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Hakkai came awake to the sound of a door opening. He didn't open his eyes straight away. First he took a deep breath as awareness of his own body made itself his priority.

He felt—sore all over, really. But he didn't mind that. The place where he felt it most, however, was a cause for alarm. He shifted on the mattress and opened his eyes to look at the cracked stone ceiling over his head. When had they gotten to an inn?

It was instinct that told him not to move his head—that he wouldn't like the consequences--so he lifted his hand instead, pausing only for a brief second when the sheet covering sliding softly back on his bare chest.

So he hadn't put himself to bed either, he thought as he gingerly touched his fingers along the tops of his eyebrows, attempting to coax out any ache or bruise that might be in hiding.

The creak of the door sounded again and reminded him of how he'd woken up. Narrowing his eyes against the light spilling in through the partly opened door, Hakkai ignored any potential head injuries and turned his head to see what it was.

He recognised Gojyo's back easily. His red hair was hard to miss, but even without it, Hakkai would've recognised him.

Gojyo was barefoot and standing there in just his jeans. There was a cigarette between the index and middle finger of his right hand. It remained unlit as Gojyo rested his hand against the door. His other arm rested against the door frame, forearm pressed to the line of it. He hadn't turned around yet, but Hakkai was sure Gojyo knew he had woken up.

"Gojyo?" Hakkai blinked in surprise at the sound of his own voice. It had scratched against the walls of his throat which, until then, he hadn't noticed felt swollen and raw. Rubbing at his throat, Hakkai turned his attention back to Gojyo. There were ten perfect scratches on Gojyo's back starting at roughly the same level and then descending in opposite directions. Five one way and five the other. Even at that distance, Hakkai could tell that they were still too fresh; the skin hadn't even begun to knit back together. There were another three, just the same curving over one of Gojyo's hips and disappearing beneath low riding denim. If the cuts hadn't been so vicious then Hakkai would've just assumed they were from a newly acquired and conquered lover.

When Gojyo still hadn't turned around, Hakkai's eyes narrowed. Ignoring his protesting limbs, he sat up, putting aside for later examination the way his lower body particularly protested the move.

"Gojyo?" he said again, this time louder as he drew the cover back up, pressing his palm over it to hold it to his stomach. It wasn't that he was shy. But there were some things that he still hadn't quite come to terms with.

Gojyo turned towards him, looking over his shoulder at Hakkai. Only, his eyes didn't quite focus on Hakkai's face. They hovered somewhere to the corner of Hakkai's eye, unfocused and a little shuttered. But then he was chuckling and shaking his head. Gojyo lifted the hand with the cigarette in a greeting or an explanation, Hakkai wasn't sure which.

"Get some rest, man. You look like crap."

At that, Hakkai couldn't help the small sheepish smile that appeared in his face.

"Yes, well... I must admit I'm a bit..." he glanced over the bed he was on and then back up at the ceiling, "confused. I don't remember us reaching an inn and..." Hakkai trailed off when he caught sight of his inner right wrist as he went to brush back the hair falling onto his face.

Right there, just an inch from his hand, were two neat spots. They were a rustled red, making it clear that a scab had formed there.

"Anyway, I need a smoke. Get some rest. I'll be back later. And don't make any noise or the monkey will be all over you in a beat."

Most of that had been said while Gojyo pulled the door open wider and made to step through it. By the time the door had been closed silently behind Gojyo, he hadn't turned once to look back at Hakkai.

Hakkai looked away from the worn door with the loose gold knob and examined his wrist again.

And in a flash of a second, he remembered the split moment in which the youkai had grabbed his wrist and sank his teeth in.

His mouth firming, Hakkai lay back on the bed and closed his eyes.

Something had gone wrong.

*

Gojyo stood outside the room, his back to the door for a few seconds. His hand was still braced on the door frame, and he stared blankly at the opposite wall. The corridor was empty, and Gojyo could hear the faint sound of the patrons and workers of the inn going about their daily routine downstairs.

The scratches on his back still hurt like a bitch.

If you could call them scratches.

When he heard the sound of someone moving about on a mattress, Gojyo let his head fall forward and pushed away from the door to start down the corridor.

By the time he reached the spearing sunlight outside, the cigarette was already lit and between his lips, earning him a glare from one of the staff for lighting up the cigarette inside.

It was the same dry heat that day, and Gojyo could feel the sweat sliding down his back, occasionally leaving behind a string as it tracked down the still raw wounds.

As he sat down on the doorstep of the inn, he took a drag of the cigarette and leaned back. He let the smoke come out in a stream as he stared up at the clear sky.

It hadn't been like that four days ago when they'd arrived. Huge, angry, dark grey clouds had crowded together and raining a flood down to earth. Unfortunately, that had made everything harder for them. Their situation had been pretty bad already so the storm hadn't helped shit.

Maybe if it had come earlier...

Gojyo leaned forward, rubbing his hand slowly down the length of his face as a self-mocking smile appeared on his face.

He'd really screwed up this time.

Hakkai didn't know it yet, but Gojyo knew.

Everything would be so fucked up from now on. Because Hakkai would remember eventually.

* * *

Gojyo had been right. The moment Goku had realised Hakkai was awake, he'd been inside the room like a flash and he didn't budge the entire day. The look on Goku's face when he'd seen him sitting up—it had to be very bad if it caused Goku to look at him like that.

So six hours after arriving at Hakkai's bedside with a pack of cards and food (the majority of which Goku had already eaten), Sanzo had claimed one corner of the room as his own, settled down to read the paper and started smoking.

The door to the room had been left open for fresh air to slip in but it never did. Neither did Gojyo.

Sanzo's newspaper crinkled and brushed against another sheet. Goku shifted on the bed and the mattress creaked. Hakkai sipped the warm tea cupped in his hands.

Hakkai sighed and leaned against the headboard. He could no longer feel the cool wood after having put a shirt on not so long after Gojyo had left. He hadn't been able to sleep.

Goku lifted his eyes from the cards he was holding to peer up at Hakkai. Sanzo turned another page, took another pull from his cigarette.

"How long is it going to be until someone tells me about what happened?" His tone was pleasant, his eyes closing in the silence that followed. Hakkai lifted the tea to his lips and drank a little bit more.

Nothing about Sanzo changed, but the reaction in Goku was instant. His shoulders slumped a little and he lifted a hand to rub at the back of his neck as he looked away from Hakkai. The hand that held his playing cards fell to rest against his thigh.

"Erm..." Goku snuck a look at Hakkai and then let his gaze slide away from him again when he saw that Hakkai was now looking at him, "you don't remember?"

Hakkai felt the corner of his lips twitch in a flashing touch of humour. "Not quite, no." Hakkai turned his wrist up, amusement fading all together when he saw the two spots on it. "I'm assuming the bite from the youkai forced me into some kind of version of my own youkai side... but that doesn't explain why I can't remember." His tone became blank as he went on. "In the past, I have always retained memories of what I had done..."

And it should have been the same.

Unless he had gotten too close. Like the time he had fought Goku in his Saiten Taisei state, where he'd lost it even if just for a few seconds. In those few seconds, he'd been almost gone.

It wasn't that he didn't remember anything at all. It was there, just hiding at the edges of his mind, waiting to come back to him. They weren't really images that were attempting to come to the forefront, more like sensations which he couldn't examine until the said images that happened to go with them returned.

"That's because all those times you either had enough control of yourself, or someone was there to bring you back to your senses before you lost it."

Sanzo's voice startled Hakkai out of his musings and both Hakkai and Goku turned to look at him. Not that he'd bothered to lower his paper. Hakkai could see the tops of Sanzo's glasses over the newspaper.

"My limiters were in place, Sanzo," Hakkai said, no longer attempting to keep the lack of emotion from his voice.

There was an impatient hiss before Sanzo lowered the newspaper and met Hakkai's gaze with one that wasn't as irritated as it usually would've been.

That just confirmed what Hakkai had thought when he'd first seen Goku looking at him like that. And when Gojyo had barely been able to make himself look at him.

"And they were useless," Sanzo said, keeping his words short.

Hakkai stared. "So it was the bite that acted as a trigger." He knew he was right because he could at least recall that much of what had happened. The feeling of the unnatural power being released always felt the same—even when forced. And since he couldn't remember much past that, it meant that it had pushed him into the deepest youkai state it could manage without even giving anyone a chance to bring him back. Hakkai let out a quiet breath and rubbed a hand over his eyes. "If the reaction was that violent then how did you—" How am I here and still sane?

If he hadn't looked up, he would've noticed the quick panicked look Goku sent Sanzo's way—turning away quickly when Sanzo glared at him.

"We wore you out." Sanzo's reply was short and clipped and then he drew the newspaper up. Just like that, he went back to reading.

Goku was looking down at his hands and quiet again.

"I'm hungry," Goku said. For once, he didn't sound like he meant it.

"We should get something to eat then," Hakkai suggested with a smile.

Gojyo still hadn't returned.

* * *

Gojyo had always liked having his hands full of curves. He was good at it. He enjoyed it. It felt good and at the end of the day he always went home, both he and his partner for the night feeling mutually satisfied.

She was warm and so was the bed and sheets underneath them. Warm and damp as her back arched; her fingers clawed as she threw her arm back and dragged her nails over the pillow that had already been battered by the frenzy of both their bodies.

The sky outside was dark and they hadn't bothered with the lights when they'd stumbled in. They hadn't been worried about much else when she'd wrapped both her legs around his waist, climbing up his body like a cat and arching against him with the flexibility of one too. Not that he'd been complaining. This was already their third round and the alcohol was at that stage where it was fading away, its influence on him slipping as the sound of the mattress sharpened and her gasps started to sound louder.

The air was thick with the musk of sweat and sex and he pushed in again, hissing. His fingers were locked around her hips and he wondered if the hold was too tight—but then they were slipping on her skin when her hips rolled up to take him in deeper—

"Yes..."

He leaned lower, one hand pressed flat to the mattress next to her shoulder and the other still clinging to her hip. His knees were chafing on the cheap sheets, rubbing the skin of them raw with every thrust but the sensations just mixed together to make everything even better.

She reached around him, trying to get more leverage to move against him harder and her fingers bit into his back and crossed over the sensitive cuts there.

Gojyo hissed—grunted and shoved deeper as the familiar pain made his stomach feel like it'd pitched down and his balls tightened as his arms went up in goose bumps...

He was smiling; Gojyo could see the smile as Hakkai arched back, one long fingered hand curling around the bars of the cheap old bed, long nails scraping at the metal as he felt the strong thighs lock tighter around his waist. Hakkai's other hand was on Gojyo's hip but Gojyo couldn't manage anything more than a groan as his nails split his skin—he just sank in harder, feeling Hakkai clamp down on him tighter.

For the moment, guilt was pushed far back as he watched the little row of vine leaf patterns that crossed over Hakkai's throat, watched it slither and slip over the rise of his Adam's apple; he let his eyes slide lower over tightened nipples and then a strong taut stomach, flexing every time Hakkai worked his hips against him.

Gojyo closed his eyes and told himself to forget why this was bad just for that little bit.

Then he bent down and licked the salt from Hakkai's stomach—

"Anh—nnnyes....!"

Gojyo's eyes snapped open, the female cry jerking him out of the memory and leaving him momentarily stunned as she froze mid-arch and clenched tight around him, and pushed him over the edge even as the overwhelming image of Hakkai fucking himself on him refused to leave him alone.

A curse slipped from his mouth but Gojyo didn't even notice the woman's eyes opening lazily, lashes heavy and drowsy from her orgasm, to peer up at him.

His eyes closed again. He was gripping both her hips now.

Hakkai's teeth grazed down his neck and Gojyo heard that sound that was almost like a purr...

Gojyo groaned and shuddered as he finally came.

*

"Hakkai... snap out of it man..."

Hakkai looked up at him. He smiled, enjoying the colour of those eyes. The colour suited him. Hakkai tightened the grip he had on his wrist.

"Gojyo, get the fuck away from him, you idiot."

Hakkai ignored the shout from behind him and lowered his mouth to the wrist—he could hear it. He could gear the pulse in the little veins there.

"Come on, man." He squat down to Hakkai's level and Hakkai looked up right into that colour, as he carried on speaking, frowning at Hakkai. "Hey..."

Hakkai ran his thumb over the thin skin on the inside of his wrist. He really liked that colour. He closed his eyes as he pressed his nose to it, breathing in the scent of the sweat and skin. And then he tasted it—the wrist jerked beneath his tongue—following the little veins to the mound of the palm.

"Shit—don't—"

Hakkai kept on following that now imaginary line, over the rougher skin of his palm until it was slipping down the middle finger.

The sharp gasp was so loud in Hakkai's ear. Then any breathing he could hear stopped as he reached the tip. And closed his mouth over it.

Hakkai jerked his head off the table and blinked down at it. It took him a while to realise that all the lights were off and that the kitchen was a lot colder than when he'd snuck in earlier. The tea he'd come in to make had gone cold; the tea cup was cool against the palm of his hands. He shook his head as he realised he'd fallen asleep on the table still holding it.

Hakkai rubbed at his head and straightened, glad that no one had walked in and found him there. The maids probably would've screamed seeing a stranger, barefoot and sleeping in their kitchen. Even if that had been all he was doing.

The attacks as they got closer to their destination had become more violent, and with it, the establishments in which they stayed were more paranoid. Less trusting. Even to humans. Or people who seemed like humans. As far as they were concerned, strangers and youkai were all the same. Not that they'd be wrong in this instance.

Hakkai eased back on the seat, the wood groaning under his weight, the sound loud in the empty kitchen. He stared across at the cooker, seeing it but not.

It had been too accurate to have been a dream.

His mouth tightened as he remembered the way Gojyo hadn't been able to look at his face. The scratches on his back, etched so deeply into his back. Not something a normal lover would be able to do.

"So you're still sitting there. You're pathetic."

Hakkai lifted his head, not surprised by someone else being there but instead by the fact that that someone was Sanzo.

He was leaning against the door to the kitchen, smoke rising up from the cigarette he was holding. One arm was crossed over his chest and he hadn't placed his robes back on. He was staring at Hakkai with narrowed eyes.

"Is Goku asleep?" Hakkai asked, drawing his tea cup nearer even though he didn't want to drink it anymore. Maybe he could reheat it.

Sanzo snorted. "Yeah, he's sleeping." He walked to the chair opposite Hakkai and pulled it out, sitting on it and then flicking a look at Hakkai. "You look like shit."

Hakkai let out a hollow laugh, looking down into his tea. "I believe that's something that you and Gojyo agree on."

"I'll pretend you didn't just compare me to that prick."

Hakkai smiled. "Alright."

They didn't speak again for a bit. Hakkai shifted his feet on the floor, trying to keep the cold of the tiles from piercing through the skin. He should have put his shoes on. It wasn't hygienic really.

"Sanzo."

"Hn?" Sanzo blew out a little more smoke, head tilted back and his eyes on the ceiling.

"When you said earlier that you wore me out, how exactly was that done?" he asked. He kept his eyes on Sanzo's face.

"What do you think?" Sanzo lowered the hand with the cigarette, bracing his elbow on the table. He studied the cigarette between his fingers. "You're not an idiot. You know how you felt when you woke. And you saw how that idiot acted with you."

Hakkai chuckled and glanced away. He brushed the hair from his face. "I see. Perhaps it's a good thing we all have our own rooms. Although," he threw Sanzo a wry glance, "I'd love to know how you managed that, oh Sanzo-sama." He ignored the middle finger Sanzo favoured him with and laughed again. "Ah," he sighed, his smile fading, "I think this will complicate things."

"What's there to complicate?

Hakkai felt his eyebrows hitching higher on his forehead at that. "Surely you don't need me to explain this to you, Sanzo? I was under the impression that you had at least some experience, although I suppose it wouldn’t be so unbelievable given your attitude with the opposite sex—really Sanzo, you should start attempting to be more—"

"It's none of your business. And that's shitty advice."

Hakkai smiled. He started turning the tea cup between his hands, slowly, watching it spin. "I suppose it isn't. But this... wouldn't be that simple, Sanzo. It seems from the little I remember..." he sighed again, "that it wasn't exactly a situation of mutual attraction or willingness—"

"Tch, spare me the guilt trip," Sanzo said, waving at him, "you obviously still don't remember things all that well." Sanzo turned to face him and leaned forward, resting his arm on the table again. "You two gave quite the show. And it was entirely mutual. He's just too much of an idiot to come to terms with the fact that relationships change. And you're an idiot contemplating that retard for a partner." Having said that, Sanzo stood up. "Interesting. The next time I have trouble sleeping, I think I'll just have another conversation about your stupidity. It seems to do the trick."

Hakkai watched him make his way out of the kitchen, feeling a little bewildered. And after a few seconds he blurted, "Thank you."

It seemed like something he should say.

Just outside the door, Sanzo paused. There was the slightest inclination of his head. And Sanzo carried on until he disappeared from view.

It had been the thing to say after all.

"I suppose I'd better rest too," he murmured, wincing a little as the throbbing in his lower body that hadn't quite left as the day had gone on, made itself known again.

He placed his tea cup back in the sink and made his way out, his steps quiet as he attempted to avoid the creaking wood.

The halls were quiet as he made his way up the stairs, his hand following the balustrade on his way up, skin sliding on the smooth cold wood.

He turned into his corridor, feeling carpet under his feet then. In the quiet, the sound of someone else's steps were louder and for the second time that night, to Hakkai's surprise, he recognised the steps.

They stopped just as Hakkai looked up.

Gojyo was standing there, his jacket slung over his shoulder and his hand just curling around the knob to his own room. Hakkai saw that it was right next to his.

Gojyo let go and stepped back, facing him as Hakkai walked the rest of the way to his own room.

"Feeling better?"

Hakkai nodded. "Yes, although Sanzo was kind enough to let me know in very much the same words as you, Gojyo, that I'm not looking my best."

Gojyo scoffed. "Yeah, cause he's always perfect—pretty assed prick."

"Now, now Gojyo, what would happen if he were to overhear that?" He shook his head and reached for his own door. He was instantly aware of the strong scent clinging to the other man. His hand stiffened and paused a little on its way to the door knob. Then it closed around the cold brass, a little too tight. "It's a little late for me to stop Sanzo from shooting you." Now that wasn't quite how he'd meant to say that. And a glance at Gojyo's face showed that he was also a bit taken aback from that wording.

"He always misses anyway," Gojyo said, but his eyes were narrowed on him, "I thought you'd be restin' and stuff—"

Hakkai opened the door. "Have the wounds on your back healed?"

Gojyo fell quiet. It was like the very air between them changed.

Opening the door, Hakkai stepped in and left it open.

"Why don't I have a look and perhaps you might be able to sleep without any discomfort." Then he went inside without glancing back.

*

Gojyo watched Hakkai's back as he walked into the room. Then, after a few seconds, when his eyes had wandered to the pale back of Hakkai's neck, he moved into the room.

One thing that didn't change was that the thought of a pissed off Hakkai wasn't a good one. He scratched at his head as he followed him in, letting his eyes drop to the floor. He knew exactly where everything was. Especially the bed. He swallowed.

"Listen man—I'm pretty—"

"Sit."

Gojyo's head jerked up and his eyes narrowed at the order. But Hakkai was already dipping his hands into the water basin by the window and then drying them. He looked over at the chair that had been brought closer to the bed and decided to go for that instead.

He tossed the jacket on the bed and pulled his shirt over his head and sat down.

He tried not to tense as Hakkai stopped beside him. When he didn't say anything though, Gojyo looked up at him and found him staring down at him with that eyebrow arching thing he did.

"What?"

Hakkai smiled. Not the pleasant type of smile. "Yes. Of course that makes sense Gojyo. Because to heal something on your back, I have to do it while looking at your front."

Gojyo scoffed and reached into his pocket to fish out a cigarette. He leaned his arm back against the back of the chair and looked up at Hakkai.

"You pissy about something?"

The creepy smile faded and Hakkai opened his eyes to look at him. "Not at all Gojyo."

They stared at each other.

Gojyo wasn't sure what to say to him. The way Hakkai was looking at him told him that he probably knew quite a bit more than he had when he'd woken up. And he'd spoken to Sanzo. He'd seen the wounds on Gojyo's back and even mentioned it. Then he asked himself why he didn't feel as opposed to that as he had when he'd left after he'd woken up.

"It's late, Gojyo, and I fear both you and Sanzo are right about my needing rest. So I'd really appreciate it if you could turn around, so I can take a look at those for you."

Gojyo frowned at him. "I didn't ask you to."

Hakkai rubbed at his eyes. "This has never been a problem before. I'd appreciate it if you'd tell me if there is one now."

Gojyo shrugged and looked away from him, rolling his shoulders and then standing up to turn around and straddle the chair.

"Thank you."

The words were even quieter this time, and Gojyo resisted the urge to shrug again. Bracing his arms on the back of the chair, he waited for Hakkai to get started. Maybe he'd feel better after this. This was something they did all the time. Part of their routine. They got torn up—Hakkai helped when he wasn't torn up himself.

Gojyo stared at a spot on the opposite wall. This time, there'd been a moment when he hadn't thought it could go back to that.

It had happened fast. The group of youkai that had attacked them had been following them for days and they'd just been waiting. They always came for them eventually and this situation hadn't been any different.

Except it had. They hadn't been any stronger than the ones they'd fought in the past before. But then that small one, quick when they hadn't expected him to be, had snuck into the middle of the fight. He'd sank his teeth in so fast that it'd taken even Hakkai more than a few seconds to realise what had happened.

By that time, he'd already dropped down to his knees clutching his wrist and gasping. Those vines had already been bursting onto his skin and his fingers had been clawing at the ground. The limiters had still been on his ear. Still intact, not the smallest crack on them. But he'd shot into his youkai state so fast, it had sent the remaining youkai running. They'd probably known that Hakkai would've been more than enough to finish Gojyo and the others on his own if he chose to.

And he would've. His hand had been mid way to Gojyo's face before Gojyo had grabbed it around the wrist and yelled at him to stop—gripping Hakkai's chin with his other hand so he was looking right back at him. That was when things had taken a different turn.

Gojyo felt the trail of a fingertip down one scratch and flinched. Then he froze when he felt the warmth from Hakkai’s hand just hovering above his skin.

"Did I hurt you?"

Gojyo swallowed. "No."

"I see." Another sigh. Then moments later he felt the warmth that usually went with Hakkai's healing as well as the uncomfortable itching that meant that the skin was being healed at an unnatural rate.

As it moved down his back in slow stages, the room stayed silent. Gojyo could hear Hakkai's calm and quiet breathing.

The warm breaths warmed his ear. He could feel those sharp nails cutting into the skin of his back but he wasn't complaining. His hands were bound a little tighter than was necessary by those things that traced their path all over Hakkai's skin but he couldn't bring himself to worry about those either. Although he should've because his hands bound meant that Hakkai could gut him and he wouldn't be able to do much about it.

It didn't seem like Hakkai was very interested in doing that at the moment. His knees were planted either side of Gojyo's thighs, the inside of his thighs pressing to Gojyo's hips and his mouth nipping—he was dragging his teeth down Gojyo's neck, forcing Gojyo to tip his head back. His hips were moving in lazy circles, grinding Hakkai's heavy erection against Gojyo's.

It felt fucking perfect and Gojyo couldn't bring himself to complain.

Besides, the door was locked and Goku and the asshole priest were outside—though he didn't want to think too much about that—in case anything got out of hand.

But then the thing wrapped around his wrists released them to curl around just one instead and tugged. Gojyo let his wrist follow where it was leading and ended up with his hand between their bodies. He wrapped his hand around Hakkai's cock and closed his eyes as he moaned right into his fucking ear—shit this was hotter than it should be and this wasn't why he was doing this. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

"Gojyo?"

A warm hand closed over the scratch on his hips and Gojyo almost jumped off of the fucking chair.

The hand on him pulled away abruptly and he heard Hakkai take a step back.

Gojyo turned, opening his mouth and meaning to say that it wasn't that—that'd he'd just been thinking about it and then...

Hakkai had already turned his back on him and was heading to the bed.

"They should be fine now. I think I'm a lot more tired than I thought, Gojyo."

Gojyo stood there, his eyes boring into Hakkai's back as he reached down to pull back the sheets. His hands were clenched at his side.

"Goodnight, Gojyo."

Hakkai had started unbuttoning his shirt but when Gojyo didn't move, his arms paused.

Gojyo reached back, tugged his hair into one fist—clenched it in a frustration that he didn't feel he could voice. Then he reached past Hakkai, grabbed his jacket and his shirt and walked to the door.

"Yeah."

That was all he could get out when he tugged the door closed behind him.

It wasn't until he got into his room and his own bed that he realised that the one on his hip hadn't been healed.

* * *

It was the first time since Hakkai had woken up that they were all at breakfast together. Not that that was a good thing.

Sanzo was behind his newspaper. Hakkai was making polite conversation that no one seemed inclined to respond to. Gojyo was sulking and smoking more cigarettes at this time of day than he usually did. And Goku was eating as much as he could while his eyes shot from Hakkai to Gojyo, making it obvious that he was itching to say something.

"The inn keeper did say that it was three days to the next town, Sanzo. Some provisions are in order, wouldn't you say?"

Sanzo just grunted. "I want to be out of here before lunch."

Hakkai nodded and buttered another toast. "Of course. Goku, would you like to come with me?"

Goku's eyes widened and he swallowed a bigger chunk then he meant to. It looked painful enough and would've been the place where Gojyo would've come in and cracked some joke. But that didn't happen and that made Goku stare at him in something that looked a lot like shock.

Talking to Hakkai but frowning at Gojyo, Goku nodded. "Sure. That way I can pick the best stuff."

Hakkai winced a little at that. "Well, we'll see what we can do." He stared down at his toast and then seemed to change his mind and set it on Goku's plate instead. "As soon as you're done with breakfast then." He placed a hand on the table and pushed his chair back, getting ready to stand up.

It was impulse which made Gojyo's foot shoot out and hook onto the leg of Hakkai's chair.

Hakkai froze and looked at him. There was a polite smile on his face. His eyes were a cold green when they met his.

"Is there a problem, Gojyo?" he asked.

Sanzo lowered his newspaper, and Goku started shoving food in his mouth a little faster.

"I think we should talk." He forced the words out even though saying them in front of Sanzo was making it feel like he was spitting out something a lot more humiliating instead.

"Why, of course." Hakkai sat back down and linked his hands on the table. "What would you like to talk about?"

Gojyo stared at him.

In front of Sanzo?

He looked at the person in question and saw that Sanzo had lowered his newspaper and was even sipping the fucking coffee. Goku had just stopped eating and kept on swallowing repeatedly, his eyes on the table in front of him.

"Er... can't we go somewhere else?"

Hakkai gave a soft laugh and shook his head. "I'm afraid we don't have much time since we have to leave by lunch. Perhaps later, yes?"

And with that he shoved the chair back with enough strength to remove Gojyo's foot from it by force, inclined his head. "Goku, please don't take too long. Come and find me when you're done."

Goku nodded without saying anything, and Hakkai left without another word.

Gojyo stared after him, feeling pretty much like he'd just been slapped in the face. "What the fuck was that...?" he murmured.

It was Sanzo's snort that had him turning to look away from where Hakkai had disappeared.

"What?"

Sanzo looked up from the newspaper he'd picked up again, looking bored. "What?"

Gojyo pushed away his own plate and planted his hand on the table, leaning towards Sanzo. "What was that?"

"That was you being an idiot," Sanzo arched a brow at him, "I thought that was clear since it's something you do every day of your life."

Gojyo's eyes narrowed on him. "What's your fucking problem?"

"Well, let's see," Sanzo set the paper aside again, "you've been fucking him. He knows. You know. You leave, implying you don't want to see him. You come back," his lip curled in disgust, "probably stinking of alcohol and a woman as you usually do... and don't bother to explain anything. What do you think that makes you?"

"Look—you both know why that—"

"It's not that."

Goku's quiet words were enough to make the anger that had slowly been building into a haze inside his head subside, and he looked at him. Goku was looking at his—cleaned out—plate, with a sad look on his face.

"You didn't explain so he thinks you feel bad about it. Like you didn't want to but had to because of him." His shoulders slumped a little. "That's not... it probably doesn't feel nice, you know?"

Gojyo stared at him. It wasn't like the situation hadn't been like that but—

"Hey." Goku was looking at him now.

"What?" Gojyo fell back on the chair, rubbing his arm over his eyes. His jeans chafed against the cut still on his hip.

"But you wanted to, right?" Goku's cheeks coloured but he still didn't look away from Gojyo's incredulous expression. "I mean, when I was standin' outside and you two were, y'know... doin stuff, I heard you sayin' his name. It didn't sound like you didn't want to."

Gojyo shook his head at him. "It's not that—" he stopped himself. Why was he even talking about this with the monkey? "It'll just make everything weird."

"Why's it gotta be weird?" Goku sighed like Gojyo was the one who didn't understand. "I think he wanted it too. It was still Hakkai, you know? But you don't get it." Then he got up. "Anyway, I'm finished. See you guys later." And he went off.

Gojyo just sat there. What. The. Hell. Was he just told off by Goku?

He let his head fall forward and didn't even wince when he hit the wood a little harder than he'd expected.

"Shit..."

"I've got my gun right here if you need a little help."

"Fuck you."

* * *

 

It was probably contrived.

It was already way into two in the morning by the time they stopped at the first sign of trees and water they found. In the desert like climate, it wouldn't have been a great idea to stop anywhere else.

And Goku had decided it'd be great to swim at night since they were awake and everything. He'd even chanced the bullets Sanzo had fired at him until Sanzo had gotten tired of attempting to shove him off in the clinging heat and gotten out.

Hakkai had blinked in confusion at the wink Goku had given him as he'd tugged Sanzo away.

The silence that had stayed with the only two people left in the car made Hakkai assume that Gojyo had just settled down to sleep and so he let himself sink into his own seat and close his eyes.

Perhaps in time things would go back to normal and it didn't matter that, after Gojyo had left the room the night before, he'd remembered more snatches of what had happened when he hadn't quite been himself.

He was only in the lighter stages of sleep when Jeep shook. And Hakkai opened his eyes again to twist around and watch as Gojyo slipped into Sanzo's seat. He slid his arms behind his head and moved around until he was finally in a position he found comfortable.

"Now's a good time, right?" he said, tipping his head back and looking like he had just settled down to sleep.

Hakkai didn't say anything.

"You know, right? Maybe you've even remembered a bit." He turned his head then and looked at him.

"Is that a problem?"

Gojyo shrugged and looked out at the line of trees that Sanzo and Goku had disappeared into. "It's not what I expected, that's for sure. It all happened pretty—" he shook his head, "and the energy, man, you could see it coming off you in waves... it was like when Goku goes all crazy on our asses, you know? And you were looking at us like you were gonna chew us up and spit us back out so I—" Gojyo swallowed and Hakkai wasn't able to keep himself from following that small movement, "I just wanted to calm you down but then you looked at me and..." he gave a humourless laugh and leaned his head back again, "man, you should've seen Sanzo's face. Although I guess maybe I didn't think it was all that funny when it was happenin', you know?"

"I can imagine," Hakkai said, able to picture the situation only too well. He had his own little dreams to help him fill in some blanks. His shoulders sank a little more and he glanced down at his hands. "I apologise. You shouldn't have had to do that."

"Yeah but... I wanted it."

Hakkai froze.

"I was thinkin you know. Even though you're... you and we're... you know. We've stuck together for a pretty long time and shit. But if I didn't want to—" he snorted, "you really think I would've gotten hard for you just like that?"

At the... frank wording, Hakkai arched an eyebrow at him and felt something in his chest loosen when Gojyo grinned.

"I suppose... that is a fairly good point?"

"Yeah?" Gojyo's grin shrank a little but it stayed as a small smile. "I thought so. Monkey pointed it out to me after you went all cold on my ass."

Hakkai's smile at that could've frozen an entire population. "I wasn't inclined to be very welcoming when you avoid me, slip away to seduce a lovely lady and then can't even bear my touch long enough to let me heal you."

"Erm," Gojyo shifted and scratched at his head, "about that... yeah. It was because that was normal and I needed... I needed normal, I guess. But then, then I kind of uh... I was thinking about when we er, you know... when I came."

Hakkai stared. "Gojyo... that's..."

Gojyo's shoulders hunched as he crossed his arms and looked away. "What? It was an accident, okay?"

"Well... it's not the most... gentlemanly thing to do," Hakkai offered, a little weakly.

"Gentlemanly wasn't what I was going for... and it wasn't what had me all jumpy and stuff. When you were taking care of the cuts—I was thinking about it." Gojyo looked at him then and his eyes were a lot more direct than Hakkai would've expected them to be. "We did a lot of stuff..."

"Yes. I know."

"Look I know right? I'm not stupid and it's weird and I'm not sure that's it's—shit I just. I'd like to do it again..."

Hakkai sighed then and looked away from Gojyo. He could feel it though. He could feel his stare on him. "You realise that I am me and it... that was not..."

"No. It was you."

Hakkai almost jerked when Gojyo reached for his hand and, without even waiting for Hakkai to indicate whether it was okay or not, led it to his mouth.

Hakkai swallowed.

Gojyo reached to push Hakkai's sleeve back and then lowered his head. The red hair fell forward, shielding his face from view but Hakkai felt it. The soft brush of lips on his skin almost identical to what Hakkai himself had done when this whole thing had started.

He felt the graze of teeth next, running up towards the edge of the sleeve and then stopping. Gojyo closed his lips over the skin and sucked. And Hakkai didn't say anything, choosing to watch him instead.

"You know... if you still don't remember everything... I could show you," Gojyo murmured against his wrist. "I swear I could..."

Hakkai flicked his eyes up at the place where Sanzo and Goku had gone. "I appreciate what you're trying to say, but perhaps we're doing this at the wrong place."

The hot swathe of Gojyo's tongue on his wrist stopped. "Is that your way of telling me you don't want this?"

Hakkai stilled for a second.

They already had a relationship he liked, and he didn't want this to ruin that. But like Gojyo had said.

That had been him.

He blew out a quiet breath and, pulling his hand from Gojyo's, he ignored the look on Gojyo's face as he looked up at him and curled his hand around the back of Gojyo's neck, tugging him forward until Gojyo had to brace a hand on his seat to keep himself from falling on him.

Hakkai gave a small smile and leaned his head against Gojyo's.

"What would you like to show me?"

Gojyo didn't smile. He watched Hakkai for a few seconds, breathing warm air onto Hakkai's mouth.

Then he leaned forward, eyes still on him and his teeth closed over Hakkai's bottom lip, gentle but firm.

He parted his mouth at the first touch of Gojyo's tongue and he was still looking into the colour red as he did it. The warmth of Gojyo's hand on the back of his neck felt like a shock. But then Gojyo's long fingers were sliding up into his hair and pulling his head back slowly.

Gojyo's mouth slipped away and down to his chin. He bit down there and then continued, sucking little spots underneath his jaw that made Hakkai reach out to grab his shoulder. He mouthed his Adam's apple and Hakkai felt his belly start to tighten.

Gojyo had closed him in against the seat and Hakkai forgot that they were doing that in Jeep and in full view of Sanzo and Goku should they have chosen to come back at that time.

Gojyo's hair brushed against his jaw as his head moved lower, and his teeth began gnawing gently on his collarbone. Gojyo's hand slid low and his fingers slipped beneath his shirt to move along the skin of his stomach, palm pressing briefly over scar—a firm warm print over it—before curving over Hakkai's hip and then lower and to the side in small stages.

When those fingers brushed over coarse hairs, Hakkai gasped and Gojyo crowded closer. His other hand left the seat and he balanced himself on his knees, managing to avoid colliding with the wheel as he grabbed at Hakkai's leg and managed to slide a knee on the seat in between. It took some manoeuvring and Hakkai ended up with his back pressed to the door, one arm around Gojyo's neck and his head falling back.

The hot air didn't help matters and so when Gojyo shoved his shirt up higher Hakkai didn't complain much. He threaded his fingers through Gojyo's hair. The strands were cool as they sifted through his fingers. And then when Gojyo's hand closed over his cock, his hips jerked and he sucked in a sharp breath.

"Gojyo..."

Gojyo's hand squeezed right at the tip and Hakkai hissed. "I remember... you made loads of sounds like those last time." Gojyo mumbled it against the curve of Hakkai's neck. "Is it okay for me to make you do that again?"

"Of course." It came out shakier than it was meant to. "But perhaps... something more mutual...?" He moved his hands down and closed his hand over Gojyo's ass. And then he lifted his hips until they rubbed together through denim.

"Shit—shit wait, if we're going to..." Gojyo pressed his forehead against Hakkai's and then reached between them.

It was clumsy, his fingers weren't so steady as they worked out buttons and zippers and then with a groan, tugged himself free of his trousers and Hakkai too. He braced his hand on the door of the car and lowered himself against Hakkai.

It was cramped and hot, but Hakkai lifted his hips to help. He could feel the door digging into the back of his neck but couldn't make himself do anything about it. Gojyo buried his face against his neck and started thrusting against him, his arm wrapping around Hakkai's waist as they moved against each other hard and fast.

It wasn't perfect but it was good.

Hakkai had already pushed Gojyo's trousers lower and his fingers were kneading firm muscle. Gojyo was biting into his neck and he was thrusting harder and harder. Hakkai's thighs were quivering and his stomach felt like there was a spring tightening more and more.

It was when his nails raked down the swell of Gojyo's ass that Gojyo cursed loud—he bit down on Hakkai's neck and reached between them again and squeezed.

Hakkai's eyes squeezed shut and he shuddered on a quiet breath as he came.

Gojyo came with a low groan, thrusting sporadically against Hakkai until he pressed against him in a long slow grind and then slumped, gasping into Hakkai's damp skin.

They stayed like that for a bit, just getting air back into their longs even as the sweat began to dry on their skin.

"That was very..."

"Fucking amazing?" Gojyo asked.

"Yes. I suppose that will do."

"I can help you remember more if you'd like...?"

Hakkai opened heavy eyes to blink up at the starless sky. "Perhaps somewhere with a roof, Gojyo..?"

"Yes." The dry tone that came from behind Hakkai had them both freezing. "Please do us a favour and do it in a room."

"Wow... it actually worked, Sanzo! See, I told you."

"Shut up, monkey. I'll be having nightmares for a month because of you."

Gojyo shifted and worked his arm free. Hakkai didn't have to look to know what gesture Gojyo was making at Sanzo.

It surprised him when his chest started to shake with laughter.

"Hakkai?"

Things would be okay.

"I'm just fine, Gojyo."

Gojyo looked down at him. "Yeah?"

"Yes."