Title: Just Another Supervillain
Word Count: 1175
Summary: To blackmail someone, you must first be sure they have something they could lose. For the Sanzo Ikkou, that something is certainly not public opinion.
A/N: Written for hc_bingo. Masterpost with my game card is here.
They stared at the slip of paper that had been pinned to Jeep’s seat, each in varying levels of confusion or disgust.
“What’s it say? Hey, Hakkai! What’s it say?”
“Why don’t you learn to read, monkey?”
“I can read, you stupid cockroach! If you’d get out of my way!”
Hakkai unpinned the note, ignoring the usual scuffling. He scanned it once more. “Well, you must give them points for originality.”
Sanzo scoffed. “Pretty sure the stupidity outweighs it.”
“I suppose you’re right, of course.” He folded the note primly and slipped it into his sleeve. It wouldn’t be kind to throw it away too quickly and let the supposed blackmailer know he’d failed too soon. It might damage his self-confidence.
He’d barely taken a step away from Jeep before Goku remembered what he’d wanted pre-fight. “Oh, yeah, Hakkai. What’d it say?”
He smiled slightly, almost in genuine amusement. “I’m afraid someone is threatening to tell the townspeople exactly who we are.”
Goku blinked at him. Gojyo or Sanzo might have called it ‘stupidly’ but Hakkai knew better. Most of the time. Goku just took the world at a different pace than the rest of them. “...Why?”
Gojyo whacked him over the back of the head. “It’s called blackmail, shit-for-brains. Why do you think?”
“Shut up, you stupid kappa! I bet you don’t know, either!”
And so it began again. Hakkai sighed. Sometimes, just sometimes, he wondered what it would be like to tie them all up and leave them in Jeep’s trunk. Just for the blessed silence.
The night passed relatively quietly. Relatively, because while there were no youkai attacks or natural disasters or zombies or any of the other exciting things that tended to follow them about, true silence was impossible with both Goku and Gojyo sleeping in one room. Unfortunately, the inn had been completely sold out except for one small room, leaving the four of them crammed together whether they wanted to be or not.
The fact that Sanzo had yet to actually shoot anyone rather than shooting at them was proof miracles did happen.
The next morning, as Hakkai reloaded Jeep with their belongings, he found another note pinned to the driver’s seat. He frowned, petting Jeep’s steering wheel. “Very unkind of him to attach it like that. I’m sorry.”
The vehicle kyu’d softly in agreement. Hakkai didn’t bother reading the note this time. It was most likely another demand or threat or something equally stupid and useless, and he had better things to do than waste his time.
Within the hour, they were back on the road. Goku had immediately fallen asleep in the backseat despite Gojyo’s numerous attempts to shove him back onto his side or, failing that, out of the vehicle entirely. On the plus side, it did keep them both entertained, and Sanzo only mildly annoyed.
They stopped for lunch in a slightly larger town, not quite big enough to be considered a city. Goku, as always, led them directly to the closest inn. Also, apparently, the closest large crowd. “Hey, what’re all those people doing?”
“Reading, dumbass. You wouldn’t recognize it.”
Again, on the plus side, Sanzo’s shooting did clear out the crowd fairly well.
It allowed them all to get close enough to read what the crowd had been so intrigued by. Four large sheets of paper covered in crude drawings and terrible handwriting were pasted on the wall of the inn.
“...I believe those might be intended to be us?”
“No way. Sanzo’s way girlier than that.”
“Do you wanna die, cockroach?”
“Hey, Sanzo! That’s what the picture of you is saying, too!”
Actually, now that Goku had pointed it out, that was exactly what the poorly-drawn Sanzo in the picture was saying. It even had a tiny stick-gun. Hakkai studied the posters more closely, ignoring the bickering with the ease of long practice. “I do believe this may be the work of our bold blackmailer.”
“What did he think this would actually do?”
“I don’t know, Sanzo, what do any of our opponents think they will accomplish?” They seemed to get worse the farther their journey took them. “Perhaps Zakuro is trying a new tactic?”
Behind him, he heard Sanzo scoff. “Blackmail? Can that idiot even write?”
A very good question. “Our imposters, then? Looking for revenge?” Silence. “No, I suppose they weren’t very smart, either. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll meet whoever it is, eventually.”
Sanzo grunted in what might be acknowledgment, and Hakkai decided it was obviously his turn to herd the other two into the inn without breaking anything. Somehow, it always seemed to be his turn.
The four of them froze, sharing confused looks. The square had been very effectively emptied by Sanzo’s demonstration of temper, so the man striking a dramatic pose next to the town fountain must be new. And their morning had been going so peacefully, too.
The man did nothing. When he continued to do nothing for an embarrassingly long stretch of time, they turned their backs on him. Obviously, that was the wrong or right move, depending on one’s perspective. “Hey, you! I’m talking to you!” Judging from the twitch Sanzo’s eye was quickly developing, Hakkai thought it would be ultimately a bad one.
As usual, letting any of the other three speak would end most unfortunately, so for once, Hakkai decided to just skip right to the important parts. “Ah, yes, you would be our blackmailer, then? I’m very sorry, but we’re not interested.”
The man gaped. “But you... and... I could ruin you!”
The all laughed, something he obviously was not prepared for. Someday, Hakkai was sure, their opponents would learn to do their homework ahead of time. He slid an automatic arm around Gojyo’s waist when Gojyo leaned against his shoulder. Purely to keep the other from falling over while laughing so hard, of course. “Yah, Sanzo-sama, you hear that? He’s gonna ruin you. Maybe he’ll tell everyone you like mayo on your ramen.”
“I will kill both of you, if you don’t shut up.”
And the arm served double duty when it allowed Hakkai to keep himself between them before it became any more serious. “Yes, as I said, we’re not interested, but thank you for the offer, we’ll be sure to keep it in mind.”
Sanzo snorted, but at least he seemed appeased enough to enter the inn on his own. Gojyo followed with only a slight nudge while Goku fell in at Hakkai’s side. “Hey, Hakkai, you really think that’ll work? He’s still yelling.”
Hakkai just smiled. “Yes, Goku, but sometimes, you must let children be ignored during a tantrum or else they’ll never learn from it.”
“Ooooh. Right. Wow, Hakkai, you’re really smart!”
“You wouldn’t know smart if it stole your breakfast from you, mutton-for-brains!”
Hakkai chuckled, the screaming from inside drowning out the screaming from outside, accompanied by the liberal application of gunshots. With decorum like theirs, who needed blackmail? Yes, the credit card bill would be extra high here.
All in a day’s work.
This entry was originally posted at http://envious-muses.dreamwidth.org/18585.html.