Gojyo watched as Sanzo fought with his finicky lighter. He smirked, and walked up to the renegade priest, sat huddled on the ground, back pressed against the hotel wall.
“Need a light?”
Sanzo grunted, not looking at his companion, and threw his lighter away. He held out his delicate hand for Gojyo’s.
“Nuh-uh-ah!” Gojyo teased, holding his lighter out-of-reach. “You’ll keep mine if I give it to you. Let me light your smoke.”
“Fine then,” Sanzo said testily, letting his hand drop. “Just fuck off.” He picked up his gun and shot it into the air. Usually Sanzo would give a few more warnings before he resorted to threatening with the banishing gun. Something was up.
“What’s wrong?” Gojyo asked, crouching down next to their ‘leader’.
“I said, ‘fuck off’. What part of that oh-so-simple request do you not understand? Or is the Monkey right, and you really can’t think with all that hair weighing you down?”
Gojyo chuckled. “Do you really think you’re going to give me the cold shoulder that easily?”
Sanzo spun around and pointed the gun right between Gojyo’s eyes. “You’ll be feeling a cold everything once a bullet gets shoved into your brain, unless your hair *is* that thick it could actually protect you.”
Gojyo looked steadily back at Sanzo’s hard, carved expression. Long moments seeped by; stale-mate. There was a soft ‘chick’ as Gojyo ignited his lighter, and held the flame up in offering to Sanzo. Sanzo continued to stare Gojyo down. Then something passed over his eyes — for a brief moment, Gojyo saw something waver, crack — and Sanzo lowered his gaze. And the gun.
“Damn. I hate it when you call my bluffs,” he said, leaning his cigarette over the flame Gojyo offered him.
Gojyo felt too confused from seeing that brief look in Sanzo’s eyes that he couldn’t think of a quick ready come-back. So he just hummed his agreement and stayed silent.
Gojyo made himself comfortable next to Sanzo, and for a while they both stared off into the distance, as the priest languidly sucked on his cigarette.
“I’m out,” Gojyo murmured softly after a while.
Sanzo gave a disgruntled huff, but handed over his half finished fag. Gojyo accepted it with long easy fingers, and drew in a large breath, then let it out just as slow with a soft sigh of relief. “Damn, I’ve been hanging out for one of these for days.”
Sanzo gave Gojyo a side-long glance. “There’s a store down the street here that sells packs.”
Gojyo lowered his eyes as he handed the cigarette back. “I’m out of change.”
Sanzo looked directly at the red-head. “I gave you money just two weeks ago. That should have lasted you a whole month! You really are stupid. You deserve to go without.” Sanzo’s chastising was ruined as he drew on the smoke, and then handed it over to Gojyo.
Gojyo smiled softly. “Yeah, it would serve me right, eh?” he said, taking a puff.
They finished the cigarette off in silence, then Sanzo took out another from within his robe. He didn’t have to ask — Gojyo just handed his lighter over this time. Sanzo lit the fag, then handed both the lighter and cigarette to Gojyo, without even taking the first puff.
“So I have to ask,” Sanzo said, watching the clouds slowly sift through the sky. “What did you blow your money on this time? You’re normally a better gambler.... or is that ‘cheater’?”
Gojyo laughed out smoke. “Whatever you call it, no, I haven’t been gambling. I only lose to Hakkai and occasionally you. I was.... buying someone a gift.”
Sanzo laughed dryly, and took the cigarette from his companion. “You? I don’t believe that. Were you trying to woo a particularly difficult girl into your bed?”
Gojyo smirked, and it was an ironic expression. “Not... exactly, but close enough I suppose.” He looked away.
“Did it work?” Sanzo’s eyes seemed colder, closed off.
Gojyo looked back, smiling. “I’m not sure. I haven’t given it to them yet.”
“Hmmmm,” Sanzo said, looking sceptical. “I hope it will be worth your empty pockets.”
Gojyo shook his head, as if trying to keep his laughter inside. “Oh, I already know it will be.”
There was silence for a while, before Gojyo finally caved.
“So what’s got you bothered?” Gojyo asked.
Sanzo scowled. “Nothing. You talk too much. Why couldn’t I have mute companions? You guys are always giving me a headache.”
Gojyo chuckled. “Touch-y! It was only a question, Your Holiness.”
“Don’t make me regret not shooting you.”
Gojyo grinned cheekily. “Oh, I’m sure you already do. You probably fantasise at night about killing Goku and me in your sleep.”
Sanzo closed his eyes. “Perhaps you speak more truth than you realise.”
Gojyo balked. “You fantasise about *killing* me?!”
Sanzo actually smiled. “Not.... exactly. But close enough, I suppose,” he mimicked, and flashed Gojyo a look so quick that the red-head couldn’t read his expression.
They were silent after that, finishing the second smoke as the sun sank in the direction they were headed.
When the cigarette was almost burnt away, Sanzo sighed painfully and threw some coins into the water sprite’s lap, and passed over the fag. “You can have the last. Then get yourself a pack, so you can stop stealing mine.”
Gojyo looked at the cigarette and grinned. “We can share,” he said, then took the last, long draught the fag was going to provide him with.
Sanzo flashed Gojyo a puzzled look, which quickly turned to shock and then displeasure as the water sprite straddled his outspread legs. Sanzo sat glaring at Gojyo. Gojyo stared back, his eyes dancing, and then he started to lean in. Sanzo stiffened, looking mostly angry and a little uncertain, almost vulnerable. Gojyo pressed their bodies together until he could feel Sanzo’s heart pounding against his chest, as if the priest had just been running. For a moment, it looked as though they were about to kiss. Sanzo opened his mouth to say something rude, when Gojyo blew the smoke he held in his mouth, gently against the priest’s lips and inside.
Sanzo coughed, not expecting it. Gojyo laughed and leaped up, bounding away, happily clinking his change together in his hand.
“You.... bastard!” Sanzo choked out, to busy struggling to catch some air to do anything dire to the red-head.
Gojyo only laughed louder, and went to get his packet of smokes.
Sanzo finally caught his breath, and decided it was time to go inside to his hotel room. He cursed Gojyo under his breath as he did, not caring that the house-keep looked strangely at him as he passed, talking to himself.
Once inside his room, Sanzo stopped dead when he saw a bundle on his bed, suspicious. Checking the room for signs of assassins and finding none, he carefully approached his bed.
The bundle was made of a black, silky material. He cautiously touched it, but nothing suddenly exploded. He picked it up — it was incredibly light — and unwound the material from about itself.
Inside lay a new fan, and a new pair of the black arm-gloves with the finger ring that he liked to wear. His old fan had broken a few months back after hitting Goku one too many times. The gloves he’d torn and smothered in too much blood from their last skirmish with demons that they had been beyond repair. Both fan and gloves were a speciality item. The make and design of his old fan had been very rare, his gloves even more so. He had, though he hated to admit it, very effeminate yet long hands. Not only were the gloves rare, but they had to be custom made to fit.
Sanzo slid the arm gloves on, and found they fit perfectly. He ran his fingers softly over the fan, opened it with a flick of his wrist, and clicked it shut again just as smoothly. It was like his old items had never been ruined.
Sanzo made an extremely conscious effort to not feel. To not think. No to reflect on anything. He reverentially placed the fan back onto the black cloth, and slid the gloves off his arms and folded them back too. He wrapped up the bundle, and tucked it beneath his pillow.
The next day when they left the town in Hakaryu the jeep, no one commented on the fact that he was wearing arm-gloves again which seemed to be perfectly intact. When Goku started to complain about being hungry five minutes out of town, Sanzo slapped him across the head with his fan. Goku whined and wanted to know when Sanzo had been so cruel as to get a new fan to beat him up with, but Sanzo didn’t answer and just hit him harder.
Gojyo smiled and sucked on a cigarette.