Doubles [Saiyuki]

The half-moon sickle that sailed through the open window and cracked the table clean in two was not Sanzo's first indication that something was wrong, but given his tendancy towards somewhat overly paranoid caution, it was the first one he knew for certain wasn't just his imagination. He hit the floor.

The halves of the table followed after him, each side collapsing without its mate and spilling its share of contents onto the floor with a tremendous crash. The ceramic mug shattered on impact and spilled its hot contents everywhere, soaking tea into Sanzo's clean robe; the ashtray fared little better, chipping slightly but otherwise remaining in one piece as it coughed butts and ash across the floor. Sanzo began looking panickedly for his gun before he realised he had it in his hand already, cocked, trained on the shattered windowframe, and just waiting for the next flicker of movement.

He just hadn't seen it coming. True, he had felt vaguely uneasy earlier, while reading the paper, but these days he felt uneasy most of the time, and most of the time it came to nothing. It never hurt to be alert, he had thought -- at least, not until being alert all the time means not being alert at all when it most counts.

Ripping off his now-useless reading glasses, he took his eyes from the window long enough to examine the shattered table. Though he hadn't seen much of the attack, having been far too absorbed in some financial article, he had seen a chain -- or thought he had -- indicating a weapon like Gojyo's. Certainly little else would have the ability to do such heavy damage and then disappear so quickly, without revealing its wielder at all.

And only one blow, and it missed me completely, he thought, registering how annoying a wet sleeve was and re-thinking his use of the word 'completely.' It's quiet. Maybe he's gone. He wished his heart would stop beating so loudly so he might actually be able to hear something else in the silence. What felt like hours had probably been less than a minute since the first attack. And he didn't often find himself a victim of hit-and-run attacks.

The door swung open, and he spun around, nearly neatly putting a new and unwelcome hole through one of the little girls from the inn's staff. Didn't anyone teach them how to knock? "Ah," she called out cautiously, not quite registering that Sanzo had a gun pointed at her, or was even there at all, "I heard ... just now I heard a loud noise and wondered what was--"

"Get down!" He pounced on her, and before she knew what was happening, Sanzo had pinned her to the ground with his body as the chair he had been sitting earlier in shattered into splinters. She screamed, as girls always do, and he tried not to grimace in annoyance as she did so right next to his ear. This was why he hated saving people -- they either gushed inappropriate affection, or they screamed, or sometimes they did both, and either way it was a dicey prospect. Her knee was digging uncomfortably into his side, too, and the effort of getting her to the floor had meant he hadn't gotten another look at the weapon. What a nuisance civilians were.

"Sanzo!" He jerked his head up as he heard his name, in time to see Gojyo vault in through the window; his boots shattered on impact what few large shards had remained of the poor cup. "You okay?"

Nodding slowly, he leaned back and released the poor girl, who was shaking like a leaf in a thunderstorm. Suddenly he felt very bad for her, and somewhat guilty to boot. Such a nuisance. "Fine." He brought himself to his feet. "What's going on?"

Instead of answering, Gojyo put on his biggest grin and crossed the length of the room in about four of his long-legged steps; he reached out a hand to the little girl, helping her to her feet and smoothing down her rumpled dress. "Nothing," he said, ignoring Sanzo and speaking overt platitudes to her. "At least, nothing we can't handle. Don't worry your pretty little head about it." For punctuation, he reached up to stroke her hair and gave her his most charming wink.

Sanzo couldn't believe how quickly the girl calmed down, her face brandishing an embarassed smile. "I'm ... I'm sorry for bursting in like that." Though she spoke to Sanzo, her eyes never left Gojyo's charming face. "I just heard ... I heard a...."

"You did the right thing," Gojyo told her, nodding sagely and cupping her tiny chin with his fingers. "But don't worry about anything else you hear again from here. No big deal."

Sanzo had seen that look in her eyes before in other girls. It was the look that said Gojyo could have asked them to kill their own families and they would have done it for the hope that he might give them that smile again. He didn't particularly understand it, but far be it from him to complain about the effects. In an attempt to encourage the illusion that everything was all right, that the girl had better business elsewhere, he slipped his gun into the back of his waistband, getting it out of sight, at least.

"I ... could call for help," she offered. "I mean, if you need help. Any help with...." Her eyes flickered to the destroyed furniture.

Gojyo responded with his thickest, heartiest laugh, the kind that sapped up all the sound in the air as neatly as having a hand clapped over your mouth. "Oh, come on. A couple of busted tables and chairs? Don't tell me it isn't all in a day's work for a rowdy bunch like us! Just put it on our tab." Putting an arm around her shoulder, he shepherded her towards the door. "Of course, if you'd like to talk some more, what are you doing tonight?" Sanzo rolled his eyes.

Giggling, the girl slipped out the door, and their conversation fell to an inaudible level -- which was just as well, because Sanzo didn't want to hear it anyway. He walked back over to the mess, kicking at the ashtray and its contents, and surveying the damage. Using his thumb and forefinger like foreceps, he gingerly picked up his sodden, crushed pack of cigarettes, cursing the fact that cigarettes never dry properly and wondered when he was going to have the good sense to switch to hard packs. Well, at least Hakkai had promised to pick up some while the three of them were out shopping.

He looked over to where Gojyo was leaning, still chatting with the girl, but closing the door inch by inch. The three of them had gone out shopping. Gojyo had returned just as the attacks had started -- or, really, stopped. Certainly he wouldn't be so casual if the other two were in any danger. But that still didn't answer the question of where they were, period.

"Aw, she's great," laughed Gojyo as the door locked shut behind him. "Too bad she's got a boyfriend, y'know?"

"What's going on?" Sanzo's brows furrowed with the need for information. "Where are Goku and Hakkai?"

Gojyo inched closer, away from the door, and dropped his voice a little, lest someone else hear them. "It's kinda weird," he laughed, running his fingers through his long hair, "but, uh ... we've got doubles. Or we did. I just took care of mine out there."

"Doubles?" And the day had promised to be so normal.

"Yeah. I dunno, some sorcerer doing something, hell, I didn't pay much attention. Goku and Hakkai have him now, and are trying to figure out what he's up to, who's he working for, what." Crossing nearer to Sanzo, he jerked his thumb in the direction of the window. "They weren't too hard, neither. Bad copies, you know? Just a few shots and bam! They went down like so much dust."

Nodding, Sanzo turned back to the window to survey the damage. "And this was done by yours?"

"Yeah," Gojyo nodded, kicking at the poor bifurcated chair. That seemed to be the thing to do in this situation -- when something was on the floor and in pieces, you kicked it. "He ran away. 'Cause, you know, we were three against four, and you can only handle so much at a time, so he ran away, and I chased him your way. Caught him from behind, he never saw it coming."

Sanzo didn't turn around to see reflected on Gojyo's face the grim glee he heard in his voice. Gojyo tended to take pleasure in all the wrong things. "Do you have any cigarettes? Mine were a casualty of your double's destructive tendancies."

"Sorry. We didn't make it as far as the store before ... yeah." Behind him, Gojyo cracked his knuckles, and Sanzo winced at the sound. "Geez, it's weird to fight yourself. 'Cause you don't know what they copied right and what they didn't, and you're trying to think what he's thinking, except you know that if he's you he's thinking that you're thinking what he's thinking, so he tries to think something else, and so on. I think I'm just glad I don't think that much."

"Are we supposed to go find them?" Sanzo's hand brushed across the neatly mutilated wood of the window frame, staring out at the shattered glass below. He didn't like the idea of putting this on their tab, but he supposed they'd been charged for more permanent destruction in the past, and all things considered, it could have been worse. "Do they need help?"

Gojyo's voice was now much closer than it had been before. "Nah, we're supposed to stay here. At least, that's what Hakkai said. He said he'd send Goku back if he needed anything. Didn't look like they were having a problem."

This was all very confusing, and Sanzo felt like he had a million questions to ask, but couldn't think how to begin. And Gojyo's proximity wasn't making things any better -- why did he always have to be so close? It drove him up the wall. It was bad enough when ordinary people did it, but Gojyo always seemed to make it worse. Probably because he enjoyed the reaction so much. Residual gratitude from saving him both from the attacker and the little girl was the only thing that kept Sanzo from putting a fist through Gojyo's face and telling him to back off. And that would wear thin very shortly.

Instead, he nodded a little and walked away from the window, back towards the door; he salvaged the ashtray and placed it on another, smaller table for safekeeping. They'd have to clean this themselves, since it would be rude to leave it there. And what did Gojyo mean, doubles? And why didn't they just go find Goku and Hakkai anyway? And where would they find a big enough broom?

"You know what, though?" Gojyo's voice behind him, far too close behind him, and he hadn't heard him move at all. "There's the real problem with those guys that sometimes ... you just can't tell."

The cold wave of panic that washed over Sanzo didn't wash fast enough. Before he could gain any control, any sense of reason or motion, Gojyo was on him, throwing the gun away, sending it skittering uselessly across the floor, and Sanzo's eyes only watched it travel for a moment before they were closed in pain; his chin hit the table hard, sending his teeth into his lower lip, and then his entire body hit the ground, and Gojyo was on top of him, and he couldn't move.

He remembered this. The first time he had met Gojyo, it hadn't been three minutes before he had been pinned like this, face-down and helpless, pinned in all the places that meant he couldn't move while Gojyo had bragged about this as being his specialty. An inauspicious beginning to a relationship of any sort.

I should have killed him then was the first complete thought that emerged through the pain and the panic and the confusion that hijacked Sanzo's mind. It would have saved me so much trouble.

Gojyo dug a knee into the back of Sanzo's thigh, hitting against a pressure point that made the world start to go white. He tried to get control of his head, his arms, anything, but nothing worked. How had he gotten out of this last time? Right, Goku. ...But Goku was not here now. Goku was with a sorcerer, assuming he could believe anything at all Gojyo had said. Assuming this was Gojyo -- or, more accurately, assuming this was not Gojyo.

Or assuming nothing at all. When he had been a child, the other monks had teased him by telling him blatant falsehoods and watching as he believed them -- not out of any great trust he had placed in the monks themselves, but because he simply did not possess the resources to tell the difference between someone's truth and someone's joking lies. And so, humiliated too many times by running to answer a summons when he had not been called or missing the dinner he had been told was an hour late tonight, he had simply stopped believing -- and listening to -- anyone at all.

This policy, however, was not a great deal of help to him here, particularly not as Gojyo -- grinning with sick glee, Sanzo was sure of it -- ripped his robe and jeans down off his hips without particularly bothering to undo either of them. Even the low-slung cut of the pants and the looseness of the robe didn't help, and Sanzo bit into his lip to keep from crying out -- which didn't help either, as teeth met recent injury, and he let out out a muffled yelp anyway.

"I'm going to kill you," Gojyo said calmly, fingers digging into a pressure point at the base of Sanzo's spine that made his eyes water, "not for the 'eat you and get immortality' shit, or because I really want some big ox-guy to trash the world, but because it's what I'm supposed to do, and I really don't care." His fingers pressed harder, and Sanzo let out a whimper that made him thoroughly ashamed of himself. "It's not like it's my choice or anything."

Taking advantage of the immobilising pain he was causing, Gojyo yanked Sanzo's clothing down past his knees, taking no care whatsoever for being gentle. "I'm going to fuck you, though," he purred, and the malice in his voice froze a deep stone in Sanzo's stomach even more than his words did, "because you deserve it. Because you're this tight-ass, holier-than-thou, motherfucking lord of all creation who thinks his perfect shit doesn't stink and who acts like he's too good to take it up the ass."

An elbow drove into his shoulderblade, and Gojyo's voice was hot near his ear. "Except you're not. You're a shit-faced cowardly sonofabitch who pushes everyone away because he's afraid they'll get his filthy ass dirty. And all the while you want it. You want it, don't you?" Sanzo heard the unmistakable sound of pants being undone. "Oh, yeah. You want it. I bet you dream about it at night, lying there in your perfect little bed, going to sleep like an old man at midnight, but you don't sleep. You lie there thinking how bad you want it, and how naughty it is to want it, but you can't fucking stop thinking about it."

Sanzo's eyes were clamped shut, and he tried to turn his head away, but found himself unable move enough, particularly not without causing sparks of white pain to bleed up from his jaw. He knew better than to respond. Instead, he breathed slowly, trying to calm himself enough to wait for a mistake. So far, there had been none.

Gojyo's teeth closed around his earlobe and began suckling, and Sanzo had to breathe deeply to keep from retching at perhaps the most disgusting invasion he had ever been subjected to. And he knew it wouldn't be the worst if he couldn't find some way to stop Gojyo.

Wouldn't that be the perfect excuse, though? The perfect cry of 'not me' -- a double, so convincing as to be the impeccable scapegoat, to exonerate anyone of all responsiblity. Sanzo's hands curled into fists behind him, digging his fingernails into the meat of his hands, and he concentrated on that as something he could still control. In the midst of this violation, it was all he had.

"Oh, yeah," Gojyo whispered obscenely, and Sanzo once more had to fight the urge to vomit that Gojyo's damp, hot breath provoked. "You want it so bad you don't know what to do about it. You've always been so above all this, way above the stuff that mere mortals do, and you can't admit you're just a common faggot."

That particular accusation brought such a wave of anger that Sanzo forgot his breathing, forgot his vow to remain quiet and wait patiently for an opening, and instead he struggled violently, testing at all the bonds Gojyo's body pressed onto him and finding weaknesses in none. Gojyo laughed horribly, biting anew at his earlobe, but this time hard enough to draw blood. "Come on, struggle. I like it like that." His tongue snaked into Sanzo's ear, bringing to mind the image of some horrible wet slug trying to climb into there. "Oh, yeah. What's wrong? Did I call you a fag? Did I get it right?"

"Fuck you," Sanzo gritted bitterly, spitting blood through clenched teeth. He hated the taste; he wondered how much he'd swallowed already, wondered if that was making him feel sicker.

"No, I fuck you, see? Don't you get it?" Gojyo pulled away, which was some small relief, as he took most of his smell and heat with him, though it did not bode well for further damage. "So, what gets you up? I've always wondered. Is it Hakkai? I think it might be. He's serious and thoughtful enough for you." Sanzo could hear a sickeningly wet sound he couldn't quite identify. Everything about Gojyo was wet and disgusting. "Huh? You want him, late at night, when you're too tired to stop yourself from thinking your naughty thoughts, that what you think about? Sucking his cock, with his hands in your hair, wondering what he tastes like ... am I getting warm?"

Sanzo meant honestly not to respond at all, except Gojyo punctuated his question by jamming one sweat-slick finger into Sanzo's ass, and a muted cry of pain slipped past his battered lips. "Is that a yes or a no? I can't tell." Gojyo laughed softly. "Come on, don't you want to know? Don't you want to know what he tastes like, so you can jerk off to that? Come on." His voice grew soft and breathy. "I could tell you."

The idea of Gojyo's doing anything even remotely approaching this with Hakkai made Sanzo thrash again, but he got even less far this time, and earned nothing more than another horrible laugh from Gojyo and another finger rougly inside of him. "Okay, okay, not Hakkai, huh? I guess you two would just be too square for one another. You'd sit there, staring at each other's cocks for hours, and nothing would happen. What a pity."

Gojyo's fingers twitched inside of him, and rubbed against something that Sanzo could tell might feel good ... in a context completely unlike this one, in a situation where he wasn't being pinned to the ground, unable to fight. He felt his concentration slipping, felt himself getting angry, and responded instead by turning the anger on himself, angrily willing himself not to move, not to get upset, not to tire himself uselessly. He could feel his limbs getting sore, and couldn't particularly feel anything at all from his left arm, which had been bent at such an angle that all the blood had run from it. Even his fingers no longer had enough circulation to press into his palm with any intensity, so he concentrated on his right hand. Focus, he reminded himself forceably. Focus, dammit.

"Or maybe the little monkey, huh?" With a sharp motion that felt like nothing so much as ripping, Gojyo pulled his fingers rougly from Sanzo, and Sanzo's fingers dug into his palm enough to tear into muscle. He found himself wanting to retch again as he hears Gojyo spit. "He's got a thing for you, you know? Doesn't know it, you know, just knows he'd do anything you asked now. But in a couple years, you'll have a willing little cocksucker on your hands, and you know it. Another little faggot like you." Newly slicked fingers worked their way back inside him, three this time, and Sanzo could not remember a time in his life he had so very much wanted to die. "Hell, you could probably ask him now, and he'd give it the old college try. You like the little boys, is that it?"

Something about the question made a disgust older than him flare up inside of Sanzo, and he bucked his body as violently as he can -- and won a small victory, of a sorts, in that he managed to catch Gojyo off-guard and made him scramble briefly to pin his prey back to the ground. It earned Sanzo little, save the knowledge that he might be able to do it again, if Gojyo got distracted enough. It also earned him a great deal of pain; he might not be able to take advantage of many more such opportunities.

Far too quickly, the lubrication of the spit faded harshly into friction, though this hardly seemed to bother Gojyo much at all. "Not the little one, huh? That's a shame. He'll be so disappointed when he finds out." Gojyo made a very thoughtful noise. "Of course, he'll probably be even more disappointed when he finds you dead and sees he didn't get to fuck you first. But we'll deal with that when we get there."

Fingers withdrew, and Sanzo resisted the urge to let his body collapse behind them, to take some of the pressure off his knees. He knew there was more to follow. "Or, you know, I bet it's me. I bet you've got thoughts inside that perfect blonde priestly head of yours about this, right here. You get your rocks off thinking about my cock?" Again, the spitting sound, this time even wetter than before, and Sanzo tensed. "Oh, no, you have to relax," Gojyo countered, reaching down to kiss the small of Sanzo's back, just below where his shirt had pushed up. "Or maybe you don't, I don't care."

The unexpected tenderness of the kiss, the sheer incongruity, made Sanzo's mind race again. This had to be a poor imitation, a badly made copy, because as farfetched as the idea of having doubles run around might seem, it was infinitely preferable to the idea that Gojyo might be capable of thinking -- or doing -- these things. It had to be a bad replica behind him, some sick joke, something that didn't know Gojyo at all.

...But if it wasn't?

He didn't have much time to think about it, though, because his entire conscious quite completely derailed as Gojyo pushed his cock slowly inside Sanzo's ass, alternately slipping and sticking. The moan of pleasure that Gojyo made brought blood-tasting bile up in the back of Sanzo's throat. "Oh, yeah. That's the best thing about virgins, you know? So fucking tight. Fuck, yeah."

Sanzo felt tears of pain leak from the corners of his eyes, and cursed himself for his weakness. He'd suffered worse before, much worse, both in terms of pain and humiliation. But never before had it been at the hands of a friend.

Then Gojyo thrust in hard for the first time, and the shock of the sensation forced Sanzo to open his eyes, which had been clenched so hard that all he saw for the first few seconds were purple clouds. And then he saw, pushed up against the door and hopelessly out of his reach, his gun. If he could just get to his gun. It would be over, then. Maybe it wasn't as far as it looked. Maybe if he could get one hand free....

"Yeah, this is what it is, isn't it?" Gojyo had started thrusting in a slow rhythm, and though Sanzo tried his best to ignore everything that was happening in his body below his waist, some things just can't be put aside. "You want me. You want me to get you like this, to fuck you like this, so all the time you're saying no, no, no, while all the time you're thinking yes, yes, yes, but you don't have to say it. You don't have to own up to it, huh? Is that it, faggot? Is that it?"

Disguising the effort as a response to Gojyo's provocation, Sanzo tried to free himself again, this time concentrating his effort on his arms. But the hand that held them held them fast, and the adjacent elbow dug down harder into to the back of his neck. So much for that plan. "Yeah, I think it is. You just want someone who'll take you like this and won't let you say no. Someone else gets to make you dirty so you don't have to own up to it, huh?" Gojyo moved faster, and the friction burned; Sanzo tried not to think about it, tried not to imagine blood. "Well, you're there."

Against his will, a deep, dark part of Sanzo's brain that he never visited had to admit that Gojyo might be, to some degree, right -- that maybe what he needed was someone he couldn't say no to. But not like this. This didn't feel good at all; this hurt, and humiliated, and made him sick to his stomach, and made him wish he were dead. This made him wish his gun weren't so fucking far away.

"You aren't so high and mighty now, huh?" Gojyo growled, though his voice sounded breathier now; Sanzo tried to concentrate, tried to let the pain fade into one dull roar, but his body was having nothing of it. "You aren't better than the rest of us. You're a fucked-up nobody phony faggot priest who treats the rest of us like we're worth shit so you can feel better abour yourself and your little gun."

The thrusts came heavier, harder. "Just so you don't have to admit to yourself what a worthless, useless fuck you are. You couldn't even save your precious master's little scrap of paper. How fucking worthless is that?"

Sanzo tried to judge the gun's distance, and found he couldn't. Feet? Miles? Nothing mattered; out of reach was still out of reach. But he had to get it. All right, but how? I can't even move. He had to think of something. He had to concentrate.

"You know what?" Gojyo whispered, and suddenly his cock was still and his voice was next to Sanzo's ear. "The doubles are good. They're real good. So good you can't tell them apart. So good they might not exist at all." He licked at the blood that had dried on Sanzo's ear, and Sanzo tried to pull away, tried so hard, but couldn't. He just couldn't. He was so exhausted. "When I kill you, I just want you to know that."

The next sound Sanzo heard was so loud he thought for a moment that Gojyo had managed, somehow, to grab the gun and put a bullet through his brain. But there was the gun, skating across the floor, propelled by the force of someone's kicking in the formerly locked door.

Sanzo didn't even look. He felt Gojyo's grip loosen, only for a second, but the second was all that he needed. He threw him off with all the strength he had left and dove for the gun, dragging his nigh-useless body with arms roaring with the pain of regained circulation, willing fingers to work with a strength he didn't have anymore.

Maybe there hadn't been any doubles at all. There could be a thousand reasons for Gojyo's behaviour, all of which involved outside forces, none of which were his fault at all. For all he knew, for all he could tell, for all the lies and confusion, the man he pushed off of him might have been the real Gojyo, the only Gojyo they had.

The first pull of the trigger said that he did not care.

Gojyo looked slightly stunned at first, as though he might not understand that the reason he could no longer see out of his left eye was that his left eye no longer existed. And then his expression disappeared entirely, as four more bullets mangled his face far beyond recognition even as human. His pile of clothes were empty before he even hit the ground.

Sanzo was vaguely conscious of someone's calling his name, but he couldn't seem to stop pulling the trigger again and again, listening as the hammer came down on empty chamber after empty chamber. His hands felt as though someone had shoved a needle into every nerve, needles that shifted and dragged their sharp tips every time he moved, but he could not stop. Again and again, firing nothing at nothing.

"Sanzo!" A familiar voice. He turned, swinging the gun, but saw only Hakkai there, his hands raised defensively, the look on his face something akin to pure horror. "God, Sanzo, stop. Stop. You killed him, he's gone, please, stop."

Behind Hakkai, two crimson eyes peeked cautiously from behind the ruined doorframe, and Sanzo could hear the earnest protestations of a monkey who most assurely was not being allowed to see this; even in the midst of all of this, he knew enough to be glad he didn't have to deal with Goku right now. He couldn't handle it. He was shaking too badly. How could he be expected to deal with anything if he were shaking so badly? He didn't even know how he managed to hold his gun.

"They're duplicates, made by a youkai from 'impressions' he'd taken of us. When we found them, we knew something was wrong when Gojyo wasn't with them," Hakkai explained slowly, inching closer; he pulled a sheet from the bed and draped it over Sanzo's body as he knelt next to him. "We took care of them as quickly as we could, and then came to find you."

What might have been a bitter retort about how they didn't come quickly enough died in Sanzo's throat, and he coughed it up instead, spitting the blood from his lip into the sheet. They could add that to the tab. "...Gojyo?"

A small smile that was probably meant to be comforting but somehow failed spectacularly graced Hakkai's lips. "It's all right. The real one's still alive. The doppelgangers must have gotten confused. Unfairly so, as I'd prefer never to have you shooting at me again, thank you."

"I didn't ... have my gun," Sanzo whispered drily. "I thought he...."

"I know." Hakkai stood, his expression darkening slightly. "Here, let me get you some water. You'll feel better" As he disappeared, pulling the door behind him, Sanzo wrapped the sheet around him as tightly as he could. He didn't want to pull his clothes back on, not just yet. In fact, he felt somewhat disposed to burning them.

The person who returned with the water was not Hakkai, but Gojyo, dressed in the brown leather jacket that had of late become his fashion. Sanzo should have recognised the difference earlier; he kicked himself for being unobservant. He kicked himself for an awful lot of things. "You okay?"

It was grimly like what the other Gojyo had said, before-- Sanzo began to shake his head, then reconsidered with a half-hearted nod, so that the entire gesture came out as brutally uncertain, and he settled for reaching for the water Gojyo had brought him, his throat suddenly dry. Gojyo nodded a little in kind, and crouched down to hand Sanzo the glass.

But the needles moved too sharply, and no sooner had Gojyo pulled his hands away than Sanzo's fingers decided to stop working; the glass slipped from his grip, not falling far enough to shatter but spilling itself across the floor anyway, soaking into the sheet. Sanzo almost wanted to laugh, but feared if he did he'd collapse into hysterics.

"Sorry," Gojyo apologised, as if he'd had anything to do with it. "I'll ... go get you another."

Sanzo shook his head. "You don't--"

"Nah, it's okay." Gojyo snatched the glass and rose to his feet, look around the room, out the window, at everything except Sanzo. Maybe he didn't know what had been said, but there was no way of avoiding what had been done. Besides, Sanzo would never ask if Gojyo's double had mean any of it. The answer might be 'yes.'

At the door, Gojyo paused. "You really thought that was me?"

Exhausted, Sanzo let his chin drop to his chest. "I didn't know," he said honestly. "I couldn't...." He was so bad at finishing his sentences sometimes.

"Shit," Gojyo cursed, anger rising in his voice. "How could you think I'd do something like that? I mean ... how the fuck could you ever think something like that? That'd I'd be capable of that?"

"Because apparently," Sanzo said softly, "you are."

Gojyo opened his mouth as though to answer, then shut it again, drumming his fingers against the splintered edge of the door where the deadbolt used to be. From somewhere down the hall, Sanzo could hear Goku's high-pitched, outraged voice, but that would be a concern for later, and he was certain Hakkai had it under control. Sanzo, for his own part, wasn't sure he'd ever have anything under control again.

"Get out," he whispered, bringing the gun up feebly to point at Gojyo; with his fingers sapped of strength, the gun fared only marginally better than the glass had. "And don't come back without cigarettes."

"You're out of bullets," Gojyo pointed out before disappearing, in a tone of voice that was no longer angry or hurt, but somewhere slipping into comfortable numbness. Maybe, for now, it was best.

With a deep sigh, Sanzo pushed himself to his feet, but got little further than the bed half a foot away. I should take a shower, he thougth listlessly, or at least get out of these clothes. But for all the 'shoulds' in his life, he couldn't manage to move further than to kick off one of his shoes before he succumbed to the urge to shut his eyes, curl up in a ball, and concentrate very hard on not shaking. By the time Hakkai returned, cigarettes and refilled glass in hand, Sanzo was mostly unresponsive; by the time Hakkai left, he was asleep.

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