Eiji woke with a start, his pupils shrinking to pinpoints at the instant pain and nausea filling him, and he remembered his last time awake-- or at least, parts of it.

His gaze was immediately met with Owner's, and the dark-haired man didn't look as though he had slept well... if at all.

"So what the fuck do you think you were doing there?" Reven snarled. That had been pure Inoue - he was the only other man he'd ever known who could - or would - do that at will. Choking oneself and pinching nerves until unconsciousness took you… But in the hands of the disturbed, crashing Eiji - what sort of stupid stunt was it? What might have gone wrong?

He saw the man cringe away from him, mists of pain still in his eyes. Shit, it was Eiji that faced him - Eiji whom he kept confusing with erratic behavior of his own. But he was fucking angry! He'd watched in horror as Inoue blacked himself out, unable to intervene, or help him control it any way. And then he'd sat here on the bed beside him, terrified to leave him alone in case the shallow, jagged breathing ever stopped entirely. He'd listened to low, eerie mumblings - exclamations of pain - everything that showed this man's mind was seriously damaged.

"You won't do that again, Eiji!" he snapped, and had some satisfaction that the man was listening to him again. "Never again!"

An order from Owner?

Alright... he would never do it again when in Owner's presence, or at least while he was watching. Just as long as he wasn't ever made to reach that point of agony again, he wouldn't do it; it wasn't as though it was habit.

Owner.... Reven... was upset.

Though Eiji didn't understand why exactly he was being yelled at, he knew that it had displeased the man, and so he would try to obey.

Eiji was a good pet.

A very good pet.

He nodded obediently, staring with interest at the deep colors of his Owner's eyes, and the stormy way he looked at Eiji, always searching, pleading, silently begging for something he didn't know how to give.

Reven felt the depression settle on him like a blanket of pain. The blankness in Eiji's eyes was a canvas of frustration and rejection. He might even think that the moment of recognition had never happened - that Inoue was too far gone to ever return. All he had was a broken prostitute, with the body of a man who had once been magnificent.

And he, Reven, had once been his.

The pain was tangible.

"Help me clear this mess up," he said, though more gently than before. "And then I must go out for a while." His head hurt - fuck, he'd not slept a wink while he was watching over Inoue! - but life had to go on. He had debts to collect - appointments to be met. And then maybe he could return to this particular problem refreshed. Back to this shattered, enigmatic man. He owed him that much, at least.

Eiji couldn't really believe what he was hearing until Owner really did leave, and left him alone in the apartment.

Every other owner hadn't trusted him as far as they could throw him...

He debated going back to sleep for lack of anything better to do, but something in the back of his head absolutely demanded that he searched this place over thoroughly.

The bathroom and living room hadn't been that important, and neither was the kitchen, especially after yesterday... he wasn't ready for food yet.

As Eiji was looking over the furniture of the bedroom, he took note of the tallest dresser, the top of which had a deadly looking dagger displayed on it, looking very lethal.

He paled slightly at the sight of it.

Of course Owner, Reven, had something like that around-- he was far too kind otherwise. There was always something about a person who could own another human as a slave that they could never be all there in the mind.

Stepping up to it, Eiji had to remind himself that there was nobody holding the knife and that everything was ok, just to reach up and touch the handle of the dagger.
As his fingers touched the dusty, untouched surface of the high dresser, they brushed something that didn't belong there, like the edge of a piece of stiff paper. He took hold of it against his better instincts, which were telling him to leave it be because disturbing dusty things left telltale marks behind.

It was a photo...

Of a tall, angry, muscular man with long locks of crimson hair like Eiji's, and striking violet eyes, frowning slightly at the camera. The other person in the photo was Owner, his arm reaching up and behind the border of the picture, obviously the one holding the camera as he grinned and pressed his cheek to the redhead's.

Eiji's thoughts were minimal about the image until he noted the unusual piercings in the redhead's ears... he lifted his left hand quickly and felt at the rings and studs on his own ears quickly.

A perfect match.

He felt very sick, very suddenly, and fell to his knees before the dresser, clutching the picture as his stomach tossed and that throbbing, pounding pain began to thunder in his head once more.

Him, and Owner, with Owner looking a little younger physically and years younger mentally...

Impossible, impossible!

The first roar escaped him as he pressed his face to the carpet, wrapping his arms around his head and still clutching the image.

Why did trying to remember hurt so much?! Why was Owner in that picture, hell... why was Eiji in that picture?

His wails were slightly different this time as that photo seemed to be burnt onto the backs of his eyelids, and he was seeing it even with his eyes closed-- Eiji's screams were laced with the occasional sob as fresh, salty tears slid down his face.

Reven heard the screams and sobs as soon as he opened the door, and his heart started pumping. It had been a bad day in many ways, and he'd returned exhausted - he had the feeling that there was some hostility towards him on the street, and he wasn't sure why, or who might have initiated it. Dammit, they were usually more than pleased to see him, to have him clear up their damned messes!

There were rumors about the executions at the downtown club where he'd rescued Inoue - he couldn't find out whether the son had died or survived his attack, but there were rumbling tales of revenge and retribution. He didn't concern himself with gang wars - he was purely the technical - the tool. The politics were for others, who craved the power.
But it had disturbed him. He'd collected the payments he was owed, but other meetings had been mysteriously cancelled. He'd grown impatient with the inefficiency and the carelessness of those who ran the underground world, and returned to the apartment.

To find this.

Inoue was crumpled on the floor, weeping, maybe in pain again. Reven blanched - he couldn't help it, it was a shock to him, to see Inoue like this! The man had been his rock for so long - he'd suffered every risk, every injury, every torture. But he had always been Reven's stability, and something to be admired. Maybe more than admired. This shattered being was a shock to every memory that Reven treasured.

There was a crumpled paper in Inoue's hand - Reven stooped quickly and snatched it out. To his shock, he saw it was another of his memories - a photo of him and Inoue, some years back. Inoue had been averse to any photos being taken of either of them - let alone kept. Reven had fooled him that it was a test of a piece of camera equipment, to check it worked, then he'd destroy the photo.

But he didn't destroy it.

"Where did you get this?" he barked. Dammit if the cowering figure didn't bring that out in him, time and again! "So I shouldn't have kept it, OK? But that's a time long past now!" Then he realized that Inoue wasn't upset by some long-distant disobedience of Reven's - he looked at the man, and saw only Eiji, who had no memory of that time, anyway. It was something else that had caused the reaction...

He reached to put the photo back on the top of the dresser, and realized that the dagger had also been moved. A chill settled round him. More fool him, to keep it on show like that! He lifted the dagger and whirled to face Inoue, now struggling to his feet.
"Did you touch this? What were you thinking?"

In that instant, he saw an expression of pure fear on the man's face. His violet eyes widened - they flashed from the dagger to Reven's angry face, and then he dropped swiftly - yet still gracefully - back to his knees in front of him. He whimpered - he moaned softly - and his hands went back behind his back, his head bowed, as he threw himself into a position of submission.

To Reven.

He sat on his calves, waiting, patiently.

Owner was holding the dagger, and yelling about the picture, always yelling or speaking softly, it was as though Owner knew no middle grounds...

Where would he go for?

Usually, they liked to avoid his face, and cut the less important places, like the backs of his legs or his inner thighs, under the arms, across the back, places like that.

Sometimes they made him cut himself, giving him the knife and making him rake the cold steel down his flesh, feeling the icy sting of skin parting and muscle revealed, seeping fresh, slick blood over pale skin in little rivets of crimson.

He pulled into himself mentally, blocking off real feeling to his body, blocking off real thought, stopping the repeating question, when will he do it, when will he do it, when will he do it...?

He wouldn’t dodge any attacks, wouldn't struggle.

At very least, the sudden introduction of the knife held before him made the splitting agony go away, made the memories picking, slashing beneath the thick, icy layer of forgetfulness stop until another day.

He lifted his chin slightly, showing his face and his readiness to his Owner, showing that he would not cower, that he would take whatever punishment he had earned as deserved, even though all he saw before him was a tall silhouette with glinting eyes and the gleam of a blade in his hand.

Reven's heart was so loud he thought they'd both hear it. He realized at once that he'd threatened Eiji, albeit not deliberately. He realized that his whole attitude towards this man was horribly ambivalent - that he had no real idea how to deal with him. He saw the glimmer of defiance in the man's eyes, even as he readied himself for hurt and damage.

Reven knew what that was like - his leg throbbed, just as it always had, at times like these.

His blood pumped round his body - he was aroused, despite his confusion. Perhaps, because of it! His pants were tight around his hips - the half-naked man rested his eyes there briefly, just adding to Reven's discomfort.

He wanted those eyes on him - those crossed hands on his hips, instead - those pursed lips at his groin.

He wanted Inoue.

Or did he want Eiji?

He dropped the knife, hearing it clatter on the floor, bouncing gently on the carpet. He tried to dampen his anger - tried to make sense of this.

And he stepped towards the kneeling man.

The knife was on the floor.

Eiji didn't really look at it, though... Owner flipped back and forth between emotions quickly, it was hard to keep track, and certainly not like any other Owner he'd had before. Right now, the one who called himself Reven was looking at him in a new light, with lust in his eyes and his pants tightening.

The strangest things seemed to rouse Owner.

Eiji leaned forward slowly, stealing quick glances up at the man's face just to make sure, until his face was just an inch from the straining pants, and he turned his head slightly, rubbing his cheek against it, closing his eyes. Trying to make amends, and earn forgiveness for what he’d done wrong.

His movements were entirely feline as his hands slid up Owner's legs and came to rest on his tense thighs, and he continued to massage the hard flesh behind cloth with his face, nuzzling up against it.

Perhaps Owner would finally take him?

Perhaps this was the hour of his death.

Who knew?

It didn't really matter... Eiji knew his life was inconsequential. He understood perfectly that were he to die, nobody would care-- one less mouth to feed, one less cage to wash down once every week or two with icy water from a hose.

His bondage collar clinked as the ring on the end batted against Owner's thigh and Eiji pressed his cheek to the fully hard member kept away from him by a thin layer of cloth.

Reven felt breath leaving his body like blood seeping from a wound. The head at his thighs was firm, nudging at him like an animal, demanding attention - but the body at his feet was all human. The pain in his groin was agony - the desire that he'd kept under wraps for so long was demanding freedom. He should never have let Eiji touch him the previous night - he should never have...

He groaned. He felt Eiji's mouth, hot on his pants - Eiji's hands, tight on his muscles, kneading them with a sensual pragmatism that he couldn't remember Inoue ever showing...

He knew it was technique - he knew it was the mark of a slave, desperate to please a master. But it still felt good - damned good! Was he seen as the master now, for this confused man?

Was that what he wanted?

No! he thought, anguished, even as he reached a hand down and linked the fingers round the O-ring of Eiji's collar. But he knew that it was, in one small part of him. If he couldn't have Inoue back, he could at least touch his body, taste him, feel him. The rest may follow - it may not. He'd do his fucking best to make it, wouldn't he?

But until then...

He tugged the man up on to his stumbling feet, and back to the bedroom. He was panting slightly - he felt Eiji's body trembling under him, but he tried not to be too rough. But he was excited - he was impatient. He pushed Eiji back on to the bed, and he fell back, lying spread out under Reven's eyes.

"Take 'em off." Eiji wore some old black pants of Reven's - he looked good, despite the malnourishment, the scars - his skin was pale against the black colour. Reven watched hungrily as he peeled off the pants, showing no embarrassment, no care or coyness at being naked.

He lay back again, staring at Reven, entirely nude on his bed. Did he expect pain? Did he expect to be hit? Reven had no idea. As Reven leant in to touch at the thin limbs, Eiji lifted his arms above his head, the cuffs brushing metallically against each other, and laid them, wrists together, on the blanket. He was totally exposed to Reven.

Reven's fingers brushed at Eiji's mouth - he wanted to kiss him, but got no response from the man, whether he would like it or not. It had obviously never been a choice for Eiji.

Groaning, Reven fumbled at his own pants.

He'd never taken Inoue - he'd only ever been uke. It wasn't that he wouldn't have wanted to... just the way it had happened between them.

Now Eiji lay there, offering it.

Aggression, sexual predation... it was finally what Eiji had been expecting from this man.

Though, he had been slightly shocked by the kiss.

Nobody had kissed him before... it was... pleasing.

But Owner pulled away from the kiss before Eiji could even attempt responding.

He removed his pants as commanded and parted his legs immediately, relieved to feel the familiar brush of cool air against his groin as he looked at Owner's revealed length.

Ahh, he was thick, and long... Eiji didn't fool himself into hoping that the sex would be good for him whatsoever-- it was all about pleasing the owners, wasn't it? But there had been the rare time when whoever was slamming into him had actually managed to strike a certain spot within him that made his fists clench and his back arch.

Usually he was nonrespondant as soon as penetrated, but Eiji had a weakness for when that spot was struck, and it stirred him to life.

He parted his legs further when he saw Owner staring between them hungrily, blinking slowly and watching this man's actions, waiting to see just how he'd be taken.

Eiji went so far as to lift his knees in the air and bend his legs, fully exposing his entrance as his breathing slowed and he prepared to be filled once more.

Reven had rarely known such excitement - such anticipation! The man moved as if he'd done this so many times before, but there had been a hesitation when Reven had kissed him - a strange shiver of shock through him. Reven had pulled away quickly - it hadn't been Inoue that he kissed, it had been Eiji. His disappointment had been brief, but poignant.

He licked at his palms quickly, trying to find lubrication for his cock - no reason to hurt Eiji more than necessary, though there was going to be no time to prepare him any further. Reven didn't want to wait - Reven's body already screamed at him to do it, to take, to thrust -

He tried to calm his breathing; he started to run his hands up and down his arousal, teasing the pre-cum, tormenting the heat inside him. He gazed at Eiji's long, spread limbs. There was no matching arousal at his groin, though - no erection to be seen. His own cock still lay limp against his thigh. It was too much to expect, thought Reven. Guy just takes it, or that's how he's been used in the past - his heart ached suddenly, sharply.

He set himself between the outstretched thighs, and held the legs apart at the ankles. His swollen cock nudged at the waiting entrance, his eyes still on Eiji. Perhaps the man took it as an instruction, because Eiji lifted his hands up to Reven, putting one on his hip, and touching the other to his cock, to guide it in -

Reven pressed into him, and sank into the deep, hot depths of Eiji.

Or Inoue.

Whatever, whoever - he groaned with the pure relief - the ecstatic bliss.

Eiji felt the length slide into him, part him further, and he shifted his hips further onto Owner's cock.

He had even been considerate enough to lubricate himself halfway before penetration; this was a strange new owner indeed. Eiji found himself not understanding this man above him, inside of him at all... just when he thought he had 'Reven' pegged as typical once more, the man turned around and did something new.

Now wasn't the time to think about it; he had work to do.

Eiji lifted his hips off the mattress and pushed himself forward in time with Owner's thrusts, squeezing himself tightly around the length each time it entered him, running his hands up and down the bucking body.

Several times Owner seemed lost, or too caught up in something, and when it happened once more Eiji took hold of Owner's shoulders and gripped them as a true moan, though mangled, escaped his lips.

He had struck the place of pleasure within Eiji, and the redhead arched his back with a short gasp, his eyes widening.

Reven thought he might be babbling words, moaning sounds that had no meaning - it was incredible, the pleasure of filling Eiji, of thrusting back and forth into him. The man's hands gripped at him, holding himself on his cock, impaling himself further as Reven sank again and again inside him.

If only he didn't look at him - see the violet eyes - see the nervous questions there, as if he watched Reven in return, gauging whether he was performing adequately -
It made Reven feel slightly sick; it distracted his movements - to see the two persons there - to be inside them both.

As soon as he hesitated, Eiji gripped harder at him, obviously to keep the business going. Obviously...

But this time, Reven opened his eyes and looked fully at the man underneath him. He went deep - he thrust with a strength that surprised him. And with a shock, he saw reaction in Eiji's eyes. He moaned, when before he'd been like a silent vessel under Reven. There was pleasure there, Reven saw it! Something above and beyond his mere duty as Reven's toy - something for the man himself! The thin body arched under him, clenching tightly against him. Reven thrust again, seeking now to provoke that, to demand Eiji's active participation - to please him in some way, in return.

To provoke Inoue, perhaps.

But he couldn't think that - his own climax was imminent, he felt the pressure at his balls, the ache in his legs. He leant more heavily on to Eiji, thrusting again, groaning now. They were like two sides of the same beast - moving together.

Eiji moaned again as the spot within him was struck several times, and he could no longer stare at Owner, having to shut his eyes and lift his face up to the ceiling, opening his mouth wide to take in deep breaths, a moan coming out of him each time he exhaled now.

His head rolled back and forth as he was thrusted into, and Eiji was stunned to actually feel his cock twitch a few times, when his prostate was struck.

Had he been able to pale he would've but his face was filled with hot blood, horrified and enthralled, awed beyond belief at the possibility, the chance that maybe he was becoming roused like a normal man...!

The thought was lost as Owner came inside of him with a groan, sort of like a growl.

Eiji clenched himself around the thrusting length to help draw out any last droplets, finally opening his eyes and watching Owner's face steadily.

Reven pulled out of Inoue, falling back on to the bed beside him, exhausted - fantastically so! The years he'd dreamt of doing that - of taking his partner, sexually - of possessing him - of seeing his face alight with arousal and delight -!

That it had to be like this - his mind shied away from the thoughts that provoked.

He felt Eiji shift on the bed beside him, as if he was about to slide off, perhaps to clean up, perhaps to take up his submission pose again, ready for the next order...

Reven acted instinctively. His hand darted out and grabbed at Eiji's arm, tugging him back to stay where he was. To lie beside him. He rolled over to look at the other man, seeking some of that surprised delight on his face, perhaps - he couldn't believe it had just been an act! He pressed his lips to his again, trying to taste the essence of the man.
But Eiji's face was blank again - it was cold to Reven. It offered nothing but blind, empty obedience.

To its Owner. To its master.

Eiji was surprised when he was pulled back into the bed, and doubly shocked when soft lips met his once more.

This time he didn't wait, didn't allow Owner to pull away, even though there was the possibility of being rebuked for it. He leaned into the kiss, his lips fumbling but trying, not really knowing how to do this but attempting his best.

He liked kissing.

The redhead let his fingers ghost over Owner's arm and onto his waist, sliding around his torso hesitantly before his palm rested flat in the middle of Owner's back, holding him close as he pressed his mouth forward, eager, willing, learning.

He shivered as he was rolled onto his back once more, and a hot tongue filled his mouth, stroked along his.

Eiji tried to mimic the actions, running his tongue along Owner's, and picked up the skill quickly, since he had been a fast learner for as long as he could remember.

He could go on simply kissing for hours, but Owner suddenly pulled away, looking serious and muttering something about a new order for Eiji, something he would have to do every day from now on.

It was the taste of Inoue's lips that had done it - that had persuaded Reven to bring this farce to an end. He craved the body - he'd found incredible pleasure in the body - but he wanted the mind back, too.

Inoue's mouth had surprised him, seeking to kiss back, to match Reven's affection and hunger. And he'd initiated it himself - Reven hadn't insisted that he respond fully. He believed it was a genuine reaction to him, Reven.

There was hope of some new relationship for them - some recovery of the bruised ego that was Inoue.

Reven dragged his lips away, reluctant to leave the kiss and caress, but he couldn't afford the time to be aroused again - he had his work to see to, and he needed to develop some plan to bring Inoue back to real life. Without the pain that such exposure seemed to bring him.

Reven drew a deep breath.

"You will live here now, Eiji," he said, carefully. "Eat with me, sleep with me - you'll dress normally and do the chores." He watched Eiji's face crumple with some confusion. Was it too much, too soon? "I'll get these things off -" he started, fingering the collar.

Eiji shuddered with shock, and shrank back into himself. Reven cursed himself - they were too much a part of him to consider losing so quickly. Eiji might see it as failure - as displeasing his master, as a severe punishment. "OK, we'll think about that later. I'm not angry with you, Eiji. Just - want you to do some things for me, all right? I want you to start to practice saying some words - my name perhaps." I'll get some books, he thought, about speech therapy. Something to guide us both. Inoue was always so keen on his damned books...

"Watch TV when I'm out - read. Whatever. You may touch anything in the apartment - but not the knife. OK? And when i get back each day, you must tell me one thing that you liked - and one thing that disturbed you." Inoue looked horrified, but Reven was determined to make him communicate - to begin to connect again. "You can write it, or sign it, until you can speak it. But that's what I want, and that's what you must do. Do you understand?"

Eiji nodded, though he looked unnerved. For that, Reven was sorry - but he was going to be cruel to be kind.

Someone had done that for him, years ago, and it had been the making of him.