I must get through my embarassment stage. I must get through my embarassment stage. I must...*chants*

And sorry Hakkai doesn't seem ill, but he still has a couple months and..I don't know! Maybe it's a youkai thing!*scampers off*


Once upon a time...
On e time...

I had that dream the other day. It was weird..really weird. I've been having that dream lately. All of them end the same way too. Weird...too weird. Or maybe it was something half-youkais have. Maybe the crazy dreams make them pick up a knife and stab.

Well, I certainly hope not.

I'd fall into the folds of sleep and 'find myself' on the shore. I remember it as the shore Hakkai brought me to one day, when we were still on the journey with the monk and monkey. The beach was secluded though, as it was in the dream. It was the place where he had confessed how he really felt. And yes I was shocked, surprised at his love. Never once thought of settling down. That was probably why I slept around. I'd be seeking a piece of love..that was real, not sexual. That's how I see it. But all the women; they just want sex. There's no love and if there was it was obsession. Supposedly for my "violet eyes" and dyed hair of red. Those certainly wouldn't true about me. No sir. So I'm picky. But I think it's fair to want real love. I only got it from Jien after all.

In reality, Hakkai had smiled so sadly, I thought he was going to cry. But no, Hakkai was strong. He wouldn't cry. In fact..now that I think of it, I'd never seen him cry. Tough guy, but an idiot sometimes. Just when I'd think highly of him, the guy would go and show how stupid he was.

In my dreams, he had said the same words of confession, smiled the same smile.

But then he would back away from my shocked-silly self. But then his feet would touch the shallow end of the calm emerald sea and it would rise to his ankles. And he would ask me a question I'd never heard him say in reality.

-Do you love me?---...

My dream self would be taken aback. I'd never expect such an innocent question out of him. But this was a dream, not the real thing. Before my dream self would be able to answer, before the words fly off the tip of his- no, my - tongue, he'd back away even more. But he wasn't scared, and if he was, he didn't show it. Damn his smile. My words would choke and dissolve from my mind as I would be too bemused to answer. Damn myself, my stupidity. Hakkai would smile even sadder..yet fondly somehow, and turn his back toward me and walk further from the shoreline. My fingers would twitch, my knees would quiver as if trying to move, however I'd be left motionless, still. My blood would run cold and dread sense of feel would settle itself in my skin like a bad cold. My breath would be moving as though caught in a large filter, never completely together. My eyes would focus on him, and him only. To hell with the sky, to hell with the sea, to hell with everything. Except him.

-And he would let his body fall into the water, as though it were natural, and disappear from my life.

-And the words I had neglected to say, blocked by solid cubes of pride, would echo through the empty space that moved itself in my mind.

[I love you]


Shit.



"Gojyo! Wake up!"

No.

"Gojyo!"

Shut up.

"Shit...-Gojyo! Wake the fuck up!"

What's that? I'm too tired to move. He's gone, don't you know?



Dokugakuji growled from his place in the driver's seat of Hakuryuu. His brother was totally spazzing in his sleep. So he tried yelling at the half-youkai, tried shaking him, but finally, with one hand firm on the wheel, he slapped the redhead's tanned cheek with the back of his hand, sending Gojyo nearly flying out of his seat. With the breeze blowing through the spaces between his hair and the blood rushing to his head as his head was lolled over the edge, the half-youkai awoke and bolted straight up.

"What are you trying to do?! Kill me?!"

Dokugakuji absently scratched his ear, "Maybe."

Gojyo swore he was hit with a large rock of shock. "You..."

Dokugakuji just laughed.



Hakkai stared with blank eyes at the clear sky from his seat by the window. The sun was beginning to sink into the horizon, and the stars and moon were starting to become more visible. He'd admitted everything, said everything. He remembered the amount of shock in both Goku's and Lirin's eyes as they heard the news. Yaone's eyebrows had furrowed and Kougaiji had stared emotionlessly yet knowingly, as did Sanzo. Goku had then tugged on Sanzo's sleeve desperately, practically screaming in denial that this was not true. And Sanzo had, in answer, looked away from the near-hysterical brunet. That, in itself, was an response of, 'Yes, it's true.'

Hakkai told them afterwards, he needed time alone.

The brunette absently rubbed his finger along one of the small snowglobes Yaone sometimes bought. A flick of the wrist sent the pieces of rainbow fluttering in the water around the sculpture of a simple design of two hearts interwined. Sadness crept along his automatic smile that seemed like a reflex these days. The sparkles made it look as though there were stars twirling around the hearts in an act of the mystic, to bond these people forever and ever. And soon it was drifting away, to settle at the bottom and isolate the two lovers forever from their power. Eventually, the hearts would crack and separate without the mystic to help glue the deteriorating bond together. It felt cold around his heart and painful in his lungs as he coughed again and again, reflexively smudging some of the blood that got on his hand to draw a fat line between the hearts. And his breath froze for that moment to hold back the next cough, as his fingers loosened and dropped the globe. Its glass smashed and shattered around his feet and the legs of the chair he sat on, sounding off a number of high-pitched noises. The water spilled and fanned itself out, carrying the rainbow colors with it. The sculpture was cracked and broken in half.

There was some sort of magic that he had crushed.

Green eyes stared down on the two hearts, separated and ruined. Soon, Yaone, Lirin, and Goku came running in the room, eyes wide and panicked. But Hakkai just sat there, staring endlessly at the broken bond. The bond that he had sliced, mutilated. The blood that ran along the side of his mouth was drying and sticking to his skin, but he neglected to wipe it off. He heard the murmurs of Yaone.

"Come. Let's get you to bed."

Around the corner of the end of the hallway the three had emerged from, Sanzo moved back from the wall to his seat on the couch.


Gojyo sighed as a familar house came into view. Hopefully, at least Yaone would hear something. All this wasn't good on his heart. The soft engine of Hakuryuu slowed to a halt in front of the steps that led up to a wooden porch. The redhead watched as Dokugakuji got out of the jeep and started up the steps. Shaking his head, Gojyo followed after.


-Do you love me?---...

A drench of cold came over him. He shook his head for a reason, dammit! Why is it this dream seemed to haunt him, especially now when Hakkai suddenly became ill? Was it trying to tell him something? But he didn't believe in fated shit like that.



"...When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. She wished to avenge herself for not having been invited, and without greeting, or even looking at anyone, she cried with a loud voice, "The king's daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a spindle, and fall down dead." And, without saying a word more, she turned round and left the room....

"They were all shocked, but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came forward, and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, "It shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess shall fall." Hakkai sighed as he closed the book in his hands, which held the tale of the Grimm Brothers' "Sleeping Beauty." Raking a hand through thinning chocolate tresses, his ears perked at the familar sound of Hakuryuu. It could only mean one thing: Gojyo was here. Another sigh. He wasn't in the mood to deal with this; too tired lately. He just hoped someone would cover for him in the meantime. Placing the book on the shelf, he carried himself back to bed.

"It shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years... A sleep, which sleeping beauty will never awaken from." And he slowly closed his emerald eyes to the familar footsteps at the door.


"What do you mean 'he's here'?!"

Sanzo closed his eyes as the half-youkai practically screamed in his ear. As if Goku wasn't enough... The blonde looked at the redhead once more as spoke his next words. "However, I'd advise you not to go see him right now."

"The fuck do you mean, you filthy monk?!" Sanzo just stared down on him as a tanned hand grabbed and yanked at the collar of his robes. Forcefully, he yanked Gojyo's hand away. "What I mean is, you ass, is that Hakkai is not in any condition to handle all that screaming you're producing."

"Why not?!"

"Lung cancer." The words were said so casually, his mind could barely take the shock of it. If that was what he thought it was...

"W-what?"

"Lung cancer." Gojyo could see Yaone visibly tense from his side and Goku look away to his feet, which suddenly started shuffling. Suddenly, a grin cracked on his face. "Stop shittin' with me, monk. Hakkai doesn't have cancer!"

"I'm not shittin', kappa." Silence filled every corner of the room and one of the half-youkai's eyebrows twitched. Growling and enraged, he swung a fist at Sanzo, uncaring as to where he was aiming and took off down the hallway. The blonde, however, was now sitting against a shelf of broken glass. Waving off Goku's blatant worry, he lifted himself to his feet, rubbing at the throbbing pain on his cheek which would bruise in the morning. Casually, he brushed off the bits of glass that got on his robe as the brunet looked over him.

"Sanzo, are you okay?" He asked for the second time.

"I'm fine, bakazaru. I've had worse." Letting out a sigh, he brushed a few fingers through his golden hair and looked down the hallway where the redhead had disappeared in. "Damn kappa."



It's not true. It can't be true..!

What if it was?

Can't be...

-Do you love me? I mean, it's okay if you don't. I'm used to it.---...

-But it's silly, isn't it? That I love you so much...---...

-Wish I didn't sometimes...---...


Gojyo practically tore every door in the hall open, until he came to the one which held the only person he'd ever love. He was asleep, or pretending he was. Hurrying over to the brunette's side, red eyes looked over a calm face. Nothing wrong..except, his hair looks a little thin..and he looks paler than usual..and-

"Aw shit."

Green eyes opened to those words. "Gojyo?"

The said man wanted to just take the brunette in his arms and plant kisses all over his face, but no, he had a more negative reaction that he would later regret.

"Dammit, Hakkai- why didn't you tell me?!" He could just imagine the youkai's blood run cold with those words.

"Gojyo, I didn't want you to worry."

"Worry?! -Worry-?! I'm not fuckin' worried, I'm fuckin' traumatized! Hakkai, how could you keep this from me?! I would've understood!"

"Because, you would've changed. You would've started treating me like some sort of China doll. And I'm not that fragile, Gojyo!"

-And it would just make me sad to see your fearful face when I'm gone-

Suddenly, Hakkai cupped his hands over his mouth as he coughed from his outburst. Gojyo just stared down on him in disgust.

"You make me so fuckin' miserable." And with that last sentence, the half-youkai left the room with a bang.


Hakkai visibly shivered and deeply sighed. It would be fine. Gojyo was just mad. He gets mad sometimes. Glumly reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a tiny plastic box. Inside the transparent casing was a small plastic ring. The brunette smiled fondly as he remembered Gojyo grumbling over cheap prizes when they went to the town carnival last year. He'd kept this one to himself though, because the fake ruby on the top reminded him of the redhead, and the red wasn't deep enough to look like fresh blood. Slipping open the casing, Hakkai let the ring practically stick itself to his ring finger. His fond smile softened with sadness for that moment.

For a while, he wanted to be with Gojyo as more than -just- a lover or -just- a roommate. Sometimes, he really did want their love to be completely bonded with marriage. But that was before he'd discovered his cancer. Doctors had a way to shooting people's dreams down from the sky. Rubbing the pad of his thumb over the fake red plastic, Hakkai's breath shuddered.

It was terribly cold around his heart.


So he could have a short-temper. So what? Gojyo sat glaring in his chair, a glare that came close to Sanzo's. Anyone wise enough would steer clear of his path and leave him be.

So Hakkai had lung cancer. God, cancer. But how? Hakkai never smoked in his life. It was impossible. Reaching in his pocket, Gojyo pulled out his pack of Hi-Lites. Unless the brunette was smoking behind his back....Nah. Hakkai wasn't like that.

So...

Suddenly it smacked him in the head like a ton of bricks. His breath caught short as he looked down on his pack of choice cigarettes. Didn't he come across this anti-drug commerical once? This one this seven-year old drew. A commerical of a teenage girl smoking a big, fat cigarette while watching TV, her baby brother close by. The smoke that came from the drug took form, unknown to the teen, and grabbed the baby, taking him away from the girl. And when she looked back to check on her brother, no one was there. A secondhand smoking commerical...

Angrily, he threw his pack at the floor, as if his glare would burn a hole through the material. Dammit, damn him, damn the whole fucking world. How could he have not realized it before?

How could he let this happen?

Gojyo felt himself sink deeper into the cushions of his chair. How could he kill the one person whom he had grown to love so much..and who had loved him back? How? Why? Was this some sort of half-youkai thing? Half-youkais were said to be a misfortune after all. This was another misfortune. Hakkai's death. His mother's death. Jien's "death". All because of this half-breed blood that ran through his veins? Tanned fingers gripped at a few strands of his long, crimson hair, as if to tear it off and see the scarlet pour from the insides of his skull.

This wasn't fair. His life isn't fair. It never was.

His whole life, drenched in pure red.

"Gojyo." That voice...

He was met with soft, but tired, emerald eyes, framed with thin, chocolate strands of hair. Gojyo sighed and turned his chair to face the man, outstretching his arms to the other. He didn't even smile a little when Hakkai stepped close, allowing him to wrap his arms around the other's small waist. Burying his face into Hakkai's white shirt, Gojyo pulled the brunette tight against his body, as though if he let go, the man would never come back to him. The redhead felt hands settle at his shoulder blades in a gesture of comfort and could feel Hakkai's melancholy gaze on his head.

If only it wasn't this way. If he could just go back in time and change all this. If only he could prevent this...

If only...

How could he live without seeing Hakkai's warming smile in the morning, his comforting heat? How would he live, coming home to absolutely nothing? No greetings of kindness, no gentle kiss, no nothing. Just silence, coldness, emptiness. He wouldn't stand for that! Hakkai couldn't leave! He couldn't!

If only...

If he had just...

Hakkai couldn't die...He couldn't.

Thoughts of that smile fading away made his grip tighter until his knuckles turned white.



Hakkai wasn't going to die. He wasn't..!

If only...that was true.

Gojyo felt himself sinking deeper into misery.


"Gojyo..let's go home."

"...Yeah."




Once they were back in there apartment, Gojyo wrapped his arms back around the other man from behind, resting his head on the brunette's shoulder. "Why'd you leave anyway?"

"I wanted to talk to Sanzo." Hakkai answered simply, leaning back into the taller man's warmth.

"Ch'. The monk? Whatever for?"

"Well, at the time, he was the only one who knew about my cancer. But as I was going to Chou An, I was attacked by an anti-youkai group and ended up telling Yaone and Kougaiji, and eventually everyone else..." Gojyo hurriedly spun the other around and grabbed him by his shoulders.

"Attacked? Are you okay, babe? You're not still hurting, are you?" Hakkai smiled a little at the worry creased in his lover's ruby eyes.

"I'm fine, Gojyo. I was just tired at the time."

"Well don't do that again. It got me worried." He kissed the brunette's forehead. Hakkai chuckled a little.

"Sorry." That's when Gojyo noticed the plastic clinging to the man's ring finger. Taking his hand in his, he questioned, "What's this, babe?"

"Oh! You remember last year's carnival? This was one of the prizes we got."

"Yeah. Cheap ones too." Gojyo mumbled, much to the brunette's amusement. "So why'd you keep this one?"

"It reminds me of you." Hakkai smiled and pecked the man's tanned cheek. In return, the redhead grinned cheekily and lifted the green-eyed man in his arms like a groom would his bride and took the "bride" by much shock.

"G-gojyo?!" But the redhead just grinned and kicked open the door to the room they shared often. He set Hakkai down to sit on the edge of the bed and let his fingers roam through those chocolate bangs and lift the man's head up as he leaned over from where he stood to press his lips against the others. The green-eyed man felt his eyelids enclose his sight as he melted into the calming warmth that overtook and melted the ice around his heart. He let his pale hands sneak up to pulled the other closer to him, feeling Gojyo's warm tongue trace his bottom lip. Allowing his lips to part, the brunette moaned as he felt the heated muscle reclaim his mouth with its touch. It made every nerve in his body tingle with pleasure, as his own tongue battled with the redhead's over dominance. And as he was busy with that, he absently noticed hands trailing over his shirt to finger the buttons on the front. He barely noticed those buttons being pulled loose with all the pleasure going to his head, making him delirious. But he needed air and so did Gojyo, so eventually they broke apart, panting for oxygen. The brunette idly noted the trail of saliva running down the side of his mouth.

His head was too light to notice his shirt being slipped from his shoulders. But then Gojyo used it to carry him back into another kiss. Finally his back touched the cold air sharply and Hakkai shivered. But a tanned hand was there to offer warmth and he relaxed once more.

The green-eyed man sighed contently as hands brushed through his hair lovingly, and it was until fingers started to settle on his belt that he spoke. "Gojyo..I don't-"

"Shhhh." Hakkai was silenced from any more words with chaste kiss to the lips.

"We don't have to. Just let me cherish this moment." The brunette nodded slowly. He trusted Gojyo, so there'd be no problem. He let the redhead take off the rest of his clothing. He let the man kiss at his torso and run his hands over his thighs. He let him, because he trusted him.

Soon, Hakkai was laying on the bed, with Gojyo hovering over him, just as naked as he was. He closed his eyes to the half-youkai's light kisses, caresses, and gentle whispers. He took it all in to cherish it later on as he was now. Slowly, he cupped the redhead's face in both his hands, noting how pale they were compared to the other's darker tone and smiled as warmly as he could muster under his conditions.

"Gojyo, thank you." And he softly kissed the other man's lips, pulling himself up by draping his arms around the other's shoulders.

"For what?"

"Everything you've done for me." Another kiss.

"Hey, I'd do anything for you, babe."

Anything.

"You know, the town carnival is coming up. You want to go again, Gojyo?"

"More cheap prizes?" The redhead groaned as the other chuckled.

"Afraid so."

Suddenly, a grin crossed the redhead's face, "Hmmm, I don't know. Maybe we shouldn't..."

"Please, Gojyo? Please?"

"Only if you call me 'Master'." Gojyo could've just fallen on his ass laughing at the look on Hakkai's face right then.

"Gojyo, you naughty-"

"You bet." Hakkai didn't get to finish his sentence as Gojyo reeled him in for another breath-taking kiss, pressing his torso against the other's and entwining his arms around his back so that they were practically sitting again.

"Of course we're going." The redhead breathed out once they broke apart.

"Good." Gojyo thought he was falling in love all over again at that beautiful smile and hugged the man closer to him. That was how it was like for the remainder of the night, all the way into sunrise.



In the next few days, Gojyo found him staring at the black velvet box in his hands. How should he ask? What would Hakkai say? Was this even necessary knowing that....Gojyo shook his head. No, he should let Hakkai cherish his last two or so months with him. He can ask tonight, when they go to the carnival. Yeah, that's a good plan.


"Do you -really- think taking cough drops will halt your chronic coughs momentarily?" Gojyo asked in a flat tone as Hakkai just smiled.

"Well, it's worth a try. Besides, I don't want to cough during our fun."

"Yeah? But I want to taste you, not some herb," Gojyo whispered seductively in the other's ear, lightly nipping at the lobe. The brunette went red and pointed out.

"Gojyo, people are staring."

Oh right. They were outside. And Hakkai was indeed correct. People -were- staring.

"Hey, this ain't no show. Scram." As if on cue, the crowd did go their separate ways. Gojyo turned back toward the other and just grinned nervously. "Sorry, babe."

Hakkai just smiled fondly, "It's alright, Gojyo. We should start for the park anyway." And hand in hand, they walked as to give Hakuryuu a break and let the dragon sleep in.


They went on so many rides, that soon the different shades of light strung about were a natural thing to the eyes. Hakkai had hacked up some blood, but it was taken care of. Soon the couple could be found resting on a wooden bench, cuddling like any other couple at the carnival.

"Well, that was fun," Gojyo commented, feeling the brunette nod against his shoulder.

"We should go on the Ferris Wheel again. But later. I'm kinda tired right now." Hakkai dug his cheek deeper into the redhead's warmth. Gojyo let his fingers gently caress the other's face. "That's okay. Just rest, babe."

"Gojyo, you ever wonder how many stars there are in the sky?"

"Uh, sometimes." The brunette smiled.

"Kanan used to try to count them all, but lost count at fifteen."

"Better than some people." He nodded again.

"I wonder if I can count them all. 1..2...3...4..."

Eventually, Hakkai fell asleep. He fell into a darkness that was cold, damp, and chilled him to the very bone. The light was so far away above his head. If only, he had wings then maybe he could reach it...

It was cold inside his body. It was terribly dark.

It felt..almost as though his soul was lifting.

Cold...terribly cold.

-Gojyo...wake me up...-

So cold...

-Wake me up...-


Gojyo watched his lover's slumbering face, barely containing his excitement to pop the question. He was so nervous, yet somewhat giddy at the same time. But it was getting late, and Hakkai had been sleeping for a couple hours. So, gently, the redhead shook the other's shoulders. "Babe, it's time to get up."

No answer.

"Hakkai?" Why did the brunette feel so cold?

"Hakkai? Wake up, babe." Why wasn't he answering?

"Hey! This isn't funny! Wake up!" Could it be...?

"Wake up, damn you!" But the doctors said...

"Wake up!!" And he was just about to propose to him...

"Hakkai!!" So why...?

Why?

Regardless to the horrified crowd of people gathering around him, Gojyo pulled the brunette's motionless body close to him and buried his face in his shirt, into the chest which would no longer echo with a heartbeat.

Why?


How could he live without seeing Hakkai's warming smile in the morning?

That's right.

He wouldn't live at all.




Sanzo leaned back in his chair, newspaper in hand.

"Man died at carnival. Doctors underestimated time frame," he read aloud, regardless if any monk came in. "Cho Hakkai, age 26, died at his town's carnival Thursday night. The man he was seen with, Sha Gojyo, 26, refused to be questioned on the matter, even going so far as to attack a reporter. Sounds like the kappa." Sanzo let his gaze roam toward the window that glimmered with the contents of the outside world, where Goku was currently. Sighing deeply, he threw the newspaper back on the desktop and pinched the bridge of his nose, slipping his reading glasses off from their perch in front of his eyes. Telling the golden-eyed youkai would be hard.

And he lifted himself off his seat, and exited the office, leaving the newspaper alone on the document-filled tabletop.



Kanzeon Bosatsu casually strode through the rooms of Gojyo and Hakkai's apartment, Jiroshin a couple steps behind her.

"Kanzeon Bosatsu, what do you think of terrible event?"

She stopped at the entrance to the open kitchen and turned around to face the other. "What do I think?" She turned her gaze back to the man sprawled on his stomach, laying in a pool of drying blood a few feet away. The crimson shaded knife limply clutched in a tanned hand as locks of red covered the man's dead and decaying face. Her lips curved into a knowing smirk.

"I think, until the next life. Ne, Tenpou Gensui? Kenren Taishou?"


Game Over...



Ahhh! It's over! OUAT is over! Whew! Another story off my back! And sorry to the people who wanted Hakkai to live, but I was trying to get a point across about smoking.

And the angst. I couldn't resist the angst.

The angst bunny! It latches!

Angst bunny: *latch*

Well, until the next fic or so.

- Doc, 2002