Disclaimer: Not mine, never mine.

A/N: Title is pretty self-explanatory, but all reviews and/or constructive criticism are welcomed and loved! I hope you enjoy the fic!

Three Times Sanzo Meant "I'm Sorry" (And One Time He Said It)

1. Hakkai

Hakkai had had a long, tiring day. Scratch that. Hakkai had had a long, tiring week and the only thing he wanted to do was fall into bed. He'd left Goku and Gojyo at the local arcade so he wouldn't have to deal with them underfoot, but there was laundry to be done and errands to be run, and someone had to look after the other three's stuff. He walked up the stairs to the room he was sharing with Sanzo, bracing himself for an encounter with the irritable man.

Sanzo had been snapping everyone's head off all week, and Hakkai was frankly sick of it. He'd been glad when the priest had turned down his invitation to a late lunch with a grunt and a shake of his head. Hakkai knocked on the door and sighed when there was no answer. He opened the door quietly, and walked into the room.

He stopped, stared, then smiled.

Sitting on his bed was a pile of neatly folded just-cleaned laundry. Next to it was a note.

Gone out to get groceries. Will be back by 4. --S

Hakkai shook his head bemusedly and adjusted his monocle. "Not one to waste words, is he?" He chuckled, and moved the laundry to a chair. Maybe I'll just rest my eyes for a few minutes, he thought, sitting down on the bed. Just a few minutes…

2. Goku

"Sanzo Sanzo Sanzo Sanzo SANZOOOO," yelled Goku, running into the man's office. "Look at this, look at this!" He just barely avoided a rare vase, "I've finished my work for Hakkai!" He tripped over a loose board in the floor, "And you promised you'd spend time with me!" He fell in what seemed to a horrified Sanzo to be dramatic slow motion onto Sanzo's desk, where he spilled ink all over the ten reports Sanzo had just completed for the three aspects.

Splattered with ink, Goku looked up and smiled goofily. "You promised, Sanzo! "

Sanzo snapped out of his paralyzed horror. "I'm not going to waste my time with a complete fool like you! Go ruin someone else's day and GET OUT OF MY OFFICE," he yelled in a ferociously cold tone.

Goku deflated like a popped hot air balloon and scuttled out of the office with a heartbroken face.

Sanzo rubbed his temples and sighed, the image of the monkey's crestfallen expression tugging at his conscience. He reached for a sheet of paper to begin the reports again, then stopped halfway down the page. He stood, and swept out of the room.

He found Goku sniffling in one of the jasmine trees.

"Come down from there, monkey," he called softly. Big amber eyes blinked at him doubtfully. "I've got something to show you," he added.

Goku jumped down. "Yeah?" he asked warily, wiping his eyes on his sleeve.

"Have you ever made paper airplanes?" asked Sanzo.

3. Gojyo

Gojyo was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

First there had been this hot girl outside their inn in a short white dress, who had told a charmingly flirting Gojyo (if he did say so himself) that she only went for "men." Gojyo had been so surprised by this vicious reply that he had stumbled backward, and had fallen on his (very fine) ass in a muddy puddle. It had not helped his mood that Sanzo had been there to point and laugh. (Well, to be fair to Sanzo, it was more of a glare and smirk. It was amazing how he was able to do that simultaneously…)

Just as Gojyo had managed to stand, Hakkai pulled up with Jeep, and splattered mud all over his face. He'd had to sit on small towel and let the mud dry around him itchily for the rest of the car ride. It quickly had become unbearably hot. He had felt like he was in a kiln.

Then, he'd noticed Goku leaning over the cooler, and had asked him to pass a beer. For once, Goku had done so without complaint. Just as he popped the cap, however, Hakkai drove speedily over a large bump, and the can went flying out of his hand. "Pass me another?" he had asked plaintively, only to be told that there weren't any more.

At that point, (he was unashamed to admit) he had almost started crying like a little girl, but had managed to restrain himself in a very dignified, manly fashion (as per usual, of course).

When they had (finally!) stopped for the night to camp, Gojyo had found a pond in which to rinse all the mud still stuck to him off. He had braved the iciness for the sake of cleanliness (because contrary to what Hakkai thought, Gojyo totally had a sense of the advantages of sanitary living), only to find when he got out of the pond that leeches had stuck themselves to his arms and legs. (He will deny it if anyone says that he shrieked like a dying coyote at this point). He had ripped every leech off in about twenty seconds flat, but he now had red welts all over his (very toned) body.

Unfortunately, during his wild dance to pick every leech off himself, he had kicked his pack of cigarettes into the pond, and he was not going back in for them. (Damn leeches had better enjoy his last damn cigarettes.)

And that's how he had come to be where he was right now. Sitting in front of the campfire morosely, his wet hair sticking to his neck as he shivered in a borrowed blanket, beer-less, smoke-less and dignity-less.

He narrowed his eyes at Sanzo with jealousy as smoke curled around the priest's head. The grumpy man stood up, and walked around the campfire. "You look like shit," he said, before dropping a full pack of cigarettes and a lighter into Gojyo's lap and walking away.

Gojyo picked up the pack and turned it over. They were his kind of cigarettes. Gojyo couldn't stop the smile that spread across his (very handsome) face.

4. Hakuryuu

"Goddamnit!" Sanzo spat, sucking on his paper cut and accidentally slamming his glass down on a sleeping Hakuryuu's tail. The others ignored his outburst, but the small dragon spun around and hissed at him.

"Sorry, Jeep," said Sanzo, absentmindedly stroking the dragon's head to soothe him.

This caused Gojyo, Hakkai and Goku all to look up, stunned.

"Do my ears deceive me? Did those words just pass Sanzo-sama's lips?"

"Quick, saru, look out the window, maybe pigs are flying!"

"Turn on the faucet, Gojyo, maybe wine is flowing instead of water!"

"Maybe it's snowing in hell!"

Sanzo glared at them coldly. "Shut up, idiots," he said as he opened up the paper.

"Ah," Hakkai nodded wisely, "There's the Sanzo we all know and love."

"Speak for yourself," said Gojyo.

Sanzo ruffled the pages and sniffed dismissively, Hakkai returned to reading his book, and Gojyo resumed flipping idly through a trashy magazine as Goku lounged on the couch. A relaxed aura permeated the room, and if anyone had been able to see Sanzo's face behind his paper, they would have been privy to a sight more rare than a blue moon—a very small, but unmistakably present smile.