by tag [tagwriter(at)gmail(dot)com]
Disclaimer: I do not own Saiyuki; that honour belongs to Katsuya Minekura. Warning for Sanzo's language.
This is all Vathara's fault. I swear it is. She's the one who got me hooked on Saiyuki. Well... okay, some of it is Sanzo and Hakkai's fault. Especially Hakkai's. He can be vicious when he wants something written.
Beta-ed by Vathara.
Sanzo lay on the bed, staring up at the ceiling and the cigarette smoke forming random patterns against the plaster, and the only coherent thought in his mind was, Why?
If it had been a stranger, he would have understood. He had no illusions about his own appearance; any illusions he might have had, as Kouryuu, had been very quickly dispelled once he'd begun his hunt for the Seiten Sutra. So... he would have understood. It had happened before, after all. He wouldn't have been happy, and would probably have made that fact clear with his gun – but he would have understood.
Only... it hadn't been a stranger. It hadn't been someone who thought blond hair and violet eyes hid a warm heart and a sweet disposition. It had been someone who knew they didn't.
Which was where the question came in.
Even at Kin'zan, he'd had a snarky attitude and sharp words, with the intelligence to back them up. His eyes and Master Koumyou's attention to him weren't the only reasons the priests of Kin'zan disliked him – just the first. Other than that....
Jikaku had liked him. But Jikaku had had an attitude to match his own, even if he didn't show it except to night-wandering brats. Probably why the Sanbutsushin had figured he could get through, when no one else had. And Sanzo had to admit they'd been right about that.
None of which really dealt with the question.
He'd spent most of his life cultivating that attitude. Pushing people away before they could get close. As far as he'd been aware, the only time that had failed was with Goku – and that was because the monkey had a bad case of hero-worship that nothing Sanzo had done had been able to get rid of. Not to mention the Sanbutsushin had stuck him as the idiot's guardian, so he couldn't push as hard as he'd have liked to.
Certainly it had worked perfectly well with everyone else, from the priests in the Temple of the Setting Sun right down to that idiot kappa.
And now this.
Why the fuck did he do that?
The easy answer would be that fucking masochistic streak. Masochism that Sanzo strongly suspected hadn't come on him in the change from Cho Gonou to Cho Hakkai, but that he'd had all of both lives. Why else choose his goddamn sister to fixate on?
But that would be the easy answer, and nothing with Hakkai was ever easy.
It made no sense. He'd worked damn hard to make sure that neither Hakkai nor Gojyo liked him. The stupid kappa had been easy enough, and a great deal less important. He hadn't fucking saved Gojyo.
Hakkai... was another matter. He had saved the idiot's life, made him want to live again. Shouldn't have chanted that goddamned sutra for him.... Spoken up for him in front of the Sanbutsushin. Been made responsible for Hakkai, just as he was for Goku. And the last thing he needed was another hero-worshipping idiot.
So he'd dumped all the dirty, time-consuming jobs he wasn't interested in dealing with on him. Ordered him around, snapped at him....
Huh. Maybe it is his masochistic streak after all.
He took another drag of the cigarette.
No, still too easy. He'd try to aggravate me the same way those two other idiots do if it was. I spend a hell of a lot more time getting angry at and beating up on them than I do snapping at him.
All of which brought back around to that damn question again.
Blowing smoke out at the ceiling, he sighed. Quietly. They had individual rooms this time, but he couldn't rely on the others to leave him alone if they heard him. Not now.
Not that Goku or Gojyo knew what had happened. At least, they'd better not know. He'd have no hesitations in ensuring that there would be three dead idiots if they did. But if Goku heard him... the monkey couldn't keep his damn mouth shut.
Another drag of the cigarette; another column of smoke blown at the ceiling.
I'm not his goddamn fucking sister.
So why the bloody fucking hell did he kiss me?
Hakkai tilted his head back against the top of the pillow and stared up at the ceiling. The plaster was surprisingly clean for an inn, and he let his eyes follow the patterns made by the tool that had been used to apply it. There was only one question in his mind: Why?
Pulling his knees up to his chest, he sighed quietly. "Of all the stupid things to do, Cho Hakkai..." he muttered to himself.
Good thing Goku and Gojyo were both out enjoying the local festival. He didn't want to have to answer any questions about what he meant. And they'd both ask, if they heard him saying that.
We're not even halfway back to Chang'an. Why did I do that?
It was a good question. An excellent question. And one he really, really wished he knew the answer to.
It certainly wasn't going to make the rest of the trip back any easier.
Especially not if Goku and Gojyo got wind of what he'd done.
Not that he would tell them, and he strongly suspected that Sanzo wouldn't breathe a word of it... but they'd been together, pretty much every single day, for almost three years now. Which meant that any change between any of them was noticed. And Sanzo... well, Hakkai would be very surprised if Sanzo didn't change his attitude towards him after this. Probably for the worst.
Hells – I think the only reason I didn't get shot was he was too shocked to react before I ducked out.
Sanzo had definitely been shocked. Hakkai didn't think he'd ever seen the priest so surprised before – too surprised to react with his normal reflexes. Too surprised to react at all, aside from staring at Hakkai with a wide-eyed expression of utter astonishment on his face, before Hakkai had got out the door, closed it again behind him, and informed Goku and Gojyo that they were free to head off.
Which still didn't answer the question circling uppermost in Hakkai's mind.
He hadn't gone into Sanzo's room with the intention of doing anything other than informing the priest about the festival and asking if he wanted to come with them. And what he'd seen when he entered – Sanzo leaning against the windowsill, looking out and smoking, with the moon rising just outside the window, shining in on him – wasn't anything he hadn't seen too many times before to count.
So why was this time so different?
Today wasn't anything special. No problematic anniversaries for any of them, no special anniversaries for any of them.... The town wasn't anything special either. They hadn't stopped here on the way out – they were deliberately taking a different route back, considering all the damage that had been done during the trip to deal with Gyumaoh and Gyokumen Koushu – so there was nothing there that would have prompted his impulsive action.
Not that it wasn't something he'd wanted to do. He'd spent two and a half years wanting to do that – since shortly after the confrontation with Chin Yisou. And the three years before that with the occasional wistful thought of it, for that matter, though he'd gone to a great deal of trouble to never let on.
Beneath his sharp, surly attitude, Sanzo was... fascinating. Beautiful, even, though the priest would no doubt have laughed – or shot him – if Hakkai had ever even hinted at that. Sharp, cutting, ruthless – all of which, truthfully, only added to his attraction – and with a compassion that flowed as strong and deep as the river he'd originally been named for....
The fact that he was also beautiful on the outside didn't hurt – but it wasn't the important part, the part that had attracted Hakkai in the first place. That beauty was on display for all the world to see, after all. No, it was what was inside, the endless compassion that Sanzo worked so hard to hide, that had done that.
None of which told Hakkai why he'd done what he had now, rather than waiting until this journey was over (or not doing it at all, for that matter – it wouldn't have been easy to keep his attraction a secret, but he had been doing it for over five years...). Instead he'd gone and done it now, when they still had almost a year's worth of travel to go – assuming there were no unplanned detours. When it guaranteed that things would be awkward, and there would be questions asked by the other two.
Just... he'd walked into Sanzo's room, and the priest had been there, and the moment Sanzo had stubbed out his cigarette in the ashtray – nothing he hadn't seen daily – years of self-control had just flown out the window, and Hakkai had pushed forward and done it.
But... why did I choose now to kiss him?
Last modified September 22nd, 2013.