As I was going through some CDs I’d made back in my high school days, I was forced to face something: I’d really liked Inuyasha. Like, a lot. So much that I had two CDs filled with the title and ending tracks (yes, I still know the words to Fukai Mori by heart) and several versions of Inuyasha’s Lullaby. So I was feeling a little nostalgic for the series, and seeking out Inuyasha fic this week really wasn’t any surprise to me. What was a surprise, however, was how few F/F fics there were for the series. I’m pretty sure that the Kagome/Thorin Oakenshield ship had more fics than any F/F ship, canon characters or not. Upon giving up my original search—sorry, Femslash February!—I did manage to find a really wonderful ficlet that further explored my favorite female character, Sango, after the events of the series.
Throughout the first fifty-some volumes of Inuyasha, the demon huntress Sango was always portrayed as a strong woman who had lost much, but didn’t allow her losses to consume her. However, the ending of the manga always rubbed me the wrong way. Though Sango was driven by wanting to put an end to the creature who had destroyed her village and family, and she did help achieve this, I never got the impression that just because she had achieved her goal, she would put down her metaphorical torch indefinitely. Yet the series’ end had her settling down with her love interest, Miroku, and popping out babies like it was no one’s business. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it seemed like too much of a shift in character and agency and too much of a rushed out “and they lived happily ever after” epilogue. I didn’t trudge through so many volumes for this! While today’s fic doesn’t change the outcome, what it does offer is a closer look at Sango’s mindset and character development as she enters this new part of her life—something the series should have done in the first place.
“You still feel troubled.”
“About what Inuyasha said, or Kohaku?”
She took a moment to collect her thoughts. How could she explain to him why this bothered her so much?
“I never thought much about what would happen after Naraku was gone,” she admitted. “It seemed like such a thing could never be. I thought if I set my heart on something, and then saw that future torn away from me –” she shuddered, thinking of how Miroku had come so near to death so many times “– I didn’t know how I would bear it.”
She sighed, surprised at how difficult it was to find the right words to explain what she felt. “After Naraku was defeated and the Shikon jewel destroyed, I thought I knew what I wanted. Now I’m not so sure.”
He put his arm around her, encouraging her to lean against him. It was one of her favorite things, to sit like this with him. There was something deeply comforting about sitting quietly beside him. She sighed, letting the tension drain away.
The question of what to do in the coming months remained, of course, and with it all her doubts and fears. But those concerns no longer seemed so immediate. She would have time. They would have time to consider their future. Together.
Griddlebone’s Home follows Sango as she travels with her brother, Miroku, and her animal companion to the remains of her village in order to put the spirits of her family and friends to rest. She is well aware that after this visit, her brother will leave her side once again to continue the family practice—demon slaying—and that her animal companion will be accompanying him. Realistically, she understands that this may be the last time she ever sees her brother and tries to build herself up for their inevitable parting. Still, she worries about being alone, what she’s going to do with the rest of her life, and how her future children will grow and where they’ll settle down. Throughout all this, she is able to rely on Miroku for emotional support.
In Inuyasha, Miroku and Sango had their quiet moments, sure, but I never left the manga feeling like Miroku would really be able to take anything seriously, or got the impression that the two of them had the emotional development that would lead to Sango being okay with having at least three kids with Miroku. In Home, though Miroku hasn’t completely left behind his openness towards sex, Gridddlebone makes it clear that he, too, has grown. He’s no longer a lecher, but doesn’t shy away from telling his fiancee that he’s enjoying the sexual component to their relationship. He no longer utilizes quiet moments to cop a feel, and has a sense of maturity to him that the series itself was never quite able to reach.
Really, that’s what makes this fic incredible. It’s beyond making the ship believable—it makes it so the two of them are in an emotionally stable, healthy relationship where they can rely on each other. Miroku offers his support freely, but never forces his opinion on Sango, while Sango never pressures Miroku to share the feelings he may not be ready to share, yet she still considers how her choices may affect him in the future. This is the kind of relationship media should be romanticizing, rather than the tripe we’re getting with Suicide Squad (though, to be fair, it’s the fans there that keep wanting to make Joker/Harley a thing so badly) and the Fifty Shades series.
If you’re looking for a nice, short trip back into an old fandom without worrying about out of place sex scenes or unsavory attempts at jokes, or just looking for a mildly fluffy look into a growing and maturing relationship between two adults, look no further than Home. At just under 5k words, Home provides a vital link between Inuyasha’s end and epilogue that returns Sango the agency that otherwise seemed forgotten. Make sure you check it out here at AO3!