Title: Matters

Summary: All that matters is the heart.

Her hair is tangled, twisting around her face in an oily mess. Her eyes are dark, like storms and shadows and the between white and black. Her skin is tanned but her face is pale, and here and there are tiny spatterings of freckles, little trails across her cheek, down her jaw. Smudges of dirt, a shallow cut, a thin path of winding dry blood that trickles across the bridge of her nose, the remains of a precious battle.

Beneath the mat of hair is her smile, like sunshine and light and hope and he's falling, falling, shouldn't but he is. He's not supposed to get close, not supposed to see anything but his comrade because then it might hurt everyone, but he is anyway and he can't stop. It's a disaster, a mistake, and he shouldn't even look at her much less like her, but she's the best thing that's ever, ever happened to him.

It's sad and selfish, but he doesn't want to lose her.

"—you should be more careful, houshi-sama," she is saying, scolding him gently.

Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Miroku pats his bandaged arm gently and shrugs. "Couldn't be helped."

Sango eyes the wound. "Yes, but if that bird-youkai had attacked just a little closer to your heart—"

"But it didn't," Miroku interrupts softly.

"Yes, but—"

"So does it really even matter?"

Sango stops, rigid stiff, beside him. When she grabs his sleeve, turns him to face her, she is no longer smiling.

"Yes," her eyes glint.

They stay that way a long moment, both staring, before Sango lets go with a sigh.

"It matters," she mutters. Her hair is tangled and her cheeks are smudged and she's frowning and she's secretly distraught and he's just realized.

"Oh," he whispers.

It's strange and unbelievable, but she doesn't want to lose him either.