AN: According to several people, now that I have entered the Miroku/Sango fan community on this site, I am forbidden to leave. Soooo…here I go again! Whee!!! Now, if any of you have ever looked at any of my other stories, I wrote a CCS fic using a premise like this, and someone suggested that I could apply it to other fandoms. Plus, I just had a great vision in my head…mild tongue-in-cheek warning ahead, and probably some mild OOC-ness, just so everyone's aware and forewarned.
Onwards! I don't own Inuyasha, I'm afraid. 'Tis tragic, but true…
It was a beautiful, sunny day over feudal Japan. It was warm and there wasn't a cloud in the sky; squirrels skipped around, gathering nuts, deer pranced gracefully through forests and grasslands, and little birds were flying around, devouring defenseless insects…err…and everything was peaceful. Especially amidst the ranks of those who were hunting the shards of the sacred Shikon no Tama.
Okay, maybe not.
"Dammit, wench!" Inuyasha growled. Actually, he had a face full of dirt at the moment, considering that he was face-down on the ground as a result of a word from Kagome, so it sounded more like, "Drrht, rnch!" However, the intent was completely understood, and Kagome barked again; Inuyasha continued to dig his own grave, as it were, as he thudded another six inches deeper into the ground.
In the meantime, Shippou was laughing and doing a happy dance. Earlier today, he and Inuyasha had graced the group with one of their trademark battles. It wasn't over anything particularly major, but true to their ritual, it erupted into something rivaling…what had Kagome called it? World War Three? Something like that.
Kagome had finally ended the argument with a single barked word, but since then, demon and half-demon had been locked in a staring contest of sorts. There had been a few hissed words when Kagome wasn't looking, but otherwise, nothing more than glares. Honestly, if looks were arrows, those two would have turned each other into goddamn pincushions hours ago.
Sango sighed and shook her head, the Hiraikotsu slung casually over one shoulder. Those two…there was just no stopping them, was there? They fought like brothers.
Unbeknownst to the demon-slayer and crew, they were all being watched closely…
"Here they go again," the tiny figure sighed, leaning against the tree trunk. One hand threaded absently into dark hair, combing through almost the full length of a ponytail that hung nearly to her knees.
"It's a wonder poor Sango can stand those two sometimes," another small person commented, tossing an equally long ponytail over her shoulder. "But she could stand to lighten up a little, I think." The two were perched on the branch of a nearby tree, unnoticed as they watched the scene with ever-increasing interest. These arguments were always fun to watch.
The first speaker whirled; a long red tail with a pointed end curled behind her, and her eyes flashed a dangerous red. "Whaddya mean? She's focused! Nothing wrong with that!" One black-gloved hand moved to her head, where she polished one of two matching red horns between her index finger and thumb. "Honestly, you're such a goody-goody!"
"I'm an angel. It's my job," came the curt reply.
This was an argument the two had gone through many times before. After all, they were two sides of the same coin, two parts of the same whole, two halves of one person's subconscious. Namely, Sango's. They were her counselors, and the actual manifestation of her conscience and innermost thoughts—her shoulder-angel and shoulder-devil.
The first speaker folded her arms and frowned dangerously. If the true Sango was a formidable opponent, then her quote-unquote 'bad' side was downright deadly—at least in appearances. Clad from head to toe in tight-fitting, long-sleeved black that hugged every curve, with tiny red horns and a red tail to boot, she cut quite a figure that had made many a male shoulder-deity's jaw drop in sheer speechlessness. However, her trusty pitchfork kept any and all unwanted attention at a reasonable distance. "But that's not important. What's important is that there's something else going on here, I think. Something far more interesting…" That last was said with another flash of the eyes—her Glare of Death™ was her primary weapon, capable of paralyzing males and killing small animals.
"And what might that be?" her counterpart rolled her eyes. Angel-Sango was everything that her devilish friend was not. White-clad, with snowy wings and a golden halo perched on her head at just the precise angel for the most effective overall look. She took great care to keep everything spotlessly white as well—after all, an angel couldn't be seen looking anything less than pristine, now could she? "You're not going to try and get Kirara to do something for you again, are you?"
"No, no, no! That was a fluke!" the devil protested. There was a pause as she muttered a few curses against the fire-cat—something about seeing just how long that cat could hold its breath underwater. But then she regained her usual cool-cat composure (pun and alliteration both intended), and went on, "I mean with Sango. She's thinking about something."
"Yeah—how stupid it is that Shippou and Inuyasha can't go more than two minutes without biting each other's heads off. And I totally agree with her," Angel-Sango rolled her eyes and pulled out a tiny mirror to make sure everything was as it should be. She was, after all, a part of Sango's subconscious; she just represented a certain side of the demon-slayer that hadn't been let out into the sun too often.
"No, something else! Watch!" the devil instructed.
As they watched, Sango rolled her eyes. "Those two…" she muttered.
"Indeed," Miroku agreed from over her left shoulder. He was behind her, which could ultimately and inevitably lead to only one thing. And, unfortunately, it did. Unfortunately for Miroku, that is.
A loud slap echoed through the valley, and the two shoulder-deities winced.
Devil-Sango recovered first from a blow that hit so hard she had felt it, and grinned broadly. "Yup, I was right. She wants him bad." Two black-gloved hands rubbed together in anticipation. "I think it's time we recruited some help and had a little fun…"
One hand gingerly rubbed at the bright red handprint forming on his cheek. Miroku sighed—honestly. He couldn't even show a little interest without getting slapped across the face for his troubles. Life just wasn't fair…
Miroku turned his head slightly as a little being in the black robe appeared on his shoulder in a poof of red smoke. "Oh, hello. Are you here to get me in trouble again?"
The monk had every reason to be suspicious, though, for the being was someone he was quite familiar with. It was a miniature version of him, maybe two or three inches tall, with eyes that had a tendency to flash crimson when he was thinking or irritated, and wearing a black robe. A bright red pitchfork was clutched in one hand; it coordinated perfectly with the two little red horns poking through his hair, as well as the long red tail curling behind him. Indeed, it was someone Miroku knew well.
"Me?" Devil-Miroku managed to look innocent, by some miracle.
"You are my shoulder-devil."
"People these days…" the devil muttered, "everyone's a critic. So," he brightened, from zero to cheery in point-five seconds, "you seem to be quite interested in the young lady up there. The one holding the enormous weapon."
It was one of the few times in his life that Miroku stuttered. "What're you talking about?"
"I think you should kiss her!" Devil-Miroku crowed, nudging his elbow into his human charge's cheek whilst wiggling dark eyebrows in a highly suggestive manner.
"Leave me alone," the monk muttered, an unusual pink color barely touching his face. "If I even think about doing something like that, I'll just end up with a matching handprint on the other side of my face. No way, no how."
"Perhaps I can be of some assistance?"
Miroku turned his head at the sound of the voice, and nearly jumped as another small figure popped up on his right shoulder. This one was, again, a much-smaller version of himself, but this one was clad in a white robe, with a golden ring around his head, and a golden halo in one hand. Two feathery white wings spread from this one's back. "Who are you?" the monk asked, slightly bewildered.
"I am your shoulder-angel," the small white-robed figure said calmly. "I'm here to help."
Miroku nearly jumped out of his skin and yelped, "I actually have a shoulder-angel?!?!?"
The angel quirked a brow, and wryly replied, "Up until this point, we've never met."
Devil-Miroku rolled his eyes. "That's not news, pal."
"I will say this—you have taste," Angel-Miroku nodded his approval after taking a good look at the demon-slayer walking a short distance ahead. "So what do you intend to do about it?"
"Do you two just not have anything else to do with your time?" Miroku huffed. "Or do you just feel this overwhelming need to bother me?"
"We're your subconscious," Angel-Miroku pointed out. "So we know everything about you, even that which you don't even know yourself. And let me just say—if you hadn't done so much good in your life, I would have to say that based on some of your thoughts, you are a bad, bad man."
Miroku cringed, and sighed. "What do you want me to do?"
Devil-Miroku broke in. "I think you should kiss her!"
A tiny, well-aimed puff of air was all it took to send Miroku's devil-side spinning off through the air, where he rather neatly rammed into a tree trunk. Angel-Miroku muttered something about holy water in the devil's bed and fluttered over; he peeled him off of the tree-trunk and led him back over to their mortal charge. Devil-Miroku's eyes were spinning in opposite directions, and he was muttering, "I know…put my earmuffs on the cookie…"
The group traveled on. The staring match between Inuyasha and Shippou resumed, though Kagome made sure she stayed in between them, shooting glares of her own in where necessary. Miroku walked at the head of the group, and Sango brought up the rear.
"Psst!" the tiny voice hissed into Sango's ear.
She didn't even have to turn her head to know who it was. "Hello, Devil-Me."
"And me! Don't forget me!!" another voice trilled.
"Thanks for the enthusiasm," Devil-Sango said wryly. "So tell us about this monk, this Miroku guy. From what we can tell—and we have discussed this between the two of us, believe me—he really seems to be making your hormones fly."
"What?!?" Sango almost yelped, but remembered to keep her voice down so as not to be thought crazy by her companions, walking just ahead. She whirled and growled at her dark side. "What are you talking about?"
"You like him. Nothing wrong with that," Angel-Sango trilled, little hearts dancing cheerily in her eyes. "So what are you going to do about it?"
"N-nothing! You're seeing things that aren't there!" Sango protested, stomping ahead. However, she wasn't fast enough, and the pink color that touched her face wasn't missed by the two miniature deities.
Both of whom stared after her with wry smiles. "Hon, we're your subconscious," Angel-Sango sighed with a shake of her head. "We know everything. We know the stuff even you don't know, and you've got it baaaaaaad."
"Come on, let's go," Devil-Sango huffed, fluttering off towards a nearby tree. "We'll regroup and come up with a plan. Damn mortals, making things so difficult…" The white-clad deity followed her darker counterpart towards the appointed tree. With a practiced ease, they touched down on one of the branches. "So what do we do?"
"This bites! Damn that guy!! Damn him straight to the lowest Hells!!!!!" a slightly-squeaky male voice growled from the other side of the tree-trunk, interrupting the conversation before it could even get started. That statement was followed by a string of obscenities that would have made most sailors cringe.
As one, the two girls moved around, following the sound. And there, what a sight met their eyes.
There were two miniature versions of the monk that their human charge was so hot for. One was in shimmering white, the other in black and red. And they both looked equally furious.
Devil-Sango stepped forward and addressed the dark one. "I'm impressed. I have never heard anyone swear like that. You have my utmost respect. For that display, may I have your baby?"
The devilish male stood up and smirked. "You're more than welcome to have my child, but unfortunately, the swearing? That was him." He pointed to the angel-monk, who was still muttering under his breath. Devil-Sango caught a few of the words; he was saying something about torture.
Behind her, Angel-Sango started making holy signs in the air.
"So let me guess—you two are assigned to that monk, the guy Sango so worked up over," Devil-Sango went on, leaning against the tree trunk. "I don't suppose you can tell me what he thinks of her."
Angel-Miroku stopped muttering and sighed. "Some of his thoughts about her shouldn't see the light of day." At the blank stares he received, he went on, "Certain little fantasies really should remain just that—fantasies. If Sango knew some of the strange little ideas that pop up in Miroku's subconscious, she would do more than slap him, I promise you."
Devil-Sango's eyes widened, and she leaned forward. "Tell me everything."
In one smooth move, Angel-Sango jumped forward and clapped one hand over Angel-Miroku's mouth. "Stop talking. Stop talking now." She let him go and put two fingers to each of her temples. "You're going to wound my sensibilities."
"Oh, woe to me…" Devil-Sango pressed the back of one hand to her forehead in a mockery of her counterpart. "Oh, la, good sir, I do believe I shall faint." She staggered around a bit for good measure, earning a good laugh from the other devil in the bunch. It was now Angel-Sango's turn to begin muttering—something about holy water in her devilish counterpart's bed.
"Anyway!" Angel-Miroku interrupted. "If I'm not mistaken, we have a similar goal. We've been assigned to two clueless humans who don't have the simple wits to come clean. So we need to help them along, it would seem." He cocked his head to one side thoughtfully. "I propose that we join forces to bring them together."
Angel-Sango clapped her hands together in delight. "It's so romantic!"
"You're both nuts…forget it!" Devil-Miroku rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.
"Indeed. I do my job, and that's it. I tease Sango about him because it's fun to get her so riled. I draw the line at match-making," Devil-Sango agreed, imitating the action and turning her nose into the air.
"I know you two aren't into this kind of thing, and I understand your reasoning. And truthfully, I doubt we could pull this off without you," Angel-Miroku said, a suspicious glint coming to his eyes. "But if you don't think you can do it…"
Both devils jumped up simultaneously, identical flares of anger slashing across their eyes. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Four black-gloved hands clenched into furious fists.
"I understand, it's all right," Angel-Miroku went on. "It's going to be very tricky, though…"
Devil-Sango raised one fist, and punched it into the palm of her other hand. "Tricky is good. Tricky, I can do. Okay, I'm in." She turned to the other devil and said, "You, too."
"I don't think—" he began.
"YOU'RE IN, WHETHER YOU WANT TO BE OR NOT!!!" Devil-Sango reached down and grabbed the hapless he-devil by the front of his black robe and hauled him up to bark the words right into his face. Her eyes flared a deadly crimson with a glare that would have flattened stronger men.
"Yes, ma'am," Devil-Miroku whimpered meekly. For his compliance, he was released to slide back down to the tree branch and wait for his life to stop flashing before his eyes…damn, he had done some very naughty things, hadn't he?
"So what's the plan?" Devil-Sango smirked. A huddle was formed, and the planning did begin.
The group of shard-hunters had stopped for a short nooning. After a quick meal, Kagome announced that she didn't feel like moving anytime soon, and promptly stretched out on the grass in the warm sunlight. One word from her silenced Inuyasha's protests.
Shippou didn't complain. He simply curled up next to Kagome and followed her lead—dozed off.
Monk and demon-slayer sat at opposite ends of the field. Neither noticed the other shooting covert glances at them, and both busied themselves with some sort of task to try and distract their minds. Both failed miserably at that last, but neither admitted it.
And that was the state they were in when four mischievous shoulder-deities descended into their midst, intent on spreading romance between two oblivious humans.
Kirara stopped and looked inquisitively at the two little forms flying in front of her.
"We need your help," Devil-Sango said sweetly, though past experiences had left her wanting more to see just how fire-resistant that thing's fur really was. But no matter.
"It'll make Sango reeeeeeeeeeally happy!" Devil-Miroku sing-songed. A flurry of conspiratorial whispers followed, as the two shoulder-devils gained another ally in their quest to unite the two clueless ones, no matter how uphill the battle would be.
When all was finished, the little fire-cat nodded, and scampered off to wait for her part in the plan. After all, she had been given the most crucial role in this whole scheme. And if it would make Sango happy, then Kirara was all for it.
The steady rhythm was the sound of Miroku gently banging his head against a convenient tree trunk—namely, the one he was leaning against. Fortunately, Kagome and Shippou had dozed off, and Inuyasha really couldn't care less, so nobody interrupted his masochism or his thoughts.
For a while, anyway.
"Stupid…stupid…" he muttered with each strike of his cranium. "Stupid…so stupid…"
"You should go kiss her."
"Shut up," Miroku muttered automatically to the little devil-form floating in front of him; the interruption did not interrupt the steady pounding rhythm of his self-punishment. "I'm not in the mood to get slapped right now."
"But you're…ummm…" Devil-Miroku's words trailed off as he sighed and shook his head. Stupid humans. What was the difference between Sango beating him up and him beating himself up with the help from the tree? "Anyway, you look like you could use a little breather. And I've got a hot tip for you." He leaned in conspiratorially and whispered, "A little bird told me that there's a little pond over there, just beyond those bushes. Nice, quiet, relaxing. You like those kind of places."
Miroku opened one eye, and glared suspiciously at his devil-side. "Are you trying to get me into some kind of trouble? I really don't need it right now."
"I'll vouch for him on this one," Angel-Miroku popped up. "It's very nice. Even just go take a look. You're very upset about something, so I think you'll find it very calming."
The monk's suspicious glare held for a long moment, then he sighed and nodded. "I'll take a look. I don't feel like sitting still anyway." He climbed to his feet, dusted off his robes and headed off in the appointed direction.
Back at the clearing, where everyone else was still relaxing, the two shoulder-deities exchanged winks and thumbs-up before following to watch the fireworks that were sure to start soon. And unbeknownst to Miroku, a similar conversation was in progress…
A moment later, he found what they had been talking about—it was barely big enough to be called a pond. It was more of a glorified puddle. Still, it was isolated, and it made a pleasant sound. Why not? So he sat down and resumed his attempts at meditation, though his thoughts tended to stray more towards a certain someone…
It was perhaps a few moments later when a physical interruption came, as someone else stepped into the clearing. He turned at the sound, and found himself face to face with the object of his mental distraction—who was looking at him with wide, startled eyes.
"You know, if you keep doing that, you're going to wear that thing as thin as parchment," Devil-Sango remarked wryly, watching the semi-distracted activities of her human. The comment was not entirely unfounded. Sango was polishing the Hiraikotsu—as she had been doing every single time they stopped for several days now.
If this continued, she would undoubtedly wear her favored weapon away to nothing. It was an amusing image, really—the mighty demon-slayer attempting to cut down a demon with a boomerang as flimsy as paper. What would she do, paper-cut it to death?
"You know, you really should just admit your feelings to yourself, hon," Angel-Sango joined the conversation, gazing at her reflection in the mirror. Damn, she looked good! "You'll feel a lot better."
"There's nothing to admit!" Sango protested, that same pink color touching her face. She took a particularly harsh swipe at the large boomerang leaning against her.
Devil-Sango tapped one finger against her chin thoughtfully before putting in her two cents…again. "You know what I think, Sango?"
"I have a feeling you'll tell me whether I want to know or not."
"I think you should kiss him."
"I said I think you should kiss him."
"I know. That was more of a 'what the hell are you smoking?' kind of 'what?'"
"Ah, my mistake."
"That's fine. Now explain yourself."
"Look, Sango," Angel-Sango cut in, "you know how you feel, and we know how you feel. We probably know it more than we do—we know things about you that not even you know."
Once again, Devil-Sango jumped in, "Yeah. There's one little fantasy you've got going on that I don't think you've really realized yet. You're awfully suppressed, you know that. But that one, whoo…you put your monk friend to shame, girl!" The look that crossed Sango's face at that announcement defied any and all words.
Angel-Sango cut in once again to save her devil counterpart from certain death. "I think you need to get away from everyone for a little while. So I've got a little hint for you. There's a pond nearby. It's a quiet place. I think it would be the perfect place for you to go think things over. I promise you'll like it."
"What's with you two today?" Sango rolled her eyes and stood up so fast that she knocked the two deities aside. "I'll go, just leave me alone, all right?" Throughout the whole conversation, the blush never once left her face, even as she took off through the trees.
"Mission accomplished," Angel-Sango grinned.
"Indeed. Let's go watch. I really hope that stupid cat does its job!" Devil-Sango agreed, and they followed their mortal charge towards her now-inevitable fate. It was good to be bad (and conveniently immortal) sometimes, indeed it was. At least if offered protection from potentially murderous mortals.
Sango slid down the slight incline, stepped through the trees, snapping a few branches as she passed by—and froze dead in her tracks. Apparently, someone else had gotten the same tip she had.
But there was no time to escape—Miroku had already turned around to see what had caused the rustling noises. Sango felt her jaw drop and her eyes widen involuntarily. Did she look like an idiot? Probably. Was she doing a credible imitation of a hooked halibut? Most likely.
"Oh, I—I didn't know anyone else was down here," Sango stammered, feeling her face gain color. Was it just her imagination, or did she sound like a complete moron? But due to the fact that she was momentarily flustered, she failed to notice that Miroku had an almost identical expression on his face. Her instincts were screaming at her, and they were saying Now would be a good time to leave, you idiot!
She only half-heard Miroku's protests as she turned to leave. He had scrambled to his feet the second he had realized who was joining him in the clearing, and he seemed to be doing the exact same thing she was—trying to leave, to give the other some privacy.
But as anyone who knows anything about Murphy's Law can guess, it wasn't going to work out that way. They didn't get very far in their scrambles to leave—someone else had other plans for them.
Or rather, something else.
Kirara came out of nowhere, grabbed the hem of Miroku's robe in her teeth, and pulled with every ounce of strength in her tiny body. And she got the desired result: the monk, not expecting the sudden assault, was dragged along for the ride. The equally-startled Sango didn't have time to move, either.
Kirara managed to drag Miroku right into Sango; when the two collided, the fire-cat started running in circles around the two, keeping the corner of Miroku's robe clenched firmly in sharp teeth. The initial result was that their knees were trapped together, effectively pressing them against each other.
The secondary result, unfortunately, was that they couldn't keep their balance.
After flailing around for a few seconds, Miroku and Sango tipped over as one—and quite neatly fell into the pond. There was a large splash to mark their entrance; Kirara was left sitting on the bank, water dripping from her now-soaked fur, a tiny shred of dark fabric dangling limply from her jaws.
It was truly pitiable.
For a split second, all was silent. But, of course, that couldn't last for long.
With another large splash, the two hapless humans came up, gasping for air. And Miroku's original thought was proven to be true—it was really a glorified puddle. It was actually shallow enough that they could sit up with their heads still plenty clear of the surface. Sango's bangs were plastered to her forehead, hanging over her eyes like a shaggy dog's fur. Miroku was having some difficulty disentangling his robes, which were soaked and sticking to him with a passion.
On the bright side, they were no longer pinned to each other at the knees. Small comfort, though.
And four little shoulder-deities cackled gleefully after getting over their initial shock. It hadn't been part of the plan to dump the two clueless ones in the pond, but hey, comedy was comedy.
"I am so sorry," Miroku wheezed, still hacking up water. He chanced a glance at the demon-slayer beside him. With her hair all but glued to her face, and her chin tilted down, it was impossible to tell what she was thinking. For a moment, he was worried that she might have hurt herself.
That is, he was worried until she dipped her head a little further and flung it back, tossing her water-laden hair away from her face, and splattering him all over again. "Hey, hey!!" he half-yelped, holding up his arms in futile attempt to protect himself. When he lowered the shield of his arms, he glared at her. But it lasted for only a minute before he began to laugh.
He couldn't help it. He tried to hold it in, by biting his lip, biting his fist, and holding his breath, but it exploded forth from him in spite of himself. But he just couldn't help himself. Sango looked…silly. When she'd thrown her hair out of her face, she had also succeeded in making her soaked bangs stick out at odd angles. It was the strangest look he had ever seen her sport, and he had to laugh.
"What?" she asked, face blank with confusion. When he didn't respond, she frowned darkly, and when he didn't stop, a well-placed push to his shoulder sent the poor monk splashing sideways into the water once again.
He re-emerged almost instantly, coughing and sputtering once more. And for the second time in as many minutes, he looked at her, though this time it was more of an accusatory stare than a concerned glance. Truth be told, he looked like a child who was pouting because he'd been told he couldn't have a toy he wanted.
And it was Sango's turn to laugh—and Miroku found himself unable to look away. He had never seen the formidable demon-slayer laugh like that. She even had tears coming out of her eyes. And it was contagious, indeed; within seconds, Miroku realized that he, too, was laughing. It turned into one of those ridiculous situations—one or both of them would start to get themselves under control, but then they would shoot even the smallest look at each other, and it would be a lost cause.
They both had a bad case of the giggles. Since when did Sango act so…giddy?
After another minute or so, Miroku's eyes narrowed. "So that's how it is, hmmm?" Without another word, he pounced, and the Water Battle of Mid-Afternoon did commence. The battle was fierce, and completely even. Both did reflect on the fact that it could have been considered mildly surprising that Inuyasha didn't come to see what was going on (he could probably hear them with those damn ears of his, but whether or not he cared was another story).
Somewhere a short distance away, a certain half-demon sneezed.
At some point, they even worked their way close enough to the bank that mud because a valid weapon, and before long, both were not only damp, but covered in mud and various water-weeds. And both seemed to be having a ball. Kirara watched from the sidelines for a little longer, then scampered back towards the field where the others were.
Another spray of water hit Sango squarely in the face, and she lunged blindly at her opponent. Her fingers closed around wet fabric, and she pushed as hard as she could, not letting go of the monk's robes. The desired result was achieved: a loud splash and an equally loud shout from Miroku. She cackled in triumph, feeling better than she had in a long time. She wasn't normally one to give into frivolous urges…but this was fun!
But alas for Sango, 'fun' turned into 'what the hell' when a hand closed around her wrist. She barely had time to register this fact before Miroku pulled. But unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on which way you want to look at it—Miroku didn't move quite aside quite as fast as one might have liked, and succeeded in pulling her right against him. The force of it pushed him back against the bank, very effectively sandwiching him between the shore and the demon-slayer he'd been wrestling with.
Her fingers were still grasping his sleeve where she had used it as leverage to push him below the water's surface, and thanks to his masterful strategic planning, he'd managed to yank her right up against him, noses mere inches apart. Well, wasn't this awkward…
Suddenly all humor was gone. There were only wide eyes and pink-tinged cheeks.
Sango quickly considered her options. After all, Miroku-gazing was one of her favorite pastimes, but not so close. This was waaaaaay too obvious. He looked downright adorable right then—soaked, wide-eyed, almost confused, like a young child. Of course, she thought to herself, not moving anytime soon was perfectly acceptable. As long as he didn't do something stupid, like be himself…
If she had been able to read minds at that point, she would have known that the idea had, for once, not even crossed Miroku's mind. One of his hands was still in a near-death-grip on her wrist, and the other was on her shoulder; it had flown there involuntarily to steady her when his failed attempt at retribution had sent her falling into him. And, he noticed, though his mind was increasingly hazy, she was quite beautiful. Dampness, mud, and plants in her hair aside, she was stunning.
He was suddenly aware that his hand had moved from her shoulder up to the side of her face, and his thumb was tracing little patterns on the smooth, damp skin of her cheek. When in the world had that happened? And why in the world wasn't she pulling away or slapping him? In fact, her hands had finally untangled themselves from his sleeve, and one seemed to have found a nest on his shoulder.
Miroku made a mental note to have a little talk with himself about this sudden insubordination of his body. It wasn't listening to him anymore. It was moving with a mind of its own! Why? Like at that moment, for example. He was leaning towards her, and using the hand on her face to help aim.
Oh, he was going to get slapped…any second now…
Fortunately for Miroku, though, the object of his current (and full) attention was having almost the exact same thoughts, only they became a little more panicked when he touched her face. And it jumped to full-fledged freak-out when he started to move towards her. Was he going to…
Good gods, is this actually happening?!? Sango rational side was screeching at her, sending off flares and bells. But then her slightly more romantic side came barreling in, hogtied her rational side, and threw it out the proverbial window. In short, intelligent thought was told to take a hike.
Without even meaning to, she leaned a little closer…her eyes began to close of their own accord…
"What're you guys doing?!?"
The shrill shout made both of them jump—and before Miroku could even register who the voice belonged to, Sango was a good six feet away, all the way on the other side of the glorified puddle, looking flustered. He blinked owlishly. How in the name of the seven mad gods did she move that fast?
Shippou was sitting on the bank behind them, watching with wide eyes. "Kagome! Inuyasha! They're doing something I don't think they should be doing!!!" The kitsune whirled and darted back into the trees, shouting something along the lines of 'that shouldn't be done in public.' As the little fox-demon scampered off, monk and demon-slayer shot covert, embarrassed looks at each other, then both turned away.
"I-I'm sorry…" Miroku's voice trailed off. He'd never been so…well, he wasn't entirely sure what he felt at the moment. Embarrassed? Yes. Flustered? Yes. Exhilarated? Hell, yes. Some as-yet unnamed combination of those, mish-mashed together with a myriad of other things he couldn't even begin to identify. Since when did he feel that strongly?
"No, it was my fault…" Sango murmured, just loud enough for him to hear her. She was absolutely mortified, beyond humiliated. She wasn't sure if she'd ever be able to look him in the eye again without going bright red. But for that one second, she had been so sure…so very certain…she sank down a little lower in the water and sighed. For a long moment, there was only the sound of birds calling.
Then she heard the sound of water being displaced, and glanced back over her shoulder.
Miroku scrambled onto the bank and shivered a little. The water was colder than he'd thought, and he was feeling it now that he was back in the open air. But he turned and offered her a hand out of the water. "We should head back." For a moment, she simply looked at him, and he was about to withdraw his hand when she reached up and accepted it. And he helped her from the muddy confines of the puddle.
"Now the fun part," Miroku commented, looking down at himself. His robes were covered in mud and water-plants, and they were happily sticking to places that any self-respecting clothing should never stick to. "Getting Inuyasha to shut up…" He took a risk and glanced at Sango. Her kimono was drenched. Well, there was an image that would probably haunt some of his more interesting dreams for a while…
The four shoulder-deities were still watching from the trees nearby. And it wasn't lost on them that Miroku didn't let go of Sango's hand right away…
"Well, looks like we did something right," Angel-Sango sighed dreamily. Little hearts appeared in her eyes, and tiny bluebirds flew around her, holding a banner between them that read the word LOVE all decorated with flowers and ribbons and the like.
"But they didn't even kiss or anything!" Devil-Sango protested. "All they did was splash around! No kissing, no hot-and-heavy, nada! This sucks!" The happy little bluebirds disappeared with a pop—much to the disappointment of Angel-Miroku, who had been using his staff to try and catch one.
He recovered quickly, and remarked, "But it's a start, isn't it? They know the tension's there."
"Honestly," Devil-Sango rolled her eyes and turned away from the others—catching the ever-roving eye of Devil-Miroku. The evil charms of the demon-slayer's dark side hadn't been lost on yet another advocate of the night, and he was Miroku's shoulder-devil, after all.
I like big butts and I cannot lie… one dark eyebrow quirked as he took in the female devil's figure from the reverse view. This could be a lot of fun…indeed, it could…
All four stopped as another four fluttered over to join them. Two were dark-haired girls, one in what appeared to be a black catsuit with horns and a tail, and the other in a sparkling white kimono with a halo and wings. The other two were…well, one was Inuyasha with a halo and wings, and the other was Inuyasha with horns behind his ears.
The girl in white—Angel-Kagome—fluttered over. "We noticed what you did, and…well, we were wondering if maybe you could help us."
Devil-Kagome cut in. "It's not our fault if Dog Boy's stuck on some dead girl, but seriously…" She tossed her dark hair and swaggered over. "We're out of ideas, short of locking them in a room together and not letting them out until we hear some noises."
"But that's just her," Angel-Kagome interjected.
Devil-Sango nodded at that, then turned and looked at the two male newcomers. "Well, what about you two? What do you think about all this?"
"Feh, who cares?" Devil-Inuyasha rolled his eyes.
Angel-Inuyasha (whoo, is that an oxymoron or what?) simply pouted.
Angel-Miroku frowned. "What's wrong with you?"
"It's only recently that he started listening to me," Angel-Inuyasha (::giggle::) huffed.
Angel-Miroku nodded and put a hand on Angel-Inuyasha's shoulder. "I know that feeling."
Kagome's laughter continued to drift over to where the demon-slayer was trying valiantly to make herself presentable. Inuyasha was picking dirt out of his teeth; he had started to make a ribald comment, and had gotten an 'osuwari' for his troubles. But now the two soaked ones had separated from their friends to try and clean themselves up a little bit before they resumed their travels.
And the demon-slayer was not a happy camper.
"Kirara, what's gotten into you?!?" Sango demanded of her animal friend as she squeezed water out of her ponytail. It puddled on the ground, turning the dirt into mud. "What were you doing?" Not that Sango wasn't a hundred percent ungrateful, but she wasn't going to voice those particular thoughts.
The fire-cat looked up at her with, of all things, sad puppy-dog eyes, as innocent as could be. After all, she hadn't meant to knock them into the pond. Kirara's job technically had ended at looping Miroku's robe around Sango's knees so the two were stuck together. The plan had been for them to fall over, one on top of the other—and hopefully something would come from there. But just because the plan had gone a little awry was no reason for Sango to be so upset. So Kirara laid on her best innocent face.
"Oh, don't look at me like that!" Sango protested, throwing her wet hair back over her shoulder and huffing her shoulders in exasperation. "What? The devil made you do it?"
AN: Yay! It's finally done!! Kat-chan, you can put that stick down now, I wrote the fic you wanted. This was fun—for some reason, I really liked writing Sango's shoulder-devil. She's just bad, ya know? I love this whole concept, and I like Miroku and Sango, so it works well.
This ended up being very silly, but I had a good time with it, and I hope you did too. Thanks for reading!