A/N: Not much to say about this one, only that it took way to long to put up. I'm just glad it got up at all. I'm still uncertain about how it came out, so comments and criticism are greatly appreciated. (when are they not?) This contains ST/Goku and Sanzo/Goku, though the 39 has more emphasis on it. This also contains a very soft lime.

Please enjoy.

The Tournament

The roar of the crowds was deafening and Sanzo grimaced. Great, just what he needed. He was pulled from his nice, cozy bed almost at dawn to head down to the arena, just so the screaming crowds could blow out his eardrums. He scowled deeply as they finally found their seat, somewhere high up in the back so the fighters below looked like ants. He frowned deeper, squinting and leaning forwards to make out who exactly they were watching. Why had Hakkai dragged them out this early to watch a match anyway? Their fight wasn't for another few days, and Sanzo wanted to take those days and do nothing more then sleep and possibly drink.

Although, as Sanzo let his eyes trail around the large coliseum, he realized that the stands were full. Hell, they were more then full. There were people standing, cramped against one another cheering for all they were worth. He had never seen a coliseum this packed before. Sure, Scrimmages could call a hell of an audience, especially when the finals in a major tournament dragged around, but this was only a preliminary match. Why would there be so many people for such a simple, meaningless fight?

Sanzo yawned again, wishing he had had time to grab a coffee before they left. To his left, Gojyo sat, yawning almost as loudly as he was. His red hair had been tied back lazily and a bandana had been added around his head to absorb the sweat, but otherwise it looked like the man had just rolled out of bed. Glancing to his right, he found Hakkai staring down at the field with a pair of binoculars, the hair on the back of his neck raised in anticipation. He'd never seen his teammate so strung up over a Scrimmage match before. He knew Hakkai liked to study their opponents before they fought, but what had the man so anxious?

Then again, this game was much different from where they had learned it, Sanzo thought bitterly as he turned back towards the field. Nothing had begun yet; they looked like they were preparing the obstacles for the next round. Scrimmage was supposed to be nothing more then a game, but in the big city the people had taken all rules and thrown them out the window. Gojyo, Sanzo and Hakkai had all grown up in a small town and they had played Scrimmage together since as far back as they could remember. Scrimmage was a passion for its players. The point of the game was using the weapons provided, you were supposed to take out your opponents, while minding the traps set out on the field. The traps back home had been things like uneven ground, sludge, ropes—things that could trip you up or make you lose your focus long enough for your opponents to strike.

However, in major tournaments, traps were things like tacks, random flying weapons, or even small landmines. It wasn't unusual for people to die in big city matches.

Even murder was accepted in Scrimmage games.

Sanzo hated to admit it, but that little spice of excitement was what had driven him to want to enter and win a Scrimmage tournament. His teammates had seemed unsure about it. Hakkai was used to the calm, safe matches that usually only led to a broken bone or two. Gojyo just wasn't used to the whole idea of only "two people teams," since they had always grown up with three man teams.

"What the hell are we doing here, Hakkai?" Gojyo called over the loud roar of the excited crowd. Sanzo scowled, sitting back in his chair. They had nothing to scream about, damnit. The fighters weren't even out yet.

"I figured we'd get a leg up on our opponent," Hakkai called back, not tearing his eyes away from the binoculars as he scanned the near-empty field below. "I hear the champions for the last five years are competing."

"In a preliminary round?" Gojyo asked, before snorting, airing out his white tank top that had been incrusted with dirt and sand. They had only recently crossed the desert that separated the large city from their hometown; Sanzo still hadn't been able to wash all the sand from his hair. "Why don't they just buy their way into the finals like every other champion before them?"

Sanzo grumbled, resisting the temptation to fan himself with his hand. The sun was beating down on them and he wished he'd put on sunscreen. He was going to burn at this rate.

"I heard about these guys," Hakkai said, still not turning his attention from the arena below. "They like to fight, so they take part in every battle they can."

Gojyo let a sneer cross his features as he leaned back in his chair. "Excellent. It shall be a privilege to kick their prissy little asses then."

Sanzo snorted, dismissing his redheaded teammate's comment as the roar of the crowd grew in tenfold. The fight was about to start.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" the announcer's voice echoed through the stadium, ricocheting off the stone walls as he stood in the middle of the field. Sanzo squinted, attempting to see better but guessing it really didn't matter. "For the third preliminary match in the Gold Cup Scrimmage Tournament, we have two young novice fighters, going up against Frayer City's pride and joy for the last five years, our champions!"

The crowd roared again, causing Sanzo to wince. Over ten thousand people crammed into the stands, all jumping up and cheering for the home team. Sanzo instantly understood why the stands were so packed, even if it was a preliminary battle. Hakkai wordlessly handed him the binoculars, and Sanzo studied the field. He could see holes in the sides of the arena where possible darts or arrows would shoot from. The uneven ground caused Sanzo to frown slightly, but what was even more alarming were the painfully obvious bear traps set out for the incredibly stupid. For a preliminary battle, it looked painful.

"For our challengers!" The announcer called out, a tall, birdlike man with angular features dressed in what looked like a suit. Far too thick on a day like this, Sanzo thought irritably. He turned towards a nearby door, watching as a young man and woman entered. They looked to both be in their late twenties, possibly thirties. A young woman with short black hair and shorts stepped out, waving and blowing kisses to all the young men. The man with her seemed to be sucking up the audience attention as much as his partner and Sanzo could only sneer. What idiots. "Mei and Gyun!"

The crowd cheered appreciatively, but then silenced as the announcer turned towards the door on the opposite end. The large wooden door swung open, and two young men approached. "For our Champions, defending their title for the sixth year; the twin brothers, you know 'em, you love 'em: Goku and Seiten!"

The crowd cheered, screamed and hollered as though they were trying to snap their vocal cords. Sanzo frowned, studying the pair that had stepped out from the door. Neither of them seemed to care much for the crowd's appreciation, instead focusing on their opponents. They both appeared to be about the same height; the brothers only really distinguishable by the length of their chestnut brown hair. While the one on the right wore a sleeveless black top and gloves, with rough, worn out jeans and short brown hair, the one on the left looked slightly more feral. He wore fingerless red gloves, his pants loose, making them seem easier to move around in. He also wore no shirt, simply a tattered vest that barely covered his bronze chest. While the one on the right held a long red staff in his hands, the other brother held nothing.

"Hold on a fucking minute!" Sanzo snapped suddenly, passing the binoculars to Gojyo as he turned angrily to Hakkai. "How old are these brats? They barely look sixteen!"

Hakkai smiled calmly at his partner's outbreak, already used to his short fuse and knowing exactly how to handle it. "They're nineteen, Sanzo," he answered calmly, pushing the sounds of the announcer from his mind as the man went on about the rules and the circumstances of winning the fight.

"Then there's no fucking way they can be the champions for five years! You have to be at least seventeen before entering a Scrimmage tournament," Sanzo declared, frowning in clear distaste.

"You should know that every rule has been broken at least once," Hakkai replied calmly, the gentle smile still in place despite his obvious dislike for the situation. "They were a special exception, since they were such good fighters, not to mention they drew a crowd."

"No fucking shit," Gojyo snapped, turning his attention away from the match and growling in pure, unguarded hatred. "Since people here wouldn't mind seeing two fourteen-year-old's be mauled by men twice their age." Gojyo growled, thrusting the binoculars back in Sanzo's hands, as though he couldn't stand to watch anymore. "People are fucking sick; it makes me regret ever leaving home."

"Remember why we're here, Gojyo. Don't let these people ruin your love for the game."

"Yeah, yeah."

A large siren went off, and Sanzo placed his binoculars to his eyes. He watched as Seiten and Goku didn't move right away, waiting and watching as their opponents drew their weapons. The woman held a long curved hook on a chain, similar to what Gojyo wielded but much crueler and difficult to handle. The man had a large club with spikes; to imagine those kids being hit with one of those…

The boy with the staff raced forwards—Sanzo assumed his name was Goku as a woman next to him called out a cheer. Goku raised the staff, giving out a war-cry as he struck out at the man. He was blocked and the pair stood in a standstill. Sanzo watched the pair push against each other, and almost gasped when Goku managed to push the man back, swinging his staff around and smacking the man hard in the shoulder. With the scream the man produced and the way his face paled Sanzo didn't doubt it was dislocated.

The boy was good; he'd have to give him that.

Arrows suddenly shot out from the nearby wall, and Goku dodged gracefully, flipping as he landed not far from his brother. The boy was grinning with anticipation, gripping the staff hard as he lunged out towards the woman. Sanzo eyed Seiten, as the young man merely stood back with his arms crossed and watched. The woman swung her chain in a deadly arc and Goku merely threw his staff out, catching the chain and yanking. The woman couldn't hold her ground and went spiraling forwards.

By this point, the crowd had begun up with a chant that sang out, "Sei-ten!" probably in the hopes to see the other twin in action. Goku glanced back at his brother from where he stood next to the young woman, and Seiten nodded. Goku turned back to the woman beneath him, who had foolishly left herself on the ground—defenseless. Goku simply clipped her across the head with his staff, hard enough to knock her out but not to kill. At the same time Seiten appeared next to the young man who went about collecting his club, and with one swift punch to the face he crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

The referee hurried out into the field, along with the announcer and a few paramedics. They all waited on baited breath before the announcer laughed, the sound catching on the microphone as he stood. "As expected, our champions are victorious!" The crowd let out a loud cheer as the twins stood next to the announcer. Seiten stood with his arms crossed and a slightly annoyed expression on his face while Goku grinned broadly.

Grabbing the microphone, Goku pulled it close and exclaimed, "Heya everybody!" His voice sounded abnormally high for a nineteen year old, and Sanzo grimaced despite himself. "Me and my brother are back for another year, so make sure you cheer for us! And hey, if we win again, we invite you all down to Sparky's tavern for a beer—on us!"

The crowd gave out a loud cheer, excited at the prospect of free liquor. Sanzo's eyes widened marginally, hidden behind the lenses. How much money did these boys have to invite ten thousand people for a beer? How many contests—how much prize money had they won…? Were they really that good?

Goku offered his brother the microphone, and Seiten accepted it after a moment of hesitation. "Let's just see if this year's contestants can even stand a chance against us," he said in a lower tone then his brother, radiating battle lust and the thrill of the fight. Seiten turned his eyes up into the stands, scanning, before he paused. Sanzo swore the man was looking right at him, his lips curling upwards into a smile. "Somehow, I doubt it."

As though he was caught peeping, Sanzo's eyes snapped away from the field, handing the binoculars back to Hakkai. The crowd begun to cheer and Sanzo could not longer see if Seiten was still looking at him. The two boys turned and began to head back inside, and the crowd cheered them on. The announcer began to call out the next preliminary match, but Sanzo had had enough. He could feel the familiar green and red gazes of his friends, but did not meet either of them.

Pressing his lips in a tight line, he stood. "C'mon," he said softly, heard over the deafening roar of the crowd. "We've seen all we have to."

---

"This is fucking ridiculous!" Goku roared when they were finally back in their private room, abnormally large, even for a champion's room. Goku hurled his staff to the ground, watching as it rebounded with a resonating clank and rolled along the ground. He glared at it, as though it was the cause of all his problems, before turning back to address his twin. Seiten looked just as annoyed as he was—barely masked by the calm expression he wore. "The idiots in charge of this tournament know we're better then that! Why did they have to set us up with some idiot bimbos who can't even hold their weapons right!?"

Goku fumed, pacing around the room and grumbling out things in obvious disgust as his twin moved deeper into the room, grabbing a water bottle from the desk and taking a long drink. Their check for the battle was already on the table, thinner then he would have liked, but it was money none the less. Seiten turned back and watched—mildly amused—as Goku stomped about the room in an adorable rage.

"You know why, Goku, stop acting like you don't," Seiten replied coolly, leaning against the desk as he took another drink. The heat had affected him more then the fight had. He agreed with his brother; the fight hadn't been worth his time. "They set us up with idiots to make us look good. We fight the people who are decent in the finals."

"I'm sick of it! I'm tired of being treated this way!" Goku growled, turning to face his brother, eyes narrowed as they challenged Seiten's catlike eyes. "I want to fight someone good now! I need to blow off some serious steam!"

Seiten grinned, a purr already forming at the back of his throat as he stood, pulling Goku into his arms. "Sexually frustrated, are we?" Seiten asked, locking his lips with his twin and drawing a moan from him. He pulled Goku's tongue into his mouth, practically sucking it out at the root. Goku moaned again, twisting his arms back behind Seiten's neck, and tugging at his hair.

Releasing the brunet for air, Goku stared at his twin with eyes half-lidded with lust. "Damnit…" he breathed. "How do you keep doing that?"

Seiten merely grinned, leaning in to capture Goku's lips again. He began pushing the shirt from his lover, leading him back towards the couch. He was wringing so many delicious sounds from Goku that his own arousal was beginning to pool in his lower stomach. Before he realized it, Goku had already pushed his vest from him, falling to the floor with the other clothing that had been stripped off. The feeling of skin on skin contact sent fire straight towards his groin, and he momentarily forgot how to think.

Just as their make-out session was reaching its peak, there was a knock at the door. Seiten broke the kiss, growling at the door as though attempting to will away the person, or even glare them to death through the wood.

"Seiten? Goku?" a timid voice called. Probably just some errand person the higher ups had hired for them. "I just wanted to tell you the buffet table's been set out, if you're hungry."

"We'll be there later!" Goku called, his insatiable appetite making itself known as his stomach rumbled.

Seiten grinned, leaning down next to his lover's ear and nibbling on it. "Don't tell me your food is more important than me?" he asked in a low, husky tone. The boy beneath him shuddered, running his fingers up into his brother's long chestnut locks.

"Possibly. Though I can assure you food has never given me an orgasm before," Goku was unable to hold back a snicker at the expression on Seiten's face.

"With you, I wouldn't doubt it," Seiten mumbled, before leaning down and capturing a column of the boy's neck in his teeth. Never mind the fact that they were still in a public building, he wanted to hear Goku scream before they were done.

---

Sanzo had managed to escape the drudgery that was their shared hotel room. They had rented it out for the next few weeks, since they were planning to stay until the tournament was over. Whether or not they won, Sanzo wanted to stay and prepare for next year. His lips curled upwards as he placed his hands in his pockets, heading down the dreary, dusty streets. Then again, with their luck, they probably would win. They hadn't lost a game yet, and Sanzo would be damned if he lost to a pair of snot-nosed brats.

Frayer City was dreary despite its tourism. Thanks to the tournament, a lot of people were showing up, filling the streets with merchants and customers, attempting to soak up the culture of an oasis town. People flew by on Weight Boards, boards that defied gravity and could fly at least ten feet off the ground unaided. Sanzo had seen them around, but had never owned one. His parents had always said they were a waste of money. Sanzo was sure to buy one with his prize money after the tournament.

Despite the liveliness now, Sanzo could feel the sorrow and boredom in the walls. He knew that the Scrimmage tournament was the only excitement this city ever received.

Frayer City was one of the richest cities in the world, thanks to the large tournament held every year, but the people's quality of life was low. Hell, it was low everywhere. Just over the ocean there was a war, and economies all over the continent were plummeting. It seemed like everywhere people were healthy and happy and enjoying the tournament and its wealth, but Sanzo knew that there was no food when they got home each night. Fighters were the only ones who had money anymore. Seiten and Goku probably ate like kings every night.

The war overseas was all anybody talked about anymore. It had begun some years ago, back before Sanzo was old enough to remember his parent's faces. It sucked economies dry, and everybody feared that it would either spread over to their continent or it would continue to steal away the country's money until the people withered away. The only time anybody stopped thinking about the war was when there was a Scrimmage tournament. It was the people's only full distraction from the horror across the ocean, and everybody relished in the distraction. They didn't even mind spending a few dollars on tickets, just to be able to cheer and be happy for a short time.

Even for itsfighters it was a release. Scrimmage used to be held to decide who was strong enough to join the army, but then transformed into a sport. Before the war had started about seventeen years ago—when Sanzo barely turned six—he had been happy. His parents were fair but strict, and he'd enjoyed his life. Unfortunately the war had drafted both of his parents, who had been doctors at the time. They had both been killed, and left Sanzo alone in the world.

He wasn't the only orphan. Hakkai's parents had been killed in the war as well, along with Gojyo's father. His mother had turned abusive because of it, and so the redhead spent a lot of time away from home. To distract themselves from the fighting and dying and the constant hunger, Gojyo, Hakkai, and Sanzo had begun playing Scrimmage together. It was a meager distraction, but it worked. Every night Sanzo could forget that he had to go home to an empty house, with barely any food. There were people who helped the orphans get along, but it was really useless. There were more people dying every day.

It was when Sanzo began proclaiming that he would one day win a high class Scrimmage tournament, people began to ostracize him. Sanzo was ridiculed as an idiot and a loser who wouldn't be able to win a Scrimmage match against professionals. He was too thin, too weak. Hakkai and Gojyo had stayed by his side then, even as his heart had gone cold and Sanzo refused to outwardly express anything anymore. Why bother? It had only gotten rocks thrown at him in the past.

That was why he was determined not to go home a loser.

Sanzo headed down the street slowly, his eyes trailing along in search of a good bar. He jingled the money in his pocket, as though it would lure one to him. He had shed his usual fighting attire in favor for a form-fitting black top, a silver chained necklace with a pair of dog tags dangling in front of it. His jeans were faded and tight, making more then a few people stare as he passed. Sanzo knew he was attractive, though never really appreciated it. Most of the people who tried to get in his pants usually met with his sharp tongue, and if that didn't work they ended up meeting the barrel of his gun.

Finally spotting a bar that appeared decent, Sanzo slipped inside. Music was thrumming through the walls and Sanzo realized he'd stepped into club. He considered stepping back out, since the close atmosphere was something he couldn't really appreciate. But his eyes caught a mass of brown hair attached to a lithe body, and he reconsidered. It was rather interesting that most men who were starving spent their thin paychecks at a bar, drinking away the memory that they wouldn't eat for a while. They acted like men with all the money in the world. Nobody had that much money anymore. At least, almost nobody.

He slithered deeper into the club, stopping at the bar and ordering a drink. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted the young man who had been caught up in the fight that afternoon. Goku, if he remembered correctly. The young brunet was surrounded by people, both male and female congratulating him and asking questions. Goku seemed to soak it all up like a sponge, and Sanzo couldn't help but watch.

"Goku, darling, where have you been?" a woman asked, snaking a hand down his arm.

Goku grinned. "You know Seiten; he's had me preparing for this damned tournament for too long."

"Where is Seiten?" another man chimed in.

"Staying at home, being a grouch."

"Come dance with me, Goku!"

"No, me!"

Women began to dispute over who the brunet should dance with and Sanzo's eyes narrowed. This brat was just like Gojyo? Great, nothing but a bar-loving flirt. Grumping silently to himself, Sanzo downed his drink and ordered another, only half listening as Goku turned them all down and came to take a seat next to him. The young man sighed softly, and ordered a beer. Sanzo couldn't help but wonder suddenly if all the smiles had been a charade.

When Goku got his beer, he simply pressed the cool glass to his forehead, slumping over the bar. He slowly began to drink down the alcohol, and Sanzo wondered what was going through the boy's head. It was only when Goku turned those strange, luminous eyes towards him that he realized he'd been staring.

"Hey," Goku said in a tired, raspy voice. Somehow, Sanzo managed to hear it over the loud pumping speakers and the other voices throughout the club. The boy smiled and then nodded towards the floor. "Wanna dance?"

Sanzo thought about it for a moment, surprising himself when he realized he was actually considering it. Then, he finally rationalized that this way he'd be able to get closer to the enemy. Perhaps he could learn a few of Goku's weaknesses for when they fought. Goku clearly had no idea that he was registered in the tournament. Before he knew it, the blond found himself nodding, and the pair slipped from the bar and headed towards the dance floor.

The music that was thrumming through the speakers had no vocals, simply a heavy beat meant solely for dancing. The pair stood on the floor at first, unsure and waiting for the other to move. Someone bumped into Goku, causing the brunet to crash forwards into Sanzo. From there Goku simply began to move his body with the music, and Sanzo mirrored his movements, molding his body against the smaller one.

It felt like the music was thrumming through his blood and the more they moved the more Sanzo felt everything else melting away. There must've been at least another seventy people all crammed on the dance floor, molding and dancing with one another, but Sanzo didn't mind. Normally he hated closed in spaces, however tonight it didn't seem to bother him.

Sanzo allowed his eyes to slide closed, somehow enjoying the dancing. That alone was a shock. If Gojyo saw him like this, the redhead would no doubt end up tormenting him with "it's the end of the world!" and such until Sanzo was forced to fire a few warning shots. Sanzo felt Goku slither around in the tight embrace so he could face Sanzo. The blond let his eyes drift open, still dancing long after the song had ended and another had begun.

Goku's hands somehow found their way to his shoulders, holding onto him as though he was a lifeline. Sanzo froze up at the touch, not used to physical contact. It only took a moment, however, for him to relax and wind his hands around Goku's hips. Awkwardly, at first, but he forced his hands to relax. They were just dancing, after all.

Or, they had been until Goku leaned up, and captured Sanzo's lips in a kiss. The blond went rigid, his eyes shooting open but not yet pushing him away. Goku held onto his shoulders tightly, kissing him deeply in the search for some sort of comfort. Sanzo could taste the alcohol strongly in the youth's mouth, and wondered exactly how much Goku had drank. But beyond the alcohol, Sanzo could taste Goku's sadness. His bitter, salty tears and grief. Sanzo surprised himself when he opened his mouth, allowing Goku's tongue to slip inside. He tried to blame it on the tequila sloshing around in his empty stomach, though Sanzo knew it couldn't be. He hadn't drank enough to even considering being tipsy, let alone drunk.

As though Goku had come back to himself, he broke away from the kiss, staring up at Sanzo with wide, frightened eyes. Those golden eyes looked like they were about to spill tears in horror and before Sanzo could get a word in, the brunet slipped from his arms and was out the door. Sanzo turned, but could do nothing more. Goku was fast, he was probably already down the street by now.

Suddenly self-conscious, Sanzo turned and paid for his drink before heading back towards his hotel room. He wasn't having fun anyway.

---

When Goku arrived back at the house he shared with his twin late that night, he noticed that all of the lights were out. The small house they'd purchased with the prize money from their games was decorated with bad nick-knacks and tacky furniture. Seiten never really had a sense of style. Though Goku didn't really mind the olive green couch next to the old orange chair, or even the weird shag carpet. It gave the house a sense of harmony; it made it feel like home.

It was more inviting then the previous home Seiten and Goku had lived in, with their parents. They had both been kicked out of the house at ten, when Goku had been stupid enough to kiss Seiten in front of their parents. His mother had freaked and his father had hit them both, proclaiming that they were heathens and demanded they leave and never show their faces again. Goku had never been gladder to leave that terrible house with his brother. Those people in that house weren't his parents, they were monsters. Goku had never looked back once since then. He had Seiten, and that was all he needed.

They had started playing Scrimmage at a young age because it was fun. There was no doubt the boys were skilled. They headed through the streets, looking for money any way they could. Most people disregarded them as another set of orphans, and went on their way. Seiten and Goku had been on the brink of starving to death, and it was only out of desperation had they learned they could earn money by playing Scrimmage. From there, as they say, it was history.

Goku stumbled through the front door, cursing when he smacked his knee against something solid. Somehow, he managed to kick off his shoes and drop his jacket, heading through the dark house. He felt terrible. While he was caught up in the thrumming beat of the music and the heat from the floor, he'd kissed the guy he asked to dance. The blond had seemed slightly surprised at first, but had molded to the situation easily. Goku wondered if he went out to clubs like that a lot.

Instead of heading to the bedroom first, Goku turned and stepped into the kitchen. He shakily poured himself a glass of water, attempting to flush the sour taste of liquor and vomit from his mouth. He had no idea what he was thinking out in the club. He just thought the blond man he was with felt so… unsafe, as strange as it sounded. In a moment of weakness he had betrayed Seiten's trust, and Goku wasn't sure if he'd be able to live up to that. As he downed the cool liquid, Goku took a moment to study the kitchen. Pots from dinner were still messily left out, and the plates were stacked on the counter, ready to be washed. Goku wanted to wash them in a hopeless attempt to make it up to his twin, but knew in his drunken state he'd only end up breaking them.

Goku shook his head, trying to rid the pounding feel of the music, the shape of the man's body and the feel of his lips from his mind. It had been one crazy, insignificant, stupid moment and he was not going to let it ruin his relationship with Seiten. He loved his twin, more then any brother should. Goku didn't care; they knew a long time ago what they were doing wasn't natural. It wasn't like it mattered to either of them.

As much as he liked to deny it, he knew why he kissed him. Goku was growing tired of the easy life. Every match now wasn't a challenge. Hell, the traps today weren't even mildly life threatening. Goku missed the good old days when he was treated like just another novice, fighting against death itself just to bring home the prize money. This safe, secure, untouchable atmosphere he and Seiten had wound themselves in was boring him. He wanted to dance on the wild side more. Maybe that was why he kissed the blond with those angry violet eyes and untouchable attitude.

As much as he wanted excitement, he didn't want to hurt Seiten. He loved him with all his heart. Perhaps that's why Goku decided to stumble towards their shared bedroom than crash on the couch with his guilt. He managed to make his way down the darkened hallway, suddenly glad their house was only one-story. If their bedroom had been up a flight of stairs Goku knew he wouldn't be able to make it. Despite the exhaustion nipping at his heels, Goku made it to the bedroom and cracked the door open. A small ray of moonlight swept over the room, and Goku slipped inside.

Seiten was sleeping soundlessly in the large double bed, his face relaxed and completely beautiful. Goku stood next to the bed for a moment, simply watching his lover's features before turning and pulling himself into bed. He didn't bother with changing, instead just rolling in with his clothes that smelt of clubs and booze.

The movement had roused his normally light-sleeping twin. Seiten blinked at first, wondering what had woken him before arms wrapped around his waist. Turning to look over his shoulder, he found Goku burying his face into his back, desperately feigning sleep. "Goku?" he questioned, before glancing back at the nearby alarm clock. "It's almost three am, where have you been?"

"'Round…" Goku slurred, his golden eyes sliding open as he lazily regarded his twin.

Seiten rolled his eyes, settling himself back beneath the covers. "I don't care if you have a hangover tomorrow, you're coming out with me to train," Seiten warned. Though he liked to threaten, Goku knew that Seiten would probably let him sleep in tomorrow. Seiten had always had more bark then bite when it came to Goku.

"M'sorry," Goku slurred again, feeling drowsiness begin to take him. "Really sorry… I love you," the boy added, as though trying to atone for something. Seiten could practically feel the guilt radiating off of him, and wondered what in the hell Goku had done. Only after a moment, he relaxed into the pillows, deciding it didn't really matter.

"Go to sleep."

"Mmkay."

---

The roar of the crowd seemed so much dimmer today, Sanzo thought as he and Hakkai spent their time in a spare room that had been rented out to them. Gojyo had decided to sit this fight out, saying that Hakkai would be better equipped against their opponents then he would. Gojyo was out seated in the crowd, waiting to cheer them on. Hakkai was jingling the metal bracelets on his wrists, sometimes fiddling with the matching ear cuffs on his left ear. Sanzo knew Hakkai was nervous, but hell, so was he. Their first match of the preliminary rounds; Sanzo wouldn't allow them to fail. If they lost this fight, then he wouldn't even be able to go home with his tail between his legs. He'd have to go find a hole to keel over and die in.

Sanzo had checked his gun several times, making sure he had enough bullets and spinning the chamber to see if it was working properly. The room they were staying in was quiet, the silence between them abnormally loud.

Unable to stand it any further, the pair both silently decided to head out to the common room, perhaps there they would be able to find some solace. They headed down the long hallway, arriving in the lobby where several people were enjoying lunch, chatting amongst themselves. Most of the fighters were men, huge and bulky. They were probably convinced that to win a Scrimmage match they had to have pure physical strength. But it took so much more then that.

Hakkai called him over towards the door, where they were already announcing the match. Sanzo could feel his apprehension growing when their names were called over the loudspeaker, echoing throughout the arena. One of the men next to the door opened it, motioning for them to go. Sanzo cast Hakkai a glance out of the corner of his eye as he gripped his gun tightly. It was time to go.

Stepping out into the arena filled with people was more then a little intimidating. The stands were filled with people all cheering and jumping up and down. At first the nervousness made Sanzo want to turn around, but seeing so many people all around, wanting to watch them fight was inspirational. It boosted his ego, causing a smirk to catch on his lips. His heart thrummed in his chest loudly, drowning out the roar of people in his ears. It made him feel truly alive. Slowly, his eyes trailed to look at his opponents across from them. Dokugakuji and Kougaiji. They had no chance.

"Play fair you guys, I don't want to clean any corpses up today," the announcer told them as the teams came to stand next to each other. It was a useless attempt; if they wanted to kill there was no rule against it. The announcer then stepped back, heading towards the safe zone before bringing the microphone to his lips and beginning the match.

Sanzo's reaction was instantaneous: he brought up his gun and fired two shots towards his opponents. However, a span of fire absorbed the bullets and Sanzo cursed, realizing Kougaiji must've been a magic user. Dokugakuji sped forwards with a sword out front, and Hakkai managed to block by concentrating his chi into a solid shield.

Things were looking interesting.

Sanzo dodged to the side, heading towards Kougaiji while Hakkai and Dokugakuji found themselves in a stand off. Minding the bear trap to his left, he hurried forwards, firing off one more shot which was blocked with another shield of fire. Sanzo was expecting that. Unlike Hakkai's shield, Kougaiji's weren't see-through, and Sanzo made sure to use that to his advantage. He raced forwards, feeling the adrenaline pounding in his veins as he slammed the butt of his gun upside Kougaiji's head. The redheaded man was momentarily shocked, unable to block as he fell back uselessly towards the ground…

…and right onto a landmine.

The spot of ground exploded in a mass of fire and sand where the man had fallen. Dokugakuji glanced away from his stand off with Hakkai, his face looking grim as the dust began to settle. Kougaiji was face-down in a pathetic, burnt mess. In his distraction, Hakkai managed to throw the man off of him, concentrating his chi into a solid attack and slamming it straight into his stomach. The large, dark-haired man was thrown back like a limp doll, crashing into the stone wall and falling unconscious.

The crowd roared at their display, and it took a minute for the shock to wear off and realize they had won. Sanzo blinked, turning his attention up towards the clock that timed all matches, and spotted the lazily blinking '00:46' in bright red letters. They had beaten their opponents in under a minute? A smirk crossed Sanzo's lips as he turned towards the gun in his hand. He hadn't even used up all his bullets. A feeling of power, appreciation, and underlining victory roused through Sanzo's very core. He lived for this feeling. It felt like nothing back home, with a crowd of maybe ten cheering him on. Here in front of thousands of people it felt fucking fantastic!

"Holy hell, folks!" the announcer called as he stepped out onto the field. Kougaiji and Dokugakuji were already being collected from the ground. By the looks of it, Kougaiji was going to have severe burns for the next while. That should teach him not to play with fire, Sanzo thought smugly as he turned up towards the audience. "Our team from a small northern town beat their opponents in only forty-six seconds! What are they feeding you kids up there?"

The crowd cheered in response, and as Sanzo let his gaze trail up along the crowds, he spotted Gojyo cheering his lungs out. He had stripped off his tank top and was waving it like a flag. Sanzo grimaced, that man had no restraint. The announcer clamped Sanzo on the back, causing a growl to form in the blond's throat. "Hell, Seiten and Goku might even be in for a run for their money this year, since their record is only forty-two seconds!"

The crowd cheered at the prospect, but a strange hush came over them when the large wooden door leading into the arena slammed open. Seiten and Goku strode in, seeming a little more then annoyed. Seiten seemed the most aggravated as he snatched the microphone away from the announcer. Sanzo spared Goku a glance, and found the boy was staring at him wide-eyed, recognizing him from a few nights ago. Sanzo turned his eyes away, feeling his face heating up under his blunt staring.

"Forty-six seconds is nothing," Seiten snapped bitterly, eyes narrowing as he stared straight into Sanzo's eyes. It felt like he was challenging him. "We can take down double the man power, in half the time."

Seiten's eyes didn't leave Sanzo's as the announcer took back his microphone, announcing that there would be a special match, and seeing who would take Seiten up on his challenge. "You're good," Seiten admitted, low enough for only Sanzo to hear. "But not good enough. Go home while you can."

"I'm not going home until I see you dethroned," Sanzo shot back in the same low tone, before Hakkai placed a hand to his arm. Hakkai knew he'd probably end up starting a fight, and they didn't need that. Still, he glared at the shorter boy for all he was worth. Seiten was some pompous airhead brat and no way in hell would Sanzo let himself lose to him. He'd gone through hell and back, and Seiten had probably had it fucking perfect since day one. That thought caused another wave of anger to wash over him, and it was only brought back by Hakkai's hand squeezing his arm. He turned, attempting to cool his anger as they headed back inside.

Sanzo could feel Goku's eyes on his back as he left, and wondered what it was the boy wanted from him.

When they stepped back beneath the stands, deeper into the rest area, Sanzo found the need for a cigarette. He grabbed the pack out of his pocket, then hung back and watched the fight. He wanted to watch Seiten fail, and then rub it in his face despite it being against his character. That snotty little bastard deserved a good beating. Hakkai had insisted he go find Gojyo and left Sanzo alone, which was probably for the best. Unfortunately, Seiten hadn't been wrong. They took on two teams at once, and defeated them both in twenty-two seconds. One of the other men had died, but that wasn't important. It never was. Sanzo could hear the hoots and hollers from the men in the common room, and was glad he found himself in a secluded extra room where he could watch the fight out of a large window. He watched as the man that died was placed in a body bag and dragged away. No attention or remorse was spared his way.

That's life, Sanzo thought dryly as the twins made their way back inside. He focused back down on his cigarette, watching the end burn brightly and the smoke coil upwards into the air. It was a nice distraction. Seiten would probably seek him out, rubbing his victory in his face. Sanzo grit his teeth; he couldn't figure out what about Seiten got under his skin so thoroughly. He heard the door open and glanced up, surprised to find Goku standing in the doorframe instead of his twin. The young man looked unsure, his tanned cheeks lined with a soft flush. Sanzo realized what Goku was here to see him about, and almost cursed. Couldn't the brat drop it?

"Uh, Sanzo?" Goku asked timidly, not moving from his spot as he toyed with the doorknob. "Can I talk to you?"

Sanzo assumed he must've learned his name from one of the other officials or fighters. He shrugged, leaning back in the windowsill and grinding the almost finished cigarette into the windowsill. Someone was bound to get mad at him but he didn't care; it didn't look like this room was used much anyway. Nothing but an old couch was set up in the corner.

"Uh… about the other day," the teenager said, closing the door behind him as he stepped into the room, heading slowly towards the blond seated in the window. For a world-class champion, Goku seemed very unsure about himself. "At the… uh, club there…"

Sanzo waited calmly, his arms crossed over his chest as he watched the boy fidget in front of him. A small, hated part of him admitted that Goku looked adorable as he struggled for words. Sanzo shifted slightly, suddenly feeling uncomfortable alone with him. Shit, this didn't look good. It was already starting to heat up, and Sanzo had a feeling that it wasn't because of the desert.

"So, it was just a stupid little thing, okay? I don't want…" Golden eyes met violet, and then they were kissing. Sanzo didn't know who initiated it, or why he was even enjoying it, but somehow he wasn't pushing away. Goku somehow melted away his frigid attitude with those big golden eyes—or maybe it was the way he was sucking his tongue.

Goku continued to break their kisses, whispering things like, "I can't do this" or "I'm not supposed to" or little snippets. Despite his obvious reluctance, it seemed as though he wanted as much contact as Sanzo was willing to give. Goku's tanned hands were everywhere, running up and down his arms, tugging at his pants and sliding up his shirt. Sanzo suppressed a moan at the feeling of Goku's hands trailing over his nipples, gripping the boy's hair as he deepened the kiss.

The boy was practically clawing at him, crawling all over his lap. Images of Goku in bed made shudders run up Sanzo's spine, wanting more then anything to push Goku to the floor and screw him into next week. He bit Goku's lip, drawing blood. Goku didn't even seem to mind.

Sanzo was more then surprised when he managed to get Goku's pants down over his hips with no interruptions. He was half-expecting Gojyo and Hakkai to come shooting in and stop them. Everything was just going… very fast. Not that he minded too terribly.

The next second they were on the old couch. Goku was pushing him into the springs, attempting to attach his lips to any part of Sanzo he could. Sanzo was answering back with just as much gusto, and then suddenly they were both naked. There wasn't a moment of hesitation though as Sanzo thrust deep within the brunet below him. The sounds he was making surprised him, but he just couldn't stop the grunts and moans rolling from his tongue.

It was easily the best sex he'd ever had.

After it was over the two lay spent on the couch, staring up at the plain white ceiling overhead. It was definitely better then looking at each other and realizing what they had done. After what felt like forever, Goku stood to collect his pants. Sanzo noted with a bit of pride that Goku winced while he walked. Goku hurriedly scrambled to get dressed, cursing repeatedly. Sanzo watched the tears brim the edge of his eyes, and Sanzo instantly understood his haste.

He's already got someone in his life.

Sanzo moved to pull his own pants on lazily by the time Goku had finished. The brunet looked unsure for a minute, wanting to run but wanting to stay. "Bye Sanzo," he finally muttered, leaning down for a kiss. Goku hesitated not far from Sanzo's lips, as though remembering he had just cheated on his lover. Then, without giving the blond his kiss, he leaned back and turned from the room.

Sanzo sat for a moment, staring at the door before he finally decided to move. It was just sex, so he shouldn't care that Goku was probably leaving to find his lover. Probably to apologize for cheating on him.

Sanzo had had one night stands before, but never in his life had he wanted to chase after someone like he wanted to chase after Goku.

---

When they had arrived back home, dinner had been eaten in silence. Seiten was never one to start conversation and Goku was too wound up in his own thoughts to start one. Afterwards, they cleared away their dishes, not bothering to wash them. They'd probably do that tomorrow; it was a weird habit they'd picked up.

Goku had been caught up in his thoughts about Sanzo all day. It wasn't as though he loved the man; it was just an attraction. A stupid, fucked-up attraction that he wished he could just will away. It was bad enough he slept with the man, but now he couldn't stop thinking about him. He loved Seiten, definitely more then some blond fighter who was going to wind up being his opponent anyway. He tried to shake the thoughts from his head, but found his hormones getting in the way. He loved Seiten, which meant he didn't need anybody else. He already felt bad for sleeping with Sanzo; couldn't his body be on his side for once? Every time he tried to picture Seiten, he continued to see that pale skin flushed with pleasure, his mouth opening for a wordless moan…

Goku shook the thoughts from his head, noting his twin turning into the living room. Goku didn't hesitate; he lunged. He almost attached himself onto his twin, biting and sucking on a column of the young man's neck. Seiten was unresponsive at first, before a soft purr made its way from the depths of his chest.

"Goku…" Seiten rumbled, his tone sending shockwaves through the other male. "What are you up to?"

"Sex now, talk later," was all Goku offered as he leaned up and captured Seiten's lips in another kiss. He hurriedly pushed Seiten's vest from his shoulders, relishing in the feel of skin beneath his palm. He was always stunned how attractive his twin looked. He could often drive him crazy with a single look. It was one of the many things Goku loved about Seiten.

It was why he wanted to have his lover screw him more then anything. He wanted to prove that Sanzo meant nothing to him. It had been nothing more then a meaningless fuck. He just wanted Seiten. He didn't need some new fighter who could knock out his opponents quickly, he just wanted Seiten. He repeated it like a mantra, annoyed when it was continuously interrupted by thoughts of Sanzo and their passionate moment together. He felt like crying in sheer desperation of it all. He didn't want to hurt his twin, not like this. He couldn't even understand what drove him to cheat in the first place. Hell, he knew it had been wrong while he was doing it, yet he did it anyway! Goku clawed at Seiten's back, attempting to deepen the kiss.

He was surprised when he was suddenly shoved away. He stared into slit, cat-like eyes that were narrowed suspiciously. "You're not enjoying this," Seiten said simply, dropping his hold and turning for the bedroom. "I'm not going to have you force yourself on me when you clearly don't want it."

The bedroom door closed loudly in Seiten's wake, causing Goku to wince. He frowned softly, hating the connection he had with his twin. He may have been trying to force it, but it was for good reason, right?

Goku feel too guilty to pull himself down the hall, too strained to crawl into be with his lover, so he turned, and spent the night on the couch. It was a small repentance for succumbing to someone else's touch.

---

The next couple weeks were intense. Sanzo hadn't seen Goku at all, save for the occasional fight. The preliminaries were long since gone, and the real matches were taking place. The traps were becoming far deadlier, and were being set off more frequently. The preliminaries had killed two people; the tournament had already claimed ten lives. Hakkai was unsure on where to stand on the situation; his morals were conflicting with the love of the game. Gojyo seemed just as reluctant but said nothing about it. Sanzo was slightly thrilled with the idea. It meant that the people they were facing off were passionate enough to die for it.

It was obvious that Goku and Seiten were the home favorite, but Sanzo, Gojyo and Hakkai were rapidly becoming just as popular. Everyone was making bets on their matches, and rumors were going around that they might actually beat Seiten and Goku. None of them were taken seriously, but the fabled match between the two teams was widely talked about.

Sanzo wondered what would happen if they went up against Goku and Seiten as well. They were good, but Sanzo hadn't fought their strength head on, so he couldn't exactly say. He'd only seen them take down their opponents swiftly and effortlessly; he had no idea what they were really capable of.

Not to mention the fact that Sanzo wasn't sure what would happen if he went up against Goku. It wasn't like he'd hold back, but at the same time he wasn't sure if he'd be able to kill him as a last resort. He'd been trying to find the boy, hoping to get closure—or whatever. But it seemed like Goku was purposely avoiding him.

The finals had begun with a bang. Hazel and Gat, two third year runner ups went up against a new team, Homura and Nataku. The fight had ended in the death of both Hazel and Homura, so both teams were disqualified. The fight had been explosive, and Sanzo reasoned the idiots had set off every landmine there.

Seiten and Goku took on another team—some champions from another city—and ended up defeating them. Sanzo had to admit that the team was skilled though. They managed to dislocate Seiten's shoulder and leave a nice cut on the side of Goku's head. The fight had lasted just under an hour, but when it was over Sanzo noted the twins looked almost charged with excitement. Sanzo had tried to catch Goku on the way out but he was swarmed by fans, and so the blond hadn't even bothered.

For their fight, Gojyo and Hakkai had taken the match. Sanzo had point blank refused at first, insisting that he participate in the fight. He wouldn't let two idiots screw up his chances at the championship. But Hakkai had calmly reminded him that they needed him safe for the championship fight, and so he'd reluctantly given up. Gojyo and Hakkai worked well together, and ended up finishing their fight in just over two hours. Hakkai had broken his hand though, and so without even debating Gojyo and Sanzo would have to take their last fight…

… against Seiten and Goku.

The idea was enough to charge him. He couldn't wait to fight the pair, but at the same time there was something holding him back. There was no way he was afraid of fighting Goku. No, it wasn't something else. Something… Sanzo couldn't name.

He had been watching Gojyo and Hakkai's fight somewhere in the audience, and was surprised when Goku came to sit down next to him. He was sitting near the edge of the ring, since most people didn't like to sit too close. There was always the chance of being hit with a deflected weapon. He hadn't glanced over at Goku when he took his seat, instead watching as Hakkai finished off the last man and then turned to help Gojyo despite his broken hand.

"Looks like we'll be fighting each other in the championship," Goku said finally, his tone low as he focused on the meaningless activities.

"Yeah," Sanzo muttered, his own eyes drawn forwards. After a moment, he turned to look at Goku out of the corner of his eye. The teen was rigid in his seat, gripping the fabric of his pants in a vice-like grip.

"I'm not going to go easy on you, you know," Goku said, his eyes defiantly trained forwards.

"I wouldn't want you to," Sanzo replied coldly.

There was a moment of silence as Goku finally turned to look at him. His golden eyes blinked and he finally began to relax. "I'm sorry I've been kind of leading you on," he said softly. Sanzo snorted at the implications. He wasn't some bimbo that had been following after him regardless. "But I know what I have to do now. Tomorrow, I'm going to kick your ass."

Sanzo couldn't help the smirk that caught his lips at Goku's cocky tone. "Really now?" he drawled lazily, watching golden eyes sparkle with mischief. "I'd like to see you try."

Goku said nothing more, simply rising from his spot and heading down the stairs.

Sanzo had joined up with Gojyo and Hakkai in the infirmary. Gojyo had a nasty slash on his leg that had already been looked after, and Hakkai's hand had been placed in a cast. After they finally managed to get the paramedics to let Hakkai go the trio all went out for dinner. If all went well, they'd be leaving in about three days anyway. Sanzo found it slightly hard to believe that the tournament was almost already over. Tomorrow would finally be the end all be all. At the mere thought, Sanzo could feel the hairs on his arms standing up.

Tomorrow was the final fight. Sanzo knew he was ready for it.

---

Goku and Sanzo had never spent long nights curled in each other's arms, or days talking about their futures. They didn't spend hours and days together; they weren't lovers. They couldn't even be classified as fuck-buddies either, as their sex had been quick and dirty, mostly to get over the stress that the tournament had built. They were just acquaintances. They didn't know each other much beyond their names and the points which could make the other moan. Sanzo hated that a small part of him wondered who Goku really was, beyond the titles and the money. He knew he'd never know.

So it shouldn't have meant anything that they were now facing each other on opposite sides of the fight. Golden eyes challenged violet in an unwavering staring match. It was eventually broken up by the announcer, beckoning the teams forward to begin the match.

Sanzo glanced over at Gojyo to his side, not surprised to find the man charged with excitement. His face was broken into a nervous grin and his attention was focused towards his opponents. His Shakujou was clenched tightly in his hand, and Sanzo could see the sweat making its way down his face. Gojyo was ready to fight, more then ever. Sanzo didn't exactly trust Gojyo to watch his back—he much preferred Hakkai—but after several years Sanzo knew Gojyo was dependable. He had always been there when Sanzo needed him, even if it was with that annoyingly cocky smirk and a superior attitude that made Sanzo want to punch him.

Sanzo clutched his gun loosely in his grip, turning his attention towards Seiten and Goku across from him. He wasn't really listening to the announcer as he went on about rules and reminding them not to kill each other. He was focusing in on the match that was about to start. Seiten's catlike gaze challenged him, eyes narrowed and his teeth grit. Sanzo wondered momentarily if he knew what he and Goku had done. It didn't take a genius to realize that the twins were more lovers then brothers.

The sound of the siren was what started Sanzo from his thoughts. He hadn't even realized the match had started before Seiten was in his face. Shit. This was going to cost him. He barely got his hands up in time to block the terribly powerful kick delivered to his torso. Sanzo hit the ground hard, the wind completely knocked out of him. To be on the receiving end of Seiten's blows was painful, that was for sure.

Sanzo managed to hear Gojyo call his name over the roar of the crowds, and sat up in time to see Seiten heading towards him, fingers curled into a deadly fist. Snapping his gun up, he fired a single shot. It grazed Seiten's shoulder, and the brunet cursed. It gave Sanzo enough time to get to his feet, however not enough time to block from the large red staff headed directly towards him.

The blow must've shattered something, but at the same time he knew what a broken bone felt like and it wasn't nearly painful enough. Still, the blow Goku delivered hit him on a level he'd never experienced, and Sanzo went flying back. Damnit, those dirty rotten fucking twins were teaming up on him! He was going to kill them both.

Reflexively, Sanzo stuck his arm out, surprised when a chain wrapped around it, yanking him forwards before he could hit the ground. His foot scraped the ground as he scrambled for balance, and was surprised when a landmine went off. Luckily, Gojyo managed to pull him to safety with the chain of his Shakujou, steadying the blond before turning back to their opponents. Sanzo didn't offer a thank you and Gojyo didn't ask for one.

Goku moved first, and Gojyo jumped to meet him. Swinging his Shakujou with deadly accuracy, Gojyo sent the large metal crescent spinning out towards the younger man. Goku grinned like an animal with a new toy, and dodged the blow. However, he didn't expect Gojyo to rip his arm upward, the chain following like an obedient dog and wrapping around Goku's ankle. Gojyo yanked the staff backwards, and Goku went flying with a startled scream of surprise. He landed in a mass of upturned sand, and stayed still for a moment, probably recovering from the painful blow.

Gojyo was quick to move towards Seiten, and Sanzo watched as Seiten was not drawn in by the same tactics. Gojyo instead used his weapon like a bat, determined to hit the slippery bastard. Sanzo took his opportunity to aim his gun and fired a single shot.

He had been aiming for Seiten's leg, hoping to immobilize him, but a sudden staff coming in contact with his hand changed the direction of his shot. He turned to glance at Goku, who was glaring up at him with flaming golden eyes. Sanzo didn't expect the boy to be anything less then furious at him for attempting to shoot his brother. Or whatever the hell they were.

Seiten let out a shattering scream, louder then any would have expected from him. Goku and Sanzo turned from their momentary glaring match, and watched as Seiten clutched his hand to his chest. By the looks of it, Sanzo had shot off two of his fingers and a chunk of his palm. Goku paled at the amount of blood that was leaking from Seiten's hand, and Sanzo knew it was only a matter of time before he blacked out from blood loss. Good. One less idiot to deal with.

With a blood-curdling scream, Goku shot towards Gojyo as he prepared to strike the injured brunet. Gojyo's only warning had been the boy's war cry before he found a staff smacked across his head. The redhead fell hard, but luckily didn't black out. There was a large cut on his forehead, leaking blood out at an alarming rate. He managed to grip his Shakujou, whirling it around and slashing open Goku's arm.

Sanzo watched as Goku backed off, his breathing ragged as he glared at Gojyo in pure hatred. Goku gave him enough time for Gojyo to get to his feet before lunging out again, his staff clutching tightly in his hands as he screamed out a battle cry.

Sanzo could feel his mouth go dry in anticipation. He licked his lips, sparing a glance at Seiten. The other twin didn't appear to be doing too well; his normally tanned face was pale as he wrapped his hand up tightly in his vest. It was a bad bandage, as the blood was already starting to leek through, but it would have to do.

Sanzo glanced back over at Gojyo and Goku, cursing when he realized the redhead had been knocked unconscious. So much for that. Though Sanzo couldn't help but feel smug at the sight of several more slashes along Goku's limbs. They looked deep. Sanzo hoped they hurt like hell.

Turning to address the other twin, Sanzo took hold of his gun and made a dash towards him. Hopefully he'd be able knock Seiten out so he could deal with Goku alone.

However, Seiten turned, punching him hard to the face with his good hand. Sanzo was mildly impressed how Seiten could push the pain from his mind and focus on the fight. His gun was lost as he was thrown back, narrowly missing a bear trap that snapped closed next to his head. Sanzo spared it a terrified glance. If he had been just a bit closer…

He turned his attention back to Seiten as the brunet straddled him, sweat pouring from his face as he raised his good hand to strike Sanzo again. A single hard punch to the side of his head and Sanzo was seeing stars. The fucking kid was strong. Another punch and Sanzo had to will himself not to pass out. He spotted his gun lying not far away, and wished it would come to him. If this mother fucker thought he could get away with humiliating him like this, then he was sorely mistaken.

Seiten paused a moment, and Sanzo attempted to recollect his bearings. He spat a bloody tooth from his mouth, focusing his coldest glare up into slit golden eyes.

"I hate you," Seiten gasped out, still straining against the pain in his hand. An idea suddenly occurred to the blond. "So much…"

"The feeling's mutual." Sanzo managed to wrestle one hand free from Seiten's weight, and grabbed the brunet's injured hand. Hard.

Seiten gave out a single agonized scream, his eyes rolling back in his head before he passed out. He fell off Sanzo like a limp doll, and Sanzo took a moment to catch his breath. It was a mistake, as several seconds later he found Goku glaring at him, before he was kicked hard across his jaw. Then he was kicked again and again. Sanzo was sure he was going to get a concussion at this rate.

"You bastard!" Goku roared, preparing to strike again. Sanzo felt out blindly for anything, knowing that if he was hit again he would probably pass out. He'd come too damn far to lose. He wasn't going to let it end like this. He wasn't going to let anyone laugh at him, or ridicule him anymore. He was going to go home a winner or die trying! He managed to clamp down on his gun, and without thinking he rammed the butt upside Goku's head. The brunet went spiraling off of him, falling into a heap on the ground.

Sanzo breathed a moment when Goku didn't move, and for a second Sanzo wondered if Goku was out cold. The crowd went into a strange hush, and he was sure even the people in the back could hear his uneven breathing. Shakily, Sanzo got to his feet, keeping a tight hold on his gun just in case.

As expected, Goku stirred, slowly before he began to stand. His legs didn't seem to want to work for him, and Sanzo noted that the slash on Goku's thigh was incrusted with sand. He smirked as he took in those determined golden eyes, clutching his shoulder as he kept to his feet. There was a moment when the pair simply stood across from each other, glaring for all they were worth. Sanzo realized that he could've raised his gun and pulled the trigger. So easily he could've killed Goku and won the championship. A part of him knew that he wouldn't be able to kill Goku regardless. He could kill nameless bandits and murderers and rapists, but he couldn't kill Goku. Goku was none of those things, but a darker, more sinister part of him insisted he could.

As though to break up the respectable silence that had settled between them, arrows suddenly shot out of one of the nearby holes. Hearing them fly through the air, Goku let his legs give out under him and fall to the ground. Sanzo, however, didn't have such reflexes. He was hit once in the arm, once in the shoulder and his ear was nicked, taking a chunk out of it. Sanzo foolishly dropped his gun in favor of clutching his arm with the arrow painfully sticking out.

He barely managed to pull the arrow from his arm and shoulder before he was rammed with Goku's staff. The boy swung it with a deadly amount of force and Sanzo knew instantly that something was broken. He hit the ground and rolled, watching as Goku shakily approached him. He was about to lose it all.

That thought scared him more then anything else.

He reached out blindly for something—anything—that could help. His hand came in contact with metal and without thinking Sanzo swung it around. He was slightly surprised to realize that he'd grabbed Gojyo's Shakujou. The sharp crescent sliced along Goku's abdomen, allowing blood to splatter out all along the ground. Goku dropped his staff and clutched his stomach, eyes wide in pain. Sanzo's own eyes widened with the horrible thought that he'd killed Goku.

Goku sunk to his knees, trembling as his body attempted to assess the damage. There was a moment where Goku wavered, but didn't fall over, probably fighting unconsciousness desperately. Sanzo's vision was swimming and he couldn't tell if the blow was fatal or not. He simply prayed it wasn't. However, he did manage to catch Goku's soft smile as his eyes rolled up in his head and he slumped forwards, unconscious.

Sanzo's head was spinning and he wondered if it was okay to fall into the beckoning blackness or if Goku was just faking it again.

"Believe it or not, ladies and gentlemen, Frayer City has a new champion!"

We won…?

Then Sanzo slipped into sweet darkness.

---

The next few weeks were monotonous. Sanzo spent most of his time in the hospital, nursing a concussion and several broken ribs while Hakkai explained to him what had happened. They had won the fight, and according to Hakkai, it had been spectacular. He also told him that in a week or so, he needed to be able to stand to accept the prize money and the other meaningless awards the people had to give him. Sanzo hated the idea of formalities and ceremonies and awards; he only wanted the money. The money alone would be proof that he wasn't a loser.

Sanzo was back on his feet in under a week and a half. He had never been one to lie on his back while the world went on without him. While the injuries stung, they weren't nearly as painful anymore. He'd trailed around the hospital in the earlier days when he was still steadying himself, secretly looking for Goku's room. He was saddened when he didn't find it, and wondered momentarily if he'd really killed the brat.

It might've been faster if he asked someone where his room was, but Sanzo had far too much pride. If people thought he was caring about his enemy then they would try and take advantage of him. Sanzo was not a man to be taken advantage of.

The ceremony in which they were awarded the prizes went over well. Sanzo said little, and mostly kept to his seat as standing was still mildly difficult. Gojyo and Hakkai did most of the talking, which he was thankful for. Gojyo managed to keep the attention off him with his shameless ego, and it allowed Sanzo a moment to relax. He'd been swarmed by people who wanted his autograph or to know how he managed to beat the twins. He was sick of them all. But as Sanzo let his eyes trail through the audience, he caught a beaming smile and a pair of golden eyes looking up at him. Seiten and Goku were standing side-by-side, watching him. Seiten remained impassive while Goku jumped up and down, waving like an idiot. They seemed rather calm despite the fact they had just lost their championship.

The next few days passed slowly, and Sanzo remained in the hospital until the doctor deemed him ready to travel. Sanzo was more then ready to go home, but had one thing to do first.

He headed down the main streets lazily, Gojyo and Hakkai on his heel. They were still worried about him, he could tell. He scoffed at the idea; he wasn't going to fall over dead just because he'd suffered a few nicks from a rabid monkey. He was more then that. The crowds around him were slowly decreasing in population. The tournament was over, and it was time to return to their lives. Even Sanzo had to go back to working at a lousy part-time job again. But at least he wasn't going to be ignored anymore. He was somebody now.

He stepped into a store, checking out the Weight Boards along the wall before taking down a deep purple one. Sanzo was impressed by how much it weighed. It felt relatively light considering how much metal and machinery went into it. He took a moment to assess the board. It was just a hunk of metal, really, but it was significant to him. He'd wanted one his whole life, and now that he had one, it felt like the world had opened up to him. It was stupid, of course, so he didn't dare say it aloud. But by the look on Hakkai's face, he had a feeling the man knew anyway. Once he set it on the counter and dug out the money, the man behind the counter asked him if he'd like it wrapped up.

Sanzo simply suppressed a smirk and said, "No. I'm riding it home."

---

The recovery process for Goku and Seiten had been intense. Goku had luckily not been hit with a fatal attack, but the slice along his midsection had to be sewn up to keep his guts from falling out. The doctors and nurses continued to tell him how lucky he was, because if Sanzo had cut just a bit deeper, he would be dead. He knew that, and wondered absentmindedly if Sanzo knew what he had been so close to doing. Maybe not, considering Goku had beaten him several times over the head with his staff. Sanzo probably had no idea what he had been doing.

Seiten managed to slide by with some major blood loss and a few other mild injuries. His hand was in bad shape though, and it had taken several surgeries to keep the young man from losing it all together. Luckily, it managed to hold together, but the first two fingers Sanzo shot off could not be repaired. Goku had joked, saying that Seiten would be known as the "eight-fingered wonder" and Seiten had managed to smack him with his good hand. The doctors ended up getting mad at them for roughhousing in their state.

Goku was glad his twin was going to be all right. When he heard Seiten's cry of pain on the battlefield and watched the amount of blood coming from his hand, he lost it. He was ready to tear Sanzo's head off for the pure fact that he had done such unspeakable damage to his lover. It had been him who had smacked Sanzo's gun the wrong way, but it had been the blond who pulled the trigger.

It was startling how easy the realization came to him. He couldn't believe he was struggling so much with his attraction to Sanzo and his love for Seiten. His indecision and worry and stupidity had all come from the security that they had acquired. Goku had been bored of it, plain and simple, and he'd ended up seeking danger in Sanzo's arms. But they had been beaten. The company no longer cared for them. They paid for their hospital bills but now they were tossed aside like old garbage. It suited Goku just fine. It meant they could finally leave and start somewhere new in another city where they wouldn't be tied down to the same tournament year after year.

It was as though a giant weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He no longer felt the pressure to go out and do incredibly stupid things while drunk. He was content to stay with Seiten, no matter where they ended up.

It was not long after they got out of the hospital that Goku told him. They had been home for less then a day and everything was still sore as hell, but Goku knew he shouldn't put it off any longer. He started off soft, talking about the kiss and then the sex before he launched into a full on explanation of why he cheated on him with Sanzo. By the end of it Goku was sobbing and begging for his forgiveness. It was a tense moment; Seiten looked like he was ready to break something. Goku was afraid Seiten would turn and leave him, but finally his twin let out a sigh through his nose, slowly easing his clenched fists.

"I'm mad, but I understand," Seiten said with an amount of patience that astounded Goku. He half-expected the other man to fly into a rage. Though his words were tense with a strained calm, his usual possessiveness and jealousy raged behind his eyes. "You know that the next time I see Sanzo in a tournament battle I'm going to kill him."

Goku couldn't help but laugh, feeling the tension bleeding away as he pulled Seiten into a warm embrace. "As long as he doesn't shoot you again," Goku whispered, gently taking in Seiten's busted hand.

"I'll kill him with or without my hand," Seiten replied, before leaning forwards and capturing Goku's lips in a kiss.

Things were going to be all right again. Goku just knew it.

Despite Seiten's protests, they went to Sanzo's celebration. They watched patiently as Gojyo and Hakkai accepted the award, Sanzo seated on the stage, probably still injured. However when his violet eyes trailed around the audience and spotted them, Goku couldn't help but wave like mad. They didn't stay for the party afterwards, though. Goku knew his lover hated the idea of having to stand next to Sanzo and not get to punch his face in. Goku wanted to talk to the blond, but decided it probably wasn't the best.

A few days later Seiten came to him with a map, announcing that there was another tournament to the west in a city called Uion. It was another big city cup tournament that was supposed to attract a hell of a competition. At the idea, Goku couldn't help but grin, and they moved to pack.

Things were definitely looking up.

---

Gojyo, Hakkai and Sanzo headed out towards home the next morning. Sanzo sported his brand new Weight Board while Gojyo couldn't help but buy one of his own. His was a flaming red, and contrasted Sanzo's violently. They made their way towards Frayer City's gates, prepared to make their long trip over the desert home. Their final stretch.

"Wait!"

Sanzo turned, surprised to find Goku and Seiten coming after them. Goku sported a large bag on his shoulders while Seiten's looked smaller, and definitely easier to handle. Goku stopped next to him, taking a moment to catch his breath. "I just wanted to say goodbye," he said, adding a cheeky grin for effect.

Sanzo stepped off the board, allowing it to hover over the ground expectantly. Without acknowledging Goku's goodbye, he turned to look back at Seiten. "Where are you two going?" he asked, mildly curious.

"We're heading west. Towards Uion. It's a major city with another big tournament," Seiten answered coolly, staring Sanzo down with burning intensity. It was as though he was trying to glare him to death. "Goku wanted to talk to you before we left."

Goku's golden eyes focused on Sanzo, as though there was no room for anything, or anyone else. Sanzo knew that was painfully untrue. He held his hand out for a shake, and Sanzo eyed it wearily. "I didn't get to say this before, but it was a great fight." Hesitantly, Sanzo shook the boy's hand, cocking a brow at the grin it produced. "And I wanted to thank you for beating us."

"What?" Sanzo shot back.

"Well, we're not tied down anymore. We're going to start at the bottom again, no more goddamn pampering for us," Goku seemed to bounce from foot to foot, excited at the prospect. Sanzo's lips twitched upwards at his childish behavior. Beside him, Seiten shook his head and muttered things beneath his breath. "But I swear Sanzo, next time we meet; I'm going to kick your ass." There was a feral glint to his eyes now, daring Sanzo to say otherwise.

"That's what you said last time, pipsqueak. And we beat you anyway," Sanzo was surprised that it was Gojyo who called it out over his shoulder. He turned to shoot the redhead a potent look.

"'We'?"

Goku burst out laughing at the look on Gojyo's face, causing the man's face to redden in anger and embarrassment. However, before he could shout the brat stupid, Goku grabbed Sanzo by the collar of his shirt, dragging him down so Goku could whisper in his ear. Goku was so close that Sanzo could feel his breath against his ear, and it sent shudders shooting up his spine. Sanzo eyed Seiten, wondering what the hell Goku thought he was doing, and what his brother was going to do about it.

"If things were different," Goku said softly, a soft purr forming in the back of his throat. Sanzo couldn't suppress the shudder that ran down his spine. "You would be mine, Sanzo."

Then Goku pulled away, smiling and making it seem like that seductive voice hadn't come from him. They waved their goodbyes as Sanzo stood stunned, probably with some stupid look on his face. If this had been their first meeting, Sanzo could only wonder what would happen when he met up with Goku again. Ignoring Gojyo's incredulous "what the hell did he say?" Sanzo turned and stepped back on his board. He pressed down the kick start, and the engine whirled to life. The wind around him picked up, and Sanzo grinned. He felt alive for the first time in a long while. Goku had gotten the blood pumping within him again, managed to drive him insane in the short while they had known each other. He had never really wanted to seek something out before, let alone a person. But Goku was beneath his skin now, and Sanzo craved him like a drug.

He was damned if he was going to let Seiten have him.

Turning back to Gojyo's stunned face and Hakkai's charming smile, Sanzo's own smirk caught on his lips. He flipped the sail up on his board, gripping it while preparing to shoot forwards.

With a devilish glint in his eyes, Sanzo said, "Race you."

Then he was gone, shooting out over the horizon and kicking up a storm of sand in his wake.

Hakkai could only laugh goodheartedly, watching Sanzo zoom from sight. Turning back to Gojyo, he simply said, "Well, he seems livelier."

"Livelier!?" Gojyo shot back, staring to where Sanzo had disappeared to. "Shit Hakkai, more like insane! He's still got the money!"

"We should probably go after him then," Hakkai said calmly, still with the expression of utter peace on his face.

"Damn right we will!"

Gojyo and Hakkai were quick to jump on Gojyo's Weight Board. The young man kick started it, flipped the sail up and raced after Sanzo as quickly as possible. Sanzo glanced behind them and cackled, pressing down harder on the kick-start and zooming further off into the sunset. He felt like a child, racing home after a long day of Scrimmage with Gojyo and Hakkai. With the wind whipping through his hair and money in his pocket, Sanzo felt like all his problems were blown away with the sand. He didn't care about the starving economy; he didn't care about the war across the ocean. He didn't care when the next Scrimmage match was, all he knew was that he was going home.

And he wasn't going home a loser.