Something was wrong with Ban-chan. Ginji wasn't sure how long things had been strange like this, but now that he'd noticed, it felt like forever.
Ban-chan had patted his back--friendly, happy--and Ginji was horribly aware that Ban-chan had intended to drape his arm around Ginji's shoulders instead. He'd seen Ban-chan's hand twitch, and the angle of his body readjust fractionally--and Ginji couldn't understand why he'd been cheated out of a hug. Ban-chan must have seen that Ginji wasn't so happy anymore, because he patted at his shoulder, and grinned: "C'mon, Ginji. Let's go eat!"
Ginji liked eating just fine, but food couldn't make Ginji not worry about Ban-chan--even though he could tell that Ban-chan was trying extra hard to be normal. So: Ban-chan blustered at Shido when they passed him on the way to the Honky Tonk; he grabbed Hevn, and blustered some more once she hit him in the face; and he fought Ginji for the last scraps of food on Ginji's plate. Ban-chan was acting very, very Ban-chan-ish, but Ginji couldn't forget the way that Ban-chan had patted his shoulder--patted his shoulder!--instead of settling into Ginji's side like he was supposed to.
Ginji spent a lot of time over the next week noticing all the way Ban-chan wasn't acting like he should have been. He didn't play with Ginji, and ended their fights sooner than he should have when Ginji jumped him. There was an added inch (two) (three) between them when they walked, or stood, or sat together at the Honky Tonk. Ban-chan never ducked away when Ginji hugged him, but the hugs got shorter, and shorter--Ban-chan was never mean, he'd just slip out from under Ginji's arms, cuff him on the back of the head and say: "enough, already, Ginji! We've got business to attend to!"
Maybe Ban-chan was tired, Ginji thought. And so, the next time they were paid--real money, money that they actually got to keep--Ginji asked, and asked, and asked until Ban-chan finally said yes, and rented them a room for the night. The room was small, and bare, but there was a nice bed that Ban-chan could sleep on, and once Ban-chan got enough sleep, he'd go back to being grouchy and growly and willing to touch Ginji again.
Ginji took his shower, and got changed, and dropped onto the bed. The mattress was kind of thin, but it was comfortable enough when Ginji threw himself back onto it: arms stretched out high above his head, and legs sprawled out. He titled his head back to look at an upside-down Ban-chan. Ban-chan's eyes were narrow, lips rolled tight together, and he looked really silly, but his voice wasn't funny at all when he stood up and said: "don't wait for me."
Of course Ginji waited for Ban-chan, even though he took a very long time in the shower--and there hadn't been very much hot water left, even when Ginji first took his; and he hoped that Ban-chan wouldn't make himself sick, because he knew Ban-chan didn't really like the cold very much. Ban-chan came out of the shower (finally!) with damp hair, and skin that still looked slick and smooth from the water. Ban-chan didn't look sick, Ginji thought, staring at his partner closely--except that his skin was going kind of pink, and pinker, and Ban-chan snapped: "stop staring!"
Okay, that was Ban-chan! Ginji beamed, and patted the bed beside him. "Ban-chan, you should get some sleep," Ginji said.
Ban-chan made a small sound deep in his chest. He pinched the bridge of his nose, head bowed. "I'm not tired, Ginji. You go to sleep." He looked around the room, and saw the chair tucked into the corner next to the window. Ban-chan sat down, stretched his legs out, and wove his fingers together low over his stomach.
Ban-chan smiled narrowly. "It's okay, Ginji. I'm just going to take a few minutes, okay."
Ginji dropped back onto his pillow. This wasn't going the way it was supposed to. Maybe he snored? Maybe--maybe he kicked in his sleep? "Ban-chan? If you don't want to share, I can take the--"
"Ginji, shut up and go to sleep before you start to really piss me off," Ban-chan said.
Ginji could lay down, but he couldn't sleep, not when Ban-chan was awake and acting so oddly, and--when Ginji opened his eyes again it was sunny, and Ban-chan was still in that same chair. His head was bent at an uncomfortable angle, and his back was curved in a way that Ginji was sure had to hurt. Ban-chan's eyes were still closed, and his breathing steady.
Ginji slipped out from beneath the covers, and padded towards Ban-chan on bare feet. How was Ban-chan supposed to get better if he wouldn't even let himself be comfortable when he slept? Ban-chan could be so frustrating, Ginji thought, and crouched down before his partner, staring up at his sleeping face. It wasn't nice of Ban-chan to make Ginji worry so much, but Ginji still felt warm and happy when he looked at him. Ginji sighed, and reached out to brush a strand of hair away from Ban-chan's face, where it had caught against the corner of his lips.
Ban-chan twitched, and his eyes flew open. He jerked his head away, and Ginji froze. They looked at each other for a long time, and then Ban-chan was rising unsteadily from the chair, and nearly tripping past Ginji on the way out of the room. Ginji rocked backwards, and caught his lower lip between his teeth. Maybe he'd made a mistake, Ginji thought, because Ban-chan hadn't looked tired so much as. . . angry.
But that wasn't right, either.
Ban-chan was bent over the sink, splashing handful after handful of cold water over his face. He met Ginji's eyes in the mirror, and straightened, face still streaked with water droplets. Ginji wanted to launch himself at Ban-chan: to wrap his arms around him, and press his face into the bare skin between Ban-chan's shoulder blades. But Ban-chan turned around to face Ginji, and Ginji was tired of not knowing why Ban-chan was so upset.
"Are you mad at me, Ban-chan?" Ginji asked.
Ban-chan gritted his teeth. "Not now, Ginji. Fuck the hell off."
"I want to know what's wrong!" Ginji said, loud and upset.
Ban-chan clenched his fists. "Fine! Yes, it's you, Ginji. I'm fucking tired of you hanging all over me!"
That hurt, Ginji thought, even though he knew Ban-chan was lying. Ban-chan wasn't good at lying to Ginji, and he was glaring at Ginji's eyebrows rather than meeting Ginji's eyes. Ginji reminded himself that there were emotions that Ban-chan didn't like dealing with, and that he'd be sorry if he really did shock Ban-chan right this very instant.
"That's not it," Ginji said, and took a step towards Ban-chan.
And then everything was moving really fast, and Ginji was pressed up against the sink, Ban-chan leaning into him. Ban-chan's hands were flexing against Ginji's hips, and his breath was shuddering against Ginji's cheek. "I only have so much self-control," Ban-chan said, low and dangerous, "and you're getting to be too much for it."
Ginji blinked. "You're so stupid, Ban-chan," Ginji said, and flung his arms around his partner's shoulders. He dragged Ban-chan the rest of the way towards him--Ban-chan gave a muffled sound of surprise against Ginji's lips, and Ban-chan could sulk about being stupid later; but Ginji was happy because he had his answers now, and everything would have been so much simpler if Ban-chan would have talked to him.
It had been a long time since Ginji had been able to touch Ban-chan as much as he wanted to, so he squirmed against him happily now. The noises Ban-chan was making were taking on a decidedly different tone, and he was squirming too. Ginji hooked his foot behind Ban-chan's calf, and pushed one hand against the small of Ban-chan's back, pressing them even closer together. That felt good--really, really good--and Ginji shifted his hips again--again--again--too excited to do anything but try to drive himself as close to Ban-chan as he could. Ban-chan hissed, tightened his fingers around Ginji's hips, and made a rhythm out of Ginji's happy thrashing.
Ginji's hands were sliding up and down Ban-chan's back, across soft skin, and old scars. Ban-chan felt so hot, alive, muscles working beneath Ginji's open palms. Ban-chan's skin was still damp, but tasted like salt more than water when Ginji clamped his mouth onto Ban-chan's neck, just below his jawline. He could feel the noises Ban-chan was making more than he could hear them, now. Blood was pounding in his ears, and electricity snapping across the surface of his skin in erratic jolts that Ban-chan hardly seemed to notice.
"Fuck," Ban-chan said, "Ginji. Fuck."
He didn't know why this had been making Ban-chan so upset, because Ban-chan was smart, and he had to know that Ginji loved him--so much, so very much, even when Ban-chan was being impossible. He couldn't not have known that Ginji didn't want him, too, because Ban-chan always said that Ginji was an open book, completely obvious, and never, ever subtle.
"Ban-chan," Ginji said happily, and set his mouth against Ban-chan's again.
A long time later, Ban-chan spoke again. "So I was stupid," he said, grudgingly. "Shut up."
That's better, Ginji thought: grinning at the flooded bathroom, and Ban-chan's flushed face and slightly smoking hair--and laughed when Ban-chan flung an arm around him and held on tight.
Written for livejournal's fanfic100 community (prompt: "too much").
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