Saiyuki Fan Fiction / Gensomaden Saiyuki Fan Fiction / Saiyuki Reload Fan Fiction ❯ Embracing Change ❯ Chapter 1

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Embracing Change
By: eternalsailosolarwind AKA youkai_girl
Disclaimer: Bleach and all of its characters are owned by Tite Kubo, his Japanese publishers, and Viz. I only play with them for grins and giggles.
A/N: Set pre-manga, just after Cho Gonou becomes Cho Hakkai, the newly-turned youkai determines his path in this new, and mostly-unwanted, life.
Cho Gonou - no, Cho Hakkai now - reclined on the pallet in his assigned monk's cell. His newly-heightened senses allowed him to hear the whispers of his monk “guardians” outside the thick oak door. He could now see as well in the cloudy night as if it were day, even without the help of a candle. A short stub of an unlit one rested on the small bedside table. If he hadn't been so thoroughly disgusted by how these changes had occurred, Gonou - Hakkai - would have been fascinated by them.
The monks outside his door were discussing him. The two cuffs on his ears might limit the visible changes that his crimes had caused, but his senses stretched far beyond what he was used to. They, as much as his conscience, kept him awake on this dark night. His new life as a youkai would take some getting used to.
The fact that there would be a life - even one as a limited youkai - still surprised him. Cho Gonou was a mass murderer; one thousand youkai alone had fallen to his rage before he'd finally sated himself on vengeance. He'd never know the human total, and had no interest in finding out. How, after so much violence, was he still alive? Even if as this new person, this …Hakkai.
Hakkai (he swore the new name squeaked if he said it too fast) knew that he deserved to die for what he'd done. Expected it. Wanted it; join Kanan in the afterlife, where he belonged. But fate seemed to have other ideas for him. First, he'd been brought back from the brink of death by a most roguish savior, the hanyou Sha Gojyo. The lengths the man had gone to in the name of hospitality still surprised him. Briefly, he wondered what his life would have been like if he'd had a friend like Gojyo in it before this happened. He suspected that lively was an understatement, and perhaps things would have been much …different.
Then, the very man charged with hunting him down, the venerable (or not) Genjyo Sanzo, spoke with the Sanbutshin on his behalf. Requesting a peculiar - if not a little sadistic - type of mercy for him. Gon- Hakkai was sure that the monk's intervention had gained him this new, half-unwanted life. Why Sanzo had done such a thing was incomprehensible to him.
Genjyo Sanzo was not a man who invited or gave pity. His very tone and posture reflected his dislike of getting involved in just about everything that had to do with not only his station as a Sanzo priest, but with his fellow man as well. All he wanted, he professed, was to be left alone. Yet he still stepped in for Gonou, essentially creating Hakkai.
The converted youkai wondered how much the younger youkai, Son Goku, had influenced the monk. For all his harsh words, Sanzo seemed to genuinely care for the boy. Or not so young, as he'd discovered. Goku had some hold over the blond, one which was only subtly acknowledged on either side - food notwithstanding. Hakkai just couldn't quite put his finger on it.
Why those three had gone to such lengths to bring him back - relatively unharmed and mostly in one piece - instead of putting him down like the maddened and dangerous creature he was, Hakkai couldn't begin to say. He wasn't sure he wanted to know. Should he feel gratitude to them for throwing him into this altered life; one he didn't want? Eventually, perhaps, he would. For now, however, the urge to rampage through the monastery and force Sanzo to put him out of his misery threatened to swamp him. But at the same time, he couldn't quite manage to get up and do it.
Perhaps his sense of self-preservation was stronger than he realized. Time, as the saying went, would tell. For now, Hakkai decided to do as Goku had suggested earlier and work on his smile. It seemed his usual dour demeanor put the regular monks - not Sanzo, who could care less if he frowned, smiled, or snarled - on edge.
“Yer scarin' `em worse than Sanzo,” confided the young youkai after he had become Hakkai earlier in the day. “An' they're used t' him.”
So he would practice his smile and earn his release from Chang'An. Hakkai wasn't sure what he would do then. Perhaps he would visit Gojyo. The kappa deserved to know what his act of kindness had led to; a debt to be repaid.
After that…he'd just have to see where life led him.