Collection of 26 Jakotsu-centric challenge fics. They can either be set in the feudal era or modern times. The idea is based off of Killa Kay's Gravitations short stories called "A to Z."
Author's note: The following is a series of Jakotsu-centric challenge fics written from a list my dear friend and writing partner, Vega-chan, came up with for me. It’s is based on Killa Kay’s awesome collection of Gravitation short stories called “A to Z.” (You can find them in my favorite stories section.) Due to the nature of the word given, they can either be what I call “canon timeline” which is set before their first deaths or AU which is set in modern times and will set in the “world” I created in my story, “Homecoming.”
I would also like to thank notoes for betaing the entire series for me! glomps you
FYI: Kuma ken is a game similar to “rock, paper, scissors” and it’s believed that it the forerunner of that game.
“A” is for Adoration
Renkotsu sipped his sake, half paying attention to the story Mukotsu was telling about some woman who actually kissed him. As the diminutive poisoner droned on about his only conquest, he watched the cross-dresser make ox-eyes at their leader. He nearly laughed out loud at an inopportune moment in Mukotsu’s story, when Jakotsu let out a soft sigh like a lovesick girl. What he found even funnier was the fact that Bankotsu seemed completely unaware of it, but then again half the girls in the village behaved in exactly the same way Jakotsu was when Bankotsu was close by, so he figured their leader was probably immune to it. Chuckling softly, it was several minutes before he realized Suikotsu was speaking to him.
“I’m sorry, Sui, I wasn’t listening,” Renkotsu admitted sheepishly.
“I could see that. What I had asked you before was ‘what’re you looking at?’”
“Oh…” Renkotsu smiled. “I was just watching Jak make ox-eyes at Ban again. Give him enough sake and he can put the village girls to shame. I’m having a hard time keeping myself from laughing.”
The claw-bearer smiled. “He does adore him, doesn’t he?”
“Who adores who?” Bankotsu said as he came over to them for some more sake. He sat while he waited for Suikotsu refilled his cup.
“Jak adores you,” Renkotsu said.
“What?!” their young leader sputtered.
“Jak adores you. Look at him, he’s making ox-eyes at you the same as every girl in the village does,” Renkotsu stated matter-of-factly.
“Ren’s right, Oo-Aniki, he’s been doing it as long as I’ve known you two.”
“He has…?” Bankotsu stole a quick glance at the cross-dresser and he winced when Jakotsu waved shyly back at him. “Oh…”
“Yeah,” Renkotsu said smugly. “It must be nice to have all the girls think you’re wonderful.”
Bankotsu blushed profusely.
“Ren,” Suikotsu said warningly as he handed Bankotsu his cup when their leader shot his second-in-command a nasty look.
The way the sixteen year old had blushed it was clear he was having similar feelings towards the cross-dresser. Bankotsu looked away and took a big gulp of his sake to hide his embarrassment. It tickled the back of his throat as it went down and he coughed into the back of his hand as the claw-bearer gently patted him on the back.
“Are you okay, Aniki-chan?” Jakotsu said as he got up and came over to him.
Bankotsu blushed even more at the concerned looks the cross-dresser sent his way and Renkotsu’s soft chuckling only increased his discomfiture.
“He’s fine, Jak,” Suikotsu said. “Oo-Aniki swallowed the wrong way and it made him cough.”
“Oh…” The cross-dresser smiled. “Don’t worry, Aniki-chan, you’ll be okay.”
The claw-bearer smiled as he looked from one to the other. [i] As fine as he’s ever going to be if what I suspect is true, and judging by the way Ren is suddenly interested in the garden, I think Ren is thinking the same thing I am. Oo-Aniki, why don’t you admit it to yourself, if not to everyone else, that you adore Jak just as much as he does you? It’s becoming painfully obvious right now how much you do; in fact I wonder why none of us saw it before. [/i]
“Yeah…” Bankotsu choked out as Jakotsu took over patting his back.
“Uh, Jak…?” Renkotsu said as he held out his sake cup for a refill.
“Yeah…?” Jakotsu said as he fussed over Bankotsu.
“Where’d you two get the sake from?” The fire-breather took a sip when Suikotsu handed his cup back.
“The daimyo gave it to us,” the cross-dresser said with a sigh.
“Yeah? What happened?”
“Nothing…” Bankotsu mumbled.
“Nothing?” Jakotsu blinked. “Aniki-chan, you were amazing!”
“No, I wasn’t…”
“Oh yes you were!” Jakotsu playfully wagged his finger at him. “Ren, you should have seen him!” the cross-dresser gushed.
“I wish I had.”
“It was…” The cross-dresser frowned as he tried to find the words to describe it.
“Incredible?” Renkotsu prompted.
“In-what?” Jakotsu stared blankly at the fire-breather.
“Oh… Yes! You should have seen him, Ren! This huge youkai-”
“It wasn’t that big, Jak,” Bankotsu said.
“Oh yes it was! Ren, it flew up out of the ground and towered over us!”
“It was as tall as you are, Ren,” Bankotsu said softly, before taking another sip of his sake.
“Yeah?” Renkotsu said.
“Yeah!!” the cross-dresser said excitedly. “I remember turning around and I thought I was going to die!” Setting his sake cup down, he clasped his hands to his chest. “The daimyo practically shit in his hakama too!” Jakotsu laughed.
Renkotsu laughed along with him, the faintest hint of a smirk tugging at his lips, when he caught sight of how Bankotsu seemed to shrink into the veranda floor.
“Anyway, just when it looked like I was about to get eaten by that youkai, Aniki-chan leapt up and sliced its head off!! It was so incregetable!!” Jakotsu sighed again like a lovesick girl and there was no mistaking the look of adoration in his eyes.
Bankotsu turned an even darker shade of red as he tried to hide behind the cask of sake without seeming to do so.
“Oh, it must have been, eh, Sui?” Renkotsu took a sip of his sake to hide his smirk.
The claw-bearer smiled as he eyed their leader out the corner of his eye. “Most definitely. And I’m sure there have been times when you’ve saved Oo-Aniki’s life too, Jak.”
“I don’t think so…?” The cross-dresser nibbled dainty on a fingernail as he thought it over.
“Yes, you have,” Bankotsu said softly.
“So Jak actually saved your life, hunh?” Renkotsu drawled.
“Yeah…” Bankotsu said as he scooted out from behind the sake cask.
“What?” Mukotsu asked as he came over and sat down. Holding out his cup, Jakotsu refilled it for him.
“Apparently, Jak has saved Ban’s life, although he can’t remember it happening,” Ren said. “Jak had just finished telling us about their latest mission and how Ban saved his life when Ban brought it up.”
“Aah… Interesting, interesting… So how did it happen, Oo-Aniki?”
Bankotsu shifted uncomfortably as he thought about how to begin. It was bad enough when he had three expectant faces looking intently at him, but now he had everyone when Ginkotsu and Kyokotsu finished their game of kuma ken and came over to sit down as well.
“I guess you can start now, Ban,” Renkotsu prompted.
“Yeah…” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Well, it happened a while ago when it was just the two us. We used to roam from village to village looking for work.” Bankotsu paused to take a sip of his sake as Jakotsu sighed. “Well, we stayed at this one village for a while as there was plenty to do from killing youkai to keeping the bandits at bay.”
“That’s right!” Jakotsu said as he interrupted to add his own recollections about it. “It was in the middle of nowhere with lots of forest all around it and there were mountains too.”
Bankotsu nodded. “Some gang of thieves thought it was the perfect place to use as a base for their activities as they would be blamed on the youkai in the area. After being there for a while we got to know some of the people living there.”
“Oh yeah…” Jakotsu said testily.
“Err…yeah. Well, umm… it’s not that great a story.” Bankotsu said lamely.
“No?” Ren said as he quirked an eyebrow at their leader. “It started off good. So what happened?”
“Nothing? You molest the headman’s daughter and you call it nothing?” Jakotsu said incredulously.
“I didn’t molest her!!”
“No…? Then why did her father say you did?!”
“Because she probably wanted a husband and told her father we nookied!”
Renkotsu chuckled as he leaned towards Suikotsu. He whispered, “Heh! It seems like the mutual adoration society has come to inglorious end.”
“It would seem so, but looks can be deceiving, Ren,” the claw-bearer whispered back.
“Okay, okay… Oo-Aniki may or may not have molested this girl,” Mukotsu said as he ignored the argument. “But what did you do to save his life, Jak?”
Bankotsu and Jakotsu exchanged glances while everyone waited for the story to continue.
“What?” Mukotsu asked.
“Jak pretended to be my…wife…” Bankotsu whispered the word “wife.”
“That’s right!” The cross-dresser’s mood brightened as he remembered what had happened. “It was so much fun!”
“Yup! I was so scared he’d kill Aniki-chan and I’d wind up back in the bathhouse, or worse, that I told him we had just gotten married and we were trying to get some money so that we could build a nice little house somewhere and since he saw me flirting with some village boys, he believed it.”
“But how did explain your flirting?”
Jakotsu daintily sipped his sake. “I told him I thought Aniki-chan would pay more attention to me if he was jealous. And when he asked why my new husband wasn’t doting on me as I was such a pretty girl, and I told him I was with child and afraid to nookie.”
Everyone except Bankotsu roared with laughter.
“So we stayed there for a couple of days before we left to go on to the next village, and that was how I saved Aniki-chan’s life…” Jakotsu sighed.
“Who’d have thought that the great Bankotsu had his life saved once… and by a girl of all things?” Renkotsu smirked.
The cross-dresser rolled his eyes as Bankotsu tried to hide in plain sight. Smiling sweetly, Jakotsu said softly, “I’m glad I did it…”
Bankotsu blushed as he looked up shyly at the cross-dresser. “Yeah…?”
“Yeah…” he replied and there was no mistaking the look of adoration in his eyes that was mirrored in Bankotsu’s own.
[b][i]Author’s end note: Next up is “B” for Bare.[/b][/i]