Rating:              PG- 13

Summary:         The Sanzo Ikkou stops at an inn, and something's up with Sanzo and Hakkai. How else could one explain the fact that Sanzo would give Goku his Three Buddha Golden MasterCard without further questions? Something happens to Hakkai that is so unthinkable, we all thought the world would end right then and there. Discover the straw that breaks the – ehem!- monkey' s back.

Theme:             Humor

Disclaimer:        Gensomaden Saiyuki belongs to Kazuya Minekura.

Strangers in an Even Stranger Night: Broken Lampshade By: Nikoru Sanzo with some help from her Kaiten Kyoumon

It was a clear and starry night outside the inn where our ikkou are staying. Gojyo and Goku had just stepped out of the building, leaving Sanzo and Hakkai in the single room that was available.

"Ne, Gojyo…"

"What is it, saru?"

"Teme! Don't call me a saru! ERO KAPPA!"

"Now who's the baka resorting to name calling? BAKASARU!"

"ERO KAPPA!"

"BAKASARU!"

"ERO KAPPA!"

"BAKASARU!"

Now, this could go on forever, you know. Somehow, the two managed to cease their bickering, but it wasn't a gunshot, or a well-aimed blow of a harissen that stopped them. It was a sudden thoughtful look on Goku' s face, and it was enough for Gojyo to back down for the meantime.

"Oi, don't go serious on me now! C' mon! Spit it out!"

Gojyo proceeded to head- lock Goku, but the lack of response from the latter told him that this was a fruitless attempt on more horseplay. Instead, Gojyo released his grip and patted Goku' s shoulder.

"You're worried about Sanzo, aren't you?" Two golden orbs filled with concern looked up at Gojyo.

"He's in a bad mood again, and it's not even raining! I'm so confused this time!"

Gojyo snorted, "What's there to be confused about? Rain or shine, he always acts like he's got his pantyhose tied up in a knot!" (A/N: before you go "Purify Evil" on me, always be reminded that Sanzo- sama looks GOOD in anything or nothing at all…hehehe!)

Usually, Sanzo' s devoted disciple wouldn't let such a derogatory remark pass, but surely something VERY serious is worrying Goku. Gojyo couldn't stand it any longer, and he grabbed his companion's neck and started shaking him furiously.

"WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU, MAN?! YOU'RE WASTING MY PRECIOUS TIME-FOR-MEETING-HOT-CHICKS-AND- GETTING-DRUNK-AND-WASTED-WITHOUT-STUCK-UP-SANZO-AND-NAGGING-HAKKAI-MAKING-ME-LOOK-LIKE-A-LUCKLESS- SCREWBALL…!"

"TEMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!"

Gojyo found himself sailing across the night sky, arms flailing, feet spread out, fingers forming the peace sign, before slamming against a nearby wall. The poor kappa dislodged himself from the mini- crater he made, shaking his head as he tried to wave away the winged, loin- cloth clad chibi Sanzo' s and Hakkai' s circling his head.

Kaiten Kyoumon (raising itself slightly from Nikoru Sanzo' s shoulders): "Anou, Nikoru Sanzo houshi- sama, do you know where I can get those winged, loin- cloth clad chibi Sanzo' s and Hakkai' s?"

Nikoru Sanzo (vein throbbing in her right temple): Nani? What would a sutra like you, who sits on a sanzo' s shoulders all day, do with winged, loin- cloth clad chibi Sanzo' s and Hakkai' s?

Kaiten Kyoumon (rubs its corners in an expression of wicked glee): Why, I would very much like to start my own collection! Hihihi!

Nikoru Sanzo (flashes her flaming sakabatou/ reversed- edge sword with built- in SABM' s and coffee cup- holder): Baka! Don't you think I can't read the squiggles on you? I know you're just planning to use those winged, loin- cloth clad chibi Sanzo' s and Hakkai' s to distract me while you crawl away and party with that warped toushin taishi! Now sit still and let me finish this fic if you don't want me to return you to Kanzeon Bosatsu!

Kaiten Kyoumon (greatly humbled): "Gomen… the great Nikoru Sanzo houshi- sama has spoken the truth. I have no desire to be used as a heavenly toilet paper."

Nikoru Sanzo (satisfied): "Good (Kaiten Kyoumon' s squiggles form into a relieved smile). Now, where were we? Ahh! Here we go:"

As a dazed Gojyo leaned against the wall, Goku approached him, eyes brimming with exasperation.

"If there's nothing wrong with Sanzo, then why did he give me… THIS?!"

The unmistakable gleam of gold and plastic. Faster than a fighting god tempted by a freebie- sutra, Gojyo seized the much-coveted Three Buddha Golden MasterCard. He examined it closely. It was crisp and shiny, despite the constant use and abuse. He sniffed it. There was the distinctive smell of gunpowder and cigarettes on it. He was about to lick it when Goku snatched it back from his hands.

Gojyo frowned, " Now THAT is STRANGE! I know Sanzo doesn't flinch when he overcharges for something (if it's for HIMSELF anyway, Gojyo grumbles), but he NEVER lets you use the card… unless Hakkai' s attached to it." Speaking of Hakkai, he thought to himself, why isn't he with us right now?

{{The scene fades as we switch to flashback mode complete with wispy film quality and conversations that come off as echoes.}}

"Sanzooooooo! Hurry up! I'm so hungry!"

THWACK!

"Heehee… Serves you right, bakasaru!"

THWACK!

"What the heck was THAT for?!"

"Chh!"

"Ne, Sanzo…they don't even have a kitchen here, so why don't we all go outside and eat?"

"Baka! All you think about is food!"

"And all you think about are women!"

The conversation, as always, degenerated into an unfinished word war of whosoever could scream more BAKASARU's or ERO KAPPA's under one breath. The click of a gun being reloaded hushed them up. Hakkai wisely steps in before the greatly feared Sanzo Ikkou could turn into the greatly revered Sanzo Bishounen Duo.

"Maa, maa… why don't the two of you run along and let Sanzo houshi- sama get some rest, eh?"

Gojyo' s almost outside the room, his back turned from them, cigarette dangling in his fingers.

"Oi, what about you, Hakkai? Aren't you hungry?"

"Iieh, I think I'll stay here with Sanzo. I'm a bit tired myself. Perhaps I can interest him in a game of cards, ne?". He smiles at Sanzo, who crosses his arms and pouts instead

The sound of a hundred fan girls screaming and fainting in the background due to that LITTLE pout

"Yeah, whatever!", Gojyo snorts while feeling around in his pocket for some loose change.

But Goku doesn't give up easily, for a good reason though. He tugs at Sanzo' s robe and begs as if he was entreating at the feet of some god of mercy.

"Demo… I don't have any money with me. YOU never give me an allowance, not even for just one pork bun! Could you come with us, or at least, let Hakkai…."

THWACK!

"URUSAI! Hakkai is not coming with you. He WANTS to stay HERE, and for once, not be bothered by insufferable idiots like HIM (casts a death glare at the smirking half- youkai who prudently struts out of the room) and YOU (the tone alone was enough to make Goku cringe)!!!!!!!"

Goku opens his mouth, but before he could speak, some thing was handed out, nay, thrust into his face.

"Take this and get out!" There was the clearly identifiable if-you-don't-get-out-of-my-sight-right-now-I-swear-I'll-do-something-so-horrible-to-you-that's-more-horrifying-than-shooting-you-with-my-spirit-ascending-gun-or-a-night-with-that-fruitcake-homura tone that made Goku accept this rare gift from his sun and savior, and leave the room without further questions.

{{End of flashback as picture quality reverts to that of a Sony Vega and the sound is in stereo again}}

Gojyo shook his head. Acts of "kindness" from Sanzo towards Goku merit further inquiry (except for that time when Sanzo stepped in front of a deranged demon- slaying ex- monk to save the saru). Getting more confused with the sight of his hedonistic companion lost in deep thought, Goku was about turn around when Gojyo grabbed him by the collar.

"Hold it! Where do you think you're going?"

"I'm going to check up on Sanzo. Hakkai chose to stay with him instead of going out with us, so there must be something very wrong going on here!"

Gojyo rolled his eyes. Idiot saru doesn't know a good thing unless it's steaming on a plate.

"Look here," he inhaled deeply," if Sanzo' s in such a horrible mood, don't you think he'd rather push you away and say lots of really mean things to you?"

Goku flinched, remembering that time when Sanzo had hurt his feelings, making him run away only to be kidnapped by Homura. But before tears could start welling up in his golden eyes, Gojyo sensed Goku' s incoming disturbing flashback, and before we could switch to misty transitions (and frantic digging about in our pile of DVD's), he pinched Goku' s ear.

"TEMEEE!"

"Listen to me!", Gojyo was getting impatient," It is obvious to the whole world, except for YOU, that Sanzo- sama wants a good night's sleep so much that he is willing to BRIBE you with his card. And Hakkai has been driving for us ALL DAY and naturally he's VERY TIRED, so will you stop those MORBID thoughts and allow our mighty and noble (note the heaps of sarcasm in his tone) leader and our dearest nanny the night- off?!"

A smile lights up Goku' s face. "Maybe you're right. Sanzo must be sleepy, and so is Hakkai. Wow! Why didn't I think of that?"

Gojyo sensibly avoids retorting- "because you're a bakasaru", thereby avoiding another pointless exchange, delaying what could be the BEST night of his life. He simply nods in agreement at the dense saru' s enlightenment.

"See ? I told you so. There's absolutely nothing to worry about." Gojyo puts an arm around Goku' s shoulder, "Let's find a nice bar and restaurant where you can stuff yourself up to your ears with nikuman while I drink myself silly with the ladies!"

"Hai ! Nikuman ! Nikuman!

And so, the two of them, eyes twinkling with sheer delight, went into town, vowing to let Sanzo and Hakkai the have the most peaceful episode of their lives.

"At least, until the morning comes!", Gojyo thought to himself, excitedly.

MEANWHILE…………..

Hakkai closes the door and walks up to Sanzo, who is seated by a wooden table.

"Anou, Sanzo…"

"What is it?"

"Since the boys are out, and judging by Gojyo' s habits (by that, he meant late night till morning carousing) and Goku' s appetite (he smiles), we can expect them to be back, say, tomorrow morning?"

Sanzo shrugs his shoulders.

"And since we have the room and the night to ourselves, maybe a game of cards is in order?"

Sanzo rubs his temples," I still owe you for the card games I lost. What do you have in mind?"

"Strip- poker."

A hundred fan- girls screaming and fainting, quieted down by Nikoru Sanzo brandishing her dreaded sakabatou, newly equipped with 14-Solar Mass Powered Ion Cannon- Blasters, and a Kenwood stereo with a 50- CD changer. She doesn't mind if it accepts only Saiyuki CD's.

Sanzo sighs, "All right. But I can assure you that I have no intention of losing this game."

"Since when did anyone lose in strip- poker?". A smile with a glint of mischief.

"Good point. Let's get it on."

They play. Sanzo loses. He takes the Maten Sutra off of his shoulders. Hakkai shakes his head.

A disappointed sigh from the hundred fan girls.

"Ne, Sanzo, if that's what you call stripping, then we might be in for a long game."

"We have the night to ourselves, remember? Why do you think I gave the card to those idiots?

"Point well taken."

They play. Hakkai LOSES.

Everyone gasps. Falling coconuts stop in mid- air. The world ceases in its turning.

Kaiten Kyoumon (very agitated): Nikoru Sanzo- sama! How can Hakkai possibly lose a card game?! I thought this was a humor fic, not an APOCALYPSE fic! (The hundred fan girls don't seem to mind. They all appear to be waiting with bated breath)

Nikoru Sanzo (coolly takes a sip of her choco- peanut milk): Relax! There are no hailstones the size of jeeps falling from above. There's a very good reason under Tenkai why Hakkai- kun would lose in a card game without causing the end of all Togenkyo.

Kaiten Kyoumon (somewhat satisfied): Very well, Nikoru Sanzo. I have complete faith in you!

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Coconuts fall back to the ground. The world resumes in its turning.

Hakkai takes off his monocle, in answer to Sanzo' s discarding the Evil Sutra. Sanzo looks at him, remembering that time when he and Goku were on a mission to bring Cho Gono to justice. What was the given description? A beautiful young man with green eyes. Sanzo thinks to himself, " Good thing he didn't entirely pull his eye out. It would have been a pity."

They play. Sanzo loses. As he clutches the sleeve of his robe, Hakkai gently reminds him.

"Sanzo, if you take something off, you take it off completely. You're not allowed to just let the robe fall off your shoulders."

"Ch!"

A sigh of relief over Sanzo' s not drawing out his pistol, followed by Ooh's and Aah's and Gyaaaah's and fainting as Sanzo completely strips himself of his robe and is left with his black undergarment and jeans.

They play. Hakkai loses.

"It was getting warm anyway." He smiles as he removes his green outer shirt, leaving on a white top that still reveals his slim and shapely form.

Screams and fainting abound. Nikoru Sanzo yells," Get the medics!"

They play. Sanzo loses. He disposed of his black under garment, leaving him bare above his jeans.

Screams of delight as the floor becomes slippery due to all the nosebleeds. Nikoru Sanzo shakes her head.

They play. Hakkai loses. He takes off his white shirt, and he's now uncovered above his tight khaki pants.

More screams of happiness with the flood of nosebleeds steadily rising. Nikoru Sanzo is already at the phone dialing furiously.

They play. Sanzo loses. He slips off of his jeans, revealing gasp! VERY SKIMPY NAVY BLUE BOXERS!

The screams reach 85 decibels, prompting ear- bleeds as well. Nikoru Sanzo is already yelling at the phone trying VERY hard not to faint. From the ear- splitting screams by the way ( Kaiten sutra chuckles, "Yeah, right!").

They play. Hakkai loses. He also slips off of his khaki pants, exposing himself in a gasp! BLACK THONG!

The screams threaten to climb at 90 decibels. The ever- loyal Kaiten Kyoumon struggles to hold up a jar of smelling salts under Nikoru Sanzo' s nose. She thanks the Kaiten sutra by using a hanky (instead of the poor sutra) to stuff her dangerously hemorrhaging nasal cavities. The reward will come later.

It IS getting warmer. The two men's unclothed backs and even their naked thighs are gleaming with perspiration, as both struggled to avoid having to do away with another article of clothing. But it IS getting warmer, you know.

Hakkai smiles, eyes widening. "Sanzo, I didn't know you were a boxers- kind of guy."

"Well it never occurred to me that you'd be wearing a thong underneath your pants."

Hakkai smiles sheepishly, "The things we do to make our lives more interesting".

Nikoru Sanzo & her Kaiten Kyoumon nod their heads feverishly in agreement.

The moment of truth…

Who will win the last round of Saiyuki Strip- Poker?

Will it be sexy, bad- boy Genjo Sanzo?

Or will it be striking, sweet- natured Cho Hakkai?

More importantly, will the paramedics Nikoru Sanzo called up ever get here in time to cart away the perilously anemic H.F.G.' s (or Hundred Fan Girls)?

Silence falls upon all of Togenkyo and Tenkai.

At the bar, a heavily drunken Gojyo looks up from his beer. "Something feels ominous!" he exclaims before plopping face down on the table, next to contentedly snoring Goku.

Slowly, Sanzo and Hakkai prepare to turn up the most awaited decision in the history of mankind and youkai alike…

The door slams open, coupled with the shattering of the windows! Who else could so rudely disturb our heroes, but Kougaiji's youkai assassins!

Shouts of disappointment and teeth gritting at annoyance. The H.F.G.' s would have sore fallen upon the youkai' s themselves had not Nikoru Sanzo threatened to use the Kaiten Kyoumon on all of them.

"Settle down!" she says, "Our drool-worthy protagonists can handle them!"

" But that's not the reason why we want to tear those meddlers apart with our bare hands and nyoibou plushies!" the H.F.G. 's scream.

Nikoru Sanzo sighs, "I know."

"Genjo Sanzo! Surrender the Maten Kyoumon and maybe we'll kill you swiftly and painlessly!" the captain of the assassins haughtily declares.

"After we make you beg for mercy! Hehehe!", one of the youkai smirks.

"Yeah! Beg for mercy while you and your friend are in your SKIMPY NAVY BLUE BOXERS and BLACK THONG!" giggles an effeminate youkai dressed in 80's punk rock get- up.

Sanzo, vein throbbing at his temple, grabs his shoureijou on the table, throwing the Maten Kyoumon on his shoulders. Hakkai quickly picks up his monocle and perches it on his nose. There's no time to put on their clothes for the ensuing battle. A youkai swings a giant mace and its spiked head crashes on the table, but our two heroes jump out of harm's way.

"I hope the table and windows are the only things broken in this room. We wouldn't want the poor innkeeper to throw us out into the street. Right, Sanzo?

Sanzo merely shrugs at Hakkai' s plea for him to be careful with his shoureijou.

You can imagine the shrieking from our H.F.G.'s.

Kaiten Sutra (shaking itself in disagreement): "I don't know, Nikoru Sanzo- sama, but the Maten Sutra just doesn't go well with Genjo Sanzo's naked shoulders."

Nikoru Sanzo (shoves a camcorder at the Kaiten sutra): "Oh, and I suppose YOU look better on HIS bare shoulders?! Now quit your whining and get this on tape!"

Kaiten Sutra: But we could land in jail for reproducing the tapes! I don't think the Three Buddha' s would approve of you using the Three Buddha Golden Extension MasterCard to pay for our bail!

Nikoru Sanzo (ultra- wicked smile): "And whoever said that I would sell the tapes? Haven't you heard of the words "private collection"?

Kaiten Sutra: "Hai! I don't think we'll go to jail for that! Let me look for a better angle."

Nikoru Sanzo: Murmurs something about the Sanzo Ikkou looking good in every angle, but the screams are just TOO darned loud for anyone to make out anything.

One of the assassins lounged at Hakkai with his rapier a number of times. The brunette hero expertly dodges the assaults, and in the latest attack, he leapt and did a split in mid- air, gathering his ki for an energy ball. He effortlessly blasts the offending scum into oblivion. He lands on his toes, puts a hand on the back of his neck, the other hand on his waist, and smiles.

"Yare, yare, you guys sure know how to disrupt a good game!"

The H.F.G.' s go crazy over Hakkai' s mid- air split and "winning pose" in a BLACK THONG. Nikoru Sanzo makes a mental note to print screen caps of THOSE shots.

One of the youkai' s chased after Sanzo with his giant mace, swinging wildly at the air. The blond priest managed to evade the spiked metal ball that may well crush his pretty skull. He muttered curses under his breath, although one could not tell if it was for being unable to get a clear shot at the youkai, or if it was for the interruption of the game. Perhaps, it was for both.

Excited gasps from our H.F.G.' s each time the spiked metal ball narrowly misses the gorgeous fair-haired monk. Nikoru Sanzo musters what willpower she has to keep from intervening with her Kaiten Kyoumon and terrible sakabatou equipped with anti- aircraft missiles and a chibi Homura key chain with flashing gold and silver eyes.

The youkai aimed for Sanzo' s chest, but the latter saw it coming and he ducked sideways, landing on his hands and knees, finally shooting at the youkai and exterminating the nuisance for good.

The H.F.G. 's go wild over the sight of Sanzo in his SKIMPY NAVY BLUE BOXERS, trying to catch his breath while in a hands-and-knees-on-the-floor position. Nikoru Sanzo makes another mental note to print screen caps of THAT shot.

The youkai captain realizes that he's now outnumbered, two- to- one. He berated himself for underestimating the two, after seeing Gojyo and Goku leave the inn. His heart skipped a beat as Sanzo spoke.

"Youkai crap! Did you honestly believe that Hakkai and I would be helpless without those two idiots?"

"We have been on the road, fighting youkais non- stop, eating whatever grubs we could find, sleeping on the ground or in the cramped jeep… I don't mind that… but to BRUSQUELY interrupt what is otherwise the only good card game we've played for days is something I cannot allow to pass by without full retribution." The smile has disappeared from Hakkai' s face and his voice frighteningly cold and threatening.

The youkai captain is  visibly quaking with fear. Who wouldn't melt into a pile of youkai mush when you see Sanzo, murderous glint in his amethyst eyes, and Hakkai, unsmiling in a grim manner, approaching you, shoureijou and energy ball poised to obliterate and to kill and kill relentlessly without mercy?

"Ahh! The Spirit of the Bayonet!", Nikoru Sanzo fondly recalls her days at the University.

The youkai captain wipes the sweat dripping from his face. He lets his sword fall to his side and starts laughing with the back of his palm touching his cheek, ala Megumi- chan of Rurouni Kenshin.

"O- hohoho! I didn't come here unprepared to sacrifice my own life for Master Kougaiji! I'll take you all with me to the grave! O- hohoho!"

From his pocket, the youkai captain whips out what appears to be a giant 10- foot diameter cannon… wait a sec! He's not wielding a cannon, it's actually a giant SUB- WOOFER!!!

"O- hohoho! With this secret weapon developed by the mad Dr. Ni, I will draw on powerful crushing sonic waves that will blow the pants and skin off of you! O- hohoho!"

Hakkai looks worried, " Are, Sanzo, the problem is… we're not wearing pants anymore."

Sanzo stays rooted to his spot, his mind racing for a plan. Will his Spirit Ascending Bullets push through the monstrous sonic waves? Hakkai tries to figure out if his energy barrier can withstand the giant 10- foot diameter sub- woofer' s power.

Kaiten Kyoumon (shocked): "Nikoru Sanzo houshi- sama! Isn't that the giant 10- foot diameter sub- woofer you bought at the Tenkai Surplus Shop? How did it end up in the youkai captain's hands?"

Nikoru Sanzo: "He's right. The giant 10- foot diameter sub- woofer was indeed developed by Dr. Ni, but he sold it at the black market. Somehow it made its way to the Tenkai Surplus Shop. Apparently, the disturbed scientist made a new one for Kougaiji' s henchmen. Goodness! You cannot imagine the outrageous price the shopkeeper was charging! Good thing that reversed edge swords are good haggling tools, ne? "

Kaiten Kyoumon (squiggles form into a pout): "I don't know why you had to haggle for the woofer. I mean, it's the Three Buddha's money you're using anyway!"

Nikoru Sanzo: "I may be a sanzo, but it doesn't mean I don't have a conscience!"

Kaiten Kyoumon: ?!

The youkai captain takes aim at Sanzo and Hakkai. The two heroes brace themselves for the worst.

Kaiten Kyoumon (frantic): Nikoru Sanzo- sama! Please do something!"

Nikoru Sanzo (pulls a remote control out of her billowing sleeves): }}{{CLICK!}}{{ "Yup! I was right! Same model and specifications! Don't you worry my faithful sutra, I had it switched off. Maybe I could borrow his woofer next week."

It dawned upon the youkai captain, no matter how many times he pulled the trigger, that the giant 10- foot diameter sub- woofer is nothing more than an expensive piece of liability to him. He looks up in time to see Sanzo and Hakkai soaring in the air, shoureijou and energy ball sealing his miserable fate.

Finally, the battle is over. Both men sigh over the prospect of being unable to continue the game. Their playing cards are scattered all over the room, sliced, chopped, trampled, charred, destroyed down to their molecular level, or riddled with bullet holes.

The H.F.G.' s groan with disappointment. Nikoru Sanzo herds them into waiting buses and ambulances. Heartbreaking indeed.

Hakkai yawns, " I guess there's no sense in continuing our little game. After all, our playing cards are ruined and it'll be morning soon. It' s best if we leave this a draw and get some rest. Uh- oh".

"Uh- oh what?"

" It appears that we've managed to destroy everything in this room except for a blanket and a lamp we placed in the corner of the floor (when we put the cards on the table)."

Sanzo closes his eyes, "As much as it bothers me to no end, I guess we'll just have to share the blanket. Stupid youkai ruined our clothes as well."

"I have no objections to your proposal," Hakkai smiled.

And with that, our two heroes spent the remainder of the night under one blanket, desperately hoping that their bodies close together could ward off the biting cold.

A hushed silence falls upon everything.

THE FOLLOWING MORNING…

An unearthly scream pierces the otherwise calm morning air.

It was disquieting for it carried with it whatever raw and unbounded human passion or rage had been sealed up for who knows how long.  Having been fettered for ages, only now is such flood of emotions and humanity liberated and unbound.

It was chilling in the sense that it was also cry of misery over hopes shattered beyond repair.

But it was even more chilling for the cry came from none other than Son Goku.

Having awakened from the bar & restaurant they had stayed in, Goku and Gojyo merrily strolled back to the inn. They expected Sanzo to be in a better mood and Hakkai to look refreshed from a peaceful night without squabbling and paper- fan battering. But months of fighting youkai and outlaw kami had not prepared them for this encounter.

To say that the room was a disaster is one of the biggest understatements in 500 years. Broken glass from the windows were strewn everywhere, the floors and the walls showed signs of violence, as if someone had forcibly and repeatedly been pushed against them. The furniture's destroyed. Were those clothes, something in blue and another in black, torn and dangling by the splintered remains of the window frames and chairs?  Nothing was spared, except for the single blanket covering two visibly undressed young men. One was blushing a very deep red in embarrassment, the other pale, as well as white with anger and indignation over the intrusion. Hakkai, stuttering and halting, tried his best to explain the card game, the interruption by Kougaiji' s assassins, and the terrific battle that ensued. Gojyo shook his head from time to time, muttering "Terrific!" under his breath,

Goku' s cries of despair were heart- rending.

"Sanzo! How could you do this to ME?" Goku sobbed pitifully. Gojyo tried to look away.

Genjo Sanzo, with the air of one who shouldn't be questioned, merely frowns, "You could never understand!"

Goku' s face drained at the mortifying answer. Unable to stand for it any longer, he turned and fled the room. Goku could be heard screaming "Why won't you let me play strip poker with you? WHY? WHY? WHY?"

Giant sweat drops appeared on everyone's head.

Kaiten Kyoumon :" Besides, Goku would lose to Sanzo all the time and that would've taken out all the fun in the game, ne? (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!)

Nikoru Sanzo (drooping eyes): " Now I've seen everything!"

Hakkai looked up imploringly at Gojyo, "Please believe us. We tried our best not to make too much of a mess around here. "

Gojyo smiled and walked around the room, "Of course I believe you! I kinda' saw the whole thing!"

If only Gojyo had seen the color draining from Hakkai' s and Sanzo' s cheeks.

"Y-y- you saw the whole th- thing?" Hakkai' s eyes were wide with surprise.

Sanzo only snorted, " You don't have the brains… much less a third eye! "

Gojyo gritted his teeth. " When you're as sexy as I am, people tend to expect more from you. Luckily, I'm not the type of guy to disappoint everyone!"

Sanzo muttered under his breath, "Too late for that!"

Hakkai wasn't listening to Sanzo, " B- but how? Not unless you have a "

"Shokkaku!" Gojyo exclaimed, pointing to his overgrown cowlicks.

"Wha…?!"

Gojyo drew himself to his full height and folded his arms across his chest,

"While at the bar, I had this weird feeling, so I twitched them like so (twitches his shokkaku or hair antenna) and voila! Live via satellite! I saw the final round of the card game, the battle, the chaos and mayhem, the works! EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, but I only saw up to the part where you guys crawled under the blanket before I passed out. It's a wonder I managed to stay awake up to that point, you guys should've seen how wasted I was!"

The half- youkai guffawed, obviously pleased with himself.

Sanzo was growling, his hand itching to grab the shoureijou lying beside him. Hakkai feared the worst.

Gojyo paused, and his face broke into a smirk, " I was thinking of asking about who won the game, but seems to me your little strip- poker had to be cancelled with the cards busted and all. I gotta admit, you did a pretty good job of banging up this whole place. It's  a miracle how only TWO things were spared. I can see the blanket's still here… but how do you explain THIS?!"

Triumphantly, Gojyo held up the broken lamp.

Nikoru Sanzo and Kaiten Kyoumon both groan and slap their foreheads.

Nikoru Sanzo (covers her eyes, one eye peeking): "Baka! You're asking for it!"

A vein and an eye twitched on the fair- haired priest's face. "Annihilate!" and "No Mercy!" were written, nay, etched in fire and blood, all over Sanzo' s face.

Gojyo, oblivious to the impending danger, "I distinctly remember this lamp being UN-broken after the battle. Come to think of it, lamps always get broken whenever … "

Hakkai screams, "SANZO !!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Gunshots, "URUSAI! SHINEEEEEE!" and "I-thought-Buddhism-prohibits-killing!" echoed across the otherwise peaceful town, with an occasional and pitiful "I CAN'T BELIEVE HE WON'T PLAY STRIP- POKER WITH ME!!!".

END!!!

Nikoru Sanzo: "Whew! This is my first fanfic. It took me ages to inscribe it in my li'l PC since I had to sneak it in between financial and sales reports. Makes me wonder, perhaps I'm a reincarnated bored but gorgeous Tenkai noblewoman bureaucrat? O- hohoho! A thousand apologies because the fic is TOO LONG. Read and review please! Constructive criticism and free nikuman are very much welcome! Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!"