Title: Steam VI: Human After All
Rating: M (overall rating)
Warnings: Violence, gore, sex
Summary: For Konnichipuu. Steampunk AU: Civil war has torn the country of Nihon apart. On an abandoned battlefield, a scrap-scavenger stumbles upon the sole survivor buried amongst the wreckage. Why this man, why now, after everything that has gone before?
A/N: This chapter jumps back to the present
Previous Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5
"Not too shabby, on a soldier's allowance."
Youou started, shoving the door harshly across the last few inches into its frame and rattling it just a bit too loudly against the jamb as he balked at the intruder (or guest…or…whatever the hell he was) lighting the sconces mounted at either side of the doorframe. He knew there was a reason he'd invited this interloper back with him, it was just lost in the jingling of the change in his pocket against the key – the key! there the damned thing was – and why were there so many goddamned deadbolts on this door? His fingers fumbled against the twisted, overly ornate base of the key as it slid the bolt into place with a satisfying thunk. Satisfied, he turned back into the room, recollections of liquor and vague plans involving it fluttering back through his consciousness.
A dusty bottle wrapped in brown paper waggled itself in front of his face. "Glasses?"
"Right…" Youou snatched the bottle with a half-smirk and headed toward the narrow wardrobe that doubled as a china cabinet, shirking off his jacket and tossing it to land across the table as he went. Fay used the free hand this afforded him to set to unbundling the layers of scarves, jackets, hat and gloves that had mostly failed to keep him warm against the cold Nihon winter that evening. He folded these as neatly as he was able and set them to rest, along with his wrapped package, next to Youou's discarded jacket.
The glasses, much like everything else in the wardrobe, were covered with a thin layer of grime. Youou frowned to himself when a quick huff of air did nothing to dispel the caked on filth and grumbled a bit as he hooked the edge of his shirt around his index and middle fingers to scrub at the insides. He held one of the glasses up into the light to inspect his handiwork – it wasn't beautiful by any means, but it would have to do. He moved to set the glasses on the table and, after only a moment's confusion, found Fay sprawled on the floor (as much as one could sprawl in a seated position), leaning back against the cast iron bed from with his arms draped over wide-spread knees. He patted the floor next to himself and smiled teasingly. "You've only got one chair," he explained, as if Youou actually cared what had spurred this additional bit of nonconformity.
"Tche," Youou scoffed, settling on the floor next to him and passing off one of the glasses. He struggled for a moment with the bottle's cork, frozen fingers sliding uselessly along the slippery bark before finding purchase, but freed it quickly enough and sniffed at the bottle's neck. He recoiled – the street vendor hadn't been joking, this was surely the rankest, most vile liquor he had ever had the displeasure of burning his nostrils with. He cocked an eyebrow at Fay, who smiled and waggled his glass, before pouring a measure for each of them. It had been the last of the fool's money, after all…
"To a successful and hopefully short campaign," Fay announced, banging the rim of his glass gracelessly against Youou's and quickly swallowing its contents. It caught in his throat and he sputtered, fighting valiantly against his body's sudden and insistent urge to expel the foul drink at any cost. Youou grinned wickedly before sipping at his own and pointedly refilling Fay's glass.
Fay regarded the alcohol sloshing around his cup with a calculated mixture of suspicion, disgust, and general loathing and gently set the glass at his feet, refusing to look at it. "Worst two hundred yen I ever spent," he wailed.
Youou snorted and tossed another sip back. He had to agree, and fought to keep his lips from puckering and his tongue from slagging, defeated, down his throat. He scratched at the back of his neck and snorted his derision. "Worst two hundred spent by anyone, ever."
"Indeed," Fay laughed.
They sat in silence for what seemed like ages, but was, in reality, probably only minutes. Youou, for one, was thoroughly enjoying the break from chatter, but Fay was quickly reduced to snickering behind his hand.
"You're really bad at this, you know?"
"Hnn?" Youou's eyes widened as Fay closed the space between them, bridging the gap on hands and knees, and gently nipped at Youou's lower lip before closing his own over the top. He felt his breath catch in his throat and his knuckles collide with the floorboards as his arms dropped uselessly to his sides; while this was not entirely unexpected (he would have had to have been an idiot not to have seen it coming, and had, indeed, probably gone out of his way to encourage it by inviting him back here…the bastard), he was shocked by his own lack of preparedness in the moment and struggled to regain composure. The room suddenly felt five degrees colder – he was certain every hair on the back of his neck was standing at attention – the only source of warmth now the soft heat tugging gently at his lips…
He exhaled shakily and allowed his eyes to flutter closed at Fay's tongue found and teased apart his lips, sweeping once across their surface before plunging to meet his own. He tasted of foul liquor and salt sweat, and the surprising tang was enough to wrench Youou back from oblivion. His eyes opened once again, a feral gleam sparkling across their surface, and focused ruthlessly on the man knelt prostrate in front of him. Without another word, his hands slid from their resting place and dragged Fay to land gracelessly in his lap.
Fay snapped to attention, a surprised cough breaking against his windpipe and eyes dashing quickly from side to side as he registered his sudden assent into foreign territory. He leaned back, squeezing his knees into Youou's hips to steady himself, breathing heavily and looking quite as if he'd expected a punch to the face rather than an invitation to continue. Youou was momentarily lost between laughing at the ridiculousness of this and actually obliging him with a boxed nose for the implication. In the end, he settled for rolling his eyes and hooking a finger beneath the fool's necktie and slipping the red ribbon of fabric free from the fitted tweed vest. With the loose end firmly gripped in his palm, he twisted sharply at the wrist, yanking Fay forward in a floppy, shoulder-first fall, and met him halfway, open mouths smacking together and swallowing muted, hungry noises as he fumbled with the sloppy half-Windsor knot.
It had been ages since Youou last kissed like this – not since the days of slipping out through his bedroom window at night to escape the watchful and disapproving eyes of his father – and he was struck dumb with embarrassment, wondering if his tongue felt as fat and ungraceful in Fay's mouth as it did in his own, whether his fingers were really as slow and stupid as they seemed (or if the endless row of buttons down Fay's vest were just too small and tightly sewn to open easily), and whether the thudding of his heart against his eardrums was audible above the ever-growing volume of his breath. His mind reeled, distracted by these self-conscious idiocies, as Fay's chin kicked forward, breaking their lip-lock and knocking Youou's head backward into the thin mattress of the bed he reclined against. It bounced there once as he gasped for breath; Fay traced his lips down the underside of his jaw, reaching out occasionally with the lower to suckle small patches of skin between them, nibbling and biting between lingering caresses. The full frontal assault of hot, soft, and wet peppered with teeth and sharp continued as Fay slipped his fingers between their chests to work open the buttons of his double breasted shirt – buttons, he noted, that had the decency to be large and easy to maneuver through their eyelets, unlike these horrible small things holding Fay's vest together that he'd somehow lost track of the in the intervening seconds.
He wrenched his head back up from the mattress – more of an effort than it ought to have been, really, and he huffed with the exertion – and scrambled to regain his tenuous grip on the button row. Fay's mouth found his again, complicating the whole ordeal with its incessant warm slipperiness and coaxing their torsos too close once again and – GAH. The urge to be more vertical was quickly overwhelming his desire to fight with tiny buttonholes and blatantly foiling his muscles' attempts to hold him upright against the bed. He slid – carefully, controlled – until his shoulder met the cold floorboards, and dutifully ignored the scrape of a deviously projecting frame bolt as it peeled mercilessly across his shoulder blade. Rolling was easy; rolling such that neither of them ended up beneath the bed was not, and after several moments of jumbled limbs and muttered curses, he finally found himself pressed flat on his back, wiry hands clasping his shoulders and bony knees locked against his thighs, with the fool leaning over him like some sort of leering lech, grinning like a dope and laughing.
Youou narrowed his eyes, but allowed a sloppy half-grin to pull at his mouth as he finally had enough working space to tackle the infuriating vest, which he finally managed to loosen without much additional struggle, and set about working open the shirt beneath them, tossing Fay's necktie to the ground haphazardly and pushing the freed halves to the sides. His fingers traced a field of roughed scar tissue as they swept up towards Fay's shoulder and paused; the rough patch looked and felt completely out of place on someone so otherwise pristine and well-kempt.
Fay shirked his shoulder in response, trying to shake the hand away, and leaned forward, letting go his iron grip on Youou's shoulders and sliding upward until his elbows cracked against the floor. His knees slid back as well, scraping along Youou's thighs until he lay flush against him, and ground his hips down against Youou's growing erection. This produced a pleased growl, but failed to distract completely.
"That's a nasty exit wound," Youou murmured agasint Fay's lips as he rocked his hips forward once again, "What's it from?"
"It's," Fay breathed, bracing the backs of his elbows against Youou's shoulders and stroking the length of his body against the other man, "Not important."
"Besides," Fay murmured, tracing a jagged scar along Youou's neck with the tip of his nose, "You're not what one might call 'unmarked' yourself. Did you want to stop and give me a history lesson on every scar you ha-"
"Shut up," Youou insisted, closing his mouth over Fay's jabbering lips and gripping his waist tightly. His hands slid up the back of Fay's shirt, fingertips tracing along the notches of this spine, and dragged back down along his sides, thumbs pressing roughly into taught muscle as the remainder of his fingers dipped below Fay's waistband. Fay mewled and sucked harder at Youou's tongue, dragging his teeth down its length as he pulled his shoulders back and pushed up onto the palms of his hands. He panted heavily as Youou's fingers traced around the inner rim of his waist band to the front fastenings and slowly flicked each button through its hole.
The sharp breaths flitting past Youou's hairline as he abandoned the final button were beyond provoking and he eased his hips upward to force Fay back onto his knees, using the newfound gap to slip his hand down the front of the other's trousers and wrap lightly around his cock. His grip moved effortlessly, skin sliding easily back until his thumb met and swept slick circles around the crown. Above him, Fay shuddered and gaped, head lolling forward as he shifted his weight onto one palm and moved the other to reciprocate.
Youou's breath hitched in his throat as he found himself freed from his pants and gripped tightly. The jolt burning up his abdomen quickly melted away any lingering fears of clumsiness as he slipped easily back into a familiar rhythm, stroking and squeezing and thoroughly enjoying the contortions playing across Fay's face as he moved. His stomach tightened and hips pressed upward into Fay's grasp; his neck craned and stretched to meet with lips again, the desire to consume, to devour something becoming impossible to ignore and his free hand itched to occupy itself – seizing, groping, it didn't really matter at the moment. Deciding that one good surrender to temptation surely deserved another, he slid the tips of his fingers up the back of Fay's thigh, tracing his fingers around the curve of his ass, pawing at the lobe, and drawing out a gurgled mmmph of appreciation. Youou pulled forward, dragging Fay's knees and sending his palm skipping across the floor and leaving him panting in breathless surprise when their lips pulled apart. Fay tilted his chin into his chest to stare questioningly, but quickly found his neck forced backward as Youou latched on greedily, dipping his tongue into the dips and curves and savoring the sharphees and hehs of Fay's breath flitting across his hair.
Youou sucked harder and sped his hand, fingers flexing tightly. Fay's strokes became clumsy, fingers flexing without any coordination, until he paused completely and slapped his hand to the floor to support himself. Youou found he didn't care, or didn't have the presence of mind to care; Fay's hissed breaths had drawn into throaty moans that rattled against his teeth and the thighs shaking against his sides kept him teetering on the edge of oblivion. He could feel Fay's muscles tensing beneath his fingers, egging him on, until a bony hand crashed into his shoulder and pinned him to the floor. Fay's mouth crashed down over his own seconds later, sharp teeth dragging against his already swollen lips as a low pitched groan twisted its way around them and down the hollow of his throat. Warm semen splashed against his belly as Fay twitched and spasmed above him; Youou slowed his grip and swirled the pad of his thumb across the crown, pleased with the shuddered aftershocks this brought.
"You…" Fay breathed, staring down at him with a bead of sweat hanging at the end of his nose, "Fuck…" He smiled lopsidedly before dipping down to kiss Youou once again – lightly this time – and slowly inched back toward the other's feet.
Youou found himself suddenly very aware of his own neglected arousal and heaved himself up to balance on his elbows, watching intently as Fay, still slightly dazed and with unsteady breath, dipped his head to sweep his tongue out and around the head of Youou's cock. The sight of it was nearly enough to undo him, the warm lips that followed finished him with only a few quick movements. His elbows dug roughly into the floorboards as he flung his head back and bit his tongue, trying desperately to choke back the roar clawing its way up his throat as he climaxed.
He found himself back on the floor a moment later, ears ringing and suddenly very aware of every bit of dirt pecking its way into his back. The sheen of sweat that moments ago had been overbearingly heated was now claiming every bit of the cold draft blowing in from the window as its own and pinching his pores up into stiff peaks; still, he found himself completely unable to muster up the will or actual desire to move. Instead he closed his eyes and calmed his breath, relaxing into the slow creep of slumber worming its way through his veins.
There was an annoyingly cool hand pressing against his shoulder. Youou lifted one eyelid and grunted.
"You're not just going to pass out on me now, are you?" Fay was bent over him, smirking with amusement.
Youou dragged a hand across his face. "Did you have something else in mind…?" He was almost afraid to ask. He would have liked nothing better than to drift off to sleep on this horribly cold, filthy floor…
"Of course," Fay grinned and rattled something just beyond Youou's peripheral, "I need someone to help me finish this bottle."
Youou groaned loudly and moved to swing at him, but found his arm quickly captured and tugged. He rolled his eyes but stretched his torso into the pull anyway, until he once again found himself seated and resting against the bed frame. He lifted an eyebrow and stared warily at the bottle being offered. "What the hell," he snorted, accepting, "Morning is going to come too soon anyway."
Morning did come too soon, as it was wont to do, and by the time Youou returned to his room from the communal baths, the sun was already peeking through the thick curtains. Fay had taken his leave some hours earlier – disappearing just as slippery as he had waltzed in, offering only a small peck on the cheek as "goodbye." Oh, well – it wasn't as if Youou actually expected more to begin with.
He was halfway through dressing when he spotted the package left on the table. He scowled; there was less than three hours before his train left and he had no way of tracking the fool down to return it. He supposed he might leave it with the innkeeper in case Fay returned for it, but if it was valuable, he might be better off leaving it with the local police. He frowned at the brown paper wrappings for a long moment before rolling his eyes and peeling away the outer layer.
Inside was a neatly folded green uniform, trimmed with gold piping. Youou stared in disbelief.
That fucking idiot.
Youou cursed himself for not drawing the connections sooner – Fay's aversion to the military, his jokes about dodging the draft, his overall jitteriness in that goddamned store… Clearly he'd put a great deal of effort into his decision not to run, and now had left the uniform he was meant to report in sitting in Youou's room. It all seemed so…typical, though he hadn't known the man for long. Whatever; it wasn't his problem anymore. He would leave the package with the innkeeper and, in all likelihood, never have to worry about it again.