Pairing: Gojyo, Hakkai
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Time: 38 min + ~10 editing.
There is a little scoop out of the bank of the stream, a place where you can walk right down to the water's edge. It's rare to find anyplace so inviting lately. Perhaps that's why Hakkai follows him down.
Gojyo squats at the edge of the stream, pushing his canteen in without ceremony. Little glassy fish dart away and come back, more or less fearless. The water numbs his hand. He feels it catching the hairs on his arm, tickling where the sweat drips slowly down to join the stream. Some of his hair falls too, in lank ribbons reaching for the surface of the stream and the curious fish. It's fuckin' hot.
Well, Gojyo's not much of a guy for water, otherwise. He adjusts his smoke with his free hand, thinks back a minute on the rest of the party. H's not a nosy guy, and it ain't like the world revolves around him, but you gotta wonder, right? The monkey is probably playing around downstream, having found a splashier way to get to the water. Sanzo's too scary to think about, but he makes up a couple unlikely stories anyhow. Dirty magazines and things like that. Cooling off is something that guy only dreams about.
No need to wonder about Hakkai. He's just standing there like he doesn't even notice the sun, looking around at nothing in particular, elbows cradled in the palm of his hands.
The water begins to bubble over his hand. Exhausted from the work of remaining upright, Gojyo collapses away from the stream, falling back on his ass and elbows. It's too hot to be graceful about it. The canteen slips from his fingers, water splashing over his hand and melting away, skulking back to the stream. Well, fuck. He doesn't grab for it. There's more water, right? There's always more, this not being the desert or anything.
He flicks his cigarette again. There are pale smears of dust on his calves, and he reaches out to brush at them with the damp hand, to poor result. He never was much good at laundry, and now his hands are dirty, too. He considers removing his pants, asking Hakkai to get domestic. His cigarette droops further from his lips.
Hakkai probably never has to wonder about anything. He seems to have plenty of intuition, no matter what he says, 'cause the minute Gojyo thinks it he's looking over, mouth curving as though he already knows the joke. "Good thought?" Gojyo tries to stuff down on his grin. He doesn't get very far.
"I can't wait for a hotel," he says, not really answering the question, but it ain't like it's not true.
"Maybe you should come out of the sun?"
Gojyo snorts. Too dry, that's Hakkai. If his water hadn't just escaped, Gojyo might be tempted to splash him. He collapses the rest of the way onto the not particularly comfortable riverbank instead, wrapping his arms behind his head. There's a damp press against his left hip; he's lain in the muddy trail of water. Apparently it doesn't just melt away, after all. Imagine that. Gojyo closes his eyes. He's going to look worse than the kid. He's probably even got leaves in his hair, or caterpillars.
Hakkai doesn't come sit next to him like he'd half expected. Gojyo can sense him, still standing on the edge of the stream like that, not even being helpful by picking up the canteen or something.
"What is it? Even rivers get on your nerves now?"
"It's not exactly a river." Gojyo can picture the expression on Hakkai's face as he glances down at the quick-moving streak of water that will barely cross their ankles.
"Come sit by me," he says at last, asking for it, and Hakkai does as easily as that. He's warm from the sun, even warmer than the air, but its relaxing rather than stifling. Gojyo wonders sometimes if life was this boring even before he'd went on the road. He never really remembers doing much during the day. He hadn't complained--wasn't complaining now, for that matter.
He's full of it, full enough even for Hakkai. Blood, water, spit, tears... whatever. You only had to water the dry land gradually, lest it shed back to the source in a flood.
"Sanzo'll be looking for us."
"Let him," Gojyo says, in no hurry.