Authors note: Cutting is a serious issue; it is a sign of depression and depression is mental illness.  If you know someone who is cutting themselves tell someone you trust right away.

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or any of it Characters.  All are property of their respective owners

A Silent Knife

Miroku, Inuyasha, Sango, Kagome and Shippo trudged through a dense forest on a small dusty trail.  They had killed a youkai that had been terrorizing a small village but unfortunately it had not had a Shikon shard. So they continued on their journey; it had been midday when they had started walking but now it was night.  The stars were sparkling beautifully overhead and the moon was nearly full; enough to make it quite easy to see.  But there was still darkness.  Darkness is inescapable, no matter how bright the stars were. Miroku ran his fingers slowly across his right arm.  There was a great weight in his stomach.  It was the horrible feeling of loneliness and sorrow that held onto him and would not let go.  All the doubt over the Kazaana and all the sorrow from the so many deaths in his life were the main causes.  He carried it with him everywhere he went.  It was perfectly hidden; no one would ever be able to guess the pain he carried within his heart.  It was hidden from every one but himself.  He was like a small child keeping a secret pet.  A pet that was cruel and dangerous. 

        He could bear the pain.  He had too or it would consume him completely.  It was always chasing after him.  The pain was like his shadow; a thing that no matter how hard he tried to rid himself of it or how far he ran it was always behind him. But unlike his shadow he had no release when the sun was high.  He had no safe haven to escape to from it.  But he had away of lessening the pain. 

        His friends didn't know.  They couldn't ever know.  If they knew of such weakness they would reject him.  They would be disgusted by his weakness.  They would leave him behind and all alone; ashamed they ever met him.  But even more he could never let them see what he did to relieve that pain.  If they knew that they would not be disgusted; they would be revolted.  What he did was sick and wrong.  It screamed mental illness.  That was his utmost secret.

        Sango looked back behind her at Miroku.  The monk hadn't said anything since they had started making their way through the forest.  It was unlike him to be quiet; he was usually always making a joke or sharing some bit of knowledge that he had.  But tonight he walked along staring at the ground with tired eyes.  He was pale and moved sluggishly.  She wondered if he was ill.  Against her will worry swept through Sango.  When ever Miroku was hurt she always worried about him, and frankly it bugged her.  She wished she wouldn't worry about him; it simply got in her way.  But she did and she couldn't help it.  She cared for him like a mother, but sometimes she wished their relationship could be something more. It was painful; she cared for him but he did not care back.  She wished that he wasn't the one she cared for, but he was and she couldn't change it.  Allowing the worry to take control she stopped and waited until he was level with her.

        "You do not look good, are you well?" She asked him. 

        He turned his stare from the ground to her.  "Yes, just tired.  No need to worry about me, I am always alright." Fear swept through Miroku as Sango surveyed him.  Had he really been acting that different?  Could she tell something was wrong?  He wished with every fiber of his being that she would believe him and leave him alone.

        Sango did not believe that he was alright.  She had decided that he was not ill, but he was most defiantly exhausted.  She nodded at him and he looked relived.  She then quickly walked down the path until she was walking side by side with Kagome.

        "It's getting late can we set up camp for the night?"

        Kagome checked her watch and nodded. "Yeah, it's pretty late.  Inuyasha will probably allow us to stop." She walked to Inuyasha and asked him.  To her surprise he agreed with her quite quickly.  At least it was quick compared to usual.  Kagome then went through the nightly routine of making a fire and boiling a pot of water so she could make everyone ramen.  She hadn't had to eat a ramen cup in awhile since Miroku had been able to snag all those inns but tonight they had to camp.  After the ramen was done she handed out a bowl of it to everyone. "Here" she said offering it to Sango.

        "Oh, thanks." Sango smiled as she took the bowl.  The hot soup felt good in her stomach, even though it wasn't as fancy as what they got when they stayed in an inn.  She looked up from her ramen just in time to see Kagome give Miroku a bowl of ramen.  He was leaning against a tree and staring at the ground.  Kagome came up to him and tapped him on the shoulder holding out the bowl.  He looked up, took the bowl and smiled at her.  Jealousy coursed through Sango like poison.  Why couldn't she be the one Miroku was smiling at?  It was her who always looked after him when he was hurt or sick, not Kagome!  It wasn't fair! 

        No, she shook her head.  It wasn't Kagome's fault.  Miroku had the right to smile at who ever he wanted; Even if it wasn't her.  All she wanted was for Miroku to take notice of her feelings. She finished her ramen and set the bowl on the ground.  As she had been eating her own exhaustion had crept over her and taken hold.  She lay down on the ground and closed her eyes.  Tomorrow was always another day to try.

*~*~*~*

        Miroku checked carefully around the camp, making sure no on else was awake.  No one was; it was as silent as the graves.  Slowly he reached into his robes and pulled out a small knife.  The blade was only 2 inches long but it was sharp.  Red stains covered it; reminders of the last time he's used it. That's was how it used, the cuts were never too deep enough to kill, but deep enough to feel the pain.  Hurting his physical being seemed to soothe the hurt he felt deep in side himself.

        He pulled up the sleeve of his robe on his right arm and held it out.  He held the knife over the center of his for arm for awhile before pressing it down into his flesh.  The knife bit into his skin causing blood to run to the surface.  He dragged the knife across his arm until he had a horizontal cut across his forearm.  Miroku watched in satisfaction as blood oozed out of the cut and ran down his arm.  I was ironic.  The sight of anyone's blood but his own made him sick to his stomach.  There were so many painful memories involving other people's blood, yet he got satisfaction out of seeing his own. His friends didn't know of course, but then again what did they really know about him anyway?

        Sango woke suddenly.  She wasn't sure what had caused her sudden return to the real world.  She slowly raised her head to look around and her eyes fell on a horrible sight.  Miroku had a knife in his hand with blood running down his other arm.  Horror filled Sango's body and soul.  Miroku was hurting himself!  "What are you doing?!" She cried.  She half-crawled, half-ran over to where Miroku was sitting and grabbed the hand holding the knife and pulled it away from his other arm.  "What in the seven hells do you think you're doing?!"

        He looked up at her; eyes filled with horror.  "N-nothing." He attempted to crawl away from her but in his moment of mental weakness she could easily over power him.

        "This is not 'nothing'!" She hissed at him, her voice shook with anger and fear.  Anger at herself for allowing Miroku to do this, anger at Miroku for doing it and fear of the fact that he was cutting himself.  She wrenched the knife from his hand and threw it some five feet away. 

        "It was a mistake!  The knife slipped!" He stuttered.  Tears began to come to his eyes.  This wasn't supposed to happen!  No one was supposed to know!

        "That was not an accident!  You cut yourself!" She whispered and yelled at the same time.

        "Please don't tell anyone!" Miroku begged; tears now running down his face.  "No can know!  I'll be left alone!"  He clasped the hand that held onto his left.  "Please don't tell."

        Sango stared at him.  He was finally reaching out to her.  Asking her something with all his heart.  But should she really keep something like this a secret?  She looked into his face and saw the pleading and fear in his eyes.  She could not refuse him.  She put her hand over his.

        "I won't tell anyone, I promise.  I'm going to help you, Miroku."

That's all for chapter one!  Please, please, please review!!