Hey! Welcome to my second full length Saiyuki piece. If you were with me for A Dog's Life, I hope to live up to your expectations, and if you're just joining in – I hope you hang around. Thanks so much for reading!

Raising Kouryuu.

Prologue

"Tell me Ms. Hwang, what do you think of children?"

"They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near you." The woman huffed. "Or your rabbit."

The lights of the computers glinted off of the man's glasses as he turned towards his rather uptight assistant. Her hair was frazzled and it was clear she'd spent the night doing research again. The woman needed to relax some or she'd get a hernia. He pet his bunny softly with his one hand as the other clicked through various windows on his screen. "You'll hurt his feelings saying things like that."

Hwang growled to herself. There had to be some mistake that this could be the world's best biologist. However, she'd seen his work herself, and there was no doubt the man was a genius, albeit a creepy one. "I know I'll regret asking, but why do you bring it up?"

"If you regret asking, then don't!" Old man Wang laughed in the background as he set up the chessboard. It was always nice to take a break from work to play a nice challenging game. Though, getting Hwang's knickers in a twist was always fun, too.

"Shut up!" Hwang stomped her heel on the ground and nearly threw her clipboard. "I wasn't talking to you. And you, stop laughing."

"I was just amused," Nii smiled. "No harm in that."

"There's always harm when it's you that's amused."

Wang smiled at the knight piece on the board. "There's truth in the young lady's saying."

"Do you recall when I told you there was once a boy named Kouryuu?" Nii stood and walked towards his table.

"You did mention it." Hwang followed the man towards that stupid game table. He was always there and lazing about on other things when there was a resurrection to complete. "And why on earth are you playing games again when you haven't worked at all on Lady Koshuu's project!"

"You're so tense, Ms. Hwang." Nii pulled his seat back, smiled a bit when the legs screeched across the metal floor. It was a pleasant sound and it made the woman cringe. "Wouldn't you like to be young again?"

"What on earth does that have to do with anything?" Hwang was losing her patience quickly with this man. He always put her in such a rut and she couldn't quite place her finger on just why. There was something else there, and it wasn't the fact he was an old pervert.

"I think you should be more insulted that he just called you old."

"Stay out of it Wang!" The irate woman smacked her hand down upon the board, jolted the pieces. "And you, Dr. Nii, stop playing games."

"This isn't a game." Nii smiled and carefully lifted one of Hwang's pretty little fingers to pull her hand off the board. She snatched it away from him like his hand was on fire or something. So cold of her, really, but his knight went in that spot on the table anyway; it was always good to line the pieces up. "It's a test of skill."

"Yes, mental strategy and all that." The brunette adjusted her glasses on her face. "But what does that have to do with being young again?"

Nii smiled at his little toy sitting on the shelf next to the glowing screens. "Wouldn't it be nice to go back before all the bad things happened in your life?"

"If it means I could avoid meeting you, then sure." Hwang smiled. "But we all know that's not possible. You can't go back in time and you certainly can't give people youth."

"And if I could give it to you?" The man chuckled.

"What are you saying?"

"Would you like to be young?" Nii slowly shifted his eyes to her face and smiled sweetly.

"You can do that." Hwang didn't realize when a hand went to her face. She could feel the lines forming into wrinkles from all the stress. She really wasn't as young as she used to be.

"Forget her, I'd like a dip in the fountain of youth myself."

"Sorry, " Nii smiled at his chess partner. "It's untested. I need a lab rat, and if things go wrong, Ms. Hwang will never play chess with me."

"Why you." Hwang fumed.

"Why me what?" Nii tilted his head. "Don't you want to be my pretty little lab mouse?"

"Go screw yourself."

Nii watched as the woman slammed her clipboard down into the middle of his table, scattering the pieces across the board and rolling to the floor. Wang just laughed in his seat and pulled at his wires when she stomped across the lab and slammed the door on her way out.

"Were you really planning on using her for your little data run?" The old demon never knew what was going on in that human's head. But it did make the day more interesting.

"No," Nii picked up her clipboard to look at the notes she had made. The woman did have talent for numbers, as well as neat handwriting. He'd have to make use of some of these calculations in his next test run. "I just like getting her panties in a twist."

"Then who did you have in mind?" Wang grinned. "You always have things planned out."

"I told you," The man gently set the board down. "A man once named Kouryuu."

"Feeling nostalgic are you?"

"I never really got to meet him the first time." Nii leaned back into his seat. "I'd like to see what was so special about a little boy who was said to be like me."

"You're usually not so open, what's the occasion?" Wang studied Nii's profile as he leaned back, as the man raised his hand in front of him to block out the light.

"You said it yourself, I'm feeling nostalgic."

Wang stood, and pushed himself from his chair. He tried to ignore the creaking in his bones and the slight ache. Maybe he'd borrow whatever it is that the man made, if it worked of course. "We'll play the game when you're in a better mood. Somehow, I feel knowing too much about you is bad for my health. And I'd like to hold on to my few years, if you don't mind."

"Of course." Nii waited for the soft click of a door, and the humming of machines to fill the room before laughing to himself. "Why don't you show me Kouryuu, just what Koumyou Sanzo found so appealing?"