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Series are multiple stories that go together; the order they are listed in on the tables of contents and directory pages are their chronological orders within the universe, not the order they were written or posted in. A tilde (~) denotes an original fiction series, while an abbreviation such as HP denotes a fanfiction series.

Rurouni Kenshin Fanfiction: Insomnia

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series RK Saitou x Aoshi

TITLE: Insomnia
CHAPTER: 1 – Oneshot
AUTHOR: Lythande ( setosgirl0 / neferseti0 / Ankh Ascendant )
DATE: 2-20-2012 (happy birthday to me :} )
FANDOM: Rurouni Kenshin
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own Ruroken, or make any money from it.
PAIRINGS: Saitou x Aoshi
TYPE: fluff
RATING: PG
WARNINGS: none
OCs: none
BETA: none
WORDS: 1891
SUMMARY: Aoshi and Saitou, it turns out, both make it hard for the other to sleep.
NOTES: A sort of birthday present to myself, some enjoyable pointless realistic-ish fluff that may or may not eventually accompany a longer story I’ve been working on. This is also for the writing prompt of “Relaxation”. I suppose that it may be forgiven for pointlessness when written for such a prompt?

* * *

Insomnia

They had maintained the fiction of Saitou paying for and sleeping in a room at the inn, but it was doubtful that anyone actually believed it.

Aoshi contemplated the distant ceiling and the weight of the arm draped over him, wondering if he could dislodge it without waking him. He hadn’t considered how hard it would be to get accustomed to having someone touch him while he was supposed to be relaxed. The contact made him a little too uneasy to get anywhere near sleep, even though it was his theoretically harmless… companion. His brain knew Saitou was not a danger to him – not much of a danger, at least – but his instincts wouldn’t accept the fact. His body insisted on keeping his guard up.

At least Saitou had stopped his constant shifting. How someone who had been doing it for thirty-five years could not yet know his prefered sleeping position was a mystery, and an irritation. Perhaps he was deeply asleep enough now that he wouldn’t mind.

He gently lifted Saitou’s arm and maneuvered it back toward the rest of him, but instantly knew it had been a bad idea. Saitou shifted awake with his touch like he’d never been asleep, taking his arm back as his other reached instinctively to touch the sword on the floor at their side, without actually grabbing it.

“Stop moving,” he muttered, rubbing his face and pushing himself over onto his back. “You’re keeping me awake.”

“You’re doing that yourself.”

He snorted but didn’t argue, instead sitting up and reaching for his cigarettes, sitting there beside his blade. He’d asked if Aoshi minded when he laid the sword out beside him; in response Aoshi had only slid one of his kodachi into its place under their heads. Any would-be assassin would regret disturbing this room – if, of course, there were any that weren’t products of their paranoid imaginations.

A thin stream of exhaled smoke followed Saitou as he lay down again, already pinching out the cigarette. One hit to soothe his nerves so he could sleep again, and in the morning he’d probably only know how many times he’d woken up by the number of burnt matches and barely started cigarettes that littered the floor beside him. It was a ritual he’d already seen once this night, and Aoshi wasn’t sure he could take many more repetitions of it.

He caught his chin lightly as he settled back down beside him, and Saitou pushed himself up on his elbows to look down at him with patient and vague curiosity. His light-colored eyes were alert, but maybe not entirely awake. He should probably be flattered he didn’t warrant waking up completely for.

“You don’t sleep well,” he mused, running his thumb over Saitou’s jaw lightly and noting that he could use a shave. That wasn’t something he had to worry about himself very often, and the stubble provided an interesting texture. Slightly patchy, though, he found; he was gratified to know that Saitou’s ability to grow a beard wasn’t much above his own.

Saitou snorted and pulled his head away, laying it across his arm in lieu of a pillow, which had been shoved away in his turning. “I sleep just fine.”

That was patently untrue. “In the two hours we’ve been here, I don’t think you’ve slept more than forty-five minutes,” he pointed out. “Every time you lie down you shift around for half an hour, and that was your second cigarette.”

“I’d be sleeping now if someone weren’t talking to me.”

“You’d be tossing.”

“Getting back to sleep.” His other arm, the one he’d been so cavalierly draping over him while drowsing, took up the position again, but this time under the light blanket and inside his yukata, his hand settling on the edge of his stomach. It was a nice fit, but Aoshi considered whether it was comfortable, and decided there was no possibility he’d be able to sleep this way.

“What about you?” Saitou looked at him without raising his head, evidently perfectly comfortable. The idea of sleeping on his stomach like that and leaving his back exposed made Aoshi want to twitch. It left Saitou’s left hand toward the side of the bed, and his sword, though. “If you have enough time to catalogue my smoking habits, obviously you don’t sleep well either.”

“Someone has been tossing and insisting on resting parts of himself on me,” he pointed out blandly, rubbing the back of Saitou’s arm to take any sting from the statement.

He needn’t have bothered. Saitou smiled slightly and ran his hand along his side; that was a strange part of a body to be fascinated with. It was probably that he was used to a woman’s curves, and the planes of muscle were as interesting as Aoshi found his stubble.

“That’s an evasion, not an answer.”

“I sleep well enough.” He let his face turn back up toward the ceiling, letting his fingers continue to trace lines of muscle in Saitou’s arm.

“For four hours a night?”

“Mm,” he agreed, without telling him it was usually closer to three. He was perceptive.

Saitou chuckled lightly. “You would have a brighter disposition if you got more rest.”

“No I wouldn’t,” he disagreed mildly. Seeing as he didn’t think he was particularly ‘gloomy’ to start with, especially. Just serious. His eyes fell back to the other’s face and he considered him. “How long did it take before your wife’s movements didn’t wake you every time?”

“Almost two years. I took to napping in the evening before I went home during her first pregnancy because every time I was almost asleep she’d move around again.” He gave him a grin. “And if you ever want to sleep again, don’t have a child. I had to make them sleep in another room until he could be still for more than an hour at a time.”

“I’ll take that under advisement.” Not that, he reflected, anyone save perhaps Misao was rushing to picture him with a wife and child. He couldn’t even see it himself. Instead of tops and dolls, his child would be playing with shuriken and learning tea ceremonies.

Saitou grinned, evidently having similar thoughts, and then let out a tobacco-scented breath as he closed his eyes again. “Can we stop wasting this precious sleep time talking now?”

“No.” He reached up and nudged Saitou’s jaw, made him open his eyes again. “If you’re going to keep me awake, I’m going to return the favor.”

Saitou looked at him for a moment, looking slightly unamused, then sighed a little. “Careful… I’m likely to think you enjoy talking to me.”

The conversation was about basically nothing and had no real point, but he actually wouldn’t argue with the assessment, oddly enough. It was… comfortable. “More than listening to you toss around for the next hour,” he agreed mildly.

“I’m flattered.” He didn’t look interested in moving, but they watched each other in comfortable silence for a few seconds. “What do you normally do when you’re supposed to be sleeping?” he finally asked.

“I usually use this time for training.” His mind went briefly to the kodachi under their futon, but he didn’t move to touch it. That would dislodge Saitou’s hand, which was warm and relatively pleasant on his side.

“Now that’s interesting,” Saitou mused. “Quiet meditation during the daylight hours, and practicing the killing arts at night.”

“Stop analyzing.” The backs of his fingers ran over his rasping jaw lightly, earning a faint twitch of some amused emotion from his lips. They were basically already within kissing distance, and he considered a couple tactics for making that smirk disappear, but they all required moving. “It leads you astray.”

“Oh, does it?”

“You risk overthinking. You may notice that it is dark outside at night, and no one will see me with a sword. No deeper symbolic duality.”

“Ah.” Saitou’s smirk grew a little. “Being unintentional doesn’t mean the symbolism isn’t there.”

Aoshi shook his head slightly and decided some sacrifices were necessary. Rolling up onto his side to kiss Saitou did dislodge his hand, but luckily it found its way back without much delay. The beard stubble, he noticed, was distinctly more obvious now.

Saitou rolled off his pillow-arm and leaned into it for a moment, pressing for more; Aoshi pulled away instead. “Was it something I said?” Saitou asked, his eyes much more awake now, trailing his fingers down over his hip.

“You’re going to have to shave.”

He actually gave out a startled laugh and raised his hand to rub his own chin. “Oh, is that was you were feeling? I thought you’d grown fascinated with my face.” He dropped his hand and ran a finger along Aoshi’s jaw, apparently to check for stubble, as though he hadn’t just had a much closer inspection. He’d shaved two days ago; if there was anything to find, it was negligible. “I hope you don’t mean right now.”

“Tomorrow will be fine.”

“Thank you for your generosity.” Saitou grinned and shifted to slide both hands under his yukata. One of his arms rested across Saitou’s chest to support him as he looked at him. “Where were we?”

“I was about to put into effect my plan to strategically exhaust you so that I could get some sleep,” he answered promptly, and slid a finger along the underside of the angular jaw. Scruffy. “Eventually you will be too worn out to roll around all night.”

His grin showed a bit more teeth. “I see. I have to warn you, I’m not easy to exhaust. My reserves may surprise you.”

“I understand. I must make the attempt anyway; sacrifices must be made.”

He didn’t even crack a smile, but Saitou laughed quietly and pulled him closer. He straddled his hips and leaned down to kiss him deeply again.

-=*=-

Early morning birds twittered outside their thin walls while Omasu moved from room to empty room, opening doors to air them out before coming back to clean. Aside from the unoccupied guest rooms, their personal rooms also received the treatment. Everyone was already out, finishing breakfast and starting chores. Aoshi must have gone out early since he hadn’t been there to eat…

The thought cut off as she pushed his room’s door open a sliver and paused. Coming across Aoshi sleeping was about the last thing anyone might have expected; coming across him sleeping with Saitou’s arm draped over him and face almost buried in his hair, and Aoshi subtly shifted to face him, was even more unlikely.

She was aware of how incredibly rude it was, but for a moment she just stared, not quite believing what she was looking at. It crossed her mind that it was a joke at her expense. As though that was like him.

Then Aoshi’s eyes opened partway and slivers of blue stared right up at her. Immediately she was startled into action, bowing deeply in apology and sliding the door shut silently between them.

“Were we seen?” Saitou asked quietly without opening his eyes, making no move to get up just yet.

Aoshi wasn’t bothered. “Yes.”

“Damn,” he said blandly.

He just closed his eyes again and let his fingers trace their way along Saitou’s side, listening to the birds.

~end~

Series NavigationRurouni Kenshin Fanfiction: DenialRurouni Kenshin Fanfiction: Acquired Taste

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