Kagome's Forced Hand by sugar0o who lurks

Chapter 1: Down the Well Again.

Disclaimer: The characters of InuYasha are not mine, they are property of Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise, and Viz. I do not make any money from the writing of this story. - r0o



Kagome had once been a high school student, once a sister, once a daughter, and once innocent and pure of all things in the world, the day that all changed was two years after she’d been pulled down a dirty, ancient, dried up well near the back of her families shrine. It was her seventeenth birthday and she’d managed to sneak away from her hunting party before dawn, the hot headed hanyou would have never let her leave, but she didn’t care, the day before she’d seen him with Kikyo, the dead priestess that held his heart and soul.

“Not any more Inuyasha, I‘m tired of this game, I'll let Kikyo win, and I'll be happy with just friendship.” she whispered leaving the village. Wearing the traditional garb of a miko with some adjustments, her green hakamas instead of red, the furi’s of her kimono billowed in the light breeze as she neared the well. They’d been in Keade’s village for the night, stocking supplies and resting from their most recent quest to find the shards and kill the dark hanyou, when Kagome realized what day it was.

Kagome had been coming back and forth for so long on this path she didn’t need to see it in the predawn light, its turns, uprooted roots, and rocks were ingrained in her memory, this path was something she could walk with ease without even looking upon. She’d changed so much since she was a skinny fifteen year old, now filled out in a womanly manor and adept on many levels, she was a fully trained miko.

Miroku and Kaede having trained her over time to tame her powers, she hardly needed protecting now. Even her skills on the bow and arrow had improved, and with some distance she was deadly with perfection, even Sesshomaru had once mentioned something to that effect, not that he gave compliments, but anything from him other then a snide remark was for the positive. Smiling to herself she thought of the odd relationship she and Sesshomaru now had, Inuyasha hated it, but his fear of her wrath when saying “sit” was more then enough to cool his tempers on most occasions.

Sesshomaru brought Rin to them now almost regularly, Kagome had only assumed that either he was trying to get her used to humans again to give her back to the world, or that the girl simply found comfort in being with a kind of family that had two mothers, a brother, a loud uncle and a quiet one. Her thoughts on the matter had also brought up the idea that it was possible Sesshomaru had no intentions with the girl at all, that possibly he was there for some other reason, possibly to take Tetssaiga, maybe to kill the hanyou, and impossibly... finding a female companion in either Sango or herself.

Though she noticed he no longer quested for the Tetssaiga, and Kagome, well Kagome still had to protect the hanyou from his own stupidity now and then, he never did learn when to fit his battles , she mused. She could never truly place anything of her ideas with Sesshomaru he seemed to just become a part of her life here like the rest of her feudal family had, thought she was sure he was not in the roll of brother, uncle, or father, she wondered what her feelings were towards him. Beyond that they were parents, even if not biological, they had protection in common, devotion, loyalty, once she’d learned that not all quiet moments needed to be filled with voiced chatter, they seemed to get along great. Kagome's brow knitted together thinking over everything only to have it all washed away as the well came into view.

The breeze in the clearing was cool to her skin, kissing ever exposed area, an aura, powerful and strong, yet held back tickled her miko powers into life splashing them about causing the smile on her face grew wider. “Good morning Lord Sesshomaru.” she said not needing to find him to know he could hear her.

“Miko.” he said stepping out of the shadows and tipping his head towards her. Sometimes, Kagome wondered if he knew her name, other times she thought, if he does, does he call me miko because it is what I am? Should I call him demon to return the favor?…this is the natural order of things, and yet some part of me wonders if he calls me ‘miko’ because it is some type of pet name, or is he just trying to annoy me? , she wondered as her brows mussed together in slight frustration and a need to know attitude. “Your leaving for your home?” he said bring her out of her stupor.

“Yes, its my birthday and my mother and family would like to see me before I go off on another trek with everyone to find Naraku and the jewel.”

“Birthday? You celebrate such a thing as the day of your birth?” he asked with a casually stoic face.

“Yes we do, I’m sure it seems trivial to you, being immortal and living forever, a reminder that the earth has rounded the sun, and another year has passed makes no difference to one such as you. To one such as myself though, with limitations, and weaknesses, with draw backs of death, plague, and with every passing year marking it one year closer to deaths door, a celebration of little things, even the day of ones birth, is a time to rejoice. Besides, when everything is done here, I’m sure you’ll be fine , where as I may not be alive,” she said with an odd smile and salty tears ready to fall.

With a sigh she continued never letting the tears fall. “We both know what could happen in the end, and this may be the last time I ever see the woman who birthed me, the grandfather that saw me take my first steps, or the brother I sang to sleep the first night he came home after being born. They are small things that are precious to me, and I cannot deny myself that. They are things that give me strength when so many wish me to fail. It’s a need, a want, the pleasures of a simple non-Shikon or Naraku filled life.”

Sometimes the miko could talk too much , he thought, sometimes the sound of her voice nagging made him want to go on a killing rampage, and sometimes, she said things that seem to dawn upon divine realization of the immortals, things that were profoundly too logical, and meaningful to be thought of by a human, in those few and rare times she seemed to always be able to leave the Daiyoukai lord of the west speechless.

A time like this was no different, he’d watched her grow from afar for long enough, having watched her selflessly throw herself over his own ward months before had opened his eyes to the creature she was, human or demon, he could not get her out of his mind, he craved her presence, soft spoken words, fiery temper, intelligence, and everything else that came with her. She acted like a mother would, though having her own kit but never having birthed a pup, it was an oddity to him how she came into being this way.

Sesshomaru had watched her care for her own pack, and his ward, even taking to Jaken when they were forced in close company. So many things about her were an enigma, so much he wanted to know, but he settled on commonality, it allowed him to be less cold to her, and her to be more caring towards him, mostly though, they had come to an understanding of needs, protect the child and the kit, stop fighting with Inuyasha, kill Naraku, and rid the world of the jewel.

They had come to know each other so well in such a short time, Kagome knew how to read Sesshomaru’s eyes, and found out like Rin when was a good time and when was a bad time to deal with and be around the lord. She never pressed her points with him, as she did with her group and Inuyasha, she was the alpha of her group, that he knew but even for her, she was second in the Daiyoukai’s presence. He had learned that around her he could be unguarded, able to let someone into the torrid existence under the cold façade. She was someone that could verbally spar with the Daiyoukai, and live to tell about it, he craved her odd knowledge and insights to life. An odd pair they certainly were.

“Rin awaits your return, and Sango, Miroku, and Kaede are there to keep him from starting fights.” She tried not to say his name, Inuyasha, '..it was a taint upon her lips,' Sesshomaru had once said, but it was more then that, it had been the feeling she got from reading his aura when speaking to her new friend, his half brother was not a subject to discus unless he specifically asked.

“This Sesshomaru will await your return. Do try not to be late this time.” He said dryly but not so cold as normal, and she smiled.

“Of coarse Lord Sess--” she didn’t get a chance to finish that statement, instead trailing off into silence at the sight of an alabaster soul collector, with a pale glowing orb of a soul for its mistress, the smile slid off her face at once. The original, the master copy, Kikyo was near by, what could she want? Probably here for Inuyasha , thought Kagome. She had never truly hated either Inuyasha or Kikyo, or even the love they shared. Kagome had realized during her miko trainings, having spent much time under the wise tutelage of both Miroku and Kaede that what she felt for the hanyou was not love, what it was she could not answer, but love it wasn’t.

Realization did hurt, but it left her feeling like a weight had been lifted. Knowing that for Inuyasha, the day he’d been pinned to the tree and the day he’d been freed were one and the same, that bit of knowledge had eased the idea that he could never see her as anything but Kikyo‘s replacement. Though fifty years had passed around him, time stood still for him, and love never changed, though now Kagome was alive and her predecessor not, she could never be what his heart wanted, nor did she want to anymore. Further self realization was that she and Kikyo did not share a full soul, that Kikyo’s full soul was only a smallest intangible piece of the rest of Kagome’s much larger stronger soul.

“Get going Miko, I will not tolerate lateness.” said the lord snapping her out of her dazed view of the pale creature carrying the stolen soul, she smiled at him, he was such a pillar of stability in her life now. She’d released Inuyasha from any obligations he might feel towards her, and had informed him that after their quest was all done she’d be returning to her own time to pick of the pieces of her life, and that they would always be friends but never anything more.

He’d accepted the news because he had no choice, she was so independent now, and harder to control then ever, guilt played a big roll as well. He’d taken her from her life in the future and did all but force her to search the shards out, he’d abused her open heart, and showed his appreciation by snubbing her for his first love. If nothing else, her leaving would be welcomed, her absence would allow him to love the one that he should have never doubted, Kikyo, and for everything as much as it hurt him to his relationship with Kagome in their past, it was easier this way.

“Why are you here to see me off anyway?” she questioned him finally with her brows knotted together, the thought had been on her mind but the soul collector had taken her train of thought elsewhere.

“A nose as weak as yours would not be able to smell it, but the dead miko as been lurking around this area, her scent…the stench , covers this whole clearing. Suffocation would be a kinder fate then having to deal with her scent.” He said as though bored, earning a small giggle from the live miko. He breathed her scent of sakura, moonflowers, and tea, it was soothing, though he’d probably never admit it, she was growing on the demon lord. He adored her every fiber and being, the love she showed his ward, and her own kit brought feelings he did not wish to define yet, the fiery temper and smoldering eyes made him feel weak towards her, couple that with her innocence, she was every bit to his liking. Should the dead miko try anything to harm Kagome, she would regret having any life at all .

“You seem concerned for my well being, my Lord Sesshomaru. Could it be that your heart of ice melts?” she teased, having had many conversations with the Daiyoukai, had afforded her some perks, like joking with the most feared deadly demon in all of Japan. Her eyes twinkled as she climbed up on the aged lip of the well.

I will not hesitate to push you, you know this . Besides I only insure your health because your death would upset my ward, this you know as well.” he teased coolly with her, he too had some since of humor, even if it was cold, and threatening, she still seemed to delight in the little things . Smiling to him she playfully waved her fingers to say good bye and leapt into the darkness of the well, only to be swallowed by the soft glow of magic, and the weightlessness of time travel. She never told anyone but every time she held her breath waiting to make it to the other side, never knowing if this would be the last jump, or if the well would swallow her whole never to release her to time again, any time even her own or theirs.



AN:  I have changed the spacing here to that its easier to read, and if your kind enough to be patient with me, I'll have the other 8 chapters up tonight ASAP.


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