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this is the time of night when the moonlight shines down and we can reveal who we truly are

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It was late, but, being in the heart of Kamurocho, well lit with neon signs, it was rather hard to tell. Still, Kiryu saw the dark sky above him; he sometimes wanted to see the stars, but light pollution prevented him from doing so — above Kiryu was only black, black nothingness.

He enjoyed walking down the streets of the city he regarded as his hometown. It never bored him, it never ceased to amaze him. He couldn’t say he’s being sentimental or that he’s just got too used to Kamurocho, but sometimes he thought that he couldn’t imagine his life outside this city. Something truly exceptional should happen for him to change his place of living.

But, everything has its downside. The downside of Kamurocho in Kiryu’s eyes was Majima.

Majima-san was a nuisance, to say the least.

Kiryu respected him, of course. But he was a little bit too unpredictable and, well, to put it mildly, nuts, for him to ignore him. Kiryu had to not keep his mouth shut that one time, so that Majima wouldn’t let him live in (relative) peace, seemingly always around, ready to fight him.

It’s not like Kiryu’s complaining. Fights with him were rather… fun. Majima was a worthy opponent, being on the same level as Kiryu; he could never predict who would be victorious in each their hassle.

But, sometimes, it was just not the right moment for that. Like right now.

Kiryu heard “Kiryu-chan!” and was almost hit in the head with the bat; to be more precise, it did hit him, but he managed to dodge the most of the strike. Nevertheless, he stumbled and almost fell to the ground.

Majima was looking down on him, with a smirk on his face, and his bat resting on his shoulder.

“Stop lookin’ at me like I was gonna kill ya, I knew you’d duck.”

Kiryu stood up, still squinting from pain.

“You could’ve put less force in that strike, though,” he said.

Majima smiled wider, almost maniacally. “And what’s the fun in that?”

Kiryu frowned, and clenched his fists. He had no easy way out of this; he had to fight.

He attacked him first, fiercely, but quietly. Majima blocked that strike with the bat, and Kiryu jumped a couple of steps away, careful not to be beaten with it again. They’d just eyed each other for a few seconds; Majima was swinging his bat in his hands like a nunchuck, while a plan was formulating in Kiryu’s head. He had to get rid of the weapon, unless he would lose for sure.

Kiryu blocked two of three strikes, thinking absentmindedly about how much time it would take for bruises to heal, and pushed Majima farther, just so his back would face the wall, and, when he succeeded, took a hold of Majima’s head and smashed it against the wall. The bat fell to the ground with the distinct sound, and Kiryu rushed to take it and throw it as far as he can, thinking that Majima would need a moment to attack him; but he was wrong.

“Ha!” Majima breathed out, right at the Kiryu’s ear, while grabbing him in a chokehold. “Here ya are!”

Kiryu struggled to break out, but to no avail. He was already exhausted after a very long day of taking care of family business and fighting punks on the streets, and all he craved for was a bed. Not even necessary a comfortable one. Just something to lie down on.

The last thing he needed right now was a fight with Majima, and, maybe because of that, he got it.

Kiryu gasped for air. He understood that if he didn’t do something, he would lose, — and losing isn’t the option with Majima. With the last bit of strength, Kiryu kicked him. The chokehold weakened, and he freed himself, immediately turning to face Majima, fists raised, not giving him another chance to get the upper hand.

Majima stared at him with malice in his eye and a sharp grin. Kiryu had always gotten the feeling that there was something predatory in the way he smiled, the way he looked at him, the way he fought him. Unfortunately for Majima, Kiryu was no easy prey.

To his surprise, Majima relaxed, getting out of the fighting stance, and stretched.

“Ya keep amazin’ me, Kiryu-chan,” he said, so content, he closed his eye and his smile became less threatening. “And here I thought it’d be an easy fight. Well,” he glanced at Kiryu, which made him furrow his brows and clench his fists. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Kiryu watched closely his every movement, knowing, that, with this man, you can never let your guard down.

It’s not like Kiryu knew about Majima a lot. After all, it’s been only a couple of years since they met. Kiryu just knew that Majima is a valuable man to Shimano, that he, somehow, was involved in that empty lot mess, and that he enjoyed fighting him. But it was enough for Kiryu to be alert and careful around him. Though, it didn’t help him avoid confrontation with Majima, at all.

So Kiryu was always ready to strike back, even if it meant pushing the limits of his abilities.

“See ya.” Suddenly, Majima waved at him, picked up his bat, and started walking away.

Kiryu blinked. Well, that was something new. Majima had never bailed out of a fight.

“Aren’t you going to, you know,” Kiryu blurted out and abruptly stopped. What was he doing? He was in no shape to face Majima seriously. Wasn’t the smartest decision to stay quiet and roll with it, letting Majima be Majima and not getting in his way?

Not that Kiryu had ever succeeded in doing that. Actually, if he did, he’d never crossed paths with him. So, it was inevitable, in some sense.

“Eh,” Majima shrugged. “Ain’t ya tired? What’s the point in fightin’ ya if I already know I will win?”

Kiryu blinked, again. “Isn’t the point winning?”

Majima looked at him with pity and some unexpectedly tender emotion behind his eye. “Kiryu-chan, ya silly. Of course it’s not.”

“Then what’s the —” Kiryu started talking, but Majima interrupted him.

“Ya’ll figure it out,” he smirked, and left Kiryu alone.

Sadly, he hadn’t had the time or energy to ‘figure it out’. He just made the final two steps to his apartment (wait, Majima knew where he lived?!) and crashed on his bed. It’s okay, he won’t see him for a week or so. He would have time to think it over.

*

Unless, he wouldn’t.

It was a rather simple job. You go; you fight to protect; you leave. Kiryu had never really gone into detail, he just did what he was told, and was constantly chided for that by Nishiki. But what could he say? At this point, he was needed more for his brawn, not his brain. He was okay with that. He preferred to leave the talking to his fists anyway.

Nishiki sighed. “Someday, you will use your brain muscles as well.”

“I don’t need to,” Kiryu didn’t even look at him, “I got you.”

He heard Nishiki’s laugh and felt gentle elbow strike in the ribs. He smiled a little. It’s been a while since they spent some time with each other, so it was nice to work with him. Kind of reminded him of the old days, when the only worry between them was Kiryu’s absent fashion sense. Now, Kiryu couldn’t help but felt storm clouds surrounding them, and he kind of suspected why. It was hard not to notice how tense Nishiki became every time they met up with Yumi.

Kiryu loved her, he thought. But he also loved Nishiki. He was rather… uncomfortable thinking about The Thing between them. This Thing was with them even since Sunflower, and it was only growing bigger with time. Kiryu didn’t understand what exactly was wrong, he just knew that something was going on between the three of them and that it made everything extremely awkward. Kiryu just hoped The Thing would figure out itself. He could only imagine the mess it would cause in the future.

But when it was just him and Nishiki, things were good. They were brothers, after all. Nothing could break that bond.

Kiryu turned to Nishiki with a smile, wanting to say something, but it faltered when he saw distaste on his brother’s face.

“Ugh, it’s him”, Nishiki uttered, staring somewhere ahead.

Kiryu followed his gaze and saw Majima, smoking, in front of the building where the ‘meeting’ Kiryu and Nishiki were sent to was supposed to take place.

“Don’t say that we’ll have to sort out things with him too,” Nishiki sighed.

Kiryu couldn’t disagree with the sentiment. He was preparing for no easy fight, but to add in that Mad Dog of Shimano himself? That was a bit too much even for him.

Well. It’s not like they had a choice.

“Hey!” Majima shouted from afar, waving at them with his bat. “I’ve been waitin’ for ya for almost fifteen minutes now. Why are ya so slow? I wanna sort this deal out before dinner, so chop-chop!”

Kiryu frowned, and asked quieter than before, as if Majima could hear him from afar, “Is the Shimano Family also interested in this… deal?”

Nishiki shook his head. “You know it yourself, we were only told to scare away the Omi Alliance goons from our property. Our. The Dojima Family’s. I’m as out of the loop as you are.”

Kiryu’s frown deepened. Whatever the case, having Majima involved was problematic. “Let’s hope he has a good reason for being here”, Kiryu mumbled under his breath as he and Nishiki approached Majima.

“Why so gloomy?” he asked, then, certainly not waiting for an answer, threw away the cigarette, blinked at Kiryu, and entered the building. Nishiki looked at Kiryu, scandalized.

“What was that?” he almost exclaimed.

“What was what?” Kiryu tried his best to analyze the situation and understand what was wrong, but in vain.

“He winked at you!”

“He just blinked,” Kiryu retorted, and Nishiki shook his head.

“One day you will tell me the nature of your relationship with him,” he sighed.

“We just fight from time to time, that’s all,” Kiryu said sincerely. He was confused, completely, honestly confused. Why did Nishiki react that way? Wasn't it just how Majima had always behaved?

Nishiki squinted his eyes. “Uh-huh.” And without any other words, he went inside the building. Kiryu had nothing to do but to follow him.

Inside was the big hallway, and on the other side of it, near the stairs, Majima was waiting for them.

“What didja just say?” he asked, a little disgruntled. “Hurry up.”

The three of them had started to climb the stairs in complete silence, but it still bugged Kiryu why Majima even needed to be here, and, he knew, Nishiki was guessing that too. He also knew that Nishiki wouldn’t ask that, no matter how hard he wanted to know, so he decided to do that himself.

“Majima-san,” Kiryu spoke carefully, “why are you even here?”

“Gettin’ a li’l impatient here, huh, Kiryu-chan?” Majima cackled. “I’m here just to make sure this deal’ll go along smoothly.”

“I don’t like this,” Nishiki mumbled under his breath, clearly only for Kiryu to hear.

“Ah, Nishikiyama, don’t be like that,” Majima responded, his voice pleasant, full of honey, and, with that, undeniably fake. “Everything’s gonna be fine. Ya don’t believe me?”

Nishiki glared daggers, but said nothing in reply.

“Way to go. Good boy,” Majima patted him on the shoulder; Nishiki jerked, throwing off Majima’s hand. Kiryu saw the clear desire to tell him to go fuck yourself on Nishiki’s face, and admired his restraint.

They made the rest of their way in silence, but something bothered Kiryu. Something was not… right, was amiss. He looked at Nishiki and saw the same uncertainty on his face. Kiryu just opened his mouth to say something, but Majima spoke first.

“Here we are.” He stopped before closed door, and glanced at Kiryu and Nishiki. His face was lit with a mischievous grin. Kiryu didn’t like that. “Are ya ready?” Majima asked, and, clearly not waiting for an answer, pushed the door with his foot, causing it to slam against a wall with a loud bang. In the farthest side of a room, a nervous (Kiryu couldn’t judge him) balding man jumped and turned around. He looked miserable.

“Eh? Where’s yer company?” Majima asked while approaching the man that looked more and more frightened with each his step.

“W-Who are you?” he managed to ask while taking a few steps back; but Majima kept walking towards him, and the man’s back eventually met a wall. He gulped. Kiryu and Nishiki exchanged glances, both thinking the same thing: they would have to stop Majima.

“Hey, nii-san…” Kiryu started, but Majima didn’t listen.

“Firstly, answer my question,” he got as close to the civilian as he could, “where are yer Omi friends?”

“Nii-san.” Kiryu approached him swiftly, and placed his hand on Majima’s shoulder; that made him turn to Kiryu. He didn’t look pleased.

“What the hell?” He stared at Kiryu’s hand. “Ya really think I’d beat up a civilian? Ya better watch the door with yer kyodai there, I see in this fella’s eyes that we’ll have company pretty soon.”

“What?” Kiryu removed his hand.

“Don’t make me repeat myself, Kiryu-chan. Just go do what ya good at.” Majima looked serious, for once. That was a strange expression on his face, Kiryu thought, and obeyed — he still remembered who is senior to whom.

Nishiki was a bit anxious.

“So, we just let it slide?” he whispered to Kiryu. “What if he hurts that man?”

Kiryu didn’t reply. There was nothing Majima had done that would earn his trust, but he still had respect for him. He couldn’t go against him.

Majima and the man talked in hushed voices for some time; suddenly, Kiryu heard approaching footsteps. Quite a bit of them. Group of five, maybe? A second later, Kiryu could see them — were they from the Omi?

“Hey, old man,” said one of them, staring at Kiryu and Nishiki, “did you bail on us? And here we thought we got you a sweet deal!”

“No,” said someone’s strangely confident voice. “You did not.” Kiryu turned back; that was, indeed, that civilian who moments ago shaked like a leaf on the wind.

“What did you say?” asked the Omi man, deceptively calm. “Have you forgot about our… arrangement?”

The civilian looked at Majima, worryingly. He… gave him a thumb up?

No, Kiryu must have imagined things. There was no way in hell Majima would thumb up to anyone.

“I reject your offer, thank you,” was a bit quieter, but still assured answer.

“Well, well, well,” the Omi man chuckled. “All what it took was two grunts and one-eyed freak from the Tojo Clan for you to turn on us? And we’ve been so generous too! Guess we have to beat the four of you to the pulp.”

“Well, ya can try,” Majima purred near Kiryu's ear, — wait, when did he come near to doorway? — smiled with malevolence, got a good grip on his bat, and, before the Omi man could answer, hit him right in the head; he fell, and made no more noise. “Well, the rest of ya? Want some too?” He eyed them sullenly, hungrily, which sent shivers down Kiryu’s spine. That was the look which always portended the great fight, the one where Majima didn’t hold back in any way. The one which Kiryu liked the most.

“N-no,” to his disappointment, said one of the goons. They picked up their leader, and left, shamefully.

Kiryu shuffled awkwardly. He didn’t know where to place his excitement now, as the fight ended before it even had a chance to start. He raised his gaze, and met up with Majima’s; he glanced at him knowingly, little smirk showed a challenge, an invitation. Kiryu teared away his glance with a great effort.

“Well,” Majima said, “that should do it. Bye.” He waved at them and started walking away.

“Thank you!” the civilian shouted. Majima turned back with a small smile, likes of which Kiryu had never seen on him, and went down the stairs.

Kiryu felt out of breath. That was… informative.

“Hey, bro, are you okay?” Nishiki patted his back, and Kiryu woke from a trance.

“Yeah… Let's go to the HQ,” he proposed, and Nishiki silently agreed, letting his kyodai lead the way.

The Kazama — whose orders they followed — Family HQ was not so far away, and Kiryu didn't force himself into thinking of chat topics, knowing that as soon as they got there the conversation would have to die away. And, also, he needed some time to think about Majima and how he acted today.

That side of him was rather unexpected. Kiryu actually believed Majima would be an extra trouble, not the key to success.

“You know,” suddenly started Nishiki, “if it wasn't for Majima we'd trash that place.”

“...Oh,” only managed to say in reply Kiryu. He knew his brother's mind must have been preoccupied with the same thoughts.

“Honestly, not that I'm so surprised,” Nishiki went on, and Kiryu perked up, clearly waiting for the continuation. “He wasn't all about that crazy psycho-Mad Dog act when I first met him.”

Kiryu blinked. “Act?”

“Yeah, like somebody could be that insane, and still got the job done.” Nishiki eyed Kiryu disapprovingly for not figuring it out himself, and he averted his glance, ashamed. “Still not making him any less dangerous, though.”

“Agreed.”

They entered the HQ and headed straight to Kazama, knowing he wouldn't be happy if they'd waste even one minute.

In his office there was Dojima himself.

“So?” he asked, with repellent smile. “You took care of that man? He should know now what it means to cross the Tojo Clan.”

Nishiki cleared his throat. “Well, actually…”

“The Shimano Family man intervened,” Kiryu interrupted him, to make Dojima and Kazama's fury fell on him, and not his brother. “The Omi Alliance men were scared away, and the civilian's business is still in our hands.”

The room fell silent after Kiryu's words. The expression on Dojima's face was hard to describe; Kazama looked a lot more serious than before — was it even possible? — and Nishiki was clearly frightened of what's to come. Kiryu kept the stern face.

Tension in the room was palpable.

“Boss,” Kazama was the first to break the silence, “this is what I've wanted to talk to you about.” Pause, and a grim look. “The boys here don't need to hear that.”

Dojima just lazily shook his hand; didn't even glance at Nishiki and Kiryu's side, lost in some unsatisfying thought. They took an opportunity to get away from the storm.

Nishiki breathed out freely only when they were on the streets.

“Well, that turned out not so bad. To Serena?”

Kiryu peeked at his sworn brother; he saw the remains of the worry, the anxiety Nishiki felt in Kazama's office, but it was quickly overwhelmed by joy and anticipation of fun karaoke night with his kyodai.

Kiryu could never comprehend how Nishiki did it. How he let even the smallest of emotions take ahold of him, rule him, guide him. Most of the people, especially in yakuza, considered that as a weakness, but not Kiryu. He admired Nishiki. He saw that honesty with his feelings as one of his strengths, as something that distinguished him from all the people. Something that made him valuable. Something that made him needed. Special.

Kiryu let the little grin show up on his face.

“To Serena.”

*

He could never get Majima. He knew there was something he didn't know about him — or not something, more like everything. The man was an enigma.

Since that one deal — which, if Kiryu was completely honest, totally changed his impression of Majima — he was... well, curious. Majima took a big chunk of his time, popping out here and there, initiating fights from time to time, so Kiryu, one way or another, thought about him a bit. A lot? He didn't know exactly. But he thought about him — that he could say for certain.

Did it bother him? Well, now that's a complicated question. At first, he didn't even register it, the thought — or, more like, some kind of apprehension, anticipation of sudden attack — of him was with him at all times, and with a good reason. But since that time… Kiryu had started to wonder not when would Majima strike again, but why he did what he did. It was easy to write off this as madness, or obsession. But after realizing this whole image he knew for a some time now was just a plain act, his views on Majima had started to crumble.

What was he about? What turned him into the man he is now? And was the damage irreversible or did Majima just hide behind wacky smiles?

There were so many questions. And not enough possibilities to ask them.

After all, they were just fighting from time to time. Nothing special. They were so far away from any glimpse of friendliness, that Kiryu hadn't considered that there was a chance for some kind of normal talk between them. So far the only thing between them was Majima's tantō, wielded in his hand, its sharp tip was millimetres away from Kiryu's heart.

He didn't even flinch.

Majima erupted in laughter, withdrawing a tantō, but the remnants of the challenge he threw onto Kiryu still lingered on his face.

“Kiryu-chan, as stoic as ever,” said Majima, pleased and a bit irritated. “One of those days I'm gonna break ya, just ya wait.”

Kiryu's frown deepened. It wasn't like he wasn't used to his threats, it's just… They weren't empty, usually. And were carried out as soon as possible, like right in the moment they were said. But now, Majima just stood there, looking at him, squinting, with his arms crossed and head a little tilted back.

Was he waiting for something?

“Gah, Kiryu-chan, it's no fun.” Majima rolled his eye, and turned his back to Kiryu. “When I'll get somethin' in return from ya? Honestly, I may just punch a brick wall, and its response would be a lot more entertainin'.”

“I've never promised you any entertainment,” Kiryu said bluntly, and added, “nii-san,” in vain attempt to show respect, remembering what had gotten him into this mess in the first place.

Majima faced him; his lips twitched and turned into some not so pleasant grin.

“'S true,” he admitted, and his smile disappeared. “But a guy appreciates some initiative. Coulda punch me first, just once. Would be a nice change.”

Kiryu shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. Usually, by this time they'd be already halfway exhausted from a fight. What was different today?

Yes, Kiryu had thought about how nice would it be if he and Majima just had a little talk, and get to know each other not only through their fists. But he always thought Majima would never reciprocate this feeling, being interested only in fights with him.

Well, it's not that he had just invited him to have some beer and a heartfelt conversation. But he hadn't started a tussle yet. That was an improvement. Even if it was just because Majima got bored of being an initiator.

“I'm not interested in fighting you, Majima-san,” Kiryu said calmly. “I'm rather busy right now, actually.” He shook his head and started walking out of the backstreet.

“Aw, ya chicken?” Majima smirked mockingly, seeing him off with his one good eye. Kiryu walked past him, not even bothering to look at him. He really was busy, and if Majima wasn't going to hit him himself, what was the point of standing around with him in this dark alley? Kiryu was a little curious what has gotten into Majima, all right, but he didn't have the time to figure out what exactly.

He could feel a piercing gaze of the only eye on the back of his head. Something told him he would have another opportunity to find that out.

*

After that, the calm had descended on Kamurocho. Kiryu hadn't seen Majima for almost two weeks. He'd like to say that things had gone back to the way they were, but at this point Majima had become one of the constants of his life.

After some time passed with zero encounters, Kiryu had started, without any thought, searching for him, peering into shadows of backstreets, visiting different bars more frequently than usual, and sometimes finding himself hanging around near the Shimano Family HQ. And, after twelve days, he found him. In the batting center — he should've known sooner that's there he should search for him. Oh, well. All's well that ends well.

“What the shit?” Majima jumped and hissed. He missed the ball, and, to Kiryu's relief — he wouldn't want his senior to get hurt because of him, — the ball missed him too. Majima looked at it, now laying on the floor near his feet, then at Kiryu — irately, saying only with his eye how upset he was he didn't hit that ball. Kiryu just shrugged and came near. He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it immediately, realizing he didn't know what to say. Majima's gaze turned quizzical, a sly, challenging smirk made its way on his face.

“Didja need anythin’, Kiryu-chan?”

“Um…” only managed to say Kiryu. So, he found Majima, — and now what? Not even a second Kiryu spent seeking him was wasted on thinking what to talk with him about. He was going after him, was searching not for any particular reason. He just kinda… missed him?

He blushed a little at that thought, then went gloomy. Now was not the time to have that kind of realization. And clearly not the time to think about what it entailed. Kiryu, with all the self-restrain he had, leaped from his thoughts, just to see clear amusement on Majima’s face.

“Are ya ok there, bud?” he asked in derisive tone. Yeah, now Kiryu was totally embarrassed.

“Yeah.” He turned his gaze away in attempt to find a topic to talk about with Majima, or a question to ask him, or literally anything to say before the silence would become unbearable. But, it was a rather ordinary batting center. Nothing to ask or talk about.

When he yet again returned his gaze to Majima, he could see that he raised a brow. Well. Kiryu had to say something.

“So… come here often?” he blurted out the first thing that came into his mind, and then blushed deeply. Yeah, it didn’t come out right. Majima now, somehow, looked even more amused. This is bad. This is so bad.

“I’m almost offended ya ask me this.” Majima put the bat on his shoulder and pouted. Or, at least, tried, — Kiryu could still see a faint smile creeping his way back. “I practically live here!”

“Oh,” Kiryu said. There wasn’t really much he could say. It should have been obvious, with how masterfully Majima handled a bat.

The silence had returned, again. Majima, for some reason, took his sweet time and didn’t hit a single ball since Kiryu arrived. He was just standing there, eyeing him with a mix of mockery and annoyance; his pose alone said ‘this is fun, but soon won’t be, so try harder, Kiryu-chan’. And Kiryu would like to try. But his head was absolutely empty.

“So… I should go,” he admitted defeat, his head down, dejectedly.

“Uh-huh.” Majima had already turned all his attention to the target on the other side, like Kiryu had never even been there, and swinged his bat, just to try it out. Kiryu left, making a note to himself to think first, and then look for a meeting with Majima.

It’s just, all they always did was fight. Kiryu had never had a time to think what he could talk to Majima about, because they’d never talked. They just exchanged threats, and carried them out right away. And even if Kiryu would want to talk, Majima had never given him the chance. And that’s why Kiryu had never really considered that Majima was more than just some lunatic who constantly needed his ass handed to him. Now, of course, Kiryu had a lot of questions he wanted to ask Majima, but all of them weren’t a small talk topics. They needed a special atmosphere, a special time, maybe even a special place. They couldn’t talk about all what bothered Kiryu when they suddenly met at the batting center at nine in the morning.

But, anyway, Kiryu couldn’t help but felt like he failed.

And their next encounter didn’t help.

It was ten in the evening, Kiryu was full of energy after a rather boring day. A good fight would be appropriate, just to tire him up enough to go home and fall into peaceful, dreamless sleep. Fortunately, he spotted a familiar snakeskin jacket not two blocks away from the Dojima Family HQ. Good.

“Oi, nii-san,” Kiryu called, knowing well Majima surely would take this chance and attack him.

The man in said jacket turned around, muttered a soft ‘meh’ and went on his way. He'd have a good laugh if he saw Kiryu’s long face.

Well, something was really up, Kiryu concluded. And something needed to be done. He was getting rusty for all the not fighting; not like he didn’t fight at all, more like he didn’t have a good fight in a while. Street punks were hardly worthy opponents.

He finished his third drink. Alcohol didn't help in coming up with ideas what to do with Majima — no wonder. Kiryu sighed and was just ready to pay and leave when he noticed some movement in the corner of his eye. He jolted and saw the familiar grin.

“Hey, Kiryu-chan.” Majima raised a glass as a greeting. “And here I thought how long would it take for ya to notice me.” A smile disappeared from his face. “Too damn long. Ya own me a drink. Or more like five. Or ten. Or…”

“Okay, okay, I get it,” Kiryu stopped him. “I'll buy them for you. If you talk to me.”

“Oh?” Majima raised brows, but his expression stayed overall unimpressed. “What ‘bout?”

Kiryu sat closer to him and called the bartender. When he came over, Kiryu looked at Majima expectantly, and he, obviously too eager to punish KIryu for whatever he thought he had made, exclaimed, “I’ll have the most expensive whiskey ya got! And make it double!”

“Nii-san,” Kiryu wilted. He wasn’t low on money, of course, but he also wasn’t that ‘high’ either. His times managing real estate agency were long gone, and, what is more, the bubble had bursted. Kiryu spent money with more thought nowadays, and that ‘more thought’ certainly didn’t include paying for ten shots of the most expensive whiskey. Well, Kiryu guessed, he had to ask everything he wanted to know quick, before Majima would get all his ten drinks. Or more.

“So,” Kiryu started, “why I couldn’t find you for the last two weeks or so?”

Majima downed the drink in one go. “It’s simple. I didn’t want to be found.”

“But I found you. In the batting center.”

Majima opened his mouth and, after a few moments, closed it, having nothing to say, apparently. His cheeks were a bit red. Or was Kiryu imagining things? “...N-nevermind. That’s all ya needed to know?”

“No. How did you know Nishiki and I would be dealing with that old man?” Kiryu had decided not to waste time (and money) and just get to the point.

“Was that that big of a secret?” Majima called for another shot with a wave of his hand.

“I guess not,” Kiryu frowned. Yes, Majima was from another family, but it's not like this kind of business was a big Dojima — or even Kazama — Family's secret. Still, it was needed to be reported to Kazama, at least. “But why did you even show up there? How is the Shimano Family tangled up in this?"

Majima's expression turned contemplative. “Not sure if ya should hear this, but. The Omi Alliance had become brazen, taking over The Tojo Clan's businesses. Sera-han had had enough, making Shimano-han handle this shit, interrupt or break all their little deals with our people. And he occasionally sends me to stop them taking over Kamurocho.”

“Weird choice, but okay,” Kiryu blurted out before he could think.

The glance Majima gave him was… strange. Dissatisfied, kind of. “Ya know nothing 'bout me, Kiryu-chan,” he said with all the gravity. His expression changed slightly, making him appear enthralling, daring. It almost said ‘come and get me if you can’. Oh, and Kiryu could.

He gulped. That was the look Majima sometimes gave him in the hottest of fights. Kiryu clenched his fists. Maybe it's the alcohol talked or he just hadn't had a good fight in a while, but he wanted to start one so badly he didn't give himself a second to think and swinged a fist aiming it at Majima's nose. Kiryu could see that he didn't really expected this as he gave next to none resistance, falling from the chair instantly. It was like punching a toy.

Women cried. Everybody turned their attention to Kiryu. He felt a little ashamed. He should have invited Majima to step outside, at least, and not to start a fight indoors. He really hadn't thought with his head in this one.

“Wow, Kiryu-chan,” Majima said a little indistinctly, still holding his nose. Was it bleeding? Kiryu couldn't tell. “Never thought ya had it in ya.”

Kiryu had to agree. Maybe three strong drinks and a more-than-two weeks of a withdrawal, having no good fight, made him do this. Maybe it was that one look that awoke something animal, brute in him. Maybe it was just like it always was with Majima.

He had always pushed Kiryu's self-restraint, in a way.

Suddenly, Majima shrieked and attacked him — barehanded, luckily. Kiryu had managed to block one attack, and not the other, knocking down some chairs with his body falling down to floor. He didn't have time to get up as several men surrounded him and Majima, and he and Kiryu, with shouts and unfortunate, misplaced kicks, were kicked out, no matter how they struggled — or how Majima struggled; Kiryu hadn't fought back with full force, because he knew he deserved to be kicked out.

Still, he growled. This is not how he was going to spend that night, that's for sure.

He glanced at Majima, and saw in his gaze joy, bestial and hot, and didn't regret attacking him.

They continued fighting outside, in the dark alley behind that bar. Majima's strikes were swift and painful; he didn't have a bat or his tantō on him, but he, still, was hard to fight against, making Kiryu more cautious, more alert, more ferocious. He hit, and he hit, and he hit, but Majima didn't go down easily. Kiryu had even started to feel he'd lose.

One mistake, one missed blow, and Majima had his head in his hand, beating it against the wall with no mercy. Kiryu slid down the wall, his head spun. He sat there for a moment or two trying to find the strength to keep going — he wasn't going to give up, of course, — and realized that he felt… happy. There is no other way to describe that feeling. He was happy Majima was beating the living crap out of him. What was wrong with him?

Kiryu stood up, his head was still dizzy, and he couldn't see quite clearly, but, nevertheless, he was ready to continue. Sadly, he didn't last long — one quick strike in his abdomen, and he was down, again.

Kiryu closed his eyes. If it was a loss, it was a damn satisfying one.

Suddenly, he felt a weight on his chest, something really heavy — it was rather hard to breathe deeply. He opened his eyes just to see Majima, sitting on him, with a fist, raised, ready to beat him.

“Say goodbye to yer pretty face, Kiryu-chan,” Majima clutched the lapels of Kiryu's jacket, slightly lifting him up.

He didn't seem to stop even if Kiryu admitted defeat. It's going to be rough.

Kiryu couldn't help but smile.

Majima let go of the lapels, hesitantly, never landing a blow. The confusion took over his features, hardening them, furrowing his brows even deeper than usual. “Yer okay there?”

Kiryu could hear the honest concern in his voice, and it made him smile even more. “Yeah, it's just… I kinda missed that,” he said honestly.

Majima looked at him funny and, after, Kiryu guessed, a little contemplation, got up. “I guess ya've had enough for today.” His voice sounded kind of odd, but Kiryu didn't see his face to be able to make out the emotion Majima was feeling. Soon, after a minute of awkward silence, he left, without saying goodbye. Kiryu lied there for a five or ten minutes, gathering up his last strength and ignoring the heaviness in the bottom of his belly. Finally, he got up, and crawled his way back home, clutching his stomach, that spot where the Majima's last strike landed.

Luckily, Kiryu wasn't that far from his apartment. Fighting the urge to crash into bed and just sleep in his dirty clothes, he got in the shower and stumbled unto unexpected problem. He was still hard. Rock hard.

He noticed that he was unusually excited when Majima sat on him, but he didn't think it would last for so long. Maybe it was just that he didn't get intimate with anyone for a really long time, and his body reacted even on that kind of contact. Yep, that was it.

Kiryu sighed, realizing his boner wouldn't go away if he didn't do something with it — unless he wouldn't still be as hard as he was when Majima actually… well…

He, all of the sudden, moaned and gripped his dick harder. The memories of Majima sitting on his chest flooded his mind, his hand movements became faster and sloppier, his breathing hastened, he broke the steady, familiar rhythm, and a few moments passed before he came. He felt dizzy, again, but from a really different reason.

Kiryu was red from the embarrassment. It's like he was fifteen again, coming so fast. In his defence, it was a long time something made him so aroused.

He scowled. And that was a big problem in itself.

*

Punch, hit, smash. Another success, another local business protected from the Omi Alliance. Kiryu had been really busy nowadays, with all that Omi stuff, and he hadn't really had the time to think about what had happened. And when he had a minute or two, he… well, he just ignored that. But the mental image of Majima, sitting on top of him, Majima, looking sweaty and feral, Majima, smiling that special, never-seen-before smile, just Majima… being Majima, did to Kiryu all sorts of things that he was too ashamed to admit even to himself, indulging in his fantasies only at midnight in the comfort of his own bed.

At first, he was sure he just needed sex, plain and simple. It was true that it had been a really long time, but he had never really had a need to be sexually active. At the beginning, he was curious, then, he felt obligated, but after some time and some thinking he came to a conclusion that if he didn't need that, he didn't have to have it, and lived in peace ever since. So, he thought his time had come, or something. And, after a couple of weeks, he decided to go to the telephone club, a sure and quick way to find yourself a date.

Which was awful. They never really came to the conclusion of it, but it still was awkward and not really what Kiryu needed. He tried to go to the telephone club a couple more times, but he never got himself another date, he was too distracted and uncomfortable. It would be better, he inferred, if he was with someone he already knew. It would be simpler, in a way. No that fake getting-to-know-each-other crap. It would be more honest. More sincere.

He hadn't had many options, though. The first one who came to his mind was Yumi, but he discarded that thought immediately. He was attracted to her, he thought, he maybe even was in love with her, and he really didn't want to taint what they had with casual sex. If it were to happen, it would be special. And not what Kiryu had in mind right now.

The second one was, to no surprise, Majima. He had been fantasizing about him, after all, and all that inconvenience had begun from the fight with him. So, he was an obvious candidate. And not like Kiryu and Majima had a very close relationship which could be ruined. Maybe casual fighting could transform into casual fucking.

But here's the problem: Kiryu had never thought of himself as gay. So far, all his sexual experience was with women exclusively, and he hadn't even considered sex with men. It was never an option for him, simply put. He just didn't swing that way.

Or so he thought, at least. All his shower fantasies and night dreams lately told him that he wouldn’t mind getting railed by Majima. Or the other way around. Kiryu hadn’t really given himself a chance to figure that part out. It was too embarrassing. So far his mind gave him not so detailed images. It was enough for him, though, which was another thing to be embarrassed about.

Luckily, he hadn’t seen Majima during all this time. It would be a real big problem if they fought and Kiryu, again, got a boner. He should use that time to figure out the solution to this problem. But, unfortunately, the only solution included Majima.

Though, it might not be so bad. Majima might be attracted to him as well. And what so bad about two guys just blowing off steam occasionally?

Kiryu shook his head. No. This train of thought led him to nowhere good. Occasional sex with Majima? Straight no. Out of the question. He was too unpredictable, too wild, Kiryu couldn’t trust him. But… he remembered that one ‘deal’ he and Nishiki should have taken care of, and Majima then wasn’t so… inhuman, as Kiryu thought of him before that.

Didn’t make him gay, though, Kiryu sighed. This day was honestly the worst. He couldn’t even jerk off in peace, being flooded with all those thoughts, and had to go to sleep unsatisfied. Tomorrow would be better, he hoped.

The first part of the day disappointed him. He was kidnapped, the very first moment he stepped out of his home. Was it really that easy to track down where he lived?

He’d wanted to say he didn’t go down without a fight, but the kidnappers were smart enough to know they were no match for him — they knocked him out. When Kiryu regained consciousness, he was already tied up good in some dark warehouse he hadn’t seen before, surrounded by men he hadn’t seen either.

“What the…” Kiryu exhaled, his eyes adjusting to darkness. He peered, trying to identify at least one or two of his kidnappers, but to no avail.

At the sound of his voice, they perked up, and some guy came closer to him. Still wasn’t someone Kiryu could recognise. It was a bad sign.

“Kiryu, yes?” he asked, and continued, giving Kiryu no time to answer, “You caused us a lot of trouble lately.”

“Who are you?” Kiryu spitted out.

The guy was taken aback, but after a moment was consumed by rage. “You didn’t even…”

“Hey, boss.” The door opened and some kid run in, extremely freaked out. “He is here.”

“Who?” the boss shouted, redirecting all his anger on his subordinate.

The kid hadn’t had the chance to answer. He was crudely interrupted by someone who attacked him from behind. Not a very fair tactics, Kiryu thought. Reminded him of someone.

Having heard the familiar battle cry, he was certain he was not mistaken.

The boss exited the warehouse, just to fly down through the door a minute after; then Majima entered the room, looking smug as hell.

“Oi, Kiryu-chan, how’s that I didn’t see ya in a couple of weeks, an’ ya gettin’ fuckin’ kidnapped by the Omi? Is this some way of ya gettin’ my attention?”

“Ah, so that’s the Omi,” Kiryu focused on the less annoying part of Majima’s welcome speech. That made every men in the warehouse, aside from him and Majima, very angry. They attacked Majima all at once, but were they even good enough in a fight for the famous Mad Dog of Shimano? Majima dealt with all of them in under five minutes, and came near Kiryu to release him. He inspected the ropes and cut them with the brisk motion of his tantō. The blade came tauntingly close to Kiryu’s skin, the fabric of his suit, almost close enough to cut through it, to hurt him. Kiryu paid it no mind.

“You should’ve done that sooner,” he said instead, kneading asleep arms. “I could’ve helped you.”

“Ain’t need no help. It was boring enough as it was,” Majima answered. “And anyway, more of them would soon come this way. If ya won’t hurry.”

“There’s no need to hurry,” Kiryu stretched. He catched quizzical expression on Majima’s face and added, “Better stay and teach them a lesson.”

Majima’s lips slowly formed a smirk, no less sharp than his knife. “Attaboy.”

Kiryu felt like the floor underneath him was pulled away. He smiled in return, a bit weakly, but with a great feeling. He wanted to say he is grateful for rescuing him, for who knows how long would Kiryu be captured before anyone would start wondering where he was; he wanted to say he was glad to see him, for Majima was still hiding from him and he had started to yet again miss him; he wanted to say something, because he was nervous, he felt that he had started seeing him really differently.

But the moment was painfully fleeting, and the next they knew, the warehouse was full with the Omi Alliance men.

“Well, well, Kiryu-chan,” Majima unsheathed his tantō, “let’s show them what we’ve got!”

“Yeah,” only answered Kiryu and stood near him, fists were ready to punch the hell out of the enemies. He was a little relieved they came. He wasn't so ready to express what he felt with words.

The fight was exhilarating in many ways. He felt like men kept on coming, and coming, but he and Majima fought them all off, over and over again. And when Kiryu started to feel tired, he just glanced at Majima, at the way his eyebrows creased, his lips formed a wild smile, all that what made his true Mad Dog expression; Kiryu knew he should be alerted, alarmed, because this look on Majima's face couldn't bring any good, but he was excited, thinking what could Majima do, and that all made him live again.

They fought in perfect unison, like they were made to fight alongside each other. Kiryu thought that maybe all their fights made them learn all their little tricks, and they moved with assumption, comprehension what the other could do in that given situation. That — being understood on the level of simple guesses, momentary decisions and instincts — burned a fire in Kiryu, to his surprise.

But nowadays it felt like everything Majima did made Kiryu felt bright, consuming feelings, so maybe the reason wasn't in that.

Kiryu placed a heavy hit in enemy's stomach, which made him bend, protect himself from the further attacks in this area, and Majima jumped him from behind, capturing him in a chokehold, making Kiryu a way to finish him; which he did. That was the last of them. Also, not that impressive team attack, but Kiryu was content. It was their first joint fight, it made him smile anyway.

“What 're ya smiling 'bout, Kiryu-chan?” Majima was already halfway to the exit and turned around to call for Kiryu. “Let's ditch this shithole already.”

“It’s just…” Kiryu said when they stepped out from the warehouse; it was already night, they were by the river, and surrounded by a bunch of the same-looking warehouses. How did Majima know which one to enter?

Wait. How did he know Kiryu was captured anyway? Was he… following him? Or the Omi?

Whatever. He saved him, Kiryu wouldn’t mind the specifics.

“‘It’s just’ what?” asked Majima, a little annoyed, but still curious.

“The point of a fight… is a fight itself,” Kiryu exhaled in a cold night air, gazing at the stars above him. It was nice there, almost out of the city. Its light was still seen there, but it was… quiet. Gloomy and serene.

“Now ya get it,” Majima smirked.

Kiryu returned his gaze on him. Majima seemed so pleased, and still a little out of breath from the fight. His eye shone, but still was, somehow, dark, with contentment, smugness, pride. Kiryu could drown there.

And he did; he couldn’t stop himself before he tasted Majima’s complacent smile with a weightless, innocent, to the point it’s inappropriate, touch of his lips. He almost didn’t feel anything, not counting the rush of blood, heartbeat in his ears. It was just a touch, not even a kiss, but it was enough.

Kiryu pulled back, and thanked everything that there was no good enough source of light and Majima couldn’t see how red he was. What had gotten into him? That was so stupid, such a dumb mistake, why couldn’t he control himself, how would he look in Majima’s eye again, oh god, why just didn’t he say something, or punch him, or…

“Not the kind of initiative I’ve waited for,” Majima broke the silence, finally. His glance was even darker than before, it sent shivers down Kiryu’s spine and left him out of breath. He felt like Majima could kill him, and not just with words. “But…” Majima continued and stopped, clearly contemplating something. Kiryu awaited with terror and preparedness to fight for his life.

Majima moved quickly, faster than Kiryu could have reacted; he grabbed him by the lapels of his jacket, yanking it, making Kiryu step closer, and kissed him fiercely. Kiryu couldn’t catch his breath, and Majima was already biting his lower lip, making it bleed.

“If anybody asks, say it was split in a fight.” Majima licked the drops of blood and eyed Kiryu sullenly, but with a smile, grim and dangerous. Kiryu clearly didn’t know what he was getting into. He didn’t think. He just placed his hand on the buzzed nape and pulled Majima closer with such force, they more like bumped with their lips, and not kiss. Majima laughed a raspy, harsh sound. He tried to force his tongue into Kiryu’s mouth, but jaw of his was clenched almost painfully tight, and Majima’s effort to escalate things only made everything worse. Majima bit into Kiryu’s lip, again, angrily. Kiryu gasped, and Majima finally was able to deepen the kiss.

Maybe Kiryu hadn’t had good kissers as partners earlier, maybe all the fantasies that had bombarded him did this to him, but the kiss blew his mind completely. He was already hard, after what? A couple of kisses? This was seriously humiliating. Kiryu just tried to not get Majima feel his boner.

Though, it was easier said than done. All Kiryu wanted right now was to rub his crotch against Majima’s leg. Oh, the thought of it was just mortifying. And strangely arousing.

Majima pulled back with a frown and looked at Kiryu closely, seriously, inspecting him and all his little thoughts and wishes; he gulped. Whatever Majima was thinking, it wasn’t good. He was always ready to fight Majima back, verbally or not; he, of course, considered him unpredictable, but that also mean Kiryu was always alert around him, prepared for everything he could pull, but right now… Right now he was in a rather vulnerable state. And he still didn’t believe Majima thought the same about him. There’s got to be something Kiryu didn’t see. No way Majima felt the same. It couldn’t be that easy.

“Relax, will ya?” Majima almost rolled his eye. “I won’t bite ya. Figuratively.”

Kiryu closed his eyes. Majima somehow made it worse.

He lowered his head and licked Kiryu’s neck. He felt Majima’s tongue’s touch leaving a wet trail of saliva on him, and shuddered. That was too much. He didn’t even think of that when he fantasized about being kissed by Majima. The reality preceded all his expectations. That was ferocious, as he thought it would be, but somehow… it was more. Being actually in close proximity to Majima woke up in Kiryu something else. He couldn’t place it yet.

Majima, suddenly, pushed him so his back was to some warehouse’s wall and gripped his dick through his pants. Kiryu moaned, breaking every last restraint, losing every last bit of shame. He could feel a smile on his neck.

“Oh, Kiryu-chan,” Majima cooed, “I’m really glad to see ya too.”

Before Kiryu could react, Majima got his hand into his pants and touched his dick directly. Even with glove on, it was too much for Kiryu. It all was too fast, he couldn’t keep up with Majima and even with his body. Two or more strokes, and Kiryu was done, before he even knew that, he gasped and threw back his head, and his nails dug into the soft skin of Majima’s nape, he felt orgasm with all his body, from his head to the tip of his toes. It was a long time since Kiryu felt something like this.

Majima left without saying much and before Kiryu could gather himself up. Now he should figure out what exactly had just happened by himself.

Majima really did give him a lot of food for thought lately.

Kiryu shivered. He was sticky in all the wrong places. And how would he exactly get home now?

*

So, that happened. They kissed, and Kiryu came in Majima’s hands. Practically in the middle of the street, amid fortunately empty warehouses at night. Still, it was a little bit too much to take in, even after actually living through it. Kiryu still doubted it was real, and not one of his fantasies. Maybe one of the Omi men hit his head a little too hard? That was always a possibility.

But a gross and sticky underpants said differently. It did happen.

It didn’t have to complicate things, though. Majima just jerked him off. No big deal.

No big deal till Kiryu remembered that was what he dreamed about for a couple of weeks.

Well, be careful what you wish for, I guess, he thought to himself, getting into shower. For the first ten minutes he just stood there, letting water wash over him and thoughts calm down in his head. He was nervous, but happy. Maybe now that obsession would let him go, and he would return to his normal life without getting aroused imagining Majima touching his dick barehanded, biting his neck, arching while taking it up the ass…

Kiryu groaned, feeling his erection coming back. No, that would be with him for a time being. But the good news were that Majima could be not that against fucking casually thing. Maybe. It still needed checking. But Kiryu was feeling good about this.

He needed the time to figure out was that the best idea, getting involved with the Mad Dog, though. Because of that, he had started to spend his evening in bars — in the comfort of his house his mind wandered to usual, but not the best, considering his situation, places, and bowling or such were too distracting. He, too deep in his Majima-related thoughts, entered the first bar he saw. The bartender side-eyed him, and some of the guests looked at him funny; well, that was strange. Not that this bar was his usual spot, but he liked to visit it from time to time. Was there something on his face? Or he had done something last time he was there?..

Kiryu didn't have to try to remember any more when he heard a voice, familiar to the shivers on his spine.

“Very brave, Kiryu-chan,” Majima cackled, sitting right beside him. “Comin' back to the bar ya were kicked out of not a couple weeks later.”

Kiryu's expression turned sour. Right. Majima happened last time Kiryu was there.

“Hello, nii-san,” Kiryu, nevertheless, bowed his head respectfully.

“Wow, so cold and formal.” Majima crossed his hands on his chest. “And that's what I'm gettin' after I saved ya and jacked ya off? Honestly…”

Kiryu could feel his cheeks turning red on a memory. Was he a teenager, or something? Jesus. He needed to take ahold of himself.

“Do you need anything from me?” he just asked straightforwardly, trying to hide the fact that he looked away and covered his face in shame by bluntness.

“I always need somethin’ from ya,” Majima answered, and Kiryu returned his glance just to see silent fire and unexpected seriousness in his eye.

Kiryu coughed awkwardly. “Sorry, don’t want to be kicked out again.”

“And what if we’ll be discreet?” Majima stared at him cunningly, little smirk making its way on his face.

“Can’t imagine how we’ll fight discreetly.” Kiryu didn’t know why Majima didn’t attack him already, if he wanted a fight. No way he cared enough about being kicked out or not. What was stopping him?

Majima eyed him with disappointment in his eye. “I'm not talkin' about fightin', ya dum-dum. Not that kind of fightin' at least, if ya into some rough shit.”

“Oh,” Kiryu managed to say. Majima still wanted something to do with him? After… what happened?

“Actually I don’t even know what ya into, comin’ so fast an’ all that. Hope, tonight ya’ll give us some more time.”

“Don’t make fun of me, nii-san,” Kiryu had tried to sound threatening, but was too embarrassed for that to come out right. Now he just sounded weak and feeble. Majima laughed, anyway.

“I ain’t. Ya had a rough night. I understand.”

Kiryu looked at him directly, frowning, saying only with his glance he didn’t need his pity. Majima looked back, pleased.

“So,” he continued, drawing near Kiryu and placing a gloved hand on his thigh, “wanna have some fun?”

Majima’s voice rumbled in Kiryu’s ears, making him feel all sort of things he didn’t want to feel. The hand, slowly making its way up his thigh, didn’t help either. And that challenging gaze under furrowed brows. And those lips, which were surprisingly soft, as Kiryu remembered. And…

“Yeah,” he breathed out before he could think further.

Majima smiled wickedly, and the look in his eye was nothing but fatal for Kiryu.

Well, that’s not going to be a simple quick fuck, he thought watching Majima making his way to the restroom.

He finished his drink and closed his eyes. It’s going to be a huge mistake. But he still could walk away. Majima would certainly be furious and wouldn’t leave him alone in the future, attacking him every day, but that would be safer than having an intimate relationship with him. The only problem in that was that Kiryu had wanted it. He wanted to get to know him, everything besides what Majima showed to the world. And maybe that little acquiescence would draw them a little closer.

Not to say he was a little hard already.

But was that worth risking it all? Kiryu could tell it wouldn’t be an easy road. Hell, maybe it would turn out Majima pretended to be sane and was nuts underneath it all. The Mad Dog was fun to fight, but that’s all, getting closer to him was dangerous and stupid. And, curiosity killed the cat.

Kiryu opened a door to the bathroom stall Majima was in. He rewarded him with a smile, somehow both ominous and happy, and pulled him in.

Let’s kill that cat, then, Kiryu thought.

Majima kissed him fiercely, hungrily, like he wanted to do that for all his life. Kiryu didn’t deceive himself; he knew Majima just wanted some fun, like their fights, it didn’t mean much. He just was a worthy opponent; or, in that case, a worthy partner. Kiryu placed his hands on Majima’s jaw, trying to slow him down, to taste him. Going so fast wasn’t exactly his style, though Majima could have thought differently after the last time. He tried to take the initiative in his hands, again, hissing and biting into Kiryu’s lip, pushing him against the door, but he just tilted his head to a side and deepened the kiss, slowly, thoughtfully. Majima seemingly melted into the kiss, giving up on taking the lead, and buried fingers in hair on Kiryu’s nape. He hummed. That was one pleasant touch he didn’t expect from Majima. Maybe that wasn’t such a mistake at all.

Kiryu had just started to feel out of breath, as Majima rudely grabbed his crotch. “Hey, yer not ready to pop yer cork yet! That’s an improvement. Good job, Kiryu-chan.”

“Don’t kill the mood, Majima-san,” Kiryu mumbled, turning his head away. Remembering about their last time was still off-putting.

“Wow, yer goin’ embarrassed so easily,” Majima cackled and kissed Kiryu’s neck, open for him now. He shivered with sudden realization he liked it being touched a bit too much — and Majima knew it too now — and threw back his head, accidently bumping it on a door with a soft, but a bit humiliating thump. Majima pulled a bit away from Kiryu’s neck, looking delighted. “How are ya gonna survive all what comes next?”

“And what is it, exactly?” Kiryu had tried to sound as nonchalantly as he could — which wasn’t much, but still. He thought he should regain his lost reputation, and decided to do that by being as unfazed by all what was happening as possible. That wasn’t easy — he felt Majima’s groin by his hip, Majima’s hands trailing down his back all the way to his ass, Majima’s… everything, being so close, it drove him wild. He wanted to kiss him, again, so bad. He also wanted more, and thought of him actually getting it, in close — so close he could feel its breath on his neck — future, it felt unreal.

Kiryu couldn’t believe he could get this aroused just by kissing, just by being so close, to Majima, of all the people. How had it happen, exactly? Was there a way back?

...Did Kiryu want it, really?

Majima half-breathed out, half-laughed, like he was astounded, amazed, amused. “Makin’ me dirty-talk? Wow. Didn’t expect that from ya.” He kissed Kiryu’s neck, again, and that made him close his eyes, relish in a sudden touch. But Majima moved away, and Kiryu opened his eyes, just to see murky expression in Majima’s eye, deep in lust. “I just gonna jerk ya off senseless, that’s all.”

KIryu couldn’t hold out anymore, he drew near — closer, closer, touching him everywhere he could — and kissed Majima like there’s no tomorrow. He reacted as Kiryu hoped he would, kissing him back eagerly, ardently. Kiryu reached down and unzipped the fly of Majima’s pants, earning a pleased hum from him. He touched his half-hard dick, flesh to flesh, breaking away from the kiss just to gaze at him seriously, earnestly, “No. I’m going first.”

Majima blinked, and Kiryu kissed him, again, drowning all what he could say in return, and started touching him, pleasing him. He would return the favour, make Majima come from the touch of his hands alone, and have nothing in return.

But Majima saw through Kiryu, and was having none of that crap. He grabbed Kiryu’s crotch unceremoniously, making him gasp from surprise. Majima quickly dove one hand into Kiryu’s pants, gripping onto Kiryu’s ass with another, and started jerk him off relentlessly, unrelentingly.

Kiryu hadn’t thought there could be winners and losers in sex, but it seemed like that with Majima. It was like a fight. And he wasn’t ready to lose.

He bit into Majima’s lip and pulled it; he wasn’t keen on biting before Majima, but every second with him seemed to be a lot of firsts and discoveries for him, apparently. He wasn’t against it. It was just strange, figuring out so much about himself in such a short time. And, if Majima planned on keeping this new side of their relationship, Kiryu was certain he would discover so much more.

It terrified him, a bit.

Kiryu lost, coming first, but he, with great amount of self-control, made sure Majima came soon too, not stopping even when the wave of orgasm came crashing down on him. It was a bit messy, it wasn’t perfect. But Kiryu, in that moment, was sure he would remember Majima’s relaxed, deeply satisfied, unfamiliarly calm face he had after his first orgasm with Kiryu.

The sight of it was for him, somehow, even better than coming himself.

*

It became their casual thing — jerking off each other in bathroom stalls of bars, — as Kiryu was fearing and hoping. It was rather dumb of him, of them — after a couple of weeks he started to notice that bartenders and regulars looked at him with the wide variety of emotions, beginning at understanding and ending at disgust and disapprovement. But there was no available alternative to bathrooms — or what, they should meet at love hotels, or something? — so Kiryu just learned to live with constant shame.

Majima was not affected by that at any degree, unsurprisingly. Kiryu even guessed he kind of enjoyed that, laughing every time he saw embarrassment on his face. Majima always said to him then, ‘Enjoy the attention, Kiryu-chan’. Maybe they did really need to meet at love hotels. The only attention they would get would be silent indifference of a receptionist, who had seen some shit and couldn’t be bothered by anything anymore.

The only problem was that their ‘meetings’ were as spontaneous as was their fights before. Majima was just showing up suddenly, his hands were right all over Kiryu, giving him no chance to run away.

Kiryu thought that would complicate things somehow, but it didn’t. Really, sex just replaced fighting. Kiryu was even glad — it was just as fun, but he didn’t need to patch himself up every other evening. And also it solved the problem with Kiryu’s suddenly found sex drive, and with the man he was, well, dreaming about, nonetheless. All was good.

Then there was that one time.

“Ah, fuck, Kiryu-chan.” Majima leaned on the wall and closed his eye in pleasure. “This was good.”

Kiryu zipped his pants, trying to look away from his face. It was his favourite and most hated moment simultaneously — he got to see quiet, content Majima, but it was the end of their little pastime, which meant he had to wait for him to reappear for a weak or so. He had tried to find him, but was unsuccessful. He wasn’t even at the batting center, no matter how much Kiryu checked. It was obvious Majima was busy. But he had never really talked about it. Was it still the Omi?

Majima lazily half-opened his eye, “Hey, wanna help me out a little? I’ll suck yer dick if ya will.”

Kiryu could feel his ears burning. Majima will do… what?

So far, their sex life together was named ‘sex’ with a stretch. They only jacked off each other. It was stupid, but, if Kiryu was honest, he was afraid of other ‘activities’ they could indulge into. He had wanted it, but he couldn’t imagine it actually happening.

He hadn’t considered their fling as something serious. Majima, as he thought, just used him, — and he used Majima, he believed. They shared an understanding at that. But, beyond that, Kiryu was still damn curious about Majima — what’s in his head, what made him tick. Sex, even its bleak semblance, was fun, and all, but Kiryu still needed more.

He was terrified of more.

What if he would find out something about Majima he didn’t want to? He had already discovered that the sure thing that could calm him down enough was a good fuck, and he didn’t want to know how he’d like his face when there was no ferociousness, no craziness, just serenity, but he knew, now. Was there a way back from that?

Kiryu made two steps back, as in fear. “I gotta… I gotta meet Nishiki.”

Majima didn’t look furious. But he didn’t look pleased, either.

“Eh? Well, I guess ya already got what ya wanted. Bye.” He dismissed Kiryu with a wave of his hand, and didn’t spare him even a quick glance, too busy lighting a cigarette.

Kiryu left with an unsettling feeling in his belly. Was that the right choice, to refuse that offer? Majima sounded rather disappointed, if he'd think about it. How would it influence things between them, if would influence at all? Kiryu exited the bar and decided he needed a smoke too; he took a long drag of a cigarette, and exhaled the smoke in the night air. He should go to Nishiki’s place, he guessed. Didn’t wanna lie to Majima. Who knew what that could lead to.

“Bro?” Nishiki opened the front door; he seemed kind of sleepy and kind of funny with his messy and untamed hair. Kiryu felt a little sting of guilt, but how should he have knew Nishiki had already gone to bed? It wasn’t that late. “It’s two in the morning. What do you need?”

Uh. Or it was that late. Oops.

Kiryu placed a hand on his face in shame. “Beer,” he said gravely.

“Umm… okay,” Nishiki moved away from the door, so Kiryu could enter.

Nishiki’s apartment was small, but tastefully decorated and rather cozy, especially in contrast to Kiryu’s, with bare gray walls and dirty dishes in a sink — he never considered his place of living as of actually living, and not just sleeping. Lights were off, but Kiryu knew where to go. When Nishiki entered the room, where he both slept and ate, with two cans of beer in his hands, Kiryu was already down on the floor near tatami table, lighting another cigarette.

Nishiki turned on the light, set one can near Kiryu, and sat across the table from him. With sigh, he opened his can, but didn't drink just yet, clearly waiting for Kiryu to start talking. But he couldn't, not before he pacified the storm in his soul. Who would've known Majima knew how to make ruckus even inside people's hearts?

Kiryu certainly read too much into it. It's just a blowjob, not a proposal. But he couldn't stop searching for more, couldn't stop thinking about more. It was exhausting.

Nishiki shuffled in his seat, clearly too uncomfortable because of silence.

“So,” he started, “are you gonna tell me why did you come so late, or I shouldn't even try to ask?”

‘Oh, you know, Majima had offered to suck my dick, but I wasn't ready quite yet, so I ran away, using you as an excuse. Yeah, we jerk each other casually in bathrooms of various public places, by the way. It's been a month or so. Anyway, how've you been?’ Kiryu felt sick only thinking about telling Nishiki this. Instead, he latched onto another thing what was bothering him for quite a while and asked, “Have you heard about what the Omi is doing?”

“Omi?” Nishiki's brows went up. “I heard this and that, but nothing concrete. What about it?” He took a can of beer into his hands, and Kiryu patiently waited for him to stop drinking as not to make him choke on a sudden news.

“Apparently, they intend to take over the protection of local businesses on our turf, and more,” Kiryu shook off the ashes in the ashtray and reach out for the beer. The can was cold. Just what he needed right now.

“Here? In Kamurocho?” Nishiki now looked fully awake, and he even set aside his drink. “As with that old guy, right? When Majima intervened?”

“Yeah,” Kiryu eyed the can grimly, opened it and gulped down a half of it in one go. He felt kind of awkward as Majima never told this issue was still unresolved, but it was way over than what Kiryu could carry alone. He hid too much from his kyodai as it was.

“But nobody has declared war… right?” Nishiki's voice clearly gave away how nervous he was, and Kiryu understood and would have caved in under panic as well, but he had other problems in his head right now, which didn't seem to go away.

Nishiki's expression suddenly changed into something sharp, “Actually, where did you find that out?”

Kiryu gulped. Here we are. He couldn't run away from him completely. “...From Majima-san,” he mumbled.

Nishiki squinted. Kiryu didn't like that look. “Wow. You guys have become really buddy-buddy, aren't you?”

Kiryu turned gaze to the window and, to hide that he blushed, drank the beer. Nishiki didn't even know a half of it. “Does this bother you?” he tried to sound unconcerned, like his relationship with Majima wasn't all what was in his mind right now.

Nishiki grunted, and rubbed his neck, “I'm not gonna tell you who you can and can't talk with, but just. Be careful, okay? That guy is called Mad Dog for a reason.”

“Yeah, I know,” Kiryu sighed. Too well, he wanted to add, I know too well. But it would give away too much, and Nishiki wasn't stupid.

For the next fifteen minutes they just sat and drank beer quietly. The silence with Nishiki never really bothered Kiryu, if nothing was between them in the moment. The problem he had right now, fortunately, didn't involve Nishiki in the slightest.

Though, Kiryu understood that one way or another, sooner or later, if Majima wouldn't put an end to the new side of their relationship, Nishiki would know. He knew his kyodai too well to let this go unnoticed. And Kiryu dreaded that moment. Nishiki was supportive of him, but this was too reckless of a decision. Kiryu could guess everything that he would say if, when he would find out. And that everything made his stomach churn. Because he knew it already, had known since that little idea of him kissing Majima first popped in his head. Had it been too hard to resist? Or Kiryu just didn't care? He didn't know. Maybe Nishiki would tell him.

“Say, Nishiki…” Kiryu blurted out before he could think, but almost immediately understood how bad of idea it was. Nishiki already had his attention on him, and Kiryu knew he wouldn't let it go, not with how small and unsure and in dire need of help he sounded. But he couldn’t ask what really troubled him, so he decided to ask, “If a… a g-girl needs from you more than you're prepared to give, what will you do?”

Nishiki looked puzzled and then uneasy, but answered, nevertheless, “Talk to her about it, I guess. Honesty never hurt anyone,” and fell silent, no-good silent. Kiryu just now was struck with realization that they'd never talked about that stuff. Maybe because of Yumi.

Certainly because of Yumi.

Kiryu was glad Nishiki had tried to help anyway, even, maybe, thinking he asked for advice regarding Yumi. It was rather noble of him.

“Anyway,” Nishiki slapped his knees and got up, “I guess, I’ll take out another futon.”

Kiryu broke away from his thoughts, and smiled, a little. “Yeah. Thanks, bro.”

“No problem.”

*

It was nine at the evening, and Kiryu was making his way home, down the shining streets of Kamurocho. He rented the apartment just outside the city, but didn’t want to pay for a cab, thinking it would be nice to just take a walk and appreciate how alive Kamurocho was even at night. It was beautiful, and it breathed life into him.

Suddenly, Kiryu saw something on the periphery of his sight. He turned, to see it better, and here he, of course, saw Majima, smoking, leaning on the wall near the entrance of Shellac. Kiryu was surprised. They met last night. Why had he appeared so soon? Was it just a coincidence? Though Majima proved to be rather hard to find even if you tried.

Kiryu stopped, and waited for Majima to turn his attention on him, but it never happened. He just smoked, and smoked, staring straight ahead at the crowd that was walking down the Champion District. Kiryu decided to approach him, as he remembered the advice Nishiki gave him. No better time than now.

“Hi, nii-san,” Kiryu called, and Majima turned his gaze at him. That made Kiryu stop halfway, in the middle of a crowd. His gaze was absent, but full of old pain. It was a deep, odd expression on him, but maybe just because Kiryu hadn't seen him like that before. It felt wrong, to see that in the middle of a live street; Majima felt so out of place, so small, with a delicately handled cigarette and slouched shoulders. It was a look of hurt. Kiryu thought immediately it wasn't the best time for them to talk, and was ready to turn around and walk away, but Majima called for him, too.

“Yo,” he said, and Kiryu didn't hear the usual challenge in his voice; but it wasn't weak, how he suspected it would. Just a little quieter than always. Calmer. Kiryu usually liked him being that way, but right now he was just worried. He finally made the remaining five steps to Majima, and that made him continue, “Lookin’ for a fun night, aintcha? Sorry, today is not yer day.”

“Not even a fight?” Kiryu proposed carefully; he didn’t want it, he just needed to know Majima's state.

“Not even a fight,” he echoed, and took a drag off his cigarette.

Well, that was concerning.

“Something happened?” Kiryu tried, feeling like he’s prying. They weren’t close. And whatever made Majima that way had to be something he would share only to people close to him. But Kiryu still, still tried.

“Yes and no,” Majima answered vaguely, his glance was hazy, deep in thought. It was like he wasn’t even looking at him. Kiryu knew he wouldn’t get anything from him in that state. He should leave him with his thoughts, his pain, alone, because Kiryu was nothing to him. Even if he wanted to help Majima, he wouldn’t let him. This dog bites hard. Stay away.

Kiryu stayed, with him.

He lighted a cigarette, took a long drag, and exhaled. Smoke danced into the dark, cloudy sky. Kiryu lowered his head, turning his gaze away from it, just to see a deep frown on Majima’s face. “What do ya want? I said…”

“Yeah, but I can’t leave you,” Kiryu said honestly.

Even though Nishiki said it never hurt anyone, Kiryu could see Majima was, in fact, hurt. His eye went big, and lips parted, but he hastened to mask it with furrowed brows. He looked away. “What the crap are ya even sayin’…” he breathed out in the night air. Kiryu still could see his simple words would stay with Majima, even if just for that one night.

He wanted more, though. He wanted to kiss him, not to initiate things, but to show he’s really not going anywhere. He wanted to be close to him. To hold his hand. To hear what he had to say, to listen to him, to be the one he could rely on. He just couldn’t stand that look on Majima’s face, and he didn’t know what to do, and it hurt. Oh gosh, he thought, where did all of this come from?

Kiryu placed his hand on the back of Majima’s neck, made him turn to face him. He squeezed, gently, reassuringly, his thumb made little circles on his skin, massaging, loosening him up. The expression on Majima’s face became less grim, but still stayed serious. Kiryu watched him carefully, ready to withdraw his hand the moment it’d become awkward and wrong; but it never came. Majima softened into the touch, smirked an easy-to-miss smile, and patted his hand, lingered just enough for Kiryu to, again, want his glove off.

The cigarette burned out, and Majima threw away the butt of it and stomp on it. “Hey, wanna come to my place?” he said. Kiryu removed his hand in surprise.

“Didn’t you say today is not the day?”

“Yeah, I changed my mind,” Majima shrugged. He then eyed him darkly, as if warning him. “So?”

Kiryu had nothing to be afraid of, not from Majima — he knew it now. He knew Majima was still a human. Not a mad dog that would bite if you got too close. “Okay,” he answered simply, and Majima nodded to himself, one time, two times, three, with a vacant, lost glance, like he wasn’t sure Kiryu would say yes, like Kiryu had surprised him. He started to walk down the street, not turning back to check if Kiryu still followed him, as though he didn’t wait for him to come with, as though he forgot about his invitation. That didn’t faze Kiryu; he walked right behind Majima right till his apartment. They never shared a single word.

Majima’s apartment was bigger than Kiryu’s or Nishiki’s, but still rather small and empty like no one had ever lived there.

“I lived for far too long always prepared to run away,” Majima suddenly started talking, “to ditch that place I lived in, I unlearned how to put down roots. It doesn’t matter anyway, he will...” he just stopped as abruptly, and shook his head, “Nevermind. Tea? Beer? Or just straight to fuckin’?”

Kiryu eyed him carefully, and said softly, like his words, if uttered too harshly, could shatter him, “You don’t seem like you want that.” He approached him, stepping into the darkness of the apartment, lit only with street light coming through the window, and put his hand on Majima’s shoulder.

Majima’s expression shifted from lost to perplexed, then to outraged, to disgruntled, “I ain’t some fragile girl who needs wooin’. Lose yer fuckin’ gentleman act.”

“It isn’t an act, I…” Kiryu couldn’t finish, as Majima kissed him, sank his teeth into his lower lip, growled as he did that. Kiryu’s grip on his shoulder tightened, but he stopped before it could become painful. He held back. He really thought he could break him if he didn’t.

Majima moved away from him. “There’s no need to tip-toe around me,” he snarled, obviously furious, “Actually, I’ll show ya.” He dropped to his knees, and, before Kiryu could react, his pants were unzipped, and his dick, halfway hard, was im his hand. “I know ya didn’t help me, but anyway, I wanted to do this for a while now,” Majima licked his lips, and Kiryu gulped. He couldn’t quite make out the expression on his face, he had to rely on voice and touch. And they didn’t say to him that Majima was fragile in any way.

They said he wanted him right now.

But Kiryu still held onto this image of Majima standing alone, smoking, with such a pained, strayed look Kiryu couldn’t help but felt his heart clench.

He didn’t want a quick fuck. He wanted to make love to him, to piece him together.

But alas.

Majima’s tongue touched him, and Kiryu’s dick twitched involuntarily. He could guess Majima smirked as he felt that, and didn’t like it, but Majima left him no time to recover, to take ahold of himself, as he took him all in, at once, still not fully hard, without teasing or foreplay. Kiryu grabbed Majima by his head with both his hands, not sure if he wanted to pull him away or closer. That made him hum contentedly, which sent shivers down Kiryu’s back and made his dick harder, and start moving his mouth down his length, and up, and slowly down. Kiryu almost choked on his own saliva, and threw his head back, gasping. Majima clearly knew how to make him hard in no time. It was frustrating. He didn’t want to come so fast, again.

He threaded fingers through Majima’s hair, trying to distract himself. It felt nice.

But Majima’s lips around his cock felt nicer.

His hips jerked, making Majima take all his length in, and he didn’t even choke. He slowed down, as if letting Kiryu fuck his mouth himself; but he didn’t do it. He still felt like he took advantage of him, used him in a vulnerable state; he felt awful he was getting a blowjob from him and, what is more, enjoyed it. He let go of his head, and leaned on the wall with his hands, breathing heavily.

Majima noticed that and grazed Kiryu’s dick with his teeth, as if punishing him. Kiryu grabbed Majima’s head again, and he started sucking him harder, masterfully, lustfully.

Kiryu came, with guilt and shameful pleasure. He was still catching his breath, as Majima got up, licking his lips. Even in darkness, Kiryu could tell he was smirking.

He didn’t break him, as he feared. Majima broke him, in return.

“I need a smoke,” Kiryu gasped, zipped his pants, and run out from the apartment. It was raining heavily outside, so he had to stay under the shed. He patted his pockets, searching for cigarettes, but couldn’t find it; Majima exited his apartment, too, and reached out a hand gripping an almost empty pack with an only cigarette. “Thanks,” Kiryu grumbled, took it, lit it, and took a drag. After that, his racing heart slowed down. This wasn’t so bad. He wasn’t using Majima, not this time, if anyone was using anyone, it was the other way around.

Still, that was awful. He felt awful.

He looked at Majima, at his dark eye, and thought to himself, yeah, I should’ve known what I was getting into.

Majima smirked, again, as if he could read his mind.

He reached out, took the cigarette from Kiryu’s hand, and took a puff. He, then, closed his eye, and his face suddenly become serene, but content, as Kiryu loved it. He lost his breath for a moment.

“I should leave the city, so no fun for a time being, Kiryu-chan,” Majima started suddenly.

“Why?” Kiryu was taken aback. Majima didn’t seem to talk business, or life, or anything, really, with him. And his appearances were always a surprise. It was odd he even considered Kiryu’s feelings. Odd, but strangely pleasing. Kiryu gulped.

“Same old Omi shit.” Majima dragged on the cigarette.

He was beautiful like that, with lips not cracked into wild or sly grin, opened just a bit, with brows not furrowed, with eye lazily half-opened. Seeing that Majima felt like he knew him, like he was close to him, like he meant something to him. Kiryu felt his heart ache a little. He wanted it, he realized with crystal clarity, he wanted to be important to Majima. It wasn’t just curiosity. It was something more, consuming, inflaming.

Majima turned away from him, and all Kiryu could see now was his profile, intimately lit by street light, which outlined his sharp features with his crooked nose, and Kiryu almost gasped. He was beautiful — as always. Kiryu was mesmerized by him, enthralled, and didn't think when exhaled, “Be careful.”

“Huh?” Majima turned to him, looking offended, with curved lip and squinted eye. “Don't ya dare say ya care about me or some shit.”

And Kiryu wanted to answer, yes, I care, how could I not? But he kept his mouth shut.

Instead, he decided to hear a little about the Omi business, if Majima was so talkative today. He knew Kazama would really like to hear about that; Kazama knew, of course, about the whole thing — how could he not? — but maybe not the specifics, which Majima could provide. And, if the Omi decided to kidnap Kiryu, he could say, it became rather personal.

“I thought we had scared them away at that night at the warehouse.” He tried not to blush, remembering what had happened after, as Majima returned his gaze on him. “I haven't encountered any of them after.”

“Nah, they just got more careful, and trickier,” Majima made another drag off the cigarette; it was hard for Kiryu to keep up with the conversation that way. He took his cig away from him and took a drag himself, definitely not thinking about stupid things like indirect kisses. Majima continued without any outbreak about the stolen cigarette, to Kiryu's surprise. “That warehouse ain't even their local base of operations. They kidnap people and take them there, just like they did to ya. And me! The only difference was that I managed to break out on my own.”

“Wait, you were kidnapped?” Kiryu felt worry settle in his stomach. They kidnapped Majima, and no one came to rescue him? This is… This is just…

“Yeah, they were very stupid 'bout that,” Majima bared his teeth in an animal grin, and gazed at Kiryu with wild, wild look in his eye.

Yeah, he had nothing to worry about. Majima could survive anything.

Still, Kiryu worried.

*

The streets felt lonely without Majima and the constant anticipation of an attack, an encounter. Lights were glazy, buzzing of conversation held by people passing by was dull. Kamurocho missed something important. Or maybe the lonely one, the one who missed something was Kiryu all along, and not the city.

It had been too long for him to ignore Majima's absence, to pretend it didn't affect him in any way. Some time ago Kiryu would've thought of it as a breathing space, for Majima didn't quite knew when to stop with all his assaults on him, but now Kiryu craved an opportunity to meet him, to see that he was alright.

Knowing where did he go to didn't make the wait easier, it was the other way around: with each passing day, the anxiety became stronger, telling him something had happened. He hadn't heard from Majima from that night, and he tried to tell himself that it's okay, he hadn't promised to keep in touch, but still. Kiryu kept repeating to himself, like a mantra, every day that it's Majima. Nobody could hurt him, or kill him. His worry was unreasonable. But he cared too much not to worry.

The same exact thoughts whirred in his head for five weeks now, and the next day was worse than the previous one. Kiryu had to make an effort for it not to show on his face, — he really didn't want to explain yourself. His relationship with Majima was too complicated for anyone to understand and not to judge. Though, usually, nobody cared enough to ask what was wrong; but then there was Nishiki, who knew Kiryu, who cared. Who was too good in that ‘feelings’ thing, better than Kiryu, at least.

They were drinking at Serena, not at the bar counter, as usual, but sitting on the sofa — Nishiki said something about being too tired of running around the city, and tried several times to put his whole leg on the sofa, to Reina's disapproval, which only made him laugh. The atmosphere was light, bubbly, but Kiryu still felt uneasy, too preoccupied with thoughts that had become common, usual for him. It was just a matter of time when Nishiki would raise his concerns about him, and here it was: Reina became too busy with her other regulars, and Nishiki moved closer to Kiryu with clear disquiet painted all over his face.

“Hey, bro, you're kind of... down lately. Something wrong?"

Kiryu sighed and leaned back with his eyes closed. It should've happened sooner or later. He couldn't fool his kyodai with his vain attempts at acting like everything was okay. Nishiki knew him too well. Too well to know when he was lying, so Kiryu didn't even bother. “Yeah. Kind of.”

Nishiki's lips formed a circle, and he breathed out, “Oh”, like it was such a big deal, Kiryu feeling bad and admitting it flat out.

Maybe it was. Kiryu was never good at expressing feelings, unlike Nishiki. Maybe this whole situation was something new. He didn't know.

Nishiki knew, with how he looked at him.

“Is it… that girl of yours?” he asked cautiously. Kiryu nodded, though Majima wasn't a girl or even his. Explaining all the differences would be too troublesome, so he admitted to the closest thing. “What's wrong? Something happened between you two?” Nishiki continued.

“Not quite,” Kiryu covered his eyes with a palm, suddenly too tired. “It's just… I haven't seen h… her in a while.”

“So you miss her,” Nishiki concluded, and something pricked Kiryu's heart. He had suspected it, he had thought about it, but actually hearing that made it real. Yeah. He missed Majima. That was true.

“It's just…” Kiryu sighed, and lowered his head, as if it was too heavy. “I never expected to feel… all of this. I don't know what is happening to me.”

“Maybe you're in love,” was a quiet, almost inaudible in all the noise of music and other guests' talk, answer, but it hit Kiryu with a ton of bricks. He choked on breath, with how much it made sense. He was. He was in love.

With Majima.

It filled him with joy of realization, like he solved a difficult, tricky riddle, and dread of knowing, thinking of what comes next.

“How did you know?” Kiryu gasped, but uttered words, with a struggle.

Nishiki snickered a little awkward, out of the place laugh, “I'm in a similar situation, I think.”

Oh, right, Kiryu thought. Yumi.

“Though, it's different in the way that I don't know if she’s interested.” Nishiki's gaze became glassy; sad.

“I think you should go for it,” Kiryu proposed, killing the thought that Nishiki was certain Majima had been interested too.

Nishiki made a face as if he was pulled out of the water, saved from drowning; shock, relief, happiness. “You think?” he jerked his head to face Kiryu, and he looked him right into Nishiki's eyes. There was something he always saw, when he was standing right in front of mirror. Desperation. Devotion. Love, that devoured him alive.

“Yeah,” he downed the remains of his drink. “You'll make her the happiest woman alive.” He got up. He needed the time to be alone, to think everything over. The sudden discovery would only taint the night out with unnecessary but consuming thoughts and wishes. Nishiki didn't deserve only half of his attention. “See you later.”

He saw him off with knowing, understanding glance.

Outside was cold, but Kiryu's head was too busy processing his feelings to care. He decided to go straight home, drink beer, and think. He didn't want to see anyone right now.

He walked past some alleyway, when someone grabbed him, and pulled him there; he was too surprised to react right away, and, when he felt someone's lips on his, his eyes went wide, and he freezed.

The kiss didn't last for long. The stranger pulled away just as suddenly, and it happened to be Majima.

“I'm back! Missed me?” he grabbed Kiryu's crotch quite unceremoniously. Kiryu blushed, more because of suddenness, not shame. But feel of familiar touch on his groin made his cock twitch. “I thought so! Yer place or mine?”

“Nii-san…” Kiryu exhaled, his eyes wide, still couldn't quite believe Majima was here, and he wanted him. Kiryu kissed him, deeper that time. Majima kissed him back passionately, like he, too, missed him. Kiryu cupped his face, tasted him, for the first time in weeks. He didn't know how he needed that until now.

“Kiryu-chan,” Majima pulled back. His face was unreadable. “If ya gonna go so slow, we'll never make it. Hurry up. We have a lot of catchin' up to do, and I'm still quite busy.” Kiryu, suddenly too feeble, let go of him, and Majima walked out of the alley to the big street, without looking at Kiryu, like he was certain he would be followed; but Kiryu didn't follow him. He couldn't. Something was holding him back. Something big — so he couldn't make a step — and smothering — so he couldn't make a sound.

“Eh?” Majima turned around. “What's stoppin' ya?”

His feelings.

Kiryu shook his head. “I can't.” He had to get rid them, so he shouldn't see or be with Majima for a while. “Good night, nii-san.”

Majima didn't need them. Majima didn't need Kiryu, not the way Kiryu needed him. He had to make peace with that. But it needed time, and space.

Majima was shouting something, but Kiryu didn't hear him, too far away in his pain.

*

Kiryu missed him like crazy. He just wanted to look at him, to touch him, to kiss him. He wanted to know what he did all those weeks, to hear what he missed him, for real.

He wasn't getting any of that, not from Majima. Majima is the last person he should have fallen for. He had to get over it.

He didn’t mind pain, not at all. It wasn’t the thing that stopped him from going with Majima that night. Kiryu just knew that his love would complicate things, and eventually would push Majima away from him. He enjoyed their little moments together. But Majima would not be pleased to know that, for Kiryu, they meant more. That Kiryu needed more from Majima than he was ready to give, that Kiryu wanted to give him what he didn’t want to receive. So, they shouldn’t be together for a while, not for Kiryu’s sake, but for Majima’s.

Still, pain sucked. Kiryu had started to work harder, drink more, and talk to different people — went to bars with Nishiki and other fellow associates from the Dojima Family, had long conversations with hostesses, helped every random person from the streets of Kamurocho, — all of this trying to distract himself. He didn’t seek for Majima, as much as he wanted to — he knew it would be a bad idea, even when he was all he craved for in the dark, dark nights, fighting melancholy-induced insomnia. Sometimes, the brave thought that, maybe, Majima felt that way too conquered his restless mind, and he tried really, really hard to kill it. It was foolish, absolutely dumb to believe that Majima needed him more than for blowing off steam. But hope was indestructible.

But he had to destroy it if he ever wanted to fight, to be with Majima again.

Then, one day, all of the sudden, Kiryu, while going home from Serena, spotted him, angry at something, tense, smoking antsily. His mouth was twisted, showing off teeth, he clutched a cigarette so hard Kiryu was surprised it still didn’t broke in half, his one foot was tapping impatiently. Kiryu froze in the middle of the street. He wasn’t ready to face him yet. He still needed him.

Majima, suddenly, gazed straight at him; his face expression didn’t change a bit. Kiryu didn’t look away, endured all the anger Majima must have had for him, and that, after a moment or two, made him smiled wildly, like when they met for the first time. But now Kiryu didn’t have it in him to smile back. He just frowned deeper, and walked past Majima, like he didn’t care.

Kiryu was ready for an attack, but it never happened. That was strange. He turned back, just to see Majima still staring at him, wordlessly, silently. His cigarette, crushed, was in his hand, and he didn’t even look at it while tossing it away in a trash can. Kiryu forcibly made himself avert his gaze, and kept walking home.

He didn’t feel great after it. It was like something heavy had laid on his chest; he couldn’t breathe fully. He couldn’t believe one glance could do it to him.

Still, he was, somehow, glad to see that Majima was okay, as far as he could be okay, at least — Kiryu didn’t see any bruises, and that was enough. But, something was clearly troubling him, and Kiryu died thinking what was it. Was it Shimano? Was it the Omi? Was it… him?

Falling asleep that night was even harder than usual. When Kiryu closed his eyes, all he could see was Majima’s heavy glance underneath scowlingly furrowed brows. He wasn’t bothered by it, not at all; still, it was unusual to see him so gruff, and not starting a fight.

It was stifling. Kiryu had to open a window to let the fresh air in. He laid on his bed with a sigh, and fell into restless dreaming.

When he opened his eyes, it was still dark. The weight on his chest still was there, but now it was accompanied by added weight on his torso, and a feel of something cold pressed to his neck.

Kiryu's eyes adjusted to the dark, and he finally could see that it was Majima sitting on top of him, with his tantō to Kiryu's neck.

“Majima-san,” Kiryu breathed out, and froze, knowing if he was to push Majima from him, or make any unwary movement, the tantō would slice his neck in no time. Even if Majima didn't mean to do that, still, the blade was too close for an unfortunate accident.

Majima moved, so his mouth was next to Kiryu's ear, and purred, “Good mornin', Kiryu-chan. Surprised? Now ya know how it felt like when ya walked out on me!”

Kiryu could feel, could almost hear how the grip on the tantō tightened. “I'm sorry, nii-san. Are you angry about that?”

Majima laughed, husky and without humour. “I'm pissed, Kiryu-chan. I presumed we are way past the point where I gotta beg for yer attention.” He shifted, as if trying to sit more comfortably, and Kiryu gulped. The realization that he liked Majima on top of him way too much hit him hard, considering the tantō was still by his neck.

“What do you want from me?” Kiryu asked, his voice sounded a little hoarse and breathy.

“Isn't it obvious?” Majima shifted once again, now clearly on purpose.

Kiryu eyed the tantō, “Well, not quite. You are giving me rather mixed signals, actually. Do you want to kill me or fuck me?”

He could see a grin shining in the dark, the blade reflecting the street light, the figure sitting on him drawing near. “Why not both?”

Kiryu grabbed the hand wielding the tantō, twisted it, making a hold weaker, and snatched the weapon with his other hand to throw it away in a dark, far corner of his room. Before Majima could react, Kiryu pushed him, so he would land on the bed, and Kiryu would be on top of him. But now Kiryu was too slow to react, as Majima kicked him in the chest with his foot, and one more time, when Kiryu was far enough for Majima to place his kick successfully, in the neck; Kiryu grumbled and fell on his back, staying on the bed by miracle only. The kick left him out breath; Majima's hands traced Kiryu's naked body, from his stomach to his chest, higher, higher, and stopped around his neck, squeezing, suffocating. Kiryu gasped, and pushed Majima once again; luckily, he didn't seem to use full force on him, as he let go of him quite easily. He fell back, and Kiryu was on top of him, holding him in place by the wrists. He looked at Majima, outstretched beneath him, seemingly angry, but also oh so pleased, and felt full of desire, need. He drew nearer, and saw a warning in Majima's eye — don't you dare.

Kiryu dared. He bit Majima's neck, hard, earning a sweet, exhilarating gasp from him. It was so new; Majima didn't lose himself during their encounters, and Kiryu could make him made all these interesting sounds only if he beat him in fight. He was glad to know he didn't need to fight him anymore for that.

“You li'l shit,” Majima hissed, but Kiryu could tell he liked that. “You…” Before he could finish, Kiryu kissed him, violently. Majima kissed him back, though he didn't stop trying to break free, now biting his lip every time he had a chance. That was something else. Kiryu, for the first time, had a feeling he was in control of the whole situation.

It was so hot in the room, he couldn't breathe.

He pulled away to look at Majima in the light coming from a window. He looked disheveled, with his hair on his forehead, and the jacket wide open, revealing muscles in all their glory and the ends of his enchanting tattoo. Majima didn't look irate now, but was still not very happy. Kiryu must have really hurt him when he rejected him, after all those weeks of not seeing each other. That made Kiryu's heart flutter. Even just for fights or sex, Majima cared about him. Even if he used him, he still meant something for him. Kiryu could live with that. He didn't expect anything from Majima anyway.

“Ya alright there?” Majima asked after half a minute of Kiryu just staring at him. He nodded, not thinking that Majima might have not see that, and got closer, kissed the spot on his neck he bit earlier. Majima laughed; Kiryu could feel the vibration by his lips. “Can't be rough sometimes, can ya? C'mon, I'm not gonna shatter. Don't hold back.”

Kiryu sat straight and let go of his wrists, and Majima eyed him a little quizzically; but then Kiryu moved away and started unzipping Majima's pants, he laughed a loud, satisfied laugh.

Kiryu took off Majima's pants and underpants, leaving him only in his jacket that didn't hide a lot anyway. In the dark, he could see a half-hard cock, and a stupid idea to repay Majima popped up in his head. He leaned closer and took it all in his mouth. He choked, too eager to please him, and started moving slow to the moment Majima's dick was fully hard.

“Now, now stop,” Majima pulled Kiryu's hair. “That was horrible.”

Kiryu blushed from embarrassment and irritation. Was it hard to pretend he liked that? He bit Majima's lip instead of kissing him, and started stroking his dick with his hand hard and relentlessly, lying on him, chest to chest.

“Is it all… ya can do, Kiryu-chan?” Majima said trying not to sound out of breath, and grabbed him by his crotch. Kiryu gasped. “C'mon. Ya can do much better.”

A wild thought appeared in his mind, that one thought he didn't let himself indulge into even in the darkest of nights. He could… Could he?

He took off sweatpants, the only piece of clothing he had on himself, and sat awkwardly, not really knowing what to do. It is… different with guys, isn't it? What should…

“Ugh,” he heard from Majima before he pushed him and sat on top of him, his body too close to Kiryu's dick it made him feel funny. Then Majima touched it, took it in his hand, and lifted himself up, so Kiryu's cock would touch his butthole, and then he lowered himself down, slowly, breathing sharply, all the way in.

It didn't feel much different for Kiryu. Except, he didn't feel that way with anyone before, the way when all he wanted was to be with them, to care for them, even when he knew they didn't need nor want him to, to help them, to have fun with them, to make love to them. In any other way, it was the same.

Though it was… a bit tight around his dick, and that made everything a bit too much, that he thought he would come early again. Knowing he was fucking Majima of all people didn't make things easier. Meanwhile, Majima started moving, still slow, but Kiryu wasn't ready still. He gripped him by his hips, burying short nails into his skin, making him stop.

“Huh? Ya wanna do it yerself?” Majima asked immediately. “Well, ya can try.” He moved again, earning a gasp from Kiryu. “Make me.”

Kiryu, in an uncontrollable moment of passion, growled and threw Majima on his back, becoming the one on top. The feelings, both emotional and physical, overwhelmed him, his heart ached of love while his body was tense, so close to release, and he shut his eyes, trying to tame his mind.

Meanwhile, Majima was laying beneath him, waiting, daring with his cocky grin that Kiryu could see even in the dark. He knew he couldn't stay still forever. He thrusted, a bit roughly, but Majima didn't complain, didn't react in a way that showed he didn't like bluntness in Kiryu's moves, it was the other way around, even, with a smile and an irregular breathing, and it encouraged Kiryu to not be gentle, as he wished, thinking Majima couldn't take it — but, as all his body told him, he could. So Kiryu started moving, faster and faster, as he was losing himself in lust, coming closer to orgasm. Majima didn't moan, and Kiryu knew he did the right thing only by sharp intakes of breath and jerking of Majima's body, making them closer, meeting his in a halfway.

Suddenly, all Kiryu's world shrinked to this room, to this bed, to the body beneath him. He could only smell sweat, hear a slapping of bodies against each other, feel Majima, and Majima only — his arms on Kiryu's back pressing him closer, his legs wrapping around his torso, his mouth kissing and biting everything it could reach, his hard dick grazing Kiryu's stomach, his anus clenching around Kiryu's cock as he came, for the first time before Kiryu, and that instantly made him come too. He thrusted two, three more times, by inertia, and laid on top of Majima, exhausted, but content, and he didn't mind his stomach was smeared with cum.

“Wow, Kiryu-chan. Yer good.” Majima sounded pleased, too, and Kiryu never felt better. This fuck, finally, meant something. It wasn't just a fifteen minute thing after which they just parted ways. It was something else, new to them.

Kiryu carefully pulled himself out, and cleaned Majima's and his stomach with a sheet, thinking that it needed washing anyway. He then lied beside Majima, as much as his bed let him. Majima was staring at the ceiling, and, then Kiryu positioned himself, he turned his head to him.

Kiryu couldn't see much, but he knew the serene, calm expression Majima must have weared right now. He smiled, feeling so much love because of him, it was better than the orgasm he just had, and got Majima's hair out of his forehead with gentle touch. He wanted to express somehow what he was feeling, he needed Majima to know it. He didn't think. He just let his emotions to rule him, just this one time. They were too much, and Kiryu was too weak to fight them. He didn't want to. He dreamed to be better, from his childhood with Nishiki, who was so in understanding with everything; he dreamed to be honest with himself and his feelings, as he was.

He breathed out a senseless words of affection in the quiet night.

Majima didn't wait to reply. “What?!” was the answer. “Yer kidding me?” He got up from the bed, and started pacing the room, not sparing Kiryu a single glance. Kiryu sat and followed him with his gaze, sensing an unsettling feeling in his belly. This can't be good. He made a mistake? “What the shit. What the fuck,” Majima uttered, and stopped abruptly in front of the window, blocking the light. “Yer a dumbass, Kiryu-chan, for fallin' for me.”

Kiryu felt his heart breaking over the crushed hope he didn't know he had. “You don't…” he managed to say, but Majima interrupted him almost immediately.

“No. I don't. Obviously. Yer an idiot, such an idiot…”

Kiryu couldn't tear away his gaze from him, like watching a train ahead of you while standing in its way.

Majima was quiet for a long time, just eyeing him, and said, finally, “Now I see why ya ditch me. It's time for me to do the same.” He stood there for a bit, like he wanted Kiryu to say something, say more, — which was ridiculous, wasn't it Kiryu's words that destroyed everything for them? — but the moment passed, and he grabbed his things, dressed up silently, and left Kiryu alone with a black hole in the middle of his chest.

*

He didn't see Majima again. He felt anxious in this city without him always near. Like something important was missing. Kamurocho, now, wasn't calm; it was buzzing, like a hive. It felt like everybody was after him, ready to kick his ass — everybody but one person, the one who Kiryu would be glad to fight once again.

He waited for him. He searched for him. But Majima never showed his face.

Now, Kiryu was too busy for that, but still, he thought about him every day. What could he do so Majima would let him be with him? Forgive him for his weakness?

And, all in all, was it really that big of a deal that Kiryu loved him?

Sadly, no one could answer these questions.

Meanwhile, the situation with Omi became much worse, almost every day Kiryu stumbled upon some of their goons. Even then, nobody talked about that, though there were plenty of rumours about coming war, and every Tojo boss he saw was sternier than usual. The tension intervened in every aspect of his work and life nowadays, and Kiryu couldn’t even go out for drinks with Nishiki for it not to rear its ugly head — sooner or later he would become quiet, and bring up the Omi topic.

Kiryu could say Nishiki was rather nervous about it, and he couldn’t blame him. The yakuza life wasn’t the simplest and calmest, of course, but, still, the war was too much. Why did the Omi Alliance even need Kamurocho? Nishiki and Kiryu would likely never know the truth about that. They were still green and low in ranks, but even considering that, they couldn’t afford to ignore everything what was happening. Luckily, Dojima, after learning Nishiki’s — and Kiryu’s, who was too loyal as kyodai to leave Nishiki alone trying to figure everything out by himself — undying interest in the matter, entrusted them with the task to learn as much as they could.

“Huh,” Nishiki hummed, as they stepped out the Dojima Family HQ, “it feels like not even every Patriarch really knows what’s going on. Chairman keeps that a secret?”

“Probably,” Kiryu nodded. “Didn’t help from spreading the rumours, though.”

It was late, so they decided to go to Serena to unwind, but the conversation didn’t go very well, and the atmosphere was dark, so, after couple of drinks, they decided to call it night and go home.

Kiryu didn’t like the expression Nishiki wore the last time he saw him. It was anxious, impatient. Kiryu should have offered him to stay at his place, just so he knew he was alright, but he settled on not to.

He couldn’t find him the following day, and remembered instantly his state from the last night. Was it possible he did some digging on his own, too restless to fall asleep or wait?

Nobody had seen Nishiki not in the Dojima Family HQ, not in the Kazama Family HQ since last night, and it bothered Kiryu, though everyone was sure he was just spending time with one of his girlfriends. Kiryu doubted that; Nishiki sounded pretty serious about Yumi last time they brought her up in a conversation. Although Nishiki was a bit too easy with the opposite sex, Kiryu was sure he, right now, was too in love with Yumi to look at anybody else. So that was out of the question.

He, of course, checked his home. Nobody was there. Kiryu asked around and learned that Nishiki’s neighbors didn’t see him since previous day’s morning. That was seriously troubling. Didn’t Nishiki make it home last night? What had happened?

Kiryu decided to trace back everywhere Nishiki could go last night, and started with Serena.

“Hey, Reina.” He entered the empty bar. Reina walked out of the backroom and smiled welcomingly.

“You’re early today, and,” she looked past Kiryu, “without Nishikiyama-kun, I presume?”

“Yeah. I look for him, actually.”

Reina returned her gaze on Kiryu, and he couldn’t see there poite joy no more. Her smile faltered a bit. “Something happened?” She tried to sound nonchalantly, but Kiryu could tell she was worried about Nishiki, and last night she saw the same troubling signs in Nishiki’s behaviour, as Kiryu did.

“Don’t know. Came to you to ask if he had returned after we split up.”

She started to fumble with a towel. “Oh. No, no, he hadn’t.”

Kiryu pursed lips. Well, he didn’t imagine it would be that easy. “Thanks, Reina. I’ll go look for him somewhere else.”

“Tell me when you find him!” Reina shouted — her voice trembled a bit — after him, as he turned around and head into the elevator.

Once he was outside, he looked around. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Kiryu had started to walk in the direction of Nishiki’s apartment, hoping to stumble across something which made Nishiki not to come home. He traced the way from Serena to his house five times, and didn’t found anything, till some punk in some alleyway hadn’t decided he was tough enough to fight Kiryu. Couple of masterfully placed strikes, and he was on the floor, with Kiryu getting ready to stomp on his face with his foot.

“Try that, and my family will go after you! No, the whole Omi Alliance will, we’ll destroy you!” he coughed up, and that made Kiryu stop. What did he just say? Kiryu grabbed him by his hair and, squatting down, lifted him up.

“Omi? Where are they?”

The punk spat, missing Kiryu, and passed out. That encounter made Kiryu think that, maybe, Nishiki was kidnapped, as he was too, earlier. But why did he? If Kiryu was causing problems, Nishiki did nothing notable. Maybe he found out something?

Kiryu had decided to search that alleyway. It was just outside the city and a little out of the usual way to Nishiki’s apartment, and Kiryu didn’t quite remember if he was there at all even once. He walked between five-or-more-story houses, so closely built that they didn’t let in much light in nor there was enough space for a lot of people to walk through. Although, the alleyway was empty, so it wasn’t a problem.

Everything about that screamed suspicious to him.

He walked a minute or five, till he saw some gruff men crowded near a car. They turned to Kiryu; face expressions of some turned to recognition and then anger. “Hey, that’s Kiryu!” shouted one of them, and they all started running towards him with clear intent, while three or four more people exited the building the car was near to. Kiryu clenched his fists. He’s not getting out of this easy.

They came, and came, before the narrow street was so full with unconscious bodies, Kiryu didn’t know where to stand. He proceeded to enter the building and looked around; the first floor was empty, so he proceeded to climb the stairs.

The cry “It’s Kiryu!” welcomed him on the next floor; it was crawling with yakuza-looking types. Most of them was armed, but Kiryu already noticed a couple of armchairs he could use, one of them was near the entrance, and Kiryu took it and smashed four guys with it, sending them flying. The fifth guy was buried underneath the armchair, but that, sadly, broke it.

Kiryu was moving slow, but fought ferociously, until everyone was on the floor. He grabbed the last one by the lapel of his jacket and jerked him, “How did you know who I am?”

“Everybody in our family knows a face as annoying as yours.”

“Who are you? Are you from the Omi?” asked Kiryu, just to be sure. The guy just smiled.

“You didn’t know what’s coming, we…”

“Where’s Nishiki?” Kiryu shook him, and accidently bashed him against the floor, leaving him unconscious. “Damn. Okay.” He stood up, and kept walking upstairs.

He searched every floor, fought everyone, but still couldn't find Nishiki. He was left out of breath and desperate; no one was a match for the Dragon of Dojima, but fighting everyone at once was still not his best idea. Still, wasn't the first time he did this, and he would be damned if it would be his last.

It was surprising no one seemed to be the big boss, or something. Had Kiryu came not in the right time? He was already leaving the building when some Omi thug appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. Kiryu had to take some time fighting him, weariness had started to affect him; finally had beaten him, Kiryu looked around and found a passage downstairs.

It was dark there, lamps without shades, most of them non-working, were hanging from the ceiling, eerily lighting the corridor. There were lots of doors, some of them locked, some leading to an empty rooms, which were more like storages. In the end of the corridor was one door which, Kiryu was sure, would lead him where he wanted to be.

He opened it; on the first glance, it was a storage room as several before it, full of boxes and smelled like mold, but it was bigger, and well lit. Kiryu could hear voices; and slaps. He entered the room, walked past boxes, and in the far end of it he could see about fifteen people surrounding the tied to a pole, beaten up Nishiki.

Kiryu didn't wait for them to turn around; he grabbed nearest, which happened to be quite heavy, box and, before anyone could react, crashed it against somebody's head. The room filled with shouts “Kiryu!”, and there wasn't much time before everyone attacked him. Kiryu had tried his best to fight them off, but he was too tired, and was close to a defeat.

One of his enemies suddenly kicked Kiryu in the stomach, making him bend over, and smashed his head against a knee. Kiryu fell, and could see his opponent wasn't done, as he was raising his foot to hit him once more, but suddenly, someone shrieked and punched the back of his head with something by the sound reminding of a bat.

“Wow, Kiryu-chan! You've found their local base of operations! Way to go!”

Kiryu smiled through the pain. “Nii-san,” he breathed out.

“No time to be lyin' around, we still got those fuckers to beat.”

“We'll see who'll beat who!” shouted one of the goons, and, for that, was hit in his face with a bat. Kiryu smiled wider. Obviously.

He stood up, still clutching his stomach, and Majima, instantly, was here, by his side, and Kiryu felt like all his strength was coming back to him. They attacked, in sync, like that one time in the warehouse that had started it all; Kiryu smirked on the memory. It felt so far away, like an entire different life, yet it was only a couple of months ago. He felt like everything changed, when all had stayed the same — all but one thing.

Kiryu never thought it would mean so much. That Majima would mean so much to him. He was something to him, always, but Kiryu never would have thought it someday would be… that big. That fast.

“Hey, Kiryu-chan!” Majima called, throwing his bat to the floor, and choked one guy from behind. When Majima let go of him, he fell, and Kiryu stomped on his face with his foot. “Teamwork!” Majima exclaimed, already smacking somebody else.

They were so good together.

Kiryu could only feel how his heart ached, not the physical pain or exhaustion. He tried not to think about it, not right now.

But it was hard; Majima was always there, fighting alongside him, helping him out every time it was too close for Kiryu, still not in the best shape, to get hit, stopping almost every fist that came his way. That wasn't the first time they fought together, but, considering all what had happened between them, Kiryu couldn't help but feel that meant something more than could seem at first.

But, now is not the time.

Majima fought fiercely, his every move was calculated, fascinating, and Kiryu had to make himself not look. There was no usual excitement on his face; just concentration, and fury. Like that fight was something personal. Had the Omi done something? Or was it… because of him?

Eventually, everyone but him and Majima was down, and Kiryu, after making sure no one would attack him anymore, hurried up to check on Nishiki. He was unconscious, but as fine as he could be. He started to untie him; Majima stayed near, awkwardly shuffling, and started talking fussily, like if Kiryu asked him, “That — too take over Kamurocho — was an initiative of one clan within Omi, though they thought they were doin' everyone else a favour. Sera-han is preparin' for negotiations, so it's good that you've found where those rats were hidin' this whole time — that will make everythin' easier.”

Frankly, Kiryu didn't give a damn about all that Omi business. But they hurt Nishiki, so he was glad he, one way or another, helped banish them from Kamurocho, whatever reason they were here for.

“How did you find me?” Kiryu asked, not sparing Majima a look, too busy. He, obviously, tried to change the subject; he really didn't want to dive deep into that Omi shit. Politics wasn't his stage.

“Um… this and that,” Majima mumbled, and didn't say anything more.

“Okay, I won't pry. You saved me, after all.” Kiryu finished with the ropes, which were no more tying Nishiki, and checked on him: he still hadn't regained consciousness, as it seemed. Kiryu got up, and looked at Majima. Full of gratitude, he bowed his head. “Nii-san. Thank you.”

“Aw, that's all?” Majima sounded cheeky. “Even not gonna kiss me as thanks?”

Not thinking of consequences or that it was maybe just a joke, Kiryu made the two steps separating them, cradled Majima's head carefully, and kissed him, just that simple. It was a small peck on the lips, but Majima, as it seemed, lost himself a little, bewildered.

But not angry or repulsed. Kiryu was glad.

“I should… I should go,” Majima said, his gaze was everywhere but on Kiryu. He was even a bit ablush. “Take care of yer kyodai here.”

“Will do.” Kiryu bowed his head again, and didn't raise it until he couldn't hear Majima's steps.

“Ngh,” someone behind him grunted; Kiryu turned his head, — it was Nishiki, luckily, trying to stand up.

“I got you,” Kiryu helped him, and let him lean on him.

“Let's get out of here,” Nishiki said, wincing.

“Yeah.”

*

That day certainly wasn't short. Kiryu had to take Nishiki home, then tell everything that happened to Dojima, then repeat it in front of the officers one, two, three more times, then go to Nishiki's house to check on him, and he was home only at 1 a.m., pretty tired. He certainly wasn’t ready to see Majima there, just sitting, waiting for him. Kiryu had wanted to say something about him breaking into his apartment, again, but then Majima lifted his gaze, and Kiryu could see the tiredness, the weight in it. He saw that Majima before, but, still, couldn’t comprehend that this was him, too used to him being more… live, more bonkers and wild, it was so weird seeing him being actually human.

All in all, it was hard to see past his Mad Dog act, even if Kiryu really wanted it more than anything. But, maybe tonight he would learn something that would make it easier to see Majima's true self?

Majima stood up and came close to Kiryu, still wearing his stern, gruff expression, stopped just a breath away. Kiryu reached to him, gently placing his hand on Majima's cheek. He sighed and closed his eye, leaning to the touch, covered Kiryu's hand with his. Kiryu's heart was tearing apart. He got close, but not so much — leaving Majima a way out of this if he didn’t want to, — but he never moved an inch.

So Kiryu kissed him.

Majima didn’t react in any way at first, but let Kiryu deepen the kiss, guide him and show his affection for him. Majima wasn’t repelled, as he wasn’t earlier, and that made Kiryu hopeful. It may turn out right. Majima may give him — them — a chance. It was more than Kiryu had asked for.

He never thought they stand a chance, too.

Slow, hasteless kisses soon turned into sensual, and they moved to the bed, not saying a word. They undressed each other, kissing every spot that was opening for them. They were ready, lustful, but still took it slow. It made it different from each other their encounters, where it was another competition, or even fight, to make another come first. Now, they were enjoying themselves and the journey, delaying the conclusion as far as they could.

Majima pulled Kiryu’s boxers — the last piece of clothing he had on himself — and kissed the inner thigh, too close to Kiryu’s crotch, and that made him gasp, feeling his cock harden. Majima moved slowly, leaving wet kisses on Kiryu’s whole thigh, but Kiryu stopped him, grasping his head. “No… no, I want it another way,” he said, feeling the tips of his ears burn, but not turning away from the quizzical look Majima gave him. “I want you… inside me.” Saying it out loud was crushing, and Kiryu almost choked on his words, but the astonishment on Majima’s face, turned into the small, but so genuine it hurt, smile, was worth it.

“Ya know it takes some preparation, yeah?” Majima tried to hide it, but Kiryu could tell he wanted it as much as him. But the concern was nice.

Though, it made Kiryu reconsider his offer.

“Is it bad?” he asked carefully, and Majima chuckled, covering his face charmingly. The sound of his laugh was, for once, pleasant, although Kiryu wasn’t in the situation where he could enjoy it fully, a bit embarrassed.

“Not really, no,” Majima placed another, tender kiss on Kiryu’s thigh, and he turned his gaze to the side. Now he felt his cheeks and his neck burning. It was too much. “Though it would be better if ya prepared beforehand. Ya didn’t?”

Kiryu couldn’t look at him. “N-No.”

Majima kissed him there, on the thigh, again. “It’s okay. Turn around.”

“What?”

“Ya deaf? Turn around.”

Kiryu obeyed, — he wanted to hide his face in a pillow anyway, so it was a good opportunity. He thought, what was he thinking making an offer like that? His mind was a mess, the desire he buried for so long fought with terror of what could happen. He had never had a similar experience with women, because he never thought of that earlier, but now it agitated him. All what he shared with Majima before was nothing. He still could discard that as some kind of delusion. That? That was a definite turning point. There was no coming back from that.

Kiryu closed his eyes, and asked himself: do I want that?

The answer came right away, and was not really a surprise.

Yes.

He lied on his belly, clutching a pillow, feeling Majima put one, two, three fingers in him, stretching him carefully, making him feel something he didn’t feel before. It was strange, unusual, but good. It wasn't what he imagined it would be like. He thought…

Suddenly, Majima pulled his fingers away, leaving Kiryu empty and wanting. But before he could ask what was he doing, Majima lifted his butt up, and Kiryu could feel the tip of his dick by his asshole; Majima didn't leave him time to prepare, but, still, moved slow.

Kiryu, nevertheless, gasped and arched, raising himself on forearms. Too many new sensations overwhelmed him, and Kiryu muffled his groans with the pillow. Majima moved all the way in and stopped, as if sensing Kiryu needed time to adjust himself.

Kiryu’s first thought was that that was weird, to be full in that sense. But knowing that it was Majima he felt everything was right. He wanted this with him, for a long time now, but didn’t admit it even to himself. Being the one on top was great, but this… this was different, and more meaningful for Kiryu, in a way.

Majima kissed his shoulder, and asked, whispered, “Ya ready?” Kiryu shuddered, and that was enough of an answer for Majima. He pulled back, and thrusted, hard, and Kiryu couldn’t help but moan loudly. Majima laughed, as Kiryu hid his face in the pillow and swore to not un-hid it until it all would end.

“Didn’t know yer the noisy one. We really should’ve done that sooner. I didn’t know so much ‘boutcha.” Majima kissed his back, trying to get some reaction from Kiryu, but he didn’t say anything or move at all, trying to hold himself together.

Majima’s next thrusts were more gentle, slow, but Kiryu was losing control anyway. He clutched his pillow as hard as he could, but his body moved without him controlling it; he met Majima halfway, making his breath, too, fitful and moves abrupt and faster. Majima started to whisper something, gasps interrupted his with every thrust, with every move of Kiryu’s body, and knowing Majima was close too made Kiryu lose his mind completely. He moaned and groaned, shamelessly, moving faster, harder, his body and mind were on edge, but all he felt and thought of was only Majima. How he felt, what sounds he made, how he moved — Kiryu right now cared only about Majima.

Whispers became comprehensible enough, but obviously bore less meaning than what was Majima murmuring before; now all he was saying was ‘Kiryu-chan’.

Kiryu never felt, hearing his name as said by Majima, so much tenderness, so much passion as it was, alternating with uneven breathing. Kiryu transferred all his weight to one hand, reaching for Majima’s, holding him by his thighs, with another. He intertwined his fingers with his; Majima thrusted into him, hard, and Kiryu came, unashamedly, without thoughts of loss. Majima came, too, and lied on Kiryu’s back, making him fall on the bed, his one hand too weak to carry them both.

They lied on top of each other, heavily breathing, and still awkwardly, a bit uncomfortably holding hands. Kiryu could live in this tiny short moment of silence and peace for all his life, just feeling Majima with all his body: his torso on his back, his breath on his neck, his dick in him. That was the kind of closeness he had never had with Majima.

If only it wasn’t only physical.

Majima pulled back, and Kiryu instantly felt a bit empty without him inside; Majima lied beside him, finally able to see Kiryu’s face. He had to make an effort not to hide it again, knowing now it was too easy to read it. But Kiryu could see Majima’s face as well; and it wasn’t as full of crusty pain as before. He was at peace, smiling a little, even, looking at him softly, affectionately. That was the happiest Kiryu had seen him.

Kiryu thought: now’s the time. Now or never.

“Can you tell me something?” he asked in the calm of the night.

“What?” Majima frowned, surprised.

Kiryu paused, carefully choosing his words, contemplating what exactly should he ask. He decided to take a leap, and asked, staring at Majima, ready to catch any change of his expression, “You loved Makimura-san, aren’t you?”

Majima’s frown deepened, but he also was full of sadness, saying everything with his face. “Why’d ya ask me this?”

“Nishiki said you were different back then when you first met each other. I want to know what happened, and how different.”

“Doesn’t matter who I was then. That me is dead.” Majima looked at him, a bit irate, but Kiryu kept pushing.

“No, not really. You helped that old guy, remember? That one time when you intervened with my and Nishiki’s business, before… everything. A mad dog would destroy everything there, not minding anyone’s feelings. You? You decreased the damage to a minimum, and actually helped that guy. You also went to hell and back for the girl you just met, who needed your help more than anything. That all act... it isn’t who you are. So, tell me. Who are you?”

The look Majima gave him was pained. “The Mad Dog.”

“No.” Kiryu placed his hand on Majima’s cheek and fondly caressed it with his thumb. “No, you’re not.”

Majima looked at Kiryu sternly. “Ya wanna know what happened to me? Alright, I'll tell ya. I betrayed my kyodai. I was in the hole for a year. Another year spent in a city I couldn't leave. Was ordered a hit, and when I thought I was making a path for myself, learnt I was just doin' what was expected of me. Finally, had to look into the eyes of the one I loved and see no recognition. That's all. Yer happy now?” He paused, as if actually waiting for a reply, but Kiryu knew he didn't. “Doesn’t matter what I felt and did for Makoto, or anyone, anytime. This's me now. No turnin' back.”

The moonlight breaking through curtains made his eye reflect light ethereally. It was hard even to breathe, knowing it could break the moment they shared; the honesty killed Kiryu. He heard rumours about the famous, among the yakuza, Mad Dog, but they certainly didn’t paint him in a good light. They said he was ferocious, brutal, remorseless, not caring for anyone, capable of doing anything. And, maybe, he was all those things; but not only them. Hearing that short summary of his life, Kiryu sensed that Majima certainly wasn’t uncaring; it proved, again, that he was just as human as anyone, though he really tried to seem not. Successfully.

Kiryu knew him now, felt all the pain he must have gone through. Majima didn’t really need to go into specifics for Kiryu to see all that. He suffered, — Kiryu could see that in his sad, sad eye. He tried to hide the vulnerability, the love he had, — it was clear too, even now he tried to be angry, but, Kiryu could tell, he was just sorrowful. Under the shining moon, it all became clear.

Kiryu, finally, saw what he had a glimpse of earlier. Now, he knew him and all the answers to all the questions about him he ever had. Majima wasn’t the monster from rumours, it just was easier to appear it for him. Inside, he was different, alive.

And Kiryu was grateful that Majima put his guard down in his presence enough for him to see all that. For Majima, it certainly was hard to be vulnerable. It meant a lot.

He may never say that, but Kiryu knew now that Majima valued him, a lot. It made his heart flutter. He moved closer and kissed him tenderly, conveying ‘I love you’ without words. Majima let out a sigh; Kiryu pulled away just to see mild shock, almost invisible disbelief in his eye.

“I just said,” Majima furrowed brows, “I won't be whoever ya want me to be, whoever ya fell for. Never.”

“I fell for you.”

“Bullshit,” Majima spat out and pushed Kiryu away. “I’ll… I’ll go. I think it was a mistake to come check on ya.” He got up, and started dressing; Kiryu caught him by his hand, forcing Majima to look at him.

“You know it wasn’t.”

Majima averted his gaze, and said nothing.

*

In following weeks all they did together was fight, and not even exchanged a single word between them, but, nevertheless, Kiryu was hopeful. He knew Majima just needed some more time. It was okay. He could wait as long as it would take. Especially, seeing that look in Majima's eye, when they were fighting: hungry, longing. Majima needed Kiryu as much as and exactly in the way Kiryu needed Majima.

Kiryu was, again, at Serena with Nishiki, unwinding after a hard work day, but thoughts of Majima didn’t leave him even in a presence of his kyodai and a sea of liquor. It didn’t surprise Kiryu; his feelings for him were that strong, he realised that. But, unfortunately, it could be seen by outsiders as well.

“Something's bothering you.” Nishiki noticed, of course. “Is it Majima?”

Kiryu almost choked. Right on the money. He should remember not to hide something from Nishiki; it wouldn’t be successful. “No, it's... the girl. My girl,” Kiryu answered hesitantly. He was getting tired of lying about that rather important part of his life, but would Nishiki understand that? Wouldn’t he be… disgusted?

Nishiki’s expression didn’t change; he looked at Kiryu, slightly squinting eyes, like he could see right through him. “So, it's Majima.”

Now Kiryu definitely choked on his drink, and needed a moment to pull himself together, while Nishiki was just sitting there with crossed arms and was waiting for his reply. Finally, Kiryu managed to cough, “How did you…”

“I kinda... saw you two kissing, so... yeah.” Nishiki looked away, kind of embarrassed for some reason, and didn’t say another word.

“Are you okay with that?” Kiryu asked carefully, knowing it would be stupid to deny it right now.

“Yeah, well… You are a big boy, you know what you’re getting yourself into, I guess.”

Kiryu wanted to say ‘No, I really don’t’, but decided not to.

“But something’s wrong with you two, yeah?” Nishiki had really tried to be sympathetic while being clearly confused and lost about how this could have happened, and Kiryu appreciated that.

“Kinda,” Kiryu nodded.

“He clearly, um, cares about you too, so why don’t you talk with him about that?” Nishiki suggested.

“It isn't that easy…” Kiryu started, but Nishiki interrupted immediately.

“Yes it is. Now go. I don't want to see you anymore before you deal with it. You moping is not that fun to be around.”

Kiryu chuckled, “Yeah, okay. Thanks, bro.”

“No problem. And… good luck, I guess.” Nishiki smiled at Kiryu, following him with his gaze to the exit.

Stepping outside in a cold night air, Kiryu headed straight to Majima, hoping he would be home. The night was still young, so he could be doing all sorts of things in this city. But Kiryu decided to check there first.

He knocked awkwardly, praying he remembered correctly where Majima's apartment was; he was there just that one time, and that was a bit too long ago to be completely sure. But no, he was right, — Majima opened the door, and stared at him, not surprised, but tired. “What are ya doin' here? Ya missed me, or somethin'?”

Kiryu nodded. “I need to tell you something. I…”

“Wait, wait, wait, would ya step inside for starters?” Majima moved away from the entrance and invited him in. Kiryu blinked; he didn't think Majima would do that. He thought he didn't want to see him, at all, for whatever reason. It's just, he never showed up. So he must not want to see him? Kiryu was lost.

Majima led him to a small kitchen, and put a kettle on a stove. Kiryu was silent, until Majima turned to him, leaning on a kitchen table with his hip, and looked at him expectantly.

Kiryu just now noticed he wasn't wearing an eyepatch. He had thought he'd look vulnerable, but no; he just looked sincere. Intimate. Kiryu felt confident for a one hundred percent, and more like blurted out than said, “You may oppose this, but I have feelings for you, Majima-san. I won't apologize for that.”

Majima looked at him for a whole minute with an unreadable look, but Kiryu didn't feel nervous in the slightest. Silence was heavy, but not unbearable; it was interrupted not with a voice, but a sound of a water boiling in the kettle. Majima turned to the stove, and turned it off; when he looked at Kiryu again, he could see Majima was fighting a smile.

Majima came near him, trying to appear angry and menacing, but actually was unsure about something, and crossed his hands on his chest. "It's okay. I...” Majima shut his mouth mid-sentence; he looked gruff. “I... too.” He kept quiet for a bit, staring at Kiryu like he saw him for a first time, with his eye wide-open. Kiryu waited, patiently, knowing Majima wasn't done. “Tsk.” Majima shook his head, little smirk broke the frown on his face. “Yer insufferable, Kiryu-chan, ya knew that? Standin' there, listenin', like there's nothin' better to do.”

“There isn't.”

“Bullshit,” Majima answered, but without an edge, like the last time. “Yer so full of bullshit, honestly, Kiryu-chan, it's just…”

Kiryu didn't want to hear all what Majima was about to say, and kissed him, pulling him closer with hands around his neck. He could feel a pulse jumping up and grinned a wide smile he weared rarely, felt his heart beating in unison with Majima's, loudly and proudly in love.

He pulled back just to see Majima was trying not to smile as widely too. “Ya didn't let me finish!”

“Yes,” Kiryu nodded.

“Yer awful, Kiryu-chan.”

“Maybe.”

“Ugh!”

Kiryu kissed him, again, apologetically, and Majima rolled his eye, laughing. “Soft Kiryu-chan, so soft!” Kiryu kissed him, again and again, making up for years of misery and pain, praying Majima wouldn't need to hide anymore; not from him, at least. Kiryu knew Majima was a mad dog; but it wasn't all there was to him. Kiryu now saw him, for who he really was. And it was everything he ever wanted; to hold Majima like that, knowing he was trusted and loved. To know him.

Kiryu kissed him and kissed, sweetly, gently, until the moon hid, making way for the sun.