Disclaimer: Guess what? I still don't own Saiyuki, Koumyou, Kouryuu, or Goudai.
Taking a Crack at Fatherhood
He had such beautiful eyes.
Koumyou lay on his stomach on the opposite side of the pillow as Kouryuu, head resting on his arms. Being the warm, lazy afternoon that it was, he had abandoned his traditional Sanzo uniform for jeans and a slightly oversized button-up shirt. The little infant had finally woken up two hours ago. Kouryuu looked swamped in his make-shift robes, which were really pieces of scrap cloth hurriedly stitched together to resemble clothing. The tailor would be working on proper robes this evening. Some rags had been scrounged up to serve as diapers. Right now, the two were staring at each other over the pillow.
Quite remarkable eyes, really. A violent purple that seemed to hold a now-dormant surviving fire in them. Koumyou smiled at him, not letting his grin relax. Friendly attitude, friendly attitude…I need to gain trust here! Kouryuu just looked at him with a perplexed expression. Finally, the boy reached over the distance and baby-slapped the priest on the nose.
"I…don't really know what to do with that," Koumyou said with a somewhat nervous laugh. Was this a bad sign…?
His door slid back with a sharp rattle that made Koumyou sit straight up. The trainee standing at the threshold was bright red as if he was out of breath or embarrassed that he had caught the Koumyou Sanzo in casual clothing. Maybe both. He gave a quick, flustered bow before saying, "Priest Goudai Sanzo humbly requests an audience—"
"Move it, kid." Goudai's large hand clapped down on the trainee's shoulder, moving him back and out of the way. The older Sanzo strode into Koumyou's room, head held high and wild mane of dark hair tumbling down his back. Goudai looked down at little Kouryuu on the bedroll as he reached behind himself to slide the door shut. The infant's face screwed up, the mouth turning down, and Kouryuu scooted closer to Koumyou. All was silent in the room except for Kouryuu's whimpers. Then—
"Your baby's a whiney-ass."
Koumyou scooped the blonde boy into his lap as an attempt to make him feel better. "Don't call my baby a whiney-ass! You just scared him, you bald mountain."
Goudai squatted down on the floor and raised an eyebrow at Koumyou. "Bald mountain? Where did that come from?"
"I…honestly have no idea. Probably from your size and lack of hair."
"Thanks, Koumyou." Goudai said with a grin, one eyebrow arched upward. "But insults are not why I came here. Rumor is you plan on keeping the kid."
"Rumor is fact," Koumyou replied. The infant in his lap was now pressing the buttons of his shirt into his chest with a single-minded fascination. The Sanzo priest ruffled the boy's hair.
"I've always known you were slightly off, but this is insane!" Goudai exclaimed, slapping his hand against his thigh. Kouryuu laughed at his gesture. "You can not care for the boy, Koumyou!"
"Of course I can. My Sanzo duties aren't that demanding, Goudai."
"For a Sanzo priest to take in a child, especially one of such origins—"
"Am I not supposed to help the people? I think that also extends to babies in rivers. Besides, the little guy called to me and I can hardly abandon him after he was so persistent."
"Yes, a voice, Goudai. It was quite annoying, so I followed it and I found him in the water."
Both men were silent. Kouryuu was rather quiet himself, making soft noises as he continued to play with the buttons on Koumyou's shirt. Finally, Goudai spoke. "So you really intend to try your hand at fatherhood?"
Koumyou laughed. "Yes, and I fancy that I won't be half bad at it."
"Or so you hope."
"That I do." Koumyou grinned. He lifted Kouryuu up to eye level, wondering briefly if the boy would smack him in the nose again. The infant squirmed, but that wasn't quite what made Koumyou's grin fade.
It was Goudai who finally put the question out in the open.
End of Chapter Two
Chapter Three—Koumyou's first test of his fathering abilities…changing a diaper. "You can not leave it in there until it decomposes, Koumyou!"