He had come across Sango by a rocky outcropping not far from Kaede's village. It overlooked a swift stream and woods beyond that. From up here you could hear the water running swiftly downhill, and the winds in the trees. The taijiya, was kneeling on the ground, watching something going on below. Today, instead of looking like the fierce warrior she was, one many men would find difficult to subdue, she was dressed like a simple village woman in a blue kimono, her hair tied in a low pony tail, looking a gentle and vunerable. She twirled a wildflower in her hand without watching it, nervously. InuYasha could smell the tears on her.
InuYasha cleared his throat, so as not to startle her.
She looked up at him.
"Shippou sent me up here. He was worried." He stood there, arms folded in front of him, the breeze swaying his sleeves, amber eyes questioning, serious.
She sighed, looking down at the flower in her hand. "Sometimes, I feel cursed. My family and village wiped out, my brother unable to stay with me because of the grief I bring to mind, and now Miroku."
Standing up, she looked back down to the river below. Miroku, dressed in his black and purple, was sitting in the lotus position, meditating on a cleared spot near the water.
"Each day that goes by, it's like a little more of him goes." she said after a moment. "He thinks I don't know. I don't know how much he's told you, but Hiraikotsu told me when I was in the saki jar about how the shouki was eating him up inside. I have seen the shouki marks. Sometimes, he comes out here, rolls up his sleeve and prays that he has enough time.
"Houshi-sama is the one good thing that's come to me out of this nightmare. I do not know what will happen if he dies before Naraku."
"Sango, I don't..." InuYasha started to say. He knew he was not very good at giving comfort. But she was pack, and she was in pain.
She turned towards him, shaking her head. "It's all right. You don't have to say anything. I'm sure he's made you promise not to tell me. He thinks he's sparing me. But I have eyes " She finally dropped the flower she had been twirling. It was crushed and broken from being overhandled. "Don't let him know I realize. If it pleases him to think he's sparing me, let him have the pleasure of it."
He watched her as she headed back to the village.
"Damn it, Kagome. Why'd you pick today to be on the other side of the well?" he thought.