Categories > Anime/Manga > Saiyuki

And Sugar, We're Going Down Swinging

by Neo-rin 0 reviews

Sanzo is susceptible to new habits. Smoking was one. Gojyo is another.

Category: Saiyuki - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Cho Hakkai, Genjyo Sanzo, Sha Gojyo - Published: 2005-07-11 - Updated: 2005-07-11 - 2166 words - Complete

Title: And Sugar, We’re Going Down Swinging
Author: Neo
Genre: Drama
Rating: T
Summary: Sanzo is susceptible to new habits. Smoking was one. Gojyo is another.
Author’s Notes: AKA: Describing In A Very Roundabout Way Why It Wouldn’t Quite Work, Specifically If Everyone Really Was Gay.

This one was a fucking pain in the ass, and it’s so “Roundabout” that you’ll probably lose patience halfway through, but there is a plot, amidst the shitty poetry.



Also, I apologize for the severe lack of Goku-age.

Except when I don’t.

Also AKA: Neo Fangirls Gojyo’s Depths (Cough, Cough) And Tries To Cover It Up (And Does A Shitty Job Of It).

There was poetry.

/This is the way the world ends/, Hakkai hummed, and and the sheets were cottonthin, strangled, but it was his knuckles that were choking; the duvet watched indecently from his ankles. The glossy backs of his fingernails soothed the aching, faded scars. They were barometers.

And, apparently, broken.

Rain brings noise and it was querulous, constraining, /re/straining, consistent, dull drums. So familiar, he might have attributed it to the voice that belonged to the face that the heavy-ended droplets donned. The fluorescent lights reeled transiently overhead but the was is stark, cold enough to make him feel naked, so the light kept nothing at bay. No stronghold against the ceaseless, sparse rivulets of insect-scented gray.

He was but a man; the rain was many, worse than the armies. At least the youkai’s fingers were sympathetic, weaving false tapestries prophesying his demise; the rain’s fingers were translucent, knobs like bone latticing the sides, grafted unto each callus the face of a memory. Sanzo wrote often at the temple and saw the calluses for scars.

He permit his hands to tremble like the spinning world beneath his bed; he watched them vibrate against the backdrop of the tall, weathered inn walls, or perhaps it was his vision, colors swimming at his peripherals, undulating. /Failure, failure/, they whispered, and in a cheap painting on the southern wall he affixed a bullet.

/Failure, failure/.

Summer was arriving.

There was a hand, suddenly, average-sized fingers on and around the white slant of his distended wrist, gently guiding weary hands away from the window-latch; he aimed to lash out, to strike.

But there was no monocle, no gold as alabaster as the strained stretch of dead skin beneath it. No apology lurked on the horizon in the form of a brusque but moderately respectful tone. No sunshine nor snow-sun as master of his displayed civility; no cobwebbed discussions by April windowpanes.

“You’re late,” Gojyo said, cautiously. “It started raining an hour ago.”

The hanyou relinquished his grip and circled the room, hawkish in anticipation of a shot that never rang. And suddenly unsteady because it never rang, though—

Though the world stopped spinning.

Sanzo said, “Sorry to disappoint,” and perhaps meant it; Gojyo’s hand was sinewy, tense and taut like stretched garland on stretched halls. The muscles beneath his thumb ceased their silent protest when Sanzo hushed it with the tip of his forefinger.

The hotel restaurant’s yakisoba was hot and flavorless, and Gojyo nearly smashed one of Sanzo’s teeth cramming the noodles inside a stubborn mouth; his chopsticks shuddered.

Sanzo and his mouth yielded eventually; they usually did. Gojyo’s was far less reluctant, slick, hot, and pliant against his own.

• • •

Hakkai eternally wore the smile Sanzo purchased the other night, and it burned. Just a fraction, enough to be innocuous, phantasmal, like a childish fear and a threat.

Hakkai was alive.

Gojyo draped over the not-man like a curtain that fit, that truly fit, and the not-man draped back. Hakkai was a clouded window, opaque; Gojyo filtered the monster, anchored it to a coexistence, a balance, a center, and he was soft, silk, shimmering via refracted light from either side of the glass panes.

Goku was alive.

He was alienated, too. The quiet, the disagreeable silences Hakkai and Sanzo shared like expired, unloved corners reminded him of the suffocating rock walls, encroaching, all-encompassing darkness. Gojyo’s immaturity stole him past the blackness and decomposed birds, because.

The darkness must go.

Eyes carving incongruities into the dust-ladled pathways, Sanzo believed, if briefly, he was the fool.

• • •

He went to Sanzo, sporadically. A hand threaded in the brushed cardinal’s nest of his hair and another curled over his heart.

“We can’t do this,” he said, shuffling, his gait cordial.

And Sanzo told him, /Yes, we can/, and perhaps meant it—“we”—whispering it, his lips spoiled and bruised like a wash of unripe peach upon eggshells. Gojyo tasted of salt and whatever one wished him to taste of; if he believed, it would happen.

• • •

To the farthest corners of the sky lay a star upon which was made too many wishes; the star matched them with promises.

Sanzo was convinced the heat was the fire sizzling beneath Gojyo’s tongue, the gas the swelling hope, the faux pas twinkle the wishes Gojyo saved and bundled inside.

If Gojyo fell, Sanzo was convinced that a promise anywhere would remain unkept, unkempt, unfulfilled.

Only one of these unkept promises, Sanzo decided, was needed to prevent Gojyo from leaving—truly leaving.


Gojyo could not leave.

An unkept promise was the equivalent of another ghost; it would follow him, it would paint itself behind his eyelids, intrinsic as his mother’s hair. Ghost number what-have-you.

And Sanzo decided Gojyo had had enough of those.

• • •

The sky reeled querulously overhead, and Gojyo watched it.

“We can’t do this,” he said, calmly, and meant, /You can’t do this/.

His hair undulated in the wind like a tattered insignia.

Sanzo /felt/, acknowledged a depth in his chest, hot and bright and hopeful.

The color of Gojyo’s skin was riverside reeds, thin as Kouryuu’s gawkish boy-limbs. Koumyou substituted wooden flutes with reeds; Sanzo imagined music lurked still in his reedgarden of long—slender, not gangly—snow-white arms and legs.

“I do whatever the fuck I want,” Sanzo said, his voice molten steel.

Gojyo wrung his hands, deformed fortresses burning tenuously around his irises. “And what do you want?”

Sanzo said, “You,” and Gojyo clutched himself emphatically, his hair mimicking rainfall.

Hakkai scaled the cliff side; they spotted his hand first, palm flat on the rock wall, savoring the gritty sensation of red stone and soil. Gojyo’s mouth was cracked half-open, shadowed like an abyss, and Sanzo’s tongue was too shiny, and Hakkai smiled and they both took it for granted.

• • •

“I almost told him,” Gojyo whispered, and shuffled less cordially.

Sanzo drew a sharp, fragmented breath, painted it unto the bedsheets; his smirk waned.

“But I didn’t,” Gojyo amended.

Sanzo slouched against him and sighed.

“Shouldn’t he know?” he whispered, gingerly entangling his fingers in Sanzo’s hair; fool’s gold, he’d called it once. He scratched Sanzo’s scalp gently, thoughts of the future blossoming amidst his fears. “Should anyone?”

Sanzo wondered.

Lately, Hakkai roomed alone, used incense and burnt it to the wick. Silent nights. Candlelight vigil, as though he was attempting to lure ghosts.

“We could always—stop,” Gojyo said, and by “we” meant “you”. Before we hurt anyone. Before I hurt you.

“You can’t,” Sanzo said, simply, combating the fear unvoiced.

Gojyo misunderstood and said, agreeably, torment twisting his lovely hanyou features, “I can’t.” And he mustered his soul, nestled it in the juncture of Sanzo’s neck, and was the ghost.

• • •

Sanzo slumped, the bar stool swiveling unhurriedly, and glowered.

“Waiting for someone?” Hakkai asked, casually, evidently seated beside him.

“No,” he lied.

…And then Hakkai was standing, anger shading itself in the heavy-set lines of his perfect temple, usually unmarred by wrinkles because Hakkai never frowned.

Sanzo suppressed a wanton smile.

A guileful voice misted the nape of his neck, ruffling wheat hairfeathers. “Everything alright here?”

He hastily stubbed his cigarette. “Fine,” he said.

“He was mine first,” Hakkai hissed, and his smile was like a barbed-wire fence, glinting and dangerous and get-too-close-and.

And he would kill you. Kill-you.

His fingers folded about the angle of the countertop, and Gojyo said, “What?” and Hakkai said, “You know,” and it could have been for either of them.

And Sanzo smiled like cruelty, a fresh draught of arsenic, and said, “Where’s your name on him, exactly?” and knew where, and knew it was springtime mornings, puffs of dry warm light somewhere dark and deep. And knew, and knew, and /knew/.

And pretended.

Hakkai trembled, a fresh-dead leaf, and Gojyo said, “Okay, let’s stop this,” except he did not—could not—quite know what “this” was and no one would tell him. He angled his steps towards Hakkai, hardwood floors rumbling gratefully beneath the clamor of his boots, and said Hakkai’s name.

And Hakkai’s mouth parted, jaw coaxed loose via Gojyo’s smooth, smooth thumb.

He said, “Everything. Before you ask,” he said, fingers lowering Gojyo’s forearms, jaw-coaxing thumbs lured downwards and wayward, “everything is wrong.”

And left Gojyo standing, unresponsive to Sanzo’s hand on his shoulder and Sanzo’s tongue in his ear.

• • •

Suddenly: Gojyo remembered.

He stole past Sanzo’s room and apologized to Goku, muffling sleep-heavy snorts with fire-starting fingers. Goku rustled, sleepful, and said and heard nothing but a man’s too-mortal heartbeat and too-mortal nightmares.

Hakkai blinked and stared; Gojyo appeared, doorframe-shadowed and haunted, circles set deep beneath his eyes, bruises like open-mouthed kisses and hooklike fingertips littering a cadaver of a body, and said, “Let me take it back—all of it—I /will/. I’ll /try/,” he said. Desperate and beautiful, but: the tears.

They belonged not there and Hakkai told him so and.


Gojyo’d missed the smile.

Hakkai said, cautious, “He needed you. I understand.”

“No—no, you /don’t/—it wasn’t what—”

“I do,” Hakkai said, seriously, “better than he did. Ever.”


“Have nothing to apologize for,” Hakkai said conscientiously.

The wick was ground to a fine powder—the incense, trashed. Gojyo was a feeble lump beneath the coverlets and a hot ebb roiled from Hakkai’s soul to his heart to the skin of his toes.

He inhaled; the air was Gojyo’s cigarette-laden breath. Gojyo’s lips and tongue were fearful as never; Hakkai nipped his lip, soft and punishing, and he was vindicated.

• • •

Sanzo habitually awoke pre-rainfall; Sanzo’s old wounds ached pre-rainfall.

Except when they did not.

A month’s worth of April showers crawled through his mind, beetles of shadowed days—stag beetles, the sort one chased at summertime because one missed them and despised the way they burrowed from one’s perception. Spring beetles. Aching memories when the sun was brightest and hottest.

The sun assailed sleep-laden eyes, and Sanzo massaged his high cheekbones, weary. The scent of whorls of incense dissipated, bid from the morning light. He relieved the mattress of the burden of his body and the weight twisted in his soul; he missed the reprieve, but, for its sake, did not mourn for it.

Instead, he envisioned it: castles emblazoned unto the unending horizon, brighter than the westward sunset, welcoming him, stone-mouthed. It was sighing, now, perhaps, rolling its weary shoulders, heralding the loss of a ghost it both did not and did possess. Wishless stars. Poetry etched, wordless and nameless, unto a tanned body.

Sanzo stretched his spine, and it crackled; his organs gathered in the hollow of his throat. His fingers arced for the brass, rusted latch on the windowsill and—for a brief, agonizing eternity—he dared. He waited; he hoped.

He studied the wooden window frame, dancing hardwood textures, sketchy dark ellipses. He studied it hard. The grass creaked. He lifted and leaned, breeze sweeping golden bangs aside to permit the chakra’s visibility. Cold sunlight.

Summer was here.
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