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[personal profile] keire_ke
I've officially given up on pretending to be diurnal. And my current schedule is not helping in the least. So yeah, it's now half-four and I'm typing away. Pff.

I got my Chinese test back, and yay! Nearly a hundred percent, joy! And the text I wrote out in Chinese characters, just for kicks, was quite correct, apart from some minor mistakes, like consistent use of the wrong character for possessive pronoun. But I'm told it's okay, since most Chinese people who weren't educated much make that mistake too. Score for me!

Ah. Hakkai is being psychotic. Also people are being killed. Just a friendly warning.

“I’m sure it won’t be the last time I ask this question, but – how the fuck did we end up in this shit again?” Jien asked, trying to peek over a dirt-laden crate without getting a bullet anywhere below the hairline.

“What do you mean again?” Sanzo glared at him.

“This ain’t exactly news.”

“We weren’t in a gunfight since last week. And I wouldn’t call it a gunfight anyway, it was pathetic.”

“Fine then, how the fuck did we end up in this shit for the first time this week?”

“I believe the answer is: Sanzo opened his mouth,” Kougaji said, laughter in his voice.

“Ah.” The was nothing if pure understanding in the sound.

“The fuck is that supposed to mean,” Sanzo asked. He flattened his back against the convenient crates and reloaded his gun. “The squealer is on the federal payroll, what did you want me to do?”

“I dunno, walk away like a civilised being?”

“He shot at me!”

“Yeah, but only after you called him a stupid ancestor-fucking son of filth.”

There was a minute silence. “I said what?”

“Your Chinese gets jumbled when you get angry.”

“And you’re telling me this now?!” A very loud round of fire sailed over their heads. Jien looked up and fired several shots. “Fuck, no wonder he got pissed.” The fucker, as Sanzo liked to term the man in question (though not him alone – everyone not in Sanzo’s good graces got a “fucker” label, sooner or later), was in his forties, single and living off his mother’s cooking. Not that it was an altogether bad life, since Ma Can’s evening specials kept half the town going through long, liquor-heavy nights. Everyone in town respected Ma Can, because if they didn’t they might start gobbling down their own concoctions – the good lady was warm, maternal and a devout worshipper of ancestors. Roughly translated, it meant that insulting the lineage was a sure fire way to never get fed again. Such treatment compels a boy to develop a Pavlovian response, of the “hear the insult – eject a bullet” kind.

“Sanzo, you’re Chinese, how the fuck did that happen?” Jien asked as soon as he finished with showering the opposition with bullets.

“Was seven when I started learning, stuff it. Why the fuck do we need to speak soddin’ Mandarin anyway?”

“Cause it’s the first language for half the fucking galaxy, that’s why. Jien never has problems, hell, Yaone does fine, even though she only started learning at school.”

“I stick to good old gān nĭ niáng. Not particularly creative, but nothing can go wrong there,” Jien said with a grin. “Maybe you should try too.” Sanzo growled at the both of them and no one in particular and rolled. He came up behind a slightly less covered crate, but one that offered a spectacular view of the warehouse – if a warehouse is anyone’s idea of a view. He cast a quick look around and waved at Kougaji vaguely.

“What’s he saying now?” Jien asked. He’d long ago given up on learning to decipher the insanely fast flickering of the fingers Sanzo and Kougaji insisted was communication. “Screw that,” he’d said, “I ain’t a pianist to bother.”

“There’s eleven of them,” Kougaji explained. “Can most likely out. Five straight ahead, three trying to circle us and another three at the entrance.”

“Sanzo likes getting us into these messes.”

“He’s a hot-headed bastard, who can’t keep his face shut.”

“Well, he sure as hell ain’t the only one.”

“No, he isn’t. Hell, Yaone will kill me.” Kougaji sighed and braced himself. “Yaone?” he asked into a communicator. “Come in, we could use some back up here. Yaone!”

“Copy that. Your position?” said the electronically mangled voice of their pilot a few minutes later.

“What took you so bloody long?” Jien growled while Kougaji rattled off their approximate location. “I’m down to my last grenade!”

“Poor you. We’ve had- problems. I’m locking onto the transmission, we’ll be picking you up in a few minutes. Try not to blow yourselves up in the meantime.”

“Har, fucking, har.”

“Problems? They’ve had problems?” Sanzo stared at the communicator, his brows furrowed. “Did she say what happened?”

“Fuck, make some noise!” Jien recoiled from the captain. “It’s not natural, springing on people like that!”

“I’ve been here the whole damn time.”

“No, you’ve been there,” he said pointing at the other set of crates emphatically. “And now you’re here. I would appreciate some warnings.”

“I’m not paying you for the running commentary, I’m paying you to shoot the ammo I’m also paying for. So shut your mouth and get. The three circling us are down, so is one at the gates. The rest of them hid, two behind those crates there-” Sanzo indicated the stack right next to the entrance, “And there.” He pointed to the staircase on their left. Jien followed and did the math. Sanzo was a hell of a shot, he knew it well, and yet, after all this time, he’d never failed to be impressed.

“What’s the plan?”

“West can’t get in here, so we need out. Those suckers at the stairs are too busy working out how the stairs work, so the only problem is those two at the door. We ought to be able to shoot them on out way out. Tell Yaone to give us the signal.”

“Copy that, captain!” the pilot’s voice sounded through the intercom. “I’m almost ready to take you back on, give me another thirty seconds and we’re go.” Sanzo nodded to Kougaji and readied his gun.

“I’m going first. Jien, I hope you saved a grenade for afters.”

“Always do.”

“Good. Consider it your mission not to let it blow. Give me ten seconds and go.”

Sanzo leapt onto their temporary cover, accompanied by disappointed cursing, and higher, onto the thin railing overhead. He righted himself on the narrow beam and cursed. Who the fuck thought these were good for anything, he thought, but there was no time for consideration. Vantage points in a shoot-out were good and well, but Sanzo had no desire to continue the fire fight any longer than necessary.

For one thing, it was boring. For another, if there were problems on his bloody ship, the sooner he shot them the better. So he didn’t draw this little inconvenience out. He moved swiftly if a little uncomfortably over the narrow beam and shot as soon as the poor sods were in sight. With a little regret he made a point of disabling rather than killing – Can was first and foremost a businessman, he would listen to reason. Eventually Kougaji would manage to convince him Sanzo made a genuine mistake, and pronunciation slip-ups were easier to explain than corpses. Whose bright idea was it to have “ancestors” sound like “soldiers” anyway?

Sanzo jumped off the beam and rolled upon impact. As he straightened a gust of wind from the opening gates hit him in the face. Thank the gods for Yaone and her manoeuvrability. It was a matter of seconds for the three of them to get onto the ramp and close it. Just as soon as Yaone was notified they were on, they were away.

Sanzo holstered his gun and resolved to start watching his mouth. Oh, and leave Mandarin to people who’d spoken it since birth, at least when it came to insults.

Cào nĭde bābèizi zŭzōng,” were the first words out of his mouth when he turned around to survey the cargo hold.

“Congratulations, you got the inflection correct,” Kougaji said, his eyes just as wide as Sanzo’s.

“The fuck happened here!” But he didn’t really have to ask. The bleeding bodies in the middle told him everything. The feds broke out of their cabins and tried to take over the ship.

“Captain, I would appreciate a little help. Miss Yaone warned that the ride might be bumpy, and I would rather avoid jarring the wound more than strictly necessary,” Hakkai said, never looking up. Sanzo took a couple of steps forward, mutely. The doctor was holding Goku to him, one of his hands clutching a gash on the kid’s ribcage. “It’s nothing serious, but complications are best avoided.”

“Where’s Lirin?” Kougaji asked sharply, looking around.

“In the engine room, she’s fine,” Yaone’s voice filled the hold. “I’ve told her to stay there when I heard gunfire.”

“There was gunfire?”

“They opened fire, we managed to overpower them. Now if you could be so kind to apply pressure here; my hands are bloodied.” Sanzo sunk to his knees and ran his fingers along Goku’s ribs, stopping just above Hakkai’s hand. The doctor promptly removed it and moved to help Goku to stand.

“Not dead.” Under normal circumstances Sanzo would have been surprised by how normal Goku’s voice sounded – even, if a little empty, utterly devoid of discomfort.

“Then let’s maybe keep it like that, monkey,” he said instead, moving to his right, so that he could keep the wound under his hand and sling Goku’s arm over his shoulder.

“Not me. Him.” Sanzo blinked and followed his gaze.

“The fed? He looks like the doc tried to remove his spleen with a rake!” Indeed, the body in question was lying facedown in a substantial puddle of blood, that suggested extensive damage.

“Not dead. Heart still beating, thumping fast but weak. Pumping blood. Eyes moving. Lungs inflate. Not yet dead, but close.”

“Shut him up, he’s creeping me out,” Jien said. Sanzo said nothing, but his composure was helped none.

“Check him,” he said quietly. Kougaji nodded and, gripping his gun, just in case, nudged the body, which turned out to be Carter’s. There was no response. Reassured, he turned it over and leaned forward to press his fingers against his throat.

“There’s a pulse. Awful weak, but it’s there.”

There was silence, for a couple of minutes.

“Well, we can’t have that,” Hakkai said. The flatness of his tone could have been used to level buildings. He made sure Sanzo was supporting Goku and bend for what Sanzo now saw was a knife. Before anyone made a noise he strode to the man and made a seemingly insignificant incision on the trachea, angling the knife just so. As soon as he removed it, he pressed a wad of Carter’s shirt into the cut. The body jerked sharply under his touch, once twice, and then was still.

“Dead,” Goku whispered, as if to himself. Sanzo looked at him, wide eyed, and then directed his gaze back at the doctor. Hakkai rose and discarded the knife. Only then did Sanzo notice that his right hand looked like it’d literally been dipped in blood. There were red stains on his shirt as well.

“Shall we?” the doctor said, and wrapped Goku’s other arm around his neck. He steered them towards the infirmary.

“Guys? What’s going on?” Yaone asked over the intercom. Kougaji shook himself and moved to answer.

“Are we out of atmo yet?”

“No, still a couple minutes to go.”

“Are we flying over settlements now?”

“That’s a negative. Deserts as far as eye can see, even from my angle.”

“Good. Jien, open the hold.” As numb as he was, Jien wasn’t about to protest. Together they heaved the two bodies over the threshold. They didn’t say anything while the ramp slowly closed. Cleaning off the blood would take more time, but it had to wait. Neither could muster up the will for the task.

Almost in unison the two made their way to the infirmary, only to find Sanzo glaring at the opaque windows in annoyance.

“Good doctor apparently can handle it on his own.”

“He is a medic, after all.”

There was a brief period of silence, finally interrupted by a very soft “Kou?” They turned to see Lirin hovering in the doorway. Her posture screamed timid, a setting most unlike her. “Yaone said it’s okay for me to come out now. Is everyone okay?”

“Goku was hurt,” Kougaji replied. The comment earned him an armful of the girl. Her arms were shaking.

“I was scared, Yaone told me there was shooting and told me to lock the engine room and not come out, but I couldn’t anyway, I was just so scared! Is Goku okay?”

“It was just a graze,” Sanzo said calmly. “A couple of stitches and he won’t even have to stay overnight.”

“Oh, wouldn’t that be a tragedy.” Sanzo felt his teeth grit.

“And here I was hoping they managed to shoot and bury you before we got back.”

“Just got back myself. Yaone tells me I missed out on excitement,” Gojyo said, peering curiously at the tinted window.

“Goku got grazed by a knife.”

Jien looked sharply. “Knife?”

“It sure as hell wasn’t a bullet wound.”

“One of the feds was killed by a knife to the stomach. Messy.”

“Killed by a knife to the throat, you mean,” Sanzo said, not looking anyone in the eye. He’d had a look at both corpses. It wasn’t a long look, but he could judge an obvious cause of death like a bullet to the head. “And kid’s got a knife wound to the side.”

“Not by my hand.” The calm pleasantness of the doctor’s voice startled them all. He left he door open. “Miss Yaone was kind enough to relieve Carter of his gun. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as out of it as we thought – he tried to stab Goku. I managed to get the knife out of his hand and return it, shall we say. Miss Yaone disposed of Lin.” His hands were freshly washed, but the red on his shirt cast a whole new light on the otherwise amenable man. Even Sanzo would think twice about approaching him. “Goku is fine. It was nothing but a graze, hardly required stitching. He’s asleep now and I’d rather he stay here for the time being.”

Not quite reluctantly the crowd dispersed. Sanzo was the only one that stayed, making a point of not looking at Hakkai at all.

“I told you, captain. I will stop at nothing to keep him safe,” Hakkai said, returning the windows to their usual state. Goku was curled on the bench, fast asleep under a blanket of indescribable colour. Sanzo watched the steady rise and fall of his chest, trying to decide whether it comforted or unnerved him. “Nothing at all.”

Well, somewhere not altogether down Sanzo was glad to see the feds unable to do any storytelling. They were as good as dead anyway, this was an infirmary with only the rudimentary equipment, not a surgical unit he was staring at. Carter would have required hours of reconstructive surgery and a blood transfusion at the very least. Sanzo would have ordered the feds thrown out anyway, making sure they wouldn’t wake up meters from the dirt surface was a piece of mercy.

He would’ve done it himself, if need be. He had done it himself, in desperate times. But he wasn’t a medical doctor, now was he.

“You’re not here on contract. First planet strikes your fancy, you’re off,” he said, turned around, leaving Hakkai staring after him with an unreadable expression on his face.

I can't guarantee it's 100% correct, but I'm pretty sure. I could go and ask, but I've had my fill of going to teachers and asking what does "fuck off" mean (did that once, while studying German. The look the teacher gave me was worth the embarrassment).

Sanzo thought: 傻卒肏狗的兒子 (shă zú cào gŏude érzi) stupid soldier-fucking son of a dog
Sanzo said: 傻祖肏垢的兒子 (shă zŭ cào gòude érzi) stupid ancestor-fucking son of filth

On second thought, the first option would probably get him in trouble too. Oh well.

Jien's "safe" phrase: 干你娘 (gān nĭ niáng) motherfucker [according to my resources the closest to “fuck” gān gets is “invade”, but the phrase might hold up]
Sanzo's oath to stop cursing in Mandarin: 肏你的八辈子祖宗 (cào nĭde bābèizi zŭzōng) fuck eight generations of your ancestors

Chinese characters are so very pretty. ^_______^
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