Destination 36: Surprise
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.
xoxox xox xoxox
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.
xoxox xox xoxox
"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.
xoxox xox xoxox
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!"
Disclaimer, I do not own Saiyuki. The characters on the hats were Marsupilami, Ariel, Kirby, Pikachu and Peach.