by Rana Eros
Ban is still shirted (shirty?), but we're taking it one step at a time with him. Betaed once more by Eliza, Karot, and Rune. Title nabbed from The Postal Service.
Ginji wakes up when Ban touches his shoulder, opens his eyes to see Ban looking down at him in the fading sunlight. Ban's face is in shadow, but Ginji knows what he'd see: worry and weariness, small signs of slowly fading pain. Miroku's attack wasn't that long ago, and after that the job which required Ban to go up against Hishiki. Ginji's just glad he was the one to face off with Akabane this time. Ban would have won, but Ginji doesn't think it would have been a clean victory.
So he got hurt instead. It's an acceptable trade-off, even if it means he can't take care of Ban as well.
The puppy stirs in his arms and he looks down to see it watching Ban. Ban drops his hand from Ginji's shoulder, lets the puppy sniff his fingers; it seems to like what it smells, because it immediately begins licking him, small tail twitching against Ginji's skin. Ginji understands how it feels.
"You ready to go?"
"I guess." He'd be happy to just stay here for, oh, a couple of days, but he supposes the hospital staff would have something to say about that, and the concrete's not exactly comfortable. It's just that even thinking about getting up requires so much effort.
"Come on." Ban pulls his hand away from the puppy, who whines a little at the loss, and helps Ginji get to his feet. Ginji tries not to lean on Ban too much, staying against the pillar until he feels steady enough to walk on his own. Hevn steps out the hospital door, and Ginji supposes that's his signal to surrender the puppy so they can leave. He wonders if Ban plans to take them to the Honky Tonk, or if he's going to have to push for it.
"Are you going to be all right, Gin-chan?" Hevn asks as Ginji hands over the puppy. His arms feel startlingly empty, and he doesn't even think before he's throwing one over Ban's shoulders. Ban says nothing, just reciprocates with an arm around his waist, and Ginji finds it in himself to smile at that.
"I'll be fine, Hevn-san, don't you worry."
Ban points them at the parking lot, and they walk to where the Ladybug is, for once, legally parked. He has to let go of Ban to get inside, and again he's hit with that emptiness. It's all he can do not to latch onto Ban again when Ban gets in the car.
Instead, he says, "I think we should--"
"We're going to a hotel," Ban interrupts. Ginji blinks.
"Can we afford that?"
"We got paid." Ban glances sidelong at him and frowns. "The old man insisted, so don't start."
He feels bad about taking the old man's money, but a hotel is good. A hotel means a bed, where he can stretch out and hold onto Ban as much as he wants, feel Ban alive and safe and with him. A hotel means they can both rest.
Ban takes them to one of their usual places. It's nothing fancy, but there are sinks in each room, and beds big enough for two, with sheets worn soft with age and washing. As soon as they're inside the room and the door's shut, Ginji pulls Ban over to the bed with him and lies down, positioning himself on Ban's left side, head on Ban's left shoulder, shoes kicked off along the way. Ban just wraps his arms around Ginji and exhales slowly, and Ginji hears the thump of his boots kicked off the bed. They're going nowhere now.
Ginji expects to drop off to sleep like that, listening to Ban breathe, feeling Ban's heartbeat beneath his hand, the warmth of Ban's skin against his right temple. But while all these things are reassuring, soothing, they're not relaxing in the usual way. That touch of skin makes him want more, the sound of Ban breathing makes him want to quicken it; he feels Ban's heartbeat and wants to find that pulse elsewhere. He's hungry, and this is a rare opportunity to indulge that hunger, to ease the worry he's been living with for too long.
He slides his hand under the open collar of Ban's shirt, fingertips pressed against Ban's chest. Ban draws in a breath.
His voice is soft, softer than Ginji thinks anyone else gets to hear it. He lifts his head so he can meet Ban's eyes, so he can take his hand out of Ban's shirt and remove Ban's glasses, reaching across Ban to place them on the old stool that serves as a nightstand. He takes his gloves off too, setting them beside the glasses while Ban watches him, eyes glittering even in the growing dark of the hotel room. Then he reaches back down and starts to undo the buttons of Ban's shirt, and Ban's hand is in his hair, coaxing him down for a kiss. He lingers over it, breathing in Ban's breath, Ban's life.
Ban's slipped his free hand under Ginji's shirt, and Ginji can feel it warm and strong on his back, palm pressed to his spine. He frees Ban's last button, spreads the shirt open and runs his hand down the center of Ban's torso, breaks free of the kiss to follow it with his mouth. He only gets so far before he has to pause and pull his own shirt over his head, with Ban's help, since it's Ban's hand making it impossible to move farther down. It hurts a little; he healed most of the damage of Akabane's scalpels and his fall when he charged the air at the dam, but there are still bruises and cuts and scrapes to contend with, and he can't forget that Ban's still healing. So he moves slowly, carefully, leaves the shirt in Ban's hands and bends to kiss Ban's chest, just over his heart, before picking up where he left off. Ban's breath catches, his arms dropping to the mattress above his head as he arches into Ginji's tongue. It's permission, to take this at his own pace, to direct Ban however he likes. It's trust, of a sort Ban never gives anyone.
No one but him, and he'll die before he betrays it. But this, right now, is about life. His life, Ban's; the life he found waiting for him outside the shadow of Mugenjou, the life he sees in the intense blue light of Ban's eyes. The life he won't let anyone take from him.
The life pulsing beneath his mouth right now, and he unbuckles Ban's belt and opens his fly, tracing that pulse over bared skin. He hooks Ban's pants and boxers both and pulls down. Ban lifts his hips and Ginji strips him, shifts around for a more comfortable position and then presses his lips to Ban's inner thigh, sucking a mark there. Ban's hands drop to his hair, mindfully gentle, shaking almost imperceptibly.
No one else says his name like that, like it's the only thing worth saying. It's not, of course, and he breathes Ban's name against Ban's flesh as he skims upward, shifting again to touch his tongue to Ban's balls. Ban makes a soft, choked noise, and his fingers spasm in Ginji's hair, but his grip doesn't tighten. Ginji feathers his own fingers over the mark he made, spreading the wetness of his saliva across Ban's skin, marking Ban in another way. Ban makes another sound and flexes under Ginji's hand, changing the character Ginji's tracing where thigh and pelvis meet. Ginji smiles, moves and licks Ban's balls again, feels Ban's hands slide through his hair as he keeps moving, keeps licking, cups Ban's balls and runs the finger of his free hand up the underside of Ban's dick, pressing his nose to the base and inhaling.
He remembers the first time Ban took him to the ocean, and he stood in the waves and let them pull him under, and realized that the water smelled just like Ban does, down here. He's never told Ban, but he always makes sure to fall in at least once when they go to the beach, so he has that scent in his nose for the rest of the day.
Even when he'd been close to drowning, his limbs unresponsive in the cold water, that smell had been a comfort, pushing him toward the shore. Pushing him toward where Ban could find him.
He pushes himself up now, back into a position where Ban can touch him and he can take the head of Ban's dick into his mouth. The taste is more intoxicating than the smell, and Ban's hands are in his hair again, a little less careful, but he likes that. Likes knowing he affects Ban as deeply as Ban affects him. Ban's hips move, and Ginji takes hold of them, pressing Ban back down to the mattress. Muscles shift under his hands, but Ban doesn't fight him; his pace, his choice. He moves slowly, sliding his mouth up and down, his tongue moving rhythmically. He loosens his hold enough to let Ban rock his hips a little, listens to Ban's breathing change, feels Ban's fingers twitch. Ban is hard and hot in his mouth, hard and coiled under his hands, alive, fiercely alive. Ginji wants to taste it.
Ban's speaking now, hard, breathless consonants in a language Ginji doesn't know, but Ginji's name is threaded through the words like a mantra, and so he doesn't mind not recognizing the rest. Ban's hands drop from his head to cover his own on Ban's hips, squeezing tightly, before Ban moves to clench the sheets. It'll cost them extra if the bedding's torn, but Ginji knows Ban would rather risk that than hurting him. He wouldn't mind a few bruises, and he could heal any other damage, but there are things even he can't talk Ban into doing. So he shrugs off the pang at the loss of Ban's touch; he's still got Ban under him, in his hands and in his mouth. It's enough for this moment.
More than enough, when Ban gasps his name one last time, tense in every muscle, and then Ginji's swallowing down that taste, that richness, and he's reminded even the ocean is only a pale imitation, when he drowned in Ban long ago.
Ban relaxes beneath him, and he licks the last few drops, holding them on his tongue, letting them mingle with his saliva as he moves back up the bed, back up Ban's body. He notes that Ban didn't rip the sheets, though they look a little more worn, before Ban's arms come up around him and they're kissing again, slow and messy. One of Ban's hands drops to his waist, and he moves to lick Ban's jaw, his throat, as Ban frees him from belt and shorts and underwear. Ban turns his head and catches Ginji's ear between his teeth, bright flash of sweet pain soothed by soft lips, wet tongue. Both of Ban's hands are on his shorts now, pulling them down, and he shifts until he can kick them away, never breaking contact. Then Ban pulls him down, cradling him, and they start to move.
Ban rocks him, and he goes with it, trying to maintain a little distance, give Ban a chance to recover. Ban's having none of it; Ginji's turn to call the shots is apparently over. He can't feel too bad about that, not with Ban pressed up against the length of his body, heated skin and lean muscle, fitting against him just right. Ban hooks a foot behind his calf and rolls them until it's Ban on top, coming down to him. Doing most of the work, and that's just like Ban, watching out for him when there's nothing to prove. Taking care of him because that's what they do.
"Ban-chan," he whispers, and Ban smiles, and it's another thing Ban gives no one but him, that smile, the look that accompanies it. And maybe it's selfish, but he likes it that way. "Ban-chan."
Ban kisses him, and it's hard and hungry, and Ban is hard again, rocking with more speed. Ban puts his hands to either side of Ginji's head, and Ginji pulls away from Ban's mouth so he can turn and suck on Ban's right wrist.
He brings his hand up, holds Ban right there, traces Ban's spine with the fingertips of his other hand. Ban shifts, angles in just right, and Ginji has to pull back or risk drawing blood as the current runs through his body and the storm hits, and this part is always a storm, with lightning the color of Ban's eyes. He hears Ban say his name again, somewhere above him, feels Ban come against him, thinks muzzily, storm at sea.
Ban collapses against him, solid, living weight, and he holds on. He turns his head again so they can pant into each other's mouths, not so much kissing as sharing breath. His heart is racing, and this close he can feel Ban's pulse pounding, but it's not long before both have slowed down, before Ban's breathing comes softer, easier against him. Then Ban stirs, starts to pull away, and Ginji holds on harder.
"We're going to stick together if we don't clean up, Ginji."
Right. But he still gets up with Ban, kisses him again beside the bed.
"Idiot. The sink's right there."
Still, Ban doesn't protest when he follows, and they end up taking turns cleaning each other off, in between the kisses Ginji insists on and Ban doesn't fight. They return to the bed, and Ban shrugs off his shirt before lying down, looking loose-limbed and soft-edged, content. Ginji joins him, and they're back to the position they started in, Ginji's head pillowed on Ban's left shoulder, Ginji's left arm across Ban's chest, both Ban's arms around him. He breathes out slowly, closes his eyes, drifts off to dreams of Ban by the ocean, playing with a puppy in the waves.
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