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Dokushu Epilogue

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Two days later, they were on the road again.

Things were pretty much back to normal. Goku and Gojyo were exchanging insults and fighting in Hakuryu's back seat. Sanzo was reloading his gun for the third time that morning. And Hakkai was in the driver's seat, just listening and smiling.

Goku had completely recovered from his ordeal, both the poison itself and the later how-dare-you-make-us-worry beating from Gojyo and Sanzo. Now he was attempting to consume twice his body weight in box lunches to regain his lost energy. Fights occasionally broke out as Gojyo kept stealing bits to annoy him.

"Stop it! That's _my_ food, you perverted kappa!"

"Make me, stupid ape!"

The awkwardness of the first day after Goku's recovery had vanished when it became apparent that the idiot couldn't remember anything after he passed out at dinner. Hakkai had barely been able to control his laughter at the tension radiating from Sanzo and Gojyo when they asked Goku, and he _hadn't_ been able to control it at the obvious relief on their faces when Goku denied all memory.

Hakkai smiled to himself. He had a feeling that Goku's memory was not quite as bad as he let on; Goku definitely recalled parts of what had happened. The boy had caught Hakkai's eye while the elder youkai was laughing, and there was an unmistakable mischievous gleam. Still, as long as Sanzo and Gojyo believed that any acts of kindness or concern on their part had been consigned to oblivion, life could return to what passed as normal.

"Shut up, red cockroack kappa! Ne, Sanzo, make Gojyo stop--"

"I'll make you both die!"

The Paper Fan made a brief but painful appearance.

"Owww..."

But Goku caught Hakkai's glance in the mirror, and gave him a cheeky grin and a wink.

Oh, he remembered all right. And someday when Sanzo and Gojyo least expected, he was going to 'suddenly remember' a comforting hand or kind words and was going to make their lives an embarrassed hell.

Hakkai winked back then turned to look at the road ahead. He briefly considered taunting the two, especially about things he _knew_ Goku hadn't seen. But while he was reasonable sure Sanzo wouldn't shoot him, he wasn't particularly eager to testit. He'd simply wait till Goku made his move, then step in as always to save the boy from the others' wrath.

He let the din around him fade into the background and soon grew absorbed in his own contented thoughts. We came a little too close for comfort back there, but you know what they say, all's well that ends well. Gojyo and Sanzo were scared into showing their feelings. Goku knows but they can still keep up their tough-guy facades...for now, at least. We're all alive, mainly thanks to Goku, and we're back on our way west. There's really nothing more I could hope for...

"Ne, Sanzo, I'm hungry!" "Eat the boxes! I'm sure they taste fine!" "Shut up, perverted kappa!" "Dumbass ape!" "Scarboy!"

"SHUT UP!"

...except maybe a little peace and quiet.

~Owari~