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AR concerning Kagome and Sesshoumaru after she and Inuyasha don't work out. Just a little oneshot I made with the prompt, "snow".
[SessKag, canon to AR]
Flurry flur ee
Burst of activity - a short period when a lot of things happen.
Short weather pattern - a sudden short period of snowfall.
Make uncertain - (transitive verb) to make somebody feel agitated and confused.
Snow lightly - (intransitive verb) to snow lightly and intermittently.
It was all very unnecessary. How he, Lord of the West and Son of the Dog General should be reduced to this was confounding. It was warmer in his home lands, and although he wasn't really bothered by the cold weather, she was. And complaining about it every few minutes, in case he had forgotten.
Again, he wondered how he had been dragged into this flurry.
Kagome had been telling Rin about some of the rituals of `Christmas'. Apparently it was something that they celebrated in her era for no good reason. She explained that it was something that had caught on from another land, although since the beliefs were different, it was only a silly thing. Of course his young ward had been excited and wished - a little too fervently, now that he thought about it - that she could see what the holiday looked like.
Kagome had been all too eager to comply. Of course, it reasoned that he should be included in this. He should have ran. As soon as his raven-haired woman had turned to him with that beautiful smile, he should have ran out of there so fast she wouldn't have known which direction she had gone.
But he wouldn't have been able to stay away for long, and she would have cornered him sooner or later, and really, he couldn't resist when she pleaded with him so… With a sigh, Sesshoumaru cursed his father for passing on whatever gene enabled him to have a penchant for humans.
He wasn't even exactly sure what they were looking for, but he was sure that Kagome - safe in his arms as he neared the mountains - would let him know if she saw it. If she could stop complaining about her shivering or chattering teeth or frozen nose for two seconds…
“I hope we don't have to go very far into the mountains to find it,” she said, the words muffled because her face was shoved into his warm shoulder. How was she going to see it if she wasn't looking?
Sesshoumaru said nothing, since there was nothing to say.
“My god it's cold,” she said, and Sesshoumaru knew it had been the twenty-third time she had voiced her opinion on the matter.
He sighed quietly, and he thought he could feel her lips curve into a smile as he did so. Why did he put up with her again? She snaked an arm up until it curved around his neck and even after their months together, it still left him feeling breathless. She placed a small kiss on his throat. Ah, yes. I remember why now, he thought with a wry smile.
Two years ago, when Kagome had come through the well after being gone for three years, she had reunited with his brother. He was content to see them when he brought Rin an occasional kimono or scroll or whatever else she needed. As it was, he was raising her in the same way himes were brought up; she wanted for nothing, and whatever he could bring her, he did. Of course after about eighteen moon cycles, Rin had tired of village life and asked to come back. She had been adequately schooled and had a taste of life with other humans, so he could not deny her. Kagome had developed a relationship with her and even taught her a few things.
After their marriage - Kagome had told him - they had been fine. For a while. But Inuyasha had never gotten over his intimacy issues. Of course this was more than Sesshoumaru had wanted to know about his brother, but Kagome had deemed it necessary, and so he had endured it. He wouldn't do anything more than kiss her, she had told him. He had gotten over Kikyou, but now the problem was that he still didn't think he was worthy. Sesshoumaru had felt bad, since he might have had something to do with that.
Their relationship had gotten worse, with fights where Kagome was left alone and crying. She didn't hate him - still didn't - but she was slowly falling out of love with him. And the worst part was that she had given up her old life for him; stuck in a time where a woman's worth was in the home, Kagome was left at odds with herself. With her taijiya and houshi friends married with young children and the dead priestess' sister in the same village, she sought somewhere to go away from the hanyou, to heal.
She was starving herself and still crying when he found her, months later. He was surprised, to say the least, to find his sister-in-law in such horrible condition. She looked like something the cat-youkai dragged in. She fought him, but he brought her back to where Rin and Jaken were. Rin had been appalled and scolded her. But after hearing her story - with Sesshoumaru listening intently while looking extremely bored - she took it upon herself to fix the miko.
After a few weeks of no-strings-attached and carefree outdoor living, Kagome began to get better. She began to tell Rin about her old home; back in her village, she hadn't felt the need to reminisce. Sesshoumaru listened from far away, but little by little he wandered closer. It happened so slowly - a foot closer today, two feet the next day - that she hadn't noticed. And then one day, he asked a question.
“There are no youkai in your time?”
It had stunned her, because she hadn't noticed he was listening. Sesshoumaru, an enigma, had become to her the living equivalent of background music. She had temporarily become flurried. Frowning, she tried to recall what he had asked.
“I haven't felt any. Inuyasha had been the only one.” Her reply was a little trite. She wasn't quite sure of what to make of his sudden interest in her.
“Hn,” was his reply. He hadn't been sure whether to take offense to her tone or to worry about how long his reign would be. It was impossible to think he should die. Perhaps he left the country, went across the sea…
She was still staring at him when he thought of another question. “Humans are the populous species?”
She wondered where his train of thought was headed. “Yes…” she answered warily.
“Hn,” he said again.
Kagome, tired of trying to figure him - or his interest - out, snorted and turned back to Rin.
After that, he became a staple in their conversations. Rin would ask all sorts of questions - from courting rituals to games children played - and Sesshoumaru would round out their talks with queries about war, governments, countries, and youkai. She had gotten tired of the youkai questions. He repeated his very first question almost once a day, albeit sometimes in different forms.
Eventually, Rin would run out of questions and run off to swim, play in fields, pick flowers, or look for food. Sesshoumaru was not quite so easily satiated, and Kagome found herself eagerly answering his curiosity for the future. After a few more weeks, he began to ask new questions - intermittingly - about her. And she found that he would answer questions about herself.
He had to admit that he was impressed with her tenacious attitude. It probably had something to do with the fact that she grew up in a different environment and culture, but her strong will compelled him to spend time with her. More weeks went by, and he found himself getting angry when she spoke of Inuyasha. Of course, he wasn't stupid. He knew why he felt this way, but because he didn't want to feel it, he crushed the feelings as soon as they bubbled in his mind.
Then came the day he realized that she sought him out as well. He had been bored - Kagome had spent the morning with Rin, Jaken, and Ah-Un in a neighboring village getting supplies - and was restlessly pacing where they had left him. As Jaken and Rin took care of the day's spoils, Kagome found him and he was nearly crushed under the weight of his relief when he saw her. And then he smelled her blood.
He had rushed to her - blurring, he moved so fast - and grabbed her arm.
“You have been injured,” he said, a thunderous scowl on his face.
Between his expression, his iron-like grip on her arm, the almost-certain death in his voice, and the way he loomed ominously over her, Kagome tried to back away. But she might as well have been glued to him. He wasn't letting go.
Despite his firm grip, he was quite gentle with her, and her voice trembled slightly when she answered. “Well, we needed money, so I did a few favors in the village. It's nothing, really. I actually came here to get my bandages from my pack…”
His grip had tightened fractionally, then loosened almost completely. “What kind of favors?” he asked dubiously.
Kagome was about to blurt out her answer when she thought of something else. “Hey! What are you trying to say?” she yelled.
He started at the tone of her voice; he hadn't heard her raise her voice for a long time. Then he narrowed his eyes at her.
She wanted to stick her tongue out at him, but she was still unsure of whether or not he would slice it off. “I purified a low-level demon, but I had to squeeze through a floorboard to get it, and the wood cut me,” she huffed, as if it had been a huge wound to tell him so.
He narrowed his eyes further, and she was about to take it up with him when his beady eyes moved to Jaken's form. Needless to say, Kagome had to keep him from taking the little youkai's life. After all, he couldn't be brought back with Tenseiga again.
That night, Kagome had forced herself to look at her new relationship with the Taiyoukai and decided that he was far from what he had seemed. He had helped her bandage herself and occasionally asked how she felt. She was reminded of Inuyasha - which hurt for a few moments, but she chased the thoughts away - except that Sesshoumaru didn't hover or blame himself. It was comforting.
That night, Sesshoumaru had forced himself to realize that he had formed a bond with another human female. Although where he felt a general well-being towards Rin, there was more there with Kagome. He knew the feelings. It wasn't the first time. But he had been too late with Kagura - that and she was the spawn of his hated enemy - and he had vowed to not make the mistake again, if the situation presented itself.
But… had it?
He was well aware that he, as a fine male youkai specimen, could get any female he wanted. Whether through threat of a painful death or persuasion - he could be very persuasive when he wanted to be - Sesshoumaru was certain he could have any woman, demon or human. But something told him that Kagome wouldn't take too kindly to any of those talents. Perhaps it was a sense of self-preservation. He wasn't sure he could heal if she chose to turn her purifying powers on him. He would have to be very, very careful.
The next day had been awkward. Kagome was unsure of his feelings, and he was unsure of how to go about this. Rin had noticed their odd behaviors and started a story-telling session. But after the first question, she walked away. The silent, strange air had returned. Sesshoumaru asked another question, one that Kagome almost didn't answer because it hurt so much.
“Do you still love him?”
He didn't need to elaborate, because she knew who he was talking about. After a few minutes of thinking and holding back tears, she spoke. It was low, but she knew he could hear. She didn't look at him as she answered.
“I… miss him.” She almost stopped because she heard Sesshoumaru growl. He obviously hadn't known he was going to do so, because he strangled the sound in his throat as soon as it came out.
“I think I'll always love him, in a way. We've been through so much together. But our bond was made through fighting for a cause, and when we had nothing but time, it just became…” The tears threatened to spill, so she stopped, collecting herself and her thoughts. It became too hard, too much work. There was too much pain, too many sacrifices…
“Too much,” she finished. She saw him nod slightly. “But I'm not in love with him any more,” she clarified, daring to look him in the eye as she stated so.
That was good enough. Sesshoumaru took her in his arms and kissed her, and when the shock of it wore off, she found that she rather liked it. It was like electricity in her veins, and she realized then her feelings for him. The warmth deep in her belly and the racing in her heart had been inspired by someone else's kisses once, but that feeling had faded some time ago, and now she was feeling it again. Without meaning to do so, she smiled as she kissed him back with so much enthusiasm that it made Sesshoumaru smile, too.
Of course, with Kagome's luck, things never went her way for long without something happening. A month after their first kiss - approximately five months after she had left Inuyasha - he found her. He had the excellent timing of showing up when Sesshoumaru had left for the nearest village - he refused to let Kagome go if she was going to `work' - and tried to bring her back.
“Inuyasha,” she pleaded, “it's not going to work! It didn't work before, what makes you think it'll work now?”
He grabbed her wrist hard. “I've had time to think; to sort things out. Kagome, I promise I'll be better. I just wanted everything for you, and then I didn't think I could do that, but now…”
“What's changed?” she practically yelled.
He flattened his ears. He didn't want to have to force her, but he could smell his brother on her. And she was his, not Sesshoumaru's. He had to get her away from here before…
Grabbing her in a sort of bear hug, he turned… but it was too late. Sesshoumaru was on his way. His powerful youki could be felt for miles. But he wasn't hurrying yet.
But Kagome, attuned to Sesshoumaru by now, could feel him too.
“Get OFF me! Let me GO!” she cried.
They felt the Taiyoukai's youki pause. Then, they felt the intense speed in which he was suddenly travelling. Apparently, he had heard Kagome's screams.
Kagome was almost at tears. Why did it have to be reduced to this? Why was she now looking for protection by Sesshoumaru from Inuyasha? It shouldn't be that way.
“Damn it, Kagome,” the hanyou growled, putting her down. It was no use. His brother would catch up to him either way.
“Inuyasha, it's over between us.”
“So you come to him? For the things that I wouldn't give you?”
Kagome slapped him, and it hurt so much more than a good `sitting'. Her tears finally ran, and Inuyasha began to turn away.
And then Sesshoumaru broke through the trees. Kagome was grateful that she had dissipated the problem before it had escalated, but she knew it wouldn't be easy to convince Sesshoumaru. He walked swiftly to her side, checking her with his hands to make sure she hadn't been harmed. He glared at his brother after assessing that although no damage had been done, the hanyou's scent was now all over her, covering his own.
“Why have you come?” he asked, baring his teeth.
“She was mine,” Inuyasha said, turning to confront the challenge in his brother's voice.
“And you treated her like a possession until she could take no more. Now she is here, with me,” the youkai responded, his youki spiking along with his temper.
Kagome placed a hand on his chest, and he calmed a little.
“Sure, reassure him,” Inuyasha snorted.
With a sigh, Kagome decided that one last comment should be enough. “Inuyasha, I did love you. And I know you loved me-”
“I still do,” he interrupted.
She leveled him with a glare before continuing. “- but I don't think it was meant to be that way. It was fate that we met, but I think that was only because our fates were entwined with the Jewel's. I don't think we were meant to fall in love, it just sorta happened. I'd never been in love, and you…” Her eyes drifted away, remembering the faint memories of how she had first felt about Kikyou. “The point is, I've moved on, and you should too.” She was speaking softly now, but she didn't worry about them not hearing her.
“Keh,” he answered. “Move on to what? Who's gonna want me? A hanyou?”
Both Kagome and Inuyasha were surprised to hear Sesshoumaru answer his questions.
“You are not without redeemable qualities, brother,” he said, finally radiating confidence after hearing Kagome's words, “and you should seek someone else who thinks so.”
Inuyasha thought about that for approximately two seconds before giving the youkai a look that said he had grown at least two more heads. But then a smile cracked, and he turned away.
Kagome had been astonished. All these years, all Inuyasha had wanted - besides Naraku's death and Kikyou and Kagome and the Shikon Jewel and to be full youkai - was his brother's acceptance. And now, not only did he have that, but Sesshoumaru had told him - in not so many words - that he was an okay guy. Apparently, that had been enough to satisfy him.
And now, months later, Sesshoumaru found himself bounding towards a mountain in the North, with a complaining, half-frozen, maddening, beautiful, compassionate, honorable miko in his arms and on the look-out for a suitable `Christmas Tree'. He sighed again.
No doubt Rin was attempting to make what she thought were `ornaments' for the `Christmas Tree' and Jaken was probably being forced to help. There were no `Christmas lights', she had said, but they could compensate by using candles. They had procured quite a few of them already from the nearby village before setting out on this damnable quest to find this damnable `Christmas Tree'.
He felt Kagome peek out from his shoulder and look up at him. He met her gaze and raised an eyebrow, as she was giving him a look.
“What are you thinking of?” she asked him.
He quirked one side of his mouth in a sardonic smile. “I was wondering how I had arrived here,” he said.
She looked down. “I'm sorry. I shouldn't have put you through so much trouble…”
“You misunderstand me,” he said, nuzzling her. “I was recalling how you came to me.”
“Oh,” she said. Then after a moment she grinned. “Oh.”
He chuckled, and the sound rumbled through her. She lay her head back on his shoulder, but he jostled her. “We are nearly there. The base of the mountain is there,” he told her.
She followed his line of sight and then looked up. They were going up there?! She nodded, swallowing as she did so.
An hour later, they had entered snow territory. It wasn't strong - just a flurry - but it was enough to make Kagome considerably colder. Her miko outfit was warm, and she was wearing a sweater underneath, but Kagome was always a summer child. She was too cold to complain now, and Sesshoumaru found that disturbing. He stopped so abruptly that her head snapped up to look at him, assuming there was danger. She wasn't frightened - who could stand against him? - but she was alarmed. It was enough to warm her with the help of some adrenaline.
“Er… what?” she asked.
One elegant eyebrow rose at her vast lexicon.
She smiled sheepishly, only to rephrase her question. “What's wrong?”
“I am worried for your health,” he replied softly. “You must choose now, so I may relieve you from this cold.”
Kagome laughed. “Don't worry, if I die, you can always bring me back with Tenseiga.”
He scowled at her so hard she could swear his eyebrows touched. She turned away from his intense gaze, pretending to look for a tree. They were in the right area; there were types of evergreens here.
“Well, I don't see the right one here… We don't have to go further up, but if we could go around a little…?”
He nodded and swiftly ran east. Soon, she saw what she wanted. “Perfect!” she cried so suddenly that the youkai stumbled a little before coming to a complete stop.
He looked at the tree she was pointing to. It was probably twelve feet high and at least ten feet wide at the base. He pinned Kagome with a questioning glare.
“Ehehehe…” she giggled nervously.
He arrived at the base of the tree in no time at all and set the miko down. She shivered from the loss of his body heat and he looked her over before setting to work. She was magnificent, with flakes of snow decorating her hair and eyelashes.
She looked up at the top of the tree. “So, how tall do you think-”
She was cut off, because a slight wind had shifted and swayed the tree, causing a rather large clump of snow to dislodge from its' branches and land unceremoniously on her face. Of course, she thought. Wiping from her face, she turned to Sesshoumaru to find that he had turned his back to her. She would have taken offense but as she opened her mouth to berate him, she noticed his shoulders jumping ever so slightly. He was laughing at her.
She thought it was a good time to put the old dog in his place. She didn't give a damn if her fingers fell off from the cold, she was going to teach him. Reaching down, Kagome balled up a lump of snow and hurled it at her companion. With a satisfying fwomp, it hit him square in the back of the head. He stopped laughing instantly. He turned to her then, and she saw the predatory leer in his eyes. She decided then that putting Sesshoumaru in his place was probably not a very healthy thing to do.
He crouched, something she had seen Inuyasha do many times before springing - funny how the memories of him didn't hurt quite so much anymore - and she scowled at the youkai before attempting a threat.
“You wouldn't dare,” she seethed.
He grinned a feral smile; she could see the gleam of one of his fangs. And then he pounced.
It was so fast she almost couldn't figure out how she had gotten to be in the snow, on her back, with Sesshoumaru laying on top of her in a dominating way. She tried to be mad at him, but her heart had accelerated without her permission and she had started to pant despite the fact that she was cold. She felt a need for… well, something. A shiver ran up her spine and it had nothing to do with the fact that she was laying in the snow in winter in the middle of a mountain.
He had meant for it to be playful, or at the very least to show her she wouldn't get the best of him, but once he was looming over her, he heard her pulse quicken and watched as she labored for breath. But her eyes were half-closed, and he easily recognized the signs. He saw her shiver and realized she needed to get out of the snow. But first…
There was nothing quite like having the world's most powerful - and beautiful - inuyoukai gazing hungrily at you while he took a very dominating stance over you. Kagome couldn't think straight. All she knew was that she couldn't stop looking at his lips, and by the way, didn't they look rather delicious?
Then he took her lips in his and asserted his dominance over her. He was surprised to learn that she wanted more than that. He obliged her just the same, happy to give her anything she desired. When it was over, however, he found that it was he who felt he had been given something.
Satiated and warm, Kagome nuzzled into Sesshoumaru's back as he carried her home, using one arm to hold her to him and the other to drag the tree. He had ripped it out by the roots, since Kagome had been a little to out of it to tell him to just cut it down. She giggled and told him they should go home, and he had agreed.
Because it was easier, Sesshoumaru had placed Kagome on his back, and he felt annoyed that he had to do so - he knew she used to be carried by Inuyasha that way. But she seemed undisturbed, so he let the thought slip away. And then they were on their way.
Kagome was oddly silent, but whenever he wished to ascertain her state of mind, she simply answered him in sleepy, lazy, mono-syllabic words. He wondered if the snow had been too much. He blamed himself for getting carried away, but she was so beautiful, and she had felt so good, and she had wanted it…
When they arrived in the part of the forest where they had continuously made camp, next to a stream, Sesshoumaru dropped the tree and swung Kagome into his arms immediately. She smiled sleepily at him, and he touched a hand to her forehead.
“I'm not sick, silly,” she told him, batting at his hand.
And in a daring move, Kagome placed her hand behind his head and pulled his head down for a quick kiss.
Indeed, her lips were no warmer or colder than usual. Reassured, he put her down, where she wobbled a little on her feet. He attempted to steady her, but again, she batted at him. He half-smiled. They heard Rin's voice calling to them from the other side of the stream and Kagome turned in her direction and began to walk. But there were a few things to get used to, and she faltered. Sesshoumaru held her up, and this time she accepted it.
“Um…” she began. He caught her gaze, wondering what was on her mind. “I think the tree should go there.” Pointing to a spot right on the river bank, Kagome smiled up at him.
Only the largest amount of self-control kept him from rolling his eyes.
Acquiescing, he put it down, but it was not going to stay, the roots making it unbalanced. Kagome laughed. “I think we're going to have to dig a hole,” she announced, and this time he couldn't help the sigh that escaped.
A few hours later though, he couldn't help feeling a little satisfied as the tree he had replanted glowed in the twilight. Rin had decorated it with long garlands of a white weed - useless, hardy little things - that she had braided. They had made a nice touch to the dark foliage of the tree. And then she had made a few various origami's, coloring them with some crayons Kagome had given her. She had even gone as far as buying ribbons from the village and tying them to the needles of the enormous tree. And Kagome put on the finishing touch, melting the bottoms of the candles to various branches and when it was dark enough, lighting them.
Amazingly, some of the snow that had originally rested on the tree's limbs remained. It was cold enough for the snow to remain, although some of it melted once the candles were lit. The end result was breathtaking. Rin was ecstatic, and for Kagome, it was a perfect Christmas. After all, it was the twenty-fifth of December.
For his part, Sesshoumaru was simply content that the two females were happy. It made it all a little easier. Because whenever he became frustrated with her and asked himself `why', he had a new memory to turn to.
A night in the snow… and more to come. Ah, yes. I remember now.
A/N: Inspired by the monthly topic for my club at deviantART, ThatTime-Again. The topic was `snow'.
This turned out to be more than twice as long as I had wanted it to be, and it took me about six hours to write. But the idea had grabbed hold of me and wouldn't release, so I had to write it. And once I had the major plot point down, I couldn't NOT write in Sesshoumaru and Kagome's beginnings. So forgive me if it got a little boring at times. But conversation couldn't do what I needed it to do in a oneshot. I do believe this is my first real SessKag oneshot, and it might be my last - it's too hard to make up a (believable) history and main story in one chapter. By the way, how do you like my attempt at making this `clean'? LMAO I tried. The force was strong with this one, but I prevailed.
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