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A Trick of Fate by Aimee Blue

A Trick of Fate

It was a lazy day in the feudal era and Kagome was sprawled across a large boulder supervising the children. She was grateful Sesshoumaru had dropped Rin off in the village, she was entertaining Shippo and Kagome was catching up on some quality time with herself.

Solitary moments were hard to find in the feudal era, not that she enjoyed isolation but sometimes having someone with you every moment of the day got a little crowded.

The sunlight felt good on her exposed legs and a gentle breeze playing with her hair, inviting it into a dance.

Shippo and Rin had discovered the art of butterfly capturing and were currently stampeding around the meadow, with a net she had brought back from her time, clumsily hunting the winged creatures down.

She opened her eyes as Sesshoumaru breezed into the clearing, for once absent of the migraine-inducing fawning toad that usually stalked him. He stood at the edge of the clearing and observed his ward and Shippo as they frolicked, a detached expression on his perfect features.

“Sesshoumaru-sama!” Rin exulted happily as she skipped to her lord’s side.

“Rin” he acknowledged. He flicked a glance towards Kagome and nodded his thanks, she saluted him jauntily.

She waited for him to disappear back into the forest, as per their usual routine but he was interrupted from his scheduled departure when Shippo let out a crow of delight and began to yell for her.

Kagome slid from the rock, smoothing her skirt over her bottom self-consciously, and walked over to where Shippo had caught his latest prize.

She was more than a little surprised when Sesshoumaru joined her in viewing the kit’s catch. He stood so close to her she could probably count his eyelashes and his lips were so very tempting this close up; she quickly turned her attention back to the kit. It was safer than thinking about Sesshoumaru’s dazzling beauty.

She balked when she spotted what Shippo had trapped in the net; because it certainly wasn’t a butterfly... last time she checked butterflies didn’t wear green waistcoats.

“L-leprechaun?” she stuttered in shock, “but you’re Irish! This is Japan!”

The tiny, green suited, green skinned, green bearded man pinned her with a dry look “And I suppose that means I can’t travel at all? I’m a magical creature! I come and go as I please.”

Something in his tone made Kagome snarky, “If you can come and go as you please I suppose your aren’t trapped in that net then.”

He glanced around at his netted prison and turned sheepish “ah, yes, well I suppose you’re right there,” he admitted.

“Hn,” Sesshoumaru interjected, drawing bakusaiga and pointing it at the diminutive sprite “Explain why you are here.”

The leprechaun got uncomfortable, fast; it was an easy feat to accomplish when a sword ten times the length of your body was being pressed to your throat by a ruthless demon lord.

“Ah,” he muttered “I knew I should have listened to my Ma when she told me to avoid demons!”

“Wise words,” Sesshoumaru acknowledged, his deadly fangs glinting in the sunlight.

The little leprechaun tugged at his collar uneasily and decided that playing a trick on this giant might be pushing even his luck a little too far.

“I’m guarding my rainbow,” he admitted, his eyes flitting between the impassive Inuyokai and the miffed Miko, he wondered if he could perhaps run for it but he doubted he’d get far. The demon was watching him with hungry eyes that promised a swift death should he attempt to disappear.

“A rainbow?” Rin, who had been quietly watching the proceeding for a while, piped up.

The leprechaun flicked her a genuine smile; young girls were always easier to get along with than women. “Yes, that is every leprechaun’s duty, we guard our rainbow.”

“Let me guess,” Kagome rolled her eyes “There’s a pot of gold at the other end?”

The leprechaun quirked an eyebrow “Now where’d you get that idea from?”

She shrugged “Heard it around I guess.”

He considered it for a moment, one tiny hand going to stroke the small green goatee, “Nice cover story,” he concluded.

“What’s really at the end of the rainbow?” Shippo asked curiously.

The leprechaun pinned the kit with a gimlet stare, “Whatever you need the most.”

“So you’re a genie?” Kagome asked interestedly “Isn’t it a little like the shikon no tama.”

“I am neither a cursed bauble nor a wish granting lamp dweller!” he was outraged “besides, I don’t give it to you; the rainbow leads you towards your own destination.”

He frowned at them each in turn “And if you managed to catch me it means one of you needs the rainbow,” he glanced around at his net prison and growled at Shippo “Hey! Let me out of here kid!”

Shippo blinked in shock, he had forgotten that he was even holding the leprechaun in the net and hastily he let go.

The sprite shrugged out of his cage and dusted down his waistcoat pointedly before he turned his attention back to his assembled crowd.

“Now, let me see,” he squinted at them each in turn and nodded sagely “Yes, pointy ears silver hair and loud mouth black hair. You are the ones who need me.”

Kagome’s left eye twitched. Loudmouthed? Where’d the little imp get off?

As she was about to retort Sesshoumaru clamped his hand over her mouth. “We will accompany you. Rin, kit, return to the village.”

Kagome watched the children leave with wide eyes, still stunned at the fact that Sesshoumaru was touching her willingly and he wasn’t trying to kill her.

Stranger things had never happened...and they had just caught a wisecracking leprechaun with a butterfly net.

The leprechaun grinned at Kagome’s predicament for a moment before flicking his wrist expectantly. A moment later he was toting a small wooden shalelee and brandishing it at them.

“Now, you two are going to have to follow me closely, you can’t see the rainbow I’m following, and if you get lost don’t expect me to come and find you!”

Sesshoumaru growled silently at the sprite for daring to suggest that he, the great Sesshoumaru, could ever get lost. Kagome noticed the rumble of his soundless growl and grinned beneath the hand he held over her mouth; at least the sprite was annoying him as much as it was annoying her. It was kind of nice to know that Sesshoumaru was capable of being annoyed; she’d only ever seen him look murderous before.

The sprite grinned rather mischievously and jumped into the air with surprising agility before taking to the skies at a tremendous speed.

Sesshoumaru moved his hand to grip the Miko’s forearm before he conjured his cloud beneath them and took off in hot pursuit of their diminutive guide.

Kagome squealed like a stuck pig as the ground ran away from her, the only thing that allowed her to keep standing was Sesshoumaru’s firm grip on her upper arm.

Her hair whipped around her face in a flurry of soot and the breath was knocked out of her by the speed of their ascent. She found it hard to breathe as the wind scratched its nails against her.

They followed the sneaky little critter as he looped around the tree tops and floated below the clouds mockingly, always slightly faster than Sesshoumaru.

As they crossed an ocean, Kagome gained enough confidence to break away from Sesshoumaru’s hold. She peered over the edge of the cloud and laughed as a pod of dolphins tracked the cloud, leaping out of the water and laughing at her.

Sesshoumaru calmly sped up to catch the rapidly disappearing sprite and Kagome, overbalanced by the sudden acceleration, toppled over and teetered off of the cloud.

Only a quick save on Sesshoumaru’s part prevented a face first dive into the ocean as he reached back and blithely yanked her back onto the cloud by her skirt.

She grinned sheepishly.

“Thanks.”

“Hn.”

They travelled for an age, passing delightful scenery, yet Kagome never ventured too far from Sesshoumaru’s side, her fear of falling to a rather flat death keeping her from peering over the sides.#

They passed a volcano and Sesshoumaru actually looped an arm around her waist and pulled her to his side. When she gazed at him enquiringly he merely shrugged.

“Burning human flesh is not a pleasant scent,” was his explanation.

In reality he wasn’t sure why he was ensuring she didn’t die. Perhaps it was so his child ward would not mourn her death, perhaps it was because without her there would be no one to drop Rin off to that he would trust to keep her safe whilst giving her human contact, perhaps it was because she was the one who could find the shards of the shikon no tama and purify them...

But he wasn’t sure what reasons compelled him to look after the girl. Except the fact that the thought of her death... displeased him.

The leprechaun eventually led them to a small glade in the middle of nowhere, the only thing that marked it as important being the slight suggestion of a rainbow leading to an old gnarled chest.

It was made from darkened wood with clawed feet and surprisingly enough had no lock. Sesshoumaru swiftly popped the chest open and stared inside.

Kagome peered around his elbow into the chest and joined him in his bewilderment.

Sitting in the chest on its velvet lining were two small scrolls.

“What?” Kagome glared at the hovering leprechaun “you said it would be what we wanted most! I don’t need a scroll, I need the rest of the jewel shards or maybe Kohaku’s life restored!”

“Hn, this one desired supreme conquest,” Sesshoumaru reminded them.

The leprechaun shrugged in a blasé fashion. “I said it would reveal what you need the most not what you want the most. They are two separate things entirely,” he grinned mischievously as he began to float away “read the scrolls!”

“Come back here!” Kagome growled “this is false advertisement!”

Sesshoumaru reached into the chest and extracted a scroll at the same time as Kagome and they both read them over in stunned silence.

Open your eyes and open them again,

See past your head let your heart take the lead,

What you need is right in front of you,” Kagome recited, looking up at Sesshoumaru.

“Mine reads the same,” he acknowledged.

“So, what does that mean?” Kagome asked, completely bamboozled.

“This one believes that it means you are what I need and I am what you need,” Sesshoumaru clarified.

“You’re what I need?” Kagome was flummoxed “but I don’t need you!”

Sesshoumaru quirked a brow, “I fail to see how you will return to your camp without me.”

Ah, he had a point.

“Apart from that!” she protested “I don’t need you and you most certainly don’t need me!”

Sesshoumaru gazed down at his scroll for a moment “See past your head and let your heart take the lead.”

She blinked at him “Are you suggesting I take the advice of a scroll?”

She was beginning to grate on his nerves now, was the prospect of needing him so terrible that she would be so asinine?

He recognised the meaning behind the words and, though he was loathe to admit it, he could see the benefits in heeding the scroll’s words; she was far more entertaining than any other female he’d ever met.

He calmly stepped into her personal space and tilted her head upwards, admitting to himself in the privacy of his own mind that she was indeed quite beautiful for a human woman.

She was even more splendid than some of the demons he had met.

But he wasn’t sure it was her beauty that made her curious, it was her behaviour and her uncanny ability to trust.

Perhaps it was merely her perpetually amusing magic trick of making the Hanyou eat dirt. He would never get tired of seeing that...

“I don’t see why I need you!” she continued irately “I don’t need a human hating Ice-Prince!”

He’d had enough of her berating him.

“Eek!”

Both hands jumped to her nose as she stared up in shock at Sesshoumaru.

“Did you just bite me?” she asked, eyes wide and filled with shock.

“Yes, you were becoming annoying,” he frowned “and do not presume to know I hate humans.”

“You don’t?”  Kagome asked in shock.

“I hate some humans,” he looked at her for a long while and she began to blush slightly. She had a feeling he didn’t include her in the group of hated humans. “You, on the other hand, are...” there was a long pause as he mulled over his words, “an anomaly”

He sure knew how to make a girl feel special, but the way he said it... he made it sound like a convoluted compliment of some kind.

“So what are we going to do?” she asked slowly, confusion evident on her face.

“Get to know each other,” he pointed out blandly.

She blushed hotly and felt like smacking herself in the head, of course, she was so stupid sometimes.

“Um, okay,” she nodded and started as he looped an arm around her waist again.

He regarded her with amusement hidden deep in his eyes “We must return.”

“Oh, right.” she nodded in mortification.

There was a roar of outrage and they both jumped as an irate Inuyasha descended upon them, Tetsaiga swinging erratically.

“Inuyasha!” Kagome blinked as he almost took off his own head with his spasmodic movements.

“Wench!” he roared “have you any idea how hard it was to get here?”

“How did you get here?” Kagome asked in bemusement, they had traversed a river and as far as she knew Inuyasha couldn’t fly.

“Kirara,” he grumpily admitted, “but don’t change the subject! Why are you alone with Lord Asshole?”

Kagome’s eyebrow twitched, why did he always have to dive into the accusations head first? Didn’t he have a filter on his mouth when he was angry?

“Inuyasha, why don’t you just SIT down and calm yourself?” she asked, smirking as the Hanyou impacted noisily with the ground.

Sesshoumaru crooked a brow and leant down to whisper into Kagome’s ear. “See, we already have something in common, we both enjoy abusing the Hanyou.”

Inuyasha snarled from his hole as the Miko tried to recover from Sesshoumaru’s proximity, his warm breath across her ear and down her neck was making her feel strange.

“What are you two whispering about?” Inuyasha demanded.

Kagome frowned down at him. “Inuyasha, stop being paranoid!” she scolded.

Sesshoumaru’s arm tightened around her waist as they slowly floated into the air.

“Goodbye Inuyasha!” Kagome called happily as Sesshoumaru allowed a small smirk of victory to grace his features.

High above Inuyasha’s prostrated form  a leprechaun regarded the Miko and the demon lord gleefully, “Go maire sibh bhur soal nau!1”

A/N: I don’t own Inuyasha. ‘Go maire sibh bhur soal nau’ means ‘may you enjoy your new life’ in Gaelic. Thanks for reading and please review!

 

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