Disclaimer: Standard issue. Not mine, never have been. The characters portrayed belong to Takahashi (I'm always afraid of spelling her name correctly) and the song used is "Even Angels Fall" by Melissa Etheridge and it is not mine either.
Rating: Um…PG-13 for adult angsty themes. There are no 'bad words' here and despite it being a Miroku pov fic, there is no improper hentai thoughts. (Puck pouts, "Aww…but I like Miroku's ecchi thoughts!" Em sighs, "It's best we keep a low profile now, Puck, the rating police are out there, remember?" Puck looks around furtively, "Oh, yeah…I forgot." He turns into a Cloak and Dagger figure complete with long overcoat and fedora hat, "I gotcha…we've got to be inconspicuous!" Em rolls her eyes.)
Summary: [One-Shot] A dark night, two people alone. One sleeps, one watches and true thoughts are revealed. Kinda a song fic, but no singing is involved.
"The rope that's wrapped around me / Is cutting through my skin / And the doubts that I have surrounding me / Are finding their way in..."
The press of the beads against his hand tightened as he made a fist, the pressure of his effort straining them, but not breaking them. They never broke. He didn't really know what he'd do if they broke, but he tried not to think about it too much. That was his philosophy, after all: don't worry about what you can't control. If they broke…well, he hoped he could keep his fist closed until he could get everyone to safety and then…then the inevitable, but until then…until then…
The beads clinked softly as he released the fist and then re-clenched his hand, allowing himself to focus on the feeling of the beads biting into his skin, the coldness of them where they lay under his fingers. He couldn't feel the rip, it was like that spot of his hand was numb…constantly in a state of numbness. He supposed it was a blessing really that he only felt it when it ripped or when he opened it and even then it was more like an uncomfortable pressure than pain but the feeling of…nothing…numbness as if it were a part of his hand that had fallen asleep and he couldn't awaken caused him. Not pain, no, but discomfort, surely: a constant reminder of his fate, his curse, and his goal.
"I keep it close to me / Like a holy man prays / In my desperate hour / It's better...better that way."
He looked out across the fire and realized he couldn't help but smile. She looked so peaceful when she slept. She always did, except when she was having nightmares, but those had been less common as of late, hadn't they? Despite the fact that they had seen more than their share of nightmare worthy things, her nightmares were decreasing. 'Or maybe she was just learning how to hide them better,' he thought wryly. That would be just like her…to not worry them she would keep it to herself. Always she kept her worries to herself, never letting them know she was hurt or feeling bad…
The small smile left his face and his brows furrowed. 'I must never speak it,' he realized. He had known of his feelings for her for so long now, but he had never admitted it to himself until that moment…that one moment he would never forget…until she was taken right out from under them and he could do nothing…
He had never wished to unleash his curse on another so much in his entire life. He had never felt so much frustration and helplessness as when she was taken right from beside him by the demon and he could do nothing to stop it. He had called out her name and only afterwards, when she was safe again, had he realized that he had felt as if someone were ripping his very heart from him.
He closed his eyes and tightened his grip on his beads again. 'Sweet Buddha,' he prayed, 'help me be strong…If you can help me be strong, I'll…' His eyes opened and immediately found her again. 'I'll keep it to myself…as close to me as a holy man's prayer.'
"So I'll come by and see you again / I'll be such a very good friend..."
And if she should awaken and find his eyes on her? If she should turn and suddenly find him close enough to kiss…close enough to touch…close enough to whisper in her ear…he will let her believe he was about to be merely lecherous. Of course he would. He will let her believe that he was merely trying to cop a feel and not that he was so close to her because he was breathing in her scent, feeling the comfort of her aura and tempted, tempted beyond what Siddhartha himself ever could have been, to whisper his secret, to crush her to him, to hold on and never let go.
"Have mercy on my soul / I will never let you know / Where my mind has been."
He watched as the blankets around her rose and fell in time with her breath and closed his eyes against the sweeping wave of temptation that overcame him… 'If I can beg of nothing else from her, sweet Kami, then let me at least beg that she have mercy on my soul!' he prayed. 'Why must she be so beautiful? Why must she be so kind and loving and selfless?' He wasn't worthy of her, and he knew it and so he must never let her know…He will never let her know what his real thoughts were. Even should she ask, in that innocently casual way of hers, that half smile on her lips, ready to join him in a pleasant memory. No. He'd prefer to have her think him a hentai and a pervert than have her pity him. He will not have her pity. So…he'd never let her know to what wonderful possible scenarios his mind, inebriated by her scent and her smile, had taken him.
"Angels never came down / there's no one here / they want to hang around / but if they knew / if they knew you at all / then one by one the angels / Angels would fall."
How could he see her and not love her? How could he live day after day, watching her eyes light up with joy at something as simple as the setting sun or receiving flowers from the village children? How could he not love her when her lovely lips curved into the most beautiful smile he had ever imagined at the slightest provocation? No one could be expected to withstand the temptation of her tender, loving nature and sweet disposition. No one, he felt sure, could defend against the tender touch of her understanding…
No, not even the Angels themselves…
If they knew her at all, the Angels themselves would fall…just for a chance to get a glimpse at her, for the possibility of receiving one of her smiles or hearing her gentle voice…
"I've crept into your temple / I have slept upon your pew / I have dreamed of the divinity / inside and out of you..."
He crept around the fire and sat down but a mere few inches from her, not even a foot, and inhaled deeply of that distinct aroma…the smell of lavender and the ocean. He hated himself for feeling as if he were some unworthy heretic stealing into her temple, some unworthy worshiper who had snuck past the gates to gaze undeservingly at the altar of her beauty, but he couldn't seem to help it. Without realizing it, he lived for these rare moments when he could gaze upon her all he wanted with no interruptions. It was hard to pick a favorite moment out of all the moments catalogued in his mind, but the few moments when he could look at her without worrying what she thought were among his favorites. During these moments there was no sleep deprived hanyou lurking in a tree somewhere, no one else in the whole world but the two of them. And despite common belief, he wanted nothing more but to look at her. To watch her lips curl in the murmur of a half-dreamt word, parting slightly in their stillness, to be close enough to hear her dream inspired sigh…These moments were treasures enough. He was of half a mind to think that he had been gifted them by Kami herself as some sort of recompense for his devoted silence and pretence. The only moments that were better were the few, very rare moments when they spoke seriously and alone. Nothing could surpass the sound of her voice, soft and intimate as she spoke to him.
He shook his head feeling like a fool. He should get to sleep and forget about staring at the girl like some…some…
He sighed. Sleep was useless, he'd only dream of her. And if in his dreams, he felt he could do more than he could while awake, he'd beg to never wake up and wish to live in his dreams forever, but even in dreams he knew he could not have her…even in dreams, he knew her heart belonged to another, her destiny linked to someone other than him. He had known that for even longer than he had known he loved her…
"I want it more than truth / I can taste it on my breath..."
What he wouldn't give for the knowledge that he takes for granted? What he wouldn't give for the chance to be that man that the fates had picked out should be hers? He wouldn't even ask that she love him. He would happily become anyone she wished if he had that power. He would live a lie. He would pretend to be someone else if he was only given the chance. He would even pretend to be him if he could. He wouldn't care that she didn't really love him but only who she thought he was. He could make her happier couldn't he? He could love her the way she deserved to be loved-completely, with all his heart…worshipped. He watched the shadows dance on her face and inhaled deeply, the scent of her lingering on his tongue…He would sacrifice the truth if it meant she would look at him with those eyes he had seen her devote to the other. If he only could…he would easily give up being Miroku, the cursed monk, and joyfully become the hanyou, the one who didn't feel he belonged…the one who had her love…Inuyasha…
Inuyasha couldn't love her, not the way she deserved, and even knowing that, she still…
"I would give my life just for a little..."
'A little death.' If dying meant just one of those looks, he would happily bring it to an end. Nothing in his life meant more. He realized this with a certain degree of detachment and calm that would have surprised him were he another man. He clenched his hand and felt the beads bite into his skin again, the numbness of the void in his palm, the warmth of the glove…
Before he met her, he had nothing but vengeance. Truthfully, killing Naraku had not even been about preserving his own life, but about a family duty of revenge he felt honor bound to fulfill. He was his grandfather's heir and the battle his grandfather could not win was now his to complete. And that was all. Before he met her, he had no hope, no dreams of the future, no real faith, no trust, no friendship, only a numbness and vengeance.
"So I come by and see you again / I'll be just a very good friend / I will not look upon your face / I will not touch upon your grace / your ecclesiastic skin..."
With a somewhat detached eye he watched as his hand neared her cheek…he could feel the warmth of her aura, he opened his hand to feel her soft breath press against his palm. He held it there, inches above her cheek, all he had to do was lower his fingers and he could touch her, he could feel the warmth she promised, but it didn't move. He had never hesitated before, but suddenly the thought of her waking and thinking him a pervert yet again was nauseating to him and his hand began to shake. He clenched his hand into a fist and pulled it back against him, as a wounded man would clutch at the wound.
"What have you done to me, Kagome?" he whispered.
Still sleeping, she shivered a little, drawing the covers up over her shoulder and furrowing her brows for a moment, lost in her dream.
He slid back away from her, afraid that his very presence so near her was causing the shift in her dreams. He lowered his head into his hands, ignoring the feel of the beads pressing against his flesh. It had never really bothered him what people thought of him before, had it? Whether they thought him innocent monk, powerful mystic, cursed monster or hentai pervert, it hadn't made a difference. So why did it matter to him now? Why had he, from almost the first moment he really knew her, avoided doing anything to her that might give her reason to look at him with those accusing eyes?
Did he love her because she could get him that much closer to his goal, like the wolf-prince? He shook his head into his hands. No, he decided. He didn't use her like that. Did he love her because of her incredible smile? No, that was just one of the things he loved about her. So, what was it, exactly? Her courage, her fire, her heart, her selflessness, her loyalty. The answers came unbidden and he realized they were perfect to describe the bits of her he loved.
He would be her friend, he decided. He looked at her face, bathed in firelight and slightly pink from the nearness of the fire.
'No,' he turned his face away from her, giving his back to her. He didn't deserve to look upon her face. He didn't deserve to touch her…her ecclesiastic skin was beyond him…
His head fell back into his hands.
It wasn't right what he was doing to Sango. He knew this; deep down in the pit of his stomach where he pushed all the feelings he didn't want to deal with. Sango was beautiful and strong and loyal and so much more than he deserved. He should feel honored to have the feelings she held close to her heart, and he did love her, in a way, but…
But by the time he had met her, his heart had already belonged to another. He should never have asked for Sango's promise, but he had just come to realize that he could never compete with Inuyasha when it came to Kagome's heart. He had even come to realize that Inuyasha loved Kagome in his own way. He had heard Inuyasha scream for Kagome just as he had screamed for her when the wolf prince took her. He had seen Inuyasha be humbled and change little by little, the way only her love could change him and he had thought, quite nobly, that maybe Inuyasha could make her happy.
Maybe it was better if he tried to love Sango.
"I'll come by and see you again"
He felt the prickling sensation in the back of his neck that signaled a powerful aura approaching. He didn't even bother to stand, he knew who it was. He turned to look at her for a brief moment, the first rays of the sun rising behind her still too weak to do much but cast her shadow before her, almost touching him…
"And I'll have to be a very good friend"
He reached out and touched her shadow as the soft sounds of movement grew closer. His time with her was growing short.
"If I whisper they will know..."
He had lost his opportunity to…to what? He would never speak the words to her. Hell, he would never speak the words aloud, even to himself. If he even whispered them, they'd know. The hanyou would hear, and Sango would sense the change in him if he admitted it, even to himself, so…
"I'll just turn around and go."
He turned around as he heard the dull thud of feet landing on the dirt just ahead of him. Blue eyes met gold and held.
"You will never know..."
'Could he already know?' he wondered.
The hanyou stalked up to him, close enough to take in a big lungful of air. Apparently satisfied, he walked past him and sat on the other side of the fire, not too close to the still sleeping miko and not too far either. He extended his hands to the fire, seemingly ignoring him.
Miroku started to walk away when Inuyasha's voice stopped him.
"It's a no win situation, isn't it, monk?"
Miroku turned his upper torso to look at him, considered playing dumb, but settled on silence instead. He let his eyes trail across the fire. Miroku clenched his cursed hand and felt the numbness of the beads against the rip. Perhaps Inuyasha was dealing with his own demons and perhaps he did know, but she…She will never know…
He turned and walked into the forest to meditate, giving in to his weakness and running from the look in her eyes when she awoke and sought out Inuyasha first and foremost. 'No, Kagome,' he thought. 'You will never know…''My sin…'
A/N: Okay, sorry all you Kag/Inu fans. I happen to be a devout Kag/Inu person myself, but I couldn't help trying out this scenario in my head. Ever since I did Pink, Puck's been itching to get back into Miroku's thoughts and when I started reading those really good Miroku/Kag fics out there, I started to want to test my mettle and see if I could write one, and although Puck did whisper the idea for a much longer, truer Miroku/Kagome style fic, I also got this idea while I was listening to the song way back when. The same as when I started Pink, this one came to me in pieces. Miroku's a really tough character for me to get into, but here it is. My best efforts.
As always, reviews are welcomed, cherished and used to inspire me in moments of 'funk' and in this case especially, constructive criticism is highly welcomed.
07/28/04: Updated A/N: Well! Thanks to the wonderful Carya, I have updated this one-shot and it now is the very proud owner of proper grammar! All those runon sentences have hopefully been cut short. The overall effect should be a much tighter story. Yey! Oh, yeah. And hopefully, the filling up of some plot holes.
Puck swings the shovel over his shoulder and wipes his brow. "Whew! That was hard work!" He turns to Em. "Why do you always fight me so much on the Miroku bits, huh?"
Em blushes. "Dunno…Miroku makes me nervous."
Puck rolls his eyes, followed by a bright flash and when the smoke and dust clears (Puck interjects, "It's magic, idiot!") he stands before the reader, refreshed and renewed. He puts his fingers to his lips and whistles loudly. "Oi! EditorEm! It's time to get your lazy but out and work on FAWK 12!"
EditorEm stretches from where she had been curled up on the foot of the bed. "Hunh? Already?" She pouts. "But I just finished editing the dang Ripper project!"
Puck shrugs. "Don't look at me, the Ripper stuff wasn't my department," he points to LawyerEm.
EditorEm sighs. "Oh, alright…"