Title: So a Youkai Walks Into a Bar...

Author: baka_gaijin
Warnings: none
Pairings: implied Gojyo/Hakkai/Banri
Disclaimers: I know absolutely nothing about the Burial Arc, so I don't think there would be any spoilers. And this is completely un-beta'd, as usual.

Hakkai walked into the bar, eyes roaming over the crowd. He wondered for the hundredth time: 'Why am I here? What difference does it make what Gojyo's doing? Or with who?' The note on the kitchen table had been short and scrawled in Gojyo's unmistakable hand: "Gone to play poker with Banri. Back later." Hakkai suppressed a snarl as he thought of it.

And then he saw him. Gojyo. Sitting at a poker table. And that bastard, Banri, standing right behind him. Standing so close his chest was pressed up against Gojyo's back. He had one hand possessively on Gojyo's shoulder, his mouth right up against the red-head's ear. He was saying something and they were both laughing. Gojyo tipped his head back just a fraction, almost as if he were leaning into Banri. It was an intimate gesture, although Gojyo probably didn't have a clue.

Hakkai schooled his features and strode towards the table. Banri caught sight of him first and he gave Hakkai a wicked smile. He didn't move his head away from Gojyo's, but instead said something that caused the half-youkai to look up and meet Hakkai's eyes.

"Hey, Hakkai! Whatcha doing here? Come on and join us!" Gojyo's smile was genuine.

"He's glad to see me," thought Hakkai, with satisfaction. He saw Banri's face cloud over for a split second, giving him even more satisfaction.

Banri stood and tipped his head ever so slightly, acknowledging Hakkai. His hand remained on Gojyo's shoulder.

Hakkai nodded minutely at the youkai and then smiled at Gojyo.

"Gojyo, pardon me for interrupting, but could I speak with you for a moment?" His voice was calm, but Gojyo noticed the tension in his body.

Gojyo stood up. "Sure Hakkai. What's up?"

"Do you mind if we step outside?"

"Hey, Gojyo, I thought we were going to play cards?" Banri had slung his arm over Gojyo's shoulder and he gave the red-head a wink. "Hakkai, whatever it is, it can wait. I'll send him home when I'm done with him."

Hakkai could feel the heat of anger rising within him. "It really isn't any of your business, Banri." Hakkai's tone was icy. "And I would appreciate it if you would let Gojyo make his own decisions."

"You shouldn't get so worked up, my friend. If Gojyo wants to go with you he will. But right now he's having a good time with me. So why don't you run along and clean house, or bake a cake or whatever the hell it is you do." Banri's voice dripped with sarcasm. His stance indicated he was ready for this conversation to turn physical. And he had moved slightly in front of Gojyo, almost as if he were placing himself between the two housemates.

Hakkai, in an uncharacteristic display of emotion, banged his fist hard on the table. "If Gojyo had any idea the kind of person you…."

Whatever else Hakkai was saying was lost to Gojyo. He was staring, wide-eyed, at his two friends. He knew that there was animosity between them. Ok, that was an understatement. For whatever reason, neither Banri nor Hakkai could stand each other. Gojyo could never really figure out why. He got along great with both of them.

As the tension around the table escalated and their voices became louder, Gojyo realized that their argument was centered on him.

"Hey, both of you. Knock it off! You two are acting like you're arguing over a woman or something."

Gojyo caught the quick look that passed between Banri and Hakkai. What the fuck?? His mouth fell open, his eyes widened with sudden understanding.

"Holy shit. I AM the woman!"

This was turning out to be one hell of a night.

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