title: Examinations
fandom: Fruits Basket
characters/pairings: Akito/Hatori
rating: Teen/Mature
warnings: oral sex, unrepentant Akito smut and Hatori angst.
summary: Akito can never quite submit himself to Hatori.
notes: none

The occasional warbling of some bird outside kept the room from being totally quiet. Hatori was hardly ignoring Akito, but he wasn't really watching him, either. Akito was in his own place inside his head, and Hatori knew better than to disturb him.

It had only been a week since Akito's last examination. Hatori stared at the numbers on the sheet, unseeing. Only a week. Akito had lost nearly 50 grams. Not much, really, probably indicative of nothing more than a missed meal or two, but Akito was always skating dangerously close to the edge of malnutrition, and it was easier to prevent problems than to rectify the damage afterward. Still. Hatori decided not to say anything about it. Akito was old enough now to know better.

He wrote silently. The pen made only the slightest scratching noise as it moved over the paper. Hatori was deeply focused on the trail the pen left behind it, watching it form shapes that had meaning as if mesmerized. It was nothing unusual, he supposed. As normal as once a week check ups. Still.

He put down his file. He had a record of Akito's vital signs and stats that went back to when Akito was only a few hours old. A pile of paperwork that was by far heavier than the man who had generated it. All the data had recently been entered into a computer database. Neatly lined up numbers that could be graphed and calculated, manipulated and massaged to find patterns and diagnose issues before they occurred. Kana had...

Hatori picked up his stethoscope, and warmed the diaphragm in his palm. He stood up slowly, his body feeling old and weak, and he walked silently over to Akito.

Akito did not move to acknowledge him. He did not turn to look at him. Hatori sighed, and knelt before Akito. Even at this angle, he could at best look Akito in the eye, even though Akito was resting on the slightly raised mattress of his futon. Akito was slumped, lounging across the black futon mattress, his slim limbs scattered around him. His eyes were bleary, and heavy, as they looked away from Hatori. He looked tired.

"Take off your clothes."

Akito's eyes narrowed, and he grimaced. "You must be joking."

Hatori inclined his head. He was still getting used to seeing Akito like this. He had to turn his head to see both of Akito's eyes at once. "Would you like to postpone your examination?"

Akito sighed, petulant. He pulled at his robes, opening them enough to let them slide from his boney shoulders. His arms were naked to the elbows, and his chest was bare to his belly button.

It was enough, for now.

Hatori leaned up, placing the stethoscope's diaphragm on Akito's chest. He listened to his heart from three different positions, inching closer to Akito as he listened.

It was a soothingly human sound, though sluggish. It reminded Hatori of Akito's inherent fragility. Somehow, he always found that to be a bittersweetly calming thought. He shifted so he could listen to Akito's lungs, from both the front and the back, occasionally tapping on Akito's body to hear the reverberations. He was only half paying attention to what he was doing, more interested in losing himself in the rhythm of Akito's essential bodily functions.

Akito took a deep breath on cue, without Hatori asking him to do so. Hatori blinked, and nodded. Akito was looking at him now, his eyes watery and indistinct. Hatori shifted so he could listen to Akito's belly, keeping one arm behind Akito as he did, and laying his palm flat, holding the diaphragm between his thumb and index finger, his fingertips hidden under Akito's robe.

Akito put his hand on Hatori's face. Hatori remained still, hardly even breathing. He concentrated on being utterly silent.

Akito's fingers moved up to touch the bottom of the thick bandage covering Hatori's eye. "Does it hurt?"

His voice was like something from a dream, insubstantial, like it merely insinuated itself in Hatori's consciousness. Hatori didn't think to react, he just did. He pulled Akito's hand away from his face. "Don't."

Akito blinked, something akin to hurt just beneath his expression. He tried to pull his hand away from Hatori's grip, but he wasn't strong enough. Hatori wasn't sure why he was holding onto Akito, just as he wasn't sure what it was that he had wanted to stop Akito from saying.

"Hatori... " Akito breathed, sounding remorseful, but Hatori knew better than to be fooled by Akito's sense of guilt. "Why don't you just tell me what you think of me? I can tell you hate me. Everyone does. Just say it, and be done with it."

Akito's voice quivered just a bit as he spoke, perhaps by design, and perhaps by default. It didn't matter. At this moment, he appeared perfectly weak and in need. Hatori, for all intents and purposes, had him in his arms. At his mercy.

He released Akito's wrist, and put his hands on Akito's shoulders. His hands seemed big, almost comically large in proportion to Akito's narrow frame. He slid his hands down Akito's arms, pushing down the fabric of Akito's robes until he was bare to his waist.

Akito raised his chin, and turned his head away slightly.

Hatori pulled off the stethoscope, and put his hand on the back of Akito's neck, drawing him to lie flat on the bed. He untied the slim rope that held Akito's robes together, and spread them out under him. As usual, Akito wore no underclothes, preferring to be in a constant state of discombobulated opulence. Nude like this, Akito was nothing more than a boy - a painfully thin, beautifully designed boy.

It was the beauty that halted Hatori. He sometimes wondered what life would have been like for Akito if he hadn't been so ill all the time. He tried to imagine Akito going to school, wearing a uniform and carrying a backpack. It was nearly impossible. He could see Akito sitting on a school desk, laughing, surrounded by a loyal cadre of fans, both male and female.

He could have been a King, if he wasn't the sacrificial Emperor.

He put his mouth on Akito's stomach, just above his limp cock. There was a taste of sweat, cold and dank, the dried remains of a night's exertions in dreams, perhaps. Akito's flesh shuddered under him, but he made no noise.

Outside, the birdsong became louder. Another bird had come to rest in the same tree, perhaps, and there was chatter. The sun was burning brightly on the bamboo rug to the right of them. The air seemed tangible.

Hatori put his hands on Akito, letting his palms warm the insides of Akito's thighs. He spread his fingers out, letting his thumbs tease and coax Akito into reacting. Akito let his jaw go slack, and dropped his legs open.

The birds were still singing outside.

Hatori used his mouth on Akito, moving slowly at first, teasing him and taunting him as he excited him. It was a curiosity to see Akito's thin cock lift itself up from the soft hairs between his legs. Hatori's tongue laved the transparent skin over Akito's vein, worshipping silently, drawing Akito out tighter, so that his back arched.

He put his hands on Akito's waist, careful not to tighten his grip, and he moved to take Akito into his mouth. He forgot to close his eye, but it was inconsequential, as he could hardly see anything there, anyway.

All he could hear was the twitter of the birds. The wind picked up enough to draw out the music of the wind chimes, but only a scattering burst of it. Hatori put his hands on the mattress, and curled his fingers inward, trying to clutch at the skin of the mattress.

Akito opened his mouth, and shuddered as he came into Hatori's throat.

Hatori leaned back on his heels, and looked at Akito as if he had no idea how he had gotten in such a decadent condition. Akito recklessly relaxed, his eyes closed. Hatori put his hand on Akito's chest, just below his undefined pecs, and he watched Akito as the wind moved the chimes again.

He folded Akito up in his robes, and lifted him up into his arms. He carried Akito outside, padding gently on the floorboards, and slipped back inside Akito's private rooms. It occurred to him that there might be someone watching; there was almost always someone watching Akito. It hardly seemed relevant.

He walked back to the room where he had examined Akito, displaced in time and space. He did not remember what these rooms were for, though they most often served as sick rooms. It didn't matter much, but Hatori was too disturbed to dismiss it.

He gathered up his possessions slowly, repacking his medical bag, and sorting his paperwork. He realized that he would have to enter this data himself, and the thought of it made him feel very tired. He was tempted to lie down on the futon and go to sleep, but he had slept a great deal the past few days, and he preferred to sleep in his own rooms.

He passed a mirror on his way out, and saw a spot of white in the corner of his mouth. He licked it off, the salt burn on his tongue oddly reassuring.

He didn't know what he was doing anymore, but he couldn't bring himself to care that much, either.