It was no secret that Commander Ky Kiske did not see eye-to-eye with former bounty hunter Sol Badguy. From the day Sol arrived, he'd made his disapproval of the prodigious Seikishidan senior officer apparent. A child, he'd quipped with a smirk, was just that: young and unfit for leadership in war. Ky's response, as composed as he could make it, had been to declare that a ruffian like Sol Badguy had no place in the Seikishidan. Had it not been one of Master Kliff's final acts before retirement, Ky might never have considered Sol as a recruit -- his skills notwithstanding. All the same, Ky still thought very much of Master Kliff's judgment. He had given Ky the Seikishidan reins, but that didn't mean he'd forgotten how to ride. If Kliff had recommended Sol's services, then Sol must have been worth it -- despite the fact that the former bounty hunter's temperance did not sit well with the rest of the Seikishidan.
From their initial meeting, Ky had been able to predict their perpetual rivalry. Each highly skilled and following different codes, Ky had not been surprised in the least when their personalities had clashed. Of course, he had been taken aback at the attitude Sol had displayed. Indeed, the very first words Badguy had spoken to him had been along the lines of, "Seikishidan's leader is a *kid*?"
"I assure you, I am Seikishidan's commander for a reason. You needn't worry."
"Oh, *I'm* not worried." A careless flick of a hand. "You should worry, though."
One fine eyebrow rose in inquiry. "And why is that?"
"Because you can't possibly think I'm going to take orders from a boy."
Ky liked to think he had handled himself very professionally, though he had wasted no time dismissing the newest -- potentially problematic -- recruit. Sol bested him in height, build, and age, but a superior officer was a superior officer. Ky had not been about to let a lower-ranking Knight, someone whom he was supposed to be *commanding*, push him around.
He'd half-succeeded. Sol treated him not with outright disrespect in public, but rather a private sort of amusement. He was patronizing, avoided discipline much how he avoided the blows dealt by Gears in battle. Verily, Sol's skills were unmatched on the battlefield -- and polar opposites though they were, the fact that the Holy Knights had one who could rival Ky had done much for Ky's growth in battle.
And one day, he would surpass Sol. For the moment, he would have to be content with Sol calling the match off once the odds tipped in his favor, or when things were just getting interesting. Ky might have insisted that they continue, but even he could see that their sparring sessions often took on a more serious air. In front of other Knights... no, he didn't think that to be a wise course of action.
That was why he found himself leaving the area they used for training at so late an hour.
Ky's quarters were apart from the other rooms. It was quite a walk from the practice yard, especially after a particularly long day, but Ky had to admit he enjoyed the privacy. After a day of being the focus of almost everyone's attention, it was a relief to be left to his own devices.
He unbuckled his belt, Thunderseal's familiar weight leaving him momentarily unbalanced as it left its place at his hip. He'd shed his overcoat and just placed the sword under his bed when there was a knock at the door. Wondering whom it could be at such an hour, Ky's bare feet brought him silently across the room and, after a moment's pause, he opened the door. The visitor was familiar: a man he'd only just left.
"You," he muttered, awed.
Sol Badguy raised an eyebrow as he leaned on the doorframe. "Expecting someone else?"
"I was expecting no one at this hour," Ky replied tersely. Sol smelled faintly of cigarette smoke, and Ky wrinkled his nose in obvious distaste. He refused to address the stench; it was too late and he was too weary to launch into a lecture about smoking in the building -- besides which, Sol wouldn't pay any heed to the words. Ky knew this from past experience.
"Pretty lonely up here," Sol remarked. "Might I come in?"
Ky eyed him warily, searching for signs of mockery. What reason could Sol possibly have to visit him late in the evening, after they had partaken in a sparring match less than an hour before? "What do you want?"
"Have a question," Sol explained, pushing his way inside almost brusquely.
Ky gave way, mostly because engaging in a pushing match was childish. "A question."
"Yeah." This spoken as Sol was casting a glance about the room, taking everything in.
Ky shut the door with a suppressed sigh. "All right. What would you like to know?"
Sol turned back around, fixing Ky with a stare that wasn't probing, exactly, but... searching. "Do you get more aggressive when you're losing, or because you're frustrated with me?"
The question threw him for a moment, and Ky blinked. "Excuse me?"
"That's what I want to know. Do you get annoyed at the fact that there's finally someone here who can beat you, or are you trying to take out some frustration with me?"
"You..." Ky shook his head, "you are *incorrigible*."
"D'you mean in general, or is that a reference to my 'stunt' in the battle a few days ago? A stunt that, if I may remind you, saved that unit."
"A stunt that *also* could have gotten *another* unit killed," Ky muttered under his breath, but they'd been through that once already and their side *had* won with a minimal number of casualties. His voice rose an octave when he added, "Why is it you never listen?"
Sol shrugged. "Dunno. Lousy leadership?"
Ky closed his eyes. Why do You test me with this man?
"But you never answered me. Is it just the fact that the Holy Knights at last have one in their ranks that can rival Ky Kiske, or... does something about me frustrate you?" To punctuate his question, Sol was suddenly moving forward and reaching out to lay one hand against the door.
Ky's eyes widened of their own accord. Sol's arm was *quite* thick when it was this close, braced over his shoulder as it was. Sol was easily six feet, and Ky had still not finished growing, so the former bounty hunter loomed over him. If a stranger had walked in, he would have been very surprised to learn that Ky, and not Sol, was supposed to be the one in charge.
"So is that it, then?" Sol pressed, tone just a mite smug. Ky's shocked silence had perhaps led him to believe he was correct. "You're frustrated?"
"You might say I am," Ky cut in smoothly, "though not for the reasons you think."
"Must be tough," Sol said with what might have been sympathy -- or *feigned* sympathy. "Young boys like you should be having all sorts of fun. Damn shame, these Crusades, taking all that away."
"What are you getting at?" Ky inquired wryly. It never took long for his patience with Sol to wear thin.
"Just saying," Sol replied with a shrug. "I look at all the young men here, and then I look at you: Young and in charge, with so much more weighing you down.
"Ever been kissed, boy?"
Ky, who had been caught off-guard by the sudden display -- concern? -- was even more surprised at the question. "W-what?"
"I heard you," Ky almost-snapped, and immediately berated himself for his tone. Sol truly brought out the worst in him. "I just don't see how it bears any relevance to this discussion."
"Is that a no?" This asked when Sol leaned closer. "If I had to guess, I'd say no one has ever touched you before."
Ky took a moment to get a hold on himself, and tried to draw himself up. "You can keep your guesses to yourself, as they have no significance to this conversation."
"You really haven't, then." Sol's lips quirked into something that was half-smile, half-smirk, and the knuckles of his free hand brushed across Ky's cheek. "Never been kissed, never been held, never been touched."
Ky could admit, at least to himself when he was alone, that the prospect of being held was an enticing one. He simply didn't have the time or the opportunity. As for the other two... well, he'd never given it much thought. He tried to turn his head away from the fingers stroking his cheek, but Sol's hand moved to catch his chin. He blinked, dazed for a moment, as Sol's thumb ran across his bottom lip.
"Would you like to be kissed?" Sol asked.
"A kiss from *you*?" Ky demanded, trying to draw away and doing nothing but press himself harder against the door at his back.
"Is it so loathsome?" Sol chuckled. "I don't see anyone lined up outside your bedroom for a taste. Does no one else want to kiss you?"
"The Seikishidan is *not* for--" He forgot what he was going to say, because at the next moment, Sol's mouth had slanted over his own. The only noise that managed to escape was a muffled "mmph!" as Sol's tongue slipped past his parted lips.
Ky could do nothing for several moments, and Sol pressed that advantage, probing deeper with his tongue. Sol *tasted* faintly of nicotine, and it was unappealing but Ky couldn't quite summon the strength to push him away. For a first kiss, it was nothing so magical -- it was, however, deep and powerful. Sol's strength factored into everything he did, it seemed.
When pushing at Sol's chest did nothing to dissuade the older man, Ky moved on to muffled protests. When those went unheeded, he bit down on Sol's tongue. Not too hard, but hard enough to get Sol to pull back.
Ky fixed the former bounty hunter with a glare, and much to his irritation, Sol did nothing but smirk. "Just *what* do you think you're doing?"
Sol shrugged a shoulder carelessly, hands moving to take hold of Ky's hips. "I'd stop if I was certain you didn't want it."
"Want...?" Ky trailed off, the meaning becoming clear to him. He wondered if he blushed. "Let *go* of me." He would not raise his voice, and he would not let his apprehension show. Sol might view any semblance of fear as a reason to press on.
Unfortunately, that's what Sol did, anyway. Ky fought down a wave of panic, quelled the urge to immediately channel his lightning into Sol's body. Did he *really* want a fight to break out in here? Not if it could be avoided.
His reluctance to put a stop to this unsettled him.
"What is *wrong* with you?" he demanded, short fingernails digging into Sol's forearms, half-hoping (half?) that the action would entice Sol to release him. No such luck; the taller Knight was still leaning the length of his body against Ky's.
"Frustrated," Sol replied, and Ky could hear the smirk when he added, "but not in the way you think."
"You come in here, demand to know the source of my apparent frustration, ridicule my leadership, and then kiss me *without my consent* and tell me *you're* frustrated?" Ky was flabbergasted. "You -- you're -- *impossible*."
"You wanna know why I never let us finish our fights?" Sol was speaking into his ear. "Because I'm out of your league, boy. Maybe when you grow up we'll have a real match."
"Out of my league?" Ky echoed and, in a moment of anger, shoved Sol away. "Our spars never get interesting because you're always holding back!" It hurt his pride to admit it. "Like I'm... like I'm not worth the time or the effort!"
"You should be glad I'm holding back. What would the other Holy Knights say if I took you out?" Sol shrugged again. "I don't care for your god or your ideals, boy, but even I wouldn't crush the other soldiers' spirits like that. You know they all look up to you. They think you'll lead them to victory." He moved forward again, but stopped when Ky glared harder at him. "I was giving you time and effort just a minute ago."
Yes, but that was hardly the same thing. "Why?"
"What if there's another reason I don't want to take you out?"
"I wouldn't believe it," Ky retorted immediately.
Sol considered the reply, and then shook his head. "Well, I can't make you believe it." He took another step forward, raising an eyebrow when Ky tensed. "I'll stop," he added even though his feet were still moving, "but only if that's what you really want."
From that moment and every day thereafter, Ky would wonder why he hadn't said "no."
If he'd been forced to analyze the situation from every angle (and he had been -- by himself) he might have offered numerous reasons why he'd let Sol cloud his judgment. Sol treated him like any other person, was even patronizing and condescending; Sol could match his skills in battle, and even best him; Sol never looked to him for advice or orders or reassurance. Sol was... Ky's complete and utter opposite -- something forbidden and therefore, a little enticing. Maybe *that* was why, despite quickly growing infuriated with Sol's antics, Ky was a little attracted to him. Just a bit. But by the time he'd reasoned that out, Sol was already upon him once again, kissing him senseless.
As Sol's demeanor was rough and wild, so was his touch. A little forceful, a little desperate... Ky was as virginal as they came and even he could tell that Sol loved nothing more than to take what he wanted. He winced when Sol pressed him harder against the door, wondering if the force behind the kiss would eventually push them through it. That thought didn't get very far; Ky was further distracted when Sol's tongue drew his into the ex-bounty hunter's mouth, bringing him into new, unexplored territory.
When the back of his head began to ache, Ky broke away with a gasp. When Sol leaned forward again, Ky turned his head away.
"Don't like it?" Sol asked.
He should have said he didn't. He should have put a stop to the entire thing. But all that he came up with was, "Don't be so rough."
Sol paused, raised an eyebrow, and then smirked. "I can manage that," he quipped, and then curled his hand around the back of Ky's neck and brought their mouths together again.
Before this, Ky might have scoffed at any who attempted to claim that Sol Badguy was capable of anything gentle. But Ky could feel the difference in this kiss. Sol's lips were softer, moved more carefully against Ky's own mouth. Even the movements of Sol's tongue were different: instead of seemingly trying to dominate Ky's mouth, he drew Ky's tongue into some kind of technique that could only be learned once attempted. Of their own accord, Ky's arms wound around Sol's neck.
"Better?" Sol asked around the kiss, and when Ky murmured something incoherent, Sol drew him away from the door and into something that bore more of a resemblance to an embrace.
It was only when Sol started fussing with Ky's shirt that Ky realized just what the former bounty hunter intended. But by then, the inner voice that screamed for him to halt this tryst had grown very quiet. In its wake was only desire -- something Ky had never truly felt before.
He pulled away from Sol's mouth, breathless and dazed, and whispered "Why?"
Sol's finger traced his cheek. "You wouldn't believe it."
For some reason, Ky left it at that. Even if he'd wanted to pursue the matter, Sol was already divesting him of his clothing, the process hindered by touches that made Ky's knees buckle. He'd never been caressed before, and Sol's rough fingers made him quiver when they did just that, stroking over his chest and around his shoulders and down his back....
Ky hadn't been naked before anyone else since his own time in the soldiers' quarters, but even then no one had ever *looked* at anyone else. Ky had never studied the body of another naked man. Especially not one like Sol's. He couldn't help but stare, wondering why he found the hard muscles so attractive.
"Like what you see?" Sol mused. Ky just kept staring, and Sol's eyes raked over his form a little too slowly. "Me, too." Then he was moving forward.
"You're really..." Ky trailed off, swallowing when a tall, very naked Sol stopped in front of him.
"Last chance to say no," Sol said.
Ky said nothing, and was promptly pulled against Sol's larger, aroused form.
He was a little apprehensive when Sol guided him down to the mattress. Like this, he felt so much more vulnerable -- like he was completely under Sol's control. Sol was sitting astride his hips, large hands roaming over his chest. Sol's skin was a little darker than Ky's, and the tanned fingers stood out on Ky's paler torso.
His fascination was quickly lured elsewhere, though, when Sol bent to draw one of Ky's nipples into his mouth. Ky gasped, surprised and pleased, hands tangling immediately in Sol's hair, keeping him there and then directing him to the other. The feeling of Sol's tongue swirling around the erect nubs of flesh encompassed all of his attention, so Ky did not notice the questing hand until it searched and found.
Sol's sword-callused hand sliding along his arousal wrung from Ky an audible shout. Apparently pleased, Sol teased him for a while longer until at last he drew back and watched, eyes roaming over Ky's shivering body.
Ky wondered how he looked, dazed and aroused as he was. "Sol...?"
"Turn around." It wasn't quite an order.
Ky complied, rising up on his hands and knees. He managed not to wiggle or tense when Sol lubricated him, managed not to dwell on the fact that *Sol Badguy* would be taking his virginity.
And then Sol was inside him, and Ky couldn't dwell on anything at all.
To any and all, Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske hadn't changed at all. They were still rivals and they still disliked each other and they still never saw eye-to-eye. Nothing had changed. Nothing at all.
So when Sol left the Holy Knights with Fireseal and Ky's hatred increased tenfold, no one thought anything of it.