A/N: This follows the Towards Tomorrow universe and takes place a few months after the Sakuretsu emergence.
“We just rested.”
“We just ate!”
“That was four hours ago, Sango.”
Huffing the taijiya spun on her heels, placing her palms on impatiently slanted hips and glowering at the monk who’d stopped walking to rub his stiff neck. He paid her no mind, and much to her grief began to wonder off their grassy trail.
“Wha – Monk! Just where do you think you’re going?”
“To find food,” he murmured lazily. “I’m tired of rabbit and fish. If we take the other route we’re bound to come across an eatery.”
“We’re not supposed to walk the main roads, Miroku. You know that,” she reminded. Taking his hand she tugged him back in the direction they were headed. “We still can’t take any chances with the Sakuretsu. Your craving for sweet buns will have to wait.”
Unbeknownst to his wife Miroku rolled his eyes. Again with the Sakuretsu. He could understand her sincerity in wanting keep a low profile had they recently been attacked, but that was just it. It’d been three months since their mission at the castle town, and not once had they come across this supposedly ‘vengeful’ youkai society. He was beginning to think she kept them off the beaten trail simply because she wanted him to herself.
Quirking an amused brow at his own backwards logic his eyes followed the curve of her hips as she walked ahead. Reflecting on her last comment he smirked, fingers wriggling as he advanced.
‘Is that right, dear Sango? Then I have no choice but to settle for yours.’
About to indulge the itch of his hand, Miroku stopped midstride at a rapidly advancing youki. By the time Sango caught onto it it was already too late. She spun to meet a whirlwind of leaves and dirt, shielding her eyes and nearly missing the discernable ‘oomph’ against the whip of wind. It passed just as soon as it arrived, dispersing to reveal - … her husband flattened under a fur-draped figure.
“Oi,” he greeted in a nasally voice.
“Koga,” she marveled, brows creased. “What are you doing here?”
“I’ve been trying to find you for a week, ya know … ain’t you traveling with the monk? Where’is he?”
“Get – off,” was guttered out angrily from beneath.
Realizing his blunder he stepped off the monk’s back, too proud to offer a genuine apology. Sango aided him up distractedly, her eyes turned to the wolf prince,
“Why were you looking for us?”
“Well uh – because uh …”
The humans watched him bat around the idea of being tough or hospitable, ultimately settling for a blatant combination of both,
“You need to get Kira. The pack can’t harbor her anymore.”
Miroku could feel Sango’s casual calmness dissipate into a cold panic.
“I beg your pardon?”
At the forwardness of her tone Koga growled, easily riled, “Listen – I owe ya for helping take down that b*****d Naraku but this is too far, slayer. You know full moons are sacred to us wolves, right? Now we gotta spend them chasing after a fire starting mutt. Her bad blood is bad for the pack.”
“You said you could handle it,” Sango argued back. “You said you could help her control her jyaki. Besides, Ginta and Hakkaku took her in as their own – not you. Wolves don’t go back on their promises, so what is this really about, Koga?”
“She’s bad news, Sango! We can’t have her. I could’a put up with the episodes for a little longer, but it ain’t just that.” The wolf looked away, speaking in a bothered and gruff tone,
“The Akaido clan scented her out – she’s apparently the pup of an exile from their tribe. They don’t like that we’re giving her sanctuary, and threatened to dissolve our alliance if we don’t get rid of her.”
“But – she’s part of your pack!” the slayer combated in irritation, “I’d like to know what Ayame thinks of all of this.”
“I am the pack master!” Koga shouted back loudly, “Not Ayame!”
The two humans stared at him in awed silence for the unprovoked outburst. Clearly Koga’s fur was matted for reasons beyond this matter alone. Regardless of the tweaked nerve he calmed himself some, reining his voice into a stern authority.
“There’s nothing I can do. By choosing a mate with bad blood her father broke pack law. We’ve helped her this far, and that’s enough. Most tribes would have already killed the pup by now.”
“That’s repulsive,” Sango guttered, disgusted. “She’s just a child. You’d abandon her so willingly?”
Koga didn’t bat an eye, picking rudely at his ear, “Word around the pack says you’re not so great in that area yourself, eh slayer?”
The taijiya flinched, the wolf’s eyes now trained disapprovingly on Miroku.
“In my culture the b***h is supposed to stay at home with her pups. But what do I know about human customs.”
“What did you just call me, you mangy animal?!”
Koga snarled at the challenge,
“I called you a b***h, b***h!”
“Flea bitten mongrel!”
Miroku shook his head at the filth Koga’s crudeness was bringing out in Sango. While it was fun seeing her riled up he preferred to be the one responsible for it. Seeing her fight with the wolf so tactlessly was giving him the distinct and uncomfortable impression that he’d somehow married InuYasha. And while he could not deny that Koga’s opinions were not altogether untrue, he still did not agree with the uncouth manner he went about harassing his wife.
Clearing his throat Miroku stepped between them, interrupting Sango in the middle of a rather colorful insult,
“You want her gone, Koga? Fine. We’ll accompany you in the morning to collect her.”
Too irritated to give a proper response, the wolf merely huffed and turned to leave.
Turning to his wife he witnessed her do the same, her eyes livid.
Sighing, Miroku dropped his shoulders.
Back to square one again.
The waterfall pounded loudly at the entrance of the cave as they slipped by. Wolves circled as they went, dancing between sniffing and backing away from the foreign visitors in their lair. The last time a living human entered the den was long ago, when Koga harbored Kagome against her will. But this time their pack master’s language told that they were guests, ordering them silently to clear a path as the three traveled further into the cavern. The few humanoid youkai inside whispered among themselves.
Finally they came to the back of the cave, torchlight on the rounded walls illuminating a large straw pallet. There Kira sat between Ginta and Hakkaku, guarded by two more wolves with crisscrossed spears.
“Kira,” Sango called.
“Sango-ka-san!” she yelped. Springing up from her seat she ran between the spears of the two guards, colliding heavily into the taijiya’s arms as she crouched to greet her. The young mother crushed the girl to her, realizing only now how badly she’d missed her. She nuzzled against the child’s hair and took in its familiar scent, however muddled with the pack’s scent it was.
“What’re you two doing here?” Koga grumbled, eyes glued to the betas on his pallet. “You’re supposed to be outside guarding with the rest of the pack.”
“That’s unfair, boss,” Hakkaku argued back, if not a little sheepishly. “You can’t expect us to patrol when our little sister’s in trouble.”
“That’s right,” Ginta continued. “The wolves reported recent signs of the Akaido tribe. That means they’re still here and waiting.”
“All the more reason for you to be out there,” Koga growled, towering over them authoritatively.
“Ayame said it was alright,” Ginta murmured, eyes averted.
“What did you say?!” The alpha snarled, stepping forward. The two betas cowered regretfully, wolfish whimpers escaping their throats at his unkind words.
“I said it was alright.”
Everyone turned to the approaching figure silhouetted against the cave mouth. Ayame’s seafoam green eyes flickered in the torchlight, locking with Koga’s in a very challenging manner,
“In the absence of her human parents Ginta and Hakkaku are her guardians, as specified. While she is in this pack they are allowed to care for her whenever and however they see fit.”
“They had orders to scout the territory,” he graveled.
“And I gave them better orders,” she grated.
The air was stiflingly thick as the two alphas stared each other down. It was enough for Ginta and Hakkaku to crawl away from them before they became unnecessary scapegoats to their leader’s rage.
Sango and Miroku simply observed in uncomfortable silence. It would seem they were not the only couple at odds with one another. It was a wonder how two assertive people like that could ever stay together. In the back of her mind the taijiya wondered if this was a regular occurrence or something spurred by current events.
Finally one relented. With a quick turn his ponytail whipped the air, muscles jagged as he stormed for the cave entrance,
“I don’t have to deal with this s**t.”
Sango’s lips thinned. She’d sooner die than let her husband treat her like that.
Ripping her eyes from his distant figure Ayame turned to the humans, crouching to take a seat by Sango.
“I’m sorry for all of that. And – I’m sorry about this too,” she offered, staring regretfully down at Kira. “I tried so hard to get Koga to change his mind. Our alliance with the Akaido tribe is frail to begin with. But he won’t budge.”
“It’s alright,” Sango confessed. “You did what you could, and I’m grateful for that. But your partner would not give us the time of day for an answer. Just what does the tribe want with Kira?”
“They want to kill her,” Ayame responded, blunt despite the sympathy in her tone. “Wolves are quite elitist. We marry to form bonds with other tribes and elevate our status. The Akaido tribe, however, considers themselves the top of the breed. They do not mate outside of the tribe, and certainly do not mate with ‘lesser’ forms of youkai.”
She paused at seeing the taijiya’s arms wrap more securely around the pup, and shook her head in disapproval.
“I know this is hard to hear, Miss Sango. And you may think she is too young, but the sooner she learns the better. I’m sure you’re well aware that Kira has what we demons call bad blood. It’s a curse born of halflings passed down from parent to child, that renders them as conscious less and depraved as lesser demons. Wolves have striven to keep the curse from our blood, as pack law forbids taking a carrier for a mate. Kira’s father did just that. Had they not fled the Akaido tribe would have killed them. We didn’t know any of this until the tribe visited to reinforce our alliance. Needless to say, they refused when they scented out Kira.”
There was a long pause as the humans took a moment to process the information. Things they had only hinted upon in the past were beginning to solidify, and so many new questions were emerging.
What had happened to Kira’s parents?
“So you see why we must do this,” Ayame inevitably concluded. “If we give Kira sanctuary any longer the Akaido tribe will start a war. Innocent wolves will be killed. It’s not that we want to sacrifice Kira – we just can’t be the ones to save her. If you take her back to Inu daiyoukai country they won’t touch her there. She’ll be safe, and we’ll keep our peace.”
“But anywhere outside of Edo she’ll be hunted,” Sango surmised, confirmed by the alpha’s regretful nod.
“Alright. We’ll leave now.”
All eyes went to the child, still partially buried in Sango’s arms. She pulled away to stand on her own, ears flattened to her head and crimson eyes diverted,
“I’ll leave the territory on my own. If the Akaido tribe wants me they can have me.”
“What are you saying?” Sango demanded, her voice hitching a little.
Kira did not look up from the ground, her voice a deadpan sincerity, “The pack is right. There’s something wrong with me. Everywhere I go I’m a burden. I put this tribe in danger, and I’m a danger to your family, Sango-ka-san. It’d be better if the wolves got me. Then I could be with chichi-ue and Keikaru again.”
“Don’t say that, little sister,” Ginta whimpered, large tears welling in his eyes.
Miroku himself was taken aback by the comment, awed that someone so young could embrace death so willingly. His eyes went to his wife. Slack jawed, she looked as if she’d been dealt a fatal wound. Falling forward onto her knees she leaned toward the girl, taking her chin in her fingers and gently turning it to face her. Honey eyes were wide and trembling, searching desperately for any sign that the comment was insincere.
“Kira … Don’t you ever say that to me again. To anyone again,” Sango said in a horrified whisper. “How could you ever think our lives would be better without you in it? – I regret anything that made you believe otherwise, because you are loved Kira. You are family. And without family I am nothing.”
“Sango-ka-san,” the pup sniffled, allowing her mother figure to hold her tight.
Miroku watched the display as Sango made Kira promise over and over again to value her life, only mildly envious of how openly she confessed her emotions to the child. For him Sango was a sealed and stubborn lock. Any secrets revealed were often rewarded with even harsher secrecy. He longed for the earlier days when she willingly poured her heart out to him in this manner. It seemed like so long ago.
Keeping her arms around the girl she pulled her up to stand,
“It’s getting late. I want to get a head start before the sun goes down.”
Ayame nodded, giving Kira one last pat on the head before the taijiya passed her over to Miroku,
“I’ll have Ginta and Hakkaku escort you out of the territory.”
“Now don’t forget to keep up your training, little sister,” Ginta continued to blather on.
“And don’t let those dogs trick you into their customs,” Hakkaku interrupted.
“I know, I know,” Kira humored, unwilling to tell them that she would behave strictly human, if anything.
“Anything you want us to tell little brother for you?”
Miroku gave a short chuckle at Kira’s wrinkled nose. He’d seen that face somewhere before.
“Tell him not to follow me again.”
“That’s not nice, little sister,” Ginta chided. “Rii-kun cares for you. If it weren’t for his training in the mountains he’d be right here with us.”
“Exactly,” she murmured into the monk’s robes.
“We’ll tell him you’ll miss him,” Hakkaku teased, earning a tiny growl from the girl.
They were now at the boarder of their land, the base of the cliffs. A rope bridge hung over a watery ravine, leading toward the forest. The betas offered up their last goodbyes to the pup and allowed the humans to cross the bridge.
“You think she’ll be alright?” Ginta worried, his brows creased.
“She’s with Sango and Miroku now,” Hakkaku offered, watching as they drew closer to the forest edge. “Even if they’re human, they’re more capable than us.”
“In some ways,” Ginta corrected, and as if to further this point he took a deep sniff. The wind in the gorge changed direction.
His eyes shot open.
“Come back!!” he screeched.
“What?” Sango stiffened at the sound, turning to look at the bridge. The distraction was a costly one.
Something suddenly thundered out of the bushes beside her. Jaws open and waiting, a wolf launched forward and took a mouthful of her thigh. She felt each and every puncture of its teeth as they popped through her flesh. The creature thrashed its head wildly and she shouted in pain.
“Sango!” Miroku roared. Two more wolves shot out of the foliage, pouncing for the child in his arms. His eyes borderline murderous he backhanded them away with the shakujo. He looked over in time to see Sango angrily pry the beast from her leg, breaking its jaw with a sickening crunch. She stumbled and limped toward him to stand back to back.
He was angry with himself. He’d been so fixated on youkai signatures that he’d completely forgotten their dominion over actual wolves. Sango had paid for it.
Now that the ambush was initiated he could sense youki encroaching for each direction, honing in on them.
“Get back to the bridge, you two,” Miroku commanded, shifting to put Kira down. She went to obey him without complaint, only to be stopped as the taijiya took her by the shoulder and pulled her behind them.
“Sango,” he warned again, unamused.
They heard the betas call, heavy footsteps running down the bridge.
“Stay on your side!” Sango hollered, her eyes never leaving the forest. “If you two get involved you’ll start a war. We have to handle this on our own and off your territory.”
“Well said,” a deep gravely voice responded.
Several whirlwinds appeared from each direction behind the poised wolves, revealing their humanlike counterparts. In the middle stood a bulky wolf, at least seven feet tall. He was marred with battle scars, and whatever sandy grey hair was not pulled into a thin brain was short and thinning. His bottom fangs protruded over his lips like boar tusks, accenting a confident sneer.
Sango noted that all members of the pack were either blonde or ocher furred like Kira.
“Don’t think hiding the girl behind you makes her any safer,” the alpha taunted. “We are not like the wild dogs the Yorozoku have become. We hunt humans as nature intended.”
The pack barked and hollered their approval.
“In fact, that’s why you’ve caught me in such a good mood,” he continued, patting his broad stomach and letting out an uncouth belch. “That village was delicious.”
Sango’s eyes narrowed on him venomously.
“I’m too full to fight you, so I’ll make you a deal. Hand over the girl and I’ll let you live. As long as you can outrun my wolves, that is.”
Miroku eyed a wolf licking its chops at the sight of Sango’s wound.
“How about I make you a better deal,” the taijiya snapped, stepping into the clearing between them. “You let the three of us pass into Edo unscathed, and I won’t kill you all.”
The leader started a nasty laugh that spread throughout the whole pack.
“Little spitfire. I like that,” he purred. “I’ll have fun ripping you apart. I’ll start with that pretty tongue of yours. Get ‘em boys.”
The entire pack charged as a unit towards them. Sango charged too. Before they could even reach her Miroku struck first, several ofuda shooting out from behind her and plastering on the humanoid wolves’ foreheads. The ofuda plumbed blue flames, paralyzing the wolves in burning agony to the forest floor. Next came the four-legged wolves. Sango plowed through them with inhuman force, Hiraikotsu crashing into a few so hard they flew several feet. Some didn’t get up. Those that did were too cowardly to attack her again, instead focusing their efforts on retreating or getting around the monk.
In a well-synchronized attack four leapt out of the bushes at him, another two barreling after them. The shakujo made quick work of the first two, but he couldn’t move fast enough to deflect the two at his flanks. They whipped around him, aiming for Kira. Panicked he made to call her name, but the sound caught in his throat when flames shot out from the ground and spiraled around the two of them. He ducked and weaved around the strands that threatened to scorch him, watching as the spirals set portions of the wolves’ pelts aflame. They doubled back whimpering, rolling helplessly to put out the fire and trying to wipe the cindered fur from their faces.
“Good job, Kira,” Miroku complimented, genuinely impressed that such an attack could come from such a small girl. It was short-lived, however, when he felt her entire weight fall against the back of his legs and sink. She’d passed out from exertion, having spent all her energy on that one burst. Leaning over he quickly collected her in his arms, keeping his eyes vigilant to their surroundings.
All the higher wolves would be incapacitated for at least a few more minutes. Most had passed out from the pain already. Wolves littered the ground in Sango’s wake, only a few still breathing. The others cowered in the tree line, licking their wounds. The only one left standing was the pack master, who had been fighting the taijiya whilst all his distractions. And she was winning.
Hiraikotsu smacked the large wolf vertically upside his jaw, dazing him for the umpteenth time as she sent him backwards with a kick from her good leg. He fell against the trunk of a tree and rattled its branches from the force. Sango swung Hiraikotsu in a heavy arc, embedding it into either side of the bark and trapping the youkai by his thick neck. Any more pressure and it would have severed. He wheezed, head already starting to turn purple from poor circulation. Before he could move the hand of his unbroken arm she stomped on it, grinding it into the dirt.
She was frightening.
“If you ever – come near my child again,” she warned, eyes full of venom.
“Foolish human,” he gargled. “Do you think life will get better for her? That she will be cured of her wretched bloodline? Just like her pathetic father. Niku clung to that hope until it killed him – until she killed him.”
So he did know.
Crouching she shoved Hiraikotsu further into to the wolf’s throat, leaving him gasping, “Who killed Kira’s father?”
“How the -- ******** would I know? – Bad blood is bad blood.”
“Is she alive?”
“I don’t know--”
“What did she look like?”
Sango lightened up some so he could speak. Miroku stood closely behind, curious of the interrogation. The alpha’s eyes trained on the child in his arms with disgust.
“She looks like that abomination of yours – Green hair. Red eyes – Wears – the mark of the fire demon on her left arm.”
“What was her name?”
Sango doubled back.
“Come, Maya …”
Her mind reeled to the night of the shrine fire. A demon is black hakama visited her, telling her not to get involved with Kira. On a chain he dragged along a woman. Green hair. Eyes a vacant shade of crimson.
This confirmed it. It had been Kira’s mother. She was alive.
With that out of the way she sunk her weapon deeper again, making the wolf cry out in pain,
“--Just kill me already!”
“No. You’re going to take a message back to the Akaido tribe for me,” she seethed in a low voice. “This may boarder Koga’s territory, but east of here is mine. If I so much as see one of your wolves sniffing around I will not hesitate to hunt down each and every one of them – starting with you. Do I make myself clear?”
She bore more weight onto her weapon to make her point, and he felt a popping, rushing sensation in his neck.
“Very clear! Very clear!!”
Content with his answer she unearthed Hiraikotsu from the bark, swinging it onto her back. The wolf was on the verge of passing out, limp and too weak to move from his spot.
“We’re going, Miroku,” she murmured, not even bothering with the youkai. The wolves sunk their ears and tails as she walked by, avoiding her path.
“Woman--,” the alpha finally graveled from the ground. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you. We stop the curse from spreading for a reason.”
Sango did not humor him with a response. She left the clearing, Miroku in tow.
Without a word the monk stared down at the docile creature in his arms, regretfully wondering if that unheeded warning would haunt them.
Nights had been getting colder lately. It was a sign that the seasons were changing – proof that they’d been away from home an entire fourth of a year. Three months battling the elements, and themselves. Three months since they’d seen any of their children.
It was a strange thought to the taijiya. So much had changed about her in that time, both physically and mentally.
Would her children even recognize her?
Could she afford to fit so comfortably back into her old maternal role?
What if she fell out of practice?
What if the enemy –
Her eyes darted up at an intrusive clamber. Miroku’d dislodged a boiling pot of water from the firepit and was scraping it unpleasantly against dilapidated floorboards. She then craned her neck toward the opposite end of the unkempt shelter, where Kira slept across a bed of straw. Her ear twitched at the noise, but nothing more. Relieved, Sango turned accusatory eyes toward the monk as he made his way over.
“Not so loud.”
“Not so loud,” Miroku chided back. Seeing her cheeks puff out angrily he smirked some, wringing a rag as it bellowed hot steam.
“That wound needs to be cleaned before it gets infected.”
Wordlessly she glanced down at her thigh, wrapped in a bloody makeshift tourniquet over her suit. Circular stains on the cloth outlined every puncture wound, hinting toward the nasty bite beneath. Loathsome as it was to admit, the monk had a point.
Her expression told it all as her fingers fumbled with the clasp of her collar. Miroku knew to behave, for now, and allowed her the time needed to remove all the ties, lace and armor. His eyes followed the light on her skin as it defined lithe muscles on her abdomen and arms. He always remembered them curvier, softer. And as she shimmied the suit down to her ankles he marveled over all the taut strings of muscle that rippled across her body under the slightest movement. Realization was beginning to dawn on him.
He’d been so accustomed to how she looked in the three years of their marriage, it had never occurred to him how different it must have felt for her. She’d been in top physical form for their wedding yes, but that had ended after a few short weeks with the expectation of their twins. From there it was three years of a relatively sedentary lifestyle and another pregnancy. He’d always considered Sango desirable – even more so with the curves having his children had given her. But now all her depression and frustrations were coming to light. As his wife Sango did not feel comfortable in her own skin. She could only respect herself in a body that screamed predator, first and foremost a warrior.
He saw those muscles tense in the cold, little bumps rising across her skin. Though he appreciated this one moment of vulnerability from his wife, having her sit frozen in a skirted fundoshi and sarashi was unkind. Uncoiling the knot of his kesa, he slid it off his shoulder to wrap around hers. He nodded at her gratitude, taking a final glance at her body before it was covered up.
She’d gotten so strong. Between their fighting and their privacy in the earlier months he’d rarely gotten to see her bare skin. Even when they were intimate she would find a means of staying clothed, or hiding in the darkness. He imagined it had something to do with her reasoning, the same sort of deprivation that led her to abandon her yukata back home. Her armor was a protective shell she refused to be seen without, not until her body could surpass its strength.
If he had anything to say about it, she far exceeded her expectations.
Touching her thigh was proof of that. The skin was still pleasantly soft, but the muscle beneath was tight and firm. He couldn’t decide if it was a welcomed change from how they previously felt. It was different, but nice. Slipping his hand underneath her leg he gently pulled it out toward him, his other hand rolling the kesa up her thigh delicately until the wound was exposed.
Picking up the idle cloth he dabbed at dried blood caked around the bite. Dipping the cloth in hot water he repeated the process, this time rubbing into the puncture wounds to purge them of dirt. She went rigid, gritting her teeth but said nothing. Miroku wiped away the fresh blood he’d spurred, then aimed for the water again.
“You were remarkable back there, Sango,” he complimented in distracted honesty. “You took down a high ranking demon without breaking a sweat.”
“I hardly call a mangy mountain wolf a high ranking demon,” she scoffed. Again she clenched her jaw and suffered silently as Miroku poured the scalding water over her wound. Before the burn had settled he was rubbing one of her medical salves into the gashes. It may as well have been salt. The back of her head hit the wall, writhing soundlessly as her toes curled against his koromo. The monk continued on regardless, shamefully reminding his body that she was in pain.
“You belittle yourself, Sango. Today you did what you sought out to do all this time. You used your own strength and will to protect the ones you love.”
When she did not respond he continued, busying himself with the bandages.
“You’ve pushed yourself so hard all these months, keeping us safe. Keeping them safe. Never allowing yourself a moment’s pleasure, unless I force it out of you – in which case you still go kicking and screaming. Not that I mind,” he chuckled, an admittance to his own lechery.
“I must confess, I did not like this ambition of yours when it started. I did not understand it. I didn’t like that my happy wife was replaced by the serious demon slayer I’d first met. But now I see she was always there, hiding and yearning to find her place once more. I simply willed myself to ignore it, and for that I apologize. You are not one or the other, Sango. Whatever you chose to do from here on out I will oblige. Your happiness is my primary concern.”
The hut was silent as he finished tying the final knot of her bandage. With how quiet she’d become he never really expected a reply, and was startled when it came out in a soft and trembling voice.
“I want to go home.”
His eyes shot up to meet hers, finding them wet with tears. He leaned forward earnestly and cupped her face, brushing away those stray tears with his thumbs. Her hands came up to rest over his, holding him close as her breathing hitched.
“I want to go back. I want to go back so badly, Miroku. I miss them so much I ache.”
“Then let’s go back,” Miroku soothed, his eyes warm and kind.
“But the enemy--”
“It’s been three months without a single attack from either Kuroshiro or the Sakuretsu,” he countered in a hushed voice, nuzzling his forehead to hers. “Even if one occurs, I have no doubt in my mind that you are strong enough to protect them.”
Despite the miniscule distance between them she searched his eyes for validity. He really meant it. He really thought she was strong enough. But did she?
Regardless, her heart ached too badly for her to deny it any longer. She wanted to stop fighting with Miroku. She wanted to be with her children. She wanted things to feel right again.
The resolve was enough to make her nod, inhaling shakily as she closed her eyes, “Let’s go home.”
The words were barely off her lips when he placed his own over them affectionately. Sango reciprocated the gesture, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and drawing him close.
They were going home.