Blood and pain and he couldn’t get there in time-
“Be strong, Priest-“
Sanzo bolted upright with a gasp, almost tangling himself in the tent wall before he remembered where he was.
We’re not in the palace. I’m not an apprentice. It’s not-
A scatter like dropped beads, pattering into a steady drum.
…Raining. Oh, gods.
Burrowing back into his sleeping bag was very, very tempting. Meditate deeply enough, and the whole world would be swallowed up in a gray ocean of misery. For a while.
But Teal’c was :waiting, alert: on watch, which meant the rest of SG-1 should be up within the hour. And if Sanzo stayed put, O’Neill would try to wake him. Meaning O’Neill would get shot. Meaning Kanzeon’s chances of negotiating with the SGC to get the Tok’ra off her planet – or at least, put them on notice that they’d been permanently disinvited – would go down like a rock.
:Patience: radiated through the tent wall. :Anticipation of subtle revenge.:
Damn it, Hakkai. I’ve had a bad week, I can’t shoot a bastard who deserves it, and I want to sulk.
:Patience. Worry. Hands wrapped around a warm cup, liquid easing tight lungs.:
…And he’d gotten Hakuryuu in on it, which was patently Not Fair. Sanzo sighed, and flung back covers. :Coming.:
Hakkai let him have a few minutes to take care of necessities, then appeared, offering a raised brow and a steaming cup that smelled like mint and burned pecans.
Grimacing, Sanzo gulped half of it down. Ugh.
“Now, now,” Hakkai chided gently, slipping hands under Sanzo’s rain cloak to sense the flux of energy in throat and lungs. Hakuryuu was a white lump in the healer’s hood, looking smug at being out of the wet. “You always say there’s no reason to waste energy healing when prevention can avoid it in the first place.”
“Nrgh.” Shuddering, Sanzo drained the dregs. Rain meant more than bad memories for the both of them. Rain meant mold – and while Sanzo hadn’t yet met a germ on Shangri-La that could put him down for more than a day or two, there was at least one kind of fungus out there that left him a coughing, wheezing ball of misery. If they didn’t head it off first.
Hakkai could heal him, of course. But he hated to need it.
Satisfied, Hakkai stepped away. “Tea?”
“Mmph.” At least the crispness of green tea rinsed the medicinal taste from his throat. Caffeine didn’t hurt either. “Up early.”
“Yes,” Hakkai admitted.
Which was all that needed to be said. It’d been raining the night Kanan took her own life, and when Koumyou’s life flickered out, and the grief rippled between them like water.
“You’ve been very tolerant,” the healer mused. “I don’t think they appreciate that.”
Which was a warning sign, if Sanzo cared enough to pay attention. Right now, he didn’t. Let the bastards walk into whatever Hakkai had cooked up. As long as it didn’t kill them. And it wouldn’t. Dead, they’d never learn their lesson. “The Tok’ra are allied with the SGC, and Thor reportedly has a soft spot for O’Neill,” Sanzo said bluntly. “Any move the hag makes against the idiots could drag in the Asgard. And that could put Shangri-La right back in the middle of the System Lords’ petty wars. Kanzeon has her children, and they’ll fight – but she doesn’t have armies of Jaffa. We’ve got to try to negotiate first.”
“Tok’ra don’t respect host species,” Hakkai said matter-of-factly. “Any terms they might come to with the SGC would need to be renegotiated decade by decade. If not year by year.”
“I know,” Sanzo sighed. “But if we can hold out another century….”
“They’re killing themselves.”
Kanzeon’s voice. Kanzeon’s nails tapping the arm of her throne as she looked over facts and figures. A waft of roses and vanilla; the familiar slide of silk and silver over his skin, and the weight of long hair brushing the nape of his neck-
“Seven millennia we’ve poured across the galaxy, conquering world after world. Only this one will be their last. Ra’s children are dead. They just don’t know it yet….”