“If you hide in the back there you’re not going to earn any money, you know.”
One of the girls at the front turns behind to glare at him, brows knit. Senzou, disguised beneath layers of fine silk, red paint, and white powder, meets her look with indifference.
“There’s someone specific I have my eye on,” he says, voice carefully raised to a feminine timbre, “I’m waiting for him.” He makes a coin-grubbing gesture with his hand that he may as well have picked up from Kirimaru.
“Holding out for a real spender, huh? I hope you realize your price is the same no matter who’s buying. In this profession quantity bests quality.” She crinkles her nose.
She's not particularly pretty, Senzou thinks, so it makes sense that she would say that. She does have the chest to fit the bill, though.
He sighs and hoists himself off his cushion to approach the gate. He curls his manicured fingers over the painted wood, glancing sideways at his ‘colleague’.
“This man, I hear he leaves a particularly generous tip.”
As if summoned by his words, the man in question bumbles into view, and Senzou locks his eyes on him. After hours of waiting, hiding behind the main line-up of prostitutes, his mark had finally appeared, it seems. It's not long before he notices the scent of Senzou’s perfume—a smell he likes very much on a woman. It was no coincidence that Senzou wore it tonight. The wealthy old samurai—samurai in name only, draws his lips up into a smarmy grin.
“My, my. You’re a new face.”
His jowls are practically slick with drool the way he looks at Senzou, but the well-trained ninja expertly hides any signs of the disgust he feels, batting long lashes at his would-be patron instead. He smiles coyly without a word—all the better for himself that this samurai likes his women silent, as Senzou has little interest in conversation with such a dog.
Not that he plans on sleeping with him either; once they're safe behind closed doors he intends to extract the necessary information with as little friction as possible if he can help it. The sake will be the primary agent in achieving this, though he also has some sleeping powder up his sleeve if worse comes to worst. It's imperative that he not use violence; he reiterates in his mind, do not let your mark know he is your mark.
The greasy old man makes for Senzou’s hand and Senzou deftly withdraws from reach, just behind the gate.
“Shy, mm? I like that. What’s your name?” A piggish smile wriggles its way up into the cracks of his craggy face.
The madam, situated on the patrons’ side of the fence, steps in to gesture towards Senzou—or rather towards his female disguise, “This one is Hana. She’s quiet, but very good at what she does I assure you.”
‘Hana’ hides a demure smile behind a trailing sleeve, remaining wordless.
“Just my type.”
A different hand this time had reaches for and curls around Senzou’s wrist before he’s even able to sense it near him. The new patron blatantly ignores the portly samurai he’s pushed aside and gives the madam a winning smile.
“I think I’ll have a go with this one, if it’s all the same to you.”
“H-Hey, she was mine!”
Senzou opens his mouth to offer something of protest as well but quickly shuts it. He has to stay in character, even if some idiot drunk is ruining his plans. He repeats his mantra in his head, do not let—
The younger patron discreetly twists the older man’s arm with an icy smile, “An old dog like you does not want to bark up this tree, trust me.”
Something in his eyes must have struck real fear into the man as he does not protest further when his younger competitor proffers a heavy bag of coins in exchange for Senzou. The madam bows deeply with gratitude.
“Thank you very much for your patronage, Mister Samurai. Hana, please show this gentleman to your room.”
Senzou nods through grit teeth, turning on his heel with a flourish while he leads the wrong man around the gate and back to his quarters.
In his head he calculates how the next events will follow. Fortunately it seems, judging by his bravado and the faint smell of liquor, that this one has already had a bit to drink. A little more alcohol ought to loosen him right up, allowing Senzou to quickly incapacitate him and drag him out into the street. If he hits him hard enough at the precise pressure points the guy probably won't even remember what happened. While it's a setback, he’d already planned in case of something like this—on the off-chance that his target had ended up with another woman, he could still sneak away to eavesdrop and maybe gather at least some intel that way. If anything, he’d been lucky that someone else had bought him first as it will definitely be much easier to slip away from his own room than from out front where—
With the door shut behind them Senzou finds himself immediately being shoved to the futon.
“Let’s get to it then!”
“M-Mister Samurai, you’re too eager,” he sprawls up, willing himself to keep a dainty smile, “please allow me to pour you some sake first!”
“You can call me Rikichi—and no need, I didn’t come here to drink.”
His eyes are like that of a fox.
Rikichi’s dark hair frames his sharp eyes neatly as he grins down on top of Senzou, pinning him down hard to the floor and reaching with haste for Senzou’s obi.
With a similar sense of urgency Senzou shoves him back, reaching with his other hand for the kunai hidden in the folds of his kimono. He traces the hilt of it strapped to his thigh, just out of Rikichi’s line of sight. Wait for it, any moment…
He forces another smile. “Please, Rikichi, I insist. We shouldn’t waste such a fine bottle of wine…”
He gestures to the bottle with a twist of his neck and Rikichi turns his head on cue to follow—Senzou takes this opportunity to drive up his kunai. Without even turning his head, Rikichi catches Senzou’s hand, pulling it back painfully until Senzou's forced to drop the blade.
“Well, aren’t you the little entertainer, is this included in my fee?” his eyes narrow into wild slits, a laugh just beginning to form in his throat when Senzou makes for the sake bottle to smash it over Rikichi’s head.
Only it smashes into the floor instead, Rikichi rolling nimbly onto his back and pulling Senzou on top of him. He slaps a hand over Senzou’s ass with a barking laugh and Senzou in turn scowls with all his might.
“I suppose you’re still going to charge me for the wine.”
“It’s on the house.” Senzou sneers, dusting away the shards with an errant hand; just in case he should wind up on his back again, he’d rather not be met with a broken bottle. He digs his knees into Rikichi’s sides, reaching for another kunai—he curses that he couldn’t bring his beloved explosives in a place like this, but that would hardly be covert. He makes a clean swipe only to be deflected by his own first kunai, which had apparently found its way into Rikichi’s hand when he hadn’t been looking.
“You’re not an ordinary samurai, are you.”
“To be fair, you’re not exactly standard as far as prostitutes go.”
“You’re a ninja.”
At that, Rikichi gleams, “Hate to break it to you, but I’m not here on business tonight—I’m just here to blow off steam like any other man here.”
Senzou’s thin eyebrows pull together in disgust. “You may not be on the job, but you’re currently interrupting mine. So, if you’ll excuse me.”
The room explodes in a puff of smoke, followed by a fit of coughs. Senzou holds the loosened collar of his borrowed kimono tightly over his nose and mouth until the cloud begins to dissipate. With the continuous flapping of his sleeve he manages to usher most of the sleeping powder out to the veranda and slide the screen door shut again.
He huffs, a little mentally exhausted from dealing with this fellow but still wired from the short burst of adrenaline. But it's over now, he thinks, looking scrutinously at Rikichi’s stupid sleeping face where he lay defenseless, sprawled out on the floor. What a lout.
Senzou sheds his robes, which had become a mess after some struggling—and a lot of grabbing and prying on Rikichi’s part. No matter; it would be a waste of time and effort to straighten them again and besides they aren’t exactly easy to sneak around in. The clothes he has underneath, while a bit scant, are significantly easier to move in.
Deciding he has no more time to spare with Rikichi (whether he ties him up or not, Senzou has a nagging suspicion he would be gone by the time he returned, which suits Senzou just fine) he heads toward the hall in search of his target. He slides open the door.
“Sleeping powder, hm? That’s a pretty cheap move.”
He slides it shut and holds it. With both hands.
Senzou’s heart pounds violently. He shakes his head, not yet daring to look over his shoulder. That couldn’t have been Rikichi on the other side of the screen, because Rikichi is unconscious on the floor behind him.
He's unconscious—on the floor—
He allows himself a peek over his shoulder. He finds nothing there, save for a rumpled futon, a discarded kimono, and a broken bottle.
Damn. He’d been too hasty.
Had he stopped to tidy the room before he left—something he knows he should have done regardless to avoid drawing suspicion—he would have noticed that the seemingly peacefully sleeping man had been an illusion. He hates to admit it but Rikichi had gotten him flustered. He'd messed up.
Rikichi’s voice comes muffled but audible on the other side of the door, lowered just above a whisper, “You have a few choices here, Hana. I can break down this door, or yell loudly that the woman I paid good money for has me locked out of her room—both of which would cause a scene and further complicate your work—”
Senzou grits his teeth.
“—or you can be a good girl and let me in.”
Senzou reluctantly opens the door for Rikichi and shuts it after him a beat later.
They resume their struggle as if it had never stopped, Senzou finding it thankfully easier to fight at least now that he's free of restrictive clothes. Rikichi parries his punches and kicks with irritating ease, ending with a tight, twisting grip on Senzou’s calf mid-kick that causes him to dangle helplessly at an awkward angle to avoid a sprain.
Senzou looks up at Rikichi with fire in his eyes. Rikichi, upside-down to Senzou’s vision, gives him an impish grin.
“Is this fun for you?”
“Admit that it’s fun for you too.”
Senzou laughs breathlessly, “I’m a man, you know.”
He hadn’t expected Rikichi to laugh so loud at that, though he knows how desperate it must have sounded to bring that up now. Obviously Rikichi would have noticed it already, after all, that he wasn’t a woman. His cheeks burn a little with embarrassment.
“I’m not looking for a wife. For what I want, man or woman is fine with me.”
Senzou feels a burning somewhere in his stomach at this, eyes widening a little. He hoists up his other leg in a sharp kick, twisting his torso midair and finally managing to land a clean hit on Rikichi’s face. Though he, too, falls in the process, he manages to land nimbly on all fours and feels an unsuppressible swell of pride watching Rikichi stagger backward for a moment.
Rikichi touches his cheek where Senzou’s foot had smacked him hard, and smirks, still bracing himself against the wall after stumbling. With a spirited growl he lunges at Senzou, more than willing to make a game out of this. Senzou springs back on his wrists and flips just out of Rikichi’s reach, the older ninja finding himself grasping at empty air instead. He quickly recovers, however, kicking out a leg to trip Senzou, who only barely manages to leap up in time to avoid it. He can evade, but he can't seem to get the upper hand.
“What’s your name? How old are you?” Rikichi asks—seemingly innocuous questions but Senzou can’t help but find something patronizing in his tone. He refuses to dignify him with an answer.
As Rikichi leaps to his feet, Senzou reaches for his last hidden kunai and flings it towards him in a desperate last resort. He may as well have outright handed it to Rikichi, who catches it effortlessly by the hilt and has it pointed at Senzou’s throat in a matter of moments. Senzou lifts his chin to distance himself from the blade, feeling the wall at his back, mussing up his hair. Even with his head tilted back, his eyes do not dare unlock themselves from Rikichi’s. A thin smile spreads over his pale features, lips still painted red. He waits for Rikichi to claim his prize.
Instead he hears the thunk of a blade hitting the tatami—he looks down to see Rikichi’s extended hand that had thrown it there, and blinks in confusion.
“As you said, I’m a ninja, not a samurai.” He steps back, turning his back on a slightly stunned Senzou. “And we shinobi aren't really in the trade of using brute force to get what we want.”
Rikichi smiles to himself, and though Senzou can't see the smile from where he stands, he does see him reach up and touch his own cheek where Senzou had kicked him. “I guess I still was able to blow off a little steam this way anyhow—“
Senzou grabs Rikichi by the shoulder and kisses him hard on the mouth.
Maybe it's the adrenaline, or the frustration, or something about the environment that they're currently in—or maybe as much as he doesn’t want to admit it, Rikichi's just ridiculously handsome and irritatingly charismatic. Either way, Senzou lets his body go on autopilot and his hands do the talking. Rikichi certainly seems in no hurry to stop him. He grabs Senzou by the waist and digs his fingers in, his other hand trailing up the younger ninja’s chest, to his neck, and eventually his jaw. He tips Senzou’s head back to mouth at his exposed white neck, some of the remnants of Senzou’s red lipstick now smeared on his own lips and leaving proof the of hungry kisses he’d left in smudged, red marks.
Rikichi hoists him up by his ass in both hands and Senzou wraps his legs lithely around his waist, arms around his neck, sucking in a breath when his back hits the wall and tightening his grip. He lifts his lips to put them full on Senzou’s again, licking them open with a fervor. A little to Senzou’s surprise, Rikichi starts laughing halfway through the kiss.
“Is this okay? Your target’s getting away.”
Not that Rikichi’s eyes show any signs of letting Senzou get away, either.
Senzou’s eyes are just as unyielding.
With his back tightly pressed to the wall and one arm still hooked under his ass for leverage, Rikichi's able to free a hand and slide it into Senzou’s shirt, fingering at his ribs and stroking the smooth skin of his taut stomach. Senzou tenses at the touch, biting his bottom lip, which Rikichi quickly steals from him between his own teeth. Senzou’s lips are bitten red now, whatever paint had been on them long-since licked away, or smeared elsewhere on his skin where Rikichi’s lips had served to transfer it. His mouth falls open, shiny and wet and in need of breath. Senzou feels himself crushed between Rikichi’s rough hands and the wall, between a thick, warm body and cold, wooden beams.
Rikichi groans, torn between setting Senzou down to tend to his own nagging erection, or sinking into the heaven that was Senzou’s perfect thighs squeezing around his waist and a good handful of his perky ass. The former eventually takes precedence. Senzou jolts when Rikichi practically drops him, quickly finding his feet only to be dragged down to the futon. Rikichi pushes him on his back, bracing himself over Senzou with one arm, looming over him with hungry eyes while simultaneously palming at his groin through his pants. It almost pleases Senzou to see Rikichi debase himself like an impatient, wild animal if not for the fact that his body aches to have those hands back on him, touching him.
“Take off your clothes,” Rikichi breathes, sitting back on his haunches to do the same. There's a moment in which the room is filled only with the sound of rustling fabric—prolonged a bit by the fact that it proves somewhat difficult to undress without looking, neither of them able to fully tear their eyes from one another. But Senzou doen’t mind the detour, admiring the unveiling of Rikichi’s toned body in a manner that's probably not discreet. There's a decent-sized cut on Rikichi’s shoulder that still seems pretty fresh—if he truly is off the job, he had been at it recently.
Rikichi lowers himself over Senzou again to nip at his newly exposed skin. There are scars of course, signs of a true shinobi, but they're healed and resilient and no less beautiful than any other part of his pearlescent skin. Rikichi drags his tongue and teeth over the parts where the bones jut out, or the scars ran jagged—over all his sexy imperfections. He teases at the soft, invisible hairs below Senzou’s navel with his fingertips while wrapping the other hand around his own erection. He lets out a small sigh of relief as if some of the tension is immediately released by even the smallest amount of contact.
“You would be suited for this line of work, you know.” Rikichi grins against Senzou’s hip bone, the low vibrations in his throat tickling Senzou’s skin. He finds he likes very much the way Senzou’s cold exterior chips away with every nip at his skin.
“A ninja—is suited for—for any kind of work.” He covers his face, “That’s—what it means—to be a ninja.”
While he’d been busy talking he hadn’t noticed Rikichi’s hand slip between his legs. He feels Rikichi’s thumb drag up the bottom of his cock from base to tip and a shiver rolls through him. Rikichi wraps his fingers around and starts a steady rhythm going, meanwhile spitting into his other hand and lowering it to Senzou’s ass.
“Ah—” Senzou hesitates, thighs closing together shyly around Rikichi’s hands. Rikichi stops.
Senzou's a little surprised that he would ask. For some reason he finds that embarrassing.
“Um, no…it’s fine.” He lays his head back down, covering his blushing face, “You can keep going.”
He thinks he heard Rikichi chuckle but doesn't brave a glance at him, shutting his eyes tight and letting out a deep exhale as Rikichi slowly works him open. He starts to hum when he seems to soften up around Rikichi’s fingers and take them in willingly. Rikichi wants to purr sweet, teasing words at Senzou but his throat feels full and thick and all that makes its way out is a low growl. He picks up the pace and Senzou moves his hips freely with the rhythm of Rikichi’s fingers, feeling himself relax as desire bubbles deep in his belly.
“Rikichi…” He savors the name on his tongue.
“What’s your name?” Rikichi laughs gently, as though he's asking a child. There's something about it that makes Senzou feel shameful. Maybe it has something to do with this man’s fingers rubbing around incessantly inside his ass.
His cheeks burn red as he casts his gaze down and to the side, “Tachibana Senzou.”
“I see where the ‘Hana’ comes from.”
Senzou continues to avoid eye contact. He's grateful Rikichi's preparing him properly but he doesn’t like this quiet, pseudo-gentle atmosphere.
As if having read his mind—at this point Senzou would only be half-surprised if Rikichi could read minds—he angles his fingers and pushes hard against something inside Senzou that makes him twist and gasp. It's almost uncomfortable, that much pleasure at once, and whatever Rikichi's doing to him, he's doing it repeatedly. Wave after wave shook through his body. Senzou hears himself make a sound he probably had never made before in his life, clawing at the tatami and wrinkled blanket beneath him.
“G-Get on with it already.” He gasps, feeling sticky with sweat. His hair's a mess, he knows, and clings to his neck and back.
Senzou sits up, looking a little dazed and bemused before Rikichi grabs him by the waist and hoists him on top of him. He pulls him down into a heavy kiss, biting at his lips and digging his nails into Senzou’s back. He rubs his thumbs over Senzou’s hipbones, earning a little shiver from him. The younger shinobi feels the distinct hard slide of Rikichi's thick, slippery cock between the cleft of Senzou's ass and his own stomach. Rikichi stills only after he's sure he's teased Senzou just a little, just enough.
Senzou’s black eyes meet Rikichi’s which flicker like sunlight through amber. Sheets of shiny black hair fall down on either side of them, spilling over Senzou’s ghostly pale shoulders.
“I paid for you, after all. Why don’t you give me a show?”
A devious smile spills out of Rikichi like a poorly kept secret until it's plain as day on his horrible, beautiful face.
Senzou wants to tell him he was the worst. But he doesn’t.
Without any word at all he sinks down on Rikichi’s lap. He closes his eyes and allows the pain to split through him, leaving in the form of a soft sigh from his trembling lips. Rikichi hisses out a ragged breath at how good Senzou feels closing around him, tight and hot, sinking down onto him. He watches Senzou’s pretty little eyelids flutter open and shut, watches his chest rise and fall as he gets accustomed to the shape and weight of Rikichi inside him.
Probably sooner than feels good for him—definitely sooner than Rikichi had expected him to, Senzou begins to move.
Yeah. This is good. This is blowing off steam.
Like sinking into a hot bath, but better. A thousand times better. Though a bath with Senzou sounds nice, too. Rikichi thinks he's probably in love with Senzou—at least for the next however many minutes or so that he's about spend inside of him before they both go back to their lives and work and never see or even thinks of one another again. Suits him just fine. He would agree to anything at this point so long as Senzou promised never to stop doing what he was doing.
Senzou's getting really into it, too. He rolls his hips with more vigor than he thinks he has left in him, the thin curves of his body undulating like waves of the sea. He likes the way it hurts, the way it's hard to breathe as though the room has a limited supply of oxygen, the way he can’t tell if he's talking out loud or if his thoughts are all just too loud on his head—and what even are his thoughts, anyway? That it feels good. That he wants Rikichi. That his hair is a mess. That his body's on fire. He wonders if he was giving Rikichi a good show. He can’t even tell if his own eyes are opened or closed.
They go at it for a while. Rikichi thinks he’d be content to let Senzou ride him all the way but he finds his hips bucking up anyway. Who's breathing harder, him or Senzou? He doesn't know.
The younger ninja is a vision on top of him, flushed beautifully pink from his cheeks down to his chest and hunched over to steady himself as he bounces on Rikichi’s hips. He trembles down to his very fingertips which splay out over Rikichi’s taut abdomen. Rikichi pants and sighs under the weight of Senzou clinging unsteadily to him, brow creased and laden with sweat. He can feel Senzou’s silky black hair tickling his arms as it curtains them both. He doesn't want it to end but he's getting close.
“Get off.” He says suddenly, pulling out just in time to come, milking his orgasm into his hand with a deep, contented sigh. Senzou feels empty and a little left behind but Rikichi finishes him off, still panting, spent from his own orgasm while dutifully leading Senzou to his with hurried but careful strokes. Senzou's mouth opens and closes prettily, as if wanting to stop Rikichi as he edges closer to the peak but being unable to find the words. At last he comes with an uncharacteristically cute hiccup of a sob. Rikichi smiles in satisfaction before laying back on the futon, sprawling out on his back.
Senzou scowls at him.
“I just got you off and you’re frowning at me?” Rikichi asks with more mild curiosity than hurt, too lazy to budge from where he lay.
“You’re just going to lay there and not help with the cleanup?” comes Senzou’s breathless response.
“I’m basking. That’s what you do after sex—you bask in the afterglow. You can clean up later.”
Senzou ignores him with a snort, and reaches for something to wipe off with. “Maybe that’s what you do. I like to be clean. Besides, I have work to do. If I time it right I can still salvage this.”
Rikichi smirks, too spent to laugh outright, or he would have. He admires the view from the floor as Senzou gets dressed. “Right. Work. How could I not be thinking of work at a time like this.”
“You should take your job more seriously.”
Rikichi doesn’t bother responding. He does, but work is work—and this is play.
“...You can stay here if you want, until I return.”
Rikichi quirks a brow. He hadn’t expected that. “Oh? You wanna give it another go when you’re done?”
He's only half kidding. Senzou flushes momentarily and shpots him a razor-sharp look.
“It’s of no consequence to me whether you stay or go.” He ties up his hair and tosses it over his shoulder with a flourish. “But, when I’m finished I might need to blow off some steam.”