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Simple Joys (Saiyuki; Gojyo/Hakkai; PG-13)

Title: Simple Joys
Author: opalmatrix
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: sensuality, swearing, mild m/m
Prompt: Saiyuki, Gojyo/Hakkai: Domesticity - The weirdest part was that he was getting used to it.
Word count: : 2520
Summary: Gojyo's learning that the right company makes even the mundane joyful.
A/N: Written for springkink VIII. Beta by the indispensable smillaraaq. The title is from a song from the musical Pippin: "Simple joys have a simple voice / that says time is living's prize ... ."

The mid-morning light woke Gojyo. Or maybe it was the smell of pork buns baking.

He stretched and was only a little surprised at the size of the bed. It was a new bed: they'd bought it three weeks ago when they'd found they had money left over from the temple's payment after repairing and winter-proofing Gojyo's little house. It wasn't a very big bed, really: the room was just as small as ever. Still, it was large enough that he actually had to roll over to bury his face in Hakkai's pillow, and breathe in the faint smell of Hakkai over the scent of almost-fresh bed linen dried in the sun.

It should still be strange to wake up in a comfortable bed, smelling breakfast and his lover, but somehow, it wasn't. The weirdest part was that he was already getting used to it.

He hugged Hakkai's pillow for a minute and pushed his morning wood against the firm mattress. But he knew it was no use: Hakkai was always full of bustle and business in the middle of the morning, no matter how hot and kinky he might get later on, and he'd be impossible to lure back to bed just now. And then Gojyo remembered that he needed to be busy today too, so he rolled out of bed reluctantly and took himself to the bathroom.

A record 15 minutes later, he wandered out into the main room, shirtless and with a towel over his shoulders, absentmindedly combing out his hair. "I know, I know, 'no grooming at the table,'" he said, to Hakkai's reproachful look. "OK, I'll go back and finish it, yeah?"

Hakkai sighed and shook his head. A tray full of golden, fragrant buns was cooling on the counter behind him, and the teapot and the bowls of soup on the table were sending up wisps of steam. "Just sit down."

Gojyo pulled his chair up to the table, and Hakkai took the comb from him to finish the job. Bright, thin sunlight was streaming in the windows. It looked like a beautifully clear day, which was just as well. Gojyo blinked sleepily at the sunlight as Hakkai dealt with the knots and tangles. "Looks cold out."

"It's not too bad - it's warming nicely now that the mist has burned off."

"You got work today?"

"Yes. Sanzo wanted me to go over Goku's writing with him again at noon, and then I have two hours with the Fans' daughter, prepping for her university entrance exam." Hakkai handed the comb back to Gojyo, who pocketed it.

Fan Yulin was a babe, but she was brainy too. And she's only 17, Gojyo thought, feeling nostalgic for a moment. But the last time he'd been seriously chasing 17-year-old girls, this place had been a complete trash pit, and his only company was ... Let's not go there. He glanced at the clock: it was already past 11:00. Hakkai followed his glance and nodded. "I'd best hurry." He placed four of the buns on a plate and brought them to the table.

"Heh, Goku would inhale those in a hot minute."

"Yes, I'm bringing him some. Are you planning on doing anything today?"

Gojyo spooned up the last of his soup. "Thought I'd take a walk to town. Need me t' pick anything up?"

"Could you get some fresh greens? And eggs, and some fruit ... pears, if they have any."

Good - that's just the right amount of stuff to cover up my stuff in the basket. "Sure."

"And I have some wash soaking. Could you finish it and hang it up?"

Gojyo hesitated a moment. Time was going to get a little tight. Hakkai'd be about two hours with Goku, and then it was about 15 minutes to the Fans' place, and then two hours with the lovely Yulin ... but this wasn't a day to argue with Hakkai, either. He shrugged. "OK."

Hakkai cocked his head, surprised. "You're being awfully agreeable."

Gojyo grinned at him. "Hey, I don't have t' be a jackass every day, you know."

Hakkai laughed. "Very true." He collected the plates, bowls, and utensils and put them in the sink, then packed one of the market baskets with pork buns wrapped in a clean cloth and headed off.

For the first 10 minutes after Hakkai had left, Gojyo lounged deliberately at the table, sipping tea, just in case Hakkai came back. Then he stuck his mug in the sink and hurried back to the lean-to he'd built on the back of the house for the laundry.

Luckily, it was just a small load of underwear soaking in the tub. Gojyo filled the hand-cranked washing machine with hot water and soap powder, added the drained boxers and undershirts - and, as an afterthought, his hair towel - and dutifully cranked the washer for 20 minutes. Hell, it was a lot easier than washing stuff out in a river or stream. Then he drained out the soapy water and cranked some more with a couple of tubs full of fresh water. Finally he carefully ran each piece through the wringer and dumped it into the laundry basket. He went back to the bedroom to slip into an old work shirt and then took the laundry out to pin up on the clothes line. The day was brilliantly sunny and really quite nice for November, the grass and dead leaves were cool under his bare feet, and the wash flapped gently as he pinned it up. It all looked so normal. Heh, who'd guess that some of these boxers have been all the way to India and back?

It was almost 1:00 when Gojyo got back inside. He hurriedly got into a clean shirt and put on some shoes, then slipped on his jacket and grabbed the other market basket. He made it to town in record time; it was a perfect day for walking.

First things first. At the liquor store, Yu had the bottle for him, with an appropriately mysterious-looking label in Western script. Looking at it, Gojyo was struck by a sudden snag in his plans. "How would I wrap somethin' like this?"

"Ahhh ... you could just tie a ribbon around it. No? Let me see ... ."

The old man disappeared into the back and returned with a piece of green ribbon and some pale blue tissue paper with sparkly stuff worked into it. It was a little crumpled, but when it was wrapped around the bottle like a sack and tied off, it looked like it was that way on purpose. "Awesome, Mr. Yu!"

Yu beamed and carefully slid it inside a sturdy paper bag to keep it clean. Gojyo tucked it into the bottom of the basket and covered it with the clean dishtowel he'd brought.

Next stop was Tan's Fine Goods and Imports, with the stacks of fancy dishes and rows of sparkly glass vases in the front window. Mrs. Tan insisted on seeing the money first, which he expected: he'd had a hard time three weeks ago convincing her he was really interested enough for her to place a special order. Impassively, she brought out a sturdy pasteboard box covered in shiny gold-and-black paper and placed it on the counter.

"I wanna check 'em out, first."

"What, you think I would cheat a customer?"

He gave her his best friendly smile. "No, ma'am, but someone mighta bumped the box on the road."

She rolled her eyes, but she opened it up for him and carefully pulled aside the packing material. Perfect.

He twinkled at her. "Fantastic! You're a pearl, Mrs. Tan!"

"You're a smooth talker, Mr. Sha, but I still don't understand what that nice Mr. Cho sees in you." She carefully repacked the box, though, and that's what really mattered. That went into the bottom of the basket too.

The basket already weighed like death, but he'd expected that. He lugged it to the market square. Greens. He hated the things, but he wasn't so stupid that he couldn't see whether they were in good shape or not. Eggs. They came carefully packed in their own little basket. He let them nestle on top of the bundle of greens. Pears ... . Crap. Those were beat up. "I'm so sorry," said Pin Mei. "We have had bad luck with them this week."

"Don't worry, beautiful. What else you got? How about -" And there - gods, perfect! "- those. I'll take four."

By the time he got home, he thought his arm was going to fall off. But he couldn't stop grinning: it was only just a few minutes past 4:00, he'd got everything, and Hakkai wasn't back yet. He put the greens and the eggs in the icebox and tucked the special stuff behind the sofa. The wash was dry, so he took it down. When Hakkai showed up a hour later, Gojyo was virtuously sweeping the porch.

"Gojyo ... are you feeling all right?"

"Of course I am, babe. Why're you lookin' at me like that?"

Hakkai shook his head skeptically and went in to start supper. Gojyo snickered to himself and put away the broom, then went out to spend a little time with the shakujo in the twilight. They'd made a practice target out of a big dead tree behind the house, wrapping it with old chain-link fencing and other bits and pieces so that he wouldn't slice it up too fast. The other trees just made it a little more challenging. He'd managed to work out most of the stiffness from carrying the basket by the time Hakkai called him in to supper.

The table was set with vegetable omelet patties in sauce, greens with garlic, and sliced pork, as well as rice and tea. "Hmmm, tasty - but you forgot something."

"What on earth do you mean, Gojyo?"

"Close your eyes a minute."

"Gojyo, what -"

"Aww, c'mon, play along."

Hakkai sighed theatrically and closed his eyes. Gojyo rummaged behind the sofa for a moment. "Now look - ta da!"

The red, red apples glowed in the bowl, just as they had on the fruit stand at the market so many years ago. The wrapped bottle and the fancy box looked rich and mysterious next to the teapot and the platters of food. Hakkai gaped for a moment. "Gojyo! What's all this for?"

"Open 'em up. Here - this one first."

Hakkai delicately unknotted the ribbon around the bottle. As the paper cocoon was pulled away, the light caught the gold flakes swirling in the clear liquid within the glass. "Dear gods in heaven - what ... ?"

"'S real gold in there. It's a liqueur from the West - Yu said it was good 'n' strong. I asked him for somethin' special. It's made from herbs and stuff. The name means 'gold water.'"

Hakkai turned the bottle over and over. so that the liquid splashed and swirled and the gold sparkled like a little cloud of fireworks. "Amazing ... we can just drink the gold? I think I've heard of that."

"Yeah, he said in olden times, it was s'posed to be good for just about anything makin' you sick."

"I guess we'll have to try some, after dinner, before you go off to town."

"Sure - hey, open the box now."

Hakkai carefully grasped the box and used both thumbs to push up the lid, then pulled it off. He gently raked aside the packing material. "Oh!" He reached reverently into the box and pulled out the first little glass. Gojyo grinned as the light caressed the rich green of the vines pressed into the clear glass bowl. It had no stem: the solid part of the bowl at the bottom flared out a little to make a foot. "She did a good job, yeah? I drew a picture for the lady t' work from."

"They're beautiful." Hakkai rotated the glass to see the entire pattern, the vines spiraling up from the base, with one tiny tendril actually looped up over the rim. He set it gently on the table and then carefully drew out the remaining five glasses and arranged them all around the bottle of liqueur. "Gojyo, thank you. But why?"

Now came the hard part. Gojyo toed the leg of his chair gently and wondered whether it would be easier if he sat down. "Um, Hakkai. It's been ten years. Tonight." He watched Hakkai's face grow thoughtful, and then his friend's eyes widened.

"You mean, ten years since you found me -"

"Ten years since I met you. Ten years since ... I took a certain guy to my bed,"

To his delight, Hakkai actually flushed a little. His good eye looked wet and shiny. "You needn't sound embarrassed about it, Gojyo. Nothing of that sort happened 'til quite a bit later."

Gojyo came over and bent to put his arms around Hakkai's neck, rubbing his face in the thick, deep brown hair. A thread or two of grey shone there. Hakkai turned his face to kiss Gojyo's throat, lingeringly, one hand drifting over to squeeze his hip. "We should eat - our food's getting cold."

Dinner was tasty, as usual. Only Hakkai could get him to eat the damn greens. It was strange to look at the nice dishes full of home-cooked food on the table and think of the carryout containers that used to be there instead. Hakkai talked lightly of Goku's attempts at wrestling with Buddhist theology, and Yulin's increasing grasp of physics. Gojyo delivered a concise and rather snarky description of what he'd noticed about everyone he'd met in town. He made Hakkai laugh twice, and several times, he caught Hakkai's eyes lingering on his hair, his face, his chest where it showed in the open neck of his shirt. It made him feel warm and happy. Finally the meal was over, and Gojyo got up and started clearing the table.

"Hadn't you better get going, Gojyo? You want to claim a good table at Kiao's, don't you?"

Gojyo turned and smiled, a serving bowl in either hand. "Naah, I thought I'd stay home tonight. Have a snort of that fancy stuff and then - "

Hakkai's hand froze halfway to the rice bowl "You never meant to go out tonight."

Gojyo grinned: "Yeah, guilty as charged, man."

"Gojyo. Put the dishes down. Now."

"What - ?"

The second the porcelain touched the drainboard, a muscular body had him pinned against the counter, all hungry lips and wandering hands and hardness between the legs. Heh, there's some things I'll never get used to - thank fuck.

"Bed - now," growled a low voice in his ear.

Holy hell, I can't believe he's forgetting all about ... " ... the dishes, Hakkai?"

"They'll keep." Hakkai's mouth was on him again, kissing him breathless, and one hand was unbuttoning his shirt. Hakkai's mouth traveled over the corner of Gojyo's lips, over his jaw, his throat, his collarbone, leaving what felt like a string of red blossoms in its wake. Gojyo writhed and swore, happily. Suddenly Hakkai stopped, and when Gojyo looked down, Hakkai was smiling, sweet and hot and pure evil. "Happy anniversary, Gojyo!" he murmured, and got back to work.



( 54 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 17th, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
*is all kinds of warm and fuzzy* I do love 58 domesticity, and this, this was so, so sweet. I loved the atmosphere, the tiny details you worked in everywhere. And your Gojyo voice is, as always, so tender where Hakkai's concerned - I love that about your 58 work.

Thank you for sharing!
Nov. 18th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)

Awww, thanks! Yes, that's a part of Gojyo with which I feel very comfortable ... the trouble is keeping a bit of an edge to him along with it. This one went a bit schmoopy, but the prompt seemed to want it.

Nov. 17th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
That's just too sweet. Who knew Gojyo would be the one to remember the anniversary? Very well written story :)
Nov. 18th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC)

(Heh, I have no Shigure on this account to match yours ... .)

Hakkai tends to get wrapped up in his work, and of course he also has lots of negative connections with that day as well. For Gojyo, the memory has only become warmer as time goes on, I think.

I'm glad you liked it!

Nov. 17th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Total love all around I do lovereading a good 58 story
with some humor thrown in for good measure.
*Definitely all kinds of warm and fuzzy*
Thank you for sharing(^__^)
Nov. 18th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you liked it, vida-san! Yes, 585 is my favorite thing too.

Nov. 18th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Nov. 18th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)

Aww, thanks for the kind word, and for reading!

Nov. 18th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Mm, I love this slow, sizzling build-up as Gojyo acknowledges how much Hakkai pampers him by looking after his own laundry for once, and trying to pamper Hakkai in return.

The end ... a bit confusing. Work? Is that an O-Henry twist? Did Hakkai just suddenly leave Gojyo in a jam to go finish the dishes? Or do you mean in the "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" Oh, right, WORK meaning of the word? I wouldn't put it past Hakkai, if he was in a snit, but after that sort of build up?

Either way, it was a great snip of home life with my favourite couple!
Nov. 18th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)

Confusing ... oops - I didn't expect that reaction!

Let's just say that Hakkai is a master at most things to which he turns his hand, and that in this case, his "work" is right to hand, so to spoeak ... after all, he forgot the anniversary and didn't bring Gojyo anything special ... yet!

Nov. 18th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Warm and sweet. I really liked this. It was just what I needed after a long day at work.
Nov. 19th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)

Aww, I'm so glad it worked that way for you! Thanks for the kind words!

Nov. 18th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
I love this bit of home life with these two. Gojyo was adorable in his sneakiness!

Totally enjoyed this!! Thanks ^_^
Nov. 19th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)

I figure Gojyo may have learned a number of useful things from Hakkai over the years! I'm happy you enjoyed it!

Edited at 2009-11-19 02:42 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 19th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)

Smell is a big deal to me, so it keeps coming out in my stories (I was the roommate in group houses who had the suspicious stuff from the fridge shoved under her nose: "Is this still any good?")

I'm really glad you liked this! It's rather schmoopy, but the prompt seemed to be heading that direction.

Nov. 18th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
Ah... lovely. I've got the warm and fuzzies now. :)

I always wondered if you could drink the gold flakes in that liqueur!

Thanks for a lovely story.
Nov. 19th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)

I've been fascinated with that liqueur ever since I first heard of it in my teens! When I thought of Gojyo asking the old gnome at the liquor store for something special and exotic, I remembered it again.

I'm happy you liked this - thanks for reading!

(no subject) - smillaraaq - Nov. 19th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - opalmatrix - Nov. 19th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smillaraaq - Nov. 19th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 18th, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
*Squeeee* And also Awwwww...I love it. So warm and comfortable and perfect for them.

*happy pile of goo*
Nov. 19th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)

LOL! This definitely goes into the schmoop stack, along with "Flesh of My Flesh," I think ... I'm glad it made you squee! Thanks for the kind words!

Nov. 18th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)

Just beautiful ♥
Nov. 19th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)

Awww, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

(Deleted comment)
Nov. 19th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)

What a lovely compliment! I'm so happy it worked well for you!

Nov. 18th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC)
Aw, that was all warm and fuzzy and yay.

(Goldschlager, Gojyo? really? *grins*)
Nov. 18th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
Hee, nope -- Goldwasser.
(no subject) - elsane - Nov. 18th, 2009 07:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - opalmatrix - Nov. 19th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 18th, 2009 07:21 am (UTC)
This was so sweet....*squishes it*
Nov. 19th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)

>is squished<


I'm happy you liked it!

(Deleted comment)
Nov. 19th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)

Oooh, I'm so glad it was to your taste! Thanks for reading!

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