Title: Knocking on Forbidden Doors

Author: jinxaire

Rating: NC-17

Pairing(s): Kougaiji x Hakkai

Disclaimer: These beautiful men are owned by Minekura instead of me, unfortunately.  The story title was lifted from a song by Enigma.

Summary: Hakkai bumps into someone unexpected one evening at the festival.

Warnings: Mild Bondage

Author's Note:  This was written for the 2009 Yuletide Smut exchange.  Beta'd by the fabulous Whymzycal and Yuki Hana.

 

"Hey, 'Kai, check out that one." 

 

Gojyo gently nudged Hakkai's side, nodding with a conspiratorial wink towards a beautiful brunette who stood with a couple of her friends at a jewelry merchant's stand. 

 

"She's giving you the eye, man.  Why don't you go say hi, eh?"

 

With a sigh, Hakkai looked in the woman's direction and saw that Gojyo was correct.  Smoky gray eyes glittered at him as painted lips lifted into a seductive smile.  His face flushed slightly in embarrassment when he caught sight of her outfit -- the fabric was too sheer to properly conceal the curves of her breasts, and her nipples were visible to him even at this distance.  To be polite, Hakkai smiled back, but he quickly looked away before she took it as an invitation to come over and introduce herself. 

 

"Hakkai, what are you doing?  She's hot and totally into you," Gojyo hissed into his ear.

 

Hakkai's smile sharpened dangerously.  "If you're so interested, Gojyo, perhaps you should go introduce yourself to her instead.  I'm sure you'd find more enjoyment in entertaining her than I would."

 

Gojyo's only response was an exasperated sigh.  Thankfully, he didn't push the issue further, nor did he get up to flirt with the women.  He simply stared at Hakkai with reproach in his eyes, which Hakkai fully ignored.  On the other side of him, Goku sat on the fountain's edge, squirming uncomfortably until the women wandered away from the stall.  The brunette cast one last look at Hakkai over her shoulder before disappearing into the crowd, her hips swaying under the brilliantly colored layers of her silk skirt.

 

Gojyo gazed after them mournfully before fishing a cigarette and lighter out to indulge in one of his favorite hobbies: lung destruction.

 

Goku finally relaxed, leaning in towards Hakkai with wide eyes. 

 

"Hey, Hakkai.  I think she was pervy, anyways.  Did you see inside her shirt?  She had an earring in her-"

 

"Ah ha ha," Hakkai hastily interrupted.  "Yes, I know.  She really wasn't my type, Goku." 

 

Most of the women in this city dressed in a similar fashion; they had little regard for modesty,  Hakkai had noticed with regret.  Gojyo had been deep in the throes of rapture, leering at the scantily clad women with their bronzed skin and carefully painted faces from the moment they had arrived.  Voluptuous curves were on display everywhere, many looking about to burst from their restraining silk or cotton wraps.  More than one woman had passed by wearing gauzy clouds of fabric that did nothing to hide the dark nipples underneath that were sometimes even adorned with glints of gold or silver. 

 

They had arrived in the city earlier that day and found it in the middle of a week-long annual festival.  As far as Hakkai could discern, it had originally been a religious thanksgiving for good harvests and fertility, but over time it had morphed into a hedonistic celebration of food, arts, and sex -- which would, of course, be incomplete without all of the merchants within a fortnight's traveling distance convening here to hawk their wares. 

 

Sanzo had been livid when he discovered that they wouldn't be able to leave the city until the festival was over.  The city's western gates guarded the entrance to a pass that contained the only bridge over a gorge that cut into the earth for miles.  The gate was currently closed; the plaza that led to the gate was blocked by a performance stage and even more merchant stalls.  If they chose to leave the city from the eastern gate and drive around the gorge, it would be no more efficient than just waiting out the festival.

 

After checking into a hotel and indulging in a hot shower, though, Sanzo's mood had improved considerably.  Hakkai had gently pointed out to Sanzo that the three day's rest would do wonders for them and put them back on the road with renewed fighting spirits.  At least, that had been what Hakkai had been looking forward to until Sanzo's stomach rebelled against whatever tainted bit of street food he had mistaken for edible and actually eaten.  Personally, Hakkai thought the warm mayonnaise Sanzo had slathered his lunch with was rather suspect.

 

They'd rushed to find a public convenience before Sanzo could embarrass himself in the street.  No doubt Hakkai would be stuck tending to Sanzo and possibly Gojyo for the rest of their "vacation."  Gojyo had the unfortunate tendency to pick up those types of bugs as well, despite not having an unhealthy addiction to mayonnaise and stale food. 

 

It was because of Sanzo's situation that they sat here at the fountain in front of the public restroom, where Goku was hungrily sniffing at the wafting scents of cooking food and pointing at the various spectacles in the crowd.  Gojyo was ogling the attractive women, and Hakkai was sincerely hoping that he wouldn't have to go fish Sanzo out of the toilet.  Hakkai pinched the bridge of his noise, sensing an oncoming headache.

 

In the plaza around the fountain, happy festival-goers laughed and cheered at the various performers.  Everyone seemed to adhere to a strict dress code of "loud and tacky," and many wore enough gold to fill a temple's coffers.  Merchants were selling a plethora of items, everything from iridescent, hand-blown glassware to strange animals that hissed, squealed, and squawked from inside their cages.

 

Of course, what was distracting Goku the most was the food.   The air was redolent with the scents of grilled meats, fragrantly spiced drinks, and decadent sweets.  Vendors were loudly proclaiming that their products were the tastiest, the cheapest, and the most delectable.  Any moment now the city would have to declare a state of emergency as the flood of saliva drooling from Goku's mouth washed the people and buildings away.  This was despite the fact that one of these vendors had just recently and unwisely provided questionable food to an unpredictably violent sanzo priest.

 

Goku's stomach growled loudly.  He rubbed at it forlornly, then suddenly perked up and elbowed Hakkai in excitement.

 

"Holy crap, that guy just swallowed a sword practically taller than me!  I wouldn't even do that if I was starving," he exclaimed, gaping at a man dressed in such gaudy colors that Hakkai's eyes watered.  Gojyo snickered lewdly and ignored Hakkai's admonishing frown.

 

The restroom doors suddenly swung open and Sanzo strode down the steps.  From his expression, it looked like eminent doom was postponed for at least another day.  He looked irritated and uncomfortable, but that wasn't unusual.  Luckily, his food poisoning didn't seem too acute, or at least not so much that he couldn't withdraw his cigarette and light up without bolting to the toilet again.

 

"If I see that idiot meatball vendor again, I'm going to fill that fat mouth of his with lead," he huffed.

 

"I think I have something in my pack to help settle your stomach," Hakkai said soothingly.  "We can go back to the inn and get some proper food in you.  Afterwards, we can go out and enjoy the festival." 

 

Goku brightened at the prospect of eating and jumped from his seat even as Gojyo's eyes glittered in a way that clearly showed that his own focus wasn't on food.

 

"I'm fine," Sanzo grumbled.  "I don't feel like having to restrain these two animals trying to get through this circus.  I'll go back by myself, and you can deal with them."  He fished out the gold card and handed it to Hakkai.

 

"Circus, Sanzo?"  Gojyo leered.  "Don't be shitting on the biggest festival with the most bodacious babes I've seen since we started this merry-ass trip."  He punctuated his statement by catcalling at a trio of dancing girls.

 

"Gojyo, there will be plenty of time to disrespect the ladies later," Hakkai quickly interjected before Sanzo could whip out his fan.  "Let's get something to eat, then you can look for -- ah -- entertainment."  He steered Gojyo through the crowd with a restraining hand at his elbow.

 

"Man, Hakkai.  You just like to ruin all my fun," Gojyo sighed.

 

Goku whooped and chased after them, naming all of the foods he wanted to eat in the order in which he wanted to devour them. 

 

Sanzo rolled his eyes and headed off in the other direction.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

 

When it was evident that the belly dancers who had just vacated the stage weren't being replaced by more dancing women but instead a musical quartet, Hakkai knew he'd lost Gojyo.  Sure enough, as the four musicians were settling down on the stage, Gojyo leaned in close.

 

"'Hey, 'Kai.  These guys are gonna start with some old folk songs about dead kids and broken hearts any minute now, I just know it.  You don't mind if I go have a couple drinks with them, do ya?"  With a glint in his eye, he nodded towards the pack of swishing hips that were retreating from the bulk of the crowd.

 

Hakkai suppressed an irritated sigh. 

 

"Of course not, Gojyo.  Go ahead and enjoy yourself."  He paused, frowning slightly.  "Do please try not to fall on top of me again in a drunken stupor when you come back to the room tonight, though."

 

Gojyo clapped his shoulder and smirked, but the rosy light from the sinking sun revealed the faint blush that rose to his cheeks.

 

"Sorry about that, man.  The gods dropped this sex bomb off at the wrong address that night," Gojyo laughed with a wink.  "No promises, but I think I'll be falling into someone else's bed tonight."  He started to walk away.  "If I see the monkey, I'll let him know where to find you in case these guys knock you dead with boredom."

 

"Ah, how considerate of you, Gojyo."  Hakkai smiled indulgently and waved as Gojyo disappeared into the crowd.

 

The crowd shifted, bodies rearranging in the area in front of the raised platform as some people decided to look for other entertainment and others dropped in to catch the show.  Slow beats began on a small drum, and a drifting tumble of notes plucked from a stringed instrument started shaping a pensive melody.  Hakkai was grateful for the respite from the festival's happy chaos.  He settled back to enjoy the peaceful music and was finally able to get some breathing space in the thinned crowd.

 

As the song drifted to a close, Hakkai stepped through the crowd to buy a drink.  He waited politely in line at the nearby drink stand, hiding his impatience to get back near the stage where he could hear the music more clearly.  The man in front of him turned too quickly and bumped into him with a surprised grunt.  Searing liquid seeped through his shirt as the aroma of cloves and wine flooded the air.

 

With a pained hiss, Hakkai pulled back, plucking the front of his tunic away from his skin as an apology reflexively sprung to his lips.  "Ah, forgive me, I didn't mean to surprise--"

 

"Cho Hakkai."  The low voice was wary as the man in front of him took a step back.

 

Surprised, Hakkai stopped fussing with his damp shirt and looked up.  He froze as he recognized who had so clumsily spilled the hot drink on him.

 

It was Kougaiji. 

 

His richly colored hair barely reached past his shoulders, tucked behind ears that were shaped in a human curve.  Eyes that Hakkai knew were violet in bright daylight were a mysterious, brooding dark purple here in the early evening, pupils round instead of elliptical.  He wasn't wearing the white suit that Gojyo liked to refer to as "his flashy moon-man costume," but instead had on a less blinding ensemble of dark colors that was inconspicuous in the festival throng.  He had the air of nobility, but his outward appearance didn't declare his station to the strangers around them.  One elegant hand dropped the now-empty paper cup to the stone paving and moved to hover over a gold ring on the other -- his limiter, apparently.

 

Hakkai took a step back and lifted his own hands in readiness for a possible confrontation.

 

"Sanzo's not here," he said automatically as he quickly checked the area for Kougaiji's companions.  He didn't see or sense them but assumed that they were nearby.

 

Kougaiji hesitated, seeming to realize that Hakkai's own companions were absent.  The prince looked at Hakkai's saturated shirt and appeared to come to the obvious conclusion that if Hakkai had actually been pursuing him with negative intent, there'd be more blood involved.  After a moment's deliberation, he relaxed into a less threatening posture.

 

Hakkai let his own hands drop down to his sides and took a closer look at Kougaiji.  Other than the different clothes and the human face, something seemed off about him.  There were shadows under his eyes, and his face looked a little drawn.  There was something almost weary about him.

 

"I'm not here for the sutra.  I wasn't aware that your party was in the city,"  Kougaiji said.  He paused, his manner slightly hesitant.  "I wanted to visit the festival."  He gestured vaguely at the crowd around them.

 

"Ah, I see."  Hakkai was trying to think of a quick exit, but something in Kougaiji's bearing made him change his mind.  The prince looked ... lonely.  Fully expecting to be dismissed, Hakkai nodded back at the refreshment stand.  "Since I'm at fault for causing you to spill your drink, how about I buy you another?"

 

Kougaiji actually blushed, his eyes dropping to Hakkai's stained shirt.  "Forgive me, I'm not usually so clumsy.  It's my fault, really."  His eyes flicked up to meet Hakkai's.  "Let me buy you a drink, unless you were planning on returning to your accommodations to change." 

 

Pleasantly surprised, Hakkai smiled.  "I'd be delighted."  He really wasn't sure what Sanzo would say if he'd found out that Hakkai had drunk wine and watched festival performers with Kougaiji, of all people, but he'd deal with that later.

 

Drinks in hand, they settled near the stage and listened to the performance.  Hakkai had unfastened his tunic and wore it open so both the tunic and his black undershirt could dry more quickly.  He hoped that he didn't smell like a drunk. 

 

It was strange, standing with their enemy in companionable silence as they listened to festival music.  In the evening's dying light, the braziers that had been set up cast a warm glow onto Kougaiji's bronzed skin and threw a veil of mystique over his exotic eyes.  He was listening intently to the melody, the gentle evening breeze playfully tossing strands of his vibrant hair into the air.  Hakkai tried not to stare at him out of the corner of his eye.

 

They didn't speak at first, but during an interlude, Kougaiji turned to face him, his expression serious.  "I want you to know that I have no intention of taking the sutra anymore."

 

The shadow of pain on Kougaiji's face kept Hakkai from immediately jumping to suspicious conclusions.  Something was different about Kougaiji; he'd noticed it earlier.  He seemed ... not broken, but almost dispirited.

 

"Why is that?"  Hakkai kept his voice politely neutral.

 

Kougaiji sighed deeply, turning away to study the dancing flames at the edge of the plaza.  "I overheard a conversation that wasn't meant for my ears."  His voice hardened.  "My entire reason for retrieving the sutra was to have my mother revived from a curse.  Now I know there are no intentions of reviving her even if I were to fulfill my part of the agreement." 

 

Every line in his body was tight with anger.

 

"I have sat by and allowed atrocities to happen -- done things that I am ashamed of -- for absolutely nothing."  His voice was bitter.

 

The prince slumped, and Hakkai had to restrain himself from reaching out to touch Kougaiji's shoulder with understanding.  Instead, he looked down, noticing that the stain on his tunic looked like blood in the darkness.

 

"I understand how you feel, more than you could imagine." 

 

Kougaiji turned to face him with a look of angry disbelief.

 

"The person I loved was taken away from me," Hakkai began hesitantly.  "In vengeance, I killed a lot of people.  Many of them were innocent."  He looked away.  "In the end, everything I had done had been in vain.  I still lost her."

 

Kougaiji absorbed this before letting out a long sigh.  "We're not so dissimilar then, I see."

 

Hakkai made a small noise of agreement.  "What will you do now?"

 

"That bitch Gyokumen doesn't know that I'm aware of her filthy lies yet.  For now, I'll bide my time until I see the right moment to strike."  He crushed the empty paper cup in his fist, his face twisting slightly.  Then, as if sensing Hakkai's next question, he shook his head.  "I'm not ready to speak to Sanzo yet.  I will when the time's right.  For now, I don't want to have to worry about my duties and position."  His voice was heavy.  "Tonight, I don't want to dwell on this mess -- I would like to be just another man visiting this festival."

 

Hakkai was about to respond when a drum began to boom loudly and a woman's voice echoed from the stage.

 

"I hope everyone's been enjoying themselves," called the woman.  She was bedecked with gold and glittering gems.

 

The celebrants shouted affirmations, and a pair of flutes started piping a sprightly melody, bringing a louder cheer from the crowd.  Some of the people started grabbing each other's hands, and Kougaiji exchanged a perplexed glance with Hakkai.

 

"This is a favorite song of mine, and it certainly gets your blood pumping!  Everyone grab your neighbor's hand.  If you don't know this one, it's easy, you'll see!"  At the woman's instructions, the audience began to form a chain.

 

The two exchanged a look and began trying to edge away from the crowd. 

 

"Where do you think you're going, pretty boy?"  A woman grabbed one of Hakkai's hands, effectively preventing his escape as she added him to the growing line of people.  A teen grabbed one of Kougaiji's hands and for a moment, the prince looked affronted; Hakkai half expected him to reprimand the boy.

 

"Well, you did say that you just wanted to enjoy the festival, Kougaiji."  Remembering what Kougaiji had said, he addressed him as an equal and flashed him an amused smile.

 

Kougaiji grimaced, then spotted a woman with heavy makeup and overflowing cleavage eyeing his unclaimed hand.  He quickly grabbed Hakkai's free hand before she could come any closer.  Hakkai laughed at him, earning himself a scowl. 

 

He was a bit amazed that Kougaiji was going to participate instead of storming off in a princely huff.  The sensation of Kougaiji's palm, warm and a little sweaty, clasped in his own hand, made Hakkai feel slightly awkward.

 

On the stage, the performer began singing a jaunty song about a dragon who crashed into a brewery, the lyrics detailing his drunken antics.  The crowd stomped their feet in time with the beat, dancing around the square in an undulating line that mimicked the dragon's drunk weaving. 

 

The moves were simple and easy to follow, and they stomped and marched along with the crowd.  Laughing, Hakkai looked over to see Kougaiji's face.  The prince looked surprised that he was having fun with such a silly little dance.  His hand tightened around Hakkai's as their palms became slippery from exertion.

 

As the song progressed and the dragon's deeds became more and more outrageous, everyone was giggling at the comedic lyrics and panting from the enthusiastically energetic footwork. 

 

In the end, the dragon collapsed into a drunken stupor.  The dancers fell gently to the ground, breathless with laughter.  Chuckling, Hakkai released both hands, helping the young lady on his left back up with a kind smile before turning to see how Kougaiji had fared.

 

Kougaiji was already standing, looking at the hand that had been in Hakkai's as if some visible mark had been left behind.  He looked up, and as their eyes met, Hakkai felt an electric tingle run through him.  He shivered slightly.

 

"Ah ha ha," Hakkai laughed nervously.  He licked his lips, trying to find something to say to break the palpable tension in the air.  Kougaiji took a step towards him.

 

"Hakkai!"

 

Both of them jerked at the sound of Goku's voice, the tension between them dissipating. 

 

"Hakkai, are you here?" 

 

Goku was apparently looking for him.  Goku sounded close, but Hakkai couldn't see him.  He peered through the crowd, looking for Goku though he felt strangely disappointed at the interruption.  Kougaiji's frown returned as the prince turned, eyes searching the the crush of bodies for the youth.

 

Hakkai sighed and was about to call out to Goku when Kougaiji suddenly grabbed his hand and began to pull him firmly away from Goku's voice. 

 

"Kougaiji?"  Hakkai didn't pull away despite his confusion as Kougaiji hurried them through the crowd.  What on earth?

 

"Shhh -- be quiet," Kougaiji hissed over his shoulder.  He didn't release Hakkai's hand when they broke through the crowd in the plaza.  Instead, he tightened his grip and continued moving swiftly through the people that were gathered in the street. 

 

Concentrating on not bumping into anyone or tripping, Hakkai allowed himself to be dragged along.  He was totally bewildered at the strange turn of events.  He didn't suspect Kougaiji of foul play, but then again, he couldn't imagine what would possess Kougaiji to drag him by the hand through the crowded city.

 

Suddenly shifting to the right, Kougaiji pushed him into a darkened side street.  Here, the small shops were closed and dark.  All of the festival-goers were out on the main road so the little street was empty.

 

Kougaiji finally turned to face him, pressing him against the door of one of the shops and releasing his wrist to lean against him.  Hakkai could feel the warmth of his body and the steady thump of his heart against his own chest.  Away from the firelight, Kougaiji's intense coloring seemed to have bled out into the night.  His hair was a dark shadow and his eyes were glittering pools of black that stared into Hakkai's with what appeared to be a strange expression of aroused confusion.  Hakkai could feel a hot bulge pressing against his thigh and felt a fierce blush rise to his cheeks.

 

The questions Hakkai had been about to ask fizzled out in the hungry ache that unexpectedly rose up in him. His lips moved, but he only croaked hoarsely.  He licked his lips and tried again, this time managing a slightly strangled "Kougaiji?"

 

Kougaiji seemed to wake from whatever had possessed him to drag Hakkai into what was practically an alley.  Taking in Hakkai's bewildered expression, he shifted away so that there was suddenly a cool space between their bodies. 

 

"I'm sorry.  I have no idea what came over me."  Kougaiji looked mortified, clearly about to take his leave.  "Please forgive my impropriety." 

 

The brief press of Kougaiji's body against Hakkai's had flared his own long forgotten and neglected desires.  Of all the people to suddenly lust after, Kougaiji was probably the worst choice.  Myriad reasons to let Kougaiji take his leave clamored for attention in the back of his mind.  For some reason, though, the expression of vulnerability on Kougaiji's face was louder than those thousand whispered warnings.

 

If he ended up regretting this ... well, it wouldn't be his worst transgression, Hakkai hoped.

 

Hakkai grabbed Kougaiji's strong shoulders before he could make his escape.

 

"It's quite all right," Hakkai assured him.  "I just wasn't expecting to be kidnapped from Goku and ferried away to your secret hideout," he quipped.

 

Kougaiji's eyes widened, and then he laughed, a throaty chuckle that Hakkai rather liked.  He relaxed, reaching out hesitantly to trace Hakkai's cheek with his fingertip.  The delicate touch made Hakkai's breath catch.  It trailed down his face and over the line of his jaw before lightly brushing his bottom lip.  Hakkai unconsciously parted his lips, feeling blood start to pool in his groin. 

 

Kougaiji cupped his face and pressed their lips together in a soft kiss.  His warm tongue slipped into Hakkai's mouth, tasting of sharp spices and the tang of wine.  With a quiet sigh of pleasure, Hakkai returned the kiss.  Without breaking contact, he removed his monocle and carefully tucked it in his pocket.

 

Their kissing began as slow and exploratory but quickly intensified into a desperate affair of thrusting tongues and bruising lips.

 

With a quiet moan, Hakkai stroked his way down Kougaiji's muscular back to caress the firm cheeks of his ass.  He gripped Kougaiji tightly, pulling their hips flush against one another and grinding hard against Kougaiji's erection.  They both groaned at the sensation.

 

Kougaiji broke free of the kiss, lips trailing to suck gently behind Hakkai's ear while his hands struggled to undo the button on Hakkai's khakis. 

 

In a moment of clarity, Hakkai remembered where they were and that someone could stumble upon them at any second.  He briefly contemplated stopping Kougaiji before the situation escalated to the point of no return, but when warm fingers wrapped around his erection, he lost his train of thought with an embarrassing whimper.

 

Kougaiji's strong hands stroked him a couple times before pausing and suddenly leaving his throbbing cock thrusting into empty air.

 

"Please don't stop," Hakkai pleaded desperately.

 

"Has anyone ever told you that you're pushy?" Kougaiji's lips brushed over his neck, a note of amusement bright in the dark silk of his voice.

 

Before Hakkai had a chance to retort, the velvety heat of Kougaiji's cock was suddenly pressed against his own. 

 

"Oh God," Hakkai gasped, not even noticing Kougaiji's chuckle as his fingers returned to wrap around them both and started stroking steadily.

 

The sounds of their groans and pants sounded thunderously loud in the alley, and Hakkai was able to spare a hope that nobody would stumble on them because there was no way that he could let Kougaiji stop now.  He drove himself into Kougaiji's grip, moaning at the pleasure that mounted steadily in him.

 

Nuzzling his ear, Kougaiji lightly sucked and nibbled on his earlobe, the surprisingly erotic sensation sending shivers down Hakkai's spine.  Kougaiji's teeth clicked against his limiters and he carefully bit down on the lowest one, tugging slightly.  A jolt of anxiety rushing unpleasantly through him, Hakkai stiffened and stilled his movements.

 

"Don't," he said sharply.

 

Kougaiji paused at the tone in Hakkai's voice, pulling back to study Hakkai's face.  He frowned, looking slightly offended as his eyes raked over the limiters again.  His lips pursed as if he was going to argue, but then his face smoothed out, his expression unreadable as his hand went back to work. 

 

Hakkai let out a relieved sigh and concentrated on the pleasure he was swimming in, his eyes falling shut.  His head fell back against the wall, thoughts scattering into clouds of random incoherence as he climaxed, spilling over Kougaiji's fingers and straining cock. 

 

Kougaiji released his softening flesh, his breathing coming in sharp pants as he worked himself furiously.  He suddenly went rigid.  Hakkai hissed at the sharp bite on the tender flesh of his throat and felt Kougaiji's come spatter against him, hot and wet.

 

Kissing the dark mark Hakkai was sure was blossoming on his neck, Kougaiji sighed with content and rested his forehead against Hakkai's shoulder.  He threaded his fingers through the satiny hair before letting his hands fall to rest against Kougaiji's back.   Neither of them spoke for several minutes.

 

Hakkai's thoughts were still drifting incoherently when he heard Goku's voice calling for him in the distance.

 

Kougaiji stiffened and muttered a low curse, lifting himself off Hakkai and peering down the darkened street warily.  Hakkai fished a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to Kougaiji with a resigned sigh. 

 

"He might be here any minute now," Hakkai warned him. 

 

Kougaiji grunted in agreement as he cleaned both of them up.  "I don't really feel like playing twenty questions or fending off his demands to fight tonight."

 

Hakkai nodded as tidied his clothing even though he felt strangely forlorn at the thought of Kougaiji going back into hiding after what they had just done.  He fastened his pants and finished straightening his undershirt, silently hoping that there weren't any visible stains on the dark fabric.  He kept his ears open for any signs that Goku was approaching. 

 

"Come with me to my room."

 

Surprised, Hakkai glanced at Kougaiji.  His usual mask wasn't up yet.  His face was relaxed and his eyes were inviting.  The tip of his pink tongue slid slowly along his bottom lip before disappearing into his mouth.

 

There were so many reasons he should say no.  Even if it wasn't a trap, Sanzo would certainly want to kill him if he found out about this.  Perfectly sound reasons to say no ran through his mind, but the only thought Hakkai could spare any attention to was how enticing Kougaiji looked when he licked his lips like that.  

 

Tilting his head, Kougaiji smiled and waited for Hakkai's decision.  It was the slight hint of challenge in that smile that made up Hakkai's mind.  Any thoughts of declining Kougaiji's offer fled to join the self-control that had apparently abandoned him already.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Unlike Gojyo, Hakkai wasn't well versed in the etiquette of casual sex. 

 

Feeling oddly nervous, he waited as Kougaiji opened the door to his room and flipped the switch on the wall.  The large space bloomed with a soft, warm light, revealing tastefully luxurious decor.  The room was expensively furnished in dark tones with pale silk drapes covering the window.  A cluster of white orchids rested in a delicate glass vase on a small table in the sitting area. 

 

Hakkai followed him into the room, slipping his shoes off and trying to quell his nerves.  Kougaiji slipped the gold ring off his finger and set it on the table, sighing deeply as his hair and ears lengthened and youkai markings appeared on his face.

 

He turned to Hakkai, his gaze briefly resting on the silver cuffs that were clipped onto his ear before meeting Hakkai's eyes.  When Hakkai ignored the hint, Kougaiji seemed to no longer be able to contain himself.

 

"You don't even take them off for ... this?"  Kougaiji looked a little shocked.

 

Hakkai didn't bother telling him this was the first time he'd been in quite this type of situation.  He carefully pushed the lid shut on memories of lying in Kanan's embrace, of being a young man in love who had taken the shape of his own body for granted and was unfettered by blood or enchanted silver.

 

"Ah ha ha.  I'm afraid not," Hakkai said with a serene smile. 

 

Kougaiji blinked at him in bemusement before shrugging.

 

"Whatever makes you happy," he simply said before pulling Hakkai closer and kissing him.  When their lips parted for air, he smiled smugly.  "Just in case you weren't aware, pleasure is heightened when you're not wearing limiters.  They're a bit stifling."

 

He didn't bother waiting for Hakkai's reply, instead pulling him in and swallowing any unformed words with his hungry mouth.  His strong hands roved over Hakkai's chest, slipping the open tunic from his shoulders and undoing the buttons on his undershirt.  Hakkai's thoughts fizzed into red static as his clothes fell away, his own clumsy fingers reaching for Kougaiji's belt with sudden urgency.

 

They traded heated kisses, dragging the last of their clothes off with impatience.  Kougaiji's body was golden and beautiful, his finely muscled form free of blemishes or scars.  Hakkai drank in the sight before Kougaiji pushed him back on the bed and crawled on top of him with a predator's stealthy grace.

 

He gazed down at Hakkai without speaking before lifting a hand to Hakkai's throat, lightly trailing the tips of his talons over the sensitive skin.  Hakkai let  his eyelids flutter shut and shivered as the touch moved down over his chest to circle around a nipple.

 

A warm wet mouth closed over the raised nub, sucking and gently biting at the taut flesh.

 

"Oh God," Hakkai whispered.

 

It had been so long since he'd experienced such intimacy, since he'd been naked and vulnerable for another like this.  The memory of sensation from the time behind him was faint and dreamlike in the face of the immediate, sinful pleasure that Kougaiji was inflicting upon his body. 

 

Hakkai wondered briefly if Kougaiji found his human appearance less appealing.  If so, Kougaiji didn't reveal his preference as he nipped a pattern of trailing pink marks over Hakkai's pale skin.  Hakkai couldn't help but wonder if sex was truly more pleasurable without his limiters.  The cuffs repressed a mind in which a lust lurked ever present at the shadowy edges of thought, a lust that desired the delicious spill of blood.  His youkai self didn't have many reservations and didn't always think twice before acting on his baser instincts.

 

Satiny wet heat closed over his aching erection, startling him from his thoughts.  Hakkai arched, crying out as he automatically bucked further into Kougaiji's mouth.  Kougaiji choked slightly, grabbing his hips and shoving them hard into the mattress with a growl of protest.

 

"I'm sorry," Hakkai gasped, his mind spinning.

 

He stared down at the hair that fell across his lap, at Kougaiji's skin glowing like dark honey in the light, and most titillating of all, the flushed tip of his cock disappearing between Kougaiji's parted lips. 

 

Everything ran together like the finest, most expensive sake, making him drunk and almost dizzy with lust.  Hakkai was finally beginning to understand what true inebriation might be like.  He loved it, and although he'd already been given so much tonight, he wanted even more.

 

A moment's hesitation -- it felt more like a century creaked by -- then he lifted his hand to his ear.

 

With a breathless gasp, Hakkai shuddered, the shadow of vines unfurling gracefully across his skin as his hair flowed over the pillows, dark and untamable.  Taloned fingers flexed over the sheets, and the silver cuffs tumbled carelessly from his opened palm to clink together on the rumpled silk.

 

"Oh yesss," Hakkai hissed.

 

The air was saturated with the scents of arousal and sweat.  The heightened sounds of their heavy breathing and the festival revelries in the streets below tickled at his ears.  Even his skin was more aware of the bed resting underneath him, the movement of the air over his body, and the warm press of Kougaiji over his legs. 

 

Kougaiji had pulled back to take in the sight of Hakkai's changed state.  His pupils were so dilated that they nearly looked human in their roundness.  His lips twitched with amusement.

 

"I told you," Kougaiji said with a smug, knowing smile.

 

Hakkai decided Kougaiji's smile would be much more pleasing wrapped around his cock.

 

"Mmm hmm," Hakkai replied, reaching down to insistently push Kougaiji's head back down to its previous position.

 

Kougaiji resisted slightly, his smile becoming teasing.  He ran a finger along one of the tiny vines that twined around Hakkai's erection.

 

"I like these.  They're ... pretty."

 

"So is your mouth," Hakkai told him, exerting more pressure on Kougaiji's head.  "Suck me," he commanded, tugging on the long hair a bit roughly.

 

Kougaiji frowned slightly, his eyes narrowing.  "Looks like your limiters aren't the only restraints you've removed."

 

"Ah, perhaps.  That's hardly my biggest concern right now, though."

 

Kougaiji caught the fingers in his hair, disentangling the red strands from Hakkai's greedy grasp.

 

"I think that perhaps it should be," he disagreed, his voice now calculating as his eyes flicked around the room.  They lit suddenly with a devious glint, and Kougaiji rolled off the bed, ignoring Hakkai's low growl of protest as he snatched up the folded bathrobe that had been resting on top the chest of drawers. 

 

Hakkai's expression of puzzled impatience changed to suspicion, his mismatched eyes narrowing as he watched Kougaiji pull the belt from the loops and bring it back to the bed.  Before he could voice his protest, Kougaiji shook his head and gave him a sly smile.

 

"Come on, Hakkai.  Let's play a little game."  Kougaiji lifted the belt and brushed the terrycloth over the inside of Hakkai's wrist gently.  "This will keep you from breaking the rules."

 

Despite the slight smirk, his eyes weren't unkind.  It seemed that Kougaiji had realized that the limiters weren't merely used to maintain Hakkai's human appearance for the masses.  Even if he were bound, Hakkai knew he was far from helpless; his vines lay in wait, pure lethal power just a thought away from action.  However, Kougaiji could probably match him if it came down to it, Hakkai knew.  Hakkai didn't want to fight, though.  Tonight, his human and youkai instincts both were focused on a type of want different from bloodlust.

 

Hakkai lifted his gaze, an objection balanced on his lips, and saw the warmth in Kougaiji's eyes.  With sudden clarity, he realized that Kougaiji's intent wasn't truly to bind him.  He saw what Kougaiji was offering: he would let Hakkai experience the heights of pleasure in this form but would provide a reminder to keep his rational mind grounded.  Perhaps Kougaiji saw the bestial wildness that shifted restlessly behind his golden eye, waiting for its chance to escape.

 

He lifted his hands above his head in silent assent, shutting his eyes as he felt the soft belt restraining his wrists and fastening him to the framework of the decorative wrought iron headboard. 

 

Warm lips pressed against Hakkai's in a brief kiss before Kougaiji slid back down his body.  Hakkai licked his lips and looked down, moaning loudly as Kougaiji took him back in his mouth.  Once again, Hakkai felt his thoughts lose coherency as his body began to chase the pleasure steadily being stoked by Kougaiji.

 

An hour ago, he would probably have been embarrassed by his unrestrained grunts and cries or the wet, explicit sounds that Kougaiji's mouth made as he pleasured him.  He was beyond the point of caring now, hips bucking desperately towards release as his fingers clutched uselessly at empty air.  Every nerve in his body was focused on the rush of hot sensation that Kougaiji's mouth was creating.

 

So close. 

 

Hakkai's toes curled with pleasure.

 

"Ah!  Oh God! Kougaiji, I'm-"

 

He was suddenly thrusting into empty air as Kougaiji yanked his mouth away.  His brain froze for a shocked moment before his anger exploded. 

 

"How dare you," Hakkai snarled savagely, toenails ripping the sheets with loud tears as he struggled in his bindings.  His body screamed for the release that had been so abruptly denied him, the pressure in his erection so intense that it felt like his brain itself was being compressed by his blinding need to orgasm.  He growled at Kougaiji, the denial of release ripping him from his usual blanket of polite reserve.  His vines rippled across his skin, their restless turmoil echoing the expression on his face.  Hakkai pulled against the knot around his wrists and hissed in frustration, realizing that he would end up hurting himself more than it was worth it to tear free of the belt.

 

Kougaiji let him rail without replying.  Instead, he caressed Hakkai's hips soothingly as he waited for him to calm down and stop thrashing.  As the heated tirade trailed away, Kougaiji nuzzled Hakkai's inner thighs, suckling and biting the sensitized flesh until Hakkai spread his legs with a defeated groan, his cock jerking with each gentle bite.

 

"Why," Hakkai moaned helplessly, his eyelids squeezing shut.

 

"I didn't want the game to end so soon."  Kougaiji crawled up the bed, slowly swinging a thigh over Hakkai's ribs. 

 

Hakkai opened his eyes to see Kougaiji's erection waiting a few inches from his mouth, fully engorged and seeping milky drops from the slit.

 

"My turn, Hakkai."

 

He was tempted to bare his sharp teeth like a savage animal.  His nostrils flared angrily and the musky, provocative scent of Kougaiji's sex filled his senses, making his mouth water.  His lips parted of their own volition.  With a quiet murmur of satisfaction, Kougaiji guided his cock into Hakkai's mouth.  

 

The awkward angle and his own inexperience had Hakkai struggling not to choke around the flesh in his mouth, but Kougaiji was careful, keeping his thrusts shallow even as he panted and grunted with pleasure.  His beautifully muscular thighs trembled slightly.  Kougaiji stared down into Hakkai's face with an unnerving intensity, one hand braced against the headboard while he traced the thumb of his other hand over Hakkai's lips where they wrapped around his erection.

 

The intimate gesture and the erotically foreign flavor of Kougaiji on his tongue forced a high whine from Hakkai's throat.  Hearing the sound, Hakkai blushed deeply and shut his eyes in embarrassment, even as he continued to lick and suck at the cock in his mouth.

 

"Yes, Hakkai, gods," Kougaiji panted in a husky mantra as he pumped his hips faster.  The bitterness on Hakkai's tongue intensified as Kougaiji leaked more precome into his mouth.  His thrusts grew more frantic.

 

Hakkai forgot any half-formed plans of revenge for Kougaiji's earlier stunt and he vaguely started wondering if he would end up seriously choking when Kougaiji came.

 

"Yes, yes..."  Kougaiji's panting train of thought seemed to have been reduced to the repetition of a single word until he suddenly hissed and pulled away from Hakkai's mouth with a groan.  With his hand clamped around the base of his cock, Kougaiji shut his own eyes for a minute as he seemed to be struggling against his own orgasm.

 

Hakkai decided Kougaiji was perhaps more of a master at torturing himself and others than Hakkai even was.  He wriggled, struggling unsuccessfully to wipe his wet face on the pillow.

 

After regaining control of himself, Kougaiji released his hold and kissed Hakkai, sucking and nibbling on his reddened lips.  Kougaiji twisted his tongue into Hakkai's mouth, chasing his own faint flavor around Hakkai's tongue.  A deep groan rose up from Hakkai's throat as he kissed back.

 

Kougaiji leaned back and wiped Hakkai's mouth for him.  He reached over to a small flask on the bedside table that Hakkai hadn't noticed earlier and poured a golden oil from it into his palm.  The scent of sesame drifted through the air. 

 

Hakkai instinctively knew what Kougaiji meant to do with it.  The thought of being taken like that sent a deep shiver of want through him and caused his breath to quicken.  He didn't bother teasing Kougaiji about having a flask of oil waiting by the bed; he was too distracted as Kougaiji slicked his cock and then reached between Hakkai's thighs. 

 

Spreading his legs with a wanton moan, Hakkai let his eyes flutter shut as he felt warm fingers smooth the oil over his sensitive opening.  The gentle, almost featherlight touches made his cock twitch.  The touches became firmer, massaging but not actually penetrating him.

 

"Hah ... more," he whispered raggedly, tilting his hips and spreading his legs wider in an attempt to receive deeper, more intimate contact.  Instead the fingers lifted away, leaving him bereft as he struggled in his binds.

 

"I don't think you want more than that with these," Kougaiji said with a note of amusement in his voice, tapping his claws against Hakkai's scarred belly before leaning down to kiss him again.

 

Greedily, Hakkai sucked and nipped at Kougaiji's lips as he felt strong hands lift his hips.  Kougaiji shifted slightly, pulling back from the kiss and settling a pillow under Hakkai's hips.

 

After what seemed like an eternity Hakkai finally felt the blunt tip of Kougaiji's cock pressing against him.  He grimaced at the burn as it pushed inside but the mild pain was forgotten when he felt Kougaiji slide in fully.  The unfamiliar sensation was surprisingly good.  He wrapped his legs around Kougaiji and experimentally squeezed his muscles, relishing the warm fullness of the cock cradled deep in his body.

 

Kougaiji shivered and let out a broken groan before beginning thrust slowly.  Hakkai writhed underneath him, moaning mindlessly as Kougaiji's cock rubbed deliciously inside him.  Each thrust added to the rising tide of euphoria.  Between Kougaiji's act of near-torture earlier and the unexpected excitement of Kougaiji fucking his mouth, Hakkai already knew this wasn't going to last long.

 

Kougaiji closed his hand, still greasy from the oil, around Hakkai's cock and began to stroke.  If he hadn't been bound, Hakkai would have shredded the sheets into silk ribbons.  As it was, his curling fingers dug their sharp talons into his palms, nearly drawing blood.  His thighs, vividly striped in vines and glistening with sweat, trembled around Kougaiji as he was driven into repeatedly.

 

"Ah GOD!"  The pleasure inside him seemed to crystallize and shatter, conscious thought flying away from his mind in a red-tinged haze.  His vines twisted over his skin like a horde of angry snakes as his back arched and his muscles stiffened.  He felt the ecstasy of his climax pulsing out of him, hot and wet, to land in spatters across his skin.

 

Kougaiji moaned loudly and thrust a few more times before coming with a long, strangled groan.  He finally let out a contented sigh and collapsed over Hakkai.

 

Floating in a state of euphoria, Hakkai wasn't sure how long he'd been blissfully lying there before he became aware that Kougaiji was untying him.  Kougaiji gently rubbed his wrists where the belt had bound him, then suddenly chuckled and wiped Hakkai's cheek with the wadded belt. 

 

Hakkai realized that Kougaiji was wiping away the come that had somehow managed to get on his face when he had climaxed.  Instead of feeling embarrassed, Hakkai smiled slyly at Kougaiji.  He dragged a claw through the cooling mess on his chest and brought it to his lips to taste.

 

After taking a moment to savor the taste on this tongue, Hakkai smiled at Kougaiji's surprised expression. 

 

"I think I like yours better," he said, a note of playfulness in his voice.

 

Kougaiji blushed and shook his head slightly with embarrassment.

 

Hakkai let himself luxuriate in the pleasant afterglow for a while before he noticed that the faint sounds from the festival were nearly quiet now.  He suppressed a sigh and reached for his limiters.

 

"It's getting late.  I should be heading back," Hakkai said regretfully as he clipped the silver into place.

 

Kougaiji watched the vines fade and Hakkai's appearance become fully human before sighing slightly.  "That's too bad.  I enjoyed tonight."  He hesitated, seeming to weigh unspoken words as he watched Hakkai pick up his clothes and carefully redress.

 

Sensing his hesitation, Hakkai turned to smile at him.  Kougaiji was sitting naked on the edge of his bed, his skin rosy and his hair tangled.  He looked achingly vulnerable to Hakkai.

 

Hakkai stood from where he had been pulling his boots on and moved towards the bed.  He kissed Kougaiji gently, caressing the silken red tresses and sucking seductively at his lower lip before straightening back up.  "The festival won't be over for a couple days.  We'll be leaving as soon as they open the western gate."  Hakkai let a hint of an invitation creep into his voice.

 

Kougaiji smiled with pleasure.  "Dinner tomorrow?"

 

"I'd be delighted," Hakkai agreed.  Moving to the door, he looked over his shoulder at Kougaiji and smiled back.  "If you have no argument, I'd like to suggest ordering in."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

 

Back out on the main street, Hakkai spotted a familiar mop of unruly hair tumbling over a band of shining gold.  He waved and and flashed a friendly smile as Goku trotted up to him with three meat kabobs gripped in one hand and a gooey sweet dripping over the other.

 

"Hey, Hakkai!  I've been looking for you for forever, where were you?  I ran out of money, but then this nice lady gave me -- whoa, dude!" 

 

Goku's eyes bugged out as he took in Hakkai's appearance and his nostrils flared.  He stared at Hakkai's rumpled, stained clothes in disbelief, and then his gaze fell on Hakkai's throat.  Goku's golden eyes grew even wider, and Hakkai felt a hot flush rise to his face.  He coughed, trying to think of something to distract him with before Goku said anything incredibly embarrassing.

 

"Um, Hakkai?  You know, if you were busy or somethin', you didn't have to come looking for me," Goku said with a blush. 

 

Trying to take comfort in the familiar, Hakkai smiled so brightly that Goku winced and edged away a bit.  "Nonsense, Goku.  I was just coming to find you.  We'd better get back before Sanzo himself comes looking for us.  I'm sure you don't want him to get irritated."  Hakkai started walking towards the inn, not looking back to see if Goku followed.

 

Goku hurried after him, falling into step next to Hakkai as they weaved through the crowd.  At first, Goku didn't say anything further, skillfully alternating between licking up dollops of the syrupy mess clutched in one hand and tearing off bits of the greasy kabobs in the other.

 

Hakkai's luck didn't hold once all of the food had disappeared.  After sucking his fingers clean, Goku peered at him from the corner of his eye.

 

"It's okay, Hakkai.  You're not like Gojyo.  Nobody would get mad if you want a little company now an' then.  Well, Sanzo won't get madder than usual, I mean."

 

Hakkai sighed, wishing Goku would just let it go.  Before he could say anything, though, Goku continued.

 

"And I won't say anythin', but I don't think they'll care that you're not into girls anymore," Goku innocently tried to assure him.  He looked a little confused but fully supportive of his friend.

 

Hakkai stumbled, his fake grin slipping for a second as he turned to gape at Goku.  Goku cringed slightly at Hakkai's shocked expression.

 

"Sorry, I didn't mean to--" Goku quickly tried to backpedal.

 

"Goku," Hakkai interrupted before he could be mortified further.  "I don't dislike women.  I really do appreciate your understanding but the issue is a bit complicated and really, it's a private matter that I'd prefer not to discuss," he said firmly.

 

Goku seemed to take the hint.  "Okay," he mumbled, making Hakkai feel a bit guilty.

 

Suppressing a sigh, he squeezed Goku's shoulder and conjured up a kinder smile.  "Goku, I really do appreciate it.  Thank you."

 

Goku smiled back, relaxing under his hand.  Together they made their way back to the inn.

 

"Gojyo's still out gettin' drunk.  I don't think he'll be back until real late.  You probably can get to sleep before he comes in and hurls or something," Goku said.

 

Hakkai smiled at him for real this time.  "Excellent idea.  Don't wake up Sanzo on your way in."

 

"Yeah, I know.  He had gas earlier and was grumpier than usual.  I wish I was staying in your room tonight," Goku confided with a pained expression as he waved his hand in front of his nose.

 

Hakkai laughed, amused.  "I'd trade you, but Gojyo will probably come in late and pass out on top of you -- if he doesn't get sick first."

 

Goku made a disgusted face.  "Never mind."

 

With another chuckle, Hakkai withdrew his key from his pocket.  "Good night, Goku."

 

"Good night, Hakkai.  Hey, next time you see him, tell Kougaiji to come say hi to the rest of us, 'kay?"

 

Hakkai spun around just in time to see an impish grin before Goku closed the door in his face.  Hakkai pressed his palms against his eyes with a sigh, shaking his head slightly.  He heard Sanzo's sleepy grumble and Goku's voice respond in a low, soothing tone. 

 

Somehow, Hakkai doubted that Sanzo would be as delighted as Goku when Kougaiji did finally decide to make an appearance and declare his intentions.  His thoughts shifted to tomorrow evening, and he smiled a tiny, secret smile.  He fingered his limiters unconsciously as he opened the door to his own room. 

 

In the shadows of the empty room, Hakkai caught sight of his reflection in the dresser mirror.  The glint of light reflecting off his limiters wasn't nearly as bright as the flash of his wicked little grin. 

_____________
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