Disclaimer: Kazuya Minekura owns Saiyuki. I do not.

Warning: Language, allusions to violence, shonen-ai of the 39 variety.

Notes: I'm supposed to be studying for Summer Session final exams, but I got this whole scenario in my head the other day and had to write it. Takes place roughly between Gensomaden and Reload.

Reality Check


July 2009

You think that maybe you know what enlightenment feels like, and you won't forget the complete emptiness in you mind the first time that you experience it.

It's a forceful purging of every thought in your tired head, a mass exodus of background noise and idle chatter and the pressing concerns of your obligations and responsibilities. Suddenly Gojyo's barking laughter and Hakkai's polite voice and the atmosphere of the bar vaporize in your brain, and you are left with a single glaring truth. You freeze with your chopsticks halfway to your mouth and you don't really even register the rice that drops into your lap. You just stare stupidly across the plate-strewn table at the youngest member of your motley little party and feel the cogs in your brain come to a painful, screeching halt.

And there, in Goku's beautiful golden eyes, you find a desperate taste of nirvana.

Maybe a crowded, noisy bar in some no-account village in the middle of a quest to save humanity isn't an appropriate setting for something as life-altering as this, but there isn't much that you can do to prevent it. And as soon as you realize it, you understand that it is inevitable and stronger than the power laying dormant in the sutra over your shoulders and very fucking real. Half of you wants to push abruptly away from the table and run. The other half, the more jaded and self-deprecating half, laughs silently without humor and stares at Goku in muted horror.

Distantly you hear Gojyo calling your name, and that prompts Goku to look up at you across the table, and it's like seeing him for the first time. His expression is confused then distractedly concerned as he realizes that you've been staring at him rather intensely. And you ignore Hakkai's hand on your shoulder, and the roach's voice, and you will the dumb monkey across from you to comprehend something vital to your awkward relationship, to the dynamic within the party, to your sanity and mind.

You understand the panic you feel every time he gets his ass beaten in a fight. You understand the way that he follows you, constantly dogging your footsteps loyally and unconditionally. You hate yourself beyond reason for feeling these things at all, but there is no resisting this now.

And Goku cocks his head to the side slightly and seems to be focusing his limited little brain capacity inward, like he's listening to something that only he can hear, and after a moment his eyes widen and he sits back in his chair, staring at you in disbelief. You know without a doubt that he can feel this asinine bond, too.

You arch an eyebrow at him and dare him with a very pointed glare upon unspoken pain of death to open his mouth about this. Ever.

"Oy what the hell is wrong with you two?" Gojyo demands, looking between you and Goku.

You hate your charge more acutely in that moment than you can remember ever having hated him before. But then again, you've never really hated him at all. You're scared of Goku, of the emotions he's sparked in you, and you're more terrified of this one than any of the others.

"Nothing," you mutter. You finally break eye contact with him and reach down to brush the rice from the front of your robes. You light a cigarette and ignore how your hands are shaking with fine tremors. This is fucking ridiculous. Never before has the urge been stronger to put a bullet in him and leave him here to bleed to death in this shitty little bar in the middle of Nowhere, China.

You risk a look back over at Goku and find him staring resolutely down at his barely-touched plate, playing idly with his chopsticks, a tiny smile playing at one corner of his lips. You snort in annoyance, wait for him to glance up at you--he's so damned predictable--and when he does you offer him a grim smile.

You know then and there that you'll never shoot him, never strangle him, never leave him alone on the roadside somewhere. He's going to spend the rest of your life following you like your second fucking shadow, asking you endless questions and filling your vexed mind with pointless blather. The grudging resignation with which you accept this truth inspires in you the overwhelming urge to club seals.

Especially the cute little defenseless ones.

Goku can't help the shit-eating grin that steals over his handsome face, and he shoves a spring roll into his mouth to hide it. Your eyebrow twitches in disapproval, but your own smile widens against your will. You shake your head and drop your eyes to your lap and mutter, "Stupid fucking monkey," under your breath.

Either you did something unimaginably horrible in a past life and the wheel of karma is just now catching up to your unholy ass, or the Merciful Goddess has a morbid sense of humor. You're a priest for fuck's sake. You aren't allowed to even think about shit like this, much less feel it so acutely in your mind that it's like a tangible force connecting you to this brat.

You'd rather die than say it aloud, but of all the people in Shangri-La for you to fall in love with, it had to be Son Goku.


Yeah, Sanzo loves him. And I don't think he's very happy about it. He's such a bastard. On a side note, Wild Adapter didn't update last month, so I'll be writing quite heavily for the next few weeks.