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On the Road - Sanzo, gen, PG

Title: On the Road
Author: opalmatrix
Warnings: worksafe; mild Gojyo innuendo
Pairing(s): n/a
Spoilers: none, really
Notes: Challenge #2, Unexplored Territory: time allowed for this is 40 minutes.
Actual time: About that - 5 minutes planning, 30 minutes writing, 5 minutes revision. This time, I beat the temptation to think too much ahead of time by plotting out an entirely diffrent story than what I wrote! Concrit welcome.
Summary: Sometimes, the lesser of two evils might be just what the doctor ordered.

Sanzo stared silently at the white vehicle that had been a small winged reptile just moments before. Goku was already standing in the back, catching bundles tossed to him by Gojyo, while Hakkai dabbed at the immaculate windshield with a clean cloth and looked weirdly proud and pink-cheeked. "Get in, Sanzo," he invited, opening the door opposite the driver's side.

Sanzo shook his head firmly. "Tch. I'm not that crazy. But taking the monkey out for some air's a good idea. I can get some work done."

"But Sanzo ...!" Goku sounded heartbroken. "It's a picnic. Jeep's never carried this many people before - it's gonna be so cool! He wants to do it."

Indeed, the shiny vehicle was fairly vibrating with eagerness in the bright sunlight. Hakkai stroked the hood soothingly, murmuring. "Soon, Hakuryu ... very soon."

Gojyo vaulted into the back seat next to Goku and pulled out his cigarettes. "I think our sheltered priest is too delicate to ride a dragon. Besides, who needs a sour face like that on a picnic." He flicked his lighter and lit up with a flourish. Sanzo glared at him, and he smiled sweetly. "It's not like I wanna share that great sake Hakkai scored last week either. Not to mention the cold beer."

The smell of the tobacco was seductive. So was the idea of beer, given the hot sun. And the pile of papers awaiting him in his office was less than attractive. But the idea of being in that small a space with three others ... .

"Priest Sanzo!"

The voice was faint, but he knew damn well it would only get louder. Pulling out his own cigarettes, he stepped over to the vehicle and held one out to Gojyo imperiously. Gojyo grinned and purred "Gods, I love it when you go all queenly on me," as he lit it. Ignoring this, Sanzo slid into the front passenger seat unhurriedly. Hakkai shut the door behind him and circled around to take his own seat. The white jeep vibrated and bounced a little, then pulled out of the courtyard into the road, leaving Sanzo's latest piece of business standing open-mouthed behind them.

They accelerated away from the gates, past the few houses located out this far, and took a curve at a speed that left Sanzo's gut momentarily behind. "Tch!" He braced one hand against the dashboard. Goku crowed joyously behind him, and Gojyo leaned on the back of the seat to shout into Hakkai's ear. "So - where we headed?"

"It's a surprise!" Hakkai chuckled smugly. The wind whipped Sanzo's hair back from his eyes despite the windshield and cooled his skin. He took a long drag on his cigarette. It tasted of fresh tobacco, fresh air, and freedom.


( 27 comments — leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)

Well, he is, rather! But I think he's allowed - he had precious little chance to be a kid when he was little.

Mar. 28th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Heee! This was so adorable! I really liked the imagery that you used here and the fact that I totally agree with silver_677. It's like he's skipping class. XD

I like how Hakkai was fretting over Hakuryuu, and the little dragon was positively vibrating with excitement. Like a puppy or an overzealous kid, but it was so damn adorable.

And the last paragraph was all kinds of shiny. Seriously. <3 That just gave me such a good feeling and had such a positive ring to it. Very nicely done.

Thank you for sharing!
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)

Yes, I think Sanzo really needs to learn enjoyment. Koumyou was trying to teach him that, but after what happened ... . And I think that most sociable critters (and Jeep definitely qualifies) enjoy showing their stuff to their companions.

I'm so glad you liked that last bit! I thought a bit about the final sentence but the rest just happened.

(Deleted comment)
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)

Sanzo's had to be so grown-up for so long - I think he needs help to cut loose and just enjoy. That - as much as the actual little road trip - was the "journey" I was thinking about. The sad thing is, Koumyou was an expert in it, in his way.

Mar. 28th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
I love how Sanzo really does want to go out (and skip the work), and allows himself to be persuaded–Gojyo isn't all that subtle.
We know he'll never in a million years admit that he enjoyed the ride.
And Goku pleading with him to come along is so cute :)
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)

Hee, no, Gojyo's not subtle! But Sanzo never had much in the way of normal kid-type relationships, which makes him a sucker for Gojyo's type of teasing. Sanzo knows on some level that he needs a break, but he's really, really not comfortable with other people. This grew out of my thinking about how he could ever adjust to the Journey West, in a small vehicle with three others. I thought maybe he'd have to start small!

Mar. 31st, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)
That's very interesting! I never really thought about Sanzo like that, but it makes perfect sense given his character and background. (And now I see more of the mental/emotional aspect of the "unexplored territory" in this, too...)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)



I'm still terrily afraid that Sanzo's main participation this time out will be sitting hunched over in the shade, some distance from Hakkai and the campfire, smoking heavily and watching with disapproving puzzlement as Goku and Gojyo run around and cut up.

Mar. 30th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
Surly!Sanzo, Excited!Hakuryuu and a picnic! Well done!

Thank you for giving me a smile.
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)

Awww, I'm glad I made you smile! I think Jeep is kind of like a very clever young horse or puppy, and is eager to show off what he can do now ... also, it probably just feels good for him to go fast.

And poor Sanzo! Learning to have fun is such hard work ... .

Apr. 4th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
Jeep is really putting me in mind of a sleddog here (shades of Diefenbaker yet again!); if you've ever seen a dog team waiting to set out on the trail, it's exactly that sort of frantic thrum of excitement, and the sheer joy of speed and motion when they finally get to run. :)

And this is just such a fun, happy little piece. It's nice to see everybody relaxed and having such a pleasant time for a change, a happy little interlude between their painful pasts and the rough stuff looming ahead in the future...
Apr. 7th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)

I really feel for Sanzo sometimes - other people and their silly emotional demands must grate on him a lot. But he must have started to come to some sort of accommodation with his reactions to the others sometimes before the long trip started. He actually seems to enjoy himself with them in his own low-key. snarky way sometimesm during the main storyline.

I'm glad Jeep made you think of doggies! You have one of the best feels for animals that I know of, so I take that as a compliment.

Mar. 30th, 2008 11:07 am (UTC)
Aww, yay! This made me so happy. :D I love Hakkai's too fast driving at the end, and the sense of escape and freedom that even Sanzo can't deny. It seems so deeply tied to the four of them being together too. Awww, much love.
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)

I'm glad is made you happy! :-D

My original story was actually at the picnic, and Sanzo was going to learn he could relax for a moment. But then it occurred to me that his journey this time actually began the minute he decided to go with them, so I wrote that story instead.

This came from wondering about how tough it must have been for him to travel with the rest of them at first, because he's so solitary by nature. I thought maybe he needed a little practice!

Mar. 30th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
*squeels* So very cute! :D I loved it!
Mar. 31st, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)

I'm glad! I wasn't sure about it when I started writing it, but I was kind of fond of it myself once I had a chance to read it all through!

Apr. 2nd, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
I imagine the priests were quite an incentive. ^_~ And Hakuryuu is always cute.
Apr. 7th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)

I think the priests have always made him feel that way - but I don't think he's had a good escape route previously!

Apr. 4th, 2008 03:40 am (UTC)
I really *really* liked this piece. Probably the thing I liked best is that events early on absolutely could have happened this way. You've done a wonderful job of giving Sanzo the incentive to spend time with the others--and I could see this happening so often that I would start to become almost a habit (so that he could go out for sukiyaki without the threat of looming paperwork!) The story had a very "canon" feel to it, and was a very enjoyable read. Nicely done!
Apr. 7th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)

Oooh, thanks so much! >blush< I'm really glad you liked it.

Apr. 6th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, very nice. :D (The lesser of two evils, there, Sanzo? *g*)
Apr. 7th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)

I'm glad you liked it! The sad thing is, I believe he really did have to think it over! The journey west is an ordeal for him in ways the other three - even Hakkai, who's pretty introverted himself - couldn't imagine.

Edited at 2008-04-07 03:20 am (UTC)
Apr. 8th, 2008 09:37 am (UTC)
*grin* This was so much fun. I love the way you wrote Sanzo.

"I think our sheltered priest is too delicate to ride a dragon..." XDDD For some reason the thought of Sanzo riding a dragon makes me giggle.
Apr. 17th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)

Eek! How did I miss replying here? That's the one problem with having the stories in here instead on my fic journal ... . So sorry!

I'm so glad you liked it! Some days I just feel Sanzo-ish. He was the POV character in my very first Saiyuki fic too, On the Rocks.

May. 29th, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
Sweet. The nice, 'quiet' moments with just the four of them, of them creating bonds as a group....
May. 30th, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, the underlying bonds are so strong - it's fun to examine ways that those bonds may have formed.

Jun. 17th, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
What a last line! I like how Sanzo's suspicion was only overcome by the prospect of more work!!! XD
( 27 comments — leave a comment )


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