Disclaimer: All your Jeep-Jeep-Jeep- All your Jeep- Are belong to Minekura.
Warnings: 85. Meaning, two guys expressing their affection in a physical kind of way. Also, I didn't realize this until months after it was written, but there may be some (kinda fluffy) d/s here. Otherwise known as, Hakkai has a point to make. Fear the sensei.
Notes: This is the second epilogue and final chapter of Hir Wicked Style, posted seperately because it isn't actually an R story and I didn't want to have to change the rating.
(Stretches) Well, we've had a good run, but it's time to put this puppy to bed. Review responses for the gen epilogue to Style are at the end. I hope you've had as good a time with this nonsense as I have. Responses to reviews for this chapter will probably show up in Pay It Forward, unless something else eats my brain first. It might. You never know.
Goes Without Saying
(final chapter of Hir Wicked Style)
He woke to liquid electricity on his breast, so intense he couldn't pin it down to pain or pleasure. There was cold metal pressed to his lip, and a weight on top of him so solid and angular that his first real thought was a panicked -Who did we lose to-
But then it came to him, as he froze and tried to pretend he hadn't woken, that the ground underneath him had a definite give to it,. Something soft was draped over his legs, and the air on his face and arms was cooler than everywhere else. Besides that, the limp body on top of him was hot and pliant, scooped stomach shifting tranquilly against him with each quiet breath. Strong legs were twined around one of his. One large, graceful hand was curled around his wrist, the other wrapped around his upper arm, a limited ear was brushing his mouth, and Hakkai was making love to his nipple in his sleep.
And he'd thought the night before had been hell.
He left his left hand where it was, since first of all it was kind of pinned and secondly Hakkai wouldn't have gotten upset about a hand on his arm even under ordinary circumstances. But when he figured out where his other hand was, he knew it was going to have to move before Hakkai woke up. Making 'fix my lousy karma' his mantra, he unlocked his fingers from their posessive grip on the object of his affections and swept it up, up, over the lavander nightshirt and across the valleyed spine and onto another warm, sweet swell, this one almost better because he could card his fingers through soft, dark hair.
He craned his neck low and opened his mouth against the ear with the intention of making Hakkai come alive on top of him. In a perfect world that would have involved hot breath and a stabbing tongue, but instead he only said, for the second time in his miserable life, "Hakkai. Hakkai, wake up; I'm still not Kanan."
There was a flutter of eyelashes against his chest, and he had to fight not to grind his hips up against a sleek pelvis as a low vibration purred, "Uhnnnmh?" against him.
"I'm not Kanan, babe," he said sympathetically, letting his hand slip comfortingly down that long neck. "Come on, wake up."
"I -know- that," Hakkai mumbled with husky, heavy annoyance, and bit down on him in sleepy retribution.
He froze, and not just because of the sharp jolt that detoured straight through his heart before zipping down to its ultimate destination. "You... Huh? You ehwhat?"
"You're too tall and too hard and your qi is opinionated," Hakkai explained, neither patiently nor coherantly. His voice was still bleary. "I always know who's touching me, Gojyo."
"Oh," he said, and because his brain had frozen, his stupid mouth, running on autopilot, complained, "I am not too tall."
"You are if you're Kanan."
"Well, I'm not."
His mouth smirked under dazed eyes. "You always get this terse in your sleep?"
"Mmmf," Hakkai grunted and pushed his face into Gojyo's chest, tightening his grip in a manner that firmly indicated his intention to go back to sleep.
But Gojyo's brain was slowly coming unstuck. "Hakkai..." he said slowly.
"Say that again."
"No. No, say her name."
"Ka-nan," Hakkai enunciated, really annoyed now, and nothing else there at all.
"Oh, damn," he whispered, his eyes peeling open so far he would have been afraid they'd fall out, if he'd had any whimsy to spare for it. "Lord Heaven up in the sky."
"O-hime-chan," he crowed, a silly grin stretching his mouth so wide it hurt, "you bitch, I'll love you for this!"
"...Fine. Wake me again when you're sane, please."
"You're better!" he whooped, and flipped them over.
"Gojyo!" Hakkai managed to get out before he couldn't talk anymore because his mouth was full.
"Oh, god," he breathed, pressing the words into Hakkai's slack, astonished mouth, feeling it wake beneath him, clinging soft and warm and a little bit chapped from dry spring air whipping around the windshield. "I'll love her for this, 'Kai, swear I will, won't call her names any more, won't even think them..."
"How nice?" Hakkai ventured, astonished eyes wide between the rough hands that cupped them, his own hands plastered in passive shock over Gojyo's lower back, right where they belonged. "I've very pleased for you both?"
"She fixed you!" he explained, beaming. This did not go over well; there was a flat, unimpressed look under the arched, brushstroke eyebrows until he imprinted a last, fervent kiss between them. The look had softened a bit and taken on a faint air of amusement when he pulled back from it, so he sprawled onto an elbow, still grinning, and purred into Hakkai's temple, "Was it the sex?"
"-Go-jyo," Hakkai said one more time with a ticklish little exasperated wriggle, finally starting to chuckle. He did not, to Gojyo's disappointment, blush. "Of course not. That," he added earnestly, not at all like a big fat liar, "was for her."
"Suuuuuuuure it was," Gojyo teased, poking him in the ribs and getting a laugh for his trouble.
"Well, all right," Hakkai admitted, still unembarassed. "Mostly for her."
"So what was it?" he pressed, pulling him sideways into an iron cuddle with his poking hand, ending with it splayed right above a hip, right where he wanted to be, pressing his nose into that short-cropped nape. Clean hair and soft skin and just a spicy hint of dragon, which made him chuckle silently against the knob of vertebra he was going to drive wild as soon as he was answered.
Hakkai let out a breath of laughter, just one, and shouldered him backwards in a satisfied stretch that left them spooned at diagonals, Gojyo's elbow supporting them both. He loved those soft, shapeless sweatpants, the perfect tease. They needed to be gone. But then Hakkai flipped, not taking Gojyo with him, just wriggled until he was on his front again and nestled in so they were back where they'd started. "Kanan relied on me to protect her," he said slowly, stroking an absent thumb over Gojyo's collarbone. "She was taken from under my roof, in my absence, and she could do nothing. I thought if I had been there..."
"You are an arrogant sonofabitch sometimes," Gojyo agreed peaceably, petting lazily down his back. He wanted the shirt gone, too, no matter how thin it was. It was more of a tease than the pants, and he could feel the hot reaching for him from under it.
"Well, yes," Hakkai smiled ruefully, tilting his head up to look at him with troubled eyes. "But that isn't it, not really. I thought if I had known, if I had been there-not even me, really, just anyone, anyone who would fought for her, and who else was that? You understand? A woman alone, a sweet woman who wanted to believe the best of the world, who refused to learn to protect herself, who refused to live in a world where she had to... She was naive. She chose to be, she made that choice deliberately and I loved her for it, but she was. I never was, and I thought if I had been there..." He shrugged.
"No. That other Gonou... You know what a woman can be when she wants to take care of you."
"Who needs a woman; I know -you-" he growled, and got a wide smile back. "You saying he was whipped?"
"I'm saying he came home when he was supposed to come home. He didn't dawdle, and he was there when they came for her."
"Wasn't much help, huh?"
"She fought them, Gojyo. Maybe she and I could hold off a town now, but she doesn't think even together we could have done it then."
"But it's Kanan, really," he said meditatively. "I allowed myself to forget that it was her choice. It was always her choice. Not that, I don't mean that. Later. She was like Homura; she wanted the world a certain way."
"Some people can't adapt."
"Some people choose not to bend. You and I... we may be the weaker parties. We may fight change, but in the end we take what we're given, we learn to live with it."
"You think that's weak?"
"Not really. Different. But really, why should we? If life is good, why let it change?"
"Cause that's life."
"But why should it be?"
"Because it is."
"Some people won't accept that answer, Gojyo. Goku wouldn't. No one could take Sanzo from him; he wouldn't let them. Kanan loved to love the world that much."
"Or maybe there's just one thing," Gojyo thought out loud, flattening his hands over Hakkai's tapered back. "Maybe everybody's just got one thing they can't lose, once they find it."
"She was Gonou's," Hakkai said softly. "I was arrogant. I thought I was hers."
"It's not always a person, babe," he said, and dropped his lips on the even paler place where the green bandana wasn't, at the moment.
"No, it's not." Hakkai said slowly. "But I don't think that's it, Gojyo. Not 'one thing.' When you have faith, faith in anything... you give yourself to the world. A piece of you."
"Or when you love," he sighed, and Hakkai reached up, feathered moth fingers over his scars, because Hakkai was just psychic like that sometimes.
"Or then, even if it's foolish," he agreed. "You say 'take,' and sometimes it takes away, and the rest of you re-forms."
"It hurts like hell. Even if you know better."
"Even when it's just a small piece. It is hell. Birth, rebirth, this world, all of them."
Gojyo snorted, partially just from hearing that word come out of that mouth in that resigned, comtemplative voice. "I don't think heaven's any better, Hakkai. Not according to Homura."
"No. It's yourself you have to live with, and the things you claim in exchange for yourself. The decision, whether it's worth it..."
"You couldn't make it for her."
"She never asked what I would have chosen."
Fuck, Gojyo thought, an astonished smile spreading out, he's finally angry. At the right person, finally. He wrestled with himself until he could swallow it, made his voice easy. "I'd ask," he said lightly.
Hakkai was smiling again. "Would you?" he asked, wistful, amused. "I don't think so."
"Well... nah, you're right. I wouldn't bother. I know what you'd say."
"You'd say, you must stick around and entertain me, Sha Gojyo, because you are the incomparable Sha Gojyo!"
"Aa," Hakkai said gravely, and how he managed it while shaking with silent laughter was something Gojyo would never understand. "That's it exactly; how well you understand me."
"Don't kid yourself, 'kai," he said, more gently. "She knew it, too. She had to. Why else would you have come? But I'd trust you to make it worth it."
Hakkai sighed out a meditative, "Mmf," and his fingers rapped uneasily on Gojyo's chest. "That's a quite a lot to live up to."
"You can handle it," Gojyo assured him fondly, which was a dig in the ribs Hakkai thoroughly deserved. If Hakkai always knew who he was touching, then Hakkai was the most machinating, dishonest, deck-stacking cheat Gojyo had ever been bewitched head over heels for. "Hey, Hakkai, would you trust me?"
Hakkai arched incredulous eyebrows at him. "What an astonishing question, Gojyo," he smiled, looking perplexed. "I can't understand why you'd bother to ask."
"Maybe I just wanna hear you admit it," he leered, warmed that Hakkai trusted him to hear the 'at this late date' on the end of that.
The eyebrows arched, if possible, even higher. "What is it exactly you want to hear, Gojyo?" Hakkai asked, amused. "'I do'?"
Gojyo shivered at the most terrifying words in the language poured over him. "You say the scariest shit sometimes, 'Kai," he objected plaintively. It wasn't fair for something that horrifying to get this kind of a reaction from him. Or maybe it was just that someone's voice was hardwired into his nervous system. Still, there were certain things a self-respecting playboy was supposed to twitch at in a -bad- way, no matter who was saying them. But he'd known for a long time that he was in trouble.
"Well, you're free to run away, if you like," Hakkai said, as though it didn't matter in the least, and also as though he wasn't pinning Gojyo to the mattress and, therefore, lying through his pretty teeth again.
"Nah," he shrugged. "Sounds good when you say it."
"Real good," he admitted, humping up lazily to prove it. Just about anything sounded good, when Hakkai was saying it. This sounded -better.-
"Oh, my," Hakkai said placidly, starting to rap at Gojyo's chest again, this time with intention. "I suppose it must, then. Which is just as well, really."
"Yes; I must admit that it feels good to say, as well."
"Say it again, then," he suggested, all innocent cunning. He was a brat, of course, but Hakkai seemed to like him anyway. "Tell me you're mine, babe. Go on."
"Oh, well, if you insist," Hakkai shrugged lazily. Gojyo had just enough time to think O-shit.-
And then strong hands were slamming his wrists up above his head and clear, uncompromising jungle eyes (how the -fuck- did the man move that fast?) were burning into his. Some part of him had always wanted to get between Hakkai's legs, but not like this, lower down, please, and god, that man needed to eat more, because he could feel every pelvic tendon straining across his somersaulting stomach even through the sweatpants.
It was a vicious whisper that he recognized as Hakkai's only because it ripped right through him that hissed, "You're -mine.-"
Afterwards, he would swear upside-down and sideways that it was the savage, possessive kiss that invaded all the way to the back of his skull and right up to the top of his brain that undid him. Hakkai would smile agreeably and nod placatingly, but in fact Gojyo didn't last long enough to feel it before the world short-circuited, and they both knew it.
He woke to liquid electricity, so intense he couldn't even locate it. He was breathing in stutters, and all his muscles were fluttering, and there was something shocky and sputtery about his straining ache that told him it wasn't still, it was again. He was also naked, and the blankets were gone. He tried to say something, but all he could manage was a high, desperate, disbelieving sound.
"Ah, you're awake," Hakkai said mildly, and he made the noise again because those were Hakkai's cool hands holding his thighs apart, Hakkai's teeth scraping experimentally against an in-between place he didn't even know the word for. "I'm afraid I'm going to need to wash my clothes in the morning," he went on, in a calm, everyday, 'I would make you take responsibility for this if I weren't tolerant' voice, but he was saying it right into the backs of two of Gojyo's very best friends, his voice buzzing them until they squirmed mindlessly.
Did you take them off, he tried to ask about the clothes, but he couldn't get past the first eager syllable.
Hakkai understood him anyway, snaked up without touching to kiss the startled inside of his knee, smiled against it, gnawed softly at the tendon with his warm lips and mouthed it, and drew a chastising finger vaguely in the direction he wanted it to go, the evil bastard. "I believe you would prefer to speculate," he explained, all helpful and reasonable.
And damn if he wasn't right.
"Hakkai," he finally managed to choke, half-chuckling from sheer, shocky lightheadedness, "You're going to put me clean out of my-"
"Mine," Hakkai hissed again, right into the back of his knee, and dug his teeth in again, careful but absolutely implacable.
"Ogod," he gasped as all his blood made a hurried southerly migration, digging the top of his head into the pillow. "Right, okay, you're the boss."
"Yeff," Hakkai agreed complacantly around his mouthful, his lips stretching wide again against the two inches of Gojyo's skin that might still have been virginal until just then. Was there any reason besides this for there to be so many nerves behind the knee? His tongue was doing something really odd.
""H-Hakkai, is that a -rose?" he asked incredulously.
That was a mistake, because Hakkai opened his mouth and raised his head to beam down at him in approval. "Biiiingo!" he chirped. "Well, a peony, actually, but that was very well done, Gojyo! Most people would find it difficult to distinguish-"
"You are bizarre," Gojyo informed him, because somebody had to tell the guy sometime. "Also weird. And diabolical."
"Aa," Hakkai smiled, with that cute squinty-eyed face of his, and he was tracing over that rose or whatthehellever it was with his short nails. "That's it exactly. How well you understand me."
"Do I get to ask why?" he asked warily. "I mean, a peony?"
"Don't you like them?" Hakkai asked, opening his eyes all round with surprise. "Perhaps something else, then?"
"Bizarre," Gojyo repeated firmly, sighing.
"It seems that even now you're goal-oriented," Hakkai said mournfully, and lowered his head again to worry at the side of his knee. "And tense," he added severely. "If I may ask, Gojyo, what is the point of all these affairs if they don't even serve to relax you?"
"Asks the guy who just got laid last night," he drawled.
"If you really believe it's the same thing..."
"Nah," he admitted. "'Sjust I'd've thought, I mean, from last night isn't long enough to forget the feeling."
"Mm," Hakkai said noncommittally, and sat there quietly.
After a few increasingly tense seconds, Gojyo blurted, "Shit, you aren't still waiting for me to tell you a fucking flower, are you?"
"Is that not your game, Gojyo?"
Unbefuckinglievable. No distressed 'maa maa' or any steering wheel between his hands was going to save Hakkai from a fight if this wasn't just force of habit, and come to think of it, he didn't even want to go anywhere -near- that train of thought. "The hell do you think you're with?"
"Hm-Ah, of course. We'll try another, then," he shrugged, and retreated.
For a moment, Gojyo thought he was going to get lucky, but then a hot mouth closed over the side of his foot, right at the height of the arch.
"So I'm guessing you're a leg man," he said weakly, jolts shooting through him as it worked.
"Not especially," Hakkai admitted, and went back to nipping between his toes. "If I were," bite, "to chose some third portion of your anatomy to focus on, Gojyo," he went on, between digging in with his tongue, "in preferance to all the others, I suspect that it would have," sucking, sucking on his big toe and scraping lightly at the edge of the nail, thank the jade emperor he'd taken a bath today, "to be your nape."
"Exposed once," Hakkai said cheerfully, "and not forgotten." A firm nuzzle right in the middle of the sole, and Gojyo stopped jerking like a landed trout and collapsed, limp and trembling, on the mattress. Did Hakkai mean...? "I think I'll save that for another time," he said thoughtfully. "Since you've been reserving it, I shouldn't take it for granted or rush matters. I'm suited; there's no hurry."
"No?" he gasped. "You sure you're human?"
"Not at all," Hakkai chuckled.
"You know what I-aaa- you know what I-oh, 'Kai, that's -nice...- I mean, you-ooooooh."
"I do, but I still see no reason not to pace myself," Hakkai said reasonably. He dug his thumbs into the give of muscle right between Gojyo's arch and the bottom of his heel, and Gojyo thought later that he'd probably put a touch of qi into it, because heat exploded not only there but also between his legs. He nearly exploded himself, shooting completely involuntarily into a half-seated position, when Hakkai pressed his lips to the same place and said in his 'I cannot be argued with' voice, "After all, you aren't going anywhere."
"You sure about that?" Gojyo demanded. His eyes were squeezed shut on hot black and he was rocking on his tailbone, felt so good, building the ache, and maybe he just wanted to make him say it again.
Hakkai smiled into his foot, because Hakkai was just psychic like that sometimes, and as he bit down hard in that perfect place with the direct connection, he was saying, "Yes. -Mine.-"
Gojyo moaned so high it was almost a shriek and curled up around him, reaching desperately for something to get his hands on. "Oh, god, there you are, you did," he gasped as his fingers landed on slick, bare shoulders, slid down hard arms, petted desperately up them, trying to draw him higher. It wasn't as though Hakkai's bare shoulders were exactly unfamiliar territory; they'd all been in baths together and so on, but that made it worse. He knew exactly what the muscles under his hands looked like, so why were they hiding all they way down there? "Come up here, babe, please, 'Kai, wanna feel you..."
"No," Hakkai scolded as though he should have known better, and pushed him away. "No need to rush, I said. Another time."
"Lord in the sky, Hakkai!" he panted, because after four years he could tell when his friend was being an insecure jackass with the self-esteem of a small pinecone. "Of course there's gonna be another time, don't you believe yourself?"
"I prefer to reserve insurance," Hakkai said politely.
"You have no faith in me," he grumbled.
"In you if anyone, but my store is limited, I'm afraid," he confessed conversationally. "Still, do you really think so? If I really had no faith in you, Gojyo, if I couldn't believe in your sincerity, if I thought this was my only chance..."
He paused to shift position, and started lapping and nuzzling at what really should have been a random place on Gojyo's leg. It was four inches above the knee, just above where his legs would have pressed together, and there was no reason that Gojyo knew of for it to warm him all the way up to the chest or make him shift restlessly because no one was cupping his ass.
"If I thought that, I would take the most I could get right away." He moved to the outside of the leg, a little farther, down, but kept rubbing the place in comforting circles with two fingers.
"What would you do?" he asked breathlessly.
"I'd be in you already," he said with that debilitating frankness he liked to use as a sneaky secret weapon sometimes. "In you, beneath you, skin to skin, all over."
"Keep talking," he said. Whined, really, because Hakkai had abandoned his knee, had pressed his leg up higher and was lazily licking all down the back of it, heading for his hips.
"Oh?" he purred, pausing halfway down.
"Yeah, oh, you bastard." Gojyo had to smile. "Come on, Hakkoi, talk to me."
"I see," Hakkai murmurred in a solemn voice that was pure happiness, rubbed his whole soft face against him (maybe shaving before bed was a good idea after all), breathed him in, and went on. "I would have to make the occasion something to live off," he explained, "and so I would be sure to remember all of you in my hands."
"God, I love your hands," he sighed wistfully, wanting to lick their palms badly and knowing it wasn't going to happen anytime soon. It was, as a statement, woefully inadequate. Anyone's hands could be as strong, or competant, or well-formed, or graceful. Hakkai's hands were food and warmth on cold nights, motion and comfort and bright, ruthless destruction.
"Mnh." He got a soothing stroke over his humming shins for his pains, and Hakkai went on. "I'd be in you by now, but it wouldn't do you any good, Gojyo."
"It wouldn't?" That, as a statement, was patantly ridiculous.
"No." There was a nasty, smirky sound to that, and he waited anxiously until Hakkai explained in his evil innocent voice, "I'm not a high-ranking priest, you know. My bracers weren't tailor-made for my wrists and mine alone. They're adjustable."
It took Gojyo a minute to process this, what it meant, what Hakkai was proposing. Slowly, he breathed, "Ohmigod. You mean-"
"I suspect they can become rather smaller than they would have to be," Hakkai said peacefully, and you had to know him really, really well to hear the leer in it, "to constrain you. I would require you to hold back, you know, Gojyo. If I were to only have you once, I would require my own turn as well."
"Omigod," he squeaked as that image dove behind his eyes and took up housekeeping.
"Will you be able to look at them now, Gojyo?" he asked sweetly.
"Look at 'em hell, I'm gonna steal 'em," he retorted. "You can't hog the sex toys, Hakkai! Who's the resident lech around here, anyway?"
"It seems you aren't in a position to ask that question," Hakkai corrected him politely, and started working the backs of his legs again, heading back for the knees.
"I'll take it back if you head the other way," he suggested hopefully.
Tilted green eyes popped up between his legs, framing what saluted them, and he almost came again right then. "Are you asking me to?" Hakkai asked curiously.
"I'm asking with a please and a thank-you-god and I'll throw in a kowtow or two if you want," he admitted. It would have been useless to try to play cool when somebody's hands were the only thing stopping him from writhing all over the bed.
"Oh, my!" Hakkai was laughing at him silently. Ordinarily he'd have killed anyone who tried that, but it was so warm and Hakkai, it just raised his temperature another notch or two. "So polite, Gojyo! If you ask like that, how can I refuse?"
"How 'bout not at all?"
"Although I think we can save the kowtowing. Another time, perhaps."
"You're trying to kill me here," he accused plaintively. He hoped it didn't sound like an actual complaint, though, because that warm tongue had obligingly gone back to what it was doing. In the right direction this time, too, if slowly, tracing lazy, loving curves and flickering diagonals and... "Are you writing something?" he asked suspiciously.
"Please permit me my own amusement," Hakkai requested. Gojyo could hear him beaming, and it was a wicked silence.
"Hell if I care," he shrugged, bemused. "Long as it's for your eyes only, babe."
"It would be in any case," returned Hakkai, and that implacable note was back. Even Gojyo's wrists were humming now.
"Hey," he managed, "if I let you do your weird tongue-grafitti on my skin, can I ask a question?"
Hakkai's face appeared again, and this time the amusement in his eyes was saying, 'you just said that to hear it out loud.' Which was exactly right, and it gave Gojyo blissful goose-pimples that he knew it. "I suppose."
"Will you please, please, pleeeeeeeeease," he whined, shifting his legs restively as far as he could, "please move your hands?"
"Yes," Hakkai answered at once, and he was just blowing out a sigh of relief when the bastard finished with a thoughtful, "Only not just now."
"You're an insecure jackass, you sadistic, monkish bastard," Gojyo swore, banging his bead back against the pillow again and beating his fists helplessly against the mattress for good measure, because he had to do something.
"In a moment, perhaps," Hakkai went on, as though no one had spoken. "When I arrive."
"Now you're just being nasty," he sighed, resigned.
"Oh? Is this nasty?" It was arch-voice, and it got followed up by a swipe of hot tongue that made him jerk, right where his thighs stopped being legs, and then a long nothing.
"No," he said from between gritted teeth, "you have now graduated to evil. Congratulations."
"Gojyo, you're too kind! Do I get a diploma?" Hakkai asked, sounding bright and interested.
"Pity. I've always wanted one. I suppose it isn't fair to ask without completing an essay..."
"Hey!" he protested. "A couple of characters, okay. You go ahead and play your weird mind-games with yourself, I don't mind. But if you compose a fucking essay on me, I'm finishing without you."
"I wouldn't need to compose it, Gojyo," Hakkai laughed, three goddamn inches two low. High. Something. What the hell was he talking about? "Still, I don't wish to be unreasonable. A poem, perhaps? Something short, by Li Bai?"
"Another time," Gojyo mocked him. He was hurting, dammit!
"'Kai? Did I-"
"Say it again," Hakkai said flatly. His voice was so empty of anything but imperative he almost sounded like Sanzo.
It made Gojyo want to cry, or pull him up and cuddle him or drop kisses on his luminescant brow or some mushy shit like that. Instead he said, argumentatively, "I said you're an insecure jackass, jackass. With the self-esteem of a small pinecone."
"A pinecone?" That was more like Hakkai's voice.
"Yeah, I was proud of that one."
"Unusual imagery, certainly." Hakkai mused, smiling again.
"Pulled it right outta my ear a couple minutes ago."
"Whole minutes? So patient, Gojyo!" He was definitely getting laughed at again now. "I'm impressed."
"Well, you want me to be patient, right? Goes both ways, 'Kai. You can do your poem thing next time. Or the time after that, or the time after that, or hell, ten years from now if it makes you happy. Sound good?"
Silence again, but this time he wasn't worried.
"Very good," Hakkai agreed fervently, almost whispering, and his fingers started a dazed, dizzying stroking. In almost the same, sacred tones, he said, "Gojyo?"
"I'm going to move my hands now."
"I'm just going to put them somewhere else," he was warned. "But then I'm not going to need them."
"You aren't?" he asked faintly.
"No. Do you imagine that this is easy for me, either?"
"I'm guessing the answer is no, but if you're doing this to me," he managed to make a weak gesture with one hand, "and not even getting off on it, you're seriously hurting my pride."
"It's because you're wrong that it's difficult," Hakkai said wryly, which was so sweet that he didn't have an answer for it. "But, you see, I want you to take this seriously."
"Hakkai," he said flatly, exasperated. "You're torturing me here. You've laughed at me from between my fucking legs, you aren't even letting me touch you, I'm letting you live and even going along with it, and you think there's even a chance I'm not serious?"
"I am coming to that conclusion," Hakkai conceded judiciously. "But I'm not the one who needs convincing."
He didn't get any farther than that, though, because before he'd finished speaking Hakkai had kept his word. The hands behind his knees struck like shakujou, sliding down and washing over his butt briefly on their way to pull his whole lower body up and hold him there by the hips. His legs were going anywhere; Hakkai didn't even bother to balance them on his shoulders; and all around him was cool air except for the two burning hands supporting him.
"Do you know what I see when I look at you?" he asked.
Gojyo, too far gone to joke, interrupted his hyperventilation to gasp out, "Blood?"
"Blood is blue," Hakkai said inexorably. "Blood and air together are red. Blood and air together are life." He let that sink in for a minute, and said, "Yes, you're blood, Gojyo. The body can't live without it. The brain starves, the heart grows still. Blood is heat." He pressed a hard thumb to Gojyo's sacrum, and the quiet throbbing of that pulse, half a beat behind his own, made him suck in a sobbing breath. "Do you feel my blood, Gojyo? I see yours. I see you."
"What I see, Gojyo-never mind the what. It's what's real. I don't see anyone else when I look at you, not anymore. I never wanted to. No ghosts, no masks. Nothing can keep me from seeing you, or knowing you."
"I'll love her," he moaned again, and that was the closest he was going to get right then to making sense.
"I know you," Hakkai repeated, crowding in close, vibrating into that in-between place again, and he finally did let Gojyo's legs down to rest on him, sliding his hands farther down the kappa's back to take some of the weight off this neck and shoulders. "You're what I see. You're what I want. I don't let go what's mine, Gojyo. You know that."
"You can't do this to me twice!" he wailed, turning his head violently to one side and clenching the sheets so hard he could feel his own short fingernails through them.
"I could," Hakkai said darkly. "I could without touching you at all. Perhaps I ought to, Gojyo. Certainly you would understand, if I did."
"So explain it to me! I'm a hands-on kind of student, right?"
"But I've already explained, Gojyo-kun. Perhaps at this juncture I should be testing your comprehension."
"Well get to it, then, sensei, because at -that- juncture-" he pointed, "-all you're testing is my endurance."
"But Gojyo," Hakkai said patiently, with a dutiful smile for the pun he'd known was awful when he made it, "that's exactly my point. It isn't necessary for you to endure."
"I've got you. You aren't going anywhere."
"Got that right," he muttered, and gasped as his thigh was fervently kissed, sucked, bitten, nuzzled, in the space of barely a second. "And I don't seem to be coming anywhere, either." And then "Ow!" a moment later as his whole back hit the bed. He grumbled a little, calmed down by the jolt.
"You still aren't going anywhere," Hakkai smiled, not unsympathetically. Gojyo could see him now, and the bastard was still wearing his pyjama bottoms. What was that supposed to mean? "And neither am I. I could get up right now and go to sleep in my own bed-"
Gojyo's jaw dropped. "You -could-" he asked, amazed. "Shit!"
Coolly, "Certainly I could. Why not? It wouldn't change anything. There would still be tomorrow. I know you can't frighten me away, and I've come to believe that you won't be frightened off, either."
He smirked. "You're not that scary."
"No. Neither are you. Neither is your hair."
"Oooh, scary hair," he laughed.
"Exactly," Hakkai smiled brightly, proud of him. "You spend too much time being vain of it, Gojyo."
"If I cut it, will you get a new watch?"
"Oh, don't cut it, please. Leave me something to play with."
He raised an eyebrow. "Right, like you need toys to play with things."
"I'll play with you. Is that all right?"
"Now he asks," Gojyo griped. Hakkai laughed out loud, then settled down to regard him thoughtfully. He looked up at him warily, and said, "If there's anything on my face, it's your fault."
"Oh, no," he was told absently. "I'm only considering..."
"Ah!" Hakkai said brightly. "I understand now, Gojyo, and I'm terribly sorry. I've been going about this all wrong."
Gojyo eyed him. "If that's what you call 'all wrong,' I take it back. You are that scary."
"But it's very stupid of me," he insisted, settling in between Gojyo's legs again and resting a pensive, wistful face on his thigh, running a comforting hand along the outside. "Why didn't you tell me I was boring you?"
Gojyo stared at him, stupefied. After a moment, he said, "Oh. I see. We're in Hakkai-logic-land, where I don't speak the dialect." Hopefully, he added, "You could write it down for me?"
"I already did that," Hakkai chided him. "Perhaps you weren't paying attention?"
"No, I'm a bad student," he admitted unrepentantly, grinning over at him, and got a real smile back. Happily, he concluded, "You'll have to do it again."
"I hope you aren't going to make me repeat myself," Hakkai said with a surprised, disappointed face that was pretty much hooey. "No, I think I would prefer to translate."
"Hai hai, sensei," he said absently. If he closed his legs just two inches, he could rub himself over the placid curve of Hakkai's cheek, brush that longish fringe of hair over himself, get a taste of those cold cuffs. Maybe, if he played his cards right, he could sneak his way inside that mouth and find out whether butter really wouldn't melt on a silver tongue. He hoped it would. "All ears here."
"Hardly," Hakkai noted, a little dryly. He followed those arch green eyes to the part of him that had best followed his thoughts and was, naturally, drooling.
He smirked, and tilted his hips up a little, just making a point. "Waiting."
"Well, you see, Gojyo," Hakkai said easily, "it's like this. I really am very embarrassed. It's unforgivably clumsy of me to merely keep repeating over and over again that you're-" Chomp. Closer than ever before.
"Yours," Gojyo gasped, flat on his back again and staring hazily through the ceiling, shivering.
"Yeff!" Hakkai lauded him through a mouthful of joint, so approving that Gojyo would have kicked him if he could have gotten his legs to work. "You see? There's no need to keep repeating it if you understand already."
"Condescending bastard," he muttered. He tried to hook his ankles around Hakkai's waist to pull him in, but the hands were back on his knees, spreading him wide and low, and he didn't have the coordination just then to shake them.
"And yet here you are," his friend sighed happily, dropping a kiss just to the fucking left of where he needed it. He bit his teeth and, barely, didn't whine. "And here you stay. Do you know why that is, Gojyo?"
"I th-thought we were finished with that part," he said faintly. "Will you come up here-please?"
"In a moment."
"Can I just have your hand?" he asked plaintively. The sheets were very unsatisfying to grip, and Hakkai felt very far away down there.
There was a silence and then, sounding overcome, Hakkai whispered, "Soon," and started to stroke him, oh, finally-finally- hands still bracing his legs wide and just that soft, warm cheek stroking up and down. He groaned like a teakettle, helplessly, his fingers twitching.
Hakkai paused again, and then passed him the thin, lavander shirt. "Soon," he repeated, sounding just as helpless. "But you understand, don't you," he pressed anxiously, "that to give yourself isn't enough?"
Gojyo pushed out a breath of laughter. "It better be, 'Kai. I got nothing else."
"But it isn't."
This was starting to be too much. He buried his face in the nightshirt, and the heady smell it had trapped steadied him enough that he managed not to scream in frustration when he asked, "Well, what else do I have to do?"
"But that's what I'm saying, Gojyo!" Hakkai sounded almost as frustrated. "That's just it. It's what I was saying before. You can't do anything else. It isn't enough to give. You have to be claimed."
He didn't know whether it was the word or Hakkai's fingers tightening and shaking him that did it, but something rocked him at that, ground his bones together. It was a new word. "I guess you do," he said softly, wondering.
"Yes," Hakkai breathed. "You can give and give until there's nothing left of you, and if no one gives back you'll just float away. This is a two handed game. It doesn't matter how good you are, how dedicated. You can't play it solitaire. It was -wrong- of them to make us," he said, not bitterly but with conviction. "You aren't leaving, we both know that, but do you know why?"
"You won't let me?"
"I won't. Do you know what that means, Gojyo?"
"You'll have to stick around," he answered, and he wasn't wearing this smile, it was wearing him. His lungs were doing this odd expanding trick; they were already twice the size of his ribcage and filled with bubbly. He wasn't sure how they were managing to do that and breathe at the same time, but Sha Gojyo didn't question miracles. Well, except the ones that came with catty, swan-shadowed hermaphrodites, anyway. "Right?"
"Yes," Hakkai sighed, half fervent, half relieved. "Yes. Exactly. I'll have to keep you with me."
"Short leash, huh?"
"But what if I want a girl?"
That must have been expected, because Hakkai was annoyingly unruffled as he said in Don't Mess With The Polite Guy voice, "I'll pick up some water balloons next time we're in a town. Sand should do the trick. Come to think of it, giving Sanzo a stress ball might be a Very Good Idea..."
He ignored that, and his eyebrows shot up. "Really? Will you wear 'em?"
Hakkai paused. "I hadn't intended to," he said cautiously. "I think I should be reluctant."
"Aw, come one," he coaxed, "you'll dress up for some bat-demon, but not for me?"
"I also killed the bat-demon, Gojyo."
"Oh." Dashed, he sighed, and pulled a plaintive face. "Oh, well, it was a good image. Something to take out on cold nights."
"Really," Hakkai said coolly.
"Yeah," he said regretfully. "You're prettier than her anyway," he added inconsequentially, thinking of the girl Hakkai had dressed up for. Hakkai probably thought he meant Kanan, but the Princess was too skinny for his tastes; as pinched-looking as Sanzo. Either Sanzo. He sighed one more time and concluded lecherously, "I'll just have to find something else to squeeze. Hey, how would you do the-"
"I'm sure I can think of something," he said hastily, but the frost had receded. Possibly to himself, he mused, "Gelatin, perhaps?"
"Oooooh," Gojyo cooed, mostly mocking him. "So creative, sensei."
"I'm sure you can keep up."
Gojyo glared at him, narrow-eyed. "I've been keeping it up for how long now?"
"True," Hakkai apologized, "it's rude of me to keep you waiting so long, isn't it?"
"Yes," Gojyo agreed in his primmest voice, and laced his arms casually behind his head, still clutching the shirt. "Yes, it is."
Hakkai chuckled. Score! "Well, I apologize. I never said I was a particularly -good- teacher."
"Hey," he said dismissively, reaching out and gently taking a lovely face in his rough hand. "I got it, right?"
"Right," Hakkai glowed warmly down at him, covering the hand with his own.
"Soooo," he said, comfortably wiggling into a more comfortable place on the mattress, mostly to watch those moss eyes flare dark in admiration, "do I get a reward?"
"Ah," Hakkai said, sitting back and suddenly looking shifty.
He raised his eyebrows, and then himself up on his elbows. "Whaddaya mean, ah," he asked suspiciously.
Everyday-Hakkai was back, looking embarrassed. It was nice to see the muscles in his chest shift like that, the shoulders pulling up and front as they hollowed him; Gojyo could pull this memory out the next time he did it dressed and in public. "Er. Well, you see, Gojyo, the thing is..."
"The thing is?" he asked dangerously.
Hakkai's lips pressed together and his eyes darted up as he flushed lightly. This, too, was a familiar expression, although it was usually directed at Sanzo. This was Seeking A Positive Spin face. Finally, finding one, he lifted a finger and offered, a little sheepishly, "Um, you're the only man I'm carrying to bed, as well."
Hakkai looked pained. And embarrassed, and regretful, and behind it all there was a wry hint of 'laugh with me; isn't it ridiculous?'
-Oh.- Oh, that little... Gojyo's jaw dropped. Caught between delight and fury, he couldn't stop the disbelieving grin that pulled at his mouth. "You fucking tease," he breathed.
"That wasn't my intention," Hakkai frowned, annoyed. "I wasn't thinking very far ahead, I suppose. At least, not immediately ahead."
"Or, y'know, at all? Ladies and gentlemen, he talks a good game..."
"So that's what all that next-time stuff was about!"
"It was about what it was about." There was a bit of an edge there, but he met it with an amused challange, telling him he wasn't buying but also didn't much care. Consideringly, possibly for revenge, Hakkai went on to muse, somewhat obscurely, "I could possibly lick you to death..."
"You already did that," he grinned and, sitting up and scooting back to the headboard, opened an arm to him. "C'mere, you."
Hakkai sighed, with that refusing-to-look-put-upon smile he used sometimes, but settled against him, warm and solid and there, nestling in. "There are treatises, you know," he said absently, reaching up to finger Gojyo's hair, "about how to build your qi with a woman-a hundred techniques the well-rounded scholar is supposed to study."
"And I bet you were dedicated, yeah?" he chuckled, dovetailing his hands comfortably around that solid, willowy waist. Even seeing that scar always turned his stomach to tight, tender mush. It had brought them together, taught him to put someone else first. When he touched it his lungs went, too.
"I wanted a post,' Hakkai said bitterly. "One I could support her on. Teaching young children doesn't pay very well; it needs no qualifications. I was almost ready for the exams-I knew the points I wanted to use to answer the most likely questions, and several orders to arrange them in. I had practiced writing them until I could do it beautifully in my sleep. I would have gone to ChangAn in a few months, when the harvest came in and the children were needed at home."
"I've seen some of those 'treatises'," Gojyo said, nuzzling in to his temple and unlacing his hands to start petting low, trying to get them back on track. "Kinky. We could probably adapt most of them."
Archly, Hakkai murmured, "Especially if I get the gelatin?"
He grinned. "But you aren't supposed to come, are you? The guy isn't, I mean."
"And which of us did you envision as-"
"I'm just -asking.- Can't blame a guy for being -curious.- I thought you -liked- people being inquisitive and shit, sensei."
"You're right, in any case," Hakkai admitted, his tight back slowly uncoiling. "It's thought that yang energy is transferred to the woman along with-er, in the process."
Gojyo frowned, a thought striking him.. "You don't think it'll be a problem, do you? If we have to fight? 'Cause let me tell you right now, Hakkai, I'm holding you to that whole sticking-around thing."
"Well, I don't feel diminished from last night," he shrugged lightly. "Or at least I didn't until after the ceremony. In any case, even if that theory proves to be true, I'm not concerned. I'm sure you'll return anything I give you."
"Yeah, I'm generous like that," he smirked. "Is that how it works?"
"In fact, yes." Hakkai was unruffled. "It's said to be a problem with women because they have so little yang energy to return. One would think that, realizing this, techniques between men would be more widely written."
"Not at all," he sighed. "And therein lies the difficulty."
"Well, don't worry, sensei," Gojyo said comfortably, turning his face to kiss him, just an IOU at the corner of his lips. "Your education is in good hands."
The SEME at the end of this fic
-starring lovable, placid old HAKKAI
and adorably vague but considerably older TENPOU.-
Hakkai: (braces hands on knees and pants. Looks up, blinks) Oh, my! This is the end of the fic-but the only one here is -me- (heart) I, lovable, placid old -Hakkai- am the seme at the end of this fic! I keep telling you not to anticipate, and you were so worried… Perhaps next time you'll have a bit more faith, ne? (adorable chastising smile)
Hakkai: oh, I am so -embarassed- (covers eyes with hands)
Gojyo: (leans an elbow on his shoulder) And you're a pretty lousy seme, too.
Hakkai: (takes one hand down and GLARES)
Gojyo: Yup. You need practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice...
Hakkai: ...You begin to persuade me.
incandescens: (grins) We come to serve!
Arileo: ...Good point. (boggles. Fears)
DoSet: Well, welcome back! The fic returns your hug. Of course Sakari can have a baby! She may have to adopt, that's all. But she's not the only hybrid around, so she won't be alone with it, right?
Permetaform: (bows grandly) ...I don't know either. n,n;