Title: Wildflower (Part 6 of Torrent) - Chapter 8

Author: Befanini
Website: http://www.fanfiction.net/~befanini

Disclaimer: Not mine. Just another piece inspired by Kazuya Minekura's delicious boys.

Rating: M

Summary: "Bloom where you're planted." A long-overdue songfic of random ruminations by four souls bound by fate. Part 6 of the Torrent series.

 

iii. Earth's Child

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Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving; and for every breath a song. – Konrad Von Gesner

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He's always been my sun, always. Glowing with a brightness that not even the deepest dark can swallow up. And although the dreams I had in the cave remain blurry and vague, and though the few times I've faintly recalled some other form that burned with his radiance vanished as soon as my limiter was restored – I do perfectly recall the time he came for me… that brilliant, blue day when he walked up out of nowhere and blocked my view of the sun.

Suddenly he was there, after days and days, after endless years of hoping and waiting – and not even the sun could compare to the light that shone from him… from his hair, from his face, from his eyes. When he stood there before me, I suddenly felt that it was all worth it – the emptiness and the silence and the solitude I had endured were as nothing; they were a small price to pay that brought me to this moment when I saw him face to face again.

Again.

That seems like a strange word, but it feels right. Because I felt then in that instant that I had known him before… that I'd known him forever.

I still do.

That day he held out his hand to me… and the chains and the shackles that had bound me for so long surrendered me to him so readily, crumbling to nothingness with a faint sigh as if they too had only been waiting for him to come so they could finally let go.

Whatever else happens, I will remember that day for as long as I live.

I can't explain exactly how I feel about him. Affection, loyalty, awe – none of those words are enough. Love, perhaps, but even love is a poor word to fully express the joy and contentment I feel just knowing I belong to him.

Yes, I belong to him, although I cannot claim that he belongs to me – Sanzo belongs to no one but himself, I think; not even to Gojyo to whom he has now opened his heart. But I don't mind, and that's not the point. The point is that Sanzo and I share a bond that is ours alone, a connection that is as old as time, as infinite as the stars above on a really clear night. He and I share an understanding that is solid and ancient and true. And nothing can change that – not being apart for five hundred years, not him wearing a different face and bearing a different name, not the minus wave we have been appointed to reverse, nor the revival experiment we've been ordered to prevent.

Not a tragic soul from a distant past… from another world… a being who had an eye the same as me, who seemed to suffer a pain that I can only dimly recall suffering too… No, not even he who taught me the full measure of my ability, the one who I realized I looked up to, respected, and had even come to love – not even he could come between me and Sanzo.

And so if my episode with Homura made no difference, then neither does Sanzo's relationship with Gojyo now. I meant what I said to the erogappa when we had our little talk. I don't mind at all. And I meant what I said to Sanzo too when we had our own heart-to-heart: I'm glad that Gojyo makes him shine.

It makes me happy to see Sanzo looking more relaxed and content than I've ever seen him before. It gives me a nice feeling inside seeing him smile nowadays, hearing him laugh, even. There's a tiny softening in his eyes, a new warmth in his voice, as if the fire of the kappa's eyes and hair have melted an invisible wall of ice that has kept Sanzo so distant and so cold for so long.

Of course being Sanzo he scolds like the devil if anyone should dare bring up the subject of him and Gojyo, and the harisen is ever-ready to shut anyone up who dares to speak of their relationship. Hehe. Yes, even Hakkai has tasted the sting of the fan for the first time; but as I told him, he's still darn lucky – because not even Sanzo's punishments hurt quite as much as they used to do.

Being with Gojyo has revealed a temperance in Sanzo, a very subtle gentling of his nature that none but the three of us could really notice. But it's there. He doesn't brood as much as he did, a certain shadow has gone from his eyes, and his voice is just that bit less sharp.

In fact he now glows much brighter than the sun.

Yes he does. It's as if being with Gojyo has lifted away an invisible veil that up till now Sanzo was wearing like a cloak to hide his true brilliance. But now there is no hiding the happiness that Sanzo has found in loving and being loved – and it is this which magnifies his beauty, and his radiance, that sometimes my eyes hurt to look at him and I have to look away.

But you know what? He sees it, he senses – and he won't allow any awkwardness between the two of us to spring from him and Gojyo being together; just like Gojyo makes sure that Hakkai feels no less special to him, no less his best friend, his "precious person". Because that is what we are to them. Sanzo and Gojyo are in love with each other; but Hakkai and I – we are the kindred souls to whom each of them is bound, without reason, without explanation, without question.

Naturally since it's Sanzo, he only frowns when I get self-conscious and stammer, looking from him to Gojyo – and I get a mild swat with the fan and the irritated snort – "'Ch! Don't be an idiot, bakazaru!" And then he reaches out and messes my hair, and he looks me in the eye and I nod and scratch my nose sheepishly and we're okay.

And we really are. I feel no less special to him even with him caring for Gojyo so much. There is just no comparison. Because truly, I have never felt the way it's obvious that the kappa feels for him – I've never thought of Sanzo that way. I love him fiercely and completely, yes – as a father perhaps, or more truly as an older brother; although even that cannot begin to describe it. I look up to him, I cherish his words, and his hand on my forehead saying good-night; I worry when he's sick or silent or unhappy. I feel lost without him, as I did when Homura kept me in chains, as I did all those long silent years in my cave.

The way Gojyo loves Sanzo, I think, is that the kappa could quite cheerfully say goodbye to this mission and turn his back on the world and carry Sanzo off to a place where he and Sanzo could just be together forever.

As for me, it's a different desire. All I want is to be sure of Sanzo's safety, and his health, and his happiness. Seeing Sanzo happy makes me happy. When he snorts and mutters "stupid monkey" in that oddly affectionate, cross way and I feel his hand on my head, warm and solid and strong, I feel that there is nothing I cannot do, no one I cannot be. He is my inspiration and the light that makes me grow, like the flowers turn their faces to the sun.

As long as Sanzo is there, the sky seems bluer and food tastes more delicious. More than a few times now I have been told of my "legacy", the "power" that I bear, that I am Seiten Taisei Son Goku, the Great Sage Equal to Heaven – but without Sanzo to restore me to myself then I am just another bloodthirsty demon, aren't I? So you see my soul truly does belong to him – for whatever reason, only he can quiet the beast that apparently lives inside me, only his voice can reach me wherever I am, when nothing else can… just like my voice reached him.

He and Gojyo belong to each other the way that "lovers" do, and that's fine. Because the way that I belong to Sanzo hasn't changed and will never change. He is the wisdom that teaches me, the hands that freed me, the will that protects me, the heart that gave me a home… the voice that gave me my name.

He gave me my name.

Yes, I believe that, even if I can't explain how I'm so sure of it, even if I clearly recall telling him my name all those years ago when he had come to release me. I just know that my name is a gift given to me by the one who shines like the sun.

So as long as "my sun" shines, so long as he lives and breathes, I want nothing more than to walk beside him and keep him company, to protect him and to hear him say my name, through this journey and beyond.

Sanzo is the sun and I am the sunflower, content and perfectly happy in my little patch of earth, bending and swaying with the breezes as I follow his progress through the sky. His light nourishes me, it is from him that I draw power and strength… just as I remind him perhaps of what is simple and pure and honest in this world.

We are stuck with each other, him and I, and Gojyo and Hakkai too. The sense of rightness that flooded me when Sanzo set me free became a sense of true belonging, of happy completion, that night that we first met Gojyo and Hakkai. It was as if pieces of a long-forgotten puzzle had fallen into place, somehow. Just as I'd known that I belonged with Sanzo, I also knew that the both of us belonged with the two of them as well – that the four of us together were all parts of a whole, just as there are four seasons in a year: spring, summer, winter and fall. I don't know how this journey will end, nor what waits for us at the end of the long road to the west. If all that we have gone through so far is any indication of what's ahead, then there are sure to be more hard times coming… more sorrow, more loss.

We could very possibly even lose each other, the four of us. I could lose Sanzo. But I try not to think about it too much. There is still a long way to go, and in the meantime there is the great big blue sky, the wind on my face, heaps of food along the way, card games and mahjong sessions on our stops, nights of stargazing with Hakkai. Rousing arguments with the erogappa, now more than ever. Heh. And Sanzo's hand on my head in the deep of night, mutely blessing me without words.

Whatever happens, I have them – Gojyo, Hakkai, Hakuryu. And I have Sanzo. Sometimes there is a tiny premonition that whispers to me, about my part in this mission; about what I will have to do, what I'll have to sacrifice when the moment comes. The voice that whispers to me is one I do not know and yet one that is so very familiar… a child-like voice I remember laughing with, telling stories with, crying with. He seems to be a part of me that I left behind a long, long time ago… a missing piece of the puzzle, someone to whom I have something important to tell.

The thought of what I may have to give up at the end of this journey is something I would rather not dwell on. When it comes, if it comes, then it will come. And even if it means letting go of the ones that I love – of the one that I love above all – I won't be afraid, because I know in my heart that we will find each other again. Five hundred, ten thousand years – what does it matter? We belong together, and that is that.

Sanzo and I.

Gojyo and Hakkai.

The four of us, together.

I know.

The sun is forever.

And so are we.

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"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you."

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TBC.

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