By sf

Begun : May 19, 2002

Rating : PG
Foreword : An explanation of how this crazy fic came to be.

It started innocently enough. Toes read Firearm. Or finished reading Borderline. I'm not sure which. Either way, toes, who's a very nice person--

Muse : *sniggers*
Sf : shhh!!!!

Anyway, toes, a very nice person, who, unlike the rest of us, doesn't like to get the Saiyuki cast too badly damaged, came up to me and said :

Toes : Is it possible to write a fic in which none of them get hurt, get angry, angst, curse, and kill things?
Sf : No.
Toes : I mean, if you took out all the fighting, all the cursing, all the angst--
Sf : You would't have a story left.
Toes : Ahaha. That's not what I meant.

And things were left there.

Then, one sunny Sunday afternoon, the idea came around and bit me on the ass.

Idea : RAR! *CHOMP*
Sf : ITAI~~~~~!!!!!
Muse : Have you seen my idea? It scuttled off somewhere.
Sf : Yes. _;;
Muse : Watch out, it's positively evil.
Sf : I know. -_-;;

And I dashed home as fast as I could (funny how ideas *always* bite you when you're away from a keyboard), and this is the net result.

Reverse Psychology :
A fic in which the Sanzo-ikkou endeavour not to engage in any immoral activities, which includes, but is not limited to : 1. Cursing. 2. Drinking. 3. Smoking. 4. Killing. 5. Acting in a generally nasty way towards other people (ie : their usual way).

Reverse Psychology
Part I : Meet the Muse

That night, Hakkai had a dream.

It was a really *weird* dream. (No, nothing hentai). But as dreams go, he forgot it when he awoke, and didn't remember it until later that morning..

Jiipu chugged merrily along. Random scenary flashed past in the background. It was snowing, which made a change from the scorching desert they'd just crossed.

Abruptly, Jiipu swerved.

"OY! Bakazaru, that's *my* beer! Since when did you start drinking?"
"Since Sanzo let me, idiot! I'm eighteen! I'm legal!"
"You think, runt?"
"I'll kill you for that!"
"Not if I kill you first!"
"I'll take all your beer!"
"Yeah? Then Sanzo will smack you into--"
"Will you two just ... *shut* *up*?!" Sanzo grated. "Before I aerate both your fucking heads?!"

Jiipu hit a very large bump. Since it was an odd day, all their seatbeats promptly failed to function, sending all four catapulting out in various directions.



There was a little bit of silence, then all four of them climbed unsteadily to their feet. Hakkai heard a strange sound.. it sounded a lot like something sizzling. He glanced over.

Sanzo was partially obscured by the steam. Snow dripped, melted, and vaporized, rising from his robes in pale white clouds. The snow around his feet was melting rapidly.

"Eh.. Sanzo?"

The temperature continued to rise as Sanzo remained ominously silent. Hakkai could actually feel the heat radiating off the man.

"Er.. Sanzo... calm down..." By all that's holy... are those flames I see enveloping him?

"You.. stupid... MORONS!" Sanzo roared, lunging at Gojyo and Goku.



There was a massive thump.

Sanzo's eyes widened in surprise as his fan slammed solidly into an invisible barrier just above Goku's head.

"What the--?!"

*THUMP*, and the fan encountered the invisible shield again. Gojyo and Goku looked like they were about to start believing in miracles. Come to think of it, this *did* pass as a miracle..

Then, the Dream came rushing back to Hakkai.

"Minna-san? I have an important announcement."
"Not now," Sanzo growled.
"Very important," Hakkai said. "Positively urgent. It would help to explain things."

Sanzo glared at the fan as if trying to ascertain what was wrong with it. "Well, then say it!"

"Today's a special day. It's called.. goodness, I can't remember what it's called, but the gods have decreed that there shall be no immoral activities of any sort. This includes violence in any form, insulting, cursing, or saying otherwise derogatory comments, smoking, drinking, or gambling."

"What the *bleep*?!"
"You're kidding me, right, Hakkai? No smoking? No women? No beer?"
"Hakkai.. how did you know?"

All eyes turned to Goku. It seemed that their resident bakazaru had asked the smartest question.

"It came to me in a dream," Hakkai replied. His smile remained, but seemed to get a little crinkled around the corners as his brain realized what he'd just said."

"A Dream," Sanzo repeated, in his Very Quietly mode, that promised extravagent violence in short order.

"Well, it does explain what's been happening.."

"*bleep*. I don't buy that *bleep*," Gojyo grumbled, pulling out a cigarette, and proceeding to light it.

Lots of *bleeps* and several lighters (including Sanzo's) later, the cigarette remained dolefully unlit. Sanzo would have smirked, except that his own sticks blatantly refused to light as well.

"Look, Hakkai, stop *bleep*ing around with us. What on earth's happening?" Gojyo demanded.

"As I said.."

"I know what you said! Do you expect us to believe you?!"

Hakkai looked skyward. "Any available deity.. please help."

There was a flash of light. The Heavens parted, revealing a faint white glow surrounded by darkness, and a drumming, pattering sound that might have been rain, but was really the sound of fingers hitting the keys of a keyboard.

The glow grew, spreading light for miles around, reflecting off pristine white snow and causing snow blindness in a big way. Which was why the Sanzo-ikkou missed the sight of a pale sphere of light descending a la Kanzeon/Homura style to the ground.

"TA DA!"

Blinking through teary eyes and desperately wishing for a pair of shades, the Sanzo-ikkou glanced up.

Directly before them was a glowing white nimbus, whose form shifted inconsistently and could not be determined. There was the strong aroma of hazelnut coffee. A voice issued forth. "Yo. You called?"

"What are you? A god?" Gojyo asked.
"God? Hell, no. I'm a Muse."
"Kami-sama. One of them," Sanzo muttered.
"Ne, Sanzo? What's a Muse?"
"Something worse than a god."
"Got it spot on, bouzu."

There was a pause in the clicking sounds from above, as a voice drifted down from the Heavens. "Don't waste time, Muse. I need you up here."

The Muse groaned. "That's the Boss. Too lazy to name me, too freaking lazy even decide what form I should take, hence.. this." The Muse waved a hand, indicated the shape-that-was-not-a-shape. "You see, the Boss is a lazy as--"

A lightning bolt streaked out of the blue, hitting the nimbus straight on and causing it to crackle. The Muse yelped and shook an angry fist at the sky. "You suck!"

"Watch it. This is a no-swearing fic."
"Gah, I *hate* it when you write those."
"It was your idea. Besides, you wanted to do the cameo."

At this point in time, the Sanzo-ikkou was staring hard. Very hard. If they stared any harder, their eyeballs (or eyeball, in Hakkai's case) would probably have popped out. (While that would have made an interesting scene, this *is* a non-violence, non-gore fic, so we'll just have to settle for dumbstruck and gaping expressions instead.)

"Yeah, yeah, so back to business," the Muse grumbled. "Today is Happy Families day. As Hakkai here pointed out - that means no violence, no bad language, no bad behavior, in general, even if your description is 'the bad-behaved priest' (sic)."

"*bleep*," Sanzo muttered.

"Oh," the Muse continued, grinning evilly at Goku (I don't know how a nimbus can grin evilly. You'll have to ask my Muse personally). "No monkey business either. Hahahaha."

"Haha. Good one," Gojyo said sarcastically.
"Ooo, that was being nasty, Gojyo-san," the Muse said, waving a tendril of nimbus that might have been construed as a finger.

"You're kidding us, right?" Goku said.
"Hey! That was my question! You plagiarized it!" Gojyo shouted.
"You didn't copyright it," Hakkai pointed out.
"Still, it's my--!"

The Muse cut him off in mid-sentence, leaving him opening and shutting his mouth soundlessly like a kappa out of water. The real, swimming kind of kappa. "To answer the question : Yes, I'm kidding you. There is no Happy Families day. The real reason behind this is that Saiyuki is being screened on the morning timeslot of Cartoon Network to kids of all ages, and the director wants to keep it clean and happy. Ahahhaha." The Muse trailed off into evil laughter.

"Holy *bleep*!" Gojyo stuttered, regaining his voice.
"Cartoon Network?" Goku asked. "What kind of net is that?"
"The worst kind," Hakkai said, frowning.

"The synopsis : Four bold and adventurous Good Guys, going out to stop a Bad Guy. Spirit of adventure and camaraderie abound. And, as is required of Good Guys, you have squeaky clean records, unbelievable loyalty to one another, and are the very soul of moral uprighteousness."

"And what's this series called?" Gojyo asked.

"Here's the kicker : Paradise Raiders." The Muse was positively smirking.

"No way in *bleep* I want to be known as a Paradise Raider!"
"Ne, Sanzo, what's a Paradise Raider?"
"It sounds like one of those cheap porn movies that Gojyo watches.."
"Ano... I think I prefer 'Saiyuki'..."

"And what happens if we aren't all those things that you said?" Goku wanted to know.
"Well, as you've observed, certain measures have been taken to ensure that this policy is followed."
"The whole deal with the automatic censorship?" Hakkai asked.
"Exactly. Mild swear words are translated into milder ones, while the untranslatable ones are simply eliminated."

"Oh bugger," Sanzo said.

Everyone stared.

A vein popped out just below Sanzo's left eye and started throbbing furiously. "What the *bleeping bleeping bleep*?! I don't *bleeping* use the *bleeping* word 'bugger'!"

Hakkai was smiling. Goku's shoulders were shaking with uncontrolled mirth. Gojyo wasn't so polite; he was howling with laughter.

"Fudge and cabbage! I'm gonna kill all you *bleeping* *bleep*heads!" Sanzo snarled, grabbing the fan.

"Uh huh. No violence, remember?" the Muse said, snapping his fingers. Instantly, the fan disappeared. Along with all their other weapons. Only Sanzo's sutras remained.

"And what happens if we don't comply?" Gojyo asked. "You can stop us from hitting each other, but we can still try."

The Muse cocked its head and grinned in the most disconcerting fashion. "Well, several options crossed my mind. Such as turning you guys into toads, or something. But sf would never have forgiven me. So I'd go for the other option."

"And that is?" Hakkai asked.

The grin became positively nasty. "Transforming you into the characters you were in the original Journey to the West series."

"I'm afraid I don't understand.." Hakkai said slowly.

"Yeah, neither do I," Goku piped up.

"I thought you wouldn't. So here's a quick preview." The Muse pulled out a hologram projector and pressed buttons. "This is what Sanzo was in the original.. an honest-to-god monk, law-abiding and sutra chanting, and an absolute wimp who gets his ass kicked by every youkai who comes along. Yeah, and the crop of gold hair will have to go. Real monks shave their heads, you know."

Another tic joined the one under Sanzo's left eye. His eyebrow started twitching uncontrollably. Gojyo and Goku were sniggering.

The Muse pressed more buttons. "This is Goku. The handsome monkey king. A *real* saru, who, incidently, is the brains of the outfit, who goes prancing around in a most embarassing fashion, and sticks Nyoibou into his ear."

"Into my *ear*?!"
"If the bakazaru's the brains of the outfit, we're all *bleeped*!!"
"Handsome, my donkey! I'm the resident good-looker around here!"

"This is Hakkai," the Muse said, indicating the new picture. "Like Goku's a real monkey and Sanzo's a real monk, Hakkai's a real pig, down to his curly wurly lil tail. No ki balls for you, I'm afraid. Your weapon's a rusty garden rake. Oh, and you have Goku's appetite and manners, and Gojyo's skirt chasing syndrome."

"That's .. disasterous."
"*bleeping* *bleep*. It's not as if the bakazaru doesn't eat us out of house and home already.."
"No way I'm travelling with someone like that! He'd scare all the chicks away!"
"Ne, Hakkai.. I wouldn't want to share my food with you either..."

"And finally... Gojyo. No more long hair, just this curly mess ringing your head, since you're going bald on top. In compensation, you have a totally gay moustache to make up for it. Other than that, you don't feature much; you appear to be there for cosmetic reasons. You're just a little less wimpy than Sanzo."

"No!! Not my hair!!"
"What the *bleep* do you mean wimpy?!"
"Hey, Gojyo, I think you actually look better like that."
"Goku, that's not nice.."

After the initial trauma had worn off, leaving our heros in various states of shock, Hakkai cleared his throat delicately.

"Yes?" the Muse asked.
"What about Hakuryuu?"
"Ah! I was waiting for you to ask!" the Muse smirked. "Behold Hakuryuu, minna-san!"

There was silence for a bit.

"That's a horse, right?" Goku said tentatively.
"Yes... yes it is..." Hakkai replied.
"Kyuuuuuuuuuu~~~~~!!!!!!!" Hakuryuu protested, and hid himself under Hakkai's jacket.
"There, there, it's okay.."

"But we can't *all* ride that!" Gojyo said. "Of course, the idea of four guys on one horse would give even the yaoi fans something to chew on, but there's no way I'm getting on that thing!"

"Ahaha. Here's the best part - Sanzo gets to ride, because he's such a lame ass."
"WHAT?! Bouzu gets the horse?!" Gojyo yelled. "What's the deal? Just because he's mister Sanzo-sama and all that?!"

Sanzo went for his gun, before he realized that it was gone. "Fudging A..."

"Gojyo, you just said that you wouldn't ride it," Hakkai pointed out.
"Yeah, but I'd ride it just so that he doesn't!"
"That's not nice at all. Do you really want to end up like that?" the Muse indicated the characters on screen.
"NO! Anything but that!" Gojyo flapped his hands frantically.
"Then play nice," the Muse said.

"Oy," Sanzo said.
"That's : Oy, Muse-sama," the Muse replied.
"Oh dear. The automatic censorship's malfunctioning a little," the Muse frowned. "Well, the results should be interesting. But how can I help you?"

"How long will this last?"
"All of today, ending at midnight. Since it's early morning, you still have a long way to go. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it."
"Improbable at best."
"Incidently, Sanzo, could you try smiling for the camera?"

There was a long, long pause. Sanzo's usual scowl went from furious to mild to neutral. And stayed.

Finally : "No. I don't think so."

"Well, keep trying," the Muse sighed. "Pity. A shot like that could be sold for millions..."

"Does bakazaru count as an insult?" Goku asked.
"Wait, I'll have to consult," the Muse replied. "Oy, sf! Does 'baka--"
"No. Consider it a sign of affection," the voice from above stated.

"A SIGN OF WHAT???????!!!!!!!!!" Sanzo and Goku yelled.

"I always knew you had something for the kid, Sanzo!" Gojyo manage to say, between laughing and gasping for breath. "Bakazaru! Ha!"
"Oh dear.. oh dear.." Hakkai sighed. "Gojyo, you do realize that it could be a sign of affection from you too if you say it.."
"Oh shucks."

"Then can I call him ero-kappa?" Goku asked.
"No. We don't want to have to go into what the 'ero' entails. Kappa alone--"
"How about baka-kappa?"
"Cockroach kappa?"
"Ero-cockroach kap--"

The Muse whipped out the confiscated paper fan and soundly thwapped Goku over the head. "Ahem. Any more questions?"

"What if... there's a need for the fan?" Sanzo asked delicately.
"There shouldn't be a need. After all, if they can't insult each other, they can hardly be much trouble, right?"
"You'd be surprised," Sanzo replied grimly.
"Oh, don't be a wet blanket. You're supposed to be the charismatic, motivational and inspiring leader of the group, you know."
"The..." Sanzo choked. "Let's get this straight... I never asked to be the leader of this bunch of misfits!"
"Yeah! No way I'm taking orders from him!" Gojyo snapped.

The Muse smiled and clapped Gojyo on the shoulder. "That was then. Now you're a loyal and devoted follower, Sanzo's third disciple, who'd do anything to save him."

Gojyo cringed violently. "Someone kill me," Sanzo groaned.

"Sorry. I don't do Death Fics," came the reply. "Well, I won't keep you any longer. Have fun, and don't hesistate to consult if you have any more queries!" There was a brilliant flash of light which blinded everyone, and then the Muse was gone. The crack in the sky snapped shut.

Then there was just the snow and the sky, and the faint aroma of hazelnut coffee.

"Oh crumbs," Sanzo said. "This is going to be a long day.."


Somewhere up above :

Sf : This was supposed to be a short fic!
Muse : Did you really believe that we could fit everything in under 2,000 words?
Sf : Oh *bleep*.

To be continued...