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one who hears much (but only when it's convenient)

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Tamon-sama… Tamon-sama… Tamon-sama…!

Sanshi's steps are full of haste, only this one thought on his mind as he marches into the infirmary. Distantly, he knows Zoujouten and Jikokuten are following close behind, but the information is just another scrap his burdened mind doesn't know what to do with.

Yakushi places a finger over his own lips, and gestures to one of the many curtained-off areas. Sanshi doesn't ask questions; doesn't have the headspace necessary to even know what to ask.

“Tamon-sama,” he whispers, drawing the curtain aside as quietly as he can manage.

Tamon-sama is… there. Lying down, dressed in an ugly gown, his hair no longer arranged in the attractively messy way he prefers it, but he's there. His eyes flutter open in response to the movement, lighting up when they land on Sanshi. While that would make Sanshi blush usually, now it felt like a stab to the heart.

“Sanshi…” he calls out, lifting a hand as if to reach out for him.

“Tamon-sama…” Sanshi answers, voice cracking as tears blur his field of vision. He moves to the side of Tamonten’s bed, kneels and takes Tamonten’s hand in his own.

“Sanshi...” Tamon drags the name out, letting it roll off his tongue, as if he's savouring the fact that he’s still able to say it at all.

“Tamon-sama, I apologize for—” Sanshi needs to get the words off his chest, needs to lay everything bare so Tamon can see him for what he is and never make a choice like this one ever again.

“Shhh,” Tamon silences him, before he can do any of that. “Shhh. I’m okay. We’re okay.”

“No, we’re not,” Sanshi speaks past the lump that threatens to choke him, “you nearly… you got badly hurt because of my—”

“Sanshi.” Tamon pulls at their joined hands, pats the space next to him. “Come here.”

Sanshi hesitates, partly out of guilt and partly out of respect for Yakushi; but in the end he needs to feel Tamon-sama with his own hands, needs to know he can hold him and not have him disappear like morning dew once the sun comes out.

Tamonten doesn’t smell like himself, what with the hospital gown or whatever he’s wearing; the scent of disinfectant clings to him, and the bandages on his back are rough. But Sanshi buries his head in the crook of Tamonten’s neck, takes in the rise and fall of his chest, feels the beat of his heart.

Tamon wraps an arm around him, a soft smile on his face that only causes Sanshi to tear up harder.

“Sanshi,” Tamon repeats, ever-patient, ever-loving, ever-gentle.

“Please stop,” Sanshi mumbles. He doesn't deserve kindness right now, not after his stupidity had hurt Tamon so, not after he'd almost lost the one good thing that had happened to him.

“No,” Tamon presses a kiss to his forehead, “No. Sanshi, I—”

“Why did you do it?” Sanshi whispers, unwilling to make any more contact with the other than he already has; he doesn’t deserve it, doesn’t—

“I’d do it all over again,” Tamon breathes out, his grip on Sanshi’s waist tightening. “Listen to—”

“Please don’t—”

“-me, Sanshi, I love you—”

“That doesn’t mean—”

There’s a very audible ahem ahem outside, undoubtedly Yakushi, that gets them both to quiet down.

"Shh. Sanshi, listen. I'm clumsy with words, but I need to say this. You've always been special to me, but you made me realize yesterday: I love you so much, I don't want… I think it'd be more trouble than it's worth to go through my days without you."

Sanshi can barely spare the brain cells to process the words spilling out of Tamonten's mouth. He can feel the fearsome reddening of his face, he's almost sure his ears are steaming, to say nothing of his wide-eyed surprise.

Tamon's hand makes tentative first contact with his fingers; applying pressure, interlocking their fingers together, and Sanshi's amazed Tamon doesn't recoil from the sheer heat he's sure they must be radiating. Now they're well and truly holding hands, and Sanshi's inability to speak is not getting better anytime soon.

"Tamon-sama, I…" Sanshi squeezes his eyes shut. How could he express how full the words made him feel? He's just some thug that's been following him around, he's sulking ninety-five percent of the time, he's a picky eater, he's... "I'm…"

"Don't overthink things," Tamon supplies, trying to be helpful. "Just answer me this: do you love me in the same way?"

"Tamon-sama, I'm obsessed with you. I love you more than anything — anyone else — but I…"

"Then it's mutual," Tamonten concludes, an uncharacteristic, but heartfelt, grin on his face.

"...That… wouldn't be incorrect."

"I'm going to kiss you." Tamon declares, his giddy elation only visible on a closer look.

"It's hardly the first time we've—"

"Shhhh."

Tamon cups Sanshi's face with one hand, stroking his cheek with his thumb, drawing closer.

He starts off with a chaste kiss, heavenly in its softness, and another, and another, and… he stops, reclining on his bed.

"My neck was not going to live with that," he explains, applying pressure to his neck before patting his lap. "Get on."

Sanshi can't think straight from all the blood rushing to his head, but he's still got the decency to object. "This is the infirmary— "

"And we are a pair of lovers," Tamon states, cool, collected, nothing out of place except the slight blush dusting his cheeks.

"I…" Sanshi shakes his head, shifting to properly straddle Tamonten. He'd be lying if he said he didn't want this too.

"Give me a kiss?" Tamon asks. Sanshi knows his neck isn't hurt that badly, Tamon just wants to… wants him to…

Sanshi decides to take Tamonten's earlier advice and stop overthinking things.

He leans in, hands on either side of Tamonten's face, not missing the way Tamon's arms lock around him, the way they fit so perfectly.

Tamon doesn't ask — doesn't need to ask — him to, but Sanshi adds tongue to the equation anyways, not backing down when Tamon mounts his own answering assault.

They're really… they're really sucking face in the infirmary, and Sanshi hopes to god Yakushi has taken the hint and left them to their own devices for a while. No sooner has he formed the thought that Tamon drives it out, one hand slipping under Sanshi's shirt, while the other trails down his hip.

He can feel Tamon itching to flip them over, to press him into the mattress and—

"No," Sanshi chides him, holding firm against the slight force Tamon is applying.

Tamonten, also known as Bishamonten, deity presiding over treasures, loyal head of the Four Kings, pouts.

"Why not…" he mumbles, meek but still unrepentant, judging by the way he's still rubbing circles on Sanshi's thigh.

"You're recovering," Sanshi points out, with all the patience of an exasperated lover. "Let me… I mean, we can still do this without…"

Suddenly, Tamon is very interested.

"Wait, let me just…" 

Sanshi moves away, squirming around till his pants are off. Tamon, still reclined comfortably, whistles, and Sanshi has half a mind to give him a few pinches in places he would—

Sanshi gets back into position, drawing the sheet around himself in a poor attempt to keep up some facade of modesty. Tamon welcomes him with eager kisses, needy, wanting, and Sanshi doesn't even know when Tamon had the time to lube up a finger before it's at his entrance, sliding in, followed by two, three, four…

 "Ah, ah, ah-"

Sanshi finally has the freedom to moan after Tamon releases his lips, mouth wandering elsewhere, nibbling on his neck, his collarbone, his chest… 

It's— hard to think when— Tamon's fingers keep— going in and out like that, never quite— giving him the depth, the speed— that he wants, but—

Sanshi can't help the lazy whine that escapes his mouth when Tamon withdraws completely, although he's internally mortified at the sound. 

"Come here," Tamon commands, and Sanshi feels his mind clear itself of everything that isn't Tamon, Tamon, Tamon.

Sanshi scoots forward, positioning himself. He'd give Tamon a second to adjust to the change but he needs so badly to have Tamon inside him right now, everything else is put off for later.

Tamon grits his teeth as Sanshi lowers himself, clamping down on the urge to start moving, to create friction immediately. His arms wrap around Sanshi, providing support, allowing…

"Tamon...sama…" Sanshi whispers, eyes still squeezed shut even as he takes Tamon deeper, until there's nothing more to take.

"It's… all in," he gets out, a satisfied grin spreading across his face.

"Sanshi," Tamon warns, voice thick with tension, but Sanshi only smiles wider, blush deepening.

"You feel so good, Tamon-s—"

Tamon crushes their lips together before the little devil can work even more of his charm. For all his reluctance earlier, Sanshi's eager, maybe even more so than Tamon himself. And as much as Tamon would give anything to be able to gently fuck Sanshi properly, maybe trying new things wasn't so bad after all.

Even captured in a kiss, Sanshi doesn't still; he uses his knees to lift himself up a little, and sink back down, slow and steady, setting up a gradual rhythm that Tamonten was sure wasn't supposed to feel anywhere near this frustrating.

Tamon lets one of his hands trail down to Sanshi's ass, stroking from top to bottom until he's cupping it, giving it a squeeze while his other hand teases Sanshi's cock. An eye for an eye, no? 

Sanshi's face twists in surprise, and he can't restrain his hips from thrusting into the touch, almost losing his balance in the process.

"Lie down," Tamon says, his voice rough.

"We can't-"

"Like this," Tamon gestures. He doesn't even need to, really, because he could just gaze a little longer, a little harder and Sanshi's resolve would crumble like a house of cards. "I won't even need to move that much. Lie down."

Sanshi complies, attempting a pout that does nothing to change the blushing mess he'd become. His back is flush against Tamon's chest now, and he's half afraid Tamon might feel his heart thudding away in his ribcage.

Neither of them are in the mood to waste time though. Tamon can still kiss him, if Sanshi tilts his neck a little, and no sooner than they have established that contact, Tamon's hands snake lower, coaxing his legs apart. It had felt deep earlier, but at this angle, it hit the exact spot that made Sanshi forget all reason and just feel .

Of course, he doesn't notice how loud that makes him; moans, curses, Tamon's name all dribble from his mouth indiscriminately.

Tamon doesn't have the patience to take it slow today either. After only a minute exploring, angling, stroking, he props himself higher on the bed and thrusts, Sanshi's frenzied moan only serving as further encouragement.

Sanshi is easy to read - Tamon knows exactly when he's doing it right both by the way Sanshi cries out and the way he clenches down around him. There's a certain pure, delectable satisfaction in reducing this man he loves into an absolute mess, in making him unable to speak anything that's not Tamon's name.

"Ah—"

The edges of his vision are starting to blur as he picks up the pace, conscious only of Sanshi's heat, his presence, his voice. His teeth latch on to various spots along Sanshi's neck and shoulders, leaving crescented love marks along their trail.

Tamon can feel Sanshi arch into him as his climax approaches, can hear him softly curse under his breath, knows he’ll be biting his lip next, and he’s so caught up in everything Sanshi that he barely remembers to pull out as his own orgasm rocks through him, more intense, more vivid than ever before.

His arms find their way around Sanshi out of habit, letting himself slip down to a properly lying-down position. Sanshi’s head fits strangely well in the crook of his neck, and Tamon can’t resist closing his eyes for a while longer, riding out the post-orgasm bliss and Sanshi’s scent, his heavy breathing, his hands now intertwined with his.

Sanshi, breathing still laboured, turns himself over so they face each other. There’s just something inviting about the way he averts his gaze, so naturally Tamonten just has to go in for a quick kiss… only for Sanshi to place his hand in the middle, cutting him off.

“Tamon-sama,” he begins, voice muffled through his hand, “I think you should think more about the fact that you just… did things that shouldn’t be done in an infirmary.”

“I did? By myself?” Tamon questions, propping his head up on an arm, cocking an incredulous eyebrow.

“I mean…! Well, you started it, so…”

“But we both finished, didn’t we?”

“We both-” Sanshi blinks as the gears in his head turn, pinching the bridge of his nose in disappointment. “God darn it, Tamon-sama.”

Tamon laughs, soft, private, and Sanshi can't even find the strength to be angry at him anymore.

"Let's just go apologize really hard to Lord Yakushi and maybe he'll let us off."

"Sanshi?"

"Yes?"

"I don't have any regrets. For you, I'd take that blow twenty, forty, eighty times. So don't blame yourself for what I did."

"I don't… I won't blame anyone. I'll get strong enough to avoid letting this happen again. I swear to you, I will never let any more harm befall you."

"Heh. I'm looking forward to that."

"Yeah. You might actually have to start taking me seriously one of these days."

"But I already… wait, before that, you might want to put your pants back on, I hear..."

“Eh?! You could have-”