- Author: Gonou's Girl
- Pairing(s): GojyoxHakkai. Brief discussion of HakkaixKanaan and a very, very, VERY tiny hint at SanzoxGoku XD You get a cookie if you spot it! ^_^
- Rating: PG-13
- Summary or description: Surely, surely it was obvious?
Disclaimer: All characters owned by the magnificent Minekura-sama *bows down in
- Email: elphame_lives [at] msn [dot] com
- Comments: Yay! Fluff!
A calming breeze ruffled the long grass on the cliff top as dawn began to stretch its pale fingers across the sky. Hakkai sat amongst the green, hands linked around his knees. His usually poker-straight back was relaxed and slightly hunched. He closed his eyes slightly, basking in the beautiful warmth of those first rays of sunlight. A contented smile stretched across his peaceful features.
It had become more or less a routine to slip out every morning before the others had awoken and take an hour's quiet reflection. It had been Gojyo who had suggested it. Kanaan didn't have a grave and Hakkai didn't have anything she'd owned to make a shrine, and it bothered Hakkai that he had nowhere to pay his respects to the woman he had loved so dearly. But Gojyo, as always, came to the rescue with a simple but pleasant alternative: why not make the beautiful outside world her shrine?
It had been a wonderful idea. Kanaan had always loved the outdoors, and somehow Hakkai felt he was closer to her when he could hear the birds or the wind in the trees. And of course, once they had started their journey, the idea became even more practical than either Gojyo or Hakkai could have ever predicted. Now Hakkai could make a shrine to her wherever he was, and whenever he felt the need to do so.
And so today, Kanaan's grave was temporarily on this cliff top, facing out to the wide open sea. Having spent most of the journey up in the mountains, it was a rare sight, and Hakkai was enjoying the sparkle as the sun's light refracted on the waves, the call of sea birds and that faint taste of salt in the air.
That faint taste of Hi-Lite as well?
A familiar thump of footsteps approached him and Gojyo flumped down in the grass beside him, dangling his legs over the edge of the cliff and swinging them like a child. He leant back on his hands to stare up at the sky, his cigarette glimmering in the faint light. "Hmm," he murmured thoughtfully. "Kanaan's got herself a nice place today."
Hakkai, who hadn't shown any sign of acknowledging Gojyo's presence, felt a smile creep across his lips. Trust Gojyo to know exactly why he was out here. His eyes were still closed so that he could better enjoy the feeling of the soft breeze on his skin. "Mmm," he agreed. The sun's warmth seemed quite cold compared to the warmth radiating from the man sat beside him.
Gojyo let them sit in silence for a surprisingly long time before he asked, "Do you still miss her?"
Hakkai opened his eyes and stared out to sea, now bright with sunlight. The slight contented smile still played on his face. "No, I don't suppose I do," he said softly. He turned to Gojyo with his usual exaggerated smile. "Is that terrible of me?"
"Shit," Gojyo said, partly because Hakkai was using that damn smile again and partly because he seemed to think Gojyo could tell him right from wrong. "She's been dead for three years, hasn't she?"
"Indeed so," Hakkai responded, which made Gojyo wonder if maybe his answer hadn't been very tactful. He was an insensitive shit sometimes.
"Nn," Gojyo said. He took a drag on his cigarette and followed Hakkai's gaze out to sea.
"Gojyo," Hakkai began tentatively, as though he'd been considering starting this conversation for a while but now that his mouth had started forming the words he wasn't sure he wanted them said after all. "There's something I've been meaning to tell you."
"Yeah?" Gojyo prompted, interested. Close as they were, it was very rare for Hakkai to volunteer information.
"I, ah... I always thought that I would only ever be in love with Kanaan," Hakkai said, a little out of breath. He really couldn't remember actually deciding to talk to Gojyo about this but now that his mouth had started, his mind couldn't work out how to stop it. "But, well I'm not in love with her anymore. I love her, of course," he said quickly, "and that's why I come out here every morning, to pay my respects. But when I'm out here, I... I find my thoughts are... elsewhere. You see, Gojyo, I... I'm in love with someone else."
Gojyo had been watching Hakkai very intently while he said this, even though Hakkai's gaze was still fixedly out to sea, but now he let out a very low, impressed whistle. "About bloody time too," he grinned, slapping Hakkai genially on the back. Hakkai's eyes shot wide from the contact but he regained his composure before Gojyo looked at him again. The redhead took another drag on his cigarette and then bit his lower lip, looking at Hakkai as if he couldn't quite believe it. "So go on, then, who is it?"
Hakkai opened his mouth to say, but at last his mind stepped in and stopped the name from reaching Gojyo's ears. He looked down at his knees, flushing slightly. Gojyo registered this display of shyness and felt his lips twitch. Cute.
"You don't have to tell me if you don't want, I guess," he said, although half of him was really curious to know.
"No, I..." Hakkai looked instinctively up at Gojyo before looking down at his hands again, still blushing slightly. He wished he could hold back that blush; it was most uncharacteristic. "I want to tell you..."
Gojyo laughed slightly. He'd been right; Hakkai was only going to volunteer so much. It was habit by now to gently coax the information out of him with the right questions. "Alright," he said, still smiling. "Anyone I know?"
"... Yes," Hakkai responded slowly, half of him trying very hard not to say it. "Quite well, in fact." He flushed again. He was feeling very vulnerable and obvious and was very glad he had his masklike composure to hide behind.
Gojyo's face split into a leer as he leant on Hakkai's shoulder, considerately pulling the cigarette out of his mouth before doing so. He knew Hakkai hated smoke. "It's that Yaone girl, isn't it?" he teased, knowing how well the supposed enemies got on. Half of him thought it might actually be the truth. "That chick that fights alongside that jerk Kougaiji?"
Hakkai laughed; he hadn't even considered that Gojyo might suspect him of having feelings for her. "No, no," he chuckled amiably. "It's not Miss Yaone."
"Ah," Gojyo sighed, as if pleasantly disappointed he'd got it wrong. He moved back from Hakkai and took another drag on his cigarette. "Shit. Then I can't think who it could be. We've hardly met any decent women since Sanzo dragged us out on this frickin' wild goose chase."
"Mm, you're right," Hakkai murmured, his heart in his mouth. "We've hardly met any women."
Something about the way Hakkai had emphasised the word 'women' made Gojyo's stomach flip over. Maybe there was a chance... "A guy?" he said, surprise etched across his face. His cigarette dangled loosely between his lips as though he'd forgotten it was there.
"... Do you think less of me?" Hakkai asked. His knuckles were white where his fingers had interlocked far too tight.
"Shit, of course not," Gojyo said sincerely, making as if to squeeze Hakkai's hand in reassurance but changing his mind and lightly slapping Hakkai's knee instead. His face was serious, careful to show Hakkai that he meant it. "Like I'd ever judge you for that."
He watched Hakkai for a few moments, but Hakkai didn't say anything. Gojyo hoped that silence was appreciation, although he wouldn't be surprised if he'd said something wrong. He breathed in deeply, drawing on his courage. Now or never.
"Well, come on then," he half-laughed, "you still need to tell me who the lucky guy is!" He hadn't meant to say 'lucky guy' but his mouth, as usual, was working far faster than his brain. He was struck by a sudden horrible thought. "It's not Sanzo, is it?" he cried suddenly, appalled. "Please tell me it's not Sanzo... everyone's in love with Sanzo..."
Hakkai couldn't help but laugh at Gojyo's appalled tone. "No, it's not Sanzo, no," he assured Gojyo, who quickly said, "Good!" before sucking on his cigarette again. The red light flared and died, the last trails of smoke drifting up into the atmosphere. "Shit," he mumbled automatically and rubbed the end of the cigarette into the dirt on the other side to Hakkai.
"Gojyo..." he heard Hakkai begin. He turned round to face him and jumped as he realised that Hakkai had leant into the space between them, an imploring look on his eyes. At first Gojyo thought he was trying to kiss him, but then he remembered that Hakkai was far too polite and restrained to do something like that. He relaxed. "What?"
"Promise... promise you won't laugh, Gojyo?" Hakkai said, worry clearly shining in his emerald eyes. He seemed to be begging Gojyo to take this seriously, which slightly annoyed Gojyo. He'd been taking this seriously all morning.
"Of course I won't laugh," said Gojyo, sounding a little hurt that Hakkai'd thought he would. "What is it?"
"It's you, Gojyo."
Hakkai's eyes flickered as he said it, as if his body was making a last-ditch attempt at stopping those words getting out. But he seemed resolute; his eyes were still locked onto Gojyo's, a slight mournfulness about them, and somehow he wasn't shaking, in spite of himself. Gojyo's eyes had shot wide at Hakkai's words, shocked by how straightforward and honest they had been, how simply and easily they'd come out of Hakkai's mouth. He was so taken aback by Hakkai's openness that it took him a few seconds to process what had actually been said, but once he figured it out his face split into the widest, broadest smile he'd worn in a long time.
"You're laughing," Hakkai accused plaintively, turning away from Gojyo to resume the position he'd sat in for the previous hour. His face fell and it was an effort to bring it to its normal deadpan state. He felt distinctly wounded, hurt and a little angry that Gojyo had broken his promise.
"Aw, Hakkai, come on, I'm smiling," Gojyo implored, the smile audible in his voice. He reached out and laid a hand on Hakkai's shoulder. "It's different to laughing, you know?"
"Well, either way, I would love to know what it is that you find quite so entertaining," Hakkai retorted coldly. If Gojyo found his confession funny, it seemed very unlikely that he felt the same. Stupid Hakkai, stupid, he thought.
"Hell, Hakkai, you just caught me off guard," Gojyo said, clearly trying to fight the laughter from his voice. "I had no idea you felt that way, that's all..."
"No idea?!" blurted Hakkai, incredulously. He turned to look at Gojyo with wide eyes as though he really couldn't believe it. "But, with feelings this strong... I was sure was doing a terrible job at hiding it... I was sure you knew, sure everyone knew... I thought it was obvious..."
Gojyo was looking at Hakkai as though he thought he was clinically insane. "Hakkai, with you, nothing's obvious," he said pointedly. Hakkai tilted his head as if to say, Fair point. Gojyo felt that ludicrous smile tweaking at his mouth again. "I find it more surprising that you couldn't see how I felt. I mean, you're supposed to be the perceptive one, right?"
Hakkai felt his heart stop. It couldn't be... it just wasn't possible... "What do you mean, Gojyo?"
"Shit, man, are you serious?" Gojyo stared at Hakkai. "Can't you tell I like you too? I gave up trying to hide it years ago! I mean, shit, you didn't notice that I've been flirting with you 24/7?"
Hakkai felt joy well up inside him. Gojyo felt the same. He had only said he 'liked' Hakkai, but even that was more than Gojyo was used to saying.
"Gojyo," he reprimanded with a smile, "how could anyone work it out from that? You flirt with everyone, even Sanzo and Goku!"
Gojyo paused as if he hadn't thought about it before. He rubbed the back of his head subconsciously, a sheepish look on his face. "Hah, I guess you're right. But," he said quickly, "you know I don't fancy either of them, right?"
Amused by the childish word 'fancy', Hakkai smiled. "Is that so?"
"Yeah," Gojyo said quietly, flushing. He had to say it; he wanted Hakkai to realise how much this meant to him. Hakkai wasn't like those stupid bimbos at those bars. "You're the only one for me, Hakkai."
"... Do you really mean that, Gojyo?"
"Yeah, I do," Gojyo confirmed quietly, looking calmly into Hakkai's eyes. Damn. Eyes that were in love with him... it felt wonderful.
He suddenly laughed. "Hell, we're such screw-ups," he grinned. "Here we were, both thinking the other could see how we felt, and neither of us had a clue."
"I expect Sanzo figured it out," Hakkai said thoughtfully. "Even Goku may have suspected... I suppose it's just one of those cases where you can't see what's right in front of you."
"Yeah," Gojyo agreed, trailing his fingers awkwardly through the grass. "How screwed up... Although I guess, I'm screwed up anyway, so I'd... I'd rather be screwed up here, with you."
"Is that so?" Hakkai said again with a smile.
Gojyo grimaced inwardly; he'd said two horribly out-of-character sappy romantic things but Hakkai was still sat there with that benign smile on his face, his back poker-straight. He'd taken down his mask but Hakkai still had his up. He'd said that he was in love with Gojyo and yet he was behaving as though they were simply discussing what to buy on the next shopping trip. And frankly, it was starting to get to Gojyo; he was so nervous that he couldn't even work up the courage to kiss Hakkai – which he really wanted to do. After all, it was about time...
"Listen, Hakkai," he said calmly, his face and Hakkai's mask gaining a serious gloss. "I want us to be together, but if that's gonna happen I have two rules. First, I'm obviously gonna lay off the ladies. I said you're the only one for me and I mean that. Secondly, you're gotta stop wearing that stupid mask when you're around me. Okay? Fair deal?"
Hakkai blanched, visibly taken aback. He had never expected Gojyo to confront him so directly about his mask and he felt suddenly even more vulnerable than when he'd been confessing. Gojyo wanted him to come out from behind the mask – he was asking him to leave his comfort zone. But then again, he wanted Gojyo to see the real him... he wanted Gojyo to know him more intimately than anyone had ever known him before... And yet he'd lived behind that mask ever since Kanaan had died. Was he ready to expose himself to that kind of hurt again? But Gojyo was worth that...
Gojyo looked at Hakkai's blank expression and tried to stop his heart from sinking. He could see the shock in Hakkai eyes, knew that he was probably trying to decide, but Gojyo had a plan. He wasn't going to give Hakkai the chance to choose the mask over him; after all, Gojyo knew how to play women. Men couldn't be that different, surely?
He heaved a huge, exaggerated sigh and used his arms to rise to his feet. "I see. You've made your decision. I won't bother you again," he said, turning away from Hakkai. He was laying it bare for Hakkai – me or the mask, Hakkai. What's more important to you?
"WAIT!" Hakkai cried suddenly, and Gojyo felt himself grin as long fingers clutched at his. His heart inflated like a balloon filled with sunlight – the actual sun paled in comparison to this – as he savoured the sweet taste of victory. Hakkai had chosen him.
He turned back to Hakkai, trying to keep his face blank, but it was hard to suppress this joy. Hakkai hadn't just grabbed his hand, he'd struggled to his knees in an attempt to get closer to the fleeing Gojyo, and once his quarry had turned back to face him, his hands had reached up and grabbed the collar of Gojyo's shirt. Hakkai gave a swift gentle tug and Gojyo, wishing that all his plans went this well, found himself being pulled down towards Hakkai's lips – those lips he'd wanted to kiss for so long...
Gojyo's grin had exploded onto his face before their lips met, and as it pressed gently against Hakkai's lips, he could taste the smile. It was so soft, so lovely... Hakkai could taste the Hi-Lite, but he seemed to forget that he hated cigarette smoke – it was Gojyo he could taste, not cigarettes. He felt Gojyo fall abruptly to his knees before Hakkai, although he still had a slight height advantage. Hakkai didn't care. Nothing mattered as long as Gojyo kept kissing him.
Recovering from his surprise, Gojyo gently put his hands either side of Hakkai's waist. Hakkai felt a shiver run up his spine from the gentle touch but was careful not to flinch; after all, Gojyo was allowed to touch him now. He felt Gojyo's hands gently run up and down his sides, as if testing whether Hakkai would let him, before pushing his hands around to the small of Hakkai's back. Hakkai let his own hands rise up to meet Gojyo's neck, his hands first cradling Gojyo's cheek as Hakkai gently slipped his tongue into his mouth. He then slid his hands up behind Gojyo's neck, running his long fingers through Gojyo's silky hair.
Their kiss became more passionate, more desperate, and Hakkai leaned into Gojyo, pressing their chests against each other's. Gojyo responded by wrapping his arms tighter around Hakkai's waist, pulling him even closer into him. Hakkai could feel Gojyo's heart pounding against his chest and wondered how he had ever lived without it. Gojyo broke the kiss, smiling at Hakkai's slight whimper of protest, and buried himself in Hakkai's neck, nuzzling him gently, kissing and sucking the sensitive flesh. Hakkai arched his neck, gazing at the sky before closing his eyes in bliss.
As the kisses Gojyo planted on his neck began to slow down, Hakkai swallowed and looked at Gojyo with sparkling emerald eyes. "You had no intention of leaving, did you?" he said warmly, taking the opportunity to kiss Gojyo's collarbone affectionately.
"Hell no," Gojyo grinned wickedly. He reached up to brush his fingers against Hakkai's cheek before taking his hands and entwining their fingers together. "As if I could." He kissed the back of Hakkai's hand firmly. Then he looked up at Hakkai – his Hakkai – his smile broadening triumphantly. "But it sure as hell worked!"