If Sanzo had to take his numbskull of a partner to a club, Club Lime was the best of choices that ranged from bad to awful. It might be overpriced, loud, and stiflingly hot, but every dance club in Shinjuku was like that.
Most nights found Sanzo holed up in his office or at the reception desk at Tenkai, the Sino-Japanese restaurant he and Goku owned. He’d be just as happy if he never had to venture out of his office, but the archaeological dig for Buddhist artifacts that had brought them the funds to open the restaurant and his good looks attracted the trendy crowd whose presence guaranteed the restaurant’s success. Putting himself on display felt a bit like prostituting himself, but he could bear it if all he had to do was greet diners, tell the hostess where to seat them, and remember not to scowl.
Even restaurateurs and celebrity chefs need some time off, however. Sanzo would have preferred to nurse a whiskey and soda at a quiet bar, but it had been Goku’s turn to choose where to go, and he’d chosen a dance club. Club Lime was the only club Sanzo was willing to go to, so that settled it.
Despite the soundproofing, they could hear techno music blaring through the door when they arrived. The would-be club-goers lined up outside the entrance glared when the two of them were let in immediately. Inside, a thick pall of smoke hung in the air. Between that and the dim lighting, they could barely see.
The manager’s assistant beckoned to them out of the gloom, leading them toward one of the VIP rooms. Sanzo was grateful for the privacy that such rooms afforded. Back before they were famous enough to be offered such perks, he had sworn he would punch the lights out of the next person who hit on him. The hard stares from men leaning against the bar, the long-haired asshole who touched him on the shoulder and whispered “come home with me” in his ear with Goku standing right there, the fake camaraderie of the loudmouth who wanted to buy him drinks -- they all turned his stomach.
And Goku! Though Goku could defend himself against anything if he knew it was a threat, he didn’t understand the dangers of accepting drinks from strangers. He thought they were being kind.
“You dumb monkey,” Sanzo had said in disgust, “they’re only buying you drinks because they want to get in your pants. Newsflash, moron: they could be dosing it to take advantage of you.”
“You wouldn’t let that happen, though, would you, Sanzo?”
“If you’re far enough away, I might not be able to get there in time. You wouldn’t be able to do a fucking thing about it, either.”
Goku had tilted his head to the side as he considered Sanzo’s words. When he straightened up, he said, “You’re being jealous. And paranoid.”
Goku was such a naïve idiot that Sanzo’s warning didn’t register even when Sanzo repeated it. He kept saying it anyway. He didn’t want Goku depending on the kindness of strangers.
He returned to the present when the assistant paused outside the entrance to the room. “I apologize for the inconvenience, but we have another celebrity couple in attendance tonight and only one room available.” When Sanzo raised an eyebrow, he added, “They’re romance novelist Yuki Eiri and Shindou Shuichi, lead singer for Bad Luck.”
“Oh, wow!” Goku exclaimed. “I love Bad Luck’s music!” He turned toward Sanzo. “Hey, Sanzo, you remember? They’re the ones with that poster you wouldn’t let me hang up in --”
“I remember,” Sanzo said hastily.
“We deeply regret the inconvenience,” the assistant said again, nodding in an abbreviated bow. “Will it be a problem?”
With Goku nearly bouncing off the walls at the news, Sanzo couldn’t very well say it was. The only alternatives were leaving the club or mingling with the crowd, neither of which was a viable option.
He shook his head, not trusting that his voice would be heard over the pulsating music and the noise of the crowd. It was just his luck, he thought sourly, that they would encounter someone Goku wanted to socialize with when all Sanzo wanted was to be left alone.
“Let me go inside first and let them know,” the assistant said.
Sanzo shrugged. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and leaned against the wall while the man disappeared behind the closed door. The room was up a short flight of stairs and overlooked the dance floor, but since it was outfitted with a one-way mirror, it was impossible to see inside. Despite that, Goku was craning his neck, trying to see through the glass.
“What are you doing?” Sanzo asked as he lit a cigarette.
“Huh.” Sanzo was unconvinced.
Moments later, the assistant emerged and smiled. “Go on in,” he said as he held the door open. “They’re expecting you.”
They trudged up the stairs. Sanzo was glad that the volume on the speakers piping music in from the dance floor had been turned down. It might even be possible to hold a conversation in a normal tone of voice.
For all the lovey-dovey PR that Yuki and Shindou enjoyed -- coupled as it was with reports of fights, infidelities, and breakups -- his first glimpse of them was unremarkable. The kid was sprawled in a chair, checking his cell phone. He was not as silly-looking as the media images of him suggested, though the cotton candy-colored hair ended any possibility of his being taken seriously. Yuki was sitting a meter away, leaning back while smoking a cigarette and looking out the one-way mirror, bored.
Goku gawked openly at them. “Close your mouth,” Sanzo snapped, elbowing him.
“Who did you expect it to be?” Sanzo rolled his eyes.
“I’m gonna go say hello!”
Sanzo shook his head and watched Goku’s progress.
Goku ran up to Shindou, held his hand out, and was enveloped in a hug instead. Yuki stared at Goku appraisingly.
Bristling a bit, Sanzo walked over to Yuki, nodded in a curt greeting, and said, “I’m Sanzo and that’s Goku. I guess we’ll be sharing the room tonight.”
Yuki looked up and smirked. “I heard. You’re the duo that went on an expedition looking for Buddhist artifacts, right? You own that restaurant, Tenkai. Sorry, we’ve never been there.”
Sanzo scowled. “Yes, that’s us.” He knew he should invite them to the restaurant, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.
Goku ran over and yanked at his hand. “Shuichi’s asked me to dance with him. Is that okay?” He was so excited that he was practically bouncing up and down.
Sanzo looked at Yuki, who shrugged. “I hate dancing,” he said. “If your friend” – he put a lot of knowing contempt into the word, as if daring Sanzo to contradict him – “wants to keep Shuichi occupied” – here he inserted a sly leer – “that’s fine with me.”
“Fine,” Sanzo said. He shooed Goku away, but right afterward, he wondered why he was going along with what Yuki said without thinking. He didn’t particularly want to dance, but he had no desire to spend time in the idiot writer’s company, either. He wished he’d brought his PDA or a book.
“Sit down,” Yuki said, startling him out of his thoughts. Sanzo, realizing he was still standing, sat in the chair Shindou had vacated and slung his jacket over the back of another chair.
“Here,” Yuki said. He beckoned to a server who materialized out of nowhere. “What do you want to drink?”
“Whiskey and soda,” Sanzo said.
“Very good, sir,” the server said, and disappeared.
Yuki raised his glass and said, “Good choice.”
“What are you drinking?” Sanzo asked, more for something to say than out of any real interest.
“It’s Glenlivet – a brand of single-malt Scotch. It’s smooth and goes down easily. Just like Shuichi,” he said with a smirk.
Sanzo pretended not to have heard that last appalling remark. Then again, maybe Shindou was used to Yuki revealing intimate details about him to complete strangers. After all, Yuki had created quite a stir when he disclosed the kind of relationship they had on live TV. It wasn’t as though it all worked one way, either. Shindou had embarrassed Yuki by embarking on an affair with fellow singer Ryuichi Sakuma, only to have it revealed that it had all been staged for a film.
As a distraction from the annoyance sitting next to him, Sanzo looked for Goku and Shindou. He located them in the center of the dance floor; Shindou’s pink hair made them easier to find. The crowd had cleared a space around them, and every eye was glued to Shindou. Up close, he’d seemed awkward and klutzy, but on the dance floor he was electric.
“If I didn’t know him, I’d think he was looking for some action,” Yuki said.
“Huh?” Sanzo said without thinking.
“Shuichi, I mean.” Yuki leaned forward, staring intently through the glass.
The singer’s outfit alone was designed to attract attention. It was mostly black and mostly leather and had buckles wrapped around what there was of it. It included a short, snug half-jacket, a nylon and Spandex black half-shirt, and shorts that were so low-cut at the waist and so high-cut at the legs as to be nearly criminal.
Sanzo shifted uncomfortably. He shouldn’t be turned on by such a blatant display. The way the kid was gyrating –
The way Goku was copying him. Aping him. He’d never seen Goku dance like that before. Usually, he looked determined, sharp, fluid. Not dangerous, lustful, or sexy.
Sanzo’s jeans felt even tighter as he stared at Goku. “It doesn’t bother you?” he said without thinking, then silently cursed himself for talking to this pervert.
Yuki lit a cigarette and took a leisurely puff before responding. “Nah,” he said. “I got over feeling jealous about him flaunting himself in public long ago. That’s the nature of performing, I guess.”
Yuki flicked his eyes downward and smiled evilly. “As long as you’re just looking, I don’t mind sharing.”
What was he implying? “It looks like he’s teaching Goku some dance moves,” Sanzo said. He was pleased at how level his voice sounded.
“I bet you’d love it if your friend – Goku, right? – moved like that in bed.”
Sanzo grabbed Yuki’s wrist and squeezed. No one disrespected Goku in front of him, especially not an arrogant, perverted prick like Yuki. He’d already taken enough shit from him. “Take that back.”
Yuki lifted his hand in a placating gesture, bringing Sanzo’s hand up with it. Sanzo let go. “I didn’t mean to upset you.” He stared at Sanzo curiously. “I don’t see any reason to hide the nature of your relationship.”
“We’re not hiding,” Sanzo said, still through clenched teeth. “We just don’t advertise.” As Yuki opened his mouth to respond, he added, “And we don’t talk about it with complete strangers.”
“I bet Goku is telling all right this minute,” Yuki said. He sat up straighter. “Besides, your friend Goku is pretty cute himself. You should make sure no one puts the moves on him.”
As he searched the crowd for Goku again, Sanzo wondered why Yuki didn’t seem worried about anyone putting the moves on Shindou. Maybe it was because their relationship was so notorious that only someone else famous, like Sakuma, would dare try it?
Shindou was over on the left, showing off for a group of admirers that didn’t include Goku. Somewhat concerned, Sanzo scanned the crowd for a glimpse of Goku’s unruly brown hair and spotted him off to the right, talking to a group of men leaning against the bar. He ground his teeth. When would the idiot ever learn? He was entirely too trusting.
As he stood up, he saw a glint of light and a sudden movement. Oblivious to everything else, Sanzo ran down the stairs and out the door, where the music’s steady, throbbing beat assaulted him as if it had taken on physical form.
He pushed his way through the throng blocking his path. He arrived to find a handsome man with graying hair pressing an improvised ice pack against Goku’s forearm.
“Give me that,” Sanzo said as he snatched the towel away. The man looked angry and puzzled until Goku smiled and said, “Hey, Sanzo. I cut myself on a broken glass, but my friend here helped stop the bleeding.”
“Does your friend have a name?” Sanzo growled, barely able to hear Goku or himself over the music.
“Sure! It’s, uh – what’s your name again?”
The man looked abashed; most likely, any name he’d given was phony. “It’s Usagi,” he said, “but it looks like you’re in good hands here.” He looked around for an escape route.
To Sanzo, he whispered, “I thought he was here by himself. He didn’t say anything about having someone with him.”
Like he hadn’t seen Goku dancing with that pink-haired menace or thought they were just two twinks out on the town. Sanzo scowled and said, “Now you know better. Scram.”
“I will, sir,” the man said, nodding his head as he backed away.
“Sanzo!” Goku complained. “Why’d you scare my friend off?”
“That was no friend,” Sanzo said. “He was trying to get into your pants. I keep telling you—”
Goku mused, “I don’t think he’d fit.”
“That’s not what I mean, idiot!”
Goku covered his ear with his uninjured hand. “Ow! I know that. Lighten up, Sanzo. I’m not a kid, and I can look out for myself.” He must have seen the skeptical look on Sanzo’s face, because he continued quickly. “Okay, so I got cut, but that coulda happened anywhere, you know? It coulda happened at the restaurant.”
“Come on,” Sanzo said, and seized Goku’s wrist. Goku sucked in his breath as if Sanzo’s hand was clamped around his wrist a little too close to his cut for comfort.
“Where’re we goin’?” Goku asked as Sanzo pulled him along behind him.
“To clean you up and bandage you.”
Sanzo stopped at the office, where he snarled at the manager’s assistant and left with bandages and antibiotic ointment. He half-dragged, half-led Goku to a sink in the men’s room and pulled a pile of paper towels from the dispenser before removing the makeshift ice pack to see if the bleeding had stopped.
A little pinkish-red liquid still oozed from the cut, so he ran cold water over some paper towels and placed them over the wound Goku stood still as Sanzo applied pressure to his forearm.
Behind him, Sanzo heard the door to the men’s room slam shut, but he paid no attention until golden hair and eyes loomed behind him in the mirror. “Taking care of a cut, I see,” Yuki said.
Sanzo started. The man was like a cat: sneaky and all over the place. “What are you doing here?”
“Same thing you are. Oh, wait. You’re not here to use the facilities. My mistake.” He made no move to leave.
“We don’t need your help.”
“But I’m an expert at bandaging 'em up. Shuichi used to cut himself all the time when he tried to cook. Now he leaves it to me.”
That got Goku’s attention. “You cook?” he squealed. Sanzo cleared his throat.
“Yes,” Yuki said. “Not professionally, like you, but I cook. Shuichi likes my cooking.” He made it sound like he was talking about something else.
Sanzo removed the towels and assessed the wound. To his consternation, so did Yuki. “Looks good,” Yuki said. “You can bandage it now.”
“I. Don’t. Need. Your. Help!” Sanzo huffed, and began running warm water. He cleaned the cut with water and soap, then dried and applied the antibiotic ointment to it.
“Right,” Yuki said, and strolled toward a urinal. Sanzo was glad Goku wasn’t facing that direction; he wouldn’t put it past the asshole to put on a show for Goku’s benefit.
Sanzo peeled the backing off a bandage and, holding Goku’s arm under his elbow, he pressed it down over the cut. “Be more careful. We can’t afford to have you out of commission because you cut your hand.”
Goku smiled, stood on his toes, and kissed him. After he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, Sanzo’s eyes darted around the room to make sure no one had seen them. Oh, hell. Yuki, who was just finishing up, had.
“There are stalls available for that,” Yuki said, walking to an adjacent sink and washing his hands.
Goku blushed. Sanzo balled his hands into fists.
“Is violence your answer to everything?” Yuki asked as he dried his hands. “A foursome would be preferable.”
He retreated rapidly as Sanzo went to punch him in his foolish, leering face. The door banged shut when he left.
Once Sanzo cooled off, he realized he didn’t want to risk running into Yuki again. Maybe he could build some goodwill with Goku by offering to dance instead of returning to the room. At this point, it seemed like the lesser of two evils.
Once he was finished bandaging Goku’s cut, Sanzo used one of the urinals. Goku did, too. As Sanzo tossed the paper towel he dried his hands with, he suggested, “Let’s dance.”
“Really?” Goku said, golden eyes shining.
Sanzo grumbled, “Would I say it if I didn’t mean it?” as he pulled him along.
As they stumbled onto the dance floor, the music washing over them, Sanzo wondered if he’d made a mistake. Fast songs required a level of energy he just couldn’t summon. Slow dancing was just as bad, if not worse; moving while standing so close together was downright embarrassing.
As if on cue, the music changed from up-tempo to slow. Some of the dancers left, wiping their brows and looking exhausted. A few more joined in, but it was still less crowded than it had been before. They were less likely to bump into other dancers, but with fewer couples on the floor, each couple was likely to garner more attention from the crowd.
Sanzo took a deep breath, placed his hands on Goku’s waist, and swayed in time to the music. Slow dancing was especially tricky when both partners were men; it felt strange for one to lead and the other to follow. Sanzo didn’t subscribe to the cling-and-grope school of slow dancing either, so they usually held each other at arm’s length and swayed from side to side.
Sanzo was annoyed when another couple bumped into them. His irritation blossomed into full-fledged fury when he discovered that it was Yuki and Shindou. Yuki deliberately shoved him in Goku’s direction. Sanzo glared at him and tried unsuccessfully to stomp on Yuki’s foot.
Goku didn’t seem to notice any of this. He tipped his head up and smiled, eyes closing. “Mm, that feels nice,” he said as they made contact again. Did Goku actually enjoy brushing up against him like that in public?
Sanzo looked around. He wasn’t certain that he wanted an answer to his question, but he knew he didn’t want anyone to see them nudging each other.
Yuki and Shindou were off to the left. They had solved the dilemma of who would lead similar to the way he and Goku had. But instead of a large gap between them, there was none that he could see: Shindou clung to Yuki’s hips and Yuki’s hands cupped Shindou’s ass.
Goku was cuter and far more innocent. Sanzo wasn’t sure Shindou could even pretend to be innocent anymore, given the life he led and the company he kept. He looked down at Goku’s thatch of unruly brown hair and almost smiled. Goku would probably still look like a kid until he was well into his fifties.
Yuki and Shindou went by and brushed against them again. Sanzo looked up just as Shindou opened his eyes and smiled. If he didn’t know Shindou was a performer, he might be dazzled by that smile – sweet, open, and innocent. Apparently, Shindou could still pretend to be untouched by the world.
As the music faded away and a new song started, Sanzo searched for a graceful exit strategy. Goku tugged on his hand and looked at him with pleading eyes. “One more song, Sanzo, please!” he begged.
How could he be so crass as to refuse? “No,” he said, hardening his heart to withstand the crestfallen look in those wide golden eyes as he walked away.
“C’mon, just one more!” Goku wheedled, nearly loudly enough to be heard over the music. He tugged at Sanzo’s arm with such force that Sanzo stumbled.
He sighed in defeat after seeing Goku’s set jaw. He knew that look; it meant that Goku would be unbearable to be around the rest of the evening if Sanzo didn’t do what he wanted. Goku didn’t ask much of him, but when he had his heart set on something, there was no stopping him. When he tried, Sanzo suffered for it.
He walked toward Goku, who let the throbbing beat and sinuous bass line take over as he shimmied in time with the music. Sanzo had to half-close his eyes to halt the heat pooling in his groin. He danced desultorily until Goku grabbed his hand again and told him to dance like he meant it. Sanzo stared at him until Goku put his hands on Sanzo’s hips and began wiggling provocatively.
So much for exercising restraint. Sanzo’s pants were now uncomfortably tight, but he started swaying in time with Goku and the music. He placed his hands on Goku’s hips without even meaning to. The floor vibrated as the song pounded through the speakers, melding the dancers into one writhing, orgasmic mass.
The song segued into another as abruptly as it had begun. Goku wiped his forehead, shiny with sweat, and said, “That was fun, Sanzo! Thanks!” He slipped his hand into Sanzo’s as they left the dance floor.
“Welcome,” Sanzo mumbled. He needed something cold and alcoholic to drink.
They discovered that the room was empty. Maybe Yuki and Shindou were still dancing. Or perhaps Yuki had dragged Shindou into the men’s room and was having at him.
Sanzo knocked on the inside door, and a server appeared. Sanzo ordered another whiskey and soda for himself, and after a brief consultation, whatever they had on tap for Goku.
They sank into the same chairs at the same table by the one-way mirror where Sanzo and Yuki had sat earlier. Sanzo lit another cigarette. Goku slouched, hands behind his head, and put his feet up on the table until Sanzo nudged them off. “Cut it out,” he said. “We’d never let anyone do that at the restaurant.”
“Aw, Sanzo, I’m just tryin’ to relax. Spoilsport.”
“We’re well enough known that what we do reflects on the business.”
Goku sat up. “Oh, all right,” he grumbled. “When you put it that way--”
“When you put what what way?” a voice asked. It was Yuki again, coming up the stairs. Shindou followed him. Couldn’t they get away from them for two seconds?
Shindou gave Goku a high five and said, “We needed a breather.”
“Speak for yourself,” Yuki said. “I need something to drink. Go knock on the door.”
Before Shindou could do as he was asked, the door opened, and the server appeared with Sanzo and Goku’s drinks. “We’d like to order, too,” Yuki said.
“What’ll you have, sir?”
“I’ll have another Scotch. And a slow comfortable screw against the wall for him,” he said, thrusting his thumb toward Shindou.
Shindou blushed as Goku giggled and covered his mouth. Sanzo glared.
“Very good, sir,” the server said impassively, and left the room.
The server soon reappeared bearing Yuki and Shindou’s drinks. As the owner of a restaurant that included a bar, Sanzo knew of the existence of such a drink – their bartender, Gojyo, had once asked him if he wanted one – but he thought Yuki had said it only for effect and that Shindou would pour it away. So he was surprised to see Shindou pick up the glass and gulp most of it down in one swallow. If he kept it up, he’d be drunk soon.
Yuki echoed his thoughts when he slapped Shindou lightly on the back. “Slow down, you moron. Do you want to make me carry you out of here – bridal style, maybe, or fireman’s hold?”
Shindou’s eyes twinkled. “What, you don’t want me drunk so you can take advantage of me?”
“You don’t need to be drunk for me to do that,” Yuki said, leaning back and sipping his Scotch.
Sanzo rolled his eyes. His whiskey and soda wasn’t quite as satisfying as it would have been with just Goku there, but Goku seemed content with his beer. Sanzo heard a couple of hearty belches coming from his direction.
Sanzo tried his best to ignore whatever else was going on in the room. He mostly succeeded. He could just barely hear the buzz of Yuki and Shindou’s speech, punctuated with occasional comments from Goku.
Just as he was about to nod off, Goku tugged on his hand again. “D’you mind, Sanzo? Shuichi and I are going back out on the dance floor.”
“No,” Sanzo said, yawning. Truthfully, he did mind, especially since it meant he was stuck with Yuki again, but Goku had chosen to come here and he didn’t feel like completely spoiling his fun. He heard two pairs of feet scrambling down the stairs and the brief din of the music at full blast as the door opened.
Yuki leaned over and said, “Yours is cute, but mine is cuter.” Sanzo spat out his drink.
“I didn’t know this was a contest,” he said, “especially not over them.”
“Goku’s not as innocent as he looks, you know. If he were, you would never have taken up with him.”
Sanzo wondered if Yuki was using some sort of twisted reverse psychology to get him to admit to sordid desires.
“I was like Shuichi once, but I got over it,” Yuki added. “Were you ever like Goku?”
“I’m not interested in playing true confessions,” Sanzo said. He walked through the door and stood lounging against the wall, arms crossed. When Yuki didn’t follow him out, he breathed more freely and looked around for Goku and Shindou.
Once again, an admiring throng surrounded them. Shindou’s hands were on Goku’s shoulders, and Goku’s hands were on Shuichi’s hips. Their foreheads touched while their feet moved through intricate steps to the driving beat.
Sanzo felt a surge of – anger? Lust? Or was it fear? Surely he didn’t think Goku belonged to him. Goku was no more his possession than the artifacts they’d found. So why did he feel a lump in his throat at seeing Goku standing so close to someone who posed no threat?
He heard the door open. “I’m taking what’s mine,” Yuki said as he swept past.
Sanzo held back for a moment, then followed. So much for Yuki’s lack of jealousy. As much as he might deny it, Sanzo felt much the same.
Yuki arrived first. “Playtime’s over,” he said as pulled Shindou into his arms. He kissed him long enough that the crowd applauded when he pulled away and escorted Shindou off the dance floor.
They created enough of a stir that hardly anyone noticed when Sanzo tapped Goku on the shoulder. Goku turned around with a pained face that brightened as soon as he saw who it was. “Wanna dance?” he asked Sanzo.
“No,” Sanzo said. “Let’s go home.”
Goku studied his face. He must have read something there, because he grinned again and said, “Sure.”
As Sanzo led him back to the room so he could retrieve his jacket, Goku said, “I invited Shuichi and Yuki to visit the restaurant sometime and told him we’d comp one of their meals. It’d be good publicity, and besides, I’d like to see him again anyway.”
“You work in the kitchen, doofus.”
“But I come out occasionally and talk to customers. And they could come late enough that we could chat afterwards, right?”
Sanzo didn’t bother answering the question as Goku followed him up the stairs. Goku was probably right that it would be good publicity for the restaurant, and Goku could spend his time after the kitchen closed chatting up those two morons if he wanted. In the meantime, Sanzo would have to sic that pervert Gojyo on Yuki and see what Yuki made of him -- though he probably should warn Hakkai about his plans ahead of time. There was no telling what a pissed-off Hakkai might do.
When they reentered the VIP room, Yuki had Shindou backed up against the wall. Sanzo averted his eyes after noticing that Shuichi’s shorts were pulled down and Yuki was reaching toward --
“Sanzo!” Goku whispered. “What’re they doin’?”
“Something perverted,” Sanzo said as he hastily pulled his jacket off the back of a chair.
“But I wanted to remind Shuichi about my invitation!” Goku said.
“I’m sure he remembers,” Sanzo lied.
They walked down the stairs without a backward glance. As they left the club, Sanzo wondered: did he look like that, too – like a grown man taking advantage of a teenage boy?
He’d tried to preserve Goku’s innocence; that’s what had kept him from acting on his desires for so long, even after Goku had made it clear he wanted Sanzo. Had he tainted Goku?
The Buddhist priest who had found him in a basket on his doorstep had once told him, “Loss of innocence doesn’t mean loss of purity.” As they headed for the subway, shoulders occasionally bumping, Sanzo fervently hoped that was true.