Title: Zang Fu Theory, Part 12
Email: ladylotusmoon (a) hotmail (o) com
Author: Lotus
Pairing(s): Sanzo/Hakkai/Gojyo/Goku
Rating: NC17
Summary: P1 - Sanzo and Hakkai are called away in the middle of the night to help a severely injured farmer and Gojyo is left babysitting a dragon. P2 - Hakkai is possessed by a fire oni, & the oni's attempt to draw heat results in a sexual situation. P3 - Upon Hakkai & Sanzo's return to the inn, Gojyo & Goku realized what happened & Gojyo attacks Sanzo. P4 - Hakkai attempts to be peacemaker. P5 - Sanzo & Goku have a chat in the bath. P6 - Gojyo uses his special brand of persuasion. P7 - Battle in the bath house. P8 - Gojyo remembers Jien's magic beans. P9 - Hakkai & Gojyo wash the ash off. P10 - Hakkai tends Sanzo's wounds. P11 - Goku gets embarrassed in the bathroom. P12 - Hakkai remembers the past and Gojyo seeks solace.
Warning: Language, Sexual Situations
Notes: As you all know, there are some differences between the manga and the anime. In the manga, Hakkai actually gouged out his eye and threw it at his attacker, in the anime, he only scratched his eye. I'm following the manga.

Disclaimer: Kazuya Minekura's beautiful boys. If they were mine, there'd be more stops at onsens, secluded woodland bathing pools, shower scenes and overall general nudity. And fewer female wait staff.

---


The sound of his eyelashes scraping against the inside of the bandage seemed as loud as locusts to Gonou's ears. The empty socket and the fragile flesh of the lids throbbed with pain from where he had gouged out his own eye. When he washed his hands, bits of bloody tissue had come out from under the nails.

Squatting by the stream, he had wondered how far he would have been able to disassemble himself before succumbing to death. The thought had provoked a fit of laughter, stopped by a concerned look from Gojyo. Poor Gojyo-san. He had made a mess of all of Gojyo's efforts to save him. He'd ripped open the wound running, and the monks had to stitch him back together again. The gut wound hurt as well. It itched so fiercely it was like a slow burn crawling over his belly.

Gonou turned his head on the pallet and focused his good eye on the covered cup of tea set carefully on a bamboo tray next to him. After the numbing effects of the first cup, he realized the bitter, yellowish-brown tea was laced with opium. He refused to drink it again. He didn't deserve relief from the pain. Nor did he warrant even a moment's distraction.

So he turned away from the medicinal tea and closed his eye to the beauty of the garden surrounding him. He concentrated on the pain, letting the scraping eyelashes cover the birdsong, the itching burn consume the warmth of dappled sunlight. He was so absorbed in his self-inflicted penance, that he failed to realize he was not alone in the garden.

"The purpose of this sanctuary is peaceful reflection."

Gonou started violently, pain wrenching his gut as his eye snapped open. A figure in white stood above him, flowing robes pristine, hair a golden nimbus of light. For a moment, Gonou wondered if he hadn't actually died in the blood-puddled mud, and one of the archangels loomed before him, prepared to bar his entry to Paradise. the archangel reached into the sleeve of his robe and Gonou fully expected him to withdraw a flaming sword or some other sacred object with which to smite him. There was a click, a flash of light, then a trail of smoke rose in the air.

Shocked, Gonou realized the archangel was smoking a cigarette. The angel moved out of the light, sinking gracefully into a cross-legged position in the grass like a white lotus drifting to the ground. Gonou blinked up at the monk who had fought Gojyo, chased him down, taken him into custody to stand trail before the Sanbutsushin. The monk who had stood in respectful fearlessness before the Three Aspects of Buddha and asked for his life. The monk who had chanted for Kanaan. Fathomless purple eyes observed him through twisting tendrils of smoke.

"Did you tear off your ears when I wasn't looking?" Sanzo asked.

"Sanzo-sama?" Gonou blinked in confusion.

"Che." Sanzo took another deep drag on the cigarette. "The monks didn't carry your pallet into the garden sanctuary to wallow in pain."

"I wasn't wallowing," Gonou protested.

A glint of purple that saw a little more than Gonou was comfortable with, then Sanzo lifted the lid on the tea and peered inside.

"Hm. It's just as well that you learn to deal with the pain now," Sanzo said.

The lid rattled back into place, and Sanzo looked up at the sky as a crane flew over the sakura trees. The creature flew low enough that the black tips of his wings and long orange legs were visible against the blue sky. Gonou watched the leaf shadow sway over Sanzo's pale throat and white robes, the gentle breeze tangling smoke in the fair hair.

This holy man was such a contradiction. He spoke directly with the Three Aspects and was treated with reverence by the other monks, yet he smoked and, according to Gojyo, fought dirty as a bar drunk. Sanzo's terribly beautiful face lowered and his gaze locked on Gonou.

"Cho Gonou's funeral is in two days," Sanzo said around the cigarette. "But I can't wait that long to start training you. With your Youkai powers, you're a danger to everyone, including yourself."

"Powers?" Gonou frowned, puzzled. He didn't feel different, most especially not powerful. Quite the opposite.

Sanzo snorted. "Do you think the average human being could walk miles with his guts hanging out, recuperate so quickly, then walk around after pulling out his own eye?" he asked.

Gonou flushed, hand touching the bandage over his eye. In the wild madness of both those nights, the adrenaline from the terrible violence he had inflicted and received had overwhelmed rational thought.

"I am going to teach you how to control that power," Sanzo said, recalling his attention, "and your Youkai nature through a discipline called Chi Kung."

"Chi Kung," Gonou repeated.

"Since Cho Gonou will die, I will call you Oshiego during training until you receive your new name." Sanzo put out the cigarette butt in the tea saucer.

"What shall I call you?" Gonou asked.

Holding his stomach for support, he tried to roll up to a sitting position, a grunt of pain escaping him. A pale hand reached out, gold ring on the middle finger glinting in the sun, and helped pull him up the rest of the way.

"You may call me Shishou," Sanzo said.

Sitting so close together, clasping the surprisingly strong hand, Gonou thought he saw something pass over Sanzo's purple eyes. Something sad and beautiful, like the slow flight of the crane across the dark blue sky.

 

---


Leaving a stuffed Goku in the common room, Gojyo headed toward the stairs to fetch the other two for a game of Majong. His late lunch/early dinner with Goku had passed with a great deal less squabbling than usual. Feeling extremely generous, Gojyo even let Goku have the last dumpling. They did tend to fight less when Hakkai and Sanzo weren't around anyway. Although a lot of their cutting up was to alleviate the sheer boredom, sometimes it was also to distract the more serious half of the party.

Gojyo was in extremely high spirits. Overall, today's events had tipped the scales more on the positive side than the negative.

Fishing out his cigarettes, Gojyo started up the stairs to their rooms. First, he'd managed to save the ikkou in a battle using something other than muscle for once. He smiled around the cigarette at the thought of his "good fortune" bean and the disbelieving look on Hakkai's face.

Gojyo paused to light the stick, snapping the lighter closed and shoving it into his front pants pocket. Taking a drag, he continued climbing the stairs. Then, there was the whole fan-fucking-tastic experience of having Hakkai cum in his arms. His cock stirred at the memory of the delicately flushed skin and soft cries. He had to adjust himself as he stepped into the hallway.

Finally, he had managed to help out a fairly clueless saru on the finer points of wanking. In all the physical aspects of sex, he felt supremely confident, and it had been gratifying to share some small part of his considerable knowledge and do a good deed. Hakkai wasn't the only member of the ikkou who could teach stuff. Gojyo was kinda proud of how his impromptu lesson had turned out. Obviously, Goku was a happier monkey.

Stopping outside Hakkai and Sanzo's room, Gojyo tried the latch. He frowned when he found it locked. Hakkai kept doors unlocked in case someone needed him, and Sanzo as a general rule didn't lock them either. Gojyo suspected it was so the monk wouldn't lose the opportunity to shoot assassins lacking lock-picking skills. Gojyo raised the back of his hand to knock when a sound made him freeze.

A cold shiver of dread crept over his skin as he held his breath, listening between the thuds of his own heavy heartbeat. He must be mistaken. Standing in the empty hallway, Gojyo strained to the limit of his hanyou senses for the slightest sound from behind the locked door. Around him he heart the creak of old wood settling, muted voice downstairs, and the very faint clatter of crockery from the kitchen.

Then he heard it again. It was a sound he was more than passing familiar with, both on the battlefield and in the bedroom; the unmistakable sound of flesh striking flesh. Unlike the erratic staccato of a fight, this had the steady rhythm of hard sex. Gojyo's forehead touched the door as the cigarette slipped from his lips, bouncing in a small shower of sparks between his feet.

Hakkai and Sanzo were fucking.

Closing his eyes, the sound he had strained to hear before was now inescapably obvious. To his experienced ear, Sanzo's low grunts and Hakkai's muffled cries made it very clear the monk was topping and the healer was face down. Not how he would have done it. Even if doggy-style was a little easier on virgins, Gojyo would have wanted those green eyes, wanted to lick his name off those lips...

"Fuck," Gojyo whispered, hands clenching into fists.

He shoved away from the door and turned toward the stairs. Gracelessly, he slide down several steps, catching himself by pushing against the wall. Somehow, he managed to get down the narrow staircase and through the common room to the inn's entrance.

Ignoring Goku's call, he stumbled blindly through the noren into the street. A bar. He needed to find the nearest bar. Gojyo patted his pockets and dug out a small roll of bills from a rear pocket. He quickly counted as he walked. A hundred yen. Enough to get a game going to win some serious drinking money and some company. Yeah, he needed to lose his head in some liquor and his dick in a woman. Or two.

It was time to let this sleepy dustball know that Sha Gojyo was in town.

 

---


Gonou sat shirtless on the pallet in the garden, holding himself erect while the healer finished re-wrapping his midsection. Movement caught his eye, and he looked past the bowed shoulder of the elderly monk at a figure in white striding purposely toward him, sleeves fluttering. Half a dozen shorter monks in orange robes were practically jogging to keep up with Sanzo-sama. Even from here Gonou could read the rigid tension in the blonde man's gait. He almost looked as if he were trying to escape the cluster of monks. The effect was rather like a white swan being chased by a group of quacking orange ducks.

"Thank you," Gonou murmured as the healer gathered his materials and stood.

"You are most welcome, honored guest of Sanzo-sama," the monk showed a toothless smile in a face that reminded Gonou of a roasted walnut. Bowing, the healer scuttled away.

"Most holy Sanzo-sama, your young... charge was climbing over the Buddha statue again," one of the monks said as the group approached close enough for Gonou to hear.

"And the unclean Taboo Child has returned to the gates, demanding entrance," another monk spoke up. "He is making a most unseemly amount of noise."

"And using terribly offensive language," another monk added.

"Sanzo-sama, your charge..." the first monk began again.

"Urusai!" Sanzo stopped, and the monks practically fell over themselves in surprise.

Sanzo turned around, so Gonou couldn't see his face, but his back was ramrod straight.

"I will deal with Goku. As for the hanyou," Sanzo paused, "tell him I will come and see him when the matter of Cho Gonou is settled."

"As you wish." "Wise as always, Holy One." The monks spoke at once, bald heads bobbing as they bowed, then fled, orange sleeves flapping. The resemblance to ducks was uncanny.

Rolling his shoulders, Sanzo turned around. Gonou started to get to his feet, suppressing a painful wince, but Sanzo raised a hand for him stay seated. That same hand pushed through the blonde bangs as Sanzo gracefully sank onto the mat across from him.

"Am I to understand that Gojyo-san is here?" Gonou inquired politely.

"Che," Sanzo snorted. "Every day since I brought you to the temple. Pain in the ass."

Gonou's eyebrows rose. It still startled him to hear profanities come out of the angelic-faced monk.

"Perhaps I should speak to him," Gonou suggested.

"He's a distraction," Sanzo waved his hand like he was shooing a fly.

Lips compressed, Gonou looked down at his hands. Guilt twisted his gut, and he imagined the burning itch around the stitches flared. It felt wrong to be so inconsiderate to the redhead who had shown him nothing but kindness and asked nothing in return. Yet, he was hardly in a position to take any action. Although his status had been changed from prisoner to guest, it had been made very clear to him that while he was at the Temple of the Rising Sun, he was under Sanzo's direct authority.

"Oshiego," Sanzo said.

Gonou looked up. Sanzo pulled his arms out of his sleeves and pushed his robe down to gather around his slender waist. The form-fitting black silk shirt and arm gloves emphasized the lean muscle of his upper body. Gonou remembered what Gojyo had said about the monk's fighting skills.

"Pay attention, because I hate repeating myself," Sanzo cautioned.

"Of course, Shishou," Gonou put on his alert listening face.

"Chi means "energy" and Kung means "work". It describes the system that focuses on channeling lifeforce energies. Chi Kung draws on multiple elements and requires focus and control. The body is controlled through posture and breathing, and the mind through concentration of mental activity," Sanzo paused, and gave him an evaluating look.

"I understand," Gonou said, when it appeared Sanzo was waiting for some sort of response.

"Do you," Sanzo's eyebrow quirked and his tone made it clear he had his doubts.

"Yes, Shishou," Gonou tried not to sound defensive. He wasn't used to having his intelligence questioned.

"There are three parts to Chi Kung," Sanzo continued, ""Still" is seated meditation. "Standing Stance" is motionless standing posture. "Moving" is combining the internal quiet with external movement. Today we will be focusing on Still."

"I believe I understand the concept of meditation," he began, "perhaps we could focus on controlling the youkai power..."

"Urusai," Sanzo interrupted sharply, purple eyes flashing. "Who am I?"

Gonou blinked, startled. "Shishou?"

Sanzo nodded. "And you are?"

"Oshiego?" he ventured.

"Exactly. Which means I have knowledge and you know nothing."

Despite himself, Gonou felt his mouth start to open. He had been a teacher himself, after all, and was not completely ignorant.

"Nothing," Sanzo repeated with emphasis, and Gonou's mouth snapped closed.

"Yes, Shishou," he said quietly.

Sanzo nodded approval. The monk pulled up the edges of the robe to reveal bare feet nestled above the opposite leg, then let it drop again.

"This is the lotus position, the most common pose for Stillness," Sanzo said.

Reaching out, Sanzo grasped Gonou's right ankle and pulled it out from under his left knee where it was resting in his cross-legged position, and pulled it up over the leg. The unfamiliar position felt strange, but not unduly uncomfortable, just a slight pull on the thigh muscle. Gonou expected Sanzo to move his other foot as well, but the monk sat back.

"That is the half-lotus position," Sanzo said. "It'll do for you. If you wish, you can practice until you can sit in full lotus. I don't care."

Gonou nodded. He would try the full lotus on his own later. He resolved that he would learn everything Sanzo-sama deigned to teach him, to practice each lesson until he exceeded the enigmatic monk's expectations of him.

"Fold your hands like so," Sanzo continued.

Sanzo cupped his left hand palm up as if it were holding water, then lay his right hand inside, also palm up, thumbs touching. He rested his cupped hands lightly against his abdomen. Gonou mimicked the gesture, and glanced up at Sanzo for approval, who nodded.

"Close your eyes," Sanzo said, eyelids lowering over those strangely sad purple eyes, "and take a deep breath, then let it out slowly. Clear your mind."

Gonou closed his eye and followed Sanzo's instructions. When he breathed in and expanded his chest, the bandages tightened. He could feel the slight pull of the stitches. Skin was such a fragile material, really; it damaged so easily. He remembered it had only given token resistance under the point of the knife before parting and spilling its contents like the crust of an undercooked pie.

"I said clear your mind." Sanzo's voice sliced through his thoughts.

Gonou's eye snapped open, and he looked at Sanzo, who still sat in lotus, hands folded, eyes closed. The symmetrical face was as blank as a statue.

"Shishou?" Gonou whispered. Maybe he had imagined the voice?

"I can hear you thinking from here," Sanzo said without opening his eyes.

"Ah." Gonou cleared his throat. "I apologize."

"Try picturing a cloudy sky," Sanzo suggested, "then let the clouds dissipate one by one until there is only a clear blue sky stretching out endlessly over you."

Closing his eyes, Gonou did as instructed. Visualizing the cloudy sky was easy. Only, instead of dissipating, the clouds grew darker and heavier until the blue of the sky was completely obliterated, and he could feel the oppressive weight of the impending storm. A flicker of lighting, like the forked tongue of snake, flashed across the backs of his eyelids, and he tensed, waiting for the crack of thunder he knew was coming.

"You're fucking up the breathing."

With a jump, Gonou's eye popped open and he struggled to focus on the monk, who was now watching him, purple eyes unreadable. Gonou realized he had indeed lost the rhythm of the deep breathing and was actually panting. He made a conscious effort to slow the breathing down, but Sanzo looked unimpressed.

"Che."

Sanzo scooted forward until their knees were touching. He reached out with two fingers and pressed a place about an inch below Gonou's navel. His abdominal muscles contracted in response, but Hakkai managed not to pull back.

"This is the dantian, " Sanzo said. "Concentrate on this single point. Picture pushing your breath all the way down to my fingers, then letting it out. Don't think about anything else."

Closing his eye, Gonou took a deep breath, felt it fill his lungs, then let it out slowly. He felt Sanzo's fingers push in more.

"You're still breathing too shallow," Sanzo spoke quietly.

Frowning with concentration, Gonou took another breath and forced it down, imagining the space below his lungs expanding. He let the breath out.

"Almost," Sanzo said. "Again. This time relax your facial muscles."

What felt like a thumb smoothed the frown line away between his eyebrows, and stayed there. The two fingers on his abdomen pushed in a little more.

Gonou drew in another breath. His chin lifted and his shoulders dropped, lengthening his neck. Suddenly, he wasn't pushing the air, it was drawing into him, sliding easily down into the space below his lungs, deeper, behind his navel, into his abdomen. The place on his forehead and on his abdomen where Sanzo touched felt as if the monk were pressing two warm coins into his skin. Then there was a third coin, held between Gonou's own thumbs, and his fingers started to tingle, his palms felt a weight, as if he were holding a metal ball heated in the sun.

The fingers below his naval pushed in hard, and Gonou's abdominal muscles contracted, pushing the air out in a sudden whoosh that ended in a cough. His eye opened, and he thought for a moment his hands were glowing and there was a slight shimmer, like heat distortion on the horizon. He looked up at Sanzo in confusion.

"You called forth a chi ball," Sanzo said, lowering his hand from Gonou's forehead and withdrawing his fingers.

Gonou separated his thumbs and opened his empty hands, but he couldn't see anything.

"A ball of... energy?" he asked.

"Yes," Sanzo said. "New hand position."

Sanzo placed his hands palm up on his knees, fingers touching Gonou's knees. Intuitively, Gonou laid his hands palm up inside them, touching thumbs with the other man. He looked into Sanzo's face and this time he imagined he saw the beginnings of respect there. He hid a smile.

"Close your eyes, and let's begin again," Sanzo instructed, "Take a deep breath, and clear your mind..."

Gonou followed the directions, only this time he didn't picture a cloudy blue sky. He pictured a purple sky, the color of dusk, the time when it begins to darken just enough to see the glimmering of stars.

 

---


Gojyo found what he was looking for in the second place he tried. A bit more upscale, which meant deeper pockets to ante up, the Red Kimono also had a staff of full-service escorts to pour sake and provide "encouragement".

Gojyo currently had two kimonos seated on the floor on either side of him, a respectful distance from the low table at which three other men were seated, similarly served. Except, of course, they were only ranking one escort each. This fact was a growing sore spot during the evening, which Gojyo amused himself by poking.

"I'm gonna strain my neck trying to look at both these blossoms at once," he joked.

One of the other men choked on his sake while the fat one glared at him. Middle-aged merchants, from the look of them. The dealer smiled politely.

"Alright, honorable sirs, one-eyed jacks and suicide king wild," the dealer announced.

Gojyo caught the dealt cards under the blade of his hand as they slid smoothly over the polished wood. He lifted the top edge with his thumb. Two queens and a wild card; the jack of hearts. Figures. The card with the right eye missing, just like his real-life wild card. Gojyo let the pad of his thumb rub over the face card before flatting the cards against the table top. He was not going to mope over Cho Hakkai tonight.

He flicked two cards neatly back at the dealer, tapping his middle finger twice. Deftly intercepting the two replacement cards snapped across to him, Gojyo took a quick peek. Another queen. Gojyo was starting to feel insulted. The guy didn't think he could win with a three of a kind?

The dealer had been cheating all night, in Gojyo's favor. Gojyo's eyes flicked up at the dealer and caught the surreptitious glance over to the man in the expensive yukata at the end of the bar. From the way the staff deferred to him, Mr. Yukata was most likely the establishment's owner.

"Would you like some more sake, Gojyo-san?" the woman on his left murmured.

He gave her an appreciative smile as she gracefully pulled back the sleeve of her kimono to pour more of the expensive rice wine. She artfully tilted her head to expose a lovely neck, leaning forward just enough to show him the tops of her breasts. Like all the escorts, her kimono was a deep red, matching her flawlessly applied lipstick. It was the shade of lipstick that made a guy wonder what it would look like wrapped around his cock.

She was a very high-class working girl. She was also taking silent cues from Mr. Yukata. The three of them were definitely working him.

Why they'd picked him for a mark beat the shit out of him. He obviously wasn't wealthy. It might have been something as simple as him being from out of town. Gojyo glanced around. Once the sun had gone down and the string of lanterns outside lit, the place really livened up. It was a mix of locals and travelers.

Maybe they were using him to empty the pockets of the other players and keep suspicion off the house? In which case, they would either have muscle roll him when he left with the girl, or the girl would roll him herself later. Still, it seemed like a big set-up for such small potatoes. The entire pot was only up to eight thousand yen. Something felt off.

Normally, he might let it play out just to see what happened, but today was not a good day to screw around with him. Time to call their bluff.

When the betting came around to him, Gojyo shook his head ruefully and pushed his cards away, face-down.

"Fold. Guess I lost my luck," he announced.

The dealer's mouth dropped open in surprise, but to his credit, he recovered quickly. Out of the corner of his eye, Gojyo caught a startled movement from Mr. Yukata. This was almost more fun than straight poker. Kind of a cross between cards and live theatre. The girl was the best actor in the bunch. She leaned in close, and the scent of cherry blossoms wafted up.

"Perhaps Gojyo-san would care to retire to a private room?" she suggested.

"You know, sweetheart, that's a great idea," Gojyo replied.

Levering his tall frame upright, Gojyo noted her red lips curved upwards slightly in anticipated victory. From his new vantage point, he could see she was indeed nicely endowed. Turning slightly, he extended a hand down to the flower who had sat silently on his right. Both of them gasped. Rich brown eyes blinked up at him in confusion a moment, then the soft hand slipped into his. He could feel the poisonous glare of the scorned woman on the back of his neck and tried not to twitch his shoulders.

"You can keep me company, right, gorgeous?" he asked, pulling the quiet escort up.

The black head nodded assent, making a hair ornament tinkle like a tiny bell. The figure in the red kimono was considerably less curvy, being what Gojyo thought of as willowy. But, he appreciated bodies in all shapes and sizes, and the brown eyes were gorgeous. They were the color of dark chocolate, without even a fleck of green.

Wiping the image of green eyes out of his head, Gojyo collected his winnings, leaving a tip for the seething woman still seated next to his vacated stool. His chosen escort led him out of the gambling area to the private rooms in the back. As they walked down a corridor of scenic painted shoji doors, he heard male and female voices blended in conversation and intimate cries.

His escort kneeled gracefully in front of a closed door, tapping lightly on the wooden frame with manicured nails. When there was no answer, the door was slid open, and Gojyo gestured inside. He looked around and pulled his boots off as the door whispered shut behind him. Not surprisingly, most of the space was taken up by two futons laid out side by side. There was a short night-stand with several bottles and a drawer he was itching to open. Two long steps took him to the futon, and he sat cross-legged on the edge. The black-haired beauty had risen, and a pair of sandals were neatly arranged next to his dusty boots.

"Why don't you come over here?" Gojyo suggested, patting the embroidered comforter.

He kept his tone gentle and encouraging. This one had given no indication of being in on whatever con had been playing out downstairs. In a rustle of red silk, his escort complied, sitting gracefully next to him, close enough to be companionable, but far enough not to be indiscreet. Gojyo's smile widened. He was starting to feel a little less sorry for himself. His stomach was warm with good sake, his pockets stuffed with cash, and he was sitting on a bed with a pretty little thing in a kimono.

He reached out and lightly stroked a pale hand with the backs of his knuckles, slowly pushing up the silk sleeve. Maybe he could salvage something out of this night after all.

"Gojyo-san," the whisper was low, "I should have said before, I..."

"I know," Gojyo breathed into the scented hair.

Reaching across with his left hand, he cupped the slender neck, fingers resting on the warm nape as his thumb brushed over the small protruding Adam's apple. Brown eyes looked up at him, and those very red lips parted. Gojyo leaned down.

"I've been around," Gojyo added with a wink.

When he left the gambling parlor, Gojyo hadn't decided whether or not he was going to sleep with the escort or just slip out a back door and leave him a nice tip. But what was he going to when he went back to the inn? Lay in the dark room and listen to the monk fuck his best friend?

The white hand that reached out and squeezed his thigh clenched the deal. Twisting around, Gojyo lowered the smaller man onto the futon, the hair ornament chiming softly. His long fingers sifted through the intricate coiffure, carefully pulling out the pins and setting them on the night stand. He'd had to replace enough hair decorations for pouting partners to know these were the expensive kind; inlaid tortoiseshell and ivory. When he pulled the little brass bell, he jingled it before setting it with the others. The young man laying on the bed watching him laughed.

"Most clients are not so careful," he said.

Gojyo laughed as well, loosening the thick black coils of hair and massaging the scalp. He was rewarded with an arched neck and sexy sigh. He knew how the scalp got tired from having hair tied up too long, and that was just in a ponytail.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"Kaori, Gojyo-san," brown eyes opened.

"Mm." Gojyo leaned down and rubbed noses. "I'm just plain Gojyo, okay?"

"As you wish, Gojyo," Kaori said with a smile.

Nimble fingers reached up and undid his shirt buttons as Gojyo tugged up the top of the kimono a little from the tight obi. He shrugged out of his own shirt as it slid over his shoulders and pushed the kimono top apart and down. The white skin revealed to him was as flawless as porcelain, devoid of any marks or scars.

Gojyo remembered watching Hakkai's wound evolve from a blood seeping centipede bristling black stitches, to a dead white thing, stretching and puckering the surrounding skin as if it were some kind of parasite plunging roots into its victim's guts. Sometimes when Hakkai slept, he would pull back the covers to trace it over and over again with disbelieving eyes and fingertips. How was it possible the quiet green-eyed man had survived such a monstrous wound?

Shaking off the image of Hakkai's scar, Gojyo pulled the kimono open more, revealing the narrow chest beneath him was tightly bound with strips of linen, forcing Kaori's pectorals together and up into false cleavage. Gojyo traced his fingertips over the thin white material, feeling for the nubs hidden beneath the layers.

"I'll bet you get real sensitive being bound up all day," Gojyo commented.

"Yes," Kaori admitted.

Gojyo licked at the red lips, then down the white neck, sucking on the Adam's apple. A moan vibrated under his lips. His large hands cupped the wrapped ribcage, thumbs rubbing over the crushed nipples. He felt smaller hands slide over his back. Gojyo licked down the center of the flat chest, tongue dipping into the crease. Using his teeth, he pulled the binding down just enough to free one nipple. He licked all around the light brown disk until the chest below him was heaving, then laved over the nipple in a single, flat-tongued stroke.

"Ah!" Kaori cried out.

Gojyo blew lightly on the wet skin until the center was erect, then abandoned it to free the other nipple. He licked and blew again, going back and forth until the lithe body beneath him was bowing upward, straining for contact. Avoiding touching the erect nipples, Gojyo raised himself on his forearms and leaned over Kaori, nuzzling his neck. The hands on his shoulders clenched, pushing down slightly, but Gojyo ignored the silent request. Instead, he concentrated on sucking and kissing neck, ears and jaw, careful not to leave marks.

"Gojyo," Kaori breathed.

"Mm?" Gojyo sucked on an earlobe.

"Please..." a breathy groan as he lightly tongue fucked an ear.

"Please what?" Gojyo asked.

Unable to resist, he let a thumb brush over a nipple. The response was a highly satisfying groaning whine. Nails dug into his shoulders. Normally he didn't make a bed partner beg unless it was their particular kink, but tonight he felt the need to hear the want for him. Taking pity on Kaori, Gojyo nuzzled his way over to the other ear.

"I promise that in this bed," Gojyo whispered, "I will give you anything you ask me for."

It was a promise he had made to countless bed mates and fulfilled with enthusiasm; he prided himself on being a generous lover. Tonight he had hoped he would be making that promise to a certain brunette...

"Please, Gojyo," the whisper shuddered as he flicked his tongue inside Kaori's ear, "take them in your mouth."

"My pleasure," Gojyo purred.

Without preamble, he dropped his head and latched onto Kaori's left nipple. He followed Kaori's movement as he arched off the futon. Sucking lightly, Gojyo flicked the nub with the tip of his tongue as he gently rolled the other nipple between his thumb and forefinger. As he sucked harder, Kaori's cries began to blend together. He sensed the black-haired man was getting close, and it would be better if Kaori came nearer to when he was being entered so he would be more relaxed.

Raising up on his hands and knees, Gojyo licked at Kaori's red lips.

"Gonna get more comfortable," he murmured.

Standing, Gojyo quickly unbuttoned his fly and shimmied out of his pants. When he stepped out of them and turned around, Kaori gasped. Gojyo raised an eyebrow in question as he crawled back onto the futon.

"You're so... long," Kaori blurted out.

Gojyo chuckled and kissed the side of Kaori's neck. He was used to that reaction.

"So I can reach all those secret sweet spots," he gave his pat answer with a teasing wink.

Kaori laughed, but there was also a lustful heat in the brown eyes and the tip of a tongue touched the lower lip. Below the obi, Gojyo parted the front folds of the kimono like a curtain and encountered the second binding. The same type of linen wrapped around the narrow hips and hid Kaori's cock and balls from a casual grope. However, Gojyo wasn't being casual.

He licked at the bulge through the material, and mouthed up the length as the hips jerked beneath him. He pushed down on the pelvis with his forearms, pinning Kaori to the ground. Carefully, he peeled down the top of the binding to reveal the red head of Kaori's cock, pearling with pre-cum. Gojyo licked it clean, and the hips beneath him twitched. He pulled the head into his mouth and sucked it like a candy.

Kaori groaned and Gojyo could feel the body around him quiver as he struggled to obey Gojyo's implied command to lay still. Idly, Gojyo wondered if he could make Kaori cum just from sucking the head and nothing else. Moving more of his weight onto Kaori's pelvis and thighs, Gojyo firmly gripped the shaking hips and sucked. He concentrated on that single inch of flesh with tongue and teeth, motivated by the ragged, moaning breathing above him.

"Nnnnh... ah!"

A warm stream of salty liquid shot into his mouth, and Gojyo swallowed it, feeling a little thrill of victory. Licking his lips, he straightened and sat back on his feet.

"Damn," Gojyo murmured.

Kaori had raised his arms above his head, gripping the sleeves, face half-hidden beneath a glossy tangle of black hair. The white linen of the chest and groin bindings was a sharp contrast against the partially open red kimono. Above the bindings, nipples and exposed cock were still swollen and flushed from Gojyo's attention. Kaori's slender legs were bare except for white tabi socks.

Kaori turned his head to head to look at Gojyo with smoldering brown eyes, long strands of hair sliding across his face and neck. He was laid out on the futon like living pornographic art. And just in case Gojyo was missing the "fuck me" vibe, Kaori lifted his legs and hugged his knees to his chest. The tabi socks looked even more obscene hanging over his exposed ass.

Holding his knees with his right arm, Kaori reached up toward the table with his left for one of the bottles.

"Would you like me to prepare myself?" Kaori asked.

"Allow me," Gojyo murmured, taking the bottle.

As hot as it was watching a partner prep themselves, he always did it the first time with a new lover. That way he could find the sweet spot easier. He unstoppered the bottle, and a slightly floral odor wafted out. He knelt between Kaori's feet. Gojyo pulled aside the single strip of linen running up the crack, noting that Kaori's hole was already twitching in anticipation. Pouring some of the oil in his palm, Gojyo coated his fingers. He rubbed a little circle around the pucker and it twitched more, but gave easily when he pushed a finger in.

"Mm," Kaori groaned.

He was fairly soft and sucked the index finger right in, so Gojyo quickly added the middle finger. He pushed in and out, corkscrewing his fingers, while Kaori's breathing started hitching into soft cries. Then Gojyo found the little spongy knot he was looking for, and rubbed it.

"Gojyo!" Kaori cried out.

The white tabi socks curled back, and Kaori's legs spread wider. He was more than ready. Still thrusting and twisting with his fingers, Gojyo reached down with his left hand to oil up his own cock. When he grasped himself, he had the shock of his life.

He wasn't hard. He wasn't totally soft, but he definitely didn't have a full hard-on. Frowning, he gave a few easy pumps, and the oiled touch felt good on his skin, but he didn't harden. What the fuck? Had that bitch downstairs put something in the sake?

He had never had a problem getting hard in his life. Sure, sometimes during a romp with a really energetic partner or partners, it took longer between cumming to get hard, but he could get it up three or four times a night. One of the girls he had hung out with had worked the red lantern district, and she said she'd seen the same kind of stamina with youkai clients. Gojyo had always suspected she knew what he was, but never mentioned it. One of the best things about working girls was their discretion.

"Gojyo," Kaori groaned, "I'm ready for you. Please take me."

Temporarily putting aside the consternation at his condition, Gojyo focused on his partner. Time to improvise. Keeping his two fingers inside, he leaned forward, pushing Kaori's knees closer to his chest. Bracing himself on his left forearm, Gojyo kissed Kaori's sweaty neck.

"I want you to cum on my fingers," Gojyo murmured.

Kaori turned to look at him in surprise. The slight frown between the shaped eyebrows smoothed out and Gojyo felt hands stroking his back.

"As you wish," Kaori said. "Your pleasure is my pleasure."

Pinning Kaori in place with his larger frame, Gojyo nosed aside hair and sucked on an earlobe. He withdrew his fingers to the tip of his middle finger, circling slowly just inside the rim. When he felt the body under him relax, Gojyo bit down on the lobs and thrust four fingers inside, striking the bundle of nerves.

"Ahh!" Kaori's voice broke.

The smaller man arched up and the walls tightened around Gojyo's fingers as nails dug into his back. Gojyo pulled out to the tips and thrust in again.

"Ah!" Prepared, Kaori's reaction wasn't quite as violent as before.

"Are you gonna cum for me, Kaori?" Gojyo whispered in his ear as he thrust in again.

"Ah!" Kaori's hips pushed up as much as they could pinned under him. "Yes. I will - ah! - cum for you."

Gojyo sped up the thrusts, but kept them deep enough to hit the prostrate every time, twisting as he pulled out. Kaori's panting cries grew closer together, and Gojyo's back stung as sweat ran into the scratches.

"That's it, Kaori. You feel so good, baby," he whispered encouragement. "Cum hard for me now, Kai."

"Ah!" Kaori's body bowed upward, head thrown back as the hot, moist walls spasmed around Gojyo's fingers.

Watching Kaori's tense face, Gojyo kept his fingers inside, stroking with his middle finger until the spasms passed and Kaori collapsed flat on the futon. Slowly, he withdrew his fingers, wiping them on the coverlet, and sat up, Kaori's hands slipping away from his back. Gently, Gojyo grasped Kaori's bent legs and straightened them out, massaging the calf and thigh muscles.

Gojyo crawled back up the futon and lay on his back next to the recovering Kaori, folding an arm under his head. The black-haired man rolled onto his side facing Gojyo, propping his head up on his hand. His left hand traced idle patterns over Gojyo's chest. Gojyo met the brown eyes, and was relieved to see he had sated his bed mate. Kaori was smiling, and Gojyo found himself staring at the perfectly painted lips. They looked far too neat considering what had just happened; they should be smeared, the lips swollen... Gojyo frowned as he realized he hadn't kissed Kaori properly, which was very strange for him. He was a damn fine kisser and it was usually the larger part of foreplay.

"I can wipe it off if the make-up bothers you," Kaori said.

Gojyo's eyes flicked back up and he shook his head. "No, that's not it, they're just..."

"The wrong lips?" Kaori teased.

Gojyo blinked, surprised. He reached out and cupped Kaori's face, brushing the lower lip with his thumb. The black-haired man was a beauty and sexy as hell. Yet, Gojyo couldn't help thinking of green eyes and thinner lips smiling in sweet patience at him, pale skin flushed pink from the bath, the smell of chamomile.

"Kai is very fortunate," Kaori said.

"What?" Gojyo floundered as the brown eyes laughed at him.

"Having another's name called out in bed is an occupational hazard," Kaori's smile widened.

"Oh." Gojyo closed his eyes, mortified.

He had added insult to injury. First, he hadn't been able to consummate the act, and then he'd actually called his bed mate by the wrong name. His eyes opened at a throaty laugh. Kaori had moved closer, and leaned in to kiss him lightly.

"Is Kai your lover?" Kaori asked, laying his hand on Gojyo's chest.

"No, my best friend." Gojyo automatically stroked Kaori's hand and arm. At the questioning eyebrow, he elaborated. "Hakkai's... complicated."

"Ah." Red lips pursed. "He doesn't sleep with men?"

"Actually, yes. Apparently," Gojyo wasn't quite able to keep the bitterness out of his voice.

Kaori pushed himself up on an elbow and leaned over him, black hair brushing against the side of Gojyo's face.

"Gojyo-san," Kaori said firmly, "you are a skilled and considerate lover, and though I have only known you a short time, I believe you are a good man."

Gojyo smiled, his mood lifting again. He reached up and brushed back Kaori's hair, tucking the silky strands behind an ear. The other man rubbed his cheek into his palm.

"Hey," Gojyo said softly, "how much for the whole night?"

 

---


Hakkai woke with a start.

He was in a hotel room, partially obscured by the muted illumination of dusk filtering through the closed paper shutters. As he forced his strained good eye to focus in the poor light, he realized he was looking at his own neatly made bed across the room. A heartbeat later he was aware of the arm draped around his waist, and the unmistakable scent of Sanzo wrapped around him.

Everything came rushing back with dizzying force. Hakkai reached up and touched his bones where Sanzo had pressed, and his head cleared a bit. He felt a twinge in his bladder and realized that was probably what had woken him. Carefully extricating himself from the sleeping blonde, Hakkai slid out of the low bed and padded naked to the bathroom.

When he squatted over the toilet, muscles he didn't even know he had, screamed in protest. He had thought himself fairly fit considering the ikkou's regular fighting regime, but apparently his muscles were unaccustomed to being used in certain activities. After he voided his bladder, Hakkai dampened the towel in the sink and wiped himself down A bit of dried blood came away from his anus, and he was very tender there, so he suspected he may have torn a little.

He could hardly complain, since he had asked for it. His skin flushed at the memory of laying face down, hips in the air, buttocks spread open. He had to grip the edge of the washing basin as he remembered the feeling of Sanzo pushing inside, stretching him, filling him with such an intensely sweet burn. There was nothing else but that place deep inside waiting to be touched, so that every time Sanzo pulled out it was agony waiting for him to return. He had wished Sanzo could just keep pushing in deeper and deeper without withdrawing, until he was so far inside all the empty places would be filled.

Hakkai's eyes rose to look in the mirror above the sink. As he suspected, there were two bruises on his clavicles that would go to purple by morning. Reaching up, he touched the back of his neck and felt a raised welt, slightly warm to the touch.

Liquid warmth spurting inside as Sanzo filled him with his seed, the weight of his body anchoring him to the bed, and just when he thought it would be too much, the sharp pain in his neck taking the edge off the intense pleasure.

Hakkai's fingers stroked the bite mark he could not see, but others could. It would be obvious what the mark was, and to the rest of the ikkou, who had placed it there. With the tiniest amount of chi, Hakkai could heal the mark, remove all traces of it, so it would be impossible to tell it had ever existed.

Hakkai knew if he removed the mark Sanzo would say nothing. He also knew if he left the mark, Sanzo would say nothing. With a soft laugh, Hakkai lowered his hand and exited the bathroom.

With practiced stealth, Hakkai unfolded the blanket at the foot of the bed and slipped back in, covering himself and Sanzo. He settled back into his previous position on his side, slowly wriggling backwards.

A gasp escaped him when a firm hand grabbed his hip and pulled his body back snugly against a hard chest and soft groin, a leg hooking over his. Sanzo nuzzled the hair at the nape of his neck, warm breath making goosebumps. Soft lips moved slowly over his neck, as if mouthing a silent prayer, then Sanzo kissed the bite mark.

Hakkai grasped the hand on his hip, lacing his fingers through Sanzo's, and brought it to his lips. He brushed his lips across the knuckles a shade paler than his own before clasping it to his chest. They lay together like that, Hakkai listening to Sanzo's breathing until it slowed and deepened into the rhythm of sleep. He stroked his thumb over Sanzo's knuckles, watching the objects in the room disappear as the night slowly filled the room.

When consciousness finally slipped away from him, Hakkai fell into a deep and peacefully dreamless sleep.

 

---


Gojyo unfolded the blanket and draped it over the futon while Kaori set his sandals outside the door. Apparently that was the "occupied for the night" signal at this particular establishment. Gojyo slipped under the blanket, leaving a corner folded back for Kaori as he waited for the other man to join him. Kaori approached the futon, then hesitated, hands resting on his obi. Brown eyes met his in question.

"Whatever is the most comfortable way for you to sleep," Gojyo assured him.

Flashing him a brilliant smile, Kaori expertly unwound the obi and slipped out of the kimono, small fingers quickly undoing the bindings, which fell in loops to the ground. Gojyo watched as Kaori knelt in front of the little night-stand and opened a drawer. He removed a flat box, a little jar and a rag. The flat box opened into a mirror that swiveled so it propped open. Dipping the rag into the jar, Kaori proceeded to remove the make-up. Finished, he carefully put everything away and slipped under the covers next to Gojyo.

Gojyo looked over Kaori's naked face. Without powder, the skin was still pale, but less smooth with visible pores, more obviously male. Devoid of kohl, the eyes seemed a lighter shade of brown, the eyebrows less sharply defined. Smiling, Gojyo kissed the pink lips gently.

With a happy sigh, Kaori snuggled against his chest, tucking his head under his chin. Gojyo wrapped his body around the smaller man, legs tangling together, enjoying the warmth of their groins touching even if the belly pressed against his was smooth of scars.

_____________
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