The soft sigh that broke the silence of the night, was followed by an irritated grunt. Leaning against a tree, Akira listened to the sound of his sleeping comrades.
Bontenmaru's beastlike snoring. Yuyas soft breathing, occasionally interrupted by single words: Kyo's name appeared once in a while and the man himself sat, as usual, his back against a tree, Tenrou resting against his shoulder.
It seemed that Akira was the only one who was having trouble sleeping.
Ironic, he thought, since Yuya was the one dying in less than twenty days and Kyo was the one disappearing soon, if he didn't find a way to get back into his own body.
They should be the ones sitting against this stupid tree, annoyed by the fact that they were the only ones who were still awake in the middle of the night.
Akira let out another annoyed grunt and crossed his arms over his chest as he leaned his head against the tree. On nights like these he usually mused about his life, others' lives, the future, and such. But on this night he had no thoughts, which was unusual.
It had been a while since the last time he'd experienced being in this state of mind. The state where his body was tense, his temper jumpy, and his head empty. If he could, he'd be rolling his eyes at himself, because this time his mood was slightly different.
The conclusion to his mood was that he needed a good fuck.
The solution was simple; get laid!
However, the real problem was that there were no good fucks available at the present time.
Actually there was not even a ordinary fuck available. And he would prefer not to take matter in to his own hands, so to speak. It was so much easier in the small towns he'd travelled through lately. He'd had little trouble talking those sweet, naïve town girls into some fun, but unfortunately it'd been awhile since he'd passed through a town.
Once again his body reminded him of its needs and he went through his options again. The only girl, probably within miles, was Yuya and he wouldn't dare wake her up and ask her if she would give him her body, just to satisfy him. If he did, her reaction would most likely be violent and loud, and he had no problems picturing her, trying to kill him with her bare hands for asking her such a question. Then Kyo and Bon would be wide awake, and Bon would be comforting Yuya while Akira would be facing an angry Kyo.
He was another option, since Akira really didn't care whether his was having sex with a man or a woman, as long as he was satisfied in the end.
But having sex with Kyo would be weird. Kyo was, after all, a sort of father figure to Akira, and it surely wouldn't help him achieving his goal of bringing the "old" Kyo back.
Bon was out of the question for many reasons, but mostly because he didn't attract Akira in any way. Besides, he didn't really think that Bon was into men anyway.
All these conclusions left him with only one option; himself. Wrapped in a blanket, and sitting against a tree, and silently cursing his simple human body and its silly needs.
And it was at times like this, when his hand slowly crept underneath his clothing to wrap his hand firmly around his member, that he missed the old days, the days with the Shiseiten and the days with Hotaru. He missed the nights when Hotaru would crawl into his bedroll or come into his room at night, and he missed the way Hotaru would hold him close and spoil his young body with gentle kisses and caresses before sending him over the edge, and into that little piece of Heaven into which only sinners like them were allowed.
He never knew if any of the others ever found out and he really didn't care anymore. They were nice memories to have, and as he slowly drifted away into his own world, his hand slowly began to stroke his length.
The lazy movements of his wrist send pleasant chills down his spine, and as they collided with the warmth in his lower body, a single moan escaped his lips.
"Akira-san, are you okay?"
The voice threw Akira right back in to reality, and he recognized it instantly as Yuya's. He quickly regained his composure and pulled his hand out of his clothing as he praised higher powers for the blanket and for Yuya's pure innocence, which left her with no clue of his -to his own eyes, quite embarrassing activities.
"I'm fine, thank you. But why aren't you sleeping, Yuya-san?" he turned his face toward her voice. She was standing in front of him, and he could sense her shivering.
"I can't sleep. And I'm a little cold too …"
He heard the rustling sound of her blanket as she wrapped it closer around her form.
"You shouldn't be walking around in this forest all by yourself just because you can't sleep" he said, just to say something.
"I wasn't. I woke up and heard you, so I went over to see if everything was fine. Besides, it's not as cold when I'm moving."
"Well, I'm fine, as you see." And as he was just about to tell her to go back to bed, he got a better idea, so he shifted his body slightly against the tree to hide the evidence of the simple needs of his body and opened his blanket in front of him. "Come sit with me, we'll share our blankets so you won't catch a cold." He smiled at her and waited for her reply. If he couldn't get laid, at least he could have some company as a distraction.
It did make some sort of sense to him and he smiled again as she handed him her blanket and sat down between his legs. Carefully he arranged the blankets around them before he moved his lower body a little closer to the tree as she leaned her shoulders against his chest, because no matter how innocent and pure she was, she would probably be able to guess what the poking in her lower back was all about.
When he had finished arranging the blankets, Akira let his hands fall to his sides and he tried to let his thoughts wander off as he listened to Yuya's soft breathing. But after a moment of silence he finally accepted that he had lost his concentration as his body once again reminded him of its needs.
He definitely needed some distraction if he was to sit here with her, doing nothing.
"Yuya-san, why are you still travelling with Kyo?" he asked, in hope for an interesting story that could take his attention off of his body. He was almost sure that her wish to find her brother's killer was not the only thing that made her follow the demon so close and neither was the price on his head.
It was something else: he could sense it every time she talked about Kyo and every time she talked to him. Akira almost looked forward to hearing her declare that she followed him only to be with him, so her answer disappointed him.
"My reasons for travelling with Kyo are the same as last time you asked, Akira-san" she said and Akira smiled to himself.
"I see you haven't become any wiser since then, because I seem to remember telling you that you are unable to lie to me. Please tell me the truth Yuya-san. I won't tell, I promise."
He could almost feel her blush, and her nervous mumbling was amusing and made him smile to him self once more. She was so cute when she was embarrassed.
"Well, I … um… ." She turned her head to look at him. "I… like him… a lot… ." Her voice came out as a soft whisper.
"Like?" For a moment he wondered what exactly he wanted her to admit, but he dismissed the thought as she spoke again,
"I think that I'm falling in love with him" she said, turning her face away from him.
There it was. Love. What the hell was it all about? He decided quickly that it wouldn't hurt to ask her about love. "How do you know that you are in love with a person?"
"Don't you know about love, Akira-san?" he could tell by her voice that the question came as a surprise.
"I'm afraid not, but I would be glad if you would tell me about it."
"Love ... " she began, only to cut herself off and turn her head to look at him. "It's complicated to explain feelings like love... ." Her voice told him that she really wanted to tell him about this phenomenon, but she was obviously unable to find the right words for it, so he waited for a moment before he told her to just give it a try. "I can always ask if there's something I don't understand" he said, and felt her relax against him, leaning her head back to rest on his shoulder.
"Love ..." she began once more. "It's a warm feeling. Love is when you feel warm inside when this special person is near you, and butterflies are dancing around in your stomach as he looks at you."
"Or she?" He asked, as he recognized the feeling she described. He had felt that way when he had announced to the group that he would help them and had held her hands.
"Of course, Akira-san. Love goes both ways."
"Both ways ..." he repeated to himself as he imagined having insects flying around in his stomach. So far, love sounded like a very unhealthy feeling.
"Yes." She tilted her head a little to look at him. "Love is when you feel like protecting somebody with your life, and you believe in a person. It's when you want to hold him all night, just to be near him, and when you want to share your life with this particular person and want both of you to grow old together."
As the sound of her words faded, Akira realized something. He wanted to hold her!
His body was no longer complaining to him about its silly need to get off, and he found himself completely relaxed against the tree wanting to hold this woman close. He shook his head.
It must have been his imagination. He must have been imagining how love would feel or was it something else?
Could it be the result of the feeling he recognized only moments before as a pleasant warmth in his belly?
No! He didn't need love. He needed to grow stronger, and he needed to reach Kyo, not to hold a woman for comfort. So he quickly decided to ask her another question.
"Then why Kyo? How can you love a demon?"
"Why, we can't decide who we love! Love is a feeling that we are unable to control Akira-san."
"But you don't belong with a demon, Yuya-san." he protested, desperately trying to push the desire to hold her in to the background. But as she turned against him and unintentionally pressed her body closer to him it got harder to do.
"And why is that, Akira-san?" she asked, in a voice that told him not to tell her with whom she did or didn't belong with, and he wanted to disappear on the spot. For several moments he thought about the question before he was able to answer it.
"Because, Yuya-san... you are a saint, and he is a demon!" What he said next came as a big surprise to him: "And saints are meant for the gods! Not for demons! Demons get the sinners. And you're nothing like a common sinner." Now, where did that come from? He didn't know exactly, but when said, it sounded good. And it sounded right.
And he still wanted to hold her. She was so close and he noticed her breath against his cheek as she spoke again.
"A saint?" Her voice was now curious, and low .
"Yes, a saint. You are the most caring person I've ever met. Friend or foe, you believe that everyone has something good inside of him." He could feel her blush as the heat from her face met his skin, and slowly his right hand moved to where he knew her left arm would be, as he searched for her hand.
He found it, and his fingers carefully caressed her hand before capturing it in a gentle grip, as his left arm found its way around her waist and pulled her closer.
He could hear her confusion and he had no idea of what to say or what to do so he just waited for her to continue - which she did, within seconds. But what she said had nothing to do with the fact that he had pulled her closer and was now holding her hand.
"Are you a saint - or a sinner?"
He knew the answer far too well. He was a sinner, but at the moment he wanted to be a god. He wanted to be her god, and he knew that he had been lying to himself when he thought that he didn't need love now, because the feeling of holding her in his arms like this made him want to hold her forever. But he knew he had to give her an answer, and it might just as well be the truth.
"I am a sinner" he said, his voice unintentionally sad, and his head down.
He knew it would come. Yuya was never afraid to ask when she didn't understand things.
"Because I kill people, with no regret. I lie. I don't care if people get hurt as long as I get what I want. I don't care about other people, and that makes me a selfish being. And it's a sin to be selfish."
"You're not selfish, Akira-san!" She stated, much to his surprise.
"Only a few moments ago you offered to share your blanket with me, and since you're not groping me like some sort of pervert, I think that you must have done it because you didn't want me to be cold."
He raised his eyebrows and let a little smile find its way to the corners of his mouth.
She was right.
Perhaps his life wasn't all that sinful after all.
And Akira just then realized that she still hadn't commented on his holding her close as he was and he found it a little odd, considering what she had just told him about her feelings toward Kyo. Once again he got a little lost in his thoughts, only to have her pull him right back to reality with the sound of her voice.
"Thank you Akira-san" she said.
"Why are you thanking me?" He asked, as he tried to figure just how he could have earned a "thank you" within the past few moments.
"Because I'm not cold any more..."
"Oh..." Akira thought for a moment if he should let go of her, but as she leaned her head back and rested it against his shoulder. "That's good to hear..." He said lamely. He cursed his voice for not cooperating with the words and hoped she wouldn't notice.
She didn't. Or at least she didn't seem to care why he sounded like he was choking on his own voice. It was all the same to him, as long as he wouldn't have to explain himself to her.
It was difficult enough to explain it to himself anyway: to explain why he couldn't speak properly, why he took her hand, why he had pulled her close, and why he just noticed that his pulse was rising and his breathing was light and nervous. How he would have enjoyed telling himself that it was just his senses playing a trick on him after her description of love, and that he really didn't have any control.
But that, unfortunately, was not the case. These weren't an imitation of the feelings that she had described to him: they was his own feelings coming to the surface. And it was his own feelings that made him turn his head and slowly run his tongue across his lips before placing a gentle kiss on her neck, on the spot right below her ear. So what if she yelled at him, hit him and woke the others? This might be the last time he would be able to be alone with her, before entering the Mibu lands. And who said that he would live to hold her like this when they got out again?
He heard her small gasp of surprise and moved his lips away from her skin without a word and waited. At first she said nothing. Then he felt her head move slightly against his shoulder. Tilting it a little to the side, she bared her neck to him and made him loose his breath. Did she have any idea of what she had just done? Carefully, he placed his lips against her neck again and kissed the soft skin, taking in the flavour of her skin as he slipped his tongue out and a line of soft kisses from below her ear down to the crook of her neck.
Sighing, he rested his head there for a moment, taking a little time to realize what he had just done - or more importantly, what she had just let him do, and suddenly he felt like apologizing to her.
"Akira-san, what are you doing?" she asked.
He raised his head from her shoulder and replied. "Kissing you ..." before he moved his hand from where it had rested on hers to cup her chin. He turned her face gently toward his. "And you didn't mind at all, Yuya-san, why is that?"
He could feel her breath against his lips as she hesitated for a moment before speaking again.
"I... it felt good ... ." she murmured as though she wasn't sure wether she had said the right thing. Akira wasn't sure if this was what he actually wanted to hear, but it surely was better than a rejection. Within a breath he had placed his lips upon hers, still holding her chin.
He felt her body stiffen against him, and it made him remember how Shinrei had cursed her. He had cursed her through a kiss, maybe even her first kiss. Suddenly he was overwhelmed by strange emotions, and released her lips. He wished that he could take away all her pain, and remove the sorrow she was disguising so very well, but he couldn't. There was nothing he could do for her at the moment. Nothing at all.
"I'm sorry Yuya-san, I forgot." He mumbled, running his fingers over her cheek, and he was sure that the pain inside his chest was his heart, breaking into millions of pieces.
"It's okay, Akira-san ... ." Her voice was nothing but a whisper, and he would have missed it if her face had not so close to him. "It's just that it..."
Then it occurred to him that there actually was something he could do for her. Slowly he leaned into another kiss, and she let him do it. If nothing else, he could replace the unpleasant memory of that possible first kiss with a new memory of how a kiss should be.
As he kissed her soft lips once more, he began to wonder on exactly how Shinrei had "kissed" her? Had he just placed his lips on hers, to make a connection, or had he used his tongue to make room for the waterwyrm? In any case, Akira was sure that Shinrei had not been gentle. No matter how he had done it, it had been forceful.
His hand moved from her cheek to circle around her neck, and he kissed her again, not sure if he should lead her to next step of the kiss. A kiss later, he paused and rested his forehead against hers. He had no idea of what he should do. Should he stop now, or should he kiss her again, and if he kissed her again, how far should he go? Should he continue with the little butterfly-kisses or should he take her further and kiss her for real? He didn't know.
All he knew was that he was sitting here, with her, in the middle of the night, and there were so many new feelings facing him now: all the confusion, and all the pleasant warm feelings that almost made him shiver from sheer happiness.
"Akira ... ." Her voice was nothing but a whisper, and it was like she spoke to him from another world, but the sound of his name, without the formal ending, made him forget all of his questions. He tilted his head and placed his lips upon hers again, but this time, he ran his tongue along the contours of her lips ever so gently. He could feel her tensing in his arms, and he continued to caress her lips until he felt her relaxing again, and he hummed against her lips when she slowly opened up to him.
Carefully, as if he was afraid to scare her, he let the tip of his tongue slip inside, only to pull back again and then repeat the action. Slowly he deepened the kiss and found her tongue, and touched it in a brief second before he retreated and placed another feather kiss on her lips. He continued to tease her with just the tip of his tongue until he felt her loosen up and begin to respond to his movements, and he groaned into her mouth when he felt her tongue slide against his. He answered her move by slowly sliding against her before he changed the sliding into gentle caresses, and within seconds he had lost himself in the kiss.
He could feel that for each touch, each sensual caress, she became more confident with her own movements, and after the first few careful touches, he didn't have to guide her any more. She followed his lead, and the kiss grew more intense as each second passed by, until Akira had to break it off to breathe properly.
Once again he rested his forehead against hers and tried to control his breathing. He didn't want to pull away and he didn't know if he should continue, and his ears told him that it wasn't his breathing alone that had picked up speed. He could feel her eyes on him and swallowed before finding his voice. "Do you feel all right, Yuya ... ?" He paused a moment before adding a choked "-san" to his question. As he waited for her answer, he became aware of her hair against the back of his hand, and he slowly turned his hand and began to untie the ribbon that held her hair back in a ponytail, wanting to feel her hair running through his fingers.
"Yes, I feel... ." Akira held his breath back when she hesitated and let it out with a poof when she continued what she wanted to say: "I feel good. It felt good, Akira ..." she paused again as he removed the ribbon from her hair. "But, Akira ..." - and he wondered if he should let go of his own formal speech when he heard her use only his name for the third time. - "Does this make me a sinner?"
Akira smiled at her, and his fingers began to play with hair "Nooo, kissing doesn't counts as a sin, Yuya ... it only count as a pleasant activity" he paused and thought for a moment before he continued "but, kissing can lead to a sin." He began realizing that this conversation could take them in two different directions. "Why are you asking?"
If his lips had been closer to hers, he would have noticed that she bit down on her lower lip and if he had been able to see, the expression on her face would have told him that she was thinking. She was carefully picking out every single word before sharing it with him.
"Because I want to be a sinner, Akira. I want to be more of a match Kyo and ... ." She sighed: a sigh of defeat.
Akira wondered if she really wanted to share the true reason for her question and he was just about to ask when she continued: "and it's just that kissing would be a nice way to become a sinner."
"Well, kissing is nice, but it really isn't a sin, Yuya ... ." He almost didn't get to finish the sentence before she asked him a new question.
"But kissing can lead to a sin?"
"Yes, kissing can lead to a sin, and it's actually one of the more pleasant sins" he said, placing another soft kiss on her lips.
"Can you make me a sinner?"
Akira froze with his fingers tangled in her hair, and he was sure that his heart had just skipped a beat. Had she just asked him that question? He just couldn't believe it.
"Do you know what you're asking me to do?"
"Yes, I know, Akira" she said and tilted her head a little as his fingers began to move again, running through the silky strands of her hair
"Good ... ." Akira leaned forward and placed his lips on hers again, thinking hard. He wasn't sure if he should comply with her wish. He felt like he would be taking advantage of this sweet girl, but wasn't that what he was doing already? On the other hand, she hadn't told him to stop what he was doing, and he hadn't been forceful in any way, he hadn't made her do anything against her will, but still ... .
As he kissed her once again, he began to wonder why he was having all these second thoughts at all. He'd never had second thoughts before, and he'd never had all those warm feelings for anyone. Not even for Hotaru back then - but all of his thoughts were ripped from his head as he felt her hand on his shoulder, and her touch left him with nothing but that warm, wonderful feeling inside.
This time, she kissed him.
First a feather-light kiss on his lips - actually Akira would hesitate to call it a kiss at all. She merely brushed her lips against his, but the way she did it made the hair on the back on his neck stand up. She kissed him again, this time more firmly, trying to copy the movements he made when he kissed her only a few moments ago, running her tongue along the line of his lips, asking him for entrance and he gave in to her request as her fingers ghosted along the neckline of his kimono, her fingertips barely touching the skin bared there, but still the gentle touch caused him to let out a small whimper.
He had never known that he was able to make that kind of sound, and apparently she hadn't neither, because she almost broke the kiss, causing him to repeat the sound and pull her closer while his tongue found hers and silently pleaded with her to continue.
She did: slowly, she let her tongue caress his. Each touch made Akira light-headed, and carefully he moved his hand from the back of her neck, down to her lower back, pulling her even closer. His other hand went to the ground for support as he carefully got on to his knees, letting one of the blankets slip from his shoulders and land beneath Yuya as he gently guided her down onto it. Still kissing her, he ran his fingers along her jawline, travelling further down to her throat where he could feel her pulse pounding just there, underneath his fingertips, something that made him feel so very alive. Kissing her lips one last time, Akira followed the line his fingers had travelled along, placing teasingly light kisses on her skin down to her jawline, where instead of continuing to travel down to meet his fingers, he went up. Up to that little spot below her ear where he had placed the first kiss. He kissed the soft skin, smiling when he heard a small moan escape her lips as she arched up against him. Slowly he began to kiss his way down to the place where his fingers had met her pulse, wanting to feel her life against his lips.
Wanting to feel her life around him, wanting to be a part of that life, her life. The last thought hit him at the same time his mouth reached his fingers and he stopped for just a second, thoughtfully running his fingers along the neckline of her kimono, wondering what that last thought meant. He definitely knew what the first thought meant, but suddenly he wasn't so sure if he could carry it through. This wasn't what she needed, was it? And since when had he ever cared about the girl's feelings in at situation like this? Of course he'd cared about the girl during the act before, but it was most of all because it was very reassuring for him to know that he was the reason to why she would let out moans of pleasure and that he would be the one taking her over the edge and make her scream out as she climaxed, just because he could.
And this was what he wanted, and hell, hadn't she herself asked him to do that!? But then why was he hesitating? Why was he having all these second thoughts? And why was that feeling that was so similar to the feeling of love she had described to him still roaming through his body? Through his entire being? And was this feeling the real reason to why he was hesitating?
He raised his head, wishing that he could see her face. The small noises she had made while he was kissing her died, out and he could feel her looking at him, and he took one last deep breath before collecting himself. "Yuya ... ." he whispered against her lips, the name coming out far more sensually than planned, but he had gotten her full attention.
"I ..." he began but broke off at the feel of her hands touching his neck before sliding down to his shoulders, her fingertips slipping under his collar, gently massaging his muscles and pulling him down into another deep and, - dared he to think, wanting kiss. She didn't give him much chance to think it all over, and soon he had lost himself to her again, his hand running down her body, following the fine curve of her waist rounding her hip before retreating to her neck.
A grunting sound coming from where he knew Bon was sleeping made Akira stop every movement to listen, to see if Bon were waking up, knowing that no matter how wrong this was, he certainly didn't want either Bon or Kyo to wake and tell him so.
Because it was wrong. Akira had figured that much out by this point. But sinners weren't supposed to worry about rights and wrongs anyway, were they?
He really didn't care, and as he concluded that the sound was nothing he turned his attention back to the girl on the ground beneath him. To Yuya. He smiled down at her, whispering her name against her lips before he kissed her.
"What is it, Akira? Am I doing something wrong?" she asked, her hands still resting at his shoulders.
"You, Yuya, are doing just fine." he reassured her with a calm smile. "I'm the one who's doing wrong."
He could feel her confusion as her head moved a little and he figured that she must have tilted it to the side.
"How can it be wrong when it feels so good?" Her voice sounded so innocent. Of course it felt good. It was supposed to feel god!
"Yuya ..." he paused for a second, "I think ..." Akira broke off entirely this time. He just couldn't say what he just was about to say. He couldn't say that he loved her. Especially not when he still wasn't sure what love was all about. "I think that we should stop now..." he then corrected him self, and he was pretty sure that he could feel himself blush.
"You didn't answer my question.Why is it wrong?"
Well, it was wrong because he felt bad about it. He felt bad about the fact that if he did this, if he went all the way and took away her innocence, he would know that she only did it to match Kyo.
Not him! Not Akira. No, she would do this because she wanted Kyo, not because he wanted him. And that thought really hurt. But he couldn't tell her that, either, so he placed a light kiss on her forehead and sat up. "Well, I don't think that it would be proper..." God, this sounded formal, but it was the best lie he could come up with: "for you to have your first time on the forest floor in the cold of the winter."
She sat up too.
Akira could feel her looking at him but was taken by surprise when she suddenly wrapped her arms around him. "How considerate." She whispered into his neck and, he loosened up and mirrored her action.
"I know ... ." There it was again. That warm feeling again, and the desire to hold her, not like he did now, but really hold her.
"But then I will not be a sinner tonight, I guess." she said and let go of him.
And he frowned, thinking hard.
After a few moments he reached a solution, and held out his hand. "Yuya. Let me hold you tonight," he offered, and felt her looking at him again. "Share my blanket tonight, and love Kyo at the same time."
"Akira?" She sounded like she was very surprised.
Did he sound desperate? He didn't think so , so he continued: "I'm sure that will count as a minor sin. Then you'll be a little step closer to your demon." He lay down, pulling the loose blanket over him. "Don't you think so?"
She hesitated a little before answering: "I ... I suppose." she moved a little closer.
"Well it won't hurt ... ." Those words were apparently what it took to convince her and before long she lay down beside him, her back against his chest.
Akira could feel his heart racing as he placed his arm around her waist.
"Akira, what..." she began when her rear end came into contact with his reawakened hardness and he couldn't help but chuckle lightly at her.
"Don't worry. It's a part of the sin."
And I'm just plainly torturing myself, but that's okay Yuya.
"Okay ...," he heard her yawn and felt her stretch against him. "I guess we should sleep then."
"Yes, we should."
Let me sleep it off, please?
"Tomorrow will be a long day..."
"Good night, Akira." she whispered and snuggled a little closer.
"Good night, Yuya" Akira smiled to himself and waited until he could hear from her breathing that she was asleep before adding: "and don't worry, you will reach Kyo eventually. As will I. But still, I hope that I will reach your heart first."