Disclaimer: Unprofitable fanwork.

Notes/Warnings: 58, 5K. Pigsy was the name of Hakkai's origin-character in Journey to the West; I wanted the title to encompass all incarnations.

Also: Was actually going to upload something else. Another 20 things bit, different fandom, rather longer. But this was on my upload page-since when? No idea. But maybe it'll put those of you who like my frankly at this point rather arthritic Saiyuki stuff in the mood to give things I've written in the last, oh, five years or so a try? Here's hoping. Either way, happy new year. May the new one be less of a shower :)

Twenty Things Pigsy Has Never Told Anyone

by nightfall

1. Gonou doesn't remember the day his parents were killed. He has molasses-frozen dreams about blood flying between arching flashes of steel, though, and the wheat-brown flounce of his sister's hair as she crumbles. He wakes up in choked sweats to a blackness of memory.

The first time he remembers the dream while awake is the Morning After, feverish and split in two on the doctor's table, and he never forgets it again. Later, realizing everyone fell facing away from him, he thinks it was a premonition of the Qigong he'll be learning. Or possibly some sort of metaphor, because metaphor is cruel like that.

It's Hakkai who makes the connection, one night when Gojyo's been brooding at the local inn's painting of overblown, crimson poppies. He thinks of blades and bandits and youkai and bright light and knows: it's all the same. A moment later he is telling Sanzo, on his hasty way out of the inn room, that he thinks he may have picked up a stomach flu somewhe-oh, so sorry, excuse me please.

2. The shadow of the Marshal doesn't need to smoke anymore: he's already mortal. He'd rather like to, actually. He thinks tasting death every hour or so would be very satisfying. It would, however, be an indulgence, and he's supposed to live and do penance.

Besides, second-hand smoke is worse.

3. It was Kanan's idea, and all part of the way she looked at his competence with awe and his face with reverence, and after she'd convinced him she'd cry out to god when he touched her and he had the strangest feeling she really was talking to him. But maybe it was always like that between people. He tried not to be annoyed.

4. The thing was, she was clumsy, a disaster in the kitchen, and too dreamy to hold a job long. She was nothing like a goddess to him, and that was the best part.

5. Hakkai hates the color red with a passion and always has. Looking at Gojyo is like sticking knives into himself.

After he's been living with him for a while, though, he starts to wonder what on earth those knives are made of, that the addiction of being destroyed is no longer a bleak and bitter one. The next time he makes candy for Gojyo to put in the kitty (Gojyo never plays with money when his gambling partners are female), it's dark-chocolate blades. In the middle of Gojyo's leering thanks for the glaringly Freudian innuendo to play with, his eyes nearly fall out of his head with the unlikely epiphany. In the weeks that followed, they seemed oddly... magnetized.

6. Gonou only started reading in the first place because books, he found out quickly, were kid-repellant.

7. The story that hooked him was 'The Golden Vase.' It focused on the shallowness and hollowness of humanity, and he was fascinated by a book that accurately reflected reality.

8. It rather annoys Tenpou when Kenren cleans up his study, actually. He wonders if it ever occurs to these career-military types that some people actually like not knowing exactly where everything is at any given moment (especially, say, reports). It's not as though anything is ever important (not strictly true, but the essential things he has a place for: his ashtray, today's book, his general), and the term 'deadline' is a little meaningless where he lives.

He wonders, when Kenren comes in and drops his jaw again and starts ranting about 'I just cleaned this up last week,' if Kenren realizes that, well, yes, that was almost the entire point. It begins as hostility, and becomes a race and then a contest, and before long he finds he misses that animated expression, so full of feeling, when he doesn't see it. Interesting development.

9. Kanan was a revelation. Her return was the first mercy heaven had ever shown Gonou, and her loving sweetness and grace was the first light or warmth he knew. It was almost as much of an astonishment to find that a human being was vivid and real as it was to find out that his heart wasn't cold iron to the core.

10. Hakkai hopes desperately that when Sanzo realizes that Hakkai looks at him the same way Gonou looked at Kanan, he'll dismiss it as desire.

11. Hakkai does want Sanzo, actually. Who wouldn't? And sometimes he also wants to, for example appropriately, eat mochi or ice cream or nattou (really not something he would ever have expected to miss, not even a little), or have a new jacket, or get the nosepad on his monocle tightened, or get Goku to eat with his mouth closed. He wants lots of things, and most of them aren't in the same class, not even close, with wanting to exchange all the books he has for ones he hasn't read fifty times since they started out, or make Gojyo laugh.

12. Sometimes his mind drifts off while he's driving, and he worries that Goku's time is being wasted; only think how much the boy could learn if he studied on the road! He never brings up the possibility, though; knowledge is important only for cretins like him and Sanzo. Goku's wisdom is so deep that too much learning would only confuse him. Why sadden a bright soul?

13. Gojyo shouldn't be so annoyed when he's kind to Yaone-san. Gojyo should know by now that he overcompensates for everything.

Hakkai found out long ago that Kanan was a substitute, and the name of the sacrifice who got away, whose place she took. He has a good deal of respect for Kougaiji and hopes he wouldn't kill the prince unprovoked if they were ever left alone together. He reminds himself that Yaone-san had, really, nothing to do with it.

14. If there was ever anything healthy about Gonou, it was his curiosity. He flipped damp stones and read up on dinosaurs with the best of them.

So Hakkai knows all about centipedes. He tries not to kill spiders. He serves shrimp often and won't eat it, or lobster. He's fanatical about fighting the damp and mold and taking the trash out and changing the light bulbs when they need it. It's not to repel his imposed nature; he's just tidy like that, and surely he always was, even if it was Kanan who paid more attention to these things before. And he's certain he's walked under a ladder at least once in his life, and he certainly never avoids black cats. After all, throwing it over your shoulder is nothing more than a waste of good salt, and salt costs.

He's never gotten up the nerve to ask Gojyo if the wound he was found with was infected or poisoned. When he has to kill hands-on, he's careful of his fingernails. If his claws are venomous, as that scorpion-youkai's were, he doesn't want to know.

15. Hakkai's genuinely silly moods aren't as frequent as they are for other twenty-one year old men, but when he has them he's been known to muse that having his organs sucked out would be more than a fair price for getting rimmed by the only kappa he knows. He tries not to snicker or flush behind the wheel, since he vaguely suspects that Sanzo is telepathic at will.

16. When Gonou was seventeen, he painted the stained glass window in his university's auditorium black. He wouldn't have gotten caught, except that he then painted an adorable piglet in a heart of blossoms and butterflies on the dark canvas in white, and signed it with a rake.

Actually, his dean thought it was sweet, and was unspeakably relieved to see the school's cold star acting his age for once, blossoming gallantly for his lovely, popular sister who was so kind to him. Gonou still got two weeks' community service. Gonou didn't care: someone tied white and yellow flowers to the handle of his bucket every day of those weeks, and brought him towels at the end of the day, to wash his hands.

17. After Hakkai got over having disemboweled someone with an umbrella (this took a while, even if it had been in a good cause), he decided that if you had to use a weapon at all an umbrella was a good one, since it could protect you from the blood-spatter if you were quick enough.

18. That girl back in Chang'An definitely did not see Hakkai dancing with a broom that time. Just ask her. If she turns pale when she denies it, she probably has a cold.

Actually it's the pots he dances with, and only when they're full. It's a balance exercise. You thought he was born graceful? It took Gonou years of slowly coming to believe each morning he wasn't still one cold mechanism ticking away in a cold world, too alone to know the meaning of loneliness, to stop moving like his joints were made of rust. Blood can slick any gear, for a time, until it turns sticky and brown and dry. Some reds are too vital to turn brown, he supposes, but it's inevitable that the gears will jam if they ever do. Never trust tomorrow, never.

19. Kanan was always and unquestionably in charge in bed. When he wanted something he got it, but she set the pace and called the shots, and every moment was an unsought blessing.

With Gojyo, topping from the bottom is a matter of instinct and habit. That's just how they work, and he suspects that Gojyo secretly takes as much comfort in being sweetly bullied as he does in successfully exerting his will without a fight. He also likes there to be one area where he doesn't have to be the idea man or in charge of every single practicality on the Jade Emperor's green earth, and in this arena Gojyo is more than more than capable.

Still, occasionally having Gojyo beneath him and trusting his mercy is a more joyful thrill than he can process, and when he's so stressed out and snippy that Gojyo ties him up and gags him in exasperation, the world eases off his shoulders and becomes a dizziness of beloving chaos.

20. The one time Sanzo shot at Hakkai in irritation, the angle of qi-shield that slapped the bullet back to blister the monk's scalp was one hundred percent deliberate. He wants to be sure that, when the Minus wave takes him, habit won't pull his friend's punches.