Title: Borrowed Things

LJ: http://kirathaune.livejournal.com/  
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Hazel & Gat, with a special appearance by Sanzo-han
Rating/Warning: PG, mostly for You-Know-Who's mouth.
Summary: Everything that's borrowed must eventually be returned.
Disclaimers: This is just for fun, no profit made.
Notes: Another ficlet for moshesque's Random Holiday Post of Fwee, her prompt was "something borrowed".

Gat cleared branches and brush out of the way as Hazel and Sanzo trudged up the mountain path. Hazel's attempts at conversation were continually rebuffed by the monk, and it was hard walking anyway, so for most of the morning the three walked in silence.

Suddenly the path widened before them, and Hazel made a little "Hn" of disappointment as Sanzo quickly moved ahead of them by a good thirty feet. He heard the snick of the monk's lighter, and soon cigarette smoke was drifting back towards him and Gat. Mr. Sanzo was mighty picky about his "personal space," and there had been precious little of that while they had been working their way up this mountain. Hazel couldn't blame him, really, for wanting to get away from them for awhile.

He stumbled on a rock, and Gat's hand shot out to steady him. "Much obliged, Gat," Hazel said, smiling at his constant companion. "Whatever would I do without you?" His smile faded as his eyes dropped to where his pendant used to hang. The pendant that he relied on to keep Gat a constant companion. The pendant that Gat had broken two days ago.

Whatever would I do without you?

Frustration welled up in him. "Gat, why did you do such a damn-fool thing?" He glared at his friend.

Yellow eyes slid away from his. "Hazel..."

But Hazel wouldn't be quieted. "Now, I understand that y'all didn't agree with me doin' anything to help them fellers back there. But why'd you have to go and break my pendant?" He stopped walking and stamped his foot. "You giant idiot, we might get in a spot where I can't revive you!"

Gat stopped walking too, and his gaze meet Hazel's, unwavering. "Then I will not be revived."

"But you'll die!" Gloved hands gripped the soft tan suede of Gat's vest.

The Indian's face softened. "I died many years ago. All these years, you have been merely borrowing me. And all borrowed things must eventually be returned."

"Returned? To who?"

Large hands covered his where they clung to the leather vest, and gently pulled them away. "To the Great Spirit, Hazel. You need to allow me to return to the great Medicine Wheel. I have walked the
Good Red Road of life with you, even though I am without life. Now you must allow me to take the Black Road, the road West, so that I may join my ancestors and learn the spirit ways."

Hazel decided to deliberately misunderstand. "But we're already goin' West, you great fool!" Gat's eyes met his again, and Hazel saw compassion in them. He was not fooled, not one bit.

"Yes, we are on the road to Death. But you need not die, nor Sanzo, nor the others." He nodded in the monk's direction, where Sanzo had taken the opportunity to sit and smoke another cigarette while waiting for them to catch up. "I'll protect you as long as I am able. And I may remain here for a long while, but when it happens, Hazel, please just let it happen."

Hazel stood there and stared at his boots, chest tight and eyes pricking. He did not want this. He couldn't imagine travelling without the big galoot. But Gat was stubborn as a mule sometimes, and this was one of those times.

"Oi! If you two morons are done over there, let's get a move on." Sanzo stood, stowing away his cigarette pack in his robes. "I want to get to the top of this shitpile while there's still light." The monk started walking, muttering, "Everywhere. Everywhere I go, it's fucking idiots..."

Hazel drew a deep breath. "My goodness, were we that long? My apologies, Mr. Sanzo. Gat and I just had something we needed to... discuss." He looked over at Gat, strong and solid and... borrowed. We'll see. I never was good at returning my library books on time.

Gat gestured to the open path ahead of them. "Hazel... go on, now."

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