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12 August 2012 @ 07:08 pm
fic: almost home, gojyo/hakkai  
Title: Almost Home
Author: Ellyrianna
Fandom: Saiyuki
Pairing(s): Gojyo/Hakkai
Summary: Sanzo cracked one off about how pathetic it was to be so devoted to a person. “I’m not,” Gojyo almost shouted, but the lie was so bad that he didn’t make it past opening his mouth. Completely self-indulgent 58 hurt/comfort fluffiness; my annual "Gojyo/Hakkai lying in bed" fic, with added appendicitis.




I.

Gojyo licked his dry lips as his eyes opened. He stared at the ceiling for a minute, forcing the wooden beams over head to focus. He still laughed to himself a little every time he looked at them, at how spotless, dustless, they were. He remembered how cobwebs used to string between the slats and how spiders would descend on silken strings in the middle of the night. Hakkai, of course, did not stand for such slovenliness.

A mild hangover seemed to have settled in overnight while he slept. As he slowly sat up and swung his legs over the side of the couch, Gojyo pushed aside thoughts about getting older, about bodies wearing down, about all of it. The answer, Hakkai would tell him, would be to drink less, not complain, and Gojyo was surprised that Hakkai was not doing just that currently. The clock on the wall said it was nearly ten thirty, which was well past the time that Hakkai usually rolled him off of the couch and into the shower while chastising him primly about continued bad habits. He could be out shopping, Gojyo knew, but the heavy snowflakes falling outside the window probably meant that that wasn’t the case. Curious, he stood, brushed ineffectually at the wrinkles in his shirt, and prowled around the house.

The kitchen was empty and spotless, which either meant that Hakkai had cooked and cleaned and there was breakfast neatly wrapped and ready in the refrigerator, or that nothing had been done at all and Gojyo would go hungry. Hakkai’s shoes were by the door, his coat on its proper peg on the wall. Gojyo scratched behind his ear and pushed open the bedroom door.

The bed was occupied, which was a relief of some kind; at least Hakkai wasn’t out braving all kinds of inclement weather for his precious groceries, which Gojyo had known him to do a time or two when he had a yen to cook a particular dish and needed fresh produce or meat or some rare seasoning to complete his vision. However, that it was this late in the morning and Hakkai was still asleep boded less well for any succeeding scenario. Hakkai was a big believer in mornings, in breakfast, in accomplishing goals in timely matters.

He could fantasize about Hakkai lying in wait, possibly naked underneath their piles of blankets, hoping to seduce his weary, hung-over, card-playing ass. The only thing he could ever do about that was fantasize, though, because the likelihood of it ever happening was slim to none. If there was seduction to be had – and from Hakkai, it was usually less coy and more perfunctory – it would be in the evening, after laundry was done and dishes were washed.

The only option left was the one Gojyo sat down on the edge of the bed to ascertain. His foot brushed a metal bowl on the floor as he lowered himself carefully down onto the mattress, and he wondered, in a vague, half-formed way, what it was doing in the bedroom. Then he found Hakkai’s shoulder under the eiderdown and shook it. “’Kai?” he said quietly. “Hakkai? You sick?” When he laid the back of his hand against Hakkai’s forehead, he found it hot and dry. Question answered. Gojyo sighed.

“Come on, Hakkai,” he said, louder. “Wake up, tell me what’s wrong.”


II.

Gojyo had gone out to play cards and Hakkai had finished cleaning up after dinner. They were running low on grocery money and in the winter, the kids Hakkai tutored dawdled or didn’t show up at all. It was a trek from town to their little house in the woods, and even though they were on the edge, even though the trees only sheltered them rather than obscuring them, the lessons tended to dwindle and drop off until the spring melts. It was fine, except that they needed to get by somehow.

Around ten, when he was puttering around absently, just stacking up the magazines neatly or checking the alphabetization of his books on the shelves Gojyo had built him, he had started to feel a cramp developing in his side. He stretched against the sofa and tried to ignore it, but then nausea started to grow in him, and, frowning, he grabbed a large mixing bowl from the kitchen and took it into the bedroom with him. He dozed on and off for an hour or so, then woke up feeling even worse. He vomited in the bowl but went and then dragged himself to the bathroom and cleaned it out in the tub because he didn’t want it to sit overnight and create a smell.

Hakkai laid on the cool tiles of the bathroom floor for maybe another hour, feeling himself grow hot, feeling his skin with his fingers, trying to decide if he had a fever or if he was unqualified to make that assessment. He threw up again in the toilet, and then took himself, bowl and all, back to the bedroom, where he stripped off to his boxers and crawled under the covers. Stomach throbbing, hands shaking, he closed his eyes and tried to sleep.

When Gojyo woke him up in the morning, he felt disoriented, disconnected from himself. His head hurt and the cramp in his side hadn’t faded. He wasn’t wearing any clothes and Gojyo, a blur of red hair, was peering down at him from his side, his big hand on Hakkai’s forehead. He was asking him a question, but he couldn’t see and he felt nauseas still and he squeezed his eyes shut, turned away.

“Hakkai,” Gojyo said, louder, too loud to ignore. “What’s wrong with you? Tell me, come on, tell me how to help.”

Hakkai couldn’t think how. He felt no better after sleeping through the night. He felt it was some kind of internal illness, something specific to him, for if it had been their dinner the night before, Gojyo would certainly have been similarly sick.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled. “My side hurts. I don’t know.” With difficulty, he pulled away from Gojyo’s touch. It was too warm. “Call Sanzo.”


III.

“Sanzo’s not a doctor. ‘Kai –“

Hakkai was something close to a doctor – a healer, maybe, but he always seemed to know what was hurting Gojyo when he felt bad, knew the right medicine to go and buy, knew just how much to coddle and kiss him and when to drag his ass out of bed and say with a smile that you get better by getting out of the house.

Gojyo, though…Gojyo knew nothing. And although there were few things he could think of that he’d like to do less than call Sanzo, he went into the kitchen and picked up the phone and dialed the temple’s number. He leaned his forehead against the wall, waiting as the dial tone rang, distant and tinny, in the receiver against his ear, and told himself that Hakkai was fine. He was fine. He always was. What was some bug to fighting, to beating, a monstrous youkai? What was the flu to years of driving and battling and living on next to nothing, bleeding day in and out?

A wheezy old monk picked up, and Gojyo had to ask for Sanzo, which then meant waiting with the temple’s shitty hold music playing for ten more minutes while the old geezer went to find him. He walked as far as the cord allowed back toward the bedroom and peered through the open door. Hakkai had his back turned to him, with the covers pulled forward so that Gojyo could see the knobs of his spine showing out from beneath his sweat-shiny skin.

His gut twisted and then Sanzo picked up. “What?” he asked.

“Yeah, miss you too, glad to hear from you, whatever,” Gojyo said, rolling his eyes. “Something’s wrong with Hakkai.”

He heard the distinct sucking sound of Sanzo taking a drag on his cigarette. “Yeah. So.”

“He told me to call you, dickface.”

“What am I supposed to do.”

“What am I supposed to do?” Gojyo countered.

“I don’t know, call a fucking doctor?”

“Did you see this damn snow? The old bastard in our town isn’t gonna truck out here in this. And if he does, he’ll freeze to death first, and then we’re really screwed.”

“I repeat,” Sanzo said, an edge of annoyance in his voice, “what am I supposed to do.

Gojyo had no clue. Sanzo was right – if they needed help, they could seek the assistance of Dr. Yang in town. Hakkai was probably too delirious to think straight, and had immediately defaulted to their old leader for advice…or, Gojyo thought, there was some part of Hakkai, buried underneath his sickness and all, that had an instinctive, correct feeling.

Desperately, Gojyo began rattling off his symptoms. “He’s got a fever. He said his side hurts. There’s – he’s got the mixing bowl by the bed, maybe he was thinking he had to puke or something?”

Sanzo inhaled on his cigarette again. “Hold on,” he said, and there was a click, and Gojyo was with the hold music again, a cheerful, mechanized jingle.

Fuck,” he shouted, slamming the receiver against the wall, but did not hang up. “Hakkai?” he called. “Hey, Hakkai, talk to me. Tell me something.”

The hold music clicked off as Gojyo stared, pained, at the bedroom, where Hakkai was neither talking nor moving. Sanzo said, “Bring him here. One of the monks had something that sounds like that a few months ago. They have someone who can take care of it.”

Sanzo hung up before Gojyo could ask him how the fuck he was expected to get to the temple in the driving snow. He had to content himself with coming up with every variation on ass, dick, and douche, and the various body parts he could combine those with, as he bundled himself in his coat and boots, dressed, and then carried Hakkai outside.

“Hakuryuu,” Gojyo shouted, heaving Hakkai, too gangly, too heavy, in his arms. He leaned against the backdoor for support. “Where the fuck are you? I need you! He needs you,” he added when the dragon, a perfect match for the snow, peeped at him, nonplussed, from atop the woodpile under the lean-to. “I’m strugglin’ here, come on,” he said, and, if asked, would have refused to characterize his tone of voice as begging.


IV.

Every bump that Gojyo drove over sent a spike of pain through him, and even though he was huddling in the hood of the coat Gojyo had dressed him in, the snow kept driving at his face. Gojyo was speeding, somehow, going much faster than he should have been over uneven terrain in treacherous conditions. He tried to tell him that, tried to speak up, but his quiet voice was lost in the roar of the engine, in the cacophony of Gojyo’s constant curses.

He couldn’t really see, either, because Gojyo had not thought to include his glasses when dressing him. He hardly remembered any of it, just Gojyo’s strong hands grasping him at his wrist or waist as he shimmied him into a pair of jeans or pulled a shirt over his head. He remembered Gojyo forcing him into a sitting position and then bending down, leaning forward, to slide Hakkai over his shoulder. He remembered shouting from the pain of that, at his throbbing side bumping against Gojyo’s knobby shoulder, but did not remember Gojyo apologizing.

He should be more polite, Hakkai thought to himself. It did not entirely come together, and slipped away before he’d formed it completely. He closed his eyes and tried to forget about his freezing, numbing face, his hands curled inside the coat, about how Gojyo hadn’t bothered sliding his arms into the sleeves, just buttoned it around him like a protective shell.

He dozed in the backseat of the Jeep as they hurtled through the pelting snow, the wheels sliding but always sure, Hakuryuu constantly looking out for them, making up for Gojyo’s shoddy driving. He woke up when Gojyo was hauling him out of the back, heaving him again over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, his arm clamped down like a vise over the backs of Hakkai’s knees.

“More polite,” Hakkai tried to yell at him, annoyed at being woken, unsure of what was happening.

“Not my priority right now, babe,” Gojyo sarcastically replied.


V.

The temple had access to Dr. Lee, who seemed to specialize in cutting things out of people. Gojyo carried Hakkai into a guest room that was a part of Sanzo’s quarters in the west wing, laid him on the bed, and shook Dr. Lee’s hand. Dr. Lee smiled a lot, explained nothing, and then waved, telling Gojyo to close the door behind him.

“What happened to the monk?” Gojyo asked two hours later.

He, Goku, and Sanzo were sitting with cards and beers in Sanzo’s bedroom, which was as sparse as Gojyo had expected, but Gojyo was losing badly. The other two were playing well, trying to distract him, but Gojyo was still wet and cold from driving in the snow in the topless Jeep, still shaken by Hakkai’s helplessness, still too old to really give a shit about pretense anymore. He was allowed to be worried. He figured that, at this point in the plot, it was his right.

Sanzo stubbed out his dead cigarette into the ashtray that sat in the middle of the card game. “He laid in bed for a few weeks. Then he got better.”

“It’ll be like the time you guys met,” Goku said cheerily, drawing another card from the top of the pile. “You’ll take care of him and stuff all over again.”

“I can’t imagine anything more thrilling,” Sanzo said dryly. “He gets to carry bedpans for Hakkai for a second time. Wow. Can I do it for you? Pretty please?”

“Shut the fuck up,” Gojyo snapped, tossing his cards aside.

“Oh, calm down.” Sanzo rolled his eyes and took a sip of his beer. He had waved off explaining how the monks let him drink and smoke in the temple, claiming that, in his own, isolated quarters, he could do what he pleased and screw the rest of them.

“We’ll visit,” Goku assured him. “Or you could hire someone to do it, maybe. Like a nurse.”

“I did it once, I can do it again.” The image flashed in his mind of him sitting on the couch, flipping through a magazine, while some innocuous girl washed and cleaned and fed Hakkai in the other room. It was hard to reconcile. The idea that someone else’s hands would touch him, would do all those things that Gojyo had done, was almost inconceivable.

They played another hand that Sanzo won with ease. Gojyo leaned back against the wall and lit a cigarette, eyes closed.

“What’re they taking out?” Goku asked, more to Sanzo than to Gojyo, he thought.

“Appendix,” Sanzo grunted in response.

“What’s that?”

“Something you don’t need, but if it goes bad, it fucks you up.”

Gojyo stood up and slammed out of the room then, banging the door shut behind him, and went to stand in the middle of the living area that connected the two rooms that Sanzo called his. He heard the two of them talking in the room behind him, Goku defending him, Sanzo cracking one off about how pathetic it was to be so devoted to a person.

“I’m not,” Gojyo almost shouted, but the lie was so bad that he didn’t make it past opening his mouth. He dropped his half-smoked cigarette on the ground and stubbed it out with the toe of his boot. Fucking Sanzo.


VI.

The other door, the one opposite Sanzo’s bedroom, opened an hour later. Dr. Lee came out, still smiling.

Gojyo had been sitting with his back against the wall. He stood up quickly and then shoved his hands in his pockets, tried to look a little more nonchalant, a little less frazzled and frayed than he felt. “Everything okay?” he asked.

“Everything okay,” Dr. Lee replied, his smile widening slightly at his own pun. “I will come back tomorrow to check. There is medicine he can take for pain on the table inside. He was sedated, but he wakes up soon, I think.”

“Thanks.” Gojyo nodded to him, then shook his hand. Dr. Lee smiled his way out of the apartment, and Gojyo let himself into Hakkai’s room.

There was a bloody sheet folded neatly by the door, and a set of cleaned instruments on the table he had mentioned. There was also, indeed, a bedpan on the floor. Gojyo examined the medicine the doctor had left behind, unscrewing its cap to sniff it, swirling it around in its glass bottle. When he finally turned his attention to the bed, he found Hakkai pale, shirtless, under the coverlet. Gojyo peeled it back to look briefly at his wound, but he was swathed in white bandages below his ribs, so there was nothing to see. He shivered to think of how closely the entire scenario mirrored the time they had met, like Goku had said. He thought of Hakkai in the road, the rain beating down, how his green eyes had opened and how powerless he had been in the whole thing.

Hakkai’s eyes opened now, too, green, bright, slightly unfocused. Gojyo knelt beside the bed so that Hakkai could see him better.

His lips moved, and a slight sound came out. “Glasses,” Gojyo heard, and repeated the word back to him. Hakkai nodded minutely, satisfied. Gojyo pulled them out of his shirt pocket and slid them over Hakkai’s eyes.

“Impressed,” Hakkai said. The word was so soft that Gojyo barely heard it.

“Give me some credit,” he scoffed, mustering up all the false bravado, all the laissez-faire attitude that he could. “After all this time, I think I can be relied on for something like that.”

Hakkai smiled slightly. It was a bare touch, but Gojyo got it. He grinned too, although he knew it must have looked pained, stretched. He reached up to push Hakkai’s hair out of his face, then smoothed his knuckles over his cheek. His hand shook slightly, and he drew in a breath that was more ragged than he would have liked.

“You can’t pull this shit, okay?” he told him, his voice quiet. “It ain’t fair, Hakkai. You – you’re good at crap like this. I’m –“ He stopped himself. “Not again, okay? Swear.”

“Swear,” Hakkai said. His hand moved, the left one, lying on top of the blanket. He patted the space next to him abstractly, more of a brief hovering of his palm over the sheet than any real movement. “With me?” he asked.

Gojyo kicked off his boots and, after a second’s consideration, his jeans, too. He climbed carefully over Hakkai’s outstretched legs to lay down on the bed beside him, pressing his forehead against Hakkai’s, reaching out to cup his neck. The metal of the frames of Hakkai’s glasses was cold against Gojyo’s skin. He rubbed his thumb back and forth over the nape of Hakkai’s neck, over the fine hair there.

Stay, that had been the first half of that question, Gojyo knew. Stay with me?

He smiled, said against Hakkai’s lips, “Always.”
 
 
listening to: Almost Home -- Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
 
 
 
rachel_reicherurachel_reicheru on August 13th, 2012 02:05 am (UTC)
oooo That was sooo wonderful :D thanks so much for writing it and sharing it :)
Elly: (saiyuki) kenren/tenpou; fateellyrianna on August 13th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading! :D
Summerbutterflie: BAMFsummerbutterfly on August 13th, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
*sigh*

I love 58 fluff. And this was great. Thanks for sharing.
Elly: (saiyuki) kenren/tenpou; if not nowellyrianna on August 13th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
Sometimes you just need to indulge in some fluff :) Thanks for reading!
dznerchickdznerchick on August 13th, 2012 05:22 am (UTC)
Loved it!
Very nice fic starring my beloved 58. Thank you for sharing it!
Elly: (saiyuki) kenren/tenpou; fateellyrianna on August 13th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Loved it!
Thanks so much!
evilchucklesevilchuckles on August 13th, 2012 05:23 am (UTC)
*siiiiigh* What a lovely way to start my morning. It's made me ever so happy.
Elly: (saiyuki) kenren/tenpou; if not nowellyrianna on August 13th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad! Thanks for reading!
akira17akira17 on August 13th, 2012 11:47 pm (UTC)
ooo goddes i loved this
poor gojyo :(
Elly: (saiyuki) kenren/tenpou; fateellyrianna on August 15th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC)
Thanks! And yeah, he's got a lot to deal with, doesn't he :/
Midorimidori_chan100 on August 15th, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
hdfgjkdfhgdfj baaawww, the cuteness is just too much, kyaa~! >w<

This was such a wonderful read, thanks so much for sharing!! ^^/
Elly: (saiyuki) kenren/tenpou; if not nowellyrianna on August 16th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading!
purpleiciclespurpleicicles on August 18th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
His hand moved, the left one, lying on top of the blanket. He patted the space next to him abstractly, more of a brief hovering of his palm over the sheet than any real movement. “With me?” he asked.

Stay, that had been the first half of that question, Gojyo knew. Stay with me?

He smiled, said against Hakkai’s lips, “Always.”


ACK. That's not the question I associate with Hakkai at all, but it's super-sweet and really works. I adore the mirroring of how they first met as well ^___^
Elly: (saiyuki) kenren/tenpou; fateellyrianna on August 19th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
Thanks very much for reading! It is weird to see Hakkai being more vulnerable than usual; he doesn't really let that on much. I envisioned this as post-post-Journey, though, where they're just an Old Married Couple and done pretending they can't live without one another ;)
purpleiciclespurpleicicles on August 25th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
I envisioned this as post-post-Journey, though, where they're just an Old Married Couple

Yes, it definitely came across as such - I love that part of their life ^^♥