AUTHOR'S NOTE: This goes out the GreyLiliy. Thanks for inspiring this truly interesting idea... much love for that! She has a new Saiyuki story that's just brilliantly good! bows to excellent writing skills

Dr. Hwan stormed into the lab, her usually clipboard set aside for a small stack of papers. Dr. Ni looked up with mild surprise as she slapped the papers onto his desk top. "Something wrong, Dr. Hwan?" he drawled slowly, glasses reflecting back in the light. The smoke from his hand-rolled cigarette wafted up to her nose and only served to fuel her ire further.

"THIS is what's wrong!" she shouted. "I was SUPPOSED to present this new data to Lady Koushu today! Only, it seems YOU stole it and showed it to her YESTERDAY!"

"Hm? Oh, yeah... sorry, forgot to tell you. Lady Koushu was very happy with it."

This was IT! The final straw! She didn't need to take this from the likes of him. He may be the leading scientist, but she was just as competant as him. "You stole my work! I had this saved on my laptop. You broke in and STOLE IT!"

Dr. Ni arched a brow, turning his stuffed rabbit around and plopping it firmly on his lap. "Hear that? Dr. Hwan is accusing me of theft... and she doesn't even have evidence to support it. Very unscientific of you, Dr. Hwan. I'm really reather surprised, considering how very thorough the rest of you research has been."

She blinked, eyebrows pulling together. Did he just... compliment her? Shaking her head, she shoved it aside. "Save your flattery, Dr. Ni! You're SUPPOSED to be partners on this, and you went behind my back! And for what, just to tell Lady Koushu everything is going as planned? That's hardly worth STEALING for, is it?"

Dr. Ni didn't answer. He tapped off some ash onto the floor, watching her behind half-lidded eyes. Dr. Hwan shook her head, grabbing her clipboard off her desk and headed for the door. She'd put her two-weeks in today. They didn't need her around here. Even if this WAS the biggest project of her career, it wasn't worth it to work with someone so egotistical, selfish, rude, perverted-

"You're right, Dr. Hwan. It was very mean of me."

Dr. Hwan paused in the doorway. Did he REALLY just offer something dangerously close to being an apology? No, he couldn't have! Dr. Ni would NEVER...

Chair wheels moving against the hard floor made her turn around slowly, eyes narrowed suspiciously. Dr. Ni got to his feet, a little one-sided grin to his lips. When he was finally standing in front of her, head held his hand out. "Let's call a truce, shall we?"

A TRUCE? What was he trying to pull? Keeping her gaze locked with his, she slowly held her hand out and let his larger one fold over it. His fingers tightened a little, but not to the point of being painful or offering threat.

"Say... and don't take this the wrong way, but your hands are incredibly soft."

SHE KNEW IT! Dr. Hwan yanked her hand free, heart pounding in her chest. "You disgust me!"

Dr. Ni actually looked genuinely surprised. "Hm? All I did was remark on how nice your hands are. Is that such a bad thing?"

Yes... and, no. He hadn't actually MADE a perverted comment. He was (dare she say it) being nice. Swallowing heavily, Dr. Hwan choked out, "I apologize, doctor. But based off of past experiences, I feel my reaction was justified."


Huh? She looked up, eyes wide at the simple answer. No arguing, no belittling her 'simple mind'. He just... agreed with her? He took a half-step closer, hands in his pockets. His stuffed bunny was in his chair, completely forgotten. And why couldn't her heart slow down? Dr. Hwan hugged clipboard to her tighter. What was he playing at now?

"I feel just awful, Dr. Hwan," he continued, stubbing his cigarette out on the lab table. "You've been so put-upon and you've taken it like a real sport."

"Um... t-thank you, Dr. Ni." Dr. Hwan glanced over at the hand he put against the wall by her head. Good GOD, was he about to...

"I may not show it... but you're an awfully smart woman." Dr. Ni held a disk up between them, grinning.

"W-What is...?"

"It's a new program I've been writing. And I'd like you to help me test it."

WHAT? Dr. Hwan stared at the disk dubiously. Knowing him, it was probably pornography or something. But... he WAS acting exceedingly nice right now. Maybe it really was a new program. Slowly, she reached between them and plucked the disk from his fingers. Dr. Ni's grin grew wider as he stepped back without any extra little touch or comment about how nice her breasts looked. Nothing. UNBELIEVABLE! She was happy... and a little disappointed, too. Disappointed, was she MAD?

Dr. Ni began to walk away, slippers making soft sounds against the hard floor. He paused in the door leading to the testing fascilities, glancing back over his shoulder. "Well?"

Dr. Hwan hurried over, heel clicking sharply. Once she was through the door, he shut it and the flopped into a swivel chair, slipping the disk into the drive. Dr. Hwan clicked on the monitor next to his. She quickly signed on and waited for him to get onto the network and show her what was on the disk.

"Ready?" he asked coyly. She nodded, Dr. Ni loaded up the program and, as it spun out onto her monitor, Dr. Hwan couldn't help the look of awe that came to her face. Incredible... he'd actually... "You figured out the X Factor?"


The X Factor. That was the term they used for those youkai who didn't seem to be effected by the minus wave. No one knew why or how, but it was necessary for them to be converted quickly over. And Dr. Ni had figured it out. "So, this is your version of brainwashing?"

He shrugged, scratching the back of his neck. "In not so many words. See, all we do is reprogram them and, BOOM! We've got an army of unfeeling toys that will do whatever we ask of them."

She couldn't believe she was saying this but... "Dr. Ni, you truly are astounding."

"I get that a lot. But, to be honest, I don't think I can handle this project AND the revival all in one go. So- wait, turn your head back just as you had it before."

Dr. Hwan frowned but did as he asked. What in the world...

"I never really noticed before..."

"What?" she demanded, finger nails pressing into the desk top. He was going to say something cruel and insulting. Just ignore it, Hwan. He's just a jerk...

It made her jump when he leaned forward and gently removed her glasses. It made seeing a little trickier, but she could manage. "Yes, especially without these things to hide it..."


"Sorry but... I just realized how lovely your eyes are.

The lights from the monitors caught in his glasses and hid his eyes so she couldn't see if he was playing with her or not. He SOUNDED sincere... but that was usually when he was at his worst! "My eyes are none of your business," she finally snapped, blushing as she reached for her glasses. He gave them back with a little smile.

"Why do you insist on hiding, Dr. Hwan?"

Dr. Hwan buried her head in her hands, closing her eyes. Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Wasn't it enough to humiliate her in public? Did he HAVE to do it in private, too? "God, just... HEY!" She turned and slapped him across the face when she felt his figners in her hair.

Rotating his jaw and giving her a wicked grin, he held up the piece of fuzz he'd plucked from her curls. "See? You don't want to walk around with that in your hair... do you?"

Oh... He was only... Dr. Hwan's cheeks were burning. Her gut told her something wasn't right... but she wouldn't listen to her gut without some evidence to back it up. And so far, she had none other than he was being very nice to her.

"Dr. Hwan... can I tell you a secret?" he purred, managing to look both sheepish and mischievous at the same time.

Dr. Hwan leaned back in her chair a little more as he moved forward, closer to her. Her heart just wouldn't stop pounding! Her palms were sweating a little and she couldn't seem to get more than shallow breaths into her lungs. Wait... shallow breaths, rapid heart... "Oh, God NO!" This couldn't be happening...

"Well," Dr. Ni continued in a softer voice, eyes moving down to stare at her parted lips. Dr. Hwan's eyes closed, too, heat pouring off her face. She was insane, crazy! She should have her head examined! All the teasing, the cruel pranks and even crueller disregard for her research... and she was LUSTING for him? That was the only reason she could think of for the way her body was reacting. Was she really so desperate for a man that she'd fall for HIM? Granted, it had been a few years... okay, more like ten... but it was closer to eleven... since she'd had her last true sexual encounter. Her work and schooling was everything, after all.

"Um.. D-Dr. Ni, I don't-..."

"The truth is... you are a very beautiful woman. And I've been trying to ignore it since I met you but... I'm only human, you know. And humans have urges, needs that simply have to be fulfilled... don't they?"

She had to stop this... She hated him, he was disgusting and vulgar and... and... and he was kissing her! The rough stubble along his upper lip scratched her face a little and his tongue was doing things she didn't think a human mouth SHOULD have been able to do. Fight it off, Hwan, fight it off... NO! That wasn't how you 'fought it off'! Why was she moaning? And why was she pushing her lab coat off? Yes, it was hot in here, but taking it off would only encourage him! She certainly didn't want that... did she?

Dr. Ni let out a surprised little chuckle when she yanked him closer with his tie, kissing him back hard. "Ow... mmm... don't bite too... ow..." Dr. Hwan finally gave in to her body's demands and stood up, shoving him roughly back into his chair. His head thunked against the lab top hard and he winced before she climbed on top of him, tearing his shirt open. She bit into his neck hard, not enough to break the skin but just so there was a definate imprint of teeth. "Well, well...ow... who would have thought... um, can I ask what that's for?" Dr. Ni watched her as she reached over his head for a roll of duct tape.

"Shut up," she snarled, ripping off a piece and slapping it over his mouth. The shock in his eyes quickly faded to one of lustful delight. Dr. Hwan unrolled more of it, grabbing his wrists and quickly securing them to his chair. Once he was firmly locked in place, she sat back enough to undo his belt. This was all his fault! She'd been fine and could handle the lack of sex life until he'd gone and done this. Waking the dragon? Ha! it was more like waking the crazed sex-starved woman locked inside her. His back arched when she raked her nails down his chest, his eyes closing behind his glasses. This wasn't good. She needed to stop and stop now. How would she ever beable to look herself in the mirror knowing she'd sunk to THIS level of desperation? I'm really going to hate myself later, she thought, even as she left three hickies right on his neck. And, even as she knew she was going to hate herself later and regret it, there was no way she was going to stop now!

Dr. Hwan hesitated outside the door to the lab, dispelling the lingering little fantasies from her head. God! That was all she had to say about the amazing sex from the night before. She didn't know if it was him being incredible with the limited amount of freedom he had or her finally giving in to how desperately she needed that. Either way, she was willing to tolerate a little teasing just to get it again! Taking a deep breath and letting it out, she went inside the lab.

The old man who helped them out glanced at her and began to snicker, shaking his head. What in the world... Her eyes widened when she saw her desk. It was completely wrapped... in duct tape! That son of a... EVERYTHING was completely wrapped up, from her computer monitor to the file cabinet underneath. He'd done it as soon as she left, the snake! Shaking with rage, she stormed over to the closed office door and slammed it open, freezing again when confronted with a beautiful youkai woman's naked breasts. She was sitting on Dr. Ni's desk, giggling as he just 'had to' get the papers from underneath bottom. "YOU!"

"Hmm?" he asked innocently, eyes slanting almost regretfully away from the woman's breasts to Dr. Hwan. "You want something, Dr. Hwan?" The way he said that made her blush and want to jump out a window. She'd slept with THAT?

"YOU... you did this... and what is she... I thought..." She knew she wasn't making much sense, but she was too angry and hurt and... she didn't know what... to continue! "What is the MEANING of this?"

"Aw, don't get your panties in a knot. It was just a one nighter. Besides, it wasn't all that great anyway."


The youkai woman giggled and leaned down to whisper something to him, all the while watching Dr. Hwan with wide blue eyes. Dr. Ni chuckled, running a finger down her perfectly tanned skin. "Koshi here wants to know if you'd care to join us sometime. She could show you a couple tricks, if you'd like. That way I'm not so bored."

Stamping her foot angrily, Dr. Hwan left the office, cheeks flaming red and too angry to give way to the tears she knew were trying to come out. She should have known he was up to no good! Wait, she DID know it, but she was invaded by her libido and now...MEN, ARGH!

The old man, peered around the corner as the girl got off Dr. Ni's desk, her flirty smile disappearing into a sour little frown. Dr. Ni handed her the money from his pocket and she left, regrettably (for him anyway) slipping her robe back on and leaving now that her part was done. "So... you really wouldn't play doctor with Hwan again?" he leered.

Dr. Ni scratched one of the many bite marks on his neck, wincing a little. "No... she's too kinky for me."

The old man burst out laughing, slapping his thigh in delight. "I'll get you the money we bet tomorrow."

"Yeah... I'm in no rush. Take your time."

AUTHOR'S ASIDE: And everyone thought Sanzo and Yaone was a cracked pairing...