Title: Longing 1: The Road Less Traveled - Chapter 1

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

Disclaimer: I have absolutely no rights whatsoever. For bittersweet daydreaming purposes only. XD

Rating: T/M for language. Shounen-ai.

Summary: "Love at first sight is easy to understand. It's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle."

A/N: If you're not familiar with my fics by now, be advised that I write SxGxS – sweetxgoofyxsexy 3x5x3. Or else it's bittersweet angst, as this one is. In either case, I lean to serious shounen-ai, as opposed to just the grudging lust typical between most Sanzo/Gojyo fics. So feel free to read something else if you're a purist. Otherwise, enjoy…

P.S. I have only watched Gensomaden once, on top of which I missed the first four eps (baka!), so please forgive any errors in describing the temple setting. I would appreciate any corrections. Thanks.

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"Love at first sight is easy to understand. It's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle." -- Amy Bloom

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Prologue

He sat at his desk staring out the window at the magnificent dawn of another day. The forest surrounding Kinzan Temple was shrouded with morning mist, and all was quiet save for the first gay twittering of birds and the sound of someone sweeping the courtyard. Slowly the sun rose to pierce the mist, sending bright rays of light filtering through the treetops to dapple gold on the cobblestones and the central fountain. The faint sound of the monks' morning chants reached his ears, and already the pile of paperwork before him beckoned. Still, the piercing purple eyes lingered outside, resting finally on the road that snaked and coiled up the mountains, leading to the temple… and in his throat welled an expectant, longing feeling that he found himself powerless to deny.

And then he shrugged, unaware of the small sigh that escaped his lips. If he came, he came. That was all. And if he didn't, well… tomorrow was another day. With a rueful shake of his head at his uncharacteristic melancholy, he turned determinedly to give the pile of papers his full, proper attention. Just another goddamn day in the life of Toa Genjyo Sanzo Houshi Sama. What the hell.

Chapter 1

Just within the courtyard, he dropped his gear with a slight wince. Dammit, he couldn't be getting old at thirty-four, could he? Shit. And to think that what he carried in his packs all the way up the mountains was all for him, that goddamn bouzu. His Marlboros and his sake, plus a few dozen cans of beer for good measure. Gojyo grinned lopsidedly, shaking his head. You would have thought that ten years in this place would have cured Sanzo of his vices. Fat effing chance.

As he stood there, bending backwards at the waist to get rid of the kinks in his back, a passing monk caught sight of him.

"Gojyo-sama! What an honor for you to visit us again!"

Gojyo grimaced inwardly at the title; all of the temple's staff and inhabitants (as was the whole world in fact), well informed about his part in the legendary "Journey To The West". He returned the monk's effusive greetings with a pained, embarrassed smile, the grimace deepening as the news spread rapidly.

"Sanzo Houshi-sama's friend is here!"

"Gojyo-sama, welcome, welcome!"

"I'm a new acolyte, Master, I am so honored to make your acquaintance, I've heard so much about you…"

The monks suddenly appeared out of nowhere, seemingly, and now surrounded him in an enthusiastic, and –for him—uncomfortable crowd. Gojyo stammered, cursing himself. Why oh why do I put myself through this, time and time again! Now if these were female monks that would be another story…

And then that low, cool, arresting voice sliced through all the mad rabble like a laser beam. Commanding. Authoritative. Arrogant, as ever. Gravel wrapped in silk.

"Minna, for the love of Tenkai." The icy rasp was the same, for all that he was now, more than ever he was before, a holy man residing in this holy temple. "I'm sure our guest is weary after his long trek up the mountains. We should be offering him refreshment, and a place to rest, ne?" It was phrased as a suggestion; but coming from the smug, superior, arrogant man it naturally came out as a command.

"Sumimasen, Sanzo Houshi-sama!"

"Hai-hai, right away, Sanzo-sama!"

"Our apologies, Gojyo-sama…"

The crowd parted, bald heads bobbing in frantic bows of eager respect; and Gojyo cursed himself at the knot in his throat, the gone feeling in his stomach, the weakening of his knees… the wild slamming of his heart as Sanzo, his corrupt monk, came into view.

I've missed you. God how I've missed you.

What the fuck took you so long?

Beautiful… so beautiful… Goddamn it but you still take my breath away.

Still cocky and roguish and maddening as ever… and those eyes sear through me with their hungry gaze as much as they ever did.

Gojyo arched a crimson eyebrow. "I come bearing… ah… gifts."

Golden eyebrows levitated in mocking reply. "So I see… Come on. I'm about to have lunch."

"Thank the Gods. I'm dying from hauling all that stuff all the way up here…"

Twitch.

"Nobody asked you to break your back," Sanzo started, in the familiar snooty snarl.

Gojyo hooted. "You're welcome, Sanzo-sama."

"'Ch."

Then… a wry grin. Sanzo has mellowed the tiniest bit over the years. "Ikuzo, baka erogappa."

They started off, the monks scattering to set another place at the High Priest's table, another group hurrying to take care of Gojyo's packs, a third rushing to prepare the visitor's usual quarters.

Gojyo sighed, his hands laced behind his head. "Strange, but it actually feels good to hear you calling me that…"

Sanzo snorted, his hands folded inside the robe's sleeves. "What's strange is that it feels right to call you baka erogappa, baka erogappa… That's what's strange."

They talked long and hard over lunch, and continued talking long after the plates were taken away, catching up with news since they'd last seen each other, some eight months back. And then they reminisced, able now to share a laugh or two about their strange adventures ten years ago. Over time Gojyo has grown more serious, a little less flippant; though no less daring and impetuous. For his part, Sanzo has lost the edge of his curtness and has managed to reign in that hot temper, although he still snarled if anyone invaded his personal space too closely.

They were still talking when twilight fell, the light fading into shadows, the birdsong supplanted by the soft chirping of crickets and the louder rattling noise of cicadas.

Sanzo lit another Marlboro, accepting with a nod as Gojyo poured him some more sake.

"How's the bakazaru these days? I can't believe I missed him again… You hear from him lately?" Gojyo asked, leaning back in his seat lazily.

"His latest letter came from Greece, actually," Sanzo replied, blowing out a stream of smoke. "You can read it tomorrow, if you like," he added, feeling too languorous and content to bestir himself at the moment.

"Aa," Gojyo mumbled. "Still hasn't satisfied the wanderlust, huh?"

"Hmm. And seriously stretching the limit on the AnEx."

Gojyo chuckled. "Hell, the kid's entitled to it. The whole mission would've been lost if not for him."

"If not for me, you mean," Sanzo snorted at the idea of Gojyo still calling Goku a kid. "I had the worst time replacing the diadem on the goddamn Seiten Taisei…"

"Yep," Gojyo drawled. "I sure remember…" Ruby and amethyst eyes clouded over as both men got lost in their own memories. The irony of it was that after everything, it was the Great Sage Equal To Heaven who had proven to be their worst enemy. It took all of their combined strength to contain Seiten Taisei Son Goku in the end, and it took all of Sanzo's willpower to subdue and conquer the wild youkai and return him to their own innocent Goku.

After a brief pause, Sanzo asked, "How about Hakkai? You seen him lately?"

Gojyo grinned. "Our Hakkai is the proud papa of twin boys," he announced proudly.

"Sou ka…" Sanzo raised his eyebrows. "The last you told me, it was just the little girl."

"Yup. He's really enjoying married life, I must say. Let's see… It must have been six months ago that I last saw him, and he looks every bit the smug, satisfied family man." Gojyo shook his head. "Unbelievable… He sends you his love, by the way."

"Huh."

Gojyo suddenly laughed. "And you know what the devious bastard did?" he asked merrily. "I can't believe it totally slipped my mind, I meant to tell you first thing."

"Nani?" Sanzo growled impatiently, stubbing out his smoke.

"He named them… guess what… Genjyo and Gojyo!" the kappa chortled heartily. "Isn't that too precious? Genjyo and Gojyo…" And then the red eyes darkened suddenly as he became aware of the other's silence.

"Genjyo and Gojyo, huh?" Sanzo finally spoke. A soft, sad smile ghosted the proud, cynical lips. "Imagine that…" Sanzo gazed out into the darkness.

Gojyo clenched his fists tight, a sudden lump in his throat threatening to choke him. "Sanzo…" he began, in a husky, yearning voice.

Purple eyes shot him a startled look. Gojyo groaned at the naked longing blazing in those cool amethyst eyes, before it was swiftly shuttered.

"Gomen, Gojyo, you must be tired," Sanzo said quickly, standing up abruptly. "Your quarters are ready, I believe… the same rooms you always have."

"Dammit, Sanzo!" Gojyo stood up too. He swayed, and blinked. He must have had more sake than he'd realized. He squinted at Sanzo, and saw that Sanzo was flushed too. "You can't do this, you can't—"

"Urusei!" Sanzo growled, turning his back. "Just—don't, kappa. I'll see you in the morning." His voice cracked.

Gojyo yielded, not relishing seeing Sanzo undone. Never his proud, haughty Sanzo. So with an effort, he threw out a taunt instead.

"Dammit, Sanzo! Oi, bouzu!" he called, as Sanzo started to walk away. "I said, don't I get a goodnight kiss!" He leered for good measure.

Silence. Then, "Baka erogappa…" He could almost see Sanzo's rueful grin. He did see Sanzo shake his head. "Go and rest, you fool. Sweet perverted dreams," he threw back mockingly over his shoulder, just like he always used to.

"Don't let the bedbugs bite your delicate little tush, hage bouzu," Gojyo teased back, just like he always used to, too.

Dream of me. As I will dream of you.

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