The three of them lie entwined in sheets and limbs and afterglow on a bed really meant only for one. The cool air of the tiny, unheated room is heaven against sweat-soaked skin; they’ve overdone it again, pushed themselves a little too far in their excitement and now they pay the price of complete and utter exhaustion. Murata, physically weakest of the three and out of practice besides, is still catching his breath after the other two have begun to doze off. He threads his fingers through Yozak’s scruffy ginger hair and laughs a little when the older man nuzzles into him, already starting to snore.

Murata turns to his left and makes a face at Conrad, who is watching them and grinning. “He’s like a little kid,” the Sage says with mock exasperation.

“It’s been awhile since he’s seen you,” Conrad’s reply is punctuated with a yawn, “he wasn’t around much when you were last here.”

Yozak responds in his sleep, throws an arm around Murata’s waist and draws the boy tight against him, possessive. Conrad just shakes his head and laughs softly, moving to fill the newly created gap between them. Yozak is not helping his case, he thinks. He spoons against Murata and drapes a long, lean arm across the both of them, greedy and needy and protective all at once.

When he is certain they are both asleep, Murata clings to them desperately while he cries and whispers “Don’t hate me, please don’t hate me” even though he knows it’s pointless.

He can’t pretend much longer. Shinou is waiting.

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