Disclaimer- I do not own Inuyasha or any related characters.

Dialogue- "Meep meep meep."

Thoughts- are in italics

Author's note- Yes, I'm back, and it's not an illusion, yet another chapter of my story is up and it's been less than nine months. Can I get applause from the reviewers? Ha ha, okay, seriously though, everyone has been very supportive of me, and I appreciate it whole-heartedly. I can't begin to describe my thanks. I'll do my best to continue dutifully updating.

Chapter 7

The Suicide Machines

Someone

Oh Yeah
i've been running all my life and i face the world alone
when i'm around some people, i wish they'd just go home.
i just don't get it is there something wrong with me?
if i look inside, maybe then i'll see that

i'm looking for someone yeah
i'm looking for someone who feels like i do
i'm looking for someone yeah
i'm looking for someone who feels like i do

i've learned to disappear and i've learned to hide my pain
in a fucked-up world where there's too much hate
i just don't get it is there something wrong with me?
if i look inside maybe then i'll see that

i'm looking for someone yeah
i'm looking for someone who feels like i do
i'm looking for someone yeah
i'm looking for someone who feels like i do

well i think i've gotta find a better way
i think i've got to find a way to make them stay,
cause everybody's leaving all the time
everybody's leaving and i don't know why, yeah

balance is the key but i take it to extremes
i can think of all the ways but i can't find the means
when the world dictates i'll never get what i need
if i open up my eyes maybe i'll see that

i'm looking for someone, yeah
i'm looking for someone who feels like i do
i'm looking for someone, yeah
i'm looking for someone who feels like i do

feels like i do
feels like i do
oh yeah

It was a simple and sincere question that Kaori had voiced but for the life of her Sango couldn't yield to a proper response. A million thoughts and feelings bombarded her senses, but she opted for the initial reaction. "Please," her voice was faint and soft, needful.

Kaori was more than happy to comply with the young woman she'd been trying to reach for so long, with little to show for her effort. "Of course." She sat down and her hand twitched unintentionally; she really wanted to touch and reassure Sango but was afraid what reactions would be warranted. "Can I?" She bit her lip and looked horribly uncertain.

The un-asked question hung miserably in the air. Sango was rather adverse to people touching her, but her heart surged forward and she yearned for that tender care. "Yes."

As soon as the word was uttered Kaori's arms flung around Sango's shoulders bringing her into a tight clinch. Her arms fit perfectly around the younger girl and her hand snaked behind her neck to stroke Sango's hair in a soothing manner. "Shhh," she cooed. "Everything is going to be fine."

In a desperate attempt to make her feelings known Sango uttered the truest sentiment to her heart. "I'm scared, and I want my mother right now. Is that all right?"

A deep breath was exhaled from Kaori as she hugged the girl closer to her. "Of course it's all right, Sango."

"Then why does my father make me feel like I'm being childish and needy?"

"Because your father is hurting too, he tries to suppress his feelings and ignore what's right in front of him."

"What should I do?"

"Tell him how you truly feel."

"I don't know that I can."

"Try. You have to. It's the only way this is going to get any better."

"Then why do I feel like I'd be breaking his heart by telling him how angry I am with him? He's hurt me so much, but I can't totally express my rage towards him."

Kaori sighed and loosened her vice grip over Sango, examining her closely. She spoke softly, "It's always easy to be upset with those we love because we know they'll always love us. Trust me, Sango; your father won't disown you for being honest with him. He needs to hear the truth and no matter what he'll still love you."

She shook her head violently. "No! He hurt me today, struck me… Who's to say he won't do that again?"

"That's something he'll have to ask your forgiveness for, but I don't think he honestly meant it. He's at the end of his wit, Sango. The only way to resolve this is to speak with him about this matter."

"Should I forgive him?"

"That's your choice, and you know I'm biased on the subject."

"None of this was how it was ever supposed to be. I can't ever imagine I'd have to go through any of this. I wake up some days and just hope everything up till now has just been a nightmare, that one day I'll just wake up."

The patience Kaori had for the girl was beginning to grow thin, but she wore the face of a strong matriarch and gave Sango a hard shake. "Wake up now, Sango. This is reality, and you do need to face your unresolved issues with your father if things are to ever get better. You have to take the first step now if you're ever going to have the future you desire."

She spoke a small octave above a whisper, "And if I'm afraid that I cant do it?"

"I'll be right here for you." She gave her hand a small squeeze.

"You won't leave?" she questioned.

Kaori smiled a little, happy to see Sango trusting her more. "Never. I'll be right here."

Sango let out a slow easy breath, feeling more self-assured than she had in years. "Yes, okay, then I'm ready."

"Good. I'll send him up." She got up off the bed and made her way to the door, stopping when she heard Sango say something. "I'm sorry, but I didn't catch that."

"Thank you. You've been more of a parent to me than anyone has been in years."

The room got silent, and Kaori went rigid, her body stiff and uncomfortable. "Sango, I'm not trying to justify what you're father has done… Give him the chance to do better. He can't take away the years of hurt, but it doesn't have to continue this way either."

If I could only believe that Kaori… Oh, how I want to believe that. "All right," she squeaked.

It was easy for Kaori to acknowledge that Sango was still unsure about her feelings, but at least she hadn't totally disclosed the idea. "I'll get your father."

She closed the door and sighed as she milled down the stairs, lost in an unconscious stream of thought. Tatsuya, I hope you're ready, for you're in the fight of your life, trying to get through to that girl. It's funny how stubborn the both of you are. You're so alike, but you can't even recognize each other's similarities if out of fear as a way to bring you close. I sincerely hope both of you stop running.

When she entered the living room she noticed Tatsuya sitting quietly on the couch, brooding, his eyes plastered to the coffee table, out of focus and dazed.

There was a sharp coughing noise at the other side of the room and his brain snapped instantly, his eyes following Kaori's lone profile. "She won't come down?"

"I think it's best you went upstairs and talked with her just one-on-one, you and her. I can't mediate everything."

Tatsuya's stomach clenched, his uneasiness very visible. He gulped, "Yes, if you say so."

He stood up abruptly and moved to the staircase stopping to place a quick peck on Kaori's cheek. "Thanks."

A warm hand pressed gently against his cheek in a soothing manner, much like a mother to her child. "Don't thank me. It's only half the battle. You can't be afraid of your daughter. This is something you need to face."

"Yes," was his sole reply as he crept wearily up the stairs. Am I really afraid of Sango? Is that what this is all about? Why should I have any reason to be scared of someone I care so much about? What is it about her that makes me want to run the other way? There are so many questions for which I have no answer. I really am a failure. Disgusting.

The doorknob twisted gently, and Sango began shaking lightly with intimidation, resentment, and trepidation for her father.

Tatsuya stood numbly at the entrance of the door peering in only slightly. "May I come in?" He wanted to exude confidence but his voice was laced with too much hesitation.

No! She wanted to shout. Walk out that door and never see me again, she thought darkly. "If you must."

"Yes, you know I do. Let's please try to be civil about this." His anger was returning, quickly forgetting why he had any reason to be sorry in the first place. Fuming, he stalked over to the bed and sat at its corner.

"Civil? How dare you accuse me of treating you any less than you deserve. I didn't slap you just because I heard something I didn't like."

This hit Tatsuya in two very different ways. On the one hand, he could feel his hand twitching, ready to deliver another vengeful blow. Initially, his anger could get the best of him. After a moment his face wasn't so cross and a feeling of deep remorse and wretchedness filled him. "I don't know what to say. I should not have hit you. That is absolutely true. However, you don't respect yourself, Kaori, or me. It's that superiority bullshit that gets you into trouble."

"Do you see me as that self absorbed and conceited?" she shrieked. "I didn't spend years being reclusive and unavailable to my family when they needed me most!"

"And you're some god damn perfectionist?" His regret was short lived, quickly replaced by his momentarily detached anger.

Sango didn't take the bait. She was more outraged than she was hurt. "How the fuck would you even know? We've been avoiding each other and living our own lives since mom died. Since when have you amended for all your sins and suddenly want to lecture me? You go into yourself so far deep that your family feels abandoned and when you decide to come back, all of the sudden, you think you can start dictating lives. It's my life to live! It's typical, you tell me to take care of myself, but would you even know if I were? You just get absorbed in your job, Kaori, any distraction. It doesn't matter as long as it's not me. Do you honestly expect me to be well adjusted and have a stiff upper lip?"

An outburst of this magnitude warranted a long silence. Soon, the only sound heard was the quiet sobs that wracked Sango's fragile state. "It hurts. It hurts so god damn much. I can't even state it more eloquently than that. Why, daddy? Why? Wasn't I good enough? Didn't I hold any value to you compared to her?"

"Sango," he spoke wearily, in brittle words, "The last thing I could ever want is for you to think you have to compete with someone who is dead."

She shook her head feverishly, feeling a fresh stream of tears dribbling down her face. "Why don't you just admit you'd rather it be me who died than her. Loosing a child is horrible, but you'd have your support system, your spouse. You're stuck with me though." It may not be for much longer though.

"There you go again making everything be about you. What about my suffering, my agony? I had a family to support. I wasn't ready to play super-dad. To be pushed into a roll you're not ready for is a frustrating thing. I made a bad decision, so what, I'm not Christ. Don't put me up on pedestal that I'll easy fall from. I'm sorry I was a bad father. I'm sorry I fucked up time and time again. Is that what you want to hear? Are you satisfied now?"

"I don't want you to be perfect," she rasped. "I want you to be my dad."

Tatsuya's face looked aghast for a brief moment. His self-pity was conflicting with his guilt. What kind of role model am I being to Sango? It's a wonder she doesn't think I love her. "I'm sorry," he stated slowly, quietly, as if testing the words for the first time. "I never meant to fail you as a father."

An arrant tear ran down her face as Sango glanced up at her father. "I'm not dead…. I still need you."

Instinct dictated that the best solution in this scenario was to gather up his daughter in his arms and reaffirm to her that he'd always be her father and that he was so very sorry.

He didn't.

Sango's vulnerability unnerved every sense of his very being and forboding memories of his wife dying returned to him. The scenario was so similar that it just began to feel surreal. Tatsuya wanted simply to blend into the background and let the scene pass him by rather than relive it, again.

I can't do this, he seethed silently, I want to reach out and be her hero again, but I don't think I can anymore. I'm not any better of a person than I was before… How can I possibly be a better father to her now?

This is what I deserve, chastised Sango to herself, I let him in, let him know I care, and he's even further away from me. He doesn't want to change at all… nothing has changed. I'm too worthless for him to even try again. He's moved on. He says he needs me, but everyone is a liar. I lie to myself everytime I want to believe I don't need him, or my mother…Kaori… Miroku…

"Miroku," she cried pathetically, "I need you! I need you…" Her frantic calls and tears were suffocated through the pillow she used to silence the noises and leave only the awkward silence of her rough breathing and sobs against fabric.

Tatsuya didn't need a cue to know it was time for him to leave. The damage was done. His inept ability to understand his daughter and give into fear had severed, quite possibly, the last link between the father and daughter. Leaving the room, he appeared stiff and awkward. He offered Kaori no explanation as he slipped quietly into his own bedroom closing the door mutely, albeit abruptly behind him, as if in warning to whomever dare enter.

"God damn," Kaori sighed, and nothing more was said.

Miroku continued to stare mindlessly up at the ceiling. He had been busy lying on his bed counting every little dot that he saw after having finished a six-pack of beer solely. Mushin had not been home, and Miroku wasn't going to make any real effort in finding out where he was. It's not that he didn't care, but he didn't really want to see him. The beer put him in a subdued mood where everything was spinning gently and there wasn't any sort of hurt to feel.

"Fuck," he said slowly to himself, enunciating each syllable. "What the fuck am I doing? Do I even know anymore? Do I care? Fuck… I don't think I do. And something must be wrong with me if I'm talking to myself. Yeah, I think I'm fucked up now, more so than usual, yeah, I'm really drunk and I'm wondering if Sango is thinking bout me. Sango, damn, what the fuck am I doing with her? And why can't I stop saying fuck?"

He laughed at this sentiment, the thought of Sango even thinking about him for more than a second and the fact that he was laughing at himself in an utterly pathetic state which is even more pathetic.

Lightly touching his hand to his face and rubbing it he smiled and exclaimed to himself excitedly, "I can't even feel my fucking face. I can't feel anything anymore. Is that what I wanted all along? I don't know anymore. I don't know what I'm doing or why. I act like I have all the answers and try to get Sango to confide in me when really I'm as fucked up as her, if not more. I'm just too fucked up."

He laughed even harder at this sentiment. "I'm just so god damn fucked up," he screamed. "And I don't even care," he whispered, "and that's the saddest part…" His careless laughter had transformed into full fledged sobs. Nothing made sense and all he could feel was dizziness and the discomfort it brought him. The feeling was familiar, but it wasn't something that comforted him anymore. No solace was found in the act of deluding the mind with alcohol.

"I just want…fuck… All I want is everything, I thought. But really, all I want is Sango. All I want is for it all to go away. Won't it all just go away?"

No clear answer came to Miroku as he wearily passed out, a bottle still clutched tightly in his hand and tears streaming down his face. This dampness did not disturb him from his slumber or the sound of a door creaking open.

Mushin looked over his adopted son and let out an exasperated sigh. "Why? Why do you do this to yourself, Miroku? Do you really hate yourself that much or is life really this horrible? I just don't know. I'm sorry I failed you." Though the confession was unheard Miroku eagerly wrapped himself in the blanket Mushin graciously placed over him. "Good night. I hope in your sleep nightmares won't plague you."

Real life was Miroku's plague though, not his subconscious.

End

So wow, I haven't updated in an assload of time. In fact, I haven't even been writing hardly at all. Don't even ask why. Things are so fucking complicated I don't wish to explain. In fact, I wrote the last two pages of this completely drunk off my ass if you can believe it. Yes, I'm just that great of a literary talent. No, just kidding, but with the facts being said about so many complication I'm afraid I wont be finishing this story. It's not something I even know how or want to finish right now. There are just so many things going on, too many things, and I don't want this to ever become a chore for me. Rather a labor of love, and really, it isn't that so much so anymore. I don't need fanfiction writing like I used to and I'm sorry I let everyone done with having not finished. You reviewers are the shit. Take care of yourself and have a merry fucking Christmas or whatever it is you all celebrate. Seasons greetings and all that jazz. This is my good bye.

Rissi- Thanks for everything. I know we're not close so much so anymore and I'm sorry for that. Take care of yourself and thanks for the constant encouragement.

Inu-shounen- He he, I'm glad we've been seeing more of eachother but as you damn well know I wont be writing fanfiction again, lol, but thanks for everything.

Lar-Lar- You were never inventive with reviews but one of the funnest to hear from. Thanks for everything, you were truly great and I loved hearing from ya. Sorry I couldn't finish this one and I hope you understand.

lilsanoku105- So you only gave me one review but it was totally cool. Have fun with sexing it up and thanks for that nice review.

Chocolatechipp- Please, don't go insane over this. Though, I understand how a piece of fiction can be. Just make something up, probably is better than anything I could ever come up with. Thanks for the devotion too.

MistressofHeaven- Thanks muchly, sorry I can't continue but I enjoy the compliments, truly. Thank you.

Brett- Sorry bud but thanks for the love.

LuClipse85- I'm so sorry I can't finish. I hope I haven't let you down and thanks for every kind word. You're amazing, truly. Keep writing.

Ali- I am usually sad but it's also usually okay. Unfortunately I just can't continue this. It requires a part of me that just isn't there anymore. Thanks very much though.

Blueeyedblackwolf- I don't remember anymore either, probably the alcohol or whatever but hey, thanks, and no worries, all is well. Glad you enjoyed what little of this you can. Thanks.

KanakaStorm- Lol Miroku is the shit!

CyborIdolMink- Sorry I can't finish it but you never know what can happen, feel free to imagine. Take care and thanks for the review.

TO EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER LEFT A REVIEW AND SUPPORTED ME THANKS A LOT!YOU GUYS ARE JUST REALLY GREAT AND I KNOW YOU UNDERSTAND. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES EVERYONE AND GOD BLESS. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES AND MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS AND WHAT EVER ELSE YOU MAY CELEBRATE.

Always yours,

Zero…..

"I beg your pardon, but I never promised you a rose garden."