Set during volume 13 of the manga; mild spoilers through volume 14.
The following story contains fairly explicit, consensual-but-angry sexual content. Given the state of Haru and Rin's relationship at this point in the series, there's nothing warm and fluffy about this. Reader discretion is advised: if you're underage in your country, please consider yourself notified.
"he don't show much these days
it gets so fucking cold"
--Tori Amos, "Northern Lad" (from the choirgirl hotel)
It was the cold, she will think later. The unseasonable, aching cold that pierces her bones, too deep for her to believe the forecast's promise of milder weather before winter strikes. Her breath hangs ghost-like in the air; she rubs at her arms as she walks, almost wishing she hadn't skipped school, or that she could go back home and burrow under the blankets in her room.
She turns a corner and finds Haru leaning against a wall, looking the other way as he sips a steaming drink. It's been two months since she's seen him except in passing, since he took her in his arms outside Shigure's house, since he... She watches his lips on the edge of the can, the movement of his throat as he swallows, and desire rips through her like sunlight through curtains. Hunger and heat, blood stirring and warming her like honeyed tea.
He senses her presence a moment before she steps up behind him, slipping her hands into the front pockets of his pants. His hips push into her palms, hard and smooth; she shapes her hands around them and presses herself against his back. "Rin," he says, sounding only mildly surprised. "Want something?"
His hands close on her wrists, pulling her hands back into the cool air as he turns to face her. Her knees go weak at the look on his face: intense, aware, something barely controlled surging behind his eyes. Not Black, but too close to be able to sit through class. "What?" he asks, in the soft voice of a predator hiding its claws.
"I'm cold." The words hang between them, made visible by the fog of her breath; Haru silently offers her the coffee he's been drinking, and their fingers brush as she takes it, sending a jolt between them. It's still hot and sweet over its bitter aftertaste, a match for the ache between her thighs. She finds herself swallowing more of it than she'd meant to, her mouth where his had been, his eyes on her. "Can we go somewhere?" Her voice is so low she hardly recognizes it, snagging on her own boldness; some long-denied corner of her brain or soul has taken control, reveling as much in the sensation of wanting something, anything, as in the idea of the craving's satisfaction.
Haru nods slowly. "Want another drink? Or something?" Rhetorical questions to maintain the illusion of discussion; his breathing is shallow, his eyes half-glazed. Their mouths are negotiating, but his body knows what's going to happen as well as hers does. There's been no doubt since she first touched him. Without replying, Rin glances pointedly away. Their part of town is discreet, but even it has its places where lovers can be unseen. Haru checks his wallet. "I have some cash, but not enough--"
"I've got some too." Love hotels aren't cheap, but the pocket money handed out to Jyuunishi is plentiful. "It should be enough." She takes the money he slips into her hand without counting it, starts walking without looking at him again. He falls into step beside her, pointedly out of reach; it's an old act that comes back easily, this feigned disinterest that's as much a requirement as money for renting a room in a nondescript building on a residential side street.
Despite, or because of, its expense, there's no elaborate array of options once they slip inside. Most of the rooms are similar: scrupulously clean, well-stocked, and luxuriously comfortable, without the flash or themed decor of its more flashy kin. Their first time, they'd been almost taken aback by its ordinariness until Haru had discovered what kind of programming was freely available on the thirty unfamiliar channels.
Anonymity at its finest: money changes hands without anyone looking at their faces, a key card drops out of a slot, and Rin tells herself it's too late to back out now even if she wants to. She stands close beside him while he opens the door, leaning forward to rest her cheek on his shoulder blade. His fingers fumble on the doorknob when her hands slide up under his shirt, leeching warmth from his sides, but it's still only a few moments--she measures the time in the heartbeats thudding in her ears--before they're inside.
"I'm guessing you don't want to talk?" he asks after they've locked the door, and she shakes her head. "Fine." A wealth of emotion smolders beneath the single word, lust and anger intimately entwined, but it's hurt that she sees him fighting back when he glances away and lets his coat slide off his shoulders. Fabric hits the floor with a soft thump, and she examines his body rather than his eyes, savoring the once-familiar thrill of seeing him hard with desire even without her touch. He sees her looking and his face shutters, retreating into the safety of simple physical want. "Take your underwear off." He barely whispers it, testing, and she nods, giving him the first moment of control. Her boots come off, taking a good two inches of height away with them, followed by the blood red fishnets that do nothing whatsoever to block the cold. The floor is lushly carpeted, a small bliss of its own to feet too often confined in heels; she curls her toes into it and keeps watching Haru while she reaches under her skirt. In response to her gaze, he slowly undoes his belt and unzips, giving her a better look. "That's what you want?"
Rin shrugs and steps closer, bending to graze her tongue across his exposed skin. The edge of his shirt brushes one cheek, while his cock warms the other side of her face. A tiny motion brings her close enough to tease, using her lips to slide velvet-soft skin across the head, licking lightly at the salt and hardness underneath. Haru doesn't touch her at all while she tastes him, filling her mouth a little more with each movement of her head, until she has to relax her throat to take him further. He grabs her shoulders when she kneels down in front of him, close enough to feel the quiver of need in his muscles; as he pulls out of her mouth she runs her tongue greedily along the underside of his cock. "You don't like it?" she asks, letting herself go just a bit limp in his grip.
"Don't even try to tell me you came here to suck me off." His fingers dig deeper with each word, hard enough that she feels the edge of each nail through her shirt. She wipes the back of her hand across her lips and stares up at him, glancing back and forth between his eyes and his cock. "Been too long since you got fucked?"
"Yes." She watches his reaction closely, the involuntary shivers that ripple under his skin. He's on edge in a way she recognizes and craves, walking a line it would be frighteningly easy to push him off too soon. She lightens her voice, keenly aware that he's reading her, too. "There's a word for this, right? For after you break up and get over each other?"
"I'm not over you."
It's a gamble, like everything is when he's so close to letting go of the inhibitions that keep him balanced. "I'm not making you stay," she replies, sitting back on her heels, raking her gaze over him like nails. "But I think you want to do what I want you to." She wraps her fingers around his wrists, gripping him as tightly as he's holding her. His pulse skips under her thumbs, and when she cranes her neck to reach his hand with her lips he lets go of her shoulder so she can run her tongue over the backs of his knuckles. Drawing two of his fingers into her mouth frees up her hands; she unlaces the front of her shirt, exposing the skimpy bra that barely covers her breasts. "I'll make it easy for you."
Things blur sweetly after he gasps at the sight, as if he hasn't seen and caressed them countless times. She uses his hips to pull herself up on her knees, pressing her cheek against the hard muscles of his belly, her breasts against his thighs, his cock warm and alive in her hand. "It's not your fault, okay?" He trembles at the words, or at the way her lips move across his skin. She wants to say No one's getting hurt, but the lie won't come, not when she can feel the pain already coiling in her bones along with her desire, and hear it in every breath Haru sucks in.
And she feels him let go, his hands closing on her arms again and pinning her against his legs. She trails her mouth across his hip, no technique, only a hint of teeth at his navel before taking just the head of his cock back between her lips, deliberately tantalizing.
This time, when he pulls back, it's to drag her up against him. One arm hooks behind her head, his other hand on the back of her thigh; he holds her in place, fingertips rubbing under her skirt while she bites lightly at the tendons in his neck. The embrace is crushing and comforting, like his lips when he bends to kiss her. He keeps his eyes open, watching her while he ravishes her mouth. Rin lets herself moan and rub against him, half blind with desire. "Please...?" she whispers, running her palms along his sides and under his shirt.
The plea is what undoes him, more than her touch. She barely hears his last question--"Are you wet?"--and takes another moment to caress his hip before lifting her head and nodding.
There are condoms and other such basic things neatly laid out on the bedside table, she notices in passing as he half-lifts her to the bed; she sighs with pleasure when he pushes her down on it. A faint ripping sound while he opens a packet, and she stirs hungrily, waiting, shivering at the cold air between her legs.
And then he fucks her, without another word. Strong hands on her hips, holding her in place while he pushes into her, both of them still mostly dressed. It's awkward at first, after so long apart; there are no words in the small sounds that escape her with each deepening thrust, her body straining around him. He slips a hand under her skirt, thumb working steadily at her clit, fingertips digging into soft skin every time his hips jerk forward. She barely breathes through the ecstasy of it, soaking up the heat pouring off his body. It seeps through their clothes when he lies down on her: warm lips on her breasts, on her sternum, kisses moving up her neck until his tongue is in her mouth.
He holds still while she comes, only his fingers moving while she thrashes and pushes back against him, too far gone to feel embarrassed by her lack of control. Haru gasps and swears in her ear as she moves, her name half-prayer, half-curse, chanted over and over. The sound makes her shiver; it doesn't quite prepare her for the force of his next sudden thrust into her. She whimpers and bites her lip, arching up to give him complete freedom with her body.
"I don't believe you," he mutters, still rubbing his fingers against her with each movement. "I don't believe this is all you want."
It catches her off guard; the hesitation is a moment too long before she lifts her head to kiss the underside of his jaw. Her appreciative moan as she clenches her muscles around his cock, moving her hips to better feel it, is unfeigned. "Don't underestimate what nature gave you." Sweat beads on his exposed skin; her own clothes are saturated with it, sticking to her body.
He pushes her back against the bed, holding her head still so she can't look away from the anger simmering in his eyes. "Don't fucking lie to me when I'm inside you."
The hoarse fervor in his voice sends a tingling rush through her limbs and spine, more intense than the fading aftershocks from her orgasm. Haru lets go of her chin, his fingers catching at a loose wave of her hair, the sheets underneath, channeling his response into things that can't recoil from the force of his grip. "It's not like there aren't plenty of other guys who'd cut their arms off to be doing this to you," he points out.
I'd rather die. She bites it back but makes no effort to hide the revulsion that twists her mouth. "Our bodies know each other," she says instead, running a fingertip from his bottom lip to the hollow between his collarbones. A faint sound of pleasure vibrates in his throat. "You know how not to hurt me." It's incongruous, with his hands almost in fists and bruises threatening to form on her shoulders, but in the beginning--before she learned how deep desire could run--it was all she asked of him. "Your turn."
Demand or invitation, he responds to the words without further protest, moving in a way that makes her gasp and clutch at him. The raw strength coiling under his skin is intoxicating, made sweeter by his willingness to show it to her.
"Does it hurt?" He hesitates, kissing her mouth shakily when her nails dig into his sides.
"No," she whispers, lying again, unable to bear the idea of him stopping. It hurts a little with almost every thrust now, negligible pain that tells her she's not dreaming. She lets her eyes flutter open and closed with the rhythm of his hips, listening only to the silent message his body conveys to hers: You'll feel this tomorrow, and the day after. No pretending this didn't happen. "No," she repeats, clinging to him to keep him from misinterpreting and pulling away.
It goes on for a long time, longer than she would have imagined he could hold off under the circumstances, until his arms and jaw are trembling with the nearness of his orgasm, so close she can imagine it wracking him. Rin runs her fingers up over his back, anticipating the way his spine stiffens when he climaxes. Tension builds in his muscles while she caresses him, but he only stares down at her, wild-eyed, sides heaving with each breath. She brings a hand to his face, rubbing at the sheen of sweat on his cheek before pulling him tight against her. "Haru." She repeats his name as he kisses her throat, almost bruising in his hunger, and his rigid control finally snaps with a sound like a sob.
He kisses her again as soon as his movement inside her begins to slow, and continues after they're both lying still; for several minutes neither of them stirs otherwise, until he has to reach down to hold the condom in place while his cock slides out of her. She closes her eyes while he gets up. There is an almost domestic feel to the sounds of him cleaning up, something to focus on other than the cold where his body was, or the urge to curl up around herself.
Feigning sleep has started to seem like a good idea by the time he returns and sits beside her on the bed, touching her hip tentatively. She can almost imagine what he sees, after so long seeing herself only through his eyes, his desire catalyzing awareness of her own beauty in a way that mirrors and strangers' glances never could. Fingertips graze her breasts, soft on bare skin, harder where her bra still covers her. She doesn't resist the touch, only opens her eyes and stares at the ceiling while he unfastens her skirt; she lifts her hips to help him take it off entirely, leaving her naked from the waist down. "Gorgeous," he murmurs as he spreads her legs with one hand, kneeling beside the bed. His tongue is gentle on her thighs, sending slow waves of pleasure through her, renewed wetness to replace what he licks off her skin.
His kisses have the same intense fervor he lavished on her mouth two months earlier, tongue sliding into her while he nuzzles her clit, making her thighs clench against his shoulders. Every inch of her is licked and kissed, while she imagines his cock hardening again, matching the growing arousal that shows in the way his mouth moves.
"Have you learned to make yourself come?" he asks, when she is so close that her eyes refuse to stay open, and her breathing is too ragged to control. "Do you touch yourself?" She almost sobs when he pulls his mouth away enough to shape the words, and blushes at the sounds that escape her when he sucks lightly at her flesh. "Or is this the only way you know...?" And she is blind with ecstasy, Haru's voice pulsing through her while she cries out, biting down on her wrist to stifle her voice.
She finds herself sitting up, half-curled around his head, the fingers of one hand buried in his hair. When she lets him go, he looks up at her slowly, eyes animal-bright in the dim light. His face is unabashedly wet from her body; he licks his lips in a way that distracts her from his palm pressing between her thighs. Bitterness taints the satisfaction in his eyes. "Is that all you want?" He catches her hand and pulls it to his mouth, kissing the angry pink marks on her wrist. "Feels to me like it's been a long time since you felt good."
"Haru--" He moves with a speed that it's easy to forget he possesses, one hand covering her mouth while his fingers push up into her.
"Either tell me you don't want it or don't say anything." The demand is punctuated with kisses across her breasts and hips, carefully-placed reminders of the hours and nights he's spent learning to coax pleasure from a body that has otherwise offered her nothing but pain.
She says nothing for a long time.
When his mouth finally leaves her skin, she tries to move into a position that feels less exposed, shivering without his warmth. Her body refuses to obey, every muscle trembling and protesting when she calls on it. "Haru," she whispers, watching him through an uncomprehending stupor while he takes another condom from the bedside table and puts it on. "I can't move."
He strokes her hair as he covers her body with his, caressing her cheek with fingers saturated with her scent. "You don't need to." His eyes roll back when he penetrates her, flickers of white under his lashes.
Strength and awareness return slowly, enough for her to slide her arms around him while he kisses her mouth with a hunger she's too sated and insensible to match. He's fully naked, although she can't remember seeing him shed the rest of his clothes; she basks in the heat of his skin, closer to happiness than she's been for months. The temptation to stay as she is, to just whisper any of the words spinning in her head--I'm sorry, I love you, let me come home--sends tiny shudders through her with each movement of her hips, with each soft brush of his lips against her ear, her face, her hair.
She smiles in spite of herself when he begins to move with real urgency, making no attempt at holding back this time. And suddenly the thin layer of latex between them is intolerable.
"Stop, wait--" The words spill out before she finishes thinking them, and Haru obeys, somehow, teeth baring with the effort while she slips her hand down to where their bodies are joined. He makes a sound that might be her name, splintered by a need that leaves a corner of her mind frozen with shock that he doesn't simply shove her back down to finish what they've started. "Take it off," she says, pushing against him. The moment of confusion in his gaze is one moment too long. "Take it off, I want to feel you--" She whimpers when he pulls out of her, both of them peeling the condom off. "I want to feel you," she repeats, unaccountably blushing.
His fingers gouge into the bed while she rubs her hand quickly between her legs and pulls him down on her, wrapping her fingers around his erection. Her skin is just slick enough to let him move, thrusting between her palm and her belly. It takes only a few violent motions before he climaxes--soft pulses along the underside of his cock, against her pubic bone, and wet heat pooling in her hand. The strangled sound he makes as he collapses onto her sends a flash of sympathy through her, remembering her own recent boneless pleasure.
When he kisses her again, it's tentative--no more than a soft touch of his lips against hers, until she slides her free hand behind his head. The kiss deepens, unbroken, while he eases his weight off her, keeping her close. "Don't," he murmurs when she leans back enough to speak. "Please."
There would be no enduring it if he voiced the hurt that shadows his eyes when his anger quiets, but the soft request is so reasonable, so easy to satisfy, that she says nothing. The familiar warmth of his arms is comforting, filling a need she has barely let herself acknowledge in recent months, other than in the first moments after waking alone from nightmares. And letting him kiss her and letting herself respond in kind are simple things--simpler than giving herself room to say things she shouldn't, or making herself hurt him.
By the time he gets up again, easing out of her embrace with practiced care, she is too close to sleep to even open her eyes in protest; when he returns she is still too comfortable to do more than whisper his name while he uses a dampened washcloth on her skin. "Better?" he asks, gathering her back against him, and she thinks she nods in reply, but can't be sure.
She doesn't know what wakes her from the most restful sleep she's had in months--the room is too thoroughly soundproof for it to be an outside noise, and Haru is so quietly curled around her that she barely hears him breathing. He stirs groggily when she jerks into instant consciousness, her heart pounding with the terrified realization of where she is.
"We have to go," she says, shaking him as she untangles herself from his arms. Instinct has him off the bed almost at once; he doesn't share--will never share, she promises herself--her all-consuming fear, but he knows as well as she does that unexpectedly waking together in an unfamiliar bed means "move now, think later".
Unlike her, he takes the time to find a clock. "It's only 4:30. We're okay."
"I have to go," she repeats, but she slows her frantic efforts at pulling herself together. "I'm sorry."
He's still ready to leave before she is, leaning against the wall beside the door while she combs her hair out--a slow process at best, made worse by the way her fingers insist on fumbling. She's grateful that it feels passably clean, a welcome side effect of their habit of spreading it above her head when she lies under him. "Just as well you didn't get me to be on top," she says unthinkingly, fidgeting in the silence.
"Figured you'd be less likely to bolt the way we did it," he replies, and if she'd thought his anger had dissipated, the edge to the words disillusions her. "And--I'm not crazy enough to think this means you'll talk to me later, so... what's going on with you?" Before she can begin to think of how to answer, he continues, "You always used to be so scared of getting pregnant, before--"
"That's what condoms're for."
"Uh huh, and that totally explains why you got me to take one off when I was so close to coming I couldn't see straight. There's no way you knew for sure I'd do what you wanted, so what the hell were you thinking?" He grimaces at her stony silence. "You can keep your secrets all you want, and act like you hate me, but if you take me to bed there're some things I need to know."
She'd stopped blushing over any discussion of her body months before they broke up, but the ceiling is still easier to look at than his face. "My cycles haven't come back since I was in the hospital."
"Since--but that was three months ago--"
One last jerk of the comb through a stubborn tangle, and she stands up to slip her fishnets on. "Well, I'm obviously not pregnant, so it's not a problem."
"Don't ask me to do this again," he says, staring straight ahead at the wall while she sits back down to zip her boots. Leaning forward sends loose strands of hair tumbling around her face; she watches him through it while making unnecessary adjustments to the decorative laces.
"I won't." She doesn't have the heart to sharpen the words against him, and he continues as if she hasn't spoken.
"I can't say no to you, and I can't do this." He looks at her slowly, his face raw in its stillness. Trapped between the need to escape and the longing to hold him, she only sits and listens, her heart pounding too quickly for the weight bearing down on it. Haru comes and stands beside her, close enough to touch. Neither of them reaches out. "Was it worth it?"
"Yes." The reply comes easily while she hugs herself and shivers, unsure whether she's lying.
His next words are almost too soft to make out. "I miss you." By the time she masters her face enough to look at him, he's turned away and gathered up his coat. "Wear this, okay?" His hand unexpectedly closes on her wrist, pulling her to her feet; for one dizzy moment she loses her balance and leans into him as instinctively as turning towards the sun. He wraps the coat around her shoulders and sighs, holding her close. "You're all bones--no wonder you're cold all the time."
"You don't have to take care of me," she mutters, an old complaint laced through with more fondness than she'd intended. He lets go when she steps back, says nothing while she pushes her arms into the sleeves. "You'll just freeze."
He kisses her forehead in reply, too quickly for her to protest. And he's gone, pressing the key card into her hand, leaving her with a tangible echo of his warmth.
Fruits Basket is the creation of Takaya Natsuki, and is licensed in North America by FUNimation (anime) and Tokyopop (manga). Used without permission or the intention of making a profit. Please support the original work!
"Wordless Love Songs Tell No Lies" © 2006 by .
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