A/N: Konnichiwa minna-san! Welcome to my third Saiyuki fic! Just a few things, I personally think that it starts a little slow, but mayhaps that's just me ^_^ Also, I have one inconsistency within this story that I'm gonna go ahead and tell you about, I'm gonna use a lot of "Hey I sensed you coming" type stuff, but I'm also gonna have a lot of "Hey, I didn't know you were there!" stuff. So, just deal with it XP. Oh, and, some of the quotes may not be verbatim, but they're close enough, just didn't feel like looking 'em up XD Also, just in case you didn't know, the title is from the opening song of Gatekeepers.

Rating is R to be safe, nothing this chapter, but stuff happens in later chapters that might be seen as "inappropriate"

Special thanks to Kurai Yuki whose fic inspired me!! *everyone go read it!* and to Am1 the 13th who read and reviewed this chapter for me!!! *read her stuff too!* Thanks a bunch you two!!!!!! *^_^*

This is Y-A-O-I!!!!!! Don't like, don't read XD

For the Smile of Tomorrow

Chapter 1: Changes

To never again love someone so much that I cannot bear to lose them.

Loss. Pain. Solitude. Since his early childhood, Genjyo Sanzo had only known these things. Having already lost what was important to him, he was determined never to let it happen again. He vowed never to love, and he kept his vow. Kept it until golden eyes stared up trustingly at him from within their rocky prison.

Sanzo looked at the canopy of trees whipping by overhead. He could not see the sun through this dense foliage. Yet, he could still perceive its light. The sun was amazing in that way, being able to reach you no matter where you were. Even at night, it was still present through the moon.

He was the ray of sun I had been hoping for. My savior.

Sanzo sighed and light a cigarette, trying in vain to not think of Goku's comparison of him to the sun. He was no sun. Suns had a light of their own, and he needed Goku's light just as much as Goku needed his. Without that boy, he would still be the same person he had always been. Goku had changed him, whether the boy knew it or not.

'No, not a boy' Sanzo thought as he caught a glimpse of the saru in the side mirror. He had grown up quite nicely from the emaciated state he was in when Sanzo first found him. He had grown taller and more muscular. His lithe form accented by his almost too small clothing.

And he wasn't the only one who had noticed. With growing irritation, Sanzo had watched the female populations of the towns they visited take an interest in him as well. They had yet to approach Goku, as he was usually surrounded by Sanzo, Gojyo, and Hakkai, but Sanzo still saw the way they eyed him.

A flock of birds took to wing as the sound of the jeep (and the yelling from its backseat) disrupted their midday slumber. Sanzo watched the birds in flight as they searched for a new perch amidst the trees.

I wonder who it was who decided that birds were free….Perhaps true freedom is having a home to return to.

Home. Sanzo had never liked living in the temple. Home was not a word that he would use to describe it, or any place for that matter. But he couldn't deny that wherever Goku was, was where he wanted to be.

Sanzo took a drag off of his cigarette and let his gaze return to the sight within the mirror. Goku was in the middle of a heated battle with Gojyo at the moment about Buddha knew what. Sanzo watched with hidden amusement as Goku's face screwed up in annoyance and frustration before pulling out his ever present "ero kappa" insult.

To never again love someone so much I could not bear to lose them…………

His mantra. His only way of life after his master died. But now, things had changed. He knew what is was to care for someone so much that their happiness was more important than his own. 'If I ever lost him-'

"Sanzo!" Said monk looked up at the call of his name. He had never relished his title, but the way Goku said it almost made him love it. "Sanzo! Back me up! You said Gojyo was nothing but a no-good—"

"You've been talking about me again you shitty monk?" Gojyo broke in angrily.

Before the two of them could get him anymore involved in their squabble, Sanzo calmly lifted his gun in the air and let off a few rounds, effectively earning himself two minutes of peace while the two in the back cowered in fear.

Sanzo slid back into himself and once again began to examine the change that had come over him. Outwardly, he was the same as always. His companions could tell no difference in his manners, but he was different. He had finally admitted to himself that Goku was dear to him and that he couldn't bear to lose him. The only question was, what now? What does one do after throwing away his life's mantra?

His reverie was cut short as they came out of the woods and found themselves in a beautiful meadow. The town lay a little distance away yet, and the view was breath taking. Or, it would have been, had the beautiful meadow not been filled with blood thirsty youkai. 

Goku and Gojyo leapt out of the jeep, thrilled at the chance to vent their pent-up energy. Hakkai and Sanzo calmly followed them into the fight. As Goku was fighting, he cast a sidelong glance at Sanzo who was eliminating almost as many youkai as he was.  Goku thought it strange as Sanzo was normally content to let the others do most of the fighting.

His eyebrows knit together as he tried to pinpoint when exactly he had noticed this change in Sanzo, but he was unable to do so. Goku took his frustration out on the next attacking youkai. Why wasn't I watching him more carefully?

This change in behavior from someone so steadfast in nature, worried Goku even though the change in itself was not a bad thing. The fights ended much sooner with Sanzo helping out. Goku surveyed the area looking for possible threats. When he found that all of the youkai had been eliminated he let his eyes settle on Sanzo. There's something different about him lately……….

Sanzo stood, looking down at his blood splattered robes and hands, deep in thought. Goku approached him carefully and tugged on a sleeve. "Sanzo? We need to leave now if we're gonna reach the inn before nightfall."

"Hn." Was the only reply that Goku received. Still contemplative, Sanzo climbed into the waiting jeep and lit another cigarette. Goku cast a worried look at him, before climbing in behind him.

During the ride to town, Hakkai and Gojyo chatted amiably about the battle and upcoming dinner, but their words fell on deaf ears, as Sanzo and Goku sat contemplating each other.

            ********************************************************************

The Sanzo-ikkou walked through the market place in search of an inn to stay the night. The streets were alive with the hustle and bustle of those getting ready for dinner and were so crowded that Hakuryu had to transform back into his dragon form. As they were walking Goku veered to a meat bun stand and began to eye it hungrily.

Sanzo moved to pull him along, but before he could the young woman behind the counter leaned forward and addressed Goku. "See something you like?" she asked seductively. Sanzo's eyes narrowed at her suggestive tone, but Goku simply nodded happily, still eyeing the food.

Sanzo decided to intervene before he was forced to shot a seemingly innocent woman. He grabbed Goku by the arm and steered him back to the others. As they walk away Gojyo patted Goku consolingly on the back. "Ain't that a shame man. You coulda totally scored with her too."

"Huh?" Goku looked up at Gojyo confusedly. "What are you talking about Gojyo?"

"That woman totally wanted you. She was practically undressing you with her eyes. You gotta become more aware or you're never gonna get laid."

Goku turned red at the accusation and turned his gaze to the road in front of him. "Shut up Gojyo. That's not what I want."

"Girls not your style then?" he asked slyly with a surreptitious wink at Hakkai.

"Shut up you ero kappa! I just mean that I'm not a slut like you!" Goku yelled, hands balling into fists.

Gojyo jumped forward so they were nose to nose. "You wanna say that to my face monkey boy?!?!?"

Hakkai rolled his eyes as he stepped between the two. "Maa, maa. Look there's an inn up ahead that looks nice, I'm sure it has plenty of beer and food."

"What? Where?" The two spoke simultaneously and ran towards the indicated building as Sanzo and Hakkai calmly walked behind them.

Inside the lobby, a young girl was manning the check in desk. She blushed when she saw Goku, and started eyeing him shyly. Sanzo rolled his eyes in annoyance (::cough:: jealousy ::cough::) and spoke harshly. "We need rooms."

She jerked her head at his tone and talked quickly to appease the disgruntled customer. "Oh you're quite lucky, we're the only inn in town with any rooms still, what with the festival going on." She frowned as she looked at the books. "Though, I'm afraid there's only two left."

"That's fine, we'll take them." Sanzo replied as he put the credit card down on the desk. 

Goku tugged Sanzo's sleeve pleadingly. "Ne, Sanzo, I'm starving."

The receptionist looked up from what she was doing and said, "Oh, I'm sorry sir. But the dining room doesn't open for another hour. We close between lunch and dinner to clean up."

"Well, then I propose we go freshen up and meet down here in an hour." Gojyo suggested. He slung an arm around Hakkai and grinned wickedly.

"Good idea." Hakkai answered. He took one of the keys offered by the receptionist before the two of them practically ran to their room.

Sanzo rolled his eyes at the two men's antics. Ever since they had gotten together a month ago, they had been downright incorrigible. He took the other key and began walking, knowing that Goku was behind him.

When they got to their room, Sanzo sat down and pulled out his newspaper. Goku stood nervously beside him for a second, then spoke, "Ne, Sanzo. Do you want me to wash your robes for you? I was gonna wash mine anyway, and you don't want that blood to stain." The sentence was rushed, and Goku waited for Sanzo to yell at him for being stupid.

Instead, Sanzo looked up at him then slowly stood and divested himself of his robe, eyes never leaving Goku's. Goku felt his face grow hot at the sight, and as soon as Sanzo handed him the robe he dashed from the room.

            ************************************************************

As Goku carried the clothes down to the river behind the inn he contemplated what had just happened. 'What was that about? It's not like I've never seen him without his robe on before. But the way he was moving was so-'

"So we meet again." Goku looked up and saw the girl from the meat bun stand washing clothes in the river. She stood up and extended a soapy hand to Goku. "My name's Mika, what's yours?"

"I'm Goku, nice to meet you." He politely replied. The two of them sat down next to the river and started washing their respective clothing.

"I usually hate having to wash our aprons, but I'm happy that I did today. I'm glad I got to see you again. I wanted to talk to you more. Your friend seemed like he was in an awful big rush." Mika began speaking nonchalantly, while casting glances at the young man beside her.

Goku refused to meet her gaze. He kept his focus on Sanzo's robe. "Yeah, Sanzo's like that."

"But, you're not in a rush now?" Mika asked as she leaned a bit closer to Goku.

Goku shifted away from her, and continued washing. "Well, I've only got an hour and I need to get his robe cleaned."

Mika reached over and put a hand over Goku's. "Why don't you ditch it and come have some fun with me? The festival only comes once a year."

Goku pulled his hands away and continued to work on a blood stain that was refusing to come out. "I told Sanzo that I would wash it for him, I really don't want him to be mad at me."

"What about later?"

This time Goku raised his eyes from the river and met her gaze. "Excuse me?"

"Are you doing anything later?" She leaned in, if possible, even closer, and this time Goku didn't miss the look in her eyes.

He backed away from her and frantically sought for an excuse that wouldn't seem too rude. "Well………you see……"

Mika sat back and pouted. "What's wrong? Don't you like me? Or is there someone else that you like?"

Goku jumped at the reason. "Yeah! That's it. I'm sorry, but I'm in love with someone already."

Mika smiled and went back to her washing. "Well, she's a lucky girl. Sorry if I made you nervous."

"No, it's fine, don't worry about it." Goku turned his attention back to Sanzo's robe and breathed a sigh of relief when Mika gathered her clothes and left.

            ************************************************************

Later that night, Goku sat on the roof of the inn staring at the stars, his conversation from earlier running through his head. 'Someone else that I love…..'

He sat up in shock as he felt Sanzo's presence on the roof. "Sanzo! W-what are you doing up here?"

"You were so quiet during dinner, I thought maybe you were dying or something." Sanzo teased as he neared his charge.

"You were worried about me?" Goku asked, voice full of wonder. It wasn't often that Sanzo showed that he cared, but he always seemed to be there when Goku was most troubled.

"I never said that." Sanzo lit a cigarette and sat next to Goku, who laid back down and resumed his search of the heavens. After a minute's silence, Sanzo spoke again. "Want to talk about it?"

Goku lowered his eyes and stared at Sanzo's back. "I saw that girl from earlier and she asked me out." He noticed the way Sanzo's entire body tensed slightly at his comment.

"Just don't turn out like Gojyo. I refuse to allow you to behave in such a way." Sanzo spoke with the slightest trace of……something in his voice. An emotion that Goku could not place.

Goku spoke softly, "I'll never be like Gojyo." He paused and then, "To be honest, this isn't the first time it's happened to me. I mean it's never been that blatant before, but I'm not as clueless as you think I am. But the thing is I've never been interested. I know that I will never behave like Gojyo. I don't want that."

Sanzo turned his head slightly and looked at Goku out of the corner of his eyes, "What do you want?"

The young man turned his eyes back to the stars and said the first thing that came to his mind, "I just want to stay with you."

Sanzo smiled, but it was a sad smile full of future pain. "But you cannot always be with me Goku."

Goku sat up quickly at the statement, his heart filling with the fear that Sanzo was going to cast him aside for some reason. He was desperately searching for a way to change Sanzo's mind when the monk continued his thought.

"I am mortal. One day we will be separated by my death. What will you do then Goku?" He looked Goku straight in the eyes, searching them for the truth he wanted to know.

Goku met his gaze, and spoke with conviction. "I will wait for you."

"Wait for me? For how long?" Sanzo cocked his head a little to the side as he contemplated Goku's responses.

"For as long as it takes." Goku unconsciously reached out and grasped the front of Sanzo's robe, as if the contact would strengthen his words. "Forever if I have to."

Sanzo raised a hand to pet his head in his usual manner, but his hand stopped halfway and he placed it instead on Goku's cheek. His voice came out no louder than a whisper, "Forever is and awfully long time. What if I never come back?"

Goku, struck breathless at the display of affection, managed to whisper in reply, "I waited for you before, and you came. I believe that you would come again."

Sanzo stared into those trusting eyes that were exactly the same as when they had first met. One of the few things that hadn't changed. He sighed sadly. "Whatever you say now, one day you will long for a family and a life of your own. And on that day, you will leave me." He stood and slowly left the roof.

Goku watched him leave and sat for a long time staring after him.

            *************************************************************************

A/N: Ok, chapter one out of the way! Don't worry, Mika is not gonna be an OC, this is the only time she shows up. Can't have anyone getting in Sanzo's way now, can we? ^_^ Quick author rant: man I wish people would stop writing SanzoxHakkai fics! *sigh*