A/N: Disclaimer: Saiyuki isn't mine. Nor is The Great Gatsby. And, though the brand name isn't used, Pepto Bismol isn't my creation. They belong to people who aren't me. Dammit.
Hello and welcome to my turn at beating the fourth wall with a stick. I had fun. And, though I don't particularly like this fiction and it's utterly, completely pointless, I'm told it's humorous enough to merit attention. So. Enjoy it if you will. I poke fun at fanfic authors. Gasp. I poke fun at myself a lot of the time - I'm guilty of everything except the orb/gemstone charge. Everybody's done it at least once XP
Warnings include: Foul language and a very open policy on sex. Don't like, don't read. No real pairing.
Somewhere, there is a door. It is unmarked except for a brass number plate and the lens of a peephole. There are two locks, one under the knob and one in it. This door opens into a den - modestly furnished - with a fireplace, two sofas, and a large coffee table. On the coffee table rest more cushions. To the left is a kitchen. The counter is already set with a basket of fruit and a waiting bottle of bright pink medicine. There is a microwave, a stove, a refrigerator, a toaster. The sink is stainless steel, as are the dishwasher and trash compactor. The lights are fluorescent and take half a breath to come on all the way. Everything is spotless. To the right is a corridor with six doors. Four bedrooms, each furnished with a dresser, closet, full bed, alarm clock, bulletin board, and lamp. The personal touches vary between them. Two bathrooms, stocked with every necessary amenity. At the end of this hallway is a linen closet stuffed with towels, sheets, and extensive amounts of first aid supplies. There are six ashtrays in various places, all clean and empty. There are seven garbage bins in various rooms, all clean and empty. The carpet is lush and freshly vacuumed. There are no windows at all. This place is dark, built of rich wood and stone in deep red-browns and slate gray. Even the cloth on the furniture is a gentle, deep color only a few shades from black in any case. The bed-sheets shine with color when moved. The lamps in ceiling and set on tables give off a warm, yellow glow. Pure white light does not reach this place, as even the panes of glass separating the fluorescent kitchen lights are tinted.
There is a slot in the kitchen counter, under a red light that has no switch.
These rooms, at one time, were filled to breaking with awkward tension, quiet apologies and resolute decisions never to speak ever again. As time passed, these rooms saw their occupants relax, accept, become able to meet one another's eyes.
The lock in the door slides back with an easy click, and the door swings open to allow the entrants passage. The first crosses quickly to the food in the kitchen, taking a hefty bite out of an apple with no thought to decency. The two that follow look faintly green, walking slowly and cradling their stomachs. One grabs the bottle of medicine and they both take turns swallowing some of the stuff. The fourth closes the door behind him, taking care to lock it.
"For fuck's sake," the one with the apple growls, "do the imbeciles think I survive on coffee and smokes alone? Humans gotta fuckin' eat!" He takes another bite, pausing only to lick the juice from his hand.
"Yeah? Well at least you don't have to try to keep up with the Vortex over there," one of the sicker ones responds, jerking a thumb at his nauseated companion. "I think we ate more'n our weight this time."
The other nods, holding his gut. "Sanzo, I think I'm all set now. Another five hundred years without food sounds good."
The one called Sanzo snorts and sets the apple core down on the counter. The fourth person chuckles gently, patting the shoulders of the overstuffed men with him. "You'll be hungry in a while; just let your stomach settle, Goku," he comforts. "And Sanzo, perhaps you ought to slow down a little yourself."
Sanzo scowls. "I know what the doctor said. I've been deprived of food all day. I can hold it down." But he stops eating, suddenly looking quite a bit more irritated and morose.
"Oh, Hakkai, you reminded him. How many times was it this week, bouzu?" asks the redhead as he plops down onto one of the couches. He had eaten less than Goku by default; it was always written that way. His stomach settles much faster every time. "I counted seventeen for me. I think."
Sanzo looks away, ready to corrode the metal of the sink with his stare. "Twenty-four."
Hakkai puts a hand over his mouth. "Oh, my. Sanzo, are you sure you're feeling okay?"
Sanzo turns his eyes on Hakkai and leans a little more heavily into the counter. "They always make me tell you 'yes'. But I'm really not."
"Not now at least," the redhead responds, watching as Hakkai and Sanzo come to sit on the couch nearest him. Goku takes a seat on the coffee table, not willing to fight for space. "But that's the perk."
There is a thoughtful pause. "Gojyo's right, you know," Hakkai murmurs after a while. "The only perk, but it is a good thing."
Gojyo pushes himself into a little more of a sitting position, propping his head on the armrest of the sofa. "Well, think about it. I haven't exercised a day in my life, but," he pulls his shirt up and pats his stomach. "Per-fect abs. And I smoke all day with no cancer. Plus, I get all the sex I can possibly handle."
Sanzo growls. "Once the writing stops all the pain comes back. You realize who you've been with because they put you there. And you, you're fuckin' always on top, kappa."
Gojyo grins. "There's no accounting for taste, I suppose. But there's times I'm not. Few as they are. Hell, small price right?" He rubs his nose. "I just gotta worry about those folks who wouldn't mind me getting shot when you're in a bad mood. And eating contests with Goku."
"Let's not forget heartsick love confessions," said boy pipes in, and the group gives a collective shudder. "You get the long end of the stick sometimes but I've heard you be soppiest of us all."
"Unfortunately," Hakkai murmurs, "none of us are safe from such moments. I suppose, though, Gojyo has a point. From Gojyo's point of view."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Gojyo responds, opening one eye.
"There's more to life than sex. When do we get to that bit?"
"Hell yes," Sanzo seconds, already pressing a hand to his gut. "I've been sodomized so often I'm having intestinal problems. Where was that in the contract? I signed up to shoot things and all of a sudden everybody and their grandmother wants my ass."
Gojyo counts on his fingers. "Which reminds me. Twenty-four? Damn! Let's see, I only fucked you...six times this week." He looks around, pointing at the people he remembers. "Ten were Hakkai. And one was..."
Goku crosses his eyes, remembering the eventful and strangely enlightening afternoon. "I don't get it either. Um. I was with Sanzo seven times, right? And then twice with Homura. Which was certainly very strange."
"You two aren't counting original characters and Mary-Sues, are you?" asks Hakkai.
Gojyo snorts. "The monk gets most of those, too. He has busy days."
Sanzo growls. "Not my fault."
"Of course it isn't; we never said it was. How about we change the subject?" soothes Hakkai. "We had a good time on Wednesday, didn't we?"
Gojyo pauses to think back. "Oh, yeah, man! We kicked some major ass in that one! Goku, remember? You did that awesome flippy thing."
Goku laughs. "Flippy thing. That's exactly the name for it. That was a pretty fun scene. Getting them all back for Monday, right?"
Gojyo laughs as well. "Always nice to count on a happy ending. The monk got some great shots in. Vicious, but good."
"Whoever wrote that one wasn't pleased with quick, painless death. It was definitely cathartic," Sanzo responds, amusement tinging his voice despite the mood he is still in. His gut aches viciously and he has a feeling the apple he'd devoured isn't going to sit well for long. "Times like those, life's not so bad."
Hakkai nods. "I suppose we earn it after going through all the abuse."
Gojyo slaps his forehead, crying out and twitching. "Abuse! The beatings! The pain!"
"Shut up, you baby. I'm always the one getting captured. Damsel in Distress," Sanzo spits, again dropping into a more morose mood. "There's more to me than this!"
Hakkai gives him a sympathetic smile. "I know. Half the time I come across like a woman."
Goku thrusts a finger into the air. "And we're back to the soppiness again! Or is it the whole thing about Gojyo being on top?"
Gojyo snorts. "I can't help what I'm good at. And another thing. Has anybody else gotten irked over the 'sparkling orbs' thing?"
Hakkai nods vigorously. "Yes! I begin to feel like a Christmas ornament. Where am I hiding my brilliant green orbs?"
"Even the word is ridiculous," Goku chimes in, grinning a bit. "Say it a lot. Orb. Orb, orb, orb."
"My eyes aren't jewels either," Sanzo adds, pointing to his face. "People have been known to stare at my sapphires and I'm more than a little curious to know where these gemstones are."
Hakkai snorts. "Probably the same place I'm keeping my orbs."
"I mean," Gojyo continues, undeterred by Goku's laughter, "Eyes are white, pupil, iris. Right? Or is it the retina you see?"
"Ask F. Scott Fitzgerald about that one," Sanzo quips, causing Hakkai to grin. "Orb."
Goku snorts loudly, loving the sound of the word repeated over and over. That last time, Sanzo had said it for Goku's benefit.
Before Gojyo can continue his rant about the difference between an orb and a circle, the red light comes on, accompanied by a sound not unlike a doorbell. Four sets of eyes widen, and Goku quickly snaps his fingers. Sanzo and Gojyo follow suit in a split second, leaving Hakkai to go and get the message.
The red light is a warning, like a fire alarm. It is the herald of inspiration being trapped on paper, in a computer. It is a source of laughter and dread to those bound to the will of the all-powerful, omnipresent fanfic author. The sheets of paper outline plot, characters involved, and rating. It never details anything about the writer. Nobody, nothing is exempt, from the darkest of solo angst to the fluffiest of love declarations. And everything in between, biting, kicking, and Mary-Sues all fair game. As was their curse, being four highly desirable, likeable, and dramatic creations built to strike separate sectors of the female libido and inspire inspiration all at once, the residents of this nowhere-apartment are bound to their assignments on these sheets of paper. They arrive in numbers between five and twenty each day, every day. Hakkai, Sanzo, Gojyo, and Goku deal with them in the order they arrive, enduring many an inept concept of actual sexual practice, various scrapes and bruises, and more physical activity in any and every form in a week than most sapient beings can handle in many months. They never feel the aches and pains until they are released from their fiction, dropped back into the hallway to stagger together into their apartment.
This piece of paper has already come out of the slot, resting innocuously on the counter. The brunette slowly gets up and pads into the kitchen, taking the paper between his hands. As he reads, he lets a hint of a grin slip out. "Oh, my."
"What's it say?" Goku asks, a hint of dread in his voice.
"Goku, you and I get to stay in. Sanzo, I think you might actually not mind this one so much."
Sanzo gets up and snatches the paper from Hakkai, ignoring Goku's cheer. As he reads, his expression goes from disgust to mild, vindictive pleasure. "Well, then."
Gojyo, now indignant, grabs the paper away and glares at it. "Wh...oh!"
Sanzo sneers, enjoying this. "Unsettled? A little nervous? A big, strong hanyou like you must not be used to playing uke," he taunts.
Gojyo shoves the paper back at him, indignant but blushing. "Am not! Just surprised."
"Revenge of the pretty blonde," Hakkai adds, smiling at Gojyo. "You didn't honestly think you'd make it very long without another one?"
"Yeah, well...that last time was months back. At least," Gojyo responds, shoving his hands into his pockets.
"That means I owe you, kappa. Come on, let's get this over and done with." Sanzo pushes Gojyo out the door.
As they leave, Hakkai calls, "Never fear! I'm sure one intense, longing look into Sanzo's beautiful sapphire orbs will set all to rights!" From the spot on the couch he stole from Gojyo, Goku laughs like a maniac.
Hakkai shuts the door behind him, but not before watching as Kougaiji and his companions leave their place next door, following Gojyo and Sanzo. The door behind which Homura, Zenon, and Shien reside stays resolutely closed.
Goku gets up and goes into the kitchen, pouring himself a drink of water. "Hakkai?"
"Do you ever miss, you know..." Goku points to the ceiling, "Mom?"
Hakkai smiles, amused by Goku's reference to their creator as their mother. "All the time. However, this gig has its moments. Fans can be a thousand times more beastly. But they aren't so bad on the whole, really. Depending on which parts of your memory you decide to completely ignore."
Goku nods. "And the fact that none of them or any of their creations have ever, ever gotten their hands on our room keys."
Hakkai shoots an admonishing glare over at Goku. "Now, now," he warns. "Don't you dare jinx it. There are some who have the capacity, and I seriously doubt they'd mind a sequel."