- Title: Like Raindrops
- Author: Meicdon13
- Pairing(s): Kougaiji x Sanzo/Sanzo x Kougaiji
- Rating: PG
- Summary: Kougaiji is supposedly on an info gathering mission. He ends up learning a lot more about Sanzo than originally intended.

- Website: http://meicdon13.livejournal.com/
- Notes: Written for 30_angsts (6. Curiosity (~listen to your heart cry)).


It was raining. Torrents of water falling from the sky and drenching him as he squatted on a tree branch overlooking the Sanzo-ikkou's camp. Kougaiji ignored the cold and wetness that was seeping through his clothes, concentrating on keeping his cover amidst the dense foliage the forest offered.

He didn't kid himself; he knew that the only reason why he wasn't being detected was because the four ikkou-members were too tired from an earlier fight with a group of demon bounty hunters who were after the price on Sanzo's head. Plus the rain was a good cover as well. Kougaiji shifted a little, moving into a more comfortable stance.

They had retired for the night in the relative dryness of their four-person tent. A light could be seen flickering through the material of the tent wall, silhouetting a large lump that was supposedly three sleeping bodies and one figure that was sitting.

Go in, do a bit of snooping to find any sort of weakness in the group, maybe try to steal a few supplies to hinder the ikkou, then leave. If he could nab the sutra as well then it would be a huge plus. Based on the tense posture, the figure that was sitting was Sanzo. Kougaiji wondered why the blond didn't go to bed; the fight had been tiring and it was late. His lilac eyes narrowed when the light—a lamp, maybe?—was extinguished. He was surprised when a few seconds later the blond stepped out of the tent and began walking in the rain.

Kougaiji quickly made a decision and followed the human monk as quietly as possible; dropping to the ground and treading carefully to avoid stepping on slick stones or on muddy patches where his feet would squelch on the ground. Sanzo was walking, seemingly unmindful of the rain, wearing nothing but his leathers and jeans.

He moved quickly until he reached a small stream that meandered through the dense forest. Sanzo stood there, simply watching the water as it flowed in front of him. Kougaiji stopped a few feet away, standing behind a tree and watching him from around the trunk. The blond was ignoring the rain, fists clenching and unclenching at his sides. He stayed like that for a few seconds before he suddenly spoke.

After the silence, Kougaiji was surprised to hear the human speak. Sanzo's voice was low, full of some emotion that he couldn't place. "You always said that I was strong," he said slowly, evenly. The rain plastered his hair to his face, hiding his expression from the demon prince.

Who was Sanzo talking to? Obviously, there was no one around except for them so the redhead had to assume that Sanzo was only voicing his thoughts. Curious in spite of himself, he crept forward a few inches to hear the blond's monologue better.

"It's hard. This entire fucking mission is hard. But you wouldn't really know, would you? You're dead after all." Sanzo sounded bitter; even bitterer than he usually sounded. "Died protecting me, I know. Still. You died. In front of me. And now I have to bring this guilt around with me. All the fucking time. And I'm not strong. Because today, that stupid monkey took a hit for me and if I were strong, I would've been able to take care of myself."

There was a shaky breath and Kougaiji found himself wondering if Sanzo was crying. But that wouldn't be right; Sanzo would never do something so…weak. And he wondered when he started caring that the human sounded so broken.

"Damn, this is stupid," the monk said harshly. He stood up a bit straighter and crossed his arms across his chest. By this time, the rain had stopped. He stood like this for a few more minutes, gazing off into the trees at the opposite side of the river. Kougaiji watched him; lilac eyes narrowed as he made sure to stay still and try to keep his aura from alerting the blond.

Finally, Sanzo turned around and the redhead immediately teleported to hide in the tree's branches. As the monk passed by, he saw tears on Sanzo's cheeks. They looked like raindrops.

And Kougaiji had to wonder why he wanted to reach out and wipe them away. They didn't belong on Sanzo's face. And he wasn't supposed to be standing there and wanting to make the monk feel better. He was supposed to steal the Maten Sutra and get rid of the Sanzo-ikkou.

He quietly followed Sanzo back to the campsite, being doubly sure that he made no move at all that would allow the monk to sense him. Kougaiji stood in the shadows of the forest as Sanzo climbed back into the tent.

After a few moments of silent deliberation, he turned around and teleported back to the clearing where he left his flying hiryuu. He could always come back for the sutra another time. But never while it was raining.

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