And she's all finished! This was supposed to be a chapter and an epilogue, but I could only come up with four pages worth of writing...so it turned into one long epilogue. Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this one and I hope you all enjoyed it! Thanks for reading, reviewing, and just being the awesome folks you are!
"Miao! Don't forget to count your till tonight!"
"Don't worry sir! I won't!" Miao shouted back to the manager as she started to wipe the counter clean. Things had calmed down considerably since the demon attack and most of the men were cleaning the main street. Though, Miao still had guests to maintain and care for so she didn't have long to sulk over the horrors she had witnessed before. Guests couldn't care less what a bad day the staff was having so Miao had learned to adjust. When the front door bell rang she looked up to see the four familiar fellows from earlier walking back into the hotel. But something was very different this time – that demon was smiling.
And not just a fake smile either, it was a genuine pleasant smile from something his friends said. Miao couldn't help but stare at him and that gorgeous face lit up with laughter. When he wasn't covered in blood, frowning or otherwise looking frightening; he was downright handsome. Even for a demon. Miao found herself blushing when he looked over in her direction and started walking towards her. She fumbled with her cleaning rag and choked out a 'hello, sir.'
"Hello again, Ms. Miao." Hakkai chuckled as she wrung the rag nervously. Though her pulse was raised and she was shaking - she wasn't scared of him. Granted, that could be a bad thing as well; Gojyo would be jealous and that would be just his luck. Hakkai tried to keep his smile going pleasantly before he started outright chuckling. "I must apologize for my behavior earlier. It was most rude and I do believe I frightened you."
Miao was speechless; how could this be the same man she met earlier? If it was possible for her face to turn any redder; than it did. "Oh, no. I was out of line myself. So please accept my apologies."
Gojyo growled to the monk and lit his cigarette while Hakkai chatted it up with the inn staff. It just wasn't fair! "How does he do that? He's got friggin' fangs and she's falling all over him!"
"He's polite, well tempered and has a nice smile?" Sanzo shrugged and pulled out a cigarette of his own. It wasn't any of his business if Hakkai was good with the ladies and the cockroach wasn't. Things were back to normal and Sanzo was still annoyed by his traveling companions. Normal. The monk almost missed having Hakkai going psycho. "Hey! Enough over there."
"Yeah Hakkai! I'm hungry!" Goku whined and pulled at his shirt incessantly. He was happy Hakkai and that Miao were getting along now – but food was more important! And he knew that this kitchen made some of the best meat buns. He could smell them and it was driving him crazy! How could anyone think about girls when such delicious scents were attacking your nose? "Come on!"
The demon chuckled as Goku started pull at Sanzo's sleeve and begging for food. The monk looked ready for the kill and Hakkai had never felt so at home. He nodded at their hostess for the evening and decided to save Goku a smack on the head. "Excuse me, Ms. Miao. But if we don't feed him I'm sure that the consequences will be dire."
Miao tried to smile politely; but between the handsome demon and his friends it was difficult to concentrate. She was still having a hard time believing this was the same man as earlier; but she wasn't about to complain about the change either. "Ah yes, there's a good bar down the street run by a friend of mine that has great stew. You should definitely check it out before you leave town."
"Would that be Mr. Xiaowen?"
"Yes." Miao nodded with a smile. "Have you met?"
"Ah, yes. Mr. Jeriche introduced us."
"Oh, so you have met Jeriche."
"We shared a drink or two, it was quite pleasant."
"Hey! Love birds!" Gojyo shouted and started banging a wall with his free hand. Those two were giving no sign of stopping the polite shit. And hell if he hated to admit, he was as hungry as the monkey from all that looking and runnin' around for that bastard. "Food!"
"Forgive my companion. I will take you up on that advice, thanks." Hakkai gave a quick nod before trotting back to his friends. He shook his head in Gojyo's direction and muttered a "Really, Gojyo."
"Don't give me that look. We're hungry and you're not doing anything but flirting lately." Gojyo smirked as Hakkai glared. Wasn't so scary anymore; good. He poked his friend in the shoulder for emphasis when he continued to glare.
"No less than you, Gojyo." Hakkai grinned and found himself showing teeth. It felt good; surprisingly enough. He'd have to do it more often. "I just think you're jealous."
"Jealous my ass."
"Green is more my color, Gojyo."
"Both of you shut the hell up." Sanzo snorted and gripped his fan inside of his sleeve. He was tempted to whack the both of them for fooling around when they could all be eating. Heaven forbid that he actually be hungry for a change. "Are we going to this bar or not?"
Hakkai continued to chuckle as Gojyo fumed in the corner; his antennae were twitching. "Ah, yes of course."
"YAY!" Goku cheered triumphantly as they all turned right back around and headed out the door towards glorious, glorious food.
"Xiaowen!" Jeriche shouted. "I don't care what you said, I'm coming downstairs." The old demon huffed as he opened his door. He had watched the chaos from his window and Xiaowen went all mother hen on him and made him stay in his room to keep from trouble. One would never know that kid was in his early twenties with the way he fussed around every which way. Well, it'd been a few hours and his room was stuffy. Plus, he wanted a drink. He had age advantage! That young wipper-snapper wasn't keeping this geezer away.
Xiaowen sighed as he cleaned bar glasses with a blue dish rag. He should have known that old man wasn't going to stay put, but it might be alright. Half the town was still tense, but most of them knew Jeriche well enough. He hoped they did anyway; Xiaowen wasn't looking forward to defending Jeriche when he got into a mood. As he listened for the old man's footsteps down the stairs, he noticed the bell above the door give a jingle. He braced himself for the new customers and hoped that Jeriche behaved himself for company.
"Ah, excuse us." Hakkai gave a tiny wave as they entered the door. He could see Xiaowen behind the bar counter and assumed that Jeriche must be upstairs still. "You are still open, are you not?"
"Yeah." Xiaowen nodded towards the new guest as he entered with three other guys behind him. He was surprised to say the least; he hadn't been expecting to see that young demon again. "Can I help you?"
"Miao informed us that you make a marvelous stew here. I was wondering if we could have around twenty bowls of it?" Hakkai smiled at the young man absently cleaning glasses while giving him the oddest look.
"Oh get off it, Xiaowen! Give the boy twenty; he's earned it." Jeriche laughed as he stomped down the stairs with a laugh. All the other bar patrons were staring at them; but that was just fine. They weren't hurting anyone. He slapped the young demon on the back and rubbed his nose with a grin. "You boys caused quite the ruckus last night."
"So we did. I do apologize."
Sanzo rolled his eyes as Hakkai went off into polite land with what looked to be an acquaintance of his. Seemed Hakkai was making demon friends; good for him. "This is nice and all, but can we sit down?"
"Ah, of course Sanzo." Hakkai pushed them all back to a table in the corner where he and Jeriche had their drinks earlier.
The older demon sat down next to the pissy looking blonde and held in the snicker as the man huffed and lit a cigarette. He licked his lips and turned to Hakkai with a sly smile. "So what have you fellas been up to in the past day or two?"
"Quite a bit, actually." Hakkai chuckled and put a hand to Goku's shoulder as the boy cheered and jumped at the bowls of stew placed on the table.
Dinner went by quickly and slowly at the same time. Xiaowen was stacking chairs on the other side of the room while the Sanzo party and guest relaxed in their seats; the youngest licking the bowls. Xiaowen took it as a compliment that the boy liked his soup. They had been chatting about something avidly and he couldn't quite tell, but it seemed as though Hakkai wanted something from the blonde man. It was fun actually watching those two bicker with each other with Jeriche stuck in the middle. Served him right for always sticking his nose into other people's business.
Hakkai knelt his head into his hands as he looked at the priest. He'd been arguing his case for some time now and it looked like it was finally about to pay off. He loved pushing Sanzo to the edge. "Sanzo, I really must insist that you give them back."
"Alright already! I'll give them back." Sanzo huffed and slammed his hands onto the table as the demon smiled at him with that complacent smirk. Bastard.
Hakkai was happy that this whole mess was finally going to be over and done with as he watched Sanzo rummage through his sleeves for his limiters. Though, after five minutes of Sanzo's hands searching in his robes, Hakkai was starting to become concerned. "Is there a problem?"
Sanzo slowly took his hands out of his sleeves and drew out a cigarette with them. He lit the cigarette and blew out a puff of smoke while his friends stared at him. He was very interested in the way the smoke curled in the air; it was interesting and made art in the air. Sanzo was certainly not avoiding eye contact with his table mates and ignoring them. Never.
"Well?" Hakkai looked hopeful while digging little streaks into the table with his claws. "Sanzo?"
"I lost them."
Sanzo held the piece of meat to his black eye and sulked in the passenger seat of the Jeep. He chose to ignore Goku drooling over his slab of beef from the back while Gojyo snickered. If Sanzo's pride wasn't so damaged already, he'd shoot the water sprite in the nuts. Hakkai, in the meantime, was smiling and looked delightfully stress free. Good for him; it wasn't Sanzo's fault the man's limiters were so freakin' tiny!
"Do stop pouting, Sanzo. The swelling's gone down a little, at least." Hakkai bit his lip into his mouth to stop the smile. Seeing Sanzo pout like a child was far too much fun; though he really should apologize about decking him.
"Don't even start."
"Aww, did the widdle priest hurt his eye?" Gojyo leaned over the front of the seat and grinned. Watching Hakkai lay Sanzo flat on his back in a bar made his millennium. He could die a happy pervert.
Sanzo shoved the meat into Gojyo's face and slammed his head into the seat. The red-head moaned and gripped his hair as he tried to pry the meat from his face. "Aww, did the little demon break his head?"
Goku laughed out loud and slapped the back of Sanzo's car seat repeatedly. "Ha ha! Stupid water sprite!"
"Shut it monkey!"
"You shut up!"
"Oh dear Buddha." Sanzo slumped into his seat. "I don't need this."
"Attention Sanzo Party! Prepare to meet your doom!"
"I don't need that either." Sanzo moaned as he dug his hands into his eyes. The bruise still hurt but that was okay. Pain was good. Though, he did finally look up to see the young red-headed demon child that had just landed on their Jeep. She was doing an action pose. "Lirin."
"Hey Baldy Sanzo!" Lirin leant over the windshield and looked closely at his face. His purple eye on the one side looked bigger than usual. Upon closer inspection, she discovered why. "What's with the shiner? It's as big as a watermelon..."
"Lady Lirin!" Yaone called as she ran over. One of these days she was going to put a leash on that princess and strap her down to a table laced with itching powder. One escape attempt and she'd be scratching for months! Yes, months of torment that would disable her from running away and finding that god damned Sanzo party...Yaone calmed herself and prepared to calmly take Lirin away without any trouble. "Please, we need to go back to the castle...Mr. Hakkai? Is that you?"
"Ah, Yaone! Just the demon I wanted to see."
The female demon was still in shock staring at Hakkai. She had never seen him in demon form before and he was making her blush. She yanked Lady Lirin off the car absently as those mismatched green eyes held her utmost attention. "Uh, yes?"
Well, it wasn't a set of ear clips, but the bracelet would just have to do until Sanzo provided a more masculine substitute. "Wasn't that kind of Yaone to give me a limiter, Sanzo?"
"Stop chuckling and keep driving." Sanzo took this time to sink as far down into the seat as he could go and close his eyes and meditate. Goku had the right idea; sleep was a good way to get away from idiots.
Gojyo spent the rest of his time muttering something about unfair green eyed pretty boys that get all the ladies. And Hakkai, well he mused that the next time he has an emotional break down he'd just punch Sanzo. That seemed to work the best out of everything over the past month. Hakkai turned to look at the sleeping priest who had given him a new life (twice now) and smiled a bit.
Yes, he'd definitely punch him. That's what friends were for, after all.