Test of Time

Author: Blubelle

Ch.1 The Long-Awaited Return

Summary: The journey is long over and after a five year absence Goku finally returns to Chang'an bringing along more than a couple of surprises. Will love rear its ugly head? Of course it will! 3x9 & 5x8!

A/N: Hiya! I'm back! Damn, it's been a long time since I've written anything so excuse anything that is particularly bad. Hopefully I can get into the swing of things soon. Oh well, right? Haha, I'll finish this up at the end (please read it). Byebye, enjoy!

Disclaimer: All characters excluding Nishi are the property of Kazuya Minekura.

Ch.1 The Long-Awaited Return

"Have you heard the news?"

"Yeah, I got a letter from the little beast yesterday." One disgruntled monk stated solemnly to the other. Their bald heads gleaming in the beautiful rays of sun that drifted into the confines of the Chang'an Temple courtyard. The two monks continued their daily ritual of tea sipping and gossiping on the terrace as usual.

"A letter you say? You did continue the message correct?" The second monk asked taking a moment away from his tea drinking to stare at his companion.

"To who? It isn't as if anyone would really care whether the wretch came or not. Besides, the boy hasn't been running amok for quite some time."

"Five years if I'm not mistaken. Although, I seem to remember master Sanzo taking a liking to the boy. I do believe that they traveled together or was it that they..." The second monk trailed off obviously losing his train of thought at the sound of someone clearing their throat from behind him.

"Ah! Master S-Sanzo. Ou-our sincerest apologies."

"Please forgive us master!" The monks stammered as they grabbed their tea and kettle in a hurry and shuffled out of the room. Sanzo rolled his eyes at the sound of their long robes rubbing and rustling against the ground as the two monks scrambled away from their superior in honest fear.

Sanzo gazed at the old wooden flooring of the veranda, obviously sobered by his thoughts. Replaying what the monks had said over and over within his mind. At first he was angry at the monks, not only gossiping about him but for their lack of relaying such an important message. He just couldn't believe what was happening. His anger quickly dissolved into something he hadn't truly felt in a long time. . .

. . .Happiness.


They had finally arrived. Goku stared amazedly at the temple before him. It hadn't changed much, the only differences being the amassed foliage throughout the grounds. Besides the little adjustments it was exactly as he remembered it. Perfect, with its boundless sun and continuous grassy knolls. He couldn't move, entranced by the sheer beauty of the place and the memories that hadn't come to mind for years.

"Goku!" Goku snapped back to reality due to some light tugging at the hem of his shirt and the little whine that escaped his young traveling companion.

"Sorry Shi. I-uh, forgot where I was for a moment there. Let's go." Goku scratched the back of his head with his reply, and after catching a bright smile from the face looking up at him, they headed through the gates.

The two of them walked in silence into the temple, both too consumed with their surroundings. They passed door after door as well as a few groups of whispering monks. Goku looked down as his "partner-in-crime" scooted closer to him, occasionally dropping behind him as they continued down more and more corridors. The young girl's grip on his pants getting firmer at the same pace as Goku's growing anxiety.

"Relax Nishi, there's nothing to be afraid of," he stopped for a moment and smiled down at her, masking any fear he himself may have been experiencing.

"I'm not afraid!" The girl cried indignantly, moving away from Goku to continue down a particularly long hallway.

Goku smiled at her attempt to cover her nervousness and took her tiny hand in his.

After traveling down hallway after hallway, Goku could see that his young companion was growing restless. She was sweating in her long sleeved sweater; her refusal to take it off obviously leaving a sting. She simultaneously yanked at the neck-line of the sweater as she clutched the thick material covering her abdominal region.

Goku stopped momentarily and looked towards the girl now holding his hand. "Everything is going to be okay. Okay?" Goku asked, giving her his best and most calming smile. Leaning down he scooped her up in one practiced motion. "I'm here Shi, relax a bit won'tcha?"

Nishi looked Goku straight in the eyes and nodded before burying her face in his neck and throwing her hands around his shoulders, or at least as far as they would go.

Goku continued to walk down the corridors with the girl in his arms. He was beginning to become agitated, not remembering the place to be as big as it was at that moment. Was it just incomplete memories or was there an unplaced emotion tucked within him, perhaps anxiousness, hope, or even nervousness? So consumed was he in these thoughts that he barely realized what lay around the corner until it was nearly too late.

Almost dropping Nishi he looked up at the one face he'd wanted to see for five years. He stood up straight and adjusted the girl in his arms as he took in the sight before him. Sanzo hadn't really changed, and even if his appearance had changed (which it hadn't), he would always be the same to Goku.

He lightly tapped Nishi's cheek to get her attention. She too looked over at the nonchalant priest only a few feet in front of her. Her eyes got big at the realization of who she was looking at, and then promptly hid her face under Goku's chin once again, keeping it so that one eye could continue to look at Sanzo.

Sanzo stood leaning against the wall, his arms crossed against the chest band of his usual robes; a stub of a cigarette hanging from his half parted lips. He didn't even spare a glance their way. He took one final long drag from the tiny bit of white connected to the filter and after blowing the smoke out of the side of his mouth he stood motionless. The brown of the butt began to burn before he finally reached one lonely hand up to snatch it between his index finger and thumb. Throwing it to the ground and staring at it with his usual casualness.

The two in front of him could only gape at his fluid actions, no words or even meaningful thoughts coming to their minds.

Shaking himself from his stupor, Goku was finally able to attempt speaking, "Sanzo. . ."

"Goku, you're back." Sanzo stated, obviously unfazed by his entrance.

"Ye-yeah. It's been awhile." Goku said uneasily, unsure of what to do now that he had finally reached his long-awaited destination.

"Goku-" A muffled cry came from the crook of his neck, startling him back to reality.

"Oh! Sanzo, I'd like you to meet someone. This is Nishi. I- uh, guess you could say she's my daughter. . ." Goku trailed of apprehensively, uncertain of whether he should say more.

Sanzo's gaze moved back to the ground, he was shocked for the first time in a long time- probably around 5 years to be exact- but he masked it quickly before turning around to face the two travelers once again.

"I mean-"Goku continued, "She's not my real. . ." His voice drifted off. Goku sighed heavily. He was way too tired to be going into this.

He watched as Goku slowly put the young girl on her feet. He looked at her carefully as she continued to cling to Goku's pant leg. She was obviously of the human race, with her wide blue eyes and long light brown hair. She wore a beige, long sleeved sweater and long pants only a few shades darker than her top. The lack of coloring in her attire making her bright blue eyes only stand out even more. Her face was slightly rounded, one of a child no more than 6 or 7 years old.

Goku noticed the way Sanzo was staring at Nishi, his Nishi. He hated it. It was like he was judging her every move, scrutinizing every aspect of her being. It was unnerving, but he tolerated it.

Sanzo's unwavering stare moved on to Goku, who promptly glared back at him. Sanzo ignored the look and continued to take in his appearance, which oddly had changed a lot over the last few years. He was slightly taller, bringing him to a few inches above Sanzo's shoulders. His clothes were much looser on his lithe, muscular body, consisting of nothing more than a white sleeve-less shirt and long, shaggy khaki-colored shorts. His face had mysteriously aged as well, or maybe it was the attitude it exuded. His face looked much more mature, more defined instead of the youthful one he remembered. And, as the wind picked up slightly in the drafty open hallway, Sanzo realized that he no longer sported his short neat hairstyle. It had grown out once again, like it was all those years ago when they first met. A single ribbon was tied at the base of his neck to keep it neat.

Sanzo couldn't believe it, Goku looked like he'd grown so much more in those five years than all the years that he'd known him before that. It made him a little depressed for a moment until he caught himself and straightened up.

Goku couldn't take it anymore, Sanzo had stared at him for what seemed like hours. He grit his teeth and pushed out the only words he could muster at the time, "so are you going to invite us in?"

"Why?" Sanzo was utterly confused at the moment. Goku shows up with some girl out of the blue and, he'd changed so much, Sanzo wasn't sure if he was the same person anymore-

"We- uh, kinda haven't eaten in a day. . . or more."

Well some things don't change.

Yay! First chapter is over. Well I've been mulling over this story for a whole lotta months now and I'm just happy that I've finally gotten it out.

Sorry if any of this is OOC, I tried my best but at the same time I wanted them to be a little different just because so much time has passed since the journey. I wanted Goku to seem more mature and Sanzo to be a little more cold-hearted (if possible – oh and it is!). I always loved it when Sanzo smiled and especially when he laughed on the show. It was like a breath of fresh air, don'tcha think? Maybe it's just me. Let me know if I need to tweak it or just plain trash it. Damn, it's been awhile. I still can't believe it (obviously). Oh well. Hehe

Well in the next chapter, we see more of the girl and it's all topped of with a whole lot of fluff. Sanzo and Goku's relationship is going to be a little slow but it shouldn't take more than 5 chapters to get to. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

Next Chapter: "I knew I should have stopped Gojyo from teaching you how to steal food from the table."

Sorry, the quote was going to be longer but I decided to cut it to a one liner. Sorry it isn't a particularly good one.

Thanks and please review, only if it's just a few words, let me know you're out there! Flames, corrective criticism, shout outs, anything and everything is accepted so don't hesitate, but please be honest.