If anyone passing by were to look at the side of the road, they'd wonder what the fuck was going on. A Jeep sat parkedin the grass, one lone occupant sitting in the passenger seat, smoking and looking as if he could glare someone to death. Three others crouched nearby in a little circle, making little 'oo' and 'aw' sounds.
Sanzo growled wordlessly, flicking ash over the side, slim fingers playing with the paper fan. "Stop cooing over the damn thing and let's get going," he ranted. They'd been at it for almost twenty minutes.
"Aw, but Sanzo, look at him," Hakkai prompted, hoisting what they were all doting over up and practically into Sanzo's face. "We can't just leave this cute little fellow behind!"
The monk arched a brow with an oh-can't-I expression on his face. Hakkai frowned, pulling the wiggly thing out of the possibly lethal reach of the blonde.
"Stop being such a tight ass," Gojyo complained, pulling the happy ball of fur from Hakkai forcibly, snickering when a wet pink tongue flicked over and over at his face. "Seriously, man, how can you be so goddamn negative around such a cute little puppy?"
"It's not the puppy. It's you three morons."
"Then he can come with us?" Goku asked hopefully, reaching for the puppy in question. He scowled and pulled harder when gojyo wouldn't let go. "Hey, you've held him long enough! Lemme get a chance."
"The fuck I have held him long enough," the red-head shouted, pulling back. The puppy's eyes widened a touch and he whimpered.
Hakkai deftly plucked the pup from them both, cuddling it in against his sash. "You guys can't go pulling on him like that," he scolded. "After all, Ling Ling's still a-,"
"Huh? What did you just call him?"
Sanzo rolled his eyes, hand tightening around the fan. Not again... this was just like that goddamn kitten! "He's not coming-," Fuck it, why should he even bother? They weren't listening to him!
Smiling pleasantly, Hakkai said, "Ling Ling. Isn't that cute?"
"Aw, fuck no his name's not Ling Ling," Gojyo shouted, smacking a hand over his eyes. "His name's Butch! We talked about this already!"
"There's no way I'm letting you name him Butch, Gojyo. That's an awful name for such a sweet puppy. It sounds like he should have blood dripping from his teeth."
"Yeah, but when he grows up, he's gonna be big! He can't go walkin' around with a name like Ling Ling. Besides... I'm not callin' that at night when he needs to come in! It sounds like I'm calling for my boyfriend or something."
"Hey," Goku interupted sharply, shoving between the two and making another grab for the puppy. Hakkai deftly twisted his shoulder and stopped him. "You guys said you liked MY name for him!"
Both older men stopped fighting and looked at each other guiltily. "Yeah... about that," Gojyo drawled. "See by 'like' we meant it was the dumbest fucking name on the planet!"
"WHAT? My name's PERFECT!"
"Unfortunately, Goku, I believe naming him 'Barky' is worse than 'Butch'... but it's pretty close between the two as to which," Hakkai added.
"The HELL it is! Butch is so much worse! Why the hell would-,"
The gun going off shut everyone up and made the nameless puppy whimper and cower further into Hakkai's sash. "Drop the damn thing now, get back in the Jeep and let's go," Sanzo snarled.
"Fine. Goku, please take Ling Ling in back-," Hakkai began, passing the squirming little ball to Goku. Goku reached for it excitedly onyl to have large tanned hands intercept it. He followed Gojyo in back as the red-head snuggled the pup, complaining the entire time.
Gritting his teeth, Sanzo's fist tightened around the cigarette in his hand, breaking the fragile stick. "I said leave the fucking dog," he muttered.
"I'm sorry, Sanzo, but I can't understand you if you don't speak up," Hakkai answered pleasantly. The monk knew damn well Hakkai could hear him just fine.
The entire ride to the town was spent bickering over the dog's name, where he would sleep, why they even bothered picking the damn thing up (this from Sanzo, who was promptly ignored) and even what he should eat. Sanzo's jaw worked angrily, the tick jumping in his eye. That puppy was going to be trouble, he knew it.
Sanzo glanced over the top of his paper as Gojyo came storming in, carrying something that vaguely looked like his boots. Vaguely. IN his other hand, hanging from the scruff of his neck, was the puppy.
"LOOK what Butch did to my boots," the red-head railed. Sanzo went back to his paper, ignoring both the boots and the man.
"Gojyo, you're hurting him," Hakkai exclaimed, jumping up from his seat to grab the puppy, holding it close to his chest. "He's a puppy! They're supposed to chew."
"That ain't no puppy! That's a goddamn hell hound," Gojyo continued angrily. "He didn't just get my boots! Oh, no, the little fucker had to go and eat my other shoes, my socks, my underwear AND my spare jeans! I had my last pack of condoms in there! How am I supposed to get laid now?"
"Maybe he's trying to tell you you shouldn't try and reproduce. There are enough idiots in the world."
"Ha ha. This little bastard's almost as big a prick as you, monk!"
"Watch it, kappa. I warned you to leave that damn dog outside," the monk replied sharply.
"And I should have... wait... is that... THAT IS! YOU LITTLE SHIT!" Gojyo swooped down and picked up his white shirt that had big holes ripped out of it. "SANZO, GIMME YOUR FUCKING GUN!"
"I'm gonna kill that waste of flesh, now give it to me!"
"I said no."
Hakkai shoved Gojyo away roughly, glaring at him. "You're not going to kill Ling Ling, Gojyo. Maybe if you picked up after yourself for a change he wouldn't have gotten into it."
"You can't possibly be blaming this on me!" Gojyo exclaimed, flabbergasted that his friend was turning on him.
Still glaring coldly at Gojyo, Hakkai called over his shoulder, "I'm not blaming the dog for doing what comes naturally. Excuse me, Ling Ling's hungry."
"Hey, so am I! Can I come, too?" Goku asked excitedly, bouncing up and down on Sanzo's bed. Why everyone and their damn cousin always congregated in his room was beyond him!
"Goku, we're going to be eating soon enough. I think you can wait until then," Hakkai answered, shutting the door on Goku's protests.
Shaking his head, eyes narrowed behind his glasses. Such absolute morons!
The four of them trouped back upstairs late that evening after a big dinner and a game of mahjong. Goku was rubbing his stomach and commenting how good everything was, Gojyo and Sanzo were busy smoking and Hakkai was smiling, petting Hakuryuu, who had been a little upset to find himself replaced by a puppy.
"An' then they brought out the SECOND COURSE! Man, was that good!"
"Heh, I wouldn't know. I only had a couple bites of the stuff," Gojyo sneered.
"Like hell! You ate most of it your...hey, what's that comin' from under your door, Hakkai?" Goku pointed to a small puddle of liquid that had leaked from under the door and out into the hall way. While the other three went to investigate, Sanzo hung back with a little smirk on his lips.
"I have no idea," Hakkai answered, unlocking the door and opening it. "It couldn't possibly be- oh, WHOA! Holy... shit!" He stepped back, gagging and fanning his hand in front of his nose.
"EWWW... how can somethin' so tiny do all THAT?" Goku demanded, pinching his nose.
Gojyo cracked up, pointing into Hakkai's room. "Man, he shit all over the place! He even got the BED! Ahahahaha!"
"I fail to see how this is funny," Hakkai bit out sharply, glaring as a happy (and very shit covered) Ling Ling came waddling from the room, panting and tail wagging. Sanzo drew back from the little beast as it came over to Hakkai, barking as if proud of his work.
"Didn't you take that thing out ten minutes ago?" the monk asked, glaring so hard at the puppy it backed away from him with a whimper.
"I did!" Hakkai exclaimed. "And he took care of everything. I-I don't understand..."
"Aw, don't be mad at Butch for doing what's 'natural'," Gojyo snickered.
The slight tightening of Hakkai's jaw told the monk he was more than a little angry over this. "Can it, Gojyo, if you want to live," he advised coldly. Hakkai exploding was not a good thing.
"So what are you gonna do with him, Hakkai?" Goku asked.
"I? Oh, no, Goku! I am not doing a thing with that monster! You wanted to bring him along in the first place. You take care of him. Please excuse me, I'd like to get this cleaned up before going to bed."
Gojyo was laughing to himself now, face red and tears streaming down his face. "Too...funny...Hakkai...buwahahaha!"
Hakkai sighed, pushing his sleeves back. "I don't want to see that mutt until morning, Goku. Please give him a bath in your room."
"Um... okay. Right." Goku stared at Ling Ling (or was it Barky now seeing as it belonged to Goku?) as if trying to decide how to pick the dog up. "Hey... Sanzo? How'm I s'posed to get him to my room?"
"Back up, monkey." Goku did as he was asked without thinking about why Sanzo asked him to. Pulling out his gun, Sanzo took am a little behind the dog, intent on scaring it over to Goku's room.
Golden eyes stepped between him and the dog. "No way am I gonna let you shoot him," Goku shouted.
"YES! Shoot the damn thing," Gojyo called excitedly.
"You wanted him in your room. This is how I do it. If you don't like it, figure it out for yourself," Sanzo snarled, putting the gun away and storming to his room. He slammed the door shut and thunked his head back against the wood as the two out there continued to bicker over that damn furball.
The next morning, everyone was quiet in the Jeep. Hakkai was still fuming over the state of his room (he was borrowing some of Sanzo's clothing for now), Gojyo was fuming over his shoes (he had purchased new boots last night and was complaining about the blisters), Sanzo was fuming over lack of sleep (twenty three bullets... it had taken twenty three bullet to get them all to shut the hell up) and Goku...
Goku was happier than a pig in shit. In fact, if it weren't for Hakkai shouting at him to shut up, he would have been a lot louder. He sat in back playing with Barky, enjoying the fact that Gojyo flinched anytime he came near to his boots. He wrestled the puppy gently over onto his back, sometimes not lucky in missing those sharp little teeth. "Ow... hey, quit that... haha, that tickles... ow!"
"WILL YOU SHUT UP?" Sanzo shouted, having been woken up for what felt like the millionth time.
Gulping, Goku restrained a struggling Barky and nodded. He pet the dog until it quieted, his own eyes drooping down before snapping back open and then slipping down again and not opening.
Gojyo sighed, stretching out when dog and owner were both out. "Finally!" Tipping his head back over the side, one leg dangling over as well, he, too fell asleep.
"Well, at least it's quiet now, right Sanzo?" Hakkai asked pleasantly. His smile faded, eyes opening wide. "Sanzo?"
Sanzo's head was resting against his chest now as he joined the others and slept.
Hakkai laughed softly, shaking his head. "Looks like it's just us then, Hakuryuu."
Hakuryuu squealed in delight and drove a little faster.
Sanzo's head snapped up, gun drawn at the scream. He whirled around in back, aiming for... for what? He scowled as Goku fell to his knees, wailing and pulling at his hair. "What the fuck...?"
"NOOOO! WHY? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? GOD, WHY?"
Gojyo rolled his eyes, lighting his cigarette. "Relax, chimp, we'll get more in the next town."
Sanzo grunted, turning around again. "I thought you said we got enough food, Hakkai," he muttered. So, THAT'S all the comotion was about. He should have figured!
"I did," Hakkai replied tightly. "But Barky decided to eat it all."
Sanzo blinked, sitting back up. The dog... "He ate it ALL?"
Goku was still wailing miserably and rocking back and forth, tears gushing down his cheeks. And asleep on an empty bag was the puppy, looking content and happy. "HE ATE IT ALL! HE EVEN ATE THE CRUMBS! WHAT AM I GONNA DO? I'M SO HUNGRY!"
Gritting his teeth hard, Sanzo grabbed his fan.
"Hey, Goku what are..." Gojyo began sitting up quickly.
Hakkai glanced back in the mirror, eyes wide. "Wait, Goku, at least let me-,"
Sanzo was slammed forward, cussing loudly as he was thrown into the dashboard by Hakkai slamming on the breaks.
"Eat this, ya food stealin' bastard!" Goku shouted a moment before there was a high pitched yelp and something shaggy went flying through the air. "Drive, Hakkai, before he catches up!"
"I'm on it," the green eyed man said, flooring the Jeep.
"Fucking HELL! Are you trying to fucking KILL ME?" Sanzo shouted as he was once again thrown back in his seat, and almost over all the way into the back.
Gojyo was howling with laughter again, smacking his thigh hard. "You just... and he... That's my new favorite sport! Puppy Punting... AHAHAHAHA!"
"S'not funny," Goku muttered angrily. "He ate all the FOOD!"
"And ruined my cloths," Hakkai added.
"And my sex life," Gojyo finished.
Sanzo righted himself, rotating his shoulder a little to ease the ache. "Hmph... I told you it was a bad idea."
All he got in response were angry glares.
"Aww... big brother, look! He's just so cute!"
Kougaiji arched a brow, backing away as his sister held a fuzzy ball under his nose. "Put it down, Lirin," he ordered.
Pouting, Lirin hugged the puppy to her. "But he's all alone!"
"And he's hurt, too," Yaone added, rushing over to check to little cut on the puppy's leg. "Oh, the poor thing!"
"His last owners must have abused it," Dokugakuji added with a sour glare.
Sighing, Kougaiji raked his claws through his hair irritably. "Look, we can't take him with us. We're on an important mission and none of us has the time to spare to take care of an animal. ESPECIALLY you, Lirin."
"Aw, but none of THOSE were cute little puppies," she argued.
"Please, Lord Kougaiji," Yaone begged. "It would be just heartless to leave him all alone out here. I'll help Lady Lirin take care of him, I promise."
"Yeah, me too," Dokugakuji added. "Besides, I've got a thing for big sad eyes like this little fella's got."
Sighing again, Kougaiji spread his arms in the air in the sign of surrender. "I give up! But he's YOUR responsibility, not mine. I want nothing to do with him."
"YAY!" Lirin bounced up and down, hugging the puppy even tighter. They all continued to walk on, the two servants reaching the girl's head to pet their newfound pet. "Hey, can we call him Barky?" the young princess piped in suddenly.