Title: A Sweet Courtship Chp. 6
Theme: #6. The space between dream and reality
Disclaimer: Saiyuki and its characters do not belong to me, but are owned by Kazuya Minekua and her publishers. I'm just playing in their world.
Notes: Sorry for the huge delay on getting this out. Life has been busy, but very exciting. From this point on, I plan to at least get a chapter out a month if not more. This chapter is incredibly short, but there's a lot going on if you look closely. The next chapter will be much longer. My beta is the wonderful seshats_prodigy. <3 All mistakes are mine.
This was written for 30_kisses .
He must have been still partly asleep. It was the only reason Hakkai had that could explain the deep satisfaction that went through him at the sight of the single loop of green vines around Sanzo's wrist instead of alarm. The feeling itself was raw and instinctive, but that was no excuse. He liked to think he perfected hiding that side of him behind a smile.
Hakkai realized Sanzo was staring at him. He looked even angrier than before. Hakkai tried to school his expression into one of concern. He very deliberately took Sanzo's wrist and started examining the marking. It was both to get a better look as well as to prevent Sanzo from reaching for his gun.
"It's not real. It actually appears to be a very realistic tattoo."
Sanzo clenched his teeth. "That's not the point. Explain to me what the hell it's doing on my wrist."
"Ah ha ha, that's an interesting question," Hakkai said.
Sanzo yanked his wrist away and then went for his gun. He clutched it in his hand but kept it pointed at the ground. Nonetheless, the threat wasn't lost on Hakkai. "You have thirty seconds to explain."
Hakkai shrugged and tried not to be amused by how Sanzo's attachment to his gun reminded was reminiscent of a child with a security blanket. "I wish I knew. I suppose it might be some sort of aftereffect from the youkai." Hakkai bit his lip, hesitating for a moment and wondering the best way to explain. He did have an inkling as to what might have happened, but he needed to word it just right. "There was something interesting she said before her demise."
"Spit it out," Sanzo said as he ran his free hand over the marking, touching it lightly, almost stroking it.
"She stated that long ago, all youkai would chose a mate. They would go into heat. From what I've gathered, it looks like she stimulated that ingrained nature of the youkai she chose before killing him."
Sanzo's eyes narrowed as if he knew where the conversation was going.
Still, Hakkai trudged on. "Even though I killed her, I must have still been in heat and when you came into the cave, I suppose I imprinted on you."
"And how do we get rid of it?" Sanzo asked, his trigger finger twitching. He still hadn't seemed to notice that he was still stroking the marking.
"The only way I'm aware of is death. Ah ha ha," Hakkai said. It was true. She had said they mated for life, but Hakkai figured that telling Sanzo that would more than likely just get him a bullet in the head.
Sanzo's ground his teeth and looked down at his gun, obviously contemplating his options. At the same time, he finally noticed that he had been stroking the marking again. He jerked his hand away as if he had been stung, then he glared at Hakkai. "I'm not keeping this thing on me, so start thinking. I plan to get it off one way or another. Clear?"
"I quite understand," Hakkai said.
Sanzo gave a clipped nod. "And wipe that stupid expression off your face before I shoot it off."
Hakkai blinked and then realized that he had been smiling, but not his usual one. This one was close to a leer. Hmm, I really have to gain control. This could be... troublesome.
Sleep was a lost battle after that, and Sanzo, being the considerate person he always was, woke everyone up and said they were moving. There were complaints, but soon they were back on the road again and heading west. The next town was three days away according to their sometimes-reliable map.
Due to their rush out of town, some of their supplies was left behind, but most of it was there and would fortunately, last them until the next town. Strangely, the stretch from the previous town to the next was a quiet one. There were no youkai assassins jumping from trees or bushes, just an eerie quiet. Hakkai frowned. He wondered if it was the praying mantis youkai that had caused this or something else.
The thought of her made him think about how strangely quiet it was in the car. Gojyo and Goku would argue half-heartedly before slipping into their own thoughts. He wondered what exactly happened to them to cause it. He glanced in the rear view mirror to see them both looking thoughtful, maybe even a little sad, but besides their abnormal quiet they seemed all right. Perhaps it was just something they needed to think over. Still, he would keep an eye on them.
His attention on them was a small distraction from the real situation on his mind. Sanzo was currently sitting as far as possible as he could from Hakkai without climbing into the backseat. It might have been annoying if not for the way every once in a while Sanzo's fingers would trail to his wrist, stroking the spot where the vines were hidden underneath the black sleeves.
Just the thought of the mark sent a shiver of pleasure through Hakkai, and a part of him felt guilty about it. Unwittingly or not, he had marked his friend as a mate against his will. It was a horrifying violation, but a bigger part of him wanted to kiss the gloves, to pull them off and lick every leaf that pressed over the pale skin.
Eventually, Hakkai realized he was staring at the spot instead of the road. Not only that, but Sanzo was watching him do it, too. He started to apologize, but that's when he noticed the almost glazed look in Sanzo's eyes. His brow furrowed in confusion.
Sanzo jerked to attention and his head snapped up. He glared at Hakkai as if he had done something wrong, which he supposed was true.
"Is something wrong?"
"Just keep your damned eyes on the road," Sanzo growled out. He pulled a cigarette from his packet and placed it between his lips.
Hakkai looked back to the road, but a few seconds later his eyes drifted back to the sight of the long white cylinder Sanzo lips wrapped around it, sucking in a long drag. Hakkai was not a fan of smoking, but he couldn't help finding the entire act erotic when Sanzo did it. He appreciated the soft sucking of smoking, followed by pulling out the stick to let out a long stream of white smoky release.
Sanzo removed the cigarette from his lips with shaky fingers, interrupting the image dancing in Hakkai's head.
"Fuck," Sanzo breathed out.
"What is it, Sanzo?" Hakkai asked.
Sanzo looked momentarily dazed and then turned away, looking pointedly away from Hakkai. "Didn't I tell you to watch the road?"
Hakkai blinked and quickly focused on the road. He was surprised that he'd managed to not drive them into a ditch with as little as he was paying attention. He had never been this distracted before. Perhaps, Sanzo wasn't the only one who'd been affected by the mating. Though Hakkai didn't feel physically different, he wondered if there was something not so apparent happening on his side of their predicament, too.
Shortly after, they stopped for lunch and Sanzo stormed off alone. Goku looked confused and then hurried after him. Hakkai watched them go with a mixture of amusement, worry, and annoyance. Honestly, he couldn't explain why he had half of those emotions or maybe he just decided it would be the best for everyone concern not to look too closely at why.
"What's up with you and the monk?" Gojyo asked, fishing out a cigarette.
"I'm not sure what you mean," Hakkai said, pulling out a few items for lunch while mentally going over their provisions and how he might be able to stretch them, just in case the map wasn't as accurate as he would have liked.
"You two have been acting strange. I can't put my finger on it, but Sanzo's a lot more pissed off than usual."
Hakkai shrugged. "We have all been a bit strange lately. You and Goku have both been very quiet."
Gojyo nodded. "Good point. That youkai really did a number on us. "
"I think we're all still adjusting to what happened."
"And how's that going for you?"
Hakkai blinked and then tilted his head. "Surprisingly well."
"Shit. Usually you're the most fucked up of all of us. No offense," Gojyo said, taking a drag from his cigarette.
"None taken," Hakkai said with a laugh. It was strange. Usually, given the events that had occurred, he sould be more upset, but it was like a part of him had calmed. He was still angry about the youkai and how she used had Kanan and Sanzo, but this growing part of him didn't seem to care enough about it to react further. All it cared about was Sanzo. He felt a shiver of alarm run through him at the thought, but it quickly passed as the familiar scent of sunshine, blood, and ash, entered the camp. Without thinking, Hakkai took another sniff, this time smelling the scent of green. He smiled.
"Hakkai, you sure you're all right?" Gojyo asked, gently placing his hand on Hakkai's shoulder.
"Yes, quite sure," Hakkai said, smiling. He ignored the strange look Gojyo gave him and continued making lunch. He felt good; better than he had in a long while. There was still this itch inside him, something primal, something that was hunting, but right now, all he could do was wait.
He would claim what was his eventually.