Hey, Konzen. Give me a name.
What's with the sudden request?
Next time I see Nataku, I want to give him my name. I want to be properly called by a name.
There is a monkey following him.
There is an amnesiac chibi monkey following him who has spent 500 years in a cave and beats up gangs of armed thugs and apparently can send a distress signal directly into his fucking brain without even realizing it and the monkey wants to know his name.
He's got a name that the monks of Keiun use when addressing their teenage abbot--Sanzo-sama.
He's got a name that other abbots use during interminable official visits and that the three floating heads use when they give instructions to their errand boy--Genjyo Sanzo-dono.
He's got a name that people call him when he's on the road, obeying the whims of the Sanbutsushin or climbing motherfucking mountains just to get some peace and quiet in his own brain--Hoshi-san.
He's got a name that he has to write out character. by. character. in the salutation of every. single. letter.--The 31st Successor of T'oa, Genjyo Sanzo.
He hasn't got any names that tiny immortal asskicking monkeys might use. Those aren't even names so much as titles.
(Once he had that kind of name, a name that meant him and not "the shoulders under the sutra"--Kouryuu. But the very last of Kouryuu burned away with the ashes of Abbot Jikaku.)
He should just walk away, refuse to answer. Anything he says is just going to encourage the little bastard to keep tagging along after him or even starting up that insane mental wailing again and then he really will have to kick someone's head in even if it's his own.
Some deep-down part of him, though--a part that likes perfect margins and impractical armwear--tells him to Answer Goku, idiot and before he can stop himself the words are out of his mouth.
"The 31st Successor of To'a, Genjyo Sanzo."
I'll give you one some other time.
No, now! I want a name now!
Then it's 'Saru'. I've decided on 'Saru'.
Meanie, I'm even begging you!
Before he even finishes saying it, he knows his full title was the stupidest choice possible in these circumstances. Fortunately, being an 18 year-old abbot at the biggest monastery in China provides excellent opportunities to practice talking out of your ass and glaring authoritatively at people until they believe you. Unfortunately, monkeys don't understand how bullshit is supposed to work.
You can almost see the little gears going round and round in the brat's head until the cuckoo bird comes out.
"Zouda?" He's been compared to a lot of things in his life, from avenging ogres to pretty girls. "Elephant" is a new low.
"The 31st Successor of To'a, Genjyo Sanzo." This is going to slide right off the little shit's brain like undercooked lo mein off the wall, isn't it.
The kid's face lights up like a firework. There's a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"Then you're gonna be 'Sanzo'!"
It has been a very long day, it's not like there's anyone else around who's going to answer to "Sanzo", and at least he's not going for more zoo animals. "Whatever floats your delusional boat."
"Sanzo. SANzo. SanZO! Saaaaaaanzo Saaaaaaanzo Saaaaaaanzo!!! Hey guess what, Sanzo: I'm hungry!"
...Sanzo has never had greater appreciation for Koumyou's patience and forbearance.
Why you little...!
...Goku. It's Goku.
Short and easy enough even for a monkey to remember.
Hehehe, I'm Goku!
Hey, Konzen, what's it mean? What's it mean??
It means shut up and go to sleep already!
Awwww no fair!
Goku's stomach rumbles; it's like music to his ears after so long in the cave. He may not remember why he got dumped in there to wait but now he's out! And there's sun and trees and birds and he knows his own name and right now that's all he needs. Sanzo is here too and he's even better than the sun, even if he is a grouch, because he cared enough to reach through the bars of the cage to take his hand.
In his heart of hearts, though, Goku actually feels a little sorry for Sanzo. Whoever named him must not have been half as good as whoever it was that gave Goku his name. That big long thingy isn't him at all.
But Goku's fixed that, so everything's okay now.
You were the one who reached out for me first.
Next time, I promise: I will be the one to reach out for you.