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Rest in Pieces (or, What a Rescue Ent[r]tails) by Absolute Negation
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    Out of the corner of his eye and around the edge of the chair to which he's tied, Gojyo sees Hakkai step deftly to the side, neatly avoiding the splatter of blood that spews from the last thug's stomach.  Though the particulars are blocked by Hakkai's body, Gojyo watches the jerking movement of his arm, hears the sickening wet splat of the thug's insides landing on the floor as long claws leave his gut.  The smell hits, fresh all over again, and Gojyo gags on it as the dead man joins his entrails on the ground.  He swallows against it, willing his body to obey.  If he starts puking now, he's convinced that he'll never stop.

   A soft, predatory growl rises into the now silent room as Hakkai's head swings back and forth.  Gojyo can't tell if he's looking for death, or one more live body upon which to visit it.  His stomach heaves again as Hakkai turns around.  Mismatched eyes - one heretic-gold, the other still Hakkai-green - sweep briefly over Gojyo, making him shudder.  That gaze darts to the side and a distinctly familiar clicking of the tongue shows Gojyo the known man beneath the alien vines of the youkai.  He exhales loudly, a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding.

     Hakkai moves with preternatural speed and grace, bending to grab the back of Gojyo's chair and righting him.  Once the odd feeling of inertia passes, Gojyo turns to see what is was that caught Hakkai's attention.  A rivulet of blood makes its way across the floor, mere inches from where Gojyo's head had been until just a moment before.  A smirk pulls the corner of his mouth up and a huff of almost-laughter escapes him.  The package might look different, but there's still a whole lot of the same old Hakkai inside.  A wave of dizziness rolls through Gojyo; he squeezes his eyes shut and shakes his head in an effort to clear it, then makes the mistake of looking around at the carnage and has to do it again.

    The room is a sea of blood and bodies.  Entrails strewn across the floor, or caught in the act of bursting from bellies like gruesome streamers at a party gone horribly wrong.  Echoes of the night that he found Hakkai bleeding to death in the rain hit Gojyo like a physical force.  His stomach flips as he remembers how Hakkai - Gonou, then - had smiled up at him; he wonders how much of that killer still hides behind Hakkai’s gentle smile, waiting for the opportunity to come out to ’play’.  Gojyo shivers a little at the thought, but the edge of fear is dulled by a vague triumph.

     “Holy shit, man,” Gojyo murmurs, still morbidly transfixed by the scene before him.

    Hakkai makes a noise that tries to be his nervous laugh, but it rumbles oddly in his throat and comes out sounding more like an amused growl.  Gojyo turns his head to look up at Hakkai, whose face is showing the same kind of hybrid between familiar human expression and animal imitation of it.  He watches, fascinated, as Hakkai raises a hand in a known gesture, to scratch the back of his head before he seems to remember the claws and the blood and lets it fall to his side.

    “Ah, yes...” Hakkai purrs, his gaze sliding slowly over the room before returning to rest brightly on Gojyo, "I was rather...enthusiastic. Are you all right?"  He steps closer, his narrowing as he looks Gojyo over.  Gojyo leans back a little, instinctively wary of the strange golden eye with its slit pupil and the flaring of Hakkai's nostrils as he scents the air.  He wonders briefly, what Hakkai could possibly want to smell in this room, even in his current form, and risks a brief glance about the room again.  Nothing seems to be moving, for which he is frankly glad.

    "Um...yeah," Gojyo says, looking back to the Hakkai-not-Hakkai beside him.  "Not that I'm complainin'."  He tries for a grin, but can feel it failing miserably.  Hakkai stops sniffing to favour Gojyo with a Very Large smile, which, on account of very sharp-looking fangs, also fails to reassure him.

    "I'm glad," Hakkai says, bending down to work at the knots on Gojyo's bindings, "I would have been very annoyed, had they harmed you."  Gojyo can hear Hakkai's breath, close to his ear.  He stiffens at a sudden, sharp inhalation and the slowing to a halt of Hakkai's fingers on the ropes.  A slow rumble rises from Hakkai's chest as he backs up to look at Gojyo with narrowed eyes.  "You're bleeding," he murmurs.

    Red eyes widen, but Gojyo doesn't pull away this time.  It's not as if it would do any good, anyway.  He flicks his tongue out over the swollen corner of his lip, licking at the lacerated flesh and the line of drying blood that traces a line to his chin.   "Yeah," he huffs, "but it's just a little, nothing to...worry...about...."  Gojyo's voice trails off as it occurs to him that this might be a very bad thing.  Hakkai's gaze is fixed on the corner of Gojyo's mouth, bright and piercing.  "Erm...," Gojyo stammers, groping for some way to make that look disappear, "Hakkai?  Buddy?"  He smiles in what he desperately hopes is a chummy manner.  "You wanna maybe finish untying me?"

    "Hmm?" Hakkai purrs distantly, blinking.  "Oh, yes.  Remiss of me."  One hand fumbles at the ropes once more, but he continues to stare at Gojyo's lip.  Within moments, he stops again and half-leans, half-falls forward.  No more than an inch from Gojyo's face now, Hakkai inhales deeply, scenting him.

     A shudder runs down Gojyo's spine, and he can't tell if it's because Hakkai is so close, his hot breath feathering over Gojyo's cheeks and neck, or if it's because he feels a bit like a side of beef under that predatory gaze.  His pulse quickens and his gut clenches as Hakkai comes minutely closer.  Another breath against his neck, and Gojyo can feel the tension in Hakkai's lean frame.  He shivers again, not terribly surprised to note that these sensations are pooling in his groin.

    Gojyo takes a slow, deep breath as Hakkai's free hand rises to take hold of his jaw, fingers bent back to keep lethal claws from his skin.  It is a gentle, Hakkai touch, impossibly at odds with the blood that covers his fingers.


    "Hmm?"  Hakkai responded in a soft growl, tilting Gojyo's head carefully to the side.  A rough, shuddering breath escapes Gojyo, his eyes fluttering shut as Hakkai draws even closer and gives Gojyo's wound a long, slow lick.  His jaw falls open, a shiver running through him that robs him of the words he was about to speak.  Gojyo manages to open his eyes in time to see the tiny smile that plays on Hakkai's lips as he leans in to take Gojyo's mouth in a strangely tender kiss.  Hakkai makes a low, pleased sound against Gojyo's mouth and tears through the ropes with one quick movement.

    Gojyo clenches his fists a couple of times to restore the circulation, then raises his hands to cup Hakkai's vine-covered cheeks.  He moans quietly into Hakkai's mouth, wanting to keep him there, forever.  Instead, he pulls back a little, holding Hakkai so that he can't follow, and favours him with a smile.

    "Okay, don't get me wrong here, Hakkai.  I'm good with this and all, but..." Gojyo flicks his gaze over the mass of carnage on the floor, then back to Hakkai, "Do you think we could continue this at home?"

    Hakkai swings his head to the side, frowning vaguely at the room.  Turning back to Gojyo, he tilts his head and leans back in toward him.  "Why?"  He turns to nuzzle Gojyo's palm, flicking his tongue out to lick it as if tasting him.

     Gojyo shudders at the gesture, the sight and the warm wetness of Hakkai's tongue oddly exciting.  He swallows loudly and clears his throat.  "Um...all the dead people?" he manages to say in a voice that borders on a squeak.

     Hakkai turns away from Gojyo's palm with visible reluctance, frowning at him.  "Oh, yes, them," he sighs, leaning into Gojyo's hand absently.  "I didn't get any on you, did I?"

    For a moment, Gojyo just looks at Hakkai, unable to find words with which to respond.  A disbelieving chuckle bubbles up from his chest and he just shakes his head.  "I don't think so," Gojyo laughs, blinking rapidly.  "Okay, um...," he leans in to kiss Hakkai quickly, "seriously, can we go?"

    A breath just shy of a huff escapes Hakkai, though he seems to be somewhat mollified by the kiss.  His eyes slide slowly shut as he breathes in Gojyo's scent again.  He backs away and straightens slowly.  Gojyo watches as a Thought dawns on Hakkai, making mismatched eyes widen almost comically.


    Gojyo stiffens, knowing that tone, for all its bestial rumbling.  "What?" he responds warily, dreading the answer.

    Hakkai blinked at him a couple of times, then ducked his head slightly, amazingly managing to look sheepish.  "Well, you see, I was a little impulsive earlier..." he spreads vined, clawed, bloodied hands in a gesture so helplessly apologetic that it's all Gojyo can do to keep himself from giggling, "I don't know where..."

    Taking a deep breath, Gojyo puffs his cheeks out in a heavy sigh and fixes Hakkai with his best put-upon look.  "Fine," he huffs, pointing meaningfully at Hakkai as he stands up, "but you'd better not change your mind once you've got them."  He looks at the corpses again, wincing.  "Man...this is gonna be so gross."

    "I agree completely," Hakkai murmurs, eyeing the sleeves of his coat.  Gojyo stands transfixed, unable to look away from this alien Hakkai; all the grace and lethal instinct of a hunting cat and all the fastidious prissiness of a schoolteacher rolled into one fascinating, frightening package.  It threatens to damage Gojyo's brain and he wishes frantically that he had a cigarette handy.  Hakkai slips his coat off and rolls it up carefully, placing it on the seat of the chair Gojyo has so recently vacated.  Gojyo snorts quietly.  Still Hakkai, all right.  Just as he's turning to find a place to begin the search, Hakkai looks sidelong at him and purrs slyly, "I promise to make it up to you later."

     Gojyo snorts again, louder, "You'd better.  Ain't no other pants in the world I'd do this to get into, you know."

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