A/N: Saiyuki isn't mine. Woo.

This is yet another different look at the 38 dynamic as involving Gojyo. For all of you who read "Hiatus," and reviewed, understand I'm getting a major kick out of Sariyuki's Incidents project and I like quite a few of the entries submitted to her site. I can never get enough of 38 done well.

I just don't subscribe to the theory that 38 should come easy -.o I prefer those angsty ones where Sanzo or Hakkai has to fight for it, or fight against it. The Incidents project has yielded a few of those, to my happiness. Waha. Oh, and thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. That was majorly shibby!

That said, the warning is only for shounen-ai. Welcome to the morning after. This is from Sanzo's point of view. Take it as you will, but be sure to enjoy.

...

Glue caught in the pads of your fingers. A string protruding from the perfect stitching on your socks. Splinters in your Dreamsicle. Air bubbles in hard candy. Paper cuts in the delicate webs between fingers. ...Bullet wounds.

When the offending glue is pulled away the fingerprints are stolen. The string is pulled and the socks unravel. The splinter is pulled and the tongue bleeds. The cuts are left bloody on their own. The bullets are buried in their new, cooling niches. It only seems natural.

He sits up before the sun, not even bothering to wipe the sleep from his eyes. The room stinks of sick and lonely, tinged with too much breathing and last night's sweat. He hadn't meant to feel that good. He hadn't thought it possible. Outside, one bird croaks an unattractive morning song, heralding the sun. The sound grates on frayed nerves.

He pulls his legs up and leans over his lap, resting elbows on knees. It is strange to feel only one thin layer of cloth between skin and skin. He hates looking down at himself. Red marks claw into his thighs, his neck, and in brilliant lines between nipples and navel. But it is better than staring at the stains. Better than watching the rise and fall of the sheets only inches away.

So.

In some circumstances, it is not a heavy word. But now, this morning, it is pregnant with a whole litter of revolting pups. He hates being naked but can't get up, not yet. He hates being naked. One hand absently follows the lines crossing over his stomach. The heat and oil from his fingers only inflames the itch. The blood under his nails is not his own. One of those nails is nearly ripped to the quick.

He stares at it, debating. To tear it between his teeth. To let it come off in its own time. He lets it remain for the simple reason that he wouldn't dare have it near his mouth at that time.

So.

It had felt good. Good was the only word for the sensation, because any flowery descriptions would never fit. Viciously, achingly, overpoweringly good. He glances over to the recumbent form by his side with appalled respect burning at some tiny pinpoint in his psyche. The pain hadn't been real then. Not in the hot, wet everysecond feeling like a voluntary marionette. And every string had been pulled so exquisitely. But they weren't meant to be his strings.

And the puppetmaster was all wrong.

So.

He stretches his legs straight before him, wincing minutely with one more look to his side. He stands and holds the wall, finding his feet and adjusting to his height. And he wonders, not for the first time, why.

Why he'd been completely sober and the gun hadn't come out once. Why he'd ever succumbed for entirely the wrong purpose. Why it hadn't bothered him as it does now.

The torn nail catches on the hem of his pants, tearing away and leaving a sharp, violet sting in its wake. Blue blood bursts into the oxygen and delights in it, turning deep red and staining the denim beneath it. He hisses and, half against his will, shoves the digit into his mouth, sucking at the wound.

So.

He hadn't fully expected that. Not any of it. Not the heavy hands or the skilful tongue. Not how good it could be, touching and being touched. It was the first time in a long time he'd heard himself use polite words. He hates the way it inspired laughter. He hates the way it didn't matter so much. Not in the hot, wet, everysecond shooting toward the sky.

It might have been different if the heavens had chosen to rain upon Icarus.

So, he thinks, this is how it all comes about. And that was how it was. In the most vulnerable moment, the completion of a mockery of Nature's motives, the name had escaped. Once, choked, and then again. Returned, in a different voice. A blonde head leaned helplessly back, lolling on another's shoulder, pale hands clutching ineffectually at the fabric of bedsheets. An open throat let loose, and the other responded in kind.

He frowns at the sleeping form, still breathing evenly. Accepting. He frowns into that, refusing himself the refuge of the one who knows. Red hair spills over the pillow, curling against the sweat on a tanned neck. There are hot, bloody bite marks where bare skin is exposed. He frowns into that, pulling his bloodied finger from his mouth and turning his blue-violet eyes toward the door.

So.

He had called out for Hakkai. And Gojyo had responded with the same name.

...And Gojyo didn't seem to mind.