Standard disclaimers apply.
Okay, here's a fic (not going to be too long) about the guys. All four of them together. First time I tried that, so forgive any OOC-ness. Tried to keep them IC, for the most part.
References to Sanzo and Hakkai's fight come from episode 20 of Saiyuki Reload and book 8 of Gensoumaden Saiyuki.
Enjoy. Please review, if you would:)
Something was off. Gojyo didn't know what. But something was seriously off. For one thing, the monkey wasn't fighting with him. Wasn't talking, even. The kid just sat there staring at the back of the stupid priest's head, and then switching to stare at the back of Hakkai's head. He didn't understand why Goku was acting so weird. Normally at this time of the morning Goku would be wrestling with him in the back, or playing with cards, or calling him "ero kappa!" But…the kid was quiet. He hadn't said almost anything all morning, ever since they had left the inn. Last night had been normal—the monkey had slept in his room, and Mr. Stick-Up-His-Ass and Hakkai had been together in the next…dinner had been fine…Gojyo's eyes narrowed. Something was seriously bothering the chibi.
Time that it stopped.
Gojyo punched Goku in the shoulder. "Oi, baka saru!"
Goku shrugged the punch off and looked at Gojyo. "I'm busy! Don't bother me!"
"A saru like you couldn't be busy with anything!" Gojyo punched him again, a laugh on his face. Goku blocked him and punched back.
"I am too busy, ero kappa!"
"Ha! Staring around and not talking is being busy now, is it? Not in my book!"
"You don't even read, you bastard!" Goku yelled, tackling him.
"Like you do, baka saru! And I do too read!"
"What?" Goku demanded, flaying helplessly at the end of one of Gojyo's long arms.
"Porn, of course." Gojyo grinned devilishly.
"EW! That's disgusting!" Gojyo began to tickle him. Jeep kyuued in protest.
"Gojyo, please, you're bothering Jeep." Hakkai said, a smile on his face. There was none in his voice, however, so Gojyo stopped, but continued to tease Goku.
"Sanzo!" Goku cried. "Make him stop!"
Sanzo slapped out the fan and beat them over the heads with it. "I'm TRYING TO SLEEP, IDIOTS! DO YOU WANT TO DIE? BECAUSE THAT CAN BE ARRANGED!"
Gojyo, as he covered his head with his arms and yelled in protest, noticed that the beating was much more vicious than usual. In fact, it seemed as if the monk was genuinely pissed this time, instead of just irritated as he usually was, almost as if he was actually venting rage at something else on them.
"Hey, Sanzo, stop!" Goku cried. "That really hurts!"
The monk's voice was hissing at them in the background of the whishing of the fan, but Gojyo couldn't make out the words, and to be honest, didn't give a damn what the prick was saying.
"Quit, damn it!" Gojyo yelled. Sanzo continued to whip them with the fan, harder than he had before.
"IF YOU IDIOTS WON'T LEARN TO BEHAVE, I'LL MAKE YOU!"
"Hakkai!" Goku screamed. "Make him stop!"
Gojyo waited expectantly for the familiar chiding voice of Hakkai to break in. But the driver said nothing. He ignored them, the bastard!
"Hakkai!" Goku screamed again. "Can't you hear me?!?!" The beating continued, getting even more vicious if possible. Damn, the bastard was really trying to hurt them!
The fan snapped, dropping one piece to the floor of the jeep with the stub in Sanzo's hand. With that, the beating stopped. The fucking monk put the stub away somewhere away in his robes and faced forward again, entirely calm. Gojyo rubbed his skull. That had hurt, damn it! Not that it didn't usually; but the asshole had gone to it with more enthusiasm than usual. And what was with Hakkai? Gojyo glanced at his friend's back. Usually the beatings followed a specific routine: they would piss his holiness off, he would beat them, Goku would cry for Hakkai, Hakkai would calmly interject something, and the fan would be hidden away. This time, though, Hakkai hadn't stopped the beating, and because of it, it had gotten even worse.
Gojyo frowned and looked at the monkey. Goku was staring fixedly at Sanzo and Hakkai again, his eyes wide and his jaw tight with apprehension. What was going on?
When they got to the inn that night and went down to the restaurant for dinner, Goku was cranky. He had been sitting in that stupid jeep all day with Gojyo and the others, there had been almost no food, and…something was wrong. He didn't know what. But Hakkai and Sanzo were acting weird. They'd been acting weird ever since morning. They hadn't even talked to each other once! And Sanzo had been so mean when he was beating him and Gojyo! He wasn't usually that mean! Even if he did get mad and start beating them, usually Sanzo didn't do it for very long. And usually Hakkai stopped it, especially when he cried for help! Hakkai never let Sanzo hurt them, so why had he today? What was wrong with them?
It was more than Sanzo and Hakkai not talking to each other, too. Goku could smell the difference. Normally the smell between Sanzo and Hakkai was a comfortable smell. Like meat buns. Okay, so it wasn't like meat buns, exactly, but it gave him the a good feeling like meat buns did. It made him feel warm and safe inside, like they would always be there for him, to protect him. Sanzo would always be his sun. He had told him that he would never abandon him, ever. And while Hakkai had never said that, Goku knew that Hakkai would never leave him either. So why did they smell different?
He couldn't describe the new smell. It didn't smell like anything that he knew of, because he had never had a smell cause him to feel like this before. It made him feel afraid. Goku never felt afraid. There was nothing to be afraid of. Sanzo was there, and Hakkai, and Gojyo, and he had food. But the smell coming from Sanzo and Hakkai was scaring him. It was a cold smell, an…angry smell, even. It made Goku feel scared, almost like he was in the cage again, only it was a different cage. He frowned.
"Oi, saru, what's with the face?" Gojyo asked, poking him. Goku looked across the table at the kappa. The kappa was annoying. But at least he didn't have the smell coming from him. Gojyo smelled the same as usual. A little worried, maybe, but pretty much the same. Goku scowled at the older man. Couldn't Gojyo tell that something was wrong?
"Something's wrong." Goku said, daring at glance at Sanzo. Sanzo didn't even twitch from behind his paper. Goku dared another glance, this time at Hakkai, but the youkai was occupied with feeding Jeep. Goku pushed at his food. He didn't know what to eat first.
"What?" Gojyo raised an eyebrow and bit into a meat bun. Didn't the kappa even care?! Goku glared at him.
"Something's wrong." He repeated. "I don't know what it is, but something's wrong." He raised his voice slightly, glaring at the other three. "Something smells weird."
"Maybe you need to get your nose checked." Sanzo said from behind his paper. Goku glared at his master.
"I do not! My nose is fine!"
"Uh-huh." Gojyo tousled his hair. "Eat your dinner, monkey." He lowered his voice. "Everything will be fine."
But everything wasn't fine! Why couldn't Gojyo understand that? Sanzo and Hakkai had never smelled this way before. Ever. Goku felt the bottom suddenly drop out of his stomach. Yes, they did. When Gojyo had left them and they had been in the inn together, Hakkai and Sanzo had smelled this way while they were fighting. Cold and mad. Not like they usually smelled towards each other, or even how they smelled in general…they had had that really scary smell. Sanzo had been really pissed, and Hakkai had been really really scary…he bit his lip. What was he supposed to do now? Were they going to get over it, like they had before? Goku stared at his food. He wasn't hungry right now. He pushed his plate away.
"Goku?" Hakkai stared at him in concern. "Are you all right?"
"I need to talk to Gojyo right now." Goku said.
"What?" Gojyo asked in surprise. "But we aren't done eating…"
"I have something I want to show you!" Goku insisted, tugging on his arm. Gojyo sighed and put his napkin on the table.
"Okay, monkey." He glanced at Hakkai. "I'll be back in a minute."
"That's fine." Hakkai said, once again concerned with feeding Jeep.
Gojyo followed the kid outside of the inn. It was getting dark outside. He shivered in the cold wind. Damn, why did the chibi want to talk out here?
"Gojyo." Goku said softly. Gojyo's head snapped around to stare at the monkey. What was with the kid, anyway? He wasn't usually this serious, and he never gave up food. Something had to be seriously wrong for him to do that—but no one was hurt or dying. What was going on?
"I think Sanzo and Hakkai are mad at each other."
"Mad?" Gojyo tried to wrap his brain around the concept. "Sanzo never gets mad at Hakkai, saru. And Hakkai almost never gets mad at any of us. He's never gotten mad at the monk."
"But they are mad." Goku said, his voice quiet. The monkey was staring out onto the street, apparently oblivious to the cold. "They aren't talking to each other."
"Goku, they never talk anyway." Gojyo said, squatting down beside the monkey. "I know it seems like the do, but they don't really. At least not when we're around. I think they talk sometimes at night when they room together."
"I know that!" Goku looked at Gojyo. "But they aren't talking at all! They haven't said anything to each other all day!"
"It must just be one of those days."
"No, it's not!"
"And how do you know that, saru?" Gojyo asked. Despite himself, he was beginning to get a little worried. He didn't quite understand what was going on here, nor did he understand why Goku was so worried. The monk and Hakkai never got mad at each other. Period, the end. Sure, Hakkai would annoy the monk, and vice versa, but they never actually lost it. Not as Sanzo lost it with him and Goku, or even how Hakkai occasionally lost it with Gojyo. They were…the core of the group. Violent as the monk was, he could still be counted on. And Hakkai…Hakkai was the calm center of the group. They revolved around him, in a way. He kept them all sane, kept them healthy, kept them fed, kept them in cigarettes and meat buns…Hakkai was the one Goku went to when he had questions that he didn't trust Gojyo with and didn't want to ask Sanzo. Hakkai was the one Gojyo went to when he needed to talk, or when he had a complaint about the monk. Hakkai was the one the monk went to when he wanted to discuss something he didn't want the others to hear…Gojyo smiled. Hakkai really was like a mother, in a way. A mother and a best friend, all rolled up in one.
Sanzo worked with that. He worked with Hakkai to lead the group, keep them going towards their goal, and keep them together. Sanzo led and Hakkai guided them. It was as simple as that.
And if, as the saru seemed to think, Sanzo and Hakkai had lost it with each other…
The monkey propped his chin on his hands. "They smell different."
"Well…they smell mad. And cold." Goku hugged himself and looked up at Gojyo. "It makes me scared, Gojyo."
"I don't know." Goku swallowed. "It's just, I've seen them mad at each other before and…"
"'Mad at each other before'? When were you planning to tell me about this, saru?" Gojyo demanded.
Goku shrugged. "I kinda forgot about it."
"Kinda forgot about it?" Gojyo repeated. "Well, next time remember, baka saru! That's important information!"
"I didn't know!" Goku said defensively. "Anyway, I didn't know they'd get mad again!"
"What was it like before?" Gojyo asked. The saru had better not hold anything back this time. He needed to know stuff like that. He seriously hadn't ever considered that Sanzo and Hakkai would get mad at each other; sure, he had wondered what would happen if they did, but he had never actually thought they would. He swallowed. He didn't want to be around if those two lost it with each other. That would not be pretty. Both of them were such…bastards went they got mad. Evil bastards. Especially Hakkai, and the prick of a monk wasn't too far behind him in the evil bastard category.
Goku bit his lip. "Well, they started arguing. And that smell was there again. The scary smell. It almost looked like they were going to fight each other."
"Arguing?" Gojyo said. "Explain arguing." His face was set now, his brow furrowed. Arguing he could understand. They did that all the time, even if it didn't seem like it—Hakkai's little verbal slaps at the monk and the asshole's irritated replies certainly constituted arguing, depending on the situation of course. Usually Hakkai's slaps were just him having fun at everyone else's expense. The monk often collaborated in that, even when the slap were directed at him. Gojyo shook his head. The monkey might not realize it yet, but there was a lot of teasing and joking going on between the monk and the driver. It was a weird, almost twisted kind of joking. It had taken Gojyo a long time to recognize it, but it was joking all right, of a black and warped variety. The two were better friends then it appeared to outsiders. In fact, Gojyo was almost entirely certain that Hakkai was the closest to Sanzo of the whole group. Sure, Sanzo was close to the monkey; but he wasn't friends with him as he was to Hakkai. He didn't tell Goku things that Gojyo knew he told Hakkai. Even if the two never talked about it, Gojyo knew they discussed things together they didn't discuss with the other two. He didn't have a problem with that. Hell, Hakkai was his best friend. He knew what Gojyo should and shouldn't know. To be honest, Gojyo didn't want to know about the things those two talked about.
Goku hugged himself tighter. "They were yelling. Really loud. And they looked like they were about to hit each other."
Gojyo was startled. He had known that if the monk and Hakkai ever got mad at each other, it would be pretty bad. But he didn't think they would yell. And they would never hit each other, would they? Gojyo felt as if his world was slipping out from under his feet. Much as he would have liked to deny it, these three made up his world nowadays. They were always together, and because of that they had slipped into a comfortable dynamic, almost like a family, he guessed. Sanzo was the father, Hakkai the mother, Gojyo was the oldest child, the one who was always challenging the father's authority, and Goku was the littlest, spoiled rotten and erratically disciplined by the rest of them. Hakkai and Sanzo were definitely a team, almost like they were married. They meshed really well, forming the wheel around which he and Goku spun. They didn't have sex and they weren't in love with each other. Gojyo knew that. Sure, they all loved each other. But not like he loved chicks…Gojyo licked his lips at the thought. Maybe he would get a hot one tonight, spend the night fucking…hadn't done that in a while…Damn it, now was not the time. The monkey was trying to be serious and that was rare enough…
"Did they make it up?"
"Well, I threw a pillow at Sanzo, and it made Hakkai laugh, and then demons came in, and we all ended up being mad at you instead…they never said they were sorry or anything, just went on."
"Hmm." If that was true, maybe this would all blow over. Just let them sulk it out. Gojyo hoped that would happen. Because the gods knew those two would never apologize to each other. "It'll be okay then."
"You really think so?' Goku looked up at Gojyo, his eyes wide and trusting. "You think they won't be mad at each other after a while?"
"Sure." Gojyo smiled, hiding his doubts like a big brother should. "It'll be fine. You'll see. They'll make it up somehow. Let them have their sulk. Meanwhile, I think you left your plate on the table, baka. Let's see if I can eat it before you can!"
"No way!" Goku yelled. "I'm gonna get it!" He raced back inside the inn. Gojyo followed, smiling at the monkey. He was so easily satisfied and reassured. Tell him it would okay and he would believe you, no matter what the problem was. Gojyo's smile slipped off his face for a moment. If only he could be so sure.
If those two split, there'd be hell to pay.