Nearby, glasses clink against each other. Tezuka picks up his highball but he doesn’t put it to his lips. One drink, the same drink, he’ll make it last as long as he needs to. One hour, two.
The noise thins out behind him and he shifts on the barstool. It’s late, so late it’s nearly early, and it wouldn’t be the first time his morning alarm woke him in the taxi home instead of in his bed.
But they won’t close the bar until Atobe gets here.
Tezuka is down to the last sips in his glass and he’s numb with waiting before he hears the door open. He doesn’t turn, doesn’t speak, just downs the rest of his drink and listens to his heart thudding in his ears.
Atobe’s hand falls onto his shoulder. “Tezuka,” he says, that beautiful voice that scrapes Tezuka like a rasp, that beautiful hand that sinks Tezuka into the earth. “Come with me.”
Tezuka stands, back perfectly straight, while Atobe’s fingers curl around his neck. And he waits for Atobe to take the lead, even though they both know where they’re going.
Through the kitchen, past the flickering glances of the staff, out the back, the heavy door clanging shut behind them. Into the alley, wet with rain and close with the smell of trash.
Then Tezuka’s back is against the wall and all he can smell is Atobe: his warm fresh-showered skin, his bright cologne, covering up any trace of the rest of his life.
Atobe’s cheek brushes against Tezuka’s and Tezuka turns his head to meet him. Atobe accepts his kiss, lets Tezuka in to drink his mouth and press his shoulders, lets him draw Atobe close for a few heaving breaths.
Then Atobe frees himself, stepping back to look Tezuka in the eyes as he lays his hand against the front of Tezuka’s trousers, closes his hand around Tezuka’s cock, just waiting.
Tezuka’s throat dries up and he swallows twice before he can speak. “Atobe.”
“Is it so hard to say my name?” Atobe says. “Well?” He undoes Tezuka’s fly. He smiles once, big and insufferable, like he’s performing for a stadium crowd, and then he sinks to his knees and sucks Tezuka’s cock.
“Atobe,” Tezuka says again, because he knows Atobe wants to hear it. Because Atobe’s mouth is slick and expert, because Tezuka is tight with strain, head thrust back against the wall, heels pushing up off the ground.
Just as he’s getting close, he rests one hand on Atobe’s head, fingers sliding in between the strands of silky hair. Atobe’s hand tightens on Tezuka’s hip and Tezuka comes, silent except for one gasp, lost for a moment in the dark.
Atobe rests his cheek on Tezuka’s belly, hands clinging, for long seconds, past time for Tezuka’s breath and heart to slow.
And when Atobe lets go, Tezuka looks away, like Atobe is the one who’s getting dressed.
“Next week,” Atobe says. It’s not a question and Tezuka doesn’t answer it, just stands and watches until Atobe is out of sight.
And instead of a taxi, Tezuka walks, slowly, through the waning night. He’s nearly home when his alarm goes off.
And back to beltenebra!