A/N: I KNOW I said I wouldn't do any random oneshots, but...this moment popped up in the latest manga, and I couldn't help but think "WRITE! NOW!"
Yeah, it's sad, but...I really never expected this to happen in the manga. I promised myself if it DID happen, I would squeal as much as I would if Kagome and Inuyasha kissed, but...I ended up nearly crying instead. Why must you do this to me, Takahashi!
But I don't think she will kill of Miroku...at least, I hope not. I hope she knows that if she kills him off, people would want to kill her.
Anyway, this was the best I could do with the scene, and I hope I did it justice. For now, it's a oneshot, but if Takahashi gives us more of the scene in the next chapter, I'll make it a twofer.
I never imagined that my first kiss would be like this.
It is something every girl dreams of once in her life, something to have as a wonderful thought, a wonderful hope. The idea that the man of your dreams will eventually come and sweep you off your feet, planting that lovely, first kiss upon while everything is just perfect.
I always thought it would go something like this; a man would fall head over heels in love with me, but wouldn't tell me for the longest time. Eventually, he would finally find the courage, and at last, he would come to me and admit his feelings, only to know that I felt for him as well. And then, while we were in a flowery meadow, or perhaps near a pond with sakura petals floating upon the surface, or even in an open field, with the wind blowing through our hair, he would pull me in his arms, and give me that sweet, first kiss of true love. That was how I imagined it all through girlhood.
But being who I was, a youkai exterminator, and one of the few female ones, I didn't have the liberty of dreaming such dreams. It was thought that a woman who also acted as a warrior could never have love. And so, I believed that too. By the time I was fully inducted in to our village warriors, I had given up all hope that a man could love a woman that fought alongside him in battle.
I pretended that I was all right with this. I pretended that I didn't care, as long as I was doing what I wanted. But I did care. Secretly, within the body of the warrior, there was still a heart of a woman who desperately wished for a man to come along, and love her as he should. Even though I could never admit it, I still dreamed that dream that perhaps, one day, I would find something akin to true love, and could live a life like a normal woman.
I still hoped that one day, I would be given that first kiss just like in my fantasies.
But, my life never went as I imagined. My family, my whole village was slaughtered right before my own eyes. I failed to protect Kohaku, resulting in his own suffering. Though I never spoke a word, I always lived with the guilt that perhaps, had I known what was going on, I could have stopped the terrible tragedy from happening. I could have saved my village from the massacre, had I only paid attention, and not have been so naïve.
Now, a year has passed since then, and though I mourn them in my heart, I cannot help but think the selfish thought.
If I had indeed saved my brother, my family, my village, then I never would have met him.
Houshi-sama…you were one of the things that kept me strong when I felt weak. Even for your jokes, even for your advances, you somehow always supported me, and were there for me. As Kagome is for Inuyasha, you were for me. You helped eased my soul after the pain I endured.
You were my pillar of strength, through it all.
And yet, I was timid, I was afraid. Even when I began to notice the small things; how your absurd proposals didn't phase me much anymore, how whenever his hentai ways turned themselves on me, I didn't seem to care at all. I thought perhaps it was because I had gotten used to them, but, I really wasn't sure.
Somehow, when he would lean close to me, I would feel a sensation unlike anything I had ever felt before. When he would look into my eyes, smile, or even try to grope, I couldn't help but feel slightly happy.
I don't think I knew why until the time came when we were inside Hakureizan, fighting against Kagura and her army of youkai. I was knocked out, but Houshi-sama came to my rescue. Knowing his own life would be put in danger, he sucked the saimyoushou in to his kazaana in order for us to escape. Later, when I recovered, I realized what he had done and fell to pieces, fearing he would die there and I would be left with no one. Instead of leaving him behind, I said I wanted to die alongside him, and that when I think I knew.
Later on, when we realized he would be all right, I denied it over and over again, but…even he knew, there was no mistake in my actions and what they meant. I had to deal with my own feelings, my own doubts for a while, until we came to the village of the women possessed by the scroll of the goddess.
It was there I lost control of my jealousy, it was there that I nearly killed Houshi-sama when I became possessed as well. I felt so horrible when I awoke and realized what I had done, what had all happened because I couldn't handle my own feelings.
But in that village, sadness turned to happiness, when Houshi-sama admitted his own feelings, and not only that, but asked me to bear his child once more, once Naraku was defeated. I was stunned, but happy…probably the happiest I had ever felt in my life. 'No' was not an option. I said yes.
I had thought, or more assumed, that maybe Houshi-sama would kiss me then, It seemed right that a couple planning for the future like this would share a single kiss to seal the deal. Yet he did not. He did nothing more, than take my hand, and pull me a bit closer. Then, it was enough. The promise of the future could hold us for as long as we needed.
I realize now, that even though it didn't happen, that probably should have been the time for it if I wanted my first kiss to be as it was in my own fantasy…ever since then, there was never another chance like that.
Back then, we were sure, that one day, with hard work, we could beat Naraku. We knew without a doubt that we could win, and everything would be fine.
But now…we don't know anymore. Kikyou was killed by Naraku's malice. Kouga has left, his shards taken. Kagome's spiritual powers were stolen. Naraku has all of the Shikon no Tama, which, along with Kohaku, is heading for him now. And Houshi-sama…
I do not know how long he will last.
Oh, why did he not tell me sooner about the medicine he took from Yakurou Dokusen so he would not feel pain as the shouki wound slowly came closer and closer to his heart? Damn it all, why was he so keen on hiding it from me? If he had just told me then perhaps…perhaps…
It doesn't matter now. Now, things are worse. He always knew his life would end when the kazaana ripped open and consumed him and now…the kazaana has begun to tear. Either way, he may die unless we are quick in defeating Naraku.
I think the time is now. There can be no more waiting for Houshi-sama's sake. Naraku will appear shortly. And that is when we must kill him.
Now, at last, everything must end.
But, before I left, there was one thing I had to do…
"Sango," Shippou asked, as he came closer to me, as I changed into my exterminator outfit, preparing to battle. "Are you leaving?"
"Shippou…" It hurt to see him now, with a face so scared and hopeless, after I had just failed so horribly in saving Kohaku before he was taken by Naraku once more.
He seemed like he was in too much shock from the recent events to talk coherently. "Do your wounds hurt?" he asked, sounding truly concerned.
I turned away from his face, not being able to bear it. "I'm fine," I said, perhaps a bit harsher than I should have. "Besides, at least you and Kaede-sama are all right."
"Well, me and Kaede-obaba were with the villagers hiding in a safe place, so…" He trailed off, and I knew what he was feeling. He sounded as if he was barely connected to this world, worried about what was to happen now that we knew the final battle with Naraku was drawing upon us.
I was about to tell him that it was going to be all right, and that he shouldn't be afraid, just to ease his spirit a little while the rest of us risked our lives in what could be our last battle. But, instead, Shippou chose to speak a thought I didn't dare say out loud. "I wonder how Miroku is doing…his kazaana…"
"…It's begun to open," I said sadly, my voice trying to stay calm. But I knew there was no way I could now that his life was in danger. Thoughts that I didn't want to think invaded my mind, doubts about if we could kill Naraku in time, or thoughts of a world in which Houshi-sama didn't exist—
Shippou had to speak again. "Sango, do you think he is going to—"
"Shippou, please, take me to him," I cut him off, making the kitsune look a little surprised, but at least he didn't finish the sentence. He shrugged, and then led me to a small storage shed in the village, all the while, my thoughts trying to stay strong.
I had been strong all my life. I had to stay strong now.
The small shed had no door. Even before I entered, I could see Kaede sitting next to someone lying on a pile of straw. Someone dressed in the clothes of a monk…
She heard me come in, and turned. "Sango?"
Slowly, I came closer, to kneel down next to Miroku. He was unconscious, looking as if he was simply asleep, not even a hint to the torment that was taking place inside his very body. "How is he?" I asked Kaede, hoping for a good sign.
There was none. "He isn't in pain," Kaede told me, but it was something I already knew. "It's probably the effects of the medicine from Yakurou Dokusen that he drank."
I spoke what Inuyasha had just told me after Houshi-sama collapsed, something that I felt more guilt over than ever. "In order to fight alongside me, Houshi-sama drank a medicine that made him unable to feel pain. But…if he could feel pain probably, he wouldn't have sucked in so much of Magatsuhi.
My eyes drifted toward his right hand, the hand always covered by the glove and wrapped in prayer beads. He sucked in so much that it tore the kazaana…
Kaede said nothing more of this, but only glanced at me for a moment and seeing my exterminator armor, asked. "Are you going to follow Inuyasha and Kagome? Though, I think staying with Houshi-dono would be—"
I didn't let her finish. If I did, it would only break my determination of what I knew I must do. "If Naraku is defeated, the curse will be broken and Houshi-sama's kazaana will disappear."
I continued, "In order to take Kohaku's shard, Naraku will show himself…and then…" I grew quiet. I knew what I was risking. I knew that I may die in the attempt, but I didn't care. I couldn't care, anymore. My life didn't matter. Even though it pained me to think it, Kohaku's sham of life paled in comparison to how much I cared about Houshi-sama's life now.
"Kaede-sama," I asked softly, my hand reaching out to touch Houshi-sama's. "Could you please, leave us alone for a little while?"
"Of course," she said, not just leaving herself, but picking up the unconscious Rin, and taking Jaken along with her. I was grateful to her for that. I wanted to be completely alone with him now.
I knew he couldn't hear me, but I spoke softly, "Houshi-sama…" Now that I clasped his hand, the hand that had doomed him, I was allowed to show weakness. My hand gripped his stronger, as if trying to gain some strength from him. Even facing his own death, he was so strong. Whereas, now, I felt so weak.
Tears built up in my eyes, as I realized the truth. Perhaps…it was my fault that he was like this. He always risked his life for my or Kohaku's sake. I appreciated it before, but…I never wanted it like this. I never wanted this!
A tear rolled down my cheek as I contemplated for the first real time, that he may die. The man who had pursued me, who had walked in to my life and who could now leave, the man I was so reluctant to admit that I loved, lay in front of me, dying. And it was my fault.
He had risked his life for mine. I knew that all I could do was risk my life for his this time.
Even so, I was scared. I was frightened, though I could not bear to show it. I wished he was awake to hold me, and give me strength as I fought this one, last fight. But he wasn't awake to hold me and comfort me this time. And I knew, this may be the last view I ever see of him.
Knowing what lay in wait for us, there was no other thought in my head, but one. If we were to die, I wasn't about to die without one thing, one thing I had wanted for so long…
Houshi-sama, I thought, leaning over him, touching him gently, the intimacy I had avoided for so long my last hope. Nervousness at this moment be damned, I didn't care anymore.
My heart beating fast, I closed my eyes, and kissed his lips softly for the first time. Please don't die!
My first kiss was on the edge of battle, as my life had always been. But even if it hadn't been the fantasy that I had wanted, even if it was so different then I had pictured in my head, the happiness that I should have felt ruined by the despair in my heart, it didn't matter.
It was my first kiss, and it had been with the man I loved. No matter what happens to me now, I could never, ever regret it. Even if we all die in the final battle, at least I have that one, sole memory in my heart to make me at peace.
And that is all that I need.