If Beauty Was All in the Eye…

by Seiwa Kaiyura (性和 界由来)
illustrated by kin nori

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/37323.html)

illustrated by kin nori

“Hey, wait!” Rian stared in horror as his contact lens disappeared along with the drink it had been floating in.

The redhead sitting across the small table coughed. “What the-” He coughed again, spitting out the lens. He looked at the small bent, now oddly coloured bit of plastic in his hand. “Do you want it back?” he asked.

Rian shook his head. He had met Eric a week ago, at the small establishment Rian’s father owned. Western tourists were rare here in Shangri-La City downtown. Most of the customers here were locals who simply wanted a night out.

So naturally, Eric had had everyone’s full attention when he had casually walked in and taken a seat near the stage. His parents had taken him with them on a business trip, he told Rian that evening.

“You know, Shangri-La is the nexus of everything Asian nowadays,” Eric explained, leaning forward excitedly. “I had to see it.”

Eric was, to put it simply, an Asia freak. Rian wrinkled his nose. He just could not see what Eric was so exited about. “It’s just a city like any other in east Indochina.” A bit bigger, and certainly with a lot more dirty corners than some of them. It was a city you could live without experiencing, in Rian’s opinion. Well, freakdom never followed logic, he guessed.

“So you’re just here to slack off and stare at things, yes?” he asked.

Eric laughed. “If you want to put it that way, yes. And I’d like to hire you to guide and accompany me during my stay,” he added.

Rian blinked at him uncomprehendingly. “What do you mean by that?” he asked, propping himself up on his arms and looking up at Eric.

“Pretty simple,” Eric told him, gesturing for emphasis. “I don’t know many places here, don’t know the traditional stuff. Just tell me a bit about them, show me some special things.” He flicked at Rian’s forehead, brushing away a stray hair. “I pay well.” He smiled.

illustrated by kin nori

So Rian led him around downtown, showed him the weird sculptures on the street corners and other ‘interesting’ sights. On schedule for today were the temple grounds dedicated to various Hindu deities. In the main hall, between gaudy decorations and busy old men, Rian rattled off a short speech about the temple (he really was just reciting the flyer he had gotten at the entrance), then wandered around and chased pigeons while Eric took pleasure in gaping at the golden ornaments and vividly painted murals. He didn’t notice his guide was gone until he turned around to ask the meaning of some words engraved in the floor.

He found Rian in a small yard between two of the buildings. He was sitting on a low stone wall, swinging his legs, obviously having turned his pose into a display of utter boredom upon hearing Eric call for him. “Finished?” he asked when Eric walked over.

Eric shook his head. “I thought I’d take a break and see where you wandered off to,” he said, grinning at Rian. “Aren’t you supposed to guide me? Show a bit more enthusiasm, will you?” he teased.

“Enthusiasm for what? A bunch of fake golden statues?” Rian replied, looking at him with mock expectation. “Sorry, I don’t like the smell of incense and was getting slowly bored to certain death in there.”

“Really? I found it most fascinating in there. But please, show me a more fun part of the temple,” Eric said.

“Yes, really…” Rian retorted. “I can do that!” he added with a slow smile, then got to his feet and grabbed a handful hair to pull Eric close and kissed him hungrily, not caring for the startled sound Eric made, pushing his tongue past his lips. After a moment, he felt Eric respond. He drew back, smiling again ferally, then took Eric’s hand and pulled him over to a greyish wooden door in the backside of the building. Nudging it open with his foot, he unceremoniously pushed Eric inside, followed and slammed the door shut.

When Eric’s eyes had adjusted to the semi-darkness, he could barely make out shelves filled with dusty scrolls and loose pages of ancient books. Some of them lay scattered on the floor, rustling beneath Rian’s sneakers, an oddly loud sound overlaying that of their breathing and the faint noises that made it through the closed door.

Rian tugged on the fastenings of Eric’s shirt, biting down on the newly revealed skin of his collarbone, then pushing the fabric out of the way to explore more skin.

Eric still was a bit surprised by this turn of events, but he didn’t mind at all. And Rian obviously had lots of practice. Eric would have savoured the teasing and licking for a while more, but Rian was already unfastening his belt; he opened his pants and pulled out Eric’s cock. Smiling at Eric’s startled gasp, he kissed him once more, then dropped to his knees.

“This is special service, just so you know,” he said, stroking Eric’s cock from tip to base, then drawing it into his mouth.

Eric bit his lip as he felt teeth lightly scratching over the sensitive skin. Yes, lots of practice. The rush of lust nearly overwhelmed him when Rian started to suck him off, tugging on his balls and rubbing them between his fingers. Only the hand on his hips kept him from bucking.

Rian looked up at him, eyes shining, watching Eric’s face. A bit hesitantly, Eric reached out and buried his shaking hands in the two-colour hair, taking care not to pull. Rian made a satisfied noise, the hum dancing over Eric’s nerves as he felt the vibrations against his erection. He felt Rian smile, then the other boy did it again.

“Hmmm…” Rian hoisted himself up on the bar stool, beckoning for Eric to step closer. “Much better,” he announced then, wrapping his arms around Eric’s neck, leaning in for a long, thorough kiss.

Eric grinned at him. “Does that mean we need to find something high for you to sit on, each time we want to make out?” he asked.

Rian huffed. “Not my fault you’re too tall to comfortably kiss.”

“Hey, I’m not even medium height, you’re just too tiny!” Eric laughed, defending himself. 1.68m wasn’t tall.

“Well, excuse me please,” Rian shot back. “I’m terribly sorry a midget like me is too cheap for platform boots.” Actually, the shops he’d visited in his search had offered to special order the shoes for him, but the price stated by the clerks had made Rian reconsider very quickly.

“Why do you want to be tall anyway?” Eric asked, sliding onto a bar stool too. “Besides not wanting to run around carrying a stepladder.”

Rian snorted and waved at his father who emerged from upstairs to go out and visit a friend. The bar would not open until dusk, so they had the main room mostly to themselves.

“I mean, you’re not that much smaller than most guys your age here, right?” Eric said.

Rian shrugged, drawing a hand through his hair absently. “I just want to be. I wish I was tall like you westerners,” he said, mock-pouting when Eric tapped his nose.

“At 1.80m tall you would be pretty scary.”

illustrated by kin nori

Rian rolled onto his back, sighing. He did not want to get up; it wasn’t even noon yet. He would have rather lazed around for a few more hours, making plans for the afternoon and counting the various small marks and bruises littering his body. But he probably would get called downstairs soon.

He shifted a bit, then wrinkled his nose and sat up. He needed to change the sheets. Swinging his legs over the side, he pulled the sheets off and dumped them in a corner. Tomorrow was laundry day, they could stay there until then.

“Bwah.” Rian opened the room’s small window to let in some fresh air. It was a miracle he hadn’t suffocated during the night. Leaning on the windowsill, he looked upwards. Seemed like it wouldn’t rain today either.

Hearing the door open, he turned. Only his father would have entered without knocking, on the grounds that he believed he didn’t need permission to intrude on his sons’ privacy. He didn’t seem to be pleased with Rian’s current naked and unclean state, judging by his furrowed brow. He eyed the room with open disapproval. “Clean yourself up, we need to talk about some things,” he finally ordered.

Rian simply picked up the pants that lay discarded on the floor and pulled them on. “I’m fine like this,” he announced, watching his father frown. He sat down on the edge of his bed. “So? Talk,” he prompted.

“You shouldn’t talk to your father like that,” the bulky man chastised him. “It’s bad enough you look like a good-for-nothing, you don’t have to talk back to your elders too. I raised you and your brothers better than that.”

Rian sighed, stretching his legs. “So, what’s your point? I am a good-for-nothing after all,” he replied wryly. “It’s a bit late to prevent that.”

“Quiet! I have overlooked that behaviour for long enough. That nonsense ends today,” his father said angrily. “And I won’t let any son of mine become a whore for one of those damned westerners!”

Rian just laughed. “Whore? Oh, I did that on my own…”

It actually hurt when his father backhanded him. It took Rian a moment to focus properly enough to glare back at his father. “You’re staying here and cleaning your room today,” his father stated coldly. “We will talk about everything else later.”

Rian’s cheek burned, but he resisted the urge to touch it, staring at his father’s back until the man had closed the door behind himself.

Rian was brooding, Eric noted. He had been quieter than usual, not even really reacting to the news they were going to the zoo instead of visiting another place of cultural importance. He had not answered when Eric had asked what was wrong, either. So they silently watched elephants get bathed and play with the hose. Eric would have liked to take a look at the various reptiles, but instead followed Rian, who had chosen another path to wander down. He caught up with him when Rian sat down on a bench in front of the bird cages. Eric joined him, but decided to rather watch Rian than the colourful birds fighting over pieces of fruit.

Eric let him have his silence for a while, but finally touched Rian’s arm. “Tell me what’s wrong already.” he said.

Rian refused to look at him. “Can’t I have a bad day for once?”

Eric shrugged. “Sure, but why? Tell me. Aren’t you supposed to take care of me?” he needled.

“If you’re that dissatisfied with my services, get someone else,” Rian shot back. “I don’t know why you chose me anyway.”

“Hm? Because I wanted to, of course.” Eric poked him. “What’s up with you?”

Rian shook his head, still steadfastly looking at the birds. “No, I mean, why do you like me anyway? It’s not like I’m that special,” he spat out the words, grimacing. “You came here to experience the Asian, so choose a guide that fits that idea, not a wannabe world citizen like me who’d throw his Asian heritage away the second he got the chance.” He raised his head, glaring at Eric. “Don’t tell me you didn’t come here with some Asian beauty in mind, with creamy pale skin, black hair shiny and so long it gets caught in his asscrack when he sits down, well versed in the traditional arts, his upbringing a mystery.” Rian paused to catch his breath, and went on. “Sorry to disappoint you, but guys like that don’t exist anymore. And even if, their parents wouldn’t let you step near them, lest you corrupt their precious heir. I’m the best you’ll get here.”

Eric shook his head. “I’m fine with how you are,” he argued, but Rian didn’t let him continue.

“Oh sure. But guess what, I won’t play that mystical Asian crap for you. Even if I let you fuck me, I’m not your whore and I’m not your toy. Get an inflatable doll you can play make-believe games with!” The last sentence was almost a shout, scaring a few of the birds. He got up suddenly, ready to walk away, but Eric stood, halting him with a hand on his wrist.

“What’s gotten into you all of sudden? I never said anything like that!” he asked, getting angry himself.

“Hah, but you were thinking about it, right? It’s just another form of tourism, but if you try to pay me for that, I swear, I’ll kill you!” Rian tugged, but didn’t manage to break free from Eric’s grip.

Eric had started towing him towards the exit. “I’m not arguing about that nonsense with you, at least not in public,” he told Rian, not really caring the smaller boy was stumbling behind him, trying not to trip over his own feet.

The door slammed shut and Eric finally let go of his wrist. Rian was glaring daggers at him, rubbing the reddened skin on his wrist. Damn, why was Eric stronger than him anyway!? “So what are we planning now?” he growled. Eric turned the key.

“We can discuss this more privately now,” he told the fuming boy.

“Oh riiiiiiight, this is the perfect place to discuss important matters, I get it already,” Rian spat and eyed him warily, then stepped closer, looking up at Eric. “What could you possibly say to change my mind, hm? Or don’t you even care about that?!”

Eric wrapped his arms around him before Rian could hit him. “Be quiet already. You’re driving me crazy, you know?” Rian tried to wriggle free, scowling. “I don’t care about how fucking Asian you are, okay? I like you because you are a snarky midget with height complexes and a big mouth, not despite that,” Eric said, then tugged him over to the room’s only piece of furniture, a large bed and sat down, drawing the still slightly struggling Rian into his lap. “I might be a freak, but I’m not that shallow,” he added.

“Whatever. Is that supposed that make me feel better?” Rian grumbled. Eric shrugged. “Not really. Scream at me all you like but get over with it already, so I can feel better.”

Rian’s head snapped around to look at him sharply. “You’re so full of shit,” he announced and pushed the unresisting Eric backwards until he was towering over Eric. “You want me to get over with it? Fine. I DIDN’T SLEEP AT ALL TONIGHT BECAUSE I COULDN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT ALL THAT CRAP AND YOU WANT TO PUSH IT ALL ASIDE WITH SOME EMPTY WORDS?! THEN MAYBE YOU’RE NOT THAT SHALLOW BUT I’D CALL IT DAMN SELFISH!” His voice cracked, and when he continued, in at a more normal volume, it was slightly raspy. “Maybe I’m stupid but those things are important to me, so how the hell should I know what you think when you all that comes out of your mouth is ‘oh, look at that fat Buddha over there! I think I saw a photo of that one on the ‘net before’?”

Eric couldn’t suppress a smile at his words. “You could have asked. I’m perfectly happy to have you scream at me a bit more if it means you’ll stay in my lap for the duration. We can spend the rest of my vacation like this.”

Rian blinked. There was nothing he could say to that. Oh wait, yes there was. “You’re a big idiot, you know.” Eric took note of the beginning of a smile tugging on the corners of Rian’s mouth with immense satisfaction. Before Rian could notice it himself and get annoyed at him, himself and the world in general again, he buried a hand in his hair and kissed him, biting on his lips lightly, and then invaded his mouth.

Rian reacted almost instantly, obviously not wanting Eric to get the better of him in this either, eyes focusing intently, concentrating more and more on the wet, sliding, easy struggle of their tongues than on Eric’s expression. Eric’s hand undoing the lone fastening of his shirt still was no surprise, but he didn’t pull away, ignoring it as the shirt slipped down his shoulders. He ground against Eric when the other boy wedged his legs between Rian’s, though. The hand in his hair trailed down, nails digging into his skin, raking four red lines down his back, then over his still-clothed backside.

Eric turned his head to break free of the kiss. “If we got rid of the damn clothes, I could give you a better reason to scream, though,” he whispered and bit down on Rian’s shoulder. Rian shifted his weight to whap him on the head, than made not as short work of the fastenings on Eric’s pants and shirt. They managed to get skin to skin somehow, even though Rian was the only one completely naked, their clothes still tangled around them. Eric’s tongue slithering over the bite mark and into the hollow of his throat was much more interesting than that, and so were the hands running over his behind and their cocks rubbing together when he shifted even the slightest bit.

“We’ll see who will scream louder,” he said, and blindly grabbed what he knew was lying on the pillow. He ran the cool foil packet over Eric’s nipple. “Make yourself useful,” he ordered, ripping it open and dropping it into Eric’s hand.

“Yes, sir,” Eric replied, leaving another bite mark – on Rian’s collarbone this time – before starting to work a finger inside him.

“Damn right,” Rian gasped, before sinking bonelessly against him, spreading his legs wider. “If you want to keep me, we’re playing by my rules. No -ah!” He glared at Eric when the redhead didn’t waste much time. “No sightseeing. No comments about sex on barstools. And don’t even think about uttering the headache line!” The laughter ghosting over his skin made him groan.

“Wouldn’t dream of it.” Eric pushed his fingers deep and grinned when Rian arched up with a wordless cry. “One for me eh?” He took advantage of the resulting leverage by grinding against him.

Rian bit his lip, raising himself on his knees, scowling at Eric. “Just shut up and do it before I change my mind and do you…” he growled. He sighed when Eric withdrew his fingers, wasting no time to push himself down onto him. Eric caught his shoulders and held him, tremors running through both of them.

“…you can let go now,” Rian finally told him, his voice only a little strained. Rolling his hips, he bit his lip again, but the answering sound was worth it. The pain was being drowned out by other sensations, so he lifted himself higher and pushed back down. This time he didn’t even try to discern whose cry was echoing off the greyish-white walls. All too soon everything became a bright haze; Eric’s hand gripping his hip hard enough to bruise, the skin under his hands getting slippery and wet, open-mouthed kisses dropped at random blurring together with the taste of their sweat, the cacophony of their cries and gasps, words ripped out of context, their meaning lost when they left the lips already, as hopelessly entangled as their bodies. Buttons catching on zippers scratching over a nipple sliding over fabric and skin and teeth latching on. And finally an almost violent release, crashing down in a last shout of breaking voices, arms and legs giving out, unfocused eyes sliding shut.

Silence… then the first breath. Breathing in, breathing out. Thought and coherence still far away. Neither of them moved even a finger, staying where they had collapsed, noses almost touching, sprawled awkwardly but much too tired to do anything about it.

“…would you hit me if I said we should fight more often?” Eric murmured, much, much later.

“Yes.”

“Oh?”

“Later.”

“In that case, I didn’t say anything.”

“Good for you. Get your knee out of my side.”

“I don’t need to tell you I love you, do I?

“Shut up and die.”

Rian was half asleep already when he heard his door creak. Shortly after, he felt Eric settle next to him on the bed. “It’s all right, I checked if everyone was asleep before I snuck in.” Rian more felt the words breathed against his ear that he heard them. “Where were you all day?” he whispered back.

He could vaguely make out the motion of Eric shaking his head, then a kiss was dropped onto his naked shoulder. “My parents dragged me around all day. Mom even had me go shopping with her. If I could have left, I would. It was pure torture,” Eric explained quietly, pulling Rian into his arms.

Rian snuggled up to him, burying his face in Eric’s neck. “Poor you. I’ll let you make it up to me tomorrow. That old guy down the street has an old car he’d allow us to use. I need driving lessons.” He almost purred when Eric started to stroke his back. “You know how to drive, right?”

Eric sighed, his breath ghosting over Rian’s neck. “Sounds nice…I wish we could do that.”

“Hm?” Rian tilted his head slightly so he could look at Eric. He didn’t see much in the darkness, but Eric’s expression seemed more serious than usual.

Eric was quiet for a moment, then told him. “We’re flying back soon. Probably the day after tomorrow already.” In fact, his parents had planned to return today, but Eric had managed to convince them to stay another two days. Still…

“Two days?” Rian sat up. “You’re leaving in two days?!” he asked, upset.

Eric caught his face in his hands. “Two days,” he confirmed. “They won’t let me stay.”

Rian’s shoulders slumped, he leaned heavily against Eric. “… Right. Your home is over there, you’ve got school and probably friends waiting for you,” he mumbled.

“Idiot. I would stay if I could.” Eric kissed him and Rian let him. “I’ll come back over as soon as possible,” he promised. It wasn’t enough and he knew it, but what was Eric supposed to say?

Rian wrapped his arms around Eric’s middle, pulling him down and intertwining their legs. “Then… stay now?” he asked quietly. Eric nodded and kissed him again, slowly, deeply. They had to savour what time they had left.

Rian sat on the windowsill, legs folded under him, and watched the clouds wander. His black eye was finally fading, though it still hurt like hell.

His father had thrown a fit when he had walked in on them in the morning. Eric had been kicked out and Rian had received the beating of his life. He could barely move without wincing, but he couldn’t go far anyway, locked up in his room for the last three days, only allowed to leave for a few moments, when he needed to relieve himself. He hadn’t even been able to go and see Eric off. All he had was a scrap of paper with his mail address on it and a promise to write, smuggled in by the neighbors’ little daughter yesterday.

Eric would probably write, a few times at least. But Rian didn’t think he would return here. And if he did, it would be too late probably. Even if he felt like it now, he could not sit here forever. With a muttered curse, he climbed back into the room. They would let him out soon enough. Until then…

Eric had a fucking headache. Preliminary tests all right, but did he have to write all of them the same day? Not to mention his teachers had little sympathy for slackers, as he’d been called a few times this week already. It wasn’t his fault he couldn’t concentrate properly on the chemical formulas of newt poo and the female reproductive system or the histories of the major world nations. But every one of his teachers had given him an essay to write for the end of the month, to make up for his inattention.

How he hated school! Banging his head on the desk wasn’t the brightest option either, it seemed. Groaning, Eric leaned backwards in his chair, tipping it slightly.

“You shouldn’t do that, you know? One day you’ll trip and smash your brain into the carpet,” Rian commented, shutting the door behind himself.

Eric nearly did fall, barely catching himself on the desk’s corner. “School has finally has eaten my sanity,” he stated, a bit dazed, swivelling his seat around to stare at Rian.

Rian laughed. “Well, good then I never was very sane to begin with, hm? So you fit right in,” he teased and stepped close to stand on his tiptoes and leaving a peck on Eric’s nose. When the other boy still didn’t react, he grinned and waved a used plane ticket in front of Eric’s eyes. “Hey, it cost me most of my savings to come here, at least act like you’re happy to see me. I more or less walked out on my people, you know…”

Eric blinked, then abruptly pulled him into a tight hug. “Rian…”

Rian smiled and let himself hugged. “You’re not getting rid of me easily again…”

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