by Taryn

An Ai no Kusabi Songfic

Disclaimer: Ai no Kusabi was created by Yoshihara Rieko and published by JUNE. The lyrics to the song ACF belong to Stabbing Westward.

Riki lounged in an old threadbare chair in one of the back parlors of Depraved, a half-empty bottle of stout dangling from one clenched fist. The alcohol misting his thoughts painted the cheap room with sparkling trails of moonlight streaming through the dirty windows, giving everything the appearance of a dream. Maybe it was a dream. That made much more sense than the idea of this sudden freedom after three years. Maybe the freedom was really an illusion after all.

Riki sighed and brought the bottle back up to his lips as the image of a beautiful face framed by long golden blonde hair sprang to life from the well of his deepest desires. 'I'll never be free, Iason, not when even your very memory refuses to leave me in peace.'

You are all I am
You are all I ever want to be
I think of you

Riki started as a strong hand suddenly clasped his shoulder and forced himself to look into the depths of Guy's eyes. He could see longing there; a mixture of need and want resurrected by his sudden return from the dead. He forced a weak smile onto his face before his eyes drifted back to the empty bottle of their own accord. The voices of the Bisons faded away to a mere buzzing in the background.

They were arguing about jobs to be done. Every word and gesture seemed to be fueled by a single overriding need: escape. They didn't understand; they couldn't understand. There was no escape from Ceres, not now and not ever. All that existed was a new brand of slavery.

A solitary cry
Echoes through my throat and through my mind
I think of you

He fell out of the chair with a loud crash, the silent scream cutting off the airflow to his lungs. With one blind hand he clawed at the ripped fabric of the old chair, fighting against phantoms he could no longer see or understand. Strong hands gripped both his shoulders, pulling him tightly off the cold floor and into a warm embrace.

Riki stopped fighting, leaning back automatically into the warm illusion of safety. The phantoms and unreasoning terror slowly faded away, leaving only coldness and a terrible sense of longing in their wake. The voice in his ear finally began to filter through the silent cry that prickled the hair on the back of his neck.

"Riki? Come on Riki, it's me. Guy. You hear me, don't you?"

Riki shuddered and sat up, forcing Guy's hands away. He ran hands down his naked arms rapidly to warm them, fighting off another bought of chills. Guy reached out again uncertainly. Riki pushed himself to his feet, unwilling to let Guy touch him. He was unclean; Guy would never understand.

Guy let his hand drop and stood. "Are you all right?"

Riki lowered his head, refusing to meet the concern in his former lover's eyes. "I'm fine. Nothing to worry about." He grabbed his jacket off the chair, ignoring the hangover pounding through the inside of his skull. Sleep, that's what he needed. The quiet of his own bed…

He pulled the jacket on and headed for the door.


He could hear the unanswered question in Guy's voice and forced himself to stop and look back. "It's nothing Guy, really. I'm fine. I just need some sleep."

'Please understand, just not yet. It's too soon. What if I let you touch me and I can't get him out of my mind? What the hell will I do then?'

Guy seemed to understand a bit of the unspoken plea, as Riki thought he might. "All right. I'll see you later."

Riki nodded and strode out under the indigo of the early morning sky, heading for the safety of home.

I think woke up screaming
I had a dream that you still loved me
I think I woke up screaming
I think I woke up screaming again

Iason Mink leaned back in the chair at his massive desk, his eyes locked on the patterns of the ceiling over his head. The upcoming trade negotiations were touchy. They required his full attention, especially now. Jupiter wanted these negotiations to take place. What Jupiter wanted, Jupiter got, at least as long as Iason prized the right to continue breathing. Even if his existence was pivotal to the corporation, he was Jupiter's creation. All the Blondies owed their existence to Jupiter. His continued survival depended entirely on his skill.

The beep of the phone demanded his attention, but Iason ignored it, letting his thoughts drift. 'Ah, Riki, I wonder if you ever think of me?'

For hours I'll just stare at my ceiling
At nothing at all
And think of you

Iason let the door to his personal quarters shut firmly behind him. He leaned against the wall for a moment, letting the tensions drain away. The others didn't understand. They saw him as little more than a danger despite his apparent competence. Even Raoul failed to understand, and Raoul knew him better than anyone.

Iason stripped off his stole and gloves and rang for the servants to bring him dinner. Strolling around the room and lighting candles, he barely noticed the appearance of the quiet servants as they entered and laid out dishes on the otherwise empty table. Left alone, he cast one last look at the stack of surveillance reports he needed to read before switching off the electric lights. Flickering candlelight reflected from the wall of glass and transformed the cold luxurious quarters into something almost medieval, shadows creating secret coves in corners and around the heavy furniture.

Iason dropped gracefully into a chair, casting one surreptitious glance around into the quiet shadows. He couldn't help thinking that he'd never felt so alone in all his life.

The candlelight through bells
Make shadows just like roses in my mind
And I think of you

Iason forced his attention back to the report in front of him, one hand reaching absently down to pat the red hair of the young girl kneeling by his feet. Even through his distraction he couldn't help noticing that the hair was the wrong texture, soft springy curls that slipped over his fingers instead of silky short strands that brushed his skin like a caress. He kept his expression carefully neutral. Appearances were everything, even at this late stage in the game.

Even if it was already too late to save himself.

He was lost. From the first glimpse of the challenge in those amazing dark eyes that haunted his every thought he'd been lost.

Raoul made a soft sound deep in his throat, a slight warning that Iason's attention was visibly wandering. Dangerous, that. Raoul had made no secret of his disapproval.

Pulling himself together, Iason rose to his feet and nodded coolly at the assembled members of the syndicate. "I think we've accomplished all we set out to this evening." He forced a slight smile on his face. "I'd hate to keep everyone from this evening's entertainment. Please, enjoy yourselves." With one hand he gestured at a small stage set up in the back of the room. The lights dimmed and the silvery cascade of harp music brushed away tension with the subtlety of a caress, creating an air of tranquility as a new very young group of pets made their graceful way to the performance platform.

The assembled Blondies leaned back in their respective chairs and murmured appreciatively, eyes glued to the stage as the entertainment began. No one but Raoul noticed as their host slipped discreetly out the side door.

I think I woke up screaming
I had a dream that you still loved me
I think I woke up screaming
I think I woke up screaming again

Iason slipped into the tiny apartment over a club deep in the heart of Ceres, listening appreciatively to the tinkling of falling water. The urge to slip around the corner and catch Riki in the shower was almost overpowering- crystal water drops dripping down the smooth dark skin, hair made darker with moisture, eyes closed and head thrown back under the heavy spray of water- but he fought it. Better to make an impression that would leave him in a position of power. Showing Riki any sign of weakness would be a mistake.

He listened as the shower door opened, losing control enough to run caressing fingers over the pet ring concealed under his right glove.

Maybe everyone was right. This was dangerous. He was losing control…

The thought faded and his breath caught in his throat as Riki stepped back into the bedroom, the towel wrapped around his head obscuring his vision. Iason drank in his form like a starving man and leaned firmly back against the wall.

The wait was over. It was time to reclaim what was rightfully his.

Could this last forever?
Or will I die?

Riki lost all sense of time and reality as the voice spoke up out of the darkness. This couldn't be real. It was another dream, another sick imagining.

He was free.

He was free, damn it!

As he slowly turned around to meet Iason, he realized that was the biggest lie of all. He would never be free again. Not when the mere sound of that voice could render him into a mass of conflicting emotions. Love warred with intense hatred; his entire body ached with the need to be touched by those hands even while fear chilled his blood.

Despite his anger, the battle was lost before he had time to realize he should be putting up a fight.

He was a Pet. Why fight fate?

Could this last forever?
Or will I die?
Just can I die?

Iason ran water into the huge sunken bathtub. Expensive imported marble tinted the water crimson under the soft controlled glow of the fluorescent lights. Carefully pulling off his clothes, he slipped into the hot water and leaned back against the tile.

The memory came unbidden of sharing the bathtub with another, of a warm weight resting comfortably against his chest, dark skin blending into pale under the restless motion of the water, but the memory was shoved ruthlessly away. A smile crossed his face as he reached for the glass of wine resting on the glass table next to the tub.

'They all think I've fallen. If only they knew how far.'

The thought was amusing, if only because everyone thought they were so clever with their gossip and rumors. They had no idea how much worse the truth could be.

'You're mine, Riki. Mine. I'll never let you go.'

He sighed and settled down deeper into the warm water, the sweet fruity taste of the wine lingering on his tongue long after the glass rested once again on the table. There was no longer any doubt. Letting Riki go was the right thing to do. He would come back. He might not think so tonight, but the expression on his face said it all.

It was only a matter of time.

Maybe I could try
To take a bath and drink a little wine
And think of you

Riki pulled himself out of bed and reached for the robe left discarded on the floor. He had no idea how much time had passed since Iason had left him huddling in an oblivion brought on by tangled fear and sated desire, but the dying light of the afternoon sun still streamed through the small window. He needed to go to the jail. He needed to be there when Guy was released. He needed him to know…

He sat up and grabbed a cigarette from the crumbled pack resting on the rickety bedside table. Almost as an afterthought, he lit the emergency candle resting in the holder by the bed. The bright yellow flame danced restlessly in a draft of cold air leaking through the window, sparking and throwing small shadows across the bed and mingling with the cold red glow of the fading sunlight.

Taking a long drag from the cigarette, he dropped the robe back on the floor and forced himself to his feet. Guy. He had to focus on Guy and the rest of the Bisons. They were all in jail because of him, because Iason couldn't bear to let one of his possessions out of his sight. The idea that all his dues for his past mistakes had been paid up was another lie, and one he could no longer afford. Guy had to know.

A glint of reflected candlelight distracted him as he grabbed for the pair of old jeans thrown over the back of a chair. His hand spasmed involuntarily and dropped down to clench into a fist at his side. Sinking back down to his knees, Riki closed his eyes and ran questing fingers over the familiar smooth contours of his confinement.

The jail could wait. Guy wouldn't be released until Iason sent word, anyway. How long would that take?

His eyes drifted briefly to the light of the sun as the waves of despair and anger crashed over him.

Enough. It would be long enough.

Curling up in a ball beside the bed, Riki almost managed to quell the whimper that rose involuntarily from his throat.

"Why? Iason, why does it have to be me?"

But probably I'll lie
Naked on the floor by candlelight
And I'll think of you

Guy curled up on the hard bunk of his cell in Midas Police Headquarters, staring at the waterstained ceiling with his good eye and resolutely ignoring the deep ache of bruises. He was used to pain. A lifetime of gang fights had taught him well. It was always best to have something distracting to think about.

That wasn't a problem.

'Why was there a raid tonight of all nights. Kirie set us up. He knew…'

The thought stopped him. Riki had known. Riki had been against the job from the start.


"What are you hiding, Riki? Why won't you tell me?"

Tears began to fall unnoticed down his cheeks, stinging the open cuts around his swollen eye in trails of acid.

"Why won't you trust me, Riki? Why won't you just let me love you like you used to?"

I think I woke up screaming
I had a dream that you still loved me
I think I woke up screaming
I think I woke up screaming again

Comments are always appreciated

Back to Taryn's Tales from Other Fandoms