Author: Personification of Fluff
Title: Named

Rating: G

Genre: Fluff ficlet

Intro: This is because I have Aamalie on my lj and she got me thinking about Miroku. Again.
Diclaimer: I dont own Inuyasha. That series, and all its characters therein, belong to Rumiko Takahashi. I am not making money off of this; it is written purely for entertainment and because the plot bunnies will hurt me if I dont appease their selfish desires.

Thanks: To Aamalie, again, for pointing out that some of my apostraphes and quotation marks disappeared. I don't know they keep doing that whenever I upload to , but grr!

Named

The night was quiet.

Miroku sat before the campfire, his back to it. The dark colors of his robes absorbed the heat shed by the small fire, warming him, leaving his hands chilly against the crisp fall night. He slipped his hands up the ends of his sleeves to try to keep them warm. He sat with his back to the fire so that his eyes would adjust to the darkness, but it was the sense of sound that was useful to anyone on nighttime guard duty. The night was too thick to see much before it was too late.

He turned his attention to his sense of sound, listening to his companions. It was something Miroku would do often when it was his turn to guard and the nights were quiet. At first having so many people constantly around had annoyed him, and reflecting back on it, he was amazed at how quickly he had become accustomed to them. The deep snore was Inuyasha, for once fully asleep as he trusted Miroku to warn them of coming danger. The rustling sound, soft and silky, was Shippou kicking furiously at Kagome's sleeping bag. Since his breathing wasn't labored, he was dreaming about chasing down sweets, and not about the Thunder Brothers. The murmured breathing was Kagome, reciting math equations even in her sleep. The subtle purr that was audible only in-between the other sounds was Kirara. Underneath all the other sounds, almost imperceptible, was Sango.

She sleeps as quietly as she moves, he thought, turning instead to the forest around them. The wind moaned between the trees, making branches crack and the dying leaves of fall whisper to each other. The fire popped now and then. Sometimes he would hear the night animals call to each other, but it was nothing more dangerous than an owl.

Someone rolled over heavily. Someone was having another nightmare. He turned enough so that he could see who it was that was moving. He was barely surprised to see that it was Sango. Out of all of his new friends, she was the one suffered from bad dreams the most. Shippou slept with Kagome, who would hold him tightly, even in his sleep, chasing away most of his nightmares. Kagome's nightmares involved a lot of whimpering, and all it would take was Inuyasha (or someone else) stroking back her hair to settle her down. Sango, on the other hand, would suffer through hers silently, and then wake with a gasp covered in her own sweat. Even though Kirara slept dutifully beside her, sometimes even that didn't help, as more than once Sango had admitted to Kagome while they were bathing that the weight of the small cat-demon on her chest would remind Sango of waking buried in her own grave.

He could see her chest moving as she breathed in deeply, and as his eyes slowly adjusted to the campfire, he could see that her cheeks were red. After a moment of hesitation, wondering if perhaps being roused from a nightmare might make her more embarrassed than grateful, he rose and crossed to where she lay sleeping.

Bending down to one knee, he reached out to touch her shoulder and paused when he saw her expression. Normally when people have nightmares, they have a strained kind of expression on their face, as if they were fighting to get back to the peaceful sleep they had previously been experiencing. Sango's face didn't carry the expression of someone experiencing a nightmare. She looked calm, peaceful and his heart suddenly stopped for a moment, a painful tightening in his chest. Sango looked happy.

His hand, the one not burdened with the kazaana, was still hovering over her body, caught in the act of trying to rouse her. He wondered, afterwards, if perhaps she could feel the cold radiating off of his skin. With dawning wonder, he watched as she turned her face toward him and once again shifted her weight, merely restless in sleep, not dreaming as he'd first thought. Then her lips parted and she expelled her breath, he heard her speak.

"Miroku."

He fell flat against the ground at the sound of it. She was still asleep, but there was his true name, floating between them unacknowledged. It was sweetness in subtlety, it was strange and new in her voice, spoken without exasperation or anger, said more with a kind of reverence that reminded him of prayers uttered in the darkness as a child. His lips were dry, his hands suddenly unsteady, and the solace of the trees was not enough.

Now he knew. Now he knew how she would say his name, what it would sound like

He didn't care that he was sitting in the dirt, or the chill in the air. Even the weight of the beads pressing into the edges of his hand seemed lighter. Now he knew; it had been revealed in the way she said his name. Sango loved him.

And as he breathed in the air, making it a part of himself, shutting his eyes briefly as he felt it fill him up, he knew he loved her back.