If he closed his eyes and just breathed he could almost smell the flowers. He could easily remember what the field looked like, the way the flowers settled in his smaller hands as he picked them, happily taking just a few so that Konzen's desk wouldn't look so empty. But what really caught in his memory and made him feel the smallest twinge of loss was thinking of the smell. He could imagine being surrounded by that smell, the flowers in a vase on the end of Konzen's desk and crowning Goku's own tousled hair. He preferred the flowers to his coronet, of course, but even then he needed it. He could remember a time he didn't, but after the gods came for him…

"Oi, monkey, quit it with the spaced-out shit. You're creeping me out."

Goku blinks and he is back in the jeep. There are no flowers here, just desert sand and the smell of cigarette smoke as Gojyo takes a puff on the, thankfully, one cancer stick he will light for the day. Goku really appreciates that both Gojyo and Sanzo smokes less now, especially when that unpleasant smell is rapidly wafting away the last trace of flowers. He could almost believe they had really been in front of him a moment before.

"Hey, you listening?"

"Yeah, I hear you. I'm just tired, okay?" Goku shoots back, shaking his head to remind himself that he is not in Heaven. He is riding in a jeep for longest drive of his life with his best friends and his…lover. He still blushes sometimes thinking of Konzen as his lover.

But then he has to remind himself that Konzen isn't. Sanzo is.

"Hey, Hakkai?" Goku asks, shifting in his seat so that his shoulder just barely brushes against the sleeve of Sanzo's robes. "How much longer to the next town?"

Glancing back at Goku through use of the rearview mirror, green eyes flash a bright smile from beneath brown hair and a silver monocle. Goku had a sudden vision of glasses then, and longer hair, and a smile that always seemed just a little bit harder to read than Hakkai's. "According to the map Miss Yaone gave us…not much longer now. Over the next hill and a few miles after that. It should be a fairly good size town too by the looks of things."

Good, Goku thinks, blinking a few times to get the image of a lab coat and tie out of his head.

Hakkai wears green. Hakkai keeps a tidy room and never touches cigarettes. Hakkai is not Tenpou.

"Bout time we had decent beds again." Gojyo grumbles from up front. Goku can tell the redhead's words are mainly for show, since Gojyo is far more involved with what his hand is trying to do than what words are coming out of his mouth.

Seeing Hakkai ever so slightly flinch when Gojyo brushes his knee with teasing fingertips makes Goku wonder how on earth the kappa even managed to notice Goku was spacing out. Gojyo's attention is focused on the brunette beside him, not the one in the back.

Goku has long since gotten used to his friends being a couple, rather enjoys it to be honest, but now that he remembers so much more about his very dear, very old friends, he realized this is not the first time in his life he has seen them frisky. They danced around their feelings for as long as he can remember in this life, but Goku can still picture the one morning he dashed into Tenpou's bedroom, hardly prepared for the naked Marshall and just as naked General under the covers of Tenpou's bed.

He didn't understand then. He understands now.

But even though Gojyo is every bit as charming and sexually driven as that not quite forgotten General, Goku's eyebrows knit in frustration at having to tell himself that Gojyo is not Kenren. Not anymore. None of them are. Memories of past and present may be rushing equally through the poor heretic's mind, but he knows what is then and what is now. Now he is still Goku but older, wiser, driven by different things, and his friends are not Kenren, Tenpou, and Konzen, they are Gojyo, Hakkai, and—

"Knock it off." Sanzo hisses, bopping Goku on the head with a little more force than usual. The monk had appeared to be sleeping, though Goku never bought it for a second. Despite violet eyes still being closed, the jig is now definitely up. "You're not spacing out, you're somewhere else entirely. Get back down to earth or I'll smack the reality back into you if I have to."

Only to Goku would these words come across as loving as they are meant to. "Sorry." He says, "I'm just thinking. It's no big deal. I mean…can't I think?"

"I've yet to see proof such a thing is possible, so no. Thinking too much isn't good for anyone. Stop it."

Goku allows himself to slide down in his seat so he can better snuggle into the robes he knows so well and clutch at that perfect crook of elbow reserved just for him. "Do I have to be happy and hyper all the time? Can't I…think a little sometimes too?"


Sanzo's finality is more than a little annoying.

"Not you." The blonde says assuredly.

"Why not?" Goku is getting a little angry now.


Half wondering if Sanzo is going to make any additions or just leave things at that, Goku waits. He doesn't wait long.

"When you think," Sanzo says, "…you don't smile."

A part of Goku's heart flutters to hear the tenderness in Sanzo's voice. He looks up, caught by violet that didn't expect to be caught.

Sanzo looks away. "And you're even noisier. If that's possible." He says quickly, huffing loudly. "I wish I could shut you off sometimes."

Goku knows this is one of the few things Sanzo would ever lie to him about, so he just smiles and snuggles in a little deeper. He hates secrets but he doesn't really mind lies as long as he knows whether or not they're true. "Sure thing, Kory." He says. "Whatever you say." And he closes his eyes so he can't see how much Sanzo twitches to hear that name.


While Goku and Sanzo are comfortably dozing now in the backseat, the mischievous kappa is not satisfied with the simple jump he got out of Hakkai, much as it pleased him. He isn't looking for shock factor or teasing. Well, not teasing without a little more to it, anyway. But when Gojyo makes a play, he does nothing short of everything, even when the play is being made on their sometimes reckless driver who could theoretically kill them all with a simple jerk of the wheel.

Goku and Sanzo may no longer be paying attention to the pair up front, but Hakkai is not at all unaware of his partner's plans.

"Gojyo, please stop that." He says, politely at first, giving his knee a slight jerk to rid it of Gojyo's returned fingertips. "You wouldn't want to cause an accident."

"Maybe that's exactly what I want." Gojyo purrs, running the entire flat of his hand over Hakkai's knee and fixing it with a tight grip. "You know…see how much I can get away with before you run us off the road."

"That isn't funny or wise, Gojyo."

"No, but I know you love me for my logic."

"I'm sorry to inform you, my friend, but your logic is the very last thing that made me fall in love with you."

"You sure?" Grinning with more than a little maliciousness, Gojyo runs his hand up Hakkai's thigh and begins to move it ever so slowly to the right.

Hakkai snaps his legs together causing his foot to twitch on the gas peddle. "Gojyo…" there is warning in Hakkai's voice now. "Please."

Thinking about this logically—with true logic not Gojyo's own twisted form of it—Hakkai wonders if at this rate they will begin to fall into the patterns of their dreamworld personas, with rampant sex at the most inappropriate of times and the inability to keep their hands to themselves.

Of course, if Hakkai thinks with just a little Gojyo-logic, he realizes that if they are heading in that direction, he should really be the one making the advances.

"Why don't you start without me?" The brunette says with a wickedness to his smile no one could replicate. Taking one hand off the wheel, he grabs Gojyo's wrist before any true groping can occur and moves Gojyo's hand to rest between Gojyo's legs where he aids a more personal groping experience for the redhead. "I'll catch up when we get to town."

Gojyo is dumbstruck for all of two minutes before having the sense to take his hand off his dick and give Hakkai the incredulous look the healer deserves. "You are one creepy bastard sometimes."

Hakkai's grin remains the rest of the trip into town. While Goku and Sanzo clearly heard the exchange, they prefer to pretend they have no idea what was happening.


"We have plenty of rooms. Four singles?" The girl at the counter flashes her eyelashes coyly, focusing the most of her pretty eyes on Gojyo, who just can't help leaning against the front desk with a certain inviting charm.

Hakkai and Sanzo speak in unison. "Doubles." And then try to avoid one another's eyes after their tell-tale exclamations. Sometimes the random females along the road can be more than a little annoying. Sanzo doesn't like that this one seems just as interested in Goku as she is in the kappa. He muses that she must have a thing for the muscular and brainless.

The girl acts flustered for a few moments before changing things in the guestbook and turning to grab two keys that she hands shyly to Hakkai. Sanzo tosses the gold card onto the counter without looking at her.

As soon as the foursome is on their way to their rooms and the girl is out of earshot, Gojyo bursts out laughing. "You two are the worst, jealous bastards ever. If the doubles thing doesn't make her think we're queer, the death looks you guys were giving her for checking out me and the monkey just confirmed her suspicions." He shakes his head at Sanzo, who refuses to comment.

Hakkai, however, speaks up in their defense. "I don't know what you mean, Gojyo. We were perfectly polite, we simply…were quick to correct her."

"Whatever you say." Gojyo grins back.

Goku is giggling. He's the only one in the group that can adequately pull it off.

Sanzo is pretending not to know any of them, even if he is a little antsy to get into a room with Goku. They get such little time alone, after all. Not that he'd admit such a thing. These days it's just implied.

Hakkai is failing miserably at not appearing cross, much as he tries. "Dinner in an hour?" he asks brightly, hoping that changing the subject will shut Gojyo up. He can't help being jealous. Gojyo is a charmer and flirtatious by nature. Girls are bound to flock to him. But Hakkai doesn't have to like it.

"Hour? I'm hungry now!" Goku exclaims, grabbing his stomach in supposed agony.

"You had a snack fifteen minutes ago." Sanzo grumbles.

"So? That was way small, Sanzo. I need nourishment."

"Can we try starving him a week just to see what happens?" Gojyo puts in, sticking close to Hakkai as the brunette finally turns to the door that belongs to them. "Betcha it won't even phase him."

"Hey!" Goku calls in protest, close behind Sanzo as the priest turns to unlock their door, just across the narrow hallway from Gojyo and Hakkai.

Sanzo speaks without turning to address the kappa. "If you can stand the whining, be my guest."


"Ha! I'll buy earplugs just to watch the brat squirm." Gojyo laughs.

"Shut up!" Goku shouts in a pout.

Sanzo is already over the threshold and turns back to grab Goku by the end of his cape. "Get in here."

Goku protests even while being unceremoniously dragged. "But Sanzo—!"

Stepping inside their room, Gojyo is all laughter. He eases past Hakkai who is turned towards Sanzo and Goku's quickly closed door and calls out one last time just for good measure. "So that's an hour then?"


Dinner was in an hour and went by with little incident. No gunshots went off, neither smoker smoked, and food was—mostly—shared evenly. Teasing and threats still commenced, but all in good fun. The only unfortunate thing was that Hakuryuu was still outside, parked, a 'no pets' sign signaling he was not allowed to enter. Hakkai didn't like this one bit and as he and Gojyo finally retired to their room for much needed rest, the first thing Hakkai does is go over to the window to sneak his friend inside.

A soft whistle is all it takes to alert Hakuryuu that the coast is clear and the dragon is inside the warm comfort of a bedroom before anyone is the wiser.

"Sanzo'll shoot something if we're caught and tossed out on our asses, you know. And my guess is it'll be either you or the parrot."

An offended 'kyuu' follows Gojyo's use of the nickname 'parrot'. Hakuryuu ruffles his scales a bit before flying to land on the nearest bed. It has become known to the creature that only one bed is ever actually used when the group gets doubled like this, the other being happily claimed by him.

Gojyo raises an eyebrow at the dragon. "Don't cluck your tongue at me, I'm just saying. You behave yourself or we're all outta luck."

While carefully removing his sash, headband, and monocle, Hakkai's ears perk to hear Gojyo speaking so…logically. And not with Gojyo-logic, but normal logic that has actual sense. Of course, Hakkai knows Hakuryuu would never do anything to jeopardize their stay. The dragon is better behaved than all three of Hakkai's other companions combined.

Hakkai changes slowly, feeling a few new aches in his body from being back on the road after a still so recent battle. When he finally turns to look back at Gojyo he finds that the redhead and dragon are no longer bickering. Gojyo is sitting on the end of Hakuryuu's bed, and Hakuryuu, not minding the intrusion, has his head resting on Gojyo's knee while his scales are pleasantly stroked.

At what point the mixture of 'kyuuing' and taunting turned into this Hakkai has no idea. He does know, however, that it brings a smile to his face quicker than thoughts of a good night's sleep.

"Speaking of behaving oneself," Hakkai mentions slyly, "I find it rather funny that you, Gojyo, listen when Hakuryuu scolds you, but continue to behave badly when I do."

Gojyo looks up and blinks, not understanding. He seems to realize all at once that he is being uncharacteristically nice to the dragon and pulls his hand away like being bitten. "Shit, I was just…hey what do you mean continue behaving badly? What did I do?"

Hakkai is already by the opposing bed, pulling back the comforter and sheets. "I seem to recall an incident in the jeep with the indecent placement of hands."

"What, when I tried to cop a feel before we got to town?"

"In so many words."

"Aww, come on, I was just riling ya. You know you're even friskier than me half the time." Gojyo says, and is already up off the end of the bed—Hakuryuu left to fall into blissful slumber after being tenderly pet—and slides up behind Hakkai to wind long arms around a thin waist.

Hakkai lets the edge of the sheet fall from his fingers. "Gojyo…" he says, "I am many things but frisky is not an adjective I would ever give myself." Even as he is saying this, Hakkai turns in Gojyo's arms, slips his hands to ride very low on Gojyo's backside, and bats pretty long eyelashes in a way that makes Gojyo wonder if he should run.

How is it that the brunette can so easily make a playful smile seem sinister?

"I have few conditions, Gojyo, but one is a definite must."

Already liking where this encounter is headed, despite what Hakkai might say, Gojyo pulls in close enough to feel teasing breath against his lips. "Oh, and what's that?"

Hakkai's smile crooks even more sinisterly, dripping dangerous charm and intent. He kisses Gojyo with the barest touch before speaking, making the kappa lean into him unsuccessfully in the search for more. "There must be walls. Four of them. Not soundproof, but not paper thin. And whatever door exists will be closed. Other than that…"

"I could throw you to the floor if I wanted…?" Gojyo whispers, continuously leaning forward to capture lips Hakkai keeps only just out of reach.

Gojyo can see the thin beads of sweat building on Hakkai's upper lip, every pore of the full demon's body leaking pheromones that make Gojyo want to pounce. For a moment he wonders if he and Hakkai could become even more sexual than Gonou and Gojyo, since there is one and a half demons included in their relationship versus the dreamworld's.

That thought is enough to give Gojyo all sorts of naughty ideas, and the look in Hakkai's eyes speaks of thing all too similar. Both of them are panting and they haven't even kissed properly. It must be a full moon tonight, Gojyo decides. Maybe that would explain why Hakkai's eyes appear almost jade when the brunette reaches back to flick off the light.

Semi-darkness and the pounding of blood in their ears holds suspended before Hakkai pounces, throwing his weight forward and nearly knocking them both to the floor as he lunges for a kiss. This time his teasing is done with the promise of more.

Hakkai feels warm in Gojyo's arms, feverish. Gojyo reaches up and digs his fingers back into soft brown hair, loving that the headband is gone and the monocle is safely put away. He loves Hakkai in just his black nightshirt and cotton pants. Hakkai's collarbone is exposed only at this time of night, when the healer's tunic has been discarded. It's chiseled, carved from marble, and is by far Gojyo's favorite chaste spot to trace with his fingers. He slowly brings his hands down Hakkai's face, his neck, and finally to the contours of that lovely bone, all the while kissing Hakkai fiercely.

As passionate as Gojyo knows he is, he gets the feeling sometimes that he could never compete with the full passion Hakkai pours into a lover. Being one of only two Hakkai has ever had, Gojyo feels supremely blessed. He knows that he is only being allowed to see Hakkai this released and wild because there is love between them. Anything less than that and Hakkai would never allow it. Gojyo is loved, and that turns him on more than skin ever could.

Gojyo is indeed loved, but right now that is coming out in wave after wave of sex. There must be a way to remove Gojyo of his clothing that is somehow quicker than all other times before, Hakkai thinks, fighting the urge to throw Gojyo to the floor. Hakkai is not an animal, or at all sex-starved. He can make it to the bed. His passions are just so strong. He doesn't know what has come over himself, but he feels the most unquenchable desire for Gojyo lately. He can hide it in the jeep, keep Gojyo in check even, but when they are alone he has to fight to keep himself steady, go out of his way to dress for bed slowly just to avoid jumping the poor kappa unprepared. He has noticed that with each new day—and it has been so few since they left Houtou Castle—that he feels more and more alive. Perhaps it is the relief of the battle being won, of so much being behind them now. He doesn't know. But the most rampant part of it keeps coming out in ways he feels he must direct at Gojyo. It just seems right, like making up for lost time.

A great creaking of springs signals they have indeed found the bed as they fall, tumble, and land. Gojyo laughs at how the wind is knocked from him, not minding at all the 'frisky' side to Hakkai that has begun to show up more and more. In Gojyo's mind all he can think is that it's about time. It wouldn't surprise him if they made love until dawn, and no one would ever hear a complaint about it.

Stopping long enough to toss his black nightshirt over his head and be sure not throw it onto the other bed and, therefore, onto Hakuryuu, Hakkai gives Gojyo the most devilish of grins. His eyes are still flashing darkly as he sinks down to capture damp lips yet again.


"You really don't mind?"

"Do I have to tell you things a million times before you'll believe me?" Sanzo growls. "You kick less if I have a firm hold on you anyway."

The pair is currently a step further than being ready for bed; they are in it. Sanzo, per Goku's request, no longer sleeps in his black undershirt but in a pair of simple, comfortable pants. Goku has thus offered to no longer wear a T-shirt and to just sleep in his boxers, to which Sanzo replied with a small grunt. Goku took this for affirmation.

Snuggled under the covers, Goku has both arms wrapped around Sanzo's waist and his is head dug into the monk's firm chest—how he would prefer to sleep every single night if possible. He knows he is treating Sanzo like an overgrown teddy bear, but he just can't help it. Sanzo never even used to let him touch him all that much, let alone hug him. Now he gets to snuggle? It's just too perfect.

"You're really soft." Goku murmurs, letting his nose bump along the skin of Sanzo's neck as he digs into his 'teddy bear'.

Sanzo huffs. "You're annoying. Shut up already and go to sleep."

"Urrg…it's not that late."

There is a tentative pause. "Would you…rather…" Sanzo ends this prompt with a slight clearing of his throat, like the last few words got caught and thrown away.

Goku finds it adorable that Sanzo is so timid. He supposes the blonde will always be a bit of prude, no matter how often they're together. "I kinda like being like this." The monkey admits. "Is that…okay?"

"Okay?" the sheer surprise in Sanzo's tone almost gets Goku giggling again. "You practically paw at me like a rabid dog. This is fine."

And Goku does giggle, just a little. He doesn't mind Sanzo's barbs nearly as much now that he is certain the monk truly loves him, and now that he actually gets Sanzo to admit so out loud once in a while. But Goku's giggling soon fades and a somber silence fills in the space around them. It is clear there is something unsaid that longs to be brought up. Sanzo waits for it patiently. Goku, feeling that Sanzo is waiting, could be lying on pins.

So much has been left unspoken since Houtou Castle. Love has been spoken. Devotion. Promises even. But truth waits in the wings. Sanzo's unwillingness to push lets Goku know the blonde will wait forever if need be, but Goku can't escape feeling he owes Sanzo the truth.

The truth is he remembers a lot more about his life now than the few short years of Son Goku.


The silence listens and Goku feels a little unnerved. He knows Sanzo doesn't want to seem pushy but sometimes he would prefer the characteristic grunt.

"I…" Goku isn't quite sure what he wants to say. He doesn't know where to begin. His mind keeps bringing him back and he just wants to stay where he is. He knows that in the end what he really needs is to find some kind of middle ground, but getting there and discovering it is the hard part.

So he just says what he knows.

"I loved you then too."

Sanzo waits for more, but when it is clear Goku doesn't know how to continue, the priest speaks up, his voice soft. "When I was Konzen." He says, and it isn't a question.

Silence answers. Much as Sanzo doesn't wish to push, he can feel that Goku wants him to.

"In Heaven." Sanzo prompts further.

Still silence.

"And those other idiots were there with us."


"Goku…it isn't hard to figure out with all the hot air Homura spewed at us and with those other gods. But if you don't want to tell me the rest…I won't force you."

Goku takes a breath and sounds like someone gasping for air after nearly drowning. As always the monkey has switched from lighthearted to being near tears in barely any time. It is an ability Sanzo wishes Goku didn't have. "I want to tell you." Goku says, wrapping his arms around Sanzo tighter. "You deserve to know. You do. It isn't fair…what they did to us. Especially to you."

Sanzo cannot deny his curiosity. He has no memory of this. The things he does know he has surmised, put together, and guessed. It could never be as real to him as it must be to Goku. Whoever Konzen was, he was at least a god, much as it seems far-fetched, and he was a former life of Sanzo's. But with Goku, Sanzo knows it is more complicated. Goku is still the same person he was in that other life. The same form. The same monkey through and through. He has grown older, but only after Sanzo found him. He truly has lived for over 500 years and now…

"You remember everything…don't you?" Sanzo says.

Goku doesn't answer him.

"When you're ready." Sanzo says without hesitation. He tilts his head so that his cheek rests atop Goku's unruly hair and feels no need to say more.

It is these moments he wants to multiply. Moments when he can forget about every neurotic thought telling him to give up attachment and let Goku go. The part of him that reminds him of people he has killed, of people who have hurt him, or tried to hurt him in so many horrible ways. With Goku, alone, curled together, Sanzo can forget there was ever a time they were apart.

Sometimes he wishes his life was as easy as Koryuu's so he didn't have to forget to feel these moments.

For a long time neither of them says anything. Both wonder if the other has fallen asleep, but their matched, uneven breaths give them away.

"Sanzo…?" Goku says at last.


"Can we still practice? Once in a while."

"Practice? With your limiter?"


Sanzo almost says 'but why, you've beaten it' until he realizes things weren't exactly easy with Seiten Taisei, just easier. Besides, "You want to get rid of this thing for good." Sanzo says, and as with so much of what he has said tonight, it isn't a question. He gently runs his fingers along the rim of Goku's coronet, and although Goku cannot feel it and he isn't looking up to see the action, the topic at hand is known.

"I can beat it. I can make it so I never need it again." Goku says with conviction Sanzo believes wholeheartedly. When Goku has such determination, few things can stop him. "Youkai don't need limiters. They don't need them. I shouldn't need mine either. I can be me without this thing, all of me, I know it."

"Goku." It doesn't need to be said that Goku isn't exactly a youkai, but Sanzo's use of Goku's name implies that reminder anyway.

"I know, Sanzo. But…there was a time…a long time ago…when I didn't have a limiter and I didn't need it. I remember. I know I can be that way again."

A corner of Sanzo's mouth twitches. He wants to press, so badly he wants to press Goku for more. He wants to ask the heretic about everything, to know every detail of what Goku remembers. But he won't. "Alright. We'll practice."


Sanzo grunts his reply and Goku smiles.

"I love you, Sanzo," he says, more on reflex now, but with every fiber in him he means it. Sanzo's resulting silence makes Goku paranoid of what the monk might be thinking. He needs the blonde to understand. "I love you because you're you, Sanzo," he says, snuggling deeper into the curves and turns of a body he now knows every inch of, "not because you remind me of someone who's…gone."

Sanzo is silent at first, and only after he grunts in seeming frustration does Goku know everything will be okay. "Did I say I thought otherwise?" the monk growls, staring down at the mess of hair in his line of vision until Goku finally looks up to meet violet with gold.

"I just want you to know." Goku says.

"I know." And Sanzo kisses Goku soundly to prove it. "How many times do I have to tell you not to say stupid things?" he says, his voice dimming, but only because he has too much breath now after stealing Goku's. "Stupid questions are even worse."

Goku licks his lips, wishing the kiss had been more than just a firm punch line to a point. He knows he doesn't have to ask, but he can't help it. He blushes as he asks, "Do you love me, Sanzo?"

And Sanzo replies in a way he rarely does. He smiles, and there is nothing of a smirk in it at all. "What did I just say?" he says.

This time Sanzo bends his head and kisses Goku as much more than a pointed punch line. It carries not dominance but understanding. It whispers. It lets Goku control as much of it as Sanzo controls. The flesh between them is soft and pliable, and they taste each other, seeking tongues for a connection, not out of direction from their hormones. Everything in their passion for one another is slow, like learning how to love for the first time.

Only Goku knows how true that is. He hopes that one day the others can join him.

The pair kisses until they are too tired to move their lips and are at last a cuddled heap of happily tangled limbs on the bed. Morning cannot come slower.


The sky is too bright, the birds chirping too happily, and the endlessly blooming cherry blossoms too…pink. There are times Kanzeon Bosatsu wishes she could just pop down to the lower world for kicks, and for the change in scenery. Technically, she could. No one would dare question her. But then she would miss all the wonderful twists and turns of her favorite show.

The Journey to the East.

She can watch from anywhere in Heaven if she chooses, and just now she has chosen to look down upon the lower world and her traveling troupe from a large courtyard. One currently occupied by a stubborn, slumbering boy.

Her attention shifts from that of the Sanzo-ikkou to look at Nataku, seated in his chair, staring blankly at nothing like a corpse. She thought just maybe he would twitch or blink or even speak after what has transpired. The punishment has been lifted. Goku figured it out on his own and Heaven can do nothing. The gods, Goujun included, could never tell the Sanzo-ikkou their true identities—not those who knew the terms—but if things were figured out, all bets would be off.

Frankly, Kanzeon thinks they took their sweet time in getting to this point, not that she minded the show, but now that Goku remembers, anything is possible. She had thought Nataku might finally arise, but maybe even this miracle is not enough to wake him.

"He knows now. And still you sleep." She says, her long nails clicking on the sides of the great throne Nataku sits in. She shifts her eyes down at him, his body motionless, and then looks, almost somberly, to the figure of a slumbering earth child in bed with her dear nephew. "Must he burst through Heaven's gates before you'll live…Nataku?" she asks.

No one answers. She doesn't expect anyone to. But as she sighs and turns to leave, her flowing white gown fluttering around her as she moves, she senses the slight twitch of fingers that longs to speak. It isn't enough. But one day, perhaps even in the near future, it may be all Nataku needs.


A/N: Dear gods, I'm back. Something must be seriously wrong with me to be working on several original things and think I can handle a third part, but you can thank some of the more vocal of my fans (my roommate at the top of that list) for this being here, and I intend to continue. I pray to god it remains a trilogy and does not ask for a fourth part. We'll see. Anyway, here it is, all nice and relatively easy. Don't let Nataku scare you. He is not intended to be a main part to the story...yet. I'll let him tell me what's up there. There are many other things planned, however. The dreamworld will be touched, much as that may seem impossible. You'll eventually get what I mean, but don't worry, Nii hasn't and won't arise from the dead. Please review to let me know this is actually desired and I will write more when I can. P.S. I am a senior in college now and life is scary. I may be really busy but I will do my best.