Sailor Mac


Spoilers ahead for episodes 4-up. This story contains explicit descriptions of romance and lovemaking between two young men; if such material offends you, or if you are under 18, read no further. For the purposes of this story, I have taken a slight liberty with canon, having the characters all live in their own places instead of together.

In the darkness of his bedroom, Omi clutched his pillow, tears slowly leaking out of his eyes. He didn't want the light on. He didn't know if he ever wanted to see light again.

The scene kept playing itself out in his head over and over...Ouka telling him they were brother and sister, the gun going off, Ouka collapsing, her young life draining out of her...

I've been alone all my life, he thought. I finally had somebody, something, I could call my own...and she was taken away from me.

This had just been the latest in a series of heartaches and gut-wrenching revelations. The memories of his childhood abduction - and his father's refusal to pay his ransom - returning, finding out he was a Takatori by birth and seeing the hatred in Aya's eyes, being forced to raise his weapon against his own brother...

When will it ever end? he thought. Am I going to find out something else horrible? Is somebody else going to die on me? Have I brought all this down upon myself by being a part of Weiss? Maybe I should, no, I can't quit. I have to punish the people who killed Ouka.

Sadness, rage, was now his entire world. A bitter world indeed for a sweet-faced 17-year-old boy.

Outside Omi's door, Ken stood, wondering if he should knock.

Maybe he doesn't want any visitors, he thought. Maybe I'd be doing him more harm than good. But I want to make sure he's all right. He's barely spoken since Ouka died. He was always the cheerful one, the one who seemed to have it together when I felt like falling apart. To see him like this...

He wondered just why he was so overly concerned. He's just a teammate, he thought. But...he's a friend, too, isn't it? We've shared more than the experience of killing other human beings. We've worked at the flower shop together, and gone out to lunch, and shared laughs, and...

A voice in the back of his head asked, Would you be this concerned if it were Yohji or Aya in this condition? He quickly answered back, of course so...but he wondered if it were true. Yohji, he knew, could take care of himself no matter what the circumstances. And Aya was so...distant from the others, so unknowable. The kind of person who could be in a roomful of people and still be alone.

But Omi...was something different. So sweet and innocent, so uncorrupted by all the evil they'd seen, experienced - and done...

Yes, he thought, I have to make sure he's all right. I have to make sure he stays innocent and uncorrupted. And he raised his hand and gave a loud knock. No response came from inside. It was quiet, almost too quiet...A flash of fear passed through him. Could he have done something to...hurt himself? To join Ouka?

Slowly, Ken turned the knob and pushed the door inward. The apartment was pitch-black, save for long rectangles of yellowish light on the floor from the outdoor streetlights.

"Omi?" he called. "Are you here?"

Omi heard Ken's voice, and he felt himself perk up...a tiny bit. He came to see me? he thought. He's never been here before. None of us has ever been in each other's houses.

Do I really want to talk to him? he thought. Do I want to burden him with all this? He wouldn't want to hear me go on and on and on about how much I'm hurting inside...

But he found himself raising his head and saying, "I'm in here."

The creak of the door was any indication that anyone had entered the black-upon-black of the room. Then there was the sound of footsteps, and Omi could hear the breathing, smell the scent of the other boy.

"Hi," Ken said.

"Hi. I'm afraid I'm not very presentable right now..."

"It's all right." Ken groped around until he felt a chair, which he pulled up by the side of the bed, sitting down. Reaching behind him, he felt around until his fingers encountered the switch of a desk lamp, which he turned on, filling the room with soft light. "How have you been doing?" Gods, he thought, that sounded so...lame, so forced...

Omi wanted to put up a brave front, to pretend he was all right, to send Ken back on his way thinking he was just ducky, unburdened by Omi's problems. But he couldn't. The words bubbled up out of him like water emerging from a frozen fountain at first thaw. "Terrible...just awful."

That's not his voice, Ken thought. That's not the buoyant voice I usually hear...that's a death rattle. It's worse than I thought.

He leaned over, putting his hand on the other boy's shoulder. "I'm here. You can tell me anything, I'll listen."

"I...I don't know if I can...oh, Gods, I don't know where to start..."

"Start wherever you like. Whatever you feel comfortable talking about." He began to rub the shoulder a bit, and Omi found himself relaxing. This feels so good, he thought, just being touched...when was the last time I had someone touch me like this? Oh, was Ouka...when she died in my arms...

"Ouka," he whispered. "Losing her...the way it happened...oh, Gods, I had someone for once in my life, and then suddenly I didn't..." He felt his tears falling faster. "Those bastards...they shot her and just ran away...what the hell did she do to anyone? She was just my friend, my sister,"

"Your first girlfriend?"

"I'd never really gone out with anyone before her, I was so shy...there were other...other people I'd liked, but I'd never been brave enough to approach them..."

"Until her?"

"As soon as I started to get to know her, I knew we were...connected. I never dreamed it was as brother and sister. Or maybe I did...somewhere in the back of my mind. When she...she made a pass at me, something told me it was wrong. But everything else about her and me...everything but sex... felt so right..." He reached his hand up, so it was covering the one that was rubbing his shoulder. "Before that...I was so don't know how it feels, knowing your own father didn't want you..." He managed a small chuckle through the tears. "Gods, I sound like Shinji Ikari, don't I?"

"No. You sound like my friend...who's hurting. It's okay, Omi. You don't have to feel guilty about it. You have reason to feel like this."

"I was lied to for years, Ken. Lied to about who I was, where I came from...and once I found out who I was...maybe I was better off not knowing."

Ken found himself getting up, sitting on the bed...and then leaning over, pulling the younger boy into his arms. Omi gasped...the sudden closeness was completely unexpected...but welcome. Very, very welcome. He in his friend's embrace. as if he was being shielded from any further pain in his life.

"You remember what Aya said. You are not a Takatori. You may have been born one...but you're nothing like them. You're Omi of us."

The combination of his words and the physical closeness made a dam break deep within Omi, and suddenly, all the pain was rushing out at once, shooting out of him like a geyser in the form of sobs that wracked his entire body, shook him to the very bottom of his soul. He threw his arms around Ken, holding him tighter, clinging to him as if he were the single piece of driftwood keeping him from drowning.

Ken held him tighter, feeling all the pain escape him - the lies, the loneliness, the pain of finally finding someone to relate to, only to have her cruelly wrenched away. If only I could do something more for him, Ken thought. If only I could take away some of the pain...Nobody deserves that. Least of all someone like him.

"Just let it all go," he whispered, stroking the other boy's hair. "You don't have to hurt anymore."

"It'll never stop hurting," Omi gasped between sobs. "Why did she have to die? She was the one person I had in the world..."

"You have us," Ken said, pressing his cheek against Omi's tear-streaked one. "We're your family. You're not alone." He let his lips brush against the younger boy's temple, a feathery kiss.

Omi felt a small shock run through his body, cutting through the pain like a knife through butter. Did...did he just...And then, he felt the other's lips touch him again, and the same feeling came back, stronger, sweeter...Almost involuntarily, he found himself returning it, softly kissing Ken's cheek...

He pulled back, startling himself. "I'm...I'm sorry...I didn't mean to..."

Ken smiled. Such an innocent, he thought. He stroked the other boy's hair with the back of his hand and said, softly, "You did mean to. And it's okay. You need it." He leaned over, pulling Omi back into his arms, and began to lay soft kisses along his hairline.

Why am I doing this? Omi thought. I'm with a guy! I know I've thought about boys at school, had fantasies...but I never thought I'd actually do something like this! Does this mean I'm gay? No, I can't be gay...I loved Ouka. Oh, Gods, right now I don't care if I'm straight or long as he keeps doing this...

I can't believe how natural this feels, Ken thought. We've never touched each other before save for a back-slap or high-five...but now, it's as if we held each other, kissed each other all the time. And he was becoming very aware of the boy's body heat, the silken feel of his hair, the sweet, chocolate-spice scent of his skin...

A tremor of fear ran through him that his feelings would get out of control. He himself was bisexual, but he was sure the other boy was straight. Gods, he thought, the last thing in the world he needs is some guy putting the moves on him. He'll freak out completely.

This time, it was Ken who slowly eased away, keeping Omi in his arms, but putting some space between them. He saw the look of confusion in the other's eyes...

Why did he pull away? Omi thought. Am I doing something wrong? Maybe I should have been more aggressive? I want him to keep holding me, kissing me...

And then, with a flash of realization that both terrified and delighted him, he realized that he wanted more. Much more.

Would he do something like that? he thought. I know that he's had girlfriends...could it be that he likes boys me? Oh, Gods, it doesn't matter right now...I just want to feel his body heat and his lips again. And he leaned over, pulling him closer, letting his lips touch his cheeks, his nose...

Ken gasped, starting to feel heat rise deep within him. He tried to fight it, push it back, but the more the younger boy kissed him, the higher the flames within him blazed. I should push him away, he, no, I can't. It would break his heart...and, admit it, Ken, you couldn't let him go if you wanted to.

And then, Omi aimed a kiss at Ken's chin...and ended up kissing his lips instead.

It was a single moment that seemed to last eternity for them. Both breathed in the sweet breath of the other, tasted the other's lips, felt softness upon softness...

They broke apart, just staring into each other's eyes...and they realized that both of them were panting.

"Is your heart pounding like mine is?" Omi whispered.


"I feel like mine's going to explode."

Ken let a hand slide across the other boy's chest, and Omi writhed, a small gasp escaping his lips. He wasn't exaggerating...his heart was absolutely hammering against his ribs. Just like mine, Ken thought. We both want this like hell.


But Omi never got another word out, because Ken's mouth descended on his, and their lips locked together, hard, insistent, moving against each other in a sensuous dance. Omi tightened his arms around Ken, one hand grasping the back of his head, pulling him closer. Their mouths opened with a gasp, and their tongues tangled, stroking, caressing. They rubbed their bodies together, creating friction, heat, which only served to make them feel hotter and hotter inside.

When the kiss broke, both of them moaned loudly. Ken began to nibble along Omi's jawline, reaching a hand under his shirt, caressing the soft, soft skin underneath. "Ohh," the younger boy moaned. "I'm on fire...oh, Gods, I've never felt like this before."

"Do you like it?" Ken whispered teasingly, flicking his tongue quickly over his friend's neck, feeling him jump and shudder.

"Yes...oh, yes..."

He grasped the younger boy's shirt and yanked it up over his head, and Omi let out a little cry. "Oh...yes, touch me, touch me, please..."

Ken brought his mouth to Omi's again, letting his tongue probe deeply as he stroked the now-exposed skin, a hot shudder passing through him as he felt the skin as soft as a woman's over taut, firm muscles that were definitely male. Why didn't I notice before how sexy he is? he thought. This wonderful creature has been right in front of me all along...His fingers encountered the hard little knot of a nipple, and he took it between his thumb and forefinger, squeezing very gently. The boy under him arched upward, his entire body writhing, as if he couldn't contain the pleasure, the desire...

Ken began to slowly lick his way up and down his partner's neck, and Omi groaned, panting. "I want..." he gasped. "I want..."

"What do you want?" Ken whispered, kissing his chin and cheeks.

"I want to feel you...naked, against me..."

"How can I turn down an offer like that?" Ken pulled away, standing up at the side of the bed, and swiftly stripped his shirt off, tossing it on the floor.

Omi's eyes widened as he saw his friend unsnap and pull down his jeans, then his briefs...His heart started thundering all over again when he took in the lithe, muscular athlete's body, the sculpted, defined chest and stomach...and below that, the evidence of his friend's arousal. Omi thought he'd never seen anything more beautiful in his life.

"Ken," he said in a breathless whisper, "you're marvelous." He got up on his knees and threw his arms around his partner, touching his lips to his neck, then slowly kissing downward...At his chest, he licked at the flesh, slowly, tentatively. He tasted sharp, salty, woodsy...He ran his tongue over the skin until he encountered a nipple, which he kissed softly, before drawing it in and starting to suck.

When Ken felt the blast of pleasure, he let out a cry, arching his entire body toward the younger boy, tangling his hands in that baby-soft blonde hair. Gods, how the *hell* did he know just what to do? The tugging of his lips...followed by hot, wet flicks of his tongue...and then, a scrape of his teeth that was right on the border between pleasure and pain...Ken twisted and writhed, his head thrown back, his eyes closed, his mouth open in a gasp of passion. The one conscious thought in his head was what it would be like to feel this angel's hot little mouth lower...

As if he could read his friend's mind, Omi began to trail his tongue over Ken's stomach, stopping here and there to lay a kiss. When he reached his partner's manhood, he paused. What do I do now? he thought. I wish I'd asked someone about this before...but who does a boy go to for advice on how to make love to another boy?

Ken felt the other boy stop and tense up. Maybe I should just tell him that he doesn't have to do anything else, he thought. But...I think he wants this. And, gods help me, so do I.

"It's okay," he told Omi. "Just lick it a little at first."

Encouraged, Omi obeyed, running his tongue slowly up and down the shaft. When he felt Ken stiffen and shudder in response, he felt a bit more confident, and moved his lips to the head, opening up, preparing to take him in.

"Slowly, gently," Ken told him. "Don't try to do too much. Just what you're comfortable with."

Just what I'm comfortable with...He started to ease it in, slowly, bit by bit. This isn't so bad, he thought. It's nice...He began a gentle, firm suction, and felt Ken entangle his hands in his hair.

"Now move your head back and forth, pull it in and out. don't have to do anything you don't want to."

He did as he was told, feeling his lover's hot flesh against his lips, thinking that the sensation, the taste, was quite pleasant indeed. And Ken was moaning, and stroking his hair faster...He decided to experiment a little, moving his head faster, taking him in deeper...His lover's groans were faster now, louder...

Oh, Gods, Ken thought, he learns fast! He'd seen Omi master complex computer programs in a manner of an hour or two, but he'd never thought the boy's learning ability would extend to this! Pleasure was flooding his entire body like a raging, rain-swollen river, and all he could do was pull this innocent-looking boy with the anything-but-innocent mouth closer and closer, moaning his name, moaning that he was good, so good, that he was driving him crazy...When he felt the boy's hands grasping his buttocks, squeezing them, he almost lost it, but he didn't want to come yet...he wanted this to go on and on until he couldn't stand it a second longer.

The more Ken groaned and gasped, the more encouraged Omi felt. I must be doing well, he thought, and decided to experiment a little further, taking the shaft out to lick up and down its length, then laying several quick kisses over the head. He took it back in again, sucking, keeping one hand on Ken's bottom, squeezing and caressing, reaching up with the other to his chest to find a nipple. When he softly pinched that, it was all Ken needed. He arched, his hips thrusting forward violently, letting out a hoarse cry as hot ecstasy flooded every cell of his being, as he released himself.

Omi felt the gush of Ken's seed into his mouth and was startled. He pulled away, quickly, grasping his manhood with his hand and pumping it to help his friend finish his orgasm. He hadn't expected this was strange, something like salty hydrogen peroxide, not unpleasant, but...

He raised himself back up to Ken's level and held his friend as he collapsed against him, panting. "Ohh...ohh, Gods...that was...that was unreal..."

"I did all right?"

Ken laughed and kissed him. "It was more than all right." He stroked his partner's hair. "You're a natural, know that?"

Omi blushed bright pink. "Thanks!"

The two boys leaned in toward each other, and kissed, softly and gently, then letting their tongues probe, tease, dance. "Now," Ken whispered between kisses, "I think you were going to let me see you naked."

"Yes," Omi whispered, taking Ken's hand and guiding it to his zipper. He unsnapped it and pulled it down, sliding his hand under the fabric but on top of his underwear, feeling the hardness beneath. "Ohh," the younger boy sighed.

"Do you want me to reward you for what you just did?" Ken whispered, caressing his partner through the cloth.


He eased Omi into a lying position, leaned over and kissed his stomach. "Back in a second," he said, and went into the bathroom, quickly scanning the shelves until he found what he was looking for. It wasn't KY...he would never have intercourse with another man without KY and condoms, which, unfortunately, he didn't have...but it would do for what he wanted to do now.

When he returned, Omi was up on his elbows, trying to see what his friend was carrying. "What do you have there?"

"You'll see." He put it at the foot of the bed and leaned over, kissing his lips, letting his tongue flicker in and out of his mouth. "Now relax, I'm going to play a bit." He rapidly licked down his neck, chest, stomach, and heard his lover cry out. When he reached the jeans and underwear, he stripped them off with one swift movement.

"Umm," he said when he saw what was underneath. "You're beautiful." He bent and reverently kissed his erection, then his balls, feeling the younger boy shudder. "I'm going to really enjoy this," he whispered, before licking slow, lazy circles around the head, his fingers brushing up and down the shaft.

"Ohhh," Omi moaned, his fingers clutching at the sheets. "That feels so good..."

"It'll only get better." Ken moved his head to the other boy's inner thigh, rapidly kissing and nibbling at it, hearing his partner's gasp. He licked at his balls, gently swirling his tongue around the super-sensitive flesh, then kissed his way up his manhood. Meanwhile, he reached for the container of Vaseline he'd brought back with him and dipped in his index finger, gently pushing the other boy's legs up and out.

What is he doing? Omi thought. "Ken?"

"Just relax, it'll be good for you...I promise." He opened wide, sliding Omi's manhood in as deeply as he could take it, and he felt the other boy shudder, the tension leaving his muscles. He reached around to his buttocks and parted them, then slid his greased finger between, seeking his opening. When he found it, he began to caress it gently, coaxing it to open, to let him in...

Omi gasped, startled. He wasn't expecting this! There was a split second of pain and fear...which faded soon, and began to be replaced with pleasure that rapidly began to build in intensity, and build, and build...His finger slid in further, and his mouth continued to suck, to work him in and out...

Ken began to feel around, stroking his partner on the inside, feeling the warm softness tighten around him as a spasm of pleasure wracked the boy. There was one sweet spot he was looking for, what cheesy women's magazines would call "the man's G-spot" and what medical texts would just call the prostate. He'd know for sure when he found it. And when Omi jumped and let out a shriek, he knew he'd found success.

Omi couldn't believe the bolt of ecstasy that shot through him, screaming from his passage to his manhood and then to the very tips of his toenails. Ken was massaging him in small circles on the inside, right on that one spot, and every stroke, every pull of his mouth on his hardness, drove Omi one step closer to the edge. He didn't know how much more he could stand, he didn't know pleasure that intense could exist. His head was flipping back and forth, widely, and he let out long, low moans, knowing it was going to happen any second, any second now, but oh, gods, he felt like he was suspended out of time, out of reality...

There was a moment when everything seemed to freeze, and then the explosion came, crashing over him like ocean waves, shooting electric heat through every bit of him, and he literally screamed as he released himself. Ken held on, taking his seed in, and swallowed it.

Gently, he eased his finger away, and quickly ran to the bathroom to get cleaned up. When he returned, Omi was panting, his eyes closed, little shivers still running through him. Ken lay down next to him, softly kissing his eyelids and pulling him into his arms. When Omi opened his eyes, Ken could see there was a couple of tears there - but they were tears of joy this time.

"Thank you," he whispered.

"It was my pleasure." He chuckled. "Hey...what are friends for, right?"

Omi snuggled up to Ken with a blissful sigh, laying his head on his lover's chest and wrapping his arms around him. He drifted off to sleep, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth...the first time he'd smiled since Ouka's death. Ken thought that smile was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen in his life.

You'll be okay now, my friend, he thought. Someday, when we can put all this darkness and killing behind us, there'll be somebody who'll be your true love. He chuckled to himself. And he or she, he thought, will have a hell of a time keeping up with you. Who would have thought such an innocent could be so passionate?

They were going to have to talk in the morning, of course. Ken didn't want Omi to think they were a couple now. It would be all to easy to fall in love with the sweet, wide-eyed boy...but it wouldn't be good for either of them. Omi needs to move past this someday, put Weiss completely behind him, Ken thought. I'd just be holding him back.

But for now...we'll just enjoy this. And he pulled the other boy closer, and drifted off to sleep himself.

Several hours later, Omi awoke. The warmth against his body disoriented him at first...but then, he remembered. Ken.

He raised his head and looked at his sleeping friend. He looked almost childlike, his lips slightly parted, his long, long lashes lying on his cheek.

I could definitely get used to this sight, Omi thought. I could wake up to this sight every morning.

He lowered his head with a sigh. No, he thought, that's impossible. I shouldn't even think about it. If I love him...something bad will happen. Everyone I've ever loved has either died or abandoned me. We have to stay just friends, for his own good...and mine.

He let his hand wander up and down the other's chest. His sculpted athlete's body was so, so sexy...Omi had had schoolboy crushes on jocks before, but he'd never thought he'd actually make love to someone who looked like this. Not that his body is the only thing about him, he thought. He's just a beautiful person, all the way through.

If only things were different, he thought. If only we weren't involved in Weiss. If only I didn't have this curse hanging over my head...

He ruffled the other's thick, dark brown hair. I wonder how many other people he slept with before me? he thought. I'll bet there was a lot, both guys and girls, when he was in J-League. That thing he did with his finger...a delicious shiver ran through his body as he remembered the intensity of the pleasure...that shows he knows what he's doing. Could sex with a woman...with anyone as good as it was with him? Omi lowered his head, laying soft kisses on Ken's neck...

At the touch of his friend's lips, Ken's eyes fluttered open. "Mmm," he purred, reaching down to stroke the other's hair. "Nice."

Omi brought his head up and kissed Ken's lips, and they lingered for a moment. When it broke, Ken whispered, "Now that's what I call a nice way to start the day."

"I couldn't help myself," Omi replied, softly, blushing a bit. "You looked so...beautiful."

"You're not so bad yourself." He pulled Omi's head down to his chest and wrapped both arms around him, squeezing him tightly. "Feeling any better this morning?"

"Yes. A lot."

"Good. I was worried about you."

"I'm all right, now. I think I'm ready to go back to school. I'm going to have to look at her empty seat, and it's going to hurt like hell, but...I'll make it."

Ken glanced over at the clock. Still two hours before Omi was due in school, and he himself was due to open the flower shop. I wish we had all day, he thought. I wish our special time together would never end. Because I know once we leave this bed, this apartment, it's back to our old, everyday roles.

He let his fingers idly stroke the other boy's hair. "Were you awake long before you woke me up?"

"Just a couple of minutes. I was looking at you, and wondering..." He stopped short, and blushed crimson.

"Wondering what?" Ken said, a mischievous glint in his eye.

"" I can't tell him what I was really thinking! he thought. "It's not important." He blushed again, even redder than before.

"Omi...are you embarrassed because of what happened?"

"No. Not at all." He was still red.

Ken put his fingers under his chin and tipped his head upward. "Is it because you've never been attracted to another boy before?"

"No! I mean, I have before, I mean, not done anything, know, um..."

Poor kid, Ken thought, he just doesn't know what to say. "It's all right, Omi. There's nothing wrong with boys liking other boys. Lots of guys do, you know."

"Have you...liked...boys before?"

"Yes. Both boys and girls, almost as long as I can remember."

"Then you've...had boyfriends?"

A memory arose in Ken's mind and stung him with deadly venom. He took his fingers away from Omi's chin and turned his face to the wall.


"Just one," he said, quietly. "I'd had crushes on guys, and I'd kissed a couple... but there was only one I went all the way with, and that was..." He stopped abruptly. "Never mind. It's not important."

Omi heard the choked tone in his friend's voice. Whatever had happened in this relationship, it was painful, a pain he must have been carrying around for a long time. " you need to talk about it?"

"No, I don't." But Omi looked up and saw a tear forming at the corner of Ken's eye. He does need to talk, and badly, he thought.

He sat up, took both of Ken's hands and said, "You helped me. Now I want to help you. Tell me."

"I...I don't know if I can..."

"Did he die, Ken? Is that it?"

And then, to Omi's shock, his friend burst into tears, violently. He pulled Ken into his arms, stroking his hair, rocking him back and forth. "It's all right," he said. "I'm here. Let it out."

Finally, Ken raised his head, and said, quietly, "He's dead, all right. I killed him."

"Ken! You mean...a mission?" And then, Omi of the first missions they'd been on...the target had been a Kase-something...Ken had been the one to carry it out...

He saw in his mind, the dying man saying to Ken, "I'll be waiting in hell." And then, Ken turning away, a look of agony on his face, and saying quietly, "This is hell."

" and Kase..."

"We were a couple...when I first joined J-League. It was very intense for awhile. We broke up, but stayed close friends...and then, he...he betrayed me."

Omi reached out and gently brushed Ken's tears away. "You talked about that a little, were thrown out of J-League because they thought you had thrown a game..."

"And Kase had drugged my drinking water." He began to cry again. "Then, we were both almost killed...I thought he was dead...and then he turned up again..."

"As a target." Omi pulled Ken into his arms, cradling his head in his shoulder.

"I had to kill someone I was...was once in love with. Oh, gods, it was the worst moment of my life."

"You did what you had to do, Ken. Besides...someone like that was probably not even capable of loving you. You deserve far, far better than that."

No, I don't, Ken thought. "I should have refused the mission."

"One of us would have done the mission anyway. Persia doesn't send us out for the heck of it, Ken. We only take care of people who hurt other people." He kissed the other boy's face, softly. "Kase had hurt you, Ken. Hurt you badly. And had hurt a lot of other people as well."

"I sometimes don't know why I came back to Weiss after that. I was going to quit..."

"Because you're like me. You can't stand to see evil go unpunished."

"Sometimes...I wish there was another way to do the punishing."

"It won't go on forever. We'll do what we have to, and then...we'll move on."

Ken raised his head. "You know, this is the first time I've allowed myself to cry over this."

"I think you've needed to. For a long time." Omi stroked Ken's hair and kissed his tears away, then pulled him close again.

"I came here to comfort you," Ken said, "and here you are, comforting me."

Omi smiled. "What are friends for, right?"

"Yes. What are friends for?"

Friends, Omi thought. Is that what we are? Or is it...more? Oh, Gods, I wish it could be...but no, it can't. For his sake, and mine. If something were to happen to him, or if he were to leave me...I couldn't stand it.

Ken snuggled into Omi's embrace, feeling like a huge burden had been lifted from his soul. I was carrying all those tears, all that pain, around inside me for months, he thought. And now, that I've let them out, I feel cleansed. Renewed. I could have never let them out with anyone else. I feel so...comfortable with him. It's almost like, with him, I can allow myself to feel, to be vulnerable.

"I'm so glad I know you," he whispered.

"I'm glad I know you, too."

They held each other for a long moment that seemed suspended in time, aware of nothing but the sensation of skin on skin, each other's breathing...

And then, their reverie was pierced by the sound of the alarm clock, its loud bleating the rudest sound in the world.

They eased apart from each other, slowly. The spell was broken. The night was over. They still clasped each others hands, as if trying to hold on to even a small part of what they'd shared.

"Why don't you take a shower," Ken said. "I'll get us some breakfast."

Omi wanted to say, "Why don't you join me?" - but he knew it was for the best that he didn't. We have to end it here, he thought. It can't go further. He merely nodded, and got up from the bed, slowly, not letting go of Ken's hands until the last moment.

Ken watched Omi retreat into the bathroom, and swallowed hard, feeling another lump rise in his throat. Whoever ends up with you as a mate, Omi, is going to be the luckiest person in the world, he thought.

Omi sat in school, intently scratching in his notebook. Coming back hadn't been as painful as he'd feared. He'd had to deal with seeing the place where Ouka had once sat, and the swarms of students who'd clustered around him, offering sympathies - they just thought we were dating, he thought, imagine what they'd say if they knew the full truth - but he'd gotten though it.

But now, there was something else threatening to pull his full attention away from the teacher. And he couldn't have that. He needed to keep up his status as an honor student...both to increase his chance of getting scholarships (although he was sure Persia would foot at least part of his college education) and so the school would be more likely to overlook his frequent absences and tardiness. He could just imagine himself brining a note to school that said, "Please excuse Omi's absence yesterday. He was out until the crack of dawn killing drug lords and murderers."

What was distracting him was symbolized by what he was drawing in the corner of one notebook page, in between making actual notes - stylized, decorated kanji spelling out the name "Ken."

Just as he was starting to deeply concentrate on what the teacher was saying, he'd have a flash of Ken's lips on his, Ken's tongue sliding over his skin, Ken's arms tightly around him...and, oh gods, that thing he'd done with his finger...

I can't think about that, he told himself. No way. It was just one of those things...just something that happened between two friends, just something we both needed...right? I'll go to the flower shop after school, and we'll just say hi and high-five each other, and things will be like they always were.

And he fought with all his might against the voice in the back of his head that said, if only things could be different...

No, he said, I have to get back to what the teacher is saying. Now. And he focused his thoughts on what was being said...only to find them start to slip away again.

At the flower shop, Ken's concentration wasn't much better.

He sat at a table, a wire frame and a stack of flowers in front of him. The task at hand was to create a centerpiece for a banquet. These things were usually a piece of cake for him. But just wasn't happening. Because every time his hand brushed a soft petal, it felt like Omi's hair, Omi's skin...

No, he thought. I've got to stop thinking like this. It's not to much as I want it. It would be no good for him. Once we complete our last mission, he's got to make a clean break from all this. Out of all of us, he's the one with the best chance of a future.

Any hope of a future for me ended the day I drank that drugged water.

If we were to be together...every time he looked at me, he would be reminded of his past as a killer. He needs someone who's never been connected to Weiss in any way.

And as he thought this, he felt a lacerating pain deep in his if the pain he had released the night before had come back.

On every given day, there was a crowd of girls gathered around and in the Kitty in the House Flower Shop. They came to gawk at the four handsome young men who worked there, to trade gossip about them and to speculate endlessly about what type of girl each one would go for. Nothing they said, nothing they did, escaped detection and dissection. You could have quizzed any of the girls and found out each florist's full name, birthday, favorite colors, and specialty floral arrangements. Today was no exception.

"Are they all there today?" a blonde near the back of the crowd asked a redhead just in front of her.

"They are...but something's...wrong."

"What do you mean, 'wrong'?"

"Ken's been real quiet all day. And when Omi arrived...they didn't even look at each other. In fact, they've been avoiding each other."

"What? Do you think they've had...a fight?"

"I didn't see them fighting," said a purple-haired girl next to the redhead.

"Me neither," the brunette next to her said. "But that doesn't mean anything. Maybe they're fighting over the same girl!"

"Oh, gods! You think so?" the blonde said.

"I've heard rumors about both of them and that redhead in the fur coat who comes into the store all the time. In fact, I've heard rumors about all four of them and her."

"NO WAY!" the others shouted.

"Way!" said the brunette. "See, somebody saw her in the park with Omi last week, and then someone else saw her in Yohji's car, and then..."

Inside the store, somebody else had noticed the strange behavior of two of his colleagues. Yohji had expected Omi to be a bit down - it hadn't been that long since Ouka's death, after all. But he hadn't expected him to walk into the shop, say a couple of terse hellos, put on his work clothes and apron and immediately retreat into the greenhouse.

That's not Omi at all, Yohji thought. He's acting just as strange as Ken today. The normally easygoing young man had seemed tense, moody...he'd just been sticking flowers into frames all day, with hardly a word to anyone.

Christ, Yohji thought, I don't think I've heard Ken say a single word since last night, when we were ready to close up shop...

"I'm worried as hell about Omi," he'd said then. "I can't stand to see him suffer like that."

"He'll be all right," Yohji had replied. "Give him a day or two."

"No ...I want to do something. Maybe I'll go see him tonight."

Just like Ken to do something like that, Yohji thought. He can be too nice sometimes. How the hell he ever got involved in something like this...

Maybe he went over there and Omi slammed the door in his face...nah, if that had happened Omi would have just gone up to him this afternoon and said he was sorry. Something happened. Either a big blowout, or...

Another possibility arose in Yohji's mind. Ridiculous, he thought, quickly pushing it back down. Omi? Ken? Letting something sexual happen between them? They're both straight as lines...aren't they? Sure, they are. Ken had been hot and heavy with that woman who drank the poisoned water...hell, he and I had fought over that.

He looked over at Aya, sweeping up a bunch of leaves and petals from under one of the workbenches. Maybe I should ask him...but would Aya notice anything was wrong? He seems to be in his own world most of the time.

But Aya surprised Yohji by coming up to him and saying, "What's with those two?"

"I'm trying to figure that out myself."

"Ken is just sitting there. Usually, you have to tie him down to keep him still."

Yohji gave a lazy smile and said, "Hey, maybe he's just having problems with a girl."

"You would think something like that," Aya said, and went back to his work.

It can't be just a girl, Yohji thought. He wasn't like this when that last girlfriend of his went off to Australia or Tahiti or New Jersey or some other godforesaken place. And he hasn't dated since...that I know of. Hell, none of us have. Which really, really sucks. You can't have a relationship with a woman when you do what we do. It's a wonder we haven't all turned gay.

Again, the thought from before came back, about Ken and Omi... did they turn gay, and then regret it? Neither of them is the one-tumble-in-the-hay type, he thought. Hell, Omi's so innocent it's hard to imagine him tumbling in the hay with anyone. Yohji remembered joking to Omi once that he could get laid in a minute, with all those girls hanging around, and Omi had turned the color of tomato ketchup, from his head almost to his feet.

He hasn't shown much interest in girls, has he? Sure, there was Ouka, but other than that...nothing.

Okay, maybe I'm reading too much into this, he thought. Maybe I've got terminal detective's disease, seeing a big mystery in everything. I'll wait until tomorrow, and see how things are - they could be best of buddies again.

But the next day, things were even worse.

Ken came to the shop late, with his skin pale, his eyes at half-mast. He'd obviously not slept a wink. He grunted a greeting to the other two, and buried himself in the greenhouse.

"Looks like the greenhouse has become our official sulking ground," Yohji remarked. "Omi yesterday, Ken today. Maybe I'd better talk to him." He headed in that direction, but Aya held him back.

"Just let him be," Aya said.

"We can't just leave him like that."

"Let him be. He'll come around, eventually."

"Are you kidding? Look at him!"

"I've seen this before, Yohji. He doesn't need you butting in right now. Believe me."

Yohji sighed, and went to one of the big, refrigerated cut-flower cases, checking for blooms that were starting to droop or decay. Okay, he thought, I'll let it go...for now. But I still want to know what's up.

His relentless detective's mind started to sift through the evidence at hand again. Ken expresses worry about Omi...Ken goes to Omi's place after day, both of them crash and burn...Okay, so maybe they had a fight. But about what? And wouldn't they be more angry than depressed after a fight? Besides, they'd always gotten along like a house on fire. Hell, when Ken had mentioned that he was planning to quit Weiss and run off with his girlfriend, it was the first time Yohji had seen Omi look sad.

He thought back to the time shortly after Ken had changed his mind, how happy Omi had been to see him...they'd developed a very easygoing rapport, the two of them. Hell, Ken would even tease him from time to time about the girls that hung around the store.

And then, a conversation the two of them had had a couple of months ago flashed into Yohji's mind, and he stopped what he was doing abruptly, the flowers in his hand falling to the floor.

Omi had been ducking admirers as usual, and Ken had said to him, "Hey, maybe we should hire some of them. They're here all the time, anyway."

"Why would we want to do something like that?"

"Come on, Omi...don't you want an in-house girlfriend?"

"I couldn't work with someone I was in love with."

"Why not?"

"Well...I mean...every time we looked at each other... everyone would know we were in love. The customers, you would be embarrassing!"

Ken had laughed, draped his arm over Omi's shoulder... "You have a point there. I probably couldn't do that either. Besides, Yohji would steal all the girls, anyway."

Neither one of them could work with someone they were in love with...because they were afraid of looking at that person with love in front of everyone...

And that would probably go double, Yohji thought, if it were a male-male relationship, something they'd be afraid was socially unacceptable.

Good gods, he thought, I was right the first time. Something is happening between them. And they're avoiding each other...avoiding looking at each other...because they don't want anyone to know.

But just keeping their relationship secret wouldn't make them as miserable as they've been the last couple of days. Which means they're not just hiding it from the world...they're trying to hide it from themselves.

I can't stand to see them suffering anymore, he thought. Guess I'm going to have to take matters into my own hands.

Omi was having an even harder time trying to concentrate than he had the day before. Of course, the fact that he hadn't been able to sleep had something to do with it. And the conflicting emotions churning inside him weren't helping, either.

I wish we could be a couple, he thought. I want it so badly...but we can't. I would only end up getting hurt in the end. Everyone I've ever loved has either abandoned me - like my father - or died - like Ouka. If the same thing were to happen with Ken, I couldn't stand it. I don't want anything to happen to him because he got involved with me.

How long can I keep avoiding him at the flower shop? he thought. And what will happen the next time we have a mission? No, when we have a mission, I'll be completely focused on the mission. I've always been able to, no matter what else was going on.

But that was... before ...

He began thinking up excuses why he couldn't go to the flower shop. He had to stay after school to work on a project, he'd joined a club and they had a, he couldn't do that to the others. He had to go.

Even if going meant being near Ken, and knowing they'd never had another night like that one again.

Ken looked up wearily from the flower bed he was weeding. Yohji was hovering over him, looking all business. Gods, I hope its nothing to do with a mission, he thought. That's the last thing I could face right now.

"I need to talk with you. Now."

Ken stood up and brushed his hands. " I am."

"Outside, out back."

Crap, it is a mission, he thought. Sighing, he headed for the back greenhouse door, feeling like a man walking toward his own execution. He could hear the footsteps of the other, following him closely.

As soon as the door closed behind them, he said, "All right, Yohji, what's this all..." He never finished the sentence, because a fist shot out and slammed into his jaw, knocking him sprawling to the ground. He just lay there, dazed, for a second, unable to comprehend what had happened...then, he got up, slowly, holding the place where he had been struck.

"What the HELL was that for?"

The other regarded him with a steely gaze. "For what you're doing to Omi. And to yourself."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Yes, you do. I know what's going on, Ken. I know that you and Omi have feelings for each other, and you're hiding them."

"How the hell do you..." He stopped himself abruptly, but...crap, he thought, too late.

"Never try to put one over on a detective, Ken. It didn't take me long to figure it out. Why are you torturing yourselves, and each other?"

"Look, Yohji, butt out! It's none of your business! Why the hell is my love life any of your concern, anyway? This is the second time you've done this to me!"

"When two friends of mine are suffering, it sure as hell *is* my business!" He advanced a step on Ken, who backed up almost instinctively.

"We'll get through it. It's not meant to be, so nothing's going to happen from now on."

"What do you mean, 'not meant to be'?"

"I mean I'm not going any further with the relationship for his own good!"

"What good? He's miserable!"

"He'd be more miserable later down the line if he weren't able to make a clean break from Weiss after we don't have missions anymore. He has a future ahead of him, he doesn't need to be dragged back down into his past by a love relationship with another killer!"

"What makes you think he'd get a chance to make a clean break, anyway? Do you realize we may never be free of Weiss? We could all be killed any day. Or we could finish off Takatori, and find out that Persia just has another mission for us, and another, and another."

Ken just stood there, in stunned silence. That was a possibility he'd never wanted to consider - that there would be no end of the line, that he was in Weiss not just for a little while, but for life. Could I do that? he thought. Could I just keep killing over and over, for years, without going mad?

As if he had read his colleague's thoughts, Yohji said, "Didn't think of that, did you? Let me tell you this...if you and Omi go further with this thing between you, you've got a shot at happiness. You've got something to hold onto. If you don''re just gonna put an extra load of stress on yourself. That plus the stress of our'd snap in two like a twig, and fast. And so would Omi. Think about that." With that, he turned and went back into the store, leaving Ken alone in the alley.

Omi was walking into the flower shop as Yohji entered the sales area. He looked just as dejected, just as downcast, as he had the day before.

I have a feeling, Yohji thought, he won't be looking like that much longer.

Later that day, it was time to put Plan B into action.

It was almost dinner hour, and the girls had gone home. The flood of passerby on the street had slowed down to a trickle. The flower shop was empty except for its four young employees.

"I think," Yohji said to Aya, "now would be a good time to go get supplies."

"Supplies? But we have plenty of..."

"We're running low on tulip bulbs and Miracle-Gro. I'm going to need you to help carry the big bags." He added in a low voice, "We can stop at the hospital on the way home."

Upon hearing that, Aya's expression changed. A hint of softness crept in, softness which he only displayed when the issue was something involving his sister. "All right," he said. "We'll go."

"Look after things, you two," Yohji called over his shoulder as they left.

Ken looked up from the arrangement he'd been building. He knew exactly what Yohji meant by that remark.

He looked across the room, where Omi sat on a stool by the cash register, schoolbook in hand. Gods, he thought, he looks beautiful. He always does.

What Yohji had said was buzzing around his brain again, as it had since he had been left standing in the courtyard. Shot at happiness...could die any day...may never be free of Weiss...

If I don't do this, he thought...if I don't tell him how I feel, and something does happen...I'll regret it for the rest of my life.

Slowly, he made his way toward the stool, stopping when he was standing right over the other boy.

Omi sensed Ken's presence, and felt his heart speed up. Oh, gods, he thought, I wish he'd go away, I can't stand it! I can't stand knowing he's so near, and I can't have him.

"Hi there," Ken said.

"Hi," Omi replied, not taking his eyes off the book.

"Omi...can we talk for a couple of minutes?"

Go away, Omi thought. Just go away. Don't make this any harder.

But he felt Ken ease the book out of his hands, taking away the barrier between them. He looked up, and his breath caught. Why does he have to be so gorgeous? he thought.

Ken suddenly found himself tongue-tied. What do I say? he thought. Just "Hi, I just figured out we're meant for each other, let's go to my place and do the humpety-humpety?

He finally took a deep breath and said, "Omi...the other night...what we was the first time I've been happy, really, truly happy, in years. It made me I really feel about you."

A burst of both agony and ecstasy surged through the younger boy. Oh, how he'd wanted to hear Ken say those words! But it couldn't couldn't...

"Omi...I want us to be together. I want you as a part of my life. Not as my more." He reached over, to take Omi's hand in his...

Omi abruptly pulled away. "No! No, don't say that!"

"Why? Omi, the way I feel about you..."

"I...I feel the same way about you, but...we can't! If I love you..." Tears started to form in his eyes. "If I love you, you'll either abandon me or die, like everyone else! And I couldn't stand that!"

He's been just as afraid as me, Ken thought, if not more so. Oh, Omi, there's nothing to be afraid of. I know that now.

He took the other boy's hands in his and said, gently, "Omi...I can't promise you I won't die. We all could, any day. It's the nature of what we do. But I can promise you this: I will never abandon you, under any circumstances. I will always be there for you."

Omi just sat, frozen to the spot, trembling, listening to Ken's words. I want to believe him, he thought. Oh, how I want to believe him...

Ken stroked the other boy's hair. "If I ever do abandon have my full permission to use me as a target for your pointy things."

At that, Omi started to laugh a little, and his hand squeezed Ken's. He means it, he thought. I can see it in his eyes. He loves me, he truly does.

"Yes," he said, softly.

A twinkle came into Ken's eyes. "Yes to filling me with pointy things?"

"No, silly! Yes"

They stood there for a long moment, hearing each other's breathing, feeling the thud of their heartbeats...

Then, they leaned in to each other, their lips lightly brushing at first, then forming soft, slow kisses, which deepened as they wrapped their arms around each other, pulling close and tight, feeling their chests, their thighs rub together. Their tongues began to probe, to explore, to tease and tangle and dance...

It was at that moment when four of the regular girls decided to have one more peek in the flower shop window on their way home from the mall. Giggling, they lined up, their noses pressed against the plate glass...and a collective gasp went up.

"Is that...OMI and KEN?"

"What are they doing?"

"They're doing that just to tease us...aren't they?"

"Oh, my gods, I think I saw TONGUE!"

"I think it's hot."

"HOT? It's not HOT. It's HORRIBLE!"

Inside the shop, the boys continued to kiss, unaware of the girls, unaware of anything except each other.

When Yohji arrived back at the shop, he found Ken and Omi sitting at a work table, a half-finished arrangement between them. Omi was cutting the flowers and handing them to Ken, who put them in the basket.

They're sitting quite close together, Yohji thought. And those blissful little smiles on their faces...yep, things have improved since I left. And - whoa, is that the beginnings of a hickey on Omi's neck? Maybe things went even better than I thought...

He stood over them, clearing this throat loudly. They both gave a start, as if he had shaken them out of a perfect dream...was that looks of embarrassment on their faces?

"Aya and I will finish that and close up. You two can knock off for the day."

Both of them got up quickly, a blush rapidly spreading up Omi's face. "'re sure?" Ken said.

"Sure, I'm sure. Scram, you two."

They said "Thank you!" almost in unison, yanking off their aprons and grabbing their jackets at lightning speed. Yohji smiled after them as they rushed out the door.

Yep, he thought, they're going to be just fine now.

Omi and Ken reached the lot at the side of the shop where their motorcycles were parked. They paused, hugged each other tightly, and kissed, short, sweet pecks that held the promise of something more.

"We shouldn't be doing this outside," Omi laughed.

"Hmm, you're right, we shouldn't," Ken replied. "Let's go to my place instead." He noticed Omi tense up a little, a flash of fear cross his eyes. He leaned over, touching his lips to the younger boy's ear, and said in a breathy whisper, "Don't worry, Angel. You won't have to do anything you don't want to."

Omi felt a shiver of desire run down his spine. Oh, I do want to, he thought.

"Angel?" he whispered. "I like hearing you call me that."

"Mmm...then I'll call you that from now on." Ken kissed Omi's earlobe, then worked his way slowly down the boy's jawline, kissing, nipping, licking...

Omi clung to his lover, feeling weak in the knees, as if he could hardly stand up. "Ohh...please, please let's go, Ken...I need to have you...."

"Hmm...somebody sounds eager." Ken began to run his tongue along his partner's throat, thinking he had never felt so free, so uninhibited, with anyone before.

"Yes! Oh, please...let's go to your place, now."

"All right, Angel." Slowly, he broke away from his lover and climbed on his bike. "Just follow me..."

Gods, Omi thought, how could I not? I just hope both of us don't wipe out on the way there. He was shaking so badly he had trouble steering the bike, wobbling a bit as he followed his lover out into the street, around a corner, then another corner, then a long, long trip along a highway that felt to Omi like they were crossing the entire damn city of Tokyo, end to end...

Finally, they pulled up in the lot of an apartment building and parked. Omi tore off his helmet and leapt for Ken...only to have the other boy pull away.

"Not until we're upstairs, now," he said. "Just a couple more minutes..."

And Ken led him up the steps (which felt like Mount Everest to Omi), through the lobby (which felt the length of a football field) and into the elevator (which felt like it was climbing to the top of the Empire State Building). Finally, it landed on his floor, and both of them took off like bullets from a gun, Ken fumbling in his pocket for his door key. Where the hell is the goddamn thing? he thought. Oh, gods, if I left it back at the flower shop...

At long last, the key was produced, the door was opened, and they stepped over the threshold. Ken banged it shut behind him, grasped Omi by the shoulders and backed him into the wall, crushing his lips down on the younger boy's, drinking deeply of his sweet, sweet taste, his tongue probing, wanting more, more, more of this fabulous creature who was starting to writhe against him in pure desire. Omi's arms tightened around Ken, his hands grabbing at his jacket, squeezing, caressing, as one of his legs came up and hooked around his partner's hip, pressing their swelling manhoods together.

"Ohh," Ken moaned when he took his mouth away from Omi's. "You're so hard already."

"So are you," Omi whispered. "You feel so good."

"Gods, Angel, so do you. I want to touch you everywhere..."

"Yes! Oh, yes. . ."

Their lips locked together again, and Ken pushed at Omi's jacket, helping the other boy wriggle out of it, hearing it hit the floor with a satisfying thump. He grasped the bottom of his T-shirt and yanked it upwards, and Omi finished the motion, pulling the garment off and flinging it into a corner. Ken's hands wandered up and down his lover's chest, then down to his flat belly, as he kissed his way down his neck, pausing every few seconds to swirl his tongue around on the soft, soft flesh in slow, hot spirals that just made Omi shudder more.

"Ken...keep going...more..."

Ken trailed his tongue down Omi's chest, feeling around for what he knew was there...When he felt a hard little knot, he knew he'd hit paydirt. Slowly, he lapped at the nipple, his partner's gasp and cry of pleasure making his blood run all the hotter. He pulled it into his lips and started to suck, and Omi almost shrieked, his whole body arching toward the man who was giving him so much, his fingers tangling in his lover's hair, pulling him closer, closer still...

Ken raised his head. "Feel good, honey?"

"Yes! Ohh, yes..."

And then, he felt Ken ease away from him. "No!" Omi said. "Why did you stop?"

"Shh. We're just going to take this somewhere more comfortable." Omi felt his lover take him by the hand and lead him through the darkened apartment, through a door on the other side of the room.

"Your bedroom?" Omi said.

"Yes." Ken leaned over, kissed his lover quickly on the lips...and then there was the sound of clothing rapidly being removed and tossed to the floor. Omi felt another tremor of desire at the thought of their naked bodies pressing together. Rapidly, he shed his remaining clothing as well, and when Ken pulled him into his arms, the sensation was unbelievable - heat on heat, hard on hard, man on man. The two tumbled to the bed together, mouths clashing, tongues entangling, hands moving over shoulders, sliding up and down backs...

Omi grasped Ken's bottom first, squeezing it gently, massaging it, feeling how firm and shapely it was...He gasped as he felt Ken do the same thing to him, and both boys laughed softly, beginning to imitate each other's hand movements...squeezing the right buttock, then the left, then massaging both at the same time, first firmly, then more gently...

Omi thought again about having Ken's finger in there, the immense pleasure it gave. What would it be like, he thought, to have more than the one finger in there? To be taken by him, to be truly one with his lover? A small tremor of fear passed through him...what if it didn't feel as good as the other thing? What if it hurt, badly? That part of a man wasn't made to take another man in...was it?

But then, he felt Ken roll away from him, slightly, and his fears were driven away by the feel of his lover's hand finding and grasping his manhood, his fingers fluttering along the length, a tender, sweet caress that was also hotter than hell. Omi let out a cry, and reached for Ken's erection. Omi had masturbated before, he knew what his own maleness felt like in his hand ...but, oh, gods, Ken felt different, the curve, the shape uniquely his own...Omi began to stroke him, caress him, in the same way he himself liked to be touched, and both of them began to moan, pleasure slowly flooding both bodies, a flood which grew stronger and hotter with every swirl of fingertips on a head, every soft stroke along a shaft, every gentle caress of the base and testicles...

Omi felt like he was ablaze. There was no doubt in his mind now, he knew exactly how he wanted this act to end.

"Ken," he whispered, "I...I want to do everything. I want to go all the way with you."

Ken abruptly stopped. Did he just hear what he thought he heard? "Omi..are you sure?"

"Yes. Definitely. I want to feel you inside me, Ken. I want us to"

He wants me inside him, Ken thought. He hadn't expected this so soon...but he was definitely touched, and thrilled, and...

And excited. He wanted to feel his lover enclosing him, drawing him in.

He kissed Omi's forehead and brushed his bangs out of his eyes. "It'll hurt at first, you know."

Omi took Ken's hand in his, and gave him his sweetest smile. "If I was afraid of a little pain...I wouldn't be a member of Weiss, would I?"

"Oh, Angel..." They threw their arms around each other, kissing deep and hot, over and over.

Then, Omi eased away, rolled onto his stomach and drew his legs up so he was kneeling, his bottom in the air, his face and arms on the bed. "Like this?"

Ken felt himself getting a bit misty. "Legs apart might want to get your head and shoulders up a bit...yes, like that." He leaned over and lay a kiss on the younger boy's upturned bottom, then turned toward his nighttable drawer, thanking all that was holy he still had half a tube of KY and a few packages of condoms there. Relics of Kase, which he once couldn't look on with anything but pain...but now, they were going for another, much sweeter purpose.

Once he had prepared himself, Ken knelt behind Omi, leaning over so he could lay more kisses on the firm, upturned buttocks, then smoothing his hand over them, gently stroking and caressing. Omi made a purring sound, arching toward him a bit.

Ken squeezed some gel onto his finger and began to rub it against the opening as he had before, softly coaxing it to open, to let him in. Omi stiffened a bit, remembering the pain upon entry before, and sure enough, it came again...along with a sensation of cold! What is the stuff he's using this time? Omi thought. But the pain quickly subsided, and the cold along with it, and as Ken started to move his finger around, a delicious pleasure started to spread through him. He let out a loud moan, leaning back against him...

Ken eased his finger out, wiped it off on the towel he had kept in the drawer, then began to re-lube it, along with a second finger. He slid the first one back in, and began his caressing motion again...then slowly, slowly slipped the second one in as well. Omi cried out as the pain returned, more intensely this time...but he remembered how it had always given way to pleasure before, and he relaxed. And as the fingers started to slide in and out, in and out, Omi felt a tingling warmth start to spread through him again. He let out a second moan, twice as loud as before.

Almost there, Ken thought. He took out the fingers again, wiped them...and this time, lubricated a third one. Omi was ready for the insertion this finger, two...and then, when the third pushed in, he cried out, the pain returning, a bit sharper this time...but he held on, waiting for it to subside, and sure enough, the pleasure came back again, even more intense than it had been before. "Ken," he groaned. " good..."

Now, Ken thought. He's ready. He slid the fingers out, then applied a bit more lubrication around his lover's opening. He grasped his hips and positioned himself...

And then, Omi surprised him. He reached up, grasping Ken's arm and pulling him downward. Ken leaned over, so his head was next to Omi's...and Omi turned his head, pulling him down so they could kiss.

"I love you, Ken," he said, sweetly.

"I love you too, Angel."

They kissed again, then Ken sat back up, positioning himself as he was before. He began to push forward, slowly, feeling the resistance at first, then the boy opening up bit by bit, receiving him by degrees.

Omi gritted his teeth against the pain. This was much more intense than any of the times with his fingers! But he felt Ken's fingers gently stroking and massaging along his back, reassuring him, telling him without words that it would go away soon.

Ken pushed forward more, and more, and Omi felt himself being filled, and filled some more, to the point where he thought he'd burst. But the pain was starting to subside a bit, and be replaced by other, sharp, sweet feelings.

"How are you doing, Angel?" Ken asked.

"All right. Don't stop."

"I wouldn't dream of it." Ken pushed forward a bit more, until he was firmly embedded within his lover. Oh, the sensation! he thought. He's so, so's like he's sucking me into him. He began to pull back, slowly, slowly, then push back in... Omi made a small "umm" sound, which encouraged Ken. He began to thrust slowly, feeling pleasure rising and rising within himself with every movement.

"Ohh, honey," Ken moaned, "you feel so good...gods, it's never felt this good before."

"Yes...ohh, you feel good, too...please, more..."

Ken began to pick up speed, and Omi began to groan very loudly - which grew louder still when Ken reached around his body and grasped his manhood, starting to pump it with his hand. Suddenly, there were delicious sensations coming at him from both front and back, and they were flooding him, overpowering him...Omi began to toss his head around, panting, gasping, moaning, calling Ken's name over and over, thinking he couldn't take much more, oh, it was too much, but he needed it, oh, he needed to come so, so badly...

Ken was also lost in sensation, the soft warmth engulfing him, leaving him, engulfing him again, making him want to bury himself in his lover forever, but no, he needed the friction, the movement, because he had had HAD to explode, to release...

And then, time seemed to stand still for both of them, and they froze, gasping, feeling themselves perched on the very edge of the universe.

Omi was first to be wracked with wild, luscious shudders, letting out a long, hoarse cry as he released himself, feeling like he was never, ever going to stop coming, and oh, gods, he didn't want to. The spasms within him touched off an answering explosion in his partner, and Ken shouted his lover's name as he was flooded with hot bliss over and over again.

Ken collapsed on top of Omi, and they just stayed there for a moment, panting, as reality gradually came back into focus. Then, he slipped out of his lover, quickly disposing of the condom and wiping both of them off with the towel.

They turned toward each other and kissed, tenderly, wrapping their arms around each other. Omi snuggled his head against Ken's chest, sighing contentedly.

"Wow," Ken said.

"Mmm," Omi purred. "I'll second that."

"You're amazing, you know that?"

Omi smiled lazily. "I try."

"You tried pretty damn well." The boys kissed again.

"Ken," Omi said, snuggling back onto his chest, "now that we're a couple, do you think we should tell the others?"

Ken stroked his hair. "I don't think there's any need, Angel. What they don't know, they'll find out eventually."

And one of them already knows, he thought. I owe you, Yohji, buddy. I owe you big-time. That clout to the jaw was the best thing anyone ever did for me.

Wrapped in each other's arms, they drifted off to a peaceful sleep.

It was just another day at Kitty in the House Flower Shop.

Outside, the gossip machine was going full-tilt. "They had to be fooling you!" the redhead said. "There's no WAY they'd do that for real!"

"Yohji said they were only teasing us," the purple-haired girl remarked.

"Do you believe that?" said the blonde. "Yohji wasn't there, how would he know!"

"I'm telling you," said the black-haired girl, "there were tongues all over! They wouldn't be doing that if it were a joke!"

"I don't know," said a heavyset dirty-blonde girl. "I heard all kinds of rumors about Ken and that anorexic bleached-blonde at the coffeehouse..."

"NO WAY!" the others shouted.

"Way! She came in here last week to buy day, Ken went over there, and then the day after that, and then the day after that..."

Inside, things were very quiet. Aya was sweeping the floor, and Yohji was counting the cash in the till.

And then, the greenhouse door burst open, and two laughing figures dashed into the room. Ken was noticably wet, as if he'd been sprayed with a hose. Which is exactly what had happened.

"I told you I'd get you for tickling me last night!" Omi whooped.

"Well, wait until you see what I've got in store for my revenge!" Ken said, grabbing for his sweetheart. Omi laughed again and dashed back into the greenhouse, with Ken in pursuit.

The others didn't even look up from what they were doing.

"They're not nauseatingly cute just yet," Aya said.

A peal of hysterical laughter came from behind the door, and Omi shrieked, "Stop...stop...STOP!"

"You weren't exactly saying that last night," Ken replied.

"I was when you were TICKLING me!"

"Well, if you don't want to be tickled anymore, you just have to...mmmm..."

The flow of words stopped, as if they had been cut off abruptly by a passionate kiss. Which is exactly what had happened.

There was a moment of silence...

Then, Aya said, "But they're getting there."

Well, Yohji thought, they're sickening...but they're happy. And that's a good sickening.

And all was quiet in the flower shop once again.

Author's Notes

I owe a BIG debt of thanks to my friends who held my hand and guided me through my first baby steps into the world of yaoi - Yohann de Sabrais, Sailor Star Love, Steve Savage (check out his original fantasy series, Xai, at and especially Alhanna Starbreeze, who was responsible for getting me hooked on Weiss in the first place. Each of them offered me advice in their own areas of expertise, which I am eternally grateful for.

Thanks also to Seki Tomokazu and Yuuki Hiro, whose masterful voice portrayals brought Ken and Omi so vividly to life and made me want to write about them. If there's ever an English dub of this series, the actors will have VERY big shoes to fill.