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Nightmares

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Hakkai sits up with a gasp, his right hand covering his eye. The clinging shadows of his dream—Kanan in that place—clench at his cold clammy skin. He feels pale in the rain-covered moonlight, like a ghost of a man.

"Nightmare?" Sanzo's body is hunched on the windowsill, the smoke from his cigarette curling into the damp sky.

"Yes," Hakkai breathlessly acknowledges. He pulls the sheet from his sticky skin, his shining scar barely visible in the low light.

"Her?" Sanzo takes a long drag and flicks ash out the window. Hakkai imagines the sizzle as it hits the wet ground.

"No," he says to be kind. "Just something else."

"Tch." Sanzo stubs out his cigarette and stretches his legs, long and bare. "You always dream about her on nights like this."

Hakkai lowers his head, the splash of blood and taste of helplessness fresh in his mind. "I can't believe I even fell asleep."

Sanzo's lip twitches—it could almost be mistaken for a smile. "You were kind of worn out."

Hakkai does smile, allowing thoughts of Kanan's torn belly to be replaced by the more recent memory of Sanzo's lean flesh. There are similarities between the two images: gasping, pulling, tearing, spilling, distance, beauty.

He tries to convince himself it is just a draft from the window that causes him to shiver.

"What would you do if I asked you to hold me?"

Sanzo snorts. "I'd tell you that you'd have better luck if you dressed in drag and hit on the kappa."

"Would it be that easy?" Hakkai can hear the softness in his voice, that unnamable thing deep inside him that still seeks comfort. No matter how intimate he has been with Sanzo, there's still something inside, waiting to be sated.

Sanzo sits next to him, fingers digging in under Hakkai's chin, tilting Hakkai's face up until their eyes meet; Sanzo's violet eyes are always both sad and hard. "Nothing is that easy."

"And what about before?" Sanzo's hands had been under Hakkai's shirt before they had fully shut the door. Their clothes are still scattered across the floor, one popped button somewhere under Sanzo's robe. The marks at Sanzo's neck are still purpling, blood rising to the skin.

Sanzo's eyes slide closed as he leans toward Hakkai, lips shimmering with saliva. "We both have nightmares to chase away."