Dancing with the Devil
Challenge #186: Habit
An: Oh, this so didn't meet the 100 word count. Opps.
He'd noticed it before Hakkai had even woken up; before they'd started this little nightmare trip. Gonou, and how he sometimes wished he was still sleeping in his bed, hollow eyes watching him wearily as he slumped around the house. No, Gonou didn't have this annoying, self-deprecating habit that Hakkai had. Watching him from the back seat Gojyo wondered if smiles only came to people who had died inside and if so, where was his?
Watching someone watch you without their knowledge is an art form, although in our case, he's never not watching. Asking what's wrong doesn't work. We all have our crutches, our habits, and as our eyes meet in the mirror I see his hand close around his lighter…another habit, another escape. I smile, yet it only makes things worse. Eventually I give up with him. He doesn't listen to its silent pleading to stay away anyways. I find myself nervous, weary, on edge around him. My finger hovers over the reason, but we're not fighting, we're not ignoring each other and from anyone else's viewpoint nothing has changed. But it has. We can both feel it and it isn't until we come back from a rather vicious fight, one where we should be happy just to have been able to drag our sorry selves back to the jeep that things click into place. The flash of lightning splits hairs it's so close and sets my teeth on edge.
I smile, it's a defense I've long ingrained into my body and that's it. He's there in front of me, hands on either side of me gripping the edge of jeep so tight the knuckles stand out skeleton like in the darkness of the storm. He's gotten in too close, eyes dark and hooded, brow furrowed in concern and slightly angry. Blood still matting the side of his face and I raise a trembling hand to brush away the rust colored flecks from his cheek. He sighs, tips his head into my hand and suddenly everything is sharply defined and real. My fingers curl around the back of his neck, sliding though silky hair that glows in the time between strikes. Those precious few seconds where we've stopped breathing, when we're no longer staring into mirrors but each other's eyes and I smile.
I couldn't have told you what came over me. Why I trapped him against the side of the jeep, why I felt like it had to be now to make this tension, this anger stop. I just knew I had to; I couldn't wait any longer. His fingers were cold, his breath warm and that damn smile right there. I almost pulled away, unsure what I wanted to do. Me, lady killer extraordinaire, and I hadn't the slightest clue what the hell I was supposed to do next. I wanted to slap that smile off his face, to yell at him that he needed to get over it, and we all knew what it was. I settled for kissing him. Screw the priest and his pet that were standing maybe 10 feet away under the only tent we'd managed to get up before the rains started. Screw the fact that Hakkai is a guy and my best friend on top of it. He had it coming for trying to pawn off that plastic shit on me. Me! I wasn't going to let him.
To say that I was unprepared for Gojyo's lips against mine, or his tongue in my mouth would be an understatement. Of course, we've skirted the line so many times, and he's so needy for touch that I should have guessed, maybe even, if I'm being brutally honest, encouraged it a little; I'm not the most knowledgeable about human relationships and certainly not platonic ones. So this might not have shocked me as much as a regular person.
I think I was more bemused by the overwhelming feeling of heat that suffused every inch of my skin as he pressed in against me, pinning me to the side of jeep and arching my back over the leather seats until I was splayed out under him. He hadn't actually done anything but kiss me, but I never was very good at handling Gojyo's seductive side. I could understand how he'd charmed every available girl between home and India into his bed, if that kiss was any indication. But I was not some random girl to be won, I was his friend, and he shouldn't have tried that.
"Yell at me."
His voice was a faint whisper on the howling wind but I heard it clear enough, considering his lips were pressed against my ear.
"Wh-why?" was all I managed to choke out.
"Yell at me, curse me, anything but that fake smile you show the world. I'm not the world, 'Kai. I don't…I can't take watching you hurt anymore. Please, just…."
Even my youkai senses couldn't hear the rest of his plea. Maybe the rain took it, maybe the wind or the night, maybe it was washed away by the tears slipping down my cheeks and wetting his hair as I suddenly clung to him like a child. I don't know. All I know was that the next time he kissed me, a desperate, hungry kiss that made my heart break just a bit; I kissed him back and held on tighter, for all the world like someone afraid they'd never be able to do this again. We kissed with a desperation that springs from seeing and feeling too much in our short lives and knowing that we'll probably never get to have long ones.
We held each other until the tears dried and the sobs stopped and the exhaustion set into our bones like old men before he pulled himself off me and helped me to my feet. We held each other as we stumbled into the tree line and found the edge of the tent flap. And though we were soaked by the time we finally made it inside and shucked off our boots and clothes, our souls and hearts a bit ragged around the edges, we held each other through the worst of the storm, and in the morning when we awoke, we didn't pull away.
I smiled and for once it didn't feel like a habit.