A/N: I miss talking to my darling Katalyst. ;_; Also , I hate AIM. But yes . . . Christmas giftfic for my dear wife. SessMiro, because- well, I need to start writing it again. Very short, I know. I've had difficulty doing the longer stuff for a while now . . .

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"Smile When It Hurts"

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The monk's eyes are dark today. Dark and dizzying and so very old that it makes Sesshoumaru think of his father kindly for the first time in years.

His father was also this alive.

The monk, though, carries death in one hand and asks for life with the touch of the other. The monk who had no childhood wants children; the monk who has no father wants to be one. He has never been bedded- Sesshoumaru can see it, can see it in his eyes and smell it in his scent and hear it in his voice- but propositions every woman that he meets.

The monk is, quite frankly, contradiction given human form and a human life. He smiles like he's happy, but how can he be happy with such a shriveled, stunted excuse for a life? Smiles all the time, like he really means it, and speaks lightly and laughs warmly and is the sun.

Sesshoumaru hates that smile, because it is so easy to believe it. To believe that everything is definitely going to be all right in the end, even when nothing at all is right now. To believe that everyone is secretly good at heart, or at least once was.

Even though such beliefs are not the ones the monk holds, Sesshoumaru cannot help but feel them, even briefly.

That's mostly why he'd like to kill him. Mostly why he's here now and trying to rip the other's head off.

Except not, because a tiny bit is saying something like, "don't hurt him: make him feel nice."

So while one hand is strangling him, the other is petting his hair gently. And while the monk struggles for air, Sesshoumaru is kissing him. Lightly nipping and nuzzling and licking.

He cannot remember the last time he kissed someone.

Maybe this will BE the last time.

The monk's hand is on his face. Not the cursed one, but the life-giver. The one that he takes women's hands with first when he asks his question.

"Why are you . . . so sad?" he asks softly, barely able to get the words out. Still smiling. Still looking like he means it, even at this point.

Sesshoumaru does not cry, exactly, but he may as well be with the way his eyes look right now.

He lets go of the monk's neck.

Someday he thinks that Miroku is going to die with a smile on his face.

He is not going to be the one to kill him, though.

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. : the armor of my heart shatters under your soul's feather- light touch : .