He waited in the dark, clutching the knife to his chest, knees drawn up over it to keep any light from hitting the blade and giving away his position. His mind filtered back to the conversation he'd had earlier when he'd been sent (ordered, he corrected bitterly) to go into town for supplies.

"All I have to do is unlock the gates?"

"That's it," the man said, the wide grin showing his sharp teeth. "Just leave it unlocked and you'll get what you deserve."

"What about HIM?" he'd asked, a little worried about that particular problem. HE wouldn't be so easy to deal with.

"You wanna have the honors? All we care about is splitting the reward fifty-fifty."

He nodded, staring at his bare feet. "So long as I get what I deserve, I'll do it."

The man laughed, ruffling his hair, which he didn't like. "That's what I'm talkin' about! Midnight tonight, and don't forget."

And he didn't forget either. He'd waited until the guards were relieved, unlocked the gate and then snuck back up here. This was where they'd expect him to be. After all, he wasn't much more than a servant at best. He was sick of being made promises, sick of having them broken time and again. He knew this last promise was no different. What he hated most was that he'd endured so much for this goal! Too much, really. Hands pawing at him, the smell of acohol-laced breath on his face, the constant pain that accompanied these occurances. He was done waiting. He was done being used and cast aside, only to be picked up and discarded again. He was done having his dreams smashed to pieces for the amusement of these morons!

When you're ready, it shall be yours.

He was ready now, he knew he was! Just like everyone else... he'd thought HE was different, but HE wasn't. Just the same. HE smelled the same, felt the same, HE even made the same empty promises. So, why shouldn't HE bleed the same?

Footsteps outside the door made him stiffen, waiting. He knew those light steps anywhere. Crouching further into his corner, he closed his eyes, hand tightening around the knife. Stupid of them to teach him how to use it. So very stupid! Did they think he wouldn't use it to his advantage? He wasn't a fool, like them! It was just about as stupid as pulling him from that river with the promise of a better life. This 'better life' they promised, the first of many promises broken, was a lie. Was it really better for him to be abused and raped, told that if he suffered this, he would get what he wanted most? This last promise was the turning point for him. If he wanted things to change, he'd have to change them. And they'd given him the tools needed to do it.

The door opened and shut around the tall figure. He could hear HIM moving around the large room, the swishing of silk robes as they were removed. The crack of a match being struck made him jump a little. HE lit a candle, rubbing HIS eyes wearily. It made him even more angry. What did HE have to be so tired for? HE didn't break HIS back day in and day out. All HE had to do was get in front of a crowd and say a few words.

HE turned around, brown eyes blinking in surprise as he stood up, revealing what he had hidden against his body. Instead of being afraid, like he'd hoped, HE smiled sadly, setting the candle on the desk. "So... it's come to this, has it? Do you think you have what it takes to kill me?"

"I know I do," he answered surely, stepping forward. "I know because you won't strike back. It's like shooting fish in a barrel."

HE actually laughed! So typically arrogant... HE laughed like when HE'D promised to give it to him when he was ready. "How well you know me. Very well, get it over with. I'm tired of having the weight of the world sit on my shoulders. I suppose it's time to let a younger person carry it."

He stepped closer to HIM, putting a hand up onto HIS shoulder. "You don't seem surprised." The first deep slash tore across HIS chest, spilling blood all over the two of them. He had to make this look just right. It had to look like the youkai did it.

HE gasped, eyes screwing shut in pain. "No... I'm not." Another cut, this time more forceful and across HIS stomach, spilling the contents to the floor in a steaming heap. He almost slipped on some random organ or other, the hot grey mass ground into the floor by his foot.

"Then why wouldn't you take steps to stop this?" A final slash would do it, right down to the rib bones. The bone itself grated harshly against his blade and he stepped back, felt those hands fall away from his shoulders. HE fell to the floor, breath rattling in HIS chest. The smell of blood, metalic and sweet, entwined with less pleasant odors as the man lay dying at his feet.

"B-because... the only way for... you to b-be... strong... is... t-t-to... " HE never finished those scarcely whispered words.

A creak behind him alerted him to the footsteps of the youkai. "You really did it. Fuck me, you actually did it! You're one cold hearted sonufabitch!" A clawed hand reached down and pulled the scripture from those stiff shoulders.

He turned and held his hand out. "That one is mine. Yours is in that box over there."

"Fuck off, kid! I'm takin' both." The youkai laughed harshly, eye glittering in the light of the single candle. "You seriously thought I'd keep that promise? Dumb bastard!"

Anger boiled in him, screaming to be let out. Another promise... broken yet again! Snarling, his wrist snapped out, jamming the knife home in the youkai's side. "HELP! Master Sanzo's been attacked!" Let that be a lesson to the idiot. He smiled grimly as blood splattered slowly down the blade and onto the floor.

"W-what are you- AHHH!" The youkai screamed again as he cut once more into the shoulder.

"You might as well leave that. If it goes with you, I'll hunt you down and take it back. That's mine, you promised it would be!"

The youkai, now fearful as voices and footsteps came closer, threw itself out the window.

Looking around, frantic to find some way to cover this up, he cut his own cheek, hissing at the sharp draw of metal through his skin. Two more shallow scratches should do it... he dropped the knife near the body, kneeling beside it. The tears were quite real... that damned youkai broke his word! He was still left with less than he deserved... but he would get it back, one way or another! Everything was set, he would get the title he earned for all his suffering and then no one would dare touch him again. He would finally be free.

The door burst open and monks crowded into the room. Immediately whispers of shock ran through them at seeing the two, one dead, the other injured and crying for his 'master'. "K-Kouryuu? What... what...?"

"I couldn't save him," Kouryuu answered, in what he hoped was an appropriately sad voice. "I tried... but I couldn't save him."


AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm very stressed, very sick and ready to start shooting at the world right now. Kind of explains the, um, DIFFERENT take on this. If you feel the need to flame, whatever. Just bear in mind I KNOW Sanzo would never really do this. I'm not stupid when it comes to Saiyuki, but I DO like to push boundaries a little. And besides, he's always so angry anyway. (sigh) That's it. I took my agression out here and now everything is feeling better and none of the other stories will have more violence than they really need! THERAPY! FANFIC THERAPY!