Shadow of the crescent moon by idreamofinuyokai

A Rainy day for everyone

It rained on the day of his father's funeral. Sesshomaru sat beside his younger brother, letting him wail into his side as the elder of the two looked at the lowering casket without blinking. Their men were behind him, unflinching. Their dark glasses hid their tears but the war had only just begun when their fearless leader was gunned down.

Everyone looked at the silent heir to the family business. The latest events would not go unpunished, and he knew the gang who was responsible. "Inuyasha, do not look away; you must remember this pain." He said, and the child swallowed his tears and peered over his shoulder at the last sight of their father's remains. He panted, tightening his hold on his older brother, and then sobbed again.

Sesshomaru held the grief he felt as pure hatred for his enemy. Because of them, the child's mother was also killed, leaving him as the only one fit to raise the boy.

When the service ended, he stood. The boy clung to his side as the highest-ranking enforcer approached. Koga's black hair hid the tears in his eyes, and he bowed respectfully. "I am sorry for your loss," he said before looking up. "We have located their headquarters," he said. Sesshomaru looked down at the silver-haired child.

"Inuyasha, go with Hakkaku. I will be home shortly." He said, and the boy looked up at him, terrified. The boy shook his head, clinging to him tightly. Sesshomaru knelt, putting his hands on Inuyasha's shoulders, and looked into his eyes.

"Don't worry about me; I'm going to make them pay for this. Do you believe me?" He asked, and Inuyasha nodded, unable to answer with words. "Go with Koga," he said, and Ginta came over with Sesshomaru's great Pyrenees, handing the leash to the boy.

"Sesshomaru, make him pay for me and Taeko," the boy said, and Sesshoumaru watched as the youth took the giant dog's leash and walked back to the long black car. Their driver stepped out to open the door. Hakkaku locked eyes with Sesshomaru and understood with one look what his assignment was.

"Let's get you home," Hakkaku said to the boy and closed the door behind them and the white dog.

Sesshoumaru watched the car drive away before turning to Koga again. "I don't know what I'm going to do. With the war coming, I don't have the time to watch him." He said, and Koga pursed his lips.

"We will all look after him; you're not doing it alone."

As the black car drove through the city, Inuyasha held onto the long fur of his dog's large white head that sat across his lap. The boy sniffed back tears. His brother was a lot older than him, and they had spent little time together, except for the weekly family dinners.

Going to the large estate, Inuyasha felt foreign within the high walls surrounding the home and garden. The house was big but not as big as his father's home. He couldn't go back home; the wreckage lingered where the bomb had exploded.

Hakkaku opened the passenger door when they stopped in front of the house. Inuyasha woke Taeko up and grabbed the backpack with the belongings they could salvage from his bedroom.

Inuyasha entered the house and found that the furnishings and details of the house were grey. White carpets and furniture had a masculine minimalism he was used to but as Inuyasha looked around he was extremely aware that this home held no warmth, no love and he missed his mother.

Hakkaku met Ginta at the door. The friends greeted each other somberly and Ginta took Inuyasha to his new bedroom. They passed a small dining room and sitting area before they got to the long hallway leading to the bedrooms. Inuyasha was down the hall from his brother, and when he opened the door, he saw the large bed and dresser that awaited him.

Inuyasha felt Taeko pulling on the leash, and he released it. He unclipped the leash from his thick collar and jumped into the bed. Inuyasha climbed up after him and curled around his large body. Burying his face in soft fur, Inuyasha let his tears fall once more, mourning the love of his parents and the life they could have had. When his tears had run dry, he was asleep.

Sesshomaru looked around before entering the warehouse. His black suit stood out against the background of workers, but they knew better than to get in his way. His eyes scanned boxes stacked high against the walls, and then he looked at the five restrained workers who trembled. They begged him to spare them, gagging their mouths with cloths. Sesshoumaru stopped in front of them. His angry eyes sized them up and he leaned down.

"You know what I want, don't waste my time," he said, and there was a mixture of weeping and reassurance that they would tell him anything. He knew they would say anything, but he needed specific information. "I want the name of your leader," he said.

"Please, we cannot tell you his name; he will destroy us," he said. And Sesshomaru scoffed.

"You think I won't? This is personal. Tell me now, or die here." He hissed and snapped his fingers. Koga stepped forward. His right hand brandished brass knuckles, and he yanked the defiant man by the collar of his shirt. The man gasped, and Sesshomaru saw the unmistakable stain of urine forming on his pants.

Sesshomaru groaned and nodded to Koga.

Three months passed without any progress in learning who ordered the hit. Sesshomaru watched the gray skies from his window. It hadn't been easy moving into a new part of the city. He chose a high-walled property in a quiet area of Tokyo. Inuyasha mourned the friends and places he was used to, but he knew what lay behind them. This was their chance to avoid any business bleeding into their daily lives.

Sesshomaru found the role of sole guardian overwhelming; he was adequate at feeding and the boy had more clothes than he needed, but the young yakuza didn't know how else to show the boy affection than by placing a guard around him and teaching him what he needed to stay out of trouble. Inuyasha knew what he needed; Sesshomaru's instructions were reinforcing what he had always known.

Inuyasha watched his brother, who was lost in thought again, he was always thinking about one thing only, the war. It was difficult to talk to him when he was like this. he didnt notice before, but his normal quiet was worse after the fighting got bad. He shivered just wondering about the things he did that made his eyes dead for days after.

He knocked slowly on the door to his office and waited for his elder brother's acknowledgment before entering. he knew better then to walk in unannounced after hearing dozens if coffe cups and cellphones smash against the wall.

"Yes, Inuyasha," he said, not looking at him as he continued to look through the written messages Koga left for him. the man was observant to the letter, if not a pain in his ass sometimes.

"Can you take me to the park?" he asked, and the large face of Taeko appeared at his side. Sesshomaru turned to look at them both surprised by the request. That was the first time he had asked to go to the local park, and a part of him wondered why he hadn't thought of that sooner. instead of kicking himself for being too busy to think if everything Sesshomaru stood from his desk.

"Yes, when do you want to go?" he asked in return. He was a little ashamed when Inuyasha cheered. Inuyasha turned and gripped the large male dog around the neck and hugged him tightly.

"Yes we're going to the park!" he said. The dog groaned and hugged him back with a turn of his large head. Inuyasha raced to get the leash and his shoes with taeko at his heels.

Sesshomaru followed the boy out the door and through the neighborhood with the dog. He hadn't spent too much time looking around; he saw houses and apartment buildings all around, divided by small retaining walls and street signs.

The park wasn't too far from home; the cable that fences the park was surrounded by trees that gave the illusion of a much bigger park. The climbing toys and swings were empty, except for one boy about Inuyasha's age. Inuyasha perked up, seeing the other boy, and raced over to introduce himself. Sesshomaru was in wonder at the easy way that children became friends.

"Hi, I'm Inuyasha," he said, and the boy smiled at him. His eyes took in the black button-up shirt and jeans, and then they looked over at the older version of him standing not far off.

"I'm Souta, I don't recognize you. You must be new around here," said Souta as he turned and sat on the bars of the climbing toy. Inuyasha reached up to grab the bar and hoist himself up. Not being able to reach them, he looked over to his brother and whistled a low tone. "What are you doing?"

Taeko barked once, and Sesshomaru released the dog to tend to the boy. The child's guardian went to the boy and stood still so that Inuyasha could use his leg to get up to the bar. Souta yelled at the sight of the giant dog, but Inuyasha laughed and reassured him that it was safe.

"Don't be afraid, my father had him imported; he's perfectly safe." Inuyasha patted the large head.

"Wow, you're really cool!" he said, and Inuyasha grinned, feeling like his old self.

"Yeah, I know. Want to play tag?" he said, and Souta nodded, jumped down, and ran madly.

"You're it!" he said.

Across the park, Kagome sat beneath a tree, her tired eyes and mountain of homework kept her preoccupied as her brother played with a neighborhood boy. She didn't recognize him, but after her initial shock at seeing the giant white dog with him, she saw that it was well-trained and seemed to belong to the silver-haired boy.

She sighed, trying to clear the spots she'd been seeing from staring at her textbook all day. Her class had been reviewed for the coming test, and she was stressed studying for the next final. Groaning, she felt a migraine coming on.

"Kagome!" She heard Souta yell, laughing. She was surprised by the sound. Since their parents' death two years ago, he had been reserved, and a little quiet, but Kagome looked at him now lit up with joy. Standing and stretching her legs, she went over to the two boys and the giant dog. The dog sat, panting happily, and she looked between the three. Souta petted the long white fur of the dog and beckoned her to touch him.

"You have permission to pet him, but if he's working, you could get in the way so be considerate!" she warned, and Inuyasha nodded.

"It's okay if you pet him, he is trained to protect my family. He won't do anything crazy," Inuyasha said, and Kagome smiled at the boy. Leaning down to touch the large white dog, she let him sniff her hand before reaching to scratch his ears.

Taeko groaned and turned into her hands, liking the pressure on his ears. Inuyasha smiled. "He likes you," he said.

Kagome watched Inuyasha command the dog to do tricks and then they began running around her playing tag once more. She raised her hands and said, "Not the safe zone," reinforcing the command by grabbing Souta and tickling him when he came back. Inuyasha watched her with some amazement and went over too. She was gentler with the other child than her brother but Inuyasha laughed and they resumed the game with a new rule: anyone caught by Kagome gets tickled.

Kagome didn't want to admit how long it had been since she had played with her brother. The excitement and the easy game nearly broke her heart. The boy was strange; she heard him repeat lines from gangster movies at the strangest moments, but overall he was a sweet kid and he and Souta were fast friends. The white dog came to attention when she reached the boy and lifted and tickled him; she half-expected it to growl or stop her, but the boy gave it a signal and it sat down.

Sesshomaru watched the children chase the woman around with some amazement; he hadn't expected her to include Inuyasha, as she did. The boy was laughing genuinely for the first time in months, and Sesshomaru couldn't deny feeling a small sense of appreciation at that moment. He didn't know her, she had no reason to treat the child with any kindness, but seeing her act so effortlessly toward him intrigued him.

They had been there for over an hour; Sesshomaru checked his watch and knew he was due at headquarters, so he could meet with an important contact. Even if it was by phone, he would need some quiet to concentrate. As he thought about it, the sky opened up around them, and it began to slowly rain. He stood and signaled Taeko.

Immediately the dog turned and walked toward him. Inuyasha was too engrossed in play to notice his brother and Sesshomaru walked over as they overtook the woman once more; she went to the ground in mock defeat and they laughed and tickled her mercilessly. He couldn't help but smile when she met his eyes and was embarrassed to have been seen. Sitting up, she cleared her throat and began to get off the ground. The boys groaned disappointed and looked up at Sesshomaru.

"Inuyasha it's time to go,"

The boy wanted to cry, but Sesshomaru saw the coming tantrum and gave him a look that told him what would happen if he did. Understanding Inuyasha turned to his new friend and bowed, "Thank you for playing with me." Kagome started seeing how disappointed they were.

"If you want, I'll watch them and bring Inuyasha back home when they're done. It wouldn't be any trouble," she said, looking up at his dark glasses. His hair was long near the top and pushed casually back. She dusted the dirt off her clothes as she waited for his answer.

Sesshomaru looked at her carefully; he would not normally consider such an offer from a stranger; he had too much at stake with the boy. It was a growing weakness he needed to manage. Sesshomaru's trained eyes searched her for any sign of deception and saw nothing. He looked at Inuyasha and considered it a moment more before nodding.

"Yes, that'll be fine," he said to Inuyasha and Taeko. "You know the rules," he added.

The dog came to attention, and Kagome eyed it, wondering what she was witnessing. The man protected his brother, why else was there a giant dog as his pet and guard?

Inuyasha and Souta went back to playing as if they hadn't been interrupted. She stood for a moment and watched the man walk away slowly, and Kagome let herself watch him. He was tall, with silver hair like the boys', and looked strong. The suit he wore was tailored but it still bunched around the muscles of his arms and legs as he walked. At the collar, she thought she saw the edge of a tattoo. It reminded her of someone she didn't want to think about. Kagome stole her heart from her former interests. She was done looking for trouble; she had her brother to raise.

"That's my brother, he's really strong," Inuyasha said as he sat back against the giant dog. She looked at the scene of the boy in a loose button-up and leather shoes leaning casually against the fluffy dog and smiled at the evident pride the boy felt for his brother.

"What's his name?" She asked, and Inuyasha pointed to his brother's back.

"It's Sesshomaru," he said softly.

"And what about your guard?" She laughed and Inuyasha looked around but smiled sheepishly when he realized she meant his dog.

"Oh, this is Taeko. It means 'loyal'." he said

Kagome cooed at the giant dog, who insisted on more ear scratches and he leaned into her as she watched the boys finish their game.

Sesshomaru went away from the park appreciating the break. The phone call had been important; another group had been attacked in the business district of the city, and it meant they were becoming bolder. "Sesshomaru, we will need to get to the bottom of this Naraku character. No one has seen him, and no one is willing to talk." Koga explained. "I swear that he will pay for the lives he's taken."

"Koga, take the men to the worf. Our first show of power was not enough, remind them who they're dealing with," he said, and Sesshomaru heard the sound of agreement from his right-hand man and didn't wait for a further reply before hanging up the phone and dialing once more, "Miroku, we need to talk."

Sesshomaru poured over the files and territories that explained the depths of his father's empire. He had uncovered ledgers and records that opened his eyes to the things that had led to his father's downfall.

He sat back, his head leaning against the wall behind his chair, and just as he was about to let his eyes close, he heard the knock on the front door. It had been thirty minutes since he had left them in the park, and he wasn't surprised that they had tired out at the pace they were running. He wondered if the woman had left him on the street or sent him and the dog home alone. When he realized he could hear a trio of voices outside the door, Kagome carried Inuyasha on her back and Souta carried Taeko's leash. All turned to the open door.

Her smile disarmed him.

Inuyasha got to his feet and took the leash from Souta with a grin, starting to take his shoes off at the step where Sesshomaru stood in silent shock. Inuyasha bowed and thanked them formally before turning to his brother. "Sess, can we play again tomorrow?" he asked, and Souta looked up at the dark-haired woman.

"Please, Kagome. Can we hang out again tomorrow?"

"It's okay with me, but you know I have a late class that day," she said, looking at the other adult. "Would you mind if they met up a little earlier?" She noticed the oddly cold expression soften as he considered the question.

"What time?" Sesshomaru replied not sure how this had happened but he felt a mountain of relief as she waited to hear his answer.

"How about 10 am? I could come and get him if you're busy," she said, and he looked at her, wondering if he could truly trust this feeling. Sesshomaru was not used to needing help. But the obvious connection she had with him was more than he imagined in such a short time. She seemed to care, even if it was only for a short time, but he wanted the boy to be a child for as long as possible.

"I will be ready with him at 10 am." He answered, and she smiled. He could see a hint of relief in her answer and wondered if she had felt the same thing.

"Perfect," she said, and Souta bowed before taking his sister's hand, and waving goodbye.

Sesshomaru watched as the two walked through the large gate and then turned to see Taeko and Inuyasha go to the living room and turn on the television. The dog was never far from the boy since the incident. Something that would need to be dealt with during the boy's schooling, Sesshomaru reminded himself to hire a dog walker. "I'll have to walk him myself," he muttered.

Sesshomaru went to the study and took his place at his desk as he heard the boy change channels. "Inuyasha," he called and heard the boy walk towards the study and peek around the door shyly.

"Yeah, Sesshomaru?" He asked and was waved into the room; he walked stiffly. The dog sat at the door, and Sesshomaru observed his nervous behavior.

"What can you tell me about that woman?" He asked and watched as the boy's eyes lit up.

"She's Kagome, Souta's older sister. She is the nicest lady I've ever met and pretty," Inuyasha said, shifting his weight from foot to foot and wringing his hands.

"I thought so too," he said, and Inuyasha nodded, his cheeks still stained with a blush. "If you feel safe with her, then you may continue playing with the boy," he said, and Inuyasha jumped up, fist in the air yelling

"Yes! Thank you, she's the best, and Souta is so cool, you won't regret this Sesshomaru!" he said, and Sesshomaru let himself smile at the boy's energy. He looked happy, something he had doubted would ever happen again. Seeing the effect of the other boy and the woman, he hoped that things were finally starting to go right.

Souta clung to his sister's back as they went home. His happy song and cheerful attitude helped Kagome focus as they needed their small apartment. She fumbled with the keys and opened the door, letting Souta's feet touch the ground. She hauled the books from her bag and set them down on the table. Souta went to his room.

She followed him down the hall and saw Souta stop in front of a picture of their parents and kneel. He lit the small incense and began to tell them about their day. Kagome held the sob behind her folded hand and backed into the kitchen. She leaned against the cabinet and let her head fall back.

She shook off the grief and turned to the refrigerator. Opening it, she took out the vegetables and meat for a curry and started on dinner.

By the time Souta resurfaced from his room, Kagome was finishing up the rice. "You had a lot of fun today," she observed, and Souta laughed.

"That Inuyasha was cool, and his dog Taeko is the biggest thing I've ever seen outside the zoo." He said and watched her stir the curry. She looked at him and laughed.

"You are about the same age, do you think you'll be in school together?" She said, and Souta nodded. "He's starting at school when we get off break; he was just enrolled. Did you see his older brother?" Souta perked up with the last question.

"I did see him," she said, remembering the oddly cold expression he wore. He was intimidating, and she could see the hint of tattoo work on his neck and shoulder.

"He looks strong; you should be friends with him so he can keep Onigumo away," Souta said, and Kagome froze at the name and closed her eyes, trying to keep the image of him out of her mind. She hadn't seen him for months now, since they moved to this part of Tokyo. She hoped she never saw him again, but knew it was only a matter of time.

"Souta, I told you I've got it handled. If he comes anywhere near either of us, I'll call the police." She crossed her arms and Souta smiled cheekily.

"But a strong boyfriend would be much more effective," he said and went over to the table as the rice came off the stove. He smelled the spice and felt his mouth watering in anticipation. She set a plate down for him and he dug in happily. He noticed that she didn't eat, although she did make a plate and sit down. She took a few bites casually and tried to hide her worry by listening to him talk about his new friend.

Kagome didn't like the feeling accompanying the mention of her ex-boyfriend. It had been nearly two years since they moved and tried to avoid Onigumo's constant searching. She had been in love once, but after the death of her father and mother, he had become controlling, deliberately cruel to Souta, and had hit her twice before she left him.

Her hand flexed around the knife she kept in her pocket. "That won't be necessary," she said, and Souta laughed, not believing her.

"Okay," he said,

They ate in relative silence. Kagome let her eyes wander to the unread textbooks that had been left since the park. She had enjoyed the day, it was not often she could forget about the problems they were facing and just enjoy herself.

After dinner, she brought her books and set up a study space in the living room. Souta got in the bath and dressed for bed. He came out to turn on the TV before going to bed but she shooed him away and resumed studying. Souta watched her tired eyes and as he went to bed he saw her get into the shower to get ready for work. He frowned as she got her shoes on and left for his room.

Her scrubs were blue that day. The small bag at her side had some extra clothes. Souta rose from bed to receive the hug and kiss that was a ritual before she left for work.

"Go to sleep, and when you wake up, I'll be home, and we can go to the park." She said. Souta nodded and smiled softly as she stood to leave.

"Kagome, one day you won't have to work so hard, I swear I will take care of you," he said, and she hid her tears as she turned to open the door and went out into the dark apartment. Sighing, she locked the door behind her and knocked on the next-door neighbor's door, greeting the elderly lady.

"Kaede, I'm off to work. Can you keep an eye on Souta?" She asked, and the older woman smiled.

"Of course, Kagome. I'm here for Souta. Go to work and don't worry," she said, and Kagome walked to the train station. "Three stops to the hospital. She sighed and readied herself for a night full of activity in the emergency intake."

That night there were several shooting victims. The hospital was buzzing with activity as the night progressed. A gang war had started, and it was just their luck that no matter what side the people found themselves in, they would all wind up in the same place.

Around midnight, they were alerted to two emergencies within their sector. Kagome felt an electric buzz within the nurses' station and readied herself for the next rush of patients. Three men in black suits arrived with the ambulances. Two had been shot in the chest and the other in the arm. She checked their vitals and reported tirelessly to the nurses.

By the time her shift ended, there was no feeling left in her. After seeing everything, Kagome numbly changed her clothes and walked through the dark to the bus stop. Standing alone at the train station, she didn't care when a small group of boys got on the train or when they began to make a ruckus. She couldn't care any less than she did at that moment. "Hey cutie!" one shouted after her. Kagome let her hand rest on the knife she still had in her pocket and waited for her next stop. They did not push her anymore, they were a frequent and annoying gang that ran the train station during the night, and so far she had not been assaulted.

Three stops from home, she thought and was relieved to have walked through the train station and be out into the night air. Almost home she thought.

Souta heard her when she came through the door. He wouldn't admit it, but he couldn't sleep while she worked late nights. It was hard enough thinking about the changes in their lives, but the increased gang activity was beginning to rise in the neighborhood, and she walked home alone.

When the door shut and he heard the distinct sound of the lock, Souta let himself sleep.


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.