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Transformed (fic; Saiyuki)

Title: Transformed
Author: opalmatrix
Warnings: Worksafe; however, contains violence and disturbing ideas
Pairing(s): Hakkai/Gojyo if you squint.
Notes: Written for Daytripping to the West. Challenge - Write about someone's first time. However, the first time in your story cannot refer to a first sexual experience of any kind. Time allowed for this is up to one hour.
Actual time: 51 minutes, plus 4 minutes more to clean up. No beta. Concrit encouraged.
(Part of this was inspired by the fact that Hakkai later charged Sanzo for "Healing Gojyo's wounds." Presumably, if he'd been capable of doing so on his own with his chi, he wouldn't have had to pay for help.)
Disclaimer: Fandom characters and situations belong to Kazuya Minekura.
Spoilers: Burial Arc (through vol. 4)
Summary: In the aftermath of having removed his limiters purposefully for the first time, Hakkai's thoughts won't let him sleep.

He should not have been able to hear those tiny sounds.

It was a triple clink, off-beat: clink ... clink-clink

He should not be able to hear it now, over his own blood pounding in his ears, and Gojyo's slightly ragged breathing from the futon on the floor. He had only heard it then because his enemies had fallen silent, amazed at his crazed foolishness as he threatened them. Then he'd reached up - so simple, like this - and pulled off the cold little bits of metal that held him together.

Now, whenever he closed his eyes to try to sleep, he heard it, and then he remembered: the ticklish creep of his ears and nails growing, the hair stirring on his scalp as though in a breeze, the dimness of the cellar suddenly as bright as a moonlit midsummer night, the odors of those gathered around who were not his, as individual as their faces, and amidst them all the distinct, homelike scent of the one who was, sharpened with fear and pain. And the hatred that he swore he would never, ever let himself feel again: darker, sweeter this time, because he knew, in every one of his six senses, that they were afraid of him, and that he was more than their match.

He could feel his muscles as they were then, those few hours ago, pumped full of blood loaded with that hate and that dark power. The way that he could now leap, land, and turn, pick an opponent up as though he were a child's rag doll, and throw him against that rough wall. And he could hear that thump and crunch - sickening now, but deeply satisfying then - as the youkai's skull hit and fractured on the stones.

Hakkai sat bolt upright and ground the heels of his hands into his eyes until he saw stars and lightning, even in the bad one. Merciful goddess, never let me have to do that again! Unleash what he had become that night so many months ago, feel his own thoughts blossom so darkly, his body becoming that of exactly what he loathed.

But what if I hadn't been able to do so ... ?

Gojyo's head on the stone floor, a pistol barrel pressed against his forehead, that look of dull, hopeless, apathy on his face: an unwanted baby grown to a child abandoned like candy wrapper, grown to a young thug who operated on the far side of the law - and then grown further, into the roughly kind man who'd picked up the bloody mass of bone and sinew and exposed gut that had called itself Cho Gonou, and brought it home, to re-create him as a human being, coddled and cared for in Gojyo's own bed, that very bed where Cho Hakkai now huddled, trembling.

One moment's hesitation more, and Gojyo would have been nothing but scattered bone and brain, food for the worms.

There had never been any real choice. To hell with it, he'd said earlier in the evening, when he'd decided to leave the house and chase after his errant savior.

To hell. With good intentions, but hell nonetheless.

He dropped his hands and looked down at the futon on the other side of the room. He'd tried to make Gojyo sleep in the bed: there was only so much he'd been able to do about the cracked, bruised ribs on the right side of his friend's chest. They'd have to find a doctor in the morning. But Gojyo had insisted: he only wanted his usual bed, he said. He was alive: that was enough.

Now Gojyo stirred in his sleep and rolled over onto his bad side, and his face creased with pain. Hakkai held his breath, but was unsurprised when the other man's eyes opened. He stared at Hakkai with a face as blankly miserable as a hurt child's, and then suddenly everything shifted - he was smiling.

"Hakkai. You didn' go ... ."

His voice was burred with pain and blurred with sleep: he was still barely conscious, but the happiness was plain. Hakkai felt something warm and a little painful stir in the cold misery he'd been nursing inside. "No, Gojyo. I'm still here."

Gojyo tried to sit up. Hakkai rolled out of bed to crouch next to him, pushing him back down gently. "Gojyo - your ribs ... ."

Gojyo subsided, gasping. Finally: "But you were going."

"I thought I should. That I was making your life - "

A hand on his arm stopped him. "Don' go. Stay. Please."

Everything got very quiet. He could hear his own heart, and Gojyo's breathing, and the small sounds of the night outside. It must be almost dawn: he could hear a bird piping softly in the distance somewhere. He put his hand over the other hand that held him so tightly. "Alright. If you still want me in your house."

Gojyo smiled, his eyes drooping closed again. "Your house, too, now. Owe you one."

Hakkai laughed softly. "Of course you don't. This just makes us even."

The sleepy lips formed "OK," but only a soft breath came out. Hakkai stayed there for a few moments, making sure he really was asleep again, then tucked his friend's hand carefully down along his side.

He rose silently as he could and sat down on the bed again, looking at Gojyo. Really, he should have been able to do more to help, with his chi powers. He had a lot to learn, still. Maybe one of the doctors in town would let him work as an orderly, if not an assistant, so that he could learn more about how injuries felt, and how they knitted together. He lay down, frowning, thinking, smoothing the blankets firmly into place around his body. The only sounds in his ears were his breathing, and his friend's, and the world awakening to the new day. When the first light crept into the room and across the pillow, the face it touched was at peace.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
Ooo! I love looking at post-saving-Gojyo's-ass-by-going-yokai Hakkai! I love how Gojyo gives him peace with it just by wanting him. Lovely.
Mar. 22nd, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yes, Hakkai was sort of getting to a logical accommodation with the idea, but it's Gojyo's acceptance that let him really live with it, not just bear it.

Mar. 21st, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
darker, sweeter this time, because he knew, in every one of his six senses, that they were afraid of him, and that he was more than their match.

Perfection! You've really brought life to how Hakkai must have felt that first time. Very well done! XD
Mar. 22nd, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)

Ooh, thank you! I always think that for someone as tightly under control as Hakkai, the fact that some of it is enjoyable must make it so much worse.

Mar. 21st, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
I really liked this story! You've got some really cool phrases going, like:
...pulled off the cold little bits of metal that held him together

That one really struck me, nice work!
Mar. 22nd, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)

And you know, that phrase is one of the things that "just happened" as I was writing ... I'm so glad that you liked it!

(no subject) - smillaraaq - Mar. 25th, 2008 07:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - opalmatrix - Mar. 25th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 21st, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
A very nice little fic. Reading and writing about youkai!Hakkai is one of my favorite things and you did a fantastic job!
Mar. 22nd, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)

Aww, I feel like I've pleased a connoisseur! Thank you so much!

Mar. 22nd, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
I'm behind in my reading and just now catching up, but I'm so glad I got the chance to read this! Gojyo and Hakkai's story from the Burial arcs is a real favorite, and you've made a perfectly logical extension here. I particularly like the imagery you've used, especially with respect to the descriptions of the transformation, and the quiet conversation in the early morning hours at the end. Very nicely done. ^_^
Mar. 22nd, 2008 04:52 am (UTC)

I'm so glad you liked it! I seem to be stuck on these two having late-night conversations at the moment - my previous story had one too.

It seemed to me that he must feel very odd when things are transforming. I imagine the nails growing out into claws are particularly weird.

Edited at 2008-03-22 04:52 am (UTC)
(no subject) - smillaraaq - Mar. 25th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - opalmatrix - Mar. 26th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smillaraaq - Mar. 26th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 22nd, 2008 09:31 am (UTC)

I don't know what else to say.
Mar. 22nd, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)

Oh ... I'm glad you like it! But I can see a boo-boo or two, and I'm not quite happy with how I wrapped it up - I was running out of time ... .

(Deleted comment)
Mar. 22nd, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)

I think that Hakkai's worst fear is losing his mind, which is deeply bound up with his image of himself. He could probably live with looking monstrous, but the fact that he doesn't seem to be able to control his thoughts under the change really frightens him. So I'm glad that came across.

Mar. 25th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
This is one of my favourites of the quickfics so far. You did such a lovely job of capturing Hakkai's self-loathing and insecurity and how Gojyo just makes it all better again. Lots of beautiful descriptive passages which fill out his character so well.

Mar. 25th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)

Awww, thank you! I'm really glad you liked it so much. Yes, it can be very dark inside Hakkai's head, poor guy. (In an odd way, Gojyo is his sun ... .)

Mar. 25th, 2008 08:28 am (UTC)
Mmmmm, so much love for this. There's just never enough fic focusing on the concrete sensory aspects of limiters and youkai transformation, so I adore the way you get across his perceptions changing and expanding...and of course the bit where even in the midst of that mental and physical turmoil, he's categorizing Gojyo as smelling like home just squeezes at my heart, as do both of the scenes where he sees the abused, hopeless child under grown Gojyo's expressions. Warm and painful all at once, indeed!

Mar. 25th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)

Oooh, I'm glad especially that you liked it. I think the fact that he was a teacher really makes him recognize that in Gojyo, and I think at this point already, even though he's thinking of leaving, Gojyo means home now. I'm glad that felt right to you.

(no subject) - smillaraaq - Mar. 26th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - opalmatrix - Mar. 27th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 16th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
"to re-create him as a human being"
Best. Line. Ever.
Seriously!!! It was lovely to read, and you captured Hakkai's conflicted feelings about his own transormations and letting the evil in him run free so beautifully!!
And Gojyo asing him to stay... *tear*
I also loved how you pictured Hakkai deciding to develop his healing skills.. I'd always taken for granted that he was a natural, but of course he couldn't have had powers when he was a mere human... therefore he still needs some time to honey his new-found skill...
Simply beautiful!!!
Yay! ^__^
Apr. 17th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)

Awww, thanks for saying so! I'm so glad you liked it. Hakkai is such a bundle of contradictions - it seems so appropriate that he ended up with both healing magic and huge powers of sheer physical destructiveness.

May. 18th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
an unwanted baby grown to a child abandoned like candy wrapper, grown to a young thug who operated on the far side of the law - and then grown further, into the roughly kind man who'd picked up the bloody mass of bone and sinew and exposed gut that had called itself Cho Gonou, and brought it home, to re-create him as a human being,

This is one of the best descriptions of Gojyo I have ever read... particularly for the candy wrapper bit, which just reminds me of children who have what they want and the contrast that makes with the child who no-one wants.

To hell. With good intentions, but hell nonetheless.

Hakkai would so think this way. I like the ending too; it feels full of hope, and like Hakkai has come to understand that his place in life is with Gojyo, and that he has a direction, a purpose for the moment; learn chi manipulation and look after Gojyo. Not too much trouble, surely? ;)
May. 20th, 2008 11:02 am (UTC)

Heh, if Gojyo knew he was being looked after, there might be a certain amount of passive resistance! I'm thinking of that story cicer wrote, about Gojyo trapping Hakkai into scolding him ... .

That whole sentence just sort of came pouring out when I was finally typing this up ... I liked it, but I'm vaguely frustrated that nothing like it has happened again on any of the more recent stories. Oh well ... someday maybe.


(no subject) - purpleicicles - May. 20th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - opalmatrix - May. 24th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


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