TITLE:  Pressed Flowers

AUTHOR:  Lotus

PAIRING:  Sanzo/Hakkai


WARNING:  Language, sexual situation

SUMMARY:  Hakkai brings Sanzo flowers, and the monk is grumpy about it.



Returning from morning meditation in his private garden, Sanzo slipped off his sandals and stepped into the outer room of his quarters.  His attendant had set out breakfast and the newspaper on his desk.  Sanzo turned to fetch his cigarettes and reading glasses from the bedroom, then stopped.


He's here.


Trying to ignore the way his irrational heart began thumping, Sanzo approached the desk.   A small white flower, still damp with the dew, rested against the side of his teacup.  The flower was the signal that he had come to the temple alone today.  Sanzo held back his sleeve and picked up the blossom.   It was a sagi-sou, a white egret flower, so named because it looked like a graceful egret launched into flight; the two fringed petals open like wings, the center straight like the long, outstretched neck of a bird.  The petal-wings trembled slightly, as if the flower meant to fly away from him, and Sanzo realized his hand was shaking.




Irritated at his body's juvenile response to a bit of botany, Sanzo was of half a mind to throw the damned thing outside and pretend he had never seen it.  Instead of walking to the garden, Sanzo found himself striding toward his bedroom.  Frowning, he flung open the door.  The shoji screen barked in protest against the wood frame.


Hakkai lifted his head slightly but didn't turn around from where he stood with his back to the door, arranging more of the sagi-sou by the window table.  It almost appeared as if Hakkai was herding a flock of white butterflies hovering over the vase.  He had taken his tunic off and folded it neatly over the low chair and his long-sleeved black shirt was untucked over his tan trousers.  Standing in his bare feet, casually arranging flowers in Sanzo's bedroom, Hakkai looked almost... domestic.  Sanzo's frown deepened.  He stomped the four steps over to Hakkai, who calmly held out his hand for the flower.  Hakkai had beautiful hands, with long, gracefully articulated fingers that almost seemed too delicate for a man.  It was deceiving; Sanzo knew very well what those hands were capable of.  Automatically, Sanzo handed Hakkai the flower, nerves tingling when their fingers brushed.  Hakkai examined the flower, stem bent from being clenched in Sanzo's fist.


"Sanzo," Hakkai began as he inserted the flower into the arrangement.  "If the flowers bother you, I don't have to bring them."


Sanzo crossed his arms over his chest.  "The only thing more annoying than seeing the damn flower would be not seeing one," he grumbled.


Hakkai cocked his head at him, and the perplexed look dissolved into a smile.  "Ah, I see."


Hakkai turned away, but his shoulders started shaking suspiciously.


"Mmph."  Hakkai covered his averted face with a hand.


Eyes narrowing, Sanzo grabbed Hakkai's upper arm and jerked him around, pulling his hand away in the process.


"Ah, ha, ha, ha!"  Hakkai's face was red from holding in the laughter.


"Stop laughing like an idiot," Sanzo snarled.


"Ah, ha, ha."  Hakkai wiped the corner of his eye.  "I apologize, Sanzo.  It's just that you are so..."  Hakkai smiled at him.  "Endearing."


"Don't make me shoot you," Sanzo threatened.


"Ha, ha, ha," Hakkai broke out into fresh laughter.


Fisting the front of Hakkai's shirt, Sanzo jerked him forward and kissed him hard.  The laughter was cut off abruptly, to Sanzo's immense satisfaction.  After the first bruising collision their lips yielded into the kiss.  When Sanzo flicked his tongue out, Hakkai's mouth opened immediately, and he thrust inside, angling his head to go deep.  Sanzo released the shirt and slid his hands up to cup Hakkai's face, holding his head in place while he hungrily devoured Hakkai's mouth.  Sanzo tasted tea and mint and that other flavor that was simply Hakkai:  instead of satisfying him, it sharpened his hunger.  He groaned softly in frustration.


Why?  Why did Hakkai always make him want more?  Wanting was dangerous.  It led to expectation.


Hakkai moaned into his mouth, and Sanzo greedily swallowed the sound as he felt hands slide around his waist, pulling their bodies together.  Another groan, this time because of the pressure on his erection against Hakkai's pelvis.  They swayed slightly as they kissed, and Sanzo realized Hakkai was walking him backwards toward the sleeping pallet.  He resisted.  Here, at this stage, Sanzo still had control.  He knew from experience once Hakkai actually got him into bed, all dignity would be lost.  Hakkai turned his head in Sanzo's hands and kissed his ear, making a sound halfway between a sigh and a laugh.  Then Hakkai spun them around and simply fell backwards onto the pallet, taking Sanzo with him.


"Bastard," Sanzo growled.


"I beg your pardon," Hakkai said, before pressing his smile into Sanzo's lips.



Afterwards, while Hakkai slept, Sanzo slipped out of bed and padded over to the table.  It was easy to find his blossom; the head drooped slightly on the bent stem.  Careful not to disturb Hakkai's elegant arrangement, Sanzo pulled the flower out and left the bedroom.  In his study, Sanzo removed a piece of rice paper from the desk drawer.  Trimming the stem with his thumbnail, he fastidiously arranged the flower on the paper and folded it in half.  Turning around, he pulled a thick book off the shelves and set it down on the desk, opening it with care.  He flipped past half a dozen pressed flowers inside their folded rice paper, then found a good place and slid the newest blossom inside.


"Sagi-sou," Sanzo whispered.  "Habenaria radiata, white egret flower.  A wild orchid."


Smoothing the rice paper one last time with his fingertips, Sanzo carefully closed the book and replaced it on the shelf.  A year ago, Sanzo would have walked past a field thronging with flowers and not have noticed the colorful plants; he certainly wouldn't have known anything about them.


Now he knew the name of every wildflower between Hakkai's home and the temple.

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