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DEMONS by SabraJane

Demons

A/N: Like I said in the description, this story is a one-shot songfic based upon the lyrics from Imagine Dragon's song, "Demons". Disclaimer: I gain nothing from this story, except the simple pleasure of manipulating the characters how I wish to, since Inuyasha belongs solely to Rumiko Takahashi. NOT ME. I also do not own the song "Demons" -- that honor solely belongs to the band Imagine Dragons. Given that this is my very first story, and has been 5+ years in the making, any similarity to any prior story is purely coincidental.

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With eyes closed, Sesshoumaru sat at the base of a large tree, his left profile illuminated by the light of the blazing fire. Given a temporary reprieve from the antics of young Rin, he had sought a place of isolation where the ground was not too damp from the recent snowfall, but within view of his charge. He expanded his senses to check for any potential nuisances. He didn’t expect too many, given that they were well within the depths of his lands but, nevertheless, he would not be lax in his duty. He would not allow any youkai to come within range of where the pack rested for the night. Sensing none in the immediate area, he continued to push his aura out further into the depths of the forest that lay behind him.

When the days are cold

And the cards all fold

And the saints we see

Are all made of gold

There.

At the very edges of his senses he could feel the spark of a few demon auras, but they were weak and a fair distance away to not be worth his attention. 

 

At least, not at the present moment.

A smirk threatened to tug at the corner of his mouth while he languidly revealed  his predatory eyes – only one glinting a molten gold in the firelight as the other one remained in the shadow of night.

 

Perhaps if This One grew bored later in the night, this one could go and hunt one of them…

He began to rhythmically drum his clawed fingers on the bent leg his right arm rested atop of. Immersed in the direction of his thoughts, he now only gazed sightlessly around the clearing’s perimeter from the corner of his eye.

 

Indeed. It has been awhile since This One has permitted himself the thrill of a bit of blood sport…

His eyes slid over to a particular red-outfitted figure resting up in the boughs of the snow-dusted tree across from him.

 

Given present company, not too many occasions presented themselves where it would be deemed appropriate for him to…play.

The corner of his mouth twitched again. But as his eye caught a glint of raven-black hair, the tension is his face disappeared and fell back into its usual stoic expression.  

 

Hnn…

After a few more moments, he reigned his demonic energy back in. Turning his head further to the left, he let his thoughts stray to the Miko that was otherwise occupied on the other side of the fire pit. At the moment, she was gently placing his ward and her kit into one of her strange futons while humming a soft tune. He took in the scene as the young ones’ bodies settled and their breathing evened out in sleep. Even as the young kit began to make soft exhalations of sound from his throat, she continued her humming - smiling down upon them as she gently raked her fingers through Rin’s tangled hair. His lips twitched for the third time that evening as he turned his attention back to the moonless evening, but for a different reason entirely.

Sesshoumaru waited until he heard the rustling of the Miko getting into her own futon for sleep, her polite whisper of ‘goodnight’ to the clearing’s occupants before he resumed his quiet observation of her. Eyes now at half mast, he lazily watched as the light from the flames danced upon her hair and face. The flickering light making it seem as if she had been dusted with gold.

Enchanting

His drumming fingers stilled – twitching in realization at the amount of admiration tied to that last thought. Slightly curling his claws into his cloth-covered knee, he reflected on how or when, exactly, he began to think of her with such regard.

 

Or any regard for that matter.

When their packs first merged into one, the only thought he spared her was how irritating he found her to be; her and her inability to cope with his long periods of silence. The straining sensation of annoyance he felt at her attempts to engage him in her useless conversations and entrapping him into giving his opinions on certain matters when it was not necessarily required. Sesshoumaru gave a quick exhalation of air through his nose in remembrance.

 

Ridiculous.

When your dreams all fail

And the ones we hail

Are the worst of all

And the blood’s run stale

On a particularly trying day of avoiding the onna’s verbal drivel, the compulsion to remove the incessant wagging appendage from her mouth came upon him quite powerfully. Luckily for the Miko, the Slayer and Monk effectively sensed his burgeoning ire and quickly waylaid her from his side with the excuse of the children needing her help – effectively saving her from his wrath for the time being. Later that evening, after overhearing the slayer relay numerous warnings to her about her behavior, he looked forward to the possibility of the Miko finally abandoning her efforts and allowing him a measure of peace and quiet.

After a number days of not being approached by the Miko, he felt he had finally gotten his wish. That is, until he found himself in the unfortunate situation of  having received an injury from unintentionally protecting the Miko. Although his injury was a mere scratch to the likes of him, it didn’t stop her from approaching him, immediately after the skirmish against the rogue demon horde, with her box of healing supplies in hand.

“Please, Sesshoumaru-sama, allow me to see to your wound for you. I’m know you might not need my assistance, but as a token of my thanks, please allow me to do this small thing for you.”

Her newly added address of ‘–sama’ to his name had given him pause. Given her previous inclinations to address him so familiarly without his permission, her new show of deference from her strangely pleased him. So, knowing that the topic of the pack’s health was one she would refuse to abandon, he had simply nodded his consent for the Miko to attend to his person – much to the surprise of his half-brother.

Upon further reflection, Sesshoumaru could attribute one event that served as a catalyst in changing his way of thinking: a simple observation made in the wake of the Miko tending to his ‘injury’. One evening, when the pack had settled down to rest after a day of aimless wandering, Sesshoumaru found himself witness to the Miko pouring over her strange, bounded scrolls and trying to explain to the curious Monk what it was she was studying. Another unexpected development concerning the girl. She was educated? If so, then by what means? It was so rare in this age for any human commoner, much less a female one, to be so well read. What kind of place would she have hailed from to be allowed such a luxurious privilege? A few consecutive nights of casually observing the Miko staying awake well into the night to study her thick, colorful tomes and occasionally having the Monk assess her on her retention, allowed Sesshoumaru to afirm that, yes, the girl was indeed educated.

The final puzzle on how the strange Miko came to be so educated was answered the day the pack had circled back round to the village of Edo. As they had approached a clearing in the wood that housed an abandoned well,  the girl had suddenly broken away from the group at a run. Heading toward the lonely structure, she tossed an excuse from over her shoulder to her stunned companions, “I’m going home, Inuyasha, to take my final test. I’ll be back in five days. Don’t you dare come and get me before then!”

With an easy smile and wave to the remainder of her audience she chirped a, “Bye everyone!” and then nonchalantly jumped into the old well with a haze of blue light. It took a glare and a barked, “Explain” to the remaining residents of the well clearing to intimidate them into divulging her secret: the Miko was, in fact, from the future – the well being her portal to and from their time.

Upon her return, it was quite evident the woman that appeared from the well was not the same as the girl that had entered it some days past. Gone was the revealing attire from her time in favor of more appropriate travel pieces for his era. What also warranted notice was how settled the Miko now seemed. By her own volition, the futuristic girl began sharing with him details of the future; seemingly answering all his silent questions on the particulars of what made her seem so foreign. He couldn’t quite put a claw on why, perhaps it was the effects of passing her important exams, but either way he appreciated the additional change that came over the Miko.

With each moon cycle that followed the woman’s definitive transformation, so did the rapport between the two of them. Although his silent observations of her unique idiosyncrasies continued, he had begun to allow her to approach his person in an almost companionable capacity. It was inevitable, given the amount of time they now spent in each other’s company, that aspects of her personality beginning to transfer onto him. The most notable being her continual efforts at self-reflection and positive growth; which caused him to finally begin to reflect upon himself.

At first, he could easily acquiesce that his aspirations had veered from his desire for supreme conquest. It was an admittedly redundant venture since it stemmed from the obsession of needing to be more powerful than his Great and Terrible Father – to be acknowledged as his true and rightful heir. His caring of Rin lead him to discover the meaning of his Father’s final lesson on protection; which, in turn, lead to the realization that he had nothing to prove. He was his own demon.

 

I wanna hide the truth

I wanna shelter you

But with the beast inside

There’s nowhere we can hide

A sudden and loud ‘pop’ from the pile of burning wood had Sesshoumaru blinking; only now realzing that he had been staring at the same, gold-tinted strand of hair for an unnecessary amount of time. He lifted his eyes to look around the campsite once more. Then, seeing that no other still stirred, he closed his eyes.

Thoughts now firmly back in the present, Sesshoumaru acknowledged the chaos he found himself in. As of now, it seems his aspirations have shifted toward the pursuance of a less violent, though no less intriguing, objective. Besides defeating the bothersome half-breed, Naraku, he now sought to understand the increasing possessiveness and need he felt toward the enigma that was Kagome.

Lately he had found himself infuriatingly ruminating over what these foreign sensations signified. Enough so that his natural instincts and logical mind had begun to war with each other – compelling him to either act upon them or somehow rid himself of them completely. At the very least, with their latest run-in with Naraku’s puppet, he could determine one such urge his instincts demanded from him…

 

This One needs to protect the Miko.

No… He could feel the drumming of his claws once again on the top of his knee. The thought didn’t quite sum up the extent of feeling that seemed to go beyond instinct. A flash of memory, the remembered scent of tears and echo of a certain three-lettered word, brought Sesshoumaru to the final realization:

 

He wanted to protect Kagome from anything – everything – that could ever do her harm.

The corner of his lip lifted into a semblance of a self-mocking snarl. His emotions, which had started out as pure annoyance, had amended to tentative tolerance. Then, they later developed into fascination. Now… now it had come to this: a need to willingly claim responsibility for the ridiculous woman. She, who would willingly overlook her own well-being to protect the members of her pack, definitely needed protection. Far from his half-brother’s pitiful attempts at defense, Sesshoumaru felt compelled to not only protect her body, but to also protect her brilliant mind and caring heart from any and all harm. Instincts craved to be the protector she needed – a protector she had unwavering confidence in.

Sesshoumaru was tempted to scoff. Leave it to Kagome to be the cause of an occasion where the two sides of his being could agree, unequivocally, on a matter. Especially considering on how infrequent such occurrences were. His inner musings took a pause as he relaxed his face, and opened his eyes to stare into embers of the dying flames.

No matter what we breed

We still are made of greed

This is my kingdom come

This is my kingdom come

With this recent achievement of inner balance, Sesshoumaru found his thoughts following an uncharacteristically, self-deprecating line of thought. Could a demon lord such as he, well known for his previous inclinations toward violent and self-serving tendencies, be permitted to carry the mantle as protector to one as pure as the Shikon Miko?

The confusion and frustration of his momentary wavering of confidence brought him to his feet. In his peripheral, he saw that his actions had caused Kagome to open her eyes. They settled on his form for a heartbeat before they moved over and up in search of the form hidden in the branches above her. He followed her gaze to the still sleeping Inuyasha. He supposed the glance was to ensure herself that the pack wasn’t in danger. Knowing if there was something amiss, Inuyasha would have dropped back to the ground and brandished his fang with an exclamation of warning pouring from his mouth – not snoring away as he currently was in his chosen perch.

Feeling the weight of her eyes upon him again, Sesshoumaru glanced her way and found himself caught in her worried gaze. He could read her unspoken question in the way her lips pursed and her brows furrowed: what was wrong? He quickly tore his eyes away from hers, shook his head once in negation, turned and strode out of the light of camp and into the surrounding darkness of the forest.

 

When you feel my heat

Look into my eyes

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close

It’s dark inside

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide

The further he walked into the forest, the darker his thoughts seemed to become. For a moment, he lifted his delicate claws closer to his face. Staring at the elegant, sharpened points, he allowed his poison to surface - giving the digits a hazy, green luster. He had killed many creatures with these elegant, natural weapons. His eyes gleamed with macabre humor. One could say his whole body was a weapon, whether he be in his current form or his true one. It mattered not. He let his poison recede and continued his leisurely pace. His entire being was meant to annihilate, intimidate, and entice; youkai, hanyou and ningen alike. It had always given him pleasure and a sense of accomplishment to know he was living up to his namesake – The Killing Perfection.

Now, as he contemplated the extent of the connection he had or could have with Kagome, he felt more like a wide-eyed, eagerly begging pup than the true, alpha predator he was. He found himself nearly hoping that the fates could deem it feasible to allow him her favor.

Disgraceful…

 Regardless, he knew he would always have to keep her mortality in mind. The very thought that he might ever be the cause, intentional or not, for her blood to spill made him nearly suppress another snarl.

At the curtain’s call

It's the last of all

When the lights fade out

All the sinners crawl

How the fuck did he find himself in this mess? Just imagining a scenario in which he would gaze upon her lifeless body, her blood-drained face etched in pain, with the knowledge that he had somehow been the cause was enough for him to inadvertently flare his aura out in helpless anger.

So they dug your grave

And the masquerade

Will come calling out

At the mess you made

 The sound of crunching snow behind him followed by a soft, “Sesshoumaru-sama?” startled him from his thoughts. His back stiffened.

How had This One not sensed her? Was This One so deep in his thoughts that he lost all awareness of what was happening around him?

He turned himself slowly on his heel in order to fully face the object of his thoughts.

“Is everything alright Sesshoumaru-sama?” She took a few steps toward him; arms outstretched in a settling, placating gesture. “I couldn’t help but feel you haven’t quite been yourself lately. You’ve been more…introspective than usual. Rin’s noticed to. She’s concerned for you.” A slight pause, then she continued, “I’m concerned for you as well, Sesshoumaru-sama...”

She halted in her steps, still several meters in front of him. Dropping her arms to her sides, she lowered her head, tilting it slightly to the side in a clearly submissive gesture. Looking up at him through the bottom of her lashes she spoke again, but with a soft, determined edge to them.

“We’re part of a pack, aren’t we Sesshoumaru-sama? I may be human, put I’ve come to understand enough of pack dynamics from you, Sango and Rin to know that besides it being the alpha’s responsibility to guard his pack, the pack still looks out for one another. That includes the pack looking after the well-being of their alpha, regardless of whether or not he is more than capable of taking care of himself.” Here she gave him a hesitant smile. “Please, Sesshoumaru-sama, I’d be neglecting my duty, as a pack member, if I were to act as if I haven’t noticed that there was something troubling my alpha...”

She paused as she looked toward the ground again. Her expression fell and a sigh escaped her. Then, as if a wave of emotion hit her, she lifted her head, faced him straight on, and clenched her hands into fists.

“I’m willing to help you in all things, Sesshoumaru-sama, so please do me the honor of bringing me into your confidence!” She followed her impassioned exclamation with a bow at the waist, face and torso nearly parallel to the ground as her hands flattened to rest at the sides of her legs.

 

Don't wanna let you down

But I am hell bound

Though this is all for you

Don't wanna hide the truth

His breath nearly caught in his throat.

 

Her honor…

What’s more, although she claims she only approached me out of sense of responsibility, she acknowledged this one as her alpha…as her protector.

Sesshoumaru lifted his chin as he bristled with pride. Keeping his stoic expression still in place, he slowly made his way closer to her. He could hear as her heart rate increased with each step, even as she regained her vertical position to watch his approach.

Given his true nature, he had no use for words, so he would not give her any. In this instance, he felt it appropriate to convey himself as his instincts dictated. He stopped but a hands-breadth from her person, quickly flicking his eyes over the features of her face to gauge how he might be received.

“Hnn.”

Then, with absolute slowness, so as to give her the chance to back away if she was uncomfortable with the foreign gesture, he leaned his head toward hers and nudged her forehead with his nose as further acknowledgement her request; which he followed with a pleased grumble that emanated from his throat.

After another pause, he closed his eyes and, with a gentleness that surprised even himself, he continued his gesture by slowly tracing his nose along her left temple to the gentle ridge of her flushing cheek bone. He followed the action by lifting his hand up to slowly begin caressing the length of her arm through the fabric of her sleeping garment. Then, tilting his head forward even more, he began to nuzzle his left cheek against hers as he silently conveyed his answer to her.

You, my little miko, are what has troubled my mind as of late.

With the slight trembling of her body as her only reaction to his ministrations, he continued as he then used his nose to follow along the line of her jaw to the slight hollow below her ear, where her jaw met her throat. He didn’t bother being discrete when he took a deep inhalation of her scent there. Under normal circumstances, he could only brand it as something earthy and floral; but at this distance he was now able to distinguish all the complexities that made up her unique scent: a damp, sweet leafy scent like that of a forest after a summer rain or a freshly brewed cup of tea.

 

She smells of comfort – of peace.

This time, a small growl rumbled through his chest in appreciation. Sesshoumaru, engrossed in the sensations of the moment wondered if it was natural for his instincts to make his arm muscles twitch and his claws clench with the compulsion to pull her into his embrace just so he could feel the heat of her against him… Had the thought of bending down to her creamy neck, burying his nose in that damnable raven hair, and nuzzling her there so as to take in her whole essence never occurred to him until now? Both actions seemed like such a natural thing to do…

 

No matter what we breed

We still are made of greed

This is my kingdom come

This is my kingdom come

Sesshoumaru stilled when he felt Kagome stiffen under his caresses as she took a quick intake of breath. Though he was desperately tempted to continue his attentions upon her, and move his face lower to finally bury his face into her silky hair that still lay along the side of her neck, logic began to filter back in.

 

I have made her uncomfortable. I must cease my actions.

So, with as much control as he could muster, he straightened himself back to his full height and brought his arm back to his side as he took a respectful step backwards. The stray thought that he might have been too familiar – too forward – and cause her to seek distance from him, brought forth a strange twinge in his chest.

 

When you feel my heat

Look into my eyes

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close

It’s dark inside

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide

Now returned to a more observable distance, he intently sought her gaze. As he sensed the red tint in his irises dissipating, he noticed her rich, velvety-brown orbs remained wide in a state of bewilderment. Unknowingly, he poured all the confusion and all the desperation he felt in that moment as he continued to stare at her. Some part of him wished for her to see the need he had to be close to her; his wish also a silent plea for her to understand what he did not, in regard to what his needs signified.

 

They say it's what you make

I say it's up to fate

It's woven in my soul

I need to let you go

 

“Ummm…w-what was…y-you just….O-oh” Kagome stuttered, her eyes blinking at him owlishly.

Watching as she struggled to form more words and subsequently abandoned the attempt, he could recount numerous instances where he wished for her to be as silent as she was now. Ironically, he would now almost welcome any sound that fell from her lips; just as long as it put a stop to this heavy silence.

 

Perhaps this is what she felt when this one initially refused to converse with her. What is it that Inuyasha said once? ‘Payback’s a bitch?’ Hmm. A bitch indeed.    

Sesshoumaru finally closed his eyes and released a sigh in acquiescence that was only evident by the minute shifting of his shoulders.

 

She didn’t welcome my attentions, after all.

He felt that unfamiliar pinching in his chest again, though quickly disregarded it in favor of his next plan of action. Perhaps he should go ahead and hunt down that youkai he had sensed earlier. It could prove a worthy distraction...

“Forgive This Sesshoumaru for his transgression. No discomfiture was intended. This one will see you safely back to camp.”

Your eyes, they shine so bright

I wanna save that light

I can't escape this now

Unless you show me how

Just as he was turning away, he felt a slight tug on his empty sleeve. Looking down at the small, white fist gripping tightly to his clothing, he trailed his eyes up along the appendage until his gaze landed on the bright-eyed and smiling face of Kagome.

“Sesshoumaru...” The affectionate tone in which she used to address him, made his eyes widen.

Sesshoumaru watched, nearly fascinated, as her cheeks became noticeably flushed when she boldly took a step forward and hesitatingly brought her other hand up to cup his cheek – the action automatically bringing his face closer to hers. She was now close enough for him to feel the warm puff of her breath caressing his face with each exhale. As she began to lightly stroke the markings of his heritage with her thumb, she spoke again.

“I’m sorry Sesshoumaru. You just caught me off guard is all. I don’t wish for you to turn away.”

When you feel my heat

Look into my eyes

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close

It’s dark inside

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide

Kagome kept her gaze locked onto his, indicating her sincerity. “Show me again,” she said as she brought herself up onto the tips of her toes. Releasing her other grip on his sleeve, she moved to clutch at his pelt-adorned shoulder so that they stood cheek to cheek once again. “Please?”

The whispered word ghosted over the shell of his ear, causing Sesshoumaru to give an involuntary shiver and automatically reach out to clutch at her waist. Whether he did so to steady her, or himself, he wasn’t sure. Either way, he didn’t dare hesitate to respond to her delectable entreaty.

At the first brush of his cheek against hers, he heard her release a trembling sigh and felt the flutter of her lashes as her eyes closed. With a rumbling purr in appreciation of her reaction to him, Sesshoumaru soothingly nuzzled his warm cheek against her chilled one. Sesshoumaru found that he both treasured and craved the sensation of reciprocity. He would seek to understand it, with the hope of inspiring more of the same in the future.

As though in response to his inner thoughts, Kagome imparted one last adoring stroke to the face she cradled in her hand before sliding sensuously through his hair and grasping at the back at his neck in a tender but solid embrace. Sesshoumaru allowed his own lids to fall closed and deepen the rumbling in his chest to a warmer register as Kagome then began ghosting her lips over his markings.

“Now it’s my turn to show you,” she muttered before sweepingly caressing her lips against his own.

“Kagome…”

Being mindful of his armor, Sesshoumaru finally pulled her to him and returned her kiss with equal tenderness.

The End

 

 

A/N: I hope you all found something to like about my story. Any constructive criticism will be more than welcome!

Thank you for reading!

Much Love My Darlings,

* Sabra Jane *

 

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