Summary: Memories can be deceiving.
Sango's nothing but broken pieces, fitted together along fault lines that crisscross over her shell of a body. When she breathes too deep, she can feel them pull tight against each other, grate along the edges, slicing into the confines of her skin.
So frail she is, a tower built with no foundation, trembling, ready to collapse. One slip and she falls to pieces.
Memories are the mortar that binds her together. Shining summer days, a flash of amber eyes, freckles dancing on pale skin, holding hands until they're sweaty.
Bloodstained arrows, flesh that's cold to the touch, pained screams, somber gravestones. Memories are the keepsakes that break her apart.
They flicker in her minds eye, so close she could snatch them from the air. Sometimes, she feels so weak; she can't help but reach out and try to brace her weary soul against them. But every time, they fall away, taunting, and leave her in a sobbing heap.
Memories can never be real, and that's why the jewel is an abomination. Its purpose is to make tangible what never should be. Kikyou. Kohaku. Wishes sift through her fingers like sand.
"Who are you?" she asks Kohaku, "Are you just a memory?"
He crawls over to her, and pries Hiraikotsu off her lap with little fingers. Trembling, he locks his arms around her tight, flattens his hands against her back, and presses into the flesh there.
She shudders against him, and she can feel their fault lines slipping together. He places small kisses on her collarbone, firm and tangible. In the sunlight, she can see his soul shining through the all the cracks. He's broken just like her.
Her heart flutters, and settles along its fractures.
She's found something that's real.