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Koumyou Said There'd Be Days Like This

Chapter Text

On a beautiful spring morning, Hakkai drove his drowsing companions straight into a boulder.

"Oops," he said sunnily as they picked themselves out of the dust and started screaming at him. "Are you all right, Hakuryuu? Oh, good. Well. Lunchtime, everyone!"

Goku's mollified enthusiasm turned to betrayed outrage with the first bite, and he turned an unpleasant sallow color and started choking. "Goku!" Hakkai cried in distress as Gojyo started 'helpfully' whacking his back. "Are you all right?"

Goku could manage nothing but an unhappy whine. Sanzo sniffed the rice and turned a little green himself at it's not-quite-garlicky smell. "Mustard gas," he coughed, pulling his blistering nose quickly away from the pot to glare at Gojyo with streaming eyes.

"Don't look at me," Gojyo protested, raising his hands defensively. Gojyo was usually the first to sabotage the monkey food, but denial wasn't his thing. Boasting about it and starting a fight were, after all, so much more fun.

The protest being unusually reasonable, considering its source, Sanzo duly looked at Hakkai. Hakkai, in turn, looked perplexed. "Well?" Sanzo demanded, still coughing.

"Well," Hakkai frowned, laying glowing hands on Goku's back, "it's one of Yaone-san's bombs; I caught one without setting it off and thought it might be useful. But however did it get into the rice?"

"It wasn't that cheesecloth bundle you dumped in, was it?" Gojyo asked suspiciously.

"Oh, no, that was cumin," he said earnestly, so wide-eyed and sincere that even Goku looked at him suspiciously.

"Hell of a lot of cumin to put in," the kappa commented in a casual hey-so-uh-why-did-the-birds-all-suddenly-shut-up voice.

"The rice," Sanzo accused the cook who, despite his eyewear, was not actually blind, "is brown. Not yellow. Not green."

Hakkai frowned again, this time looking like he meant it. Irked, he said, "The package must have broken when we crashed."

"We?" Sanzo coughed in disbelief, and wiped burning eyes on his sleeve.

"Yeah, what was that?" Gojyo asked.

"Oh--the sun was in my eyes," he explained and, in that tone that meant he was saying something mainly because good manners said he had to, went on, "I really am sorry about that."

"We are heading," Sanzo direly informed him, "West. It isn't noon yet. The sun was not in your eyes."

"I assume in retrospect," Hakkai snapped, "that it was reflecting off the boulder. In any case, I couldn't see properly."

"Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the Jeep," Gojyo noted with flying eyebrows. Hakuryuu, lifting his head from where he'd been nursing his sprained tail, nodded emphatically.

Hakkai looked irritable for a moment, and then he sighed, his face smoothing out. "You may be right. I've had a bit of a headache since I woke up this morning."

"You want me to drive for a while?" Gojyo offered sympathetically. Naturally the bar-hopping cockroach would coddle a headache, even someone else's. Sanzo would have said something nasty about the hangover-prone, but having someone else in the driver's seat right now struck him as a very good idea and hell if he was offering.

"That's very kind of you," Hakkai protested, "but there's no need, really."

"Stop being a damn martyr for two entire minutes, okay?" the kappa waved him off dismissively with a sickeningly fond grin. "Thirty seconds, even. I didn't really want to sit in the back with a puking monkey anyway."

"Ah," acknowledged Hakkai with a wince. "Yes, I suppose that is my responsibility. Speaking of which, Sanzo," he said meaningly, and lifted his hands off Goku's back in an invitation that didn't look optional even at first glance.

"Fine," Sanzo coughed, sitting still for the intrusion of being healed. His eyes were still watering. head injuries were a colossal pain in the ass: he could think of more interesting things to look at than Hakkai's palms, getting their faces fixed looked stupid on the other two, and then there was the fallout afterwards from having the youkai's O! So Emotionally Charged!Lifeline looked at. "Hurry up; we'll get moving after this."

"Yes, we can't trust the food anymore," Hakkai agreed. "I'm afraid you won't be able to smoke for a day or so, either. I meant you both, Gojyo," he said sharply as the kappa broke out in a malicious grin. "Second-hand smoke won't be any better for their lungs than first-hand."

Gojyo's face fell. "That bites," he grumbled. Sanzo smirked.

They had been rolling along without any major incidents for half an hour or so when Sanzo noticed what was bothering him: Gojyo was driving and Goku was out for the count, but someone in the backseat was still doing a hell of a lot of fidgeting. And it had nothing to do with the car's rattling tailpipe and bumper either; the timing was all off for that.

Only a few minutes later, Hakkai gasped, "Please stop, Gojyo," and vaulted over the side of the Jeep before the wheels had stopped turning.

They stared at him as he knelt a few feet away to be quietly sick, and then Gojyo ambled over, crouched down, and started rubbing loose circles on his back. "Since when do you get carsick?" he asked amiably, doing a half-decent job of pretending not to be worried.

Able to answer after another few unpleasant moments, Hakkai said unsteadily, "I suppose it's from sitting in the back seat. Studies show the jostling is worse from--"

He had to bend over again. Gojyo kept rubbing, and soothed, "Take it easy, man. Sanzo can take puking-monkey duty till you can drive again."

Sanzo snorted, but didn't object. Whatever got them West fastest.

"Feeling better?" asked Gojyo solicitously when they'd been driving a while.

"Oh, yes," said Hakkai from the passenger seat, almost brightly. "I can't smell Sanzo at all now I'm upwind."

"WHAT?!" Sanzo roared.

Gojyo laughed so hard they nearly crashed again.

"Um," chuckled an abashed Hakkai. "I, ah, I'm sorry, Sanzo, I had intended not to say that alou--um."

"I do not smell,"he snarled.

"Of course not," Hakkai soothed with guilty shoulders.

"I took a bath this morning."

"Yes, yes, we know. But, ah, it has been some time since we were able to dry-clean your leathers, Sanzo, you know."
By this time, Gojyo had stopped the car and was making helpless weeping noises into the steering wheel.

"What you're saying," Sanzo clarified in a voice that should have been lethal at thirty meters easy, "is that smelling my underwear is making you sick."

"AhahahaaiiiiiI think I'd better take the wheel again," was the wise decision of the coward in shotgun. Like Sanzo wouldn't shoot him if he were driving. After all this, even the Jeep wouldn't blame him.

Chapter Text

The rest of the day's journey was more or less uneventful. Hakkai's headache was, apparently, still bothering them, because he jerked the steering wheel and twitched every so often. Since there was nothing in these grasslands for them to crash into now, though, Sanzo didn't care.

They made camp under a red sky. Sadly enough, sleeping bags were an improvement on last night's dingy inn with its rough, itchy, hairy blankets. Goku crawled into his sleeping bag without a glance at the packaged snacks they were calling dinner, and Hakkai knelt beside the chimp for a long time, working on his lungs.

Tempting death by sitting upwind of Sanzo with a cigarette, Gojyo sighed, "How long till the next town, Hakkai?"

"Another three days, I'm afraid," apologized Hakkai.

"There's gotta be a better way to do this," Gojyo grumbled, flopping over onto his stomach and blowing moody streams of smoke at the fire. "Takin' too damn long. No offense, Jeep." Hakuryuu, still nursing his sprained tail, cheeped cordially: none taken.

"Nothing easier," Hakkai said cheerfully.

Sanzo canted an eyebrow at him; this was one of those times when he couldn't tell whether Hakkai was being actually helpful or deeply sarcastic, and there was no other entertainment going tonight. "Oh?"

"Oh, yes," he was told brightly. "If we really wanted to be efficient about getting to India and stopping the resurrection, this is the very silliest way to do it. Except for walking, of course."

"And what," he drawled, beating Gojyo to it by a second or two, "is the least silly?"

"Obviously," Hakkai smiled, "Gojyo and Goku and I beat the living--er, that is, arrange to get your blood on us and leave you somewhere safe. When we meet the next group of youkai we tell them that we've finally had enough of your insulting and oppressive ways and wish to join the noble Kougaiji-sama. Once we've infiltrated the target, Goku comes back for you on a flying dragon."

"Obviously," Gojyo said dryly.

"It was just an idea," Hakkai shrugged, looking hurt.

"You keep on havin' 'em, Marshal," Gojyo applauded, irony dripping off his clapping palms, and Hakkai sulked loudly at him.

"It's a good idea," Sanzo said thoughtfully, and was rewarded with a hiss and yelp as Gojyo dropped his cigarette on himself in shock. "Except it wouldn't work."

"It might," Hakkai pointed out, although he looked as surprised as Gojyo at having it taken seriously. "We'd smell like your human blood," he explained, wrinkling his nose a little in almost more distaste than he could get away with, "and if we said I'd killed you with qi we could probably get away with not having a body to prove it. After all, almost no one looks surprised when we squabble anymore."

"We don't know how they keep finding us," Sanzo countered. "What if I'm the one they're keeping track of?"

"I doubt it," Hakkai said kindly, as though he were afraid saying so might hurt Sanzo's ego. "I suppose it's barely possible that they can track you by your chakra or sutra, but as you keep reminding us, in the company of a hanyou and whatever it is Goku as and whatever it is I am, you're practically an ordinary human." There was a little edge in his voice, and there was that nose-wrinkle again. It was starting to be even more disturbing than offensive. "It's more likely to be either the group as a whole or the sutra, Sanzo. And you'd have to entrust us with the sutra anyway."

Sanzo tried not to flinch too visibly at that little detail. Obvious though it was, hearing it aloud was worse. "You'd have a hell of a time convincing 'the noble Kougaiji-sama,'" he pointed out.

"Oh, I wouldn't think of trying," Hakkai said, surprised. "Gojyo's relationship with Dokugakuji-san, 'race loyalty,' and rumors of your infamous personality would doubtless be enough to get us to him--of course, it would be more effective to let some youkai convince us about the race loyalty and defect then, but in that case we'd have to kill you in front of them--and I'm sure he'd cooperate."

"Are you," said a skeptical Gojyo, looking interested despite himself.

"Oh, yes," Hakkai said cheerfully. "I'm sure it's been very obvious to us all for months that Kougaiji-san's reasons for attacking us can have very little to do with his father. Knowing him and his companions as we do, I doubt that an alliance with him would bind us to anything objectionable."

"Damn," Gojyo said, making a face. "It is a good idea."

Hakkai preened a little, modestly, and said, "Should we start now, then?"

"With that group, you mean?" Sanzo asked, aiming his chin at the approaching youkai horde, just coming into his youryouki sensing range from the north.

Nodding, Hakkai said, "They're too far away to have heard us talking. Since Goku's under the weather, taking him to Yaone-san would be an additional motive for defecting."

"Makes more sense than playing faithful watchman over his sickly ass while they pound us," Gojyo shrugged fatalistically, ambling to his feet. "Better start before they get close enough to see us, then, or we'll really have to put on a show."

Pushing to his feet, Hakkai said, "I'll knock you out first, Sanzo--I'm afraid you wouldn't be able to sit still for it if we try to cut you while you're awake. We can always say we cunningly waited until you were asleep."

"I hate this idea," Sanzo grumbled, just for the record.

"Yeah," Gojyo leered, "it really reeks, stinky-monk."

"I think the headache must have been intensifying my sense of smell," Hakkai apologized again, kneeling in front of Sanzo. Which would have made some kind of sense if it had been a migraine, but if Hakkai got migraines he'd never mentioned them before. "After all, Goku never seems to mind."

Sanzo made a face, eyes resting nervously on the long fingers reaching for his throat. "Go die already," he muttered.

"Oh, no," Hakkai said politely, his eyes glinting a pale, tigery green in the firelight. "That's your role tonight, Sanzo."

"Whaz goin' on?" Goku asked muzzily, shaken awake more politely than usual by the kappa.

"We're doing some role-play for our youkai buddies," Gojyo leered gleefully.

Hakkai's hands were tightening on Sanzo's throat. It was starting to hurt, and that long fool's grin of his was developing unnerving corners.

"Like with that Chin Yisou guy?" Goku asked sleepily, rubbing his eyes.

"Very like," Hakkai said softly. He pulled Sanzo close, his eyes brightly yellow now, nails sharp on the unforgiving vise of ruthless hands, his smile wicked and cold. It wasn't chickening out, Sanzo decided as he panicked and tried to break that implacable grip, if the bastard had really lost his mind.

"Only," Hakkai's thoughtful voice went on as the dark rolled in, "not quite."

Chapter Text

It was still dark when Sanzo came back to himself, and he was in a bed, covered in cold sweat under a hairy blanket. "Fuck," he breathed. For a moment there, he'd been so sure... Hakkai's eyes were fucking scary in the wrong light, and the son of a bitch had definitely been enjoying himself. Fair enough, though. After almost two years of raving roving-cabin fever, he'd have been delighted to strangle any of these clowns, too.

"Did it work?" he asked, louder.

"I'm sorry?" came Hakkai's sleepy voice from across the room.

"It better have worked, asshole," he glowered, complaining even though his throat didn't hurt anymore. He'd have mercy if it'd worked, but there were still going to be six kinds of hell to pay for leaving him out if they'd pulled off the whole damn mission without him. Two years of his life, wasted. "Are we in India?"

"Um," Hakkai said cautiously, his voice still muzzy. "No?"

"Goddammit," he hissed. "So much for your fucking good idea."

"I suppose?" ventured Hakkai, yawning.

He sighed. "At least you didn't manage to get us captured," he grumbled. "Those sickos have someone working for them with one twisted sense of humor."

After a moment, sounding blank and a little annoyed, Hakkai offered, "If I admit that you were right and say mea culpa a few times, will you go back to sleep?"

He had to smile a little at that. "You don't have to throw me a bone. I'm not Gojyo."

"No," Hakkai groaned, pulling the blanket over his head, "Gojyo only keeps me up with mysterious bizarrities until he falls asleep."

"Things I did not need to know at two in the morning," Sanzo smirked.

"Goodnight, Sanzo," Hakkai said firmly, turning away from him and resettling his blanket with finality.

"No more 'good ideas,' understand?"

"Goodnight, Sanzo."

Things could have been a lot worse. He could hear the monkey and the moron snoring through the wall, so that was all right, and they hadn't been manacled or turned into anything nasty or had tubes inserted anywhere unpleasant, and he didn't have to be polite to that idiot prince or his dimwitted sister after all.

That meant, of course, that he still had to deal with said dimwits, and that he was stuck on this dumbass mission with these pests and Buddha knew what else coming at them for the Boddhisatva only knew how long. But that wasn't any different from yesterday. He was used to it.

"Goodnight," he answered pleasantly. He knew civility would drive Hakkai up the wall; it always worked when Hakkai used it on him. Also, Hakkai always squirmed when someone was politer than him. Take that, genius.

Hakkai muttered something about pod people and shikigami roommates under his breath. With no one looking, Sanzo grinned and laced his fingers together under his head. Hakkai was cheesed off and Goku's snoring was happening somewhere he wasn't, and he had a full pack to look forward to in the morning and Gojyo, he was almost positive, didn't. Life was probably capable of being better than this, but that only happened to other people. He'd take what he could get.

Chapter Text

They stopped by a stream to go fishing for lunch, since the food was bad. Well, Gojyo fished. Or tried to, to his credit. Goku hadn't, apparently, quite grasped that letting Gojyo have his fun and be useful for once would mean monkey-food later. Whatever; Sanzo had his newspaper, and Hakkai had disappeared somewhere downstream to do laundry so there was no one to natter at him. Bliss. Or close enough.

When Hakkai came back, it was with a huge, loopy grin. Sanzo eyed him suspiciously. That wasn't a Hakkai smile, but it was familiar. Very familiar. Punch you in the gut with brass knuckles and make you check for rain familiar.

"Isn't it a beautiful day?" Hakkai gushed. "Gosh, that sky is blue. Oh, well done, Gojyo, you caught a fish! It will be my pleasure to cook it. You won't mind sharing, will you? I'm sure Goku must be hungry. Why, I'm a little hungry myself!"

Sanzo and Gojyo exchanged a look, and Sanzo extended a hand. "Share," he demanded.

Hakkai blinked with huge green eyes. "The laundry?" he asked, holding it out obediently.

"The weed, man," Gojyo grinned, draping a friendly arm over his shoulder, "the weed."

Hakkai amiably looked around, apparently for a weed. What he found was ragweed, and he uprooted it, and held it out to a sneezing Gojyo with a puppyish pet-me look. "Like this? It's my pleasure, Gojyo! Anything for a good friend like you!"

Sanzo snickered, but Gojyo was stepping back, looking worried. "Sanzo, he smells clean."

"Impossible," Sanzo said. As Koumyou Sanzo's disciple, he knew stoned when he saw it, and Hakkai was wrecked.

"Of course, I'm clean, Gojyo! I bathe meticulously every day," Hakkai said proudly. "Sometimes twice! Especially when I am called upon to help you my very good friends kick rightous ass and we all get covered in smelly blood that makes me think of my sad and terrible past and is also very symbolically difficult to get out of cloth. That's all part of being the neat freak I have been obsessively compelled to become in order to overcompensate for being such a horrible, horrible person like me. Isn't it funny how you need to use salt water? Just like tears! Oh, what a deep and meaningful thought, don't you agree? You do agree, don't you? After all, you are my leader along life's path and you saved my soul and I crave your approval. Thank heaven I left that ambiguous by not putting a name to it, for surely you, Gojyo, would become insufferable and you, Sanzo, would become unpleasantly modest and snarl at me. But that's all part of your wonderful personalities, and I do admire you both so."

Sanzo shot Gojyo a meaningly smug look.

"Yeah," Gojyo argued, his eyebrows pulling together, "but if he'd been smoking I'd smell it."

"Who do you think you are, Goku?"

"Huh?" Goku asked, standing up in the middle of the stream with a good-sized trout in his hands.

"Oh, well done, Goku!" Hakkai applauded merrily, walking right into the stream towards the boy. Not only did he not bother to roll up his pants, he still had his boots on. "You have caught a big fish and I will cook it because you are doubtless hungry and I like to do things for you!"

"All right!" Goku cheered. Moron.

"Maybe he ate it," Gojyo suggested.

"And baked it in what?" demanded Sanzo.

"He coulda stashed it somewhere. Glove compartment, maybe?"

"Bastard," Sanzo snarled bitterly, and Gojyo sadly nodded.

Hakkai burned the fish. It wasn't just scorched, it went up in a ball of flame, and the resultant cloud of smoke was in the shape of a cross-eyed skull with a swollen, protruding tongue.

"Oh, no!" Hakkai wailed. "Not only am I horrible person, I am a failure! I have failed in my job of taking care of you and being your nanny, and since you all need someone to look after you so very badly, this is a very, very, very bad thing! I'm consuming resources without contributing to our vital, essential mission! I've become a burden! I can't face my own worthlessness!" he howled, and clutched his head.

Next thing Sanzo knew, a crazed youkai was charging him. He shot it.

The three of them looked at the pile of dust. The other two looked shell-shocked, but Sanzo was mostly bemused. "I've never seen the Wave take 'em like that before," he commented.

"No fuckin' way," Gojyo breathed, bone grey under his tan. Sanzo was almost tempted to feel sorry for him, except that he himself was out a babysitter.

"Hey, Sanzo, look at this," Goku said urgently, and picked something up out of the ashes.

Sanzo took it from him, and passed it to Gojyo, who stared. "Is Hakkai's monocle usually green?" he asked.

"No, it isn't painted," Gojyo said immediately, color slowly seeping back into his face. "Just grey. And we had to solder the nose cushion thing back on that one time and hey, look, no fucking weld line. It's a fucking shikigami. Some fucker's fucking around with us. Let's go fuck the son of a bitch the fuck up."

"Yeah!" cheered Goku.

"I'm sure Hakkai will be touched to hear the words of one syllable you're reduced to in his absence," Sanzo said dryly, "but we have to find some dead bastard first."

"Hurry the fuck up, then," Gojyo snarled, and Sanzo sighed.

"No one cooks like Hakkai," Goku said emphatically, climbing into a very upset Jeep. Since Sanzo wasn't sure whether Goku meant that the prospect of living off Gojyo's so-called cooking was why they had to find Hakkai or that the ruined fish had been Goku's tip-off, he decided not to comment.

Chapter Text

Looking for Hakkai involved yelling his name at the top of Goku and Gojyo's lungs while Sanzo sat in the driver's seat and let Hakuryuu steer. The whole animal-finding-his-master thing worked for Goku, after all.

It worked this time, too. Hakuryuu went almost straight to where Hakkai was, and after they kicked six kinds of shit out of the game-playing loser youkai and untied their own, he was indeed touched.

"But he ruined my fish," Goku said mournfully.

"It's really too bad," commiserated Hakkai, rubbing at his rope burns. "Maybe you should eat him."

"Okay," Goku said brightly. "Do you think he tastes good?"

"No!" Sanzo growled.

"Oh, that's right," Goku laughed, "Sanzos are supposed to taste good, not youkai. Right, Hakkai?"

"That's right," Hakkai said agreeably, and made a show of sniffing Sanzo approvingly.

Looking up from his interested examination of the ropes, Gojyo mildly protested, "Hey."

"Oh, my apologies, Gojyo," Hakkai smiled sheepishly, but then he just about shoved his nose into Sanzo's neck. "He does smell good, though. Come and see."

"Oh," Gojyo purred, dropping the ropes and ambling over with an interested expression. "That kind of night, is it?"

"Get the fuck off!" Sanzo snapped, pushing them away.

"Yeah," Goku said irritably, poking around the dead youkai's lair for edibles. "Innocent naive minor here. No caretaker sex, please; gross. Hungry, empty belly, want meatbuns now please. No subtext, though, nope, none for me. Pass on the subtext and go straight to the pickles, okay? Or big, yellow bananas. Hey, yeah, I could eat one of those!"

"We'll wait until he falls asleep," Gojyo whispered loudly in Hakkai's ear, patting his back comfortingly.

Hakkai just sighed, looking wistful and dispirited at Sanzo. "I suppose," he said woefully.

"Patience," Gojyo cooed at him.

"Ooh, half-sours!" Goku crowed. "Hey, Hakkai, can I drink the pickle juice?"

"I thought the way I smell made you sick," Sanzo reminded him, alarmed.

"I'm sure I don't know what I was thinking. I think you smell wonderful. Don't you?" he asked the other two. "Don't you just want to eat him up?"

"Fuck, yeah," said Gojyo enthusiastically, but what it really looked like he wanted to eat was Hakkai's ear. Slowly. Buttered.

"Sure!" Goku agreed cheerfully. "Sanzo always smells great! So does this egg roll, and gee, that's a really big carrot, can I eat it?"

"Why me?" Sanzo sighed.

Later, around the fire, over Goku's snoring and after the damn noises had stopped, Gojyo asked, "What's wrong?"

For one bizarre second, Sanzo thought the kappa was talking to him. Then Hakkai sighed. "I suppose it just bothers me," he confessed, low-voiced.

"That our enemies think you're some apron-wearing airhead?" Gojyo asked.

Laughing a little, Hakkai acknowledged, "That, too, although I suppose it's for the best. No, it's that, well, when you come down to it, Sanzo shot me today."

"He shoots at me alla time," Gojyo offered.

"But that's just it," Hakkai explained. "He shoots at you and Goku. He doesn't shoot at me. He and I both know that when he aims at me, it'll be for real. And he did it today."

Puzzled silence.

"It's, well, it's all right, in a way, for him to waste bullets on you two," Hakkai went on, clearly groping for words. "We have absolutely no reason to think that the Wave will ever affect you, Gojyo, and Goku is so different in his primal form that there's no chance of a mistake. In your cases, the people he shoots at are people he'll never have to kill. So he doesn't have to, well, to steel himself against shooting the face of a--well, let's call it a friend," he finished with a rueful smile in his voice, "'whether or not he'd agree."

"So you're, what, you're worried he'll be quicker on the draw now?" Gojyo asked, sounding a little worried himself, now.

"Yes," Hakkai said flatly. "Paranoia is our best defense even on a good day, Gojyo. Suppose he thinks I'm not myself some time. You were right about it today, but--"

"It was way obvious today," Gojyo pointed out.

"Yes, but what if he and I are just out of sorts on the same day?"

"Nah," Gojyo said eventually, after taking a few more minutes to think about it than was really flattering.

"I suppose not," Hakkai said, sounding happier.

Chapter Text

But their chauffeur was 'out of sorts' in the morning. Gojyo told Goku wise-sounding bullshit about post-traumatic stress. Sanzo suspected, though, from the jumpy way Hakkai kept eyeing him, that Hakkai had just out-slept Gojyo's reassurance. Whatever.

Whatever, except it was getting really fucking annoying. Hakkai alternately sniffed and snapped at him all day--just him. Goku and Gojyo, for whatever reason, didn't seem to be under his skin, whereas Sanzo was apparently encamped there with three weeks of supplies and not enough ashtrays.

When they had their Fight Of The Day (™), Sanzo got a long, nasty scratch on the shoulder. Hakkai, as usual, came up to him to fuss when everything was over. Less typically, instead of soothing the wound closed with his qi, he put his mouth down on it and sucked.

"What the FUCK are you doing?!" Sanzo yelled, scrambling away from him in horror.

"Um," Hakkai stalled, licking blood off his teeth. He looked like he didn't quite know, either. "Ah, kissing it better?"

"I object," Gojyo said, wiping his blade off in the the grass. He was trying to be casual, but he looked really hurt under the suave face. Not that Sanzo cared.

"Keep your fucking crazy-ass vampire away from me," Sanzo snarled, and, as an extra precaution, wedged himself firmly into the back seat.

By the time Sanzo had to shoot Hakkai for real that night, Gojyo had no objections.

"Damn," he said sadly, and then, "Oh, well. Stupid Minus Wave. Guess it had to happen sooner or later."

"So did this," Sanzo said, aiming at him with real pleasure.

"The hell?" he yelped.

"I only ever put up with you," Sanzo explained sweetly, "so he'd have someone else to nag. Scuttle away if you want to live, cockroach."

Gojyo scuttled, but not fast enough. Sanzo got him in the back at twenty paces.

"That was kinda mean," Goku noted, his mouth full of meat buns.

"So?" Sanzo demanded.

Goku just shrugged. "So you want his Hi-Lites, or should I toss 'em?"

Sanzo felt a beatific smile creep over his face, pillowing his hands under his head and relaxing back into the blankets. "I think," he said carefully, letting his eyes slip closed, "that it's going to be a very good day."

"I'm sorry to disillusion you, then," a furious Hakkai brightly lied, mercliessly shattering sleep's comforting fog.

Sanzo sat bolt upright as the youkai twitched the curtains open with unnecessary force, flooding the dingy inn room with grey morning light. "What the...?" he gasped.

"Good morning," Hakkai sang, already dressed, his eyes snapping jade venom. "How nice to see you awake! ♥ Did you sleep well? I'm so glad, since you'll be driving this morning! Goku, Gojyo," he carolled, flinging the door open with a bang, "guess what? Sanzo's driving us today! Isn't that nice? Why don't you two go order breakfast? ♥"

His head reeling, Sanzo put his hands down to brace himself. The blanket was hairy and rough under his palms. "Since when am I driving?" he snapped, more or less automatically.

"Since," Hakkai answered, smiling diamond poniards at him, "your maniacal cackling kept me up all night. Since I had to get up at three twenty-nine in the morning to take your revolver away from you before you shot anything besides the light fixture."

Sanzo looked up. Shit.

"Since the manager of his inn--which, by the way, here's an interesting fact, has extremely cold floors at night and doesn't provide slippers, came pounding up at three thirty-one to find out who was shooting firearms in his inn in the middle of the night and was convinced it was me, since you were sound asleep."

"Oh."

"Oh. Yes, oh. Precisely. Oh. Oh is exactly right. I'll see you in a few minutes at breakfast, Sanzo. And then I won't see you at all, because you will be driving and I will be taking a nap. I think Gojyo's lap will make an excellent pillow, and I'm sure you'll drive very smoothly, won't you? ♥"

Groping for his dignity, Sanzo threatened, "If you suck that horny kappa off right behind me, I'll shoot you both."

"I'm sure that's a very comforting thought," Hakkai fired back with the nastiest pleasant smile Sanzo had seen since that time Ukoku Sanzo came to visit his master, "and I hate to disillusion such a dear friend, but, regrettably, the bitch of it is, Sanzo-sama, well, you see, ♥ I still have your gun."

Sanzo waited until the door was closed before he dropped his head in his hands to groan, "My karma stinks."

It was probably his imagination, but he could have sworn that faintly, through the crack under the door, he heard Gojyo call, "Nah, that's just your underwear!"

[This is the end of Kawaii no Sanzo-chan's Lovely Dream. Really. It is. Stop looking at me like that, Hakkai. ....Uhh, Hakkai? Hakkai?! --GOKU, YOU LAZY-@$$ PIECE OF $#!!% SARU, GET THAT GODDAMN GUN!!!!!!!!]