Title:And a Smile on the Face of the Dragon
Warnings: Not worksafe.
Summary: Actions unbecoming any number of officers.
Series: First part of the Dream of the Butterfly series. Followed by Officers' Training Seminar: Building Trust and Teamwork in the Heavenly Army
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer thingee. Not mine, hers. Kenren as dragon catnip is mine, as is the further transfer backstory and Kenren's parentage.
Note: A big thank you to aestheticism.com for the Gaiden
translations. Originally posted on the Anonymous Saiyuki Kink Meme.
And a Smile on the Face of the Dragon
Goujun paused, briefly sizing the man up in front of him. He looked back down to the transfer papers. He tried not to breathe in too deeply.
"Make sure you don't fail to act in a way that becomes a soldier."
"Your commanding officer, Marshal Tenpou, is an outstanding military man. You must try not to do anything to stain his record."
"You may go."
Kenren turned on heel, sighing in relief. Thank Kanzeon that was over.
"General. A moment."
He stopped a few feet from the door without bothering to turn around. He heard the dragon inhale sharply. Damn it, he thought, a slight panic rising. Please, not again.
"I wish to… my…," Goujun paused. He started again. "My brother's behavior towards you was… unconscionable. He has disgraced not only the military, but also my family, and my people." Goujun sounded as if someone were twisting a knife in his guts. Kenren idly wished it were him. "I… I wish to apologize for it. Be assured that such a despicable act will not be repeated here. I am in control of…"
The next intake of breath sounded almost angry, but just as deep as before. Kenren held his breath and waited, his heart slowly sinking into his boots. He could only guess what was coming next. It wasn't what he expected.
"I am… very sorry that this had to be the outcome, General. You might lack the proper discipline as befits your station, but your service record is exemplary. You should not have had to bear the greatest burden in this incident."
"Yeah, well. Eternity sucks sometimes. Sir. I'll survive. Thank you." He found himself shaking with anger. It figured the dragon knew.
"I'm sure you will. You are dismissed, General."
Kenren almost bolted out of the door, knocking shoulders with the guard. He stormed down the hall, cursing the moron who had the brilliant idea of putting the dragons in charge of the military.
That afternoon found Kenren at the bar in the officer's club slowly getting plastered. He held his liquor remarkably well, so he calculated he couldn't be more than two sheets to the wind at the moment. That definitely needed fixing. He wouldn't need too many brain cells functioning tomorrow to carry out his first ever order in the Western Army. Sorting a pile of books and papers under which allegedly sat his C.O.'s office. A C.O. who was entirely too pretty for his own good. Oh yes. He was not going to continue along on that thought process, no way. No more of that ever again.
He took a drag off his cigarette from the one hand and downed the shot from the other. As he refilled he felt a presence at his shoulder.
"Ah, General, here you are. May I sit as well?"
Tenpou didn't bother to wait for a response and perched on the next stool. The bartender was prompt. Hell, it was mid afternoon. They were the only two there.
"The same as he's having, please." Tenpou pulled out a cigarette and fished his lighter out of a coat pocket. He sized up the General's half-empty 80 proof bottle. "Only, much less of it. And on the rocks, thank you."
Kenren stared glumly into his shot glass as Tenpou was served.
"General." Tenpou started up amicably. Obviously, he wanted to talk. Kenren had hoped beyond hope he had been there to be a sullen uncommunicative drunk as well, but things weren't going the way he had planned. Much like his entire career up to this point.
"I trust you reported to Commander Goujun before the liver pickling began."
Kenren took another drag and poured another shot. He was polite enough to answer before he threw it back.
"Yes indeedy do. Sir." He closed his eyes as the liquor hit.
"And that went well?"
Kenren opened his eyes and glanced towards the Marshal. "It went just peachy. Sir. Thanks for checking up on that." He gave what passed for a salute. Shot number 13, on the way.
Tenpou's silence was pregnant as he tapped his cigarette into the ash tray. Kenren tried not to look at him. He wondered how he could make the man go away without being put into the stockade.
Tenpou spoke slowly, as if uncertain how to proceed. "I know you've been transferred under… singular circumstances, General. I realize how difficult this must have been for you."
He stopped to take a drag off his cigarette. Kenren could have been made of stone for all his reaction to the pretty speech.
"Commander Goujun and I are fairly confident your reassignment here is to everyone's benefit. I think you will find the situation here much more to your liking."
Kenren finally had to turn and look at him. The man mentioned the dragon. He didn't like where this was heading. "You don't have a wife. That's a good start, I'd say."
Tenpou smiled briefly, and again paused before speaking. This time he was the one studying the bottom of his glass.
"Yes, well. I have to say the army needs to be a little more plausible in their fictions if they intend to cover up their officer's misalliances. As masculine and virulent as you most assuredly are, General, you're also far too intelligent to do something quite as idiotic as that which your transfer claims."
Kenren would have been thankful for the compliment if he hadn't felt so sick. Or for that matter, outraged.
Seemingly unaware of the death threat lurking in Kenren's eyes an arms length away Tenpou continued. "I myself would have raked your commander over the coals for his behavior. You at least could have argued you were under his direct orders, but he really had no excuse beyond indulging in his particular kink. The damage the dragon inflicted upon him was his comeuppance, I suppose."
Kenren's forehead hit the bar.
"Does EVERYBODY know? Maybe I should just fucking shoot myself…"
Tenpou smiled, but it was discrete and small in deference to the General's obvious distress. He tapped his cigarette again. "Rest assured, General, your reputation as a shameless cuckolding libertine is safely established in the rank and file. As far as I'm aware, I am Goujun's sole confident about the situation."
The situation. He was reduced to being "the situation." Great. Just fucking great. He left his head on the bar and wallowed in his misery.
"I have to say I found the details to be a rather fascinating lover's triangle, as lover's triangles go. Or would it be more precise to call it a lover's… well, square, I suppose. Or perhaps parallelogram."
Tenpou paused to smoke again. Kenren's head didn't move from the bar. He was kind of hoping Tenpou's eyesight was based on movement and he in effect just disappeared from view and Tenpou would go away.
"Hmmm. Or would your commander and his wife be considered as a single unit in the eyes of the law? A triangle would work in that case."
No one would find Kenren at fault for throttling his new C.O. after being subjected to this kind of torture, would they?
Tenpou picked some tobacco off his tongue and stared off into space, musing over the technicalities. "I doubt that there is any precedence in the legal system to weigh in on the issue… it would also be curious to see if the law considers any cross- species sex to be bestiality."
More cigarette tapping. "One wonders, really, just how many laws the four of you had technically broken had it ever gotten to a court proceeding. Beyond the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, of course."
Kenren hit his head on the bar. It felt good. He hit it again. Maybe a few more times would satisfy the sadist next to him.
"There was the assault, of course. Cuckoldry might not be considered a prosecutable offense if the one being cuckolded has actually requested that the act be performed in front of him." Tap went the cigarette. "I also believe voyeurism is no longer considered a paraphilia except in the most extreme of cases…"
"Please shut up," Kenren said to the bar top.
To his surprise Tenpou did shut up. He smoked quietly while Kenren sat there with his head on the bar.
"Kenren," The Marshal continued very quietly. Kenren groaned inwardly.
"Goujun has told me some… things about you and his brother. I have to say I was outraged that the army would use you as scapegoat for his actions. It's inexcusable. If there was a viable course of action in which we could pursue justice, I would gladly follow it for you."
Kenren didn't know what to say to that. He turned his head so he was looking at Tenpou from the bar top. He said the only thing that came into his head.
Tenpou nodded. He looked faintly ashamed. " Unfortunately, as you are probably already quite aware, our hands are rather tied."
Kenren nodded. He did know.
"Dragons have what could be considered something akin to diplomatic immunity. The action the army chose seemed to be the sole course available that saved face for the majority of the participants. I'm sorry you had to be sacrificed for the preservation of the status quo. It was hardly fair to you."
Kenren lifted his head and stared straight ahead. "Yeah, well. I'm sorry too."
They sat in silence a moment. The air was thick and it felt like something was going to snap soon. Kenren figured it would probably be him.
He lit another cigarette and smoked silently for a moment. Then, he slowly and deliberately placed his index finger on the bar top, and began to write what he hoped was an invisible epitaph for this entire day.
"Note to self: the next time your C.O. wants to watch you fuck his wife: Just. Say. No. No matter how amazingly hot she is."
He dotted the end of the sentence. Quickly glancing over he saw Tenpou looked bemused. Good. It meant he was probably safe from being slapped with insubordination or something. His finger started a new line text.
"P.S. Make bloody sure your insanely jealous ex, who fucking broke it off himself because he didn't want to quote sully himself further unquote doesn't find out about it- because even though he isn't fucking you anymore, he still doesn't want you fucking anyone else. Ever. Period."
Dot. Kenren stared at his invisible memo. He still didn't know how the fuck the dragon had found out. Probably scented it while passing by, one of those incredibly unlucky coincidences his life seemed to be filled with. It also still bugged him as to why the asshole took it out on his C.O. when it wasn't his C.O. he was balls deep inside of when the door was busted down, even if that was the way the night seemed to have been heading. It probably had to do with some stupid dragon honor code about hitting girls or something. He wouldn't be surprised. He downed another shot.
Kenren took a puff, pondered his memo, and decided it wasn't quite finished.
"P.P.S. Especially if he's a dragon." Dot. He nodded in satisfaction and reached out for his bottle. It wasn't quite empty yet. "Now, if you would excuse me, sir. I'm not officially on duty until oh six hundred and I have some serious drinking to do."
He should have known better than to think that would be the end of the conversation. His glass wasn't even half full before Tenpou was at it again.
"General…" a new cigarette found its way to Tenpou's mouth. "I'm curious- Commander Goujun tells me there is a rather interesting explanation as to his brother's intense jealousy of your attentions."
"What? That he's fucking insane?" Kenren threw back another shot and filled the glass as quickly. He had to be at least two and a half sheets to the wind by now. He was pleased with his progress.
"I believe he was referring to an intriguing expression of your genetic makeup. He claims that as the offspring of a river god and a fertility goddess, you possess a rather distinct scent his race finds immensely appealing."
"Apparently your father is a Yangtze tributary?"
"Really! It is true, then. So then, do all your siblings carry this trait?"
"No. They're Half-siblings. I have lots and lots of half- siblings. Mom gets around."
"Mmm. As a fertility goddess, I would assume she would. So, then it's particular to yourself?"
"As far as I know, I'm the only dragon catnip in the family. Sir."
A delighted smile played on Tenpou's lips. Great, Kenren thought. Go ahead, find my misery amusing. He was beginning to feel like his life was one big dirty limerick for everyone to laugh at. Things could hardly get worse.
"An apt comparison, General," Tenpou tapped his new cigarette a few times and brought it to his lips. "Although, I do believe to obtain the full effect of the genus Nepeta it should be ingested. I could be wrong. My knowledge of botanicals is somewhat limited."
"Thanks bunches for putting that image in my head. Sir." The skin on Kenren's left shoulder itched in sympathy where it was still healing from an over enthusiastic pair of fangs. He'd almost lost bits of himself a couple of times. Along with what happened to his poor C.O. the dragon had done quite a number on him that night as well. Why did no one seem to remember that?
Tenpou finished his cigarette. He ground it out as he stood up from the stool.
"Well, I think we've had enough pleasant banter for the evening, don't you? On to the reason for this visit: General, I have been given the pleasurable task of escorting you to a private welcoming party given for your benefit by a few of the officers. I'm sure by this time we're considered rather late. Would you care to join me?"
Tenpou held out one of his arms. Kenren stared at it. It felt as if he were about to be taken down the aisle to be married off.
"A party." He wasn't sure how he felt about that. It had never happened before.
"Yes, a private party with a few of the higher-ranking officers. As I said previously, General, I think you will find being stationed here to your liking. And we'd like things to start off on the proper footing, so to speak. Hence a proper welcome. Shall we?"
"Sure, hold on a sec." Kenren fished in his pockets for a tip, took a final drag, and got up off his stool. Then proceeded to list rather markedly to the right. He grabbed the edge of the bar. Apparently he had gotten that third sheet up and flying without being aware of it.
"Feel free to lean on me, General." Tenpou again held out his hand. This time Kenren took it and somehow ended up with his arm over the Marshal's shoulder making his way to wherever it was they were going. It took no time before he had no idea where he was. Hell, he could hardly find his own quarters at this point, so he guessed it wasn't solely the fault of the booze. Tenpou was talking again, but Kenren wasn't particularly listening. He was mostly aware of being draped over his C.O.'s shoulder. His incredibly pretty and rather warm C.O. and damn if this wasn't gonna be a problem in the future. Tenpou caught him looking over at him and smiled. He smiled back, brilliantly. Man, was he drunk.
They stopped in front of a round door. Tenpou announced they were there, wherever there was. It seemed to be someone's house.
"Is this your place?" Kenren asked, looking about at the ornate decoration. Wow, but this guy was loaded.
"I'm afraid not. My rooms are attached to my offices, and are rather plain by comparison." Tenpou removed Kenren's arm from his shoulders and steadied him against the wall before he dug out a key from his pants pocket.
"You have a key." Kenren observed, stating the obvious.
"Yes, I have a key." Tenpou turned the lock. "I'm a rather frequent visitor here. After you, General."
Tenpou took his elbow to help maneuver him through the door. It was dark on the other side. Kenren paused, waiting for his eyes to adjust. Keeping upright without being able to see was proving a problem. He felt Tenpou's arm slide around his waist, steadying him.
"The party's here?" Kenren looked about into the semi darkness. He was beginning to get suspicious. He should have known it was some sort of prank. He'd probably wake up tomorrow morning in the Jade Emperor's throne room buck naked. A welcoming party, what was he thinking?
He felt Tenpou move in front of him. Both his hands were at his waist. "Follow me," was all Tenpou said, and like an idiot Kenren followed as Tenpou guided him forward, up some stairs he could barely see and through what looked like a door into a low lit but well-appointed room and they suddenly stopped. Tenpou was up against a wall. Up against a wall with his arms around Kenren's waist. Kenren wasn't sure what he should be doing with his hands, so he followed suit and put his arms around Tenpou. Now he was totally confused.
At least he could now see Tenpou's face. It was smiling at him, and not in an "I'm about to paint you blue, put bows in your hair and dump you in the officer's mess" kind of way either. Kenren smiled back for the second time that night. Boy was he drunk. Boy was Tenpou pretty, especially when he smiled… and boy was he in trouble because damn it he had promised himself he wasn't going to think that way about his Commanding Officers ever again, but what was this poor soldier to do when said C.O.'s hand is suddenly stroking your cheek and he's looking at you like that. Kenren closed his eyes as a thumb slowly traced the curve of his jaw. He was so screwed.
"We're both adults, General," Tenpou said in an almost whisper. "I think we can skip the formalities, don't you agree?" He could feel Tenpou's other hand shifting down to his lower back, pulling him in to sandwich together two rather obvious erections. Warm breath was on his face as the thumb stroked again. "I believe the attraction is mutual."
Oh yes, was it ever. The hand slid to his neck drawing him closer. He wasn't sure whether he kissed Tenpou first or if Tenpou kissed him. It didn't seem to matter as a tentative brush of lips quickly became deeper. It felt good, really good. The glasses were definitely something new. He liked new. Both hands cupped his face, controlling the kiss. He slid his own hands down to the Marshal's ass. Tenpou made a soft sound into his mouth as he ground against him.
Kenren wasn't too far gone not to realize this had to be an all-time record for him. He hadn't been here a full day yet and he was already hip deep into this kind of trouble. But like the Marshal had said before, he figured he could always claim he was under direct orders. He could also blame the booze. He'd had a lot of it.
Tenpou's hand had moved down and was unbuckling his belt. It was making him harder than a fucking steel rod just thinking about it and his tongue thrust deeper into Tenpou's mouth. His heart was pounding in his ears so it wasn't too surprising he hadn't heard the footsteps until they stopped directly behind him. Tenpou chose that moment to finally get that hand down his pants and he totally forgot about who might be back there because fuck he had been going commando and Tenpou's hand was on his bare cock and it was squeezing. His breath hitched as they broke the kiss.
Tenpou whispered into his mouth, "I do believe the rest of the party has arrived."
The body behind him stepped in closer and Kenren found himself surrounded. He tried turning around but Tenpou purposefully stroked the shaft again, twisting his hand up just so over the top and instead Kenren moaned as his head fell back onto the shoulder behind him. Gods yes, just like that, he thought. Do that again.
A face pressed into his neck and another set of arms wrapped around his waist. It was followed by a deep intake of breath, which changed halfway through to a strangely new yet at the same time sickeningly familiar growl rumbling close to his ear. A dragon. Kenren immediately went stiff as a board. Shit. Shit shit shit. Goujun. Kenren could feel the panic rising fast in his throat. He tried to pull himself out from between the two of them, but the dragon's arms grabbed his wrists to keep him in place. He tried again, a bit wilder in his actions but with all that liquor in him he wasn't entirely in control of his own limbs and it again got him nowhere. Tenpou continued his ministrations in an attempt keep his erection going but it wasn't working.
"Shh, shhhh," Tenpou took his hand out of Kenren's pants and started stroking his face, like he would a frightened animal. "Don't worry, General. Calm down. Shh. Things are fine."
Goujun inhaled, scenting him again, and Kenren could just feel those red eyes dilating behind him. He'd been in this position far too often not to know what was coming. His breaths starting coming in sharp gasps and his heart pounded in his throat. He had to get out before Goujun got all catnip crazy. He tried shaking them off again, putting all his strength into it. The third attempt nearly got him free, but his leg buckled when he tried to bolt and they dragged him back in again. He was flipped now, with Tenpou behind him and the dragon in front. Kenren started hyperventilating and knew he was beginning to pass out. Tenpou tried to calm him again as spots began to appear in front of his eyes.
"Kenren, please. Shh. Calm down. Shhhh. No one's going to harm you. You're among friends here. You are safe. Slow it down. Deep breaths. That's it. Shhhh."
Kenren realized he wasn't thinking rationally, and some of it had to have been due to the liquor still swimming in alarming quantities throughout his blood. One of Goujun's hands still held him in place, but the other was moving rhythmically up and down on his chest. It felt good, actually. Calming. It starting registering in his inebriated brain that Goujun wasn't acting aggressive, that his own clothes weren't being ripped off, and that Tenpou was still very much alive and in one piece behind him. Tenpou was whispering things in his ear. Kenren closed his eyes and concentrated on the tone of the voice and the sensation of being petted. The bone-deep panic he'd been in began to ease off. He was safe. Tenpou's arm lock around him began feeling less like confinement and more like a hug.
His breathing finally slowed. Tenpou started stroking a hand up and down his arm, and he felt Goujun almost tenderly touch his cheek. His eyes flew open as the dragon stopped the petting and rested the hand on Kenren's chest. The Dragon King leaned in, and Kenren could feel wisps of soft hair tickle across his forehead. Goujun breathed him in again, and he watched as the red eyes dilated. His heart spiked momentarily when he saw that his scent was affecting him. Kenren swallowed thickly, and attempted some damage control. He really didn't need another month in the infirmary right now.
"I'm sorry, sir, but I- I can't control it. I'm not trying to seduce you, I swear," it came out as almost a sob. His breathing started getting choppy again. "Please believe me." Goujun's brother sure as hell hadn't.
"I know that, General." Goujun's voice was low and husky. His mouth was inches from Kenren's own. "I am nothing like my brother. You need not fear me."
Tenpou's voice tickled his ear softly. "I would have thought it was obvious who here is trying to seduce who."
Goujun closed that last inch and lightly touched Kenren's lips with his own in invitation. Kenren was a bit surprised at himself as he responded to it with a more solid kiss in return. He had always found dragons more than a bit of a turn on. That's how it all started in the first place. He'd said yes. At first it was good. It was the later episodes of bodily injury that he could have done without.
Goujun sniffed Kenren again, but this time it was his mouth. He frowned.
"You've been drinking."
He had no idea why he thought it was funny but Kenren began to laugh at that. He laid his head back on Tenpou's shoulder as the chuckling continued. Oh yeah. He was drunk alright.
"He has ingested a significant amount this evening," Tenpou seemed amused as well. Tenpou's hands were slowly getting friendlier and were making their way back towards his open fly. "However, as it seems to have blunted his normally mulish nature, I believe it's likely to our advantage. Isn't that true, General?"
Did Tenpou just call him a mule? He wasn't sure he was too happy about that. Tenpou might have been right though. If he had been sober he'd probably have told them both to go fuck themselves, he didn't need this kind of trouble in his life anymore. Instead he responded with a grunt as fingers brushed against his cock again.
Tenpou returned to slowly stroking him and his legs went a bit wobbly. He
attempted to balance himself by grabbing onto the dragon. This was all… kind of
bizarre. He was being jacked off by his C.O. while the Dragon King of the
The dragon was pressed into his front, rubbing himself against Kenren. Kenren started fucking Tenpou's hand between them. Goujun grabbed a handful of Kenren's hair and pulled his head back, moving from Tenpou's mouth to along Kenren's neck and jaw line. Spit and the faintest ghosting of fangs scraped across his skin. Kenren's cock jerked and he groaned loudly, thrusting harder. Gods it felt so good. He had always had a thing for a dragon's fangs, bordering on a full out kink. Goujun obviously felt his reaction because he did it again and Kenren started getting lost in the feeling, the teeth and the pull on his hair and that hand on his cock and he must have been too drunk because it suddenly peaked and hit him like a truck. He came with a cry and a jerk.
Tenpou gave a pleased murmur and kissed Kenren just under his ear as his come spilled into the man's hand. Kenren's body jerked a few more times while both of them continued holding him upright. Goujun loosened his grip on Kenren's hair somewhat and leaned in again to kiss him. Kenren kissed him back hungrily. He really didn't want to come down from it yet. Someone's hand was stroking little circles on his stomach reassuringly. He supposed it must be Tenpou's.
He opened his eyes to find Goujun looking him in the face. The dragon's eyes never left his as he watched him pick up Tenpou's hand and slowly begin to lick Kenren's come off the fingers one by one. He was making a sound that came close to a purr. Damn but that was kinky.
He had almost forgotten about Tenpou behind him until he spoke quietly in his ear again. "You see, the Commander and I have had an… agreement for quite some time now, General." Oh really, thought Kenren, eyes fixed on the little split tongue. That sure as hell explained a lot.
Tenpou's arm hugged him a bit closer. "And as we were of a like mind, we decided it would be better to immediately deal with any potential conflicts we could foresee due to your arrival here, since we both wished to avoid a repeat of what happened in the Eastern Army." Tenpou's other hand seemed intent on mapping out new territory as it had started roaming again. "Nip any potential love triangle in the bud, so to speak."
"Uh huh." Kenren was transfixed watching the dragon still licking Tenpou's hand off. It was hotter than anything he had ever seen, and he'd seen a lot.
"I think it's time we moved this to more comfortable quarters," Tenpou was suggesting, but Kenren wasn't hearing a word of it. He was watching the dragon slowly sinking to his knees in front of him to continue the cleaning. The hand must have finally been deemed spotless. Maybe Tenpou was right about the whole ingesting of catnip thing because he could swear Goujun really was purring. Kenren's knees went a little weak when white hands grasped his hip bones and the dragon leaned in to sniff his crotch.
Goujun looked up smiling, showing a fine line of pointy teeth. Kenren had never seen a dragon smile before. He didn't know it was physically possible. The rough voice seemed to be competing with the purr as he watched the dragon's pupils dilate again. It didn't seem such a bad thing anymore.
"General. Welcome to the Western Army."
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