lysapadin: pen & ink painting of bamboo against a full moon (Default)
[personal profile] lysapadin
Title: Solve for X
Characters/Pairings: Chris/Miyuki
Summary: There's no amount of algebra that can save Miyuki from embarrassment now.
Notes: 5604 words. Adult for smut. This is the fic that required me to dredge up stuff I learned in high school *cough* years ago. My Algebra II teacher would be so appalled.

~~~~~~~~~~


Solve for X

So this was awkward. Kazuya had assumed that he'd worked so late that he'd have the bath to himself, but it appeared that he'd misjudged that just a bit.

Chris looked up from his stool with a polite smile and nod and then went back to rinsing the shampoo out of his hair.

So, so awkward.

Kazuya studiously averted his eyes from the sheer amount of Chris currently on display and claimed a stool for himself.

"Working late tonight," Chris observed as Kazuya reached for the shower head and sluiced water over himself, wetting his hair and rinsing off the first layer of the day's grime. The sound of the spray was loud against the tile—usually the room was a lot louder with the horseplay that went with a bunch of teenaged guys crowded into one small space.

Kazuya shrugged. "I guess I'm not the only one." He hadn't planned on it but, a captain's work apparently never ended.

He hadn't meant it for a question (though it was late enough that all good third-years ought to have been tucked into bed, dreaming of the pro leagues or university teams or whatever it was they spent their time on these days). Chris offered an explanation anyway, sounding both fond and rueful at once. "My dad and I ended up talking for a while. We lost track of the time."

"That would do it," Kazuya agreed, keeping his eyes front and center and running through algebra equations in his head in an effort not to dwell on the fact that Chris was a bare meter away and, well, bare. He worked shampoo into his hair, grimly focused on 3x+2y=1 and 4x-y=16. That meant y=4x-16, so the first equation became 3x+2(4x-16)=1, which was really 3x+8x-32=1, or rather 11x=33 which became—

Kazuya ducked his head under the spray to rinse his hair clean and came up sputtering and blowing the water out of his mouth and nose as he concluded that x=3. He was reaching for his sponge when Chris interrupted his thoughts by saying, "I'll get your back if you'll get mine."

Kazuya fumbled and dropped his sponge. "Um," he said, looking at Chris without meaning to and finding that Chris was smiling at him, friendly, with nothing but a few suds to lend him a little modesty. Kazuya promptly forgot what x was supposed to be equal to and it wasn't until Chris' smile began to crease that he realized that he was supposed to have answered Chris somehow. Should he say no and seem weird or say yes and just pray he didn't embarrass himself? Shit. "Sure," he said quickly, just as Chris' eyebrows began to knit together. "No problem."

Chris looked at him for a moment, perhaps a little puzzled, and then held out his sponge. "Thanks."

Kazuya took as deep a breath as he could while acting normal and fixed his equations in his head—wait, what were they again? "No problem, senpai." He plucked the sponge out of Chris' hand and went to kneel behind him. Was it 3x+2y=1 and 4x-y=16? Yeah, that sounded right. He tried to focus on that and the way the cold tile was biting into his knees.

Unfortunately, there was also the fact that Chris pretty much filled up his field of vision now, broad shoulders tapering down to a trim waist and a tight ass, all things that the casual, baggy fit of his school uniform mitigated. (No school uniform, no matter how poor the fit, could disguise Chris' assets completely, which was either a curse or a blessing depending on what mood Kazuya happened to be in on any given day.) Kazuya took another deep breath and tried to focus on solving for x again as he applied the sponge to Chris' skin. If he could just get through this quickly—

Chris hummed something wordless and pleased, leaning back against Kazuya's hand as he swiped the sponge across his shoulders. Kazuya bit his lip, trying his best to remember that y=4x-16 while he worked faster.

Tried and failed, actually; when he willed his hand to scrub faster, it refused to obey him. If anything, it slowed down as it traveled across Chris' shoulders and the pale skin that faded into gold at the nape of his neck, where his collar didn't shield it from the sun, and down the line of Chris' spine, following it all the way to the pit end. Chris didn't object, either. He hummed again, apparently content to let Kazuya work at whatever pace he liked.

Kazuya set his teeth against his lower lip, thought that minor sting didn't do much against the way Chris' muscles moved under his skin as he worked the lather up well past the point of necessity, until he bit down hard enough to let him force his hand away. "Okay, rinse." He sounded hoarse, even to himself, so Kazuya cleared his throat and pulled his eyes away from the long smooth line of Chris' back as he leaned forward for the shower head. So y=4x-16, he reminded himself as he returned to his own stool and began to scrub himself clean with more energy than was strictly necessary. Could he get away with suggesting that Chris go ahead and soak and never mind him? (3x +2(4x-16)=1 became 11x-32=1 became x=3, so solve for y…) No, probably not, Chris was too fair for that, so—

"Your turn," Chris said, right on cue. He'd moved while Kazuya was concentrating hard, was suddenly a large, solid presence bracing a hand on Kazuya's shoulder and leaning down to take the sponge from his hand.

Kazuya stifled his first reaction (a yelp) and his second (something that could have been a whimper; Chris was close enough that he could feel how warm he was) and was proud of how casually he said, "Oh, yeah, sure. Go ahead."

Except that Chris didn't. Instead he squeezed Kazuya's shoulder and said, "What have you been doing to yourself? These are as hard as a rock." He swiped the sponge across Kazuya's shoulders without waiting for an answer and then set his hands flat against Kazuya's skin. "This is no good. Hold on."

Just what was he supposed to hold on to? Kazuya wondered, frozen under the casual weight of Chris' hands and the war between his impulse to lean into them and the self-preserving instinct to pull away. Chris didn't give him any time to decide. After a moment's deliberation, he dug his thumbs into the muscles at the base of Kazuya's neck, pressing and circling them until Kazuya could feel the knots there twanging loose. He grunted and scrabbled after his equations—if x=3, then y=4x-16 was y=12-16 was y=-4, that was too easy even with Chris curving his hands over Kazuya's shoulders and sweeping his thumbs up and down Kazuya's nape, utterly relentless about working his muscles loose. Kazuya tried to assemble a more complicated set of equations—what if 4x+3y=8 and—

"I really don't like how much tension you're carrying." Chris squeezed his shoulders, working them hard as he dug his thumbs into another knot. Kazuya gasped as something in his shoulders came unkinked and hunched forward beneath the weight of Chris' hands—just as well, maybe, because no amount of algebra was going to keep him from reacting to the texture of Chris' palms against his skin. "Is this normal for you?"

"Not really…?" Kazuya tried, as lightly as he could when Chris was stroking his palm down his spine, checking the long muscles of his back for tightness. "It's been… it's just been one of those weeks." Better to say that than to say it came from trying not to let a secret two plus three years old from slipping free (say x+y=5, where x was a game lost to a team whose catcher's brilliance was only outshone by his smile and y was two years spent wondering whether those two things had been swallowed up forever, all out of season).

"I still don't like it." Chris put his weight into the way he was working his hands over Kazuya's back, massaging his shoulders without mercy. "If you're not careful, you could end up hurting yourself."

Coming from Chris, that had all the weight of a reprimand from Kataoka-san himself. Kazuya leaned forward over his knees. "I'll be more careful," he promised—what else could he do?

"Please do." Chris sounded entirely too sober as he pressed on another knot until it relaxed. "I can promise you that you don't want to spend time in rehab when you could have been playing baseball instead."

Kazuya winced. "I'll be more careful," he repeated, more sincerely this time.

"Thank you." Chris fell silent then and continued to work his hands over Kazuya's back, sweeping them up and down steadily and pressing the tightness out of his muscles.

Kazuya chewed on his lip until it was tender, relaxing somewhat in spite of himself—there was no way he could do otherwise when Chris seemed to have a sixth sense for the places that were wound the tightest and for how to coax them into softening. He couldn't help the way heat was pooling at the pit of his stomach, either, no matter how hard—hah, hard—he tried to focus on algebra equations (3x2-4x+7=9, 2x2+8xy+y2=7, x2-2y=1…). At least he was slumped over far enough that Chris wasn't going to be able to see how he was getting hard… especially now that Chris had begun to just smooth his hands over his back like he was trying to soothe the ache out of Kazuya's freshly unknotted muscles.

At last he let his hands come to rest on Kazuya's shoulders. Kazuya stirred, expecting him to pull away, but instead Chris leaned forward—Kazuya stifled a sound in his throat when he felt Chris' chest against his back—and picked up the showerhead. "It's all right," he said, soft against Kazuya's ear, though Kazuya hadn't said anything. He turned the spray on and began to rinse the soap off his skin.

Kazuya really wished Chris hadn't felt it necessary to leave his other hand resting against his shoulder, and that he would stop rubbing his thumb in slow circles against the place where Kazuya's shoulder curved into his throat. If he hadn't known better, Kazuya would have called him an evil tease. As it was, he was glad when Chris turned the water off—now he just had to will away that inconvenient erection and make his escape with his dignity intact—why was Chris not moving?

"I wonder," Chris said. It sounded like he was talking to himself, not to Kazuya.

"Huh?" Kazuya asked, busy trying to factor out x2+x-8=6, right before something brushed against the nape of his neck, soft and warm and accompanied by the whisper of warm breath—what the fuck? He straightened and turned around to stare at Chris, baffled. "Did you just lick me?"

Chris gave him a look Kazuya could only suppose he was expected to believe was innocent. "I needed to check something." He glanced down, pointed, and added, "Looks like I was right."

All of the blood that had gone south promptly turned around and rushed to Kazuya's face instead, even as he dropped his hands to his lap in a futile effort to preserve his modesty—almost two years he'd kept this secret, and this was how it came out? He wouldn't have expected Chris to be so needlessly cruel about it. "Did you really have to?"

The question, or maybe the way Kazuya ground it out from behind clenched teeth, startled Chris. He blinked and then winced as he reached out and curved his hand around Kazuya's jaw, keeping him from flinching away. "No, it's not like that. It's all right. I just needed to be sure."

"Sure of what?" Kazuya demanded, burning with his humiliation. "Wait, what are you doing—"

Chris blithely ignored the question, leaning forward and hold Kazuya when he tried to lean away. "It's all right," he said again, right before he pressed his mouth against Kazuya's.

Kazuya froze, shocked, and stayed that way even after Chris drew back. "What," he said, which was as eloquent as he could hope to be with his brain full of static.

"I needed to be sure it was okay to do that," Chris said, smiling at him and stroking his thumb over the corner of Kazuya's jaw.

"You couldn't have just asked?"

Chris lifted his eyebrows. "Are you saying you would have given me a straight answer if I had?"

He had to admit that it was a good point. Not that he had any intention of saying so. "You could have tried."

Chris just smiled at him, patient and also a little amused. "I apologize. May I kiss you again?"

And there it was, the thing that Kazuya had consciously been avoiding dwelling on: Chris had kissed him, had pretty much maneuvered this whole situation into being from the start, and oh yeah, was still running his thumb along Kazuya's jaw in a way that was distinctly not platonic. Was there any way he could pinch himself without Chris seeing? Admittedly, this wasn't anything like a normal wet dream, but—Chris was watching him, waiting for his answer.

"Seriously?" It came out more raw than Kazuya would have liked, but that couldn’t be helped. Two years he'd wanted something like this to happen, nearly as long since he'd realized it wasn't ever going to happen and had put his energy into getting on with the rest of his life, and now Chris decided to—to—whatever it was that he'd decided.

"I'd like to," Chris said, quiet. "If it's not too late for that." He paused, smile fading into something like regret. "I know I wasted a lot of time."

It had all the weight and substance of an apology, as though—as though he was serious, really serious, about—about—Kazuya shied away from that implication, not ready to think about it, not when he knew it was something he wouldn't be able to make himself be rational about. "Better late than never, I guess," he said, too hoarse to be completely casual, but what the hell, it wasn't like he could be any more mortified in front of Chris than he'd already managed to be.

Chris smiled at him then, all soft and pleased—that simply wasn't fair of him to do, not when it did terrible things to Kazuya's ability to breathe properly, let alone his ability to think. As a matter of self-defense (and maybe also as a challenge, because if this was a bluff he was going to call it), he leaned forward even before Chris did and kissed him first, determined to find out what the fuck Chris thought he was doing.

Chris met him, open and willing even when Kazuya pushed against him and nipped his lower lip. He curled his hand around Kazuya's nape (it felt like it belonged there) and leaned into Kazuya, opening his mouth and sucking on Kazuya's tongue as he set his other hand on Kazuya's knee to balance himself.

Okay. Okay, if Chris was bluffing him on this, he was a lot more dedicated to fucking with people than Kazuya would have ever expected him to be. He made a pleased sound against Kazuya's lips when Kazuya braced a hand on his shoulder (the harmonics of the sound buzzed down Kazuya's spine) and slid his hand up Kazuya's thigh, fingers spread wide against his skin and his thumb running along the skin on the inside of his thigh—Kazuya gasped against Chris' mouth, dizzy with how quickly the blood rushed back to his cock.

Right. Okay, if Chris was going to pull back, now would be the time to do it—he'd proved his point and gotten the rise (hah, rise) out of him. Now would be the time to call it.

Chris stroked his tongue against Kazuya's, humming into his mouth, and ran his hand the rest of the way up his thigh.

Kazuya pulled away from Chris' mouth, panting for breath like he'd been running for hours, maybe with a couple of tires for good measure. "You—" he began, without quite knowing what he wanted to say next.

Chris waited for him to finish what he was saying; when he didn't, he rubbed his thumb against Kazuya's skin. "Is this all right?"

Kazuya passed his tongue over his lips—maybe Chris was serious about—about—"Sure," he said. "Go ahead."

Chris looked at him, searching his face for something, Kazuya didn't know what, and moved his hand up, wrapping it around Kazuya's cock and sliding his thumb over the head.

He didn't even know what the sound he made then was, just that it was as involuntary as the way he caught Chris' shoulders and held onto them as pleasure punched up his spine. Chris paused, glancing at him, until Kazuya found the breath to say, "Don't stop."

Chris smiled. "I won't." He slid his hand over Kazuya's cock, one long, slow stroke up and back down; even that simple motion was enough to pull a groan out of Kazuya's throat. He lifted his hips up as much as his precarious seat would let him, pressing against Chris' hand, seeking more of that friction and shuddering at the nearly unbearable flood of pleasure that washed over him every time Chris moved his thumb over the head of him. Chris watched him as he rubbed his thumb over the slit and Kazuya groaned—he'd seen that intent look on Chris' face before, but usually it was behind a catcher's mask, not open and unshielded like it was now, watching Kazuya react to being jerked off—oh, fuck, that thought alone was enough to push him over the edge. Kazuya couldn't even care how embarrassingly quickly it had happened, not when heat was rushing over him, unexpectedly fierce. He bucked up against Chris' hand as he shuddered, hanging onto him for dear life, even after the first wild wave of heat subsided.

"God." Chris' voice was hushed, almost reverent. When Kazuya dragged his eyes open, Chris was staring at him, like—like—Kazuya couldn't find the appropriate comparison, not with his brain only coming back online in fits and starts after the way pleasure had swept it blank. Chris was just watching him, eyes dark and color flushing his cheeks. When their eyes met he leaned forward to kiss Kazuya again.

It was beginning to occur to Kazuya that Chris seemed to be taking this remarkably seriously, even as he slid his hands up Chris' biceps and wound his arms around Chris' shoulders. Chris made another of those pleased sounds against his mouth as he nudged closer, moving to kneel between Kazuya's knees and sliding a hand around to the small of Kazuya's back as he pressed against him, skin to skin—

Kazuya shuddered, heat twisting through him again viciously, because Chris was—that was Chris' cock rubbing against his stomach. Chris was—he broke away from Chris' mouth just to look, to verify what he already knew—Chris was hard. "You—" Kazuya said, blank with disbelief, and found that Chris was giving him a quizzical look, as if to say, Yes, what were you expecting if not that? "Chris-senpai—"

"Why are you so surprised?" Chris asked, voice pitched low. Then he shook his head. "No, never mind, it doesn't matter right now. Not really." He cupped Kazuya's cheek and kissed him again, open and slow and so intent that it left Kazuya dizzy. "I want this too. Do you understand? You're not the only one who wants this."

Okay, now Kazuya knew that he was dreaming or maybe just hallucinating. He was going to have to have a very stern conversation with his subconscious at some point later on, but for the time being… well, for the time being there was no point in not enjoying himself, was there? He cleared his throat and gestured. "Then—can I—?"

"Please," Chris said, which was enough to make Kazuya swallow hard as he dropped his hand down between their bodies and palmed Chris' cock. Chris groaned, lips parted, and that was—that was—Kazuya bit his lip, watching as the way he curled his fingers around Chris made his lashes flutter over his eyes and drew another groan out of his throat, more gorgeous than anything Kazuya had ever dared to imagine and hot enough that he could feel his own cock beginning to fill again. He wet his lips and said, "I want to—" he pressed his free hand against Chris' chest, nudging him back. "Will you stand up? Please?"

The way Chris looked at him then was gratifying, as was the rasp in his voice as he said Kazuya's name. He pushed himself to his feet, and—yeah, that was just about right. Kazuya passed his tongue over his lips again and reached out to fit his hands against Chris' hips. Chris stepped closer, in between Kazuya's knees, in answer to the unspoken request. "Oh my God," he said, hoarse, as Kazuya curled his fingers around his cock and leaned forward to lick over the head. "Oh my God."

That… that sounded good, and so did the sound Chris made when Kazuya tried closing his mouth around him, tasting the salt and flat beading at his slit and learning the texture and weight of him resting against his tongue, crowding and filling his mouth. Kazuya stroked his thumbs over the crests of Chris' hips and tried sucking. Chris actually cursed and rocked forward, pressing against his hands and pushing deeper into his mouth. He pulled back almost immediately, panting softly. "Sorry, that was—sorry."

Kazuya let him slip out of his mouth. "You're fine," he said, because it was true, it was—the way Chris' cock had felt, sliding across his tongue, had put a spike of heat through him. "You can do it again. If you want."

"Jesus," Chris breathed; Kazuya didn't know whether he was going to actually take him up on that offer, but he did see the way it made Chris' cock twitch and figured that meant Chris wanted to at least, and that meant he was doing something right.

So did the sound Chris made when he dragged his tongue up his cock and closed his lips around him again, sucking him back into his mouth. It was the kind of thing that could go to a guy's head, knowing that he was the one causing Chris to make sounds like that, hoarse and hungry—he looked up, watching Chris from beneath his lashes, to see that Chris was staring down at him, looking almost rapt. Kazuya played his tongue over Chris' cock, deliberate and slow, and leaned forward to take more of him in. Chris groaned and set a hand on his head, curving it to fit the shape of Kazuya's skull, and fuck, that was—Kazuya groaned too, pressing forward beneath the gentle weight of Chris' hand, letting the thickness of him slide over his tongue, and dropped his hand into his lap to cup his own cock as heat flared at the pit of his stomach. Chris groaned again, deep, rocking his hips back and forth the barest bit and holding Kazuya steady for it. "God," he said, so raspy and deep that Kazuya almost felt it vibrating in his bones. "God, Miyuki—Kazuya—"

Kazuya groaned at that, stunned by the way his name sounded when Chris said it like that, like he was desperate, about to fall apart, and tightened his hand on his cock.

Chris gasped and curled his fingers in Kazuya's hair, shuddering. "I'm—" he said, breathless, as Kazuya realized he was trying to pull back—oh. He sucked hard then, wanting—he didn't quite know what he wanted, or at least not how to put it into words, except that he wanted to be the one who pushed Chris over the edge, wanted to be the one who made him come.

Chris made a sound, almost like he'd been punched, and gripped Kazuya's hair hard enough to make his eyes water as he pulsed between Kazuya's lips, flooding his mouth and groaning.

Kazuya groaned too, heat wringing down on him, helpless to curb his own response to the sounds Chris made or the taste of him, bitter and salt filling his mouth, and swallowed around him as Chris rocked against his mouth. He fisted his cock, hard and fast, chasing the edge for himself as Chris panted over him. "God," he said, breathless, "oh, God…" He said it again as he drew back, easing out of Kazuya's mouth, and looked down at Kazuya and his busy hand. "Oh my God…"

"What?" Kazuya asked, his voice rough in his own ears, but Chris didn't answer. Not in words, anyway. He dropped to his knees again and pulled Kazuya forward to kiss him, open-mouthed, sweeping his tongue into Kazuya's mouth and—Kazuya groaned at the sound he made when it hit him that Chris was tasting himself on Kazuya's tongue, which was maybe just a little filthy.

"God, Kazuya," he said, and that was—Kazuya was glad when Chris reached down to take hold of him again, simply because the rush of sensation meant he didn't have to think about what it did to him when Chris said his name like that. He groaned instead and let Chris pull him close, bucking up against the firm stroke of his hand until orgasm burned through him again, searing a harsh path up his spine and along his nerves, relentless as a forest fire. It left him shuddering and stunned in its wake, unable to do anything but gasp for breath and allow himself to be supported by the arm wrapped around him. Fortunately, Chris had a nice broad shoulder right there that he could lean his forehead against while he worked on pulling himself back together.

It was slow going; his entire body had gone loose with the combination of two orgasms in quick succession on top of a long and busy day. His brain was moving sluggishly for the same reasons, and because it felt much too good to lean against Chris the way he was doing. Good things didn't tend to last long, anyway, so it couldn't hurt to enjoy this one while it did.

That was about the moment Chris decided to shift beneath his forehead—the signal to pull himself out of his daze and back to reality, Kazuya supposed, preparing to draw back.

"Shh," Chris said against his ear, flattening his hand against Kazuya's back and keeping him from going anywhere. "You're fine."

That was all well and good for him to say, but Kazuya had already been jarred out of his dreamy equilibrium, mentally if not quite physically, and he opened his eyes again when Chris turned the showerhead on—oh, that was what he'd been reaching for—and turned the spray over their skin, rinsing away the mess that Kazuya had made of them both.

That was an awfully mundane detail for a sex dream to include. So was the way the tile was cold against his toes, for that matter. Kazuya studied the damp hair curling around Chris' ear, a scant couple of centimeters from his nose, reviewing the situation and weighing his evidence. On the one hand, weirdly mundane details. On the other, sex with Chris—enthusiastic sex with Chris, at that. It made for a tough call.

Chris turned off the water and prodded Kazuya, though gently. "Come on, let's go soak."

"But that means moving," Kazuya protested.

"You're too slippery for me to be able to pick you up and carry you." It sounded like Chris was smiling. "I suppose I could try, but you're the one who'll end up with the concussion, not me."

He probably didn't need to risk brain damage, even the hallucinated kind. Kazuya sighed and permitted himself to be coaxed to his feet. Chris rewarded him for his pains by pulling him in close for a kiss once he was standing, which did make up for having to move. And the hot water of the bath felt good after standing around with wet skin, too, but best of all was the way Chris sank into the water next to Kazuya and pulled him close to tuck him against his side.

Kazuya leaned against him, silently awarding his unconscious brain bonus points for coming up with so much detail. That was right before Chris said, "You're remarkably blasé about this." He sounded amused; when Kazuya checked, he was smiling.

"No point in ruining a perfectly good dream, is there?"

"A perfectly good—ah. I see. No wonder you're so calm." Chris huffed out a short laugh and slid his hand down, pinching Kazuya's side right above his hip—not gently, either.

Kazuya yelped and sat bolt upright. "What the fuck?"

Chris' eyes were twinkling too much to allow him to pull off the innocent look he was clearly going for. "Isn't that what you're supposed to do to figure out whether you're dreaming or not?"

Whether he was dreaming or not—oh, fuck. Fuck. And here Kazuya had thought he couldn't be any more mortified than he'd already managed. It was such a disappointment to be proved wrong. Was there any chance that he could drown himself without Chris trying to fish him out of the bath?

He concluded that there probably wasn't and settled for covering his face with his hands. "Fuck."

The water sloshed against the sides of the tub; the next thing he knew, there were arms being folded around him and Chris was settling him against his chest. "You are remarkably complicated," he said, sounding more affectionate than anything else. He waited, perhaps for Kazuya to argue, but Kazuya was too busying willing himself to go ahead and die of embarrassment, a process immensely complicated by the way he was pressed against Chris' chest—his broad, bare, water-slicked chest. After a minute, Chris sighed, rueful. "Is it really so bad as that? I'm sorry it took me so long to catch on, but there were so many things going on that I just didn't… didn't realize, I guess. But then, I probably wasn't supposed to, was I?"

Kazuya would have liked to be able to deny that, except that it was Chris and it was the truth. "Stop being so damn perceptive," he said against his own palms.

"If I do that, how on earth will I be able to figure out what's going on inside your head?" Chris asked, being entirely too reasonable. "You've got to give me a fighting chance, Kazuya."

There was no way Chris could have missed the way that made him shudder, all that casual intimacy murmured right against his ear. Of course he didn't miss it, not even for a moment, because he did it again, murmuring Kazuya's name against his ear and then saying, "Is it really so bad? I told you, I want this too. And I'm glad I finally managed to see what was going on, you know."

Kazuya shivered, even though Chris was warm against him and the water was still steaming hot. "Seriously?" he said, wanting it to come out like a challenge but only managing to sound wistful. Damn it.

"Yes, seriously." Chris settled his hand at the nape of Kazuya's neck. "Since early summer, probably, though I didn't manage to be sure until now. I figured it would be best if I didn't spook you."

If there had been any way to argue that, Kazuya would have tried. It was just too bad that he was too aware of his own patterns not to recognize the justice of the point. "And yet you ambushed me in the bath."

Chris' shoulders shook with his laugh. "I saw an opportunity and took it." He squeezed Kazuya's nape, which felt better than it had any right to. "Are you sorry I did?"

"My ego sure is," Kazuya muttered.

"Then my deepest apologies to your ego," Chris said, soft, before he reached for Kazuya's hands, drawing them away from his face, and tilted Kazuya's chin up so that he pretty much had to meet his eyes. "But that's the only thing I'm sorry for. What about you?"

Right, that was the thing about Chris, wasn't it? He was relentless when he wanted something.

Kazuya felt his stomach twist and flutter oddly at the thought that this time, he was what Chris seemed to want. "I guess this isn't completely horrible," he allowed, reluctantly.

"I'm delighted to hear it," Chris said, almost straight-faced.

Kazuya grimaced at him, but it only made Chris laugh at him. He was still laughing when he coaxed Kazuya close enough to be kissed again, almost as though he could see right past Kazuya's irritation to the hesitant wonder beneath it.

But then, given how neatly Chris had figured him out, he probably could.

Secretly, Kazuya thought that he might actually be okay with that after all.

end

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