A/N: Ahh! Last chapter!! So, basically, I wanna thank all of you who have reviewed thus far--your words are always welcome :) I'm rather surprised at myself that I was able to write a story and not go "Eh...I'm bored with it" and then give up halfway through. Huzzah for me? Anyway, enjoy the last chapter! Review...?

Disclaimers: Not mine. Never will be mine. Sigh.

Warning: Yaoi!

Chapter Nine

"There now, steady love

So few come and don't go;

Will you, won't you,

be the one I'll always know?"

- Look After You by The Fray

It had been two days and still Gojyo did not wake up. Hakkai kept constant vigil over him, assuring the other two that even though the wound was not life-threatening once he had closed it, Gojyo had still lost a lot of blood and would probably be out for a few days. Goku was relieved to hear this and gained his usual appetite back as soon as they had found an inn to stay at until Gojyo was healed completely. Sanzo, however, was another story.

He hadn't eaten much except for the rice that Hakkai had practically shoved down the monk's throat, and other than that he had to empty his ashtray every few hours at the rate he was going through cigarettes. Goku had tried to cheer him up, but it had ended with Sanzo snapping at the poor boy and sending him off to Hakkai in near-tears. Even though Sanzo had been assured by their healer that Gojyo would, in fact, live, it still didn't ease the storm brewing inside of him.

Ever since he was thirteen he had been plagued by the image of his master being taken down by youkai, waking violently from nightmares and closing himself up in his depression whenever it rained. Because of this he had vowed to hold nothing, to never let someone get so close to him that their death would invoke these same horrors, but leave it up to the fucking kappa to ruin everything.

Sanzo couldn't believe it. The thought of Gojyo dying—hell, of any of them dying—was too much. He had had that proven to him when that idiot had shielded him from that blow, just like his master. Since then, even thinking about Hakkai or Goku in the same situation made him shudder and hole himself up inside his room, left to his dark thoughts and brooding on it all. He damned those idiots who travelled with him for treating him to this never-ending hell.

What made it worse was that those eyes kept haunting him. He felt as if he couldn't escape those blazing, crimson orbs that seemed to reach out and grasp something inside of him, holding it in a death grip. It felt like choking. It felt like drowning. It felt like burning.

They laid low in the inn. Sanzo changed out of his usual attire to don a more casual outfit consisting of his jeans and an overly-large, white button-down shirt, all of them agreeing that the last thing they needed was for someone to hear that a member of the Sanzo-ikkou was down and thinking it the perfect opportunity to strike. Hakkai had taken it upon himself to assure that they all got separate rooms, knowing that Sanzo did not want company and wanting to make sure that Gojyo was away from any unwanted noise or the like. Even so, the green-eyed man could always be found in Gojyo's room, ever ready in case something were to happen and making sure the last vestiges of the wound were properly taken care of.

On the third day, however, Sanzo somehow found himself in Gojyo's room, sitting in the chair Hakkai had been occupying next to the bed and simply staring at the man who had so completely unnerved him. The healer had asked Sanzo to look over him temporarily, since he had hardly gotten any sleep and Goku was out somewhere doing the shopping all by himself. Sanzo wondered vaguely if Goku could manage to do even that, but his first and foremost thoughts were on Gojyo, as they usually seemed to be as of late. The damn half-demon was just lying there, merely asleep, having been nearly on the verge of death until Hakkai had jumped in. He watched his chest rise and fall slowly, evenly, watched the scarred face that was oddly pale in contrast to his usual tan, watched and did nothing else.

He needed . . . well, he wasn't quite sure what he needed. Reassurance, he supposed. Hakkai and Goku had tried to give him just that, but neither of them was the one he wanted it from. Sanzo got up from the chair and locked the door, not caring so much anymore about matters of pride. He walked back to the bed and hesitated before moving the sheets back, crawling in next to Gojyo and finding a comfortable place at his side. He reached his left hand out to rest on the redhead's chest, feeling how cold his skin was against his.

He closed his eyes and stayed that way for a long time—he couldn't say just how long, but it must have been a couple of hours—until he heard a familiar voice above him.

"Why, Sanzo-sama, what a wonderful surprise," Gojyo murmured. Sanzo could feel the vibrations in his chest moving through his fingers, that feeling somehow giving him that strange comfort that he had craved. He closed his eyes and swore.

Gojyo heard the curse coming from the monk and grinned. His chest felt a little sore, but he could feel Sanzo's warm hand against it and it somehow made him forget about the dull pain, added to the wonderful scent that was specifically Sanzo. He rested his cheek against the soft golden hair beneath him, thankful that that youkai's blade hadn't been sharp enough to do him in as soon as he had been cut down. He had to thank Hakkai—because he was sure the healer had tended to him—when he saw him next.

But now all of his attention was on Sanzo curled up next to him, delicious heat radiating from his thin frame. It was like waking to a dream come true.

"Phew, I'll bet that was a close one," he said jokingly. "Man, why do I always have to watch your ass, huh? Not that I really mind." He took a deep breath. "Kinda feel sore, though. Oh well. I guess I should have expected you to come with these sorts of things. Like a deluxe package!" He laughed a little before he felt Sanzo's hand clench in his shirt, the monk shaking ever so slightly. Shit, now I made him mad. Great move, Gojyo.

"I was just kidding, you know," he tried to assure him, but Sanzo did not look up at him. The blond was mumbling something that Gojyo could not hear clearly. "Sanzo?"

"Fuck you," Sanzo whispered, his shaking becoming worse. "Fuck you. Fuck you."

Panic started to bloom in Gojyo's chest. He shook the monk a little, trying to get him to calm down.

"Hey, hey, I didn't mean it—"

"FUCK YOU!" Sanzo was on top of him, and before he knew it his head flew to the side with the impact of the monk's hand, the expression on his face almost animalistic in its intensity. Gojyo vaguely wondered if Sanzo was going to slip back into the realm of madness he was sometimes prone to, wondering just how safe he was lying there, injured as he was.

"Fuck you! Fuck you! FUCK YOU!" Sanzo hit him with every oath, his voice rising the way it always did when he got angry. Gojyo let him be hit, thinking the pain was nothing, knowing Sanzo's full strength was not in them. Sanzo pulled his fist back to hit him again, and Gojyo waited, but nothing came. He looked up and saw Sanzo's head bowed, bangs hiding his eyes and fist still raised, still shaking.

"Fuck you . . ." His voice broke, and Gojyo was shocked to see a tear running slowly down the side of his face. "Fuck . . ." He let out a sound that was the barest of sobs, the slightest jerk of his shoulders, and Gojyo wrapped his arms around his monk and held him to his body, one hand cradling the back of his head as Sanzo fisted his own hands in Gojyo's shirt, letting out something that Gojyo knew needed to be released. Minutes dragged by as he rubbed Sanzo's back, running his fingers through his hair, giving him light kisses there. Eventually Sanzo calmed down enough and loosened the vice-like grip he had had on his shirt, still and silent in Gojyo's hold.

"Why . . ."

That word again. Gojyo sighed, a multitude of unasked questions revealed to him from that one word. Why did you risk your life for me? Why did you ever kiss me? Why do you want me to feel? Gojyo wondered which one to answer first.

"Silly monk. You should have known by now that I would die for you." Wrong words, apparently. Sanzo pushed off of him and gave him his best glare.

"Fucking idiot! You should live and die for yourself, not jump to heroics just because we spent one goddamn night together!"

Gojyo raised his hands and cupped Sanzo's face, his eyes red and puffy but still managing to look beautiful. "I love you."

That shut him up. Sanzo stared at him as if he was insane, his eyes fevered and wide. Gojyo brought his face down to his and kissed him, once again reminding himself to thank Hakkai for saving his life because he could do this again. Sanzo became limp against him in an oddly resigned way, making Gojyo draw back with a slight frown.

"I would die for you because I love you, baka. I'm sorry if it brought up painful memories. But you know, your master . . . he probably loved you enough to do that for you, just like I did. And that's something, isn't it?" Sanzo only looked at him in awe, trying to comprehend what exactly was going on. "I reached out and touched your hair that night because I love you. I kissed you because I love you. I made love to you—" he kissed him again, slowly and carefully, "—because I love you like I've never loved anyone before. Fuck, I know that sounds corny, but it's the truth. So there you have it . . . cards are on the table. What're you gonna do about it?"

Sanzo stared at him for a good while until he began to move to get off the bed. Gojyo latched onto him and kept him there, refusing to let him run away now.

"You're fucking crazy," Sanzo spat.

"Maybe. But I'm crazy for you, my ferocious little monk."

Sanzo snorted and stopped struggling, lying with his back to Gojyo. "I don't understand you at all."

"It's all right, you don't have to. The important thing is that you understand this." He moved Sanzo onto his back and kissed him deeply, dipping his tongue into that sweet mouth. "And this." He kissed the corner of his lips while caressing the side of his face, brushing away some of the hair that fell there. "And this." His hand traveled lower and squeezed between his legs, Sanzo's breath hitching at the touch. "And I'll only ever do it for you, babe. No one else can exist for Sha Gojyo."

It took Sanzo a little while to regain his senses. When he did, he scoffed up at the redhead and tugged hard on his hair. "Don't call me 'babe'." Gojyo grinned and attacked his mouth again, wondering if he had actually died and was in heaven. Sanzo twined his fingers in his hair, accepting him in a way that Gojyo had thought was impossible before. He supposed miracles really did happen.

With a quick move he switched their positions, him sitting up against the headboard of the bed and Sanzo straddling him. He moved his hands down to grab the monk's ass and grinded their hips together, both of them moaning with the sensation. Sanzo kissed him hungrily, their tongues battling for dominance as Gojyo continued to move the blonde's pelvis into his. Gojyo made short work of discarding both of their clothing, thinking that putting himself between Sanzo and that youkai was the best decision he had ever made. With a small chuckle he reached down and stroked his new lover's arousal, his sounds of pleasure better than the best-composed music. He looked around and spied a small glass of water that Hakkai must have left in the room along with an array of some other things like a toothbrush and a comb. The man must not have left his room while he was unconscious. He really needed to thank him, as soon as he was finished worshipping a certain monk in his arms.

Dipping his fingers into the water, he reached around Sanzo and began preparing him, still remembering to be slow and gentle. Sanzo growled and pushed back on his fingers when they found that sweet spot, Gojyo finding the scene incredibly erotic and having to ask Sanzo to tend to his own needs in fear of how hard he was getting. When he was ready and he had slicked up his stiff length, Sanzo positioned himself above Gojyo, a slight unsure look in his eyes. The redhead murmured encouraging words to him and grabbed his hips lovingly, guiding him down onto his erection. Sanzo hissed at the contact, but not out of pain; Gojyo, too, had to throw his head back and clench his teeth shut to keep from making too much noise. He wasn't sure how thin these walls were, but the last thing he wanted was for the monkey or Hakkai to come running to his room because they heard strange noises coming from an apparently still unconscious Gojyo.

As soon as he became adjusted to the feeling of Gojyo inside of him, Sanzo began to move. He could barely suppress the noises he wanted to make, Sanzo already moaning and kissing at Gojyo's chest, along the spot where the youkai had slashed him. Gojyo turned his head up and captured his lips again, their feeling against his far superior to any woman's he had known.

"This is what I want," he said around Sanzo's lips. He tightened his hold on his hips. "Love you," he groaned, unable to form anything else remotely intelligent. They moved together in an already familiar fashion until Sanzo's stomach began to clench, a keening noise escaping his throat as he reached his peak, holding onto Gojyo's biceps for dear life. Gojyo was not too long in following, moaning Sanzo's name with all the affection he felt for him in his little kappa heart. They simply sat there, regaining their breath, Sanzo unmoving on top of him. Gojyo wasn't about to complain.

That was when he caught two words that tumbled from the monk's lips, barely spoken above a low murmur but heard nonetheless.

"Me too."

The next day they were on the road again. Gojyo had told Hakkai over and over again that he was perfectly fine, that they should get going before Sanzo threw a hissy fit and started throwing things. They had a large breakfast as per usual and piled into Jeep, ever onward to the west.

Gojyo and Goku fought as always, the ending result being a mighty swing of the harisen that showed no mercy for either of them, Hakkai smiling in the driver's seat and reassuring Goku that a town would be coming up soon for them to eat in.

They fought a few youkai assassins that happened to pop up on the road, Gojyo cursing their bad luck and Goku grinning like a kid at Christmas, Sanzo "tch"-ing as was his habit and Hakkai chuckling at their behavior.

They went to a restaurant in the nearest town where Goku ordered at least one of everything and ate to his heart's content. He and Gojyo fought over the last eggroll and Hakkai admonished them playfully, Sanzo bringing out the harisen again just to shut them up and having to yell once or twice.

The only thing that changed in their daily routine was that when the innkeeper told them that he only had two rooms available, Goku roomed with Hakkai while Sanzo went uncomplainingly with Gojyo.