Colliding Winds

A One-Shot By Tifa Tyndal

Disclaimer: I do not own the show Inuyasha, or any of the characters... or the wind.

Summery: So different, yet so similar. Brought together by one thing: Wind.

Spoilers: Usual spoilers apply, if you know each person's reason for disliking Naraku then you're not going to get any spoilers from this.


'

Your life is hard. Harder than ever now that you're so close. Sometimes though, you wish it would all stop, pause. Yet you know the wind cannot be stopped. You control a type of wind yourself but in the same manner it controls you. Threatens to destroy you. You're all alone in your feeling, no one else has any idea the fear you have, of yourself even. Then you meet her.

Slowly at first, you're not sure who she is... what she is, but there's a certain feeling about her, like she's sadder than she should be. You know you shouldn't care, you met in combat, she barely even looked at you. She was too busy trying to kill one of your friends. But something, maybe the hesitant tense in her swing sparks your interest. She is your enemy yet you are intrigued.

She's nearby, you can tell and you make a lame excuse to separate from your companions. You go to see what she's doing.

You walk through the woods skillfully avoiding the branches; the grass is soft under your sandals, and the wind, gentle. You find her in a position with her knees drawn up to her chest, the universal sign of insecurity. You approach carefully. She doesn't even bat an eyelash as you go to sit beside her; she was expecting you.

"Is it the same?" You ask after a silence. It's been a question in your heart for a while and you want to know the answer.

Her laugh is short and cruel, yet with a bit of softness, "Controlling the uncontrollable yet being controlled yourself?"

You nod.

"Yes." Her voice strong and she stares into space.

"Why-" you stop yourself and take a deep breath opting for something easier to answer. "What's your story?"

-------------

You don't know why you let this monk get close. You should kill him, he should be trying to kill you. But you somehow trust him. Somehow you know that you are not so different, besides being on opposite sides of the battle. You both seek the same thing to save your life, for both of your strengths could eventually in one way or another, kill you.

"What's your story?"

His question is casual, humorous even, considering the circumstances.

You think a minute, then reply. "The man who holds my heart controls me, and the wind through me. And I do not doubt he will dispose of me when I have served my purpose." You hope that he will get the hidden message and not prompt you to say more.

He seems to accept this and you, despite all you already know, find yourself asking him the same question in return. "What's your story?"

"I control the wind that will one day destroy me unless I destroy the man who holds your heart first," His words are grave, but practiced it seems.

"We are not so different," You find yourself stating the obvious.

"No."

"Are you scared, monk?" You ask as though you aren't.

He smiles a little, "All the time."

"I, really don't have much to fear. Dread maybe, but not fear," You say crinkling your eyebrows.

"Dread is worse than fear," He says. And it is. Fear is of something that may or may not happen. Dread is when you know it will. "I'm sorry." He whispers.

Your eyes lock onto his. You're not one to avoid looking someone in the eye, no matter how rude they might think it.

"May I ask a question now?" He asks, a hint of playfulness in his voice.

"It's only fair," You say though you are uncertain of whether you will wish to answer.

"Do you hope?"

You're stunned. Hope for what? "There is nothing to hope for."

"There is always a hope. Something to hope for, a way to be free," His eyes lower to his hand. "How to accomplish our hopes is one and the same. However, while my hope is to be free of the wind, your hope is to be free like the wind, with the wind."

How had he nailed it down like that? He had spoken everything in two sentences. How did he know? Was this a ruse? You decide to test him. "You do not know my hope. What makes you think that I do not like this life?"

"Do not fool yourself, Kagura." He says firmly. He is speaking like he's known you for longer than the five minutes he has! "It is shown in every sudden gust of wind, in every late autumn leaf the floats by, in every blade you throw."

He has silenced you, but only for a minute. It's time to turn the tables. "You may hope, monk, but not nearly enough. You still attempt to prepare for death. You have companions that don't understand but you pretend they do and you put on a calm exterior. You will not get close to anyone. You fear too much, monk."

-------------

A nutshell. She had wrapped it in a nutshell. How did she know? How did you know so much about her? Somehow the words just tumbled out. Somehow you could tell, she felt the way you did: trapped, bound. It had all been said you needn't press the subject further. So, you just talk, talk to the only person who understands.

"Ever notice how large structures are destroyed utterly by the wind yet the smallest, lightest pebble doesn't seem to move an inch?"

This question holds no psychological undertone. She smiles.

-------------

Another time you meet is after a hard battle and you are tired. She notices and doesn't say anything for a while and lets you rest.

"Did you get all your wounds tended to?" She asks finally. She knows she made some of them and is silently saying sorry.

"They weren't too bad, I'm fine," You reply, trying to reassure her. "They were easily taken care of."

She lets a sigh escape her lips. She understands that you forgive her. "What was your lame excuse this time?"

She finds the excuses that you tell your companions in order to meet with her, rather amusing.

"I did not lie this time," You say with a touch of pride. "I told them I was off to meditate and as far as I'm concerned that is what this is."

"You are unlike any monk," The corners of her mouth turn up the slightest.

You accept this and move on. "So did you ever find a way to move only a tiny pebble with the wind?"

"Nope," She crosses her legs on the soft ground. "I always end up taking an entire chunk of earth with it."

You laugh and though you hate doing it you have the desire to show her how it's done.

She is looking weirdly at you. She must see the sheepish expression on your face.

You can't resist. "Here, let me show you." You carefully lower you hand to the ground and quick like a flash uncover and recover your hand to take up a pebble. She is now almost rolling on the ground with laughter.

"You...made such... a large... valley!" She breathes out between laughs.

Your experiment failed. You made a substantial hole in your attempt to pull in a single pebble. "It's not a valley," You sulk.

"Close to one!" She said still laughing.

You smile at the way she has gradually learned to trust you and let down your guard, and how you've done the same.

You never talk about anything of your good/evil sides, your plans, or of what will happen next beyond the simple things. You are on two different sides and you must appear like you are enemies.

-----------

You were happy to get away. Though your wounds were many your body took care of them quickly and the talks you have with him, Miroku, act as better healing then many days of rest. You finally have someone who you can trust, who you care about, even if it's only a little. He matters. You live for these meetings.

He makes you laugh, like now when he failed at his attempt to "show you". He is something you've never had, a companion. Almost a friend. And even though you have agreed to treat each other like enemies on the battlefield you still feel a pang of remorse every time you injure him.

He is poking the dent he made with a stick as if trying to coax it to be smaller. You're relaxed, really. It's not a normal feeling and you can't help but think that he must be as comfortable as you are.

"I don't think the hole is going to get any smaller," You say and playfully toss him a larger stick. "A bigger one might work better."

He glares playfully and gives up the hole poking in favor of lying back on the grass. Then, staring at the sky, he speaks, "Did I ever tell you of the funnel cloud that ran over the house where I lived when I was little?"

You shake your head.

"It was so loud and scary," His voice seems to be talking to the sky. "I could barely hear the monk I was living with at the time tell me to get into a ditch with him in order to wait out the storm. I remember after the storm the house was almost completely wrecked but the stones I had set up out in the yard the day before were still perfectly placed, just a few feet away from their original spot. It was funny, I had stacked them and they were still stacked exactly as I had put them."

"Wow," You breathe. "I gotta learn how to do that."

He just laughs.

------------

"Do you remember how when we first met you said that my sadness is shown in every autumn leaf the floats by?" She asks on one of your meetings. The question seems innocent so you just nod.

"I've had a little free time lately and I've been watching the autumn leaves."

You nod again and wait for her to continue. Meanwhile you pull your robes a little closer around you, it is autumn after all and it's chilly. You're once again sitting on the ground but this time not on green grass. You're now sitting on a small clearing of moss in a lame attempt to keep the leaves from sticking to your clothes. You suddenly notice that you've dazed off and turn your attention back to the oblivious Kagura.

"I've noticed something about all those leaves..." She says and looks up at the sky. "Every last one of them eventually falls to the ground."

Your eyes drop at the melancholy tone in her voice.

"Some leaves have it harder than others. Some get caught in trees and it isn't 'till they are forced down by harsh wind that they find what is by then the welcome respite of the ground." Her voice is fierce and she waits for you to agree.

"I suppose that all leaves fall eventually, yes," You say in reply.

"And, Miroku, if my sadness is shown in leaves doesn't that mean that I too will eventually fall?" Her voice now isn't it's usual strong. She is really wondering what you think.

"There is a difference between leaves and life. You see, the leaves are already dead, they have no way to keep themselves up. Living takes work and you're able to keep leaves up in the wind if you try hard enough." You try to cover up your tracks and the possible mess you made.

"I suppose that's what it feels like for you," She says softly, turning the attention off of herself. "Fighting for your life."

"Yeah," You reply. "I think I've been caught in a tree."

"Then it's a good thing you control the wind," She nods slightly and glances at you out the corner of her eye. "Because only by the wind can a broken leaf fly."

---------------

It's close, you can tell. It'll all be over soon and only one side will triumph. For his sake you hope that it's not your side. You will fight half-heartedly and you may even die but he will live, you're sure of it. You've come to care for him seemingly more deeply than you care for the man whom you want to give your heart to. You lean on him as a sort of support and he on you. Because when two people lean on each other back to back they do not grow tired. You know that this might be your last meeting and you are prepared to say good-bye.

As always, he finds you but this time he looks so much sadder than normal; you don't blame him. These final battles have not occurred without losses and he feels the pain of others and the deaths of countless people weighing on him. No noise emits from his being as he stands beside you. You both know that it will not be much time before you both receive word and you must go and possibly kill each other. You've helped each other so much you can't imagine life without these talks anymore.

"How are you feeling?" You ask hoping that he takes it as asking only for information about his physical well being because you know how horrible he feels emotionally.

"Tired but determined," He answers. "And you?"

"Already fully charged again," You say, kinda wishing that it didn't come so easily to you.

"Good," He says then you both fall into a loss for words.

"So..." He starts looking everywhere but at you. "After..."

"Yeah, I really don't know what's going to happen." You shuffle your feet a little.

"Would you promise me," He takes a deep breath. "That no matter what happens we will continue being... friends? Even if we both die?" You ignore the impossibility of his last question and focus on what he's trying to say.

Friends... you've never had friends. "Yes, let's." But if he was a friend you sure didn't want to loose him.

---------------

You're extremely relieved. It took so many guts to ask that and you're just really glad she said yes. It would be hard to be friends as your traveling companions view her as an enemy, which technically, she was. And how could you make them understand that she really meant them no harm and she was doing all this against her will? What could you say? You push these sad thoughts to the back of you mind and just concentrate on the task at hand: possibly saying good-bye for good to someone close to you.

"Kagura," Your voice is low. "I'll miss our talks."

"Me too," She whispers back. "Thank you for understanding."

"You too," You stutter out. "Thank you for understanding."

"Couldn't help it," She smiles a little and turns to you. "We'll meet again right, Miroku?"

"Definitely," You declare suddenly though your voice is more confident than you are. "And we'll be able to tell the stories about how Naraku was defeated for a long time to come."

"You really think so?" She sounds just as uncertain as you feel. But someone has to be the strong one... It's not going to be you.

"I certainly hope," You turn towards her and look at the woman who understands what you go through each day, the sudden fear with every gust of wind because it just might destroy something dear, she gets it, and you get her.

------------

And then suddenly, as Kagura and Miroku are looking at each other, right at their good friend, they are both overcome with some sense of urgency and they embrace.

"I'll never forget you," Miroku whispers.

"Me either," Kagura whispers back hugging him tighter.

They both pull back with tears in their eyes and Miroku tries to lighten the mood a little by chuckling, wiping a tear from his eye, and saying: "Look at us, we're acting so dramatic."

Kagura giggles a little with him, "Yeah, it's kinda pathetic."

"So I'll see you later, friend?" Miroku says smiling a little at Kagura.

"Um-hm," Kagura nods and smiles a little too. "Maybe I'll attend your wedding to that Sango lady."

Miroku blushed. "I'd like that."

"And, Miroku?" Kagura asked looking straight at the monk.

"Yes?" He waits.

"Don't die." It's a forced command.

"You don't either," is his response as he touches her shoulder lightly. "If

you don't I won't."

She nods. "Good-bye, friend."

"Good-bye."

And then, with one final short embrace they parted ways and went to attend the most important battle of their lives.

---------

You walk along with a happy smile on your face as you stare at your beautiful right hand. A hand that, short of the sprain you gave it, will not be bothering you any more. You glance over at Sango who is carefully walking along with the help of her large cat Kirara.

"You all right, Lady Sango?" You ask as a grimace passes over her face. You all suffered substantial injuries but it had been done. Now, Naraku was defeated and everything was wonderful.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Sango assures you slightly. "I'm happy, really, really, happy." You see her glance over at her younger brother Kohaku who smiles shyly back. He still has a lot of memories to regain but you are all hoping that he will be able to do it slowly and with as little pain as possible.

Kagome and Inuyasha are arguing behind you and you have a happy sense that all is how it's suppose to be. Except for one thing...

You suddenly notice that your group is passing the exact spot where you had attempted to demonstrate how to pick up a single stone to Kagura so long ago. The dent you had made was still there. And in that dent lays a single leaf. You weren't sure what happened to Kagura and now you're worried. At least until, as you are lagging behind, you see the leaf get caught up in the wind and begin blowing up, up, dodging trees and branches and finally floating upwards as though it would never fall down. And as your eyes are trained on the leaf and you follow its movements towards the sky, you spot a familiar girl on a familiar feather smiling down at you. She waves happily then takes off again into the wind.

Then, as your mind clears, you let out a loud laugh and hurry to catch up with your companions because, after all, you have a wedding to plan.

Kagura's life is now free and so is Miroku's they can both live to be old and gray with the person of their choice. But better than all that, their faith in the wind is restored. For Miroku is now free from the wind and Kagura is free with the wind.

Yet the wind, though it is not living, continues to blow.

THE END

-

I hope you liked it! It was fun to write. Just in case you didn't gather from the story itself, the two charaters are Kagura and Miroku and I switch out between their perspectives. This is one of my more depressing stories but for some reason I can never bring myself to make something end sad... I might have to work on that. -The Author