Disclaimer: I do not own Saiyuki or any of its characters. I wish I owned Koumyou…but sadly, he is Kazuya Minekura's property.

Author's Note—Throughout the series, it doesn't say how old Kouryuu was when Koumyou picked him up. The circumstances change ever so often. But in the most recent volume of Reload, when Koumyou meets with Ken'yuu, he says that Kouryuu is three and makes comments that lead the reader to believe that he's had Kouryuu for awhile. So I made my best guess as to the age.

Taking a Crack at Fatherhood

Chapter One

Koumyou sat at his desk, but he wasn't getting any work done. The Sanzo priest was usually easily distracted from his paperwork, but today, he was even more so by the sleeping infant on his bedroll. The infant was the one he had found yesterday in the river, the one who had been calling to him. The little boy had been sleeping ever since Koumyou had rushed him to infirmary monks. It looked like the infant would be perfectly fine (he was quite the fighter, Koumyou smiled) and the monk doctor had told Koumyou that he judged the boy's age to be little more than a year.

He's so cute. Koumyou smiled in that easy way, that smile that just seemed as natural as breathing to him. The infant's chest went up and down gently as it slept. Golden blonde hair was growing up in little spikes all over his head…maybe time for a hair cut? Koumyou would look into it.

A knock on the door sent Koumyou into a flurry of motion. By the time the acolyte had slid the door all the way open, the Sanzo priest seemed hard at work, pen in hand and deep in thought. The long-haired man felt himself obligated to at least look like he was dedicated to work, to set an example for the other monks.

"Excuse me, Master Sanzo." The acolyte bowed.

Koumyou inclined his head towards the young man and laid down his pen. "Yes?"

"The head priest wishes to see you," the acolyte reported. He glanced at the infant before adding, "About the boy, sir."

This meeting was bound to happen. That didn't mean, however, that Koumyou was looking forward to it. Sighing, he pushed his chair back from the desk and stood up. Casting a look down at his little river orphan, he asked, "What about him? He's sleeping so peacefully, I don't want to risk taking him with me…"

The acolyte shifted his weight from foot to foot. "I—I don't know about that, sir. I was just told to guide you to the head priest's office."

The grin that was usually so inspiring to those of lower rank was suddenly eerie to the acolyte. Koumyou clapped his hands together. "Such a good thing that I already know the way to his office! So you don't have to worry about guiding me. Instead, you can stay here and watch him. Fetch me if there's trouble. But I think you'll be fine; he's been sleeping since yesterday. Good luck!" Koumyou patted the young man on the back on his way out the door.

Sighing, the acolyte slumped down on the floor next to the bedroll. It wasn't like he could disobey a direct order from a Sanzo…

Kneeling down on the mat below the high priest's plateau, Koumyou did his part in the exchange of bows. He liked the high priest. Sure, maybe the man was a little bumbling at times, but he got the job done and didn't try to force Koumyou out of his lackadaisical attitude. Leaning forward, the old priest squinted down at the Sanzo. "Where is the young man I sent after you? He was to conduct you here…"

I've been here for two years; I can find my way around now. They all seem to forget that. "I took the liberty of giving him new instructions to watch the little guy. I hope it was no impertinence."

The head priest's brow furrowed, bringing his shaggy eyebrows close together. Koumyou fancied that they looked like albino caterpillars. "Impertinence…? Ah, no, Lord Sanzo, of course not, no…but speaking of the boy—"

"I've decided to keep him."

The fuzzy caterpillars shot up the priest's forehead. "Keep him? But, Master Sanzo—"

Koumyou smiled and tilted his head to the side in a disarming manner. "What is it they say? Don't ever name a stray animal—it's a sign of attachment and then you'll never be able to take leave of it. Yes…I think that's it, maybe."

"An infant is hardly a dog or cat…wait, Lord Sanzo, do you mean to say that you've already named the child?"



"That's what I named him. Kouryuu. Slightly unromantic, but fitting, don't you think?"

"Charming, but…Lord Sanzo…"

This could take awhile. How boring. Koumyou pushed himself up with a slight stretch, cutting off the head priest. "I'm glad that's settled. Now if you will excuse me, I have some paperwork to attend to."

"Lord Sanzo…"

Not turning around, Koumyou strode out of the office, a satisfied smile on his face.

End of Chapter One

Next chapter: a questioning visit from Goudai Sanzo and a really bad smell. Half finished, so expect soon!