The beer, and he had been assured that it was beer despite his serious doubts, held no answers for him. He had stared at it for an hour, waiting for some amazing epiphany to float up from the bottom, draining and refilling it in hopes of a miracle. But nope. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
It was just his luck.
It had been a year since their journey ended, or maybe it had been two years, and that time had been empty. Meaningless and empty.
Like his mug.
Sighing, Gojyo waved his hand in the universal sign for "fill it up". Real beer or not, he was thirsty and tired and would take an epiphany from a mug of dirt-water by this point. Some sort of answer, most likely the same answer the dozen or so men around him were searching for. Why else would go to a bar like this? Dirt on the floor, on the walls, no women in sight, and the stale smell of sweat and piss.
Sanzo wouldn't have stepped a foot in the place, princess that he was.
Hakkai would have cleaned the seat before sitting.
But really, they just wouldn't have wandered in at all.
Why the hell AM I here? he asked his beer. It foamed a bit but did little else in response. Not the best of conversationalists, but Gojyo was alone and didn't speak the language, had just kept moving and not bothered to find out where he was heading.
He really hated that word.
Gojyo wasn't used to being alone, hated to be left with just his thoughts and old memories because those were the type of friends that stabbed you in the back first chance they got.
He was alone when Jien left, turned and ran while the half-breed panicked and screamed inside.
Alone when he buried Mother, in the cheap wooden box they used for firewood. Under the weeds and wild flowers, lined with rocks.
And after that he wasn't, not if he could help it. Slept during the day, gambled the evening away then found a girl to keep the shadows away for the night.
Then Hakkai fell into his life. Dead weight that wouldn't budge no matter how much he tested the lines. Found himself with a blonde thorn in the side and a hair-brained tug on the arm.
He hadn't minded at all. Not until the good guys - if they could be called good guys- won and their travels ended, only Goyo couldn't stop. Couldn't go back to the before after so many years of running and fighting and fucking across a destiny.
So he kicked destiny aside and took the path less traveled. West again, always West.
No one followed.
Grimacing, the half-breed sat back in his chair and transferred his gaze to the ceiling. Dirt. Of course. Swiping heavy hair out of his face, he lit a cigarette and let the smoke rise and curl, not so much for a nicotine fix as for something more entertaining than cheap plaster.
Thought of gunshots, yelling, and pieces of ceiling hitting him over the head while a patient voice soothed and Gojyo snickered. He missed it all.
His glass was half empty.
Of course, of course it was and he laughed. Because hey, life was funny in a sadistic kinda way and his life was worse than a corrupt monk with PMS. If he didn't laugh, he'd punch someone in the face. Hard.
"Extranjero loco" the barman muttered. Gojyo raised a hand without looking and flipped him off.
"/No loco/," this voice was new, edged, accented. It paused and seemed to consider something. "Just a little unwell. Really, Pedro, you should keep up with Kasey's Top 100."
Gojyo peered up through red strands, eyes following a trail of glasses until they focused on the not-bartender. One of the dozen, then. Pale sharp features surrounded by black. Framed almost, but you only framed art and this man was more akin to disaster.
"I told you before, gringo," the bartender spat and this time he was the one with the accent. "My name is /not Pedro/."
The man smiled. Gojyo was reminded of Sanzo's sneer. "Well, gosh. Next you'll be telling me you don't have twenty kids and wear a sombrero on most days." Ghost hands trailed over the scarred back of a chair, swift and gone in an instant. Sitting down, the dark-haired man simply...sprawled. "Now get us some real tequila, fuckwad, not the bottled donkey piss you gave me last time. My trigger finger's getting a wee bit antsy."
The bartender's left cheek twitched but the man reached under the counter and damn near slammed the bottle down.
The pale man, a foreigner like himself Gojyo figured with some glee, just smiled again and tsked. His head turned, making the over-sized sunglasses flash. The gun was out with a snap, pointed at the figure behind the counter in a casual threat. It was off, the redhead noted, aimed an inch away from the man.
"Now, now, Pedro, that was awfully rude of you. It doesn't pay to be rude to me. Comprende?"
The man nodded, inhaled sharpely. The aim adjusted- right on target. "Si, si, Signor Sands."
Sands cocked his head to the side. "What's that? It's on the house. My, that's swell of you, Pedro." Glasses turned towards him as shot glasses sloshed over with amber liquid.
Gojyo felt a chill down his spine despite the sweltering heat.
There was a worm in his drink.
Gojyo had eaten a lot of things in his time, but he had never encountered this particular phenomenon known as...
"S'it called?" he not-slurred. Not at all.
"Tequila," replied his new best friend, who could pour without looking and charmthe varnish off the bar.
...known as tequila. It wasn't pleasant, but it was quicker than beer and cheaper. Granted, that was because he wasn't paying at all but /still/.
"So. /So/," he tested the word out again, "so why'd you pick me?"
Sands lolled his head until it was facing him again. "For?"
Gojyo gestured to the growing pile of glasses and bottles. The movement didn't satisfy his companion though and he was forced to use his words. "Drink. Beeeru."
The black-haired man snorted and didn't answer for a while. Gojyo started to nod off when he was hearing ability betrayed him. "Well, kitten" not slurring either but drawling. "You sound like the only one hear with a bit of...life left." The half-breed thought he felt a pointed stare directed at his groin. "And from the sounds of it, the only lonely-ass fucker here without black hair, brown eyes, and mariachi-worship."
"You've got black hair," Gojyo pointed out. "Color's your eyes?"
Sands stood with a jerk, tossed back his last shot before grinning. It wasn't a nice grin. "Black," he said. "Fuck or not?"
The chair was pushed aside in a second. Gojyo towered over the other man by a full head.
Sands didn't seem to care.
Heat spread through him - /over him, in him/- and half-finished moans made his nails scratch over a lithe back, curl over the bumps of Sands's spine. Count the ribs, wonder how the man could be so thin yet be so damn cocksure, like death warmed over.
His blood hummed like it hadn't in a while, not since the last big battle. A rush, completely addictive.
"San-" Gojyo choked, not sure how to end it. Decided on a drawn out groan and a harder thrust of his hips.
Sands mewed and cursed like an ill-mannered whore. "Shit, ungh, you fucker /harder/." Head twisted around for a moment, long enough for a glimpse of harsh black lenses.
The redhead obliged all too happily. Maybe with a little too much enthusiasm but there weren't any complaints so he saw no reason to slow down, reached around to grip
Sands's dick and stroke.
"Ah, satan fucked your mom but /shit/," and he came, whipcord body tightening in all the right places until Gojyo moaned and fell forward spent.
Sands squirmed then shoved until he could claw his way to the other side of the bed. Two cigarettes procured from the night table and passed along. One eyebrow raised, Sands smirked. "Was it good for you too, sweetcheeks?"
"Great. You got ten minutes to get your ass out the door." The bastard's smirk grew.
Gojyo glared. "Heh, Good luck with that. I'm not moving yet." And he closed his eyes again, only to open them again when he heard a familiar click sound.
"You really, really don't want to make me mad. Savvy?"
Sitting up, Gojyo could only think to say "Life. Sadistic bitch."
He didn't expect the humorless grin he got in return. "Just figuring that out?"
And suddenly his blood was humming again, angry and itching inside his skin because this skinny asshole was mocking him as if the half-breed didn't /know/.
He didn't laugh. Just punched.
The sunglasses cracked and fell to the bed, useless.
Black gaping holes, two where eyes should be and one aimed for his head.
"And justice, fuckmook, is blind," Sands snarled.
And suddenly that glass of his was half full in comparison.
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