Title: Burn It All Away
Author: Tirya King
Warning: Spoilers for the Gaiden arc!
Summary: (not yaoi) (Gaiden) Goku has been sentenced to death for a crime that nearly destroyed Heaven. His only hope rests in the headstrong goddess who is determined to save him from an angry Emperor.
Disclaimer: Um, I own the manga, movie, and series, but not the rights unfortunately. I knew I forgot to get something!
A/N: I make mention of both the original story of the monkey king and the Gaiden arc. So while I try to stay as true as I possibly can based on what we were told, I decided to fill in the blanks with my imagination and the original myth. Kuanyin/Guanyin is another name for the Bodhisattva of love and mercy so I decided to use it.
Burn It All Away
"But, Your Majesty…"
"That is enough, Kuanyin-sama." The Jade Emperor contemplated the goddess kneeling before him. While her posture certainly imitated subservience, her tone certainly dispelled any illusion of it. "Kuanyin, I understand your request, but it is not in my power to grant it."
"You are the Jade Emperor!" Kanzeon Bosatsu cried out, snapping up her bowed head. "It is in your power to arrange the stars, reorder time, and destroy the Heavens. Saving the child who saved your life is most certainly within your power."
Gods on either side of her grumbled in disagreement, but she couldn't care less about them. The cowards had fled at the first hint of revolution, leaving others to fight for them. Jiroushin remained a steady presence as he knelt behind her, supporting his goddess as she fought to save an innocent life.
"Kuanyin-sama, the child is a menace, a heretic monster. He must be destroyed. He didn't save my life; he struck out at the first thing he laid his eyes on. They just happened to be my would-be assassins." The Emperor was unrelenting in his decision. The youngest child of Earth would die at dawn.
"Goku is not a monster," Kanzeon argued, dark lavender eyes glittering angrily. "He is a child who just lost his only family to a traitor's hand. A traitor who had been his friend!"
"Come now, see to reason. He was a heretic pet you gave your nephew as a gift. A dangerous pet that must be put down." How anyone could feel anything but disgust toward the filthy Earth animal was beyond him.
She leapt to her feet, fury written across her beautiful features. Power radiated off her slight form in waves. "Konzen would not allow you to…"
"Konzen is dead!"
The goddess stepped back, flinching at the callous words of her Emperor. Jiroushin too had stood up to her side, offering what support he could. There was nothing else he could do but be a stable pillar for her.
The Jade Emperor's eyes softened as he took in Kanzeon's near trembling figure. Trembling with anger and hate and grief. The normally serene and self-assured patroness of love and mercy was shadowed by the events of only a few days past. "Kuanyin-sama, my word is final. I am sorry for the loss of your nephew, and his sacrifice for Heaven will not be forgotten. But I will not allow his death to be dishonored if this heretic beast, this Goku, is allowed to live. You are dismissed."
"My nephew did not die defending you or Heaven," she snarled. "He died trying to protect the child you are now having executed! And I will not allow you to dishonor his death by going through with it!"
"How dare you, Bosatsu-sama!" a god to the Emperor's side burst out angrily. "The Jade Emperor has only…" he was cut off by his lord's hand.
"Your judgment is clouded with grief," he retorted sternly, trying to stare the headstrong goddess down. She would not budge. "My order stands. Dismissed."
"Give me the child," she ordered without fear.
"Dismissed! Defy me again, Kuanyin and I will have you arrested!"
Turning on her heel without a bow or acknowledgement, Kanzeon left the audience hall, head held high with pride. Her dark amethyst eyes were fixed on the scarlet doors rather than the gods and soldiers who stared at her with amazement and anger. She would have argued further, if not for Goku's sake, then for the sake of her dead nephew. Her last remaining relative. But she knew she could not help anyone within the jails of the Emperor.
Jiroushin followed his goddess, keeping a sharp eye on every body movement. He wasn't sure what she was up to, but he knew very well where Konzen had gotten his temper from. And he knew that the lad's aunt was twice as bad when it came to such things. She wasn't the goddess of love and mercy for nothing. Mischievous certainly, and always ready for excitement, but unforgiving when it came to the loss of innocent lives.
The goddess walked straight past her apartments and toward the most secure holding cells in Heaven. Her steps were confident and determined.
"Bosatsu-sama…" her assistant started. "Is it wise to…"
"I just want to make sure that stupid old geezer hasn't hurt him," she hissed, still too furious from the audience with the Emperor. Her body was taut, itching to lash out at something. Jiroushin hoped the guards at the prison were wise enough to let her pass without any questions.
The pair of guards at the entrance, to his dismay, were rather young. The young ones always held a certain air of self-importance when assigned to jobs for the Emperor. This would not go well.
"Bosatsu-sama!" one of the young guards said in surprise. Her presence was certainly not expected and the confused expressions of the pair showed it quite clearly.
When the spears crossed over the door did not immediately allow her access, Kanzeon narrowed her eyes. "Let me in, boys," she ordered, voice lighter than before. But there was no denying her tone. She would not accept refusal. Especially from some little punks like them.
"I'm sorry, my lady," the other said. His voice shook, unused to addressed such a high-ranking deity. "But the Emperor left us with strict orders not to let anyone in."
"And I am ignoring those orders," she replied smoothly. "He can take it up with me if he has a problem."
"But, we were told…"
"I am telling you now to let me in!" Fire blazed in deep lavender eyes as she took another step forward. She was not afraid of them as she had the power to eradicate all evidence of their existence. They knew this as much as she. "I will not ask again, kids. Open this door before I do."
Not wishing to know just how she would accomplish the task, they stepped aside quickly, shoving open the heavy door as they did so.
"Thank you," she nodded her approval striding in.
Jiroushin caught sight of the little child almost immediately. The groups of cells were empty for the most part as prisoners dangerous enough to be held here were usually dangerous enough to be executed as well. And if he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, the lower ranking god would have thought the Emperor mad to lock such a little thing in here. But he knew what lay behind those large golden eyes and wondered if this cage was strong enough to keep such a child of Earth contained.
"Hey there, little guy," Kanzeon smiled kindly, losing all angry tension in her body as she knelt down in the dirt next to his cell. Not many immortals ever saw the lady of mercy so gentle since she held her own race with disdain and arrogance. But for the innocent souls, for little Goku here, she was tender as a mother to her babe.
Goku crept forward cautiously, the heavy chains around his hands, feet, and neck not allowing him much movement. They had been connected to the wall where once they only hung from his body. And by his stiff movements, Jiroushin guessed that the weight had been increased as well.
There were no bruises on the boy to Kanzeon's relief. But that didn't mean there hadn't been. He was marvelously resilient and healed quickly. And she was sure that most were too frightened of him to even bother approaching to cause harm.
"Hi," he replied softly, unsure about the pretty lady in front of him. Golden eyes were rimmed with red.
"Do you remember me?" she asked, trying not to show anger at the tear streaks that stood out proudly on dirt-smudged cheeks. Konzen would be livid at this, for as much as he denied it in life, his death proved just how far he would go to keep his little charge safe. The most important thing in his life and it was being treated as a dirty mongrel. Her heart broke for them both.
"You're the lady who gave me to Konzen," he nodded, proud that he could remember that. The day he was brought to Heaven was so hectic and most of it was lost in a blur. But he certainly remembered meeting this beautiful goddess who resembled the dark moon. Konzen had been standing next to her, a bored expression on his face that mirrored her own. The Sun and the Moon receiving him from the mean soldiers who took him.
"Konzen is my nephew," she explained gently. "My name is Konzeon Bosatsu, but you can call me oba-chan, ok?"
"Where… where is Konzen, oba-chan? Why isn't he here?" His golden eyes searched around the cells as if his Sun could be conjured just by wishing it.
She knew he had seen her nephew die. It had been what triggered his insane attack. But such a little thing couldn't possibly comprehend exactly what he had seen. He had probably never even seen death before. Or, at least, he probably hadn't seen it in this form. His other, more feral, side had laughed as he bathed in blood.
"He's on Earth," she replied. Dull honey colored eyes brightened slightly.
"When will he be back? Can I see him?" He crept forward again, nose up to the iron bars. "I miss him."
"He won't be coming back," she shook her head, black curls falling about her face. How could she expect him to understand the intricacies of reincarnation? Her nephew wouldn't be her nephew again until he had lived out hundreds of lives; until he had reached enlightenment. And knowing how stubborn he was, the day he returned home was long in coming. Konzen never was one for doing what he was told. He may as well be gone forever for all the good it did for her heart and the child's life. There was no rebirth for little heretics. "He... he's on a mission for Heaven. It's hard to explain."
"He was hurt real bad, wasn't he, oba-chan? I saw… Nataku, he…" more tears came down of their own volition. Haunted eyes stared into his oba-chan's, struggling to understand the actions of his young friend. "What happened? They said I did something real bad, but I don't remember. All I remember is Nataku…"
"You did nothing wrong," she reached a pale hand in, wiping away the tears in vain. "The Jade Emperor is a fool for punishing you."
Goku leaned into the gentle touch. She was as soft as the mother who never bore him. "Where's Ken-onii-chan and Ten-chan?"
"They're on Earth too. With Konzen." She smiled slightly. "To keep him out of trouble."
He nodded morosely, lost now that his only family was gone. The only sound emanating from the normally vibrant child was a choked back sob.
Kanzeon ran her fingers through the boy's hair, trying to give as much assurance as she could. Unable to promise protection, or even that he would be ok, the goddess felt like a good cry herself. Or perhaps taking a page out of Goku's book and just destroying half of Heaven in her rage. But if she did not remain strong during such times, who would? Bodhisattvas needed to be pillars of strength, without weakness, without emotion.
"Oba-chan…" Goku began hesitantly.
"Kanzeon-sama," a new voice interrupted the boy. Turning her head, the goddess saw Commander Goujun striding forward with intent. "Kanzeon-sama, I apologize for my intrusion, but I must ask you to leave."
She stood up to face the approaching god, standing in front of Goku so as to block him from view. She rather liked Goujun, he was kind and fair unlike so many other corrupt fools he shared rank with. And for that reason alone she did not immediately toss him out.
"Commander," she greeted evenly. "What are you doing here?"
"The boy was put under my watch," he answered, looking like nothing made him sicker. His hatred for putting an innocent to death shone on his face, but he could not waver from his task. "Kanzeon-sama, if you would…"
"I will leave when I am ready," Kanzeon replied, dark eyes staring into his, defying him where she could not defy the Jade Emperor.
"Please, Kanzeon-sama," he asked again, eyes pleading with her not to make his life more difficult. Unfortunately for him, the goddess' mercy did not extend to her ward's executioner. "You know I do not wish for this any more than you. But if the Emperor knew you were here, he would have all our heads. No one is to see the child until dawn."
"What happens at dawn?" Goku asked, holding the robe of his oba-chan through the bars like he often did to Konzen. She radiated the same sense of security and for now, he needed all the comfort he could get. He was tired and frightened and hungry. Why was everyone angry at him? Goujun had been so kind to him before, but now would barely look at him.
"Never you mind, little one," the Commander shook his head, sparing him the details. For that, Kanzeon's esteem of the reluctant executioner rose slightly.
"This is wrong and you know it," she hissed softly so that Goku did not hear.
"I have less power over the matter than you," he shook his head. "My hands are tied. But I swear to you on my honor as a man of Heaven that he will be in no pain. He won't even know what is happening before it is done."
"Oba-chan," Goku tugged at her robes, catching the goddess' attention. "Oba-chan, I'm hungry."
Before she could respond, Goujun knelt down to the boy's level, smiling kindly. "What would you like?" he asked. "I can have the cook make anything you want."
Kanzeon's looked away, grief welling up again. She closed her dark amethyst eyes as she felt her throat tighten. A last meal. Goujun was offering a last meal for the innocent being. And, with his dirty face lighting up in the cell he lived in, Goku accepted eagerly. His fist still held her robe as he rattled off a good-sized list to the Commander who listened as attentively as if he were in a military meeting.
"Bosatsu-sama…" Jiroushin stepped closer, wanting to comfort his goddess, but not knowing how. He had never seen her like this before. She was always so strong, so untouchable.
Going back down to Goku's level, Kanzeon patted his head, not even pretending put on a happy façade. "I have to go now, little one, alright?"
"Oh, ok," his eager face fell a little, but the excitement over all the food he could want didn't let his spirits dim entirely. He allowed her soft fingers to gently dislodge him from her clothing. "Will I see you later?"
"Maybe later," she said vaguely. "For now you enjoy the dinner Goujun-san is going to get you."
"Ok," he grinned. "Bye, oba-chan!"
"Goodbye, Kanzeon-sama," Goujun said, bowing his head in respect. "And… I'm sorry. I truly am."
Not answering the guilt-ridden Commander, Kanzeon stood up fluidly. Ideas raced through her mind, each more desperate than the last, on how to spare the child's life. She would stay up the entire night if she had to. This little one was precious, too precious to be thrown away by a stupid old man.
End Part One
A/N: - sigh – Yes, I know that Kanzeon is a hermaphrodite, but you try giving one person two pronouns. It gets bloody confusing! So for all intents and purposes, this is the anime Kanzeon. I haven't actually seen a picture of Hakkyru's incarnation so if anyone could recommend a link, I would be most happy! Um… what else… oba-chan means 'aunt' for those who don't know. The 'moon' reference was a last minute addition, but it seemed to make sense. For all her... quirkiness, she seems like a motherly type. I think that's about it for this chapter. See you soon! Hopefully…
I like to have fun and see what else people know. Here's today's: Tell me what my name is. My claim to fame was that I killed a monster named Grendel and his mother.