The Honeymoon
by Hth

On the first night, Sanzo could hardly believe it. He was wrapped peacefully in the edges of sleep when a squirming, jittery weight disturbed his bed, and that wretched, mewling voice whined "Saaaaan-*zo...*" into his ear.

"Baka," Sanzo muttered without opening his eyes, batting ineffectually in what he gauged to be the vicinity of Goku's head. "Go to bed. Leave me alone."

Goku's weight continued to shift until he settled rather uncomfortably inside Sanzo's personal space. Sanzo tried to dislodge him by rolling to his side, and found one of Goku's arms directly in the spot where he wanted to be. He rapped the hand lightly with the side of his fist, only to have the wrong one move -- and in the wrong direction. "Watch it," Sanzo growled, half-opening one eye. "Do you know where your hand is?"

By moonlight, Goku's face was not completely familiar; something in the peaceful, determined set of his features put Sanzo on edge. He'd seen that expression on Goku before, but only in battle. Eager and confident -- dangerous. "Yes," the boy said, for once refusing to flinch away under Sanzo's glare.

"Well, then move it." Few people dared to fly directly in the face of so clear an order from Genjo Sanzo. Least of all Goku.

His lips thinned slightly, and then he smiled pleasantly, with only the slightest moon-glitter of malice. "I will," he promised.

And then he did, without much technique, but with perfect confidence, a rough but unhurried touch that took Sanzo's breath away entirely, leaving him shuddering and mute with shock.

It only happened at all, the first night, because it took Sanzo so long to recover from his surprise that by the time he had his wits about him, he was already almost completely undone, every inch of his skin alive and roaring with the basest kind of thrill. The whole experience had such an air of unreality that afterwards, he could never remember details -- just the strange, exhilarating sense of broken rules and amazing discoveries.

By morning, when he woke on his stomach, with the sheets stuck to his body in more than one place and one arm thrown carelessly over Goku's chest as he snored, it already seemed to Sanzo as if he'd been possessed, or ensorcelled, or possibly cursed. He shoved Goku off the bed, and he hit the floor with a sound midway between grunt and whine. "Get out."

Goku sat up, blinking and squinting. "What? But--"

"Get out!" Sanzo threw a pillow at him, and Goku grabbed his robe and darted out the door. Sanzo was shaking slightly as he laid back down. Possessed, certainly. Anything else was simply...impossible. Simply too bizarre to be believed.

There were rose-colored bruises all over his neck and shoulders; Sanzo noticed them as he was dressing, and rearranged his robes several times in sheer paranoia before he was satisfied that they were all invisible.

Unbelievable. Sanzo ejected the incident from his reality and went down to breakfast.

He was the last one to the table that morning. Goku watched him from the corner of his eye, but simply hunched himself protectively over his food when Sanzo's harsh gaze fell directly on him. He tried to quell Hakkai with the same look when Hakkai leaned over Gojyo's shoulder and whispered something into his ear that made Gojyo cover his mouth quickly to keep from spitting out his coffee, but Hakkai just returned the look with a mildly speculative one, then widened his smile and flicked one light finger over Gojyo's cheek and went back to the cooking.

They were all against him. Of course, Sanzo had known that for years. It put him in a worse mood than ever, but no opportunity presented itself to release his aggressions on any of his three housemates. They *would* choose that of all days to behave.

On the second night, Sanzo didn't think he expressed himself very clearly, but at least he rallied himself for the attempt. He was instantly alerted by the sound of the door, and the rustle of shed clothing, so that as soon as Goku crawled beneath his freshly-scrubbed bedclothes, Sanzo turned on him, twisting his arms back and pinning him to the mattress. "Just what do you think you're doing, little boy?" Sanzo growled, his face so close to Goku's that he could hardly see anything but those wide eyes.

He could feel Goku trembling slightly against Sanzo's confining weight, but his voice was steady as he said, "I'm not a little boy anymore."

"You're still an idiot," Sanzo reminded him.

It should have been impossible, with Sanzo's hands still wrapped firmly around his wrists, but somehow Goku managed to wind his lanky arms (it seemed as though the boy would simply never stop getting taller) around Sanzo's neck, enough to jerk his head down. Communication was a lost cause after that, for several hours.

He tried to be clear enough, afterward, as he shoved Goku out of bed. "Stay out of my room."

Goku avoided his eyes as he crouched down to pick up his robe, but when he stood up again -- still not wearing it, damn the ape -- he seemed to have found a quick source of stubbornness. "Why should I?"

The sheer idiocy of the question rather defied coherent answer. When did *because I'll strangle you if you don't behave yourself* cease to be even a momentary deterrent to Goku's misbehavior?

Possibly around the same time that Goku turned into this -- this *person.* This slim, poised youth who stood there so comfortable in his skin, with his chin lifted proudly, his hair curling in sweaty tendrils along the edges of his face and his lips darkened and swollen from hard use. "Stay away from me," Sanzo said again, from low in his chest. He knew it was no answer, but he was still slightly...unbalanced by the whole situation.

Goku swung the robe around himself with an unconscious flourish. "You liked it, too," Goku said, and he was gone before Sanzo could make his jaw work again.

He collapsed flat on his back, scratching at his eyes until the discomfort drove away all rational thought.

It was the rational thoughts he was learning to watch out for.

On the third night, Sanzo held him off long enough to deliver the speech he'd spent all day carefully preparing. This *was* going to stop, he explained, both his hands folded around Goku's wrists, and Sanzo brushed away a mad urge to run his tongue up one of the blue veins in his arm to the warm spot where those two pulse-points were pressed snugly together. He explained that he neither knew nor cared what had put any of this into Goku's head, but it was intolerable, impossible, and ridiculous besides, and that Sanzo would knock the idea loose by force if he had to, so it could only be to Goku's advantage to find a less painful way to get over it on his own.

It was a good speech, in design and in execution. Sanzo's eyes only strayed two or three times to the edges of Goku's collarbone, where the robe was beginning to slip down his shoulder, and every time they did, Sanzo shook him slightly to make up for it. Goku listened to it with meekly lowered eyes, and nodded at appropriate intervals.

Then he raised his eyes to Sanzo's and said breathily, "I brought something for you. I thought we...."

Extricating one hand slowly, Goku fished his gift out of the pocket of his robe -- a small bottle. For a moment, Sanzo thought it was a shot of liquor, but that turned out not to be the case at all.

"What the hell's wrong with you?" Gojyo asked cheerfully as Goku came down the stairs slowly the next morning. "You're giving me time to eat your share of bacon."

From the corner of his eye, Sanzo could see the despondent look that Goku was giving to the vanishing bacon. "Not fair," he protested, his voice raspy.

"Too slow," Gojyo said gleefully, stuffing the last three strips in his mouth all at once.

Goku started to sit down, then paused, looking at what was left of breakfast, and then around at his friends, then back at his unoccupied chair with a deep sigh. "I'm not hungry," he mumbled, and made his way slowly back toward the stairs.

"Damn," Gojyo said when he was out of earshot. "Do you think he's sick?"

"I don't think so," Hakkai said, glancing at Sanzo. Sanzo decided to pretend he just hadn't seen it. Any of it.

On the fourth night, Sanzo simply assumed that he'd have an uninterrupted night of sleep, but it was not to be. Goku climbed a bit gingerly into his bed, and Sanzo ran a hand down his hip, watching the boy try to hide a flinch. "What are you, a masochist?"

"No," Goku said sulkily. "It's-- I'm not that sore."

"Liar. Do I look stupid to you?"

"Can't we just...?" Goku rolled against him, nuzzling the crook of Sanzo's neck. "You know. Like the other times?"

Sanzo slipped a hand across the back of Goku's neck, his thumb pressing tightly just under Goku's jaw. "Maybe I don't want to *just,*" he whispered in Goku's ear, lightly menacing, just enough to feel Goku shiver against him.

"Okay," Goku whispered back, arching his spine. "Whatever you want."

The acquiescence was unexpected, and oddly arousing. Sanzo wound two fingers in Goku's messy ginger-brown hair and ran his tongue along the lines of Goku's parted lips. "Don't be an idiot," he grumbled, letting his tongue dart in and out of Goku's mouth. "I'm not going to hurt you. I'll just...."

"Just," Goku repeated on a sigh, insinuating one leg between Sanzo's.

On the fifth night, Sanzo didn't feel like talking, so he covered Goku's mouth with his hand when he tried it, and then decided he rather liked the way it muffled Goku's cries and left it there. Nothing at all was said that night, except as Sanzo prodded Goku up and out of bed. "Don't go spoiling it," he advised shortly as he saw Goku open his mouth to say something. Seeing the wisdom of that advice, Goku left wordlessly.

On the sixth night, he told Goku it was the last time. Goku nodded as though he understood.

But on the seventh night he had to explain again about how this was the very *last* time, and then again on the eighth and ninth. Goku had never been a quick study, after all.

Still, by the tenth night, when he still didn't seem to understand what *last time* meant, Sanzo found himself getting especially annoyed -- not to mention tired. "Only a dumbass ape like you," he grumbled against the smooth skin and knobs of bone low on Goku's spine, "would keep coming around where he wasn't wanted like this."

"I know," Goku said shortly -- from shortness of breath, perhaps, but on the other hand, perhaps from something more. A hint of comprehension? No. That was probably too much to ask.

He sat on the edge of the bed, with dawn coming grey and cool in the window, and Sanzo sore-eyed and half-asleep behind him. "Can I just stay here?"


"I did once before...?" It was a fact, but somehow Goku made it sound like a question.

"Go," Sanzo told him, and he did.

On the eleventh night, Sanzo lay awake in the dark for hours, but nothing happened. He was more exhausted the next morning than ever, and he hit Goku with his fan at breakfast, just because the ape looked so obscenely well-rested.

"Ow!" Goku protested. "I didn't even do anything!"

Sanzo gave him a cold look and said, "It's that damn chewing sound."

"But I'm *chewing!*" Sanzo hit him again, and Goku gave up with an angry glare. Hakkai frowned at Sanzo, but changed his expression to one of those falsely sweet smiles when Sanzo arched a challenging eyebrow at him.

On the twelfth night, Sanzo couldn't sleep at all. A faint scent of Goku, mossy and sensual, lingered on his pillow, and it was sickening. He swore to himself that if Goku came in now, he would evict him immediately; this sort of unreliability couldn't be rewarded. But minutes passed into hours, and it seemed as though Sanzo wouldn't have the opportunity to make his point that night, either, which left him with a strangely sour taste in his mouth and a tight feeling behind his eyes.

On the thirteenth night, he was feeling too restless to go to bed at all. He stayed up late reading in the kitchen, and then lit a few torches out back and got in a bit of shooting practice. When he put out the torches in preparation to retire, his eye was instinctively drawn to the one nearby source of light -- a flickering lamp in the window of Hakkai's room, throwing sharp silhouettes inside the frame. He watched, slightly mesmerized, as the seated shapes moved languidly, distinguishable only because of Gojyo's distinctive long hair, which Hakkai's hands kept lifting and dropping as Gojyo moved in his lap. Abruptly, Hakkai's head fell backwards, exposing a startling length of curved neck, and Sanzo recovered himself enough to turn away, his heartbeat idiosyncratic.

As he climbed the stairs toward his bedroom, Sanzo heard the creak of hinges, and his pulse leapt in instinctive response, but it was Goku's door, and Goku entering his own room armed with a midnight snack of beer and pudding. He stopped as Sanzo emerged from the stairway, and watched as Sanzo turned an indifferent shoulder toward him, reaching for his own door.

But Sanzo couldn't seem to walk across that threshold any more than Goku could. They both remained with one foot firmly planted in the hall, neither quite facing the other, as seconds ticked by, broken only by the occasional muted sound from behind Hakkai's closed door.

At last, Goku moved, edging more decisively out of his room and into the hall. Reluctantly, Sanzo turned his head to look at him, and then couldn't manage to look away as Goku took three quick steps, and then two slower ones, toward him. He did look away then, as he moved out of Goku's way to let the boy pass by him and through the door.

The bowl of pudding found its way to a safe flat surface, but somehow the beer can went flying, spilling across the carpet with a carbonated hiss as Sanzo swung Goku roughly up against the closed door and Goku required both hands free to grab and pull on the back of Sanzo's robe. Goku was making some kind of noise into their fierce kiss that Sanzo didn't consider very significant until he tasted salt in Goku's mouth and realized that the kid was crying.

"Why--?" he began, pulling back slightly, and then realized that the last thing he wanted just then was to waste time listening to an answer. "Stop it." He wiped the tears off Goku's cheeks with brusque swipes of his thumbs, and then let his fingers glide over Goku's face.

"Go ahead," Goku muttered, miserable yet defiant. "Tell me this is the last time."

"You're a disgrace. *Stop* it." Sanzo found the constraints of ordinary clothing an incredible nuisance, but he was managing to get his hand inside Goku's tunic anyway, missing that damn robe intensely. He brushed a couple of perfunctory kisses over Goku's lips and said, "Stop crying. And don't tell me what to tell you."

They tried for the bed, but managed to stumble over each other and their partially shed clothing, landing on their knees, unable to coordinate their efforts to stand up again with the additional difficulty of maintaining a more or less unbroken kiss. Sanzo ended up as entwined in Goku's clothing as his own, and still more entwined in Goku himself, his thinking much too hazy to figure out an escape from any of it. Blind luck, more than skill, brought them both to their knees, with Goku bent over the edge of the bed, and that was effective, if inelegant. Goku twisted the blankets up in his fists, the white-knuckled tension in his hands and arms juxtaposed with the lax way his head sunk forward and the graceful fluidity of his arching back.

In some ways, Goku really was...appealing. To look at.

"Did you miss me?" Goku asked against Sanzo's throat as the two of them lay in a tangled, boneless mess on the floor.

He brushed his fingers through Goku's hair and said, "No."

On the fourteenth night, they were both sore, and they put their minds to finding the laziest possible diversions, lying slack and drowsy in each other's arms. That night Sanzo was too exhausted for even the minimal effort of ordering Goku back to his own room, and he decided it couldn't really hurt anything to let them both sleep where they collapsed.

He woke with Goku's arms around his waist, fingers laced together, and Goku's face on his shoulder, making his fingers tingle from poor circulation. He dislodged Goku with a good hard kick.

On the fifteenth night, Hakkai and Gojyo went out alone, leaving Sanzo to his latest book and Goku to his latest project, replacing their front window with a lighter, thinner pane of glass. The book didn't fully engage Sanzo for some reason, and he ended by sitting lazily beside the fire, watching the sunset and Goku at work.

When he was finished, Goku came back inside, his sleeves rolled up almost to his shoulders and a bead of sweat tracking down his temple. "Enjoying yourself?" Sanzo asked, fumbling quickly for the book he'd abandoned.

"Yes. How's the book?"

"Excellent," Sanzo lied, and Goku accepted that with a nod.

He stank faintly of pine wood and sweat when he sat down on Sanzo's lap, and Sanzo made a noise of irritation and tried unsuccessfully to push him off. "These are cool," he said, taking Sanzo's glasses gently between his hands and pulling them off Sanzo's face. "I love when you wear these."

"Look what we won!" Gojyo said when they came back, waving a large fish in the air.

"We don't want what you've been dragging out of lakes, kappa," Goku said, and Gojyo kicked him where he sat on the floor. Hastily, Sanzo looked for his book and glasses.

"Well, nobody's offering any to you, are they?"

"Don't you two normally play for money?" Sanzo asked dryly, adjusting his glasses.

"They ran out of money," Hakkai explained blithely. "We had a good night. What happened to the window?"

"Yeah, it looks weird," Gojyo said. "What's--"

"Don't touch it! It's still--"

Too late. Gojyo tapped the window sharply, just once, and the pane popped loose at the corner. "Dammit!" Goku yelled, jumping up and pummeling Gojyo with both fists. "I just put that in!"

"Well...well, sorry," he said, shoving Goku away. He looked slightly abashed, but then he shrugged it off and said, "But not very well, you didn't."

"It was drying!"

They were almost of a height these days, Gojyo and Goku, and their quarrels tended to involve larger spaces and more collateral damage. Sanzo didn't think he'd want any of the fish, after it had been used to pummel Goku.

He could still hear them crashing around in the kitchen, Goku swearing and Gojyo laughing. Hakkai sat down on the arm of his chair, looking bemused. "Morons," Sanzo said.

"Maybe. But that's why we love them."

"Speak for yourself." Sanzo wondered, but didn't know how to ask, exactly what that was supposed to mean, anyway. "Why?" he asked abruptly, his own voice running low under the sharp, distant patter of combat.


"Why? You -- and Gojyo. Why do you...?" With a little groan of frustration, Sanzo pulled his glasses back off and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "You always seemed so sure. How -- can you be so sure what it is?"

"Oh, it's love."

"But why -- what makes you -- know?"

Hakkai chewed thoughtfully on his lower lip, then smiled slightly. "I don't suppose you'd believe me if I told you he were perfect?" Sanzo snorted in reply, and Hakkai acknowledged that with a little shrug. "I suppose that one day I realized that...compared to Gojyo...perfection sounded, well...dull."

That night, Goku slipped on Gojyo's fish and sprained his ankle. It was, all things considered, the perfect end to a strange and frustrating evening. Hakkai and Gojyo spent hours fussing over him, Hakkai feeding him while Gojyo alternately apologized and called him a clumsy, ignorant animal. Sanzo went to bed early.

On the sixteenth night, Goku was still laid up. Around midnight, Sanzo went to Goku's room with a bottle of saki. "For the pain," he explained; Goku nodded gratefully, and drank too quickly.

"Why are you here?" Goku asked. He was propped up in bed, his still-boyish face lifted up toward Sanzo.

"Well...because.... Well, what about *you*? Why are you doing this to me? This was all your stupid idea in the first place, you know."

Goku's head drooped. "I know. I thought.... I don't know what I thought. That it would be like before, I guess."


He shrugged. " the cave? You remember?"

"Vaguely." Of course he remembered. The cave. The crying child. Sanzo had only visited it once, and after that, everything had changed for him -- one way or another.

"You heard what I needed. You heard me from so far away. I didn't even know if there was anybody in the world besides me, but there -- there was. It was you. And you knew. I thought -- this time, you could -- that you would hear it again."

There was nothing Sanzo could say to that. He couldn't hear anything -- not over the noise in his own head. He made a vague gesture toward Goku's bed, and Goku looked at him in confusion, until his eyes widened in surprise. "You you want to...?"

It was probably as much of a coherent invitation as Sanzo was going to get, so he accepted it. He snuffed the lamp as he got under the covers at Goku's side, and he pulled Goku down to lie level with him, so close that their noses brushed together. "I feel weird," Goku admitted.

"You have no head for alcohol. Never have."

"Saaaan-*zo.* What are we--?"

"Shut up," Sanzo told him. "You whine when you're drunk."

"I do. I whine when I'm drunk...."

Sanzo's mouth twitched in the beginnings of a smile, which the darkness luckily hid. "I can't believe you fell on a giant fish."

"I hate Gojyo."

"There's never a dull moment in this house, is there?"

"I love you, though."

"Baka," he whispered, brushing his hand over Goku's face to close his eyes.

"Yes," Goku said, and Sanzo could feel the curve of Goku's grin against his palm. "I am."