Warnings – Slash, language, violence
Spoilers – Post series Buffy, mid-journey Saiyuki, will reference canon events in both
Disclaimer – I don't own Saiyuki or BtVS=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=Chapter 1 – 'Chinese Curses' or 'May You Live in Interesting Times'=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=
"Hakkai, I'm starving over here. Can't you drive any faster? At this rate we'll never get there and I'm huunn~gry
." Goku's stomach grumbled to emphasize his whining.
Hakkai chuckled, "I would, Goku, but the road is too narrow and it would be dangerous to go any faster. You don't want to fall off the side of the mountain do you? Hakuryuu can't fly in his Jeep form and it's a long way down."
Goku gulped and looked, with comically wide eyes, over the side of the Jeep, at the crumbling cliff that fell away just inches from the edge of the tires. They'd been climbing winding mountain trails for hours and the sheer rock face of the precipice cut off abruptly, fading down into the mist, miles below them, obscuring the bottom and making the thought of falling forever a terrifyingly plausible prospect.
Gojyo reached over and gave Goku a solid shove between the shoulder blades, nearly pushing him out of the Jeep and making him scramble back and cling to his seat, breathing heavily in his panic. "Oh, whatsamatter, monkey? You're not afraid of something silly like heights are you?"
"HEY, you water-wimp. You want to start something?"
"Bring it on, scaredy-chimp."
"WILL YOU TWO IDIOTS SHUT THE FUCK UP!
" Sanzo roared, his temper had finally been prodded into action and he turned on his companions wrathfully. Ever since they'd left Chang'an it had been the same damn argument, over and over and over and OVER
again. Raising his beloved Smith and Wesson, he fired off several of his habitual I-don't-care-if-it-actually-hits-you warning shots, missing Goku by less than an inch and blowing back Gojyo's hair. For one glorious second, he was able to bask blissfully in the rapture of complete silence as the immature duo froze in place, their residual prey instincts telling them to avoid the angry predator's keen eye- but, unfortunately to his piece of mind, every good thing must come to an end.
When no further bullets were forthcoming, both troublemakers relaxed and the redhead slumped back indolently, holding a tuft of his long hair up to his eyes and studying his newly split ends mournfully, while Goku immediately draped himself over the back of the seething monk's seat and started whining. "What the hell, Sanzo? That one was really close."
It said something about the state of their group dynamic that Hakkai was totally unsurprised by anything that had happened and didn't even bother turning to confirm that everyone was still alive and in one relatively intact piece. His eyes remained on their twisting and treacherous path and he maintained his customary placating expression and tone as he spoke, "You know, Sanzo, it might not be the best idea to shoot anyone right now. The overhang doesn't look all that stable. You could start a rockslide. I would hate for our journey to end here."
As if it were responding to his words, an ominous grinding rumble began high above them. Small pebbles rained down around them and clouds of disturbed dirt blew through the air as several echoing crack's could be heard. The sparse trees clinging to the rock shivered when the mountainside above them heaved and rolled for a moment before it's solid immovable form became no better than liquid and streamed towards the incredulous Sanzo party at an astonishing speed.
Goku watched in disbelief as several tons of innocent looking landscape decided to make a try for their lives and charged them with grim purpose. "Dammit, Hakkai. You just HAD
to go and jinx us." He complained as the imperturbable man quickly threw the Jeep into reverse and attempted evasive maneuvers to get them out of the avalanche drop zone.
"I don't think this was Hakkai's fault, monkey boy. He's not the overcompensating one with a gun fetish." Gojyo corrected, his eyes tracking the movement of a man-sized boulder as it crashed by behind them, forcing Hakkai to slam on the breaks. The large chunk of rubble bounced off the trail, spinning over the edge and out into the void. Gravity quickly overcame the monolith's velocity and it disappeared ground-ward, raining hell on whatever was unfortunate enough to be farther down the mountainside.
"I'm not apologizing." The landslide causing monk declared, crossing his arms as the Jeep went into a sharp three-point turn, throwing him sideways into the door.
"Of course not. None of us really expect that kind of thing from you, Sanzo." Hakkai pointed out blandly as he cranked the wheel hard again and stomped on the gas, throwing them forward, back down the trail they had just painstakingly climbed at a much more cautious speed.
They didn't get very far before the deluge of loose dirt and stone cascaded down around them, cutting off any chance of retreat, and rammed full force into the broadside of the Jeep, lifting them up and carrying them with the momentum of the earth-flow. Unfortunately, this gravity inspired movement meant that they were swiped right up and over the edge of the cliff.
They seemed to fall forever, or was it just a split second? It was almost ridiculous how fast it had happened, solid ground was just... gone, and there was nothing to hold onto or brace against. Keep your hands and feet inside the Jeep at all times Hakkai thought rather hysterically. The amount of soil and stone dropping alongside them made the sensation of free-falling an even more surreal experience as earth and sky met and combined into one unified mass of pure chaos.
Hakuryuu let out a shriek when a boulder crashed down on his hood and suddenly they were all airborne, four men and a small dragon falling through space separately, no longer unified within a vehicle as they plummeted towards the inevitable sudden stop.
" Hakkai called out for his companion as he grabbed the nearest person, who happened to be Sanzo, and formed a chi shield around them both, tucking the blonde to his chest and doing his best to protect their heads. His peripheral vision caught a flash of blue and orange cloth before Goku and Gojyo disappeared behind a curtain of dirt. He had enough just enough time to think that this was going to hurt like hell, when the first impact came. Pain had barely begun radiating out from his newly injured shoulder and already he had bounced again- or was it twice more, his mind thought hazily- lost his temporarily granted ability to fly and began a sliding roll down the hill, the loose gravel cutting into him from all sides. His shield had barely buffered the fall, but so far it had prevented him from being crushed, which he counted as a victory, however small.
Finally, he slid to a stop, on his back, and he looked down to notice that his nerveless arms had already released Sanzo mid slide and the monk was sprawled on his stomach a few feet away. Hakkai took a moment to breathe and appreciate the fact that his life was apparently not going to end today, overwhelmed by the ringing in his ears, staring sightlessly at the sky and subconsciously waiting for the deceptively stable ground beneath him to revolt again.
" He called to the motionless monk- or croaked really. Hakkai coughed and cleared his throat before trying again, with better success. "Sanzo?"
He very carefully picked himself up, noting with relief that his head, neck and back moved freely. He was sliced and bruised all to hell, bleeding freely from several deeper scrapes and a few of his fingers were stiff and sore, but there was no serious damage. "Hey, Sanzo?"
"Hakkai... Your driving really fucking sucks. You're supposed to stay ON the road." The blonde complained, one piercing purple eye glaring through his messy bangs at Hakkai, as if he had the nerve to interrupt a perfectly nice nap on a comfortable bed. The irritable priest gingerly picked himself up and nonchalantly brushed his robes off.
Hakkai laughed, "I'm sorry. I'll try to restrain my urge to indulge in adventurous driving the next time you set off a rockslide. Although, a little more warning next time would be great, if you could be so kind." He saw a shock of red hair over the monk's shoulder, "Gojyo!"
Sanzo ignored the pained groan and Hakkai's apologies as the brunette lifted a slab of rock off of the fallen halfbreed. He was busy searching the area for something far more important. "Where's my gun?"
Gojyo called to him in a mock offended tone as he stretched and worked out the kinks caused by his awkward landing. A cut over his eyebrow was bleeding heavily down the side of his face, making him look like some kind of vengeful spirit. "Ya' know, Sanzo. Sometimes, I get the feeling you might care more about your gun than you do us and that hurts, man."
The not-so devout holy man searched the hillside for a moment, before spotting a familiar metal glint in the dirt. He quickly dug the revolver out and began checking it over for damage. "There's no 'might' about it. You're not even in the running." He popped open the cylinder and spun it, carefully checking over each chamber. When he was satisfied he cocked the hammer, pointedly aimed right in Gojyo's face and pulled the trigger. The half-kappa stumbled back with a cry, even as the empty chamber clicked, it's bullet having already been discharged at the redhead. "Where's the stupid monkey?"
They found a frantic Goku trying to dig his way into a pile of dirt and stone. He looked up at Hakkai with wide worried gold eyes. "It's Hakuryuu. I think he's seriously hurt, Hakkai. The smell of his blood is really strong and his heartbeat is going crazy."
Hakkai helped the frantic teen gently clear away the dirt and lift each rock off of their fallen friend. Hakuryuu regained consciousness with a weak warble and looked blearily up at them, whining in pain. "Hold still, Hakuryuu. You're still half buried and if you try to move you might hurt yourself."
When the smaller debris were cleared it became obvious that there was a good chance the dragon was mortally wounded. The pale serpentine form was crushed between several large stones and a steady flow of blood poured from under the rock pinning his legs and tail. Hakkai picked up a fist sized rock to reveal a mangled wing that fluttered and twitched involuntarily, making Hakuryuu release a rumbling moan deep in his throat.
Hakkai attempted to lift the final rock off of his companion, but Hakuryuu shrieked in pain and thrashed weakly, blood leaking from his mouth at the movement. "I'm so sorry, Hakuryuu." He left the stone where it was an tried to sooth the dragon with his healing chi, but there was little he could do other than deadening the pain and he knew it. He didn't know what to do. He didn't want the small dragon to die. There had to be something-
"Now, really. This is ridiculous. I can't be coming down here all the time to put your little band of misfits back together every time you scrape your knees. Your sense of self-preservation is atrocious." All four members of the Sanzo party turned to the newcomer in shock. A beautiful barefooted woman stood on the fallen trunk of a nearby tree, watching them.
Sanzo was the first to react, his gun was trained on her before Hakkai had even fully processed her presence. "Who the fuck are you?"
"Yeah, and where the hell did you come from?" Goku made sure he was between the strange woman and where Hakkai was kneeling over Hakuryuu, protecting both while they were exposed and vulnerable.
Gojyo had a miserable look on his face, as he dug around in his pockets for a minute and lit himself a cigarette. He let out a long, annoyed and smoke filled groan of pure suffering. Gesturing at their 'guest' with the bright tip of his cigarette, he turned to the monk, "Didn't you know, Sanzo? Se's your boss."
Sanzo's mouth tightened in displeasure as he snapped, "I think I would remember working for someone like her."
Sensing the fight that was brewing, Hakkai neatly stepped in verbally to diffuse the situation as best he could, "Yes, se is quite memorable. Unfortunately, it's true. Se was the only one able to return Goku's power limiter and heal you after Rikudo's attack. It seems that se is Kanzeon Bosatsu, the Merciful Goddess."
"No way!" Goku's grip on his Nyoi-bo loosened as he turned from Hakkai, to Gojyo, to the Goddess, to the monk, "Sanzo, is that true?"
"Sucked out all my precious blood, too. Goddamn vampire bitch." Gojyo whined, rubbing at his precious but contaminated mouth and remembering the feel of hir lips on his. Ew, now he'd remembered it in full technicolor. He vowed to dip the next pretty honey he saw into a long, deep and slow kiss to wash the taste out. He was a woman lover and no feminine looking hermaphrodite was going to change that.
"Now, now. Try not to be bitter, after all it was for a good cause." Hakkai forced a chuckle. This was really too much. First the landslide had mortally wounded Hakuryuu and now the Merciful Goddess showed up, probably to demand something from them and make their quest even harder.
"Good cause, my ass. She gave it to Sanzo. That's a little more intimate than I ever wanted any part of me to be to that damned monk."
This was news to Sanzo, who had never bothered to ask how exactly he'd survived being impaled. "How do you think I feel, knowing you've probably infected me with your stupidity."
"Wait. The landslide wasn't that bad and we're all fine, so why are you here?" For once in his very long life, Goku managed to take up the abandoned position as the voice of reason and logic. Hakkai just wasn't feeling up to assuming his usual role as the single level headed person in their group.
Kanzeon scoffed and waved hir hand airily, everything about hir screamed self-importance and narcissism. "I don't waste my time on social calls, boys. I'm far too busy for that. I'm here for one reason only. There is a member of your party that needs my special brand of help." Se floated gracefully down off of the tree trunk and made hir way to Hakkai's side, looking down at a glassy eyed Hakuryuu who was barely conscious due to blood loss.
"You're here for the dragon?" Gojyo spluttered, dropping his cigarette.
The Merciful Goddess sent him a sharp and unimpressed look, "Well, he is
the one bleeding to death."
The diminutive dragon looked indignantly back at hir. "Meep!"
Kanzeon laughed, "You're just as bad as these other idiots. You aren't fine, you've been squished like a bug."
Hakkai's heart clenched when his small companion's head tilted and red eyes looked to him for confirmation. "You are very badly hurt, Hakuryuu. You've lost quite a lot of blood and I'm afraid that there is nothing I can do for you."
The dragon gently butted his head into Hakkai's bloody fingers and crooned softly, obviously trying to comfort him, "Kyuuu~" The brunette smiled sadly and scratched around the small horns on the serpent's head, it was his favorite spot and predictably the dragon relaxed into the touch.
Kanzeon watched this with great interest and a very smug and secretive smile, "Now, that nasty little curse of yours was designed to hold until you die. Not even I can change that."
Hakkai looked at his companion in surprise, the dragon had frozen guiltily at hir words, "What? Hakuryuu-"
Sanzo glared at the 'woman' that was supposedly one of the most powerful beings on the planet. "Curse, what curse?"
Gojyo eyed the dragon warily as if expecting him to explode, "Since when is the flying rat cursed?"
Goku was looking at Hakuryuu too, but with concern and worry rather than accusation, "What kind of curse? Is he okay?"
"Did you really think that you were the only one's with pasts?" Kanzeon disdainfully stared them all down one at a time, maintaining eye contact with hir was nearly impossible and they all looked away. "In all of your travels have you ever once come across a creature that could be his match?"
"Kougaiji's forces use flying dragons as mounts." Hakkai offered, knowing that it wasn't the same.
Kanzeon actually growled, "Those are foul creatures made out of the forbidden, unholy union of science and black magic. No, those unnatural things are nothing in comparison. In this world he is one of a kind... But he could be so much more." Se turned to speak to Hakuryuu directly. "I can give you back what was taken from you all those years ago."
"Chirrup-cheep?" The dragon eyed hir suspiciously. Anything freely offered had to be a trap of some sort.
"All I want in return for you to become an official member of this motley and rather hopeless group. It's nothing you wouldn't have done already. Your unique brand of chaos could prove to be useful."
Goku looked back and forth between the Goddess and dragon, missing most of the conversation due to the language barrier. "But you just said…"
"I said that the curse will hold until he dies. However, it would be simple to break the curse at it's moment of completion." Kanzeon humored Goku's confusion and smirked a little at the other three, who were still trying to process the fact that se was having a two-sided conversation with what they perceived to be a dumb animal. Se just loved shaking up people's world views- but back to business. Se crouched down over the half-dead serpent. "You know it's possible, you've done it yourself. The moment your heart stops the curse will have run it's course, all I need to do is heal you and restart your heart before your soul leaves your body. It's a simple and easy solution, and I get one more participant in my favorite entertainment. Everyone wins."
Gojyo decided that voodooed animals were not his problem and focused on how irritatingly condescending the Merciful Goddess was instead. "I'm so glad to hear that you find us so amusing. You have no idea how happy it makes me that you enjoy our pain and hard work." Everyone ignored his quiet grousing, but he felt better when he was complaining.
The white dragon was silent for a moment, then looked hir straight in the eyes with a coldly burning determination. "Mrrr-ep, chi-cheep."
"I'm not going to kiss you. I do have other methods, I simply enjoy irritating Konzen and Kenren was just standing around looking pretty with plenty of blood to spare."
At this both Sanzo and Gojyo glared at hir. Sanzo's hand noticeably twitching with the desire to shoot at something and Gojyo was back to rubbing at his mouth in disgust. It was like he'd had an indirect kiss with Sanzo and that was just wrong on so many levels.
The dragon looked torn for a moment before meeting hir gaze steadily and bobbing his head. "Krrr-eep, chit-cheep."
The brilliance of Kanzeon's smile could have fueled the sun, "Excellent. Brace yourself. This is going to hurt quite a bit."
As hir fingers touched down on his small head Hakuryuu started screaming in pain and thrashing around, messily spreading the pool of blood he lay in. His shrill and heartbreaking keening cut into the supposedly cold and heartless members of the Sanzo party. They might have been uncaring of outsiders, but they had lived and traveled with the small dragon for so long and come to depend on his transformation ability in their journey. He was an honorary side-kick to the Sanzo-ikkou and they generally took care of their own, even if it was sometimes with great reluctance. Hakkai had just taken a defensive step forward when the screaming abruptly cut out into echoing silence. Goku was the only one who actually heard the fluttering heartbeat stop, but they all had enough familiarity with the silent stillness of death to tell exactly what had happened. A bright glow encompassed the dragon, forcing the watching men to avert their eyes, while the Goddess just ignored it and concentrated on hir task.
When the glow faded the small white dragon was no where to be seen. Instead, Kanzeon Bosatsu could be seen pressing hir fingertips gently against the forehead of an unconscious man. He appeared to be in his mid twenties, with pale skin and short shaggy white hair. The four men stared at the stranger who had apparently been traveling with them from the beginning. This was going to take some getting used to.
"Whoa! Hakuryuu's a dude?" The redhead suddenly recalled all the times he'd insulted and abused the dragon. It had just been the three of them, Hakkai, Gojyo and the winged rodent living together in his apartment and he had taken every opportunity to torment the damn thing whenever Hakkai was out. It was just the principle of the thing, when he'd rescued Hakkai and brought him home he was willingly opening his home to someone for the first time since he'd moved out on his own. But when Hakkai had become a permanent resident and had gone out on his own rescue mission and brought home a dirty starving stray, Gojyo had instantly disliked the scruffy critter. It had gotten better over the course of their journey as he'd come to respect the hard work the lizard was putting in lugging their heavy asses across China. They had an unspoken truce going and Gojyo hoped it would hold. Thinking back on all the cold or rainy nights he'd 'accidentally' locked the flying flea-bag out he hoped Hakuryuu, or whoever the fuck he was, wasn't the type to hold a grudge.
"It would seem that way, Gojyo." Hakkai's face was unreadable as he stared at his longtime companion and realized that although he claimed to care for the former dragon, he really didn't know anything about him or where he had come from. It made him feel uncomfortable to know that instead of the innocent animal he had assumed, he had rescued and taken in a person with unknown thoughts and feelings and motivations. Hakuryuu had been a safe sounding board for Hakkai, because he was an animal that trusted and loved unconditionally. He couldn't and wouldn't ever judge someone for their part or actions. Many of Hakkai's personal moments of emotional breakdown over the last few years felt suddenly exposed as he realized that they weren't private after all. This anonymous man knew everything about him, all his weaknesses and regrets. He was a very reserved person and now he was fully exposed and vulnerable to someone he had trusted. He couldn't help but feel betrayed by this stranger that had masqueraded as a trusted companion. He was full of anger and unexpected grief as he mourned for the Hakuryuu he thought he knew.
Sanzo stared down at the unconscious stranger. He didn't like this. There was enough to deal with already on this farce of a quest. It seemed that once more the Goddess had dumped another useless person on him and declared the burden an ally. He didn't need anymore allies, and he sure as hell didn't need the ones he had turning into things they weren't supposed to be. If this new idiot wasn't able to turn into Jeep anymore, Sanzo was going to shoot him, he didn't care what the Goddess or talking heads had to say about it. "Whatever, just pick him up and lets go. It's getting dark and we still need to find a place to stay."
"Yeah, all this excitement is making me hungry." Goku was excited to see that his friend had a humanoid form now and he couldn't wait to talk to him and find out all sorts of cool things about his past. This was great! Now, he wouldn't have to have one-sided conversations with the dragon. He wondered if Hakuryuu knew how to fight- what weapon did he use? Did he play poker- or mahjongg? What were his favorite foods? Maybe he could cook and help Hakkai with dinner sometimes.
One thing was sure, things were going to get interesting.=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=TBC=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=
So, I've always wanted to write a story where Xander was magically transformed into an animal of some sort and ended up as someone's pet. I think it makes an awesome crossover plot. Recently, I got back into the Saiyuki fandom and Hakuryuu!Xander got stuck in my head.
I'm not sure whether to pair Hakuryuu with Goku or Hakkai.Distribution: FFN (Lightning_Skies), Twisting the Hellmouth (LightningSkies)
Author has given no other permissions.
4,096 Words - 7 Pages – 11/10/10