Title: Wildflower (Part 6 of Torrent) - Chapter 6

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

Disclaimer: Not mine. Just another piece inspired by Kazuya Minekura's delicious boys.

Rating: M

Summary: "Bloom where you're planted." A long-overdue songfic of random ruminations by four souls bound by fate. Part 6 of the Torrent series.

iii. Taboo Child

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"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." – Anais Nin

"The very thing that you feel is going to destroy you may be the thing that will make you; and what you feel may be the end of you, may well be the beginning." – Anon.

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His voice enslaved me from the very start. Way before I was even aware of it, before I had even glimpsed his face. He knocked, I opened my door – and his voice gripped me at once, even before my eyes had made their way up those priestly robes, past startlingly luminous alabaster skin, up that steely, determined jaw, past the scowl on those hard lips and the disdainful flare of that arrogant, finely chiseled nose… to collide with icy amethyst gems that bore through to my soul as surely as their owner's arresting voice had already pierced my heart.

It's strange. The bakazaru always yammers on about how Sanzo's hair is like the sun, but for me it's his voice that is so incandescent. So rich, so strong, so forceful, like the man himself. The timbre can vary from low and menacing to aloof and mocking to high-pitched and shrill with annoyance – and throughout all those moods it is so very beautiful, like Genjo Sanzo himself… whether brooding and sullen, thoughtful and pensive, arrogant and sarcastic, disdainful and high-and-mighty, livid and trigger-happy… or flushed with passion in my arms, gazing at me with liquid violet and holding me close with such tenderness… my Sanzo is beyond beautiful.

Ah, crap. Hell, go on and say it – I don't sound like myself, do I? Heh. But what can you expect from the ultimate playboy who has fallen from grace, and in so spectacular a fashion? I still grin to myself about it sometimes – when I actually take a step back and realize that Sanzo and I are together. Together together. The "bad friends", now lovers. The two bad boys, the smokers, the egoists, the ones who couldn't even stand each other, trading insults and curses… and let me tell you this: "bastard" and "asshole" have acquired a special meaning to me, when he uses them as endearments.

Don't get me wrong – Sanzo can still be a prissy, arrogant, snooty, annoying-as-hell sonofabitch – and that's on his good days. His superior attitude still gets on my nerves; hell – we still irritate each other as much as we ever did. But that's the thing – that surface animosity toward each other is what defines us. And more than that, it's what binds us most strongly together, ironically enough. Because we are so alike, him and I – it's a given that we hiss and snarl and scratch and bite every other minute, like two great wildcats fighting to prove who's the Alpha Male.

But that's just on the outside.

Deep down, we've always shared a silent understanding; our souls spoke truly to each other where our lips would not. There has always been a grudging respect between us, an unwilling, secret admiration and approval of each other that allowed us to trade curses and insults which, under normal circumstances, would have been considered unforgivable.

And yet to us it was a sort of game – it was the language we spoke. I would tease, he would ridicule, I would taunt, he would mock – and still he stood tall in the middle of a pack of youkai, his gun empty, knowing without words that my Jakujou would slice through them all even if it meant I left myself open to danger.

Likewise, he's saved my ass countless times with a bullet (or three) out of nowhere – his precision deadly sharp for all that we tease him to death about it; and I would only be aware of him saving my life by the scorched ends of my hair and the dead demon at my feet, bullet hole smoking in his forehead… and our eyes would meet for a split-second, unspoken thanks in mine and brusque acknowledgement in his, and that would be that.

Yes, indeed… me and Sanzo – we had our own understanding. Beyond being drinking buddies, or having someone to share a quiet smoke with. In fact I recognized early on how good we could be together, even if only as friends – but the damn skittish bastard shied away from allowing anybody to get too close. Goku was different – he seemed stuck with the monkey whether he liked it or not – but as for anybody else… well. The most we ever got out of the great Genjo Sanzo in those early days was a bored declaration of "possession" – and I DO mean ownership, as in things: we were "his slaves".

Feh. That always got a rise out of me, but not for the reason you might probably think. You see, I saw right through him from the beginning; and those words always bothered me not because I took them as the insult they were meant to be, but because I was damn annoyed with the stubborn monk for refusing to be human like the rest of us – for refusing to admit that we were his friends – hell, I just wanted him to show any sign that he cared at all.

Because I sure as hell was starting to care for him a lot – and as if that were not enough, I was starting to care for him in ways I wasn't ready to acknowledge.

And dammit all if it wasn't Hakkai who prodded me into admitting my feelings. It was Hakkai who opened my eyes, and showed me just how much I cared about that insufferably superior monk. That guy is just too damn perceptive, or too nosy, depending on how you look at it. Heh. I suppose you could also say that Hakkai knows me from the inside out.

It almost seems another lifetime ago, now, when I think back on that day – that golden, lazy afternoon that my best friend caught me staring (yet again) at our wounded leader, when he teased me in his usual frank way: "He IS beautiful, isn't he?"… Looking back now, I suppose in actual fact I might have given myself away even long before that… Because even though I'd been flirting with the beautiful monk from day one, in retrospect there was a subtle, but marked, change in my attitude toward Sanzo from the moment that Homura appeared to us. From then on, I watched Sanzo protectively… possessively… almost jealously. My feelings suddenly crystallized from being playful to being almost obsessed.

And when Sanzo fell…

That morning of the tryst, that awful dawn, when I watched helplessly as the bastard's great flaming sword aimed for the corrupt monk – as it cut through the solid gold breastplate as if it were nothing, as it cleaved through Sanzo's chest like a burning brand – I honestly thought I was going to die.

And when those scum, those sons of bitches, finally vanished with the sutra – I at last found my voice; and I never stopped to look if Goku was alive after that terrible blow that the War Prince had dealt him – I never stopped to ask if Hakkai was okay, if Shien hadn't harmed him – all I saw was Sanzo, the damn shitty monk, the most insufferably arrogant man in the world – lying in a motionless heap on the ground, deathly pale, his ribs cracked open, his flesh scorched from the fiery blade, gaping, bleeding… oh God, bleeding, his blood spreading out from him, his life ebbing away in a crimson flood, and all I remember is falling to my knees and screaming his name over and over – roaring in anguish, in fear, in utter denial.

Before this, I had seen him pierced with Rikudo's lance. Before this, I had seen him poisoned in the desert, barely alive. I had seen him mortally wounded in battle a dozen times before… or even just miserable in bed with another debilitating bout of flu, the weakest of us four in the first place, and in the second place him with his "weak" constitution.

But this time – for the first time – I couldn't feel his spirit. This time he was slipping away… away from me.

It was then I knew how much he'd come to matter to me… how much he was already a part of me – and how I couldn't bear to 'survive' if he wasn't there to survive with me.

This brusque, caustic, aloof man had become such an integral part of my life, of myself, without me even being aware of it. He'd given me back Gonou, he'd confirmed my stubborn belief in survival, he'd redeemed my soul by forcing me to see that I was using my legacy as a half-breed to shun the world. He opened my eyes to the fact that my red hair and eyes don't mean half as much as I'd always mistakenly supposed – he showed me how arrogant I was to assume that the world owed me something for being born taboo. He forced me to admit my own vanity, my misguided pride, in using my red hair and eyes as an excuse to live a defeated life.

Do you honestly think that blood is the only red thing in this world? You're as stupid as you look.

He told me I wasn't "special" – he convinced me that I wasn't singular, that my taboo coloring wasn't a good enough reason to feel sorry for myself, to humbly accept a life lived in the shadows.

Red is the color of blood. The color of life. He reminded me of that truth that I had instinctively known a long time ago. In his enigmatic, ruthless way, he shamed me into standing tall and looking every man in the eye – not with the challenging defiance I had so long worn as a mask – but with the proud, quiet dignity that he had gifted me with, by treating me as just another bastard… instead of treating me as a worthless, dirty halfbreed.

BAKA!!! He roars to this day – and man that is sweet to hear; because that means he sees me – that means I am no outcast living on the fringes of life; I am right there, smack in the middle of his face, and he sees me. Enough to feel the urge to knock me away.

…Hn. You know what the opposite of love is, right? It's not hate. Oh no. It's indifference. And Genjo Sanzo has never, ever, been indifferent to me.

I remember saying once that life was almost too easy… Earn the next meal with a few games of cards, pick up another pretty, nameless face for company at night… It was almost routine. Too boring, Too fucking easy… Feh. That was all BULL, of course. Because even living that "easy life" only meant being at the top of the lowest rung in the ladder, if you know what I mean. Hell, it was basic comforts – keeping my belly fed and a roof over my head at night, with a warm, willing body to satisfy a man's urges – what the hell kind of easy life was that? I had no ambitions to further myself, I had no goal to work towards, I had no dreams to reach for – because secretly I had decided that those foolish fantasies were not for me to have, or even think of: this empty life was all that a half-breed like me deserved.

… Shit, I was such a fucking coward.

My life now is far from easy, in contrast… but it is the choice I made, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Especially when it comes to loving that damn corrupt monk. Heh. Half the time I still don't know whether I want to throttle him or gobble him up. It is too endearing the way he colors up when he catches me gazing at him, or the way he squirms and glares when I just forget and call him 'baby' or 'angel' aloud. He still reacts the same way to flirting (which is to say he will have absolutely none of it); and he still shoves me off with a murderous growl if I try putting an arm around him in public.

That's just the way Sanzo is.

The difference this time is that I don't do any of those things to provoke him – which used to be my "official excuse" whenever I found myself wondering what the hell I was doing, flirting with a guy. I used to do those things primarily to tease him; but now I honestly can't help myself – I'm simply so addicted to the man that if I'm not looking at or touching him in some way, I feel lost… like a part of me is missing.

The same is true for us in the bedroom. Sex with Sanzo is beyond fantastic. It truly feels like spontaneous combustion each time; we are so hungry for each other that too much is not even enough. I used to love teasing him by calling him "ice princess", and true to his contradictory nature he's proven time and again that he is just the opposite. I've had too many partners to count – a legacy of my days as the aimless playboy – but it is only with Sanzo that I've ever felt like I was drowning in bliss. Not just finding physical satisfaction in the moment of release; but savoring the total experience of making love.

Yes, uncharacteristic as that might sound for Sha Gojyo and Genjo Sanzo – we make love.

Of course with the electric magnetism that crackles ever-present between us, I suppose you can also accurately call it wild, searingly hot, passionate fucking; and you would be right, but you would only be half right. The other half of it is the pleasure that has less to do with the act of sex and more to do with losing ourselves in each other: drowning in slow caresses, gasping in each other's ears, clutching each other tight as the pleasure intensifies to fever-pitch… moaning into each other's mouths as skin glides on skin, until it seems like we could actually achieve the impossible and melt into each other as we both cry out the other's name.

Believe it or not, I have never felt that way before about any of the women I've bedded. Whether unconsciously or not, all my life I've been looking for something… looking for that spark that would awaken me, make me feel alive. But the only thing all those women ever stirred in me was a resigned kind of contentment – just the satiation of a physical need, just the comfort of sleeping beside another human soul, while perhaps convincing myself for a night or two that I wasn't lonely.

With Sanzo it is the opposite. With him I feel not resignation, but elation. With him I feel not just contentment, but a bone-deep satisfaction, like a man who could ask for nothing more. He fulfills me. He completes me. He makes me whole. With him the need I feel is not just of the flesh; where he is concerned, I'm a greedy bastard – I want all of him: his body, his heart, his soul.

Miracle of miracles, he's given them to me… do you remember?

My heart is yours. My body is yours. Nothing else matters.

And so "sex" is not nearly enough. What I most cherish is the time spent after just holding him; or even better yet, him holding me – breathing each other, feeling each other, listening to each other's heartbeats. Our time alone, just the two of us, with our restless souls finding tranquility in each other.

No other will do.

That is what sets him apart from all the rest who have shared my bed in the past. They were all interchangeable, all faceless, all nameless in the end… claiming my body and nothing else.

Whereas Genjo Sanzo – angel faced, purple-eyed, corrupt and worldly and enigmatic… the man owns me completely.

Understand I don't love him because he "saved" me – because he turned my crimson admonishment into my red badge of courage – no matter how big an impact that has made on my life. Even had he shunned me as a child of taboo, I still would have been captivated by him. I still would follow him to the ends of the earth.

It's not simply because he is so beautiful, no matter how much his face takes my breath away. It is, I admit, part of the reason – because, well hell – how many guys do you meet everyday who could put to shame some of the loveliest women on earth? Which is not to say that Sanzo is in the least bit feminine, by the way, no matter how many times I've teased him about it. It takes a real MAN to wear those cream-colored robes and that silken veil and still look so damn arresting and charismatic and sexy as hell.

And yet I maintain that Sanzo's beauty is not why I love him; or to be perfectly truthful, it's not the only reason.

Because this is not just infatuation that I feel.

And it's nothing so complicated as a "mother complex" either, however intriguing idea that may be – with me pining for the love of the beautiful, shining creature who only felt loathing for me. My Sanzo is not a substitute for the love I couldn't get – or more accurately, the pitiful hunger I had for my stepmother's love is a far cry from the overwhelming longing I have always felt for this man. The yearning that consumes me where Genjo Sanzo is concerned has no logic and bears no comparison to the plaintive clamoring for simple affection that I had as a child.

None of that shit matters in the end.

He is he and I am I and that is enough. He is all the dreams I didn't know I had – had I guessed all those years ago, when the knock came on my door and I beheld him – if anybody would have told me then that this snooty, arrogant face would be the end of me – I would have laughed myself silly.

But that is the wonder of it… this world-weary man, this jaded soul, touched a chord in me, he fired my blood in every possible way. From that first electric meeting… to getting to know him in his moods: his haughty ego, his disdain for the ordinary, his touch-me-not, superior attitude that always rubbed me the wrong way… to discovering the man hidden within: the one so strong he makes me weak, so charismatic, so intense that I'm incinerated by his radiance. He has revealed a sincerity in me that I've only exposed once or twice to Hakkai in our heart-to-heart talks; but Sanzo elicits it from me effortlessly, just by being who he is: so solitary, so proud, and so vulnerable under that façade of sarcasm.

Alone with him I lose all my tough-guy bravado, my careless, flippant mask fades away; the carefree playboy vanishes, the happy-go-lucky kappa disappears; and I am only me, Gojyoand I am simply overcome with the desire to worship him, to claim him, to have him possess me… to mark him over and over as mine.

Foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, self-absorbed, utterly captivating Sanzo. My corrupt monk. Genjo Sanzo of the moonlit skin, and sunkissed hair, and piercing violet eyes, and that whiskey voice that enslaves me. My downfall. My savior. My weakness and my strength. My mate. My equal.

My Sanzo.

The way I see it, even at the best of times life can be full of shit – you play the hand you're dealt, you survive as best as you can, and you snatch any drop of pleasure every chance you get. That's always been my song. But just because your life is a tragedy is no reason for you to be tragic. Eat, drink, and be merry has always been my motto. And it's always been good enough for me.

It wasn't until Genjo Sanzo stole my heart that I learned how shallow, how incomplete, that outlook in life really was. Loving him has opened my eyes and shown me – with all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. For the first time I know how sweet it is to truly be alive – I am no longer suspended in a defiant existence, stubbornly clinging to life, surviving against all odds just to be contrary and say 'fuck you' to the world. No, for the first time I actually feel exhilarated – that piece of shit, crabby, beautiful monk has truly enlightened and awakened me.

All my life I've always known that I was looking for something – looking for that someone I could spend the rest of my life with… and you know what? I found something else. I didn't find that someone I can "live with" – Genjo Sanzo is the hardest man alive to live with, believe you me – what I found instead was the one I cannot live without.

Him.

My Sanzo.

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"I am because we are. " – Anon.

"Love is the extra effort we make in our dealings with those whom we do not like and once you understand that, you understand all. This idea that love overtakes you is nonsense. This is but a polite manifestation of sex. To love another you have to undertake some fragment of their destiny." – Quentin Crisp

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