Challenge – Chapter Eight

The team starts to recover, and Niou and Yagyuu find another kind of comfort. Drama with Porn, I-4

Pairing(s): Yagyuu/Niou

As the tournament season drew on, the team drew together around the axis Sanada had defined: no losses. And, as they didn’t lose, it became more acceptable to them; Sanada’s brutal ruthlessness became simply a matter of fact, and they all picked up a tinge of it.

Except Kirihara Akaya. He took on considerably more than a tinge. And by the first time the team watched him destroy an opponent with blinding, methodical speed, it didn’t occur to any of them to suggest that Yukimura might not have approved. Their captain was their cause, their beacon, but they were Sanada’s team for this season. And he accepted Akaya’s rage and destruction without a blink.

The one time Masaharu mentioned it to Yagyuu, his partner had looked at him, one brow lifted over unwinking lenses.

“Perhaps Akaya gives to Sanada some of what I give to you,” he suggested. Masaharu sniffed.

“Sanada doesn’t deserve the precision of your destruction, and Akaya is too wild to give it to him.”

“Perhaps wildness is what he needs.” Yagyuu trailed his fingers over Masaharu’s collar bone. “I can sympathize. Somewhat.”

Masaharu smiled engagingly for his partner, and, the next day, convinced the Japanese teacher that it was really next week and they had already completed Chapter Ten. He rather thought Yagyuu appreciated this contribution to undermining authority.

They visited Yukimura in ones and twos, and found him annoyed that he was not permitted to return to school, and nearly climbing the walls because he was not permitted to return to tennis. Masaharu told him expansive stories of his latest tricks, and Yagyuu brought him class notes. Once Masaharu dropped by to find Yanagi asleep on the couch, and Yukimura, eyes soft, pressing a finger to his lips for quiet. Another time he observed, to his vast amusement, Akaya hauling a glaring Sanada down the walk to Yukimura’s house, shoving him inside, closing the door firmly and settling down on the front stoop. He saluted the kid lazily and didn’t try to stop in. Sanada could not, he knew, have been resisting that much or the slight Akaya would never have budged him.

Everyone was deeply relieved when Yukimura’s physical therapist cleared him to resume light (the word was underlined three times, on his exercise sheet) tennis practice, provided he had a spotter. The team promptly drew up a rota of who could come by after practice, each day.

The stress, and Yagyuu’s basic distrust of Sanada’s temper, were starting to tell on Masaharu’s partner. He found himself, more than once, putting their study sessions on hold to sit behind Yagyuu and press a little of the tension out of his shoulders.

“This isn’t good for you,” he scolded, mildly. “And,” he added, aggrieved, “it isn’t good for me, having to play mother hen; that isn’t supposed to be my job.”

“It doesn’t suit you,” Yagyuu agreed, blandly.

Masaharu growled at the jab. Though, actually, he was pleased to see Yagyuu’s dry humor intact. He didn’t like the way this year was wrapping old layers of defense back around his partner’s scintillating, luring edges. Today was, apparently, one of the days when Yagyuu could read his mind, because his partner huffed out a faint laugh.

“I know you don’t much like my public face, Niou-kun, but it does allow me to keep control of myself and my integrity. I believe you know that has been more than usually necessary, this year.”

Well, yes, Masaharu did know that. Just because Yagyuu had agreed to lend himself to Sanada’s agenda didn’t mean that this, the most self-contained member of their team, had any liking for the way Sanada’s obsession dragged them all in its wake, like so many bits of metal after a magnet. So, too, knowing that Sanada’s high-handed approach grew out of the frantic worry for their captain that the idiot seemed to be allergic to admitting didn’t do a thing to make Yagyuu’s reaction any less reflexively hostile. While Masaharu tried to avoid saying so, he had realized long since that Yagyuu’s surface compliance allowed him considerable independence of action. He just didn’t want to encourage his partner by seeming to approve.

“I know,” he agreed, without specifying which part he was agreeing with. Yagyuu’s laugh was fuller this time.

Well, there was something Masaharu had been thinking about, that might, in part, answer both Yagyuu’s need and his own desire.

Masaharu stepped back from himself a bit, and took a long look at what he was considering doing. He had researched the topic more scrupulously than he usually did anything but history and mathmatics. He was now well acquainted with the theory, and, theoretically, knew what he would be getting himself into. He thought that it would probably be agreeable to Yagyuu’s inclinations, and, for himself, the idea fanned subtle waves of sparks down his spine. It was really the last of those thoughts that led him to disregard his lingering trepidation and bend his head until his lips brushed Yagyuu’s neck.

“You like being able to control the pace,” he observed. Yagyuu’s soft breath might have been agreement. “I would let you,” Masaharu said, obliquely, “if you want to try.”

“Try?” Yagyuu repeated, smoothly. “I do believe I’ve always succeeded, with you, Niou-kun.” His fingers brushed through Masaharu’s hair.

“We haven’t,” Masaharu noted, “tried everything, yet.”

His partner froze, and Masaharu smiled against Yagyuu’s skin. If he had ever wanted revenge for having been maneuvered into it, that first time, he rather thought he had it now. Yagyuu turned, lifting a hand to Masaharu’s face.

“You want that?” he asked, after a long moment of scrutiny.

“Yes,” Masaharu answered, simply.

“I don’t want to cause you pain,” Yagyuu said, unaccustomed hesitance slowing his words. “The lack of restraint you want from me would make it… very likely.”

So he hadn’t been the only one doing research. “I’m definitely not into pain,” Masaharu told his partner, wryly. “But you didn’t listen to what I offered. Your pace,” he clarified, at Yagyuu’s raised brows, “whatever that is.”

Yagyuu flicked his glasses off and laid them aside, leaned forward and kissed Masaharu, outlining his lips with a soft tongue.

“I accept,” Yagyuu murmured against his mouth.

Masaharu let Yagyuu lay him back on the bed, and sighed under his slow, gentle kisses. His partner’s hands were quicker, undoing buttons with the dexterity of significant practice. Masaharu ran his own hands through Yagyuu’s hair, taking a certain pleasure in mussing it. Yagyuu was perfectly well aware of this, and paused to give him a put-upon look.

Masaharu didn’t buy it for a second.

He did, however, shift, obligingly, so Yagyuu could tug off his clothing. And then he gasped a little at the coolness of Yagyuu’s fingers, as they pressed across his skin.


He knew it was entirely deliberate when he looked up into Yagyuu’s eyes and saw the teasing light in them, and the grin hovering at the corners of that controlled mouth. He reached up and tapped his partner on the nose, admonishing, but he had, after all, promised to let Yagyuu set the pace. So he let his hand drop back to the sheets and simply breathed, waiting.

At that, the pale eyes widened a little, and Yagyuu’s hand brushed over Masaharu’s lips, teasing them apart, before Yagyuu’s mouth covered his, hard, his other hand slipping behind Masaharu’s back to pull them tight together. That was familiar, the sharp, tingling thrill, like licking a battery. To Masaharu, Yagyuu’s open presence tasted of lightning.

And he was open, now, as open as his palm sliding over Masaharu’s stomach, over his hip, over his rear and up the back of his thigh. Masaharu answered with his own openness, spreading his legs to let Yagyuu lie between them. Yagyuu rocked against him, taking Masaharu’s moan into his mouth and trading his own for it.

“Dare I hope you had the foresight to bring along the appropriate accoutrements?” he murmured in Masaharu’s ear, the light words undercut by the breathless tone.

“Schoolbag,” Masaharu directed.

When Yagyuu’s fingers, still cool and now slick, pressed against him, sliding across skin no one else had touched before, Masaharu tossed his head back and snatched in a deep breath. It was so… close. Such an intimate thing, to allow Yagyuu to touch him like this. And then his partner’s finger pressed into him, and Masaharu had a new definition of intimacy.

His research had been quite accurate, he thought hazily. It did feel strange. Yagyuu’s eyes were sharp on him, watching his face. It was typical of them that he did not ask if Masaharu was all right. What he said, instead, was, “If you need me to stop, tell me.”

Masaharu’s offer to let him control the pace had, after all, been made in better knowledge of what his partner was like when he cast off his mask than anyone else had. With, a corner of Masaharu’s mind had to add, the possible exception of Yukimura, who was obviously omniscient. Yagyuu had told him to break this off, if he had to; if he didn’t, Yagyuu would take him at his word, trusting Masaharu’s judgment. Curiously enough, that knowledge made Masaharu relax.

And when he relaxed, the sensation of Yagyuu’s touch inside of him became less strange and more enticing. Masaharu released a trembling breath, feeling the sleek glide of Yagyuu’s fingertip over unaccustomed nerves. Yagyuu moved slowly, very slowly, and his eyes bore down on Masaharu more heavily then his hand. Masaharu thought that, too, was deliberate, because Yagyuu was, by now, well aware that his direct gaze sent sparks dancing through Masaharu’s blood at times like this.

Yagyuu’s other hand trailed down the inside of Masaharu’s thigh, teased lightly between his legs, swept up his chest and back down, and Masaharu was distracted from the idea of what Yagyuu was doing, left only with the feeling. That feeling became heated, as Yagyuu’s fingers caressed him, stroked deep into him, until even the ice of Yagyuu’s eyes before his seemed to gleam with fire.

And his partner could only be drawing this out from a desire to see Masaharu completely abandoned to his touch, because he was already arching into those fingers, inviting the tingling, electric touch deeper, breathing in soft, pleading sighs as strange, tense pleasure wrapped around the base of his spine like a climbing vine. Masaharu released a choked half laugh when Yagyuu finally bent down to him and kissed a delicate line up the tendon of his neck, drawing his hand back. So precise, his partner, so deliberate, even in release. It was Masaharu who was the wild one, but so rarely. So rarely did he give over his own control this completely. Yagyuu’s mouth on his spoke of understanding that gift, and that, even more than Yagyuu’s hands on him, washed shivers through Masaharu, melted him back against the sheets, opened him to the pressure of Yagyuu pushing into him.

It stretched him to the edge of pain, but never quite over. It was, perfectly, everything he desired of his partner, every reason he pressed Yagyuu to let himself go, the extremity of sensation that could have been destruction but, to him, was not. Masaharu cried out, voice strained, as his partner began to move, sinking himself under the shock of this heat, barely aware of his hands closed hard on Yagyuu’s arms. The soft, heavy pleasure of Yagyuu’s hand stroking him slipped around the edges of sensation, twined itself into the harsher heat, and Masaharu clung to the constant of his partner’s eyes on him as his body tensed, tensed, and released, waves wrenching muscle and nerve, and fire sweeping him, dropping him down, dazed, panting.

When Yagyuu came to rest beside him, they simply breathed together for a time.

Yagyuu stirred first, pressed a kiss to his forehead. “Thank you,” he murmured.

Entirely my pleasure,” Masaharu assured him, voice husky. He lifted a heavy hand to brush back Yagyuu’s wonderfully mussed hair.


His eyes focused on what he was actually seeing, and Masaharu abruptly collapsed on Yagyuu’s shoulder, howling with laughter. His partner held him, obliging if a bit bemused.

“I understand that it’s usual to have some reaction to one’s first experience of this sort,” he commented, “but I hadn’t heard that hysterical mirth was one of the common choices.”

“We didn’t…” Masaharu gasped, “we didn’t take off… the wrist weights…!” He dissolved into cackles again.

Yagyuu’s rare, open laugh joined his.