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Nothing but the Sun

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Sanzo awoke instantly because someone was on top of him. Someone was on top of him!

Before he violently threw that someone off him though, he heard a very distinctive “Sanzooooo!” from that person, letting him recognize the monkey even in the darkness. It still left him flooded with adrenaline he couldn’t currently do anything with.

Goku was all over him in a panic, touching his face, putting his fingers-- “Geh your fingaz outta my mouf,” Sanzo said. They weren’t clean either. Being the monkey’s guardian led to so many indignities.

“Sorry!” Goku clutched Sanzo by the neck then, and Sanzo could feel wetness on his face. Sniffling and shaking, Goku said, “I had to see if you were okay. I had this dream where we were running somewhere together but then you got squashed by this giant thing and you were dead and I was all alone....”

“It was just a dream. I’m here and I’m okay. You’re not alone.” Sanzo didn’t say that he’d always be there because he knew too well how quickly and easily that could become a lie.

Although he had no talent for being comforting, for the child’s sake Sanzo tried.

“Can I stay in your bed with you? Please?”

Sanzo didn’t bother saying that Goku already slept in the same room with him because he knew that wouldn’t be enough. “We won’t make a habit of it. It’s just for tonight.” They’d done it a few times before when Goku had a nightmare or woke up not remembering that he’d gotten out of his mountain cage, but Sanzo needed to say it each time in case Goku got ideas about making it permanent. He didn’t like sharing a bed, with anyone, but sometimes the little monkey needed it.

At least on a cold winter’s night like this it’d be not just bearable but pleasant having a grabby, clingy furnace under the covers with him.

“Yes! I know! Thank you!”

“Do you need me to light a candle for you?” Sometimes Sanzo did it and kept it burning inside a glass holder until morning as a kind of nightlight for Goku when he needed that kind of reassurance. In his own youth, Sanzo had been comforted by the light and warmth of a campfire on those nights outside when he allowed himself one, when he didn’t think it might lure human predators to him.

“I don’t need it tonight. I have you.”

From anyone else those words would be ass-kissing or mockery, and although he knew Goku was too ingenuous and earnest for either he couldn’t help instinctively resisting the sentiment and sneering. At least he stopped himself from immediately saying something that would stomp all over it and on Goku for saying it. “Just try not to squeeze me too tight.” Given Goku’s strength, Sanzo had been lucky there hadn’t been many mishaps.

Ostentatiously weakening his grip around Sanzo’s neck, shivering, Goku replied, “I won’t! Especially not after-- I won’t! You’ll be okay with me!”

Especially not after what had happened to Sanzo in Goku’s nightmare? It made him wonder how graphic the dream had been. Sanzo often wondered whether Goku’s nightmares had any roots in the parts of Goku’s past the little monkey couldn’t remember. He didn’t seem to remember what he did in his Seiten Taisei form....

“I know. I know you can be careful.”

When Goku remembered to be careful.

“I’ll take care of you, and you take care of me,” Goku said. “That’s how it should be, right?”

Although he knew that caring about anyone could be dangerous, if not now than in the future, in the present Sanzo still took the comforting route and answered, “Yeah.”

 

End

From a crack version of this story:

Sanzo awoke instantly because someone was on top of him. Someone was on top of him!

Yelling, “Yeet!” he violently threw that someone off him, hearing a very distinctive “Sanzooooo!” as the monkey flew across the room. Oops.