Title: What Rough Beast

Author: macavitykitsune

Pairing: implied: Hakkai/Gojyo, and a bit of Studied Perving: Nii/Hakkai

Rating: PG-13 for language, and a bit of innuendo

Word count: 1041

Summary: Nii has a prisoner and a theory, and ends up trading both for something else entirely.




"You know, I've seen some odd ducks in my time, but you, you just don't add up."


Cho Hakkai gazed at him wordlessly, and Nii grinned back. There it was, that murderer's glare he'd caught, frozen frame after frame of; the one that looked straight at him, through him, judged his worth and dismissed his significance at the same time.


"Let's examine an example," he continued unfazed. "Survivors of your village, and of your childhood home, were ready to swear on their lives that Cho Gonou had never touched a sword in his life. And yet this good little Catholic-raised human boy grew up to murder a full thousand youkai, and a sizable number of humans - with a remarkable degree of efficiency and economy of might I add." He swept his gaze up and down his body, letting his leer show through as he added, "A scrawny, impoverished boy at that. You've filled out since, though."


Green eyes blinked at him. Presumably, you have a point, that gaze said. It made him grin wider.


"About twelve hundred people in a span of two months. That's six hundred people a month. About twenty a day, not counting the six weeks or more it would have taken you to travel from your village to the Yamigarasu's home to Hyakugan Maoh's castle; it was during the rains, after all. Two clans of sword-wielding youkai, taken down by a boy who'd never used a blade. I'm impressed. " He clapped his hands a few times, but Cho didn't seem particularly amused. Then again, he hadn't seemed amused for the past week that Nii had had him in here. It was quite interesting to see him without that smile perpetually plastered on his face. Then again, the smile had probably been a little more disturbing, and thus possibly more entertaining.


"They say you used to be a god, 'Tenpou Gensui'," Nii purred, stroking a hand down his captive's cheek. "It would explain both the clearly unnatural power you had as a human and the remarkable disregard you have for life, don't you think?"


Oh, but this one was interesting, with or without the smile. He wasn't spitting curses like that rat Kouryuu would have in the same situation. Hs gaze was blurred with the drugs keeping him powerless and mostly paralysed on top of the table, making it easier to distinguish between the real and the fake eye, but there was a calm to him, assessing, calculating, trying to stay a step ahead of him even though he was barely capable of twitching his fingertips. Feeling the pain from his broken arm, and moving past it with utter detachment. Fascinating, really. Well worth the effort of the capture.


Oh, the joys of an unlimited research budget - and a silver tongue. Given what he was used for these days, he rather suspected Gyokumen Koushu was more than willing to trade one for the other.


"It's surprising that you haven't figured out more about your past, given all the wonderful little hints that war god dropped," Nii mused. "Not to mention the goddess herself, my, my. It's terribly laid-back of you. It's all there, you know, in the histories. I found out who she was talking about less than a week after you were attacked by that monk. All the sordid little details of your past. You seem to have been quite the personality."


Cho frowned, breaking his expressionless mask for the first time. Even through the gag, Nii could hear the faint sound that likely meant "what the hell are you talking about?"


Except that he wouldn't swear, of course. The live feeds Nii had spent the last year of his life in front of were more than adequate evidence of that. What a pity.


"Unless...." he mused aloud after a theatrical pause, giving Cho's irritation time to build. "Unless something's been keeping you lot from piecing things together....what a naughty thing to do!" He chuckled, watching the bemusement crawl across his face. "Oh yes, I see that now. But that's easy to undo...besides, I've wanted to meet a real god for a while now. Just to talk. Unless you'd rather do something else?" he leered, and grinned at the flash of disgust in those pretty pretty eyes as his hand stroked up the pale, thin neck to rest on his forehead. "Oh, I thought not. ....I rather think I'm a better lay than that red-headed friend of yours whose company you seem to enjoy so much....no? You're quite sure? Positive? Oh, well." He sighed in mock disappointment and used the momentary confusion his words had caused, seizing the lapse in Cho's guard and diving into his mind.


I only believe what I see, after all.


The barrier was buried deep in his mind, straining to contain...something.....that pulsed like a heartbeat, inky with rage and power. He could make a reasonable guess what that was. It took only a second to navigate his way to it, and another to break through - for someone with the power he controlled, this was easy as breathing. A final burst of power, and the barrier shattered, imploding around the weak point he'd punched into it, and Nii reeled back out of Cho's mind, away from the sheer force of the presence it released, his eyes snapping open as he stumbled back from the table. He caught himself with one hand on another desk and straightened, watching him warily.


There was no sudden transformation, no explosion of power. Instead, Cho sat up quite easily on the table, swinging his legs off the edge and flexing his fingers experimentally before he looked up at Nii. There was a small smile playing at his lips.


"Well," he purred. "This was unexpected." Mismatched eyes, blue-violet and artificial green, fixed him with a knowing gaze. "I didn't anticipate being fully released quite so soon."


"The best laid plans," Nii said, giving it his best shrug. He was acutely aware that there was no guarantee he would survive the next few minutes. He was also aware that he was enjoying that fact to a possibly disturbing level.


"Mm," Tenpou agreed calmly. His right hand flexed once, twice, like claws unsheathing. "So. You called?" 

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