Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
John Donne, To His Mistress Going to Bed
“Sanzo?” the cheerful voice said, hesitatingly, from out of the dark.
“What?” the man thus addressed responded in a gravelly annoyed sort of voice.
“What are you doing?”
Sanzo sat up abruptly, the sheets pulling down almost far enough to expose his nakedness. The sheet ghosted around his companion, who was snuggled deep into the bed and himself clutching at the sheets, creating a minor breeze that made his smaller body shudder. Sanzo blindly reached over for the nightstand and his pack of Marlboro Reds. Finding them using touch alone, his fingers roamed the wooden surface until they found the lighter Goku had given him for his last birthday, though heaven only knew when his birthday really was; the date he’d given Goku was the day Koumyou had found him, which was the date Koumyou marked as his birthday every year thereafter.
As he lit a cigarette, Sanzo thought about the question. What had he been doing? He’d thought it was obvious: he was caressing the man in his bed. As the poem said: ‘Licence my roving hands, and let them go / Before, behind, between, above, below.’
Didn’t Goku like it? When they’d first become lovers, he’d given every indication that he’d fling himself into Sanzo’s embrace and do whatever he wanted wholeheartedly. Had that changed?
Goku stretched his arms, insinuating one arm around Sanzo’s waist. Sanzo huffed, but didn’t twitch or move or say anything else. After awhile, the small hand resting on his hip felt so unbelievably warm, it was as if the sun were concentrating its rays on that point on his hip.
Goku pulled himself up further and kissed what he could reach, which happened to be Sanzo’s neck. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I didn’t mean ta stop ya. I jus’ – ya were makin’ me feel weird. I wanted ta know what ya were doin’”
What the hell? Making him feel weird?
Sanzo bent over, placing a kiss on that golden diadem, and said, quietly, “How can my hands roaming over your body make you feel weird now? It’s been months -- a year, nearly.” He doesn’t say it, but they both know he’s thinking it: after all they’ve done together so far, what’s so odd about some caresses shared between the two of them?
Goku sighed, but it’s a contented sounding sigh, turned slightly toward Sanzo, and said, “I dunno, Sanzo. I jus’ got scared, ya know? Like it was too much and I couldn’t keep somethin’ so good forever.”
Sanzo huffed, scoffing. “Idiot monkey,” he said, his soft tone belying the harshness of his words. “Don’t get all superstitious on me now.”
“I won’t. I promise.” Small hands reached for him.
Sanzo reached down, his hands resuming their roaming.