Publish Date: 3/12/2006
Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha. BUT I WANNA PET THE PUPPY!!
It was just another night, camping out under the stars.
Kagome was reading some book she had brought back with her. She had tried to explain the title to her comrades, but none of them could quite understand the hidden meaning or the deep, intelligent symbolism behind it. Honestly, what was that catcher doing in the rye, anyway?
Inuyasha was pouting. Unable to understand Kagome’s book, he had made one too many snide remarks, and a well-placed word from the twentieth century girl had sent the half-demon tumbling, splayed out face-down on the ground.
Shippo had dozed off halfway through Kagome’s explanation.
Miroku was sitting with legs and arms folded. His eyes were closed, and he seemed to be meditating or something along those lines. No one bothered him.
Sango was watching the stars with one eye and Miroku with the other.
The campfire crackled cheerfully, offering light against the dark night, and warmth against the increasing chill. They would all probably hit the sack soon, and upon dawn’s light they’d be off again, hunting again for the jewel shards.
But for now, they were perfectly content to sit and relax a little. The tension just left. It was a quite satisfactory arrangement at that moment.
Such was the state they were in when Miroku neatly tipped over. Just fell sideways, out of his sitting position and onto the ground. All eyes naturally shifted to the displace monk.
“Houshi-sama?” Sango asked quietly.
Miroku was now curled up on the ground. His eyes were closed, lips parted slightly, breathing deep and even. And he wasn’t moving. It was actually quite adorable—to one member of the team, at least.
“Looks like he’s asleep,” Kagome observed.
Nearby, a faint pink color touched Sango’s face. Fortunately, it wasn’t visible in the dim light cast by the campfire. So she was safe, for the moment.
Unbeknownst to everyone else, Miroku was lost to Dreamland. And what a dream it was…
Where the hell did all the flowers come from?
His eyes shifted all over the place, looking for some clue as to his location, but finding none. All he found were flowers. He was standing in a field, surrounded by thousands and thousands of brightly-colored blossoms. The fragrance was heady, almost intoxicating. He probably could have gotten drunk from the scent alone.
That voice…that heavenly voice. It was calling to him. He spun to seek his angel.
Sure enough, Sango was standing a short distance away, up to her knees in flowers. But she wasn’t wearing her usual clothing: she was clad in a simple, pastel-colored shift. Her hair was down and hanging loose around her. His fingers started itching—but for once, it wasn’t for her backside, it was for her hair. Of course, he wouldn’t mind letting his hands roam, but…
In the space of time it took him to get those perverted thoughts from his head (though he would save them for later), she had turned, and was darting through the field of flowers, away from him. He could have sworn he heard her laughing.
“W-wait!” Miroku called after the retreating form ahead, and gave chase. Unfortunately, as is all too often the case in dreams, he found that while Sango could move at twice her normal speed (which was impressive enough on its own), he was held back to a snail’s pace. The flowers seemed to be grasping at his feet, holding them back to prevent him from catching her.
But as she skipped (he hadn’t been aware that Sango knew how to skip!) ahead, he began to pull free out of desperation to catch her. He was gaining momentum…he might actually catch up if he really, really tried…
The tree loomed ahead of him so quickly that he didn’t have time to react. He’d just gotten up some speed when suddenly he found himself with a face full of brown-gray tree bark. His nose felt distinctly broken. He slid down the trunk a little bit—a bad idea, he realized, when his face was scratched. He then ended this show in a decidedly unelegant tumble backwards, landing face-up amidst the flowers.
Engulfed in the overwhelming fragrance of the blooms, he felt drunk. Except that he was in pain. Were dreams supposed to hurt like this? He’d always been told that in dreams, you couldn’t get hurt. Well, that didn’t seem to be the case at this particular moment.
But when he oppened his eyes, the pain fled, and he looked up into the dark eyes of his own personal goddess. She was leaning over him, something akin to amusement written plainly on her face. Her hair was draped around her shoulder, like a waterfall of brown-black silk. A few strands tickled his face—again with those feelings, sensations in a place where such things were superfluous.
Miroku suddenly felt his temperature rise. When had it gotten so warm?
“Houshi-sama, what are you doing?” she asked.
He swore his eyes crossed at the mere sound of her voice. And he was incapable of speaking.
“You really should be more careful,” she went on, smiling, “Miroku…”
He had always know that his name would sound divine coming from her lips. And lo and behold, he had been right. This couldn’t be reality, he knew that much. But for a dream, it was pretty damn nice.
She dipped her head towards him. Instinctively, his eyes closed…
And then, something pierced his sleep-haze. In the space of an eyeblink, everything vanished—field, sky, tree, flowers, and earth-bound angel. And he felt himself slipping back into the realm of the Absurd, that plane known simply as Reality.
The voice spoke again. “Houshi-sama?”
He wrestled his eyes open, ready to visit various levels of destruction upon whoever dared to interrupt the dream at that exact moment. It had been so warm, so very warm…and Sango—so close, so very, very close…
But when his eyes opened, he looked up—and realized that his goddess was looking right back at him—still so close. She was leaning over him, vague concern on her pretty features. Just like in the dream! Her long ponytail was hanging over her shoulder, nearly touching his face. Just like in the dream! And, he realized faintly, he still felt so very warm. Just like the dream!
“Houshi-sama, you were flailing around in your sleep,” the demon-slayer explained. Was she blushing? It was too dark to tell, but something about her face looked a little…off. “I don’t know if you were having a dream or something, but…well…you were moving around a lot.”
“Yes?” he managed to say, knowing full well he sounded like a perfect idiot. Was she worried about him? Could it be…? Gods, his temperature was through the roof, it was so very warm.
“And…well, to make a long story short…”
“Your robe’s on fire.”
It was a minute before her words registered, and Miroku jumped up and screamed like a little girl. He ran around for several minutes, screeching, then finally seemed to realize that they were camped beside a lake, and dove in. A trail of smoke followed, and a moment later, the top of his head broke the surface. Half of his face was above the water, glaring up at his travelling comrades; the other was below, hiding most of his facial expression.
Inuyasha roared with laughter, causing Kagome to discipline him. Unfortunately, the half-demon was a little too close to the water’s edge, and that one shouted word sent him headfirst into the water as well. He broke surface a little faster, and muttered some things that sounded decidedly like obscenities.
Miroku wiped water out of his eyes and muttered something about justifiable homicide. Then he looked up towards the bank, where his favorite demon-slayer was sitting on her knees, watching him.
Correction: laughing at him.
Sango was trying very hard not to show it, but she was laughing at him.
Miroku was suddenly very glad it was night. She couldn’t see him blush.