Disclaimer: Inuyasha is the property of Takahashi Rumiko. I just wander around in their world on occasion. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made.

Mood music: Foo Fighters, Best of You


An Inuyasha fanfiction by

Lynn Gregg (gypsymuse)

Everyone, no matter their ordinary temperament, has a breaking point, beyond which they can be pushed no further before detonation occurs. Miroku reached his one lovely spring morning amid the calls of birds and the wafting fragrance of sakura. Coming down the wide steps from the shrine, where he'd spent the early hours making repairs to one of the smaller side altars, he encountered the vision of Sango--his intended, his beloved, his partner in battle and beyond--her arms laden, for once, not with weaponry or bits of youkai remains destined to be made over into armour, but with flowers. She was gathering up blossoms and branches to beautify Kaede-sama's hut, and for that shining moment Miroku saw past the woman she was to the girl she had been. His feeling for her in that moment was so enormous he could barely contain it, didn't want to contain it. And then Sango spotted him, and smiled, and spoke those little words that sealed their mutual fate.

"Ohayo gozaimasu, houshi-sama!"

Ohayo gozaimasu, houshi-sama. Formal title, formal greeting--appropriate with aging relations, teachers, persons of rank; not so appropriate with a beloved friend, your closest confidante, or the one with whom you will shortly, if all goes well, spend the rest of a long and prosperous and passionate life. Miroku stopped dead, gazing blankly into her shining eyes, and felt something (it might have been his heart) snap within him. Ohayo gozaimasu, houshi-sama. It would never change, no matter what he said or did or hoped or dreamed. He felt his features harden into an indifferent mask, so different from the smile he'd wanted to give her just a moment before.

"Ohayo gozaimasu, taijiya-san," he replied, with a slight, stiff bow. His eyes had already moved past her, and so he missed the way her smile faltered and died, missed the hurt which dulled her eyes, missed the first twitch of annoyance that turned her on her heel to yell after him.

"What did you call me?"

He stopped but did not turn. "Taijiya-san," he repeated, enunciating. "That is your title, is it not?"

"Since when do you call me by my title?"

"How about since you refuse not to call me by mine?"

"What?" Confusion momentarily displaced anger. "What do you mean?"

"I mean," he said, sighing, "that since you seem determined to keep me at arms' length no matter what, I have decided to bow to your wishes. I give up--taijiya-san."

The flowering boughs fell at the roadside, forgotten. Sango was upon him in three long strides, hand on his shoulder, all wide hurt eyes and tensed muscles. "What do you want from me?" She demanded, meaning to sound furious but only sounding sad. He would not, could not look at her.

"I could ask you the same question, though I doubt I would care for the answer."

"Stop it! Stop doing that and just tell me!" Ah--there was the fury. Had he been able, he'd have smiled at that.

"What do I want? Just you, taijiya-san; only you. But it will be difficult, I think, for you to bear my children when you can't even bear to speak my name."

"But--I--but you said we had to wait!" She was right in front of him now, filling his vision as she always filled his thoughts, inescapable. "You said 'once Naraku is gone,' you said 'once your curse is lifted'--you said we had to wait--"

"Did it ever occur to you that I'm tired of waiting?" The vehemence in his voice made her take an involuntary step backward. "I can live with uncertainty and impermanence; I can even live with the very real possibility that the kazaana will claim me before Naraku can be defeated. But I can't--I don't want to live like this any longer. I don't know how much time I have, but it seems ridiculous to waste any of it. And every moment I spend keeping you at a distance is a wasted moment."

"Ano..." Sango looked away, flushed and flustered as always when softer emotions came into play. "I--I just thought that you wanted to wait in case...well, in case you..." She trailed off, uncertain how to voice her doubts. In case you changed your mind about me, she thought. In case, when your curse was lifted, you decided you loved your freedom more. She could not say these things without appearing weak and foolish, without losing what little dignity she had left before this man; and so she did not speak, but her meaning was writ clearly in her hesitance, the slight sag of her shoulders, the muscles tensed for flight. And Miroku, far more astute than most realised, read her perfectly, and felt a significant lift in his spirits because of it.

"It is true that my eyes, and this cursed hand, are prone to wander; but my heart does not." He placed said hand over said heart and batted his lashes at her, solemnity warring with a smirk for possession of his features. Solemnity lost. He saw Sango's fingers twitching into a fist and barely managed to catch it before it collided with his face. When the fist relaxed, he lifted her hand in both his own and touched his lips to the back of it, softly, and watched as the expected flush spread across her cheeks.

"There is a promise between us," he went on, refusing to release her hand, "and I would prefer to keep it sooner, rather than later. Stop pushing me away, taijiya-san." Tugging gently, he reeled her into his embrace, his voice warm and persuasive, his lips just grazing her sensitive earlobe. Accepting a defeat that felt more like victory, Sango slipped her arms around him, nearly laughing when she felt him go momentarily stiff with surprise. Setting him off-balance emboldened her like nothing else could have; deepening the embrace, she leaned in and nuzzled his neck, feeling the shudder run through him at her touch. Then his lips claimed hers and it was Sango's turn to go first rigid, then liquid, melting into him and returning the favour with an unschooled ardour that surprised them both.

Miroku pulled away first, breathing raggedly near her ear. "You're not hitting me," he murmured, sounding awed.

"Do you want me to?" She felt half-drunk.

"Do anything you want with me, Sango." He kissed a fervent trail down her neck, lingering over the rapid pulse beating in the hollow of her throat. When she laughed, the vibration left his lips tingling.

"I think I liked 'taijiya-san' better--houshi-sama." She captured his mouth again, effectively cutting off further unnecessary discourse. Feeling the roughness of his kesa beneath searching fingertips, enfolded in his voluminous sleeves and the scents of incense and ink that clung always about him, Sango found herself enjoying her newfound position enormously. Every time they broke for air he began another litany of lechery that made her flush, not with embarrassment but something infinitely more pleasurable. She was even beginning to think of a few ideas of her own, and between kisses made bold enough to start enumerating them, earning even greater enthusiasm in return from her ecstatic companion. Nor did she complain when his wayward hand made its inevitable descent; if anything, she arched her back a bit to give him better access. What he mumbled in response was so lewd Sango wasn't even certain she fully understood it, but she was willing to--

"Hey, Miroku, you seen--oh! Oi, hentai!" The last voice anyone wanted to hear rose gleefully. "Better not let Sango catch you! She'll kick your--" He stopped, seeing the face of the girl in question rising over Miroku's shoulder like a small angry sun. "Shit. Ah, hey, Sango."

"Inuyasha, have you found Sango-chan and--" Kagome skidded to a stop behind the hanyou. It took her perhaps ten seconds to correctly assess the situation and determine the appropriate outcome. "Inuyasha! Os--"

"No, Kagome-chan," Sango blurted, disentangling herself from Miroku's sleeves. She advanced on the retreating Inuyasha, cracking her knuckles in anticipation. "Let me take care of this." And they were off, Sango screaming abuse at the not-inconsiderable top of her lungs, Inuyasha bounding into the treetops to make good his escape, Kagome racing after them.

Bemused, Miroku watched them for a moment, then turned to walk back to where Sango stood when first he came upon her. Wondering if she'd be finished killing Inuyasha by the time he got back, he gently gathered her forgotten flowers, dusting them off before starting down the path home. He hoped she wouldn't be too worn out by the time he got there.