Disclaimer: I'm jus' playin' with 'em. (hiccup)

Author's note 1: The inspiration for this story came from Parts 10 and 11 of Missy Pennington's "TempestX," an X-Files fanfic I read a few years ago. Yes, I was an M/S 'shipper when it stood for Mulder/Scully. How ironic that I'm now on the Miroku/Sango 'ship. But I do think the relationships have a lot in common (smart, somewhat perverted man obviously in love with the driven, successful female, etc.). So, if you're into Mulder/Scully, Ms. Pennington's story is one of the absolute best, most suspenseful, funniest out there. And while I worked hard not to steal her ideas, I wanted to try and attempt the funny she did. And the very fact I have to inform you that this is a comedy is probably not a good thing.

Slight warning: Sango gets very drunk in this fic (very OOC, I know, shrug). I am not, in any way, advocating that anyone drink alcohol. I do have my own opinions about the arbitrary nature of using age as the deciding factor in the legality of alcohol consumption. But I take the South Park stance that "There's a time and a place for everything: It's called college." But, hey, I'm definitely not one who should be throwing stones. Make your own decisions and live with your own consequences. And don't drink and drive. And always wear clean underwear. And don't forget to tip your waitress.

Suggested Mood Music: Barenaked Ladies "Alcohol."

In Vino Veritas

By Starzki

Miroku wasn't sure how he got into that particular situation. It was decided by everyone that he go in search of Sango when she didn't return to the house that he had so recently "exorcized." She had been angry to discover him flirting with the master of the house's attractive daughter and had stormed out muttering about needing some air without even bothering to change back into her yukata from her demon-hunting attire. And now the hour was late and while he wasn't exactly worried, Sango could handle herself, he was curious as to what could be taking her so long to return.

He should have been worried.

Sango had found the village's tavern and discovered that she didn't mind the taste of certain alcoholic beverages. Miroku had only ducked his head into the tavern with the half-hearted hope of seeing a village beauty to take mental note of before finding where Sango really was and escorting her back home. However, the sight of Sango standing on a table, head thrown back, and gulping down a drink while surrounded by a dozen or more hungry- and rough-looking men was probably the last thing he expected to see.

Sango finished the drink with a flourish, gasped for air, then gave a wholly unladylike burp, causing the men surrounding her to cheer and applaud in response. Miroku's eyes widened and mouth dropped open in absolute shock.

As Sango was taking her bow, her eyes locked with Miroku's. After a look the monk read as temporary confusion, Sango's face lit up into the widest smile that he had ever seen her give.

"Hey, Houshi-sa—Whoops!" she called out, beginning to wave and step toward him, quickly losing balance on the slanted table in her inebriated state. She tumbled, but was easily caught by one of the burly men in her audience. He righted her on her feet on the ground, but his hands stayed around her waist. Her hair had fallen from its normal ponytail she wore while in her demon-slayer clothing. That huge villager was lightly playing with the bottom of her tresses as he continued to hold Sango and she was doing nothing to break the contact between them.

Miroku was instantly concerned and angry and was at Sango's side in three long strides. "Come on, Sango. Let's get you out of here," he said quietly, staring down all of the men who were quickly becoming wary of him. Miroku moved to take her wrist and pull her away, but she began to make grand gestures with her hands and slur her introductions.

"Houshi-sama! Meet all of my new frien's. This is…" she peered closely at the man who was still holding her, her eyes glassy and unfocused. "Atsushi?"

"Wataru," the man corrected.

"Tha's what I meant to say," Sango replied brightly with a stunning smile, pointing at the man's nose. "Atsushi, this is my frien', Houshi-sama."

Miroku was at last successful in capturing one of Sango's waving hands and managed to pull her free of the surly-looking villager. "Is this the houshi you said grabs you all the time?" the large man asked Sango.

Sango's droopy eyes lit up as she prepared to assent, but Miroku jumped in. "No, that's the other monk in our travel party. I've just been sent to make sure she gets back home safe and sound."

Wataru and the other men all eyed Miroku suspiciously and looked to Sango to judge her reaction. However, she was momentarily too fascinated by the bow tied in Miroku's kesa to follow the conversation.

"Thank you very much, gentlemen, for looking after Sango, but we must be going now," Miroku said with as much respect and humility as he could muster. He was disgusted that these men would try and take advantage of a drunken young woman, but he also realized that if they knew he was the handsy monk Sango must have been going on about, he might not leave the tavern with all of his appendages. "I'll just make sure she gets to her friends in one piece. Okay, Sango?"

Sango snapped back to semi-sobriety when she heard her name and looked to be recognizing Miroku for the first time that night all over again. "Houshi-sama! Have you met my new frien' Atsushi?"

"Say 'yes,'" Miroku hissed at her through gritted teeth as the villagers began following the monk's slow retreat from the tavern.

"Okay," Sango chirped. "Yes. I'm a-goin' with him," she announced to the group. "It was nice meetin' all of you!" she waved as Miroku dragged her out of the door accompanied by groans of disappointment from her would-be suitors.

Miroku walked quickly away from the tavern and Sango, unbalanced as she was, tripped several times in trying to keep up. Miroku was livid. Didn't Sango know what a dangerous situation she was putting herself in? He felt the sour need to lecture her.

"Just what do you think you were doing in there, Sango?"

Sango stopped trying to keep up and with a burst of effort, tore her arm away from Miroku. "Lemme go, Houshi-sama! I knew what I was doin'!" But the alcohol in her system prevented her from any real anger as her mood turned happy once again. "I was makin' frien's with my new frien's back there. You know, I didn't have to buy one drink. Not one! My new frien's bought 'em all for me!"

Miroku was still to upset at the potential for hurt that Sango had just escaped. "They weren't buying you those drinks because they're your new friends," he began.

Sango waved him off, immediately catching his drift. "Oh, you think you know soooo much, Houshi-sama. You think you're too smart an' that I'm soooo innocen'. Well, I'll have you know that I know exactly…" she had been waving a pointed finger back and forth precariously between them as she lectured back at the monk before she lost her train of thought. She stared off into space, dropping her arms to her sides, her expression going vacant and sleepy.

Miroku squinted at Sango, waiting for her to finish. "Sango?" he finally said, gripping her shoulders and giving her a little shake to help wake her up.

Sango perked back up and resumed her train of thought. "Sex!" she exclaimed.

Miroku swallowed, not quite following her line of thinking, but liking where the subject was going. "Sex?"

"Tha's right, Houshi-sama. They all wanted to have sex with me!" she yelled, hissing out a loud whisper on the word 'sex.' "The whole lot of 'em," she emphasized with a wave of her arm.

Miroku didn't have an actual answer to that. Sango had managed to steal his thunder. Also, the relief at getting her away from the pack of males was sinking in. He realized there were worse things than being an escort to a lovely inebriated young woman who was obviously a very happy drunk.

"Yep," continued Sango as she shook free of Miroku's grasp and took a few tottering steps on her own. "They wanted to get with me. Sex, sex, sex. One of 'em even as'ed me to come out to his house 'cause he had to 'show me som'in'."

Miroku's blood ran thin at Sango's statement and he was glad he didn't know which one had asked her because he felt the need to punch him even if the offensive man had a hundred of his friends standing behind him.

But Sango continued, "But you know what I tol' 'im? I tol' 'im 'No!' is what I tol' 'im!" Miroku breathed a silent sigh of relief. "I'm not gonna go have sex with some stranger just 'cause I've been drinkin' a 'lil bit."

"That's good Sango," said Miroku, lacking any other response.

Sango kept talking. "Cause you know som'in', Houshi-sama?" She waited patiently for him to answer.

"What?" he asked finally.

She stopped walking and grabbed his hand, causing him to stop walking, too. She got very close to him, looking him straight in the eyes with a fierce intensity. "I never done it before," she whispered somberly, nodding slightly.

Miroku wasn't exactly shocked at this news, but Sango's nearness and intense look rendered him speechless. All he could do was nod and stare back at her dark eyes.

Almost at once, Sango's eyes regained their glassy shine and droopy lids as she smiled crookedly at him and shrugged her shoulders and continued to walk.

"But you know what else, Houshi-sama?" she continued.

I'm almost afraid to ask, thought Miroku, but decided to risk it anyway. "What else, Sango?"

She turned to him and straightened to her full height and gave him a proud look. "I bet I'd be good at it." Standing still was a little more difficult for Sango than walking. She was beginning to sway and her eyes were darting around her quickly to help maintain her balance.

Miroku had no doubt about Sango's assertion but couldn't help himself from asking, "What makes you think that?"

"Oh, I dunno," Sango said lightly. She resumed walking, almost gliding over the earth with the natural grace she had that even several drinks couldn't steal from her. "I'm really bendy. I dunno why bein' flexible would help. But I am. Really, really flexible." Then she turned to face the monk, brought her foot up, caught it in one of her hands and extended both straight and high up over her head.

Miroku was speechless for not the first nor the last time that night at her antics. She had not been lying about being very flexible. Normally, extremely drunk women were somewhat of a turn-off for him. They usually became sloppy, loud, and annoying. But this was Sango, who could never be unattractive in his eyes. And her showing off just how flexible she was while talking about sex was taking his already-perverted mind into very dangerous areas.

Sango began to sway greatly and Miroku stepped toward her to help catch her if she needed him. Instead, she dropped her foot and it fell back toward the ground, catching Miroku right in the fleshy part of his left shoulder on its way down, painfully bruising the muscle. He refused to cry out, but he dropped to one knee and held the injured shoulder with his right hand, trying to steady his breathing.

Sango, oblivious, said, "Hey, Houshi-sama? Wha'cha doin' down there? Whoops!" Then, even standing perfectly still on both of her legs, she stumbled to the ground in front of him.

Miroku groaned and rose to his feet, helping Sango to hers as well. Sango kept talking. "Didja see that! I fell down right there!" She turned to point at the ground they had just started walking away from. Miroku grabbed her arm and pulled her back toward the path, biting his tongue as his sore shoulder screamed at the movement. Getting Sango to do go anywhere while she was drunk was like herding cats.

"Now what was I sayin'?" continued Sango. "Oh, yeah! Sex!"

Then, Miroku mused that he could take all the injuries in the world to hear Sango keep expounding on sex.

"What about sex?" prodded Miroku.

"You know who I wanna have sex with, Houshi-sama?" questioned Sango. "Guess," she dared him.

Miroku would do no such thing. If it wasn't him, he didn't want to know. If he guessed himself and she said no, he'd be crushed. But Sango didn't wait for him to answer before she kept talking.

"Aww. You'd never guess, anyway." Sango suddenly stopped, concentrated, then burped loudly. "Blah. Pardon me," she said. "Anyway, I'd have sex with 'im in a second, jus' like that," and she unsuccessfully attempted to snap her fingers. "But he hasn't looked at me twice."

"I bet he has," offered Miroku, still dreading finding out who she was talking about.

Sango gave Miroku a sly, friendly look. "Aww, Houshi-sama," she swatted his arm playfully. "Yer susha good frien'. But he hasn't. Not twice. It's Sesh-humanu. Sesh-manumanu. Seshhhhh… The brother!"

Miroku's stomach dropped and he felt oddly like crying. "Sesshoumaru?" he asked, wincing.

"Tha's him! You guessed it!" Sango replied gleefully. "Yep. I'd sleep with 'im in a hear'beat." She clasped her hands together and brought them to her heart, giving the monk a dreamy look. "He's preeetty. But you can also tell he's really strong. He's, like, perfect. If he ever said 'Hey, Sango,' I'd be on my back in a second. In a second!" And to demonstrate, Sango dramatically collapsed to the ground and turned over onto her back, looking up at Miroku with a hungry, seductive expression.

Miroku looked back down at her with a torrent of emotions going on inside of him. Disappointment, sadness, guilt, and anger all vied for the top position in his mind as he looked forlornly back down at the prostrate demon slayer.

Sango held his serious eyes for another beat, then curled up and began to giggle like mad. "You should see yer face, Houshi-sama! I was jus' kidding!" she breathed through her hiccupping laughs.

She pulled herself back onto her feet and tried to stifle her laughter without any success. "No, silly Houshi-sama! I don' like Sesh-snomanu, whassisname." Miroku breathed a sigh that was half frustration and half relief. He did not like being on the receiving end of teasing.

They continued walking and Sango managed to get her giggles under control. And just when Miroku thought how nice it was to have some silence from her, Sango said, "But I do like Inyu-asha," and exploded into giggles once again.

She laughed until she doubled over and dropped to her hands and knees. "Did you hear what I said? I called him Inyu-asha! He's not Inyu-asha. What I meant to say was 'But I do like Inyu-asha.'" And with that, she continued to laugh until she was breathless.

Miroku looked at the practically convulsing young woman and had the urge to join into her laughter. It was so rare to hear her laugh or see her smile that he just enjoyed the sight for a few more seconds before pulling Sango back to her feet.

When Sango stood and saw Miroku smiling gently at her, Sango pushed her disheveled hair out of her face and stopped giggling. A completely serious look settled into her features as she leaned into Miroku, giving him a profound look. "Don' worry, Houshi-sama," she said in a low and husky voice that was still alluring, even with the slurring. "They're not my type. I wouldn' sleep with either of 'em." She held his eyes for a few seconds more, as if to let what she didn't say sink in.

"Oh no?" challenged Miroku, "Then who…"

But Miroku stopped asking. They had just come to a bridge crossing a wide stream. He would be sure to pick up on the conversation later. But for now, just getting Sango, who couldn't balance standing still on a steady ground, over the wooden bridge without her falling in would take all of his concentration.

Sango noticed the bridge and bounded up the four steps to the leveled walkway ahead of the monk. Miroku tried to keep up, but Sango was enjoying the sound of her footfalls on the wooden surface. She turned and gave a beautiful smile to Miroku.

"We had a bridge jus' like this in my village at home!" she exclaimed. "You know what my dad would have me do?"

Uh-oh, thought Miroku as he rushed to catch her before she did something dangerous. He was too late.

Sango proceeded to hop lightly up onto the railing of the bridge and balance on her left foot, her right extended out behind her, her arms out like wings as she bent forward without the slightest waver. Miroku felt instantly concerned for her safety and reached up to help her down. While a fall twelve feet into the creek below probably wouldn't cause serious injury, it could definitely hurt her.

Sango's eyes were closed and didn't see the monk rushing to pull her down from her precarious perch on the railing. Instead, she kicked her right foot from behind her down and into a graceful arc over her head. The rest of her body followed as she spun around in the air, hands briefly supporting her weight on the railing as she back-flipped once, twice, kicked out, and landed on her left foot in a similar position to how she started.

Miroku had followed each move with worried eyes, with his heart pounding, sure with each passing second that Sango would misstep and fall. When she beamed down at him with a proud smile, still perfectly balanced, he felt the sensation returning to his legs, which had turned inexplicably leaden at her exploits.

"Sango, get down here, now!" he ordered.

She looked slightly hurt at the lack of applause. "I was jus' goin' to, Houshi-sama," she lectured. Then the bright smile returned. "Big finish! Dismount!" she announced.

"No!" exclaimed Miroku, but it was too late. Sango kicked out, jumped high into the air twisting her body around, curling into a tuck, and somersaulting like poetry personified before landing lightly, without hop, directly in the middle of the bridge in front of Miroku, whose heart had neglected to beat all through the aerobatics. When she had landed safely, his heart pounded extra hard to make up for lost time and hurt enough to rob him of his voice.

"Ta da!" she sang, making a low bow to the monk. She straightened and walked backward as Miroku walked toward her. "The balance beam was part of my trainin'," she explained. "Demon hunners haveta display grace and balance as a part of our discipline. We haveta be sure-footed as mountain goa's to survive. We haveta…"

"Watch where you're going!" finished Miroku as Sango promptly disappeared from his view as tumbled down the stairs that lead to the ground on the other side of the bridge.

Miroku sprinted to the end of the bridge to see Sango crumpled at the bottom of the steps. She had drawn up her knees under her. She was face down, arms sprawled, hair fanned out in all directions over the ground. She was making high-pitched hitching noises and her shoulders were shaking.

Miroku was instantly concerned. Sango looked like she was crying. He rushed down the stairs and gently turned Sango over so that she could face him. Her face was dirty and tearstained. Miroku brought his hands to her face to wipe away some of the grime and tears when he realized that she was just laughing soundlessly. She was positively crying with laughter. When Sango looked at Miroku's reaction, her gales of laughter became audible and she doubled over again, shuddering with laughter.

"I fell down!" she explained. Then she then demonstrated with her hands, rolling them over one another then clapping them hard. "Bloompy, bloompy, bam!" More tears fell as she resumed laughing into hiccups.

Miroku's mouth hung open in shock and slight anger over worrying for nothing. "Come on, Sango. On your feet. Let's get back." He pulled the tipsy Sango up, her eyes again were unfocused and she wobbled on her feet, losing her balance and falling into Miroku's arms. He caught her, at once taken aback by her nearness. Sango looked up at him through her thick eyelashes.

"Now, you're a handsome fella," she slurred huskily. "Wha's yer name?"

"All right Sango, if I don't get you back soon and we show up with you like this, I'm going to get it from both Kagome and Inuyasha. So come on."

"You remine me of that houshi," Sango continued.

Miroku froze. Sango really didn't recognize him. Now, this situation had real potential. He figured he was as close to sainthood as he could be, not taking physical advantage of the beautiful woman as she was literally throwing herself at him. He might as well get something out of the situation. As talky and friendly as she was being, maybe he could learn some things about her. Worry about his other friends' retribution for the drunk Sango took second priority to having a little fun with Sango. But first he wanted to make sure she was okay.

"Did you hit your head on the way down when you fell?"

The reminder of her tumble made Sango laugh again, demonstrating with her hands the fall a second time. "Splat!" she finished triumphantly.

"Yes, but did you hit your head?"

She giggled and shrugged her shoulders. "How would I know?"

"Does it hurt?"

"Nothing hurts. I can't even feel this," she said as she began to poke various spots on her face. "Hey, you know who you remine me of?"

"Well, you said something about a houshi before," Miroku reminded her, glad to be back on the subject of him.

"Oh! Tha's right! That damned houshi!"

Uh-oh, Miroku thought. Maybe I shouldn't have brought it back up. Making up his mind to just get Sango back, he grabbed her elbow and began trying to escort her down the path.

"That damned houshi!" Sango continued, sounding irate. She whispered loudly into Miroku's ear, "He's always grabbing my ass."

"I see," said Miroku.

"All the time! Like it's his hobby! Just ass-grabby all the time, all the time."

"Maybe he just appreciates your fine form."

Sango stopped. Then twisted around in an attempt to get a look at her rear end for herself. She turned in a circle and nearly fell as a result. Finally, she sighed in frustration. "I guess my ass is all right. It's okay."

It's more than okay, thought Miroku, but decided to keep that observation to himself.

But Sango continued. "If that damned houshi wants to grab a nice ass he should just turn around and grab his own. Tha's what I think." And with that, Sango demonstrated by reaching around and grabbing a handful of each of her cheeks with each of her hands. "Yep. That houshi has a fine set of buttocks on him. He thinks he hides it sooo well unner all those robes, but I can tell." Sango was more talking to herself than to Miroku as she continued. "Sometimes I think I'll jus' go spy on him, inna hot spring. He's always spyin' on me. Turnabout's fair play, right?" She looked to Miroku for confirmation.

He couldn't stop his grin. "Sure. It's only fair." He had the sudden desire to laugh maniacally. Miroku was fairly certain that Sango would remember absolutely nothing of this night, but he wondered if by agreeing with her, she wouldn't someday act on the temptation she had just confessed to having. And he definitely wanted to be there for that.

Sango stopped walking again and looked very hard at Miroku. "Hey, you know who you remine me of?" she asked again.

Miroku sighed. With all of his emotional ups and downs, the night had been exhausting and he was ready to sleep. They had almost made it all the way back to the house. However, it would be a while before they would actually go in and get some sleep because the next words out of Sango's mouth were, "Houshi-sama?" Apparently she had recognized him for who he was, again. "I don' feel so good." Her complexion turned green and she gave a few wet little burps.

Miroku knew what was coming next. He hurried her off the path and to a bushy area on the outskirts of the nearby forest. Sango dropped to her knees, holding her stomach. Miroku pulled her hair out of her face just as she started sicking up all of the alcohol she had consumed that night. Which was a lot.

In between bouts of retching, Sango would moan mightily as Miroku rubbed her back in a way meant to be consoling. Sango barely noticed. Nearly a half an hour later, sweaty and shaky, she acknowledged his presence by announcing, "Houshi-sama, I promise on my life that I'll never drink again if I stop throwing up. I promise." And then, she promptly threw up again.

Fifteen minutes later, when Sango was spent and lying motionless in the long grass and Miroku was trying to avoid looking at the mess she had just made, he managed to catch a glimpse of Inuyasha traveling down the path to the village, probably looking for them.

"Inuyasha!" Miroku called.

"Shh. Shaddup," moaned Sango from the ground without stirring.

"Where have you two been?" called Inuyasha, stomping off the path toward the pair. "And what did you do to Sango?" Inuyasha looked completely irate and his hand was gravitating toward his sword.

Sango moaned again. "Houshi-sama din't do anything," she mumbled to Miroku's relief. "I did this to myself and I promise I'll never, never, never do it again. Now, go away Inyu-asha."

Inuyasha gave Sango a disgusted look and turned to Miroku, slightly confused.

"I'll make sure she gets in okay," Miroku promised. "We'll be back in just a few minutes."

Inuyasha nodded his head warily and Miroku gave him a tired look and shrugged his shoulders. The exchange, if verbalized would have gone: Inuyasha: I'm not so sure about trusting drunk Sango to you, lecher, but I'm going to. Miroku: You have no idea what I've already been through, so shut it. What else are we going to do anyway?

Inuyasha left while mumbling something about stupid humans and their bizarre masochistic tendencies.

After a few more minutes without Sango throwing up any more, Miroku, thoroughly exhausted by the night's events, shuffled over to Sango and tried to hoist her to her feet.

"No," she moaned again. "Jus' let me die here."

"You're not going to die, Sango," he chided her softly as he turned her over onto her back. "You'll just wish you had, tomorrow. We need to get you back so you can drink some water or you'll get really dehydrated." He gently brushed her hair from her face and smoothed it down. He used his robes to help dry the sweat on her hairline and clean up her face. Despite looking as pale and haggard as he'd ever seen her, she was still the most gorgeous woman around.

He scooped her up, one arm under her knees and the other around her shoulders and began to carry her back to the house. Sango gave a deep sigh, closed her eyes, and instinctively snuggled into Miroku's chest.

She felt so light and warm that Miroku didn't mind having to carry her back. And when Sango began to rub her face against the fabric on his chest, he smiled down at the semi-conscious woman in his arms and remembered their unfinished conversation from before.

"Hey, Sango, you never said who you wanted to sleep with."

"Mmm," Sango groaned without opening her eyes. "Not ready," she mumbled.

"I didn't mean now. I meant eventually."

"Oh," she yawned. "You mean who I'll want to sleep with, when the time is right and when I'm ready."


She sighed. "Yeah, I know who I want it to be."

Miroku couldn't stop himself from asking the question. "Who?"

Sango didn't answer, but she brought up her arms and hugged Miroku's chest tightly, pressing her sleeping self even closer to the smiling monk. Even though the night had felt like one disaster after another, with Miroku coming out with a bruised and aching shoulder and a slightly injured ego, he decided that Sango's drunkenness was not the worst thing he'd experienced.


A/N 2: In Vino Veritas is Latin (I think) for In Wine, Truth. Basically, the idea is that people are more truthful when their inhibitions are lowered. Thankfully, this is my last real story idea that went anywhere. Now, maybe, I can get some schoolwork and workwork done. We'll see. I think my muse was a gangbanger in her previous life because she tends to do these drive-by story inspirations that come out of nowhere and leave me frightened, confused, and with something in my head that I just have to get out. So, I'm done writing for a little while (as far as I know).

(I just read on Aprill May's bio page that she's doing a drunk character fic in the future. Hers will be much better, so keep your eyes out for that one.)

This was my little attempt at comedy (with a little fluff thrown in). And I can't seem to stop writing up the cliché stories. I promise not to do any more (comedy or cliché). I'm the worst at being able to tell what people will like. Did anyone find this funny at all?