title: All That You Can't Leave Behind
fandom: Fushigi Yuugi
characters/pairings: reincarnation: Nuriko/Hotohori, Nuriko/Nakago, Miaka/Tamahome, one-sided Tasuki/Kouji, Tasuki/Chichiri, Chiriko/Kourin, Mitsukake, one-sided Tomo/Nakago, Yui, Amiboshi/Suboshi, Nakago/Soi, Yui/Tetsuya, Keisuke
rating: Teen/Mature
warnings: mentioned underaged sex, mentioned rape of an underaged boy, drinking, swearing, sex, angst, incestual implication, some bloodshed, crossdressing, and a happy ending
summary: The seishi have been reincarnated, and are coming together... and living in the same house.
notes: see notes


The hair was perfectly coiffed, piled on top of the head, and tumbling down the left shoulder in a cascade of curls. The make up was flawless, emphasizing the dramatic eyes and pouty lips without giving the impression that the features were painted. Long, silvery-white gloves gathered in folds over the delicate arms. The dress was a marvel. It sparkled, the sheer white fabric catching the light as the thin frame turned and twisted to offer better views. It had spaghetti straps, and was backless, the smooth, pale skin glowing next to the shimmering fabric. In the front, there was a gathering of fabric in a slope, forming the line that enticed the eye to the cleavage, and the sides dipped to meet just over the pert little bum. The skirt was slit up both sides, revealing slim legs encased in silk stockings that ended mid-thigh, and were held up with thin straps of a garter. The small feet were held in slippers, with a toe box and straps to hold the shoe to the foot, and a modest heel.

Ryuen eyed his reflection critically, before turning to the other two people in the room. Striking a pose, he asked, "How do I look?"

Miaka's eyes were teary. "Oh, Ryuen! It's not fair!!"

"What's wrong?" The fey boy turned to look in the mirror again. Was his hair falling out? Was his make up smudged? Was the stuffing that made up his breasts uneven?

"I'll never be as sexy in a dress as you are! And I'm a real girl!" Miaka wailed, her watery eyes shimmering.

Ryuen just laughed. "Oh, Miaka-silly, that's always been true! Ok, Taka, give it to me straight. How do I look?" Ryuen batted his eyelashes for effect.

Taka stared. "I like girls. Not boys. Girls. You're a boy. I like girls. Girls like Miaka." He threw his arm over his girlfriend's shoulders, pulling her close to him. "Yup, I like girls."

Miaka and Ryuen rolled their eyes in unison. "Ooooh-kay. Well, I guess I'll take that as a compliment!" Ryuen kissed Taka's cheek, making him turn bright red and start stammering. "Let's get going, then! You guys go downstairs so I can make my big entrance!"

Miaka and Taka turned to go to the door. "Isn't this a bit strange, Ryuen? What will Saihitei think?"

Ryuen winked at the girl with a teasing eye. "Oh, Miaka-baby, I'm afraid that what Saihitei will think is not suitable for children like you. Now be a good girl and go downstairs. My audience awaits!"

Miaka was more than a little afraid of Ryuen's almost manic smile.

Saihitei adjusted his jacket and shirt carefully. He was uncomfortable. Ryuen's family was over on the other side of the room, chatting and joking amiably with Do-kun and Myojuan. He was still a little uncomfortable without Ryuen around to protect him from them, so he stayed where it wasn't obvious he was trying to avoid them, but far enough away to prevent any accidental conversation.

Unfortunately, that left him talking to Ayuru and Kaen.

Granted, the twins were there too, but Shun was too busy draping himself all over his new boyfriend, and 'Toku was trying to get his brother and the boyfriend to talk to him, so they weren't much help.

Why did Ryuen have to have a half-birthday party anyway? Saihitei knew that they used to celebrate Ryuen's half-birthday when they were kids, but wasn't he too old for this now? Besides, they were moving in the morning. They were almost all packed, but Ryuen kept putting this off and that off, and they still had a lot of work to do. Of course, Ryuen was right when he said that they were in no rush, and the house would still be there for weeks... Their rooms would not have to be ready for the new occupants until the next semester began. And why wouldn't Ryuen tell him anything about the party? Saihitei definitely had the feeling that there were some pertinent details being left out. How come he couldn't see what Ryuen was wearing? Where had his love been all day? Why did Ryuen have to pick out his wardrobe?

Why did he have the feeling that Ayuru not only knew exactly what was going on, but was laughing at him?

At least Kaen was there, thank the gods. Saihitei found the smirking blonde much more palatable when his girlfriend was present. Kaen was sufficiently less offensive than her boyfriend that Saihitei didn't mind. So much.

"So, are you ready for tonight's... entertainments?" Ayuru smirked, more obviously laughing at Saihitei.

Kaen gave him a disapproving look, but Ayuru wasn't looking at her at all, so he didn't notice.

Saihitei shrugged. "Ryuen wouldn't tell me anything specific." He tried to look nonchalant, but Ayuru was making that awfully hard.

"Well," Ayuru was doing a poor job of refraining from laughing, "you may want to put your glass down then, lest you spill."

Saihitei offered Ayuru a scathing look, which only seemed to make the blonde laugh harder.

Finally, Miaka and Taka skipped down the stairs, grabbing Kourin immediately. Taka looked pale and a little green at the edges.

After a moment of furious whispering, a giggling Kourin went to the stairs, while Taka hit the lights, leaving only the strands of party lights on, as well as the light over the stairs.

"Ladies and gentlemen, and Ayuru! It is my pleasure, once again, to introduce you to tonight's guest of honor! Many of you have never experienced a half-birthday party like this before. Well, you are in luck. It is my great privilege to introduce you to the magnificent... Divine Tragedy!!!" Kourin made a big flourish, and stepped out of the light by the stairs.

First, only a foot and some leg were visible. Slowly, and with deliberate, teasing sexiness, Ryuen made his appearance.

Saihitei felt the glass slip out of his fingers, but he didn't see Ayuru catch it deftly. His eyes could only see Ryuen.

He stood for a moment in the light, turning and posing so that the dress sparkled and the audience was dazzled. Smiling coyly, the fey young man made kissing motions to several people. Finally, he made his way all the way into the room, and Taka hit the mirror ball that Ryuen had insisted they put up for the party. In the center of the circle of swirling lights, Ryuen stepped up to stand on the coffee table, the center of everyone's attention.

"Thank you, thank you very much..." His voice was sultry, his shoulders rolling, his eyelashes batting, his lips pouting. "Thank you so very much for joining me for this very special occasion. As many of you know, my half-birthday is a very special time where I get to let out. The Inner Me." Catcalls and whistles surrounded the blushing and flirting boy in the dress. "Now, this has been. A very strange year. Hasn't it? Yes, it's been a very strange, wonderful, amazing year."

Saihitei got a hold of his senses long enough to pull himself together. Then he got another good look at Ryuen, and nearly fell over. Ryuen turned so that his bare, pale back faced Saihitei.

Ayuru smirked as Saihitei nearly swooned.

Shun put his fingers in his mouth, whistling before yelling out, "Take it off!"

Ryuen pointed at Shun playfully. "All in good time, young man... Now, this year has been special. I have been... profoundly altered over the course of this year. For one thing, I've grown an incredibly hot appendage. C'mere Sai-baby!" Ryuen extended his hand, and compelled Saihitei to join him on the 'stage'.

Saihitei stumbled up, to be pulled against his love's body. Ryuen kept talking, but all Saihitei was aware of was the tactile presence of the man next to him.

"Isn't he precious? I picked him up at a yard sale. You never can tell what sort of treasures you will find in another person's junk." Ryuen's saucy smile teased and delighted.

'Toku whistled and yelled out this time. "Take it off!!"

Ryuen sent a kiss to 'Toku. "Keep wishin', darlin'. Now, what I wanted to say was, because of the profound changes in my life, I'm afraid that I can no longer be Divine Tragedy. No, no, I know. Many years and many fun parties have seen Divine Tragedy in the center of it all, but this year..." Ryuen turned and kissed Saihitei, causing his eyes to close and his hands to drift to his love's nearly bare waist. "It just isn't me anymore. So! From now on, I will be... Willow Starr!"

There was much cheering and whistling, and calls to 'take it off!' Saihitei kept his hands on his love's smooth skin, his eyes focused entirely on Ryuen.

He had a goofy smile on his face that even warmed Mrs. Chou's heart.

"So thank you for sharing my special day with me. Have fun, drink lots, remember that we aren't finished with this house just yet. And remember, no one leaves without a kiss..." Ryuen blew soft kisses to his adoring audience, before the room swelled with music and Ryuen and Saihitei swept away from the middle of the room, the coffee table being pushed to the side by Rokou, so that there was a dance floor.

Again, Saihitei found himself in the presence of Ayuru and Kaen, although it was certainly a lot easier to stomach with Ryuen's waist in the crook of his arm.

It was much less easy to stomach when Ayuru leaned down and kissed Ryuen on the mouth, but Saihitei refrained from responding with anything more than a simple tensing of his muscles.

"Happy Half-birthday, Ryuen. Or should I say Willow Starr? Isn't that a bit much?" Ayuru turned his condescending gaze to Saihitei.

Ryuen just shrugged in the sexiest damn way. "I would have thought that you, of all people, would know that there is no such thing as too much of a good thing." Ryuen winked, before turning to Kaen. "And how are you, gorgeous? Now, where is that beautiful ring that Ayuru and I spent hours buying?" Ryuen's pretty little eyebrows knit together in consternation.

Ayuru sighed heavily before Kaen could even blush. "She refuses to say 'yes' yet."

Ryuen laughed out loud. "Good for you, babe! Make 'im beg for it!"

Kaen winked at him. "Always, darling, always!"

Saihitei didn't have to wait long before he could run away from them. 'Toku, Shun, and Shun's boyfriend wanted to dance with Ryuen, who grabbed Saihitei's hand. They danced in a loose circle, and Saihitei didn't even mind 'Toku's attempts to grab his ass, as long as Ryuen was next to him, swinging his narrow hips in front of him.

They danced with everyone. Saihitei and Ryuen danced with Kourin and Do-kun, and with Genrou and Houjun, and with Rokou, even though he looked like he would rather slither through broken glass, and they even danced with Chuin and his date, although it was a very short dance, and later no one could figure out who had invited him.

There were scores of people there that Saihitei only marginally knew. People from archery, and Ryuen's classes, and they laughed and danced with everyone, everyone kissing Ryuen's cheek or mouth, depending on how well they knew him.

After a while, Ryuen and Saihitei strategically retreated to the kitchen to have a few cold cocktails and rest. Ryuen leaned against the counter that faced the living room, his sparkling eyes tracing after Ayuru leering comically at Taka and then to Myojuan and Shouka dancing slowly together, despite the fact that the song that was playing was fast.

Saihitei leaned on the counter next to Ryuen, watching him.

"It's a good party."

"It's a great party."

"You have this every year?"

"Oh yeah."

"So are there any other rituals I should know about?" Saihitei let one finger slide under the slim spaghetti strap, tracing a line down to Ryuen's side.

Ryuen just grinned. "Now, we wouldn't want to ruin the surprise, would we?"

Saihitei looked dubious, but said nothing. His eye turned away, to hide his expression, hitting upon the sight of Kouji and his 'girlfriend' in the corner. "Oh, man."

"What?" Ryuen turned a concerned eye to Saihitei.

"Kouji brought a girl to the party. How insensitive can one person be? I feel for Genrou. I never thought I would, but..."

Ryuen's mouth twisted between a smile and a laugh. "Oh, I wouldn't worry about Genrou too much if I were you, Sai-love. I think he's just fine."

"Really?" Saihitei could hardly believe that Genrou would have recovered from his heartbreak so quickly, but if Ryuen thought so...

Ryuen grinned wicked little grin, using one finger to direct Saihitei's chin so that Saihitei could see Genrou and Houjun on the couch, talking animatedly while leaning towards each other. "I think he's getting by just fine with a little help from his 'friend'."

Saihitei watched Genrou and Houjun on the couch, not understanding. He watched as Genrou leaned close to whisper something in Houjun's ear, and then Houjun smiled, laughed, and reached out to touch Genrou's face.

His eyes widened, his nostrils flared, and his jaw dropped.

"No...! Can't be? Can it?" Saihitei turned to his love.

Ryuen nodded and did a damn fine impression of the devil with a brand new soul to call his own.

Saihitei gaped.

"Is it really so hard for you to believe?"

"I just... can't picture Tasuki and Chichiri together."

"Well, stop trying to, you pervert."

Smiling, Saihitei leaned over to wrap his love in his arms. "That's not what I meant and you know it!"

"Still... you are happy for them." It wasn't so much a question, although it had a question underneath it.

"I think... it's great. Hey! That's why Genrou and Houjun wanted to stay here and move into the basement!"

Ryuen actually laughed out loud at that.

Saihitei leaned in closer, letting his hand run down the flimsy line of the dress to Ryuen's leg, tracing the garter down to the top of the stocking. "Is it wrong that I am so turned on to see you like this?" Saihitei was murmuring into Ryuen's ear.

Ryuen's slowly growing smile did nothing to quell Saihitei's excitement. "How could it be wrong for you to be turned on by me?"

"True..." Saihitei pressed his lips against the skin of Ryuen's neck, breathing gently, his nose brushing the lobe of Ryuen's ear. He wanted to leave the party. He wanted to go upstairs. Tomorrow, he and Ryuen would be moving into their condo downtown.

He wanted to spend the night with his love, naked in the bed they first made love in.

Ryuen's body teased him through the thin material of the dress. It should have been indecent for Ryuen to expose so much of himself in public, the wide expanses of bare flesh taunting Saihitei and inspiring him to sin and decadence.

He was about to say something, but at that moment, Mr. and Mrs. Chou came up to say goodbye.

After that, there was more dancing and drinking and socializing. Kourin and Do-kun danced, holding each other's waists as they rested their heads on each other's shoulders. Saihitei sighed, his body enfolding Ryuen's, but not nearly as intimately as he wanted to be.

It was a surreal moment of reminiscence. Do-kun had already moved out, opting to spend the summer with his family before he moved to Hokkaido. Myojuan and Shouka had gotten engaged, and were living together, planning their wedding in between shifts at the hospital. Taka had gotten a coveted position as an accountant for a major corporation, his eyes continually sparkling at the prospect of dealing with such large sums of money. He and Miaka were moving at the end of the week to an apartment closer to Taka's new job, as she would have more time for commuting.

This was truly their last night together in this house, all of them together.

Ryuen didn't resist as Saihitei pulled him close and tight against his body. Ryuen seemed to unconsciously acknowledge Saihitei's need for reassurance.

The rest of the night seemed to blur away.

Ryuen was in Saihitei's lap, the party having dwindled, when Ayuru turned the music down. Kourin and Do-kun had left just fifteen minutes ago, and the room was much quieter than it had been earlier that night, anyway. The only people left were Taka, Miaka, Genrou, Houjun, Kouji and his girlfriend, Myojuan and Shouka, 'Toku, Shun and his boyfriend, Rina and some other photography students, a few random friends of Ryuen's, and Ayuru and Kaen.

When Ayuru cleared his throat and raised his half-empty glass, very few people seemed surprised.

"Well. I just wanted to say a few words before the party, er, unwraps. It's safe to say, now that Kourin has gone, that I've known this beautiful person for longer than anyone else here." Ayuru picked up Ryuen's hand and kissed it, holding it possessively close to his chest. "We've been through... more than any two people should ever have to go through, together. My poor friend has had to bear the brunt of it, too. And never in all of eternity will anyone meet someone stronger or more giving than my best friend. So, on this momentous occasion, I would like to offer a toast to the lovely," Ayuru sighed and rolled his eyes, "Willow Starr. May those cherry lips be evermore curved into a smile!"

Everyone cheered, raising their glasses and toasting Ryuen. Saihitei hugged him close and kissed his cheek.

"And now, I think I speak for everyone who has ever attended one of these half-birthday parties before when I say, Take it off!" Ayuru smirked, flipping on the music to a techno ballad, whistling at the end.

He wasn't the only one whistling or calling out. Saihitei had the strangest sense of dread.

Ryuen gracefully stood up, smiling. "Now, now, boys... I said that this year was different and I meant it. I've got a good man leashed and trained, so things just aren't the same as before." Ryuen hauled Saihitei up to his feet so that they stood pressed together. "This year, you get twice as much show for the money!" Ryuen's body slithered suggestively against Saihitei, effectively choking off any protest.

Saihitei still didn't manage a protest as Ryuen sashayed up to the kitchen table, nor did he manage to protest as Ryuen led him up to the tabletop, a light turned on to act as a spotlight for their act.

"Ryuen!" Saihitei wrestled the words out of a strangling throat. "What the hell??"

Ryuen kissed his cheek. "Don't worry, Sai-baby. That's why I picked out your clothes... So we wouldn't miss anything."

"Ryuen! You can't honestly expect me to..." Saihitei looked frantically from one expectant face to another in their clamoring audience, which now seemed much larger than it had a moment ago.

"Saihitei. This is a tradition. I've done this every year for six years." Ryuen's brown-rose eyes danced merrily at Saihitei's discomfort as he kicked off his shoes into the crowds.

"But...!" Saihitei's brain refused to work well enough for coherent thoughts to form, especially as Ryuen bent down in front of Saihitei, taking off the befuddled man's shoes.

The music hit an upbeat, and Ryuen spun, lifting his leg straight up so that it was almost as if Ryuen was doing a split standing up. Saihitei gamely caught the leg, holding onto Ryuen's waist, their bodies nearly flush against one another and Ryuen's silk-encased foot was wiggling near Saihitei's ear.

He forgot what he was supposed to be protesting.

Ryuen slipped the garter off, slowly sliding the sheer silk off his leg. Now that the mood had been set, and Saihitei had stopped vocally objecting, Ryuen started to dance a little. To be more precise, he began to shimmy his hips and let his body undulate next to Saihitei's.

Keeping his gaze in the pool of light that surrounded his love and him, Saihitei let himself go.

Ryuen twisted his body down to reach Saihitei's foot, slipping off a sock. Then, Saihitei had to catch another leg, as Ryuen removed the other stocking. Another twist, and Saihitei was sockless.

Ryuen leaned against Saihitei, his shoulders resting on Saihitei's wide chest. Slowly and gracefully, he lifted his arms until they were above his head, his fingers twining around each other behind Saihitei's neck. With exotic charm, he slipped one glove off, snapping it away as he freed his hand from it, swinging it around before sending it sailing into the audience.

Saihitei's hands found themselves on Ryuen's hips, and he was loath to break contact, but Ryuen appeased him with a kiss before undoing Saihitei's tie with flourish.

Ryuen placed his gloved hand on Saihitei's chest, dancing around his love's body until he stood behind him. His other hand went into Saihitei's pocket as his tongue went to Saihitei's ear. Whispering, so that his voice could only just be heard over the deep beat of the music, "Help me."

Saihitei shuddered, and then his hands went up to hold onto Ryuen's gloved hand. Gripping the satiny fabric, he threw his head back and let Ryuen kiss his neck as he wound around his love again, his glove held in Saihitei's hand, until they were facing each other once again. Saihitei threw the glove out to the crowd as he took Ryuen's lips in a fierce kiss.

Breaking away, Ryuen let the pulse and throb of the music take him. He slithered as his arms slipped underneath Saihitei's jacket, letting it drop as his hips ground into Saihitei's, guiding them in a primitive dance. He caught the jacket with a toe, and flicked it out to the waiting crowd.

It seemed like the air was thick, like water, a conductor, and Saihitei could feel Ryuen's pulse in the thrum of the music. He knew he was getting aroused, and he didn't care. It was kinky and indecent, and he never thought of himself as an exhibitionist, but he didn't care.

He wanted to be with Ryuen, now, on this stage, here. This strange, protracted, and exciting foreplay made his skin twitch and ache.

He needed Ryuen.

Their eyes met, and Saihitei was stunned to see how bright Ryuen's eyes were, how clear.

How much of Ryuen he could see in them. They were so wonderfully beautiful.

Ryuen turned, leaning back, and placed Saihitei's hands on his upper thighs, where the slits in the dress made his skin accessible. He inched Saihitei's hands up and up, until he could hook Saihitei's thumbs under the thin lace of the garter belt and panties. Turning his head, Ryuen and Saihitei again shared a look, before Saihitei leaned forward and kissed Ryuen's lips, then he inched down, kissing Ryuen's neck, his shoulder, the middle of his back, and then the small of his back. Ryuen shuddered as he lifted one foot, then the other, letting Saihitei free the flimsy fabric. Ryuen took the material, and tossed it out, turning to kiss Saihitei deeply.

Ayuru made a move to catch he flying black lace, but Kaen leaned forward and caught it instead. Saihitei almost smiled at Ayuru's pout, until he felt Ryuen start to unbutton his shirt.

"Ry!" Saihitei gasped, catching Ryuen's fingers as the worked the buttons.

Ryuen just smiled and ripped the shirt open, shocking Saihitei into stunned silence. There was a gasp as Saihitei's chest and tattoo were exposed to everyone, before Ryuen tossed the shirt aside, reverently leaning forward to kiss Saihitei's willow mark.

It wasn't the sort of thing that Saihitei could think about. He didn't bother to waste his neurons processing the shout and scuffle that broke out when Ryuen tossed the shirt aside. He didn't bother to note that 'Toku triumphantly displayed his trophy.

He wasn't going to consider the fact that he was obviously hard in front of a room full of people, with his love who was only wearing a thin dress that would slip off his body with the slightest provocation, dancing on a tabletop.

It wasn't important.

Ryuen faced Saihitei, his enticing lips all too close for the continuing performance of Saihitei's cognitive functions. He stood, his feet shoulder-width apart, slipping his thumbs under the straps of the dress. Teasing, he demonstrated how precariously the dress was situated on his body as he bounced the dress up and down. Just when everyone was breathless with the idea of a soon-to-be naked Ryuen, he smiled and turned, putting the straps back where they belonged.

"Sorry, kids, but I'm afraid... this show is going to be moving upstairs, for a private audience. Thank you so much for the lovely party. See you all next year!" Blowing kisses, Ryuen took Saihitei's hand, and went upstairs, ignoring the disappointed moans.

It was only when they were safely inside Ry's room, the door closed, that either one could breathe again.

They were insulated here, the noise of the party seemingly cut off completely.

"It's odd, isn't it?" Ry's lips quirked in a smile, and at first, Sai was completely at a loss for what Ry might mean.

The room was bare, except for a stack of boxes in the corner, an open suitcase, and the bed. They had already agreed to sleep here tonight. It was odd, as if the room had been killed, sucked dry of the life that used to imbibe it. There was only the bare light from the wall sconce, and it seemed unusually harsh with nothing to bounce off of but the walls.

"You're looking forward to moving, though, right?" Sai ran a finger over the edge of the built-in shelves. He had suggested that they get their own place, and he still felt a little uncertain as to how Ry really felt about it.

Ry sighed, and slipped next to Sai, snuggling. "I love the new place. I can't wait to have my own darkroom, or to be able to fuck you senseless on the kitchen table, or wherever else we want to, whenever we want to. It's just... this place. It has a lot of..."

"Yeah." Sai took Ry's hands in his own, suddenly feeling idly melancholy at the idea of leaving the house they began in.

Ry placed his scarred palm over Sai's tattoo. Kissing his love's neck, he smiled. "We have one more night." He slipped away, pulling the comb out of his hair, letting the purple tresses fall over his practically bare shoulders.

Sai sucked in a deep breath, smiling. He sat down on the bed, putting his bare feet up.

Ry held up one finger, indicating he would just be a moment. Pulling the box of facial cloths out of the suitcase, he washed the makeup off his face quickly.

Standing in front of the bed, Sai sitting down, watching him, was almost pure. Ry felt the moment build in him. The silence crystallized every huffing breath, the harsh light shadowed the features he loved. It was only one more night here in this house.

Ry leaned over, his dress leaning over further to reveal his bare chest and the shine from his nipple ring. He unbuttoned Sai's pants and pulled off his pants and underwear.

Sai leaned back into the bed, putting his arms behind his head, content in passivity. He watched with some small degree of horror as Ry pulled off a highly uncomfortable looking dance belt, which then released his erection. Sai almost laughed, thinking that it had been highly unfair that downstairs, in front of everyone, he had been hard when his love had appeared unaffected. At least it had been a trade off.

Standing again in front of the bed, Ry's smile made Sai move. He stood so that he could face his love. Ry grinned, touching the straps of his dress with an upturned eyebrow. Sai put his hands on his love's shoulders, and took the straps out of Ry's grasp.

He leaned down and kissed Ry, a slowly building touch of lips and tongue. He let his hands wander down to the bare small of Ry's back, just letting the palm of his hands appreciate the feel of Ry's skin. Slowly, his fingertips mapped the skin that bordered the dress until he had the straps between his fingers at Ry's shoulders. Carelessly, he pushed them over until the dress pooled at Ry's feet.

They climbed into bed together, this one last time in this house.

One last time, in this bed, skin on skin, hair tangled and sweaty, lips and tongue and hands and legs probing and dancing and twining and feeling, one last time, in this moment, eyes meeting and holding the gaze as hips pounded and rocked, brown-rose in amber and amber in brown-rose, never flinching.

One last time, to rest wrapped up together as the light seeped in the window above the bed, casting pale white light over the lavender room as they toyed with each other's hair and pressed flesh against flesh.

Later, they would move their possessions to their new condo, and begin to live together, but for now, they were content to relish their last night, until the next night.

notesPart OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart FivePart SixPart SevenPart EightPart NinePart TenPart ElevenPart TwelvePart ThirteenPart FourteenPart FifteenPart SixteenPart SeventeenPart EighteenPart NineteenPart TwentyPart Twenty-One • Epilogue