A Theme in Pentatonic – Two

After the Kami no Kijitsu arc, Juubei brings Toshiki home to Kazuki and the three of them fit themselves together with a little more honesty and understanding this time. Porn, Drama, I-4

Toshiki walked quietly beside Kakei through the familiar sounds of the Lower Town. “Makubex is everything you said he is,” he finally said.

“You’re content to help him, then?” Kakei asked, cutting to the heart with his usual bluntness. Toshiki’s mouth quirked, hearing it again.

Only for a moment, though.

“Is this what Kazuki wishes?” he asked, low. And he had to ask Kakei, because he hadn’t been able to get an answer out of Kazuki any time over the last few days. Kakei was quiet for almost a block.

“Kazuki will not stay to lead without Amano Ginji as his beacon,” he said at last, “but that does not mean he doesn’t wish our home safe and well. It pleases him that we support Makubex.”

“Lower Town’s new beacon,” Toshiki mused.

“Not so powerful a one that Kazuki will follow it, but worthy of our help.”

Toshiki smiled at the undertones he heard in that. Kakei would support Makubex all right, no doubt with all his strength, but there was only one person he would follow. And if that pleased Kazuki, well that was good enough for Toshiki, too. “All right,” he agreed, and paused on the streetcorner, looking around at the bright chaos. It took him back, and maybe that wasn’t a bad thing; maybe he should go back and try again. “I should find some place to stay, here,” he murmured.

Kakei cocked his head and Toshiki had, again, that odd new feeling, that blind eyes were measuring him, considering. “It’s good to stay close,” he said, finally. “Come back with me, for now.”

Toshiki stopped himself before he asked if Kakei was sure. Kakei was always sure, and if that got a little wearing it was also comforting right now. Familiar. He followed his old friend and rival down narrow alleys to broader streets into a tangle of shorter buildings with washing strung window to window overhead. On one side of a cracked concrete plaza they went up creaking iron stairs to an outside door in the top floor. Toshiki approved of the high ground. The rooms inside opened up, free and airy, half the interior walls knocked out long ago, much newer windows open to catch the breeze as evening came on.

Kazuki was standing in the middle of the second room, turning and smiling to see them.

“Juubei! Is Toshiki staying, then?”

“Yes,” Kakei said firmly, while Toshiki stood and stared.

“But…” He was trying not to sputter, and that didn’t leave him with much else to say.

“I said it’s good to stay close,” Kakei told him. “This solves the problem between us, doesn’t it?”

Toshiki was suddenly remembering exactly why he found Kakei’s habitual surety so frustrating. How was a person supposed to answer it? “I can’t…” he tried, only to be cut off by Kazuki’s hand on his chest.

“Do you object?” Kazuki murmured, knowing eyes holding his, and Toshiki flinched under that question, reminded now of exactly why he had followed Kazuki so long. That one question was everything he had tried to take by force from Kazuki, everything Kazuki had no need to force from him, laid bare as a drawn blade between them. He closed his eyes.

“No.”

“Good. I’ve missed you.” Kazuki’s voice had no edge of triumph in it and Toshiki shuddered with the gentleness of his defeat.

“Let me stay,” he begged, softly. Kazuki had been the one to release him, but he had been the one to leave; he knew better now. If only Kazuki would take him up, it would never happen again.

“Of course you’ll stay.” Kazuki’s hands closed around his face and he opened his eyes to meet Kazuki’s, bright and pleased, forgiving him before he even asked, and his arms closed around Kazuki before he could think. When Kazuki only laughed, softly, he breathed again, light-headed at being allowed this.

He started a little when Kakei’s hands closed over his shoulders from behind, but they only smoothed across his back, stroked down his arms, palms open, and that wrung a wanting sound from him. It had always been love and hate both, between he and Kakei.

“You’re Kazuki’s knight,” Kakei murmured in his ear, as if he hadn’t noticed. “You’ll stay.”

This time the surety was entirely comfort.

Toshiki bent his head to Kazuki’s kiss, breath catching just a little as Kakei’s hands slid under his shirt and across his stomach. This was everything he’d wanted for years and he felt like the world’s own idiot for running away from it for so long. Even that thought unraveled, though, under the slow heat of Kazuki’s mouth and the small sound of satisfaction he made. He didn’t think, after that, just let them strip away clothes until he was caught between the heat of their skin, light-headed with the sweetness of just being here. Wanted. It was almost too much to take in when they nudged him back toward the bed and Kazuki’s eyes laughed at him.

“Juubei?”

“Yes.” Kakei settled onto the bed and pulled Toshiki down over him. That made him awkward again, for a moment, unsure how they fit, but Kakei’s hands were patient, stroking down his body, spreading him out, and when he felt the bed dip as Kazuki settled behind him he understood and shivered. Kakei’s hands smoothed the shiver away.

In fact… they were easing away all of the places where his muscles still ached and trembled, firm, knowing fingers pressing and stroking here and there until he was just about draped over Juubei’s body, breathing deep and slow.

“Kakei… what…?” he managed.

“Shh,” Juubei told him, hands still passing over him. “Your punishment was harsher than mine; you aren’t entirely recovered yet.”

“It was only what I deserved,” he muttered against Kakei’s neck.

“Don’t say that,” Kazuki said, quick and soft. “You didn’t deserve that.”

“You deserved to be thoroughly beaten for being such an idiot,” Kakei agreed, matter-of-fact, “but not to die.”

Toshiki couldn’t help laughing at that. “Juubei,” he sighed. Juubei just made a self-satisfied sound, and Toshiki snorted again. Comfort and annoyance; yes, he was home again.

“So,” Kazuki murmured, hands sliding up the back of Toshiki’s thighs. “Is our Toshiki ready for me, Juubei?”

Juubei’s hand settled at his nape. “He is.”

“Toshiki?” He could hear the smile in Kazuki’s voice, and it made his voice husky.

“Yes.”

“Good.” That was nearly a purr, and Toshiki moaned as slick fingers pressed between his cheeks, rubbing firmly over his entrance. The touch wasn’t rough, by any means, but it told him that Kazuki didn’t intend to be terribly patient. The heat of that thought rushed up his spine like a river and set him panting softly.

“Please,” he whispered. “Kazuki.”

“Yes.” Kazuki’s voice was darker this time and an entreating sound caught in the back of Toshiki’s throat as strong, slender fingers pressed into him, again and again, working him open. They played his body with the same precision and grace as Kazuki’s strings until he was gasping, hips pushing up into the slow thrust of Kazuki’s fingers fucking him. Juubei caught his mouth and swallowed his moan as those fingers drove deep and twisted, and he shuddered as Juubei’s hips ground up against his.

Kazuki’s fingers withdrew and palms stroked up his back. “I always saw you, Toshiki,” Kazuki murmured to him. “I always knew you. I’m sorry I was careless of you, my friend.”

Toshiki groaned openly as Kazuki’s hands spread him open and Kazuki’s cock slid into him slow and hard.

“My Toshiki,” Kazuki said, husky, “stay with us.” The promise of being wanted, being Kazuki’s pulled a whimper he couldn’t be ashamed of out of him.

“Kazuki doesn’t leave things, not in his heart,” Juubei said softly against his ear, and Toshiki could hear perfectly well the relief in his even tone. It was what Toshiki felt himself, after all.

That and heat as Kazuki fucked him, slow and strong, never quite stopping, until he was panting, moaning against Juubei’s shoulder. “Please,” he begged, breathless, spreading his legs wider over Juubei’s hips, and gasped as Kazuki drove into him hard enough to rock his ass up in the air. “Please, yes…”

Kazuki’s hands closed on his shoulders, pressing them down, and his long thrusts turned faster, rougher. “Juubei,” he bit out, breathless.

Toshiki moaned as Juubei’s hand closed around both their cocks and stroked, sure and hard. It was too much, too good, caught and welcomed home between them, and he buried his face against Juubei’s neck, breath torn short as the heat took fire and pleasure wrung him out ferociously over and over again. The whole world was the press of their skin against his, their movement, his as he bucked and shuddered in their hold.

The sound of Kazuki’s moan sent an extra last shiver down his spine, and he thought he could have just sprawled there forever while Kazuki’s hands stroked slowly up and down his body. Juubei’s breath was coming quick now, though, and he mustered a grin as he reached down and batted Juubei’s hand aside, stroking him quick and firm until he arched under them.

Juubei, he was distantly amused to note, didn’t make any noise, and wasn’t that just like him. The thought made him snicker and Kazuki made an inquiring noise against the nape of his neck as he eased back.

“Nothing.” Toshiki took a few moments to untangle himself from Juubei, and he was glad when Juubei promptly pulled him down between them again. “So,” he said, finally able to wind an arm around Kazuki, finally, finally, “this is where you both live?”

“This is home,” Kazuki said quietly, reaching across him to tangle fingers with Juubei. “Will you stay?”

“Of course…” Juubei started, in his inarguable tone, only to be silenced by a look from Kazuki.

“I want to hear it from Toshiki,” Kazuki said, firm.

“I’ll stay as long as you want me. As long as you’ll have me.” Toshiki was light-headed with how much he wanted it; he couldn’t believe Kazuki even needed to ask.

But maybe that told him something he hadn’t realized about Kazuki. Who was smiling at him, soft and pleased.

“Welcome home, then,” Kazuki told him, and he had to close his eyes until he could catch his breath again.

“Yes. Yes.” He lifted Kazuki’s hand and kissed his fingers, and managed a smile that didn’t feel too shaky. “I’m back.”

It was a promise.


Working for Makubex was strange and familiar. Being back in Lower Town was familiar enough, and the basic business of keeping order hadn’t changed. The twisted things that came down from the Beltline were hideously familiar, and fighting beside Juubei was pleasantly familiar, though he missed the fluid chill of Kazuki’s strength behind them. It was good to have a purpose he could trust again, though. And it was good to go home, after all the fires were temporarily put out, and know that Kazuki or Juubei and sometimes both would be there.

He found himself smiling again, and only realized then that he’d stopped years ago.

Sometimes he thought he was the one of them who really needed a keeper.

“Toshiki?”

He looked up from his rueful contemplation of the sky out the window and felt that smile tug at his mouth again. “Kazuki.”

Kazuki came to fold up on the couch beside him, running carelessly graceful fingers through Toshiki’s hair as he sat. “Is everything well?”

That casual caress still made him breathless and it took a moment to reply. “Everything’s fine. I like working with Makubex. It’s good…” he cut that thought off before it could get all the way out of his mouth. He was not going to whine in front of Kazuki.

Kazuki just smiled at him. “What’s good?” The brush of his fingers against Toshiki’s cheek drew the words out of him.

“It’s good to be needed,” he said, low, looking down at his hands.

“Oh, Toshiki.” The breath of a laugh in Kazuki’s voice made him flush and it didn’t help when a cool hand on his cheek turned him back to face Kazuki. He only had a breath to take in the fond smile on Kazuki’s lips, though, before he could barely breathe at all. The weight of Kazuki’s presence, normally so smoothly concealed, intensified abruptly, singing in the very air around them. “Who am I?” Kazuki asked, quiet and cool.

Toshiki had to swallow before he could speak, and the name he spoke wasn’t his friend’s or lover’s. It was the name still feared down every street of Lower Town, the name of the one he followed. “Kazuki…”

“I don’t need anyone to protect me. Not Juubei, and not you.” Kazuki softened again, and the pressure of him eased. “But having people people I love close… that’s good to have.”

“You have it,” Toshiki promised, husky.

Kazuki smiled like the sun coming up. “Thank you.” His arms slid lightly around Toshiki’s shoulders, and Toshiki took a shaky breath, catching Kazuki tight against him.

“I’ll serve you with all my life, I swear it,” he murmured into Kazuki’s shoulder, reminded by that moment of open dominance of everything Kazuki was to him.

Kazuki pressed closer and whispered, “Just be with me. That’s all.”

Toshiki stilled, suddenly remembering the way Kazuki hadn’t looked at them when he’d told them they could leave if they wanted. “Was that…?”

Kazuki made an inquiring sound, drawing back a bit to look at him, and Toshiki shook his head. “Nothing,” he said, mouth quirking as he spread his hands against the slim line of Kazuki’s back, reassuring himself and… and maybe Kazuki too. “I’m just a fool, that’s all.”

He hadn’t seen.

“No more than any of us,” Kazuki said softly, and yes, now Toshiki thought he knew what that darkness in Kazuki’s eyes was.

“Kazuki…” he hesitated, but he honestly couldn’t imagine how this had happened. He lifted one of Kazuki’s hands and murmured against his fingers, “If you wanted us to stay, why didn’t you hold us by you?”

Kazuki shook his head sharply. “I couldn’t do that! How could I demand something like that?”

Toshiki blinked. The words fit together but they didn’t make any sense at all; wasn’t Kazuki their leader? Wasn’t it his right, the right they’d given him when they chose to follow him? He could feel Kazuki’s muscles tense, though, so he left it for now and only promised again, low, “I won’t leave again. Not ever.”

That made Kazuki relax and settle against him, and there was so much wonder in being allowed so close, in being wanted, that he set aside the oddness and just held him.

“Yes,” Kazuki sighed, hand sliding down Toshiki’s chest to rest over his heart. “Now you’re here.” He smiled up at Toshiki with a hint of teasing. “Now you’re mine.”

Toshiki smiled back, though he’d never been more serious. “Always.” There had never been a time when he wasn’t, however he’d twisted and betrayed that trust, and Toshiki promised all over, silently, that he would serve and stand by Kazuki until the day he died doing it.

And perhaps, his sense of irony couldn’t help pointing out, after. He’d done it once already, after all.

Even as Kazuki drew him down to a kiss, though, the thought lingered in the back of his mind that he should find out why Kazuki thought he didn’t have every right there was to keep his own people.