The aftermath of Gyu mao's death leaves more devastation than expected; with one dead but all broken inside, what will it take to raise their spirits?

Serendipity:.

Rating: PG-13 for Language and mild sexual innuendo

Genre: Drama; Angst

Pairings: 939; Goku x Sanzo

"Sanzo, if I died, would you be able to go on with out me?"

How long ago was it that he had heard that? It felt like far too long. But it was only a few months...

It was a crisp, beautiful day; the sky was clear, and the air was warm. None of that mattered, in fact it didn't matter what the weather was like; it was awful. Things were far too quiet amongst the men. While most people were out celebrating the death of Gyu Mao, the Sanzo Ikkou were left in somber dispositions.

Four went in, and seven came out. It was an unexpected turn of event. Sanzo could hear his companions speaking about it in their own room

"I still can't believe Kougaiji used his own attack on his father," Gojyo murmured quietly as Hakkai meticulously wrapped his still healing wound. He recalled how Kougaiji and his group had gone rushing in when things looked their bleakest. Kougaiji had summoned his powerful Engokuki to keep the demon at bay.

"I am quite grateful Miss Yaone was there to warn us the building was going to collapse on us. I fear we would have not made it out alive if not for her..." The brunette suddenly became sullen, as he worked out the muscles in Gojyo's shoulder. "I'm still...so sorry..."

The half-demon just smiled and ruffled Hakkai's hair with his good arm. During the battle with Gyu Mao, the devil king had raised his sword, ready to slice Hakkai in half, but Gojyo had come to Hakkai's aid and shielded him from the deadly blow. This brave act had cost Gojyo his left arm, which had been viciously hacked off. "Look...if one arm was the only thing I was going to lose to keep you from dying, then I have no regrets."

"Gojyo," Hakkai started to say before Gojyo gave him a push on the forehead.

"Don't you start getting all teary on me." The man smirked, pulling his long hair back. "It's fine. I don't need you crying over things that's already been done. We had this conversation before didn't we?" Gojyo stuck his tongue out at his partner, before patting him on the shoulder.

Hakkai gave him a soft smile, nodding in agreement. "Yes...we did in fact..." He finished wrapping the wound around his waist, then carefully put the medical supplies away. "I glad there weren't any life threatening injuries....but...." He stopped right there, continuing to wrap the spare bandages. Gojyo was also silent, recalling the event and exactly what had happened.

"Damn it...I told that kid to stay down. He was already injured," The demon growled softly, clenching his fist. "Gods...if only I had stopped him while I had the chance...he'd still-"

The brunette moved closer to the man, resting his hand on his clenched fist. "It was his choice...I think he knew he was going to die..." He smiled weakly. "And we both know he wouldn't want to die in a coma...he'd want to go all out, die in battle. I'm sure he's happy..."

Gojyo gave Hakkai's hand a small squeeze, before slumping his shoulders. "I know but...what about..."

Hakkai could only sigh, looking towards Sanzo's room. "I'm not sure...he only woke up about a week ago. He seems fine, but then again with Sanzo you never know..."

Night soon fell, and the two demons continued to talk. Sanzo growled every time they spoke softly to each other. It got to the point that he dragged his weakened body out of bed and slammed the door closed. He didn't care if they heard; he just wanted to get some sleep.

Or maybe he was just in denial. Was his lack of sleep because of their talking, or was it because of something else?

"Sanzo, if I died, would you be able to go on with out me?"

The words continued to bother him, and he recalled the conversation he had with the golden-eyed youth not too long before the battle. And he was still wondering what he should have said.

"Weeeell?" Goku sat on the end of Sanzo's bed, leaning forward.

The man gave a gruff noise as he continued to inhale his tobacco. Finally he gave a short reply. "That's a stupid question, Saru."

The boy sat up, no...not a boy Sanzo took a quick glance at him, and then he looked away. He wasn't just a boy anymore, he was a young man, and he had proven so to Sanzo in more ways than one. He shook his head, puffing on his cigarette, before Goku smiled.

"I think I know the answer." He grinned and plopped on the bed, kicking his feet. "I'll just have to make sure I stay with you forever, wont I?"

The blonde snorted, twitching slightly. "Gods, now that's a scary thought..." He put out the cigarette and calmly stood up to go to the kitchen.

"Hey! Don't act like that!" The teenager whined and quickly clambered up to follow after him.

That had been about 3 months ago, just a few days before their final battle. Sanzo had realized the young, chocolate-haired teen was starting to get a bit more dominant; when Sanzo got into one of his moods, Goku wouldn't take his abuse, and bite back with just as much ferocity that he couldn't maintain a depressed mood. Instead he and the boy would fight it out until Goku managed to tackle him to the bed and ravage him roughly.

This was not to say Sanzo didn't enjoy it; there was something about his charge's high energy and attitude that he had become attracted to. While all these years he'd been living in his past, Goku moved toward the future. And then, that first night, Goku pulled Sanzo out of his stationary life and carried him onwards as well. A night of warm kisses and pure ecstasy, and Goku voiced his love in a way that didn't involve words.

Sanzo remained in denial for such a long time, but eventually he returned with soft replies.

But all that was over now. There would no longer be soft fingers rubbing his arm consolingly; no bright golden eyes that carried life and love in them; and that once annoying, ear shredding voice, was gone forever.

Sanzo held a hand over his eyes, rubbing his thumb into his eyelid in slow circles. "Dammit." He swore quietly. "That stupid idiot." He sat down on his bed, before collapsing against the sheets. "Who cares, I sure as hell don't. I hated him anyway. Annoying as hell saru."

Hakkai prepared breakfast the next morning, a huge meal since the men had not had a good meal in months. He hadn't had a chance to prepare any good meals since he had been ill from poison for a few weeks, and it took him quite awhile to get over it. His internal organs were beyond full repair, and Hakkai often found himself having terrible coughing fits. This morning he was feeling well enough to cook.

"I do hope Sanzo will join us this morning. He's been walking much better than before." He smiled at his companion whom was eating his bacon.

"Nah, his majesty will want his food served in bed as usual, he's going to get a HUGE as-"

"Who are you talking about, you damn Kappa?" A hoarse voiced croaked out.

Hakkai looked up, seeing Sanzo using the doorway for support and twitching in annoyance. "Ah, I'm glad you could make it." He pulled out a chair for Sanzo to sit in. "I know you don't eat much meat, so I made some ramen noodles for you." He smiled and waited for the man to take his seat.

Sanzo just grunted in reply, hobbling over and taking his seat. It took him a while to get along anywhere, but at least his leg would heal over time. The monk didn't look at the other two as he took his silverware and ate his meal in silence.

In fact, the meal was far too silent, and Gojyo was becoming edgy. He decided to try and start up a conversation. "So, Hakkai and I were planning to head back home in about a week. Hakuryuu's been healing up and we should be back on the road soon." He glanced towards Sanzo for any kind of reaction.

Hakkai just nodded, petting the small dragon sleeping on the table. "That's right. You can go back to the temple and resume your normal duties like you wanted to."

"Fantastic. Can't wait." He sipped from a glass of water, resuming his meal.

Gojyo gave him a bit of a dirty glare before deciding to prod a little further. "Boy, the trip back sure is going to be quiet isn't it? Yep, really nice and quiet, not like the first time around."

The brunette shot Gojyo a warning look, knowing what he was up to and silently urging him to stop.

The red haired man noticed the look, but acted as if he hadn't as he continued to annoy the man. "And I can have the back seat ALL to myself. I'll have plenty of leg room! Yep, no more bratty, annoying, squirmy-"

"GOJYO." Hakkai quickly stood up but was cut off when suddenly Sanzo was up in a whirl, the barrel of his Smith & Wesson down Gojyo's mouth. The brunette gawked, too stunned to say anything. He was used to Sanzo aiming his gun at Gojyo, but never like this. "S-Sanzo..."

Gojyo was too stunned to move even if his could, but he refused to look shocked as he gave the man a dirty look, ignoring the metallic taste in his mouth.

"Care to continue your sentence in hell?" Sanzo cocked the gun, keeping his finger on the trigger. There was a deadly silence, as empty violet eyes stared into red. Finally, without warning, Sanzo pulled his gun out harshly, and fired the bullet up into the ceiling. He growled in anger, slamming his chair to the ground as he stalked to his room on his limp legs. "We're going back tomorrow. I have no god damn time to deal with you bastards."

And so it was settled.

The next morning Hakkai found himself awake earlier than usual. His bedside was empty, and he pulled himself up to look for his companion. He heard the sound of snipping coming from the bathroom, and went over quietly to see what it was. Inside he could see Gojyo attempting to cut his hair, but with the use of only one arm his hair looked choppy, unclean. The brunette sighed a bit, opening the door quietly as he moved silently over to Gojyo. While the man was unaware of his presence, he took the scissors and began to cut his hair.

"What are you doing Gojyo?" he said in a soft voice as he began snipping Gojyo's hair. "I thought you liked your hair long."

Gojyo only shook his head slightly, grinning. "It was time for a change, Hakkai. You've been letting your hair grow out, so I decided, 'Hell, why not try something new' you know?"

Hakkai gave a faint smile, also shaking his head as he continued to cut the red locks.

The sad reality of the matter was, they needed a distraction, they needed change, they needed to forget everything that happened, and they needed to start off new and fresh. After the battle Hakkai found himself worrying less about things in the past. After Gojyo nearly dying, and with Goku's death, he knew he didn't have time for such trivial things.

Gojyo had matured as well, after fighting alongside his brother and settling their differences, things just started to come together. No longer did he constantly fear what he was, and he no longer thought about his abusive mother. Right now he had all he needed.

After about an hour of trimming and messing with, Gojyo's hair was finally the way he wanted it. It was much shorter than it was before, and a bit spiky on top. The red head smirked and ran his fingers through his hair. "Thanks, Hakkai."

"My pleasure." Hakkai gave him a small smile. "Well then, since we're done, shall I go wake up Sanzo and we can be off?"

"May as well," He murmured quietly, before standing up and stretching. "It's going to be...so weird this time..." The man remarked as he lowers his eyes a bit.

"I know what you mean..."

Despite this, they continued about their daily life, and Hakkai went to awaken Sanzo.

The ride in the jeep was a quiet one; the group had been traveling for about two weeks. This drive went a lot smoother than the drive toward the mission, yet the silence made everything harder.

Gojyo often tried to start up a conversation, but normally Hakkai was the only one who'd comment or speak with him.

"You know what guys, I think we need to celebrate our victory. I mean we KILLED Gyu Mao!" He tried to sound positive as he sat up.

Hakkai smiled, continuing to drive down the path. "That seems like a nice idea. I believe we deserve a break. How about we get a nice bottle of Sake?"

"No way! We need a victory meal!" He replied, getting a bit more excited now. "A buffet! Or a huge steak! Maybe some rice cakes, and some meat buns, and some sukiya-" Sanzo had remained quiet all this time, but the mention of the word 'meatbun' made him growl loud enough that Gojyo quieted down. The red haired man slumped back down in the chair, realizing his mistake. "Look, Sanzo...I..."

"We have no fucking reason to celebrate..." The blonde hissed, clenching his fist. "He's the reason we're alive, and he's dead now. You still think we deserve a treat for that?"

"LOOK. I was just trying to hel-"

"Help? You're doing a shitty job of it."

Hakkai frowned, trying to maintain his grip on the wheel. "I'd appreciate it if you two did not fight while I was driving. I am trying to concentrate."

Sanzo raised an eyebrow, before growling. "Normally you didn't care befor-"

"I SAID...I need my concentration." Hakkai said in a firm voice as he continued to drive.

That was how most of the drive went for the next several months. It felt empty in the jeep, and they kept expecting Goku to suddenly show up from out of nowhere and cause his usual mischief. They were in denial, there was no way he could be dead, not like that. They'd wake up one day and he'd be sprawled out atop his futon.

Too bad that day never came.

The trip back was a much shorter that time around, and for many reasons. It only took about 6 months to head back to their home, and it was very relieving to see Sanzo's temple come into view. Out of the entire group, he'd been the edgiest, even if he didn't want to admit it. He'd spent most of his time in the jeep brooding and constantly lifting his head as if he heard someone calling him.

Hakkai parked the car in front of the temple and Sanzo slid out, remaining quiet. Gojyo, for once, was at a loss for words, but Hakkai tried to speak. "So...Shall we come visit every now and then?"

"Do what you want." The man muttered as he entered the temple grounds. He glanced up, immediately noticing some younger students wasting time, as he growled and barked at them to get working.

Gojyo sighed as Hakkai pulled the jeep out and started headed towards their old house. "Think he'll go back to his old self now?"

Hakkai just shook his head, driving rather slowly. "He's hiding it, but I know he's hurting inside far more than we are."

"Well...yeah I guess." The red head pulled out a cigarette, relaxing in the jeep as he puffed on it idly. "At least he's got people to yell at again..."

"That will not make him happy though."

Gojyo was quiet, before he put his left arm around Hakkai's neck, being careful to keep cigarette away from his face. "Things...will get better." He said, trying to sound hopeful. "At least for his sake."

It was about 4 days after returning to Chang'an, but Sanzo had already resumed his role of being the bastard monk. After a few minutes of the monks running up to him and praising him, he immediately yelled at them for not working. This was not quite what the monks were expecting, but they quickly scrambled off to appease their master.

Sanzo moved through the hallways often, as if he were looking for something. He'd see young boys with their elder masters, playing and learning, laughing and having a great time. It made Sanzo sick to his stomach.

'Why the hell am I here...?'

He kept walking around, before hearing a childish giggle and a puppy's barking. He froze and started to run towards the sound, rounding a corner and seeing a child covered in dirt. He was wearing normal robes, and had short dirty blonde hair; he saw Sanzo and quickly stood up, hiding the puppy behind him. "S...Sorry Sanzo Sama!" He squeaked.

Suddenly, an elder monk came running over. "Shin! What are you doing!? What have I told you about playing with dirty animals?!" He raised his hand, ready to smack the boy.

"That's enough." Sanzo said loudly, his voice stopping the man as he looked up. "He's just a boy. Let him be." He shook his head before turning around and leaving the monk stunned and confused. Sanzo walked down the hallway, realizing what he was looking for was definitely gone. The blonde went back to his room, as he collapsed on the bed, rubbing his temples.

Those words again, those words were haunting him.

"Sanzo, if I died, would you be able to go on with out me?"

"God dammit..." Sanzo muttered in a weak voice, covering his eyes. "Why the hell did you ask me that...? Of course not you idiot..." He rolled over on his stomach, driving his face into the pillow as he clenched it tightly. "Stupid...idiot...you broke your stupid promise..."

He recalled the battle as if it were yesterday. In fact, how could he forget? He flinched at the memory and tried to think if there was anyway he could have saved the boy.

Sanzo gripped his leg, a huge piece of the ceiling had fallen, crushing his leg and leaving the man vulnerable for attack. The poison that had filled the room was finally dying down, as Hakkai forced the gas to dissolve with his shield. The man started coughing violently, unable to see the huge sword coming at him.

Sanzo was too busy trying to break free to see what was going on, pulling at his leg and making a loud cry of pain. "God dammit...!" He hissed, clutching his leg. That's when he looked up, seeing huge claws aimed right at him. His eyes widened as he clutched his gun, now empty and out of bullets. "Shit..." He readied himself for high levels of pain, as blood suddenly splattered against his robes.

It wasn't his blood though.

He looked up and saw four claws ripping into an orange cape and red shirt. Sanzo's eyes widened as a boy with chocolate hair coughed up some blood, using himself as a shield and pushing against Gyu Mao's hand, keeping him from harming his master. Gyu Mao growled and pulled his fingers out, hissing at the boy. Goku looked over his shoulder and gave a weak, bloodied smile.

"Sanzo...don't...you dare die..." He cringed, holding his stomach which now held large, gaping wounds from Gyu Mao's attack. The only thing on his mind was to protect Sanzo as he held his head in pain. There was no other way; he had to do it.

"What the hell did you do that for you IDIOT!?" Sanzo screamed, before he suddenly paled, hearing the sound of metal clanging on the floor. He stared at Goku's diadem in disbelief, as a weakened Seiten Taisei shrieked and lunged at the Demon King's face.

Everything suddenly moved in slow motion as the small demon began clawing at the larger one's face, tearing apart his eyes and growling. Gyu Mao kept mercilessly pounding on the boy, when suddenly a fiery entity rushed at them, sending the huge demon to the ground.

Kougaiji stood in the doorway with Yaone supporting him. He was badly injured after being the first to feel Gyu Mao's wrath when he had been awakened. Dokugakuji and Lirin were not far behind, as each of them tossed Sanzo a scroll. "We found the scriptures like you asked…" He grunted, shifting in pain. The scrolls had been thrown around in an explosion, and Sanzo needed them to perform the final ritual to defeat Gyu Mao.

But the monk was practically in shock as he watched Seiten writhe on the floor, just moments away from death. The small demon pushed himself up, blood coating his body before he collapsed, unable to move anymore.

"What are you waiting for?!" Kougaiji screeched at him, breaking Sanzo out of his trance. "DO IT."

Sanzo shook his head as he quickly laid the scrolls in front of him all horizontally, before clasping his hands together, muttering the final chant that would end the mission once and for all.

There was another growl, as he finally pulled his face away from the pillow, breathing harshly. "God...dammit it all...Was there really no way...?" He closed his eyes, deciding he was too exhausted to think anymore.

Sometime around midnight the man flinched in his sleep as a light illuminated his room then faded out. He heard an annoying voice murmuring, then someone opened the window as the moon shone in. This caused Sanzo to get up quickly, as he noticed a woman's silhouette. He recognized her almost immediately before growling. "What do YOU want...?"

The Goddess sat on the ledge of the window, her arms crossed over her chest as her face shown in the moonlight. "Nice to see you too." Kanzeon smirked. "Glad to see you finally completed your mission."

Sanzo growled, throwing his sheets off. "What the hell do you-!?"

Kanzeon hushed him, putting a finger to her lips. "You're so loud. You need to lower your voice..."

The man twitched, folding his arms over his chest. "Idiot...it's my room..." He did as she asked and spoke softer. "What do you want...here to antagonize me again? I don't need it, woman. Just leave me alone. I did what I was asked and I don't feel like doing any more mercy missions. Find yourself another monk."

His aunt just smiled and shook her head. "I didn't come here to have you do something. I came to give you something for all your troubles."

"Oh great...like I'd really want a present from yo-" A sudden sound cut the man off, as he looked up at the woman with a raised eyebrow. It sounded like a very soft hiccup, too young to be coming from Kanzeon. He narrowed his eyes, moving closer to her. "What the hell was that noise...?"

Kanzeon smirked and stood up, standing in the moonlight. Sanzo could see now why her arms were crossed; she was carrying something in her arms. "That's why I told you to be quieter." She moved closer to him, showing him what was in her arms. "Don't tell me you have never heard a baby hiccup before."

Sanzo stared at the small infant in her arms. it couldn't be anymore than a few months old. "A...baby...?" He snorted, turning away. "Why would I want a little brat for?"

"A brat? How mean." She rubbed the baby's head, as something glittered under her fingers.

The shine caught Sanzo's eye, as he peered over and saw something unexpected on the child's head. "Is that...?"

"A limiter? Of course, he gets very feisty if he doesn't have it on."

Sanzo paled, as he moved back over to them, looking down as the small child. The boy yawned and waved out his fat, tiny hands as if trying to find something. He hiccupped again, his little chest jumping as he rubbed his eyes. He slowly opened them, looking around before spotting something and looking up at Sanzo with huge golden eyes. He immediately started clutching the air, as if wanting to grab Sanzo. The baby began to hiccup again more, as if he were excited, and tried to get Sanzo's attention.

Kanzeon looked down at the boy, before grinning and carefully handing the boy to Sanzo. "Looks like he recognized you right away." Sanzo quickly grabbed the boy, holding him under his little rear and keeping a hand under his head, as he held the baby close to his chest, getting a strange feeling.

"Who is this..?"

"I think you already know."

Sanzo was speechless, trying not to show emotion towards the fragile infant who was currently nuzzling the man's chest happily. He found himself hugging onto the small child, unable to hold back as he closed his eyes, hiding his face into the boy's fuzzy, chocolate brown hair. The baby squeaked slightly, and sucked on Sanzo's cheek, cooing softly. "How...?"

Kanzeon gave a simple shrug. "Not quite sure. About nine months ago, a peasant from down below found an egg-shaped rock, and brought it before the gods. I knew right away what was inside and had them keep it safe. It only opened a few months ago, and I had some maids nurse him for awhile, but now he's ready to return to his master."

It was almost too much for Sanzo, as he sat down on the bed, trembling. "So...it's really...?"

"He must have kept a very important promise, in order to revive himself like this just for you." Kanzeon said with a smile. That's when Sanzo remembered the words Goku told him not too long before they went to Gyu Mao's castle.

"I'll just have to make sure I stay with you forever, wont I?"

"...Yeah..." He smiled softly, letting the baby cuddle him. "A promise..."

The sun shone in the room, causing Sanzo to groan as he woke up. He held his head, sitting up in his bed as he stared out the window, grunting in annoyance. "That...stupid woman...now she's invading my damn dreams..." He stood up, growling and twitching. "I almost thought it was real...how stupid...He's never coming back..."

He started to walk out of the room when suddenly, a squeak made him freeze in his place. Sanzo turned around slowly, seeing something move under the bed covers. "...No way." He moved over quickly, pulling the blankets aside and finding a small baby amongst the sheets. The infant stared at him with his huge golden eyes, squealing as he flopped over on his fat tummy.

Sanzo just stared at the baby, before he sat down on the bed, picked up the tiny bundle, and held him against his shoulder, hugging him softly. "What the hell am I going to do with you, Goku..."

He sat there for awhile, just petting Goku until he soon fell asleep in his arms. "This time..." He murmured, kissing the boy on the head gently. "Things will be different...I'll do things right this time."

Almost a year had passed and a small baby ran around the house, squealing as he clutched a poor white dragon in his grasp. Gojyo was chasing after him, trying to free the small animal from the baby's death like grip.

"OI! Chibizaru! Put down the dragon or I will be forced to tickle you!!"

Goku shrieked and continued running, his fat little legs able to keep him away from Gojyo's evil grasp. "Nuuu! Nu tickuls!!"

Sanzo sipped from his coffee, watching the two fight before shaking his head. Hakkai smiled, putting down his book. "Just like old times, isn't it?"

"Yeah..." The monk said calmly, watching the boy giggling and laughing as Gojyo finally caught him and began the onslaught of deadly tickles. Sanzo had decided to live with Hakkai and Gojyo, at least until Goku was old enough to learn how to use a broom. That's what Sanzo said, but Gojyo and Hakkai knew things had felt too weird when they were separated. They felt the same way.

Hakkai watched them as the baby fled from Gojyo and clung to Sanzo's leg, screaming. The blonde quickly picked up the boy, giving him a light thwack on the nose. "What have I told you about being annoying, brat?"

Goku just clung to Sanzo's waist, hugging him and sucking on his thumb. "Mine...s'mine..." He muttered, looking over at Gojyo with a pouty look.

Gojyo just snorted, as Hakuryuu took refuge on his head. "You can have him." Sanzo covered his face, hiding a blush as he put the boy back down so he could play some more.

Hakkai chuckled softly, taking a sip of tea as he murmured in a soft voice to Sanzo,"At this age he's old enough to be your son, or at the most your younger brother...what are you going to be to him, a father?"

Sanzo was quiet for a long time, taking his time with the answer, as he final smirked and replied. "Sanzo. I'm going to be his Sanzo. That's what he would want, and that's how it's going to be." He ended the conversation at that, and pulled open a newspaper.

They resumed a new life, yet it all remained the same in the end.