thought he would enjoy, but at least this once it felt good.

He moved around the back of the club, first milling with those seeking quiet in the night, before melting seamlessly into the shadows between the warehouses. It took him almost no time at all to find where he had stored his gear, and he dressed quickly before getting on the radio.

"Hound here," he reported to what sounded like nothing more than static, "I've flushed out the rabbit and collected the carrot."

There was a pause, and for a moment Kakashi thought that maybe the signal had dropped before Raidou's voice came over the earpiece.

"Copy that Hound – your master is calling you home."

"I'm on my way."

Kakashi took one last look over his shoulder in the direction of the club and whispered, "Three days is too damn long. You'd better stay safe Iruka."

And then he vanished, momentarily a black speck silhouetted by the full moon before the night swallowed him up.