Title: Broken and Beaten
Author: PunkWolf
Pairing: Sanzo/Goku and brief Gojyo/Goku
Rating: Eventually NC-17
Warnings: Lime, Lemon, Language and implied Non-con/Rape
Disclaimer: Written for fun, not profit. I own none of the rights to Minekura's Saiyuki.
Summary: Post Journey Fic. "We can't have some dirty pervert sexing our monkey, now can we?" What trouble has Goku encountered while working for the Three Aspects?
Email: mori_recalcitrant (at) hotmail (dot) com

 

Broken and Beaten

 

That was it.

 

A bright, white light engulfed the ruins that were once Houtou Castle, as Goku smashed nyoi-bo down upon Gyumaoh's skull. It didn't stop there. He continued to push the down, slicing the Demon King in two with the blunt staff.

 

And Sanzo watched on as he witnessed the true progression of Goku's power. Hakkai and Gojyo were just behind him, both sporting numerous injuries, and Gojyo morning the death of Dokugakuji, who Nii had brainwashed Kougaiji into killing. Yaone met a similar fate at Lirin's clawed hand. Both siblings were unconscious at the moment, Hakkai standing protectively before them.

 

But Sanzo could care less about all that. He got what he came for. Two sutras, the Maten and the Seiten were draped across his shoulders. His master's legacy had been recovered.

 

And Goku was getting what he came for. Finality. And a chance to prove his power once and for all after all the hardships he had faced in building and honing of that power. The Bull Demon who had needed a War God to take him down before now fell to a totally different being. A heretic stronger than any God.

 

Goku smiled as Nyoi-bo collided with the floor below Gyumaoh as it broke through the skin between the demon's legs, creating a massive crater in its wake.

 

The light grew in intensity and Sanzo knew that the castle would not last much longer.

 

"Let's go!" He shouted above the loud rumbling of the Castle's failing foundations. Gojyo picked up Kougaiji as Goku appeared next to him and gathered Lirin into his arms. Gyokumen had been slain by Kougaiji, but the rest of the resurrection staff had escaped in the chaos.

 

The four fled the crumbling castle as the light become blinding.

 

The Demon King's resurrection had finally been put to rest.

 

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Sanzo's thoughts of the last final battle faded into the background of his mind as the temple approached up ahead.

 

Kinzan Temple.

 

The temple where his master had resided until his final days.

 

Sanzo had decided to get the temple up and running again, it having fallen into ruin after the demonic slaughter years before. He was no longer bound to Chang'An and the Temple of the Setting Sun by the Three Aspects. Damn Floating Heads...

 

Sanzo stepped out of the Jeep and turned to Hakkai. He inclined his head toward the man, thanking him for the ride. Hakkai returned the gesture, hair obscuring his vision for a moment. The burnet was growing it out.

 

Gojyo hollered a good bye as the Jeep drove away. But there was no sound from his third companion, because Goku wasn't there. The young man had chosen to remain at the Temple of the Setting Sun, serving the Three Aspects in Sanzo's place.

 

It was a move Sanzo had not expected. He had assumed Goku would follow him wherever he went, forever. But Goku was 20 now, and plenty capable of making his own decisions.

 

He had last seen Goku two weeks ago as the Jeep drove away from the towering staircase leading up to the Aspects' temple. Goku had been running up the stairs. The heretic hadn't looked back.

 

But Sanzo did.

 

He had watched his charge retreat until the hillside was completely out of sight. He vaguely acknowledged Goku's ever present voice inside his head getting softer the farther away they got. Two days later, it was gone.

 

Now, Sanzo was alone with an abandoned temple to resurrect. He scoffed and began walking toward the nearby village; he had to recruit some monks. He had fifteen who were following him from Chang'An, but you needed more that fifteen attendants to run a temple the size of Kinzan.

 

Sanzo sighed.

 

He had a lot of work ahead of him. And he never had been fond of hard work.

 

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::Two Years Later::

 

"Damn." Sanzo cursed as he threw down his cards. "I fold."

 

His competition laughed at him from across the table. "Finally, the guy runs outta luck!" Sanzo, clad only in jeans and a black button up shirt, had joined a random card game taking place in the common room below the inn he was staying in for the night.

 

Even two years after reviving Kinzan Temple and making an honest living there, Sanzo was still Sanzo. "Bastards." Sanzo growled, exhaling another cloud of smoke to join the dense fog above their heads. "One lousy hand doesn't mean its over." He reached up to check to make sure his black headband was still in place covering his chakra.

 

"Tsk. It better mean it's over. I'm outta cash." The stranger admitted.

 

Sanzo frowned. "You have anything else to offer?"

 

The man regarded him for a minute. "I don't know... I think it depends..." He leaned forward toward the blond, a devious smirk marring his smooth features. "What are you into?" He murmured, licking his dry, crack lips. Sanzo scowled. So that's how it was, eh?

 

"Denied." Sanzo rejected, standing from his seat and pocketing his winnings. He reached up to comb his fingers through his golden locks, simultaneously pulling off the offending headwear. "I have to be at a temple early tomorrow... and I don't swing that way." he looked the man up and down. "At least not for the likes of you."

 

He ignored the man's defensive glare and turned to walk away. He heard his other opponents whisper remarks behind his back concerning his revealed chakra. He didn't care what they said. He was only in town until tomorrow, making a guest appearance at the local temple, before continuing on his way.

 

Once Kinzan was up and running again, life had steadily slowed down and grown unbearably dull. It was all paperwork and prayers from sun up till sun down. And when his head finally came to a rest on his pillow at night, he found his restlessness depriving him of yet another night's sleep.

 

So he elected to travel Shangri-La for a little while, with the excuse that he was going to preach at lesser temples across the land.

 

That excuse backfired. Kinzan had sent two acolytes along with him and nothing he said, did, or threatened convinced them to forget the idea. So now, he actually was traveling around Shangri-La teaching pitiful monks how to make paper airplanes.

 

His attendants had tried to convince him to stop by Chang'An, but Sanzo wouldn't hear of it. He was still in contact with his previous temple, and was well aware that Goku still resided there when not on missions for the Floating Heads. He was still rather sore at his charge for ditching him and didn't feel like returning to him yet, even after two years. He was still convinced that Goku would break first and come crawling back to him, even though Chang'An's reports indicated otherwise. Apparently, Goku was quiet happy with the life he was living now.

 

But, as always, Sanzo was the King of denial.

 

But for now, Sanzo would make good on his words to the attempted bedmate. He was going to sleep. After all, his little monk tag-a-longs would be waking him up early tomorrow.

 

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Sanzo grumbled. Giving lectures was quite possibly the most boring task on this sad little planet.

 

Now, he trudged along the streets, seeking a decent lunch before he and his entourage moved on to the next town. The said entourage was now walking a few paces behind him, too afraid of his sour mood to voice any opinions at the moment. This was just fine with him.

 

He veered into a fancy restaurant. It was a whole hell of a lot nicer than the typical inn/bars that he normally frequented. Now that he was out of the Aspect's service, he no longer had the luxury of the Gold Card's unlimited balance.

 

But today he was just grumpy enough not to care.

 

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Goku scanned the crowd from his table. No sign of the target, though he was sure that the man had scheduled a lucrative meeting in this very restaurant today. His eyes roamed the crowd again, searching for a man who supposedly looked disarmingly ordinary.

 

But this particular man was the ringleader of one of the largest Youkai Enslavement/Prostitution rings in all of China. And he was human.

 

The Three Aspects had summoned him to bring the criminal into custody and discover exactly how he managed to capture and contain the scores of youkai he had kidnapped during his crime spree.

 

There was no solid proof that this Ring existed or that this man had any connection to the missing youkai in any way, so typical law enforcement could do nothing to bring him to justice. But the Aspects had divinity on their side. Unfortunately, their proof was too... divine, for the Lower World to handle.

 

And that's where Goku came in.

 

After two years of working in the Three Aspect's service, Goku had become notorious in the crime world and in the Black Market for taking out key players one by one. He hadn't failed a mission yet, and his prospective victims were aware of this.

 

Ask the Average Joe who Son Goku was, and if you're lucky, they might mention Sanzo and his band of youkai who stopped the resurrection of an evil demon.

 

Ask a guilty man who Son Goku was, and they'll flee for the hills.

 

Goku was defiantly good at his job. He liked it because it kept him busy and out of trouble. It also kept his mind off troubling matters, like his gnawing loneliness.

 

And to top it off, he was spending his birthday working. But even while on the job, Goku couldn't help but wonder what this new year for him would hold.

 

Suddenly, an all too familiar voice rose above the din.

 

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Sanzo was not happy. He had almost been looking forward to eating here, only to find out there was a half-hour wait. He wanted to be on his way to the next town by then. So Sanzo did what Sanzo does best, he pissed people off until he got his way.

 

"Just fucking get me a table! I'm a paying customer!" Sanzo roared at his completely incompetent hostess. She looked like she was about to cry.

 

"I'm s-sorry Sanzo-sama, but we have reservations to seat f-first."

 

Sanzo growled. "I want to be out of this shit-faced town in less that forty-five minutes. If I'm seated 30 minutes from now, there is no way in hell I'll be outta here on time!"

 

The hostess was quivering now and looked about ready to completely breakdown. Yup. Even two years later, Sanzo was still a bastard.

 

"Excuse me." A voice to Sanzo's right interrupted. "He can have my table, I gotta run anyway."

 

Sanzo turned to stare wide-eyed at the shorter, kinder man. "Goku?"

 

"Hai, Sanzo."

 

Both ignored the waitress blubbering her thanks to Goku. Sanzo took in Goku's... outlandish attire. Goku was wearing a pink unbuttoned button-up shirt with a strap of leather fastened around his neck. If that wasn't enough, the heretic was wearing the tightest pair of leather pants Sanzo had ever seen. And damn if the entire sight wasn't giving Sanzo a hard-on. Sanzo was astonished. He was NOT supposed to be attracted to guys. But then again, guys with bodies as lithe and attractive as Goku's shouldn't be wearing such outfits.

 

"What the hell are you wearing?" Sanzo gaped trying to cover up the effect Goku's wardrobe had on him.

 

Goku looked down as if he had forgotten he'd what he'd put on this morning. He scowled. "Oh. Yeah, it's for work."

 

"What kind of work requires dressing like a fucking slut, Goku?" Sanzo voice was gradually getting louder and Goku looked around nervously. Then he saw it. In the far corner off the room where his previous seat could not view, was his target lounging alone at a lonely table. His accomplice hadn't arrived yet. But damn... Sanzo was going to blow his cover at this rate. He had to get away from Sanzo before the priest got Goku in some deep shit.

 

Goku was at the top of the Black Market's Most Wanted List, after all. There was a high price on his heretic head.

 

"Are you even listening to me, baka saru?!" Sanzo roared. Goku glared at the unwanted nickname, but noticed that his target was looking their way... maybe this would work out after all. Goku raised his voice to rival Sanzo's.

 

"Maybe I'm dressing like a fucking slut, because I AM a fucking slut!" Goku retorted while watching his target out of the corner of his eye. He defiantly had the bastard's attention now. Now to get away from Sanzo.

 

Sanzo looked taken aback. "Wha? Goku I thought you were-"

 

"What the hell did you call me? I think toy have me confused with someone else, bozou." the earth child scoffed, not caring if he was sorely confusing his former keeper. Sanzo was being an ass anyway.

 

This statement really caught Sanzo off guard. His biting comeback died on his lips. Eyes narrowing, he looked closer at his charge, ignoring the fact that Goku's toned chest looked stunning while being shown off by the revealing shirt. A few moments later, he realized Goku's eyes were not on him, but looking off into a far corner of the restaurant. He followed Goku's gaze discreetly to see what his charge was looking at.

 

There sitting alone at a table for two, was a rather shady looking man, staring directly at Goku. Bile rose in the back of Sanzo's throat knowing there was a complete stranger checking out his charge. Goku must have noticed that he was being sized up, yet the monkey did nothing to put off the man's wandering eyes.

 

Then it hit Sanzo. Those clothes were for work. Goku must be on a mission, and that bastard must be the target. Goku wanted the creep's attention. And that's why he denied his name... Sanzo knew that Goku had been exceptionally successful in his service to the Aspects, and the boy would be recognized by countless criminals if addressed by name.

 

Goku watched as understanding dawned in Sanzo's eyes. The heretic was silently thankful Sanzo was as clever as he was. He had been running out of ideas on how to remedy the situation.

 

Goku masked his face with a look of impatience. "Are you buyin' or what?" He sneered at Sanzo, knowing the monk would understand his intentions.

 

Sanzo looked shocked for a fraction of a second. He had never pegged Goku as a capable actor. The young man was really getting into the role. Sanzo decided it would be in Goku's best interest to play along. How the hell did he find himself in these situations?

 

"As tempting as that offer is," Sanzo responded, noting that this statement wasn't completely a lie, "I have to be in the next village by sundown and I have no desire to have a whore in tow when I arrive."

 

Goku frowned. "Then why are you wasting my time?" he spat.

 

"I think a more accurate way of putting it would be, 'Why am I wasting my time talking to a dirty slut?'." Sanzo almost smirked; let's see Goku beat that.

 

Goku didn't have a chance to attempt to 'beat that' as there was suddenly a presence next to Sanzo. "Pardon me, Hoshi-sama, but if you are quite finished with this boy, I would like a word with him." Sanzo turned to see the shady bastard staring unabashedly at Goku. Goku didn't even blush at the close scrutiny he received. Goku had never been modest any way, and if he was really getting into the part, prostitutes were analyzed in such a fashion regularly. It would be suspicious if this one had a sense of decency.

 

Sanzo turned back to Goku. "We're finished here." He drawled before retreating the table Goku had offered earlier. He tried to catch his charge's eye as he left, but Goku was focused on his current conversation with the intended mark.

 

Sanzo actually wanted a chance to talk to Goku, now that they had run into each other. Goku had obviously grown up in the last two years and Sanzo wondered if the heretic could carry on an intelligent conversation now.

 

Goku never looked back towards Sanzo. He just spoke with the strange man in hushed tones, occasionally nodding or looking confused to add effect.

 

Sanzo was surprised to see that when the suspicious man left the restaurant, Goku went with him.

 

Sanzo shrugged, gesturing to a passing waitress for a menu.

 

He'll stop by Chang'An eventually and catch his charge when he wasn't busy... or dressed so temptingly.

 

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Sanzo trekked down the well worn path, minus his ever annoying acolytes. They had returned to Kinzan after he told them he wanted to stop by Chang'An alone. They seemed satisfied with the honest work Sanzo had done thus far and granted him his desire to go solo for a while.

 

Sanzo smirked. Like he was really going to Chang'An on any holy business. He just wanted a chance to catch up with his charge.

 

Everything looked so familiar as he passed. He even remembered the turn off they used to take to go to Gojyo's shack when the kappa and Hakkai had lived in that run down piece of shit. He vaguely wondered if they still lived there.

 

Soon enough, the gates of Chang'An came into view. Two monks stood sentry on either side. Goku's business must have brought unwanted unlawful attention to the monastery. It was a dangerous business after all. And he assumed Goku was taking on every quest the Three Aspects had available. Undoubtedly, the business was even more dangerous now than it had been four years ago when Sanzo was still the Gods' errand boy. Humans were getting greedier and taking more risks in regard to manifesting that greed. It was a corruption that was spreading like the minus wave.

 

He was stopped at the gate by the monks. He wasn't wearing his traditional Sanzo robes at the moment, due to the unwanted attention it garnered him during his travels. But they were packed securely in his pack slung over one shoulder. And under his more common priest attire, the sutras adorned his leather-clad shoulders. His hair and most of his face was hidden by a dark hood.

 

"What business do you have with the temple of Chang'An?" One of the monks asked. Sanzo merely smirked. He recognized these two from when he had resided in the temple. He raised his head so that light could reach is features and illuminate the golden hair brushing past his eyes, chakra barely visible between the strands. "S-Sanzo-sama?" The monk stuttered upon identifying him.

 

"Wait a minute." The other monk warned. He turned to scrutinize Sanzo. "If you're really a Sanzo priest, where is your sutra? Prove you aren't an imposter."

 

Sanzo growled in annoyance and the monk who had recognized him backed up a few paces. He undeniably remembered Sanzo. Sanzo complied however and pulled down the shoulder of his robes to reveal the Scriptures resting dutifully upon his shoulders.

 

This seemed to satisfy the monks and they opened the gate and ushered him in quickly. The heavy doors closed with thud behind him.

 

'Chang'An. It hasn't been long enough.' Sanzo thought grimly as he made his way toward the entrance to the main building.

 

He didn't run into Goku as he made his way to the head priest's chambers. So he knocked upon the old man's door obnoxiously. The door creaked open to reveal the same withered old priest who had been tending the temple since before Sanzo had arrived. Sanzo had removed his hood upon entering the building and the man instantly recognized him.

 

"Genjyo Sanzo-sama! What brings you back to Chang'An?" He twittered with a slight bow, gesturing into his room, inviting his guest in. Sanzo made no move to do as he was asked.

 

"I'm looking for Goku. Where would I find him?" The old man's face did not darken as it once had upon mention of Sanzo's charge. Sanzo supposed Goku must be behaving himself now to have this degree of acceptance among the monks.

 

"I'm afraid Master Goku left over a month ago on a summons for the Three Aspects, Sanzo-sama. I'm sorry he is not available when you require him. Was it a matter of great importance?"

 

"No. If he isn't here then I must be going." Sanzo offered a minimal bow, if only to silently thank the priest for not throwing Goku out on his ass.

 

Five minutes later Sanzo was on yet another all too familiar trail heading towards the Temple of the Setting Sun.

 

Why wasn't Goku back yet? Was he still on that last mission or had the Floating Heads sent him off on another run? It had been nearly a month since Sanzo had run into Goku, and according to the old priest, Goku had been sent on a mission just about a month ago.

 

Sanzo sighed. It had to be the same mission. Maybe he had overestimated Goku's prowess earlier.

 

Sanzo continued to think along these lines as he ascended the stairs to the temple of the Three Aspects.

 

This time, the attending monks had recognized him and granted him entrance without question. For this, he was grateful. He was not in the mood to deal with sniveling underlings right now. He just wanted answers, and the only ones who could give them to him were the very Floating Heads he had been avoiding for two years.

 

He ducked into an adjacent room to change into his formal Sanzo priest wear before warily entering the Aspect's inner chambers.

 

"Genjyo Sanzo." A deceptively female voice remarked bringing the other two heads swiveling in his direction. "Just the Priest we wanted to see. It's been far too long."

 

"Where's Goku?" Sanzo asked, choosing to get right down to business instead of exchanging menial pleasantries with these gods.

 

"That is just why we wanted to see you." The male's deep tenor explained. "Goku has gone missing."

 

Sanzo stood shell-shocked. Goku was missing? The heads ignored his refusal to kneel, instead continuing to clarify the situation.

 

The androgynous Aspect spoke again. "It was around a month ago we lost contact with him. He was on a mission to apprehend the ringleader of a vicious youkai enslavement and prostitution ring. His secondary objective is to discover by what means this group can subjugate vast amounts of youkai, though they themselves are human."

 

The man continued. "We lost track of him just after he made contact with the target. It was just after they had entered Beijing that we received our last transmission from Son Goku."

 

Sanzo shook himself out of his unproductive stupor. "You say he disappeared nearly a month ago?"

 

"Yes." The female confirmed.

 

"And he traveled all the way to Beijing with this man, why?"

 

"To find out how so many youkai are being manipulated by these twisted humans and to gather names of other threatening figures in this circle. If we can obtain physical evidence, than the mortal authorities can take over." She paused. "And we also believe he desires to free the captive youkai."

 

"I ran into Goku about a month ago. He was behaving strangely, so I assumed he was on a mission. I was correct?"

 

"Hai."

 

"Then I am sure that I got a visual of the target he was after."

 

"You saw him?"

 

"Mind telling em who 'him' is before this gets anymore confusing?"

 

"Goku's target was Kai Keung. He has escaped conviction multiple times in court and is suspected to be the mastermind behind a great many armed robberies in Hong Kong. A recent run in with the police there lead to his fleeing to Beijing, where he subsequently dropped off the radar. The only thing we are sure of, beyond his involvement in these crimes, is that he has not left the city for more than a few business ventures. It was on one of these excursions Goku hoped to apprehend him." She sighed. "But Goku was too determined to free the captives and chose to accompany Keung to his base in Beijing..." She trailed off.

 

"I'm getting the feeling there's something you're not telling me." Sanzo hissed threateningly.

 

She seemed reluctant to continue, so the hermaphrodite went on in her counterpart's stead. "We have good reason to believe he has been recruited against his will as a male prostitute."

 

Sanzo tensed. "And just how reliable is the source of this information?"

 

"It was Konzeon herself that alerted us to this possibility."

 

"That hag? I wouldn't worry too much. The baka probably just forgot to check in."

 

"Do not underestimate the Merciful Goddess, Genjyo Sanzo. She has been watching out for your charge since he first arrived in Heaven and only has his and your best interests in mind. She has been diligently searching for Goku's whereabouts since he first missed his check-in time. She has even gone to the extent of visiting the mortal plane in her search for him."

 

"Why?"

 

"The best explanation we can surmise is guilt."

 

"What the hell has that crock ever felt guilty for? She's seemed pretty full of herself every time I've run into her."

 

"It was her who presented this mission to Goku. The only other time she has given out a quest, was your previous Journey West."

 

"So it's her fault." Sanzo summed.

 

"If you look at it from a certain angle, than yes." The male grudgingly admitted.

 

"I'm gonna kill her."

 

"Towa Genjyo Sanzo." The female barked to draw Sanzo's attention back to relevant matters. "We take this opportunity to assign you the task-"

 

"Save it." Sanzo snarled as he retreated to the exit. "I'm going anyway."

 

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Gojyo was woken up by obnoxious pounding upon his front door. He was about to ignore it and go back to sleep when the midnight visitor bellowed through the wooden barrier. He hadn't heard that voice in a two whole years.

 

"If a certain kappa still lives in this godforsaken rut of a shack, he better open this goddamn door this instant before I blast it open and go on to blow his fucking head off!"

 

Gojyo chuckled as he hauled himself out of bed and to the front door. "Damn, bozou. It's been two years and you still insist on being a bastard." Gojyo swung the door open to reveal a haggard Sanzo leaning against the doorframe clutching his gun. "What brings you to these parts? Got the monkey with you?"

 

Sanzo shoved past Gojyo into the house. "Is Hakkai here?" he asked, ignoring the kappa's previous questions.

 

Gojyo just went with it. It was too early for this shit. "No, Sanzo-sama. He has his own place in town now. He's teaching at a school there and my lifestyle isn't exactly what he wants flaunted in front of the kiddies, ya know?"

 

Sanzo grunted in response, falling heavily onto one of the chairs surrounding Gojyo's kitchen table.

 

Gojyo was confused by Sanzo's sullen and weary state. "What's up? It's kinda the wrong time of night to just drop by to say hello. Where's Goku?"

 

Sanzo sighed before turning to face the water sprite. "We don't know where Goku is."

 

"Huh? We?"

 

"Me and the Three Aspects."

 

"I thought you were done with those 'damn Floating Heads' Sanzo-sama."

 

"I was. But Goku wasn't. And the brat's gone and gotten himself wrapped up in some heavy shit on his latest mission."

 

"Do tell."

 

"There is good reason to believe... that Goku's been inducted into a dangerous youkai prostitution ring in Beijing... as a male prostitute."

 

Gojyo gasped. "What? Dammit, Sanzo. If I had a fan I'd whack you one good right now!" Gojyo was surprised when Sanzo drew out his harisen and held it out to the kappa.

 

"Go ahead. God knows I deserve it."

 

Now Gojyo knew the extent of the priest's distress over his missing charge. "Oi. Sanzo. Why are you here?"

 

Sanzo turned forlornly to Gojyo. "I need help. I can't get him back alone."

 

"So it's a search and rescue mission, is it?" Gojyo paused. "I'm in. We can't have some dirty pervert sexing our monkey, now can we?"

 

Even through his worry, Sanzo smiled. He never thought he'd say it, but Thank the Gods for his friends...

 

"So it's settled then. Tomorrow, we start our Journey to the East."

 

"That was too cheesy for words Sanzo-sama." Gojyo scrambled to avoid the impending gunshot.

 

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"My, Goku's gotten himself into quite a spot, hasn't he?" Hakkai observed has he drove trusty Hakuryu toward Beijing. He had awoken at four in the morning to Sanzo banging on his door and Gojyo throwing rocks at his window. What he had thought was a nice, friendly reunion, turned out to be more of an ill omen. Goku was lost in Beijing, a city none of their Ikkou was familiar with.

 

Sanzo did not respond to Hakkai's comment and Gojyo merely grunted behind him.

 

After a few moments of silence Hakkai suspected his companions had fallen asleep, both of them having gotten much less sleep last night than he had.

 

He was proved wrong when Gojyo spoke up behind him. "Do ya think Goku's alright?" Gojyo murmured to his green-eyed friend.

 

"I certainly hope so Gojyo."

 

"Honestly, what's your opinion on this whole situation?"

 

"I fear for Goku, after... certain events during our Journey West; I don't know how he'll handle the trauma of being used so brutally."

 

Gojyo was confused. "What events?"

 

"It is not my place to tell you, Gojyo. I'm sorry."

 

"C'mon Hakkai. It's me we're talking about."

 

Hakkai's tone turned icy. "I'm sorry Gojyo, but I will not violate Goku's confidence on this matter. If you are ever to be enlightened on this secret, I will not be from me and that is final."

 

Sanzo shifted slightly in his seat, but his chi indicated he was still asleep.

 

Gojyo sighed. "What do you think is goin' through his head right now?"

 

"I honestly don't know, Gojyo. When Sanzo allowed Goku to return to the service of the Three Aspects on his own, I began to question Sanzo's bond to Goku, and vice versa. I never would have suspected the two of them would go their separate ways. But our Sanzo seems terribly worried about his missing charge. "

 

"I always thought Goku would follow Sanzo to hell if the bastard asked him too."

 

"I... I fear Goku has descended into hell without Sanzo, Gojyo."

 

"Yeah. I've seen some ratty whorehouses out there, but these things were legit. The girls weren't slaves or nuthin'. I can't imagine how bad this place is gonna look."

 

"I worry more about what customers Goku will receive than the conditions in which they are received." Hakkai supplied.

 

"Shit..." Gojyo groaned. "I guess I haven't really put two and two together yet. The idea of the monkey being some bastard's fuck-toy is just beyond me."

 

Hakkai cringed before he felt Sanzo's aura shift next to him. Sanzo spoke up not a second later, not even bothering to open his eyes.

 

"Will you two shut the fuck up? We're not ever sure if that's what happened to him. He could be just a slave or even a grunt." Sanzo's relaxed tone could not fool Hakkai. Sanzo's chi flow was disorderly and disjointed. He'd never known the priest to be this stressed. "Stop acting like he's already under the guy."

 

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Miles away, a boy with golden eyes sneezed. "Sanzo..."

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