- Title: The Bet
- Author: Lykotheia
- Pairing(s): 39
- Rating: PG-13
- Summary or description: Nobody beats Hakkai at a bet, but Gojyo tries.


- Disclaimer: The characters are not mine; they belong to Kazuya Minekura. No witty additions.

 


- Warnings: Language, brief sexual situation.
- Please send me feedback!

 

The Bet

 

I have never, ever won a bet against Hakkai. The guy can beat me at everything from Texas Hold 'Em to Go Fish, but when it comes to reading certain, shall we say, signs, no one did it better than Sha Gojyo. I notice it when even Holmes himself—Hakkai catches everything else—lets it slip him by. And so this went.

            I'd noticed it first when we'd camp out and the monkey would be sitting a few inches within the barrier of Sanzo's Personal Space. I of all people ought to know just where it is, considering how many times I've been beaten out of it with the damned fan. But Goku had been smarter; he started by sitting just outside of it, and then worked his way in over time. I wonder every now and again if he even realized he was doing it. They say the best ideas come by sheer accident.

            Anyway it was right after Sanzo came back from traveling with Hazel and Gat that I began to watch. At first I thought the little squirt was just happy to see him again, or maybe afraid he'd leave for good. He was a little clingier than usual, and quieter. Never a good combination. Hakkai noticed, but he insisted it was just Goku's way. The kid had never liked to be alone. So I let it go. For then.

            It was when I saw him out by the river, scrubbing cutlery and pans after our dinner, Sanzo smoking nonchalantly against a nearby tree, that I started to suspect. Goku was good at keeping up with our little "chores," (inventions of Hakkai's, let it be known) and generally ended up doing the dishes while I made myself scarce and Hakkai worked on laundry. But Sanzo had never followed.

            They weren't talking, but Goku had this calm, satisfied little grin on his face, and Sanzo looked a little more relaxed than usual, allowing his shoulders to slump against the trunk of the myrtle. I stayed to watch a while longer, but nothing happened; they didn't even speak. Goku just went on scrubbing the bottom of the ban, brow furrowed in effort every once in a while. Sanzo's cigarette died, and he lit another. I moseyed back to camp, a wider grin than Goku's plastered across my face.

            "Hey Hakkai."

            He had been pitching the tent, alone. I felt a pang of guilt, but it vanished quickly as I bent to help him prop up the centre pole.

            "Thank you Gojyo."

            "No problem." We unfolded the second tarp and set to work on it, and I tried again. "How about a bet?"

            "Oh Gojyo." He smiled. "You don't have any money."

            "Nah," I agreed, "But I could do something else, if I lost. Anything you like." I waggled my eyebrows suggestively—it was in my nature to make lewd jokes to everyone; even nuns weren't an exception, but that's another story—and was surprised when his eyes lit up.

            "If you lose, you have to do the laundry for a month."

            I almost fell over my own feet. "Jeez, fine, fine," I agreed hastily, "But if I win, I get to ride shotgun for a month."

            "Gojyo I can't give something away that isn't mine."

            "Hakuryu's yours. And you're the only one who can tell him no without getting hit," I pointed out. Hakkai sighed his agreement, but only because, I was sure, he thought he would win.

            "Alright, what sort of bet are we making?"

            "Well I couldn't help but notice that our little monkey hasn't been acting so little anymore."

            "What are you talking about?"

            "And our priest is a mite less grumpy."

            "I haven't noticed that." Hakkai said flatly, already gathering up dirty clothing to take to the stream before the sun completely set.

            "Well, I have. And I think something's gonna come of it soon." I was grinning ear to ear at the thought. My Gods I would have an unending source of cannon fodder for torturing Sanzo.

            "The surrender of his fan?" Hakkai jested, accepting a small pile of my clothing as he went off in the direction of the trees.

            "No," I caught up with three easy strides, "I think those two are gonna start acting a lot friendlier towards each other."

            "Hm." Hakkai made a sound in the back of his throat to indicate thought, but said little else.

            "Don't believe me eh?"

            "I don't see how we'll be able to measure any distinct increase in the level of 'friendliness' between them." Hakkai admitted.

            "Oh, I do. Let's just say it this way—until you're convinced, I haven't won. How's that?"

            "If you're so eager to do our laundry, you may as well start now," Hakkai tried to shove the load into my arms, but I dodged, smirking at him knowingly.

            "Nuh uh. Just wait and see."

 

            For the next two weeks, Hakkai shot me amused, I-told-you-so expressions whenever he had the chance. Sanzo and Goku exhibited no changes; we both got hit with the fan an equal number of times, and by the resounding thwack, I'd imagine it hurt about the same amount too. It got to the point that I started second-guessing myself. Me! I tried to remind myself that I knew what I saw, and Sha Gojyo makes no mistakes. At least not about this. That damn baldy was smitten. Or as close to smitten as a guy like that could be.

            We camped outside often, and when we finally came to an inn, I was ecstatic. A, I got decent food, covers, and AC. B, this was my chance. Or so I thought.

            Walking into the tiny building's lobby, if you could call it that, we found that only two rooms were available, and they charged us twice what they were worth. Sanzo paid, grumbling, and gave Goku a key, keeping the other for himself.

            "Wait a minute—aren't you two rooming together?" I protested, looking between them. Goku looked confused, and Sanzo, irritated.

            "No."

            "I always room with you Gojyo," Goku pointed out, swinging the key about his ring finger. I knew Sanzo preferred Hakkai's company to any of ours—or had, anyways—but I'd been certain he would rather have Goku's now that we had relative privacy. Hakkai only flashed me a paper thin smile over Sanzo's shoulder, announcing that he was going to bed early. I pouted and spent half the evening at the bar.

            When I came back, Goku was still up in our room, feet hanging off the bed as he flipped through what looked like one of Hakkai's books. It was brown with red binding, and only had small printed letters on the spine; his hands obscured them.

            "Since when do you read for pleasure? Can you read, or is that thing fulla pictures?"

            "I wish," Goku grumbled, "And duh I can read you stupid kappa." He seemed absorbed by it, but panicked when I snatched the text out of his hands. He obviously hadn't expected that I would be interested in the printed word. Well, I usually wasn't.

            "Hey give it back!"

            "Isn't this Hakkai's?" I snapped it shut, losing his place, and tilted it to read the title. Blackmoor Manor. "What is this, a mystery?"

            "Yes, now give it here," Goku lunged, nearly tipping over the lamp, and changed my mind for me about returning it to him. There had to be something worthwhile in it if he was so eager to have it back. Goku had never been a big reader.

            Trying to approximate where he had left off, I flipped through the pages, dodging his grasp and bouncing over the beds in the shoebox of a room to avoid him. "Just hold on a sec!" I protested laughingly, "I just wanna read some of it too!"

            "Get your own damn book!" Goku growled, tackling me to the bed and attempting a half-Nelson. I squirmed away, my size giving my enough advantage.

            Skimming the pages while moving was difficult, but it wasn't particularly dense text. After three lines I knew it wasn't one of Hakkai's books.

            Robert looked pleased, striding across the uncluttered floor so that the sterling buckles of his boots winked in the moonlight. His cravat fell to the floor, followed by the heavy muslin of his frock coat, and with a whisper of silk, his shirt

            I burst into laughter, tearing away from Goku again and trying to maintain my balance and breathe at the same time. "A bodice ripper, Goku? Aren't these usually for women?" He was of an age where not to be interested in that kinda thing would be weird—hell he'd be too much like baldy—but guys generally didn't have the patience for books. At least I never did. I liked to look, personally, and when possible, to feel. Reading wasn't anywhere near fulfilling enough. But hell, for all I knew Goku was reading and feeling. Maybe that's what he had planned to do while I was away all evening.

            "Give it back! And what'sa bodice ripper? Isn't a bodice a dress?" Goku snatched the book from me and sat on top of it, still glaring violently.

            "Yeah, a bodice is the best part of a dress. What, did you not get to that part yet?" I surprised him, grabbing him under the armpits and flinging him up and over, nearly off the other side of his bed. "Lemme find it for ya," I snatched the novel up a second time, flipping quickly through it until I found the pages my fingers had bent while the text was being wrenched from my grasp. Knowingly, I skipped ahead a few pages. Hell, these books were all written the same. (How do I know? Well come on, when there's a shortage of ladies and if I'm bored enough…but really, reading is work, and I avoid it whenever possible.)

            "I'll find it for you monkey. Someone ought to teach you proper; I know baldy ain't gonna do it."

            "You shut up about him!" Goku snarled, hovering near my shoulder, although he made no further attempts to stop me. I figure he assumed since I'd already seen it, I couldn't do much more damage. He'd misunderstood what I'd seen, though.

            Robert was gasping before his breeches were undone, dark hair spilling out over the pillow in an ebony corona…

            I grinned and shook my head, "Man, you know a chick writes this stuff when they talk about the guy gasping. Women."

            "Well don't you gasp?" Goku sneered, and I colored a bit, turning off to the side.

            -Luke had his wide hand at the small of his back, and his head dipped low to slip the wet curve of his tongue along--

            "Luke?" I echoed stupidly, glancing back up to where it had written of 'Robert' three lines ago. I had to bite my tongue to avoid sobs of laughter. "Luke and Robert?"

            Goku's face burst into color, and he didn't even make an attempt at grabbing it back again. "So what! You've obviously read them too!"

            "Yeah, with women!" I tried to tame my smile to no avail, but finally managed when he looked near to popping a blood vessel between embarrassment and frustration.

            "Hey, hey," I tugged at his shirt before he could make it to the door, drawing him back into the room. I put the book down at an attempt of a peace offering. "It's fine, Goku." A lingering snigger burst out, but I covered it with a cough. "No, really. It's uh, cool. I mean, what else could you expect? You were raised around a bunch of guys."

            "That's not why!" Goku protested angrily."

            "No?" I sat, trying to listen calmly this time.

            "No." Goku agreed, not divulging anything further. I remembered my initial suspicion and raised fine eyebrows at him.

            "So…you reading this…just for fun?" He was quiet a moment, and I drew in a deep breath, uncertain of how badly I wanted to beat Hakkai. "How long have you liked guys?"

            "I don't like guys," He emphasized the plural, "I think girls are pretty too y'know! I just don't drool all over them in public like you!"

            I was too interested now to be insulted, and affected it along enough to throw him off track. "So it's not guys. One?"

            "It's not your business, just piss off you lechy--"

            "It's Sanzo, isn't it?"

            "What?!"

            "Knew it." I grinned victoriously, restraining my instinctual victory dance for the sake of his feelings. "I totally saw this coming. So which one gets to play Luke, Goku?"

            Goku swore angrily at me and leaped up, slamming the door behind him so that the frame and knob rattled in reply. Hakkai scratched at the door moments later wearing a threatening frown.

            "Gojyo what on Earth?"

            "Sorry." I had stifled my smiles by then. "Think I pissed him off."

            "Obviously."

            "But look." I handed over the novel, and Hakkai glanced at the title, giving me an impassive expression; he was the only guy I knew who could shrug with his eyes.

            "Read—here." I flipped it open, pushing the text in front of him. It took only a moment before he blushed faintly.

            "Oh Gojyo don't tell me you showed him this and tried--"

            "Me!" I was genuinely offended. He thought I read that sort of stuff? "It's not mine Hakkai—I caught him reading it!"

            "So what, you tortured him with it?" Hakkai frowned. "It's not your affair."

            "No, but you haveta admit, it's a little bit of a shocker. Y'know Hakkai, I think he's using it like some sort of guide! To seduce Sanzo with, maybe." The words sounded odd and unlikely, even coming out of my mouth. "Don't you think it's sort of…odd? I mean, he's a priest!"

            "Neither of us has the authority to pass judgment on others' relationships, Gojyo."

            I shrugged in defeat, "You see where he went?"

            "No."

            "I'll just…wait in here for him to get back."

            "Do that." Hakkai passed the text back into my hands and closed the door behind him, advising as he left that I tread softly.

 

            Goku came back late at night, while I was pretending to be asleep. I thought he would leave again if I "woke up," so I didn't. The next two days made for one awkward ride; the kid refused to speak to me, Sanzo was grumpy because of the weather or his headaches or the fan he kept up his ass. Hakkai had warmed up to me again when he saw my good-intentioned overtures to the monkey.

            The first night we camped out I offered to do the dishes for him, and made sure not to crack any jokes. Sanzo eyed me suspiciously across the fire but smoked and said nothing. We slept in separate pallets; no rents were required because of the pleasant temperature. 

            On the second night, I did much the same, but tried to talk to him a bit, making pleasant conversation. Goku barely answered me, though I had a feeling he was coming around. I held back a portion of my dinner for him, and that did it. He almost smiled at one of my jokes—which was, notably, at my own expense—and when I offered to do the dishes again, he said he'd go too.

            He chattered about the next town Hakkai had described on the map, and I added that because it was so near to a river, there would probably be some decent fish shacks, which cheered him up instantly. I was cheered by the idea of central air and sheets without rocks beneath them.

            When we arrived, Goku and I were almost back to normal—the kid bounced back fast—bickering good-naturedly in the back of Jeep and getting swatted at by the priest. I couldn't help but noticed I got hit more this time.

            We went to eat first, sans the priest, who insisted on privacy and silence for at least an hour. I stayed later at the bar, knowing we would be leaving early ,and staying out late was out of the question. It was only ten when I returned, and I was hardly buzzed. Most of my money had gone the way of poker, but I was still in the black, hallelujah.

            Plodding back to the inn, I spotted a shop with its lights still on, just closing up. The old man teetered in the doorway for a moment as he struggled with the lock; I noticed the window packed with glass jars filled with colorful swirled sugar, the old penny candy that now cost about a dollar.

            "Hey, are you closing?" The stupid question received a dull blink and nod.

            "Do you think I could buy something real quick?"

            He grumbled about it, but was clearly glad for the business. I folded a small paper bag of candy into the pocket of my vest to give to Goku later; he was easy to shop for.

            After availing myself of the communal bath—all the hot water was gone—I wandered back up to my room. Hakkai had seen that I received my key; we each had our own rooms this time, and it was too bad we had to leave so early, or I'd have brought someone back to occupy it. But the solitude was welcome for a change, and I flopped back on the mattress with a sigh.

            That's when I heard the crunch.

            Drawing the bag of candy out—I had only broken a few of them—I hauled myself up with the intention of delivering them that evening.

            I wasn't sure which door was his, and like hell I wanted to wake the bitchy priest, so I slipped outside around back, guessing that, like my room, all the others would have a window facing the deserted garden and, beyond it, the forest. My intentions really weren't pervy at all, this time.

 I passed Hakkai's first; one could see through the thin curtains, and I glimpsed him going over a map at the small table in the corner.

            The next room down was obviously Sanzo's. I saw Marlboros on the table atop a folded newspaper, but the space was empty. Continuing along the path to turn about and re-enter the building—I now knew which room was Goku's—I paused outside of his window. The lights were already off inside, and it took my eyes a long moment to adjust. At first I thought he wasn't in there either, and then I glimpsed the reflection of moonlight on fair skin.

            When my pupils widened sufficiently, I nearly choked on a mouthful of air. The bed, like mine, was just opposite the window, the headboard barely visible from the angle. But I had seen enough to know.

            Sanzo was sitting there, his robes removed, wearing only the black satin underclothing and jeans that he slept in. His hair, bright gold and nestled at his nape in neat, straight lines, gleamed in the light that filtered through. Goku's golden eyes were wide and unblinking as they looked up at him, and it took me a moment to realize they were just talking. About what that required them to sit so close, I couldn't guess.

            You would think my initial misunderstanding would have made it easier to swallow what happened next, but it didn't.

            Goku reached out all of a sudden and slid an arm about his neck, drawing him down like he was going to kiss him. Kiss Sanzo! I winced ahead of time for him, but the monk only bowed his head and clipped him across the mouth with his own, fingertips tracing the sharp line of his jaw.

            I saw his mouth move in speech, and then Goku smiled with a quick nod and peeled his shirt off, scooting back to let Sanzo do the same. Before I could decide whether I wanted to go grab Hakkai or stay to watch, Sanzo had decided it for me. He jerked the front of his jeans open and moved over Goku, mouthing him possessively and fuck if I've ever been turned on by two guys before, but these two…

            It was the shock of it, I swear. I am not into that. But to see Mr. Stick-up-his-ass mouthing and groping at our monkey made me a little hot. No denying, even for a guy, he was beautiful. By the time he had Goku on his stomach, I was out of there. There were limits, man.

            Knocking hard at Hakkai's door, I almost started to count the seconds before he opened it.

            "Gojyo? What is it?" He had just changed into his pajamas, and looked exhausted and travel-weary. I grinned.

            "I just won the bet."

            "…What?"

            "C'mon, I have proof," I led him down the hall and out the side door that led to the garden, counting back the rooms carefully. He wouldn't keep up and kept asking where we were going. Pressing a finger to my lips, I hushed him, pointing with wide eyes at the window. (You may wonder if I considered this a breach in privacy; well, after having that son of a bitch cock block me at the bar one too many times, I'd decided he'd lost the privilege.)

            I watched Hakkai's face; his eyes adjusted first, and then he frowned, peering into the darkness. I heard him sigh.

            "Oh Gojyo."

            "What?" This was not the reaction I had been expecting. I rushed to the window, leaning over the sill, and strained my eyes in a search. The room was empty—completely empty! "There's no way even a cherry-chan finishes that fast! I swear I know what I saw Hakkai--"

            "And I know I'm off laundry duty this month." He yawned, smiling. "Goodnight, Gojyo."

            "Hakkai wait!"

 

 

            "Are you sure they're gone?" Goku breathed, mouth damp from the sweat at Sanzo's throat and shoulders.

            "Yes." The narrow closet door creaked open, and compared to the heat that had built up within it, Goku thought the rest of the large room was rather chilly. He collapsed atop the bed with a little moan of satisfaction, stretching out like a cat until Sanzo growled at him to move.

            "Wish I could've seen his face."

            "Wish I could've shot it," Sanzo mumbled, lying back in the sheets and drawing them halfway up his body in belated modesty. Goku reached to stroke his inner thigh through the thin coverlet with a smirk, and Sanzo permitted it.

            "How did you find out about their bet?" The priest asked after a moment.

            "Hakkai told me. He said Gojyo was finally onto us. Apparently he thinks we just started…y'know."

            "I thought even that idiot had figured it out by now." Sanzo lit up a cigarette, the last of the pack, and ruffled Goku's hair affectionately.

            "So did you like it?"

            "You have to ask?" Sanzo rolled his eyes, snatching the pillow for his own use; Goku laid his head atop his shoulder.

            "I can't believe Gojyo thought he'd win a bet against Hakkai. Especially when the stakes were as high as laundry!" Goku chuckled as he dozed. "All the stupid kappa wanted was the front seat."

            Sanzo exhaled a plume of smoke skyward, sneering. "Like that bastard's ever going to ride shotgun."   

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