Disclaimer: I do not own Saiyuki. Written for fun, not profit.
Warnings: This story is rated 'M' for adult situations, including blood, angst, self-injury, male/male sexual relations, violence, etc.
Pairings: Goku/Sanzo/Goku (main), some Gojyo/Sanzo
Introduction: When Sanzo decides to undergo past-life regression therapy, it triggers a series of unexpected side-effects that will change everything. Now, it's up to Goku to set things right, but is he too dazzled by the light to see the truth, even as it casts him into darkness?
My Sun, My Supernova
Sand in the boots, again.
Sanzo just grits his teeth in distaste and resists the urge to empty the offending substance from his footwear. It would not do to let the other three catch wind of his minor discomfort, after all. Besides, Hakkai has assured them that it will only be another day's travel before they reach the village at the edge of this forsaken wilderness of sand.
Upon Hakkai's insistence that Hakuryu be given a break, Sanzo has in his turn insisted that they continue on foot, despite the sweltering heat. Technically, this isn't a true desert, more like scrubland, but the seemingly endless expanse of sand, the heat and the scarcity of any real shade are enough to make it feel like a torture chamber after a week's trek.
Besides which, they have been making rather a forced march of it, on Sanzo's says it is his wish to make up for time lost after their final encounter with Homura, and the added delay of allowing themselves to recuperate before continuing west. However, Sanzo does seem especially adamant on putting this desert between themselves and recent occurrences.
But the heat. Sanzo wonders irritably how Goku and Gojyo can keep at it even in this temperature. After a time, their continual quarreling begins to drone away into nothing more than a distant whine, a mere buzzing in his ears. Sanzo is more troubled by other matters. He has been for some time now, and what bothers him the most is that he can't quite pinpoint the reason behind this unrest. Something to do with Homura, he thinks vaguely. Or, more accurately, triggered by Homura.
He frowns, wracking his mind for answers that remain ever elusive, as a distant mirage. He does not notice Hakkai's concerned glances, as the green-eyed man attempts to read the monk's thoughts through the expression on his face.
The day wears on, relentless in its monotonous drudgery. The sun hangs high in a tomb-still sky. Yet Sanzo's thoughts remain caught up in a storm of confusion.
Something he had said just before his death…
"Konzen…that time five hundred years ago…"
Trudging onward, one foot in front of the other, Sanzo broods silently. Why should he put any significance at all into the ramblings of a dying creature, god or otherwise? And yet, there is something…something significant in those words. He feels almost certain of it. But what? What does it have to do with him? Or Goku?
Sanzo snorts dismissively, earning another glance from Hakkai's direction. He has no intention of getting into that line of thought right now. But the truth is he hasn't been able to get the troublesome creature out of his mind since the recent events in Homura's castle.
There's always been a connection, a strange bond, between Goku and himself, he knows this, can feel it, as clearly as he had heard the voice that lured him into the mountains in search of its source. This bond is more powerful than he would ever like to admit. But now, it has become almost a physical presence in its intensity, and it disturbs him, for he knows not how to deal with the disordered and unwelcome emotions that it seems to stir up inside his cold and guarded heart.
The buzzing in Sanzo's ears continues, although his companions are, at the moment, walking together in silence. He no longer feels the sand gritting in his boots, and it's getting more difficult by the moment just to keep his head up and eyes open let alone try to think coherently.
The air feels devoid of oxygen, filled with nothing but stifling heat. His breathing gradually becomes laboured as his pace begins to slow, causing the others to follow suit. He becomes aware, through the haze in which he now finds himself sinking, that Hakkai is saying something to him.
Vacant violet eyes sluggishly turn towards the sound of the familiar voice. Hakkai is offering him a canteen of water.
Ah, so that's what he wants. Sanzo does not respond, turning his eyes towards the sky instead. The sun is there, smiling maliciously down upon him, kissing his skin with its smoldering light, embracing his body in its smothering heat.
Always the sun…
His vision doubles, and the sun splits into twin orbs of shining, golden light. Deliriously, he finds himself thinking how impossible it is for two suns to exist at once. The earth has only one sun, doesn't it?
Suddenly, everything goes black, and the burning brightness of the world fades away into blessed darkness.
Sanzo collapses into the sand, and the last thing he hears before completely losing consciousness is Goku's voice calling out his name…
When next Sanzo awakens, he finds himself lying on a bed in a cool, dark room. He has been stripped down to his jeans, and someone has placed a damp cloth on his forehead. The last thing he remembers is the sun, and Goku calling out to him in concern. Somehow that combination seems very right. But, there had been something wrong with the sun, hadn't there? Yes, there had been two of them, two suns.
Confused, Sanzo blinks his eyes, trying to clear away the lingering haze in his head. He feels much better now, but his head still aches beneath the remains of fever. He sucks in a breath of the dry air, and lets it out slowly with a hiss.
Sounds reach his ears, as village life drifts in softly through the open window. He can even hear his companions somewhere nearby, arguing over something good-naturedly. Probably about food, Sanzo thinks idly. Idiots.
So they have reached the village, then. How weak of him to succumb to the effects of the heat when the village was so very near. He wonders briefly how the others had dealt with bringing him into the village, but only briefly, for he had not asked for their help, and it is therefore not his concern. But all seems well now, even peaceful, so he allows himself this stolen moment to relax and recover his heat-baked senses.
Soon, thirst and the craving for a smoke make him restless. A pitcher of water left on the bedside stand eases one of his needs, and he soon finds his cigarettes placed neatly with the rest of his belongings and freshly washed and folded robe
Sanzo sits on the edge of the bed, slipping a cigarette between his lips. He flicks the lighter into life and ignites the cancer stick, sucking the smoke into his waiting lungs.
Ah, that feels much better.
Footsteps outside the room catch his attention, and Goku pops his way inside, looking relieved and happy to see Sanzo up and about.
"Sanzo! You're up! They said you had heatstroke, but for us not to worry 'cause it wasn't serious. You hungry? The food here is awesome! And they're really nice! They don't have an inn, but this household is puttin' us up! Man, you shoulda seen how excited they were to have a Sanzo under their roof! It was hilarious! Oh, and…"
Sanzo begins to tune out Goku's incessant chatter. He notices the bowl of food in Goku's hands, which the boy is obviously somewhat hesitant about offering. Not surprising, he supposes, considering how he had reacted the last time Goku had tried giving him an offering of food. It had been canned peaches that time. For some reason, the sight of that cheery can lying rejected on the floor seems burnt into his memory.
He notices also how tanned Goku's skin has become, from their continued travels under the sun. His own pale complexion seems quite content to simply burn, never darkening more than the slightest degree. And his hair, while Goku's has become streaked with lighter highlights, has happily soaked up as much sun as possible, bleaching into the fairest shade of blond.
Not yet satisfied with their visual perusal, Sanzo's eyes take in the gleam of Goku's golden irises, how they sparkle in the dim light of the room. He would gladly call Goku a clumsy, childish, foolish monkey to his face, any day of the week. But as he quietly observes the demon now, he knows this isn't true. Can this boy really be the same creature he had rescued from the cave all that time ago?
Sanzo, still not paying any attention to Goku's words, watches as he sets thebowl down on the little stand. Why is Goku going on and on like this anyway? Goku is often noisy, but not a chatter box like this. He almost seems…nervous. And not just because of the food. Nervous?
Sanzo regards him curiously as he takes another long, deep drag from his cigarette, then closes his eyes as he slowly releases the smoke from between semi-parched lips. When the still slightly heat-hazed violets re-open, Goku has finally shut up. Their eyes meet and lock, and Goku emits a tiny, almost inaudible gasp.
Watching Sanzo exhale the intake of smoke, Goku's breath catches, mid-sentence. Now, he becomes aware of a strange feeling, here in this dark, quiet room, with Sanzo's comforting presence and familiar scent, the paleness of his skin and hair and those smoky amethyst eyes. He becomes aware of Sanzo's relaxed posture on the edge of the bed, clad in only his jeans. He finds himself mesmerized, eyes riveted on those parted lips, as Sanzo just blows out his smoke, for once not telling him to shut up or breaking out the paper fan.
Now, hazy violet meets gleaming gold, and the atmosphere in the room goes suddenly electric. Neither man so much as breathes, and Goku feels a warmth rising to flush his cheeks.
The spell breaks as Sanzo snaps his gaze away.
His voice is husky from the effects of dehydration and the dry desert air. Goku's own voice wavers slightly as he responds.
"I need more cigarettes. Let's go see what this pathetic dump of a village has to offer."
"Sure, but… your dinner? Hakkai said you should try an' have somethin'. And it's mostly liquid, so it'll help."
Impatiently, Sanzo lifts the lid on the bowl and takes in the sight of the broth-like soup. Under Goku's determined eye, he quickly downs the nourishing, thirst-quenching liquid. Satisfied, Goku grins and nods his head.
As Sanzo rises from the bed and moves to collect the rest of his clothing, Goku quickly grows flustered. The priest just looks so gracefully predatory in the dark that the demon can't seem to tear his eyes away from his fluid movements.
Sanzo casts a questioning look at Goku, arching an eyebrow.
"Was there something else?"
"Ahh…no? I'll go wait outside, bye Sanzo!"
Quickly, he leaves the room and breaths a sigh of relief.
"Whew. That was kinda weird, but hell, it's just Sanzo, so get a grip. "
Upon Goku's hasty departure, Sanzo narrows his eyes, feeling unsettled, and strangely not as relieved to see him go as he would like himself to be.
"Ah, Priest Sanzo, how marvelous to see that you're feeling better! Please, feel free to stay here with us as long as you need to, you and your companions are most welcome! Our village, and our humble home,is very honoured by your visit! Very honoured indeed! Please, can we offer you anything else? Is there anything you need?"
"Shit. Just what I need, profuse praise from the goddamn villagers."
Sanzo mutters to himself, unable to resist rolling his eyes before squeezing them shut in annoyance.
"Cigarettes. I need cigarettes."
"Oh. Well, Sir, umm…"
Rolling his eyes again, sanzo holds up a hand in a gesture of dismissal.
"Just tell me where I might find some."
Having neither the patience nor tolerance for this old routine tonight, he quickly gets the information he needs and makes his escape, deciding to leave Hakkai to take care of all the niceties. He makes his way outside, where Goku is waiting. Together, they make their way through the streets, almost leisurely, as Goku begins to recite names of foods he'd like to eat for an after dinner snack.
To Goku, it still seems a little odd the way Sanzo is practically just ignoring him, rather than getting angry or irritated, as he usually would. As a result, Goku finds himself talking more, just to hide his discomposure. Perhaps Sanzo still feels sick? The thought crosses Goku's mind, although Sanzo doesn't really look sickIn fact, the monk almost seems to be preoccupied by something. Goku's curiosity is quickly building. If there's something that Sanzo isn't telling him, that just won't do, because Goku hates secrets. If something is bothering Sanzo, Goku wishes he would just come out with it, rather than bottling everything up all the time. Goku feels his frustration intensifying, until finally, he stops in his tracks. Sanzo just keeps walking, seemingly oblivious.
Sanzo ignores him, continuing to walk on ahead.
He is interrupted when a woman suddenly emerges from a house, calling out to them softly.
"Honourable Priest Sanzo. Please, come this way. There is something I wish to discuss with you."
She beckons gently with one slender, many-ringed hand, her body completely draped in flowing green robes. Even her face is concealed behind light green lace. Tiny bells adorning her clothing and jewelry tinkle as she scent of incense and spices exude from her doorway, drifting out into the night air.
Goku's nose twitches, as do Sanzo's nerves.
Beginning to walk on by, he calls back over his shoulder to the stranger.
"I'm busy now. If there's something important, discuss it with my host in the morning, he'll pass along the message to me."
"Ah, but Master Sanzo, I have something deserving of your special attention. A gift, for an honoured guest. If you please, allow me to humbly bestow it."
With these words, she places her hands together ina gesture of respect and bows politely. Sanzo is unimpressed.
"I have no need of gifts. Let's go, Goku."
"Aw, come on Sanzo, don't be a spoil sport. What kind of gift, lady? Is it food?"
"Why, no, young Sir. It is something very special. Please. I only wish to serve."
"Something better than food?"
"I would like to tell Priest Sanzo's fortune, if I may have the honour of doing so."
At these words, Goku's face brightens as an idea occurs to him. If Sanzo has his fortune told, maybe that will help him to figure out whatever it is that's bothering him. It sounds like a great idea, but how can he get Sanzo to agree?
Sanzo's own reaction, upon hearing the reason for the interruption of his evening stroll, is a hiss of rejection and an utterly ridiculous waste of time. Goku's apparent enthusiasm only serves to irritate him further.
"Sanzo! That's so cool! Come on, let's go."
"Don't be stupid, Goku, we're leaving."
"I said no, that's final."
Goku frowns, thinking plotting thoughts:
'Crap, at this rate, Sanzo's gonna break out the fan. And if he doesn't, that's a sign that he really needs this fortune ladies help!'
Deciding to try a different approach,Goku grabs one of Sanzo's hands as the monk turns to leave, and, speaking calmly, makes his request.
"Sanzo, please let her tell your fortune? It can't hurt anything, and it would really make me feel good if you did."
Sanzo, momentarily surprised by Goku's unexpected actions, peers suspiciously intohis huge, pleading eyes. Then his gaze shifts to the woman in green. It feels almost as if the two are working together against him.
Yanking his hand roughly out of Goku's grip, he simultaneously shakes off such paranoid thoughts. A nuisance is all that this is. Oh, he knows how to deal with nuisances. Either beat some sense into them, or, better yet, beat them senseless. Failing that, ignore them, or, very occasionally, indulge them just enough to get them to shut up. It all depends on what degree of bad mood he happens to be in at the time.
Tonight, the day's heat and confusion have lulled him into something resembling a shadow of tranquility, and he finds himself reluctantly drawn towards the latter method.
Thus, he is also reluctantly drawn through the door of the fortune-teller's home.