It was amazing how two women out of the whole of Japan that he encountered could change his life so drastically. He went from brazen, reckless, thieving, half excuse for a priest, to an honorable, responsible man.

He hardly noticed the changes until a quiet night and no enemies to battle gave him time to let his mind wander. At first he figured the perverted side would get their notice, since so many others fell for it, or at least liked the attention. The constant yelling, slaps, and bruises told him it would be best to switch tactics to continue his line...or at least keep healthy.

He didn't ask again for the old lifestyle, seeing flaws in it compared to this current one. Sure he was still brazen with his hands and words, but he knew no one would ever abide by such a blatant sexual question. Few had, but nothing ever came out of it, since he wasn't interested anyway.

He was engaged to the most beautiful woman in the world...why should anyone else matter?

Being near her made him WANT to be a better man. Thinking back on his attitude and habits made him ashamed and angry at himself for thinking a disciple of Buddha could or should act that way. Her grace, innocence, purity, friendship, kindness, honor, ferocity...they all touched him deep inside.

It was still hard to give up every habit, though he figured himself better with each passing day. The more he was around his beloved, the more he saw only her. He wanted to make her smile, make her laugh to hear the lovely sound, make her blush - as she looked even more beautiful, make her angry to excite the sparkle in her eyes, and make her feel better. His best attempts soothed his beloved seemed not enough, since she was still burdened so deeply. She would not let go, which was not a horrible thing, but she would not forgive herself.

It sometimes awed him to have such good friends and fighting comrades. They were an odd mixture in both looks and background, but they came together and got along rather well. He was grateful for every day he awoke - still alive through the burden of his curse - to these enchanting people. They helped make life worthwhile and these changes worth it.

He found it amusing sometimes that two women could smooth out his rough spots. How they made him change! He was thankful they managed to do so, not knowing where or what he'd be if he continued on his own and never knew them, or never kept in contact. He would've never met and proposed to the one woman who not only put up with his shameful behavior, but loved him for being who he was.

He would do anything for her; that was certain. They went through many trials where both almost died many times and it hurt to see her in pain. He never wanted her to be injured and for that reason, took on some attacks meant for her. She was tough and could handle it, but he couldn't let her beautiful skin be marred with scars as much as possible. She was so precious to him and he couldn't - WOULDN'T - give her up. She was the glue that kept him together.

A smile tipped his lips up as he looked into beautiful, deep brown eyes. Their attention turned to him, blinking in question. "Houshi-sama?"

His smile widened a fraction. Without words, he leaned over during their walk and grasped her gloved hand, bringing it to his lips in a soft, delicate kiss. "Sango."

Said girl blushed like a tomato and froze for the briefest of moments before taking her appendage back.

He smiled and returned to his previous stance, ignoring the others ahead of them and their wondrous gazes.

- - - - -

Brought on by Scribe Figaro's 'Hurt' AMV from her page, and another picture on Mikala's 'Kumo no Su' M/S site (end shameless plug). This suddenly came to me and although it's small - probably the smallest I've done yet ::faints:: - it struck me when watching the AMV. Miroku is barely the lech anyone knows from the beginning and it took me by surprise how much his attitude flipped around. The main thing that inspired this was his entrance episode where he fights Inuyasha in the village. He's come along way, ne?