Title: Heart To Heart (Part 5 of Torrent)

Author: Befanini
Website: http://www.fanfiction.net/~befanini

Disclaimer: Wishful thinking… LOL

Rating: T

Summary: It is Gojyo and Hakkai / Sanzo and Goku's turn to have a heart-to-heart. 58/39? Not what you think! XD Part 5 of Torrent.

A/N: I gave up a whole night's sleep to give in to my muses. I was thinking back on True Colors and Man to Man, and realized that there was still something missing. And so despite how hectic and insane "RL" is these days, the muses wouldn't let me be until I'd delivered this to you. XD

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Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart. - Marcus Aurelius

XxXxX

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"So…" Gojyo coughed, and cleared his throat, making Hakkai wince. Here it comes… the healer thought ruefully.

"About me and Sanzo…" Gojyo continued, cursing the hot flush that he felt staining his cheeks.

Hakkai smiled gently, understanding his friend's embarrassment. So this was the reason for the unusual rooming arrangements. Or the "usual". That was what made it unusual; that he found himself once again sharing a room with Gojyo, given how things had turned out the past few weeks.

Since that day when Goku had unknowingly barged in on Sanzo and Gojyo in bed together, thus "exposing" everything out in the open, it had been a given that their leader and his best friend shared a room whenever circumstances allowed. Goku had seemed satisfied with the unspoken arrangements as well, since it meant being far away from the harisen that did a nasty job of "stopping his infernal snoring". Better still, it meant not having to share quarters with the "perverted kappa" whom he loved to "hate", in the contradictory manner of a younger brother to an older sibling whom he still looked up to and depended upon nevertheless.

All the better if their rooms happened to be on the opposite wing, far enough away for them not to hear their friends "sleeping". It was still a little awkward; especially when Gojyo was wont to get overexcited, or Sanzo overwhelmed, and they forgot to be quiet. Hakkai gave a little grin. Goku had had every right to request them to "keep the noises down" when they were – ah – "boinking".

It really was too funny sometimes, whenever the thought hit Hakkai anew. Sanzo – "arrogant, smug, bitchy Sanzo" as his friend had often ranted to Hakkai – Sanzo together with Gojyo, for whom the monk had always been very vocal about his opinions also, regarding "the bastard's cockiness and being a slave to his libido".

Gojyo and Sanzo together. It almost sounded like a mistake, if not for what Hakkai had confirmed during Gojyo and Goku's adorable little man-to-man talk a few nights ago. The naughty kappa and the aloof priest, a couple. Still spitting at and insulting and irritating the heck out of each other at every opportunity; but hopelessly addicted to one another nonetheless.

The very cuteness of it made Hakkai chuckle, although he seriously doubted if "cute" was exactly the word to describe the intensity so obvious between their two traveling companions. Even back then, before he'd gently pushed Gojyo and set the ball rolling, Hakkai had already sensed the potent chemistry that crackled like a live wire between his happy-go-lucky best friend and the cold, solitary High Priest. In fact, the electricity between them bordered on the obscene, and Hakkai hadn't known whether to be shocked or embarrassed. In the end, his curiosity got the best of him, and he'd encouraged Gojyo to take a gamble and follow his heart.

And now it was time for "the talk". Hakkai sighed. He knew Gojyo so well, he'd sensed this coming for a while now. The past three nights that they'd spent camping out, Gojyo had gone from gazing longingly at Sanzo to staring probingly at Hakkai. The healer knew that the other two were decent enough, and considerate enough of their companions to keep their distance from each other when the ikkou were all together. (Not to mention the fact that Sanzo would rather shoot Gojyo and himself than display his emotions in public.)

So the past days that had gone without them coming to a town, and Gojyo being forced out of his blissful state of consciousness when he was with Sanzo, meant that the kappa had finally had time to reflect on the inevitable changes that had taken place in their lives.

Which meant that Gojyo was anxious.

"Dammit, are you listening to me, 'Kai!" Gojyo demanded restlessly, bringing Hakkai back to the present.

"Oh! Sumimasen," Hakkai replied sheepishly. "I was just thinking that it's been a while since I inhaled so much smoke into my lungs." He waved a hand in front of his face.

Gojyo glared, and stomped over to the window and pushed it open. He took one more drag from his Hi-Lite before crushing it out, and then proceeded to light another one immediately.

"Yare yare…"

"Sorry, sorry," the kappa muttered, dangling his hand that held the cigarette out the window and trying valiantly to blow the smoke outside. "I'm just…" His voice trailed off; and for the first time in their acquaintance, the redhead dropped his gaze from keen green eyes, unable to bear their earnest scrutiny.

Hakkai smiled fondly. "You were saying?" he prompted.

"Uhrm! Yes…" Gojyo cleared his throat. "About me and Sanzo…"

"It seems to have worked out pretty well, hasn't it?" Hakkai commented cheerfully. "What happened, by the way? You never got around to telling me – did he smack you with the harisen and yell that he loves you too?" And Hakkai chortled, seeing the image as if it were real.

"Kinda…" Gojyo frowned. Hakkai noticed it and sobered up immediately, and started to apologize for poking his nose into their business.

Gojyo cut him off. "Stop! Shit, Hakkai, don't I tell you everything!"

"Er… I thought I'd offended you – perhaps it was a deeply private matter—"

Suddenly Gojyo laughed, and then scratched his head ruefully. "Damn. This was exactly what I was afraid of…" he muttered. "This thing with Sanzo – I don't want it to fuck up our friendship…"

Hakkai stared. "What—?"

"You know! Like right now, this awkward bullshit stuff." Gojyo waved a hand vaguely.

Hakkai laughed softly. Gojyo glared at him. "You think this is funny?"

"A little," the healer grinned. "It's just that this is so like you, Gojyo." He shook his head. "I bet you told Sanzo to have a little talk with Goku as well," Hakkai said merrily.

Gojyo scowled and looked away. "He wasn't too happy about it either…" he mumbled. And then the kappa stared as his best friend erupted into hysterical laughter, clutching his stomach.

"Oh-oh-oh…" Hakkai wheezed, wiping his eyes. "I'm sorry. It's just that Goku told me about that previous 'talk' they had, when he—"

"—asked Sanzo if he was gay!" Gojyo finished, now chuckling too.

"Maybe I'd better go switch with Sanzo right now before he murders poor Goku…" Hakkai sputtered weakly, his stomach still aching as he couldn't seem to stop laughing. Gojyo joined him wholeheartedly.

After a while, Gojyo sobered up first, and looked at his best friend with fond eyes. It was all going to be all right, after all.

Hakkai sensed Gojyo's change of mood, and glanced up to find his best friend grinning affectionately at him. He smiled back warmly.

"So are we okay, Gojyo?" he asked gently.

Gojyo snorted, rubbing the back of his neck self-consciously. "I'm supposed to be the one asking you that…" he muttered.

"In that case, let me put your mind at ease. I'm fine, Gojyo," Hakkai stated simply, his voice clear and true. It was all Gojyo needed to hear, and the kappa sighed in relief.

"We're friends, Hakkai. That will never change," Gojyo declared earnestly.

"I know. And I'm glad."

"I'll still kill for you."

"I know, silly. I'd do the same for you."

"No matter what, you're still my conscience."

"You can depend on me."

"Good."

"Good."

Gojyo sighed mightily, feeling like he'd just survived a shipwreck. He felt so drained from relief, and it was a wonderful feeling.

"As long as you know that I don't value our friendship any less, just for loving him so much…" he said sincerely, meaning the words from the bottom of his heart, and hoping his best friend could hear how important it was to Gojyo that Hakkai realized this.

But it was the latter part of Gojyo's sentence that had the healer smiling softly.

"What—?" Gojyo demanded self-consciously as Hakkai gave no soothing reply and just sat and looked at him with fond, smiling eyes.

"It really is the real thing, isn't it?" Hakkai finally spoke up, as Gojyo began to fidget. "I'd always hoped you would get to experience the kind of love I had with Kanan."

Gojyo winced. "Let's not get too sentimental. This is still Sanzo we're talking about. I still want to throttle his superior throat half the time…"

But the scarlet eyes betrayed him, as the crimson depths glowed with an intense, feverish light. The look was not just the usual lust that ignited whenever Gojyo had caught sight of "potential conquests" in the past. This time it was Sha Gojyo who looked conquered. Gojyo's eyes now held exactly that indefinable quality that had first set Hakkai wondering, months ago, and which had resulted in the healer saying those words that had started it all.

I've known you for a long time now, Gojyo, and you've NEVER looked at any woman the way you look at a certain someone…

The look was full of longing, and barely restrained passion, and a possessiveness, a savage selfishness for the other that bordered on obsession. It was raw, and intense, and searingly hot and meltingly cool at the same time; and it was the very same look that Hakkai had caught Sanzo giving Gojyo that day in the garden, when he had told his best friend to take a chance.

"I'm really happy for you, Gojyo," Hakkai now told the redhead, and he meant it with his whole heart.

Gojyo wrinkled his nose.

Hakkai laughed. "You don't have to look so miserable!" he chided. "You're exactly what he needs, you know."

"Am I?" And for all his obvious bliss Sha Gojyo for the first time looked uncertain.

Hakkai nodded sagely. "Who else is willing to put up with his short temper, and dark moods, and all his considerable issues? Who else has the stubbornness and the strength to match him will-for-will, and stand and break down his defenses and declare that you belong together?"

Gojyo snorted. "You're digging too deep," he drawled casually, attempting to lighten the mood. It was a bit unnerving to have their relationship analyzed and explained. He much preferred to think that it was his irresistible charms that had won Sanzo over. "I'm just waayyy too addicted to his—"

Hakkai hastily covered his ears. He and Goku heard enough through the thin walls of these unfortunate rural inns, thank you very much.

"—kisses," Gojyo finished, looking at Hakkai perplexedly. "What did I say?"

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XxXxX

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Meanwhile in the other room, Sanzo gnashed his teeth as Goku prattled away knowledgeably.

"—And Hakkai said, that both of you being guys is… er… im, immaterial, yeah, and that it didn't matter. You just fell in love," Goku told Sanzo, oblivious to the fierce red staining his idol's cheekbones.

"'Course, if he ever hurts you he knows I'll kill him, so you just tell me if he ever flirts with anybody else and I'll flatten him."

Sanzo rolled his eyes, and lit up another Marlboro with a long-suffering sigh.

"But he did give me his word… remember? Or were you sleeping back then, when me and him had a talk?" Goku snickered. "That was when I told him to keep the noises down when you're b—"

THWAK!

"Don't even say it, bakazaru!" Sanzo hissed, taking a furious drag on his Marlboro.

But Goku, instead of protesting at the stinging whack, only grinned up at him, further confusing the agitated monk. He'd expected more of an awkward conversation with Goku – hell, the damn kid must be feeling somewhat upset at having to share his attention, at the very least; but Goku was not reacting the way that Sanzo had expected at all. If anything, the bakazaru was as cheerful as always.

Purple eyes narrowed suspiciously on his charge, and encountered nothing but pure earnestness in the great golden eyes. Sanzo folded his arms and frowned. And Goku chuckled understandingly, earning him a deeper scowl from the stiff, pale figure.

"Yeah, he's an annoying cockroach and he always steals my food and I hate his guts sometimes, but I can see he makes you happy," the kid said simply, observing as the violet eyes widened and stared at him in shock. Sanzo swallowed hard, rendered speechless for once.

Goku scratched his nose, embarrassed. "You'll always be my sun, Sanzo…" the boy confided solemnly. "I'm just glad he makes you shine."

…So when Hakkai knocked softly and opened the door seconds later, he found Sanzo gruffly ruffling Goku's hair with one hand in that odd, affectionate manner that the healer had seen a few times before, while Goku stood sheepishly with a shy grin and great golden eyes sparkling happily up at Sanzo.

"Um… I came to see if Goku would mind staying with me tonight, after all," Hakkai laughed weakly as the other two turned and faced him questioningly. "I find that I've grown accustomed to breathing fresh, clean air when I sleep." And Hakkai coughed tactfully, while squinting his eyes through the cloud of cigarette smoke that permeated this room as well.

"'Ch." Sanzo gave an embarrassed snort, seeing right through the feeble excuse, and feeling grateful for it all the same.

Goku whooped and gave Sanzo a parting smile as he eagerly gathered his stuff and joined Hakkai at the door. "You have no idea how much I was wishing the same thing," he whispered to Hakkai, glancing sideways at Sanzo. "I've already been smacked once," he winced dramatically.

Hakkai choked and fought back his laughter, imagining more of the scenario that had happened before when Goku had tried to talk to Sanzo about Gojyo. However, the healer decided it would be best to wait until they got back to their nice, smoke-free room before he asked Goku about it, since Sanzo was now glowering at them both, apparently overhearing Goku's whispered confidences.

"We'll see you in the morning then, Sanzo," Hakkai said cheerfully as he prepared to pull the door shut behind him. "Eight o'clock as usual, right?"

"Fine," Sanzo bit out, cheeks still flushed a bright red.

"G'night, Sanzo!" Goku called back happily, dashing ahead of Hakkai to their room.

Hakkai met Sanzo's eyes as he closed the door, and he smiled warmly, causing the priest to curse softly and clap a hand to his forehead.

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XxXxX

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Gojyo opened the door eagerly, and found Sanzo standing by the window, staring sightlessly out and finishing his smoke.

The kappa covered the distance in a few long strides, and engulfed the monk in his arms, pulling the blond back against his hungry body. "C'mere, Beautiful..." he groaned, propping his chin on Sanzo's shoulder and wrapping strong arms around the priest's waist. "I wasn't sure if I could keep myself from coming in and kicking the monkey out to the hallway if Hakkai hadn't suggested we switch rooms after all…" he confessed with a low chuckle.

Sanzo crushed out his smoke and muttered under his breath. "Happy now?" he ground out between clenched teeth, still indignant at having been put through that torture. And not just his talk with Goku, but thoughts of Gojyo discussing Sanzo with Hakkai, as well. All of it made him squirm with embarrassment, having lived the better part of his life avoiding such intimacy.

"Mmm…" Gojyo replied, sighing softly and nuzzling his bronze cheek close against Sanzo's pale one. Long lashes drifted close as he murmured huskily. "I just wanted to make sure everyone was okay, so I wouldn't feel guilty for being this happy…" He shuddered as his arms tightened around Sanzo.

"'Ch," Sanzo snorted, turning around in Gojyo's arms and linking his arms possessively around the kappa's neck. "You're such a marshmallow…"

Gojyo grinned at him as he bent down and pressed a soft, tender kiss on Sanzo's waiting mouth. "I'm rock hard where it matters, though..." he breathed, running his tongue sexily against Sanzo's lower lip. And wicked eyebrows waggled teasingly as he ground his hips against the blond.

"Baka…"

And Sanzo shut Gojyo up the best way he knew how.

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-owari-

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A/N: I'm working on the last part of my parody, "Truly Madly Deeply Forever", based on Gensomaden Saiyuki. Yes, this series was written backwards, starting from Gunlock, because that's the way my mind works sometimes. LOL I won't be posting it here, though, or it's strike three for me. For those who are interested, this will be available sometime next week ("real life" permitting) on mediaminer dot org. As some readers have complained of difficulty navigating the site, just do an author's search on "Befanini" as a last resort, and it should be there.

This fic inspired by the following quote:

"The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off." – Gloria Steinem

LOL Sanzo is just too cute when he's embarrassed… XD

Japanese mini-glossary:

Harisen: paper fan

Sumimasen – forgive me/excuse me

Yare yare: boy oh boy (expression of displeasure)

Bakazaru: stupid monkey

Baka: idiot/stupid/moron

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