Pick it Up Again

Prologue
Author:
GreyLiliy
Author Notes: Hey! The project has finally gotten underway! Thanks in advance for all of you joining us for this new project. Myself, Shinigami's Wrath, Nimblnymph, and Redbrunja hope you enjoy!

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Prologue

"Sanzo! This really sucks!" Goku whined out as he flung himself over the table in the middle of the room. Hakkai was playing solitaire off in a corner and Gojyo was sulking. Goku was mystified how they could all be taking their current predicament so well. He hadn't eaten in over five hours and he was starving. Goku wasn't sure how much longer he could last in this condition. "I'm hungry!"

"You're always hungry, you stupid ape. Shut your mouth and let me have some peace!" Sanzo slammed his paper down on the table as it was no use to him anyway when he was so distracted. They had been more or less snowed in since they got to this miserable little town, as if it wasn't just their luck. To put it bluntly, they were stuck in an empty shack in the middle of nowhere with no food, booze or smokes. All Sanzo wanted to do is sit and read and try and forget he was even here. The other idiots had no intention to cooperate however and as usual it was driving their leader insane.

"Goku," Hakkai walked up behind the smaller boy and smiled softly. It might have been in everyone's interest if the more rational member of the group calmed him down before Sanzo snapped. The other man seemed to be suffering from a headache, among the other trials of withdrawal. "Why don't you go to sleep? That way when you wake up there's a good chance the snow will be light enough that we can move on to the next town."

"But it's three in the afternoon." Goku grumbled. He knew Hakkai was trying to be nice, but that didn't fill the giant void in his stomach. "I'm not tired."

"I know, but maybe if you lie down you'll get tired." Goku proceeded to glare at him with a cute little pout of defiance and Hakkai sighed. Trying a different tactic, he turned to see how the other member of their party was fairing. Maybe he could get them to do something together to alleviate the boredom. "Gojyo, you're awfully quiet over there. Are you alright?"

"Peachy." Gojyo muttered. He felt like shit if anyone cared to know how he really felt. Much like their cranky leader, the water sprite had run out of cigarettes about four hours ago and the withdrawal was hitting pretty bad. Moving just wasn't an option no matter what the others said so he was going stay right here sprawled out on the bed. If the others had a problem about it, well too bad. "Just freaking peachy."

"Well, maybe you'll feel better if you and Goku…"

"Give it a rest, Hakkai." Sanzo licked his teeth as he leant his head on his hand. Outside the window there was a soft layer of snow falling on the ground. It would have been pretty if the snow wasn't piled halfway up the window and obstructing the view. At least the blizzard had stopped. If they were lucky the snow might be melted by tomorrow morning. "Stop being a mother for five minutes and let us sit in peace."

"I don't wanna' sit, I wanna' eat!" Goku continued his whining despite the very obvious consequences of such an action. Hunger was affecting his brain. "Ow! Sanzo!"

"I told you to shut the hell up!" The monk growled from his position above the younger boy's head brandishing the white fan. The brat just never learned! Slamming the fan back down on the table, Sanzo returned to his seat. Returning to his paper he gave his last order of the night. "Now sit down and be quiet!"

"Didn't have to hit so hard."

Hakkai shook his head as the younger boy buried his head in his hands as Gojyo continued to ignore them as well. Hakkai made the assumption that there was no helping the current state of the party. The older demon walked quietly over to the bench in the room and sat down next to Jeep who had been napping. Patting the tiny white dragon on the head he reached in his pack for a book he had started last week. Might as well make the best of their time as they sit trapped. "Oh, Gojyo have you seen my book? It doesn't seem to be in my pack."

"That one with the old tattered cover?" Gojyo leaned up on his elbow as he watched Hakkai rumble through the old tote.

"Yes, the blue one I was reading yesterday that I got in the last town." Hakkai frowned as he emptied the contents of the bag on the bench, careful to avoid Jeep. "I was looking forward to finishing it."

"Nope, haven't seen it. Maybe you left it in the last town or something."

"That's impossible, I had it yesterday when we were driving, I'm sure of it." Hakkai paused after confirming it was indeed not with the rest of his belongings. "Sanzo, have you seen it?"

"It's none of my concern what you do with your things." Sanzo spoke absent mindedly, but after feeling Hakkai glare at him through the back of his head he coughed a little. "No, I haven't seen it."

"Goku?"

"Sorry, Hakkai." Goku peaked up from his arms. "I don't even remember you reading it."

"That is so odd, I wonder where it could have gone."

"What was it about?" Goku perked up a little as Hakkai began putting things back into the bag.

"The book?" Hakkai looked up from his things to see Goku staring at him avidly. Well, if it got the boy's mind off of food for a little bit there was no harm in pausing his search for the book in question. It might even prove to be entertaining. "It's a an adventure novel."

"Adventure?" Goku grinned a little. The book was sounding good already. "That's so cool! What happens in the story?"

"Well, it starts off with a young man who wants to make his way in the world. You see he's from a very small town and has been left alone his whole life. He wants to see the world and meet as many people as he can, so he heads out on his first real adventure." Hakkai picked up Jeep as the little dragon started cooing next to him. Settling the tiny creature in his lap, Hakkai continued. "But as he heads out home he gets caught up with three very suspicious people sitting on the side of the road."

Gojyo smirked and turned over in the bed to face the wall. Hakkai was a piece of work telling a story like that. "Let me guess, a blonde, a red head and a brunette?"

Hakkai grinned as Gojyo caught on. He should have expected no less, and no doubts Sanzo had noticed as well. "Oh, have you read it too, Gojyo? Then again it's not surprising if you had known about three lovely ladies such as these from instinct alone"

"Ladies?" Gojyo coughed and rolled over to face that smiling bastard. How dare he? "Why you, little."

"Gojyo!" Goku growled. "Hakkai's telling the story, shut up you stupid water sprite."

"You shut it monkey!"

"Both of you shut the hell up."

At the sound of Sanzo's quiet threat, both Goku and Gojyo knew it would be in their best interest to keep quiet. Hakkai chuckled quietly to himself as he watched Sanzo lean his head on the window. "Maybe I should continue then."

"Yeah!" Goku turned away from the water sprite quickly as Hakkai straightened himself out to continue. Hearing a story beat staring at the wall any day. "What were their names?"

"Well the young man, Kugo, found himself in the company of a Ms. Zosan, Ms. Kaiha, and the pretty Ms. Jyogo." Hakkai smiled innocently as he watched the hairs on both Gojyo and Sanzo sit on end. It was going to prove to be an entertaining evening.

"Well! What happened next, Hakkai?"

"Yes, do tell, teacher." Gojyo muttered. He'd find some way to get back at Hakkai for this if it killed him.

"Idiots." Sanzo sighed and thumped his head on the window. His fingers twitched as he longed for his pack of Marlboros, but he couldn't help but be slightly amused. He wondered when Goku would catch on to Hakkai's little joke.

Goku flipped his chair around so he could lean his arms and head on the back in a more comfortable position. "Hakkai, stop leaving us in suspense. Did Kugo go with the ladies? Or did he keep walking?"

"Well, listen closely and I'll tell you."