Authors: Ketsurui and Quoth the Raven

Rating: Uh, PG I guess.

Warnings: shounen ai, sap

Pairings: Yuusuke + Kurama

Quoth's note: Go read all of Ket's stuff right now! g Ketsurui-san's stuff is sugoi!


A bed of roses. Yes, that was the perfecting setting. Sighing, the dark-haired delinquent imagined his pale, pretty fox touching the delicate blossoms. [I wonder if he smells like roses.]

Kurama knelt quietly by the hotspring, testing the water's heat with one hand. He was glad no one else was here, it was so peaceful at this time of night. He could smell roses from the gardens, mingling with other plants in the crisp, cool night air to make the scent of nature he adored so. Idly, he flicked the water with one hand.

[Damnit, I can't sleep thinking about him! I'm going for a walk.] Throwing off the covers, Yuusuke changed into a pair of dark jeans and a white T-shirt, silently slipping outside the apartment and down the stairs. [Aren't there hotsprings somewhere around here?]

Smiling to himself, Kurama idly splashed the water a little with his hand. The cool night air and naturally heated water made a tantalizing contrast. Slipping off the robe he wore, standing gleamingly naked in the moonlight, he was about to step in then paused as a more fun, if unconventional for a hotspring, way of entering the water occurred to him.

Hearing a faint bubbling, the younger boy smiled. [Yeah, there we go!] Following the sound, he was about to approach it when he saw another figure standing besides it. [Shit.] Ducking into the shadow of the rose bushes, Yuusuke saw that it was Kurama. [My god... Naked... so beautiful...]

Stepping up onto a high rock, the redhead lifted his face for a moment, eyes closed, savoring the peaceful, private night. Then, with barely a splash, he executed a perfect dive into the water, reemerging with a splash and a laugh of pure pleasure.

Much as Yuusuke desperately wanted to stay, he knew it wasn't right spying on his friend like this. [I'd better get my ass out of here, because I get caught and Rose Whip'd.] Turning, he tried to melt back into the darkness, his heel stepping on a fallen branch and cracking it. [Shit.]

Kurama froze in his enjoyment of the water. "Who's there?" he called, a bit embarrassed. Just because nobody had been there before didn't mean he had the right to treat the hotspring as if it was a heated pool. He should have just sat quietly as one was supposed to. Quickly he dived back under, striking with graceful strokes towards the edge of the hotspring.

[Don't stop, just keep going... That's fucking rude. 'sides, he can probably see your shirt; white shows up in the dark, moron.] "Sorry, didn't know anyone was here," he called softly, stepping forward slightly to let his face be shown in the moonlight.

Surfacing at the edge of the hotspring Kurama blinked once or twice to get the water out of his eyes, then blinked again in surprise. "Yuusuke? I-I'm sorry, I didn't know anyone was here either." Inwardly he cursed the hotspring tradition of clothes NOT being optional... he'd have to see Yuusuke naked, and there was no way Yuusuke could possibly not see how that would affect him...

"Yeah. Uh, I'll leave now if you want. I was having trouble sleeping and was hoping the hot water would make me relax." [Now I'm really going to have trouble sleeping... And "relaxing".] Glancing quickly at the ground, he saw that what he'd stepped on was a broken rose bush branch. Picking it up carefully, he removed the single blossom that was barely clinging on. [Red rose, just like Kurama...]

"No, no! Stay if you like. You're certainly not intruding, it isn't as if I own this place. You're as welcome here as I am." [Nice job of manners, Kurama, but now what are you going to do if he says yes and strips off and...] A faint blush colored his cheeks, and he hoped Yuusuke would put it down to a trick of the light.

"Sure, um, thanks." [What do I do with the flower? Can't just throw it away.] "Uh, here." He carefully handed the rose to Kurama, careful not to stab the other with the thorns, and began removing his clothing, throwing in a pile over his shoes.

[So he just gave you a flower. A rose. So what? It doesn't mean anything, he just wanted to get it out of the way...] "Thank you, Yuusuke" he said quietly, burying his face in the rose and inhaling deeply, trying to distract himself from the fact that *Yuusuke* of all people was stripping *naked* in front of him like it was nothing special. [Because it is nothing special to him. I'm nothing special to him.]

Slowly, the darker boy slid into the water, shivering in pleasure as it slid around his hips. [Feels damned good.] With a soft sigh, he slid in until his arms hooked over the edge, eyes closed. "Sorry," he murmured as he start to stretch out his legs a little, hitting one of Kurama's.

"Oh, that's fine," the older boy said, instantly moving over a little to make room, skin made sensitive by the warm water and tingling where Yuusuke's leg had touched his own.

"Damn," Yuusuke muttered, rubbing his own shoulder a little. "I must've laid on it funny. It kinda hurts." Absently, he tried to massage the cramp out.

"Here, let me," Kurama offered without thinking, reaching out a hand in silent invitation. The instant he did, he cursed himself. [You fool! Now you'll get to touch him, all right... but you'll have to control yourself like never before!] But another voice from inside calmed him. [It's all right. Yuusuke won't take your offer wrongly.]

Yuusuke turned his back, moving until the outstretched fingers tips touched his back lightly. "Thanks, Kurama," he murmured gratefully, shivering inwardly at the thought of the slender white hands touching his skin. [Glad I have to be turned around.]

Gently massaging the tan skin, slender fingers dancing and searching delicately, Kurama soon found the painful knot and began the slow tender assault that would relieve the discomfort. His cheeks were stained with pink. [I'm touching him... I want to touch him more... please don't let him want me to stop just yet...] He was thankful that Yuusuke had turned away; the unhampered view of Yuusuke's muscular shoulders and back was enough to send shivers down the kitsune's spine. [He's so handsome. Some people tell me that I'm good-looking, but I'm not nearly as attractive as he is. Does he know what he does to others?]

Yuusuke was practically melting under the touch. "Feels good," he half-purred, eyelids sliding half-mast. [Feels really good... Especially 'cause it's him.] Almost unconsciously, he leaned back, closer to the redhead.

Kurama gasped slightly as Yuusuke leaned back against him unexpectedly. He shifted a little in desperation, yet not daring to stop his massaging. [Oh please, don't let him have felt... don't let him have realised...]

"Your hands getting tired?" The delinquent asked reluctantly. His muscles felt like water under the rubbing, and he didn't want it to ever end, but it wouldn't be fair to Kurama if he made him go on if he didn't want to.

Kurama let out a breath he hadn't even realised he was holding. [He didn't feel me... getting hard. Thank you, whoever's listening up there...] "No, no, it's not trouble at all. I don't mind doing this at all, Yuusuke," he said earnestly. [I like doing it. Oh, Inari, I *love* doing it... even if controlling myself drives me crazy...]

"Thank you. I'll pay you back, promise." [Dunno what with, though. Hard to think right now.] "You're... really good... Kurama." Again he leaned back, his back nearly touching the other's chest.

[Yuusuke, no, don't do that, don't do that! You'll notice...] Swallowing, Kurama spoke, tying to distract the younger boy from his second slight movement away, not realising that his voice had grown softer, huskier, more breathless than before. "No- No need to pay me back, Yuusuke. You'd do the same for me. It's a pleasure, really, it is." The redhead blushed a little at the thought of exactly how much of a pleasure it was.

"Yeah," he murmured absently, shifting his stance slightly. Something brushed against his lower back, and he reached back to push it away. It wasn't until his fingers made contact with it that he realized what exactly it was, and he hastily jerked his hand back. [Ohmygod... I just touched... He's gonna kick my ass now!] Yuusuke was frozen, unsure of what to do.

Kurama's blush deepened, his cheeks slowly shading to a bright red, biting his lip in shame. [He felt... he knows... oh no... look, now he's so shocked he can't even move! No wonder he doesn't want to speak to me, with me throwing out oh-so-broad hints like "It's a pleasure" just before he feels *that*!] "I- Yuusuke, I... I'm sorry, Yuusuke. So sorry." Reluctantly forcing his fingers to stop their caresses of the skin beneath them, the kitsune pulled his hands away, ready to dive under the water. And preferably not come back up again.

"It-it's ok, Kurama. I mean, it's the hot water right? Can't help that." [Of course it's the fucking water! Not like he got hard over you!] Yuusuke thought bitterly, turning to face the kitsune, eyes fixed on the steaming water's surface.

Gratefully snatching hold of the offered excuse, Kurama agreed quickly. "Yes, yes, the water. It is a little embarrassing to have our... bodies... be at the mercy of something so simple as heat, isn't it?" He smiled a self-deprecating smile that almost hid the glint of sadness in his eyes. Almost.

[Something's wrong.] Never big on tact, the shorter boy bluntly asked, "Sure? Something bothering you, Kurama?" [It's the look in his eyes... I can tell he's lying...] Yuusuke frowned slightly; he hated being lied to.

Stomach sinking, Kurama blinked as he flailed around in his mind for something to say. [Oh, damn. Damn, he thought it was just the water, and then I had to go and open my big mouth and ruin everything after all!] "I... No, no, nothing's bothering me, nothing in particular, everything's under control. [Everything except me, that is!] "I'll go now, let you relax in peace for a little while." [I have to get out of here. Now. Before I make things worse.] Almost blindly, the kitsune shied away from Yuusuke, turning, preparing to dive under and swim to the side where his clothes were before escaping as fast as he could.

"Wait a minute." The dark-haired one's hand closed on one pale shoulder, forcing him to turn back. "I'm not letting you go until you tell me the truth, Kurama." Dark eyes burned into bright emerald; he would not be lied to.

"I told you already, nothing's bothering me at all." Kurama forced what he hoped was a calm, easygoing, painless smile onto his face. [Just accept that, Yuusuke, please! I don't know how much longer I can hold my face like this...]

Yuusuke felt hurt. "Ch'. Don't know why you're lying to me; guess you don't trust me, huh?" [Great job fucking everything up, Urameshi! Shoulda just let him go!]

The hurt covered by anger in Yuusuke's voice and gaze hit Kurama in the chest like a cruel barbed spike, and he turned his head, struck mute for a moment in despair. [It hurts him when I lie... I'll upset him if I tell the truth... what do I do?] "I'm sorry, Yuusuke," he finally murmured, eyes fixed on the reflection of the moon in the water. "The last thing I'd want to do is hurt you... or burden you with my own pain. It's my responsibility, not yours." So caught up in his inner tumult was he, that the kitsune failed to realize that he had used the words "my pain".

"Your pain? What do you mean, your pain? Did I do something wrong?" He turned his head slightly to catch Kurama's gaze, worry in his own eyes. [Shitshitshit... What did I do now?] He was trying to quell the urge to gather the redhead into his arms, to murmur that everything was all right. [Right... Five seconds before he wraps a Rose Whip around my neck.]

["Your pain"? Oh no, please tell me I didn't say that out loud...] "No, no, Yuusuke, of course you didn't do anything wrong," Kurama said quickly, reassuringly. [Except for making me fall desperately in love with you, you didn't do anything at all.] "I don't like to burden others. Really, I can manage by myself. I always have before." [Always... but you keep coming for me, just as you did to save me from the Mirror, screaming at me how would 'Kaasan feel if I were found dead...]

"I wanna help you. You're my friend." He tried to give his usual, carefree grin. "Maybe I should rub *your* shoulders; then you'll relax and tell me!" So saying, he took a slightly step towards the other. [Probably *not* a good idea; we'll be in the same mess then.]

Kurama laughed softly, a short, pained laugh. [His friend. Just his friend. Yuusuke won't give up when it comes to his friends... but then again, isn't that why I love him? Because he is exactly who he is?] "If you want to do that, that's fine," he admitted softly, brushing his hair out of the way. [So I'm ignoring the sensible thing to do, which is to leave, just to have him touch me. So what? It can't hurt any more than it already has, surely...]

Uncertainly, Yuusuke rested his hands on the slender shoulders. "I've never done this, so tell me if I hurt you." He carefully moved his thumbs in slow circles over the tense muscles, listening for anything that sounded like pain.

Closing his eyes with a sigh, Kurama let his head fall forward, exposing more of his back and neck to Yuusuke's calloused, gentle hands. "That's nice," he whispered. "So much better..." [He's so good at this... how can he be a beginner? Feels so good... no! Control!] But it was so difficult, with the knowledge that both of them were naked, and alone, and those hands touching him so kindly, he could almost believe... "Good," he murmured. "Please don't stop. Please don't stop."

Yuusuke swallowed thickly. His mind immediately recorded the words, sending images of Kurama's beautiful face flushed, hands gripping black hair as the delinquent's hot mouth pleasured him. A strong surge of arousal flashed through him. [God...] He moved his hips away from the redhead as much as possible. "Don't worry... I won't stop."

"Thank you," Kurama whispered, feeling his control slowly being broken down and massaged away with every movement Yuusuke's hands made on his skin. [He thinks it's just a combination of the hot water and me being sad over something he doesn't know about yet. Would it be so wrong to let myself just... feel? Just for a few minutes? I - No! Have to control, always control, control... other people can never know, not even him... Kurama no baka, coming out here to swim in a hot spring as if it was my own private pool! Where was my control then? Foolish to assume that no one would come just because it was late, so foolish... and Yuusuke probably saw me acting like such an idiot.] The heavy thoughts weighed on his tired heart, and unconsciously he leaned back towards the source of comfort and kindness his instincts told him was there.

Yuusuke blinked in surprise as Kurama leaned against his chest. [Ha! Knew he needed comfort.] Unable to massage when the other was so close, he tentatively slipped an arm around the front of his shoulders, gently holding the taller boy against him, quickly remembering to hold his lower half away.

"Hmmmm," Kurama sighed, allowing himself to be lulled into a relaxed, sleepy state by the massage and the hot water. "Nice." [He's holding me... He's holding me... don't have to think about anything else... don't want to.] Instinctively he curled into the embrace, turning his head until it rested gently on Yuusuke's shoulder, eyelashes flutering gently across an ear, hot breath trailing lightly across the tan throat. He ached so badly to kiss that throat, but he wasn't so out-of-it for *that*. His habitual merciless self-control stood him in good stead, even as a lone tear slid unnoticed down his cheek. Despite its wet heat, he never noticed it.

Yuusuke gasped softly as he felt a drop of moisture on his collarbone. [What was that?] He shivered as it cooled on his skin and slid down his chest, disappearing into the spring. Blushing slightly at the closeness, he gently rubbed a hand over the kitsune's smooth back, closing his eyes. It was a little awkward to stand with his lower half so far away, and he moved a little closer. [That wasn't... Kurama's not crying is he? No, Kurama never cries...]

Inhaling deeply, Kurama blinked, reluctantly preparing to pull himself away. [Time's up... I don't want to... I want to stay...] Savouring the last few seconds, his hands trailed in the water... brushing against Yuusuke's leg. Something was poking him in the back. [What?! Oh... yes. Just the water. Only the water.] A faint look of infinite grief at losing what had never been his crossed his features as he viciously told himself to get moving right *now*!

Yuusuke jumped at the accidental touch. [Damn... If he does that again...] He instinctively pulled the redhead closer, shut eyes not seeing that Kurama was preparing to move. [This is... all I get. Want to hold it forever...]

The red haired boy froze at the tight hold Yuusuke had on him. [He won't let me go... let me go! You have to let me go, before I... don't make me have to fight my way out, ruin my mask I worked so hard to create for you! Maybe... he's holding me because... he wants to? Not just the hot water... oh, no, Kurama. Stupid thinking that way. Probably he just wants to find out what's upsetting me and won't let go until he does. So like him. Love him so much for it...] Trembling with the effort not to struggle out of the cruelly tender hold, Kurama remained mute and helpless.

[Hold you forever...] He sighed, face pressing against Kurama's shoulder. He no longer noticed how close they were, that he was pressing right against the taller boy's back. "Kurama," he murmured, the other arm reaching around to encircle his waist, lost in a haze of erotic comfort.

The last of Kurama's control finally dissipated. [My name... he said my name... like it was something special...] Turning around in the embrace, he buried his face in Yuusuke's shoulder and waited for the inevitable anger, the shocked disgust. "I'm sorry, Yuusuke," he whispered hoarsely. "I just need..." [Just a hug. A kiss. A whisper of love. A night of passion. A lifetime of closeness... I just need one hug. Is that so wrong? Is that too much to ask? I guess so.] "Just..."

"Shh." Both arms wrapped tightly around the taller boy, holding him, biting his lip at the feeling of Kurama's erection against his stomach. "Whatever you need, take it. I'll give it to you." [Give it to him all right...]

With a whimper, Kurama crushed himself against Yuusuke's lean muscled form as hard as he could, wrapping his arms around the other's back tightly, resting his own pale cheek against Yuusuke's darker one. "Just for a moment," he gasped hoarsely, his voice tear-soaked though his eyes were dry. "I know I said I wouldn't burden you with my problems... but oh, just for one moment, please..."

"Long as you want," he murmured, stroking the soft red hair, "whatever you want, long as you want. You're not burdening me... want to help you." Breath warm against Kurama's face, he moved his head slightly to brush the corner of the other's mouth. [Please don't get mad...]

Kurama's eyes widened for an instant. [A kiss? No, a dream, some fevered imagining my brain came up with...] But even as he thought, his body was moving of its own volition, seeking the comfort denied for so long, tilting his head to press his lips softly against Yuusuke's. [Think of me what you will... hate me if you must...] But despite his trepedition, Kurama couldn't help but feel relieved that the one he loved now knew it, at least.

Yuusuke's eyes widened. [He's... Kissing me? He's kissing me!] Quickly, his eyes shut, concentrating on returning the gesture, hand burying in the crimson tresses, fearing he would pull away, would leave.

A sound that sound suspiciously like a sob escaped Kurama, chest hitching in relief as he felt Yuusuke accept the kiss - no, return it, and willingly! [It wasn't the water, it wasn't the water, it wasn't the water after all...] the ridiculous thought circled in his head until the feel of warm water and Yuusuke on his skin, the taste and scent of Yuusuke, invaded his senses in a sudden assault that had him moaning in absolute delight.

A slow flush of heat flooded the shorter boy's skin at the sound, groaning softly in an instinctive reply, crushing Kurama against his chest. [God, god, Kurama... Can't believe it...] As the kiss broke for air, he blinked, face flushed, eyes filled with wonder. "Kurama..."

"You... you..." Eyes filled with awe, Kurama raised a hand to hesitantly stroke Yuusuke's cheek. "I... Yuusuke, take whatever you want. Whatever it is, it's yours. I swear."

"Kurama..." The way the redhead had said it made Yuusuke feel like he was using him. "Don't misunderstand me. I'm doing this because..." here he faltered, stomach tightening, "because I love you. I want to make you happy. So, you do what you want to do. Whatever you want, I want." Seeing the other's slightly stunned expression, he nuzzled the hand on his face, his black hair, which was for once not slicked back, fell into his eyes.

[He... loves...?] "Say that again," he said suddenly, the words tearing themselves from his heart. "Say it again, Yuusuke." [Please, tell me you love me again... let me know for sure this is no dream, that it's not out of pity, I couldn't stand that...] "Love you so much. Always have. Tell me again."

"I love you," Yuusuke repeated obediently, carefully enunciating every word. "I love your voice, your hair, your face, your strength, your heart. Everything. Love you, Kurama." As he spoke, his eyes were fixed on the other's face. [Believe me. I wouldn't lie to you.]

"Again," Kurama begged, dignity forgotten. "Again. Again." Five minutes ago a loose, friendly, platonic embrace had been more then sufficient, and now he simply couldn't get enough. He wanted to hear it more, again, forever. [I've never been able to tell all my truths to anyone... not even Hiei would understand them all... 'Kaasan, Shuu-kun... always have to lie to everyone... so sick of it... tell me again!] He hadn't realized just how hungry his heart was until this moment.

"Love you." He kissed Kurama once, lightly, then buried his face in the white throat. "Love you. Love you. Love you. Kurama, I love you." He felt like his heart would burst.

"It hurts." The faintest of whispers. "Love you too, so much, so much, would do anything you asked me to... but it hurts. I hurt, Yuusuke. I hurt. Nobody ever knows, because I don't let them know, but I hurt so much sometimes..."

"What hurts? What hurts, Kurama? Tell me. I want to make you stop hurting." He kissed the white skin, fingertips gently stroking his back.

"Nothing... and everything. Always having to hide from the people I care about, always having to live up to my reputation as the perfect powerful Kurama in the Makai, always having to be the perfect son, the perfect student, the perfect friend... I don't mind, really I don't, but I get so tired, and so lonely, and nobody sees it. And even though I deliberately worked it so that they wouldn't, it still hurts. I can only be myself when I'm alone, I feel so trapped... I envy you your ability to be yourself no matter where you are. I love you for it, I'm jealous of you for it... I don't know," he finished wearily, the tumble of words slowing. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry. You don't got to be lonely, either; you got me now, right?" He smiled, lifting his head to look into that lovely face. "You can be yourself with me."

A small smile appeared on Kurama's face, adding some light to the tired, sad eyes. "That's all I want," he whispered reverently, brushing Yuusuke's face and hair with his hand. "All I want."