Heaven's in the West
Email: lilly_puff22 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Characters From: Saiyuki/Saiyuki Gaiden
Written For: 7thnight_smut
Warnings: m/m smut & implied relations, language, violence/blood
Disclaimer: Still not mine.
Written for the
7thnight_smut gift exchange for meicdon13.
Sanzo, Gojyo & Hakkai get new names in this, but Konzen &
It's as hot as a whore house on nickel night, but then again, it always is. The wind that blows through the town in sporadic gusts does nothing to help and as far as Deputy Gideon Hart is concerned, hot wind is always the worst kind; especially when it blows sand and dirt at you at high speeds. Gideon would thank the lord above -- if he believed the drivel that came out of the gospel mills -- that he didn't have to be out in the pastures counting cattle all morning; but he preferred to thank Lady Luck instead. She always seemed to have his back, be it at poker, or the daily grind. She was the only female he'd ever really trusted, with the exception of his mare, but horses were an altogether different matter, and far easier to get along with.
Gideon stretches and yawns, surprised that Harold's usually eye opening cup of Joe wasn't working for him like it normally did. If it weren't so blasted hot he'd just pop back over to the inn before lunch for a second round, but a hot beverage was the last thing he needed now.
Sighing, Gideon rests his feet up on the small office's even smaller desk and pulls his hat down over his eyes, his long red hair acting like blinders on both sides of his head. The jail's empty and quite as it usually is. Old Man Leary, the town drunk, has seen the inside of the cells more often than any real crook ever had, which Gideon is thankful for. It makes his job that much easier.
Listening to the howl of the wind as it makes its course through the town, Gideon starts to think that a nap might be in order, because really, there's nothing else to do, and it's too early to start drinking. He shifts his body in the old wooden chair, a piece of furniture obviously designed less for comfort and more for keeping people awake, and tries to doze off, and it would have worked too, if not for a sudden bout of excited laughter and high speed babble coming from outside the jail. Not bothering to move from his less-than-comfortable position, Gideon reaches above his head and pops open the shutters of the office's only window.
"Lucius Carver, is that you makin' all that fuss out there?" he yells, head tilted up and eyes closed against the puff of loose earth that flies in through the open window.
"Yes, sir," is the meek reply.
Gideon stifles a laugh, "Well, get in here boy and fill me in on the gossip."
"Ok!" Lucius replies enthusiastically, and in seconds Gideon finds himself staring under the brim of his hat at one Lucius Carver, the dark-haired, youngest son of the town's widowed mayor.
"Sorry to disturb you like that Deputy, but we're gettin' visitors in a couple days."
Gideon shrugs, as if uninterested. "What's so excitin' about that? We get visitors every day, or haven't you been payin' any attention?"
"I know, I know, but these are a different kind. At least, that's what the help's been sayin'."
"Well, spill it, then," Gideon replies, feigning irritation.
"They're from the East," Lucius announces, rather proudly.
Gideon snorts. "Have you been nippin' at your father's hooch again, boy? We're in the west. Most everyone that comes round here is from the east."
sir. They're from the
At that, Gideon actually raises his eyebrows, obscured as they are by his hat, "The Far East, you say?"
"Yes sir," Lucius replies with a nod of his head, "Ornamentals, or somethin' like that."
Gideon can't help but laugh, "I think the word you're lookin' for is Orientals."
"Oh yeah, that's it," the boy mutters, blushing.
"Your father knows about this, yes?"
"Did he go out to the pastures with the Sheriff this mornin'?"
"Yes sir, he did."
Gideon sighs, "Alright, I guess I should go up there 'n have a talk with the boys, then. Do me a favor, will ya?"
"Sure thing Deputy," Lucius replies, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically. Gideon has come to suspect it's mostly because Lucius, being the youngest of five, feels like he needs to do an extra bit of boot-lickin' in order to get noticed.
"Run down to the inn, tell Harold what you just told me so he can be ready to give a warm welcome."
"Yes, sir. Anythin' else?"
"No, that'll do for now Lucius."
Gideon waits until Lucius leaves the office before swinging his legs off the desk with far less enthusiasm than the kid had displayed when entering.
So much for that nap, he thinks to himself as he prepares to face the dust storm outside. How Lucius could enjoy running around in it, he had no idea.
Sheriff Eli Baker surveys the wide open plains before him, silently cursing his luck. Of all the days they could have picked to take a head count, they had to pick today; though he supposes he can count his blessing that he isn't down there doing the actual counting.
"Countin' these damned cattle would go a lot faster if they stood still for more then five seconds at a time," Eli grumbles to the man who sits astride a large gray stallion beside him. "Idiot creatures, if you ask me."
"Well Sheriff," Mayor Carver replies, "I reckon their intelligence is what keeps them from herding us around all day instead of the other way 'round."
Eli rolls his eyes and snorts charitably, before a loud, piercing whistle stops him from firing back a callous remark. Both Eli and the mayor half turn in their saddles and the sheriff spots his deputy in a blur of dust almost immediately. "Huh. Wonder what he's doin' out here."
"He must be pretty bored if he's venturing out into the dust storm this early in the day. Perhaps it's not such a good thing that your reputation precedes you, Sheriff."
The mayor laughs.
"What brings you out here, Gideon?" Eli asks when the deputy is in hearing range. "Any trouble in town?"
"That's a laugh," Gideon replies, though he's not actually laughing. "I just had a run in with your son, Mayor. He tells me we should be expectin' some company, soon."
"Ah yes, well, I am sorry you had to hear it from him first. I just finished telling the good Sheriff about it myself."
Eli notices when Gideon's eyes shift over to him.
way Mayor Carter tells it, they're big
money from the east. Their family is
"Why didn't they just take a boat directly to San Fran?" Gideon asks suspiciously and Eli has to remind himself that his deputy is no idiot. "Seems like they are takin' the long way."
they had some business to attend to in
"That's one hell of trip to make. When will they be here?"
"Two days, as long as the wind doesn't get worse. They'll be coming from Reighly."
"Reighly?" Gideon repeats with a shake of his head. "That's unfortunate, for them; too much thievery goin' on in that area these days."
"Well, from what I hear, they haven't been havin' much trouble. Seems they've got a couple guards. I've heard they're right scary fellows."
"Huh. Sounds like you might have some competition, Sheriff."
"I doubt it," Eli replies through a snort, amused by his so called reputation. He hasn't fired a round outside of practice for a couple years now, all because he had taken out a group of bandits before the thieves could even get their weapons sighted. News traveled fast after that, and since then he'd been seen as a harbinger of God's wrath, or the Devil's, depending on your view of things. In the west, people were quick to throw around praise; but in the end, it made his job easier.
"Well, it's better to be safe than sorry," the mayor says as a group of cowhands and ranchers pull up beside them. The mayor turns his attention to the new arrivals. "You gents all done?"
"Yes sir," replies the area's most prominent rancher, Francis White, "We think we got an accurate count."
"Good, that's what I like to hear. Now how 'bout we head on back to town and see if Harold can set us up with a nice meal and something cold to drink." The mayor's suggestion gets a hardy round of agreement. "You boys are going to join us, aren't you?"
Gideon replies with a "you bet" and Eli nods in agreement, though the two stay back a moment when the rest of riders start on their way.
"So what do you think of these visitors, Sheriff?"
Eli hold back his response until the latest gust of dusty wind passes them by. His blond hair flutters under his hat, but not nearly as much as Gideon's. After a moment, a tired half smile passes across his face.
"I do believe that we are in for one fuck of an ass kissin' session."
Gideon laughs and appears to go through great lengths to keep himself upright in his saddle. "I couldn't have said it better myself."
Harold Stiles -- owner of the Holy Moses Saloon, the Holly Day Inn, and the Circle K General Store -- is a man who always has something to do; which is why he is rather surprised to find himself leaning against his saloon's bar twiddling his thumbs. He had spent the last day and a half running around; making sure everything was just so for their soon to be arriving guests -- who were to be considered people of import, though Harold knew not why -- and what he originally thought was not enough time, turned out to be more than plenty. Of course, he'd had the help of several eager youngsters and a few others who needed some quick money, plus his usual night time help from the Holy Moses, but he was still worried that he might have missed something. To top things off, business seemed unusually slow, only Old Man Leary, Deputy Hart, and a couple others dotted the saloon. If he didn't know better, he'd think it was a Sunday.
"Sure is quiet," Harold mutters. "You don't think it has anything to do with these Easterners, do you? It's like everyone's afraid to come out."
Beside him, Gideon shifts and takes a long drag from his cigarette, "Maybe. It's past noon, this place should be swamped. But you know how people are when it comes to strangers."
Harold rolls his eyes. "We get lots of strangers here. I would think everyone would be used to it by now."
"Well, people are fickle," Gideon replies, and Harold doesn't miss the look the deputy gives him. "Especially when it comes to people who are different than they are,"
"It's a pity, but I suppose your right," Harold says through a sigh. "I guess we can only hope that everyone will warm up to the idea of them being here. At least it's only for a couple days; they should be able to deal with…"
Unable to finish his thought, Harold has to hold back a grin when Lucius Carver bounces into the saloon with a dopey grin on his face.
"Deputy! Mr. Stiles! They're almost here," the boy practically shouts, even though they are only a few feet away. "I could see the dust clouds from their stage!"
"That's great Lucius," Harold replies, patient and all smiles, as he usually is. "We'll be outside in just a few minutes."
With a nod of his head, Lucius turns around and runs back out the saloon doors, which still haven't stopped swinging from his entrance.
least the younger generation seems interested enough," Gideon replies,
laughing, as he grinds out his cigarette with a boot. Harold gives him a look for it, but the
deputy either doesn't notice it, or chooses to ignore it. Gideon's next words are slightly whispered, "Come
on, you old
Harold sighs. "And what, pray tell, is that?"
"Being our Ambassador of Good Will, of course. You'd be crazy to let me or the Sheriff welcome these boys to town on our own. And who knows what the Mayor will do, especially if there's a woman traveling with them. Poor man really misses his old lady."
Harold shakes his head, but pushes himself away from the bar none the less. "I suppose you're right. Sometimes I wonder how any of you ever managed to get to where you are now."
"I'm sure it has something to do with our good looks," Gideon replies and Harold tries to pretend that the deputy does not, if however briefly, grab his ass on their way out of the saloon.
The coach bounces and sways on the uneven dirt road below it, but none of its three occupants seem to notice. They've been traveling long enough that it doesn't faze them anymore.
On one side of the coach, Konzen Douji sits with his arms crossed in front of his chest, his head bobbing to and fro as he tries to doze. Unfortunately -- much like a certain Deputy a few days earlier -- he isn't having much luck, for something is pounding rather insistently on his silk clad leg.
"Konzen, where's Ken-nii-chan and Ten-chan? I can't see them," Goku half-whines, his face plastered up against the small porthole-like window across from the door of the coach.
Grumbling, Konzen leans forward and tries to peer around Goku's head and out the window. He barely gets a glimpse, but it's enough to tell him that neither of their escorts are within their limited seeing range. It's odd because throughout most of the trip, one or the other, if not both, usually hung around, if for no other reason than to keep Goku amused and otherwise distracted during their long days of travel.
Setting his gaze forward again, Konzen raises his eyebrows at the woman sitting across from him, "Where do you think they ran off to?"
The woman in question snorts, "Who knows with those two. I wouldn't worry about it; we should be arriving soon, anyway."
Konzen shrugs and shakes his head in annoyance, looking back towards Goku. "Don't worry about them Goku, they'll meet us at the next stop, ok?"
Goku nods but continues to stare out the window.
Kenren sits uneasy in his saddle, his eyebrows creased, as he stares at the fast moving cloud of dust on the horizon.
"How long do you think 'till they get here?" he asks as he turns to look at Tenpou.
"Ten minutes, maybe. They look like they are moving pretty fast."
"You think they're after us?"
"I don't know. They must be. Guess we should have carried around a sign that says we travel light."
Kenren snorts and shifts uneasily, a reaction mimicked by the horse beneath him. "Well, personal items aside, I'm sure they could get a good price out of Konzen and Goku; Kanzeon too, 'till they realize what she's hiding underneath all that silk."
Tenpou laughs, though it sounds like it's only halfhearted, "I suppose they will want us dead."
"Yeah," Kenren says, with a sigh, "it's a shame they won't realize how much of a price we could fetch."
"Indeed. Do you think we should head for the town, or try and cut them off here?"
Kenren shrugs and places a hand on the hilt of his sword. "I dunno. They probably have guns, we don't." There's something in his voice that says he might be a little bitter about this.
"True. We are pretty talented though," Tenpou replies, straightening in his saddle.
"And lucky," Kenren adds. "What the hell, lets give it a go. What's the worst that could happen?"
By the time the coach rolls into town, small groups of curious townspeople have begun to form on various porches and strangely enough, this comforts Eli. It's not until the coach comes to a stop in front of the jailhouse that the sheriff notices their guests' guards are nowhere in sight, which quickly erases any ease he'd regained.
Eli watches as an older gentlemen makes his way down from the front of the coach, immediately going to its door. He can tell by the way the man moves and reacts to all of the people around him -- which is to say he barely notices -- that the man is likely a servant, or perhaps an advisor that doesn't mind playing butler from time to time.
With finesses, the gray haired man pulls open the coach door and from its confines appears a woman who is, to put it mildly, scantly clad. Eli can hear more than a few men mutter at the sight of the busty woman in all of her fine sheer and silk.
"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance," Mayor Carver practically croons as he seems to appear out of nowhere at the lady's side, taking her hand and helping her down from the coach. Eli watches with raised eyebrows as the mayor places a chaste kiss on the back of the woman's hand. "Mayor Jonas Carver, at your service."
The woman bows low, "Pleased to meet you," she replies in nearly perfect English, though Eli isn't too surprised, considering they were supposed to be diplomats. "I am Kanzeon Bosatsu."
"Mrs. Bosatsu," the mayor repeats with a nod of his head and she laughs pleasantly.
"None of that 'Mrs.' business, Mayor. Please, call me Kanzeon."
"As you wish," he replies, but Eli barely hears it because his attention is suddenly focused on the man that is exiting the coach.
Eli blinks as the man's unbelievably long blond hair catches the rays of the afternoon sun. Even the slightest shake of his head makes the golden strands flicker with shades of yellow he never knew existed. Eli takes notice of the blond's outfit, black and red silk, almost like a dress, with how wavy and flowing it is. Eli can't deny that the blond is pretty, for he is, and it's been awhile since he's laid eyes on a truly pretty man. Behind the blond, a young boy jumps out of the coach.
"Mayor, this is my nephew, Konzen Douji and the little monkey hiding behind him is his ward, Goku.
"Howdy!" Goku says enthusiastically and Eli snorts while everyone else chuckles in amusement.
"Well, your on your way to becoming a fine cowboy," Harold says somewhere off to Eli's left. When his attention goes back to Konzen, Eli notices that Goku is staring at him intently.
"Wow," the boy says, looking up at him with wide eyes. "You're hair's almost as pretty as Konzen's!"
At that, Gideon and Harold -- and a few others -- laugh even harder.
"It is a pleasure to meet you all," the Mayor replies as he turns to face the small crowed that has gathered. "This is Sheriff Baker, Deputy Hart and Harold Stiles, who owns the inn you'll be staying at, among other pieces of prime property."
Everyone makes their proper hellos, though Eli's are mildly distracted. His thoughts, however, are broken when he hears the older man say something to Kanzeon in a tongue he doesn't recognize and can't understand.
Kanzeon nods her head in reply then turns her attention back to the group. "Jiroshin wants to know where your livery is, so he can settle the horses."
"Oh, of course, I'll show him," Harold replies, taking a step forward. "Er…does he speak any English?"
Jiroshin and Kanzeon both chuckle. "No, he doesn't. But he understands it perfectly."
"Ah," Hakkai says, sort of stunned, before smiling, "Well, that should be good enough."
Following the old man, Harold hops up onto the coach.
"Any of you boys want to help?" the Mayor asks and he gets several affirmatives from some of the gathered youngsters, the most enthusiastic coming from Lucius and two of his brothers, which was not in the least bit surprising. When coach beings to roll forward, the young men follow after it with enthusiasm.
"If I remember correctly, you were supposed to have a few guards with you, were you not?" Eli asks, now that his distraction seems to be waning and his need to do his job is ever nagging in the back of his head.
"Yes, we did. But they've been delayed. I'm sure they'll be around shortly."
"That's fine, ma'am," the mayor replies, all teeth and smiles. "Now what do you say we go inside and get you fine folks some food and drinks. You must be starving and in need of refreshment."
"Oh, that would be most delightful," Kanzeon replies, hooking her arm around the mayor's, as they begin to make their way to the inn. "I bet your hungry, aren't you Goku?"
Goku nods his head enthusiastically, not that Eli thought he could respond in any other way. He watches as Goku chases after Kanzeon and the mayor.
Barely audible, Eli hears Konzen snort. "She's such an attention whore," he says with a sigh.
Laughing loudly beside him, Gideon thumps Eli on the back. "Oh he's gonna fit in here just perfectly."
Eli just shakes his head and follows the rest of the crowd back to the inn.
"Are you alright?" Tenpou asks, his gaze falling upon the wound on Kenren's arm.
"Yeah, fine," he replies, wincing as he brushes a hand over the small hole in his arm. "Just wish I had a fucking gun."
"Well, there are plenty to choose from, now."
Kenren snorts, "Yeah, and they'll probably blow up in my face, the cheap pieces of shit."
Tenpou chooses to ignore Kenren's last remark, probably because he's always felt more comfortable with a sword in his hand anyway. "I don't think these guys are after us."
"Gee, whatever gave you that idea?" Kenren replies, and Tenpou knows that he is rolling his eyes, though he's too busy staring at what appears to be the second wave coming their way, to look at Kenren.
Sliding out of his saddle, Tenpou starts to look over the bodies that litter the ground around them, hoping to spot one that's still alive. As it turns out, Kenren was right in what he'd said earlier, they were indeed pretty lucky.
"Who are you after?" Tenpou nearly bellows -- in rough, but passable English -- as he holds the edge of his katana against the bandit's throat.
Having slid off his horse as well, Kenren walks up beside Tenpou, who remains focused on the sputtering man lying on a ground.
"We're…we're after…Sheriff Baker…" the man manages to wheeze out.
"Aw, fuck," Kenren curses, "Just want we needed; to roll into town in the middle of someone else's fucking battle."
"How many men?" Tenpou asks the wounded and likely dying man. For all he knows, he could have been the one to have shot Kenren, and that makes him that much angrier. When the man does not answer, Tenpou presses the blade harder against his throat. "Answer me."
"More than you can handle."
"You don't know us very well." Tenpou's expression twists as the blade of his sword drags across the bandit's throat. He doesn't look away when the blood beings to flow. "We need to get to the town."
"Yeah," Kenren replies, quietly.
"Are you sure you're ok?"
"Funny, I was about to ask you the same thing."
Harold almost drops the shot glass he is holding when he hears the sudden outburst of shouts coming from the street. He has no idea what is actually being said, but he recognizes the language that is being spoken. Judging by the harsh way in which the words seem to be spat into the air, Harold guesses that a lot of them are curses.
When he looks up, he sees the small crowd that had gathered near the door disperse in quite the panicked fashion; though he certainly can't blame them when he see the two men who burst into the inn a few moments later.
Immediately, Eli and Gideon are on their feet, hands on their pistol grips; but before anything can be said, Goku bolts across the room with a sudden burst of speed.
"Ten-chan! Ken-nii-chan!" Goku yells in excitement as he nearly tackles the taller of the two men.
Harold sighs in relief, though it's short lived when he realizes that both men are trying to hold their weapons away from the child because they are, quite obviously, stained with blood.
The man that Goku has attached himself to says something to the child, in their native tongue, before prying him from his leg and walking towards Konzen.
"Which one of you is Sheriff Baker?" he asks, and all heads turn towards Eli, who rolls his eyes.
Eli raises his hand, reluctantly.
"You'll be sorry you admitted that in a second. Looks like you've got some head hunters after you."
"Shit!" a voice chimes in, and Harold knows who that voice belongs to.
"Who are you?" Eli asks, suspiciously, as if Goku's display wasn't proof enough that they were on their side. Harold sighs.
"Sheriff," Kanzeon responds before anyone else has a chance to speak, "This is Tenpou Gensui and Kenren Taishou. They have both served my family for many years. I'm guessing from the look of things, you might want to hear them out. I doubt they bloodied themselves up."
Harold doesn't miss the odd little smirk that Kenren seems to give Kanzeon, as if they were sharing an inside joke.
"Alright then, what exactly is going on?" Eli asks and Gideon moves in closer.
Tenpou wastes no time in telling them, and in the process he learns a whole new string of western swear words.
Gideon watches as Harold pours whiskey over Kenren's exposed bullet wound. Kenren forces a string of foreign words -- plus a couple four letter words Gideon is quite familiar with -- through clenched teeth.
"Sorry," Harold mutters, though Gideon sorely doubts it the truth of that statement. Harold wasn't usually sorry about things he had no control over. Silently he watches as Harold deftly digs around in the hole with a pair of oversized tweezers, until he's pulling out the offending bullet. Kenren squirms once or twice, but remains silent for the rest of the 'procedure'.
"Thanks," he says, with a bow of his head as Harold wraps the wounded arm in a bandage.
"You're welcome," Harold replies, frowning. "It's not a very good job, but it'll do for now."
"You wouldn't happen to have an extra one of those?" Kenren asks, gesturing to the guns hung low on Gideon's hips, then towards Tenpou. "He didn't think we'd need them. And he's supposed to be the brilliant strategist."
The deputy laughs. "Not on me, no. But Harold does."
Kenren turns back towards Harold who has already dipped below the bar and brought up a couple double barreled shot guns. "I've never been a fan of revolvers, myself."
Kenren snorts as he picks up one of the shotguns and an ammo belt, giving it a strange look.
"Ever use one before?" Gideon asks and Kenren shakes his head as he rests the barrel against his shoulder. "Huh. Well, looks like you'll be a natural, really."
Gideon uses the other gun on the counter top to give Kenren a quick lesson. From the corner of his eye he can see Eli and Tenpou walking back towards them.
"It's pretty easy, just point 'n' shoot. Hell, you don't even have to have good aim with these babies, though, that's not necessarily a good thing."
"I'll keep that in mind."
"Alright boys, listen up," Eli bellows as he makes his way back to the bar. "Anybody with a gun stays here. Everyone else, I want upstairs taking cover in the rooms. Understood?"
To Eli's satisfaction, everyone nods, or shouts affirmatively.
"Gideon, I sent Mayor Carver out to get some more men. They're arming themselves at the jail. Go over there and give 'em a hand."
"Sure thing, Eli."
"Don't think those bandits won't see you, they're getting close, you won't have any advantage over them, you understand?"
"Yeah, no sweat." Gideon replies, before turning to Kenren, "Wanna come with?"
Kenren considers this, glances briefly at Tenpou, then nods, "Sure."
"No! Don't leave Ken-nii!" Goku yells from the top of the stairs and all eyes turn to see Konzen trying to keep the kid from bolting down the steps.
"Mah, don't worry Goku," Kenren replies, smiling, "Tenpou and the rest of these guys will protect you, isn't that right, Sheriff?"
Eli nods, "Of course."
"See, nothin' to worry about, I'll be back before you know it. Now go with Konzen, or I won't finish telling you that story about the kid who fell in the well."
"Alright," Goku replies before disappearing back up the steps with Konzen.
After that, everyone seems to focus on the task at hand as Gideon and Kenren creep out of the inn. Eli surveys the common room, noticing that Kanzeon and Jiroshin still remain at the table they'd been sitting at since they'd first arrived.
"What do you think you're doing?" Eli asks, irritated.
"I do believe the view will be far better from down here," Kanzeon replies, smiling.
Eli arcs his eyebrows. "Be that as it may, you should really go upstairs and take cover."
"I'll be fine Sheriff; I can take care of myself."
"And him?" Eli asks, nodding in Jiroshin's direction.
"Him too," Kanzeon replies, still smiling.
Like the calm before the storm, the outside world is silent before the bandits stampede into town, hooting and hollering and shooting their guns off into the air.
"Idiots," Eli mumbles under his breath as he picks out his first target and takes aim. From beside him, Tenpou snorts.
When Eli squeezes the trigger, all hell breaks loose.
At the sound of the first gunshot, Goku practically jumps into Konzen's lap, burying his head in Konzen's fine silks.
"Relax monkey," Konzen whispers, his arms unconsciously wrapping around the boys shaking frame. Sometimes he can't help but wonder why they ever left home.
When the bullets start to fly, Jiroshin flinches, "Merciful Goddess!" he mumbles under his breath.
Beside him, Kanzeon grins like a kid in a candy store.
Eli has little time to think and lucky for him, a gunfight isn't really something that requires him to think much. At least, not anymore. He's been doing this long enough that is second nature for him. It's a simple as breathing, always had been really, ever since the first time he'd fired a gun. He hadn't been much older than Goku.
Pushing the revolver's cylinder out in one easy motion, Eli starts to reload the chambers, nearly fumbling a bullet when he sees Tenpou charge out of the inn, his still bloody sword in hand.
"Son of a bitch!" Eli curses as he slides the remaining rounds into the chambers, flicks the cylinder back in, and quickly takes aim once more.
"That man is either very brave, or very stupid," Harold says from somewhere behind him.
Further away, Eli hears an amused chuckle from Kanzeon, "You'd be surprised how often those two traits go hand in hand."
"Jesus, Mary, 'n' Joseph," Gideon barks as he watches Tenpou run out into the streets, somehow managing to dodge bullets coming from all directions. "What the hell does he think he's doin'?"
From beside him, Kenren laughs and reloads the shotgun. "He's just being Tenpou."
"He's gonna get himself killed," Gideon replies as he watches Tenpou pull one of the men off his horse before finishing him off with one precise slash. Gideon blinks, then raises his eyebrows. "Or maybe not."
"Don't let him fool you," Kenren replies before firing off a round in the opposite direction of where Tenpou is fighting. "Usually he's much faster than this."
Gideon laughs and takes aim once more.
Occasionally a bullet whizzes past his ear, but Eli barely notices, too focused on his targets and making sure he doesn't accidentally shoot Tenpou. He blocks out the screams, the shouts, the cries of pain and especially the occasional spray of blood that manages to fly in his direction.
The sound of gunshots ring in Eli's ears, echoing their battle song, comforting and terrifying all at once, until they start to die away one by one. Its over too fast, and yet, not fast enough.
Eli revels in the regained silence for a moment before calling out, "How's it look out there?"
From down the street he hears Gideon answer back. "It's messy, but I think we're all clear."
Tenpou echoes his agreement as he begins to walk back towards the inn. Tired, Eli sinks down to the floor, peering out at the mess of bodies and blood that cover the dusty road. When he glances over towards the jailhouse, Eli can't help but laugh, exhausted as he is.
Strutting their stuff like they own the place, Gideon and Kenren are making their way back towards the inn; Gideon's hands resting on his pistol grips and Kenren's shotgun once again resting against his shoulder.
Eli snorts and glances at Tenpou. "Looks like Kenren is getting a hang of being a cowboy."
Tenpou looks in the direction of the two men and snorts before shaking his head. "I was afraid of that."
Barely two hours after the fighting stopped, the streets were clear of bodies and the town's mortician was earning his keep, plus a little overtime. The ranchers helped herd up the now abandoned horses that had stuck around the town, and only one had to be put down because of its injuries. Many fallen weapons were collected and from what Eli gathered, Kenren was now rather pleased to have his own pair of revolvers, which he thought were of higher quality than the ones from the first wave.
"What's the damage report?" Eli asks Harold as he leans up against the bar, sipping a very tall glass of Harold's finest whiskey; the kind he usually kept in a safe. All around him people were gathering in both the inn and the saloon, ready to celebrate the day's victory.
"Well, nothing too serious. The doctor has seen to the worst cases. No deaths, and none are likely to die, lest they take a strange and sudden turn for the worse."
"That's good," Eli replies, still miffed that it had taken two years for any retribution to come down on his from his last tangle with roaming bandits. Of course, considering their numbers, it was a wonder it didn't take longer. The petty thieves and murderers of the world weren't exactly known for their planning.
"Have you seen Kenren, Eli?" Harold asks and Eli gives the man a strange look. Harold returns it with a look of his own. "I haven't been able to properly clean and bandage his wound yet."
"I think he's upstairs making good on his promise to Goku," Eli replies and when Harold moves to head towards the rooms, Eli stops him. "I'll get him; you've done enough running about these last couple hours.
"Thanks," Harold replies and Eli waves it off as if it was nothing, and frankly, in the great scheme of this, it really was.
Eli knocks gently on the door to Konzen's room and a few moments later, Kenren answers it, a finger pressed against his lips.
"He just fell asleep," Kenren says as he steps outside of the room, "What's up?"
"Harold wants to see you, said he needs to do some make up work on that arm of yours."
"Oh, right, almost forgot about it," Kenren replies with a grin, but Eli can see the pain hidden behind the smile. "Can you keep an eye on him 'till Konzen gets back? He went to get some stuff from the coach."
Eli shrugs apathetically, "Sure, as long as you go straight down to Harold. He'll likely reward you with some better than average rotgut if you are a good little patient."
Kenren laughs, before giving Eli a half-wave, half-salute and making his way downstairs.
Almost half-asleep himself, Eli barely notices when Konzen enters the room and it's not until he feels like he's being watched that he looks up. For a moment, the two blonds stare at each other, as if drinking each other in after going a day with out water.
"He's out like a light," Eli whispers and Konzen actually smiles a little.
"Did you do that?" Konzen asks and Eli has to keep from laughing.
"No, that was all Kenny Chan, or whatever he calls Kenren."
Konzen's smile brightens and Eli thinks that if it weren't for the sleeping kid, he'd probably be laughing. "Ken-nii-chan," Konzen replies, stressing the syllables.
"It means 'big brother'. It's figurative, of course."
"Of course." Well, things made a little more sense now that he knew that. For an almost awkward moment, silence reigned. "Well, I guess I should let you have some privacy."
Konzen bows slightly, then follows Eli out of the room, closing the door behind him when they are both in the narrow hallway.
"Thank you for keeping an eye on him."
"Not a problem," Eli replies before he begins to lean forward towards Konzen. He isn't sure why he does it -- lingering post battle adrenaline, he tries to convince himself -- but he grabs Konzen's shoulders firmly, pulling the blond close, bringing their lips together in a soft kiss. To Eli, Konzen tastes like nothing he's ever tasted before. His lips are soft and sweet and exotic, and it makes Eli's stomach twist in a way that worries him; though not as much as the fact that Konzen's not really protesting, but at the same time, not really joining in either.
Pulling away, Eli stares into Konzen's strange violet eyes, really seeing how vibrant they are for the first time.
"This might not be the best place," Konzen says in a low voice as he nods towards the door to his room.
Eli refrains from cursing out loud and instead mentally kicks himself square in the ass. "We can stop," he replies, through slightly clenched teeth.
"We could," Konzen agrees, "or we could find another room."
A satisfied half-smile crosses Eli's face as he pulls Konzen towards the room next door, relieved to find it unlocked and unoccupied when they burst in and head straight for the bed. When they hit the mattress, Eli resumes his taste test of Konzen's lips and mouth and this time the man responds in kind as their tongues begin to twist and tangle.
As enjoyable as the silk is against his skin, Eli finds that it's too much of a hindrance with all of its folds, and slowly he begins to work it off of Konzen, following the garment down his body with his lips. Every inch of bare skin he exposes he gives a bit of attention to, with lips and tongue and teeth, electing pleasant little moans and groans from the man that writhes beneath him.
When he reaches Konzen's stomach, Eli, for the moment, tries to ignore Konzen's obvious erection, moving back up the man's body with long, languid licks against his slightly tanned flesh. Konzen shudders beneath him and Eli begins to undo his belt and holster as the lips press firmly against each other once more.
Belt gone, Konzen beings to unbutton the front of Eli's shirt as the sheriff gives attention to Konzen's small nipples. On anyone else, the would seem horribly out of place, but on this thin, fragile looking man, the fit so well, though Eli has a sneaking suspicion that Konzen isn't nearly as breakable as he looks.
His shirt gone, Eli beings to relish the feel of Konzen's fingers against his flesh, especially when the long fingers pinch and twist at his own nipples. In his tight jeans, Eli's erection throbs and he can't take the torture anymore. Quickly he beings to undo the buttons on his pants, but before he has a chance to free his erection on his own, Konzen's hand his snaking it's way into his pants and Eli is shutting his eyes tight as he hold back a moan that so badly wants to escape his lips. Instead, he takes a handful of Konzen's long hair in his hand as he tries to slide his pants off with the other. It's not an easy task, but with some help from Konzen, he makes do.
His erection free of its constraints, Eli focuses on the pleasant strokes that Konzen is working his cock with and he has to fight the urge to thrust into the tightness. The last thing he wants to do is seem needy. Of course, this thought doesn't stop him from moaning wantonly when Konzen suddenly takes his cock into his mouth, sucking gently at first around the head, then harder and deeper as he takes more of it in.
Eli runs dull nails up and down Konzen's spine as the man sucks him harder and with increasing speed. Almost as if an afterthought, Eli sticks a couple of fingers in his own mouth to slick them up a little before trailing his fingers down Konzen's spine, letting his finger tips tease gently at Konzen's puckered hole. When he slides one finger in, to tease and fuck Konzen, the man sucks even harder at Eli's cock.
Gasping, Eli fights off his need to orgasm as he slides the second finger inside Konzen, who moans beautifully, even if it does cause his cock to slide from the blonde's mouth. Allowing himself a second to regroup from the edge he was so closely teetering on, Eli wiggles and bends and scissors his fingers inside of Konzen until neither of them seem to be able to wait any longer. Untangling his fingers from Konzen's long strands of hair, Eli brings Konzen's head back into his lap and Konzen sucks at his erection a few more times before Eli pulls him up so that he straddles his lap, his throbbing, aching cock wanting very much to be inside the strange, exotic man.
When the tip begins to slide inside Konzen, Eli grabs the blond's erection in his hand, and squeezes firmly. Konzen squirms on top of him, his muscles clenching tight around Eli's cock, once more bringing him painfully close to the edge. Eli groans and pulls Konzen down to him so that their lips can meet in a searing kiss mixed with tongues and teeth and moans as Konzen begins to ride Eli with reckless abandon.
Moaning into each other's mouths, both men revel in the feel of each other as Konzen rocks on Eli's cock and Eli strokes and squeeze, and bites and nibbles, his free hand returning to Konzen's hair, where the long strands tangle around his fingers.
With a tug to his hair and a bite to Konzen's shoulder, Eli increases his pace inside of him and suddenly feels a wet warmth spilling over his hand. Konzen makes the most delicious noises as Eli also finds his release with grunts and moans and an incredibly large amount of body spasms.
Exhausted from the trying day they've had, both men slump over on the bed dazed and lightheaded, and for one brief, fleeting moment, they feel like they are one.
Morning finds a quarter of the townspeople hung-over and many others recovering from their wounds. Kanzeon -- being one of those to be suffering from the former ailment -- decides that one more day off the road can't hurt. Or at the very least, it won't hurt nearly as much as the bumpy roads will if they leave right away.
Those that are able begin to help with the repairs to both the exterior and interiors of the buildings along the main road that lead into town, and Harold and his staff cook up meals for everyone that's helped out.
After lunch, Eli and Konzen manage to slip away while Goku is occupied with chasing -- and being chased by -- Lucius and some of the other youngsters and Eli thinks it might be amusing if their last roll in the hay is exactly that.
To their surprise, for they are too busy exploring each other's mouths with their tongues to notice right away, they find the stables already occupied. Muttering apologies and curses, they backpedal out of the barn, lickety-split.
Wide eyed, Eli turns to Konzen, trying hard not to laugh, or be freaked out, he isn't sure which. "Did you know about those two?"
He shakes his head and sighs. "Fuck it; we're going to my place."
"I don't suppose I have a say in this, do I?" Konzen asks, trying to act as if he has at least a mild sense of propriety.
"None at all," Eli replies as he leads the way.
Konzen smiles brightly, almost as brightly as the sun that shines down upon them.
"I didn't think so."