Disclaimer: Saiyuki and all its subsidiaries belong to Kazuya Minekura. No monetary profit was made from this fiction.
A boy and a girl relaxed on a cloud, resting after a rainstorm had just occurred. Below them, the Earth rotated slowly on its axis, but they stayed in the same place as it moved. The girl shifted and poked the boy.
"Oi. Shut up," she addressed her brother. He was clapping his hands lazily. Each time, a ball of blue energy appeared as he finished clapping, and then exploded with a boom. He ignored her, still bringing his palms together. She clamped a hand on the back of his neck, and he winced, freezing midway. The small sphere vanished with a pop.
"I said; shut up," continued the teenager dispassionately. She was visibly taller than her brother, and older. He seemed about ten, though his face was screwed up in an expression of pain at the girl's iron grip.
"Arashi, lemme go, please, I won't make any more noise," he begged. Arashi gave him a suspicious look and released her sibling, shooting his an evil glare. He stepped back cautiously, then grinned cheekily. He raised his hand above his head, and put two fingers together.
"Raiu," Arashi began. The boy clicked his fingers, and another azure ball crackled in and out of existence with a thunderous sound. Shrieking with pre-teen humour (meaning totally inane to all others) he started to run from the retribution his sister would exact upon him.
"Why you little - RAIU!" The little boy screamed with laughter, then jumped as a bolt of yellow lightning streaked past him, singeing his black hair, leaving small playful shots dancing in his hair for a minute. He turned to see his sister pointing her finger at him, energy crackling around her fist. He yelled again, half in terror, but still wanting to irritate his sister. He took a few steps backwards, opening his mouth to taunt her. Suddenly, her expression turned from fury to horror.
"Raiu, no, don't - Raiu!" He stuck his tongue out at her, still backing away, unheeding of her warning. The next step he took awoke him to Arashi's notice, as his bare feet met air, not cloud. Losing his balance, he tumbled backwards, head over heels. Panic filled his mind, and he came up blank for ideas as he fell down, down towards the Earth.
"RAIU!" screamed his sister, and it just echoed down with him as he plummeted to the mortal world. Her face blurred as he rushed miles down, gaining speed and momentum and soon he could only see the cloud where their game had turned into a fatal accident.
It had just rained, and they were far from any form of shelter so each of them had been forced to don raincoats, grin and bear it. Hakkai wondered if poor Hakuryuu would catch a cold after the storm. It had been unusually loud, the thunder deafening, whereas the lightning had been small in comparison. They were gradually drying off now, and the jeep's green exterior was now only spotted with dewy drops of water. The muddy brown plastic coats lay next to Goku in the back in case needed again, as the sky was still a murky grey. Sanzo and Gojyo were both irritated as their cigarettes were damp and would not be able to be lit for a while yet. Therefore, the blond monk was taking it out on them by engaging his paper fan more often than he usually did on the two Youkai in the back.
Without warning, Hakuryuu screeched to an immediate stop, causing the four guys to lurch forwards unexpectedly, and in Goku's case, bang his nose on the passenger chair in front of him.
"Ow!" exclaimed the golden-eyed ascetic painfully. "Ny node id bleedind." He pressed a tissue to his flattened nasal cavities, attempting to stop the red trickle flowing out.
"What the hell was that?" Gojyo blustered. Hakkai had immediately seen the problem and hopped out of their vehicle, running to the front of the car.
"Oh shit," breathed the redhead, looking at the road.
A young boy lay sprawled and unconscious on the path, not obviously wounded, but hurt nevertheless. He had hair imitating their rival Kougaiji's style, but of a solid black. Hakkai rolled him over slowly, and he sucked his breath in quickly. The boy's face was bruised, but that wasn't what surprised the healer. A chakra of the gods was painted on his forehead, none but the gods, or the most daring of impostors would do that. A dot, with a squiggle through it was the best way to describe it. Hakkai put his hands to a bloody gash in the youngster's side, and started gathering his life spirit to heal the wound. From the shallow breathing, it sounded as if the rib broken had punctured his lung.
"Heal," commanded the Youkai softly. "Live." The green energy spread through the boy's veins, and cast everything around them in a glowing leafy colour. Hakkai could feel the bone wrenching itself out of the damaged organ, which closed behind it. The rib snapped back in place, every cell aligning, but the marrow was considerably weaker than it had been before. The boy would have to be careful for the next month or so, celestial being or no. The skin grew over, creating a pale patch of flesh that stood out against the rest of the brown skin. The child's clothes were ruined as well, especially where the wound had been, his garments were torn irreparably. Crimson stained the sky blue robes, and they hung loosely against his thin figure. His eyes fluttered open, and black eyes tried to take in the situation around him.
"Don't worry, I'm Hakkai. I just healed you," gasped out the former human. The healing had taken more out of him than it usually did. Perhaps gods had different energy levels than the average mortal. Sanzo would have to drive, Hakkai's sight was beginning to blur.
"I'm...Raiu," the injured boy murmured, eyes closing again.
"He fell! You have to do something!" Arashi sobbed hysterically. Kanzeon looked at the nature god, sighing internally. The girl had run all the way back to heaven, and Kanzeon had summoned Arashi the minute she set foot in heaven. She had seen the child's brother whilst watching Konzen - no, Sanzo now, wasn't he - in the lily pond she used to view the world below, and recognised the boy that Tenpou (Hakkai) healed, and sent Jiroshin to search for the other sibling. She wondered how the four would deal with Arashi. Homura, they had dealt with accordingly, but how would they deal with a petrified girl who would probably think they had kidnapped her brother.
"Look," Kanzeon ordered, pointing to the image portrayed in the pool of still water.
"My god! What did they do him?" screamed the godling. She saw her brother bruised and battered lying on Goku and the man formerly known as Kenren's laps, both fighting. Konzen was driving, and fired a shot past Kenren's shoulder, almost hitting Raiu as well. Tenpou lay asleep in the passenger seat. Kanzeon glanced at Arashi slyly, watching the girl's features turn to fury. Sparks grew in her hair, flashing against her jet-black locks. She obviously thought they had abused her brother.
"How dare they!" hissed the robed elemental. She seemed to grow older, and taller in her anger. A yellow aura sprung up around her form, and lightning sparkled around her bare skin.
"Why don't you go get him?" suggested Kanzeon mildly. "After all, you can visit the mortals without being exiled." Arashi's eyes narrowed, and she considered the idea momentarily. Now that a Bodhisattva had given her permission, she could, and most likely would. She raised a slender hand to the stars, and the golden glow brightened until she was unbearable to look at directly and a bolt of amber lightning flashed down from the sky to strike into the centre of Arashi's aura. The flare exploded, making the ground shake, and it blinded everyone in a mile radius. Of course, being a goddess, Kanzeon only had to blink a few times to rectify her vision, though there was still a residue on her retina for a day or so.
A sizzling bolt of lightning struck the ground a few hundred yards from them on the dirt track road, even though the storm was hours over, and nothing to attract the electricity. Instinctively, Sanzo jammed on the brakes, swerving the car so that both he and Gojyo faced the front; also creating a dust cloud that obscured their vision. The dirt cleared and resettled on the floor, and they saw a young woman pacing resolutely towards them. She wore a black cloak that hid her face, but was quite obviously female.
"Give him to me," were her first words. Gojyo looked disappointed, her voice was young. Sanzo released the safety catch on his gun dispassionately, pointing it straight at her.
"What do you want with him?" asked Goku suspiciously. She gave no answer, but pulled in a ball of energy, gathering it between her palms. Goku recognised the Hakkai-like fighting style, and gathered Raiu in his arms, and jumped out. The girl snarled and sent her chi directly at the jeep. It hit with a hollow boom, and the monkey demon spun, peering through the explosion for his friends. Gojyo had managed to carry Hakkai out, and Goku breathed a sigh or relief. The red head was now trying to wake his exhausted friend.
Sanzo sent several shots at the girl, but she seemed to avoid them somehow. Almost immediately, she was in front of Goku. Carefully, he set down the god they had found, and deliberately placed himself between him and this vengeful girl.
"You'll have to go through me first," challenged the brunet, grasping his Nyoi-bou in both hands. He charged at her, but the newcomer vaulted over his head and kicked him from behind. Goku slammed into the tree, wondering how and why she was so fast. He peeled himself off the trunk as the enemy knelt beside Raiu. A glow enveloped them both, and she raised a hand, gathering sparks, though still remaining in contact with the unconscious boy.
"Get away from him!" Goku yelled, and swept the nyoi-bou at her side. The girl gasped as a nasty crack signalled something breaking. She fell sideways, holding her side. Goku put his weapon against her neck, ready to swipe her neck if she made a wrong move. His eyes widened when he saw the chakra on her head, but he kept his red and gold wooden stick where it was.
"What do you want with him?" demanded the ascetic, watching the girl struggle. Her eyes jerked from side to side, searching for escape. However, Sanzo closed in from one side, and Gojyo came from the other, supporting Hakkai.
"Let him go!" she said defiantly. "Let my - Raiu go, take me instead." All four of them started, looking at her, then the boy.
"What did you think we were doing?" probed Hakkai gently, pushing himself off Gojyo's shoulder and standing upright.
"Look at him!" she accused, pointing at Raiu's injuries, ignoring her own. "You must have hurt him!" Looks of astonishment appeared on Gojyo's, Hakkai's, and Goku's own features. Sanzo kept his expressionless face on.
"We didn't hurt him," Gojyo protested. "Hell, Hakkai healed him." The girl stared at the man disbelievingly. She crawled over to Raiu and shook him. She pushed a ball of yellow energy into his chest, and he opened his eyes.
"...Arashi?" he whispered. The two godlings grasped hands.
"Did they hurt you?" she demanded anxiously.
"No. I whacked against the trees as I fell," confessed the boy. Regaining his strength, he stood, pulling Arashi up behind him. She almost collapsed, pressing a hand to her ribs.
"Did I hurt you?" questioned Goku. He hadn't meant to, her easy dodging before made him think she would leap away.
"You hurt my sister?" Raiu seemed to claim a sapphire aura that meshed with his sister's amber one.
"I am fine," she reassured the small boy clutching her hand tightly. "I'll heal myself." the ambient temperature dropped as she used the heat around them to repair her flesh. Hakkai looked a little put-out to have expelled so much energy to find that the god could have healed himself eventually, but then the youngster complained,
"How come I couldn't do that?" Arashi smiled crookedly at the boy.
"We can only do this whilst in contact," she explained patiently "And I am the more powerful of us." She stuck her tongue out at him, "Obviously. I would never be so stupid as to fall off the clouds and not call it to me."
"You didn't think of it either," grumbled Raiu. His sister's face clouded and she frowned.
"By the time I thought of it, you had gone," Arashi murmured quietly. Raiu bowed to Hakkai.
"Thank you," said the thunder god. "If you ever have need of us, call us. My name is Kaminari Raiu."
"I'm Inazuma Arashi," added the other. They glanced at each other, nodded, and joined both hands. They started chanting under their breath. Sanzo put down his gun, and they relaxed, knowing the monk was not easily fooled. A navy globe appeared, with Arashi's golden power sizzling around it. It compressed itself into a thin disc, and the two closed their hands around it. Arashi turned to Hakkai, who bowed his head. She hung the medallion over his head. It was the black of Raiu's eyes, and the yellow zigzag indicated Arashi's participation in its making. She turned to Goku.
"Sorry about kicking you," she apologised.
"It's okay," assured the ever-hungry boy. She looked at him with her head tilted, then stepped forward and kissed him on the lips. He was stunned, he had never hit a girl and then been kissed by her. She giggled, seeing his dumbfounded expression.
"Gotta go," Raiu said cheerfully. "There's a storm planned later this afternoon." The siblings took a step back and their glow became as bright as the sun. Goku shielded his eyes, as did his three companions, and was almost deafened as a bolt of lightning, with a crack of thunder, took them home.
The flames licked mercilessly at the houses, and the villagers were screaming. Gojyo was sweating heavily and his headband was soaked. Swiping at advancing Youkai with his shakujou, he backed away, regrouping with his fellow travellers. Even Goku seemed to be having some trouble with the many enemies attacking him. This time, it was life or death. Sanzo's sutra was inside the burning inn; it was lost in the mess they perpetually created wherever they stayed. They had been lured away from the motel, and then they had set the place on fire. It also meant that Sanzo couldn't use the sutra to vanquish the multitude of fire Youkai. They had flaming swords, burning punches, and fiery chi balls. These were no ordinary mad Youkai, but an organized clan of them. Gojyo's jacket was singed on the collar, and the ends of his hair were curled and black.
"How the hell are we gonna get out of this?" he demanded, Goku to his right, and Hakkai to his left. The healer was clutching his medallion possessively, as he always did during in times of stress. It seemed to calm him. Goku touched his limiter nervously.
"Maybe-" he began to suggest.
"No!" Sanzo forbid him sharply, "We're in a village full of people. Who knows what havoc you would wreck?"
"Only the gods could get us out of this," Gojyo muttered. But, he wouldn't give up trying. Hakkai sent out another emerald globe of spirit, eliminating a Youkai just out of arm's reach. Suddenly, he ripped off the medallion, crying out,
"Rain! Thunder and Lightning, heed my call!" Gojyo recalled their holy encounter from a few months ago. Of course! But gods were tricky things. They would be lucky enough to get out of this alive, let alone uninjured and with all their possessions, primarily the sutra. Nothing happened, and Hakkai threw down the pendant in despair, instead sending out another chi ball. Worse still, a wind whipped up, feeding the blaze’s ferocious hunger. It was burning harder, faster.
"Shit," Sanzo growled, fumbling with his bullets. He was fighting without his monk robes; the heat was too fierce for that. Gojyo wondered how hot the Smith and Wesson's was getting, and whether the monk would hold onto it much longer. Goku swung out with the nyoi-bou. It was in its three-jointed form, the sansekkon, and he whipped it expertly amid two flame-haired Youkai. Not flame-haired as in a crimson colour like Gojyo's, but literally had burning scalps. They advanced, laughing, snarling, it was impossible to distinguish one emotion from another. Gojyo's eyes watered from the intense heat, and the faces blurred before him.
He blinked, and out of the blue, the sky was dark. Lightning and thunder sounded in his ear, and a torrent of rain fell. The pressure of the water was so sudden, and so hard, that it actually hurt. But Gojyo laughed. All but Mr. Mighty Monk rejoiced in the downpour. Put the Youkai fought. They pressed the four, forcing them against a wall. A bolt of lightning crackled down and imploded, throwing the Youkai back.
Arashi and Raiu stood in front of them, throwing nature's forces at the fire controllers. The Youkai were no match for holy strength. Their fires were extinguished, their hungers quenched. None could stand before the full power of elemental gods.
Sanzo ran into the ruined inn, straight through where the wall had been. The door was burnt off its hinges, and the priest ripped it aside. Gojyo followed him into the room brushing ash off his sleeves.
Sanzo scrabbled in the remains of their clothes for a minute, and finally picked up the tightly curled scroll. It had protected itself; holy relics couldn't be destroyed by mortal means, Gojyo remembered. The blond man placed it around his shoulders in relief; his control of his facial expression relaxed enough for the red head to see that.
The roof creaked warningly, and a beam crashed down onto their beds. Sanzo and Gojyo ran as one, spinning Hakkai around from his entry and pulling him out. They made it out mere seconds before the entire building collapsed.
The rain had stopped the minute the last demon died. Goku was talking to Arashi and Raiu. Gojyo smirked, the goddess was standing a little closer than propriety demanded, and he would have something to tease the monkey about later. The kiss had given him enough material for weeks. However, he was a little envious, the girl would be a stunner when fully grown.
Hakkai offered the medal back to Arashi inquiringly, holding it by the yellow ribbon.
"Keep it," she said, waving his hand away. "You seem to get in big trouble. You might need it again. Anyway, Kanzeon said we could keep an eye on you. Said it would make things more interesting." Sanzo turned beetroot purple.
"What. Did you just. Say?" he let out through clenched teeth.
"Um, on second thoughts, forget that. Raiu, let's go." Sanzo had no time to complete his threats, as their lightning mode of transport carried them away.
"I hate the rain," were Sanzo's only words before he turned away.
It had seemed almost blasphemous, he had been caught out in the rain, but his thoughts had only on survival, not his late master, Koumyuu Sanzo. The present keeper of the scripture paused momentarily whilst sifting through the ashy remains of the inn for any belongings. But then, Koumyuu would have wanted him to live, not stop and brood, the sensible part of him said. Sanzo gripped a handful of wood and crushed it, letting it trickle through his fingers.
Rain had killed him, and it had saved him. Sanzo heard Goku yell that he was hungry, but his three friends were smart enough not to disturb him. His robes dripped with water, hissing when it came in contact with still burning embers of wood and other materials.
He never wanted you to mourn, something inside him said. He sacrificed himself so that you would survive. But that's just it! he screamed back silently. He wanted you to live your life, it continued. Is this what you give back? An eternal mourning. You know, Buddhists say you have to let your loved ones go, or they will never reach Nirvana. Sanzo had no reply, and the voice stopped, but it was still there, waiting to dampen his rebukes.
The rain began to fall again, but this time it was a gentle, cleansing drizzle. And this time, Sanzo lifted his head and welcomed the falling water.
"Hasa- or should I say Koumyuu? What took you so long?" Kanzeon smirked. The brunet before her rubbed the back of his head ruefully.
"You know full well. Konzen held me back," he said, an amused smile on his face, even though he had been stuck on the outskirts of heaven for the past ten years or so.
"You should thank me. I sent Arashi down there," the goddess informed him.
"What cause had she to go down - and how?" the god enquired.
"It's a long story. Go ask them yourself," Kanzeon commanded.
"What, the minute I come back I have to go on errands?" asked 'Koumyuu', a quirk appearing in his temperate expression. He turned to exit, and find Arashi.
"Oh yes - Koumyuu," Kanzeon called. The man turned, still smiling enigmatically.
Boy: Kaminari Raiu (Thunder Thunderstorm)
Girl: Inazuma Arashi (Lightning Storm) Hope you enjoyed this. Please comment.
The ending surprised me, as it ended up in a totally different direction to where I intended, but I was considering Buddhism beliefs, and I remembered that when I attended a funeral, we were supposed to let our loved ones go. Which Sanzo had/has not been doing. Broody old monk. ;)