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World Curled Dark: Chapter 11
by [ profile] gwendolynflight & [ profile] scribblemoose

Rating: MA
Fandom: Weiß Kreuz
Words: 3327
Archive: Please ask first
Note: Chapters 1-10

The sun was still bright for all that it had started its descent behind the Tokyo skyline, and it felt much too early to be going out. Normally Yohji preferred to retreat to a bar until the world was dark and neon-sparkled before he even contemplated partying.

There was something about walking down the street with his boyfriend (yes, boyfriend, he thought with a stupid smile that wouldn't go away), a cheap bottle of wine in one hand, the other itching to fold itself around Ran's, something that made him feel, well...


And Kudoh Yohji hadn't felt young for a very, very long time.

"Are you sure about this?" Ran asked, voice small and uncertain, breaking into Yohji's reverie.

"Sure about what?"

Ran's boots scuffed on the sidewalk for a minute. "Everything, I guess," he finally said. "Should we be going to this party? I don't ... I don't know how to act."

"Never been to a college party before, eh? Don't worry, Ran-chan. Just do as I do and you'll be fine."

Ran cast him a half-hearted glare. "Great advice, Kudoh," he muttered. "I can tell, this'll go great."

"This is my element," said Yohji, unruffled by Ran's lack of confidence in him. "Trust me. All you have to do is drink, laugh at all my jokes and whatever you do don't play spin the bottle. Or I might have to kill someone."

Ran thought about that for a moment. "All right, that actually sounds doable. No spin the bottle. Check." They walked quietly for a moment before Ran asked, "What's spin the bottle?"

Yohji shot him a look of disbelief. "You never-" Ran's glare cut his incredulous gloating short. He cleared his throat. "You sit in a circle and spin an empty bottle. Whoever it ends up pointing towards, you kiss them."

Ran snorted. "That's a good one. Really, though, what is it?"

Yohji chuckled. "No, that's it. You'll see. Or ask Aya-chan, if you don't believe me."

Ran still looked doubtful, but didn't object further as they approached a neighborhood where every other house was lit up like christmas and music blaring out of every one.

"Here we are," said Yohji. "Second on the left. One with the banner in the window."

"And you're sure this will maintain our cover?" Ran asked again, still with that horrible feeling in the pit of his stomach like they were all going to die in a fiery explosion or anyway not have a good time. Yohji stopped, slipping an arm far too easily around Ran's shoulder.

"It's worked before. Is it the college thing?" He smirked. "Feeling to old to pass as a student, is that it, Ran-chan?"

Ran shrugged irritably, but not enough to actually dislodge Yohji's arm. "If anything we're young to be in the graduate program," he admitted, and then they were at the front porch of the bannered house and Yohji's answer was just a whisper before he turned smiling to the door.

A girl stood there, smiling perkily at them both (mostly Yohji) and excepted the bottle Yohji handed her with a little giggle. "Good evening, Yohji-san!" She squeaked. "Who's your friend?"

"This is Ran," Yohji said, gliding them both through the door. "Ran, this is Yuki-chan. She's in one of my classes." He treated the girl to a particularly charming smile. "I forget which. I wasn't paying attention to the teacher."

The girl giggled prettily and overlooked Ran's outstretched hand, leading Yohji inside. Ran watched them go, and followed more slowly. "Oh yeah," he repeated to himself softly. "This is gonna go great."

She led them through a hallway to the main room of the apartment; small and full of people, the crowd spilling out into a tiny back yard twinkling with fairy lights and glo-sticks. Yohji scanned the room, allowing Yuki to tug him along as he made an inventory of entrances, exits, potential threats and, without really registering it, the more attractive girls. Ran followed more slowly, watching Yohji watching girls, and felt the old nervous sinking in the pit of his stomach, like the world was shifting beneath him and nothing was certain anymore. Yohji had given him words, but the party was louder than he liked, and brighter, and that girl had led Yohji straight to several bottles of cheap wine lined up on a counter in the kitchen.

Yohji had added their contribution to the line and was talking to the girl. She laughed and passed him a corkscrew, pointed at a stack of plastic glasses at the end of the counter. Her hand lingered on Yohji's arm.

Ran slipped into mission mode, welcome refuge from the dizzying feelings Yohji aroused in him. Safe, cold, logic. Find the target, kill the target, job done.

"Red or white?" said Yohji.

"Red," he muttered in return, edging closer to Yohji as the party became more crowded.

Yohji gave him a sidelong look as he sloshed red wine into a glass for him. "There you go," he said, fingers brushing Ran's as he passed him his drink and lingering far longer than necessary. "Okay?"

Ran shrugged, still paying more attention to the crowd than to Yohji. "It's loud," he muttered, sipping the wine and wrinkling his nose at the sour taste. "And this wine is ..."

"Yeah, I know. It's okay, you don't have to drink it." He leaned in, lips brushing Ran's ear. "I'll give you the good stuff when we get home."

Ran felt his cheeks heating, and he ducked his head to hide the rising color. "Yohji," he hissed.

Yohji chuckled. "It's a pity we have to work, really. This would be much more fun if we didn't."

"But we are working," Ran said repressively, trying to hide a grin behind his glass.

Yohji's grin got a little wider, a little more wicked. "So, this undercover thing." His fingertip traced a pattern on Ran's wrist. "How far we gonna take it?"

"We might have to get high," Ran proposed, very serious. "To hook the dealer."

The corner of Yohji's mouth twitched, but he tried to keep a straight face. He moved a little closer. "There might be other party things we have to do to be convincing."

"Yes," Ran said, still as though at a briefing, though his eyes held a suspicious shine to them. "You had mentioned spin the can."

"That would be," Yohji said, trying to stifle a laugh, and then thought better of it. He risked a kiss instead, just a brief, fleeting press of lips, his fingers tickling Ran's palm.

Ran moved closer, just a bit, not enough that an onlooker would be able to tell, but enough that Yohji felt him respond, and he smiled up at Yohji's look of surprise.

"Let's find the chill-out room," Yohji said, his heart thudding in his chest. "If there's any action, that's where it'll be. And if there isn't, it's likliest to be the darkest, emptiest room in the place."

"Dark," Ran repeated softly, trying for flirtatious. "Is that a prerequisite?"

"No, but it's an advantage." Yohji fought the urge to gather Ran up in his arms and kiss him senseless, clasped his hand firmly and led him back into the hall.

Yohji strode down the hall with practised ease, eyes flicking into a couple of rooms, smiling at a couple of girls, while Ran followed in his wake.

"There," said Ran softly. "Opposite the stairs."

Yohji caught the distant strains of a mellow, jazz-inspired track, and sniffed. The distant, but unmistakable smell of grass. "Bingo," he said. "Just follow me, do what I do."

"That ... you're beginning to worry me," Ran muttered, edging a little closer to Yohji as they entered a dimly-lit room.

"Stick with me and you'll be fine," Yohji whispered, enjoying all this far too much for Ran's liking.

It was very dark in the room, just some low lights in the corners, not enough to see by and Ran had the distinct impression of movement around the perimeter, a sense of twining smoke and writhing bodies and all the sounds that go with it.

"Hmm. There's a space over there," Yohji whispered, and led Ran through the maze of bodies, cushions and shapes that Ran couldn't quite make out. But Yohji's navigation was impeccable. The man was so good in the dark that Aya had wondered more than once if he was half-cat.

Yohji settled them into a single overstuffed chair wedged into a corner, and if Ran found himself in Yohji's lap, at least no one could see them in the shadows, and they had an excellent view of everyone else. Ran shifted a little so that he was curled in the seat, leaning on Yohji with one arm around Yohji's shoulders.

Yohji rested one cheek against Ran's chest, draped an arm over Ran's thighs and closed his eyes. "If we stay here long enough," he whispered, "we should find out who does the gear around here."

Ran found himself nuzzling Yohji's hair, but decided it wouldn't seem out of place here. "Should that take long?" he asked, nosing at the back of Yohji's neck where Yohji was ticklish. "These people seem like they're already on drugs."

Yohji shivered, stifling a giggle. "I hope it lasts for ages," he murmured. He stroked Ran's thigh, squeezing just a little, turned his head and caught him for a kiss. Ran's lips were soft, his mouth was warm and the tip of his tongue flicked at Yohji's teeth. "Best time to sell 'em more," he said. "While they're too wasted to negotiate."

"But we're not wasted," Ran mumured into a kiss, feeling bold and a little uncertain about it, Yohji's hands on his arse, now, and he pulled away to catch his breath.

Yohji chased after him, not letting him stop, not letting his tongue get away. "I'm fuckin' high on something," he muttered, and pulled Ran closer, winding one eartail around his little finger, tugging gently.

Ran followed the tug into another kiss, wrapped his hands around Yohji's shoulders and wriggled a little closer until he could feel how hard Yohji was.

"Be careful," Yohji said, lips curving into a sly smile. "I might lose my concentration on the mission." But his eyes stayed just the slightest fraction open as Ran kissed the arch of his throat.

"I'm trying to be convincing," Ran murmured against Yohji's skin, voice a little too arch to be sincere.

"Well, you're convincing me. You wanna take this a little further?" Yohji's hand hovered at the top of Ran's thigh, thumb just barely brushing the denim below the zip of his jeans.

Ran's breath stuttered, quickened. "I, here? It's ..."

"It's turning you on," said Yohji huskily, trailing his lips roughly along Ran's jaw. "You like it."

Ran's pupils were blown, from the dim lighting, from desire, and he was chewing on his lower lip uncertainly but pressing closer to Yohji, and Yohji tongued his neck and he arched back, eyes closing and the feeling dragged a needy little sound from his throat, not quite a whimper.

"Oh yeah," Yohji tugged on Ran's zipper; it fell easily, and Ran was trembling under his touch, his skin warm under his lips and under his fingertips.

"God, you're so hard," Yohji whispered, lips ghosting over Ran's. He gave a little squeak of surprise when Ran's tongue plunged into his mouth.

Yohji teased the head of Ran's cock, spreading wet over the tip, while Ran panted in his ear, trembling with it.

The door opened wide for a moment, flooding the room with sudden light.

Ran froze in his arms, but didn't move, and Yohji glanced over Ran's shoulder to the door and the three men standing against the light.

"Yohji?" Ran breathed, voice a little high.

"Yeah," said Yohji. It took all his self-control to take his hand out of Ran's pants. His lips brushed Ran's ear. "Act natural. Kiss my neck."

Ran nodded, feeling a little shaky, and lowered his lips to Yohji's neck though they were stiff and he felt a little cold. Yohji was warm against him, and he whispered, "What are they doing?" into the heat of Yohji's neck.

Yohji wrapped his arms around Ran's middle, warm and protective. "Scoping the place out," he whispered, tongue brushing Ran's ear lobe. "There's a couple of kids in the corner look interested... yeah, they're moving in."

"This is more your, um, area of expertise," Ran murmured, shivering as Yohji's tongue found a sensitive place on his neck. "Should we wait?"

"Yeah, just a few more minutes, see what happens." Yohji nuzzled the damp skin of Ran's neck. He fought to keep his eyes open, to keep his hands still. "They're talking. Could be nothing."

"How do we get them to sell us drugs?" Ran asked, voice a little dazed and his hands unsteady against Yohji's back.

"We wait til they've gone." Yohji punctuated his words with soft kisses to Ran's skin. "Then we go ask those guys where they scored. With a bit of luck they'll introduce us. Best be sure what's going on first though. Damn, it's hard to see in this light."

Yohji peered into the gloom, every fibre of his being yearning for Ran, and not in the slightest bit interested in work of any kind. He could make out separate bodies, now. The potential dealers were at the far end of the room, sitting with a group of three kids, two girls and a boy by the looks of it. He couldn't have explained to Ran, exactly, how he knew those two were dealers, and certainly not without giving away things about his own past that were strictly between him and Kritiker. Call it instinct.

He scanned the room, amending his mental map, escape routes, potential sources of danger. But there were just kids, doing what kids do, except... hang on a minute... wasn't that...?

Yohji squinted into the darkness, his hand still in Ran's hair.

Ran caught the shift in Yohji's focus instantly, sliding around in Yohji's lap until he could cover the same field of vision. "What do you see?" he hissed, trying to make out separate shapes in the darker corners of the room.

"I'm not sure, I thought, but-"

"Where?" Ran pressed, straining to see into the dark corner. "It could be important."

"No, it's not the mission, I just thought I saw Omi."

Ran turned to stone on a bitten-off curse, his eyes fixed on something in the corner, rigid in Yohji's lap and poised as if ready to leap.

"What?" said Yohji. "~Is it Omi?"

"It's Aya," Ran growled, and immediately Yohji's arms tightened around his waist like a vice.

"Oh no you don't," Yohji said. "It's a party. She's entitled to be here. More entitled than we are, if you think of it. You make a fuss and you'll have a stroppy teenager on your hands."

Ran was wriggling in his hold, and hopefully it looked to anyone watching like more of a good time. "If she's doing drugs, Yohji ..." Ran hissed a warning.

"Don't be an idiot, Ran. She's probably just... it's probably not even her, I mean are you sure?"

Ran's head whipped around, strands of hair stinging Yohji's cheek, and Ran was glaring at him with killing eyes. "She's my sister." Something in Yohji's expression must've changed, because Ran's eyes softened, just a fraction. "I'm sure."

"Yes," Yohji said. "She's your sister. So you know she wouldn't do anything stupid. Right?"

"But, she, and," Ran sputtered, hands tightening on Yohji's shoulders like a vise.

"She's alright," said Yohji, calmly. "Talk to her at home if you have to. Apart from anything else, you're going to blow our cover if you make a scene. And I'm not just talking about the mission. Okay?"

"But what if something happens to her?" Ran whispered a little helplessly, still staring at the corner of the room with slanting eyes.

"Nothing will happen to her," Yohji whispered back. "Trust her, Ran. Have a little faith. Look, those guys are leaving. Let me handle this."

Ran hesitated for a moment, chewing on his lower lip but absently like he didn't realize he was doing it, and finally turned back to Yohji with something like hope. "Alright," he said, tongue wetting his bitten lip in an absent motion. "I trust you, Yohji."

Yohji held his gaze for long enough to seal the deal, then kissed him, holding him close, reassuring, his heart impossibly full. He slid out from under Ran's long legs and caught the dealers just as they were about to leave the room.

Ran watched him go, watched him sidle up to strange men and start a conversation, and tried to imagine how that would go. 'Hi, I'm an addict, I'd like to buy more drugs ...' Ran shook his head a little at his own thoughts, very well aware why he was the one in the corner and Yohji was the one exchanging money for small packets in the shadow of a doorway.

A growing smile quickly died. Had Aya begun such a conversation? Had she offered a folded wad of money, accepted a paper twist, did she know how to talk to strangers at parties, was she using drugs? What if she was using drugs, what if she was addicted? How was she paying for it, were there any in the shop, what if she'd left drugs lying around the shop?

A hand closed on his wrist, so hard his other arm automatically swung back, ready to punch.

"Hey." A voice from the dark place, that cut through Ran's fear and panic and went straight to his heart. "It's okay. We're done."

"We are?" Ran asked, catching at Yohji's hand, feeling a little lost still. "Did we, um, was the mission successful?"

"Yeah, they're dealing alright. Didn't have what I wanted on them but said they'll get it. Meeting them again tomorrow at Shinjuku station." His fingers folded around Ran's, and squeezed a little. "You want to get out of here? Or," Yohji's grin widened, took on heat, "we could pick up where we left off when we had to go to work."

Ran returned the gentle pressure, but glanced over to where he'd seen Aya-chan. "I don't want to leave her here," he said quietly, stubbornly.

Yohji looked over his shoulder towards the shadows. Hard to tell with so many people and so little light, but he hadn't seen her leave.

"Okay, baby, but don't forget. If you saw her, she could look over and see us. You ready to take that risk?"

"I don't know." Ran closed his eyes, his head tilting forward and all he felt was tired. "She shouldn't find out like this," he said after a long moment.

"Let's go home," Yohji breathed into his ear. "You go ahead and wait outside, I'll finish up here, okay?" His fingers stroked Ran's neck, soft and soothing.

Ran nodded, leaning into the touch. "If you think we can leave," he murmured.

"We can do what we want," said Yohji. "Anything, babe. Anything."

Ran was looking into his eyes, almost as though he were searching for something, and this was the same man who only a few months earlier had run out on a mission to chase that Taketori guy, but then again maybe a month after that he'd insisted on completing a mission while he was so cut up he risked bleeding out, so Yohji really wasn't sure which way this would go but he knew it would be Ran's decision.

Which made it a pretty big fucking deal when Ran smiled a little, and closed his eyes, and said, "Whatever you think, Yohji."

Yohji pulled him closer, and Ran dropped his head to Yohji's shoulder, face burrowing into his neck. Yohji buried his fingers in blood-red hair and kissed Ran's temples.

"Let's go home," he whispered.

To be continued...
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