It was a dark, misty night as Inuyasha, Kagome and company traveled through a swampy area. They were in too dangerous an area to stop, and they had all been picking up the powerful aura of a demon. They could all sense it, but they couldn't tell its location. It was alluring, yet they knew they could be in danger.

"Stay close," Inuyasha grumbled, drawing his Tessaiga and slinging it over his shoulder, untransformed. Kagome had her arms wrapped around his left arm, with Shippo clinging to her back. Sango was walking only a few feet away, a fully transformed and very alert Kirara at her side. Walking next to her was Miroku, protective of his beloved demon slayer, the rings on his staff clanging.
"I have the worst thing that something awful is going to happen…" Miroku said softly. Sango blinked at him, and even Inuyasha glanced over at him.

"Like what Houshi-sama?" Sango asked him. He sighed a bit, scrunching his eyes shut as he walked along. He rubbed his forehead a bit, groaning. And then he said, "I just have the most awful inkling that someone is going to get hurt…I just have no idea who…" As he finished his statement, wondering why no one had responded, or at least why he had not heard Inuyasha's customary 'feh', he opened his eyes and looked up. Everyone was gone, vanished in the mist.

Miroku shouted out for them. "Inuyasha?! Kagome-chan?! Sango-sama?!!" Of course, there was no answer. "Why can't they hear me…?" he whispered. Holding his staff tight, holding a sacred sutra in the other hand, he took a few steps forward, calling out for his friends yet again. Once again, there was no answer. Gritting his teeth, he began running, sloshing through mud, tall reeds, and the occasional serpent or toad.

As the monk barreled through the swamp, he continued to call out. Still, just as all the previous times he had tried, there was no answer. Then, he felt a powerful aura of malice and deviance, so strong that it caused him to fall to the ground. Gripping his chest, gasping out for breath, he thought. The others…if this aura is affecting me so…I need to find them!

Just as soon as this thought ran through his mind, he heard the cursing and sharp yelp of Sango, and the roar of her faithful companion Kirara. Miroku shot up, using his staff to support himself. As he tried to run to her, moving as fast as he could, he heard the ferocious cry of a demon.

"No…I have to get to her…" he growled, continuing on. Miroku ran until he reached a barrier of especially tall grasses and even a few small trees. After roughly passing through them, he witnessed a terrible thing…the sight of Sango, his beloved taji-ya along with her cat, soaked in blood in covered in large gashes being thrown into a huge pool of murky swamp water. His mouth opened, and he slowly reached out his hand, calling out her name.

"Sango-chan!!!!!!" he shouted, completely disregarding respect. Slowly opening her eyes, tears streaming down her cheeks. She spoke silently, but Miroku could read her lips, as if everything were moving in slow motion. She was simply saying, "Miroku-chan…aishiteru…"

Miroku bit his lip, a few tears falling from his cheeks as he watched Sango and Kirara be dragged under the water, the terrible illusory lizard youkai that had led them to their demise tearing away more trees and stopping any chance they had of escape, clogging the big pond with them. An outraged look on his face, Miroku dropped his sutra and slammed his staff into the ground, raising his right hand.

"You will not be forgiven…and though I may be damned myself for saying this, I hope you never attain Nirvana, only eternal suffering in all forms!!" he shouted, getting the creature's attention. As the lizard demon turned and hissed at him, Miroku removed the prayer beads from his cursed hand, unleashing his Kazaana.

As the devastated monk drew the terrible beast into the void, it drew across his torso with its claws, leaving three huge gashes across him. Miroku stood strong until the beast was completely gone, holding onto his staff for support. When the youkai was gone, he succumbed to his wounds, gripping his body and falling to his knees. Finally hearing the faint calls of his remaining companions and watching as the demonic mist dissipated, the softest of smiles crossed his face…
"Aishiteru too, my Sango-chan…"

----

Miroku shot up in his futon, sweat dripping down his forehead. He slowly sat up, a terrible grimace on his face, wiping the sweat away. He shut his eyes, his blanket sliding down to his waist, revealing three long, ragged scars on his body.

"Kami-sama…I have that dream so often….why do I always dream of that night when I let her…" Miroku shut his eyes tight, holding back tears of guilt and sadness. He ran his fingers down to his three scars, three harsh and everlasting reminders of that day. But they went deeper then flesh, all the way to his soul. He had barely looked at another woman since then, and with Naraku's demise shortly after, his Kazaana ceased to grow, and with no need for an heir, he dedicated his life to praying for the one soul that he could never help, his beloved Sango.

Standing up and grabbing his black houshi's attire and a string of prayer beads, he headed to the small monastery's main room, with a large wooden statue of the Buddha. It was always like this, ever since he and a few of the villagers built this temple near the village where Kagome was head priestess and Inuyasha her guardian and husband. He would go through he daily routine, carry out an exorcism every once in a while, and every night that this awful dream came to him, he would awake, and pray for her soul while his apprentices slept.

When he reached the main room, he slowly opened the door, lit a small torch near the door, and as light illuminated the room, he went and sat before the large wooden image of the lord Buddha, and began saying prayers. "Ah, Sango-chan…how lovely it would be to know if your soul was truly at peace or not…" he murmured softly. He smiled softly, shutting his eyes, reciting more prayers to calm his lost love's wandering spirit. As he entered a dream-like state, he began to remember the day, only a few days after they had returned to Kaede's village when Sango had died, when the young priest had preformed the most sacred burial rites.

----
With his awful wounds stitched and bandaged, Miroku, along with Kagome, Inuyasha, Shippo, and Priestess Kaede appeared at the village's cemetery to bury Sango. Though they had no remains, since she and her cat's bodies had been lost, but they blessed a tombstone in her honor, as well as one for Kirara. As a sobbing Kagome, clinging to Inuyasha's shoulder, as Miroku, weakly clinging to his staff for support, said the customary prayers, tears cracking in his voice. After an hour or so of Miroku's prayers and Kagome and Kaede's blessings, they departed, but Miroku stayed behind.

Over Sango's empty grave, he said one last prayer for her sake, then, hoping that she could somehow hear, told her one last time…"Aishiteru, my Sango-chan…may your soul be at peace, and may you attain Nirvana…"

----

After what seemed like hours of prayers, Miroku once again opened his eyes. Silently, he had completed a whole string of prayer beads. Sighing, he stood, collecting his beads in his hand, and walked back to the door. Before exiting, he blew out the candle he had lit, then walked back down the hall, past his sleeping apprentices, back to his room.

When he entered his room, he walked over to his futon, and as he laid down, he said on last thought:

"I simply wish we will meet again, my Sango…"

And he had no idea how soon that wish would come true…

[Author's Notes] Hey, as you can see, this is my first fic published on FF.net. Please, please review, and be honest!!! Well…I hope you enjoyed the first chapter, and there will certainly be more to come!!!!