Title: Grease Monkey
Summary: Sometimes a living motor vehicle needs a reanimated body builder with big guns.
Goku stood on top of the big rock he'd been sitting on to get a better view of the repairs. Gat's hand was way down deep inside of Jeep's engine, wiggling around something or other. Even up on top of the rock Goku couldn't see much more than… engine stuff. Hazel was leaning on the rock next to him, fanning himself with his hat.
"You know, this is quite a new experience for Gat. He has always been rather… adept shall we say, at the workin's of the internal combustion engine, but I daresay this is the first time one has ever had the gumption to talk back to him."
The poor dragon had been making funny little hiccuppy sounds for the better part of a week now. Hakkai had wanted to give him a rest but Sanzo said they couldn't, that they had to get over the mountains before the snows came. So they had gone on with the weird jumpy ride until the hiccups had gotten so bad that they made Hakuryuu transform right out from underneath them, and they suddenly found themselves bumping down the road with a sick dragon flying unhappy circles in the air above them. They were still groaning away like bruised, pathetic lumps on the ground when Hakkai quietly stood up, brushed off his pants, straightened his monocle, and informed everyone In No Uncertain Terms that they were gonna find Jeep a veterinarian, or a mechanic, or maybe even both, right now, a.s.a.p., before anyone took a single step further west, End of Discussion. Sanzo didn't say a word about it that time around, not even a "ch';" dirty black-and-blue butt cheeks had been a pretty damned convincing argument for everyone involved, even Sanzo. After Hakkai made his little speech and glared at them a bit for added emphasis he turned around and walked off down the road with the dragon on his shoulder. He didn't look back, not even once. It took a moment for the rest of them to get over the shock of Severe Butt Trauma and Hakkai Glare, but they finally picked themselves up, grabbed the bags, and limped the last few miles in silence, trailing behind Hakkai's angry back and the sound of tiny dragon hiccups.
Unfortunately, when they finally dragged their dusty asses into the next town all they ended up finding there were Gat and Hazel again. Man, he'd seriously think those guys were following them around, except for the fact they had already been there first. Hazel said that Gat didn't know much about dragons but he knew lots about engines, and would even do the repairs for free as long as they could get a ride to the next town. Even if Hakkai wasn't so sure about the offer, Sanzo sure was, especially about that 'free' part of it. Sanzo kept saying something to Hakkai about "obeying the letter of the law." All Goku knew about what that meant was that it had something to do with the next town being only five miles down the road and that ol' Banana Brains damn well better not breathe a word to the two of them about it, either.
Gat paused a second to wipe his arm across his face before he dove back in again. He had tucked those dangly hair and feather bits up inside of his cap 'cuz he said he wanted to keep them out of Jeep's inside parts. It might have worked fine for that but it made his head look kind of funny and lumpy, so it took everything Goku had not to laugh his road-bruised ass off every time he looked the guy in the face. Gat had also taken off his vest and shirt to keep them from getting all dirty from engine goop, so that sort of made up for the hat weirdness. Man, but he still could not get over the guy's muscles. It made him want to say "whoa" each time that huge back flexed, and he got to see a whole lot of flexing since lumpy hat and bare back were pretty much all you could see of what was currently going on in the repairs department. Everything else was somewhere deep inside of Jeep.
"Got it. That there?"
Poor Hakkai had to be forcibly hauled off by Gojyo awhile back, his heels dragging little lines in the dirt all the way down the hill and into the woods. Hazel had told him to go away 'cuz he kept shrieking each time Gat would pull something out or move something around inside of Jeep. Actually, it was Hazel that had called it "shrieking," Hakkai had called it "voicing his legitimate concerns," but whichever it was it was making Gat all jumpy and so he had to go. Before Gojyo dragged him away he made Goku promise to stay and watch to make sure Jeep was OK and that there wasn't any "sabotage to their vehicle," like he knew what that looked like. But it made Hakkai happy to think that he was there watching out for it, so he promised he would stick around and make sure everything was on the up and up. He wanted to stick around anyway, 'cuz honestly?- fixing Jeep wasn't something that happened every day, and, well, 'cuz he also kind of liked watching Gat do stuff. Plus he found out he could actually be helpful; along with his all-important 'Sabotage Watch' for Hakkai, it was his job to occasionally hand Gat a tool from Jeep's toolbox. He knew about as much about tools as he did about sabotage, so every time Gat asked for something he would bring an item out of the box, hoping it was the right thing. Sometimes it worked, usually it didn't, but Gat hadn't lost patience with him for getting the wrong tools yet, so the whole thing seemed to be working out pretty much ok so far.
"Wrench. The little one."
Ol' Lumpy Hat Gat had asked for the wrench before, so it was somewhere in the pile of 'used' tools he had already taken out of the toolbox. Goku jumped down to the set he had lined up on the ground next to the rock. Little one, so there had to be two of them there… hah. Had to be this thing. He ran it over to him.
"Here it is!'
Goku beamed at the back muscles already bent over the engine again. He kind of liked it when Gat said "thanks" to him; it got him all excited in ways he probably shouldn't be. In ways that he was suspicious Sanzo would whack him with the harisen over if he ever said anything to the priest about it.
"How's it comin' over there, Gat?"
Jeep made some low chirrups as Gat took the wrench to his insides. Goku bopped on over to the rock and climbed back up. Ever since Hakkai got dragged off for hovering too close to the action he made sure he kept a good distance while work was in progress. He actually saw more of what was going on from on top of the rock anyway. So yep, that was a wrench. He definitely knew what a wrench was now, so that was pretty cool. Seemed to be more than Hakkai or Gojyo or even Sanzo knew about tools. No one ever touched the toolbox, except that one time when Gojyo tried to throw it out to make room for another twelve pack, but Jeep had gotten really really mad and bit him, so no one had ever tried that again. Gojyo never explained what he meant by "the fuckin' thing bit me," just how that worked exactly. Goku had always imagined that the lid had opened itself up and latched onto the kappa's hand or something, and whenever he thought about it, it brought up rather satisfying images of snarling toolboxes with bulging scary eyes staring down a girly-screaming perv who was trying to shake it off of his fingers. Goku snickered as the whole thing played out in his head one more time. Man, he would have given his last meat bun to have seen that.
Gat pulled something small and white out of the engine. Then he reached in, did some moves, and brought out another one. And another. And a couple more. He looked at them closely. Then he looked up at Goku.
"Spark plugs. I need six of them."
"I'm on it!"
Goku jumped down again and went to look at the things in Gat's hand before bouncing back to the toolbox. Jeep started to make cute little purrs as he rummaged through the bottom of it looking for little white things. Yep, they were in there alright, a whole box of them, their picture right there on the side of it and everything. He brought Gat the whole thing. Gat popped back up out of the engine.
"Sure! Any time, Gat!"
Gat nodded at Goku, and that funny feeling in his stomach started up again. The Sanzo Voice in his head made some threatening comments and waved the fan at him. Goku told it to shut up while he climbed back up and sat down on top of the rock. He smiled even wider. Nothing better than being nodded at by Gat and being able to tell Sanzo Voice to shut up, all in the same day. Hazel sighed as he rested his hat on his leg.
"Must be a wondrous thing to have a machine like that, producin' its own replacement parts and everything. Saves considerably on the repair costs, I imagine."
"Yeah, I guess so."
Goku didn't know one way or another. He didn't recall ever seeing any repair work or spark plugs before today. No one had ever opened up Jeep's hood before, at least not when he was around to see it, and he seriously doubted that any of the others even knew what a spark plug looked like or what it did. It seemed like they were something that needed to be changed once in awhile, so maybe Jeep usually changed his own spark plugs, but he was just too tired from all the driving or sick from the hiccups to do it for himself right now. Kinda made you wonder. Jeep seemed really, really happy that they were being replaced, though. He'd been making funny little purring cheepy sounds ever since Gat started working on them.
Gat spat on one of the new plugs and rubbed it into the end of the thing with his fingers before he reached back into the engine to screw it in. A few twists and Jeep suddenly made a shrill noise and shuddered all the way down to his wheels. Gat quickly stood up straight, looking Jeep up and down for a few seconds. Then he looked around a bit at the sides. Jeep chirped at him encouragingly. Hazel went back to fanning himself as he offered up his expert opinion.
"Looks like that tickled the little feller."
Gat grunted, staring at the engine for a bit longer before he spat on the second plug and reached in again. This time Jeep's entire body made a strange sort of shiver from front to back and then to the front again. His headlights flashed a few times. Goku began to wonder if this might be that 'sabotage' thing he was supposed to be watching for, so he stood up on the top of the rock again to get a better view. After a bit Gat straightened up and spat on the last plug. As the big man bent down low into the engine Goku leaned over as best he could to watch but all he could see from where he stood was a twisting motion to Gat's arm while the plug was screwed in. Jeep shivered all over again and made a long, weird moaning sound. Suddenly a bunch of oil spurted out of the engine and all over Gat.
Gat stood up very slowly, looking down at his oil-spattered body. He carefully took the cloth he'd been using to clean his hands out of his back pocket and began to wipe his face off. Goku was kinda glad now that he stayed up on the rock. He could see why Hakkai never really learned how to do this engine stuff; the whole thing seemed sort of messy. Jeep looked… boneless. Floppy. As floppy as a Jeep could look. He was making tiny cooing noises as Gat cleaned off his hands and finally shut the hood. Jeep shook himself once again and chirped happily at him. Gat nodded and patted the hood and kept on cleaning. Goku was pretty sure that if Jeep was half as happy as he sounded, there wasn't any of that nasty sabotage stuff going on, so he stopped leaning over before he fell off the rock entirely because his toes were getting kind of tired of hanging on like that. As he sat back down Hazel slowly stood up, face squeezed into an unhappy little scowl. He placed the hat back on his head.
"Well, I never… I have to say that I don't know which thought is the more disturbin', Gat. Whether, as I suspect, I have just witnessed with my own eyes you engagin' in an act of homosexual bestiality; or conversely, whether there might not be a paternity suit from a motor vehicle awaitin' you in the near future. Either prospect is a rather disgustin' one."
Hazel stalked off, following the path of the divots Hakkai's heels had left when he'd been dragged off by Gojyo. Jeep cooed again. Gat shook his head and kept cleaning himself. Goku had the feeling he must have missed something important in all of that. He looked back and forth between Gat and Jeep and Hazel's slowly disappearing back a few times. What the heck just happened?
"What did he mean, Gat?"
Gat looked up at him and shrugged before going back to cleaning himself off. Goku could swear the big man was actually blushing.
"Nothing. He should run just fine now."