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Call The Bluff

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Majima and Kiryu wound up in a stupored embrace, tangled in surprisingly comfortable sheets once more. The one-eyed devil had spat a belligerent argument over the tender action, of course, but Kiryu found him much easier to quiet in an intoxicated state. Less hostility towards gentle approaches were favorable in such sensitive moments. He held the spring-loaded creature with such care that one might think the patriarch would shatter like glass under even the slightest of heavier touches. It was infuriating, but with both of their heads spinning it was all they could truly wish for at the night’s end.

“… I think…” Kiryu hesitated somewhat, attempting to get his thoughts straighter than his vision. “No. I… I… Damn it,”

Majima hated that the man couldn’t just say it, but at the same time he’d never felt such greater relief. The statement that danced around Kiryu’s tongue terrified him enough to simply imagine, let alone hear.

“Shut up,” he grumbled. “I get the… I get the point. I, uh… I damn it, too.”

Yes, he did damn it. He damned it as far into hell as he possibly could, how fiercely he damned it. It was what he both did and didn’t deserve, but he couldn’t decide which point of view pained him more. He didn’t deserve what he had and had not yet received, but he greatly deserved the varying amounts of suffering it brought upon him. All of the scenarios that swam through his head suffocated him; how their tumultuous relationship would unfold, the way Majima knew he’d be brought to his knees if he didn’t get Kiryu there first, Kiryu’s fate at the end of it all… A divine punishment it was, and he’d accept nothing less. The perfect torture. Years shaved off his life was suddenly nothing compared to right there and then.

Fuck, he was so drunk.

“What was it you… That you said to me?” Kiryu slurred carefully, sliding his hand on impulse across Majima’s bare side. “I can hear you think.”

That earned an indignant huff.

“Wanna shut me up?” Majima sneered, grabbing Kiryu’s wandering hand and dragging it down his naked leg; they’d shed everything down to their skivvies before crawling into bed for the night. “I’ll show ya my off– hehehe–

Oh, Kiryu found that snicker so alluringly devious when he dug past the other things it made him feel.

“My off switch.”

He blushed. Forwardness was always something that painted his face red, but Majima suddenly falling still puzzled him. It brought silence at first, until tense air was replaced with soft snoring, ushering the peace of sleep into Kiryu’s ears. What a peculiar off switch.

Although Kiryu had then been left alone with another night of lying awake, his soul didn’t ache. No worry consumed him, despite the stress that awaited him with the morning ahead. He felt… eased. So suddenly the guilt of letting go for a few hours failed to grab hold of him. All he could focus on was the man asleep in his arms, also detached from the ghosts that haunted the life of a yakuza. If only for a time… but, that didn’t matter.

Perhaps this was what partnership meant. He couldn’t stand Majima and his ridiculous violent outbursts every single day, but it was only around Majima that he truly felt content now. No obsessions of the future or recollections of the past… Either the alcohol had gotten to him, or he was hopelessly in love. Only one of those possibilities had him think twice. However, even after the third time reconsidering his affections, his conclusion remained the same. Even when they argued, even when they beat the hell out of each other…

Love hurt, but what didn’t?

 


 

Again he laid in blissful silence, swallowed by shadows that even Kamurocho’s lights couldn’t pierce. Nothing but the sound of water lapping at his body...

He shot up with alarm, head whipping around for any sign of wild hair and a round face. But, nothing. There was nothing. The only light that blanketed him was the glow of the tsubaki trees in the darkness. The stream below him was no longer tinted like blood, and a quick brush over his face revealed only his eyepatch. The hannya mask was gone.

Why... Why was he back? Where was Makoto?

With a grunt he wobbled to his feet, treading through the gentle waters before him warily. He had turned away from her before, but she called his name... He had to find her. At the very least, he had to make sure she was alright.

Suddenly, he stopped. His hackles stood on end, the telltale sign he was being watched. With dread in his stomach he turned against his better judgment to look, but the figure that met him only garnered confusion.

It was him. Well, the hannya mask sat ominously on his face, but it was definitely him. While he expected the dread in his stomach to fade, it only increased tenfold; the atmosphere of his doppelgänger was just as suffocating as Makoto’s had been. The double stared right through him, but Majima wasn’t frightened by himself. He’d been alone in his own head for long enough. It was time to take a stand.

“Scram, asshole. I only got room in my head for one Majima Goro.”

He received no response. That only made him angry, of course.

“I said beat it! Do I really gotta kick my own ass to get the point across?!”

Although there was still no response, the anger he felt seemed to feed it; his legs felt weaker under the sudden weight in the air. However, the water that once had no flow beneath him suddenly pushed in the direction of his silent little demon. Curiosity might as well have killed him at that point; he swung his head around and was met with another man in a mask.

He recognized it: the face of a lion.

Was he stuck in the middle of some kind of fucked up theatrical performance? The dry amusement left him just as soon as it came, the malevolent spirit taking steps back at the sudden appearance of the lion man. Majima didn’t really get it, but he had more important things to worry about.

“Great! Thanks, big guy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m kinda busy– “

A solid hand caught him in the center of his chest as he tried to flee, earning an exasperated grunt.

“Look pal, I don’t got time for this. I gotta find Makoto– “

“She isn’t here.”

Kiryu. Of course it was Kiryu, his big, stupid knight in shining armor. The lion mask really fit him, after all.

“Haw?”

“The demon is there.” the lion man spoke with a pointed finger, the other Majima tensing; ready for a fight, if that truly was another him. “And she is not. Pay attention.”

“Obviously, you moron.” he huffed. “I still got one eye. I don’t have time for this bozo, and you better get the hell outta my way!”

The ever-stoic lion was unfazed by his shouting. He should’ve figured. While he could waste more time starting (and losing) a fight, he mused that it could possibly benefit him to listen. So, begrudgingly, he would do just that.

“Alright, fine. Whadda ya want from me? Do I gotta fight myself or something?”

The Kiryu look-alike said nothing. Instead, he merely shook his head; at least the real Kiryu would just say what was on his mind. Majima turned his attention to his other self and gave him a good once-over.

Dark, menacing, and not a damn thing to say about it. Just like the original, minus the silent treatment. It honestly reminded him of the Hannya-Man schtick he pulled on Kiryu before, but the deadly silence seemed completely genuine. What was he supposed to do? Dealing with his emotions was the farthest thing from his capabilities at that point in time, and he couldn’t seem to force himself awake...

It hit him like a sack of bricks.

“Move it.”

Majima gave the obtuse guardian of his mind a good shove, refusing to let up until the Kiryu double and his own were face to face. The Hannya-Man seemed threatened, but he stood his ground anyway. True to character, which Majima wordlessly appreciated.

“I can’t fix this crazy psycho. What the hell do you think you’re here for, huh?” he stated matter-of-factly. “To stand around and look pretty? You’re supposed to be Kiryu-chan, right? Act like it, damn it!”

Kiryu was dense as a brick, but he always knew how to bring Majima back down when he’d reached the top of his limits. That was just what Kiryu did best.

“Those masks are just metaphorical bullshit, and I don’t got time to stand around and deal with you two. Kiss and make up so I can get back to the real Kiryu-chan, eh?”

He’d only dealt with lucid dreams a few times, but he would gladly break out the big guns with one so emotionally loaded. Not that it worked quite the way he wanted, as it was. The lion-masked Kiryu hesitated before he gently cupped the cheek of the hannya-masked Majima. The motion could’ve made him gag, but the results bore nothing but... strange fruit.

The second Kiryu removed his mask first, a pained expression plastered on his face. It clearly hurt him to confront the Hannya-Man so, but he obeyed the real Majima regardless. The second Majima bristled at the contact, clearly refusing to be complacent; once again, Majima felt a strange surge of pride, but it faded quickly.

“Take your damn mask off, Goro.”

Both Majima felt severely uncomfortable with the wording of the demand, but his other piece cooperated without much fuss. He removed it so cautiously Majima nearly screamed, but…

The face beneath crushed the breath from his lungs. The pure sorrow and confusion the second Majima seemed to be consumed with ought to have brought any seasoned tough guy to his knees, trails of tears included. That... That was how he truly felt on the inside, as much as he hated to admit it. Hurt, angry, and not knowing what to do about it but stew it all together in his brow... The truth stung, but there it was in front of him.

“... Come on, Kiryu-chan...” he pleaded weakly, only filled with the desire to wake up.

Please…

Tears burned his lonely eye when the two met by the lips, streaks down their cheeks as well.

 


 

Majima didn’t jump awake, but Kiryu could easily tell he’d awoken by the skip in his breath. He said nothing, but he didn’t have to. Majima wasn’t expecting the other man to be awake anyhow, the clock telling him that at least three hours had passed.

“Another shitty dream…” he grumbled, too half-drunk and reluctant to move around much.

The room spun around him just the same, pissing him off enough to sigh heftily yet stay stock still. Forgetting himself, he squeezed Kiryu’s hand with his own, but even if he cared to remember the tough guy act he would neglect it. Not that the impression would last, but for the remainder of the night he was tired of acting strong. The sting in his eye was all too reminiscent of his dream.

“Another shitty fuckin’ dream…”

Kiryu clutched his distressed lover close, and that was all either of them needed to feel to know what they needed to. Majima remained silent, digging his nails into Kiryu’s skin to stay so. The pain translated to something very different for the both of them. Even with both of their walls still up partially, they could communicate something so desperately needed to each other.

They were all-in. No two ways about it.