Taste of Steel

However guilty he thinks he should feel, Hijikata can’t be anything but pleased by what Okita has become. Whatever second thoughts Hijikata might be having, Okita can’t be other than what he is. Porn, Character Sketch, Angst, I-4

Axandra has translated this work into Russian.

Pairing(s): Hijikata/Okita

“Why won’t you allow Tetsu-kun to have a katana? Why won’t you let him decide for himself?”

“Are you brainless? He’s just a brat of fifteen.”

“Nine years. I was nine years old. So that’s how it is. You don’t want him to end up like me, do you.”

Souji didn’t leave when they reached Hijikata’s rooms, only opened the outer screen and stood there in the night breeze. Hijikata sat and emptied his pipe and repacked it, mouth tight; what, after all, could he say at this late date?

“Do you hate what I am so much?”

The question was soft, the tone wistful, but it still struck him like a cut from behind. “No!” he snapped, and then took a breath. “Don’t be a fool, Souji. I know whose the responsibility is,” he said more evenly. “It was my hand that brought this to you.”

Souji spun away from the open screens, as lightly as if he were fighting, and took two steps across the room to sink to his knees in front of Hijikata. In the dimness, two pale hands closed around one of his, clenched on the stem of his pipe.

“Yes. It was.” The whisper of Souji’s hair sliding over his shoulders as he bent his head was scarcely louder than his voice. “They’ve called you the demon more than once. Am I not the demon’s child?”

Hijikata closed his eyes for a breath and then let it out. “Yes,” he said, low, sliding his other hand over Souji’s shoulder and up under his hair. “You are.” The other things he had done for the sake and in the name of the shogunate, he had made his peace with; they might stain and damn him forever, but that was the choice he’d made when he placed himself in Matsudaira’s service. This, though. This was a choice he’d made for another, before Souji’s spirit was grown to understanding. The sword, his sword, had consumed Souji’s soul until he was an unthinking weapon in Hijikata’s hands. And content to be so. It didn’t help to have Tetsu always before Hijikata’s eyes, these days, reminding him of how a real child thought and felt. Or to see Souji reaching out for companionship, seeing no reason why Tetsunosuke should not become what he was.

Souji was looking up at him now, and even moonlight showed the falseness of his smile. “Do you wish for me to leave this way of life?”

The false smile flicked away in a gasp, and Hijikata realized his grip had tightened fiercely on Souji’s nape. His voice was lower than usual when he said again, “Don’t be a fool.”

This time, Souji’s smile was sweet and brilliant. “Yes, Hijikata-san.”

Hijikata snorted with rueful amusement, at both of them really. He set his pipe aside and pulled Souji closer, one hand finding his waist to tug loose his obi. He accepted the heat that ran through him at the way Souji sighed, the way slim, strong arms wound around his shoulders and Souji’s mouth opened under his. If Souji was too much like him he knew exactly why it was, and perhaps it had been fate after all. The troop might whisper of his unbendable will, but he didn’t think there had ever been a time when he could have refused this—Souji’s pliancy, lying against his chest, or the pureness of Souji’s response to Hijikata’s hand on the sleek skin of his hip and back.

“Hijikata-san,” Souji whispered, and there was a plea in it that he couldn’t fail to answer. He kissed Souji deeper, intent, until he was flushed, skin heated under Hijikata’s fingers.

“Demon child,” he murmured back, and closed his eyes as Souji pressed closer with a breathless sound. Souji was his. His sword; his mirror. Without conscience.

But hadn’t Hijikata found his conscience again, in another’s spirit and voice? He could only pray that the same would come to Souji in time.

Because he would never give this up.

He tumbled Souji down to the tatami where he lay laughing softly, kimono spread out around him in disarray. “Hijikata-san,” Souji said, voice dancing over the syllables of his name, light and confident again as he stretched out his arms. He made a satisfied sound as Hijikata came to them, covering Souji and pulling him tight against the length of Hijikata’s body.

Hijikata had never once been able to question that this was Souji’s desire as well as his own. It was the one hint of cleanliness in this polluted life they led, and he cherished it, cradled Souji’s eagerness against him and tasted it, kiss after slow, hard kiss, until Souji was rubbing against him, gasping with every wanton flex of his body, hands pushing Hijikata’s kimono open as they spread against his chest. “Hijikata-san…!”

Hijikata smiled and tipped Souji’s chin up with his thumb, kissing down his neck, open mouthed. Subtle tension threaded Souji’s body at that; even in bed, even with him, Souji was a warrior. And that made his yielding sweeter. Hijikata bit down on Souji’s throat, firm enough to mark, and heat tightened his stomach at the sharpness of Souji’s gasp, the way his body pulled taut and trembled, needing to respond, to defend, even as Souji held himself back from it, left himself open only for Hijikata.

He could never refuse this.

“You’re mine,” he whispered to Souji as he turned him over, and Souji pressed his forehead against his folded arms, panting as he lifted his ass.

“Yes, Hijikata-san.”

The salve Hijikata fished out of his wall cubby was cool as he spread it over his cock, and Souji twitched as Hijikata drew slick fingers between his cheeks. The little sound of want he made nearly snapped Hijikata’s control, and he wrapped his hands around Souji’s hips and murmured, “Now.”

Souji moaned openly as Hijikata pushed into him, hands flexing against the tatami, catching in the muddle of their clothing. He was trembling again, and Hijikata held him firmly, pressed deeper into the tight heat of him slowly, until Souji gasped and the tension flowed out of his body.

“Please.” Souji’s voice was low, husky, sensual as even a good fight didn’t make it, and a growl caught in Hijikata’s throat. He answered with his body instead, driving deep, hard thrusts into Souji’s ass again and again, faster and harder as Souji moaned under him. Hot pleasure gripped him tighter and tighter, and when Souji shifted, one hand reaching between his legs, the heat blinded him. He buried himself hard in Souji, gasping as pleasure shook him, holding Souji tight against him even as Souji gasped and bucked in turn.

The stillness of the evening slowly descended on them both again.

Finally Hijikata drew back, pressing a kiss to Souji’s neck. “Stay tonight,” he said quietly.

Souji turned on his side, pushing his hair back to smile up as Hijikata, languid and sated. “Always.”

Hijikata paused, looking down at his lover, his sword, and finally nodded. Souji’s smile turned contented, and when Hijikata had spread the futon, he snuggled close, as unabashed as ever.

Hijikata held him and watched faint night shadows move over the ceiling. He would not disavow anything he had done. He would not deny his love for what Souji was. However it troubled his conscience, his spirit rejoiced in Souji’s reflection. He loved the demon child with all the fierceness and pain of his heart.

There would not be another.