Interlude

A/N: Written for LiveJournal friend Elise_Rasha and inspired by a drawing by Error256, though I didn't follow it exactly. Link to the drawing on my profile. Beta reviewed by Whymzycal.

They find the spot by chance. Even though it was only the middle of the afternoon, Jeep started sputtering a few kilometers before. After babying the engine for a few minutes, Hakkai announces that Hakuryu is out of gas (so to speak) and needs a rest. With Sanzo's grudging agreement, he pulls over onto the first patch of grass he finds.

A dusty path winds in between tall pines shading a grassy knoll. They can hear the roar of water – a stream, if they're lucky - though nothing of it can be seen from here.

Once they've put the tents up, Hakkai puts the little white dragon on his bedroll, then joins Goku in a search for firewood. Gojyo gives Sanzo a sidelong glance. When that brings no response, he looks at him directly, a smirk on his face.

Eventually, Sanzo says with resignation in his voice, "What the fuck is it?"

"We're all by ourselves."

Sanzo's scowl deepens. "Here? In your dreams, pervert!"

"Why not?"

"It's out in the open."

Gojyo stands behind Sanzo and wraps his arms around his thin, muscular body. "That wouldn't be a problem if you weren't so noisy."

"I am inot/i noisy," Sanzo spits out, trying to pry Gojyo's arms from around his waist.

Gojyo resists Sanzo's attempts and leans down to nip at Sanzo's ear. "You turn me on, darlin'," he whispers. His erection, which is poking Sanzo in the ass, proves his point.

A sudden backwards thrust has Gojyo hitching his breath and rubbing himself against Sanzo's backside. "Yeah, baby, I like it when you tease me like that," he says, breathless and leaning forward for a kiss.

Sanzo sucker punches him, leading with his knuckles.

"Damn it!" Gojyo grumbles, rubbing his cheek and hoping it isn't bruised. "Whaddya have to do that for?"

Sanzo turns around. "If you must, at least do it where we won't be seen."

Gojyo grins. "That's more like it, baldy. So where do ya wanna go?"

Sanzo considers and points. "Down there, where the water is."

"Sure," Gojyo says, shrugging. "Lead the way."

Sanzo removes his breastplate, rolls up the sutra, and stashes them in his tent. Then he heads down the path toward the roar of the water. After peeling off his jacket, Gojyo trails behind him.

The path ends at a pond leading that is the headwater for a narrow stream. A small waterfall rushes down a cliff on the other side. Gojyo pulls a bandana out of his pants pocket, swishes it in the water, and holds it to his cheek. The chilly water eases the sting he still feels from the punch. It looks harmless, but the metal ring anchoring Sanzo's fingerless glove is hard, and its edges are sharp.

Sanzo squats by the edge of the pond, picking up small rocks and skipping them across the water. One almost reaches the waterfall. Gojyo whistles, impressed despite himself, and sits behind Sanzo. Though this is far from their first time together, he's cautious. Sanzo still shies away sometimes if he isn't the one who gets things started, although Gojyo suspects the punch had more to do with annoyance at the lack of privacy than anything else.

Gojyo curls his fingers around Sanzo's sash and tugs at it to get him to sit down. After a few seconds' resistance, Sanzo lowers himself, tucking his legs underneath him. That has to be uncomfortable, but Sanzo makes it look easy. All part of the training he received, Gojyo supposes.

Gojyo leans forward and begins to roll Sanzo's collar down to get better access. Sanzo shrugs him away and peels the shirt off. "Better?" Sanzo mutters. Gojyo removes his own shirt as well.

Gojyo stares at Sanzo's pale skin. He wonders when Sanzo got the cuts and scars on his back. Maybe when he was searching for his master's sutra? Gojyo leans over and nips the side of Sanzo's neck, bearing down hard enough for Sanzo to feel the pressure, but not enough to break the skin.

He hears Sanzo hiss and feels him hold his breath, unwilling to acknowledge his discomfort. Gojyo's hard-on returns. He begins to rub against Sanzo again while he nips at the left side of Sanzo's neck. Sanzo pretends he doesn't notice, but Gojyo is sure that he feels every twitch of Gojyo's dick pressing against him.

Sanzo treats Gojyo's attraction to him as another annoying fact of life. It irks Gojyo to be taken for granted like that. Sanzo probably just thinks he's handy in a fight and accommodating in bed. But that's not enough to get Gojyo to stop; half a loaf is still better than none.

He works at untying the sash holding Sanzo's robe together by touch alone. Sanzo just sits there. While this would be a discouraging lack of interest in anyone else, he expects it from this guy. Rather than turning him off, though, Sanzo's indifference only makes him more eager because he's a challenge. Compared to him, other partners are almost too easy to please.

Gojyo sighs with relief when the knot in Sanzo's belt finally comes undone. Sanzo's robe billows on the ground around him. Sanzo leans back a little bit more, and Gojyo's tempted to attack his neck. Sanzo complains, but what's the harm if his clothing hides the hickeys? It can't be the pain; Sanzo gets hurt worse than that all the time.

Gojyo bites down. Sanzo makes a sound that's a cross between a moan and "Tch," which only spurs Gojyo on. Trying to coax Sanzo into making noise while Sanzo tries to hold back is a favorite pastime.

He wraps his fingers around Sanzo's already hardening cock. Another moan escapes Sanzo's mouth. Gojyo plasters his face next to Sanzo's. "Yeah, baby, just like that." Sanzo raises his hand to smack his ear, but not hard enough to hurt. It's Sanzo's way of letting him know he doesn't appreciate the commentary. Gojyo snickers and shakes his head.

Gojyo's other hand roams over Sanzo's bare chest. "You cold?" he asks.

Sanzo clicks his tongue. "Stop fucking around, and I won't be."

"Get rid of the jeans, and we can get on with things." Sanzo huffs, but he stands up and strips his pants off anyway. Gojyo watches, fascinated by the oddly graceful way with which he does it.

When Sanzo sits down, Gojyo drapes his robe around his shoulders. Gojyo tips a small tube out of his pocket and squeezes out some gel. He slides a slick finger inside, aiming for Sanzo's prostate. He feels Sanzo's muscles tighten, and it isn't long before Sanzo's shoving his hand in his mouth to stifle his moans.

If he's really on his game, he can pull an orgasm out of Sanzo just by rubbing his prostate, but he'd rather hedge his bets. Besides, it's more fun to rub his thumb over the head of Sanzo's cock and use the pre-come spurting there to lubricate his hand so it glides easily over Sanzo's shaft. Gojyo's downstrokes are gentle, but his upstrokes are rough, almost twisting the tender flesh at the tip.

Sanzo reacts the way he always does, clenching his teeth and panting heavily as he tries to maintain his indifference. He's holding on by a slender thread, though, since he's starting to speak in nonsense syllables.

Sanzo clamps down hard on Gojyo's fingers. Gojyo knows he has to slow down, maybe even back off, or Sanzo is going to come right now. Gojyo wants to be inside him first; that thought almost makes him come, too, so he pushes it away. He stills his fingers and squeezes the base of Sanzo's cock. The pressure makes Sanzo groan, but he doesn't say anything. Either he understands what Gojyo's up to, or he's too overcome by lust to care.

Maybe not, though; Sanzo lurches forward, causing him to overbalance and start rolling headlong into the pond in a sort of slow-motion somersault, taking Gojyo with him. Gojyo uses the hand that had been wrapped around Sanzo's cock to break his fall. The fingers that had been inside Sanzo pop out when Sanzo's head and shoulders hit the water.

Sanzo comes to rest with a splash, his lower back pressed against the silty bottom. Gojyo belly-flops on top of Sanzo. He thanks his lucky stars that he didn't hit any of their sensitive bits, but Sanzo knees him in the nose, and their final landing knocks the wind out of both of them.

Gojyo rolls over to one side, groaning, before getting up. He's dripping wet. The pond is shallow here, which is fortunate, because Gojyo doesn't know how to swim – something that Sanzo takes every opportunity to remind him is just plain stupid on a journey like theirs, and ironic for someone who's part water demon.

Sanzo has his own problems. He's panting and trying to hoist himself out of the water, arms quivering. Gojyo's not sure whether it's from the force of the impact or the water's chill. Sanzo looks a little like a shaggy dog as he shakes his head from side to side, snorting water out of his nose and getting as much water back into his eyes as out of them.

Despite his belly flop, Gojyo looks to be in better shape, so he extends a hand. Sanzo glares before grudgingly grasping it. Gojyo hauls him up to a sitting position.

Sanzo tries to catch his breath. "Asshole," he mutters.

Gojyo knows Sanzo is talking about him. Even if it wasn't something he did that threw Sanzo off balance, fooling around was Gojyo's idea. Even though Sanzo agreed and picked the spot for it, in Sanzo's mind that makes everything Gojyo's fault.

Gojyo knows he should be more ticked off about this than he is. But he's gotten used to Sanzo's quirks, fair or not. Sometimes he wonders if Sanzo does this because he's trying to teach Gojyo not to be distracted by messy emotions, but he dismisses the thought almost as soon as he thinks it. Sanzo isn't capable of controlling his anger like that. Besides, getting pissed off about it is a waste of time he could be spending much more pleasurably.

Sanzo hauls himself to his feet, shivering and with chattering teeth. Gojyo's noticed that Sanzo's more easily chilled than he is; he can lounge comfortably in bed naked while Sanzo shivers even when he's bundled up in a terrycloth robe.

Gojyo sloshes over to the bank and picks up Sanzo's robe. Sanzo shakes his head, but Gojyo takes a couple of steps toward him anyway, holding the robe up out of the water, until Sanzo hisses, "It'll get wet, dumbass."

"It's gonna get wet anyway," Gojyo responds, "and you're shivering, dumbass."

There's nothing else available that Sanzo can use to dry or warm himself with. He holds out his hands for the robe, but Gojyo holds it outstretched so Sanzo can slip his arms into the armholes while Gojyo holds its hem out of the water. Gojyo knows Sanzo can put on his own clothes, but that's not the point; he hopes that if he keeps treating Sanzo like someone of worth, maybe someday Sanzo will get the message that he's good for something more than fighting and killing.

"Fuck off," Sanzo says irritably, bringing an arm up to slap Gojyo away.

Gojyo smiles at the predictable response. "You're welcome," he says, and laughs when Sanzo glares at him. He moves closer and presses the robe against Sanzo's body to absorb the moisture. The robe goes from dry to soggy and from opaque to see through.

Since he's a contradictory cuss, Sanzo now makes a contented noise. The two of them sway slightly as Gojyo's dick takes a renewed interest. The way Sanzo's wet robe clings and leaves little to the imagination only fuels his desire. But Sanzo may no longer be in the mood. While that would be a shame, Gojyo knows there's not enough time to get him to change his mind.

He sneaks a hand around Sanzo's waist to see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Sanzo's dick is soft but responds to Gojyo's touch.

Looking around, Gojyo notices a part of the cliff near the waterfall that he can prop himself against. He nudges Sanzo and steers him in the right direction. Sanzo turns his head the least amount possible and mutters, "The shore's the other way, moron."

"I'm not done with you yet, gorgeous."

Sanzo turns his head further to glare directly at Gojyo. "Shut the fuck up."

Gojyo chuckles. "No need to be so shy, Sanzo-sama," he says, stepping in close, wrapping his arms around Sanzo's chest, and rocking from side to side while rubbing his face against the monk's neck.

"You're full of shit," Sanzo says.

Gojyo starts stroking again, pulling gasps out of the surly monk as they stand in water that's nearly up to their knees. If he can get Sanzo worked up enough, he ought to be able to convince him to finish walking to the other side so he can brace himself against the rocky slope there.

As he tickles Sanzo's balls and inserts a finger, relieved that he hasn't tightened up yet, Gojyo whispers huskily, "How 'bout we move closer to those rocks? I see a spot I can lean against." He stops long enough to ease the zipper on his own fly down, freeing his erection. Walking with it confined like that would be too uncomfortable now. He hisses as it's exposed to the damp, chilly air, but he knows that will go away soon.

Sanzo grunts and slowly starts picking his way on and around the stones scattered on the bottom. Gojyo makes a mental note to check Sanzo's feet for cuts later on.

Gojyo lets Sanzo lead the way, though he keeps one hand on Sanzo's hip. Making their way through isn't easy, considering the bumpy surface and the slight height difference, but he manages.

Sanzo halts just short of the rocky slope. "You want to go there?" he asks disapprovingly.

"What's the matter with it?" Gojyo says lightly. Sanzo has a negative enough vibe of his own; for Gojyo to add to it would just give Sanzo an opportunity to change his mind.

Sanzo stands rooted, like he's thinking about Gojyo's question, but all he says is, "If you slip and hit your head on the rocks, it's your problem, asshole."

Gojyo would like to point out that he's not the asshole here, and that it would be nice if Sanzo acted like he cared once in a blue fuck, but now is not the right time. Not if he wants to continue, anyway. So he makes soothing noises instead, like he would to calm a skittish animal, as he backs up to a shallow ledge formed by the rocks. He half-sits on it after checking to make sure that the rocks are stable enough to stay put.

He brings Sanzo back to the ledge and wraps his arms around him while kissing his left ear. He pins Sanzo's hands to his thighs and caresses them with his thumb, feeling the smoothness of Sanzo's sleeves, the bump of the ring around his middle finger, and the calluses from using his gun.

Gojyo begins rocking against him, moaning and pulling the robe aside. Sanzo is still slick and open; when Gojyo's finger hits him in the right spot, he moans, too.

"Be as noisy as you want," Gojyo whispers. He knows the monk will stay as quiet as possible anyway to deny that he's getting any pleasure from this. Gojyo knows better. He's seen his flushed face, heard his panting breaths, watched him arch his back.

Gojyo pushes his pants down further and rubs against Sanzo's butt. In return, Sanzo shifts his weight, moving his legs further apart. Gojyo eases inside after slicking himself up, stopping when Sanzo grunts. After a moment, Sanzo says, "Keep going, damn it," in a hoarse voice, and Gojyo does as he's told.

Once he's in all the way, Gojyo goes slowly at first because he doesn't want this to be over too soon. They don't get to do this often enough. He wraps an arm around Sanzo's waist, bracing him so he won't fall over. Sanzo clutches at the arm and moves his feet to help keep his balance.

Gojyo hears the sound of Sanzo's hand slapping against his dick and is relieved that Sanzo is taking care of it, as Gojyo would lose his balance if he tried. He hears rustling and branches snapping from the other side. Sanzo stops and says, "Did you hear that?"

"Don't worry about it," Gojyo soothes him. He doesn't want Sanzo to be distracted. It could be anything. Whatever it is, it's too late to worry about now.

Sanzo sighs and starts up again at a faster pace. Maybe he's come to the same conclusion and wants this over with. Hearing Sanzo jerking off and the slap of Gojyo's balls and thighs against Sanzo's skin is bringing Gojyo closer to orgasm. The noises Sanzo's making aren't helping his control, either. They're suddenly muffled when Sanzo jams his hand into his mouth.

Gojyo can't help it. Sanzo trying to hold back is sexier than Sanzo in full voice, which Gojyo's heard in a handful of unguarded moments. He thrusts a few more times and then leans forward, still holding Sanzo's waist.

Sanzo arches and makes a noise that sounds like a strangled "Fuck!" Gojyo feels something warm and sticky splash against his wrist just before Sanzo collapses, and he has to tighten his hold and steady him before Sanzo can regain his balance.

Gojyo wipes himself off and tucks himself back in. Once he's as neat and tidy as he can be when his pants are soaked from the hem to just below his knees, he follows Sanzo out of the pond. Sanzo bends down to pick up his clothes. He pauses and then unexpectedly slings his soggy robe over Gojyo's arm. Gojyo's thankful that he doesn't just drop the armful of wet clothing. Sanzo would bitch, and Hakkai would sigh at having more stains to scrub.

As Gojyo wrings out the robe so it's not dripping, Sanzo pulls on his jeans and shirt, even though they'll get damp. Sanzo slogs up the hill and waits for Gojyo to catch up when he reaches the top. "We went down there to wash up," he says. It takes Gojyo a moment to realize that this is the explanation Sanzo plans to give Goku and Hakkai. They're both drenched enough that some explanation is necessary.

Gojyo shrugs. "Whatever." He's not sure they're going to buy it, but it's not like he's thought of a better excuse. Together, they walk towards the campfire that Goku is busy constructing. Hakkai sees them and waves. Goku looks up and says, "What happened ta ya?"

"We got a little wetter than expected while washing up," Sanzo says. He glares at them, like he's daring them to contradict his story, and stalks off to his tent for dry clothes. Gojyo gives them a sheepish grin and does the same.