By:  Ami

Beta Reader: kitsune-oni

-- Era of Freedom --

I thought it was angst, but then my kind beta, kitsune-oni-nee-chan told me that it was a Romance/General. XP Bad me. Bear my mistakes. I'm a beginner.

DISCLAIMER       : Will you believe me if I told you that Saiyuki is mine?

GENRE                 : Romance/General

RATING                : PG-13

PAIRING              : Goku/Sanzou

TRAILER              : After the journey, Kanzeon Bosatsu took Goku back to Tenkai. In his loneliness, Sanzou began to regret many things. In his sleepless night, he just wished that someday his saru would return. Would he?

WARNING           : slight angst, shounen ai, fluff, curses, hopefully, it didn't turn out OOC.

Here we go…

Sanzou looked at his newspaper blankly. The blurred words of the newspaper's headline about a reformation of human government had barely touched his brain cells. His full attention was loyally dedicated to the last conversation between his saru and him — he meant —his ex-saru.

Sanzou threw the newspaper on to the floor and closed his eyes, tired.

His monkey was no longer his.

Goku had gone.

He had left.

He wouldn't come back.

Now he was alone again.

Sanzou took a deep breath. He really needed air now. He needed fresh air to clean his polluted brain. He needed fresh air to prevent tears from flowing out of his violet orbs. He was sad. He had never felt so sad in all his 23 years of life. It was double the sadness he had felt when his master had died. His monkey had gone. His pet had gone. The boy he had taken care for more than 7 years had gone. He had left.


"Kanzeon Bosatsu commanded me to get back to Tenkai," Goku said with a hesitant tone, "She told me… there's something I have to do. But she wouldn't let me know. She just asked me to go and—"

"What are you waiting for?" Sanzou tried to hide the trembling in his voice, "Are you asking for my permission?"

"………I don't know." Goku bowed his head. //The truth is… I want you to tell me you don't want me to go.// Goku looked at Sanzou sadly. //But… it seems impossible, ne? You never change, Sanzou. You're just so you.//

"Do whatever you want." Sanzou didn't even bother to turn and face the saru for the very last time; "…you're old enough to decide anything by yourself."

Goku sighed and pasted a fake smile on his face.

"……Fine then…" He turned away and opened the door, "…Good bye, Sanzou. Thank you for taking care of me for these past 7 years."

Sanzou could hear the sound of a faint sob from the boy. The sob he would never forget for his whole life

"Good bye."

And so he left.


//Was that all, Goku?// Sanzou looked at the half-emptied beer can in front of him. //Was that all you wanted to say? Thank you and good-bye? Ch. You used to be so noisy but at a time like that you would just speak a little.//

Sanzou crushed the can with his right hand furiously.

//At least you should have spoken a bit more… so that I could have memorize your noisy voice better… baka…//



"Sanzou! Itai, yo!"

"You gave me a world that was brighter than the sun."

"…good bye, Sanzou."

"Thank you for taking care of me for these past 7 years."

"Good bye."


Sanzou opened his eyes.

He had fallen asleep.

He looked out the window. It was still dark.

Stretching to loosen his stiff back, he stood up and walked over to his office desk.

Narrowing his eyes in the darkness, he tried to read the date of the trashed documents.

March 29th.

It had been a week since Goku had left. The suffering days didn't seem to come to an end. It still felt as painful as the first day. Sanzou groaned at the feeling that he would feel this way for the rest of his life.

//This is my punishment. My punishment for not being honest to myself… and to the saru.// Sanzou looked at the rising sun. Unfortunately he wasn't in the mood to admire the beautiful scenery in front of him.

Watching the sun reminded him about the saru's silly words. Goku had always called him a sun. He had thought he was a sun.

"You're shining."

//A sun.// Sanzou smirked. //Which part of me is a sun for you, bakazaru? I'm just a shadow. I'm dark. Sun my ass.//

Throwing the nth emptied beer can, Sanzou climbed on to his bed and lay there for a few minutes in silence.

Chang An Temple was very quiet without the troublemaking monkey.

Suddenly everything had become dull. Suddenly everything had become boring. Suddenly everyday was too quiet.

Without the troublemaking monkey, nothing would be the same.

Yesterday, a concerned Hakkai and Gojyo had come to the temple to pay a visit. Sanzou had ignored them. Hakkai had advised him to call Kanzeon Bosatsu and ask her to return Goku to him. Sanzou had snorted at the suggestion. As a matter of fact, he really wanted to do so. But his pride just wouldn't let him. He was Genjo Sanzou, for Heaven sake! And he wasn't planning on crawling at the feet of a bothersome goddess to beg for a bloody saru!

……or should he?

Sanzou gritted his teeth impatiently. Thinking about the saru made his head even heavier.

"You're pathetic, bouzu. Fine. Just go and live with your pride. I want to see the time when you finally realize that the saru is more expensive than that silly pride of yours."

Sanzou threw a punch at the imaginary Gojyo in front of him. His words were still ringing in his ears. They did strike right to the spot.

Sanzou stood up and decided to get some more beer.

Alcohol was the only thing that could make him calmer now.

And so he walked outside the room before bumping into a pile of abandoned newspapers. Sanzou cursed. Looking at the newspapers, he realized that it had been a long time since he had read the morning newspaper. He was used to read it in the morning, but now, reading it just reminded him more about Goku. Goku used to take the morning newspaper inside his room in the morning.

//And now he is gone.// Sanzou thought bitterly as he dumped the newspapers inside the trash bin.



Sanzou didn't even bother to open his eyes to know.

He could feel the light of the bloody sun with his eyes closed.

He didn't bother to get up either. Today was no different from yesterday. … yes, something was different. Today was the 8th day since Goku had left.

Of course it was different.

Sanzou stirred and opened his eyes slowly.

A Sakura petal landed on his bed.

So… it was already spring.

Sanzou looked outside the window. He had forgotten to close it. And the spring wind was blowing Sakura petals into his room.

//Beautiful…// Sanzou took one petal and gazed at it. //When Goku came for the first time, it was spring too…//

Sanzou crashed the petal in his hand. //Mustn't start thinking about the bloody saru again. Life goes on. I shall keep living without him. Maybe later, I'll get used to it.//

He lay back onto the bed and closed his eyes in exhaustion.

His mind loyally returned to the usual morning he had had with Goku.

//At this time, he used to wake up.// Sanzou's mind explored past memories. //Then I would hear a loud 'thud' from his room next door. He always bumped into something when he got up. Usually it would be a table or chair… but mostly a cupboard. Ch. Careless saru.//


Sanzou blinked.

What was that?

Sanzou peevishly closed his eyes again. Now he was starting to imagine things. How pathetic!

//Mustn't think about him again. I'm starting to lose my mind.// Sanzou settled his head onto the pillow to get in to the most comfortable position. He recalled that today was the spring ceremony in the temple, but he refused to get up. The boring ceremony would just bother him more. He was already too tired for everything, even to attend a bloody ceremony.


Sanzou narrowed one eye as he heard a knock on the door.

Who the hell was it?

The monks were all afraid of him. Since Goku had left, not a single living thing had dared to disturb his peaceful time alone in his room. Yeah, it had been only Goku who had special permission from Sanzou to bother him. Just Goku and no one else.

"I am not attending the ceremony. Just go to hell and bother someone else," Sanzou answered. It must be the monk who reminded him about the spring ceremony, that's what he thought.

The person stopped knocking.

Sanzou drifted back in to a daze.

He thought he could finally get of bit of peace.


The person opened the door without a single word.

Sanzou was furious, ready to yell at the person, whoever he was.

He was about to curse when his violet orbs caught sight of the person.

He widened his eyes in both amazement and confusion.

//I must be dreaming.// He decided. //I'm imagining things… I'm out of my mind.//

He blinked and looked at the person again.

The person was real.

He blinked again, but the person who was grinning mischievously at him was still there.

"Sanzou," the person said with a smile, "It's already late for the what-you-called bloody ceremony."

Sanzou quickly regained his composure. He had never felt so happy in his entire life. But of course as the almighty Genjo Sanzou, he could hold himself and not jump over to the boy and hug him tight. He still had his pride, you know.

"Why did you come back?" Sanzou tried to hide the happiness in his tone.

"Sanzou… you sure have been thinking of me a lot." Goku grinned mischievously.

"Don't be so sure." Sanzou glared with a slight blush on his cheeks.

"Didn't you read the newspaper?" he pointed to the headline of the newspaper he was holding.


"There wasn't only a revolution in the earth's government, you know." Goku smiled as he extended the newspaper to the stunned Sanzou. "I have my freedom now. Homura's tragedy sure brought a lot of changes in Tenkai." Goku sat beside Sanzou on the bed. "The era of freedom has come… Don't you think it's a beautiful statement?"

Sanzou smirked and folded the newspaper into a mini paper-fan. And--


"Itte~!" Goku shrieked, "I've just came back and that's you welcome me?!"

"Come on, saru. We're late." Sanzou stood up and put on his robe.

"Late? For what?" Goku widened his eyes. "The Spring Ceremony? You're going to attend it?"

"Idiot. Why would I go to such a boring ceremony?" Sanzou opened the door. "It's already past breakfast time. Come on."

"Breakfast?! Yahoo~! Let's go!" Goku yelled happily as he followed Sanzou in to the town.

Passing a calendar, Sanzou stopped for a second to look on today's date.

April 5th.

Sanzou smiled faintly.

Now he loved spring for 2 reasons. [1]


Tell him you love him while you have the chance.

Nobody knows what'll happen tomorrow.

~ Ami

October 8th 2003


[1]: We all know that April 5th is Goku's birthday. ^^ It was the date when Sanzou found him and took him home.