Title: Close Contact
Author: Jennie B. (http://seshats-prodigy.livejournal.com)
Pairing: Genjo Sanzo x Cho Hakkai
Fandom: Saiyuki

Theme: #3 – jolt!
Disclaimer: They don’t belong to me…I'm just abusing them for my entertainment for a while, and will return them in almost the same condition they started in…
Rating: Teen (for language, mild kissing)

It was one of those rare moments on their journey. The brunette had nothing to do, his companions were otherwise engaged, and he was free to do as he pleased. Taking his cup of tea, he settled on the small couch in their hotel suite and turned the television on low. He didn't need it to be very loud to hear it; his youkai hearing was extremely sensitive and was able to pick up the voice of the news anchor with no problem. A wry smile crossed his face as he thought about that. It was the fourth anniversary of his 'rebirth'; often, he wondered what he'd be doing now if Fate hadn't intervened in his life as she had. Setting his cup on the small end table, he brought his hand up to run over the discrete ear cuffs on his left ear. His true youkai form was truly something to behold, and while he respected the strength and power he possessed when unrestrained, he also feared and loathed it. He told himself that it was to make sure they were still there, that he would hate to lose one. A smaller part of him maintained that they were like a security blanket; they made him feel safe and in control. He also kind of liked them.

Only half-listening to the news broadcast, he turned inward with his musing. Hakkai didn't like to talk about his demon power limiters. He had in the past, and he would if someone asked him, but he preferred not to. Those three small metal bands were something of a marvel, and it never failed to amaze the brunette that those tiny clips were capable of holding back something so devastating. The youkai he had encountered thus far had always worn only one. Goku had asked him once why he had three, and the green-eyed male had smiled hesitantly at the question, not quite sure how to answer. But, before he could offer a reply, Sanzo had seen the discomfited expression on the healer's face. Swatting the golden-eyed teen hard with his harisen, the blonde had growled out a terse, "Mind your own damned business! Just because we call you a monkey, you don't have to act like one!"

It really was odd. One should have been enough. He could still remember crawling through Hyakugan Mao's castle that fated night. He was scared and confused over what had happened, and was struggling to hold his viscera inside his body while simultaneously fighting to keep control over his new form. Not many of the youkai in the castle had worn limiters – there had been no need to in those days. Growing increasingly frustrated, he had picked over the blood soaked corpses, looking for some way to repress the incredibly brutal thoughts he was having, his newfound demon blood feeding on and strengthening the negative emotions that already coursed through him. Finally, he had found a young man and had taken the small cuff from his ear. Hakkai had felt his body return more or less to his human form, but the cruel thoughts still consumed his mind, and a raging hatred coursed through his veins. A second band completed the transformation, but his thoughts were still dominated by an irrational fury and a desire to hurt others the way he had been hurt. It was only by the addition of a third that he found he was truly in control of himself.

Hakkai often wondered what it was about his youkai form that required three; why he was so much stronger than the majority of his kith. Of course, he had his theories. Nevertheless, he was very careful about keeping that power locked away, and that made him extremely guarded about his ears – almost to the point of being irrational. Shortly after his change, a young man had unwisely leaned down to whisper something in his ear, and before he'd managed the first word, Hakkai had had him up against the wall by the throat, much to the other's surprise. He'd relaxed somewhat as time had passed, and he could handle people being close to him, but he still didn't like anyone touching them – not without his permission. And that was something he'd never given.

It wasn't that it hurt him if they were, though. In fact, for him, it felt quite pleasurable – not so much erotic as it was soothing. It was almost as if the clips would pulse in harmony with his heartbeat, sending a small, warm jolt of energy through his body. Quite often, if he was stressed or trying to come up with a solution to a problem, he could be seen lightly running his fingers around the shell of his ear, stimulating the area. When he did that, it was a double sensation as he could feel a slight resistance in his fingertips, like a static field.

He felt a weight settle beside him, and was surprised to see Sanzo there. The blonde had been perusing the paper, and Hakkai hadn't paid him much bother, knowing that the monk didn't like to be disturbed when he was reading. Turning to look at his friend, he'd arched a brow when he saw Sanzo set his glasses on the arm of the couch and lean back, just watching him. "Sanzo?"

The blonde dropped his gaze under the guise of looking for a cigarette, and after he'd lit one, he asked cryptically, "Do you trust me, Hakkai?"

"That's a foolish question."

"God damn it, just answer me!"

The brunette's second brow joined the first in his surprise at the urgency in the monk's voice. "You know that I do. Implicitly. I'm surprised you'd ask me that."

"Good." Sanzo shifted a little closer to the other male. "You've seemed on edge lately. More so than usual. And distant; it's like you're a million miles away."

"Have I?" Green eyes were studying the monk, a hint of curiosity in their depths.

The blonde nodded. "I think I know why. And really, it's nothing to be afraid of." He held up a hand, moving it forward, and then pausing at the youkai's ear. "May I?"

Hakkai reflexively leaned away from the other, one hand slowly curling defensively into a fist of its own accord. "I –"

The violet gaze was unwavering. "You said you trusted me. Implicitly." When Sanzo received no further comment or resistance, he moved his hand closer, letting it hover just over the topmost limiter. His brow furrowed slightly as he felt the surge of energy tickle his fingertips. "Is that –"

"Yes," Hakkai whispered back, his eyes now locked with the blonde's. "It's just a fraction of it, though. I didn't know you'd feel it, too..." He licked his suddenly dry lips, silently telling the other that he was alright, and to proceed.

Sanzo's hand gently brushed against the small clip, and he started slightly when he felt the energy pulse. "Holy shit, Hakkai…that's incredible."

The brunette's eyes fell closed at the touch, a soft gasp escaping him. The feeling it touched off inside him was entirely different. Seemingly more intimate, more sensual. "Surely it's a similar sensation with Goku," he remarked, trying to keep the waver from his voice and his breathing even.

The blonde shook his head, elegant fingers now tracing gently along the shell of the other's ear. "No, there's nothing. But then, his coronet was made by the gods, so it's different from yours. Although, I'd bet that this is something unique to you. In all my years, I've never heard of or seen anything like this." When the only reply he received was an absent 'Mm hmm,' and he felt the other lean into his touch, a small smile curved up the corners of his mouth. He continued to gently caress the area, taking note of the subtle changes he felt as the brunette's mood shifted. "Feel a bit better, Hakkai?" he asked a few moments later as he dropped his hand away.

"Actually…yes," the green-eyed male replied as he blinked his eyes open, a somewhat sheepish smile on his face. The blonde's touch had been intense, like nothing he'd felt before. And he wanted to feel it again. Idly, he wondered if he'd feel so content with anyone's touch, or if it was just Sanzo that would evoke that sensation. He suspected the latter, and truthfully, he had no real inclination to find out. Suddenly, he chuckled. "So, why the sudden fascination with my limiters? Is this a recent development, or have you secretly been wondering about them all these years?"

A faint blush coloured the fair-haired man's cheeks. "Partly. I admit to being a bit curious," he remarked finally. "But there's more to it than that. I know what today is, and I know how you feel about that." The pink deepened as he continued. "I've watched you, Hakkai, and I know that relaxes you. I've always wondered if you'd let...and I just..." There was a pause. "I know you don't discuss it much and I'm…I'm sorry if I embarrassed you." He crushed out the stub of his cigarette into a nearby ashtray, looking quite discomfited himself.

"You didn't. Honestly, I liked it. I think I'd let you do it again, if you wanted to." Hakkai's smile turned coy. "You're the first person I've let do so. Probably the last, too."

"Really?" A pleased expression settled on Sanzo's face. "Well, in that case…" In a rare moment of openness, the blonde's shields dropped, allowing the other man a brief glimpse at the genuine, unguarded adoration shining in those violet eyes. For a fraction of a second, the monk hesitated before he seemed to mentally steel his resolve. Leaning forward, he placed a shy, gentle kiss on the brunette's lips. "Thank you."

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