Lost

 

 

Author : lillypuff 

Email: lilly_puff22 (at) yahoo (dot) com

LiveJournal: http://lillypuff.livejournal.com

Characters From : Saiyuki

Pairing : Gojyo x Hakkai, Sanzo x Goku

Theme : (30Kisses) Kappa List (Water) - #07, Lost

Complete: 4 of 30

Rating :  R (CH 1-5) to NC-17 (CH 6 & 7)

Warning(s) : Angst, swearing, mild m/m sexual content  

Summary : Early on in the journey, the Ikkou gets lost & has a run in with an interesting entity.  Cursing, loving and the occasional silliness ensues.

Disclaimer : Sadly, Saiyuki does not belong to me.  I wish it did =)  Don't sue me, I don't have any money anyway.

 

 

 

PART - 1 of 7

 

"For the love of all things sanct upon this sweet fucking earth!" That's Sanzo, no doubt.

 

This is going to be a long day.

 

 "Relax Sanzo, it's not that bad." Only Hakkai could remain that calm with Sanzo's full fury raining down upon him. "I just need to figure out where we went wrong and…"

 

"Not that bad? NOT. THAT. BAD. We're lost and THAT'S all you can say?" Fucking Sanzo. It's not often he unleashes his full rage on Hakkai like this. I wonder if I should step in?

 

"We've been roughing it for a couple days now and that fucking monkey back there is going to eat us out of the rest of our supplies in no time if we don't find a town soon…"

 

"I'm hungry." Goku, right on cue.

 

"SHUT UP."

 

*WHAP* *WHAP*

 

Fan…

 

"Seriously though, it's not like this is difficult, we are going west. So just go…FUCKING WEST!"

 

"Well, that's pretty much what got us lost in the first place. These maps we picked up are next to useless." How the hell does Hakkai keep so calm?

 

"Saaanzo, don't yell at Hakkai, it's not his fault." You'd think the monkey would have learned that whining only provokes him further.

 

"Didn't I just tell you to SHUT UP?"

 

*WHAP* *WHAP* *WHAP*

 

Fan…

 

 "Look Hakkai, I don't give a flying fuck what you do, just get us un-lost, NOW!"

 

Alright, that's it…

 

"Look MONK. I've been sitting back here trying to keep out of this because one, I'm nursing the hangover that might finally kill me, and two, because I KNOW Hakkai hates it when I think he needs rescuing, but you are crossing the line. Now I don't know if that monkey finally got around to shoving his nyoi-bou up your ass and just forgot to take it out, or what, but seriously, CHILL THE FUCK OUT."

 

*CLICK*

 

Gun…

 

"Kappa, follow the Monkey's shining example and shut the fuck up. Hakkai, drive."

 

Fuck it…I'm only making things worse…

 

"Pervert."

 

Shut up monkey…

 

*WHAP*

 

Fan…

 

 

*****

 

"Are you OK?" Gojyo whispered.

 

It had been over an hour since any of them had last spoke. Gojyo eventually leaned forward until he was up against the driver's seat, resting his chin on Hakkai's right shoulder, making sure his face was mostly obscured from Sanzo's view by the seat and Hakkai's head.

 

"I'm fine Gojyo," he whispered back, "we'll talk about it later."

 

"That's fine, I just wanted to check," Gojyo replied as he placed a very discreet kiss on the youkai's neck. He didn't have to see his face to know that Hakkai smiled.

 

"I appreciate it, kappa." Hakkai reached his hand back and quickly ruffled the red head's hair, "How's the hangover?"

 

"Better. Must be the view." Gojyo leaned forward peering into Hakkai's lap. That got a chuckle out of him, which made Gojyo feel much better.

 

Gojyo had to fight the urge to stay in that position where he could smell Hakkai so clearly. He wanted to reach between the seat and the door and wrap his arm around his lover and steal and quick grope, or two…or three. But in the end he knew that that would only lead to him getting shot, considering the mood the monk was in, and he sure as hell wasn't about to die horny…not if he had anything to say about it.

 

He leaned back with a sigh, and turned to look at Goku, who was staring longingly at the back of Sanzo's head.

 

Gojyo hoped like hell he had never looked that lost and dejected in the days before he and Hakkai hand finally confessed their feelings for each other. 

 

Poor monkey. I know how you feel kid, all too well.

 

*****

 

By the time Sanzo decided it was time to stop for the night, Gojyo had managed to shake loose the lingering hangover and had started picking on Goku. It was really the only way he knew to get the kid to stop his obvious pining.

 

"Alright Monkey, let's see you get out of this one."

 

Gojyo put the now riled up Goku into an iron grip head lock, sat down on a large rock, and tried to think about what was going on. His gaze passing from Hakkai to Sanzo…Sanzo to Hakkai…Hakkai to…Hakkai.

 

Damn it! I am as addicted to looking at Hakkai as I am to smoking…speaking of which…

 

He tried to fumble his smokes out of his pocket, but the monkey was struggling so much that he ended up dropping the pack. 

 

Fuck it. I'll just feed my other addiction.

 

Which is exactly what he did, while remembering to occasionally egg on Goku, still trapped under his arm. 

 

After a couple minutes of watching Hakkai unload the Jeep, he began to think that maybe he should help out, give Hakkai a break, considering how the day had gone.

 

Gojyo let out a loud chuckle as he released Goku from his struggles.

 

Damn man, first you can't stop looking and now you want to help with chores. When did you become so whipped?

 

"Finally," gasped Goku, a bit overdramatically, "I thought I was going to suffocate under there."

 

"Stuff it Monkey," replied Gojyo, "not my fault you couldn't get out on your own."

 

In a fit of childish abandon, he stuck his tongue out at the boy, who merely plopped down on the rock Gojyo has just left unoccupied, and stared, obviously amused. But amusement was quickly replaced by a phrase they all knew too well.

 

"I'm hungry, when are we going to eat Hakkai? And where is Sanzo?"

 

Well, can't say I didn't try to distract him.

 

"I'll start working on dinner in just a few minutes," Hakkai paused in thought for a second, "and I believe Sanzo is standing behind that large tree behind you and to the left."

 

Gojyo heard the unmistakable sounds of Sanzo grumbling in frustration coming from behind said tree, followed by the rustling of a robe. He saw Sanzo's arm dart out from his hiding place, fan in hand.

 

"Don't even think about coming over here. I am going for a walk," he curtly called out, stepping from behind the tree, staring at the three of them, his eyes almost daring one of them to move.

 

Gojyo heard Hakkai emit a sigh before speaking up.

 

"Sanzo, perhaps you shouldn't go wondering alone considering we know less about were we are then usual."

 

I'll never understand why he gives a damn about that selfish monk, Gojyo thought with a bit of anger and quiet possibly, jealousy.

 

Hakkai turned to Goku, "Why don't you go with him Goku? See if you can find anything edible that we can add to our diminishing supplies."

 

Goku said nothing, only looked at the monk to gauge his reaction to this suggestion.

 

Gojyo watched this exchange in utter amazement as the monk's shoulder sagged, giving into Hakkai's suggestion. Now that was unusual. Sanzo actually complying with someone else's wishes. There must be something really bothering him.

 

The monk nodded at Goku, "Come on monkey, let's go hunt and gather for our womenfolk."

 

"OK Sanzo." Goku replied. Compliant as ever our Goku, Gojyo thought as he watched the two walk further into the woods.

 

"Wait a minute?!" Gojyo shot a glance at Hakkai, "Did Sanzo just call us women?"

 

Hakkai couldn't hold back his laugh. "Yes Gojyo, I believe he did."

 

*****

 

Gojyo and Hakkai spent the next hour unloading the Jeep (which took only a few minutes) and preparing dinner. They took advantage of Sanzo and Goku's absence, touching, teasing, and kissing in away that they rarely could without being confined to a small inn room.

 

Gojyo was tempted to tackle Hakkai to the ground for a quickie, but he decided against it. With his luck the monk, or worse, the monkey, would come back in the middle of it, and he didn't want to ruin the semblance of normalcy that had half returned to the group since they stopped for the night. 

 

When Hakkai looked like he had everything under control, Gojyo returned to his rock and lit a smoke. As he sat and smoked he continued to watch Hakkai, not knowing why he was so captivated by him. He must of zoned out at some point, because he suddenly found himself staring eye to eye with Hakkai. 

 

Hakkai reached out, placing a hand under his chin and brought his lips to the red head's. When he withdrew from the kiss, Hakkai tilted his head and spoke, "You alright Gojyo?".

 

"Yeah, I'm fine, just zoned out," he replied, "long day I guess, though I imagine yours was longer."

 

"Well, all that yelling probably didn't help your head."

 

Gojyo hadn't wanted to get into a real conversation for fear of it being interrupted, but before he know it, the words were coming out of his mouth:

 

"Why do you stay so calm when he yells at you like that? Why do you put up with that shit?"

 

"Someone has to."

 

"That's bullshit and you know it. You're not his rag doll. You don't have to take his abuse."

 

Hakkai chuckled, "The way I see it, it's the ones who talk back to him that end up getting abused by his Holy Fan of Doom."

 

Gojyo had to admit he had a point there. "But doesn't it bother you?"

 

"It does, but Sanzo is, well…Sanzo. I can't change what he is and how he acts. So I turn my thoughts to other things and it goes away."

 

"What other things?"

 

"That's for me to know, and you to find out. Maybe."

 

Gojyo grinned. They shared a moment of comfortable silence staring absent mindedly at each other. It was Hakkai who broke the quiet.

 

"I'm worried about him Gojyo."

 

"Who? Sanzo?"

 

"Yes"

 

"You're worried about Sanzo? "Mr. I Walk Alone", regardless of how many people happen to be walking beside him? Why?"

 

"I don't know. But something's not right and I don't think we can afford to have these sort of problems these days."

 

"Well, I agree with you there, but like you said, 'Sanzo is Sanzo', he'll work out is own problems just like always. Besides, if there is anyone you should be worrying about, Mr. Mother Hen, it's Goku."

 

"Goku? Wait a second, you find it odd that I worry about Sanzo, and yet you are worried about Goku?"

 

Heh, he got me there.

 

"Seriously though Hakkai. Have you ever seen how he watches Sanzo? It's bordering on sick and I can't help but feel sorry for him. He worships the ground that stupid baldy monk walks on and yet it falls on deaf ears, or something."

 

"I wouldn't say that. We notice, don't we?"

 

"Well yeah, but I don't see how that helps." Gojyo paused for a second, "Wait a minute, is that why you wanted Goku to go with him?"

 

Hakkai shrugged.

 

"You sent him out there with Sanzo, who is more pissed then I've seen him in a while, in hopes of what? That they would fuck?"

 

"No you stupid Kappa," Hakkai said through a chuckle, "Good lord, do you ever think of anything else?"

 

"Well, no, not when you are sitting right in front of me."

 

"Indeed. I wonder how many ladies you used that line on before me." Hakkai displayed a broad grin that was, well, almost frightening.

 

"None actually. I was saving it for the right woman." Hakkai let loose a genuine laugh at that, and Gojyo laughed along.

 

"So what are you playing matchmaker now?"

 

"I just figured they could use some time alone together, in a non sexual way. Besides, I cook, I clean and I keep things together, and if Sanzo is going to start calling me a woman, I might as well go all the way and start trading in gossip and trying to fix up my friends."

 

"You are a strange man Cho Hakkai," Gojyo said through a grin.

 

"Yes, that I am," he replied as he stood up and walked over to the red head. He sat on the big Kappa's lap, straddling his long legs, starring deep into his blood red eyes, "But isn't that why you love me?"

 

Gojyo felt himself being lost in the youkai's green eyes.

 

"Yes Hakkai, I believe it is."

 

To be continued……….

 

PART - 2 of 7 

 

 

"Goku, where'd you go?"

 

No response.

 

"Goku?"

 

This is not the time to be losing each other.

 

"Damn it Monkey, you better answer me."

 

Still nothing.

 

*****

 

Goku had followed Sanzo into the copse of trees where they had stopped for the night, content in the thought that at least he would get to be alone with Sanzo for awhile.  He wasn't sure why he wanted to be alone with the monk though.  Sure, Sanzo was a bit different towards him when they were alone, but it wasn't really that much of a change.  He was less angry sometimes, but he didn't say much more, and he didn't seem like he cared anymore. 

 

Goku's stomach suddenly growled and it reminded him of why he had been sent out with Sanzo in the first place.  He, Goku, was to gather food, if he could find any.  So he kept his eyes peeled, looking for bushes and plants that might yield fruits he could bring back to Hakkai, whom he was eager to please, because unlike Sanzo, Hakkai would say "thank you" and pat him on the head, or ruffle his hair and smile at him. 

 

Lost in his thoughts, Goku didn't realize he had walked away from Sanzo as he searched for something edible and it wasn't until he stumbled across a patch of strawberry bushes that he was fully jerked from his thoughts.   

 

"Hey, Sanzo, look what I found."

 

No response.  Oh well, it's not as if neither of them could take care of themselves.

 

Goku reached out and plucked a strawberry off of the bush.  He sniffed it.  It smelled fine, looked fine, as far as see could see in the lingering light, felt ripe.  He took a bite.

 

Delicious!  These would be great.  Sure, they couldn't live off 'em if they remained lost for awhile, but Goku thought it might cheer everyone up to have some fresh wild strawberries.  He popped a few more into his mouth…he really was hungry.  As he grabbed for more he realized he hadn't brought anything with him to carry back whatever he might find.  He supposed he could come back, but he really wanted to bring at least some back to their campsite now.  So he unlatched his cape from his shoulders and inspected it the best he could.  Seemed clean enough, it would have to do.

 

Goku set himself to the task at hand, relying on touch more then sight to tell if the berries were good for eating.  Somehow most of the berries made it onto his cape, though many ended up directly in his mouth.  Once he had a nice pile of them, he pulled up and tied the corners of the cape, happy with his makeshift bag.

 

Goku wondered if he should go find Sanzo, or just head back to the campsite, but he realized he wasn't quiet sure where the campsite was, he had after all stumbled upon this area while wandering, lost in thought.  He looked around, trying to see if he could see light from the campfire in the distance. 

 

He did see a light, it wasn't the yellow-orange light of the fire he was expecting but instead a beautiful blue green light.  Curious he walked to it, losing it a couple times on the way, but each time he found it again, the light was brighter and it began to call to him, not in words, but in emotions.  He felt love, happiness, fear, loneliness, and it pulled him to the light.

 

He found the source of the light, a small pond, not much bigger then a large bathtub, nestled between two large rocks that reflected the light despite their apparent darkness.  It was a warm color, a forgiving color, a welcoming color. 

 

The water was perfectly still as Goku dropped to his knee's at the edge of the pond, still holding onto his makeshift bag with one hand.  He reached out with his other hand, he couldn't help it, he wanted to see the stillness dissolved.  His hand stopped though, just centimeters away from the peaceful water, and then he saw gold, as brilliant as the sun, and he was lost in it.

 

*****

 

This is ridiculous.

 

Sanzo wasn't sure how long he had been searching, but he knew it was too long to have gone with out hearing Goku reply to his calls.  He had contemplated going back to the campsite to get Hakkai & Gojyo, but he hadn't because he thought he would have found that damn monkey by now.

 

Where the hell could he have gone?  This "forest" isn't that big.

 

"Goku, where are…" he stopped mid yell.  He had caught a flash of gold out of the corner of his eye. 

 

He turned in the direction it had come from but it was gone.  He began to walk that way none the less, searching for another flash, his pace quickening.  It had been obvious that something was wrong since he had started searching for Goku, but it was only now that it really started to bother him.

 

His stomach began to feel like it was tying itself in a knot and he started to run.

 

Pull yourself together, this is not the time to starting getting emotional.  You'll find the damn monkey, you always do.

 

Damn straight he would.  He'd lost enough, he wasn't about to let the monkey get away that easy.

 

Sanzo was starting to wonder if he had gone in the wrong direction when he saw the gold light again, hovering up ahead, filling in the darkness between the trees.  He removed his gun from the folds of his robe as he ran into the small clearing that surrounded the light and the pond where Goku kneeled.

 

"Goku…"

 

He wasn't sure why he called to him, he had been calling the ape for the better part of an hour, why he would here him now while he was obviously entranced was beyond him.

 

Sanzo slowly walked toward Goku, until he was a few feet behind him.  He tried to walk closer, but he couldn't, the light was blinding, and becoming hot.  Goku was still kneeling at the edge of the pond, oblivious to the change in temperature, both arms draped at his side, one holding on to what looked like a bag of some sort.  Goku was motionless, head drooped slightly as if he were staring into the pond, which radiated gold light.

 

He had to admit he wasn't sure what to do.  If there had been a youkai or something else present, he would have shot it.  But there wasn't really anything to shoot…at least not that he could see.  Just light, burning, blinding light. He really didn't want to waste bullets shooting into nothingness.

 

Sanzo noticed an odd thing then.  The pond was growing.  Only slightly, but it was indeed getting bigger.  Goku had been at the edge of it, but now the water was playing around his knees.

 

Fuck it.

 

He managed to inch closer to Goku and raised his gun.  He hoped this would work, he didn't want to have to shoot the monkey.

 

*****

 

The light surrounded him and he felt warm.  He closed his eyes, savoring the feeling.  When he opened them again, he saw Sanzo, hand outstretched towards him.  He tried to reach for him but he couldn't move.

 

Sanzo…

 

He heard a voice.

 

Why do you yearn for him so, little one?

 

He saved me.  He always saves me.

 

I can feel your devotion to him.  But there is also sadness.  It tears you in two.  You shouldn't have to feel this way.  I can help you.  You can give it to me.

 

Give what to you?

 

Whatever you choose, devotion, sadness, love, fear, I am not picky these days.  So few people visit me anymore.  I had thought I had seen the last of them until I felt you walk among the trees.

 

What are you?  A ghost?

 

I guess you could call me that.

 

Why are you here?

 

To remember.

 

Remember what?

 

What I used to be. 

 

The image of Sanzo was replaced by that of a young girl sitting by the side of the pond where he now sat, only it was larger and the water not as still.  He could hear the girl singing to herself as she gazed into the water, content in her quiet refuge from the world.

 

Will you give me what I want?  If you cannot choose, I can choose for you.  But I must admit, it has been a long time since I have eaten…

 

Me too…

 

I may be greedy and take too much. 

 

What if I say no?

 

Why would you, I am trying to help.  I'll gladly take away your pain.

 

But it's all I have. 

 

You would rather keep it?  Have it remind you of what you don't have,  how he doesn't look at you they way you look at him, how he doesn't touch you, doesn't love you.

 

Goku felt the tears start to trickle down his cheeks. 

 

Take it.

 

Thank you.

 

The light around him began to burn brighter and hotter.  He could see the water around him stretching, growing, moving.

 

And then he heard an all too familiar explosion, but in his grief, he couldn't place it.

 

He felt something breeze past his ear and suddenly the light was gone.

 

*****

 

Sanzo could hear Goku crying.

 

He pulled the trigger.

 

The bullet passed by Goku's head and was engulfed in the light.  Sanzo heard it splash into the water and the gold light faded into a blue green that nearly hypnotized him.

 

Sanzo ran forward and grabbed Goku's now limp body before it fell into the water.  Surprisingly the monkey was still holding onto the bag with an iron grip.

 

Must be food, Sanzo thought without humor as he hurried away from the clearing, Goku in his arms.  Whatever it was that held Goku hypnotized had been distracted by the bullet, he wasn't about to stick around to let it take them both this time.

 

*****

 

Gojyo and Hakkai were running into the forest before the sound of the gunshot finished echoing in the night, Gojyo, weapon in hand, Hakkai lighting their way.

 

"Sanzo?! Goku?! Where the fuck are you guys?"

 

They continued on, not knowing what they would find.

 

*****

 

Sanzo didn't know if he was far enough away from the pond-creature-thing, but he had to stop.  He wanted to make sure Goku was ok.  He dropped to his knees still cradling the young man.

 

He was still breathing, his pulse was rapid, but that wasn't really a surprise.  Sanzo's own heart felt like it was going to explode.  He could see the tear stains on Goku's face in the dim moonlight.  The sight of them, made his stomach knot again.

 

He ran a hand over Goku's head, arms, legs and chest, then his back.  He found no spots that felt sticky with blood from a wound and nothing seemed out of place.  Goku's pants were wet, but only from having been in the water.

 

"Sanzo, where are you guys."

 

Hakkai.

 

"Over here," he called back, "follow my voice, I can barely see three feet in front of me."

 

As Sanzo stood he heard his companions moving towards him.

 

"What the fuck happened?" asked Gojyo as they appeared before him.

 

"Fuck if I know," Sanzo shot back, "the fucking monkey wandered off and when I found him he was kneeling at the edge of a pond staring hypnotized into a golden light."

 

"Is he hurt?" Hakkai asked as he leaned in to look at Goku.

 

"Not that I can tell, no physical damage at least."

 

"Where was he?"

 

"Back there," Sanzo turned to look back.

 

As if on cue, the blue green light flared in the distance.

 

"Oi, maybe we should head back to the campsite," suggested Gojyo.

 

"Ever the brilliant strategist."

 

"Want me to carry him for you?  You don't look so good."

 

"Fuck you Kappa."

 

Sanzo began to head in the direction the two had come from not, caring if they followed.

 

*****

 

"Strawberries?!"

 

Gojyo looked, rather confused, at Hakkai, "What?"

 

"Goku wrapped a bunch of strawberries in his cape.  He must have found them before he was drawn to the pond."

 

"No wonder he was gripping it like it was a holy relic."

 

Upon returning to camp, Gojyo and Hakkai had scrambled to erect their tent so Sanzo could put Goku to bed.  All the while, Sanzo sat on the rock where Gojyo once sat, still holding Goku, staring at him with out moving or making a sound.

 

When they were finished, Sanzo rose, saying nothing and disappeared into the tent.  A few moments later the bag which Goku had been gripping came sailing out of the tent opening.

 

"Well, are they any good?"

 

Gojyo watch Hakkai pop one into his mouth, "Yeah, they taste great."  Hakkai tossed one to Gojyo.

 

"Not bad.  I guess tonight's excitement was not for nothing."

 

"I wonder if he will let me take a look at Goku."

 

"Wouldn't be a bad idea to try, you need to make sure he really isn't hurt."

 

*****

 

Hakkai walked up to the tent and shook the fabric of the opening.

 

"What?"

 

"I'm coming in, I just want to make sure Goku is ok."

 

"He's fine."

 

Hakkai sighed, why did he have to make things so difficult.

 

"Sanzo…"

 

"Whatever, just get in here."

 

Hakkai walked in and looked at Sanzo who was sitting against the far "wall" of the tent, Goku curled up in a sleeping bag at his feet, slightly snoring.

 

Hakkai couldn't help but chuckle.  The scene before him reminding him of a dog curled obediently at his master's side.

 

"Well, he's snoring, he can't be too bad off."

 

"I told you he was fine."

 

"Relax Sanzo, I just wanted to check." 

 

Hakkai made his way to the young man, sitting down at his side.  He seemed OK, like he was sleeping off a long day.

 

Sanzo just sat and stared, barely paying attention to the cigarette that dangled from his mouth while Hakkai checked Goku over.

 

"Well, you were right.  Physically he seems fine.  Guess we'll just have to wait 'till he wakes up."

 

Hakkai heard the tent flap rustle behind him and he turned to see Gojyo duck in carrying two bowls.  He handed one to Hakkai who smiled in thanks and held the other out to Sanzo.

 

"There's plenty for the Monkey when he wakes up."

 

Sanzo took the bowl from Gojyo, raising an eyebrow.

 

"You're turn to play housewife?"

 

Hakkai almost choked on his mouthful of food.

 

Gojyo, smile on his face, simply said "You're welcome Sanzo" and walked back outside.

 

"Sanzo…"

 

"Don't Hakkai."

 

"Don't what?  Ask why you are being a jerk?"

 

Sanzo's eyes widened.

 

"Well, you are.  And I think we have the right to know.  You'd ask the same of us."

 

"But would you tell?"

 

Hakkai sighed, this is going nowhere. 

 

Silence for a moment, then Sanzo spoke again.

 

"It's nothing."

 

"Ch.  If you say so," Hakkai stood to leave, "but if you want to talk about this nothing, you know where to find me."

 

Hakkai walked to the opening of the tent and Sanzo spoke.

 

"Don't you and that idiot Kappa start getting any ideas about playing hero and going to investigate.  I don't want to be the only one awake around here."

 

"We won't Sanzo."

 

Hakkai walked out of the tent and immediately saw Gojyo standing at the edge of the woods they had recently come out of.

 

Hakkai chuckled to himself.  Sanzo's had Gojyo pegged, that's for sure.

 

He set his bowl down on the ground and walked over to the red-head.  Once he was behind him, he put his arms around his waist and rested his chin on the tall man's shoulder.

 

"We are under the strict orders of his holiness to stay at the campsite.  We are not to go playing hero."

 

Gojyo grinned, "I figured as much."

 

"Come on Kappa, let's finish eating.  I want to try to figure out where we are and where we should be."

 

"You're not worried that what's out there will come take a look at us while we sleep?"

 

"Well, Sanzo didn't seem worried about it, not that I think he has any idea what's going on right now.  I guess we'll just have to be on our guard."

 

Hakkai pulled the red head back to the camp, sat him down and handed him a bowl.

 

"Eat Kappa."

 

"Yes mother," Gojyo replied through a grin.

 

*****

 

Sanzo had abandoned his dinner for a cigarette and was staring intently at Goku.  He wanted the damn monkey to wake up, even if just for a second.  He just wanted to know he was ok.

 

At that moment, Goku stirred and turned over, facing Sanzo.

 

His eyelids fluttered then slowly opened. 

 

"Sanzo…?"

 

"Monkey," Sanzo replied rather sternly.

 

"I'm hungry."

 

Sanzo let a rare smile play across his face.  He never thought those words would ever sound so sweet.  He handed Goku the bowl he had set aside.

 

Goku took several quick spoonfuls into his mouth, then set aside the bowl, he seemed to tired to eat further.

 

"What happened?"

 

"We'll talk about it later, rest for now."

 

"Did I get lost?"

 

"Yes you did, but I found you."

 

"I knew you would," Goku replied, as he drifted off to sleep, "you always do."

 

 

To be continued…

 

 

 

PART - 3 of 7 

 

There is darkness…and then…

 

Light…

 

Blinding light…

 

It is comforting in it's warmth, it is beautiful even if it is painfully bright.

 

It calls to him, but not in her voice…

 

Goku

 

All is lost in golden light…

 

"Goku."

 

Goku awoke not knowing where he was.

 

"Goku, you alright?" it was Sanzo.

 

"Yeah, I'm alright." I think.

 

"You were whimpering in your sleep."

 

"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."

 

"You didn't."

 

"Oh, have you been up all night?"

 

"No, not all of it."

 

Goku turned over to face Sanzo who was sitting leaning against the tent.  He remembered waking at some point to Sanzo sitting in that same position, he looked like he hadn't moved all night.  Sanzo had given him some food…

 

Goku's stomach growled at the thought.

 

"I'm hungry Sanzo," Goku half whined.

 

Sanzo snorted.  "I'm not surprised."

 

Goku began to stretch and fully wake up. He glanced around the tent.

 

"Where's Hakkai and Gojyo?"

 

"Outside I guess, they didn't sleep in the tent last night."

 

"Why not?  What if something happened to them?"

 

"They can take care of themselves Goku.  Besides, they're fine, I could hear them…talking…last night."

 

"Oh, OK."

 

Goku wished Sanzo didn't baby him so much.  He knew what was going on between their two companions, it's not like he was stupid, or blind.  Besides, he had heard them…talking plenty of times between thin room walls. 

 

Goku pushed the thought out of his head as he stood up. 

 

"Where are you going?"

 

"To see if Hakkai has breakfast made, I'm starving."

 

"Sit, I'll check."

 

Goku stared at Sanzo wide eyed.  "Sanzo, I can go outside, I feel fine."

 

"I said sit.  Don't give me any lip right now."

 

Goku sat as he was told and watched Sanzo walk out.

 

So much for hoping he wouldn't baby me so much.

 

*****

 

Sanzo ducked out of the tent and lit a cigarette as he surveyed the campsite.  Hakkai had fallen asleep propped up against a large log they had pulled near the fire, a mess of maps draped on his lap and all about him.  He could see a couple strands of red hair peeking out from under the maps on Hakkai's lap and assumed Gojyo's head was somewhere under there, since he could see the rest of his body curled under a blanket nearby. 

 

Sanzo cleared his throat as loud as he could.  He saw Hakkai's eyelids flutter, but his summons got no response from the red head.  Sanzo walked over to the log Hakkai leaned against and sat down.  Hakkai lifted his head and looked around.

 

"Good morning Sanzo.  Oh my," Hakkai looked at his lap, "I must have fallen asleep while looking over the maps."

 

"It would appear so," replied Sanzo as the pile of maps on Hakkai's lap began to move, more long red hair falling out from under it.  Sanzo watched as Hakkai began to straighten up the mess of maps, slightly amused by the fact that Hakkai was switching into cleaning mode despite being only half awake.

 

"Just let me clean up this mess and I will get some breakfast going."

 

Hakkai began to remove the maps from atop Gojyo's head when the half breed called out, "Oi, Hakkai, be careful, you're gonna give me a paper cut." 

 

"Food first, then clean, Goku is awake and hungry."

 

"News flash: the monkey is hungry," grumbled Gojyo as he sat up.

 

"Very well," Hakkai sighed as he put the maps in a slightly organized pile, obviously unable to help his compulsion to straighten up.  Sanzo watched him as he set about getting breakfast ready, noticing Hakkai wasn't fully focused on the task, though he didn't think being half asleep was the problem.

 

"Did you figure out where we are?" Sanzo asked, trying to bring Hakkai back to reality.

 

"Huh?"

 

"I said did you figure out where we are?"

 

"Oh, yeah, more or less, I want to take a…", he paused, "uh, take a ride in the Jeep and look around and I think I'll have it worked out."

 

"You ok Hakkai?" asked Gojyo from his spot on the ground.

 

"As always, I'm fine.  Just thinking about a dream I had.  Or, at least trying, I can't seem to remember much."

 

"What do you remember?" Sanzo asked.

 

"Red."

 

"Red?" Sanzo glanced at Gojyo who was, in turn, staring at Hakkai.

 

"Yeah, that's all I remember, everything was…"

 

"Green," Gojyo interrupted.

 

"What?" Sanzo and Hakkai asked almost in unison.

 

"There was something floating in the back of my mind when I woke up.  The only way I can describe it is green."

 

Sanzo shook his head, "Ch, now you two are having color coded dreams about each other?  That's just…fucking wrong."

 

"You chalk it up to hormones then Sanzo?" Hakkai asked, eyebrows raised.

 

Before Sanzo could reply, another voice chimed in.

 

"I dreamt of gold."

 

Sanzo turned to look at Goku, who was sticking his head out of the tent.

 

"Didn't I tell you to stay put?"

 

"Yeah, but I could hear you guys talking, and I was bored and lonely in there."

 

"Well, go back in Monkey or..."

 

"Really Sanzo," interrupted Hakkai, "don't treat him like such an invalid. Come on Goku, come sit down, I'll have breakfast ready soon.  Do tell us about your dream."

 

Sanzo rolled his eyes and mumbled something about monkeys and youkai, even he wasn't quite sure what he said.

 

"Well, it's like you said, I don't really remember anything, just a gold light.  It was kinda like what happened at the pond, but I didn't hear a woman's voice this time."

 

Sanzo noticed Goku was staring at him intently and it made him feel suddenly exposed, like he was on display to the world.  He felt something else too, but he pushed it away.

 

"Did you dream about anything Sanzo?" Goku asked, still staring.

 

"No."

 

"Nothing at all?"

 

"I said no didn't I?  If I did, I don't remember it, not even so much as a color."

 

*****

 

They ate breakfast in relative silence.  No further conversation was had on the subject of dreams but Hakkai had a feeling they were in agreement as to the cause of their colorful deviations that night.

 

Hakkai made sure that Goku received a large amount of the strawberries he had found the night before and the young man gobbled them up in between delighted sounds such as "yum" and "mmmm" and fending off Gojyo who occasionally tried to snatch one or two when he thought Goku wasn't looking.

 

Hakkai was happy to see that things seemed relatively normal again; Sanzo was eating slowly, even if hardly at all, seemingly lost in thought, Goku and Gojyo were at their normal antics and he was watching them all, amused in different ways by their habits and nuances. 

 

He kept wondering what had been bothering Sanzo, but he knew not to push it.  The monk would come to him, as he sometimes did, if it was something more then just waking up on the wrong side of the bed, or tent, or where ever. 

 

He tried to think back to his dream, but it almost hurt to do so.  The red burned in the back of his mind, it radiated and it called to him, but it wouldn't tell him it's secrets, no matter how hard he tried to pry. 

 

He shook it from his head and glanced at Gojyo, who turned to look at him a half second later.  They exchanged several glances, gestures with their eyes and facial expressions, a conversation just between them, with no words spoken.  It went something like this:

 

Hakkai smiles (Hey.)

Gojyo raises his eyebrows (Sup.)

Hakkai raises a single eyebrow as he glances towards Goku (Stop stealing his strawberries.)

Gojyo pouts slightly (But…)

Hakkai stares at Gojyo, eyes squinted, almost completely shut (Don't act like a child, leave him be.)

A sly grin creeps onto Gojyo's face (What if I don't?)

A devilish grin consumes Hakkai's lips (You won't like the result.)

Gojyo raises his eyebrows (You sure?)

Hakkai brushes a finger over his limiters (This action speaks for itself, ne?)

Gojyo's eyelids flutter and his jaw goes slack (As does this one.)

Hakkai frowns in thought (Hmm…I guess that wasn't really a threat.)

Gojyo smiles (Nope.)

Hakkai sighs (Just leave him alone.)

Gojyo folds his arms in front of his chest (Fine!)

Hakkai smiles (Thank you.)

Gojyo glances to the forest behind them, looks at Sanzo, the looks back to Hakkai (Do you think the monk will want to go looking around?)

Hakkai shrugs (Who knows.)

Gojyo glances at Goku (Goku seems normal.)

Hakkai nods (Indeed he does.)

 

Sanzo rose from his seat at this point and Hakkai looked away from Gojyo to watch the monk.  He noticed Gojyo was trying to look innocent, as if they had just been interrupted while doing something wrong.

 

Silly Kappa, Hakkai thought to himself as he chuckled.

 

Sanzo eyed Hakkai, who unknowingly slapped on an innocent look of his own, then his gaze turned to Gojyo, then back to Hakkai. 

 

"Hurry up and finish," Sanzo growled as he walked back into the tent, "We are going hunting."

 

Guess that answers that question.

 

Hakkai returned his gaze to Gojyo.

 

Gojyo rolled his eyes (Tight ass monk.)

Hakkai gazed longingly into the Heavens (Why do I always have to be the adult?)

 

*****

 

Sanzo sat down inside the tent and lit a smoke.

 

Stop thinking about the stupid monkey.  Just get Hakkai to figure out where we are so we can get back on the fucking road.

 

He sighed and took a drag from his cigarette.  He really did want to get out of here but he couldn't get over the desire to go back into the woods and show that puddle of water the business end of his gun.  Not that it would do any good.

 

Just leave…

 

Fuck that!  Sanzo almost yelled the words out loud.  I pulled Goku out of the fucking cave and now I have to watch over his dumb ass and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let some H2O bitch fuck with his head.

 

Sanzo's head began to pound.  He silently cursed the Merciful Goddess who seemed more and more Merciless as this Journey continued.  He closed his eyes for a moment and found the view on the insides of his eyelids even more painful to behold then the morning light in the tent.  All was white and the light drove pain behind his eyes like nails driven into wood.  He opened his eyes again and the light was gone, replaced by the "normal" light of the tent.  His head still ached, but only dully.

 

He snuffed his cigarette out and began to stand, and this time he really did speak out loud:

 

"That's it, this shit ends now!"  He straightened his robes, dusting them off in the process, then stormed out of the tent to find that the others were finished eating.  Gojyo and Goku were tumbling around the campsite, Hakkai was cleaning.  Damn, this is starting to get monotonous.

 

"Monkey!  Kappa!  Knock it off, we're gong to pay a visit to the water lady."

 

Not knowing what they were about to get into, Gojyo and Goku decided, almost in unison, to summon their weapons to hand.

 

"Hey Gojyo," Goku almost squeaked, "Maybe this water lady is a cousin of yours or something."

 

Sanzo watched Gojyo plant a boot firmly on Goku's ass, "Shut the fuck up you stupid monkey."

 

"Ow!" Goku hollered as he was lifted into the air, "Stop touching my ass you perverted water sprite."

 

"Just get moving."

 

"Why do I have to go first."

 

'You were the one who found her in the first place…"

 

Sanzo made his best attempt to tune the two out as he took his turn at staring up at the Heavens.  Fucking idiots.  Why me?

 

"…Sanzo was the one who found me, make him lead the way."

 

"Is the monkey afraid?" Gojyo taunted.

 

"Shut up you stupid water…"

 

Sanzo moved with lightning speed and executed a few well placed (and well deserved) fan smacks upon the heads of Gojyo and Goku. Ah, that's why.

 

"Ow!" they cried in unison.

 

"Now get moving," he growled, feeling slightly better for having administered the first beatings for the day.  He turned to Hakkai, who had been watching in silence, his face aglow with a pleasant smile.  "Shall we?"

 

"Yes, let's," the healer replied.

 

"After this bullshit is over, I'll go out with you in the Jeep to look around. I want to be out of here tomorrow morning at the latest."

 

"Are you sure you want to leave those two here alone?"

 

"Ch.  If we're lucky that pond will swallow them up and we won't have to worry about it."

 

Hakkai gave a polite chuckle.

 

God, I hate that laugh.

 

*****

 

As Hakkai walked through the forest, he tried to spot something he recognized, but had no real luck.  It had been pretty dark when he and Gojyo had rushed into the woods the previous night.

 

"Goku," Hakkai called out after they had been walking among the trees for a few minutes, "do you remember what happened last night?"

                                        

"A little bit," Goku called out from somewhere to Hakkai's left, "I remember a gold light, like in my dream, and a woman's voice.  She said she'd take my pain away."

 

"Really?" Hakkai heard Gojyo call from the same area as Goku.

 

"Ow!" Goku shouted, "What did you hit me for you stupid water sprite?"

 

"I just wanted to see if she succeeded."

 

Hakkai shook his head, but couldn't hold back his laugh.  He heard Sanzo grumble off to his right. 

 

"Anything else Goku?" Hakkai asked after a moment's silence.

 

"Um…well.  Yeah. I guess so."

 

"Well spill it monkey." Gojyo again.

 

"Um, well, I saw Sanzo….in the light."

 

Hakkai heard Sanzo groan.

 

"Awww, isn't that cute. The monkey had visions of Sanzo dancing in his head."

 

"Bite me Kappa."

 

Hakkai spent the next few minutes trying to make any sense of what they were about to go up against, but he couldn't come to any conclusions.  He was about to call out to Goku again when he saw a sparkle of blue-green light in the trees ahead.

 

"Did anyone else see that?"  Hakkai called out as he kept his eyes focused on the spot where he had seen the light. 

 

He saw Sanzo step up beside him, gun drawn, "I did."

 

"Where was it?" Gojyo called out.

 

"Straight ahead of me, come over here."

 

A couple moments passed and Goku and Gojyo came bouncing into view from the left.

 

"Hey look!" shouted Goku, running ahead, "This is where I found the strawberries."

 

Hakkai watched as Goku stopped at a group of bushes, grabbed a handful of the strawberries and popped them into his mouth.

 

"Aw man, I don't even have my cape with me this time." Goku sagged his shoulders, Hakkai noted this realization would not detour Goku from stuffing more of the berries into his mouth.

 

Hakkai chuckled, "Oh well.  Don't worry, I'll make sure we get strawberries at the next town."

 

Hakkai watched as Sanzo walked past, calling back to them, "Keep moving, at least we know we are on the right track."

 

Hakkai watched Goku grab another handful of berries before he moved on.

 

Rather suddenly a hand popped up in front of Hakkai's face, a strawberry clutched between two long fingers.  Hakkai had to hold back a startled cry.  Gojyo could be incredibly silent and sneaky when he wanted to.

 

"Oh, thank you Gojyo."

 

"Anytime." Gojyo smiled, then ran to catch up with Goku, Hakkai assumed, to provide further taunts.

 

*****

 

Sanzo wished the others would hurry.  He wanted to get this shit done with, so he could find out where the fuck they were, figure out where the fuck they were going (besides the obvious west) and get fuck there already.

 

if you are in such a hurry to get out of here, why don't you just leave?

 

Because she fucked with my monkey!   Sanzo immediately realized how bad that sounded and was overcome with relief that he had not decided to scream that out loud.  Gojyo would have never let him hear the end of it.

 

Sanzo turned his focus back to find the stupid pond and when he did, he realized they were pretty much there.  He could see it through the trees just a few feet ahead the them.  He thought about calling back to the others, but didn't.  They'd figure it out.  He walked on, pushing through the trees and bushes that surrounded the clearing until he was a couple feet from the waters edge. 

 

He stood, looking at the water which was shining with a dim, yet somehow, very intense blue-green light.  He stared at the water and did the only thing he knew to do.  He pointed his gun at it.

 

He heard rustling behind him, then he heard Gojyo's voice.

 

"Oi, Sanzo, somehow I don't think a Banishing Gun, meant for, you know, demons, is going to work on a puddle of water."

 

"Would you rather I pointed it at you?"

 

"No, not particularly."

 

"Then shut up."

 

And miracle of miracles, Gojyo did.

 

*****

 

Goku watched all this slightly dazed.  Ever since he had walked within sight of the pool of water, he had begun to feel it's pull again.

 

You have returned little one, and I see you've brought your friends.

 

"Uh, Sanzo…" Goku called out.

 

"What is it monkey?" Sanzo snapped back.

 

The forest around them became rather quiet all of a sudden.  And this silence was followed by an explosion of color and light.

 

Upon seeing this, Goku felt he no longer needed to reply.

 

*****

 

If you were a bird (or perhaps a white dragon) flying through the air in the general vicinity of our favorite foursome you would see something you really couldn't comprehend.  You would see a small forest, glowing with light.  The light is bright, it hurts to even look at it.  You might try to pick out a color, but just as you think you know it, it changes.

 

If you were a bird flying through the air, you would decide that today was a good day to find a new place to hunt.  If you were a white dragon on the other hand, you might wonder what exactly it was that your master and this three friends had gotten themselves into.

 

If you were closer to the source, and perhaps a human or a youkai or some combination there of, you might have a different take on the situation, though you probably wouldn't understand it any better.  You would feel the warmth of the light, and it would comfort you, but the comfort is a mask, a trick, a façade.  Somehow you would know this, and yet you do not try to escape.   

 

If you were Son Goku, you would see gold.  And in the gold, you'd see a man. 

 

If you were Cho Hakkai, you would see red.  And in the red, you'd see a man.

 

If you were Sha Gojyo, you would see green.  And in the green, you'd see…a man.

 

And if you were an innocent by standard, able to glimpse all of this, you might wonder what exactly was going on here.  Do these men think of only one thing?  Perhaps, but can you blame them?  When you travel day after day, staring at the same faces, and sleep night after night cramped in small inn rooms with the same bodies, it becomes hard not to think of them.  When everything around you is changing, when nothing else stays the same, you tend to grab a hold of the one thing that is stable, and for them, that one thing is each other. Sometimes it's all they have.  Sometimes it's all they need.

 

But if you were Genjo Sanzo, and for now, that is who you shall be, you would see something different.  You would not see the sun, you would not see hair the color of blood, nor would you see eyes like the finest emeralds.  If you were Genjo Sanzo you would not see a color at all, but the presence of all colors.  If you were Genjo Sanzo, you would see white. 

 

And you would hear a voice.

 

*****

 

You are not like the others.

 

Ch.  I'll take that as a complement.

 

Each of them holds onto something dear.

 

I hold nothing.

 

I wouldn't be so sure of that.

 

Sanzo makes no reply.

 

Would you like to see what the others hold dear to them?

 

Before he could respond with a "no" the white light before him turned green. 

 

The red head, he is a feisty one.

 

Sanzo noted the voice almost sounded amused.

 

His thoughts are rather vivid, to say the least.  Something about limiters and a youkai…and oh my…

 

In the green light Sanzo saw an image he was pretty sure would be burned in his memory for the remainder of his lifetime, though he'd wish forever that he could forget it, for many reasons.  He could see a naked Gojyo entwined with a man covered only in the vines that marked Hakkai's youkai form.

 

Jesus lady, I didn't want to see that.

 

Would you prefer this?

 

Now Sanzo can see a cave he knows all too well.  It is of course the cave from which he to Goku. 

 

The little one, Goku, he says you saved him from that cave.

 

So, what's it to you?

 

He said you always save him.  He loves you for it.  He adores you for it.  Yet you do not return the affection because you refuse to get close.  I wonder, will you be able to save him this time?  Or will you fail to save another?

 

Now the light returns to white, and within the light Sanzo sees a face.  It's the face of a man he knows well, or perhaps it would be better to say the face of a man he once knew.  It is this man who has made Genjo Sanzo what he is today, directly and indirectly, for better or for worse.  Upon seeing this image before him, and out of reflex, Sanzo applies pressure to the trigger of the gun he has almost forgotten he holds pointed towards a pool of water he has almost forgotten the existence of.  He, of course, does not want to shoot the man, nor does he really want to shoot the water, but it is in this reaction that he finds comfort, with his finger pushing on the trigger he feels in control.

 

You say you hold nothing, but this sight, is not dear to you?

 

One cannot hold that which is already lost.

 

And one cannot loose that which he refuses to hold?

 

You know, you are rather perceptive for a puddle of water.

 

I cannot take credit for it.  I may have been intelligent once, but now I only know what I see.  And that is what I see in you.  You are afraid to loose.  Again.

 

And though he is not aware he does it, Sanzo once again applies pressure to the trigger of his gun.

 

 

To be continued…..

 

 

PART - 4 of 7 

 

 

Lust, love, pain, desire, Gojyo feels it all.  Sharp nails across his skin, teeth on his neck, moans of pleasure, whimpers of pain.  Ecstasy.  He feels entangled in the vines that are the mark of his lover's curse, as if they jumped off of Hakkai's skin to wrap his own body in their power.  He growls as a firm hand runs through his hair and another runs sharp nails down his back, drawing blood.  He doesn't care, it will heal or be healed and the pleasure derived from the pain is something he won't pass up.  It is exquisite.

 

But through all of this Gojyo knows something isn't right.  There is something missing, a connection, a feeling.  He knows this, but it is too late, he has already surrendered to the desire within him.  He can feel something being drained from him.  He can no longer save himself but in the back of his mind he wonders if he can still be saved.

 

*****

 

Hakkai reaches out to Gojyo who stands before him in the red light that seems to eat all other light.  His lover is smiling, but it is a sad smile.  He wants to call out to him, to ask him what is wrong, but he cannot speak.  He tries to step forward but he cannot move, only his outstretched hand seems free of his invisible bonds.

 

Gojyo steps towards him, closer and closer until Hakkai's outstretched hand is touching the red head's face.  He passes a thumb over the scars on Gojyo's cheek.  He wants to wipe away the look on his lover's face.  In fact, he thought he had months ago when he had returned the kiss that Gojyo had given him in the dim light of what ever inn they had been staying in at the time.  That had been their first, and many more would follow, but the first one is the one he remembers the clearest.  And it is that memory that sets him free of his bonds, he takes the last remaining steps towards Gojyo, hand still touching his face as he leans in for a kiss.

 

*****

 

Why are you doing this?

 

I already told you little one, this is how I survive.  If I do not feed I cannot continue to live. 

 

But why are you here?

 

I chose this place.  I was given a choice, death or life and I chose life, though it is not like the one I used to know.  This place was special to me when I was truly alive and it is here I choose to remain. 

 

Who gave you this choice?

 

I do not know his name, or perhaps I just don't remember, but I do remember he had said he was a priest.  He found me here by this pond and I pleaded with him to help me.  I didn't want to die. 

 

In the golden light before him Goku sees the young woman he has seen before.  She is covered in blood and is being held in the arms of a man who doesn't look like any priest he has ever seen, but he supposes he has had a limited amount of exposure to those sorts of things.  The man's lips are moving and in one of his hands Goku can see that the priest is holding onto what looks like a necklace which hangs around the girl's neck.  After a few moments the priest gives the necklace a soft yank, breaking the chain.  He opens his hand and now Goku can see what it held, a small locket.  The priest closes his hand around the locket again, then tosses it into the water as the girl's body goes limp.

 

What did he do to you?

 

I'm not sure I know.  His magic, it did something to me…it bound me here.  I've been here for so long.

 

And you are OK with this?

 

I didn't want to die.  I was just sitting here enjoying the peacefulness of the pond.  When the youkai attacked me I was sure I was dead, but he came to my rescue.  He saved me.

 

He didn't save you, he turned you into a monster.  You feed off of other's emotions, you take away what is theirs. 

 

But I have no choice, it's the only way to keep the priest's magic alive.

 

You do have a choice.

 

What do you mean?

 

Let me save you.

 

Using all of his strength and concentration, Goku steps forward into the water.  He stares intently at a soft glow coming from below the water's surface.  He begins to walk slowly towards it.

 

*****

 

Sanzo's finger is still squeezing against the trigger of his gun, just a little more and he will fire it, even if he doesn't know it.  The white light still surrounds him, but he no longer sees the face of his master within it.  He thinks of how badly he wants out of here so he can continue on his journey and with each thought the white light becomes more intense. 

 

See, there is something you hold on to Sanzo. 

 

What are you talking about?

 

The journey you are on.  It is important to you, it gives you purpose in a way you wont let anything else give you.  You live for it.

 

I was ordered to go on this journey, that's all it is, it's just a job.

 

White is the color of your destination.  White is all colors, all things.   You say you hold nothing, but by simply living you hold onto life and in your journey to the west, to the white, you are fighting for all things.

 

I am just doing as I was ordered. 

 

You are a stubborn one Genjo Sanzo.  You see it before you and yet you still deny it.   Much as you deny Goku.

 

What are you, a relationship councilor now?

 

I just tell it how I see it.  Remember, I have been inside Goku's head as well, I know what he desires.  And I know that you constantly deny what you want.

 

Go to Hell, Sanzo bellows as he closes his eyes.  He tries to clear his head of all thoughts as if he were meditating.  It is a difficult task, but when he opens his eyes the white light is gone.  Before him he sees the pond which has grown quiet a bit.  Standing in the middle of the pond he sees Goku and at first he thinks it is a trick of his mind, but Goku turns his head towards Sanzo and he knows it is really him.  Only Goku's eyes can shine so bright.  Goku's left arm is outstretched and dangling from his hand is a chain with a locket hanging from the bottom of it.  It takes a great effort, but Sanzo is able to train his gun on the dangling locket.  He allows his finger to apply the last little bit of needed pressure against the trigger.

 

Sanzo sees one last flash of white light and then it is gone.  He hears sobbing and at first he thinks it's Goku, but he soon realizes the sound is distinctively feminine.  No blue-green light replaces the white light that had once shown before him as the sobbing fades into nothingness.  He can't be positive, but it almost sounds like a grateful release.

 

*****

 

You saved me little one.

 

Goku smiles as the golden light fades.

 

*****

 

Sanzo shakes his head.  He is suddenly very tired and he wants to rest, but he cannot, at least not yet.  He can see Goku wavering where he stands and Sanzo begins to wade out into the water.  The last thing he wants is to have gone through what ever the Hell they just went through to just to let the monkey drowned in a few feet of water.

 

Sanzo reaches Goku as the young man begins to fall forward.  He catches him in his arms, noting that he is still griping the remains of the necklace in his hand.  Sanzo isn't sure if he wants Goku to carry that thing around, but he is too tired to do anything about it at the moment so he wades back to the dry earth.

 

When he returns to solid ground he sees Gojyo and Hakkai lying a couple feet away from each other.  They look like they are sleeping peacefully, their chests rising and falling with steady breaths.  Sanzo lays Goku on the ground near Hakkai and then sits himself down next to Goku's already snoring body. 

 

Fucking monkey, Sanzo says to himself as he snorts.  It is the last thing he remembers thinking before sleep takes him into darkness.

 

*****

 

Hakkai feels a warm breath at his ear and he wakes up with a start, his eyes immediately registering that it is Hakuryu who is breathing into his ear.

 

"Hey boy," he soothes as he pets his friend.  He wonders how long he has been out.  Judging from the light it is at least still day time but he can't really see the sun to get an idea of the time.  He looks around noting he is the first one awake.  He tries to remember what happened but he hardly can.  He remembers the light but that is all.

 

Hakuryu lets out a chirp and begins to poke and prod him and Hakkai laughs, "Alright, alright I'm getting up.  You are almost as persistent as Gojyo."

 

"Hey, I heard that." Gojyo mumbles from beside him as he begins to stir, "Did we win?"

 

"I think so," Hakkai replied, "I have a feeling that if we lost we wouldn't be having this conversation."

 

"Do you remember what happened?" Gojyo asked as he sat up.

 

"No not really, do you?"

 

"Nope, though I get the feeling it was something I would have wanted to remember."

 

Hakkai gave Gojyo a slightly puzzled look.

 

"Don't ask me to explain 'cause I have no idea what that means either."

 

"It means you are a brainless Kappa." Sanzo groaned from behind Hakkai.

 

"Nice to see you too Sanzo."

 

Hakkai sighed, "Sanzo, do you know what happened?"

 

"We got rid of the bitch."

 

"How?"

 

"Sanzo shot her," replied Goku as he held the remainder of the necklace chain up for the others to see.  "Well, ok, not her, but this is what bound her there.  He destroyed the locket, it set her free."

 

"You think she's really dead…or gone or whatever."

 

"She is." Goku stated plainly as he stretched.

 

"How do you know?" asked Gojyo.

 

"Because she showed me."  Goku paused, then began to gaze at Sanzo, "She wanted to be saved."

 

Hakkai opened his mouth to speak but Sanzo cut in before he had a chance to say anything.

 

"Enough talk about this crap.  We need to get going.  Who knows how much more time we have wasted."

 

And with that the four of them got up from the hard forest ground and began to make their way back to the campsite.  Hakkai spared a glance back at the pool of water as they left.  He was almost positive it was beginning to shrink.

 

*****

 

"Gojyo?"

 

Gojyo was sitting propped against the log at the campsite, half dozing, half thinking about the morning's excitement, not that he could really remember anything.  They had walked back into the campsite mostly in silence.  Neither he nor Hakkai could remember much, if anything, about their encounter, though it appeared that both Sanzo and Goku could, but they wouldn't elaborate much past how they had destroyed the entity.  Not that he really gave a flying fuck.  Everyone was fine, that's all he cared about.

 

Once they had returned to the campsite, Sanzo and Hakkai went off in the Jeep to look around and see if they could find a route out of here, leaving him to baby sit the monkey.  

 

"Gojyo?" Goku repeated.

 

He slowly opened his eyes and looked at Goku, there was something about his tone that made Gojyo a little uneasy. "Yeah monkey boy?"

 

"Do you think Sanzo likes me?"

 

Gojyo immediately began to wonder what brought this on.

 

"Why do you ask?"

 

"Just curious."

 

"Um…are you sure you wouldn't rather have this conversation with Hakkai, or perhaps Sanzo himself?"

 

"I don't know, this is the first time I've really had a chance to talk to anyone alone recently, so I just thought I would ask."

 

Gojyo sighed, "Look Goku, I have no idea what goes on inside that that fucking monk's head, but I'd have to say that if he liked anyone in this dysfunctional little group of ours, it would have to be you…and probably Hakkai."

 

"But…Hakkai likes you, doesn't he?" Goku looked confused.

 

"Wait a second," Gojyo replied, lightning a cigarette, "we aren't talking about the same kind of 'like' here, are we?"

 

"Um…I guess not."

 

Gojyo shook his head, why me?

 

"Well Goku, do you, um…like Sanzo?"

 

"Yes, I do."

 

"Do you like Sanzo the way I, er…like Hakkai?"

 

"You mean do I want to have sex with him?"

 

Gojyo couldn't stifle his laugh.

 

"You know, for a stupid monkey, you're not so stupid."

 

"Well, it's pretty obvious sometimes, especially when I can here it through walls."

 

"Yeah, maybe we should start getting rooms further apart from each other."

 

"I'm not sure if that would help.  You guys get pretty loud.  You especially."

 

Gojyo grabbed the nearest piece of campsite debris, a twig, and tossed it at Goku.  "Shut up Monkey".

 

Goku laughed, lazily dodging the oncoming piece of shrubbery, "You really are a pervy water sprite."

 

Gojyo rolled his eyes, "Look, the best advice I can give you is tell Sanzo what you're thinking.  It worked for me and Hakkai, might work for you too."  Gojyo paused for a second, "Though I might suggest broaching the subject while wearing a bullet proof vest."

 

"You think he'd get that mad?"

 

"No, I think he might shoot you out of habit because that's how he deals with things."

 

Goku sighed.

 

"Relax Goku, just tell him.  I have a feeling Sanzo might care a bit more then he lets on.  He's a tight ass stuck up monk, no doubt, but he gets awful protective of you, especially when you are in danger.  That says something to me."

 

"Yeah, but then he just treats me like a kid."

 

"I'm sure it's just his way of showing concern."

 

"You think so?"

 

"Yep, I do."

 

Goku was silent for a few moments, Gojyo figured he was processing all this new information.  After a couple minutes' silence, Goku looked up with another confused look on his face.

 

"Gojyo?"

 

"Yeah?"

 

"When two guys…um…you know.  Uh, how exactly do they…do it?"

 

Gojyo's jaw dropped upon hearing this question, the cigarette he was smoking dropped into his lap and his picked it up quickly before it could burn anything.  He usually didn't have a problem talking about sex, that was a given, but for some reason this discussion was starting to feel weird.  He tried to collect his thoughts, but he wasn't sure how to proceed.  His biggest concern would be what Sanzo would do if he found out they ever had this conversation.

 

"Are you sure you don't want to talk to someone else about this?"  But Gojyo thought that there wasn't really anyone else to ask, Hakkai would probably be just as reluctant and it certainly wasn't something he should ask the monk, at least not with so many other unsaid things floating around Goku's head.

 

"I don't think I could ask Hakkai."

 

Gojyo took a drag on his cigarette, "OK.  Well, you know how it works with a man and a woman,  right?"

 

"Yeah."

 

"Well, do you know that there are other ways it can be done?"

 

Gojyo could tell Goku was not following him.  He was trying to be tasteful, or at least tactful, but neither of these two things were his specialty.

 

"OK, let's try this a different way.  Sometimes people will refer to two guys who are a couple as," Gojyo cleared his throat, " 'butt buddies'."  He had only actually ever heard this term once, but he figured that would get the point across.   

 

"Oh…", Goku's eyes began to widen with realization, "Ooooooh.  OHHHH!"

 

Gojyo burst out laughing, he couldn't help it.  "Sorry you asked?"

 

"Uh, yeah, kinda.  But now I'm really glad I didn't ask Hakkai."

 

"I don't know, I'm sure he could have put it in a more delicate way."

 

"Wait a second," Goku's eyes got even wider, if that were possible, "doesn't that…hurt?"

 

"Oh, you have no idea."

 

Goku swallowed hard.

 

"Don't worry though, you get used to it pretty quick.  Besides, there are plenty of other things you can do."

 

"There are?"

 

"Yep."

 

"Like what?"

 

Gojyo couldn't believe he was continuing this conversation, with Goku no less.  But the monkey had asked and Gojyo figured he might as well tell him, lest he figure it out the hard way.  He was, after all, the pervy water sprite, who better to teach Goku?

 

*****

 

"So, what do you think?" Hakkai asked.

 

He and Sanzo were standing on the hood of the Jeep, looking off in the distance, trying to spot roads between small hills and patches of trees.

 

"I think, these maps are useless." Sanzo grunted and tossed them back into the Jeep.

 

"Yes, I believe we already came to that conclusion.  What do you think about the route I have suggested?"

 

"Yeah, I guess it'll work.  There's got to be a town around here somewhere."

 

Hakkai watched Sanzo as the monk sat down on the Jeep's hood.  Sanzo looked like he needed a good drink, and Hakkai wondered if Gojyo's drinking binge the other night had spared his bottle of Sake.  He jumped down from the hood and got into the Jeep, and started to fumble around under the driver's seat, his hand landing upon the bundled bottle he had secreted away there.  He pulled it out and unwrapped it, then returned to join Sanzo again on the hood.  He handed the bottle to the monk.

 

"You look like you could use a drink."

 

"Ch, I thought the cockroach had drank the rest of our stuff the other night."

 

"This was hidden.  I was saving it for a special occasion."

 

Sanzo eyed Hakkai.

 

"Not with you."

 

Sanzo shook his head and opened the bottle, taking a healthy swig.  He passed it to Hakkai who took a smaller sip.

 

They sat in silence for a few moments, staring at the landscape before them, passing the bottle between them.

 

"Hakkai, what do you think of Goku?"

 

Now it was the healers turn to eye Sanzo.  The monk returned the look with a glare of his own that simply said just answer the question.

 

"Well, he is a nice young man Sanzo," Hakkai thought he should refrain from saying his next thought, but he said it anyways, "and I think he is very fond of you."

 

"Ch.  Young man?  He's a kid."

 

Hakkai noted that Sanzo made no remark about Goku being fond of him.

 

"Sanzo, he's older then any of us, by leaps and bounds."

 

"That doesn't mean anything.  He spent most of his life in that cave."

 

"Yes, but since then he has been provided with life experience few would get in their entire lifetime.  I won't deny he still has some growing to do," don't we all, he thought to himself, "and at times he may act child-like or childish, but he is not a kid anymore."

 

Sanzo grunted and took another swig from the bottle.

 

"Not to pry or anything, but why do you ask?"

 

Sanzo eyed him again.  Hakkai wondered if he was going to regret trying to be helpful.

 

"Do you really need to ask that?"

 

Hakkai couldn't help smiling, "I didn't want to assume."

 

"Wipe that smile off your face, I'm not here to be amusing."  The words were harsh, but Sanzo's tone betrayed them.  He sounded conflicted, troubled, maybe even a little lost.

 

The monk sighed, "He's just a kid."

 

"Perhaps if you stopped treating him like a kid, you'd stop thinking of him like a kid."

 

Silence passed between them for a moment. "Sanzo, what exactly is the problem?"

 

Sanzo mumbled something under his breath.  Hakkai caught "you" and "water sprite" but that was all.

 

"Hmmm?"

 

"Nothing."

 

"You know Sanzo, it's easier for me to help you if you if I can actually understand what you are saying."

 

"Fine." Sanzo lit a smoke, "I am not like you and the water sprite."

 

"Yes, I should think we are all painfully aware of that."

 

"Shut it Hakkai, that's not what I meant."

 

Hakkai sighed, "I know."

 

"If you think I don't see how that kid…chGoku looks at me, you're wrong.  I do see it.  And he wants me to return the puppy dog eyes and the affection and…"

 

"And you don't think you can?" Hakkai finished, helpfully.

 

"I know I can't, not the way he wants me to."

 

"Well, I think it's fair to say that neither of know exactly what he wants."

 

"I have an idea.  I see how he watches you and Gojyo."

 

"Oh.  I had hoped we were being more discreet then that."

 

"Ch.  Trust me.  It's painfully obvious you two are trying to be discreet."  Hakkai thought Sanzo was starting to sound irritated.

 

"Well, I apologize, for both of us."

 

"What for?"

 

"Uh, for not being discreet enough?"

 

Sanzo grunted, "It amazes me the things you miss sometimes Hakkai."

 

"Huh?"  On rare occasions, even Hakkai got confused about things.  This was one of those occasions.  "Sanzo, what exactly are you trying to say?"

 

Sanzo looked at Hakkai, deadly serious, "Stop hiding it."

 

"What?"

 

"You heard me."

 

Hakkai took a large swig from the bottle, "Explain."

 

"What for, I mean exactly what I said, stop trying to hide what's going on."

 

Hakkai took a deep breath, "Well, uh, we were kind of thinking you didn't want to see anything."

 

"I don't want to."

 

Hakkai was thoroughly confused now and he told the monk just that.

 

"Look, you're right, I don't want to see it.  I don't want to see that stuff from anyone.  But above that, I don't want you two hiding it from me, just because you think I don't want to see it."

 

"Uh…"

 

"Trust me, it makes sense."

 

"Yes, it does.  In a twisted contradictive sort of way."  Hakkai gathered his thoughts, "Ok, let me see if I've got this straight…uh correct.  You want us to be more open about our relationship because you don't like us hiding it for your benefit, even though you really don't want to see it." 

 

"Yes."

 

Hakkai laughed, "Well, Gojyo will be relieved."

 

Sanzo rolled his eyes, "Just because I said don't hide it, doesn't mean I want you two putting on a show.  Keep your Kappa on a leash."

 

"Really, I think a leash would just excite him more."  Hakkai grinned.

 

"Thank you for that vivid image Hakkai."  He passed the bottle back to the healer, "One swig left, want to kill it?"

 

"Yes I do, thank you."  Hakkai took the last sip, then looked at Sanzo, smiling, "How about you?  You want to kill it?"  He raised his eyebrows.

 

"Yes, yes I do."

 

Upon hearing that, Hakkai tossed the bottle up into the air, hoping it was far enough away they wouldn't get themselves maimed by shards of glass. 

 

Sanzo drew his gun and fired one round, which neatly connected with the flying bottle.  It shattered and they covered their faces just incase, but only a few tiny pieces of glass made it back to them.

 

"Feel any better?" Hakkai asked as he pushed himself off the Jeep.

 

"A little."

 

The two men got back into the Jeep, and Hakkai was hit by a thought.

 

"Sanzo, what about Goku?"

 

"What about him?"

 

"Well, he was another reason we where trying to be discreet."

 

Hakkai was surprised when Sanzo began to laugh.  Not just a chuckle or grunt, but a real laugh.  He watched almost nervously and after a moment the monk collected himself.

 

"Now who his treating him like a child?" Sanzo said through a wide grin.

 

Hakkai laughed in return, "I guess you have a point there."

 

*****

 

"I'm hungry."

 

Gojyo sighed.  The last few minutes of their "educational" talk had been difficult because Goku's train of thought was slipping due to hunger.  Oh well, he had told him enough, he could learn the rest first hand if he was given the opportunity.

 

"I think there are some strawberries left."

 

"I need more then strawberries."

 

"Hakkai should be back soon."

 

"But I'm hungry now."

 

Gojyo sighed again. "When are you not you perverted monkey?"

 

"Hey, I am not a pervert."

 

"Ha.  You were the one asking all the questions."

 

"I was just curious.  You're the pervert for having the answers."  Goku's stomach took this opportunity to growl and the young man let out a sigh.

 

"Well, can you cook Goku?"

 

"No.  Can you?"

 

"Not really.  Wanna give it a try anyway?"

 

"Sure!"

 

*****

 

The ride back was silent, but not uncomfortable.  Hakkai guessed Sanzo was thinking over what they had talked about, well at least the part about Goku.  Hakkai himself was trying to digest the conversation as well.  He was surprised that he and Gojyo's attempt to be respectful of others had angered Sanzo.  But then again, the things that angered Sanzo often surprised him.

 

I guess he just doesn't want us to resent him for not allowing us to be…us.  That was the best reason the healer could come up with.  Further thoughts where halted though, as they neared the campsite.  Hakkai could smell…something.

 

"Sanzo, do you smell that?"

 

"Ugh.  Yes I do.  Smells like food.  Sort of."

 

"You don't think…"

 

"God, I hope not.  Gojyo can't cook from what you say.  And I certainly haven't taught Goku."

 

"We never should have left them alone."

 

Hakkai gently applied more pressure to the accelerator.

 

*****

 

"Are you sure it supposed to be gray?"  Goku said looking up from the boiling pot.

 

Gojyo scratched his head, "Well, no.  But I'm also not sure it's not supposed to be gray."

 

Further discussion of the color of the cooking substance was halted as the sound of a Jeep drew nearer.

 

*****

 

As they pulled up in the Jeep, Hakkai tried to take in the sight before them.  What few packages of food-stuffs they had remaining were scattered here and there, some open, some still closed.  Goku looked like he was covered in flour, which was strange because Hakkai was pretty sure they didn't have any flour.  He tried not to think about it.  He turned his attention to Gojyo who was leaning over a pot, stirring it.  The steam from the pot was making his bangs stick to his face and Hakkai thought he looked pretty cute.  He also tried not to think about that.

 

Hakkai spared a glace over to Sanzo, who stared intently at the scene before them.  He noted that Sanzo's eyelid was twitching.  It was at this time that Gojyo and Goku decided to look over at the Jeep.  All four men stared at each other.  Gojyo scratched his head, Goku grinned ear to ear, Sanzo twitched and Hakkai sighed.  Then Sanzo spoke quietly to the healer, still staring straight ahead.

 

"What were you saying about him not being a kid?"

 

"He has obviously been poorly influenced."

 

"Yeah, by your boyfriend."

 

"Yes, well I never said that Gojyo acted like an adult."

 

"True."

 

"Sanzo, do you ever feel like you are the parent and they are the children?"

 

"All the time."

 

"Good, I thought I was the only one."

 

"What do you say we met out proper punishment?"

 

"An excellent idea."

 

And so, before Goku and Gojyo knew what was happening, Hakkai and Sanzo had jumped from the Jeep, who promptly transformed back to his dragon self, and ran directly toward their companions.  Gojyo and Goku shot a glance at each other, then ran, Sanzo chasing Goku brandishing his fan, Hakkai chasing after Gojyo with a wicked smile as his weapon.

 

Hakkai occasionally shot a glance toward Goku and Sanzo, happy to see the monk had lightened up a bit.  He figured it was the Sake, but it didn't matter what it was, the monk needed this sort of release.

 

Going back to his own chase, Hakkai was surprised to see that Gojyo was really burning rubber.  He called out to the red head, "Are you really that afraid?"

 

"Hell yes I am." Gojyo called back, being careful not to run into an oncoming tree, "You've got that look on your face."

 

"Oh yeah? Which one?"

 

"The one that says 'I'm fucked' and not in a good way."

 

Hakkai just laughed.

 

 

 

To be continued…

 

 

PART - 5 of 7 

Sanzo tried to keep up with the monkey but it was difficult.  Mostly because he was damned fast, but also because he was trying not to trip over his fucking robes.  That and his sandals kept threatening to fly off running at this speed.  But still he ran and he watched as Goku zigged and zagged through the bushes and trees, trying to figure out a way to cut him off.

 

After a couple minutes of weaving, Goku zipped in front of him at the right moment and Sanzo launched the fan, scoring a direct hit on Goku's head, which tripped him up and caused him to tumbled forward, landing on his back.

 

"Ow Sanzo, that hurt."

 

"Good." Sanzo replied as he stood over the monkey.  He retrieved his fan from the ground, dusting it off.  "So you two thought you'd try to cook?"

 

"I was hungry."

 

"That's good, because now it's time for the cook to sample his masterpiece."

 

Goku swallowed hard.

 

At that moment, a streak of red went sailing past them, Hakkai, who followed after, stopped to survey the scene.

 

Breathing heavy and laughing he looked at Sanzo, "Nice catch."

 

"Thank you."

 

"Say, can I borrow your fan?"

 

Sanzo eyed Hakkai.  "What for?"

 

"Oh relax, I'm just gonna hit him with it."

 

"That's what I'm afraid of."  Hakkai laughed as Sanzo reluctantly handed him the fan.  "Don't get it dirty."

 

"I wont,"  Hakkai replied as he took the fan and resumed his chase.

 

Sanzo returned his attention to the monkey who was still rubbing the back of his head.  He grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back to his feet, then began to drag him back towards the campsite. 

 

"Time for dinner Goku."

 

"But Saaaanzo!"

 

 

*****

 

Hakkai saw Gojyo standing between two trees, staring back at him.  Hakkai grinned. 

 

"Oi, Hakkai, what's that in your hand?"

 

"Guess," replied the healer as he brought the fan into view.

 

"Oh. SHIT."  Gojyo took off at a dead run again.

 

Hakkai followed in hot pursuit, determined to catch the half breed.  He knew be couldn't throw the fan at him because unlike Goku, Gojyo would grab it and turn it against him.  So he kept his eyes on the half breed, trying to predict where Gojyo would pop into view before disappearing again, but after a few moments, Gojyo seemed to disappear entirely.

 

"Come out Kappa," Hakkai teased, turning where he stood, looking for Gojyo with a grin on his face.

 

"Hell no.  Not 'til you put that fan away babe."

 

Hakkai turned in the direction Gojyo's voice came from, "Oh come now, I thought you liked this sort of thing."

 

"Heh, yeah, I do, but not with Baldy's fan."

 

"Well, you did make a mess of things you know."

 

"The kid was hungry and getting on my nerves, what the hell was I supposed to do?"

 

"Your heart was in the right place Kappa, but your organization skills leave something to be desired."  Hakkai replied as he began walking quietly in the direction of his read headed companion's voice.  He was almost certain he could sneak up behind Gojyo if he kept quiet from here on out.

 

"You know that's never been one of my strong points..."

 

Hakkai did not respond.

 

"Besides, I have you, the perfect house wife, what do I need organization skills for?"

 

Hakkai bit back a response, then fought off his urge to laugh, he wasn't about to let Gojyo bait him.  He did have to admit it was a good try though.

 

*****

 

"Nooo, please Sanzo, don't make me eat it."

 

"What did I tell you monkey?  You made your bed, now you have to lie in it."

 

"Bed…?  But…we…don't even have..."

 

"Don't play dumb with me.  It's not gonna help."

 

Sanzo pulled Goku up to the campfire, plopping him near the foul smelling pot.  Sanzo tried to breath through his nose, but it didn't really help. 

 

Gods, what did they put in the damn thing? 

 

He couldn't think of anything they had that could possibly smell so bad.  Hell, the Kappa's dirty socks didn't even smell that bad!

 

Stomach turning all the while, Sanzo began to scoop the grey sludge into a bowl, then handed it to Goku, who took it awkwardly.

 

"Eat."

 

"But…"

 

"Goku…" Sanzo began as he groped among his robes for his fan, "eat it or…damn it!" Sanzo swore as he realized Hakkai had his beloved fan.

 

"Or?"

 

"Or I won't let you eat when Hakkai gets back and makes real food."  Sanzo thought the threat sounded meaningless now, especially without a fan to brandish at the monkey, but to his surprise he watched Goku dig his spoon into the grey mess and bring a small lump of it to his mouth.

 

Sanzo half expected Goku to fall over dead as the monkey's eyes widened to full moon size. 

 

"It's actually not that bad…once you get past the smell."  Goku said as he smiled his innocent kid smile.

 

"You've got to be kidding."

 

"No, not at all, try it," Goku responded as he held out a spoonful of the grey matter towards Sanzo, who was staring at the substance as if it were the most offensive thing he had ever seen.

 

The monk stretched forward towards the spoon to take his taste despite the screams of protest coming from his nose and stomach.  If the monkey said it tasted good, it probably did.  Goku's only prerequisite for food was it's taste.

 

And so, against his better judgment, Genjo Sanzo closed his eyes and prepared himself for whatever onslaught his taste buds would receive, but what he got was nothing close to what he had expected.

 

*****

 

Goku didn't know he was going to do it until he was doing it.

 

He was trying to trick Sanzo, but in a different way.  The food had tasted horrible but he had been hoping he could get Sanzo to try it anyway, just because it would have been funny to see the look on his face. 

 

But when Sanzo closed his eyes and moved his mouth closer to the spoonful Goku had extended towards the monk, all thoughts of tricking Sanzo into eating the disgusting concoction fled from his mind.  Without thinking he pulled the spoon back and extended his own mouth to meet Sanzo's.

 

As their lips touched, Goku held back the moan that wanted to escape from within him.  He felt heat rising in him and all around him… 

 

But as quickly as it had happened it was over and Goku felt Sanzo pull away from him.  He wanted nothing more then to pull Sanzo back to him, but he resisted.  He opened his eyes and looked up at Sanzo who was already standing, a look of confusion, amazement and anger etched on his face.

 

Sanzo opened his mouth to speak and Goku braced himself from the words that would follow.

 

"I don't care how you do it monkey, but I want you to get rid of that shit, it smells terrible."

 

And that was it.  Goku watched in mild shock as Sanzo stormed off to the tent.  He wasn't sure if Sanzo not yelling at him about the kiss was a good thing or a bad thing.

 

Goku began to clean up the mess around the campsite before he figured out a way to get rid of the "food".  In the distance, he thought he could hear laughter and he sighed.

 

It's so easy for them.  Maybe Sanzo should have had a talk with Gojyo instead. 

 

While thoughts of what he should do next fluttered through his mind, Goku brought the pot of food to an open space away from the campsite where he dug a hole and poured in the offending contents.

 

When he returned to the campsite he sat on the log where he had sat and talked to Gojyo and lost himself in his thoughts. 

 

***** 

 

Sanzo had been caught so off guard by Goku's kiss that he honestly hadn't even realized what the hell had happened until he was standing above Goku.

 

He was amazed that the words that had come out of his mouth had be reasonably calm.  He was surprised he hadn't whipped out his gun, not that he would have ever shot Goku for kissing him.  And damn it all, he was pissed that Hakkai still had his fan.

 

What the hell was the monkey thinking?

 

Sanzo would never have thought Goku would be the one to take initiative in a situation like that.  He was devious, that was for sure.  Sanzo had gotten a taste of that stuff they had cooked when their lips touched and it had tasted worse then it smelled.  Had Goku really told him it tasted good just so Sanzo would lean in to try it?  He couldn't believe it, but he didn't know what else to think.

 

Sanzo paced the tent the best he could as he thought about what had happened.  Goku had taken the first step, Goku had kissed him. 

 

And no matter how much Sanzo tried to deny it, that kiss had been better then he imagined it could have been.  He was sorry he hadn't really been coherent through it.  He was sorry he had pulled away and he debated going back out to Goku, but he resisted.  This wasn't the time nor the place.  

 

Gods, he would give anything to not be in these blasted woods anymore.

 

*****

 

Hakkai could see Gojyo a few feet up in front of him, back turned, in perfect position to be snuck up on.  Or so he thought.

 

*****

 

Gojyo wasn't sure exactly where Hakkai was, but he knew he was close, he could feel the youkai's presence.  He strained to hear any stray sound or catch a faint sent of his companion.  His better then average senses had always been advantageous, but he especially liked the fact that Hakkai's scent was so much clearer to him.

 

He loved taking in his scent when they were in the throws of…

 

Suddenly, at the edge of his hearing Gojyo heard the faintest rustle of leaves behind him.  His youkai reflexes snapped into action as he spun around and tackled a completely caught off guard Hakkai.  As the two fell to the ground, the fan Hakkai had been holding went tumbling out of the youkai' hand.

 

"Heh…Got ya." Gojyo purred triumphantly through a grin.

 

"It would appear so." Replied Hakkai, chuckling.

 

"I guess you're just no match for me when your youkai senses are dulled." Gojyo playfully teased as he ran his fingers over the limiters on Hakkai's ear.  The contact made his fingers tingle and his eyelids flutter, and it made him remember…

 

Lustlovepaindesire 

 

Lost in the sudden flash of memories Gojyo let out a whimper.

 

Sharp nails across his skin, teeth on his neck, moans of pleasure, whimpers of pain. 

 

Unknowingly Gojyo griped one of Hakkai's limiters between two fingers.  He wanted to feel the…

 

Ecstasy.

 

"Gojyo!"

 

The half breed was suddenly ripped from his thoughts upon hearing Hakkai call out to him.  He felt a firm grip on his wrist and when he opened his eyes he saw the worried look on his lover's face.  As if repelled by Hakkai's look, Gojyo released his grip on the limiter and rolled away from his youkai companion.

 

"What…was that all about Gojyo?" Hakkai asked in a voice that betrayed his usual calm as he made sure his limiters were still soundly in place.

 

"I…I don't know…sorry.  I shouldn't have done that."  Gojyo looked towards Hakkai, barely able to meet the healers eyes.  "I remember what happened now…at the pond.  She showed me…things…and I guess the contact reminded me.  Damn it, I'm sorry."

 

"Hey," Hakkai began as Gojyo watched him scoot closer, "it's not your fault.  That…thing…messed with all of us."

 

Gojyo nodded his head as he watched Hakkai stand, the youkai offering the half breed a hand up.

 

*****

 

Hakkai felt the strength in Gojyo's grip as he helped the red head to his feet.  The contact soothed his nerves.  They had always joked about taking off his limiters, but this had been the first time it had come close to happening in such a situation and it had rattled him.  Not that it didn't have it's appeal…but Hakkai always had the deep desire to…

 

protectGojyohelphimsavehimlovehimprotecthim

 

"Make him happy…"

 

"Wha?" Gojyo asked, mildly confused.

 

Hakkai shook his head, "It would seem you are not the only one who remembers, Gojyo."

 

"Oh," Gojyo said, raising an eyebrow.  "Who is it you want to make happy?"

 

"Who do you think, silly Kappa."

 

"Just checking." Gojyo replied with a wink.  Hakkai loved that look.  If there was anything that Gojyo did that showed just how laidback and free the half breed really was, that wink was it. 

 

Hakkai stretched slightly towards Gojyo and placed a quick kiss on the half breed's lips.  "We should head back to the campsite.  Goku is probably starving and Sanzo's good mood won't last forever."     

 

Gojyo sighed.  "I wish those two would just fuck already."

 

Hakkai couldn't suppress the laugh that escaped from his lips.  "Indeed," he replied as he bent over to pick up Sanzo's fan.  He dusted it off for good measure.

 

"I'm pretty sure the monkey wants to anyways.  He was asking a lot of questions today while you to were off exploring.  Interesting to say the least."

 

"You know, I had an interesting conversation with Sanzo today as well.  About us."

 

Hakkai laughed again as Gojyo stopped dead in his tracks.

 

"About us?"

 

"Uh-huh."

 

"Do I even want to know?"

 

"Oh, I think you will be quite amused by what he had to say."

 

On the way back to the campsite the two shared their day's conversations.  From time to time Hakkai couldn't resist giving Gojyo a love tap with the fan.

 

*****

 

When the two returned to the campsite they found Goku still sitting on the log by the now burnt out fire. 

 

Sitting isn't quite the right word Hakkai amended to himself, noting that Goku's shoulder's were sagged and his usual spunk seemed depleted.

 

"Oi, Goku, what's wrong?" Gojyo asked, sounding slightly concerned.  "Where's the monk?"

 

Goku merely pointed in the direction of the tent. 

 

"Is everything ok Goku?"  Hakkai asked.

 

"I guess…but…"

 

"Yes?"

 

"Never mind."

 

"Goku…"

 

The young man seemed to suddenly perk up.  "Don't worry Hakkai, I'm fine.  But I am kind of hungry."

 

Hakkai chuckled,  "I had a feeling you would be."

 

Goku smiled.  "Sorry about the mess we made.  I cleaned it up a bit."

 

"Don't worry Goku."  Hakkai replied as he glanced sideways at Gojyo, "Now, let's see what we can manage to cook up."

 

"Want some help?" Gojyo asked playfully.

 

*****

 

Sanzo heard Hakkai and Gojyo's exchange with Goku when they returned.  He waited with baited breath for Goku to blab about what had recently happened, but to his surprise, the monkey hadn't said a word about the kiss.  Sanzo wasn't sure how to take that.

 

He listened as his three traveling companions joked and laughed as Hakkai prepared dinner.  Gojyo's laugh was sincere, rarely was it ever not, but the other two were hiding something behind their laugh.  Sanzo was able to pick up on it through the thin tent walls. 

 

He guessed Goku was still upset about the kiss, or more accurately what happened after the kiss.  As for Hakkai, well, the healer wasn't an idiot despite Sanzo's frequent use of the term.  Hakkai probably had a good idea what was going on, or at least a good guess, considering their earlier conversation.

 

Why me? Sanzo asked himself for what seemed like the millionth time since his master had been killed so many years ago.  And just as he almost always did, he responded back to himself: if not you, then who?

 

Who indeed?  He didn't know anyone who would have put up with the shit he did.  Well, no one except the three he traveled with.  Murderous mothers, murdered loves and masters, exile and imprisonment…they had all seen their share of shit.  And Sanzo knew that now, all those things would only be the tip of the iceberg.  The shit had not yet hit the fan.

 

Further thoughts in that direction where interrupted as Sanzo began to smell whatever it was that Hakkai had been cooking.  At first, Sanzo's stomach lurched a bit, a leftover reaction from the most recent batch of "food" that had been cooked.   But quickly enough Sanzo realized that what he was smelling actually smelt good.  Hell, it smelled fantastic. 

 

He soon realized that despite his mildly foul mood and confusion about recent events, he was going to have to put aside his anti-social behavior for the time being.  For once he thought he might actually know how Goku felt when he said he was starving.

 

*****

 

"Ah…Sanzo-sama!  Nice of you to grace us with your presence this fine evening." Gojyo said with an exaggerated bow and a sly grin dripping with sarcasm.

 

"Shut it Kappa, or I'll shut it for you." Sanzo replied as he sat down next to Goku.  "What's for dinner Hakkai?"

 

"Hmm, I'm not sure what I should call it.  It's sort of a mix of what we have left, a little of this a little of that…"

 

Sanzo gave their healer a worried look.

 

"I assure you Sanzo, if the smell is any indication, it will taste far better then what our friends here made."  Hakkai let a sly smile grace his face.

 

Sanzo's stomach took this moment to rumble it's agreement.  The food did smell a hell of a lot more appetizing then their failed chef's experiment.  Trying to ignore his stomach for a moment, Sanzo leaned closer to Goku.

 

"You got rid of the last mess?"

 

"Yes, I buried it."

 

Sanzo chuckled, "Good enough," he replied as he ran a hand through Goku's hair.  He loved the feel of the young man's soft hair against the rough skin of his hand.  He wanted badly to tug on it and pull Goku closer to him, but he resisted with all his power.  He released Goku's dark strands after a couple moments and gave him a pat on the head.  Goku looked up at him with a soft smile and Sanzo felt something in him melt a little.  To halt the feeling which was making him feel a bit uneasy, he did the only thing he knew to distract himself:  he lit a cigarette.

 

*****

 

The food had been excellent, far better then the little taste of Goku and Gojyo's failed experiment.  Sanzo had no idea what was in it and he wasn't about to ask.  It hit the spot and that was all he cared about.

 

"There should be enough left over for breakfast in the morning," Hakkai stated plainly as he began to clean up.  "Hopefully we will find a town tomorrow."

 

"I can't wait to have a real mattress under me again." Gojyo chimed in with a longing voice as he ran a hand against Hakkai's back before lighting a smoke.

 

"Really, a mattress, is that all?"  Sanzo asked dryly.  Hakkai's light blush did not escape the monk.

 

Gojyo laughed, "You're such a pervert."

 

Sanzo responded with a "Ch" and for a few moments they sat in silence until Goku finally spoke up.

 

"Sanzo, do you think she is OK now?"

 

"I don't know Goku."  His response seemed to deflate the monkey a bit.

 

"I'm sure she is in a much better place Goku."  Hakkai added in quickly.

 

"Heaven?"

 

Sanzo suddenly got an uneasy feeling, as if someone had just walked over his grave.  He glanced around and noticed that Hakkai and Gojyo looked as if the same had just happened to them as well.

 

"Maybe, but more likely she has been reincarnated." Sanzo replied absent mindedly. 

 

"Oh," was Goku's only reply. 

 

"Don't worry monkey, I'm sure everything will work itself out eventually."  Gojyo added.  Sanzo wasn't quite sure the half breed was still talking about the girl.

 

"I hope so." Replied the young man.

 

*****

 

"Ready for bed?"  Hakkai asked as he ran a hand through Gojyo's hair.

 

"I guess so," replied the red head, who seemed to be in a daze.

 

"What are you thinking about Kappa?"

 

"Nothing really.  Something Goku said kind of hit a nerve."

 

"You mean about Heaven?"

 

"Uh-huh, it made me feel…"

 

"Homesick?"

 

"Yeah, like something was missing."  Gojyo's eyebrows creased as he spoke.  "And something else…it made me feel uneasy."

 

Hakkai looked lovingly towards the redhead who was describing exactly how he had felt as well.  "Same here, Gojyo.  I got the feeling Heaven isn't exactly a good place to be right now."

 

"I wonder what it means?"

 

"I'm not sure.  Maybe our past reincarnations are trying to tell us something?"  Hakkai replied with a smirk.

 

Gojyo laughed uneasily, "I'm still not sure I put a lot of stock in the whole reincarnation thing.  And if I did, I'd like to think my past selves would be a lot less vague."

 

Hakkai chuckled as they walked towards the tent, "Yes, that would be helpful."

 

*****

 

Gojyo blinked hard when they entered the tent, then turned his head to look at Hakkai who looked as bemused as he himself felt.

 

On the ground before them Goku was curled up comfortably against Sanzo who had a protective arm slung over the monkey's side.  That wasn't so surprising, the monkey often slept close to Sanzo,  though never quite as close, but what Gojyo found most out of the ordinary was that Sanzo's face was buried in Goku's short hair. 

 

"Huh.  Looks like the monk finally caved." Gojyo whispered to Hakkai as they settled down among their own blankets and sleeping bags.

 

"Yes it would appear so," Hakkai whispered in return as he scooted closer to the half breed's warm body.  "Shall we follow their example."

 

"Wouldn't have it any other way." Gojyo replied as he buried his face against Hakkai's neck, taking in the youkai's scent.  He felt Hakkai snuggle up to him again as he drifted off to sleep.

 

*****

 

"See anything yet?"

 

"You know kappa, asking me every five seconds isn't going to make a town appear faster." Goku snapped in reply.  He was hungry and the evening's meager leftovers hadn't really been enough to ease his stomach that morning and now it was passed lunch time and still no town in sight.

 

Sanzo had been eager as ever to get going so they had eaten their meal cold as they had packed up their gear.  One thing they had found out though, was that Hakkai's concoction was just as good cold as it was hot.  If only there had been more to eat.

 

"Maybe you're just not looking hard enough?"

 

Goku opened his mouth to reply, but Sanzo beat him to it with a smack of the fan on Gojyo's leg.  Goku heard Gojyo mutter something to the effect of fucking monk under his breath.

 

After a couple moments, Goku let his mind return to the night before.  Sanzo had willingly let Goku curl up next to him as close as he possibly could before they fell asleep.  The last thing he remembered was drifting off while Sanzo's warm breath caressed the back of his head.  It was a comforting and so nice.  But that morning Sanzo had been as cold to him as ever.  Barking out orders until they were on the road again.  He seemed to have settled down a bit once they got rolling, but still he hadn't really noticed his existence aside from the occasional pat on the head, or whack with the fan.   

 

I guess I should talk to him like Gojyo suggested.  The idea of following Gojyo's advice gave him mixed feelings.

 

"Oh please let that be what I think it is" Goku heard Gojyo exclaim, jarring him from his thoughts.

 

"I think it is Kappa." Hakkai replied.

 

Goku cleared his head and stared into the distance, letting out a "woohoo" as his eyes scanned the outline of buildings in the distance.  "Thank the Gods, I'm starving!"

 

*****

 

Sanzo starred straight ahead as his three companions celebrated the sight of the town in the distance.

 

Finally a good meal, a shower, a bed and some privacy are close at hand once again.

 

And as his companions hooted and hollered around him, Sanzo let out a genuine sigh of relief.

 

To be continued…

 

 

PART - 6 of 7 

 

 

After dinner the four of them almost hurried to their respective rooms.  Gojyo figured it was because they were all happy to be back in "civilization", or at least what passed for it in these parts. 

 

Once they had arrived in the town and got their rooms at the inn they had gone to the inn's restaurant had had a feast, courtesy of the three heads.  All he wanted now was to lie down on a nice, reasonably soft bed, have a few smokes, then take a nice long, hot shower.  Well, that wasn't all he wanted to do, but he'd take things as they came tonight.

 

*****

 

Sanzo watched Gojyo and Hakkai scurry off to their room.  He began to wonder if maybe he should have requested rooms across the hall from each other instead of side by side.

 

Oh well, too late now he sighed as he reached the door to the room he and Goku would share.  He opened the old door slowly and held it open for Goku who went straight for one of the beds, falling into it like someone slain in battle falls to the ground, only with slightly more grace.

 

Sanzo couldn't help but watch Goku tumble into the soft bed.  He had always been fond of the way the young man's hair fluttered with every movement he made. He imagined what it would be like to kiss Goku again, this time with his hand running through the brunette's short strands.

 

Sanzo shook the thought from his head suddenly, as if he were afraid his roommate would pick up on it.  He took the scripture from his shoulders and rolled it as he looked for a good place to store it for the night.  Once it was hidden away, he took off his robe, tossing it onto one of the two chairs in the room and he made his way to the other bed where he plopped down on the mattress with far less grace then Goku had.  He rolled onto his back and stared and the ceiling of their room, it was too early for sleep, but it felt damn good to be lying on a bed again.

 

"Sanzo?"

 

"What is it Goku?"

 

"Never mind."

 

Sanzo sighed in mild annoyance, "Just say it Goku."

 

"Well,  I wanted to say sorry for kissing you like that.  It's just…well, while you and Hakkai were driving around yesterday, Gojyo and I had a talk…"

 

OH GOD.  If that fucking water sprite said anything sick to Goku

 

"…and well, I told him some things, and he said that I should tell them to you..."

 

…I am going to beat him to a pulp before I shoot him in the fucking head…

 

"…because even though you act like a tight ass jerk most of the time, you really do care…"

 

…multiple times in fact…wait…what?

 

"Gojyo said what?" Sanzo almost shouted as he sat up in bed.

 

"That you act like a tight ass jerk," Goku replied, flinching.

 

Sanzo rolled his eyes, "No, after that."

 

"Oh…uh…you really do care."

 

"About what?"

 

Goku rolled over to face Sanzo and stared at him.  Sanzo was startled to find that he was almost lost in the young man's golden eyes, even at this distance.

 

"About me," replied Goku, barely above a whisper.

 

*****

 

Gojyo watched Hakkai as he puttered around the room, taking out what few things he would need for the night.  It always amazed Gojyo how gentle Hakkai could be.  He watched him place his sleeping clothes on the second bed in the room, the one that would not be used, except perhaps by Hakuryu.  Hell, the sleeping clothes probably wont even get used, but still he placed the garments down as if they were made of fragile glass and could break at any moment.  It amused him to think that later that gentle approach would be gone, replaced by something more animal, as those hands clawed at his back or entwined themselves in his long red hair…

 

Gojyo let out a soft half-moan half-sigh at the thought.

 

"What's on your mind Kappa?" Hakkai asked as he turned towards his lover.

 

Gojyo looked up at Hakkai's face, "What do you think?"

 

*****

 

Hakkai stood smiling and looking down at Gojyo who was on his back, sprawled out on the bed, one if his sly smiles etched on his face.  He began to undo the pins of his tunic as he walked around to the foot of the bed tracing the figure of his lover with his eyes as he did so.  When he reached the end of the bed he removed his tunic, leaving himself in his undershirt and pants.  He returned his gaze to Gojyo's face, the red head's eyes staring back at him.  It was a soft gaze, so different from the one that used to reside there.  Hakkai smiled and Gojyo lifted his head to speak.

 

"Now I'm curious to know what's on your mind." 

 

"Oh, I don't know," replied Hakkai as he crawled onto the bed, stretching out on his side next to Gojyo, "I was thinking of going to sleep, I'm really tired you know."

 

Hakkai feigned a yawn, and Gojyo replied with a sound of his own.  It was sort of a grunt-moan-sigh-whimper mix that voiced asshole and yeah right at the same time.  Hakkai felt a shiver trace down his spine upon hearing it.

 

Hakkai rested his hand on Gojyo's firm abdomen, lightly caressing the lines of his muscles through the half breed's tank, first with fingers, then with nails.  He slid his hand under the shirt, Gojyo purring under the movement of the healer's gentle touch.

 

"I mean really," Hakkai began, "the last few days have been weird and draining, and we should get some rest.  I'm sure Sanzo will want to get an early start tomorrow, considering how much time we've lost recently.  Plus I have to shop for supplies in the morning before we leave. "  He punctuated his statements by patting the half breed's stomach, as if he were some beloved pet, then cuddling up to the man as he often did when they slept.

 

Even though he couldn't see it, Hakkai could imagine the look on Gojyo's face, and he could almost pin point the exact moment when the red head rolled his eyes.  He chuckled quietly.

 

"What?"

 

"Nothing Gojyo, just thinking to myself." He moved his hand up to Gojyo's face, covering his eyes, gently pushing down the red head's eyelids, "Now get some sleep."  He traced a finger down the bridge of Gojyo's nose, letting it fall slowly down to his upper lip where it rested a moment before continuing to the now slightly trembling lower lip.  He felt Gojyo's tongue flick gently at the pad of his finger as his lips surrounded it in wet warmth.

 

Hakkai gently pulled his finger from Gojyo's mouth, rolling on his back to reach out and turn off the lamp that stood on the nightstand between the two beds.  He patted Gojyo again, this time on the chest.

 

"Sleeeep."

 

He heard Gojyo sigh, but the red head did not protest, and so Hakkai lay next to his lover, listening to him breath.

 

*****

 

Goku wondered if Gojyo had been right in what he said about telling Sanzo how he felt.  Sanzo was very quiet, which was more unnerving then when he was shouting and brandishing his gun. 

 

Goku was about to drop the topic when Sanzo finally spoke.

 

"Well, go ahead Goku, what did you want to say?"

 

Goku gathered his courage. 

 

"Well, first…I wish you wouldn't treat me like a child," he paused to gauge Sanzo's reaction, but the monk only stared at him eyebrows slightly raised, so he continued, "I mean I know I missed out on a lot of learning experiences being stuck in that cave, but Hakkai is always teaching me things, and Gojyo…well, he is more of an example of what not to do most of the time, but anyways...You seem to think that I can handle killing demons and a journey to save the world but that I can't join in a real conversation, or take care of myself after being injured, or handle the fact that two of my traveling companions are fucking like rabid monkeys."

 

Goku paused to gather himself, he was rambling and already getting frustrated. He heard Sanzo laugh, which was also quite unnerving.

 

"Is that all?"

 

"No, not really."

 

"Then continue. And come over here and sit down."

 

Hesitantly Goku rose from his bed and sat on the edge of Sanzo's.  For some reason he couldn't bare to look eye to eye with the monk.

 

Goku took another deep breath. 

 

"I'm always trying to think of ways to show you I care about you.  Some way to repay you for taking me from that cave, to repay you for every time you've been there for me.  I try to be there for you, but you never seem to need it.  I guess I just wish I could do something for you for once.  I see Gojyo and Hakkai and they seem to make each other so happy just by being there.  I wish I could do that for you.  I feel like I have a debt to pay but cannot pay it."

 

A moment of silence passed between them before Sanzo spoke.

 

"Goku…"

 

"Yes Sanzo?"

 

"You are not in debt to me.  There is nothing you need to repay, so stop thinking that there is."

 

"But…"

 

"But nothing Goku," Sanzo replied, raising his voice, "You owe me nothing.  Wanting to give is one thing, thinking you must give it is another.  Do you understand?"

 

"Yes, I think so."

 

 

*****

 

Sanzo hated to admit it as he stared at the monkey's lowered head, but Hakkai had been right.  This was no child that sat before him.  Deep down Sanzo had known this for awhile, but he wouldn't have admitted it, because admitting that Goku was not the same kid he had taken from that cave would have lead to him having to admit other things.  Until recently, he hadn't been willing to do so.

 

He reached out and put his hand under Goku's chin, raising his head to make eye contact.  He could feel Goku tremble slightly but he did not remove his hand.  Sanzo stared into Goku's eyes for what seemed like an eternity.  He brushed his thumb across Goku's cheek, finding he enjoyed the feel of his soft skin far more then he thought was normal.  The gentle contact sent shivers through both of their bodies.  Sanzo closed his eyes and took a breath.

 

What the fuck am I doing?  He opened his eyes again, still at a loss for what to do.

 

"Goku."

 

"Yeah Sanzo?"

 

"What is it that you want from me?"

 

Goku closed his eyes.  "I don't know, what are you willing to give?"

 

Fucking monkey. 

 

Sanzo slowly brought his other hand up towards Goku, letting it slowly run through his short brown hair.  He let it slide down the back of Goku's head until it rested at the spot where it joined with his neck.  His movement caused Goku to let out what almost sounded like a whimper and Sanzo wondered if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

 

Sanzo removed his hands from Goku's neck and face.  He was having trouble interpreting Goku's expression.  He wasn't sure if it was shock, fear, eager joy, absolute disgust or some combination of the four. 

 

Goku's voice pulled him from his thoughts, "Why did you stop Sanzo?"

 

"You looked scared."

 

"I am scared," Goku replied, looking at him, eyes wide, "and so are you."

 

Upon hearing this, Sanzo realized he was.  He tried to think of something to say, but nothing came to him.  It occurred to him that this was not the time for words, so instead he slowly returned his hands to their original resting places.  He pulled Goku close to him until they were face to face, as close as they could be without touching.  Sanzo could feel Goku's breath on his lips and wanted nothing more then to taste the mouth it came from.

 

*****

 

It was a rare occasion that this happened, but Gojyo was at a loss for what to do.  He was pretty sure Hakkai was joking around, but even after living with the man for three years, and now traveling with him, Gojyo still found it hard to read his youkai companion sometimes.  He was really looking forward to a nice tumble without the threat of a stick or rock getting wedged into his back or knees.  Granted, the bed wasn't the most comfortable one he'd ever slept in, but it was a fair bit better then the ground they had been sleeping on the last few days. 

 

Fuck it, what's the worst that could happen, he tells me no and I go to sleep horny?

 

Yeah, that was pretty much it.  It's not like Hakkai would get mad at him or anything.  Which was good, 'cause a mad Hakkai was a scary Hakkai.  Although a mad Hakkai also had a certain appeal to it as well…

 

The thought of a rough and in control Hakkai driven by angst made the half breed stiffen…all over.  He smiled as he began to run his hand through Hakkai's hair.  The youkai made a light moaning noise and nuzzled closer to the half breed.  Gojyo tugged a little harder on the handful of brunette strands, hoping to get a deeper response.  Hakkai didn't disappoint.

 

"You know, it is very hard to sleep with you doing that."  Hakkai stated plainly as he began to caress the skin beneath Gojyo's tank top.

 

"Mmmm…that was kinda the point babe," Gojyo replied quietly as his other hand began to play beneath Hakkai's own shirt. 

 

"Hnnn…I really am tired you know."  Gojyo had to hold back a laugh as Hakkai tried to nuzzle even closer to him.  Any closer and the youkai would be a part of Gojyo.

 

Gojyo rolled from his back to his side so he could face Hakkai.  The way they were positioned put Gojyo's lips right against Hakkai's forehead.  Gojyo kissed it as he trailed his hand down Hakkai's back. 

 

"Aw, is my poor baby really that tired?" Gojyo asked, that familiar hint of sarcasm trickling off his tongue.  Hakkai half snorted.  Gojyo tugged on Hakkai's hair again.  He felt short nails dig into his skin a little and he let out a growl.

 

"Yes, your poor baby is exhausted," Hakkai responded with an exaggerated sigh as he began to run his hand through Gojyo's silky red hair.  Gojyo shivered uncontrollably at the contact and quickly snaked a hand down to the waistline of Hakkai's pants.  He undid the belt, then the button and zipper and slid his hand under the fabric with practiced skill.  Hakkai produced a moan that was exquisite to Gojyo's finely tuned ears.  He smiled and began to push Hakkai onto his back.

 

Gojyo stared deep into Hakkai's green eyes, mesmerized as always by their beauty. 

 

"So does that mean you want me to stop?"

 

 "Gods no," the youkai replied.

 

*****

 

He couldn't hold back any longer.  Sanzo pulled Goku closer, keeping his eyes open so he could see Goku's reaction, until their lips touched.  It was a simple kiss, just lips against lips, but it sent a jolt through his body like none he had ever felt before.  Judging from Goku's expression, the young man was feeling something similar.  Sanzo closed his eyes and allowed the kiss to last a few moments longer before pulling back a few inches.  He was amused to see Goku trying to follow as he pulled away.

 

"Goku, look at me."

 

Goku did so.

 

"Is this what you want?"

 

"I think so.  Is this what you want to give me?"

 

"Yes."

 

Goku smiled.  They stared at each other for a moment, neither sure what to do next.  The silence was soon broken by an all too familiar sound coming from the room next door.

 

Goku let out a chuckle.  Sanzo merely rolled his eyes.

 

"Goku, do me a favor, for my own piece of mind.  Next time you want advice, talk to Hakkai."

 

"You sure about that Sanzo? After all, he's the one fooling around with Gojyo."

 

Sanzo couldn't hold back his rough laughter as he pulled Goku in for another kiss. 

 

*****

 

Hakkai moaned deeply as Gojyo rolled so that he lay underneath his youkai companion.  Hakkai's moan grew as he felt Gojyo slide two lubed fingers inside him.  He reached for Gojyo's free hand, entwining their fingers in a tight grip as he leaned forward, resting his forehead in the nook between Gojyo's neck and shoulder.  Hakkai purred in Gojyo's ear and the half breed shuddered.

 

Hakkai smiled against Gojyo's neck, squeezing his hand harder, then whispered softly past the red hair that lay against Gojyo's ear.

 

"I want to feel you inside me.  Please."

 

Hakkai listened to the pleased groan that escaped Gojyo as he grazed his lips against the half breed's ear.

 

"Hnnn…fuck…anything you want babe."

 

Hakkai smiled and sat upright again, straddling his lover, guiding Gojyo's hand to his own pulsing erection as the red head slowly began to slide his cock inside Hakkai.

 

Both men moaned with pleasure; Gojyo from the warm tightness that enveloped him, Hakkai from the feeling of being perfectly filled.  As always though, Hakkai had to close his eyes against the pain at first.  He thought he would have been used to it by now, but he was beginning to wonder if that pain would always be there to start.  Not that he really minded, it wasn't a bad pain.

 

When Hakkai opened his eyes again, all thoughts of pain were gone.  As he rode his love, slowly at first, matching the rhythm of Gojyo's hand on his cock, he stared deep into Gojyo's blood red eyes and it was there that he was lost.  This though, was a kind of lost he could deal with.  No bumpy unpaved roads, no relentless sun, no pissy monks or rocks digging in his skin.  No strange spirits bound in water.  There was nothing here but them and the feel of the two of them, together as one.  And now Hakkai wanted nothing more then to feel his release, as if an orgasm would clear himself of the last few days. 

 

He began to rock harder against Gojyo's stiff cock, letting it in deeper and deeper until it reached it's limits.  And all the while he purred and moaned through heavy breaths as Gojyo stroked his cock with pleasant strokes.  He listened to the sounds Gojyo made, each one adding to his own desire to come as he felt Gojyo inside him. 

 

Hakkai tightened his muscles as he shifted up and down and he heard Gojyo gasp as his grip tightened down on Hakkai's own throbbing erection.  Hakkai smiled as he felt Gojyo pulsing within him, as he felt the warmth of the half breed's release.  A moment later he felt Gojyo pull out of him, but he continued to stroke as he readjusted his position slightly.  Hakkai closed his eyes again, he was so close to the edge.  And then, very suddenly he felt a wet warmth on his cock as Gojyo took him into his mouth and it was all but done. 

 

Hakkai nearly yelped as he came inside Gojyo's mouth, grabbing two handfuls of the red hair before him.  He held Gojyo there until the last of his tremors died away, then released his grip on the half breed who fell back against the pillows with a smile on his face.

 

*****

 

Goku lay shirtless on Sanzo's bed.  Sanzo hovered above him trembling slightly.  He wasn't sure if he should let this continue, or call it good for now.  The monkey was obviously nervous and fear still tinted the look in his eyes.  Sanzo rolled onto the bed, closing his eyes and breathing deeply, trying to gain control of his urges.

 

Goku rolled to his side to face him. "What's wrong Sanzo?"

 

"Nothing's wrong.  But that is enough for now."

 

"But…"

 

"But what?" Sanzo eyed the young man.

 

"If this is what you want, why are you stopping?" Goku was obviously confused.

 

"You aren't ready."  Sanzo wasn't sure how much be believed his own words, but on some level it felt true.  He heard Goku sigh.

 

"I see."

 

"I doubt you really do.  I wonder if you know what you are getting yourself into.  I am not Gojyo or Hakkai.  Do you understand what I mean by that?"

 

"I think so," Goku paused to collect his thoughts, "You mean that you won't show affection like they do."

 

"Yes, something like that."

 

"I don't mind."

 

Sanzo raised his eyebrows.

 

"I mean really, I never took you for that type anyways."

 

Sanzo voiced a "Humph". He scooted closed to the young man who was watching him intently. 

 

He brought his lips close to Goku's ear.

 

"Are you sure you are ok with that?"

 

"I guess so."

 

That wasn't the answer he was looking for, but he was tired of holding back. He began to place firm kisses and gentle bites on Goku's neck as he laid a hand to rest on the young man's chest.

 

Sanzo could feel Goku's hand upon his stomach.  Every time it moved, he could tell the young man was becoming braver in his explorations.  Soon his hand was venturing as far as it could reach, squeezing, scratching, caressing whatever it could, as if this would be his only chance to feel him out.  Goku was eager and it only added to Sanzo's desire.

 

Sanzo rolled on top of Goku, keeping a scant inch of space between most of their bodies. He placed one hand between Goku and the bed, feeling the lean muscles of the young man's back.  He began to trace the lines of Goku's body with his lips.  From his neck to his shoulders, down his chest, along his ribs.  He dragged his tongue down Goku's stomach, over his slightly defined abs, across his navel and down to the top of the young man's pants, where soft skin met denim.

 

Sanzo paused to look up at Goku who's head was slightly tilted so he could watch what Sanzo did.  Sanzo wasn't all that surprised, he assumed, especially after talking with Gojyo, that Goku had a basic knowledge of what to expect, but when it came down to it, the monkey was flying blind.  Not that he himself had that much more experience.  Sanzo produced the most reassuring smile he possibly could and Goku returned it, eyes sparkling.

 

 

To be concluded…    

 

PART - 7 of 7 

 

Gojyo would be the first to admit how much he loved sex, but he had found recently that this, the after, is what he had begun to enjoy most.  During was fucking great, but after had become something he secretly looked forward to every time.  To stare into those eyes, to see that body hovering above him, or lying below him, slick with sweat, reluctant to move for fear of breaking the spell.  The moment was always short since exhaustion was usually quick to catch up with them, but it didn't matter, sometimes it felt like forever. 

 

Hakkai broke the spell this time, slowly rolling off of Gojyo, who rolled with him, not wanting to break contact just yet.  Hakkai chuckled and kissed his lover's forehead.

 

"You never get enough do you?"

 

"Nope, never."

 

Gojyo brushed his lips against Hakkai's.

 

"What am I gonna do with you Kappa?"

 

"Whatever you want."

 

Hakkai smiled, and Gojyo kissed him again.

 

"Suddenly feeling submissive, are we?"

 

"Maybe.  Or maybe I'm just trying to lure you in."

 

With careful speed, Gojyo pushed Hakkai on his back, his knees on either side of Hakkai's waist, hands holding down his partner's firm upper arms.  He grinned, closed his eyes and leaned in for a kiss.  As their lips touched, he heard a low almost guttural moan that sent a shiver down his spine.  There was something about that sound that was so not Hakkai that….

 

Wait a second.

 

Gojyo opened his eyes and stared at Hakkai, who stared back, seemingly as confused as the red head.

 

"That wasn't you, was it."

 

Before Hakkai could answer they heard it again, slightly louder.

 

"And neither was that." Gojyo said as his eyes widened.

 

Gojyo, still pinning down the other man, slowly lifted his head to stare wide eyed and slightly amused at the wall that separated their room from the one that Sanzo and Goku shared.  Hakkai leaned his head back in a rather awkward position to look at the wall as well, as if it would suddenly tell them what was going on.

 

They heard it again, two voices this time.

 

"It can't be," mumbled Hakkai.

 

Another moan.

 

"Well, I think it is," replied Gojyo, "and it's about damn time."

 

The two returned their gaze to each other, each one obviously trying not to burst into fits of laughter. 

 

"Holy Shit!" Gojyo almost shouted.

 

"Couldn't have said it better myself Kappa."

 

"Man, talk about shocking the monkey."

 

They couldn't hold back any longer.  Gojyo fell down to Hakkai's side, racked with laughter.  He buried his face into Hakkai's chest, trying to muffle the sounds and Hakkai tried to do the same by burying his face in Gojyo's long red hair.  It wasn't working.

 

The moans were becoming louder, and suddenly Gojyo wanted to be anywhere but where he was.

 

"What do you say we go get a drink?"

 

"A splendid idea."

 

The two men hurried to clean up and dress, trying to make sure they were at least semi descent before leaving the room. 

 

"You know, I wouldn't have expected the monk to last this long the first time out with the Monkey."

 

"I don't even want to go there Gojyo," Hakkai replied, he seemed almost embarrassed.  "Ready?"

 

"Yep, let's go drink to the new couple."

 

Hakkai followed Gojyo out of the room, closing the door behind him.  They quietly walked past their companions' room, as new sounds of pleasure slipped out from under the door.  The two lover's burst into laughter again, covering their mouths to muffle the sounds as they hurried away from the room down the hall.

 

Once they were a safe distance away, they stopped so they could get their laughter under control.  Gojyo put his arm around Hakkai's shoulder and pulled him in for a half hug.

 

"I guess we are officially matchmaker's now."

 

"It would appear so," replied Hakkai as he put his arm around Gojyo's waist, "though it's a shame we really don't have anyone to fix up anymore."

 

"I'm sure we can figure something out."  Gojyo winked at Hakkai and they began to walk to the bar again, happy in each other's arms.

 

When they arrived, Hakkai ordered them the finest sake available and Gojyo provided the toast:

 

"To the happy couple," he said through a grin, "a pair of fools even denser then us."

 

"Here here," chuckled Hakkai, "I think we can drink to that."

 

And that's just what they did.

 

*****

 

The smell of Sanzo's cigarette smoke wafted through the air as Goku lay on the bed, trying not to fall asleep.  He loved the smell, there was something so comforting and reassuring about it.  Despite his exhaustion Goku's mind was racing, replaying the more recent events over and over in his head.  A small smile played across his face as he felt Sanzo move closer to him so he could extinguish his cigarette. 

 

"Goodnight Goku."

 

"Night Sanzo," Goku replied as he began to roll out of the bed.  He heard Sanzo moving behind him.

 

"Where are you going?"  Sanzo asked hesitantly.

 

"To bed?" Goku replied, slightly confused.

 

Sanzo grunted, "Stay here."

 

"Oh…ok."

 

Goku rolled back onto the bed, unsure of how close he should lay next to the monk.  He settled on a couple inches away from Sanzo's bare body.  He closed his eyes, ready to fall into sleep when he felt Sanzo's strong arm fall over his side, pulling him closer.  He didn't resist and when their naked skin touched for the umpteenth time that night both of them let out a sigh.

 

They drifted off to sleep that way and if Goku's dreams were filled with the brilliant light of his sun, it was all for the better.

 

*****

 

"OK, the shopping is done.  Now we just have to…" Hakkai paused, surveying the table where Gojyo and Goku sat, "where is Sanzo?"

 

"Apparently our priest has decided to sleep in this morning." Gojyo replied while grinning at Goku, who immediately began to blush.

 

"Yeah, we did get to bed kind of late last night."  The young man replied as Hakkai took a seat next to Gojyo.  The healer had to bite the inside of his mouth to keep from giggling.  He could tell that the red head was probably trying to do the same, and failing.

 

"Yeah, we noticed monkey." Gojyo blurted out as he began to laugh, "I'm not the only one who makes a lot of noise around here."

 

Goku's blush darkened as his gaze fluttered around the room.

 

Hakkai found this to be an appropriate time to but in.  "Come now Gojyo, don't give him such a hard time."

 

"Heh.  Sorry chimp." Gojyo began as he reached across the table to ruffle the young man's hair, "Hakkai's right, I should totally save some for his holiness when he decides to grace us with his presence."

 

Hakkai merely shook his head at the comment.  There was no use trying to stop Gojyo, he was in one of those moods today.  The healer just hoped that wouldn't get his red headed companion shot.  He was, after all, rather fond of the half breed.  But he knew a temporary solution and that was to get some breakfast ordered, which is exactly what he did.

 

Once the food arrived, the teasing was reduced to food muffled bickering between Goku and Gojyo, which was par for the course.  Goku had wondered if they should wake Sanzo up so he could eat, but Hakkai insisted they let him sleep.

 

He needs the rest, the healer thought to himself in his motherly tone. 

 

And so Hakkai sat and ate slowly as he half watched the antics of his two other traveling companions and eventually Sanzo did grace them with his presence.  The first thing Hakkai noticed as Sanzo sat down and donned his glasses, newspaper in hand, was that the monk really did look rested. 

 

"Morning Sanzo." Goku greeted cheerily.

 

"Goku." Sanzo replied as he began to read his paper.  Hakkai expected Goku to seem a bit rejected by such an absent minded reply, but the healer noticed the young man smile. 

 

Apparently Goku was willing to accept Sanzo's less attached behavior. 

 

"You're looking well today, Sanzo." Hakkai offered up after a few moments silence.  

 

"Yeah, he must have had a great night's sleep.  Among other things." Gojyo added between bites of food. 

 

Hakkai watched as Goku froze up mid chew and a giddy smile began to play across Gojyo's face.  But the smile didn't last long as Sanzo whipped out his fan with deadly speed, connecting soundly with Gojyo's head.

 

"Thank you Hakkai," Sanzo replied as he sat back down in his seat, fan secreted away once again as if he had not just delivered a blow to the head of one of his traveling companions.

 

"Damn it monk, now I'm gonna have a headache all day," Gojyo protested as he rubbed his head. 

 

"Shut up and finish eating Kappa, we should have been on the road by now," replied Sanzo from behind his paper. 

 

"That's not my fault baldy." Gojyo growled at the monk.  Hakkai felt Gojyo's breath on his neck as the half breed leaned towards him , "Gee wiz, you'd think he'd lighten up after the night they had."

 

Hakkai cleared his throat as he heard the rustle of Sanzo's robes.  He quickly stood up, pulling a startled Gojyo away from the table just in time to thwart another fan blow.  "Come on Gojyo, come help me get Hakuryu ready to go."

 

"But I wasn't done eating..."

 

"Don't worry, Goku will get you a to-go bag, won't you Goku?"

 

"Sure Hakkai," the young man replied.

 

"See, everything's taken care of," the healer stated sternly as he pulled Gojyo from the restaurant.

 

"But..."

 

"No buts, Gojyo.  Let's go."

 

*****

 

Sanzo looked over the top of his newspaper and watched Hakkai drag Gojyo from the restaurant.  He snorted and shook his head, "Idiot Kappa."  He heard a stifled laugh coming from the other side of his newspaper.  He brought the paper down so it wasn't completely obscuring his face to find Goku staring at him as he giggled. 

 

"What are you laughing at monkey?"

 

"Nothing Sanzo," Goku said through a smile.

 

"That's what I thought," Sanzo replied through a smile of his own.

 

*****

 

"What was that for, Hakkai?" Gojyo asked, slightly perturbed at having his morning annoy-Sanzo routine disrupted. 

 

"Really Gojyo, your going to get yourself shot one of these days.  Especially if you start teasing him about his relationship with Goku."

 

"But that leaves me with little to have fun with."

 

Hakkai sighed, "Look, all I'm saying is give it a few days, OK?  He respects our relationship, the least you can do is respect his."

 

Gojyo examined the serious look on Hakkai's face.  The red head sighed, knowing he couldn't ignore a request from Hakkai.  "Fine, you win.  I'll give them a couple days.  But I'm only doing it for you."

 

Hakkai smiled and moved closer to the tall half breed, "Thank you, Kappa," he replied, giving Gojyo a gentle kiss.

 

"Can I ask why, though?  I thought you secretly enjoyed it when I bugged him."

 

Hakkai smiled at that, "Well, enjoy wouldn't be the word I'd use, but anyways, I just don't want to have to clean up the mess you'll leave behind when he shoots you.  I have grown rather fond of you, you know."

 

Gojyo smiled at the words as they came out of the healer's mouth.  He leaned forward and kissed Hakkai firmly on the lips.

 

"Can't get enough of the ol' Sha Gojyo charm, eh?." Gojyo replied with a wink.

 

*****

 

An hour or so later they were all packed and ready to leave.  Gojyo jumped into the Jeep taking his accustomed spot behind Hakkai, making sure to give Goku a nudge with his elbow as he settled in.  Goku responded with an elbow of his own to Gojyo's side.

 

Once all four of them were in the Jeep, Gojyo noticed a calm silence fall over them as they all stared ahead into the distant west.  Gojyo was wondered what the future had in store for them, when the silence was broken by a lyrical humming coming from the front seat.  All eyes turned to Hakkai.

 

"What song is that babe?" asked Gojyo.

 

"It's called Amazing Grace.  The nuns at the orphanage would sing it to us a lot.  There is a particular line from that song that applies to us recently."

 

"Oh yeah, what's that?" asked Goku.

 

"I once was lost..."

 

"...but now am found."

 

Three heads suddenly turned to stare at Sanzo, who stared back at them.  "What?"

 

"I didn't know you knew that song Sanzo," said Hakkai through a smile. 

 

"Ch, well now you do,"  the monk replied as he faced forward again.  "Let's get going."

 

Gojyo settled back as Hakkai began to pull away from the inn.  He thought about the line from the song and thought it applied to all of them in one way or another, and not just recently.  He'd have to ask Hakkai about the rest of the lyrics someday.  For now though he was content to lean back as the wind rushed through his hair, staring at the back of the head of the man he loved, wondering where in hell they would end up next.

 

 

 

THE END

 

"If we're lost, we are lost together."

- Rodeo Blue, Lost Together

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