Title: Longing 1: The Road Less Traveled - Chapter 4

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."

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Chapter 4

And it never happened again. Since that day ten years ago, when Gojyo brought Sanzo back without explanation, and with Hakkai and Goku mercifully demanding none, they had gone back to their old, gruff companionship. They never spoke of it again. The rest of the return journey home, if sometimes the red eyes were caught staring at their leader, Hakkai and Goku put it down to the kappa's pride in bringing him back. If sometimes the purple eyes lingered too long on the kappa, they put it down to a grudging gratitude.

And they had their big celebration party at Gojyo and Hakkai's apartment, just as they had planned. They didn't question the fact that Gojyo chose to sit next to Sanzo, as he did during most of the return trip back; nor did they stop to wonder that Sanzo tolerated it. They were just happy to all be together.

As the years passed, the natural flow of time took them their separate ways, and the ikkou was scattered like leaves to the wind. Hakkai met a nice human girl and finally allowed himself to fall in love again. Goku, always hyperactive and never one to sit still for long, quickly grew bored with life at Kinzan, and chose to "see the world", always returning to regale Sanzo with his latest adventures. Sanzo, having no choice, settled down to his life in the temple; and nobody begrudged the maverick monk his ever-present Marlboro or the occasional sake. The man was a living legend, although he secretly despised and laughed derisively at the awe and reverence that people held for him.

And Gojyo… Gojyo took to his old life of the vagabond, ever drifting; although now his reputation preceded him and he had no trouble finding a place to stay, food to eat… or eager company at night. But he rarely indulged himself in that casual pastime anymore, only giving in to his body's natural urges when he was very very drunk or very very melancholy. Invariably it was both, together.

For the most part, he became a gypsy; wandering from village to village, town to town, city to city, seeking empty distractions to fill the void, until he could stay away no longer. And then he gave in to his ever-present, gnawing, merciless yearning; and made the trek up the mountains to visit Sanzo… to bring his corrupt monk his cigarettes and his spirits, to replenish his soul, to drink in the sight and smell and sound of the arrogant, beautiful creature who owned his heart, who owned him, body and soul.

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Longing

Matthew Arnold

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again.
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me.

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth.
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say My love! why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again.
For then the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

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Sometimes he stayed only a week, sometimes a few days, sometimes a month. If he happened to arrive when Sanzo was away on one of his Official Trips, he parked himself shamelessly in Goku's apartments, and waited. Once he had stayed for three months, and immediately after went missing for a year and a half; not trusting himself to not just spirit Sanzo away to some random deserted place and hoard Sanzo to himself like a jealous, possessive miser. It all depended on his self-control.

For Sanzo was now a true Buddhist, having channeled all the fierce determination and arrogance and superior control towards disciplining himself and making the most of the path that life had chosen for him. Sanzo had no choice; and trained himself to accept his lot with the same single-mindedness with which he had led them through their mission.

Whereas Gojyo had a choice – he had all the choices in the world, and he chose not to choose. He chose unfulfilled longing; he chose the bittersweet pain of being true to Genjyo Sanzo.

They had 'discussed' it once, in a fashion, around five years ago, during one of his then-regular visits. They had both had a lot to drink, as usual. And Sanzo had suddenly blurted out of the blue, "Why don't you settle down too, erogappa?" They had been discussing Hakkai's recent wedding, which the ikkou had all attended. "Find yourself a nice young thing, like Hakkai's done."

Gojyo had hooted at the bare idea. "I, a family man?" He rolled his eyes. "Yeah, right…"

"Seriously," Sanzo insisted. "You can't just live this vagabond life forever." You have to move on. You have to live your life. There is no hope for us. There is no point in this.

"Eh… urusei, kono hage bouzu! Sha Gojyo with the long legs does what he wants!" It's no use preaching to me. I can't help myself. Don't you think I've tried? Don't you know I'm tired, so tired of this… But still I come, again and again. Because I need you. As surely as I need air to breathe. I need you.

"I bet you do," Sanzo scoffed. "You just can't give up your playboy ways, can you?" he sneered insultingly, just like in the old days. I remember… I remember every single thing about that night… how my body sang beneath yours, above yours, inside yours. All I do is remember.

"Heh," Gojyo spat. "Of course. You surely don't think I'm celibate…" I might as well be, the way I seek out the beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed ones… which are very rare indeed. I might as well gasp your name when I come in some stranger's cold, empty arms; because it is always you in my mind, in my heart, in my soul. Always you. Never anyone else but you.

And it always ended that way, the hesitant dialogue deliberately spoken in light words, while their eyes spoke volumes, confessed what they really meant to say.

And when being together and yet not together grew too painful too bear; when they were both so highly strung that the other's every word, every glance, every breath became pure torture, when they were both at the breaking point, and hanging on to their self-control by the frailest of threads – Gojyo left. With an awkward hug, if they were able to endure that much; or a handshake, or else just a faint, aching smile.

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