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Keep Your Enemies Closer

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It wasn’t his night.
He arrived at the convenience store in time to be late. Shin had already left and he was standing here, with an expensive cab trip under his belt with nothing to show for it.
The guy on shift right now, he believed his name was Suzuki said that Shin had a run in with some cocky looking guy in glasses.
Now, Azusa knew of plenty of people who wore glasses or looked cocky, however, he didn’t know anyone who would lay a hand on Shin except for Ryoki.
He couldn’t even guess why the asshole was here, but it was almost definitely him, and it couldn’t have been good.
He decided to walk home, not really caring how long it took him to get there. It was cold despite the lateness of the year.
He felt lonely, cold nights usually did that to him.
Looking down at his phone, he double checked, making sure he hadn’t missed Shin’s call, and found instead a new message from Hatsumi.
Impatiently he punched in the code and listened. There was just a faint whirring sound at first, then her cheerful voice piped up.

“Azusa?”, there was a startled yelp, and then what he had needed to hear.

“Shinogu!”, the message ended there and Azusa started running. He wouldn’t miss him this time.

So, he had gone to the complex. To see him or Hatsumi? His lips thinned as he tried to not think of any reason why Shin would need to see Hatsumi above him.
He felt nauseous, why did she always come first?
With at least another fifteen-minute jog ahead of him, he prayed that Shin would still be there when he got back.

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“What did he say?”

Shinogu was two steps from grabbing her and shaking her in desperation.

She shrugged.

“Nothing that gave a hint as to what he was thinking of doing. All I know is that he said he was afraid that some action might have driven this person away…Shinogu?”

She looked at him, puzzled, as he smiled a small knowing smile. She stood then and folded her arms across her chest.

“What do you suppose he means by that?”

Shin just continued to smile and combed his fingers through his hair. He stopped paying attention to her and allowed himself a small iota of hope, this was an interesting turn of events!

He grabbed Hatsumi in a tight hug and whispered in her ear.

“I know. I think, I know. Thank you Hatsumi.”

He gave her a soft kiss on her cheek.

“I love you, lady.”

It was her turn to smile broadly and patted his cheek.

“I have to go. Ryoki is expecting me and we have something we need to discuss.”

Shin swallowed again, that evil look was back. She began to walk away and then looked over her shoulder.

“By the way, you should go wash your face. You still have blood on it!”

He barely heard her; he was already calling Azusa. It began to ring and that’s when he heard that familiar sound directly behind him.

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Azusa had plenty of time to think on the way back to the complex. He turned scenarios over and over in his head, as he was prone to do, trying to get a handle on what he wanted to say.
He knew that regardless of what happened, he needed to tell Shin, tell him how he felt, or he would burst.
He loved him down to the very last hair on his head, to his very breath, and though he wasn’t sure whether or not his feelings would be rejected, he needed to share them.
Being together under false pretenses was painful, but being apart for even a few hours was proving to be more than he could handle.
He could see the complex in the distance and suddenly felt nervous. What if he told Shin and he was rejected completely? Was it better to be truthful, or to lie to himself? He may not be able to stay close to him if he spilled the beans now. He was passing the shrub border of the park when the thought struck him and he was frozen in his tracks by that doubt.
What to do?
He didn’t have too much time to think about it, as he stood there, he heard voices on the other side of the bushes.
He strained his ears.
It was Hatsumi and Shin!
He crouched low to the ground and peered through a gap in the branches, ignoring the little voice in his head that said eavesdropping only led to disaster.
What did it know?
Apparently, a lot more than he did, he amended, because what he saw nearly tore him in two.
Shin was standing there with Hatsumi wrapped in a tight hug, whispering in her ear. He couldn’t hear anything but the pounding of his own heart and wriggled closer to make out what they were saying. He tried to swallow around the knot in his throat and almost cried in earnest when Shin kissed her on the cheek.

“I love you, lady.”

He heard that plainly. His heart strained against the control he seized it with. He had to hold on, make it home, he could permit it to break there. He watched as Hatsumi left, edging into the shadows when she passed him. He looked through the branches again at Shin. He was standing with his back to the gate and it was the perfect time to make his move. He ambled semi-hunched, towards the gate, but paused a moment to look. His back was still to him and he drank in the sight of those broad shoulders and strong back. He seemed to be looking for something even as he put the phone up to his ear.
What was he-?
He never got to finish his thought as his phone rang loudly, obliterating silence. He held it aloft like a live snake, his hands fumbling and finally shutting it off. He raised horrified eyes to lock with steady black ones.
Shit!

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Shin stood with his phone slightly away from his ear, literally frozen in place. He was sure he didn’t look as surprised as he felt, his gaze was fastened on Azusa. So beautiful. Even hunched and looking guilty, Azusa had the power to make him mad with want.
He hung up the phone slowly, his heart thudded as he soaked in all that beauty.
How could he have gone this long without realizing that only Azusa could make him feel this way...make his body react this way?
Their eyes remained locked and he took a few slow steps towards him.
Azusa stood transfixed and made no move, until Shin spoke.

“Azusa?”

He jerked as if slapped and Shin only had a brief moment to register the hurt look on that face before he turned and fled swiftly through the gate.

“Azusa, wait!”

He ran after him. Determined to end all these misunderstandings once and for all, to find out where he stood.
What had he heard and why was he acting this way?
Had he seen him and Hatsumi together?
For the first time he cursed the athleticism that kept that body so damn lean, as he grew more distant.

“Azusa stop now! We need to talk!”

He just seemed to run faster.

“Azusa! Stop running!”

All he got was a shouted, “Not until you stop following me!”

Shin could feel the anger bubbling to the surface as Azusa flew up the stairs. He followed without hesitation, though his legs protested his two-step stride.
His only thought was:

Don’t let him get through that door.

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Damn him!
Azusa could feel the quivering in his legs, an exhaustion that was ready to raise the white flag.
He just needed to get away, to be alone. Why couldn’t Shin understand that and leave him alone? Tears were pricking behind his eyelids, his vision was blurred, but none of that mattered, he had a lead and he could see his front door well enough.
He slid to a stop in front of it and fished his keys out of his pocket. He nearly screamed in frustration when he dropped them and the sound of running feet came closer.
With clenched teeth he sorted through the keys until he found the right one and slid it into the lock. When Shin appeared at the top of the stairs his hand stilled on the knob, and dared a look over his shoulder.
He was so close, his chest rising and falling rapidly, the look on his face was panicked.

“Why are you running away? Azusa, talk to me.”

He shut his eyes against the tears that were forcing their way out, and leaned his forehead against the door.

“Just go away Shin…”, it was whisper as he turned the knob, one that went unheeded.

His sigh of relief as he stepped in the door was choked off by a hand at his back that pushed him inside with enough force to make him fall to the floor. He was rolled onto his back and caught a glimpse of the door slamming as Shin straddled him. Strong hands braced against his ribs. The hair fell away from Azusa’s eyes and Shin frowned. Tears were flowing freely now as their hurt and confusion collided right there on that floor. Shin groaned huskily, leaning forward to wipe away those twin trails of moisture, his heart aching.

“Azusa? Azusa!”

He refused to meet those eyes, his hands moved to cover his face, but Shin caught them one handed and held them above his head. The other hand gently urged his face forward.

“Look at me Azusa.”

His mind resisted even as his eyes obeyed. Anxious black eyes looked back, while his free hand explored his face. When the younger man’s chin began to tremble, he fingered it tenderly.

“What’s wrong? Why did you run away?”

No answer.

“How long were you there, listening to our conversation?”

Defiance.

“Long enough!”

Shin’s face paled, but he held tighter to those wrists and leaned closer, until they were nose to nose.

“Long enough for what?”

His tongue darted out, flicking across thin set lips.

Azusa shuddered; his warm stirring heat betrayed him. Shin could feel that pulsing hardness jutting against his own engorged length. He writhed, unconsciously aiming to get closer, the subtle grinding
making sweat bead along his brow.

“Long enough for what?”

He held his breath. What would he do in the face of rejection? Especially when Shin was here, sitting on top of him. His whole body hummed, aroused and half-crazy with desire.
Azusa looked away, attempting to bury his face in his shoulder. When he did speak, his voice was barely above a whisper.

“Do you really love Hatsumi still?”

Shin sat up causing more friction at the meeting point, but only Azusa noticed, and as he lay gasping, Shin sat with his hands on his hips. Hatsumi?
Forget Hatsumi, what did she have to do with anything? Unless….
He looked down at Azusa, easing his way back down, fobbing the question of with one of his own.

“She is my sister, of course I love her, does that make you jealous?”

When he didn’t answer fast enough, he grabbed his chin and forced him to look at him again.

“Are you jealous Azusa? Let me ask you the same question then, are you that interested in Hatsumi? Do you still like her?”

Azusa’s eyes widened and he shook his head slowly.

“Then what’s wrong Azusa?”

The pair stared at each other, laboring against the weight of fear, anger, and lust.

“Azusa?”

Still no answer. He rolled off him and leaned against the wall, staring.

“Why can’t you just tell me what you are thinking, ‘Zusa?”

Sighing heavily, Shin stared at the ceiling.

“I don’t know what this is Azusa. I don’t know what we are or what you want. I can’t know unless we are willing to be honest with each other.”

After a lengthy pause he stood, his own chin trembling. He didn’t see Azusa’s look of alarm as he headed towards the door, nor the desperate struggle to pull himself off the floor. His back still to him he stopped briefly at the door.

“If you want me to leave, that’s fine. I will. For now. Just know that I will be back and we will figure out where to go from here. I hope by then, you are ready to face me and talk.”

Turning the knob, he started to open the door when a hand appeared next to his head, keeping it shut. Soft lips feathered along the base of his neck and he couldn’t help but lean back into the exploration. The hand left the door and joined the other in a journey down his torso to the front of his jeans. They eased under the shirt there, teased along the exposed flesh before delving beneath straining denim. They found the object of their search and cupped him as he gasped, pushing into the caress.

“I ran because…”

Shin stilled and tried to turn in his arms, but was held fast by the hands rifling through his pants.
Instead he settled with looking over his shoulder, only one of Azusa’s tear drenched eyes was visible, it pierced him with one look.

“Go on ‘Zusa…”

Those hands pulled him closer, bringing the curve his ass to rest against him. He could feel the warmth and his legs shook with the need.

“Because...I didn’t know how to say what I want to say to you, or whether or not to say it. I was scared because if I lost you, I truly don’t know how I could possibly exist.”

He released his hold on Shin and turned him abruptly in his arms.

“You are everything in the nothing.”

He looked at him desperately willing him to understand.

“How can I risk that?”

He stepped back, skimming his fingers up lean arms. Dark eyes pinned him in place as Shin spoke.

“Just say it, Azusa, please.”

Azusa nodded, averting his gaze.

“I am still scared, but…I love you Shin, more than anything; enough to respectfully tell you the truth. I love you; I think I always have.”

Shin let out the breath that he had been holding. Time seemed to stop in some sort of eerie suspension, his heart enveloped those words and stored them away for safe keeping, for silly private moments when he could hear them again and again, if there was ever any doubt. He cradled this moment to himself and seemed to lose track of how long he stood silent. Azusa moved away from him and he snapped to attention.

“Now that you know Shin, what will we do?”

Shin knew exactly what they would do but wisely refrained from mentioning anything about that until he had reassured him. He approached him from behind and wrapped his arms around his middle.

“Thank you for being so honest. You are braver than I am, but it doesn’t mean your feelings are any stronger or deeper than mine.

Azusa turned to look at him puzzled, the battle between fear and happiness apparent on his face. Shin ran his fingers down his cheek.

“Azusa, I…”

His words were cut off by the sweeping invasion of Azusa’s mouth. He sighed deeply as his tongue filled his mouth, plundering its softness, alternating between long sweeps and gentle flicks. He whimpered, his knees, weak.

Azusa tore his mouth away and looked at Shin steadily.

“Shin?”

The older man nodded vigorously.

“Yes, right now!”

The kiss this time was almost violent as they made their way towards the darkness of Azusa’s room. When they finally tumbled onto the bed they rolled until Azusa straddled Shin. His smile only evident in his voice through the dark as he brushed Shin’s cheek.

“Now that I have you Shin, what am I going to do with you?”