Disclaimer & A/N's:
Gensomaden Saiyuki belongs to the brilliant Kazuya Minekura. This fic was inspired by the inspiring Aesop' s Fables. I hope I can pull this one off as a series. By the way, if you're looking for a moral in this story, I suggest you grab a pair of binoculars, ne? Bonus points if you recognize the particular fable on which this fic was based. Happy hunting! XP
A Fable of Goku and the Green Pork Buns
By: Nikoru Sanzo
"I'm hungry! What's there to eat?" Goku whined as he slumped in his seat. He trained his eyes on his savior and hoped for a response. Preferably a tasty and mouth-watering response on a plate. He waited. And he waited in vain.
Sanzo chose to ignore him this time, an exercise at tolerance perhaps? The monk adjusted his reading glasses as he scanned the newspaper's front page. On the table before him, an empty beer can posed for a still life beside a half- consumed cigarette in an ashtray. Minutes of blessed stillness passed by between them, but for Goku, it was unbearable eternity.
"Sanzo! I'm hungry!" Goku whined again, this time a little louder in case Sanzo had gone deaf with the silence. Unable to stand it any longer, Goku got up and walked over to him. He put on his most charming, pitiful, heart- melting, and pleading look as he griped anew.
"Didn't you hear me? I'm hungry!"
Without his fan, the newspaper became the equally unpleasant substitute. Sanzo walloped him thrice and as hard as he could, perhaps to make up for the last two complaints that went unpunished. Goku yelped and jumped away from Sanzo.
"How did you roll up the paper so fast?" Goku asked while he rubbed a sore spot on his head. The monk merely snorted.
"I learn something new everyday. Now get out of my sight!"
The abuse of the newspaper still fresh in his mind, Goku obediently slinked out of the room. He was already walking in the streets when he realized he had forgotten to borrow Sanzo' s credit card. He turned around towards the direction of the inn. You haven't gone far, he told himself. But apparitions of rolled up newspapers, the fan of discipline and its just as terrifying companion- the exorcism gun, floated before his eyes. He shivered slightly and stuffed his hands in his pockets.
He ain't gonna give it anyway, so why should I risk getting killed for nothing?
Secretly, Goku applauded himself for his brilliant reasoning. However, it wasn't long before his stomach openly started booing him. A few hours of wandering around town only served to fuel his hunger. It was almost twilight. He felt himself growing weaker with every step.
With still three- eighths of his mind capable of rational thought, Goku decided to deliberately steer clear of any place that could be friends with his insatiable belly. It was painfully useless. For in avoiding every eatery, he ducked into a street that had another, teasing him to come hither. Goku could have sworn he saw the window of a restaurant wink at him!
He stamped his foot and tore at his hair. "Augh! I can't take this anymore!"
Goku clenched his fists and bolted straight in the direction of the inn. He must have been a sight for as he ran, tears of longsuffering gushed down his cheeks and his teeth were gritted in the determination of a man who has nothing to lose. A group of idle youths spied Goku running from afar. He rushed past these loafers who rooted for him from the bottom of their young and ardent hearts.
"Go for it, little dude! Fight for your one true love!" They sincerely cheered and raised their beer cans in fervent salute.
Goku paid them no heed. He ran until his lungs nearly popped. Fortunately, he reached Sanzo' s room before that could happen.
Goku burst through the door and collapsed in a bed not far from where Sanzo was sitting. He took a few moments to catch his breath as the pain in his chest slowly stepped aside for the pain in his belly. He got up and half- crawled, half- dragged himself towards the table. Gasping for breath and pain, Goku hauled himself up the chair. He buried his face in his hands as he sobbed.
"Please, make them stop! They're everywhere, taunting me! I can still smell them from here!"
Sanzo whacked him on the head with the newspaper. Goku put his hands down and looked at him with drooping eyes.
"Thanks. I needed that."
Goku sniffed in the air. "Wait, I can smell them from here!"
His eyes brightened as his gaze fell upon a pile of pork buns on the table. No wonder he didn't notice them as food. These pork buns were a bright shade of mint green! They didn't smell like normal pork buns, but their aroma was strangely inviting. He scratched his head for a moment as he contemplated his favorite food in a new… er, color.
"Oh well, no one would put these in plain sight if they weren't safe to eat!" Goku reasoned happily as he reached for a pork bun. Quick as a murderous thought, Sanzo rapped Goku' s wrist with his newspaper. The boy drew back his hand and gave the priest a hurt look.
"Hey! There are a lot of buns on that tray and I'm just gonna get one! Just one!"
Sanzo growled, "I won't even dwell on the absurdity of that 'just one piece' claim! There's no way in Tenjiku that I'm just going to sit here and let you devour them and…"
"But, Sanzo, we're not in Tenjiku!"
"Silence! Get out!"
They say that hunger is the greatest cook. Hunger also happens to be the greatest general, able to rouse even the dead into a spirited march into victory. Or certain doom, for that matter.
Armed with indignation, Goku lunged at the pile of green pork buns. But fate, it seemed, was on Sanzo' s side. The monk grabbed Goku by his collar and with unbelievable strength, threw him into the bed. Goku' s head slammed against the wooden headboard. As he blinked through tears, he dimly saw Sanzo standing over him.
"Wait! You're not gonna…! Augh! Stop it! Stop it!" Goku wailed in sheer terror as Sanzo proceeded to bash him with the newspaper.
The torture went on for a few minutes until Goku managed to push his abuser away. Self- preservation finally kicking in, he made a mad dash for the door and was soon out of sight. Sanzo sat on the bed as he willed his breathing to slow down. He got up and began to arrange the sheets. He paused, for a Great Truth dawned upon him.
What the heck! These sheets will be rumpled again anyway!
Sanzo tossed the blanket on the bed as a knowing smirk came to his face. He sauntered back to the table and picked up a bun. He was examining it when Hakkai, covered only with a towel at his waist, walked in from the room' s private shower.
"I heard what happened. Hope you didn't scar him for life."
"He's an idiot. If months of clouting haven't knocked any sense into that skull of his, then five minutes is just a drop in the ocean."
Hakkai smiled sweetly. "Is it also a drop in the ocean? You know, fifteen minutes of our…"
Before Hakkai could say another word, Sanzo had crossed the space between them and was stealing his breath with a passionate kiss. Hakkai broke off, and looked at the pile of buns.
"Sanzo, he didn't eat any of those, did he?"
"No, not a single one. I know you've nearly spent the entire day making them. It wouldn't do me much good to let the monkey eat them and have you nag me to death for it." He answered as he nuzzled Hakkai' s cheek.
"Ah, you're my hero, then. My green buns' knight in shining armor."
Sanzo gave him a puzzled look. "I don't understand why they have to be green and why you didn't want any of them to fall into Goku or Gojyo' s hands."
"Well, you see, an herbalist gave me a bag of this aromatic plant. The herb is most potent when eaten, so I thought it best to add them to the flour and filling for the buns. She did say it was tasty. The only thing that bothered me was that they came out green. Must be the herb. At least its pastel green, not dark green."
"But why so many of them? Thirty- eight?"
"Don't worry about storage. I was told that they'd last for many days as long as we put them in airtight containers. They are quite bite- sized, aren't they?"
Sanzo knit his brows. "I still don't understand. What's the herb for?"
"The old woman guaranteed that this herb can 'stoke the fires of even the long dead'." Hakkai sheepishly replied.
Sanzo waved his hand and shook his head. He leaned closer as he touched the other man's lips with his finger.
"As if we ever needed those. Perhaps we can find ways to enjoy these buns of yours?" Sanzo breathed softly into Hakkai' s ear.
Meanwhile, Goku had already cut clear across town when he ceased his life- saving sprint. He leaned against a wall and raised his fist as he yelled, much to the alarm of the passersby.
"Oh yeah? Well, I bet they taste bad anyway!"
Moral Of The Fable:
"Greens are good for you."
(And I'm not talking about jokes, mind you.)