Title: Zang Fu Theory, Part 19
Email: ladylotusmoon (a) hotmail (o) com
Warnings: Language, kissing & groping
Summary: (Chapters 1-18): 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. The purpose of the Chosen One is revealed to be a companion for the fire oni. And the villagers chose Gojyo! Trapped by a talisman next to his heart, Gojyo decides to say goodbye to Hakkai. Hakkai's passion is released. Sanzo meets up with the rest of the ikkou at the Red Kimono. He and Gojyo had a confrontation over Hakkai sleeping with both of them, and Sanzo realizes something is wrong.
Chapter 19: Hakkai and Gojyo say good-bye.
EDIT: Arg! I forgot to thank my incredible, fabulous, glorious Beta, sharpeslass.
Hakkai and Sanzo had spent untold hours meditating at the temple in Chang'an, aligning their chi so Sanzo could properly train Hakkai in chi kung. During that time at the temple, Sanzo had also infused Hakkai with his own chi to reinforce the limiters that suppressed Hakkai's youkai self. Hakkai secretly believed it was the chi kung training and Sanzo's energy that had helped immunize him against the effects of the Minus Wave.
Also, whether or not Sanzo was aware of it, Hakkai remained sensitive to Sanzo's chi. He could sense Sanzo's presence within a certain distance, feel changes in mood and health. It made it virtually impossible for Sanzo to lie to him or conceal illness or injuries.
So, even through the icy shock of being called a whore, Hakkai felt the shift in Sanzo's chi, the rising to the surface and pooling of energy in Sanzo's right hand. That was unusual enough to make Hakkai wary. Although Sanzo's chi sometimes went to his hands during prayer, it usually focused around his head; specifically, behind the chakra. For a few tense seconds, Hakkai was afraid Sanzo was going to attack the incensed Gojyo with a force beyond the physical, but the fear didn't materialize.
Sanzo palm-struck Gojyo in the chest and followed him down to the ground. Hakkai frowned as the room around them erupted into shouting. Although Gojyo immobilized Sanzo almost immediately in a Judo hold, Sanzo didn't struggle. He kept one pale hand splayed on Gojyo's chest, violet eyes narrowed in concentration. Sanzo was using his chi to "look" at something. Something inside Gojyo.
When the men in black yukatas flowed into the room, Hakkai bent down and gripped Gojyo's forearm. He tugged, but Gojyo resisted, stiff with anger.
"Gojyo," Hakkai said quietly.
Instantly, he felt Gojyo relax as Hakkai pulled him to his feet. Straightening his robe, Gojyo glanced at him, and Hakkai was careful to keep his face blank. He had heard Gojyo's whispered threat to Sanzo about the marks left on Hakkai's body from sex with Sanzo. Twice this week Gojyo had attacked Sanzo on Hakkai's behalf. Hakkai had to find a way to defuse the situation between the other two men. Out of the corner of his eye, Hakkai saw Sanzo roll neatly to his feet.
"We're leaving," Sanzo announced, and walked to the open door.
At a nod from the owner, the black yukatas parted to let him pass, a white dove moving through a murder of crows. Goku threw Gojyo a hurt look and followed Sanzo. Hakkai noticed Gojyo's wince. Whatever had happened between those two, Gojyo obviously felt badly about it.
Several black yukatas followed Sanzo and Goku, and the rest filed out into the hallway, watching Gojyo warily. Hakkai wondered at their strange behavior, and the need for this establishment to have such an excess of security on hand. The owner stepped to the door, then turned and glared at Gojyo.
"This whole incident has been most... disruptive," the owner said.
"No shit," Gojyo snapped.
The owner reached into the sleeve of his yukata and pulled out a woman's hair ornament. He jingled it and Gojyo's whole body tensed up like he was about to jump the other man. Instead, Gojyo held out his hands in a placating gesture.
"Hey," Gojyo said. "He's leaving. Just let the guy get dressed, okay?"
"We'll be waiting outside to escort him out," the owner said curtly, giving Hakkai a sharp look.
Slipping the ornament back in his sleeve, the owner turned and left, sliding the screen shut behind him with a snap. Sighing, Gojyo ran a hand through his hair and glanced around the empty room. Buttoning up his shirt, Hakkai silently watched Gojyo walk around, picking up Hakkai's discarded shoes, socks and belt.
He's leaving. Not we're leaving. Something was going on beyond the ikkou's current discord. Before he and Goku had arrived, something had happened between Gojyo and the owner. Had he won too much at cards? The tinkling of the hair ornament echoed in Hakkai's ear. Had he slept with the wrong woman?
"I'm hard for you, Kai." Gojyo laughed softly. "Only for you."
"The escort you spent the night with?" Hakkai asked.
"Yep," Gojyo admitted with a rueful grin. "Apparently my body has caught up with my heart," he added.
Perhaps the owner was insulted because Gojyo hadn't slept with a woman? No, Hakkai thought, as Gojyo returned to the futon. He knew from first-hand experience during their birthday brothel visits that Gojyo was more than capable of pleasuring women without actual penetration. Gojyo dropped the shoes and socks at Hakkai's feet and knelt in front of him, holding the belt.
"Shouldn't you be getting dressed as well?" Hakkai asked.
"Nah." Gojyo started looping the belt through Hakkai's trousers. "They took my clothes."
"Oh." The echoing tinkle of the hair ornament grew into full-scale alarm bells. "For laundry?"
"I guess," Gojyo mumbled.
When the buckle kept clinking, Hakkai noticed Gojyo's long-fingered hands were being unusually clumsy, fumbling with the fastening. Reaching down, Hakkai rested his hand on the top of Gojyo's head.
Besides whatever was going on between Gojyo and the owner, there was whatever Sanzo had sensed.
"'Kai," Gojyo said, not looking up. "I'm going back."
"Of course," Hakkai said, keeping his tone light despite the squeezing in his chest. "I'm sure they'll send someone to the inn with your clothes."
"No." Gojyo shook his head and Hakkai lifted his hand away. "I'm going home."
"What are you talking about?" Hakkai asked.
The squeezing became a sharp pain, as he heard the words that he had already inferred spoken out loud. He reached down again, trying to tilt Gojyo's head back. He needed to see Gojyo's face, so he could understand what was really happening. Gojyo resisted, instead wrapping his arms around Hakkai's waist and pressing his face against his stomach. Hakkai's alarm was growing, and he had to force himself to stay calm and still. The men in the hall were listening, and perhaps there were eyes in the walls as well.
"Gojyo," he said softly.
"I mean, this whole trip was always Sanzo's gig," Gojyo spoke quickly. "I only came for the ride because of..."
"Me," Hakkai finished.
"Uh, yeah," Gojyo mumbled.
It was something that had always been unspoken between them. Through his fear, Hakkai felt the familiar guilt. Gojyo was so loyal to him, and Hakkai still didn't understand why.
"So, this..." Hakkai gestured at the mussed futon. "Was your way of saying good-bye?"
"Er- yeah?" Gojyo's response was hesitant, like a school boy afraid of giving the wrong answer and displeasing his teacher.
Hakkai stroked Gojyo's silky hair, and Gojyo leaned into the touch. Always looking for approval, seeking to please. Gojyo would do anything to protect those he cared about. Even throw his life away. Hakkai's hand slid down Gojyo's head and neck to his shoulder, and pushed firmly. Reluctantly, Gojyo loosened his hold around Hakkai's waist and leaned away. He knelt in front of Hakkai, head bowed slightly, hair shielding his face. He looked like a penitent sinner.
The pain in Hakkai's chest moved up into his throat, and he cleared it. He didn't deserve the love of such a pure heart.
"Gojyo, look at me, please," Hakkai said quietly.
"Yeah, man?" His voice loud with false bravado, Gojyo looked up.
Hakkai gazed down into Gojyo's upturned face. The generous mouth was stretched into a forced smile, and the crimson eyes were open a little too wide. It was Gojyo's best "nothing going on here" bluff face. Hakkai suppressed a sigh. He thought he had purged Gojyo of lying to him, especially in regards to the bad habit Gojyo had of attempting to extricate himself from dangerous situations on his own. They were obviously in the middle of one of those situations this very moment. Hakkai needed to ascertain what was going on as quickly and covertly as possible so he could determine the proper course of action.
Hakkai gripped Gojyo's upper arm and pulled. Gojyo rose obediently, the crimson eyes holding his as Gojyo tried to read him. But Hakkai had a much better poker face. Tilting his head, Hakkai kissed Gojyo lightly on the lips.
"If you've made up your mind to leave the ikkou," Hakkai whispered, "then you should kiss me good-bye."
Hakkai pressed his lips against the other man's again, more firmly this time. Despite his surprise, Gojyo's body automatically responded. Gojyo's lips softened and warmed, arms wrapping around Hakkai. Hakkai pulled Gojyo's head down to deepen the kiss and ran his hands over Gojyo's chest. Moaning softly, Gojyo pressed their lower bodies together. In spite of their recent bout of rigorous activity, passion flared between them, and Hakkai momentarily forgot his purpose. He thrust his tongue into Gojyo's open mouth, and the other man's warm, wet tongue rolled against his. Another moan, and Gojyo's nipple hardened beneath Hakkai's fingertips.
Spreading his palm, Hakkai used the smallest amount of chi he could muster and "felt" Gojyo, the way he did when searching out internal injuries. It was obvious as soon as he looked for it; a dull, throbbing knot of foreign chi lodged directly above Gojyo's heart. Hakkai's thumb stroked the diagonal scar and berated himself for not sensing it earlier.
Hakkai reached out to caress Gojyo's chest, tracing the clavicle bones, the pectorals, working his courage up to touch one of the dusky nipples. His fingertips grazed the star-shaped scar from the bullet shot through Gojyo's heart. There was a new scar next to the star, a thin diagonal line, the kind made from a sharp, slicing weapon. He didn't recall seeing the wound when they had bathed together after the fire oni battle. He leaned closer, opening his palm over the scar, and started to press his hand to the wounded flesh.
Gojyo grasped his wrist and brought it to his mouth, kissing it. Hakkai looked up at Gojyo's face, and saw something strange pass over the handsome features before the redhead gave him a dazzling smile.
"You made the most amazing sounds when you were coming," Gojyo said, kissing his fingers. "I can't wait to hear you while we're fucking."
Hakkai had noticed the scar earlier. And had let Gojyo distract him. Hakkai's buttocks were squeezed in large hands as Gojyo gently rocked their hips together. Despite himself, Hakkai felt his sex stir. Being the center of Gojyo's sensual attention was intoxicating. Reluctantly, Hakkai broke the kiss and pulled back, Gojyo following him. Warm lips moved over Hakkai's jaw to his throat.
"Promise me you'll be careful with your gambling, Gojyo," Hakkai said. He shivered as Gojyo sucked on the side of his neck. "I'm afraid someday you'll be hurt trying to bluff the wrong sort of people," Hakkai added.
He hoped Gojyo hadn't become aroused beyond reason and would understand what Hakkai was trying to tell him. The sucking on his neck stopped, replaced by Gojyo's breathing as he rested his head on Hakkai's shoulder. Hakkai tapped the heart scar with his thumb. He felt the change in the body draped over his: from languid, to tense readiness.
"Er-" Gojyo paused. "It's the other players you should worry about."
Hakkai frowned slightly. Gojyo's clue had been too vague. "Other players" could refer to the rest of the ikkou, the men in the hall, anyone, really. Remembering the woman's hair ornament, Hakkai tried again.
"Well, as long as no innocents are involved," Hakkai said.
Gojyo straightened and grinned down at him, and Hakkai knew he had guessed correctly.
"Hey, I can't look out for everyone, 'Kai," Gojyo said with breezy casualness. "If some innocent bystander gets hurt, it's beyond my control."
"I see," Hakkai said.
The owner had flashed the ornament as a warning to Gojyo for him to behave and get rid of the ikkou. They were holding a hostage. Considering Gojyo's propensity for protecting innocents, particularly females, it was a strong tactic. The hostage, coupled with the implant in Gojyo's chest, made it apparent they were attempting to coerce Gojyo. To what purpose, was irrelevant at the moment.
Hakkai brushed his lips across Gojyo's mouth in a brief kiss. Gojyo's hands squeezed his buttocks firmly, making his groin tingle.
"Then I suppose," Hakkai whispered, "the most I can ask is for you not to do anything foolish until we see each other again."
Gojyo chuckled. He nuzzled Hakkai's neck and ground their pelvises together. Hakkai could feel the other man's erection.
"Does that mean I can be as foolish as I want when I see you?" Gojyo teased.
Hakkai was amazed that in the middle of overt danger, Gojyo was still flirting with him. Hakkai felt his face flush. The two of them had undoubtedly been spied on while they were being... intimate. Hakkai's face burned as he remembered some of the things he had done...
Hakkai pushed Gojyo away.
"Well, ah ha ha, we'll discuss your foolishness the next time we see each other," Hakkai said.
Gojyo's gaze moved over Hakkai's heated face, and his crimson eyes narrowed in lust. The tip of Gojyo's tongue touched the corner of his mouth as he smiled slowly. Hakkai felt his own erection throb. How did Gojyo manage to do that to him with just a look? Hakkai shook his head, both to focus himself and to discourage Gojyo's amorous attention.
"I must go now," Hakkai said firmly.
Gojyo drew his arms back, trailing his hands over Hakkai's hips. It was as if he were maintaining physical contact for as long as possible. The lustful heat in his crimson eyes cooled, and for a moment, there was a lost look on the handsome face that almost made Hakkai take Gojyo back into his arms.
No, Hakkai thought. The only way to get Gojyo out of whatever trouble he was in was to leave him and strategize with Sanzo.
Stooping down, Hakkai picked up his shoes and socks. He would put them on outside. Shuttering up his heart, Hakkai turned and stepped toward the screen door. He was just reaching out to touch the wooden frame when Gojyo grabbed his arm.
"Hey," Gojyo's voice said in his ear.
Hakkai twisted around, prepared to rebuke Gojyo for prolonging the parting, then saw what Gojyo was holding carefully in his long fingers. Contrite, Hakkai stood still while Gojyo set his glasses on his nose, gently pushing the hair back from his ears.
"Thank you, Gojyo," Hakkai said.
"You're welcome," Gojyo replied, managing a small smile.
Gojyo's right hand lingered by Hakkai's ear, the knuckles brushing his cheek. For a moment, they stood there that way, staring into each other's eyes. Inches away, separated only by a paper screen, the enemy was listening to their every sound. Gojyo's hand dropped away, and Hakkai slid open the screen door. The light grating sound of the wooden frame sliding across the floor was as loud in the silence as a sword being drawn from its sheath.