Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha, or the song 'Everything' - Lifehouse
Epilogue: Tell Me
Kagura walked between the cells, head held high and carrying a small stack of papers in her right hand.
"Well, if it isn't Naraku. Why, what a surprise to see you here!" she exclaimed in mock surprise.
She smirked, leaning against the bars and looking into the compact cell, where the man himself sat on the cot provided, radiating indifference in an attempt to ignore her.
"Hmm, not so chipper today are we? I'd love to stay and chat, but you know, I gotta go. Like, leave the building."
She walked by his cell in over dramatic slow motion, even adding a little pause, twist, and pose at the other side.
"Oh, that felt good," Kagura said with a little shiver. "I have to do it again."
Scurrying back to the other side, she repeated the action, this time adding in a spur of the moment jingle consisting of the repeated phrase, 'I'm free, you're not,' as she did so.
On the opposite side, she laughed and grabbed the bars. "Hey Naraku!" she called, grinning. "I just realized that these bars here-" she tapped them. "They prevent you from getting out. Look at that, because I'm on this side, I can leave!"
Her eyes widened and her mouth formed a large 'O' and she slapped a hand to her cheek to complete the mock surprised expression.
"Aw, what's the problem Naraku? Don't want to say goodbye to Kagura-chan? I would say that I'll come to visit you every day, but then I'd be lying. I wouldn't want to disturb you while you're in solitary confinement now would I?"
She smiled to herself as his lips visibly tightened. Still leaning against the bars, she drilled her nails across the metal in boredom.
"It's no fun saying bye if you won't say bye too!" she whined.
"What's the problem? Prison uniform not comfortable? Chaffing you?" she asked, not bothering to lower her voice. "I'll put in an advisory for them to use extra fabric softener just for you okay? Just like how I might've assisted in the transfer of some - should we say - classified information."
He tried to mask the noise of annoyance and anger that escaped from deep in his throat.
Kagura sighed dramatically. "Well, I really have to go now. I have a whole life ahead of me. And I have lots of time to come visit you again, because you have your whole life ahead of you too, but in here that is. You're not going anywhere," she sang, wagging a finger at him.
"I'll be back for Kanna in a couple of months!"
She waved one more time, before being escorted out the doors. She laughed to herself the entire time, just because, and with discharge papers in one hand, and a claim for part of Naraku's fortune in the other, it felt like she had the world at her fingertips.
So she left the prison, and never looked back.
Find me here
And speak to me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That's leading me
To the place
Where I find peace again
The amaranth was a mythical imaginary flower with a beauty eternal, boundless and everlasting. In other words, defying of nature itself and very nearly impossible to find. Commoners would spend their lives trying to find such a wondrous flower, but alas, never could.
Her parents had oftentimes told her that their one happiness would be seeing their children fulfil their dreams, to see them lead marvellous lives. They told her that so often that she came to believe it was an attainable thing, to live a life that would mimic the beauty of the amaranth, forever bright and without end.
War was truly a horrible and destructive event. The damage that had been inflicted on the country, though substantial, did not compare to the lives that were affected, lost, or changed forever.
She thought of the children, the families, the people who suffered over the harsh years of the war, and even though it had ended years ago, they would still continue to suffer the effects, and would for a long time to come. Would they ever have a chance to lead a wonderful life?
Through it all, the sea of darkness, she ignored the hope that had buried itself in her heart, seemingly forever. The mystery of the girl whose body was bruised, and mind mentally scarred, the girl hidden behind fine robes and makeup, was locked inside her soul. Sango had made sure of it.
She continued her praying, clasping her hands tightly, kneeling in front of the two small shrines that were built outside of their home at the base of a sprawling Red Japanese Maple, the leaves shining a bright crimson for the autumn season. The shrines bore the names of her parents, and she prayed to them every day since Miroku and Kohaku had constructed them for her a few months ago.
It was still early in the morning, and her simple cotton yukata was slightly damp from kneeling in the dew-coated grass. She took a deep breath, bowing her head.
"Mother...Father...I'm sorry that we never saw one another before everything changed so drastically. My last memories of you were of our family, when we were all together. I want you to know that Kohaku and I are safe, and we miss you dearly."
She touched her forehead to the ground, feeling the moisture dampening her bangs.
"I'm sorry that I wasn't able to make you proud, or live the life you always wished I could have, but please, watch over us. Kohaku and I, and Miroku."
The crunching noise of grass sounded behind her but she continued to close her eyes and pray.
She knew it was him, as he rose earlier, if not immediately after, she did. Sometimes he accompanied her outside to pray, and sometimes he seemed to know that she wanted to 'speak' to her parents alone.
He stood behind her silently, watching as she straightened in her kneeling position. She didn't turn around.
You are the strength
That keeps me walking
You are the hope
That keeps me trusting
You are the life
To my soul
You are my purpose
"Good morning Miroku," she said softly. "I was just praying to my parents."
"I know. You always do," he responded. "Would you like me to join you?"
"You may if you want. I was almost finished. I was going to go and prepare breakfast before Kohaku wakes for school."
He now sat down beside her. "Sango," he began, leaning back onto his hands and watching the daybreak clouds shift across the sky. "Are you happy?"
She looked over at him curiously. "What do you mean, happy? Of course I am. I have a home, I have you, and Kohaku, who has a chance to get an education. Why wouldn't I be?"
His hand laid loosely over hers, which were clasped in her lap.
"It does no good to keep things inside Sango. I know you try not to let it show that anything is bothering you, but I know you better than that."
Her gaze travelled to her lap, where his hand rested over her own. She unlinked her hands and held his between them, tracing slow patterns along the inside of his wrist.
"I have misgivings about the future," she confessed, sighing. "I mean, I want to be sure that everything will be okay, that I can offer Kohaku the best I can and a chance at a proper life for him. I want...I pray that this will work."
"By this...do you mean us?" he asked in a neutral tone.
She didn't say anything.
"Sango...do you think that I'd leave you?"
A moment of silence passed between them.
"Well...maybe...what if somewhere down the line..." she muttered. "It's what I've always been taught to believe, Miroku. I just - For once, I want to be wrong in my doubts."
"I can't change what happened in the past Sango...though sometimes I wish I could. But I'll tell you what I wouldn't change, and that's falling in love with you. I want you to trust me Sango."
He shifted to let her head rest on his shoulder.
"Let everything out, all your doubts, fears, hopes, dreams, I want to hear it all. You don't need burdens. They'll prevent you from living. Maybe even loving."
You calm the storms
And you give me rest
You hold me in your hands
You won't let me fall
You steal my heart
And you take my breath away
Would you take me in?
Would you take me deeper, now?
Unexpectedly, he felt a wetness on his shoulder, and his arm automatically slung around her still form.
"It's just that - Miroku, I want the best for Kohaku, and us. I miss my parents. I always wanted them to be able to be proud of me, and look what happened. I feel as though I failed them. I can't stop being cynical, Miroku. I want to stop, but something in my mind is always taunting me, saying that this won't last forever, that it's temporary, a trick."
His hand moved to stroke her arm in a comforting gesture.
"Sango, I can say that I understand why you feel that way, but at the same time I don't understand how you feel. As time goes on, I want to help you dispel your fears of the future...of happiness. Your parents would want that, for their daughter to overcome adversities. We did, didn't we? It's not over yet," he said with a small smile.
"You're a daughter to be proud of. You're not the girl hidden behind makeup and face paint, who was made to fear life. Let her go. She's not who you are, who you were meant to be. Sango, please don't fear happiness, and let yourself live."
"You're silly Miroku," she laughed, tears staining her face. "You like to help too much. You spoil me."
And how can I stand here with you
And not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be
Any better than this?
She held his other hand tightly and silently, shed her tears. Tears for her mother and her father, who were taken away before she could say goodbye, tears that hoped their souls were at peace.
Tears for her brother, for growing up to labour for years, all the while thinking his sister had forgotten him, hoping that he was conquering his own bitter memories and learning to move on.
She couldn't give them the life that they so wanted, deserved together, but she would try the best she could. She wouldn't give up.
Finally, she cried for Miroku and herself, for everything they had experienced and had yet to experience, because he was willing to be there for her through it all.
For some reason, someone, or something out there had given them a chance, to be together and find one another in the end, and she wouldn't take it for granted.
Not for anything in the world.
You're all I want
All I need
You're everything, everything
And when the tears stopped coming, a large weight lifted from her shoulders, floated towards the heavens and scattered amongst the clouds.
She turned to him, smiling, and he noticed something different alight in her eyes, but before he could decipher it, she was kissing him, a joining of mouths, a combining of spirits, a culmination and expression of feelings and affections.
Her eyelashes brushed his face, and still, she was smiling. It was a kiss for everything they were, and would grow to be. Together.
As they kissed, Sango couldn't help but think to herself that he was right.
Their love, the story that spanned years, triumphed countless obstacles, and occurred purely by chance - the love that was theirs.
There could be hardships on the way, more stones in their path, but he was right about this one fact.
It wasn't over yet, and there was no end in sight.
Would you tell me how could it be
Any better than this?
This story is dedicated to Nikkou-chan of YtN, because there is never an end to hope.
Painted: Tell Me - August 5th 2004
Thank you to everyone who supported this story from the beginning. It's the first one I've actually finished! So...this is my own entry to the Yakusoku to Negai contest...even though I'm not even sure if it qualified...but voting starts on August 10th. Please go to the website ( www. anzwers. org/ free/ mirokusango ) and vote for the story that you think should win. There are tons of great authors out there, and a deserving story should win. I'm just happy because this is the first contest I've ever entered. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.