Chapter 13: Gone and back again

"It had to be someplace with a sun..." While he couldn't see Saka, he heard the deep throated chuckle, and gave his own, only to wince as the act stretched the skin around his mouth. It had taken him nearly ten minutes to convince any of them to give him a sort of mirror, and he could clearly see why they had resisted.

He had one hell of sunburn.

At first, they said, it had turned a violent shade of red. The next week had been hell all over again. The skin on his face was the only not spared from the heat. While his limbs and chest merely grew pink, and then settled into a slightly darker shade then they had before, the skin on his face had grown pinched, and a thin film of infection had settles under the skin, making it appear a sickly red and yellow. The blisters broke easily, and were painful at all times when they did. The infection had also given him a chill, making his skin hot and insides cold while he had been forced to drink a large cup of water with a tiny flask of blood every hour to keep him from dehydrating from the violent diarrhea that had wracked his body for five days.

He was finely making a rebound. The chill had settled, leaving him with a slight shiver, but nothing that another blanket wouldn't fix. Saka had rubbed a balm on his skin every morning and evening, chilling the heated flesh, and flushing out the infection. It promoted healing and he would only be left with a small patch of scar, no bigger than a dime along his hairline where some of the blisters had swollen and bled with infection, but as long as he left it be...

"Danny, stop picking."

He gave a whine.

But it itched...

But he waited until Saka began rubbing the cool cloth over his face once more, sighing in contentment when he did so. His face had begun to peel, and the dry, hard, pinched skin itched terribly. Right now, Saka was taking off the rest of it with a damp cloth, the last of it coming away more easily that it had in the last few days.

Finally.

He gave a whoop of joy when he had finished, and immediately ripped off his cloths and ran for the bathing rooms. He had been forbidden from them while he was sick, for the heat caused excruciating pain in his burnt skin, and boy did he need a bath. He was already to the there when he realized that he had run throughout the entire mansion, naked.

Funny, the idea only made him want to laugh now.

He skipped the shower, heading strait towards the large scantly illuminated baths and settling in with a deep sigh of contentment. A moment latter, Saka walked in, a towel wrapped around his waist and their soap wrapped in a cloth in his hand.

"You forgot this." tossed the soap to Danny, who immediately began to scrub his hair vigorously, dunking under and continuing on with the rest of his body.

"You know, you're supposed to wash in the showers before coming in here." Never mind that he had been bone dry when he himself had come in. There was a loud banging from upstairs, and they both gave a small chuckle before settling into a comfortable silence. It was Uji and Nicky no doubt. They were two peas of the same insane bird, if one to put it lightly.(1) While much more quiet than Nicky, Uji often took the same sadistic joy in scaring the crap out of Cal. This proved useful when Danny wanted alone time with Saka, as he seemed to have a horrible disdain for the man and would often interrupt at the most horrible and inappropriate moments.

Danny gave a gentle sigh as Saka took the slippery bit of soap from his hands, worked up lather, and began to rub his back with slow, relaxing intentions. He gave a low burble of approval, before shifting back on Saka's thighs, twisting around until he could wrap his arms around Saka's back, fingers slick across the firm expanse of muscle. Comfortable, they sat there for quite some time, absently rubbing skin against skin until the gentle motions nearly put them to sleep.

Saka carried him to what was now unofficially their room, his old room slowly falling back into disuse, his slowly growing possessions one by one shifting onto Saka's shelves.

He laughed, bouncing lightly on the bed where he'd been thrown, watching the much larger man dress slowly before frowning. Saka had bypassed the jika, to the other side of his closet, pulling out a smart black long sleeved shirt that stretched tight over the broad expanse of muscles across his chest and half way up his neck. His long slacks were a pale olive green and tied loosely to his hips with a forest green shika, or scarf. A second shika of the same color was draped loosely around his neck.

One of his blander outfits, but a benka none the less.

He was leaving.

He whined and kicked his legs in a fit, not caring that he was making a large wet spot right in the middle of the bed. He pouted as Saka leaned over him to brush his lips across Danny's forehead, and wrapped his arms around Saka's neck, trapping him.

"Don't leave."

Saka chuckled, before blowing a quick blast of air up Danny's nose, making him sneeze and let go of his neck. He ignored Danny's glare in favor of a quick kiss, laughing into it when Danny once more wrapped his arms around his neck and linking his legs around Saka's hips.

"I am only going to the town for some supplies. I'll be gone and back before you even miss me."

"You just put on your travel cloths and I already miss you." they both laughed at the small joke, comfortable warmth spreading between them as Saka lapped gently as Danny's nose in farewell.

"If you are good, then I shall bring you back a gift. But I must leave now." A soft chuckle erupted from him when Danny clamped on tighter, even as he gently pulled the boy off. Danny pouted, but relented, giving Saka one last hug and nipping playfully at his chin when he was suddenly crushed against the larger mans chest. Giddy, he gave as wild laugh before rubbing his nose into Saka's ear.

"Come back safe."

They pulled away, hands cradling each others elbows in a half embrace as they took a moment to stare into each others eyes. Saka smiled gently as Danny titled his head ever so slightly into a smile. He felt Danny jump as the door slammed open.

"AH-HA!"

They both winced at the nearly shrill voice. And Saka gave a cry of surprise when the tiny black object attached it's self to his face. He struggled for a moment, finally grasping Uji by the neck and pulling him free of his face. He panted lightly, ignoring Danny's slight laughter in the background and glaring at the cloth demon.

"You know Daniel, I was going to punish you for your earlier misbehavior in the forest upon my return, but I believe this nuisance is more than enough punishment." Danny nearly cackled in the background, and Uji met his glare as best as he could with jeweled eyes.

"If I had my former body, I would eat you." Saka rolled his eyes, tossing the tiny body to the now hysteric boys writhing on his bed. Danny gave a slight choke in his laughing, before erupting into a cough that soon ended his fun. He hugged the black stained doll close (and still) as he stood on the bed, returning Saka's kiss before watching him walk out the door.

--

"Since when did it get so it get darn cold." Danny groaned, climbing deftly up the tree, his numb fingers picking the round, bright red fruit and dropping it down into Rowen's waiting hands.

"It's been plenty cold for weeks Danny, you just haven't noticed cause you've been cozzied up to Saka the entire time." Danny frowned and Rowen laughed at the reply from the next tree over. Picking another, this one hard and orange and under ripe, Danny tossed it gently in his hand before flinging it into the tree next to him. There was a loud thump, then curse, them a louder crash as it hit its target, making Cal lose his grip and fall quite unceremoniously out of the tree.

Rowen tittered gently, catching another as Danny tossed it down. "Come on Danny, with another set of hands, we're finally getting some extra jenji (2)saved up, then you had to take out one of out best pickers. I hope you're ready to pick up the slack."

Danny shivered gently in his chest, puffing warm air into his frozen fingers before plucking another fist sized jenji from a near by branch "I just don't see why they have to ripen in the fall."

Cal grunted nearby, climbing easily up the tree, settling on a branch heavy with fruit before answering.

"This is just the early risers Danny. These bad boys will really fall into season in the winter, when it starts to snow. Just you wait Danny, the fruit trees in the southern fields start to ripen in the summer. Six months from now you'll be in another tree complaining about the heat." They all chuckled to themselves, chatting absently while filling basket after basket until Rowen finally deemed them finished. Two round baskets sitting on one hip, another over his shoulder, Danny picked up one of the dusty red fruits and took a large bite. Bitter, but edible. It would take a few days off the trees for them to sweeten up.

Looking up, Danny thought wistfully about the great celebration Danny had herd Cal boast about. Every spring and fall, like clockwork, all the flowers would bloom, the trees preparing to grown their summer or winter fruits. There were many small castle havens like this one, most of them stocking themselves by trading for the fruit and vegetables brought on by the fields surrounding them, and when the mass blooming started, great crowds would converged there, gathering up the falling blossoms. They had found them edible a long time ago, and the fields worth of flowers were baked into pastries and frozen in creams and fruit mash, they were boiled into candies, and even sewn into bedding. And for days afterwards the castle would be alive with celebration, everyone feasting on the treats and trading this scented item for another. A great gathering.

Danny had arrived right after the fall festival, but as fall gave way to winter, it was jenji season, and now living in the mansion, especially as the keh of the mansion's owner, it was his duty to beguine pulling his own weight.

Starting with good old fashion manual labor.

Saka had been gone two weeks, and on the very first day of his absence Rowen had jumped in for her fun. She refused to let him keep to his past schedule of "wake-study-sleep" but every day at dawn she would pull him into the kitchen, her domain, in which Danny had been fascinated, and a little repulsed, to see the process of everything to properly chopping an onion to slaughtering one of the pigs in the fields spotting the forest. By the third day, she had noticed the ripening jenji, and despite the insistence from Cal that workers would come later in the year, from sunrise to sunset they had spent the day harvesting. Luckily, they had picked the last of the currently ripe ones, and it would be at least another three weeks before they started falling off the tree again.

"Thanks again though, I would have gone crazy sitting in my room all day reading." Danny said, sucking absently at the many scratches littering his palms. Seeing this, Cal scoffed, taking a moment to look through the cabinets within the overly hot kitchen and pulling out a small urn. Popping off the thick cork top, he grabbed Danny's hand and pulled out a large wad of what looked like wax from the urn. He worked it between his fingers for a moment until it melted into a small puddle in his palm and began to rub it on the scratches.

"There now, this ought to keep you from scratching them" Giving Cal a grateful smile, he fallowed the others as they shed their fall clothing. He shivered for a moment, having borrowed some winter benka from Rowen, which was ill fitting and loose, leaving him more chilled then he should have been. He wished that Rowen would hurry with his wardrobe; she had promised him that she was only working on some finishing touches, but...

He sniffed. That scent... even from down here, in the kitchen, underground, he knew that scent. Sandalwood, with a thick and spicy smell like cinnamon, and with a musky scent that was entirely his own.

"Saka's back!"

He raced up the steps and out of sight.

Cal chuckled, and Rowen turned to him with a smile.

"Lucky bastard, he is. Saka's always been such a stick in the mud since what happened when he was apprenticed under his mistress and...that woman." Her nose pinched and she sneered like she had tasted something sour. "I thought he would never get over it." she sighed "It was so hard, knowing that no matter what we did, he would be alone forever..." She wiped what could have been mistaken for a tear from her eye, murmuring a laugh under her breath when Cal brought her fingers from her cheek to his lips.

"It seems young Danny has done more for me than our friend," he smiled at her from behind her knuckles, pressing a kiss to the flesh there. " It was just as hard for me to know that you would chose to be alone, in that cold bed of yours, for as long as he chose to be." he reached into his pocket, pulling out the finely folded sheet of silk. A shika, one of his own, a bright sea green with fine, tiny tulips stitched in purple along the hems. Her hands shook as she lifted it from his hand.

It flowed, like water, between her fingers, and she wrapped it around her neck with a deft twist, pressing it to her nose and breathing in his fresh clean scent...

Like the rain.

She stepped forward, closing the gap between them, resting her head upon his shoulders and wrapping her hands around him, fingers pressed against his back. She sighed lightly when she felt the heavy weight of his arms wrap around her shoulders.

'It was never cold while you were there Cal.' in her mind she sighed. 'I can't help but want you to keep the cold away forever.'

--

"Your back!" Danny's loud laughter rang out as he made a running jump towards Saka, wrapping his arms around his neck, holding fast to the larger man as he kissed him hard. A giddy happiness bubbled into his chest, and he couldn't stop himself from laughing into the kiss

Warmth rumbled as a purr in their chests, and Danny felt it spread pleasantly through his body was Saka's arms encircled him. He dug his face into the crook of Saka's neck as he felt his feet leave the ground, one arm shifting down and across his butt, so that he was sitting on Saka's forearm, with the free arm wrapped around his back. Sniffing absently at the junction at Saka's shoulder, he didn't stop himself from lightly lapping wherever his mouth touched. He felt them move, but didn't bother to look up from his task of cleaning the scents from Saka's skin when his lover bent over to pick up his large traveling pack and headed towards the house.

When he finally decided that Saka's skin on his face and shoulders was clean enough, he rested his head on his chest, fully expecting to be back in their room, but the room he saw was entirely foreign. It was small, almost uncomfortably so, with thick layers of furs of every shade and texture padding the floor so thick that their feet sank. They were layered especially high along the far wall, nearly a foot higher then the rest, thicker along the edges, resembling the image of an egg that took up nearly the whole floor. There was no furnishing in the room, no shelves or drawers, but as Saka closed the door behind them, the large slab merely became another part of the wall, and Danny could see other dents and cracks that hinted at other doors.

Numerous hooks hung from the walls and ceiling, and what was the beginning of a weaving of scarves and cloth was hung from them. Each hook on the ceiling also held a small brass plate, suspended by thin tinkling chains, the remains of candles a puddle within them. There were two window, closed and sealed, one east, one west, and shutters peeking from behind a transparent sheet of cloth hanging on the walls.

Danny's nose wrinkled as he sniffed the air. Only Saka's scent permitted the room, with the exception of what was obviously something edible coming from one of the walls, most likely storage.

Why would Saka bring him here?

He stood by the door as Saka sank with a weary sigh into the pile of furs in the far wall. It was a perfect fit, Danny thought with a smile, just big enough for one more.

He reached for Saka's outstretched hand, holding it as he sank down into the plush bedding at Saka's lap, massaging the palm of the large hand with his thumbs as he readjusted himself into a more comfortable position.

"There isn't much room, What are we going to do when Cal and Rowen come up here?" There was almost a shocked silence, before Saka's rich laughter rang through the room. Heavy arms wrapped around his body, and Danny suppressed the urge to laugh as Saka's nose invaded his ear, breathy chuckles tickling the flesh there.

"They wouldn't dare think about coming into this room Little one, this is just for the two of us, our sanctuary..."his voices grew suddenly thicker, husky, almost dangerous. "our nest..."

In his mind Danny gasped, fire suddenly burning his cheeks, his body. This was to be their nest? He had finally chosen? He had to admit it was perfect for the purpose. A large, vented room would dilute their scents, shelves and drawers and ornaments having no purpose, when the room's purpose was a place to mate. When the time came, they would be locked in this room, left to their own devises until the food supply ran out and hunger drove them to leave. Judging from the scent in the walls, they could hold enough for weeks, maybe months.

Danny's chest shuddered with odd electricity, almost anticipation at the thought. Now that they had a nest, if they hurried, it could be only a matter of days until...

Another shudder.

Saka smiled as the boy's scent grew thick, sharpened with the heavy addictive spice of arousal, He drove his nose into his shoulder, clamping down on the muscle there, grinning with primal satisfaction at the erotic cry his soon-to-be-mate let out. Grinning, he suckled hard on the flesh in his mouth, giving it a sharp nip before taking the muscle into the warm, damp, recess once more.

But he frowned as his fangs lengthen of their own accord, and released in favorer of lapping at the area with harsh abandon.

"Ahnn... nng..." Saka smiled at the incomprehensible noises as he held Danny tighter, the boy jerking wildly in his lap, the firm length of his back pressing against his chest as his ass ground into his groin. He gave a dark chuckle, shifting the boy so that he was sitting upon his leg, reaching one arm around Danny's shoulder to cup his chin, tilting his face into a kiss.

Danny shifted in his lap, surprising Saka when he opened his mouth, touching his tongue tentatively to the line of his lover's lips, something he had never done willingly before. He was rewarded at the almost foreign sensation of the hot, wet muscle wrestling its way into his mouth, tasting, and Saka's mouth sipping at his own. With a final moist kiss placed to the corner of Danny's mouth, Saka pressed Danny's face into his chest, trying to quell his own thundering heart and slow his breath even as Danny tried to do the same.

He grunted with effort as he pulled the bag he had carried with them next to his leg, taking a moment to unfasten the straps that held it closed.

From it, he pulled a large blanket, big enough to cover the entire floor, dark and velvety, and heavy with padding. Pulling, he raised it up high enough to cover their heads while he shifted down to lie, forcing Danny down to rest his head upon his chest. Danny struggled for a moment, eager to beguine his work on their nest. Grumbling, Saka held him down gently until he no longer fought, only to grunt again as Danny began to get up.

"You promised me a present when you got back."

Saka smiled, his ears twitching in an effort to listen through the stones in the walls. They were moving down there, more quietly so than they should have been, sneaking in the same direction like a pair of crooks. He'd give them a bit more time.

Grabbing Danny around the waist with one arm, he rolled over, pulling Danny to his chest and settling once more.

"All in due time Little one, I'll give it to you soon, But now I am tired and need a rest from my travels. Will you not stay here with me for a while?" Danny shifted, grumbling a bit, but was asleep within moments.

Grabbing one of the sleeping boy's hands, he rubbed absently at the torn flesh, kissing one of the calluses forming there. He was trying so very hard, he deserved a break.

Saka fallowed him in slumber.

--

I've been lazy.

My main problem is that damn lack of Internet. Not only am I unable to post, but I am unable to get inspiration from other fics.

I've been reduced to a sudden rabid obsession with Superman/Brainiac 5 from TLOS (and maybe a little Superman x/brainiac 5 too) and because of my lack of Internet, it has overshadowed all my other obsessions, leaving me with little enthusiasm for any DP slash until I can go to my e-mail and spend pointless hours reading all of the updated DP slash fics to re obtain my normal zeal. I don't blame you if you find these recent chapters lacking, but hopefully once I get this on paper, and recharge my Dpslash-o-meter, I can rewrite them latter for more goodyness XD.

Not only that, but I'm choosing to go over all my old stuff. Some of you might have noticed that I already did this for Bloody addictions. (YAY! BETTER SPELLCHECK! I know many of you have been struggling with my poor spelling, this should help) I won't be updated until I check over all the old. It shouldn't take too long. It only too two days to go over bloody addictions. All I have is little secret and the fist two chapters of darkness. I'll try to update darkness for all you fans, and I'm tired of the standstill that's been forced on BA, so I'm continuing with the story line within the next two chapters. Heck, I'm already half way through with Little secret. But I'm not really rewriting it. I just reread five or six chapters, and ran it through my new spell check. I still hate the first few chapters, but the spell check will make it a little nicer for those who have never read it.

I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!! THANKS FOR STICKING THIS OUT WITH ME!! cries

I really appreciate it, really. Here's hoping the internet stays long enough for you guys to get some confidence back in me, huh? I'll update soon.

(1) I mixed two sayings here to pove how crazy they are. Ywo pease of a pod and two brids of a feather.

(2) a type of fruit native to the vampires world. it fades from yellow to red as it ripens, and the texture is similar to that to a watermelon, a cross between meat and pulp