Open Your Eyes

By ArtikGato

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or the characters used in this fic.

Author's Notes: This is the first Inuyasha fic I've written in a while. Which probably explains why it's Miroku x Sango and not Inuyasha x Kagome. ^^'' Er, anyway, beware of the pairing of Miroku and Sango, a bit of angst at the beginning, and sappy romance at the end. Okay, just...beware.

            "SANGO!!"

            Kagome's frightened scream didn't even register in Miroku's mind as he stood, rooted numbly to the spot. He was too late...

            "Iron Reaper Soul Stealer!!" Inuyasha's favored attack sliced through a vicious lizard demon, shattering the beast in a flash of light. The red-clothed hanyou turned to Sango, demonic yellow eyes narrowed in concern. They suddenly widened as the demon huntress crumpled like a rag doll, clutching at her mid-section. Hands already stained red with blood, her blood, she turned her head so that she was looking at the horrified Miroku. Her dark, sad eyes caught on Miroku's once before they closed, her head rolling back against the cold earth below her. As a dark red stain spread across the ground away from her body, Miroku collapsed to his knees in utter disbelief. He reached out shakily and picked up her hand, lying cold and motionless on the ground. No pulse.

            "Miroku...is she...?" Inuyasha asked. The monk trembled. No pulse...

            "Miroku?" Shippo's childish voice asked. Miroku rose to his feet shakily, the wide and fearful eyes of his companions watching him in anticipation. He suddenly turned and dashed away into the trees.

            "Miroku!!" someone shouted after him, but he just ran, leaving the voice and the painful scene behind him. Sadness and anger fought for domination in his mind.

            "Naraku, this time you've gone too far! I'll kill you!" he exclaimed, fighting with all of his strength to keep tears from escaping his eyes. She was dead...Sango was dead. And he had just stood numbly by, he hadn't helped her. And she was dead. The strong and powerful spirited Sango. The only person he cared enough about to die for. She was the strongest person he knew, but she was dead. Dead. Before him.

            "Why?! It's not fair! I'm the one with the curse! I was supposed to die long before she did!" he yelled. Suddenly, his foot caught on something on the forest floor and he was sent crashing down upon a bed of dry leaves. He sighed, and rolled over onto his back, staring sullenly at the dark sky, dotted with silver clouds.

            "Sango, why did you do that?" he asked. He closed his eyes and sighed again, her dark eyes flashing before his briefly. "I can't believe you're dead..."

            "Houshi-sama," a voice whispered faintly in his ears. His eyes shot open.

            "Who's there?!" he demanded, sitting up and looking around.

            "Miroku..." this time, the voice was louder, and sounded strangely familiar to the young houshi. His eyes narrowed. Sango?

            "Are you all right? Miroku?" the voice was more clear now. It was definitely her. He looked around again.

            "Sango?! Sango, where are you?!"

            "Miroku!" the voice came again, full of fear. "Open your eyes! Miroku!!" the voice abruptly rose to a shout. Searing pain shot through his stomach...

            "Miroku!!" Miroku's gray eyes shot open as he bolted awake. He sat up and looked around him, confused and shocked at the same time.

            "Mi...Miroku!" a concerned and yet relieved feminine voice made its way to his ears. A pair of slender arms suddenly wrapped around him, and a body pressed against his back.

            "Sango?" he asked, still bewildered. The woman behind him sobbed, tightening her arms around him.

            "Thank goodness...you're alive..."

            "What happened?" he asked, glancing around him. His eyes were greeted with the familiar grassy clearing. The same campfire burned near the center, and three sleeping bags and other random possessions were strewn out nearby it. The two halves of Sango's broken Hiraikotsu lay dripping with blood on the other side of the clearing.

            "Then was that all just...a dream?" It had seemed so real...the pain and sorrow had certainly been real. And Sango's dark, sad eyes lingered with him.

            "Are you really there, Sango?" he asked.

            "Are you really alive?" she answered him with a question.

            "I hope so," Miroku said, his voice sounding sadder than he had intended. He shifted a little, and blinding pain raced through his body, originating from his stomach. It was then that he became aware of the deep wound on his stomach; the black robes stained an even darker color with the blood that had escaped. Sango's arms left him and she moved so that she was beside him. Miroku finally saw her face, and noticed her red eyes and pale cheeks. She had been crying. For him? Her eyes were shining with suppressed tears, dark and sad, but full of life. For that he was glad, that there was life in her eyes.

            "You shouldn't move around too much, Houshi-sama, you'll reopen the wound," she said, then placed her hands on his shoulders. "Here, lie down," she told him, and gently pushed him back to the ground. She rose, looked around worriedly, and then sat back down, closer to his head and shoulders.

            "Houshi-sama..." she started worriedly, then her voice hardened slightly. "I know you are hurt. Badly. But, mark my words, if you try anything lecherous I will have to beat you senseless." With those words of warning, she lifted his head and partially his shoulders off of the ground, before replacing them back on her lap gently.

            "Sango..." he started, confused. She shushed him.

            "Conserve your strength. Inuyasha will be back soon with water, and Kagome and Shippo will be back with healing herbs as well. You're going to make it," she replied, half way whispering.

            "My wounds must be serious for me to have scared her so badly," the monk pondered, closing his eyes and simply enjoying how close he was to her.

            "Sango, how bad are my wounds?" he asked softly, keeping his eyes closed.

            "You have a deep cut on your stomach. It's not all that bad, but..."

            "But what?"

            "It's just that...you jumped in the way and took the attack aimed at me from that lizard demon, and if I hadn't been so careless, then-"         

            This time, he shushed her.        

            "It's all right. You said yourself that the wound wasn't all that bad,"

            "But you wouldn't have gotten hurt at all if I hadn't-"

            "It's okay! Sango, I would gladly be wounded much worse than this if it means that you are safe from harm. Don't you understand that?" he replied, his voice still soft but heavy with emotion. She stared at him with wide, shocked eyes for a second. Only a second. Then her cheeks became a crimson color and she looked away, embarrassed.

            "H-houshi-sama..." she stammered. He took the opportunity to continue.

            "Earlier you asked me why I hadn't been asking the pretty women we crossed paths with if they would bear my child. I couldn't respond earlier, because I didn't know, myself. But now I do know. I know that I stopped asking because I had chosen who I wanted to bear my child," he said, and reached one hand up, brushing the side of Sango's face gently, and cupping half of her face in his hand. She blushed and turned away, batting away his hand somewhat roughly.

            "If you recall, you've already asked me that question, several times, and the answer has always been no!" she exclaimed, as if trying to hide her embarrassment with loudness. Miroku smiled, but not a mischievous smile like the one he always wore before/during/after an act of lecherousy. This smile was a genuine, warm, kind smile.

            "I don't mean now, Sango. I'll wait as long as I have to...one of these days, you'll come around," he said. Her blush darkened.

            "I-it's the loss of blood! It's starting to affect your brain now!" she exclaimed, not even bothering to hide her obvious embarrassment. "Yeah, that's it. This definitely isn't normal," That had to be it, Sango decided. He wouldn't normally say these kinds of things...

            "It's the truth, Sango," the monk answered, eyes revealing that not a bit of falsity resided in his words. He really meant them... He rose a little off of her lap, ignoring the pain that brought, closer to her burning face, framed by raven hair.       

            "I love you, Sango," he whispered in one ear. She drew back, almost throwing him off of her lap, but stopping herself before she did. With his stomach wound, he needed as little movement as possible. She pushed him back down so that his head rested again in her lap, with a forced smile.

            "The pain has caused you to go delirious..."

            "I do, Sango. I'm not lying," he replied, his voice serious. With that, he pushed himself off of her lap into an awkward sitting position, desperately ignoring the pain in his stomach. Sango looked panicked.

            "Your wound...Houshi-sama, you shouldn't-"

            She never got to finish her warning, for the priest had grabbed her face in both hands and placed his mouth over hers, giving her a quick, tender kiss.

            "Now do you understand?" he asked, softly. In a bit of a daze, she raised one hand and touched her lips. Suddenly, she shook off the confusion.

            "HENTAI!!!!!" she shrieked, slapping the houshi and sending him off of her lap and to the ground a few feet below.

            "I...guess I deserved...that..." he said, moving himself to a sitting position, nursing both his wounded cheek and the wound on his stomach. Sango suddenly realized her mistake.

            "I'm so sorry!! I didn't mean-" she started, rushing to his side, concerned.

            "No need. Like I said, I deserved that slap," he cut her off.

            "But your stomach wound!"

            "Yes, that's a bit of a problem..." the monk said, his strength giving out and sending him toward the ground. Sango caught him and kept him sitting upright.

            "Are you all right?"

            "I've been better,"

            "Where is Inuyasha?!" Sango muttered, looking around for any signs of the red-clothed hanyou or his human and demon companions.

            "Sango, why did you slap me?" Miroku asked, his voice weak. "I mean, aside from the obvious reason." Sango looked uncomfortable for a second, but decided to answer him anyway.

            "I was caught off guard, that's all."

            "Oh?"

            "That was...my first kiss," she said. Miroku blinked.

            "And you didn't want your first kiss to be with a lecher like me, right?" he asked. She looked surprised again.

            "What? No! That's not it, I just-" she protested, but Miroku cut her off again, chuckling.

            "You're blushing, Sango."

            She trembled in annoyance. She wanted more than anything in the world to be able to slap him right then, like she always seemed to do when he made her blush, but she couldn't. Not then. The injured man could not afford another blow, no matter how much Sango wanted to deliver it to him. Instead, she took a deep, long breath to steady herself and glared daggers at him, hoping that he got a clue and stopped there. Fortunately for his continued health, he got the message, and shut his mouth.

            "It wasn't just the kiss that caught me off-guard, though. That...that was the first time anyone had told me that they loved me," she finally admitted, after a long pause. The monk stared at her in disbelief, thinking that she might have been joking. "...well, that I can remember anyway. I'm sure that mother used to tell me, but she died when I was so young...and father raised Kohaku and I to be demon slayers. He said that there was no place for love on the battlefield." there was another long pause as this information sank into Miroku's brain. "You know...maybe he was right. Of all of the battles I've been in, love has never been anything but a distraction. It was because of my love for my little brother that I got so many scars, and that Kagome was hurt...Inuyasha has been hurt so many times saving Kagome...and you, Miroku...you have that stomach wound now because of me..."

            "Sango-" Miroku started. A cold drop of water suddenly hit one of his legs, and he looked up to realize that Sango was crying.

            "He was right. Love never brings anything but pain!" she exclaimed. Miroku suddenly pulled her into a tight hug, unable to stand the sight of her crying for any longer.

            "Please don't think that way. It may be true that love brings pain, but it also brings joy! Sango, before I met you I, my thoughts were always on this damned curse that Naraku has put upon my family. But now that you're around...I find myself thinking about it less and less. My curse seems nothing compared to the anguish and pain you must feel." the monk said. Sango didn't reply, and just allowed her forehead to rest on one of his shoulders. He was right; she was just being stupid out loud instead of in thoughts. How could she doubt love, anyway? It was one of the very few sure things in her life right now, after all.

            "Sango! Are you there?! We're coming!" came a shout from the forest to the left of them. Inuyasha. She smiled.

            "Everything will be all right," she said, pushing Miroku away from her gently, so as not to hurt his wound any more than she already had.

            "We're over here!" she shouted, then turned to the monk beside her, smiling. "Thank you, Houshi-sama...no, Miroku." He smiled back.

            "Any time. And remember, I'll be waiting. One of these days, you'll see things in a different light," he replied. She just shrugged.

            "Anything's possible,"