Math Problems.

Author – D M Evans

Disclaimer – not mine. All rights belong to Kazuya Minekura et al, no profit made, just a little fun

Rating – PG-13 (for language)

Time Line/Spoilers – None really, set in the time period before the journey.

Pairing – none

Summary – Hakkai finally succeeds in teaching Goku math.

Author's Note – written for ficvariations light/dark June challenge. Thanks to S J SMith for the beta.

Goku watched the flashes of light as he and Hakkai sat in the temple gardens. He knew the man was waiting on him to answer the question. Wrapping his long hair around his fist, Goku watched those flashes, trying to divine the answer Hakkai wanted in the dance of the fireflies. Truth be told, he'd rather be chasing the fireflies than doing math. Really, he'd rather take a beating than try to answer some of Hakkai's scary word problems. Maybe Sanzo was right; Hakkai was wasting his time trying to teach a dumb chimp like him.

"Goku?" Hakkai prompted with his usual patience.

"I don't know. I just don't understand it," he admitted, his face flushed.

Hakkai sighed. "Okay, let's try this another way, Goku." He picked up the stick he had been using to draw figures in the sand of the rock garden to help keep Goku focused. "You have this much money." Hakkai wrote down the figure. "And this is what it costs for Sanzo's cigarettes. He buys four packs and tells you, you can have the rest of the money to buy meat buns, which cost this much." He scrawled another figure. "How many meat buns can you buy?"

Goku stared at the figures for a surprisingly short length of time. "I can only get four meat buns. That sucks!"

Hakkai laughed, clapping a hand on Goku's shoulder. "I think you're finally getting it, Goku. We just needed the proper motivation. All right, let's make it harder. This time to the market, let's just pretend Sanzo will actually shop for himself." Hakkai gave Goku a sly wink and the boy snickered. "Gojyo goes with you. You start with this much money. Sanzo buys two packs of cigarettes at the same price as before and Gojyo buys three. However, before they give you the change, they buy six bottles of beer at this price each. Finally, money in hand, you see a ramen noodle stand and it costs this much a bowl. How many bowls can you buy?"

Goku's brow creased as he considered all the purchases then his face darkened. He got to his feet. "I only get one bowl!"

"Very good, Goku! See, you can do this," Hakkai said, looking up at the boy, proud of both their accomplishments.

"One damn bowl!" Goku stalked off toward the temple. Hakkai, curious, got up a followed the boy.

Goku stormed into Sanzo's office. From the way the vein stood out on the man's forehead, Hakkai assumed Gojyo, seated across the desk, was tormenting the priest and was only seconds away from getting shot. Gojyo had his pack of cigarettes out, fishing for a new one. Goku snatched the pack away then jumped on Sanzo's desk. He grabbed Sanzo's arm and jammed his hand up the startled man's sleeve, pulling out the hidden pack of cigarettes.

"Do you have a death wish?" Sanzo growled.

Goku jumped off the desk and shook a finger at the men. "And no more drinking either!" the boy ordered then stomped out of the office.

Hakkai doubled up against the wall, laughing so hard he could barely breathe. Red-faced, tears trickling down his cheeks, the only thing he could do was hold his stitching stomach.

"What the hell is going on, Hakkai?" Gojyo demanded to know.

Hakkai almost got his laugh fit under control. "Working with Goku…he finally gets math." He wiped his face. "I told him to figure out how much food he could buy with the left over money after you two buy booze and smokes. Apparently Goku isn't impressed with how much your vices cost."

"Son of a bitch! Hakkai! We're going to hear about this from small balls forever now," Gojyo groaned.

Sanzo got up, gun in hand. "You couldn't find a better way to teach him?"

Hakkai waved his hands, backing towards the door, still snickering. "Now, now, you wanted Goku to learn and he has!" Spinning, Hakkai darted out the door.

"I know where you live Hakkai!" Gojyo threatened, slumping in his chair. "Damn."

Sanzo sat back down. "I'm surrounded by idiots."

Gojyo looked at the cigarette still between his fingers that Goku missed. "Yeah but this idiot has the last ciggie."

Sanzo prompted fanned him and took the cigarette. "Had the last one." Even though he hated Gojyo's brand, Sanzo lit it up with deep satisfaction.