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 be set in the “world” I created in my story, “Homecoming.”
“G” is for Generous
“Damn it, Sui, can’t he go a day without trying to seduce me?” Renkotsu groaned. “Hell, at this point I’d settle for a half a day or even an hour…”
The claw-bearer chuckled. “Well…” Suikotsu trailed off, his eyes twinkling with amusement over their newest recruit’s situation. “How can I put this…?” He could barely keep his laughter inside and he paused in an effort to control it. “Jakotsu tends to be rather generous with his affection…” At the look of surprised horror on the fire-breather’s face, Suikotsu could not help himself and he laughed. “I’m sorry, Ren… He does that with everyone at first, but gradually it dies down. Hehehe…” he laughed. “It all depends on how close we are to the pleasure district of the village we’re passing through, if the local girls aren’t willing…”
Renkotsu rolled his eyes and after a few minutes, he nodded thoughtfully as they continued on their way to their next mission. “Wait… I thought he didn’t like women.”
“Jak doesn’t; I was referring to Oo-Aniki. You’re not the only who gets annoyed with his antics, Ren. Although…” The claw-bearer smiled. “Instead of complaining about it, Oo-Aniki will extract his own form of punishment. You’ll see, once we find some willing girls he’ll go off with them, leaving Jak to stew about it. Then you’ll get lucky and Jak will leave you alone and turn his generosity towards Oo-Aniki.”
“Good… In fact I’m willing to help Oo-Aniki pay for it.”
“Pay for what, Ren?” Jakotsu asked as he came up behind them and wormed his way between the two of them. Smiling brightly, he reached out and clung to the annoyed fire-breather’s arm.
“A woman for Oo-Aniki,” Renkotsu said, carefully keeping his annoyance out of his voice.
“Why would you want to do that?” Jakotsu asked, as he barely controlled his peevishness at Renkotsu’s answer.
“Well, I figured that now that I have a bit of money, I thought I can afford to be a little generous with my new ummm… family.” Renkotsu looked down at the cross-dresser and grinned.
Jakotsu took a deep breath and snorted it out loudly through his nose, before replying, “What makes you think Aniki-chan wants a woman when he has me?”
“Well… you’ve been awfully generous yourself with your ummm… affections when it comes to me,” Renkotsu said, noting with satisfaction the slight nod Suikotsu gave him. “That I thought maybe Oo-Aniki was feeling a bit left out and I figured that would cheer him up.” The fire-breather smiled.
Suikotsu nodded as Jakotsu turned towards him. “Ren’s right; you have been paying a lot of attention to him and some to Gin too, and Oo-Aniki did seem a little bit saddened by it.”
A look of panic spread across the cross-dresser’s face. “He is…?”
Renkotsu nodded. “I’d say very sad. You’ve been so busy spreading the wealth, as it were, that I believe you’ve been neglecting him.”
“I have…?” Jakotsu blinked. “He is…?” The cross-dresser sighed sadly when he caught sight of their leader walking ahead by himself.
Bankotsu was simply looking down as he watched out for stones underfoot, but to the cross-dresser he was the very picture of sadness and despair.
“I think you should be a little more generous when it comes to Oo-Aniki, right, Sui?”
The claw-bearer nodded. “I agree. Why don’t you hurry on ahead and see if you can cheer him up.”
Jakotsu blinked before he too nodded and without a word to his companions, he hurried off towards their leader, determined to lavish affection on him.
“What’s wrong, Aniki-chan? You look so sad,” Jakotsu said softly as he fell into step alongside his lover.
Bankotsu briefly looked up at him. “Nothing… I’m really happy there’s a possibility of a huge reward for this next mission if can get it done quickly enough. Ouch! Damn it!!” Bankotsu swore as he stepped on a large stone. He paused, grimacing, and Jakotsu stopped as well, concern for his lover written all over his face.
“Here. Let me see!” Jakotsu said as he knelt and picked up his lover’s foot.
Bankotsu laughed. “Put my foot down, Sweetness!” He waved the others away.
“You sure you can walk? I know! I’ll carry you!” Jakotsu gently placed Bankotsu’s foot down, before turning his back towards his lover. “Get on!”
“There’s no way in hell I’m letting you carry me because of a stubbed toe, so you can forget it, Sweetness,” Bankotsu said. He smiled at his paramour as he shook his head, relieved to note that Jakotsu had not given him up in favor of the fire-breather. “Besides, how are you going to manage carrying me as well as your Jakotsutou and my baby, when you can’t even lift Banryuu off the ground?”
“Ummm… I’m being stupid again, hunh?”
“Nah, not stupid; just cute…” Bankotsu smiled.
Jakotsu smiled back, and after quickly placing a kiss on his lover’s cheek, he continued down the road with him. As they walked along in companionable silence, Jakotsu thought up ways to shower Bankotsu with affection.
Bankotsu sat there, feeling very uncomfortable over all the attention his paramour was lavishing on him. Normally he would not care, since Jakotsu often did that when they were traveling alone, leading people to believe they were a young married couple, a ruse that was often helpful in their work. When they had found Suikotsu and adopted him into their group, he not only did not question it, he always gave them some time alone whenever possible. But now, he had two new faces in the group that were trying hard not to stare at all the fuss, and failing miserably. Plus every time he opened his mouth to say something to Jakotsu, the cross-dresser would generously pop bits of his dinner in it. However, enough was enough in Bankotsu’s humble opinion, especially since he had the feeling Renkotsu was finding the whole thing highly amusing.
“Sweetness!” he hissed a few times between bites, trying to get his paramour’s attention.
“Hunh…?” The cross-dresser stared at him expectantly over the top of his tea cup. “Are you still hungry? You can finish my fish if you want.”
“No…” Bankotsu swallowed. “Just stop sharing your dinner with me,” he said softly. “I’m worried you won’t have enough strength tomorrow if you don’t eat.”
“Oh…” Jakotsu said as he daintily set his tea cup down and picked up his bowl of rice. “But I’m really not all that hungry…” the cross-dresser said equally as softly and Bankotsu could tell from the look in his eyes that Jakotsu was upset over having his efforts to be generous rebuffed.
Trying not to heave a long suffering sigh, Bankotsu briefly glared at his new second-in-command, who was busy concealing his amusement by coughing, before turning to his paramour. “Neither am I. How about you help me eat it?”
Jakotsu immediately brightened. “Okay!” he squealed with delight, and setting down his rice bowl, the cross-dresser picked up a piece of his fish with his chopsticks and lovingly held it out for Bankotsu to eat.
“Damn, he’s really got Oo-Aniki wrapped around his little finger.” Renkotsu chuckled as he took an after dinner walk around the inn’s grounds with Suikotsu.
“Yes and no…” Suikotsu trailed off as he tried to think of how to explain it.
“Well, while Oo-Aniki does give Jakotsu some license to do as he pleases; he does at the same time keep him on a tight rein even if it doesn’t look like it.” At Renkotsu’s disbelieving look, he added, “It has nothing to do with their relationship, Ren. I think it has more to do with Jak’s past.”
Suikotsu nodded. “Jakotsu had said once that Oo-Aniki had found him working in a bathhouse, something Oo-Aniki later confirmed. I’m sorry, I don’t know all the details, but I do know it has a lot to do with Jakotsu’s generosity. Having nothing and I suppose being starved for real affection, he takes what he gets from Oo-Aniki and shares it.” The claw-bearer looked over at Renkotsu as they walked along. “I’ve seen him take a mouthful of rice and go hungry just so Oo-Aniki and I wouldn’t have to.”
“It’s true.” The claw-bearer grinned. “Look, if you really want to fit in and feel like a part of the ‘family,’ Ren, then I suggest you learn to accept Jak’s generosity,” he said seriously. “And take it for what it is. He may flirt and tease but his heart belongs to Oo-Aniki.”
“Gin seems to have figured that out…” Suikotsu said, leaving the “why can’t you see it too?” unsaid.
“True… but then again, Jak’s not trying to seduce Gin every chance he gets,” the fire-breather pointed out.
“Point taken, but he honestly doesn’t mean a thing by it.”
“He try it with you?”
Suikotsu nodded. “A few times, but then my darker side quickly put a stop to it and the nature of his affections changed. He still flirts with me, but then I doubt he could stop doing that even if he tried.” The claw-bearer shrugged.
“You’re probably right… Oh hell!” Renkotsu swore as he stopped short, holding up his hand to halt Suikotsu as well.
Suikotsu also spotted them in the garden’s secluded clearing. “Come; let’s go before they see us.”
“You don’t have to tell me twice.”
Jakotsu, who was happily letting Bankotsu have his way with him, somehow managed to notice them despite their efforts to slip away unnoticed. “Hey, Sui! Ren! Want to join us?” he panted out in time with Bankotsu’s rhythm.
Renkotsu stood there speechless as he had no idea what to say especially when their leader paused and looked over at them.
Suikotsu, however, had no problem replying. “While we appreciate your generous offer, Jak, I’m sure Oo-Aniki would much rather have you all to himself. Besides, Ren and I were about to head back to our room as we have an early start to the day tomorrow. So if you don’t mind, we’ll go,” he said as if this was an everyday occurrence.
“Later then,” Bankotsu said as he watched the claw-bearer keep Renkotsu from beating a hasty retreat back to their room. Shaking his head, he quickly picked up where he had left off, much to Jakotsu’s delight.
They were halfway to their destination, when Bankotsu urged Ginkotsu and claw-bearer forward so he could explain their roles in the upcoming mission. That left Renkotsu to trail along with the cross-dresser much to his annoyance.
Jakotsu sighed happily like a lovesick girl for the umpteenth time.
Renkotsu, finally taking the hint, said dryly, “What are you so happy about?”
“Nothing….” the cross-dresser replied airily.
Renkotsu shrugged and they walked on in silence for several paces.
Jakotsu sighed again and this time Renkotsu did as well, before the cross-dresser broke the silence. “Thanks, Ren…” he said softly.
“For what?” the fire-breather asked as he raised an eyebrow at him.
“For being so generous with your, ummm… I don’t know…” the cross-dresser trailed off in mid-ramble as Renkotsu stared blankly at him.
Suddenly it dawned on him what Jakotsu was trying to say. “You’re welcome, and just one word of advice, Jak. Learn to be bit less generous in your affections when it comes to others and you’ll find Oo-Aniki’ll more than make up the difference for you.”
The cross-dresser regarded him thoughtfully as they walked along. “You think so?” he finally said.
“I know so.”
The cross-dresser giggled. “You sound just like Sui!”
Renkotsu chuckled. “Well, Sui does know what he’s talking about.”
“Yeah… And thanks, Ren!”
The fire-breather smiled. “You’re welcome.”
Resisting the urge to hug him, Jakotsu merely smiled in return. They walked along in companionable silence until Bankotsu called the cross-dresser forward; leaving Renkotsu alone to wonder what was going on. However, he did not have long to ponder the situation for the claw-bearer quickly fell back.
“What’s going on, Sui?”
“Oo-Aniki wanted me and Gin to go and take out the daimyo’s guards, but that’s something Jak’s better suited to doing. I can see how Oo-Aniki wants you both to start working with us on solo missions, but I also can see he’s not sure yet how to play to our strengths, especially since he’s still trying to figure yours out. And judging from what I can see of your battle skills, I have the feeling you’re the one who’s going to wind up going in with Jak.”
“Great…” Renkotsu sighed.
“He’s not that bad to work with, Ren, and besides, since you spoke to him about Oo-Aniki getting jealous of all the attention he’s been giving out to the rest of us, he’s barely looked twice at you,” Suikotsu said as the fire-breather nodded. “So what did you two talk about?”
Renkotsu chuckled. “It’s funny you should mention that, because that’s exactly what we talked about.”
“Nope. I just pointed out again that he should pay more attention to Oo-Aniki and less to the rest of us and things’ll be fine.”
“Good move, Ren,” Suikotsu said as he patted him on the back. “I think you’ll do well here in the long run if you can keep up that kind of reasoning.”
“Thanks.” Renkotsu grinned.
“You’re welcome. I guess we’ll finalize things at dinner tonight as we’re nearly there. Then with a good night’s sleep, we’ll be all set for tomorrow’s mission.”
“Sounds like a plan to me and speaking of which, I believe it’s my turn to see Oo-Aniki.”
Bankotsu rolled over in the futon, and propping his head up with his hand, he looked over at his paramour. Jakotsu was lying there, looking happier than Bankotsu ever remembered him looking after a bit of fun. “Why so happy?” he asked as he gently stroked the side of Jakotsu’s face.
The cross-dresser’s smile broadened. “I was just thinking about something...”
“Ummm…” Jakotsu looked away unsure of how to put his feelings into words.
Bankotsu relaxed and snuggled up against Jakotsu the way his paramour often did with him. “Take your time…” he murmured softly into Jakotsu’s chest.
“Well… I was just thinking about what Ren and Sui said to me.” He looked down at his lover as Bankotsu shifted to look up at him.
“Yeah? What’d they say?”
“Well… they both said I’ve been too generous with my affections towards them… And that I should pay more attention to you cuz it makes you sad. I’m sorry if I upset you…” the cross-dresser said softly.
“It’s okay. I know you don’t mean it.”
“You do?” Jakotsu said, and there was no mistaking the surprise he felt as it was clearly heard in his voice.
“Yeah… So what else did they say?”
“Well… Ren said if I paid more attention to you, you’d give me extra loving in return.” Jakotsu giggled. “And he was right! You did give me extra special loving!” He giggled again as he held Bankotsu close.
Bankotsu chuckled. “I thought I always gave you extra special loving…”
“You do, but this time it was extra special as you tasted so yummy and when we nookied it didn’t hurt one bit.”
“It didn’t?” Bankotsu was a bit taken aback by that. “Wait…” He frowned. “Why didn’t you tell me I hurt you?”
“Ummm… I don’t know… I didn’t think that I should.” Jakotsu shrugged. “Besides, it’s a good pain especially when you like someone a lot…” the cross-dresser trailed off softly.
“Yeah… well, I ummm… don’t want to hurt you cuz I like you too, so ummm, next time tell me okay, cuz maybe we could try another way that won’t hurt so much…” Bankotsu said just as softly.
“Okay…” the cross-dresser said “I promise I will.”
“Good.” Bankotsu reluctantly moved out of his paramour’s arms and got up. He padded over to the paper lantern and blew out the candle, before returning, and slipping back into the futon. Snuggling up to Jakotsu, he kissed him, and said, “We’d better go to sleep as we have to get up early tomorrow.”
“Oh yeah… Goodnight, Aniki-chan, sleep well.”
“You too, Sweetness.”
Jakotsu did just that as he drifted off to sleep, happy in the knowledge that, for once, being generous had better results than he ever expected.
/Author’s end note: Next up is “H” is for Hope./