Hakkai fell to his knees, a line of tears streaking down his normally composed face. It was all coming back to him; flashbacks of his past before his eyes like a broken movie reel. What had he done to deserve this. Was he so horrible a person?

His companions stared at him, watching the tears stream. He held his hands out in front of him; looking at them as though they were dirty. All he could see was the blood he had spilled. The blood of his beloved Kanan. How could she do such a thing to herself? He thought bitterly. How could I let her go like that? Dammit! Why couldn't I even protect her? I'm so weak.

"Hakkai? Are you alright? You're acting kind of funny." The youngest of the travelers set his hand on his friends shoulder.

Hakkai roughly shoved it off and screamed, "Don't touch me!" Then more quietly, "or you might become dirty, like me."

Goku laughed. "What are you talking about? You're not dirty. Least not last time I checked." He smiled wider. "And if you're so dirty why don't you go shower? I'm sure it's open." Hakkai turned his head to him, his hands still held out in front of him. Was this boy serious? No. Of course he wasn't.

"You don't understand. I can never be clean of this blood. Of the horrors that my past holds. You just don't get it!" His head throbbed and his eyes burned as the tears rushed harder. "I've killed so many. Watched as my lover died before me. I could do nothing! Absolutely nothing."

Goku stared, confused. "What are you talking about? It wasn't your fault." Hakkai lashed out at him, grabbing him by the front of his shirt, staring into Goku's golden eyes with his own pain-filled ones..

"No, Goku. I could have done something. If I'd stayed. If I hadn't gone I could've made sure she wasn't taken. That vile man planted a baby inside her. I could have killed the baby and taken her with me. But all I did was sit back and watch." His grip tightened. "If only I'd died instead, I wouldn't have to live like this-"

His sentence was stopped short when Gojyo grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled him away from Goku. Holding him there he glowered, a half burned cigarette hanging from his mouth. "What the hell are you talking about? Imagine how much more this would hurt her. Have you ever thought about what would happen to her? Having that guys baby is a hell of a lot worse than you living without her. Her pain would be so great she'd have committed suicide anyway. Isn't it best she got rid of the source of pain then having it get rid of her first?"

Although the words were supposed to comfort him it only made Hakkai angry. He began trying to hit Gojyo with anything that could reach him. "Kappa no baka! You just don't understand! If you had the choice you'd fuck every girl you've ever seen. You don't seem to understand what it means to find your one true love! Who have you ever lost that's been so important to you that you'd give your life for them-"

"That's enough!" The leader of the small group stared at him with hardened eyes. Gojyo was looking away, the ash of his cigarette hanging on just barely. His eyes looked of anguish and rememberence. "Dammit Hakkai. What's the point of losing it now? Who do you think you are? Do you really think that you're the only one who's lost someone important to you? Look at these people. We've been traveling together for so long that you seem to have forgotten what drew us together in the first place. Every one of us understands what losing someone special feels like." He turned to Gojyo. "Let him go." Reluctantly Gojyo did as he was told. "If you're going to be an ass go find some where to cool down. I already have to listen to those two. I don't need to listen to you, too." As if his words were final, slowly Hakkai stood and walked stiffly away from his fellow group of travelers.

Hakuryuu watched him go then turned to the other three and let out a small, "Kyu?" as though in question. No one replied. He flew over to Goku and landed on his shoulder. "Kyuu?!" He whined, more incessantly this time. Softly he tugged at Goku's shirt. Goku didn't reply. He only sat on the ground, bringing his knees to his chin. Since he didn't get a reply, Hakuryuu flew over to Gojyo landing on his shoulder.

"Go away you damn dragon." Gojyo hissed, pushing the small dragon off his shoulder. His eyes were narrowed, the red crimson wavering a little with the threat of tears. Slowly Hakuryuu flew away from him. He didn't even attempt to get Sanzo's attention. Instead he perched himself on a nearby tree to watch his masters friends.

Hakkai walked further into the forest in a trance-like state. Why had he said those things? It wasn't his friends fault that he felt so defiled. So dirty. And Sanzo was right. How could he say that to Gojyo, his best friend? And why was he suddenly remembering all those horrible things? It'd been years since it happened.

When he became weary, he found himself a rock and sat down. His head fell limp into his hands as he began to cry. Was that all he could do? Cry? Only children cry, he thought. He attempted to wipe them away but quickly gave up. It was no use. For who knows how long Hakkai sat there on that rock, crying, and thinking. Dark had long come by the time he finally stood. He'd lost his way. Or at least he feared he had. To him it seemed to take longer getting back then it had to get to where he'd been.

He soon found where his companions had been, though, for Hakuryuu sat in a tree, curled into a little ball. As Hakkai approached, Hakuryuu lifted his head, blinking rapidly. "Kyu? Kyu!" When he'd spotted Hakkai he had pretty much jumped to his feet and flew down to Hakkai, landing in his unprepared arms.

"What? Oh. I'm sorry. I suppose everyone is angry at me, now." He murmured, petting his dragon under the chin.

"Damn right we are." Said the familiar voice. Hakkai whirled around to see Sanzo leaning against a tree, arms crossed and a cigarette in his mouth. "We thought you weren't ever coming back." He took a drag on the cigarette and blew out the smoke. "So. Have you cooled your head a little bit?" He dropped the cigarette on the ground, putting it out with the heel of his foot.

Ashamed, Hakkai looked at the ground and replied, "Yes. I'm sorry to have said such horrid things to you all."

Sanzo humphed. "Well then why did you say it?" Hakkai looked up and to his surprise, Sanzo has a slight smile on his lips.

Suddenly embarrassed, he turned away. "I don't know. Finally tired of putting up with all of you. Mental breakdown."

"Is that so? Well whatever. I'm going inside." Sanzo was about to slip back into the hut they'd found when Hakkai called out, "Wait!" Sanzo turned around. "Hmm?"

Surprised he'd said it, Hakkai stuttered, "Um... Well.. I just wanna sat that... Well... I-I'm sorry." Sanzo smirked, his amethyst eyes glittering.

"What for? All you did was mentally scar the stupid water sprite and our baby monkey." The teasing tone in his voice made Hakkai want to strangle him. Wasn't he ever taken seriously? The stupid priest pissed him off and yet he followed him. He couldn't understand. What was it that inspired him, a still tame demon, to follow a priest that could kill him in an instant? It certainly wasn't his charm, or his attitude. It most certainly wasn't this mans choice of profession. If it wasn't that, then what could it be?

Then suddenly, like lightning, it struck him. He suddenly knew what drew him to this man. He was in love with him. All those things he claimed he wasn't attracted to was a lie. Of all the things that should have told him to stay away.... Starting with a snicker, and then a giggle, Hakkai began to laugh, long, loud, bellowing laughs. Hakuryuu flew out of his arms as he doubled over with laughter that shook his entire body, one hand holding his glasses to his face, the other grasping his stomach.

"What's so funny?" Sanzo demanded. The smiled had faded and was now replaced with a sneer like glare. "What's with your inside jokes?"

"Oh. Excuse me." He giggled. "But I've just realized the most interesting of things." He giggled harder. Hakkai could hardly breathe he was laughing so hard.

"Stupid healer, would just get to the damn point?" Hakkai heard the annoyance in Sanzo's voice. It made him laugh only harder. "God damn! You're just as bad as Goku and Gojyo!"

Hakkai wiped away a tear of laughter before finally shouting, "Sanzo I'm in love with you! I just realized that I'm in love with a fucking man -after saying all those horrible things- and that man is you, Genjyo Sanzo!"

"Erk," Sanzo said, taken aback. "You've gotta be kidding me. There's no way in hell that's possible. Did you eat a poison mushroom or something that made your head a little fucked up, Hakkai?" Violently Hakkai shook his head.

Slowly he straightened, pushing his glasses up, as his laughter faded. A serious look over-came him as he stared at Sanzo. "I don't know what is about you. You chain smoke, you're rude, you're constantly hitting the other two. Your attitude is that of an animal. You don't look like a girl and you most certainly don't even slightly resemble Kanan. You're violent and smell of man. But despite all that I can't think of anyone but you. Your antics make me laugh and you violence is what keeps things alive. Although you smell of man, it's a sweet smell, that may remind some of a woman-"

"Oh thanks. It's a real compliment being compared to a woman." Sanzo muttered, interrupting before lighting yet another cigarette.

"Uresai." Hakkai shushed him. "You act like a mother, although rather roughly. You've kept the four of us together and alive. You've single handedly made sure we were all fed, clothed and and taken care of. Who wouldn't be attracted to that?" He'd stepped closer to Sanzo, and was close enough to rip the cigarette out of his mouth.

"What the hell-?" Before he could ask, Hakkai silenced him with a kiss. All Sanzo could do was stand in shock. The thought of another man kissing him had disgusted him beyond belief. It was no different with Hakkai. Roughly he pushed him away. "What the hell do you think you're doing, Hakkai? Are you insane?" He shouted, wiping his lips with his sleeve. "And what the fuck am I supposed to do? Leave you all out for the wild animals to eat? Gladly I would but I guess you guys aren't as bad as I thought you might be. You're not a fucking woman Hakkai so why are you suddenly acting like this?"

Looking away Hakkai muttered, "I don't know. I'm sorry. Goodnight. I'm going to sleep." Hakkai moved ghost-like to the hut, disappearing into the darkness, leaving a stunned Sanzo behind.

"God damn. First it's Goku and Gojyo confessing to each other like a bunch of girls, then Hakkai. Am I the only straight man left in the world?" He shook his head, reaching for another cigarette before remembering the one Hakkai and taken out of his mouth was his last one. "Shit." He muttered, stretching before heading towards the hut.

Gojyo and Goku were already when he'd walked into the hut, so he quietly walked to one of the empty corners and laid down. Resting his head on his arm he stared at the bleak wall, wanting to cry. How could I say that? What if I don't feel the same in the morning. Hakkai no baka! He thought, using third person to increase the impact of calling himself an idiot.

What Hakkai didn't know was that Sanzo wasn't so sure any more about his sexuality. That the kiss hadn't bothered him as much as he claimed it had. Perhaps Hakkai had a shot, but he just didn't know it yet.