Warnings: Slash.  Slashing.  (As in m/m as well as self-mutilation.)  "Cross-breeding" according to my friends. *snerk* That, however, you are free to disregard.

Propinquity

by Ryuuza

Just so you know: attempting to slash your wrists with safety pins is very difficult.  I wouldn't recommend it.  Go get a nice sharp razor blade.  There's plenty available, trust me.

I lifted my wrist to my mouth and sucked gently, running my tongue over the abused skin and lapping up the last trickle of blood.  Salty, I thought, more than coppery, as I raised my head and reached for a tissue to dry off my wrist and catch any stray blood.

Then again, I'd never had copper in my mouth, so it wasn't as if I could compare.

I discarded the tissue into the toilet and flushed.  The razor I took to the sink and held under the faucet until the pink-tinged water ran clear.  I placed it back behind the mirror next to the can of shaving cream.

Tugging the sleeve of my shirt down until all but my fingers were covered, I unlocked the bathroom door and stepped out into the hall.  I padded barefoot down the dark corridor toward my room.  It was something like five in the morning and the sun hadn't made up its mind about coming up over the horizon yet so the light filtering through the windows of the apartment was still a mix of dark blues and grays.

Passing a partly open door, I paused a moment and glanced into my best friend's room.  The place was immaculately neat, as always, with everything in its own place, arranged perfectly on a shelf or in a drawer or hung in the closet except— I blinked.  The sheets on his bed were tousled and his pillow bore an indent that indicated he had been sleeping there…but he was nowhere to be found.

The reason for this was made evident when an arm slipped around my waist and drew me back against a warm body.

"Li," I said, startled.

"Why you dressed and up so early?" he asked, resting his chin on my shoulder.  He slid one hand into mine and raised it, eyeing the long-sleeved black and red shirt I had on, his other hand tugging on the back pocket of my pants, indicating to me my state of dress.

The sleeve sheathing the arm that he'd raised slid down, exposing a row of angry red slashes against my pale skin.  They were too recent to have scarred over yet.

I heard him draw in a sharp breath.

"Yuki," he whispered, releasing my hand.

I turned to look at him, drawing away from his embrace.  He was clad in a T-shirt and boxers, his customary sleepwear, and his black hair was tousled, golden brown eyes tinged with sleep and worry and half-shadowed by his long lashes.

"It's nothing," I said sharply, almost defensively.

I made to brush pass him and continue toward my own room but he stopped me by expedient of tugging on my ponytail.  "Wait."

Glaring, I faced him, arms crossed.  "What do you want Li?  It's really none of your business."

Rather than responding to my cross words, he smiled, which surprised me.  "You have long hair for a guy," he said, giving my ponytail another tug.

"Observant, aren't you?" I groused.  "What about it?"

"Do your parents know you've dyed it blue?  And got matching contacts?"

"No.  Not that it's any of their business either."  Briefly, I wondered if I'd been transported to some other realm.  My best friend and roommate had just discovered that I'd been slashing my wrists and now we were having some inane conversation about my hair.  Surreal was an understatement.  Next, Brad Pitt would show up in the living room with a kilt on.

Finally, he got serious.  Li, that was.  Brad, thankfully, was nowhere in sight.  "Yuki," he said, letting go of my hair and assuming what I guessed was supposed to be a non-threatening pose in front of me.  "Can I just ask why?"

"Why I dyed my hair blue?" I offered in sarcasm.  Then I cringed when he looked wounded.  Okay, okay, I had to be nice.  He was taking this far better than I'd ever expected him to—not that I'd been planning on him finding out, but, hell, there was nothing I could do about that anymore, was there?  Besides, he was still my best friend and that entitled him to some explanation, right?

Gathering my courage—I'd never expected to have this conversation this soon, this early on a Saturday morning—I opened my mouth to give him a rational, completely justifiable reason for what I was doing and-

I closed my mouth.  "'Cause I want to," I shrugged.

He looked at me.  "Why're you dressed?"

That was an abrupt change of subject.  Puzzled, I glanced at him.  He looked no different than usual.  "Just got back," I said.  "From Erica's party."

He nodded.  Didn't say anything.

The silence stretched out between the three feet of space that separated us.  It unnerved me.  "Stress relief," I finally blurted out.  "It…it calms me down.  Keeps me focused.  Clears my head.  Stress relief," I repeated.

After a long moment, he said mildly, "There are other ways of relieving stress, you know."

"Yes, I know."  I cast a skeptical look at him.  "But I didn't think you approved of drugs either."

He rolled his eyes.  "Idiot.  I meant things like meditation.  Yoga.  Sports."

"You know I don't do exercise," I told him superciliously.

"I seem to recall you engaging, rather enthusiastically, in one particular exercise, vigorously and quite frequently…"

"Sex is a completely different matter.  It's not exercise, it's fun."

He laughed at me.  Then he took two steps in my direction and wrapped his arms around me again.  I closed my eyes and breathed in his scent—warmth and citrus and a faint haze of secondhand smoke from spending too much time with his friends.  "Hey, Yuki," he whispered into my neck.

"What?" He was taller than me by two inches.  What a pain.  I slid my hands into his hair.

He slid his into my back pockets, quite a feat considering I was wearing tight leather pants.  "I can be your stress relief if you want."

I couldn't help but laugh at that.  My best friend, offering to be my sex toy to make me stop cutting.  Then I considered it seriously as one hand worked free from the pocket and slid up under my shirt, stroking my spine.  I shuddered and leaned into him.  "You're not gay," I pointed out.

"No," he agreed.

"You're not bi either."

"Well I guess that leaves me with just one option."  His breath was hot against my ear.

I tried not to shiver again and failed.  "Straight?"

"Nope," he replied, sounding distinctly cheerful.  "I'm not heterosexual or homosexual.  Just Yuki-sexual."  And he chortled and moved his hips against mine in a decidedly evil way that rendered me unable to reply to his snarky comment.

The air around us faded into a lighter shade of gray as the early morning sun finally peeped over the horizon.  I could see shafts of pale light cast stripes on the carpet in his room, streaming in through the half-open blinds.  His hands were moving on my back, across my hips, his mouth teasing along my jawline.

"Okay," I conceded right before his lips met mine.  He paused and looked at me and I could almost count those obscenely long lashes of his.  "Show me how much of my stress you can relieve."

He grinned.

fini

Notes: The "Yuki-sexual" thing is horribly corny, I'm well aware.  Alack, it is an in-joke that had to be written in.  *apologizes*  'Tis a random little drabble, this.  Slashy as always.  Any reviews are welcome.