Irregular

Jackal and Marui on a hot afternoon, and Jackal’s attempts to convince his partner to take it easy. Porn With Characterization, I-4, manga continuity

Pairing(s): Jackal/Marui

It was a hot afternoon, on the kind of day that encouraged sensible people to lounge around in as little clothing as could be arranged and drink things with a lot of ice. Accordingly, Jackal Kuwahara had abandoned all clothing but his favorite pair of worn, cotton shorts, settled in front of a fan with a pitcher of ice water handy nearby, and watched with amusement as his partner made a spirited attempt to stab his textbook to death with a pencil.

No one who knew him would call Bunta particularly sensible.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous!” Bunta declared, with a last vindictive jab. “I mean, look at this! I could deal with irregulars that came in groups, but why can’t mourir act like ouvrir? They end the same; they sound the same; they should act the same! Why did I think Romance Languages were a good idea?”

“Last week,” Jackal noted, “you said you liked the way they sounded.” He refilled both their glasses. Bunta accepted his back, absently, and sipped without looking away from the page.

“I do,” he said. “They sound soft, but they have such a nice, broad rhythm to them. I like that. But it’s no excuse for this!”

Jackal shook his head, caught between a sigh and a laugh. When Bunta was in a mood to be unreasonable one just had to let him vent until he got it out of his system. Sometimes, though, the process could be hastened with a little provocation.

“I’m told that it’s much easier going in this direction then for, say, a native speaker of French to learn Japanese,” he observed.

At that, Bunta looked up with a flash of teeth. “Ha! As if!”

Jackal chuckled. His partner in a high temper was always worth watching. Animation brightened the dawn-colored eyes, and curved his mouth in a razor sharp grin. Bunta knew perfectly well what Jackal was doing, of course, but he rarely turned down the opening. It was one of the reasons Jackal found his partner endlessly entertaining; his dramatics were always perfectly sincere and entirely deliberate, at the same time.

“You have to admit, Japanese not only has irregular verbs, but often completely different words for a single object,” Jackal prodded, perfectly straight-faced.

“That,” Bunta declared, “is all according to rules. Sensible, consistent rules. There’s no consistency to this mess!” He paused, and cocked his head at Jackal. “Is it?” he asked.

Jackal blinked at him. That leap had gone by a bit fast. “Is what?”

“Is it easier going the other way?”

Jackal shrugged. “My family always spoke both Portuguese and Japanese. I wouldn’t know.”

Bunta growled, and dropped his pencil, flopping onto his back on the floor. Jackal took pity on him.

“So, assuming Seigaku keeps winning, who do you think we’ll come up against next time we play them?” he asked.

Bunta’s expression smoothed into something more serious, and Jackal smiled. Bunta got impatient with simple memorization, but give him an analytical problem to sink his teeth into and he focused right down.

“I wouldn’t be all that surprised if they set Oishi and Kikumaru against us, trusting to Kikumaru to get past me instead of trying to counter you at all,” he said, narrowing his eyes at the ceiling. “They might also pull out their wild card and pair Fuji with someone. Maybe that power player Yanagi says they have; the one that didn’t play last time.”

“Kawamura,” Jackal supplied.

“Him,” Bunta agreed. “They’ve relied on their singles players, this year, over doubles, but I doubt they’ll be happy leaving the pattern from last time intact and relying completely on singles to win. Not now that we know how strong they are in singles. And their lineup there will be changing, just like ours; they’ll trust that part of the pattern to hold, I’d bet. It has this long. But they haven’t come this far by being complacent, either. They’ll want to take at least one doubles match, and I expect we’re the pair they’ll focus on beating, considering that we’re more predictable than Hiroshi and Niou.”

Jackal snorted. There were hurricanes more predictable than those two, together. Bunta laughed. And then his eyes turned distant.

“Pattern,” he murmured. “Changing content to maintain the pattern…” He abruptly sat bolt upright and started leafing through his textbook. Jackal relaxed, and crunched on some ice, and waited.

“Ha!” Bunta exclaimed. “It is! It’s preserving the sound pattern!” He beamed at the somewhat ragged book, pulled over some paper and started scribbling. Jackal held off asking until Bunta paused to blow a bubble over his work, something he never did when he was genuinely frustrated.

“Problem solved?” he inquired, mildly.

“Yep,” Bunta declared. “The irregular forms change to keep the overall sound combinations consistent, instead of the particular conjugations. Now it makes sense.”

Jackal shook his head and left his partner to his industry, though he did shift the fan so that it blew over both of them. After almost two hours, however, broken only by intermittent pleased noises and a few particularly satisfied bubbles from Bunta, he decided enough was enough. Bunta showed all the signs of skipping dinner and their evening practice, both, if Jackal didn’t pull him back from the realm of linguistic discovery soon.

Of course, pulling Bunta out of an intellectual spree could be just as difficult as pulling him out of an interesting game.

Bait was often helpful.

Accordingly, Jackal rose and came around behind his partner, and closed his hands over Bunta’s shoulders, digging his thumbs into the knots his partner got between his shoulder blades when he sat over a book for too long like this. Bunta flexed his shoulders back into Jackal’s grip, making yet more pleased sounds, but his attention didn’t stray very far.

“You should take a break, Bunta,” Jackal told him, applying a little more force to a persistent knot.

“Ah! Mmmm,” Bunta said. The inexperienced might have taken it for agreement; Jackal knew better. He heaved a sigh. Extreme measures it was, then.

Not that he objected all that strenuously, to be honest.

Bunta squawked with surprise, as Jackal scooped his partner up in his arms and stood.

“All right, all right, I heard you the first time!” Bunta protested, focusing on Jackal at last. “I’ll take a break.”

“You will now,” Jackal agreed, serenely. “I had something a little more than a break in mind, though.”

Bunta’s brows rose and he gave Jackal an arch look from half-lidded eyes. “Did you, now?” he murmured.


For the first little while he and Jackal had worked together, the… firmness with which Jackal interrupted him when he felt Bunta was focusing too hard on something had rather taken Bunta aback. He’d never really worked with anyone who felt that his flares of intense focus were anything but good. Jackal disagreed, and, unless they were actually in a real match, was perfectly willing to transport his partner, bodily, to attend to the things Bunta sometimes lost track of. Appointments, meals, sleep, little things.

Jackal was also perfectly unscrupulous about taking advantage of Bunta’s weak points to make him rest. One of those weak points was that Bunta loved the feeling of Jackal’s hands on him. Jackal had magnificent hands, large and long fingered, deft and strong, they went perfectly with the rest of his body.

Bunta liked the feeling of Jackal’s body against his, too, but it was the stroke of his hands, over Bunta’s stomach, curving around his ribs, sliding up his back and down his arms, that lodged a lazy purr in the back of Bunta’s throat. He arched back over Jackal’s hands, in a sensual stretch, as his partner straddled him and lifted him up to meet Jackal’s body leaning over his.

“You’re so impossible to budge, sometimes, Bunta,” Jackal said against his neck, reaching to fish out one of the tubes they both kept stashed about their rooms, these days.

“As if you have room to talk,” Bunta sighed, less indignantly than he’d intended. “You’re the most stubborn person I’ve ever known.”

“Completely in self defense,” Jackal answered, a bit muffled against Bunta’s shoulder.

It was difficult to scoff as such an assertion deserved when Jackal’s hands were on Bunta’s thighs, thumbs stroking the soft inner skin, moving, warm, between his legs and then between his cheeks. “Jackal,” Bunta breathed, as those long fingers slid into him. Considering how content Jackal was to let Bunta call the pace of their games, he did tend to… press the pace in bed. Of course, Bunta had to admit, analysis was at far less of a premium, here, than it was when they faced opponents across the net.

Here, Jackal’s quiet, sure action folded around Bunta as powerfully as his partner’s arms, whispering to him to trust Jackal’s strength in a different way. And, after all, the question at the back of those steady, brushed steel eyes always waited for Bunta’s acceptance. Jackal’s fingers quirked, wringing a gasp from Bunta as fire bloomed through him, and he wound his arms around Jackal’s neck, pulling him down.

“Jackal,” he breathed, lips curving against his partner’s ear. “Fuck me.”

The rumble of Jackal’s laugh shivered through him, and Bunta was still smiling when Jackal’s hand lifted his chin and Jackal’s mouth covered his. And then the room whirled as Jackal pulled him upright, and back against Jackal’s chest. Those powerful hands stroked up Bunta’s thighs, spread over Jackal’s, and up his chest, pressing him back into Jackal’s body behind him. Bunta arched in Jackal’s hold, sighing as Jackal’s hands settled on his hips, stilling him.

The feeling of Jackal thrusting into him, deep and hard, drove a moan up Bunta’s throat. He flexed back to meet his partner, as Jackal’s hands moved again, one sliding up Bunta’s stomach, leaving warm shivers in its wake, and the other slipping between his legs. Bunta glanced down and smiled. There was the aesthetic appreciation of the dark skin against light, of course. More, there was pleasure at watching that deft touch closing around him.

Bunta liked feeling Jackal fill him, liked the stretch and heat, liked it smooth and fast and hard, and that was the way Jackal always moved. He also liked seeing Jackal touch him, liked being able to watch the care as well as feel the strength with which Jackal handled him.

And Jackal always handled him with strength.

Bunta spilled onto knees and elbows as Jackal shifted forward, lifted Bunta’s hips up to meet his as he drove into Bunta harder, faster, and Bunta cried out as Jackal’s grip around his cock tightened, pleasure squeezing his nerves just as tight. It was hot and rough, and he rode the wave of it with as much abandon as Jackal was riding him.

The crest dropped them both, panting, in a tangle on the bed, and it was a little while before they managed to extricate themselves from one another, pausing every so often to laugh at each other’s contortions to avoid the wet spot. The finally reached an equitable arrangement lying at right angles, with Bunta’s head pillowed on Jackal’s stomach where Jackal could comb his fingers through Bunta’s damp hair.

“And here I thought you said the best thing to do on a hot day is lie still,” Bunta remarked, yawning. Jackal’s stomach moving under him almost made him laugh as well.

“I know you, Bunta,” Jackal told him. “I needed to wear you out if I want you to take a rest.”

Bunta smiled. His partner was one of the only people who could keep up with him long enough to wear him out, and it would have irritated him if Jackal hadn’t been both caring and matter-of-fact about using that advantage. Altogether, though, Bunta was very pleased with the partner fate had dealt him, and put up with Jackal’s stubborn streak with what he, personally, thought was commendable grace.

It certainly paid some significant dividends, he reflected, stretching muscles that tingled in the aftermath of Jackal’s attentions.

“Does that mean you’ll stay still and be my pillow for a while?” he asked, turning on his side so he could look at his partner.

Jackal’s mouth curved in a wry grin. “Sure.”

Quite significant dividends, Bunta thought, as he closed his eyes and let himself drift off.

End