The Motherhood River

By Aki-sama

Chapter Two: Learn the Hard Way

As the dawn oozed its way through the windows and into the innocent room, a certain golden-eyed saru closed the door and continued making his way down to the kitchens. Hoshi said that she had left out food this morning so that Goku wouldn't get too hungry before his actual breakfast.

Goku silently prayed to every food god in the Heavens to thank them for letting him meet Hoshi. She, with the exception of Hakkai, was always willing to give out food.

Creeping down the hallway, he noticed a flash of red from one of the communal bathrooms. Goku, being the insatiable little ball of curiosity that he was, decided to investigate.

Another flash of very familiar bright red hair; Goku became suspicious.

As he poked his head around the door frame, he saw…fire.

The woman standing in front of the mirror had hair that looked like it was on fire, at least, when the sun shone on it. Goku watched, mesmerized as the red hair was flung about. The single strands that were caught in the sun's rays looked like sparks from when metal clashed on metal. Then the woman noticed Goku's presence and turned to face him.

Goku froze. The face staring at him (even if it wasn't exactly the same) was Gojyo's. Goku's thoughts whirled.

No, he thought in a daze, "It can't be!" he said that last part out loud. The woman, who looked suspiciously like Gojyo, smiled a feral smile.

"Hello bakasaru," she greeted him. Her hair fell away from her face as she cocked her head, and Goku saw two red and very distinctive scars that ran down the woman's cheek. The monkey had no more doubts. This had to be Gojyo.

"Er…yo," he answered back, not exactly sure what to say.

It only took Gojyo (or at least, Goku was pretty darn sure she was Gojyo) a few steps to close the space between them. Goku, actually fearing for his sanity, eeped quite audibly and stepped backward a little bit so that he ended up standing terrified in the hallway. The woman inched forward, doing that walk that all women (who know they're good-looking) use.

"Don't worry," the woman assured Goku with a rather sexy smile, "I don't bite…." Goku was so shocked, he didn't even notice when her arms slipped around his neck.

There was a tense pause in which the woman moved her head so that her mouth was a millimeter away from Goku's. Goku could have sworn he saw fangs.

"Hard."

Goku gulped.

And then was promptly yanked backward.

"What the HELL is going on here?" yelled Sanzo furiously. He shoved Goku behind him forcefully. The woman straightened herself back up and glanced in Sanzo's direction, her eyes closed. Sanzo glared with the intensity to melt stone. The red-head pouted attractively, and, taking a moment to think about it, pounced on the monk.

Sanzo, who was not even expecting such a maneuver from the strangely familiar-looking woman, was thrown back onto the floor with the maniac on top of him.

Goku was still in shock from his last encounter with the crazy lady. He wasn't going near her with his nyoibou extended ten-feet out.

Sanzo was annoyed that he couldn't make the bitch move. She had straddled him, holding his hips with her knees, and was now looking down at Sanzo with a smoldering gaze. Sanzo, who was busy currently cursing his inability to move the woman, froze at the sight. She leaned down and without even giving Sanzo the opportunity to resist, kissed him on the lips.

This was, of course, the perfect moment for Hoshi to walk up the stairs, Hakkai to open the door, and Goku to snap out of it.

Everyone was deadly silent.

The strange red-haired woman and Sanzo were still lip-locking it. She moved one hand to support Sanzo's limp (from shock and horror) neck, and ran the other one down Sanzo's side.

There really aren't any words to express the intensity of this silence.

The woman dropped Sanzo's head on the ground with a thud, and lifted her head up to look innocently at the peanut gallery, "What's with you guys? Its only Sanzo!" shrugging, she got up off the floor and walked in Hakkai's astonished direction. "Oi, Hakkai," she jerked her thumb at the bathroom, "You ain't gonna be using that, right?"

This was when Hakkai quickly snapped herself out of her own reverie and raised her hand, "I'm very sorry!" she said urgently.

Hakkai slapped the red-haired woman across the face.

The woman staggered backwards from the blow, then shook her head and opened her eyes.

"Uh, good morning?" She asked, forming a "what-the-bleeding-hell-is-going-on!" expression.

Hakkai took the initiative, "Is that you Gojyo?" The red-head gave her a weird look.

"Of course it's me," she answered in a low soprano voice, "What the hell am I doing awake this early in the morning, and why am I out in the hall?"

Really, nobody had the heart to tell her what went on. Gojyo could tell that there was something seriously wrong here, and she had something to do with it. Not that she hadn't had this feeling before, but….

"And what is the monk doing on the floor?"

The rest of the onlookers honestly didn't know what to say.

Gojyo strutted over to the prone monk on the floor and saw that the normally alive (and angry) violet eyes were blank with shock. Gojyo reacted accordingly.

"Oi, Sanzo-sama," she drawled, "Wake up!" She kicked him lightly in the side.

The reaction from Sanzo was not what Gojyo was expecting. Well, to say the least, Sanzo didn't react at all. Gojyo became worried. Sanzo didn't even develop a small twitch in response. Amazing, Gojyo thought with wonder, I wonder what could have knocked him out so badly?

Hakkai, with a solemn look on her face, walked over to Gojyo and handed her a mirror. Gojyo took the mirror automatically and looked at her hair.

Then she saw her face. Her face.

Gojyo opened her mouth and screamed. And screamed. And screamed some more. Then she fainted.

-

Hoshi helped Goku and Hakkai move Sanzo and Gojyo to a room and situated them there. Goku was still twitching from his close brush with Gojyo, and was stubbornly trying to avoid looking at the red-haired kappa at all.

Hakkai sighed, a little disgruntled at the fact that Gojyo had been dragged into this predicament. It was, in spite of everything, Hakkai's fault. After all, if she hadn't found the river, they might have already moved onto the next town by know. Hakkai knew that she wanted a break from fighting youkai 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but this wasn't what she constituted as a break.

More like a large misunderstanding. The gods SO must have been on crack.

"And we didn't even tell her what happened…."

Goku noticed the brunette's pensive look and smiled a tentative smile, "Don't worry Hakkai, I'm sure that when Gojyo wakes up, he'll still be in too much shock to do anything!"

"Thank you for your confidence Goku," Hakkai smiled warily, not exactly encouraged by Goku's words of comfort. It was then that Goku and Hakkai noticed Hoshi motioning for them to come downstairs. They followed softly behind her, as they didn't want to wake the other two from their shock induced slumber, and left them in the same room together.

This was later realized as a big mistake, but at the moment, unconsciousness was a good thing.

-

"I found some interesting facts from our town Elder," Hoshi said with nervous excitement, "She says it is true that it takes nine days for a woman to bear a child when she has drunk from a river, but," she held up a finger in front of her eager audience, "men don't necessarily get pregnant!" Goku breathed out a large sigh of relief and Hakkai smiled.

Hoshi still remained serious, "But there is a very easy way to get pregnant."

Goku sucked his sigh back in, and Hakkai stopped smiling.

Hoshi took a deep lungful of air, "You have to kiss a guy."

She waited patiently for the other shoe to drop.

Goku dropped his shoe rather painfully, "So, that means that Gojyo—," he couldn't finish his sentence. Hakkai dropped her head so that her eyes were on the floor. She had never felt so guilty in her entire…never mind. That wasn't true. But this predicament certainly reached the top five.

Goku had one more question, "So, if it takes a girl nine days, what about a boy who's," he paused embarrassed, "kissed another boy?"

Hoshi answered without hesitation, "12 days. Two days to get adjusted, and …well, you know the rest." They did know the rest. It wasn't a pretty picture.

Gojyo woke up. She remembered the mirror. She remembered her reflection.

"Damn it," she groaned while sitting up. A sharp pain lanced through her skull and she remembered hitting the floor.

"Owww…" she mumbled as she sluggishly dragged herself to the bathroom. When she got there, she looked at the mirror.

Damn, she was still hot! Gojyo smirked in triumph as she pulled her hair back. She thanked the gods for small blessings. There were nice curves, with great tanned, toned legs. Oh yeah, and nice breasts too.

And not as big as Hakkai's, she thought, a little disappointed. Then she stopped that line of thought and shook her head. What the hell am I thinking? I'm a guy not a girl! Why should I even care? Looking down at her stomach, she saw that it had kept her hard-earned abs. She smiled contently.

When she looked at the mirror again, she realized that she still saw herself…just more feminine than usual.

"Gojyo you beautiful hanyou, you can live with this for as long as you need to, you sexy thing," Gojyo laughed to herself, confident she could pull this off without regretting anything.

Then she felt The Chill; a tingle in the base of her spine that traveled all the way up her eyes, making her shiver. She looked in the mirror again and gasped with fear.

"Teme 1…."

Sanzo was standing behind her with his Smith Wesson, looking absolutely terrifying. Gojyo wondered what she had done to make the worldly monk threaten her this time.

"What did I do?"

Sanzo's eyes flickered dangerously, "YOU BITCH!" he screamed at the top of his lungs, and fired at Gojyo's head.

BLAM.

"AIIIIIIIEEEEEE!" Gojyo screamed as the bullet missed its target by a millimeter and ran out the bathroom and down the stairs; a very irate Sanzo on her heals.

BLAM. BLAM. BLAM. BLAM.

Actually, irate wasn't the only think the monk was feeling at the moment. He was also feeling highly violated, and very embarrassed. All of these feelings equated to something along the lines of DOOM for a certain red-head.

"Seriously- Ack!" she dodged a bullet, "You stupid monk—Eep!" she ducked another one, "What did I DO!" she yelled to the insane "holy" man. The said "holy" man twitched quite visibly while running.

Pretty fascinating how he's able to do that.

"You don't remember…you don't REMEMBER!" cried Sanzo, somewhat melodramatically, "I'LL KILL YOU!" Sanzo fired eight more warning shots that happened to be right next the strange woman's ears and other very vital organs.

BLAM!

"HAKKAI!"

-

There were few Very Important Things Goku had learned in his life. One Thing was that plastic, no matter how hard one chewed on it, would never be edible.

The other Very Important Thing that he had learned (to some extent) was that Sanzo, while holding a gun and looking incensed, was not to be messed with. That, along with the other Ground Rules That Should Be Obeyed (an unwritten law book by Genjo Sanzo), were some of the top Things that the little saru had learned over the years.

This morning was a good time to remember every single thing that he had learned over the years and put it to good use.

Running very fast and very far away, screaming, seemed to be the best option.

Hakkai, using a very stern, almost motherly voice, insisted that Goku stay. Possibly because she didn't want to die at this early an age via stress and bullets.

In other words: because she didn't want to be the only one to handle the boiling steam kettle that was Genjo Sanzo.

"Maa, maa," soothed Hakkai, who had explained who Gojyo was to Sanzo (once she saw Gojyo running for her life and a Sanzo who immediately reminded Hakkai of a large, rampaging wildebeest (with the steam coming out of the nostrils and everything!) chasing after her) with a smile, "Repeat after me, 'I will not kill Gojyo."

"I will not," Sanzo breathed deeply while grinding his teeth, "kill Gojyo."

"'I will not shove anything sharp or blunt into Gojyo.'"

"I will not shove anything sharp or blunt into Gojyo."

"'Because we still need him for our journey westward.'"

Pause. Goku shuffled his feet.

"I get it already," growled Sanzo. Hakkai nodded in satisfaction, but Gojyo was still shaking with fear. Wearing a bewildered look on her face, she pointed an accusing finger into the air.

"What. Did. I. DO!" she hollered, finally losing the last strands of sanity that she had been gripping onto like mad. Sanzo turned red, saw red, and wanted to make red.

"YOU—,"

"Gomen Gojyo-san," sighed Hoshi, cutting off Sanzo with an edge of impatience in her voice, "You kissed Sanzo-sama."

"…"

"Sorry, could you say that, again?" asked Gojyo with as little volume as possible.

Hakkai decided to add her two cents, "You almost tried to kiss Goku as well, but Sanzo got him away from you, and I suppose you just went for the next best thing."

Gojyo's mouth opened and shut and opened and shut.

She then proceeded to grab a nearby pillow and scream into it with vigor.

"That's not the bad news Gojyo," whispered Hakkai with a slice of worry to her voice. Goku avoided looking at Gojyo as much as possible, Hoshi was giving him pitying looks, and Sanzo's rage was beyond making a coherent expression of any sort (excluding fury and embarrassment).

Gojyo wondered vaguely if she could just die and go to Hell. There might have been less humiliation involved. And less pain.

Hakkai gave Hoshi The Look. She sighed, stepped forward, and pronounced the really bad news.

-

It was about thirty minutes later when Hakkai came back downstairs to check on Gojyo, who was, at the moment, permanently in a state of shock. Goku had grabbed Sanzo's arm and dragged his holiness back upstairs to give him some water and cigarettes to soothe his anger. Hoshi had left immediately for the town's city hall to see if there was any chance for a cure. Hakkai was left to tending the poor, traumatized Gojyo.

She was still sitting at the table, with a face as blank as a whiteboard. Hakkai felt awfully guilty. This really was all her fault.

It was then that she realized that she was not only feeling guilty, but ill.

She then quickly proceeded to race to the nearest bathroom to hurl herself silly.

-

Meanwhile, Gojyo was having a very odd dream.

"Yo!"

At first, she thought she was looking at herself (when she used to be a he), with her hair cut short. She soon realized that this was not her as a him, but someone else who looked like her when she was a he.

Man, even I didn't understand that particular waste of breath, thought Gojyo, despairingly noting the fact that she was still a girl AND that she was still pregnant (or going to be, whatever, it still counts).

Oh, I did NOT need a reminder of that little bit of information…. Gojyo felt queasy as it was.

"You probably don't recognize me," started the doppelganger, "But I was your past life."

Gojyo blink-blinked.

The clone smirked, "The name's Kenren Taisho, did I mention I used to be a god?"

Oh yeah, thought Gojyo miserably, this dream is going to suck major monkey ASS.

-

Hoshi found Hakkai retching in the bathroom by accident.

"I'm so sorry!" she cried, "I thought I heard somebody in the bathroom—I was worried," she finished lamely.

"It's quite alright Hoshi-san," managed Hakkai as she stood up, "I just feel a little under the weather."

Hoshi gave him a suspicious glance, "Are you sure you didn't, I don't know, KISS someone yesterday?" She crossed her arms.

Hakkai gave her his patented smile, "I'm sure that if I did, I would remember." She rubbed her stomach, as if soothing an untamed animal. Hoshi raised an eyebrow.

"I'm not quite sure if I should believe you," she said with trepidation, "Gojyo didn't remember anything that happened this morning at all." She noticed that Hakkai had stopped rubbing her stomach. Hakkai turned her neck like someone was dragging it, and met Hoshi's worried gaze.

"I don't remember what happened last morning, Hoshi-san," murmured Hakkai, reminiscing, "I only remember from when Sanzo was holding me in the dining room."

Hoshi slapped her hand to her face.

"Oh fuck-a-doodle-doo."

-

"What are you doing here?" said Gojyo, "And why are you talking to me?"

"I thought I could give you some help," answered the look-alike-so-called-past-life-figure-named-Kenren. He grimaced a little, "Even though Konzen's aunt told me not to interfere…."

"Who?"

Kenren shook his head, "Oh, that bit of information is for later, right now I'm just here to tell you that you are going to be fine."

That was absolutely the last thing Gojyo wanted to hear. From ANYBODY.

"The HELL I'M GONNA BE FINE!" she shrieked. Kenren felt the large gust of wind blow past his face and he winced. "AFTER BEING TURNED INTO A WOMAN AND THEN GETTING THE WONDERFUL NEWS THAT I'M GONNA BE A FRIGGIN' MOTHER, YOU THINK I'M GONNA BE JUST FINE!"

Kenren waved his hands to ward off the baaaad feelings of murder that were flowing off the Hanyou like water off rock, "Oi, don't be yelling at me. You're the one who drank the water."

"But Hakkai had already thrown out the water!" argued Gojyo with a noticeable degree of patheticness, "He said it was safe!"

"You trust Hakkai like you would a lover," frowned Kenren, "He can be wrong once in a blue moon ya know."

Gojyo couldn't help the blush that came from the "lover" comment, but she refrained from saying anything to incriminate herself.

Kenren sighed wearily, "I can relate; I was the same with Tenpou," the god's cheeks turned slightly pink, but he was wearing an expression of nostalgia.

"Who!"

"Never mind," snapped Kenren, "I am telling you that you are going to be fine, because you are me technically, and I wouldn't freak out if—ok, that's a lie," he shrugged with casual flair, "But still, don't take it like a disease. You're carrying life! That's gotta count for something, right?"

Gojyo honestly hadn't thought of that prospect before. And was slightly ashamed for it.

"I guess," muttered Gojyo. Kenren suddenly froze, then smiled a smile that was disturbing in both meaning and thought.

"Think carefully about what Hoshi (that cutie) told you just a half-an-hour ago," Kenren tapped his head and pointed to Gojyo's. Gojyo gave an impatient frown.

"I know: 'Any man who drinks from the river gets turned into a woman and then (if he kisses another man) will be pregnant,'" he recited. He frowned angrily, "I mean, what kind of weirdo makes up a spell like that to—," the gears turned slowly in Gojyo's brain, and the memory of Yesterday Morning came to him like a small bomb.

"Oh no…" squeaked Gojyo. Kenren smiled knowingly, which pissed Gojyo off in spite of his abrupt realization.

"Oh yes…and I think you should wake up now," the cheerful voice of Kenren entered his ears, "You've stopped breathing."

And that was when Gojyo came back to the land of the living.

-

"You don't remember anything? Maybe you should ask Gojyo when he wakes up." Hoshi brought out a tray of strong sake. Hakkai looked like she needed it.

"I couldn't have done anything…could I have?" Hakkai spoke softly. Her voice echoed sadness, not fear. Hoshi found that just listening to her could have made grown men cry.

A small noise that sounded like a squeak mixed with a choke sounded from across the room. Gojyo was awake again.

Hakkai looked up from her thoughts and stared at the hanyou with apprehension. Gojyo locked eyes with Hakkai and Hakkai noticed that the red-head had fear written across her face in metaphorically large bold letters. Gojyo stood up, unstable and jittery, and walked with great haste over to where the green-eyed youkai was sitting. Hakkai leaned back in response.

"I'm so sorry Hakkai."

Hakkai widened her eyes in surprise, "What?"

"I didn't tell you what you did last morning."
Hakkai's eyes and appearance suggested that she already knew what had happened. Hoshi slammed a cup of sake down her throat to prepare herself for what she knew was coming.

"You…"

"Hey!"

Gojyo's declaration of Truth was cut off by Goku's shout. The kappa turned her head so fast that it was in danger of snapping off.

"What is it bakasaru?"

The monkey held up six flasks of water, "These seven are probably from the pile that Gojyo drank. I had filled some up too, Hakkai," smiled Goku, "So it's not totally your fault!"

Gojyo was up over the table and whapping the little monkey in the blink of an eye, "You bakasaru!" she cried with some degree of nervousness, "I was trying to tell Hakkai something important!"

"Itai!"

Hakkai lifted her head up from the table that she had been currently slamming her face into and smiled. Her monocle flashed dangerously.

Everyone who knows Hakkai knows that when the monocle flashes, a disaster of Ultimate Doom proportions is soon to occur. Just think about that theory that says that a butterfly can flap its wings on one side of the world and cause a hurricane on another 2. Yeah, Hakkai's monocle flashing is kind of like that. Sort of.

"Gojyo and Goku can stop fighting now," Hakkai gave a disarming, and yet…perilous smile, "Now, can Gojyo continue what he was trying to tell me in the first place?"

"I—,"

Hakkai changed her mind and interrupted with an immediate sigh, "I kissed you, didn't I."

"Eep."

"It's quite alright Gojyo," Hakkai ran a hand through her hair, "It's not like I gave you much choice, correct?" Gojyo had a look of helplessness on her face. Hoshi was still draining the sake bottle like a Russian to a bottle of Vodka. Goku had a clueless expression on his face, per usual.

Hakkai then acknowledged a disturbance.

"Goku…"

"Yeah?"

"Did you not just say that you had seven flasks, right?"

The little monkey held up the flasks with enthusiasm, "Yep! Right here!"

Hakkai shook her head, "Then why are there only six?" Goku looked at the flasks and recounted very slowly. He blinked innocently. Then his expression changed to one of dread.

"OH SHIT!"

As Goku zoomed up the stairs, Hakkai shook her head wearily. She was going to have to teach Goku math someday.

-

Sanzo was still recovering from the horror of…well; he couldn't even mention the incident in his own head anymore. Goku had dragged him up the stairs and had sat him down in a chair, handed him some cigarettes and a flask of water. There was no sound from Goku's mouth the entire time, and Sanzo wondered if the monkey thought that he (at that particular moment) was too dangerous to talk to.

Not that this would hurt his badass image, it was still slightly disconcerting. Goku was never silent around Sanzo, or anyone for that matter, unless there was something fundamentally wrong somewhere.

He took a long draw from his cigarette and took his first sip of water.

Immediately, he sneezed.

Pause. "What—" Then another sneeze. And then one more, just for good measure.

His sneezing only worsened when Goku sped into the room, startling him slightly. Sanzo, who by now had had enough humiliation for one day, thought that this was the breaking point: The threshold that would cause him to either go insane…or well, go insane. There weren't very many choices left.

"What –achoo-are-achoo-you doing in-achoo-here?"

Goku couldn't help but stare, "Do you have a cold, Sanzo?"

"NO! –achoo- I don't have a cold!"

"But," Goku pointed out with much reason and maturity, "You're sneezing like crazy!"

"ACHOO!"

Sanzo had to admit that the monkey had a case in point, but he wasn't about to say that out loud. Goku saw that the water flask sitting next to Sanzo was still full. He sighed deeply in relief.

"I'm so glad you didn't drink the water Sanzo!"

There was a precarious pause.

"What?" whispered the dangerously silky voice?

Oblivious, Goku plowed on, "I was just telling Hakkai that I had filled up seven extra flasks of water for us to drink to add onto his other four flasks so that none of us would get thirsty! I'm just glad I came up here to dump it out before you drank some of it!" Goku smiled brightly, obviously very proud of himself for figuring out this whole mess.

Sanzo was twitching. Goku felt that disturbance in the Force again, and looked at his keeper questionably. Wisely, he decided to grab the water flask before any damage was done. He stepped out into the hall and went to Hakkai and Gojyo's room to dispose of it (by throwing it out the window).

Although monks and other religious followers try to achieve a mental state of peace and tranquility; a supposedly blank state of mind, Sanzo knew that shock wasn't expected to cause it. He looked sideways at the place on the table where the flask had once sat not moments before and controlled the almost cathartic urge to scream like a maniac.

The option had its perks, but Sanzo didn't scream like a maniac, no matter what situation he was tossed into.

Instead, he grabbed a nearby object and tossed it through the window. He continued to repeat this action with almost everything in the room, excluding his Smith Wesson, the Sutra, his harisen, and himself.

And although the author neglected to mention this before, Sanzo was still sneezing.

-

Meanwhile, in Gojyo and Hakkai's room, Goku was reading a book.

Yes, he was. Don't kill yourself from the shock.

Goku had found one Gojyo's, ahem, books after he had dumped out the dangerous, reality-altering water. He had bumped into Gojyo's bedside table in the rush, and saw a single book slip out. As this morning, insatiable curiosity set in, and Goku opened to the first page.

He was still reading it, enthusiastically I might add, and had many questions to ask Gojyo later, if not Hakkai or Sanzo.

He never knew anyone could bend that way!

-

Hakkai and Gojyo were still sitting downstairs, ignoring each other's eyes, and generally being sulky.

"You know—,"

"You should know—,"

Awkward pause; feet shuffled on the ground.

"Go ahead—,"

"You start—,"

"ARGH!" Hoshi pulled out some of her hair and stomped over to the two women, "Just TALK already!" She grabbed Hakkai's shirt sleeve and pulled the brunette over to the other side of Gojyo's table, sat her down, then slammed her hands on the table.

"You," she pointed to Hakkai, who looked up, "What do you want to say to Gojyo-san?" Hakkai sighed tiredly, and looked directly into Gojyo's eyes.

"I am sorry Gojyo," she started, "I was not myself that morning. Whatever embarrassing position I put you in, please forgive me." Hakkai stopped staring, and she dipped her head down in shame. Hoshi nodded in a diplomatic manner, and then turned her attention to Gojyo, who was busy blushing like mad.

"And you, Red," she pointed at Gojyo, catching the woman's attention, "What do you want to say to Hakkai-san?" Gojyo squirmed on the spot. She glanced at Hakkai's drooping head and felt like she should be the one yelled at. But, and Gojyo knew this from experience, Hakkai wasn't one to make anyone feel guilty, if at all possible. So, Gojyo spit it out.

"OI! Gojyo!"

Or tried to.

"Dammit! Monkey!" Gojyo swung her head around to meet Goku's startled but innocent gaze, "That's the second time you've interrupted me today! I should…just…." It was then that Gojyo noticed the small brown book that Goku held in his hands. Her face went from white to beet red in 2.5 seconds, approximately. Hakkai took interest.

"Gojyo?" the brunette poked her head over Gojyo's shoulder, "What is that little book? I didn't know you like to read?"

"…"

Unfortunately, Goku filled in for Gojyo's speechlessness.

"Nah, you don't have to read!" he exclaimed excitedly, then turned the book around to face Hakkai, "They're just pictures!"

Hakkai stared at the pages of the book. There were the most detailed drawings that she had ever seen.

Of naked people doing a certain horizontal mamba, that is.

"Gojyo! Is it a form of martial art?" asked Goku with wide, shining eyes, "Could you teach me?"

Goku beamed like the sun. Hakkai and Gojyo gave each other sideways glances that both suggested Goku might have been hit one too many times on the head when he was younger…or just too many times in general. Hoshi saw what was on the pages of the "book" and gagged on her sake.

"Where. Did. You. Get. That!"

"It fell out of his bag!" replied Goku to Hoshi and nodded eagerly to Gojyo, "Now, can you teach me?"

Gojyo provided a weak smile, "I think I can't Goku," she turned her head towards Hakkai and smirked with potential evil. Hakkai didn't even need to ask. "But, I know someone who just might be able to."

"WHO!" cried the monkey, who was jumping up and down with excitement. Gojyo pointed back up the stairs.

"Sanzo."

Hoshi choked again, but this time she was trying to contain a laugh that would have shook the house. Hakkai merely shook her head, and snuck away to the bathroom.

Goku's eyes widened even more with the prospect of having Sanzo teach him. He sat down and looked at the now (thankfully) closed book. Hoshi gave up trying to hold her laughter in, and ran to the kitchen. Gojyo sat at the table, looking smug, and possibly, much happier than she had been a few minutes before.

Goku looked at the cover of the book again and scratched his head in wonder, "What kind of Martial Art is Kah-ma Soot-rah, anyway?"

-

Kougaiji was not pleased.

Lirin had snuck off again, probably to find the damn Sanzo-ikkou, and he was the one left behind, trying to cover her butt back at "home."

Eventually, he gave up covering and took Yaone with him to search for his little half-sister.

They had found her dragon at the base of a hill that led out of the forest and into a peculiarly large city. There was a river nearby, but Yaone suggested that they move quickly, so that nobody back at their "home" would become suspicious. He scooped up some of the water to drink and wash his face anyway, as they had been flying on dragons through the desert and the sand had manifested itself in every part of his face.

It was about five seconds afterward that he had felt…itchy.

Yes, itchy. Kougaiji had never experienced an annoyance like it before. He had thought it was…below him to scratch himself anywhere. Just the idea of it was repulsive and demeaning. Yaone was worried, and had wanted to check for poison ivy or some other such thing. Kougaiji refused, stating that he was all right and that they shouldn't be wasting anymore time.

They ran up to the large village and proceeded to sneak inside the gate.

-

"DAMMIT! ACHOO!"

-

Goku had reopened the door and immediately ducked at the oncoming barrage of items that happened to be losing their sense of gravity. Well, none of them were staying on the ground the way most things should.

Then Goku spotted the source of the items' apparent lack of gravity.

Sanzo.

Who was currently cursing life in general and wanted to make his displeasure at it known to people in a far off land, apparently.

"Um," started Goku, "Sanzo?"

The monk took ten deep breaths before turning around to face Goku, a mad look in his eye.

Goku took a safety step back; he had felt that disturbance in the Force again. Man, this was the third time in the past two days. Not good, decided Goku.

"What. Do. You. Want?"

"Could you teach me the martial arts in this book? Gojyo says he can't teach me, even though it's his book."

Sanzo read the title cover of the book that Goku had thrust into his face, and felt ill. This was one subject that he did not need to discuss with ANYONE. Let alone, Goku.

"I really want to learn!" cried Goku the oblivious, "I wanna know how so I can use it on Kougaiji!"

The images dancing around in Sanzo's head were very un-monk-like. Then again, Goku's earnest desire to beat Kougaiji was not helping. Realizing that deep embarrassment would be imminent no matter what he did, Sanzo did the next best thing.

He ran away.

"Sanzo!" cried Goku as he followed the monk out the door, "Come back! I just wanna learn how!"

-

In the evening, night came, like it was supposed to.

Sanzo, tired and exhausted from running around, stormed into Gojyo's bedroom and slammed the door behind him. Gojyo, wearing only her trousers and a white shirt, could only stare at the sudden invasion. Hakkai looked up from her book with surprise.

"I can't take it any more" Sanzo yelled at Hakkai. "He's driving me CRAZY! I'm sleeping in here tonight," he pointed both forefingers at Hakkai and Gojyo, "and you don't get a say in it because this is ALL YOUR FAULT"

Gojyo arched an amused eyebrow at the angry monk. "Lover's quarrel"

"ACHOO!" there was a pause before Sanzo sniffled in indignation, "SHUT UP" Sanzo stomped over to the bed, threw himself onto it, and closed his eyes.

Gojyo controlled her desire to laugh before attempting to evict the not-so-gallant monk. Hakkai looked concerned"Sanzo, I'm sure if you discuss things..."

"Piss off"

Gojyo, who was now crowded by Sanzo on a small single bed, was not pleased"Um... this is MY bed"

"Not any more it isn't." Sanzo curled into an angry ball and proceeded to ignore Gojyo.

"Very well then" Gojyo swung onto the bed and made herself comfortable. "At least you don't take up much space."

Sanzo ignored the implied insult and let out a fake snore.

The two lay there for a few minutes without speaking. Hakkai returned to her book.

"So... what did Goku do this time" Gojyo asked, finally.

"Shut up."

"You know, I went back to my room a little while earlier," she lied blatantly, "and I couldn't help but notice that there was a book missing from my bag..."
"SHUT UP"
Gojyo's mouth twitched. "Did you get a chance to examine position number 9"
"If you say ONE MORE WORD I swear I'll kill you."
Gojyo grinned at the ceiling and remained silent for a few minutes before casually rolling over to face Sanzo's back. Gently she stroked a hand down the monk's side and purred seductively as she reached Sanzo's hip.
"How about position number 16"
There was a long silence and then a strangled shriek.

Hakkai looked up from her book with a flat-eyed stare. Gojyo was currently laughing her ass off. Sanzo was no longer in the room, and only the dust from his departure remained.

"That little stunt might have caused irreparable psychological damage."

Gojyo shrugged while trying to catch her breath, "I already kissed him right? I might as well tease him now. He doesn't get teased nearly as much as he should, you know."

Hakkai frowned delicately. Gojyo, of course, noticed right away.

"Hey… are you JEALOUS?"

Hakkai snapped her book shut with visible irritation, "No, I am not, Gojyo," she muttered with vicious overtones, "But I think the stress of drinking the water has given Sanzo enough grief for one day." Or one lifetime.

Gojyo inched over to Hakkai's bed, and sat down beside the brunette, "It sounds to me like Sanzo's not the only one who's been getting grief," she said quietly. Hakkai shifted her eyes sideways to glance at Gojyo's face. She saw actual concern, and smiled.

Gojyo broke the moment, "Of course, if you want a look at my book…"

Hakkai threw her book at Gojyo's head, "Goodnight Gojyo!"

Disclaimer: Again….I don't own Saiyuki. If I did, I wouldn't here typing this, now would I! (headdesk)

1 You… (Japanese for "you;" usually used in place of "bastard").

2 Chaos Theory

Aki: Right. Anyhoo, I hope you people enjoyed this chapter a lot! Really. I hope you did. I can't give you a preview this time, because no preview has been written. Yes. Right.

Aki….to busy with school to breathe, eat, sleep (especially), and write. Dammit.