I don't own IY.  ~Belle


Number One Priority

He loved her. She meant the world to him. It was devastating all those years ago when he was forced to be separated from her. He hated his father for leaving her mother. He hated those courts even more for creating that never ending canyon that he could never cross. His sister was half-way across the world from him. His sister was perhaps the only person to know that he cared.

It had been seven years since he had seen her last. Since he was two, his world had revolved around protecting her. But when he was twelve, that life had shattered, because of his father and his lecherous ways. At first, the divorce wasn't too terrible. At least he was able to see her and his mother. But then, when he was about to start high school his father decided to move back to his homeland of Japan, leaving the United States and the rest of his family behind. Ever since that day, Miroku had not seen his mother or sister. Of course, she wasn't really his mother and she wasn't really his sister.

His mother had died in childbirth. His father had raised him on his own for about three months before he met Lun. Lun was pregnant with a girl, her husband had perished in a car accident days after conception.  They fell in love and had married within the year. Kagome may not be his blood sister, but he loved her more than life itself.

Through out high school, Miroku had been popular. He wasn't sure why everyone seemed to idolize him. Perhaps it was because he was of Japanese heritage, but had grown up in the exciting United States. He wasn't sure. He didn't care.

He didn't have to try to make friends.  They flocked to him.  Women sought him out.  It was too easy.  They all seemed so fake.  At least he had made a few friends that he could consider true. 

His best friend was a man by the name of Inuyasha. A man who was forever living in the shadow of his perfect older half-brother.

Where as Miroku would find a way to flatter any woman who could breath, walk, and talk, Inuyasha chose to ignore them all together. He was a loner. The only friend that he tolerated was Miroku and sometimes a beautiful woman by the name of Sango.

But then someone else entered their lives. She was quiet and aloof. Somehow, the anti-social natures of Inuyasha and her drew them to one another.

Miroku didn't like her much though. He felt that both his friend and that woman could do a lot better than each other. They only seemed to wallow in sadness. But he tolerated her. Perhaps it was for selfish reasons, because in her he could see his sister. The long obsidian hair, lithe figure, and intelligent eyes were exactly what he pictured his sister to have.

But what kind of a relationship focuses on sadness?

Who was he to talk? His mind drifted once more back to her. She probably didn't miss him as much, if at all. They still wrote one another and with the use of e-mail, it was easier to keep in touch. But he had not seen a recent picture of her for seven years now.

But she had a little brother of her own, Souta. Her mother had remarried a man by the name of Higarashi. They were the perfect little family. They were the perfect little family that he did not belong to.

His father wasn't a terrible man. He was just very bad with commitment and very good at breaking hearts. Who knows how many half-siblings Miroku had?

None-the-less, when Miroku started college he was glad to move far away from the man that made him lose the people that mattered most to him. The friends he had made in high school also went to the same university as he did.

Today was her birthday. He was always sadder on this day.

"Miroku? Are you okay?" Sango inquired, her dark eyes trying to look into the violet windows of his soul.

Miroku stared blankly at her. His violet eyes were lost to her face. All he could see was his dear sister. "I'm fine, thank you for your concern Sango."

Sango crossed her arms and glared at him angrily. "You're thinking about her again, aren't you?" She demanded. He never would tell them who this 'her' was. Even his best friends were unaware of his lost baby sister.

Solemnly, Miroku nodded his head in affirmation. "Hai. I'm thinking about her. Today is her birthday."

"So what? You can't even remember my birthday when I tell you when it is the previous day. Why should this girl whom you haven't seen since you were a kid mean so much to you?" Why can't you ever notice me when I'm right in front of you? She wanted to ask, but couldn't find the strength to question what was truly on her mind.

Miroku looked at her sadly. "I'm sorry Sango. But no one can ever take her place in my heart."

Angrily, Sango stood up from the park bench they were sharing. Why did she even agree to go walk with him? She was perfectly aware of how he acted on this day. She had known him for nearly seven years and without fail, this anniversary brought despair to the heart of the man she had come to love.

She was under the impression that he housed special feelings for her, but he was constantly flirting with women.  But he never acted so serious about her as he did about this mystery woman.  Would he ever learn to love again? What was so special about this girl from his childhood?

Miroku watched Sango walk away.  He released a heavy sigh.  He wasn't sure why he never told her and Inuyasha about his beloved baby sister.  He didn't want to share her with anyone and he felt ashamed that he couldn't protect her like he vowed to do as a child.

He was further ashamed that he wouldn't recognize her if he saw her on the streets of Tokyo.  But he wanted to change that.  She was a freshman at some university in Texas and he was trying to convince her to transfer to Tokyo University with him.  So far, he'd been unsuccessful.

Suddenly, his cell phone rang.  His brows furrowed in confusion.  Who would be calling him?  He was very careful about not giving his number out to anyone. 

Looking at the caller ID he felt a surge of warmth in his gut.  It was Kagome.

"Happy birthday," Miroku greeted in his calm voice, not betraying his emotional turmoil.

He heard sobs from the other end.

Miroku jerked to attention.  "Kagome?  Are you okay?"

"Miroku?" Kagome answered from the other end of the phone. 

"Tell me what's wrong my little priestess?" Miroku encouraged her, using her old code name from childhood to ease her nerves.  He could picture her blue eyes grayed by the tears she was shedding.  It broke his heart.

"Well, my valiant monk, my birthday did not go so well."  Her tears had subsided, and only a hick-up managed to escape her control.

"What happened?  I'll do whatever I can to take away the pain."  Miroku promised. 

Behind him, Sango was returning to the bench.  She had accidentally left her gloves behind.  Unintentionally, she found herself eaves dropping.

 "I was going to surprise you.  I just got all my paperwork in today.  I'll be studying abroad next semester at Tokyo University."  Kagome began.

"That's great!"  Miroku interrupted excitedly.

"Let me finish, my dear monk."  Kagome scolded him.

"Sorry, do continue."

"I told Hojo about it.  I thought he would be excited for me."  Kagome resumed.

"I never liked that fool anyway."  Miroku commented.

"You don't even know him.  But, maybe you're right.  He broke up with me.  He said that if I could make this kind of decision without telling him, then he didn't want to have anything to do with me."  Kagome broke back into sobs.

"Look sweetheart, forget about him.  He was unworthy of you anyhow.  You'll forget all about him when you come here.  I'll help you forget, okay?"  Miroku tried to calm his sister.

"Thank you Miroku, I know the semester doesn't start until a couple of weeks from now, but I was hoping that I could move there now.  I'd like to get away.  But, I don't know where to stay or anything.  I was planning on living on campus, but the dorms won't open until school starts."  Kagome explained her situation, her sobs long gone.

She always felt stronger after hearing the soothing words of her big brother, her protector.

"Inuyasha is out of town.  He shouldn't be back until right before the new term begins.  You can stay in his room."  Miroku replied with a giant smile that was even evident to Kagome on the other end of the phone call.

Sango tapped Miroku on the shoulder, startling him.  He flashed her a nervous smile and pointed to the phone.  Sango gave him a thin-lipped smile and picked up her gloves before sitting beside him on the bench again.  She just knew he was talking to her.  She was determined to find out whatever she could about this woman.  Especially if that woman would be living with her Miroku.

"Thank you so much my valiant monk.  You can pick me up at the airport this weekend then."  Kagome told him, in an obviously better mood.

"But we haven't seen each other in years.  How will we recognize one another?" Miroku asked with sudden panic.  He was a horrible brother!  If he couldn't recognize his own sister then he would be an even worse brother!  It would be unforgivable.

Familiar, soft laugh met his ears.  "Don't worry, I'll recognize you if you can't pick me out of the crowd.  But, I don't think there will be too many other Japanese girls with blue eyes and an American accent."

Another smile broke out on his face.  Sango watched his reactions to the phone call in bewilderment.  Was this the same guy that she had known since high school?  How was this girl able to get him to act so carefree?  Most importantly, why was Sango so jealous of her?

Miroku's heart soared.  The person who meant the most to him was about to enter his life again.  For the longest time she was the only person who saw him for who he was and didn't care about his father's money.   Because she was his baby sister, he never had any lecherous actions towards her, otherwise that would be sick.  Granted, he wasn't too lecherous during his adolescence.  As such, she was the only woman he understood. 

"Then I look forward to seeing you soon.  You have no idea how happy you've made me!"  Miroku told her, with a true smile lighting up his features.

Sango watched in a daze.  She had never seen him so excited, he was always so reserved.  No girl ever made him look so happy.  Not even her, she realized sadly.  She shifted uncomfortably on the bench as that thought struck a nerve especially hard.

"Thanks Miroku, I will talk to you later.  Adios."  Kagome told him before hanging up.  She never lets him say goodbye to her.  She knew how much it hurt him to say those words.

Miroku's grin remained as he hung up, realizing once again, Kagome didn't allow him to say those dreaded words.  He turned to Sango, who was looking at him funny.  "Yes?"

"Was that her?"  Sango asked him tentatively.

Miroku's large grin was answer enough.  "Yes!  She's going to be going to school with us."

"I'm sure Inuyasha would love to meet her."  Sango continued, trying to pry more information about the enigma in Miroku's life.

He shook his head.  "I'm sure he would, but I'd prefer he not meet her."  Miroku wasn't sure why, but he didn't want to share his Kagome with anyone.

"What about me?  Would you mind if I meet her?" Sango prodded further.

Looking contemplative, Miroku answered after a few moments of silence.  "I think it will be fine for you meet her."

"Why can't Inuyasha meet her too then?" Sango was really confused now.

Miroku shrugged his shoulders.  "Well you know how rude Inuyasha can be.  She's really sensitive and I don't want him to hurt her feelings with his callous attitude."

"I see.  So, what now?" Sango asked, wondering if Miroku would want to celebrate.

"I'm feeling much better now.  Thanks for coming to the park with me Sango, you truly are a wonderful friend.  You realize how much I appreciate you doing this for me, right?"  Miroku asked as he turned towards his companion.  She was so attractive, if only he was worthy to ask her for something more than friendship.

But as fate would have it, he was not worthy of such things.  He only hoped that one day she met a man that could be worthy of her.  The only girl Miroku felt worthy of were the tramps he could casually take out on cheap dates. 

He had a reputation almost to match that of his father's.  He couldn't go and ruin it by settling down with a great girl, now could he?

"No problem, Miroku, you know I'm always here for you."  Sango answered with a hint of bitterness to her tone. 

He was feeling the pleasant rays of sunshine re-entering his life.  The two weeks he would get to catch-up with his beloved sister would be magnificent.  Hopefully, there were no tiffs with Inuyasha's family and he didn't return early.  He really didn't want to expose Kagome to his gruff friend.

Miroku brushed his fingers through his shoulder length dark hair in frustration.  He couldn't hide her from the world forever though.  From his correspondence with her through the years and from what he could remember as a child, she had always been friendly and adored by everyone.

He just wanted to protect her from anyone who might break her heart. 

So he would allow her to befriend Sango.  He'd just have to make sure she didn't have any run-ins with Inuyasha or his brother, or his neighbor, or his co-workers.  Damn, he just couldn't introduce her to any of these friends, other than Sango.

Why couldn't he have less bishonen friends?  And how come Sango was his only friend of the feminine persuasion? 

Such mysteries plagued the mind of Miroku as he made his way home to his soon to be not-so-empty apartment.