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Withdrawal by Alon

Affectionate

WARNING: Heed the MA caution and angst.

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She stabbed her cigarette bud into his arm, putting extra strength into her wrist. But still, he didn’t budge, not even the slightest twitch of his face. The smell of searing skin could be smelt. The male’s expression was placid, but that only seemed to anger her more as she threw the remnant cig into his face. She stood up, long hair in tow, as she scowled at him. In minutes the burn on his pale skin will fade into nothingness, so the harm that she caused to him was nothing, at least that was her reasoning.

“I’m leaving.” She turned, heading towards her dresser and puffing sprays of perfume around her. In seconds her smouldering scent was covered by light floral, as if diminishing the act that she just committed to her partner. Suddenly she whipped her head back at the silver haired male who sat still in his chair. He looked into the air, lost in thought, perplexed. The slender female’s dainty hand then rested on his jaw and gripped, forcing him to look at her.

“Sorry honey, I didn’t mean to do that. You know I love you, but I don’t want you to look at other women, okay?” A sweet smile, the upturn of lips that wiped away any previous actions. But he was inanimate, and that made her eyes flash in anger. She lifted her palm and swung it across his face. A solid slap with a sharp sound echoing into the room. His immaculate face was now turned to the side, a hint of rouge rising to the hollows of his jaw. His molten eyes looked at her with new emotion, exactly what she had wanted.

“Sorry, sorry...” She cooed, pressing a chaste kiss on his thin lips. “Listen to me when I’m talking okay?” Unconsciously he inclined his head and a bright smile was plastered onto her face. “I’ll be late tonight, don’t wait up.”

Her heels clinked against the wooden floorboards, a slam of the front door and she was gone. He seemed to wake from his trance and looked at his arm. The burn mark from the cigarette was fading and the slap to his face stopped stinging. Except that didn’t mean that it stopped hurting from deep within him.

The phone that his wife discarded onto the floor began ringing. He easily bent over and reached for it, answering the call. He didn’t say anything, but the person on the other line knew better and went straight to the point.

“Did you consider what I talked to you about last time?” No reply. Almost as if he was talking to a shadow. It was partially true; he was definitely a shadow of his former self. “Just. Just do me a favour and go, aiight?” The male voice sighed in exasperation. “At least answer me to tell me you’re alive, or else I’m coming over.”

That seemed to snap him out of it. “No, I am—”

“Sesshomaru. Please. Once, see the therapist, once. I can’t handle the abuse that—”

“It is not abuse.” He grit his teeth, giving up, “I will visit the consultant.”

Because he was strong, it wasn’t abuse. Was it?

He was being tolerant because he loved her. Yes. That was it.

It’s not abuse. Not abuse. His angel wasn’t violent. She was just overly affectionate.

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“Baby, I’m sorry. Don’t leave, I love you. I have no one else.” He was on his knees, hugging her waist while she rubbed her bruising wrists. Tears were about to fall from her face; her blue eyes were shining with emotion. Moments before he had twisted her wrist so painfully that she yelped out loud from the impact. But immediately he realised what he had done, he was quick to apologise, quick to go down on his knees to beg for forgiveness. And just as she was about to leave.

“You can’t—” Cut off, like she always was.

“I know. I’m sorry. Forgive me, I only did it because I was jealous.” He grabbed her slender arm and began softly kissing her wrist. Her heart clenched for the man at her knees, his handsome rugged features were remorseful and so she laid her palms on the side of his face. “It hurts, right? My bad.” He rubbed the skin that was beginning to colour with his strong fingers.

“It’s okay... I’m okay.” A grim smile met her face as she slowly ran her fingers through his soft hair. “You have work right? Go, go.” Her soft voice urged him forward as he slowly stood. He grabbed her into a tight embrace, forcing her to smell his cologne and grip his shirt in reply. She smiled against his chest, she loved this man and her heart surged at his touch.

“You know I love you.” He repeated, finally pulling away and kissing her on her forehead. She nodded, his gentle whispers and touches immediately whisking her away. “I have a late conference tonight, I won’t be back till late.” He traced a single digit on her cheek before pulling away. “I’ll see you later then.” He smiled at her and she returned a tight-lipped one.

Unconsciously she was gripping her injured wrist as she waved him out the door of their home. She slammed the door and she was finally alone. An unsteady breath erupted from her throat as she took a nearby seat. She repeated in her head like a mantra.

He loves me. I love him. He cares that’s why. And I care about him.

She was almost under a trance of her own spell when her doorbell rung again. Did her husband forget something? She strode forward quickly, hoping that she wasn’t too slow for him. But what met her was her neighbour, a bright smile almost blinding her own darkness.

“Kagome-san! Good morning!” She was chirpy, which was quite unexpected from her old yet nosy neighbour. "I was wondering if you wanted to grab breakfast together? I know this really nice café down the road that—” Suddenly she noticed the younger woman rub her wrist, her ripped skin beginning to mar purple. “Oh my gosh, what happened?”

“Ah, just... Twisted it. An accident.” A forced smile reached her lips, “I’m afraid I can’t come breakfast, I have some things I need to do.”

The older woman decided not to probe; instead, she would offer something else, “Give me a second.” She hurriedly rushed back to her own home across the road and in less than a minute rushed back over. Her breath was heavy from running but she managed to push a business card into Kagome’s hand.

“...This is?”

Now it was the older lady’s turn to have a grim smile, “Please visit him.” She turned and left, leaving the petite woman in her doorway.

Her blue eyes glanced over the card. It was a number, name and—

Psychotherapist.

She swallowed the breath she didn’t know she was holding.

But her husband was just being extra careful. He was just an affectionate man. Maybe it was her, she must be doing something that angered him, so she would visit, if only to solve her own internal problems.

 

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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