Sanzo folded the newspaper over, took a drag from his cigarette, and went back to the editorial. It was silent. The first total and complete silence he'd had the whole damn trip. The coffee sat next to him, still steaming. He hadn't seen the bottom of his cup yet. Service was at least decent in this inn. The last one...It gave him a headache just to think about it. So, he didn't. He continued to read the paper in peace, flipping pages when necessary. The common room was unusually still and silent. But Sanzo didn't dwell on it. If something happened, which he was certain it would since this was too perfect to be true, he'd deal with it. That's what the gun was for.

He was working on the crossword when he reached for his cigarettes to get a new one. He flipped the pack open and tapped it against his palm. Nothing. Damn it, he was out. Where the hell was Hakkai and Goku? Gojyo he knew was out whoring already (it was a little after noon). Hakkai and Goku had gone shopping for supplies...almost four hours ago. They were supposed to be getting him cigarettes. Son of a bitch!

Sanzo sighed, drained off the rest of his coffee and waved the serving girl away. It was unnerving how she stared at him like she'd never seen a man before. Pathetic, too. He folded the paper up and went upstairs. Maybe Gojyo had been dumber than usual and left his pack in their room. He could only hope. It was uncommon anything went right when he was relaxing. it was even less common for it to go right on his birthday. It wasn't his real birthday. This was when they'd pulled him out of that damn river. Still...never mind. Just another trip around the sun as far as he was concerned.

His hand was on the door to their room when he paused. Voices? He knew everyone was out. He'd seen them all go. He waited, listening.

"Shut up! He's gonna hear us!"

"I'm not the one making any noise!"


There were people in there. It'd been a while since the last demon attack. It seems they chose now to make an appearance. He drew the gun from inside his robe and crouched low by the door. They would expect him to be standing as he entered. His lips twisted into a cruel smile. Bastards. They were being careless. Too bad they weren't going to live long enough to correct their mistakes. He waited until they quieted down before kicking the door open, dropping onto his stomach and firing all six rounds into his enemies, dropping them down instantly.

"Sssstupid, sh-i-i-ity assed p-priest. be...a suprise," Gojyo gasped, clutching the death wound in his chest. Hakkai had a bullet in his head and Goku's throat was shot. Gojyo managed to flick him off before his head dropped back and his eyes closed.

Sanzo stayed where he was laying on the floor, staring at the dead bodies. Oops.