|Wall to Wall
Author: Ayrith PM
Why girls are the more complicated sex. Sango, Kagome, and their friendship.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship - Kagome H. & Sango - Words: 2,624 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 36 - Follows: 1 - Published: 11-04-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3874713
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own the manga and T.V. series 'Inuyasha.' I am merely borrowing the characters.
AN: Why do people always assume Kagome and Sango are best friends?
"Aren't you glad we got a room all to ourselves?" Kagome asked cheerfully. She was kneeling on the ground, bent over her bag and pulling all sorts of large, nameless things from its innards. Sango sat on her knees, back straight, watching her. Every time Kagome's short green skirt rose up the back of her thighs, Sango grew alarmed and embarrassed.
"Yes," Sango said quickly, then, "why don't you sit down?"
Kagome turned around and plopped to the ground, stretching out her long legs. She blew her hair out of her eyes noisily, then gave a self-depreciating smile to Sango. "Sorry," she said a bit sheepishly, "I have all night to unpack, don't I?" Then she fell on her back, arms spread wide, and stared at the ceiling. "I guess I'm just a bit excited."
Sango, still sitting straight, cocked her head slightly and peered at the younger girl. "Why is that?"
"Well, because we haven't been alone together without the guys." Kagome smiled hopefully at the ceiling, then confessed, "I have to say I haven't had much female conversation lately. Before I came here, I used to call my friends a lot, but now the only company is the boys, and while they're wonderful, they aren't girls, you know?"
Unease flashed across Sango's face, and she looked around the room. It was the age difference, Sango thought. Or the fact that she was from a different era. "We don't," Sango began, paused, then continued more delicately, "don't you find it hard to talk to someone you haven't known for a long while?"
Kagome pulled up on her elbows and looked at Sango in confusion. "No." Doubt crept into her doe eyes. "Should I?"
Sango stared resolutely at the pattern of her yukata. Patterns, colors, shapes fought for her attention. "You shouldn't need to do anything," was all she said.
Kagome wasn't quite sure what to make of that.
Sango was panting so hard she had to pull her mask off for air. Her skin felt raw and slick with sweat. Frustration boiled her blood. Furiously, she slammed her boomerang into the earth, satisfied with the crunch it made on contact with the dry earth.
Sango spit a layer of mucus from her mouth and glared at the purple poison in the air. Little rat youkai bastards. She'd been flushing them out since daybreak, crushing their scaly bodies with fan like snaps of her wrist. Her boomerang was black with blood, making her nauseous with the smell. She had to take a break, or she'd end up making a mistake and hit a house instead of a youkai. Damn it.
Sango forced herself to turn her back on the thick purple vapor around the rat-infested house, making her way towards Kagome. The girl stood there watching, her eyes big over her white mask, holding a strange clear container. Sango eyed it suspiciously as she approached.
"Here," Kagome said before Sango could say anything, thrusting the bottle in front of her. "Drink this. It'll help."
"No," Sango replied automatically, shaking her head. When Kagome looked taken aback, she amended, "It's okay, I'll go find a stream."
Kagome shook her head violently. "No, no, the stream is too far. Please take this."
Sango pressed her lips together, looking at the proffered item. She supposed it was useless to tell Kagome that she never drank from anything she hadn't prepared herself.
With some hesitation, she gingerly took the bottle from Kagome. The cap was already open. Water swirled inside. Sango gave the bottle a discreet sniff, a small taste, then a large swallow. The water was cool and she did feel better. With a more relaxed expression, Sango returned the bottle.
Kagome waved her hands, dismissing the appreciative gesture. "Oh no, please it is the least I can do. I can't even dream of doing what you're doing. You're very strong, Sango. I only wish I was." She lifted her arm up playfully and patted her biceps, laughing and shrugging.
Unwillingly, a picture began to form in Sango's mind. An oafish figure, lumbering and inarticulate, as far from this delicate woman as could be seen. Sango didn't know what to say at first, partly ashamed that she was sensitive, and also that she was reading too much into the words. Fighting down her blush of anger, she said as lightly as she could, "It's my job and I get it done, like any other woman. I'm not that different from you."
Kagome smiled. "I still admire you."
Sango was dissatisfied with that, watching as Kagome stepped daintily over rocks, her pale limbs like crane's feet dancing gracefully between stones. In her frustration, Sango threw her boomerang a little to hard and it cut straight through the wall of a side shed.
This failed to make Sango feel better.
"I don't think Sango likes me," Kagome said miserably, wrapping her arms around her knees as she stared into the fire. Miroku looked up from chopping a particularly ugly carrot. She looked so dejected sitting there, her hair in her face, that Miroku couldn't help but smile warmly. Youth.
"Ah, Miss Kagome, I don't think you give either yourself or Lady Sango much credit. I doubt very much that she dislikes you. You two are simply…different people."
"You think so?" Kagome mumbled. She didn't sound very relieved.
Miroku put his small blade down and turned towards Kagome more fully. His large, dirt-stained hands rested lightly on his knees. "You have to understand, Kagome, that you come from a different world than us. You don't act like girls your age by our standards. It just means that being a young woman makes Sango more aware of this then either Inuyasha or I." Miroku looked at the ground, his expression turning thoughtful. "There are some barriers harder to cross then simply jumping through a well, I suppose." He looked up.
Kagome looked so utterly depressed at his words that Miroku immediately regretted speaking. Without hesitation he reached out a hand and briefly patted Kagome's ankle as a comforting gesture.
"Barriers aren't permanent, Kagome," Miroku amended. "You are who you are and Sango is who she is. Things maybe uncertain now, but I am confident it won't always be so."
Kagome was silent as Miroku resumed unsuccessfully cutting his mutilated carrot. They sat in quiet harmony, with the fire crackling between them and the night sky spread out high above like a soft, dark blanket, until Kagome gave mercy to the pitiful carrot. She scooted around the fire, gently took the knife out of Miroku's hands, and chopped the remaining block into neat little squares. Miroku watched, fascinated.
"So," Kagome drawled, as she pulled a potato out of the sack sitting by the fire, "how old are you exactly, Miroku?"
Miroku gave her a disarming smile. "Mushin says that I am nineteen, but I don't think he was sober enough at my birth or any day after that to say so," he replied with amusement, though not unkindly.
Kagome didn't say anything at first. "Is no one my age?" she finally said in exasperation.
Miroku looked amused. "Well, in years perhaps not, but I should think that if we are talking about maturity, Inuyasha now…"
"Miroku!" Kagome laughed, then suddenly looked somewhere to her right, outside the warm red circle of the campfire. "Oh look," she cried happily, grabbing Miroku's shoulder. "It looks like Sango, Shippou, and Inuyasha are back!" She quickly began to grab the bulk of the items strewn on her ground, all of which happened to be her own. Miroku watched her, grinning, then looked to the approaching group.
"Too bad," he said good-naturedly, more as a joke to himself, then stood up to greet them.
"Hey," Inuyasha grunted.
Sango looked up, squinting in the evening light. Inuyasha stood before her, his profile highlighted by the setting sun. He was looking at her from the corner of his eye. Sango looked down again, finishing tying the strap of her bag, the pulled it onto her shoulders and stood up. She adjusted her skirts carefully, then, "Yes?"
"Why are you being such a bitch to Kagome?"
Sango blinked and turned to Inuyasha. Her brain went through a series of rapid thought, before she frowned, her eyes narrowing. "Did Kagome ask you to ask me about it?"
"No," Inuyasha said bluntly.
Sango's frown deepened. "Then you have no right to ask. It is business between Kagome and me." Sango turned her back to him disapprovingly. Did the boy have any sense of decency?
Apparently not. "Of course I do," Inuyasha retorted hotly, "especially when Kagome gets so depressed whenever you're around."
Sango froze. Her hand convulsed tightly around the strap of her pack, cold like iron. She turned around stiffly. Inuyasha was facing her fully now, a dark scowl on his face.
They stared at each other, eyes locked as if held there by iron poles. Sango looked away first, off into the trees. She shifted her weight to a different leg, grimacing uncomfortably. "I'm not..a bitch...to Kagome."
"Well you're doing something," Inuyasha snapped.
Sango glared, instantly on the defense. "How do you know its me? How do you know its not you?"
"Because I know when Kagome's mad at me," Inuyasha growled. His silver hair fluttered in the slight wind, glinting like white-hot coils of metal. "She'll sit me, for starters, which she hasn't. More importantly, she'll look at me. She won't look at you."
Sango's jaw loosened. It took her longer than she would have liked to compose herself and think. Her brain ground stones of thought together and came up with dust. The stiffness of her spine rolled out like unleashed weight.
"I don't," Sango began honestly, warily, "I don't understand Kagome."
Inuyasha had calmed down. The sharp angle of his eyebrows smoothed out, making him look suddenly younger. "So?" he asked gruffly.
"So? How can you even...well, it matters to me. It bothers me. I—" Sango stopped. A sudden realization ran like a shiver up her spine as Inuyasha looked at her curiously. She felt this great weight in her mind, memory and resentment and worry grown thick like a tree. Suddenly, she was sick of it. She wanted to chop it all down. Things should be simple. Why couldn't they be simple? Why was she refusing to give Kagome a chance?
She and Kagome were different. So different. Kagome was new and strange and maybe a bit of everything that Sango had ever wanted to be...
"Sango?" Her name jerked her from her trance. She stumbled forward and Inuyasha reached out a hand, steadying her shoulder. She grabbed his wrist, staring with unfocused eyes at his chest, and he looked at her a little worriedly.
Was different so bad? her inner heart clamored.
"Inuyasha," Sango said, and he jumped. "Do you understand Kagome?"
Inuyasha looked at her suspiciously, then said, "Hell no."
Sango's eyes refocused. A wry smile curved her chapped lips as she looked up at him. "I thought not."
Inuyasha pulled his hand away, eyebrows arched. "Huh?"
She shook her head and felt something shift within her. Half formulated thoughts discarded. Broken pieces as shiny specks, swallowed by a growing tide. "Maybe you're right." She took a breath. "I'll...try better next time."
"Humph." Inuyasha turned away, but his expression had changed. It was smooth again. "I'm always right," he muttered.
Sango rolled her eyes.
Kagome was excited again. "A room to ourselves!" she laughed happily, bouncing around the room. Her skirt flipped up and down like laundry hung to dry in the wind. Sango cringed silently from where she stood, closing the door softly behind her.
"It is nice," she admitted, averting her eyes.
Kagome turned to look at her. Something quick zipped across her face, like a shoe print on a plain surface, before she smiled widely and opened her arms. "Oh come on, Sango! Celebrate with me!"
Sango stared at her outstretched hands blankly. "What?"
Kagome's hands waved wildly. "Dance with me!"
Sango grabbed at the wall, her eyes roving the room. "Oh, I don't know—"
Kagome grabbed her hand.
They sailed around the room, Kagome twirling like a lithe sprite, Sango swinging behind. Kagome's smile hurt with its brightness. "Are you proud of me Sango?" she asked eagerly while they moved around the room. "I've been trying really hard at archery, and while I'll never be like Kikyou, I'm getting better! Kaede says I've improved. Do you think so?"
Something tender broke open underneath Sango's skin. She stopped watching Kagome's flapping skirt. "I have noticed," she said honestly. "You've improved a great deal since I first met you." Then, a little more carefully, "I am proud."
Kagome dropped to the floor, arms spread open. For a moment, Sango panicked, thinking wildly that something had happened, but the look of utter rapture and delight on Kagome's face said enough. After a moment, Sango too fell to the floor, leaning back on her arms and staring with wide eyes at Kagome's sprawled figure.
"I'm happy," Kagome said, then gave a big sigh. Something bright shined in her eyes. Sango looked away, feeling awkward, but then looked back. Her arms pried open themselves stiffly, and Sango lowered herself very slowly to the ground beside Kagome.
"I'm…" she croaked out, coughed awkwardly, then said softly, "I'm—happy too."
Kagome sat up suddenly and curled her arms around her legs. Sango stared up at her from the floor.
"You know," Kagome began, wiping discreetly at her eyes, "you don't have to say that."
Sango sat up too. "What?"
Kagome sniffed. "You don't have to say you're happy too. It's okay if you're not. I just—I just wanted to tell you. It's…it's not a big deal or anything, you don't have to make me happy by telling me you're happy because…I'm happy…" she trailed off, frowning.
"No, I…" Sango stopped. She didn't trust her voice. She could feel the sound inside her, shaky and uncertain, so she held it tight behind her teeth. Instead, she leaned forward and rested her forehead on Kagome's shoulder, like when they first met, pressed her eyes tightly shut, and waited.
Kagome didn't do anything at first. Sango's skin felt cold, like she was sweating, and a growing fear gnawed at her neck. She was about to pull away when Kagome's arms came around her.
Kagome sighed. "I understand," she said simply.
That was enough for them.
"They're hugging now," Miroku whispered to Inuyasha as he peered through the slit of the shoji screen.
Inuyasha snorted. "Girls. I'll never understand them." He rolled his eyes.
"Yes," Miroku whispered, smiling, then carefully closed the door. "Girls."
He turned cheerily to Inuyasha as they made their way back to their room. "So, Inuyasha. Is your poor, ill-tempered personality really a mask to disguise the sensitive soul underneath? Don't feel ashamed, I won't judge—."
Inuyasha socked him.