Saiyuki Fan Fiction ❯ Watching from Above ❯ Chapter 5

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Watching from Above: Journey V

Destination 34: An Afternoon at Heaven's Pool

"What the..." Konzen looked horrified. He had a bad feeling about this. There was a large pile of lily pads blocking his path and that was not a good sign. In fact, the entire atmosphere reeked of foreboding. The aquatic flowers looked as if they had been recently moved from their usual place in the Merciful Goddess' pool. They were still dripping the crystalline liquid that could reflect the events from the world below. To say the least, Konzen was confused.

He rounded the pile of lily pads without stepping on any of them and got a clear view of the pool where they once floated not too long ago. The previous day, Goku had asked the Merciful Goddess for permission to swim in her pool, which she granted looking quite amused. The chibi jumped in fully clothed and attempted to convince Konzen to join him, but the blond did not give in. Today, Goku had apparently gotten swim shorts similar to the ones worn by Kenren and Tenpou, who were also in the pool.


"Goku, why are you all wet?" Tenpou asked.

"I was swimming! Auntie let me swim in her flower pool but Konzen wouldn't come swim with me." This was spoken by Goku with the most adorable pouty face.

"In those clothes?" Tenpou stated more than asked, as it was rather obvious.

"What's wrong with that, Ten-chan?" Goku's golden eyes were shining with curiosity.

Kenren arrived at that very moment to find the wet chibi talking to the marshal and asking questions. The topic of the beach soon came up and Kenren went into a long speech about the ocean of the world below. That was not a good idea, the chibi got curious and the only way to stop him from attempting to visit the beach below, was to distract him so he would forget about it. Food, of course, was the obvious choice. However, after the boy ate his meal, more questions came.

"You know what? A pool is even more fun than the beach," Tenpou felt bad for half lying, but it would all depend really. Besides, they had a pool in the vicinity, a lot closer than the nearest beach and it was all said for his own good. If the Merciful Goddess had allowed the boy to swim in her pool before, then maybe she wouldn't mind if he did it again.

"I could use a little refreshing myself," Kenren agreed.

That triggered Goku to suggest that they all went swimming together. One thing led to another and the next thing they knew, they were digging around Tenpou's apartment, attempting to find his missing swimming trunks.

"I can't believe we're doing this," Kenren paused and corrected himself, "I can't believe I'm doing this."

While Kenren and Tenpou turned the already messy apartment upside down in their search, Goku was enchanted by the wonderful world of popsicles. He had discovered the icy treats while searching in Tenpou's refrigerator. He didn't find any clothes in there but he did find a shoe that had been misplaced who knows how long ago.

"Can't you just buy something new to wear?" Kenren asked.

Tenpou gave the suggestion some thought. "That does sound like the best solution, doesn't it?"

Kenren slapped his forehead, all that work and they could have gone to the store in the first place. The trip to the store let them to buy, not only proper pool wear, but also a floating chair that Tenpou insisted on purchasing and a gigantic beach ball Goku wanted.

The highlight of their trip to the store was picking something for Konzen to wear. Goku had concluded that maybe the reason why he didn't join the fun and jump in the pool was because he knew that people were not supposed to swim in their normal clothes, as Ten-chan explained, but didn't have anything to wear that was appropriate for the activity of swimming.

"How about this?" Tenpou asked holding out a simple article of the swim suit variety.

"Nah, how's this?" Kenren picked another much smaller one.

"Konzen would never wear that," Tenpou accurately stated.

"Not for him, for me" Kenren clarified. Tenpou's insistent shaking of the head was answer enough and the general placed the tiny article of clothing back in its place.

"That!" Goku suddenly exclaimed as he pointed at a very peculiar pair of shorts. "It's perfect! Konzen will love it! He'll wear it for sure!"

The boy was certainly hyper and looking forward to their day at the pool together, they couldn't crush his hopes. The two men could only nod their heads in agreement and suppress their laughter. After all, out of all of them Goku, spent the most time with Konzen so logically, he knew him best. Who were they to question the boy's choice?

End Flashback

"What is this, a public pool?" Konzen held an air of foreign indignation. Tenpou floated around in an inflated chair, reading a book while relaxing in the pool. Goku was too energetic to simply relax, so he was currently splashing around and tossing an oversized beach ball at Kenren who caught it and tossed it back every time.

"Get out of there before Kanzeon sees you!" Konzen was sure that if the Merciful Goddess saw what they did to her precious lily pads she would not be merciful anymore. Yet, his warning was ignored.

In front of the pool there was a tower constructed with Tenpou's many books. The books were arranged as stairs, turning the tower into a very convenient improvised high dive. "What was it called again?"

The familiar female voice caught Konzen's attention and he followed the other's gazes to the top of the book tower. There stood the Merciful Goddess in a bikini. "Cannon ball!" Goku replied.

"Right, cannon ball!" As soon as the words left her mouth, it was a mad swim to get out of the way for Goku, Kenren and Tenpou. Luckily she paused and waited for them to clear the area before jumping in with a splash worthy of a Goddess.

Konzen jumped and backed away in alarm as the splash drenched him from head to toe. "You did that on purpose! No normal splash is that big!"

The Merciful Goddess emerged from under the crystalline water. "Well, since you're already wet, you might as well get in the pool." Kanzeon swam to the edge of the pool with the grace of the title she held and sat there holding her hair in her hands and squeezing the water out of it, which was silly, because she would be back in the pool soon anyway.

The previous activities in the pool were resumed and Konzen fumed. Tenpou's book was wet but he didn't seem to mind as he continued reading it normally. Goku decided that perhaps auntie's plan of getting Konzen refreshed wasn't enough and maybe he needed a little extra motivation. The chibi wanted to show him how much fun playing in the pool could be. "Catch!"

Before he had time to react, the oversized blue and yellow spotted beach ball collided with him, sending him crashing into the pile of lily pads behind. With a lily pad on his head and a raging temper to compliment it, Konzen let out his war cry and the beach ball became his weapon.

The Merciful Goddess grinned, seemingly satisfied with the way things progressed. Now Konzen was in the pool. It was true that his only reason to be there was because he was attempting to hit the others with the huge beach ball. Though it wasn't working, at least he was in the pool.

Goku snuck up on Konzen and took the beach ball. He made a pass to Kenren who passed it to the distracted Tenpou. His book went flying out of his hands and fell in the water as the ball occupied its place. He caught on quick and passed the ball to Goku before Konzen could recover it. It kept going like that until Konzen started ignoring the ball and simply attempting to drown Kenren. Seeing it as a game, Goku jumped on Konzen and pushed him below the water as well. Tenpou took the distraction as a chance to fish around for his book, but instead of resuming his reading he set the book on the edge of the pool and joined the Konzen torture.

"Let go of me!" Totally wet and pissed off beyond belief, Konzen made his way out of the pool and glared daggers at the others, while he attempted to squeeze the water out of his hair and clothes.

"The Merciful Goddess is giving you permission to swim in her pool, be grateful and accept." Kanzeon's tone was humorous and soft yet commanding all at once.

Konzen looked absolutely horrified. The golden haired young man glanced at Goku, Tenpou and Kenren.

Kenren snapped into attention when he caught sight of Konzen's murderous look, knowing that Konzen probably disliked him the most. The general couldn't help to but to imagine those same violet eyes in another situation with Konzen blasting enemies away with a gun in the world below. He shook his head and pushed the images away, this was Konzen, he wasn't involved in the military so he wouldn't fit into that situation... would he? The deadly glare did not stop.

Konzen shifted his glare towards his aunt, as if blaming her for everything. I had to be her fault, this was his aunt after all, his meddlesome and annoying aunt who condemned him to a terrible fate when she gave him that gift, the small animal from the world below. "Konzen!" The same small animal was currently following him as he stomped away furious, heading towards the tower of books.

"You're not thinking about throwing my books into the water are you?" Tenpou sounded slightly worried.

"No, I'm thinking about throwing them at your heads," Konzen growled.

He was about to reach for a book to throw, when he felt a tug on his ponytail. "Hey, I told you to get in the pool and that's an order. It's for your own good chibi taiyou, because even the sun needs to be refreshed a little every now and then." The Merciful Goddess, who appeared to be anything but merciful, had his hair and that stopped him in his tracks.

"Let go of-" Before Konzen could finish, a wet monkey hugged him tightly.

"I'm sorry! I was the one who asked auntie to help me get you in the pool. Are you mad at me Konzen?" There was that chibi look again. His golden eyes were so sad and shiny, he would have to be heartless to stay mad.

"Forget it," Konzen stepped away from the book tower, for which Tenpou looked relieved.

"So are you going to join us or are you going to keep acting like an old geezer and miss out on the fun?" Kenren inquired.

Konzen would get him later, one day... The blond pictured himself hitting Kenren over the head repeatedly as he mentally counted to ten. He would make that image true eventually. "I don't want to."

"But Konzen, we even bought this really cool bathing suit for you!" Goku ran off to find the supposedly 'cool' article of clothing and came back with a pair of shorts, decorated in the most ridiculous way with pictures of fruits, baked treats and golden glitters all over.

Konzen looked even more horrified than before, because he knew and feared that somehow they would make him wear that monstrosity, liked it or not, and he certainly didn't like it. Nevertheless they would get their way, he could see it in their eyes. "No!"

Before Konzen could finish his complaints, he was shoved inside a little shack made out of popsicle sticks. Leave it to Goku to eat enough popsicles to be able to construct a structure capable of housing one person comfortably or two if they squeezed in. It's a miracle the chibi saru didn't eat the sticks too.

"Let me out of here!" The popsicle stick structure shook when Konzen's pounding fists collided with it's door, but it didn't fall apart. It was unnaturally strong, held together by either magic or crazy glue, or both. "You planned this all along, didn't you? To trap me here, thinking that if you kept me in here I would give in and wear that ridiculous-"

"Let him out," the Merciful Goddess spoke in a perfectly faked defeated voice.

The popsicle stick door was opened and Konzen strolled out, feeling surprised but somewhat victorious. That feeling was short lived, he felt odd, then he noticed that somehow his clothes had been replaced by the ridiculous shorts Goku had chosen for him. "What the h-"

"Language, language," the Merciful Goddess warned, they were in Heaven after all. "It's just a little spell. Your clothes are right there," she pointed at the pile that was in the floor of the popsicle stick shack.

Konzen picked them up knowing that he couldn't change in there if there was magic involved. Goku smiled from ear to ear because Konzen was wearing the gift and that could only mean that he liked it. Kenren and Tenpou were laughing so hard that they lost their balance and fell back into the pool. Konzen took the opportunity. He tossed his clothes back into the popsicle stick shack and jumped into the pool after them, to attempt to drown them while Goku splashed around happily. It seemed that the Merciful Goddess had won yet again.

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Destination 35: Reading the Newspaper

Sanzo walked around the inn room, searching for a very important item. It wasn't like him to misplace such a thing, but somehow he had. With his precious newspaper in hand, Sanzo was on a quest to find his reading glasses. Finally, when he was about to give up hope, he spotted the glasses innocently sitting on a table, as if mocking him because he didn't find them sooner. He walked towards the aforementioned table, pulled over a chair, sat down and placed the newspaper on the table's smooth surface. He picked up his glasses and before he could put them on, chaos broke loose in the form of a kitten.

Goku had entered the room with the fluffy chaotic creature in his arms. The ginger ball of fur squirmed and jumped out of his arms, making a bee line for the table. Sanzo immediately pushed his chair back as he felt something soft and furry rub his leg under the table. "Why did you bring that thing in here?"

"Because it's cute," Goku spoke as if cuteness was the answer everything and in many ways it was. Yet it wasn't a good enough excuse to bring a cat in, at least from Sanzo's perspective.

The kitten must have been feeling brave, for he leapt into Sanzo's lap and stood on his back legs placing his two front paws on Sanzo's chest for support. Then looking up at the annoyed blond he meowed happily.

Sanzo yelped and dropped his glasses. He remained immobile for a few seconds before picked up the kitten with both hands and attempting to put some distance between himself and the feline. That activity proved difficult, the kitten held on to his shirt with his little claws and refused to let go.

"Aw, he likes you," Goku chirped, "he's giving you a hug!"

Sanzo continued trying to pull the kitten away despite his meows of complaint. "I don't like him," why anyone would like that ball of fur was beyond Sanzo. Finally, the kitten gave up and let him go. "Go bother Goku," Sanzo placed the kitten on the floor. Goku extended his arms and the little feline jumped into them.

"Can we keep him?" Goku gave Sanzo his best sad kitten look to match that of the actual kitten.

"Absolutely not," Sanzo decided and Goku knew there would be no changing his mind. He ran off to play with the kitten while he still could.

After Goku was gone, Sanzo prepared to read his newspaper, but he found that once again he was missing his glasses. He remembered he dropped them when the kitten jumped on him and saw them on the floor, luckily unharmed. He got up from his chair and took a step forward in the direction of the glasses to pick them up, but before he was even close, Gojyo entered the room.

"Hey Sanzo, you're not going to believe what just happened!" The red haired water sprite approached and crush!

"No!" Sanzo yelled.

Gojyo appeared happy over Sanzo's apparent excitement to hear his tale. "Let me tell you-"

"I'm going to kill you!" Sanzo yelled.

Seeing the genuinely murderous look on Sanzo's, face Gojyo backed away. "What's wrong? What are you yelling at me for?"

"Shut up cockroach, you stepped on my glasses you idiot!" readied his revolver.

Gojyo lifted his foot to find a mass of smashed metal and glass. "Sorry about that." Clearly sorry wasn't good enough, soon the sound of gun shots echoed and bullets flew, piercing the walls. Gojyo dropped a book he was holding and concentrated on survival.

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Today Hakkai was having one of his 'spoil Hakuryu' days. It was one of those days when he couldn't help it but to marvel at the ultimate cuteness of his little dragon. Instead of being perched on his shoulders, today Hakuryu was cuddled in Hakkai's arms while Hakkai petted the little dragon and continuously remained him of how cute he is. All was cuteness and fluff in their world, until they reached their inn room and heard the gun shots. "Oh dear, it seems something made Sanzo rather upset, I wonder what it was?"

The gunshots stopped as Hakkai entered the room to find that Sanzo had Gojyo pinned against a wall with his hands firmly wrapped around his throat. Gojyo was futilely trying to pry Sanzo's hands off and feed some much needed oxygen to his starving lungs.

"I'm sure whatever it is, it can be solved without killing each other." With a smile on his face, Hakkai placed Hakuryu on his shoulders and attempted to free Gojyo from Sanzo's deadly grip. "What happened?"

Finally, the water sprite was released. He gasped for air as Sanzo glared daggers at him. "The cockroach stepped on my glasses and now I can't read the newspaper!"

"That is a problem, but I'm sure it can be solved." Hakkai spotted the mess of metal and glass on the floor. "I'll clean this up, I'm sure you can get a new pair. I saw an eye doctor's office not too far from here." Hakkai quickly placed the pieces of the broken glasses in a plastic bag which Sanzo immediately snatched.

The very annoyed blond looked sadly at the contents of the bag, before sending one last deadly glare in Gojyo's direction and finally leaving with Hakkai to visit the eye doctor.

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Once at they arrived at the eye doctor's office, Sanzo dropped the plastic bag on the counter. "I need these fixed right now."

The doctor's secretary looked at the shattered contents of the bag. "I'm sorry sir, I don't think we can fix them. You'll have to get a new pair of glasses made and for that you'll need to retake the eye exam." She ranted on and on about their offers. It was a speech that Sanzo did not want to hear. She appeared to ignore his irritated expression and she continued fully devoted to her speech. She didn't shut up until she noticed there was a revolver pointed directly at her face.

"I don't have time to waste," Sanzo insisted.

The secretary nodded so quickly you'd think her head was going to fall off her shoulders. "Yes, sir, go right in, the doctor is waiting for his next patient."

With no other choice than to get another eye exam, Sanzo entered the examination room and sat down in front of a strange contraption that looked like many binoculars put together.

"Okay, you just sit right there and I'll ask you a few questions for the exam as we go along!" The overly cheerful doctor greeted. "Let's begin, which one is better, this or this?" He switched between two different lenses in the binocular machine.

"I have no time for this!" Sanzo switched around until he saw something familiar; that was how the world used to look behind his glasses, so that was what he needed. "There, that's the one. I want my glasses ready in ten minutes."

"I'm afraid that's not possible sir. The glasses will take three days to be ready." The doctor was stepping into dangerously deadly territory, daring to 'argue' with Sanzo.

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Hakkai was in the waiting room. "Did you break your glasses too?" The secretary noticed that he appeared to be wearing only half his glasses.

"Oh, not I'm fine. I just came to make sure Sanzo doesn't kill anyone," Hakkai politely answered.

"But your glasses are broken. You should get a new pair; we just got this catalog with lots of designs." She handed him the glasses catalog.

Hakkai flipped through the catalog. He found glasses that looked identical to the pair Sanzo used to have. Maybe if he got a pair that looked the same he would forget about this incident faster. "For Sanzo, I believe he would agree to get these," Hakkai pointed at the design in the catalog.

"I'll make sure to remember that." The secretary circled the glasses with a red pen, as if her life depended on it and for all she knew, it did. Then gun shots were heard.

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Hakkai rushed to see what was going on but it looked like it ended as quickly as it stated. "Sanzo?"

"We came to an agreement. The glasses will be ready this afternoon at two and not a moment later. It's still a long wait." He glanced at the terrified doctor. "Think of yourself as lucky, I'm feeling merciful." Sanzo exited the examination room office. "Let's go back Hakkai," Hakkai nodded and soon they were heading back to the inn on jeep-Hakuryu.

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Once at the inn, Sanzo had no intentions of waiting until that afternoon to read his newspaper. Of course it was impossible to read normally without his glasses, but he realized something, his problem was reading up close, so maybe he could read the paper from a distance. Goku was all too happy to assist him. "You're still too close, go further back," Sanzo instructed.

Goku nodded and backed away while holding up the newspaper. "How is it now?"

"No that's still too close," Sanzo replied.

Goku backed up against the wall. "I don't think I can go further back than this."

"The stupid inn room is too small, let's go outside." Out on the street it looked like they had all the space they needed. Goku stood a considerable distance away from Sanzo holding up the newspaper. From that distance, Sanzo could read just fine. But their troubles didn't end there, people started to walk between them blocking Sanzo's view. "Get out of my way! Can't you see I'm trying to read?"

"Sanzo my arms are getting tired and I'm hungry," Goku complained after a few minutes.

"Don't complain and turn the page," Sanzo ordered.

As Goku tried to turn the page, the wind blew and stole the newspaper. It was amusing to see Goku and Sanzo running after it, trying to collect all the pages.

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Hakkai looked out the window and saw the commotion. "I think it's best if Sanzo comes back inside before he becomes annoyed enough to go on a killing spree."

Gojyo agreed, "right, I'll go get him."

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It took a lot of guts and even more insults to persuade Sanzo into returning to the inn, but Gojyo finally did it. Currently, Goku sat in a corner eating, Hakkai cradled a sleeping Hakuryu in his arms and Sanzo and Gojyo sat on the couch. You could cut the tension with a knife.

Unexpectedly, Gojyo got up and picked up the book he dropped when Sanzo started shooting at him before, which Hakkai had placed on a table.

Hakkai got up for no apparent reason. "Goku, I think I saw a pizza place on the way back from the eye doctor. Why don't we bring back a lot of pizza for lunch?" Goku happily bounced out of the inn room with his bag of chips in hand. Hakkai glanced back at Gojyo who blinked in confusion, then gave a small nod as if he understood.

After Hakkai and Goku had left, Gojyo sat down on the couch again next to Sanzo, holding the book. "This is what I was trying to tell you about before you tried to kill me." He handed the book to Sanzo and waited for his reply.

Sanzo examined the book. The cover was leathery black with golden letters. The letters looked a bit blurry to him without his glasses, but they were big enough to read. "The Best of the Newspapers, collector's edition?" He opened the book and found that he could not read the print inside. Without his glasses they were all a bunch of illegible blurry black lines on white paper.

"I saw it in the glass display of a book store when I was out this morning and thought you might want to read it, since you like newspapers and all. The guy from the book store said it was a compilation of the best newspaper articles from the past ten years. It even has a few articles related to our group. He mentioned that it got pretty good reviews. Now do you believe me that stepping on your glasses was an accident? I wouldn't buy a book for you, then step on your reading glasses," Gojyo explained.

Sanzo stared at the book. It looked like it was of very good quality and truly worthy of being called a collector's edition. He had heard of the newspaper compilations that were sold every ten years, but had never actually found one. Unlike the sheets of paper used for newspapers, the book was of much higher quality and it certainly wouldn't turn his fingers black with ink. He was surprised that Gojyo would see something like this and actually buy it for him. It seemed that Hakkai knew all along. There was a long pause followed by an almost inaudible "thanks..."

By the time Hakkai and Goku returned with the pizzas, the tension in the atmosphere had dissipated. They found Gojyo reading an interesting article and Sanzo listening.

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Destination 36: Surprise

It had all started that morning when Goku woke up without Sanzo telling him to get up. It wasn't really early, it was in fact almost mid-day. The boy's stomach grumbled and for once, Goku wished that the mighty Harisen had visited him that morning. At least he would have some food in his stomach by then. Well he wasn't going to skip breakfast simply because it was almost lunch time. He would eat both meals together but never skip either.

With that thought in mind, Goku rushed to the kitchen to get his breakfast and lunch. He paused when he saw the monk that usually did the cooking sitting outside reading some scrolls. "Shouldn't you be in the kitchen finishing making lunch by now? Are you done already? Are you sure you cooked enough for everyone?"

The monk looked up from his reading and paused, looking nervous. He didn't want to lie, but Sanzo-sama had specifically instructed him not to reveal any information, especially not to Goku. Torn between the hard choices the monk simply froze.

"What's wrong?" Goku certainly hoped there was nothing wrong with the cook. Did he quit his job? Who would cook then?

Before Goku even had time to start panicking, the sound of a pot hitting the floor was heard from the kitchen, followed by a steam of colorful curses and accusations. "You did that on purpose!" That sounded like Gojyo. He was visiting at the temple?

"Must have slipped," apparently the one who dropped the pot was Sanzo.

"Liar and why do they have to make the pots so big and heavy? My poor foot!" That was Gojyo again.

Looking surprised and curious, Goku approached the kitchen.

Now it was the cook's turn to panic. Sanzo-sama would be upset if he allowed Goku in the kitchen. "Goku wait, please come here for a moment!"

Goku stopped and turned to face the monk. It would be impolite to refuse to answer to someone, especially a cook. "What is it?" He smiled brightly, perhaps it was good news, like more food or a special dish.

"I... ah... Goku!" The cook monk had called him again even though the boy with golden eyes was standing right in front of him.

"I'm here, what is it?" Goku asked again. What was wrong with the cook today? Maybe Sanzo didn't wake him up because he didn't want to tell him the bad news, the cooking monk didn't cook and there would be no food today. They couldn't do that to him! Besides, couldn't they go to a restaurant or something? Where they all closed today for some reason? Maybe Hakkai and Gojyo had food; maybe that's why they came over, to cook. It would certainly explain the sounds coming from the kitchen.

Just as the monk was about to call Goku's name again to alert Sanzo-sama and his visitors, the door to the kitchen burst open and there stood Hakkai with a tray containing several dishes. "Goku, there you are! Let's go to the dinning area and I'll give you your lunch."

Of course that was all Goku needed to forget the cook's strange behavior. "Breakfast too right? Because I haven't had any yet."

"Of course, I'll bring you lots of food," Hakkai assured.

Goku was smiling from ear to ear as he bounced after Hakkai towards the dinning room. The cook sighed in relief that he didn't have to choose between a lie and disobeying Sanzo-sama. Who said the life of a monk was peaceful? That poor cook suffered the pressure to prepare enough food for that boy everyday. If he failed to do so, then Goku would start eating peaches from the Merciful Goddess' peach tree. The duty of ensuring the safety of a goddess' peaches was just too much pressure for him.

Then when he thought he could take a break, he found himself torn between a lie and disobeying a direct order from Sanzo-sama. He paused, maybe that was it. It must be some kind of test to see if he could handle the situation without lying and without breaking his word to Sanzo-sama. After all that, the cook monk felt happy because he managed to survive it all without having to make a choice he didn't like. Calling the boy to alert Sanzo-sama's visitors was the right choice eater all. Feeling a lot better now, the monk continued his reading peacefully.

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Goku had quite an appetite and although Hakkai tried to keep him busy with plenty of food, the boy ate faster than he could cook. It came to a point where he started to get impatient when Hakkai didn't arrive with the next dish. Although he was feeling rather satisfied, Goku always had room for more food, so he happily skipped to the kitchen to see what was keeping Hakkai. That is when he overheard a certain conversation.

"This is a disaster," that was Hakkai's voice.

"It's Sanzo's fault. He was the one who brought the monkey," that was Gojyo's voice. What was going on? Why were hey talking about him? Goku was very confused and this didn't sound good.

"Shut up cockroach, it's all your fault!" Sanzo argued.

"Please do not argue, don't forget that, we must keep our plans a secret from Goku." What plans? What was Hakkai talking about?

"Poison..." Poison? Did Gojyo poison the food Hakkai made? No, he wouldn't do that, he wouldn't!

"It seems the monkey has met a terrible fate." Why did Hakkai sound so calm? Was the food truly poisoned? Were Gojyo and Hakkai both in this? Surely Sanzo would do something. Sanzo would find a cure for the poison, Sanzo would save him.

"We'll just throw the monkey in the trash, it was stupid anyway," that was Sanzo's voice, but Goku didn't want to believe what he heard.

With tears in his big golden eyes, Goku ran to his room and locked himself in. He pressed his back against a wall in a corner, feeling as if his body was already starting to give up. He slid down to the floor and sat there awaiting his inevitable fate. If this is what Hakkai, Gojyo and even Sanzo wished, then he wouldn't fight it. If they really wanted him gone that badly, enough to poison him and throw him out, if they hated him that much, then he couldn't go on.

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"Aw, you poor boy, don't you know it was all a misunderstanding? I should know, I was watching the entire time." The Merciful Goddess continued to watch as she always did. She had seen it all from the beginning of their plans. "It's probably better this way since he might have eaten the toy monkey because it was on the cake."

"This is a disaster," Hakkai saw the cake mixed with a mass of melted plastic.

"It's Sanzo's fault. He was the one who brought the monkey." As Gojyo had pointed out, Sanzo did in fact bring the plastic monkey shaped cake decoration.

"Shut up cockroach, it's all your fault!" Sanzo had placed it near the ingredients which Hakkai had already measured and classified. While he kept busy making food to keep Goku distracted, he gave the others instructions on how to cook. For some reason Gojyo assumed it was okay to put the decoration in the middle of the batter, assuming that it would be sitting on top of the cake when it sponged up in the oven.

"Please do not argue, don't forget that we must keep our plans secret from Goku," Hakkai reminded them. Too much noise could attract the curious chibi, then Goku's surprise birthday party would no longer be a surprise.

"Poison..." Gojyo shook his head at the thing that couldn't really be called a cake anymore.

"It seems the monkey has met a terrible fate," Hakkai observed.

"We'll just throw the monkey in the trash, it was stupid anyway." Not just the monkey, but also the failed attempt at a cake, since they were now permanently fused with each other. At this point, Goku had ran to his room.

"Let' not give up so quickly. We'll just bake another cake," Hakkai encouraged.

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Though it was rare, this wouldn't be the first, nor the last time the Merciful Goddess visited the world below. She quietly snuck into Sanzo's office and placed a box on his desk then left.

A little later when Sanzo needed a break from the cake baking activities with Hakkai and Gojyo, he went to his office for some peace and quiet and found the box. He wondered who had left it there. No one said anything about a package. He opened it and inside he found all sorts of party supplies and decorations. Assuming either Hakkai or Gojyo, probably Hakkai, brought them, he picked up the box and went off to decorate the party room. Anything to avoid having to go back to the kitchen and have Hakkai nag at him about wearing an apron and Gojyo point and laugh in the most suicidal way when he was wearing said apron.

xoxox xox xoxox

"Oh how nice," Hakkai entered the party room some time later. The room was covered in colors. Ribbons with little monkeys hanging from them were all around the room. Balloons in many bright colors floating tied to the chairs. Several bags of confetti were ready for them to throw at Goku when he came. The place was certainly looking livelier than ever before.

"You really went out of your way for this, didn't you Sanzo? What a softie." Apparently Gojyo really was feeling suicidal today.

"Shut up water sprite, I just put up the decorations Hakkai brought," Sanzo replied.

"I didn't bring them," Hakkai truthfully clarified.

"Then who did?" Sanzo knew they were the only ones in on the entire surprise birthday plan. Hakkai was a master of persuasion but truth be told, neither Sanzo nor Gojyo presented too much resistance when it came to agreeing to celebrate Goku's birthday. Sanzo especially had agreed a lot faster than Hakkai expected.

"It's okay, you don't have to pretend you didn't get all this yourself." Gojyo was walking on dangerous territory, very dangerous.

"You wanna die?" Sanzo asked.

At that the kappa was silenced and Hakkai intervened. "Should we start to set the table?"

Gojyo, Hakkai and Sanzo noticed that there was an extra gift, wrapped in golden paper. They exchanged confused glances and each assumed one of the others place it there at the last moment. High above, the Merciful Goddess continued to watch with a smile on her face.

xoxox xox xoxox

A little later they were done setting up a banquet that Goku would love and arranging their gifts in a pile. They had agreed not to go out of their ways to get anything big but in the end they each decided to get a 'little something' and one 'little something' led to another. After everything was ready, Sanzo went to get the guest of honor. Strangely they haven't heard from him in the entire afternoon. Usually Goku was loud and hyper, but today it had been as if he wasn't even there.

Though it would be rare for Goku to be in his room and not outside playing, stealing peaches and annoying the monks at that time of the day, Sanzo went to check anyway but he found the door was locked. "Goku you are you in there?"

"Go away!" Goku's reply was unexpected. He sounded sad, was he crying?

Maybe he thought no one had remembered his birthday and was sad because of that, though Sanzo suspected that not even he knew when his birthday was. It had been a strange coincidence that someone sent him a notice. He didn't know why but he decided to believe in the mysterious letter written in golden ink, scented with peach. "Open the door."

"I don't want to!" What was wrong with the chibi saru? Whatever it was, he sounded very sad, almost desperate.

Everything was quiet for a few minutes. Was Sanzo gone? Well he wasn't at the door anymore, but he certainly wasn't going to stop trying. "You forgot to close the window baka saru." Goku looked up to find Sanzo entering his room via the window. "What's wrong?"

With the saddest expression and a face full of tears, Goku asked "how come you want me to go away? I heard that you Hakkai and Gojyo poisoned the food and were going to throw me in the trash after I died of poisoning."

Sanzo blinked, he couldn't help it but to take a moment and stare at the chibi in surprised confusion. "Where would you get an idea like that?"

"I heard about your secret plans," Goku revealed.

"Baka, no one is trying to hurt you," Goku somehow believed Sanzo and he felt better right away. "Let's go, I'll show you what our real plan was." Sanzo extended his hand like he did that time long ago when he freed Goku.

"Then you were panning something?" Goku was curious, "something good?"

"I think you'll like it," Sanzo replied. They were off to the birthday party.

xoxox xox xoxox

"Surprise!" Hakkai and Gojyo threw confetti at Goku as he arrived; confetti which a random unfortunate monk would have to clean the next day.

"Wow! Look at all that food and decorations and food and there are even presents! What's going on?" Goku didn't know what was happening, but he liked it.

"You don't remember your own birthday?" Sanzo asked.

"My birthday?" Goku didn't know it was his birthday today. In fact, he didn't know when his birthday was, so if they said it was today, then he might as well go with that. Besides, that cake looked too delicious to pass up.

"Sanzo told us it was your birthday so we decided to celebrate." It was an innocent comment really. Sanzo didn't know it would cause Hakkai to suggest such a celebration, but he didn't oppose it.

"Now you know what was going on chibi saru," Sanzo voiced.

"Are we going to eat soon?" Goku just had to ask.

"Yes, we have a banquet here and there's cake for dessert after you blow the candles," Hakkai smiled.

"Just a dozen candles because we didn't want to risk burning down the temple with five hundred," Gojyo joked.

"It's fine by me, as long as there's cake," Goku cheered.

"Just don't eat the candles," Sanzo reminded.

"Before we eat, we need to wear our party hats," Hakkai reminded them. Sanzo thought he hid those when he finished putting up the decorations from the mysterious box, but apparently he didn't hide them well enough.

Gojyo took one of the hats, it had a picture of a yellow monkey-like animal with black spots and a very long tail. The yellow monkey was happily sitting on a tree branch, wearing a polka dot party hat and eating a cake with bananas on top, just like Goku's cake. "A monkey hat for the monkey."

Goku picked another hat and gave it to Gojyo. In that hat there was a picture of a red haired mermaid with a green fishtail. "Mermaids and water sprites both like water and you were looking at this hat anyway so here you go!"

"Why thank you, she is a cute mermaid," Gojyo happily accepted it and thought he heard Sanzo say something about perverted kappas but decided to ignore it.

"For Hakkai, the smiling one!" The hat Goku picked for Hakkai had a big pink smiling face on it.

"It's a very cheerful and cute hat, I like it," Hakkai was truly having fun with this little birthday party. They all were, though Sanzo and Gojyo probably wouldn't admit it as easily.

Goku searched for another party hat. "For Sanzo..."

"I'm not wearing a ridiculous cardboard hat," Sanzo pouted.

"Aw c'mon they're cool!" Goku had that oh so adorable pleading expression that anyone would have to be heartless to refuse.

"Fine, just for a little while," Sanzo agreed.

"This one! It's golden and shiny and it matches your hair!" The hat Goku had chosen for Sanzo had glittery golden zigzag electric lines that came from a yellow creature with red cheeks that looked like a cross between a mouse and a rabbit.

The entire time the Merciful Goddess continued to watch, she even joined in the happy birthday singing when it was time to blow out the candles, which caused a few passer bys in Heaven to look at her strangely. She too was wearing a party hat, one with a picture of a princess in a pink dress since she thought 'princess' was fitting for her. "Happy Birthday Goku!"

End of Journey V

Disclaimer, I do not own Saiyuki Gaiden. Chibi means small, taiyou means sun and saru means monkey. Destination 34 was requested by Sarah, who wanted see Konzen in a pool. The characters on the hats on Destination 36 were Marsupilami, Ariel, Kirby, Pikachu and Peach.