an offering for the moon

“Put your arms like this.” Kantarou took Haruka’s wrists and pulled them forward, until they crossed around Kantarou’s chest. “See?”

Haruka snorted; the breath ruffled Kantarou’s hair and felt warm and damp against his scalp. “What’s the point?”

“Eh, the point?” Kantarou tipped his head back and to the side; he could only see part of Haruka’s profile, sharp and shadowed in the evening, but the moon was always kind to youkai: even the stubbiest, weakest creature looked mysterious or beautiful or terrible — and in Haruka’s case, all three. He almost reached out to touch, but tightened his grip on Haruka instead.

“The point,” Haruka said, and Kantarou almost jumped — too busy watching, he thought ruefully, then smiled until it made his face hurt.

“The point,” Kantarou said, and drew out each syllable, “is that it’s comfortable, and I like it.”

He’d been expecting Haruka’s snort, and when it came, he ducked his head to hide the more genuine smile it prompted. “You’re an idiot.”

Kantarou did laugh then, wriggling to get more comfortable. Against his back, Haruka’s chest was warm and solid, unmoving even when he squirmed. “Maybe,” he said lightly. “Eh, but I still have Haruka, so I’m all right with that.”

Haruka snorted again, but the following silence was comfortable, and Kantarou settled into it with pleasure. Below them stretched dark close-cropped forest, and beyond the line of trees, scattered lights of Tokyo were visible, like small bright stars pulled to earth. Wind rustled the tree branches around them and Haruka’s feathers, all dry whispering sounds. He drew a hand idly down the length of Haruka’s arm, from elbow to wrist, and then from wrist to the oddly delicate bones of Haruka’s hand and long fingers. They ended in blunt human nails, and from first glance no one would ever know how they could lengthen and sharpen, enough to rip a man’s throat out.

“Don’t play with that,” Haruka said flatly. “You said you wanted to do moon-watching. The moon’s up there.”

Through his lashes, Kantarou looked up, through the branches and into the misty sky. Clouds wreathed the moon, like the ripples of a lady’s veil. He looked at Haruka then, the stern familiar face with its arching high cheekbones and slanted eyes. With his free hand he reached up and touched Haruka’s jaw, drawing his fingers down its edge. Haruka’s brows furrowed, but he leaned into the touch rather than away. Under Kantarou’s other hand, his fingers flexed into hooked claws, then out.

“It is, isn’t it?” Kantarou said. “And it’s very pretty. But isn’t this fun too?”

Haruka raised an eyebrow, but his expression remained the same as Kantarou pressed fingers past his lips, feeling the sharp points of canines. “Nn.”

“Ehhh, Harukaaaaaa.” Kantarou twisted, wide-eyed and cute. “Come on, you like this too, right?”

Haruka gave a long-suffering sigh. “You …”

Wriggling, Kantarou stretched his arm out, over the curve of Haruka’s shoulder and down that, up the length of a wing and along glossy black feathers; Haruka made a low noise in his throat and shivered. He grinned and pressed his face into the curve of Haruka’s throat, petting his wings in slow soothing gestures. After a few passes of his hand, a low rumbling noise rose from the depths of Haruka’s throat. “What, Haruka doesn’t like this? He could say so, but I’d think he was lying.”

Against his thumb, he felt the edge of Haruka’s fang shift, growing longer until the point pressed against the pad and moved down. When he finally pulled it out, there was a thin line of blood running down his finger. He considered it, then held it up for consideration, still petting Haruka’s wing as he did; even in the dim light of the moon, he saw Haruka’s pupils dilate to pinpoints. Through his parted lips, the tips of his fangs were visible.

“Haruka?” he asked, smiling. “Ahh, you’re thinking of something naughty, aren’t you?” He pressed his index finger to the base of his cut until a new drop of blood oozed up from that. “You want this?”

Haruka made a low noise, his mouth opening wider. In the moonlight, his eyes were almost white, glowing of their own accord. “Kantarou–”

“Ah, my name!” Kantarou beamed and pressed his thumb to the part of Haruka’s mouth. “Something nice should get a reward, right~? Something tasty — ah, don’t bite too hard,” he added, when Haruka’s mouth closed around it, sucking at the faint well of blood. “I’ll make it command if I have to.”

There was a moment’s pause. Haruka’s eyes flicked up, ice-pale and gleaming. His wings flared up, away from Kantarou’s palm and shedding feathers, then curled closely around them. “Nnn.”

“Right,” Kantarou crooned, cupping Haruka’s cheek and running his other thumb over the cheekbone. “Just a little snack for Haruka, right? Not anything big, just a little … a little for you, just a little offering for the rabbit in the moon.” He leaned in before a hand curled at the back of his neck, claws prickling gently through his fine hair, pulling him in until they were pressed close and he could press his mouth to Haruka’s cheek and smile.

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