Title: Accidental Ingestion 

LJ: http://kirathaune.livejournal.com/ 

Pairing: Hakkai/Goku
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Don't own them, wish I did. *sigh*
Summary: Hakkai cooks a creative, exotic meal, and Goku has an unexpected reaction to one of the ingredients.
Notes: Written for
the_rotten1 for the yuletide_smut gift!fic exchange, and I had so much fun with it! Thanks to charliesmum for her beta-fu! 6,000 words.

The cottage was a small, two-story affair, surrounded by the requisite picket fence and hedge. It was by no means a fancy place, but it was painted with care and the yard was neatly kept - although Hakkai had the impression that the rose bushes and hedges had once been trimmed with a much more exacting hand. Part of him wished they were staying longer than a few days; his fingers itched to set the roses to rights.

"This house was a fortunate find," Hakkai commented as they went inside. He set his bag down on the living room floor and looked around the room with approval, while Goku dropped his duffel and darted ahead to explore. "The owner didn't exaggerate about how nice it is. He said it had belonged to his mother - she passed away earlier this year."

"This place is cool!" Goku bounded back into the living room, having finished investigating all of the rooms in the cottage. "We get ta stay here for a coupla days? That's awesome!"

Sanzo rolled his eyes. "It's not awesome, it's a pain in the goddamn ass."

"Sanzo, we couldn't have known that the bridge was flooded out," Hakkai pointed out. "The owner told me that the river should be low enough in two or three days. It would take us longer than that to find another passable bridge, so we might as well stay here and rest up in comfort. And it was fortuitous that he was one of the men working on the bridge repairs - we have a pleasant place to stay and he gets extra money for his family."

"Pffft," was Sanzo's reply. "I hate these fucking delays."

"Aw, Sanzo, don't be all grumpy." Goku plopped onto the sofa and stretched like a cat. "We get ta relax, an' it's not a crappy inn - this is a real house! With a kitchen an' all!" He twisted around to look at Hakkai. "You're gonna cook, right?" At Hakkai's nod, Goku beamed and returned his attention to the irritated monk. "See, Hakkai's gonna cook! You like his stuff better'n restaurant food anyways, I know ya do."

"Amen to that!" Gojyo came into the house, his pack slung over a leather-clad shoulder. "'Kai's cooking always trumps any restaurant. And look at it this way, O Keeper of the Gold Card, we're probably saving money by staying in this cottage than at that inn they had in town."

Goku bounced on the sofa. "We get this room too - sofas an' chairs an' everythin' all nice an' comfy. We each get our own bedroom too!"

"Speaking of which," Sanzo heaved his duffel at Goku, who caught it with an "ooof", "I get the upstairs room - go take my stuff up. You three idiots can divvy up the rooms down here." He tossed the credit card to Hakkai. "I guess you'll need to get groceries, then. Don't forget to buy beer, and I need another carton of smokes. And a newspaper."

Hakkai caught the card and nodded, not only to Sanzo but to Gojyo as well, who was making ooooh-Hakkai-get-me-my-ciggies-too-please hand signals behind the monk's back.

Sanzo huffed and headed toward the stairs. "If we're stuck here for a few days, I am going to be stuck here in goddamn peace. Got it? Come on, monkey, get off your ass and take my bag upstairs." Goku scrambled off the sofa and hurried up the steps after Sanzo.

"Looks like one of the bedrooms overlooks the garden in the back yard, 'Kai, you want that one?" Gojyo picked up Hakkai's duffel. "I'm going to take the one nearest the back door, since I saw a nice little pool hall when we drove through town. Definitely checking that out later on tonight, and I plan on staying out late."

"Yes, thank you, Gojyo," Hakkai replied with a smile. A garden in the back yard. He took a quick peek at the kitchen to check refrigerator space, and then he called for Hakuryuu. The little dragon landed on his shoulder, head-butted him and gave a questioning chirp. "Time to go shopping, my friend," Hakkai said, and they headed out the door.

* * * * *

Hakkai put the last of the grocery bags on the kitchen's worktable and surveyed the room. It was actually quite serviceable; the appliances were in good working order, and there was plenty of counter and table space. He put the groceries away and opened various doors and drawers to familiarize himself with the kitchen, and behind one of the doors he discovered stairs that led to a tiny root cellar.

He descended the stairs, pulled the chain that hung from the single bare light bulb and looked around the room with delight. It was small, but very well-stocked with vegetables, fruit and even some jarred jams and pickles. Hanging from the floor joists above his head were bundles of dried herbs, and there were jars of ground and dried spices on several narrow shelves. Hakkai was immensely pleased - the owner had mentioned that his mother had been an avid cook, but he never dreamed he would find this culinary treasure trove.

Hakkai inspected some of the hanging herbs and then he scanned the spice shelves, skimming a finger along the dusty bottles. He was on the third shelf when he halted, pulling out a bottle that caught his eye. He held it up to the light and examined the cluster of deep red threads inside.

Could it be saffron? If so, it was very, very high quality saffron. It was a rare, expensive spice to begin with - being made from the stamens of certain crocuses - but this supply must have cost a small fortune. Hakkai quickly recounted his purchases in his head; what could he make with this wonderful find? He had some lovely jasmine rice, and some fresh chicken as well... oh, yes! A biryani rice and chicken casserole made with this saffron would taste exquisite. Hakkai selected a few more ingredients from the bundles, and then went upstairs to inspect his treasures.

A small label on the bottom of the bottle of saffron confirmed Hakkai's estimate of its quality - it was Kashmiri saffron, one of the rarest varieties. Hakkai could hardly contain his excitement - he had only heard about this particular variety, he had never been able to find it, much less afford it. And there was something... what was it he had read about this particular variety? Hakkai turned the jar over in his hands, watching the spindly threads tumble about. There was something special about it... he just couldn't remember it right now.

A few minutes searching through the cabinets yielded a stone mortar and pestle, and Hakkai set to work grinding the dried stamens. He decided he would not only flavor the rice with the saffron, but would marinate the chicken with it too. Hakkai hummed contentedly while he worked, grinding herbs, cutting chicken and vegetables. Of all the things he missed during their journey, this was what he missed most - spending a leisurely afternoon shopping, then preparing and cooking a delicious meal with the day's finds. Throwing together a concoction made from tinned food while at an improvised campsite was not cooking... this was cooking, and Hakkai knew he was going to thoroughly enjoy their stay here.

He finished layering the rice, meat and vegetables in a large pan. A very large pan - Hakkai smiled ruefully at himself, realizing he had gotten a little carried away. No matter, it could be dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. He slid the pan into the oven and set it to cook. It would be several hours before it was done, so Hakkai set the timer and decided to end a perfect afternoon with a nap in the garden. He went outside, settled into a surprisingly comfortable chair, and was soon sound asleep.

"Hey Hakkai!"

Hakkai opened his eyes to find Goku looming over him. "Your timer thingy went off. Does that mean that dinner's done? Cuz it smells awesome!"

It did smell wonderful. "Almost," Hakkai replied while he got up from the chair and stretched. He blinked in surprise at seeing the sun hanging low in the sky - he had napped for over two hours! "It needs to come out of the oven and 'rest' for a little while. Could you please tell the others that dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes, and then set the table while we wait?"

"Sure!" Goku set off toward the back door, and when Hakkai came back into the kitchen he found Goku busy at work getting the table ready for their meal. Hakkai took the biryani out of the oven and began preparing a few sauces, and he was amused to see Goku settle into a chair and get his chopsticks ready.

"Smells great, 'Kai!" Gojyo slid into one of the chairs as Hakkai set the dish on the table. Sanzo ambled in a few moments later, and soon everyone was eating.

"Aw, man, this is soooo good!" Goku's expression was blissful as he happily dug into his dinner. "Hakkai, you're the best!"

"Thank you, Goku." Hakkai smiled at him. While he loved cooking for its own sake, Hakkai had to admit that Goku's enthusiastic, yet genuine enjoyment of almost everything he made was gratifying.

The biryani wasn't just good, it was excellent, and Hakkai was quite proud of the dish. The saffron had given the rice a bright sunflower-yellow color, and it had imparted a delicious savory taste to the chicken. This was definitely one of his best dishes; he just wished he could remember what he had read so many years ago about the exotic spice. Try as he might, the memory stayed beyond his reach, and Hakkai soon gave up trying and just enjoyed his dinner. And for once, it was actually a peaceful meal. Gojyo and Goku were too busy eating to argue, and Hakkai was pleasantly shocked to see Sanzo actually put more of the casserole on his plate. He made a mental note to speak to the owner about buying some of the saffron, as well as some of the other hard-to-come-by seasonings that were in the root cellar.

Their meal was interrupted by a knock on the front door. The four men instinctively tensed and looked at each other, but when Sanzo snorted and opined that attacking youkai would hardly knock first Hakkai got up and cautiously answered the door. The other three came into the living room too, though, just in case.

It was the cottage's owner. "I apologize for disturbing you, but I need your help, Cho-san." The man bowed, and his next words came out in a rush. "My nephew - he had an accident - the doctor says he's done all he can - please, please can you help?" He looked up at Hakkai and held his hands out in supplication. "I know you are a healer, I saw you tend to the priest who travels with you. Will you help the boy?" he begged, his voice cracking. "He is my sister's only son."

Hakkai put a hand on the man's shoulder. "Of course I'll help." He turned back to face the others and said, "There's been an accident, and I'm needed. I'll be back as soon as I can - Gojyo, Goku, can you two please clean up after you're done eating?"


"Sure, man."

Sanzo said nothing, but a raised blond eyebrow said Watch-your-ass-because-if-you-get-into-trouble-I'm-not-coming-after-you.

Hakkai raised his hand in a quick farewell and called for Hakuryuu. The dragon flew off to the side of the cottage and discreetly transformed, and then the two men got into the Jeep and drove off toward town.

* * * * *

The sky was a deep star-splashed indigo by the time Hakkai returned to the cottage. He was tired, but it was a very good tired - he had managed to save a life. The young man would probably always walk with a little difficulty, but at least he could move and breathe and live.

"I was able to save him," Hakkai told his companions when he entered the living room. Goku glanced up from the comic he was reading and smiled widely, and Gojyo gave him a thumbs-up and then returned to assembling and polishing his pool cue. Sanzo turned the page of his newspaper.

"Oh, and Sanzo," Hakkai continued, "our landlord is extremely grateful and has insisted that he won't accept any payment for our stay here."

There was a grunt of approval behind the newspaper.

Hakuryuu flew over to curl up next to Goku, and Hakkai went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. It was nowhere near bedtime, but Hakkai knew that after such an expenditure of chi he should rest, at least for awhile. He would have a nice cup of tea and then lie down and read in his room for an hour or so, and perhaps after that he and the others could start a game of cards or mahjongg. Hakkai noticed that the kitchen was immaculate and while he prepared his tea he absently wondered how many times Sanzo had yelled at and/or threatened the other two while they had cleaned up after dinner, for he knew it would have been impossible for them not to bicker.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw a covered plate on the counter. It was his unfinished dinner, and Hakkai smiled to himself while he heated it up and carried the plate to his room along with his tea. He would make them a treat tomorrow.

* * * * *

Hakkai was about halfway through the book he was reading when he heard the muffled sounds of a commotion in the living room. Seconds later there was a pounding on his door. "Hakkai!" Gojyo opened the door and shoved Goku inside the room. "There's something wrong with the monkey, Hakkai, you need to fix him."

Goku's face was red, and he kept his gaze resolutely on his shoes. His hands were fisted tightly in the hem of his oversized t-shirt.

Hakkai bookmarked his page, set the book on his nightstand and then sat up and looked quizzically at Gojyo. "What's the matter?"

Gojyo didn't move from the doorway. He pointed at Goku. "He told me I had a nice ass! Which I absolutely do, but I don't want to be hearin' that shit from the monkey! And I definitely don't want him ogling my ass. Or touching it!"

I SAID I was sorry!" Goku didn't look up.

The kappa's finger jabbed again in Goku's direction. "AND, he's lucky he didn't get shot. He stuck his face in Sanzo's hair and started babbling shit about how it was soft and shiny and that it smelled sexy. Goku! The kid almost started petting him, Hakkai - I thought His Holiness' eyes were gonna bug right out of his face."

The redness had now crept to Goku's ears, and his lip stuck out in a pout. "It was soft," he muttered mutinously. "An' it did smell sexy. I told him I was sorry too. He didn't hafta point the gun at me!"

Gojyo's hand was flapping now. "You gotta do something, 'Kai. This just ain't right. I mean, I know I have a nice ass-"

"Nice legs, too," Goku added, and scuffed his shoe on the floor.

"You see? You see what we're dealing with here?" Gojyo shuddered and shut the door, leaving them alone.

Goku remained where he was. The embarrassment rolling off the young man was palpable. But it wasn't just embarrassment... there was something else to Goku's energy, and Hakkai couldn't quite put his finger on it.

Hakkai sighed and swung his legs around so that he was sitting on the edge of his bed. "My goodness, such a fuss. Come sit down." He patted the mattress next to him.

Goku shuffled over and sat down heavily next to Hakkai. He was still red-faced and he wouldn't look at Hakkai, looking instead at his clenched hands.

"What happened, Goku?"

"I-I dunno... it's just that Gojyo was bendin' this way an' that while he was gettin' his pool stuff together, an' it made me think how nice his pants fit him. H-how you could see almost all his muscles, cuz of the tight pants." Goku's shoulder lifted in a shrug. "I mean, Gojyo has nice muscles anyways, but then he's all bendin' over and I couldn't help but see his ass, an' that looked nice too. Gojyo's always sayin' about how his ass is so firm ya can bounce a yuan off it, an'-an' all of a sudden I wanted to see if it was true."

Hakkai bit his lip to keep in a laugh. Gojyo must have been very surprised when Goku decided to test his claim. "And so... you decided to check the validity of his boast."

Goku's head dipped once. "Yeah. I couldn't help it! An'..." his voice dropped to a mumble, "it really was that nice. So I told him. An' he freaked out."

"I see." Even though Gojyo always flaunted his assets, it must have been a shock to be complimented by someone he still considered a child. Not that Goku was a child any more, Hakkai reflected. And he hadn't been for a few years now. "And Sanzo?"

"Um, yeah."
Goku rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, after Gojyo yelled at me, I moved away from him, near ta where Sanzo was sittin'. An' then I saw the way the light from the lamp made Sanzo's hair go all glowy... it was so pretty. An' it looked so soft. An' I-I couldn't help but wanna touch it - an' smell it, cuz I smelled the sandalwood from his shampoo." Goku tilted his head back, eyes closed. "It smelled soo good, an' it was all nice an' soft. Sanzo's all hard, y'know? But his hair is so soft, an' I thought that was really cool." Goku studied his fingernails. "But then he yelled at me too, an' pointed his gun at me. Then Gojyo grabbed me an' shoved me in here." He looked over at Hakkai now, his brow furrowed in frustration. "But I didn't do anythin' real bad! I didn't hurt 'em or nothin'! A-an' I dunno why I did it, really."

Hakkai put his arm across Goku's shoulders and gave the young man a comforting hug. "You didn't do anything wrong. I imagine that you startled them, and perhaps embarrassed them, but you certainly didn't hurt them." He thought that perhaps a talk about 'personal space' was in order, especially with regards to Sanzo. The monk tolerated physical contact from Goku more than anyone else, but Hakkai was pretty sure that tolerance did not include playing with his hair.

Goku returned the hug, wrapping his arms around Hakkai's waist. "Thanks, Hakkai."

Hakkai squeezed Goku's shoulder and started to drop his arm away, but Goku hugged him tighter.

"You're my favorite person, Hakkai - didja know that? Well, my favorite next ta Sanzo," Goku said as he rested his head against Hakkai's shoulder. "You never tease me or call me names, an' you're always nice ta me." He burrowed his face into Hakkai's neck. "Real nice... you're way nicer than Sanzo. An' y'know what?" Goku whispered, his breath damp on Hakkai's skin, "Sanzo's real pretty... but so are you."

Hakkai swallowed with some difficulty. Pretty? He couldn't remember ever being called pretty. He gave a start when he felt lips against his neck- was Goku kissing him?

"Mmmm, you smell nice."

"G-Goku?" Hakkai straightened, shifting out of reach of Goku's mouth. What on earth was going on with Goku?

"Ya cook real good too," Goku continued dreamily. "I always like your stuff the best. Like tonight - that dinner ya made was awesome." He patted Hakkai's knee, and let his hand linger.

Dinner. A horrible possibility crawled up from the depths of Hakkai's long-term memory.

The Kashmiri saffron.

He now remembered what it was he had read about the rare spice.

Oh, no.

Ah, Goku," Hakkai detached Goku's hand from his knee, "I'm, ah, glad that you liked it so much. Exactly how much of that casserole did you eat?"

Goku beamed at him. "I ate all of it - like I said, it was real good! Well, except for the parts that Gojyo an' Sanzo ate. An' you, too." His smile faded when he saw Hakkai's face, and he bit his lip. "Um, was that bad? Was the rest of it supposed ta be for tomorrow? M'sorry."

Hakkai tried to school his face into a neutral expression while he also tried to push down the surge of panic that ran through him. "No, no, that's all right... I, ah, didn't tell you that I was going to serve the remainder for lunch tomorrow."

Goku perked back up. "It was real, real good. Except..." he leaned against Hakkai and his voice dropped to a whisper, "now I feel... funny."

"Funny?" Hakkai's voice went up a notch.

"Yeah, all funny an' warm an'..." Goku's blush deepened even more, "...ummm, funny."

Hakkai placed the back of his hand against Goku's forehead, and his panic increased when Goku closed his eyes and leaned into the touch. "Ah... well, you don't seem to have a fever. Why don't you go into the bathroom and splash some cold water on your face and the back of your neck? Perhaps that will make you feel better, and then I'll check you again when you get back."

"Um, okay." Goku hopped up and headed off toward the bathroom down the hall.

When the door shut, Hakkai leapt to his feet and paced nervously. The saffron. That wretched, delicious saffron was a mild aphrodisiac. It would have been harmless eaten in a regular serving of food - Gojyo and Sanzo were unaffected, and as far as he could tell he was unaffected as well. But Goku did not eat a regular serving. The young man had eaten at least six times the amount that the others had. Hakkai glanced heavenward. At least six. Probably more, making the effect much more potent.

Hakkai now knew exactly what was wrong with Goku, and what was different about his energy; he was experiencing sexual desire and excitement, probably for the first time in his life. The clinical part of Hakkai's brain found it interesting that Goku found all three of them attractive - he knew an aphrodisiac only heightened whatever desires a person already had. The practical part was scrambling for a way to ease Goku's discomfort.

This is my fault.

I should have remembered about the saffron.

It is my responsibility to take care of this.

Hakkai sat back down on the bed and waited for Goku to return.

Fifteen minutes later, Hakkai was still waiting. He was about to go out and make sure that Goku had not returned to pester Gojyo and Sanzo when the door opened and Goku stepped into the room. Hakkai was surprised to see the young man clad only in his sleep shorts; Goku had his t-shirt draped over one arm, and he was drying his hair with a fluffy white towel.

"M'sorry I took so long, Hakkai." Goku's voice was muffled under the towel. "The cold water felt good an' then my shirt got all wet so I decided ta just take my shower." He finished drying his hair and then sat back down next to Hakkai.

"Are you feeling... better, Goku?"

"Ummm, kinda. Sorta. Well, not really." Goku took Hakkai's hand and pressed it against his forehead. "M'not not all hot on the outside any more, but..." He moved Hakkai's hand to his cheek and nuzzled against it while he confessed, "I still feel all warm an' funny on the inside. An' I-I wanna... do stuff. But I dunno why." Pink began to creep back into his cheeks, and he let go of Hakkai's hand and looked away.

Hakkai knew why. "Ah... what sort of things do you want to do, Goku?"

"I..." Goku's eyes met his, and in them Hakkai saw embarrassment, confusion and desire. "I... I w-wanna kiss ya," Goku whispered. "A-an' I wanna touch ya." He brushed tentative fingers against Hakkai's hair.

Hakkai marveled at Goku's forthright admission. "All right," he said after a moment. Perhaps all that was needed was to let Goku give him a few kisses and touch his hair. Harmless enough, and it would assuage his guilt.

Goku's mouth dropped open. "Really? I can?"

"Yes, you can." Hakkai gave him a encouraging smile and waited, curious to see what the young man would do next.

Trembling fingers ghosted along Hakkai's cheek, and traveled up to gently remove his monocle. Goku set the eyepiece on the nightstand and returned to tracing along Hakkai's eyebrows. "Your eyes are so pretty, Hakkai, I always thought so, right from the first day I met ya." Goku drew his legs up onto the bed and then partially knelt so that he could lean over and brush his lips against Hakkai's eyelid, the one that covered the artificial eye. "I wish ya hadn't hurt yourself like that," he murmured, and his lips traveled across the
bridge of Hakkai's nose to linger on the eyelid of his good eye. "But m'super glad I was able ta stop ya, an' m'glad they made your new eye just as pretty as your real one." Goku pressed light kisses along a delicate eyebrow.

Hakkai's breath caught. Goku's gentle, almost worshipful touch was totally unexpected, and was surprisingly... pleasant.

Goku drew back and threaded his fingers through the silky fringe of Hakkai's bangs. "I like your hair, too. It's not all bright and shiny like Sanzo's - or all fiery like Gojyo's - but it's all warm an' chocolatey." He brushed the coffee-brown strands away from Hakkai's brow, and Hakkai's eyes slid shut at the touch of Goku's fingers along his temple. So soft, so gentle. So unlike the brash, energetic "monkey" that Hakkai was used to.

Warm lips pressed against his, and again Hakkai was surprised at how good it felt. The last person he'd kissed was Kanan, all those years ago, and his lips felt a bit rusty from disuse as they began to move in response to Goku's kiss.

The realization that he was actually responding shocked him.

Goku's mouth left his, and Hakkai opened his eyes to find Goku staring at him, his eyes wide and dark. Clearly Goku hadn't expected a response either.

"Hakkai?" Goku whispered.

Maybe he was affected by the saffron too, Hakkai thought. It was the only sane reason he could offer for why he cupped his hand behind Goku's head and drew him close for another, deeper kiss. Goku responded eagerly in spite of his inexperience, and when their noses and teeth bumped, Hakkai tilted his head the tiniest bit and then their mouths fit together perfectly. A muffled "mmmmm" arose from Goku's throat, and when his lips parted Hakkai's unthinking reaction was to let his tongue slip inside Goku's mouth. Goku moaned then, and the sound made heat flare low in Hakkai's belly - heat that began to curl and tighten when Goku's tongue touched his.

Their tongues tangled together as they slowly explored each other's mouths. Hakkai could taste the mint of Goku's toothpaste, and there was a hint of sweetness that told him that Goku had stopped by his room to eat a piece of candy on his way back to Hakkai's room. He smelled Goku's shampoo and soap, and underneath was the tang of sweat and the faint musk of arousal. Goku's hands were on him now, one clutching at Hakkai's shirt while the other slid into his hair, and his kisses were becoming hungry and heated. Before Hakkai realized what he was doing Goku had shifted onto his lap and was straddling his thighs.

"Ohhh... I, I, ohhh," Goku wriggled on Hakkai's lap, trying to get his body closer. His mouth sought Hakkai's cheek, jaw and neck, and Hakkai groaned as Goku ran his tongue along Hakkai's ear.

"Goku, slow down," Hakkai gasped. This wasn't harmless any more. There was no mistaking the generous erection that pressed against Hakkai's abdomen, just as there was no mistaking the answering hardness in Hakkai's groin.

"I... I... nnngh, Hakkai," Goku panted, and he started tugging at Hakkai's shirt, trying to get it over his head. "F-feels so good..."

God help him, it did feel good. Hakkai lifted his arms just as Goku gave another strong tug on his shirt, and the unexpected lack of resistance caused Goku to lose his balance. With a surprised squeak the young man toppled off of Hakkai's lap and landed on the mattress, Hakkai's shirt tangled in his hands.

Goku laughed, and Hakkai turned to look at him. He was sprawled on the bed, and Hakkai couldn't help but admire the way Goku's toned muscles moved under smooth golden-tan skin as his shoulders shook with mirth. Goku's hair was a mess, his cheeks were flushed and his lips were kiss-swollen, and he was so... alive. And he was utterly adorable.

Saffron be damned.

Hakkai lay down next to Goku and brushed his thumb across Goku's plump lower lip before leaning over to kiss him. Goku wrapped his arms around Hakkai's neck and kissed him back hungrily, all the while shifting closer, closer. The motion caused their erections to brush against each other through the soft cotton of their pants, and both men gasped. There was a moment, suspended, when their eyes met and their quickened breaths intermingled in warm, damp puffs.

Then Hakkai reached down and slipped his hand beneath the waistband of Goku's boxers, curling his fingers around the hardness he found there. Goku tilted his head back and moaned, and Hakkai trailed kisses along the exposed curve of Goku's neck while he slowly stroked him. Goku wantonly rocked his hips against each touch of Hakkai's hand while gasps and groans spilled from his mouth, and Hakkai felt intoxicated by his responsiveness.

Then Goku pulled at the drawstring of Hakkai's pants and his hand dived beneath the fabric to wrap around Hakkai's length. Warm, callused fingers began to stroke. Goku's movements were clumsy, but that in no way diminished the pleasure Hakkai was experiencing from the younger man's touch. He had been touched this way before, but not by another man and definitely not with such eager, hungry abandon. It was exhilarating, overwhelming and... incredibly arousing. He claimed Goku's mouth again and soon their tongues were matching the rhythm of their hands.

Muffled groans escaped their devouring mouths, while their hips thrust against stroking, caressing hands. Goku broke off their kiss, gasping, panting, and moments later he arched his back and cried out as he climaxed. His hand tightened reflexively around Hakkai, and Hakkai groaned as he surrendered to his own orgasm. Their bodies gradually slowed to a languid pace, and their warm, wet hands continued to give pleasure while as they drifted back to themselves.

They pulled apart and lay on their backs, chests heaving. Hakkai regarded Goku's profile in the lamplight, enjoying the play of expressions on the younger man's face.

"Ohgod," Goku breathed, still trying to catch his breath. "T-that... a-awesome... ohmigod." His head lolled toward Hakkai, his golden eyes unfocused. A decidedly dopey grin appeared.

Hakkai couldn't help but smile back at him. They returned to staring at the ceiling, and there were no further words for several minutes while their breathing returned to normal.

Then Goku rolled over to face him, and Hakkai held his breath, wondering what Goku might say. They had definitely crossed a line, and Hakkai was unsure of how Goku would handle it.

But Goku merely smiled and brushed his fingers against Hakkai's jaw, letting them drift down Hakkai's neck to trace along his collarbone. Then Goku leaned forward and delved his tongue into the notch where the delicate bones met, and Hakkai felt heat returning to his belly at the feel of Goku's hot, wet tongue lapping at his throat.

Goku's breath wafted damply on Hakkai's skin as he murmured, "Can we do that again?"

* * * * *

"So this is the stuff?" Goku picked up the bottle of saffron from the counter and peered at it closely. "These little stick things made me feel so crazy last night?"

"Yes, it's called saffron," replied Hakkai, and he reached around Goku for the salt and pepper. He seasoned the rice porridge and noodle broth, and then continued, "Amazing, isn't it, that such a small thing can wreak such havoc? Although, Goku, it was mostly due to the fact that you ate so much of it." He glanced over at the young man, who was staring at the orange-red strands with wonder.

Goku gave him a sheepish grin. "It tasted great. An' like ya said, ya didn't know then."

"That's true." Hakkai turned back to the stock pot on the stove and added some cubed tofu to the broth, then started heating up some water for the steamer. There was quiet between them while he filled the steamer with pork buns and sliced vegetables, and Hakkai could almost hear the gears turning in Goku's mind as he processed what he had learned.


Ah, the gears had finished. "Yes, Goku?"

Goku reached over and touched his hand. "Thank you," he said softly. "Ya... took care of me when I was feelin' so weird, an' ya were super nice about it."

Hakkai looked down at the tanned, callused hand that splayed over his. "It was my fault that it happened."

"Was that why?" Goku bit his lip. "Did we do all that stuff cuz ya felt guilty?"

"At first, yes," Hakkai admitted. "I let you kiss me and touch me because I was the one who cooked the food that got you into that state. As for the rest..." he felt heat bloom in his cheeks, "well, Goku, you were very... enthusiastic and I, ah, found that enthusiasm rather contagious."

A small, satisfied smile curved on Goku's lips. "It felt real good, didn't it?"

"Yes, it did." There was no point denying that they both had taken pleasure in each other - several times - throughout the night.

Goku brushed his fingers lightly against the back of Hakkai's hand. "D'ya think maybe we can do it again some time?"

Hakkai turned his wrist and grasped Goku's fingers, giving them a comforting squeeze as he shook his head. "I really don't think that would be wise."

Goku squeezed back, harder. "Neither is drivin' ta
India in a Jeep ta kill a demon king, but we're doin' that anyway."

He had a point, Hakkai conceded. He opened his mouth to take a different tack, but then Goku tilted his head up and kissed him. His kiss wasn't feverish and hungry like the night before, but it was still eager and alive and Hakkai responded to it just the same. Their tongues danced briefly and when Hakkai pulled back from the kiss, he realized that his body had responded too.

"Maybe?" Goku whispered. He squeezed Hakkai's hand again, softer this time.

"P-perhaps." Hakkai released Goku's hand and moved toward the stove just as Gojyo came into the room.

"Smells good, 'Kai! Oh, look, it's the pervert monkey." Gojyo walked over to the table, his hands hovering protectively over his backside.

"M'not a pervert, ya stinkin' kappa!" Goku growled as he stalked over to the other side of the table. "An' whatcha coverin' your ass for? Scared?"

"I don't want your pervert monkey hands damaging the merchandise," Gojyo retorted.

"You think I wanna touch you again? You're nuts," jeered Goku.

"You're the one who's nuts! You sure were handsy enough last night."

"M'better now. Besides, your ass is too bony."

"Why, you little-!"

Hakkai smiled as the two fell back into their usual bickering. Back to normal... almost, anyway. He tasted the broth, nodded approvingly to himself, and then he picked up the salt and pepper shakers and returned them to their place on the counter.

It was then that he noticed that the saffron was missing.

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