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Rain by akisawana
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It rained last night.

Sanzo thinks the two in the back seat are morons. The sun is out, and they’re all driving along, driving West, and the two in the backseat are bickering as usual. He doesn’t know, or care, what they’re fighting about this time; cards or food or exactly how much of the seat each one gets, it’s all the same to Sanzo. To him, they’re arguing for the sake of arguing, because neither of them are willing to sacrifice an iota of pride for peace. Maybe they’ll just kill each other, and make Sanzo’s life that much easier.

It rained last night, and Sanzo isn’t always right.

Hakkai wishes he friends would get along better. He knows that in clear and present danger, they will forget their ongoing feud, will stop fighting each other and face the threat with no trace of lingering malice towards each other. He also knows that they get along perfectly fine when it’s deathly serious or they think there’s no witnesses. He knows they can go entire days without quibbling if they think the situation warrants it. If only they thought more situations warranted it, if only they acted like he knows they’re capable of acting, namely not like small children, this journey would be almost downright pleasant.

It rained last night and not everything Hakkai knows is true.

Last night there were two rooms only at the inn, and Gojyo and Goku were in rare form. Gojyo poked and insulted and tormented the monkey more than he had in longer than anyone bothered to remember. Goku whined and tugged on Sanzo’s sleeve and whined some more until Sanzo told him sharply that if he couldn’t conduct himself properly in public, he could remove himself upstairs to his room. Goku sulked, but quietly, for ten whole minutes —and then Gojyo reached over and stole one of his dumplings right off his plate. Goku howled and the never-ending fight began anew, until Sanzo kicked Goku to bed with harsh words and a handful of smacks with his fan for good measure, adding that if he appeared in Sanzo’s room, Sanzo would test if the monkey really was immortal.

It rained last night, and Goku isn’t as childish as he acts.

Hakkai gave Gojyo a worried look and a pack of cards, and Gojyo understood that Hakkai wanted Gojyo to baby-sit Sanzo tonight. Or he just wanted an excuse to break up him and the monkey. He didn’t mind sharing with Sanzo; it’d been too long, he’d forgotten just what was so bad about it. Sanzo minded quite a bit, and he sulked and smoked and stared out the window at the rain until Gojyo coaxed and wheedled him into poker. Sanzo, when Gojyo started insulting his inferior poker skills and implying that he was so weak he couldn’t play in the rain, finally slid off the windowsill, sat across from him, and told him to deal with narrowed eyes. Gojyo only suggested stopping once, when the beer ran out. Sanzo said he wasn’t going to stop him, and Gojyo replied, heavy on the sarcasm, that it was only out of concern for Sanzo-sama’s health he had suggested it. Sanzo snorted and dealt Gojyo three queens, not wanting to sleep, not trusting what dreams his not entirely sober, not drunk enough by half mind would come up with. But eventually, as dawn approached and the rain slackened, Sanzo had to go to bed or risk passing out at the table. Gojyo didn’t say anything, just gave him a mocking grin and lit another cigarette. In the morning he hadn’t moved, not that Sanzo had expected him to. He scowled inwardly at himself for being so trusting, and cursed himself for trusting the kappa implicitly to stay up all night because he couldn’t handle a little weather, for that trust to banish his nightmares. From the looks of it, that’s exactly what had happened; the ashtray on the table was overflowing and there was an impressive house of cards on the table. On the other hand, Sanzo knew that when he had fallen asleep Gojyo had been in the other chair.

It rained last night and Gojyo isn’t the insensitive ass he seems.

Sharing with Goku isn’t something Hakkai would normally volunteer to do, but on rainy nights he welcomes the distractions. Goku, once assured that he wasn’t going to have to even be in the same room as Gojyo for an entire night, behaved like a perfect angel —or acted his age, depending on your point of view. He didn’t whine about not sharing a room with Sanzo, ask about food or why Hakkai wasn’t smiling. He just played quietly with Jiipu on his bed, leaving Hakkai to his regrets and his pain, until his troubled thoughts slipped into disturbed dreams. Late that night though, when the dreams woke him up gasping, Goku was there and solid and real and alive, whispering comforting nonsense as he hugged Hakkai. Hakkai tried, once he was capable, to apologize for waking him, but Goku shushed him gently and told him to call it payback for all the times Hakkai had done the same for him. Jiipu crawled across their laps and tucked his head in the crook of Hakkai’s neck; Goku pushed Hakkai down and tucked the blanket around him, like Hakkai had done for him before. He played with Hakkai’s hair, copying what he’d seen others do to comfort someone woken by their ghosts, meaning to stay sitting on the edge of the bed until Hakkai fell asleep. But for all he was acting the adult tonight, Goku was still young, and he fell asleep before Hakkai, on top of the blankets, one arm across Hakkai’s chest, pinning him to the bed. It was worth it though, when Goku woke up, cold and sore, and Hakkai was still asleep, really asleep and not dreaming.

It rained last night, and the sun came up this morning, and Gojyo and Goku shared a celebratory cup of coffee for another rainy night survived before tussling over the last of the pot.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Rotten tomatoes?

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