August 17, Yondaime Year 5
The last rabbit burst in mid-leap, with a pop that spun its hind legs into a shrub. One ear sailed sadly by Minato’s head. The central splash held its rabbit-shape, though, a net of shuddering blood vessels making something very wrong in the air.
Kakashi smiled grimly at it, and twisted his chakra. The blood swarmed together, sliding loose from flesh to make a slim, lethal dagger. No hilt, all blade, mostly edge.
Ryouma tossed a twig in a high arc. Kakashi shifted. The blood-blade made a red smear of speed, and the twig fell in three equal pieces. Then, as it always came, the backlash: cold spreading from Kakashi’s hands to his arms to his lungs, a nasty lurch of deadwrongdead, the sense of being pulled…
He snapped loose from the jutsu. The blood fell in a harmless splash. Kakashi shook his hands briskly, coughed once, and turned to his audience.
“So, when you said you’d stopped detonating rabbits…” Jiraiya said, thumbing a wet splatter off his cheek.
“Almost stopped,” Kakashi said. He waved a hand at the circle of small exsanguinated bodies around his feet, most of which were still intact, though a few had unzipped messily down the spine. A ripple of chakra followed his gesture, a quick seal, and a small wave of earth heaved over the corpses, burying them. “You couldn’t interrogate them, but you could mine their bodies for jutsu. If they weren’t rabbits.”
“You can’t interrogate anyone after Raikiri, anyway,” Ryouma defended him, valiantly. “And you’ll probably stop exploding once you move back up to pigs. Or keep exploding ‘em, it made a hell of a difference against Iebara…”
Kakashi swallowed a dark snicker. “Iebara didn’t explode anyone, though.” He tipped his head towards Minato and Jiraiya, inviting them back into the conversation. “He should have, otherwise he wouldn’t be dead. I can’t figure out if the difference is something I’m doing in the casting, or if he had a reason for not doing it, or if his control was radically different somehow.”
“You’re not using human blood,” Minato said, thoughtfully. “The limited chakra force in the blood might be more of an issue than the volume available.”
Kakashi considered this. “Who’s volunteering? Not you,” he said firmly to Ryouma. “Your blood still has issues.”
Caught in the act of opening his mouth, Ryouma pressed his lips together and looked mutinous.
“You could go have a chat with our friends in T&I,” Jiraiya suggested — possibly seriously. “I’m sure they can find someone who wouldn’t be missed if you exploded them.”
Minato sidestepped this dubious idea, though didn’t outright condemn it. “Do you need to pull the blood from the victim? Or would, say, bleeding into a bowl achieve the same effect?”
Kakashi tilted his head. “Iebara only used fresh blood. He didn’t pull Tsuto’s off our uniforms, and he didn’t reuse blood after he’d shaped it once. And I think he would have, if he could — he pulled blood from himself later, when he’d run out of other sources. Blood from a bowl might work, or a cupped hand, so long as it’s fresh.”
Minato looked at Jiraiya, shrugged, and said, “You carry a drinking gourd, don’t you?”
“And a kunai or seven.” Jiraiya fiddled with the back of his belt and produced a canteen-sized gourd from under his haori, hanging by a red silk cord. He didn’t hand it over, though. “But you’re not seriously thinking what I think you’re thinking, are you?”
“I’ve lost plenty teaching Kakashi for the last ten years,” Minato said reasonably. “Why stop now?” He glanced at Ryouma. “You observed the effective range of Iebara’s jutsu at fifteen meters, correct?”
Ryouma nodded, wide-eyed.
“Ten should do it, then,” Minato said, and swiped the gourd from Jiraiya with a sudden strike.
Implying Kakashi didn’t have Iebara’s deadly reach? Rude, sensei.
“Try thirty. Or are you forgetting the boiling mud jutsu incident?” Jiraiya said, and stole the gourd back with nearly equal speed. “Also, you don’t get to waste my good hooch on your suicidal efforts.” He drained the gourd, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and tossed the empty container back to Minato.
Technically, the boiling mud was from the redirected lightning strike, but Kakashi was happy to let the details remain confused.
Perhaps remembering himself as an agent sworn to protect the Hokage, Ryouma stirred uneasily. “Hokage-sama, you really shouldn’t. We don’t know it’s safe.”
Two distressed flickers on the edges of the training ground suggested that Squirrel and Turtle, Minato’s faithful and beleaguered ANBU guards, felt the same.
Minato blithely rolled up his sleeve. “If I start to feel myself exploding, I promise I’ll Hiraishin back to the Hokage’s palace straightaway.” He flipped out a three-pronged kunai and laid open the inside of his forearm.
Human blood smelled different than rabbit blood. Human language didn’t have the words to explain it, exactly, but the meat and metal of it was richer. Chakra-soaked and complicated. Minato tipped his arm to the side and a thin red ribbon poured into the gourd. Kakashi watched with interest, vested in the mechanics of the experiment. A half-liter was the typical amount for a blood donation, and he didn’t need that much. Two hundred milliliters, maybe? A little less than Minato could hold in two cupped hands.
Minato seemed to be thinking along the same lines. He sloshed the gourd, nodded, handed it to Kakashi, and slapped an absent hand over the cut. Ryouma scrambled to pull clotting bandages out of his med-kit (getting larger every week), while Jiraiya muttered direly about their morning plans failing to include a medic-nin.
Kakashi retreated a very precise sixteen meters, set the gourd down between his feet, and fell into the jutsu.
The difference was immediate. There was affinity here. Minato’s blood sang with chakra, still living, and Kakashi’s hooks caught tight. Scarlet spun out of the gourd, twisting and swirling with bare effort. A blade, thin as glass with edges like razors. A thought made it latticed, as lace-like as Iebara’s creations.
Kakashi held out a hand and the edge dipped to kiss his fingertip. Skin parted painlessly. His own blood welled up and dripped off his knuckle. He could feel the difference between the two in the eye of the jutsu. The threads of Minato’s still connected back to the source — thinning out and vanishing as time killed it, but if he wanted, he could stretch that distance…
He twisted the blade, collapsing it in on itself, built new shapes. A rose with lethal petals. A hundred fine needles. It was so much easier with human blood. Human chakra. It didn’t fight him. It blended and bent and did whatever he wanted, hypnotically simple.
So simple that he missed the backlash melting into his own chakra, sliding cool and vile up his arms as Minato’s blood flaked and dried and died. It was only when he started to shiver, feeling queasy, that he snapped his attention back to himself. Looked with Obito’s eye and saw the dark threads winding beneath his skin, like little leeching mouths. Saw where his chakra had gone strange and shocky, trying to contract inward. The bottom dropped out of his stomach. He broke the jutsu, letting all that addictive control go. Minato’s blood splashed on the grass.
Minato already had his head up, eyes narrowed. Or maybe he’d felt something in the snapback. He took a step forward.
Kakashi held up a hand, felt his entire body go nope, and sat down hard to put his head between his knees.
The Hokage held back, right hand clamped over the neat layers of clotting gauze and compression bandage swathing his left arm. Ryouma checked for blood leaking through, saw none, and bolted for Kakashi.
Grass squelched beneath his boots, releasing the thick iron scent. Kakashi still looked clean, no red in his hair, but his shoulders were curled and his head low. He held up one shaky finger and said thickly, “I’m fine.”
“You look like you’re gonna throw up. Or pass out.” Ryouma crouched beside him, uncapping his canteen. “Drink?”
Kakashi groped for the canteen without lifting his head. He took three noisy gulps, face hidden behind the bony angles of knee and shoulder, and spat the last mouthful on the ground. Mask restored, he looked up beneath the curtain of sweat-dampened hair. “How do you do your jutsu if it makes you feel like this every time?”
“It doesn’t really, anymore…” Although Naito-sensei said she could still sense a taint on his chakra almost a week after he’d last used Nikutai Hakai, and Genma confirmed it took a full day to fade from his perception. So was Ryouma just too used to blighted chakra to notice?
“Does your Raikiri make your chakra feel any different, afterward? When you’re not frying yourself, I mean.”
“Good, mostly,” Kakashi gritted out. He dropped his head between his knees again, breathing deeply.
“That looked great,” Jiraiya commented, behind them. “Right up to the point where you almost tossed your breakfast.” He waved a hand like a man fanning away an unpleasant stench. “Whew, feels like something crawled up in your chakra and died there. You okay, kiddo?”
“It’s not that bad,” Ryouma said, glaring up at him. “Just — rusty.” Like a blade returned uncleaned to its scabbard, clotted and smeared with crusted gobbets. He patted Kakashi’s shoulder. “Maybe you tangled some of the blood-chakra back into your own, when you set your hooks in to control it? And it’s not like you’ve got an elemental compatibility, like with Raikiri.”
Blood as an elemental compatability — somehow that sounded far more idiotic out loud than it had in his head.
“Speak for yourself, I think it’s nasty.” Jiraiya leaned down to offer Kakashi a massive hand. “Maybe Iebara had some kind of bloodline that let him tolerate the blowback. Or maybe he just ate it every time, and it screwed him up over time. Your report made him sound a little unhinged…”
“All over the landscape,” Kakashi muttered, with a certain ghoulish pleasure. He accepted the hand and let Jiraiya haul him up. “I need a shower. I need eight showers. Tousaki, you should try this, see if it does the same thing.”
“Maybe next time we’re in the field.” He certainly wasn’t going to practice with the Hokage’s blood. “I’ve got the seals down. It’d have to be before I use one of my own jutsu, though.”
“Field testing might be suboptimal for a jutsu with that sort of backlash,” Minato commented, arriving with Turtle and Squirrel hovering at his shoulders. He was still holding the compression bandage on his left arm, fending off Turtle’s murmured suggestions of “hospital before your next meeting, Hokage-sama?”
“I felt nothing,” the Hokage reported crisply, scuffing a booted foot over the slick grass. “Not until I sensed the effect on your chakra. What did it feel like from the inside?”
“Elation.” Kakashi arced his empty hand up in a graceful curve, then cut it straight down. “Crash. It’s not just the after-effects that made Iebara crazy, I suspect. There’s something… unnervingly easy about bending human blood. I didn’t see what it was doing to me until it got too strong to ignore.”
Ryouma’s jutsu certainly didn’t do that. But he’d never tried to control his targets’ chakra, just seized it as fuel and then withdrawn to let the Nikutai Tokasu do its work. “So it messes up your chakra because you’re trying to control something your chakra thinks you shouldn’t, and it messes up your head because it shouldn’t be fun and it is?”
“Interesting.” Jiraiya raised a brow, glancing at Minato. “I kind of want to ask the Princess about it, but she’d probably deck me for mentioning blood in her presence.”
“Lightning in your hands is fun,” Kakashi told Ryouma, ignoring his sensei’s sensei. “Blood in the air is…” He groped soundlessly for words for a moment. Then, with abrupt decisiveness, he emptied the canteen onto the ground, flipped out a kunai, and sliced the outside edge of his own left hand. He squeezed his dripping fist over the canteen’s mouth and directed Minato and Jiraiya, “You might wanna back up a bit.”
“Are you intending to give all members of your team blood issues?” Minato inquired, stepping back.
“The pot may keep its opinions to itself,” Kakashi said primly. He shook the canteen, listening to its gurgle, then flexed and clenched his fist tighter. “You’re up next, Tousaki. Do your worst.”
Behind them, Turtle murmured something that sounded like, “This family, I swear…”
“I try things in the field so I don’t explode people I know,” Ryouma hissed.
“Where’s the fun in that?” Kakashi asked, bright-eyed. He squeezed his hand once more, and his voice softened. “You can do this, Ryouma. You know you can.”
“That’s not the issue. I—”
But Jiraiya and Minato were still standing too close, despite Turtle’s best encouragements, and he wasn’t sure what the next words could be. He’d watched Kakashi practice this jutsu dozens of times, dry-seals or chakra-laden, on pig and rabbit and human blood. He knew the seals, the chakra twists; he’d suggested some of them himself. The thrill of a new jutsu hummed in his own veins even despite the risks. If it weren’t Kakashi, would he hesitate?
Jiraiya absently produced a new clotting bandage from the capacious haori sleeve, and asked Kakashi, “Got both eyes open?”
The lashes of Kakashi’s closed left eye fluttered against his scarred cheek. “I will.” He checked the slowing trickle of blood, shook the last drops into the canteen, and held out the container. Jiraiya compently swaddled the injured hand in clotting bandages.
Ryouma swallowed. He took the bamboo tube back, feeling its weight, its warmth. “If all you get is rot rain, remember you asked for this.”
Shadows shifted across Kakashi’s mask, pulled askew by movement beneath. The smile crept into his voice. “I don’t forget. You stall any longer, the chakra in that will die.”
Ryouma could have punched him. He pressed his palm over the open mouth of the canteen, instead, and jogged twenty meters to a clear patch of field. When he turned back, all five of them had clustered together to watch: Kakashi in front, Minato with his ANBU guards, Jiraiya with his arms crossed like a man withholding judgment until after the show.
Kakashi had both eyes open. He winked.
“Asshole,” Ryouma whispered. He set the canteen down.
He hadn’t fumbled a jutsu handseal since he was fifteen years old. His fingers found the shapes swiftly now. He molded his chakra through remembered patterns, sank it down into the open canteen at his feet, brought it back up in a crimson skein.
Droplets fell, two or three soft patters into the dry grass, but the main structure of it held. The hiltless blade he’d watched Kakashi build time and again, its edge wavery as water before it sharpened. He threw the canteen up into the air, brought the blade slashing down. Two hollow pieces fell cleanly severed.
You could slice a man in half with this. Kakashi’d beheaded a pig. Iebara could have killed any of them, at any time, if he hadn’t paused to play with his food. If you were smarter than him, faster— If you had a teammate you trusted to provide the initial blood source, so you didn’t even need to strike the first blow—
Even Iebara hadn’t used his teammates as blood-banks.
Ryouma pulled back. His connection to the blade stretched thin, then snapped. Not a clean termination, like cutting off the chakra flow to the Nikutai Tokasu; it felt like spiderwebs tearing, rebounding to coat his hands with their sticky strands. The collapsing blood-blade splashed his boots. The scent of it rose iron-thick to coat the back of his throat.
He stepped away. Two meters, three. The blood didn’t follow him, but the feeling of it did.
“You were right about the eight showers,” he said, scuffing back through the ankle-high grass. “I think I need to scrub my mind.”
“Right?” Kakashi said. He stepped forward, hair raked up off his forehead, black dots spinning slowly in a scarlet eye. “Your chakra seems to be clearing it faster.”
The bearskin weight of Jiraiya’s chakra swept over Ryouma, almost staggering him, and withdrew. “You didn’t go down on your ass, either,” he commented.
“That’s experience for you.” Ryouma resisted the urge to wipe his hands against his pants. “Not that my jutsu are much like that. I felt like— Like I was in a fight already, and everything in the world narrowed down just to the target and what I could do to him. Knowing I could, and it didn’t matter what it’d cost. Or who.”
Kakashi nodded, apparently satisfied by this experimental validation, and tipped his head at Minato. “Still a jutsu Konoha should have?”
“No wonder that Mist captain lost control of Iebara,” Jiraiya rumbled. “Sounds like a jutsu we shouldn’t let too many people get their hands on.” He tapped idly on the back of one armored hand-guard. “Mizukage’s lucky we took care of that problem for him before it bit him in the ass.”
Considering what else they’d done in Kirigakure, Ryouma doubted the Mizukage had much ground for gratitude, but he managed to hold his tongue.
Minato said wryly, “I seem to recall you protesting the last time I classified a technique as kinjutsu. I’m tempted— No, two trials is enough.” He glanced from his bandaged arm to Kakashi’s hand, and then up to study Kakashi’s unguarded eyes. Quietly, almost testingly, he said: “The tactical advantage is undeniable.”
“It is,” Kakashi said.
Their gazes held.
“Document it,” Minato said, at last. “File it with the Jutsu Records Office as S-class, provisionally kinjutsu. Not to be taught. Two authorized wielders, last resort use only.”
“You’re not gonna let me give it a go?” Jiraiya complained.
“Kakashi’s a little weak on his feet to be giving more blood,” Minato said dryly. “You’ll have to content yourself with being the only living senjutsu user, sensei.” He clapped Jiraiya on the shoulder. Since he had to reach up to do it, the effect was somewhat less dignified, but neither of them seemed to notice.
“Go take those showers,” Minato continued, dipping his chin at Kakashi and Ryouma. “If the effects on your chakra persist through the evening, record that too. And let me know. I’d just as soon not have an Uchiha or Hyuuga evaluating the course of your chakra just now, but we’ll risk it if needed.”
If their chakra were permanently tainted, would some Uchiha specialist be able to reconstruct the jutsu just from the stains in their pathways? Unlikely, Ryouma thought. But he might try to scare off stray Uchiha a little more aggressively after using the Nikutai Tokasu, from now on.
“One last thing.” Minato turned back, Squirrel and Turtle about-facing sharply at his shoulder. “Kinjutsu or not, that jutsu needs a name. Kakashi?”
“Instant Regret no Jutsu,” Kakashi said immediately. Then the little chainsaw of thought kicked in. “Sarcastic Bastard Sensei no Jutsu. Hokage-Says-No no Jutsu?”
“Rebellious Student Falls On His Ass Technique,” Minato suggested, with just a little bit of bite.
Kakashi snorted. Minato grinned, teeth and crow’s feet and bright, sharp eyes, and stepped out of the world with a ripple of chakra, taking the last word with him.
Turtle swore softly.
Her chakra was more subtle. Squirrel’s, too. Kakashi barely felt the shift as they both translocated away.
“It’s a good thing you’re not one of those dumbass ninja who yells his technique name before using it,” Ryouma murmured.
Jiraiya laughed. “Let me know what you decide to call it. I’ll let you know if I ever use it. And I won’t shout the name.”
“Moral Hangover no Jutsu,” Kakashi said.
Jiraiya collected his blood-stained gourd. “Keep thinking,” he said, and vanished with a thunderclap of chakra. Subtlety not being his preferred method of anything.
In the vacuum of their sudden absence, Kakashi looked at Ryouma and realized, with pleased, predatory surprise, that they were alone. There was blood on Ryouma’s cheekbone, a forgotten splash. Red on his boots, drying black. Shadows in his eyes, shards of anger and pride, the lingering arrogance of Iebara’s jutsu, which turned the world into blood and blades and yours.
Kakashi tilted his head, movement snaring Ryouma’s attention. “You should try again,” he said, soft and challenging. “I want to see if there’s a way to defend against it.”
A hesitation, sense warring against adrenaline. Ryouma’s eyes flashed and Kakashi had him. “Training Field 44?”
Forest of Death.
So many things to bleed there.
Kakashi grinned. “Meet you in the center.”
And then it was his turn to step out of the world.
Ryouma took the slow road, because space-time jutsu still rode him rough. It gave Kakashi time to hunt. Centipedes found him first. Lethal, but useless. Quickly dispatched. He wanted mammals. Fur, flesh, things with angry four-chambered hearts. Bigger than rabbits.
He found deer.
Relatives, perhaps, to the stag he’d killed the last time he was here. Fleet and aggressive, with ruby eyes and rich chakra and a matriarch that tried her best to crush him into the ground. He cut a half-dozen from the herd and drove them into the designated kill zone, fenced with genjutsu. Bears, wildcats. Deer had simple fears.
Ryouma arrived breathless, branch-whipped, sweat in his hair and battle in his eyes, pissed at having to run. He was a lovely dark thing, unholy in this green place. Kakashi split a stag’s skin and leapt back as blood ran down its flank, vibrant with inhuman chakra. Not nearly as malleable as a human’s, but closer. The stag squealed, wheeling, and froze on its hind legs when Ryouma wrenched its blood out in a river.
The body fell. The blood hung in the air, shimmering.
Kakashi flexed his fingers, anticipation shivering through his nerves. Ryouma’s chakra lurched, overburdened. Half of his weapon splashed the ground, forensic excess. The remainder pooled together, dense, denser, like mercury finding its shape, liquid becoming metal becoming sharp, and then there was a blade in the air. A meter long, beautiful in its wrongness, and Kakashi had to dodge before it carved him in half.
He caught the next swing on dual kunai, with a weird giving impact, like thumping earth. The blood bent but didn’t shear, just like Iebara’s. Kakashi shoved white chakra through both kunai. Ryouma’s blood-blade hissed, boiling water and flaking rust, splitting apart in the heat. Kakashi pressed and Ryouma gave, ripping the blood-blade back. Kakashi struck; Ryouma didn’t meet him. The blood roiled away like a living creature, undulating, dodging, distracting, fleeing—
Sometimes it was too easy to forget that Ryouma had a tactician’s brain buried under his flash and doubt.
A tendril whipped up through the leaf-mulch and wrapped around Kakashi’s ankle. Another struck down from a tree branch and caught his wrist, squeezing until bones ground. The kunai dropped from nerveless fingers. Shocked, Kakashi laughed. Ryouma bared his teeth, not quite a grin.
Kakashi pulled electricity through his skin, burning the blood where it touched him. Bindings broke away, but Ryouma was already marshaling his resources. Another deer choked and fell, long legs jerking in the leaves. Scarlet ropes spilled from its throat and filled the air, narrowing into fine, fine strings with razorblade edges.
A fast man could burn them all, but only if he had sufficient chakra.
Kakashi plunged into the ground, stealing Raidou’s favorite chakra trick, just before the strings clotted into a deadly cocoon where he’d just been standing. Swearing above his head, muffled by dirt. Panic drove the deer wild, bucking against his genjutsu. He let them go. The swearing intensified.
Well, if Ryouma was going to advertise himself.
Kakashi eased silently into Iebara’s jutsu, stealing threads of blood loosened by Ryouma’s distraction, and slipped out of the earth behind him. Ryouma’s head snapped around. Kakashi closed the net, trapping those long limbs in scarlet threads, and kicked Ryouma’s feet out from under him, taking him down to the ground. Pinned a knee on his sternum, driving the breath out of him.
The clone exploded. Ryouma hit Kakashi in the back.
They flipped over, slamming through threads that tangled and splashed, shredding and catching. Kakashi’s shoulder wrenched but didn’t dislocate. A leaping deer caught Ryouma in the thigh, kicking a bruise that would probably turn black. Kakashi kawarimi’d in that heartbeat of inattention, leaving Ryouma with an armful of hickory log for his troubles.
Battle lines drawn, Kakashi tore open the last deer within reach and went on the offensive.
Space-time jutsu risked nosebleeds, deadly when any blood drop could turn weaponized. Ryouma shaped another clone instead, spinning it up out of shadow and deer blood, and sent it hunting with its own crimson blood-blade in hand.
Frenzied deer bolted from it, snapping twigs and rustling branches. Ryouma slid silently away.
He’d learned more from the last mission than Don’t let a Kumo nin outdoors in lightning storms.
The clone called, mocking: “Tired yet? Or just can’t get it up? I can keep going all afternoon…”
Twin scythes, flashing red, sliced through the clone at chest and hip. The pieces puffed into smoke and flecks of dried blood. Kakashi’s scornful voice called through the trees: “Same trick doesn’t work twice.”
Yes, but Ryouma had a good idea of his location, now.
Kakashi’s blood-scythes were fresh and gleaming scarlet. The little blood Ryouma had remaining was barely enough to shape a dagger, and it flaked dark red and black at the edges: drying, dying, tugging him after it. His hands were cold. He flexed them, absently, and sent the dagger arcing arrow-swift through the trees.
It was so easy. He had the trick of it now. Blood bent with a thought, its trajectory controlled the way a kunai’s never could. Deer blood still died faster than Kakashi’s had, or slipped from his own chakra-grip more readily, but that was all right; there were more sources out there, hidden in the trees, bright warm pulses of life and chakra. His dagger skewered one. The doe screamed, a horrible rending sound that rose as she leaped, then broke with the distant sound of her body crashing down a ravine.
His chakra swept out.
And couldn’t hook, couldn’t sink in. The deer was there, he’d heard her die, but even though he could sense the life dimming from her body he couldn’t seize it. Effective range, he remembered: fifteen meters. The doe had fled too far before she died.
He’d have to remember to tell Kakashi.
But he had to take Kakashi down, first.
Dried blood on his boots, dead and useless. Flecks on his face, on his fingers, in his clothes and hair. A scratch on his thigh, where sharp-edged cloven hoof had torn fabric and skin and bruised the muscle beneath. He hadn’t given his own blood already, he had plenty to spare…
“What the fuck?”
Red split through leaves, slicing down at him. He dodged aside. “Kakashi, this jutsu is seriously fucked up!”
A flicker of crimson on the right. He spun. Kakashi hit him like a landslide from the left. They smashed into the leaf-mould, Kakashi on top with a knee in Ryouma’s gut and a hand around his throat. Real bodies, true pin. Kakashi’s hand was hot and sharp, lined in a gauntlet of spiked blood like red diamonds, clawed fingers delicately arching against Ryouma’s pulse.
He smiled down at Ryouma with both eyes open. The Sharingan eye spun, slow and deadly. The grey eye burned with a hectic glitter. His voice rasped. “Gotcha.”
Something at the back of Ryouma’s mind said, Fight. Rip. Tear. Kakashi had stolen blood from him once already, so it could be done. And Ryouma was stronger, he had more chakra, he’d mastered this jutsu on his first try, he was better—
His chakra rose like a wave.
He reached up. Grabbed Kakashi’s collar, and yanked him down. Tasted nothing but that damned mask — but, behind it, Kakashi’s mouth moved.
And bit Ryouma through the mask, hard.
For a moment Ryouma almost bit back. Then the blood guarding Kakashi’s hand melted and flowed down around Ryouma’s throat, tightening like a choker, yanking his head back into the dirt. Kakashi shoved him with it, hand planted over Ryouma’s sternum.
But his technique was wrong, messy: he wasn’t controlling Ryouma’s hands at all, or his hips. Ryouma could bridge beneath him. Could go for a sweep, or a kunai. A jutsu.
The blood still coating his hand was beginning to blacken and flake. Dying, and bringing backlash with it. Kakashi didn’t seem to notice. His eyes were hot, pupils huge, Sharingan spinning like a pinwheel in the wind. The heel of his hand pressed down on Ryouma’s sternum, spiking pain. The collar tightened.
Then Kakashi blinked. His eyes refocused. “Shit,” he hissed, and rocked back. The blood-collar splashed harmlessly down Ryouma’s throat and soaked into the ground beneath his head.
“I told you,” Ryouma coughed, raw-voiced. “It gets in your head.”
Kakashi’s hand grazed his throat again. Ryouma tensed, but the touch was soft, if unsteady: thumbing blood from pin-prick scratches, skimming over the ache that might blossom into a bruise. His Sharingan eye winced, slightly. “More than I thought.” The mismatched gaze lifted to Ryouma’s face. “You shook it off faster, again.”
“Kissed you instead of gutting you,” Ryouma agreed. “It was a close call.” He touched his tongue to the inside of his lip, which was swollen but not badly torn. “Nearly pulled my own blood, earlier, when I couldn’t get to a deer. I’m thinking maybe Hokage-sama’s right about ‘last resort.’”
“He usually is,” Kakashi said. He lifted his bandaged left hand and drew a lock of Ryouma’s bloody hair between bloody fingers. “I nearly pulled yours.”
He was still shivering, in tiny almost-unnoticeable tremors. Ryouma’s hands were still icy-cold, and his chakra surged hot. Backlash meeting reaction.
“Well, we didn’t,” Ryouma said. “Close your eye, you’re not allowed to pass out on me now. And, uh, if we’re not gonna make out like this, maybe let me up.”
Kakashi’s eye closed, dark lashes against pale skin and ridged scar. He didn’t get up. His right hand was still loose on Ryouma’s throat, thumb against his pulse. He shifted his weight, settling a little more firmly back on Ryouma’s hips, and leaned down. The mask brushed Ryouma’s mouth. “Maybe I like you where you are.”
Ryouma licked his bitten lip again. Superficially shredded skin, no blood. He watched Kakashi’s eye flicker down, following the movement.
The darkness at the back of his mind said, Distract him. Fight him. Win.
He was getting a little more practice at not listening to those dark voices, though.
And there was more than one use for the aggressive heat that built and surged against his skin.
He rocked his hips, bridging up and then settling down between Kakashi’s thighs. “Last time you pinned me like this, you didn’t know what to do with me. Got any better ideas now?”
Kakashi’s mouth curved. “Last time I had you pinned, I suborned you to my side, before you betrayed me. Last time you had me pinned…” He leaned forward and wrapped his hands around Ryouma’s wrists, lowered his mouth to Ryouma’s ear. “Oh wait, you’ve never had me pinned.”
Dangerous heat whispered through Ryouma’s scent.
“Have so.” His voice slid low, rough, striking sparks. His wrists flexed. “I had you with an armbar that one time, after I betrayed you. Just… not for long.”
Ryouma was a very good wrestler. Even when Kakashi knew it was coming, the actual strike was still a surprise. Muscle heaved. The red landscape tilted. Ryouma went for the easy holes in Kakashi’s defense and flipped them over — and found himself with empty arms, because Kakashi had been grappling stronger men since, well, the beginning. A sideslip, a twist, chakra shunted from this pivot to that grab, and he caught Ryouma from behind, locking a forearm around his throat. But carefully, because he’d already bruised once.
Something different, but related, went through Ryouma’s scent.
Bite him, Kakashi thought.
Draw blood. Put him dow—
Ryouma flattened him. Quick, brutal, total. Kakashi was upright, then he was on his back, blinking at the sky. A hand around his wrists. Hips between legs. Weight pressing down. It might have been frightening, if it hadn’t been Ryouma, and Kakashi hadn’t invited him. Instead, it was the most confusingly fast Kakashi had ever been turned on.
Okay then. No wonder Ryouma liked this.
It ground that dark little thought out of him. He didn’t want to hurt Ryouma. Iebara’s bastardized thing was just a jutsu, twisted and nasty and mind-warping, and Konoha could keep it in a box somewhere.
He wrapped his legs around Ryouma’s hips, breathed out bloody chaos, inhaled something better.
“Remember when you said you wanted me to fuck you?” he rasped. Twice. “We should do that. But I want you to go first.”
The landscape of his body had filtered strange today, not completely trustworthy. Ryouma had shaken loose twice. Pulled Kakashi back twice.
Ryouma looked down at him, eyes dark and searching. He rolled his hips, a slow, spine-tingling grind that made Kakashi catch his breath, and grinned at the unmistakable evidence of Kakashi’s arousal. “On a bed, this time?”
That meant finding a bed.
On the other hand, Kakashi wasn’t so blitzed that he wanted to have sex next to a heap of murdered deer.
“If you insist,” he said, but tightened his legs around Ryouma’s hips, locking them together for a shivery, sliding moment, and watched closely to see Ryouma’s pupils blow.
He got that and more — an indrawn breath, the heat of Ryouma hardening against him. The tight grip eased on his wrists. Ryouma propped himself up on an elbow by Kakashi’s head. “If you want me to top, you’re not getting your first time in a puddle of dead deer. Shower, bed, condoms, lube. Still want it?”
Kakashi blinked. Interesting little shiver there, too.
He probably shouldn’t tell Ryouma exactly how effective this sudden turn to the authoritative was proving. Except—
Ryouma blinked back. His eyes narrowed. “Taichou was right about those books, wasn’t he? Less messy. And— safer, for you. You don’t know where I’ve been. Not that I’ve been anywhere lately,” he tacked on hastily.
“You’ve been at the hospital,” Kakashi said patiently. “Getting eight hundred blood tests. I was there. And I don’t mind messy.” It was a little warm behind his mask. He tipped his head defiantly. “Unless you do.”
“Not really,” Ryouma said slowly. “But this is… a different kind of messy.” He released Kakashi’s wrists entirely, and traced a calloused finger down the edge of Kakashi’s jaw; a light touch that left heat in its wake. Then he pinned Kakashi’s chin between his thumb and finger, which was more pinchy and confusing than hot, but Kakashi waited for enlightenment. “Anyone else you haven’t been to the hospital with, anyone you don’t know they’re clean— you’d be safe, right? Because if Taichou ever finds out I was your first time and I didn’t teach you right, he’ll rip my head clean off.”
Oh good gods.
It was wrong to laugh in Ryouma’s earnest, intent, trying-to-do-the-honorable-thing face, but it was either that or die of a lung injury. Kakashi crumpled into helpless, offended, maybe-slightly-touched laughter, and had to cover his face until it went away. “Okay,” he managed, when he’d resurfaced. “One, scarier people than you have given me the safe sex talk, and I paid attention, I promise. Two, you are not a random sociopath in a dark alley. Three—” Ryouma was sitting back on his heels. Kakashi pushed himself upright, scraped blood-tacky leaves out of his hair, and finished, “I want you to come in me. If we’re doing this, and I want to do this, I want the whole experience.” His mouth lifted at the corner, picturing Ryouma falling apart. “I want to feel that.”
Ryouma couldn’t have looked more poleaxed if Kakashi had actually pulled out a beam and whacked him with it. The faint trace of offended hurt was wiped away clean. His eyes, already dark, went fathomless. He touched his tongue to his swollen lower lip, tracing the dent Kakashi had bitten there. “Okay. All right. I mean— Yes. Let’s go.”
He lurched upright, graceless as a civilian until he reached out a hand and Kakashi took it. it was steady, solid strength that pulled Kakashi to his feet, and a warm kiss that met him there. Still through the mask, but the cloth was thin.
Kakashi kissed him back, hard.
They left Ryouma’s way, on foot, trusting the forest to take care of the bodies. It had plenty of practice.
The ANBU showers were about as romantic as everything else in ANBU, being primarily a place to wash away blood and bad judgement, which they did with hot, strong water and, in Ryouma’s case, good soap. Kakashi took his own stall and scrubbed with more attention than usual, lathering and sluicing twice, until the water ran clear.
He ducked into his room after, to change (twice) and brush his teeth (twice), replace the bandage on his hand, swear quietly at his hair, and pause for a moment, for two deep breaths, before he went to Ryouma’s.
Since the door was closed, he knocked lightly with his knuckles. Heard the scuff of footsteps, the latch click, and then there was Ryouma. Water on his collarbones, towel around his hips, hair raked into wet black spikes. Muscles sliding easy-loose after exercise and hot water. Tattoos and bruises competing for color on tanned skin. Bitten mouth breaking into a smile.
“Hi,” he said.
Something in Kakashi’s chest settled into place, warm and welcome. “Hi,” he said, and pushed Ryouma back into his room, kicking the door closed behind them.
“Change your mind?” Ryouma said, giving way without, for once, tripping on anything.
He’d made a quick sweep of the room, after showering and instead of clothes. Clean sheets, dirty clothes off the floor and in the basket, recently-repaired armor back on its stand instead of dumped at the foot of his bed. He’d left the window closed, drawn the dusty blinds. Turned on the lamp, instead of the overhead light. Wished briefly, idiotically, for candles; but they’d probably have made Kakashi sneeze. Or make fun of him.
“No,” Kakashi said. He didn’t glance down at the tidy floor or the empty sink. He was fully dressed, in black pants and the long-sleeved red shirt Ryouma’d seen him wear once before, with the edges of his black mask vanishing below the stretched-loose collar. Barefoot, though, and wearing a black cloth eyepatch in place of his slanted hitai-ate. His spread hand pushed at the center of Ryouma’s chest. His thigh nudged between Ryouma’s knees.
Ryouma stepped back. The edge of the bed bumped against his legs. Kakashi shoved, and Ryouma let himself fall.
Kakashi followed him down, straddling him on the bed. This time his knees fully controlled Ryouma’s hips, his weight landing just north of the tucked towel. His eye curved with a predatory glint. “Did you?”
“I forgot what we’re talking about,” Ryouma said. He lifted a hand. Almost asked to touch, and then deliberately didn’t. The red cloth was soft under his fingers, and beneath it Kakashi’s skin was smooth and warm.
A low, purring note vibrated in Kakashi’s chest. He sat back and stripped off the shirt. It landed somewhere on the floor. Kakashi leaned forward again, lamplight gilding the play of muscles under marble skin. He’d replaced the clotting bandage on his cut left hand with a flesh-toned adhesive, and only a few more scratches marred the polished perfection of his chest and shoulders.
Blunt nails raked lightly down from Ryouma’s collarbones to follow the tattooed curve of the dragon’s back over his chest. “I hope you remember everything else.”
“I’m going to remember this,” Ryouma promised him. He curved his palm against Kakashi’s side again, skimmed up to the ridges of muscle over ribs, down to bump against the elastic waistband of his pants. Up again, over his back. Calluses rasped over scarless skin. He curled his fingers in, adding a gentle scrape of nails, and Kakashi hissed and arched into his touch.
Ryouma flattened his palm, pulling Kakashi down, and kissed him.
Kakashi met the kiss with swift enthusiasm, only partly mask-filtered. The faint warmth of his breath still seeped through; the pressure of his mouth, the movement of his lower lip. His weight came down more fully onto Ryouma’s torso. Warm skin, the taste of damp cotton, the tingling scrape of Kakashi’s nails up toward Ryouma’s shoulder. His fingers dug into muscle there. He pulled back. “Close your eyes.”
He was beautiful in the lamplight. Damp hair and masked face and single eye and all. His eye was intent, narrowed, the pupil already wide. His mask clung wetly to the shape of his mouth and wrinkled over his collarbones. The narrow lines of his waist were calligraphy. Ryouma looked at him and it hurt.
He closed his eyes.
Cloth rustled. Something soft hit the floor. Kakashi’s fingers slid up Ryouma’s jaw. His thumb dragged against Ryouma’s swollen lower lip, and then his mouth replaced it. Bare lips, the swipe of a wet tongue, a cool taste of mint.
It was gentle, at first. Almost exploratory, as they found a rhythm of breath and bite and suck. Ryouma’s hands roamed up and down Kakashi’s bare back, learning the valleys between muscles and the ridges of bone. He was hard, with Kakashi’s weight centered just above his pelvis, but it didn’t really matter; this was good enough…
Then the sharp edge of Kakashi’s teeth nipped his lower lip again, and the kiss turned distinctly less gentle.
Ryouma groaned encouragement and rolled his hips up. Kakashi’s weight shifted back, pinning him firmly down. His hand tightened on Ryouma’s jaw. He kissed Ryouma like Ryouma’d wanted in the forest, hard and hot and messy. Stealing his breath, replacing it with his own. Ryouma met him hungrily. He dragged his nails down Kakashi’s back, and Kakashi shoved his jaw to the side and held him there, pinned, while Kakashi’s mouth moved down his throat.
“Yes,” Ryouma gasped. “Yes, mark me there—”
Kakashi bit him over the tendon, where his clawed blood-gauntlet had left scratches and a darkening bruise, and then licked the place and sucked deeply. He left the wet skin stinging as he moved down. To Ryouma’s collarbone, where any uniform shirt would cover with no need for concealing bruising; to his sternum, and then his pierced nipple. His tongue flicked the ring. Ryouma’s hips jerked.
Soft laughter, in the darkness. Kakashi released Ryouma’s jaw and slid down his body and off the bed, taking the towel with him. A faint thud as knees hit a padded floor. He was between Ryouma’s own knees, his shoulders forcing Ryouma’s thighs to spread. He pressed a kiss and then a bite to Ryouma’s inner thigh, light and teasing.
His hand wrapped around Ryouma’s cock. He paused.
Ryouma couldn’t reach him. He threw an arm over his eyes, blocking any inadvertent slip, and dug the other hand into the clean bedspread. “Fuck, yes,” he said.
Kakashi’s mouth closed over the head of his cock. Soft lips shielding teeth, wet tongue curling, hot and slick and perfect. He sucked briefly. The firm ring of his fingers moved up and down, and Ryouma’s hips stuttered into play against them.
“Sorry,” he gasped. Kakashi pulled off, releasing him; he tried to hold still. “Sorry. Manners. I know.” The air was mercilessly cold after the exquisite heat of Kakashi’s mouth.
A thumb rubbed slowly over the head of Ryouma’s cock. Contemplative, or teasing. Ryouma strangled a whine.
Then thought better of it. He had a corner room; the neighbor on his other side was on a mission. Who was there to hear? Who would care? Aside from, maybe, Kakashi.
Kakashi’s free hand wrapped firmly over Ryouma’s hipbone and pressed down, anchoring him to the bed. An iron grip, with muscle and maybe chakra behind it. His chakra presence was pinned down tightly beneath his skin, but this close Ryouma could feel its surge and crackle.
“It’s hot,” Kakashi said. “You’re welcome to try again, if you can.”
He opened his other hand, licked a searing stripe up the underside of Ryouma’s cock, and then wrapped his fingers tighter and took Ryouma into his mouth again.
Ryouma let himself groan. Let his hips try to buck, and couldn’t. “Fuck, you’re strong,” he gasped, as Kakashi’s lips and tongue and fingers worked on him, as heat and pleasure built in his veins and every touch struck sparks against his nerves. “I love that you can pin me. I don’t have to hold back with you. Have to run to keep up with you. Shit, that’s good, do that again. Yes. Right there.”
Kakashi made a low, pleased sound that vibrated somewhere between a hum and a growl, shivering through Ryouma’s oversensitive skin. His tongue flirted against the underside of the glans. Teeth grazed briefly, but pulled back. He readjusted, tried again.
“That’s good, you’ve almost got it, fuck— No, no, you’re okay, do that again. You can use your fingers if you want. Gyuh.”
He felt Kakashi laughing, soundless, wrapped around him; fingers still moving, slipping spit-slick down between Ryouma’s thighs to fondle and tease. He recognized some of his own tricks from the tanuki pond or from more recent blowjobs in this same room. Kakashi had them down nearly perfect, with only the occasional graze of teeth or hitch of hesitation as he grew accustomed to Ryouma’s length and girth. He was solely devoting mouth and tongue to Ryouma’s cock now, drawing him deeper into that gorgeous wet heat, and it was getting harder to breathe and think at the same time—
Kakashi choked and drew off, coughing. “Okay, how do you do that?”
“You don’t… don’t have to.” Ryouma sat up, eyes still closed. Reached blindly and found the damp tuft of Kakashi’s hair. “You’re doing great. Fine without it. More than fine.”
Soft strands slipped between his fingers. Kakashi turned his head, kissed the palm of Ryouma’s hand, and then nipped his thumb. “Have you met me? Tell me how to do this right.”
“You can’t Sharingan deep-throating.” Well, obviously. Kakashi knew that. Ryouma tried to reconstruct his half-melted brain. “Um. Try to align your mouth and throat— that’s gonna be harder in this position, I can get up—”
The iron grip at his hip pushed him back. “Or not. Okay. Relax the back of your throat. Like you’re trying to swallow a blood pill without tasting it. Breathe through your nose before you take me deep. And then just take my cock to the back of your throat and hold it there, maybe count of ten, before you pull back. Helps to desensitize. Do that two or three times before you try anything more. But if it’s not working, honestly—”
Kakashi shoved him flat. Cool breath whispered over Ryouma’s overheated skin again, and then Kakashi swallowed him down.
“Fuck, that feels good.” Ryouma fought to stay coherent enough for coaching. “Count of ten, okay, that’s probably a seven, six, five, you should pull off now, I’m tapping out…”
Kakashi pulled off, coughing. Took a moment to catch his breath; tried again. This time he made it the full ten seconds. The third time, only eight before he gagged, choked. He rocked back on his knees, wiping away tears with the heel of his hand. It was a frustrating challenge. He could do it, force it — mostly, maybe. The need to breathe was a strong reflex.
Ryouma was also large, which boded interestingly for later.
Running his hand up and down the length of Ryouma’s cock, slick-hot, shiny wet, firm but yielding, Kakashi considered his options. Ryouma had done this for him, more than once, and it felt like being unwound from the core. Kakashi wanted to do that. He wanted to see Ryouma come meltingly apart, liquid and helpless, just from the skill of Kakashi’s mouth.
A deeper breath, a settling of over-sensitized nerves. Kakashi closed his mouth around the head, flicked his tongue to hear Ryouma groan. The taste was better now; initially bitter, replaced by wet skin and salt. Kakashi inhaled through his nose — clearer, colder without the mask in the way — and slid down, down. Hard palate, back of the throat, farther. His throat spasmed, clenching, which made Ryouma grab convulsively at the sheets. Kakashi still wasn’t at the base, but close. Seven, eight, nine…
Ryouma’s hand caught in his hair, tugging. Kakashi slapped him, which made Ryouma choke on a laugh and a protest, throttling into a groan. Impulsively, Kakashi rolled a tingle of chakra across his tongue.
The sound Ryouma was making broke higher, urgent. His hips jerked unevenly, fighting not to thrust. Kakashi tightened his grip, pulled off, snatched a breath, and went down again. It was— not easier, exactly, but better with practice. His eyes still burned, but a flicker of chakra applied to his gag reflex bludgeoned the nerves quiet. And more, handled with significantly finer control, chased sparks around the inside of his mouth. Down the length of Ryouma’s shaft, flitting along the underside of the frenulum, where Kakashi knew Ryouma liked a feather-touch.
Ryouma got out half a raw-voiced warning, and came down Kakashi’s throat.
As sensations went, Kakashi might have enjoyed it more if he hadn’t completely run out of air. He lurched back before Ryouma was done, coughing, and caught half of it on the chin. Ryouma made a dazed, alarmed sound and shoved halfway up on an elbow. Kakashi knocked him back down and twisted the hand still wrapped around the base of Ryouma’s cock, wringing a long groan and absolute surrender from him. A few final drops slid down Kakashi’s knuckles.
He licked his teeth, bitterness on his tongue and in the back of his throat. Cracked his jaw, which ached, use Ryouma’s towel to wipe his face, and grinned. “Ten points to me.”
“Twenty points,” Ryouma said distantly. “One hundred… You are a quick learner.” He had one arm still flung over his face, shielding his eyes. The other hand beckoned. “Come up?”
Kakashi’s mouth quirked. Ryouma almost always wanted to cuddle right after he came. Something Kakashi was just fine with, since it meant he got to sprawl across Ryouma’s chest and breathe him in while Ryouma floated back down to earth.
He let himself be pulled up onto the bed and took his place, lowering his weight on Ryouma, grounding him down. Ryouma’s skin gleamed with sweat, drawing light to his collarbones, the sharp edge of his jaw, the swell of a biceps. Behind the angle of his arm, his dark hair was half-dried and spiked in a hundred directions. Actual bedhead. He smelled like banked fires and blown-out storms, energy expanded. Like himself, happy and safe, and a little bit like soap.
Kakashi was comfortably hard, erection trapped between his body and Ryouma’s hip. Arousal hummed through his veins, ready to be stoked, but not yet urgent. He traced a thumb over Ryouma’s arm, following the path from deltoid to triceps, and said, “Feedback for next time?”
“Yes to next time,” Ryouma said hazily. He drew his free arm around Kakashi’s shoulders, just holding on for a pleasant moment, before he loosened the grip and rubbed his palm over Kakashi’s bare back. “Pinning me was really good. When you pushed my head down and bit my throat. The flutter you do with your tongue on my cockhead. And that chakra trick. Fuck. You don’t need to worry about copying anyone else, you’re good all on your own.”
Kakashi smiled smugly, mouth curving against Ryouma’s chest. Skin-to-skin. It still felt strange, like it always did. Too naked, missing something. But it had its advantages. For example, being able to press his mouth to an unscarred stretch of warm, tan skin and suck a deep red bruise, while Ryouma hissed unconvincingly and grinned under his arm.
He’d never tried to look at Kakashi’s face. Not once.
Kakashi said, “How do you want to do this next bit?”
“Ah,” Ryouma said. He made a visible effort to scrape himself together, though he kept his arm over his eyes. “Um. You cleaned up pretty thoroughly in the shower, right?”
“Very,” Kakashi assured him.
“Okay. That’s good. That’s…” Ryouma trailed off briefly, muscles gone buttery, until Kakashi flicked him on the nipple ring. He jerked, shook his head, and reconstructed his Sex Coach persona. “Sorry. You’ll want a lot of fingering. And a lot of lube. It’ll probably be easiest if you start out on your stomach. You… could even stay that way, if you don’t want to put your mask on. I won’t be able to see. But you won’t have any control, either. Or we could go the other direction and have me on my back — blindfolded, maybe, that’d be safer — and you riding me. You can choose depth and speed better. Or there’s plenty of other positions, if neither of those appeal.”
Both positions appealed. On his stomach, or his knees, for the animal-rutting wildness of it. Or the other, for the control, and for seeing Ryouma’s face while Kakashi rode him. Except that Kakashi would only see half of it, if Ryouma was blindfolded.
Kakashi desperately did not want to put his mask back on.
In the end, it was a simple moment. He sat up, half-straddling Ryouma’s lap. Took a breath to settle the twist in his belly, which hadn’t hurt the first time they’d had sex, or the second, or a moment ago, giving his first-ever blowjob, or even at the thought of wanting Ryouma to fuck him. But it hurt now, anxious. He said, “You can open your eyes.”
Ryouma went still. His arm didn’t move. His tongue touched his lower lip, a nervous slip. “You— Are you sure?”
Kakashi almost smacked him for that. Almost laughed, but it would have sounded terrible. “No, but I want my boyfriend to see me when he fucks me. So, yes, open your eyes.”
Muscles tensed in Ryouma’s arm. He lifted it, slowly, like a man raising a girder, and looked at Kakashi from under the shadow. His eyes were huge, dark, shocked. They flickered from Kakashi’s hairline to his mouth to his chin, back up. Not quite fixing on any feature or cataloguing the whole. Just… looking. With a detached kind of thoroughness, Kakashi pulled off the eyepatch and dropped it silently. He kept the Sharingan closed, rubbed the line the cord had left on his temple. Ryouma’s eyes tracked the movement, drinking it in.
It felt something like being skinned. Or being already skinless and having the wind touch open nerves. Like his face was made of glass, and Ryouma could look through it to all the things Kakashi preferred he didn’t see. Or, worse, that he’d see someone else entirely. Even though he had no reason to, and Kakashi knew that, it was still hard to breathe.
Ryouma said, finally, hoarsely, “Can I kiss you?”
It was so not what Kakashi had expected him to say, that Kakashi just said, “Yes.”
Ryouma sat up, slowly, carefully, as if he expected the moment — or Kakashi — to disappear. The movement settled Kakashi more firmly across his lap, knees digging into the mattress. Ryouma was entirely naked. Kakashi was still wearing pants. It seemed like that ought to mean something, but Kakashi was too distracted by Ryouma’s hand lifting to puzzle it out. One fingertip, two, grazed Kakashi’s cheekbone, ever so lightly.
Ryouma watched him closely; waiting, Kakashi suspected distantly, for Kakashi to duck or attack or leap out the window. When Kakashi continued to sit, hands resting loosely on his own thighs, Ryouma closed the final gap between them. He shut his eyes at the very last moment, and kissed Kakashi.
It was warm and familiar and it made Kakashi want to cry a little, for reasons he couldn’t quite decide.
He kissed Ryouma back, until he was out of air again. Then he pressed his forehead to Ryouma’s collarbone, in shadow and safety, to pull himself back together enough for words. Gentle hands rubbed up and down his spine.
Ryouma was waiting patiently when Kakashi lifted his head. Kakashi chewed the corner of his lip, an old bad habit, now visible. Dark eyes tracked it, filed it.
Kakashi managed a very faint smile. “What d’you think?”
The smile… did things to Kakashi’s face.
Of course it did. That’s what smiles were for. They weren’t just the glimmer of a single eye squeezed into a curve of dark lashes. The eye curved because cheek muscles bunched, a little crooked on one side. Lips stretched thin, pulled very slightly askew by a white scar that sliced down the left corner of his mouth.
Ryouma remembered that scar. A rain-lashed night outside Ibaragashi, a shredded mask, scattered glimpses of a face he’d tried not to see. He touched it now, finding the almost imperceptible ridging of old stitches. Kakashi must not have had a medic around for that one. Or the other, a sharp cut on the right side of his jaw, just dropping off the edge of bone. Both of them were white with age. Only the scar that sliced down through his closed left eye had darkened, as if the urgency of its healing had disrupted natural processes.
His skin was paler under the mask, where light never touched. Blue veins traced up his throat. He’d shaved in the shower; the skin of his jaw was almost as smooth as the inside of his wrist. As transparently fragile as the delicate, shadowed skin under his anxious eye.
The smile had slipped away, sometime in that long moment where Ryouma was forgetting how to use words.
Color flooded into Kakashi’s pale cheeks. He ducked his head, rubbed the back of his neck, and finally, uncertainly, offered, “Thank you.”
The blush went all the way down his throat, warming the icy hollows of his collarbones. Ryouma wanted to lick it. He tried to scramble his brain back into some semblance of coherence. “No frog mouth, after all. And your skin’s cleared up.”
Wait, that wasn’t exactly seductive…
Kakashi blinked, a flicker of red under the scarred left lid before he closed the Sharingan tight again. “My sk—?” Realization dawned, or memory. He snorted laughter and whacked Ryouma’s shoulder. “Asshole.”
“Laughter looks good on you,” Ryouma told him. He sketched his fingers up the cut-glass angle of cheek. Warm skin, softer than the fabric of a mask. “I like the way your eye crinkles, and your teeth flash.” They were sharp, his canines pointed, like a young Inuzuka’s. “You’ve got a dimple on the right side, did you know?”
Kakashi tilted his head into Ryouma’s touch, cheekbone fitting into the curve of Ryouma’s palm. His shoulders lifted in a careless shrug, but the corners of his mouth twitched with the hint of a grin. “Is that good?”
He didn’t often fish for compliments. Feedback was different, that was an effort to get better, but this… This was hope and uncertainty, teasing mixed with testing. It made Ryouma’s chest hurt a little. He stroked his thumb down to the hidden dimple. “It’s cute. You’re cute. I like your nose. And the shape of your upper lip. The color of your mouth. I wish I’d seen you sucking my cock. I mean— Keeping my eyes closed was fine, too. Sexy. But I really like looking at you.”
Without the mask or eyepatch, Kakashi’s expressions were as transparent as water. Doubt in the tilt of his brows, embarrassment in the renewed flush of his cheeks. But pleasure warmed his growing smile at Ryouma’s last words, and his pupils dilated with sharpening interest. “Beautiful and cute. If I had a stake in masculine ego, it might be bruised by now.”
“Ooh, bruising,” Ryouma said. “Kinky.”
Kakashi’s grin unsheathed. He shoved Ryouma back onto his elbows and leaned over him, demanding a harder kiss. His mouth was hot and wet, still faintly flavored with Ryouma’s cum. Ryouma licked the needle points of Kakashi’s teeth, and felt the unmistakable pressure of Kakashi’s arousal growing against his stomach.
“I want you naked,” he gasped, when Kakashi gave him air again.
Challenge sparked in Kakashi’s eye. He bent down and bit the corner of Ryouma’s jaw, not gently. His voice was a rumble and a hot breath against Ryouma’s ear. “Then get me naked.”
Ryouma flipped him.
There was a perilous moment of struggle on the edge of the too-narrow bed. One of the pillows fell off; Kakashi didn’t. Ryouma nearly wrenched his back rescuing him. They were both laughing again, bright-eyed and breathless. Ryouma pinned Kakashi with a forearm across the taut abdomen and worked his waistband down with the other.
Loose pants were easy enough, but the tighter-fitting trunks required cooperation. Kakashi lifted his hips obligingly. The flush had spread from his throat down his chest. His freed cock was blood-dark too, gorgeously erect. Ryouma surrendered freely to temptation and bent down to lick the first salty drops from the tip. “Might be easier, working you open, if you’ve come first.”
Kakashi drew a harsh breath. His head fell back into the surviving pillow.
That seemed clear enough. Ryouma settled himself a little more comfortably on his elbows and leaned in to close his mouth around Kakashi’s cock.
Without warning, a sharp tug in his hair jerked his head up. Kakashi’s nails scraped against his scalp. He was looking down, his narrowed gaze fierce, lips pulled back from those dangerous teeth. The growl rumbled through his body. “I want to come while you’re inside me.”
The banked embers of Ryouma’s own arousal blazed up again. “Keep using that voice, I might not make it inside you… Can you reach that bottle beside the bed? Toss it to me.”
Kakashi reached out without looking, swept up the bottle of scentless lube Ryouma had left on the low weapons locker beside the bed, and slapped it into Ryouma’s hand. His entire body was a wire pulled taut. He spread his legs, white thighs lean and rigid with muscle, and Ryouma had to remind himself to breathe.
Then he said it aloud. “Breathe. Ease up, Kakashi. This isn’t like tensing up before a fight.” He tucked the bottle against his own deer-bruised thigh and ran his hands up Kakashi’s legs, calling a touch of warming chakra into his fingertips. Massaging, coaxing, soothing. “First time you fuck me, we can do it as hard and fast as you want. This time we go slow. Think you can hold on that long?”
Kakashi scowled at him, and this was something else Ryouma was going to remember: the way his whole face engaged, brow crinkling, lips thinning, the slightest scrunch of his nose. “Yes,” he growled, in the same tone he might’ve used for Challenge Accepted.
But he seemed to be making an effort to relax into Ryouma’s touch. His clenched hands opened on the sheets. Tight muscles loosened. When Ryouma invited him to roll over, he went almost pliantly.
“You’re doing really well,” Ryouma told him. He uncapped the bottle at last, warmed a little liquid in his hands, and returned slick fingers to Kakashi’s upper thighs. Accustoming him to the slide, to the newly slippery rub of skin against skin. “Lift your hips a little… Here, use this pillow.” He scavenged the one that had fallen on the floor, helped Kakashi position it supportively. “Need another? Okay, that’s good. Just— Talk to me if you need anything. If you want me to stop, or do something more, or something else…”
Kakashi glanced over his shoulder. The edge of his bare mouth crooked up. The dimple crept out of hiding. “Ryouma? Breathe.”
“Hah. Fuck.” Ryouma bent forward over Kakashi’s side, hiding his face between his arm and Kakashi’s flank. He tried two quick breaths, one deeper. “Sorry. I didn’t think this’d be…”
I want my boyfriend to see me when he fucks me, Kakashi had said.
Ryouma’d tried not to come apart at those words. He’d had Kakashi’s face to focus on, and that’d helped: Kakashi’s own vulnerability, his absolute trust, his beauty like an ice-forged knife. Kakashi’s fear, and his bravery, and Ryouma had to soothe one and match the other.
He drew another breath. “I want this to be good for you.”
“If it isn’t,” Kakashi said, “we’ll do it again.”
Ryouma snorted a laugh. Then he felt Kakashi’s muscles shift beneath him. He looked up.
Kakashi had settled down again, his head pillowed on his arms, deliberately relaxed. “You’re supposed to enjoy this too, remember? Just show me what you like. I’ll tell you if something hurts.”
“As long as you tell me with words, and not an elbow in my ear…”
Though, physical violence he could defend against. Words had always cut deepest.
But the right words didn’t always come easy to Kakashi, and yet he didn’t stop hunting for them. Listening for what Ryouma needed, and giving it.
I want my boyfriend to see me.
Ryouma kissed the hollow at the base of Kakashi’s spine, and reached for the lube again. “All right. I’m gonna take my time with this. Go ahead and rub into the pillow when you need to. I’ll hold you down.”
He slicked his fingers, and set to work.
It was… a weird sensation.
Kakashi had experimented on his own, once or twice, curious or bored or Motivated By Science. He’d concluded it was a lot of effort and fuss for nothing much. And unless he wanted to invest in pricey toys, anal play required a degree of self-contortion that even a flexible ninja found off-putting.
Adding someone else, however.
Kakashi’s hands clenched in the sheets. Ryouma’s fingers slid and flexed and coaxed reluctant nerves to give up sensation like melted sparks. It had been unpleasant at first, tight and intrusive, skirting painful. Now it was…
He’d always liked Ryouma’s hands.
More fingers, more stretch. Kakashi pressed his forehead against his knuckles and thought, relax relax relax. He was very aware of the back of his neck. Ryouma’s free hand curled around his hip, steadying. Kakashi tried to take notes: rhythm, order, things he’d want to repeat later, but his attention kept jumping the tracks. Stuttering derailment. Ryouma’s fingertips grazed something — prostate, perineal node, magical service entrance to the Garden of the Jade Emperor — and a startling wave of body-pleasure made the muscles surrounding Kakashi’s spine lock up. He bit off a shocked sound. Ryouma paused.
Valiantly, Kakashi didn’t kick him in the head.
A moment, two. Ryouma’s free hand loosened its hold; blunt nails scraped over Kakashi’s lower back, distracting. Then a broad palm, soothing. Kakashi eased back down. Ryouma pressed a kiss to his hipbone, then did the exact same finger movement and little bits of Kakashi’s brain carbonized.
It took a second to refocus. He was breathing fast, painfully hard, caught between rocking forward and pressing back. Ryouma’s pillow-rubbing suggestion did nothing helpful and also made him feel ridiculous.
“Stop,” he said. “Done. No more fingers. Get in me.”
Ryouma’s laugh was ragged. A kiss, hot and breathless against Kakashi’s lower back. “Don’t rush this part, you’ll regret it… Think you’re close, though. Okay. Work with me here.”
A final slippery stretch and glide that nearly made Kakashi bite through his bottom lip, then Ryouma pulled out and both broad hands settled around Kakashi’s hips. Easy strength lifted Kakashi back and up. Ryouma turned them both, settling his own back against the wall, sitting up, and guiding Kakashi into his lap and down onto his cock.
Definitely bigger than fingers.
Blunt, slick pressure. Kakashi clenched his hands on Ryouma’s shoulders, catching his breath. Ryouma didn’t yank him down; the grip held steady at Kakashi’s waist, patient.
Kakashi exhaled and, very slowly, started to sink down. He paused, wincing. On the scale of critical injury pain, it was less than a one; not enough to impede a mission or require intervention, but it was a very intimate less-than-one. He could muscle through it. Or… he could wait.
He waited. Ryouma’s face had an interesting inward look to it, pupils wide and dark.
Kakashi eased down.
In a purely academic sense, it was amazing what the body could adjust to. More practically, Kakashi was torn between pride and regret at choosing a partner built like a redwood.
It was a lot further down than he’d thought, but finally he was seated, stretched and full and breathless. Ryouma’s hands stroked up and down his back. Kakashi dropped his forehead against Ryouma’s collarbone and wheezed a little, mostly in victory. Then he remembered he was supposed to move.
He became aware that Ryouma was talking to him, a low rumble of words Kakashi could feel in his chest. “You’re doing so well. So proud. Fuck, you feel good. So hot, so good. Take your time. You’re doing great.”
“Damn right,” Kakashi gasped, which made Ryouma laugh, which translated to a sensation that made Kakashi swear, but in good ways.
Kakashi lifted himself, a burning glide of movement. Emptiness, slick thighs, and then down again. Stretch, breathlessness. Ryouma was heavy in him, forcing Kakashi’s body to accommodate. It did things to him. Bypassed thought and went straight to the spine, the hindbrain, dark and wonderful. Shivers all over his skin. Layers of mind folded up and went quiet. The distant parts that watched him, the parts that watched them, the note-takers and dissectors and little whisperers of judgement and tactics, all abruptly divorced by a complete focus on body.
Lift, settle. Ryouma caught him this time, a solid arm across the back and a roll of hips that changed the angle and made Kakashi’s mouth drop open. He missed the rhythm of his next rise; Ryouma lifted and Kakashi sank, taking Ryouma deeper. He gasped; Ryouma groaned. “Yes, that’s it. Fuck yourself on me.”
Kakashi had gone half-soft at the initial sting and strangeness, but he was hard again now. Urgent and wanting. It felt different with Ryouma in him; deeper, better. He clawed his way back to a rhythm, taking control of the speed and depth. Dug his nails into Ryouma’s shoulders. Ryouma shuddered. Kakashi grinned, tight, and sped them up. That hurt a little, but it also felt good. Skin slapped together, lewd. Sweat slid down his back.
“Bonus to this position,” Ryouma panted, with a wicked grin, and caught Kakashi’s mouth as Kakashi bottomed out. A deep, skillful kiss, tongue sliding past Kakashi’s teeth, hands wrapping Kakashi’s hips to hold him still for it. Goosebumps prickled down Kakashi’s arms. It was… a lot, all at once, fucked and open everywhere. Naked, seen.
But Ryouma’s hands were strong and warm, and it still felt good, and for once Kakashi didn’t have to listen to that shift of uncertainty. He could press into that kiss, grind down on Ryouma, melt in and feel. Kiss back harder, lose himself in it.
Ryouma’s hand wrapped around his cock, fingers still slick with lube. Electricity crackled down Kakashi’s spine.
He jerked, shocked, and bit Ryouma’s tongue.
Not hard enough to break skin, mostly from pure luck. Ryouma groaned, a noise dragged from somewhere primal, and slammed up into Kakashi. Kakashi’s vision splintered white. Everything else was red, burning. Sparks and smoke and holyfuck. He wasn’t even sure what noise he made.
“Lip,” Ryouma gasped, when Kakashi could hear again. “Or shoulder. And here—”
A hand caught Kakashi’s, guiding him to the shiny silver nipple ring. He closed his fingers on it; pulled. Ryouma’s hips jerked. Kakashi bit Ryouma on the shoulder, and Ryouma fucked him hard.
Time spilled away. Ryouma’s hand was tight and slick on Kakashi’s cock, working him in time to Ryouma’s thrusts, and whatever control Kakashi had left slipped loose. He clutched Ryouma’s back, nails digging in. Barely noticed the hitching, needy sounds catching in his throat. Heat spiraled in his belly, building.
He wrapped his legs around Ryouma’s waist and ground closer, deeper. Ryouma felt huge. Nothing between them, just skin. Any moment, Ryouma would come inside him, and Kakashi would let him, and—
Ryouma’s fingers clenched, slid. He pulled Kakashi down, jerked his hips up, and Kakashi came.
It took him by surprise, like the sweetest punch. He squeezed his eyes closed and gasped through it, muscles locking up. Ryouma didn’t stop, didn’t even pause. Kakashi clamped down on him, and it made everything unbearable and wonderful.
He was lightheaded, oversensitive, half back to himself, and Ryouma was still moving, breath gone short and sharp. Kakashi’s spine was liquid; he didn’t want to be upright anymore. He let himself lean backward, pulling Ryouma down with him. The bed caught them both. Ryouma covered him, bearing down. Kakashi kept his ankles crossed in the small of Ryouma’s back, and hissed when Ryouma finally let go of his cock.
Ryouma licked his own knuckles, grinning, and Kakashi’s skin tingled all over.
“Still want me to come in you?” Ryouma asked roughly. His pupils were drowning-dark, dilated so wide Kakashi could barely see the razor-thin edge of iris surrounding them. Sweat darkened his hairline, reflected the gleam of lamplight on flushed skin. His cheekbones were deadly. His mouth was a lethal curve. He was beautiful, and ridiculous, and if he pulled out Kakashi was going to kill him.
Kakashi locked his ankles tighter. “Yes.”
“Fuck, you’re gorgeous,” Ryouma said, helplessly. He dipped his head down to kiss Kakashi, open-mouthed, messy, control shredding at the edges. Then pulled back. His hands settled on Kakashi’s thighs and pressed, spreading Kakashi’s legs, opening Kakashi wider. He paused there, one thumb lightly stroking Kakashi’s skin, looking at where they joined.
Kakashi didn’t quite have the energy to prop himself up on an elbow, but he hitched an eyebrow. Ryouma smiled slowly, and thrust, even slower. Kakashi dropped his head back on the bed. With his own urgency spent, he was pliant, easily accommodating of this new angle. Ryouma took full control, setting the pace: long, deep strokes alternating with short, fast thrusts.
Aftershocks tingled through Kakashi’s nerves. He couldn’t get hard again, not this soon, but it still felt razor-close to amazing. He lay where he’d fallen and just enjoyed the sense of Ryouma taking, using Kakashi’s body for simple pleasure. Something that, in a life mostly subsumed by an ever expanding body-count, he’d never really focused on. Something, he suspected, that Ryouma didn’t often let himself do either.
He watched the growing inwardness creep over Ryouma’s face, as the rhythm of thrusts got shorter and faster. Sweat shone on Ryouma’s chest, jeweling the dragon tattoo. The bite on Ryouma’s shoulder had broken skin; blood gleamed there, clotted before it had fallen. Ryouma’s hands dug into Kakashi’s thighs.
There’d be some more bruises between them before the night was over. Kakashi smiled crookedly at the thought.
Ryouma grunted, back arching. Thrust deeper, harder, and finally came. Heat pulsed into Kakashi, and he made a soft noise of surprise. He could feel Ryouma pressing deep, emptying out. It made something base uncoil inside him, a primitive, purring kind of satisfaction. He wrapped himself around Ryouma, tugging him close.
Ryouma had to fight to get the room to pull out, which he did carefully, but it was still a procedure that made Kakashi wince and hiss. Then, rather less carefully but more welcome, he collapsed across Kakashi with his full weight — solid, grounding, squashing Kakashi pleasantly into the mattress. They lay together, sweaty and sticky, slowly cooling down, while Ryouma caught his breath and Kakashi floated in a pink cloud of no-particular-thought.
After an approximate decade, Ryouma rasped, “Good?”
Kakashi levered one eye back open, collected his thoughts, and contributed: “Wsfz?”
“I’ll take that.” Ryouma turned his head, hooking his chin more comfortably over Kakashi’s shoulder. “Clean up in a minute. This’s… one of my favorite parts.”
“M’never moving again,” Kakashi agreed, tucking his face down against the side of Ryouma’s throat. A slow, sleepy pulse beat against his bare mouth. Slick warmth between his legs suggested he might regret not cleaning up, but since he’d had to fight for it in the first place, he was damn well going to enjoy it for a minute.
Maybe five minutes.
Ryouma was warm, body and chakra open like a bright, clean hearth, and Kakashi basked sleepily under him, all tension unwound. Good choices, no regrets.
That was an interesting feeling, too.
Eventually, Ryouma gathered strength and willpower to drag himself off Kakashi’s firm warmth and off the bed. Kakashi protested sleepily, but didn’t resist when Ryouma came back with a damp cloth for cleanup, or the glass of water afterwards. He seemed to be almost dozing when Ryouma returned the second time: loose-limbed and easy on the bed, eyes closed. Unmasked.
The appalling trust in that bare mouth and yielding body still took Ryouma’s breath away. He stopped by the edge of the bed, looking down.
Kakashi opened his eye in a slow, hazy blink. “Why are you upright?”
Maybe Ryouma wasn’t the only one who liked cuddling after he came.
He eased onto the bed again, slotting himself against Kakashi’s side. Then hooked a leg over Kakashi’s knees and an arm over his chest, nestling his fingers into the warm notch under Kakashi’s ribs. Kakashi made a soft, sleepy sound and pressed closer.
“You were incredible,” Ryouma told him quietly. “Brave. So brave. Beautiful.” He rubbed his thumb gently over Kakashi’s ribs, pressed his mouth to Kakashi’s shoulder. Salt, skin. The musk of sex still hung heavy in the air. He breathed through his mouth, tasting only Kakashi. “I loved watching you.”
Kakashi fumbled for a blanket, dragged it haphazardly over both of them, and tucked his chin down on top of Ryouma’s hair. He sighed, chest lifting against Ryouma’s arm, breath tickling Ryouma’s scalp. “You’re smitten,” he declared with a drowsy curl of amusement in his voice. “Say more nice things about me.”
“I guess so,” Ryouma said.
And that was… easy.
The words didn’t stick in his throat or ignite on contact with air. Kakashi didn’t wrench away, declaring he’d smelled a lie. Ryouma’s traitor mouth didn’t immediately babble some ruinous nonsense like But I also want to let Sakamato Ginta tie me up. He lay nestled against Kakashi, feeling Kakashi breathe slow and steady, and realized his own breathing had slowed to match.
“I like you,” he whispered, and he still didn’t panic.
Kakashi’s fingers grazed his chest, his throat. Tucked beneath his chin and tilted it up. He looked down at Ryouma, and smiled.
Bare face, naked mouth. Lips still red, a little swollen, pulled slightly askew by the scar. The dimple in his right cheek crept out again, and Ryouma’s chest went tight.
“Scary thought,” Kakashi murmured. As if he, too, knew what that admission cost. He dipped his head down for a brief close-mouthed kiss. Against Ryouma’s mouth, he murmured: “I like you too.”
Ryouma kissed him again, properly. “It’s not just because you’re pretty,” he said when they came up for air. “I like your body, too.”
Kakashi blinked once. A beat longer, and then he laughed. “So what you’re saying is that I’m pretty and hot? Or did you mean bendy?”
“That, too,” Ryouma said. He let himself be a little smug over how long it had taken Kakashi to get that one. “Still not page 37 levels of bendiness, but I guess we’ve got time to practice.”
“As long as we’ve got thirty minutes to stretch beforehand.” Kakashi tucked his hand down comfortably between their chests again, and settled his chin back into Ryouma’s hair. His breathing evened out.
Ryouma was starting to wonder if he’d fallen asleep already when Kakashi said, contemplatively, “You have a very nice dick.”
“I— Thank you? I’m glad you like it.” And now he sounded like the one whose brain had been fucked out his ears. “I don’t think I got your prostate, though. We can try a different position next time. Better angle for it. And I still want you to do me.” He reached down to run gentle fingers over the velvety weight between Kakashi’s thighs. “I really want to take your cock.”
Kakashi shivered very slightly against him. His cock stirred, warm in Ryouma’s hand.
Ryouma wet his lips. But before he could frame a more persuasive offer, Kakashi pulled back a little, shimmied down a few centimeters on the bed, and pressed an open-mouthed kiss to Ryouma’s unbitten shoulder. His tongue swirled over the skin, working it against a steady suction and the needlepoint pressure of teeth. The mark was dark red when he pulled back, vivid as the ANBU tattoo.
“What’s your favorite position?” Kakashi demanded.
“Face-down. On my knees. Or on my back, the way we ended. I like finishing that way. When it’s with someone I trust.” He hissed softly as Kakashi sucked another mark below his collarbone. “Ah, that’s good. I love your mouth… I don’t bottom quite the same as I top, though. My head’s different, sometimes.”
He wasn’t sure how to explain it, but Kakashi seemed to be listening, working his way across Ryouma’s chest. Ryouma rolled onto his back for easier access. “I like being pinned, you know that already. Held down, or— Well, I’ve never actually done anything more. It’s something about… Being strong, but not strong enough, and that’s okay. In the moment. Does that make sense?”
Kakashi propped himself up, looking down at Ryouma. He didn’t look surprised, or disturbed, or even confused. Just thoughtful. He sat up on his knees, still tucked against Ryouma’s side. “You mean you like to be submissive, or— no, made to be submissive?”
“Maybe?” Ryouma said cautiously. “Not sure about made, but…” He thought back. “Okay, yeah, in some ways. A lot of ways. Not forced, but like when you pinned me in the forest, if we hadn’t both been crazy in the head… If I’d tried to bridge, and you stopped me. Because you were stronger, because you could, and you made me recognize that. Like when you made me surrender to you that time playing Hunter-tag. Only without the betrayal afterwards.”
Kakashi’s mouth quirked along the line of his lip-scar. “Consensually forced. It’s different.”
“Well, yeah. Sexier. Like the difference between you biting me just now, when I asked you to, and you eating the captain’s face.”
“He deserved it,” Kakashi said, in lazy amusement. He traced an aimless pattern across Ryouma’s chest with his fingertips. “Tax for being a random dick. Would you like to be tied up?”
Ryouma twitched. “Maybe. Yeah. I’d be curious.”
Kakashi’s fingers skimmed down his chest, caught his wrists in a hard grip, and tugged them up above his head. Ryouma drew a startled breath. He tested the hold: not gentle, precisely, but not yet bruising. He could break it if he really tried.
He didn’t want to try.
Kakashi knelt over him, his free hand braced on Ryouma’s shoulder, pinning him down on the bed. He smiled slowly, showing teeth. “That could be arranged.”
Ryouma lifted his chin. He saw Kakashi’s gaze dip down to the exposed line of his throat, and something hot and dark and hungry kindled in the pit of his stomach. Muscles quivered in his arms. His cock hardened.
“You liked hunting me,” he said. His voice had gone gravelly. He watched Kakashi’s eye darken, and he pulled again at his wrists: just enough to fight, not enough to free. “There’s still more wolf in you. I want to see what you could do to me.”
The edge of Kakashi’s mouth pulled wider, crooked against the scar. “Scary thought,” he said again, softer.
He shifted to press his knee between Ryouma’s legs. Ryouma parted his thighs for him, rocked his hips up a little against Kakashi’s leg. Kakashi tightened the grip on his wrists. That might be enough to bruise, now. Ryouma panted open-mouthed.
Kakashi pressed a kiss to the edge of his jaw. “Don’t go somewhere that you can’t say stop. Deal?”
“Deal,” Ryouma rasped, and that was the last coherent thing he said for a while.