Title: Happy People Have No Stories
Email: kappa5335 [at] gmail [.]
Warnings: NSFW. Angst. Character Death
Summary: Hakkai cannot remember what happened at the end of the journey to the west. Perhaps, sometimes, it's better to forget?
A/N: For sharpeslass's birthday! She requested, "Hakkai, tied up." I took it a bit too far during a personal angst-fest this weekend. Beta-d by the lovely sharpeslass, which seems a bit wrong since it's her birthday fic. Thank you so much, babe! *hugs*
This is all a story the moon watches over…
Moonrise. Hakkai looked through the small window in the door, taking note of the way the moon's fullness almost filled the tiny space, how it blocked out the blackness of the night beyond. The brightness almost hurt his eyes after the dark of the room and he turned his head away, closing his eyes. As he shifted, the chains moved with him, chinking slightly.
He opened his eyes again, purposefully staring into the corner, staring at nothing. Because to close his eyes was to see his face: that open smile, warm and welcoming, those eyes, almost closed but heavy with passion, his face an open book for all to read should you know what language to use.
I never expected anything to begin with. Not from others, and not from me.
His voice, rough with passion, or pain, or sadness, even now Hakkai could hear those words as if they had been spoken yesterday. Had it been yesterday or a year ago? How long, how much time had passed? How long had he been here, in the dark and the silence, without words of comfort, the brush of a hand, either in love or in friendship? Was every memory a dream, a cruel dream at that, one brought about by longing for the touch of another? Sometimes it became unbearable, this endless quietude, the silence of the soul and spirit.
Hakkai laughed softly – a derisive laugh full of bitterness that was echoed by the sound of his chains. There was, of course, one who had claimed in the past to seek that solitude, to strive for it. Although in reality he embodied everything that was not a part of that, the antithesis of a good Buddhist. Sanzo.
Hakkai shifted again, trying to get comfortable. He leaned against the wall, rested his head on the rough plaster of the wall behind him, stretching tired and stiff legs out in front. His bare feet found the dirt of the floor and he flexed his toes, digging the soles of his feet into the ground. His fingers found the thin blanket on which he sat, and he pensively rubbed his fingers through the course weave.
Had Goku spent time here, before the journey? Had he sat in this very room, and watched the moon through the bars of that window? Hakkai frowned; vague recollections bubbling to the surface of his memory. He strove to grasp them, to hold them. A breathless feeling in his chest spoke of loss, and of heartache, and he felt his hands clench in an automatic reaction. Goku…
He should know this… he should remember. Why? Why can I not remember? What horror lies waiting at the corners of my memory, that I should not know these simple things, or remember my friends?
He felt pain, sudden and violent against the back of his skull. Reaching up gingerly, Hakkai felt the hair at the back of his head and was greeted with a sharp jolt of stinging pain for his efforts. He pulled his hand back and stared at his fingers, glistening in the moonlight, the blood there black and sticky. Have I just done this? What am I trying to do – prove a point to myself, make myself remember, or dull my pain?
He put his head in his hands and closed his eyes, concentrating on taking a deep breath. Concentrating on the in and out of his breathing, the flow of life; chi, my blood, moving through my body like a river. He clasped wrists bound with chains around his knees, holding himself close. Oh, Gojyo, where are you? Why can I not remember a single thing?
The moon had almost moved from the window when he heard the bolt on the door slide back with a heavy thud. Hakkai looked up, felt wetness on his face and knew he had been weeping for something he could not place. He wiped the back of his hand across his face, spreading the dampness rather than removing it, and waiting expectantly. The door opened and a figure stood, framed there in the moonlight, paused on the threshold.
Shakily, Hakkai slowly got to his feet, ignoring the wave of dizziness that passed over him, pushing it back down, straightening his back. The cuffs of his chains wanted to pull him back down but he fought the sensation and the weight, refusing to use the wall as support.
"Sanzo?" The knowledge came to him straight away, and if he was more himself, he might have taken time to puzzle out how his brain knew this and drew a blank on almost everything else.
Sanzo took a tentative step into the room, pulling the door closed behind him. He had brought a small lamp which he held in one hand. It threw his features into sharp relief, the flame casting flickering shadows across his face, yet bringing a welcome light that was a change from the washed out chill of the moonlight. Sanzo appeared to study him, as if weighing him up, finally coming to a decision. He began to walk towards Hakkai, only stopping a few feet away, where he set about placing the lamp on the floor. Then he took another tentative step closer. Hakkai followed his every movement as if hypnotized. Sanzo once again paused just out of his reach, as if waiting.
"It seems to me you do not stop out of fear of me, Sanzo. So why do you pause before me? Or are you frightened of what I might become?" he asked, surprised to hear his voice was steady and smooth, curious and questioning.
Sanzo didn't reply immediately, instead he smirked. "I'm not afraid of anything, Hakkai: not the idiot monkey, and least of all you. Besides, Goku said you were awake, so I came down to see for myself."
Hakkai watched him closely, eyes drinking in the familiar and not-so-familiar sight of his friend. Yet this friend seemed to be the one holding the key to not just his cell, but to the mystery of his missing past. As he watched, Sanzo's features shifted, and became superimposed by a number of different faces. Firstly, a young man with brown hair and earnest eyes, one that his brain labeled as 'Goku', and then it shifted again, showing the face of a woman with light brown hair in a braid – this one was Kannan, he told himself. Her features became blurry, and then shifted, and he found himself looking into those eyes, red eyes with matching hair. Gojyo. Hakkai's knees buckled under him and he was suddenly on the floor, breathing heavily, pain of the soul seeming to radiate from his body in hot waves.
Panting, he raised his head, only to find Sanzo crouched beside him, one hand tentatively reaching for him, fingers outstretched. Hakkai froze, until Sanzo thought better of it and removed his hand. The moment of need passed in an instant. Instead, Sanzo seemed content to just seat himself on the dirt floor, heedless of the state of his robes, and wait for Hakkai to make the first move.
Finally Hakkai lowered himself to the blanket, adopting his earlier position with his back to the wall. He watched Sanzo rummage amongst his sleeves and finally pulling out a cigarette, setting it between his lips while he searched for a lighter. Hakkai smiled – Sanzo never had a lighter, and it had always been up to Gojyo to supply one. Yet suddenly Sanzo had a match in his hand and the brief smell of sulphur assailed Hakkai's senses when he struck it. The priest watched Hakkai with narrowed eyes while he inhaled the first drag of his smoke.
"You want to know why I'm here." Sanzo's question was more a statement, a precursor to an explanation.
Hakkai nodded, not trusting himself to speak. Speaking might break the spell, and then he would be left with no explanation, which would be unbearable.
"What do you remember, Hakkai?" Sanzo's eyes sought his out, and held his gaze.
"I – I'm not sure." Hakkai looked down at his chains, hundreds of questions clouding his thought processes. He had no idea where to start. "I remember…Goku, and you, of course. And – and Gojyo." He tried not to let his voice break then. A horrid feeling of pain and agony and sorrow was threatening to engulf him and drag him under.
"What exactly do you remember?"
"Nothing really, fleeting glimpses of places and people, but whenever I look at you, Sanzo, I can see other faces, like phantom images. The faces of others superimposed over yours, but I have no actual memories of them. Why is that?"
Sanzo laughed softly. "Hn. You always say the same thing, over and over again. How many times do you think we have had this same conversation in your lucid moments?" Sanzo looked away and sighed, then fixed his attention back on Hakkai. "Why should I explain it again? Will it ease your pain or mine to speak of them?"
"That is a question for a question, Sanzo."
"And you almost sound like your old self, Hakkai. Will hearing the truth help, or snap your mind further?"
"The truth is always subjective, Sanzo. Why don't you tell me, and let me decide for myself?"
Sanzo looked down, seemingly lost in watching the cherry of his smoke burn out. Finally he ground it into the dirt floor and turned his full attention back to Hakkai. "Fine, you deserve the truth, no matter how many times I have to tell you, and no matter how many times you choose to forget again."
Hakkai frowned at Sanzo's choice of words, but remained silent, letting Sanzo gather his thoughts.
"It took us five years to reach
Sanzo lit another smoke, inhaling deeply. Hakkai blinked a couple of times, as if waiting for the 'but.' It never came.
"Dead? You must be mistaken – why can I not remember this?" Hakkai shifted on the blanket, his body suddenly tense. Almost clinically, he watched as Sanzo's body language changed suddenly, he went from at ease into instant battle readiness, the lines of his body tight and poised for action. When Hakkai did not make a move, the tenseness drained from his body and Sanzo was once again his normal self.
Hakkai wondered what could possibly make Sanzo react in such a way. Hakkai found himself brushing his limiters with his fingers, and guessed that in the past perhaps this conversation had not gone so smoothly. Had he tried to hurt Sanzo in the past? Was this one reason his brain continued to block his memories? So what was different about this conversation in particular? Hakkai's head ached with a hundred unasked questions.
As the moments ticked by, the feeling of horror was welling up inside him again, and Hakkai fought to get it under control. If he didn't, he wouldn't hear the end of Sanzo's story. His mind was screaming, yet he pushed the inner demons back down, locking them away for the moment. There would be time for savage grief later, but now he needed an explanation.
"I want – no, I need –"
Sanzo looked down and then back at Hakkai. "You need to know how he died? I don't know, Hakkai. None of us saw it happen, so I cannot tell you that he died valiantly and with a smile on his face, although if I know anything about the pervert kappa, it wouldn't surprise me."
Hakkai looked up in shock, watching the smile play on Sanzo's mouth. It was so sudden, and the self-derision so comforting, it took him back over the years and he found himself smiling back.
"We may have stopped the minus wave, but you went batshit insane, Hakkai. Pulling off your limiters was a fucking stupid thing to do, and yet you didn't even think twice about the consequences. Any youkai left standing after that battle didn't have a fucking chance. You're one frightening bastard when you get going, Hakkai."
"And what of Gojyo?"
"Cut down by a bunch of youkai marginally less stupid than the rest. He died defending me, Hakkai. He died so I could cast the sutra and end it all."
For once Sanzo seemed at a loss, staring down at the ground. His voice came out almost in a rough whisper. "If it makes you feel better, Goku went nuts too, although not quite on the scale you did. But in the end, there was nothing we could do. He's gone, Hakkai."
I never expected anything to begin with. Not from others, and not from me.
Hakkai laughed and felt his voice crack. "I don't remember, Sanzo, none of it – yet why do I feel like I'm dying inside and that my heart is going to burst? Why? Why do I look at you and see the myriad faces of the dead? Why am I not dead as well?"
"Because you are a sinner, Hakkai, and you have not finished atoning for those sins, according to the Sanbutushin. Or perhaps you were just unlucky enough to survive. Shit happens."
"And I thought I used to be cynical, Sanzo."
"So why am I here in Chan'ang? So the Sanbutushin can watch over me? Am I here because you vouched for me so long ago?"
Sanzo sighed again, as if the entire situation was
just too annoying for words. "I brought you back here, after we left
"Perhaps the past is not such a bad place to be, after all, if he still lives in my memories," Hakkai mused. "I think I might prefer it that way to be honest."
"As you wish. I should go." Sanzo stood up suddenly, looking down at Hakkai. He seemed to want to say something more, but appeared to be at a loss for words. With a final nod, he walked towards the door and stepped outside, closing it carefully and sliding the bolt home.
When next Hakkai looked up, the moon was gone entirely from the window in the door. Sanzo had left the lamp, which had burned down, the wick flickering rapidly and signaling its tiny death as it burnt out.
That's what Sanzo was; Goku had the right of it. Sanzo was the light and the sun, but burned with a cool yet bright intensity. Gojyo…well, Gojyo was the night, and the promise of something more, something warm. The warmth of a passion slaked, the end to thirst.
"I'll always be by your side, ya know." Hakkai heard the whispered voice, knew it could only be a phantom drawn by the light of the moon. Yet there he was, watching from the corner, one shoulder leaning against the wall, one ankle crossed over the other. He smiled, and it seemed as if the darkness receded for a moment.
"Expectin' someone else?" That rich laugh, Gods, how could he have forgotten that?
"Am I insane to see you standing there?" asked Hakkai.
"I dunno, are you? D'ya prefer insanity and me, or a working brain and Sanzo? I'll take me every time, besides; I'm more fun that the monk with that stick up his ass." Gojyo grinned.
Hakkai watched in mounting disbelief as Gojyo pushed himself away from the wall and walked towards him. He crouched down before Hakkai.
"Touch me, Hakkai."
"I – I can't Gojyo. You are not real." Hakkai raised a hand, and heard the chains clank. He turned his hand over, watched his fingers clench and make a fist, and then dropped it back to the floor.
"So the priest says." Gojyo snorted derisively. "I'm as real as you need me to be. Touch me Hakkai, and make me real."
How could he resist? Hakkai reached out again, fingers expecting to find nothing but air, yet surprised all the same when his fingertips connected with skin. Rough under his touch, the beginnings of stubble on Gojyo's jaw. He watched as Gojyo leaned into his touch, and felt his hair running through his fingers. Like a waterfall of red it was, cool and soft, just like he remembered. He dared to look into Gojyo's eyes, noticing the warmth of his gaze. The way he would look down, lashes fluttering, just before he kissed him, and – oh gods, he was kissing him, and it felt wonderful.
Hakkai opened his mouth; letting Gojyo kiss his bottom lip, slip his tongue gently into his mouth. He felt wetness on his cheeks, and Hakkai knew he was crying again. Damn Sanzo. Damn him for making him remember, and for persuading him this wasn't real. This was more real than the moonlit night he knew waited just outside his cell.
His fingers tangled in Gojyo's hair and he pulled him forward, wanting him closer, wanting to climb into his skin. He felt Gojyo's knees pushing his thighs apart, getting as near as possible. Hakkai shifted on the blanket, wrapping his legs around Gojyo's hips, pushing with his heels, urging Gojyo closer. Gojyo pulled him up slightly until Hakkai was sitting in his lap, snaking his arms around Hakkai's waist and holding him tightly.
"God, I missed you," Gojyo murmured into Hakkai's mouth. "Stay with me, baby. Don't leave me."
"Nn…yes – I mean – "
Gojyo laughed and pulled back slightly, looking into Hakkai's eyes. "I know whatcha mean, don't worry."
Hakkai smiled, this was what he needed and wanted. He needed to feel Gojyo's warmth, the heat of his skin, the slide of his lean body against his own. Hakkai's fingers slid under Gojyo's shirt, pulling it upward, and Gojyo lifted his arms, allowing Hakkai to slide it over his head. Once he'd got rid of the shirt, Hakkai placed his hands on Gojyo's shoulders, running his palms down over Gojyo's nipples, feeling the skin pucker and rise under his fingertips. Gojyo grabbed him around the waist, pulled him in, until Hakkai could feel how hard he was through the thin material of his pants.
Hakkai ground his hips into Gojyo's in an automatic response, earning a groan from Gojyo. He felt Gojyo's fingers undoing his pants, fumbling with the button in an effort to get them lose, and then Gojyo's hand was snaking inside, grasping his cock and giving it a few quick strokes. Hakkai broke their kiss and threw his head back at the sensation, allowing Gojyo to place kisses on his exposed neck.
"Ya gonna come hard and fast for me, Kai?" Gojyo whispered into his ear.
Honeyed words sent a jolt straight down Hakkai's spine, pooling in his groin. "Gojyo, wait – I –"
"No, Kai, no more waiting. I only have the moonlight, and it's almost dawn."
"I – Nn." Hakkai was gasping for air, arms clenched tight around Gojyo's shoulders. He could feel the bite of the cold metal against his wrists as the chains bit into sensitive skin, feel the roughness of the calluses on Gojyo's hand as he stroked Hakkai towards climax.
"Come for me, Kai, please."
Light burst behind Hakkai's closed eyelids as he thrust his hips a final time into Gojyo's hand. "Ah!" His voice echoed through the quiet cell. Pressed together, he felt the warm wetness of his come on his skin where it met with Gojyo's. After his shout, the room continued to echo with his panting breaths as he fought to get them under control. He rested his head on Gojyo's shoulder, felt his strong arms wrapped around him. He hardly moved when Gojyo shifted, rearranging them so they could lie down on the old blanket.
He pulled back slightly, watching Gojyo. "What about you, Gojyo?" he asked.
"Hey, we've got loads of time, Kai. It can wait."
"But you said – "
"Shh." Gojyo placed a finger gently on Hakkai's lips. "Rest with me; I wanna feel you lying in my arms again."
Hakkai searched in Gojyo's eyes for something, something to tell him what was going on. After a few moments he pulled Gojyo close and rested his head back on his shoulder. With Gojyo here, he almost felt free, as if the chains were not real, not part of this reality. As if they chimed their song in the background, and had no bearing whatsoever on the present.
He was almost asleep when he felt Gojyo move in his arms. "Kai, I gotta go. I'm sorry."
"Don't. Don't leave, Gojyo. Be with me, always."
A pause. "You could come with me, ya know."
Hakkai laughed, bitter and jaded. "You know that's impossible. You might not even be real, and just a figment of my imagination."
"I might well be. Only one way to find out though – only one thing holding you back, ya know."
"And what might that be?" Hakkai felt weary, as if the dawn was pressing down on him, suffocating.
"Those chains are the only thing stoppin' you. Release them, and come with me."
They were such easy words, tempting in their simplicity. And oh gods, was his a weary soul, weighed down with life and the living of it. How perfect to break free, and live in the moonlight, forever night and its glistening possibilities. Seductive, it called to him. What had he to wait here for, after all? In the end it was such a simple decision.
"I'll come with you, Gojyo, but I don't know how."
He felt Gojyo move and sit up on one elbow, looking down at him. "Show me your wrists."
Mesmerized, Hakkai felt himself present both wrists to his lover. With a touch they fell away, the chains breaking, falling apart. "Sanzo ain't the only one who can do that, ya know," Gojyo said with a laugh.
"Hold me, then, Gojyo." He felt Gojyo wrap his arms around his shoulders, pulling him in close. He felt his eyes closing, sleep stealing over him, world weary. It was too much trouble to stay awake - when he had the pull of his lover calling to him through the moonlight.
Dawn was a fleeting fancy, a promise unfulfilled, while the moon watched over him always.