River of Stars Ch 2 bit – Sha flashback

Shadows moved against shadows, blurring into a dejected, brown-haired young man in the same kind of prison tunic he’d been shoved into. Staring down at something on the wall ledge that served for a table, the stranger shook his head in denial, light glinting off three silver cuffs on his ear-

Since when did prisoners wear jewelry?

Limiters, Sha thought, chilled. He’s youkai.

Like that bastard Ni is trying to make me.

Well. Anybody with a reason to hate Ni was worth getting to know better. “Hey,” he croaked. Coughed, and tried again. “You look like hell.”

Green eyes flicked to him, startled. “I look like…?”

“I’m-” don’t mention Earth, damn, what do I say, nobody around here’s named Joseph “-Sha Gojyo. Who are-” He coughed again, and couldn’t stop.

Gentle hands, youkai-strong, helped him sit up. Rubbed his back, easing the worst spasms. Helped him sip water from a carved wooden mug, a taste of oak and stone and someone else’s lips. “Hakkai,” came the shy voice. “I’m Cho Hakkai.” His new cellmate felt his forehead; leaned close, and sniffed at his neck.

“Hey, you’re not nearly cute enough for-”

“In an hour or two, you’re going to be delirious,” Hakkai said plainly. “That’ll last at least a day. If you’re lucky, it’ll be longer.”

“Lucky?”

“Most people die the first day.”

Sha blinked, taking that in. “Well, shit.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Hell, don’t be sorry. Help me figure out a way to break out of here. Or at least stay sane long enough to break Ni’s damn neck,” Sha growled.

“Break out…?”

The disbelief in that tone might as well have been a red flag. “Don’t,” Sha said bluntly. “Don’t you dare say it’s impossible. Nothing’s impossible. Not while you’re still breathing.” He took a breath. “I’m going to live, Hakkai. I’m going to beat this thing. And then I’m getting the hell out of here.” He glared at wide, startled green. “You coming?”

“…I suppose if I said no, you’d drag me out with you.”

“Damn right,” Sha nodded. “Wouldn’t leave my worst enemy in here.”

For the first time, a faint smile appeared on Hakkai’s face. “Then I guess there’s really no choice.” Standing, he crossed the room to the ledge, and slipped a platinum ring onto each middle finger.

“Uh… what are those?” Sha asked warily.

“Healing rings.” Hakkai sat back down beside him. “I’ve… watched them used. But I’ve never….” Words ran out; he looked down.

He’s a host, Sha thought, stunned.

…And right now, he’s the only guy who gives a damn if I live or die. “Go for it.”

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10 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 2 bit – Sha flashback

  1. Not revealing he is Tauri (?) to a stranger is smart. Especially since he was already neck deep in trouble. But it is nice to see the start of the friendship between these two. Probably one of the few positives about this experience. Being youkai is probably handy a lot of the time but since becoming youkai was not their idea and sounds like a very unpleasant transformation experience, you could understand being ambivalent at best about it.

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    1. SG canon is “Tau’ri,” apparently.

      And yes, Sha knew he was in enough hot water already. I suspect Hakkai figured out within a few weeks his cellmate was from way out of town, but I don’t think he guessed Sha was from off the planet until… well, after Sanzo showed up.

      (There were explosions involved. But, knowing Sanzo, you probably guessed that already…. 😉 )

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      1. Knew it was something like that. Just couldn’t remember how they spelled it – Gao’uld loves putting in apostrophes.

        And of course Hakkai figured out something was odd with his cellmate – he’s crazy, not stupid. 😉

        Sanzo is another discipline of Kill It With Fire and/or When In Doubt C4 (Or Its Local Equivalent). A method of problem solving that certain members of SG might find hard to disagree with, considering.

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  2. Aaaah, it just figures that Gojyo christens *himself* with a local name in this ‘verse. Though I’m curious as to why he decided on *that* specific name. Nice to see his leeriness of strangers while held prisoner too – they’re either meant to be ‘together forever’ (queue cheesy teenage squealing) or the bromanciest bros ever thought up, but there’s no way they were going to trust each other right from the get go. They ARE themselves, after all.

    The ‘are you a host/what do you mean it’s complicated’ conversation must’ve been fun, whenever that happened. Also, I’m betting anything that the compounded leeriness hit critical mass when Sanzo and Goku showed up. 😀

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    1. Despite the fact that I am surprised that he named himself as well, it makes sense. It’s a very similar name to Joseph, at least in appearance. I’ve heard my name mangled by accents that just don’t have the sounds to get it right, so if they found a friendly seeming local he might just be giving out the closest pronunciation the locals got.

      And yes, those two are Best Bromance, and it is nice to see that not immediately reflected. Which, sounds odd. But the closest literary equivalent I can think of is in the Young Apprentice books when Obi-Wan is being sent to Bandomeer to join the AgriCorps on the same transport as Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon is bit of an ass, but eventually does rescind his previous refusal to take an apprentice, giving us what was obviously a great partnership before Qui-Gon met Anakin. But if I start in that I’ll never shut up, so.

      And I dunno about the leeriness, Sanzo kind of has a way of polarizing things of that nature. It’s part of his grumpy charm. Hey, there’s a thought, he’s the well armed, violent version of Grumpy Cat.

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      1. Actually, Gojyo was named. Remember canon relations? Ni needed to get the genetic material for the changes from someone. This scene is partway through Gojyo’s flashback sequence. KohakuRyu, pretty sure it is from a local accent changing “Joseph”.

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      2. Oh, that’s an interesting way of looking at it – I’ve heard my name mangled loads of times, but never to the point where it’s unrecognizable. I’m still finding it hard to think about how ‘Joseph’ could phonetically shift to ‘Gojyo’, unless locals decided the ‘seph’ part of his name was too difficult to deal with and added a prefix to the first phoneme instead. Which… is actually very possible, come to think of it.

        KohakuRyu, you’ve given me yet another reason to consider reading the Young Apprentice books. I’ve been putting it off for far too long, in fear of being sucked into the black hole that is the Extended Universe/Star Wars Legends. But oh, how I want to see more literary representations of bromance done well.

        (I will never be able to lose the mental image of Sanzo as a well armed and violent Grumpy Cat. Whoa. Where do you suppose the fan would go?)

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      3. *snrks* Sanzo as Grumpy Cat….

        Hm. I imagine he’d keep his fan in Cat!Space(TM) – that mysterious dimension cats use to teleport and walk through walls. 😉

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