Stay

 

Author : lillypuff 

Email: lilly_puff22 (at) yahoo (dot) com

LiveJournal: http://lillypuff.livejournal.com

Characters From : Saiyuki

Pairing : Gojyo x Hakkai

Rating :  R

Warning(s) : character death, gore, language, sexuality

Summary :  Gojyo remembers his life with Hakkai

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

 

 

 

Gojyo was hovering over Hakkai's long body.  He was straddling the man, his knees on either side of Hakkai's waist, each of his hands planted firmly in the dirt above each of Hakkai's shoulders.  Only a couple inches of air stood between their faces.  Gojyo's breath was coming out in heavy gasps as he stared into the youkai's eyes.

 

On a normal day, this would have been the beginning of a great evening and Gojyo would have been ball of emotional pleasure.  This though, was no normal day and he was only filled with fear.

 

"Hakkai," he nearly shouted, "don't even think of leaving me."

 

"Kappa…" Hakkai's voice was barely a whisper.

 

"And don't you 'Kappa' me either.  I am not going to let you give up."

 

No reply came from the youkai as Gojyo watched a small trickle of blood begin to fall from the corner of Hakkai's mouth.

 

Gojyo leaned his head down further to whisper in Hakkai's ear.

 

"Stay."

 

"Gojyo…I…I don't know if I can give you what you want."

 

Gojyo's heart sank hearing those words again.  It meant Hakkai was unsure of what was going on and that worried him.

 

 

*****

 

 

"Gojyo, I don't know if I can give you what you want."

 

Hakkai sat on the bed across the room from Gojyo, his face showing a mixture of emotions.  Gojyo's own face showing only how nervous he was.

 

"You don't even know what it is."

 

"Then tell me."

 

"I want you.  I don't care how, I don't care when, I've waited this long, I can wait longer.  That's all I want, and I'll take you in what ever way you feel fit to give."

 

Hakkai's last reservations that this was just a moment of drunken foolishness were swept away in those words and he willingly followed.

 

"I think that can be arranged."

 

 

*****

 

 

Hakkai's head dropped to the side. 

 

"Hakkai.  HAKKAI!  Damn you, look at me."

 

Hakkai turned his head to face Gojyo again, an action which, to the red head, looked like it took way too much of an effort.

 

"Gojyo, forgive me."

 

"Hold it right there.  Don't go getting all melodramatic on me you fucking youkai.  I swear to god that if you give up on me now I will personally find someone to revive you so I can kill you again myself.  Do you hear me?"

 

Hakkai managed a weak smile, "You're right, I should leave the dramatics to you, you are doing a fine job of it for the both of us."

 

Gojyo wanted to laugh, but he couldn't.  He wanted to tell Hakkai everything was going to be ok, but he wouldn't.  It would sound like a lie.

 

Gojyo lowered his head closer to Hakkai's, his own trembling lips brushing against Hakkai's dry ones.  He could taste the blood that flowed from the youkai's mouth.  He had tasted Hakkai's blood before, mostly from when playful bites had become something more animalistic in nature.  It tasted different now, in the way bubblegum tastes different the more you chew.  It tasted used up. 

 

"Please Hakkai.  Please don't leave me." His own voice sounded so alien to him.  It was so weak and pathetic, so scared and desperate.

 

"Oh Gojyo, believe me, it's the last thing I want to do right now."

 

"Really?"

 

    

*****

 

 

"Really?"

 

"Would I lie to you Hakkai?"

 

"No, I don't think so.  Unless you really had something to gain out of it." A sly smile played on Hakkai's face.

 

"Ouch man, that hurts."

"Relax you silly Kappa, I was kidding.  Anyway, Sanzo really said that?"

 

"Yeah, he said he was glad we finally stopped being fucking idiots about the whole thing.  He said even Goku was wondering when we were going to get down to business, though I doubt those were the monkey's exact words."

 

"Yes, I imagine that was Sanzo's own carefully selected phrase.  He has such a way with words after all."  Gojyo could almost see the sarcasm dripping from Hakkai's lips as he spoke.

 

"It's more then I'd ever expect him to say on the subject.  It would appear we have the monk's unspoken blessing."

 

"Praise the gods!" Hakkai said with a roll of his eyes.

 

 

*****

 

Fucking Hell. Where is everyone?

 

Gojyo's mind was reeling.  He had no idea where Sanzo and Goku were.  He hoped like Hell they weren't playing out a similar scene somewhere else.  He hadn't seen Hakuryu since before the most recent ambush which had left Hakkai so close to death.  He was afraid to move Hakkai, but if he had access to the Jeep he would risk it, though he wasn't sure where he'd go.

 

Hakkai had fallen into a half-sleep and as much as it pained Gojyo to allow his to slip into unconsciousness, he couldn't bare to deprive the man of a temporary escape from his pain.

 

Gojyo rolled himself from his protective position over his lover, the movement reminding him of his own wounds.  No single one was very serious, but there were many, and their combined screams when he moved made him bite back his own cry of pain.  The worst was on his back, it felt like it stretched from his left shoulder to his lower back and it was still bleeding, where many of the others had been plugged by drying blood.

 

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK.  His mental state was unraveling quick.  He had no idea what he should do, what he could do.  He had never felt so helpless before. 

 

"Do you think the others are OK?"

 

Hakkai's sudden words almost startled the half breed into the air.

 

"Jesus Christ Hakkai, you scared the shit out of me."

 

Hakkai chuckled dryly, "Sorry. I hope they are OK."

 

"Me too.  I haven't heard a gunshot in thirty minutes or so.  I'm not sure if that is good or bad."

 

Hakkai sighed.  "Sometimes I wonder if we should have just stayed home."

 

   

*****

 

 

There was a loud knocking at the door to their room.

 

"Finish your morning fuck so we can get on the road, I want to make it to the next town today." 

 

It was obviously Sanzo, ever the ray of sunshine.

 

Gojyo rolled his eyes, then returned his gaze to Hakkai who had a thoughtful look on his face.

 

"Sometimes I wonder if we should have stayed at home."

 

Gojyo wasn't sure if Hakkai was serious in that sentiment.

 

"What?  And miss all this?" Gojyo replied, gesturing with one arm at the splendor of their room, "I don't know about you but I get a certain amount of satisfaction from knowing he's seething inside because we're getting some and he's not."

 

"You don't know if that's really the case."

 

"True, but I can hope, right?"

 

Gojyo moved closer to Hakkai, their stomachs pressing up against each other.  Gojyo could feel Hakkai's scar rubbing up against his own soft skin, mingling with the sweat of their morning tumble.  He put on his best puppy-dog-love-me face.

 

"So what do ya say?  He pretty much gave us permission to go at it again before we leave."

 

Hakkai kissed the red head and smiled.

 

"As if we needed his permission."

 

Gojyo ran his hand down Hakkai's back, feeling every muscle, every healing scar from small wounds taken in battle.  He felt Hakkai's lips on his neck, moving to his shoulder, then down his chest…

 

*BLAM BLAM BLAM*

 

His eminence, the high and mighty Genjo Sanzo had returned.

 

"You two better not be trying to squeeze in a second one.  I'm taking Goku to get some breakfast.  Either join us soon or be ready and waiting when he's done."

 

Hakkai spoke up, "We'll be down soon Sanzo."

 

Sanzo's only reply was a grunt of annoyance.

 

"I hate that he knows us so well," grumbled Gojyo as he returned to his ministrations. 

 

"Indeed.  Well, shall we join them?"

 

"I thought you said we don't need his permission."

 

"I did, and we don't, but he's gonna keep bugging us until we come out."

 

"What does it matter?  It's your dragon he needs to get his holy hinny around, he can wait."

 

Now it was Hakkai's turn to roll his eyes.  Gojyo knew it was just Hakkai's way of saying yes without actually saying it, so he could claim innocence later if necessary.

 

"You're going to turn me into a sex fiend you know."

 

Gojyo raised his eyebrows, "Turn you into?  Shit.  If anything, I'm just bringing it out."

 

Gojyo smiled and kissed the youkai.  Just another day on our journey west he thought as he focused completely on the task at hand.

 

 

*****

 

 

Gojyo couldn't help but smile at the memory.  It amused him that he had always had trouble remembering details about his encounters with the various women he had been with over the years, not that he wanted to, but he could recall moments with Hakkai practically on command.

 

And there in lies the difference, he thought to himself as he stared at the motionless body of his lover.  He watched his chest rise and fall ever so slowly.  This can't end well…

 

A rustling in the near by bushes roused Gojyo from his thoughts.  Despite his injuries Gojyo was on his feet in an instant, weapon in hand, facing the direction the noise had come from, waiting for whatever was to come.

 

A bloody figure stumbled out from behind a cluster of bushes.

 

"Goku!" Gojyo nearly jumped into the air with excitement, he had never been so happy to see the damn monkey before, "Holy shit Goku, are you ok?  Where is Sanzo?"

 

Goku had been staring at the ground when he emerged from the bushes, but upon hearing Sanzo's name, he raised his head.  Gojyo could see the tears welling up in Goku's eyes.

 

Gojyo's heart sank.  Fuck me, this can't be happening.

 

"Goku?  Come over here."

 

Goku walked over to Gojyo where he fell to his knees, obviously exhausted.  He dropped his head again.  Gojyo squatted down so he could be at a similar level with the young man.

 

"Oi, Goku, look at me.  What happened to Sanzo?"

 

Goku looked up at the red head, "I don't know.  He was bleeding really bad, so I left to see if I could find you guys, to see if Hakkai could help him." At the mention of the youkai's name, both men looked at the man lying behind them. "I didn't want to go too far from Sanzo though, so I went back and he was gone."

 

"Gone how?  Taken? Walked away? Or…gone?"

 

"He wasn't there anymore, just a bloody patch where he had been."

 

"Shit."

 

"I started looking for him and after awhile I stumbled out here."

 

"Are you ok?"

 

"I think so, I'm really hungry, and tired, most of this blood isn't even mine.  Is Hakkai ok?"

 

Gojyo opened his mouth to speak, but someone beat him to it.

 

"I'm fine Goku."

 

Gojyo was pretty sure Goku wasn't buying it, but he looked like he accepted it none-the-less.  He watched Goku walk over to Hakkai, his eyes widening when he got a closer look at his friend's current state.  Goku looked back up to Gojyo, eyes still full of tears that he was managing to hold back.  Gojyo looked away.

 

"Sit down and rest monkey.  I'll keep an eye out for any trouble."

 

Gojyo watched Goku as he plopped down on the ground, stretching out for a moment, then curling himself up almost in a neat little ball beside Hakkai.  Gojyo wished he could do the same.

 

 

*****

 

 

They were camped out in a small woodland area.  Goku and Sanzo had retreated to the tent to sleep.  Gojyo was restless and was pacing the campsite, he could feel Hakkai's eyes following him.

 

"Like what you see?"

 

"Yes and at the same time, no."

 

Gojyo paused mid-step, turning his head to look at Hakkai.  "I hope you are going to explain that."

 

"Oh relax you paranoid cockroach.  Of course I like what I see, but you can't expect me to just sit here and watch you and not wonder what's wrong."

 

"Well, don't expect much of an answer, I'm not even sure what's wrong."

 

"You need to relax, come here."

 

Gojyo sighed and walked over to Hakkai who was sitting on a log near the fire they had built.  He sat down between the youkai's long legs, letting his arms droop over Hakkai's muscular thighs.  He let his head fall back against Hakkai's torso, closing his eyes, relishing in the comfort he always found when he was this close to his lover.  He could feel Hakkai running skilled hands through his hair.

 

"Come on Gojyo, spill it.  What's eating you?"

 

"Would saying 'everything' be a cop out?"

 

"Hmm, yes, I believe that would fall under the cop out category," Hakkai paused in thought, when he spoke again his voice sounded slightly more concerned, "Do you really mean everything?"

 

Gojyo forced a chuckle, "Now who's being paranoid?"

 

"Well, when you say everything like that…"

 

"Sorry, I guess I should have said almost everything."

 

"That's better. So, care to elaborate."

 

"I don't think I can at the moment. I need time to think about things.  I think I'll head to bed for now."

 

Gojyo stood, turning to Hakkai for a moment to kiss him softly on the lips.  He walked to the tent, not looking back, but as he entered the canvas domain he could hear Hakkai sigh.

 

 

*****

 

 

Gojyo was roused from his thoughts by a racking cough that made him twinge with pain just from listening to it.  The coughing had roused Goku as well, who was at Hakkai's side almost as quickly as Gojyo.  Hakkai's hands searched frantically for something to grab onto as the coughs racked through his body.  Gojyo quickly grabbed one of Hakkai's hands with one of his own, Hakkai squeezing back with a fierce strength that until now Gojyo hadn't believed the man still possessed. 

 

Gojyo tried to keep his voice calm, "Oi, Hakkai, come on man, just relax.  Take a deep breath."

 

Hakkai continued coughing.  Gojyo looked up at Goku who was almost white as a sheet.  The tears had begun to well up in his eyes again and Gojyo had to look away, it was the only thing he could do to keep his own tears back.

 

"Damn it Hakkai, take a deep breath.  You have to relax."

 

Gojyo brought his head down to Hakkai's so he could whisper in his ear, their foreheads touching. 

 

"I stayed once, remember that, I stayed. Now it's your turn,"  there was a touch of anger in Gojyo's voice.

 

Hakkai tightened his grip on Gojyo's hand.  It hurt, but Gojyo thought it was a good sign.  He hoped like hell it was a good sign.

 

"I'm trying." Hakkai murmured between his attempts to take in useful breaths of air, "Damn it, I'm trying."

 

Gojyo raised his head to look at Hakkai.  His eyes were closed and from the corner of the functional one he could see a trail of tears that had cut through the grim and blood that colored his face.  Gojyo shut his eyes tightly against the sight before him.  He wondered when he would wake up from this nightmare. 

 

He heard movement and opened his eyes.  Goku had backed away and the young man looked like he was ready to bolt at any second. 

 

"Goku, can you do me a favor?"

 

"Su…sure...what?"

 

"I want you to take a look around, see if you can find Hakuryu.  If he's in a fit state to travel we really need him.  We've got to get out of here."  Gojyo had a feeling that is the dragon was in a fit state to travel he would have made an appearance already, but he had to hope.

 

"What about Sanzo?"

 

"We'll find him too Monkey, but we need to find Hakuryu first.  Don't go too far and if you run into trouble, call out, I'll come. OK?"

 

The young man nodded and walked off.

 

Gojyo turned his gaze back to Hakkai.  The coughing had stopped but Hakkai's breathing was more ragged and forced then before.  The youkai still had a firm grip on the red head's hand and Gojyo wouldn't have wanted him to release that grip for anything. 

 

Gojyo could hear Goku calling out for the dragon in the distance. 

 

 

*****

 

Gojyo stared at his bandaged upper arm.  Hakkai had cleaned and treated his wound in silence and was currently cleaning up the small mess he had made.  He waited patiently for the tongue lashing he knew was about to come.

 

Hakkai returned from the bathroom of their inn room and sat on the bed opposite the one where  Gojyo now sat.  He fixed Gojyo with an icy glare.

 

If looks could kill, Sanzo would want to learn THAT one but quick, Gojyo thought to himself.

 

"So, would you care to explain what that was about," Hakkai's voice was calm compared to the look on his face as he gestured to Gojyo's wound.

 

"Don't worry about it, it's not that bad."

 

"No, you're right, it's not, but it would have been a lot worse if Goku hadn't had the good sense to push you out of the way."

 

Gojyo fixed Hakkai with an icy glare of his own.  The last thing he needed reminding of right now was the fact that the stupid monkey had probably saved his life.

 

"I was distracted ok."

 

"You don't get distracted in battle Gojyo."

 

"Yeah, and you don't get angry, and yet here you are…"

 

"If I'm angry it's only because the guy I care about most in this world has been acting like a completely different person the last few days; and an idiot to boot."

 

"I've had some things on my mind lately."

 

"Yes, I recall you saying that the other night. Care to elaborate further?"

 

Gojyo said nothing.

 

Hakkai sighed, "You said you needed some time to think about it and I respected that, but after today I think you owe me an…"

 

"I've been thinking of leaving."

 

"What?"

 

"You heard me.  I'm tired of this life.  I'm tired of this journey.  I'm just…fucking tired."

 

"Well, I can't say I'm pleased to hear this."

 

"And the worst part is that no matter how many times I ran it through my head, I always saw me leaving alone."

 

Hakkai stared at him, eyes wide.

 

"Don't look so surprised.  You know you would stay, even if I left.  You are honorable like that.  You've made a commitment, I wouldn't ask you to leave anyways.  I'd be content to wait for you to come back."

 

"I believe I recall making a commitment to you as well Gojyo."

 

Gojyo said nothing, he only smiled weakly. A few moments of unbearable, uncomfortable silence passed between them.

 

"I don't think I'd let you leave.  Sanzo and Goku can't do this on their own."

 

"You seem to forget Sanzo was ordered to take both of us with him.  It seems the powers that be don't think they can't do this without either of us."

 

Hakkai rose from where he sat and joined Gojyo on the other bed, sitting close beside him.  He rested his chin on Gojyo's shoulder as he ran a hand down the length of his arm, stopping at the red head's hand to entwine their fingers. 

 

"What would you do if I asked you to stay?"

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"I want to know if you'd stay because I asked you to, or if you'd stay because you wanted to try to see this through.  Or would you just walk away?"

 

"I don't know."

 

Hakkai released Gojyo's hand and placed it under the red head's chin, turning his head so they were facing each other, only the slightest amount of space between them.

 

"Gojyo.  Please stay."

 

"Will you give me time to think about it.?"

 

"Of course.  In the meantime, please try to be more focused should we find ourselves in battle again."

 

Gojyo smirked, "I will.  The last thing I want is to be saved by the monkey again."

 

He embraced Hakkai then.  It was a fierce hug and he found it hard to let go.

 

 

*****

 

 

I stayed, Hakkai, Gojyo thought, I stayed.  And now you…

 

"Gojyo."

 

Sanzo?

 

Gojyo turned around, still holding Hakkai's hand, to face the monk.

 

"Shit Sanzo, where have you been?  The monkey was nearly in tears wondering what happened to you."

 

Gojyo gave Sanzo a good looking over.  The top of his robes were hanging around his waist.  There was a large wound on his stomach, wrapped in what appeared to be shreds from among the many folds of his priestly attire.

 

"Where is Goku?"

 

"I sent him off to look for Hakuryu, we could use him right now if he is able."

 

"You sent him alone?"

 

"He's in better shape then any of us.  Are you OK?"

 

"I've been better, but I'll survive. You?"

 

"Same."

 

Sanzo took a good look at Hakkai, "Hakkai?"

 

"Not as good.  Honestly I am amazed he is still holding on."

 

"He's always been strong."

 

Gojyo was about to respond, but Goku's voice rang through the trees.

 

"Gojyo? I found Hakuryu."  Gojyo watched as Goku emerged from the trees, carrying the dragon in his arms.

 

FUCK.  Well, that about does it folks.

 

Gojyo could see the dragon was awake, but he could also see he was injured.

 

"I found him by a stream.  He's hurt, but I don't think it's too serious.  I cleaned his wounds out for him a bit and…" Goku paused and Gojyo realized that Goku had just now noticed Sanzo, "Sanzo!  You're OK."

 

Gojyo watched as Goku ran to embrace Sanzo, almost squashing the dragon he held in the process.  Hakuryu let out a squeak in protest.

 

"Oh, sorry boy." Goku sounded very apologetic.  He brought the dragon to Hakkai, placing the injured beast next to his master.

 

"What are we going to do?" the young man asked after a couple moments silence.

 

Sanzo said nothing.

 

"I guess all we can do is wait."

 

 

*****

 

 

"Kenren?"

 

"Hmmm?"

 

"You awake?"

 

"Hmph.  I am now."

 

"Never mind.  Go back to sleep."

 

"What is it?"

 

"Nothing, I just have a lot of things on my mind.  It's making me restless."

 

"Want me to distract you…again?"

 

 

*****

 

What the FUCK? That was…no, it couldn't have been…could it? How the hell did I…

 

"Gojyo?"

 

Hakkai's voice brought him back to the present.

 

"I'm here Hakkai.  Everyone is, even Hakuryu, Goku found him."

 

Hakkai smiled as he turned his head towards Hakuryu.  "Hello boy, you'll be ok, Goku will take care of you, won't you Goku?"

 

"Sure, Hakkai, you bet." Gojyo could see the young man was trying his best to keep smiling.

 

"Sanzo?"

 

"Hakkai?"

 

"I'm sorry I won't be there for the end."

 

"Don't apologize," Sanzo spoke in a choked voice, "it's not your fault."

 

Hakkai returned his gaze to Gojyo.  Gojyo memorized the face before him, knowing he would not look upon it again.  They stared in silence for a few moments, until Sanzo spoke again.

 

"Come on Goku, let's go look for a place to sleep for the night.  Bring Hakuryu."

 

"OK, Sanzo."  Goku picked up the dragon and patted Hakkai on the shoulder.  Hakkai placed the hand not held by Gojyo on top of Goku's, squeezing gently as he smiled.  Goku stood and walked over to Gojyo.

 

Gojyo was unsure of what the monkey was going to do until he leaned down and embraced the red head in a half hug being sure not to get the dragon caught in the middle this time.  Gojyo snorted and ruffled Goku's hair.

 

Gojyo then watched Sanzo and Goku walk away.  As they disappeared into the trees, he felt something wet and warm beginning to trickle down his face.  He had given up holding back his tears.  He turned to look at Hakkai who also appeared to have given up holding back his emotions.

 

"Hakkai…"

 

"Oh Gojyo…I'm so sorry."

 

Gojyo lost his last bits of control upon hearing those words, "Don't you dare apologize to me.  This is not your fault.  Do you understand?"

 

"Yes."

 

Gojyo could only stare at Hakkai as if sheer force of will alone could keep his lover earthbound for awhile longer.

 

"Gojyo…are you still holding my hand?"

 

"Yeah, I haven't let it go."

 

"I can't feel it anymore."

 

Gojyo squeezed the youkai's hand in a futile gesture to show he still held it.

 

"Are…you…leaving?"

 

"Yes, I think I am.  But there is one thing I have to do first."

 

Gojyo watched in amazement as Hakkai forced himself into a sitting position.

 

"Come here," Hakkai whispered, "I don't think I have the strength to move myself closer to you."

 

Gojyo complied quickly.  He supported Hakkai's weak body in his arms.  Hakkai rested his head against Gojyo's chest as he put one hand on the back of the red head's neck.  Gojyo could feel Hakkai's tears seeping through his own bloodied shirt.

 

"I'll miss you Kappa," Hakkai pushed Gojyo's head down towards his own, "and I love you."

 

Gojyo tried to reply through sobs he could no longer hold back, "I…you…too," was all he could manage.

 

"Shh…I know Kappa, I know." Hakkai smiled, then pushed Gojyo's head the last couple inches to meet his own and their lips touched in their final kiss.

 

Gojyo tasted blood, tears and sweat in that kiss and he doubted he would ever forget it.

 

Hakkai broke the contact first, settling his head back against Gojyo's chest.  Hakkai wrapped one of his arms around Gojyo's back and the red head suddenly felt warmth as he was wrapped in a glowing green light.  The realization of what was happening hit Gojyo like a bolt of lightning.  He tried to find the words to shout at Hakkai.  He tried to yell at him to stop using his last ounce of strength to heal his wound, but before he could put a coherent sentence together, it was over.  

 

Gojyo watched as Hakkai closed his eyes, a satisfied smile upon his face, as if he were merely about to take a mid day nap, then Gojyo couldn't bare to watch anymore.  He felt Hakkai take a breath, then exhale.  And then he felt no more.

 

He felt his own body start to tremble and now that he was alone in the woods, Sha Gojyo gave himself fully to his grief.

 

 

*****

 

 

"So, when we get home, once this is all said and done, what do you want?"

 

"A bigger house," Gojyo chuckled as he continued, "or at least a bigger bed.  That thing wasn't made for two people."

 

"Hmmm, yes, that would be nice.  Anything else?"

 

"I don't know.  Maybe a family."

 

Hakkai looked at him in surprise, eyes wide, "You, Sha Gojyo, want a family?"

 

"I said maybe.  But hey, if I've got the house, and I've got a housewife," a broad grin stretch across the half breed's face, "I might as well have the pitter patter of little feet as well."

 

"I'd like that very much."  Hakkai nuzzled closer to the red head.

 

"Yeah, I thought you might," Gojyo replied, still grinning.

 

 

*****

 

 

It had been two days since they had buried Hakkai's body.  They were getting ready to leave the woods.  They still weren't able to travel via Jeep, but they had to make some progress.  They needed to get to a town before they all starved.  Or before Goku's pleas for food drove them all crazy.  Gojyo knew they could never get to the next town in time if they only walked, but if they could make some progress it would hopefully make things easier for Hakuryu.

 

Gojyo stood up, the two, three counting the dragon, remaining companions of their group looking up at him.

 

"I'll be back in a few minutes."

 

Sanzo spoke as he turned to walk away, "Gojyo…"

 

Gojyo braced himself for whatever idiotic thing the monk was about to say.

 

"Take your time."

 

Gojyo looked back at the monk, "Thanks man."

 

 

*****

 

 

Gojyo sat at the foot of the grave where they had put Hakkai to rest.  They had covered it with large rocks in hopes of keeping the body below safe from wild animals.

 

"You deserve much better then this unmarked grave my friend."

 

Gojyo continued to sit at the grave, not wanting to move.  Not wanting to believe this was the last goodbye.

 

His thoughts kept going back to the "memory" he had.  He had been lying in a bed with Hakkai, yet at the same time it wasn't Hakkai.  And not-Hakkai had called him Kenren, which had to mean that not-Hakkai was Tenpou, right?  The thought was giving him a headache.  Had he remembered something from their first lives in Heaven that until now he had only heard referenced to by other gods they had met on their journey?  Or had he, in his weakened state of mind simply created the "memory"?  He supposed he'd never really find out.

 

Oddly enough, he suddenly felt comforted.  If it had been a real memory, perhaps it was a sign that some day they would meet again.  They may not remember what had come before, but Gojyo thought he'd be OK with that.

 

Gojyo stood, ready to go back to the rest of his companions.  Before he left though, he removed a thick strand of blood red hair from one of his pockets and placed it under one of the rocks that covered the grave.  As he did so, he laughed to himself.

 

Man, you are such a sappy fucking water sprite Sha Gojyo.  He smiled at the jab at himself.  When it came down to it, his hair was the best way he could think of marking the grave not only as Hakkai's, but as his own.

 

He took a look around, memorizing the area so he could hopefully find it again later, then he walked back to meet his friends.  On the whole, he may still be journeying west, but Gojyo was sure that a part of him would be staying here forever.

 

 

The End

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