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Cage: Part 12

"It's sure gonna be nice to have black hair again." Aishuu stared at their reflection in the huge bathroom mirror, watching Shikkai massage thick black goop into his hair.

Shikkai pulled a disgruntled face, then grinned at the boy. "Fine for you, maybe." He raised his eyes to his own face in the mirror. "I'm rather fond of my hair the way it is."

"I can't imagine you with black hair," Aishuu agreed, tilting his head to one side. Shikkai pulled it straight again, and Aishuu wrinkled his nose in annoyance.

"Guess we'll both find out how it looks soon enough." Shikkai absently worked the colour into the ends of Aishuu's hair, watching himself in the mirror again, watching his bright red hair move with every twitch he made. He'd never considered himself vain, or even remotely interested in his looks; but here he was, upset at having to lose his trademark hair. It was only a colour, and yet.. with that and his eyes, he'd always felt special. He'd always felt that he looked the way he should.

"Don't worry, soon as we kick the corps, you can be the Demon again." Aishuu beamed at him. "I like you best all flaming red."

"You and me both." Shikkai raised his hands from the boy's hair, and tugged off the blackened gloves that had protected his hands, tossing them into the bin. "All done. Now you get to do mine."

"Better sit on the floor, I'm way shorter than you." Aishuu jumped up from the stool he'd been sitting on, and hurried to pull on another pair of gloves.

Shikkai folded himself into a sitting position on the cold metal floor, tugging at the old towel around his shoulders again, making sure it was in place. Sure, the hair colour didn't dye skin, but he still didn't want to take any chances. Just making his hair black was more than enough.

Aishuu opened the bottle and started working the colour into his hair; they both watched in fascination as the black slowly covered every strand of red, soaking itself in, leaving his hair matt and damp, flattened against his head.

Shikkai kept the frown off his face; he was being silly enough about it already, no need to whine about it to Aishuu as well.

"Hey, how's it going?" Kitsune stuck his head in at the doorway. "Wow, black makes a big difference. On both of you!" He stared at them in surprise.

Aishuu giggled. "Yeah. It looks good on me and terrible on Shikkai."

"Oi!" Shikkai reached behind him and poked the boy in the ribs. Aishuu yelped, leaping out of reach, and waved the colour bottle threateningly.

"Children, children!" Kitsune laughed, shrugging his shoulders. "Listen, we've scrounged up some clothes for you both, and do you want to come out tonight? There's a private rage on, one of Kami's friends, and it should be heaps of fun. Not a chance a faker'll get in the door, either."

"Rage?" Aishuu blinked at Shikkai in the mirror, eyes wide and curious. "I've never been to one. What's it like?"

"Never?" Kitsune was the one blinking now. "For real? Don't they party down there or something?"

"Yeah, they do." Shikkai frowned at Kitsune. "Aishuu's just never had a chance." He met Aishuu's gaze again; the boy looked curious, wanting, and yet worried. "It's fun, Aishuu, music and dancing and getting high. There's a lot of people though. But I'll take care of you." He hadn't been out for fun in a long, long time; without a good friend or a partner to drag him out of his apartment, he just never got around to it. But he always enjoyed rages when he did go. He just wondered what it would be like for Aishuu. He'd never seen the boy in a crowded environment before; he didn't seem the type to like it.

"Well.." Aishuu's gaze wandered away, thoughtfully. "I'd like to have some fun. And we could come home if it was too bad, right?"

"Sure," Kitsune nodded. "It's only a few blocks from here."

"Can we, Shikkai?" Aishuu looked decided, finally, and Shikkai smiled at him.

"Okay. If you ever get my hair finished."

"Oh yeah!" Aishuu stared at the bottle in his hand, as if he'd forgotten it. He giggled, and squeezed more colour into Shikkai's hair, massaging it in with his free hand.

"Cool. I'll tell Kami." Kitsune disappeared from the doorway again, and Aishuu glanced in that direction for a moment, then concentrated on Shikkai's hair again.

"Shikkai, could we.. well.. get high again? For the rage?" His voice was soft, unsure.

"You want to?" Shikkai stared at him in surprise. Aishuu had seemed to enjoy the Lucid, but the boy hadn't mentioned it since. So he'd figured Aishuu didn't like it quite enough for a repeat. Or maybe the boy hadn't felt ready for what might happen between them if they took it again.

"Yeah. I felt.. more sure of me, then. I think I could have more fun if I felt like that. But.. can we take less of it? So I still know what's going on?" He looked so earnest, Shikkai couldn't help but laugh. Aishuu was still so sweetly naive about some things.

"We can. I'll give you just enough to enjoy yourself with. And I'll still keep my eye on you."

"And you'll have some, too?"

"Of course. Can't let you have fun without me. Now finish my hair so we can start having fun."

Aishuu's face lit up again. "I'm almost done!" He squeezed the last of the colour into Shikkai's hair, tossed the bottle in the bin, and set about making sure every single strand of red was completely covered.

Shikkai raked his fingers through his hair again, watching himself critically in the mirror, wishing he could get used to having black hair. It made him look so.. dark. Well, he guessed he was meant to look dangerous tonight; Kami and Kitsune had found for him some skintight metallic black pants, cold and hard to touch as metal, and a loose studded sleeveless shirt, that bared his stomach if he stretched too much, and finished at his throat with a tight silver collar that chained to his belt. He'd finally removed the thick bandage wound about his stomach, and covered the healing wound with a small skin-colored healing patch.

He turned his gaze to Aishuu and Kitsune, who were laughing as they gelled Aishuu's hair in wild wings out from his head. Aishuu was baring shoulderblades and throat in a black coat that hung from the very edges of his shoulders, the sleeves loosely draping to his elbows, and then pulled in sharply at his waist before hanging to his thighs. Opaque black material hugged his legs, tucking into small, soft black boots. With his sharp face, his sharp limbs, he looked elfin to Shikkai, like something out of a hundred fantasy games he'd played; the perfect, impossible-to-catch creature.

Kitsune was sporting loose leggings over a tight bodysuit that was slit almost randomly across both front and back, baring all sorts of teasing patches of skin. His long blue hair bounced like a fluffy cloud around his head, as excited as he was.

Kami was standing close to the mirror, carefully smudging black kohl around his dark eyes. His smooth hair swung easily about his face, catching on his high cheekbones and forcing him to brush it back every other moment. He wore silver-threaded mesh on his arms and legs, vanishing under a torn shirt and ragged shorts that were very short and suggestive.

His hair finished, Aishuu ran over to Shikkai, grabbing for his hands.

"Are you ready to go? I'm ready!"

Shikkai laughed at the boy's enthusiasm. "Sure, I've been ready for ages." He glanced at the other two. "Anytime you want to leave."

"Yeah, yeah," Kami waved one hand casually, and finished the line he was drawing under his eye. "I'm done. Fox?"

"Bouncing." Kitsune grinned. "And since no-one else is going to say it, I will: damn, we all look fucking awesome."

"I thought it was too obvious to need saying." Kami chuckled. "Let's go. And are you two gonna remember your names when you're high?" He headed for the doorway, raising an amused eyebrow at Shikkai.

"How could I forget that I'm Demon? Even if I've lost my hair." Shikkai shrugged his shoulders.

"And I'm Cat." Aishuu beamed. "I've always liked the idea of them. I won't forget."

"Meow." Kitsune laughed. "C'mon, Kitty, let's show you how wild a rage can get."

They walked the three blocks to the rage; it was being held in a large multi-storey commercial block that had been condemned unsafe for public use, and had ended up rented out cheaply a level a piece to private residents. The residents of the bottom three floors had all opened up their places for the rage, and by the time Shikkai, Aishuu, Kami and Kitsune arrived, the place was already packed with hundreds upon hundreds of people, moving and shaking and dancing and laughing, drinking and taking drugs and talking and touching; it was an almost overwhelming rush of noise and colour that set Shikkai's mind reeling.

He watched Aishuu as they waded their way into the place; the boy's eyes were as wide as they could be, staring around him, drinking in everything and everyone he saw. Shikkai could only wonder what Aishuu was thinking; whatever it was, none of it showed on his face.

"Hey, Demon!" Kami was standing close, practically yelling in his ear, yet he could barely hear the hacker. "Follow Kitsune to the bar. I'll get your Lucid, okay? Got a friend who's always on it."

"Okay!" Shikkai waved Kami away, watching him steam through the crowd, waving to people he knew, saying hello here and there, but always moving. Then he turned to follow Kitsune. Aishuu grabbed for his hand, and he grinned, squeezing the boy's fingers slightly.

"Don't worry," he spoke loudly, leaning over so Aishuu could hear him better. "Kami's getting some Lucid for us. Then you can really kick back and relax."

"Good." Aishuu's eyes wavered nervously for a moment, and then the boy grinned. "It's kinda cool, though. You could get lost here, but it would be fun."

"Don't you dare, or else I'll do the panicking for a change." Shikkai winked at him, then pulled up short as they reached the bar. Kitsune already had a drink in his hand, a tall, frosty bottle that he raised to his lips and chugged half the contents of.

"Man. I gotta get drunk more often." Kitsune wiped his mouth cheerfully. "There's nothing like getting pissed and then dancing till you drop at six the next morning. Kami getting you drugs?" When Shikkai nodded, the boy grinned. "Cool. Once you're loaded, I'll introduce you to a few people. I know plenty of people who know how to party."

"Sounds like fun," Shikkai replied. And he was right about the fun, at any rate.

Kami was quick to return with half a shot of Lucid for each of them, and soon they were both wasted. Shikkai felt smooth and deliciously purple again, and the throbbing music that permeated the whole room lit those purple threads like radier sparks; he spent the first hour or more on the dancefloor in the middle of the room, letting the music move him and speak through him. Aishuu stayed at his side the whole time, sometimes dancing, sometimes staring, with wide, adoring eyes.

By the time the music had let go of him, Kami and Kitsune were nowhere to be found, but Shikkai and Aishuu were having plenty of fun by themselves. They wandered around the room, fascinated by flashing lights, by the bright clothing and strange hair and makeup of other people around them; they found themselves leaping into the middle of wild conversations with complete strangers, and leaving them just as abruptly when something else caught the attention of one or the other of them.

They dragged each other around, laughing, giggling, and eventually Aishuu pulled Shikkai back onto the dancefloor, letting the music and the vis-waves dancing on the walls and ceiling distract them both. The music was everything for a short eternity, and then when Shikkai next remembered where he was, Aishuu wasn't next to him anymore.

He stopped dancing, looking around. The boy was nowhere that he could see, nowhere on the dancefloor at all. But as he searched he caught sight of a familiar face; Kami was moving out to dance, sliding through the thick crush of bodies, his own body swaying as he found a place big enough to dance in. Shikkai moved in the hacker's direction, still caught in the rhythm of the music. He made room for himself next to Kami, still dancing.

"Kami!" He leaned over slightly, speaking as close to the hacker's ear as he could. Kami started, his half-lidded eyes opening all the way, and he peered up at Shikkai, his eyes dark and impossible to read.

"So there you are. Having fun? Where's your Catboy?" Kami's grin was lopsided; he looked more than a little drunk.

"I don't know. I just lost him. Have you seen him?"

"I saw you dragging each other around awhile back." Kami shrugged, making the movement a part of his dancing. "Don't worry, he won't have gone far, and Kitsune's still around somewhere too."

"I guess." Shikkai continued to dance, letting Kami's words reassure him. The hacker was right; Aishuu wouldn't go anywhere outside the rage, and there was no way the fakers would catch him here. Besides, the music was so intense, and he felt so relaxed, so slick and sensual moving in time to it; he didn't want to stop now.

He felt a body dancing closer to his, pressing up to him, and instinctively he swayed in time, against it. He looked down; Kami was moving against him, willowy body in harmony with the throb of the music and the sudden throb in Shikkai's groin. Those unreadable eyes raised to meet his, and he stared at them, at the sharp cheekbones and shadowed skin and the all-too-pouty lips that he suddenly found himself kissing.

Soft, thick lips pressed hard against his, a tongue parting them to meet his and fight for control of the moment. Thin, strong arms slid around him, and he found himself reaching for Kami, pulling him closer, grinding their hips together. Purple lust hit him, making the inside of his eyelids seem to glow, and then he knew what he wanted.

He broke the kiss, taking a deep, gasping breath, and stared down at the beautiful creature he held in his arms, ignoring that it was Kami for a moment. Then he found a grin cracking his lips.

"I don't want you in my bed," he said firmly. Kami's eyes held his for a moment, and then the hacker burst out laughing, and pushed him away.

"You know that's funny, 'cause I don't want you in my bed either." Kami wiped his mouth with his hand, and they both stared at the blood on it for a moment. "I think I'll go find someone else to fuck tonight." Then the hacker's eyes raised to meet his, bright with amusement again. "You taste good, Demon."

Before Shikkai could say any more, Kami was slipping his way between a couple of dancing bodies, vanishing into the crowd. Shikkai stared after him for a long second, and then began to laugh as well.

But he still knew what he wanted. He left the dancefloor in search of Aishuu.

It took him a good hour, he was sure, but he finally spotted the boy. Aishuu was pressed against a wall in one of the darker corners of the room, half hidden behind another man's body. Shikkai stared, feeling helpless for a moment, as Aishuu submitted to the man's kiss, to the hands that twined in his hair and ran across his bared shoulderblades.

Then Shikkai shook his head, amusedly, reminding himself of what he'd been doing before he came hunting for Aishuu. He walked up to the pair of them and tapped Aishuu gently on the shoulder.

Aishuu's eyes flickered open, hazily, and then met Shikkai's; they widened and he gasped, breaking the kiss, pushing himself upright against the wall. The man's eyes opened, and he blinked at Aishuu, then noticed Shikkai. He pulled back, standing upright as well; he was shorter than Shikkai, though not by much, and less broad across the shoulders. His short hair was spiky and black, and his eyes seemed black as well.

"Problem?" he asked shortly.

"He's mine," Shikkai replied cheerfully, nodding his head towards Aishuu. He felt good, despite the fact that this man was all over his Aishuu; he didn't feel any fight in the man. Only loneliness.

"Yeah?" Those black eyes looked him up and down, then moved slowly to meet Aishuu's, questioning. The boy nodded, sliding along the wall towards Shikkai.

"Figures." The man smirked, turning away.

"I'm sorry," Aishuu called after him, "you seemed.. so lonely.."

"Yeah, you got that right." The man hesitated, then turned his gaze back to Aishuu briefly, giving him a short smile. "Don't worry, I've got friends too." He walked away, ducking out of sight.

Aishuu turned to look at Shikkai, his expression a confused mix of guilt and worry.

"He.. he really was lonely. And.. he said I reminded him of someone."

"You're glowing," Shikkai observed. It couldn't just be the Lucid; Aishuu glowed when he was in the looms, too. What was it that was so different about him? "You're probably making half the people in this room weak at the knees just looking at you."

"Are you.. mad?" Aishuu was biting his lip, looking very innocent; what with that and the glowing and the wide eyes that drew him in, Shikkai wasn't sure he could make it all the way home.

"No. I'm incredibly horny. Come home with me." He took the boy's hand.

"What?" Aishuu stared at him, seeming unable to understand this sudden change in topic. Shikkai pushed the boy back against the wall again, pressing himself against him, covering those teasing lips with his own, letting Aishuu feel his erection through the thin layers of cloth seperating them.

"Does that answer your question?" he said, breaking the kiss, but still pinning the boy to the wall.

Aishuu's eyes had closed, and they stayed shut, but he nodded his head; Shikkai could feel the boy beginning to harden, too, but there was a trace of fear on his face. Even with the Lucid to relax him, he was scared.

"I won't hurt you. I want you. You've trusted me before; trust me now."

"Alright," Aishuu's voice was barely loud enough to be heard over the music, but Shikkai was watching his lips closely. "I don't know anything, but I want you, too... teach me what to do, Shikkai." His eyes opened again, finally, soft and desiring, and Shikkai groaned at the shiver that ran through his groin.

"Gods, Aishuu, let's get home before I ravage you right here."

Aishuu giggled at that, and took his hand. "Home, then. I want everything to be perfect."

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