Disclaimer: Gensomaden Saiyuki and all its’ characters and likenesses belong to Minekura Kazuya and other related authors. I make no claim on other peoples’ copyrighted ‘intellectual work’. There.
Timeframe: Set before Gensomaden Saiyuki begins - before the Zero Wave, meeting Doku and saving Yaone. Why? Because I can! >:D
...And he doesn’t need those complications just yet. If anyone knows how old he is, that’d be great.
Credit to: Seshat for helping me pick the name and K for making me write :)
The smoke from incense burners and cigarettes was heavy in the dark air, wafting through the room in thick ribbons. He leaned against the far wall, out of reach - and the minds - of most of the patrons, watching the other youkai and humans silently. Unlike the rest of the people in the club, he wasn’t here for a ‘good time’, only deigning to enter to escape that woman. He smirked; he doubted the Empress would think to look for him in this den. Doubted she could even begin to imagine her precious step-son in such a dive. It was worlds away from the Court; there was no way they would find him - unless he wanted them to.
He preferred to stay in control.
Wasn’t exactly the best of places, though. He’d chosen the venue because of its unsavoury reputation - who’d ever heard of humans and youkai cavorting so freely? - but it wasn’t as if he cared particularly much for their attentions. As he’d clearly indicted to the few brave enough to approach him.
He was tired of being under the Empress’ thumb. Always doing what she wanted, anything from diplomatic missions to distant lands he’d never even heard of, much less cared to negotiate alliances with, to being a guinea pig for her pet scientists. Kougaiji shivered despite the muggy heat. There was something about the clinical dispassionate gleam in their eyes, the dark oily wires coming out of the back of the Empress’ top scribe's head and facetted eyes that had never sat well with him. Never mind that he had them to thank for breaking his centuries of imprisonment; he’d never asked them to.
Between the Gyukomen and her lab coat army, he was sure he’d be certifiably insane within a month if he didn’t take a break every now and then. He couldn’t outright leave the palace. There was Lirin to consider, and he hated to think what would happen if he left his little sister to her mother’s devices. So these little sojourns outside the protected walls had become a habit of late. Alone time. A bit of space to clear his mind, and regain some semblance of control over his life. A little breather where he didn’t have to worry about what new schemes his stepmother had cooked up, where he could avoid the scientists and their labs, and didn’t have to worry about what the ‘little monster’ was doing.
Tonight was his night. He’d do what he wanted.
Not anyone else.
Kougaiji rotated around the clubs in the different cities and towns near the palace. He didn’t want any one place becoming too familiar with the silent redhead wandering in for a quick drink. This was perhaps the second time he’d come to this dump, and he still didn’t know its name.
He’d purchased a tall blue glass of something with high enough proof to knock a human out, and ducked into the shadows along one wall to watch. It was his usual routine: buy a drink or two and skulk. Even outside the castle he had never felt relaxed enough to really let loose and get roaring drunk. That was a lose of control he didn’t feel comfortable with, especially with witnesses around. It didn’t matter that they didn’t know he was the Prince, son of the great youkai Emperor Gyumaoh. He preferred the relative freedom of anonymity to cutting loose. He liked control over his actions, the temporary freedom of making his own decisions, even if it was simply whether or not to buy another drink. After the fifth blue drink, any higher thought processes where a grand task Kougaiji was rather proud of achieving.
He shifted his weight against the wall, one leg bent, foot pressed flat against the wall for balance. His long bangs hid his eyes partially from view as he surveyed the room. While he wasn’t exactly opposed to bedding anyone today, the day’s events had left him rather antsy in a way he knew only a violent fight or sex could relieve, there wasn’t anyone here who caught his interest. He’d never dared bed anyone on his excursions outside the castle. Who knew where these people had been? He left that sort of relief for one of the servants within the castle on the rare occasion he hadn’t much felt like sleeping alone. They’d all been willing enough, and he knew he could control any unwanted potential results of such an encounter in the palace. Out here it was a little more touch and go.
He drained his glass, setting it on the high shelf around the column beside him, and straightened, turning to the exit - and froze as he come eye to unfamiliar silver chain. He raised his head, glaring up at the owner of the silver blocking his way, and in his personal space.
The man stared back, grey eyes oddly calm faced with such open hostility. Slowly, the corner of his mouth quirked upwards in amusement, head canting to one side as he stared at the shorter man in amusement.
“Leaving so soon?”
Kougaiji stared back stonily, violet eyes narrowed. “Not that it’s any of your business.”
“You just got here,” the human - he had to be human, no youkai worth the skin on their back would dare approach him like this even if they didn’t know exactly who he was! - murmured, still regarding him calmly. It occurred to Kougaiji that he shouldn’t have been able to hear him over the deafening music, no matter how close he stood. Even if they were pressed skin to skin, Kougaiji would only have heard him if he was speaking directly in his ear.
Which seemed to be exactly what the human had in mind, as he took a step forward, still calm, trapping Kougaiji between his body and the wall, hands resting on the wall on either side of him. Trapped.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” Kougaiji hissed, temporarily forgetting about remaining calm no matter what the opposition. Who did the human think he was, invading his space like this?! Kougaiji briefly entertained the idea of frying the hapless human where he stood, but that would only attract unwanted attention. So he fumed silently, glaring at the other man’s collar bone, hands fisted furiously at his sides.
The other man chuckled, amused. “You looked kinda lonely all on your lonesome.”
“I’m fine,” he retorted, still bewildered by this stranger, and not appreciating being laughed at. He silently went through the exercises to calm himself, regain control; his hands slowly relaxed, claws no longer digging painfully into his palms, but still more than mildly annoyed.
The other man leaned back, eyeing the glaring redhead skeptically. “Really?” He leaned down until he could look Kougaiji in the eye. “Didn’t look that way from where I was standing.”
Kougaiji regarded him coldly, expression aloof, emotions under tight control. “You should get your eyes checked.”
The man grinned, face inches away from his own, but still infuriatingly calm when faced with an obviously annoyed youkai. “Tell you what. You relax a little, and I’ll let you go.”
The youkai raised one thin brow. “And what makes you think you can keep me here, human?”
He bit his lip, but Kougaiji could see the laughter in his eyes. “I have my ways.”
Kougaiji eyes him suspiciously. The only way he could think of was some sort of drug or poison, although he couldn’t see any on his person. Humans were physically inferior to the stronger and faster youkai, so he doubted the man could make good on his word. But then he had left the palace to ‘relax’ a little...
“What did you have in mind?”
The human seemed pleased. “Oh, I don’t know. A drink, maybe see what shit’s floating around this dive... A dance?” he suggested offhand, one arm slipping around the prince’s waist and pulling him closer, flush against his chest while Kougaiji’s hands came up to grip his arms, tense and shocked with the humans audacity. The taller man hummed softly, rubbing his cheek against the long soft red strands. “Or, we could just fuck...”
“I don’t dance,” Kougaiji informed him stiffly, pointedly ignoring his last suggestion.
“Ah,” the man stepped away, arm still firmly around his waist, and led him towards the brightly lit bar at the other end of the room. “Then a drink... What?” he asked, looking down at him, expression patient.
“Let. Me. Go,” the youkai ground out, uncomfortable with this sort of treatment. No one had ever touched him without his permission.
“No, I don’t think so,” he cut off the other man’s protest by pulling him close again, tucking the youkai under his chin, and turned his body so Kougaiji was eyeing another darkened corner. “See? There’re some people here who aren’t as concerned about your welfare as me.”
Kougaiji stiffened against the muscled body next to his, hand digging into the man’s arm. He turned his head, hoping the youkai in the corner hadn’t recognised him. Enemies of Empress Gyokumen. If they saw him here -
“Relax. They’re not going to do anything. Don’t know why they’re so interested in you, though.” The man eyed him a moment before shrugging and dragging the reluctant youkai the rest of the way to their destination. The music was more muted down this end, allowing conversation. “This way they think you’re with me.”
“And how does this help me?”
“They won’t cause a scene if they know you’re not alone. It’s easier to get away with stuff if the prey’s on their own.”
Kougaiji bristled at the implication, but decided not to say anything, letting the human buy him another tall glass full of blue liquid and another for himself. The youkai eyed him when he downed the alcohol, not showing any kind of adverse side effects to the potent liquid.
“What are you?” he asked suspiciously.
The man glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, ordering another hit without looking. He’d cleared two seats for them without any effort at the bar counter, sending the former occupants packing.
“Human, remember?” He smiled disarmingly, though it only unsettled the youkai more.
“No human could drink this stuff and not pass out or have severe alcohol poisoning,” Kougaiji said, accusingly. He eyed the man in the better light of the bar. His hair was gold and eyes grey, neither red, so he wasn’t half-youkai, and his ears didn’t taper into points, nor could he see any sign of youryoku limiters so he wasn’t youkai. Still, Kougaiji doubted he was entirely human, either.
“Guess I’m just special that way.” The man grinned, nursing his drink absently. The dark eyes shifted over Kougaiji’s shoulder, the man tensing subtly in his seat. Kougaiji followed his gaze, turning to stare coldly at the youkai who’d come up behind him, quickly identifying him. One of the group who’d been smoking opium in the corner. Luckily, it was only a flunky, and wasn’t likely to recognise Gyokumen’s stepson out and about. Besides, it wasn’t like he was wearing his usual attire.
“Gemen,” the man inclined his head to the new youkai in greeting, an easy smile fixed in place while his eyes remained cold as flint. Kougaiji was not pleased with the new development.
“K. It’s been awhile.” The black-haired youkai looked between the two seated men sharing a drink. “What brings you back to these parts?”
“Business.” The blonde shrugged, tone light and friendly, “Nothing Setsuya need know about.”
“We’ll see.” Gemen gave him a hard look, before turning back to the prince. He eyed the redhead suspiciously, sure he’d seen the youkai somewhere. “Who’s this?”
‘K’ grinned, sliding his free arm around the redhead’s waist and pulling him onto his lap before he could protest. A violet glare was his reward, but Kougaiji kept silent.
“A friend,” he said, pointedly.
The dark youkai somehow doubted that from the way the other youkai was acting, and turned to question the recalcitrant redhead. “Have I seen you before?”
Kougaiji shrugged. “I’ve been here before.” He didn’t like how well he fit against the blonde or how easily K held him, and turned his displeasure on the taller youkai.
Gemen didn’t seem wholly satisfied, but nodded slowly, ordering drinks over their shoulders and carefully making his way back to his group with the tray laden with his purchases. K watched him go, not letting Kougaiji go until Gemen was well past half way across the room. The prince abruptly pushed away back into his own seat, movements carefully controlled to hide the anger burning to get out.
“Who was that?” he asked, finally.
“Ah,” K waved a hand dismissively. “Setsuya’s second. Second biggest fish around here, nothing much.”
“You mean crime lord?”
K blinked at him. “Is there any other kind? Anyway, don’t worry about him, what with all that shit they’re smoking, I doubt he’ll be walking straight for hours yet, and you’ll be long gone by then.”
Kougaiji snorted into his drink, a distinctly unrefined move for the usually poised prince. “Why do you care?”
K looked amused again. Everything Kougaiji did seemed to amuse the - human for lack of a better classification, and he didn’t like it.
“Can’t a guy show a little concern without being bit?”
K laughed, the noise attracting the attention of a few other patrons close to them, before they turned away when he looked at them pointedly. “God, you really are a prickly one, aren’t you? Gemen and his cronies have been eyeing you since you got here. Didn’t want them taking advantage of any of the pretties here tonight.”
If Kougaiji wasn’t offended before, he certainly was now. Pretties?
“I don’t need you’re concern,” he hissed, hand tightening on the fragile glass. It took all his control not to just shatter the damn thing, or melt it to slag in his hand.
K was biting the inside of his mouth, trying to hold back laughter. “No, I guess you don’t...”
The youkai continued to glare at him, carefully taking a sip while keeping his temper reigned in. “Besides, Gemen didn’t seem interested that way.”
K’s gaze moved back to the corner. “Not for him. But you’re his boss’ type: redhead, slender, well defined... And he doesn’t give a toss about gender.” He shrugged. “He’s a nasty guy; I wouldn’t wish what he does to his bed partners on my worst enemy.” Kougaiji looked at him, feeling vaguely uneasy. All this was happening so close to the palace - what if Lirin got out - ?
No, he didn’t want to think of it. He’d keep her safe inside the palace before the thought of going out ever occurred to the rugrat.
“He has some weird obsession with the forbidden children, y’know? Half-youkai, half-humans. They’re all redheads. He sends his men out to gather them.” K’s expression was grim. “I don’t like the guy. I thought, what with your hair -”
“I’m pure-blooded,” Kougaiji cut him off, offended. Imagine, the youkai prince, a half breed!
“Yeah, I know that now,” K waved a hand, to cease the flood of insults that the youkai sitting next to him seemed to be mentally gathering, ready to let loose on the blonde. “But in this lighting... Well, I wasn’t going to take any chances.”
“Why did you think they’d leave me alone if I was with you?”
K smirked, but it wasn’t pretty. This one was all predator, more of the cold calculation the youkai had seen earlier. “Let’s just say we have an understanding.”
K went silent, eyeing the other patrons while Kougaiji finished his drink and pushed the empty and still intact glass away. The bartend was immediately there, taking the empty glass and then disappearing back down the counter to serve someone else. The redhead turned back to the blonde, who was regarding him expectantly.
“I’m relaxed now,” Kougaiji said pointedly.
K’s expression melted back into bemusement. “You must be. That’s what, you’re sixth? Think you can stand?”
Kougaiji rose gracefully to his feet, daring the human to comment the whole way.
K’s eyes were twinkling again. “Great. But can you walk out’ve here?”
The youkai looked at him, a slight frown beginning to form. Co-ordination was slightly harder to come by after the fourth glass. Maybe a less potent drink might’ve been in order...?
K chuckled, but rose and slipped an arm back around the shorter man’s waist to steady him. Not that Kougaiji would have ever asked. A prince doesn’t ask for help, he commands. Now if he could just command his legs to get him out of here without the human’s help...
The other man’s arm around his waist was the only thing that saved him from falling flat on his face. His face burned with embarrassment, but K didn’t say anything, simply waited for him to regain his footing, hands firm around him.
It took him longer than he liked to steady himself, holding onto the other man the entire time, aware that he was far too close for his comfort, and staring hard at the ground so he wouldn’t have to meet the amused grey eyes above him. He looked up at K, expecting the amused twinkle at his own expense, but not for them to be so close or warm. He swallowed, knowing the alcohol in his system was totally screwing with his hormones, but unable to do anything. Hell, he couldn’t even remember any of the mental exercises that would normally keep him cool and in control. Things where not in his favour.
“What?” he asked at length.
K shrugged as best he could with his arms still wrapped around the smaller man, eyes shifting to eye Gemen and his men. “Just thinking what with all your claims to the contrary - and body language, let’s not forget that - that they may not buy our little act.” K didn’t sound too angry, though. Quite the contrary, actually.
Act? Oh yeah. That he was with K.
He swallowed, trying to return some moisture to his dry throat. “What do you suggest then?” After all, he reasoned, he’d been the genius to drag him into this fiasco.
K grinned down at him. “Well,” he drawled, drawing the youkai even closer, one hand coming up to lift his chin. “I might have an idea.”
Kougaiji could only stare in mild fascination as the blonde leaned down, warm lips smoothing over his own. He felt his eyes slide closed as he leaned up into that warmth, allowing the entrance of the other’s tongue and let it slide intoxicatingly slow over his palate, feeling the heat radiating off the blonde, barely aware that his hand had risen of its own accord to tangle in the short blonde hair as the kiss deepened. He only knew that when it was over somehow both of K’s arms had wrapped themselves tight around him pressing them as close as possible together, and his own hand was somehow tangled tight in the hair at the base of K’s skull, pulling him closer.
“Y’know, I don’t even know your name,” K murmured against his lips, warm breath washing over him.
The youkai stared up at him, faces bare inches apart. “Kou.” His mother used to call him that, before she’d been sealed in stone. Somehow it felt safe telling this stranger that.
K smiled, eyes warm as his hand slide through the smooth long red strands, cradling the back of his head. “Of course it is.”
And then he was kissing him again, and it was so warm and wet and this felt good something it never had before, not simply just another bodily need, the heat pooling low in his belly, and god, he couldn’t remember why it was so important that he get back to the palace... The youkai prince pushed closer to that heat, to this place where he felt inexplicably safe. He heard a low whine, only vaguely aware that it’d come from him, and then all that heat was pulling away, leaving him bereft and cold.
“We’re gonna stop now.”
Kougaiji blinked up at him in confusion, breathing hard. What? And then what he’d said penetrated the haze in his mind, and he almost sent them both to the ground in his attempt to get away, appalled with his sheer lack of control.
What was wrong with him tonight?
“Hey, easy. I’m not going to take advantage of you - I like my partners good, conscious, and sober when I’m with them. Unfortunately you don’t cut it on the last tonight.” The blonde sighed, rubbing his hands up and down the shaking youkai’s back in an effort to calm him. This kind of thing must not happen to him often, from the way he reacted. Not that - it was a daily occurrence for him either. Kou seemed to be having a panic attack - dear god, he knew how to pick them.
“Kou?” He pulled the smaller man tight against him so he wouldn’t fall to the floor, free hand firm as he lifted his chin to meet his gaze. “Look at me, sweetheart, you have to breathe slowly, okay? Nothing’s gonna happen. I won’t let it.” But you might just pass out if you don't calm down. Kou didn’t respond, eyes squeezed shut, breathing high and far too fast to be healthy.
K sighed, gathering the other man into his arms, glad he was as light as he looked, and made for the exit. Once out in the cool night air, he headed for a relatively secluded spot as close to the club as possible and set Kougaiji down, not letting him go completely.
The cooler air seemed to do wonders for the youkai, whose breathing began to calm, eyes still closed as he concentrated on drawing deep even breaths with the other man murmuring comforting nonsense in his ear.
When he finally managed to open his eyes, K was looking down at him with concern, one large hand still rubbing his back soothingly. “Alright?”
The youkai swallowed, nodding jerkily, still ruthlessly trying to reign in his emotions.
“You had me worried there...” K smiled at him weakly.
Kougaiji forced himself to look up at him. He was a prince, dammit! Only son of Emperor Gyumaoh and his queen, Rasetsunyo. He would hold himself with pride, even if it killed him.
“I - have to get back.”
“So you’ve been saying.” K raised one brow, hair a silver halo in the moonlight. “Can you manage?”
“Yes.” His answer did not brook any argument.
K looked away for a moment, before turning back to him, but he seemed heartened by the return of the cold youkai he’d met that night.
“Look, I’ll be in town another month... If you ever want to grab a drink or whatever...” he trailed off, for the first time since Kougaiji had met him, uncertain. “Well, I’ll be here most of the time,” he finished lamely, nodding at the club they’d just exited.
Kougaiji stared up at him, an odd warmth sparking inside, overwhelming the embarrassment that had left him cold.
“If I ever want to...”
“Yeah.” K shrugged, running a hand through his short hair. “It’s up to you.”
The youkai tilted his head to the side, regarding him silently, weighing his choices. On one hand he could keep going from place to place, staying anonymous and getting drunk as K had put it ‘on his lonesome’, or he could have a little company. Company that he felt oddly safe in, and knew how to kiss...
A small smile slowly curved his thin lips, reaching his violet eyes as he nodded, once. K had an answering smile for him in no time, the uncertainty easing from his tense shoulders.
“I think I’d like that.”
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