A/N: In response to the people who reviewed: Gods on earth. Thank you so much. And, to Arysin – I'll put my email up on my profile just to make it easier. That also goes for people who use MSN. And to clear up the lime thing – it's not much. Just Gojyo fooling around – it's nothing graphic but it's borderline T/M. Things may seem a little disjointed at the moment, but that's supposed to be how it is – it'll make sense later on. I also got asked about Hakkai and Gojyo in a private PM. Yes, they are they comic relief to a certain point.
Well, get going then!
Who I Was, What He Is
Rune sat at the large oak table, watching in disgusted fascination as his self imposed house guest downed what was left of the food on the large table. His sister, who was just as equally horrified (yet somewhat amused), sat frozen with her fork above her plate as he took another plate from near her, downing it in an instant. Kou, who'd also invited himself for dinner, seemed indifferent about the whole thing. Turning a gaze of burning hatred on his friend, Rune swore he heard 'Goku' eat the cutlery.
Suddenly, the platinum blonde cleared her throat, "So…Goku…how do you know my brother?" she asked.
Goku stopped eating, gold eyes looking up and meeting blue for a brief moment before he blinked once and said, "Sanzo doesn't have a sister…do you Sanzo?" he asked.
"Sanzo?" She repeated, "Don't you mean Sanyo? And isn't a little weird to call someone by their last name?"
Rune head-desked the table and Kou let out a snort of what could've been laughter. Looking to the redhead to explain the situation, he sighed when he saw that said friend took the opportune moment to excuse himself to the washroom. Sitting upright (while taking his time), Rune looked his sister dead in the eye and said; "He thinks I'm someone else. I don't know why, I don't know how, last time I checked the last person to look exactly like me was the person in the mirror."
"There's a person in the mirror that looks like you?" Goku asked stupidly.
Rune swore under his breath and his sister laughed.
Goku smiled seeing the display, and oddly enough, put the fork down. "Hey, Sanzo, she's cool," he said, pointing to the blue-eyed girl ("pointing is rude, you dolt!" she snitched back), "What's her name?" he asked, tilting his head to the side as if observing a new animal.
"One; my name in Rune Sanyo, get it right, monkey. Two; she's my sister. Her name is Naida," he replied.
Rune raised an eyebrow and Naida's attention was diverted back to the teen at the end of the table, who looked just about ready to cry. That in itself was strange considering the young man could've been nearly 19, maybe 20 years old. "'You just' -what?"
"You just called me monkey…"
"Apologize, Rune," Naida scolded.
"No! No…it's just…I haven't been called that in such I long time…I rather miss it," he trailed off, sinking into the back of his chair. "You don't know what you miss until it's gone, right?" he asked them both.
Rune sighed once again that night, and Naida gave a gentle, lopsided smile. Crossing her fork and knife over her plate, she stood, her chair scratching behind her. Rune followed in suit, and Goku watched them both curiously. Naida stood away from her chair (Rune did the same thing, but in silence), and smiled brightly at Goku; "I'll show you where the baths are. You look like you need one."
"Yeah, you look like you've spent the last ten years in a gutter. You've even still got bits of foliage in your hair," she pointed out, "And that gold headband looks like it could use a polish too."
Unconsciously, Goku's hand reached up and brushed the gold diadem around his forehead. He smiled back at Naida and nodded, "It would be nice."
"Good. I'll take him. You do the dishes," Rune suddenly said, interrupting his sister. "Besides, he needs a change of clothes. I'm not having him running around the house in those things he calls rags."
"How unusually nice of you, brother," Naida sang.
"Whatever. Goku, c'mon."
In a walk that Goku recognized so well, Rune stalked out of the dining room, stopping at the door and waiting for Goku. Once he realized, Goku shot up from his seat (almost knocking it over) and followed him out into the hall. Naida, who remained behind, shrugged and started gathering up the dishes. She reached across the table to grab a plate when Kou, who'd decided to come back in, handed it to her. She said a quiet thank you and continued gathering. Leaning against the wall, he watched her until she stopped and looked him dead in the eye. "What?" he growled at her.
"What's going on Kougaji?"
"What do you mean?"
"Goku. Is he-"
"No…not like me, anyway."
"I could sense him…What do you mean?"
Her eyes widened, "You mean like-"
"He's a far cry from Homura, Naida."
"You're not telling him. Remember our agreement?"
She remained silent, lips stretched in a thin line. Kougaji frowned and walked over to her and came so close that if he hadn't been a head taller than her, their noses would've touched. "Naida, do not tell him. Do you remember our agreement?"
She looked down, eyes cast towards the floor; "Yes."
"I'll tell your brother when the time is right."
"What?" Rune groaned, banging his head against the wall.
"Do you live here alone?" Goku asked, from inside the bathroom.
"Of course not, idiot."
"I mean with parents!" Goku shot back, "You know, a mother and father? A guardian?"
The tension filled silence that followed made Goku sink down into the bubbly hot water. He'd asked the man to stay with him, and instantly mortified, he'd hit Goku – who'd just laughed – leaving Rune to wonder why he looked so happy. When he turned to leave, however, Goku had grabbed hold of his sleeve and asked him to at least sit outside the door so he could talk to him. Sighing, the blonde agreed and only moments after a bath was run, Goku had started talking, and hadn't stopped.
"Sanzo?" he asked meekly. He could see the man's long legs stretch out into the hall, boots kicked off beside him.
"Dead. They tried putting us in the foster children system, but I wouldn't hear it."
Once again, silence filled between them until Rune shifted, drawing one knee up to his chest. Goku heard a metallic 'clink', and smoke began to waft slowly through the door. The smell of tobacco filled his senses, but he didn't mind. It was, after all, a welcomed smell. He smiled as he identified it as the all too familiar scent of Reds.
"What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Why do you keep calling me 'Sanzo'?"
Goku slung one arm over the rim of the large bath tub and gazed up at the ceiling. "A long time ago…I lost you…I thought you died, but I was wrong."
"I don't even know you for fuck sake!" Rune yelled back at him.
"I guess you just don't remember me," Goku replied back, "It's been ages anyway. But you'll remember sooner or later. There was once I got hit on the head so hard I forgot all of you, but you brought my memories back. Kougaji helped too."
"You mean Kou?"
"Either name's good."
"You still haven't explained why you keep calling me Sanzo, you know," Rune said nonchalantly, instantly diverting the subject away from him.
"Well…Sanzo wasn't really your name. It was the title you had. You were a priest. And you've even still got the mark thing too," Goku pointed out, once again hanging out of the bath. "Anyway; you saved me and the others a lot."
"I haven't met you, I don't know you. I haven't saved anyone," Rune hissed angrily, standing from his spot outside the bathroom, "I'm going to go have my own bath and then going to bed. Ask Naida when you get out for a guest room."
Goku flinched as he reached in and slammed the bathroom door, and he sunk back into the bath, the water coming in just below his nose. He remembered Sanzo being grouchy and irrational at times, but never had he done that before. Lights started flashing in his head as he remembered about Sanzo's master.
Maybe that had something to do with it?
"Did you have to act so harshly? You have more mood swings then a teenage girl," Naida scolded her brother, having stopped him.
"I didn't ask you to fucking eavesdrop," He snapped.
A smack echoed down the empty halls of the mansion, and Naida's hand stung just as badly as Rune's face would have. She scowled at him as she saw him clench his teeth. "You know what that was for so don't even bother asking about it. As for eavesdropping – I heard the last two sentences and you were a rude bastard – I didn't need to hear the whole conversation. It wasn't your fault. Will you get that through your head?"
"Fuck you, bitch."
Another slap echoed at, followed by a door slamming. Rune stood stationary and slowly grazed his red cheek with his fingertips. Kougaji watched from the shadows as the blonde stuffed his hands into his pockets and very slowly make his way towards his room. Sighing, the redhead made his way out of his hiding place and started off in the direction of the bathroom Goku was in, carrying a set of spare clothes.
It was going to be a long night.
Hakkai smiled at the expression on Gojyo's face as they stood at the base of the large mountain. Laughing when Gojyo's mouth began to open and close like a fish, Hakkai adjusted the large hiker's bag that was on his back. The rental company had been kind enough to tell them of a trail, hire out gear to them, and give them a map of the area – at a reasonable price, too. Said map was now firmly tucked inside an interior pocket on Hakkai's thick vest. It was summer but apparently it was still below zero on the lowest ledge of the mountain.
"So, ready Gojyo?"
"No way in hell."
"I don't care if the monkey's up there! I'll buy a cell, and when we fly over the stupid thing I'll drop it on his fat head and then call him. Not climb all the way up that mountain, just to get him down! Oh no! He can make his own way down. He went up there in the first place!"
"Are you quite done?" Hakkai asked, smiling.
Gojyo flinched – it was the 'we're doing as I say unless you want to be impaled on something sharp, and yes, I will do it. I have done it before, you know' smile. He knew better than to deal with Hakkai when he was like that, and his head dropped in defeat. Turning towards the mountain, Hakkai then pulled out the map of the area. "If we follow this route, then we should be able to see Goku no matter what. Apparently a lot of pilgrims went up the mountain, and they built a small shrine. I suppose that's where Goku is, considering he hates the snow."
"If I loose-"
"Any part of your body to frost bite I'll pay. I know Gojyo. Oh, and I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to pay a visit to Hakuryuu later. He is nesting in this area after all," Hakkai said, going off into his own world – or what Gojyo recognized as it.
"Shesh…let's just go already…The sooner we get up that mountain, the sooner we can get down it."
"Yes Gojyo?" Hakkai asked, turning to face him once again.
"Do…do you ever regret taking up that offer?"
"…No, Gojyo, I haven't ever regretted it."
"Why? I mean…who knows? We could've been made Gods for what we did…"
"That's a long stretch, Gojyo. Who knows…we could've been, or we could've not had this opportunity to meet up with Sanzo again."
"True…very true, but still – I guess it's just a 'what if' question then."
"Well said, Gojyo. Now, this mountain isn't going to climb itself."
"Gojyo. No. Just, no."
"Hakkai! Why do ya have to ruin all my jokes?"
"Trust me Gojyo, the only person to laugh at that one, would be you."
"That's what she said."
"Enough, Gojyo, I'm getting tired of it."
"That's what she said."
"That's what she said!"
"Hey, what's that rumbling sound?"
"Avalanche! Run!" Screamed a random guy, running past. Hakkai and Gojyo watched him flee off into the distance, waving his arms around like a madman and still screaming the same line over and over again.
"Do you have protection from this type of thing?"
"That's what she said."
"Gojyo! Just shut the fu-"
They were buried in eight feet of snow that would take rescue workers two hours to dig them out of. Rescue workers also did the hard part for them – after scaling the mountains to make sure no one else had been caught in the avalanche, they reported no one was up there. Sitting with a cup of coca each in the warm lodge next to the mountain fours hours later, Hakkai gave Gojyo a much deserved smack to the back of his head.
A/N2: Well, that seems to be it for this chapter. I can't write very long chapters…damn. Others will make an appearance in the next chapter, Hakkai and Gojyo find the Porsche, and we get to see how Kougaji met NotSanzo/Rune – and stayed.
Next Chapter: My Brother's Keepers