Disclaimer: I own nothing.

I love posting... And since I haven't been working on TMTR for the past week…

There are already a lot of fics out there that centralize on Miroku leaving the group because he is afraid that his Kazaana will kill the rest of the Inu-tachi. However, most of them are either too rushed, or have the members of the group doing or saying things that are OOC even as they are trying to prevent him from leaving. I tried to do it while keeping Sango and Miroku's relationship at a decent level, attempting to not make it seem like they were engaged, and I hope I succeeded. This is my take on how it would probably be in the series.

It started as a slight twinge.

Barely noticeable. But he noticed, and the familiar panic he so often felt when the Kazaana 'alerted' him to his predicament slowly built up in him, attacking his insides.

A few times during their recent travels, he had stopped to stare at his hand, the skin underneath not visible but aching, reminding him of his almost inevitable fate to come.

"Something wrong, Houshi-sama?" Sango had asked, giving him a mildly concerned look that he brushed off as no more than the friendship of a close companion.

"No," he answered, resting his hand back at his side. "It's nothing. Everything is fine."

She nodded, but he could tell she didn't believe him. She said nothing else about it, and they continued in silence, although the matter of the black hole sealed in his palm wasn't so easily banished from his mind.

Now later at night, he wondered when his time would be up, when he would get sucked in. He was sure about one thing though: he would not allowed the others to be near him when it did. Especially Sango.

The twinge came again, this time with an evident pulse. The fear rose in him. Since he didn't know when it would end his life, the only option as to leave the others. True, he knew that if they were awake at this moment and knew what he was about to do to spare any harm to their lives, they would never let him leave like this. Especially without saying anything about why. They knew why; they knew the danger of the Kazaana, yet they stuck by him. But just to be safe, and not condemn them to the same fate, he decided to go anyway. And now would be the best time, seeing as they were all asleep.

He picked up his bag along with his shakujou, but didn't get far away enough from camp before a quiet, but distinct voice stopped him.


He turned around to look at her. Although the expression on her face was shadowed by the trees surrounding them, the dim light from the moon made it just possible for him see the suspicious, yet concerned look in her dark eyes. "Sango? What are you doing up?"

She took a step forward, her gaze darting from the items he held to his face. "I should be asking you that question."

He shifted uncomfortably, trying to think up an excuse to divert her attention from the situation he was in, and to soften the accusation even though it was most likely she already knew what he really meant despite his words. "I was taking a walk."

She was not gullible to such an attempted tactic, and unfortunately his inward assumption that she already knew was right.

"Really?" she said quietly, sounding calm despite the tension and anger he could see building up between them like a wall. A wall that separated the two people filled with the most pain, the pain hidden and silent but always there. "Then why did you decide to take your bag with you?" The accusation was there, although it was neither harsh or blunt in any way. Just calm and reserved, and he was glad she was withholding her temper.

The monk sighed, looking down. "You wouldn't understand." The gloved hand clenched the shakujou a bit tighter, and it did not surpass the investigation of her gaze.

Now her voice held a note of coolness, although it remained at the level of her usual politeness. "I think I understand perfectly."

Miroku opened his mouth to retort, but closed it. He could contradict her statement, make up some sort of pathetic excuse, but they both knew exactly what was going on, and so there was no point in denying it.

"You were going to leave us, weren't you?" she finally said, breaking the uncomfortable silence between them. "Why?"

"You know why, Sango. If the Kazaana opens -"

The taijiya took another step forward and placed her hand around his. "So you think it would be better to leave us?" she whispered, her voice trembling just slightly with suppressed emotion. "It's not like you to give up, Houshi-sama."

"You and the others will remain in danger as long as I stay here." He tried to make her see his logic, to understand that this was the only way to be certain that if anything terrible happened to them, at least it wouldn't be by his hand, even if they were unintentional deaths. This was the only way to assure himself they would be safe, at least for a little while longer. It was the only way to keep Sango safe. "The Kazaana could suck me in at any moment, and you with it."

"You stupid houshi," she scolded, tears glistening in her eyes. "I would take that risk as long as it meant that you would stay with us."

He dropped the bag, placing his hand on her shoulder. "Even if it meant your death?"

She didn't say anything, only nodded. "If it meant I wouldn't be alone…"

He tugged his hand out from under hers. "You don't mean that." She can't possibly have meant what I think she means.

"What if I did?" Her voice was barely audible, with just the hint of a challenge. She was daring him to retort back, daring him to admit that he knew she cared.

Instead of answering, he pulled her into his arms, holding her and telling her everything that he couldn't say in words. The embrace would tell her everything she needed to know. A blush rose in her cheeks as his arms surrounded her. "H - Houshi-sama?" she asked timidly, her hands grasping his shoulders. She was unsure whether or not to slap him, or to back away and pretend not to notice how vulnerable yet affectionate he seemed to be this particular night. Before she could make a decision, however, his next actions startled her and caused the blush to deepen.

He lowered his head to rest against the top of hers. For a while, he said nothing, just held her close, and she began to relax, leaning her head against his chest and closing her eyes.

Finally he spoke, after what seemed like hours. "Thank you, Sango."

"For what?" the woman in his arms murmured.

Once again, he didn't reply, and the silence around them grew comforting, telling of a bond the two had discovered during this particular night. Maybe they didn't dare say it aloud, for fear it would be taken away, but it was there, and so they kept it, in case they needed it.

As long as it was there.

Never try to write like anyone else. It figures, I try to create a one-shot with very little dialogue to enhance the meaning of silence, and it doesn't work. :throws rough draft in the garbage in annoyance: I also tried using May's style of writing, and I failed miserably at that. Don't contradict me, I know I shouldn't have, but I wanted to try for fun.