Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or its characters. I am not making money out of this.

"So you do intend to leave after all, Kagome-sama...?"

Kagome turned around to see him standing at the edge of the clearing she didn't realise she had wandered into. Her eyes struggled to adjust to the darkened surroundings her daydreams had shielded her from until that moment. For a minute all she could make out was his outline, familiar and solid and comfortable. For another minute his question echoed in her head until she bothered to decipher it, her mind intuitively noting all of its traits that were so absolutely his: his low, assuring voice, the careful use of her name followed by the sign of his respect-turned-into-care, his soft tone that always seemed meant to coach something out of a child. In the dim state of all things, even his voice was an outline, velvety blue lines of comfort meant to embrace her completely.

"Yes...anytime now." She smiled bitterly to herself at the admittance of her own lack of stability. She could feel his form move closer. "I might never get used to how dark it can get here."

"Well, it seems you won't have to, hmmm?"

She looked up at him, squinting. It felt hard to hide the hurt look on her face at the blunt truthfulness of his words, but he was staring right into her eyes and seemed unaffected. Kagome swallowed hard and looked back down. "Yes - I'm glad. I don't like darkness."

"It doesn't suit you."

He sat down by the tree on whose roots she'd been sitting for a while. They were quiet for a long time and Kagome braced herself against the loneliness. She wished she could sit closer; she wished his constant, pulsating warmness would enfold her and maybe she'd fall asleep there indefinitely.

"So...where's, er, where's Sango-chan?"

She couldn't help but glance at him as he drew a breath to reply. A small, loving smile blossomed on his lips and his eyes shone. Her chest contracted putridly. "She was by the river with Kirara." He lowered his voice slightly, "She is...still undecided about where she wishes us to live."

He seemed slightly hesitant to add that last bit; a sneaky, joyous confidence from a lover whose life was just about to begin. She decided to interpret his hesitance as respect for her own decadence. He was always so sensitive and thoughtful.

They sat in silence for a while longer and Kagome was grateful he'd stopped talking about Sango. She didn't exactly understand why she felt so resentful and possessive towards Miroku - they'd never truly felt that way for one another...but he'd always symbolised what she had on this side of the well, in a way. Not in the same heart-wrenching, throbbing way as Inuyasha did (her mind quickly steered away as she panicked slightly at the thought of him), but as the warm and steady pillar she could always fall back on and where she'd feel most at home. She'd always thought it was him and Sango, but now it was clear as a Shikon shard that it was just him - just him. It never fully crossed her mind why he might be there with her then, and not with Sango...but it wouldn't have been hard to figure it out. He was always so sensitive and thoughtful after all.

She could feel his eyes upon her. The flow of energy at last was quite welcome, and she took her time pushing the coldness away before looking back at him. All she could see now was the golden tip of his staff and a strand of black hair over his darkened eyes. The intensity of his gaze was that of a man in love, ever so dedicated and slightly hungry - not in love with her, necessarily, but that didn't matter. The overwhelming darkness that hid his face from her promised to swallow them both completely, right then, and the sweet scent of the forest lingered inside her nostrils insistently. She adored that darkness. The air felt as warm as both of their bodies, and that meant they were practically one with it - one with each other. One unsteady breath drawn and their lips would touch, their arms and legs would tangle and Kagome would press herself against him as hard as possible, perhaps attempting to fuse with him forever. In her head, his staff jingled as it hit the floor, and his arms held her within the heat of his body as she wrapped her legs around him tightly.

Kagome smiled truthfully even as the rest of her was grey. She felt his hand, solid now, caringly push a strand of hair behind her ear. She closed her eyes and he caught her as she fell into him, seemingly exhausted. Miroku cradled her in his arms for a while, rocking back and forth as if to comfort a sobbing child.

He left her by the well.