TITLE: To Love The One You Love
PAIRING: Foreground Gojyo/Hakkai, background Doku/Kou
RATING: K (unless gay = adult theme; if so, K+)
One-shot; 996 words
SUMMARY: Dokugakuji brings surprising news to his brother--but Gojyo has a surprise of his own. ============================================================
Man, is our timing good or what, thought Gojyo. The first hot evening of the summer, and they'd finished hanging the porch screens last weekend. All they needed to do was ice some sake' and bingo--a poker evening of bug-free comfort.
Hakkai set down the card table and wiped his forehead. "If it's as hot tonight as the forecast says, we might bring out the futon and sleep on the porch. I'm sure it'll be cooler than the bedroom."
"Let's do that." --You and me on a futon under the stars…oh yeah, our timing is really good…
As Gojyo carried out the ice bucket and cards, Hakuryu streaked past him and flew at the screen door, kyuu'ing and beating his white wings against it. Batlike silhouette against the western sky, unmistakable: a riding-dragon from Houtou Castle.
Company? or does Kougaiji need help?-- But as the steed began to descend and he made out the tall, broad-shouldered form of the rider, he couldn't keep the grin off his face. He waved from the porch steps as Dokugakuji dismounted; Hakkai headed for the well to draw water for the dragon.
"Just in time for a drink, bro. C'mon in."
Doku smiled, and it was the oddest smile. Hesitant, determinedly brave, as if he wasn't sure he was welcome. "I have news, and I wanted to tell you myself."
"Um--" carefully--"okay, shoot."
--Deep breath. "--I'm getting married."
"--well, damn! Congratulations, man! Who's the lucky babe?" (--he had a girlfriend? or--hey, Yaone?--) He reached out to hug the big youkai, but Doku stepped back, raising one hand.
"--it may be hard for you to understand, but I want you to know nothing's changed. I'm the same person as ever. And even if you can't accept this, I'll still be your brother, and I love you, no matter what."
He was so dead-serious that Gojyo stood speechless, baffled. What could he possibly--
--what was he marrying, a kitsune? a human?
--well, he had another think coming if he thought that would freak Sha Gojyo out.
"Dok--Jien, this is me, remember? I've seen a lot of stuff in the big wide world, OK? I don't care if you're marrying the lady you rode in on, I'll love her like a sister if that's what--"
Doku chuckled helplessly, shaking his head. "--you make it sound so simple." The clear honest eyes met his, straight on. "It's not a lady at all. It's a man. Kou."
"I'm marrying Kougaiji." His brother's whole heart was in those eyes. "I love him, and he loves me."
And Gojyo said the exact first words that came into his mouth.
"Why, you lucky bastard."
Doku's jaw literally dropped open. "You--you mean it?"
And now Gojyo did hug him. "Of course I do. He's not only a prince, he's freakin' gorgeous, and--ahh, man, we all thought there was something more between you two."
"You did?" The big guy actually blushed; it was cuter than you'd guess. "I thought we were more discreet than that."
"Don't worry about it. With these guys you learn to read the fine print." He clapped Jien on the back. "C'mon, this really calls for a drink."
The sake' was well chilled by now, and Hakkai rejoined them, breaking out the best set of sake' cups, as Doku explained that the Youkai King is permitted to marry twice: one husband and one wife. "I wish you could have seen his face when he asked us. I never knew he could smile like that. Of course, both Yaone and I accepted at once." He smiled fondly, eyes warm and tender. "He said few kings are as lucky as he is, to have two people to love and share the throne with…Ah, listen to me. I shouldn't talk about him so personally."
"No, go ahead." Gojyo poured a refill. "You don't know how good it is to see you this happy."
Doku took the shot. "To be honest, I was terrified to tell you. I knew you were open-minded, but you've always seemed…well, so straight…"
--sweet Tenkai, the guy has no clue…
--but who'd've guessed we were this much alike?…
He grinned. "I'll tell you, bro, it means a lot to me that it's okay with you." And just to make it out-loud-obvious, he leaned his head against Hakkai's shoulder.
The big guy's astonished guffaw was so loud they probably heard it back at Houtou.
Gojyo admired his engraved invitation while Hakkai carefully tucked three more into his sash. "I'll make sure Sanzo and Goku get these."
"Please do. Lady Lirin was most insistent that her favorite should be there."
"…we won't tell him that." Hakkai headed tactfully for the door. ''--I'll bring your dragon, then."
"You don't have to wait for a party or a battle, you know. You're welcome at the castle anytime."
"Well, maybe now that I'm related to the Prince Consort, I'll come by more often."
"Please do. " The deep voice was thoughtful. "…With everything we've been through…somehow we've both managed to find people to love." He smiled at his brother. "We haven't done so badly, have we?"
"Sure haven't." Gojyo almost purred in the warm, solid hug. Felt good.
They stood watching as the dragon disappeared into the west; Gojyo tucked an arm around Hakkai's waist. "My brother's marrying a king. Imagine that."
Hakkai leaned comfortably into the embrace. "We'll need new clothes. And a gift. I wonder what's appropriate."
"Well, we're not figuring it out tonight. --Damn, it's hot." Gojyo wiped his brow. "You still feel like a game or two? Don't think I'm sleeping anytime soon."
"Fine idea. And let's start by bringing that futon out here." Deep green eyes caught the lantern light. "I want to spend the whole night close to you."
Gojyo thought those were all very fine ideas indeed.