Happy birthday, vom_marlowe
I would say you probably didn't think I'd ever finish this, but I am absolutely certain you did not remember the first half of this story existed. (Jump into the way back machine, right this way
-- then get yourself some closure, below.)
Story: Control Freak, 2 of 2
Rating: R for this half
Word count: 4,500
BTW: Weiss Kreuz is owned by Project Weiss.
Summary: Aya's injured during a mission, and Yoji, channeling an REO Speedwagon song, just can't fight this feeling any more. (You say cliche, I say classic.) I have finally finished this story, which I started last year for Vom Marlowe's birthday. The first part is here.
Warnings: Language, violence. Nothing I think of as kink, though, for better or worse.
Aya looked startled when he woke up. His eyes flew open, and he jerked a little. Yoji still wasn’t used to seeing Aya like this. He put his book down and stroked the back of Aya’s hand.
“Evening, sweetheart. How do you feel?”
Aya gave him a look. “Have you been here all afternoon, Kudoh?”
“I can see why you’d be surprised, I guess. It’s not like I’ve been here pretty much every time you’ve woken up for the last two days.”
“I’ve talked to you about that.”
“Yeah. I don’t think you really mind, though. I think you like it.”
“I let you put your hand down my pants and now you know me, huh?”
Ouch. “I know you better.”
Aya grunted and sat up carefully. Broken ribs; they hurt like hell. One of Yoji’s least favorite injuries. He watched as Aya reached for the bottle of water on his nightstand, even though Yoji was right there and obviously could have gotten it for him. Yoji took that as a good sign; Aya was feeling well enough to start closing himself off again.
“I do know you better,” Yoji said. “I’d know you a lot better if you could stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time.”
“But that would mean I wasn’t taking the pain pills, which would mean that I wouldn’t be talking to you at all. Sort of a conundrum, isn’t it.”
Yoji smiled. “You’d be lying there with your jaw set just so, and that steely ‘don’t fuck with me or I’ll pull out the end of your large intestine with my hand, nail it to a tree, and make you run around it until go into shock or die of blood loss’ look on your face. That’s fucking hot.”
Aya looked at Yoji for a few moments, and Yoji watched closely for the slightest indication of what Aya might be thinking. Amused, he thought.
“That would be if I really wanted to show off. It would be a lot easier to just gut you.”
“I’ve never known you to make anything less than a good effort.”
This time Aya did smile. “Don’t worry. If I decide to start torturing my teammates, you won’t be No. 1 on my list. You’ll have time to get out of the way.”
“Thank you. That’s very accommodating.”
Aya inclined his head slightly, graciously acknowledging the compliment.
“You’re looking a lot better. Like death isn’t immanent, maybe. I like it.”
“I was going to make some crack about how it isn’t sexy to look like you’re dying, but then I realized it must not bother you.”
“I – um.” Was that banter? Weird Aya-banter? Or was he fishing? “I was worried about you. And – concerned. You know? But do I kind of get off on seeing you banged up like that?” Obviously he did. Did that make him a complete asshole? Yeah, probably. Yoji forgot, sometimes, how things were supposed to work. If you weren’t an assassin. And crazy. Of course, Aya was an assassin and crazy, too.
And Aya was watching him, obviously entertained by Yoji’s inner conflict. Yoji was pretty good at covering up his true feelings, but few people had a poker face like Aya. Yoji had undoubtedly been giving him a show, and Aya, for all his apparent unconcern about other people, was in fact a keen observer of the human condition. Yoji was sure about that.
Aya snorted once. “It’s all right, Yoji. I came, didn’t I?”
That was Aya’s version of laughter, and it was reassuring, but… “That’s a physical reaction, baby. Yoji Kudoh prides himself on providing the full experience. Mind, body, soul.”
Now Aya was actually laughing, and it obviously hurt, but he didn’t make any noticeable accommodation. Aya wasn’t going to worry about little things like major stab wounds and damaged ribs. And the truth was, they were all used to pain.
“Did you like that? I mean, I know you liked the hand job. But did you like knowing that it turned me on, to have you that way? When you were…”
The laughter had subsided and Aya was just looking at him again. Finally, he nodded – once, a precise, economical movement. “Hurting? Bleeding? Vulnerable?” Aya watched Yoji’s face and undoubtedly got his answers. “It’s all right, Yoji. I was into it.”
Yoji swallowed hard. “All three of those are OK? Hurting, bleeding, and vulnerable?” He wanted to grab his dick and give that the contemplation it deserved.
“Yeah.” Aya shrugged, but the movement seemed contrived rather than casual. “Works for me.”
Yoji ran his hand through his hair, flustered. “Baby, where have you been all my life?”
“Nowhere, Yoji.” The left corner of Aya’s mouth was turned up ever so slightly. “I don’t exist when you don’t see me.”
And barely when he did, Yoji thought. “It doesn’t have to be that way. You know?”
Several days ago, Yoji would have taken Aya’s expression for disgust. Now, he could interpret it much better. Pity. Not what he wanted, but maybe he could work with it anyway. Where there was pity, there was hope.
“Look, Aya…” Yoji let that hang in the air as he tried to think what he could say. He was so good at talking people into things, but not Aya. Aya was impervious. “I know everybody thinks I’m a player. That’s what you think, right?”
“I don’t know if I would have said player. I would probably go with immature. Cheesy.”
Aya seemed to be trying to think of other ways to express himself, so Yoji held up one hand. “That’s fine. I get it. I’m not really like that, though. That’s just something I do to get by. Nobody looks past it. Nobody asks any questions.” Yoji stopped talking because there it was again, but stronger – pity. Aya had that “baby, baby don’t get hooked on me” expression on his face. Before Aya could actually tell him not to say it, Yoji blurted out, “Aya, give me a chance.”
Aya flinched. He actually flinched. Yoji was mortified. And demoralized. Because he hadn’t been expecting Aya to respond with instant and unmitigated enthusiasm, but flinching was a pretty definitive statement. Hard to see a silver lining in that.
“Yoji…” Aya looked like he was trying to break it to him gently. Another kick in the teeth. “You know, I used to know somebody who read tarot cards. Don’t look at me like that – I know people. Or, I used to. The thing I thought was interesting was that every card means one thing, and then it means something else, reversed. People are like that. They look one way, but if you catch them at the right time, they look different.” He met Yoji’s eyes, apparently thinking he’d made some sort of point.
“Is that a maybe?” It didn’t sound like a maybe, but Yoji did try to be optimistic.
“No. I’m saying that my card was reversed, the last few days. The next time you draw, it won’t be.”
Yoji turned that around in his head and thought he might know what it meant, but he couldn’t really be sure, because it was kind of cracked out. He just stared at Aya, wondering why the hell he was doing this to himself. Aya was supposed to be the masochist, not him.
Aya sighed. “You saw a different side of me. Which you apparently liked. But that isn’t the main personality. I’ll be back to myself in a few days, and I’m not interested in having any kind of relationship. I’m sorry.”
He looked like he was kind of sorry, too. That didn’t soften the blow at all. It made it worse. It also underscored how pathetic Yoji was. So pathetic even Aya was trying to be kind about it. In his inimitable, sociopathic way. “Can’t you just think about it?” Yoji actually clapped his hand over his mouth, but it was too late to hold back the words or take them back. Such a fucking loser.
“I am sorry, Yoji. You know, the key is not to fight it – injuries, pain. If you fight it, it hurts you more. Relax into it, feel it, let it do what it's going to do to you, figure out who you are now, and move on.”
Yoji had been waiting for Aya to say “You’ll be fine,” but he was going to be spared that indignity, at least. The pep talk was about as much as he could stand.
Desperate, Yoji leaned in and kissed Aya for all he was worth, held him awkwardly, working around all the wounds. Aya let Yoji touch him and after a few moments, he responded, answering Yoji’s kiss with some degree of heat. Aya obviously felt – something. But he was distant, even in Yoji’s arms. And Yoji knew. What the hell did he expect from Aya? He was damned lucky he got to touch him, and that aching, nagging feeling of failure in his gut meant he was a fucking idiot.
Aya pushed Yoji away and met his eyes. “Thank you for making me feel better. I wish I could have done the same for you.”
Aya washed the dishes slowly. Thoroughly. Contemplatively. He’d left the hot water running and his mind wandered, considering. Some mostly forgotten voice at the back of his head, over to the left and muffled by a big wall of other stuff stored in front of it, muttered something about wasting water, and Aya observed it, detached, vaguely remembering that there’s been a time when he gave a damn about things like that.
“Aya. You don’t have to be the scullery maid just because you can’t go to work yet,” Yoji said. “Unless you’re going to wear a little dress and a frilly apron. That would be hot.”
Aya hadn’t even heard him coming and cursed himself for still needing the damned pain killers. He took them because they’d help him heal faster, but he hated having his senses blunted. Hated it.
“Sorry,” Yoji said quietly, backing away and looking in the refrigerator for something he obviously didn’t want.
“I have to do something,” Aya said – in lieu of all the other things he could have said. And probably should have said.
“Flip through a magazine. Watch TV. Learn to knit.” Yoji sounded distant. Hurt.
“I don’t see myself knitting.”
“Don’t see why not.” Yoji gave up on the refrigerator subterfuge and leaned against the counter, desperately trying to convey ease and nonchalance. “Should be a reasonable trade, as far as phallic symbols go. You know. Long and pointy.”
“A reasonable trade for you, maybe,” Aya said, quirking an eyebrow. “I’d need something much bigger.”
Yoji laughed quietly but didn’t look up from his intense contemplation of the tabletop.
Aya wished Yoji would go away. Well, he didn’t, but he was making Yoji miserable, and he couldn’t see any other way to stop it.
The silence stretched until even Aya felt awkward.
“Seriously, though,” Yoji finally said. “You’re pushing it. I’ll do the dishes. You – I don’t know. You could borrow my iPod. Listen to music.”
“I don’t want to listen to music. I especially don’t want to listen to your music. Sixties soul makes my teeth hurt.”
Yoji looked up and rolled his eyes. It looked flat, as a gesture, but he was making the effort, at least. “I’ll download something loud and painful and aggressive for you. You can close your eyes and lie back and emote darkly.”
Aya turned away and went back to the dishes. Yoji was worried about him. Part of it was that Yoji had gotten attached, and Aya could kick himself for letting that happen. But part of it was Yoji’s keen discernment. Yoji noticed subtle signals, and Aya was probably giving off plenty – not all of them subtle, either. He was hurt and he was fucked up and he was drugged to the gills. But what he’d told Yoji was the simple truth – he had to do something.
Yoji sighed and pushed away from the counter. “Right. OK. Fascinating, as always. Thanks, Aya. Talk to you again later.” He waited, though. Long enough to make it obvious. And then he stormed out – quietly, but definitely upset.
Aya kept washing dishes. Yoji thought he didn’t care, but that wasn’t right. It would do, though. It didn’t matter what Yoji thought, so long as Yoji came to the conclusion that he didn’t have a relationship with Aya, and he wasn’t going to. Why didn’t matter.
It was kind of too bad. They looked like such a good match, except for who they were. Well, who Aya was. Yoji was kind of – gluey – but that was only a problem because of Aya. Aya was… He shied away from that. He was broken. That was all.
He didn’t have anything he could give, but he still wanted, sometimes. He could close his eyes and feel Yoji’s hands and lips on him, hear Yoji growl in his ear. Part of him wanted it, wanted to follow Yoji upstairs and climb into his bed and let Yoji – make him feel better. Yoji could feel it, and Aya blamed himself for not having kept that wrapped up tightly enough. The part of Aya that wanted wasn’t the part that ran the show, and it wasn’t like Aya could sustain the effort, either.
Villa Weiss. What the fuck was that all about, anyway? Aya leaned against the counter, watching the others haul in bags, and he wondered about the cosmic joke that was Kritiker. And Omi, who had decided Aya wasn’t up to working in the flower shop, and further, that he needed to be removed from even the temptation to work by an impromptu family vacation. It was so stupid it should be galling, but Omi was insane in a very different way from Aya, so he didn’t even try to understand the reasoning. As if Aya needed extreme measures to keep him away from the fucking flower shop and the fucking squealing girls who were always trying to touch him and make it look like an accident.
Well, it didn’t matter all that much, although the ride up here had been excruciating. He hadn’t driven, which he hated, and Ken’s driving made him tense. Everyone else’s driving made him tense. And being in the car that long made him sore. As well as almost homicidally twitchy. That was transitory and over, though, except for the lingering pain and irritation. But those were Aya’s constant companions, anyway. The real issue was that it made the Yoji problem worse.
At home, Yoji could occupy himself. He could go out and pick up interchangeable women to have meaningless, forgettable sex with. It passed the time, at least; Aya didn’t see Yoji getting a whole lot more than that out of it, but it wasn’t any of Aya’s business.
No matter how much Yoji wanted it to be.
Yoji was refusing to look at him, and hadn’t spoken to him once on the drive up. Not that anybody had needed to talk, with Ken and Omi sucking all the air out of the car with their never-ending narrative of whatever God-damn thing popped into either of their minds. And not that Yoji used to talk to Aya very often, anyway. But this silence had a tortured quality to it that had set Aya’s nerves on edge, no matter how often he’d admonished himself to fucking stop it and just look out the window and pretend none of them existed.
“Aya, I put your stuff in the first-floor bedroom, so you wouldn’t have to deal with the stairs,” Ken said. Where the hell had he come from? It reminded Aya that he was still way off his game. “Don’t even fucking say anything,” Ken added, holding up his hand. “Omi’s worried about you. Accept it gracefully. Or at least silently.”
Only reluctantly tearing his mind away from the Yoji issue – and that was fucking annoying, too – Aya finally focused on Ken. “Whatever. I don’t care.”
Ken peered at him like he was a new and unexpected problem. “You’re having a hard time with this one, aren’t you? I hate waiting to heal up, too. You’ll be OK soon enough.” Ken clapped Aya’s shoulder awkwardly and, suddenly unsure about his display of camaraderie, he cleared his throat and stepped away. “Kind of chilly between you and Yoji. Omi’s worried about that, too. What happened?”
Aya sighed. “Nothing happened.” Acknowledging Ken’s skeptical expression, Aya gave in a little. “He was trying to be nice and I was a dick. He’ll get over it.”
“Why would you being a dick suddenly bother him now?”
Good question. Aya had been asking himself a variant of that for days. “I don’t know, Ken. Maybe I pushed a button I shouldn’t have pushed. But like you said, he’s used to it. He’ll be back on his game any time now.”
“He told me he pushed you too far. What happened?”
“Yoji’s too much sometimes.”
“This is different.”
“No, it isn’t. Leave me alone, Ken. I’m tired.”
Ken gave him a long, inscrutable look, but he nodded and stepped away the barest bit, indicating the man-to-man talk was over. And thank God.
“Stop looking at me.”
“Jesus, Aya, you’re like a little kid sometimes. ‘Don’t touch me. Don’t look at me. Daddy, make him stop looking at me.’ Get over yourself, dude. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on – I’m not threatening your fortress of solitude. You’re safe.”
Omi slammed the back door and, apparently not liking their body language, headed straight for them. “Ken, are you poking at Aya? Leave him alone; he’s injured.” He looked at Aya. “You need to take care of yourself if you want to heal faster. Maybe you should take a nap.”
And it had come to this – a twelve-year-old was ordering him to take an afternoon nap. On the plus side, it would get him out of the room. “Maybe so.” Arms till wrapped tightly around himself, Aya walked, slowly and carefully, to the downstairs bedroom. He passed Yoji, who was building a fire. Aya didn’t even expect him to look up, but it still made him feel weird when Yoji didn’t.
But when Aya got just past him, Yoji said, softly, “You need to take your pain pills. Your mouth is set and you’ve got that line between your eyebrows.”
Aya paused. He didn’t turn around, but he thought about it. When Yoji didn’t say anything else, Aya just nodded and proceeded to the bedroom. He closed the door quietly and sat on the bed, looking out the window at the trees. Peaceful. Maybe Omi had been right about coming here. Maybe it would do Yoji some good to think this through, instead of avoiding it the way he avoided everything else that hurt him. Aya didn’t want to be another one of the mistakes Yoji punished himself with, like a cilice. Not just a hair shirt, either – one of those woven metal things with the barbs that made the wearer bleed. Mortification of the flesh seemed like an odd metaphor for Yoji, since his drug of choice was sex, but it felt right. Everything Yoji did was about guilt and suffering.
Took one to know one.
The door opened and closed quietly, but not so quietly that he’d be surprised. Aya was grateful that somebody still thought he was dangerous.
“I brought you a cup of tea,” Yoji said, bringing it over after a long wait during which he’d presumably been watching Aya stare out the window.
Aya took the cup and then steeled himself to look up at Yoji. Haunted and miserable – Aya’s specialty. “Thank you.” Nothing more; he just couldn’t.
Yoji waited, then sighed and sat down. “You didn’t break my heart or something. I’m not some lovestruck little girl.”
The hell he wasn’t. “You’re not little, anyway.”
Yoji snorted. “Thank you, baby. That means a lot, coming from you.”
The smile didn’t reach his eyes. Aya liked Yoji’s smile – the real one, anyway. The corners of his eyes crinkled and he looked weathered and beaten to shit, but it was sexy. Aya had always assumed that was what everybody responded to when they threw themselves at Yoji, but now he realized that smile didn’t come out very often. Must be the abs, then. That was obviously what Yoji thought.
“I wouldn’t want to make you feel cheap,” Aya said, trying for a joke.
“No. You did that when you told me to get you off and leave you alone.”
Aya looked away. “That’s not what happened.”
“I know. You never told me to get you off. You just let me. Because you’re a giving kind of person.”
“I never claimed I wasn’t a selfish piece of shit. I didn’t come on to you, though.”
“No,” Yoji said, the bitterness making his voice sharp. “You sure as hell didn’t come to me. Look, forget about it. That’s what I came in here to say anyway. Forget it ever happened. I’m not going to chase you any more.”
And yet Aya could hear that last, tender bit of hope in Yoji’s voice. He took no joy in destroying it. “I’m sorry you got hurt.”
That was clearly the last straw. Yoji jumped up as if the bed were on fire and gave Aya a look of incredulous disgust. “Oh, fuck you, Aya. Fuck you.” He didn’t bother closing the door quietly, and the noise echoed through the house.
Yoji didn’t bother to find a coat. He just stormed out the door and stomped through the woods until he got far enough away that he couldn’t see the house. Fucking Aya. Of all the beautiful, damaged, masochistic, brittle, and heavily armed cowboys he could have fallen for, he’d picked – the best. The best man he knew. It had been a long time since he’d really tried, and it hurt like dying to be kissed off for good. Aya had even tried to be a gentleman about it, which made it even worse. Because even at half power, Aya was capable of tearing off his balls and handing them to him before Yoji’d even seen him move. But he hadn’t. He’d been suffering Yoji’s mooning and pleading with seldom-seen restraint. It was humiliating, and it was a painful reminder of what Yoji was missing out on.
But Aya couldn’t make it clearer. He wouldn’t say no to a well-timed hand job, but he didn’t want anything else. Yoji should be glad that Aya cared enough to feel pity for him. It didn’t work that way, though.
Yoji was near the lake, so he took the few steps closer and looked out over the cold, still water. He imagined falling into it and letting the water cover him over. Cold. It was cold outside, and the water would be so much colder. He could dimly hear sounds from the house, but he didn’t care about Ken and Omi. He cared more about the water and distant mountains and the stars you could just start to see in the wide open sky, and the smell of smoke in the air. If Aya would come and stand next to him, the water wouldn't hold the same allure. Jesus, he was cold. And dumb.
Yoji’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of steps approaching, taking care to be heard. It was Aya, Yoji was sure of it, although he couldn’t figure out why the hell Aya would have come out here. Maybe he’d also wanted to brood in a quality setting. Then again, Yoji didn’t believe Aya didn’t know he was here. Aya never got that careless.
The steps slowed as they got closer, and Yoji’s heart pounded. Stupid heart. It almost stopped when Aya came up behind him and wrapped his arms around him, pulling Yoji back against his chest.
“You’re freezing,” Aya said quietly, that warm, deep voice caressing Yoji like a lover.
“I’m – yeah.” Yoji didn’t know what to say. Aya had come after him. “You shouldn’t be out here.” It had been too long a walk, and it really was cold. Aya should be resting.
“Probably not.” Aya sighed, his breath ghosting over Yoji’s neck. “But I’m here anyway.”
“What, did you change your mind?” Yoji probably shouldn’t pick at it, but this was too big. He had to know.
“Yeah. I did.”
This felt surreal. “Just like that.” Aya wasn’t spontaneous. He ate the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day, and the slightest change in his schedule pissed him off. So it seemed mighty strange that someone like that would swing from a gentle but firm dismissal to – this.
“Do we have to talk about it?” Aya sounded resigned, at least.
“We fucking well do, yes.”
Aya took a deep breath. Yoji could feel him trying to gather his thoughts. “Something changed,” he finally muttered.
“Duh,” Yoji responded, mildly.
“It hurt too much, when you walked out. It shouldn’t have hurt that much.” Aya sounded puzzled and mildly accusatory.
“Sorry that my emotional agony distressed you.”
“Shut up,” Aya said, his voice still soft and quiet. He pulled Yoji even closer and leaned his head against Yoji’s, his pointy chin on Yoji’s shoulder. “I’m trying.”
Yoji didn’t even have it in him to make the obvious joke. “I still want the same thing.”
“Is that yes, then?”
“Come inside, all right?”
Aya grunted, then apparently decided to clarify. “Yes.”
Yoji closed his eyes and sank into Aya’s warmth. He took Aya’s good hand and kissed the scabbed over knuckles.
“Come inside,” Aya said. He let Yoji go and started walking back to the house, obviously certain Yoji would follow. And he did.(By the way, “I don’t exist when you don’t see me” is from “When You Don’t See Me," a Sisters of Mercy song. I just see Aya as a Sisters of Mercy fan.)