Title: Dirt

Summary: Because through it she can breathe.

She doesn't like dirt.

Never has.

She likes pristine white, clean, lounges in the hot spring, and dips in the cold rivers. She likes soft cloth across soft skin, likes when things run smoothly between her fingers, like water and silk and hair and fluid, rippling power. She likes silver and learns to like red, likes the feel of an enveloping embrace and the gentle helplessness that seeps through her pours, rocks against her soul, so beautiful and pretty and addictive. She likes needing help because she likes even more to be protected, but she doesn't like pity and she doesn't like weakness.

And she doesn't like dirt.

Still doesn't.

Ugly, ugly. So easily shapeable, so easily manipulated, dark and staining and not pretty white. She digs her fingers into the earth and cups it in her dirty palms, pushing it past her dirty lips. Dirt on dirt in dirt. She smiles and her tongue is thick against the roof of her mouth and she swallows it all down with ease, because she doesn't need to breathe anyway.

The taste, writhing thickly in her soft throat, says otherwise.

It tastes like air. Like disease and desire and blood and sweat, just a pinch of life and dab of death. Like color and skin and darkness and redemption, like destiny and tragedy and weakness and strength. And for a brief moment, she feels human again, feels the wheel of her existent spin on it's rotting hinge, wheeling away, back to life, or maybe death, back to being, back to breath…

And then she's between again, and she scrabbling, scrapping, dirt cramming beneath her fingernails and between her teeth, choking her until she can breathe again because she needs to. Because despite her dislike for weakness, she misses her life, and even misses her death, and she hates everyone and everything for having something she can't.

Because she likes white and red and smooth and control and power, but she likes the air even better.

Because in death she didn't need to breathe, and in life she just had to, and now she just wants to.

And dirt, well…

Between her greedy fingers and her desperate misery, Kikyou could learn to love that too.