Title: Child of Heaven
Sanzo was lying on his side, trying desperately to find a comfortable position. His robes had become oppressively hot and clingy. He tried to get them unwrapped from around his legs, but the more he worked at them, the more entangled he became. And the pain had grown so intense he was barely able to move or breathe.
"Wait, don't try to move so much. Let me do that." Goku's voice was calm and firm. He pressed a cool cloth to the priest's forehead and reached to untangle the cloth. As the young man's fingers sought to unbunch the material, a pale hand reached out and grasped his wrist.
Through gritted teeth, Sanzo closed his eyes and growled, "Tell Hakkai to get his ass in here. It's time."
Nine Months Earlier
"Merciful Goddess of Heaven! Why are you watching such a thing??" Jiroushin had a look of horror on his face. He was aware of Kanzeon Bosatsu's love for watching the mortals below. One mortal, in particular. He knew se took delight in eavesdropping on their world. And hir tastes ran towards the eccentric.
"Relax. I'm just watching." What the Merciful Goddess was watching was a most intimate moment between her nephew and his pet monkey. "Look at him, Jiroshen. I never saw that kind of emotion on his face in all the centuries he was here." Se looked almost wistful, wondering what it would have been like to have this version of her nephew in heaven. "And look at Goku! Who would have known he would grow up so nicely?"
As se watched, a faint beam of light began to pour down from the heavens. It fell directly on the two men as they moved and moaned. The light was unseen by them but it wrapped around them and pulsed slightly. As the tempo of their actions increased so did the pulse. Sanzo was on his hands and knees, bracing for each thrust. His cock was hard and throbbing and Goku had a tight grip on it. Each of his thrusts was accompanied by an equally aggressive stroke of the priest's dick. One final, deep push inside and they both fell over the edge of climax. As this happened the purple light glowed brightly and seem to penetrate through and around them.
"Merciful Goddess… you can't be serious? What have you done this time!"
"Well, who would have figured Konzen to be the maternal figure?" Se smiled wickedly. "Oh, right. I did. Besides, things that never change are so boring." And se laughed at the newest adventure that had just been 'planted' in ser nephew's life.
* * * *
"Hey, Hakkai, I think something's wrong with Sanzo." Goku's brow was creased with worry. Goku had left the monastary that morning to seek Hakkai's help.
"I could give you a whole list of what's wrong with him, if you'd like." Gojyo grinned at Goku and winked.
"No, Gojyo, I mean there's really something wrong. He's been throwing up for awhile now. And his hands and feet are kinda swollen. He can't sleep and he won't eat. Please, Hakkai, maybe he'll let you take a look at him. Please?"
Hakkai laid a reassuring hand on Goku's shoulder. "Sure, Goku, why don't I come on over now, ok?" And he smiled and Goku felt better already.
It wasn't easy to convince Sanzo that Hakkai had his best interests at heart.
"Get. The Fuck. Away. From. Me." Sanzo was sitting at the table, head in his hands, trying very hard not to lose what little breakfast he had been able to swallow. "I just have the flu or something. It'll pass."
"Sanzo! It's been almost a week that you've been like this!" Goku's voice was firm and uncompromising. As he spoke, he put his hand on the monk's arm. "Let Hakkai see if there's anything he can do. I'm not letting him go home until he checks you out."
Hakkai and Gojyo passed a look of surprise between them. They'd never heard Goku talk this way to Sanzo. And most surprising of all was that the priest wasn't even putting up much of a fight.
Sanzo looked up at Goku and let out a resigned sigh. "Fine. If it will get you to shut up."
Goku smiled and tried to help Sanzo stand. The priest smacked his hand away. "I'm not an invalid. Go make yourself useful and get me a beer."
"Gojyo, would you mind going with Goku? I think it would be best if this were private."
Gojyo rolled his eyes, but followed after the monkey.
* * * *
The 'exam' was taking forever. At least from Goku's point of view. He and Gojyo had been shooed out into the hallway, for the privacy of the 'patient'. He was pacing and fidgeting. Every so often he would go to the door, leaning against it, listening for anything.
"Calm down, Monkey. So he's sick? Big deal. Hakkai'll give him some herbal medicine crap and he'll be back to his usual cranky-assed self." Gojyo was sitting on the floor, leaning back against the wall. He was enjoying the beer that Goku had fetched for Sanzo. As he drank he studied Goku. A year had passed since their return from saving the world. Goku stood eye-to-eye with Gojyo now. He no longer had that 'little lost boy' look to him. He had a maturity that nobody would have thought possible just a few years ago.
Neither of them had noticed that Hakkai had opened the door and stepped out into the hall. He quietly cleared his throat to gain their attention.
"Hakkai! Well? What is it? Is he ok?" Goku looked to Hakkai for a reassuring answer.
"Well. That is, I mean.. That is to say…" Hakkai was flustered. Not something that usually happened. And he was doing his best not to make eye contact.
"Come on, 'Kai, spit it out. He's not contagious is he?" Gojyo held his hand up to cover his mouth as a guard against unwanted germs.
"Umm. No. Definitely not contagious. He's.. Well…"
"Hakkai, come on!" Goku was beginning to grow increasingly agitated and worried.
"He'll be fine, Goku. You see, he's pregnant."
Stunned silence. For two full seconds. And then Hakkai realized that Gojyo was just about to lose it.
"Gojyo!" Hakkai's tone was firm. "Please control yourself. This is a serious situation."
"Serious, my ass!" And Gojyo began to laugh. And laugh and laugh and laugh until tears were streaming down his face.
Goku was heading for the door, eyes as big around as saucers and mouth hanging open. Hakkai stepped between the young man and the door.
"Ah, Goku, I wouldn't advise that you go in there just yet. Sanzo didn't take the news very well. He's not too happy."
"Hakkai, how did this happen? I mean, Sanzo's a guy and.. well, I didn't think this could happen to a guy."
Gojyo had laughed so hard, he had gone into one of those completely silent laughs. He wiped away the tears and tried desperately to say something. But all he was able to do was point at the door, flail a little bit, and then begin laughing all over again.
Just then the door opened. A single shot was fired, just missing the kappa's ear by a millimeter.
"Shut the fuck up! Get out of here, all of you! Goku, where is my beer?"
"Now Sanzo, I don't think a beer is a good idea. Considering…" and Hakkai waived his hand in Sanzo's stomach's general direction. "Oh, and no cigarettes, either." He smiled apologetically.
"I hate all of you." And the door slammed shut, but not before one more shot fired off.
"Gojyo, really. It's not funny". Hakkai turned to Goku, but he had already slipped back into the room. Hakkai gathered up his friend and guided him to the door. "Come on Gojyo, let's leave them alone." Gojyo just nodded and wiped the tears of laughter from his face and began to laugh again.
Goku, who was smarter then most people gave him credit for, waited at least a full 5 minutes before he dared to enter the room. He slipped in and kept close to the door, in case an escape was necessary.
Sanzo was getting dressed in his ceremonial robes. The ones he only wore for one occasion: a visit to the Sanbutshin.
"What the hell are you looking at?"
"Sanzo, I've never seen you pregnant. I just wanted to see…."
"There's nothing to see. And besides, according to Doctor Hakkai, I'm barely 3 months into it. Now, make yourself useful and GET ME A DAMN BEER!"
"Nope, Hakkai said you can't have any more. I told Gojyo to take all the beer that was left." The monkey smiled, looking entirely too pleased with his brilliance. Sanzo just growled and continued to get dressed. He opened a cabinet and took out the crown.
"Umm, Sanzo? Where you going?"
"I'm going to go have a talk with those damn Floating Heads. I know they had something to do with this. And when I find out…." He was reaching for his gun. Sanzo never took the gun into that Holy Chamber.
"Maybe I better go with you. You know, just in case something happens."
"No." And with that, he stormed out of the room and headed for the main temple doors.
Goku followed, but did not try to enter. Those floating heads kinda gave him the creeps. And they always seemed to know more then they let on. So he sat on the steps and waited.
The Three Aspects had, of course, been expecting the priest. They listened patiently as he ranted for a good 15 minutes, barely stopping to catch his breath. When it seemed appropriate they began to speak.
What they said left Sanzo stunned. And then he began all over again. It didn't change anything: the Three Aspects had given him the details of this next 'journey' that he would take. There really wasn't anything that he could do but accept it, albeit none too graciously. And then they gave him one final piece of information. It was this piece of information that left him completely speechless.
When he stepped out of the temple he walked right past Goku.
"Sanzo! Hey Sanzo! What did they say? Did they know what's going on?"
Sanzo turned to Goku. The priest looked like he had seen a ghost. His pale skin had gone completely white and he seemed almost shaken. In a very quiet voice he said, "They're just full of bullshit. I don't know why I even bothered." And then he turned and headed back to their rooms.
The Monks of the monastery took the news of the impending arrival quite well. But then again, when your Sanzo smokes, drinks, cusses and moves his 'companion' into his rooms, there really wasn't much left that could shock or scandalize them. They simply made even more effort then usual to stay out of Sanzo's way. So far, that was the only benefit to this situation.
The next few months would prove to be some of the longest of Sanzo's life. Goku had gotten rid of all of the beer and then went after Sanzo's cigarettes. Sanzo had gotten so tired of hearing the monkey's lectures that he threw the last of his pack at him and told him exactly where he could put them. Goku just smiled and told him to eat more fruits and vegetables. And to get plenty of exercise. And to drink lots of water. And don't forget "You need to sleep more, Sanzo."
His gun had also been removed. Gojyo had made one too many comments about how Sanzo was losing his girlish figure and did he think he would ever get it back? The last time the priest shot at him the bullet had nicked his ear. Goku decided a hormonal monk did not need access to a gun.
As the months passed, Goku learned how to make Ramen. Sanzo wanted it all the time. The cook at the monastery didn't do it right. "He's too fucking stingy with the mayonnaise", complained the monk.
He tried to get Sanzo to talk about the baby. He wondered if it was a boy or a girl, what kind of names they should consider, where would it sleep, what food would it need. Sanzo would just roll his eyes and act like he didn't care.
The monk seemed to be in total denial about what was going to happen in just a few short weeks. Sanzo wouldn't talk about the baby and barely tolerated Goku's attempts at conversation about 'it'.
As they lay in bed one night, preparing for sleep, Goku began his usual debate (mostly with himself, since Sanzo wouldn't participate) about what to name the baby.
"Of course, it would help if we knew if it was a boy or a girl. I wonder if Hakkai has any way of using his Chi to figure it out? I should have asked him a long time ago. I'll go over there tomorrow and…"
"It's a girl." Sanzo was laying on his side, back to Goku. This sudden piece of information took a moment to sink in. Then the young man grinned and became excited.
"A girl! But how do you know she's a girl? And why didn't you tell me sooner? Hey, what kind of name should she have? Names are important and…"
"Her name will be Tengoku No Kodomo."
"Oh. That's kind of unusual, but I like it. How did you decide…."
"Because that's what she is."
And that ended the conversation. Sanzo wouldn't say anymore. As he lay on his side, praying that Goku would just shut the fuck up, he felt a small movement from within. Without even thinking, his hand moved to his stomach and he rubbed it absently. It.. she.. had been quite active lately. The first time he had sensed the movement it had taken him by surprise. Scared the shit out of him, actually, though he would never admit it. He had grown used to this strange feeling of sharing his body with someone else. Another, more dramatic movement caused him to shift slightly to accommodate 'her'. A sense of melancholy and sadness filled him. He squeezed his eyes shut and willed himself to go to sleep.
"You haven't told him yet, have you?" Hakkai's question was rhetorical. If Goku had known, Hakkai would know about it.
Sanzo gave a resigned sigh. "I know, I know. I'll tell him this evening." He wished he had a cigarette. And a beer. Goku would not take this news well and the priest had been dreading the idea of telling him. But there was no getting around it now. This would be the hardest thing he had ever done.
Sanzo was 'due' any day now. It had been agreed that as the time of 'delivery' got closer, Hakkai would move into a room at the monastery, near Sanzo's. After all, if he was going to play mid-wife, he needed to be near by.
Goku had asked Hakkai one night how the baby would be born. Gojyo and Sanzo, playing cards at the table, had pretended to ignore them.
"Well, Goku, as best as the doctor and I can determine, Sanzo will go into labor as any woman... "
Sanzo shot a death glare at Hakkai.
"...that is, as any person would do at the end of the nine month gestation. I will assist the doctor in the birthing process. The doctor will administer an anesthesia to Sanzo. Then he, using his medical knowledge, and I, using my Chi, will perform an operation in which...." Hakkai was babbling on excitedly. How often did he get to deliver a baby? And not just any baby.
"Hold on, Hakkai." Gojyo interrupted. "You mean you're going to perform some kind of Chi induced cesarean on Sanzo?"
"Well, yes, Gojyo, I guess you could put it that way. It's really fascinating! I have been reading up on birthing and the techniques that we might use. The doctor will, of course, perform the actual surgical portion, but then I'll use my Chi to heal..."
Sanzo and Gojyo gave each other a simultaneous look of shock and bolted for the door.
"Too much info, Hakkai! Way too much info!" Gojyo yelled over his shoulder as they left the room in a great hurry.
Goku, however, wanted every detail. He had made it clear that he would be there, in the room, when it happened.
* * * *
That night, as evening approached, Sanzo sat on the porch, staring pensively at nothing in particular. Goku stepped out and took a seat beside him.
"Hakkai said you had something to tell me." The monkey didn't seem particularly worried or concerned.
Sanzo cursed low under his breath. And then he gave a resigned sigh. He began to talk, giving Goku all of the details about the instructions the Three Aspects had given him on that fateful day he had stormed their chambers. Goku paled and his eyes went wide.
"No! No, you got it wrong!" Goku was standing now, fists clenched and brows furrowed. "There's no way in hell… They can't take this baby! They don't have any right. I won't let…" He was pacing now, talking faster and louder.
"Goku," Sanzo voice was shaking slightly. "Goku, listen to me. This is their game. It's their rules. And they said that this baby is destined for Heaven. There's some kind of greater fucking plan going on that requires this child…." Sanzo was trying hard to remain calm.
"No fucking way are we letting her go! We'll go away. We'll leave tonight and get as far away as we can. Hakkai will let us use Jeep, I know he will. And he and Gojyo can come too and…" Goku's face had gone from angry to pleading. Large golden eyes were beginning to pool.
"They'll find us. You know that. How do you hide from the Heavens?" Sanzo had a grip on Goku's arm.
"She can't go alone. She won't know anyone there. She'll be scared. Who will take care of her? Please Sanzo!" Goku's voice wavered, a single tear sliding down his cheek.
"She's not going alone." Sanzo's voice was low and steady. "I'll be going with her."
Goku stared at the priest in disbelief. "But… how long.. I mean.. how much time before you have to go? When will you come back? When will the two of you come back?"
"Six days. We have six days after she's born and then…" Sanzo's throat was dry and constricted. It was getting harder to talk. His voice trembled slightly. "And we won't be coming back."
In that instant Goku's world fell out from under him and his knees buckled. He hit the ground hard. He looked dazed and uncomprehending.
Sanzo stepped close to him. He wrapped his arms around the young man's shoulders and pulled him in. Goku buried his face in the priest's robes and cried.
The birth was surprisingly easy. Gojyo had paced outside on the porch, trying hard not to act nervous or excited. Goku had stepped outside, carrying Tengoku, and beaming from ear to ear.
"Look at her Gojyo! Just look at her! She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!"
Gojyo grinned and looked down at the newest addition to the Sanzo-ikkou. She had Goku's nose and chin, but gold colored hair like Sanzo. And tiny little violet colored eyes. There was also a small, red chakra in the middle of her forehead. The mark of a God.
Then she scrunched up her face and wailed for all she was worth.
Gojyo laughed. "She's got Sanzo's temper, doesn't she?"
Goku grinned. "Nah, she's just hungry."
* * * *
The days passed quickly. Gojyo and Hakkai stayed at the temple. It was unspoken, but they all knew that sharing these last few days together was important.
The morning of the sixth day arrived. As the sun began to rise and light filtered into their room, Sanzo opened his eyes and surveyed his surroundings for the final time. This room had become a home. His family was curled up next to him. Tengoku lay in the crook of Goku's arm. Goku let out a snore and the baby did the same.
"Like father, like child." Sanzo allowed a small smile to pass over his face. He ran his hands thru Goku's hair, stroked over the baby's cheek and then got up. There were preparations to be made.
* * * *
The Ikkou stood outside the temple doors. The sun was setting and casting a strange, golden glow over the Monastery. Sanzo was dressed in his formal robes, crown atop his head. Goku held Tengoku. She was swaddled in emerald green silk, befitting a tiny princess. Or a God. She held her eyes open wide, as if taking in the whole world. She coo'd and was rewarded by a kiss to her cheek. Goku smiled down at her, but his heart was breaking. To either side of him stood Gojyo and Hakkai. Behind them, in the courtyard were the monks of the monastery, fanned out and ready to bid their Sanzo farewell.
"Goku. It's time." The young man took one last look at his child and handed her to the priest. Sanzo took the baby and held her close. His free hand reached out and rested on Goku's shoulder. Their eyes met for a moment and then he pressed his forehead to Goku's.
"We will see each other again. I swear." His voice was barely a whisper. And then he turned and quickly entered the Holy Chamber of the Three Aspects.
Goku started forward. "Sanzo…"
But Gojyo and Hakkai were at his side, holding him back.
"It's not fair! They can't do this!" He was yelling and straining against them, trying to get to the chamber doors. "Sanzo!"
He broke free and ran to the doors. He through them and stormed inside. But the chamber was completely dark and quiet.
He approached the glass chamber where the Aspects 'resided'. He pounded on the glass.
"Bring them back! I want them back! You bastards!"
But the only answer he got was silence.
Goku turned and ran out. He ran thru the monastery grounds and out in the surrounding forest. He could hear Hakkai and Gojyo calling for him but he didn't stop. He just ran as fast and as far as he could. After miles of running he collapsed to the ground. Panting and exhausted, he curled in on himself and cried until the sun was gone and he was surrounded by the night.
At some point he fell asleep. While he slept a beam of pale purple light extended from the heaven's and surrounded him. The Merciful Goddess appeared and crouched near the sleeping young man. She smiled sadly and stroked his hair.
"I know you don't understand. But in time you will see your Sun again. And your baby." She kissed his forehead and was gone as quickly as she had appeared.
* * * *
Goku never saw Hakkai and Gojyo again. At least not in that lifetime. Over the years the pain dulled to an ache, but never went away.
Decades passed. Lifetimes passed, too, at least for Gojyo and Hakkai. Goku realized that he needed them to help him. To ground him. Something familiar and stable. And he missed them terribly when they weren't around. So he would look for them thru each of their incarnations. Sometimes they were together. More often then not he would find one and lead him to the other. Their names were different, and they changed over the years to accommodate the changing times (Goku shuddered every time he thought about that mullet Gojyo wore in the during the 1980's). And they never knew who he was. But it didn't take much to work his way into their lives.
Goku was tired. He hadn't been able to find his friends in many years. The days seemed to be dragging. He had a small apartment, but it wasn't a home. Just the latest place he found to live until the need to move on.
It was dark. He looked out his window at the sprawling city below. Lights and traffic and noise everywhere. He longed for the days when he could wander the forests and outback's for days and not see anyone. Back when there were no cars, no cities with millions of people. He was just so very tired.
Goku curled up on his bed, pulling the blanket around him. He squeezed his eyes shut.
"Sanzo, you promised. You promised we'd see each other again." He whispered as he drifted off to sleep, the noise of the city echoing in his ears.
* * * *
Goku didn't know how long he slept, or what woke him up. Later he would realize that it was the quietness that had roused him. When he opened his eyes, it was daylight. He sat up, disoriented. This was not where he had fallen asleep.
As he looked around, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. He turned and saw Sanzo, glaring at him. On his hip, Tengoku was yanking on a lock of his hair and giggling.
Goku's eyes began to well up. He started to smile.
"It's about fucking time you got here. I've been changing diapers for 4 centuries. It's your turn!" Sanzo held out the baby and Goku happily reached for her.
The smile on his face was a mile wide. "Don't cuss in front of Ten-chan."
Sanzo rolled his eyes and kissed him. "Baka."
* * * *
notes: Thank you to cicer for putting the plot bunny in my head. Thank you sooo very much to hethos for all the beta'ing! Thank you to bladderwrack for the baby name!
'Tengoku no kodomo' = Child of Heaven
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