by Mina Lightstar

They are kissing, but they are kissing like savages. Watching them eat at each other's mouths, watching their frenzied groping... it's almost enough to be embarrassed for their sake. They don't even notice his approach, absorbed in one another as they are -- like any minute one of them could disappear.

He clears his throat.

They stop, still entangled, but have the grace to look abashed at being caught. They don't, however, seem in any hurry to release one another; they barely even detach their lips.

"Excuse me," Kurapika says, and brushes by to unlock the door.

He hears Leorio's stuttered, "K-Kurapika--" before the shutting of the door drowns out whatever else the older man might have said.

Safe in the apartment, Kurapika leans against the door as he toes his shoes off. He wonders for the thousandth time why Leorio can't manage to dredge up some sense of decency when it comes to his dates, why Leorio can't seem to understand that the hallway is not the place for such behavior, and why Kurapika always has to walk right into it.

It annoys him every single time. Even more-so after a hard day.

Kurapika makes his way to his room in the apartment, throws his bag over the chair with more force than is actually required. He tries to expend some of his irritation by cleaning up the few books scattered on his desk and shoving them back into their places on his bookshelf.

Kurapika doesn't mind that Leorio brings women home -- he doesn't. He only wishes his friend would have the courtesy to limit liaisons to either Leorio's bedroom or somewhere that is not in the apartment building at all. He has nightmares about what is done in the bathroom when he goes away on business.

And he hates coming home to a couple climbing all over each other outside his door.

He's also had a particularly long day. He's irritable. He hates parties.

The door opens and shuts. "Kurapika!" Leorio sounds almost apologetic. "Where did you go?"

Kurapika doesn't feel like talking, so instead of answering, he starts pulling off his clothes. He doesn't know why he thinks silence will deter the other man; he's known Leorio for years, after all.

Sure enough, his door opens once he's done with the buttons of his dress shirt. Reflexively, he holds the shirt closed and glares at Leorio over his shoulder. "Do you mind?"

"Not at all." Leorio considers him, probably gauging the depth of his bad mood and deciding whether or not a discussion is worth the trouble. "Look, I just wanted to apologize for that back there." He gestures with his thumb. "I didn't think you would be home for another couple of hours."

"It's already two in the morning." Kurapika raises one foot to pull off a sock, and then repeats the action with his other foot. "And it's not even about me," except that it is, "it's about... showing some restraint." He tosses the socks into his laundry hamper. "Couldn't you have found a better place than outside the front door?"

Leorio doesn't look ashamed. "Like you said, it's already two in the morning. And anyway, we were quiet."

"I heard her moaning as soon as I got off the elevator," Kurapika points out drily.

Leorio shrugs. "Well, at least I proved to the new neighbors that we aren't sleeping together."

Kurapika falters. "What?"

His roommate chuckles. "They think you're queer."

"It doesn't matter what they think."

"And yet obviously you care enough about my kissing Maya where they can see or hear."

"Kissing? Is that what you call what you were doing?" Kurapika frowns. "And I don't remember seeing Maya around here before, either."

"Casual date, nothing serious. And excuse me," Leorio growls, "but what did you mean by 'is that what you call it?'"

Kurapika walks to the computer on his desk and opens his e-mail program. There is nothing urgent, no matters of business he has to deal with tomorrow -- or rather, later today.

He can feel the heat of Leorio's expectant glare. It gives him some satisfaction, and finally he answers, "Exactly as I said."

"You are not serious." Leorio sounds incensed. "You are not. Serious."

Kurapika closes the program, glances over at Leorio and raises an eyebrow. "Did I hit a nerve?"

"Damn right you did," Leorio snaps. "What was the last thing you kissed, the dictionary?"

"Sensitive nerve," Kurapika comments. "And you weren't kissing; your tongue wasn't even in her mouth. That's called licking."

"And I suppose the dictionary told you that? Why don't you just marry it?"

"I'm not ready for that kind of commitment." Kurapika's attempt to diffuse the situation doesn't go over that well for either of them. It's still irritating. "Would you get out of my room? I'm tired."

"No, no, no. We are not done because you have something to say to me."

"I do." Kurapika gives his friend a level stare. "Leorio, you kiss like a dog."

"All right, that's it." Leorio's expression is now thunderous. "Back your ass away from that computer."

Kurapika does so in the interest of preserving the machine, and wonders if they are about to come to blows over this. "I don't--" And then Leorio takes two strides, is upon him, and he is backed up against the bookshelf. "Leo--!"

He's been kissed a couple of times, but the action feels completely alien now. He doesn't know if it's because he wasn't expecting it, or because he's tired and irritable, or because it's been so long, or because it's Leorio. As stunned as he is, he feels he should be doing something -- and at first he thinks, obviously, that something is getting away -- but Leorio's mouth, Leorio's tongue, is drawing sensation out of a part of him that is making all of him do the opposite, and he is kissing back even as he wonders, What am I doing?

It's the longest, hardest, and most painful kiss he's ever had. He's trapped against the bookshelf and it's hurting his back. He endures it but isn't sure why, can feel Leorio and is sure Leorio can feel him, needs fresh air badly but can't seem to just stop.

He is still trying to muster the strength to break the kiss's surface and escape when Leorio releases him. His friend pulls back to breathe in sharply, and their gazes lock.

Leorio looks just as surprised as Kurapika feels.

"Sorry," they manage, the word tumbling at once from both of their mouths. They aren't sure what they're apologizing for or even if they mean it and some parts of them are utterly unapologetic.

Leorio's mouth works. "... We need to talk, don't we?"

Kurapika reaches up to pull his shirt closed again, starts to shake his head, but stops and says, softly, "Maybe tomorrow?" It isn't something he wants to tackle now.

"Un. Tomorrow." Leorio sounds mystified, like he has just been offered an alternative he hasn't ever considered before.

Well. Kurapika's fingers tighten around the folds of his shirt.

Maybe they'll forget about it. Maybe they won't.

"Uh... goodnight, then," is Leorio's lame goodbye. But his hands are still on Kurapika's shoulders and their hips are still touching.

"We should sleep on this," Kurapika sighs quietly.

He doesn't mean it literally, but they sleep in the same room for the first time since Kurapika was nineteen and in the same bed for the first time ever, and it doesn't feel wrong.