Yûshoku for Two

Nobuchika Ginoza isn't a flashy sort of guy. Never was, never will be. Cautious, conservative, and well-educated, he always looks before he leaps, never counts his chickens before they hatch and all those other sayings beloved by more-analytical-less-emotional types, which means that today is his birthday, he's turning thirty and not planning to do a damn thing to celebrate the fact, analytically or otherwise.

Oh, he wasn't ignored. Far from it.

His fellow enforcers offered to get him drunk off his ass and/or laid. It's certainly time, they said. But no, Gino isn't indulging in such immature and frivolous activities. His supervising inspectors gave him a lovely plant for his quarters which he genuinely appreciates. It's just a a pothos - nothing extraordinary compared to the deep blue African violets he used to cultivate from actual seed and soil, sun and water; but it can survive with proper lighting, even in a NONA tower dormspace. The analysts gave him a DVD of "The Tale of Hachiko," which he plans to watch later. That was thoughtful and Shion even added that he'd grown up nicely and winked at him. Gino kept his counsel and didn't even try to catch a glimpse down her blouse and admire her assets so brazenly presented, though not just for him.

No, his birthday is basically a non-event. A call from his mother and stepdad to wish him well comes in via wristink and he speaks with them briefly. He pays Masaoka's grave a visit and spends half an hour there, talking to him while looking through the cache of photos downloaded into the site's imagery cache for the rare visitor. There are images of Masaoka and Nobuchika in better days, Masaoka with Gino's mother on their wedding day, some images of ancestors and a singular image of Gino when he was promoted to Inspector. He'd only found that last one by accident while going through Masaoka's things after he was gone. Gino has the original winkdrive at home, though home is now the NONA tower dorm. With it are instructions for what his next of kin should do with his possessions should something happen to him. The nature of job makes such preemptive precautions wise. Besides, someone should know his wishes for his belongings, intention specified.

It is this cache of images he now peruses nestled back in an armchair. Dime is snoring softly nearby, his back legs twitching every now and again as he dreams about running free. Running free. It was never even a consideration in Gino's self-disciplined regimen before he became a latent criminal. Yet, with that simple act now taboo, he imagines it often. That, and other activities ordinary citizens are privileged to do but that he cannot: buying groceries, going for an impromptu drive without a destination in mind, taking a mental health day off from the job - these are all things he could have enjoyed while an inspector. Ironically, he could have but didn't because he was a different person then, looking down on those who indulged in self-serving behaviors that held no benefit for society at large. Now he longs to do those very things and sighs, knowing there's no point in dwelling on things that can no longer be.

He wonders if getting older means losing one's edge. Thirty isn't old by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not twenty. Still, he's in better physical shape than he ever was in adolescence or even as a rising Inspector of the MWPSB. His mind is as sharp as ever but he worries about how getting older will affect that, too. He runs a hand through his hair. He misses the length but is comfortable with the way his face looks. He's been told he's attractive, but he doesn't believe it. He's just another hound on a leash. It could be worse.

It's fine, and the reason why is snaking her arms around his neck and planting soft kisses there. He smiles at her touch, then suddenly turns, leveraging his lover over the back of the chair and toppling her against him until she's caught in his lap and trapped in his arms, her slippers flying off at odd angles. She is so slight and he loves the way it feels. Her skin is smooth and soft and her lips are pliant as he manages to capture hers between his own, licking into her mouth to tease her. She tastes sweet to him though it's only the mouth freshener she uses.

She tries to get away, but no, he doesn't allow that. His hand slips beneath the short, ruffled skirt and along her inner thigh, until his middle digit slides between her legs and slowly applies pressure in a continous slink along her center, over the lace of the panties he once told her he likes her to wear. That she does so every day, even beneath her proper work clothing, is such a turn-on that he thinks about it endlessly. Of course, that's in between considering whatever case they're working.

Her body's twitch and soft mewl of pleasure notches his arousal higher and he murmurs in a husky voice, "Here, Akane? Or in the bedroom?"

"It's your birthday, Nobu," she whispers. "You get to decide."

"Good!" he says, removing his hand only to nudge past the elastic that circles her hips and walk it back down inside the smooth fabric until the inquisitive finger finds her wet opening and glides within. Her sough of breath saying, "Yes," pleases him, but he's in no hurry. Foreplay with Akane is one of his top three favorite activities. No point in squandering opportunity.

He moves his hand in a slow in and out movement that has Akane breathing heavier in short space, her face growing pink as their lips collide and tongues parry, spiking Gino's pulse and other things, as well. With her hands against his chest, Akane is squirming in place trying to enhance the movement of his hand by shifting her hips, but it's awkward. He stops, much to her disappointment if her grumpy sound is any indication of mood, and stands taking Akane with him as if she's weightless.

He sets her on her feet and their hands perform gymnastics as they begin to undress one another without concern for ripped tees or torn blouses. Taking a step back midway, Gino loses his balance over the arm of the sofa and lands on his back where he props himself up on his elbows, then pushes upwards until he's fully prone, one foot planted on the floor as he unzips his trousers and releases his erect tool. Akane's blushed face tilts downward but from lowered eyes she jibes, "It's your birthday Nobu. Why are you giving me a gift?" He smiles and bites his lip in the way she knows is just for her as she undoes the clips of her bra, tossing it onto the low table adjacent to the sofa before reaching under the skirt to shimmy off pale blue panties and toss them at the man watching her.

She looks over at Dime who is now sitting up in his pen, tail wagging and head cocked to one side.

"Pervert," she scolds, looking at the husky, but the old dog's tail just wags harder.

Turning to her lover, she begins to unbutton her skirt, but Gino says, "leave it on." So she does, climbing atop him, bunching the fabric up as she straddles his body, easing onto him as he growls approval. She proceeds slowly until she's able to absorb him completely. Mission accomplished, she glides her hands upwards along the toned muscles of his chest. If they remind her of anyone else's impeccable pecs, she doesn't say or reveal though Gino is sure she remembers them.

Still, she's with him now and if he has a say in it, will be for as long as he can keep her happy. He remembers her asking him if he was happy, once, but that was over a year ago and since they first made love, things have changed in many ways, not the least of which is their deepening feelings for one another, kept on the down-low to prevent work issues. But neither do they hide their interest. Instead, they remain content to allow others to wonder what exactly the situation is between Inspector Tsunemori and Enforcer Ginoza. He knows and so does she. It's love.

She caresses the place where his cybernetic shoulder joins his torso. The connection is a remarkable synthesis of bio-organic technology with a seamless transition from flesh to bionic surface; and though sensation is diminished, it isn't numb though Gino swears it feels exactly the same so she doesn't ever feel sorry for him. He can handle teasing, chastisement, even insults without undue stress; but pity he cannot tolerate, and never from her.

When they are alone, like this, he doesn't glove his left hand so he can touch her without impediment and she's come to love that arm as the part of him that integrates who he was with who he is. Gino's large hands rest on Akane's hips, gently supporting her as she begins to rock against him, generating a slow burn in each of them that builds bit by bit without ever culminating. They watch each other, as if memorizing each moment they spend together so it might be recalled when they are apart. Akane is lightly panting though not from exertion, as her motion intensifies, her voicings irregular and soft. The sound drives Gino crazy and he wants to take control, his own need ratcheting up exponentially.

Besides, it is his birthday, after all, and she did give him permission to do things as he decided. But it would be selfish not to satisfy her first, so with his right hand he grabs the crumpled blue panties tucked by his right hip and wraps his right hand's fingers around the scrap of fabric. Akane's eyes are closed, her lips slightly parted as she swivels to and fro. She doesn't notice his action until she feels the slightly rough rub of lace wrapped around two fingers as it presses between their bodies. She gasps, eyes opening wide.

Her pupils are blown out large within chestnut rises that seem to glow golden. The fabric alters sensation, being both irritating and stimulating. Sliding against the irregular cloth with Gino's fingers massaging and teasing her stiffened clit from beneath, she increases her pace. Gino's hand grows still and she uses it as a pressure point to finally tip over the edge, crying out and spasming around him. Gino watches her face contort with a look akin to pain, but he knows most definitely is pleasure. This is his favorite view of the brunette and he's actually a little proud at having caused it.

He waits until she crests and her body begins to relax, falling forward onto his chest as shivers now and again claim her. "Akane," he breathes onto her face and she gives a purred, "What?"

"Table." It's all he says and all he has to say.

She lifts herself and with lethargic hands still tingling, rids herself of the skirt before reclining on the low, square sofa table, her legs extending beyond the edge, her arms resting above her head. Gino makes quick work of his jeans and briefs and as soon as she's on her back, he kneels, pulling Akane right to the edge, lifting her feet until they rest on his shoulders.

He positions himself, leaning onto his forearms above her, her legs pressed closer to her body, then enters her swiftly and fully. Finesse is no longer required and he takes her with abandon, his thrusts swift and hard, pleasure writ on his face, dark hair damp with sweat that lightly coats his body, their mingled juices enabling and easing a delicious friction. He wonders if he's hurting her and looks up, but her eyes are filled with tenderness as she tells him, "Fly." So he does as a few powerful pushes grant him release. Climax roars through him, breathing deep and heart rate at aerobic peak, his body undulating with contraction and release of seed expelled followed by bursts of red light behind his eyelids and the onslaught of endorphin-laden blood pulsing through his body. The cycle repeats again and again, each wave less potent than the first as he rides out his orgasm to inertia.

They lay unmoving, arms wrapped around one another, for several minutes. Then Akane says, "you're squishing me," and Gino pulls off. He rises, knowing Akane's eyes are assessing his sculpted form. He's always been fit but now he knows she craves his body as much as his mind. He likes that. Very much.

"I'm grabbing a shower," he tells her.

"I'll wash up after you. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes," she adds, sitting up.

In the bath cubicle, he requests water as hot as he can stand it, allowing it to purify his skin and turn him wrinkly. The colorless heat lamps dry his skin within a minute and he towel scruffs his hair before donning a pair of cotton pajama pants and heading back to the main room.

Akane moves past him, wearing a pink yukata covered with pale blue and yellow blossoms. As she freshens up out of sight, Gino takes note of the way she's converted their sex platform into an innocent dining table. Somehow, in the space of his shower time, she's cleaned things up and covered it with a lime green tablecloth set like a diamond atop the square. Two place settings bear matching covered noodle bowls, two pair of chopsticks wrapped with silver ribbons, two porcelain sake cups and two serviettes. A large column candle made of real wax and flame glows softly between and a bottle of his favorite sake is set into the ice bucket on the floor. He notices something else, scratches an eyebrow and steps in. A delicately wrapped package rests beside one cup. His, he imagines and sits down.

Akane returns, her hair clinging in damp wisps around face, something Gino finds cute. She remains standing and waits until she has his full attention then bows deeply, something no one has done for him in a long time.


"Shh," she replies after straightening, pressing an index finger to her lips, then dropping it. "It would please me greatly if you would accept this humble meal prepared for you, on this, the esteemed day of your birth, Nobu-kun."

"Hai," he replies. "Will you join me?"

"Of course."

She settles onto the cushion catty-cornered to his own. Gino lifts the tiny package and hefts it in his palm. "Should I try to guess?"

"You'll never get it right, so no. Just open it."

He gives her a look of consternation at her determination of his inability to figure out her choice of gift, but doesn't argue. He peels open the package carefully, being sure not to unduly ruin the wrapping.

"Nobu," she complains, "why can't you just rip into it like other people?"

"In case you've forgotten, I am not other people anymore - not in Sybil's estimation, nor the Chief's nor any number of higher ups who never fail to let me know that. Besides," he adds, "It's my birthday gift so I'll open it as I please, thank you."

She doesn't reply but watches him closely for his reaction which is exactly as she expects it to be. Gino is holding up an inexpensive plastic lighter - black with happy-faced white rabbit heads all over - a look of mild confusion on his handsome features. He looks at Akane and she leans in, meeting his eyes over the candlelight.

"Masaoka gave that to me a long time ago. I needed it for some unremembered reason and he just pulled this out of his coat pocket and handed it to me. 'Keep it, young lady,' he said though he knew I didn't smoke. I didn't want to insult him and I liked him very much, so I kept it. It was inside a drawer at my apartment and I'd forgotten about it until a few weeks ago. I know it isn't much of a birthday gift, especially for your thirtieth, but I thought you might want to have it. I'll get you something better soon."

Gino is quiet until she's finished, then looks down at the silly lighter, now recalling having seen it from time to time when Masaoka was alive. The simplicity of the gift is dwarfed by the enormity of the thought that went into it by the petite brunette sitting with him.

Finally he says in a low voice, "I couldn't ask for a better gift than this, but one." She tips her head to one side.

"Didn't you just unwrap that?"

He doesn't smile at her joke and, for a moment, she worries. Then he says, "Marry me."

Her eyes grow wide. "Nobu, you know…"

"…that we can't ever. I know that. I just like asking to remind you that if we could, I would."

She extends her hand across the table, her eyes misting as he covers it with his own. "And, as usual, I would say, 'yes.'"

"Thank you, for the gift and everything else."

She doesn't reply and he thinks she's beautiful, marvelous and a blessing in his life.

They never say the words, "I love you," but they know them well. Instead, Akane says, "Your noodles are getting mushy."

And they smile.

End - Yûshoku for Two

A/N: This was written in response to the fanfic gauntlet being thrown down by my pal, Destinies Entwined. No problem, except Ch 43 of my multi-chapter Ouran fic was in final edit mode, so a timely response was impossible. But a belated birthday card/fic? That I could do. Being gracious, DE let me off the hook. The muse, ahem, did NOT. And so the twitchings of story began regarding Ginoza's Dirty Thirty. This is what materialized. I hope you enjoyed it. They did. ;D