A/K: Ok, to start with all characters pertaining to Saiyuki belong to Kazuya Minekura. With that out of the way, all new characters and plot situation belong to me. They came distinctively out of my head so bear with me. I am going to try to stay as true to the characters as I can, so if you think I am straying, your comments are extremely welcome.
I hope you this first chapter. Chapter two will probably be released either later tonight or tomorrow. Enjoy. Author out.
Chapter 1: The Intro
"Alright, time to get moving."
"What about breakfast?"
"Sorry Goku, but Sanzo insists that we leave as soon as possible."
"But I'm staving. Hey Sanzo, can't we…"
Sanzo rolled his eyes at Goku's pleading. "No, now quit your gripping and get in the jeep. If we don't get moving we won't make it in time."
Neither Goyjo nor Goku could keep the confusion for showing on their faces. Gojyo spoke up before Goku could get the words out of his parted mouth. "Why the sudden rush? You've never been this impatient to head west before."
Hakkai returned from packing the last of the camping equipment, and after handing Goku a bag of snacks, he inquired "I was wondering the same thing. Sanzo, would you mind elaborating on our need for a speedy departure this morning?"
With a sign of annoyance, Sanzo began to explain. "Fine, if it will make you guys shut up, I'll tell you." The three others provided Sanzo with there complete attention, especially Goku, who had never seen Sanzo demonstrate this level of determination before. "There is a village over the mountains that we need to make before late afternoon."
"Why" escaped from all three listeners at the same time.
"Because there is some one I have to meet."
Gojyo stepped forward. "Alright Monk, I think you have some explaining to do. Since when did you start making appointments? On second thoughts, how did you make an appointment? With a carrier pigeon? And who exactly is it that you have to meet?"
"Well, it's really none of your business."
"Why you shitty…"
Hakkai disrupted Gojyo's rant. "OK, if it is important, then we should get a move on."
Gojyo took Hakkai aside and waited until Goku's incessant questions faded. "Wait, Hakkai, don't you think we should get some more information before we go traipsing through occupied territory or did you forget that we crossed into India two days ago?"
"No, I haven't forgotten, but I am also curious to see who Sanzo would go to for help."
"What do you mean by 'help'?"
"Well, to find out, we'll have to make it to the appointment on time."
Gojyo raised his hands in surrender. "Fine, but I don't like that monk keeping secrets, especially after the whole ditching us thing."
As they walked toward the jeep, Goku could still be heard quizzing Sanzo. As they started toward their destination, Goku's question became the only conversation. "But who are we meeting?"
Sanzo closed his eyes and tried to will away the throbbing in his head. Damn, maybe we should have stayed long enough to make coffee. Suddenly Goku's voice broke through the fog.
"Sanzo, are you listening to me. Who are we going to meet?"
"For the thousandth time, you'll see."
"Why won't you just tell me?"
"Goku, shut up and wait patiently like the other two."
"I can't. You've never kept a secret from me before, so why now?"
"Because it's a surprise. There. Happy? Now, shut up," Sanzo turned to face Goku with his gun raised, "or I will shoot you, got it?"
Goku slumped down in the back muttering, "Fine, you don't have to get so huffy about it."
The long ride through the mountains continued silently as Goku, Hakkai, and Gojyo tried to figure out the nature of the person they would soon be meeting.
Gojyo begrudgingly figured it would be another pain-in-the-ass monk with a holier-than-thou attitude.
Hakkai figured it would be someone who would lead them to the fortress where Gyumaoh was being resurrected or perhaps it is a side mission from the Sanbutsushin.
Goku didn't really care who they were going to meet. He just hoped that there would be food. He was starving.
Sanzo's thoughts kept returning to the journey at hand. The thought of, I hope we will make it in time, continually plagued his mind.
Stopping only long enough for Goku to take a piss, they managed to pull into the outskirts of town close to noon. From pure exhaustion, Hakuryuu reverted to his dragon form forcing the gang to walk the rest of the way. "Ok Sanzo," Hakkai turned to his companion on the right, "where exactly are we going meet this mystery person?"
Sanzo pointed to a little dinner with a line waiting outside.
Goku could not believe his eyes. "This is great. I can finally eat, but what about the line?"
Sanzo smirked, "I told you I had an appointment and that means the preparations have already been made for us including a table inside and four rooms upstairs."
It was Hakkai's turn to be surprised. "How did you make all of these arrangements? We haven't been near a phone in weeks."
Sanzo shook his head, "Come on, if we don't get in there soon, they will give our table away."
Goku responded to that. He made a bee-line to the restaurant's doors. Before he could get in, a tall man blocked his path. "I'm sorry, but we are full at the moment. You'll have to wait in line like everyone else."
"Oh man. I am going to die if I don't get something to eat soon."
Then the man turned his attention to the other three gentlemen, if you could call them gentlemen, walking up. Two of them appeared to be miscreants like the boy pouting in front of him, but the blonde one, he was a dead ringer for… "I am sorry Mr. Sanzo. I had no idea that you had arrived. Come in. Your table is ready. Leave your bags and I will have them sent to your rooms."
Gojyo could not believe it. "Well, how do you like that for service?"
Once seated, the three young men became anxious for answers. Hakkai began. "Are you ready to tell us what is going on, or are we meant to remain in the dark until after we eat?"
"I told you already. I am meeting someone."
"Yes," Gojyo declared before Hakkai could continue, "but what kind of someone are we meeting? And how did you manage to set all this up?"
Repressing a grin, Sanzo replied, "Well, that would be our host's doing. You will have to wait to get an audience though."
As Sanzo was talking, unordered food began to make its way onto their table. Goku's eyes glistened from the site of it all. And after the first bite of the Chicken Tikka Masala, his concerns focused on only eating as much food as he could. But, something about this food seemed familiar.
The other two were not as compliant. For the first time, Gojyo ignored his food and waited for some king of an explanation. "What do you mean we have to wait? This person is not going to join us?"
"Gojyo, the person we are waiting for is working, so eat your food before Goku finishes it."
Gojyo turned and noticed that half of ever dish had already been devoured. "I can't believe this. Save some for the rest of us you stupid monkey. You're not the only one that is hungry."
"Hey, you lay off long hair. I'm starving. And if you are so hungry, why are you bothering Sanzo?"
Clinching his teeth, Gojyo grabbed the plate of food in front of him and started to shovel it in. Hakkai was not as easily distracted. He kept on eye on Sanzo as he tried the strange food directly in front of him. It was pretty good, but there was a spice he could not quite place. This must be true Indian food, he thought.
Once the plates were cleared, Goku shifted in his seat. "I haven't had food that good in a long time. Not since…" Suddenly it came to him. The thing that seemed so familiar about the food was that he had had it before. He looked at Sanzo and knew he was right. Before he could verbalize his conclusions, a familiar voice rose from the kitchen.
"Thanks for letting me come during your busiest time. I really appreciate it."
"What? The customers only wrap around the building when they see you walk in. It is I who should thank you. I just wish I could convince you to work here full time."
"You know I can't do that."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, but if you ever change your mind, you have a job."
The doors to the kitchen opened revealing a woman removing an apron from her black slacks. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a simple ponytail and her bangs fell in front of her bright blue eyes. When she turned to the waiting party, she received an unexpected hug from Goku whom she had not seen move from his seat.
Goku looked into her eyes and said, "I can't believe it's you. What are you doing here?"
When she turned back to the table, the other three were standing. The red-heads mouth was open. The tall one in the green had a curious look on his face. Then when she noticed the smile on Sanzo's face it all made sense. "You didn't tell them who they were meeting did you."
Sanzo's laugh startled Hakkai and Gojyo. "Well, of course not. It's no fun that way."
Shaking her head, she sat in the seat Goku offered her. "Will you never change? I swear after four years I would think you would stop pulling the same joke."
"Ah, excuse me but are we missing something?" Well, of course we are, Hakkai thought, but how do these three know each other is the bigger question.
She smiled, "Sorry, you see, Sanzo thinks it's funny to be mysterious with his missions for Goku's sake, but I would have thought he would have at least informed the two of you what to expect."
Gojyo finally found his voice and asked, "And what should we expect?"
"He should have at least told you that I would be female. By the look on your faces, you were expecting some old man of some kind, I assume."
Sanzo spoke before the questions began. "Now, Tsunami…"
"Stop calling me that! Look it was an accident and a long time ago. Let it go."
"No, you did it on purpose, and until you admit it, I never let you forget it."
Ignoring Sanzo, she turned to address the two strangers. "I'm sorry. We're being rude. My name is Yasumi, Mizuchi Yasumi."
Goku jumped at the opportunity to enter the conversation. "The one in the green is Cho Hakkai. And the red-head is Sha Gojyo. Oh, and that's Hakuryuu. So, now will you explain what you're doing here?"
"I live here. Why is that so surpr…you jerk," Yasumi turned to face Sanzo again, "You didn't even both to tell Goku where I relocated."
Sanzo shrugged, "It never came up."
Yasumi rolled her eyes, "Typical, well Goku, after you two left, I decided that it was time for a new location and I wound up here."
"Is it safe, with the…demons?"
"Oh, them? They are not looking for me anymore, remember?"
"Ok," Gojyo slammed his hands on the table to get everyone attention, "would someone please fill me in. I am completely lost."
Goku perked up, "Oh, let me, let me. Yasumi here pissed some demon boss off because, because, I forget, well anyways me and Sanzo were coming back from some boring mission and stumbled across Yasumi being attacked by, what, ten guys?"
"There abouts" Sanzo offered.
Goku continued, "Well, we kick there lame asses no problem, and agreed to take Yasumi back with us, you know, so she would be safe." After receiving doubtful looks from both Hakkai and Gojyo, Goku amended his statement, "OK, I begged Sanzo to let her tag along, because, well, you've tasted her food. Yumi actually wanted to continue on her own, but we talked her into joining us. Anyways, the three floating heads approved of Sanzo's decision after they talked to her."
Hakkai interrupted Goku there, "You met with the Sanbutsushin? Why?"
Yasumi smiled, "Because they had some questions that I happened to have the answers to."
"And what would that have been?"
"Well, I can't really tell you. It was mainly about the something I uncovered that is not really important now."
"Not quite," Sanzo stood up, "that's why we're here. We need your knowledge to continue our journey. And since you live so close anyway, I was wondering if you would not mind joining us on the remainder of our journey."
"Like hell," Yasumi leapt to her feet, "I already told you that if you came wanting me to go with you your trip would be a waste. I am not going back there. Not for you. Not for anyone. I'm sorry." She started to walk away. When she felt the hand close around her wrist, Yasumi turned to see that Gojyo was the one preventing her escape.
"Look, I am not sure what's going on, but that man never asks for help, so I think you could at least hear him out."
She jerked her wrist free. "I'm sorry, but I don't care." She turned back to Sanzo with tears in her eyes. "I'm not going back." She fled out the door.
Goku rose to run after her, but Sanzo stopped her. "No, Goku let her go. I told them she wouldn't go for it. Oh well, at least I tried. If you need me, I'll be in my room." He walked away before any questions could be asked.
Gojyo and Hakkai turned to Goku. Hakkai asked in his normal mild-mannered tone, "Goku, do you think you could explain their relationship in more detail."
"I can try. What exactly do you want to know?"
"Why does Sanzo need her to lead us?"
"Because she used to live in the castle we're trying to find."
Hakkai wrinkled his brow. "You mean she's a…"
Goku finished his statement, "Youkai? Sort of, she's not technically a youkai but she's not human either. Did you notice that necklace she was wearing? That's her limiter. I heard Sanzo say once that she was kind of a special sorceress or something. Apparently, that was one of the reasons the youkai were after her. Of course, I think it had a lot to do with the youkai boss she pissed off."
Gojyo asked the next question. "What exactly did she do?"
"I don't even think Sanzo knows. You would have to ask Yasumi, but she's not going to tell you. She doesn't like to talk about that time of her life. I can't believe those heads thought Sanzo could talk her into going. This is going to be an interesting pit stop."
Hakkai inquired as to why.
Goku declared, "Because she'll disappear before she'll go back, and in order to vanish, she'll have to get past Sanzo."
"Really," Gojyo asked, "he didn't seem to care either way."
This time Hakkai answered, "No, he cares. You could see it in his eyes. Plus, he generally does what the Sanbutsushin says whether he agrees with it or not."