The lovely and talented Selvanic allowed me to post my own take on a story she recently posted. Her fic, "Posession" (which can be found listed on her profile. This stupid upload system seems to hate links with a passion ) was just too fantastic and wonderful for me to leave well enough alone. I can't help but feel like I've kind of cheated, though. I can't write proper dialogue between Hakkai and Gojyo for the life of me.

Again, a million, billion 'thank you's to Selvanic for letting me do my own take on her fantabulous fic. I just hope I didn't butcher it too badly by switching viewpoints...

And a million, billion 'thank you's for being the long-suffering, patient Hakkai to my Gojyo. We both know that we're goofs, and we're sometimes surprised you still suffer our company.


"You should sleep."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"I just…can't."

"That's not a reason." I shake my head, trying not to frown as I watch him. If he thinks I'm going to just give up, he's wrong.

"Please don't worry about me. I'm just not tired."

"Tell that to the bags under your eyes."

"Please stop asking; it's not helping…"

I try to laugh; try to disperse some of the heavy atmosphere in the room even though I know it's hopeless. "You want me to sing you a lullaby instead?"

That finally gets a reaction, a little smile, though he still doesn't look at me. A part of me almost wants to do something drastic, to force him to look up, to really, truthfully acknowledge me, but I don't push yet. "No, I'd really rather you didn't."

"C'mon, I don't sing that badly, do I?" I pout moodily for the look of things, even though I know he isn't about to give me the satisfaction of winning a glance. It frustrates me a little…why be so dead-set on holding on to a bad mood?

"Hmm…no. But I'd really rather we didn't get shot at because you wake up someone else."

If Sanzo could see you now, it wouldn't be the singing that would cause the shooting.

I stifle the sigh that wants to slip from my lips and move closer to the table, taking a seat across from Hakkai and finally forcing him to meet my eyes. His own are a little lost for a second but then they look away again, his gaze hovering somewhere over my shoulder. I can't help but feel a little sorry for him, not because of his self-imposed misery but because of his assumption that he has to suffer it alone. I know what alone looks like.

I reach out and brush my fingers through his hair, just a comforting gesture, like petting a cat. He looks so tired…I almost hope the contact will relax him enough to help him get drowsy. "You look like Hell."

"I somehow doubt anyone really cares how I look," he smiles that little, infuriatingly blank smile he uses on the world when he doesn't give a shit, and again, it strikes a nerve. I wish he'd give it up, frown or something. Anything but that condescending smile.

"So, what?" I tilt my head a little, still watching him carefully. "Does that make me nobody?"

Well, that gets a little bit of a reaction, one of his eyebrows rising to limn a graceful arc over his eye as he lifts his head enough to nudge my hand a little. "Why, Gojyo, I didn't know you cared so much about my appearance."

I snort and smack him lightly in retaliation and he just puts his chin back down. Well…he can't be feeling all that bad if he can still hand out pot-shots. At least, that's what I hope. "If I'm going to be travelin' with a bunch of guys, then I damn well want you all to look good. I hardly want to be seen with sleep-deprived zombies."

He hums a little, his eyes un-focusing like he was reading some kind of invisible script, checking my words out against the dossier I just know he's worked up in his head. He doesn't like to be surprised, but he's smart enough to think that he can predict someone based on how long he's known them. I almost want to laugh, to shatter that illusion, to tell him about my own experiences with people and about how they can change in a heartbeat, but I doubt he'd want to hear it.

"Well then," his voice is low and smooth; the soft, non-committal tone he uses all the time as his eyes finally meet mine again, "I suppose I'll have to avoid being seen with you. Because, as bad as I may look, I don't feel like sleeping right now."

I shake my head, giving up for a moment and looking away, out the window. Thick rivulets of water run down the glass, the flicker and boom of the lightning storm outside throwing the countryside into harsh, bright relief, the roar of the thunder loud enough to rattle the panes in their settings. I wonder what he sees when he looks out into the darkness…all I ever see is nature's chaos.

"It's the rain isn't it? You never sleep when it rains."

He shrugs a little, but it's enough. He doesn't have to say anything for me to understand that I'm right. I sigh, a heavy feeling settling into my chest as I fumble for a cigarette and my lighter.

"You know, 'Kai, this is just getting silly now." I put the cancer-stick to my lips and flick the lighter to life, coaxing some of the flame onto the paper and tobacco and taking a drag before putting the lighter back in its place. "I know it's gotta hurt but this…You're going to make yourself sick."

He just smiles at me, denying me an answer aside from what I can read in his eyes. He doesn't care about what I think, he's just stubborn enough to stew in his misery until it tears him apart, until it brings him down and digs him into his own grave. He doesn't want to let go of his past. He wants it to drag him down until he's just as bad as he wants to think he is. In that moment I hate him, I want to hit him, but I don't. He's still looking at me like he knows exactly what's going through my head, and I don't want to prove him right. If I lash out, he'll just sit there and take it and believe that he deserved every blow.

"This isn't a fuckin' joke you know." I can't help but grind the words out, my voice betraying some of my anger.

"I'm not laughing."

I tense up again, losing patience with his games, his denials, for the millionth time since I first met him. "No, but you've got that goddamn smile on your face that says you're laughing at me."

He tilts his head, blinking owlishly, playing coy. He's trying to piss me off, trying to get me to storm out and leave him alone, but I refuse to give him what he wants this time. I'm willing to fight with him this time, all the way. "Oh? I was just trying to assure you that I'm alright. I'm simply not tired."

"Not tired my ass," I bark the words, my hands clenching into tight fists as I hold myself back. He's still smiling, and I want to slap the look off of him. "Look at you. You're a mess. And you're our driver, asshole. You have to sleep."

"I will, Gojyo, I will." He tries waving me off and I bristle again, my hackles rising as he tries to dismiss me like I'm some kind of kid. "I just need some time."

I can't help it, I'm on my feet again so fast that the legs of my abandoned chair clatter against the floor, the piece of furniture nearly toppling over as my legs push it out of the way.

"You've needed time for the last four, fucking, years. She's dead. I'm sorry to break it to you, but no amount of self-loathing is going to bring her back. Staring at the rain won't make her just appear outside your goddamn room. You don't have to let her go, 'Kai, but you can't let her run your life."

He doesn't look at me and I know he's ignoring me. He's had this lecture before. The bit that pisses me off is that he never listens, never lets it stick. He doesn't think anyone can understand the kind of loss that he's lived through, and he's too polite to point out the obvious: that I can't possibly understand it…because I never once had that kind of love in my life.

He stands up slowly, brushing himself off in that little gesture he always does, and looks up into my eyes, finally letting his mask slip a little. The depth of pain, of tiredness, I see there…hurts. I can't stay pissed off in the face of that hurt, but he looks away before too long, and I can tell that he's mistaking my sympathy for pity because of his assumptions.

"I understand, Gojyo," that smile is back immediately, his eyes going blank as he pushes his emotion away again, "Thank you for your concern."

He wants me to leave, but I don't move. I just stay put, staring at him and willing him to believe that I care, that I really am worried, for his sake. That I didn't bring him home and patch him up just to have him die on the inside. His eyes dart back and forth between mine and a little and my heart sinks that much more. He can't see it, none of it.

"You don't get it," I mutter the words and he blinks, like he hadn't been expecting me to speak, "That's what you're thinking, isn't it? That I don't understand." I snort and mash my cigarette out in the ashtray on the table. "Of course I don't fuckin' understand. How am I supposed to when you won't talk to me?"

"I will. Just not right now."

How many times have I heard that one? He palms it off on me as often as he thinks he can, especially when I'm drunk enough that I'll take it and drop the issue. I'm sober now, though. It's not a good enough answer when I'm sober. I growl and turn away, pacing to work off some of the fury I can feel welling up in me. He's always pushing me away, even when he calls me his friend. Sometimes I wonder why he hates me so much, making me want to care before turning around and refusing me even that.

"When?"

"I'm sorry?" I can see the surprise in his eyes as he answers, the tension in the set of his shoulders. He doesn't expect me to be thinking at this point. He probably expects me to give in to my anger and hit him.

"When are you going to talk to me?" I stop pacing, stepping close enough to touch him. He doesn't move – a little show of bravado that rankles even more as he continues to smile serenely. He expects me to give up, even now.

"Soon."

My resolve finally crumbles, dashed to pieces up against the wall he's set between us. He won't let me in. He's never let me in. It's just that somewhere along the line I started believing that he might, that our friendship actually meant something to him. I can't help but feel…weary. I'm always getting close to people who don't give a shit. I'm always trying to force closeness I can't have. Closeness I, apparently, don't deserve. "When?"

He just keeps smiling, even in the face of my disappointment. He opens his mouth and another blaze of anger flashes through me as I see his lips start to form a very familiar word.

"Don't you fuckin' tell me 'soon'," I snarl the words, stepping in closer, "I want to know when."

That makes him pause, makes him falter for a second, but he's not giving in yet. I can almost hear the gears in his head spinning as he tries to come up with an answer that isn't 'soon', but is just as non-committal. "Really, Gojyo, there's not much I've left to tell you. I'm quite sure you know everything there is to know about me."

I finally grab him, hauling him close by his shirt, nearly nose to nose. I've finally snapped, finally been pushed far enough to put my hands on him, and I'm seconds away from starting to shake him. I hope he understands what that means. "If I knew everything about you, then we wouldn't be arguing right now, would we? You'd be asleep like I want you to be. You'd be resting and over this. I'd know why the rain keeps you up, why you won't let go. But I don't. So there's a shitload of stuff for you to tell me. Now spill it."

He's still intent on denying me an answer, his smile doll-like, unchanging, as he tips his head to the side. "There's nothing to say. It's not something that can be spoken. You know that."

I still refuse to let go, glaring at him like it'll make him crumble, make him give in. He's too used to me…anyone else but the monk would have been intimidated by now, but not Hakkai. Never Hakkai. He knows I won't turn around and belt him, knows I'd never raise a fist because I'm too used to things like that going way too far. The air around us nearly seems to crackle as we hold up this standoff, emotions charging the atmosphere until there's as much of a storm inside as outside…and I can't stop myself.

I shift my hands to cup his jaw, to tilt his head a little and press forward, laying a kiss against Hakkai's lips instead of my fist. He tenses up, I can feel it, but he doesn't pull away, he's too shocked. I keep it short, pull away just enough to put a little space between us and I can't help but frown as I look into his eyes, see the puzzlement there, the sudden discomfort.

"Fuck," I can feel his breath against my skin, feel him trembling a little. "Why do I fucking care?!"

I don't wait for an answer, pressing in for another kiss and brushing my tongue against his lips. He surprises me by letting me in, letting me taste the inside of his mouth, letting go with a tiny, lost sound and putting his hands gently on my sides. I feel a thrill go through me at the touch, my heart rising in my chest as it seems like he wants this too, like he isn't forcing himself to go through with it. Like it might not be another game, for once.

When I pull back to breathe, to look at him, he's beautiful. Even more beautiful than normal. That mask, that painted smile, is gone. His breath is coming a little harder and I can see the quickening patter of his heartbeat in the hollow of his throat. I want him, but above all, I want him to want me. I want him to let me in, if only for a moment.

I back him up until I can have him pinned against the nearest wall, and still he doesn't let go of me, doesn't look away from my eyes. I'm trapped between wanting to ream him out some more and wanting to just give in and give myself to him. I've been hurt so many times before, I don't know if I really want to give him the chance to do it too…but I can't help myself. I really do want him, for better or worse.

I duck in to take advantage of his jaw line, the soft, smooth skin of his throat, kissing and nipping at his flesh as my hands slide down to hold his hips. "Why do I care?" My grip tightens as I shake my head, asking the question as much of myself as him. "Why do I try? You keep pushing me away. The fuck do I have to do?!"

He gasps softly, tipping his head back to give me more room to work with as I continue to lavish attention on his skin. I can tell he's not here with me, that his thoughts are elsewhere, and I move away, shaking him by the hips and glaring into his eyes as my heart breaks a little. I hate myself for getting so invested so quickly…and I want to blame him for it this time.

"You're thinking about her, aren't you?" I don't bother trying to hide my pain as I speak, still staring deeply into his eyes, willing him to tell me the truth for once.

"Yes."

The admission makes me deflate, my grip weakening until I'm just resting my hands against him. I rest my forehead against his shoulder, closing my eyes and wishing I didn't feel so broken by that admission. So hopeless.

"I want you to stop," I murmur the words against his skin, softly, because I don't know if I can have what I want even though it needs asking.

"Stop what?"

"Don't fuck with me." I slam one of my hands against the wall near his head. I can feel him jump against me, but I don't care. I can't let him get away with this now. "You know damn well what I want you to stop."

"I can't." He whispers the words as though he wants them to be comforting, which they're not. I feel like my heart's been wrapped in lead, dealt a heavy blow by the disappointment I was expecting, but still not hardened against. "I love her."

"She's dead." I almost sob the words, almost. I stopped crying years ago, vowed to never do it again, and he's brought me down to the point where I nearly wish I hadn't.

"I know. But…"

"But nothing!" I pull away, shouting the words and trying to look him in the eye. He avoids my gaze, but I press on regardless. "She's dead, Hakkai! Let her stay that way! Do you think she's happy about this? Do you think she's happy that you, someone she loved, is killing himself over not being with her?!"

He smiles, the look hollow and broken and it almost makes me sorry for bringing this up, but he needs to face it, needs to face me. How can he kiss me, want me, touch me like he's still doing and yet deny me so completely? "Yes. She was mine. And I was hers. I belong with her, in life and in death." He sighs and shakes his head, his smile still in place. "I don't actively try to hurt myself, Gojyo. You know that. I fight to stay alive, just like the rest of you. I just…miss her."

I look away, a short, exasperated sound falling from my lips. "You don't miss her," I hiss the words, feeling betrayed and disgusted and angry; "You can't miss someone who runs your life."

That finally gets a proper reaction, he tries to shove me away, but I resist and stay close, watching him to see if I can goad him any further. He forces himself to look calm, but his voice is still clipped and harsh when he replies. "You don't know how I feel. You don't understand."

"And there it is." I laugh harshly, shaking his head and smiling. He sounds like an unruly teenager, all pout and bruised ego. "I knew that's how you felt. And you know what else? I think you're just doing this because you're afraid to move on. You're afraid of the future. Gonou belonged with Kanan. And last time I checked, you were the one who told me he was dead."

He flinches when I speak that hated name. He's always been disgusted by Cho Gonou, and at the same time he refuses to let the man die, to fade away. He fists his hands in my shirt and tries to shove me back again, but I brace myself, refusing to budge. "I'm not afraid, Gojyo. If I was afraid, I wouldn't have come back. I'd have insisted that those monks kill me. But Gonou and I are the same person. We share lives. Memories. How he feels, who he belongs to, are the same as how I feel and who I belong to."

I can't help but smile at that, feeling smugly satisfied. He'd stumbled into making a mistake and I was willing and ready to take full advantage of it. "You're wrong." I lean in and press my lips against his neck again, my hands going back to hold his hips firmly. "He lived with her. He looked after her. Now you live with me. You look after me." My smile widens a little more as I press in closer, as I hear his breath catch in his throat. "You're mine now."

I don't care when he freezes, I know he's probably shocked by the declaration, but it doesn't turn me off. I start nipping and licking at his skin again and it coaxes a little sound out of him. He tries to push me away again, but he's not pushing as hard as he could be. Every time I touch him his resolve seems to falter a little more, his body giving in to me much faster than I ever thought it would.

I just keep lavishing attention on him, trying my damndest to drive him to distraction and finally pulling back enough to card my fingers through his silk-soft hair, tugging his head back enough to press in for a proper kiss, parting his lips with my tongue when he whimpers and coaxing the sound into a groan as I press in closer, deepen the kiss, trace the inside of his mouth with my tongue. He finally moves his arms, wrapping them around my shoulders, holding me close as I feel him shiver gently. The hunger with which he returns my kiss tells me that he's no longer apprehensive…just needy. Just the way I want him.

I pull back enough that we can catch our breath and he surprises me by leaning in to press little, soft kisses against my skin, licking a line along the twin scars on my cheek. I pull back, feeling suddenly uncomfortable as he touches those marks, but he murmurs a soft apology and I accept it, bringing my hands up to coax his over his head as he looks into my eyes and I return his gaze, trying to convey as much of my feelings as I can without speaking.

He lets me take his monocle off, and I tuck it into my pocket before I slide his shirt off and over his head, dropping it to the side. He watches me the whole time, his eyes lost and a little wild while his body is willing, following my touches and prompts without resistance.

I reach down to feather my fingers lightly along the edge of the scar on his stomach, remembering the look of it open and bleeding, remembering the feeling of pressing my hand against it, keeping everything that had to be inside in as hot, thick blood and cold rain spattered against my hand. He tries to shy away, but my fingers follow him, and I don't care that he won't look at me…he doesn't have to. He just has to accept that I don't see it as some mark of sin, some horrible disfiguration. He's just a man, just like me, and we both have marks on our skin that tell the stories of our lives.

I move on after a moment, tracing my hands over his skin and appreciating his curves, the smooth, hard planes of his chest. I know the strength in those muscles, the resilience in the body under my hands. How many times now have I seen him fight, fought with him…seen him take and give blows that would kill a normal person. I feel safe with that knowledge, knowing that he's strong enough to protect himself. From others…and from me, if he needed to.

I smile and brush another kiss against his lips before pulling my own shirt off, my smile widening ever so slightly as he starts to gently touch me back, his long, deft fingers trailing over my skin. I've felt his touch so many times as he's checked me for wounds, healed them, and smoothed my pain away. I let him take his time, get more comfortable, before I start moving my hands again, caressing him gently to keep him calm. I can tell he appreciates it as he relaxes just a little.

I can't help myself, though. I lean in to taste his skin, kissing his neck, his shoulders, along the graceful sweep of his collarbone. He holds onto my hips like I'm the only thing keeping him on the ground and lets me take the lead, giving me a low, constant murmur of appreciation that stokes a warmth in my body that has nothing to do with lust.

I slide my leg between his, rocking my thigh against the bulge I can feel in his pants and he cries out, the sound music to my ears. He rocks back against me greedily and I couldn't stop smiling if Sanzo was standing behind me with his gun against my skull. I press in close to feel him, warm and solid against my skin, so close that I can feel the patter of his heartbeat against my skin.

I pull him closer, wrapping my arms around him and pressing him up against my body as I touch him, caress him hungrily, and suddenly there's no more hesitation. He wants this enough that he grants me permission to take it. I want this enough that I silently give him whatever he wants.

He wraps his arms around my neck as my fingers trace the waistband of his pants, he cries out softly as I slip my fingers just beyond to the sensitive skin below his navel. He presses his face down against my shoulder and I smile as I continue to caress and tease him, as I feel his lips curve where they're pressed against my shoulder.

My hands move as though they have minds of their own, freeing Hakkai of his pants and letting them and his boxers slide down, fall to the floor. I touch everything I can, my fingers skating over toned, firm skin and muscle…glorious as a piece of art. A body that could have inspired a thousand sculptors trembles beneath my fingers as he whimpers softly, his hot breath ghosting past my ear. I know he wants more, and I'm willing to give it to him.

The sharp cry that falls from his lips as I wrap my hand around his arousal sends a shiver through me and I start on a steady rhythm, stroking and massaging, caressing and turning all of my skill towards pleasing him, making this worth it. He tangles those glorious fingers in my hair and pulls gently, begging me for more with his eyes and the lost sounds slipping from his lips. I kiss him, breathe in those cries, and speed up my pace, needing to feel him come, to feel the heat of his seed against my skin.

He only pulls back when he comes and I purr low in my throat as I feel his cock twitch in my hand, his thick, hot release spurting over my skin as his back bows and his muscles tighten. I keep stroking him until he's given up all that he can give, almost collapsing against me as the strength goes out of him. I keep my free arm wrapped around him, holding him up against my chest to keep him from keeling over.

"Mine." The word almost sounds like a low, soft growl as it pours from my throat, smooth and sweet as honey as I lap his release off of my skin, needing to taste him, needing to know that flavor. He makes a little, strangled noise and tightens his grip in my hair, still holding on like I'm the only thing keeping him from shattering outright. I hug him tighter, just to make sure he knows I'm still there for him.

He comes down from it slowly, which pleases me somehow, and his fingers slowly let go of my hair, turning to petting and caressing me, smoothing it out and brushing over my skin in little touches as he arranges it. He looks up into my eyes and I see that he trusts me, that he finally feels safe, here in my arms.

I caress him back, gently, carefully; putting all of my care and yes, love, into the touches. I smile for him, because of him, and cup the back of his head gently, resting my forehead against his. "Penny for your thoughts?"

He laughs at that, a sweet, rich sound that makes that warmth from before pool in my heart, makes me feel warmer than I have in a long, long time. He smiles and kisses me, a little fleeting embrace that makes me smile even wider as I feel the tenderness behind it. "I'm just thinking of you." He breathes the words like it's a secret, his hands sliding down my back and sides.

"Good." I murmur gently, pressing in for a hungry kiss as my heart swells with happiness, fit to burst as I hold him close. The way he presses back, the way he just opens up to me, makes me feel happier than I have any business being. I can finally have someone all to myself. And I can finally give all that I am to someone else.