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The Deepest Wounds by Reflection of a Broken Dream

A Dance to Remember

The Deepest Wounds

 

Part 1 - A Dance to Remember

 

 

Kagome x Sesshoumaru

 

Modern AU

 

 

Prompt:

 

"Dance with me and pretend the world doesn't exist," he pleaded.

 

And after that, there was no going back.

 

- sparkingstoryinspiration

 



It was a happy day...or, at least, it should have been. Everything was painted and draped in white, crystals dripping from every possible place. Frosted glass in the foyer, tables arranged just so, a five-tiered white cake depicting winter. Smiling faces of family and friends, joy bursting from the seams as the party moved into the ballroom. There was so much white and sparkling crystal that it was nearly blinding, the floor- a carefully polished white marble- not helping matters at all.

 

"Time for the couple's first dance," someone called, a slow song coming on as the lights dimmed. A beautiful woman in a hand-designed white dress stepped onto the dance floor, her white-gloved hand held by a man in a black suit with a frosty blue vest and accents. How she convinced him to wear blue instead of red, Kagome wasn't sure...but he had never listened to her anyway. Not when they were kids...and not as they grew up and stepped into the real world together. She should have known. She should have realized it sooner... She mourned everything she had lost as she watched her cousin, Kikyo, and the man she had loved share their first dance together. Flowing silver hair, little dog ears atop his head...a joyful expression on his face. Inuyasha had been her first love. Her only. But he never...felt the same.

 

"Oh, look," a feminine whisper came from behind her. "Is that her? The girl he dumped two months 'till their wedding? For her cousin?"

 

"Yeah that's her," another girl confirmed. Kagome's hands balled up in the frosty blue and white-silvery gown she had been made to wear. "Worst part of it is...they made her the maid of honor. Poor girl."

 

"But she's been smiling this whole time," the other girl whispered. It was true. There was a smile plastered on her face. She was happy that they were happy together, but...

 

"She's a better person than I am," the other added on. "I would have wrecked their wedding...this was meant for her anyway... Oh!" They shut up suddenly, a tear trickling down Kagome's cheek. Others were on the dance floor now, a blur of colors and faces that became nearly unrecognizeable.

 

"Miko," the familiar baritone greeted, Kagome quickly wiping the tear from her cheek.

 

"Hey, Sesshoumaru," she turned to the man with her trademark smile. He really was handsome in that black suit with blue. It suited him better, in ways. And she noticed he'd tied his hair back for the evening...something he hated to do because it made him look like his father, Toga Taisho. He was probably enduring it at Toga's request.

 

"Do not smile that way at me, Miko, you know how I feel about dishonesty," he rumbled in reply. Her smile faultered a little.

 

"I have to smile, though," Kagome argued. "It's a wedding." She saw the briefest flash of sympathy cross his golden orbs before it was gone. Stoic again...but a little softer, if she wasn't mistaken.

 

"It is alright to be sad," he spoke after a pregnant pause, taking her completely off guard. "Upset. Angry. These are natural emotions that should come from your situation. I smell them on you, and yet you smile that smile and bear the weight of their betrayal and dishonor... Why?" The smile she gave him next made him regret asking. She looked so fragile he was afraid she might shatter where she stood...

 

"Because I loved him," Kagome replied simply, another tear streaking down her cheek. "And Kikyo...and I would never do anything half this terrible to them. So I smile...because I won't dishonor them like that. Despite what has been done, despite what has been said. I will smile until the last, until I get home...and then I'll let everything out. Probably so long and hard that I'll wake up tomorrow afternoon with a severe headache and makeup smeared all over my face...but I'll feel better after that. I will be better. I'll pick up the pieces and move on...and everything will get better. ...I have to keep believing that." The last was near a whisper, more telling herself that than saying it to Sesshoumaru. This woman...she was stronger and, by far, more honorable than any other female he had ever met. Human, youkai, or otherwise. And she was beginning to crumble in front of him. He needed to act fast so that she could honor her vow.

 

"Dance with me and pretend the world doesn't exist," the words fell from Sesshoumaru's lips before he had realized what he had said, the words almost a desperate plea. But he had spoken the words and there was no going back now. He extended a maroon-striped clawed hand to her as she looked up at him with awe and surprise clear in her beautiful glassy azure eyes. "Just you and I and the dance floor. Nothing else has to exist. We can simply...be." Kagome was spellbound beneath his intense golden eyes, her breath hitched for a long moment. Finally, slowly, she stretched a delicate hand riddled with callouses to rest atop his larger, equally calloused hand. His expression visibly softened, his free hand wiping her tears away with such tenderness it really amazed her. He had slain demons with those strong hands of his...and yet they could be so gentle... The hand holding hers closed around it and guided her onto the dance floor. Kagome went without a word, following his lead as he cleared a path through the dancing people for them.

 

When they were far enough away from the newlyweds, Sesshoumaru turned back to her, his free hand moving to her waist. His hands remained gentlemanly and he waited patiently for her mind to catch up, her free hand moving to his shoulder. The music was slow, she noted, completely out of sorts with her surroundings. Sesshoumaru lead the slow dance with precisely measured steps, like he had done this a thousand times before...and he may well have, as old as he was. Either way, it made it easier for Kagome. She didn't have to think about anything...her body moved along with his almost naturally, the world around them falling away. Caught in his golden eyes, they spun around the dance floor numerous times, through song after song. Slow, fast, they danced to their own beat in a world away from all of the nasty realities trying to slap them in the face. It was serene and peaceful...Kagome almost felt...like herself again. And not the shattered, shorn, piece of a person she had become. The smile on her face had become easier, natural...real. It pleased Sesshoumaru to no end that he had managed to distract her so from her woes that she had once again become that easy-going female he had fallen for all those years ago. He had kept his feelings to himself because she had fallen for his younger brother. And he respected her earnest love for the hanyou...even if he couldn't see what she saw in him. Even now, though, he kept his emotions carefully bottled. This was not the time nor the place for him to confess such things. The time may not come for months or years...or ever. But he was content simply being by her side and sharing little moments like this... Being happy that she was happy.

 

But moments like these...they never last.

 

And this one was rudely interrupted.

 

"D'uuhh fack?" Inuyasha crashed their dance, pushing Sesshoumaru away from Kagome. He was only pushed back a few steps, but he was on guard. The hanyou smelled far too heavy of alcohol...he had drank entirely too much. Kagome blinked at Inuyasha, reality crashing back into her hard as she stared at him. She was crumbling again... "Yuh-yoo're gattin' wih...wih mah brohther ta get bahck at me?" Kagome had cringed the moment he stepped close to her, the smell overpowering even for her. But his words...they cut like a knife.

 

"Inuyasha," Sesshoumaru growled firmly, his patience worn thin.

 

"Nah tahkin' ta yoo," Inuyasha snarled back at him before rounding on Kagome again, eyes dark. The whole hall was quiet. He pointed at Kagome. "Yoo...'niving biiitch! H...hore! Bahck-ssstahhbhin-" He was cut off by a sharp pain in his face...which was now veered to the side. The resounding slap echoed off the walls, giving Sesshoumaru sadistic pleasure as he watched on, still ready to jump in if needed.

 

"Sorry, Inuyasha, I'm not like you," Kagome bit back at him, all of her pent up rage rearing its ugly head. "I don't mess around behind my mate-to-be's back, and certainly not with family!" Kikyo cringed across the way. As she well should. He started to talk again, but she raised her voice over his. "You lost any right in my life when you tossed me away two months before our wedding and decided to marry Kikyo today instead of me. You want to talk conniving? Plotting behind the mate-to-be's back to 'drop that useless wench just close enough to the wedding to really hurt. I want to see the look on that bitch's face and keep it close on the wedding day.'" The look on Kagome's face was beyond rage, tears streaking down as Inuyasha's ears folded back. Sesshoumaru let out a heated snarl, eyes alight. It seems he didn't know the true depths of Inuyasha's betrayal... "Do you remember that conversation with Kikyo? I do. And I played your game. But enough is enough!" She stomped her heel against the floor, hands balled and shaking at her sides. "Sesshoumaru was the last thread keeping me sane..." She wiped at her eyes. Inuyasha started to speak again, but Toga was suddenly at his side, hand clamped painfully hard on his shoulder.

 

"Aahhhoooowww," Inuyasha yelped. "Leggo!" He swatted futilly at his father, missing by several centimeters.

 

"I want to apologize to you on my son's behalf," Toga spoke, Kagome a trembling ball of frustrated energy. "I knew something was amiss, but I let things go...and you were hurt because of it. I am truly sorry...you know I think of you as the daughter I never had." Kagome hiccupped as she wiped at her eyes and nodded blearily. She had played in their mansion since she and Inuyasha were kids... Sesshoumaru was at her side in a blink, covering her with his suit jacket and draping an arm over her shoulders. Kagome grabbed onto him like a lifeline, the tears falling unceasingly now. He held her close. "Go." Toga motioned for Sesshoumaru to get her out of there. The elder brother scooped Kagome up in his arms and was gone in a flash. Toga turned to the guests, never letting go of the boy. "I apologize for my son's rudeness and cruelty. And his mate's as well." He shot a pointed look at the glowering Kikyo. "I'm afraid I spared the rod on this one and he became spoiled. But that can still be corrected." He squeezed, Inuyasha crying out as a bone audibly cracked. His collarbone. "But I do thank you all for coming. The festivities are at an end now." He shot another look at Kikyo. "And I'm afraid you won't have your mate back for your honeymoon."

 

"We have plane tickets to Tahiti," Kikyo spoke up, irritated. "We leave tomorrow."

 

"You may," Toga inclined his head. "But Inuyasha will not. He needs to re-learn some things...and be taught how to treat females and mates."

 

"But," Kikyo started in a huff and ended in a growl. "Whatever. I'll take Sakura from work."

 

"Y-yuh're nah gon leaf me lak dis?!" Inuyasha managed to get out, staring at Kikyo in shock.

 

"Can and will," Kikyo responded, pulling up her dress so she could walk better. "Have fun with your dad!" She shuffled out of the room.

 

"Hell of a mate you picked," Toga snorted, Inuyasha sulking.

 

"Don' rub iht ihn...," Inuyasha moaned, running both hands down his face.

 

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Kagome clung to Sesshoumaru, always exhilarated by the speed of demons and the like. She didn't really have much time to swoon in between sobs, though... Everything was coming out. All of her rage, upset, and sadness in a downpour that was meant for the privacy of her house. Sesshoumaru slowed down, colors no longer bleeding together, and Kagome vaguely heard the jiggle of a handle. Where were they? Where was he taking her? Her makeup was stinging her eyes, making it almost impossible to see anything.

 

"I'm..snf...sorry....I got...makeup on your clothes...," Kagome apologized, trembling in his arms like an abused puppy. For all he knew, she could have been.

 

"Don't worry about it," he brushed off with ease, really looking down at her as he opened up another room. "We have an excellent dry cleaner. ...Do your eyes burn?"

 

"...Yes," Kagome reluctantly told him the truth. She had already caused enough of a ruckus today...she hated to further be a burdon to him...

 

"I'm going to set you down and go get some wet wipes," Sesshoumaru spoke his actions to her as he set her down in a sitting position on a bed. "I will return. Do not move." Kagome nodded, rubbing more at her horribly burning eyes. The jacket fell off, but she barely noticed. Why hadn't she sprung just a little bit more for the waterproof stuff..? This was terrible... After a moment, Sesshoumaru returned with a full box of wet wipes. He pulled one from the plastic container and neared her, dropping down to a kneeling position in front of her. "This Sesshoumaru is back. Do not move. This one will remove your makeup." A choked laugh came from her as he began wiping at her eyes. His eyebrow raised in question. "Dare I ask what you suddenly find amusing?" At that, Kagome let out another soft laugh, making the edges of his own lips tilt upwards. Although he did puzzle over what could be funny right now, of all times.

 

"The way you talk sometimes...when you refer to yourself...it's different," Kagome revealed, Sesshoumaru gently dabbing at her eyes. Now he felt self-conscious of his speech...

 

"It is the old way," Sesshoumaru clued her in, managing to free one eye from the smudged mess that had sealed it shut. "As they say...old habits die hard."

 

"I think it's cool," Kagome responded as he got another wet wipe and re-wiped the first eye to be sure he got it all before continuing to the second. Her answer relieved him. "It's uniquely you...and I believe keeping the past alive, in some ways, is beneficial." He couldn't help the pleased growl from reverberating in his chest. Gods he loved this woman... "A happy purr." Kagome laughed softly.

 

"This Sesshoumaru does not purr," he retorted indignantly. "I am not a cat." Kagome burst out laughing again, sniffling as she did. She needed this...

 

"Growl, then, stubborn dog," she replied, Sesshoumaru wiping the last of the make up away with a soft chuckle of his own. He dropped that wet wipe into a small white wicker wastebasket with plastic lining and got one more clean one, wiping her eyelids and around them once more.

 

"So you do know your animals," Sesshoumaru teased, earning a grin from the woman. By the ticks in her eyelids, he could tell she was playfully rolling her eyes at him. "Open." Kagome slowly opened her eyes with another sniffle, Sesshoumaru reaching over to the bedside table and grabbing a tissue. He offered it to her as she blinked a few times, Sesshoumaru coming into view, tears still trickling down her cheeks.

 

"Thank you...," Kagome dabbed at her eyes before blowing her nose. He offered up the wastebasket and she tossed it in. It was quiet a moment. "I ruined their wedding." Her voice was small, ashamed, eyes downcast.

 

"Inuyasha ruined the wedding," Sesshoumaru corrected, tenderly wiping another tear away that gathered in the corner of her eye. "He knew better than to drink so much..." Kagome didn't look convinced. "He attacked you. And you simply defended yourself. Rightly so. They should have never done these things to you...it is dishonorable."

 

"...Yeah...," she agreed reluctantly, rubbing her arm. "But so were the things I said. ...I couldn't just grin and bear it 'till the end. Just for today... I broke my vow..." Sesshoumaru's clawed hand took hold of her chin firmly and lifted it so she had to look at him. Her beautiful azure eyes were filled with tears again.

 

"Who could have endured what they did to you the way you have?" Sesshoumaru asked, golden eyes filled with fury, admiration, and passion. "No one. Not even I." His free hand gently wiped away her tears, Kagome's eyes just a touch wider. "You expect too much of yourself, set the bar to inhuman standards. And even past that. You are still a living, breathing creature with emotions and a beating heart. Your intentions were honorable and pure...something I deeply admire...but you don't have to be perfect. Even the kami have their flaws..." 'Although, to me, you are as a goddess...,' he added on silently as he wiped her tears away once more, hands caressing her soft cheeks as he held her face tenderly. "And every word you spoke was truth. Cruel, yes...but not to them. You shed light on the shadows of your situation, called them out on it the moment they tried to overcome you. That, in itself, is a testament to your strength, endurance, and will...all which tend to supersede even the strongest demons here." Kagome's cheeks were flushed at the praise she was not used to recieving from the usually pretty stoic demon, her eyes fluttering when the pads of his thumbs soothingly rubbed her face. It felt so nice...his hands were so strong and warm...and kind. Sesshoumaru revelled in the moment, seeing her almost blissful in his hold. She really was a beautiful female...so strong in her own ways... "Like the moon." He muttered aloud, inadvertantly leaning forwards. Kagome's eyes focused in on Sesshoumaru's face, which was now barely a breath away from her own. "You shine brightly amid the darkness of night, illuminating everything with your purifying light. Lonely but beautiful...you don't even realize the full extent of your power..." Kagome's face flamed hot all the way to her ears and even down her neck. What...what was this...? Her heart was fluttering and racing in her chest all at once. H-He was a little too close...she knew demons didn't think of physical boundaries the same as humans...but he had never been this close before...

 

"S-Sesshoumaru," Kagome spoke softly, her lips tingling as they brushed against his when she spoke. He could claim her lips. Here and now. The temptation was powerful...but his basic thoughts and tact were more so. He slid his nose along hers with a soft rumbling growl, moving so that he pressed his forehead to hers.

 

"Forgive me," his apology was quiet but heartfelt. "I forget myself sometimes." He moved his hands back from her face, fingers carefully arching over her little human ears. Sesshoumaru held her head in place as he moved his own head up enough that his nose parted her bangs while he kissed her forehead. Kagome's face to her ears were hot again. He finally released her head and backed away once more. "This wing is my personal sanctuary. This room...is yours to use as long as you please. No one can enter this hall without my knowing. You will be very much safe here." Sesshoumaru stood and backed away, letting the curious Kagome look around.

 

The room was easily three times the size of her homey little apartment, and lavishly decorated in creams, gold, a calming deep shade of blue that somehow also managed to be bright, and maroon. There were several pieces of hand-carved furniture...a couch with floral upholstery, an armoire, chester drawers, an elaborate vanity with a large, thick-looking mirror, a side table to the bed, and the bed, itself. It had to be king size- it was huge! And dressed in red silken sheets with complimentary blue covers, a sheer cream curtain hanging from the four posts. All of the furniture was ornately carved of the same dark wood...and the floor was made of wood, too, now that she really looked at it. A dark-stained bamboo, if she wasn't mistaken. Glossy and well taken care of...just like the rest of the room.

 

"I...I can't stay here," Kagome finally spoke when she looked back at Sesshoumaru. His heart actually fell a little. She didn't like the room? "I'm afraid to touch anything...everything's so...expensive-looking and nice." At that he chuckled, relief filling him just as quickly as the upset had. The things this female could do to him...

 

"I carved the furniture myself," Sesshoumaru shocked her with a proud look in his pleased golden orbs. "That you think so much of it pleases me. That said, everything was relatively inexpensive. ...Save the bedding. I did spend a little more on it than anything else. But that is beside the point. You are still welcome to use this room. I can keep you safe...and our attendants can bring you food and clothes." He carefully avoided saying exactly what he meant without lying- keeping her away from Inuyasha, Kikyo, and the pain they had inflicted on her. Kagome seriously considered it, but...

 

"I still have a job, though...rent and bills to pay...I'm not letting you pay for it, either," she pointed her finger at him warningly and he cracked another smile.

 

"I own the company you work for- I bought them out years ago," Sesshoumaru shocked her once more. Indirectly, he was her boss?! "It would be simple to arrange a paid leave of abcense. You need time to recover from this." Kagome opened her mouth...shut it...then opened it again.

 

"This feels like cheating, though," she finally ousted, seeming to cave on the idea a little.

 

"Then I will teach you things while you are here, will that be sufficient?"

 

"I...guess so...," Kagome responded unenthusiastically. She still wasn't completely sold on it.

 

"Good, it's settled, then," Sesshoumaru swooped in for the kill. "The door to the hallway is there." He pointed at the elaborate wooden door on the other side of the room. It depicted images of inu youkai in their true forms. She idly wondered if he'd carved that, too. "There is a door directly linked to my room, in case you have need of me." He pointed towards a door a few feet to her right. "Any time you need something, day or night, I will be available." Kagome felt a little uncomfortable taking the offer, but Sesshoumaru saved the best for last. "And there is the entrance to your own personal bathroom...which leads out to a private, natural hotspring." He pointed to her left, Kagome visibly perking at that. He was hard-pressed to conceal his little smirk. "There are all sorts of oils and soaps you may use. And, while you can see out, no one can see or hear anything within. It was an enchantment cast long ago for privacy purposes." She was staring at the door like she wanted to go jump in. "Shall I send for your clothes and basic home needs?"

 

"Um...," Kagome hesitated, peering up at Sesshoumaru as he smirked just a little. He knew just how much she enjoyed hot springs and bathing, in general. Another quality he enjoyed about her...her scent was always clean and pure. Kagome scowled up at his smirk, but relented.

 

"Fine," she agreed. "But I'm only staying a few days. A week max."

 

"As you say," Sesshoumaru inclined his head. "If you want to relax in the spring, there are towels and there is a yukata in the bathroom that should fit. Make yourself at home." Kagome nodded and he started heading for the hall door.

 

"S-Sesshoumaru," Kagome called out meekly. He paused, head turning to the side to show he was listening. "...Thank you. For everything." She knew he was doing this for her sake...and that warmed her on the inside.

 

"Think nothing of it," he replied simply, turning back to the task at hand with a little smile on his face. He would be able to help her recover this way...it was a relief, more than anything. She would be safe from any nefarious plans in his care. He would make sure of it. He exited the room and Kagome jumped up, ready to go rip the highly uncomfortable blue dress off. Her pace was brisk as she headed for the hot spring- which Sesshoumaru could hear and silently chuckled at-, and she did just that inside the safety of the bathroom. She threw the mass of blue and silvery-white into the corner just as soon as she could pull it off, shaking off her matching heels and kicking them into the corner, too. Kagome trembled lightly as she gazed at the offending dress. That was the dress Kikyo was supposed to wear...it was tailored to the woman's bustier, curvier body. Her mom had managed to take it in before the wedding, but still... It was another slap in the face. One she kept silent about. Tears welled and trickled all over again, Kagome pulling off the remaining uncomfortable garments and tossing them into the corner.

 

"I want to burn them," she whispered to no one. Grabbing a towel, she headed out to the hot spring.

 

...Would this wound ever truly heal?

 

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