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Revolution by Pensierri32

Chapter 1

Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; the carriage held but just ourselves and immortality. – Emily Dickinson 

I-

Kagome’s eyes widened as a large hand faintly smelling of autumn leaves wrapped itself around her mouth. “Quiet, miko. Or I will shout loud enough for the hanyou’s guards to come and find out who dares to disturb his rest.” The voice was low, an angry rumble that made her quiver like a trapped deer with sudden, instinctive fear. She hadn’t heard him in a long, long time- not since his last battle with their group, not since their victory over the dark hanyou seeking the Jewel of Four Souls.

Controlling the fear locking her limbs was a small feat, but a heartbeat later she was able to nod, hoping against hope that he had come to take her away from the Western Citadel. She almost squeaked when a hard arm came around her stomach, tightening her abdomen bare seconds before he pushed off the ground and ran from the cultivated gardens and into the night-dark forest as silently as the wind. She stayed quiet as he carried them farther and farther away from the Citadel- from her wish and the consequences she had inflicted on herself and the Western Lands.

After about half an hour, he launched into the air, a cream-colored cloud forming at his feet to carry them. He put her down once they were skyborne- once she had nowhere to run, and turned to look back at the moonlit palace in the distance. Her gaze followed his movement and for a moment, she caught her breath at its beauty the way she had when she had first seen it. Her eyes roved over the glimmering turrets, the high walls laced with flowering vines of jasmine. The lotus-dotted river gleamed in the lantern lights of the sprawling city surrounding the palace. A small strip of green valley separated the city’s inhabitants from the forest. It looked ethereal and serene, a dream wrought into reality.

She looked away a second before he did, carefully ignoring the burn in her throat and at the corners of her eyes.

She didn't deserve to shed anymore tears. 

They were both careful to watch the landscape beneath them as they flew in silence towards a far corner of the Western Lands, searching for any sign her absence had been discovered and they were being chased. Eventually, they landed by a hot spring. He turned away from her the second she stepped off the cloud. “Wash. His scent on you can be followed.”

So saying, he leapt into the shadows, presumably to dispose of any scouts that may have been sent to track them. While difficult to do, their scent could still be followed in the air by those knowledgeable and skilled enough.

After a long moment of staring at the dark, empty undergrowth before her, Kagome hurriedly undressed. She sent out a small flare of her powers to see if any dangers lurked close by. Sensing nothing more than a family of red pandas, she set her clothes to soak and scrubbed herself with handfuls of sand gathered from the bottom of the pool. Before she washed her hair, she hung her clothes up to dry, internally grimacing at the beautiful but plain blue, youkai-crafted cotton. It had been a gift from the woman she had once thought would be her mother-in-law, a woman she had come to hate for her pettiness and cruelty.

Another small flare of her aura brought no sense of danger and she returned to getting the Prince's scent off her skin. She sighed as she scrubbed, ignoring the coil of rage deep inside of her whipping at the thought of the twisted creatures in the Jewel of Four Souls. To think she had spent four years completing that cursed, pink bauble only to have her wish-her heart's purest desire, corrupted beyond her wildest imagining. She huffed and closed her eyes, tying up her anger and burying it beneath her guilt for making such an unworthy wish. Only an unworthy wish could have resulted in such a disastrous outcome. 

Only an unworthy miko would have paid the price for such an unworthy wish.

She shook her head and refocused her thoughts, climbing out of the pool and wiping her skin off with a bit of dry moss she was able to find. She quickly put on her damp clothes after she was relatively dry. Unfortunately, her mind kept wandering and she ended up reminiscing on the last time she had been allowed to come to a hot spring.

Kagome made a face as she smoothed out the folds of cotton tied around her body, lost in the memory. She hadn’t enjoyed the visit at all, her heart numbed to the pain of watching Inuyasha fawn over Kikyou like a boy with his first crush. And his mother… Izayoi had done nothing but make sure Kagome watched them. Kagome sighed silently and pushed the unpleasant memory away. It wasn't the worst thing they had done to her... not by a long shot.

Turning to face the north, she flared her aura as she tied her obi as skillfully as she could without a servant to aid her. The simplest of folds hid her curves beneath the three layers of cotton. Each layer brought out a different shade of the oceanic blue of her eyes, emphasized the creamy paleness of her skin, and the dark contrast of her hair. Despite the lack of silk and embroidery that would identify her as a member of the royal household, Kagome looked lovely enough to be nobility. Perhaps that was one of the reasons for Kikyou’s vindictiveness. Still, she could only find herself grateful that her hateful incarnation had kept the palace clothier from stitching the Western symbol on her gifted kimono. It would be easier to remain unidentified without the crescent moon etched between her shoulder blades.

Unable to sense her captor nearby, she knelt by the hot spring, automatically smoothing the crinkles in her kimono with a graceful hand- as drilled into her by the Etiquette Mistress. The ebony-haired young woman watched the steam rise into the darkness of the night, only startling when a small, furry head nosed its way under her hand. “Hello, little one. Couldn’t sleep?”

The red panda cub yipped at her, curling up in her lap and yawning as she scratched its back. Its large, honey-brown eyes drooped beneath heavy eyelids as she continued her ministrations and soon the little creature was asleep. For her part, Kagome remained lost in thought, watching as dew began to form on the leaves around her, waiting for her kidnapper to return.

She wondered what he wanted with her.

“Miko.” His voice made her startle. His return had been sudden and silent. “Rise. We must leave this place now. The hanyou has noticed your absence.”

She picked up the red panda cub and placed it beneath a small frond for protection before rising to her feet. She did not use her powers to place a barrier around the small creature, in case her aura was recognized.

“I don’t still smell like him, do I?” She met his eyes for the first time since he had taken her and barely kept from flinching.

There was rage in his gaze, a fine, razor-sharp rage that threatened to burn down everything in his path the second he unleashed himself. “No. Come.”

He took her elbow and gave her seconds to step onto the cloud before speeding away over the Western border and into the Northern Territories. He still did not speak and so she remained silent as well. He slowed as they reached the coastal edge of the Northern Lands, circling around the curve of a small, craggy island before swooping down towards a nigh-invisible crevasse rampaged by fierce, crashing waves. He waited until the waves had receded and then zipped into the cave, ignoring her gasp and the small hand grasping at his armor.

He put her down quickly, waited until she could stand on her own, and then turned and walked deeper into the darkness. With a careless thought, he lit the torches for her with a touch of magic. It would not do for her to injure herself in the darkness. If she was injured, it would be months before he could find another miko as powerful as she, maybe even years. Maybe never.

She followed slowly as he stalked ahead, not wanting to get to their destination and receive the tension apparent in every line of his body. When he finally stopped, she had to hold in her gasp as she looked around and up. The circular cavern he had lead her to was massive. Shaped like a large, hollow column, the cavern was easily able to hold many inu youkai in their true forms. Ornate rugs, low tables, and pillows were piled over the cold floor in elegant disarray; tapestries and bookshelves covered the walls alongside maps and portraits of what she assumed were members of the nobility. Staircases curved up like snakes along the walls to open onto a balcony that circled the whole room, framing small alcoves with burning fires and lighted crystals. She could barely make out more caverns and tunnels branching away from the alcoves and suspected a veritable labryinth around the centerpoint of this cavern.

“You will tell me exactly what you said in your foolish wish, miko.” His voice was freezing, coated with the ice holding back the flames of his fury. His golden eyes blazed at her, murdering her where she stood and his long, silver hair moved in an invisible wind around his body. She could feel the threadbare constraints leashing his power to his form and knew he was close to killing her, regardless of any potential use he had brought her here for.

“I wished for Inuyasha’s happiness.” Her words fell into the echos of the cavern and she knelt, head bowing as she heard his vicious growl at the Prince's name. She fought against the tears she had refused to shed in the Western Palace. “I had no idea that his happiness would entail such horror for so many people. I’m sorry.... So, so sorry."

He snarled, raising the hairs on the back of her neck. His voice rang out in the firelit shadows of the cavern. “Did you even think before you spoke your wish, miko? Did you learn your history? My father, the Great Dog Demon General, was a bloodthirsty, sadistic male with little to no regard for the people he ruled. Bringing him back from the dead was one of the worst acts of idiocy ever committed in the West. His youngest son, now his heir, is just as selfish and cruel as he is. Did you imagine that Inuyasha's sociopathic tendencies would not manifest in the wish you made? You- who followed him like a fool, did you even know the idiot you used the power of that wish for?"

He paused, reigning himself in lest he throw her from the cavern into the raging seas just outside. She had been the most powerful one in that ragtag group and he needed someone of her caliber. Killing her was less than useful. After a moment, he continued. "No one but Inuyasha and Izayoi were ever happy under the Inu no Taisho’s rule, and you gave all three of them the power they had once held... just as the land was beginning to heal and grow despite their callous use of it so many years ago. Do you think that city was there the day my father died? Do you think the title of Western Lord was coveted the day it was bequeathed to me?”

He whipped away from the scent of her fearful tears, refusing to acknowledge the innocence of her wish. “You took from me my lands and my people, threw both to the hands of an uncouth barbarian. You took from me the daughter whom I cared for and the only pack besides my mother I had ever acknowledged. You took from me my title and my birthright. You are a fool, miko. An ignorant, cursed fool.

Kagome was too guilt-ridden to be shocked at his anger, the loss of his famed control. She bowed her head beneath the weight of the past years.

“And for that,” he said quietly, controlling his fury and waiting until she looked up at him, “you will assist me in taking back what is mine.”

His golden eyes held a strength of conviction and possessiveness that shook her. His stance was straight, calm, able- loose with an aura of accepted responsibility that demanded respect. Her eyes dried as she flicked her gaze over him.

He was nothing compared to Inuyasha’s father, the current Lord of the Western lands. His aura was almost non-existent in comparison with the Inu no Taisho’s aura and yet… she sat back on her heels. He was more.

There was more than cunning in those golden eyes, there was intelligence and compassion. He could have easily taken revenge and killed her for her role in his dethroning. He could have forced her into slavery or servitude. Instead, he had saved her- though he knew it not. She knew, without a doubt, that she would never be forced to show this man respect. He would earn it, would not merely demand it.

Considering how his current position was entirely her fault, the least she could do was help him. She bowed to him, forehead touching the floor, fingertips pointed carefully. “What would you have of me, Lord Sesshoumaru?”

He reclined on a set of cushions in front of one of the many fireplaces around the cavern, muscles still stiff with anger. “Make yourself comfortable, miko. We have much to discuss.”

 

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