Chapter: 2 - Two of Wands
Pairing: Sanzo/Hakkai (mention of Sanzo/OFC)
Summary: Cho Gonou enters Sanzo's life, turning it upside down. Sanzo needs to cope with the aftermath.
A/N: Written for the 78_tarot LJ community. Betas: lirannutian and darkfire_blade <3
Disclaimer: All of these characters belong to Kazuya Minekura. This is written purely for my own entertainment and hopefully that of others. Tarot cards can have complex meanings. I've picked the elements that best benefited the characters and storyline.
Even though Gonou was technically under his supervision, Sanzo had made it clear he didn't expect him to report back at the temple at regular times; making sure not to sound too eager. Weeks passed in familiar routine. Long enough for Goku to stop asking when Gonou would come to see them, everyday; almost long enough to pretend the whole incident had never happened. Almost.
Nights were always murder. As Sanzo lay in bed with too much time to think. When dreams would come without asking. All revolving around one man. Sometimes Sanzo fought tooth and nail, burying himself in work and beer, hoping the inevitable exhausting would let him simply pass out. Sometimes Sanzo gave in to the physical demand of his body, stroking himself hard and fast in feverish pursuit of freedom from this obsession.
He hoped that his weakness would at least appease his unnatural longing. But it never did. Not for long anyway. Sanzo found himself wishing to see the youkai again. He would look up from his newspaper and find that hours had passed without getting past the first page. His mind was continuously sidetracked by flash memories of Gonou; a kaleidoscope of images of the short time they'd spend together.
When Gonou did turn up at the temple, it was a shock. Not just to see him again, but also to see who he had brought along: the unfortunately all too familiar irritating half-Kappa. Now including a stupid haircut. Goku was ecstatic. Sanzo's mind couldn't decide between happiness and terror and in the end gave up and blanked out, leaving Sanzo sullen and chain-smoking. Gonou looked cheerful, quite unlike the resigned young man Sanzo had escorted weeks before.
Gonou announced his change of name, something Sanzo could understand. A symbolic break with the past and all that. But the new name didn't sit right. Gonou was the man he'd first met, Gonou was the man he'd spent time with; if only for a short while. Gonou was the man he'd pleaded for. Had this new Hakkai broken with that too? And why on earth was it that that thought scared him so much?
More shocking was his announced change in accommodations. Through narrowed eyes Sanzo observed the familiarity between the two. The way Gojyo would put his arm around Hakkai, who looked perfectly content having it there. The way Hakkai smiled indulgently at the redhead's smart assed remarks. Hakkai seemed….happy.
Envy lodged itself uncomfortably in his chest. A feeling Sanzo didn't at all appreciate. Even seeing Hakkai bow down to ruffle Goku's hair sent a stab through his heart. Surely he'd gone off into the deep end now: feeling jealous of Goku. He shook his head, lit another cigarette and insulted Gojyo for good measure. None of which really made him fell much better.
Even though he wasn't sure his stomach could stand any food right now, Sanzo grudgingly accepted the invitation for lunch. Besides, Sanzo was hesitant to leave Hakkai with Gojyo and Goku. And Goku seemed more than eager to spend some more time with their two new acquaintances, which was probably a good thing. It wasn't like Goku had a lot of people to hang out with.
The inn they settled on was relatively quiet and the extensive menu meant Goku was occupied for at least ten minutes deciding what to pick. Sanzo nursed his beer and cigarette. Across from him Gojyo was doing much the same. Hakkai was the only one trying to hold polite conversation. The fact that nobody responded didn't seem to deter him from the endeavor. Once food had arrived the silence was soon filled with offers of, or requests for sharing and an endless stream of Goku's food critiques. Sanzo stayed quiet and picked his food, trying hard to untie the knot in his stomach.
Over the rim of his glass he studied Hakkai trying to teach Goku the various origins of the food they were having. Goku seemed a lot more interested in shoving as much as possible of it into his mouth than the ancestry of it. Even though his lessons were obviously wasted - a fact gleefully pointed out by Gojyo - Hakkai didn't seem disheartened, but continued with the same patience as before. Sanzo observed him with a feeling of unease. There was an eagerness to please about Hakkai's manner that reminded Sanzo sharply of Gonou. Hakkai might think he started with a clean slate, but it was all too….mechanical. Like if Sanzo would touch his skin, it would be cold.
In the midst of his absorption, Sanzo suddenly got the eerie feeling he was being watched. He looked over and found Gojyo leaning back in his chair and eyeing him intently. A bolt of terror shot through him. Could he tell? Gojyo made a knowing grin that made Sanzo want to shoot him between the eyes right then. Sanzo stood up abruptly, the legs of his chair scraping over the floor. He mumbled something about needing the bathroom and made a quick escape. In the bathroom he splashed some cold water on his face and fought off the onset of panic. He breathed in deeply and slowly. Of course Gojyo couldn't know, he told himself. Unsurprisingly, a pervert like Gojyo would assume the same from everybody. That was all it was.
Once he'd composed himself, he exited the bathroom, made his excuses, thanked Hakkai for the company, grabbed Goku and dragged him along out the door. Ignoring Goku's protests, he returned to the temple and locked himself in his room.
He cursed his fingers for shaking as he lit a cigarette. How long was this going to take? He had hoped these few weeks would have been time enough for his desires to calm down, but seeing Hakkai again had proved him wrong. He couldn't avoid seeing Hakkai forever. In fact, Sanzo didn't even want to think about that. He just needed a way to get these other feelings under control. It was now clear to him these feelings would not disappear by simply acts of self gratification. His body obviously longed for more, a longing that was confusing his mind with the wrong images.
He needed a woman.
After all, he was twenty. It was about time. He'd probably simply waited too long. Now that he thought about it, it made perfect sense. A feeling of relief washed over him. A solution was within his grasp. Of course he knew about the West gate. Every temple had a place where monks discreetly went to seek the occasional diversion. At Keiun it was just outside the West gate where there was a quiet side path leading to the village. He could go tonight and it would all be over by tomorrow.
Sanzo smoked away the hours till nightfall, trying to stay calm and prepare himself. He couldn't very well go in his priest robes. For a moment he contemplated whether one of Goku's baggy shirts would fit him, be immediately discarded the idea. His jeans and top would have to do. He left off the distinctive arm warmers. He stood before the mirror and fruitlessly tried to get his fringe to cover his Chakra. Looking at himself, his stomach churned in distaste. It had to be done, he told himself and turned away.
He slipped out a few hours after sundown, finding his way by the light of the moon. It wasn't before long he noticed other shadows moving in the same direction. Sanzo hung back until he was sure the coast was clear and slipped out the gate. He stood there, trying not to pay too much attention to the rustling in the bushes around him and feeling very self-conscious. A girl walked by, giving him only a sideways glance. How would he know when to approach someone? Maybe she was just on her way home. Unlikely, considering the hour, but an embarrassing mistake to make. A second girl walked by, paying him no attention, crossing another girl coming the other way. With so many girls about, he was obviously in the right spot. It wasn't until the third girl was only a few yards away that Sanzo recognized her as being the same as the first one he'd seen.
"Still here?" the girl asked as she stopped in front of him.
"Hey, you're not a baldy…" she remarked surprised. Clearly they were used to clientele from the temple. "First time?"
"How much?" Sanzo asked.
"Not much of a talker, huh?" the girl continued in her sultry voice, obviously intended for seduction.
"How much?" Sanzo asked again, wanting to get it over with rather sooner than later. The girl said a price. Sanzo paid it.
"Come with me," the girl said after she had stuffed the money down the side of her shoe. They walked side by side till the girl tucked his shirt and led him off the road into some nearby bushes. Before Sanzo had a chance to say anything, the girl had dropped to her knees and opened his fly. Sanzo stared off into the distance. This was it. Soon it'd be over and he'd be rid of whatever it was that had gotten into him and everything would be back to normal.
"Nervous?" the girl asked, drawing his attention back down. She had his cock in her hand. "Let me get you to relax." Before Sanzo could look away the girl spread her lips and put the head of his cock into her mouth. Sanzo groaned, more from shock than anything else. Was this supposed to feel good? His cock twitched and hardened, obviously enjoying the attention, but Sanzo's mind was screaming. This isn't right.
He pushed the girl away. "Forget it."
The girl smiled, her lips moist with spit. "Just wait and see. You'll like it." She made a move to continue her work, but Sanzo pushed her back again, toppling her backwards on the ground. The girl's smile was gone as she got back on her feet. "Suit yourself," she mumbled as she dusted herself off. Sanzo tried to tuck himself back into his jeans.
"I'll be here tomorrow if you change your mind."
Sanzo didn't reply and didn't look back.
He hurried back to his room and fell down on the bed. His cock was still painfully trapped inside his jeans. With a sigh Sanzo released it. He recalled the warm wetness of the girls mouth. Physically, he couldn't deny it had been an enjoyable sensation. He spit in his hand and guided it over his erection. He closed his eyes. Hakkai's lips. He purposefully slowed down his strokes. Hakkai's mouth. He tightened his fist, finally letting himself go into the fantasy. Hakkai's eyes looking up at him. His balls tightened. Hakkai sitting between his legs, sucking his cock. With a strangled cry he came.
Sanzo's panting echoed in the silent darkness. He sat frozen, his hand covered in sticky cold semen, the image still reeling in his mind. How could he? This was the kind of things perverts wanted. The kind of men who made crude propositions, even when Sanzo had been too young to understand them. The kind of men who had tried to touch him, even when he'd said no. The kind of men he'd killed.
How could he have turned into one of them?
Cautiously Sanzo recalled the image. Now that he was taking his time, the image was even more vivid. He could see Hakkai looking up at him through his new monocle, his hands holding apart Sanzo's thighs, his tongue quickly wetting his lips before taking Sanzo into his mouth…
Sanzo groaned out loud. There was no mistaken the desire. Did all men feel this way? Did some simply hide it better than others? It wasn't like Sanzo could ever ask anyone. He'd sooner shoot himself. He tried to be disgusted, but every time he pictured Hakkai, his body yearned unmistakably. He curled up on the bed, hoping sleep would put him out of his misery.
Over the coming weeks, thoughts of Hakkai were a constant presence in the back of Sanzo's mind. It was distracting him so much, even Goku began asking if he was feeling all right. At first Sanzo hoped furiously to see Hakkai again. The need was raw and painful, scaring Sanzo so much he began to wish it would take a long time before seeing Hakkai again.
He was going through his cigarettes at an alarming rate. His appetite deserted him and the extra leftover food was enough to keep Goku distracted and off his back. Most of the time he couldn't be bothered with the work at the temple, other times his buried himself in it. Once or twice when he came across a pleasing looking monk or acolyte, Sanzo tried to picture them like he had Hakkai. But none of them elicited the same response.
In the end it were the cigarettes that broke the deadlock. He needed to go into town to buy more. They had barely set food inside the village before Goku began begging to visit Gojyo and Hakkai. So inevitably, after Sanzo had completed his shopping, he found himself in front of Gojyo's familiar doorstep. Sanzo tried very hard to suppress the feeling of nervous nausea as he knocked on the door.
Sanzo had a strange sensation of deja-vu as Gojyo answered the door. "Look who's here," the redhead called back, soon followed by the appearance of Hakkai. Sanzo tried very hard not to look Gojyo in the eyes as he shoved passed him and entered on Hakkai's invitation. Goku practically jumped into Hakkai's arms, while Sanzo mumbled something about being in the neighborhood. Hakkai ushered them to the table where within seconds a beer and a clean astray appeared.
The place had certainly improved from the last time Sanzo had been there. There was a noticeable lack of Gojyo's mess, the kitchen had acquired a few more pots and pans and it had actually been vacuumed within the last week. It only took a minute before Goku started asking for food. Hakkai laughed, the sound filling Sanzo with a tingly sensation that made him look up and meet Hakkai's eyes. There was a warmth there that seemed to have taken even Hakkai by surprised, disappearing immediately and replaced by Hakkai's casual smile. Sanzo tried to imprint the moment before it was lost completely. He wondered if this was what the old Gonou had been like. The Gonou Sanzo had never met.
"Can I, Sanzo?"
Sanzo blinked and found Goku looking at him expectantly. Sanzo had no idea why and surmised he must have missed part of the conversation. Hakkai must have noticed his confusion and explained. "I need to go food shopping. You don't mind if Goku comes with me, do you?"
"Suit yourself," Sanzo grumbled, embarrassed to be caught daydreaming. It wasn't till after he said it that Sanzo realized this would leave him with Gojyo. Could he insist to go with them? But that would only seem like he wanted to stay near Hakkai. Damn, Gojyo probably already thought this whole visit was an excuse. And he had nothing to buy anyway. Maybe it was better he pretended not to care either way.
After Goku and Hakkai had left, Sanzo grabbed the nearest newspaper and settled into his best 'not to be disturbed' pose, hoping it would deter Gojyo from trying to make any conversation. Of course that would be too much to ask. The moment the door closed, Gojyo settled himself in the chair across from him and asked, "Checking up on him?"
"I don't have to. I'm sure he's well behaved." Sanzo didn't move from behind the newspaper, clinging to the hope Gojyo would take the hint.
"But you want to?"
"What?" Sanzo asked with a sigh, desperate to stall this conversation. But of course the redhead remained persistent
"Check up on him."
"I have no idea what you mean." Sanzo put the paper down. It was starting to look foolish pretending to read when he obviously wasn't. And either way Gojyo clearly didn't care. Abandoning his failed 'not-to-be-disturbed' pose, Sanzo tried his 'end-of-conversation' stare. Gojyo simply smiled.
"Look man, you can't hide it from me. You want him. I know that look in your eyes." Now that he had Sanzo's attention, Gojyo leaned back relaxed, "I've seen it many times myself."
"Tsk. Don't flatter yourself."
"Whatever." Gojyo waved his cigarette dismissively. "I don't hear you denying it."
"I don't want…," Sanzo began. But what was it that he could deny? He did want to see Hakkai. Desperately. It were these uncontrolled emotions upsetting his life he didn't want. But he sure as hell wasn't going to tell Gojyo that.
"See," Gojyo said with a smug smile when Sanzo didn't finish. Under any other circumstances Sanzo would have pulled his gun on a face like that. But looking at Gojyo it suddenly hit him that right now Gojyo was the only other person on earth that knew how he felt. Although Sanzo hated to admit it, it drained some of his anxiety. Then he realized that from now on every time he was in Hakkai's presence, Gojyo would be luring over his shoulder; or worse, might say something to Hakkai about it and undoubtedly totally misrepresent the situation.
"Just shut up," he grumbled.
"So you're human," Gojyo shrugged. "Live with it."
"What's it to you, anyway?
"Hey, I saved this ass and I live with the guy. Let's just say I take an interest."
Sanzo must have given him a particularly deadly glare, because the redhead raised his hands in defense. "Jealous?" he asked mockingly. "Damn, you've got it bad, baldy." Gojyo shook his head. "Don't worry, I'm not into dudes."
Heat rose to Sanzo's cheeks. "I'm not!" he bit out. He didn't want think Gojyo he was that way. Because he wasn't. Or he hadn't. It was just Hakkai. And it must be a mistake. Damn, why was Gojyo making this all more confusing?
"Yeah, like I said, whatever." Gojyo took a last drag of his cigarette and dropped the butt in the ashtray. He leaned closer to Sanzo conspiratorially. "Now Hakkai, who knows? I don't mind his business, if you know what I mean."
In all this time, the question whether Hakkai might reciprocate his feelings had not even entered Sanzo's mind. Sanzo would readily shoot any man trying to touch him like that. How could Hakkai possibly want to?
"Then again, he did sleep with his sister, so I guess he's hardly prudish."
Prudish? Sanzo was surprised Gojyo even knew the word. Is that what he was? Gojyo didn't have a clue. He thought it was all just normal. He probably assumed everything was normal. Maybe it was for him. Right now, Sanzo hated him for it. "Shut up. You don’t know anything."
"All I'm saying is, I like Hakkai. So, you know, whatever you do, you better not hurt him, cos I'll kick your skinny ass if you do."
The relative proximity of Gojyo's face made it easier for Sanzo to jam his gun up Gojyo's nose. "Don't. Push. It," Sanzo growled. Gojyo slowly leaned back. The irritating half-smile still on his face, but at least he'd shut up. Sanzo pocketed his gun and lit a cigarette. For the remainer of the wait, both men smoked in thankful silence.
It didn't take much longer for Goku and Hakkai to return with the groceries. Lunch itself was a noisy affair, but then Sanzo was used to having Goku at the table. Hakkai didn't seem to mind and kept refilling Goku plate. Gojyo kept on a running conversation with Hakkai, Goku or no one in particular, constantly joking or commenting. In all the bustle, Sanzo found himself comfortably overlooked.
For all their opposites, Gojyo and Hakkai seemed settled into some sort of a routine together. Sanzo's eyes followed Hakkai as he took away the pans and plates and balanced them like a trained waiter, taking them into the kitchen. Gojyo's words kept playing in his mind. Hakkai, who knows? But contemplating the possibility Hakkai might have feelings like these too didn't make him feel any better. It only intensified the burn in his stomach. Sanzo pushed his plate away and lit another cigarette.
Next to him a debate between Gojyo and Goku about the relative merits of the Shakujou versus the Nyoi-Bo was heating up. Sanzo hadn't been paying much attention, until Gojyo proposed to 'take it outside' to decide the argument. Hakkai was trying to calm things down, but Gojyo seemed adamant and Goku was more than eager to prove the Kappa wrong. Sanzo felt his stomach drop. That damn Kappa! Sanzo was seething inside as Gojyo got up from the table. He met Sanzo's death glare with a wink, proving yet again that instinct is always right and Sanzo should have shot him the first chance he had.
With Gojyo and Goku gone and Sanzo not eating anyway, Hakkai began cleaning the table. He had drawn up his sleeves. Sanzo noticed the muscles in his arms as Hakkai scrubbed down the table. Hakkai was definitely not as delicate as he would first appear. Sanzo shifted uncomfortably.
"How are things here?" Sanzo asked after a minute or so.
"Fine, thank you," Hakkai answered. "How are things at the temple?".
"Fine," Sanzo answered. He thought of anything he might add, but came up empty. He wasn't used to discussing his daily routine with anyone. He had never needed to. The ensuing silence was accentuated by the sounds of Hakkai's cleaning. Sanzo didn't want it to be like this - this awkwardness. Never before was he so aware of his own complete social inadequacy. And for the first time he didn't want to be this way.
Whatever it was, he was going to have to do this. He had to sort himself out of this mess and Hakkai was a part of it. He could no longer deny that. Sanzo took a deep breath. "Goku needs a tutor," he said, looking up to gauge Hakkai's reaction.
"I'd love to," Hakkai answered warmly. "I'll come by next week."
Sanzo released the breath he'd been holding. He'd never been more unsure of what he was doing. But whatever it was, he was sick running from it. It was a perfect excuse. It would make Goku happy and he could keep seeing Hakkai without looking suspicious. He could take it one week at a time and see what happened…
A/N: Two of Wands: division, a choice, instinct, direction.
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