Thirteen drabbles from Saiyuki and Saiyuki Gaiden, based on prompts from friends and the 100_roadtrips livejournal community. Roughly 100 words each. Some mild slash content.
"Nataku! Over here!"
Goku waved enthusiastically; Nataku shot a look over his shoulder before following. They both ducked around a corner and out of sight just as those pursuing them burst through the door. Stifling laughter, the two ran away as fast as heavy robes and heavier chains would allow.
Eventually they found a nook and holed up in it, crouching low on the floor and huddling in against each others' shoulders. They spoke in low, excited whispers and their eyes gleamed with barely-suppressed glee.
Some hours later, when they were found, each was fast asleep-- Nataku with his head on Goku's shoulder, and Goku with his cheek resting against Nataku's hair.
That afternoon, Konzen Douji found the fall of sunlight across white paper to be offensive. It was blinding, almost-- it hurt his eyes and thus must be stopped. To that end, he pushed himself away from his desk and went to the window.
He paused with one hand on the curtain, attention caught: in the courtyard below, Goku was running, chasing something unseen. Kenren and Tenpou were close by, and all of them appeared to be-- laughing.
Konzen glanced back at his desk, with the papers lying in their pool of sunlight. He looked back outside.
Leaving the curtain where it was, he turned towards the door. "Stupid monkey needs constant supervision," he muttered to himself, scowling. "And it's not like those two are up to the task."
The door clicked shut behind him.
Kenren walked the halls with a smile on his face.
Somewhere far behind him, two junior officers were trying to sort out conflicting rumours of where he was. In his office, the paperwork was experiencing a mysterious and tragic accident involving a tipped vase and several broken inkwells. The place he'd gone for lunch had hired a pretty new waitress, and had just got in a fresh supply of very good sake.
And just ahead, in an office lined with books, was a certain Field Marshal who could be enticed away from his work for an afternoon, or so experience told.
Kenren sighed happily. Life was good.
Spoils To The Winner
Grumbling under his breath, Gojyo ground his cigarette between his teeth and stood to shuck off his pants. The rest of his clothes were already piled beside the table, a sad little lump of cloth, leaving him naked and shivering faintly at he sat back down.
Across the table, Hakkai looked quite comfortable, fully clothed as he was.
"I should know better by now," Gojyo muttered, then glared across the table at the mild-faced Hakkai. "Happy?"
Hakkai smiled brightly, eyes wandering downwards before rising again. "Oh, quite."
There was a tiny, ornamental tree in a pot, sitting on the counter. The small stones around its base were half-gone, showing the soil beneath. Kenren plucked another one up, held it between his fingers, and looked at it consideringly. Then, he tossed it, sending it arcing up and then down to land with a plip in the bathwater.
"Are you done yet?"
Tenpou glanced over, one eyebrow pointedly raised. "No." He turned back to his washing.
Kenren nodded, and picked up another stone. He studied it carefully.
/Plip/. "Are you done yet?"
A tight sigh. "/No/." He twisted around to rinse his back.
"All right! Yes, I'm done." Water splashing, Tenpou stood, grabbing a towel.
Kenren grinned, and hopped off the counter, reaching. "Excellent."
One thing all four of them had in common were the ghosts that accompanied them.
For Gojyo, it was his mother-- whispering insults in his ear, screaming at his back. Trailing behind him and never letting him forget her hate.
For Hakkai, it was Kanan-- bloody and crying when he caught sight of her in the corner of his eyes. And behind her, the shadows of over a thousand others, a heavy entourage of penance that dragged at his steps.
For Sanzo, it was his master-- never speaking, never blaming, and somehow all the more condemning for it. The smile that he could feel against the back of his head made his blood burn with a guilt he didn't allow himself to recognize.
For Goku-- his ghosts had no faces. But they were there nonetheless.
Things That Go Bump In The Night
Konzen was awakened by a small hand furiously shaking his shoulder. Before his eyes were even open, he was sitting up and yelling. "/What/?"
Huge golden eyes blinked at him. "There's something under the bed," Goku said in a small voice.
Konzen stared at the boy for a moment, the snorted and laid back down again. "No, there's not."
"There/ is/, I saw it!" Goku protested. "I was asleep but then I wasn't and it was looking at me, Konzen!"
Muffling a sigh into his pillow, Konzen eventually looked back up. "You're not going to let me sleep until I check, are you."
Goku shook his head rapidly.
Muttering under his breath, Konzen pushed back the covers.
Sanzo held up one of his robes in front of his face, and realized that he might have a problem.
Carefully, he poked his finger through one of the slashes cut in the fabric, and wrinkled his nose faintly at the bloodstains. Half-heartedly, he brushed at the dust that liberally coated the bottom half.
With a sigh, he let the cloth fall to the floor and went to his pack to fetch another.
Except that the spare still had a hole in the center, and one sleeve partially detached. And his other spare hadn't washed clean in quite some time, not since a particularly messy ambush.
Sanzo sighed and spared a moment to wonder, yet again, just why he had to wear white.
The First Time
There was still blood on his hands.
Nataku stared down at them, with the echoes of the shutting door still painfully loud in his mind-- then looked further and saw more blood on his arms, on the front of his robes, splattered across his /feet/--
He tore at the robes, staggering over to the sink where he washed and washed until his skin was pink instead of red. Then, fingers shaking, he washed some more.
His knees gave out at some point, leaving him on the floor with a tightness in his chest that made it hard to breathe. Eventually, he dragged himself over to his bed, pulling the sheets over his head.
He held the pillow close against his chest, pretending it was warm and living-- pretending it could run a hand through his hair and tell him everything would be all right in the morning.
There was something very serene about words on a page, or so Tenpou maintained.
Kenren thought differently, or so it could be assumed from his frequent and rather irritable rants on the state of Tenpou's office. But Tenpou had always known that his friend didn't share all of his obsessions.
A book was something reliable, something unchanging no matter whose hands it was in or what era it was read in. The knowledge of all those gone before, locked up between two covers, just waiting to be rediscovered and put to use. And at the same time, so fragile-- just wanting a lick of flame to make it nothing but dust and a memory.
Tenpou turned the page, diving headlong into a new chapter, and tried to remember it all-- just in case.
Goku always thought that Sanzo seemed famliar.
Something about the set of his face, the way he frowned in just that way. The look in his eyes when he wasn't trying to glare so much.
And his hair-- always the hair. From the first moment Goku saw it, it had completely captured his attention. Sometimes it was difficult not to reach out and touch it-- sometimes, difficult not to think that he already /had/.
If he thought hard enough, he could almost remember. If he stared into the sun until his eyes watered, he could sometimes see a shape behind his eyelids--
But then he blinked, and there was only Sanzo.
The Language of Flowers
"Hakkai-- you know stuff about flowers, right? 'Course you do, you know stuff about everything. Help me with this." He steered them towards the vendor in the corner of the market. "This girl," he finally explained. "I'm seeing her tonight, and she's really into flowers. So what should I bring her?"
Hakkai eyed Gojyo for a moment, then turned without words. Moments later, Gojyo stolled off whistling, bouquet in hand.
The shopkeeper turned to Hakkai with a rather horrified expression. "Those flowers you sent him off with," the woman said, "do you realize what they mean?"
Hakkai looked back at her with wide-eyed, blinking innocence. "Oh? Is there a meaning?"
The woman shook her head, rueful. "He gives those to a girl who knows anything about flowers, he'll be lucky she speaks to him ever again."
"Is that so," Hakkai said blandly. "Well, then, I guess I'd better have the cards ready tonight."
Sanzo started awake when someone slipped into bed beside him. A moment later, a waft of smoky breath and alcohol fumes washed over him, letting him know who it was.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"C'mon, Sanzo," Gojyo's voice whined, slurring only slightly around the edges. "Just let me sleep here tonight. There's lots of room."
"There's more room on the floor."
"But the floor's so uncomfortable." The sound of a yawn came to Sanzo's ears, and suddenly there was a warm body huddled up against his back. "'S comfy here." Gojyo's voice trailed off, and his breathing evened out.
Sanzo waited until the other's body had completely relaxed, before rolling over and shoving him out of the bed.