They had crossed the border into India during the night. Hakkai had managed to coerce Sanzo into holding the map open so they could drive all night long. Gojyo and Goku were asleep, curled up together, in the back. The other two already knew there would be a fight over it as soon as they woke up. Things were quiet for now though and that's all that mattered. They pulled into a small town that served more as a rest stop on the way further west.
Hakkai pulled up to the only restaurant that was open at three in the morning and stopped. Sanzo glanced over at him, flicking ash over the side of the Jeep. "I'm sorry, Sanzo, but I need a break. Ten hours straight of driving is a little taxing. I'm going to get some tea. Do you want anything?"
Sanzo pulled out his card and handed it to Hakkai. "Coffee, the biggest they have and black. And you might want to get these two something to shut them up when they wake. Nothing sticky though, I'm not washing out paw prints from these robes again."
Hakkai laughed softly and went inside. The girl at the counter smiled, flicking her long veils back over her shoulder. Yes, they were definately in India now! He winced when he saw the chain going from her nose piercing back to her ear but refrained from stating the obvious that it looked painful. "Hello," he said.
"Hello, and good morning," she replied. She automatically set a porcelain cup in front of him. "Coffee, tea, chai?"
Hakkai laughed and waved away the cup. "Oh, no, actually, I was wondering if I might get some stuff to go. See, my friends and I are traveling west and we just need something to last us a little longer."
"Of course! So sorry to assume! What would you like?" She gave him a long menu and he glanced through it. And found nothing at all familiar. In fact, he hadn't heard of half the ingredients used in ninety percent of the selections.
"Oh, ah...well, I'm not from around here, so would you mind suggesting a few things?"
The girl leaned over the counter and looked at the menu. "You can't go wrong with curry, and we have so many different types it's bound to please someone in your group! I love the chicken curry myself, but my mother makes the best lemon curry in all of India."
Hakkai looked over the insanely long list of curry. How to decide...He fingered Sanzo's card and shrugged. "I'll take all of them, please. Plus the biggest coffee you can get, no room. And I'll be game and try this chai you talked about. Oh, and if we could get extra napkins, spoons only (there had been a duel in the back with the knives and a poking battle with the forks), and...um, well. Gojyo will want a drink, and Goku, too...Can we just get a container of water, too?"
The girl was writing it all down furiously as he spoke. She finished, slapped it over the little window into the back and shouted something in Indian. Immediately the cooking staff was going crazy, flames shooting up, and spicy aromas sifting through that were unfamiliar but very nice. The girl meanwhile got all their drinks around, setting them on the counter. She took the card, looked it over and then swiped it through, handing it back. "It will be about a half an hour wait, if you and your friends want to come inside."
He picked their drinks up and shook his head. "Two are asleep and it would be best for everyone if they stayed that way for a while." He winced when he heard the shouting outside, getting louder and louder until...BANG! "Never mind, they're awake now."
The girl had ducked behind the counter at the gunshot, brown eyes bulging from her face. The whole kitchen had stopped momentarily and then went back to work.
Waving, Hakkai went outside and found a properly subdued Gojyo and Goku, still looking sleepy eyed and grumpy, and a very irritated Sanzo holding his gun. The monk glanced over as he took a seat in the Jeep and passed out beverages, handing Sanzo's card back with the coffee.
"Hey, this is water! What the hell, Hakkai?" Gojyo shouted.
"Well, you were asleep, Gojyo. I wasn't sure exactly what to-,"
"Um, hello! Alcohol? Coffee? Something that ISN'T water!"
Hakkai sighed and slouched down in his seat, stretching his legs out as best he could and ignoring the red head. He sipped his chai curiously, and was very happy to find it tasted as wonderful as it smelled. He could tell the coffee was good, too, from the little half smile on Sanzo's face. Maybe today wouldn't be as trying as some of the others. Maybe...
"OW! SANZO! Gojyo keeps hitting me!" Goku shouted from the back.
"Hitting you, or hitting on you?" came the dry reply.
"Wha- HEY! I'm not into beastiality!" Gojyo shouted angrily.
Goku cracked up in back, legs flailing around. And kicking Hakkai's seat. He spilled chai all down the front of his tunic, sitting up quickly. "Goku, please be careful! I've got a hot beverage here."
"Sorry, Hakkai," Goku said quickly. He was, too. It was obvious from the instantly contrite tone.
Everything was silent for a long time. Hakkai was beginning to think that it was over. How foolish of him to think that!
It started with a little jiggling of the Jeep. Then another, this time bouncing the entire back. And then the whole thing was shaking as they wrestled around.
Sanzo was up on his seat before anyone could stop him, beating them with his fan. "YOU IDIOTS! You really wanna die today, don't you? I'm not opposed to carrying out that death wish!"
"No, no, sorry, OW! Sorry, Sanzo!" Goku quickly said, covering his head.
"HEY! SHIT! What's the big idea, you stupid priest! " Gojyo shouted, trying to make a grab for the fan. He should have known there was no way you could take a weapon from Sanzo while he was conscious and breathing.
"It WAS a little silly of you two," Hakkai said into the sullen silence that followed Sanzo flopping back into his seat, grabbing his coffee and now looking far from happy. "You know how cranky Sanzo gets before his first cup in the morning."
"It's not just the first cup," Goku muttered.
"Yeah, it's the second and third and fourth. Face it, Hakkai, the guy's cranky all the time! Maybe if he got laid once in a while-," He shut up quickly when he was staring at the barrel of a gun.
"Come on, finish it. Give me yet another reason to pull this trigger," Sanzo said coldly.
Gojyo laughed nervously and used one finger to move the gun away from his forehead. "That's okay! Maybe later!"
Sanzo grunted and turned around again. He sipped his coffee and quickly drew back with a disgusted face. "Son of a bitch! It's fucking cold now!"
"Maybe we should charge the temple for babysitting as well, Sanzo," Hakkai suggested blandly.
"HEY! Just what the fuck are you implying, Hakkai?" Gojyo shouted.
"Yeah, I'm not a kid," Goku added.
"You're not a legal adult either," Hakkai contradicted.
"Oh...well...But I still don't need a babysitter!"
"No, you're right, you don't," Sanzo said. Everyone turned to look at him in shock. "What you need is an obediance trainer."
It took a second for it to sink in but Hakkai and Gojyo started laughing. Goku sat back, arms crossed over his chest and pouting.
The door to the restaurant opened and the girl came out with a couple of cooks, all carrying bags and bags of food. A smaller girl came out with more coffee and (hopefully) chai as well. "Sorry to keep you waiting," the first girl said cheerfully, setting the bags in back. "I thought your drinks might be getting a little low, so we brought out extra coffee and chai for you. Free of charge, don't worry about it!"
"Why, thank you," Hakkai said, taking the steaming hot cup and setting it in the cup holder so he could finish the first one. Secretly, he thought they were trying to get them out of there faster.
Sanzo chugged back the first coffee, throwing the cup in back to hit Gojyo on the forehead.
"You fucking prick! Stop throwing your shit at me!" The older girl quickly covered her sister's ears, ushering her back inside with a startled look on her face.
"Why not? All the garbage seems to be back there anyway."
"Why I oughta- yo, monkey! Oi! Stop eating all the damn food!"
Hakkai started the Jeep and put it into gear, driving away quickly. "Goku, would you please pass a bag up here?"
"Huh? Oh, here! This is really good, Hakkai! What is it?" Goku had already finished one entire portion and was working on a second. Gojyo was grabbing boxes and setting them on his side to keep them from Goku.
"It's called curry. I've never had it before, but the girl said it was delicious." He dug into the bag passed up and handed Sanzo a box and a spoon and got one around for himself, swerving sharply to make the turn they'd almost missed.
"AAAAHHHHHH!" The two in back screamed like they were going to die. Sanzo grabbed the OS (Oh, Shit) bar inside the door and held on tight.
Laughing, Hakkai let the wheel spin back in place. "Sorry about that!"
"Bullshit you are! You know you almost killed us back here," Gojyo snapped.
"Yeah, and we could have lost all this food," Goku added.
"Damn it. Try harder next time, Hakkai," Sanzo muttered.
Hakkai laughed again and returned his attention to trying to drive and eat at the same time. Goku was right, the food was excellent! Very different from their usual fair, lots of spices and layers of flavor. The next town they stopped in, he was going to try and get the recipe for curry, and maybe some new spices to play around with.
"Goddamn it, monkey, eat your own food!"
"You're not gonna eat all that!"
"Says who, your stomach? Sorry, I don't take orders from primates!"
"CAN IT, BOTH OF YOU!" Sanzo didn't need to turn around this time. It was bad when he did. It was worse when he didn't. The two in back knew their next argument might be their last if they didn't stay silent for a bit.
All the food was eaten, a very quietly whispered argument going on in back over the last box of food, which Hakkai suggested they save for Hakuryu as a thank you for driving for so long. Gojyo argued the point, claiming curry was not dragon food, but Goku really liked the idea and passed the food up for Sanzo to put on the floor boards and out of reach. There was a brief scuffle over positioning and then Goku and Gojyo were silent for a change, settled in back for another long ride.
Goku shifted position again, trying to get comfy. He'd been comfy before, about four hours ago. Why wasn't he comfy now? His stomach...it felt weird. It was growling a little, but he was full. He had food all the way up in his lungs, from the feel of things. And if he moved, his stomach only felt weirder. "Hey, Sanzo?" he asked. Something wasn't right, and Sanzo would know what to do.
"Don't say it," the monk threatened.
"You don't know what I'm gonna say!"
"I do, and I don't care. You just ate almost two hundred dollars worth of food and I'm not feeding you anymore before dinner time."
Goku winced, clutching his stomach. What the hell? Why was his stomach grumbling like that.
Gojyo put a hand to his shoulder, looking a little concerned. "Hey, you okay?" he asked.
"I dunno...my stomach...It's never felt like this before!"
"Hey, Sanzo, I think something's wrong with your monkey," Gojyo called up front. He was trying to get Goku to lay down in back.
Sanzo glanced over his shoulder. "Maybe the food he ate was poisoned," he said sarcastically.
"I'm not playin' around here! Something is wrong with Goku!"
"I wasn't playing around either."
Hakkai glanced back in the rearview mirror. Goku curled his legs up into his chest and that helped a little. His stomach was hurting so bad! "Do you want me to stop?" he asked.
"I dunno," Goku said tightly. Why wouldn't it stop? He really hoped his stomach wasn't going bad! What would he do if he couldn't eat?
"No, if you stop, I'll shoot him," Sanzo answered.
"Sanzo, what if he's sick?"
"Goku's never had an upset stomach since I've known him. He's just got heartburn or something. He can make it to the next town."
Hakkai kept glancing back in the mirror and Goku.
Goku rolled over onto his back, moaning. "It feels awful! What's wrong with me?"
"Goku, lean your head over the side and stick two fingers down your throat," Hakkai suggested.
"Yeah, I've heard of chicks that do that! Go ahead and try, it can't hurt you even more," Gojyo encouraged.
Goku had no idea what they were asking of him, but he did it anyway. He put two fingers as far as he could into his throat and..."BRUAAAAAHHHH!"
"YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH! He said OVER THE SIDE, not IN MY LAP!" Gojyo jumped back so far he almost fell over the side of the Jeep. He was covered in half digested curry and glaring down at Goku, who was moaning and vomit free. "You little bastard!" he kicked Goku which made him cough, choke and then vomit again.
Hakkai slammed on the breaks, threw the emergency break on and ran around to the back. "Oh, gross! Goku, are you alright?"
Goku pushed himself up, shaking. What...how...What was going on? This had NEVER happened to him, NEVER! This time he made it over the side of the Jeep. And all over Hakkai's shoes.
"For the love of...! Gojyo, get out and help me!" Hakkai sounded really annoyed. He didn't mean to...he couldn't help it!
"S-Sorry, Hakkai," he mumbled, coughing, but this time holding it in. Hakkai jumped back all the same.
"Why the hell should I help? It's HIS pet!"
"You're already covered in the shit, I'm not going near him," Sanzo replied. He had gotten out of the Jeep too and was about to light a cigarette.
"Sanzo, PLEASE be of some assistance! I can't get him out by myself, and he can't keep getting sick on Hakuryu. Gojyo has a point that he IS your charge!" Hakkai was getting very close to being pissed off.
Sanzo paused and then sighed. He jammed his cigarette back into the pack and came over. "Don't even think about tossing your cookies on me, brat, or you'll be sleeping six feet under tonight," he muttered, grabbing one of Goku's arms and hauling him over the side.
Goku felt it coming this time, but he couldn't hold it back. He turned away in time to miss Sanzo and got Hakkai instead.
"Thanks, Goku. Thanks a lot," Hakkai said dryly, giving his clothes a very disgusted look.
Gojyo jumped out of the jeep, peeling his clothing off as fast as he could. "I'm not catching what he has! No way in hell!" He ran for the river nearby in nothing but his boxers and his boots.
"Ew...that's not helping, Gojyo," Goku called weakly. His stomach churned. He couldn't turn his head in time.
"DAMN IT! I told you not to vomit on me!" Sanzo still helped carry him, but those violet eyes promised him lots of pain in the very near future. The lower corner of his robe, his boots and the bottoms of his jeans were now a sickly brownish color.
They got him under a small stand of trees and into the shade. Sanzo practically ripped his robe off, glaring at it like it was the one to make Goku sick. Hakkai sat with Goku, still with the stuff all over him, pushing his hair back and feeling his forehead. "He doesn't have a fever or anything."
"I don't feel sick, just my tummy," Goku grumbled, coughing. Nothing came up this time, which was good. How come it tasted so yummy going down and so gross coming back up? He'd always thought people with sick stomachs were lucky because they could taste their food twice. Now he knew better! And he also knew why they'd given him such mean looks for asking what it was like, was it any good? No, it wasn't!
Hakkai sat back, looking thoughtful. Then, a slow smile came to his lips and he shook his head, chuckling. "I think I might know what's wrong with him," he said, looking highly amused. Goku didn't think this was all that funny.
"Oh?" Sanzo asked, lighting a cigarette and trying to kick off as much puke from his boots as possible.
"I think we've found a food Goku can't eat."
"WHAT?" Goku wasn't the only one shocked by that. Gojyo had shouted it up from the river, still scrubbing himself and his cloths. Sanzo almost dropped his cigarette.
"I think Goku's allergic to curry."
No one said a word for a long time. Goku dropped his head back, covering his eyes. His stomach was still moving around and it wasn't very fun. "Aw, man," he grumbled before coughing again. There was a scurry as Sanzo and Hakkai both ran away from him, keeping a safe distance.