Title: Insatiable (5/?)
Pairing(s): 39, 58
Spoilers: Minor Gaiden spoiler
Disclaimer: As if I could own something so utterly captivating.
Summary: Sanzo learns that Goku's insatiable hunger extends beyond food.
His brain had short-circuited from the sensations, but gradually reason took over again, and Sanzo pulled away, roughly yanking the boy's hands off of his body.
"I can't do this," he said, panting, staring into the lust-filled golden eyes. He cringed when Goku reached for him, afraid that he no longer had the will to resist. His lips tingled from the kiss, and his hands ached to touch that honey skin that was merely inches away. As he stood up, the predator's eyes that watched his every move grew large, reflecting disappointment and rejection. Sanzo hurried for the door, stopping at the sound of Goku's voice.
"Don't follow me, monkey, or I'll kill you." There were no teeth to his threat—that much he was sure of—but fortunately, to the teen's credit, Goku chose not to follow.
He needed to think, needed to figure out what was best for the both of them, and despite his reticence, he knew that he needed to appeal to a higher power for guidance. He slipped on his vestments and stormed through the temple doors to the shrine and then paced for a while to calm himself before settling down, taking several cleansing breaths to focus his thoughts and open his mind to the deities' presence.
He was shocked when he heard the melodic laughter of the Merciful Goddess, Kanzeon Bosatsu herself, filling his consciousness.
"My, my, Konzen, you do get yourself into sticky situations."
"Did I ask for your opinion?" he gritted.
"Not yet, but why else would you want to speak with me?"
"Look, this is getting out of hand. I can't give him what he needs."
"Can't, or won't?"
"What am I supposed to do?" Sanzo growled, which only served to add to the bodhisattva's mirth.
"Oh come now, cousin, you once stood against me to save the boy, and now you're ready to discard the man?"
"I'm not your cousin, and what did you mean by that?"
Her laughter only grew louder. "You're a big boy, Konzen, you can figure it out on your own. I'd hate for you to feel indebted to me."
"Damn it, he's just a child—"
"I disagree with you on that account. I've seen him, and he's every inch a man," her lilting alto echoed in his head.
Sanzo's face paled and he white-knuckled the fabric of his robes. He could not deny her that, and not having any words to counter her, he seethed, "Shut up, woman."
"As you wish, Konzen," the mocking voice grew distant. "This conversation is beginning to bore me anyway, but let me remind you of one thing. Never forget that he could just take what he wants."
Sanzo sighed in frustration, no closer to a resolution than he'd been before he'd gone against his better judgment and sought help. "Useless hag," he muttered in defeat.
In his stubbornness and indecision, he remained motionless, sitting there in the silence, allowing the hours to pass. After some time, he heard Goku moving about furtively, and at some point, a soft thud fell on the temple door. He imagined the teen was leaning against it, forehead pressed to the wood grain. Goku would not enter without his permission, and he wasn't about to give it. Instead, he stayed in his position, unmoved, unmoving, trying to empty his mind of all thought, and his body of all lust. The gods refused to grace him with their presence, remaining adamantly silent to his continuing pleas for guidance.
Eventually he heard the teen's footfalls as he padded away from the door. The day turned into evening and then to night. Sanzo listened as the oil burner deep within the building creaked to a halt, off until it would start up again just before his morning mediations, and then there was blissful silence.
Slowly he stretched out his limbs and then twisted his back to relieve the muscles spasming in complaint of the movement after their long dormancy. The room was beginning to chill, and he thought back to the pre dawn hours, when he had allowed Goku to climb into his bed, the action that had set off the domino of the morning's events. He still felt no closer to resolution, though he felt an ache, a bruise on his soul when he thought of Kanzeon's mockery, specifically her comment that he was willing to 'discard' the teen.
Most of the temple was dark, but he saw that a soft light emanated from the kitchen, and for a moment his heart sped up as he thought that Goku was awake and waiting for him there. He was disappointed to find the room empty, though a single place setting had been laid out along with a note written in Goku's sloppy handwriting, indicating that there was dinner in the refrigerator that could be reheated in the microwave.
Despite his insistence that the boy leave him alone, Sanzo couldn't help but feel a wave of bitterness that Goku had followed his instruction. It occurred to him then that his actions had been both confusing and hurtful to the teen and his anger turned inward. He berated himself for his unforgivable behavior toward his charge, and he ate his meal cold, standing over the sink, as further penance. He washed his dishes and they joined the ones Goku had used on the drying rack. He turned around, his mind set on the smoke that he craved from his long day of abstention, and that is when he saw the flat, primitively wrapped present left on the center of the table.
He picked up the envelope that was affixed to the package, once again recognizing Goku's handwriting, but this sample was far more legible than the teen's usual scribble; he'd carefully lettered 'Happy Birthday, Sanzo' on the blank note card within. For a full minute Sanzo stood and stared, slack-jawed, from the card to the gift, his brain refusing to comprehend one, that the monkey remembered when his birthday was, and two, he'd procured and wrapped a gift for him. In Sanzo's mind it made the day's events all the more macabre. He sat down at the table, lit a cigarette and warily regarded the present. It was rather flat, only about an inch thick, and it looked to be about the same size as a sheet of letterhead. Sanzo sighed and rubbed his forehead thoughtfully. No one had ever done anything like this for him. Sure, Hakkai and Gojyo had taken him out for drinks on the occasion, but a gift?
"Stupid ape," he snarled, pushing the object away from him. It was deceptively heavy, and he couldn't for life of him figure out what lay underneath the newsprint-cum-wrapping paper.
He stubbed his cigarette, deciding that he should at least have a look at the item before summarily refusing it, and tore at one corner of the rectangle. Pulling the paper away revealed a black wooden frame. A picture, he thought, his curiosity now getting the better of him. He hastily removed the rest of the makeshift wrapping paper and turned the frame over. The image turned out to be a pencil sketch, a rather good one, but that wasn't what caught the monk's attention. It was the subject matter, as familiar to him as the back of his own hand. The drawing was of one of the courtyards at Chang'an, specifically the one with the low-hanging peach tree that Goku had used to love to climb when he'd first come to live with Sanzo.
He wondered how the hell the monkey had come by such a thing. He noticed then that there was a surreal quality to the sketch; certain things were distorted and simplified, and gradually it dawned on Sanzo that the picture had been captured from memory. Though he'd never seen Goku take a pencil to paper in all the years that he'd taken care of the boy, the more Sanzo stared at it, the more he was convinced that Goku was the creator of the image. He lit another smoke, propped the picture against the ceramic bowl that served as the centerpiece to the table and stared at it as if it would somehow give up the reasons why the monkey had drawn it and had then seen fit to give it to the monk. But, Sanzo thought wryly, those were only two more questions that he would not be getting the answers to. He burned through the stick, lazily inhaling and blowing smoke rings, his eyes glued to the image, taking in every nuanced shade, more questions filling his brain. Why this scene? He recalled Chang'an had been an awful place for the boy. Goku had been in constant trouble. In those days, Sanzo never even had time to tuck his harisen in between the swats he gave the boy. And yet this composition was … placid, certainly at odds with any feelings of unhappiness.
A soft scrape pierced the silence and Sanzo looked toward the doorway to see luminescent golden eyes staring at him. Goku looked away as soon has he registered that he'd been spotted.
"I wasn't following you! I was hungry!" he blurted anxiously as he turned to leave.
"Goku, come here. Sit." The boy reluctantly followed his instructions, falling heavily into the chair opposite the monk, his eyes focused on the Formica pattern of the tabletop. Sanzo lit a third cigarette, his eyes trained on his charge, noting that despite the outward nonchalance, Goku was tense, ever alert—the energy literally thrummed off of his body—Sanzo could feel the ripples against his own skin.
Of course the teen hadn't followed him, Sanzo thought. Goku for the most part, had always been obedient. Or had tried his best to be. He always followed Sanzo's directions to the best of his abilities. Except for that first time, when he'd found the boy, and had ordered him to leave him alone, and this morning, when his hand had reached out despite the monk's threat. But, then again, at the time, Goku had not disobeyed Sanzo's body, he'd seen through the transparency of the lie. The older man sighed in frustration.
It occurred to Sanzo that whatever decision he made about their future, Goku would accept chapter and verse, because the boy believed with all his heart that Sanzo would never do anything to hurt him. Except that he knew he already had. He had used the teen and then rejected him, left him to his own devices for the entire day. Abandoned him. Discarded him. "Where did you get this?" Sanzo asked, motioning to the contents of frame in front of him.
"I-I made it."
"When did you take up drawing?"
Goku shrugged. "I found some art supplies in one of the classrooms, an' I was bored—"
"Are there others?"
Goku nodded. "None that …" his voice trailed off uncertainly.
"'None that' what?"
"None … none that I liked as much as that one."
"Let me see them." Goku looked at him uneasily. "Now." Sanzo watched as the boy left to retrieve his work, no longer able to deny the physical attraction he felt toward the teen. There was an easing of his conscience with that admission; there was nothing wrong with being attracted to someone as utterly gorgeous as the other male. He was an exquisite creature, Sanzo allowed. Goku shuffled back with a sheaf of papers and dropped them unceremoniously on the table in front of the monk.
"Get me my reading glasses." Ordering the teen around made everything seem … almost normal, as if nothing untoward had happened between them. When Goku returned with them, he told the boy to go about his business. "If you're hungry, eat something, but I'm not fixing it for you."
"I didn't ask you to," Goku replied, a hint of petulance in his voice. Sanzo let it slide; he much preferred the backtalk than sullen silence. Maybe they could just move on; forget that anything happened between them. Goku was at the counter now, emptying a quantity of cereal into a bowl, while Sanzo pored over the sketches. They were good, the monk thought, the boy had a decent eye for composition, the contours that he captured onto the paper were quite pleasing. Vaguely, he heard the teen moving about the kitchen, pouring milk into his bowl, putting the cereal box away. Most of the subjects were the cloud-obscured mountain peaks that surrounded the monastery, the temple and the outbuildings, more than a few of the cat that Goku had become attached to, and a few that were memory sketches from the time that they lived at Chang'an.
He stared at one of his own likeness, in the mirror image his mouth was set in a grim line, a furrow drawn between his eyes. Was this how the boy remembered him? He conjured a picture of Koumyou in his mind. His teacher's face had always been open, welcoming, not closed and bitter like the one he was currently looking at.
"It's supposed to get below zero tonight," Goku remarked evenly, between crunching spoonfuls of cereal. The hair at the nape of Sanzo's neck stood on end as he anticipated the conversation.
'He could just take what he wants.' The Merciful Goddess's words echoed in the recesses of his brain.
"I'm not turning the heat on." He shivered involuntarily, realizing for the first time that the kitchen was cold. Goku grunted a noncommittal reply, and the room was silent except for the soft rustle of the pages.
"Why me?" Sanzo finally asked, breaking the uncomfortable silence with a pointed question.
"Why not?" Goku shrugged.
At least the boy was not that dense, Sanzo breathed, but the hell if he was going to get off that easy. He snorted angrily and pinned the teen with a glare. "Bullshit."
"I'm what? I'm here, ~convenient~?" he spat.
"No!" He could see the hurt and pain reflected in Goku's face. Good, maybe he could disabuse the boy of his silly notion once and for all. "That isn't it at all, Sanzo! Because you're ~you~, an' … an' … because I trust you!"
And then he saw something else in the eyes that bore into him, the loyalty that had always existed, that forever shone in Goku's expression. The boy who would do anything for him, who'd find dying equally as easy as breathing if it meant that no harm would come to his sun. The fierce companion who had saved him on countless occasions during their damned journey west. But it wasn't possible for Goku to save him from himself, and wasn't that what he truly feared?
He lit another cigarette, taking note of the waver in his action. Outwardly, he knew that it looked like he was in control, but that was a farce, he was barely keeping it together inside. The yearning, the desire to grant Goku his wishes drove the filthiest erotic thoughts into his consciousness. He dared not to close his eyes, to do that would be to succumb to the tantalizing images that gnawed on the periphery of his mind.
He exhaled shakily. "Thank you."
"For the gift." He nodded at the frame, took another drag, and exhaled again, feeling slightly calmer. He didn't have the heart to give it back.
"'welcome," Goku replied. "Happy birthday."
"It hasn't been," he said sourly. Goku hunched over slightly, folding into himself protectively.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled.
Sanzo inhaled deeply then let the smoke curl lazily out of his mouth as he slowly exhaled. "You did nothing wrong." Goku's eyes met his; they were wide with disbelief. "I forced you," he said finally, "that was unforgivable."
"I wanted to do it, an' I didn't care about the gun. I thought you were mad 'cause I messed up at the end." Goku laid his hands on the tabletop, and his eyes focused intently on them.
As if he could be mad at the boy for bringing him such carnal pleasure. "I was mad at myself for losing control. I still am. It never should have happened."
"It's okay." Goku said finally, breaking the silence that had fallen over them. "I get it now."
"You do?" Sanzo asked, somewhat surprised.
The teen nodded, "I'm too ugly for someone like you to be attracted to. An' I'm just a stupid monkey, right?" he asked without rancor.
Sanzo felt his blood run cold, and his hand, on its own volition, reached out and covered the teen's. The touch sent a jolt of electricity through his body. "Don't you ever say that, you are stunning," he said vehemently, willing the boy to believe him. "Do you think Gojyo is stupid?" he asked, changing tack. Goku shook his head. "But I've heard you call him a 'stupid kappa' many times."
"But that's when he pisses me off!"
"And I get pissed at you."
"But I don't even try to piss you off, he works at it."
"What can I tell you? I'm an ill-tempered prick," he said, stubbing out his cigarette. He knew it was time to send the boy to bed; the temperature in the building was plummeting. But Goku's hand felt pleasantly warm under his own. "I'll try to be more considerate," he added, "I didn't think that you'd take it to heart."
"You think I look okay?"
"Y-yes, Goku. You're very attractive." He forced his eyes to lock with the teen's.
"Thanks, Sanzo." Brilliant white teeth flashed at him. Still his hand remained.
'Because I trust you.' He felt completely unworthy of that trust, and yet somehow he'd made Goku feel unworthy of him—Goku, who had been the one constant in his life. Suddenly, his reservations fell away. Why ~not~ him? Who better to teach the boy? Could he bear to stand by and see someone else take that role?
"If I do this, it changes nothing," he said finally, withdrawing his hand. Goku sat stock still, holding his breath. "Do you understand?" Sanzo asked softly. He saw the teen's head nod imperceptibly. "It's purely educational," he added, standing up, and indicating the boy should follow him.
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