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Determination by Sensei


A/N: These are from drabble night, where I wrote one every 40 minutes, 100 words each.  I appreciate the note to fix the missing half of the final line (no clue what happened there) and the verb tense in #7. Reviewers might note that this is just sharing the fun I had that night using given prompts and very limited time.  I do not plan to expand or further edit this little commemorative series.

#1:  FIRST

Determined to rid himself of intolerable compulsion, Sesshoumaru soars northward, leaving his vassal and the child safe at his castle.  He despises the pull of the miko bitch.  It lessens him; she lessens him.  No matter that no other can sense it, he will rid himself of her spell.  High, clear voice, sympathetic eye, overripe scent: naught can be permitted to remain within the realm of his senses.  His father once spoke of the time he would find a mate to challenge him in ways powerful and unexpected.  He shudders now, remembering.  For the first time, he recognizes that prophecy.


Daybreak finds him far from home, far from his half-brother and the bitch, too.  He breathes deeply of icy air.  The snow glistens with the sun's distant rays.   The dank caves of white wolves and the quiet dens of bear youkai surround him.  Yet, even here she plagues his senses.  Does she that her anger has a scent, raw and rich?  He has fueled it through battles with the hanyou, stoked it, the better to feed upon it like rare game.  He snarls.  How is it she does not know she is prey?  And why the hell does he care? 


He alights in deep, mountainside snow, smelling the wolf bitch in heat in the nearly hidden grotto.  He growls low to lure her out.  Surely he can rid himself of thoughts of the human by focusing elsewhere.  But no, as she snarls back from within, inviting him to fight for what he seeks, he recognizes defeat.  Not at the she-wolf's claws and fangs but within himself.  No dalliance, however distracting, will do more than convince him he is victim to desires that are no game.  He abandons the cave, searching for escape from what increasingly seems a deadly, inevitable need.


The cold does not affect Sesshoumaru, though as the sun rises he feels the snow melt into his garments.  It is a mild annoyance, but purposeless.  There is nothing for him here.  Once he has passed the caves, he strides into a valley without the reek of sentient life.  Perhaps this will soothe his overwrought mind.  But even the emptiness betrays him as he spies the miko's profile in shadow cast upon the white land.  He knows himself for a hopeless fool as he stomps through the snow's crust and destroys the image.  His father's rolling laughter rides the wind.


He chases the breeze of his father's mirth, determined upon his path into the icy wild, resolute in his quest to banish lingering images in his mind's eye of the immature human female who has captured more of his attention than she could ever merit.  The ground below blurs in unending whiteness, the wind howls mockery against the overbright sun.  He drops to earth suddenly, his veneer fractured.  Catching his breath, he vows to allow self-doubt no further berth.  The West is his and to it he will return, yielding the ice and snow to those who need its protection.


If the sun had not again set, Sesshoumaru would have lost track of day and night as he retraced his path home.  A plan so clear and right has been forming, leading him on without hesitation.  His finely honed senses are tracking the bitch, and he will no longer shy from the power of his desires.  When the moon is high, he will discover and claim her, wherever she rests.  That this decision would please his father inordinately would be insupportable if he allowed himself to dwell there.  But he is Lord now, his father merely bones and ghostly resonance.


He stands at the cliff's edge, looking down on the small campfire in the darkness, ringed with the familiar band.  Mortal, youkai, hanyou: all but his sibling sleeps.  Golden eyes meet their like across the distance.  Sesshoumaru watches the bastard clutch Tessaiga's hilt from his perch upon a tree limb and smiles, fangs glinting in the moonlight.  Though he still seethes from the betrayal of his father's legacy, he will need no sword this night, enchanted or otherwise.  He flexes his fingers, feels the poison rise beneath his claws, and vaults into the air.  The miko will soon be his.


Such pleasure in the battle, and the fool always takes up the challenge with such animal clumsiness!  Vaulting forward with a battlecry that wakes his friends, Inuyasha misses his target as Sesshoumaru swipes his claws along the impure flesh and sends his brother spiraling into the hillside.  The miko's eyes fix angrily upon him as she takes up her bow and fires.  Sesshoumaru dodges, and recognizes all at once that this is where his fortune truly lies.  Life is not in the having but in the pursuit.  He grins and launches at his pretty prey, and a new dance begins.


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