Chapter 09

Fuji woke to the sound of birds chirping. He winced at the harsh sunlight streaming in through the windows and sat up groggily. With an effort to stand that seemed more like an attempt to move a mac truck, he stumbled his way into the bathroom. Once he had relieved himself, he made his way back into the bedroom to grab a set of clean clothes, careful not to wake the freshman sleeping in the middle of the floor. He returned to the bathroom and turned the water on, letting it get hot while he rummaged through the linen closet for a towel and washcloth. Setting them aside, he stepped into the western style tub, closing the shower curtain before flipping the lever to redirect the water through the shower-head.

The water hit his back and shoulders and he let out a small hiss of content. There was nothing quite like the feeling of an early morning shower. Letting his muscle memory take over, he found himself focusing on the events of the previous day.

Echizen-no, Ryoma. They were dating now. It would be incredibly rude to keep to such a formality. Ryoma had allowed him to dig his nails into his back and had enjoyed it. Fuji wasn’t sure what intrigued him more. That the freshman was able to endure such pain and enjoy it or that after he’d experienced Fuji’s sadist, he hadn’t run screaming from the room.

And to top all of it off, it had all happened in front of Ryoma’s dad. There was no telling what thoughts the man had taken home with him. At that thought, panic began to claw at Fuji and he had to take a few deep, calming breaths to push it back , he had exposed his own secret sadism. But he hadn’t been coerced into doing so. No one had backed him into a corner and insisted he tell the truth-in all actual fact, if he’d felt cornered, he would’ve lied out of instinct. Still, it was a bit scary to know that in the space of two days, he’d allowed two people to see the truth behind his facade.

More important than whether or not he’d made a mistake by revealing so much of his personality was the question of whether or not it had been worth doing. If everything ended up crashing down around him, would he regret the decision he’d made? Thinking back on the way Ryoma had reacted to the pain he’d inflicted, Fuji found himself saying yes to that question. To experience the sheer pleasure of causing someone pain without being afraid of being judged or ridiculed even for a single hour would have been worth it.

Satisfied that he’d reached an answer, he turned off the water and stepped out of the tub. After quickly patting himself dry, he threw on his clothes and combed his hair. Stepping out of the bathroom, he came face-to-face with a sleepy-eyed freshman. “Good morning, Ryoma,” he said.

“Che.” The freshman brushed past him into the bathroom, not bothering to return the greeting.

Fuji hid his amusement as he made his way down to the kitchen to make breakfast. It seemed Echizen wasn’t much of a morning person. With that in mind, he fixed a pot of coffee to go along with the food.

When Echizen came into the kitchen, the two of them ate in companionable silence. Afterwards, the freshman seemed much more alert. “Fuji-

“Syuusuke, Ryoma. You can use my first name,” he admonished quietly.

“Syuusuke. Are we playing more games today?” The distaste in his voice was palpable.

Fuji laughed. “I take it sitting still isn’t to your liking?”

“Not particularly.”

“I hadn’t planned on playing games. Is there something you’d like to do? Aside form tennis,” he said, cutting Ryoma off before he could form the words.

“Not really.”

“Hm. Well think of something while I redress those marks.” Fuji disappeared into the ground floor bathroom where they kept the medical supplies, then reappeared with peroxide and bandages.

“I don’t know why you’re bothering. They’re just a few scrapes,” Ryoma said, even as he hopped up on a barstool and removed his shirt.

Fuji grinned at the way Ryoma’s actions belied his words as he set to work re-bandaging. “I don’t want them to get infected.”

“You don’t have to mother me,” Ryoma grouched.

“If your mother gives you marks like this, there’s something seriously wrong with your family.”

Ryoma flushed, ducking his head to hide his embarrassment.

“Besides, if I want to mother you, I will.” Fuji let the full weight of that rest in his words. Ryoma had said he was in charge, so the freshman would let him do what he liked. Or else.

“Che.”

Fuji smiled in triumph. If Ryoma wasn’t saying something snarky, then he was agreeing. Done with the bandaging, he returned the supplies to the proper place while the freshman replaced his shirt. A wicked idea bloomed in Fuji’s head as he came back into the room and as soon as he was behind the freshman, he darted his hands out and, before anyone could blink, he was holding Ryoma in his arms.

During the transition from sitting to being hoisted into a princess carry, Ryoma’s hands had instinctively sought out a placehold and he’d latched rather firmly on to Syuusuke’s neck. “What the hell-

Fuji started down at him with a mischievous glint in his eye.

“Syuusuke, put me down!”

“No way.”

At that, Ryoma started to flail a little in Fuji’s arms. He’d be damned if he was just going to let himself be carried-he caught the look in Fuji’s eyes and felt his breath catch in his throat. Thunder stared down at him, daring him to challenge the claim it had made.

Fuji smiled as Ryoma stilled in his arms. Sometimes the intensity of his gaze came in handy.

“Put me down!”

And sometimes it didn’t. While the freshman had decided not to fight him physically, it seemed he hadn’t given up verbally. “Don’t want to.” Fuji began walked up the stairs to his room. He had a lot he wanted to do, now that he’d had some time to think about it.

About halfway up the stairs, Ryoma had enough. “Dammit, Fuji, put me down!”

Fuji looked at him, feigning wide-eyed innocence. “But if I drop you now, you might hit your head on the edge of the stairs and get a concussion.”

Ryoma groaned, burying his face in his hands out of frustration. “Then put me down gently.”

Fuji peered at him, making sure that there was no true emotional distress. Seeing that there wasn’t, he continued up the stairs, ignoring the request. On the landing, he took two steps before he felt a sharp tug at the base of his skull. Glancing down, he found Ryoma grinning at him smugly with one hand holding a good portion of his hair. Amusement warred with anger-amusement won. Trust Echizen to fight dirty. “Ryoma, what are you doing?” he asked, taking a step forward. He hid a pained gasp as a second forceful tug was enacted on his skull.

“Isn’t it obvious, Syuusuke?” He looked up, mimicking the wide-eyed innocent look Fuji had given him.

Fuji’s eyes narrowed. Two could play that game. “If you wanted to touch my hair, you only had to ask,” he said, moving another step forward and having his hair yanked again. After the third time, he was used to the pain of it-Ryoma wasn’t pulling anywhere near hard enough to actually hurt him. It was more of a short, sharp tug meant to get attention and he walked onward, ignoring the irritation.

“I would have, but now that I’m so close to it, I can’t seem to restrain myself.”

“Mm. I didn’t know you had a hair fetish.”

Ryoma jerked and sputtered in his arms. “I don’t have-

“What other reason could you possible have for clinging to my hair so desperately?”

Ryoma flushed and muttered in a small voice, “I just want you to put me down.”

Fuji smirked and before Ryoma had time to react, released his hold on the freshman and stepped back out of his reach. He watched as panic and then realization flared in the guy’s eyes.

“You know,” Ryoma drawled, leaning on an elbow as he peered over the edge of bed. “If you wanted me in your bed, you could’ve just asked.”

Fuji laughed in delight as Ryoma turned crimson when he realized the full impact of what he’d said. “But carrying you here was much more entertaining.”

The two of them held eye contact for a long moment before Echizen looked away, no match for the intense heat in Fuji’s eyes. Fuji grabbed Ryoma’s chin gently and turned his head so that the freshman had no choice but to keep eye contact. Moving with deliberate slowness, he climbed onto the bed and straddled him, pinning Ryoma’s legs to the bed with his weight. He took the hem of Echizen’s shirt and pulled it up, grateful that Ryoma had enough sense to raise himself up enough to allow him to remove it.

After he’d done that, Fuji sat staring at the man underneath him. From time to time, Ryoma would swallow and lick his lips, like he was trying to think of something to say. Fuji didn’t know how long he sat there, entranced by the slow up and down motions Ryoma’s chest made as he breathed.

“Syuusuke, what-

Without thinking about it, Fuji placed a finger on Ryoma’s lips, asking for silence which he received. He had known Ryoma was attractive, but being this close really brought it home to him.

Ryoma lay utterly still, captivated by the look in Fuji’s eyes as he devoured him. He felt himself start to shake with an emotion he couldn’t place. No one had ever looked at him with such reverence. It tore at him. He didn’t deserve that kind of look. After Rick, he was little more than a broken toy. And Syuusuke was beautiful. Such beauty didn’t deserve to be tainted with his ugliness.

Fuji leaned forward and captured Ryoma’s lips in a gentle kiss. He’d seen the exact moment the freshman had started to feel unworthy and acted on instinct. His tongue found Ryoma’s and they danced together as both attempted to assert dominance. Fuji found himself smiling-yes, Ryoma was going to be a challenge. Fuji brought his hands to rest on Ryoma’s shoulders and pressed down hard, surprising a gasp out of him. In the time it took Ryoma to adjust to the slightly painful pressure of Fuji’s hands, Fuji had won the battle for dominance.

He pulled back, a bit out of breath, and grinned at Ryoma.

“Che. You play dirty.”

That only served to make his grin wider. Of course he did-that was the only fun way to play. “Are you up for a challenge?” he asked, refusing to rise to Ryoma’s attempt to bait him.

Echizen’s eyes narrowed.

“Yes or no?”

“Che. I suppose.”

Fuji leaned down and, voice low, said, “I want you to stay completely still, no matter what I do. Can you do that?”

Ryoma swallowed convulsively before meeting Fuji’s eyes. The urge to say something brave and arrogant died at the sincerity he saw reflected there. Repaying that with false bravado…he couldn’t do it. “I’ll try,” he whispered.

Seeing that Ryoma really was going to do his best to stay still, Fuji reached out with his hands and began tracing patterns along his skin. He started at the jugular, pressing down softly. He ran his hands from there to Ryoma’s shoulders, taking care to note the areas that seemed most sensitive. Moving back up towards his neck, Fuji stopped a moment to trace idle designs in the crook of Ryoma’s elbows, an area which seemed particularly sensitive for him. With a quick grin at Ryoma, he rolled a bit of the flesh between his fingers and pinched down, hard.

Ryoma cried out at the sudden pain, struggling to stay still. To lie there with nothing but his own will holding him immobile was incredibly difficult.

Fuji grinned as he watched Ryoma struggle. When he seemed mostly settled, Fuji rolled his fingers along another patch of skin in the crook of Ryoma’s elbow and pinched down, hard, relishing in the pained sounds the freshman was making. He pinched down again and again, giving Ryoma less and less time to recover between each mark. After he’d done that to the point there wasn’t a spot of flesh in Ryoma’s elbows left to mark, he resumed the gentler tracing he’d been doing earlier. Somehow, Ryoma had managed to stay still during the entire process. And that effort showed in the band of sweat that had broken out on his forehead.

“Very nice,” Fuji said, leaning forward to kiss him. He sat back and resumed the trace, running his fingers along Ryoma’s chest. He discovered that his boyfriend was slightly ticklish and filed that away for future use. He also discovered two more sensitive areas-his underarms and his nipples. From what he could tell, Ryoma’s underarms was one of his most sensitive areas. He grinned to himself, moving his fingers up towards the area and tracing designs the same way he’d done with Ryoma’s elbows. Fuji caught Ryoma’s gaze and held it, relishing the moment when the freshman realized exactly what he planned to do.

Ryoma swallowed hard, trying to prepare himself for what was coming. He knew it was going to hurt, but he’d be damned if he was going to lose the challenge so easily.

Fuji grinned as he watched Ryoma attempt to prepare himself for the pain. Rolling skin between his fingers as before, he pinched down as hard as he could without breaking skin. That was the first time he heard Ryoma scream in pain and it was an intoxicating sound. He leaned down and kissed him mid-scream, muffling it. When he sat back up, there were barely noticeable tears leaking from the corner of Ryoma’s eyes. And still, somehow, the guy hadn’t moved.

Leaning forward, Fuji pinched down again in the same area, moving to muffle Ryoma’s scream with a kiss as soon as he did so.

“Syuusuke, please-

Ryoma’s voice was ragged. Fuji sat up and peered intently into his eyes, looking for any sign of distress. Finding none, he nonetheless made the question verbal. “Do you want me to stop?”

“God no!”

The vehemence of Ryoma’s answer took Fuji slightly by surprise. “Then-

“Let me move, Syuusuke, please.”

A grin broke out on Fuji’s face. “You can move whenever you want, Ryoma. But when you do so, you lose the challenge.”

Ryoma groaned. Why had he agreed to that again?

“If you are successful,” Fuji said, breathing into his ear, “then I shall forego punishing you for the trick in the hall.” He was referring to the hair-pulling, of course. While it had been fun to a point, it still wouldn’t do to let Ryoma think such behavior was acceptable.

Ryoma swallowed hard. He had no wish to see what Fuji would use as punishment after the experience with the wasabi sushi. With his luck, he’d have to voluntarily test the next super juice Inui made. That made up his mind. He’d endure this if it killed him. “Okay,” he said, voice barely above a whisper.

Grinning, Fuji pinched down again, swallowing Echizen’s screams with a kiss. He continued doing so until Ryoma was crying silently. Part of him wondered if he should feel guilty for that, but he pushed it aside ruthlessly. Ryoma was in no distress and Fuji would stop if it even began to look like a possibility. No, if earlier was any indication, Ryoma was enjoying himself despite the tears staining his cheeks. That was an uncontrollable response-the body automatically created tears when it was in pain.

Fuji finished with that area, taking a moment to just drink in the sight of the man before him. Ryoma ‘s entire body was flushed and slick with sweat, trembling with the effort of staying still. Fuji was impressed. Watching his muscles strain with the effort, Fuji knew Ryoma wouldn’t be able to maintain the stillness much longer. And Fuji wanted him to come out of this feeling successful. He had no interest in breaking the only person he’d found capable of handling his sadism. With a silent mournful sigh, he moved off of Ryoma and sat on the edge of the bed.

With a small questioning look, Ryoma got permission to move and sat up next to him.

Fuji wrapped an arm around the freshman’s waist and drew him close, smiling in pleasure as Ryoma settled his head on his chest. He found his mind turning to the fact that Ryoma had been hurt before. He tightened his grip, swearing to whatever gods were listening that he would never let anyone else lay a hand on Echizen.

Chapter 8     Chapter Index     Chapter 10

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