Hey Kat, can I ask why you ship Sanzo/Hakkai? Most people I know generally ship Sanzo/Goku and Hakkai/Gojyo. Me, I hardcore ship Sanzo/Hakkai but I have so much trouble articulating why I like them other than 'they're so pretty together'. Gah. Help.
For me at least, it’s because their relationship is incredibly supportive and trusting, and yet they don’t really depend on each other the way Sanzo and Goku or Hakkai and Gojyo do. It’s not a “my life revolves around you” pairing to the extent the others are, it would be more “we’re in this together despite all the other bullshit”. Also, Hakkai is just about the only person Sanzo actually talks with, rather than to or at, and Sanzo is one of the things that grounds Hakkai.
I think one of my favorite moments in the whole manga is the fight with Chin Yiso, because it pretty much sums up tier relationship: Sanzo knows that Hakkai is a killer and vicious and still haunted by his past, but he trusts him completely. He lets himself be vulnerable, which is very much not Sanzo’s default. On the other end of it, Hakkai trusts himself because Sanzo trusts him, because Sanzo knows everything about him but still likes him, doesn’t give a damn about his past. Just - the way they interact is amazing, and I love the sort of silent, exasperated rapport they have in the face of Gojyo and Goku, how they’re not afraid or hesitant to call each other out for shitty decisions. It’s awesome.