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Saiyuki RELOAD: Bad Habits

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Feb. 6th, 2007 | 01:33 am
location: Flagstaff, AZ
mood: accomplished
music: All That Remains - Not Alone

Title: Bad Habits
Author: Britani Gael
Fandom: Saiyuki RELOAD
Rating: PG
Words: 814
Character: Sha Gojyo
Summary: Gojyo muses about recent events, and what it means to be short a party member.
Author’s Notes: Spoilers up to Even A Worm #28.

* * *

Smoking alone was something Gojyo had gotten used to real quick, because he needed the nicotine to get through the day and he needed to smell of smoke to feel like himself. It was a bad habit, a nervous habit, and he and Sanzo hadn’t done much to discourage each other over the last year. Now Sanzo was gone and he was still up to a pack and a half a day.

Didn’t matter. He hadn’t planned on living that long, anyway.

He pulled another cigarette out of the pack and lit it – cheap fucking lighter, it was nearly out of fuel – and stared into the night.

Smoking by yourself was lonely, yeah, but it was better to do it out here in the alley instead of up there, in the room. Sometimes he had to get away from that noisy kid and, yes, even Hakkai, his best friend, the mother hen. Sanzo had been good for that, for not being the two of them. He was the guy Gojyo understood least, his was the absence Gojyo would have picked before either alternative, but at least he’d been someone to smoke with.

“Y’know what’s funny,” Gojyo said to himself, except not really. “You’re probably doing this exact same thing, somewhere, aren’t you?”

The thought of Sanzo buying his own cigarettes and smoking them by himself amused Gojyo for about four seconds, and then he took a deep drag. “Missing the hell out of us, aren’t you, Sanzo-sama?”

The smoke curled against the black sky. “’Course, that wouldn’t exactly be your style, now, would it?”

He could picture the response that question would get him, and it was the same response he was getting now: silence.

“Nah,” he continued, knowing his voice was loud enough for any passerby to hear and just not caring. “You, Sanzo, are just sitting somewhere, smoking your damn cigarette, acting like you don’t care about anything. Like you don’t got a care in the world.”

He took a drag, so sharply even his smoker’s lungs rebelled, and he had to bite back a choke. “And hell, maybe you don’t got a care in the world. After all, we’re doing just what you wanted. We’re heading West, just like you said we should, even when you’re not here kicking our asses to do it.”

He was damn near close to smoking the filter at this point, the smoke tasted sour, but he was on a roll now, and what was the point in stopping? “I thought we needed you, y’know. I thought the monkey needed you, I thought the stupid quest needed you. But you ain’t here and thing move on just the same anyway.”

He dropped his cigarette. “Guess things worked out after all.”

The butt flickered on the ground, and Gojyo ground his heel on it. “Fuck you, you self-righteous son of a bitch.”

“Gojyo?”

Goku was peering around the corner, eyes wide. Not as wide as they’d used to be, the kid had done a lot of growing up since his master had left them high and dry. Gojyo and Hakkai had both done a lot more looking out for him, but it wasn’t the same, and damnit, that was Sanzo’s fault, too.

Goku was looking at him. “How come you’re sitting out here talkin’ to yourself?” he asked.

“Wasn’t talking to myself,” Gojyo answered, shoving the pack of smokes into his jacket pocket. “Just having a smoke, that’s it.”

“But I heard—“

“Guess we were wrong ‘bout those super-senses, then, ya dumb monkey. Wasn’t talking to anyone.” He shrugged off the concerned gaze and grinned. “Guess it’s time to call it a night, huh?”

Goku kept that funny look on his face, even as Gojyo was walking by. So as he stepped past the kid he reached out and down, and messed up that chestnut mop.

Hey!” Goku sputtered for a second, and then Gojyo heard the following footsteps, the muttered insults, laughter that wasn’t forced. He chuckled himself as he ducked Goku’s casual swipe at his head, an attack that was never meant to connect and wouldn’t have hurt if it had.

The bickering would continue to the room, with slaps and shouts, and Hakkai would maa maa at them and they’d give up and fall asleep eventually – but the fight would last longer than it might’ve, and they wouldn’t have any lumps on the back of their heads when they woke up. Because things were almost the same as they’d always been, but just not quite.

Things weren’t the same, they wouldn’t be. But it was all routine, a soothing habit, like the taste of tobacco and the smell of smoke, and some habits die hard.

* * *
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