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Stray

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"Goku? Goku! Where. Are. You?"

Gojyo looked around the monastery coachyard. If the kid got himself squashed under the wheels of the bus, or climbed into some engine there'd be hell to pay. A flash of movement in a gloomy work shed caught his attention.

"There. You. Are! Come. On."

"No! Gojyo, look!"

Goku pulled back a piece of wood and revealed a scrawny tortoiseshell cat. She'd been lurking around, vastly pregnant, offending the monks with her female carnality. Now she was thin again, curled around four tiny kittens that butted at her side.

"She has babies! She doesn't mind me looking, she knows I'm her friend!"

Goku's little face was joy-filled at the sight. Gojyo decided that he wasn't going to tell him not to touch a flea-ridden stray after all. The kid got told No too much already.

"Just. Stroke. With. One. Finger," he said. "Real. Gentle. Goku. OK?"

"Yeah," Goku breathed softly to the cat, "You stay warm, Princess. We'll bring you food. This is your home now, the monastery's taken you in. Sanzo looks after people with no home."

"You. Think. He'll. Want. To. Mind. A. Stray. Cat?"

Goku nodded, "He looks after me and I'm more trouble than Princess."

Gojyo was horrified to see him scrub his hand across his eyes.

"Hey. You're. Not. A. Stray."

"The other monks -"

Gojyo looked around, and hunkered down. "Screw. Them." He awkwardly ruffled Goku's hair. "Cover. Her. Up. We'll. Rob. A. Fish. For. Her. Dinner."

Goku carefully put the wood back and took Gojyo's outstretched hand, little fingers curling around Gojyo's.

"Princess. Huh?" Gojyo said, leading him away.

"It's her name, she told me!"

Gojyo smiled down at him. Clever kid. None of the androids could speak cat.

He was so glad to have been made his guard.