Title: Truths and Lies
Genre: Angst Galore!
Disclaimer: I do not own Saiyuki. Minekura-sama owns all.
A/N: So. This is the funny fic which I wrote for the ending. I had the funny feeling that a personality transplant must have occurred somewhere in the middle of this evil!fic. But yah. Still. My humble offerings. This used to involve Awkward Situations.
Dedications: For flame_spectre who told me that the best thing to do when interrupting people in the middle of funny things is to blink and ask if they have seen your glasses anywhere. (Because that used to be what it was about.)
Time Taken: 90 minutes but as I've said in my last post, the word count made it worthwhile. (I spent more time linking than writing.)
Emerald eyes peered into crimson red ones, “May I join you?”
“Why, sure.” Gojyo gestured for Hakkai to sit beside him.
There was a silence though Gojyo was not particularly sure what kind of silence it was. He had no interest in it and tried not to take an interest in it. He had wanted some time alone with his thoughts and he would be damned if he let silence intrude on his remaining little privilege.
Thankfully, his friend broke the silence for him.
“Were you… shocked?”
It was a mixed blessing. Though he had no longer any need to defend himself against the silence, he had the new need of defending himself against reality. He wondered how to answer this question. There was the truth and there was the lie that would end the question there and then.
“The truth or the lie?” He asked, trying to buy himself some time.
He had often imagined how the conversation would go. He hadn’t thought it would be like that. He had wanted to take control of the conversation, to steer the conversation straight through and cut across to minimize pain and embarrassment. And yet, here he was, the one who was sidestepping and going about in circles. Hiding.
“I… think I’ve dealt enough with lies,” Hakkai smiled. “So I’ll take the truth for once.”
Inwardly, Gojyo ached to see Hakkai smile like that. Not because it was a smile of regret, not because it was a smile to mask pain, but because it was a smile unfamiliar to him. Unreadable. Unfathomable.
And he used to know that man.
“…I am.” He said at last, forcing his voice into one of nonchalance, “I’m shocked. I mean…” Then, he trailed off, because he realized at the point in time, he had no idea what he had meant.
He looked down at the ground at the pile of cigarette butts by his feet. The air stunk of smoke; perhaps one day he would consider putting a stop to this bad habit of his.
“Don’t.” He cut in before he realized what he had said. “Don’t.” He repeated, “You aren’t.” And then, in a quieter tone, “I won’t be either.”
There was a silence. But it was no longer the companionable silence of two people. A companionable silence was something shared, like a blanket shared between two friends. Yes, there might be a respectable distance kept between the two but it was obvious that the blanket was one and it was shared. This was merely the silence of two persons. Two independent spheres of silence which enveloped them and sealed them off from each other.
“Yes what?” Gojyo asked, unable to keep the edge of annoyance away from his voice.
“Yes, I am happy. Or as close to being happy as I can get.”
“I didn’t mean that.” He lied.
“I’m sorry.” But Hakkai didn’t press him for what he meant to ask.
And there was the same dreaded silence again. Gojyo closed his eyes and tried to view this from a third person’s perspective. Two guys, stargazing under the tree. One of them looking pretty sad and forlorn and the other with this vague exasperated smile which could have meant anything, everything and nothing.
“How did the monkey take it?” He asked suddenly.
“He’s fine. He didn’t really mind. He wanted to go out to see the world at the end of the journey and was glad that there was someone to, well,” and here, Hakkai stumbled, his old tact prevented him from saying anything for he did not know what was permitted of him to say.
Gojyo knew this and so, he supplied the first phrase off his head, “To take care of his beloved master.”
He was the only brat among them all. It had just been confirmed. Even Goku seemed to be taking it better than he did. What other confirmation did he need? Who was he trying to kid anyway? His pride had nothing to do with his denial of that fact. He knew.
He laughed, or tried to, but found he couldn’t because it was so loaded with emotion that the urge to laugh sunk before it could even surface.
“I…” He begun, “you… me… I mean, we.” He paused and tried to recover himself. “We never change, do we?”
He knew it was going to hurt. But he also knew that he had vowed to be reasonable about the hurt, to cover up the hurt, to be good-humored about it, to laugh it off like the way he had laughed off rejections from women who looked a lot like his mother who never loved him.
There was a contemplative silence as Hakkai looked up at the full moon and gave the question due respect. Then, he turned to give him yet another smile which he did not recognize, and said something which Gojyo could not catch. He knew without exact knowledge that the answer lay not in the words but the smile.
It seemed like a sweet moment, he conceded. The smile had made this moment sweet. But that was all. It wasn’t going to be eternal. He knew it. And he knew another thing too. They weren’t ever going to see each other again. Not after this journey, not when they had this talk. And with that, he succumbed to asking the only question he wanted the answer to.
“What are we?”
There must have been shock in his eyes though Gojyo did not see. He fixed his gaze on the stars. He knew this was not fair. This had broken all the rules. But. Hell. There weren’t going to be any more games after this for rules to apply.
“The truth or the lie?” Hakkai asked softly.
Gojyo let go of a breath that he wasn’t aware of holding in the first place. It was then that he realized he had to fight off the belated urge to laugh.
“…I probably can’t handle the truth, can I?” There was only a hint of pleading in those words.
"Probably not." He agreed with a tinge of sadness for he knew it was the truth and had expected it all along. Then, he declared in a much louder voice as though trying to chase away all his ghosts of doubt. "But you know how I hate anything complicated. So give me a downright lie."
He fixed his gaze on the stars and waited.
"I love you."