TITLE: Just Another Day?
AUTHOR: Eyes of Shinigami
PAIRINGS: None, but I suppose you can squint and find some if you'd like.
TIMELINE: In my imagination.
WARNINGS: Language, fluffy bits, and OOC (just to be safe) This is a highly unlikely situation, but it was fun to write anyway.
RATING: T (to be safe)
SUMMARY: There is something that Sanzo is forgetting, but he can't quite figure out what. On top of that, everyone seems to be trying extra hard to get on his nerves. What is it about today that's pissing him off so much?!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Saiyuki or any of its characters. I do own this story, and that is all. Go me.
Sanzo immediately knew that something was wrong when no one came to rouse him, instead finding himself waking to the butter thick sunlight that streamed in through the open window and into his face. A muttered curse fell from his lips as he sat up, glancing around to find the shared room completely empty, with no traces of an annoying monkey, a perverted water sprite, and a mother hen in sight. The beds were perfectly made, and the bags that had littered the floor were nowhere to be found.
Normally waking to find himself in peaceful solitude would put him in a good mood (at least, as good a mood could be expected from the priest), but the wisp of a niggling feeling sought to destroy any semblance of peace he may have found. He felt as though he was forgetting something important, and it wasn't a feeling that he liked too much. There was always entirely too much at stake for him to forget anything; besides, someone in this traveling band of yahoos had to remember details that his less than brilliant comrades often forgot.
At any rate, he stood up from the bed and immediately lit a cigarette, doing a double take when he realized that his robes had been neatly folded and draped carefully over his bag. The fresh scent of laundry wafted up to assault his senses as well, which only added to the strangeness of the occurrence. While Hakkai always diligently washed the groups clothes for them, it was rare that the man didn't expect them to fold their garments. How strange. "Oi, what the hell is this?" the blonde called out gruffly, attempting to banish the sleep fogginess from his voice by masking it with irritation. Not to say that he wasn't irritated, but that was besides the point.
No answer came, which made his blood boil even more. He was used to being ignored on occasion, but the off-kilter feel of the day was already pressing on his last nerve. How dare those fucking morons ignore him? "Fucking idiots," he growled, practically shoving his arms through the sleeves as he violently slung the garment about his shoulder. He was a bit more careful with the sutra as he draped it around his shoulders, setting his face firmly in a frown before walking downstairs to face the day.
The priest wasn't at all surprised to find the remaining members of their group gathered around the breakfast table, but he was surprised to catch snippets of whispered voices intent on not being overheard. He slammed the door to alert them to his presence, growing more irritated when the whispering immediately stopped. Three guilty faces looked up to meet his gaze, each with a different version of caught-in-the-cookie-jar expressions. "What the hell is this? You guys should have woken me up earlier so we can get the hell out of this shit hole," Sanzo groused, sitting heavily into the only unoccupied chair.
"I guess we forgot," Goku answered vaguely, offering a shrug of his shoulders when the priest looked at him like he had just spoken in another language. "What? We were busy this morning." His tone was clipped, a clear warning to simply let the subject drop.
How dare that fucking chimp talk to him like that? Who the hell did he think he was? "Oh really? Doing what, exactly? Knowing the three of you, it couldn't be anything too intellectually pressing," he retorted, frown deepening when he noticed that his coffee cup was still empty, as was his plate. "Where's the coffee?"
"I think that you are more than capable of pouring your own coffee, Sanzo. You're a grown man," the green-eyed man said quietly, the politeness in his voice sharp enough to cut through flesh. While his face remained jovial, his eyes were just as sharp as Goku's voice had been.
Sanzo's eyes widened almost comically, his mouth slackening a bit at the utter outrage of this sudden behavior. He went over their morning routine in his mind; for over a year, Hakkai poured him a cup of coffee as Goku greeted him warmly, followed by some idiotic two cents that the kappa decided to put in. At that realization, he whirled on the man in question, eyes narrowed dangerously. "Where the fuck's my paper?"
"Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. You sure are grouchy…maybe you should go back upstairs and try again, eh, Sanzo-sama?" Gojyo mocked, stubbing out his cigarette in the nearby ashtray. "And you can take that paper of yours and shove it up your ass sideways."
The blonde was completely without words at this point. On top of the redhead's scathing words, he had noticed yet another deviation from the norm; the two idiots were not fighting over food. They were sitting rather quietly, exhibiting table manners that the monk was sure they didn't even have. No whines, no flails, and no need to pull out his fan and whack them upside the head. Of course, of all the times for them to behave themselves it had to be this one, when he could have severely used the outlet of aggression. He was almost wishing that demons would attack, if only to give him reprieve from the weirdness of the morning. "Okay. I give. What the fuck is your problem this morning?"
Three faces turned back towards him, infuriatingly blank and silent, save the sound of chewing and the clink of Hakkai's teacup on the table. It was almost as if they were looking through him, as though they hadn't heard him and were more focused on some interesting spot behind his head. Time stood still for a moment, until someone pressed the play button on reality and set everything back in motion. No answers came, as the three of them went back to whatever it was they were doing before he asked his still hanging question.
That was the absolute last straw. Pissed beyond comprehension, at both their behavior and his unusual reaction to it, he slammed his palms down onto the table hard enough to rock dishes and tip over formerly full cups. "Fine. Fuck you, fuck all of you," he snarled, turning abruptly on his heel and stormed out of the inn.
The three remaining party members sat quietly for a moment, each face breaking into a conspiratorial grin. "That was easier than anticipated. Do you think that will give us enough time?" Hakkai asked, refilling his teacup and using his napkin to sop up the wasted liquid dribbling down the table.
"Absolutely. Did you see how pissed he was? He'll be out for a while," Gojyo answered, lighting another cigarette.
Goku nodded, looking a little skeptical. "Are you sure that was smart? What if he doesn't come back, or he gets attacked or something? Then it would have been for nothing," he asked softly, worry threaded through his words as he bit into a steamed bun. He didn't like deceiving Sanzo for any reason, but when Hakkai gently reassured him, he felt a little better.
"It was for the best, Goku. Now, hurry up and finish your breakfast so we can get started."
Sanzo didn't know how long he had spent on that bench, his ass long since fallen asleep from sitting on the wooden slats. He had already smoked an entire pack of cigarettes, but was still too angry to go back to the inn to retrieve a new pack. The nerve of those assholes, pissing him off like that. And if that wasn't enough, the fact that the nagging little voice reminding him that he was forgetting something wouldn't leave him alone. All in all, the day had been a complete pain in the ass.
He tried to sit there longer, but his insistent craving finally won over his battered pride. He shoved himself off the bench with a huff, walking slowly back toward the inn where they were staying. He had hoped that they would have left the village by now, but his own childish reaction to the slight had prevented it. He could have kicked himself for that, especially since he knew the others weren't going to let him live it down. They say anything, anything at all, and I'll shoot the lot of them, he thought, satisfied with the fantasy. Oh, he was going to get back at them, as soon as he figured out how.
That thought made him smirk in content, feeling his heavy mood lifting ever so slightly as he made his way back into the inn. However, it dissipated completely when he took in the sight of the restaurant area and heard a loud chorus of, "Surprise!"
Confetti poured down over him, covering him in brightly colored paper as he looked around the formerly dull room. Balloons and streamers hung in every direction, the table set with festive cups and silverware, along with a very elaborately decorated cake. The thing that really caught his attention was the massive sign that hung against the back wall that proclaimed in very bold letters, "Happy Birthday Sanzo."
Oh, so that was what he was forgetting. His own fucking birthday.
Arms thrown carelessly around his waist to pull him into a warm hug broke him from the spell, shifting his attention the happy golden eyes smiling up at him. "Happy birthday, Sanzo. Sorry we were so mean to you earlier…we had to get you out of here somehow," he offered apologetically, keeping his arms securely around the blonde's waist. While Sanzo didn't return the hug, he didn't shove the chimp off him either. He blamed it on the blatant shock, and the warmth it produced on a rumbling stomach that needed to be filled.
"Happy birthday, you piss-poor excuse of a monk. Now, get your skinny ass over here so we can celebrate properly," Gojyo teased, clapping the unsuspecting monk on the back as he led him to the chair at the head of a table. The redhead was grinning recklessly, because the sight of the usually stoic monk so incredibly bewildered was just too funny. Goku released Sanzo long enough to let him sit down, excitedly plopping a lavishly colored but poorly wrapped box in front of him.
"I hope the cake is to your liking. I made it myself," Hakkai said politely, and Sanzo knew that it was his own version of an apology. He noticed then that the green-eyed man was smiling, really smiling, and he felt that unusual warmth in his stomach bubbling higher. "We figured we all needed a day to relax after such a stressful journey, so we thought a party would be appropriate. Happy birthday, Sanzo."
Sanzo glanced dumbly around the room, to the large cake in front of him, to the three boxes that were now resting in front of him. He never celebrated his birthday, deeming his own existence unworthy of such praise. However, it seemed that his traveling companions thought differently. Despite the warm, fuzzy feeling in the pit of his stomach, he was careful not to let the emotion show on his face.
"Open your presents, Sanzo! Then we can have cake and homemade ice cream!" Goku urged excitedly, fidgeting in his seat as his eyes continued to radiate utter contentment. That alone was enough to make Sanzo smirk, even if said smirk looked dangerously close to a smile. "Mine first! Mine first!"
Ripping off the paper of the crudely wrapped box, he opened it to reveal a medium sized silver case glinting in the bright light of the room. He lifted it carefully out of the box, glancing once at Goku's suddenly tense expression before opening it as well. Inside was a brand new pair of reading glasses, along with all the necessary essentials to keep up with them, such as a tiny tool kit and a cleaning cloth to keep them scratch-free.
"Hakkai helped me pick it out, but it was my idea," Goku said softly, unsure of what sort of reaction to expect. With Sanzo there was no telling, and he was afraid that the blonde was still sore about that morning. However, a warm hand brushing affectionately through his hair was enough to tell him that the opposite was true, even if Sanzo didn't speak it aloud.
"Mine next, priesty," the redhead quipped, offering the blonde a glass of what appeared to be punch. At least, until the monk got a good whiff of some strong alcohol as the tang of it hit his tongue. It was good, but strong. A thought struck him, and he looked to Goku to find that the boy was harmlessly drinking soda instead of the potent drink.
Gojyo watched intently as the other man opened the box, grinning widely when Sanzo pulled out a box of cigarettes. However, closer inspection revealed that the cigarettes were a rather exotic blend, as well as rather expensive. At the questioning look, Gojyo shrugged. "Had some extra cash lying around. Figured that would be enough to get you to act human for a while," he teased.
Again, Sanzo said nothing in response, but the redhead could easily tell that the other was pleased with his gift. He hadn't gotten a harisen upside the head, which was a good omen all on its own.
"Now for mine. Then we'll cut the cake," Hakkai said pleasantly, pushing yet another box in front of the priest. The blonde opened it, revealing a brand new silver lighter and two very carefully chosen books on philosophy, one Eastern and one Western. "I thought you would appreciate a change of pace from the news once and a while."
Gojyo had begun lighting the candles on the cake, the tiny flames aglow catching Sanzo's attention. "Make a wish, you corrupt priest. Yep, even you get a wish on your birthday," the redhead teased again, resting a hand on the priest's shoulder for just a second before quickly removing it.
"Yep! I'm glad you were born, Sanzo!" Goku exclaimed, wrapping his arms around the priest's neck and hugging his head tightly to his chest. He also let go rather quickly, for fear of less-than-divine retribution to come raining down on his head in the form of a well-aimed harisen.
Hakkai was a bit more subdued about it, offering a brilliant smile that reached all the way up to his glimmering emerald eyes, even the false one seeming to shimmer with the emotion. "Make a wish, Sanzo."
For a moment, the priest truly pondered what it was he could possibly wish for, surprised to find that there wasn't anything, because he had everything he needed right here. However, he kept that thought to himself, even as he let the faintest smile quirk onto his lips. "I wish that this fucking journey would just end already," he said humorlessly, earning himself various degrees of laughter in reply. The sound multiplied the bubble of warmth in his chest, even as he felt silly blowing out the candles on his cake.
Hakkai began to cut the cake, with Gojyo and Goku assuming one of their usual squabbles, solely for Sanzo's benefit. Not one to deviate from the norm, he gave both of them a good-natured smack on the head, not as hard as he usually did.
Happy birthday, indeed.
( A/N: Happy Birthday, Sanzo! I know
this is posted a day or so late, due to internet problems. Hope you
guys enjoyed it and celebrated Sanzo's birthday in style!)