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Title: Nothing To See
Author: opalmatrix
Warnings: worksafe; violence, blood, swearing
Pairing(s): n/a
Spoilers: Events at the end of Reload 6 and beginning of Reload 7
Notes: Written for saiyuki_time challenge #16, the Sixth Sense. Time allowed 30 minutes; actual time: about that, but I ended up tinkering with it a little bit afterward for maybe 5 more minutes, because I originally wrote it in dribs and drabs.
Summary: It's hard to blunt the sharpest of senses for long, but sometimes a moment is all that it takes.

The night was alive with the tiny, mindlessly content sounds of insects, the faint clatter and hum of the town all around them, and to Sanzo's third eye, the glow and leap of Goku's inhuman chi, like a friendly campfire beside him.

"I think I'd be OK," said the monkey, cheerfully, and turned away from Sanzo, in pursuit of a snack yet again.

For a second, everything went quiet and meaningless, a grey humming nothingness, and then, as the sounds returned, Goku froze, tensed, and fell, blood spurting black in the night's dimness from dozens of wounds, his chi flickering, flaring, fading.

And Sanzo had heard, seen, sensed nothing

His gun was in his hand as he spun around, crouching over Goku's raggedly breathing body. What the fuck? What just -? Where are you?

Nothing.

It had never happened before. What had closed the eye the gods had opened?

And then, seeping into his consciousness, like hearing the smell of smoke, like tasting the sound of iron dropped on stone, a single impression, lasting less than a heartbeat: tall, clad in the robes of a Sanzo priest, dark hair and dark eyes and darkly humorous smirk, 10 years ago and more, a fathomless hunger, the remorseless gravity of the void -

Ukoku Sanzo Houshi!

Sanzo fired his gun, but the target wasn't there. He found he was holding Goku, the boy's chi faltering and fleeting, but Sanzo's mind was elsewhere, racing through the streets of the town, seeking, questing, hunting with all the power that hate could give. He was hardly aware of Hakkai's cool green flare and Gojyo's diffuse warm glow when they arrived, barely felt Hakkai's fierce slap on his cheek, scarcely noticed the bloody burden lifted from his arms. "I will kill him," he said, aloud, staggering to his feet, and was gone before he could stop to think what Goku's chances really were.

When he came to himself, in the cold rain on a deserted street, he had no idea how much time had passed. He only knew that he had lost his quarry. And that it was no use praying. The gods never gave gifts when asked. If you were lucky, they gave you a chance to use what you already had, and somehow, he had just wasted his.

 

Comments

( 16 comments — leave a comment )
erinmacha
Jul. 9th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)
Excellent Sanzo POV from this portion of the manga! Brilliant!
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)

The "not amused" is for me ... I can't believe I didn't respond to these comments!

I'm really glad this worked for you!

priestess_grrrl
Jul. 9th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
Holy crap! Wow. That was really well done. I loved What had closed the eye the gods had opened? It must have been seriously disturbing, not just to have had Goku attacked in such a vicious way right in front of him, but to have always been able to rely on that third eye, and then suddenly have something (someone) violate that... Phew. Really intense. I'm still right there.
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)

I'm so sorry this response is so late!

I'm fascinated by the various powers Sanzo seems to have. There's never any explanation - he just does things! It's pretty definite that he can sense the chi of other beings (at one point he's looking at over-agitated wee Goku, and thinking "that ridiculous chi is on fire"), and it must have been like being unable to hear or see, suddenly.

I'm glad the writing worked that way for you!

jedishampoo
Jul. 9th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Oh, very nice way to explain Sanzo's little "weirdout" there. I like the descriptiveness of his impressions, both with and without that sight. :)
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)

Once I knew I wanted to do that scene, I went back and read through it, including looking up all the SFX in the back. And just at that moment, there's an SFX translated as "white noise." And I just went "hmm!" - because that goes so well with Ukoku's "nothingness." So then it all started to flow.

(Sorry this comment is late! I usually try to answer all the comments before I post the next story, but this week, every evening has been a mess one way or another.)

eyesofshinigami
Jul. 9th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)
Absolutely excellent. I loved how you took this scene and your interpretation. This particular part never fails to absolutely rip at my heartstrings (being the crazed 393 fan that I am. ^__^) and you hit it dead center. You captured Sanzo's desperation and the unspoken fear that he might actually lose someone close to him again.

Loved it. Absolutely loved it. ♥
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)

(Sorry this is late!)

Yes, I don't think I've ever seen Sanzo look so out-of-control freaked-out - at least, not since he was a young boy facing rape in the wilderness. That really struck me as well. I'm glad the story spoke to you!

(Deleted comment)
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)

Sanzo's idea of his relationship to the gods is really interesting. He's very casual about the idea of religion in general - but he knows some of the gods face to face!

I have a problem with my own writing, which is that lots of the time, I can tell exactly which author was influencing me on this bit or that. The part that you liked about the perception of Ukoku's chi was heavily influenced by 1950s/1960s SF author James H. Schmitz' description of perceiving a psychic entity called a vatch - he used that sort of mixed sensory language.



Edited at 2008-07-18 02:01 am (UTC)
purpleicicles
Jul. 9th, 2008 10:48 am (UTC)
*gasp* A Sanzo POV! Of that scene! And oh, you did it justice - Sanzo's voice was spot-on, and the whole theme of godly gifts throughout was a great touch. I mostly loved the last line, though, because I think that sums up perfectly just how lost and confused Sanzo felt in those scarce moments he begins thinking again.
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)

I get the impression that Sanzo's idea of how the gods deal with him is rather the way he himself would - so he feels he's responsible for making his own luck, so to speak. And he's got mystic abilities all over the place - he keeps revealing them bit by bit. So rather than blaming the gods for letting this happen, he's going to blame himself. At this time, he didn't yet know - although he's learning rapidly, in the current story arc - the extent of Ukoku's powers.

I'm so glad you liked it!

sharpeslass
Jul. 9th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)

Wow. Really well done. And painful... reliving that scene again. This fits in so well with the manga and seems very true to the events and to Sanzo. I got goose bumps. Seriously.
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)

I'm so glad you liked it! And so sorry this response is late!

lady_ganesh
Jul. 11th, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
Nice!
opalmatrix
Jul. 18th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)

Awww, thanks! (And I'm sorry this response is so late!)

lilyoftheval5
Aug. 26th, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
Loved the third eye/sixth sense thing - it should be explored more often. Painful ending though...
( 16 comments — leave a comment )

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