A silvery moon hung in the sky, illuminating the grassy treetops in the far off distance. It was around fall and it had started to get fairly cold at night which meant that the person who sat beneath the starry sky in a tall tree would most likely have to seek shelter soon. The person was clad in crimson garments which glowed silently in the fullness of the cold and yet somewhat alluring night. His name was Inuyasha, and he was, despite how bad he hated it, a half-demon.
However, he was not in the mood for anyone at the moment and the cold air that blew past him and ruffled his glowing hair seemed almost non-existent. He was in pain; however it was not from fighting like usual. No, this time it was emotional pain, a kind the likes he hadn't felt in years. The group that he had been traveling with had noticed it as well and the two girls, Sango and Kagome, were both interested in what could possibly have him so hung up and stressed, but he couldn't tell them.
He let out a mournful chuckle into the midnight air, his breath turning into illuminated puffs of smoke in front of his eyes. The sad thing was is that he couldn't let anyone know. He could never let them know that he was in love. Why? Because they would condemn him for it, even though he knew that he was spiritually fine and in good standings he knew that no one but himself and the heavens above would ever understand how he felt. This was because he was in love not with Kagome like they would most likely think; nor was he in love with the second woman demon-slayer Sango. No, he was in love with the other traveling companion, the monk who had captured his imagination for many months.
He sighed and bent his head slightly, allowing the cold wind to numb his dog-like ears. No matter how hard he tried though, it felt as though he almost couldn't control himself around the other man. He hid it well he knew it for a fact, but how long could he hide it?
"Forever…" he muttered into the night, his breath creating a hazy ring around the moon like lies being extracted from his body.
There was no way he could possibly hide it that long though, even if he tried. Health problems would most likely ensue and even though his body was built to withstand such things, it would draw from his strength for vast amounts of time which would most definitely draw attention his way. He was definitely going to have to do something soon or…
Inuyasha felt himself sigh as his heart throbbed. He didn't even want to think about what he might do if something didn't change soon. He shivered a little and was surprised to find that he almost couldn't feel any part of his body. He hopped down and landed on the earth below him which was riddled with various shrubs.
He looked back at the glowing tree, patches of moonlight illuminating his face.
"If anyone truly is out there, please… Help me." He murmured before turning and walking back towards the cabin that they had found to board up in.
Tomorrow may be like today, He thought as his feet hit the icy dew sodden path, but at least I can see him, just a little more…
"…just a little more…"
Slam! Inuyasha felt his face slam down into the soft pillows as he was jerked down by the necklace that was sealed around his neck.
"Kagome!" A mans voice shouted as footsteps pounded on wood, signaling that someone was running.
"What?!" She shouted towards a dark haired monk whose normal violet eyes were now sternly fixed upon her..
"Inuyasha hasn't been getting hardly any sleep lately!" he said as he walked over towards Inuyasha.
Not that you had anything to do with it monk, Inuyasha thought sarcastically as he picked himself up and out of the bed, yawning in the rays of morning sunlight that streamed through an open window to his left. The shack was fairly large and even he had questioned whether or not it would be safe to bunk in it for the night as it was questionable to whether or not it was actually abandoned. The main door was about thirty footsteps away and there was a window every ten paces all the way around the place which, overall, was about fifty paces from front to back and sixty paces from side to side.
"You should get some more rest." Miroku said as he bent down beside Inuyasha whose amber eyes lingered only momentarily on the seemingly vast violet eyes that were fixed in a concerning manner upon him.
"I'm fine monk." He said as he reached for his clothes, quickly thrusting them onto his cream colored under-garments.
Sango, who was apparently not only schooled in the ways of the demon slayers but also a culinary genius, fixed breakfast which was more than filling when it came to their usual helpings. Inuyasha was even beginning to wonder as to whether or not he could eat much more all the way up until the time they started getting ready to head out.
Inuyasha was more than thankful to get moving as it gave him something else to do rather than torture himself by looking at the monk whose place was now directly behind his back. When had it started hurting so bad every time he looked at the man? His head faced ahead to the winding dirt pathway that lead through the surrounding dense forest and his amber eyes were staring intensely at the treetops as he thought. He couldn't remember what had made it so bad, all he could remember was that it had all started that day that the moth demon attacked them and sealed them within a poisonous cocoon, forcing his companion to hug his wounded form close to him while maintaining a holy barrier.
However it wasn't the looks which hurt him so bad, nor was it the words. What hurt him was the knowledge that it could never be. It hurt so bad to dream night after night and know that he was being denied and slowly killed by a thing that was within his grasp.
He reached up with his right clawed hand and rubbed his eyes sleepily however he paused while lowering his hand, studying his claws. That was the other thing, his half demon side. A monk and a half demon was more than just an oxymoron it would be enough to strip the monk of his spiritual standing completely; and he could never do that. He felt a tightness in his throat and a weakness in his legs, which he cured quickly by digging his claws into the palms of his hands as he lowered them to their rightful positions at his sides.
"What?" He said turning to face his traveling companions who had all stopped and were looking at him worriedly.
"You're bleeding." Sango said as she started to walk forward towards him…
He looked down and noticed that she was right. Apparently he had been so stressed, and so lost in thought that he had hardly noticed how much pressure he had been applying to the claws that were digging into the palms of his hands.
"I'm fine." Inuyasha said continuing to walk, not waiting up for Sango.
Miroku eyed the retreating hanyou's form knowing all to well how much of a lie he had just produced; he wasn't fooling anyone. Miroku wasn't sure why, but for the past few month's he had began to notice a severe change in the man's actions. For example, while he generally used to only spend every other night in the nearest tree, he had now been spending every waking moment and chance he got in a tree or in some space in which he could see the sky or get away from the group-or was it him? This was something else that had puzzled him. Miroku noted that Inuyasha used to avoid contact with Kagome quite a lot and generally never reject his help, yet for some inexplicable reason, now seemed to run from him and would never exchange more than a few words before leaving, usually never amounting to anything more than half a sentence; if that.
"Inuyash-" Kagome said starting to run after him angrily but was caught and silenced in mid-sentence by Miroku.
"Leave this one to me Kagome." He said as he eyed Inuyasha who turned the corner and was out of sight. "I'll find out by tomorrow what causing this."
"And just how do you propose to do that monk?!" Sango asked sarcastically.
"Funny you should ask Sango." He said as he smiled deviously. "Ask me that tomorrow night and maybe I'll show you my way's as well."
With those words Sango puffed up and slammed him on the head with a bag of potatoes that she had been carrying around as a food source on the back of Kirara, the giant two tailed, and sometimes adorably small, cat.
Evening descended quickly upon the small band of travelers and as it did so Miroku and Inuyasha strolled out ahead to try and find a place to stay the night. Inuyasha felt seriously odd walking next to the monk, especially with all of the things that had been running through his head as of late. He felt his heart race slightly, pounding in his chest and sending a numbing sensation throughout his limbs as he thought this. He glanced back and noticed that the group was walking far behind them, almost to the point of being non-existent. This was of course startling to Inuyasha and therefore his heart pounded even harder.
"Hey Miroku." Inuyasha said as he looked behind them at the two girls and small kitsune which were presently no bigger than a twig.
Miroku snapped out of his own dazed state and turned his head toward Inuyasha's own, Illuminated in the orange evening light of the fall.
"Hn?" he quickly responded. "What?"
Inuyasha nodded towards the girls behind them.
"Ah." He responded. "Just play along."
With this he sped up slightly more, forcing Inuyasha to speed up as well, now thoroughly aware that the group behind them was now completely invisible. Was this a sick prank by the monk? Inuyasha thought as he watched the man beside him intently, trying to keep his eyes from traveling across his lips and neck and fixing them there. Why the hell is he roping ME into this?!
Inuyasha started to protest as they turned a corner by Miroku suddenly stopped, causing Inuyasha to jump slightly in surprise.
"Miroku…" Inuyasha started as he turned to try and tell the monk that he wasn't the least bit interested in participating in a ruthless prank.
Nevertheless he was surprised to find Miroku staring intently at him, the twilight glow illuminating his face and violet eyes as though they were mirrors of the world. Inuyasha stopped as his eyes met the monk's. Look away, look away, look away! Inuyasha's mind kept screaming at him, twitching every muscle in his neck, but it was to late.
"Inuyasha…" Miroku murmured as he looked the hanyou straight into both amber eyes.
"Y-Yea…" Inuyasha replied, scared of what might be about to happen.
Miroku averted his face, breaking the silent contact which seemed to hold them together in the chilly breeze, bringing his eyes towards the painted horizon.
"Listen," he said calmly, "What's been going on with you lately?"
Inuyasha felt his heart throb but used his head and simply shrugged.
"Nothing." He replied, hoping to quickly end the conversation.
Miroku closed his eyes and lowered his head, chuckling slightly as a breeze ruffled his dark, glowing bangs.
"What's so funny?!" Inuyasha asked trying to pretend to be really pissed off as usual; after all, he couldn't afford another close call.
"Nothing." He replied mockingly as he looked straight back up at the hanyou.
"Are you mocking me?!"
"I dunno." He said as he looked straight into the hanyou's eyes. "Tell me what's wrong Inuyasha, I'll do anything I can to help."
Inuyasha's mind was now fully drowned out by the sound of his thudding heart. Anything? Inuyasha thought, trying to keep his eyes from growing wide, and keep himself from passing out all at the same time.
"I-…" Inuyasha started, but was interrupted by yelling that came from behind.
A voice broke the silence that seemed to be held like a balanced needle between the two as the two girls and the small kitsune finally caught up with them
"Yes Sango?" Miroku said, turning away from Inuyasha to the girls.
"Wait Up." Kagome replied, finishing Sango's sentence.
"Certainly." He smiled towards the two girls, shooting a quick glance at Inuyasha who felt his heart leap once again.
Inuyasha wasn't sure of what he had been about to say, but whatever it was, he was sure that it wouldn't have been good for him. I can't even look at him now! He yelled inside of his head as he watched him conversing with the two girls about the nights lodgings. I can't because he'll convince me to tell him.
Inuyasha felt his nose sting into his cheeks and felt his fists clamp together. Why is it like this?! Why can't I just love what I want?! Why am I like this?! Why?!
"Inuyasha?" Kagome's voice asked, shaking him from what was slowly becoming a mental breakdown.
Inuyasha faked a yawn and rubbed his eyes free of the tears that had begun streaming down his cheeks.
"Yea?" He asked, trying to force a smile.
"We're staying in the woods tonight." She said as she looked at him with concern. "Are you sure nothings wrong?"
Inuyasha turned and walked out ahead, pretending to look for a place suitable in which to camp for the night.
"I'm fine." He mumbled as he retreated. I just don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep this inside.
A full moon glimmered high in the sky of the fall night by the time everything had settled down. Inuyasha now stood against a tree in their campsite and surveyed the scene before him. Kagome was sleeping near Sango, with Kirara and Shippou in between them and the monk was fast asleep with his back against a tree opposite Inuyasha's self. The clearing was irregularly shaped and seemed to have a vast expanse of cleared territory, despite the many trees which grew here and there.
Despite all of this Inuyasha was only concerned with watching and maintaining his transfixed gaze upon the burning and crackling embers of the fire in the middle of the campsite. Heh, even after all these years, He thought to himself, the fire still seems to capture my interest and thoughts just as much as the moon overhead.
His gaze broke away momentarily to fix upon the monk who sat as if he were awake, his eyes closed beneath the dark, glowing hair. He wished that he could simply break away from the spot in which he stood and tell him how he felt. Stop thinking that you idiot, Inuyasha's conscious said, screaming at him the inevitable truth, if you continue thinking that you might tell him.
Inuyasha muttered something that he wasn't quite sure of himself and shivered slightly. The process of being inactive and awake for large amounts of time wasn't really suiting him. He needed out, somewhere to go, especially on a night like tonight. He finally convinced his legs to move and turned and walked into the forest which lay behind him. He was going to find a tree in a moonlit clearing, just like last time, only this time he was planning on spending the night.
Unaware to Inuyasha as he proceeded out of the campsite though, was a small violet eye, which peeked from beneath long, dark bangs. Miroku knew that he would do this; he did it every night now. He had been planning this since their interrupted meeting this afternoon, knowing that whatever it was Inuyasha was hiding would definitely come out during a moonlit thinking scene.
A few seconds passed as the crimson robes faded from the glowing expanse of forest before Miroku got to his feet and grabbed his nearby staff. This wasn't the first time that he had spied on the hanyou, so he knew exactly how to approach the situation in such a way as to prevent the hanyou from detecting his presence. He walked through the path, trying to keep in mind what place he would be looking for.
A few minutes of walking soon paid off however as Miroku spotted a clearing in which the moonlight hit a tree perfectly in the middle, casting a long, cold silhouette against the dark, dewy ground beneath. Miroku chuckled in his mind as his eyes wandered up the trunk of the tree and rested upon his prey, which was nestled perfectly between a limb and the main trunk. Now, Miroku thought as he sat and watched the figure in the silence of the fall night, we wait.
Inuyasha sat in the middle of a bend in the tree, formed by a limb meeting the main trunk. The night was alive with moonlight and dead with silence, forming an interesting and puzzling oxymoron inside of Inuyasha's head. He still wanted answers and had no idea why he was wasting his time asking the night air. He was already severely chilled from the silent night air and the heat inside of his breath formed before him in the shape of white puffs of steam.
It was a puzzling sort of thing for him; why he did it. He was absolutely astounded at himself in many cases, for freezing or causing himself harm or discomfort for these little moments of thinking time and sanity. Still, the questions that formed at the forefront of his mind were the ones that had pained him so for quite sometime.
"Miroku…" He muttered into the night air, the name becoming nothing more than a whisper into a cloud of smoke.
He stopped, puzzling as to why he just spoke the answer to the question in his mind. He chuckled and faced his silvery, haired head towards the moon which hung overhead.
"No…" He continued, "…Forever. I have to keep it secret forever."
Speaking seemed to calm him down a lot, which was interesting to him because he really hated to talk. Perhaps it was the aspect of social interaction that made talking to another individual such a tedious chore, he wasn't sure of anything at this point in time. All that he knew was that he had to keep his love for the monk secret, for as long as time endured.
Inuyasha closed his eyes, hearing Miroku's voice. He wanted to say "I love you" but could only ever manage a mumble, thus instead he tried a new approach to the imagined voice inside of his head.
"What?" He asked into the night.
"What's been going on with you lately?" Miroku asked, surprised at the response he got. Was this really Inuyasha?
""I can't tell you." Inuyasha said, shakily, trying to continue his rehearsal for as long as his imagination would allow.
"Why?" Miroku asked, now curious both as to the problem at hand and as to why the hanyou was cooperating so easily. Miroku actually wondered if he should move from his spot in the edge of the forest but decided against it.
"Because it directly involves you." Inuyasha continued, surprised at the words flowing from his mouth. He tried to imagine the monk's facial appearance and scent to enhance the situation.
"In what way."
"Emotionally." Inuyasha continued, knowing that he wasn't ever going to be able to manage this in real life.
Miroku was completely blown away by the cooperation that Inuyasha was giving him. This was completely unlike Inuyasha, Miroku thought as he watched and listened to the hanyou's responses and words.
"Please tell me." Miroku egged on. "I really want to know."
"You'll hate me forever Miroku." Inuyasha said into the night air, watching the monks lips move in his mind and smelling the slightly intoxicating scent of perfume. "So I must keep it a secret forever."
"What emotion is it Inuyasha." Miroku continued his heart racing at the answers.
There was a silence which was filled by the sound of a small wind blowing into the leaves of the trees surrounding the unsuspecting hanyou and the curious monk. Miroku was afraid that he might have finally hit the problem until…
"Miroku I…" Inuyasha stuttered, "I…I…"
"What?" Miroku asked pushing farther and farther.
Another long silence was reached as the moment of truth flew by.
"Miroku, I love you." Inuyasha pushed the words out of his lips, bringing them to the surface. "I just wanted to tell you that."
Miroku was silent, stunned by the answer. Inuyasha…loves…me?, Miroku responded in his mind.
"The truth is that I can't tell you in real life because you would never look at me the same again, and I couldn't bear to lose your friendship." Inuyasha said as his eyes reached the glowing moon above.
Miroku didn't know what to do or what to say, after all Inuyasha thought that he hadn't been there at all. Miroku shivered in a cold wind but felt nothing but the growing confusion inside of his heart and stomach.
"Miroku…" Inuyasha spoke into the night air longingly. "I don't know how long I can keep this a secret before I break down completely so please, please stay with me when it happens, even if you don't truly care."
Miroku took a deep breath with which he began to tremble at what he was about to do.
"I will." He said aloud.
Inuyasha chuckled with long hot blasts of steam into the night air.
"Oh… you say that now, but," Inuyasha paused before continuing, "Were you to ever truly hear me say that, you would never like me again."
"I am real Inuyasha and I will keep you, forever…"
Inuyasha turned his head slowly and found himself facing the monk with whom he now realized he had been conversing with the whole time. Inuyasha felt his throat tighten as his anger, confusion, and despair began to cave in.
"Long enough." Miroku smiled.
Inuyasha sighed and rested his head back on the tree in defeat, laughing mournfully at the moon overhead.
"Miroku…" Inuyasha chuckled.
Inuyasha turned his head to look directly at the monk whose glowing bangs flowed perfectly in the cold midnight breeze.
Miroku laughed and turned, his face over his shoulder in a smiling manner towards Inuyasha.
"I never cheat Inuyasha." He said mischievously, "I always hear exactly what should be heard, exactly the way I want to hear it."
Inuyasha smiled and rolled out of the tree, landing perfectly on the cold, dew moistened ground before proceeding towards the monk who turned a little to face the approaching hanyou.
"Just once Miroku…" Inuyasha said as he came closer to the monk, "Hear what I want you to hear."
Inuyasha's arms reached forward and pulled his jaws towards Miroku's. There was a significant increase in heart rate as their lips met and sent shivers up both men's spines; A shiver caused by truth rather than the cold night air. Before too long they pulled away and Miroku chuckled, surprised at his own enjoyment.
"And what do you want me to hear Inuyasha?"
Inuyasha turned and faced into the night air, a cool breeze ruffling his hair.
"Me." Inuyasha responded as he faced the moon with a mournful smile on his face, "I definitely, always, want you to hear... me."
Miroku laughed and walked up beside the hanyou, facing his own eyes towards the moon and receiving the same cool breeze. It was then that, for a second, time seemed to stop and Inuyasha could finally stand again because his base was finally stabilized.
A/N: Happy New Year! I found this story tucked away in my hard-drive and figured that I'd finish it quickly and publish it for all of you good girls and boys . Have a happy 2008, and remember that hope is never futile.