"Look at him, Jiroshin. Two thousand five hundred years and he's still the same stubborn bastard he was here in Heaven." The fortune teller smiled as she viewed the world, leaning her head on one of her hands before she took the drink Jiroshin had brought her, raising it to her lips and taking a sip. "But then again, I do believe I said once that things which remain unchanging are boring, hm?"

"Yes, Merciful Goddess. Many times you've said such a thing." Jiroshin placed the tray at his side, coming to stand next to the seat his Goddess sat in, looking out over the lily pond. "Was it wise to send War Prince Nataku's soul to the Earth? Were he still alive, the Jade Emperor surely would have had you sentenced…"

"I believe it was a good thing." Kanzeon Bosatsu sipped at her coffee – a beverage she had grown to like on her frequent visits to the lower world – and her eyes became warm. "Did you see how happy they were together? Goku was on the verge of asking Nataku to be his boyfriend."

"Such atrocities," the attendant muttered under his breath before clearing his throat. "But the accident…"

"Mm…" The Merciful Goddess sighed as she sipped her coffee, watching the lily pond cautiously. "And those people who experimented on Goku…" She sat back in her chair, closing her eyes as she placed her cup in her lap. "Goku and Nataku were obviously not meant to be. No matter how much they meant to the other, they were supposed to remain friends and only friends." Kannon opened her eyes, licking her lips. "The only one who can bring light to Goku's life is Konzen. That's the way it has been, and it's the way it always will be. The little monkey was never meant to be with anyone else."

"I just hope the asshole can discover that this time around and not keep Goku waiting another thousand years…"

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Gensomaden Saiyuki: A.D. 2020
III: Sleepless

Written by Takato Metallium
Disclaimer: I disclaim all rights to Gensomaden Saiyuki. Saiyuki belongs to Kazuya Minekura. I only own the fic, the idea and not much else.
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Sanzo had gotten back to the inn after his encounter with the hag, but he had been unable to sleep. He sat on a chair in the room he had to share with Goku, staring out the window as the monkey snored on his bed, cigarette dangling from his lips. The moon was full, and it had started raining shortly after encountering the fortune teller, thus his inability to fall asleep.

His mind mulled over what the hag had said. It was true that some believed the soul passed on after death to another life, but, as he explained to the woman, he didn't believe in that spiritualist bullshit. Still, he had felt some sort of familiarity when he had bothered to sit down and watch Monkey with Goku, no matter how rare that had been. The simple fact that the little monkey he traveled with shared the same translated name with the Chinese legend sent chills up his spine.

"…ku…" The mumbled whisper made the former priest look over to where Goku was sleeping, pausing in placing his cigarette to his lips again. He shifted, unconsciously moving closer to hear what his ward was talking about in his sleep. He saw Goku's face contort, as though in pain and he turned, facing outward from the wall as a hand slipped out from under the covers as though reaching for something. "…Nataku…" Goku mumbled again, squirming beneath his sheets as he struggled to reach the person he was calling for.

Sanzo's amethyst eyes narrowed a little, having never heard Goku talk about someone by that name before while awake. 'Must have been before those crazy scientists got hold of him,' he thought to himself, knowing that the monkey couldn't remember anything before that time. 'Whoever this Nataku was, he must have been close to him…' Biting back the violent surge of jealousy, Sanzo settled himself into the chair next to Goku's bed, crossing his arms over his chest and closing his eyes, only to open them again as he felt something land in his lap, right over his crotch.

"…ku…I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…"

The blonde's cheek twitched, before he reached into the back of his jeans and brought out a harisen. WHACK!

"OW!" Goku immediately woke, rubbing the back of his head as he glared at his keeper. "WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!"

"You're talking in your sleep," Sanzo muttered irritably, snuffing out the butt of his cigarette in the ashtray on the bedside and pulling a packet out of his jeans, popping another one between his lips and lighting it. "It's annoying and it's keeping me awake." He moved over to his own bed again, sitting on it.

"I was…?" The brunet blinked, wide golden eyes staring at the former monk…and then the questions started. "Was I talking about anything in particular? 'Cause I watched a TV show once, an' they were sayin' that you can get in contact with your past life in your dreams, and I…"

"Shut up." Sanzo didn't sound irritated anymore, just tense. Goku blinked again, watching him. "You were talking about food, you stupid monkey. You watch too much TV."

"Well, what was I supposed to do when you were out on missions?" the teen whined, still rubbing the spot where Sanzo's harisen had hit him. Goku paused, looking over towards the door with a frown on his face. "San…"

"Yeah, I felt that too." Sanzo's hawk-like amethyst eyes wandered over to the door. "And the bed in Gojyo and Hakkai's room has stopped squeaking…finally…"

"Eeew…TMI, Sanzo!"

"Just shut up and keep quiet." The former priest reached over into his leather jacket, pulling out his Smiths & Wesson, checking that it was fully loaded before standing from the bed and going over to the door, his hand on the handle. Goku untangled himself from the sheets on his bed and stood, summoning Nyoi-bo and closing the distance so he stood next to his keeper.

Sanzo opened the door, poking his head out into the hallway. It was deathly quiet in the inn, but then again it was the middle of the night. He, however, didn't like the quiet one bit. Motioning for Goku to follow him, he quickly closed the distance between their room and Gojyo and Hakkai's next door, knocking softly before slipping inside and pulling Goku in with him.

"I take it you two felt it as well then?" Hakkai was buttoning up his jeans, Gojyo in the process of waking Hakuryuu up in the adjacent room. Sanzo nodded and the taller brunet picked his glasses up from the bedside table, slipping them on over his eyes. "There are a few of them…I noticed their presence during dinner."

"You too, huh?" Sanzo pulled his cigarette from between his lips, flicking the ash into the tray on the coffee table before bringing it back to his mouth and taking a quick puff, Gojyo coming out of the other room with Hakuryuu on his back, still sleeping soundly. "From the way the stairs were creaking, I'd say they went downstairs."

"At least six, if not seven," Gojyo added, shifting Hakuryuu's weight so the boy demon rested comfortably on his back. "Couple of hotties as well, though their smell gave them away."

Hakkai looked a little disgruntled at his partner's choice of words, slipping his cross around his neck as he finished getting dressed. "Demons. I overheard them at dinner talking about orders from someone named Kougaiji."

Goku blinked, looking around at his traveling companions as they talked. "You don't think they were talking about Kougaiji Koushou, do you? Gyoukumen Koushou's kid?"

All three older men blinked before looking at each other. "It's a possibility," Gojyo said, blowing some red hair out of his eyes. "He's the only Kougaiji I've ever heard of…though there was a Kougaiji who was the son of Gyuumaoh two thousand years ago."

"I'll look it up on a search engine when we get to a town with Internet," Hakkai said, scratching the back of his neck in embarrassment. "I kind of left my laptop back at the apartment in Chang'an."

"Great. Wonderful," the former monk muttered, snuffing out his butt in the ashtray as he straightened himself, checking his gun once again before looking at the others. "We ain't going back for it. Hope you're all ready for this."

They nodded and moved out of the room quietly, heading down the stairs to the dining room of the inn…

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Houmei didn't know why this was happening. All she knew was that she wanted it to end.

The human girl hid in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, the door cracked opening a little as she watched her father try to fend off the monsters. She wasn't stupid, she knew they were demons. They'd taken the life of the head chef and most of the cooking staff before her father had gotten in their way. Apparently they were housing some priest…but Houmei couldn't remember seeing anybody in any robes or whatever all day.

She bit into her hand as she watched, forcing down the scream begging to erupt from her throat, blood pooling around her teeth due to the force as she watched them kill her father, closing her eyes as tears sprung to them. Those bastards… Not thinking clearly, she reached for a frying pan, the pain in her hand enough to keep her from fainting at the smell of blood.

"Come out come out, little girl," the woman teased, her voice a soft purr as she looked around the kitchen, dropping Houmei's father unceremoniously to the ground. Meiran had seen her minions run off – presumably after the so-called priest and his party – leaving the demon woman alone in the room. From her cracked doorway, she could see the woman lick up the blood that ran down her arm, and the teenage girl felt like vomiting.

This inn had been her family's pride for generations…she wasn't going to let the Houan name go down without a fight!

"So you've arrived at last, Genjo Sanzo." Houmei let her eyes shift from the woman to the side, only able to catch a glimpse of blonde hair. She gasped as she lost her footing, tumbling out of the cupboard underneath the sink and into the pool of blood and carcass waiting for her. Whatever the woman wanted with her was gone, her focus only on the man before her. "Hand over the Maten Scripture."

The man snorted. "Like Hell." He raised a gun, and Houmei fought back the urge to scream again, before she realized it was at the demon woman. "Why do you want it and who are you working for?"

She smiled, licking her lips almost delicately. "I see your companions fell prey to my underlings," she purred, completely avoiding the question as she continued to lick blood from her hands. "You're all that's left of the once holy party," she mocked.

The man – Genjo Sanzo, Houmei had figured out by now – said nothing, instead he kept his gun cocked at the woman as she charged toward him, firing a couple of rounds for effect but from Houmei's vantage point, she seemed to dodge each attack.

WHACK!

The sound rebounded off the walls of the kitchen, the woman knocked back by the sudden appearance of a small brunet boy with a red Bo staff in hand, the boy retreating to the priest's shadow like a monkey would. She saw the two other men who had accompanied them – one with red hair and eyes and the other a taller brunet – and would have sighed with relief had she not seen the diadem around the smaller brunet's head and the ear cuffs the other was wearing.

Demons. Houmei hissed as a boy with white hair and red eyes approached her, asking her if she was alright as his hands glowed a baby blue hue. She smacked his hands away, standing after slipping up once in the blood now coating the kitchen floor. "FUCKING DEMONS!" Houmei yelled, pressing up against the cupboards with something akin to fear dancing in her eyes. "CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE US NORMAL PEOPLE ALONE?!"

Her shouts went unanswered as the female demon chuckled and seemed to…morph, Houmei's eyes growing wide as she became a monstrous spider, nearly cracking the ceiling above the kitchens, sending cutlery and pots and pans flying every which way. Houmei let out the scream that had been wanting to rip from her throat, unable to do anything as the spider lurched forward…and ate her.

"Ouch," Gojyo muttered as he watched the teenage girl be eaten, a disgruntled look on his face as Hakuryuu ran back over to them to hide behind Hakkai's legs. "Damn…and here I was gonna ask her out as a thanks for saving her…"

"Weren't you just getting laid half an hour ago?" Goku asked, while Hakuryuu blinked and looked up at Hakkai, his adoptive older brother telling him not to worry about the conversation.

"There's difference to having sex with a man and sex with a woman, chimp."

"Enough of this shit," Sanzo snapped, pulling the Maten Scripture out of his back pocket. "Goku, Gojyo. Think you can distract her?"

"On it!"

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"Lord Kougaiji, Arachne failed in her duty to retrieve the Maten Scripture," Yaone said softly, approaching the red haired teenager in the rose garden of the presidential grounds. He looked over his shoulder at her out of the corner of his eye, but didn't answer her, instead turning back to watch his little sister smell the different coloured flowers, enjoying a rare day allowed outside the house. "Please, allow me to pursue the Sanzo-ikkou…"

"Yaone, your duty is to take care of Lirin," Kougaiji said, finally turning around to look at her as she looked a little startled, stepping back a bit. "To make sure no harm comes to her. It's not that I don't think you're not capable of taking on Sanzo and his followers, but it's just you're the only one I can trust to take care of my sister."

"…Yes, Lord." Yaone bowed deeply, closing her eyes as she broke off his gaze. "I understand."

"I'll send Dokugakuji after them," he continued, turning to watch Lirin blink as a butterfly landed on her nose. He smiled softly, then turned back to Yaone. "Next time you see him, tell him I want to speak with him."

"As you wish." She smiled, watching her Lord walk off to join his little sister, watching Lirin smile as he gently took hold of the butterfly, pulling it off her nose and opening his hand up, letting it fly away.

If only he could do the same…

End of chapter three

Notes: Thanks for all the encouraging reviews, everyone! Hope you enjoyed chapter three of A.D. 2020 as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'm watching the second season of Saiyuki again, so I'm getting lots of inspiration (the second season being the only complete season I have). What will happen next chapter? Not even I'm aware yet. Your reviews are encouraging as they are fun to read. Eyes of Shinigami; thanks for pointing out to me that Kougaiji has lavender eyes, but I do have something in store for this version of Kougaiji ((rubs hands together gleefully)).

Constructive criticism and comments are always welcome! Hope to see you next time!