InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Out of Time ❯ Promise ( Chapter 13 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

~~Chapter 13~~
Sango knelt beside the stream and splashed her face with the cool water. Dusk was settling behind Mt. Sorrow. The colors all seemed washed out, as though they didn't have the strength to withstand the miasma. She felt the effects of the poison gas but for some reason, it wasn't having the same dire effect on them as it had before. Perhaps with Naraku's weakened state came a weakened ability to produce the lethal miasma . . .
“You wander far from your friends, youkai exterminator.”
Sango gasped, having been oblivious to Kisho's presence until he spoke. Avoiding those dangerous violet eyes, she cleared her throat and tried not to sound too wary of him. “They're back at the camp; not far at all.”
Kisho sighed, tilting his head to the side as he stared at Sango. “You're frightened of me?”
She forced herself to stand her ground. “No . . .” She trailed off, biting her lower lip as she considered her options. She didn't think that Kisho was trying to hurt her at all. She couldn't figure out, though, what he actually wanted of her. “Have you been hypnotizing me?” she asked, careful to keep her voice neutral.
Kisho's eyebrows drew together in a frown as he looked away from her. “I would suppose I have. I wasn't meaning to. Sometimes I forget that it happens, especially when I see so beautiful a woman. I just wanted to look into your eyes . . . I apologize.”
She shook her head slowly. It didn't make sense. “You didn't know you were doing it?”
Leaning back against a tree trunk, Kisho sighed and shrugged almost sheepishly. The hanyou who looked full youkai reminded her of his father and yet there was something far more approachable in Kisho than she'd ever seen in Sesshoumaru. “Embarrassingly enough, no, I didn't. If I stare into someone's eyes long enough, it just happens. I didn't mean to do that to you.”
“I see.” She shuffled her feet nervously. At least she was in her normal slayer's outfit, and that helped.
“You're promised to the monk, aren't you?”
Immediate and intense color flooded over her face. Sango gasped and stuttered. “M-m-m-monk? Houshi-sama? Promised? No, no! I mean—”
Kisho chuckled softly. “Is it so hard to admit your feelings to him? Does he not deserve to know that you hold his heart above reproach?” Again, he sighed. “Should you change your mind, Sango, I will be waiting.” He straightened his back and stepped toward her. This time, she didn't feel the need to retreat. “Let me see you back to your companions. This mountain is a dangerous place, and even a seasoned youkai exterminator such as yourself should be on your guard.”
She followed him back to the camp. Miroku studiously avoided her gaze. She sighed.
Kagome stirred whatever she was making for dinner. Sango frowned. Something was bothering her friend. She'd known it for days. Though Kagome denied it adamantly, Sango knew better. “What did you make?” she asked, kneeling down beside Kagome by the fire.
Kagome jumped slightly, as though she hadn't heard Sango's approach. “Oh! Oden. It's my favorite.”
“It smells great,” Sango agreed. Kagome grinned. She loved to be complimented on her cooking, a thing that InuYasha rarely did, unless it was Ramen. “Kagome . . . is something wrong?”
The intensity behind Kagome's eyes startled Sango. Something vaguely sorrowful in her gaze, the young miko reminded Sango of another, one who had passed on before. “No, no, I'm fine. I'm fine!” She sighed, her chin dropping onto her raised knees. “I'm not fine.” Her eyes shifted to meet Sango's. “InuYasha keeps asking how I did it . . . he wants to know how I purified the jewel, but I . . . I can't tell him, not yet. I will . . . I'll tell all of you . . . but not yet.”
“Then he'll just have to wait,” Sango said with a decided nod. “When the time is right?”
Kagome smiled, finally a smile that was real. “When the time is right,” she agreed. Her gaze shifted to the side before she glanced at Sango again. “Have you talked to him?”
“No. Guess I should try.” Kagome squeezed her hand in encouragement. Sango stood, drawing a deep breath, and marched over to the monk. “Houshi-sama . . . how's your hand?”
He'd been staring at his kazaana hand with a troubled expression. At the sound of her voice, though, he turned his head to glance at her. He tried to mask the pain in the depths of his eyes from her. It didn't work. “It's fine. No worse, anyway. Something I can do for you?”
She sank down on the log next to him and sighed. “Not really . . .”
Silence fell between them as thick as the miasma. Miroku finally chuckled softly. “We're acting just like them, aren't we?” he asked, jerking his head toward InuYasha and Kagome, who were studiously avoiding actual conversation judging from the looks of it.
Sango laughed, too. “Do you think they'll ever come around? Tell each other how they feel?”
Miroku didn't answer right away. Sango could feel his eyes on her. She flushed. “It's a hard thing, isn't it? To admit your feelings for someone?”
She understood his underlying question. She just wasn't sure how to answer him. “I guess so.”
He reached over, smoothed her bangs out of her eyes. “After we defeat Naraku again . . . there are some things I need to tell you.”
It felt like her heart plummeted to her feet. Sango swallowed hard, her eyes seeking out his face. He smiled at her. `He's frightened,' she realized as she stared at him. `His kazaana . . . how bad is it?' She couldn't bring herself to ask him. “Houshi-sama . . . .”
“Don't look sad, Sango. We'll all come out of this alive, I promise you.”
She stood up, suddenly needing some distance. Her pulse thundered in her ears, thoughts scattering like confetti in the wind.
A sudden touch, a familiar rub. Sango gasped, frozen in place. Her embarrassed flush was nothing in comparison to the deep crimson hand print left on the monk's cheek. The sound of the slap reverberated through the campsite. Yukio and Kisho were suffering varying degrees of shock, judging from their expressions. Kagome sighed loudly. InuYasha muttered, “Pervert.”
Miroku cradled his injured cheek with a dreamy expression on his face. “Honest, Sango! It's the cursed hand, I swear it! The kazaana sucked my hand right onto your rear! I'm innocent!”
Sango glowered at him before turning on her heel to stomp away.
Kagome didn't miss the small smile on Sango's face as she passed.
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Out of Time): I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga. Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al. I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.

Chapter 12
Chapter 14
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