Fucking weather; Sanzo could practically feel the storm coming on, just waiting for morning when they'd want to travel again. He put the paper down and rubbed his temples. Again. They could still hear the movement in the next room, a slow, steady rhythm; almost low enough to be soothing, if you didn't know what Hakkai and Gojyo were actually up to.
"You okay?" Goku was half-slouched halfway down the bed; almost resting on Sanzo, but not quite. There were some things they both knew weren't allowed.
"I'm fine." He took his glasses off; he couldn't focus to read.
"What will we do? When we go back?"
He almost snapped what do you mean, we, but there was no real point in it. He was too tired to argue, and to be honest, that particular argument had been settled long ago. He was never getting rid of the monkey now. He stretched his arm out, found his Marlboros and lit one instead.
"Sanzo," Goku said, and stretched his neck back to look up at him through his dark lashes. "Really. What'll happen? I'm not a kid any more...will they...will they let me stay in Chang'An?"
"Buddhists believe in charity, monkey," Sanzo said, and Goku winced at the bitter edge in his voice. "I'm sure they'll find something for you."
"I want to stay with you," he said, intently.
"Like I could get rid of you if I tried." Sanzo tapped the ash off his cigarette and looked back down at Goku's upside-down face. The boy-- less a boy after five years on the road, much less a boy-- glowed in the lamplight, the golden reflection coming off his limiter tinting his whole face. "What the hell are you worried about?"
"What if they asked you...what if they asked you to go somewhere else, and leave me behind? Like they asked me to come along this time?"
"You'd follow me anyway," he grumbled. Why did he have to be like this? Why couldn't he just be hungry, like usual? Damn the kid for growing up, anyway. However slow he was at it.
"What if they don't want me to stay at the temple?" Goku asked, as Sanzo inhaled again.
He tried to focus on the burn of the smoke, but his irritation overrode it. "As if any of them could get rid of you. Now will you let me smoke in peace?"
Goku's eyes strayed, just for a second, to the wall adjacent to theirs. Hakkai was moaning now; by the sounds of it, Gojyo's hand was over his mouth.
"Relative peace," Sanzo snapped.
"Sanzo," Goku said, his attention fully on Sanzo again. "Sanzo, I--"
"Don't," Sanzo said, and Goku flinched again. "Don't ask any fucking more from me than what you already have."
"I never asked anything," Goku said, sadly. "Just to...."
"Don't you understand how much that is?"
"Sanzo," Goku said again, and it wasn't a whine and it wasn't begging and it wasn't even a question, and it was driving Sanzo mad.
"I wouldn't let them, all right? Just shut up already, okay?" It hurt to say it. Stupid monkey, with his big eyes and his hair shining gold and his idiot stubborn questions. "Whatever the hell it is I give you, you want more."
"I don't," Goku insisted, and flipped over on the bed to rest on his elbows, agile body making the movement so fluid it was impossible to see him as human. "I don't. I just--"
"You want everything," Sanzo growled. "You always want everything. Always."
"Sanzo," Goku said, almost a whisper this time, his eyes even wider, pupils so dilated his eyes almost looked black. He lifted his body up.
Sanzo stubbed his cigarette out.
"I never asked," Goku said.
"Not out loud," Sanzo said. "But you've never stopped asking."
"You go where I go, all right? You stay where I stay, live where I live. Eat my goddamned food. Isn't that enough for you?" Hakkai and Gojyo had stopped making noise now. Sanzo hadn't even realized he'd been listening to them.
Goku pulled his knees underneath him, so their faces were level. "Sanzo, I--"
"Didn't I tell you to shut up?" Sanzo said.
"Yeah," Goku said. "You did." He raised up, just a little, on his knees and moved in closer. "I'm shutting up," he said, and took Sanzo's face in his hands, pressed in for a kiss as Sanzo's lips parted to snap at him again.
Sanzo pushed at his chest, but Goku pressed in harder, and his tongue was warm and slick in Sanzo's mouth, and Sanzo didn't want this, he didn't,but somehow Goku was straddling his body and Sanzo was pushing up, into the press of Goku's jeans, the hardness there, and he was whimpering into Goku's mouth, the muscle in Goku's arms hard against his hands when he touched him.
And he was. Touching. Goku.
And there was no way he could stop, now.
Goku pulled back, harsh breathing in Sanzo's ear, need he'd never speak but that Sanzo could hear, feel, always, always--
And sometimes, with the life he led, with the voices of his travelling companions constantly yammering in his ears, sometimes he could forget that Goku wasn't the only one who needed.
He was remembering now.
He hooked an arm around Goku's neck and pulled him back in.
Gojyo always got pleasantly groggy after sex; Hakkai got back into bed and pulled a hand lazily through his long red hair, watching his lover turn into the touch. "Think we were too loud?"
"No worse'n usual," Gojyo mumbled. "You gotta watch it, though."
"I'm afraid so," Hakkai said. "Although I think some of that blame can be fairly settled on you."
Gojyo blew out a long plume of smoke and smiled like a satisfied cat. He pulled Hakkai back into his arms, and they settled together, Gojyo's lips teasing gently at Hakkai's limiters. Hakkai batted his mouth away and nestled deeper into his pillow.
"Next time, we--"
They were interrupted by a hollow thump from the next room. They disentangled themselves and half-sat up, waiting to run in if necessary, hoping Goku'd just pissed Sanzo off again.
A second thump soon followed, then another sound, something low...Sanzo.
Hakkai looked at Gojyo. Gojyo looked at Hakkai.
Thump. Moan. Thump.
Their expressions changed.
"Okay," Gojyo said, "so it might be--"
"It's possible, certainly--"
Thump. "Keep fucking going," Sanzo growled, so low a human wouldn't hear.
An answering grunt-- Goku's voice-- and the pace quickened.
"Well," Hakkai said, finally, and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"Well," Gojyo repeated, and took a long drag off his cigarette.
The pace was steady now, and Sanzo was making soft, whimpering sounds.
They listened for a few moments, still as stone, not wanting to break the spell.
Then Hakkai reached over and just put his hand on Gojyo's hip. "I know we're not as young as we used to be, but perhaps...?"
Gojyo grinned and stubbed out his cigarette. "I ain't that old yet."
This fic placed second in the Slash category in the first Echoes from the West fanfiction contest. Thank you, everyone, for voting for me!