Chibisensei: Ugh, I studied so hard for that stupid practical & got screwed over by the 1 thing I forgot to look at. Anyway, here's the challenge chapter as requested by NeonPink2011. I'm busy as hell so I only got to reread parts of Gaiden for this one. I hope I don't disappoint!

Warnings: Yay, it's not depressing!

Drabble summary: What does Jiroushin really think about Goku's punishment in Gaiden?

Jiroushin: On the Topics of Reflection & Reincarnation

Aside from the normal politics of the higher ups (who, even I'm convinced, have something wedged in them somewhere), it is a peaceful day in Heaven. It is a day that makes me sigh inwardly as I make my way toward Kazenon's throne by the lily pond. I know how much the lack of excitement bores the hell out of the deity which almost always leads me to being either embarrassed or mortified by her less than holy attitude. It's on days like these I miss the days of five hundred years ago. Things were a lot livelier back then and Kazenon Botatsu actually got more work done. I sigh. Trying to get "her merciful laziness" to do something productive these days was like asking a fish to swim on land. She never listens to me. Sometimes, I don't know why I bother to waste my breath.

As I reach her side I notice that her gaze is fixed on the water of the lily pond. I sigh a third time, to myself. It looks like today I will be standing like a lifeless statue, doing absolutely nothing…again. She's no doubt watching Konzen and his group of misfits. Well, I suppose it's Sanzo and his group of misfits now. I look into the pond myself. The only member of that unruly bunch that has not been reincarnated is Goku. I close my eyes. There are some days I will never miss. Never.

When Goku was first brought to heaven, I admit I felt the same way about him as most of the others did. He was a heretic and a danger, but Botatsu felt otherwise. I try my hardest not to question her judgment and that time was no different. She gave him to Konzen to take care of. I'm not sure whether it was to help that introvert nephew of hers become godlier or for the twisted amusement of seeing him pissed. It may have been both. I was so certain that Konzen wouldn't be able to handle Goku that I actually made a bet on it. Ugh, I'll never do that again.

Through Konzen, Goku befriended Tenpou and Kenren (indirectly). Goku's personality was magnetic and I found my opinion of him changed in a short time. He wasn't a heretic, he was a child. A naïve, innocent child. It was around that naïve, innocent child that Konzen, Tenpou, and Kenren rallied and for that child they made their stand against Heaven…and died doing so. When I found out about the higher up's decision to imprison Goku in a mountain and erase his memories, I found myself agreeing with half of the decision Erasing Goku's memories was not as much of a punishment as Heaven believed it to be. Everyone he cared for was gone. They were the only ones who understood him for who he was, not what he was; and they accepted him, cared for him. He was alone. No, the cruelest punishment Heaven could have given was to imprison him with his memories. Given her attitude towards the order she was given, I knew that Botatsu would not erase his every memory. I had hoped she wouldn't. I hoped that there would be at least one thing she left for the boy so he could always have a small piece of the person, of the people, that cared about him. What she left was perfect: his name. I don't think I could have been prouder of her judgment then; and, although, I couldn't condone her disobedience, I couldn't disagree with it. I never will.

I open my eyes again. Kazenon still has her gaze set on the water. She hasn't even acknowledged my presence yet. I raise an eyebrow. Was what was going on in the lower world really that interesting? I look into the pond again to the picture of Konzen, Tenpou, Kenren, and Goku, no, Sanzo, Hakkai, Gojyo, and Goku, fighting an ordinary group of demons. There isn't anything new there, but it still gets me thinking. Konzen, Tenpou, and Kenren were cleared of the Jade Emperor's murder so why do their reincarnations go through so much suffering? Certainly their karma couldn't have been that bad. I frown slightly. The three I see now and the three from before are so different, and yet, the same. Genjo Sanzo, once the introverted, paperwork-obsessed Konzen Douji, is now an introverted, trigger-happy Sanzo priest. Cho Hakkai, once the eccentric, messy Tenpou Gensui, is now an eccentric, organized human turned demon. Finally, Sha Gojyo, once the perverted, alcohol and cigarette loving Kenren Taishou, is now, well, the same...except as a half-demon. I shake my head slightly. No matter what the differences are, there is one thing that still remains the same: they still rally around Goku…in their own ways. I would rather not think on whether that foreshadows a repeat in history. I turn away from the battle below and glance at Kazenon Botatsu. She now has the "bad smirk" on her face. I sweatdrop. There is one other thing that remains the same. For matters concerning that group, I always carry aspirin.

END