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Braids had a damned big bulge in his pants that he was grinding up against Sanzo's ass with hurtful intensity. The youkai was obviously proud of the proportions of that no doubt dirty piece of flesh - - he boasted about it enough, to the enjoyment of the other three youkai who'd settled down upon the patched couch to watch the show. One of them had Sanzo's gun. He caught the glint of dull metal from the corner of his eye as he was struggling to keep Braids from yanking his jeans down.
Okay. Okay. The gun was here. It was just a matter of how to get his hands on it. It seemed an unlikely event. It seemed like he was going to get raped, mauled and possibly eaten -- - and not necessarily in that order - - all while hanging helplessly from the hook in the ceiling..
He hated the notion of going down to the likes of these crass idiots. Hated the fact that they'd probably brag about it afterwards. That maybe - - just maybe word would get back to the inept lot of morons that he was traveling with, how badly he'd bungled this - - how embarassingly he'd ended his present existence on this earth - - and that thought was intolerable. It was the notion of that embarrassment that made his stomach clench and churn with nausea - - it wasn't stark fear. Absolutely it wasn't. The likes of these didn't have what it took to terrify Genjo Sanzo.
Braids interrupted that train of dismal thought by jerking his head back and hissing terms of endearment in his ear.
"I'm gonna split you in two, monk."
Sanzo seriously doubted it, impressive size or not. "You think you can take me - - me all chained up like this? Maybe you ought to get one of them to hold me still, so you can manage a little better."
He got hit hard in the side for that little suggestion. It didn't keep him from gasping. "You afraid you can't take me, if I'm not strung up here? You afraid of how bad a simple human is, you fucking weak-assed, cowardly youkai prick?"
The other ones laughed at that and Braids hissed and stabbed a finger at them to shut up.
"You think I can't beat you to a pulp any day of the week?" An open handed slap connected with Sanzo's face. It was more humiliating, being slapped like a woman, than it was to get a flat out fist in the face. He shook hair out of his eyes and glared. There was fresh blood in his mouth from a new cut on the inside of his lip. It was an irritating presence running down the back of his throat. He laughed - - the most derisive, insulting laugh he could manage, what with his head spinning and his body feeling like he'd been dragged a few miles over rocky terrain.
"Not without help."
Which got him another slap, this one backhanded and with enough force behind it to rattle his brains and send him over the edge of consciousness.
The darkness ate up a chunk of his awareness, which only came back when his knees hit the hard wood floor and sent fingers of pain up his body from a new source. One wrist was still encircled by the unforgiving metal of the cuff, the other one was free. He managed to take this in, doubled over on hands and knees on the floor, a split second before Braid's booted foot connected with his gut. He tumbled with the impact, reflexively curling to protect himself from another such blow. It didn't come. Braids did. Hurling himself onto Sanzo, tangling long nailed fingers in his hair as he slammed his head down onto the floor.
Blackness again. Fucking annoying. He came out of it fairly quickly this time, spurred by Braid's nails gouging his flesh as the youkai jerked his jeans down. Sanzo cursed, curled his fingers around the loose circle of cuff and slammed that hand with its metal accouterment into Braid's mouth. He drew some blood of his own then. The impact of metal had driven flesh into sharp teeth. The youkai howled and reared back, mouth leaking red.
The moment of shock didn't last long. The blow managed to take away what little reason Braids had in his eyes. He might have been a common, run of the mill youkai, but he was still stronger and faster than a human. Especially a human who'd just had the crap beaten out of him. Braids caught Sanzo's fist when he tried to land a second blow. Jerked that arm across his chest to hinder the other one, then pressed his big body down over Sanzo's, face so close that blood dripped from his torn lip onto Sanzo's cheek.
"You're dead, human. I'm gonna pull out your guts and strangle you with them. Gonna cut off your little human prick and shove it down your smart mouth. I'll fuck you first - - and maybe during - - and after, before you're too cold to enjoy anymore."
Sanzo hissed and tried to buck off the weight. Braid's chortled, spewing blood and spittle. He used his leverage on Sanzo's captured arm to jerk him over onto his stomach, twisting the arm up behind his back hard enough to dislocate Sanzo's shoulder. He felt the grinding slide of the joint popping out of place - - heard the sickening sound of it and had to bite his lip to keep from screaming. Braids was fumbling with his own pants, trying to get himself free of denim and zipper and filthy briefs. He got himself out and wrapped his free arm under Sanzo's hips, yanking him up close to the heat of his crotch.
Oh - - fuckfuckfuck. Panic came in a crashing wave. He couldn't stop it. All he wanted of a sudden, more than pride and ego and vengeance, was out. He broke nails - - made them bleed as he desperately searched for purchase on the barren wood floor - - and found nothing that was going to stop this - -
"What the fuck are you doing?" There was the echoing impact of the door slamming open and rebounding off the inside wall. The roaring boom of an angry voice.
At least enough of it, that Braid's stopped what he was doing and stared in trepidation at the interruption.
A big man stood in the door. Human. Fat. Familiar. The fucking, good-for-nothing, lying, thieving mayor of Ho-goh village.
"You were supposed to kill him, not fuck him! What am I paying you for, you filthy beasts?" The mayor yelled, red faced. The man's skinny, back stabbing son hovered in the darkness behind him, trying to see around his father's bulk and into the shack's interior.
Braids growled low in his throat. His fingers tightened on Sanzo's wrist, threatening to break fragile bones.
"You fat bastard, you don't come here and tell me how to do my job."
"It looks like I do. He's supposed to be dead, you idiot!"
"He will be." Braids hissed, rising and pulling Sanzo up in one smooth motion. The pull on his arm sent blinding streaks of pain across his vision. More so when Braids used it to propel him across the room and into the arms of his comrades. He went down to the floor, skinning his bare knees, the one arm limp at his side, the other one clutching at the youkai arm that encircled his neck, yanking him back against a foul smelling youkai body. They laughed at his predicament. They snickered at the fat man's red face and his impotent anger.
"Are the others dead?"
"Yes." Braids snapped. "Now get out before I rip you a new asshole, you stinking, fat human."
"Not until I see him dead, too."
"I'll bring you his head, if you want." Braid's sneered.
The mayor was not at all pleased with that promise. The mayor did a stupid thing. He slapped a pumped up, blood-lusting, aroused youkai right across the face, yelling. "You'll do it now, you stupid bastard!!"
Braids promptly ripped his throat out, spraying blood across himself, the door, and the mayor's wide-eyed son just behind him outside it. The big body toppled backwards, writhing, hands desperately trying to cease the flow of blood. It pumped steadily out regardless, until the limbs stopped kicking and the body's labored breathes stilled.
Sanzo almost smiled. If nothing else, it saved him from having to hunt the fat bastard down. The kid took off running, screaming bloody murder and Braids cast a feral look back at his comrades, stabbing a finger at Sanzo and barking.
"He'd better be in one piece when I get back from sending the brat along behind his papa."
Goku was onto something, moving so fast through the woods that Hakkai and Gojyo had a hard time keeping up. They'd lost him once, in the darkness and only Hakkai's intuition had steered them in the right direction and they'd seen the flash of Goku's cloak as he passed under a break in the foliage and some pitiful, stray bit of cloud obscured moonlight had gotten through to illuminate him.
"Damn fool's gonna run us ragged." Gojyo complained with what breath he had. It was hard work, running with a bullet wound in your body. Hakkai grunted, mouth a straight line, expressionless. Harder to read than Sanzo, even when he was upset. Worried, that was clear, as if they all weren't. They'd been fucked-over but good. Led on a wild youkai chase and betrayed and ambushed. And for what? Damned if he'd yet to figure that out. It wasn't as if land out here was hard to come by. They weren't smack dab in the middle of a desert where even little bits of fertile land were valuable. Why the fuck go the trouble of hiring youkai to chase human settlers away? Why go the extreme of trying to murder them, to keep them from discovering the scheme? It made no damn sense. Or maybe it did and his brain hurt too much to connect the dots. Sanzo and Hakkai had the better heads for unearthing subtle conspiracies.
No time to dwell on that though, as a wailing cry cut through the soft, mist-filled silence of the wood. Not a sound Goku would make for damn sure. It sounded like somebody was having their tonsils ripped out.
They veered off from the track they'd been following, not knowing what to expect, but rather certain that whatever it was, it wouldn't be pretty.
There was a body on the ground, still twitching in the aftermath of an unpleasant death. Between the dark and the blood the body was almost unrecognizable. Almost.
"Its that fucking kid - - the mayor's son from the village."
Hakkai nodded, putting a finger on the young man's torn neck. Somebody had ripped him up and bad. A few slashes down the back, and most of the damage to the front. The throat being slashed open had been a kind end to an otherwise gruesome demise. Gojyo looked away from the things spilling out from the kid's torn belly, staring instead into the shadowed woods. Whoever had done this hadn't been gone long. If that last cry had come from this kid - -then he'd only given up the ghost a few minutes before they'd gotten to him.
"Make him scream, Izo."
"Norio said not to."
"Norio said to keep him in one piece."
"Yeah - - he didn't say we couldn't have a little fun."
"Make him bleed."
Idiots. He was in the hands of idiots. The arm around his throat was cutting off the majority of his air, otherwise he'd have told them so. These three, he thought, didn't so much want to fuck him as shred him. It was their leader - - this Norio - - who had the thing for humans. Norio was the problem, because Norio had half a brain. These three - - these three he might have a chance with.
He lifted his hands to try and pry the arm from around his throat and the one holding him growled and tightened the hold. Sanzo gasped, bereft of breath altogether. He slammed his balled fist up and into the face of the youkai, which gained him a yelp and a flurry of laughter from the other ones a moment before he got slammed face first onto the floor, with a heavy body on his back and claws digging into his back and neck. He truly despised this position.
"He said not to kill me - - you buffoon." He gasped. There was a hiss of frustration and the claws shifted down between his legs. Oh, fuck, that hurt. He almost cried out. He bit back on a scream and went limp. Don't fight them and they'd back off. Maybe. Hopefully.
There was the dull glint of the gun by his head. One of them leaned down and snarled into his face. "You don't talk. You talk and I rip out your tongue. Understand?"
Sanzo stared at him.
"Understand, damn you, human?" The youkai cried out, shoving the muzzle of the gun hard up against Sanzo's temple.
"For me to say yes would require talking. You said don't talk." He pointed out.
"Yeah - - well - - you can talk when we say."
"Moron." He hissed.
"Go ahead, fuck him before Norio gets back. Won't be much left of him then." One of the others said, goading the one with the gun into mayhem. Maybe he'd been wrong about Norio being the only one with a taste for humans. Maybe these three didn't care what they screwed.
"Norio won't like it." He reminded them. "Remember what he said - -?"
"Shut the fuck up."
"He's right. Norio would notice."
"So, make him give you head. Norio won't notice that."
They liked that notion. They caught him by the good arm and flung him face first at the crotch of the one that had his gun. His bloody fucking gun that got pressed against the side of his face in attempts to intimidate him into taking the filthy youkai's prick into his mouth. It was damned bad enough that he'd gone down on one scoundrel with youkai blood in the last twenty-four hours - - two was out of the question.
"In your fucking dreams. You get it near me - - you'll bring back a stump." He ground out and the one behind him pressed close, closing his clawed hand around Sanzo's balls and squeezing hard. He shut his eyes, grinding his teeth against the bright flares of pain that danced behind his eyes.
"Knock out his teeth, Izo. That'll fix him." The third one grabbed his hair, yanking his head back so that Izo could raise the gun to bash against his mouth. All pride aside, having his teeth shattered out of sheer stubbornness on his part seemed a ridiculous price to pay just to keep a dick out of his mouth. Maybe he'd bite it off anyway, despite the threat. He wasn't quite sure if it was possible - - to gnaw one's way through that thick a chunk of muscle and flesh in the time he'd probably be given to work on the problem - - before he got a bullet in the head - - he'd never given it much though - - never been an intimate component of a knowledgeable conversation between those who might.
"I'll do it." He gasped as the fingers tightened and the one with the gun pulled his arm back to swing the pistol down.
They laughed over that, pleased with themselves. Izo unzipped and presented himself. Already engorged and obviously not washed in recent memory, the red tip of his cock batted Sanzo in the face. Oh, just - - fucking - - perfect. People were going to die. He kept vowing that to himself, over and over. Nobody here was going to spread rumors of this because he was personally going to see them all rotting.
He opened his mouth reluctantly and Izo pushed in, trying to choke Sanzo in that first invasion. He got his good arm free and placed it on the floor to support himself, to try and get enough leverage to push himself back when Izo and the youkai behind him were doing their damnedest to make him deepthroat the despicable thing in his mouth.
But Izo was getting off. Izo leaned over, the hand with the gun resting on the floor, fingers clenching and unclenching about the hilt. And Sanzo wasn't even trying. It occurred to him that maybe he ought to give it a little effort. That as disgusting as it was, there might be benefit from it if the filthy beast forgot to keep his grip on the gun - - - oh, fucking miserable way to create a diversion - - a goddamned embarrassing one.
Sanzo's fingertips could just touch the cool metal of the Smith and Wessen. The youkai's hand still clutched it. He just needed him to lift that hand - - to loosen the tight curl of those long nailed fingers - -
The door slammed open with an impact to rival the crack of Sanzo's gun. Bang. And wind rushed it with it. Cold as winter rain it blew into the shack, bringing wetness and debris with it. The youkai jumped like errant kids caught with their grimy fingers in an off limits cookie-jar. Sanzo got shoved back, teeth raking the fetid flesh of the cock in his mouth as the youkai in question tried to distance himself from the scene of the crime. Sanzo snarled, spitting and hurled himself in the same direction, clutching after the momentarily forgotten gun. He wrapped the fingers of his good arm around the familiar, worn grip and fired at the closest vital spot in his line of vision, hoping that there were enough bullets left in the chamber to take out these three and their braided leader, who'd no doubt just barged back into the shack.
Blood spattered. A body went down with a gaping hole in its forehead. Youkai screamed, but strangely enough the other two weren't backing away from him. They were staring wild eyed at the door, hands shielding their faces from the flying debris that the storm brought in with it. Sanzo rolled onto his back, aiming the gun a the door, expecting Norio and finding something else altogether.
For a second, his finger froze on the trigger - - surprise debilitating him. But only for a second. He squeezed and the gun recoiled in his hand. The bullet tore into flesh and out the other side and the thing in the door didn't even shudder.
It had been a man. Had been a living man only a brief time ago, before youkai claws had ripped into the sagging throat, spewed red life's blood all down the generous belly and created a corpse. The mayor of Ho-goh village teetered in the eye of the maelstrom, his eyes rolled back in his head, the gaping wound in his neck a grinning mockery of the man's slack mouth.
The sense of - - wrongness - - in the air was so strong that it made Sanzo's gut churn. Why hadn't he noticed it before? Probably because his gut had been churning from the dick shoved down his throat and it was truly hard to focus around such things.
He fired another bullet and this one took the mayor though his blank eye socket, imploding the soft tissue of the eyeball, and tearing a hole in the back of the man's skull. The body rocked, the head snapped back on the thick neck. The feet shuffled forward and the air turned so cold that the touch of it burned. The youkai screamed, eyes gone feral with terror. One of them charged for the door and the mayor lifted one flabby arm catching the youkai by the edge of the sleeve.
The youkai screamed. Sanzo did, head suddenly filled with a malignancy that punched its way through his skull and pierced the gray matter shielded behind. At least it felt that way. It was all ethereal. It was all inside his head or encapsulated within the cultivated range of his metaphysical senses - - it might not have been pain so much as revulsion.
When he could see again, the youkai was a bloody pulp of ground meat on the floor, the other one was a spatter of meat and blood and bone against the far wall. His own finger was repeatedly pulling the trigger of a gun long since empty.
The mayor's one eyed blank stare fixed on him and he ground his teeth, scrambling backwards, wanting as far away from the body and whatever terrible, foul spirit possessed it, as he could get. He didn't have the sutra, but he started chanting anyway, not even sure if his voice was really shaking or if it were his senses betraying him. A mantra against evil. A mantra to dispel malignancy. Without the meten sutra's power to back him, he didn't know if he had the strength to phase this thing.
It took a step towards him and the floorboards curled under its feet, warping wood screaming in a high pitched screech. Sanzo narrowed his eyes, backed against the wall, and refused to relent.
And then, without warning - - without, he was sure, urging from him - - the wind stopped. The foulness in the air dissipated and the ponderous body of the mayor of Ho-goh toppled off its feet, hitting the floor with a thud that raised dust and debris.
Sanzo faltered finally in his chant - - eyes tearing from the stinging wind or maybe from hair whipped brutally into them. He sat there, shuddering for a few moments, not quite certain he trusted the still body to remain still. He most certainly had no inclination to crawl over and nudge it. If he'd had a bullet he would have happily put it into the skull from a distance.
He pulled on his pants, one handed, wincing at the ache in the one shoulder. He shoved the empty gun in the waistband and retrieved his one sandal before sidling past the body and the gore on the floor. He hesitated just outside the door, where the body of the mayor had initially fallen. Through his bare foot, he felt a lingering coldness seeping up out of the earth. The fading traces of - - something. He wasn't sure what. Hastily, he stepped away and out into the night dark forest.
Woods, woods and more woods. The shack sat in the middle of the forest. He had no notion where he was, or how to get back to a more familiar setting.
Vision went wavery for a second. Just a breath where his balance threatened to desert him and the shadows tilted alarmingly. He willed it away out of sheer stubborn determination. He had not survived all that only to faint now.
A flash of movement in the shadows to his right. His night vision wasn't good enough to distinguish details. Just a glowing glimmer of youkai eyes and a hissing curse that proved a damned good clue that this was no good thing. He pulled the gun, empty of bullets or no and aimed it towards the fast approaching youkai.
It was Braids. Most certainly it was. How horrible could one night get? How bad his luck?
Another flash of movement. A hiss and a snarling thud as bodies impacted and crashed against the side of the shack.
Sanzo stood there with his gun arm extended, squinting into shadows human vision was in no way equipped to pierce. All he saw was a flash of claws, the whites of eyes and the glimmering sheen of a staff that grew out of nowhere and connected soundly with the flesh and bone of a skull. Braids yelped and scrambled out of the fray, out-matched and smart enough to know it. He darted for the pitch darkness of the woods and Goku almost followed - - but paused, shifting to look back into the faint light cast from the door of the shack at Sanzo.
"Sanzo - -?" A worried sounding Goku who stepped out of the shadows, with leaves and debris in his hair and a little of the wild look still in his eyes.
"You okay, Sanzo?"
Did he look okay? He felt like shit. He didn't grace the question with an answer. He had to force himself to lower the gun.
"Goku . . . Sanzo!!" there was a weak beam of light dancing through the forest. Hakkai held the source in his hand, battery fueled and waning. Gojyo trailed after, the shaku jou in hand.
"Sanzo, are you all right?" Hakkai mimicked Goku's question and Sanzo was no more inclined to answer him. Hakkai held his outer robe in his arm and what looked to be the sutra and various other of his possessions. He was only interested in one thing at the moment.
"Give me that." He reached for the robes, riffling through the inner pockets for bullets. Found a handful and began to shove the robe back at Hakkai, then had second thoughts and rummaged about for his pack of smokes. A little nicotine would be a good thing around now. Hakkai got the robes. Sanzo started feeding bullets to the gun.
"What the fuck happened in here?" Gojyo was at the door. Gojyo's voice sounded vaguely aghast. Sanzo didn't spare the shack a further glance. He wanted away from it. Wanted a little distance - - or a great one - - to clear his head and get his nerves under control.
"Sanzo?" Goku asked, sidling up to him when he started to stalk into the shadows of the wood. It didn't matter that he was worried, or scared or concerned about Sanzo. If he touched him - - he was goddamned going to shoot him.
"Back the fuck off!" He snarled, not sparing a sideways glance.
Goku was smart enough to recognize that tone. Goku reluctantly shuffled to a stop, whining to Hakkai about where Sanzo thought Sanzo was going and oughtn't they follow him to make sure he was okay?
Hakkai didn't know. Hakkai didn't think dogging Sanzo's heels at the moment the wise thing to do. Hakkai, Sanzo heard part of the response, thought there was something quite disturbing about this place.
Ha. He didn't know the half of it. Sanzo didn't know the half of it. He wasn't sure he wanted to.
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