[xxx-Holic] Ready Now

Dinner is a work of art, if Watanuki does say so himself. He’s quite proud of his creation, and he can tell by the look on Doumeki’s face, that he enjoys it, too. But then, when has Doumeki ever seriously complained about anything Watanuki’s made for him?

The atmosphere is thick and heavy, brimming with anticipation. Watanuki can hardly sit still, but he’s never been the most composed either. Doumeki looks unperturbed, save for the heat in his eyes, the way he watches every movement Watanuki makes, the measured glances and the languid motions.

Years of friendship, of something more without crossing that final line, have come down to this moment, this night. Doumeki has always been more to him than just friend. At first a mere nuisance, an obstacle, then a valued companion, a helping hand even when Watanuki didn’t know he needed it. Then, he became a necessity in Watanuki’s life, a fixture, a loyal companion, his one, true connection to the outside world. His rock.

Watanuki has been avoiding that final push, the one thing that would cement Doumeki’s presence in his life, inside him even. He fears it, as much as he longs for it, and the dichotomy of his emotions has never ceased to amaze him.

Dinner is over. Watanuki delays things by doing the dishes, drying them even, before replacing them in the cupboard. He knows, with a strange but keen sense of always knowing where Doumeki is, that the other man is on the porch, enjoying the sake out of the store room.

Watanuki restlessly pats down his robe, drags fingers through his hair for no reason whatsoever, and then joins Doumeki out on the porch.

He sits next to the other man, close enough that they share warmth, and pointedly looks out at the garden, at the starlit sky, and the beams of moonlight peeking through a light sprinkling of clouds. He has no interest in the sake, despite what nerve-steeling courage it might give him. He’d rather be sober for this. He wants to remember, not forget.

They sit there for several long moments, in companionable, expectant silence. Doumeki finishes his sake. Watanuki picks out several constellations, not covered by the clouds. Some of the tension dissipates, making Watanuki wonder how he’d worked himself into such an anxious state in the first place.

When Doumeki’s hand lands lightly on his thigh, Watanuki wonders why he hadn’t done it sooner. When Doumeki leans over to kiss him, tasting like sake and lips warm, Watanuki wonders what he’d been afraid of. When Watanuki groans, Doumeki makes a soft noise, like a chuckle, and Watanuki wonders what the hell he thinks is so funny. But when Doumeki cups his face, deepens the kiss, and presses against him, Watanuki stops wondering at all.

[xxx-Holic] Maybe

It would be so easy to say no again. Maybe not in so many words, because a question has never been expressly asked. But saying no has always been the easy part. Sometimes, Watanuki doesn’t even have to think about it. Shaking his head, subtly pulling away, putting that noticeable distance, it’s become second nature to him.

His thoughts are on automatic self-defense, his heart carefully caged. He’s lost too much to try again, even when he knows he shouldn’t be afraid. He subconsciously think it’s safer to say no. Ignoring Doumeki… pretending he doesn’t see the affection… walking away from the reaching hand… all of that is the easy part.

It’s much, much harder to say yes. To realize that agreeing is what he’s wanted all along, but has been too afraid to do so.

For once, there are words in his throat, on his tongue. It would be so easy to say no. So much safer to give verbal denial to all of his body language refusals before. Watanuki has the feeling that this spoken no means there will be no more chances. It’ll be the final refusal, the final chance, the final offer.

He has the feeling that it will be the last time he’ll see that look in Doumeki’s eyes. That affection and longing will, from here on out, be carefully shuttered away.

Watanuki suspects that if he avoids that hand, shakes his head, and says the words, it’ll be the end. He won’t have to worry about the offer again. They can settle into a new rhythm, where Watanuki doesn’t have to pretend he doesn’t know what Doumeki wants from him.

It’s two syllables. His lips form the word and a scowl. His shoulders are already set with pretend irritation. It’d be so easy to just say it.

Except… Watanuki’s tired of taking the easy way out. He doesn’t want to lose Doumeki, and that single, powerful word will do it. Oh, Doumeki will still be here, still come around, but things won’t be the same. They’ll be painful, and in the end, Doumeki will gradually disappear from Watanuki’s life because Watanuki had been too much the coward to try and keep him.

Watanuki doesn’t want Doumeki to leave. He’s tired of playing the coward. He’s tired of implying no while all the time meaning by the gods, yes.

Closing his eyes, Watanuki exhales slowly, and opens them again. Sees a brand new world. His voice is calm, he feels oddly collected. “Stay for dinner,” he says, instead of telling Doumeki to get his own damn meal. But what he really means is stay tonight.

Judging by the look in Doumeki’s eyes, the slight curl to his lips that is the suggestion of a smile, he heard the underlying request. And he approves.

 

[xxx-Holic] Birthdays

Chop! Chop! Watanuki mutters under his breath, his knife slamming against the cutting board in neat, even strokes. He effortlessly slices through each vegetable until it’s cut to perfection.

It’s not anything special, he reasons to himself. He just had a little free time is all. It has nothing to do with the fact today is Doumeki’s birthday. Nothing at all. In fact, Watanuki barely remembered it.

He tells himself this as he packs the double layer bento and ties it off with a furoshiki cloth that coincidentally is Doumeki’s favorite color. Watanuki didn’t choose it; things just happened that way. And if there’s a certain favorite treat for a certain stupid oaf, Watanuki didn’t intend that either. It’s all an accident, pure and simple.

Lunchtime rolls around and Himawari-chan looks exceptionally cute today. Her smile makes him all warm and giddy inside, like she’s surrounded by a halo of sparkles.

And then Doumeki shows up. Watanuki shoves his lunch at him without any fanfare and gushes over Himawari-chan’s cute bento even if it is store bought. He doesn’t give the big idiot another glance. Why should he?

There’s nothing special about this day, except for the fact he gets to see Himawari-chan of course. Nope. Nothing at all.

“Oi.”

Watanuki’s eyebrow twitches and he whirls toward Doumeki, back straight as a board and hands clenched at his side. “What?”

Doumeki pops one of Watanuki’s carefully crafted onigiri into his mouth without any hint of delicacy whatsoever. “S’good.”

Is that supposed to be a compliment or something? Watanuki feels his ears turn hot.

“But you forgot the salmon.”

Watanuki explodes. “Do I look like your personal cook?”

Himawari-chan giggles, and she’s just so cute when she does that, except– “It was so sweet of you to remember Doumeki’s birthday, Watanuki.”

“I didn’t– I wouldn’t–” Watanuki splutters, his face growing more heated. Himawari-chan giggles again and that dumb oaf just keeps shoveling the food in like it was made special for him or something. Che.

[xxx-Holic] The Fallen Butterfly

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Doumeki is often reminded of this the more time he spends with Watanuki, from the before to the after. He’s different now, a little quieter, a little softer, a little more contained. But at heart, he’s still the same Watanuki. Blustering and loud and pretending he hates cooking and company, but enjoying every minute of it.

He’s different with Doumeki, too, but still the same. He relents a little more often now, gives in with less of a fight, but the fight remains. He sometimes yells or flails, but not as often as before and only when it’s just the two of them. He mutters about slobbery kisses and lecherous hands and “big, dumb oafs that have no regard for romance or anything really” but in the end he lets Doumeki kiss him anyway. Different and yet the same.

Doumeki buries his face in Watanuki’s bared throat and breathes, taking in the scents of tea and smoke and cooking. He mouths at pale skin, tasting sweet and salty all at once. Watanuki’s warm and far too thin, but he’s Watanuki so that makes it all better.

Doumeki’s hands roam, dragging down Watanuki’s sides, tickling over bare skin, tracking the reach of thin, long limbs. Watanuki squirms, uncomfortable under so much determined focus, but for once, he doesn’t complain.

Sometimes, in moments like this, he relents just a little and that makes it worth everything in the world.

Doumeki can only see him here, can only be with him in this house, in this room that still feels like it’s former owner. He is Watanuki’s link to the outside world, and there’s something heady in that, something that makes him feel valued and cherished.

His hand slides aside layers of expensive silk, a perfect match to Watanuki’s pale skin. This Watanuki who is so different and yet the same. He tastes the same, feels the same, but there is a brokenness inside that Doumeki wishes he could fix and keep. He doesn’t know what he wants, except to say that he wants Watanuki. He has the feeling Yuko would have smiled saying that it makes perfect sense.

Yuko, however, is the source of this change, and so Doumeki wisely steers away from thoughts of her. For now.

He instead focuses on Watanuki, the subtle changes in his breathing, the way his body squirms and moves fluidly. The taste of his skin and the look in his eyes, one his own, one Doumeki’s. Another burst of possessive pride rises in him at that as well. His in so many ways.

Doumeki kisses him, slowly and thoroughly, and hopes one day that it will be enough. Unlikely perhaps, but he’s also had a soft heart for lost causes. Watanuki is no exception.

 

[xxx-Holic] The New Year

He had tried to embrace Watanuki in the kitchen, when Watanuki had been standing at the stove, distractedly stirring something in a large pot. Doumeki had wrapped his arms around Watanuki from behind, buried his face in messy black hair, and for all of a moment, felt complete bliss having that wiry body pressed against his.

Until Watanuki promptly jabbed a bony elbow backward, straight into Doumeki’s ribcage, and added a barked command to “Get back out there and wait. The food won’t cook any faster with you groping me.” Watanuki always knew the best way to kill any romance.

Doumeki had tried to grab Watanuki’s hand when they were standing on the engawa, watching the amateur fireworks shoot into the sky. Beautiful displays of red and orange and green and pink, lighting up the night in celebration. Watanuki had ripped his hand away with a move so quick he’d almost careened right off the porch.

Doumeki had grabbed his elbow, steadying him, and Watanuki had muttered something about brainless oafs and put a noticeable distance between them. His face blossomed pink, but whether out of embarrassment because of his clumsiness or Doumeki’s attempt at romance, Doumeki would never guess.

He’d tried to steal a kiss in the hallway, where it was too narrow for two people to pass each other without touching. He and Watanuki had brushed very close, close enough for Doumeki to smell the incense that always clung to Watanuki nowadays, and the soft scent of his shampoo and soap. Close enough for Doumeki to feel the heat Watanuki seemed to radiate in droves, but never seemed inclined to share with Doumeki.

But before Doumeki could even lean in, capture those lips, Watanuki wriggled like a multi-armed being and made his escape, skittering down the hallway as though he were a frightened cat.

Doumeki had sighed inwardly and resigned himself to the fact he’d have to ring in the new year without so much as a kind look from his so-called lover.

On the porch, minutes after the last bells had tolled and the sound of celebration could still be heard by those with ears good enough to catch them, Watanuki invited Doumeki to share a bottle of Yuuko’s sake with him, eyes shifted away and a noticeable blush in his cheeks.

Watanuki didn’t fight when Doumeki reached for him instead, when Watanuki ended up sprawled halfway across his lap, their lips sealed together in an awkward, sloppy kiss that couldn’t have been more perfect. Watanuki had squirmed, and made appropriate sounds of enjoyment in his throat, and Doumeki forgave his earlier skittishness in an instant.

He always did.

[CtE] Checkmate

“Starscream.”

“What?” He didn’t look up. He remained focused on his objective.

“It’s your move.”

Starscream’s wings hiked upward. “I know that.”

Laughter rumbled deep in Grimlock’s chassis. “Are you sure? Because it’s been ten minutes.”

Starscream narrowed his optics. “I’m thinking. This requires planning.”

“Star, we’re playing Checkers.”

He huffed a ventilation. “Your point?”

Grimlock hummed. He traced a finger along the edge of Starscream’s wing. He shivered and flicked it back at his lover.

“It’s not that serious,” Grimlock said. “It’s just a game.”

“One I intend to win.” Starscream peered at the board.

“You don’t have to win at everything.”

Starscream snorted. “You don’t know me at all, do you?” He reached across the board and moved a single piece. “Your turn.”

“I know you. I just didn’t realize that extended to an organic board game.” Grimlock chuckled and made his move in less than thirty seconds. Hah. He clearly wasn’t playing this as much attention as he ought.

“It extends to everything.” Starscream smirked and promptly jumped all but one of Grimlock’s pieces. “Checkmate!”

“We’re playing Checkers.”

“No. I’m winning Checkers,” Starscream retorted with a snicker. “And you owe me.” He poked Grimlock in the chassis, right over his still gleaming Decepticon badge.

Grimlock captured his hand, fingers warm as they wrapped around Starscream’s wrist, and he pulled it toward his mouthplate. Starscream’s knuckles brushed against it.

“I don’t remember making a bet,” he murmured.

Starscream shivered. “Yes, well, we did. So graciously accept your defeat.”

Grimlock purred at him, “When it comes to you, I always do.”

[CtE] Safeword

“Look at how hungry you are,” Grimlock growled as he crouched over Starscream, the tip of his spike lingering at the rim of Starscream’s valve, teasing him with the idea of penetration. “Your frame is begging for mine.”

Starscream’s wings fluttered, tapping against Grimlock’s chestplate. “Is not,” he gasped out, even as his hips rolled back, desperately trying to capture Grimlock’s spike, and failing.

Grimlock chuckled, nuzzling into the side of Starscream’s intake, ex-venting heat onto the sensitive cables. He had one arm wrapped around the Seeker’s midsection, keeping their lower halves pinned together. The other arm wrapped over Starscream’s right shoulder, his hand planted against Starscream’s chest, right over his spark chamber.

“Such a liar,” Grimlock purred. He thrust forward a bare inch, the head of his spike enveloped by tight heat that rippled around him. “Lying to me and yourself, aren’t you, pet?”

“I’m not!” Starscream cried, but it came on the tail end of a moan and completely belied his denial.

Grimlock chuckled. His hand slid up Starscream’s chestplate, until it rested at the base of his intake. He rolled his hips, sinking in another few inches. He wasn’t even halfway inside Starscream and already he had to fight to keep himself under control.

“Of course you are.” He pressed his head against Starscream’s, tilting it to the side. He tightened his grip around Starscream’s waist, dragging him tighter against Grimlock’s lower half. “Bet I can make you beg.”

Starscream bit off a moan.

“Won’t you?” Grimlock asked, his hand sliding further up until his fingers touched Starscream’s chin. “If I kept you like this, you’d beg for it so sweetly.”

Starscream stilled beneath him, and said nothing, not even a moan. A ripple went through his armor, but it was over so quickly, Grimlock almost thought he imagined it. Starscream’s valve continued to grip him, as if trying to draw him deeper.

Grimlock stroked Starscream’s jaw, purring right into his audial. “I can’t hear you,” he murmured. “You need to speak up if you want something, pet.”

Nothing. Starscream shivered, making a dull sound at the base of his vocalizer. His aft pushed back as if in indication he was eager, but his field didn’t match.

“Starscream,” Grimlock said, dropping the growl from his voice. When he didn’t get an immediate response, he decided enough was enough. “Starscream, stop.” It was easier to keep it simple.

Stop meant stop.

“Stop?” Starscream repeated, and he sounded honestly confused. “Are you getting a comm?”

“No. We just need to stop.” Grimlock gently drew back, careful to keep his field entwined with Starscream’s, but easing his spike from Starscream’s valve, and easing his grip on Starscream to something gentler as well. “You’re uncomfortable.”

“What? I am not!” Starscream sounded indignant, his wings going rigid and slapping against Grimlock’s front.

Grimlock sat back on the berth just as Starscream squirmed out of his arms and whipped around to face him, the color in his face not entirely arousal. There was surprise there, too. Surprise and indignation.

“And even if I was, I’ll get over it,” he muttered, folding his arms over his cockpit, a failed attempt at looking outraged.

“Getting over it is not the point,” Grimlock said with a soft ex-vent. “I’m only going to have fun with this if you are. And you were fine up until a point. What was it?”

Starscream suddenly found the opposite wall very interesting. “It doesn’t matter.”

Grimlock scooted closer, grabbing a pillow to put it over his lap. Starscream’s own equipment had stowed itself, further proof that he’d been uncomfortable.

“It does to me.” He reached for Starscream and felt relieved when Starscream reached back, at least with one hand. “I want to know how not to hurt you again.”

Starscream’s frown flattened. “You didn’t hurt me.”

“Making you uncomfortable counts.” Grimlock’s thumb rubbed his palm.

Starscream sighed and scraped his free hand down his face. “You’re not going to let this go, are you?”

“No. If you don’t want to talk about it now, that’s fine. But it’s gonna come up before we try any of this again.” Grimlock would insist on it.

Starscream might think he was supposed to push through it, but Grimlock refused to accept it.

They would both have the time of their life, or none at all.

“Fine. But not now,” Starscream grumbled, and let Grimlock pull him into an embrace. “Let’s just get cleaned up.”

“That I can do.” Grimlock pressed his mouthplate to Starscream’s head.

He would never be like any of the others. He absolutely refused.