Still, I KNOW there will be people who will enjoy the fact that this is utter cheescake. *grins*
A word about the content... I'm -assuming- that the Japanese scholars of this time had proper names for the stars - after all, they had imported Chinese learning, and astrology/divination was part of that and... yea. I'm shutting up now, but that's what I based that bit on. If I'm wrong, let me know, please. ;o;
Anyway, I know this is very late, considering I technically ended the fic a while ago, but I hope you all like it! *^^*;;;
As always, my love and thanks to Colin, my super-beta and best friend. Possession would not have been possible without his support and red pen. Other special thanks go to Sunfreak and Kat. You two have been my creative compases and I'm so glad I've had you around to bounce ideas off and stay inspired. In fact, I think I may have drawn a bit from Sunfreak on the title/mood of this chapter. Love you, darlin.
"I still can't believe it." The words were quiet, as if they weren't meant to be heard.
Miroku looked over at the youkai sitting next to him, curiously. Sesshomaru's face seemed warm in the firelight, a strange contrast to his usual pallor. He was flexing the fingers on his new arm, watching them carefully. Everyone else was sleeping as they kept watch, and the night was quiet, warm.
Sesshomaru shrugged vaguely and Miroku sighed, half-smiling wryly. He had finally realized how utterly horrible the youkai was at voicing what he felt. He prodded slightly. "That they accepted you? That you and Inuyasha haven't killed each other yet? That Rin and Shippo are practically attached at the hip?"
Sesshomaru nodded, and Miroku smiled.
"And also..." The youkai paused, eyes flickering over towards Miroku. "...you wanted me here. I honestly didn't expect that."
Miroku turned his head to the side. "Neither did I, to be honest. But..." he trailed off and shrugged. "I do."
They trailed off into comfortable silence, and Miroku slid closer, slinging a loose arm around Sesshomaru's waist. The demon tensed for the barest second, then sighed, relaxing.
"Do you ever try to count them, Sesshomaru?"
"The stars." Miroku looked up, smiling slightly. "Have you ever counted them?"
The monk laughed softly. "That doesn't surprise me, I guess. Back when I was in training, I used to fall asleep counting them. I named them, too... this was before I learned their real names."
He smiled fondly. "I still call them by my names though."
Sesshomaru paused, then asked, "Shou-sama?"
Miroku winced and scratched the back of his head, a wry grin twisting his lips. "Eh... you heard that?" He chuckled slightly.
Sesshomaru fixed the monk with his iciest glare. "I am a youkai lord. My hearing is impeccable - and my name is Sesshomaru. It is not to be reduced to a ridiculous nickname."
The human paused for a second, and sighed. "Alright." A few seconds slipped by in silence, then he asked, "would you prefer Maru-chan?"
Sesshomaru blinked, then sighed in irritation. "... you're not going to stop, are you?"
Miroku flashed an unrepentant grin, and pressed a quick kiss to Sesshomaru's temple. "'course not."
Clawed fingertips curled around his neck, keeping him close. He stared into the youkai's intense gold eyes.
Miroku looked at Sesshomaru, and smiled softly. "Maybe... but maybe by then you'll have named them for yourself."