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Push & Pull

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“Must you be so careless?” Goro scolds mildly as Ren hooks his pointer finger under one of the top few buttons of his dress shirt and yanks upward, making them pop open with the hint of a complacent smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth. The words come out a little breathless, a little shaky.

If he’s lucky, Ren’s too busy nipping at his shoulder to pick up on such a minor crack in his demeanor, or so he tells himself.

Ironically, Goro thinks, not without an edge of bitterness, deceiving himself had never been one of his strong suits.

A sliver of pale skin is revealed, smooth to the touch, and somehow Ren positively resembles the cat that got the canary at the rare sight of Goro’s exposed collarbone, hungry lips leaving trail after trail of butterfly kisses all across his chest and neck.

Goro catches himself staring, wanting to lean in closer and kiss the softness off of Ren’s handsome features until, eventually, it would twist into a language he can understand.

Instead, he watches on forlornly when the tips of Ren’s long, skillful fingers easily find their way underneath the first layer of his clothes, tugging, his free hand coming to a rest on Goro’s belt buckle, heavy with promise.

“You do realize that this shirt was expensive—”

“Goro…” Ren interrupts, unphased, the whisper of his name accompanied by a pointed glance, a fond smile that Goro immediately recognizes as the one reserved to convey to him a message somewhere along the lines of God, you sure are lucky you’re cute .

“Just shut up, will you?”

In retrospect, Goro realizes that, clearly, he should have known better than to take the bait and part his lips in protest, playing into Ren’s cards like a fool, but with steel gray eyes unabashedly sizing him up from under long, dark lashes, he simply isn’t that smart.

Ren is upon him in a heartbeat, pouncing from where he’d been lying in waiting, swiftly diving in to capture Goro’s lips with his own in a deep, open-mouthed kiss that leaves Goro helplessly flustered. Heat rises to his cheeks and dusts his skin in a soft hue of pink as Ren continues to unravel him, to crowd him against the back of the couch, tender hands cradling his head, absently carding through his hair, guiding him with the kind of relentless patience that tears Goro apart at the seams.

Before he knows it, a breathy whimper escapes his throat and he feels his back treacherously arching off the cushions to chase the sensation of Ren’s comforting weight on top of him, Ren’s chest pressed flush against his own, Ren’s grounding touches, like a drowning man clutching at a straw.

How pathetic he must sound, moaning into Ren’s kisses, his body ablaze at every point of contact between them, cold as ice where the soft pads of Ren’s fingers have moved on to explore elsewhere.

He doesn’t know what to do with his hands, so he awkwardly places them on Ren’s waist. If his nails are digging into Ren’s sides a tad too forcefully, Ren doesn’t let it on, just tolerates it the way he tolerates so many things that one day he’ll realize no one should have to put up with.

When Ren playfully catches Goro’s bottom lip between his teeth before proceeding to nuzzle his face into the crook of his neck, sucking his mark into the tender skin there, Goro’s gaze is anywhere but on the man in front of him, clouding over with a sudden wave of exhaustion that has nothing to do with the late hour or the stress of a long work day.

Sometimes, simply holding it together for yet another minute seems to require more energy than he has left at his disposal.

His eyes fixate on a small indent in the wall to the left of a tall bookshelf and it almost feels tangible, the shadows closing in on him in the oppressive silence of his pitch-black apartment, the dull thud of glass colliding with brick, shattering into a sea of shards on his living room floor.

It’s a remnant of dark days and darker nights.

Nights before Ren.

Ren, who kisses his tainted lips, undeterred by years of lies and deception, who doesn’t shy away from holding his hands as if they weren’t covered in blood, as if Goro was worth more than the dirt under his shoes.

It’s the moment Ren’s hand falls away from his hip to roam South, his thumb beginning to rub Goro’s inner thigh in slow, soothing circles through the thin fabric of his dress pants, that something inside of him finally snaps.

He chokes on the urge to scream as every muscle in his body pulls taut with an ache, raw and violent, to feel Ren’s skin slipping on his own in places untouched, to be held and taken until his mind goes blank with the bliss or the pain of it.

But will he want you, a familiar voice sneers somewhere far in the back of his head, when you lay yourself bare and he finds nothing but ruin.

Will he want you when you lash out as he reaches out to you.

Will he want you when he finally has to admit that he can’t save you from yourself?

“It’s getting late,” Goro remarks breathlessly, a little more loudly than strictly necessary, into the quiet of the living room, pretending that Ren didn’t just find him hard and willing under the palm that’s lightly pressed to his crotch, testing the waters.

Thrown on in a hurry, the mask feels askew, not quite lining up with the sharp angles of his face, the curve of his lips a ghost of a well-rehearsed, pleasant smile that had once felt like second nature.

It will have to do.

And Ren… Ren doesn’t complain or argue as he’s being brushed off gently for what must be close to the hundredths time since he’d been unfortunate enough to stray into Goro’s life again.

At any other time, Goro realizes, heart constricting painfully in his chest, Ren’s face is an open book for him to read.

Tonight, there’s nothing to see, Ren’s expression closed-off, guarded.

“Come to bed with me?” Goro asks, smiling on bravely, for once not caring that it makes him sound like a beggar.

Tonight, Ren’s arms around his waist don’t seem to be enough to bridge the distance he can’t help forcing between them.

 

 

The door to Ren’s apartment hasn’t quite clicked shut by the time Ren has him shoved up against the wall across the narrow hallway, keys slipping from his fingers and clattering on the hardwood floor in his haste to get his hands on Goro’s hips, the backs of his thighs, and lift him off the ground, lips crashing down on Goro’s in a barrage of bruising kisses.

It’s happening so fast, Goro’s feeling the air being knocked out of his lungs as his body collides with stone, one of Ren’s hands instinctively shooting out to protect the back of his head - a gesture so small, yet unsettling in its tenderness amidst their heated exchange.

“You,” Ren growls between accusing little bites and pants, “are a menace.”

Considering the many ways he had deliberately tortured Ren over the course of their otherwise rather uneventful dinner with Ren’s parents, Goro finds himself in no position to argue.

A feather-light touch to Ren’s knee under the table, soft fingertips running up his thigh, pressing into his skin, the collar of Goro’s shirt pulled to the side to offer a glimpse of the junction between his shoulder and neck, where the faintest shadow of a lovebite still lingers, invisible to the unsuspecting eye, provokingly obvious to Ren’s, who’d been quick to kick him in the shin, eyebrows raised warningly.

Wearing false innocence like a second skin, Goro had merely cocked his head to the side, wide-eyed, all the while perfectly aware that it would only get Ren riled up further.

A little less than an hour later, after blindly stumbling their way up the stairs, kissing and clawing at each other with the last scraps of Ren’s self-restraint having long gone out the window, Goro has him exactly where he wants him to be, boiling over with lust, impatient, on the edge of finally, finally losing control.

“Touch me…”

Make me pay for it , Goro doesn’t say.

He rolls his hips, digs his heels into the small of Ren’s back to drive his point home, not bothering to think about what exactly he wants Ren to punish him for tonight.

There’s no need, is there?

After all, Ren has plenty to choose from.

“I’m sure that can be arranged,” Ren whispers back playfully, the sensation of his hot breath against Goro’s temple sending a pleasant shiver down his spine, anticipation pooling low in his stomach. He can hear his heartbeat thundering nervously against his ribcage, a constant, heavy pounding echoing through his head, and for a moment he wonders if Ren can feel it too.

“It’s not fair, you know? Using this ,” Ren continues, voice low and sensual as his hands run up Goro’s sides underneath the soft grey sweater that had once belonged to Ren, “against me when you know full well that you’ve got me wrapped around your finger as it is.”

His tongue slowly traces the shell of Goro’s ear.

God , you have no right to be this pretty.”

When Ren pulls back to give him a small, surprisingly sheepish smile in the wake of his admission, the blatant hunger in his gaze has been replaced with a fondness, so open and honest, it makes Goro want to sink his nails into the soft flesh under his eyes until he breaks skin.

He’d had it all planned out in meticulous detail, each sultry glance, each calculated touch, aimed to chip away at that unshakable patience, that sweetness Goro isn’t made to have, only to watch it blow right back up in his face because he would never learn his lesson.

He would never be prepared for Amamiya Ren.

A surge of anxiety bubbles up in his chest, rushes through his veins like wildfire, unchecked, threatening to consume him whole, and he finds himself on the verge of laughing hysterically once the gravity of the realization hits him with full force.

Goro can’t quite put a finger on it, but something in the atmosphere shifts and the next thing he knows, Ren carefully adjusts their position, using his own body weight to hold Goro in place, his hands coming up to cup Goro’s face.

In the semi-darkness of the hallway, with their foreheads pressed together and Ren’s mouth on his own, undoing him so thoroughly, Goro has nowhere to escape to, so he wraps his arms around Ren’s neck and reluctantly presses forward.

Just this once, he thinks, dazed with longing, his body and mind too tired to fight for another miserable second.

Just for a moment...

He feels Ren’s lips curve up into a triumphant smile as, after months of gentle persistence, Goro allows himself to relax into his embrace with a content hum, going soft and pliant under his ministrations.

He knows, even with his eyes closed, where Ren is taking him, the familiar layout of the place that he’d come to consider home more than his own empty apartment - or anywhere else in the world, really - etched deeply into his memory.

Dipping him down a little to elbow at the door handle, Ren awkwardly maneuvers them both inside his bedroom, nearly tripping over Morgana, who bolts past them in a blur of dark fur and blue eyes, flashing in the white starlight that’s filtering into the room through the gaps in the blinds. They share a quick, startled glance and Goro watches Ren’s bottom lip tremble with poorly suppressed amusement as they tumble onto the mattress in a heap of tangled limbs.

Goro’s hand flies up to his mouth when Ren, emboldened by Goro’s soft sighs and trembling fingers in his hair, pushes his knee in between Goro’s open thighs, thrusting up lightly.

It’s to no avail.

A low moan rips from his throat, followed by a string of shameful whimpers that make his cheeks burn bright, make him want to act out, pretend that Ren manhandling him through every step of the way wasn’t exactly what he’d been aching for. He does.

It’s then, with those stormy grey eyes seeing right through him, one slender hand slowly caressing down his spine and dipping under the waistband of his dress pants, that Goro realizes he’s staring up at Ren from the bottom of the grave he’d dug for himself.

And Ren, gentle, beautiful, Ren, puts the final nail in the coffin.

“I love you,” he laughs into their kisses, easily, as if he didn’t have to think about it, as if he wasn’t afraid that one day he’d wake up and understand that Goro had been a mistake.

Time slows to a crawl as Goro’s world tilts on its axis.

“You don’t know what you’re saying,” he hisses under his breath, paralyzed.

“What—“

Stop ,” Goro hears himself shout, drowning out the voice inside his head that’s pleading for Ren to tell him again, and again, and again, to hold him down and stake his claim on him, whether he deserves it, or not.

“Please just stop .”

He regrets the words the moment they’re out of his mouth.

Ren jerks back as if he’d been burned, eyes blown wide, visibly stunned by the harshness of Goro’s sudden outburst.

They stare at each other in the darkness, seconds stretching into what feels like a small eternity until, finally, Ren averts his gaze, a few strands of mussed up black hair falling into his face. It’s not quite enough to spare Goro from watching the light fade from his eyes as he bites down on his bottom lip in a half-hearted attempt to cover up the hint of a bitter smile.

Still reeling from the words he wishes Ren had never said, Goro parts his lips to speak, just to realize that there’s nothing he can say to fix this, to fix them, that they’re merely steering towards the inevitable end of the limited time they’d been granted.

From where he’s sprawled out on the rumpled sheets, he can make out the tense line of Ren’s shoulders, who had, at some point, moved towards the very edge of the bed, hunched over, his face in his hands.

He’d never looked so small, so defeated.

Goro thinks about the softness in Ren’s eyes and the quiet strength of Ren’s arms enveloping him in his sleep. He thinks about the feeling of Ren’s hand in his, the way his fingers would inch closer until they’d slip into the gaps between his own in the deafening silence after a fight, the way Ren would never quite seem to take his eyes off him, lest he turn around and find that he’d been dreaming all along.

He thinks about how all he’s ever brought Ren is pain, his presence haunting, and, not for the first time, Goro wishes he had died in his father’s palace that dreary November night.

For a long moment, he lies completely still, eyes closed, his mind zeroing in on the rhythm of his own shallow breathing, each drag of air strained, burning his lungs.

There’s the sound of socked feet padding on the carpet, a door slamming shut, a lock clicking into place.

Goro doesn’t flinch.

He hopes Ren knows that he’s been trying.

To feel like he was enough, to believe that he could make it last, that wanting to make it last was even remotely fair towards Ren.

He’d tried to wrap his head around the nameless force that seems to keep drawing Ren back into his orbit so relentlessly and failed, decided that whatever it may be that Ren feels for him isn’t love, can’t be love.

And, God, does he want it to be.

However, Goro had to learn the hard way that what he desires and what he’s meant to have aren’t necessarily the same thing.

 

 

Goro’s in the middle of absently arranging an armful of mismatched throw pillows into a pile by the head of the couch, the house eerily quiet around him, when his ears pick up on a movement behind him, somewhere in the general direction of the hallway.

Feigning ignorance, he pulls his hair back into a small ponytail before stiffly lying down with his back to the living room door, hands clutching at the hem of his blanket that faintly smells of coffee, mixed with a another scent, so distinctively Ren , it makes him want to kick it off and push his nose into the soft, plushy fabric at the same time.

His grip tightens around it as, less than a minute later, he feels the lower end of the couch dip down under Ren’s weight.

For a moment, Ren doesn’t say a word, then, gently, yet with an edge to his voice that doesn’t allow for any backtalk, “Come here.”

Ren’s hand comes to a rest on Goro’s hip, stubbornly tugging on the blanket until it slips off Goro’s bare legs. The stark contrast between the cold air and the heat radiating from Ren’s body makes his skin prickle.

“We both know that you’re not asleep.”

There’s something about Ren, something enticing and inescapable, that continues to render Goro powerless. And so, perfectly aware that it will only be a matter of time for Goro’s act to crack and crumble, Ren waits it out in silence. Goro feels his gaze on him as he hesitantly pushes himself up into a sitting position, a safe distance away from where Ren had dropped his hand on the cushions, his trembling fingers woven together in front of him, eyes downcast, hair falling over his face like a curtain.

Unsurprisingly, Ren seems to have different plans, simply can’t let it be, and Goro doesn’t have the energy to pretend that he doesn’t relish in the firmness of Ren’s touch when he lets himself be maneuvered into Ren’s lap, straddling him.

So , are you planning on telling me what the hell that was all about, or am I, as per usual, expected to figure it out by myself?”

With Ren’s fingertips trailing up his neck, giving his chin a demanding little nudge, Goro’s finally forced to face him. The corner of his mouth twitches up into a self-deprecating half-smile before he can rein it back in. He wonders if he looks as tired as he feels.

“You were practically begging me to have my way with you for the past couple hours, but I’m not allowed to tell you that I love—“

Goro winces.

Ren barrels on unwaveringly.

“Why?”

“Because,” Goro sighs, leaning forward to nestle his face into the crook of Ren’s neck, breathing him in and carefully committing the scent to memory, “I can’t lose what I’ve never had in the first place, can I? When you leave...”

“When I leave?“ Ren repeats indignantly. The genuine exasperation in his tone makes Goro want to scream, but his response comes out delayed, exhausted. He can’t summon the strength to fight back or explain.

“Ren…”

“Do you trust me?”

Yes , Goro’s mind provides without hesitation.

“I don’t trust myself.”

Not giving him a chance to elaborate, Ren’s arms tighten around his waist and gentle lips press a lingering kiss to the crown of his head.

I do,” Ren counters, calmly and with a finality that leaves Goro breathless.

“Now, will you do us both a favor and get out of your head for just a minute? Goro, I… look, I can’t make you believe me when I say that I’m not going anywhere. I can’t make you accept what you’ve already decided for yourself I can’t feel for you. But I can keep on showing you... if you let me.”

And for the first time in months, in years, the nagging voice in the back of Goro’s mind fades to a whisper, barely perceptible, then silence.

“Please…”

He prays that Ren understands. Understands what he’s asking, understands that if he lets Goro fall, there will be nothing left but ashes in the wind.

As if, by now, Ren had developed a second sense for Goro’s quickly derailing thoughts, he quietly pulls him in closer, catches his parted lips with his own and slowly licks into his mouth, each caress speaking of devotion, genuine and unconditional, an unshakable confidence that Goro can’t deny.

You’re safe here.

They get lost in a blur of deep kisses, slow, sensual, but it’s not enough. Goro wonders if it will ever be enough again.

Where he’d been afraid to allow Ren’s sweetness, he suddenly finds himself insatiable, grabs him by the neck and tugs on his hair when Ren briefly attempts to draw back for air.

Ren’s hands are everywhere, roaming across his arms, his shoulders and back underneath the thin fabric of his shirt before finally pulling it up over his head and discarding it on the floor, his hips, where they linger as Ren closes his lips around one of Goro’s nipples, toys with it, suckles and bites until Goro threatens to shake apart under his touch.

Each needy moan Ren draws from Goro’s throat, each pant, each shy plea for more, the way Ren smiles up at him indulgently, all of it has Goro growing a little bolder, feeling like maybe , just maybe, he is allowed to want this after all.

Adrenaline rushes through his veins when Ren’s fingers get caught in the waistband of his briefs, letting it snap back against his heated skin with an insufferable glint to his eyes, before ever so slowly peeling them away, inch by agonizing inch.

It’s driving him insane, the way Ren shamelessly lets his gaze map out his flushed body, stroking Goro to full hardness with just a couple firm pulls. Goro feels himself twitch in Ren’s grip, bucks up into his hand at the sensation of Ren’s thumb idly smearing around the pre-cum beading at the very tip of his cock.

“Patience,” Ren playfully laughs into Goro’s ear, “is a virtue, my love.”

“I— I beg to differ,” Goro stutters back just about a beat too late, voice dripping with a poor excuse of false haughtiness, heart seizing in his chest at the casual endearment.

“Oh, you don’t say…”

Try as he might, Goro can’t come up with a smart retort, can’t seem to string the words together to form a coherent response with both of Ren’s hands sliding down the curve of his back, cupping his cheeks, squeezing and spreading, but not touching him there , never touching him where he needs Ren the most.

Tonight, he’s in no shape to keep up with Ren’s teasing, loath as he is to admit even such a small defeat.

“Stop torturing me…” he rasps out at last, tracing the sharp line of Ren’s jaw in quiet admiration, then leans in for another hard kiss, clumsy in his eagerness.

The sound of a bottle cap being snapped open in the silence hanging over the living room has Goro’s pulse quicken with anticipation.

He knows what’s coming, has been longing for it with every fiber of his being, imagined it a hundred times over, yet nothing could have prepared him for the feeling of Ren’s warm, slicked up fingers tenderly brushing over his entrance, rubbing the sensitive flesh until whatever nervous tension had been left inside of Goro falls off of him and he relaxes into the intimacy of his lover’s touch.

Ren fingers him gently, every thrust a loving caress, curling and stretching, holding Goro’s feverish gaze while firmly pressing into that sweet, sweet spot of his until Goro begins to choke on his cries. Pupils blown wide, he rolls his hips to meet Ren halfway, chasing the pleasant burn of being spread open so thoroughly, prepared to receive Ren, all of Ren, to be made his and his alone.

It’s so different, Goro can’t help thinking as he’s begging for Ren’s cock through the tears. So different from the loneliness of his own hand, shamefully pushed between his thighs in the dead of the night, Ren’s sleeping face mere inches from his . A world away.

“Take me,” Goro whispers softly between fleeting kisses and Ren’s unceasing praise, clinging to Ren who holds him like one would something precious.

You’re beautiful, Goro, so good for me. God, you’re so tight and delicate, aren’t you? I’ll barely even fit...

Ren obeys.

Their hands bump into each other in their haste to tear open the zipper of Ren’s jeans and pull his throbbing dick from his briefs, rockhard to the touch.

Goro swallows at the sight of it, weighing it in his long, slender fingers, a quick glance at Ren’s face revealing that, if the cocky smile on his lips is anything to go by, Ren must have noticed.

“Like what you see?” Ren drawls, covers Goro’s hand with his own and squeezes, giving himself a few lazy pumps.

“Don’t push your luck, Amamiya—”

“Why wouldn’t I if you’re so hopelessly attracted to it?”

With that, Ren gently lifts him up, just high enough to slip in between Goro’s cheeks with a soft groan, his cock sliding up and down the crack with ease, more lube still trickling out from Goro’s hole.

There’s no escaping Ren’s fiery gaze when, finally, the pulsing tip of his erection teases against his rim and Goro’s breath hitches, lips parting in a silent scream, eyes rolling back into his head when Ren grabs him by the hips and ever so slowly drags him down the length of him.

Fully mounted on Ren’s cock, hot and heavy inside of him, fresh tears are pricking at the corners of his eyes as he’s overwhelmed by the pleasure-pain of his body being stretched to its limit to accommodate Ren’s size, their newfound closeness, the sweet sounds falling from Ren’s lips, hanging open to drag in a series of weak, labored breaths.

“Does it…” Goro whimpers into Ren’s mouth, “Does it feel good? Am I—“

Am I adequate?

The words are at the tip of his tongue, doubt infesting his thoughts like a cancer, his heart stinging in his chest with the pain of it.

“You’re making me lose my mind,” Ren gasps and before Goro knows it, has him flipped over onto his back, helplessly pinned to the couch, one hand firmly holding Goro’s wrists high above his head, the other wrapped around the backs of his knees. Tenderly, Ren places a featherlight kiss on his ankle, then pulls Goro’s leg to the side, up over his shoulder.

Goro opens his mouth in surprise, but whatever it is that he’d meant to say is lost in a broken cry when Ren, without a word of prior warning, penetrates him once more, sinks into him in one strong, smooth thrust, striking him so deeply, Goro sees stars exploding behind his eyelids as his vision whites out for a blissful second.

“I want you to stop worrying,” Ren groans against his collarbone, sucks on the pale skin there until his mark begins to bloom in pretty shades of red and pink, hips snapping forward demandingly.

“I want you to stop thinking, Goro. About anything but me, the feeling of my cock slipping inside of you…”

Another pointed thrust, harder this time.

“I’m going to fuck you until the only thing you remember is how to scream my name.”

And so Ren does.

The pace he sets for them is sweet, sweet but all-consuming, so deep, it has Goro’s head spinning with the intensity of it. His hands desperately grasp for purchase, anything to hold on to, arms wrapping around Ren’s neck, fingers weaving into silky black curls in his never-ending greed for more, deeper, closer .

Goro throws his head back against the cushions as Ren continues pleasuring him, a couple sweaty strands of hair sticking to his forehead after his ponytail comes undone, garnet eyes having long clouded over with lust.

It’s obscene, the sound of their hips colliding in hot, wet slaps, the way Ren growls at him possessively, the hand that isn’t occupied holding Goro in place pushing into the narrow space between their bodies to touch Goro’s cock, play with his balls.

And Goro’s all but a trembling mess underneath Ren, every one of his fears momentarily eradicated by the liberating feeling of Ren’s touch that allows him to submit, to lay back and let himself be taken care of, to let himself fall and trust to be caught for the first goddamn time in his life.

One look up at Ren’s handsome face, scrunched up with pleasure and concentration, is all it takes for Goro to realize that Ren is close, so agonizingly close, his dick twitching inside Goro’s ass. The sight fills him with a sense of mindless determination, so Goro summons the last remnants of strength he has left in his body to clamp down on him hard, nails digging into Ren’s shoulder blades, pride rushing through his veins like ecstasy when, in return, Ren cries out his name like a prayer.

“Can I—“ Ren moans, choking on his own words, seemingly unable to finish his question.

He doesn’t need to.

Goro doesn’t speak, just cups Ren’s face in his hands with the hint of a smile on his lips, a genuine one, reserved for Ren alone, and digs his heels into the small of Ren’s back to firmly lock him into place where he’s buried deep inside of his body.

Trembling fingers tighten their grip around his cock and, mere seconds later, Goro comes into Ren’s hand with a broken cry as the first hot spurts of Ren’s release begin to coat his inner walls, filling him up, marking him.

Ren fucks him through it, his thrusts staggering, arms visibly threatening to give out from under him, yet he manages to keep himself upright, face affectionately nuzzled against Goro’s cheek.

“I love you,” he whispers to Goro in the half-dark of the room, “I love you, I love you,” and somewhere deep down, Goro knows that, impossibly, inexplicably, it’s true.

For a long while, they lie in comfortable silence, Goro’s body clenching and shuddering around Ren’s softening cock. Ren hums contently, gently traces the arch of Goro’s back, massages him in slow, soothing strokes, unsuspecting of the rapid fire thoughts running through Goro’s head in the wake of what they’ve just done.

“I…” Goro starts, eventually, the confession stuck in his throat.

He bites down on his lip, brows drawing together in frustration, a familiar loathing bubbling up in his chest as he fails to do even this much, to tell Ren that—

“Shh, it’s okay, I know,” Ren breaks him out of his anguish, fixating Goro with that calm, steady gaze of his, and Goro almost wants to laugh because of course Ren knows, the same way he knows that Goro’s push means pull, that the harder Goro tries to fight what he believes he doesn’t deserve to have, the more he craves for Ren to stubbornly prove him wrong.

Of course he does.

When, only a few seconds later, Ren carefully rolls off of Goro, his cock slipping out of him heavily, the sensation leaves him with a strange feeling of loss, an emptiness that he hadn’t known to expect.

The warmth of Ren’s embrace, though, nearly makes up for it and, as if Ren was in Goro’s head again, tearing through his guards and reading him like an open book, his fingers lightly nudge apart Goro’s thighs - or maybe this time he’s just greedy.

The hunger in his eyes gives away as much as Ren watches his cum slowly drip from Goro’s aching hole, too much for Goro to hold it all in, no matter how hard he tries.

Hesitantly, Goro takes Ren’s hand in his own, guides it down to his leaking entrance, guides him inside, where Ren’s skilled fingers start noisily working his semen back into his ass. He blushes at the thought of Ren taking it further, turning him onto his stomach to take him again, shoving his fingers into Goro’s mouth for him to lick them clean of the sticky mess they’d made.

“What are you thinking about?” Ren whispers into his ear, keeping up a slow, soothing rhythm that soon has Goro on the edge between sleep and consciousness, exhaustion taking over his body and mind.

“You,” he answers truthfully.

He lets his eyes fall shut and for the first time in years, the darkness surrounding him feels peaceful.

 

 

“A crown?” Goro asks warily, observing Ren from the corner of his eye as he weaves together the intricate twin braids, starting above the tips of Goro’s ears, at the back of his head.

It’s Sunday morning, the lit-up screen of his phone announcing that Ren must somehow have wheedled Goro into lazing around in bed with him until way past noon.

To his own surprise, Goro can’t say he’s feeling particularly bothered - not with Ren’s skilled fingers playing with his hair, smoothing out the kinks and gently massaging his scalp, Ren’s body pressed against his own in all the right places, skin on skin, the dull ache in his lower half a pleasant reminder that last night had changed nothing and everything.

“It’s fitting,” Ren muses, an sly little smile indicating that he’s not going to leave it at the compliment, “No, Prince Charming?”

“You must jump at any opportunity to mock me, don’t you?”

“Surely, a smartass as big as yourself, can tell the difference between mockery and fond teasing,” Ren raises an eyebrow at him in challenge.

“You just make it so easy. It’s hardly my fault and besides,” Ren continues with a lazy smirk, so infuriatingly attractive, Goro can’t decide whether he wants to kiss or smack it off his face, “You’re so pretty when you look like you’re going to be at my throat any second.”

“Fondly,” Goro adds, dryly.

“Touché.”

The moment that Ren’s hands fall away from the finished braid, Goro heavily slumps back against Ren’s shoulder, gaze dropping from mischievous dark eyes to kiss-bruised lips a little too hastily.

“Now, are you going to make that coffee you promised me hours ago, or was that just big talk?” he complains, eventually cranes his neck to steal the soft peck he’d been awaiting once it becomes clear that Ren’s choosing to be difficult.

Ren’s fingers close around Goro’s chin before he can slip away again, running down his throat with just the right amount of pressure, the way that, Ren had quickly observed, sends a thrill of excitement through his veins. The tip of his tongue flicks against Goro’s mouth, easily spreading his lips and delving inside for a heated kiss, obscenely wet and slow.

It ends as abruptly as it had started.

Ren pulls away with a chuckle, leaves him reeling from the whiplash as Ren slides out from behind his back and off the bed.

“Your wish shall be my command,” he calls out over his shoulder, halfway through the door, devilish amusement lacing every syllable.

Goro catches himself staring dazedly at the empty space where Ren’s slim figure had disappeared into the hallway. Face covered in his hands, he lets himself fall back into the sheets after another heartbeat, the pillow he lands on still damp from their hair having dripped onto it after their shower.

He smiles to himself, a private smile, tentative, a little rough around the edges.

He can’t quite put a label on the way he feels in that moment,

Months from now, he will come to understand that the word he’d been looking for is a quite simple one.

Happiness.

That in Ren’s arms he feels alive.

For now, he’s content allowing himself to hold on to the feeling.

Goro knows that it’s not going to be easy. It never will, but Ren doesn’t expect it to be, doesn’t expect Goro to be anything he is not.

Ren, who has seen his darkness and embraced it, found meaning in the madness, who senses when the waves of anxiety clash over Goro’s head, drowning out every other thought, and pulls him back above water.

Love, he concludes as he closes his eyes and listens to Ren cheerfully rummaging through the kitchen, makes people fools, but who is he to talk, his heartbeat tripping over itself at the sound of soft footsteps padding down the hallway.

He wouldn’t be seen dead admitting it, but he finds himself thinking that it’s alright, being a fool for Ren.