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.”
“I” is for Impatient
“Can’t you hurry things up, Ren?” Jakotsu complained.
“No…” The fire-breather hissed back. “And stop being so damned impatient. You know as well as I do that the daimyo has to go over every last detail to make sure he’s got the deal hammered out correctly.” Renkotsu sighed softly as he pinched the top of his nose. “I told you last night, I have the feeling he thinks we’re cheating him or something.”
“I know… but we’ve been away two days longer than expected and I want to go home already.”
“I’d also love to be on my way home.” Renkotsu said wistfully. “I miss Sui just as much as you miss Ban and I’ll bet they’re are starting to get worried, but there’s nothing either of us can do about it. The daimyo’s going to take his time with this no matter what we say or do, so we might as well resign ourselves to it.” The fire-breather grinned. “Just be happy he hasn’t asked you to escort his daughter into town again.”
“Please, don’t remind me!” the cross-dresser hissed. “Ren, it was the worst experience of my life.”
“Yeah…?” the fire-breather chuckled.
“Yeah! The stupid bitch hung all over me the whole time and she’s just lucky her father sent some of his men with us and Aniki-chan wants this job, or else I’d have cut her up into lil pieces,” Jakotsu said peevishly.
“Really? Although, I wouldn’t have minded spending the day with her, she’s rather pretty-”
“Are we talking about the same daughter?” Jakotsu blinked as a look of horror spread across his features. “He doesn’t have more than one does he?”
“Relax… as far as I know there’s only the one, and just because she’s older than you, doesn’t mean she’s hideous…” Renkotsu chuckled as the cross-dresser frowned. “Besides, you should be careful about what you say. I don’t want have to tell Oo-Aniki we lost this job because you insulted the daimyo.”
“Oh please!” Jakotsu rolled his eyes. “I know how play nicely with girls…” he said sarcastically. “But that doesn’t mean I enjoy it!” he finished peevishly much to Renkotsu’s amusement. Getting up off the veranda, Jakotsu impatiently paced around the little courtyard, while they waited to be summoned back to the daimyo’s presence.
Renkotsu spent the time leaning against one of the posts that held up the roof of the covered porch. Arms folded neatly across his chest, he watched the cross-dresser’s impatient pacing as he wondered what the big hurry was to get home. “You didn’t have a fight with Oo-Aniki before we left, did you?” he said
“No…” The cross-dresser grinned. “Me and Aniki-chan had the best nookie ever before I left. I was just worried about Aki,” he finished softly.
“What’s wrong with your cat?”
“Sui said she going to have kittens… but the woman in the village I got her from said she was just a kitten.” He sighed angrily. “I suppose that’s what I get for trusting a woman…”
The fir-breather chuckled. “She probably didn’t know the cat was knocked up, Jak. Besides, I’m sure you saved the cat’s life when you bought her. That was a pretty poor village we had passed through and that woman might have had to kill her for food if you didn’t give her enough money to by a few days’ worth of rice.”
“Yeah…I guess so.” Jakotsu sighed. “And Aniki-chan did tell me when I found about the kittens that no good deed goes unpunished,” he said ruefully. “Still, she’s not a bad lil cat…” He smiled.
“True… You know, it is rather funny how she keeps bringing Kyo all those dead mice.” Renkotsu laughed.
Jakotsu laughed along with him, his impatience temporarily forgotten. “Yeah! Thank Kami-sama he finds it cute, or I’m sure he’d have eaten her too by now.”
“Probably,” Renkotsu said. He was happy to have steered the conversation away from the dangerous topic of the daimyo’s daughter. To keep it there, he added, “So what are you going to do with all the kittens?”
“I don’t know… I wanted to keep them, but Aniki-chan said I couldn’t as Aki’ll probably get knocked up again. I guess I’ll bring them into the village and give them away or something…” Jakotsu sighed. “I just wish I was home.”
“I know,” Renkotsu said sympathetically. “But we have a job to do here and I want you to concentrate on that. Cats have been having kittens since the gods first created them, so I wouldn’t worry too much, and besides, Sui’s helped Rika-san, and her daughter, deliver plenty of babies so I’m sure he has enough midwifery skills to help Aki with her kittens.”
“Thanks…” Jakotsu smiled. “Are you sure you don’t want one of the kittens…?” he asked impishly.
“No, because I don’t want Oo-Aniki yelling at me, remember he told us you couldn’t get around his prohibition against keeping the kittens by giving them to us? In other words, if you can’t have one; we couldn’t either.”
Their conversation was cut short by the arrival of a pair of palace guards, summoning them back to the daimyo’s presence. Renkotsu was pleased Jakotsu had put aside his impatience long enough to conclude the terms of agreement.
“How much longer until we get home?” Jakotsu asked impatiently.
“Two more days, now go to sleep,” Renkotsu said softly as he rolled over in his futon.
“Oh… can’t we get there any quicker?”
“No. It took us three days to get there and no matter how much you wish it otherwise, it’s going to take three days to get home. So the quicker you go to sleep, the earlier we’ll be up tomorrow and the farther we’ll get before nightfall. Trust me, Jak, I want to be home as much as you do.”
“Yeah. Now go to sleep!”
“Okay…” Jakotsu rolled over onto his side. “Good night, Ren…” he said softly.
“’Night, Jak. Sleep well.”
“Aniki-chan!” Jakotsu ran towards his lover who met him halfway.
“Sweetness!” Bankotsu said as picked his paramour up.
Jakotsu giggled. “Put me down, Aniki-chan!”
“But I missed you so much,” Bankotsu teased, sounding very much like his paramour. He set him back on his feet amid much laughter from the cross-dresser.
“I missed you too. I just never knew you were as impatient to nookie as I am,” Jakotsu giggled.
Bankotsu grinned. “Well, you were a week late…”
The cross-dresser sighed. “I know…Stupid daimyo took forever to agree to your terms… So, ummm…”
Bankotsu laughed. “No kittens yet.”
“Yeah… I wish she’d hurry up and have them already; especially since Sui said they’d be here by the time I got home…”
“Maybe she was just waiting for you to come home.”
“Sui, why didn’t Aki have her kittens yet? I’ve been home for a couple of days now and I’m tired of waiting,” Jakotsu whined impatiently. “All she does is lay in her basket and sleep. She doesn’t even want to eat and you said that was sign she was ready to have them.”
Suikotsu, who had been gently examining the cross-dresser’s cat, paused and looked up at him. “I’m sorry, Jak…”
“What?” Jakotsu stroked the cat’s head and she let out a loud purr.
“Aki isn’t going to have any kittens.”
“Hunh? But you said…”
“I know… and she was carrying kittens, Jak.”
“What do you mean, Sui… there’s no kittens in her basket and I don’t think she ate them…”
“I don’t think she’d eat them either…” Suikotsu sighed. “She’s very sick, Jak, that’s why she’s been sleeping so much.”
“She’s not gonna…?”
The claw-bearer nodded. “I’m sorry, Jak. I think it would be kinder if we put her out of her misery.”
Jakotsu looked up at him as he willed himself not to cry.
“I think she tried to have her kittens, Jak, and the first one got stuck inside her and they all died. I’m very sorry, Jak, really I am. If I knew more about cats, maybe I could have helped her…”
“It’s okay, Sui…” Jakotsu said as he choked back his tears.
“Let’s go see if we can find you another cat in the village, Sweetness,” Bankotsu said.
“Uh-hunh…” Jakotsu said softly. “I don’t feel like going, Aniki-chan…”
“Oh… well maybe later.”
“Yeah, maybe…” the cross-dresser said listlessly as he sat there, forlornly staring out at the courtyard.
It had been a month since the loss of his cat. While the subsequent mission had temporarily taken his mind off the cat, in the two weeks since their return, Jakotsu never once asked Bankotsu to get another one. His lack of impatience in the matter worried his lover as he had never seen him this upset over anything before.
When Bankotsu gently squeezed his paramour’s shoulder, before leaving, the tight little smile he got in response worried him just as much as the cross-dresser’s lack of impatience in the matter. He took off in search of the claw-bearer as he was desperate for answers.
“Hey, Sui!” Bankotsu called out when he spotted the claw-bearer puttering around his herb garden.
“Oo-Aniki? Is something wrong?” Suikotsu asked as he rose to his feet.
“Yeah… Jak’s still moping around and when I asked him if he wanted to go into town and look for a new cat, he said he didn’t want to.” Bankotsu frowned.
Suikotsu resisted the urge to quirk an eyebrow at him in surprise. I thought you didn’t want another cat… “He’s probably still mourning the loss of Aki.” The claw-bearer wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand.
“Yeah… but he never got that way after Kyo ate his other cats.”
“True… But then none of those cats were having kittens. Plus he never bought any of those cats. How did he put it again?” Suikotsu paused as he thought it over. “‘They followed him home, so can he keep them?’” The claw-bearer smiled as his young leader made a face.
“Yeah… But this is different, Sui, he’s barely eating and he doesn’t want to do anything…”
“Missing the nookie are we?” The claw-bearer chuckled as Bankotsu snorted in annoyance. “Seriously, Oo-Aniki, people mourn differently and sometimes that way over different things, as you know as well as I do, Jak would mourn your loss far more than say Kyo’s for example.”
“I know that….”
“I know you do. Just give him time, and if he’s still moping around a week later, I’ll talk to him.”
Jakotsu stood in the doorway of his lover’s study, arms neatly folded across his chest, impatiently tapping his foot as he tried getting Bankotsu’s attention. “Anikiiiii-chaaaan!”
Bankotsu looked up from his ledger, his annoyed expression melting into a genuine smile. “Yeah?”
“You told me this morning we’d go into town. It’s now this afternoon.”
“Yeah! What’s taking you so long?” the cross-dresser whined.
“Unfortunately I have an error here and I can’t find it… Can’t we go tomorrow?”
“No! I want to go now! You promised me we could,” Jakotsu said petulantly.
Bankotsu sighed. “I did, didn’t I? Well… I guess this can wait.” He shut his ledger and got up.
“Yup! Now hurry up!!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Bankotsu said as he hurried over to his paramour. For once the cross-dresser’s impatient whining sounded like the sweetest of love songs and Bankotsu found he was just as eager to indulge him as Jakotsu was to be indulged.
The cross-dresser impatiently grabbed his lover’s hand and pulled him along the inner corridors of their home. They sped past an amused Renkotsu who muttered, “Rabbits,” and chuckled softly as he shook his head at them. He also made a mental note to tell Suikotsu the cross-dresser was back to his old self again and to be on the look out for trampled plants in his garden.
Slowing down to a walk as they neared the village, Jakotsu clung affectionately to Bankotsu’s arm. His impatience to get there was tempered by their need to catch their breath, and yet, Jakotsu still felt afraid that his lover would change his mind about the whole thing. “Hurry, Aniki-chan!” He tugged playfully on his lover’s arm.
Bankotsu chuckled as he quickened his pace. “What’re you in such a hurry to get?”
“Come on, Sweetness, you can tell me.”
“You’re impatient for a cat?” Bankotsu laughed.
“Yeah…” the cross-dresser admitted sheepishly.
“Okay, Silly, let’s go get you a cat.”
“Really?” The cross-dresser looked happier than he had in weeks.
“Yeah… So have you thought up a name for your new cat?”
“Yup! I think I’m going to call him ‘Kibaya.’”
“You’re going to call your new cat ‘Impatient?’” Bankotsu bit his lip as he tried not to laugh.
“Yeah… In honor of how impatient you were after Aki died to get me another one and how impatient I am to get it now.” The cross-dresser giggled.
“Thanks…” Jakotsu kissed his lover’s cheek. “Now let’s hurry up!” he said impatiently.
“Okay, okay…” Bankotsu said as they quickened their pace. You have no idea how impatiently I’ve waited for this day…
Author’s end note: “J” is for Jealousy.