Bankotsu lay flat on his back, staring up at the matrix formed by the bare branches of the trees overhead. White clouds were moving fast across the pale gray sky. Lying with his arms stretched out to his sides on the soft, springy duff of the forest floor, he felt as though the earth were moving under him. He could almost hear time rushing past. Probably it was just the wind blowing through the trees. Dried leaves rustled and Sango appeared, looming over him in her black leather uniform. "You look so hot." He told her.

Sango didn't say anything, but stepped over him so that one booted foot was planted on each side of his hips.

"Where is your little doggy friend?" Bankotsu asked.

"Scouting ahead. Probably hunting." Sango folded her arms over her chest.

"It sounds like he might be gone for a while. Maybe you should take advantage of me while you have the chance." He offered.

Sango frowned. Since they had joined up with InuYasha, she had been feeling awkward about this whole thing with Bankotsu.

"That rat bastard isn't making you feel guilty about our thing, is he?" He asked, apparently reading her thoughts. "The way he goes through priestesses, I don't think he's in any position to judge you."

"It isn't that, exactly, Bank. It's like my old life seemed so far away and unreal, almost as if it was all something I had dreamed about. But traveling like this with InuYasha, hearing his annoying voice, reminds me that Miroku, my kids, the village, are not just a dream."

"You can't go home again, Sango." When she didn't respond, he blundered on. "I don't mean because of Inu Taisho, or even because you died." He ventured awkwardly. "If you went back, you wouldn't fit into the space you used to occupy."

She was surprised that he could be so perceptive. "I never did."

"Yeah, I know that feeling."

Sango was quiet for a long time, thinking. "So, what do we do?"

"We do whatever comes next. Experience the here and now, drink it to its dregs. Savor every bit of it, and don't waste time on regrets."

His face looked so young. Taught skin, high cheekbones, soft, vulnerable lips, the clear, thoughtless eyes of a child. But she knew he had killed a thousand men and a thousand demons with Banyru. Undoubtedly many more before he came by that sword. And once upon a time, before dying and being resurrected twice, he had lived in some village, probably a village a lot like Edo.

Sango let herself fall to her knees. Her long ponytail swept forward over her shoulder. Bank moved for the first time since she came upon him there, just his hand, reaching out and stroking her hair. She waited for him to use her hair to pull her face down and claim her lips, but that was someone else she was thinking of, not Bankotsu. So she braced herself on her elbows and lowered her face to his, slanted to avoid bumping noses, and rested her lips against his. His lips were parted, and she tasted them with her tongue. He tasted like winter, and like ice. His lips felt cold, his teeth felt colder. She pushed her tongue into his mouth. He opened for her, and let her explore the sharp edges of his teeth and the velvety texture of his tongue. She felt him lose his breath and moan as she ran her tongue over the ridges of the roof of his mouth. She could feel his cock grow hard as the hilt of a sword against the inside of her thigh. She felt his hands as they moved to her breasts, feeling them stroke the smooth leather of her uniform. Her nipples went hard as little pebbles, and she could tell that he could feel them harden. His fingers went from stroking to tweaking, and she felt a jolt of excitement shoot straight to her genitals. It was her turn to gasp. She drew back and pulled aside the light linen of his kosode. She was awed at the perfect beauty of his body, and she thought she would be, not matter how many times she was privileged enough to see it. His chest and shoulders were heavily muscled and perfectly symmetrical, like the rest of his body. She lowered her lips to first one nipple and then the other, and felt powerful when they hardened instantly when her breath touched them. She wet one with her tongue, and then blew on it. She could feel his cock jump against her leg. Turning her attention to his other nipple, she kissed it, and then bit it, sharply.

Bankotsu grabbed her head, tunneling his fingers into her hair and rubbing and digging into her scalp as she continued to lick and kiss and nibble her way down his ribcage. She came to the hollow of his belly, and burrowed her nose into his navel, and lower. It only took a moment to loosen the ties of his hakamas. His lack of humid warmth, and the animal musk which would normally accompany it, made it easy for her to explore him with her mouth. And she did, with painstaking thoroughness. She followed the veins of his shaft with the tip of her tongue. When she came to the head, she made a cradle of her tongue, curving it around the swelling roundness she found there, before taking him deeper, feeling the hardness of his erection against the velvety softness of her soft palate, stroking and rubbing it there until finally she could take him deeper yet. And every gasp she elicited from him, every groan that vibrated his deep chest cavity, sent another thrill racing through her own body, and she was determined to savor every bit of it, just as he had told her.

She had fallen into the moment, the way she always had in battle, but never had before outside of it. This is the man she was with, here and now, and she was going to drink him to the dregs.