Watching from Above

Destination 38: Little Baby

Punch... Kick... Dodge... Jump... Attack... Block... Again... Punch... Kick... Pause...

"You're getting stronger," Dokugakuji truthfully admitted.

He and Kougaiji had been training none stop lately. The down side was that the new strict training imposed upon himself by Kougaiji, left him with little time to spend with his sister.

Visibly more tired than his sparring partner, Dokugakuji changed his battle stance to a more relaxed one. "We should take a break, it's meal time and Lady Lirin will worry if you don't arrive."

Kougaiji was about to protest when he remembered his sister's words the previous day. "You hardly spend time with me anymore big brother." He remembered the sadness in her voice as she spoke those words. He knew that Yaone was trying her best to keep Lirin entertained, but if she missed her brother, then the only one who could fix that was the one she missed.

"Alright, let's go back to the camp," Kougaiji agreed.

As they walked back to their campsite in silence, a little voice reached their pointy ears. Dokugakuji stopped and looked at Kougaiji, as if silently asking if he was going to see what that was. Kougaiji gave in and followed the sound. They found a little kitten abandoned in the forest, a very young one by the looks of it.

Dokugakuji examined the baby animal. "Looks like he was abandoned, but he's not hurt or anything. I can't say he will be safe for long if he stays here."

Kougaiji knew where this was going, "Leave him, he reminds me of Sanzo."

"I suppose the colors are similar, but is that so bad? It's just a kitten and people shouldn't be judged by their colors, blonde hair, blond fur, violet eyes, or blood red hair and eyes," Dokugakuji couldn't help it but to find a connection between the kitten and his brother.

"You're right," Kougaiji admitted. He gently took the small kitten in his arms. It wasn't the kitten's fault he looked like Sanzo. "I'll give him to Lirin. She would probably like having a pet."

xoxox xox xoxox

"No one can resist the cuteness of a kitten."

"Kanzeon Bosatsu? You're watching them too?"

"Well of course, it's not as fun if I don't watch both sides of the story..."

xoxox xox xoxox

Hakuryu came to a stop in the middle of a thick forest and Hakkai took out a map. Much to his traveling companions' exasperation, he examined the map with the outmost patience. "We're lost aren't we?" Gojyo's voice that reflected annoyance without the slightest hint of surprise, after all, they had been driving for a long time and the scenery had not changed from the infinite green of the trees surrounding them.

"I don't think we're lost. I'm just not certain where we are on this map. We should have arrived here about an hour go," Hakkai pointed to a location in the map where a town should be. They were planning to restock on supplies there before moving on. "We must be close," he concluded and closed the map.

Gojyo didn't look too satisfied with the simple conclusion. Sanzo was as irritated as ever, but Goku was the most upset of all. "I'm hungry!" Goku screamed at the top of his lungs, his voice echoing in the thick forest. His head soon received a visit from Sanzo's paper fan, the infamous Harisen. The very annoyed blond did not say a word, but simply held his fan out in plain view, to indicate that he would not think twice before using it again on the next person who dared to speak.

Since the jeep had stopped, Gojyo jumped off. He made sure that he was at a good distance from Sanzo before announcing his reasons for getting off the jeep. "I'm going to climb a tree and see if I can find the town we were supposed to be in an hour ago from up there," his resolution was met with confused blinks from Goku and a slightly surprised look from Hakkai. Sanzo was indifferent.

"Very well, I suppose we should all stretch our legs," Hakkai exited the jeep and prompted Sanzo to do so, but he simply sat there scowling.

Goku eagerly jumped out of the jeep. "I think I hear a river. Maybe I can catch some fish," he bolted towards the direction he heard the running water. Gojyo moved in the opposite direction, examining the trees, trying to decide which one to climb.

Hakkai waited for Sanzo to move with a smile on his face as always. "Aren't you coming Sanzo?"

"No," Sanzo waved his fan threateningly. He didn't use it on Hakkai often, but he would start using it if necessary.

"It's just that I thought Hakuryu could use a break too. Let me take him to the river so he can drink some water. He has been carrying us around for a long time and it would be most inconsiderate to deny him a drink of water," Hakkai calmly explained.

Growling in discomfort, Sanzo got off the jeep before it changed back and caused him to fall on the ground. That would no doubt ignite the full rage of the annoyance he had been holding back for the past few hours.

"Thank you," Hakkai held his ever present smile, which was beginning to get on Sanzo's nerves. Hakuryu changed back to his dragon form and flew towards Hakkai, perching on his shoulder. Hakkai then began to walk towards the river while petting the cute little dragon.

Sanzo stood still for a moment, wondering if he should simply wait there or move. He wasn't feeling up to watching Gojyo climb a tree, unless he fell, it was no fun to watch. He could go to the river and watch Goku make a fool of himself while trying to catch fish and fail miserably. Maybe that would take away at least a little of his sour mood. So it was decided, Sanzo hid his paper fan on his sleeve again and headed towards the river.

xoxox xox xoxox

Upon his arrival at the river, he saw Hakkai calmly sitting at the edge. Hakuryu was drinking some water and Goku had his head entirely in the river. He pulled his head up and shook the water out of his hair, splashing Hakkai and Hakuryu a little. At least Sanzo wasn't close enough for the water to reach him or is paper fan would get a lot of exercise. "There are no fish here" Goku was greatly disappointed.

Sanzo ignored his complaints and approached the river's edge. The water was clear and crystalline. It was easy to see to the bottom of the river, which wasn't too deep. If he got in, which he wasn't planning to do, the water would only reach his waist. Then he saw it, a basket floating down the river. At first he assumed some poor easily distracted fool tried to watch clothes in the river and the laundry floated away despite the river looking so calm. For such a calm river to steal someone's laundry so easily, they would have to be a real idiot. Then he heard a sound like a cry and he stared at the floating basket. Could it be that there was actually a baby in there? Was it an abandoned child thrown in a river? Sanzo had his eyes opened wide and his mouth nearly reaching the ground, despite the lack of sound coming from it, as he pointed at the floating object.

Goku was the first to notice. "Sanzo are you alright?"

It as was if something snapped and Sanzo was quick to react. Hakkai was focused on Hakuryu's cuteness while he drank water, but even so he couldn't ignore the fact that Sanzo just ran into the river. The water reached up to his waist, so it wasn't too hard to take the floating basket from the calm river. He felt a strange sense of familiarity with the creature in the basket that he assumed to be a human baby. No way was he going to let some poor abandoned child float away at the mercy of the river and whatever wild animals may find it. He simply couldn't allow it.

As Sanzo left the river and paused to look at the basket, Goku, Hakkai and Hakuryu surrounded him. Goku and Hakkai stood left and right from the Sanzo and Hakuryu sat on Sanzo's head instead of Hakkai's shoulder as he usually did. However, Sanzo was too focused on the contents of the basket to say anything to the little dragon. He held the basket with one arm and lifted the blanket covering it with the other hand. Inside the basket there was not a human baby as Sanzo had thought; there was instead a kitten.

"Aw!" Goku and Hakkai exclaimed at the same time. Hakuryu added his equivalent "kyu!" for even the dragon thought kittens were cute.

That time not too long ago when they found a lost kitten, Sanzo had refused to take part in spoiling her, but in the end he couldn't help it but to end up caring about her too. They kitten protected him against the youkais that brought that surprise attack. She was injured, but she lived. That's why they couldn't have a pet like that. Hakuryu was used to the youkai attacks and could keep himself safe but a kitten couldn't. "Don't get any ideas, we're not keeping him," Sanzo sourly informed his companions. It seemed that his experience with the previous kitten had improved his resistance to allergies, but it wasn't his allergy that Sanzo was worried about, he was really worried about the kitten getting hurt.

"We can't just abandon the little guy," Hakkai protested. This kitten was a boy, a little baby boy with golden blond fur and cute violet yes.

"Can't we keep him? We'll guard him better this time. We'll take good care of him. We'll protect him!" Goku insisted over and over to no avail.

"It's better off staying here," Sanzo put the basket on the ground and proceeded to push his complaining companions away. "Not another word of this!"

xoxox xox xoxox

Hakkai, Goku and Hakuryu fell silent as they made their way back to the main road where Gojyo was waiting. "Good news, the town is just ahead," Gojyo informed, though his news did not bring the pleasant reaction he expected.

"Hakuryu please transform," Hakkai requested sadly.

"Kyu..." Hakuryu turned back into his jeep form and waited for everyone to get on.

"Let's hurry and go eat..." Goku spoke with an unbelievable lack of excitement. It was almost as if he didn't really care.

"What happened to you guys and where's the Sanzo?" Gojyo asked. "Nothing," Hakkai and Goku said at the same time. It was best to drop the subject rather than being sad over the kitten they couldn't keep or more specifically the kitten Sanzo wouldn't let them keep.

Sanzo who had been lagging behind, arrived with a peculiar expression on his face as if he was holding back laughter. He sat down and received glares from Hakkai and Goku. "Let's go," Sanzo was impatient.

Gojyo was very confused. "What's going on, did I miss something?" His reply from Sanzo was a hit to the head with the Harisen. A few curses later, Gojyo fell silent and Hakkai and Goku's glares continued.

xoxox xox xoxox

They arrived at the town and went to the inn as they usually did. Gojyo, who was still feeling confused from the bad mood that reigned over Hakkai, Goku and Hakuryu and Sanzo's strange expressions, volunteered to go buy the supplies. The half youkai needed some time away from the others until they decided to stop being random.

After Gojyo left, Hakkai sat in their room petting Hakuryu. He wanted to go make sure Gojyo bought all the proper products with the best possible quality and price, but he wasn't in the mood to go shopping. Goku had ordered some food to the room service and was currently eating it, while occasionally giving Sanzo sat kitten looks, in a hopeless effort to remind him of the kitten and convince him to go back for it.

"Aren't you two leaving?" Sanzo's face was half covered by the newspaper, but they could see his eyes twitching a little.

"This is our room too," Hakkai reminded him.

"I'm busy eating," Goku then turned his attention back to the food. Sanzo glared at them, but didn't insist on the matter anymore. He continued reading the newspaper until he could no longer hold in the laughter. First it came out quietly, slipping out against his resistance, then it was loud laughter that rung out full force.

Hakkai, Goku and Hakuryu stared at Sanzo as if he grew a second head. "What the..." "kyu?" The three asked in a chorus.

As soon as Sanzo was calm enough to move, he pulled out a kitten from his robes. "I told you to stay still," he told the yellow fur ball, but of course the cute little kitten did not understand. He was just happy that someone was playing with him.

"Aw, how cute!" "Kyu!" Hakkai, Goku and Hakuryu surrounded Sanzo, making little baby sounds at the adorable kitten.

"I knew that you couldn't leave him behind," Hakkai commented and Sanzo was not too happy about it.

"Can I hold him?" Goku extended his arms.

Sanzo knew he had no excuse. He couldn't simply say the kitten jumped on him and hid without him noticing, no one would believe that. There was no way to avoid it, he was caught in the act of being a softie. On the bright side, at least Gojyo wasn't there to witness it. He would just have to make up for it with a little help from Harisen. "Stop annoying me!" Sanzo guided the Harisen to collide with Goku's head then surprisingly with Hakkai's.

Hakkai stared at Sanzo in disbelief. It seemed that the only one who was spared was Hakuryu because he was too cute to feel the wrath of the Harisen. "You hit me," Hakkai was incredulous while rubbing the sore spot on his head.

Goku stared at Hakkai then at Sanzo, then he continued looking back and forth between the two. He feared what would happen next. Would Hakkai be angry? Would they never be friends again?

Hakkai paused looking thoughtful. The tension in the air could be clearly felt. "I see..." He had apparently come to a conclusion. Sanzo, Goku and Hakuryu looked at him waiting for him to continue. "So you are a protective father. There's no need to worry, uncle Hakkai just wanted to say hello to his little nephew." The smile once again returned to Hakkai's face and the tension faded away.

"What did you say?" Sanzo wasn't happy with that comment either.

"No, no you're holding him wrong. It must be done like this," Hakkai took Hakuryu in his arms and held him like a baby. "See? Now you try it."

Sanzo blinked, "c'mon Sanzo, hold him right or let me do it!" Goku insisted.

"This kitten is younger than the one we took care of before. He probably can't drink milk on his own yet. Well have to feed him with a bottle. He's only a little baby," Hakkai explained.

"Then someone should make sure Gojyo brings enough milk for the baby kitten," Goku pointed out. Both Hakkai and Sanzo looked at him as if saying with their eyes what should be done. "Me? Why do I have to be the one to go?"

xoxox xox xoxox

A few minutes later, Goku was out of the inn and on his way to the grocery store. Finding Gojyo wasn't too hard after he managed to stop himself from being distracted by all the food. "So the monkey decided to help out after all," Gojyo was slightly surprised.

"I'm here to make sure you bring enough milk. Well I gave you the message, so I'll be gong now." Goku wanted to return to the inn and play with the cute little kitten.

"Hold on a minute there monkey," Gojyo stopped Goku from leaving. "What do you mean by enough milk? I have a feeling there's something you're not telling me."

"I mean milk for the baby. I came here to tell you to bring enough. I want to go back and play with him now," Goku was hoping to get away from the task of helping with the groceries so he could go pester Sanzo about allowing him to hold the kitten.

Gojyo paused, Goku's words echoed in his head as he tried to make some sense out of them. "Did you say baby? There's a baby?"

"Yeah he's Sanzo's little baby and he looks just like him too!" There were some similarities between Sanzo and the kitten, such as hair and eye color, but the way Goku worded it, made Gojyo come to the wrong conclusions.

The water sprite turned ghostly pale in total shook. "You're kidding." Any second now the monkey would burst out laughing and Hakkai and Sanzo would pop out from behind the unstable soup can pyramid and make fun of him for falling for such an obvious trick. Any second... Goku looked totally serious. "Sanzo's... baby?"

"Yeah!" Goku nodded. "He's really young and should still be with the mother, but the poor little guy was left all alone. What's wrong?"

Gojyo took deep even breaths. 'Sanzo has a child? The mother abandoned their kid with him? But when did this happen? When? Where? How?' He paused in his thoughts. "Well, not how, that part is obvious, but when? Isn't that obvious too? At least nine months ago. But in what precise moment in time, if Sanzo was with us all the time? Maybe he snuck out at night while we were all asleep at an inn. To think he absolutely refused that time when I invited him to come drinking when I was trying to lighten the mood. I thought he was hopeless but all along...'

"Gojyo," Goku's voice made Gojyo snap out of his thoughts.

"You're serious," Gojyo stammered.

"Yes," Goku didn't understand why this was so hard to believe. It wasn't the first time they found a kitten and took care of it.

"Right, then I'll get the supplies and you can go on back to the inn," Gojyo agreed.

Goku seemed quite happy with the way things went. "Great! I'll see you later," the boy ran off, back to the inn.

Gojyo continued placing items in the grocery cart. He needed a moment alone to think. The news still hasn't sunk in, but Goku didn't look like he was lying. To picture Sanzo with a child of his own, the image just didn't fit.

xoxox xox xoxox

As Goku returned to the inn, he saw Lirin walking down the street and called out to her. "Lirin!" He saw that she was crying. "Lirin, what's wrong?"

She looked at him with the saddest expression he had ever seen on the girl's face. "I lost..." she sobbed and the rest was impossible to understand.

"You got lost?" Goku was surprised. It wouldn't be the first time Lirin arrived on her own, but she had never complained about being lost. "But you're in town and you found me, the others are in town too."

Lirin shook her head. "I lost..." She started crying loudly, causing Goku to panic. He didn't know how to handle the situation.

"Don't cry, Lirin! Everything will be okay. Whatever's wrong, I'll help you, I promise!" He hugged her until she finally started to calm down.

She sniffled and tried to speak clearly so that Goku would understand. "I lost my kitten."

"You have a kitten?" Goku did not make the connection right away.

Lirin nodded. "My big brother has been spending a lot of time away training with Dokugakuji lately. The entire time I've been staying with Yaone. It's been fun, but I missed my brother. I told him that and he said he was sorry for not spending a lot of time with me lately. Then the next day, he gave me a kitten as a present. I was playing with him near a river and I thought he needed to take a break, so I put him in a basket to nap. Yaone was cooking, I went to help her for a second and we got kind of distracted. I got some milk in case the kitten was thirsty, but he was gone, the basket too. That's why I don't think he wandered off. He was too small to carry the basket. Somebody kidnapped my kitten!"

"Who would do such a terrible thing?" Goku was too upset to realize that no kidnapping ever took place.

"If I find my kitten, I'll never let him get taken ever again and his kidnapper will be sorry!" Lirin vowed.

"I'll help you look for your kitten and beat up the kidnapper!" Goku offered.

xoxox xox xoxox

Gojyo purchased all the necessary items, including baby supplies which weren't really needed for a kitten, and retuned to the inn. Hakkai seemed as cheerful as ever, humming along with Hakuryu, what was that song? Gojyo couldn't guess. "Welcome back Gojyo," Hakkai had seen Goku outside the inn by the window talking to Lirin and hugging her, but couldn't hear what they were saying from inside and didn't realize he was consoling her. "I saw Goku not too long ago with Lirin, young love is so cute."

Gojyo was rather quiet. It was the moment of truth, he was so focused on finding out if the story about Sanzo's child was true, that he completely missed the part about Goku and Lirin. He put the grocery bags on the table and asked. "Where's the baby?"

"He's taking a nap with his daddy, they're really adorable together. I knit that little blanket myself," Hakkai replied.

Gojyo stared at him, how could Hakkai take this so naturally? He was knitting blankets and everything. Sanzo appeared to be fast asleep. He held back the need to make a comment about old people and their need for naps. There was someone next to him. Gojyo quietly picked up the 'baby' who was wrapped in the blanket his uncle Hakkai knit. He took a look at the kitten's face and gasped. 'A neko youkai? He had a romance with a neko youkai?' He suddenly felt identified with the child. He had been abandoned by his mother in the care of his eternally annoyed father. That child was a half blood like Gojyo, though he was a different and rare type of youkai, he was a half youkai none the less. Maybe his hair wasn't red because that rule didn't apply to neko half bloods, only regular half youkais. He imagined that as the child grew, he would look more like a neko and less like a kitten. No doubt this was Sanzo's kid, he would recognize the golden hair and violet eyes anywhere. "Don't worry little guy, your uncle Gojyo will always be here for you!"

"What are you doing water sprite?" Sanzo woke up and realized his kitten wasn't next to him.

"Nothing to worry about I was just saying hi to your son. Have you thought of a name for him yet? I will not allow you to call him Sanzo Jr., have some originality," Gojyo insisted.

Sanzo looked confused, "what are you rambling about?"

"Goku told me all about it. Why didn't you tell us about your secret romance? Where's the mother? Neko-youkais are very rare, I thought they were extinct, does she have a sister?" Gojyo didn't know that with every word, he was a step closer to his doom.

Sanzo deeply analyzed Gojyo's every word. "You're saying that this is my child, the child of a neko youkai and me?"

"Yes, Goku told me. You really didn't need to keep it all a secret, I'm of mixed blood myself, Hakkai is always understanding and Goku won't even know what's going on. Why didn't you tell us?" As Gojyo dug his own grave, Hakkai was coming over with a bottle of milk.

"I think there has been a little misunderstanding," Hakkai made an understatement and Hakuryu made his cute little 'kyu' sounds as if he was laughing.

"Right," Sanzo calmly took the kitten from Gojyo and gently gave him to Hakkai.

"Come on little one, uncle Hakkai will give you your milk over there," Hakkai waked away before the hurricane of bullets began.

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Goku and Lirin spent the day searching for the lost kitten and his apparent kidnapper. By nightfall, Yaone who was also out searching, caught up to them and insisted that Lirin returned to their camp to get some sleep and Goku should go back to Sanzo's group, as they must be worried. So they ended the fruitless search. Poor Lirin was still very sad and Goku was yet to make the connection between Sanzo's new kitten and Lirin's missing kitten.

As Goku entered the inn room, he heard a sneeze. "Did you catch a cold Sanzo?"

"No, my allergies came back." Even so he held the kitten, ignoring the sneezes.

"Did you have fun on your date with Lirin?" Hakkai inquired.

Goku's face turned red. "I wasn't on a date, I was..." That's when something suddenly snapped in Goku's mind. An imaginary light bulb lit up above his head and all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. "That must be the kitten Lirin lost! I was out helping her look for him!"

"This is Lirin's kitten?" Sanzo ended the statement with a sneeze. "Give it back to her and tell her to watch him more carefully from now on." Sanzo gave the kitten to Goku. Hakkai, Hakuryu and Gojyo, who miraculously survived, looked at him with surprise. "We can't keep him, I said it from the beginning. With all the youkai attacks we can't travel with a kitten. Besides," he sneezed, "it was only a matter of time before my allergies came back."

"It's hard to let another kitten go. It's especially hard for you, isn't it Sanzo?" Hakkai said too much.

"We'll miss the little guy, but it'll be best this way," Gojyo agreed.

"Kyu, kyu," even Hakuryu gave his goodbyes.

Hakuryu flew into Sanzo's arms, while Hakkai and Gojyo stood left and right, patting his shoulders in s supportive way. "Who said I need any of this? Go on, get out of here, monkey. Take the fur ball back to his owner," Sanzo insisted.

"Don't worry, I'm sure Lirin will never leave him alone again, so we'll see him again when we see her," Goku hurried out of the inn and into the forest surrounding the town.

xoxox xox xoxox

Lirin and Yaone were most likely camping in the cover of the forest since they were youkai and wouldn't want to scare the town's people. He searched around for them and found them downstream near the river.

Lirin sat near the river's edge looking very sad. It was too dark to find the kitten, but she couldn't sleep. A fire burned dimly behind her and Yaone patiently waited for Lirin to go into her sleeping bag and fall asleep before getting some rest herself. She looked towards Goku when she heard someone approaching. As he came closer she recognized him, he was holding something. "Goku... is that?"

"I think it is. Is it your kitten?" Goku gave Lirin the kitten.

The feline appeared to recognize Lirin and was happy to see her. "My kitten, you found him!"

"He wasn't kidnapped after all. Sanzo found a basket floating in the river and that's where he found the kitten. We've been taking care of him, but I didn't know he was your kitten at first," Goku explained.

Lirin hugged her kitten and petted him gently. "I'll cake much better care of him from now on. Thank you for taking care of him," Lirin gave Goku a kiss on the cheek, which made his face turn red as he smiled sheepishly.

xoxox xox xoxox

A few days later... "Cute little Sanzo," Lirin sweetly voiced.

The actual Genjo Sanzo was asleep near by, at least until recently.

"Sanzo is really cute," Goku agreed.

It was a strange way to say it, but the boy did admire him very much so Sanzo disregarded the comment, and Lirin's presence, to opt for a trip back to dream land.

"Hey certainly is," Gojyo spoke in a baby voice. "Cute little Sanzo, I stare at him forever, but why just stare? It makes me want to pet him. Cute little baby!"

If the merciful goddess's nephew wasn't worried before, he was certainly weirded out then. He assumed that Gojyo was drunk, very drunk and silently prayed that he didn't come near him, because then he would have to shoot, and as much as he wanted to shoot at Gojyo sometimes, he certainly didn't want the reason to be that weird. Then there was the fact that he was still exhausted from their previous encounter with a group youkais.

"Aw look at him sleeping. How adorable, I want to hug him when he wakes up," Hakkai expressed.

Hakkai didn't sound drunk, he never got drunk, even if he had plenty of sake. He was the mother hen of the group so it shouldn't be too strange that he was like that. But who was Sanzo trying to fool, convincing himself that such words were normal? No one but himself. Hakkai was kind and even affectionate to the group in a brotherly-fatherly way, but this was too much.

"Big brother I'm really glad Sanzo is part of the family," Lirin announced. Part of the family? What in the world was she talking about?

"Yes, you're doing very well taking care of San... him." The name would take some getting used to for Kougaiji.

"It's nice sitting here with all of us together, watching Sanzo sleep, isn't it?" That comment came from Yaone.

"Yes, it's great," Dokugakuji agreed.

What? Them too? What was wrong with the world that day? Genjo Sanzo did not open his eyes. He was too weirded out to face anyone at the moment, but he didn't want to continue pretending to be asleep and listening to the conversation about him, or at least he thought it was about him. Genjo Sanzo tried to fall asleep, he desperately wanted to wake up to a world where everything was as it always had been. Maybe it was all just a strange delusional dream. Then again, the attention wasn't so bad. As long as no one tried to hug him, or worse yet pet him, it honestly wasn't so bad. Feeling slightly better about the situation, Genjo Sanzo got up.

He was greeted with a friendly "kyu," from Hakuryu who changed from jeep form to dragon form as son as Sanzo got off. Hakkai, Gojyo, Goku, Lirin, Kougaiji, Yaone and Dokugakuji were sitting forming a circle. Hakuryu soon joined them, landing in the center of their circle.

A chorus of "aw" was heard. Genjo Sanzo approached to see what it was all about. Hakuryu had his wings over the little blond kitten, keeping him warn in his basket.

Genjo Sanzo stood there for a few moments until the group realized that Hakuryu's presence there as a dragon meant that he was no longer resting in the jeep. "I see you're awake, how are you feeling?" Hakkai inquired.

"Fine," Sanzo directed suspicious looks at everyone. They acted as if they haven't been talking about him at all. Did they have some sort of secret fan club? It was strange and awkward, but somehow flattering.

"Hey Sanzo, do you know what Lirin named the kitten?" Goku asked.

"No, I don't know," Sanzo was still feeling slightly weirded out. He decided it was best to play along and pretend he didn't hear their conversation from before.

"Sanzo, because you two look so much alike."

Sanzo, the human one, started making connections in his mind and suddenly it all made sense. They were talking about the kitten all along. He was relieved that the compliments weren't for him after all, because it would have been weird, yet he couldn't help it but to wish that at least some of the compliments were directed at him. It didn't really matter because even if he would never admit it, he was happy that the cute little kitten was named after him. He was in fact so happy about it, that it didn't even bother him that much when Goku and Lirin started drawing a miniature paper replica of the sultra for the kitten.

End of Destination 38

Disclaimer, I don't own Saiyuki. Special thanks to Kenihiko and Sarah.