Title: 1. Look Over Here
Pairing: Cho Hakkai/Genjo Sanzo
Theme: 1. look over here
Disclaimer: Don't own Saiyuki
Word Count: 1,610
My Beta: Mark
Official tormenter: Adam
1. Look over here
Sanzo was still sitting on the bench when I arrived in the garden. It didn't look as if he had moved an inch since my last glimpse of him from the window. He was so still that I thought he was meditating but he turned to look at me as he approached. I saw then that he held his gun in one hand and a soft cloth in the other. I felt my usual smile curl my lips. The one I hid behind. He was cleaning his gun so perhaps he was meditating after all; the thought amused me. He grunted at me and turned back to what he was doing. There was a beer beside him on the bench but no cigarette hung from his lips; that was a vast improvement as far as I was concerned but seemed strange.
"May I sit down?" I asked politely. He grunted and shrugged, watching the cloth run over his gun.
"Suit yourself" he told me in a voice that was neither hostile nor welcoming. I was encouraged that was nearly a welcoming fanfare from the priest. "Where's the others?" he asked. He glanced sideways at me and I knew my next answer had better not be "on their way down." I smiled mildly at him.
"Goku went for a walk. Gojyo is…" Just saying his name gave me a flashback of the crimson haired half-demon, his face flushed with pleasure and surprise after I had kissed him. A smile that was slightly more real flared briefly and then was gone, "It's hard to say exactly what Gojyo might be doing right now." I finally said, unable to completely keep the satisfaction from my voice. The sound of it made Sanzo glance at me oddly but he didn't say anything. He didn't seem to mind that I was there and I supposed that was a start of sorts.
He reached in his robes for a cigarette and then brought his hand out empty. He cursed and looked around the yard.
"Out?" I enquired perhaps too cheerfully. He would think I was glad there would be no smoke hanging in the air. And while that was true, I was already considering offering to go buy him more. It would be a nice friendly first gesture.
"No. I dropped my damn lighter." He told me his eyes moved over the tangled over long grass in the "garden" in front of us, "And I'm not sure where."
"Oh." It was no wonder he hadn't found it; that grass was a nightmare of weeds and even briars in some places. I tried to imagine Sanzo calmly sifting through it in order to locate his missing lighter but the picture wouldn't form, in its place was an image of him threatening clumps of grass with his gun in an effort to persuade them to give it back. I must have somehow given away the gist of my thoughts because the monk turned cold eyes on me.
"Is something wrong?" he asked and his tone begged me to give him an excuse. Sanzo rarely threatened me with harm even indirectly and that made me wonder exactly how long the lighter had been missing.
"Certainly not," I assured him assuming the serious façade that this occasion warranted, "I was considering that a new pair of eyes might bring a different result." I didn't offer to go get him another one. I knew that he had not gotten past the fact that he wanted this lighter back. He would get over it. If it came down to it, his need for a cigarette would even drive him so far as to ask Gojyo for a light, though such an act would convince the suicidal half-demon it was open season on Sanzo. "I think I will look over here and see what comes of it." I told him. He acted as if he didn't care one way or the other but he didn't protest when I stood and began to make my way slowly across the yard. It had to be somewhere nearby; the entire garden was hardly bigger than a postage stamp. I imagined that when he arrived he may have walked to the only other thing in the fenced off area and that was a scraggly half-dead tree. I felt sorry for it; not really alive and yet not quite dead, it clung to life in a way that reminded me uncomfortably of my own internal strife. So much of me had died so long ago and yet I seemed to keep living and moving no matter what happened. Gojyo had proven to me that I could have friends again, and because of that, I had recently discovered a small hope reborn within me that perhaps, one day, I could even love again. I snorted in derision. I wouldn't be holding my breath for that one.
I brought my thoughts back around to my current situation. This was not about me. Making inroads with Sanzo was not going to be a simple matter and taking the trouble to find his lighter might make some small impression on him; if nothing else maybe it would open the opportunity of a second encounter. I focused on what I was doing. I discovered one thing right away; if someone was going to locate anything in this grass, it would take a patient persistence that I knew Sanzo was sorely lacking. He was so impatient, not a very good quality in a priest, but then Sanzo had few qualities that one would associate with being a priest. I doubted the grass had been impressed by the size of his gun.
I walked along quietly lost in my thoughts, idly scanning the ground for the missing item. I could feel eyes on me and assumed it was Sanzo, but when I glanced back something caught my eye and caused me to look towards the upstairs windows, there - that was the room I shared with Gojyo. The movement that had caught my attention came again. Gojyo. He was watching. I smiled smugly. I had the feeling he would be watching me for some time to come. I suddenly felt something under my foot and barely stopped from putting my whole weight on it. I moved my foot and picked up the small item, Sanzo's lighter. I savored this small victory for just a second before I straightened and headed back to the bench. Seeing me approach Sanzo returned his gun to its place under his robes, wherever that was. It was a mystery to me how he could wear so many layers of clothing and still have that gun in hand before the others could summon their weapons. He had out drawn them both on more than one occasion. Perhaps once we were friends instead of just inconvenient traveling companions he would tell me.
I held the lighter up so that he could see that I had found it and what passed for his smile crossed his face. I couldn't recall if I had ever seen Sanzo really smile and the thought of the kinds of things that might make him smile raised goose bumps on my arms. He held out his hand expecting me to throw it to him but my eyes lifted for a brief moment to the window where I was sure that Gojyo still stood. He wasn't going to get quite what he was expecting. I intended to win our wager and in doing so succeed in my venture with this surly creature in front of me. Doing so was going to take careful planning and there was no room for impulsive actions. Anything too personal at this early stage would surely prove disastrous, but I was fairly confident that Sanzo would not shoot me for what I was about to do. I walked up to where he stood waiting with his hand outstretched. His face was slightly puzzled, perhaps he was trying to work out what my expression meant but I was very good at keeping my thoughts under lock and smile; that small empty eyed smile that Gojyo hated and that gave nothing away.
My eyes locked with his lavender ones, they were so cold, like lavender ice. I had seen them lit with the fire of his rage but that just made them colder, sharper. I wondered what it would be like to see them soften with affection. Holding his gaze I laid the lighter in his hand, very deliberately allowing my fingertips to brush against his palm, the butterfly kiss of my touch rested there for only the briefest moment and then was gone. There was no need to ask if he had noticed. Surprise flared in his eyes. He did not want us to touch him and though Goku still did so constantly and Gojyo lounged all over him at will, I had always respected that barrier. The priest did not like to be touched, but there was something more to his surprise than my breaching of his personal space. He knew that I did not freely touch anyone. I had made certain by my approach that he was unmistakably aware that the touch was deliberate.
I excused myself and left the garden. I could feel him behind me watching with those incredible purple eyes as I walked away. Watching and wondering. I held my face carefully expressionless. I could still feel the satin of his skin like the whisper of a memory on the tips of my fingers. I hadn't expected that and I wondered what it meant.
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