Into Temptation

by nekojita

*******

Disclaimer: Nope, don’t own the boys. But I have so much fun playing w/ them, where’s the harm?

*******

"This is ridiculous, Kudoh Yohji is not a janitor. Why should I have to clean up this dump?"

A dust cloth was thrown at him. "Because, Kudoh," Ken snapped, "you work here, just like the rest of us. Now shut up and finish sweeping the floor. It’ll be the first bit of work you’ve done all day long." Brown eyes glared at Yohji, glinting furiously when he just sniffed and stood there. Before the brunet could move in his direction, Omi quickly appeared, eager to break up the burgeoning fight.

"Yohji-kun, how ‘bout we trade off chores? You can finish taking the orchids back into the greenhouse while I help Ken. Does that sound alright?"

Handing over the broom, Yohji just replied, "whatever chibi," before strolling over to the flower display. Now this was something he wouldn’t mind doing, just a few trips to the greenhouse and he’d be all done. Better yet, he wouldn’t have Aya criticizing his efforts, commenting on the spots he missed and standing watch until he cleaned the floor to his precise standards. Who the hell cared if there was a speck of dirt on the floor? Hello, they worked in a flower shop. Bound to be a little dirty, what with all the potted plants about. It figured that the only time the redhead seemed to notice him was when he did something wrong. Not that he cared what Aya thought about him. Really.

Clutching a cigarette between his lips, just waiting until he got the last of the flowers put away before lighting up, he made quick work of the task. Down to the last few orchids, Yohji noticed a couple of books that had fallen to the ground beside the display table. Curiosity getting the better of him, he took a moment to investigate. There was a notebook, filled with crushed flowers and awful poetry, the majority of what he flipped through dedicated to a ‘beautiful Adonis, with luxurious flowing locks of amber honey/ a golden frame for orbs of emerald/ lips as lush and soft and delicious as marshmallows." Snorting at the awful poetry, Yohji once more was very glad of his personal conviction to never date anyone under the age of eighteen. Hopefully whichever of his admirers had written this tripe would have a bit more common sense, and better writing skills, by the time they reached that age. Or at least better taste in books. He set a trashy romance novel on top of the journal. Well, that explained the awful prose. Last but not least was a thin tome, entitled ‘How to Make Him Fall in Love With You: Several easy steps to make a man yours.’

"Yo, guys, get a load of this." Yohji waved the book in the air, drawing the attention of his co-workers.

Omi and Ken wandered over, followed by a scowling Aya. "Kudoh, stop playing around and finish putting those orchids away."

"Geez, chill Aya. I’ll get to them in a minute. Want you to see this." He thrust the volume in the pale man’s face, and had it swiftly batted away. "This is just too funny."

"_What_ is too funny, Yohji-kun?" Omi stood up on his tiptoes to try and get a better view of the book.

Yohji displayed his find, letting the rest of Weiß read the book’s cover. When his exhibit was greeted with puzzled silence, he sighed and tried to explain. "It’s one of those date books, you know, the ones that are supposed to help girls land a boyfriend. Apparently one of my fan club has enlisted its help in snaring my attention, and accidentally left it here with some other stuff."

It took a moment for the words to sink in, but it was evident when exactly that happened. Omi’s face broke out in a big grin, Ken started guffawing, and Aya just stood there quietly, expression perfectly blank. "You telling me that someone is trying to get you to ask them out by following some stupid romance advice?" Ken chortled. "Someone needs to tell the poor thing that all they need is an eighteenth birthday and a tight outfit."

"Hey!" Yohji reached over and smacked the brunet, as Omi burst into giggles. "I have higher standards than that!"

"Not by much, Kudoh. It’s flat out hilarious, someone thinking that they need a book to get you to ask them out. They should publish one on how to avoid you, betcha a lot of people would rush to buy that." Yohji growled and lunged after Ken, only to be brought short by Omi stepping into his path.

"Get out of the way, chibi."

"No." Glaring at Ken, who was sticking his tongue out at Yohji, and then at him, busy staring daggers at the brunet, Omi tried to once again prevent another fight. Wrecked pottery and plants played havoc with the shop’s budget. "You have to admit, Yotan, that Ken has a point. It’s not all that hard for someone to attract your attention."

Still giving Hidaka the evil eye, Yohji shrugged his shoulders as he stepped back, leaning against the display stand. "Yeah, well, if they are legal and cute, don’t see any harm in finding out if they are up to a little bit of fun. But if they’re not, there is no way in hell a bunch of prissy rules are going to make me interested in a person. Have you ever read one of these things?" He once more waved the tome in the air, and two heads shook in response. "It’s full of the stupidest advice, like," flipping through the pages, he found something suitably mock-worthy, "’always turn down his first offer for a date, citing that you already have plans for the evening. Don’t let it seem as if you have nothing better to do than wait around for him. Give the impression that you are very popular and hard to get, and he will want you all the more. ‘ Puh-lease. There’s more than enough fish in the sea, as the saying goes. I’m certainly not going to bother with someone who acts like I have to set up a date with their personal organizer in order to take them out. This is just a piece of trash." Yohji tossed the book aside.

"So," Aya’s voice startled the three men, who had forgotten that he was standing there, "you are saying that there is no way the great Kudoh, playboy extraordinaire, would fall for such a set of tactics? That no one you weren’t already interested could get your attention?"

Staring at the quiet man, trying to figure out where Aya was going with this, Yohji nodded his head. "Yep. I’m too smart to get suckered by a set of tricks like these. Can’t believe the little twit thought it would work. Anyone who buys a book like this must be a real idiot or very desperate. Bet ya five hundred yen it’ll be some stupid girl with a face like a dog who asks us tomorrow if we’ve found any books lying around."

"I see." Yohji blinked at the smaller man’s voice. Granted, Aya wasn’t the friendliest person out there, he’d been burned several times while trying to chum around with the man. But Aya usually reserved that chilly tone for someone he was about to introduce his katana to. In an extremely violent way not conducive to one’s health.

He jerked a hand through his wavy hair as a pair of malevolent violet eyes remained focused on him. Feeling a bit uneasy at the unusual amount of attention the redhead was paying him, Yohji glanced down at his watch. "Shit. It’s almost time for my date with Mari." Quickly stripping off his apron, he tossed it aside as he started for the steps leading to the living quarters. "I have to get out of here." Ken started yelling at him to come back and finish his chores as he made his escape, following Yohji to the back of the shop. If Yohji had looked back, he would have seen Aya remain still for a moment, lost in thought, before reaching over to snatch up the abandoned book. Upon noting Omi’s questioning look, the redhead arched an eyebrow and let a tiny smile cross his face.

*******

Yawning as he entered the kitchen, Yohji made his way over to the coffee maker. Gods, how he hated waking up in the morning. Well, technically it was the afternoon right now, seeing as it was a little past twelve. That was still too early in the day though, in his personal opinion. But some sadistic genki bastard had him scheduled to work the noon shift today, so there went him sleeping in. And boy, did he really need it after last night’s debauchery. Him and his date, a cute, enthusiastic exchange student from England, had imbibed a bit too much whiskey. After dropping off the completely hammered man, Yohji had barely managed to get himself home in one piece. Now he was left with a hangover and a sense of frustration, since the guy had passed out before they could have much fun.

Yohji was pouring himself a cup of coffee and debating if he could hold down anything of a more solid nature when Aya entered the room. Expecting to be yelled at since he was supposed to be down in the shop at the moment, he was a bit stunned when the pale man said nothing. Grateful for the reprieve, and a bit puzzled over the fact, he settled against the counter and started sipping his drink, hoping the caffeine would help his headache. He noted that Aya was dressed in his usual black, but there was something different about the ensemble. Watching his teammate as the man quietly set about making a sandwich, he tried to figure out what it was.

He couldn’t help noticing something else as he scrutinized the redhead. Damn, but the man was graceful. Aya made preparing a meal look like an art, sliding across the floor to the fridge, sweeping out an arm to gather a few ingredients, and then flowing over to the counter next to Yohji. As always, he couldn’t take his eyes off of him, and started when the man brushed against him. "Excuse me," a deep voice quietly muttered, as the redhead reached for the cabinet the plates were in. Shifting aside, Yohji caught a whiff of something that caused him to take a deep breath, trying to inhale more of it. Lavender. Aya smelled of lavender. He loved the scent. That was new, wasn’t it? Or had the man always smelled like that, and he just hadn’t noticed before?

Yohji couldn’t stop staring at his reticent teammate. Mug in hand completely forgotten, he just stood there as Aya finished preparing his sandwich, gracefully put everything away, and sat down to eat. He nibbled at the meal, taking small bites, tongue flicking out to wipe crumbs and dressing off of his lips. Aya acted as if no one else was in the room with him, completely unconscious of the suggestive manner in which he devoured his food. While the first was not an uncommon situation, Yohji was once again unsure if this was the way Aya went about eating, or was something new as well. He’d never paid the man’s eating habits much attention before, now he was wondering why.

All done, Aya got up from the table, crossed over to the sink and proceeded to wash up the few dishes he’d dirtied. The scent of lavender once again enveloped Yohji, who still hadn’t moved from his position near the coffee maker. Aya brushed along side of him again as he put the plate back, stepped back, and looked him in the eye. "Shouldn’t you be down in the shop right now?" That said, the smaller man turned around and headed back to the Koneko. Still trying to figure out what the hell was going on, Yohji just stared at the doorway Aya had departed through, and absentmindedly raised his mug to his lips. And nearly spat out the now cold coffee that he’d swallowed.

*******

"Hey Yohji, take these over to Aya. He needs them for an arrangement." Ken haphazardly handed a dozen pink roses over to him before hurrying to return to the customer he’d been assisting. Fumbling with the flowers, Yohji cursed under his breath as he tried to keep them from falling out of his hands. Someday he’d break dear Kenken of just tossing stuff at people, as if everything was a damn soccer ball. Making his way back to where the resident grouch was working, he felt his nicotine craving go up a notch, signifying that he needed a smoke real bad, real soon. Or Aya might lose his title as the nastiest tempered member of Weiß.

Not that the man had been all that sharp with him lately. It was odd, but Yohji swore that Aya had taken to ignoring him the past couple of weeks. Those violet eyes, so lovely that they really deserved to belong to a girl and not a guy would rarely focus on him anymore, no matter what obnoxious stunt he pulled. Any question or comment he posed to the redhead would be quietly and in a distant manner answered in the briefest way possible, if at all. It wasn’t as if Aya was maliciously blocking him out, he just acted as if Kudoh Yohji wasn’t worth the time and effort to pay attention to. And that rankled Yohji, got on his nerves big time. If there was one thing that he couldn’t stand, it was being ignored. The worst part was that Ken and Omi acted as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. The one time he’d tried to talk to the chibi about it, Omi had just brushed him off, saying that Aya was perfectly normal, that he must be imagining it.

"Here you go Aya, special delivery. Anything else you need?" Yohji stood by, waiting to see if he would be acknowledged. A pale hand was waved in his direction, a crimson hued head briefly nodded. That was it. Gritting his teeth in frustration, he tried again. "You know, it wouldn’t hurt if you actually said ‘thank you’ for once."

That got him a reaction. Aya glanced up from the flowers, treating him to a heavy lidded gaze. Yohji found himself unable to look away from those eyes, mesmerized by the unusual color, all the more prominent because of the thick black lashes that surrounded them. He knew women who would maim for lashes like that. Hell, Aya had prettier eyes than any of his female dates. Staring at the orbs so intently, he almost missed it when the man huskily said ‘thank you’. The redhead bowed his head, returning his attention back to the floral arrangement, leaving a stunned Yohji standing beside him. Once more catching a whiff of lavender, Yohji dazedly turned and walked away.

*******

"Mah, Yohji-kun, another late night?" Big blue eyes gazed up at him, Omi’s high-pitched voice making him wince in pain.

"You could say that, kiddo." A late night, but well worth the present discomfort. Or at least it would be, if he could get rid of this damn headache. The nausea was easy, he’d just sip his coffee and avoid food for another couple of hours, but having stabbing pains everytime he heard a loud noise or his shades slipped down the slightest bit, now that sucked. Yohji settled at the table next to Aya, waiting for Omi to give him his required cup of caffeine, and cradled his aching head between his hands. The scent of lavender drifted over, making his muscles relax slightly.

"Here you go, Yotan. Hope it helps. I’m off to watch Ken’s kids play, see you guys later!" Yohji grunted twice, one time in thanks then another in good-bye, and gave his drink a moment to cool. For once he was grateful of Aya ignoring his presence, he was spared the normal lecture about responsibility and left in blessed silence.

A slight scuffing sound alerted him to the fact that the other man was getting up from the table. Expecting Aya to leave the room, he was startled when a pair of cool fingers threaded through his hair. "What the fuck are you ah, oh that feels nice. Don’t stop." Aya’s fingers were massaging his scalp, a soothing motion that was slowly breaking apart the pain and leaving a pleasant tingle behind. "Whatever you want, it’s yours, just don’t stop. Gods that’s good, where did you learn how to do this?" Typically enough, the swordsman remained quiet, but Yohji didn’t mind in the slightest. He just tilted his head back, eyes closed, surrounded by the scent of coffee and lavender. "Oo-h yes." If he was a dog his tail would be happily wagging right now.

He didn’t know how much time had passed, just that he was nice and relaxed and his headache all gone. Suddenly the fingers stopped and pulled away, making him let out a groan of disappointment. Yohji opened his eyes in time to catch Aya gliding out of the kitchen, not saying a word. Grumbling as he was left completely perplexed in the man’s wake, trying to figure out why Aya would ignore him one moment and then do something that was both nice and involved actually touching him at the same time the next, Yohji took a sip of his coffee. This time he didn’t even notice that it was cold. "That man needs to come with an instruction manual."

*******

Entering the laundry room, Yohji was taken back to find that Aya was in front of the dryer, busy folding clothes. For some odd reason, he felt like groaning. The last thing he needed right now was to be ignored in a room that had barely enough room for a washer and dryer, two grown men and a wicker basket. "Hey Aya, just about done there?"

All he got back was a ‘hn’. Great. Just fucking great, the redhead was still giving him the silent treatment. Well, mostly silent treatment. It could more accurately be described as ‘a few grunts and indecipherable looks that had certain parts of his body perking up’ treatment. Gods, but Aya was wrecking havoc with his libido. Yohji had always been a sucker for beautiful things, which the man most definitely was, and had to have them for himself. But he’d managed to convince himself and said sex drive months ago that the redhead would never be his, not after Aya had woken up in his bed and treated him like a piece of shit. Some things just weren’t meant to be. Like Fujimiya ending back up in his bed, or any other that he was in as well. However there was a huge difference between indifference and outright disdain, one that had a part of him wondering if his initial assumption had been incorrect. Or maybe it was merely that he couldn’t stand to be ignored. Whatever the reason, he couldn’t get the man off of his mind.

"I’ll take that as a yes." He lifted the lid to the washer and started to dump clothes in it. "Bet it’s real easy for you to do a load of wash, considering that every thing you own anymore is black. You trying to tell us something, Aya? We gonna come home to find you sacrificing goats and nubile young virgins in the kitchen with a bunch of other devil worshipers?" Nothing. Aya didn’t say or do a fucking thing, but kept on folding black t-shirts. Who the hell owned more than two of them that didn’t deserve to be on Prozac? The man took morose to new heights.

Time for a new tactic. "You know, Ken and Omi are gone for the day. I’m sure there are a bunch of kinky rituals we can get up to if you want." He waggled his brows at the younger man, a suggestive leer on his lips. "What do you say to a bit of fun? I know I could make it worth your while." Waiting for a ‘shi-ne’ or a punch to be hurled his way, Yohji was startled when all Aya did was give him another of those damn looks, that on anyone else would have been an invitation, and what he swore was a smile. A smile, on Aya’s face. Unbelievable.

The pale man simply put his folded clothes in his basket and stepped away from the dryer. He stopped in front of Yohji and reached out a hand to tuck back a strand of honey blond hair. "I’m sure you could," Aya purred, making Yohji’s jaw drop and his body shiver, "but I already have plans for the day." He could only stand there as the redhead left the small room, desperately trying to figure out if the laundry chemicals had him hallucinating the innuendo or if it had actually happened.

*******

Okay, Yohji thought, this was getting ridiculous. Here he was, sitting at home the night before a major mission, never mind the fact that it was a weekend, pretending to watch a stupid movie when instead he was more interested in trying to figure out a certain sociopathic redhead. Fujimiya was getting to him, big time. For the past month and a half the man had been ignoring him, acting as if he was a ghost or a pet or something….. anything but a person who just so happened to live and work with him, unless he did a complete one eighty, like give him a massage or cook his favorite meal or make a vague lascivious comment. However the man would once more be standoffish, giving no explanation for his behavior and leaving him thoroughly confused as the redhead sauntered away. Aya literally had his head spinning, trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

It was just so fucking strange. He didn’t know how to handle what was going on. Yohji hadn’t been yelled at once these past several weeks, just given a few chilling glances when he’d pushed things a bit too far in his attempts to gain the man’s attention. Attempts at humor failed miserably, even when he had Omi and Ken rolling on the floor in laughter, Aya remained expressionless, carrying on with whatever it was he’d been doing when Yohji had tried to wring a response from him. Trying to start a fight didn’t work either, he was merely treated as if he wasn’t worth the effort, and normally Ken would be all too happy to take Aya’s place in the argument, yelling at him as the pale man walked away. Dammit, he’d even tried throwing the swordsman off guard a few times, flirting with him in a way that normally had Ken stuttering or Omi blushing, but all he’d received was a half-lidded look and what he swore was a slight smile, one that left his skin tingling for some strange reason. Although thankfully no more comments like the one in the laundry room. Okay, maybe not so thankfully. Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit.

As he sat there, staring at Aya out of the corner of his eye, he saw him wrap an eartail around a slim finger and start brushing the strands of hair across his mouth. Back and forth it went, over the lips again and again. For several minutes. Yohji could only watch as the impromptu brush started trailing down a white neck, a bright contrast of color that teasingly ran up and down. Aya tilted his head to the side, exposing more of his neck to the caresses, violet eyes never straying from the book held in his other hand. Shifting about uneasily in his seat, Yohji had a sudden vision of running his fingers along that slim column, up to the pouty mouth that once more was being teased by the crimson strands. Before he could imagine any more, he jolted up out of his seat, uncomfortably aware of the fact that his jeans were a bit tighter than they had been a few minutes ago. He was ignored as he dashed to the kitchen.

"Fuck." Digging about in the freezer, he pulled out his emergency stash of alcohol. Important mission tomorrow or not, he needed a drink. Make that a lot of drinks. Desperately. "Fuck. Please oh please tell me I wasn’t getting hard just by watching Aya play with his hair. That is, that is just so fucked up. I’m going nuts, dammit." He had to be, if he was lusting over Fujimiya. Granted, the man was sexy as hell, but everything about him screamed ‘touch me and die’. "I thought I got all of this worked out of my system months ago. There is no way Aya’s going to let me near him, let alone fuck him." Great, here he was in the kitchen, talking out loud to himself. Yep, definitely nuts. Time to think about other things, prove to himself he wasn’t fixated on Weiß’s redhead. Yohji felt himself grin as he thought about all the fun he’d had last night with what’s her name. Frowning as he poured himself several inches worth of vodka into a glass, Yohji tried to recall his date’s name. She’d been from the south, somewhere in Kyushu he remembered, but little else. Big brown eyes, and a pert nose. A fun, cute girl. No great beauty though, not like Aya…..

"Fuck." Tilting the glass back, he quickly drained it. He leaned against counter, hoping the liquor kicked in quick. Oh man, he hadn’t needed to think that last thought. "I’m not falling for the ice prince, dammit," he sputtered once the glass was empty.

"You’re not what?"

Yohji almost dropped the glass as he spun around, jaw dropping. Aya was standing in the doorway, a teapot in hand. For a moment all he could do was look at the smaller man, at the pale skin made all the more whiter due to the black tee and jeans Aya wore, at the too long locks of crimson that feathered down onto the beautiful face. Oh shit, he was doing it again.

"I, ah, well, what the hell are you doing, sneaking up on me like that! Almost gave me a heart attack." The fit of indignation earned him nothing more than another of those lidded looks and half smiles that twisted his insides, made them flop about. The teapot was raised and waggled in the air.

"Wanted some more tea. You might want to leave the alcohol alone and go back in to watch your movie. It’s almost over." With that Aya walked, no slinked dammit, the man was _slinking_ across the kitchen floor to the hot water kettle plugged on the sink besides Yohji. Refusing to budge from the counter, he found himself surrounded by the scent of lavender. It had gotten to the point that everytime he smelled the flower he thought of Aya. Gritting his teeth, Yohji remained still as his teammate set the pot down, then reached up for the container of tea. As he did this, a smooth expanse of toned stomach was revealed. Staring at Aya, Yohji finally realized what was different about the man’s clothes. They were a bit tighter and more revealing that what Aya usually wore, the jeans riding low on the hips, the shirt clingy enough that it didn’t fall back to place when Aya grabbed ahold of the tea and settled back on the pads of his feet. Turning to wash out his teapot, Aya exposed the small of his back. Yohji caught a flash of color, and found himself shocked yet again that night. Fujimiya had a tattoo? Impossible. He was seeing things.

Pouring himself some more vodka, he quickly tossed it back. "Hey Aya, you actually have a tattoo?" Oops, had he said that out loud?

Violet eyes regarded him for a moment, before lowering to watch how much tea was put in the pot. "Yes." With graceful motions Aya filled the porcelain pot with hot water, and quietly slinked his way back to the living room.

Oh no, the man wasn’t leaving things like that. Taking the time for one more very generous shot, Yohji quickly put the much-depleted bottle of alcohol back in the freezer and followed Aya back to the living room. The redhead had just filled his mug up with some fresh tea and was settling back into the chair. "Wait a second, Aya. That was a yes, right? As in ‘yes you have a tattoo’?" The pale man nodded his head, picked up his book and opened it to the last page he’d read.

Refusing to being ignored, especially when he wanted some answers, Yohji reached down, grabbed the book, closed it and set it down on Aya’s lap. While trying not to notice the wave of heat that raced up his hand as he accidentally brushed a finger along the man’s thigh. Looking his friend in the face, he clearly enunciated a few words. "I. Want. To. See. It." He was consumed with curiosity, trying to figure out what the thing was. What kind of a tattoo would someone like Aya get? How far did it go down his back? Would Aya mind if he trailed his fingers down the art?

"No."

"What?" Okay, he hadn’t meant to say it quite that loud. "Why not, you’ve seen mine."

"I said ‘no’. Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to finish reading. Go away." Aya picked up the book again and suddenly it was as if Yohji didn’t exist anymore. Gods, he hated when the smaller man did that. Growling in frustration, Yohji plopped back down on the couch, seriously debating whether he should have something more to drink or not. Omi would give him hell if he was caught though. And it wasn’t a good idea to be hungover during such a dangerous assignment, which he would most spectacularly be if he got within range of alcohol any time soon. Aya had him that frustrated and confused. So he just sat there, again pretending to watch a movie, refusing to acknowledge the fact that what really kept him there was the sight of the gorgeous man once more brushing a strand of hair along his neck as a pink tongue licked drops of tea from a set of pouty lips.

Dammit.

*******

"Ouch. Fuck. I thought guns were illegal in this country. How the hell do I wind up getting shot so often then?" Wincing in pain as he made his way up the steps, Yohji clutched a hand to his wounded arm, trying to prevent blood from spilling onto the floor. The makeshift bandage he’s placed on the bullet wound back at the docks was soaked through with blood. He was going to need stitches. Dammit, he hated stitches. They hurt and itched and just looked plain ugly, and were always so damn hard to explain to a date how he’d come by them. They often made the person aware of all the other scars on his body, and raised some damn uncomfortable answers when all he wanted was a quick tumble to forget what had caused them. And he hated how much he’d been swearing lately, but the past several weeks he’d been filled with this damn, yes damn sense of frustration that just wouldn’t leave him alone. So he swore a lot.

Yohji pushed open his bedroom door and carefully lowered himself to the bed. "Ow. Fuck." Oh, he sure did hurt. The mission had been even worse than Weiß had suspected, they had been greatly outnumbered. But somehow they’d managed to wipe out a platoon of guards and get their hands on the briefcase that Kritiker had sent them to the docks for. Everyone had been roughed up a bit during the killing melee, but him and Ken had taken the worst of it. Lucky them. Shaky fingers trying to untie the blood-soaked bandage, Yohji grunted out ‘enter’ when someone knocked on the door.

Had he said dammit enough times tonight? There stood Aya, torment personified, in his mission uniform, minus the coat and boots. Once more Yohji was reminded at how graceful the man could move as he walked into the room, a large first aid kit in his hand. "What the hell are you doing here? Where’s Omi at, he usually patches me up."

Aya put the kit on the bed and smacked Yohji’s hand away as he started to untie the bandage. "He’s taking Ken to the hospital, thinks he broke a bone in his wrist. It’s very swollen." Yohji was amazed that the redhead had actually spoken that many words to him in sequential order. "He asked me to help you, unless you want to sew this yourself." An elegant eyebrow was raised in question as Aya looked at him. Not knowing what to say, he just shook his head. If the man wanted to patch him up, fine with him. At least Aya wouldn’t be able to ignore him for the next few minutes.

He let out a hiss as the bandage finally came free, feeling more blood pour down his arm. Aya tugged at his long coat. "Off. And the shirt as well."

"Always knew you lusted after my body, Aya sweetie." Yohji teased in a husky voice. Yet again his attempts at flirting fell flat, dammit. All he got in return was another raised eyebrow as the pale man turned away to open the med kit up. Cursing in pain as various strains, bruises and cuts chimed in to protest his peeling off the tight shirt, Yohji briefly wondered why he wore an outfit that was so damn hard to remove. "A bit of Kudoh wisdom, form fitting clothes can be a bitch to get out of, especially when you’re soaked with sweat and all bloody."

"Why wear them then?" Wait a minute, Aya was actually answering him back. Had to mark this day down in the books.

"Because I am such a sexy beast and have to look the part. The gods know someone on this team has to. Although," he drawled, eyeing Aya’s tailored pants and the sleeveless sweatshirt that revealed a set of well toned arms, "yours doesn’t look half bad. Better than Ken’s, that’s for sure." Green eyes narrowed as Yohji took in the collar around the man’s neck. He’d never noticed it before. Just like a lot of other things he was only now discovering. About to question Aya about it, he let out his breath in a hiss as the smaller man set about cleaning his wound. "Dammit Aya, that stings." No response. "Can’t you give me anything for the pain?"

"When it’s all clean. Just wait a minute."

"Omi would have given it to me before." When that failed to gain the man’s attention, Yohji did what he’d wanted to do since last night, and reached out to twirl a long eartail around his finger. He tugged on it until Aya looked up from his arm and scowled at him. "Well, why don’t you kiss it and make it feel all better then? You know, just like your mommy used to?" What the hell was he up to tonight? He was flirting with Aya as if he might possibly be interested in him. Which the man most definitely not.

"Mine didn’t. Now behave." For a few seconds Yohji tried to handle the fact that he was actually disappointed, then was complaining once again as the wound was thoroughly cleaned. Another minute later Aya gave him a shot of Novocain to numb the injury before he stitched it closed. The redhead shifted closer, holding the edges closed with one hand and a needle with the other. "Brace yourself," was all the warning Yohji had before the he started.

"Oo-ow." Dammit, no matter how much painkiller he was given, he always felt the needle tearing through his flesh, pulling it tight once again. Yohji searched about for a distraction. Usually Omi would be talking up a storm during the procedure, but somehow he sensed that Aya wasn’t much of a talker. So he focused on the man instead, watching the way small white teeth took to nibbling on a bottom lip as violet eyes never wavered from the sight before them. At porcelain smooth skin that even this late at night never showed a hint of stubble, much unlike his. There was a cut on a fine cheekbone, more along the lines of a scrape, caked with dried blood. Drawing in a deep breath, Yohji smelled the ever-present lavender, still noticeable through the scent of leather and sweat. Now that was an interesting mix. It took him a moment to realize that Aya was done and rewrapping the wound. "Hey, that was pretty quick. You think it will leave much of a scar?"

Aya only shrugged his shoulders as he tied the gauze down. Yohji was expecting him to just get up and leave, and was surprised to see the man tear open some more alcohol wipes and start tending to his other cuts and scrapes. For a moment he wanted to tell him that it wasn’t necessary, but something kept his mouth shut. It was so nice to feel Aya’s hands gently tend to his injuries, displaying the delicate touch that was normally reserved for flowers. "So, you think Ken is going to be alright?" The silence was getting to him, he wanted to hear Aya talk to him some more.

"Hn."

"Excuse me, not quite fluent in Fujimiya-speak. Was that a yes grunt or a no grunt?"

Aya flashed him a look with those beautiful eyes, and Yohji swore he saw a spark of humor in them. "Yes. I don’t think the wrist was broken that bad, if at all."

"Well, if it is, Weiß is short a man for a few weeks. Think Kritiker will give us a break?"

"From group missions, maybe." Yohji frowned at that last comment. It meant that Aya would be busy most nights accepting private missions. For a reason that filled him with a sense of dread. There was no telling how much the man could get hurt, out there with no back up. Gods. If it wasn’t enough to not get the redhead out of his head the past couple of weeks, now he was obsessing over the man’s safety. "Get a grip, Kudoh," he muttered under his breath. Aya glanced his way for a moment, confusion written on his face, before he continued rubbing some salve on a cut. Refusing to acknowledge how the feel of those hands touching him was making his body react, Yohji resolutely stared at the wall across from him, at a picture of a naked woman sprawled on the hood of a sportscar.

Aya’s voice startled him from his fervent not thinking. "I think that’s it. If there’s nothing else bothering you, I’m off for a shower." Turning around, Yohji watched as the reserved man began to pack up the supplies.

"Hey, what about you? Need anything taken care of?" Aya just shook his head. Snatching up a wipe, Yohji tore it open and grabbed the redhead’s chin. "Wait a sec, let me get this for you." Aya went rigid under his touch, face tilted upwards as he moved closer to the swordsman, carefully wiping away the dried blood. Nope, no stubble to speak of. Did Aya shave before going out at night, or did he not have to? Not sure if it was an accident or not, Yohji found the thumb holding his friend’s face still shift across the soft skin, brushing along Aya’s bottom lip. Violet eyes went wide, and the man would have jerked back if not for the grip on his chin. Finishing the task, Yohji let his hand drop down the pale face, trailing along a bare arm. Gods, Aya’s skin was soft. He had a sudden urge to find out what it was felt like all over that slender body. Before he knew it he was leaning forward, gracing the scraped cheek with his lips, a tender kiss.

Aya managed to jerk himself free that time. Taking in the man’s shocked expression, Yohji let his playboy mask slip back on, his lips tugging up into a smile with a hint of a leer in it. "There now, doesn’t it feel all better?" The other assassin didn’t say a word, just quickly gathered up the kit and left the room. Running a hand through his hair, Yohji resumed his normal chant of late, cursing up a storm as he spun around and stalked over to his bar. "I am going fucking nuts, that’s what it is. Aya, I just kissed Fujimiya ‘I’m a fucking marble statue’ Aya. Oh I am so screwed. What the hell is wrong with me." He grabbed the first bottle he saw, tearing off the lid and chugging a good fifth of it before he choked and sputtered for air. Falling back onto his bed, Yohji took another pull on the bottle. "I don’t care if he totally fucking gorgeous. He’s not interested in me, I’m not interested in him. I can’t be. This just isn’t happening. I do not want Fujimiya Aya. Hear that you damn hormones?" Trying to calm his body down, Yohji set about getting royally plastered.

*******

 

Stumbling into the Koneko, Yohji made his way to the register, where he just wanted to sit for the next few hours. Last night had done even him, the professional partier, in. Too much liquor and pot, way too much. He’d gone from club to club, looking for someone to take him home. Normally it wasn’t that hard of an endeavor, but lately, for a reason he absolutely refused to think about, only redheads would do. And not just any redheads. Only those with pale skin and a slender build, graceful as all hell. Which was bit of a tall order in Japan. So he was feeling a wee bit frustrated at the moment.

"Geez, Kudoh, do you have a personal vendetta against your liver or what? You look like shit." Ken stopped watering plants long enough to wander over to the register and give him an appraising glance. "I’m warning you now, Omi’s not too happy with you coming home just before sunrise again this morning. I foresee a hell of a lecture in your future." For a moment the brunet looked back at Aya, who was pruning a topiary, and then shook his head. "Something wrong? Anything you want to talk about?"

Yohji rubbed at his bloodshot eyes, trying to keep in mind that Ken just wanted to be helpful. "Nope, nothing wrong here. Just too many lovers and not enough time." There was no way in hell he was going to tell the dumb jock that the reason he’d been getting wasted lately was because he couldn’t stop dreaming about a certain teammate. Who most likely hated his guts. Very explicit dreams, at that. Gods, he was so fucked.

"Yeah, well I think you need to give your reputation as Tokyo’s greatest slut a break, Yohji. This can’t be healthy for you."

Temper flaring, Yohji snapped back at the brunet. "No shit, genius. But at least I’m getting some." A flat out lie. The one redhead he’d found last night had been too curvy, the hair color obviously fake. That was part of the reason why he’d gotten so trashed, when he’d realized that he was turning down a perfectly fine and willing date because she wasn’t enough like Aya. "Do you even remember how to fuck someone, Hidaka?"

He didn’t have any time to duck the punch Ken threw at him. Knocked off the stool, Yohji just laid on the floor dazed, trying to figure out if he was amazingly stupid or now so crazy that he was suicidal. Ken voice’s drifted down to him, calling him a bastard and some other choice names, before Aya’s cut through and ordered the brunet to go water the plants outside.

Yohji sat there as a pair of black clad legs walked into his view. After a second’s pause, a pale hand was extended down. "You okay?"

Hating himself for how eagerly he snatched at the offered hand, Yohji let himself be pulled up. "Wow, I’m surprised you even noticed that anything had happened, Aya. It did involve me, after all." The smaller man tried to yank his hand back, but Yohji wasn’t letting go. They stood there deadlocked for a minute.

"Kudoh, I have some work to do. So do you." Was there the slightest hint of emotion in the deep voice? He desperately wanted to know.

"Tell me Aya, what the hell it was that I’ve done to offend you so much lately. Most of the time it’s as if I don’t exist anymore." And the other times drove him nuts as well, it was like waving a bottle of water in front of a man dying of thirst. He _wanted_ so damn bad. Kudoh Yohji wanted Fujimiya Aya. And what made it so fucking awful was he wanted the man as something more than just a one-night stand. He wanted to possess him, completely.

Still tugging at his hand, Aya let out a sigh and actually looked at him for what Yohji swore was the first time since the last mission. "You haven’t done anything, Kudoh. It’s nothing, I swear. Now let me go."

"No." He yanked the redhead close, dropping his head to sniff a pale neck. "I always did like lavender, you know. You’re the flower expert, what is it supposed to mean?" He wrapped his other arm around Aya when he made to step away. Yohji needed to have him close.

He felt the redhead tense at the embrace. "A lot of things. Admiration, solitude and devotion are the main ones. White lavender can mean protection, and that wishes will come true. Let go, Kudoh. Now." Aya’s voice had taken on a frantic tone, underneath the coldness. For a second he thought that maybe he was getting to the man. Then there was the phone ringing, startling both men with the loud noise. Caught off guard, Yohji’s hold loosened, giving Aya the opportunity he needed to break free. Hurrying over to the phone, the redhead made sure to put a counter between them. Cursing himself for being all kinds of a fool, Yohji stormed out of the shop, needing to get away and think.

*******

Yohji snuck into the house, wanting nothing more than to reach his bedroom before someone saw him. He knew that Omi at least had to be after his head, and most likely Ken as well, considering how he’d just up and ditched his shift that day. But there was no way he would have been able to stay and work with Aya. The man had gotten to him, utterly sneaked past him shields and burrowed his way under his skin.

He’d spent all afternoon and a good part of the evening firmly attached to a bar stool, trying to drink until things made sense. And he’d been successful, well sort of. It was just that he wasn’t happy with what he’d come up with. He wanted Fujimiya Aya, a true ice prince if there ever was one, as a lover. Not a fling, but something along the lines of a permanent relationship. Yohji’s brain still had a bit of a problem with that one. He was supposed to be the great lover and leaver of beautiful things, and now he was completely enamored. All he could think of anymore was the redhead. This was much much worse than the case of infatuation he’d thought he’d gotten over with in regards to Aya when they had first met. Back then all he was interested was in a little fun.

But now…. he didn’t want just a little anything with Aya. Yohji wanted all of him, to hold nothing back. He closed his eyes as he crept up the stairs, mind filled with a vision of his teammate curled up on his bed, his for the taking. Gods, thanks to his dreams lately, he knew just what he would do if he ever got his hands on the redhead. First it would be combing back all that crimson hair, revealing Aya’s beautiful face. Next would come stripping off those black clothes, and finding out what exactly the tattoo looked like. In his dreams it was something different each time….

Wait a sec, he’d heard his name back there. Opening his eyes, Yohji silently made his way down the hall, over to Omi’s room. The door was slightly open, and he heard the chibi speaking.

"…..should put an end to it, Aya-kun. I mean, it was funny at the beginning, seeing him all confused, but I think things have gone too far. Yohji’s hardly ever home anymore, and when he is he’s always really hungover. It was never this bad before we started the game."

"It’s not a game." Alright, that was Aya’s voice, sounding a bit defensive. Yohji now wasn’t budging until he got some answers. What was this about a game?

"Well what would you call it, Aya?"

The room was quiet for a moment, then came a long sigh. "It was supposed to be a lesson for the smug prick. That’s why I let you and Hidaka in on it. I didn’t think….. it wasn’t supposed to turn out like this."

"I know, Aya-kun. I’m not blaming you, not really. It’s all our faults. I just think that it’s time things went back to normal, that’s all."

A pregnant silence, during which Yohji fidgeted. And Omi, from the sounds of it. "I agree."

Having heard enough, Yohji slowly backed away from the door, and went directly to Aya’s room. Closing the door behind him, he gave his eyes a few seconds to adjust to the scant light before he started to look around. The scent of lavender was everywhere, and when he got to the redhead’s dresser, he found out why. There was a bottle of lotion on top, obviously the source of the fragrance. Opening the tube, he squeezed some on his hand and rubbed it in, marveling at the scent and how silky it made his skin feel. Aya must have been putting it on all over to smell that strongly of it. No wonder his skin was so soft. Putting the lotion back, Yohji made his way to the window. Om his way he passed a neat desk. Two books resting on top caught his eye.

One of them was the advice book that he had made fun of two months ago. Snorting in disgust, he dropped it back on the desk and then turned his attention to the other tome. It too was a romance advice guide. This one was a bit older though, and a little dog-eared as well. Opening the cover, he squinted in the dim light to read what was written inside. "To Ran, maybe this will help you find someone special. I will want it back though after my birthday, when I’ll finally be allowed to date. So you better get to work quick!" Who the hell was Ran? Skimming through its pages, he found several sections highlighted, with little notes along the line of "try this one out" besides them. He recognized a few of the suggestions as the recent changes in Aya’s behavior. Specifically the ones that had driven him crazy like the aloofness, the scent, the random acts of kindness and those looks. Anger started to drive the alcoholic fuzziness from his brain, as he thought back on what Aya and Omi had been talking about. So this was the game, hm? Returning the book to its place, he made his way over to the window, waiting for his teammate to show up.

It didn’t take long. The redhead entered the room, not bothering with the overhead light but reaching for the one on the nightstand instead. Flicking it on, he jumped back when he saw Yohji. "Kudoh, what the hell are you doing in here? Too drunk to find your own room?" The deep voice was laden with scorn and anger.

It took him a moment to answer, all he could do was look at the other man, the way the tight clothes clung to that lithe body, the ragged bangs casting shadows on the lovely face, the eyes glowing between the strands. "No, not that drunk. Just curious. Mind telling me all about this ‘game’ you’ve been playing, Aya? Oh wait, it’s supposed to be a lesson instead. Just what the hell are you trying to teach me?"

If he hadn’t been watching the smaller man so closely, Yohji would have missed how Aya drew himself in, ever so slightly. As if he’d been hit. "I’m waiting, Aya. Not going anywhere till I get some answers." When the swordsman made to leave the room, he darted forward, snatching a thin arm and pulling it backwards, until Aya fell onto the bed. Hissing in anger, the redhead yanked his arm free and scooted up towards the headboard. Yohji settled in front of him, blocking his escape. "Tell me."

Aya hunched in some more, hiding his face beneath his bangs. Just when Yohji was about to reach over and shake the man he began speaking. "It started the day you found that book, on how to attract a guy’s attention. I just," Aya paused to tug on his bangs, "I just got sick of hearing you mocking that poor girl. So I decided to teach you a lesson. Figured I’d try some of the tricks you were laughing at, see if I couldn’t get you to look twice at someone you were never interested in. Prove to you it wasn’t so foolish after all."

As an explanation, it was a bit weak. There was a lot that was being left out, like why Aya had cared how he’d treated one of the fan girls he normally yelled at, but he’d get some more in-depth answers later. "And Omi and Ken? What was their part in this ‘lesson’?"

Aya let out a huff of air, eyes looking everywhere but at him. "Omi knew about it from the start. He arranged the schedule so we were working together more often. When Ken caught on that something was happening, Omi swore him to silence, and to pretend not to notice things. They left us alone together as much as they could." Yohji waited for more, but the pale man clammed up, now warily watching him through a veil of red strands. He shifted closer to him.

"Let me get this straight. You wanted to teach me a lesson, about what I sure as hell don’t know. Maybe manners, or about my ego. Okay, I can accept that. But do you have any idea how fucking crazy you have been driving me these past two months?" He was starting to get angry. Everything he’d been put through, finally realizing the fact that he wanted Aya as a lover, and this was worse than finding out that the man didn’t want him back. Aya had deliberately led him on, just as a fucking joke. He wanted to choke the bastard.

Aya darted to the side, either to escape or to grab a weapon, Yohji wasn’t sure. Once more he caught the smaller man and forced him back onto the bed, this time he kept Aya there by pinning him down. The redhead cursed and struggled, but he was too damn determined to hold on. Snaking a hand free, he slapped Aya across the face, stunning him. When the pale face turned dazedly in his direction, Yohji bent his face down, staring deep into the violet eyes. "Just what the hell were you trying to do to me? You wanted me to notice you? Well, I sure as hell did. Enough so that I can’t think about anything else. Congratulations, you’ve just snared yourself Kudoh Yohji, the question is what the hell you intend to do now. Because I am not going away. Consider this a lesson to teach you not to play with other people’s emotions." He couldn’t believe it. Those amethyst orbs were widening in what could only be described as shock and panic. Seemed that someone hadn’t thought his little game plan through all the way. Delighting in the reaction he was getting, Yohji bent his head down to brush his lips against the man’s silky skin, feeling himself harden instantly. Aya felt it as well, and started struggling again. "Get the hell off of me, Kudoh!"

Nuzzling a pale neck, Yohji just enjoyed the ride. "Here’s something that you might want to note in that book of yours, this is quite an excellent tactic to get a man’s ‘attention’. Keep it up, please." Biting off a curse, the swordsman stopped his thrashing and glared up at him. "Ah, you just had to spoil my fun, didn’t you?" When Aya opened his mouth to answer back he swooped in for a kiss.

If he’d thought that Aya was stunned before, it was nothing compared to now. The slender body beneath his went completely still as he flicked his tongue into the other man’s mouth. Taking advantage of the situation, he deepened the kiss, utilizing all of his skill in an attempt to wring some sort of response from Aya. A small part of him was screaming that this was a homicidal swordsman he was kissing, but it was quickly silenced. This felt way too good for him to care about such a little thing like his impending death. All too soon Aya seemed to come back to himself, a sudden tensing was the only warning Yohji had to remove his tongue before a pair of sharp teeth came snapping down. Pulling back, he treated Aya to a lidded look of his own. "So tell me, was it good for you too?"

Oh this was fun, the man was actually hissing at him. Grinding his hips down, Yohji smiled as Aya regarded him warily, lips clamped tightly shut. "Well get used to it, lover. Like I said, I’m not going away. You got me, now it’s my turn to return the favor. Only I don’t intend on following some little book. Let me tell you something right off, you don’t stand a chance." Taking a moment to relish the apprehensive look on Aya’s face, Yohji quickly rolled off of the pale man and darted for the door. He barely made it through it before something smacked into the wood as it closed. Pausing outside of the door, his face split into a grin as he took in the muttered curses and shi-ne’s that were being heaped on his personage. Yep, this was definitely going to be fun. Making his way to his room, Yohji started to formulate a plan. Aya wouldn’t know what had hit him.

*******

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