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Wasteland by Tsuki no Tennyo

Wasteland

Author's Note: I'm not sorry.

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She was so brief. Gone with that strange well and he had never thought once about it. He really should have, but he did not. He was always so heartless. His half-brother was never the same after she left, severing all ties with him and just disappearing into thin air one day three years after she was gone.

His little child was gone too. Death by the common cold before ever knowing the touch of a man. Wolves couldn't kill her, the Underworld couldn't take her, but something so mundane did. He almost wanted to laugh at the cruel irony.

He knew Heaven's Blade could not bring her back again, but that did not stop him from trying and trying until after the eleventh swing, he accepted her fate. He took so many lives from others, so it was probably only fair that he would lose some, too.

He buried her by a meadow. She always did love flowers. He set his faithful servants free, though they were all reluctant to leave him. He had never deserved their loyalty. His mother was gone again, but then, she always did as she pleased. He thought once of the half-demon that was his brother. Perhaps in another life, there would be less hate and bloodshed.

He realized he had no one left.

So he moved on.

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He felt aimless, drifting through the rapidly changing years, barely aware of the history happening all around him. Everything felt so meaningless when he was becoming nothing more than old folklores, only stories told through word of mouth from one generation to the next, getting distorted until it no longer resembled the truth.

He had achieved so much and yet no one would ever know.

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The smog was so sickening. He never did care for it much. Everything was so putrid, loud, unbearable—when did living become so exhausting? Nothing left, so why couldn't he just die already—

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Sesshoumaru?

Her—she was gone. She was here now. She disappeared. She was here now. She remembered him.

.

You remember me.

I do.

You are here.

I am.

Where have you been?

Waiting for you, I suppose.

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She was so brief.

Send her away. Don't let her stay. She is nothing. Don't let her be your demise.

But the way she curled up against him eased the centuries of loneliness, the way she left her kisses on his body, marked him as hers, made those empty years seem like a forgotten memory. Only for a moment, she was only a moment, just like the soft moans that were for his ears only.

She was so brief, but he enjoyed her so much.

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She was so brief, and he wasted a fragment of her fleeting life hating her, fighting her, being apart from her. So few time, not enough time, never enough. He could never forgive himself for wasting away her life.

She could, and she deserved more than he could ever give her.

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If someone had told me long ago that it was you who I would be with, I would have placed them in a mental institution for such a crazy thought.

Am I that terrible?

You were ruthless. Fearful. Not him.

I'm sorry.

Don't be.

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She was so brief. Her kisses, laughter, tears, words, scent, embraces—he wanted to place them all in a box for safe keeping, because once she was gone, so would all of those things that defined her.

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She was so brief.

There was only so much time for her to know how loved she was and he wasted them filling her with fear and resentment. Hate, power, conquest—they meant so little now when he recognized just how precious and rare she was.

Still, he did not know how to show her, tell her. He felt so inadequate, unworthy, far from the greatness he had thought he had achieved. She was only a human, so how could she bring a great demon like himself to his knees?

There are no more demons, he reminded himself, allowing himself to be conquered by an ordinary being.

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She was so brief and tender.

I love you. You don't have to say it back.

Am I really that heartless?

I don't know, are you?

He could almost hear her playful laughter behind her kiss. He wondered if she felt him smiling. He would only smile for her, because only she could bring him such happiness and peace after a lifetime of fighting and winning, fighting and losing, and fighting, fighting, fighting, he was so, so tired of everything.

I love you, too.

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She was so brief, fragile, and very, very sick.

You can't keep ignoring it, you know.

He could and he would.

Maybe I should leave. I want you to remember me when I was still vibrant and—

He couldn't let go of her hand, couldn't kiss her hard enough to suppress those awful words. He shivered under her touch, afraid it would be the last. He was never afraid, but she seemed to have changed that.

Maybe she was the one who was cruel.

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Don't save me. Don't play god.

He hesitated.

It will only be worse.

She seemed colder than he remembered.

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She was so brief, and every day that she remained he let out the breath he was holding, only to start over when night came and the countdown continued.

Stay, he asked her with every caress down her frail body.

I'm sorry, she answered with every bittersweet kiss.

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Sesshoumaru? Sesshoumaru, don't be lonely. Don't be alone.

He never did like being told what to do.

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She was so brief.

She deserved more time. She did not get the full life expectancy of a human. She was cheated out of all of the time promised. It was not fair. Not fair, not fair, not fair—

And then she was gone, slipped through his fingers like sand, mourned only briefly by others until one by one everyone who remembered her faded away, turned into dust, and it was only him still responsible for her memory.

She could be reborn again, yes, but it would not be her. Not quite. He would remember her, but she would not remember him. It was only right that he should bear the pain and not her. A few kind acts in his life would not amend for the cruelty he spread.

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He screamed to the Heavens, willing to curse his tired soul to eternal damnation, if only he could start everything over, do it right this time. Keep her by his side until the end of time itself.

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She was so brief.

And he was not.

 

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