Sango slept restlessly, plagued by bad dreams. But then again, she could not remember the last time she had slept through the night without waking in breathless fear at least once. The memories were simply too painful. Too fresh and raw.
If she managed to keep those specters at bay during the day, in the dark of night they invariably came creeping right back in, filling her up inside until she was ready to burst. And in the darkened room of an inn or the quiet of a campsite after her companions were asleep, there was very little to distract her.
In a way, the day's demon extermination had helped... but with the victory had come regret. Today's hunt had been a success. If only that final hunt with Father and the others could have ended the same way, and had not turned out to be a snare laid by Naraku. Then perhaps Father and Kohaku and... and...
There were far too many ands, too many names. Too many regrets. And far too little progress in her quest for vengeance.
Fending off pointless tears, Sango could feign sleep no longer. She opened her eyes.
Incongruously, the first person those eyes sought was the monk. The room was quiet and still; she had heard nothing all night, save for the quiet breathing of her sleeping friends. And yet Miroku's place was empty.
Some small part of her was strangely hurt by his absence.
She narrowed her eyes and waited a few moments, thinking that perhaps he had merely gone in search of the latrine, but there was still no sign of the missing monk. Finally she loosed a frustrated sigh and gave up. He probably snuck off to meet up with some girl from the village.
She rolled over and clutched the blanket closer around her and determinedly squeezed her eyes shut. Well, I don't need him anyway.
If only that helped.