A/N: Sadly folks, this is the last installment for Crucify My Love, I'm afraid I can't keep torturing readers with my cliffhangers, hence the ending. I don't intend to do the epilogue for one reason-- I'm planning a sequel to this fanfiction. ^_^

Thank you very much to everyone who stayed with me from the very start, writing this story was a wonderful journey, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Please email me or leave at the review box whether or not I should go on with the sequel. Also, for other writers or aspiring writers who are reading this fic, as you all know, I have a fanfiction archive website. I would really appreciate it if anyone would contribute their stories to my site. Please just email me at joan_g1014@yahoo.com.

This is the last part of CML so unless I write a sequel so it would be really great if readers would review.

God Bless. Happy reading!

Jo-chan

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"Marry you?" echoed Sango, feeling, for the very first time in her life, close to fainting.

Miroku nodded, a lopsided grin still on his face. He knew he shocked Sango with what he has said but it was the first time he was being completely honest with her, as in no boundaries, no superficial baiting and flirting. Sango's body was tensed, as if ready for flight or fight or maybe both. But Miroku had no intentions of mucking up their relationship this time.

Miroku leaned close to Sango, looking into her eyes as he spoke. "I know I've made so many mistakes in the past--," he paused, making sure Sango was lucid enough to understand his confession.

This is a dream, a very strange dream brought about by PMS... Houshi-sama can't be proposing to me-- at least, not like this, sober and responsible and--- Sango gulped nervously as she met Miroku's eyes. Sincere.

"--and I know that I've taken you for granted so many times," continued Miroku, as he gave a regretful sigh. "I know too that I've been an insensitive jerk, flirting with other girls when I knew even then-- how much you loved me..." said Miroku.

Sango gave a half-hearted protest, her pride smarting at Miroku's matter of fact summation. It galled her to think that Miroku knew all along her true feelings when she'd been in the dark about it until recently. "How sure are you--" protested Sango.

"I don't think you would have kissed me even then, or spent the night with me if you didn't have special feelings for me," explained Miroku but he paused as he added, "Besides, I can feel your battle aura whenever I'm talking to another woman." He grinned at Sango triumphantly after that fact.

Sango bowed her head, hiding her burning cheeks. "So what?" she muttered.

Looking confused, Miroku echoed, "What do you mean, so what?"

Sango lifted her face, her eyes glittering brightly, looking like hammered gold in the sunset. "I mean, so what if I happen to be in love with you? So what if I'm hurt and offended when you're chasing another woman's skirts? So what if I had--- well, SEX with you? It doesn't matter! You can't make my rather pathetic, unrequited love for you the basis of your-- our--this marriage!" exclaimed Sango.

Miroku flinched a little, realizing too late how much he's hurt Sango with his past lechery and indifference. Yes, PAST lechery. He'd give up his skirt-chasing habits if Sango would just believe him. Sango's eyes were angry, hurt and distrustful and his heart ached at the knowledge that all of these doubts were his fault. He put all those doubts in Sango's heart in the first place. Miroku let go of his shakujo and stuck it to the ground, the rings shaking and reverberating like bells.

"It's not just sex, Sango. And I'm sorry if all I did in the past was flirt with other women when--" began Miroku as Sango gazed back at him. "--when all I ever wanted was you," finished Miroku softly.

"I didn't want to need you Sango but I did. I needed you to keep me focused on our task, I needed you to help me through my doubts, I needed you to watch my back-- I need you in my life, Sango," said Miroku earnestly, his voice soft and deep.

Sango's mouth was hanging slightly open as Miroku's words slowly sank in. She merely looked at his hand when Miroku tipped her chin up with one hand so he could look straight into her eyes.

"-- and your love for me is the greatest miracle in my cursed life. I live only for you and your love, that one day, I may be worthy enough to try and win your hand with what I truly am. Not as a monk cursed with the air rip," concluded Miroku as he lowered his head, his lips a few inches from Sango's trembling mouth.

Oh my... thought Sango faintly, trembling as she gazed at Miroku.

"I am madly and desperately in love with you, Sango. And I pray to Kami-sama that I spend whatever's left of my life with you," whispered Miroku as he softly brushed his mouth against Sango's softened lips.

And that was it, they kissed.

They kissed as if they were apart for hundreds of years, they kissed as if one could not exist without the other's breath... they kissed as if they were in love, completely and irrevocably in love-- which they were.

Sango's hands crept up to the houshi's neck as one of her hands strayed to the soft hair at Miroku's nape. She shivered as well when the monk trembled at her slight touch. There was nothing else in the world that mattered, save for Miroku's arms holding her, keeping the harsh reality of the war they were waging at bay.

"I love you," Sango whispered, tears filling her eyes as she rested her head against Miroku's shoulder. She felt an enormous weight lift from her chest at the simple words. She was finally free.

Miroku's arms tightened around her when he heard her softly spoken words. He suddenly realized that he was trembling and he pulled back a little so he could look into Sango's eyes. He cleared his throat, suddenly finding it difficult to speak. "I was so afraid that I'd never hear you say that again," he said as he tenderly wiped away the tears that fell from Sango's eyes.

Sango sniffed as she tried to glare up at Miroku, "Well, its your fault for being such a lecherous, insensitive, perverted, stupi---" she said, growing angrier with each word.

Miroku laughed, cutting off Sango's angry tirade. "Okay, I'm glad to see you're back to normal." He fell silent and turned to look up the sky which was growing darker by the minute, a velvet blackness interrupted by random stars covering the vast expanse. The air was cool and sweet and the bubbling creek nearby brought a sense of serenity.

For the first time in his life, Miroku felt truly and completely at peace. His hold on Sango tightened as he asked, "So when you said you loved me-- you also meant that you're going to marry me right?"

Sano looked thoughtful, her brown eyes meditative as she gazed at Miroku who looked charmingly worried. She pretended to stew over the idea for awhile, chewing on her bottom lip. She spoke slowly, her voice drawling, "Hmm, I don't know... I mean, I love you but I don't think I can spend the rest of my life with a man, who fifty years from now, will still be chasing skirts."

"As long as you let me under yours, I will be content," said Miroku fervently, straight-faced, enjoying the bloom of color on Sango's face.

"Idiot," hissed Sango as she punched Miroku's shoulder. She arched a brow and said, "I wear pants as often as I wear a skirt... you won't mind?"

Miroku smiled and answered, "I would be honored to be the spouse of a woman who can fight as well or maybe even better than I could."

"So that's that I suppose."

"Yes, I suppose so, all the loose ends..."

And they smiled at each other in pure joy, knowing that life could not be any sweeter than this time.

Miroku suddenly remembered something and he reached for it in his pocket, Sango's eyes following his every movement. Sango looked startled when Miroku took her hand and placed something in her palm.

"I believe this belongs to you," murmured Miroku, his violet eyes warm with love as Sango gasped at finding her necklace with the cross once again in her hand. Her head spun as she thought of how it all began and how now everything seems to have come to a full circle.

"Crucify my love," said Miroku, his hand tightening over Sango's, understanding that without pain, there can never be a grand and consuming love.

"Not anymore, not anymore..." whispered Sango as she looked up at Miroku, her eyes reflecting all the love in her heart.

The night found two lovers reunited, two hearts long plagued by battle and war at peace. But it was not the end of their ordeal for far greater challenges will meet their love. But even in the face of death and danger, nothing else mattered, nothing but the fact that they loved each other.

"Show me the landscapes of your soul," whispered Sango as she placed her palm against Miroku's heart.

"It will take a lifetime," answered Miroku as he bent his head to brush a kiss on Sango's lips.

"Then I wish we had more than one lifetime to share..." murmured Sango.

"Maybe we do... but I believe we'll have our turn tomorrow..." said Miroku, his heart and soul at peace.

OWARI

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Crucify My Love

An Inuyasha Fanfiction by Jo-chan

Part 11- Grand Love

A/N: For readers who are asking for more, never fear-- Crucify My Love has a sequel. Please email me or leave at the review box whether or not I should go on with the sequel.