The general fell into easy step alongside the field marshal, shoulders slouched just slightly and hands behind his back. The sun was out and brilliantly shining against a perfect blue backdrop. Jasmine and lilac scented the air as the gentle breeze carried those same flower petals along with it, twirling in a delicate line across the enormous courtyard. People smiled everywhere and walked in small groups, some of them arm-in-arm. Just another fucking day in paradise. Kenren's gaze quirked over at a smell that had nothing to do with flowers. Tenpou lit one of his cigarettes up, blowing the dark grey smoke into the same petal-carrying breeze. He either didn't see or was ignoring the glares directed at him as that same smoke smacked into the faces of people passing by. He was betting that it was ignored if that little smile was any indication.
"So... got plans this afternoon?" Kenren questioned, letting the smoke wrap around his own nose. Tenpou never smoked cheap tobacco. Hand rolled and hand blended by himself, collected secretly from the lower world. He had a different blend for each mood, and Kenren had hung around him long enough to identify the difference. Today was the chocolate cherry one, which meant he was bored to the point that he was probably planning something devious. One could only hope at any rate.
"No, nothing beyond sending this poison into the perfect air," he drawled, tucking his long hair back behind one ear as he ashed to the side and directly into the delicate rose bushes growing along the path. The servant tending them looked horrified but refrained from saying anything. Tenpou was, after all, a field marshall in the Heavenly Army. It wasn't wise to fuck with anyone who had rank. Not that it ever stopped him from doing it on occassion. Especially when he was as bored as he was now. It was make life hell for the higher ranking officers, or find something soft and willing to screw. He didn't feel like making life hell, which meant screwing was his only option. That new ambassador had a pretty smokin' new wife. She was always complaining about her caligraphy skills being horrible. As a gentleman, it would be his duty to help her...
Kenren chuckled, watching his boots carry him further down this path. "It's not poison if you can't die from it, you know," he replied, returning from very pleasant thoughts back to the conversation at hand. He could track her down a little later. Maybe Tenpou had something devious in mind that would be just as entertaining.
The other man sighed, lips twisting into a grimace of dismay. "More's the pity." If anyone else had been listening in, that comment would have been seen as macabre and 'just awful'. To anyone who knew the field marshall, though, it was fairly normal. Just another one of his kinks.
Kenren's relatively improved humor faded as a host of five guards and one pompous looking official with the Jade Emperor's seal hanging from his neck came up to them, all wearing expressions that said they meant 'business'. He rolled his eyes and let out a healthy string of cusses under his breath when they effectively blocked their path, the guards standing at perfect attention with their shoulders straight and hands clasped tightly behind their backs. He already knew what they were going to bitch about, and for once it wasn't anything he'd done.
Tenpou stopped walking, eyebrows raising as if he were genuinely surprised to see they couldn't go any further in their impromtu stroll. Or maybe he wasn't faking the surprise... it was so damn hard to tell with the man sometimes. The cigarette drooped a little between his lips and looked as if it needed to be ashed soon with the mass of sizzled grey hanging on the end.
The official looking man drew his rather squat frame up and puffed out his chest, dark eyes gleaming distastefully at the two. "Field Marshal Tenpou, several complaints have been made within the last five minutes in regards to your smoking inside the open courtyard."
"Really? I certainly didn't complain. Did you, Kenren?"
Kenren flashed a wicked grin as Tenpou flicked the ash off onto the walk way between them and the official. "Nope. Didn't say a word."
The official spluttered a little, cheeks tinging a little red as his eyes followed the fluttering grey pieces. "You know the smoking of tobacco is strictly prohibited inside the Jade Emperor's private facilities!"
"I can find something else to smoke," Tenpou answered helpfully with a bright, friendly smile. "There's a delightful little plant in the lower world that's supposed to have the most wonderfully calming effect-,"
"There is to be NO SMOKING ANYWHERE within these walls," the man practically screamed. "You are being asked just this once to put that thing out or you will be brought before the Emperor himself."
Kenren took a slight step away from his friend when his eyes, usually the exact shade of jade, narrowed and turned to a darker emerald. Tenpou was edging toward being pissed. A very good reason for not standing directly next to him as he got a little unpredictable in this mood. The guards behind the official began to fan out a little, picking up on the dangerous vibe from the other man. Kenren relaxed his hands and very casually stepped one foot back in case he needed to quickly duck into a defensive position. This was very quickly going badly and all because some beaurocratic fuck-faced morons couldn't stand a little cigarette smoke in their perfect sky. Heaven, a supposed paradise. Too bad it had more rules and regulations than a temple full of virgin priestess, and was tighter than a straight man's ass at a gay sex party.
His breath left him in relief as Tenpou took a final drag, calmly blew the smoke out (it was purely accidental that it hit the official's face, of course) and flicked the butt somewhere out into the grass. "My apologies. Excuse us, General Kenren and I have a very pressing engagement... don't we, General?"
"Whatever you say, Field Marshal," he answered before dropping his arm around the slightly shorter man's shoulders. "So, if you ladies wouldn't mind stepping to one side?" The look he gave the guards dared them to make the first move. Tenpou had complied with the request to douse the smoke. If they pressed it now, they could all be discharged for creating a scene, attacking officers, disrupting the peace and dishonoring the Jade Emperor's name. All of which were charges brought against him before, so he knew what exactly was at stake. He'd gotten off on sheer charm that time... and the fact that his testimony to the event took all of two whole days to get through. The judges had said they didn't want a recess until he was done. It was their own damn fault it took that long. By the time he finished speaking, he had no voice left and had bored the judges so badly they just let him off to get the hell out of there.
One big guy, ugly even for a god, took a half step forward before a comrade held him back, whispering harshly in his ear. The man glared at them as they went by, Kenren digging the insult in further by winking at the man and giving him a once-over stare that usually made the women sigh. The onyl reaction he got from the guard was a faint growl and a darker glare. They continued their unhurried stroll, rounding a corner between buildings so that they were out of sight of the guards as quickly as possible without it looking suspicious. As soon as they were around the corner, Kenren let out a string of curses, using every combination he'd ever heard and making some up as he went along. Tenpou calmly lit another cigarette, leaning against the building to watch the general rage on.
"Damned jerk offs," he railed even though he knew he wasn't going to get a response to the tirade. "So what if you're smoking? It's not like it's gonna kill anyone up here! What the fuck do they expect us to do, walk around like happy little zombies? For fuck's sake!"
"They were only doing their job, Kenren. You can't get mad at lemmings for doing the only thing they know how to do."
"Then I hope like hell they go find a cliff to fall right off! Son of a bitch... everyone here's either so blissed out they can't tell their brains from their own shit or they're puppets with hands up their asses! Not that anyone can get their hand up there with everyone being so tight-assed!"
Tenpou took a deep pull on the cigarette and smiled patiently. "Not everyone's a tight-ass."
"Okay, you're not so bad," Kenren conceded, raking his fingers back through his hair. "And that kid, Goku. He's not so uptight either."
"Konzen's not so bad."
That made him burst out laughing, thought it wasn't entirely out of amusement. "Konzen Douji? You've gotta be kidding me! There's a damned good reason the man doesn't get laid, and that's because he's so fucking frigid! Being sealed away in an iceberg is warmer than he is."
The look that came over Tenpou's face was one of absolute, careful blankness. Years of practicing politics had developed it so that he could pull it out at a moment's notice and make that stillness look perfectly natural. "You think Konzen's frigid?" he questioned curiously.
"Not think, know. I know he's a fucking ice cube."
"From personal experience or mere observation?"
Kenren glared at his friend and tried to decide if the man was being funny or was sincerely curious. He didn't honestly think he'd swing the way of that bitchy blonde, did he? Deciding the joking route was the best way to go, he chuckled and said, "I have a knack for knowing these things. I'd bet if we were to ask around that not a single person can claim they've actually kissed the anti-social prick."
"What would you bet?" Tenpou drawled easily.
"What would you bet?" he repeated, taking another slow hit.
He blinked, confused for a second. Wait... was Tenpou... "I don't know. Why? And what does it matter, seeing as no one has or could?"
"I bet I could kiss him."
Now THAT was hysterical! Kenren burst out laughing, falling against the side of the building opposite Tenpou and clutching his sides. Tears stung his eyes and squeezed out unchecked as he doubled over. No way was that possible! He didn't think Konzen had ever kissed a woman before, but that didn't mean he liked men more. Konzen Douji seemed to have an overall dislike for anyone making any type of overture to him. Friendship or otherwise, he wasn't the type a person could walk right up to and shake hands with. Tenpou was definately joking on this one!
His laughter began to fade away when he noticed the field marshal's very serious face. Oh... shit. He wasn't kidding. "No. No, hell no! There is no way short of a hand written directive from the Jade Emperor himself that Konzen would ever let you plant him one! Absolutely no way."
Tenpou stubbed his cigarette out against the building, a challenging smile and gleam coming to his eyes. "You think not?"
"I KNOW not!"
"Then let's make a friendly wager. Around this time tomorrow, I'll be in my office lip-locked with Konzen Douji. With tongue."
Kenren blinked, gaped, shook his head and then gaped some more. Tenpou was serious about this. He was one hundred percent fucking serious that he'd somehow get Konzen to kiss him. WITH TONGUE! He knew taking the bet would be stupid. Tenpou was the type to do exactly as he said he would, but this... this was too far out there, even for the very ingenius field marshal. He'd seen Tenpou pull off some crazy shit, but this was Konzen. The man had only two emotions; outrage and arrogance. The outrage was usually directed at his pet monkey while the arrogance was for everyone else. This was a sure thing... so why did he feel as if something bad were going to happen if he said yes to the bet?
"You can't knock him out," he muttered, dark eyes narrowing suspiciously.
Tenpou blinked green eyes widening just a touch. This time, there was nothing fake about the surprise. "Of course I won't knock him out. That'd be rude."
"And no drugging him."
"And no getting him drunk, either. He's gotta be perfectly lucid when you kiss him."
The field marshal sighed heavily and flicked his cigarette away before holding his right hand up as if swearing before a court. "I promise that I will do none of the afore mentioned things, nor anything else that might effect reasoning judgement, while kissing Konzen tomorrow at around this time." He dropped his hand and resumed his casual slouch against the building with an amused smile. "Better?"
Kenren didn't answer immediately. Instinct honed to near perfection through a millenia of martial training were screaming at him he was going to regret this and should bow out now. Logic dictated that, under the guidelines set down, there wasn't a chance he could lose this bet. Konzen Douji actually agreeing to a kiss from a man he barely knew? Yeah, and he was the Merciful Goddess! Ruffling his hair up to keep it in organized chaos (the women loved that bed-tossled look), he continued to frown thoughtfully as he hesitantly asked, "What's the wager?"
The slow smile that crept across Tenpou's face did nothing to reassure his gut. It was innocence itself, that smile, and nothing good could come from Tenpou playing innocent. Fuck... he was screwed. His question already implied that he was accepting the bet, so it was too late to back out now. "Loser does whatever the winner says for one week."
"Whatever the winner says?"
He nodded once, eyes sparking mischievously. Shit.
"So, if you told me to get down and start sucking, I'd have to do it?"
A shrug of shoulders and a decidedly more wicked smile were what he got for that. "I hadn't actually thought that far ahead, but seeing as we're 'lovers'..."
Kenren grinned and shook his head. "Why, Field Marshal, that's an unwanted sexual advance. I might have to report you."
Tenpou chuckled softly, pushing his hair back again behind his ear. "I'd love to be there when the higher ups read that report. Reason for demotion: asking a subordinate to get down and start sucking."
Just imagining the faces as the offense was read out loud was enough to make him howl with laughter. Especially if that bastard, the Dragon King, read it. The image of Gojun repeating the words 'start sucking' in his imperious voice was so good he thought he might have to file the claim anyway. Oh, the evils of boredom...
"So, is it a bet?" Tenpou pressed, holding his hand out.
Kenren stared at the extended hand for a second before another grin broke across his lips as he shook his head and grasped the hand. "You're gonna make me regret this, aren't you?"
Konzen crossed his arms over his chest, eyes appearing to be closed as a curtain of pure gold fell along either side of his face. "This is ridiculous," he complained, voice quiet but carrying enough scorn that it would have made most people cry. Unfortunately, it had little effect on the pleasantly smiling field marshal before him. "I came here to find Goku." The stupid kid had run off yet again. Most likely to find food. Heaven forbid he didn't feed the little pit for longer than five minutes.
"But isn't it fortuitous that in your search it brought you here?" Tenpou asked. The sharp snapping of latex against his wrist made the blonde crack one eye open and cast a withering glare his way. "It saves me the trouble of writing out a note, finding a servant to bring it to you only to have it ultimately get lost in all the paperwork on your desk. Then, I would have had to track you down myself-,"
"Spare me your trials and tribulations. I have things to do, just write down I'm fine and let's pretend you already examined me." He really did have too much to do, and having to keep track of Goku had caused him to fall horribly behind. The last thing he needed was a bicentennial physical to be conducted by one in the military. Why the Jade Emperor would insist on this waste of time was beyond him. It wasn't like gods got sick that often anyway.
Tenpou smiled even more brightly and moved to stand in front of him. "Arms out, shoulder height, please. I don't want to be lax in my duty, after all."
"I'm fine," he continued to grumble, even as he complied with the order and extended his arms out. Thorough hands began running over each arm, from shoulder to finger tip, tipping his head back a little to examine his throat. He knew there was a perfectly good reason to avoid this end of the palace. If he wasn't roped into cleaning (he shivered at the memory of an apron being flung unceremoniously in his face) or chasing down a stray monkey, he was cornered by someone needing something from him. As soon as he caught Goku, he was going to be beaten within a frail inch of his life!
A cold stethascope was pressed to the purple silk on his chest, causing him to jump while pleasant thoughts of hearing Goku scream over something other than food flew right out of his head. "Deep breath in and hold it." Once again, he did as he was told. Anything to get this over and done with for another fifty years!
Tenpou conducted the examine quickly and efficiently, which he was particularly grateful for. That was one thing he had to give the man credit for. If it was business, he got it taken care of in a fairly timely fashion. He turned around when told to, breathed again, allowed himself to be poked, prodded and whatever else needed to be done for the exam. It only took about ten minutes, thankfully.
As the field marshal began writing up his report, Konzen ran his hands along the gloves covering his arms, smoothed out any creases in his tunic and arched a brow questioningly. "Is that all?" he demanded, lips forever twisted into an arrogant pout.
"Mm... just one more thing and we're set. A new procedure, actually. Throat exam."
A throat exam... what in the name of all that was holy did he need a throat exam for? "Is that really necessary? I'm talking, you said my lungs sounded clear. What do you need to check my throat for?"
Tenpou continued to write on his clip board, pushing his glasses up once as they started to slip down the bridge of his narrow nose. "Oh, you know, the usual. Even gods can catch bronchitis."
"I've never once had bronchitis."
"It's a new test, just developed within the last twenty years. They said the bicentennial exams were a good way of implementing it into standard procedure."
For the love of... What didn't the man understand? He was BUSY. He had to find the MONKEY. He wasn't SICK. A low, frustrated growl came from his throat as he recrossed his arms over his chest.
"Oh, dear... that didn't sound good at all. Are you certain you've never had bronchitis?" the dark haired man questioned worriedly.
"Of course I'm certain!" he snapped, glaring fit to kill at his tormenter.
"Hmm... well, best to be absolutely positive. That didn't sound like your normal frustrated growl."
It didn't? Konzen frowned even harder as Tenpou came to stand before him again, a thoughtful crease between his green eyes. It sounded perfectly normal to him... then again, he didn't have any real medical training. Maybe he was sick, and just wasn't aware of it? No, he couldn't be... could he?
"Open your mouth, please, about an inch. I promise to make this as quick and thorough as possible."
He opened his mouth without really thinking about it, still mulling over the possibility that he might have actually caught something. His aunt had mentioned something not too long ago about... All thoughts stopped completely when Konzen suddenly found he had a mouthful of tongue. As in, not his own, but someone else's that stroked his and swept around his mouth in long, wet lines. He couldn't move, he couldn't think... Tenpou had his damn tongue in his mouth and practically down his throat.
WHAT THE HELL?
Everything was blanked out in that unexpected realization. He continued to stare with wide, startled eyes as the other man drew away after what could have been minutes of kissing his slack lips and picked up his clip board again, seemingly unphased by the event. He'd just been kissed. By a man. He'd just been... The thoughts were too fast and too unexpected for him to snap out of his surprised daze in time to react as the other man turned his back and began to walk away calmly.
"Everything felt normal. Thank you, have a nice afternoon," Tenpou called back with an airy wave.
Konzen finally blinked and closed his mouth when he realized it was still open. What... how... what... He shook his head and left the cluttered office. It was just a new throat exam. That was all. Just his throat being examined by a trained professional. He continued to repeat those reassuring thoughts all the way back to his own office.
The two men walked side-by-side in the early morning light. Eyes followed them, round and vaguely curious, as they made their way to teh practice fields. Training was scheduled to begin within the next ten minutes. Tenpou adjusted his gloves, eyes drifting over to the man walking next to him with his head held proudly high and a little smirk on his lips. Kenren nodded a greeting every once in a while to people who knew, who answered with gaping jaws. "You seem to be in a good mood this morning."
Kenren shrugged and flashed a full out smile his way. "Sorry, just can't seem to get that image of Konzen out of my head."
Tenpou chuckled, letting his lungs fill with cigarette smoke before releasing it slowly. The official's expression truly had been priceless, a combination of wordless rage and stunned silence. He was in a very good mood himself because of that little incident, which was why he'd rolled himself the mango cigarettes to celebrate his winning the bet. Mango was such a lovely flavor... "Yes, he was rather surprised, wasn't he?"
"Hehe, that's one way of putting it. Nice touch with the new throat exam, by the way. Mind if I use it?"
"Be my guest, but I doubt any woman with a shred of common sense would ever believe you to be capable of performing a physical exam."
"Which is why ladies without a shred of common sense are the ones I take to bed."
They both paused before rounding the final corner out to where the soldiers were waiting. Tenpou finished his cigarette and ground the butt against the side of the building. Kenren bounced up and down on the balls of his feet, craning his neck from one side to the other as he relaxed his body. "Are you ready?" he asked the taller man, carefully keeping his face schooled into a polite expression.
Kenren gave him anothe leering grin before stepping around the corner... in nothing but his combat boots. Tenpou was right behind him, fighting a losing battle not to grin as the men all did double takes, jaws nearly hitting the grass. A few of them burst out laughing, some jokingly covering the eyes of the younger cadets.
"General! What happened to your clothes?" a commander from down the line demanded, clearly outraged.
A slow, wicked smile replaced the leer as Kenren pinned the man with his dark eyes. "You should ask your wife that, Liang Chan. I'm sure she could tell you in detail what happened to them."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well... here's an update. Thanks to two people for suggesting this. Shinigami's Wrath wanted a group piece. Sorry Goku didn't get in, love, and sorry the concept changed and evolved from your initial suggestion. Thanks also to Greyliliy who wanted something written for Gaiden. I hope you both approve.
Secondly, near the beginning, Kenren mentions an ambassador's wife and caligraphy skills. I borrowed this from another fic I read. I wish I could remember who wrote it or what it was called so everyone could check it out, but it is easily one of the funniest fics I have ever read in my entire life. If anyone knows, please post it in a review so everyone else can read it, too.
Third and finally, I'm not really sure how much longer these one-shots will be updated. I'm sorta running out of plausible scenarios, and I don't want to make this real yaoi. Although... I might try posting some of that later on. So, thank you to everyone who's been reading these and enjoying them. I love knowing I'm not the only jolly perv out there! Also, thank you a million times over for 300+ reviews! WOOT! hugs everyone