A/N: Quickedit ate my hyphens and dashes. So if any are missing, that is why. Okay, I've tried to fix it the best I can. The author is not in her happy place.
"If you wouldn't have to suffer anymore, then it is worth it. "
One more time meant death.
Insects. Those stupid, fucking insects.
"You never do grow immune to it, do you?" She frowns and looks away, or he thinks she does.
He sweats, and closes his eyes.
" - take this anymore."
"What can be - "
" - don't want him to hurt -"
"- can't stop that from happening!"
"Find them -"
" - no cure!"
"I'll find it!"
Then she is back and kneeling beside him, tracing a spiral in his palm that begins at the edge of his hand and ends in the centre.
Where the life line should be.
One more time means death.
Walking between towns, she sees one hovering in the air.
Before all the others even hear the buzz of wings, she slices them off, and they are fluttering to the ground.
'Pitiful,' she thinks. 'That something like this could harm houshi-sama so.'
Then she leaves it flailing, unable to fly.
Walking between towns, she hears another one buzz.
Some don't notice at all, some move forward; all are silent.
This one, she slices in half.
Walking between towns, she can feel this one and see yellow among the trees.
Her weapon circles, and the others move forward. "Sango's target practice," they joke.
But he hangs back, and watches her.
She kicks it, screams at it, drives her sword down and pierces the spot between two tiny red eyes, and again, through the abdomen where the poison lies.
In the forest between towns, he can hear something.
Then, when she is sleeping, something pinches her neck.
He wonders later, watching the moon, her dry coughs in the back of his mind, why.
Maybe because she smells like summer flowers. Because she wears pink and white and green, and is pretty; the kind of pretty you want to hurt to make sure it is earthly.
And when that prettiness is in despair and sorrow, it is the saddest, most beautiful thing in the world.
She makes a mistake that evening. She swats instead of evading.
He brushes his thumb over her swollen eyelids and she slaps his hand away and scratches.
Two moons and three suns and the puncture wound remains. It is a perfectly round circle on a place of her neck he fantasizes about kissing.
He runs his fingers over the little wound, over the swelling skin surrounding it, and decides it is his fault.
This time, on the outskirts of the village he arrives in time to see her stomping on its body, to hear the exoskeleton crunch beneath her feet. When it is twitching and half-dead and helpless, she asks it to help her.
Naraku's sent, made, commissioned another evil to fight them. They knew because they came with the monstrous demon.
Maybe his new plan was to addict them to killing.
Inwardly, he thinks that plan worked well on Sango.
Out of the corner of her eye, she sees him push up his sleeve.
She screams at him, both ways, not to be a hero and pushes him to the ground. He argues, so she steps on his wrist.
They receive their order.
She's killed them before, and enjoyed it. She'll kill more.
Kill them all.
Then they'll stop -
- hurting -
It's worse now; he can tell because sometimes she stops breathing. Then he breathes into her mouth, and he doesn't enjoy it because she tastes of toxins.
It doesn't help because he too, has drawn them in.
He's better now, and she isn't. Now she is vomiting every few days, and there are rashes on her body. He makes a paste with white powder and water and spreads it on the punctures twice a day.
"That was a foolish thing to do," he says softly. That poison is made for him.
"You do it all the time," she replies. Her throat is dry.
"One more time is death."
"You always say that."
When she doesn't answer, he breathes into her.
She is outside running, and it angers him. When he chases her, she falls.
"That won't make it better," he lectures.
"Pointing out the obvious or running?"
She looks up at him and smiles wryly. "I saw one. It got away when I fell."
Two suns and he worries in the dusk. Now, there is a fever, still, there is vomiting, and her breathing is irregular, refuses to be anything but.
And every day, he finds her collapsed in the fields outside.
"You're getting worse," he is tired of saying.
"But you're better," she sighs, content.
She taps his wrist. "Hold out your hands."
When he looks at his palm, he sees two papery wings.
"Killed another one," she tells him proudly.
"You won't kill all of them," he tries to remind her. "He'll just make more."
Her face falls.
He sees the old woman leaving the hut with a cup of blood in her hands and a bit of steam fading into the air.
"Is that all? All of the poison?" he demands.
She shakes her head; she doesn't know. That girl, that taijiya in the hut, squeezing out her blood and surrounded by exoskeletons and papery, translucent wings.
"Make an antidote! Make him an antidote!"
"It's not that simple "
"You're a miko! You know how! I'll get more poison, would more poison help?"
More poison can only poison more.
That boy sitting alone while she slept, holding two wings between his fingers.
"Why doesn't she get better?"
"She doesn't rest."
"Why doesn't she rest? She knows she has to, but she's always outside, running, killing, like it's a rather exciting game."
The old miko thinks that they are both very childish.
There is a cloud in the sky shaped like a butterfly when the demon attacks.
She is the first one on the field. That upsets him.
"Are there any here?"
He shouts across the distance. "Take care of the demon first!"
She already spots them, hovering, ever so ominously in the air.
"You take care of the demon!" she yells back. "I'll take . . .I'll take care of . . ."
Hiraikotsu rotates once, clatters to the ground, and brings up dust. She follows.
"Was I stung?" she asks wearily. Still, there is that fire in her eyes. She wants to kill more. She wants an antidote. She wants them, to stop hurting him.
He nods, and hopes she doesn't see the sweat, the pain, the numbing in his limbs.
"Did you absorb any?" she says.
He shakes his head no.
She stops breathing and he wonders if it would be wise to give her air. His bottom lip shakes and parches and he puts the top and bottom lips together all over her face, but he never breathes into her mouth.
Poison made especially for him.
What a joke.
He always got better. No matter what, give him time and tea and Sango and he'd be better.
The void is endless. The poison was meant for him, perhaps strong enough to seep through the walls of the tunnel and into his body.
But what if the body containing the poison was small and brittle? What if it wasn't an endless chasm, but a filled space of flesh and blood?
The poison disappears in him, but saturates her. Soon she'd bleed poison.
She opens her swollen eyes and asks him one thing.
"You think they live in hives?"
He only says one thing as well.
"Worry about your own."
In the village along the path, she finds him resting alone.
"You absorbed them. You liar."
She, or the part of her present, stares down at him and drops to her knees, then tugs his arm onto her lap.
He tries to make the weakness strength. It worked with the void, why not this?
"I don't feel ill."
"Yes you do," she finishes for him. "This stops now."
One more time -
Tilting his head back, she forces a burning liquid down his throat, that tastes a little like jasmine, but he could tell it didn't naturally. It tasted a little like jasmine because she didn't want it to tastesickly to him.
- is death.
He chokes, andsome of it runs out of the corners of his mouth.
"Drink it all," she orders, and takes a swig herself. She swallows, fills her mouth again, and forces it down his throat.
Like breathing into him.
For many evenings after, she slept soundly.
He carries the corked bottle in his robes now.
The punctures have long filled.
In the inn between towns, he takes her aside.
"Why did you do it?"
"Do what?" She has long forgotten. The scars are still there. She forgets those too.
"You experimented. On yourself."
"Did you want it to not work?"
"You could have died."
"And so could you."
"You let yourself -"
"And so did you."
"But what if -"
"Isn't now important to you?"
Now you are better.
There is suddenly no gravity.
Their thoughts are mirrored. Echoed.
So selfless. Or selfish.
It's hard to tell with them.
And if either asked why, the answer was always the same.
An answer never given.
"For your sake."
(no sweetness without pain)