AN: Drabble challenge from Morbidity. (Go read her stuff, people.) This didn't come out right at all how I wanted. But again, it was a spur of the moment, so I didn't have anything I was really planning out. Their's actually more Miroku/Sango interaction in this one then anything else, but trust me, it's Nar/San. Sorta.
Note: Canon. Sango-centric. NarakuSango. And he makes her forget.
She stands alone in the field, her companions having already retired foolishly to lick their wounds and wait in false security. The ground beneath her feet is littered with charred flesh, bones and remnants of ash swept up by a defiant wind. Above her, the sky is grey with uncertainty, stained black by night and a dark promise. Tall and alert, she heft's Hiraikotsu higher on her shoulder, ignoring the burning pain coursing through her worn body, ignoring the worming slip of warmth dripping red from her wounds. Her sword is unsheathed, flashing dully beneath it's coat of black blood, and she waits warily, eyes caste before her.
Footsteps sound behind her, but she knows who it is, so she does not turn. He does not understand, so she does not bother.
"Sango." The absent sound of clinking beads is suddenly very obvious to her, and just as suddenly she realizes she is disappointed in him.
He is hesitant. "Sango…he is gone."
Her back stiffens, her face twisting bitterly. She clenches her dead brother's old sword, turns, her eyes instantly darting to his bare, whole, hand.
He can take off his rosary beads and forget so easily, but Sango has scars etched so deep that she will never (can never) run and hide.
"I'm no coward." She whispers fiercely, defiantly. Naraku never succumbs to anything, least of all death.
When Miroku's right hand unconsciously clenches, she knows she has hit a soft spot. So when he takes her by the shoulder and leads her off the battlefield, teeth gritted, she is oddly pleased and doesn't protest.
"Sango, your being ridiculous. He's gone."
His hand, his now hole-less hand, grips her shoulder tightly. She pauses by the door, sword by her side, staring into the night before her. Beyond the fading light of the fire, beyond the shadows of trees, she knows he awaits, shrouded in his mystery, his darkness and his own cruel amusement. He is out there, waiting for her, mocking her.
She doesn't look at Miroku. "I'll back in awhile."
When she steals into the night, she feels guilty, remembering Miroku's pained face, his hurt eyes.
But when she turns to her task ahead, thinks of Naraku, thinks of how she will kill him, (painful and slow, torturously slow)
They lay on the floor of their home, wrapped around each other. She treasures these moments, knows he treasures them more.
Because for a moment, she is finally, truly his, and no man dead or otherwise can take her.
"Sango, please forget him," he says suddenly. His arms tighten around her bare back, his voice raw and broken. "Sango please forget him."
She stiffens in his warmth. Why now, why now of all times? "Miroku—"
"No Sango, please. Just…please. For me?"
She pauses, draws in a ragged breath, stares out the lone window above them and up into the sky. The moon stares back at her, a red eye in a dark face, and she trembles, her scar pulsing.
She doesn't answer. When Miroku's arms unwind around her and he turns away, leaving her cold, she cries silently.
When she wakes up early the next day, preparing to go out and search again, he doesn't stop her.
"Do you love him more then me?
She blinks, stares at him, surprised, incredulous. What? "Of course not. I hate him more then you."
Miroku's gaze is unreadable as he stares at her and she can't see his thoughts. When he turns his back to her, walking out of their home, she feels confused.
And somehow, for some reason,
"Sango." His voice is despairing and hinged with some naked truth that he doesn't dare say aloud. Surrender, maybe. Or maybe, resentment? She can't tell, and she doesn't really want to either. Her guilt is already great, already painful, because how could she do this to him, how could she hurt him so, how could she let his enemy win once again?
Sango stares forward, at the winding path, at her chosen future lain clearly before her. She knows. She is ashamed, but knows. She isn't Kagome, she is Sango. And Sango never, never forgets.
Oh Kohaku, I will kill him. I promise I will kill him.
"Miroku," she whispers. "I never break my promises."
He doesn't argue with her, because he has long since realized she won't listen. ("He's dead, Sango!" "…") Instead, he stares at her face, her avoiding eyes, his expression unreadable.
"…But what about the promise you made me?"
She is silent for a moment, trembling, before she turns to him, wraps her arms around him like he's always wanted. When he leans down to kiss her, she responds to him, kisses him back before mumbling against his mouth.
"I'll come back."
She intends to keep her promise, but she knows it won't happen.
She doesn't promise her return, because both of them know he won't wait.
She stands on the outskirts of the village, watching the children frolic and play in the dusty streets. Her eyes are strangely watery as she stares at one particular boy, his black hair mussed and blue eyes laughing as he tumbles with another child. Far ahead, down a grassy hill, a familiar path rises, a familiar little quaint hut with a lone window facing west. And in the distance, she sees people, she sees figures, she sees blue robes and a stranger.
She hadn't needed to return, she hadn't promised to return, but she did because she is Sango, and Sango never, never, forgets.
She smiles, watery, bitterly, and unclasps her sword, letting it fall to the ground with a thump. The sound catches the attention of the small group of children, and curiously, quietly, they approach her. The little black-haired boy stares at her weapon, steps closer, his brow furrowed.
"What's that?" She kneels down, reaching out and taking the boy's hand.
"It's…" she hesitates. "…it's your fathers."
"Really?" His eyes shine.
She nods. "Yes. A gift. Can you give it to him for me?" Picking it up carefully, she holds it out. With a grin, the little boy's head bobs eagerly and he wraps his arms around the sword awkwardly. Adorable. With an amused chuckle, she stands up and pats the boy on the head before turning away to leave.
"Are you coming back?"
Sango freezes. Slowly, she turns her head, gazes over her shoulder to stare at the small group of children, eyes fixated once more on the boy.
When he tilts his head, his blue eyes innocent and curious, Sango finally lets the tears fall. She smiles. In the distance, she sees blue eyes, those blue eyes she once loved (loves, still sometimes thinks about). She sees a houshi's figure, sees his hand clasped around a stranger, a woman. She shakes her head.
"No," she says softly. She turns away and sprints down the path, tears falling in pattern behind her.
"Goodbye, houshi-sama." Sango whispers.
She pretends she doesn't hear her name being called on the wind as she runs like a coward and never looks back.
"You went to see him, didn't you?" His voice is soft, unnaturally so.
She stops in front of him, out of breath, only nods in response, unable to speak. Her face glimmers, wet with tears and sweat, and he moves closer, his hand brushing against her face. When she closes her eyes, breathing deeply, he smiles darkly.
"But you came back," he says musingly, amusedly, "because you love me more."
Sango's eyes snap open, and she pulls away. Her face is twisted, angry, bitter. "I hate you more." She whispers, fiercely.
When he laughs, his red eyes glinting in the darkness, her heart jerks painfully, bleeds from scars etched too deeply in her soul to heal. "But that is just formality, that doesn't really matter." he says cruelly, slithering towards her, tracing the contour of her cheek. "It was always me, I was always more, because you never killed me."
In the distance, Sango imagines she sees a figure of a small boy with black hair, with blue eyes and freckles holding a taiji-ya's sword and a promise that she never quite fulfilled. Suddenly, despairingly, she realizes that she forgot.
Oh Kohaku, I have failed you all.
She turns to Naraku, filled with guilt and pain, misery. When he kisses her, dark and cruel and full of hate, (not like Miroku)
she thinks of nothing