Shinjite Ai No Tsuzuki : Believe Love Goes On

An Inuyasha Fan Fiction Saga by Aoikami Sarah

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

 

            The bazaar was crowded with shoppers who wound their way slowly through the congested arteries, full of food, trinkets and dry-goods of all kinds. Miroku ignored the barking of the merchants, his eyes trained to pick out worthless merchandise. ‘It’s not worth half what they ask, yet the ask it,’ he thought, ‘only to be haggled down.’ He mused on this and watched Sango as she examined a bauble here, a silk garment there. He had thwarted more than a few pick-pockets already and was growing tired of the noise. Miroku caught up with Sango, hoping to convince her to get out of the mess and find some place quiet to sit for a while.

            “Oh it’s beautiful!” she cried as she examined a gold and jade bracelet from China. “I only wish I could afford it, thank you!” she smiled at the merchant who immediately turned his attention to the next customer.

            “Sango, are you thirsty?”

            “A little...”

            “Do me a favor, and find a table at that inn over there.” He indicated to a sign just up ahead.

            “All... right...” Sango frowned, but went ahead. She was a little tired. Early that morning they had put to rest an evil spirit in the house of a local lord. It had been quite an ordeal and they both could use a rest.

            At the inn, Sango found a table and ordered some food and drink for the both of them. Their earnings from that morning’s work were substantial and would surely get them through the fortnight at inns across the land.

            Miroku found Sango and thanked her for getting them a table and food. Before she could take a bite of her dumplings, Miroku extended his cloaked hand. In it was a small bundle, wrapped in a sheer, silk scarf.

            She looked at him strangely, but took the package. Inside was the jade and gold bracelet. The first thought that entered her mind was that he had acquired it through illicit means. Sango made a face and handed it back to him. “I can’t...”

            He pouted. “You think I stole it, don’t you?”

            The hurt look on his face made her gasp.

            “I bought it with some of the money from this morning because I saw you eyeing it earlier.” Miroku pushed it back towards her. “I could have given you a mountain of treasure by now, but I know you wouldn’t accept it.”

            “Miroku.” She nodded and put the bracelet on. “It’s wonderful. Thank you.”

 

            A few hours later, they retired to their room. Sango and Miroku stood side by side in the entry way and looked in. There was but one futon on the floor.

            “I guess the hostess must have thought...” Sango started.

            “It’s all right, it’s not like I haven’t slept sitting up before.”

            Sango wanted to protest but stopped herself. She put her pack in the corner and told him to turn around as she removed her exterminator’s garb from under her kimono. To her shock, he didn’t turn around once. She got into bed and tried to go to sleep. It was only mid afternoon, but being up since just before dawn had done it’s damage. She stared up at the ceiling. “Miroku, are you all right?”

            He raised a brow. “Yes, why do you ask?”

            “You’ve just been behaving strangely since we split from the others.”

            “How so?” he asked, also unable to sleep, no matter how tired he was.

            “Well...” she blushed. “You haven’t tried anything with me.”

            “.....”

            “I mean.. you know! To me that says something about you has changed.”

            Miroku slumped his shoulders. “I should tell you the truth.” And he did.

 

            Sango hugged her knees. “So Houseki tricked you?”

            “Yes, but I fell in love with her... as a human. Why didn’t I love her as a hanyou? Am I that shallow? Can I trust my feelings about anyone?”

            She hid her smile. “Miroku. Come here.”

            “.....!”

            “You can sleep in the bed with me, it’s all right.”

            “Are you sure?”

            She nodded and he slowly crawled under the covers beside her. His heart rate doubled as she snuggled in. “It sounds like you’ve learned something from the experience,” she murmured. “But you ought not to push your feelings aside just because you’ve been hurt once.” Sango nearly held her breath, but it worked. Miroku brought his good hand up and touched her shoulder.

            “Sango,” he whispered.

            She looked up into his eyes and like magnets, the two were drawn together.

 

.x.

            For the first time she could think of, Kagome didn’t want to go home. She trudged from the shrine to her house, hoping that Inuyasha would burst through at any moment and snatch her up. She knew that he wouldn’t. They needed some time apart after the Kikyo incident.

            She told her family about most of what had happened. They were very excited to hear that Kikyo had been put to rest, but when Kagome didn’t seem as happy about it as they were, an awkward silence fell over the dinner table.

            Kagome played with her noodles. “I wish that my friends could come here and live with us so we wouldn’t have to go through this.”

            “Oh, but Sweetheart,” he mother advised. “Your little fox demon friend would probably have a tough time of it.”

            “I suppose...” she sighed.

            Kagome’s grandfather cleared his throat. “He would be fine. No one would pay any attention at all.”

            “Whaddaya mean, Grampa?” Souta asked.

            “Today people do not believe. They see only science and facts. Sometimes life doesn’t have anything to do with either, but we’ve grown blind to these things, that although they may be true, cannot be explained with scientific fact.”

            Kagome was only half listening as he grandfather went on about modern people’s spirituality. She knew she had to go to school and take a test she might very well fail the following morning, but she couldn’t concentrate on anything. As soon as possible, she would go back. Kagome then vowed to herself, that although she loved her family very much and had responsibilities at school, she wouldn’t come back home till it was over.

 

.x.

 

            Miroku and Sango entered the village just around noontime. They found Kaede busy with a sick patient and happily waited for her in her house.

            “Do you think she’ll know where the others are?” Sango asked.

            “I hope so. I don’t really want to trek around the whole island looking for them.”

            Sango rubbed her thumbs, something Miroku knew she only did when she was nervous.

            “It’s ok. We’ll be back together with Inuyasha and the others soon.” He hugged her. “I bet you can’t wait to see Kirara again...”

            “It’s not that!” she shouted, her voice tinged with anxiety. “We MUST destroy Naraku!”

            Miroku was shocked. He held her hands. “Sango.. are you all right?”

            Just then, Kaede entered the house and greeted her friends. Sango dropped the subject and put a happy face on. Miroku worried, but did the same.

            “It is good to see you again, Houshi-sama and Sango-san. I heard you went off by yourselves.”

            “Then..” Sango clutched at her kimono, nervously. “You’ve heard from Inuyasha and the others?”

            “Of course. I saw Kagome just the other week. She went home for a few days. She had much to tell me.”

            Sango sighed. “So they must be nearby?”

            “I wouldn’t think so. Like I said, that was nearly a week ago.”

            Miroku watched Sango carefully. Her behavior worried him.

 

.x.

            Inuyasha sniffed the ground. “I don’t know, Kagome. Are you SURE you felt a shard?”

            “Not just A shard... a whole bunch, or a really big one... It seems to be moving South.”

            “I don’t like the sound of that!” Shippou cried.

            “Me either, kiddo, but we have to find it.”

            Inuyasha frowned, but followed where she lead.

 

            Soon, they realized they were in familiar territory. A look was all they needed to communicate. Just ahead was the God Tree Inuyasha had been bound to for fifty years.

            “Man, I really hate this. Kagome, are you SURE?”

            “Yes. It’s very close.”

            “So’s Naraku I bet!” Shippou gritted his teeth.

            Kagome sweat a little. “Let’s hope not.”

            Inuyasha smacked his neck. “Must be safe, Myoga-jiji’s here.”

            “Inuyasha-sama! How can you say such things about me!”

            “Whatever. What’s up? Any news about Naraku?”

            “That’s just why I’m here, I have to warn you!...”

            Kagome straightened up. “It’s coming this way.” She pulled an arrow out of her quiver and prepared herself. Inuyasha trained his ears on the approaching beast. It was massive. It lumbered through the trees and staggered into the clearing.

            “SHINKON NO TAMA!” it wailed. It was nearly 60 feet tall and covered with dark, greasy hair. Horns sprouted from it head and too many sharp teeth protruded from its mouth.

            “Kagome, stay the hell back!”

            She didn’t answer him. He knew she wouldn’t listen.

            Myoga jumped off onto Kirara. “Inuyasha-sama! Be careful! I came to tell you Naraku is headed this way with a huge demon!”

            “It’s a little late to warn us!” Inuyasha leapt up and slashed the oni across the eyes with his claws, narrowly missing being slashed apart himself by the creature’s huge paw. It screamed in pain and charged forward. Inuyasha took out the Tetsusaiga and raised it over his head.

            “Ok, you ugly bastard, this is it!” He slashed once and the demon exploded, emitting a thick, yellow smoke. Inuyasha was knocked off his feet. He tumbled a few times before catching himself. The demon was gone. “Kagome!” he coughed. “You ok?”

            “I think so...?” she shook her head. “Uhnnn...” She rubbed her eyes, which were watering from the smoke. “What was in that thing...? Inuyasha?” She looked around, but couldn’t see him anywhere. A flash of white in the corner of her eye caught her attention. Kagome turned and turned again, as more and more of these things appeared. “Inuyasha!” she called, but there was no answer. She stumbled, but kept her hands on her bow and arrow, ready to strike at any time.

            Inuyasha looked to Kagome but stopped dead. Kagome was wearing a Miko’s clothes. Or was she? He rubbed his eyes. A voice whispered in his ear ‘over here’ and he turned around quickly. There she was behind him. Was it Kagome... or...

            “You’re dead!” he shouted. “Stop haunting me!” The figure only smiled. Then there was another one. This time close to the God Tree. He ran after it, only to have it disappear before he could touch it. “What the hell’s going on!?”

            “Inuyasha don’t just sit there, do something!” Shippou berated a stump. “Why aren’t you listening to me?”

            Kirara chased her tails in endless circles.

            Kagome turned and faced the God Tree and finally saw one of the white streaks standing still. “It’s Naraku!” she shouted. “Die you bastard!!!” Kagome stretched her arrow taught and let it fly.

            From just outside the clearing, Naraku laughed and blew another powder into the air. The arrow hit it’s mark and the powder neutralized the effects of the hallucinogen. Kagome lowered her bow slowly.

            Inuyasha had a very confused look on his face. He clutched the arrow and looked up into Kagome’s eyes. “Why...?” he asked, but before she could answer, his eyes closed and his head slumped forward.

 


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