AUTHOR'S NOTES: Okay, someone pointed out a couple spelling mistakes. No biggie. This is just a silly blurb concerning...plants. Yes, that's right. There is a type of mint that grows ONLY in colder weather. Sorry I didn't specify that in the story, but I didn't really think anyone would care about horticulture when they were here to read about Saiyuki. THANK YOU FOR CATCHING THAT, THOUGH! Good eyes! Okay, that's it. I'm a fountain of useless knowledge...
Sanzo stared at Goku. Goku stared back. In fact, the brat had been staring at him for almost twenty minutes now. And it was really starting to get on his nerves. "Look, I don't have any food here."
"S'not that," Goku mumbled.
Something serious had to be wrong. He wasn't hungry. Sanzo lay the pen down on his desk and took his reading glasses off. And still the stupid monkey just stared at him. Finally, he said, "So, start talking. What's wrong?"
"Bullshit. Cut the crap, you're not fooling me."
Goku sighed and sat up, propping his chin on his hands. "Hakkai was tellin' me about some stuff."
"Oh?" If he had to drag it out of him, he was going to be thoroughly pissed off.
"Sanzo, can we have Christmas?"
He blinked, taken off guard by the random question. It took him a second to remember what Christmas was. "This is a Buddhist temple, dumb ass. Christmas isn't celebrated here."
"Why can't it be? It's all about getting presents and stuff."
Sanzo rubbed his eyes. God, he really didn't want to get into a religious discussion with Goku! "From what I understand about it, it's more about the giving than the receiving."
Goku frowned, clearly confused. "But, Hakkai said-,"
"He said you get presents but you don't give any in return? Does that sound like something Hakkai would do?" This was getting very annoying.
"Noo..."Goku said slowly.
"Look, I don't believe in Christmas. The monks here don't believe in Christmas. We're not having Christmas. Period. Now get out of here so I can get some work done."
Goku still sat where he was. Sanzo put his glasses on and picked his pen up, intent on finishing up the log he was supposed to have been writing on his last journey. Fuck that! Clearly the people upstairs didn't understand he was took busy claiming back relics, killing youkai and basically being their bitch to bother with paperwork. He began to write again. Let's see, there was that asshole he groined for hitting on him...and the other one who 'accidentally' got his fingers broken. And he couldn't leave out the little tavern he found with the best red wine he'd ever had. He made a mental note to send that kid they'd assigned to him- what was his name, Doggen, Doden...Dougan! That's right. He'd send him out to buy up the entire stock they had for his reserve.
His eyes flicked up to the kid, who was resting his head sadly on his desk. He just wasn't going to win, was he? "Goku?"
"Yeah?" he asked hopefully.
"Get out or I'll kill you."
Goku pouted but did as he was told. He stopped at the door and said, "So, no Christmas?"
"I'm going to pretend you didn't ask me that again."
Goku left the temple, ignoring the whispers of all the monks. Yeah, yeah, he knew they didn't like him, but he didn't care. The only person he cared about was...But Sanzo didn't care about him. He walked down the dirt road, boots kicking up dirt and snow. And to think he'd been afraid of the snow for so long! He really didn't mean to make Sanzo angry. It's just...this Christmas thing sounded kinda nice. And he knew exactly what he wanted to get for Sanzo, too! Hakkai was even gonna help him buy it. Oh, well, he didn't have to do it now.
He looked up when he was standing outside a familiar door to a familiar little house that had just recently been painted, the shutters hung back up and a small herb garden just beginning to grow on either side of the door. Well, partially grow. Okay, so only one was grown and the others were dead, but it didn't matter! He thought it looked pretty. Something smelled good...Hakkai must be cooking. He knocked on the door and waited.
"Aira, honey, I said later tonight," Gojyo called, pulling the door open. He froze when he saw it was Goku. "Aw, hell, no! I am NOT feeding you again! You just go right back to that arrogant fucking monk and tell him he doesn't pay me enough to run around like a lapdog for him AND keep feeding his monkey!"
Hakkai popped his head around from the kitchen and smiled. "Hey, Goku. Lunch is almost ready."
"HAKKAI! Don't encourage the little shit head!"
"Gojyo, he's hardly a shit head."
"Oh, yeah? Name someone dumber than him." Gojyo stepped away from the door and let Goku in anyway. Goku shut the door and looked around the one roomed house in surprise. Wow...Hakkai had gone crazy with the cleaning. And in the corner was a funny looking tree all decorated with paper cut outs. Some of them looked funny, like naked ladies (must be Gojyo's work) but the others looked like snowflakes.
"Oh, do you like it, Goku? I was going to see if you wanted to make a decoration, but you and Sanzo had gone off again," Hakkai said pleasantly.
Goku sniffed the air. Beef...and veggies. He would have wanted to do that. Sanzo never let him do stuff involving glue and glitter and generally making a mess. He sat at the table as Gojyo laid out three bowls, two beers and a glass of milk for him. "Hey, Hakkai, are Buddhists allowed to celebrate Christmas?" he asked.
Hakkai paused in sipping his beer. He set it down and cleared his throat. "No, it's not that they can't," he answer slowly. "They can if they want to, but it doesnt really tie in with their beliefs. Christmas is a Christian holiday."
"Gojyo's not Christian."
Gojyo choked on his beer. "Damn straight I'm not! I don't worship anything that says celibacy is a good thing!"
Hakkai laughed at that.
Goku frowned harder and pushed further. "But they CAN if they want?"
"I just said that, Goku, but it doesn't make sense for them to because they don't believe in it. Why, did Sanzo say no to having Christmas in the temple?"
"Yeah. I just thought it'd be nice. S'not everyday you get to be nice to people for no reason." He finished off his food and dove in for seconds. He wasn't very hungry right now.
"You can do that any day you want to, Goku, Christmas is just to remind us of that."
"You know, Kai, that reminds me. I've gotta get you a present still," Gojyo added.
"Hehe, yep, I know EXACTLY what I'm getting you!"
Goku sat back. He just wanted to get Sanzo a present and spend a holiday with him so he wasn't so grumpy all the time. "Maybe you can talk to Sanzo-,"
Hakkai set his fork down nad folded his hands, elbows on the table. He stared down at his plate for a second before he said, "Goku, Sanzo is just that. He is a Sanzo Priest. He isn't going to celebrate something he doesn't believe in. And there's no way I can convince Sanzo to do something he doesn't want to. Look, if it really bothers you that much, you can come over tomorrow for presents and Christmas dinner. But I'm not going to ask Sanzo to join us and I'm certainly not going to ask to hold Christmas at the temple."
Goku nodded. He really thought Hakkai would understand. He stood up. "Okay, see ya tomorrow."
"Dinner is at five, please don't be late."
After he left, Hakkai and Gojyo exchanged glances. "Maybe it was a bad idea to tell him about Christmas," Hakkai said softly.
Gojyo burped and shook his head. "Naw, the kid's funny about these things. Don't worry. If he gets too annoying, Sanzo'll just hit him until he shuts up or dies."
Hakkai smiled and stood up, taking the empty plates with him.
Sanzo looked up from his paper and coffee when Goku went running by. "Stay out of trouble today. I'm not int the mood for your bullshit," he warned, taking a drag from his cigarette.
That made him look up for more than a second and watch the kid run out of the courtyard. Hmph. What the hell was he so damned chipper about? He returned to reading his paper in silence, glad to have some time alone for a change.
"Master Sanzo! The sanbutsshen have summoned you."
Goddamn it! He flicked the butt of his cigarette away, folded his paper up, drained the rest of his coffee and followed the monk inside. Why did he even bother trying to relax anymore?
Goku ripped the paper off his presents eagerly, grinning at the new coat and boots Hakkai had given him. Gojyo had gotten him a hat that was too big, but he wore it anyway.
"What the fuck? Why do I get the frilly apron?" Gojyo complained, waving it around in Goku's face angrily.
"Cuz it matches your hair, stupid," Goku answered back.
Hakkai cracked up, setting his new spatula aside. "It does, Gojyo! Nice job, Goku."
"Piss off, Hakkai! At least you got good shit!"
"Hey, that aprons really cool," Goku argued. "Check the pockets, kappa!"
Gojyo scowled and jammed his hands into the pockets. His brow drew down confused and he pulled out what Goku had hidden in there.
Goku grinned, pushing his new hat back as Gojyo checked out the new refillable lighter. It even had pretty girls painted on it.
"It's a goddamn lighter."
"Aw, that was so nice of you, Goku," Hakkai said.
Gojyo headlocked him and rubbed his knuckles into his hair so that it burned. "Ow! Quit it, ya big jerk!"
Gojyo backed off and flicked his lighter open, cigarette ready. Nothing. "What the...you dumb ass! You didn't fill it!"
"Well, I didn't know I had to!"
"Of all the..." He sighed and then noticed the one package sitting under the tree. "What's that?"
Goku looked at it and his good mood went away. "Oh. That's Sanzo's present. I was kinda thinkin' maybe he might...That he..."
Hakkai put a friendly hand on his shoulder. "Why don't you take that back to Sanzo and give it to him anyway? And I'll pack up some leftovers for you two to share, okay?"
Grinning, Goku nodded. Even if it wasn't actually Christmas, at least he could spend some time with Sanzo!
Sanzo gritted his teeth when his office door opened and Goku came in with a large bag. He was NEVER going to edit these journals before the end of the day! The sanbutsshen had been less than amused by his version of storytelling. "What now?"
"Um, Hakkai gave us some food."
"Whatever. Just leave it on the table." How could he rephrase 'dumb bastard'? The guy was just that, no way around it. He glanced up and then again when Goku remained standing in front of him. Sighing, he sat back. "Look, if this is about Christmas again-," He stopped when Goku put a package on his desk, head down and looking anywhere but at him. "What the hell is this?"
"A present," Goku mumbled.
Wonderful, terrific, fantastic! It was probably something lame, like a hand mirror or something else completely useless to him. He opened the paper and stared at the book for a second, completely baffled about why the hell Goku would give him this. "Origami? Are you suggesting I take up origami?"
Goku blinked and looked up, jaw dropped. "But...I thought you LIKED origami!"
"What the hell gave you that idea?"
"Well, your airplanes...I saw you makin' them one day. I just thought...aw, never mind! I knew you wouldn't like it!" he made to grab the book of his desk.
Sanzo stopped him, grabbing his wrist. It was the stupidest gift ever but...The thought behind it was obvious. And he really couldn't stay mad at the dumb ape, no matter how hard he tried. "Thanks."
Goku looked up, shocked. Then, he smiled and laughed and said, "You're welcome!"
"Now get the fuck out of my office so I can get this shit done!"
"Okay, okay, I'm going! Jeeze!"