Circles Within the Circle
It's all so hard to believe. I glance up at Shigeru and smile even as we're walking through the woods with my hand clasped in his. We've done it. It's all over. And tonight... I gaze up at the darkening sky and feel totally at peace. Tonight, I'm his. Now and forever.
"How far is it to your mother's house, Satoshi?" Hiroshi asks, turning from where he, Kasumi, and Takeshi walk in front of us.
"Not much further," I assure him. "Don't worry, Hiro-kun."
Shigeru squeezes my hand. "Are you sure she'll let us use her house, koi? I don't think I feel entirely comfortable asking this of her, especially since we haven't even been introduced yet..."
"Don't worry, Geru-chan." I smile at him. "She won't mind. Besides, I'll introduce her to you when we get there. It'll all work out; you'll see."
"All right." He returns the smile briefly, and then we have to start looking where we're going, or we'll fall. I smile a little. Sometimes, we get a bit too caught up in each other.
When we make it to the house where I grew up, my mother is actually outside sweeping the porch. She's humming a familiar tune as she always had while sweeping, and I'm overtaken all at once with a rush of happiness. I'm home... "Mama!" I cry, breaking away from Shigeru and running to hug her.
She drops the broom. "Satoshi!" And then I'm in her arms. It feels wonderful to come home, even just for a little while. "What have you been doing? I've missed you!"
"I'm sorry, Mama." I smile against her shoulder, then pull back and turn slightly to where the others stand. "I've brought over a few people I want to introduce to you." So I start pointing to each of them as I say their names. "Hiroshi... Kasumi... Takeshi..." Then I have to smile at my fire-haired love. "And that's Shigeru. We're here to ask a favor, Mama."
"What's that?" she asks, still smiling.
"First of all, I need to tell you something." I slide out of her hold and face her, feeling ready to burst with holding back my news. I'm not always all that great at keeping secrets. "I'm in love."
"So soon?" Her eyes widen a bit, and then she smiles. "Well, I can't argue. Who's the lucky girl?"
Shigeru coughs uncomfortably, and I walk back and take his hand, smiling up at him. "Shigeru. I'm in love with Shigeru." For a moment, I'm completely lost in his eyes.
Then I hear a loud thump and look back. My mother has fainted.
"Mama?" I watch in confusion as Hiroshi examines her unconscious form, then glance back at Shigeru. "Was it something I said?"
I'm in love with the bluntest, most oblivious man in the world. I'm serious. I mean, Satoshi very obviously did not have a clue what he'd said to make his mother so shocked that she fainted. I still don't think he knows what it was, though by now she's awake and is talking away earnestly with him about what's been happening while he was away from home. Actually, she's a very nice woman. Didn't even object when she found out what we needed the house for, though she quite firmly told us that our activities would be confined to Satoshi's room, and we would be cleaning up afterwards as well.
I can live with that.
My eyes shift over to Satoshi, who had been watching me too, out of the corner of his eye. The sweetest little smile curves on his lips. Oh yes, I can definitely live with it.
However, there is something I feel that I have to take care of before tonight. And it has to do with the healer... I leave the porch and wander around the outside of the house. Hiroshi can't be far; I know he would've thought of this too, since he and Satoshi seem to be good friends and I'm positive he'd be concerned for my koi's well-being.
I find him at the far end of the house, chatting away with Kasumi and Takeshi -- well, with Kasumi, actually; Takeshi's just standing there nodding at every second word. "Can I talk to you for a second, Hiroshi?" I ask, interrupting. I know it's rude, but I'm trying to avoid hurting Satoshi, and politeness is definitely going to come second to that.
"Sure." He doesn't seem surprised. Giving Kasumi a quick peck on the cheek, he follows me off a short distance. "So, what's on your mind, Shigeru?"
"Tonight." Before he can comment, I move on. "I need your help. Do you have some kind of -- ?"
I'm cut off as he pulls a bottle out of his shirt pocket and hands it to me. "On the house," he offers, a half-smile on his face. "And I was hoping to talk to you, Shigeru. You do know what you're doing, don't you?" The look he gives me is quite serious, and I find myself feeling nervous all of a sudden.
"Sort of," I admitt. "I know the... uh, mechanics of it."
"There's more to it than that." He sighs and gives me a significant look. "Shigeru, I've treated patients who've done this sort of thing without knowing just what they were doing. Their condition isn't always minor, either. Sometimes jumping into this without any kind of advance knowledge or preparation can case nearly as much damage as if your partner was raped. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
He couldn't possibly have made it clearer. I nod. "Can you help me with that? I don't really want to hurt Satoshi, you know. Is there any way I can get around it?"
"It's going to hurt at least somewhat, no matter how careful you are," Hiroshi explains quite frankly. "Think about it, Shigeru. But, if you listen to me and then know what you're getting into, you can avoid doing any kind of damage to him. I don't want to be treating Sato-kun tomorrow morning, so pay attention, all right?"
I nod again, resisting the urge to add 'yes sir'. Hiroshi's an easy-going guy, but when it comes to healing and such, he's all business. Before he begins his speech, I don't think that I can be shocked in any way, shape, or form by what he's about to say, but by the time he finishes, I find that I was sadly mistaken. I come away from that frank little chat with my poor mind reeling and my cheeks flushed. Dear gods!
Satoshi finds me like that moments later, leaning against a tree with that bottle still clenched in one hand. "There you are," he says, hurrying over to cuddle up next to me. "Is something the matter, Geru-chan? You look awfully flushed."
I shake my head. "No, I'm fine. Ready for tonight, koi?"
He flushes but smiles at me. "I think so."
I return the smile and pull him closer. "That's good." He feels soft against me, melting into my touch as I store the bottle in my pocket and reach up to brush his face lightly. "You're so beautiful, Toshi-chan," I tell him softly. "I love you, you know."
"Mmm... I love you too." He sighs, closing his eyes and leaning into my fingers as I caress his cheek. "You know what, Shigeru?" He opens his eyes again and looks at me quite seriously. "I think it's still OK if we kiss a few times before the ceremony, don't you?"
A grin spreads across my face. "You know, koi, I believe you're right. It is still OK..." And I lean down to take his lips.
He's sweet, like the night before. Maybe too sweet, I realize, as our bodies press together, seeking that closeness instinctively. His arms wind around my neck, and I experience a moment of complete and utter irrationality. The feel of his heartbeat close against mine nearly drives me wild. I want to bring us even closer than we are, removing that annoying barrior of cloth that keeps us from molding into one. He seems to be enjoying this as well; he whimpers slightly as his thigh brushes my groin and he is given solid proof that I want him, quite badly. "Shigeru," he murmurs, against my lips.
"Satoshi," I reply, just as softly, then run my tongue over that slightly open mouth. He lets me in willingly, even eagerly, and I'm struck by the thought that this could easily lead to practicing before the ceremony -- which, I'm almost positive, is not allowed.
So I stop us this time, breaking from the kiss reluctantly. Satoshi looks a bit dazed... I can't bring myself to loosen my grip on him. Oh well, as long as I'm not taking his clothes off, we'll be fine. I can't take his virginity if we're still fully dressed, now can I? "I think we need to cool off, koishii," I suggest, leaning my forehead against his. "Don't you?"
"Yeah." He sighs. "It won't be too long, Shigeru, will it? We can wait."
"Right." I make no move to leave the embrace, though, and neither does he. "We've spent this long waiting. I'm sure we can do it for just a short while longer."
"We can," he adds, for good measure, then leans against me some more. We stay like that, closely caught in each other's arms, until Takeshi comes to get us for the ceremony.
I'm not sure why I'm so calm, or why this feels so spiritual. It's like Shigeru and I are a single soul that was separated into two bodies because it couldn't fit into one. It's dark out, and the sky is clear, with bright stars scattered across it. I feel as though I'm in a separate world, reality's fallen away, and there is only Shigeru and myself, standing opposite each other. For this one, magical snippet of time, we are the world. Just the two of us.
Takeshi is speaking. I can't register what he's saying, but the meaning of his speech doesn't elude me. My eyes are locked with Shigeru's; in a spiritual as well as physical sense, we become one tonight. Fire and Earth. I can't believe this inhuman patience and calm that's taken over me. All that I can see, sense, or feel is Shigeru. His eyes possess me in a way, but the fill me as well. We're exchanging our hearts in just this gaze. He has mine; I have his.
I am yours. And you are mine.
"Earth, containment." Those are the first words of Takeshi's to come through to me. There has been no rehearsal for this moment at all, but I know just what to do. Slowly, I call up my Earth control and concentrate it in the area directly in front of me. A ring of firm earth rises to a height equal with my waist. And then I stop it there, and leave it.
My eyes never once leave Shigeru's.
"Fire, uprising." As I watch now, Shigeru begins to glow -- red, of course, as he was when fighting the Fire crisis. In the center of my ring of earth, a touch of flame sparks, rising to full height but unable to spread beyond that cool barrior I had created. The glow surrounding Shigeru fades as he tells the fire to burn on its own.
Both of us now know exactly what to do. I stare across at Shigeru, as I have done so many in dreams, over a contained flame that highlights his face. There is, as there always was, no one and nothing else in the world besides the two of us, and the circle of flames. This is our reason for existance. We were born for no other reason than to be together. As he has before in the dream, Shigeru reaches over the dancing fire to extend his hand to me. My response is, as always, automatic: I reach out to place my own hand in his. We move to the side, away from the fire and earth, and step in to stand close together, eyes fixed on each other. He holds my hand firmly, but not so that it hurts me. I am his, but not painfully possessed. I squeeze his fingers in return. And he's mine, too...
"Are you ready?" he asks softly.
"Forever." And I am.
"When this flame goes out, and that ring of earth falls back into the ground," Takeshi says quietly, "the Elements Earth and Fire will be in harmony." He straightens. "Which means that all witnesses may leave the area to allow this final joining to take place."
I don't notice them leave.
"Let's go inside, Satoshi," Shigeru murmurs, stepping back so that he can still watch me as he leads me forward and into my mother's house.
I feel less detatched now as I close the door to Satoshi's room behind us. We have the whole house to ourselves now; it's perfect... I hardly know where to begin with this, either, but that's just stupid. I've spent most of my life dreaming about this moment, and I'll be damned if I'm going to waste any time debating over how to go about starting it.
So I take both of his hands in mine, and then kiss him tenderly, trying to let all the love I feel for him show in that one act.
I think it's impossible, at this point in our relationship, for us to simply kiss and be able to casually brush aside the desire for more -- especially considering the circumstances that brought us together. As I ply apart his soft lips and taste him -- sweet, as always -- I can feel heat building all through me. I want him so badly now, worse than ever before. Maybe it's just the atmosphere that the ceremony created, or maybe it's the fact that we're alone in his bedroom... I don't know, and I don't care. All I know is, Satoshi is melting against me, moaning a little against my lips, and I have to have him.
I pull back at that thought, parting our lips as slowly as I can to make that feeling of loss more bearable, and pause to stare into his dark eyes. Every other emotion in them has been banished save love and desire. I don't see fear or nervousness at all, which reassures me. Still, neither of us speaks, as if words will somehow spoil this precious moment we're in.
I'm not, however, in the mood for wasting time. I begin to undo the fastenings of his shirt, keeping my eyes fixed on his as I do. He's trembling with emotion and barely-contained longing, but I know he feels the same way about this that I do. There will be other times -- many of them, if I can help it -- for us to do this in different ways and with different levels of emotion involved. But tonight, we're going to concentrate solely on love. There will be a certain amount of passion, of course, but I want to watch his expression as we become one, and this is going to be as gentle as I can possibly make it so that he never has to wince or look pained.
The fastenings of his shirt are undone, and a simple nudge slips it off his smooth shoulders and into a puddle on the ground. I can't keep my gaze on his eyes; it drifts down from that vision of luminous brown to fall on his slender neck, over the lithe form of his shoulders, and down that smooth, lightly muscled chest. Everything about him falls in beautiful lines, one part of his body will just flow into the next, and so on all through him. His skin is so pale, it's like alabaster... And then that beauty ends at the waistband of his pants. I reach for the fastenings, anxious to reveal more of him.
He's blushing; it spreads over his cheeks and down onto his shoulders as I let his pants and shorts fall away to complete that loveliness. I was right; everything about him fits into the rest of him perfectly, like he was made liquid and then solidified into a living human being. My pants start to become fairly uncomfortable as I let my eyes run freely over his body, committing every inch of his form to memory. He's slender all around, though his hips and waist are more so than his chest and shoulders. He's not too poorly... endowed... either, I note with just a hint of a smirk. I trace a finger down his chest, lingering against that expanse of soft skin, and he shivers.
But, as I had suspected anyway, he's not the type to sit back and let me do all the work. His eager hands are busy with the fastenings of my shirt now, and I smile and relax, letting him strip the upper half of me. Absently, I have to wonder what he's going to think of when he sees me bare...
My knees are starting to waver as I finish with Shigeru's shirt and he shrugs it off. I've wanted this for so long now... Just to be with him, to have this most intimate moment of closeness. We're going to make love tonight. The thought thrills me to no end. There's no clothing to hide my excitement, but I hardly care.
I let my eyes wander over my soon-to-be lover's chest, feeling the heat at the pit of my stomach growing with every second. He looks pretty strong... Lean and muscular, I mean, not overly built. His shoulder are a hand's-length broader than mine, but his arms are slim, with the muscle built in rather than blatantly obvious. His chest looks solid... I feel a sudden rush of a desire to press myself against that hardness, to feel him take me quickly and keep us joined together for as long as possible. But I stifle it and concentrate on seeing the rest of him. I can already tell that he wants me as much as I want him; the bulge in his pants gives that away nicely. I want to see it without any kind of cloth covering him, so I fumble with the fastenings, fingers suddenly clumsy in my excitement.
There's a smirk on his face, probably caused by my obvious eagerness, but my eyes are, for the most part, fixed on every new inch of skin I expose as I pull his pants and undershorts down. I have to swallow -- hard -- as I get my first look as his rather impressive rise of manhood. It's... well... um... pretty big, or at least it seems so right now. I have a brief battle with another onslaught of blind lust and a faint tinge of nervousness. I know Shigeru would never hurt me on purpose, but this could wind up being quite painful. But, my body tells me insistently, it could wind up being quite... good... too.
I straighten again as Shigeru kicks off his pants and smiles at me. I want to throw myself into his arms, but I force that impulse down. I really don't want this to be just mad passionate sex. I mean, I wouldn't mind doing that sort of thing with him some time, but not tonight. I reach out and trace over the firm lines of his shoulders and chest with my fingers. His skin is almost like velvet under my touch, and I can see the contrast in shading between it and my own right away. He's got darker skin than me -- not surprising, considering that he's a Fire mage. I circle my fingertips around his nipples and he shudders, eyes clouding with a need that equals my own.
"That's enough, Satoshi," he whispers, catching my hands in his. "Not too much."
I nod. "OK. Bed?" Perhaps that came out just a touch too eager...
Shigeru smiles. "Of course. Whatever you wish, koishii." Before I know what's happening, he's caught me up in his arms, kissing me passionately... And then I'm set down on the bed carefully. I don't think he can stop kissing me, either; I know my arms seem to be locked around his neck.
And he starts to kiss down my jawline, over my throat, onto my chest. I struggle for some coherent thought, writhing under his talented mouth. I won't last long if he starts on this; I already feel as though I'm poised right on the verge of climaxing at this moment. And I want to save that, for when he fills me... Oh, not good thoughts. "Shigeru!" I barely managed to squeak, my chest arching involuntarily as he kisses his way down the front of it. "Wait..."
He pauses, and I lie there for a few seconds, trying to regain my ability to think. "Don't... I mean, I don't think I'll last if you start that. All right?"
A half-smile lights his face. "All right." He kisses me again, then pulls back and leans over me. "I need to get something, koi, so just stay right there." He leaves for a moment, and I experience a sharp pang of loss. It doesn't take him long to return, though; he's got one of Hiroshi's bottles in one hand, but he sets that down on the small stand at my bedside, and focusses on me once again.
"Ready?" he asks, and I detect a faint note of worry in his voice. I smile to reassure him, and nod. Why on earth would I not be ready? I've spent my whole life preparing for this moment. "All right," he says softly, and moves his hand between my thighs to part them.
Shigeru obviously knows a lot more about this than I do, so I let him arrange me however he thinks is best. The next thing he does is grab that bottle again, and then he proceeds to coat his fingers with the contents. Oh. I think I know what's...
"Just relax," he says softly, brushing my hair with one hand as he eases a finger into me. I jerk a little in shock. It feels weird... I can't help it; I tense involuntarily. "Relax," he repeats, not moving. "It's going to hurt if you're tense. You have to relax, Sato-chan."
I sigh and force my body to go slack. I think that most of that strangeness was just from the shock, because it's not bothering me any more. In fact... Shigeru moves his finger inside me, and I gasp, back arching instinctively. "Oh... Shi... Shi..." I can't get the rest of his name out. There's a faint tinge of... something... beginning where his finger takes me and spreading through my whole body. I want more... "Shi... geru..."
"Shh." I stroke Satoshi's hair soothingly, then cup his chin and take a look down into his desperate eyes. Any hesitation I've felt before has to be put aside now. I work another finger in beside the first, and he jumps like he did the first time.
"Oh... gods... oh!"
I try to calm him down; there are actual tears in his eyes. "Am I hurting you?"
His head shakes violently, but he's silent, as if speech is beyond him. The tears fall at that movement, one down each cheek. I lean forward and kiss them away, moving my fingers slightly. He moans and his breath quickens. "Oh..."
I don't ask this time, but just add a third finger. His arms lock around my neck, and I feel dampness against my shoulder. "Toshi-chan...?"
"Take me!" he whispers in my ear, fiercely. "Now, Shigeru!"
Was that an ultimatum? Oh, hell, what do I care? I pull my fingers out of him, and then gather him up in my arms, poised just over him. "Brace yourself, koi," I whisper, and then press into him slowly.
A slight whimper escapes his throat, but he makes no other sound. His eyes are tightly closed, with tears leaking out through them despite his best efforts. I have to close mine as well, but for a different reason. I know this has to be hurting him; I can tell because of how tight he is around me, how closely his inner walls surround me... oh gods, he's so warm and perfect... I come very close to losing it completely; all I can feel is pleasure.
"T-Tell me... if it hurts..." I reach out a shaking hand and stroke his beautiful face.
His eyes fly open and meet mine. "I'm fine," he says hoarsely. "Don't you dare stop!" One of his hands grabs mine and our fingers lock. And then... I'm all the way in.
It feels incredible.
Our eyes meet and lock in place; we don't need words any more. I pull almost all the way out of him and then thrust back in, slowly, watching his his face shift to express pleasure mingled with love for me and just a faint hint of pain. It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
I continue to move into him like that, establishing a rythmn. The noises that escape Satoshi's lips -- soft moans, whimpers, little cries that sound like attempts to voice my name -- are slowly driving me crazy. I start to move a little faster, go a little deeper, and... He lets out a strangled moan and his hand tightens around mine.
"That... that..." I think I hit the right spot. I go for the same place again, and I'm rewarded with a loud whimper. "Ohh... good..."
I don't want to lose it now that I've found his tender spot, so I start to thrust faster, aiming for that same place every time. Now we're both making a lot of noise; if Satoshi is feeling even half of what I'm feeling, then I understand why. It's... gods... He's clutching my hand so tightly, moaning and gasping and crying my name, over and over.
"Shi... Shigeru... Shi... ge... ru... oh gods!" He screams, and then his whole body jerks, spilling his essense on my chest. Inwardly, he convulses around me, and it only takes one more thrust into that yielding warmth before I empty myself inside of him, gasping out his name. I collapse against him, spent.
Satoshi lets out a weary sigh, and I remember that I have to pull out of him before he gets too tight. We both experience a moment of loss, and then everything seems to settle down to normal. For a moment, we lie still, staring into each other's eyes as we attempt to catch our breath.
I speak up first. "Love you, Toshi-chan," I tell him softly, winding my arms around his waist and then pulling us both over so we're lying on our sides.
"I love you too, Geru-koi." He snuggles in closer, then turns his big brown eyes on me. "I have a question to ask you now." There's worry in that gaze, and I'm instantly concerned.
"What is it?" I pull him against me.
"Well..." He hesitates. "Now that you've done everything that you had to do here, I was wondering... do you plan to go back to your palace and be the King again?" I can see the emotion in his eyes as he stares up at me, hoping for some clue of what I want.
A smile inches across my face, and I reach up and brush a hand over Satoshi's soft cheek, then through his silky dark hair. "Only if that's where you want to be, koi. I plan to live wherever you are."
He blinks and a wondering smile flutters on his lips. "Shigeru," he murmurs huskily, and buries his face in my shoulder. I wrap my arms more tightly around him, and we drift off to sleep in each other's embrace, finally content.
In the field outside, that small flame burns itself out, even as the ring of earth sinks back into the ground from which it had came. As if there had been no disturbance at all.
Circles within the Circle