In Too Deep
Technically this was done at 1:09 am central time, but I know it's Valentine's Day somewhere out there (West Coast y'all!). But then I had to proof read it. . . so it didn't get posted until the day after V-Day. Oh well! So here's my little contribution for YohjiXKen on the big V-Day. Hope you enjoy!
In Too Deep
"You're so pretty Ken," the young brunette commented, stroking his long tan fingers over the soccer player's cheek. Ken smiled up at his lover and leaned in to brush the man's lips.
"You're silly Kase. Men aren't pretty." Kase just chuckled and pressed down against Ken's body with his own fit figure, causing Ken to let out a small groan. The two were laying in Kase's large bed, lazing and resting after a rather strenuous (and utterly enjoyable) evening. The J-Team members both gravitated towards each other's lips and relished in another long probing kiss. When they at last parted, Kase gave a deep chuckle and nuzzled Ken's neck.
"It doesn't matter if men aren't supposed to be pretty. You defy that definition. My pretty lover," Kase drawled out. Ken just laughed and decided to resume their connection of lips.
Ken awoke to the shifting of the bed he was laying on. Though he was still a bit muddled coming from dream world, he knew he was no longer in Kase's room. Though they had been well paid sports stars, Kase had never believed in silk sheets. Coming fully aware of the world, Ken realized he could only be one place. He rolled over slightly and watched Yohji get up and stretch through lidded eyes. The blonde seemed to sense Ken's eyes on him and slowly turned around, giving a sultry smile.
"Miss me already KenKen?" he asked with a raised eyebrow before turning back around and pulling on some clothing. Ken vaguely recalled Yohji's promise to Omi that he would work the morning shift. Omi had been studying nonstop for exams coming up and desperately needed to sleep in. Yohji, though he may try to pass himself off as the laziest employee of history, knew how hard things were for Omi. He may be lazy, be he wasn't cruel. He moaned and groaned about it, but Ken and Omi both knew that was only for show. It was one of the many little hidden foibles of Yohji that made Ken fall for and stay with the man. It probably wasn't love, that word tended to scare both men, but it was at least a deep "like". Very deep.
The last lover Ken had taken, Kase, had proved to Ken that love wasn't such a good thing. In the beginning, at least Ken hoped, there had been real love between them, but Ken's constant better soccer performance just broke his lover. Kase couldn't take that Ken was better. And that jealousy had tainted their world. Ken had been too blind to see, he still wanted to believe in the perfectness that was their relationship.
To Ken, love meant betrayal, but to Yohji it meant death. The one girl he'd ever loved had gone and died on him, twice. Both Ken and Yohji had had to put their first loves to death. It was a pain they shared and why they both understood the other's need to never fall in love again. So they shared each other's arms, thoughts, and bed. It was as deep as they could go without taking the final step. And Ken was happy. He had someone he could fall back on, but he respected that someday Yohji may decide to take another relationship. Ken would take what he could get and enjoy it while he could.
But that dream of Kase brought back all sorts of memories and feelings he missed. Yohji teased him, sometimes implying compliments, but he had never called Ken pretty. And there was always the lingering dread of when the blonde would want to move on. Ken could take it, but he knew he'd miss the contact and connection they had now. Eyes open all the way, watching Yohji finish pulling his long sleeved shirt on, Ken wondered what Yohji thought of him.
"Do you think I'm pretty Yohji?" he asked, not sure if he wanted to hear the response but curious anyhow. The taller man gave a guffaw and turned to give his lover a strange look.
"That's not quite the word I'd use to describe you KenKen," he remarked, laughing as the soccer player stuck his tongue out in retribution. "Ah-ah, don't stick that thing out unless you plan to use it," he admonished. Ken grinned evilly around his still protruding tongue, wagging it back and forth in a teasing manner.
"Who says I'm not gonna use it. Come here and feel me use it." Yohji was not one to pass up an offer like that. They shared a long passionate kiss in which Ken definitely showed off the talent of his tongue. At last Yohji pulled away with a last lingering touch of lips. Both stared at each other through half open eyes for a moment, neither wanting to fully break the connection. Finally Yohji looked away when he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. No doubt Aya coming to make sure he showed up for his morning shift. Yohji sighed dramatically.
"Can't keep his highness waiting. You go back to sleep and I'll wake you up for your shift," the tall blonde suggested with a cocky tip of his head. Ken scoffed.
"I hardly think I'm going to sleep until three Yohji. I'll just see you down there in a couple of hours," he told the man, yawning and curling himself into the blankets of their shared bed. Yohji put a hand to his heart like he had been morally offended.
"If you don't need to sleep until three then I haven't been doing my job! Tonight we shall shag like there's no tomorrow and you'll need to sleep a full twenty-four hours in order to recover," he said decisively, slamming a fist into his open palm. Ken just laughed into the pillow.
"Get going you lazy bum or Aya will barge in here and see me naked. I don't think any of us wants that," Ken said when he was finished laughing. Yohji had a wide grin on his face as he finally opened the door to leave.
"All right, in order to protect your honor I'll go to work. Fare thee well my princess," he mocked, giving the pouting brunette a jovial wink before really leaving the room and closing the door behind him. Ken let out a disgruntled yet content sigh and closed his eyes with a smile on his face. Sometimes Yohji was too much!
But he didn't think Ken was pretty. Ken wasn't sure how to take that. It was probably true that Ken wasn't one to be described as pretty - if anything he could maybe pass for ruggedly handsome - but Yohji hadn't really consented to a different term for his looks at all. Just said he wouldn't call Ken pretty. Did that mean Yohji thought he was ugly? Or was it just too early in the morning for him to think of a proper compliment?
Ken finally decided he was thinking too much on the subject and dedicated himself to shutting his mind off and falling back asleep. Soon enough he succeeded and the warm blackness of dreams enveloped him once more.
Yohji was bored. The flower shop had closed an hour ago and the others were busy elsewhere. Omi was at that cram school he'd been studying at, Aya was visiting his sister's apartment, and Ken was teaching an evening soccer class for some of the older children. Normally Yohji would perhaps be out on a date with one of the gorgeous women who visited the shop, but ever since he and Ken had started their. . . "thing". . . he just hadn't felt the need anymore. But that did leave him the occasional down time with nothing to do and no Ken to hang around with.
He didn't need the brunette to have fun or live his life, but it just seemed things were always better with the cheerful naive soccer player around. He had taken Ken to his first night club experience (and in return he had let Ken drag him to a soccer match. . . which Yohji really hadn't minded as much as he'd let on). The younger man had looked fantastic under Yohji's fashion ministrations, but then again Ken always had a certain charm to him. In their decision to be with each other, both Ken and Yohji had ended up experiencing new and different things. Yohji had started to appreciate sports, and Yohji knew Ken was definitely getting into the dance scene. Dancing required a lot of the same thoughts as soccer, being able to move the right way at the right time and such. Ken just had to learn the right steps, but he was a pretty good natural. And Yohji never would have tried Phish Food ice cream if Ken hadn't made him take a swipe of it a few weeks ago. There was a nice balance to their relationship.
But Yohji was starting to wonder if things were getting too deep. Ever since Asuka. . . He knew he couldn't go through life with no emotional contact, but he also knew that he wouldn't be able to survive losing another loved one. Not that losing any of his friends would be easy, not by half, but if he had to go through the soul shredding loss that Asuka's death brought on again, Yohji knew his mind would snap. And being that he and Ken were both assassins, living day to day without knowing if they'd see tomorrow, Yohji couldn't risk love.
Yohji scoffed at himself. Here he was sitting alone in the living room on his chair, fiddling with a magazine he wasn't even bothering to read worrying about his relationship when he could be out and about. He was basically proving to himself that he was getting in too deep. Instead of fretting, it was time to situate himself in an old hang out and shoot the shit with the people he had been ignoring since he started to spend all his time with Ken. The blonde all but leapt out of his chair and quickly made his way up the stairs and into his room to throw on a sexy, yet conservative outfit. He just wanted looks, not actual propositions tonight. Once done, he went back downstairs and was seconds from opening the door to spend the night out when a wind flustered, red cheeked, smiling Ken bounded through the entry. He had grocery bags in both arms and was juggling his favorite soccer ball across both of his knees. Yohji never ceased to be amazed that Ken could bounce the ball any distance. He had bet the boy to do it from the flower shop to the train station once, a good mile, and had paid the $20 price when Ken succeeded. With hardly more than a thought, Ken let the ball fall down to his feet and kicked it lightly to rest on the couch. He strode down the hallway and past Yohji, giving him a quick peck on the cheek as he made his way into the kitchen where he set the bags down. Yohji stood where he was and shook his head in bewildered happiness. With just that rushed entry into the house, Ken had subsequently subdued any need Yohji had to go anywhere but here. Smirking to himself and shrugging off the lingering worry he had been nettling on earlier, the tall leggy blonde made his way to the kitchen and silently helped his partner put away the food. When he was reaching to pick up the tempura breading he was denied by a hand on top of his own.
"Nope, that stays out. I'm making some tempura for dinner. It was going to be for two, but it looks like you're going out tonight. I can save you some if you like though," Ken said. Yohji carefully analyzed the words and his tone of voice. He didn't sense any sarcasm or bitterness, just sweet old Ken. And with that analysis, Yohji was happy. He shrugged off the crimson overcoat and threw it over one of the kitchen chairs. Ken tilted his head with an unspoken question that Yohji answered by determinately picking up the box of breading despite Ken's hand on top his own.
"I think I changed my mind. And now it is time for you to get ready for Yohji's Extreme Tempura Action."
And so the boys spent the night in.
Yohji was holding a small framed picture of Asuka tightly. The bright silver heart-shaped frame reflected portions of his face, and though Ken could see very little of the reflection, he could plainly see the way Yohji's knuckles were white with his grip and the sad hunch to his shoulders. It was THE day. The anniversary of Asuka's first death. Really Asuka's only death, it had been Neu who died the next time, so Yohji had decided not to recognize that day. But today was his day of grievance. Ken respected that, and his blonde lover respected it when sometimes Ken would just stare at his soccer ball for hours on end, not speaking, just staring.
Of course the two of them did have enough sense about them not to cry out another's name in the heat of passion. Ken was grateful for that. He wasn't sure if he could take Yohji screaming a girl's name with his decidedly manly form giving the pleasure.
The soccer player softly walked up behind his grieving partner and put a gentle hand on his shoulder. Yohji had of course known Ken was in the room, but the touch still jolted through him, hitching his shoulder up a fraction.
"Sorry to interrupt, but Manx is here and she wants to see us all downstairs," Ken told Yohji, squeezing the shoulder quickly before lifting his hand off altogether. Usually Ken would have left Yohji alone all day to grieve, but the mission briefing called. And truth be told, Ken was actually feeling a little put out. Oh he understood the pain all too well, understood what Yohji was feeling. That didn't mean he wasn't allowed to feel left out. He and Yohji had grown close, probably too close, and Ken had gotten very attached to the older man's attention. He ignored the tiny spark of jealousy inside him and crushed it down with shame for feeling that way. He would have Yohji's affection and attention tomorrow, he could afford to give the blonde just one day off.
Oh boy he was going in too deep.
Yohji stood up and turned around, tucking the heart-shaped frame into a hidden jacket pocket. Ken knew the question was stupid and not appropriate the moment it came into his head, but he also realized that sometimes the truest answers came from rash questions. So he let Yohji walk in front of him before asking it, as the brunette wasn't sure what the answer would be and wanted to avoid any awkward eye contact.
"Do you think. . . Yohji, is there a place in your heart for me?"
Yohji froze, back rigid. Ken stopped in time to avoid bumping into the other man, but was already regretting his decision. Ken might possibly have to go through many days with out Yohji's affection now. He screwed up.
"It. . ." Yohji whispered, not bothering to turn around to face Ken, "It's not like that Ken," was all he said. After a few seconds he started moving again, but Ken stayed where he was. Surprisingly, Ken was not crying. Yohji had basically told him that there weren't deep feelings between the two of them, but Ken was okay with that. He had to be, otherwise there would be an empty feeling in his chest sucking him in. Instead he just felt like an idiot for putting Yohji in a corner like that. There was no doubt Ken harbored deep feelings for the blonde, but he had known Yohji long enough to accept when he said no. So Ken would apologize and hope things would be all right between the two of them. Things would never be the same, and Ken would miss their closeness, but he had finally come to a revelation and a resolution.
Yohji could not offer him what he needed anymore. It was as simple as that. Ken was ready to take the plunge and try one more time to find love and hold on to it, but Yohji was still in his past. And that was okay. He would find his way back to the present someday. Ken was just glad to help in anyway he could. But honestly, he wanted to be free for someone to love him now. So he would apologize to Yohji before the mission, and depending on when and where the mission was, he would break things off with the man after things had been taken care of. With that plan in mind, Ken continued on his way to the briefing room (aka, the basement) and silently joined his friends and Manx.
Yohji's shoes clicked quietly in the cement garage that housed his car. He could have walked silently if he wanted, he was an assassin after all, but the tiny sharp noise was somewhat comforting in the dark empty space. He didn't pause when he heard a second pair of clicks accompanying his own - he had volunteered to partner with Ken and drive him to their stake out point. He hadn't meant to be so harsh to Ken before, but the situation was rapidly twisting out of his control and he wasn't sure just how he wanted to feel about Ken. Yohji didn't want things to be awkward though, so he'd make things up to Ken, make up with Ken, see where Ken wanted to go after this. The mission had to come first of course, but so there were no distractions he had wanted to let Ken know things were still okay between them, so he volunteered to partner up with the brunette.
Yohji got to the driver's side door of his ride and turned around to tell Ken what was up, but the soccer player was right in front of him when he turned around. The look in his eyes told Yohji Ken had something to say first. The blonde took in a breath and hoped Ken was smart enough not to drag anything too personal out right before the mission. But the situation looked safe enough.
"Yohji, I just wanted to say I was an ass and I'm sorry I put you on the spot like that. It was a stupid question. So, I just wanted to know if things were cool," he said, looking down at the cement floor for most of the speech. Yohji was amazed that Ken had done the exact thing he was about to, clear the air and all, so he gave a little chuckle and ruffled Ken's hair, causing the younger man to shoot an indignant look at him.
"I was about to ask you the same thing KenKen. Yes, things are cool," he replied, then opened the door and hopped in the car. Ken got in on the passenger's side, buckled his seat belt, hassled Yohji until he buckled up too, and then Yohji started the car and drove off.
The mission was one where two members (Ken and Yohji) would be in wait while Omi took care of computer and electric security and Aya took care of the outside guards. Then while any remaining security was after Aya, Ken and Yohji could dash in, take out the targets, and dash out. It was a man and wife team this time. They had been secretly siphoning off employee funds at their dummy corporation, Galactica Ink, and using the money to support underground research on a biological weapons. It wasn't much now, just some inconspicuous liquids that could affect bowel movements and such, but they had been testing their progress on their employees, and there were plans to upgrade the severity of their liquid. If that happened, shit was really going to hit the fan. As it was, three employees had already died from severe stomach complications. Kriticker had also confirmed they had ties to a major underground antimilitary group who had been planning bad things for a long time. So the pair had to die.
With things back on track, Ken and Yohji spent a companionable instead of awkward silence together in their hidden spot waiting for Omi to give them the go ahead. Ken leaned close against Yohji even though the area was large enough for them to have a bit of space between each other. It was a comfort to have the contact before heading in and Yohji put his arm loosely around Ken's waist to keep the brunette where he was. They began to breath in sync, both laughing silently when they realized the action. They waited in the little alley for probably forty five minutes when finally a quiet blip in their ear pieces signaled that someone was going to talk.
"Siberian, Balinese, the computers are taken out and Abyssinian just felled the last known outer guard. Get in there, but watch your backs. Meet at the pre-decided destination when you're out and call for us if you need cover. Bombay out."
That was their cue. Stealthy as the cats they took their names from, the two assassin's crept into the office building and headed toward the T-intersection they had seen on the map. Once there, Yohji gave Ken a brief nod and headed left while the brunette headed right. Though the couple were married, it was probably not for romantic reasons as they slept as far from the other as possible in the building. Yohji felt a bit apprehensive at Ken's departure but he brushed it off. That was exactly what he didn't need during a mission. If his head was worried about Ken he would never be able to pay attention to his surroundings and he would end up dead or worse. Summoning up extra focus from deep within himself, Yohji pressed forward towards the female's quarters.
He flattened himself up against the wall before turning the corner to her room. Slowly peeking around the corner Yohji pulled back when he saw a bodyguard waiting patiently in front of a classic wooden door. Of course there would be internal security. Yohji moved away from the guard so he could contact Ken.
"They have bodyguards in front of the door, possibly elsewhere. Keep your guard up," he whispered into the radio. Without waiting for a response, the assassin quickly made his way back to the guard and strung a wire around his neck, pulling tight. The guard hardly had time to grasp at his neck before he was dead. Stepping over the body he put his ear gently to the door. The soft sound of light snoring was the only noise permeating the air. Yohji listened there for a little more than a minute and could only hear the one person breathing. Finally he took his ear away and bent down to examine the door knob and lock. The lock was a simple one and Yohji had it taken care of in an instant. There was a moment when he wondered how Ken was going to handle a locked door, but it passed quickly. When push came to shove, Ken could handle picking a simple lock like this, Yohji had taught him himself. And worse came to worse, the brunette would ruin the element of surprise and force the door off its hinges, he was strong and knew where to ram his shoulder into the door. Ken wouldn't have a problem.
With the lock officially picked, Yohji turned the knob and eased the door open. The hinges were oiled well as it elicited no long squeal as Yohji feared it might. But he was surprised when a large hand grabbed him by the collar holding him in place while another hand punched him in the stomach, forcing the air out of his chest. He doubled over but immediately straightened up and punched his assailant square in the jaw. Back in control, Yohji took hold of the situation, glancing quickly around to see how he had missed this attack. A tall, average sized man lay on the floor with a trickle of blood leaking down his chin. A woman had jumped out of the bed and was half way out the door when Yohji looked up to see her. She didn't look back at him, just bolted. Just as Yohji was about to run after her, the blonde heard the man he'd punched raising himself up off the floor. Not missing a heart beat Yohji had a wire wrapped around the fallen man's throat, but this time he gave just enough slack to keep the man alive. He wanted answers. Using other wires from his weapon he strung the man up by his four appendages, making sure to keep a good hold on the one across his neck. Looking him up and down, the blonde could tell that the man he had in his possession was the male counterpart of the targets. He had scraggly shoulder length black/grey hair, and a long pointed nose with silver wire-framed glasses slipping down it. Weiss had been shown pictures of their targets and Yohji had no trouble recognizing this man's familiar face. He walked behind his target in order to have a good view of the door, just in case his partner came back to help. Pulling the wires taut enough to draw a thin line of blood everywhere they touched, Yohji leaned in close to ask the man a few questions.
"How did you know I was coming in?" he demanded. When the man refused to answer (they never answered right away), a quick squeeze convinced him otherwise. His beady grey eyes were set on a corner table next to the bed. Following his gaze Yohji found out how they had known something was up. There was a walkie-talkie laying silent on the table.
"We constantly communicate with the outside guard. They didn't report in."
With that answered, Yohji made the decisive motion to end the man's life. While his body was still falling to the floor Yohji was running out of the room. He would contact Omi, Aya, and Ken to tell them the jig was up and hopefully catch up with the woman somewhere. Hopefully she hadn't gotten to warn anyone yet. Unfortunately Yohji's plans were put to a halt when a shot rang through the hall. Fire burned in his right shoulder and his back slammed into the wall. What a stupid way to go down. Of course the wife would have alarmed the inner guards. What was he thinking? Now he was about to be gunned down in an empty hallway by a hired goon. He attempted to throw a wire at the man, at least evening the score before he was completely wiped out, when the guard let out a roar of pain and collapsed to the floor, revealing a lightly panting Ken whipping the blood off his claws in a swift flick. Releasing his clenched fists and retracting the claws Ken rushed to Yohji's side and opened Yohji's coat to check the wound. The blonde could feel the soccer player putting pressure against the bullet hole but was still in shock, not even feeling the pain he knew should be there. He looked at Ken's face, but the other man was frantically checking out the area around them to make sure no other guards snuck up on them. Safe for the moment, Ken wrapped what he could of the wound with the emergency gauze they all carried, then tore off his orange sweatshirt and tied it around the area tightly to keep pressure applied. Yohji stared at the bright orange garment in surprise. Ken didn't like to take that thing off during a mission, it was his good luck charm. His green eyes burned with question as they stared into Ken's ocean teal. Ken just gave him a smirk and squeezed the blonde's good arm.
"Maybe it'll give you better luck then you have. I'll contact Omi and Aya to get you out of here and then I have to nab the other target. So stay here like a good boy and I'll be right back!"
Yohji watched Ken get up, radio the other two, turn around and leave. Something was nagging at his thoughts, some kind of warning. The pain was starting to creep up on him and his other senses were returning. The pain took precedence however, and Yohji brought his hand up to grasp at the wound, hoping to relieve the pain in any way. His fingers wound themselves into Ken's orange sweatshirt and he glanced as well as he could at Ken's hasty repair job. A bright crimson stain was slowly polluting the pure orange of the cloth around his shoulder. Ken's good luck charm was slowly becoming ruined. Ken. . .
"FUCK!" he yelled, pushing off the wall with all his strength and standing up. The rush of adrenaline muted the pain a bit and he was able to chase after the brunette with little problem. After all, he didn't really need his shoulder to run. But Ken was going to die. It was the same, the GOD DAMNED SAME as twice before. He got injured, his partner ran off to do something, and they got killed. It happened to Maki, but first to his sweet love Asuka. Now it was going to happen to Ken.
When he got to an intersection, Yohji simply followed the bloody footsteps wherever they lead. He heard some shouting in the distance and knew he was fast closing in on whatever scene was about to await him. Even if. . . even if Ken was going to die, this time maybe Yohji could be there for his lover. He had never been there before, always just saw a glimpse or heard it happen. Maybe if he was there though, the circle would break and Ken would be okay. Something would happen. But he had to get there first.
Lo and behold as he turned another corner the scene of his doom or redemption was evolving before him. Things slowed down. Ken was in mid leap, claws extended and mouth open in a yell that Yohji couldn't hear. The woman he had seen rushing out of her bed was bringing up a gun from her side and aiming it at Ken's chest. Ken was less than a foot away from his target, claws about to rend their prey into a slab of worthless flesh, when she pulled the trigger. The impact of the bullet into Ken's flesh threw him back and against a wall, which he ricocheted off of to land face down on the floor. He didn't move after that.
Yohji almost fell to his knees in sorrow but his instincts took control of his body first. The target was getting away, spotting Yohji and beginning to run in the other direction, to her freedom. This could not be allowed. Using reflexes he didn't even know he had Yohji strung the woman up by her arms and quickly ripped them off with his wire. She fell back to the floor screaming in shock and pain, looking back and forth from each of her shoulders, now only supporting a small stump with vital fluid spewing forth. While she was in mid scream, Yohji silenced her voice forever with a graceful decapitation. Gore filled the hallway and the woman's head had rolled precariously close to his own foot, but Yohji didn't care. He didn't even care if there were other security guards coming to find their employer. All he cared about was the lean body laying still on the floor in front of him. Ken.
As he stumbled over to his lover Yohji's wound finally got the better of him as it had been bleeding the whole time despite the first aid job done to it. Falling to his knees in exhaustion beside the prostrate body, Yohji used the last of his strength to curl up behind Ken, mocking a cuddling bedroom position. It was then Yohji felt something strange. Instead of the cold smooth skin he was expecting to find as his hand crept under his partner's shirt, he found a coarse rough material that was incredibly hard. Yohji thought he knew what it was, but his mind was not functioning right. He felt more under Ken's shirt and found his whole chest covered by the strange thing. There was a hole in the middle of it right under his ribcage and Yohji curiously stuck his finger through the hole. He pulled it back quickly when still hot metal burned his skin. The bullet. Ken had been wearing a bullet proof vest.
As he came to that realization Yohji gave out a small sob of relief. He could feel Ken breathing against him and there was none of Ken's blood spilt on the floor. The brunette must have been knocked unconscious by the blow or being rammed into the wall. But he was alive!
Yohji, on the other hand, wasn't faring so well. The blood loss and exhaustion caught up to him and he began to shift into unconsciousness. He fell into the void with a smile. Of all the lovers he could have taken, all the people he would love, only KenKen would wear a bullet proof vest, rendering the death scene Yohji was expecting null. Ken had broken the cycle.
Omi and Aya had been real heroes that day, finding and bringing their two unconscious team mates out of the place before they could be harmed any more. Ken wasn't sure how the two had handled the combined weight of Yohji and himself, but he presumed that they had been dragged at least some of the way - his leather jacket had some strain marks and lighter patches that hadn't been there before - but Ken was just thankful they could get out at all.
Ken had recovered pretty quickly, though it still hurt to move too fast or carry something heavier than normal. He had a nice basketball sized bruise spreading across his stomach and ribs, but that would heal in a week or less. Yohji had it worse. He had lost a lot of blood so that first day he was out for the count. Kriticker doctors had replaced everything and Yohji had regained consciousness late the day after the mission. He was going to recover just fine The bullet had gone straight through some minor muscles so Yohji would have problems moving his arm for a month or so. Ken had gone to visit the blonde while he was sleeping a few times, but it had been three days since he'd seen Yohji awake. And that had been the day of the mission. He was a little afraid to see Yohji awake. He didn't want to break things off, but he knew he had too. If Ken ever wanted to be happy in the future he needed to be free to find love. But Yohji was so vulnerable right now and it seemed cruel to take away his form of comfort at this time. So he stayed away to deliberate. Omi had told him that Yohji had asked about Ken, asked if he came to visit and if he was all right. Ken knew he had to see Yohji, if only to calm his own self and make sure nothing had gone wrong. Seeing someone asleep wasn't a good way to judge how well they were recovering. So today was the big day. He was standing outside Yohji's door (the doctors had let him recover there since there wasn't anything more to be done besides bed rest) waiting for Aya to come out so he could go in. Aya and Omi had both gone to see Yohji a few times everyday while Ken had only gone in at night. Ken was almost surprised Aya was concerned enough to visit the patient, but his sister's recovery had unlocked a whole new Aya (well, technically Ran, but for the sake of everyone who knew him as Aya, he responded to both names).
The door opened and the red head walked out. He looked up in surprise at Ken waiting to enter. The door clicked quietly behind him.
"Is he still awake?" Ken asked. Aya seemed to frown a little.
"Why, if he is will you just run away?" Aya's face and voice were level, but his eyes were very accusatory. Obviously Yohji was not happy that Ken hadn't come to see him and neither were his team mates. Ken gave a deep sigh and ran his fingers through his hair, leaving the brown strands highly ruffled.
"No, I want to talk to him. So, is he awake?" Ken replied, looking Aya in the eyes so the red head could judge the truth for himself. Those violet orbs scrutinized him deeply but finally let up on their assault. Without another word Aya stepped aside and let Ken enter the room. The soccer player opened the door, went in and closed the door behind him. The walls were not sound proof, but a closed door was more help than an open one. Yohji hadn't looked up yet, he was deeply immersed in a paperback novel, which presumably Aya had leant him. Not that Yohji didn't have any books or didn't like reading, but he hadn't bought any new books in a while and Aya had plenty. Ken shuffled his feet a little and waited for Yohji to acknowledge his existence.
"You forget something Aya? Go ahead and get it, I'm too into this book to talk to you now," he said with a smile, nose still in the book. At least Yohji's humor had returned. When Ken still didn't say anything or move, Yohji decided to look up. His jade eyes got wide and he immediately put the book down, not caring that he lost his place. Ken ran his fingers through his hair again and didn't look Yohji in the eye. He looked down, at the bed sheets, at his own shoes, at Yohji's new book, then finally at Yohji. Surprisingly, the blonde wasn't angry or miserable or scornful, he was smiling. He waved his hand to signal Ken that he wanted the brunette to come closer, so Ken went across the room to sit in the chair next to the patient's bed. Yohji chuckled at Ken's rumpled appearance and smoothed down the wild brown spikes. With that taken care of Yohji rested his hand on Ken's arm and looked at the brunette seriously.
"So what's up? It's been a while, hmm?" he asked, squeezing what he could reach of Ken's hand as to let the soccer player know he wasn't angry, just confused and curious. Ken was a little flustered. He had expected Yohji to be mad or not care that his former lover had decided to visit him only now. He wasn't ready for the smiling forgiving Yohji.
"I just. . . Well, this is going to sound bad but. . . We need to talk Yohji. About the thing we have between us," he finally got out, extracting his hand from Yohji's even though the loss of that warmth made him shiver.
"Ken?" Yohji queried, a small waver in his usually confident voice. This wasn't how it was supposed to go at all! Maybe it was the near death experience. He knew it was too soon. Yohji wasn't ready to face all this yet.
"Shit, I'm sorry. Listen, never mind all this, we can talk about that later. And I'm sorry I haven't seen you when you're awake. And I'm sorry about everything. I'm just glad you're okay," he blurted out, the last part muffled when he threw himself over Yohji in a half hug, burying his face in the warmth of Yohji's good shoulder. The blonde wrapped his good arm around Ken and stroked his back while the brunette got everything back under control. Ken wasn't crying, but he was close, his feelings were that strong. But logically he knew this had to be done. But maybe not yet. Maybe he could just pretend with Yohji for a little longer.
"No Ken, I want to hear what you have to say. I need to hear what you have to say," Yohji told him. He sounded very serious. Ken looked up at his partner and saw the very earnest expression in his eyes. Yohji was ready for whatever Ken was going to dish out. So he decided to just come out with it.
"I need someone to love and to love me Yohji. I can love again now, I'm ready to move on, but I know you aren't. And even if you were I know you wouldn't want to with me. And. . . and I can understand that. So I just wanted to let you know that we can't, you know, keep going on like we were. But I still. . . I do love you Yohji, even if you don't want to hear or acknowledge it," Ken told Yohji, opening his heart and mind up to his former lover.
"And why do you think I wouldn't love you Ken?" Yohji asked, not letting his voice tell Ken whether he was for the idea or against it. Instances were brought forward in Ken's mind, of the things Yohji had said or done that convinced Ken Yohji wouldn't want to be with him. He thought of how to word it so Yohji could understand what he was feeling.
"You don't think I'm pretty or good looking or whatever. And you told me yourself there's no place in your heart for me," he explained, sitting up straighter and distancing himself from Yohji. "You don't really want me in your life, at least not for long term. And, well, when I walk away from this whole thing, I don't even know if you'll shed a tear. So I have to walk away now," he finished, standing up and turning to walk out of the room. He didn't want to hear Yohji trying to explain things to him, and he didn't want to hear the rejection he knew was coming. But Yohji stopped his progress cold by grabbing Ken's arm and yelling out to wait.
"Ken! Ken you have it all wrong. Please listen," he pleaded. Ken couldn't say no to that voice. He turned back around and waited. Yohji had strained to sit up in order to grab Ken, but he was refusing to let go even though it was causing him pain. Seeing the suffering on Yohji's face Ken obediently sat down so Yohji could lean back in the bed, his shoulder back in an acceptable position. Yohji still had a hold of Ken's arm though.
"Ken, of course I don't think you're pretty," Yohji stated, causing Ken to stiffen in the chair. Did he really have to sit through this? Yohji must have sensed his thoughts, he let go of Ken's arm and reached up to cup his face. "You're striking, and handsome, and utterly sexy, but not pretty. Pretty is too girly and it doesn't have what it takes to describe the beauty that you are. So no, I don't think you're pretty Ken.
"And when I implied that there was no place for you. . . Ken, at that time I was scared. I was starting to feel things for you that I thought I shouldn't, so I denied what my heart and head were telling me. There is no place in my heart for you Ken, but I've finally discovered and admitted you are my heart. You, Ken. This mission, it changed everything. You stayed alive even though I loved you. And that let me admit to myself that I do love you, Ken." At this point Ken was just staring at Yohji with a dumb, hopeful look on his face. This was coming as a very big surprise to Ken and he just listened on as Yohji defended the other accusations Ken had made earlier.
"Ken, I need you in my life, forever, or at least as long as possible. And if you ever left. . . When I thought you had died and left me alone again, I was ready to join you Ken. So please, don't walk away from this. From us," he finished, his hand entwined in Ken's by this point. Ken finally looked Yohji in the eye and smiled. Giving a short laugh, Ken bent his head down and touched his lips to Yohji's, enacting the kiss to end all kisses. By the time it was done, Ken had half crawled onto the bed and Yohji was desperately grasping the back of Ken's shirt. Faces only a scant inch apart the two lovers panted as they recovered from the kiss, warm breath mingling between them. The sudden chiming of the clock in Yohji's room brought the boys out of their trance, and Ken blushed happily at his position on Yoji's bedridden self. Yohji looked at the clock quickly, then with a thoughtful look on his face he glanced at the calendar on his wall. He gave Ken one of the warmest smiles the brunette had ever received.
"Happy Valentine's Day, love," the blonde said, leaning in to kiss Ken again. Ken eagerly responded to the kiss. And Ken was happy. Yohji had turned out to be exactly what he needed. He didn't have to worry about being in too deep anymore, he had fallen all the way. And Yohji was there with him.
Good? Bad? Let me know if you have the time, I'm always game for improving my style and works. And I really do hope my little story was worth the time you utook to read it! Happy V-Day everyone!
~Mako~ (er, technically Mako3 now, I guess!)
Sign up to rate and review this story