Reven stood silently at the edge of the street and drew a deep breath. The evening was damp with drizzling rain, which was good for obscuring his trail, but bad for his personal comfort. He laughed at himself - that he should be worried about that! He'd carried deep wounds and trailing blood all over the city - anything to get the job done. Anything to keep one step ahead of the danger, keep hold of his precious anonymity, and collect the rewards.

He'd been damned successful, he knew that. His skills had been honed over the last two years, his knowledge greatly enhanced - his methods increasingly ruthless. He was in demand from the best people - the richest people. He had hoods trying to hook up with him, as partners - he had kids begging to join him, to apprentice themselves to him.

They'd hang around, trying to track him down - but his security was second to none, nowadays. No-one saw him unless he wanted them to - no-one connected with him unless he needed to use their skills, or they were his marked target.

And he worked alone, now. Had done, since that day - the day he didn't care to remember too often, because of the sick pain it caused him. And the distraction from his current project.

This was only going to be a bit of housekeeping, this job. Probably a little below his usual rates, because he was doing it as a favour for a regular syndicate employer. There was a brothel on the edge of this neighbourhood - no class at all, run down and seedy beyond sleaze. But it was getting itself a name as somewhere offering the unusual - the dangerous.

The owner had been offered an excellent deal by the man who'd contracted him - but it had been refused. Some long-standing feud, it seemed. And so it had to be warned about the risks of independent trade. The dangers of upsetting the local 'trade association'.

Reven was chosen to deliver the warning.

He found his way in within minutes, there appeared to be very little security at all. Or perhaps it was just his skill.

The back stairs were slimy with something decidedly unappetising - he grimaced as his foot slipped a couple of times. He'd need a damned good clean when this was over - his obsession with cleanliness had grown considerably over the last two years. The basement seemed to be a good place to start - some offices down there, and some rumbling voices in the background.

He moved carefully up a dim corridor, doors closed on either side, but no sounds from any of them. At all times he had an eye on his access - he would know if anyone approached him from any side; he had an exit route planned at all turns. He fingered the knife in his pocket, caressing it easily, like an extension of his own hand.

The noise came from one of the final rooms, just before he reached what he thought he could identify as the main office. That's where he'd find the 'management' - that's where he'd deliver his calling card.

But the noise distracted him. It was a soft sneeze, muffled almost immediately - and yet it sounded quite natural, not like a waiting ambush. The door was ajar - he pushed gently at it, allowing it enough movement to be explained by a sudden breeze, or a faulty hinge.

It was one of the whores' rooms, he could see. He'd seen more than a few in his time. There was a mock cage in the corner, a bare chair planted in the middle of it, and another chair outside the bars, a little more comfortable, obviously for the client. There was a table by the client's chair, holding a selection of salubrious looking instruments and accessories; a bottle of water and a glass, though nothing of the same inside the cage.

There was someone there, and he tensed suddenly. But there was no client - no angry doorman. It was just the whore.

A male whore.

A tall, skinny looking man, quite mature for the purpose, Reven thought aimlessly. There was a feeling along the back of his neck - the sixth sense that he knew better than to ignore. The man was almost naked, dressed only in low-slung sweats, and he sat listlessly on the chair. His hands hung down between his legs; his head was bowed. A pair of handcuffs hung down from one hand, as if the previous client hadn't bothered to clear up after him.

As Reven stared, the man sneezed again; and swore softly. He didn't move, but he seemed to tense - his body stilled. Reven knew that he could move in and out of a room without anyone knowing - but this man had sensed him.

He saw the pale scars on the torso, of old cuts still healing. He saw dark red hair that was in need of a good wash. He saw long, slim fingers that he knew so well.

He felt the bile rising in his throat.

He saw a man he'd thought was dead.

A noise, then soft footsteps; he didn't remember much, but the redhead couldn't ever seem to get rid of the nasty ability to know when somebody was approaching.

Eiji licked his lower lip, standing slowly and letting his hands fall by his sides. The customers liked to evaluate him first, look him over, then decide if they wanted to continue. If this man--and it was a man, he knew by the footsteps--wanted to proceed, he'd have to state what he wanted Eiji to do first.

Eiji was a good pet.

Eiji obeyed.

He stepped to the front of the cage and waited, sneezing once more from the sheer cold of this place. It was near winter, they still didn't have working heating, and bare feet on the steel cage floor was frigid, but he really couldn't care less, other than it was irritating to sneeze so much.

He stared at nothing emotionlessly, waiting for the man to either leave or approach. Eiji's violet eyes remained hooded as he waited, having all the patience, time, and apathy in the world.

Reven had never allowed himself to lose control of a mission, but for that second his mind froze. He was back in that tall, stark meeting room, that day when everything had gone wrong.

When the man had come to meet them with a gun, his smile never reaching his eyes, and his words barking out some long-held grudge against Inoue and his kind. For the first time, they hadn't done their full homework on the guy who was contracting them - for the first time they'd been caught out. Reven had known Inoue had his doubts - but he'd pushed them on into the job. The money promised had been phenomenal...

And now his memories were of betrayal, and shots, and cries of hatred and threat, and Inoue somehow shielding him with his body.

There was smoke.

There was pain and terror.

There was darkness.

And now Inoue was here, in front of him. In this pit of a place, where he'd come to kill, yet again.

The man who'd pushed him to the doorway - urged him to run - forced his escape at the expense of his own.

The man he'd never found again, even after he scoured the building, every other building around, cried and beaten at the local lowlife, begging for information or news of the red-haired man.

Then he'd abandoned hope.

He looked at Inoue, half-naked and passively standing in front of him, and his throat closed.

"Inoue?" He knew he shouldn't have spoken, but the mission was forgotten for the moment. "Is it you?"

Eiji looked over at this man dully. Inoue, huh? The name rang a bell, but whatever-- everybody who was disgusting enough to come to his place had their own fetishes and kinks. So he had to play the role of one named Inoue; fine.

He stepped out of the cage slowly and turned to face the man fully.

Again the feeling as though this role-play had happened before struck Eiji, but he ignored it passively, lifting his hands and nodding, agreeing that yes, he was this Inoue person.

He wondered how much his latest Owner had forced this guy to pay-- he liked to hit up the younger, foolish ones.

But, as soon as the question had risen in Eiji's mind, he let it drift away like anything else. He couldn't really grasp onto complicated thoughts for long any more; they started to stir up painful memories and ideas that he'd rather not touch, and so he kept his thinking to the bare minimum or none, welcoming the nightly injections of whatever specialty drug was being served that night.

His stomach itched and ached for some reason, and he scratched at the old scars there absently, blinking slowly and waiting for the man to make the next move.

It was disgusting! The man's eyes had met his, and he seemed to acknowledge Reven - but when Reven looked more closely he saw no recognition there. In fact there was fuck all awareness in those dull, glazed eyes, the sure sign of a drugged state. The man stood calmly enough, but his limbs were restless, Reven could see it. His jaw was slack - his hands hung just in front of his crotch, as if he might be asked to play with himself any time now.

As he obviously was, time and again.


Reven was shocked and horrified. He had trouble seeing this man as Inoue at all - but there was no doubt. No-one else would have those scars - he himself had stitched them hadn't he? And there were other scars there - bullets that had grazed and marked the skin.

There was a slight noise up the corridor, and Reven tensed again. He had a job to do - and then he had this shocking situation to attend to. Inoue had been everything to him, since he was a child. He'd mourned him when he thought he'd died - he missed him every damned night ever since, hardening himself to others because he couldn't risk the same anguish again.

He blamed himself, time and again, but that self-indulgence was for another time.

For now, he had to push himself on - then return to help Inoue.


He blanked his mind, as he'd been taught by the man in front of him, one long long time ago. He wheeled round, and set out carefully for the final room in the block.

"Stay here! I'll be back for you," he hissed at the man, though he doubted he had the energy to move. He looked as if he'd stood in that position for his whole life; as if he'd never known anything else.

Am I going to go somewhere otherwise? The redhead thought dully.

Eiji took a seat on the floor, resting one elbow on his knee and letting his head rest on his track-marked arm, his eyes sliding almost all the way shut.

The man ran off, and Eiji yawned quietly in the dark, drifting off to sleep.

If the man came back, fine. If not, fine. He really could care less.

Locks of dingy red hair tumbled over his shoulder and brushed over the bondage collar around his neck, and the silver ring of the bondage cuff on his arm, matching the ones on his other wrist and ankles, glinted in the faint light from the hall as he heard a quiet scuffle.

Somebody is going to die...

Oh well.

Eiji yawned again and drifted off to sleep.

The next ten minutes had passed as a blur to Reven. He despised the fact that he couldn't get his mind back on the job properly, but he was still reeling from what he'd found - who he'd seen.

He found the office, and perhaps luckily for him, there was only a couple of heavies and the owner's son - the guy he'd come to find. He moved into the room suddenly and swiftly, and even as they were turning in surprise and a goon was scrabbling for his gun, Reven's knife had stabbed and sliced with perfect and silent precision. New smiles had been cut for the bodyguards, right across their necks, glistening red and gaping their shocked surprise as the bodies dropped lifelessly to the floor.

The son had been shocked into paralysis - Reven liked 'em that way. He whispered his message to the boy's ear, his wet, dirty blade at the kids' neck. Only when he had a horrified nod from the boy did he draw back. It was a pity that the kid had tried some last minute heroics, reaching for a hidden gun.

Reven's blade had sliced eagerly at the plump skin of his side, ripping the expensive fabric of his suit, drawing through and leaping back in Reven's hand. Perhaps he'd survive the cut -many had, though the bubbling red spittle from his mouth wasn't a promising sign.

But that had been his choice.

Reven had merely wiped the excess blood on the kid's shirt then closed the door carefully behind him. He needed as much time as possible to make his escape, this time.

As expected, the red-haired man was still in the nearby room, sat on the floor as if he meditated.

Reven knew the pose - it tore at him. The man lifted dull eyes to him as he entered, and held up his hands, as if to offer them for play. Reven shuddered.

“We gotta go,” he said urgently. “Can you walk?” For the first time he wondered what he thought he was doing. This man wasn't the Inoue he knew - wasn't the smart, fit man who could run with him out of this horror. Who had been beside him in many a worse situation, and who'd worked with him to resolve it.

This figure was a parody of that man.

Could he take him out of here?

Did he want to?

Eiji licked his lower lip and tossed over the words. We gotta go... can you walk...
Go where wasn't a question that rose in his mind-- he really didn't fine any one place different from another.

Nor did he wonder if this was his new Owner. That was of no consequence either.

He stood slowly, languidly, his shoulders sagging and posture slumped as always, staring at the ground as this new man shuffled around before him.

This man looked like the energetic type-- the kind that liked to pin you face-down and thrust heavily until completion, then wander off to perform some other task without so much as a word.

Eiji took a step forward in a display, to show that he indeed could walk.

He ran his tongue around in his mouth, in slight need of a drink since he hadn't had water or bread in about two days, but he said nothing, and truthfully even if he wanted to say something, it would be hard to understand slurred words from a slashed and long-ruined tongue.

Reven sighed. This wasn't gonna work. The guy was willing enough, but he moved too slowly - way too fucking slowly!

For that minute, he looked into Inoue's eyes, and the veil lifted - for no more than a second, and then the confusion was back. But in that second he'd seen a flash in the violet - a memory of what Inoue had been, even if it weren't conscious.

Of course he'd take him with him!

“Sorry,” he said, stepping forward. “This is how it's got to be.”

And he hit him. Just the once, not particularly hard, but in just the right place, his knuckles raised just as they needed to be. The tall man shuddered, then collapsed down, unconscious, into Reven's waiting arms. Reven scooped him up - Jesus, he was thin! - and made quickly for the back fire exit, and escape.


Eiji woke noiselessly, his eyes snapping open.

He looked up and saw an unfamiliar ceiling, and was lying on an unfamiliar surface with furs and blankets beneath his bare skin. He remained still and silent, staring blandly at the ceiling.

So wherever he was, this place had money put into it, and lots-- he had been in moneyed houses before, dozens of them, and none of the things within his immediate view were cheap.

Everything down to the veils of gossamer cloth stretching from one post to the other of the bed, almost like a canopy, were expensive, their fine hand-stitched embroidery delicate and careful.

Moneyed types... were either the timid kind, or the most vicious kind.

He was willing to bet the vicious type, considering the way he'd been transported.

Inoue had been unconscious for hours. It had given Reven time to examine him - to see what he had laid out on his bed. He laughed bitterly at the irony -remembered the nights he'd lain here on his own, his body begging for Inoue to be beside him, his hand clasped round an aching cock, determined to resist the vicious, consuming need.

It was his discipline now, to be alone. And his punishment - for letting Inoue down that final time.

He washed some of the grime off Inoue's body, lifting the still limbs like a baby's, and investigating the new wounds. Some were superficial, probably initiated during sex.

Some were deep, maybe from that last ambush - maybe from the treatment Inoue had received from whoever had been holding him. Reven knew that it would have been unwillingly - Inoue would never have left him this long, if he were still alive, if he were still free.

Would he?

His hand strayed over the long, emaciated legs, the firm line of them still hinted at. He stroked at his belly - the muscles were still firm, maybe he'd been pushed to keep in shape for his clients, maybe he'd wanted to, himself. But there was softness there too - weakness. Still magnificent.

His cock was nestled in the bush of hairs, almost as small and soft as the balls. There were deep scratches on his groin, at its base. Reven had seen such scratches everywhere on Inoue's body - his mind strayed from thinking that through.

His fingers brushed at the collar and cuffs - he'd not had time to see about picking them off yet.

And then Inoue had woken.

Reven was alert for this, he was concerned at the time he'd spent unconscious. God knows what had been done to him, what weaknesses there may be in his body nowadays that he'd not allowed for.

But nothing prepared him for the hideous dullness in Inoue's eyes - his lack of movement, as if he were still bound, as if it didn't matter where the hell he was. As if he were waiting for someone else to make the move for him.

“Inoue,” he said, sharply. “Tell me what happened - where you've been!”

Reven couldn't help himself - he felt anger, and deep abiding misery. He slapped Inoue's face - he needed response!

Eiji sat up slowly, looking at his Owner, trying to figure out exactly how to play this situation.

He was to take the role of Inoue, that was obvious; and so far, it seemed as though Inoue had run away from this man, or perhaps been stolen away.

He was still at a loss at how to play this, and his stomach was really bothering him now, where those two jagged scars were, hell if he knew what they were from. What did the man want him to say?

Rather than risking ruining the scene and saying something that would displease his owner, Eiji leaned in slowly, checking several times as he approached to make sure that he wouldn't be disciplined for it, until his face met the man's shoulder. He rested his forehead on it and lifted both arms, sliding them around the man's waist in an embrace.

Whether he had run away or been stolen, his Owner would welcome an embrace, would he not? Eiji decided he'd rather get to the sex sooner rather than later, and began to kiss at this man's neck softly, silently praising him, thanking him for rescuing Inoue, or finding him, or whatever the hell the story was.

Reven sat there, stunned. His hand still stung from the blow - he'd shocked even himself.

He'd never struck Inoue, in all the time they'd been together, despite many a desire to. But this body in his bed had provoked him with its very passivity - with the evidence of his own misery and guilt, and the frustration of years.

What the fuck had he done?

Even now, the man - he was having trouble thinking of him as Inoue, in all truth - was silent. Unresponsive. It was a further shock to Reven when he sat up and started to move towards him. There was a light in his eyes, but Reven could see nothing more than an innate cunning - the appraisal that an animal may give to a situation, judging its potential for danger.

He felt the breath moving close to him - the arms round his waist. Then - horror! - the lips on his neck, skin slightly cracked, kissing him. Even as Reven's body cried for the familiarity of the touch, his mind shuddered with repulsion.

Who the fuck did this man think he was?

The man had suddenly tensed, and Eiji paused, waiting to be struck.

When no immediate blow came, he simply waited, then drew away, assuming that what he had done was indeed the wrong action to take.

He sat on his calves, waiting, looking blandly at his owner.

If he wanted Eiji to get hard first, he was out of luck and misinformed-- he hadn't been able to for a long time.

...That had also resulted in several floggings, when he was passed from hand to hand and his last owner 'forgot' to mention that the livestock couldn't breed properly.

Eiji continued to stare, watching several emotions play across this owner's face, but mostly horror. Perhaps he was unused to one as filthy and used as Eiji?

He would find out soon enough; the man looked as though preparing himself for the awaited reaction.

I've been fooling myself, haven't I? thought Reven. Wishing for this guy to be Inoue - giving me another chance - giving me the man back.

This was something else, though. For the first time he really looked at the body in front of him. He knew the look - he knew the actions. This man was a pet, nothing more. Whatever else lay inside him, that's what he offered Reven now. Reven knew the dull eyes, the pliant body - the routine moves.

Wait for instruction- offer the body. Kiss, bend, spread. Accept - give thanks. Be impressed - be responsive when demanded. Cry - beg - stimulate. Ignore the rough - the pain -the split skin - the blood. Surrender.

That's what he'd been taught to do, all those years ago. He'd not needed the drugs to make him a tool - but then he'd escaped, anyway.

He put his hand to Inoue's cheek, seeing the man flinch, perhaps expecting a blow. He ran his hand over his shoulders, feeling the bones so close under the skin. He traced the tattoo, marked now by new scars, new tracks.

“What do they think this is, your clients?” he murmured. “Some decoration - some fashion statement? A novelty, perhaps.”

The man's eyes flickered – nothing more. Reven picked up a hand, and placed it at his chest. “Where are you, Inoue?” he sighed. “Too deep inside there...what did they do to you? What do they call you, now?”

Ah, so he wanted a real name?

Fine, he could have Eiji's real name; it's not like he cared who knew it.

He took hold of one of the man's hands and held it palm-up, then using his finger, he wrote the symbols on his owner's hand with his fingertip, slowly. Ei-ji.

Better to spell it that way, which anybody could understand, than to try and say the name and have a new fuss made over the fact that he couldn't speak properly.

The way this man was looking at him, it made something inside writhe, and he felt nauseous, unable to match this owner's gaze.

So instead, Eiji looked down at the man's groin, ignoring the particular attention being paid to his shoulder now. What did his clients think the tattoo was?

For fuck's sakes, Eiji himself didn't know what it was.

He had noted the very same tattoo on his owner before him, on the same shoulder, and hadn't really paid much attention to it.

But perhaps, by chance, he would actually find out what it meant.

Not that it really mattered, but it was one less reason to be struck in the future if he actually knew the answer.

Eiji. Reven felt something breaking inside him. The man traced his name like a child - like a mute.

Things began to become clear. It seemed easier to have another name for this person, now - the person who wasn't Inoue. But he felt the loss all over again, in some way - the loss of the spirit he'd almost worshipped.

Reven put his fingers to the man's mouth, pushed down the lower lip. ‘Eiji’ let him reach inside, and feel around. Good - the tongue was still there, though he could feel the rough surface, the edges obviously healed back after cuts, uneven and jagged now. Perhaps he could still speak - but he'd had the initiative beaten out of him in some way.

Reven was making the man uncomfortable somehow, he could see that. He pulled away, climbing off the bed and trying to ignore the ache in his groin, his cock twitching softly inside his pants with instinctive reaction. Inoue's eyes had been on it - he knew the man would have done anything he asked of him.

Or rather, Eiji would have.

“Need to get you washed up and kitted out with clothes. Need to get you fed, right?” Reven talked on, not expecting a reply now. He was ashamed he'd hit Eiji -poor fuck didn't know any better. “Gotta decide what to do with you, too. Get those cuffs and collar off - find out who, if anyone, might care where the hell you are.”

Eiji was slightly put off. What sort of role-play was this? Was he supposed to take initiative?

Only one way to find out.

He crawled across the bed towards his owner, pulling him closer, back to the edge of the mattress, and placed another kiss in the middle of the man's chest, then began to kiss downwards.

The skin was delicious, and clean, as compared to just about every other stomach he had worked his way down, and Eiji found it unusually appealing to him; he tended to like the cleaner clients better, no matter how violent.

Closing his eyes, his fingers reached the button of his owner's pants, and Eiji undid it quickly, skilfully, before pressing his forehead to the warm stomach and closing his teeth on the fly, pulling it down slowly, his nose grazing the heated member revealed as he pulled the zipper all the way down.

The moment of truth; would he be rebuked or welcomed?

Eiji waited for several long seconds, taking in the spicy, clean scent of this man and almost wanting to suck his cock, simply because he was the first properly bathed soul to approach him in months.

Reven almost whimpered - the man's pragmatic hands had caught him unawares. He felt suddenly vulnerable - he knew he was aroused, just from the sight of the man who'd been Inoue - though the touch was different, the smell of him was so different.

“You don't have to do this,” he said, clearing his throat. “That's not what I wanted -”

Eiji's eyes stared at him, blankly. Eiji's mouth remained at the base of his zip, millimetres from his tightening balls. And above it all, Reven's cock reared up hungrily. It was the one organ of his that didn't do 'confusion'. It wanted satisfaction.

What the fuck did I want? wondered Reven. It had been so very long since he'd had any touch at all except his own palm. He ached for it. He reached out and stroked at the man's tattoo again - he saw Eiji's eye flicker towards the matching one on his own bare shoulder.

His other hand stretched down and took hold of Eiji's - he lifted it up to his groin, and curled the fingers around his cock, almost hesitantly. He couldn't accept Inoue's - Eiji's - mouth on him. Not yet, anyway. As the man was today, it would be like an abuse, too - and one against his own partner. He leaned into the mattress, half closed his eyes, and placed his hand deliberately on the kneeling man's tattoo, seeking anchor, as if it linked him somehow with the man that he'd once had at his groin, willingly - actively. And then he let Eiji's well-practised fingers give him relief.

Alright, no taste of clean, delicious dick for now; eventually he would get to lave it, kiss it, caress it. In time.

Eiji stroked the man's length quickly, easily reading the need in his voice and his body. It probably wouldn't be long before he came, either.

His fingers worked the shaft and on each upstroke his thumb and index finger circled around the head, and he felt the throb of the erection increase as his speed increased, using his other hand to cradle the warm sac of flesh between his owner's legs.

The man before him bucked and made delicious sounds of pleasure and need, and Eiji was surprisingly keen about them. Normally he only cared to hear them to avoid a thrashing, but here and now part of him wanted to make this man moan simply because he felt it was something he desired to do out of interest alone.

The throbbing began to occur faster, and one look up into Owner's face told him it was dawning.

Eiji's practiced hands worked quickly, and the peak moment came, bringing forth a shower of pale seed onto his face and chest. He licked some of it away from the corner of his mouth while looking up at his Owner silently.

It had been good - damned good! Reven hadn't realised how much he'd missed another hand on him - another man's hand - Inoue's hand, of course.

He'd limited the people who'd touched him over the last 2 years - some sort of warped homage to his lost partner. He panted softly, calming down, letting the mist clear from his eyes, twitching under the sticky spray of loose cum on his groin.

He looked down on the man at his groin, seeing the wide violet eyes, the sudden gleam of intelligence there, as if he was pleased with what he'd done- as if he craved praise.

Praise it most certainly should be...

“It - was good,” said Reven, the hoarseness clearing from his throat. “That's what you need to hear isn't it, Eiji?” There were trails of the white, thick seed on the man's face - it made him shine in the dim light of the bedroom - Reven watched as his tortured tongue slipped out from his mouth, and he licked at some of it, eagerly. His eyes had softened as Reven praised him. He seemed genuinely to have enjoyed it himself.

That was the only excuse Reven had for his next request.

“Lick me clean,” he sighed. “And yourself - look...”

He ran his fingers across Inoue's face, collecting up the seed, feeling it cling to his fingertips. And then he pressed them gently into Inoue's mouth - felt the lips close eagerly round them - felt the rough tongue suck them clean. He shivered with a long-remembered pleasure.

He nudged Inoue's head back to his groin - towards the small drops that had spattered his own body. And let the man lap them up, until there was no trace on either of them of the ecstasy he'd suffered from this man's touch.


A/N: read and review for clare and I please! let us know what you think!