Summary: Gojyo gets to thinking about his future with Hakkai.
Disclaimer: I do not own Saiyuki or any of its characters. I jut own this original plot, title, and the dialogue.
Warnings: Teeny bit of swearing and smooching. Vague allusions to other things. Not thoroughly edited.
Length: ~2,000 words/ 4 pages
The moon had already risen, though the dwindling sunlight did little to diminish the baking heat of the desert. Hakkai kept promising that it would cool off all at once, but Gojyo wasn't holding his breath. Their vehicle drew to a halt with a jolt; Gojyo could have sworn the grinding of the gears and the breaks sounded like a small dragon's huff of exhaustion. Hakkai patted the steering wheel and began to unload the trunk, removing their ragtag satchels and rucksacks one by one. They stood before a decrepit inn on the fringe of a tiny trade town in the middle of nowhere. Gojyo heaved a sigh.
"I'm so hungry, Hakkai. It's been days since we've had a real meal." This time he wasn't exaggerating; they had been on a long trek between cities, and the map's legend had been off enough that they had underestimated the time it would take to cross that particular stretch of sand. Hakkai had planned for four days, and it had turned out to be six. Rations were divided at the onset, so that each could divide his meals as he saw fit. By the sixth day, Sanzo was the only one with anything left, and the miserable bastard wouldn't share it with anyone, even his whining charge.
"I know, Goku," Hakkai answered tiredly, lifting both his and the priest's bags. Gojyo saw his shoulders tense and strain through his thin, sweat-soaked shirt, and quickly swept upon him, snatching the valises from his arms. "I got this. You needta rest, man. You've been driving in this insane heat."
Flashing him a weak, but genuine, smile, Hakkai murmured his appreciation and offered to take Goku out to eat. Gojyo stepped in once again. "No way, Baldy can feed the animal for a change; he's already got the gold card. I'll make sure they get food, and bring you something back. Seriously." And he gave him a patented Look—one he had learned from the healer himself, in fact—to ensure that Hakkai would go straight up to bed. Sanzo was currently placating the irritated man behind the front desk with the gold card and a series of death threats. Apparently his stance as a priest meant nothing in such a far-flung locale.
"Lookit that. Baldy isn't getting bowed to and he pitches a fit," Gojyo observed, following Hakkai up the stairs for good measure, ignoring the foreign hollers of one of the workers.
"Gojyo, we don't even have keys to the rooms; we can't jus t go in. Sanzo has to pay for them. And it's because they're not Buddhists, here."
"They don't recognize Sanzo as a high priest because they're not Buddhists. It seems we've wandered far enough West to begin reaching the territories of Zoroatrians."
"Zorowhatsis? What the hell kinda religion is that?"
"It goes back farther than Buddhism, actually. It's a belief held by Persians, usually, and some other races."
"Don't they have priests?"
"Oh yes. They're called magi." The guy knew everything, Gojyo concluded silently. He was always in awe of Hakkai's vast knowledge; where did he pick this stuff up? There were few questions he wasn't able to answer, and it was one of the many things Gojyo admired about him.
"Maybe Sanzo should pretend to be one of them." The kappa peered over the railing to the lobby, watching the fair-haired man snatch a set of keys from the gnarled hand of an old woman—where had she come from?—and stomp up the stairs. Goku had his own bag, and Gojyo's, in hand. He was grumbling about his stomach, and trailing after the monk.
"What, she didn't want to give you a key?"
"Never mind," Sanzo growled, more irritable than usual after almost a week of little food and sleeping on sand and rocks. "Your room. Ours." He handed Hakkai the second key, gesturing down the hall. Gojyo followed, pushing the window u p with no small effort; it shrieked horribly, so much so that even Hakkai had to grit his teeth.
"Sorry," he smiled bashfully over his right shoulder, and Hakkai breathed a sigh of relief at the cool breeze whipping the curtains about all of a sudden.
"Such a relief."
"Hey you're right; it is cooling off. Cold, even. Good, and here I thought I was gonna haveta sleep naked because of the cold."
"You can wear your pajamas, then," Hakkai concluded, and Gojyo laughed.
"Nah, it just means I'll have more incentive to keep warm…"
"Well I hope you have enough blankets," He dodged the innuendo with expertise that belied the time they had spent together, as lovers. Gojyo counted two months and seven days, and wondered if Hakkai was keeping track. Probably. He kept track of everything.
"Aw come on. We can push the beds together. Just to sleep," he promised, slipping up behind the healer and pressing wide hands into his shoulders, massaging the tense muscle there while placing kisses along his nape. "I know you're tired. We all are. Just leave a space for me, babe."
Hakkai nodded, pecking Gojyo on the cheek before turning down the bed covers. The kappa promised to return with food for him, if he was still up—if not, it would keep—and left to meet Goku and Sanzo in the hallway.
The monkey sat there grinning at him tiredly, waving the gold card in his left hand. "Sanzo said he doesn't want to come, and he's just gonna sleep. He's real grumpy, so I didn't argue. I'll just bring him something back."
"Fine. I could do without a bitching monk tonight."
"Shut up about him. And why—you got a headache or something?"
"No, but don't make this an all-night buffet, saru," Gojyo warned. "Hakkai's really tired, and I want to get food back to him before it gets too late, okay?"
Goku nodded in consideration. "He's been drivin' while we were all able to sleep."
"And don't forget he used a lot of his chi to heal you after that run in with the you kai. The poor guy's hardly able to walk straight."
"Izze okay, though?"
"He'll be fine," the kappa predicted, following Goku out the door and down the street.
They returned an hour later, Goku toting a small box of food for Sanzo, rice and pickled vegetables, and Gojyo handling Hakkai's dinner, mostly chicken and rice with basil.
"G'night kappa," Goku called, waving a hand from beneath the handle of the box. Gojyo flicked his fingers up in response, hearing Sanzo grumble at Goku's "noisy" entrance and then insist he lay down and go to bed. Shutting the door to his room, Gojyo heard the first half of the monkey's pleas.
"Hey, 'Kai." He was still up, fresh from the shower by the looks of his damp hair and water-slicked skin. Gojyo put the small box of his dinner down on the table top and slid an arm about his narrow waist, lips brushing feather light kisses across a bared collar bone. "Gonna eat?"
"Thank you, Gojyo," he murmured, "But I think I'll wait until morning, if you don't mind."
"Not a problem. Just sleep, okay?"
Hakkai nodded mutely, climbing under the cool sheets and pressing his head into the pillow. Gojyo thought how handsome he looked just then, despite the faint lines of exhaustion on his face and the crumpled state of what he knew to be a whipcord lean, strong body. Pushing stray hair out of his face, the kappa undressed and slid into his bed—pressed flush to the healer's—to lie at his side. Green eyes were closed, ebony lashes dusting his high cheek bones, and his breathing was relaxed and even. Asleep before his head hit the pillow.
Winding himself up to spoon about the warm body beside him, Gojyo couldn't help but wish he had Hakkai's eloquence. He would write something epic, about his lover. His love for him. He'd long wanted to do that, thinking that Hakkai deserved something better than occasional care-giving and frequent invitations to sex (even if it was simply amazing). But, smooth talker though he was, it wasn't in his power to compose anything of the caliber Hakkai would be used to and appreciate. He'd read, or attempted, some of the healer's books that he would pick up along the way. He couldn't replicate it.
But Hakkai deserved so much more, he reasoned, than what he was able to give. Perhaps the only reason he had settled with him was for convenience's sake, and because Gojyo was the most likely choice of the three of them. Sanzo was intelligent, or at least nearer to Hakkai's level than the kappa was, but he was a prickly bitch, and only Goku seemed to know how to handle him. Goku was kind, and eager to learn, but he had the mentality of a child, and the patience and attention span of the monkey he was. Gojyo was somewhere in between, capable of thought, though not necessarily profound, and potentially kind, if he cared to be.
Some nights the thought of what Hakkai really deserved kept him awake; he would envision the end of their unholy journey, and their parting of ways. Goku would follow Sanzo back to the temple at Chang'an, and Gojyo would go back to his apartment. But he couldn't see Hakkai following him, returning to that life of squalor and simplicity. He seemed destined for greater things, he—
The body beside him twitched against his touch, and Hakkai turned over, eyes forced open by sheer will, despite the exhaustion the redhead could see there. Moonlight made his skin glow, and reflected off of the glistening, darker right eye. He blinked. "Gojyo? "
"Was I snoring?" He joked.
"You know you weren't." His left eye locked with the claret pair before him. "What's wrong?"
"You're very tense, and I can sense your energy churning at such proximity. Tell me what you're thinking."
Gojyo obeyed, as he was almost always inclined to do, around Hakkai. "About you."
"I love you, you know."
Hakkai smiled softly, a warm glow spreading throughout his left eye. The bed creaked, and he sat up, brushing a kiss across Gojyo's lips. "You tell me that a lot. Do you think I don't believe you?"
"Sometimes I think it might not be enough."
He frowned all at once; "Enough for what, Gojyo?"
"For what happens when we end this stupid trip. When we all go our separate ways. I don't know what to do."
"I always thought we'd go home, Gojyo."
Home. It made him smile in a way he hadn't in a long, long time. "Home?"
"Back to our apartment?" Our. The smile widened fractionally.
"Back to the way things were?"
"I don't think we can go back to the way things were; too much has changed." The sheets shifted under him as he readjusted his position in the bed. "And I hope we won 't. I like some of the changes."
"I like that you pick up your laundry from the floor a little more frequently." He thought a moment. "And that you do your share in taking care of Goku." A pause. "And the sex is nice."
Hakkai laughed, drawing him close. "Mhm. I hope we can continue from here, rather than having to pick up where we left off."
"Hey me too," he agreed with an eager nod, following Hakkai down into the mattress again; a great relief rattled through his body, leaving him limp in his lover's arms.
"But Baldy's temple won't be far, so we're gonna haveta make another change to the place."
Hakkai yawned as he rested his face to a bared, bronzed chest. "What's that?"
"Gonna haveta put in a monkey door."