Title: 2. News
Pairing: Cho Hakkai/Genjo Sanzo
Theme: 2. News, letter
Disclaimer: Don't own Saiyuki
Word Count: 2,125
My Beta: Mark
Official tormenter: Adam
Here we have the third installment and the second chapter of 30 Kisses. I hope you enjoy it :)
That crap with Hakkai and my lighter was still bugging me the next morning. Trying to figure out what that youkai was thinking was nearly impossible, even when things seemed to make sense. I could forget trying to puzzle out what he had been doing yesterday. I might as well stop trying, but my mind wouldn't leave it and worried the memory like a bone. I kept coming back to that moment when he handed me the lighter; the way he met my eyes and the deliberate touch of his fingers against my skin. Fuck. I was glad dawn had finally arrived I was ready to go, ready to put some distance between me this place, between me and my memory. When I got up to dress I found myself staring into an empty bag. I had managed to forget that I was out of clothes. I did not want to stay here; I never wanted to remain in a place for longer than overnight. We were never going to get this crap mission done if we didn't stop getting distracted, if we didn't keep moving.
I stood staring into the empty abyss of my bag for a while, as if I could make the clothes appear by sheer force of will. I reached for my cigarettes and the nearly empty pack reminded me that this was the end of the smokes. I sighed and bowed my head cursing vilely before I finally resigned myself to the inevitable with a sigh. I got dressed and made my way to the lobby of the inn. There I secured rooms for us for another day. Once that unpleasant task was done I finally had time to find a table and order breakfast. I opened my paper determined to take control of my thoughts and forget Hakkai and his bizarre behavior. The fact that we were staying one more day had thrilled Goko to no end. He never got enough food when we were on the road - hell he never got enough food anyhow, the stupid greedy monkey - but there was hope as long as we were in town. Much to my relief he had scampered off to go share his small bit of news with those who would be more appreciative than I.
My resistance to remain more than a night in a place was something the others often tried to rebel against. They couldn't see the harm in staying a few nights or a week in a place. Fuck that, I was anxious to finish this journey, to get over with whatever it was we were expected to do when we got there. Was I really the only one who realized that there was no damn plan? Yeah I liked to move on but even I wasn't at all anxious to do so without food for the monkey or a good stock of cigarettes. So we would stay even though remaining for even one day in these places made my head hurt and my trigger finger itch. Over the top of my paper I saw Gojyo come into the room. I grimaced, now that made my trigger finger itch. I supposed the gods would not approve my shooting him just because his appearance made me feel like a cat with its fur rubbed the wrong way. I shook the paper and hid deeper behind it. Maybe he would just go away.
Of course my luck was not that good. It never had been. Gojyo came around the table to peer at the paper over my shoulder. My eyes slid shut and I breathed deeply. I would not shoot him; I was nearly chanting the refrain in my head as if it were a mantra to keep me from it. I really was trying to remember why I couldn't shoot him, but that small point was evading me completely. I hate for anyone to read over my shoulder and then he draped his arm around my neck. I froze, perhaps today was the day after all.
"Is the news the stupid monkey banged my down my door with true? We are staying another day?" he asked. I could hear the leer in his voice. For Gojyo more time meant one thing; female companionship, the lecherous bastard. It was somewhat amusing that I had never actually seen him get one of those females. He reached across me and picked up my lighter, the gun was in my hand and against his temple before even I realized that I had moved. He froze, his face locked in the expression he habitually wore in this situation, as he tried to decide if he could push once more or was this really the end. I pulled back the hammer. Guess cockroach. He wet his lips, his hand left the lighter slowly.
"Ah ha ha" An easily recognized voice broke the tension of the moment. The kappa moved away and I lowered my gun as I eased the hammer back into place. "Now, now Sanzo that was not very friendly so early in the morning." As he spoke Hakkai moved between Gojyo and me with such a smooth motion I almost believed his impression that it was not intentional. Almost. I just didn't happen to believe that Hakkai ever did anything unintentionally. And that line of thinking led me right back to what had happened between us yesterday in that sorry excuse for a garden. His touch had seemed to linger on my palm for hours and even now I was sure I could point out the exact places that his fingers had brushed my flesh. What I wanted to know was what he thought he was doing, what the fuck it meant. I met his eyes, searching but they told me the same thing they did every day, not a damn thing. The kappa and the monkey were open books, but this creature, who had once been a man, held tightly to his secrets rarely letting them slip.
"We are staying another day. Make sure you get your shopping and washing done today." I told Hakkai blandly choosing to ignore Gojyo. The dark haired man smiled his quiet polite smile at my announcement and took his seat at the table carefully sitting between Gojyo and me. I wondered if he thought I wouldn't shoot through him to kill that damn cockroach. I tested the theory in my mind and decided that the ploy might be half-successful. I would have to be extremely pissed off to shoot through Hakkai, so Gojyo was at least safe from my mild annoyance.
Breakfast finally arrived and Goku with it. I shrank back behind my paper; the loud voice of that damn monkey so early in the morning was enough to make a priest kill something, preferably the source of the noise. I took a bite of my own breakfast and before I could even swallow it began.
"Give me back that bun you pervy Kappa!"
"Ah shut up ya stupid Monkey. Eat a different one."
"I don't wanna different one!!! That one was on my plate and it's MINE! Give it back you stupid cockroach!"
"What'll you do if I don't?" and the distinct sound of something being bitten. "WAAAA" this from the monkey as he started to launch an attack, my fan came out and a nice 'whap' sent him back to his chair, rubbing his head and glaring at me. Gojyo nimbly hid behind Hakkai. He peeked out from around the youkai and I met his eyes from behind my newspaper. I knew death peered at him through my eyes but he seemed to be weighing his options once again, he was quite good at that. He was not good at choosing the correct one. Once again Hakkai stepped in and saved him from his own stupidity; turning to speak to Gojyo put his mouth almost against the kappa's ear - so close that I saw the red hair stir when he spoke. I couldn't hear what was said but I have never seen Gojyo put off balance with such ease. He actually blushed and sat back in his chair his mouth tightly closed.
Goku stared in amazement and I think he would have given the rest of his sweet buns to know what Hakkai had said, hell I wanted to know. I have never seen the wretched kappa shut up so abruptly, not even when there was a gun to his forehead. I watched as he looked sideways at Hakkai who simply smiled that small smile he had perfected. It could mean anything or nothing. Gojyo leaned over his plate and his blood red hair spilled forward effectively hiding him from his friend. He resumed eating in silence. Goku turned most of his attention back to his own breakfast. He was never one to be distracted from his food for long but he kept one wary eye on Hakkai as if the dark haired man had suddenly grown a second head. The silence was blessed and seemed to be the perfect chance for me to make my exit.
I tucked my folded paper under my arm and grabbed my cigarettes. The private rooms that I had secured for us tonight were a lure I couldn't resist. Being alone was the closest thing to heaven I was likely to encounter on this god-forsaken journey. I was turning away from the table when I felt a hand wrap around my wrist. I looked down my arm to see Hakkai's slender fingers. He was not holding me tightly. He wasn't trying to restrain me but just get my attention. I lifted my eyes from where he held me to meet his. Two touches in two days from one who had never touched me idly before; I tried to read his expression and make some determination of what this meant but, as always, I learned nothing. If the eyes were truly the windows to the soul then Hakkai was lacking something vital. He smiled that fucking smile at me but didn't let me go, if he had been that goddamn cockroach I would have shot him where he sat.
"The card, Sanzo, if I am going to get things done I will need the gold card. If you give it to me now then I will not have to disturb you later." His voice was perfectly reasonable but he could have stopped me by calling my name, he did not have to touch me. I glowered at him but he didn't take his hand away. The opposite was true, his fingertips pressed more firmly against my inner wrist and even through the arm warmer it was a gesture more intimate than a kiss. His expression never changed and for me to say it was disturbing was one hell of an understatement. Wearing a glare that would have sent the most stouthearted man running, I jerked my arm belatedly away from him.
I tried to ignore the fact that there was now a second touch to haunt me. There was a flicker in his eyes of some emotion that he shuttered too quickly for me to identify. Fuck. So much for my peace of mind; I was sure that instead of the quiet morning I had anticipated alone with my paper, cigarettes and coffee, I would be haunted by the kiss of his fingers against my skin and the memory of the mysterious emotion which had so fleetingly darkened those emerald eyes. I handed him the card with an icy glare. Why the fuck couldn't I just shoot him like I did that damn perverted kappa? The reason eluded me and I stormed out of the room.
When I finally made it to the sanctuary of my room I threw myself across the bed and lay staring up at the ceiling. I could still feel where he had touched me and wondered why it clung so persistently even when the contact had not been skin to skin. I tried to keep my focus on solving that puzzle but there was something else bugging me. Something I didn't want to think about because it disturbed me one hell of a lot more than the memory of Hakkai's touch. I bit my lip hard enough to draw blood and barely restrained myself from grabbing my gun and shooting something, any damn thing, most preferably myself. I absolutely was not lying here wondering when he would touch me again. I was not. Damn demon.
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