Warnings: This story is unrelievedly dark, and contains some yaoi. Nothing actually happens, but I refuse to call it shounen ai for two reasons: firstly, because that phrase implies that there would be love involved, and there ain't no mushy stuff here. Secondly, because it's a dark fic and, as such, the yaoi content (while so lightly implied that you can overlook it completely should you so choose) isn't indicative of a consensual relationship.

Disclaimers: Wonderful does not belong to me. This wonderful piece of angsty songwriting belongs to Everclear and their management. Saiyuki does not belong to me. It belongs to Minekura-sensei. The only things I have which might be worth taking are my unwritten plotlines, and even that's debatable; don't bother to sue.

Other relevant information: I realise that the lyrics to Wonderful aren't exactly a perfect fit with the Saiyuki-verse, but the message of the song: being hurt by people you care about and forces beyond your control and trying to pretend it's okay, just spoke to me. I thought that so much of it spoke for Goku that I'd try to make a go of the rest.

Let me know what you think.

Wonderful: a Saiyuki songfic.
Rated: PG-13 for Dark Themes and dubious content.
by Akasha

I close my eyes when I get too sad
I think thoughts that I know are bad
Close my eyes and I count to ten
Hope it's over when I open them

For once, Jippu was mercifully silent. There was a time when that would have bothered him: the stillness always seemed to remind him of the awful, tomblike quiet of his mountain prison. At times, he could still feel the shackles holding him to the wall, pinning him to the crushing silence of that cave. An eternity of nothingness eternally waiting to reclaim him… Nevertheless, he had grown accustomed to his isolation, and had learned to endure it. There had been no other option – at least until Sanzo had reached out his hand and 'saved' him.

And, in doing so, damned him to another kind of imprisonment.

In the first, blessed days of his freedom, while Goku was still overflowing with joy and curiosity and innocent delight, Sanzo had seemed like the most glorious, magnanimous being in the universe and Goku had signed his heart and soul over to the priest without hesitation. Now, however…

His Master wasn't quite what he'd hoped for.

At first, it hadn't mattered so much that he was violent, cynical, abusive, bitter, self-obsessed and seemed to have taken Goku in entirely against both his will and his better judgement. He had given the brunette his freedom, and that could compensate for a lot. But not everything. Not the constant arguments and petty struggles, the abuse and the insults, the posturing and the meaningless machismo that filled his life, drowning him. It didn't compensate for the utter neglect.

There were times, few and far between, brief moments when Sanzo's behaviour gave him cause to hope that perhaps he wasn't as much a burden as the priest liked to suggest. Those times were the reason he carried on in the face of the endless battles and conflicts, insults, betrayals and abuse.

On the whole, however, Goku couldn't really say that he had all that much to be thankful for – or much cause for hope.

I want the things that I had before
Like a Star Wars poster on my bedroom door
I wish I could count to ten
Make everything be wonderful again

It seemed pathetic even to him, but the most fervent wish of Goku's life was for everything to return to the way it had been before his imprisonment. It didn't matter in the least that he couldn't recall anything more than a few hazy images – anything at all had to be better than the soul-crushing loneliness of his prison, or the constant stream of physical and emotional abuse which characterised his current existence.

It was unimportant, because his clearest memory was of a face – much like Sanzo's, but warmer somehow; more welcoming – that he knew instinctively was home. All he could remember was that he had been the most important thing in this being's life.

He was merely the most irritating in Sanzo's.

This man had been his sun, the centre of his universe, long before he knew the name Genjo Sanzo – and it was a sun which had warmed him, not burnt. Goku had all but forgotten what that felt like.

There had been others, too. He thought that he had loved them. It seemed almost a foreign emotion to him in this life.

It wouldn't be fair to say that he didn't care for the others – Hakkai and Gojyo. Despite their conduct, he hadn't been able to close his heart against them; but, like so much else when it came to Goku, it went unheeded. Unnoticed. Unneeded. Sometimes he couldn't help but wonder why he continued to offer them up his heart, when he knew they would neither recognise nor appreciate the sacrifice. If they saw it at all, they would merely cast it aside like so much extraneous rubbish.

Despite his pretences, it had scarred him inside. He felt nothing more than fatigue at hurts that would once have crushed him, and such hurts came entirely too frequently.

Especially when Sanzo was involved.

Hope my Mom and I hope my Dad
Will figure out why they get so mad
Hear them scream, I hear them fight
They say bad words that make me wanna cry

He was so tired of the constant, pointless fighting. Not the youkai and the killings – it seemed the ultimate tragic irony that the only time Goku felt alive was when he was taking someone else's – he couldn't remember a time when he'd served any other purpose; combat was the reason he'd been created. That, he knew with absolute certainty.

On the contrary, it was the permanent friction between the members of his supposed family that wore at him. All he wanted to feel was that he mattered to them, even to the slightest degree. Just once, he'd like to see Hakkai smile at him, rather than through him. Or if he couldn't – if his grief was too great – to simply admit it. If there were two emotions Goku could understand, they were grief and loneliness. He didn't understand why everyone assumed their grief was so much worse than his; Hakkai had lost a lover, Sanzo a father-figure, Gojyo had lost his stepmother and half-brother – Goku's entire past, his very identity, had been ripped from him for a crime he couldn't remember.

There were no words to describe the hole that left behind.

And yet they all assumed it didn't bother him. Assumed that Gojyo's backhanded attempts at teasing and his constant stream of insults didn't sting. Didn't cut. Assumed that he couldn't tell that, the majority of the time, Gojyo meant them. And simply didn't seem to care that maybe he didn't want to be the irritating, idiot younger brother who was tolerated only through lack of alternative. The younger sibling who followed the elder around like a faithful, annoying puppy no one could bring themselves to kick away for fear of causing offence and losing the friendship of the elder. Son Goku was no one's tagalong – not even Sanzo's.

If they couldn't see any worth in him, maybe he would have been better to stay in his cage on the mountain – it was, after all, where an animal belonged.

Close my eyes when I go to bed and I
Dream of angels who make me smile
I feel better when I hear them say
Everything will be wonderful someday

Sanzo… he didn't fully understand what he wanted from Sanzo.

Sometimes it seemed as if a simple kind word would be enough, but at others he felt as though he wouldn't be content until Sanzo lived for him; until he occupied the monk's every waking thought as Sanzo did his. Even in dreams he couldn't escape the man – he and the familiar stranger with hair like sunshine came to him like divine messengers of hope, telling him that one day…

At times, he almost believed it.

At least until he woke. Genjo Sanzo had never been a harbinger of anything other than death, and he would have laughed in Goku's face if the brunette ever admitted the depths of his dependence on his Master. It wasn't as if Sanzo didn't know the truth anyway, but for the moment, he was prepared to overlook it as one of the myriad irritations that came along with his charge. Given the alternative, that suited Goku just fine.

There were only so many times he was prepared to offer up his heart and soul, only to see them trampled on.

Promises mean everything when you're little
And the world's so big
I just don't understand how
You can smile with all those tears in your eyes
Tell me everything is wonderful now

The worst of it was how small it made him feel: he wasn't stupid, he could see the loneliness and isolation in the others, and he could see how their fear made them lash out – fear of being hurt again, fear of being left behind as others healed and moved on – just as he could see that his innocence and cheer mad him the perfect target for their ire.

What he couldn't see was how it had fixed anything. Or how he could make it stop.

A few desperate dreams born of a last fragile thread of hope could do nothing to combat that simple truth.

Please don't tell me everything is wonderful now

Nothing was going to change. Nothing was going to improve. No one wanted it to.

There was no reason to hope.

I go to school and I run and play
I tell the kids that it's all okay
I laugh a lot so my friends won't know
When the bell rings I just don't wanna go home

Despite this, he'd truly mastered the art of deception. They all had their masks: Hakkai's of smiling affability, Gojyo's the shiftless womaniser, Sanzo's anger. Goku, for his part, played the cheerful imbecile; the innocent. Unlike the others', however, his mask was effective. Too effective.

Somewhere along the line, it had become acceptable for them to vent their frustrations on the 'baka saru', because he was too stupid and too naïve to understand or to take offence. And, to preserve his mask – and their peace of mind – Goku just let the insults slide.

All of them. The constant stream of 'baka saru', 'temee', 'urusai', 'bakayarou'; the castigations of him as useless. Worthless. Stupid. Insensitive. Naïve.

A burden.

Go to my room and I close my eyes
Make believe that I have a new life
I don't believe you when you say
Everything will be wonderful someday

How was he supposed to respond to that?

It was true: he was just a useless monkey Sanzo had broken out of jail for reasons even he didn't understand. He couldn't contribute money, or transport, or experience, he couldn't seduce information from anyone. He couldn't even make the others smile.

All he was good at was killing.

Promises mean everything when you're little
And the world's so big
I just don't understand how
You can smile with all those tears in your eyes
Tell me everything is wonderful now

I don't wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now

Beside him, Gojyo stretched, waking. His leg collided with Goku's as he shifted. "Oi, saru, move your legs."

Given that Gojyo was currently taking up at least three-quarters of the back seat, the demand hardly seemed either fair or feasible. Goku stayed where he was.

"Saru, I said move. Are you deaf as well as stupid?"

Goku sighed. "Shut up, kappa. You have plenty of space." He tried to put the appropriate degree of ire in his voice, but it just didn't seem worth it. Gojyo didn't even notice.

"Move, temee…"

He tried to tell himself that Gojyo was just tired and irritable, and looking for a way to vent some of his frustrations. It didn't bring him much comfort; being a convenient scapegoat for someone else's frustrations wasn't actually that much of an improvement on real animosity. Goku suddenly realised that getting angry was worth the effort, after all.

I don't wanna hear you say
That I will understand someday

He was sick of being everyone's whipping boy.

It was always like this: some pointless fight about leg room, or who ate what, or who was sleeping where, or who had broken this or that, and it didn't stop until Sanzo hit them or shot at them and Hakkai gave them that look that said he wished nothing more than to be rid of them, no matter how much he tried to pretend otherwise.

It was endless, and pointless, and mind-numbingly repetitive. And he was just sick to death of it.



"I said no. I am not going to move. So just. Shut. Up."

I don't wanna hear you say
You both have grown in a different way

"Move, saru." Gojyo shoved him, hard.

Goku collided forcefully with Hakkuryuu's side, bruising his elbow. Hakkuryuu squealed. Hakkai frowned.

Sanzo turned around, snarling. "Both of you shut up before I put a bullet in your heads."

Goku's jaw clenched. His nostrils grew pinched.

"Sanzo…" he tried to keep the threat from his voice.

I don't wanna meet your friends
And I don't wanna start over again

"I don't want to hear it, baka saru." The click of the Smith & Wesson's hammer showed Sanzo meant business.

Was this going to be his life from now on? Being shot at every time he questioned his Master's authority, or committed the most minor infraction?

"I don't care."

Two shots rang out.

"Next time I'll aim for you."

He couldn't live like this.

I just want my life to be the same
Just like it used to be

"Do it."


"Shoot me."

"Hakkai, pull over." Sanzo's voice was like ice. "Goku, get out of the car."

Goku climbed out. The others followed.

"What the hell is this about?"

Sanzo had the Smith & Wesson aimed at his head. Goku couldn't feel anything but anticipation.

Some days I hate everything

"Shoot me. What's stopping you? If there's really no reason to keep me around, why waste bullets trying to scare me? Just get it over with! You were going to do it anyway – I'm one of the filthy youkai you hate so much. What the hell makes me so different? Are you just keeping me around to kill for you? Is that all I'm good for…?

"If it is, if I'm really such a burden, just save yourself the fucking misery and Shoot Me!"

Sanzo laughed cruelly. "You are pathetic. Do you think I'm going to beg for your forgiveness now? Tell you how wonderful you are and how much we all need you? Guess again… you are a miserable, useless waste of space. Get over it."

Gojyo and Hakkai flinched. Goku couldn't see why: it was nothing they hadn't thought themselves. The only reason they hadn't said it openly was because they were too afraid of upsetting Sanzo to question his decisions. Freeing Goku included.

I hate everything

Goku laughed brokenly. "Wrong answer, Sanzo."

Everyone and everything

They stood there for a few interminable moments, seemingly at an impasse. Hakkai opened his mouth to make some form of placating comment, then closed it again. Gojyo swallowed audibly. Sanzo ran a hand awkwardly through his dishevelled hair, and lowered the Smith & Wesson. Minutes passed. No one spoke. No one could.

Slowly, Goku reached up and pulled off his limiter. Hair lengthened, nails sharpened, features elongated as fangs descended; seconds later the Sanzo-ikkou was facing Seiten Taisen Son Goku.

Sanzo didn't have time to begin the words of the sealing ritual before his throat was ripped out.

Please don't tell me everything is wonderful now

Sanzo sat back against Jippu, covered in a veil of his own blood, staring at the mutilated corpses of perhaps the only men he had called friends, unable to breathe through the gaping hole where his throat used to be. He watched, grief-stricken, as the monster who had been his charge approached.

The Seiten Taisen straddled him. If Sanzo could have swallowed apprehensively, he would have done so then. It plucked his gun from nerveless fingers and spoke to him in a voice unquestionably Goku's.

"I loved you, you know. You were my sun. All I wanted was for you to see it."

He ran a bloody hand down Sanzo's cheek.

I don't wanna hear you tell me everything is wonderful now

Genjo Sanzo's dimming violet eyes widened in horror as the most powerful creature in the universe placed his Smith & Wesson in its mouth and pulled the trigger.

In death, the Heavenly Sage's predatory features blended with those of the most precious being ever to enter Sanzo's life. With the last of his strength, he wrapped an arm around the still figure slumped against him, and brushed long, bloody hair out of Goku's lifeless eyes.

He wished it hadn't been too little, too late.

Everything is wonderful now