Jump to content

"Winter Jasmine" - (10 Parts)


Enkidom

Recommended Posts

Okay I feel like I should perhaps try something different, and I will, but I really enjoy writing these characters so I hope you will forgive me for doing so again. As always, I do not make any claim to the characters etc. etc.

Chapter 1

It appeared to be a village like any other, although Miroku would have expected it to be surrounded by rice paddies given that its position would make it responsible for providing food for mining villages further up in the foothills and the Hida mountains themselves. At least it had a well paved and travelled road leading up to it, which meant that the group was able to make quite good progress, though Kagome’s strange horseless chariot didn’t appear to be particularly well designed for the rough cobbling of warring states period highways as her regular noises of discomfort indicated. He had actually offered her a relaxing massage earlier, but this the vehemence of her refusal indicated to him that it was obviously bearable. He hadn’t seen anything to explain why Sango didn’t want to come with them to pick up supplies though. She had pleaded the need to re-lacquer her demon-bone boomerang, and admittedly it had seen a lot of use of late and was probably in desperate need of maintenance – particularly given the fact that the group had enjoyed an almost unprecedented run of 3 whole days without encountering any interference more serious than bandits of the regular human variety, whose designs on their travel funds and the rather comely Kagome and Sango generally faded with one look at an angry Inuyasha (not that Kagome and Sango weren’t perfectly capable of foiling designs in their own right!) – but there was something that he couldn’t quite put his finger on that was niggling at him. Nothing looked out of place, there was a busy little market place in the middle erected around a venerable tree, a headman’s house that stood on a small hillock looking down onto the village proper, several small shrines, and happy men and women going about their daily business. He could definitely sense no lurking demon aura or danger.

“I’m a little worried about Sango.” Kagome remarked as she, Miroku, Shippo and Inuyasha headed towards the marketplace.

“I don’t think you need be.” Inuyasha said, firmly, and with a slight prickly edge in his voice, “Sango and Kirara against a bandit rabble? It’s the bandits I’d pity.”

Shippo popped his head up from inside Kagome’s bicycle basket. He pocketed the slinky spring he had been playing with that Kagome had brought him back from her latest trip to her own time. No-one ever asked how Shippo’s pockets were able to hold so much junk. “Um…I don’t think that’s what Kagome meant,” he muttered hesitantly.

“It isn’t,” Kagome sighed. She appeared distracted, her large, kind brown eyes following small groups of villagers seemingly at random. “You’re quiet Miroku.”

“Hmmmmmnnn, I was thinking, Sango did seem a little depressed, though she was hiding it well, ever since we met those men last night. And there’s something here that’s odd, but I can’t quite work out what it is.” Miroku replied, fingers tapping against the wooden shaft of his priest’s staff.

“Those men” referred to a group of villagers who had shared their fire the previous night. They had been pleasant company, and generous with a rather delicious salt fish dish that was apparently a local speciality. They had, though, taken a rather keen interest in Inuyasha and Shippo and asked questions about their heritage that Inuyasha in particular had been actively disinclined to answer.

“I can,” Inuyasha snarled, ears twitching at the memory “These people don’t know when to mind their own business.”

“Their questions were a little personal,” Shippo agreed, adjusting the ever present blue ribbon that bound his hair, which had come loose in transit “and I never knew so many people had trouble recognizing foxes, they thought I was a dog demon. How stupid, foxes are much more magical.”

“HEY! Let’s see if your magic can stop this,” Inuyasha shouted, and was preparing to launch himself at the little fox demon, who had ducked behind the wheels of Kagome’s bicycle.

Kagome and Miroku exchanged resigned glances, and then Kagome glared pointedly at the enchanted bead chain around Inuyasha’s neck. All she had to do was say the word “Sit” and it would become so heavy that Inuyasha would be pulled to the ground, face first. Originally it was designed to give her some degree of control over a wild and irresponsible half-demon, but their travels together had changed the both of them and now it was mainly used to prevent him from pummelling Shippo at times like this. Inuyasha noted the glare, stopped and stood, arms folded and muttering to himself while Shippo grinned inwardly, feeling that his job of injecting a bit of levity into a heavying atmosphere had been well done.

A group of villagers obviously not far into what Kagome would call adulthood (she had to remind herself often that this was another major difference between her world and Inuyasha’s) walked past, staring in the group’s direction and whispering behind their hands. Kagome was used to her 20th Century school uniform drawing attention, and had learned to ignore it by now. Inuyasha sniffed the air as they were moving away, amber eyes hooded behind knitted brows.

“There’s demon scent clinging to them,” He whispered to Miroku, “but it’s old, almost faded.”

“Really? I can’t feel any evil intentions. But now you say that, look at them, they’re all armed, most of the village is.” And indeed they were. Many carrried carried either a sword or some sort of farming implement which could double as a weapon. “Stupid me, that’s what I’ve been trying to work out all morning. Either the local overlord is VERY lenient, because I don’t think any of these people are Samurai, or there is a lot more to this place than it would first appear.”

“They carry themselves like warriors too.” Kagome added, what had been bothering her finally clicking into place.

“Perhaps we should ask the headman about it once we have brought supplies.” Miroku said with a nod.

“I bet he’s going to conveniently find a demon in his house,” Shippo hissed in Inuyasha’s ear, which made him grin. The altercation only minutes ago appeared to be completely forgotten. Though they would both likely vehemently deny it, Inuyasha and Shippo’s relationship had more than a trace of older and younger brother about it.

After a brief conference to decide what sort of supplies were needed, the friends headed in seperate directions.

A spray of jasmine set beautifully in a wicker basket caught Miroku’s eye, well if he was being completely honest the rather attractive young woman selling the flower arrangements caught his eye before the arrangements themselves, but they were a close second. Then, since lying was a sin before Buddha, he amended it to a distant second until he saw that particular one. The simplicity and vibrancy was absolutely stunning, it was one of those designs that lifted one’s mood simply by looking at it. As he stood there, looking at it and idly wondering whether it would be a suitable present for Sango, he sensed someone behind him. His mind raced, trying to select a witty quip that would explain why he was standing at this stall in particular without having to admit to feelings which – if he was brutally honest – confused him at times. The best that he could come up with involved the potential demonic greenfly on a rather sad looking chrysanthemum. He never got the chance to try the line though, as he came face to face with Kagome, her hands clasped together, a broad, beaming grin on her face.

“Ah Kagome …” he started, deciding to give the greenfly story a try anyway.

“How cute,” she giggled, “Miroku, were you considering buying that jasmine for Sango?”

“Well…I…” he mumbled, tugging with a couple of fingers at the neck of his robe, which suddenly felt uncomfortably constricting. He wished it had been Inuyasha, he could have told him about the demonic parasite infected flower and that would have been the end of the matter. Somehow he didn’t think that would work with Kagome. “Yes, she really did seem quite upset, and I know how she loves it. But it’s not very practical is it? I mean you can’t fight off a demon with it, perhaps a weapon or something instead?”

“Miroku, while Sango’s calling is to destroy demons; she’s so much more than that. I think she’ll be very flattered that you recognize it.” Kagome replied, in a serious tone. “And the display is beautiful. Funny though, those yellow flowers look like winter jasmine, that shouldn’t be around in late spring.”

The stallholder had now finished talking to her previous customer and turned her attention to Miroku. “Ah, you honour me Lord Monk, how may I serve you?” she simpered, making it obvious that her first impressions of him were much like his of her. Before Miroku could say a word, he felt a light pressure on his toes, and looked down to see Kagome’s sandal resting, very gently, on them. Then he looked up to see the words “I’m just reminding you what you are here for, and that if the words “bear my child” enter the conversation it will not go well for you” etched behind her smile.

“That arrangement there,” he said, trying to achieve the disarming grin that normally came so easily to him and only just about managing a cross between a grimace and a nervous smile. Kagome had drifted across to the next stall and was now demonstrating a keen interest in a display of ceremonial teapots. She really was quite thoughtful, for an incorrigible romantic meddler, he noted.

“For your shrine or for someone special?” the stallholder asked, flirtatiously.

“A friend who is depressed, I was hoping these might cheer her up, they’re so well done. You are quite a craftswoman,” he replied, looking more closely at the way the yellows and whites had been carefully worked into each other. The slightly tangy-sweet smell brought a very vivid image from about three weeks ago to his mind of Sango’s response after the plague demon had been defeated. It was exactly the same as the smell of her hair. For a brief second he completely lost track of where he was as he became totally wrapped up in that memory. Damnit, why did things with her seem to take two steps backwards for every step forward? He was brought back to the present by a slight, but insistent itch in his nose and behind his eyes which he scratched at absently with one finger. It didn’t seem to help much.

“Oh thank you, it is my mother’s craft as well.”

Miroku was trying to listen, partly because he hated being rude and partly because he couldn’t really help himself where pretty girls were concerned – particularly ones who were flirting with him. The smell kept making him mentally compare her to Sango though, which was very strange. Well that and it really was making his nose and eyes itch. He tried a deep, controlled breath, but that only made matters worse as it took in more of the heady scent. “Please excuse me for a few moments,” he mumbled, his voice congested and turned aside, burying his face in the ample sleeves of his robe as the jasmine finally won the battle it had been waging.

Heeeh…HahKSSSSSHH, KSSSHHHH, KNNNNXXXTT

“Are you alright Lord Monk?” the stallholder asked, a concerned expression on her face.

“Oh yes, fine, I was ill a little…HeehKNNNXXXXTT …while ago and I think I may not have completely recovered.” Miroku replied, sniffling and rubbing at his eyes.

Kagome put down the teapot that she had been investigating. “Oh Miroku, you poor thing, I think you’ve got a bit of hay fever,” she said, her voice kind and concerned.

“But Kagome, the stables are all the way over there, and besides, I’ve been on horses before and this hasn’t happened. It must just be a leftover from the demon fever, see, it’s cleared up now” Miroku’s voice, however, betrayed him with that plaintive quality that only serious congestion brought, not at all like normal as he gestured in the direction of the village’s inn.

“That was weeks ago, and besides hay fever doesn’t actually have anything to do with horses, it’s...you know what, an explanation would take too long.” Kagome sighed, offering him what appeared to be a light cotton scroll.

“Thank you. Is it a cur..ah…HehKSSSSHHHH..tive spell?”

“Spell? No, it’s a handkerchief, not a sacred scroll – ignore the writing, it’s decorative, it’s just slightly more hygienic than the sleeve of your robe.”

Miroku took the proffered object and wiped at his eyes and nose, which made him feel a little better. Just at that moment Shippo came sprinting as fast as his little legs would carry him through the busy market place. Through gasps and pants, he just about managed to get out “Kagome! Someone selling swords just asked Inuyasha if he wanted to buy one to replace “that rusty old piece of junk.” Kagome winced, it was a perfectly valid mistake, if one didn’t know the powers of Tessaiga. It did normally look like a rusty old blade. With Inuyasha’s temper though it was not an error one would get much of a chance to correct. In fact they could all hear Inuyasha’s indignant roar and see all eyes around them swivel in that direction.

“I have to run, I think a sit may be needed! Miroku, go and take those to Sango, it’s a lovely thought. Just make sure to carry them away from your face and not shake them around too much, you should be fine. See if you can get her to talk, and remember mood - don’t kill it! We’ll meet you back here. Come on Shippo.”

"You don't think I should perhaps get her a weapon instead after all?" Miroku shouted after the retreating Kagome.

"NO!"

Miroku started out towards their campsite while Kagome and Shippo tore off in the opposite direction on a mercy mission to save the indiscreet weapon smith.

Link to comment

I'm trying to think of a word that's not "Huwawawawaaaaaah!"

I absolutely love how your stories make me go: "Ooh, plot...hmm, a little intriguing...can't wait to see what that's all about...OHOHOH! Did he-was that-ohmygod-diiiiieee!"

Besides the obvious, which I will get to, I adored the beginning and the set up of the plot. Which given your flair for storytelling, is going to be a good one. I'm already intrigued by the set up of the villagers and their interest in the demons of the group and can't wait to see where that goes.

No-one ever asked how Shippo’s pockets were able to hold so much junk.

And I have to admit, that line made me giggle. And the Inuyasha-Shippo moments were great, and very in tune with the characters.

Now. (Deep breath). Time for the happy fangirling explosion. I wasn't even supposed to be coming on the forum right now, I just signed on on a whim. So glad for that whim! The ENTIRE end scene of this chapter is a treasure from heaven...I turned into fireworks and shot up into the sky. Man, I consider myself lucky that such a talented writer has decided to consistenly write about my favourite character. I actually splintered my pen from biting it so hard. I think it was this line:

Kagome put down the teapot that she had been investigating. “Oh Miroku, you poor thing, I think you’ve got a bit of hay fever,” she said, her voice kind and concerned.
that really made me climb up the wall. Ha, an ambulance just drove up the street and I'm not entirely unconvinced it's not coming for me-because hello, I am dead now. :omg:

Really, I'd read this for the plot even if it didn't have that last scene in it but...that scene is making me print this out right now so I can go read it about 576 more times.

Sigh...I've always loved jasmine flowers but I'll never be able to look at them quite the same way ever again.

KawaiiKitty is going to sharpen her pencil for she has been inspired. Well, it's more like click it because it's a mechanical pencil but you get the idea...(must try to stop talking now... :innocent: )

And...I noticed you put in that little bit about Kagome talking about "mood". Nice touch! :blush:

Link to comment
A spray of jasmine set beautifully in a wicker basket caught Miroku’s eye, well if he was being completely honest the rather attractive young woman selling the flower arrangements caught his eye before the arrangements themselves, but they were a close second. Then, since lying was a sin before Buddha, he amended it to a distant second until he saw that particular one.

That was great- I LOVE how you write the flow of his thoughts.

Kagome put down the teapot that she had been investigating. “Oh Miroku, you poor thing, I think you’ve got a bit of hay fever,” she said, her voice kind and concerned.

“But Kagome, the stables are all the way over there, and besides, I’ve been on horses before and this hasn’t happened. It must just be a leftover from the demon fever, see, it’s cleared up now” Miroku’s voice, however, betrayed him with that plaintive quality that only serious congestion brought, not at all like normal as he gestured in the direction of the village’s inn.

“That was weeks ago, and besides hay fever doesn’t actually have anything to do with horses, it’s...you know what, an explanation would take too long.” Kagome sighed, offering him what appeared to be a light cotton scroll.

“Thank you. Is it a cur..ah…HehKSSSSHHHH..tive spell?”

“Spell? No, it’s a handkerchief, not a sacred scroll – ignore the writing, it’s decorative, it’s just slightly more hygienic than the sleeve of your robe.”

Awww!! and ^_^ That was just TOO GOOD!!

Alright- now I just HAVE to have more.... :P If you would be so kind- I just Must see where you take this. It is just the type of writing that melts me and makes me feel all sappy :P

Link to comment

Chapter 2

Sango sat on a rock by the gently bubbling brook that flowed near where the group had camped the previous evening, chin resting on one lacquer-stained hand, the other absent-mindedly stroking Kirara, her twin tailed cat companion, who was curled in her lap. Her mind was elsewhere, watching a scene from a happier time and place and wondering whether if she was offered the chance to go back there now, she would take it.

“Am I shirking my duty Kirara? Should I have gone with the others after all and simply faced this? I’m going to have to at some point, why am I so afraid of that being now?” Sango sighed, looking down at her friend, worry lines etched deep into a forehead far too young for such things.

Kirara simply mewed softly, red eyes filled with empathy for Sango’s distress. Not for the first time she wished that twin tailed cats could talk. She decided that if she got the chance she would go and fetch Kagome or Miroku – if there was one thing she had learned in her long life it was that sometimes humans, particularly proud ones like Sango, said one thing when they meant another but didn’t want to ask for it. For now though she simply hopped up and curled herself around Sango’s shoulders purring reassuringly.

“Ah Kirara, what would I do without you?” Sango sighed, scratching the black, star shaped mark on her forehead as she picked up a stone and skipped it across the crystal clear surface of the stream.

Her reverie was interrupted by a waft of jasmine carried by the breeze, and the sound of a series of slightly tired and rather irritated sounding sneezes interspersed with terse muttering.

*Heeh-KNNNNXXXXTTT, KSSSSHHHHH…”Da..ah..Hah…KSSSSHHHHH…mn, perhaps Kah..KNNNNXXXXTT…gome knew what she was talking about after all.”

She turned around to see Miroku, eyes rimmed with red, the lower half of his face obscured by some sort of white cloth which dangled ineffectually from his left hand. Unusually his priest’s staff was secured to his back and he was carrying a basket of vibrant white and gold colour in his right.

“Miroku? What’s the matter? Are you ill?” Sango called to him, her expression shifting from sadness to concern.

“Apparently I have something Kagome called hay fever” he groused, and dragged the long, loose sleeve of his robe across his eyes. Some habits were just too ingrained to break.

“I’ve never heard of that, is it infectious?” Sango asked, her concern growing deeper, though she had to admit, even through the depression there was that feeling again, the one that confused her when Miroku was suffering from the demon sickness. “Do you catch it from horses? Perhaps we ought to avoid inns with stables.”

“She didn’t react as if it was, and appa..ah…Heeeeh ehKKKKSSSHH…rently it doesn’t come from horses. She didn’t really explain it to me but I know that much. It is very trying.” Miroku responded. “I think these may have something to do with it though.”

He held out the arrangement of Jasmine flowers towards Sango with somewhat less grace than he would ideally have envisaged, instead looking rather glad to have them removed from his hands. At least the tickling and itching eased somewhat

“Oh Miroku, are these for me? They’re beautiful!” Sango gasped, taking a deep breath to capture the scent. “Is that yellow…? Yes it is, winter Jasmine, my absolute favourite, I used to collect it when I was little. How did you find that? It shouldn’t be flowering in spring.”

Miroku shrugged to indicate it was a mystery to him. “I thought you seemed down after we met those men last night so this might cheer you up. I know how much you love jasmine.” He suddenly noticed a slight pressure against his legs, and looked down to see Kirara wrapping herself around them, purring loudly. And he could have sworn that she winked at him, but maybe it was his imagination. “Is there any way that I can help?” he asked, gently resting a hand on her shoulder.

Sango thought for a short time, though it was one of those short moments of silence that seems to drag on for eternity “You’ll likely think me a coward,” she said, hanging her head and placing the flowers near Kirara, idly plucking one of the yellow ones out and sliding it into her hair.

“Very unlikely,” Miroku replied simply, tilting her head back up so that she was facing him.

“Hmmmmnnn, you remember the description of the village’s headman? Young, scar on his left cheek, named Shinji Harada.” Sango started hesitantly, Miroku nodded to indicate that he did.

Sango leaned up against a standing stone by the side of the river and her story started to spill from her, “I know him, well I knew him, it has been a long time. He was fostered in our village, his father wanted him to learn how to be a demon hunter so that he could train his people to defend themselves. Apparently their region suffered from a more than usual infestation of them. He wasn’t really cut out for the work. His combat techniques were sound enough, and he was a quick learner with a very sharp mind, but his heart was too easily attacked. Simple demons, no more than animals, were no problem – but an intelligent demon, it’d just destroy him the minute it perceived that weakness. He left three years ago because his father was desperately ill. I knew their village was on the edge of mountains but I didn’t know this was it. He still wrote to the family he lived with even when he had left.”

“It certainly looks as if he’s put his training to good use.” Miroku said with a nod, and mentioned the observations that the group had made. “I would imagine his foster-family would be very proud.”

“Yes, they would be, and now I have to tell him that there’ll be no more letters to say that, because of Naraku’s insatiable hunger for the power of that damn jewel and desire to cause pain.” Sango shouted, eyes glossing with tears. Miroku knew exactly what she was talking about – Sango’s entire village had been razed to the ground and everyone inside slain by a massed demon attack that the group’s main enemy Naraku had arranged simply as a diversion to allow him to steal the few fragments of the sacred jewel within. “I don’t know how I am going to do that. That’s why I’m a coward.”

“Sango, you are a warrior, in all our time with you I’ve never seen you back down from a fight, but this is a completely different challenge and one nobody could fault your feelings over,” Miroku started, resting his hand on hers. “In times of war, everyone thinks about the bravery of the warriors going off to fight, but very few spare a thought for the bravery of the messenger who brings a wife the news that she will never see her husband again or a father and mother news that their son will not be returning to his village yet there are noble Samurai who couldn’t face that task. But think, sooner or later, since no more letters will come, Shinji will work it out. If he hears it from you, he will at least have someone who understands and shares his pain.”

“I’m worried that when I tell him, he will do something stupid though, maybe decide to seek out Naraku himself. That’s one of the risks when one lets one’s heart do the thinking, particularly when it comes to demon slaying. And if Naraku sees his heart is open, he’ll rip it out” Sango replied, looking directly into Miroku’s eyes and placing her other hand on top of his.

“I think he’s more likely to do that if he finds out for himself, without your obvious care for him and guidance,” he replied quietly, holding her gaze. “But you know that already, and he sounds like a man who understands his responsibilities to his people and who will know that one of the most skilled and dedicated demon slayers of all still lives and will not rest until the despicable creature that brought this about is defeated. In my opinion that will be enough.”

“I hope so. I hate being the person who has to bring the corrosive evil of Naraku into another’s happiness. It’s so hard to work out how to do,” Sango spat.

“That I can well understand, but remember you will not be doing it alone. While we will of course respect your privacy, should you need us we will all be there.” Miroku declared, clasping Sango’s hand tightly with his, his voice noticeably roughening.

Sango felt a prickly heat behind her eyes and a sensation not unlike that one gets when something one swallows inconveniently lodges itself halfway down one’s gullet. There was a lot she wanted to say, but her tounge felt like it had grown suddenly far too large for her mouth. “You have a gift with words Miroku. Thank you for sharing it,” she just about managed to force out. “I owe Shinji telling him myself, I knew that, I still don’t know how I am going to do it though.”

“In the way you do everything Sango, admirably.” Miroku whispered, letting go of her hands, smudging a tear away from her cheek and encouraging her to sit by exerting gentle pressure on her shoulders. He sat down opposite her, close enough for comfort but not imposition and gave her time to relax before smiling broadly at her,

“Besides, what sort of stupid thing could he do that wouldn’t pale beside joining a wandering monk who is perpetually misunderstood, a half-demon with a temper as prone to snap as a badly maintained bowstring, a young woman from another time and a precocious fox demon child as they wander around the country getting themselves into trouble over a broken jewel?” he chuckled.

“You’re right,” Sango smiled back at him, slightly wanly, but a smile nonetheless, “That was a pretty stupid move on my part.” She shifted herself so she was sitting right next to him.

“Sometimes the universe rewards stupidity.” Miroku laughed, and wrapped his arms around her stomach. “Particularly the stupidity of the deserving. It’s all karma.”

Sango’s head dropped onto his shoulder, though she dug it into the purple sash of his robe to avoid him noticing that her cheeks were probably so bright red they were glowing. They could both hear Kirara’s contented, slightly knowing purring in the background.

Miroku meanwhile was feeling the the familiar battle in his head between the two conceptual forces of impulse and self-control. Impulse was pointing out that Sango’s backside was only a very short distance away and telling him that this time things would be different and that Sango would appreciate that his intentions were entirely affectionate. Self-control however was telling him that impulse had no idea what it was talking about and that he was likely to end up with any or all of a nice red welt on his face courtesy of an angry Sango’s palm; a – deserved according to self-control - lecture on respect and responsibility from Kagome when she heard and snide remarks from Inuyasha and Shippo when they did. Impulse, as always, was winning the battle when fate intervened, for once, on the side of his beleaguered self-control. The sprig of winter jasmine flowers that Sango had tucked into her hair brushed against his face, breathing their sweet, slightly unctuous fragrance directly into his already sensitive eyes and nose. He tried desperately to fight the tickle produced, contorting his face wildly, but it was always going to be a losing battle. The errant hand that seemed to be impulse’s favourite instrument was drafted suddenly to catch a particularly violent Heeeahhhh..ehhKKKKSSSSSHHMPP.

Sango looked up at Miroku, her eyes narrow. “I think that’s a much better use for that hand, don’t you?” she remarked.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.” He replied, with his best innocent grin on display. “Are you ready to go?”

Sango smiled, “I think we can stay here for a little while longer. Kagome’ll understand.” Behind them, Kirara mewed happily.

Link to comment

How strange it is that I seem to be drawn to my computer just in time to find these sorts of things on it. This is awesome. Not even just for fetish fiction...this is some of the best Inuyasha fanfic I've ever read and I've read a lot and I'm including my own in there. I just love the characterisation in there (especially of Miroku because you seem to be the only other person who writes him the way I see him, and does him justice as a deep multifaceted character) And this time around you get extra points for writing Kirara so well. I sure don't know how you come up with such interesting plots but I wish you could teach me!

“Sometimes the universe rewards stupidity.” Miroku laughed, and wrapped his arms around her stomach. “Particularly the stupidity of the deserving. It’s all karma.”

Sango’s head dropped onto his shoulder, though she dug it into the purple sash of his robe to avoid him noticing that her cheeks were probably so bright red they were glowing. They could both hear Kirara’s contented, slightly knowing purring in the background.

My word, that was one of the most adorable MirokuXSango moments I've ever read. And again...I've read a lot!

Miroku meanwhile was feeling the the familiar battle in his head between the two conceptual forces of impulse and self-control. Impulse was pointing out that Sango’s backside was only a very short distance away and telling him that this time things would be different and that Sango would appreciate that his intentions were entirely affectionate. Self-control however was telling him that impulse had no idea what it was talking about and that he was likely to end up with any or all of a nice red welt on his face courtesy of an angry Sango’s palm; a – deserved according to self-control - lecture on respect and responsibility from Kagome when she heard and snide remarks from Inuyasha and Shippo when they did. Impulse, as always, was winning the battle when fate intervened, for once, on the side of his beleaguered self-control. The sprig of winter jasmine flowers that Sango had tucked into her hair brushed against his face, breathing their sweet, slightly unctuous fragrance directly into his already sensitive eyes and nose. He tried desperately to fight the tickle produced, contorting his face wildly, but it was always going to be a losing battle. The errant hand that seemed to be impulse’s favourite instrument was drafted suddenly to catch a particularly violent Heeeahhhh..ehhKKKKSSSSSHHMPP.

That was hilarious! And a very accurate representation of his thoughts. Miroku approves too! >:D I hope it's TBC because I need to know more about these events! :)

Link to comment

Oh yes, it is definitely TBC...thank you so much KK and TMA. :lol::lol:;) My ego is impossibly large right now.

I'm so glad you liked the writing of Kirara, that was really challenging since she doesn't actually speak, and Shippo wasn't around to act as unofficial mouthpiece.

And I'm very glad Miroku approves of the interpretation of his thoughts! :lol:

Link to comment

*kicks computer* Now I am going to check this Immediately after posting this and this comment had BETTER be there. Understand?? *glares*

I am LOVING this. I can see why KK was so inspired by this and by your tempting her with the jasmine idea. :twisted:

“Apparently I have something Kagome called hay fever” he groused, and dragged the long, loose sleeve of his robe across his eyes. Some habits were just too ingrained to break.

“I’ve never heard of that, is it infectious?” Sango asked, her concern growing deeper, though she had to admit, even through the depression there was that feeling again, the one that confused her when Miroku was suffering from the demon sickness. “Do you catch it from horses? Perhaps we ought to avoid inns with stables.”

:lol: That was Great!! Honestly- it was so cute!!

And I loved this whole thing but my VERY fav. parts....

Yes, they would be, and now I have to tell him that there’ll be no more letters to say that, because of Naraku’s insatiable hunger for the power of that damn jewel and desire to cause pain.” Sango shouted, eyes glossing with tears. Miroku knew exactly what she was talking about – Sango’s entire village had been razed to the ground and everyone inside slain by a massed demon attack that the group’s main enemy Naraku had arranged simply as a diversion to allow him to steal the few fragments of the sacred jewel within. “I don’t know how I am going to do that. That’s why I’m a coward.”

“Sango, you are a warrior, in all our time with you I’ve never seen you back down from a fight, but this is a completely different challenge and one nobody could fault your feelings over,” Miroku started, resting his hand on hers. “In times of war, everyone thinks about the bravery of the warriors going off to fight, but very few spare a thought for the bravery of the messenger who brings a wife the news that she will never see her husband again or a father and mother news that their son will not be returning to his village yet there are noble Samurai who couldn’t face that task. But think, sooner or later, since no more letters will come, Shinji will work it out. If he hears it from you, he will at least have someone who understands and shares his pain.”

********************

Sango felt a prickly heat behind her eyes and a sensation not unlike that one gets when something one swallows inconveniently lodges itself halfway down one’s gullet. There was a lot she wanted to say, but her tounge felt like it had grown suddenly far too large for her mouth. “You have a gift with words Miroku. Thank you for sharing it,” she just about managed to force out. “I owe Shinji telling him myself, I knew that, I still don’t know how I am going to do it though.”

“In the way you do everything Sango, admirably.” Miroku whispered, letting go of her hands, smudging a tear away from her cheek and encouraging her to sit by exerting gentle pressure on her shoulders. He sat down opposite her, close enough for comfort but not imposition and gave her time to relax before smiling broadly at her,

“Besides, what sort of stupid thing could he do that wouldn’t pale beside joining a wandering monk who is perpetually misunderstood, a half-demon with a temper as prone to snap as a badly maintained bowstring, a young woman from another time and a precocious fox demon child as they wander around the country getting themselves into trouble over a broken jewel?” he chuckled.

“You’re right,” Sango smiled back at him, slightly wanly, but a smile nonetheless, “That was a pretty stupid move on my part.” She shifted herself so she was sitting right next to him.

“Sometimes the universe rewards stupidity.” Miroku laughed, and wrapped his arms around her stomach. “Particularly the stupidity of the deserving. It’s all karma.”

BRILLLANT, in the descriptions, in the flow of the conversation, in the images, and the emotions. I really felt this and from everything that I have heard and read of Miroku and Sango (not really knowing the series very well) this just fits Really well!!

You HAVE to write more. Errr.r.... :blush: Please?? :blink:

Link to comment

Chapter 3

Miroku and Sango were walking in companionable silence back towards the settlement when the incident happened. They had both decided that given the fact that the villagers seemed to be well versed in the arts of demon hunting, arriving on a flying scarlet eyed, two tailed, sabretoothed cat with flames licking around her paws would probably not be the wisest of courses of action, particularly given the fact that Inuyasha’s rather legendary temper sounded like it may have already landed the group in trouble. Sango was thinking about how she would feel about meeting Shinji again, a totally unexpected link to her previous life. And she wondered how she would tell him about the destruction of her village. Every speech she rehearsed in her head seemed somehow inadequate to the magnitude of the event. When she seemed too troubled, Kirara would give her ear a playful little nip or Miroku would rest his hand on her shoulder though and somehow things seemed a little brighter, the words seemed to come a little easier.

The incident started with such a simple thing. They were passed on the road by a rider, galloping hard in the pursuit of some unknown errand, dust kicking up behind his horse’s hooves. Sango had to throw herself to one side to avoid being run over but unfortunately her instinctive leap failed to compensate for the fact that the boomerang on her back weighed nearly a third of what she did herself and she started to topple forward. Miroku reacted admirably quickly, pivoting on one foot and flicking his staff over his back in one graceful movement so that he was ready to catch her. He decided that perhaps he shouldn’t have showed off quite so much and simply caught her around the waist however when she crashed into him slightly sooner than he had anticipated, before he had adequately braced himself and he ended up falling backwards with the demon hunter crashing down on top of him. It could have been worse, he decided, at least he didn’t get that damn flower in his face. Both of them were showered by the dustcloud from the departing rider.

“Are you alright?” Miroku asked solicitously. “Would you like some help brushing that off?”

Sango turned her face away from his chest and sneezed some of the dirt that she had inhaled out of her nose “I’m fine, but thank you anyway Miroku,” she said with a smile that indicated that she had suspicions about his motivations for wanting to help her brush the dried mud from her kimono.

“As you wish,” Miroku replied without rancour, though his expression was mildly wounded at her perceived misjudgement of his intent.

“Thank you though, you do make for a very comfortable landing.” She giggled, adding a grin that she hoped he would take as an apology. It felt like, for a brief time, the worries about what she had to do had been lifted from her by Miroku’s presence.

Then the ridiculousness of the situation hit Miroku all at once as he hauled himself onto his elbows, “Sango, SIT!!” he shouted, attempting to mimic Kagome’s angry tone when she gave that order to Inuyasha, snorts of laughter giving way to chuckles and then guffaws.

Sango splattered face first into the road dramatically, then rocked back upright so that she was kneeling, hands bracing her body, which was in that state of laughter where one is reduced to simply shaking. Kirara sat on the roadside, watching them both with an enigmatically feline expression that covered her amusement. “Humans,” she thought affectionately “and they say that cats are only interested in play and food.”

It was such a simple thing. Both Sango and Miroku recovered from their respective fits of the giggles at the same time and ended up looking directly into each other’s eyes. But the thing about simple things is put a lot together and you usually end up with something very complex. That was exactly what happened in that instant. It is often said that you get a spark between people. Miroku and Sango had been sparking since not long after their first meeting and by now that spark was approaching the level of a brooding electrical storm. The moment seemed to stretch into infinity for both of them as they became lost in their own thoughts.

Unoticed, Kirara drew back to give her friends their space, fancying that she could feel the emotional charge in the air make her fur stand on end.

***

Miroku was staring at the unreadable expression on Sango’s face, his heart hammering away faster than if he had just indulged in a footrace with Inuyasha. He wasn’t really aware of time passing, thoughts that tumbled through his mind seemed to rush in and block out everything else. He could see, vividly, his teacher restraining him as his father was consumed by Naraku’s curse on the entire male line of his family, the wind tunnel in his right hand. He felt the weight of the prayer bead necklace and blessed cloth that kept that same curse in check in his own case, while his father’s words rang in his ears “you must do all you can to destroy that cursed demonspawn Miroku, or else my fate will be yours as well.”

“How cruel would it be of me to be to give in to my impulses now?” He thought to himself. “I made the conscious choice to use my wind tunnel as a weapon, knowing that it would hasten my own end because that seemed to me to be the right thing to do. That choice has consequences, consequences I must admit are only now becoming apparent. Until this curse is lifted I cannot offer Sango the happiness she deserves, only time will tell whether I can afterwards, but I think I wish to.”

Impulse was screaming, goading and kicking at him inside his head to simply reach out and take the moment for what it was. For once, the inner voice of self control cut straight through all of the protestations. “No, I won’t, this isn’t a moment, it’s just the illusion of a moment and Sango deserves much better. But it will make the real moment all the sweeter.” At least he assumed it was self control, perhaps it was fear, the two could sound irritatingly similar.

***

Sango meanwhile was staring at the stunned expression on Miroku’s face, her heart racing, driving blood straight into her flushing cheeks. She was thinking of her former life, before Naraku tore it away, but unwittingly gave her something different but still utterly precious to her. Demon slayers had comradeship, they had camaraderie, thinking of her mother and father she would acknowledge they even had deep affection, but whatever it was that she was feeling now would have no doubt been cursed as a serious weakness. It would make one unpredictable, prone to irrational action, and besides the myriad flying things in the stomach would be a serious distraction. But was that all she was, a demon slayer? Was that what father was trying to tell her when he said the simple word “live”.

And what of Miroku? Conflicting images merged into one. Miroku sucking the venom wasps into his wind tunnel to give Inuyasha the opportunity to help both her and Kagome against the revenant of her brother, Kohaku at the cost of severe injuries; the times he’d sought her out to comfort her; the time he’d offered to let her go to another simply because he thought that would be her best chance of happiness; and the time when he’d taken the demon contagion that she was suffering on himself and most recently that flower arrangement that he’d brought to her despite the fact that it seemed to make him ill. On the other hand there were images of all the times that he’d flirted brazenly with other women right in front of her eyes, all the times she had needed to slap him for his wandering hands. She wondered if that was what he wanted, simple pleasure, but somehow she doubted it. His other actions spoke of something a lot deeper, but they were signs she’d never learned to read and all of a sudden she wished that she had.

“Can I be both demon slayer and woman?” she thought to herself. Not while Naraku holds Kohaku in thrall, until then that has to be my focus. “Only time will tell whether I can afterwards but I think I wish to.”

***

Unnoticed by the two of them, clouds had drawn across the sky. The moment had obviously lasted a lot longer than either thought. A gentle white rain started to drift down, dancing and whirling as it fell. Some dusted Sango’s hair, some blew into Miroku’s eyes and the moment was broken, melting into the past like the unseasonal snow now falling. Almost simultaneously Miroku and Sango cleared their throats and looked upwards.

“That was unexpected” Miroku remarked calmly, as if nothing had happened, though his face demonstrated it was a mask hastily donned.

“First the jasmine and now this, there must be something going on here.” Sango replied with a nod, the demon hunter demeanour now back on display.

Both silently promised themselves under their masks to revisit what had happened later.

They both almost missed the sounds of the rattling clatter of Kagome’s cycle wheels, “Hey, Sango, Miroku, thank heavens, I thought something had happened to you, you’ve been that long,” she shouted in her usual cheerful manner, waving furiously. "Am I imagining this, or is it snowing in May?"

As she got close enough to see their faces however she could tell just by looking that when the current situation was over, she would have long conversations ahead of her. She’d never really thought of what she’d like to do for a living before, but now an image of a Tokyo newspaper flashed in her head, with a rather flattering but still sage looking photograph of her on the by-line of the “Ask Higurashi” advice column. “Would you like me to perhaps head back and let you follow at your own pace?” she asked, looking unsure.

“No, we were just on our way anyway,” Miroku said still in his faux calm tone. “What happened with Inuyasha and that weaponsmith?”

“Oh now there’s a story, Shippo’s acting as his chaperone at the moment, and we’ve been “invited” to the headman’s house. I’ll tell you both about it on the way.”

Compared to trying to resolve her feelings about what had just happened, Sango thought, suddenly the impending conversation with Shinji seemed a whole lot simpler. She took a deep breath of the beautiful jasmine arrangement Miroku had given her, letting the smell calm her. Now that was definitely real.

Link to comment

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness.

This...is just beautifully done. There's no other words for it.

I love the bits with Kirara because she never gets a decent part in fanfics so it's nice to see her being included and having some insight into her thoughts about situations as well.

The whole train of thought thing with Sango and Miroku was one of the few fanfics that actually portrays their relationship the way I think it's intended in the anime and beautifully illustrated WHY they each hold back and WHY they are so hesitant to get involved. You just seem to have "got" it and it's rare to see fics that do that and I'm including MINE among the ones that don't! :laugh: I may be a little tiny bit biased but I'm always anxious to see Miroku portrayed well, and I'm happy to say your portrayal of him passes the KawaiiKitty test!

And:

She’d never really thought of what she’d like to do for a living before, but now an image of a Tokyo newspaper flashed in her head, with a rather flattering but still sage looking photograph of her on the by-line of the “Ask Higurashi” advice column.

I don't know why but that struck me as not only hilarious but a particularly well written sentence.

And now I feel the same way I do when an episode of Inuyasha finishes in the middle of a particularly important scene, making me wait to see how events are resolved! Which would be hovering over my seat saying "What? It cannot end there! I must know what happens next!"

Link to comment

Mmmm.... angst... and well done angst too... that I love. *Is that wrong?? :bounce:*

That was unexpected” Miroku remarked calmly, as if nothing had happened, though his face demonstrated it was a mask hastily donned.

“First the jasmine and now this, there must be something going on here.” Sango replied with a nod, the demon hunter demeanour now back on display.

Both silently promised themselves under their masks to revisit what had happened later.

I LOVED that. Relationships where you cannot say everything that you want to say but that you know that you are going to have to "revist" things at some point.

Ok... I NEED to know what happens next (and btw- I am double checking to make sure that this actually posts- 1 time but posts).

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Awww, thank you so much. I am so very glad that you are enjoying it. :rolleyes: Especially that last bit because I really wasn;t sure whether that would fit in there, but it really wanted to be written. And now, without further ado, here is...

Chapter 4

By the time that they all arrived back at the village, the snow was beginning to settle, blanketing the ground in a soft, pristine white. Kagome thought to herself how much prettier it was than in her time, when it was churned up and blackened by the passing traffic way before anyone got the chance to truly appreciate how beautiful it made things. Kirara was following her closely, ensuring that she was well under the shelter of Kagome's umbrella and making it quite clear that she did not share her feelings about the snowfall. Sango and Miroku followed quietly, keeping to opposite sides of the paved road. Their silence was now most definitely not companionable, nor was it exactly uncomfortable. It was more...pregnant, like the sky on an oppressively humid and overcast day, either rain could come and make everything fresh and sweet and new or there would be an almighty storm that would result in utter devastation. Kagome had noticed that they both kept sneaking looks at each other when they thought they were not being observed, Sango often hugging the little basket of flowers she was carrying and Miroku looking at the blessed cloth and prayer beads securing the wind tunnel in his right hand. As neither of them would move underneath the umbrella they were both now covered with a fine sugar frosting of snow.

"What happened Kirara?" Kagome asked the little feline demon who was currently pressing against her legs in both a demonstration of affection and to avoid a particularly large flurry.

Kirara mewed and swished one tail over her large crimson eyes in a passable imitation of the human gesture that indicated exasperation or despair with a person. She hoped that Kagome would understand it, if not she decided that she would try Shippo later, he always understood what she was saying, though he pretended he didn't for a little while to drag out the game of charades.

By the time they arrived back the snow had become much heavier, and drifts were beginning to form. Groups of local children were running backwards and forwards, throwing snowballs and sculpting shapes. Kagome smiled, thinking of the snowball fights she and her brother Sota still indulged in back home in the yard of her grandfather's temple. While some things about this time were utterly alien to her, some things never changed. It was always reassuring when she found one.

The group found Inuyasha in the shelter of the headman's porch, his red robes splattered with white snow, and the melting remains of an exploded snowball dripping off his face. In a nearby snowdrift a pair of short, furry legs were bicycling furiously in the air. Miroku surreptitiously started backing away from Kagome, whose expression was rapidly becoming thunderous. Sango put her hand on her friend's shoulder.

"I'll rescue Shippo," she said and then hurried to pull him from the snowdrift, chuckling to herself as the command "SIT" echoed over her shoulder. As she pulled him free and helped him up onto one of his favourite perches on her shoulder, all bristling indignation and dire imprecations she whispered to him "Shippo, would you help me with something? I promise if you do I'll show you how to really throw a snowball."

Shippo looked at Sango, whose expression was curious, and then at the prone form of Inuyasha, currently enduring one of Kagome's famous lectures, then down at the snow on the ground. "It's a deal, what do you want help with?"

Shippo didn't get to find out immediately though, as a tall gentleman strode out onto the enclosed porch. His face was handsome in a rougish kind of way, and it was one of the few faces that could carry off the livid scar that ran from the corner of one of his dark brown eyes to the hinge of his jaw. His hair was crowned with a samurai topknot, indicating his status as the headman of the village and his black Kimono of expensive silk and ornate katana, which by the manner in which he carried himself was functional rather than ceremonial, confirmed it. He seemed on the verge of saying something when he noticed the young woman by the snowdrift, her face a mosaic of happiness, nostalgia and a curious sadness.

"Sango?" he gasped.

"Shinji! It is you!!" She shouted, almost letting Shippo fall as she was temporarily overwhelmed by the flood of emotion that she knew was coming, but was still a surprise when it hit. Before he fell though he let out a squawk and she handed him to Miroku, who had appeared at her right elbow smiling supportively.

Shinji hustled across the snow and took Sango's forearms, a rakish grin on his face. "It's so good to see you again, I'm so sorry, if I'd known I would have invited you and your friends here immediately! How is your father and mother, and Kohaku? I bet he's growing every day."

"Please, don't be, I've only just arrived. I didn't know if you'd remember me when we met some of your people last night." Sango replied, struggling to keep her voice from cracking. Of course she knew he would ask about her family, but that hadn't prepared her for the moment when it came. "We'll perhaps talk of old times later, I understand at the moment a friend of mine may have done something rather rash."

"Ah yes, perhaps we can all discuss that over dinner? That is if you all will join me." Shinji's smile was genuine, though his tone did give the impression that it was something slightly more than an invitation, and so it was quickly accepted by all of them.

When dinner time came, Miroku, Sango, Kagome, Inuyasha and Kirara all took their places around the long dining table which the village's chief sat at the head of.

"Where's Shippo?" Inuyasha asked, "it isn't like him miss out on food."

"I haven't seen him for a while," Miroku remarked, "in fact the last time I saw him he was being rescued from being face down in a snowdrift."

Inuyasha fended off Kagome's glare as he concentrated on serving himself. Shortly afterwards Sango excused herself saying that she was going to look for Shippo as he would be most upset if he missed such a delicious dinner. As she passed Kagome was sure she could smell cinnamon and boiled sweets. Suspiciously she looked up at the ribbon binding Sango's long hair into a pony tail. Sure enough it was bright sky blue.

"What are you up to Shippo?" she thought to herself. The little fox demon cub was a shape changer, but obviously had not grown into his full power yet and his transformations always had at least two flaws. The first was that his tail was always visible, though he had covered that with Sango's kimono, the second was that he didn't seem to be able to transform the blue ribbon he always wore in his hair. At least he was better at transforming into people than he was objects, the one time he had transformed into a bow, it had more resembled a snail.

Sango returned a few minutes later, with Shippo in tow, now back in his normal form, his brushy auburn tail swishing excitedly at the sight of dinner.

"You're late." Inuyasha said, pushing a bowl across the table in the kitsune's direction. "I'd almost started eating yours, you're always quick enough to eat mine."

"That's because I'm growing, so I need plenty of food to help me get big and strong, besides I was on an important mission and lost track of time." Shippo chuckled as he grabbed the bowl of steaming fish soup. Then, remembering his manners he turned to his host "My apologies Lord Harada."

"Accepted. Just see it doesn't happen again." Shinji nodded gravely, though there was an indulgent twinkle in his eye. Shippo had that effect on people, except Inuyasha who was grousing about showing him big and strong once he couldn't hide behind Kagome.

"I found him playing snowballs with some of the local children." Sango stage whispered to Kagome, Inuyasha and Miroku on the opposite side of the table.

Kagome nodded and grinned with the others, but made a mental note to quiz Shippo later.

Shinji cleared his throat. "Right, now that you are all here, there is the small matter of a complaint regarding a broken sword that Tomesei the smith has brought to me. You are called Inuyasha, yes?"

Inuyasha nodded, with the absolute minimum amount of deference required.

"Tomesei claims that you used your demon powers to break the sword with your bare hands, then attacked him, is this true?"

"The metal was rubbish," Inuyasha asserted, bluntly. "And as for attacking him, no. I did grab him, because he insulted a very precious gift from my father. If I'd attacked him, he wouldn't be able to make the complaint against me."

"I would be inclined to agree Lord Harada." Miroku said, in his best diplomatic tone, "Even though I was not present for the incident I have been travelling with Inuyasha for some time, during which his half demon strength has helped save all our lives. I doubt though that even he could snap well forged steel with his bare hands. And while Inuyasha can be impulsive and temperamental, he is not the sort to harm innocents."

"You are quite correct," Shinji replied, nodding towards Miroku and Inuyasha "the metal was of an inferior quality, I personally am most grateful that it was revealed in this way rather than when the blade was used in anger. You may have just been karma's instrument in saving another life. And I saw no marks on Tomesei when he came before me that weren't created by the judicious application of inks."

Inuyasha opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it again as Kagome's elbow dug into his ribs with a warning to hold his tongue attached to it.

"This has been a problem for us ever since the mountain villages lost access to the Kitumi mines, where the best ore comes from, because the passes are completely cut off by this damn weather. I've lost several good men recently to relatively minor demons after their weapons broke during combat," he continued, looking grave.

"But where is the weather coming from?" Sango asked, "I know that snow is to be expected in the mountains, but it still shouldn' fall in late spring. And winter flowers definitely should not be in bloom."

"Something's happened to Sorano and Etsu, the mountain's weather spirits, recently," Shinji said, with a sadness in his tone that belied his impassive mien. "They used to be kindly and helpful, but now as you can see they have turned spiteful and make life very difficult for all of us. Without the mines and trade routes that are their livelihood the mountain villages will starve. They cannot grow their own food up there. And it is only a matter of time before the local demons realize that we do not have the weaponry to fight them any more, and as soon as that happens..."

"...they'll attack without mercy." Sango whispered, head bowed so that her hair covered her face. Shippo. Inuyasha, Kagome and Miroku all simultaneously put a foot against her knee under the table to illustrate their support while Shippo hugged in close to her and Kirara, who was keening gently. The memory of the devastation they encountered in Sango's village was strong for all of them.

"Yes, what is wrong Sango?" Shinji asked, voice full of concern.

Sango cleared her throat and looked up. "I must speak with you after dinner, in private. For now, back to these mountain beings."

"Can spirits simply turn like that?" Kagome said through a mouthful of smoked fish.

"It's certainly rare amongst elementals, though they can be capricious and notoriously prone to take offence," came a slightly doddery voice from around Inuyasha's neck level.

"I thought I felt an itch." Inuyasha muttered as he slapped violently just under where his left ear would have been had he been human. Myoga, his father's old flea demon advisor drifted down onto the table and lay there dazed.

"Oowww, Master Inuyasha, you should respect your elders," he complained.

Shinji ignored the interruption, though he did regard the little demon now hopping around on his table with distinct curiosity, then he raised his cup to his lips and took a long sip of sake, "If someone has wronged them, they will certainly pay," he hissed. "At the moment though I simply do not have anyone, other than myself, trained enough to deal with them if they have turned irretrievably hostile. And there are reasons other than simply the tactical one of being commander of the village’s warriors that would make it unwise for me to go hunting those two."

Inuyasha scratched at one of his Akita dog ears, his expression thoughtful. Normally he would point out that they weren't samurai in this situation, then promptly get outvoted by the rest of the group and end up helping anyway. But he could tell that doing so now would hurt Sango, who was obviously deeply affected by the plight of the village, which could so easily end up like her own if its ability to fight was curtailed for too long. "I suppose if the others are willing we could hunt them. What do they look like and do you know of any reason why they would have turned against you?" he barked, pretending that he didn’t notice the warm smiles of all of his friends.

"They look like twins, both very beautiful. Their eyes are the grey of the sky right before a snowstorm and their hair is much like yours, pure white and blows around even indoors. Etsu wears an ice blue kimono, Sorano wears traditional mourning clothes in white."

"They don't sound like any evil demon types that I have heard of." Miroku said, scratching his chin thoughtfully. "I am more inclined to believe that they may be under some sort of compulsion."

"You're only saying that because they're pretty girls," Shippo grumbled under his breath, arms folded. Miroku made a point of paying particularly careful attention to their host's words, indicating that he had heard the bait and was not rising to it.

"As to why they have turned against us, I don't know. The only thing I have, and I am not sure if this is significant, but the last person who set out to find them was found frozen solid carrying this." Shinji held out a vaguely human shaped wooden sculpture with a hole in the middle, about as tall as a man's forearm was long. The entire group exchanged glances, it looked like one of the statuettes that Naraku used as a focus to create his demon puppets, simple vessels for his malice that he could send out to spread his taint without risking his own life to do so.

"Naraku," Inuyasha spat. "Alright, that settles it, we'll leave tomorrow." Everyone around the table nodded assent.

"Thank you very much all of you. But please, if you find them, would you promise me one thing? To try and help them if at all possible," Shinji's expression was bereft. "I do not know why they have become like this, but I know that it must not be their fault." Then under his breath he added, "Not my gentle Etsu."

"Lord Harada you have our word that we will try." Kagome agreed.

"But if it is a situation where it is our life or theirs," Inuyasha added, face, posture and voice asserting his statement as simple fact, "then we will not hold back out of sentiment."

"I...understand." Shinji nodded as a servant bustled in to collect the dishes. "Thank you, now Sango, you said you wished to speak to me, perhaps we could take tea in my study? I will have some brought for the rest of you. And please, for tonight my house is yours."

No-one saw Sango for the rest of the evening, and when Miroku told them what she wanted to talk to the headman about there was not much surprise. Inuyasha spent much of the time sparring with Miroku in the little ornamental garden, practicing fighting on snow and without the intention of killing. Shippo and Kagome meanwhile watched while sipping tea and playing cards. Shippo was getting good enough to beat Kagome once in a while and decided that he would have to challenge Miroku to a game or three to build on his newfound confidence and skill. The monk always lost to Kagome. Eventually they all retired anticipating with relish the comfort of sleeping in comfort for a change.

As Miroku slid back the screen in his room he noticed something resting on the pillow in the darkness. Carefully he moved across the bare floorboards and prodded it with the tip of his staff so that it rolled into a patch of moonlight flowing through the window, revealing it to be an origami chrysanthemum made from parchment dyed vibrant pink and green. Tied to it by a length of creeper was a piece of Kagome's "notepaper" with one of Shippo's rather fine crayon caricatures of a grinning Sango and Kirara, and some clumsy script that read "We say thank you" (or possibly "I am a blowfish", but Miroku assumed the former was closer to the actual intent). He picked up the flower and held it up to the moonlight, the colours were definitely hers and there was a faint whiff of jasmine that drifted from it. "She remembered," he whispered to himself. A long time ago he had mentioned to Sango that he liked origami flowers as real ones were used to symbolise impermanence in Buddhist thought.

It was almost as if his feet carried him to the small room where Sango and Kirara were staying without his conscious input, a kind of waking sleepwalk. The first he really knew was when he saw Sango fast asleep on her pallet, the moonlight through the shutters casting pools of light and shadow over her, that and the fact that the flower arrangement that he had brought her earlier was on a small table right next to the door.

"Buddha has a cruel sense of humour." He muttered, nose and eyes starting to itch almost immediately, and he buried his face in one of his long sleeves so as to avoid waking up the entire house, noting that this wasn't what he expected to use his training in avoiding disturbing the meditation of others for, "it wou..ah...ld...be...ohhhfff...cour..*Heeh..ehh Nktt, EH...Nkkkt...Nkkkt". He briefly offered a small prayer of thanks when neither she nor Kirara stirred.

Miroku crept over and sat down cross-legged next to Sango, brushing some unruly locks of her long dark hair away from her face, still sniffling into the sleeve of his robe. She looked different asleep, altogether softer and more feminine. Normally she carried herself upright, aware and perfectly poised for combat, always only a deceptively demure kimono away from the warrior, her beauty given a hard edge, more fascinating than truly beautiful. Now she simply looked contented and at total peace, a radiance which touched both his physical aesthetic appreciation of the female form and his spiritual belief in harmony. Somewhere in his head an emboldened self control tightened the lock that he had impulse in. Impulse would escape of course, he always did, but not right now. That felt like a real victory, one he actually wished he could share...until he pictured the others' incredulous looks and shouts of "you expect CREDIT for not being lecherous at a totally inappropriate time?" Maybe discretion was the better part of achievement he decided.

"Sango, until Naraku is gone, and with him this damn curse I can't tell you how I really feel, or at least I shouldn't" he whispered, hoping that she wouldn't wake up. A small part of his mind was already in the process of concocting a cover story in case she did. He hoped that it was doing a slightly better job than earlier when it had completely failed to distract Kagome, the disapproval that he faced whenever he faced his friends with a large red welt on his face was so misplaced and distasteful. She didn't.

"But you gave me something else a little while ago, and I've been holding it close to my heart always, but now I know I should give it back."

With that he kissed the tips of his fingers and brushed them ever so gently over her lips. His heart almost stopped as Sango sighed, shivered and rolled over, but then her deep, regular breathing resumed, indicating that he had not wakened her. Deftly he brushed another escaped wisp of hair back behind her ear, noticing that a couple of bright yellow petals were still caught up in it. He didn't disturb them. Instead he gently tucked one of his sacred scrolls, inscribed with the script for love and harmony under her pillow, then shuffled carefully away, trying his best to avoid the flowers on his way out. As the screen door swished and clicked closed, Kirara opened one eye, yawned and stretched and began to think about her friends and how complicated humans had to make everything. She wondered if there was anything a cat could do to help simplify them.

Link to comment

I'm really enjoying this. I'm going to pick out my fav. bits.

“You’re only saying that because they’re pretty girls,” Shippo grumbled under his breath, arms folded. Miroku made a point of paying particularly careful attention to their host’s words, indicating that he had heard the bait and was not rising to it.
*grins* I loved that.
to it by a length of creeper was a piece of Kagome’s “notepaper” with one of Shippo’s rather fine crayon caricatures of a grinning Sango and Kirara, and some clumsy script that read “We say thank you” (or possibly “I am a blowfish”, but Miroku assumed the former was closer to the actual intent
:rolleyes:<_< That was TOO Good.
Miroku crept over and sat down cross-legged next to Sango, brushing some unruly locks of her long dark hair away from her face, still sniffling into the sleeve of his robe. She looked different asleep, altogether softer and more feminine. Normally she carried herself upright, aware and perfectly poised for combat, always only a deceptively demure kimono away from the warrior, her beauty given a hard edge – more fascinating than truly beautiful. Now she simply looked contented and at total peace, a radiance which touched both his physical aesthetic appreciation of the female form and his spiritual belief in harmony. Somewhere in his head an emboldened self control tightened the lock that he had impulse in. Impulse would escape of course, he always did, but not right now. That felt like a real victory, one he actually wished he could share…until he pictured the others’ incredulous looks and shouts of “you expect CREDIT for not being lecherous at a totally inappropriate time?” Maybe discretion was the better part of achievement he decided

That whole paragraph was just SO what Miroku ( I think) and it was just SQUEEE!! This completely made me really want more. But I'll try to be patient.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Eeeeee :wub:, thank you so much. It makes me really happy to know that it's being enjoyed. :drool::blushing: LOL...I'm really trying to be halfway through by now, I don't know if I've managed it or not, but anyway, here is:

Chapter 5

Miroku awoke with a start while the first glimmerings of rose and peach that heralded the dawn were only just kindling in the sky, images of the dream that he’d been having about Sango carved into his mind and written quite plainly in the flush of his face. Ever so calmly he climbed out of bed, walked over to the screen door of his room, slid it aside, stepped out into the snow shrouded ornamental garden, cracked the ice of the fishpond with the tip of his staff and immersed his head completely in the freezing water. He noted with satisfaction as he rocked backwards and flopped his soaked hair away from his face and removed some ice-flecked fronds of water creeper that the sudden shock appeared to have returned most of his body to his conscious control and he swore to himself to avoid vigorous exertion before sleep in future, which really could have been the only explanation for such scenes. That moment yesterday could have had nothing to do with it, he told himself, really. He then offered a short prayer that he didn’t talk in his sleep. Inuyasha, Kagome and Shippo’s room was not far away. He would never hear the end of it if the notoriously light sleeping Inuyasha’s keen ears had heard anything. Then, since he was awake anyway, he slipped into his morning meditations, hoping that they would slow down the racing of his heart somewhat.

He was rather surprised when he “awoke”, to find that he was wrapped neatly in one of Shinji’s thick blankets and to smell green tea laced with peppermint. Looking down he saw a little china cup sitting in a melted well in the snow next to him, the steam drifting up from it making ephemeral patterns in the bite of the dawn air. He heard a tutting noise from behind him, and shifted around to see Kagome, also wrapped in a blanket sitting on the little covered porch behind him, her head buried in a book that declared “Trigonometry Can Be Fun”. He remembered Kagome’s comment that the book’s title lied and wondered why she still read it if that was the case. A tray with one of the ornamental teapots that she had been looking at in the marketplace yesterday sat beside her – that was so Kagome, she would no doubt have felt guilty about looking without buying, even though it had been an obvious ruse to give Miroku his space. Almost on cue she looked up, her expression stern but her eyes warm.

“Couldn’t sleep Miroku?” She queried, eyebrow raised.

Miroku uttered another utterly heartfelt prayer in his head that if he HAD talked in his sleep, that wasn’t what had woken Kagome. He assumed that since there was no obvious signs of a slap that it wasn’t.

“Ummmm…no, disturbing dreams.” He replied, forgiving himself immediately for the ambiguity of the answer. After all, it wasn’t exactly untruth. Her look of sympathy produced a brief flash of guilt still. “How about you?”

“What? Oh, Kirara woke me, shot outside as soon as I opened the screen door. I don’t know what’s got into her, she hates the snow. Still, I suppose that she wanted to let Sango sleep, which I can understand. It must have been so difficult for her last night telling Lord Harada about her village, especially after his asking about Kohaku and her parents. I saw you meditating out here, and thought that someone ought to look after you since you are obviously can’t look after yourself,” she nagged playfully, tapping one of her slippered feet and wagging her index finger at him. “Just be glad it wasn’t Inuyasha who found you, you know how sarcastic he can be when he first wakes up.”

“Only when he first wakes up?” Miroku grinned.

“Miroku, shush, he’s not that bad.” Kagome laughed, tossing a half handful of snow at the Monk.

“Hmmmmn. Aren’t you cold?” He asked her, concern in his voice

“Not really, I’ve got fleece pyjamas and a blanket, you’re the one who was sitting out in shin deep snow in light cotton with wet hair for who knows how long. You’ll end up with a chill or worse if you aren’t careful” Kagome replied, sighing.

Miroku was very glad for the simple platonic friendship that existed between himself and Kagome, probably the first time he had ever experienced such a thing. He didn’t really trust his head to deal with the image of a woman in nightwear at the moment. “Kagome, my old teacher used to make me purify “my dirty self” by sitting under an ice cold waterfall for long periods of time, I don’t get chills.” He said in a slightly haughty tone.

“Mmmmmmnnn, well don’t come to me for sympathy when you’re sneezing and snuffling later” Kagome retorted, deceptively mildly. And then, deciding she had spent quite enough time in idle banter, she put her book down by her side, carefully tucking a hair ribbon she’d borrowed from Shippo in her place. “Miroku,” she started, trapping him with the burning curiosity in her eyes, “what did happen earlier? You and Sango barely said a word to each other ever since I met you and there was definitely a mood between you.”

Miroku thought for a second about whether he wished to say anything or not. Not that long ago he would have simply brushed the question aside with a joke, relying on his natural charm to deflect it, spurning the offer of help implied without causing offence. One of the most important things this journey had taught him, he noted to himself, was that he was no longer alone. And it was Kagome, the one person who believed so much that he and Sango should be together. He decided to trust her, and set aside the quip that was pushing at his lips to be free. Instead he sighed, “It’s a long story.”

“It’s not even dawn yet, and there’s still plenty of green tea.” Kagome smiled encouragingly, holding up the teapot and sloshing it for emphasis. Miroku swallowed the contents of the cup beside him, revelling in the feeling of the warmth slipping down his throat and radiating through his hands.

“That’s good, look, my cup is empty”

Hidden in one corner of the garden, Kirara curled up on the branch of a cherry tree out of the snow, feeling distinctly satisfied with herself. Her human companions weren’t the only ones who could have plans she thought with a contented nod. Meanwhile Miroku related yesterday’s story and his thoughts and feelings on it to Kagome, both totally unaware of the crimson eyes watching them.

Kagome allowed Miroku to finish, then smiled kindly at him, hands clasped as if a Christian in prayer. “Miroku,” she asked, “Do you really have little faith that we’re going to succeed?”

Miroku stared at her slightly dumbfounded, and blinked several times, that wasn’t a question that he had been expecting. “Ummm, I’m not sure what you mean Kagome,” he stuttered.

“Well you can’t tell Sango how you feel because you think it cruel to let her love a man with a death sentence hanging over his head, particularly after all she’s been through yes? That, incidentally, is so tragic and romantic.”

“Those are the essential elements of the situation.” Miroku agreed, wondering if he’d made a mistake in starting the story.

“Think then, that death sentence will be lifted if we manage to defeat Naraku, as we have all sworn to do, because your wind tunnel curse will be gone. So either one day there will be nothing to stand in your way and this is at least partly because you don’t really know how to think about that day OR you believe that we’re going to fail. And if so why do you stay with us?” Kagome asked, putting her teacup down and folding her arms under the blanket. She decided that she’d probably be pushing the friendship to mention her belief that if Miroku did believe that they were going to succeed in defeating Naraku then that would remove the defence of “needing a son to carry on the hunt after he had gone” for flirting blatantly with other women in front of Sango, so kept quiet on that score.

Miroku stared at her, jaw gaping. Kagome really was never given enough credit for how perceptive she was. “Kagome neither my grandfather nor my father ever used their wind tunnel. I have no idea how long or short a time it will be before it consumes me, it could be five years, it could be tomorrow.”

“All the more reason to at least tell her how you feel. You’re not completely blind or obtuse, you can see she has feelings for you too. Think how she grew up though, she’s not going to be sure what they are either. And at the moment neither of you are going to be able to work them out because you’re tiptoeing around each other every time a situation occurs which makes the feelings too important to ignore. And a little extra hope can go a long way when you’re fighting someone like Naraku. Ugh, listen to me, I think I’ve been reading too much fantasy or I’m just hoping that a certain half demon starts looking past the end of his nose and pushing that on to you” Kagome finished, with a little laugh at herself.

“Inuyasha cares very deeply for you, he’s just unsure of how to express it.” Miroku replied.

“Sounds like someone not that far away from me.” Kagome teased.

Miroku sighed, then smiled. “I’ll think about what you said, very carefully. Thank you Kagome.”

“You’re welcome, here, have a couple of squares of this,” she said, producing a bar of chocolate from the pocket of her pyjamas and offering it to Miroku. You’d be surprised how many problems seem better after chocolate. It’s got magic powers too.” She winked as he snapped off half of the bar and devoured it greedily and patted him on the arm companionably, then carefully deflected his hand as he made to return the gesture with a companionable pat on the bottom. “By the way, just why did you feel you had to purify yourself by dunking your head in the fishpond?” She asked with a broad grin.

“Kagome, a man has limits you know. You’re walking close to them” Miroku’s voice was stern, as he scooped up a snowball and hurled it at her. Kagome easily ducked to one side.

”Miroku, my brother Sota throws better than that and he's seven."

They both stopped playing and looked up as the screen door slide aside again, framing Sango, fully dressed with her boomerang strapped across her back ready for travel. Sprigs of the winter jasmine were braided into her hair “Ah, there you two are, you’d better get ready, Inuyasha’s getting impatient. Have you seen Kirara by the way?” Without giving either time to respond she strode purposefully over to Miroku and slapped him, but without the usual force.

“That’s for sneaking into a woman’s bedroom uninvited while she’s sleeping.”

Then she leaned down and kissed him on the forehead,

“And that’s for why and how you did it.”

She then spun around on her heel and darted away, head bowed so that she could only have been staring at the tops of her sandals.

Haaahhh…EHKSSSHH, Ehh…KSSSSHHHH..KSSHHHH….AhhhEEEEKKKKSSHH

The sneezes provoked by the jasmine went totally uncovered and unremarked on, both Miroku and Kagome were sitting like statues, regarding the open and empty screen door with expressions of utter surprise on their faces.

Kirara leapt out of the tree she had been watching from and walked slinked over to them. Her tails were both high in the air and she even managed to put a tinge of smugness into her mew. That snapped them both out of their shock. Miroku stood up and announced, “Ah there you are Kirara, we’d better do as Sango says,” before Kagome had recovered sufficiently to start quizzing him about what she’d meant.

From a hiding place in a tree above them, a second, infinitely less benevolent set of scarlet eyes stopped watching as one of Naraku’s venom wasp spy insects broke cover and flew off in the direction of the mountains to which the group were headed.

***

Sorano knelt beside her sister, currently twisting and turning in fitful sleep, hair normally blowing free and unbound was limp and swaying only as if in the sickliest of breezes. She carefully pulled the poultice of mountain herbs away from the wound. If anything it was worse than before, the skin around it on the right hand side of her back, just below the ribcage was now a livid purple, rather than the white of fresh snowfall, and tendrils of the same colour were now snaking their way across her belly and upwards and downwards towards her heart. Her skin had a fevered warmth to the touch. Thunder and lightning quite literally flashed in Sorano’s elemental gunmetal eyes, and her long, heavy mourning Kimono and long hair roiled and flew like one standing willingly at the centre of a gale as she warped the weather patterns of the region to bring another violent snowstorm. It felt like a childish lashing out in anger to her, she didn’t care. Etsu was dying and there didn’t feel like there was a thing she could do about it. And if she couldn’t save her then Shinji Harada, the human that had betrayed her when she trusted him with her heart, was going to pay

She heard a voice, melodious but menacing, behind her, “Sorano, Lord Harada appears to have hired some mercenaries, led by a half-demon, to finish what he started. I thought you would like to know.”

Sorano spun around and glared at the figure shrouded in the oversize skin of an albino baboon demon, and intoned in a voice that if it had a colour would have had the cold blue tinge of ice “You forget yourself advisor. I told you never to come here, particularly while I am tending to my sister. But I thank you, once I have slain the traitor Lord’s mercenaries, he dies, and you may take back the blade of this Onigumo that his grandfather stole from your family. After that I wish you to leave this place forever, otherwise you will follow. I did warn my sister that for one of us to fall in love with a human can bring nothing but tragedy. I wish it were otherwise. Have the other humans started leaving yet? They are innocent of this crime”

The advisor shook his head. “We’re notoriously stubborn, but I am doing my best. As to the mercenaries, I have encountered this group before, they are particularly dangerous,”

“As am I, tell me how to find them, and how to fight them. And please, look after Etsu while I am away”

The advisor nodded and did so, watching Sorano summon an artic wind to carry herself on a collision course with Inuyasha and his group with an enigmatic smile on his face. “Whichever way this goes, I win.” Naraku’s demon puppet said to itself, with a chuckle that oozed and dripped from its lips like poison honey.

Link to comment

Okay I must jump all over this and review even though I need to print it and read it about 576 more times to really appreciate it. So this is a superficial review.

I think you did great at the interplay between Kagome and Miroku. This line made me laugh

He didn’t really trust his head to deal with the image of a woman in nightwear at the moment.
and Miroku's playful little cracks about Inuyasha's temperament.

And then the whole conversation with Kagome trying to convince him about Sango, and Miroku's hesitancy and I think the way you have Kagome's thoughts in this really fit with her. And then the way it dissolves into playfulness after.

And how Miroku offers advice on HER relationship, fits in really well because that's always a common theme in the anime...each respective couple despairs of how clueless the other couple is while being totally unable to deal with their own situation.

I may have to kill you for leaving off just when it was getting interesting, though!

And I know it's totally obvious for me to point out my obvious favourite bits but...maybe this one is a little less obvious than the obvious bit: (did you follow that?) :drool:

“Mmmmmmnnn, well don’t come to me for sympathy when you’re sneezing and snuffling later” Kagome retorted, deceptively mildly.

That just killed me forever! And that wasn't even the fetish bit. I guess I just like those words.

Weird...this story is making me want to really draw Kagome and I never do her! Oh, I did say I was going to mention this in a review...I really like how you bring out the aspect of Kagome's "mother hen" nature and how, despite the fact that she is younger than them, she seems to take on a maternal role, cooking for them and taking care of them and such. It's not a trait of hers that's usually touched on in fanfics for some reason, so it's good to see someone doing that side of her justice.

There now...see, it IS possible for me to focus on someone other than Miroku! :wub:

Link to comment
I may have to kill you for leaving off just when it was getting interesting, though!

In that case can I appeal to enlightened self-interest and say "but then I won't be able to finish it"? :)

Thank you so much for saying that about how I write Kagome. I really enjoy writing her and I wanted to give her a slightly more "starring role" than I have in fics so far. LOL...And she does do the mother hen thing so well, especially since that lot need SOMEONE to do it! :unsure:

Link to comment
Kagome, also wrapped in a blanket sitting on the little covered porch behind him, her head buried in a book that declared “Trigonometry Can Be Fun”. He remembered Kagome’s comment that the book’s title lied and wondered why she still read it if that was the case

That slayed me. :lol: I love how you write things like that... the incidentals that just are so fun.

“Mmmmmmnnn, well don’t come to me for sympathy when you’re sneezing and snuffling later” Kagome retorted, deceptively mildly.

:innocent: That didn't distract my thoughts a ALL... la la la :innocent:

Without giving either time to respond she strode purposefully over to Miroku and slapped him, but without the usual force.

“That’s for sneaking into a woman’s bedroom uninvited while she’s sleeping.”

Then she leaned down and kissed him on the forehead,

“And that’s for why and how you did it.”

She then spun around on her heel and darted away, head bowed so that she could only have been staring at the tops of her sandals.

Haaahhh…EHKSSSHH, Ehh…KSSSSHHHH..KSSHHHH….AhhhEEEEKKKKSSHH

The sneezes provoked by the jasmine went totally uncovered and unremarked on, both Miroku and Kagome were sitting like statues, regarding the open and empty screen door with expressions of utter surprise on their faces.

That was MADE of cuteness. I could totally picture it and it was unexpected and adorable and just kafhkahfkahfkah!!!

I hope that you've taken your notebook along with and get at least a little bit of time to work on the next part. *bats eyelashes*

Link to comment
“Mmmmmmnnn, well don’t come to me for sympathy when you’re sneezing and snuffling later” Kagome retorted, deceptively mildly.

:innocent: That didn't distract my thoughts a ALL... la la la :lol:

Okay, I have to jump back in here and say that when I read that part I was totally tempted to jump up and down and shout "Oh, that totally SHOULD happen!" but I wasn't sure if it would be appreciated or not! I'll respect your creative process! And, I'll just daydream about it to myself....heheheh... :innocent:

I hope that you've taken your notebook along with and get at least a little bit of time to work on the next part. *bats eyelashes*

Don't worry, tma. I'll send Miroku over to Dom to chatter incessantly with words of inspiration to make sure the next part comes out in time! :innocent: Miroku is VERY good at chattering incessantly until people start to write just to shut him the hell up!

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, the pace changes quite abruptly in this chapter, I hope not TOO abruptly! :laugh:

Chapter 6

Kirara’s sabretoothed form loped tirelessly through the air, the flames that surrounded her feet as she flew flickering and dancing wildly in the frigid wind. All around her stood the Hida mountains, silent and clothed white in snow as if in mourning. It was a wonder that she was making any headway at all with everyone on her back but on narrow mountain passes in weather like this it was quite simply too dangerous to travel on foot. That hadn’t, of course, stopped Inuyasha – who was never the best at acknowledging limitations – from trying, but after a couple of near falls during a particularly violent blizzard he had been persuaded to ride after all. Everyone except for Shippo, who was huddled against Kirara’s thick neck fur for warmth, was swaddled tightly in blankets that Kagome had borrowed from Shinji’s house before they left the village. Although there had been general complaint at first that this precaution would hamper combat efficiency if the group were attacked suddenly, after three hours of flight Kagome would no doubt have been delighted to hear that she had already been blessed with good health, beauty, prosperity and many fine children, and that she was currently progressing towards becoming an enlightened being at an unprecedentedly young age.

Miroku was rather hoping that the elementals would show themselves soon. Shippo wasn’t really much of a windbreak and he could feel icicles forming on the end of his nose and frost lining his chapped lips and eyebrows. Not for the first time he regretted his earlier words to Kagome about not getting chills, his throat was beginning to feel distinctly raw. He would never, of course, admit to her that she was right, Kagome had a look which said “I told you so” more effectively than words ever could. He had also been considering the incident the previous day and Kagome’s words of earlier, though it was rather difficult to be objective about his feelings for Sango when she was sitting in such close proximity that he could feel the rhythmic warmth of her breath against his cheek, the occasional slap of her hair against his face or the tight grip her hands had around his waist. He was actually trying not to think about the sensation in his shoulderblades too much, fifty feet above the ground was not the time to be getting flustered, and he knew from experience that Sango could slap from almost any angle.

His reverie was interrupted by Shippo, who was currently trying to wrap himself in a spare corner of Miroku’s blanket. “Are you alright Miroku? You look rather flushed,” he asked solicitously.

“Mmmm, eh? Oh I’m fine, it’s just the wind,” Miroku replied, with what would normally be one of his most charming, “perhaps we should drop the subject now, while I’m ahead” smiles, unfortunately the cold meant that it came out rather more rictus-like than he would have envisioned under ideal circumstances. The situation wasn’t helped when Sango leaned her head over his shoulder, which in such cramped circumstances meant that Miroku was forced to make a request of his self-control to please prevent his body from feeling anything below his neck. At least the wind was only allowing the odd breath of the mingled scent of jasmine and weapon polish that always accompanied her. His hand twitched and he sent a firm message to it that it should concentrate on maintaining its grip on Kirara’s fur.

“You aren’t too cold are you? Oh look at you! Shippo’s right, you do look rather uncomfortable.” She shouted, trying to make herself heard over the noise of the air and the crackle of flames that surrounded Kirara’s feet.

“I’m fine!” Miroku protested, almost raising his hands to ward off their questions until he remembered where he was and thought better of it. “There’s just not much protection from the elements at the front is all.”

“Well shout if you would like some extra blanket, Kagome gave me the largest one I think, and we absolutely need you at your best, particularly since if we have to fight, Inuyasha’s going to be hampered by not being able to use his sword or his claws.”

“Dear Sango,” Miroku thought, “always practical, even when you’re being kind.”

“Hey,” came a shout from Kirara’s hindquarters, “I heard that! I’m not useless you know!”

“Sango never said you were, Inuyasha,” Kagome yelled back over her shoulder, she had only just heard the exchange as she was wearing a pair of what she called “earmuffs”, which appeared to everyone else to be a pair of rather ridiculous looking green woollen caps that sat over her ears. She had very kindly offered a spare pair to anyone who wanted them, and seemed a little confused when no-one took her up on the offer. “But you must admit that you are most used to fighting in earnest.”

Inuyasha’s curt response was carried away by the mountain air.

Half an hour of deep thought later Miroku had all but decided that he had to say something to Sango, even if it was only a hint of his real feelings. Too much had happened recently to simply go on in the usual manner of short, intense moments all too easily broken (impulse of course insisted that he bore no responsibility for the breaking of these moments, no matter what the slaps to the face may say). There was, of course, a time and place for everything, and in his opinion on Kirara’s back in front of Shippo, Kagome and Inuyasha while hunting a possibly insane elemental was neither. In fact, he thought to himself regarding the place, wherever it was it would definitely have to be Kagome proof. He’d never met anyone better at concealing herself in the vicinity of any possible romantic liaison. So as not to give himself time to change his mind, he twisted his head around quickly so that he could just about catch her eye.

“Sango, would you be able to spare me some time later?” he called, hoping that she didn’t notice the raspiness in his voice, the flight was certainly doing his sore throat no good at all.

“Of course Miroku, what do…LOOK OUT!” Sango shouted at the top of her lungs, pointing at the figure bearing down on them from out of the wan sunshine just about forcing its way through the clouds. It was a woman, perhaps a head taller than Sango, skin white as alabaster. The pallor of her skin was in stark contrast to her eyes, which were the colour of stormclouds. Her features were delicate and angular, and it looked as if her expression would normally be beautiful but cold, perhaps slightly haughty, but now it was twisted in a mixture of grief and rage. Her silver hair, exactly the same colour as Inyasha’s , and her heavy white kimono, covered in delicate embroidered snowflakes whipped and flew in the wind carrying her. With a cry of fury she twisted in the air and made a slashing motion with her left hand, sending a tumult of wind and ice-shard sharp snow cascading towards them from her slender fingers. Kirara tried her best to avoid it, but the additional weight of all her riders slowed her down and the group were thrown into the sheer rock of one of the mountains with a sickening thud, and ended up scattered in the snow filled floor of a very luckily placed shallow valley.

Inuyasha was first to recover, he could see the woman bearing down on him, but he had to check on the others first, a fall that had knocked the wind out of him could seriously hurt Kagome or Shippo, and there was no telling how Kirara, who had bourne the full brunt of the assault as well would be. As he glanced around him he could see Miroku and Sango already climbing to their feet and unslinging staff and boomerang respectively.

“We’ll find Kagome, Shippo and Kirara” Miroku shouted to him “can you hold her off for a short time? I don't think she's in much of a mood to be reasoned with.”

“Of course, find them.” Inuyasha replied, then leapt into the air to meet Sorano’s charge crying “If any of them are hurt, you’re going to wish you’d never done that, promise or no promise.” He felt his hand being drawn to Tessaiga, the demon slaying blade forged from one of his father’s fangs, and barely managed to force it ready to grapple instead. He hoped that Kagome hadn’t been injured, if so, there was no way he’d be able to stop it again

“Did Harada not tell you what to expect when he hired you, half-demon? Did you think it was such an easy task as finishing off an injured woman?” Sorano taunted as she deflected Inuyasha’s leap with a wave of her hand and another blast of gelid air, sending him tumbling towards a rather sad looking fir tree. Thinking quickly Inuyasha twisted and turned the impact into a springboard, catapulting him back towards the elemental.

Meanwhile Sango had spotted the unconscious forms of Kagome and Kirara, and, having checked they were still breathing and that their cuts and bruises were not life threatening, turned her attention to helping Miroku excavate a very indignant Shippo from a deep snowdrift. “Everyone’s alive” she called the relief in her voice palpable, “Kagome and Kirara will be okay once they’ve recovered. Shippo, you better stay there.” Shippo agreed without requiring much more persuasion.

Once again Sorano swooped in, but she wasn’t prepared for Inuyasha’s rapid reappearance. “I don’t know what you mean,” he growled as he grabbed her around the midriff and let his momentum do the rest of the work of bearing her to the ground, the arctic winds that were holding her aloft whipping his hair and clothes around him. “We weren’t hired and we certainly aren’t interested in any injured woman. And if your name is Sorano or Etsu, I’d stop fighting now because we only promised not to harm you if we could avoid…”

“DON’T YOU DARE SAY MY SISTER’S NAME” Sorano screeched as she struggled to her feet and turned her attention towards Inuyasha, “You’re working for the man who took advantage of her heart, and is now the reason that she is dying of a poisoned wound.”

“Now’s our chance Miroku,” Sango whispered, “as we planned, I’ll trip her with my boomerang– I’ll have to do it up close though, it’s too stormy to throw accurately, you pin her with your staff. On second thoughts…” she added, noting Miroku’s positive reaction to the idea of pinning the rather shapely woman in front of them, even though she was trying to kill them, “you trip her with your staff and I’ll pin her with the boomerang.”

Miroku nodded, ignoring the fact that the scratchyness in his throat had moved up into his nose, he really didn’t have time to be ill at the moment. They waited for Inuyasha to charge and for Sorano to commit herself to releasing another of her razor edged blizzard storms at him to position themselves, then Miroku crouched in preparation to attack. The scratchiness in his nose became a burning at the worst possible time, just as he was drawing back his staff his staff to try and take Sorano’s legs from under her,

“Da…IhhhhHeeehhhKSSSSSSHHH…mn” he spat as the force of the sneeze made his swing completely miscue. For a second he thought he had connected anyway until he realized that it was Sango’s legs he had swept away from her.

“I’m really sorry Sango” he shouted, thankful that the blow had only been struck with the intention to trip. When she leapt to her feet none the worse for wear he added “someone must have been gossiping about me, besides, that makes us even from the plague demon.”

Later on, Sango wished she’d come out with “Staff now, quip later” instead of her actual response, which was to simply roll her eyes in exasperation and bark “please stay focussed on the danger at hand!”

The confusion behind her distracted Sorano enough however for Inuyasha to connect solidly with another tackle, yelling “stop playing and help, will you!” as he did so. Miroku raised a leg which Sorano, who was already off balance, crashed into and then she collapsed against another pine tree. Sango, responding just as quickly, slammed her boomerang down into the snow and pinned the elemental to the ground.

The stormclouds in Sorano’s eyes roiled, and the noise around her became a howling crescendo as a myriad of glittering ice fragments formed in her hand, she was just about to launch them at her captors when suddenly a tiny figure lined in blue fire cried out “Stop this!”

In Shippo’s mind’s eye he stood up strong and proud, striking a heroic figure as he called on Sorano to stop. In everyone else’s eyes the little fox demon’s legs were shaking violently and his order was delivered in a voice pitched so high that Inuyasha was probably the only one who actually heard it properly. Sorano gestured and the howling blizzard quietened, but the dark clouds still hung in the air like a threat, and her long silver hair was still dancing furiously in front of her face.

“I knew you should have left him buried in that snowdrift,” Inuyasha whispered to Miroku..

“Give him a chance,” Miroku chided his half-demon companion mildly, “but let’s be pre-heh…hekxxxnnnnttt-pared to start fighting again hmmm? I wish whoever is talking about me would stop it,” he grumbled, stifling the sneeze in the crook of his elbow. The scratchiness wasn't going away.

“Who’d be talking about you?” Inuyasha muttered under his breath, the emphasis firmly on the “you”. Miroku ignored him and tried to suppress a sniffle under the guise of clearing his throat.

“A lynx demon child? I thought even Shinji Harada would have more honour than to send children to fight for him.” Sorano’s tone was incredulous, but she held back the wave of hoarfrost that was dancing around her outstretched right arm.

“Lynx demon, do I look like a lynx demon?! No! Why does everyone have so much trouble recognizing a fox when they see one?! Look at my tail!” Shippo shouted, swishing his definitely-a-fox tail violently for good measure and drowning out Inuyasha’s assertion that actually he did look a little like a lynx demon. “And if you thought that Lord Harada would have more honour than to send a child to fight, has it occurred to you that perhaps he does and that we aren’t here to harm you?”

Sorano stared at Shippo for what seemed to him like an eternity, then lowered her arm. Her eyes were still the black-grey of stormclouds, but now there was a hint of the receding storm, with the sun at least making an effort to peek through. “Speak quickly and speak well,” she hissed.

Shippo gulped and whispered to himself “I must be strong, I must be strong”, everyone else offered a silent prayer and tried to ready their weapons subtly just in case.

***

Etsu opened her eyes to see Naraku’s demon puppet’s face looking down at her, a predatory smile playing about his lips, the only part of his face she could see beneath the great baboon’s head he wore. She felt her insides turn to ice water, she remembered that smile, it was exactly the same as the one on the face of the man she loved, Shinji Harada, as he stabbed the poisoned blade into her back during an embrace. She tried to call for her sister, but her voice was tiny and cracked.

“Shhhhh...” the puppet crooned, “go back to sleep, I still have use for you.” Then a stinger, not unlike a scorpion’s, extended from his forearm and struck Etsu in the shoulder. She fell back into fitful unconsciousness, her hair stirring even more feebly than it had before.

Link to comment

Oh bliiisss!

You know, I'm not even reading this for the "sneezefic" elements (Although, I'm not going to lie-the sneezefic bits leave me ten kinds of happy). This is just a PRIME fic and I love the plot and the characterisations and everything. You totally have the characterisations down, for all the characters, perfectly.

Firstly, since I DO know the fandom, I can say that you follow the pace of the series perfectly. The serious action bits broken up by hilarious "Shippou moments" and near-tender moments interrupted at the worst possible time. I think that's why I love this fic so much, it reads just like watching an episode. Not to mention that the details you throw in with place names and stuff...either you REALLY did your research as to the history and location, or else you're really good at thinking stuff like that up. Either way, the details like that (like the name of the mountain range) really are the icing on the cake. I'd never think of doing stuff like that!

And now I must point out some bits I loved. I'm sure I'll leave out 576 really witty and well written bits, though!

and he knew from experience that Sango could slap from almost any angle.

laughed out loud at that!

and...

wherever it was it would definitely have to be Kagome proof

Kagome-proof! Love it!

I love the "Shippou moments" especially this bit:

In Shippo’s mind’s eye he stood up strong and proud, striking a heroic figure as he called on Sorano to stop. In everyone else’s eyes the little fox demon’s legs were shaking violently and his order was delivered in a voice pitched so high that Inuyasha was probably the only one who actually heard it properly

I can totally see that in my head. (I can see the whole thing in my head. But that bit especially!)

And I liked how you worked in that people are always mistaking him for something else!

Haha, I love how you worked in a nod to your previous story...makes for "continuity" which is great!

And hmm...I think there's plenty of description of Sorano in this for me to go off of...oh yes! :laugh::laugh:

And that's enough intelligent thought from me. I'm going to go drool over the bits that I'd be predictably expected to drool over. (And they didn't seem "gratutitous" or just thrown in at all. But, that's just me! :omg: )

Link to comment
:P Thank you so much for that, particularly the thought in the review. :thumbs_up: LOL...I'm glad you liked "Kagome proof" particularly. I was quite proud of that. And I'm very glad that Sorano was described well enough! :laugh: Must get on with the next part!
Link to comment

YAY!!

I really liked

Kirara’s sabretoothed form loped tirelessly through the air, the flames that surrounded her feet as she flew flickering and dancing wildly in the frigid wind
Something about that description was just Brilliant- I love the way that you describe things.
Not for the first time he regretted his earlier words to Kagome about not getting chills, his throat was beginning to feel distinctly raw. He would never, of course, admit to her that she was right, Kagome had a look which said “I told you so” more effectively than words ever could.

I LOVED that- I could just SO picture that.

“Lynx demon, do I look like a lynx demon?! No! Why does everyone have so much trouble recognizing a fox when they see one?! Look at my tail!” Shippo shouted, swishing his definitely-a-fox tail violently for good measure and drowning out Inuyasha’s assertion that actually he did look a little like a lynx demon.

LOL!! That cracked me up!! :yes:

And I must Definately agree with KK that while I muchly enjoyed the "other bits"- they mixed in So well in the flow of the story that it is most Definately a story first. And a VERY enjoyable one at that.

Yes... you must keep writing.... or KK and I will send around *gasp* a petition. *teasing grin*

Link to comment

Eeee! :twisted: Thank you so much dear, it means an awful lot to me that you enjoyed it, and thank you so much again for the really thorough review! I do appreciate feedback like that an awful lot as it's the best way to improve. And here, please find enclosed:

Chapter 7

“So you see, Lord Harada doesn’t want to hurt you at all,” Shippo concluded, his short legs still twitching spasmodically. His attention was fixed on the fragments of ice swirling and dancing languidly around Sorano’s hand, light and colour sparkling and shifting in a way that he would have found utterly captivating had it not been for the implied threat involved. Of course mind’s eye Shippo was staring defiantly straight into Sorano’s storm-touched eyes but no-one else could see that. “In fact he made us promise to try and help you if we possibly could. And besides,” he added, dramatically sweeping his short arm behind him in a gesture that encompassed all of the rest of the group, “if you were a wealthy village headman, would you hire us in preference to a group of well armed warriors led by a demon slayer?”

Sorano’s gaze followed the little fox demon’s arm, her expression utterly cold and unreadable. Her hand twisted, and the tempo of the ice shards’ dance became a little faster. Shippo gnawed on his bottom lip, eyes so wide that they threatened to engulf his entire face. It had been a good life, he decided to himself, having just had the benefit of a brief review, though he wished he’d had the opportunity to say goodbye to Kirara. He could hear rustlings behind him that he hoped were weapons being readied.

“I knew letting Shippo talk was a bad idea.” Inuyasha whispered to Miroku as he dropped the hard packed snow that he had been using to treat a large purplish lump that had appeared on the still-unconscious Kagome’s forehead while simultaneously unsuccessfully sheltering the tenderness of his ministrations from Miroku and Sango’s view. He flexed his hand and claws replaced nails with a cracking sound.

Miroku nodded reluctantly, and prayed that one of the three of them could react more quickly than Sorano. He could feel a ball of guilt settling in the pit of his stomach even colder than the mountain snow, he’d been the one who had supported Shippo’s initiative. Beside him Sango had shifted her boomerang into a throwing position, and the low growling he could hear indicated that Kirara had also recovered.

Then, with a flick of Sorano’s slender wrist, the ice began to cascade down around her in a rainbow patterned halo and the ghost of a smile quirked at her cobalt blue lips. “You make a valid point, little lynx…” she announced.

“Fox!” Shippo corrected automatically, with a sigh. Then his brain reminded him that he was actually utterly terrified and his legs and tail started quivering again.

“Fox, my apologies, Lynxes are much more common in these mountains and you do resemble one. You are a somewhat ragtag assortment,” there was even a hint of laughter in Sorano’s voice, the sound like the crackling made when one walks across grass covered by a morning frost. Her hair had settled to a rhythmic swaying.

“Stuck up creature!” Inuyasha grumbled under his breath. Sango tried her best to replicate one of Kagome’s quelling looks, though apparently that talent was not one she shared with her best friend as Inuyasha completely ignored her and continued muttering to himself as he crouched over Kagome, stroking her face occasionally when he thought no-one was looking.

“But what you say does not alter the fact that Shinji Harada betrayed my sister’s love and she now lies dying from the poison on his blade. And I know nothing of this Naraku of whom you speak. Naoto, my advisor found the statuette that you mentioned beside her body after he fled. Why should I turn aside from completely justified vengeance?” she asked finally, the laughter now gone.

“Did you actually see him strike the blow?” Inuyasha barked, easing Kagome, whom everyone was glad to see was recovering at last, back up into a seated position.

“Owwwwwwww! Is everyone alright? How’s Kirara? Please say she’s fine, she got the worst of that! What have I missed? Why is the woman who was trying to kill us now talking to us?” Kagome groaned. Inuyasha whispered to her that he would tell her later. Kirara slinked up to Kagome and lay down to provide Inuyasha with something to rest her back against.

Sorano frowned and slid her hands into the sleeves of her kimono “Yes, as did Naoto.”

“Would you describe your advisor to us?” Sango asked, one eyebrow raised as she looked over at the rest of her companions.

“Certainly, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything. He’s a sorcerer from Kitumi, he wears the pelt of some sort of monkey demon…”

The group exchanged glances, and Inuyasha’s hand hovered over his sword hilt.

“You have encountered Naraku then, or at least one of his puppets.” Sango forced through gritted teeth.

Miroku had been thinking hard, though the dull, throbbing pain just above his brow didn’t make that task particularly easy, and the glare of sun on pristine mountain snow was only making it harder still. He wondered idly if Kagome still had the strange smoked eyepieces she had made him wear once. He was quite glad that he had been at least partially correct about the elementals, though it didn’t appear that they were under a compulsion, if so there was no way that Sorano would have stopped fighting until she had either defeated them or been killed herself. Though of course other thoughts were also vying for his attention, like the fact that he felt a little envious of Shinji Harada if Etsu was anything like as beautiful as her sister and that perhaps on the whole this wasn’t the best time to ask Sorano to bear his child.

“Did this Naoto, or Naraku as he should properly be called, ask anything of you?” he enquired with an open, friendly smile and a respectful bow of his head in Sorano’s direction. Then suddenly he was forced to bury it in the elbow of his robe, jaw going slack and eyelids fluttering as a small volley of sneezes took over…EEEKKSSSSHHHHNTT…KNNNNNXXXXXTTT …EEKMMMMPPPTT. He retrieved Kagome’s hankerchief from his sleeve and tried his best to use it to disguise his congested sniffles.

Sorano acknowledged the bow with a tilt of her own chin towards him and fixed him with her gunmetal stare as she replied, “and why should I tell you that?”

“Because my companion here,” he said, pointing to Kagome, “is actually a very powerful priestess, despite her somewhat outlandish attire…”

“Hey!” Kagome protested, and nestled deeper against Kirara’s flank, bristling with indignation.

“…and she may well be able to purify your sister’s wound if it is demon poison that is harming her. And it may well be, but to know for sure we need to know what the puppet has told you.”

“And she won’t be willing to help at all if you won’t be honest with us.” Inuyasha added, bluntly. “You’re already very lucky that neither she nor Kirara were badly hurt.”

“Um, Inuyasha,” Kagome whispered, knowing that his dog-keen hearing would pick it up “I’m not going to let someone suffer if I can do something about it, I don’t care how arrogant or insufferable her sister is.”

“Kagome, you know that and so do we, but she doesn’t. Perhaps we should keep it that way.” Inuyasha growled back.

Sorano thought for a brief time, hair and kimono billowing around her, then nodded. “He wants a sword that Harada’s grandfather apparently stole from a member of his family called Onigumo during some petty little war. It is the one that Harada carries.”

Everyone gasped. Onigumo was the bandit who out of a twisted lust for Inuyasha’s first love and Kagome’s ancestor Kikyo had offered his soul to an army of demons to consume. That unholy act had created Naraku, a creature who brought nothing but pain to those whose lives he came into contact with. Inuyasha’s claws cracked again.

“Sorano, Naraku is a shapechanger,” Inuyasha barked, “trust me, we all know. It’s just the sort of thing he’d do to make himself look like someone else in order to set you against them for his own reasons. And for his own pleasure of course.” His ears were twitching, and his claws snapping reflexively now. Kagome dragged herself upright and took hold of one of his hands gently and Miroku, with Shippo sitting on his shoulder and Sango rested a companionable hand on each of his shoulders. Kirara looked sympathetically in his direction. Inuyasha had found that information out the hardest way possible, when Naraku had disguised himself as the woman he loved and left him pinned unconscious to a tree for fifty long years, then murdered that same woman in his guise.

“Hey, get off me. What’s got into you all?” Inuyasha asked acerbically, but his amber eyes said something quite different. He was still getting used to the concept of being cared about.

Sorano’s lips parted in an o shape as the fog cleared from her mind. “Naoto, this thing you say is a puppet, is with Etsu right now.

“Well then, we had better go with you to her,” Sango said decisively, “Kagome you look recovered enough to travel.”

“Uh-huh”

“And one of us needs to go back and get Onigumo’s sword from Shinji, we may need it,” She added. “Sorano, could you tell Kirara how to reach your home?”

Sorano stared at the group suspiciously. “Why would you help me? Up until very recently I was trying to kill you.”

“Who says we’re helping you? A lead on Naraku is what I am interested in.” Inuyasha stated, face and body language showing a total lack of deference. Kagome winced.

Shippo, who had hopped back down from Miroku’s shoulder, beckoned Sorano to bend down so that he could speak to her. “What Inuyasha actually means is that you and your sister aren’t the first innocents to become mixed up in Naraku’s schemes and we’ll help her if we can,” he whispered with what he hoped was a reassuring smile, he was still very nervous of the imposing elemental. “Kagome really is a very powerful priestess. Ignore the strange things on her ears.”

He was rewarded with the first sign of a genuine smile from Sorano, it didn’t look as if she practiced it much, he thought, but at least it was a start.

***

“Really Sango, I’m abso…heh...Ngggkkknnnt…lutely fine,” Miroku complained as the group repacked their possessions that had been scattered in the fall, cursing the ill timed sneeze even as he caught it in the now almost useless handkerchief. To everyone but himself, his normally softly spoken, calming voice sounded hoarse and thick “Alright perhaps the wind on the way here must have got to me a little, but it’s nothing, really. Besides, you know Lord Harada better…Heh..EhKSSSSHHH… than I do, surely you should go back on Kirara to get the sword and I’ll help Inuyasha hold off the demon puppet…they aren’t that much of a threat. A little chill shouldn’t cause too many problems.” He glanced over in Kagome’s direction to avoid Sango’s glare, but her face said “I told you so” and he was forced to look back.

“Miroku, you’re as stubborn as Inuyasha…” Sango started with a deep sigh.

“No he isn’t.” Inuyasha shouted from behind Kagome’s rucksack, which he was re-packing in a slightly more logical manner

“Erm…that wasn’t meant to be a challenge or a compliment,” Kagome giggled and smiled in a placatory way at the half-demon, who was looking distinctly irked.

Sorano stared down at Shippo, the frown creasing her pure white brows indicating increasing impatience. Her hair was beginning to swirl more rapidly again. “Are they always like this?” she grated, “Etsu is at the tender mercies of a construct of this creature you describe and they’re bickering over inconsequentialities!”

Shippo shrugged apologetically as he replied “Um…yes actually they are.”

Sango paid no attention to the interruption as she continued to glare at Miroku, who was looking mutinous, or at least as mutinous as one could be with flushed cheeks and a damp square of pink cotton dangling from in front of his face “You forget, I grew up in the mountains, I’ve seen what happens when one ignores “little chills” in the depths of winter. They turn into something…”

*Heeh..KSSSHMMMPPT* “Forgive me, please carry on.” Miroku muttered apologetically, cheeks flushing a shade darker with embarrassment.

Something inside Sango melted at his look of acute embarrassment, but she forced herself to carry on regardless, this wasn’t the time to work out exactly what it was that had melted, hopefully Kagome could help her with that later, after all she had said before that she understood “…a lot more serious. Daisuke, who was apprenticed to one of father’s best hunters wasn’t much older than I am now when he died from a fever brought on from ignoring “just a little chill”. And he was young and strong. At least if you go back you can wrap yourself in the blankets and get properly warmed, we don’t have far to travel so we shan’t be needing them. Besides the only other option is Shippo and the sword is taller than he is,” she added with a grin.

“Well I still don’t like the idea of letting you all trek off into danger without myself or…KSSSHHHHNNXXT - forgive me again – Kirara. And I really don’t feel particularly ill, perhaps we should forget the sword completely.” Miroku looked into Sango’s eyes for any signs that she regarded him as weak. He didn’t think he could stand that. There was none, all that was there was concern, care, a tinge of annoyance, and something else, was it a flash of pride?

“No, we need to know whether Naraku wants the blade because it could be used against him or simply because he desires a keepsake.” Sango replied.

“Somehow Naraku doesn’t seem the sentimental type.” Miroku said, pinching at his temples with a thumb and forefinger, which seemed to relieve the ache there somewhat.

Seeing that Miroku was wavering, Sango decided to unleash something Kagome had taught her. She felt a little guilty about doing so, but too much time had already been taken and anyway it wouldn’t be as if Miroku would miss the chance of fighting the demon puppet completely, in fact he would hopefully be feeling a little bit better when he did so. Besides, the point about the sword was a totally valid one. “Please Miroku, for me?” she asked, resting her hands on his shoulders and looking up into his ruddied face. This close, breathing the smell of sandalwood, incense and travel dust on his robes, the gesture felt less premeditated, more real. She wondered briefly if that reaction had been Kagome’s intention all along.

“Damn, Kagome taught you that trick didn’t she, merciful Buddha, as if…Knnnnnxxxxttt…I could deny you when you ask like that,” Miroku laughed, after clearing his throat loudly and stifling the sneeze against his shoulderknot.

“We’ll have that talk you asked me about when this is over.” Sango whispered, moving her head closer to his. He could feel the warmth of her blush against his face as she did so.

Miroku had, almost without thinking, started to step into the embrace, cursed hand resting on her shoulder, the other making its way innocently down her waist-long ponytail when suddenly Sango was snatched away with a squawk of indignation by a snow frosted gust of wind and deposited unceremoniously, along with Inuyasha, Shippo and Kagome, in a toy sailboat enlarged with Shippo’s magic that was circling in the air behind Sorano. His friends just about had time for a hastily shouted message of good health before they were snatched away.

“Well Kirara, back to Lord Harada’s we go,” he said, wrapping himself as tightly as he could in the discarded blankets. “I don’t suppose you could increase the intensity of your foot-fires a little?”

Kirara roared an acknowledgement and dipped her shoulder to let Miroku climb on, her scarlet eyes triumphant. Much as she hated snowfall, it was a good analogy for the moments between her friends, and they were coming thicker and faster now. That had to be a good sign. Then with a leap and a roar she took to the sky.

Link to comment

Man, I love this fic more than I can put into words. And I stand by my original assertion that I'm not even reading this for the sneezefic elements or to go "jfksdjfakjfa Miroku" even though this chapter made me MELT in that respect... this was posted as my dinner arrived so I had to print it out and read it over dinner and I think I've gone over it six or seven times since then! :laugh:

This chapter had SO many brilliant lines...I have to point out a few of my favourites although I'm sure I'll leave out a few gems...

Then his brain reminded him that he was actually utterly terrified and his legs and tail started quivering again.

That was just hilarious.

Though of course other thoughts were also vying for his attention, like the fact that he felt a little envious of Shinji Harada if Etsu was anything like as beautiful as her sister and that perhaps on the whole this wasn’t the best time to ask Sorano to bear his child.
That made me giggle.

And...

“Miroku, you’re as stubborn as Inuyasha…” Sango started with a deep sigh.

“No he isn’t.” Inuyasha shouted from behind Kagome’s rucksack, which he was re-packing in a slightly more logical manner

“Erm…that wasn’t meant to be a challenge or a compliment,” Kagome giggled and smiled in a placatory way at the half-demon, who was looking distinctly irked.

That whole bit made me laugh out loud and still does every time I re-read it because that is just SO Inuyasha.

Also...I really like how you work the backstory and such into it, I never remember to do stuff like that when I'm making a fic but it's that sort of thing that makes it really well thought out and it always makes me think "Yeah, if this were an episode they WOULD be showing that flashback right about now."

I liked this chapter a lot, mostly because I'm really getting to see the development of your original characters who are now beginning to intrigue me. And the whole story is really good with characterisations but this one in particular, all the different personalities of the characters got to come out, and I really like what you've done with Inuyasha especially in this chapter. And Shippo, you seem to be really good at writing him!

And the whole bit at the end with Miroku and Sango was SUCH an "aww" moment. I would say that I was a little disappointed to see that Miroku's getting sent away :twisted: but that would negate my earlier statement that I wasn't reading this to go "jfksdjfakjfa Miroku", wouldn't it? :laugh:

Link to comment

This is absolutely fantastic. I would be like everyone else and quote parts I like, but I haven't commented on this yet, and anyways, I would be forced to go and quote the entire story. I love the characterizations...I feel familiar with them even though I'm not totally familiar with the fandom (catch it when I can but usually I fall asleep before then) so my familiarity is limited to knowing who you're talking about. But you really bring them to life. I am seeing this whole thing unfold visually and loving it.

Please, please, please continue. I'm not above offering bribes if that would help.

Link to comment

:nohappy::hug::drool: Thank you soooooo much. I really appreciate the reviews and especially the thought that goes into them, and I am sooooo glad you are enjoying it! That means an awful lot to me. :nohappy: LOL...I thought Shippo deserved his little bit of spotlight and I really wanted to point out that Inuyasha wasn't ALL gruff and sarky!

Oh and please trust me that Miroku is still very much part of the story KK!

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...