May 312007

Title: Mad World
Characters: Gekkou Hayate, Shiranui Genma, Namiashi Raidou, Nara Shikaku
Rating: T
Warnings: Gratuitous Genma abuse, malicious kissing
Notes: Someone asked. Now I answer.

Impetuosity and audacity often achieve what ordinary means fail to attain.
—Niccolo Machiavelli
'The Prince'

It was Sandaime's birthday. Not that Genma knew how old the Hokage was — probably around seventy or eighty, by now — but being Hokage twice in a lifetime had to make a man pretty old, in more ways than one. Raidou had decided that there needed to be a party — something to bring the whole village together, because nothing really did anymore. Not since that night.

They'd grabbed one of the training grounds to have the party at, and the sun shone brightly into the field, painting exotic shadows under the trees at the edges, where Genma stood. Entire families had come out together, ninjas and civilians, to eat cake and pay their respects. Parties weren't really his thing, though. Not this kind, anyway. There were too many children and too many civilians, two things he had at best a limited tolerance for. He slumped against a tree with dismay and regret evident on his face.

Nara Shikaku stepped out of the trees beside Genma. "Not your scene?" Shikaku was a good eight or nine years older than Genma, but there was a certain comradery formed among the survivors of the incident.

Genma shook his head and continued watching the gleeful insanity. "Not really. It's a bit much."

Shikaku smiled wryly. "Yeah, I know your idea of a party." The two men laughed quietly together. "A few points of interest, though."

Raising an eyebrow in mild disbelief, Genma gestured for Shikaku to continue.

"Alright, first, I have to be the insipid, doting father." He pointed to one of the children playing tag. "That's my son, Shikamaru."

Genma watched the boy completely forget what he was doing, no longer running but staring into the sky to watch the clouds. "Reminds me of some people I know."

"Yeah, he reminds me a lot of you. You'll forgive me if I hope he turns out to be just a little less of a whore?" Shikaku elbowed Genma in the ribs.

A patently offended look settled onto Genma's face. "But, senpai, I'm not a whore!" he complained, amusedly, "Whores get paid!"

Shikaku laughed. "Luckiest bastard I know, if you were getting paid for it." He pointed in a different direction. "It looks like Anko got drunk before the festivities started. She's pretty funny — all over Gai, of all people."

Horror and amusement warring on his face, Genma finally looked at Shikaku. "Gai? She's … but … Gai!?"

"That's about what I thought about it." Shikaku smiled wryly. "Alright, one more. Raidou's over there sparring with the last heir of the Gekkou clan. Shizuka's kid, the sick one. What's his name?"

"Hayate. Shizuka-taichou used to talk about him sometimes — usually just to threaten Rai. 'My nine year old son could mop the floor with you, Namiashi. Get your shit together.'" Genma shuddered. "That woman scares the living shit out of me."

Shikaku laughed, but Genma squinted across the field, watching the flash of one blade and the almost invisible strikes of the black blade he'd learned to spot through many years of practice. "I should get a closer look at that. It looks like she wasn't kidding — he's getting his ass handed to him."

"How can you tell from here? I can't even make out what's going on." Shikaku tried to get a better look, but he couldn't make out the swordsmen clearly through the crowd of people in the field.

"I've known Raidou for enough years to see what I can't see, there. Namely his sword. The kid's blade looks high gloss — he's using the sunlight as a secondary weapon. Raidou is having almost as much trouble keeping up as you are…" Genma trailed off, watching closely. "Rai also barely uses ninjutsu. His style is mostly taijutsu, and a bit of genjutsu for distraction. Looks like the kid's not falling for the distractions."

Genma continued to watch the match for another few minutes. "I have to get closer — this is really impressive. You coming?"

Shikaku held up his hands. "I think I'd rather stay here for the moment. It's out of the way, and I think my wife is looking for me."

"Good luck with that," Genma laughed, setting out across the field. As he wended his way through the crowd, there was an exceptionally bright flash and Raidou — exceptionally tall Raidou — dropped behind the wall of people. When he didn't come up immediately, Genma jumped, flashing into existence behind Hayate. Grabbing the kid with one arm, he rested the senbon in his teeth against the thin neck.

"Rai? You alright?" Genma sounded uncertain.

Raidou raised an arm — just a signal that he was alive and awake. "Fucking genjutsu…"

"I don't use genjutsu," Hayate protested, trying to squirm out of Genma's grasp, and finally settling on pressing the point of his sword into the assassin's foot.

Pushing the kid away from himself, reflexively, Genma felt the need to apologise. "We were two thirds of your mother's team. Other than that, I don't really know you." It was a rational explanation, for a ninja.

The kid was pissed. He coughed for a few moments, struggling to get words out. "You drop in in the middle of a match and that's—"

Genma cut him off. "It's my job. That's the Hokage's bodyguard. He keeps Sandaime alive, I keep him alive."

Hayate looked distressed — angry and sickly. "Fine, you can fight me, now. That seems to be your intention, coming over here and starting with me."

"Kid, my intention was to make sure that Namiashi-senpai was still in one piece. Your mother is a fucking headcase, and I don't know you from a hole in the ground." Genma was exasperated. He couldn't seem to get through to this kid.

"Don't ever talk about my mother. I don't care if you think you knew her, because you didn't." Hayate sulked, leaning on his sword and wheezing. "You still owe me one."

"You can barely stand up, anymore!" Genma shouted.

Hayate rushed him, already in the middle of what would become a truly unfortunate strike, if it connected. Genma turned, fluidly removing himself from the path of the weapon, and jumped back. The kid was good. Possibly even as good as his mother. Genma put that terrifying thought aside and attempted to figure out how best to extract himself from this situation without losing face or seriously damaging this sickly kid with the large sword.

Hayate grunted in surprise when he missed, and turned into another strike before the first was complete. He was fast, and that was dangerous. Genma dodged again, a little less easily than the first time. "Kid, I'm a tokujou. You're not going to put me down that easily."

Striking again, Hayate smiled grimly. "So's Namiashi-san. So am I."

The kid made an excellent pair of points. He had wiped out Raidou, and apparently, to Genma's everlasting chagrin, he shared rank with them. Raidou was fairly slow, though. His skill was in blowing off damage, not avoiding it. Genma needed distance to win. He threw himself very obviously out of the way of the blade, and on Hayate's fourth strike, performed a replacement technique and leapt into the trees. The kid was truly exceptional, but not good enough. Genma dropped to the ground behind him, releasing a handful of senbon. The kid turned on a dime, blocking all of the incoming projectiles.

"Come off it. I have a sword. You have an oversized toothpick. Who do you think is going to win?" Ah, the arrogance of youth…

Genma leapt out of the way as Hayate came after him again. "I am." This sounded like more arrogance, but Genma had been watching long enough to understand the ways in which (thank whatever higher powers there might be) the kid didn't move like his ravenous hellbat of a mother — Genma had never been able to win against Shizuka. Two-handed this time, he unleashed a hail of senbon.

A single one met its mark, but that was all Genma needed. Hayate gaped in stunned horror as his sword slipped from his suddenly nerveless hand. For a long moment, he stared into the grass. Then he looked at his hand, and finally examined the senbon jutting from his shoulder. A rage burbled up inside him, but as he looked again at Genma, it drifted into predation. If he couldn't win on his own terms, he'd win on Genma's. Everyone knew Shiranui was a cheap slut. Should be easy enough to completely humiliate him in front of the entire village. After all, if the sickly little virgin that nobody wanted made some truly dreadful comment about his abilities, it would surely turn some heads.

Genma watched, both eyebrows raised slightly. Are you done yet? The kid ripped the senbon out of his shoulder and spiked it into the grass. A peculiar look settled into his black ringed eyes — Genma might have called it a vicious look if he'd had time to think that far. He'd expected the kid to say something snide, and storm off in a huff. Instead, he found himself suddenly possessed of an armful of swordsman and a mouthful of tongue, as Hayate pressed his ice-cold lips against Genma's mouth, barely missing losing an eye to the senbon still dangling from the assassin's lips.

The kid tasted like death. The horrid flavour of phlegm and old blood that any ninja who's been stabbed in the lungs knows. The kiss was also far more malicious than lustful, Genma noted, and made a move to change that. Whatever game Hayate was playing, he wouldn't be able to win it if Genma kept changing the rules.

Hayate began to melt into Genma's arms, distressed by the way in which his body responded to the talented tongue that lapped at the inside of his mouth. His hands clutched at the front of Genma's vest, twisting angrily in the fabric. He would regain control — losing was one thing; losing twice was totally out of the question.

Genma resisted the urge to smile as he pulled Hayate tighter against his chest, fingers skimming a few pressure points that were always in the same obvious places. The kid was tense, and it was a tenseness that seemed to be intrinsic, like it had been just so for years. Genma had his suspicions about the source, but he'd never mention them. Intensifying the kiss, he let his fingers dance across Hayate's back, stripping away the most recent tensions — the easy ones that had settled in over the course of the afternoon. The swordsman melted against him, definitively, this time, the will and presence of mind to argue bleeding away as Genma stroked away the persistent strain.

Hayate had never felt so very good — so incredibly validated, somehow, by Genma's cheap and lazy passion. It was the first time he'd ever been kissed, and he finally understood what all the fuss was about. One of his legs wound carelessly around Genma's and he felt the assassin's hips shift to support him. It took a few seconds to realise that Genma's thigh was between his legs, and it felt good. Frighteningly good. Concentration broken — shattered, really — Hayate moaned into Genma's mouth.

The tenor of the kiss shifted dramatically as the moan rippled through Genma's mouth. The assassin found himself being kissed hungrily, needily as the little swordsman in his arms struggled not to grind against his thigh. Round two to Shiranui Genma.

Oddly, after these several minutes the kiss had lasted, Genma began to notice something peculiar. Hayate tasted like death, but it was an appealing sort of death. Better than cake, in its own way. Not that Genma particularly liked cake — sweets had always been Raidou's department — but the principle was the same. There was something addictively revolting about the taste of Hayate's mouth. He rolled the muscles in his thigh, rippling his leg where it made contact with the young swordsman's crotch.

Hayate gasped and moaned, arcing his back to lean away from Genma as he started to cough, violently. Genma quickly rearranged their positions, lowering Hayate to his feet and stepping around behind him to support him until the coughing stopped. As the coughing began to let up, Hayate sank to his knees, slowly, Genma still supporting his weight until he had settled to the ground.

"You know, kid, there are easier ways to hook up with me than picking a fight with Rai. You could always just try asking." Genma refused to stay serious about anything for long.

"Don't fucking taunt me," Hayate wheezed. "Do you honestly imagine I don't know what I look like — what I taste like?"

"I don't know. I kind of like it. It's exotic. Makes me hot." Genma shrugged non-committally and stretched, staring into the distance.

Hayate suddenly saw red. He was sick and tired of being taunted, of not being taken seriously. In one swift motion, he drew a kunai and drove it through Genma's foot, pinning him to the ground. "Stop making fun of me."

Genma blinked and reeled before bending down and hauling Hayate to his feet by the vest. The swordsman turned clumsily, shock painted across his face. Genma's face was distorted in a snarl of pain and fury. "Shinobi, you smarmy little fuck. Tokujou. You really think you're going to make a dent like that?"

He shook Hayate roughly. "I don't say things I don't mean." Genma pulled Hayate right up to him, and crushed his lips in a deep and passionate kiss — albeit a shorter kiss than the last one as Hayate inadvertently kicked the kunai still jutting from his foot.

"Holy fuck." Genma looked a bit green around the edges, but, he shook off the nausea quickly, and continued with the point he was making. "Now, I think we've established that I don't object to you, when you're not trying to kill me. Did you want to fuck, or are you just trying my patience?"

Hayate stuttered. It was the first time he'd been asked anything even remotely like that. "I — well — um… You know… um… I don't fuck on the first date. Ramen on Thursday night? I've stabbed you once, that should make that the second date." A calculating smile slid across his face, the terror in his eyes bleeding out to be replaced by lust.

Genma laughed and set Hayate back on his own feet. "I'm starting to like you. Yeah, I'm in. Thursday at seven at Ichiraku." He bobbed his senbon amusedly and slipped his hands into his pockets, pretending that it was possible to be suave while one of your feet was nailed painfully to the ground.

"Um… right." Hayate blushed. "I'll see you there." The swordsman reclaimed his sword and vanished into the crowd.

Genma leaned over and vomited nonchalantly into the grass as Raidou wandered over.

"Would you like to explain to me what the fuck just happened?" Raidou looked horrified and confused.

"Sex is a brilliant weapon. This is why I'm the assassin, and you're the bodyguard." Genma laughed weakly. "I also appear to have a kunai in my foot. Would you get that for me? I'm afraid that if I try to pull it out myself I'm going to make it worse."

Raidou crouched, and Genma leaned against his shoulders. "He stabbed me, the little fucker. So we're going out Thursday night."

"Shut up, Shiranui. I think the pain is affecting your ability to make sense."

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