Title: Masquerade
Author: freeradical9

E-mail: freeradical9 (at) gmail (.) com
Webpage: http://freeradical9.livejournal.com

Pairing: Ukoku/Hakkai
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: AU. Masks, explicit M/M, bondage, and tantric sex.

Summary: A younger Ukoku and a Hakkai bereft of the influence of friends find that they have much in common.

A/N: Written for vom_marlowe's amazing Anonymous Saiyuki kink meme, for the prompt: (Ukoku/Hakkai) Masquerade, Bondage…and Hakkai loosing the limiters for a time. This is an AU primarily in order to avoid non-con, with apologies for any historical or religious inaccuracies. Any OOC-ness is completely intentional.

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It was the mask that caught Ukoku's attention first.

In a roomful of European-style masks in the creams and golds and dark greens that were currently the height of court fashion, the stark white, black and red lacquer of the oriental mask stood out in the sea of carved faces. It was, Ukoku noted, an interesting choice of character. A smiling boar. The foreign mask somehow managed to exude an air of quiet menace, even though the tusked mouth gaped open in a wide, almost obscene grin.

Drawn in despite himself, for Ukoku rarely took an interest in anyone or any thing, he skirted the edge of the ballroom, watching. The boar cut an impeccable figure on the dance floor in his smart velvet justaucorps and waistcoat, dark brown hair caught up in a black tie at the nape of his neck. His steps were lithe and graceful as he moved from partner to partner amidst the glitter and lights. A chance round brought him to within three paces, and Ukoku caught his breath as he saw, at odds with the persona of the pig, the keen intelligence of the green eyes glittering behind the mask.

The eyes were intelligent...and hooded with boredom. Ukoku sensed immediately that there was any place this man would rather be then stuck here in the crowd. It seemed they shared the same sentiments on that count.

Still, Ukoku watched. He never hurried, preferring to take the full measure of a situation before making any move of his own. He went for a drink, made polite conversation with two young ladies over hors d'oerves, and got a breath of fresh air by an open window, all the while keeping a discrete eye on the wearer of the oriental mask. By the time he returned to his original post, near the foot of the dais where the lord of the manor presided over the evening festivities, Ukoku had made up his mind.

It was the glint of silver that was the final factor in his decision. The silver cuffs that adorned the boar's left ear were brilliant, exotic, and--he could tell even from this distance, laced with foreign magic. Ukoku's religious training made him realize instantly what they were for. Youryoku limiters. He knew that youkai were relatively common in the orient, even though they were rare here in the West. His blood stirred, and without half-realizing what he was doing, he found himself stepping out onto the rich parquet of the dance floor.

A young lady in fawn petticoats with a fox mask who was supposed to be the boar's next partner gave a startled "Oh!" as Ukoku cut in. The boar looked equally startled for a moment to find that he suddenly had a dance partner who was a man. His steps never faltered, however, as they swept past the displaced fox-girl amid shocked whispers of scandal from the dancers around them.

Surprise gave way to dark amusement, and the boar kept his hands deliberately at Ukoku's wrist and waist. "You dance the lady's part flawlessly," he said after a moment. He was slightly out of breath after participating in so many sets. His voice was light and rich, and sent shivers up Ukoku's spine. "Have you had a great deal of practice at it?"

"I find it wise to know both sides of a dance," Ukoku said disarmingly. "Tradition holds that the male position leads, but there are conflicting opinions about which partner is actually in control."

The look in the green eyes shifted from mild curiosity to active interest at those words. As the dance steps called again for the next change in partner, they both simultaneously stepped out of the line.

"Care for a stroll in the gardens?" Ukoku asked in an offhand manner. "It's a lovely night."

"Quite."

Ignoring the murmurs that followed after, the two of them left the great hall.

It was indeed a lovely evening, and since it was still early, it was relatively easy to find a secluded alcove not already occupied with private trysts.

"Shall we dispense with masks?" Ukoku asked, crossing to a stone railing overlooking a secluded fountain. Without waiting for an answer, he reached up and untied the crow mask that covered his face, lowering the wooden panel and tossing it carelessly aside.

He heard the other man draw in a startled breath, and didn't have long to wonder at the cause. The oriental mask came down. Ukoku stilled.

It was almost like looking into a mirror. The likeness was truly uncanny. In the light from the full moon above, they stared at each other. Certainly, there were small things that were not the same. The color of their eyes, the cut of their hair, and a very slight disparity in height. The similarities far outweighed the differences, however.

"Ukoku," he managed, by way of introduction.

"Hakkai," the other replied.

Ukoku took a step, closing the distance between them. He caught at the hand holding the boar mask. Slipping the white lacquered wood from unresisting fingers, he tossed it onto the ground beside the mask of the crow.

"Does it bother you?" he asked softly, raising those pale fingers to his mouth, brushing his lips over the knuckles before turning the hand up to nip lightly across the palm. "We could be twins."

He heard Hakkai's breath catch, and saw a flicker of heat in eyes already heavy-lidded with desire. "It doesn't," he answered simply. "Not at all."

"
Good." Ukoku stepped back, keeping his grip on Hakkai's fingers, and Hakkai allowed himself to be pulled over to the stone rail. Jackets and waistcoats came off in short order to fall on the ground beside the masks. It was then, under cover of opening the fastening of a lace-trimmed shirt cuff, that Ukoku slipped a stolen silk curtain pull around Hakkai's wrist.

Hakkai wasn't expecting it. By the time he realized, his abortive attempt to intercept Ukoku's reach for the ear cuffs was pulled up short. The taut noose of the curtain pull tethered his hand to the rail. Ukoku plucked the silver cuffs free--effectively removing the youkai's mask of humanity.

The transformation was instantaneous. ...And mesmerizing. Vines unfurled across Hakkai's skin. His hair lengthened and pulled free of the restraining tie. Ears sharpened, nails lengthened, and most fascinating of all...as his pupils changed to slits, the green irises turned a brilliant hue of gold.

Golden eyes. Such a very rare breed of youkai. His story must be fascinating. Ukoku resolved to ask about it if the opportunity presented itself.

Those gold eyes turned on him, wary and guarded. Hakkai almost certainly knew how youkai were regarded in the West.

"How did you know?" he said flatly.

Ukoku shrugged. "Youkai are something of an interest for me. I've made a bit of a study on the subject."

"I see."

"Just so you know, this hasn't changed my plans for the evening one bit." Ukoku twisted the silk rope so that Hakkai's wrist was pulled taut against the rail, stepping forward so that they were nearly chest-to-chest. Hakkai's skin was giving off heat, Ukoku could feel it through his clothing, and this close his scent was a heady and intoxicating musk.

There was the subtle flash of pointed teeth in the moonlight, a savage grin. "And you think I'll just say yes?" Hakkai refused to give ground before Ukoku's advance, and his voice had taken on a deeper, wilder timbre. "You would have done better to leave the limiters on, in that case."

Things that are easy are boring. Ukoku didn't say it out loud, it would have revealed too much. Instead, Ukoku tilted his head forward, and lightly ran his tongue over the flawless curve of bared fangs. He felt the youkai shudder, and leaned forward, probing with lips and tongue insistently, seeking entrance to his mouth.

He didn't succeed. The silken rope parted abruptly, cut by a sharp youkai talon. Before Ukoku could do much about that, he found his hand suddenly pinned against the very same stone railing. The vines, he saw to his fascination, were unwinding from the youkai, wrapping around Ukoku's wrist and binding it immovably to the rail. He gave a sharp tug, and found that it didn't budge an inch. "How very novel," he murmured

"Isn't it," the youkai purred. A clawed hand came up, and raked along the shirt seam over the top of Ukoku's shoulder. Cloth parted, leaving bare, unmarked skin. The same motion was performed over the other side, and the shirt fell off in tatters. Before Ukoku could so much as blink, Hakkai had buried his face into the bared joint between neck and shoulder. The youkai inhaled deeply, drinking in the scent of him, fangs only a heartbeat away from the human's jugular.

Heat clenched in the pit of Ukoku's stomach. As if Hakkai could sense it, a vine-marked palm came up sensuously to stroke across dusky nipples, causing Ukoku to catch his breath. The human twined the fingers of his free hand into the long, dark hair, guiding Hakkai's head up, wanting the feel of youkai fangs against his mouth. Hakkai obliged this time, and as lips touched Ukoku opened for him, tasting the subtle foreign spice of his mouth. Ukoku gave in to temptation and lapped shamelessly at the elegant youkai canines, shivering as he almost gouged his tongue on the sharp points.

A talon sliced through the fastening on Ukoku's breeches, releasing some of the building pressure, but not yet freeing him from the cloth. Instead, Hakkai leaned in, devouring his mouth as he pushed Ukoku back against the rail. Clawed hands gripped stone on either side of him as the youkai's cloth-covered erection pressed up against his own.

It was excellent, everything that he had been hoping it would be. However, this was where their intentions for the nighttime encounter diverged. Ukoku really couldn't allow things to continue in this direction for very long.

In utter silence, as was his gift, Ukoku invoked tantras, using his unbound hand to slap slim rectangles of paper over Hakkai's wrists, pinning his hands to the rail. The shadowy vines binding his own wrist melted away under the seal.

There was a pause. Hakkai looked at the tantras with surprise and consternation, as Ukoku ducked out from under the cage of his arms. Hakkai's tawny eyes narrowed. "You know Eastern magic."

"Mmm. Yes."

The gold eyes followed him as Ukoku stepped around behind the youkai, looking him up and down. The constraints of court fashion did not suit him at all in this form. Suddenly, Ukoku wanted to see him naked, in all of his wild glory.

Ukoku used his religious training to summon single-point concentration, and used it to flay the gaudy clothing from Hakkai's body. In tatters more thorough than even youkai claws could have done, cloth slipped away from uninjured flesh. Ukoku had to pause a moment, just to look, as the full youkai form was unmasked in the moonlight.

"Magnificent," he breathed. He reached out, tracing lightly over vine patterns on the muscular shoulders, the ribs, and down over the buttocks. "Simply magnificent." With hands that shook ever so slightly, he drew out a small vial of oil he carried with him for just such occasions.

Hakkai simply stood, still as a statue, watching him in the moonlight. He didn't struggle against the tantras, as Ukoku had thought he might. Nor did he look at all subdued. The tawny eyes were alert, calculating, as he watched Ukoku slick himself. The youkai made no move at all as the human stepped forward, naked chest pressing up against the vine-marked back. No move until the oiled fingers slid easily between his legs, brushing insistently over the skin around his opening.

Then the stone railing blew apart.

Qigong. Ukoku sensed it, but not in time to stop it. Hakkai was apparently familiar with some Eastern techniques of his own.

Qigong was not a youkai power, and fell outside the tantra's ability to bind. Knowing that his hold over the youkai had just slipped disastrously, Ukoku followed distraction as one of the only avenues of control left open to him. He pressed forward and in.

Hakkai made a noise deep in his throat, a mix of surprise and pleasure as Ukoku's cock filled him up. It would have been an almost comical sound--if Ukoku had any thought to spare aside from how good he felt inside. Ukoku wanted more. Looping a hand over the youkai's shoulder and another one across the muscular abdomen, he pushed deeper into that tight heat. He heard Hakkai give an almost contented sigh.

"Just so there's no misunderstanding," Hakkai said softly, sounding oddly clear-headed in spite of the fact that he had a dick buried deep in his ass. Ukoku shivered as the points of talons slid beneath his jaw and prickled against the soft part of his throat. "Our situations could easily be reversed at this moment. I'm allowing you to finish what you've started simply because I'm being polite."

Point made, the claws slipped away again. As Ukoku watched, Hakkai deliberately placed his hands onto the rubble of the railing, allowing the still-active tantras to re-seal his flesh to the stone.

Ukoku wasn't foolish enough to believe that the action was motivated by trust. Rather, he sensed that it was desperate isolation and driving mutual desire. The voluntary submission aroused Ukoku with a heat that was almost painful, and he nudged the youkai's thighs open wider, burning with need.

A golden eye rolled back to look at him in languid unconcern. Then Ukoku was gasping, clutching at him and moaning helplessly as that tight passage rippled. He could hardly breathe as musculature that no human being possessed contracted around him, causing him to thrust forward involuntarily. If his cock had been hard before, now it felt like iron, swollen and hot and aching.

Ukoku knew the person in control here wasn't himself. Both hating and loving the small, helpless noises that were coming from his own throat, he opened his lips over a pale shoulder and bit down to muffle the sound. Hakkai purred and arched his spine, taking Ukoku's cock deeper, even as that passage continued to flex. It tightened in a series of hot, hard strokes around him, and then Ukoku was coming in a rush of sensation. He stifled a shout as his body tensed and shuddered, and white-hot pleasure swept over him in a wave.

"Damn you," he muttered, once he was finally able to manage speech.

Hakkai chuckled darkly. Ukoku noted, as he pulled free and stepped back, that the youkai was still fully aroused.

Perfect.

Taking advantage of the fact that the tantras still sealed Hakkai's hands to what was left of the stone railing, Ukoku reached out and caressed the ridges of the bared spine with his thumbs.

"I know what you want," Ukoku murmured, running his hands over the vine-marked skin. "...And I'm not going to give it to you." He watched the gold eyes narrow dangerously, and smiled. "Only because I would very much like for us to see each other again. And lest you think that I won't make it worth your while...."

He stepped forward, ducked under Hakkai's immobilized arm, and dropped to his knees between the youkai and the rail.

Hakkai purred approval as Ukoku opened his mouth and took him in. What he didn't anticipate was the hand that slid up over his thigh to rest above his navel, aligning with the chakra point Manipura even as Ukoku's other hand traced up over the swell of one smooth buttock and found Swadhisthara, the chakra point of desire.

As Ukoku's mouth and tongue began to work skillfully over the heated flesh of that sweet erection, he stroked the energies in Hakkai's body as well. Ukoku hummed around the vine-marked cock, sub vocalized vibrations manipulating the chakra points, stoking desire from Swadhisthara even as he used Manipura to keep the rising tide in check.

As Hakkai had demonstrated control by making him come too quickly, Ukoku did the opposite...by denying him release. He heard a ragged whimper come from above and was well pleased. Ukoku sucked at him, stroking with his tongue, scraping with his teeth, until the youkai was moaning helplessly. Hakkai was trembling now, head thrown back, claws digging into the remains of the rail as the energies intensified within. The vines that covered him were sealed to skin by the tantras, but they lashed and writhed over him like living things.

Ukoku teased him, tempted him, toyed with him. Drawing out pleasure until it was sweet agony swelling beneath the skin. Hakkai was panting raggedly, thrusting forward deep into the human's throat, and still Ukoku refused to grant him release. He kneaded the point above Hakkai's tailbone with fingers and sound, manipulating the chakra energies in tandem with his ministrations of the flesh. Under his skilled touch, ecstasy built into an all-consuming force, pure, intense, and diamond-bright.

A change in pitch, and control unwound as Ukoku released the chakra point at the navel at last. Hakkai tensed at the sudden shift, and then he was writhing in the throes of climax, letting out a mindless cry as he came hot and hard into Ukoku's mouth. Ukoku took it all, deep-throating his cock and swallowing rapidly around him, feeling the warm, silken slide of the youkai's seed all the way down as hardened flesh pulsed repeatedly against that moist heat.

Hakkai stayed in that position, arched back, taut and trembling, for long moments. Then his knees buckled under him and he sank slowly down to the ground.

His hands were still anchored to the rail on either side of Ukoku. Unable to resist, Ukoku tipped up the drooping chin. The youkai's lips were soft and unresisting as Ukoku once again sampled the sleek fangs and subtle spice--letting the youkai savor himself with the taste buds for bitterness located on the back of his tongue.

When Ukoku was quite finished, Hakkai said pointedly, "The tantras, if you please."

They both knew the request was something of a formality. If Hakkai wanted to, he could simply use qigong to blow apart the rest of the rail.

Just to spite him, Ukoku put the limiters back on him first. It was only after the vines had faded away into unmarked skin, the fangs retracted, and the gold shifted back once more into the vibrant green of high spring, that Ukoku peeled away the sealing strips of paper from the backs of Hakkai's hands. He performed the action in silence, the same way he had bound them.

Freed, Hakkai shifted to sit with his back against the rail beside the human. He glanced at the other man sidelong. "You seem to be familiar with an astonishing variety of techniques," he observed.

Ukoku shrugged. "I've traveled a lot." It had been true even before he'd received his new name, back when he'd still been Ken'yuu. They shared that in common as well.

"I see." Hakkai idly picked through the shreds of cloth and lace that littered the ground. "My clothing seems to be a bit the worse for wear as a result." He reached for his jacket, which had survived intact, since it had been removed before Ukoku had disintegrated the rest of his wardrobe.

Ukoku watched him silently. To his own surprise, even after what had just happened, he felt a lingering fascination with this youkai. As he realized that, his own past words to a sometimes-mentor came back to him just then. I want something that doesn't bore me. "Where are you staying, if I may ask?"

"I'm here as a guest of the lord of the manor. My room is somewhere over there." Hakkai made a vague gesture towards the guest wing of the house as he settled the justaucorps over his naked shoulders. He pulled the jacket closed, looking a bit ruefully down at his bare feet. "At least I don't have far to go."

Ukoku rarely took an interest in anyone or any thing. When he did, it rapidly became an obsession. He could feel it taking root inside of him even now. "How wonderful," he said simply, rising to his feet and claiming his own jacket and the two discarded masks from the ground.

Hakkai looked at him a bit sharply at that.

"I, too, am a guest here," he explained. "For the next fortnight or so." Green eyes met black, and Ukoku smiled as he handed the oriental boar mask back to Hakkai.

"I guess I'll see you around."

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