InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Midnight Meets Moonlight ❯ First Meeting ( Chapter 3 )
[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
This story takes place obviously after the third movie, seeing as how Kagome and everyone else are older…
“My lord? I will scout ahead and see if there is a place to rest for the night.”
Sesshoumaru nodded at Jaken, who had made his appearance a few moments after the encounter with the humans and Inuyasha, and watched as the little youkai scurried ahead while his own pace remained unhurried and steady.
Inuyasha's wench had called him a jerk. The insult itself was minor for her…he had heard some of the things she had called his brother when she was in a temper. However, to insult someone of his person, especially when the insult was from a human wench, it would merit death. However, he was more amused and somewhat intrigued after their encounter. For some reason, she would not leave his head…it was always like that whenever he had an encounter with his brother and she was there. She would always do something that made her stand out and his curiosity would be sparked.
The time when he had first met the strange woman flashed through his mind. Proud, defiant, afraid but refusing to show it, she had managed to not succumb to his poison and had actually been the one to pull his father's sword from its resting place. He had thought her to be some otherworldly being, possessing some great power, but she smelled human. However, just to be sure, he had tested her with his poison and she had proven to be just another human.
He had actually been slightly disappointed she had died so easily. It had just reinforced his ideas of humans and their weaknesses. However, he did not hide his shock when she struggled out of his poison, gasping. She had glared at him for trying to kill her, and then given the sword to his brother to defeat him. She was a vexing creature.
He had thought then that Inuyasha was so eager to die for the weak woman. Yet in their encounters since, even he could not deny the strength she lent to his brother. A miko, who had enough courage to fire her holy arrows and yell at him, who stood up to him even if it promised her death, who protected Rin from Takemaru with her body, a girl who even he had saved from death.
He still did not know what prompted him to save her from the poison dealer, Mukotsu. He had been searching for the whelp, Kohaku, and had come upon the hut where the ugly zombie had Kagome by the throat and her friends were on the floor. Inuyasha was no where to be found and she just looked so…he wouldn't say helpless. He knew she had confidence that her brother would save her…the fool. But neither could he idly stand by and watch her die…not when his curiosity was still unquenched. Plus the thought that the underhanded man thought to have Kagome as his wife was just…sickening. So he saved her so she could see another day and maybe later down the road, he would learn more about this enigma called Kagome.
The miko who was a reincarnate…he still hadn't figured out how that was possible…The priestess Kikyo had died only fifty-five years before and reincarnates were supposed to take hundreds of years. Her scent was...pleasing, as strange as it was to him. Most women of this era, humans at least, reeked of body odors and dirt. The woman however, smelled fresh. That was really the only way to describe it. She at least bathed daily, and that was probably why she smelled good, including that she must have already had a nice natural scent as well. She wore strange clothing, so that it was almost indecent, and didn't talk like any woman he had ever met.
That strange little smirk came upon his face as he remembered her name calling from that night. A feisty woman who had matured over the past five years, and who defended what she believed in more than ever…even him. He scoffed. Like he needed her protection…more like the other way around. Inuyasha was going to get her killed one of these days.
Of course, he had tried to kill her as well, many times. That's what made him even more puzzled. Usually humans were bitter over past squabbles and held onto their rage, but this Kagome didn't seem to harbor the same feelings towards him for attempting to take her life. In fact, now, she probably viewed him as an ally. He had not missed the grateful look she sent his way after her run-in with Mukotsu. He had said something along the lines of Mukotsu interrupting his conversation and that was why he killed him…nothing else. But the fact that her doe-like eyes were trained towards him had made him slightly uncomfortable…just like Rin did sometimes.
He had changed in the last five years as well. Ever since Rin came into his life, he could not say now that he hated humans. Did he still harbor an intense dislike over them? Yes. Would he ever kill one that got in his way? Yes. But now there were some that had earned his respect, however slight. He still did not know if that woman, Kagome, fell into that category.
At least she was entertaining, if anything else.
So, Inuyasha was searching for a jewel shard that was on his lands. Naraku had been dead for the past two months, and while Sesshoumaru did not participate in his death (however much he wanted to), he knew that the Shikon no Tama was not complete. It had shattered again after leaving the evil hanyou's body, leaving the majority with his half-brothers group, but the rest scattered. The undead miko had joined the group and offered her aid sporadically.
He laughed silently to himself. He knew scanty details about the love triangle that involved Inuyasha, Kikyo, and Kagome. It seemed that Inuyasha always dropped everything if Kikyo was around, and Kagome was left to fend for herself. His grin faded slightly…
This time he scoffed at himself. What did he care about the petty problems of that ragamuffin group? It did not concern him what happened between them. Let them fight their petty battles by themselves. However, he would check into the rumor of the shard.
The sooner Inuyasha and the group he traveled with were off his lands, the better.
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“Are you a complete idiot?!!!!”
Kagome winced despite knowing what was coming. Inuyasha had waited a grand total of five minutes for the scent of his bastard brother to diminish slightly before he rounded on her.
“I thought you were smarter than to just charge recklessly into danger, especially around someone like Sesshoumaru.”
“Plus you had to get all the villagers pissed off. That was a real brilliant idea!”
“And then to insult Sesshoumaru at the same time!”
“I never meant to-”
Inuyasha turned to her, eyes blazing. “As if he needs you, a pathetic human, to stand up for him.”
“Osuwari,” she said calmly, and got onto Kirara's back. “Let's go.” Kirara ascended with a roar, leaving Inuyasha cursing on the ground.
Kagome was practically vibrating with anger. As if she didn't already feel stupid enough in front of Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha had to start in on her. It was ridiculous! All she was trying to do was help, but did she get a `thank you'? Of course not! The almighty, high Sesshoumaru would never lower himself to do that. Oh, she knew he could take care of himself. Even with one arm, he was still a very dangerous, powerful demon.
She took a deep breath that left her in a whoosh. One arm? She tried to think back…yes! Sesshoumaru had two arms in her time…she distinctly remembered seeing him holding a briefcase in one hand and a cell phone in the other. She was surprised she didn't notice it before.
She wondered if he would still be as pompous if she paid him a visit when she got home. Kami knew she wouldn't be able to have a decent conversation with him in this time. What surprised her most was that he actually turned back, and she could have sworn he was more amused at her when he told Inuyasha to keep her in check. He knew it would piss her off. Imagine Sesshoumaru actually messing around with her like that.
He certainly had changed…for the better or worse, she hadn't quite decided. At least he wasn't trying to kill them any more. Now it was Inuyasha who started the battles when they met…Sesshoumaru stayed neutral until Inuyasha attacked.
Speaking of Inuyasha…she felt slightly guilty now for leaving him behind. After all, anytime he yelled at her, it was only because he was worried about her. He really shouldn't have been so rude, but she shouldn't have done some of the things she had done, either. It's just she was so sick and tired of the prejudices of this time…killing over something as trivial as blood. It really was so sad, and it sometimes reinforced the idea that she would never be able to stay in the Feudal Era. She used to think she would stay for Inuyasha, but those ideas had changed. She would never want to leave her friends behind, but she would have to…especially if the Shikon no Tama disappeared from the world.
She shook her head. Those thoughts always made her depressed, so she chose just to forget about it for tonight. She would head back to camp, Inuyasha would arrive later, and they would continue hunting the shards just like usual.
Yet for the rest of the night, the vision of a tall TaiYoukai walking away flashed through her mind…
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A week had passed, yet the group of shard hunters still had not found any clues as to where the shard of the Shikon no Tama was. Inuyasha was about to go on a killing rampage due to his frustration, and Kagome was about to pull her hair out from dealing with his temper. It was hard to hold her tongue against him, but whenever the stress got too much for him, he always ended up taking it out on the members of the group and she was getting tired of his immaturity.
Finally, she could stand it no more. “Inuyasha?”
“What?” he replied irritably, the firelight of their camp dancing shadows across his face.
“Don't you think we should head back to Kaede's village by now? We've stayed on Sesshoumaru's lands long enough and we still don't know where the shard is.”
“Don't you think I know that? And who cares if we're on Sesshoumaru's lands? I'm not afraid of him!”
She sighed. “I didn't say you were. But you've been pushing us pretty hard this past week, and I think we need a break. I don't think the shard is in these lands anymore.”
“Oh? And what would you know about it?” he asked condescendingly. “Are you so savvy now on the ways of the Shikon no Tama and tracking that you can now say that?” His tone now became sarcastic. “And where, pray tell, Kagome-sama, are the shards now if they are not on these lands? I'm dying in expectation of receiving your pure wisdom.”
“I'm saying that because we've been wandering for days and neither I nor Kikyou have sense any presence of any shard anywhere, baka! What the hell do you expect me to believe after that?”
“Well Kikyou said that the shard was on these lands,” he said stubbornly.
Now Kagome's tone was sarcastic, yet hushed in respect to her now sleeping companions. “Oh? Well, excuse me. I didn't know that when Kikyou says that there is a RUMOR of a shard in these lands that automatically makes it true. Use some sense, Inuyasha. Even you can tell that this lead is going nowhere.”
“Keh,” he said, and turned away. Kagome saw red and resisted the urge to stand and stamp her foot. She, at least, had more maturity than him. But now, it was time to put her foot down.
“You listen to me, Inuyasha,” she said in a voice that had him wincing and glancing warily at her. “We are leaving tomorrow. I've had enough with this little expedition and I want to go home. Souta's birthday is in a few days, and if we leave tomorrow, I can attend his party. So I suggest you take this time to give everyone a break, and we'll get back to shard hunting afterwards.”
“Wait a minute!” he burst out. “Now you're going home? No one said that you could do that!”
Her eyebrow twitched. “No one said I needed your permission either, Inuyasha. We are leaving in the morning, and that's final.”
He opened his mouth to argue, but she beat him to it. “And if we don't, I'll send you to the ground you every five minutes for the remainder of this trip.”
His mouth dropped open. “You can't do that! You said you would only do that when it would be lifesaving!”
“Osuwari,” she said, and didn't even flinch when he slammed into the dirt. “Didn't you know, Inuyasha? It is lifesaving. If you don't take me home soon, YOU'RE the one that's going to get his life taken, so I suggest you do what I say. Understand?”
Muffled cursing met her ears and she nodded in satisfaction. “Good. See you in the morning!” she said cheerily.
Beyond the fire in another corner of the camp, Miroku and Sango were curled close to each other for heat and trying to hold in their smiles at the predicament of their hanyou friend. The “osuwari” had woken them up and they had heard Kagome threaten Inuyasha.
“No matter what he says,” Miroku whispered, “it seems as if Kagome-sama can still win arguments against Inuyasha.”
Sango held in a giggle and nodded.
Shippou just rolled over in his sleep and continued snoring.
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The trip back to Kaede's village was actually pretty pleasant compared to the trip to Sesshoumaru's lands. Inuyasha was still pretty surly about having to leave without a shard, but Kagome knew that every step they took away from his brother, the more he relaxed.
With most of them eager for a break, they reached the village in record time, and soon Kagome was packing to go to her time. After plenty of good-bye's and another slight argument with Inuyasha with the promise that she'd be back in four days, she dropped through the time slip and grinned in excitement.
She actually had another reason for wanting to come home so badly besides Souta's birthday. Since she was home, and also made Inuyasha swear not to come after her, now was the perfect time to check on what Sesshoumaru was doing in her time. Her heart began to beat in anticipation as she climbed out of the well.
However, first things first…she needed a bath.
An hour later she was toweling her hair off and logging on to her computer. Her mother had splurged at Christmas last year and bought her a PC to go with her home.
When Kagome grew old enough to want to move out of the house, she agonized over the choice to leave or not. After all, the well was on the shrine's grounds and staying there would enable her to travel between the two worlds easily. However, she was a grown woman and needed a place of her own. Two years ago, when she was eighteen, she had discussed her problem with her mother and they found the perfect solution.
The next week they began construction on a small home for Kagome on the outskirts of the shrine. Her house consisted of a tiny kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, and a nice bedroom, all decorated with complimenting pastels and treasures that belonged to her.
It satisfied her every need for privacy and space, and she was still able to go to the Feudal Era anytime she wanted.
Once her computer finished loading she quickly got on to the Internet and went to a search engine. Since she had no clue what last name Sesshoumaru was using in the present time, she just typed in his first name and hoped for the best.
Surprisingly, there were a lot of result that turned up for his name, and what was even more intriguing was that there were many on the legend of the old Sesshoumaru.
Apparently the “Killing Perfection” was worthy enough to pass on through the generations. Although she was more interested in the present day Sesshoumaru, she couldn't help but read some of the myths about the demon.
Most of the information she already knew. It had the tale of how he lost his arm in a battle with his brother, but she found it humorous that Inuyasha's name was never mentioned.
`I guess he thought that Inuyasha's name wasn't worthy enough to appear next to his,' she thought. Suddenly, she reached a section that caught her eye.
-Throughout history, the dangerous TaiYoukai was famous for despising the human race, who were weaker and beneath him. However, the impossible became a possibility when the care of a human girl fell into his hands, and his hate slowly disappeared beneath her caring and innocence.-
`Rin,' Kagome thought, and read on.
-However, tragedy struck when, as all humans are destined to do, the young girl died, leaving the lord alone in his immortality to mourn. Details are not clear about how she died, but the TaiYoukai blamed himself because he was not there to protect her. He had only ever loved another woman besides that girl, but she was taken away from him as well and he spent the rest of his days in isolation before he faded into the abyss of time and is now only a legend…-
Kagome's hands were over her mouth as she read that last part. Rin had died? When? How? Sesshoumaru always protected her…he must have felt so helpless standing over her body and knowing that there was nothing he could do. An image of the now mature young lady filled her head, and she wondered if she still loved to pick flowers and give Jaken a hard time. Her smile was always bright, and she was not tainted by the prejudices of the Feudal. A young girl who had faced a horrible life, being beaten and ignored, and then even left for dead, only to be saved by an emotionless demon. Rin didn't care about the differences between demons and humans, all she knew was that she felt safe with Sesshoumaru and followed him like a pup. And Kagome knew that Rin was probably the only light in Sesshoumaru's life, no matter how it would seem. And now she didn't even know when Rin died, or how. A few tears trickled down her cheeks before she wiped them away. Why couldn't he use Tenseiga? His life-giving sword had saved the young girl before, and she knew he would not hesitate to use it on his ward again. It didn't make any sense…
She reread the passage, and something stuck out to her. They seemed to have had the chronology of the events mixed up. The only other woman Sesshoumaru cared about besides Rin that she could think of was Kagura…and Kagura died years ago. She shrugged. And she didn't even know the extent of Sesshoumaru's feelings for the wind demoness. History was bound to get confused in some places, and she was still reeling in shock that Rin was dead.
She exited out of that page and went back to the search results and continued looking for clues as to what the demon was doing in modern times. Finally, she hit pay dirt when she clicked on a site that showed a picture of Sesshoumaru, standing somber and remote in front of a building. She quickly read the small article beside it and couldn't believe her eyes.
-Sesshoumaru Taiinu, known throughout the world as one of the leading contributors to many famous museums, has finally opened a museum of his own in downtown Tokyo. Rumored to have the rarest artifacts housed within its walls, the items are said to be his most treasured possessions that he could never bear to give to any other establishment but his own.-
It went on to describe where the building was located and the details of the opening, but she was already staring directly at his picture. He looked exactly the same, having the same markings and hair, but he had two arms, and his expression, however harsh it still was, seemed to have softened around the eyes a bit. She couldn't help but notice how handsome he still was and her mind flashed back to the last time she saw him, walking away after delivering that last barb to her. She couldn't believe that he had been in Tokyo all this time right under her nose, and she hadn't even noticed him! Granted, Tokyo was an enormous city, but the fact that she had never thought to look him up before made her exasperated. Reading the article again she realized that she knew exactly where the museum was and smiled.
She suddenly had an urge to enrich her knowledge of history…
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Two bus rides later she found herself standing in front of the building and bracing herself. How would he react? Would he even remember her? Would he be angry or arrogant? Would he scoff at her? She was awash with insecurities, but lifted her head high a moment later. She was Kagome Higurashi, and she wasn't afraid of him, and somewhere deep within her soul, she knew she needed to see him. Maybe a part of her just needed to see that a part of the past could live on…
Walking through the doors, she was surprised to see the museum almost empty. She almost smacked her forehead a minute later. It was a school day in the middle of the afternoon, and everyone was either at work or studying. Of course there weren't many people.
“Hello, Miss,” a warm voice greeted her, and she whirled around to see a woman with a pleasant face standing in front of her. “Can I give you a tour of our lovely museum?”
Kagome smiled at the woman and slightly shook her head. “Actually, I was wondering if Mr. Taiinu was available?” She almost stumbled on the last name, but pressed on. “I'm an…old friend.”
The woman's smile widened. “Well, why don't we go see if he's busy, shall we?” She began to walk away and Kagome followed behind her, drinking in all the sights along the way. The museum was very impressive, and she knew that all of the artifacts must have been collected personally by Sesshoumaru as he went on through life. Most of the items weren't even native to Japan, and she concluded that in the long span of his life, Sesshoumaru must have traveled. They went through a door and down a hallway that most likely house offices, before they stopped in front of a massive mahogany door. The woman knocked gently before opening it and stepping inside, along with Kagome.
“Mr. Taiinu, you have a visitor.”
Kagome was too stunned to even speak as she immediately saw his silver head bent over some papers, finally seeing him again in the flesh. He didn't even look up as he replied.
“I wasn't expecting anyone today, Tomo. Tell them to go…” he drifted off and she saw him sniff discreetly and his eyes snapped up. “Kagome,” he said, barely discernable, before he seemed to snap out of it. “Thank you, Tomo, that will be all for now.”
Tomo bowed slightly before leaving the room, closing the door behind her, leaving them in silence. She resisted the urge to fidget as the demon in front of her stared, studying her intently. “Miko,” he finally said in his deep controlled voice.
“Sesshoumaru,” she replied, and mentally winced at how breathy her voice sounded.
“Well,” he said after a long moment. “This is quite…unexpected.”
She finally let out a small laugh and felt a little better. He cocked an eyebrow at her and her giggles escalated.
“Unexpected isn't quite the word for it,” she said, catching her breath. “Especially the fact that even you can be surprised.”
He let out a small smile at her quip, and she marveled at the rare sight.
“Come,” he gestured to the chairs in front of him. “Sit.”
She did as he directed and tried not to stare at him. This was practically the closest she's been to him without him trying to kill anything. There was another long pause. “I'm sorry,” she finally offered in apology for her silence. “It's just so surreal. I just saw you a few days ago…five hundred years ago.”
“Did you?” he asked, almost casually. “And how did our paths happen to cross?”
“I'm not sure if you would remember…” she began uncertainly. He waved his hand in the air.
“You'd be surprised at my memory, miko.”
“Kagome,” she retorted a little testily before she could think, and snapped her mouth shut, looking horrified. However, he actually let out a little chuckle.
“Still so outspoken,” he said softly. “Well, Kagome, as I was saying, I remember more than you think.”
“Well, do you recall an incident with a few angry villagers?”
“I've had many incidents like that in the past. You'll need to be more specific, I'm afraid.”
“Oh,” she said. “Um, well, our group was on your lands looking for some shards, and some villagers were throwing rocks at you…”
His eyes seemed to sparkle as he recalled the memory. His voice was amused as he said, “Ah, yes, I see. I seem to recall a certain girl standing up to them with her arrows and making them angry, as well as my half-brother, for putting herself in danger for me.” He paused dramatically. “I also distinctly remember her insulting my person afterwards.”
She blushed slightly. “Well, to be honest, you started it with all your mumbo jumbo about Inuyasha keeping his `woman' in line.”
Something flashed in his eyes that she couldn't discern. “Ah, it seems as if I was in the wrong, Kagome. I insinuated something that night that wasn't true.”
“Well, you're right. Anyway, it happened a few days ago, so I'm still a little sore about it. You however, have had years to forget about it.” She paused before broaching an assuredly sensitive subject. “And how have those years been?”
“Long,” he replied honestly. “Things have changed, Kagome, in ways that were not even comprehensible to me five-hundred years ago.” His face grew extremely serious.
“Well,” she said with a bright smile, trying to break the tension. “You're right about things changing…mainly you. You don't seem so…”
“Dangerous?” he said, flashing his fangs in a smile that she didn't quite trust. “Believe me, Kagome, if the situation called for it…well, let's just say that it's unwise to underestimate me, even in these peaceful times.”
She shivered at the tone of his voice, and knew he was completely serious. For that moment in time, he seemed like the old Sesshoumaru and she realized that no matter how much time seems to have changed a person, parts of them remained the same.
He glanced down at his watch and looked back at her. “I'm afraid I have to cut our visit short, Kagome. I have a meeting in a few minutes that I must attend.”
“I understand,” she said with a smile, although she was vastly disappointed. “I'm sorry to have intruded on your day.”
“Have dinner with me,” he said abruptly, and she almost fell down in the process of getting up.
“Excuse me?” she asked, and her voice was almost a squeak.
“You will have dinner with me tonight,” he said, jotting something down on a piece of paper. “We still have much to discuss.” He handed her the paper and she saw an address on it. “Be there at seven-thirty. I'll be waiting.”
Before she could even think about it, or how demanding he was, she heard herself replying, “All right. Until tonight then…” She walked towards the door and looked back one last time before exiting. “Good-bye, Sesshoumaru,” she said, closing the door before he could reply.
“Good-bye…Kagome,” he said softly, and closed his golden eyes. “Even now you never do what I expect you to,” his voice echoed quietly throughout the silence of the room. “I was supposed to find you first…”
He slowly stood and gathered his things before walking to the door, smiling humorlessly at the effect she had on him as he controlled the shaking of his hands…