The tragic parting of the young lovers.
Chapter Three: Lovers' Leap0
By Princess X-S Moonshyne
Sanzo loved Hakkai's eyes, their murky depths as fathomless as an algae-choked pond in summer. You know it is as shallow as a kiddy pool, but you can't see to the bottom of it anyway. Hakkai's pretty green eyes were like that, and it made him look very enigmatic and dreamy. She thought she could stare into his eyes all day. Provided she stopped for meals and bathroom breaks, of course, and rested her eyes occasionally, but anyway, you get the idea.
Still, she found it rather unnerving to be under the unblinking regard of that fixed stare for so long. Finally, she couldn't take it any more and sat up abruptly. "Hakkai, put your eye back in your head before I shoot it," she snapped, and clicked off the safety on her gun for emphasis.
Hakkai woke with a start and groped about the peach-pink nightstand for a moment before he found the glass eye and popped it back in its rightful place, blinking until it settled properly.
Sanzo felt her heart melt immediately as he looked at her in hurt confusion. Hakkai was so handsome, and so sweet! She felt a little bad about threatening him, but she knew he wouldn't hold it against her, since he hadn't been upset about her kicking and hitting him with a newspaper for long. Yet she felt the faintest of misgivings, stirred by the gossip she had heard the maids whispering to each other when they thought she wasn't paying attention. Of course, he had been very nice to her, but that was before they had... Sanzo blushed, and smacked Hakkai on his head for making her think such things.
"What is it, my love?" asked Hakkai softly, all concerned, and Sanzo felt all her silly fears evaporate at once, warmed by the gentle voice she had grown to love even when he was screaming. She blushed again on realising the direction her rebellious thoughts had taken.
"I want to stay with you forever, Hakkai," she said to distract him, but meaning it nonetheless.
"And I you, dear Sanzo," he murmured, catching her milk-white hand and kissing it to keep her from hitting him some more. "Stay with me, please, sweet princess."
His plea made her tender heart twist in agony and guilt at what she knew she would have to say to him. "I- I want to, Hakkai, believe me, I really do. But I'm hungry, and my hair is all messy and itchy. You've got no food in your house except some smelly bean curd and a loaf of stale bread, and I don't think you know how to wash and put up my hair the way my maids do."
"I could go out and find a job, and learn to cook and clean and care for you," Hakkai started to protest, the sweet darling, but she put her gun to his lips to silence him.
"No, my beloved. Let me go back, and I will ask Mother for an estate and servants and loads of money so you won't have to work for a minute, and we can spend all our time together," she said, feeling very brave and sensible and selfless.
Hakkai's eyes crossed momentarily as he squinted down at the barrel of her gun, then he sighed, defeated by her logic. "You're right. You are as wise as you are beautiful. I'll bring you back to the palace, but you must promise to come back, or I shall die, and take half the population of your city with me," he vowed solemnly, looking very dark and dangerous and s- so cute! Sanzo managed to restrain her errant thoughts just in time.
"Oh, Hakkai!" Sanzo flung herself into his arms and wept. "I will come back, I promise. Then we will live happily ever after!"
The young lovers gazed soulfully into each other's eyes again, steeling themselves to set out on their way to parting, then opened the cabin door, to find the demon horde from last night outside cooking breakfast over their campfires. Sanzo uttered a little scream of surprise, and several hundred startled demons accidentally dropped the marshmallows they were toasting. There followed much blistering invective which really shouldn't have been spoken in the hearing of a genteel lady like Sanzo, much less be repeated anywhere where young and impressionable persons might learn them to use at inappropriate times, and the enraged demons sprang up, intent on killing the frightened princess and her luckless paramour.
"Hakuryuu!" shouted Hakkai, and Sanzo was hurt and confused for a moment that he would cry for his pet rather than her at a time like this. Then the mystery was solved as the little white Jeep transformed into a dark green automobile that matched Hakkai's eyes exactly (sigh!) and they jumped in.
It was a little cramped, though, as the little Jeep was not fully grown, so they looked rather as though they were in a bumper car. Hakkai stepped on the accelerator and sent a good many demons flying, Sanzo screaming in delight at how much the whole situation was like one of those really fun arcade games where you try your best to knock over as many pedestrians as possible.
But the excitement soon wore thin as the demons kept coming, and Jeep couldn't really run that fast with the two of them. Hakkai threw his arm around Sanzo and held her close to his body, trying to shelter her from the spray of blood as she fired into the howling host.
Futile, it was all futile. Sanzo wanted to weep and rail at their cruel fate. "We've got to find some way through to your mother's city before you get hit and change," Hakkai hissed in frustration as he deliberately steered the Jeep over a particularly odious demon's toes, causing it to scream as bones audibly cracked. "Even Queen Koumyo, as much as she loves you, might take it amiss if you came back with pointy ears and a tattoo, and I couldn't forgive myself if I failed to protect you. Though I'm sure you would look very pretty and elfin like that," he hastened to add when he gazed fatuously down and saw the mistrustful glimmer of tears in Sanzo's lovely grape-jam coloured eyes. "Whatever you become, I will always love you, my dear Sanzo."
"It's all your fault we're in this mess," Sanzo sniffled into Hakkai's shirt in despair, and Hakkai, who hadn't been paying attention as he was intent on getting her to safety, sneezed. She was instantly contrite and ashamed of her selfishness. "I'm so sorry," she babbled, and looked for something to wipe his nose with before he dripped on her. But her handkerchief was already rather salty and altogether unhygienic, and she looked around for a tissue to give Hakkai when she remembered.
"Eureka!" Sanzo cried, pulling out her most useful treasure from her skirt with a flourish.
Hakkai stared at her in astonishment and drove directly over an equally shocked demon, who had been expecting only to have his toes squished. The hapless fellow would have been only marginally injured had the rest of the demons not stampeded over him immediately in the Jeep's wake. "Where did you get this?"
"I never leave home without it," she told him proudly. "It's my Magic Toilet Roll, and it never runs out! It was in my basket when Mother fished me out from the river."
"It's the Maten Sutra!" They were nearly at the city gates, but it looked like they would be overwhelmed any moment. Hakkai stopped and pushed a perplexed Sanzo to arm's length, staring deeply into her face as though he would memorise her features. "Dear Sanzo. Listen carefully. I'm going to teach you a special mantra. Repeat it after me, then run back home and don't look back no matter what happens."
When the Magic Toilet Roll unravelled and flung all the demons about her away, Sanzo screamed as the accursed thing snatched Hakkai from her as though it had a mind of its own, and sent him flying into the milling mass of muddy and maddened demons. But she remembered how he had looked at her when he had asked her to listen, clearly aware what would happen. Sanzo swallowed her tears, picked up her skirt and ran, her heart breaking.
To be continued...
Time may take us apart, but I will still love you, I promise.
And when the stars, stars are falling
I'll keep calling
Lyrics from /I will still love you/, Britney Spears' album, /Baby One More Time/.