Your son, Goku.

"I dyed my head red with the blood of a half-breed child, so that I could become like Sha Gojyo – an outcast who belonged to no one. I bathed in the blood of a thousand demons, and became a demon myself, so that I could show you I can be just as bloodthirsty and ruthless as Cho Hakkai. I have strived to be nothing more than your loyal servant, never once leaving your side, long before you took your pet son, Goku, out from under his rock. Master Sanzo…"

Goku blinked. For a moment, his breath caught in his mouth. Son? He chanced half a glance at Sanzo, who hadn't so much as twitched. For an instant Goku's heart soared. If Sanzo was reacting like… like he wasn't reacting at all, could that mean that… that he wasn't surprised by the accusation (if it could be called that), that- And then reality caught up with him.

Your pet son, Goku. Your pet, Son Goku. His name. Son Goku.

Goku clenched his teeth, his fists, and returned his attention to the problem at hand. They were in a great, cavernous, dimly lit room. There was not one free bit of floor to spare, as every tile had been cramped and heaped upon with orange paper air-planes. The creator of the planes, the phrase Goku had just heard, and of all the Sanzo Party's recent misfortune, was sitting on the far side of the hall. Go Dougon. He, like Goku, had once studied under Sanzo. Unlike Goku, Sanzo had not taken him on the journey to the West. Go Dougon, unlike Goku, now meant Sanzo every ill. And he, unlike Goku, thought it some high and mighty honor to have been taken along on this crazy, outlandish adventure of theirs. In fact, he had just been defending his rights with that little speech.

You took your pet son, Goku, out from under his rock. Goku twitched again. Stop thinking. Go Dougon was wrong.

Goku could feel Sanzo's presence by him, even in the semi-darkness – Genjo Sanzo, the highest ranking priest in Shangri-La. Blond-haired and violet eyed he was the priest charged with the protections of the Scriptures of Darkness and Light. And he was Goku's savior. Five years before, he had "taken Goku out from under a rock," as Dougon so aptly put it. But Dougon was wrong about one thing.

One thing, Goku thought, as he and Sanzo pelted from the chamber in which Dougon had set off the million paper air-plane-bombs. There was only one thing that Dougon had really gotten wrong in that statement, Goku mused as he battled beside Gojyo, Hakkai and Sanzo for the rest of the night.

One thing, he thought, as the four of them loaded back into the Jeep the next morning, when all was silent, and finished, and Go Dougon was dead. Sanzo had never done what Dougon almost did. He had never recognized Goku as his son.

Gojyo draped an arm around Goku in the back seat, his own eyes dulled and red-rimmed from the night's encounter – Houran written into every unwanted crease on his matted, exhausted face. "What are you so gloomy about, monkey?" He gave Goku a half forced, tired smirk. "What do you say, we go get some breakfast?"

Goku looked into his red rimmed, red colored eyes. Whatever happens, or doesn't happen. I guess we just gotta live the only way we know how. And besides, now that he thought about it…

"BREAKFAST?!" he leapt up in sheer rapture. "I LOVE BREAKFAST! IT'S THE BEST MEAL OF THE DAY! Next to maybe lunch and dinner. Then again brunch isn't so bad either…" That's right, he was hungry. He'd almost forgotten.

"Wait a second!" Gojyo howled now rejuvenated himself. "Were you just upset because you hadn't eaten yet?!"

Goku gave him a blank look. "Of course."

Within seconds Gojyo was also standing upright in the Jeep, and the argument shifted from food to whether or not the hanging bridge upon which they were parked would snap, which it presently did.

And as the four of them – five, counting Jeep – tumbled into the river bellow, Sanzo howling all the way down, Goku grinned. Because whether or not Sanzo really did think of him as a son, Goku would always think of Sanzo as a father. That was a truth Sanzo had long ago stopped trying to deny. And that would just have to do for now. And besides… maybe someday…


This story was inspired by the very misunderstanding Goku has, which I actually made when I first heard Go Dougon give that little speech in the Great Chamber.