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Rainy Afternoons by kb

The Well

It was a gloomy day. A soft rain fell from grey clouds soaking the ground and turning the dirt into mud. Puddles formed in the small meadow that would feed the wildflowers for weeks to come. It was not unusual for heavy rains to fall during this time of year, but today’s rain was light and left a thick humidity in the air. The humidity clung to Sesshomaru’s already dampened clothes, even frizzed his normally sleek straight silver hair. His appearance held an uncharacteristic lackluster as he stood at the base of the well looking at its depths.

The bottom of the well. Two and a half years had passed since she had disappeared down the well after she sealed the fate of the jewel. The jewel, just as time, had taken her from them all back to the world beyond the well. Before the strange miko had vanished the bottom of the well lay bare. Water did not flow as it did in any regular old well, but this had not been any regular old well, had it? However, the only constant in this world is change, and the well was no exception.

Small plops of water could be heard as the rain from the sky hit the water that now filled the once dry well. Whatever magic had once rested within its wood was now completely gone. There would be no return of the Shikon Miko who slayed Naraku and banished the jewel of four souls for eternity. She was lost from their world until the well permitted her return, if it ever did.

It was not long after Naraku’s defeat when the elder miko, Kaede, approached Sesshomaru. She convinced him with sound logic to leave Rin in her care. The poor child had been traumatized beyond repair from the unjust actions of evil men, and her travels with Sesshomaru had placed her in harm’s way far too often which traumatized her even further. The humans that lived within Kaede’s village were kind, yet strong. They never failed to rebuild after an assault. Rin would be safe here and she would learn to trust in humans with time.

Rin cried relentlessly as Sesshomaru informed her of his decision. He knelt down on one knee while he gently curled his clawed hand around her chin and met her watery eyes. “Be brave,” was all he said to the young girl who showed him love was possible. Immediately Rin did her best to stop the flow of tears down her cheeks, but more slipped down still. “I will visit.”

Sesshomaru stared down into the well. If nothing else, leaving Rin behind was a good excuse to come back to this place. The water’s surface reflected his piercing golden stare, but in his mind all he saw were two stunning cerulean eyes sparkling up at him. He longed to see those eyes smiling at him once more. If only he had known she would be taken from him he might have acted differently.

Then again, no. It was not in his nature to reveal his feelings. Sesshomaru was certain that if given the chance to do it all over again he would act exactly as he always did; cold, ruthless, and uncaring. He would never inform the miko that her strength impressed even him, or that the unusual kindness she had in common with Rin had caught his interest. The woman was a rarity, and she had unknowingly captured what little attention he gave to humans.

The rains grew heavier which Sesshomaru thanked the Kami for as the waters washed away all evidence of his visit. The last thing he wanted was his half-brother catching his scent lingering around the decommissioned well. Just like him, Inuyasha visited the well regularly in hopes that something had changed. Like him, Inuyasha hoped to see a raven haired beauty climbing out of the well. Yet despite all of their wishing the well remained full of water, and there was no one they loved patiently waiting on a hand to lift her out.

Thunder sounded in the distance indicating the light rain would soon grow into a storm. Sesshomaru’s clothing and hair were drenched all the way through, even the clothing that was protected by his armor was completely wet. Sesshomaru closed his eyes and lifted his face towards the heavens. For a moment he allowed the rain to kiss his face and he imagined it was the miko’s lips upon his pale skin.

He returned his attention to the well and tossed a pink blossom into it just as he had every time he visited. The raindrops fell harder now and forced the flower to sink beneath the water’s surface. Sesshomaru waited until the flower sank to the bottom of the well before walking away while cursing himself for never asking the miko herself for her name.

 

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