A TAISHO AND A GENTLEMAN

Knock. Knock. "Tenpou!" No answer. "Oi, Tenpou!" Nothing. "Damnit, Tenpou, get your ass off the floor and your nose out of whatever book it's in and answer the damn door!!" Not a peep.

Kenren is used to this by now. After working with the allusive and rather eccentric gensui for the past few months, he knows full well what to expect from his superior officer. Tenpou Gensui never answers his door. He is either buried in some thickly-written text on the warring of the world below, or asleep after being buried in said book for far longer than should be humanly possible. Not that he is anything close to being human.

The raven-haired taisho almost smiles at the habitualness of the relationship he shares with Tenpou--like that of an old married couple. He would have smiled for sure, if he wasn't so damn impatient to talk with the man right now.

"I'm coming in!" he bellows at the door. "If you're naked or something, it's your own damn fault!"

True to his word, Kenren enters, avoiding a few randomly falling books as he does so. He shuts the door behind him and looks around. Typical. The pseudo-office, which is far more reminiscent of a library to anyone with eyes, is a cluttered mess. Books are strewn everywhere, leaving barely enough space for Kenren to walk, let alone find the man he is so desperate to see.

"Tenpou!" Still nothing, even now that Kenren is calling from inside as he moves about the office in search of his friend. "There you are." he huffs, spotting Tenpou sitting on the floor behind his desk, where the brunette is most often found. It takes Kenren a moment to realize the man is asleep, with one of his many books lying open in his lap. "Same old story, ne, Ten- chan?" the general smirks, most of his anger and impatience forgotten as he stares at that serenely sleeping face.

Crouching down, Kenren is unable to stop himself as one of his hands reaches out to brush some of the marshal's rich brown hair out of his eyes. It is then that he realizes Tenpou isn't wearing his glasses. They are laying on the floor beside him.

Kenren can picture the event perfectly. Tenpou must have grown weary from so much reading and so little sleep, so he removed his glasses to rub at his temples, and then drifted suddenly--in mid-thought, most likely--into a peaceful, much-needed sleep.

"Heh. You're such a weirdo, Tenpou...and so damn pretty, too..." Kenren muses, wanting so badly to run his fingers along the smooth curves of Tenpou's pale face. But he doesn't give in to the desire, too afraid the marshal might wake and catch him, and then what would he do? "So pretty...and as untouchable as that unsociable twit of a friend of yours. Not that I'd ever be even remotely attracted to that guy. Never did care much for blondes..." Kenren laughs, but it is an empty laugh. He never was very good at making himself feel better.

"Ugnnn..." Tenpou stirs at the sound of that laughter, his beautiful green eyes fluttering open. When those eyes focus and turn their attention on the handsome general now seated cross-legged in front of him, he instantly smiles. "I did it again, didn't I...?" he says groggily, followed by a large yawn. "Ano...what's with that look? You're staring at me like I've just caught you doing something naughty."

Kenren swallows. He has been caught, and had Tenpou woken any earlier, the brunette might have heard his half-confession. Also, right now he is trying very hard to fight down the heat rising to his face after Tenpou's smooth voice said the word 'naughty' "I...uhhh...I just can't figure out how you can get so wrapped up in some frickin' story. Are your books really that interesting?"

Tenpou laughs. It is a sound so light and melodic, nearly as beautiful as the man himself. "You may be surprised, Taisho. Books can be quite enlightening."

"Oh? And what was it this time, Gensui? Ancient warfare? Battles at sea? Maybe internal unrest in the military?"

"Actually, I was reading...well...never mind. It's a little embarrassing."

"Really? What is it?"

"Nothing. Why...I didn't even know I had such a thing in my collection. Let's just forget about it."

Kenren is suddenly very aware that Tenpou is blushing, and that the man seems to be trying to keep the book he is holding out of view. "What is it, Tenpou? Let me see."

"I'd rather you didn't."

Silly marshal; now it has become a game, a chase, and Kenren never loses at either. "Hand it over, Ten-chan, or I'll be forced to resort to drastic measures."

Tenpou quirks an eyebrow, pulling the book in close to his chest as he leans further back against his desk. "Drastic measures? I highly doubt--"

"You should never doubt me...sir." And on those words, Kenren pounces, tossing Tenpou to the floor and crawling quickly on top of him while tickling at the marshal's sides. Tenpou is soon laughing uncontrollably, his hands losing their grip on the book, and when Kenren adjusts his position so that he is straddling Tenpou's waist to better hold him down, the brunette seems to have suddenly lost the will to fight back.

Snatching up the book proudly, Kenren remains where he is, with Tenpou pinned beneath him, and studies the text in his hands carefully. First, he looks at the cover, which is simply titled, "Koibito," and then begins to page through it, occasionally stopping to read a particularly interesting passage. The further he gets into the story, however, the wider his eyes become, and when the true nature of the book finally dawns on him, his mouth is practically dropped to the floor.

"This...this is a romance novel..." he states softly, still barely believing it, even after the rather graphic sex scene he had just glanced over. "...and it's between...two guys..." Kenren lowers the book and looks down to stare into Tenpou's very sheepish expression. "You were reading a gay romance novel?"

Now it is Tenpou who has been caught doing something naughty. "Well, I...I was only glancing at it. Skimming at best. Really."

"Uh huh."

"I swear. I don't even know where that came from."

"You're a shitty liar, Tenpou."

"I'm not...lying."

"..."

"It has a very interesting plot."

"..."

"The characters were easy to get invested in."

"..."

"I...I...oh, fine! I was reading it because I enjoy it, all right? I found it on my last trip to the world below and I purposefully bought it. Are you satisfied now?"

"I don't know..." Kenren smirks, tossing the book aside and leaning down to place a hand to the floor at either side of Tenpou's head while bringing their faces a mere hair's breath apart. "I think the real question is...are you satisfied?"

"Wh-what do you mean...?"

"Oh...I'm just wondering...if maybe you need to change your pants after that 'reading' experience."

Tenpou blanches, his body becoming very tight and tense beneath Kenren's.

"And I'm also wondering...just who you're thinking about when you put the book down and the fantasies start starring you instead of your characters."

"I...I..."

"You...feel like trying out a few of those scenes?"

"Kenren..."

"Unless your dear friend Konzen was the one you were thinking about."

"Konzen!? Don't be rididulous! Of course it was you!" Beat. Tenpou instantly realizes he has said too much, and desperately wishes he could bite out his tongue. "I mean...well...not that I was...because I wasn't...I was just--"

"Having erotic fantasies about me after reading the sex scenes in your literary porn?"

"Well...when you put it like that--"

"It sounds like something we should turn into a reality. Doncha think?"

"Uhh...ano...I...well..."

"Tenpou?"

"...hai?"

"Shut up, already."

And he does. Actually, Tenpou really doesn't have much choice since Kenren's lips are suddenly sealed over his, blissfully silencing him. In fact, everything is silent. Every small buzz or creek of the building stops dead around them, and though the floor is pressing hard into Tempou's back, he would swear he is floating.

It's like entering a whirlwind of your own free will. Embracing the hurricane. Kenren's kiss is meant to consume, and Tenpou is the epitome of the control-freak. Both claim, both conquer, and both are enjoying every minute of it.

"I assume...you came...to discuss something..." Tenpou speaks out of breath, licking his now damp and reddened lips.

Kenren almost loses his smile remembering his initial intentions, but he simply refuses to allow the mood to die. "I did. But this is going to be a one-sided discussion, got it? You don't have the right to argue."

"Oh, really?" Tenpou challenges, clutching the upper hand, despite his current position beneath his subordinate.

"Yes, really. The dragon said you were taking tomorrow's mission by yourself. First off: I'm going, too. And second: we're taking a legitimate number of soldiers for backup. Understood, Gensui? No more dumb heroics on your end or I'm strangling you in your sleep. Got it?"

Tenpou licks his lips again. "Hmm. What are you bargaining with, Taisho?"

"I should think that was obvious." Kenren smirks, stretching back his legs so that he is no longer stradling Tenpou, but laying fully on top of him. "Unless you have some closing remarks to shoot me down with?"

"A question or two, perhaps."

"Such as?"

"Well...are you planning on having your wicked way with me right here on the office floor, or shall we go into the bedroom?"

"Honestly?" Kenren says out of the corner of his devilish, little mouth, before leaning down to breathe beside Tenpou's ear. "I want to take you right here...right now..."

Tenpou shudders, turned on more than a person could rightly tolerate without compensation, but when Kenren leans back, believing he is about to be looking into a flushed and inviting face, one of sudden apprehension stares back instead. "Will you be honest with me, Kenren?" Tenpou asks somberly.

Slightly taken aback, Kenren can think of nothing better to do than nod.

"Swear you aren't merely playing with me." Tenpou continues, fully serious. "I know about your reputation in the East. It's not that I'm asking for anything. There are no promises. This isn't about love. But I will not be teased, and I will not be made a fool."

"If you're worried about whether or not I'm just joking around, you can push that thought out of your mind right now." Kenren dismisses. "If you're wondering why I'd suddenly go after a man instead of the nearest available broad, it's because I finally found a guy worth chasing. No promises, I agree. And I know this isn't love. But friends with benefits never sounded so good."

And Tenpou agrees with him. It is more than enough, because it is all the marshall wanted to hear. His apprehension fades, replaced by that oh so familiar smile as he pulls Kenren in close for another turbulent kiss.

Before they know it, clothes have been shed and they are rolling over the floor, occasionally having to push away a book that has ended up beneath them. It is pure passion and equalized need. No promises. No love. Just a powerful friendship with something intimate begging to be shared.

When they are finally spent, the pair lay side by side on the floor, breathing heavily.

"You live up to all my expectations, Taisho. I'm impressed." Tenpou winks, propping himself up on his side.

Kenren stares back at him, musing over how perfectly gorgeous the brunette looks with his long hair so tossled, his naked eyes full of barely satiated desire, and his skin aglow with sweat from what they have just shared. "Right back at ya, Gensui. We should do this again some time."

Tenpou grins a little larger, inching close enough to press his body tightly against Kenren's. "I whole-heartedly agree..."

END PART 1

A/N: I just thought the world needed more Kenren/Tenpou, so I thought I'd do a series of events following their relationship with random scenes up until they become Gojyo and Hakkai. Tell me what you think, and I'll have another incident soon. Love you all!

Also, I do believe that Kenren and Tenpou eventually fall in love, but I think their sex life began as just sex between close friends. It makes sense. But so does eventual love if you've read the Gaiden manga. It couldn't be more canon.

Crim