River of Stars Ch 9 bit – Terrible Twos

“So.” Sanzo leaned against the right side of the stone window-frame, looking out onto the moonlit garden outside their rooms; a spread of green quiet, dotted only by the :giggles: and :nestling: of sleepy dragons. “Were you able to get a good read on Shunrei’s chi?”

“Good enough, I think.” Hakkai leaned against the other side of the frame, green eyes only glancing at him; voice low enough that the two arguing over the palace floorplans back by the snack table should think they were only discussing Hakuryuu’s visit with the local dragon flock, or the burning shade of the moon. “The flow of her energies is different from yours. Much smoother, I doubt she needs more than a light dose of mononoke-ha once in a while to stave off headaches. But not nearly as powerful.” The monocle glinted. “So. It is… or I should say, you are… as you suspected.”

Sanzo leaned hard on emotionless stone. Easier to feel that against his skin than the :concern: and :wonder: from the man beside him. “You’re not… upset.”

“I am a child of Shangri-La,” Hakkai noted. “We know that souls can be born into new bodies. And sometimes a soul is born into a body that doesn’t fit it as well as it should, and- people change. By the grace of the Goddess, or bloodshed, or the simple need to protect another.” He shrugged. “Gojyo wasn’t born here; I’m not sure how he survived, when there’s not a trace of youkai genes on Earth. But if he is right, if all born of Shangri-La have a trace of other… then something I overheard in Ni’s lab finally makes sense. Ni’s problem wasn’t getting me to change. It was overcoming Gonou’s efforts to stop it.” Hakkai glanced down. “I suppose… to Gonou it was much like a cancer sweeping through my body. Instead of just latent youkai genes finally expressing themselves when I was – stressed enough.”

Sanzo blinked. Reran in his head exactly what he’d unearthed in Ni’s lab computers before he’d found Gojyo’s prison cell, and let it mingle with the folklore of Shangri-La that whispered in his dreams. “People… in the middle of a battle. Or a disaster. Or – who go to the temples and pray….”

“Sometimes change,” Hakkai finished. “To youkai, or kami. Even if they’re of Kanzeon’s Favored, sometimes.” He hesitated. “I think that’s what happened to you, after Koumyou died.”

Kami. He’d suspected it for… heh. Almost as long as he’d been alive, this time. Because the only way kami genes could have activated under that stress was if they were already there. And the only way an Earth-born human could have gotten kami genes spliced into his DNA was…. “No one gets through the Five Gorges alive.”

“…Are you angry?”

Sanzo snorted. Angry didn’t come close to cutting it. “Just trying to think how those idiots back at the temple would sputter if they knew they were being ordered around by a two-year-old.”

That startled a chuckle out of the healer. “You’re not, you know. Not really. Oh, chronologically, that body, yes. But physically – I’d say twenty, about? Old enough to have some sense.”

“Young enough somebody back at the SGC should have noticed, damn it,” Sanzo growled.

“Ah! But the chakra’s very distracting,” Hakkai smiled. “And the scowling. And – well, the gunfire.”


21 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 9 bit – Terrible Twos

  1. Sanzo wants to BREAK things now. Hakkai wants to help….

    Yes, Sanzo, the smoking, cursing, scowl, gunfire, and shear /viciousness/ you emit doesn’t leave much room for people to notice much else about you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. *cackles* and Sanzo *knows* his current body isn’t that old. Looks like Jack and Co don’t have to explain anything.

    I squealed when I saw another little chapter teaser on your blog. I’ve been sorta stalking it since chapter 8 went up on AO3 *laughs* This is just a fantastic story that I can’t get enough of.

    Of course, I’m also wondering how Kanzeon and Sanzo and Company would react to the Gundam boys showing up after Fiery Steed with Shinigami Daniel in tow because after that, SG1 *definitely* needed a vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sanzo is not dumb. Sometimes very distracted by staying alive, but… between the scars he didn’t have, and the time gap between when he remembered hitting the water and when he woke up, he suspected something was up before he and Koumyou hit the Centipede Clan castle. This is just confirmation. (He’d like to kill something now, please.)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. And who’s to say that they didn’t notice something hinky? Janet is a very sharp cookie. Besides that also assumes that someone would have said something to you if they noticed something weird – okay, empath who should have picked up the shift of eureka . . . provided that eureka happened while you were in range.

    Just saying that Janet probably did something some odd things and have been poking around with her samples, machines, and being a little confused simply because she doesn’t have all the puzzle pieces OR all the information needed to pierce them together . . . once she does, however . . .

    And if someone wants to complain about your age Sanzo, either chronologically or otherwise, then they might want to consider being better at their jobs. Any temple with a lot of your bullet holes in their walls is probably filled with people who aren’t doing the job they have properly let alone one as important and dangerous as yours.

    And as much as they annoy you, Hakkai and Gojyo are your idiots, everyone else can get their own. And Goku is certainly your bratty monkey and if they think they are taking him away from you, they better get another think real quick. Not that you’d ever word it like that. Probably what you’d say be along the lines “I can’t stick someone else with the monkey and idiots. They’d kill them and if anyone deserves to that, it’s me for having to put up with their stupidity for so long.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that Janet knows the fingerprints don’t match, she’s definitely reexamining her evidence. Hee.

      And, *Snrk*. Given what Jikaku knows, he’d state Sanzo’s actual age definitely doesn’t match his chronological one. By, oh, say… a few centuries or so….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s also really nice to see Sanzo isn’t dealing with that revelation alone. Like, 90% of mainstream fiction would have the character discover the truth by themself, and torture themselves with existentional angst in secret until their companions discover things for themselves and beat sense into the character.

    Instead, Sanzo has a suspicion Something Is Not Right, and enlists Hakkai’s aid in determining the truth, thus ensuring he’s got a support system for dealing with it. He’s ~relying on his friends~. Not that Sanzo would frame it like that. He’d claim he’s making use of the skills of his people, who may be Idiots but they are Competent Idiots, and that Hakkai’s too observant to hide that shit from anyway, so getting him involved from the start just cuts down on time spent dealing with Hakkai being nosy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oooooh, interesting.

    So if I’m reading this right, Sanzo noticed things weren’t quite right, but he still looked like his former self before the (2nd) attack on the Centipede Clan castle? And after, when Koumyou died and he became a Sanzo, is when he transformed into his current (previous life) appearance/body?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His appearance (down to the violet rather than blue eys, but minus the chakra) was the same from the point Kanzeon got his new body established to now (well, and minus apparent physical age). In other words, from shortly after he went down the Five Gorges. The only appearance change after Koumyou died was the chakra. He was already in that body.

      What happened was that certain genes got switched to “on”, and that shifted his body’s species from “potentially kami” to “actively kami”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So he assumed (until he started to suspect differently) his new looks when he woke up was due to Koumyou or Kanzeon playing with his dna to help him survive, and not due to getting a brand new body? Because I wondered why he or Gojyo didn’t seem to (verbally) comment on his different appearance, aside from Gojyo taking a moment or two to recognize Sanzo during the rescue.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. @YMFaery: The change in appearance is fairy subtle; I suspect that Gojyo didn’t really know him well enough before to notice a difference. Difference in attitude, yes, but not appearance. After all, Sanzo was only a member of the SGC for about two weeks before the whole mess went down, and going to Shangri-La he wasn’t assigned to Gojyo’s team, but the other one. So Gojyo probably noticed hair colour, light eyes, height, approximate body type, and that was it.

        And Sanzo has suspected this for a while now. When he first woke up, it wouldn’t surprise me if he thought he’d been healed using healing devices… but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he’d started to suspect something more was up even before the Rescue Mission. He definitely suspected afterwards.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. *Nod* Was pretty much my take. Gojyo’s reaction on seeing Sanzo in the castle? “Wait, dressed like a local, armed like a local, but speaks English and is rescuing me. I’ll take it. It’s got to be Dr. Genjyo, no one else would do that.” So any little odd details would get glossed over. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. >>Gojyo wasn’t born here; I’m not sure how he survived, when there’s not a trace of youkai genes on Earth. >>

    The bunnies have four theories:

    (1) Gojyo was just damn lucky that adding youkai genes to him didn’t kill him and that’s why he’s a hanyou rather than a youkai like Hakkai.

    (2) Youkai genes aren’t as restricted to Shangri-La as they believe (though how they got elsewhere would be anyone’s guess – Kanzeon herself, much further back due to the Ancient messing with stuff, again, an Asgard not being careful about putting the other species member back on the right planet . . ., etc.)

    (3) There is something else in his family tree that is already on the radar of River Saiyuki and Stargate universe that up his chances of survival.

    (4) Or that something else is, as the bunnies have already mused about, a couple of Red Lions. He has the coloring now they whine. And it’s a hook for crossover encounters. After all, he might want to see his family, joking to the others he finally has red hair like so many of his cousins . . .

    *cough* Sorry about them, Vathara, you know how stubborn bunnies are once they get an idea in their heads . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Personally, I lean towards #1.

      (*glances at Vathara and wonders how many chapters of “Doorway to Heaven” I should have written before I start imitating the blog posting….*)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A lot. If you’ve noticed, my posts tend to run about 300-700 words, so people can get a whole scene, or at least highlights. So I like to have a lot of buffer before I post anything. 🙂

        It helped that I had about 18 chapters of Around and 6 of River completely written before I started posting either of them!

        Liked by 2 people

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