Truth and Courage

A might-have-been set during Ep. 15, as Shuuei takes a drunk Kouyuu home. Porn with Characterization, I-3

Pairing(s): Shuuei/Kouyuu

Shuuei made a note to himself to remember that drink unhinged Kouyuu’s knees as well as his tongue. “Come on,” he murmured to his friend, hitching Kouyuu’s weight up a bit more comfortably. “Just one more crossing.”

“We should go back for the bottle,” Kouyuu declared.

“No, no, not a good idea.” Shuuei caught his arm a little tighter around Kouyuu’s waist, tugging him along.

He was just thankful that Kouyuu was easier to steer when drunk than he was when sober. If his stubbornness had gotten any worse they really wouldn’t have made it back to Kou Reishin’s residence.

He was also thankful that the servants silently opened doors and directed them to Kouyuu’s rooms without waking the master of the house. Considering the unrestraint with which Kouyuu had spoken to both the emperor and Seiran, Shuuei thought it was probably part of his duty as a friend to prevent Kouyuu from saying whatever he might say to his father in this condition.

“We’re home,” he informed Kouyuu as a quietly amused servant closed the bedroom door softly behind them.

“I’m home,” Kouyuu growled, hanging from his shoulder. “You’re just annoying.”

“And I’ll be more annoying tomorrow, when you have a headache,” Shuuei promised, with a smile.

Kouyuu slumped back against the wall, the arm still thrown around Shuuei’s neck taking Shuuei with him. “You tease too much,” he muttered. “Haven’t any of those idiot women ever told you that?” And he pulled Shuuei down to a sloppy, off-center kiss.

Quite startled, Shuuei let him. Of the many possible responses to his teasing, this was one Shuuei had not expected out of Kouyuu. For one thing, if he were going to do this, shouldn’t he have done it months ago? For another, whenever Shuuei teased him or, in fact, anyone nearby with innuendo, Kouyuu blushed. It was charming, really; Shuuei had done it sometimes just to see what pretty shade of red Kouyuu would turn next.

Kouyuu wasn’t blushing now. And if his mouth seemed a little uncertain, the hand at the back of Shuuei’s neck was warm and steady.

Shuuei was still bemused when Kouyuu let him go. “I haven’t noticed any of the ladies are upset by teasing, actually,” he managed.

Kouyuu snorted. “Unperceptive and a tease.” He hauled Shuuei back down.

This time, at least, Shuuei was prepared enough to soften the kiss, to catch Kouyuu’s mouth properly and taste the sake on his lips, one hand curving around the back of Kouyuu’s head. He still wasn’t ready for Kouyuu’s mouth to open under his, and a ribbon of heat curled down his spine. Shuuei wasn’t entirely sure Kouyuu had found truth in the bottom of his bottle, but he’d certainly found courage there. If the bottle was where it had come from, though… “I wonder,” he murmured, resting his temple against Kouyuu’s, “if this is another of those times it’s my duty to restrain your extremes.”

Kouyuu’s fingers tightened sharply in the front of Shuuei’s robes. “Are you saying you were never serious?” he asked very quietly.

Shuuei hesitated; in a normal encounter, this really would be the time for a little teasing and hedging, to make sure no one got their heart broken. But it was Kouyuu pressed up against him, quiet and waiting. He closed his eyes, a tiny smile quirking his lips as he gave in to his friend’s unrelenting directness. “No, I’m not saying that.”

“Then the answer is ‘no’, you idiot.” Kouyuu’s voice was irate, even when this soft. “Honestly, use your brain.”

“What, now? Shouldn’t you be distracting me from that?” Shuuei laughed at Kouyuu’s growl, equilibrium restored by their usual roles. He plucked loose Kouyuu’s hair wrap, letting unruly, moonlight colored hair spill down the back of Kouyuu’s neck, the way it always seemed to want to.

Kouyuu made a lazy sound in his throat, swinging back to mellowness again—really, Shuuei would have to remember the effect sake had on him. “It’s not fair if it’s just mine.” He reached up and undid Shuuei’s hair clasp so delicately Shuuei barely felt it. He was reminded of how many long afternoons he’d spent in the archives, admiring the lightness of Kouyuu’s fingers on a brush. “Mm. Better.”

As Shuuei coaxed Kouyuu away from the wall and over to the bed, attempting not to step on any books along the way, he wondered how Kouyuu’s graceless approval could so easily make him smile for real. That was Kouyuu’s talent, though, wasn’t it? To make things real in a world built of deception and unspoken thoughts. His father had named him well.

Abstract thoughts were blown away on a gasp of breath as Kouyuu sprawled back on the bed and yanked Shuuei along with him. Kouyuu made a small oof.

“You’re heavy for someone who looks so thin.”

“It’s called refined, not thin.” Shuuei’s attempt at a dignified tone unraveled in a shiver as Kouyuu’s open mouth found his neck and Kouyuu’s tongue moved over his skin. “Kouyuu,” he murmured, voice rougher.

Kouyuu relaxed under him with a sudden, open smile. “You do mean it.”

Shuuei had to swallow hard at the unadulterated relief in Kouyuu’s voice. He stroked back Kouyuu’s hair gently. “Yes, I mean it.” He brushed a kiss over Kouyuu’s lips and added, “Honestly.”

“Don’t steal my lines,” Kouyuu instructed him, and Shuuei laughed.

A flush crept over Kouyuu’s face as Shuuei’s hands loosened sashes and ties and found Kouyuu’s skin. Kouyuu’s own hands were rougher, pulling open Shuuei’s robes, creasing the fabric as they clenched every now and then. Shuuei stroked his fingers up the inside of Kouyuu’s thigh just to watch him do it again, and chuckled softly.

“Yes, I thought you were new at this.”

“Oh shut up,” Kouyuu growled, color darkening on his cheekbones, and wound his fingers in Shuuei’s hair to pull him down to a silencing kiss.

The admonition was rather blunted when Shuuei closed his hand around the hard heat between Kouyuu’s legs and Kouyuu moaned openly into his mouth. And that was Kouyuu too—clear and pure in everything he did.

“It’s all right, Kouyuu,” Shuuei whispered, entranced by the flow of response and emotion across Kouyuu’s face. He hesitated a moment and added, against Kouyuu’s ear, “It’s real.”

A breath of a laugh answered him and Kouyuu’s hands slid up his back, pressing him closer. “Yes.”

Shuuei made a low, pleased sound as those hands slid back down, brushing slowly over his ribs, stomach, thighs, and then it was his turn to gasp and laugh as one found it’s way between his legs. No one had ever accused Li Kouyuu of being a slow learner.

As well they shouldn’t. Shuuei rested his forehead on Kouyuu’s shoulder, panting as those deft fingers explored and stroked and teased, and pleasure shivered down his nerves. “Kouyuu…”

“Hm?” Kouyuu sounded rather too amused, Shuuei decided distractedly.

His own hands on Kouyuu’s body faltered, tightened as lapping heat stole away his concentration and left nothing but feeling. Gentle fingers stroked his head and then closed firmly around him. “Kou— Ahh!” Pleasure tightened fiercely all through his body and rushed down to a single point of heat and he arched taut over Kouyuu, pulling him close to hold onto through the hot, wild surge of sensation.

It took him a few moments to recover his breath and remember what he was about and lean up on an elbow to look down at Kouyuu. When he did, he couldn’t help a snort of laughter; Kouyuu looked exceedingly smug. “Pleased with yourself?” he asked.

“Yes.” The smugness didn’t fade in the slightest.

The corners of Shuuei’s mouth curled. “Well then. I think it’s my turn.” He smoothed his hands down Kouyuu’s body, palms sliding over skin, slow and coaxing. Kouyuu unwound under his hands bit by bit until Shuuei almost expected him to start purring. Who would have thought someone so emphatically stand-offish enjoyed being touched so much?

Color crept over Kouyuu’s face as Shuuei’s hands slipped between his thighs, easing them apart. “Shuuei…”

Shuuei pressed soft kisses down the curve of Kouyuu’s neck. “It’s all right,” he murmured. Kouyuu made a noncommittal sound but settled back against the bed with a low sigh as Shuuei’s tongue traced his collar bone.

Shuuei kissed his way down Kouyuu’s body, and Kouyuu stretched under him with such thoughtless sensuality he couldn’t resist nipping gently at the smooth skin of Kouyuu’s stomach just to see whether he’d like it.

Judging from the way he arched up and his fingers tightened on Shuuei’s neck and shoulder, he did.

Shuuei felt half drunk himself on the openness of Kouyuu’s response, the low, rough sounds he made as Shuuei’s open mouth moved down his thigh. Shuuei was almost as breathless as Kouyuu, just watching him. The quick gasp when Shuuei closed his mouth around Kouyuu’s length drew a small, satisfied sound out of the back of his throat.

“Shuuei…” Kouyuu’s fingers stroked over his shoulders and down his arms, seeking and restless. Shuuei let his tongue find its own way over Kouyuu’s smooth, hot skin, watching Kouyuu from under his lashes as Kouyuu’s body relaxed and tautened. The edge of breathless want in Kouyuu’s moans made him shiver, and when Kouyuu finally arched and cried out, long shudders of pleasure raking down his body, Shuuei couldn’t help laughing softly in delighted answer.

He slid back up and settled himself comfortably along Kouyuu’s side, head propped in one hand so he could watch Kouyuu catch his breath and see his eyes when they opened again.

A little to his surprise, those clear, sharp eyes were only a little hazy, and the softness he had expected in them went deeper than he had thought it would. He contemplated that for a moment.

“You aren’t nearly as drunk as all that, are you?” he asked, finally.

The softness vanished in a grumpy glare. “Oh shut up.” Kouyuu rolled onto his side, turning his back as well as one could while lying in bed with someone.

Shuuei laughed and curled himself up against Kouyuu’s back, fitting their bodies snugly together and sliding an arm around Kouyuu’s waist. He took note of the fact that Kouyuu relaxed immediately and his smile gentled. Kouyuu was so prickly in defense of that pure heart of his. It was really rather adorable. Shuuei tucked the thought away to use later, when he wanted to tease Kouyuu.

For now, it was far more pleasant to feel how Kouyuu calmed, tucked in his arms like this. He pressed a kiss to the back of Kouyuu’s neck, still smiling.

His smile lingered in the morning as he left some water and an ice pack beside the snoring Kouyuu and tiptoed out. It lingered right up until the moment he stepped out the doors to find Kou Reishin “casually” enjoying the clean air on the walk outside his son’s rooms. The glint in the Secretary’s eye as he turned to look at Shuuei was enough to make even a warrior pause and swallow a little hard.

“Ran-shougun,” Kou greeted him. “I hear that you brought Kouyuu home last night.” Kou’s fan flicked open, sharp as a knife. “How good it is to know my son has such a solicitous and careful friend.”

Shuuei knew an order when he heard one, no matter how indirectly it might be given, and bowed. “Yes, Kou-shousho.”

Kou smiled, folding his fan gracefully. “Good.”

Next time, Shuuei reflected as he made for the gate as quickly as possible without actually running, it might be his turn to need a drink first.