Title: Zang Fu Theory, Part 15
Email: ladylotusmoon (a) hotmail (o) com
Author: Lotus
Pairing(s): Sanzo/Hakkai/Gojyo
Rating: NC17
Summary:   While the ikkou are staying in a town, Sanzo and Hakkai are called away in the middle of the night to help a severely injured farmer.  Gojyo is left babysitting a dragon, who behaves very strangely.  At the farmhouse, Hakkai is possessed by a fire oni, & the oni's attempt to draw heat results in a sexual situation with Sanzo.  Upon Hakkai & Sanzo's return to the inn, Gojyo & Goku realized what happened & Gojyo attacks Sanzo.  Hakkai attempts to be peacemaker, sending Sanzo & Goku to the bathhouse, leaving him with Gojyo.  Sanzo & Goku have a chat in the bath, and Sanzo is attacked by the fire oni.  Back at the inn, afraid he is losing his friend to Sanzo, Gojyo uses his special brand of persuasion with Hakkai.  Hakuryu flies back to the inn for help, leading Hakkai & Gojyo to the bathhouse.  They battle the fire oni, and just when all seems lost, Gojyo remembers Jien's magic beans.  Hakkai & Gojyo wash the ash off each other.  Returning to the inn, Gojyo & Goku are kicked out of the room & Hakkai tends Sanzo's wounds.  Goku gets embarrassed in the bathroom in front of Gojyo, who ends up lending him a helping hand.  The healing session becomes intimate between Hakkai & Sanzo.  Hakkai remembers the past when he was at the temple with Sanzo and Gojyo seeks solace after accidentally eavesdropping on Hakkai & Sanzo.  Goku follows the upset Gojyo & gets free dumplings from a vendor because he's a companion of the Chosen One.  During a passionate moment, Sanzo loses control & Hakkai leaves to look for Gojyo.  Goku leads Hakkai to the bar he had followed Gojyo to the night before.  At the Red Kimono, Gojyo is attacked & mysteriously declared to be the Chosen One.

Chapter 15: The purpose of the Chosen One is revealed.

Warning: Language, Sexual Situations

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.

---

Sanzo sat on the curved wooden stool in the araiba, the washing area, and scrubbed himself thoroughly.  When he got to his cock, he cleaned it in the same efficient manner as his foot.  It was just another body part.  He didn't think about holding Hakkai's cock against it, moving together, hot and hard and velvety soft, the other man's quiet cries...

"Damn," Sanzo threw the wet washcloth down on the wooden floor with a loud splat.

He grabbed the bucket of tepid water and dumped it over his head, shaking the hair out of his eyes.  After his bath, he was going to find a quiet place and meditate.

A rattle to his right made Sanzo look up.  The innkeeper's daughter was standing at the entrance to the datsuijo, the changing room, carrying two buckets of water on a pole across her shoulders.  He raised an eyebrow at her as he set down the empty bucket.

"I-I apologize for bothering you, Sanzo-sama," she tried to bow, sloshing water and nearly over-balancing.  "I brought hot water to fill the tub in the yokujyo."

Sanzo glanced back over his shoulder at the noren leading to the private tubs.

"That's not necessary," he said.  "I'll use the hot spring."

The girl's face flushed.  "I am so sorry, sir, but the onsen is... not working," she said.

Sanzo frowned.  How could a hot spring be broken?  Exactly how much damage did Hakkai and Gojyo cause when they defeated the fire oni?  Naked and dripping wet, Sanzo stood up, sloughing the excess water from his arms with the blade of his hand.  He ignored the girl's quick, flushed look at his groin before she averted her face.  He felt her eyes return to him as he padded across the floor to the onsen.

As he got closer to the entrance to the other room, Sanzo saw burn marks in the floor and the noren itself lay in a charred pile.  When he stepped inside the room, toes curling a bit at the change from warm wood to cool stone, Sanzo saw massive scorch marks along the wall on either side of the door.  His respect for Hakkai's chi shields went up a few notches.  The healer had been deflecting massive amounts of elemental force.

There was also a complete lack of steam in the room.  Frown deepening, Sanzo walked over to the pool, noting the silent waterfall, and squatted to dip his fingers in the still water.  It was stone cold.  Sanzo shook the water off his fingers and mentally reviewed the ikkou's encounters with the fire oni.

The lightning storms, burnt fields and destroyed crops, the burned farmer, the attack in the onsen, all acts of a vengeful oni.  However, if the hot spring stopped when the fire oni was destroyed, that meant the oni had been the town's water spirit.  Such spirits usually lived in harmony with the village, in a symbiotic relationship. Towns like this one were built around hot springs; hot-spring inns were often the main financial and social support of the community.

Something must have happened to shift the balance, to enrage the oni and set it on a destructive path.  Was this another effect of the Minus Wave?

"Father says the onsen will be alive again soon," the girl interrupted his thoughts.

Sanzo glanced up at her where she stood, sans buckets, rubbing her shoulder.  Her face was flushed, and she was having difficulty meeting his eyes.

"How?" he asked.

"Well, now that we have a true Chosen One, there will be a Fire Festival," her round face brightened.  "There will be music, dancing, and special food.  And when the priest calls the fire oni, it's so beautiful, like fireworks!"

Sanzo rose slowly, right trigger finger spasming as a vague sense of dread coiled in his gut.

"Chosen One?" he prompted.

"The companion for the fire oni," she responded with a cheerful smile.

"Dammit," Sanzo hissed under his breath.

He strode out of the room, brushing past the confused girl.  Goku had been in the pool with him.  Why had the oni only attacked him?  Sanzo swatted aside the noren into the datsuijya and started getting dressed without bothering to dry off.  It had attacked him because he had exorcised it out of Hakkai.

Fire oni maintained their heat by drawing it from an outside energy source like the sun, fire, storms.  This was why burning torches and small bonfires were maintained as offerings.  Apparently these villagers had been feeding their oni a different kind of energy.  Pushing his head through the sha silk tunic, Sanzo pulled the robe sleeves up and shoved his gloved arms through as he walked out of the bath house.  His banishing gun was a comforting weight swinging against his side inside the sleeve.

A chi kung master like Hakkai would be a veritable feast for a fire oni.  The healer must be the Chosen One the girl was talking about.  He had to find Hakkai.  If anything happened to the green-eyed man, Buddha have mercy on this village, because he sure as Heaven would not.

---



"No!" Kaori cried out, sounding panicked, and Gojyo's head swung around to see the escort struggling against his captors.  "Gojyo-san did not choose, and there was no lottery!"

Gojyo narrowed his eyes up at the old man.  This situation was getting shittier by the minute.

"What the hell is the Chosen One?" he demanded.

The old man gestured to someone behind him, and another masked man stepped forward, carrying a black silk yukata.  The men kneeling on Gojyo's arms eased up and shifted their grip, allowing him to sit up.  Getting the idea, Gojyo held out his hand and took the robe, slipping it on and belting it.  As soon as it was tied, the two men on either side of him gripped his upper arms, pulling them back.  It was uncomfortable, but at least he wasn't laying on the floor like a gutted fish anymore.

"The Chosen One is the companion of the fire oni," the old man replied.

"But," Gojyo frowned, "we destroyed the fire oni."

"Yes," the old man smiled at him and bowed slightly.  "For which we are grateful.  That fire oni had gone rogue and was ravaging the village.  Now I will call forth a new fire oni to renew the hot spring."

"How do you know this one's not gonna go... rogue, too and starting burning shit up?" Gojyo asked.

"Ah," the old man patted his leg.  "It will not leave the spring as long as it has a true companion."  He started using what Gojyo thought of as the teaching tone, "Several years ago, there was a terrible catastrophe, and all the youkai in the village went mad."

"Yeah," Gojyo muttered.  "The Minus Wave.  It happened all over, pal."

Ignoring the interruption, the old man continued, "The fire oni's companion was a youkai.  It was when the Chosen One abandoned it that the fire oni came forth out of the spring.  We tried to appease it with other companions, but it quickly burned through their frail human bodies."

Gojyo felt nauseous.  "You sick fuckers," he muttered.

"You, however, are the perfect Chosen One," the priest smiled broadly at him.  "You are a hanyou.  Your human blood is a limiter that can never be removed, so the youkai madness will not affect you.  Your demon blood will give you the strength to survive the fire oni.  And now," the priest leaned forward and pressed two fingers over Gojyo's heart, "you can never leave."

Gojyo's heart sank.  It was going to take a hell of a lot more than magic beans to get him out of this one.

"The previous Chosen One was most happy with his calling," the old man assured him.  "The Chosen One lives like a prince.  You shall want for nothing and reside in a fine house by the main spring.  You may have your choice of women, or..." knobby fingers gestured at Kaori, hanging limply in his captors' arms, "...men."

There was a soft tapping at the door, and Mr. Yukata turned, stepping back and sliding the screen open. Gojyo saw a flash of red.

"I said we weren't to be disturbed," he said brusquely.

"I apologize, Master Wu," a woman's voice responded.  "Two of his traveling companions are here and refuse to leave."

Mr. Yukata turned around and glared at Gojyo, who tried not to grin in triumph.  Two of the ikkou were here.  It didn't really even matter which two; there was gonna be some serious ass-kicking now.

"Of course, you will tell them to leave," the old man said.

Gojyo looked at the old fart as if he were crazy.  Which he was.  "Like Hell I will."

"Did you forget?" the old man gestured at Kaori.

Oh, yeah.  He did, kinda.  Gojyo's spirits sank.

"You will tell your traveling companions to continue on their journey without you," the old man said, "or we will give Kaori to the fire oni in your place."

Gojyo's nostrils flared as he struggled with his body not to punch out the old man sitting placidly in front of him with his hands folded in his lap.

"Fine," Gojyo gritted out.

"You may speak with one of them," the old man advised.

"I don't even know who's here!" Gojyo exclaimed in frustration.

"A boy and a brown-haired man in glasses," Mr. Yukata said.

Goku and Hakkai.  No brainer.  "Hakkai.  The man in the glasses," Gojyo clarified.

Mr. Yukata turned and signaled the woman at the screen, who turned and left.  The old man raised a hand, and one of the men in black assisted him to his feet.  Cautiously, the other men let go of Gojyo's limbs.  He fought the urge to jump to his feet and start kicking ass.

"We will be in the next room with Kaori, listening and watching," the old man advised.

"Yeah, yeah," Gojyo waved his hand, then an idea hit him.  Maybe a way to buy time until he could think of something else.  "Wait.  Hakkai is more than a traveling companion.  He's my, uh,  lover."  He glanced over at Kaori for confirmation.

Picking up the cue, Kaori nodded his head.  "This is true.  Gojyo-san called out his name in a moment of passion."

The old man hesitated, a calculating look crossing his pruned face, and Gojyo quickly interrupted, before there were any ideas about feeding Hakkai to the oni.

"I can convince him to leave," Gojyo assured the priest.  "But he's gonna expect more than a parting handshake, if you know what I mean."

The smile returned.  "Of course," the priest agreed.  "We will give you one hour."

Gojyo nodded.  One hour was better than nothing.  And if he couldn't think of a way out of this, he might be saying good-bye to Hakkai for real.

---



Hakkai blew lightly on the surface of the tea and sipped calmly as he surveyed the room around them.  It was still early, so there were very few customers; most of the activity was from staff cleaning and setting up the gambling tables.

"Hakkai," Goku whispered in his ear.  "How can you sit there and drink tea when they got Gojyo back there somewhere?"

"Goku," Hakkai responded quietly.  "We have no indication that Gojyo is being held against his will."

"Then why's everyone acting all weird?" Goku insisted.

Why, indeed, Hakkai thought, but kept it to himself.  Goku was high-strung enough as it was.  He surreptitiously watched the young man as he bounced impatiently on the balls of his feet next to Hakkai's chair.  Something was amiss.  When they left the bar, Goku had most definitely been upset that Gojyo had sought female companionship, and since they had arrived at the Red Kimono, he was frowning at every woman that passed them.  Very unusual behavior for the most sociable member of the ikkou.  The younger man was almost acting... jealous.

The tea went down the wrong way, and Hakkai coughed, setting the cup down on the table.  Strong hands pounded him roughly on the back.

"You okay, Hakkai?" Goku asked in concern.

Hakkai waved his hand, nodding, and the pounding stopped.  He wiped at the corners of his tearing eyes and took another cautious sip of tea to soothe his throat.  So much had happened in such a short period of time, he had failed to check on Goku after the incident in the bath house.  When Hakkai had resuscitated Sanzo, the priest coughing the water out of his lungs at last, Hakkai had looked up and shared a relieved look with Gojyo.  The redhead had been holding Goku in his arms after giving the naked boy his shirt, rubbing his back and comforting him.

"Hey, monkey."  Gojyo shook the form huddled against his chest.  The wet, spiky head moved under his chin.  "Look, the monk's gonna be okay."

Instead of going to Sanzo, Goku snuggled closer in Gojyo's arms, licking his neck and sliding his hands down the back of his pants.

"Goku?" The name came out several octaves higher than normal, and Gojyo shot a confused look at Hakkai.


That was the moment Hakkai had realized Goku was possessed with the fire oni, and had summoned forth a chi ball, but Sanzo had stepped in.

Hakkai cleared his throat, setting down the teacup.  It was entirely possible the possession had boosted the young man's libido and the focus of his attention was Gojyo.  The redhead would be the natural choice; he was the most physically demonstrative member of the group, the most overtly sensual.  Knowing Gojyo, he may even have inadvertently encouraged the inexperienced young man.

"Goku," he began.  Golden eyes turned toward him.  "When you were possessed by the fire oni..."

"I beg your pardon, gentlemen," a woman's voice interrupted softly.

Hakkai looked up, and an attractive woman in a red kimono was rising from a bow.  He stood from the table and returned the bow.

"I have been instructed to bring Hakkai-san to Gojyo-san's room," she murmured.

"What the Hell!" Goku exploded behind him.

"Goku!" Hakkai turned and gave the angry young man a sharp look.  "We do not speak to ladies in that manner."

Hot gold eyes raised up to him.  "She's not-"

Hakkai frowned, tilting his head down so the light flashed across his glasses.  Goku's mouth snapped shut.

"I wanna see Gojyo, too," he sulked.

Hakkai reached out and patted Goku's slumped shoulder.  "I'm sure he's fine, Goku.  Why don't you return to the inn and wait for us there?"

Goku crossed his arms over his chest.  "No way.  I'm waiting right here."

Hakkai sighed.  "Very well."

"If you will follow me, Hakkai-san?" the woman asked politely.

Hakkai turned toward her with a nod, and she bowed gracefully before turning and walking with small, gliding steps across the room.  Giving Goku a firm look, Hakkai followed the woman to a doorway covered with a red and gold noren.  Elegantly raising her hand, she spread the folds for him to pass through first.  Hakkai found himself in a hall bordered in painted shoji screens.  As he walked, he discovered amid the beautiful pastoral scenes, the small figures were involved in various intimate acts.

They stopped in front of a screen, and the woman knelt to the side, tapping on the wooden frame with her fingernails.

"Yeah," Gojyo called out from inside.

Still kneeling, the woman slid the door open and gestured for Hakkai to enter.

"Thank you," Hakkai said to the bowed black head, and stepped inside.  The door whispered shut behind him.

Gojyo was standing with his back to the screen in front of a tousled futon, wearing a black silk yukata decorated with small red poppies.  Black had always been a good color for the hanyou, warming his tan skin, brightening his glossy red hair.  Hakkai cleared his throat.

Gojyo turned around, arm raising as he ran his hand through his hair.  There was a strange look in the crimson eyes, and Hakkai felt the weight on his chest shift down.  It almost hurt to breathe.  Perhaps he was too late.  Perhaps he had already lost him.

"Gojyo-" Hakkai started.

"Kai!"

Gojyo strode across the room and wrapped his arms around Hakkai's aching chest, squeezing him in a tight hug.  And just like that, the boulder crumbled and fell away.  Relief making his knees feel weak, Hakkai slid his arms around Gojyo's neck and returned the embrace, tilting his chin up to press his cheek against his friend's.  He felt the redhead stiffen, and Gojyo pulled away, holding him by the arms.

"What is it?" Hakkai frowned.

"I-" a shadow passed over Gojyo's eyes, then was banished when he blinked.  "Forget it."

"Gojyo," Hakkai's hands slid out from behind Gojyo's neck to rest on his chest.  "We need to talk about-"

"Shh," Gojyo said, leaning down and rubbing noses.

Startled, Hakkai felt a flutter in his chest as he recognized the shift in Gojyo's manner, the change in his body as the redhead transitioned into seduction mode.  Hakkai could practically smell the sex pheromones, the rise in temperature on the surface of Gojyo's tanned skin beneath his hands.  The crimson eyes softened and warmed, one of the large hands on Hakkai's back sliding down to cup his bottom.

Hakkai gasped as Gojyo squeezed and pushed their pelvises together.  As soon as his mouth opened, Gojyo tilted his head and closed the small space between them with a kiss.

_____________
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