River of Stars Ch 5 bit – defining sanity

A/N: Oh, Jack. It took you this long to figure it out…?


Hakkai listened, catching the regal tones that meant Sanzo was still in full regalia for the village elders. Crown and all. Which had served the dual purpose of impressing the locals and thoroughly distracting Dr. Jackson… who was currently being guarded by Major Carter and Teal’c, as Goku and Gojyo swept the village for any concealed youkai. Leaving Hakkai alone with the colonel behind the inn they’d last stayed at. How wonderfully thoughtful of Sanzo. “Well, Colonel… I thought we might have a little talk right now. About youkai, and clans, and exactly who is in charge of this mission.” The healer smiled. The day was warm, the sun was shining, and that endless pit of guilt and madness was finally gone. Which meant that the desire to remove his limiters and shred O’Neill’s uniform and skin with his claws – just a little, not nearly enough to kill – was purely his own. How comforting.

Gently, gently, the healer told himself. After all, the zatarcs are still out there. Even cranky as he may currently be, Sanzo’s not cruel enough to kill them all and leave none for the rest of us. “First – I told you, Goku’s not harmless. He’s certainly not a child, even if he is young. As far as Shangri-La is concerned, he is a youkai warrior, and he has every right to be on the battlefield. Especially when his clan leader is at risk.”

O’Neill’s eyes narrowed. “Dr. Genjyo.”

“Genjyo Sanzo,” Hakkai corrected him. “He’s been Sanzo since the day Koumyou passed on the title. He’ll be Sanzo until he dies. Which I doubt will be anytime soon; he’s stubborn enough to outlive all of us.” Another smile. “Second – Gojyo is ours. Leave him alone.”

That earned him a darker look, if a wary one. “Joseph Sha is a captain of the SGC.”

“Joseph Sha was abandoned, and perished,” Hakkai said simply. “It took a while – he held on to being human so very long – but between myself and Dokugakuji… well. Instincts are so incredibly interesting, don’t you think?” Gojyo’s, and his own. Months in the same cell had anchored him to the man; waking mine and protect and trust.

Instincts that weren’t human. Instincts he’d despised, with every fiber of his soul, the instincts of the creatures that had violated Kanan….

And yet, those same, awful instincts let him fight the dark well of Gonou inside him, and try to live. When he’d realized that… he’d let them come.

No, Hakkai thought. Not just let.

Between losing his body and mind, and losing his humanity… the choice wasn’t hard. Just agonizing. Focus on Gojyo; his scent, his laughter, his shifting body language as Dokugakuji literally beat into the man what it meant to be youkai. Let himself touch, and hold, and grip skin with teeth.

He’d hated being youkai, yes. But he’d hated Gonou more.

Now Hakkai focused on O’Neill, and gave a silken shrug. “Sha Gojyo belongs to Sanzo’s clan. As I do, and Goku does. You wouldn’t let someone shatter your team, would you? No, I thought not. So. Leave us alone.” He smiled slightly. “After all, I’d hate to have to rob Sanzo of an opportunity to dispense a moral lesson on the virtues of respecting the bonds of obligation and duty.”

O’Neill gave him a long, wary look. “…He’s right. No way in hell are you innocent.”

“I really didn’t want to kill our neighbors,” Hakkai said mildly. “But the Centipede Clan… well. I’ve heard rumors that some survived.” Not changing his expression, he cut the colonel’s tape. “People know that the servants of other gods do not come to Shangri-La without Kanzeon’s consent. Which is, I think, one reason the Tok’ra have managed to pass unnoticed this long. But do try to remember that you’re travelers from a distant land, making a pilgrimage to the Temple of the Setting Sun? Some of the local monks can be rather stiff about letting outsiders past their walls.”

“Village, not monastery,” O’Neill pointed out, eyeing the buildings around them as he rubbed tape-chafed wrists.

“Ah, but you should practice.” Hakkai granted him another smile. From the spike of adrenaline in his scent, the colonel did not appreciate it. “Sanzo was very, very polite on your world. We all were; well, Goku and Gojyo tried, at least. But that’s only proper. On Earth, we were guests. And a guest should always strive to be civil and courteous. Don’t you think?”

The colonel stood, with the sort of relaxed calm Hakkai knew was one breath away from controlled violence. “You are absolutely, one hundred percent, homicidally insane, aren’t you?”

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38 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 5 bit – defining sanity

  1. So if I’m reading this right, Sanzo hog tied Jack with duck tape to avoid killing him? Now I really want to know what Jack did to deserve that.

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    1. It wasn’t exactly Jack’s fault. *Wry G* Tok’ra translation of Koryo isn’t all the way accurate. Or, to be more precise, levels of insult differ between languages, and Goku really need to learn not everyone’s head is as hard as Gojyo’s….

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      1. >>It wasn’t exactly Jack’s fault. *Wry G* Tok’ra translation of Koryo isn’t all the way accurate. Or, to be more precise, levels of insult differ between languages, and Goku really need to learn not everyone’s head is as hard as Gojyo’s….

        Now my question is if SG1 got the proper language file or one that the Tok’ra ‘tweaked’ in revenge etc?

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  2. …. did Hakkai duct tape Jack to a chair? (And yes, Jack your self preservation is kicking in to confirm that Smiling Hakkai means he’s smiling thinking about how to make your insides outside. )

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      1. *excited squeak* The outside point of view of Sanzo with full crown and veils doing something actually holy would be interesting. He fights so often It’d be an intriguing thing to see someone go “Ooh, he actually IS a high priest. I can sort of see it now. (Even if he hates it.)” Because a Sanzo is a High PRIEST, not just Guardian of One Of the Scriptures, and that’s a difference.

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      2. Seconding the Daniel POV on Sanzo preaching or doing anything particularly spiritual or priestly – it would be interesting to see how an anthropologist would read someone as violent and constantly irate as Sanzo also clearly having rightfully inherited, or at least learnt, the duties that go hand in hand with his robes and title. *eyes you beseechingly*

        Or any headcanons about this, tbh. Sanzo is such a interesting mess/mesh of contradictions.

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      3. Hmm, and I didn’t get to show him actually chanting the sutra for the dead back in 4. Darn. Will have to see what else comes up.

        Though there is an interesting bit with Sanzo instructing an acolyte in – 6 or 7, have to check later.

        There’s a snake involved.

        …No, an actual snake. *G*

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh boy . . . . Sorry, guys, but Jack usually needs more than one whack from the clue hammer before things really sink in.

    Of course, dealing with people with an unfamiliar culture and an unfamiliar language – one that was downloaded into your head by a machine made by people who haven’t exactly been closely studying the culture and such – is bound to involve a few mistakes. Hopefully non-lethal ones.

    Side thoughts:

    My bunnies think it would take almost no time for the Magi crew to tag ikoku as dangerous, especially a smiling Hakkai. They know that kind of smile. They have seen it and know that it means to tread very carefully and very politely to avoid an untimely end (through Ja’far usually employs Death-By-Paperwork for his fellow Generals, King and Loyal Allies instead of the knives).

    They also think Ja’far would see the Paper Fan of Doom and go “Mmm . . . Where do I get a paper fan?”

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    1. *G* I’m currently picturing Jack’s face at Sanzo’s animal handling skills. There’s a snake involved….

      *Snrk* I suspect it would take no time at all for the Magi crew to tag the ikkou as dangerous. 1) The rukh is giggling around them. Of the “oooo, aren’t they interesting,” variety. 2) They noticed the security measures around Hancock. 3) They look at signs that say “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,” and say, “Yeah, that’s us….”

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  4. No, Jack. Hakkai isn’t 100% homicidally insane. Hakkai is so far past there that he stopped where complete monsters lived in order to execute a few of them with a kind word and a smile, then carried right on by. But he’ll be pleased to know it doesn’t show much, so he may thank you for the compliment.

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  5. *laughs hysterically*

    Oh, Hakkai. You will always be the one person more unhinged than anyone else in the room, and yet, will also be the one person everyone turns to when they need a dose of sanity. I’m not surprised it took so long for Jack to notice, it’s next to impossible to be able to tell unless Hakkai decides to let loose.

    The duct tape makes me very, very amused. And curious. But mostly amused. Hakkai smiling while duct-taping someone makes for some terrifying mental imagery.

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  6. I have always loved hakkai because as insane as he is, from an outsiders point of view he is probably the only sane man in the group

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    1. What is it in our genes that says calm is sane? Hakkai comes off as sane at first because he’s very controlled and deliberate. But then, so was Mayor Wilkins of Sunnydale.

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  7. It occurs to me that Jack is pretty used to dealing with people on his home turf with superiors he knows will back him up. Only now he’s in Sanzo’s turf and Sanzo isn’t so much a person who reports to his superiors as he is the superior backing everyone else up. The only way for Jack to get around Sanzo would be to get Kanzeon to agree with him… the chances of which are very low.

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    1. At least with respect to Shangri-La. With respect to Earth, SG-1, and the Asgard? Meh, who knows. He might have a chance.

      But yeah, with respect to Shangri-La and the ikkou, no, not a chance in all the Hells.

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      1. What’s interesting about this fic is that Sanzo does indeed get a chance to be very priestly in chapter 6 – as in a spiritual counselor.

        …Jack may have preferred being run over with a chainsaw. Maybe.

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    2. This. Exactly. Jack is really not used to dealing with people who legitimately have as much pull as he does – and are not afraid to use it.

      And here’s where assumptions bite again. On most Goa’uld worlds, “high priest” appears to mean “someone the Goa’uld lets bring in the sacrifices”.

      Sanzos… are not that. At all. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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