Disclaimer: If I own Saiyuki, those boys would be cowering at the tip of my pencil.

Of course, it happened on a rainy night.

Everything of significance in Genjyo Sanzo's life happened on a rainy night, and so this was no exception. The nights became so long and memories always soaked up more energy than Sanzo's Marlboros could keep up with.

It wasn't love, but human comfort was just something that couldn't be replaced, no matter how many drinks Hakkai threw back.

There was some sort of connection Sanzo had with Hakkai that he just couldn't ignore. He didn't like it by any means, but it was there and at some point, even Sanzo would become fed up with himself when the lies came forth. Hakkai was an intelligent man, and a perceptive one at that. In ways the monkey and the sprite couldn't compete, Hakkai was Sanzo's equal of sorts.

And so, on a rainy night, it had been inevitable.

Sanzo justified it to himself in many ways, and honestly, each excuse was the truth. While neither had the stamina of a certain pervert that sat in the back seat of the Jeep, both were grown men, and young ones at that. It allowed a release of tension that was perfectly natural, and the utter relaxation that came after made everything worth it for Sanzo--those muscles didn't untie themselves.

For that amount of time, Sanzo was able to forget about the rainy night. He focused on a different motion that churned inside his stomach, a heat so powerful his brain felt like it was melting to a state of nirvana. The pounding of rain on the window was replaced by his heartbeat in his own ears, and Sanzo appreciated this. He would never call himself weak, but everyone needed a distraction once in awhile--he'd learned this well from his other companions.

The awkwardness had subsided. After the initial round, Sanzo had carried on the next day like he normally had: nothing had happened. He hadn't been brooding for half the night and he certainly wasn't about to make one little tryst with a friend upset the routine of his day, despite the fact it had been new territory. He had smoked his fair share of a few packs that day, but Hakkai had said nothing. To inquire was to suggest, and to suggest went over the line.

There had been some obvious hesitation the second time.

Hakkai entered the room slowly, and loudly. He chuckled when Sanzo's eyebrow raised, a subtle way of telling him it was okay to kick him out.

Sanzo had remained silent, and Hakkai joined him at the window.

"I do believe we should get over ourselves at some point." Hakkai said softly, that ever-present smile the clearest thing Sanzo could make out in the glass reflection. The monocle gleamed and Sanzo almost smirked seeing the light catch, glass to glass, blinding both. Sanzo made a noise of response, but nothing committing. He really hated the rain.

That smile, and the smell of tea was all Sanzo could remember of that night. The morning was clearer. Hakkai's eyes had been red from lack of sleep, but somehow refreshed in spite of it. He gazed at the ceiling calmly, and Sanzo frowned as he felt something in his gut tightening most uncomfortably. He was grateful he ate little the night before, as the urge to vomit suddenly came to mind. He didn't know exactly why, but he felt raw and irritable, and Hakkai smiling as the sun shone through the mossy green curtains wasn't helping.

While Sanzo wouldn't call it a type of love, it was such in a way. It was hardly romance or lust that brought them together, but merely an acceptance for the other person. It wasn't need, though it was possibly similar to comfort. It was an offer, one that didn't make sense to refuse.

It was the fourth night Sanzo had a coughing fit. Hakkai had been initially surprised, but he hadn't found any need for worry as it continued on.

Sanzo hadn't been coughing.

The fifth night happened quite awhile later, but was very different from the other times. Sanzo fully appreciated the adrenaline that flowed through his veins while being in no actual danger. His only companion was a friend, someone he indeed learned to trust. Hakkai had been quieter than usual, which was akin to pure silence, but the refreshed look was on his face the next day, and Sanzo forgot to chastise himself for nearly being concerned about it.

The nights followed and it became a routine. It was like smoking, except not as clean, however much Hakkai would beg to differ.

First a sigh, then a chuckle, then the sound of a click as Sanzo's cigarette fumed awake by flame. Maybe a few words, a few hours, and then silence would take over once again before dawn struck.

One night Sanzo could recall--though he couldn't say why, it held no more importance than the other nights had--began when Hakkai stroked Sanzo's hair. It wasn't a caress, a caring gesture in the slightest, it was inspection, or admiration at most.

"Sanzo," Hakkai started, and he could hear the small smile that took over his companion's mouth. "I seem to be a bit tired."

Sanzo paused. "So go to sleep." he scoffed, lighting another cigarette.

Hakkai laughed. "I think I just might." Sanzo's golden strands fell to his head once more, and yet another rhythm took place as Hakkai's breathing went in and out steadily.

Sanzo couldn't decide if it was better or worse than the rain.

A few more nights settled between them, and then spring came upon them, as inevitable as that first night.

"The weather's been lovely lately." Hakkai smiled thoughtfully, ignoring his tea to gaze out the window. Sanzo grunted to show he'd been listening, and dutifully turned to page 8 of his newspaper. "Might I ask what you're favorite season is, Sanzo?" Sanzo looked up, annoyed at being truly interrupted and glared over the recycled print that was dying his fingers a bleak shade of gray. Hakkai's eyes twinkled and for some reason it annoyed Sanzo that he could see through them as clearly as the day.

Sanzo straightened his newspaper and sat for some time. Hakkai waited patiently, kind enough not to tap his fingers but cruel enough to keep staring in the general direction Sanzo's head was behind the paper.

"Anything but snow." Sanzo replied. Hakkai's eyebrows rose, partly from curiosity, partly from surprise. A slight frown appeared under the smile when Sanzo reached over and took Hakkai's tea. He took a generous sip and placed it at his right. "I hate the cold."

To this day, Sanzo doesn't quite know what it was; maybe because he felt it wasn't important. It wasn't confirmation, and for the billionth time Sanzo felt assured it wasn't love. It was a calling of sorts: not so obnoxious as the monkey's, but it took on that same melancholy state.

It wasn't loneliness, it wasn't a craving. In the most specific terms and the vaguest sense, it was apathy. But it was mutual, and that there made the difference. The choosing to be indifferent about a very significant act told Sanzo all he needed to know about those rainy nights with Hakkai.

They were chosen, they were deliberate, and they were real. Everything of significance that happened to Genjyo Sanzo were of this caliber, and so, deep in his gut he knew it was right.

He stopped caring, and accepted it.

Friends had that effect on you.

A/N: I have no excuse for this. I have no idea what's going on in my mind, honestly. I hope it was enjoyed. Thanks for dropping by!