Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha; Rumiko Takahashi is the brilliant owner of it all.
My first Miroku/Sango fic! /cheers/ Well, kind of...it's not really pure fluff but, oh well... Anyway, I was thinking about human psyche one day and how complicated we all are when it comes to emotions, and...bleh, I'm rambling. Anyway, I came up with this, so...I hope you'll like it; reviews, comments and other stuff revolving around that little button at the end of the page are welcome! /grins/
-by Alena S. Anigor
It was a nice, bright autumn morning. The first rays of sunlight were starting to peek behind the, now, slightly lightened horizon, chasing away the remnants of murky clouds and the dark night. Although the autumn was creeping up slowly, making the days shorter, the wind sharper and colder and the sky filled with more grayish clouds than usual, this particular day seemed to be promising nice weather for a change.
The grass was still moist with shiny drops of water due to the rain, falling somewhere in the middle of the night but Inuyasha didn't seem to mind that. He was used to walking around barefooted and already walked across, over and stumbled upon worse things than the slippery grass. He was walking slowly, enjoying the slightly chilly sensation under his feet then turned around to look at his companion, pushing her bike by her side and talking to someone who seemed to be sitting on the bike. Inuyasha groaned in annoyance; the irritating kitsune also decided to tag along. He looked up to the sky with a slight frown on his face, his arms crossed over his chest defiantly. 'What the heck,' he thought, 'as long as the small bugger doesn't tick me off with his constant babbling.'
Kagome smiled at Shippou's antics when he made a grimace, trying to imitate Inuyasha's usual facial expression – he frowned heavily and almost pouted, crossing his arms over his chest in the same manner. She giggled lightly then decided to hurry up after him, noticing him not so far away from them, standing in the middle of the meadow, glaring at them and tapping his foot impatiently.
"Would you two shut up already and hurry up?" He barked and Kagome's face turned serious; he had a point, though. The sooner they reach Ginenji, the better. Kirara was injured badly again, leaving Sango at the village to look after her. Miroku decided to keep her company, making the youkai huntress slightly apprehensive and wary of his presence.
Now, they were heading back to visit the large half-demon and his mortal mother once again. Inuyasha hoped she was in better mood, still remembering the old, grouchy and above all, violent woman who gave him a headache after slamming that huge chunk of wood on his head. He wrinkled his nose at the memory and snorted, deciding to hurry up and get it over it already. Kagome joined him soon after, trotting down the meadow with her bike and with Shippou, smiling happily. For some reason, ticking Inuyasha off always made him feel...accomplished. It was, after all, their daily routine, an old habit. Shippou knew, though that Inuyasha wasn't that bad...after all - didn't Kagome mentioned before that underneath all that rough exterior lied a real softy?
When Kagome finally reached Inuyasha, speeding up with her bike and readjusting her backpack on her back, Shippou was left to ponder on his previous thought after receiving a swift smack on his head by the hanyou.
"Ouch..." He let out, rubbing his sore head while Kagome yelled at him all the way down the meadow to be more polite. Inuyasha only let out a snort then marched off towards the forest, mumbling something to himself. Kagome only shook her head and sighed, patting the young kitsune on the head.
The village bustled with people roaming around, mostly men, carrying tools and heading off to the fields near the village. Kaede sighed and lifted the straw-looking cover and emerged from underneath, her face carrying that serious and grim expression. The small shed where Sango, Miroku and Kirara were in was silent after she left. One of the villagers strolled to her, saying something to her and she nodded at him, leaving after him to tend the wounds of others. After yesterday's fight with one of the demons Naraku sent to destroy the village, some of them got hurt, working on the fields near the village itself. Luckily, Inuyasha and the rest of the gang arrived just in time, after Kagome suddenly made them turn back towards the village, sensing a shard of Shikon no Tama in the near. The demon, a huge being with horns on his head and spikes on his back and hands indeed had one of the shards implanted in his back, making him go rampaging through the forest mercilessly.
After Inuyasha finally slashed him with Tessaiga in one, swift motion, the remains of the demon were left on the ground near the village, scattered. Kirara, though, wasn't so lucky and received a hard blow to the stomach, combined with poisonous spikes the demon had. The wound wasn't so big, leaving only small traces of blood over her fur, but the poison itself was more dangerous. Sango blamed herself mostly for not being able to help her. Her boomerang was successfully blocked by the hard spikes on the demon's hand, and she couldn't really do anything but stare helplessly at the monstrous creature. The presence of Naraku's poisonous bugs made Miroku hesitate to use his own weapon, until Inuyasha decided to take matter into his own hands. After Tessaiga was put to use, the rest was history.
Since they knew the efficiency of Ginenji's hard work, they decided to pay him a visit and ask for some of his miraculous herbs. Sango, of course, decided to stay with the, now very small creature, curled almost into a fetal position.
Kirara breathed steadily, letting out a soft whimper or a growl occasionally. She curled herself into a ball, only her pointy ears visible underneath the soft fur.
"Rest, Kirara," Sango whispered gently, almost in a mother-like nature, observing her companion with sad eyes. Miroku was sitting not so far away from her; behind her, to be more precise and Sango felt slightly uncomfortable, knowing his reputation already. She chose to ignore him, though now when her attention was drawn to Kirara. She patted her on the head softly, making her squirm slightly and let out a heavy breath. Sango drew her hand back, deciding to leave her in complete peace. She stood up and straightened her kimono slightly, the wrinkles being smoothed. Miroku glanced up at her and she looked at him at one moment, staring at his eyes for a while until he stood up as well, noticing how tired and concerned she was. He put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
"You should take some rest, too," he said in a soft, but serious tone. Sango lowered her head and stared at the wooden floor for a while, eyes shimmering with suppressed emotions. She felt so useless sometimes, like she wasn't strong enough, like she was only a burden to them all. True, they treated her like real friends, and they all had the same goal, the same enemy, the same, sad and tragic destinies putting them together, but...She simply felt useless and weak at the moment, and not only because she let Kirara get hurt so badly again, but for other reasons as well. She felt like she wasn't skillful enough...after all, Miroku had his Kazaana, Inuyasha his Tessaiga...even Kagome was able to make serious damage with her bow and arrows, and she...
After her family was wiped out by her own brother, things started to go down for her. She was alone, all by herself in this world, not knowing where Kohaku was at the moment, if he was still alive in the first place, if he was still under Naraku's control...She couldn't bring herself to kill him...when she thought she could do that and even decided to kill herself afterwards, Inuyasha stopped her. She wasn't sure if she would be able to do that again even if her own life depended on it...and now, she almost lost Kirara, too and she gritted her teeth, clenching her fists tightly. How much more...? How many lives will extinguish because of him? She already lost so much...so many...
Taking a deep breath, she turned her head aside, wiping the upcoming tears hastily with her head. Miroku managed to catch a glimpse of her tear-filled eyes and resisted the urge to embrace her. He was positive she would consider that as another lecherous thing and probably smack him on the head. But, she looked so lost and frightened at one moment, that he barely suppressed the urge to envelope her in a bear hug and try to comfort her with gentle words. When he already wanted to suggest her to take a break and really have some rest, she suddenly turned to him with a determined look in her eyes.
"Miroku," she said firmly, her eyes glinting with something he only saw when she was amidst battle, "will you help me with something?"
The monk raised his eyebrows quizzically, slightly taken aback with her sudden change in behavior. He nodded slowly, nonetheless and looked at her curiously.
"Of course Sango," he replied in his usual calm voice, "what is that you want?" He asked and she hesitated for a brief moment before she looked at Kirara and sighed.
"I feel like...like I...failed," she spat the last word and lowered her head slightly, hating the word as soon as it came out of her mouth, "and since Kirara can't train with me...would you..." She trailed off and he understood what she meant. He smiled gently at her almost embarrassed expression.
"I don't know how much of a help I'll be, but...I'll try," he replied softly, taking his staff that clinked slightly when he raised it. Sango smiled at him gratefully and took a few steps to take her boomerang with her. She stopped suddenly, glancing at the monk who was still busy tying his robes more securely over his shoulder then decided against it. Miroku wasn't Kirara, and she couldn't expect him to jump in the air, and fetch the boomerang for her. 'No,' she thought, glancing down to her waist to see her lanky sword, dangling down her side, 'this would do.' The last time she used her sword was the time when she was ready to end her brothers life and then her own. Shaking her head at the memory, she let the images slip away from her mind, somewhere at the farthest corner of her memories. She realized she could use a little exercise with the sword; she usually relied on her boomerang or Kirara, but her boomerang proved itself as useless sometimes and Kirara was...
Involuntarily, she turned her head to look at the still peaceful ball of fur on the floor and her eyes saddened for a moment, before Miroku snapped her out of her thoughts by asking her is she was ready. She nodded tersely and clutching her sword tightly, she went to Kirara and took her kimono off to cover her with it. The small cat-like demon let out another whimper and snuggled under the kimono. Sango stood up to see Miroku waiting for her at the exit. She followed him, but not before telling Kaede-sama where they were going.
The younger sister of Kikyou nodded and turned her attention back to a wounded man, lying beside her on the ground.
A few minutes later, they were standing in the middle of the meadow, not so far away from the forest and the well Kagome used as a portal between her own world and theirs.
Miroku was slightly surprised to see her in her black clothes and without a boomerang. Instead, she reached for her sword and swung it in the air. Miroku stood a few feet away from her, observing her stern expression and her fighting stance. Slowly, he raised his staff in the similar position, ready whenever she was.
After a few moments spent in tense silence, Sango leapt forward, clutching the sword tightly between her hands. She swung it forward and the metal clanged against Miroku's staff as he blocked her strike. Not stopping there, she quickly retrieved the sword off the staff to try hitting him from another direction. Miroku was surprised with the amount of strength she put in her every move, trying his best to block her attacks.
Sounds of metal clashing against metal filled the meadow, as grass went flying in the air every time the sword or the staff would graze lower and cut it.
Sango kept on swinging with her sword, growling occasionally in exasperation when Miroku managed to block her every attempt at a hit. Of course she wouldn't really hit him, but slowly, she became frustrated with her own inability to actually land a solid swing at the monk. Miroku noticed her anger and felt her exasperation every time she tried to swing and his staff flew forward to stop her. He himself was starting to become out of breath, suddenly having a strange feeling as if she really considered him as her greatest enemy. He wasn't Naraku, for crying out loud!
"Sango," he breathed, still successfully blocking her hit, "maybe...you...we should stop...to take...some rest!" He finished and jumped back a bit to avoid getting a haircut. Sango didn't seem to hear him as she continued to swing the sword angrily at him, every move fueling her anger and desperation more.
Has she really become so weak and incapable to even land a solid hit with her sword? It was no wonder she couldn't make him even fall to the ground; no matter how hard she swung and no matter how precisely she swung the sword at him. Miroku was still able to hinder her attempts. She could feel her palms getting wet, the muscles becoming tired and hurting; she could feel the handle of the sword slipping away out of her sweaty hands and tears stung at her eyes, her vision starting to get slightly blurry. 'Damn him!' she thought, an image of Naraku swirling in front of her eyes, taunting her and mocking her with a malevolent smirk playing on his lips 'Damn him!' Her legs gave way due to the constant running and jumping and she fell to the soft grass with a thud, letting the sword fall out of her hands as she left them to rest on the cold, solid ground.
"Damn it!" She screamed and punched the muddy ground with her fist.
Above her, Miroku stood with his staff still in the air, panting heavily and staring wide-eyed at her. For a moment, he thought she would really stab him judging by the powerful swing she made with her sword. He barely managed to block her hit and he stumbled backwards a bit, still baffled by the facial expression on her face. It was almost...murderous...
Has she really become so weak? And she thought she was strong enough to protect Kirara; strong enough to save her brother from Naraku's claws, and she couldn't even protect herself!
She took a sharp breath, holding it for a few seconds before she let it out, together with a strangled choke that managed to escape her throat and through her lips.
"Damn it," she said again, this time in a hoarse whisper, staring at the grass with narrowed eyes and grasping it tightly between her fists. Tears were falling now freely down her cheeks, her bangs covering her eyes. Her hair that was neatly raised in a ponytail was now messy, hanging down her left shoulder limply. She was breathing heavily, staring at the grass sharply and refusing to look up after hearing Miroku's voice. She just didn't want him to see her like that; it only proved how weak and useless she was.
"Sango," Miroku whispered and loosened his iron grip on his staff to relax a bit. He was staring at her bent figure for the last few minutes, his whole body stiff and still in battle stance. Now, seeing her kneeling on the ground like that made something around his heart clench. She refused to look at him and he understood finally what was going on in her at the moment...
'I failed', she said and now he realized that she felt as if she wasn't good enough, not strong enough...
"Sango," he repeated softly after his breathing steadied and his heartbeat slowed down a bit. He could see a few drops fall onto the grass from her face and his face was a mixture of pity and worry. He took a few steps forward until he was standing right above her and knelt down as well, putting his staff aside. He didn't really know what to do with her trembling body, so he stared at her for a few moments until she raised her head a bit to reveal her tear stricken eyes. Miroku's expression immediately softened and she looked at him as if she expected him to tell her, to confirm her just how pathetic and miserable she really was. Instead of hearing those words, he wordlessly leaned down a bit and put his hands on her shoulders. She opened her mouth to say something but was left speechless when she felt herself being lifted from the ground and placed against his chest in a comforting manner. She stared straight ahead, staring at the forest trees in the distance while her head was leaning on his chest and he placed his hands protectively around her waist and her shoulders.
"Miroku," she whispered but he only shook his head and told her to do whatever she wanted. She inhaled sharply, swallowing hard while blushing slightly at his words and her current position. She was nestled neatly against him with his chin on top of her head, stroking her hair in a soothing manner.
"I'm here, Sango," he murmured softly in his hair, "I understand."
Her eyes widened slightly at his words and she raised her head a bit to look into his eyes in wonder. He looked down at her face and offered her a reassuring smile. She blinked a few tears out of her eyes.
"You...understand?" She asked him almost timidly and he nodded slowly in return. She stared at him for another moment then lowered her head again to look at her, now muddy and slightly green hands. She must've squeezed the life out of that grass. Miroku sighed deeply and tightened his grip around her a bit.
"I understand," he repeated softly, "because I know you long enough to see when you're angry or sad or happy...or feeling useless and worthless like right now." He added with a note of sadness in his own voice.
"You do?" She murmured thoughtfully from below and could feel him nodding slightly over her head.
"Yes, I do," he replied somewhat somberly and his face became serious and grave for a moment, "because I feel the same way as you do, sometimes. We all do..." He trailed off and looked at the blue sky with a few clouds traveling lazily across it. Sango thought about his words for a moment.
"Even Inuyasha?" She asked quietly, gaining his attention again. Miroku smiled bitterly and looked at her figure in his arms again.
"Even Inuyasha," he replied somberly, "because he failed to save Kikyou so many times, too...And because he can't seem to protect both her and Kagome at the same time. So you see..." He stopped briefly to choose his next words, "we all feel useless and weak sometimes, Sango. It's what makes us human." He finished wisely and silence ensued between them, the only sounds coming from the birds chirping spiritedly around them.
After a few minutes spent like that, Sango finally realized that he was right and that it was actually good to have him around...as a friend...then she blushed again, when she realized just in what positions they were and how they probably look like some happy couple, enjoying their privacy in an intimate hug. She was aware of his warm hands around her body and the way his chin lied on top of her head and she suddenly started feeling...uncomfortable. She didn't want to get groped by him again, which, surprisingly hadn't happened yet all this time, but still...
Still blushing slightly, she moved in his hands, letting him know that she wanted out of his embrace and he looked at her questioningly when she made a move to get up. With a sigh he released her, although almost reluctantly...it was actually nice to hold her like that for a while without getting a smack on his head.
Sango stood up, coughing a few times to break her nervousness and went in a search of her sword. She found it in the grass a few feet away from her, glistening on the midday sun. She picked it up and put it around her waist again, careful not to hurt herself. Miroku was still sitting on the cool grass, observing her every move and smirked proudly when he noticed that self-conscious blush on her face.
Sango glanced at him from the corner of her eye and saw the look he was giving her. Her blush only deepened but she still frowned and glared at him despite the obvious signs of her chagrin.
"What?" She snapped at him warily and he only smiled, picking his staff up from the ground and stood up as well.
"Nothing," he replied in that usual, calm voice of his and approached her, "I just think we spent a very nice morning, don't you think?"
Sango's glare vanished slowly and she looked at the sky thoughtfully. "Yes," she answered softly, "we did." Turning around, she looked at his calm demeanor and glanced at his staff, now resting securely in his hand. "And...thank you for...your help." She added and he shook his head slightly.
"There's no need to thank me," he replied coolly and then with an almost devilish smile, "I already told you we spent a very nice morning."
With that, he approached her and leaned down a bit to look straight in her eyes. Sango inched away from him slightly, a light blush on her cheeks. "By the way," he whispered in a husky tone, making her eyes widen at the sudden weight pressed against her rear, "you have a very nice figure, too."
Sango's brow twitched a few times before she stomped off down the meadow demonstratively, but not before smacking the monk on the head vehemently and leaving him on the ground unconscious.
"That lecher...pervert!" She yelled as she was marching down the familiar path that led to the village.
When Inuyasha, together with Kagome and Shippou finally came back they found Sango sitting next to Kirara, watching over her. She was seething slightly and it only took a second for Kagome and Inuyasha to glance at the monk, sitting in the corner of the shed with a large bump on his head. Shippou, still clueless about the whole thing wondered what happened to Miroku but Kagome and Inuyasha exchanged deadpanned expressions, already knowing very well what happened between the lecherous monk and a fuming youkai huntress.
Kagome and Inuyasha went over to her and Kagome put her backpack onto the wooden floor and retrieved all necessary herbs Ginenji gave them.
Sango thanked them with a smile and patted Kirara on the head affectionately.
Miroku, still sitting motionlessly in the corner of the shed and ignoring Shippou's curious remarks, smiled slightly to himself. At least she was his old Sango again. Grimacing slightly when Shippou jumped on his shoulder to touch and examine the, still sore spot on his head, he craned his head to peep through the small gap between the straw-like cover on the doors and the wooden wall. The sky was still blue and the sun was shining.
Ah yes, it was going to be a good day.
Ehm...would you consider clicking on that Submit Review – Go thingy now? I dare you! /smirks/