Cold Outside
by Rana Eros

It's becoming a thing, now, Ban and the shirt. Even when smut is involved. Boy is shy. Betaed by Eliza, Karot, and Rune. Title kiped from Esther Williams.

They've been partners only a few months when winter comes, but Ginji already knows Ban well enough to see the cold affecting him. He curls in on himself when no one is looking, and he's not as adamant about passing out flyers. They stop by the Honky Tonk more frequently, and Ban keeps his hands wrapped around his coffee mug the whole time they're there.

Ginji siphons off powerlines to keep himself warm, and he gives Ban a little of the current whenever they touch. That's not as often as he'd like; Ban's skittish, like he's not used to being touched with affection, and Ginji's working on him, but it's a slow process.

Then Paul pulls him aside while Ban's off taking a piss, and says, "There's still the spare futon upstairs. You figure out a way to talk him into it, it's yours for the night. And any other night that's this damn cold."

Ginji beams at him, and would hug him except the sunglasses are still kind of intimidating. "Thanks, Chief!"

"Eh." Paul shrugs. "You two are already running up quite a tab. If you freeze to death, who's going to pay it?"

Ginji's not entirely certain that's a joke, so he just says thanks again and tries to formulate a plan before Ban gets back. They used to sleep on that futon sometimes before they got the Ladybug, but while Paul's subtly offered since then, Ban's always ignored it. Ginji thinks it might be a pride thing; Paul's right about their tab, but Ban doesn't seem to like being indebted to anyone otherwise. It's like he doesn't trust them not to take advantage.

"Let's go, Ginji!" Ban passes by the booth and keeps walking, catching Ginji by surprise. Yeah, they've finished their meal, but he was fully expecting Ban to want to linger inside the heated cafe.

"Ban, wai--"

"I want to see if we can drum up some business before it gets really dark." Ban doesn't even pause, but coming up behind him, Ginji sees him turn his head and cast Paul a speculative, challenging look. Like he knows Paul offered the futon again, and he wants to be sure Paul sees they're not taking it.

Which means Ginji needs to come up with another plan, because it really is cold when they step outside. Even he can feel it before he leeches a little power off the surrounding buildings. There's a sharp wind that catches at Ban's hair, blowing it against one side of his skull and away from the other. He shivers a little and Ginji reaches out, brushes fingertips over his bare forearm, passes him heat. And Ban doesn't pull away, just looks at him and smiles faintly, straightening in a way that pushes him into Ginji's fingers for a moment.

Only a moment, though, and then he's turning away, headed for the Ladybug.

Apparently he's serious about drumming up business, but people only eye them sidelong, probably due to their lack of coats, and hurry on to get out of the cold themselves. Ban usually insists they split up to cover more ground, but Ginji stays beside him, casually touching him from time to time, and he doesn't protest. It's not as good as being in a warm place, Ginji knows, but it's what he can offer right now. At least Ban's taking it.

Finally, even Ban has to admit defeat. It's eight, a few hours past dark, and anybody who wants to hire a retrieval service is going to wait for morning. Even the traffic cops seem to be scarce; the Ladybug remains unticketed and untowed when they return to her.

Ban drives them to a public park and pulls up under a streetlamp. Ginji ponders his chances of convincing Ban to drive back to the Honky Tonk and take Paul up on his offer. Probably less good than they had been prior to trying to gain a client, despite the fact that Ban is colder. Or possibly because of it. Ban seems inclined to get more stubborn when he's not feeling well. He feels like he should try, though.


"I'll get the blankets out of the trunk."

Ginji reaches across Ban to keep him from opening his door, and frowns at how cold Ban's hand is under his. "We should go back to the Honky Tonk."


"You're cold--"

"Are you?"

Ginji considers lying, but somehow he thinks Ban would know, and he doesn't want Ban not to trust him. "No."

"I won't be either, if you let me get the blankets."

"I'll get them." And Ginji moves fast, so he's out of the car before Ban can even blink. He's certain Ban's frowning at him from inside the car, but he doesn't look, just lifts the front hood and reaches past the spare to hunt for their worn blankets, which he finds tucked under their clothes. They're not going to do much good, even if he heats them up and insists Ban take them both. Just continuing to touch Ban will work better.

He's just going to have to make Ban see that.

He gets back in the car and considers, holding the blankets in his lap. He can see Ban looking at him out of the corner of his eye, one brow raised and his arms crossed in a way that's probably meant to look impatient, but Ginji can tell it's a reaction to the cold. It makes him wish Ban were less stubborn, because it's stupid that he's freezing himself on a point of pride, but Ban probably wouldn't have fought him to a standstill in Mugenjou without that stubbornness. Probably wouldn't have entered Mugenjou in the first place.

"Yo, Earth to Ginji! I gotta fight you for one of those or what?"

But Ginji can be stubborn too, especially when the result is important, so he meets Ban's eyes and scoots over on the bench seat. He considers it a victory that Ban doesn't tense or move back at his approach, just frowns a little, looking puzzled.

"You can have them both, if you want," Ginji says. Ban opens his mouth, closes it again when Ginji reaches out and sets one hand on the back of his, coaxing both arms away from Ban's body. He moves close enough to wrap Ban in his own arms, the blankets draped over his left side. "Or we could share."


"You're so cold, Ban-chan." He slips his hands under Ban's shirt, spreads his fingers against Ban's back, trying to cover as much surface as possible, pulling power from the lines outside and generating warmth for them both. "Isn't this better?"

"Just wait--"

"I've been waiting," he breathes against Ban's lips, and Ban growls, takes Ginji's face between his chilled hands and kisses him. It's a hard kiss, angry; probably meant to warn him off, to intimidate him. He likes it. He likes the way Ban pushes him, the way Ban's not afraid of him. Nobody dared to kiss him like this in Mugenjou, not even Kaoru.

Nobody made him want to kiss back with all this hunger. Ban's tongue is in his mouth and he tastes it with his own, opening his mouth wider, pulling Ban closer. Ban makes a sound at that, somewhere between a gasp and a whimper, helpless and wanting. His hands move from Ginji's face to Ginji's shoulders, gripping convulsively as Ginji starts to stroke, tracing Ban's spine, warming him up. Ban breaks the kiss, turns his face away, but doesn't pull free.

"You don't have to do this, Ginji."

"Do you want me to stop?"

Ban laughs, shaky and breathless and not quite amused. "That a trick question?"

Ginji makes himself hold still, because he's not just warming Ban up now, and maybe Ban really doesn't want it. "No, it's not. Ban-chan, look at me."

Ban shakes his head, but he does it, and his eyes are almost all pupil in the darkened car. That makes him seem more vulnerable somehow, the lack of shocking blue, and Ginji wants nothing more than to keep him safe, to make him happy.

Ban's his in a way even the Volts weren't, and Ginji takes care of what's his.

"Do you want me to stop, Ban-chan? Do you want me to do something else?"

"I want to know what you want, Ginji."

"You." Ban blinks, and Ginji thinks maybe that's not specific enough. "I want to be your partner."

"Like this?"

"Like every way, Ban-chan, but only if you want it. I'm just happy to be with you."

Ban shakes his head again, and his hands flex on Ginji's shoulders, like he's trying to decide what to do with them. "Do you even know what you're doing?"

"I know what I want to do." Ginji grins, moves a little. He can feel scars on Ban's skin. He wants to see them. "But you'd get cold and we'd get the car dirty, so this is good for now. Except I'd like to go back to the kissing."

Ban's eyes go really wide, and then he hauls Ginji even closer. This kiss is still intense, but Ginji doesn't think Ban's angry anymore. Certainly, Ban seems pleased when Ginji slides one hand out of his shirt, cups the back of his head and changes the angle, chasing Ban's tongue back into his mouth. Ban makes another of those soft sounds, and Ban's hair is soft, Ban's skin soft beneath Ginji's hands. And it is much, much too cold, and too cramped in the car, for what he really wants to do with Ban, the way he wants to touch Ban everywhere and taste him everywhere and feel his hands, his eyes, everywhere.

Ban's eyes are closed right now. Ginji doesn't have to open his own to know that. He can always feel it when Ban's looking at him, and he likes to look back. Ban's eyes are beautiful; Ban is beautiful, and Ginji used to think Kazuki was the most beautiful person he would ever meet.

Ban's teaching him he was wrong about all kinds of things.

Ban pulls back abruptly. Ginji startles himself by growling at that, and Ban laughs; Ginji likes how breathless it sounds. "We need to stop, Ginji."

He knows that; there are places where Ban's not soft and Ginji's certainly not. He doesn't want to stop, though. He presses his lips to the side of Ban's throat and murmurs, "We've got clothes in with the spare."

"Cold, Ginji." But Ban's wound his arms around Ginji's neck, and he's not letting go.

"I don't feel it, and I could warm yours up."

"You're the one who said--fuck!"

Apparently, Ban's jawline is sensitive. Ginji lingers there, his tongue tingling with the barest hint of stubble. He grazes the skin with his teeth; Ban swears again, then pulls back one arm to take Ginji's chin in his hand and tilt Ginji's head up. Ginji goes with the motion just to get back in range of Ban's mouth.

Ban seems to have given up on the idea of stopping. He lets go of Ginji's face and runs his hand down Ginji's chest to his waist, where he reaches under Ginji's shirt and tugs at his belt. Ginji follows suit, pressing one last wave of heat into Ban's back before moving to undo his buckle, unbutton his fly, and reach in. Ban jerks in surprise, and Ginji hears worn leather give way.


"Shut up. We'll buy a new one. Metal, to conduct--"

"I don't care about that." Though it makes him smile that Ban's always thinking, always planning. "Are you okay with this?"


"You're really jumpy."

Ban opens his eyes again with what looks like a lot of effort. He stares at Ginji for a long moment, and Ginji makes himself look back with a --mostly-- straight face. "Ginji."


"Are you teasing me?"

"I'm just making sure." But he has to grin, because he realizes he kind of is teasing Ban; Ban's cute when he's flustered, and Ginji's never seen him this undone.

"You do--ah!"

Ban's cute when he's flustered, but his hand is still on Ginji's pants, and Ginji's hand is wrapped around his dick, and Ginji wants to get back to that part of things now. Ban takes the hint, works the button at Ginji's waist free, pulls down the zipper far enough to slip his fingers inside. And then his eyes go very wide.

"You're not--"

He moves his hand on Ban's dick and presses his mouth against that spot on Ban's jaw, unwilling to lose momentum. Ban's probably going to be mad after, that Ginji keeps interrupting him, but he's really not sure all this talking is necessary. Especially not about things like his current lack of underwear, which is really working in their favor in this situation. Or will be, once he gets Ban back into the rhythm again.

Ban's fingers scramble against his bare skin for a moment, then Ban takes a shuddering breath and twists his hand and there, that's...well, it'll be good in a minute, once Ban's hand warms up from contact with him. And anyway, it could be distracting if they were both doing this at the same time, and Ginji wants to focus. Wants to focus on the way Ban is warm down here, soft-skinned, solid and curving perfectly into his grip. Wants to focus on the brush of Ban's hair against the back of his other hand, the arch of Ban's neck under his palm. Wants to focus on the sharp angle from Ban's chin up to his ear, the sounds he makes when Ginji presses his tongue just there, the way he tastes of salt and cigarettes and safety.

Ban turns his head, and Ginji's fine with that, because Ban's mouth is hot, and tastes as intriguing as any other part of him, and Ginji is perfectly okay with anything Ban wants to do, as long as Ban doesn't make him stop touching, doesn't make him stop tasting, doesn't make him stop.... Doesn't make him stop. Ban's kissing him back, and that's good, and Ban's hand is finally warm and moving and that's really, really good, especially the way Ban holds him just right, just tight enough, twisting a little, and he has to concentrate to keep his own rhythm from stuttering. Ban laughs into his mouth, a soft, smoky sound unlike any Ginji's heard from him yet, and it's so hot, and it's just what he wants, Ban happy, Ban trusting him enough to do this, Ban warm and comfortable and with him.

He swallows that laugh and presses forward, which interrupts Ban's stroking, but that'll keep. Right now, he's got a goal to get as close to Ban as possible, and it's awkward in the car, but he manages it. He's pulled Ban most of the way onto his lap, leaving just enough room for his hand to move; shifting closer means he's doing less stroking and more kneading, but that still seems to work for Ban, who's panting into his mouth, shifting in ways that make Ginji really, really wish they had a bed for this. Then Ban starts to move his hand in tandem with his hips, and that's very distracting.

Ginji finds he just can't care, though, not when it feels like this.

Ban tenses up, everything but his hand on Ginji's dick stilling, even his breath. Then warmth spills into Ginji's palm and Ban's releasing a long, shaky sigh, and that and Ban's hand does it. Ginji yells Ban's name, muffled by the fact they're still kissing, as orgasm hits like a lightning strike. Ban jerks, cries out in surprise, and Ginji has the presence of mind to hope that flash of light, and the charge in the air, are both harmless.

Ban pulls back, and he opens his eyes to see the Ladybug's in one piece, Ban's in one piece --but Ban's hair has lifted around his head in a dark nimbus. It makes him look wild, especially with that flush to his skin and that look in his eyes. Ginji slides his hand up from Ban's neck into his hair, and the crackle of static is like a caress.

"Damn, Ginji, that was-- Do I even want to know what I look like?"

The words are typical Ban, but he still sounds a bit breathless, and that makes Ginji grin.

"You look hot," he says as he pulls his hand out of Ban's pants. He contemplates it for a moment, and they've got some of those little towelette things in the glove compartment, but it just seems easier to lift it to his mouth and taste.

"Fuck, Ginji!"

Ban tastes wild, salty and musky and things Ginji can't quite identify. He likes it, though. Likes it a lot. He raises his eyes back to Ban's face as he takes another lick. Ban just stares at him, eyes wide and mouth red and open.

"You're really shameless, aren't you?"

"What is there to be ashamed of?"

Ban's eyes narrow, but the corners of his mouth twitch upward a little. "That's not how I meant it, idiot."

Ginji shrugs. "I just don't see the point in hiding it when I'm happy." He smiles again, tugs Ban down until their foreheads are almost touching. "And I'm really, really happy, Ban-chan."

"You're a dork." But Ban kisses him again, then unwraps his hand from around Ginji's dick and grimaces a little. "It's starting to get--"

Ginji grabs his hand, takes a swipe of it with his tongue for comparison's sake. His spunk tastes more metallic than Ban's. He wonders if that's the electricity.

Ban sucked in a breath when Ginji licked him, and now he's panting a little again. "Damn it, Ginji! Warn a guy before you do that!"

"Does that mean I can do it some more?"

"As I was saying, it's starting to get chilly in here again, so maybe we should clean up and change."

"I am cleaning up."

Ban stares at him hard. "Okay, now you're just messing with me."

"No, that was a minute ago."

Ban's speechless. Ginji takes advantage of the opportunity for another kiss. Really, he's not sure why Ban seems so shocked by so many things he's done and said tonight, but they have only known each other for a few months, and Ban doesn't warm to people as easily as Ginji. That's why Ginji knew he had to make the first move, after all.

He's hoping Ban knows now that it's okay to make the second. Ban shifts against him, and he wonders if that counts. Experimentally, he moves them around until he can lean back, carrying Ban down with him. It's a tight fit, and his left leg's pressed up against the gearshift, the blankets --he'd forgotten about them-- bunched around his left foot, but he likes the way Ban feels on top of him.

Ban pulls back to say, "What're you doing, idiot? We need--"

"You said you were getting chilly again. If I open the door now, the wind'll get in here and you'll get colder." He's still got a hand on the back of Ban's head, and he uses it to coax Ban down to where he can breathe in Ban's ear. "So how about you just let me warm you up some more?"

Ban pulls away, but he's back before Ginji can do more than blink, bringing the blankets with him as he settles into place. He takes Ginji's sticky hand, stares at Ginji for a moment, and then licks it. His tongue is definitely not cold, hot and wet and Ginji feels it like a current from his finger to his dick, bucking upward at the contact. Ban laughs again, against his skin, holding on and watching him with half-lidded eyes. Definitely the second move. Or whatever number they're on now.

So Ginji makes another of his own, mirroring Ban, and he's lost count, but that's okay. What's important is that they're both warm now, and they'll stay that way.


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