Disclaimer: I do not own the Inuyasha series or any of the characters.

Summary: Miroku sulks as he nurses his wounds, musing that it's no wonder women refuse him when he's always covered in slap marks. Sango makes it better. Angsty humour and fluffy goodness. One shot.

Black and Blue

Seated by the edge of the slow moving river, Miroku leaned over to examine his reflection in the water, gingerly probing his black eye with careful fingers. This was only the latest in the series of punishments visited upon him by the lovely Sango for his lechery, and it still hurt quite a lot. She usually didn't punch him, instead using a smart blow with hiraikotsu or a quick slap to reprimand him, but he'd been particularly obnoxious this time. Even he had to admit that he'd deserved it, although that didn't mean he had to like it. Groping Sango is a little like poking a caged tiger with a short stick, he mused. From inside the cage.

Clearly, he wasn't just a lecher. He was obviously some sort of masochist as well.

He sighed heavily. It was really no wonder women refused him, he realized. After all, he spent most of his time covered in bruises and slap marks and lumps on the head, wandering around with a stupid, concussion-induced grin on his face. It was only a wonder that women didn't run the other way screaming. Actually, some of them did, but usually only after he'd gotten within groping distance.

He drew in a sharp, hissing breath between his teeth out of pain, as his fingertips pressed a little too hard against one area of the spectacular bruise. He kept prodding it anyway. Although everyone knew that wounds got better faster if you left them alone, it was a universal truth that no one in the world really believed this. So he continued. Anything to distract himself from the rather unbecoming desire to pout.

Caught up in his self pity, he didn't realize he was no longer alone until Sango spoke.

"Hurts, does it?"

He pulled his hand away from his eye like a guilty child caught thieving, as he turned towards her voice. She was standing not far away, regarding him with narrowed eyes. She was attempting to appear to be cross with him still, but he knew her well enough now to read the amusement underlying her expression. He took a moment to decide on his approach. Irreverent? Incorrigible? Irritated?

Finally, he decided to just say what he sorely wanted to say, without any prevarication.

"Yes, it does hurt," he replied, not bothering to keep the sulky tone from his voice. He was being honest, after all. "Why do you insist on hitting me so hard when it clearly isn't increasing my intelligence?"

Surprised by his candour, Sango just stared for a second. Then the corner of her mouth twitched upwards. "You're right, it isn't," she said. "I'll have to think of something else."

He huffed petulantly and turned back to the river, crossing his arms to keep his fingers away from his black eye. "I'll brace myself for the public flogging, shall I?"

He heard her chuckle. "That all depends on your behaviour, doesn't it?"

"Oh please!" he scoffed. "If you think I'm capable of keeping my hands to myself, you don't know me half as well as I thought you did."

She was still chuckling at his expense as her footsteps came closer. She kneeled in the grass beside him, but he stubbornly avoided looking at her. He caught himself prodding the bruise again, and quickly forced his hand back down.

"Poor Houshi-sama," Sango said in tones of mixed humour and sympathy. She caught him by the chin and turned his face towards her with a gentle but irresistible pressure. "I really got you good, didn't I?"

Her other hand came up towards his face, and he flinched automatically. She froze, and the humour disappeared from her gaze as he felt his cheeks colour with chagrin. After a brief pause, she touched the puffy skin next to his eye, her fingers merely ghosting over the bruise.

"I shouldn't strike you so hard," she said softly, with more than a hint of self-reproach. "For all that you irritate me, you've never hurt me."

He didn't like the guilty look stealing over her pretty features. After all, he was well aware that he brought his injuries upon himself. Sango would never smack him if he'd just stop grabbing her bottom and spying on her while she bathed and making lewd comments and flirting with other women and…

He really was hopeless.

Sango released his face and her fingers sought out a mark on his left wrist, bruised three days ago when he'd groped her and she'd twisted his arm until he'd hit his knees, whimpering his surrender. Seeing that she was apparently searching for injuries she'd inflicted upon him, the part of his brain that craved her attention took control of his mouth and helpfully told her, "I still have a lump on my head from this morning." He called up his best kicked-puppy expression.

Her fingers probed carefully through his hair, finding and exploring the still-tender goose egg. Sango's touching me, he thought to himself, his mind nearly purring with contentment as he ducked his head to give her better access.

"Oh, Houshi-sama, I'm sorry," Sango murmured remorsefully.

"You could kiss it better," he suggested without thinking, and then cringed inwardly. Oh, stupid, stupid move…

There was a long moment where nothing happened. He kept his eyes trained on the grass, awaiting his punishment. Then warm breath stirred his hair, and to his very great surprise, there came the sensation of a pair of warm lips against his scalp. The feeling disappeared almost immediately, and he looked up to see Sango watching him, blushing at her own boldness.

Miroku's mouth went dry. He hadn't felt like this since he was twelve years old and trying clumsily to finagle his first kiss out of little eleven-year-old Fuyuko (Ah, he'd never forget Fuyuko. She'd kissed him back, and then changed her mind and told him he was just a stupid boy anyway. Then she'd told her father, who'd attempted to thrash him. Sweet, darling Fuyuko…).

Miroku swallowed nervously, knowing that his next words might also get him thrashed. But there was also a chance he might receive something nicer.

"My wrist still hurts," he offered tentatively. I dare you…

Sango stared at him, her blush deepening. He prepared to duck, but then she took his hand and kissed the bruise on his wrist.

"And my elbow," he said, offering the other arm as he wondered how far he could push his luck. "From when you pushed me off Kirara's back."

She rolled up his sleeve past the enchanted gauntlet and pressed her lips to the little bruise.

"Where else does it hurt?" she whispered, and he didn't dare to move in case he caused the skittish woman to go fleeing away like a deer.

"Where you slapped me yesterday," he answered, although there was no mark there anymore, and it no longer hurt. Her lips met his cheek just in front of his ear, sending a thrill through him. She was so close to him.

"Where else?"

"My eye," he said, and she kissed the top of his cheekbone so carefully that it didn't hurt one bit.

As she started to draw away again, he turned his head and caught her lips with his. She let out a muffled squeak, and then fell silent.

She's going to be angry. He did his best to memorize every detail about kissing her, because chances were he wouldn't get a second opportunity.

She's going to hit me.

Any second now…


:: Owari ::