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Might Tell You Tonight

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When you're quiet, but your eyes
Are saying everything I need to know

Gojyo winced as the knife neatly, if loudly sliced through the carrots on the chopping board as he watched the brunette at his duty. Anyone else would think that it was a normal scene but after nearly two years on the road together, Gojyo had developed a knack for detecting when something's not quite right. He took a closer look at Hakkai, his shoulders were hunched just a bit and he was standing a little more stiffly than he would be. What could have happened earlier? He let his mind wander back to the events of the day, till he was sure he got the likely answer.

"You're mad." Gojyo said at last, confident in his assessment as he lounged back in his chair. He had tipped it onto two legs, his own legs propped up on the table in a physical balancing act only slightly less precarious than the verbal one he was attempting at the same time.

Hakkai stopped his motions, the hand holding the knife suspended in mid-air as he looked up from the chopping board. He looked over at Gojyo, his eyes dark and his mouth twisted slightly as he cocked his head in a silent question.

"It was because of that comment Sanzo made, wasn't it? About the map and that you couldn't read it right." Gojyo laughed and dropped his chair back onto four legs. "But, babe, to tell you the truth, I could swear we passed by a few mountains more than once." He closely watched those green eyes, seeing them darken in a sudden flash of anger. Hakkai opened his mouth to speak, but Gojyo quickly cut him off before he could start. "But still, I don't mind. It means more days in inns like this with you." Those eyes softened and Hakkai finally smiled. Hakkai shook his head and resumed his cutting, abandoning his stiff posture of earlier. “And your cooking is always a treat too.”

 

I want to burrow like a sparrow
Dodging alley cats and whiskers

The next blow came from the left and Kenren parried it, coming face to face with his marshal. Kenren desperately grinned, his heart pounding faster than usual as he leaned in, past the crossed katanas and with another leap of courage, gingerly placed a kiss on the corner of Tenpou's mouth. He hesitated for a split second, starting to draw back his sword but suddenly the pressure against his blade was gone.

"Is that all you're going to give me, general?"

The next thing he heard was the clatter of Tenpou's katana being tossed to the ground. Strong, deft fingers grabbed hold of his jacket lapels and pulled him in for a proper kiss.

 

Why do we talk in whispers?
Is it painful, hearing voices ring
So early in the morning?

Tenpou woke up naked and with a pounding hangover. He turned to his side table to look for his glasses, but suddenly found that he was somewhat hindered. Blearily, he turned back and attempted to figure out why he couldn't turn. His gaze fell on his arm, and then travelled up to his wrist and to the tie securely knotted around said wrist. He squinted at the tie, recognising it as his favourite red number, the one a certain general picked out for him last night. Speaking of generals...

"I see you're finally up." Tenpou looked over to the blurry black-haired figure at his door. "How're you feeling?"

His mouth opened and closed, and then Tenpou smiled. "Glasses." He requested, waving in the general direction of the side table with his free hand. "And how much did we drink last night?" He added, lifting as much of what he could of his other arm.

Kenren smirked, "Too much if you can't remember that you were the one who suggested it."

 

I've been waiting for the day
When I can throw away these numbers
That line my dresser drawers and cupboards
Start me over

"You sure about this, man?" Banri took another disapproving look at Gojyo. "There's two of 'em and two of us. We could swap after we're done like we always do." The two girls hanging off his arm just giggled drunkenly, trying their best come hither gazes at him.

Hakkai would have dinner ready on the table, by now, with everything covered with a cloth to keep the flies off. Gojyo just squirmed under the weight of their eyes on him. "I dunno man, I'm just kinda hungry and 'Kai wou-"

"'Kai?" Banri repeated in disbelief. "You even have a pet name for that goody two shoes now? What is he to you, your faggot partner? Is he what you've been doing since I was away?"

And if he was still up, he'd even reheat them on the stove, not the fucking microwave, just so I'd have hot food to eat. "Shut up man, he was married." Not exactly the best response, but now all he wanted to do was to go home and eat some Hakkai-cooked food. Gojyo turned and started walking back to the house. "And I've gotten standards now."

 

Life seems so much slower
With your toothbrush by the mirror
Can I make it any clearer?

Wait a second... Kenren stepped over to his mirror and frowned at his reflection. He had been eating quite a bit recently, but surely that was no reason for his uniform jacket to be so snug on him suddenly. It was too short as well, and he was well past the age of random growth spurts. The tightness across his shoulders was strange too, since he didn't remember trying to actively work that area when at the gym.

Kenren pulled the edges of the jacket together to see if he could button it up, but to no avail. He squinted at his reflection again, wondering if he could requisition another jacket or two from supplies in time before his next mission in the afternoon.

He sighed and patted the inner pocket for his cigarettes. He absently tapped one out, lit it before he put it to his mouth to take a drag. Almost immediately, he looked down at his hand to the box.

Ark Royal.

Kenren sighed and went to the closet door to pull out the correct jacket before shrugging out of his lover's uniform.

 

They'll tell you that you'll maybe make it
If you just cut your clothes and change your hair
But I won't fuss and moan
'bout what you wear

"I think I should cut my hair." Gojyo opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling before moving so he could look down at the man lying on his chest.

"Hmn?" He offered in response. He moved his hand from Hakkai's back to gently tug on his hair. "Cut it? Why?" He tried to recall the last time they had a haircut, but all he could remember were their haircuts while on the journey.

Goku was always the one most excited about it, he'd ask Hakkai to cut it in the fashion of that one guy they saw in the bar, or that performing lady in the square, and once even asked Hakkai to do his hair like how Gat did his. Hakkai would always just smile, shake his head and proceed to give him just a trim before tell him to be off. Sanzo never said a word, but would just let Hakkai do whatever he wanted to his hair. Oddly enough, whenever it was Gojyo's turn, Hakkai never did more than trim the barest minimum off, even if Gojyo had requested it be cut shorter by an inch or two.

"Because a few of the kids tell me that I look like a girl when I turn around." Hakkai said with a short laugh. "And Itoh-san even-"

"What did he do this time?" Gojyo quickly cut in, feeling that same stab of irrational jealousy every time Hakkai talked about his touchy-feely co-worker. "Do I have to have some words with him again?"

Hakkai smiled and leaned up to peck him on the cheek. "He just said that he agreed with the kids." He brushed some of the blood red locks away from Gojyo's face. "And I can stand up for myself, remember? You don't need to go and intimidate that poor man just because he once drunkenly kissed me at the New Year’s party."

"Well, he shouldn't have done that either, and especially not when I was at the same party. Did he think I won't find out?" He huffed, still gently tugging at Hakkai's hair. It had grown midway down his back, but Gojyo thought he liked it best when it was just beginning to sweep his shoulders. It reminded him of Gonou and of someone else he faintly remembered, the memory bringing with it a smell of cigarettes and dusty old books.

Hakkai moved so that he was listening to Gojyo's heartbeat. "So you're saying I should cut it? Perhaps that won't give Ito any reason to comment further on my appearance then?" His fingers found their way back down to the red-haired man’s chest and were now idly playing with a nipple.

"Well, I don't really care what you do with it, but we're not mourning anybody just yet, so maybe you should keep it. I'll even buy you a dress if you wanna take it all the way with this 'looking like a girl' thing." He teased, his mind suddenly flooding him with how good Hakkai would fill out a sexy dress.

"Only if I get to buy one for you too. Your hair is longer than mine." Hakkai replied, hitting him lightly as he laughed.

"Fair enough." Gojyo said airily, his mind suddenly making plans that should never see the light of day.

 

I feel so much better
When I read your dirty letters

Goujun lifted the next stack of papers from his in tray to in front of him. It was all part of the job, he reflected, the higher up you go while not actually near the top, the more paperwork you got. He supposed the emperor must be eyes deep in it, but then he was sufficiently decorated to hire people to do it for him.

He dutifully started slogging through the new batch, and paused for a while to look at the next piece of paper in his hand. It felt different. Rougher for one, and oddly sized in comparison to the uniform a4 80gsm gold bordered company paper the army uses. He squinted at it, trying to make out the crabbed tiny writing on it. This was definitely not the usual paperwork.

Goujun sighed and gave up on the tiny writing, opening his side drawer for the rarely seen pair of glasses he kept out of sight. Kami liked to believe dragons had perfect 20-20 vision and he would hate to disabuse them of that belief. Maybe it was that he was getting older or maybe it was all the candlelight reading with one of Marshal Tenpou's strangely intriguing books but fact remained that he now needed glasses for words smaller than a size 10 font and that was for typed words, ant proportioned handwriting like this definitely a call for them.

With the species-disappointing glasses firmly perched on his nose, he then proceeded to take a proper look at the writing. He read the whole thing through, slowly blinked, and then put it down. Almost as an afterthought, he peered at the bottom of it, checking for any signature. There was none, as expected. This slip of paper was stuck to the back of a hastily stapled form that was due from all his marshals. He had an inkling of who it could be from and who the intended reader was to be but, just to be sure…

Goujun put it up to his glasses occupied nose and took a sniff. Unexpectedly expensive cologne, cheap sake and ah yes, Hi-lites.

He stared at the paper again, quickly skimming through the text. Some of those positions talked about could very well be with women but if the books he borrowed from Tenpou were any indicator, they were also commonly used by men. Two men to be precise.

He read through the letter again, this time noting that the paper was most likely torn from a book very much like the ones he borrowed from the marshal.

There was reference to an item of clothing usually worn around the neck being used in a rather unorthodox way.

There was mention of possibly robbing a sake store in order to ascertain agreement with using the aforementioned neck decoration for another misintended purpose.

Cigarettes after the act were also there in the text. Probably as a last ditch effort to sway the reader into agreeing.

Finally Goujun let himself read the letter and this time, allowed his mind to wander along paths rarely travelled except in the dead of night. There was the faintest blush on his face and soon enough he stood up, grabbed a nearby bottle of face and moisturising lotion and headed to the bedroom, still clutching the letter.

 

Just wear your sweaters in the winter
'Cause I wouldn't want you to get cold

Tenpou sneezed. "And after that, Akito and the rest of his men will follow behind, ah choo!" He blew his nose into a handkerchief. "So we all agree on this plan of ahchoo!"

The men around the desk in the cramped tent all watched him warily. Tenpou was aware of one of them getting up and leaving, but with his eyes halfway shut, it was hard to say who. He felt a stab of annoyance, but let it go. Perhaps whoever just left didn't want to catch his cold.

He straightened up and put his glasses back on. "So as a recap, Kenren will go on first with two handpicked men over to achoo!" That was probably the hundredth uncontrollable sneeze he had since he started the briefing. He honestly felt like crying, the flu that he had gotten ever since they came down to for the mission in this cold hadn't left him and he was feverish and shaky and had a pounding headache to boot. "Kenren and his men will go over to this position." He said as he tried to point the exact location on the map. "And achoo!" Whoever said kami don't get colds should be dealt a hard knock on the head at the very least, he reflected as he tried his sentence again. "Kenren will -achoo!" There was a gust of wind as someone came back into the tent.

"General Kenren will relieve Marshall Tenpou of his command for the current mission until said marshal is fit for service." A blissfully warm coat was draped around his shoulders. Tenpou peered up at the newcomer to see his lover, looking back down at him with a worried smile. "I got permission from the dragon." He added, holding up a scrap of paper that somehow fit all of their dragon commander's large handwriting and seal. "It’s okay, I looked through your notes for this mission, I can brief the rest."

Tenpou smiled tiredly back at him, "Thank you, general. I'm sure you'll do a fine job. I'd kiss you, but then you'd get my cold and plus, the men are watching."

Kenren waited for the catcalls to die down before brushing back the bangs from Tenpou's forehead to plant a kiss on his lover's forehead. "Don't wait up for me, I arranged for someone to bring you food every day and the doctor will drop by in the evenings. Go back and rest, Ten-chan."

 

I hope that we're together when we're old
I would have sold all my possessions

It was that habit of his that got them into this mess. And it had gotten worse after the journey ended. It was probably the thrill, Hakkai thought, which made him bet more and more, the stakes getting higher and higher till it came to this.

The owner of the pawn shop looked over at what he had and named a price. Hakkai felt a hollow pang in his stomach, it was not enough. He needed more to get Gojyo out of his predicament. He thought about the silver cuffs on his ears, but, no. That was not the answer.

"These are worth more, I'm sure of it." Hakkai said, looking the owner in the eye. "Please."

His pleas fell on deaf ears. "No, sorry. That price is final."

He found himself clutching at something hanging from around his neck, thinking desperately. No, then yes, after that, another no fluttered across his mind before his mind made itself up. With leaden fingers, he reached to the back of his neck, unclasping the necklace. He pulled it out of his shirt, looking at the intertwined red and green jade that hung from the simple chain.

Gojyo had given it to him for their first year back home together. He had come in while Hakkai was cooking and slipped the necklace over his head. When questioned about where he got it from, Gojyo had just waved it off with a laugh and a kiss. Hakkai didn't press further. It was a beautiful piece, with such a large stone that was either valued at priceless gem or worthless trinket. It seems like it is now time to find out.

How many years, decades even, has it been since then? He had lost count around the time Sanzo passed away, and Goku moved away to escape his grief. Now it was just Gojyo and himself alone in the world, much like in those few days after Gojyo picked him up. The kids they fostered all made their way through the world and came back for holidays every few years. Hakkai didn't begrudge them, not when their adopted fathers made a life changing journey right in their twenties. Well, they had Jeep but the dragon found transforming into his vehicular form more and more taxing with each year.

The shopkeep almost snatched the necklace from him, quickly turning it over to inspect it. "This is a really nice trinket for an old man like you." He said with a smirk of something calculative.

"Just tell me how much it's worth." Hakkai finally said, knowing that the price had been set for him.

He named a price, too low of course, but with it, he could pay off the men holding Gojyo hostage and then berate his lover into working for their stuff back like the past few times this has happened.

What else could he do? He was long past the age of reckless fighting and he knew that their kids would never forgive him otherwise, Hakkai accepted the offer.

 

Never took piano lessons
But baby you're a grand

Kenren opened the door to Tenpou's office and walked in. He checked the bedroom and unexpectedly found the marshal still fast asleep on the bed, shifted to one side as if waiting for a rakish general to slip in with an arm around him. The solo mission he took yesterday must have really tired him out. No matter, a sleeping Tenpou was much better than a Tenpou that tried to read half the books before putting them back into their proper place. Idly, Kenren started wondering about the past partners his lover must have had before him to the point that he doesn’t seem to get affected when Kenren starts talking about his past conquests. Experience in these matters seem to always go one way, with his partners getting huffy or upset about their apparent comparisons to the many previous others. Tenpou would just look up at him from whatever book he was reading, shrug and then get on with his life. Frankly, this strange apathy bothered Kenren more than it should but that was a thought for another day.

He tied the apron firmly around his waist and walked purposefully towards the mess that was Tenpou's bookshelves. He glanced up, most of the books on the top shelves seemed to be making an attempt at flying but had predictably landed on the paper orgy that was the floor. Kenren smirked in triumph as he spotted a straggler perched on the very edge of the shelf, just waiting for him to accidentally jostle the bookshelf and send it to realise its dream of soaring directly onto his head. "Got you." He murmured, taking the last few steps towards it with his arm outstretched before he suddenly registered a dull thud and sudden pain across his thigh.

He blinked confusedly at the waist high table thing before sweeping books off it. It was not a table, not in the least. But…

A piano.

A fucking piano.

Which definitely was not there the last time Kenren stepped foot into Tenpou's office.

Was it? Every time he tidies up, he finds something new so perhaps this wasn’t too much of a surprise.

Probably?

Kenren lifted the lid and pressed down on a single white key. An appropriate tone came out from somewhere in the sea of books. Huh. Guess it was real. Could Tenpou even play an instrument to begin with? He pushed at the next few books nearby, uncovering an instructional booklet on piano maintenance, the one right under it was a beginner’s guide to playing simple chords and songs. Suddenly, Kenren stood still as he tried to bite back his laughter.

It was barely a week ago when they went down to a bar with live music and Kenren remembered making an aside comment that the pianist was smoking hot and could probably do a lot more with her fingers than just dancing across the ivories. Tenpou didn't say anything then, but he did catch sight of him just staring in the direction of the band often. Kenren turned to look at his softly snoring lover in the next room. Looks like some bookworms do get jealous after all.

 

And I will learn to play the good notes
And tune you up the best I can

“Damn it ‘Kai.” That was the first thing he heard the moment he woke up. Hakkai made an attempt at a smile before his body decided to give an update on how much pain there was waiting for him to realise it. He let out a strange sound, somewhere between a groan and a shriek before a wave of red came into his view. Those crimson eyes he loved so much stared back down at him. “What did I fucking tell you about over healing others till you can’t get out of bed?”

He attempted another sound of dissent but couldn’t make it past yet another strange noise, this time a mix between a hiss and a cough. The vague memories of how they came across a village that was recently attacked by youkai came to him. So much death, from both youkai and humans, and he tried hard to heal up the ones that were still breathing. He got into a sort of trance, a feverish need to help restore as many lives as he could, that he didn’t remember stopping.

A light tap on his cheek and the curtains of red moved away to a chair next to him. “You didn’t wake up for a few days and we were worried since you didn’t eat and I had to drip feed you some porridge to try and get some food in you.” From his limited view, he could see Gojyo with his knuckles pressed against his mouth as he stared back at him. “‘Kai… I.” Was it just his fatigued eyes or was the redhead actually crying? “‘Kai, you can’t keep doing this to me, fuck!” A quick swipe at his eyes confirmed Hakkai’s suspicions. He heard him take in a deep breath as he tried to get his usual voice back. “The last time, you were out for a day and a half. We didn’t know if you’d even wake up again. And. I mean, Goku’s worried sick and the fucking baldie’s been smoking pack after pack.”

Hakkai closed his eyes and exhaled, feeling something strange within him. Sure, both of them had been exchanging glances throughout the entire trip and didn’t complain when they had to bunk in together even if they had to share a bed or especially when they had to share a bed and body heat and the next thing he knew was they were spent, naked and cuddling with no other words left to say. He had always chalked it up to the both of them needing release in some way, surely Gojyo was in desperate need for sexual relief the way he pounded him into the bedsheets that night but Hakkai didn’t expect it to happen again. And again. And again. Or the familiar way the half demon crawls into his bed at night just to hold him close as they both fell asleep. Or the way Hakkai found himself fighting by his side not out of necessity anymore, but some kind of strange need to protect what he found was his.

Hakkai opened his eyes as he felt a warm weight on the bed and careful arms were holding him close. “Once we’re out of this damn journey, I’m gonna buy you that stupid picket fence house you always wanted, and we’re gonna adopt so many fucking kids that you’ll feel like a stupid mother hen with all those lil chicklings and you’ll never need to do stupid things like this ever again. I’ll take care of you properly, so you better stay alive till then.” It hurt so much to move, but Hakkai managed to squeeze the hand in his tight. It wasn’t the marriage proposal he thought he’d be getting, but it was the one that he would accept a hundred times over.

 

And I just might say it tonight
I just might say it tonight

Tenpou looked up at the sky. The moon had just come out from behind a cloud and was radiating light fiercely down on them. Just down the slight hill from him were the men, sitting around a campfire as they unwound from the mission earlier. His hand still hurt from the careless slash he took in an attempt to protect his latest general and he pulled on the self administered bandage a bit tighter.

Front and centre was the kid, he wasn’t a war god no matter how he looked at it but what he lacked in age was quickly being made up with experience with how often he recently gets deployed out. Nataku, his name was …Li Nataku. Tenpou lit up another cigarette as he watched the men interact with him, trying to get a laugh out of the reserved child. For some reason the poor kid was shocked when the First Unit started to fight alongside him. He didn’t say anything but the marshal could see the worried glances he threw at the men turn into some sort of confused thanks.

“So that’s where my Tenpi is.” A blissful warmth draped itself around his shoulders and Tenpou pulled Kenren’s jacket closer to him. “I thought you’d be brooding somewhere and I was right.” He sat down next to him and pulled Tenpou’s cigarette pack out of his hand. The click of a lighter filled the air and now there were two glowing points of orange in the semi dark. Tenpou could feel his other hand being taken and he moved in closer to the kami next to him.

“Don’t catch a cold.” He said as he looked up at his bare chested lover. “Remember the last time you did something this stupidly gallant, you ended up in the infirmary because you suddenly found out how allergic you were to those particular insect bites.”

Kenren shook his head and pointed with his cigarette to the group around the campfire, now engrossed in a game of what he hoped were charades. “Kid honestly thought he’d fight alone.”

Tenpou hid his smile, for some reason this general seemed to always know what he was thinking. “I have a suspicion the other units do leave him to it.” He paused then, “You know Li Touten? He’s-”

“The creepo with dreadlocks and a beard?” Kenren continued, a hint of mirth in his voice. “Yeah, I’ve seen him skulking around the military base a few times.”

Tenpou took a drag on his cigarette and blew it out. “He was asking around about what requirements were needed to be a wargod, amongst other things. But before that, he was trying to curry favour with some of the officers, buying gifts, giving bribes, you know the drill. He got to a reasonable level of authority then decided to have fun and test his limits.” He looked up at his lover, “Promise me that you won’t get too mad at what I’m going to tell you next.”

Kenren shifted and squeezed the hand in his tight. “You know that by saying that, I will get fucking angry, right?” Tenpou jabbed him hard in the ribs. “Ow! Okay, fine. I’ll try.”

“I had just been promoted to Marshal then, but hadn't gotten all the paperwork and ceremony sorted out, had misplaced my seal again.” A snort then and it was his turn to get an elbow in the ribs. “Yes, yes, I know, put things back where I found them. But yes, I was at a party one night and Li was there. He got unbelievably drunk and tried to drag me behind the hall for some deeply unwanted intercourse.” Tenpou shivered then and the hand in his tightened even more. “But I managed to fight him off and hid out in Konzen’s office, which was nearby. Li did not like the fact that I rejected him and tried his best to kill the promotion paperwork until I arranged for Goujun to catch wind of it.”

He quickly leaned up and planted a kiss on his lover’s cheek. “I have a point to this story, I promise.” From the light of the cigarettes, he could see Kenren take a deep breath and then silently nod, waiting for him to continue. “But by doing that, Li effectively lost what foothold he had in the army. Time passes and he just scurries about like the little insect that he is and suddenly from nowhere he produces this war god.”

Kenren watched the men all throw their heads back in laughter, the sound barely audible from where they were, the kid was laughing along as well, the first time he seemed to finally relax. “Looks nothing like that bastard too.” He squeezed his lover’s hand tight. “I had a feeling the creep had a weird fixation on you, he keeps staring at only you whenever I see him. Next time he does that, I’ll knock his ligh-”

“You’ll do nothing of that sort.” Tenpou suddenly pulled his lover down onto the ground and was looking down at him, his hair falling like a curtain over his face. “With Nataku around, and with the sudden need for someone who can kill, Li will try to test his boundaries again and I don’t want you doing anything stupid.”

Kenren ground his cigarette out on what he hoped was a dirt patch before he reached out to gently cup his lover’s face. “I’m doing it because I love you. That’s not something stupid.”

Even in the darkness with only the faint glow from the fire and the light from the ever present moon, he could see his marshal’s eyes widen. “You probably say that to everyone you sleep with.” He said, almost as if to convince himself.

Now it was his turn to grab hold of Tenpou’s jacket and bring him down for a hug on the dirt and grass. “I’ve never meant it before.” He could feel his lover relax suddenly and soon a seeking mouth found his for a kiss.

“I’ll hold you to it.” Tenpou replied after they broke off. “No matter what happens next, no matter how many other people you sleep with after this, no matter how many lives I’ll live through, I’ll find you and make you say those words over and over again.”

Kenren reached out with familiarity in the dark to just hold his lover tight. “Not if I find you first.”

 

I just might tell you tonight
That I love you
And you should stay all my life

Gojyo was suddenly woken up by someone shaking his foot. Jien was staring down at him, his small ten year old face scrunched up in some sort of displeasure. "Papa Hakkai said you were supposed to go down to the shops today." Gojyo cracked a smile and stretched before he pulled his sunhat lower down his face. "Well tell him Daddy Gojyo is too tired from replanting all the vegetables he wanted him to do."

"He said you'll say that!" A smaller head with a long braid whipped out from behind her brother. "And he said that if you don't go now you have to take all of us in Jeep to see Uncle Sanzo and Big Bro Goku in ten minutes for class."

Gojyo rolled his eyes but got up from his napping spot in the corner where the shed met the newly painted white fence. "You got me there Kanan-chan. Now are there any more of you lil rascals waiting to give me more work from the mighty overlord Papa Hakkai?" Two more heads ducked out of sight from behind the shed and Gojyo chuckled. "Well, you gotta decide then, are we going to the monk's boring lecture on I don't know, tree nuts or something or are we gonna head to the shops for some candy and this long list of groceries Kai told me to get?"

That got them all riled up and Gojyo led the way to where the once little white dragon slept in his kennel. Jeep was now the size of a small pony and transformed into some sort of minivan when needed, which suited them just as well. "Nataku, if I catch you and Koumyou feeding Jeep those weird nuts again, you'll be doing double chores for a week!" Caught in the act, the twin blond human boys kicked at the dirt before nodding with identical pouts.

Gojyo got into the driver's seat and patted the steering wheel lovingly. "You know where to go, old friend." He said as he leaned back with his hands behind his head. "I'm just gonna take a na-"

"Gojyo!" That familiar voice stopped him right there and then and he saw his husband come out from the house, clad in the stereotypical white apron and headkerchief as he brandished a ladle threateningly. Hakkai came up to the side of the van to shake said weapon at him. "Now you're taking the kids to class, aren't you? And not going to the horse races like the las-"

"Come on 'Kai, what do you take me for?" Gojyo tried his best disarming smile, the one that worked wonders on the baker for extra loaves of bread, the fruit merchant for a discount on off season produce, and most importantly, the strapping adult Goku had grown into for the occasional babysitting work.

Years of hectic journeying coupled with the decade of quiet domestic life had made Hakkai almost immune to that easy charm but he melted just a little bit. "Well, it shouldn't have happened in the first place." He bent down and pecked him on the forehead. "I'll trust you to do the right thing."

The kids behind them all started screaming their dissent as usual.

"Papa Hakkai!! Don't do that eww!"
"Gross! Can't you kiss somewhere else?"
"Daddy Gojyo just close the window already!"

Gojyo felt his husband run his fingers through his hair as they pulled away and he caught sight of the devilish smirk he gave him as they pulled out of the driveway. The years have thankfully been kind to them, and what started with an abandoned youkai baby boy left on their doorstep one day continued with a human baby girl the next year. They named the boy Jien, after Gojyo’s estranged brother and brought him up the best they could, and it was only fair that they named the next one Kanan, after Hakkai’s first love.

Three years passed and a strange quick illness ravaged the village they stayed in, a simple fever that did not abate unless measures were taken upon immediate diagnosis. Gojyo remembered looking up at Hakkai while in bed, feeling so hot and so weak and so useless while his husband tried to cool him down with both ice and his own ki, all intertwined with the soundtrack of their two precious kids screaming for attention in the other room. Gojyo’s fever thankfully broke through quickly and he was soon up and about assisting Hakkai and their town doctor as much as he could.

Once the brunt of the illness was over, they found themselves with two more mouths to feed, twin blonde boys born right before their mother succumbed to the same fever that killed her husband. Goku volunteered up the name Nataku, a troubled look flashing across his usually open face for a moment as he recalled their last fight, and Sanzo took a look at the other baby before quietly uttering the name of his master, Koumyou.

And lastly, their newest addition to the family was forcibly thrust upon them, a strange child with pure white skin and red eyes. His mother was human, and terrified of this child that she insisted wasn’t hers. Albinism, Hakkai said it was, a rare genetic condition, but there was still no reason for this child to not receive the same amount of love. They were going through the list in an ancient book of baby names and Jeep, normally content to let the humans do as they liked, kept stopping them at the name Goujun. This Goujun was a bygone dragon king, mentioned in passing as a footnote at the bottom of the book but still, they called him little Jeep-Jun, and proud adopted dragon parent Jeep was always tailing the little crawler wherever he went.

Gojyo dropped the kids off at the temple for their lessons and with a guilty look at the shopping list stuffed into his pants pockets, went to get the groceries before heading back. Hakkai greeted him with that same wicked smile when he got back. “So it's just us now.”

“Yes it is.”

“And Jun-kun of course. He’s sleeping in the other room, so you know the drill.” Deft hands unbuttoned his jeans and Gojyo found himself enjoying the best part of raising children, the short bits of stolen time away from them. And also the sex that could usually only take place during those times, of course that went without saying. Something about how they had to plan and steal their touches and kisses made it all the more dangerous and it was definitely not something Gojyo ever thought he’d enjoy. He'd never thought this was where he'd end up after all, not street urchin Gojyo with a chip on his shoulder, how could he have become this responsible adult with a happily married husband and five kids to raise? But now that he was here, he's not complaining, not when it could have ended up so much worse.

He rolled himself off his husband, panting softly as he caught his hand and brought it up for a kiss. “Hey, Kai?”

Hakkai curled himself up to him as usual, preparing for his ten minute post coital snooze but he stirred at the question. “Hnm?”

“I’m glad you found me.” Gojyo paused at that, puzzled at that strange phrasing. Where did it come from? And why did it feel like a kind of half forgotten promise? “I meant, thanks for being here. For staying with me. For everything. I love you.”

Hakkai pulled himself up to look down at him, and for a moment Gojyo swore his eyes shone faintly purple before he blinked and nodded. “I love you too.” And in that voice that he knew meant that Gojyo better not wake him before he was ready. “It's your turn to change Jun later on, don’t forget.” The hand holding his squeezed tight and he closed his eyes as well, drifting off as he dreamt of a multitude of things.

Of lazy days spent in a dusty library, of action filled afternoons with a team of guns and shouting, of twilight quiet sips of sake underneath blooming sakura trees, and finally back to the nights dozing off with pure contentment and someone he called marshal, then friend, then finally, lover fast asleep by his side.

In that strange fuzzy dream, he could hear Hakkai speak with the voice of someone else, but someone else that he knew and loved. "Looks like you can still keep a promise after all, dear general."

He replied back in the dream, his voice his, yet not his own. "Did you take me for a one lifetime stand, marshal?"

Laughter then. "See you in the next life as well, Kenren. I can't wait to see what we get to do next."

Gojyo stroked the dark brown hair that was spread over his chest. "Just sleep now Tenpi, it will be my turn to find you first next time."

"I'll hold you to it."