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Fairy Tale (fic; Saiyuki)

Title: Fairy Tale
Author: opalmatrix
Warnings: swearing and m/m foreplay
Rating: Mild R at the very end
Pairing(s): Gojyo/Hakkai
Spoilers: a little of Hakkai's history
Notes: This was inspired by saiyuki_time prompt #9: Magic, but the previous thing I'd written for saiyuki_time was also 585 fluff, so I decided to do something else for the prompt. Then smillaraaq asked me very nicely to go ahead and write this anyway, so I did. I feel that it's pretty similar to my earlier story Night Watch, but I had fun writing it, so I hope that at least a few people will have fun reading it! Not too surprisingly, smillaraaq did the beta. Will be crossposted a couple of places.

Summary: How the hell did Gojyo know that Hakkai needed him, back home? Must be ... magic.

I need to get home.

The thought came to Gojyo as he sat at the card table in his usual bar. It was a more urgent thought than "I need to take a piss" usually was, but not quite as urgent as the "I need to get outta here now" that had saved his ass a number of times in his younger days.

It was not, actually, a bad moment to leave. His current hand was mediocre at best, and he'd already won enough to feed himself and Hakkai perfectly well for at least a week. Besides, instincts had kept him breathing and in the money quite nicely for the last few years. He had no reason to ignore them now.

So when the ante came around again, he folded. He rose slowly, stretched casually, put on his coat at a leisurely pace. There seemed no harm in waiting to see the hand out, or taking the time to slap Seido jovially on the back and congratulate him on his win. Then he strolled to the door, shaking his head and grinning cheerfully at the girls who pleaded for him to stay - or at least, go home with them.

He opened the tavern door to the swish and hiss of a rainstorm. OK, then - that must be it. He must've noticed the rain with some part of his mind when someone else had opened the door earlier. Hakkai, and rainstorms ... but he'd been alright the last few times. Gojyo swore under his breath and turned up the collar of his coat, then hurried off down the road.

Damn. Their little house was darker than it should have been. The few times he'd come home this early, he'd found Hakkai working at their kitchen table, getting assignments ready for Goku or one of the other kids he tutored, or working on another of his own correspondence courses. They'd had some pretty good talks. those evenings - himself not as drunk as usual, Hakkai wide awake and pleased to see him. But the light wasn't on in the kitchen tonight, nor in the bedroom.

He grabbed for the door, swung it open. The kitchen was clean and dark, cold and silent. He stood dripping on the mat for a minute. What little light there was came from the other end of the room - the little lamp on the table next to the tatty sofa, the new lamp that Hakkai had picked out last winter and hardly ever used because he usually read at the table or in bed. Gojyo was about to stride off in that direction when he stopped himself short. Hakkai would kill him if he trudged across the shiny floor in his muddy boots. He scrabbled at the straps, kicked them off: "Hakkai?"

There was no response to either the thump of the boots on the mat or his call. Maybe he just had a headache, decided to curl up and read. And fell asleep.

It was really stupid, how freaked out he felt. He tiptoed toward the sofa. And there was Hakkai. Sitting bolt upright, eyes open, a book on his lap - closed. His eyes weren't tracking Gojyo at all.


Gojyo shucked off his soaked coat and stomped over to his silent friend. "Hakkai!"

Not a twitch. Hakkai looked unnervingly like one of the funerary statues he'd once helped Banri boost from an antiques place, white porcelain skin and painted eyes and an expression like someone who expected to spend a couple of thousand years in a tomb with a corpse. Gojyo grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. "Snap out of it, buddy!"

Hakkai gave a little gasp, and his face relaxed. He blinked like he was just walking up. "Gojyo ... ?"

Gojyo sat down heavily next to him and slid one arm around his shoulders. "Yeah. Just me." He reached over and gently removed the book, which was starting to slide off toward Hakkai's sock-clad toes. "Are you OK?"

Hakkai was still blinking. He felt cold as the dead under Gojyo's arm, and he was shivering. "Just ... I just fell asleep."

"Asleep with your eyes open?"

"Were they? I was ... I was going to read, and ... ."

His voice trailed off. In the silence, Gojyo could hear the rain blowing and hissing against the window. Hakkai's eyes were glazing again, but this time, his lips were open, and Gojyo could see his tongue moving, could almost hear the name that was forming. And anyway, he knew what it had to be.

"Kanan ... ."

Oh, fuck!

Gojyo half-stood and grabbed Hakkai, flipped him to lie full-length onto the sofa, and threw himself on top, gripping Hakkai's shoulders. "Listen to me, Hakkai! It's me! Be with me, damn it. It's now ... ," and he pressed his lips to his lover's.

It was as close as he ever hoped to come to kissing a corpse. Hakkai's lips were still and cold, and even his tongue ... . Gojyo screwed his eyes shut tight. It still smelled like Hakkai; the lean, smoothly muscled body beneath him still felt like Hakkai. He stroked his own hot tongue over those icy lips and breathed his own warm, desperate breath into that half-open mouth. And suddenly Hakkai twitched and gasped, and one hand came up and threaded itself into Gojyo's dripping hair. His lips pursed and then relaxed, and the tip of his tongue met Gojyo's. Gojyo deepened the kiss, reaching into Hakkai's mouth, feeling the flesh warm and respond. Hakkai wrapped his other arm over Gojyo's back and shifted underneath him, making them both more comfortable. At last Gojyo dared to break off and open his eyes.

Hakkai was looking back at him, tired and sad, but himself, present and aware and trying to smile. "Gojyo ... how is it you always know what I need?"

Gojyo started to blush and chuckle, but stopped, thinking about the strange moment in the bar tonight. He shook his head instead and sighed. "Ahhh, who knows. It was just a kiss, babe."

Hakkai's eye crinkled at the corners, and he squeezed some water out of the handful of hair he was clutching. "You're soaked ... there's a children's tale from the West, you know, about a king's daughter who was cursed for the sins of her parents, so that she slept for a century. In fact, the curse was so virulent that all the members of the king's household were affected, even down to the horses in the stables, while the forest took back the land around the palace. At last a young nobleman made his way through the wilderness and found the girl, asleep. When he kissed her, the enchantment was broken, and she awoke at last."

As he spoke, his other hand was drifting down Gojyo's back, over the base of his spine, to rest at last on one asscheek. He squeezed gently, the tips of his long fingers digging into the cleft between. Gojyo felt a flush of warmth rush into his crotch and ground himself against Hakkai's hip, turning his face into Hakkai's neck to lick and nibble. He felt the vibrations against his lips as Hakkai spoke again, his voice lower and a little rougher.

"And then there's an older version of the same tale, a version that was not told to children. It says that the handsome prince had to do ... rather more ... to wake up the princess."

Gojyo, grinning, eased himself half off Hakkai and started on the buttons of his shirt. "I guess I could try that too," he said.



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Aww, that was very nice, surprisingly sweet despite the hint of darkness. Part of me almost wishes there was a little more (you know what I mean, I'm sure) but it's really, really good.
May. 24th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)

Hee ... yes, I know what you mean! I'm not terribly confident in that area yet - plus, once I had my punch line, I wanted to end on it. Sorry to disappoint in that regard. But thank you!

(Deleted comment)
May. 24th, 2008 04:08 am (UTC)

Well, that's his story, anyway - "trance" is probably closer than "sleep" but he doesn't want to think about it ... I'm glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I love Gojyo to bits.

May. 22nd, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
Sweet and lovely, if I was more coherent I'd give you something better but...

Thank you for sharing.

Edited at 2008-05-22 04:17 am (UTC)
May. 24th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)

Well, I'm just glad you enjoyed it!

(Deleted comment)
May. 24th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)

That's another one of those lines that came out of nowhere ... maybe my subconscious is finally getting its act together! I'm glad this one worked for you.

May. 22nd, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yay fluff!

I like this, the metaphor of Hakkai looking like a funerary statue is very striking, as is the way that Hakkai seemingly embraces death, but it's Gojyo's living embrace that is stronger than that. That's really wonderful (and not so fluffy). I guess the death/life thing is part of their yin/yang dynamic, come to think of it.

And Sleeping Beauty... yes! There's something about that story that I can't put my finger on, but it lends itself very well to Saiyuki (I started a fic based on SB back in October, but haven't worked on it since. ;_; )

My daughter used to sleep with her eyes half open when she was younger. It creeped the hell out of her dad and I, especially when she'd enter REM sleep. Every now and then she still does it.
May. 23rd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
There's something about that story that I can't put my finger on, but it lends itself very well to Saiyuki

Ooooh, the more I think of this, the more that makes sense. It's full of characters who are actually in a sort of enchanted sleep of their own -- Rasetsunyo, Gyuma-oh, Nataku, and even Goku in a way, locked away in isolation for centuries with no memories, he might as well have been dreaming the whole time. And the rest of the boys early on, they all go through their own little overtly or unconsciously suicidal stages, they're sort of sleepwalking through life in a way locked away from various mental/emotional elements so that they're in a way not fully alive, until the other guys help them get past those blocks...

(Now if I turn the sad-puppy-face on you, will it perhaps encourage you to revisit the story? At least, once the pirates are done nagging at your brain? *bats eyelashes hopefully*)
May. 24th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC)

>> And the rest of the boys early on, they all go through their own little overtly or unconsciously suicidal stages, they're sort of sleepwalking through life in a way locked away from various mental/emotional elements so that they're in a way not fully alive, until the other guys help them get past those blocks...<<

Oh, wow, yes - we were talking about this explcitly with reference to these two boys at one point, but you're right - there are exact parallels to the other two! You ought to post that on your LJ - kispexi2 has been tracking some of these kinds of things. (Did you hear her thing about the eye colors?)

May. 24th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Nrgh, was that the color-wheel thing, or am I thinking out of the bottom of this sake bottle here? Feel free to run with that if you feel a post coming on at some point...the overthinking-meta side of my brain is currently overwhelmed by fanmix ponderings (also, more than slightly pickled at the moment...)
May. 24th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)

Now I'm thinking of Nii as the wicked witch!

It's funny, as I was mentioning to kispexi2 - a lot of the stronger/more serious implications of this seemed to end up in the story via the subconscious route. I certainly didn't set up the life/death contrast on purpose, but then again, that is Gojyo, isn't it? (And Kenren as well, of course.) So I guess the story has more to it than I thought ... maybe I should have put it on saiyuki_time after all. (I ran way over on the time, though.)

Thanks for the insights ... (and I second smilla, that you should finish your SB/Saiyuki so we can see it!)

May. 22nd, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Eery, but still very sweet <3
I love Hakkai's little twist on Sleepy Beauty at the end ;)
May. 24th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)

I'm glad you liked it! Yes, actually, the first time I heard that, about "Sleeping Beauty," it was in one of Neil Gaiman's Sandman volumes, but he probably got it from actual folklore - he's very good at that. And it seemed like the kind of thing Hakkai would have known - I mean, in the Kami-sama arc, he quotes "Hansel and Gretel."

May. 24th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, Gaiman didn't make that up...in Sun, Moon, and Talia, which predates the Perrault or Grimm versions, the sleeping beauty is impregnated in her sleep. She doesn't actually wake up until she's given birth to twins, and one of them sucks the poisoned flax out of her finger.
May. 26th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)

No, I hope I didn't imply that he made it up! He's a huge student of folklore and mythology, and it informs all his writing.

May. 23rd, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
Very nice.. Loved the whole fairy tale aspect from Gojyo knowing to Hakkai's tales at the end.

*whisper* the last fairy tale could be the 'Claiming of Sleeping Beauty'. *wicked grin*
May. 24th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)

Well, as I told aeneus above, I was actually thinking of something Gaiman had in one of the Sandman issues - but yes, Anne Rice as A.N. Roquelaure ... smilla reminded me in the beta that in the original version that Gaiman quotes, the princess gets pregnant as a result, but noted that Hakkai probably wouldn't tease Gojyo with that tidbit, especially if he intended to get anywhere with him just then!

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

May. 24th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
Of course, what with Hakkai's deeply inappropriate sense of humour, I am suddenly visualizing a chatty bit of afterglow where he ends up telling the kappa the REST of the story, and thoroughly weirding him out! *giggles*
May. 26th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)

And I'm still feeling all funny and warm about Hakkai's being happy that the plant-babies (in andmydog's fic) take after Gojyo ... .

(Deleted comment)
May. 24th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)

Oooh, thanks! I'm happy it worked for you!

May. 23rd, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
This was really well done. I like the starkness of it, and the transition from death/coldness into life/heat.

Most people opening the door on pouring rain would think "I'm gonna get wet." Gojyo's first thought is entirely selfless, which speaks volumes about his relationship with Hakkai. Thanks very much for a lovely read. ^^
May. 24th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)

It's funny ... I can write very purple stuff and rather like doing so - you can see it a little in the Nii thing, with the crow-magic - but I've been consciously trying not to, and to do more with dialog when I can, because a lot of the fics I've enjoyed have used those techniques. Also, if I'm doing Gojyo's POV, getting too elaborate in the descriptions just seems wrong.

Well, he was pretty sure that something weird was going on at home, and Hakkai is already very much the central fact of "home" for him at this point. But I find myself thinking about Hakkai, and Sanzo, when it's raining now, and I would think that the connection is infinitely stronger for Gojyo!

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

May. 24th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
But I find myself thinking about Hakkai, and Sanzo, when it's raining now

This makes me feel so much better over moping over all the cherry blossoms this spring because they made me think of Tenpou and Kenren...
May. 26th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)

Hee! Always glad to help ... but then, we both know we are on the same sort of sentimental page about this series!

Jun. 25th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
Nice exposure of the depth of the bond between these two! Loved the last few lines a TONNE, and will certainly be placing this in my memories!
Jul. 6th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
"Fairy Tale"

Awww, thanks! Minekura gets in to their human aspects so much that it's easy to forget that these are essentially magical beings - it seemed to me that something like this was not too far out of line.

Of course, now this week's saiyuki_time prompt is "sixth sense," and I'll have to think of something else!

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


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