Disclaimer: They don't belong to you? Not mine, either. So I guess we're all out of luck.

Warnings: shonen-ai

Notes: Er... none, really. Just a grave nod to Pearl Harbor and John Lennon and my hopes that you'll enjoy it and give me reviews for my birthday! (Throws confetti. Looks at confetti on floor. Watches cat eat confetti off of floor. Sweatdrops...)

----O-O----

Cho-sensei

by Nightfall

----O-O----

There are advantages to not being someone's first lover. Rebound is always a concern, but only if you're unselfish enough to care, and he is adamant with himself: it's Hakkai's problem, not his. There are definite benefits to experience.

Hakkai has taught him how to fall asleep. That wasn't an easy lesson. It goes against his nature not to order the man out of bed. After being ignored often enough, though, he got the message.

It took some time for him to relax enough to not just stare uncomfortably at the ceiling all night and spend the next day dozing like a ramrod in the passenger seat, but he had help. Hakkai helped him find the angle of an arm that would fit below a neck without falling asleep, the positioning of a head to not slowly crush the lungs, how to twine the legs without tangling them, how to turn over if he wanted privacy without losing contact. In time, he learned to fall asleep while being talked at, even while being stroked. It helped to know that the smiles would be a little sweeter in the morning.

Hakkai has taught him to wake up gently. The first morning, Hakkai found the muzzle of a gun pointed at his forehead between blinks, but his body has learned that warmth means he can relax his guard. An astonishing thing, learning to like mornings.

He'd never admit it, not even if someone were to slide burning needles under his fingernails, but he's learned a solid appreciation for muzzy and half awake. Hakkai forgets his own name overnight, and when he wakes up it's blurry smiles dragged down at the edges by only biological fatigue, and soft touches he wouldn't admit to liking even if someone were to slide burning needles under *Goku's* fingernails. There are kisses he couldn't let himself allow if he were more awake--embarrassing ones, on his nose and chin and temples, drowsy hands through his hair, hands languidly placed on him without intention. Not 'I will do,' not 'you will feel,' just 'here I am--there you are.' They last longer if he kisses back.

Hakkai forgets himself when he wakes up. It's only when he stops being asleep that he remembers, with all the soft, impersonal cruelty of precipitation. Kisses and blurry smiles and trailing fingers, and then something clicks off in his eyes--or is it on? The smiles go vague, and he just stops. There's no intention, no decision; Hakkai just isn't there anymore. It can take all day to get him back, a whole day of insulting and ignoring until the fool remembers to wonder why his feelings are hurt. The world has always been terrible, though, and this hurt is bearable, and goes hand in hand with relief.

He's even learning, more slowly, to survive the rain, under Hakkai's tutelage. This lesson can't help but be painful, and he learns it only by example. Still, the difference between tolerating Hakkai's fussing to avoid an argument and letting Hakkai take care of him because having someone else to focus on helps Hakkai has turned out to be enough to get him through.

He has no complaints to make. His life has become almost livable, since Hakkai taught him what to do with his nights, and surprisingly enough, it hasn't cost him his edge. He wishes though, sometimes, that some more advanced student could teach Hakkai how to be awake.

[end]