Accidental Parent

Actually, I like drawing fanart better than writing fanfic because I don't have to use 3 books of dictionary when I make my fanarts^^;; The pair in my fanart usually comes out to be Gojyo and Goku but when I tried making fanfic, it turned out to be the story about Goku and Sanzo instead @_@ I tried to make something about Gojyo and Goku and it became this fic. I know the story is quite irrational and the ending isn't so good, but after spending almost 2 months scratching my head to write my idea in English, What do you think you can expect from me?

Accidental Keeper

"Hey, that's mine!"

"What? I don't see your name written anywhere on it. How could you claim that it's yours?"

Gojyo and Goku were fighting over food in the backseat of jeep. With a piece of pizza in one hand, Gojyo managed to block Goku from reaching for that pizza by shoving the boy's head with his long arm. Goku tried vainly to grab his food which was unsuccessful since Gojyo kept it too high and far away for the monkey's hand to reach.

"Give it back!" Goku cried angrily and made a jump throwing his arm about that pizza.

"Oops!" Gojyo exclaimed as the boy's attempt was half successful. A piece of pizza fell off the kappa's hand. However, Goku failed to get it. Unfortunately, it dropped on top of Sanzo's head.

"…"

After a moment, it slowly slid down Sanzo's head and dropped on his lap. Violet eyes fell shut and the monk began to shake. Sweatdropping, Gojyo and Goku hurried checking on Sanzo.

"S-Sanzo, you're alright?" Goku stuttered.

"Uh…you need to get your hair washed…" Gojyo quickly offered Sanzo a canteen with his nervous smile. "Here water."

"You two are so very hungry, right?" Sanzo asked through gritted teeth, still sat shakingly in the front with his back towards the two youkais in the back. "So, eat these and GO TO HELL!!!" Snarling, the monk turned around abruptly, raising his left arm with the gun in his hand. The shots were fired twice, bullets missed Goku's and Gojyo's heads by inches.

"Oooohhh!!" Goku instantly lowered his head and squeezed his eyes shut with both hands rubbing on his head. By that gesture, he did not see Gojyo's reaction, though, he could hear the sound of water splashing over something. Goku slowly opened his eyes and saw Sanzo's face soaked.

"…"

Water dripped from soaking blond bangs that hid the murderer's look from those eyes behind. Gojyo still held his hands up in defense, an empty canteen in his hand, staring at Sanzo helplessly.

"Sorry." Gojyo's voice was timid. "I didn't mean to…"

"Umm…excuse me." Before a murder could happen, Hakkai who had been sitting silently all along in a driver's seat had broken the situation with his worried voice.

"What?" Sanzo lowered his gun and turned back, sitting down on his seat. Goku and Gojyo, clinging to each other, sighed in relief together. Hakkai pulled jeep to a stop.

"I'm afraid we couldn't go any farther in such a poor visibility like this." He said, frowning in worry.

Sanzo looked around, finding that they were in the foggy forest. They had entered this forest 2 days ago. Hakkai had measured the distance to go through this forest by using a map they had bought from the nearby village. He had thought that it would get only a single day and night to get past it. Later, it had been proved that he had been wrong. Now, with limited provisions left, they faced a new problem, the fog which just appeared and grew thicker so that they could not go any farther.

"What do you think?" Sanzo asked Hakkai.

"I'm very sure that we'll pass this forest and reach the village within 2 hours according to the distance and the direction we go, but I don't think it's a good idea to go through the fog. So…"

"Aw~man! The third night sleeping in a jeep!" Goku started whining. "I don't wanna.."

"Shudup!!" Sanzo's paper fan whacked over Goku's head.

"Ow!" Goku cried indignantly. "What did you do that for?! I didn't do anything.."

"I said SHUT UP!" Sanzo snapped. "If you're bored sleeping here, then GET OUT and go wherever you want! I don't keep you, anyway."

Goku froze in shock, eyes widened glaring at Sanzo who was giving him a fierce look 'He's angry, I made him angry.' The boy thought in panic. Immediately, he threw his arms holding Sanzo's and pressed his cheek against his upper arm.

"What the hell are you doing?!" Sanzo yelled as he tried to shove the boy's head off.

"I-I don't go anywhere!" Squeezing his eyes shut, Goku said in outrage. "I know you don't want me, but I won't go anywhere without you! I.."

Goku was speechless for a while as a sob rose in his throat. He raised his head looking up at Sanzo. Mournfully, golden eyes overwhelmed with tear glared at Sanzo in silence. Meanwhile, Gojyo's gaze was fixed at Sanzo, either, as well as Hakkai's. The two youkais waited to see the monk's response.

"Idiot," the monk thumped the monkey's head. Anyhow, Sanzo's voice went softer as he spoke the next sentence. "I never say that I don't want you."

A smile appeared on Goku's face and the boy began to chuckle. He dropped on the seat, shaking with a stifled laughter.

"What are you laughing for?" Sanzo asked irritably.

"No-nothing." Goku replied in a muffled voice as he hung his head, hiding his smiling face.

"Stupid monkey." The monk murmured.

Gojyo leaned forwards to whisper at Hakkai's ear. "I don't understand why does he always give in to that monkey?" Smiling Hakkai returned a whisper over Gojyo's ear. "You don't understand unless you happen to be one's keeper."

"What the fuck are you mumbling?" Sanzo shot them an annoyed look.

"Err…I" Hakkai cast a glance over the empty canteen in Gojyo's hand. "I told him to go seek out some water."

"What?!" Gojyo's mouth fell open as he turned his eyes on Hakkai in question.

"Now, we have no water." Hakkai started explanation. "And we're supposed to be in the forest one more night, at least. We need to get water."

"Seeking out water in a damn foggy forest?!" Gojyo yelled. "You gotta be kidding, why do I have to go? You or the monkey.." Hakkai held his hand up before Gojyo's face.

"May I ask a question?" He smiled calmly. "Who emptied it?" He pointed a finger at the canteen.

Gojyo's mouth hung open, but could answer nothing. A while later, the kappa closed his mouth and got out of jeep reluctantly. He was about to go when Goku decided to accompany with him. The boy bounced out of jeep and landed beside him. Gojyo looked down at a small grinning face.

"I'll go with you." Goku said lively. "Sitting in a jeep all day and night made my joints stiff." He stretched his thin arms and then turned around giving Hakkai and Sanzo a cheerful smile. "Don't worry Hakkai, having me with him, Gojyo won't get lost-Ow!" Goku yelped as Gojyo's fist struck hard against his head.

"You, perverted kappa!!" The boy turned around in anger.

"Shut up, just follow me and you won't get lost, stupid monkey!"

With a noisy brawl, Gojyo and Goku moved far away and disappeared into the fog.

__________

In the midst of fog, Goku and Gojyo moved forwards sluggishly. Goku sniffed as he shuffled from foot to foot. Behind him, Gojyo strode restlessly, shooting the boy a piercing glare. They had been walking through the fog for 2 hours and the fog grew thicker every minute. Gojyo's mood also grew annoyed increasingly. He was about to explode.

"Hey! You're sure this way?" Gojyo asked aloud.

"Hmmph…" Goku just gave him a low grunt and a small nod in reply as he sniffed continually.

"We've been walking for goddamned 2 hours already!" Gojyo's voice rose as well as his temper.

"Hmmph…" A same response came from the boy.

With that reply, Gojyo's temper flared up. A canteen in his hand went flying and hit squarely at the back of the boy's head.

"OW!!" Goku yelped. He turned around and yelled in fury. "That hurt! What'd you do that for, perverted kappa?!"

"You said that you smelled water and led me walk for hours. And I don't see even a damn single drop of water! Just tell me now, where the hell is your water?!" Gojyo snarled.

"Don't give me that!" Goku snapped and continued shuffling in a manner of backsteps. "Indeed, it's your task, not mine. I'm not the one who spilled-Oh!!"

With a startled yelp, Goku lost his balance as his foot stepped into an empty air. He had stepped back unawares to the edge of a cliff. Losing balance, Goku fell backwards off a cliff.

"GOKU!!!"

Gasping, Gojyo rushed to the edge of a cliff. Looking down desperately, he tried to look for any traces of the boy, but all he could see was a white smothered fog which not allowed him even to fathom the depth.

"Fuck!"

Without thinking, he scrambled down the cliff side regardless the rough stone surface that scraped into his skin. Reaching to the ground, the first thing in his sight was a glade located 7 feet ahead. After all, he found water, but right now, it did not matter any more since his intention was set for the monkey. Turning to a side, his red eyes widened as he saw a small figure sprawling on the ground.

"Goku!!"

He rushed towards the sprawling form, dropped on his heels and lifted up the limp body. He rested Goku's head on his lap. Blood trickled ceaselessly from the back of his head. Anxious Gojyo lifted his shaking hand slapped Goku's cheek lightly.

"Hey! Goku, hear me? Come on! It's not time to sleep, get up, stupid monkey!"

"Err…"

Groaning, the boy slowly opened his eyes and blinked a few times. Gojyo let out a long sigh in relief. "Ah! You came round."

Raising his head up, he closed his eyes for a moment, pulling himself together. He did not notice Goku's expression. The boy looked up the foggy sky in doubt. He did not stir once, only a little confusion played in his eyes, like one who had woke up from a long sleep.

"Where..am..I?" He asked slowly in a confused voice.

"You've fallen from the cliff." Gojyo lowered his head to talk to Goku and paused as he just noticed something unusual. The boy's face showed him no feeling. Golden eyes looked at him blankly.

"Who..are..you?"

"Huh?!"

__________

Violet eyes widened, the monk jerked his left arm with a gun in his hand towards bushes in the right. Nothing moved, everything in his sight stilled in silence. Sanzo lowered his gun in annoyance, muttering something quietly in his throat. Hakkai, sitting in a driver's seat, looked over his friend's motion doubtfully.

"What's wrong, Sanzo?" Worry tinged in his voice.

"I heard a noise."

"I didn't hear anything."

"Maybe, it's just my imagination." The monk got a cigarette between his lips. Frowning, he lit a cigarette and smoked impatiently. More than 2 hours they had been waiting here in a jeep, surrounded by bushes, trees and a damn fog. And nobody returned, no the monkey, no the kappa and the monk's temper went annoyed increasingly as the daylight began to vanish. He had cursed them in his mind fiercely until he had heard a voice or he thought he had heard it. It was Goku's yelp coming from somewhere far away. With that yelp he had heard, Sanzo felt omnious overwhelmed his mind. A doubtful glare still fixed at him. Sanzo turned his exasperated eyes on Hakkai.

"What?" The monk asked in a dry voice.

"You look so…restless." Hakkai stared as if he could see through the icy wall of Sanzo. "You worry about them, don't you?"

"Nonsense." Sanzo snorted. "Who cares those idiots? Not me, I don't care what in the hell they're doing."

"I care and I know you care too." Despite Sanzo's dead glare, Hakkai continued with his placid smile. "Maybe, they're lost and might take a rest somewhere in the forest. Next morning, they should be back as soon as the sun rises and the fog disappears."

"Come back and I'll shoot them." Sanzo said frowning.

"Well, take some sleep." Hakkai chuckled quietly.

Sanzo flipped a cigarette away. He folded his arms, leaned his back against the seat, relaxed himself and closed his eyes.

"Good night." Hakkai said.

__________

A campfire flickered radiating light and warmth to them. Gojyo had set it after deciding to spend a night here. The visibility had been closed after the sun set and the weather went cold and damp. This fucking accident had proved that going through the fog was a terribly wrong idea. Moreover, he was not sure that Goku was ready to go at this moment.

He sat on a rock, rested his chin on his palm, elbow on his thigh while the other hand kept a cigarette between fingers. Red eyes focussed on the boy next to a campfire. Goku sat cross-legged on the ground, leaned over bringing his face close to the flame. His golden eyes were locked to the dancing reddish flame in fascination. He held one hand up, and then-

"AW!!" The boy jerked his hand back.

"You idiot!!!"

Gojyo yelled frantically as he sprang up to his feet and rushed to him. Kneeling beside him, Gojyo snatched the boy's hand up and cast a glare over it carefully. No serious burn, fingers looked reddened slightly. He held a fist up, wanted to smash the stupid head. However, he was held back by a sight of the strip covered head and the innocent eyes looking up at him. There was something about this innocent look suggesting that he could not do anything with him.

"Shit!" All he could do was giving a snort and turned his head to a side.

This was not Goku, at least this was not the Goku he knew. Goku never gave him such a look like this. He looked more innocent than Gojyo could remember seeing, like a little child. Trust and faith shown in his eyes, it should be the look he gave to the only person in the world, Sanzo.

"Are you angry, Oniichan?"

"Don't call me Oniichan! I told you my name already, just call my name!!"

"Uhh…I forgot it Oniichan."

'Forgot my name?' He had just told him his name when he had stopped his head bleeding half and hour earlier, and now he forgot it.

"Where's your stupid brain?! My name is Gojyo, Sha Gojyo. Forget it again and I'll shove it right into your skull!!!"

"Ok, I won't forget again, Gojyo-niichan."

Gojyo's mouth fell open. He slapped his forehead and sank to the ground wearily. Goku smiled at him brightly. 'Goddamnit, why do I have to be in this condition? Sticking with the memorey-losing monkey here in the midst of fog.' He found Goku losing his memory. He did not remember him and had no response to the name of Hakkai and even Sanzo. It might be the result from that serious head wound. Though, he had stopped the bleeding and the boy showed him no other serious injuries, he was sure the boy needed to be healed by Hakkai as soon as possible.

'Tomorrow, when the sun rises and this damn fog fades away, I'll bring him to Hakkai immediately.' He promised himself.

All thoughts in his mind came to a halt as Goku climbed up to sit on his crossed legs with his back against his stomach and his chest. At first, Gojyo was about to push him away, but Goku tilted his head back showing him a grinning face which hit him so hard that, somehow, he lost his intention all of the sudden. Instead, he wrapped his arms about Goku's stomach and pulled the boy closer to him.

"No doubt, Sanzo gotta kill me when we're back." He snorted to himself. Then, he looked down and held Goku's hand up, observing the burnt fingers once more.

"I can't believe your stupidity, didn't you know that fire could burn you?!"

"I didn't know that it's hot." His answer surprised Gojyo. "I never saw such a beautiful color like this. So, I just wanted to touch it."

Golden eyes looked up at his face. The boy slowly reached for long hair that fell over his face. He grabbed Gojyo's long red hair tentatively, eyes widened in amazement.

"It's not hot!" Goku exclaimed.

"What?" Gojyo's arm around the boy tensed slightly.

"Your hair." He replied in an excited voice. "It's red like it's burning on the fire, but it's not hot at all!"

Gojyo lowered his head to look thoughtfully at Goku's face for a while.

"You used to say this sentence once we first met each other, do you remember?"

Goku's expression turned into a sad looking as he answered. "No, I don't remember anything you told, Gojyo-niichan. You and the other 2 persons you said are my friends? I used to have friends long time ago, but I don't remember who they are. All I can remember I that I was in a cave…" He paused momentarily, eyes went dim as the memory flashed back in his mind. "I was alone in a cave, it was very very dark. I could only watch the empty sky where I never saw the sun. Last thing I could remember was a gray stone ceiling above me before I slept. And when I woke up, I saw you!"

Instantly, his look turned into a happy one as well as his voice. "You freed me from that cave."

"Wait!" Gojyo broke the boy's misunderstanding. "I'm not the one who freed you, Sanzo did it."

"Sanzo?" Goku repeated the name in perplexity.

"Yes, Sanzo is your keeper, your owner. I'll bring you back to him and I'm sure you'll remember him once you face him again."

"And you're gonna leave me to him?" His voce was heart-broken as he hung his head.

'Oh hell' The kappa froze as he heard a sob rising from the small body in his hold. He could not think of how to deal with a dispirited Goku. Sanzo, if Sanzo were here, he would be able to stop Goku from crying, but how? Hit him with a paper fan, that would not work since he could not hit the invalid, anyway. All he could do was tightening his embrace like he was holding a broken-hearted woman. He nuzzled at the nape of the boy's neck and spoke softly. "Hey, I won't leave you, monkey. So don't cry."

"Really?" Hope tinged in his voice.

"Yes."

Goku sniffed to fight back tear. Gojyo waited until he stopped sobbing.

"Now, get off. I'm not your seat." He demanded. Goku shifted to sit on the ground beside him, his gaze fixed at Gojyo's face. Gojyo patted his head gently.

"Go to sleep, we're gonna wake up early." The boy shook his head. "I don't wanna sleep."

"Why?" Gojyo raised an eyebrow. This was strange since Goku usually fell asleep before everyone in the group.

"I fear." A small hand grasped the kappa's shirt. He drooped to look at the ground. "I fear that if I sleep, I'll wake up alone in the cave and realize that you're just my dream. I don't want that."

"Oh silly!" Gojyo's voice was irritable. He grabbed Goku's shoulders and promptly pinned him down on the ground. He let go of the boy's shoulders and lay on his side beside him.

"I said I wouldn't leave you, ok? Now, just close your eyes and sleep. Tomorrow, you'll see me first as soon as you wake up."

Goku truned over to lay on his side with his face towards Gojyo's, his hand still grasped the other's shirt.

"You promise?"

Golden eyes, reflecting uncertainty, looked straight to his.

"Yes."

A small smile spread over his face and eyelids slowly slid close. Few minutes later, he sank into a peaceful sleep, though, his hand did not let go of the other's shirt. Gojyo let out a sigh in exhaustion. Watching Goku's sleeping face, he wondered why he could not refuse those pleading eyes. He always gave in when women cried. He could not stand their sadness shown in the tearful eyes because it reminded him of his past wound. Unlikely, Goku's eyes did not disturb his wound. Anyway, his hear ached differently when he saw them. Those eyes were filled with loneliness that made him uneasy. It seemed like the child was in the depth of despairs and then he found someone coming into his miserable world, bringing him the light of hope. Thus, he gave that person trust from the bottom of his heart like a baby trusted its parent. He was ready to live or die for that person. And accidentally, that fucking person happened to be him instead of Sanzo, why?

'You don't understand unless you happen to be one's keeper.' Hakkai's voice rang in his ears.

"Shit" He frowned and looked down at a small hand gripping his shirt. Although, he wanted to get it off, he merely closed his eyes and slept.

__________

Hot, he was damn hot like being in a stove. What the hell is wrapping about his torso? Gojyo lifted his arm and placed his hand on the thing that wrapped around him. It was an arm, a very hot arm. Red eyes shot open. Looking down, he found himself lying on his side with Goku sticking to him, thin arms encircling his body, small face pressing against his chest. The heat came from the young body.

"Goku!" He shouted.

No response. Gojyo propped himself up on one elbow, trying to loosen Goku's encircling arms off him. Thin arms fell down limply. The boy had a high fever and was unconscious.

"Goku! Goku?!"

Dry pale lips moved slightly, mumbling something soundlessly. Red eyes widened as his hand touched the wetness at the back of Goku's head. In the morning light, he could see his fingers stained red. The boy's head wound was re-opened. No doubt, it caused the fever.

"Fuck!!"

Cursing, he looked around and found that the fog was gone already. The morning visibility was clear enough that he could see the cliff side clearly for the first chance. It was not too high, but almost steep to the vertical. No way to climb up, not to mention that he still had the unconscious Goku to carry. Turning to the right, not too far away, he saw the pathway sloping upwards the cliff side. The fog had hid it from his sight all the night. Gojyo carried Goku on his back and started trudging towards that path.

"Hang on Goku. I'm gonna bring you back. Hakkai gotta be able to heal you!"

__________

Hakkai tapped his fingers on the steering-wheel nervously, sometimes, casting sidelong glances at the figure sitting next to his right. It was late, too late for the return of Gojyo and Goku. Something was wrong definitely. They should have returned hours ago sicne the dawn had arrived. At least, with Goku's sense, they should be able to find the way back if they were lost. Or perhaps, they faced the youkai's attack?

With a decision made, Hakkai got out of jeep.

"What're you doing?" Sanzo asked roughly. Hakkai glanced up at Sanzo. The monk sat arms crossed, cigarette between his lips, gazing at him disapprovingly. He knew Sanzo was in a bad mood due the same reason as his. However, the monk did not show any feelings besides annoyance.

"I'm gonna find them." He answered. "I can't wait any longer." His voice rose in anxiety.

"Where the hell do you think you're gonna find them?" Sanzo growled. "Don't be selly."

"I don't know, but I can't just sit and wait here." He shouted. "They might be in danger!"

He turned back and was about to go. Click A soft sound of the gun being cocked paused his motion in mid-step.

"I say don't be silly. I don't want any fucking problem more." The monk said firmly.

"Go one more step and I'll send you to search them in hell." He spoke each word coldly.

Hakkai turned around abruptly to see the gun was aiming at his forehead. Sanzo's face was grim. Then, Green eyes reflected something unreadable. Hakkai looked not panicky at all. Corners of his lip curled up into a challenging smile. He gazed back at Sanzo in silence. Sanzo's eyes narrowed slightly at the sight of Hakkai.

"Don't give me that look." Anger tinged in his voice.

Suddenly, a sound came from the right interrupted the situation. Sanzo turned around, aiming his gun towards the direction where the sound came from. It was a slow shuffling coming closer and closer. Accompanied with the shuffling, Sanzo and Hakkai heard the panting and nothing else. No calling, no speaking. Tension rose to the peak as the bushes shook parted and the thing that caused the sound of shuffling and panting finally appeared into their sights. Instinctively, Sanzo's forefinger touched the trigger, but he quickly tilted the barrel up all of the sudden as he saw that figure clearly. No, it was not just a single figure. Gojyo trudged towards jeep, panting heavily, carrying a small form on his back.

"Gojyo!! Goku!!" Hakkai yelled in panic and rushed to them.

Gojyo knelt down wearily and fell forwards into Hakkai's arms. He passed out immediately from exhaustion. Kneeling, Hakkai shook Gojyo's shoulders which succeeded in sliding Goku off Gojyo's back.

"Gojyo' what happened?! Goku!!" Green eyes widened as he caught a sight of blood. Hakkai yelled desperately. "Sanzo-Goku's bleeding! Oh god! He has a high fever too!" He seemed to lose his calmness already. "We gotta go out of the forest now!"

Hakkai and Sanzo hurried moving Gojyo and Goku into jeep. Goku was laid on the backseat, his head resting on Gojyo's lap. Hakkai quickly started jeep and drove towards the way out of the forest.

__________

The figure in a bed shifted and rolled over from side to side. Eyelids slowly slid open. Where was he? Soft and warm, he was lying in a comfortable bed. Coziness overwhelmed his body so that he did not want to move. Eventually, he was in a village, away from that fucking forest, but how? Last thing he remembered before passed out-he had been carrying Goku-Goku?

Gojyo instantly jerked upright. Looking around, he saw Sanzo leaning against the wall shooting him an exasperated look, and nobody else was in the room. Where were Hakkai and Goku? Anyway, he had no chance to ask because Sanzo was the one who started asking.

"What the hell happened?" He questioned shortly, violet eyes sending a piercing stare like a dagger. Gojyo gulped at the sight of it. "It was an accident. I'm sorry I couldn't help Goku in time." The kappa's voice fell into a whisper in the next sentence. "He's fallen from the cliff." He hung his head, waiting for Sanzo's anger to be vented on him. Silent. A while later, he collected his courage to ask about the boy. "How's he?"

"Still unconscious since you've carried him back." Sanzo did not express any feelings.

Surprised, Gojyo tilted his head up. "He doesn't come round yet? So, you don't know that he's.."

"What?! Sanzo frowned, eyes narrowed in question.

The door swung open, Hakkai came in, looking rather shocked and confused.

"What's going on, Hakkai?" Sanzo was perplexed at the sight of Hakkai's expression.

"Goku-Goku came to." He stammered and turned to Gojyo. "He wanna see you."

'Oh shit' Gojyo could take a hint from Hakkai's strange behavior. He rose to his feet and hurried making a way out of the room. The next room's door was hung open. Rushing in, he saw the mound of blanket trembling on a bed.

"Goku" He called the name tentatively.

The blanket was shoved off instantly, revealing the small sweat soaking form. Goku's face was flushed due to his fever. His expression turned from the frightened to the relieved one.

"Gojyo-niichan!" He bounced out of bed and threw himself into Gojyo, hugging him fiercely.

"Where have you been? Why didn't you stay with me? Why did you leave me?" He shot him a series of questions in petulance.

"Ah~sorry, it's all my fault." Gojyo said feelingly, patting the boy's back to calm him down. He raised his eyes to see Hakkai and Sanzo coming into the room. Hakkai looked so worried while Sanzo frowned in annoyance and suspicion.

"What're you scared of, anyway?" Gojyo asked Goku. The boy pointed at Hakkai. "That man, he tried to do something to me with his glowing hand."

"Goku don't remember me." Hakkai said worriedly. "He's frightened when I touched him and began to struggle as I tried to check on his head wound. I thought that he might be delirious, but he still had consciousness. He merely called you 'Gojyo-niichan' What had happened to him?"

"Uh…He…lost his memory." Gojyo averted from Sanzo's glare. "It might be the result from his injury since he fell off the cliff, his head was struck cruelly."

Hakkai froze in shock at what he had heard. Sanzo's eyes flashed something terrible.

Gojyo gulped, catching a glimpse of Sanzo's reaction. He lowered his head to explain to Goku who still clung to him. "Don't be scared, they're your friends like me. That's Hakkai." He pointed at his buddy. "He always takes care of you." He paused momentarily, eyes turned on Sanzo. "And that's Sanzo, your keeper, he was the person who freed you from the cave."

Goku's eyes widened as he heard the last sentence. He slowly turned to see Hakkai and Sanzo before called them in a wavering voice. "…Hakkai-san…Sanzo-san…"

Hakkai tried to make his face smile and succeeded in gaining a smile from Goku in return. He sighed in relief. At least, Goku would not be scared of him any more. Then, he cast a sidelong glance at Sanzo to see his response to Goku's calling. The monk walked towards the boy. Shoving Gojyo away with one hand, Sanzo stood glaring at the boy for a long moment. Eventually, he said-

"What the fuck are you playing?"

Goku blinked, giving him a bemused look. And with that response, Sanzo exploded his annoyance. A paper fan in his hand whacked over Goku's head as he yelled angrily.

"Don't give me that look!"

"OW!!"

Sanzo started a fit of hitting Goku's head accompanied with his snarling.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?! I'm not as stupid as them to be fooled by this silly play!"

Meanwhile, Goku cried painfully, with both hands rubbing on his head.

"Ow! Don't hit me! Why? Gojyo-niichan, stop him!!"

Then, the monk stopped hitting. He panted violently, eyes burning with anger fixed at Goku's face. Abruptly, he swung his arm to place the gun in his hand at Goku. The muzzle was pressed against his forehead as he growled firmly.

"Stop your playing or I'll jog your fucking memory with bullets."

The boy had no idea of the stuff that pressed against his forehead. He did not know it could jog his memory. All he knew was that the guy in front of him was very terrible that he began to tremble in real fear.

"Gojyo-niichan, save me!!" Goku yelled desperately.

Suddenly, Gojyo'shand smacked the gun away as he shifted to protect Goku.

"Damnit! You're scaring him! Why do you get mad at Goku? Cuz he forgot you? It's not his fault!" He turned around to check on frightened Goku. "Goku, you're alright?" The boy flew into him. Thin arms wrapping around his waist, small face bathed in tears pressing into his chest. Goku cried aloud in fear.

"I-I don't like him, I fear him! Gojyo-niichan, keep him away from me!"

Opened mouth, Hakkai could barely believe what he had seen/heard. Gojyo soothed weeping Goku by holding him tightly and stroking his back gently. That was incredible! Turning to a side, Hakkai saw Sanzo stood aghast at the sight. His face paled. The monk looked stunned and rather painful. Hakkai doubted if Sanzo was shocked by Goku's cry that he did not want the monk to be near him. Sanzo opened his mouth and then closed again. Turning back, he strode off the room without any words, leaving Goku in Gojyo's possession.

__________

Gojyo closed the door quietly, leaned his back against the door and exhaled a long sigh in exhaustion. He saw Hakkai standing before him, giving him a sympathetic smile.

"How's Goku?"

Getting a cigarette between his lips, he answered in a tired voice. "Sleeping after taking 2 tablets of febrifuge. I just hope he's gonna sleep until tomorrow."

"You look so tired."

"Yeah, I had to hold and soothed him till he fell asleep, that fucking monk had done a good job threatening a kid." He frowned. "And how's he?"

Hakkai tilted his head to a side, giving a gaze at the next door. "He sulked and drove me out of the room with his murderer's look." Then, he turned to his buddy, giving him a cheerful smile. "Let's have some drinks."

10 minutes later, they were at the bar, having some drinks along with the chat.

"You seem to be kinder to Goku, don't you?" Hakkai asked with his amused smile. Gojyo choked on his drink.

"No-I'm not…Oh shit!" He spluttered. "All in all, it's because of that monkey's behavior. He doesn't act like a brat as he usually be. He looks more like a lonely little kid that I can't do anything with him."

"I know you can't break the trust he gives you." Hakkai said in an understanding way. "Losing memory, Goku became a true child and you're the first one to show kindness to him. Thus, there's no doubt why he attaches to you. It's the same way he did to Sanzo. He's like a newborn chick recognizing the first thing in its sight as its parent." He smiled at Gojyo.

"Now, you're Goku's keeper. How do you feel?"

"Damn keeper!" Gojyo replied shortly and emptied his glass in one swallow.

__________

3 days later, the group left the village, heading to the west again. Hakkai drove jeep along the road. He was worried, though, he still kept a smile on his face. The group's balance seemed to be off due to Goku's attitude change. Without a noisy brawl between Goku and Gojyo, the atmosphere was a mixture of peacefulness and tension. Peacefulness was in the backseat, radiating from the sleeping boy whose head rested on Gojyo's shoulder. Gojyo had given in to his fate. Although, he sometimes seemed to be annoyed with Goku clinging to him all the time during these 3 days, he could not bring himself to vent his annoyance on the boy. He began to adapt himself to the role changing. Hakkai also had to adapt himself to Goku. His attempt was rather successful that Goku was open to him again, though, still calling him 'Hakkai-san'.

There were only two who had no need to adapt themselves to Goku. The first was jeep. Goku adored the little white dragon immediately once he had played with it. And the other was Sanzo who sat sulkily next to Hakkai, radiating tension which contrasted with the peacefulness in the back. Grimly, his poker-face looked much more cold than usual as if there was another icy layer covered his face. He barely spoke with Hakkai and Gojyo and never said anything to Goku along these 3 days. The boy seemed to avoided him either, as well he should be, Sanzo appeared to be the extreme danger to him now. Beneath carelessness shown in his cold mask, Hakkai knew that inside, Sanzo was burnt in anger and ready to vent it on Goku anytime he got the chance. Gojyo also got a whiff of threat from the monk and prepared to deal with it.

By this way, the situation tacitly turned out to be the silent strained confrontation between Gojyo and Sanzo. Although, Hakkai did not want the situation to be worsened, he was unable to do anything. The only person who could resolve this tension was-

There was a muffled yawn, small form shifted before golden eyes slowly opened. Sleepy Goku stretched his arms in a lazy manner. Gojyo sighed, rubbing his achy shoulder.

"Did you sleep well?" Greeting the boy with a caring question, Hakkai took a glance over his shoulder, catching a sight of Goku smiling brightly at him as a reply.

"Hakkai-san, how far's that Tenjiku? And when'll we reach that place?" Goku asked bluntly.

After a few seconds of calculating, Hakkai managed to answer in a way that Goku might understand. "I can't answer you right now. Tenjiku is very far away, so…"

"Whaaa~" Goku wailed in disappointment. "Why go we have to go to that place, anyway? I don't-" He fell speechless abruptly as the monk turned around, giving him a fierce glare. As Sanzo started to threaten the monkey, Gojyo quickly stretched his arm before Goku to shield him. A pair of furious violet eyes were locked with another determined red one.

Immediately, Hakkai brought jeep to a sudden break as a group of youkais burst into the road in front of them. Everyone leaped out from jeep which turned its shape into a little dragon. 'Thank god, those youkais appeared in time before they could have killed each other.' Hakkai thought, casting a glare observing Sanzo and Gojyo.

Then, a fight broke. Hakkai blasted away the youkai running towards him with his power concentrated into a ball of light. Turning his eyes on Sanzo and Gojyo, he saw clearly how unfortunate those youkais were. All anger and exasperation were vented on those youkais completely. Glancing for Goku, his heart was in his mouth at the sight. Separated from the others, Goku stood alone in an unguarded manner, looking defenseless and confused at the youkai advancing on him. He sensed danger from the youkai coming closer to him, but was not sure how to react against his intruder. He began to step back uncertainly. The youkai sneered evilly at the boy's response and promptly sprang into him with his sharp claws aiming for thin neck.

In that moment, a ball of light was sent into the youkai's stomach, followed by the shot piercing into his forehead and ended with a crescent blade joined to a long chain swinging to slash him into pieces of flesh bones and blood. Goku froze as if he was turned into stone, watching the rain of red liquid in front of him. Wide eyes, he saw a acene flashed in the redness and disappeared in a second before he could recognize it. Stinky smell of blood made him dizzy and weary. His face paled and he began to tremble.

"What the hell did you do?! Why didn't you fi-" Gojyo stopped his exasperated yell as he came closer to Goku, noticing terror shown in frightened eyes.

"What's wrong, Goku?" He asked in concern. He paid all attention to the boy stood trembling before him that he ignored the situation completely.

"Gojyo! Look out!!!" Hakkai's startled yell seemed to rouse him that he turned around to see the last youkai, holing a knife, rushing towards him quickly. Hakkai could not concentrate hi power in time to help his buddy. Sanzo frowned as he pulled the trigger and found that his gun had no bullets left. Gojyo was in the unprepared condition to the sudden attack. He could not do anything against his attacker, except dodging. But, if he dodged, the target for that knife would be Goku who stood defenselessly behind him. With a decision made, he stood there waiting for the attack and grimaced as the youkai stabbed the knife into his stomach. Piercing through flesh, the tip of the blade poked out from his back. With a crazy laughter, the youkai pulled back his weapon with blood spouted following the knife, looking at the red-haired man collapsed to the ground in satisfaction.

Golden eyes widened in shock, watching the man he admired being hurt, his mouth opened in a long soundless scream. In that moment, another scene of the similar event that had been flashed in his sight once a minute earlier appeared again in front of him. He had lost someone whom he loved deeply. He could remember the feeling of grief, despair and fury, even though, he was unable to remember that person. Now, he was losing his beloved again?

Howling fiercely, Goku broke into a run to that youkai who got ready with the knife in his grip. He swung his arm, aiming his weapon for the boy's chest. Goku stopped the knife by catching the blade with his bare hand. Uncaring the pain caused by the blade cutting into his flesh, he snatched it from the youkai's grip and returned the stab to that youkai's throat. Blood spurted splashing over his face. Its smell and its taste made his dizziness worsened. Turning around, he could barely stood on his legs. His vision was blurred and shook. However, he still managed to find Gojyo in Hakkai's hold.

Sitting on the ground, Hakkai wrapped his arm around Gojyo's shoulder, supporting his buddy to a sitting postion while the other hand controlled a glowing light to heal his wound. Gojyo lifted his head up to see Goku slowly shuffled from foot to foot in unsteady steps towards him. The boy was crying, tears ran down his cheeks.

"Goku…Hey! Don't cry. I'm alive, you see?" Gasping in pain, Gojyo managed to say out reassuring words.

Goku did not hear anything. His vision went dim rapidly. The only thing he saw was Gojyo's face. He tried to move forwards to reach his beloved person.

"…Gojyo-niichan…"

With that weak call, Goku fell face-down to the ground. Darkness wrapped around him and he could not see or think any more.

__________

Eyelids slowly opened. At first, all he could see was the bright whiteness. He heard someone calling his name above him, but could not remember whose voice in a moment. He blinked a few times to adjust his eyes to the light. The blurred sight became clearer. Someone was leaning over him. Closing his eyes again, he waited until his awareness operated properly. Opened his eyes once more, Gojyo's face was only a few inches above his that the tip of his nose almost touched his.

"Goku-Ungh!" A fist landed into his midriff. Gasping for air, Gojyo bent over, supporting himself with one arm on the mattress, the other wrapped about his stomach.

"What the hell are you doing, perverted kappa?!" Goku yelled indignantly as he jerked upright. Then, he halted and turned his head to look around the room in daze. "Where's this?" His voice was quiet and confused.

"Goku??" Turning at Gojyo's wavering call, he saw the kappa giving him a stunned look as if seeing a ghost.

"What?" He asked, perplexed at the sight of the other's expression. Then, the door swung open, Hakkai came in and broke into a smile seeing Goku woke up.

"Good morning, Goku."

"Hakkai-Look, Gojyo acts weirdly like…" He turned to Hakkai and fell speechless at Hakkai's look. Green-eyed man blinked twice, looking horrified.

"G-Goku, what did you say?" He stuttered.

"Hakkai! Even you…what the hell's happened?" Goku became annoyed. He get out of bed and-

Hakkai rushed to him. Jerking the boy into a firm hug, he cried happily. "Ah~Goku! You're back finally!"

"Back? What do you mean?" Trying to pull back, Goku raised to ask for explanation, giving Hakkai a questioning look. "You don't remember? You've los-" He was cut off by Gojyo's hand clamping over his mouth.

"Nothing matters, you've lain unconscious in bed for days due to a fever you got since we were in the forest." Gojyo said flatly.

Goku looked straight into Gojyo's eyes, his sense told him that the kappa did not tell the truth. He was about to ask more when he heard a sound of another footstep coming in. He turned at the sound and found Sanzo stood leaning against the door-frame. Hes attention was averted from Gojyo immediately as he sparkled and jumped into Sanzo, hugging him tiightly.

"Sanzoooo~ I miss you so much! It seems like I haven't seen you for years!"

The monk tensed up slightly at a sudden charge. Looking confused at first, but later he began to figure out the monkey's condition quickly. Looking down at a messy brown hair beneath his chin, his frowning face relaxed. Corners of his lip curled up into a small rare smile.

"Stupid monkey." He muttered.

Standing near the wall in the other side of the room, Hakkai turned his gaze to his buddy standing next to him. "Why don't you tell Goku what really happened to him?" He asked in wonder.

"You think he'll believe?" Gojyo returned him a question. "He has no need to perceive or be responsible for things he didn't do. I mean-you know that child's not Goku. Goku, he'll never leave Sanzo's side. Moreover, I don't wanna be anyone's keeper any longer." He frowned.

"Oh" Hakkai took a glance at Sanzo thumping Goku's head and pushing him away and Goku beginning to whine-the usual scene he had not seen for 3 days. Then, he shifted his gaze to Gojyo again, seeing his buddy smiled at the sight of the monk and the monkey. "You're sure that's good?"

"Anh-ha" Gojyo replied with a shrug. He felt relieved that things turned out into the same way as it usually be. Finally, he was free from that accidental burden. Nevertheless, simultaneously somewhere in his heart, he felt like he was crying, realizing that he had lost that innocent. He did not understand why, but his heart ached painfully. Was that his punishment for always giving a sneer at the attachment between Goku and Sanzo?

__________

After all happenings, the group resumed their journey in a conventional style like nothing had ever occurred. Sanzo sat in the front of jeep next to Hakkai, frowning and keeping his eyes shut in annoyance. Obviously, he was annoyed with the two idiots in the back. But this time, he seemed to hold surprisingly more patience than his usual limit. No shooting, no yelling, no the paper fan smacking one's head. Hakkai smiled driving jeep along the road. He was in a good mood, rather over good mood than normal, waiting for something 'special' to happen.

In the back, Goku and Gojyo were busy fighting over food again. With a bun in one hand, Gojyo shoved Goku's head with another arm, preventing the boy from reaching that bun. Goku struggled unsuccessfully to get his food.

"Give it back, you perverted shit-eating kappa!!"

"No way! You want it? So, try and get it yourself. But I still doubt you can do, brainless monkey!"

The monkey made a jump, throwing his arm about his target. This time he had no luck. His effort was useless as Gojyo could dodge. He fell on his knees. Grinning, the kappa dropped on his seat, looking down at the monkey sitting below him hanging his head in satisfaction. He opened his mouth and was about to bite a bun in his hand.

"…Give it to me…Gojyo-niichan.." Sweet pleading voice came from the boy who still hung his head.

Thud A bun fell off Gojyo's hand dropping on his lap. Simultaneously, Sanzo turned around at the voice. Both red and violet eyes were focussed at the boy in horror. Instantly, Goku snatched a bun and tilted his head up, showing a wide satisfied grin in victory.

"Yeah! Hakkai, your method works! Look, I defeated Gojyo already!"

Both pairs of eyes slowly turned on Hakkai. Their looking turned from horror to puzzled and confused. Still driving, Hakkai answered those questioning eyes with humor.

"I suggested him how to simply defeat Gojyo without using violence."

"Hakkai told me to call you 'Gojyo-niichan'. He said that you wouldn't be against me if I call you like that." Goku said lively in a muffled voice as he munched that bun full in his mouth.

Cursing something quietly in his throat, Sanzo returned to sit back on his seat again. He was half annoyed and yet half relieved. Hakkai chuckled quietly regardless Gojyo's dead glare.

"…Hakkaiii…" He said in a low terrible voice, but could not do anything more. Subsiding, Gojyo turned his head to cast a glare over Goku sitting beside him, munching a bun happily. Momentarily, he saw a smiling face of that child resurfaced in Goku's and melted into his. Helplessly, he began to realize that the innocent still existed there-inside a small provoking brat. After a moment, Gojyo finally smirked ironically to himself as he sensed the premonition that his task as Goku's keeper seemed to be extended endlessly.

'I don't understand why does he always give in to that monkey?'

'You don't understand unless you happen to be one's keeper.'

'Oh hell, I understood already.'

__________

June-July 2001

yoong'