DISCLAIMER: I don't own Saiyuki manga, anime or any of its characters. Minekura Kazuya is the owner of all great things that is Saiyuki.
PIECE OF ME
What is the most important thing in your life, Sanzo?
Hakkai pondered on the question he had asked a few weeks ago. The recipient of the question currently sat next to him, smoking in contemplative silence. Hakkai unconsciously emitted a suppressed sigh, reflecting on the monk's reply.
My lighter, my gun, and my scripture—in that order.
And I always keep them with me. Because I can't live without them.
Sanzo knew his priorities and he stated them fluently as if reciting an age old chant. The scripture represented the holy lineage passed on by his revered mentor. The gun protected the scripture and its owner. The lighter provided the flame for his smokes.
The declaration of the foremost valuable item was unsurprising as Hakkai expected nothing less than Sanzo to cater to his nicotine habit over the preservation of the sacred scroll. His logic in placing his personal need above his spiritual responsibility was amusing, unfounded, and very Sanzo-like indeed.
In retrospect, it was the seemingly uncaring demeanor of this atypical monk was what made him a vicious protectorate. His unique style of self preservation combined with his shoot-first-ask-later methods confirmed the holy man as the most effective of all creatures to guard over the sacred scroll. His unwavering creed to live solely by his beliefs and no one else's instigated the heavenly hosts to deem him the most suitable candidate for the preordained mission to the west.
It was one of the many characteristics Hakkai found uniquely endearing in this man he called his lover. And he wondered how the monk ever came to respond to his feelings as Sanzo rarely expressed the softer emotions let alone give in to them.
Although considerably more sentimental than his golden haired partner, Hakkai was never one to pine for outwardly sweet gestures. He preferred the private passion of the houshi over the sappy soliloquies of the superficial kind. Given a choice, Hakkai would pick the quiet, introverted love of the scowling monk any day of the week.
But every once in a while, he thought he wouldn't mind a bit more. There were carefully hidden moments when Hakkai wished he could receive further validation to his feelings.
It wasn't as though Sanzo neglected to do so in their private moments. When all was quiet on the westward front, there was no question as to their feelings for each other during the nights that were filled with deeds that only true lovers could experience. Sweet gestures meant nothing compared to the exploding passion that overwhelmed his senses to heights he had never known.
It was just that these occasions were too few and far between. Whether it was camping outdoors in the middle of nowhere or sheltering within the thin walls of a rickety inn, it was a rare event when the stars were in alignment and the heavens granted them a reprieve to experience some private moments in tandem. And it was even a rarer event when the normally laconic houshi expressed his feelings out in the open.
It was times like these when Hakkai's mind strayed and delved into the monk's answer to the aforementioned question. This lead him to the inevitable path of insecurity and doubt. He had hoped that maybe, just maybe, Sanzo might feel and even admit that Hakkai was somewhat of an important presence in his life just as he had admitted that Sanzo was in his. He was aware of the houshi's obligations and knew better than to expect such a miracle. It was a selfish thing to want considering the disposition of his lover.
But he couldn't suppress what he was feeling. He could no longer stifle the need which surfaced beyond the nights into the light of day. He wanted assurance of what he was feeling was something Sanzo was willing to accept wholeheartedly. That it was ok for him to continue to remain by his side to protect him, to need him, and… to love him. It was a hopeless cause to wish for such validation and he hated the torrent of emotions his insecurities had opened himself up to.
He now sat in fear of disclosing the weakness behind the smile that threatened to become less genuine by the second. The object of his tormented thoughts continued to sit before him; his eyes closed in preoccupied meditation. Hakkai stood and started to depart. He was determined to will away his weak thoughts before it began to affect the mission, the group, and him.
The short, gruff voice of the monk was the only warning Hakkai received as he turned around to instinctively catch a small, metallic object thrown in his direction.
A lighter now sat comfortably on the palm of his hand, his distorted image reflecting off the cold hard steel.
The youkai tilted his head in confusion, "Sanzo, you know I don't smoke."
"Ch'," he spat out. "I know, you idiot." Then followed with a meaningful stare as he allowed a slight softening in his tone for the following words,
"But I do."
And I always keep them with me…
Because I can't live without them.