And A Little Dedication:

I consecrate this chapter to lin, whose reviews have greatly humbled and encouraged me. A thousand apologies for my laziness, ne?

Standard disclaimers apply.

The Little Mer- Bishounen

By: Nikoru Sanzo

Chapter 6- Trouble Ahoy!

He felt himself being rocked gently by the currents he knew so well. The soft fronds and sea grass tenderly swayed and caressed his cheeks. Sunlight shone through the surface of the waters, a brilliant blue stained glass above him. The warmth from the sun slowly drew him from his slumber and enticed him to open his eyes and savor the world laid out for him.

"Sunshine!"

Sanzo lazily opened one eye and then turned over on his side. He hugged the white rug' s stuffed bear- head and wished he could cram his own head in it and drown out every sound in the world.

Goku excitedly shook the priest by his shoulders. "Ne, Sunshine! Wake up! The butler just brought in breakfast!"

Sanzo sat up and roughly pushed Goku away from him.

"Urusai! I was just having this wonderful dream where I've already turned into sea foam, hiding under a rock in the bottom of the sea!"

But Goku was persistent, and he knew just what his Sunshine needed. He walked over to the table that was groaning under the weight of a twelve- course breakfast. He grabbed a mug of steaming coffee and shoved it into Sanzo' s hands, accidentally spilling all of it on the monk' s hips and other places where boiling coffee shouldn't be spilled on.

"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry, Sunshine!"

((Kaiten Kyoumon: (panics) "What about the beautiful future mer- babies?!"))

((Nikoru Sanzo: "Relax! Sanzo' s still perfectly capable of getting pregnant and bearing beautiful children."))

((Kaiten Kyoumon: (blinks) "Sanzo' s part sea- horse?"))

((Nikoru Sanzo: (snorts) "Yes! And part unicorn-fairy too! Now on with the fic!"))

Sanzo opened his mouth in a wordless scream as he quickly stood up. The rush of blood in his head and the excruciating heat that threatened to castrate him pushed him into familiar fight- and- (somebody else's) flight mode.

((Nikoru Sanzo: (stuffs head in a bag of ice and Wet Ones) "Sorry! Burning-In-The-Loins false alarm!"))

((Kaiten Kyoumon: "Oh, and is "fight-and-flight-mode" a new euphemism for a certain something now?"))

Without his fan and pistol, Sanzo decided to seize the nearest thing he could get his hands on. Fortunately for Goku, it was a brochure for a credit card application and not the hardcover edition of 207,568 Easy Steps To Writing Parody Fanfiction.

He whacked the poor prince until one could read about the wonderful and exciting privileges of holding a credit card from Goku' s growing head lump. Before the Humane Society could barge in and rescue the abused monkey, Sanzo noticed the mangled brochure' s cover and ceased for a moment.

"Golden Buddha MasterCard! Unlimited shopping fun that you don't have to pay for, anytime in your lifetime! Run to your nearest and only Three Mer- Buddhas' Branch (that would be the Chou- An Sea Temple) and get one now! Available to high- ranking priests only (so too bad if you got this brochure in your mail by mistake)!"

When he thought Goku was trying to sneak away, he gave the boy one last wallop, just to be sure. Still, nothing could ever beat the paper fan.

"But I'm not going anywhere! I'm staying!" Goku looked up at the monk with a pained and teary expression.

Sanzo glared at the boy with his Most Withering Glare, but was taken aback by what he thought he could read in Goku' s eyes.

"Sunshine, do you remember when I told you about the man who saved my life? The man who shone like the sun? I guess I forgot to mention that it felt like he was hitting me and…"

"Merciful kami! Are those fairy dust, smoky light and pixie sparkles hovering around the saru' s head?"

((Kaiten Kyoumon: "Don't forget the Enya soundtrack."))

"And that otherworldly music that's imbuing me with the sickening feeling of warmth and LOVE?! No! Must… resist!"

"Are you having tummy troubles?" Goku broke from his Holy-Light-Music pose and clasped the arms of his seemingly constipated Sunshine.

He brushed the boy's hands off his arms and sat down. Goku knelt before Sanzo and looked up at his face. There was an awkward silence between the two. Both of them were breathless, Sanzo with his uncertainty over what could happen next, and Goku with his near sureness of the end of his search.

A soft knock on the door brought back thoughts of breathing. Goku stood up and yelled with slight irritation, "Come in!"

The butler opened the door and gave a polite cough. " I apologize for my intrusion, Prince Goku. There is someone downstairs, and he insists upon meeting you in person."

Goku scratched his head. "A visitor? So early in the morning? What about breakfast? I'm starving!"

"I will advise the guest to wait for you in the private dining room. I'll have breakfast transferred there." The butler held the door open for the prince, but Goku seemed confused.

The butler smiled. "His Royal Highness' room is the hundred and fiftieth door to the left of this library."

"Uhm, Thanks. Need to wash up first and all, you know? I'll see you later, Sunshine." Goku waved at Sanzo and then left the room.

"Master Sunshine, would it please you if I brought you a change of clothes? Oh, I almost forgot, there's about an entire spring and fall line in your closet." He certainly didn't miss the stain on the priest's white pants.

Sanzo scowled, grabbed the empty mug of coffee and tilted it, hoping that the butler isn't getting any ideas.

"Ah, yes, it's a coffee stain, indeed. Well, there is absolutely nothing to worry about, Master Sunshine. There's a guest bathroom located a few steps to the right from this study. It has towels and robes for your use and it has a secret passageway that leads directly to the walk-in closet in your room. That way, you won't have to worry about running into anyone after your bath."

((Nikoru Sanzo: (raises her hand) "I hereby invoke the Fanfic Law of Convenient Circumstances!"))

Sanzo nodded and dismissed the butler with a wave of his hand. As soon as he was left alone in the room, a metallic clattering from the table startled him.

Sanzo, credit card brochure still in hand, crept up to the table and listened quietly for a few moments. Sure enough, there came the faint clanking once more. Quickly, he lifted the offending silver lid and whacked the culprit with one swift blow.

"Ow! Ow! It wasn't me, you stupid monk!" Gojyo yelped in pain as he crawled out of the silver plate.

Hakkai smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry, but your claws were tickling my sides."

From behind three tall baskets filled with croissants, Hakuryuu peered first and then stepped out. The little dragon gave a happy squeal before pecking at a sausage roll.

Sanzo narrowed his eyes, obviously displeased at seeing his companions again.

What the hell are you doing here? I was hoping you'd get yourselves fried and baked already!

Gojyo read the mix of disappointment and annoyance in Sanzo' s face. He shook a claw at the mer- priest.

"While you were having a grand time in some fancy tea party with the Prince, Hakkai and I nearly garnished one of last night's main courses!"

The sight of Sanzo' s face turning a sickly shade of green at the thought of a flounder and kappa stew prompted Hakkai to change the topic.

"You still have your human legs. I take it that Prince Goku hasn't acknowledged you yet."

Sanzo frowned and for a moment gave out an aura of frustration that was almost discernible from the look of contempt that he always wore. He picked up his jacket and headed straight for the door.

Gojyo clambered down the table leg. "Hey! Wait up! I don't wanna stay here and run into a crazy librarian this time!"

Hakkai laughed, thinking that the remark was directed at him. "And what would I do to you, Gojyo? Classify and put you under Perversion and Hentai?"

With an excited squeak, Hakuryuu flapped his wings and waited for Hakkai to climb upon his back. They picked up Gojyo and followed Sanzo to the guest bathroom.

((Kaiten Kyoumon: "Do we need to give details of Sanzo taking a bath? Hakkai and Gojyo are with him in there, you know!"))

((Nikoru Sanzo: "Thou Hentai Sutra! This isn't one of those kinds of fics. And the fact that Hakuryuu' s with them will only make it weird and wrong. "))

AN HOUR AND A TOTALLY WRECKED BATHROOM AND WALK- IN CLOSET LATER…

Sanzo walked, I meant, trudged wearily over to the royal private dining room. He was certain that the day would be another round of migraines and mind- numbing "Sunshine's(!)". In the pocket of his coat hid his hopeful companions while Hakuryuu perched on his shoulder.

He was already at the foot of the stairs and a few paces from the room when he ran into the butler. The man was apparently put off over something. However, his face broke into a genuine smile for Sanzo.

"Ah, Master Sunshine! You're a welcome sight indeed. Prince Goku 's already in the royal dining room with his guest who was adamant that they be left alone. May I speak forthrightly?"

Sanzo nodded. He welcomed the few minutes of delay before the inevitable swarm of "Sunshine's(!)".

The butler leaned closer and lowered his voice. "Frankly, I don't like the way the man looks at Prince Goku. I am at a loss which word to use for it. Gawk? Leer? Ogle? I wouldn't have left if His Highness didn't ask me to."

Sanzo frowned and one thought ran through his mind.

Good. Because I hope this guy kidnaps the idiot monkey and takes him someplace far, far from me. I'll even pay him not to bring the moron back. Good riddance, then!

The butler, mistaking Sanzo' s serious expression for concern, smiled with relief.

"I thank you, Master Sunshine. You've never acted unseemly towards our Prince and have never abused his kindness. We of this household have faith in your looking out for our Master's welfare." And the butler left without another word, filled with newfound confidence.

Gojyo peeked from Sanzo' s left pocket. He shot the dumbfounded priest a puzzled look. "You okay? You look like you need an antacid or a tetanus shot."

"Tetanus shots are for horses, and I'm not speaking of the sea-going kind." Hakkai corrected him from Sanzo' s right pocket.

And the two began to discuss the intricacies of Sanzo getting a tetanus shot while Hakuryuu peeped an affirmative or two in favor of Hakkai. Sanzo groaned and thought of more infuriating scenarios to alleviate his misery.

But before he could find a More Disturbing Thought Than These Idiots #1 for his mental list, he was already standing before the door.

"… So there! If Sanzo' s a pregnant seahorse, then that's the only time he doesn't need a tetanus shot!" Gojyo exclaimed, hoping to end the debate.

The irate monk yanked at Gojyo' s feelers and was satisfied when the kappa gave a painful cry.

"All right! All right! You'll need a tetanus shot even if you're pregnant!" Gojyo conceded as Hakkai chuckled.

Sanzo rolled his eyes.

I am going nowhere and I have to take these idiots with me?!

He placed a hand on the intricate doorknob and turned it slowly. As he did, something unanticipated beset his ears, something as familiar as…

My voice! Is that idiot monkey a ventriloquist now?!

Hakkai wondered. "Is Sanzo able to speak again?"

And Gojyo groaned, "It doesn't matter. Whether the corrupt mer- priest has a voice or not, he's still a pain in the fins!"

Sanzo pushed the door and stepped into the room. At the sight of the other man with Goku, he felt the wind knocked out of his lungs.

"And you must be Sunshine. Prince Goku has told me a lot about you."

Sanzo froze. If voices could be seen, then he was certainly looking at mirror of his own.

And yet, the voice was not his, for gone was the outright disdain only to be replaced by an unmistakable tone of dark and wicked amusement.

Goku smiled awkwardly and introduced his guest. "Sunshine, this is Lord Homura. He's on some sort of state visit or something from some country far away."

Homura, with a haughty stride, approached Sanzo and whispered in his ear.

"Apparently, you've been having a little too much fun with Prince Goku."

A lesser man would have laughed at the ridiculous charge, but Sanzo wasn't a lesser man. And therefore, he just gave Homura the usual Withering Glare For Lesser Men™.

((Kaiten Kyoumon: "Someone was obviously thinking less of Homura when she churned up this fic."))

((Nikoru Sanzo: (evil overlord cackling) "Not at all. As much as I have oodles of compassion for him, the Withering Glare For Lesser Men™ crack was part of a marketing strategy to appease those who enjoy reading Sanzo/Goku/Homura love triangle ficcies!"))

((Kaiten Kyoumon: You are such a sell- out!"))

Goku tugged at Homura' s sleeve. "Hey! We've been waiting forever for Sunshine. Now that he's here, can we go have breakfast now? I'm hungry!"

With a look that screamed This-Will-Hurt-Me-More-Than-It-Will-Hurt-You scream, Homura walloped Goku with Sanzo' s paper fan.

"Hush! You simian with a sub- optimal aptitude! I should've let you drown in the beach, but your foolhardiness beseeches me to respond with exceedingly unnecessary violence!"

Gojyo nearly burst into laughter. "What a waste! He can't even do a Sanzo right!"

The mer- monk's fists clenched and unclenched to see Homura brandishing his paper fan, THE paper fan that only he, Genjo Sanzo, has the divine authority to wield and abuse with.

Goku blinked and pointed at the paper fan. "The crushing force of 3,800 Psi…"

Hakkai smiled knowingly. "Oh, that's nothing! Sanzo can achieve 8,300 Psi with his harissen, among other things."

Sanzo buried his face in his hands.

If I had only known the idiot has a skull that rivals all the barnacles in this world, then I would've hit him harder that day at the beach.

Goku took a few timid steps towards Homura. He narrowed his eyes, as if searching for something that should have already blared its presence with the blaring of a thousand trumpets.

There was a hint of uncertainty in his eyes, but they were kicked out none too quickly by resignation.

"Then it must be you, the man who saved my life. Your voice and the paper fan are enough for me." Goku spoke, not with expected elation, but with unusual solemnity.

With an air of triumph, Homura glanced at the stunned mer- priest and mouthed a silent gloating over his conquest.

He's mine, Genjo Sanzo.

TO BE CONTINUED o o o

Yei! Author's Note's/Ramblings that have nothing to do whatsoever with the story and

only serve as a Thinly Disguised Apology for Laziness!

In an abandoned tower, a few gazillion leagues south of Minas Tirith…

Kaiten Kyoumon: (threateningly)

"You'd better start working on Chapter 7 now."

Nikoru Sanzo: (arms flailing wildly and unable to touch the keyboard)

"But I can't see a thing! Something wonderful is obscuring my vision! Oh, blessed sightlessness!"

Kaiten Kyoumon: (grabs the life- size Faramir plushie sitting on Nikoru Sanzo' s lap and throws it out of the window)

"There! That should do it!"

Nikoru Sanzo: (jumps out of the window after the plushie, like a raging fangurl maniac)

"My One-True-Wuv! I'll save you!"

(pink and white hearts pop up and follow her like a comet streak, leaving a trail of utter destruction in their wake)

Kaiten Kyoumon: (peers out at the window)

"This may take a while. Now I know why this 8,383-foot tower came out cheap in the market."