A/N: Oh, Jack. It took you this long to figure it out…?
Hakkai listened, catching the regal tones that meant Sanzo was still in full regalia for the village elders. Crown and all. Which had served the dual purpose of impressing the locals and thoroughly distracting Dr. Jackson… who was currently being guarded by Major Carter and Teal’c, as Goku and Gojyo swept the village for any concealed youkai. Leaving Hakkai alone with the colonel behind the inn they’d last stayed at. How wonderfully thoughtful of Sanzo. “Well, Colonel… I thought we might have a little talk right now. About youkai, and clans, and exactly who is in charge of this mission.” The healer smiled. The day was warm, the sun was shining, and that endless pit of guilt and madness was finally gone. Which meant that the desire to remove his limiters and shred O’Neill’s uniform and skin with his claws – just a little, not nearly enough to kill – was purely his own. How comforting.
Gently, gently, the healer told himself. After all, the zatarcs are still out there. Even cranky as he may currently be, Sanzo’s not cruel enough to kill them all and leave none for the rest of us. “First – I told you, Goku’s not harmless. He’s certainly not a child, even if he is young. As far as Shangri-La is concerned, he is a youkai warrior, and he has every right to be on the battlefield. Especially when his clan leader is at risk.”
O’Neill’s eyes narrowed. “Dr. Genjyo.”
“Genjyo Sanzo,” Hakkai corrected him. “He’s been Sanzo since the day Koumyou passed on the title. He’ll be Sanzo until he dies. Which I doubt will be anytime soon; he’s stubborn enough to outlive all of us.” Another smile. “Second – Gojyo is ours. Leave him alone.”
That earned him a darker look, if a wary one. “Joseph Sha is a captain of the SGC.”
“Joseph Sha was abandoned, and perished,” Hakkai said simply. “It took a while – he held on to being human so very long – but between myself and Dokugakuji… well. Instincts are so incredibly interesting, don’t you think?” Gojyo’s, and his own. Months in the same cell had anchored him to the man; waking mine and protect and trust.
Instincts that weren’t human. Instincts he’d despised, with every fiber of his soul, the instincts of the creatures that had violated Kanan….
And yet, those same, awful instincts let him fight the dark well of Gonou inside him, and try to live. When he’d realized that… he’d let them come.
No, Hakkai thought. Not just let.
Between losing his body and mind, and losing his humanity… the choice wasn’t hard. Just agonizing. Focus on Gojyo; his scent, his laughter, his shifting body language as Dokugakuji literally beat into the man what it meant to be youkai. Let himself touch, and hold, and grip skin with teeth.
He’d hated being youkai, yes. But he’d hated Gonou more.
Now Hakkai focused on O’Neill, and gave a silken shrug. “Sha Gojyo belongs to Sanzo’s clan. As I do, and Goku does. You wouldn’t let someone shatter your team, would you? No, I thought not. So. Leave us alone.” He smiled slightly. “After all, I’d hate to have to rob Sanzo of an opportunity to dispense a moral lesson on the virtues of respecting the bonds of obligation and duty.”
O’Neill gave him a long, wary look. “…He’s right. No way in hell are you innocent.”
“I really didn’t want to kill our neighbors,” Hakkai said mildly. “But the Centipede Clan… well. I’ve heard rumors that some survived.” Not changing his expression, he cut the colonel’s tape. “People know that the servants of other gods do not come to Shangri-La without Kanzeon’s consent. Which is, I think, one reason the Tok’ra have managed to pass unnoticed this long. But do try to remember that you’re travelers from a distant land, making a pilgrimage to the Temple of the Setting Sun? Some of the local monks can be rather stiff about letting outsiders past their walls.”
“Village, not monastery,” O’Neill pointed out, eyeing the buildings around them as he rubbed tape-chafed wrists.
“Ah, but you should practice.” Hakkai granted him another smile. From the spike of adrenaline in his scent, the colonel did not appreciate it. “Sanzo was very, very polite on your world. We all were; well, Goku and Gojyo tried, at least. But that’s only proper. On Earth, we were guests. And a guest should always strive to be civil and courteous. Don’t you think?”
The colonel stood, with the sort of relaxed calm Hakkai knew was one breath away from controlled violence. “You are absolutely, one hundred percent, homicidally insane, aren’t you?”