First of all a big thank you to those who have reviewed, they have been wonderful and really spurred me to carry on, even though work has been heavy. We're coming close to the close of Gaiden and I'm wondering whether to continue it into Gensomaden or not. I'm not sure. I have some ideas but don't know whether to pursue. Input or comments would be most welcome.
Standard disclaimer goes here.
"We better not tell Konzen about this." said Tenpou to the child holding his hand and leading him down the corridor. "It would only worry him."
Goku nodded sagely.
"So it'd be like a secret then?" he asked, clasping his hands together and making his manacles clash.
"Yes, just between us." he reached his office and rested a hand on the door. "Are you off back to Konzens then?" he asked, hoping that Goku would say yes so that Tenpou could deal with what was most likely to be an extremely pissed-off Kenren still tied to a chair inside his office.
"Yeah! Konzen said something about reading tonight! He's gonna help me with the difficult words." he jumped from one foot to the other and then stopped. "But Ten-chan … you gonna be okay? He hit you really hard."
Tenpou ran fingers over his jaw that was puffed up and tender, to say nothing of the other bruises.
"It's only a bruise, Goku." he smiled. "Besides, you saved me before he did anything else didn't you?" he reached out to ruffle the boy's hair. Goku gave a luminous grin.
"Yeah!" he started to walk away. "Make sure you look after Ken-niichan and Ten-chan …You're bleeding … so Ken-niichan has to look after you too!"
Tenpou licked along his lip and caught the salty droplet of blood with his tongue. The muscles around his jaw ached at the action.
"I'll do that." he said sweetly, not wanting to worry to boy further. "When then, goodbye Goku, have a good time with Konzen." he put his hand to the doorknob. The boy nodded and took off down the corridor at a run, colliding with a soldier, jumping away and then waving.
"Bye bye Ten-chan!" he yelled before disappearing around a corner, leaving a bewildered soldier and a chuckling Tenpou who opened his door.
"I swear to the Gods if that's you, Tenpou Gensui, then I'm going to kill you where you stand, I don't care how good in bed you are!" yelled Kenren, rocking in the chair that he'd been bound to only hours before by Goku.
"Now, now, Kenren that would do your ribs no good … and the severe stress on your abdomen would increase your chances of a bladder infection." said Tenpou sinking down onto his sofa and lighting a cigarette, taking care to place the cancer stick on the right side of his lip to stop the wound on the left side from throbbing. "How is that by the way?"
Kenren stopped rocking the chair that made him face the window and unable to see Tenpou.
"Screw you Tenpou." he snapped, actually glad that his concern for Tenpou had overtaken bodily needs. "So, are you gonna untie me?" he asked. Tenpou gave a chuckle.
"Maybe … are you going to tell me why you sent Goku after me?" he returned. Kenren mumbled something that sounded like a curse.
"You impulsive bastard." he finally said. He had been with Tenpou for long enough to second guess what had happened and was relieved that he knew enough about Tenpou Gensui and his temper to send a rescuer, even if it had been Goku. "What did he do to you?"
Tenpou exhaled a jet of smoke.
"Nothing, it was simply a friendly meeting." he said sweetly.
"Bullshit, Tenpou." snapped Kenren. "Don't play these games. Get your ass around here and show me exactly what the fuck you are hiding."
Sighing, Tenpou rose up off the sofa and slowly walked around Kenren's chair to face the desk. He then turned around to face him and slowly lifted his head, the brown hair falling away like a curtain to reveal the wounds beneath. Kenren raised an I-told-you-so eyebrow.
"Friendly chat … the bastard … I will kill him." he sighed, looking at Tenpou's swollen eye and jaw.
"You gonna untie me then?"
Tenpou stroked his fingers over his left eye, examining his bruises. He then removed the half-smoked cigarette and stubbed it out in the ubiquitous frog ashtray, for once not feeling the need for a nicotine fix.
"This is friendly by Litouten's standards and you won't be killing no-one, Taisho. You're a god and we can't kill." he eased himself off the desk and slowly knelt down to Kenren's waist to inspect his bindings.
"More's the pity." said Kenren looking down at his lover.
Just as Tenpou had asked, Goku had tied the bandages tightly and knotted them where the Taisho couldn't reach. More to the point, Goku had tied the knots so tight that Tenpou himself couldn't get them undone, no matter how much he pulled. He reached into his labcoat and pulled out a pocket-knife, opening it up and gently slicing through the knots so the bandages could fall away easily.
Kenren wriggled and the rest of the bandages slipped off. He immediately stood up and stretched muscles that had been forced into awkward positions and let his joints crack and snap back into their intended arrangements. Tenpou stepped back to give him space and as he did so, Kenren spun around, grabbed Tenpou around the waist and pulled him in close.
"Don't you ever do that again." he whispered harshly, biting down on Tenpou's neck hard enough to leave a mark and provoke a small gasp from Tenpou. Was it a mark of punishment? A mark of possession? Kenren didn't know. "I've been going mad here, wondering if you are ever going to come back and having to send Goku to look for you. I don't care if you can look after yourself or not." he licked at the red mark he had now created and put his hands under Tenpou's labcoat and shirt to stroke the pale skin underneath, partly for affection and partly to feel for any more injuries. "I am not letting something that I started get you into trouble. Is that clear?"
"Kenren." murmured Tenpou, gently kissing the masses of dark hair that tickled his nose. "You know I'm not going to let you go that easily, especially when you would be disqualified from the immortal race for shoving … I could hardly stand by and do nothing."
Kenren interlaced his fingers with Tenpou's and leaned forward so that their foreheads were touching. He then slowly walked the Gensui backwards toward the bedroom, swaying his hips slightly as if he was trying to sweep Tenpou into a dance. As soon as they were through the doorway, he spun Tenpou gently around and made him fall graciously onto the bed. He then went to gather the fallen first aid kit to return the favour of binding wounds, with a little voice in the back of his head telling him that this favour was long overdue.
"Was it worth it then?" he called out, whilst assembling some dressings and tape. Unable to find the bottle of antiseptic that Tenpou had used beforehand on his own wounds, he instead found a discarded silk handkerchief (probably one of Tenpou's many bookmarks) and grabbed his flask of sake that had been on the desk. He'd never known anything that a good sake couldn't cleanse.
"Well I don't think that you are going to be thrown out of Heaven." said Tenpou gently – almost sleepily – finding the bed so comforting against his bruised back and shoulder. The guard that had sat on him to hold him down hadn't been the lightest of men. "I don't know whether the order to dismiss you still stands, but I would say it was definitely worth it purely to see the expression on Litouten's face when I punched him."
Kenren came back into his bedroom with a jubilant expression and set the pile of dressings on Tenpou's bedside table, taking care not to send the pile of books and papers that rested there tumbling to the floor.
"You punched him!" he exclaimed. "That's my Ten-chan!"
He dipped the silk handkerchief into the sake and crawled back onto the bed, manoeuvring his body so he was straddling Tenpou. He gently trailed kisses down Tenpou's face and neck, unbuttoned his shirt and started to gently wipe at his left eye. Tenpou hissed at the sudden sting of alcohol on broken skin and Kenren claimed his lips in apology, kissing away the pain and letting his tongue gently massage Tenpou's.
"Go on." he murmured against the heat of Tenpou's mouth. "Something else is on your mind." he withdrew his tongue and traced it over Tenpou's lips. "I can feel it in your kiss." he leaned over to Tenpou's ear and whispered in sultry tones. "Tell me."
Tenpou lay back on the soft covers and sighed. The sake-soaked handkerchief touched the wounds by his jaw and he tasted it on his lips. It tasted like Kenren.
"I'm still angry. I should have gone with you to that meeting. You wouldn't have been tortured then … or dismissed." he said.
Kenren finished wiping the wounds on his face and stuck down a plaster to the wound on his jaw. He then opened Tenpou's shirt to inspect the damages, thankfully finding only red blotches that were soon to become a rainbow palette of bruises. He removed the lab coat and shirt with care before throwing them on the floor.
"So fucking what?" he said, inspecting a series of cuts that were on Tenpou's shoulders from where the guards had held him down with their spears. He started to open plasters "I'm a big boy now; I can take care of myself … besides it was my decision to tell Litouten and the Emperor what dumbasses they were. You shouldn't have gotten involved at all."
Tenpou stared at the ceiling as the plasters were stuck to his shoulders and a dressing held against his temple. He made a slight purring noise as Kenren gently stroked his way across the bruises on his chest.
"He called me your wife." he said with closed eyes and a semi-smile. Kenren laughed against Tenpou's stomach and tickled Tenpou's side with his fingers, loving the feeling of soft skin and hard muscle clench and contract under his touch.
"And here I thought you were defending me?" murmured Kenren against the skin. "You hit him because of that? I'm almost insulted, am I not good enough for you anymore, Ten-chan? Looking for someone to treat you better?"
Tenpou suddenly grabbed a fistful of dark hair and yanked Kenren up to face him. The Taisho winced at the pain and faced his lover with scrunched-up eyes. Tenpou's own expression was solidly serious.
"I hit him because he deliberately hurt you, Kenren … being called your wife will only seem to be the impetus for Litouten." he released his grip on Kenren's hair. "Now tell me why you sent Goku?"
For once Kenren didn't smirk. He didn't crack a joke about Tenpou needing backup. He didn't make some smutty remark about being a jealous husband. He instead stared into Tenpou's eyes.
"I know what he had done to me. I also know what a stubborn bastard you can be. It's instinct, Tenpou. I sent Goku because he WAS GOING TO deliberately hurt you." he echoed the words back to Tenpou.
Silence hung between them. Tenpou's breathing was slightly staggered and Kenren appeared to be holding his breath.
"It's instinct to try and save you if I think you're gonna be in trouble, Tenpou." continued Kenren, letting his own still-bandaged body drop onto Tenpou's bare chest with his head resting just under Tenpou's chin. "And that chibi monkey was the best weapon I had."
Tenpou reached up to stroke Kenren's hair. Unlike the rest of him, it was soft and yielding and Tenpou liked to play with it and stroke it. Usually when Kenren was asleep, he would watch his lover's soft, quiet breaths and let the dark locks ripple through his fingers like ink, smelling the faint cherry blossom scent that clung to it. He would love it if Kenren grew his hair long and had asked him once. The dark-haired man had simply replied 'I have nothing to hide' and returned his attentions to the fact that they had fifteen minutes and an empty equipment room. Tenpou ran his hand through Kenren's hair, just missing the bandage that wound around his head and then fluttered his hand down Kenren's naked back, drawing a slalom down his spine, carefully avoiding the various dressings and plasters. Kenren shivered.
"Fine, Kenren ... As long you realise that if someone hurts you, that it's my instinct to protect you." he sighed, now it was time for a confession, Kenren would find out himself soon enough. "How else do you think you were let out so quickly?"
Kenren raised himself up on his elbows and knees to look down and his suspiciously calm lover.
"Well, I assume they ran out of inclination and then the dragon turned up with the keys." he said. "I thought he was making a stand for injustice."
"Well yes he was, but he didn't know at first. You were down for a lot more torture than you got, I'm afraid. Although I'm sorry I couldn't stop it sooner."
Kenren paused, finally grasping Tenpou's words.
"You knew … it was you who sent the dragon?" he exclaimed, Tenpou nodded and tried to roll over to the side so Kenren could have room to lie down. Kenren grabbed his wrists and held them down, keeping Tenpou on his back "How the fuck did you know? You were busy with Konzen and Goku, tidying. I left you there for a reason. I told you that the meeting wasn't for your troops."
Tenpou gave a short laugh.
"Covered your tracks perfectly, Taisho, but for one thing …" he paused as Kenren lowered himself fully onto his lover, his face millimetres from Tenpou's.
"And what was that?" he asked. He couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"You covered your tracks perfectly." answered Tenpou. "You may have excused yourself for the night by saying that after the meeting, you would go for training … but I know that you never go for training unless forced. Besides, I also know you have an instinct for trouble. So after Goku and Konzen left, I went to investigate."
"Aww, hell." moaned Kenren. "Can't I do anything undetected?"
"Nope." smirked Tenpou. "Besides, you can't deny that it was just as well that I did, although I never expected Goujun to be so willing to go a get you out."
Kenren rolled onto his left side, persuading Tenpou to roll onto his left also so that Kenren could spoon against him.
"What did you do?" he murmured in Tenpou's ear, letting his hands creep slowly downwards to the zipper of Tenpou's trousers, "One your famous tactical plans that make no sense until the end no doubt." he slipped a hand in.
"Well, I went for a walk and soon picked up on the disgruntled gossip … apparently your stand against Litouten was quite popular, and popularity for the soldiers means that you were probably going to be punished." he grinned and let out a sigh of pleasure at Kenren's ministrations. "So I … I went to Goujun and … and I told him that unless he got you out … I… I … mmm … I would resign my commission!" he yelled the last word and grabbed the pillow, trying to shift his hips away from the torturous touch, but Kenren kept a restraining arm around his waist.
"Keep going." urged Kenren moving his hand a little faster. Tenpou gave a low moan and didn't say a word until Kenren started to gently lick his neck. Tenpou's breathing became staccato.
"Goujun told me I would … hah … do no such thing and … and …"
"And …" Kenren moved harder and faster, Tenpou moaned.
"That he would go and do it now!" he burst out, punctuating his sentence with a slight cry of pleasure, before slumping back onto Kenren exhausted.
"I think I can guess the rest." said Kenren tenderly, licking the sweat off Tenpou's shoulder. "Shall we call that your reward?" he whispered.
Tenpou rolled his tired head back for a kiss and Kenren obliged. They then lay there together in the silence of the bedroom, each listening to the others heartbeat. Kenren kept his arms around Tenpou, feeling slightly smug that he had someone who would care enough for him to risk his own career to help him without expecting anything in return. This is what made Tenpou different from a standard fuckbuddy, all his previous partners had usually wanted him and done most of running. However, this time he had done the running and had been rewarded with not only Tenpou's acquiescence but his full support and love, which turned out to be quite advantageous, and when Tenpou decided to hang onto something he was more stubborn than a rusty nail. Kenren smiled to himself and squeezed his lover that little bit tighter.
Tenpou himself had several mind-cogs turning at once; Oh my … I wish he wouldn't do that … it so delicious … no it is distracting … Litouten is sure to cause trouble after this … he might take it out on Konzen Goku … this bed is so messy now … not that I tidied it … what if Goujun gets in trouble … although he doesn't kick that hard … I wonder if Konzen liked the poetry I gave him the other day? … I should probably go and see Goujun now … I wonder if Kenren could be persuaded … can immortals become ill? … it would mean the whole day in bed … it's night now though … Kenren needs no excuse … he's incorrigible … this business with the Emperor does bother me … I must speak to Konzen about Goku … I'm not happy with what is happening with that boy … oh god Kenren, I can't go again … I'm sure they want Goku for the next war god … Kenren, no … Litouten won't like that … stop it Kenren … I must tell Konzen, he has to know … Kenren … well, if you absolutely must …
As Tenpou's trousers and underwear hit the floor, and Kenren started to remove his own, Tenpou seized the opportunity and turned onto his back.
"We have to talk to Konzen." he said suddenly. Kenren stopped.
"I think Goku will be made the next war prince." he said quietly. Kenren let go of his zipper and stared back at Tenpou who had propped himself up on his elbows.
"Shit, man ... Why? He's only a kid." he already knew the reply
"As is Nataku." Tenpou sighed. "I don't think they care. However, the protection of Konzen may help somewhat, if he is given adequate warning." he said. "Would you like to go visiting tomorrow?"
Kenren nodded and planted a kiss on Tenpou's forehead.
"Suits me, Ten-chan." he said sweetly. "Now are you going to lie back down and get on with some serious physical therapy?"
Tenpou chuckled and gently pushed Kenren over onto his side.
"You're wounded, Kenren." he said gently, "You shouldn't be doing anything too strenuous, Goku told me to look after you." he gave a licentious grin "If you don't rest, I will send you for mortal reincarnation so you can experience proper pain."
Kenren gave a mock wail.
"Oh nooo, the chance to be human and have free will? Argh! I'll be good. I'll be good." he leaned over and rubbed noses with Tenpou. "It's not gonna happen, Ten-chan, let's face it."
A/N: Hello, this has been a while but I am still here, it's just work has been hectic and I've been quite ill (subsequently banned from the computer for a week because it's bad for headaches. Never mind. I've spent most of the holidays listening to the assorted musics of Keane, Charcoal Filter (Flying Hi-High a very good Christmas present) and Two-Mix. All very good in there own way and there is nothing like a morning shower belted out White Reflection at the top of your lungs and having your housemate go "I worry about you." through the door. Ahhhh. Hope every has a good new year and if you have a the time or inclination, please review, they will be very much appreciated.