Ulterior MotivesOr Why they REALLY Went Back to Get Gojyo
‘Well, that settles it,’ Hakkai said regretfully. ‘Gojyo’s definitely gone.’
‘What do we do now?’ That was Goku.
‘What else? We go west.’ No points for guessing who.
A while later……….
‘It’s going to be strange,’ Hakkai mused as the jeep trundled its way across the never-ending desert. ‘I mean, we’ve always been four. This is going to take some getting used to. I think–’
But what he thought was never voiced, as a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning blinded and deafened them. Hakkai stamped on the brakes instinctively, and with a squeal of protest Jeep skidded to a halt. The puff of smoke which had mysteriously engulfed the travellers cleared, amid painful coughing, to reveal a…….god(dess) in the front seat, in all her boob-displaying glory.
The lack of available space meant that she was sprawled across Sanzo’s lap.
Veins popped out all over the blond’s head. ‘Get. Off. Me!’ he gritted and shoved.
She hung on with the tenacity of a barnacle, her arms slinking around Sanzo’s neck. ‘Now, now, Konzen, is that any way to treat your dear old aunt?’
‘I am not your nephew-’ Sanzo began and cut off to exclaim, wide-eyed, ‘You bloody perv!’
She wriggled again. ‘Sorry, just getting comfortable,’ she explained with a wide grin. ‘Now, where were we?’
‘We were going West,’ Sanzo gritted. ‘And you were going Away. Now.’
Kanzeon pouted and snapped her fingers, and Sanzo found himself snapped into the back seat of the car – in Goku’s lap, this time. He scrambled off with considerably less dignity than he was accustomed and shot her a death glare from Gojyo’s customary seat.
‘Aren’t any of you going to ask me what I’m doing here?’ she inquired serenely.
Hakkai looked at the other two. Visibly gave up. ‘All right. I’ll do this. What are you doing here?’
She chucked him under the chin. ‘Tenpou, you darling man, you!’
That sharklike grin, so reminiscent of Sanzo in a blood rage, widened even further. Goku stared at it, fascinated, only to have his attention completely distracted by that grin’s next words. ‘I’m here to join you on the journey West, of course!’
They all choked.
Sanzo was the first to recover. ‘What? No! Never! I quit! I’m not doing this! You can take your *%$@ sutra and ^%@$ &%$@*%^#@$*.......why the @&#^% am I being *^%@#$ *$%@ bleeped out?’
‘Because swearing at me is immoral, dear. If not a few other sins in the bargain.’ Kanzeon leaned back to look him in the eyes. ‘I’m just looking out for your karma.’‘My karma can take care of itself,’ he growled.
‘But I can take such goood care of your karma,’ she said, leering in a way Gojyo would have envied, which wiped everything but horror from his brain.
‘Hakkai!’ it was almost a plea. ‘Talk to her. I won’t.’
‘But you don’t have to talk, dear, you only have to listen. This journey is for four people. We told you that at the beginning. Now there’s only three of you, so someone had to come in to replace Kenren. And since you’re not very popular Up There – been a very bad boy you have, Konzen – I was the only one who volunteered. Only those who’ve lived in heaven can seek the sutras, you see. So I took human form, and off I came.’
There was really no response to that bit of logic. Hakkai floundered helplessly for a moment, only to look up in glad relief as he heard rustling in the rocks (since when did rocks rustle? Oh well. At this point, he wouldn’t have cared if they’d burst into a rendering of Handel’s Messiah) and a party of youkai popped out of them with the predictable ‘Sanzo party, give us the sut-hey, who’s the chick?’
Kanzeon smirked and settled back in her seat. ‘We have company, boys. Go fight them or something. You might as well get used to my being here, and a bit of routine should settle you a little. Acclimatise you. Conditioning, you know; like introducing a new animal into a habitat. It helps to get comfortable.’
‘Why don’t you fight?’ Sanzo retorted. ‘You say you’re part of the company, do it yourself.’
‘Oh, poo.’ She flicked a nonchalant, elegantly manicured finger, and the youkai vanished into thin air. ‘Does that solve your problem?’
‘Where did they go?’ Goku asked, staring at their former location with sick fascination.
‘Oh, I teleported them back to India. Poor mad sods, it’s not their fault.’
Three heads swung to look at her. Three necks suffered whiplash. ‘WHAT!’
‘Well, you didn’t expect me to kill them, did you? I don’t do killing. Or dishes………or laundry. Let’s not forget the laundry.’
Goku was still staring. ‘Hey, Sanzo, is that a finger on the ground?’
Sanzo was twitching madly. ‘If you could teleport them all back to India at once, you could have teleported us there as well.’ His voice was low and dangerous.
‘Sanzoooo, I really think that looks like a finger. Say, do you think–’
‘Of course,’ she said.
‘At any time. Clearly, it’s not forbidden.’
‘Of course it’s not forbidden,’ Kanzeon beamed.
‘Sanzo, maybe this teleportation thing isn’t all that–’
‘SO WHY THE *#&%^@&$*^^&#^!$*#%(@@y %^!*%^#%*%&#^!@$ ^@%!#%! &@#@$&!# $^@! DIDN’T YOU!’
‘Are you kidding? Where’s the fun in that?’ she pouted.
Sanzo was incoherent with fury, face nearly matching his eyes. Hakkai, being the latent telepath that he was, kindly supplied his rage words. ‘But Goddess, wouldn’t that have been easier?’
‘Noooo,’ she said, ignoring Goku. ‘I mean, you guys are the hottest show in heaven! You’re so much better than daytime TV. Besides,’ she added, ‘We’ve been making the distance longer so you’ll take a few years to get there. More fun that way, and dimensional warping is child’s play, really. And Season 1 and 2 DVDs were the hottest sell in Tenkai!Ebay. All that implied monkey-mischief. Delicious, absolutely delicious. We even have bets running on who’s going to end up sleeping with who. You’re usually paired off with Goku, by the way,’ she said to Hakkai, who cringed, winced, blushed, nearly retched and stepped a few metres away from the unsuspecting monkey, who was now deep in thought.
Sanzo looked nearly as horrified, having immediately figured out who that left him with.
‘I wondered about that,’ Hakkai frowned absently. ‘Five hundred miles in a jeep shouldn’t even have taken us a month.’
‘I always knew you were the bright one,’ she nodded companionably. ‘Anyway, now that I’m here, the bets are probably gonna change a bit to accommodate me. I suppose……’ her eyes wandered over the three of them. ‘Well, I always had an eye for the blonds,’ she mused.
Sanzo’s eyes bulged. ‘No,’ he snarled. ‘No and no and no, and I will shoot myself if you try. And you. And anyone else who suggests it.’ Another thought struck his traumatised brain, which was already filling in its application for a sabbatical.
‘Aren’t you my aunt or something?’
‘Well, this is a mature anime, so it’s not like it’s not allowed,’ she replied, thoughtfully tapping a finger on her lip. ‘And if dear Tenpou can have some fun, why can’t I? Why must the girls always be neglected in these stories? It’s not fair.’
‘Heyyy,’ Goku said contemplatively.
They all turned to look at him, suddenly realising that he’d been very silent for the last ten minutes.
‘You’re here to replace Gojyo, right?’ Goku’s finger stuck up triumphantly. ‘So if we go get Gojyo back, you’ll have to leave, right?’
‘Wellllllll………’‘Just answer the bloody question,’ Sanzo snapped.
‘Technically, yes. After all, I’m just a substitute; if Kenren comes back I’ll have to return to my home.’ Violet eyes brimmed with blatantly insincere tears.
Goddess, is this truly necessary? Jiroshin asked on a private link.
If it gets them back together, it’s fine, right? They won’t make it unless they’re together. And it’s such fun. Haven’t had such a good time in years. Kanzeon let a crystalline tear trickle down her cheek for dramatic effect. And Jiro, dear, won’t you change my bets? I rather think it’s the monk and the monkey who’re going to end up together.
Of course, Goddess. The link snapped.
‘Well, that settles it,’ Hakkai said in tones of great finality. ‘We’re going to go get Gojyo.’
‘Right!’ Goku agreed happily.
They both looked at Sanzo, glowering mutely in – well, there were no corners in the desert, but had there been, he would have been glowering mutely in one.
‘Fine,’ he said. ‘Fine. I’d rather put up with that horny flirt than this one. Let’s get going.’ He turned to Kanzeon. ‘One more thing. This whole – thing – is not going to make it onto your blasted TV. Is that clear? Because if it does……’ his eyes narrowed dangerously. ‘I will rip this damnable sutra into itty bitty pieces. And then I will jump on them with my black girly boots. Several times. And then I’ll find all the others and do the same to them.’
‘Oh, I’ll edit in something good,’ Kanzeon said, waving her hand. ‘Don’t you worry about a thing.’
Sanzo didn’t agree with that statement. In fact, he didn’t breathe either until they had left Kanzeon’s transparently white figure two miles behind them on the journey East. It was only then that he relaxed fractionally. Well, now that they were away……
I’M WATCHING YOU, DEARS, said an unfortunately familiar disembodied voice. UNTIL YOU GET KENREN BACK, I HAVE TO BE ON STANDBY IN CASE YOU DECIDE TO STICK WITH ME AFTER ALL, DON’T I?
That was it. No more bathroom breaks or baths until they got the stupid kappa back. Never knew when she might be watching.
He looked beside him at Hakkai’s stony unemotional façade; behind him at Goku’s expression of grim purpose. He knew to a twitch the cold fury his eyes were radiating.Oh, they were going to beat the living daylights out of Gojyo when they found him. It was the least he owed them.