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Title: Loving-Kindness
Author: opalmatrix
Warnings: nothing, really
Pairing(s): A breath of 10K, if you listen hard.
Spoilers: nothing much - PG solely for mention of 10K and a curseword
Notes: Written for saiyuki_time prompt #10: Kenren. Time allowed: 45 minutes. Time taken: a little more than 50 minutes, plus 5 to look up a definition for the intro theme. This ended up being about all four of them really, but Kenren's at the center. (Is there a word for all 4 of them in Gaiden? Because they aren't the Sanzo Ikkou yet ... .)
Summary: Kenren has warmth enough to spare.

"The world stands on three things: holy scripture, service to the divine, and acts of loving-kindness."
- Jewish sacred text

Konzen, hurrying through the gardens in the late afternoon with a sheaf of reports for the Bosatsu, nearly passes by without seeing him. Then he stops, surprised, and turns back for a moment.

"General Kenren - Field Marshall Tenpou was looking for you."

Kenren is sitting on the ground at the base of one of the cherry trees, relaxed, his long legs and long leather coat stretched before him. His calmly contented expression flickers for a moment. "Ah, right," he says, quietly. " Supper with Tenpou. Oh, well. He'll understand." The General smiles and blows out a stream of cigarette smoke.

Konzen frowns, hugging the reports to his bony chest with one arm. "You're not going?"

"Well, I'm kind of pinned down here at the moment." And now Konzen can see what he'd missed before: Goku is tucked under the long skirts of the coat on one side, his head pillowed on the General's thigh. He looks to be dead asleep.

"We were doing a little catching practice. He's a scrappy little fielder. We sat down for a breather, and pow - out like a light."

"He shouldn't be keeping you from your business, General ... Goku!"

The boy stirs, just a little, and Kenren puts his large hand on the small, diadem-bound head. "Hey, there's no need for that, Konzen. Chill. Speaking of business, don't you have to take those papers someplace?"

Konzen's aggravated breath stirs the fronds of his golden hair. "That child is also my business."

"Look at him - he's not going anywhere for a while. I'll watch him."

Konzen inhales deeply through his finely-drawn nose, looks down at his papers, back at the General. Then he turns sharply and leaves, his white draperies wafting behind him. Kenren watches his departing back with amusement, then settles back against the tree trunk and closes his eyes.

* * * * * * * *

"There you are."

Tenpou's voice. The sun is lower, and it's a little cooler in the garden. Goku is still snoring lightly, although he's shifted a little and mostly uncovered himself. Kenren pulls the warm, soft leather back over the small, wiry body and smiles up at his adjutant. Tenpou smiles back.

"How like you. It's getting a little chilly, you know."

"Well, if the cold wakes him, then I won't have a problem anymore."

Tenpou has retrieved Kenren's jug, which had been left on a bench closer to the path. He uncorks it and offers it to his friend. They sit in the gathering dusk, sharing the liquor and watching the sleeping child. At last Konzen returns, no longer burdened by anything but his own anxieties. He stops and gazes at the changed tableau for a moment. Finally:

"If he's so soundly asleep, still, I guess I could carry him back to my rooms that way."

The other two exchange amused glances. "Let me help you with that," says Tenpou, kindly. He removes his own lab coat. Kenren uncovers Goku gently and Tenpou quickly has him bundled in the other garment, still warm from his own body. Goku frowns and turns his head as he's moved and lifted. His eyes flutter open for a moment as he's transferred to Konzen's waiting arms, but then he smiles and falls asleep again.

Konzen stands there for a moment, as though uncertain of whether he can move with this deadweight in his arms, but at last he walks off, slowly and carefully. Kenren rises and stretches, clearly stiff from his long vigil, and wraps one arm around Tenpou's shoulders, peering after Konzen. "He's pretty cute once he takes that stick out of his ass."

"Indeed." Tenpou, coatless, shivers in the cool evening breeze. Kenren instantly doffs his own long leather coat and presses it into service once again, wrapping it around his lover's shoulders. Tenpou tries to stop him and fails: as he knows all too well, Kenren is irresistible. "I'll be fine: I'm perfectly warm," the General says.

Tenpou looks into his eyes and smiles, his heart in his face. "Indeed, you are," he says.



( 21 comments — leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Awww. That's so sweet.
May. 30th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)

Thank you very much! I hope it wasn't too sweet! I have trouble like that, I think ... .

May. 31st, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
I can't speak for everyone, but I didn't think so!
May. 26th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC)
That was nice. I really enjoyed this story. =3
May. 30th, 2008 10:58 am (UTC)

I'm so glad! Thank you for reading!

May. 26th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC)
Oh, This is just too adorable for words. XD

Thank you for posting!
May. 30th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)

Awww, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

May. 26th, 2008 08:09 am (UTC)
Sweet. For a sec there I thought we might get a group cuddle!
May. 30th, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)

Hee hee! No, I don't think Konzen could deal with that yet! Thanks!

(Deleted comment)
May. 30th, 2008 11:03 am (UTC)

Oh good! I was wondering whether I'd wandered past fuzzy into gooey - apparently not ... thank you so much!

(Deleted comment)
May. 30th, 2008 11:06 am (UTC)

Ooooh, thanks! With him, even more than with Gojyo, you can see the many aspects of a truly loving person, from the smutty/sensuous to the brotherly. (But I actually like Gojyo better because he's broken, and I can identify ... .)

May. 27th, 2008 10:37 am (UTC)
Awwwwwww! *iz ded from cute* I love your Kenren - he's so cuddly! ^___^
May. 30th, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)

LOL! I'm sure Tenpou thinks so too! It's the generosity of spirit thing he's got going - he can make it come out in so many different ways. Thank you!

May. 27th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
That was lovely, specially how Kenren chooses to sit and let Goku sleep on him, as long as Goku needs. It really sums something up about Kenren, that he'll just put someone else's needs in front of everything else, and enjoy it too.
May. 30th, 2008 11:13 am (UTC)

Aww, thanks! I was trying for something that would celebrate some aspect of his life ... having watched my own father die, I know how much more I would rather do that, instead of getting stuck at the moment of death. I was also thinking of a story I'd heard about a holy person cutting off his sleeve rather than disturbing the cat sleeping there - I thought it was the Buddha, but it turns out is was Mohammed! Memory can be so fickle.

May. 28th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
Awwwww. Bestest big brother a sleepy little monkey could ever hope for. And that last bit with Tenpou and the warm coat-swap... *happy sigh* That, that scene is the just the sort of feeling I was describing in that last BPAL discussion.
May. 30th, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)

Arrgh, now I'm trying to remember where that BPAL discussion was - it wasn't my last BPAL one, so it must have been on kispexi2's ... . I re-read all the scans I had before I wrote this, and the scene where he tells the guard that Goku is his secret child was so funny and adorable. And the baseball scene. He's so clearly playing with the kid, not just joking with him and thinking he's cute. The coat swap just happened once Konzen walked (staggered!) off. I'm glad you liked it!

May. 30th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Aw, yes, sorry, it was in that last long BPAL rambling thread of doom, just a little babble about how one of the synaesthetic things I get from Perversion is like being wrapped up in your best boy's leather jacket, when it's still warm from off his back and smells like his skin and his cigs and the places he's been. So along with all the brotherly cuteness with wee Goku, that last scene gives me the nicest possible warm fuzzies, imagining Tenpou bundled up in that coat like it's a walking black leather hug... *melts*
May. 29th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
that was very sweet
May. 30th, 2008 11:20 am (UTC)

Thanks! I'm so glad you liked it!

May. 31st, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
Oh--this is just, just lovely. Brought tears to my eyes in fact. Such finely drawn characterization and just so sweet. Thank you.

as he knows all too well, Kenren is irresistible.

--In any lifetime and any color, yes, indeed.

*misses him*

( 21 comments — leave a comment )


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