Red is the Color of You
Being hungover wasn’t entirely foreign to Izumi, but it wasn’t something he was accustomed to either. Far from it, in fact. He rarely drank to the point of losing complete sobriety, if he drank to begin with, as he knew his limits. For whatever reason, the previous day he neglected his limitations and went incredibly overboard, to which he was now paying the price. Izumi awoke with a throbbing headache and aches all over. There were no windows in Wraith’s room, so he had no way of knowing what time it was.
Groaning a ghastly groan and fumbling for his phone, he tried to get at least some form of his life back together. Alas, he realized he was naked, which was much later than when he should’ve noticed. Looking to his left he saw the perpetrator sleeping soundly. Izumi lifted the blanket and glanced below, revealing Wraith’s equally naked body, which was faced toward his own. Trying to erase the sight, he covered Wraith up to his shoulders. And then, a question arose in his mind. How bad was the damage? He peered over Wraith’s shoulder to study his back. Scratches.
Somehow with the sight of the scratches, he felt the grime seep into his body, particularly his soiled rear, which still seeped yesterday's leftovers. Growing more tense, Izumi took a better look at his own body, squirming in the bed. Bite marks and hickeys scattered across his body, from torso to ankles.
It was the first time that Wraith didn’t wash him, and also the first time he left such obvious territorial markings everywhere. What really worried Izumi though was his lack of recollection. He had no way of knowing what led to the event and he prayed he didn’t do something his sober self would regret. As far as he could tell, their clothes weren’t on the bed, save Wraith’s robe which lay beside himself, and after drifting to the edge he saw they weren’t on the floor either.
Like a newborn calf his legs momentarily wobbled upon trying to stand, rubbing his hands on his aching lower back as he stumbled to the bath. There Izumi learned that Wraith didn’t have a mirror, not just in his bedroom, but in the bathroom as well. Any form of reflective glass would’ve been helpful for him to get a full grasp of whatever happened the previous night, yet the closest thing was the wine glasses in his bedroom which wouldn’t do the trick.
Swallowing his shame, Izumi disregarded the idea and cleaned himself the best he could, although the hickeys and bite marks would remain at least for some time. Afterwards he searched for his clothing in the bedroom and decided against wearing them minus his pants and undergarments, siding with the alternative of wearing one of Wraith’s clean shirts as his own was stained.
Izumi shuffled for his phone and checked the time: an hour after noon.
On the coffee table in the living area was a breakfast that was clearly intended for him, since it was a plain set of white rice with an egg draped over, and although cold, Izumi ate it with few other options. Even after all of this, Wraith still wasn’t awake. The meal now gone, Izumi sat by the edge of the bed instead, staring at his peaceful resting expression in near annoyance.
How are you still asleep?! I have an excuse, I’m beyond hungover and in pain but you barely even drank!
His impatience was rooted at his inability to recall a single event from the previous night, going blank after he consumed what Neio offered him now in regret. There was sustainable doubt in his mind that Wraith would be reluctant to answer, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Crawling onto the scarlet sheets, Izumi shook Wraith and called his name in an effort to wake him up.
“Wraith, it’s nearly two.”
Still, the specter was motionless.
“You’re not messing with me right and you’re secretly awake?”
Izumi heaved a sigh, already giving up on waking him.
As he stared at his undisturbed expression, he steadily felt drawn towards him. A bit hesitantly, he reached over and twirled Wraith’s ombre hair, trailing lower to the red ends.
Is his hair naturally like this? I wouldn’t put it over him to dye the ends red with how much he likes the color-
“Mnnm...what...are you doing..?” Wraith groaned, still half asleep.
“N-nothing-!” Izumi jerked his hand back, but Wraith swiftly grasped it, sitting up while rubbing his eyes. Bed head would be an understatement for the disorderly mess that covered his scalp. Izumi tried to conceal his amusement unsuccessfully.
“Kk-hahaha!! Your hair- what-!? How can it even do that, that’s hilarious!!”
“Shut up.” Letting go of Izumi’s wrist, he tries to massage his facial muscles to wake himself up.
“Come here, let me fix it. Do you have a brush or something?”
Of course you don’t, he scoffs to himself.
Sighing, Izumi patted down Wraith’s locks, which surprisingly didn’t comically shoot up and merely followed the path, while Wraith sat with his legs crossed in a pout.
“There! I’d show you but you don’t have a mirror in your room so...” In an indirect way, he framed a question.
“I don’t like looking at myself.”
“Why? You don’t look bad or anythi-ow-! What!!”
Wraith pinched Izumi’s nose. “Don’t go loosely flirting with me like that.”
Izumi’s scowl turned into an irritated fluster on the edge of punching him. “I’m not!!!”
“Yea?” He smirked, fangs slightly peeking. “Why are you wearing my shirt then?”
“Who’s fault is that?”
Throwing his hands in the air, Izumi rolled his eyes in frustration, turning away. Wraith apologetically hugged him from behind, holding his palms.
“I hate you.”
“Mmm sure.” Nuzzling against his ear, Izumi started to hate himself for loving Wraith, let alone to the point of quickly disregarding his mockery, or maybe he just got used to it.
“What did we do last night?” Finally remembering his long held inquiry, he asked.
“What do you think we did?”
“Wraith you do this all the time just tell me.” Izumi was too defeated to properly fight back, already at the point of begging.
“Well, what do you remember?”
“Nothing, that’s why I’m asking. Like I remember drinking whatever Neio gave me and then after that it’s a blur.”
“You want a hint?”
“No! I just wanna know.”
“What do you mean nah?!”
“You can get an idea, or what? You think some ghostly entity molested you while you were sleeping? Under my watch?”
“UGHH just tell me!”
“Ask for a hint.”
“Fine! Give me a hint!”
“Apparently, you get horny when you drink too much.”
Whipping around, Izumi’s eyes grew wide. “I initiated?!”
“You were going off about something ridiculous and tripped over yourself, I thought you were gonna fall so I caught you and you started acting weird so I sent everyone out.”
“You…” Wraith remembered everything, down to the second, yet his mind tattered in debate of how much he wanted to say and how much he wanted Izumi to recall on his own, if ever. With a ghastly groan, Wraith continued, “You asked me if I hated you and I said no and…” ugh fuck me… “I kissed you but I really just meant it to be a peck and you wouldn’t let me go then you asked me to you know.”
Too stricken to even speak, Izumi only stared in internal mortification before finally voicing some form of reaction. “Well, forget it happened!”
“I couldn’t even if I tried because that wasn’t even the worst part.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?!!!”
“I guess you’re gonna have to remember.” Smirk remerging on his smug face.
“How am I supposed to do that!”
“Think about it.” Wraith gently shifted Izumi aside and stood from the bed, his clothes materializing over his once naked frame. Snatching his robe, Izumi chased after Wraith who leisurely left to the living area, cigarette in hand.
“Don’t just walk away tell–!”
Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks, Izumi thudding into his back. They traded stares without words, a grey cloud leaving his pursed lips. His eyes drifted to his robe in Izumi’s grasp and he knelt over, sneaking in a kiss to loosen Izumi’s hold on it which unsurprisingly worked. Wraith slipped the mantle out of Izumi’s hands, carrying it in his own as he continued to walk away, leaving Izumi flushed pink, who remained paraylzed for a moment.
The vibrant gem swayed from side to side in Izumi’s attempt to catch up.
“I told you to think about it.” Liquor flowed into one of the many wine glasses on the table and he sank into the couch, Izumi hovering over him with a mixture of chagrin and irritation.
With a loud gush of wind, the large entrance to the bedroom flung open as the usual trio flooded in, looking distressed and out of breath.
“Boss-!” Neio said in almost a worried yell as he took two steps at a time, Faelan and Dahlia following.
“What?” Nothing usually happened, so the fact that they were on edge caused Wraith to perch up and set aside his drink.
“There’s-! Um-....” The blue orc’s eyes drifted to Izumi mid-sentence and Wraith clicked his tongue, rising from the sofa and facing Izumi.
“What, what is it?” Izumi innocently inquired.
“Maybe I’ll tell you later, but...how do I put it…”
“Oh. No, I get it! It’s alright, if you want you can but you don’t have to, I’ll go home.”
“Sorry, it’s just-”
“Nono don’t worry about it-oh wait, your shirt-”
“It’s fine, you can keep it, I have a thousand of them anyways.”
“Really? I mean like, I can keep it..?”
“Yea sure, consider it a memento.”
Quite frankly, Izumi was unmeasurably overjoyed at the prospect, still, he tried to hide his creeping smile. It was disheartening to get such a bitter reminder about the separate worlds they live in, yet somehow the casual gift made up for it entirely in his mind. Without any rebuttal, Izumi left the spirits and specter to their affairs, brushing off his self-doubt.
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