He thought he was dead. Gojyo really thought that Hakkai had died right then and there.
He hadn't seen his best friend fall, but he heard Hazel - goddamnit it's all his fault! - yell "Hang in there, Mr. Spectacles!" and his attention was directed from the now defeated Goku to the fallen form of Hakkai who was still in his youkai form and laying face down on the ground, one arm above his head.
Gojyo could still see the faint markings of the vines that had covered his best friend's body when his power limiters were removed and he remembered his shock at finally seeing Hakkai's youkai form. His red gaze was fixed on Hakkai's motionless body, waiting for some sign of life.
"He's not breathing." Came Hazel's voice from somewhere in the distance. Panic flooded the hanyou and he started towards his fallen friend. He would not let this psycho steal Hakkai's soul!
Gojyo quickly moved to Hakkai's side and turned him so he was laying on his back. He looked like hell. His body was covered in scratches and his normally flawless skin (not counting the scar that marred his torso) would be covered in bruises later. Gojyo didn't doubt that in the least. Hakkai's head lolled to the left, his mouth slightly open, but his eyes closed. His chest did not rise or fall. Gojyo shot a malevolent glare in Hazel's direction that made sure he stayed his hand when it came to that damned medallion around his neck, and turned his full attention back to Hakkai.
"Shit!" He cursed, placing his palms on top of each other on Hakkai's chest and beginning to press down in an attempt to revitalize him. Why am I. . . . Why am I always so goddamned useless? Without even realizing it, he heard himself talking to the unconscious youkai. "Goddamnit, help me out here, Hakkai!" As if his pleading would warrant a response.
A slight glow began off to Gojyo's side and his concentration broke momentarily as he nearly screamed at Hazel. "He is not dead you psycho, so keep your goddamned hands off of him! You take another step near him and I will rip your head off!"
He could see the shock in Hazel's eyes and felt a rush of satisfaction as he turned back to the more pressing issue of reviving Hakkai.
"Damn, damn, damn." He cursed, continuing to press down on Hakkai's chest. "You have to hang in there, Hakkai! I'm beggin' you, just hang in there!"
One of Hakkai's hands twitched ever so slightly, curling a few centimeters into a fist before relaxing.
Gojyo pressed a few more times, feeling hope begin to slip between his fingers like sand.
"I did not save you those years ago just so you could die on me here, Hakkai! Now wake up!"
As if by magic (or as if Hakkai had actually heard him), Hakkai's body jerked up, causing Gojyo to start and back up slightly, only to resume his spot seconds later. The youkai's head went back and he coughed a few times, his eyes tightly shut. His chest was heaving, but at least Hakkai was awake now, though he looked worse for wear.
Breathing heavily, the youkai opened mismatched eyes to look at Gojyo.
The artificial right eye had always sort of unnerved Gojyo, but now that he saw that deep green mixed with his other eye. . . . That unnerved him even more. He wanted to wipe the blood from Hakkai's face because blood there reminded him of when he found Hakkai on the ground in the forest three years ago. Hell, blood anywhere on Hakkai reminded him of that night.
Reminded him of the fact that if he had not saved Cho Gonou that night, he wouldn't be where he was now with the monk, the monkey, Hakuryuu, and Hakkai.
"H-How is Goku?" Hakkai's voice was raspy, and his eyes were at half-mast.
"Hakkai. . . ." Gojyo sighed. "There you go, worryin' about other people before yourself again. . . . moron." He mumbled. "He's fine, Hakkai, he reverted back to normal."
Relief flitted across Hakkai's face as he looked up into the burning red eyes of his best friend. He smiled.
He just got the shit beaten out of him in order to restore Goku to his original form and he was smiling. It was almost a taunting smile.
"Wh-Why . . . are you making a face . . . li-like that?"
Gojyo lowered his face, trembling slightly. "Sh-Shut up. . . . Just stop talkin' you damned moron."
Gojyo looked behind him and his red eyes narrowed. He turned back to his friend and helped him to sit up, wincing slightly as Hakkai was barely able to restrain his groans and hisses of pain. The hanyou slung one of Hakkai's arms over his shoulder and took a few steps, and looking down after realizing Hakkai's weight was supporting only half the time. He noticed that Hakkai was trying not to put any weight on his right foot.
"M-Must've sprained it or something." Hakkai mumbled through a hiss.
Gojyo nodded absently, his eyes fixed upon the newcomer. Sanzo.
The blonde monk was just standing there, looking at Goku's still unconscious form, Hakkai's near unconscious form, and Gojyo, who just glared at him. Aside from the glare, the red-head said nothing until he had Goku tucked under his right arm, made sure his left arm was secure around Hakkai's waist, and they were turned in the direction of the mountains.
"Sorry, bastard," he snarled as he passed Sanzo, who still had yet to really move. "I've got my hands full right now so I can't beat the shit out of you."
Such sweet parting words.
Sanzo did not reply.
Gojyo wasn't entirely sure how Hakkai managed to stay conscious on their trek back to the mountain shack. The youkai's breathing was heavy and labored, and as the trail got more rough, the more he stumbled over his right foot. A rare, uncharacteristic expletive left the brunette and Gojyo, try as he might, was not able to stop his snort of laughter.
"I know you hurt, man, so I'll get your limiters back on when we get the monkey to bed."
Hakkai hissed, his left hand clenching, seeming to think that if he cut the palm of his hand, the pain from that would distract him from the pain in the rest of his body. "That will . . . merely m-make the . . . pain worse . . . 'm afraid."
Damn Hakkai for being so perceptive even when injured this badly.
"Well, we'll have to pull through it, won't we?" Gojyo said, shifting the monkey under his arm a bit for a better grip.
"We'll be there soon, so don't worry. And you don't have to worry about keepin' yourself conscious, Hakkai. Your foot is hurtin' you bad, and you shouldn't feel any pain if you're out of it."
"That is . . . very considerate of y- . . . you, Gojyo. But . . . it will be hard to-to drag me if I am unc-unconscious, yes?"
"Don't worry 'bout that, Hakkai. We'll be there soon, so either hang in there or pass out already!"
And their conversation on the way to the mountain shack ended.
He came awake to a throbbing in his head, face, chest, torso, palms of his hands, and his right foot.
"Nnngh!" He moaned, trying not to tense his body up lest he make his suffering worse. As if on cue, Gojyo walked into the room, his hand rummaging around in his pants pocket and pulled out three golden ear cuffs. He looked at them and then at their owner as if asking permission to put them on.
Hakkai looked hesitant.
"Hakkai, you nearly lost it out there." Gojyo said suddenly, watching Hakkai's face carefully. As he expected, the brunette jolted slightly, looking at him with wide, mismatched eyes. "You tried to seriously kill Goku out there, Hakkai. The Minus Wave was affectin' you and you almost ki-"
"I . . . really almost killed Goku?" The voice was incredulous, and Gojyo nodded.
"Yes, you did. And you might lose it again so I want you to put these back on. I know it'll hurt, man, but it's better'n losin' yourself, isn't it?"
Hakkai looked stupefied for a moment before nodding absently, shifting under the blanket that was over his body so that he could get a hand out from underneath the actually fabric. He held his hand palm-up to receive the three golden ear cuffs, and looked at them for a moment. Hakkai just looked at them for a few seconds as if debating on what he should really do, before he reached up and clasped one of them to his ear. The youkai's body tensed momentarily which caused the hanyou to wonder how much the pain had increased. The second clasp went on, and the third quickly after that.
Hakkai was right. He was in more pain. The youkai's back arched and his eyes widened, the left eye turning once more to the deep green that almost nearly matched the right (the right eye had a sort of . . . glassy quality to it). The widened eyes shut tightly and Gojyo couldn't help but watch in fascination as the red vines all over Hakkai's body began to recede, slowly at first, but then faster and faster. When he could no longer see the vines without removing Hakkai's clothing (and Gojyo was sure that Hakkai would pop him one if he even was injured) he turned his attention to his friend's hands, noticing that the long, sharp claws were retracting, leaving slightly shortened fingernails.
Small moans and whimpers escaped from Hakkai's mouth as he lay completely on the bed, feeling the full force of the pain. After all, he had just gone up against the Saiten Taisei and almost lost. Dark green eyes were tightly shut and his jaw was clenched to the point that Gojyo thought the other man's teeth were going to shatter within his mouth. Gojyo walked up beside the bed, getting an uncomfortable flashback to three years ago when he had watched Cho Gonou moaning in his bed, his body hot with fever due to blood-loss and the fact he had lost some of his intestines which had been shoved back inside of him.
Gojyo sighed and ruffled his own hair irritably. He had no idea what the hell to do! He wasn't a doctor, and he sure as hell wasn't used to watching over sick people. Sure he'd watched over Hakkai three years ago, but the doctor had been there as well a lot of the time. The hanyou turned his red eyes to the youkai and prayed for Hakkai's sake that he fell unconscious before he suffered anymore. About twenty seconds later - was it really seconds? It felt like minutes . . . even hours - Hakkai gave a sort of quiet, strangled sound, and his body went completely limp. Gojyo couldn't stifle the momentary panic he felt that Hakkai might have died instead of passing out, but he dismissed it.
Hakkai was not that weak.
Gojyo looked at the door and stalked towards it slowly, sparing a few looks back at his unconscious friend.
"I'll come in to check on ya, Hakkai." He grumbled, hoping that at least one of them woke up soon. There were no women up here so there was no way to really pass the time other than smoking, and he'd run out of those soon, even. He heaved a sigh and sat down in the small kitchen, propping his hand in his hands and heaving a great sigh. This was going to be a long wait.
It was a day later when Cho Hakkai next opened his eyes, returning to the world of the living with a small groan. His body was still stiff, but for the most part he had healed. He knew he had bruises, but that was inconsequential compared to the throbbing in his right foot. He looked around blearily, attempting to blink the haze from his working eye. He heard a door open and he looked in the direction of the sound, raising his head slightly to greet Gojyo.
"Morning." Hakkai said, his voice a bit raspy from sleep.
"Mornin'," Gojyo replied, inclining his head and pulling up a small chair to sit next to Hakkai's bed. "How ya feelin' man?"
"Horrible." Hakkai admitted. "My foot is throbbing, but the rest of me is alright, at least. I'm a bit banged up, but I'll live." He sighed heavily and looked at Gojyo as if trying to see through him and look at the wall behind him. "How is Goku?"
"The monkey is still snoozin' in the next room over. He hasn't stirred at all. I'm a bit surprised you woke up as fast as ya did, Hakkai."
The brunette yawned and fought the urge to sit up in the bed. That would hurt. A lot, most likely.
"D'you want any coffee, Hakkai?"
The youkai looked at Gojyo, a sense of deja vu stealing over him slowly. He nodded his confirmation. "Yes, please, Gojyo."
The hanyou nodded. "We'll have to use instant, 'm afraid." He stopped, holding the cup out to Hakkai, who also seemed to be frozen, his hands outstretched.
Hakkai and Gojyo started laughing then as their minds flew back three years, to the time they met, when Hakkai had woken up finally after being comatose for an entire week. The laughter was a bit short lived on Hakkai's part when he started to cough slightly, and Gojyo had to quell his laughter to try and make sure Hakkai would not start up again. The youkai looked up at Gojyo, cradling the hot drink in his hands and smiled. "I guess we will have to search for Sanzo then, won't we? I doubt Goku will let us leave him behind, don't you think?"
Gojyo took a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it, taking a drag and blowing smoke out up at the ceiling. "Probably. Knowin' Goku he won't let us leave without that goddamned monk. . . . I thought I heard him talkin' with that psycho as I left."
"Whomever. It doesn't really matter, does it? You know who I mean when I say 'psycho', don't you?"
Hakkai gave a shallow chuckle, trying not to cough again. "Yes. I do know who you mean."
The two of them drank their coffee in silence, each thinking different things.
I nearly killed Goku yesterday. I lost control of my emotions. I let the Minus Wave take control of me and I almost killed Goku! If Gojyo had not stopped me, then. . . . Nngh, my foot! It will be hard to drive Hakuryuu, let alone walk well enough to look for Sanzo if Goku wakes up today or tomorrow. I'll need some more time to recuperate.
I can't believe that damned, droopy-eyed monk! He just left Goku there while he was bleedin'! He didn't offer to help me with Hakkai or Goku, either! That ungrateful bastard! The next time I see him, I'm gonna pop him so hard he'll be seein' stars for days!
The two friends just sat until the coffee was drained from both cups. Gojyo looked at his best friend and noticed that Hakkai seemed to be struggling to keep his eyes open. "Lay down, man." He said quietly, as if afraid he'd wake Goku with his tone of voice. Dark green eyes looked up at him, one perfectly clear and the other hazy, and Hakkai's face split into a smile.
"I'm only a little tired, Gojyo, I will be fine."
"Don't start that shit with me, Hakkai," Gojyo warned, narrowing his red eyes. "You almost died out there, too. You shouldn't even be up right now so get the hell back to sleep you idiot."
He watched in satisfaction as the brunette youkai let his eyes slip shut with a sigh, and he retrieved Hakkai's cup, taking them to the kitchen to clean them. After all, if he let dishes pile up, he'd be the one laying in bed because Hakkai would not appreciate a mountain of dishes right when he was mobile again.
With that, the shack in the mountains was quiet and would remain mostly quiet for the next two days until Goku regained consciousness and they began to make plans of their own.