Title: Playing Doctor
Author: TJ Dragonblade
Genre: Shounen-ai, fluff
Warnings: This fic is pure cotton candy - sweet and fluffy with little to nothing in the way of substance or nutritional value. The author assumes no liability for dental bills resulting from the reading of this fic.
Setting: Generically mid-journey, pre-Reload wardrobe; random inn
Summary: Healer!Hakkai and Gojyo with a minor wound...
Many heartfelt thanks to Kiro and Sorcha for the beta work.
"Ow." Gojyo winced a little at the sting of water against his bullet-grazed cheek and shifted uncomfortably where he sat on the edge of the tub. "That smarts, dammit."
"I am quite sorry." Hakkai dabbed at the shallow wound all the more gently, Gojyo's chin held softly immobile in his other hand. "But it will heal much better if it's clean."
"Don't have to bother, y'know." Gojyo's right eye squinted shut involuntarily as Hakkai continued his gentle swabbing beneath it. "I did kinda deserve it, after all."
"Getting Sanzo all pissed off is damned good entertainment, even if it is hazardous to the health. Little scratch like this is entirely worth it."
"That may be, but the fault is not entirely yours, Gojyo."
"I must insist on shouldering my own share of the blame, as well." Hakkai's brow creased in a familiar expression of self-recrimination. "If I hadn't slammed on the brakes at that precise instant, Sanzo's shot would have went wide as he intended."
"Suuuure he did."
"Yeah, yeah, I know." Gojyo rolled his eyes. "If the esteemed Sanzo-sama really wanted us dead, we'd be dead and the only reason I got this--" he gestured vaguely to indicate his grazed cheekbone "--is because that kid ran out in fronta you. Which is not your fault, so don't start in with your 'I could have avoided this if only I'd seen it coming!' stuff. Can't see the future, now, can you?"
Hakkai closed his mouth on whatever counter-arguments he'd been preparing and shook his head. "No. I suppose not. Still, what are the odds that Sanzo should pull the trigger at precisely the moment a stray child should run into Jeep's path?"
"As much as he waves the thing at Goku n' me? Pretty damned good, I'd say."
The corners of Hakkai's mouth lifted in a smile that was almost a wince. "The coincidence is still remarkable. Had I been driving faster, or slower, by even a small margin--"
"Not your fault that karma hates me." Gojyo held his ground, grin at its most disarming.
"...Ahh." Hakkai conceded, and ducked his head to hide a faint, somber smile as he made one final dab at the open line of the wound. "Well. Karma or not, there's little sense in adding scars to your collection over so trivial a thing as amusing yourself at Sanzo's expense."
"Feh." Gojyo flapped a hand dismissively as Hakkai turned to the small bathroom sink to rinse the cloth. "Barely a scratch. Not like it's gonna leave a scar-scar."
"Still. Healing a wound so small requires very little qi, and I have more than enough at the moment to spare."
"And I appreciate it, don't get me wrong. Just...hardly seems worth it, is all." Gojyo shrugged.
Hakkai paused minutely in the act of wringing out the cloth. "...Perhaps I simply enjoy playing doctor for you, then."
Gojyo snickered. "Y'know, usually when people talk about 'playing doctor', they mean--"
"Oh, yes--I'm quite aware of that, Gojyo." Hakkai glanced up briefly, and the customary little twist of his smile was somehow more shy than self-deprecating.
Gojyo blinked. "Damn, Hakkai--if I didn't know any better, I'd think you were makin' a pass at me."
"Ah. Well!" Hakkai's smile turned sunny and he straightened up with a sheepish little laugh, laying the rinsed cloth to dry on the sink's edge. "I suppose perhaps I might have been, at that!" He turned, reaching to heal the cut on Gojyo's face.
Gojyo caught his friend's wrist, surprise scrawled over his features; both of them stilled completely. The silence in the little bathroom thickened for the space of a heartbeat or two.
"Saa, Hakkai..." Gojyo spoke at last, very gently, and Hakkai's blankly cheerful expression melted into an unusually serious one. "What's that mean, then, eh?"
Hakkai's eyes met his, utterly somber and utterly unguarded. "You...are quite important to me, Gojyo." His voice was very soft. "It is not an easy thing to admit to, but I think perhaps that I would like for things to be...more than simply platonic between us."
Gojyo's breath caught in his throat. "Hakkai..."
"It's as though...well. All my life, I have felt...composed of broken pieces, if I may be so trite." Hakkai flashed a tiny smile, painfully apologetic. "Kanan gathered those pieces, held them into shape; a shape far from perfect, certainly, but whole nonetheless." He sighed, somewhere between fond memory and lingering sorrow. "When I lost her, I was certain my broken pieces would remain so forever. It seems that you have proven otherwise. You...you have also managed to gather all the fragments of me, into a shape different than the one she held but no less whole."
"I do realize, of course, that you prefer women; and while we are friends and very close at that, the likelihood that such interests on my part would be welcome is minimal--"
"--and I never had intent to act on these feelings nor do I wish for them to cause any sort of awkwardness between us--"
Hakkai stopped, reluctance evident on his face, and met Gojyo's gaze squarely.
"C'mere." Gojyo gave a little tug to the wrist he still held, urging Hakkai closer and down to eye level.
Hakkai complied, kneeling primly between Gojyo's knees with fluid grace, and made no effort to reclaim his captive limb.
Gojyo's eyes held him, frank and appraising. "How long?"
"How long have you felt like this?"
Hakkai's gaze canted down and off to the right, peering backwards through his memories. "I...don't know that I can say with any honesty, Gojyo. It seems almost as though things have always been this way."
"Nn. But it was never worth sayin' anything?" Absently, Gojyo's thumb began to move in soft circles against the inside of Hakkai's wrist.
Hakkai's eyes widened marginally; his breath trembled very slightly as he drew it in. "I...well. As I said, it didn't seem the sort of thing you'd readily welcome."
"Right, right. 'Cause I'm always goin' on about the ladies."
"Can't blame you for thinkin' so, I suppose." Gojyo's eyes held that soft brandy-wine warmth usually reserved for seducing his women, and the timbre of his voice could have melted the iciest virgin. "I do love the ladies, that's the truth. But maybe it's not the whole truth, eh?"
"Ah--well--" Hakkai tried very subtly to take his hand back.
Gojyo didn't let him; his mouth curved just so, hovering between sly and flirtatious. "Maybe there's more to me than all that. Maybe I've been lookin' for something more all along, and maybe I didn't even know it. Would you believe it?" His thumb slid gently past the heel of Hakkai's hand to the palm, arching it back while his mouth dipped in an intimate touch to Hakkai's wrist.
Hakkai jerked his hand away, succeeding this time, and a shadow of wounded trust ghosted over his face. "I'm afraid I'm quite serious, Gojyo, truly. Please don't toy with me." The shade of warning in his voice almost masked the tiny quaver of vulnerability beneath it.
Gojyo blinked, drawing back the slightest bit, and the warm cast of seduction vanished from his expression . "I'm not--I wouldn't, Hakkai, not you, not...not this." He reached again for Hakkai's hand.
Hesitantly, Hakkai let him take it. "What, then?"
"I..." Gojyo's eyes flicked down, shadowed by his long lashes. When they rose, there was a bit less self-assurance and a good deal more sincerity in them than had been there a moment earlier. He pulled Hakkai's hand to his chest, thumb pressed to the warm hollow of his friend's palm. "I'm not real used to the idea of havin' somebody who means more than a night or two of good times. And yeah I'm screwed up, and you're screwed up, and together we'd still be screwed up but maybe I think bein' all...uh, non-platonic, with you--it might be kinda nice anyway."
"...Oh." Hakkai blinked. "Ah. Ah, I-I see." A tiny smile pulled at the corners of his mouth. "And how long have you felt this way?"
Gojyo's grin in return was equally small and no less pleased. "Hard t'say, really. Think my gut deep down may have figured it out seein' you there at the apple cart alive as you please with a brand-new name. Just took awhile for the rest of me to catch up."
Hakkai shifted his weight, leaning barely forward; his fingers splayed lightly against the cotton of Gojyo's tank top. "And you are all caught up with yourself, now?"
Gojyo's gaze flicked down, fixing on Hakkai's mouth for an instant before returning to his eyes. "...Yeah. Yeah, I think maybe I am." He shifted the slightest bit, subtly closer to Hakkai.
"But you're not entirely certain...?" Hakkai's question trailed off pointedly; he leaned in, tilting his head. "A test, then, perhaps..."
"...Nnh." Gojyo made a soft sound of mesmerized agreement, tilting his head in counterpoint as Hakkai closed the minimal space remaining between them.
Their lips barely brushed, hesitated, brushed again before fully meeting. They acquainted themselves slowly at first, indulging in all the softness and warmth due a first kiss until Goyjo's tongue curled tenderly into Hakkai's mouth. At that, one of them made a tiny, strangled noise in the back of his throat, and one of them swallowed a sound suspiciously like a whimper, and then somehow there was nothing in existence but Hakkai's open hand held against Gojyo's chest and the soft heated taste of one another flooding across their senses.
The moment stretched, and held, until at last they relinquished the kiss with a gasp.
"...My." Hakkai blinked, ran his tongue along his bottom lip, blinked again. "Well."
"Uh huh." Gojyo shook his head slightly and gave a tiny squeeze to Hakkai's hand, still pressed to his chest. "Don't know about you, but that didn't feel at all screwed up."
"No." Hakkai's smile was soft and small, equal parts affection and amusement. "Perhaps together, then, we are each a little less 'screwed up' than we are otherwise?"
"Nnh." Gojyo's free hand rose, curving gently to grasp the back of Hakkai's neck. "Maybe so." He ducked in for another quick taste of Hakkai's mouth.
Hakkai swayed the tiniest bit as though to follow the brief kiss at its end before his face composed itself to seriousness. "I do think it's worth further testing, don't you?" His eyes held Gojyo's, warm and twinkling beneath their solemnity. "After all, we wouldn't want to shift the boundaries of our present relationship so vastly--"
"--if it's only gonna leave us more screwed up. Right." Complacent amusement laced Gojyo's sly grin.
"Please hold still, then." Hakkai withdrew his hand from where it was held to Gojyo's chest and knelt up. Sliding both hands gently beneath Gojyo's hair, he threaded his fingers close to the scalp and tilted Gojyo's face to meet his mouth. He kissed Gojyo thoroughly, slow and unhurried, skillfully soft for a very long moment before drawing back at last.
"...Damn, Hakkai." There was raw, muted need smothered under Gojyo's voice; his hands were not entirely steady when he moved them to lightly grip Hakkai's sides.
"Indeed." Hakkai's voice caught, breathless; his fingers remained twined in Gojyo's long red hair. "I think perhaps the question of whether or not this is a healthy idea is irrelevant, in the end." Their mouths met again.
And yet again, longer this time as Gojyo pressed, flicked the tip of his tongue against Hakkai's before shifting, tasting the line of Hakkai's jaw in soft lingering touches and nuzzling gently at the pulse in his throat.
Hakkai's head tilted back, eyes at half-mast, and he shivered. "You do--ah--you do realize we're expected back downstairs for dinner--"
"'Course I do. Just..." Gojyo lifted, angling for Hakkai's mouth and another brief but fervent kiss. "After...later...let's explore this non-platonic thing a little more, eh?" He slid a hand down from the curve of Hakkai's ribs, hesitating a beat before slipping it into Hakkai's back pocket and squeezing gently.
Hakkai arched the tiniest bit as if encouraging Gojyo to take such liberties again, and his smile acquired the slightest hint of a sultry edge. "Of course, Gojyo. I should be quite disappointed if we didn't."
"Nn. Good. Me too." Gojyo stole one more kiss before they let their hands withdraw from one another at last. "Shall we go, then?"
"Mmh. Not quite." Hakkai raised his fingertips to Gojyo's cheek, and the warm yellow-green glow of his qi flared briefly. "There."
"Ah. Yeah. Kinda forgot about that." Gojyo's hand lifted, fingers running over the newly-knit skin. He smiled, rakish and lop-sided. "Thanks, 'Doc'."
The smile Hakkai gave in return shone with genuine happiness. "You're quite welcome."
Polished & Posted: 6/25/06
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