Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.

AN: Ok. Well, I'm not that big of an Inuyasha fan (dodges tomatoes thrown at her by millions of people) mainly because I've seen barely one episode, (I say barely because I had to watch it over the sound of my dad's computer speakers as he watched dvds) but this idea really came up and bit me in the ass. And I'm totally serious about the whole one episode thing. And because of the whole listening over thing, I missed the dialogue and the timeline. Le sigh.

Which means that I know next to nothing about anything, and the only reason I even know what I do know, or was inspired to write this, was because I happened to read a fic called "Chasing Methuselah" by Sandra E. and now, I'm addicted. Though I know next to nothing. So the vagueness in this story is intended.

Anyways, please enjoy my humble little offering.

One More Step By Poison Ivy

~

Life, he thought with more than a little trace of bitterness, was really quite unfair.

He tried to concentrate on the trees passing in front of him, trying to not to crash into one of them—because how fucking embarrassing would that be?— and not on his inner thoughts.

But it was true. Even the demon—okay, half demon, reasoned the one small part of his mind that still held any fairness in it at all, the one small part that was battling valiantly against the greater whole of his mind, the great empty blackness that was his mind—had it better than him.

Inuyasha had the excellent sense of smell, the excellent hearing, the claws, and the _power_ to rip away anything, to make life once again fair. Shit, he even had two pretty girls; at least one of which was ready to give anything up for him. And what did he have? He had the hand, the curse that was threatening to overwhelm him, that was _already_ starting to overwhelm him, and the promise. The promise of death.

Sometimes, Miroku would stand on a cliff, and watch the land just end, right after where his feet were. He would watch the land just drop away from him, the dizzying collage of trees and dirt and water so far below him. And sometimes, all that was below him, was darkness. He admitted to himself that he dreamed those moments, the moments where he contemplated taking a step, just _one_ teeny tiny step. With that one step, it would all be over.

He definitely dreamed those moments, but he was starting to wish that he didn't. Maybe once, it would be real.

Yes, he sighed, life really was a bitch. One that bit you in the ass, filling you with pain and shadows that were starting to deepen into _real_ darkness. And life wasn't even any good in bed.

God, he wished he was dead. But not really, because if he really meant it, he would have found a real cliff, and taken that last step.

He once again concentrated on the pathway in front of him, narrowly avoiding a tree in the process. That did not happen.

"—know?"

He found, to his embarrassment, (added onto almost crashing into a tree—what kind of example am I setting? Besides the whole groping thing) that he hadn't listened to a single word that his companion had been going on about.

"Sorry Kagome-sama. Can we try that again?"

She stopped then. Both the talking and the walking thing that she did so well together. She stopped and considered him, with her head tilted to one side.

"Miroku-sama," she said quietly, much less cheerfully than she had said all the other things (Miroku guessed, since he wasn't really listening) "are you alright?"

Well crap. He was in some deep shit now. Had that one little sentence given so much away about himself?

They both stared at each other, Kagome with concern, and Miroku with growing annoyance.

What's wrong with you woman? He screamed at her internally, sounding disturbingly like Inuyasha, Why did you have to be the first to ask?

Well. It was true. She _was_ the first to ask those words. But she wasn't supposed to be. It was supposed to be Sango or Kaede, or even the fucking little demon, Shippou. Just not—

Kagome was still staring at him patiently, waiting for an answer.

"No," he said quietly. He turned from her and began to walk off, hoping that she would follow, just shut the fuck up for once and _follow_, not asking any of the questions that he knew she was going to ask.

For once, to his surprise, she did. Though it could have been the fact that Miroku was walking as fast as he could without actually breaking into a frightened run, but nah, that couldn't be it.

But he found the silence, beyond that of Kagome struggling for breath as she chased after him, and the crashing of tree branches as he shoved them out of his way—because who had time for Mother Nature at a time like this?— rather disturbing.

So he stopped suddenly. So suddenly that Kagome almost crashed into him, the only stopping her being the fact that she had taken time climbing over a particularly stubborn tree root.

"What's wrong Miroku-sama?" she gasped out.

Damn her. Damn her and the fact that she sounded like she actually cared.

"Everything." It was true, wasn't it?

"Oh. Um…"

Damn her. Damn her and the fact that she thinks that everything will be all right again if she beams that disturbingly bright smile.

"Ever get the feeling, Kagome-sama," he said slowly and ever-so quietly, "that all it takes is one more step, just one more?"

"You mean to bake a cake? Because I know what you mean. I was so close once, but Souta ripped off the last piece of the recipe and ate it so I just hoped for the best and—"

"No." he said even more quietly, but with more force this time. Kagome stopped short, and though part of Miroku was disappointed (he actually _wanted_ to know what happened to the cake) he was really relieved.

Because she didn't get it. Which meant that he could just laugh his behavior off, pinch her ass, receive a slap, and ask her how her cake had turned out.

So he tried it out. "It's okay Kagome-sama," he assured her with a smile, "I was just talking nonsense."

He was reaching for her ass when she replied crossly, "But I really _do_ want to know."

The hand stopped immediately. It kind of withered and wilted in the space between them, and he lowered it slowly, feeling stupid and sluggish.

Kagome was looking at it curiously, not realizing yet what he was about to do.

"Sometimes," Miroku informed her, "I'm standing on a cliff, and all it takes is one more step."

Kagome was looking at his face now, and she finally knew what he meant. Well, not really. But she understood the literal meaning.

"Then what happens?" she asked with her eyes wide.

There's still time to save this. "Then," he said slowly and deliberately, reaching out once again to tuck a stray strand of hair back into place, "I wake up." He tried to smile at her reassuringly, but he couldn't quite manage. Look, he wanted to say, it's me, its Miroku, and it's just a joke, so please, _please_ laugh so we can both move on.

"You know," she said with pondering slowness, "sometimes, I see Inuyasha choosing me over Kikyou. I see us having a happy life together, where we love each other a lot, enough to overcome anything."

"Then what happens?" he asks, holding his breath.

"Then the little leprechauns and fairies come out, and we all dance in a circle singing, 'It's a Small World After All'. Because," and here she looks him in the eye, totally serious though she has a slight wistful smile on her face, "it's just a dream, and it will never, _ever_ come true."

There is a serious point she is trying to convey here, he thinks with sudden clarity. "Why not?" his voice is almost a whisper.

"Because dreams don't work that way, Miroku."

He lifted his chin defiantly. "Maybe mine do." He needed to challenge her theory, though it was the only thing that makes sense to him right now. He didn't even care that she forgot the suffix, the sama that he was so used to hearing.

"It will take more than one step. Because I'll stop you."

Not for the first time, he wondered what would have happened to him if he never happened to meet Kagome. Would it be darker somehow? Has her presence made him give something up?

And because he was so _sick_ of it, so sick of not getting what he wanted, though at that moment he wasn't quite sure what it was that he _did_ want, he reached over and pulled her to him.

Because life really _was_ unfair. Even though he _knew_ this, even though he knew that her words weren't going to banish the cliff and the choice from his dreams—well not _completely_ anyway—he still wanted to believe in her words. Not just the ones about him though, all of it. Especially the part about Inuyasha and Kikyou.

God, I'm just so _tired_.

He crushed his lips to hers. Because he needed something, something to make him feel _alive_. And she was the first that asked.

To Miroku's surprise, she responded. Rather well for someone that slapped his—ahem—wandering hands away every chance she got.

And for once, he stopped thinking things through, and stopped second-guessing, and just lost himself in her.

When he came to, Kagome was up against a tree, and they were both out of breath.

"Did you really mean what you said?" he whispered to her, wanting to know—no, _needing_ to know—her answer.

She beamed up at him again, and he was surprised to find that her smile _did_ make his troubles go away. Well, look farther off anyway.

"Of course," she told him, snuggling up.

So he forgot about returning her to the well, he forgot about the walk through the woods, and how mad, how goddamn _angry_ Inuyasha would be when he found them like this (since Miroku had no intention of moving from the tree), and just enjoyed himself.

Death seemed farther away when he was with her.

She did something with her tongue that made Miroku smile against her lips, and suddenly realize,

Maybe life _isn't_ so unfair.

That night, he went to sleep dreaming of _her_.

~

Well, I want to know your opinions! This is only a one-shot, so…please review!

Heh heh…go on…click that little lavender (purple? What _is_ that color?) button. You know, the one that says "Go".

*puppy eyes* Please?