River of Stars Ch 3 bit – Centerfold

Openly puzzled, Hakkai peered at slick pages, and turned the bound magazine sideways. It didn’t help. The image remained as exotic and incomprehensible as before: an endless moment of a spray of water, a multicolored ball, and a tanned blonde wearing too many bits of cloth to be comfortable in the river she was poised to slip into and far too few to be proper anywhere else. Even Kanzeon wore more, though not as – ah – opaque….

“Oh, for the love of- it’s the swimsuit issue, Hakkai.” Gojyo waved a hand at Sanzo. “Explain it to him, will you?”

The priest calmly sipped a cup of juice, modestly spiked with Gojyo’s flask. “That would require that I understand it in the first place.”

Hakkai smiled worriedly, even as the kappa sputtered. Even spiked, the sugar in the juice would only go so far. What Sanzo needed was a beer, or three, or preferably an entire bottle of spirits. The stronger a monk’s abilities with nin – what bits of Gonou’s memories tentatively identified as projected psychic energy – the higher their alcohol tolerance. Most of those skilled in “holy magic” got by with a daily glass of spirits. Sanzo could, and had, drunk an entire bar of full-blooded youkai under the table.

A fortress whose military doesn’t drink. Officially. There is something very wrong with this place.

The SGC didn’t drink, and they didn’t smoke – at least, not in any of the levels their party currently had access to. Which meant he and Goku were stuck with a han’you and a priest still cranky from energy-manipulation headaches, with no treatment beyond little tabs Dr. Fraiser called aspirin.

Hakkai had tasted a little of the bitter powder himself, tracing its effect on his own chi. While it might be a nice painkiller, and quite good at thinning blood, it had no effects on the nerves even close to mononoke-ha.

We are so, so doomed.

And neither Gojyo nor Sanzo seemed inclined to ask their hosts to bend their rules. Or tell him why, beyond Sanzo’s not-very-informative mutter of “they wouldn’t believe I’m not an alcoholic”.

I suppose we can let it rest, for now, Hakkai reflected. Sanzo didn’t use the sutra for very long, and I think he’s only been listening since we got here. If we can keep enough sugar in him…he’ll be irritable, yes, but he won’t be in actual danger.

That would be the tricky part. Between the man’s picky stomach and his tendency to just curl into a ball of sarcastic misery when it rained too long…. Sanzo tried, Hakkai had seen the man fight himself too hard not to know that. But stress – and for Sanzo, “you can’t shoot the idiots” definitely counted as stress – always, always made Sanzo stop eating.

I’ll just have to nag him, Hakkai decided. Quietly. Like always.

“-I don’t care if you do keep a friggin’ vow of chastity!” Gojyo was grumbling, hands flung up to implore the ceiling. “Just because you’re on a diet, doesn’t mean you can’t explain the menu!”

Sanzo sipped. Set his cup down. Eyed Gojyo. “I only love them for their minds.”


12 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 3 bit – Centerfold

  1. Why do I have a feeling that Sanzo, being an empath, maybe a telepath, is more literal (not the right word in hindsight, but i can’t think of better) then most people would be in this situation?


    1. *Wry G* He is indeed not speaking metaphorically. It’s canon that Sanzo does not like to be touched “that way.” For reasons we can only speculate, but there are some heavy hints of barely fought off assaults in the past. Oof.


  2. Mononoke-ha… I know I’ve seen that word somewhere else in this story… I can’t remember where though…

    I’m betting that whatever Sanzo and Gojyo need from alcohol and nicotine won’t work as well with earth alcohol and cigarettes.

    And SGC would figure that religions that look like Buddhism would have problems with alcohol…


  3. I knew the no smoking and drinking thing was gonna be a problem. I generally don’t like either but if it helps calm down extreme stress and maybe prevent a fight from breaking out I have no problem looking the other way.


  4. Oh boy . . . . this set-up is almost as perfectly primed for explosions as the current situation in Around.

    And poor Gojyo running into the wall of not-everyone-interprets-the-world-the-same-way-you-do. Look, dude, not everyone looking at women in bikinis (barely in the bikini these days if I remember the swimsuit issue controversy correctly) are going to go “oh yeah.” The reaction can range anywhere from “Huh? What is the point of this?” to “Scantily clad women is not really my thing” to “Why is someone showing me this? I don’t play for that team.”


  5. Owwwww, this is like locking Kenpachi up with no Yachiru and no one to fight. So, given that Sanzo has already mentioned that the mononoke-ha is a calming agent, when he was talking to his teacher the spelling of who’s name I totally just blanked on, Earth cigarettes won’t have it. Hakkai has already noted that the smoke from Earth cigarettes was sharper in smell, nothing at all like Shangri-La’s. Makes sense to have all the spiritually sensitive to be drinking down soothing pain killer. So, is there an agent in the cigarettes and alcohol that make them like Gabapentin? Works on the nerves, and for neurological conditions.


      1. Gabapentin is used for nerve pain, and to treat certain mental disorders. It can be used safely in dogs as well for the same conditions. So, the effect might not be dissimilar to monoke-ha. At least, in soothing the pain have two different sets of DNA. So, is Kanzeon working on smoothing out the kinks of her jury rigging, or is it just that the ikkou are being hit harder?

        And it just hit me that Gonou was the one in love with Kanan. Meaning, he’s a Tok’ra, who fell in love with a mud monkey. I wonder what High Command will have to say to that….. Couldn’t happen to nicer people. Though, did Gonou have the same thing happen to him as Hakkai? If a pregnant host (and with all the fics about needing to run from Go’auld beds, does that mean any Go’auld who lusts after humans is considered a sexual deviant, on par with Jabba the Hutt?) can produce a baby with Go’auld memories, then a DNA changing procedure done in the host can affect the parasite!


      2. It’s not a case of having two different sets of DNA. It’s a case of, not all the DNA in one individual came from the same evolutionary source, which means some of the various bits don’t always play within others’ tolerances without a little help.

        This actually isn’t unknown in the real world – check out bdelloid rotifers, and be prepared to blink. (They integrate random DNA fragments from the environment during parts of their life cycle. They can have plant DNA. Seriously.)

        Kanzeon does research ways to smooth out the kinks a bit, but sometimes you hit a point of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

        And yes, actually, the ikkou are being hit a bit harder. They do scout and combat. That wears on anybody’s nerves. They use a lot of energy – mental and physical.

        And, heh. Hakkai may not realize all the ins and outs of Gonou’s relationship with Kanan and her symbiote. The High Council… had some idea. There were Reasons. They went kablooie.


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