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Dance with Me by Aimee Blue

Chapter 1

The busy bustle of stage crew, musicians, and dancers polluted the backstage area yet didn’t quite reach the restless crowd through the thick stage curtain.

Kagome ducked as Adrien walked past with yet another piece of scenery, he grinned at her and she saluted him jauntily as she traversed the space in her clomping heels. She was heading to makeup, severely late and likely to get kicked in the ass by her ballet mistress.

It was the seventh night of the show and things were, as per usual, so hectic it was hard to find time to breathe. Artfully dodging Monica who was holding a rather spectacular headdress she closed her eyes in the face of the blue feathers.

And in her blindness she bounced off of Tiffany, a dancer from Texas with a big heart and an even bigger smile.

“We’re late.” They both quipped at the same time as they linked hands and ran as fast as their sparkly stilettos could carry them to the dressing rooms.

They skittered into the room as Sandrine turned to glare at them; she was their Ballet Mistress and a formidable woman to cross. Deciding not to comment on how ridiculously late they were, she turned towards more pressing matters as they sat down to decorate themselves in makeup whilst the costumes were wheeled in.

“Do you know where Klara went?” she demanded, her hair frazzled from stress.

“Um... no?” another dancer volunteered cheekily as she pulled on her corset.

“If you don’t have anything useful to say then shut up.” Sandrine snapped irritably. Tiffany and Kagome exchanged an amused glance as they slipped on their sparkly, feathered, rhinestone-encrusted outfits and began to run to the stage, ready to perform.

They were magnificent, girls from across the world singing and dancing their way across one of the most famous stages in the world, the Moulin Rouge.

The lights went up and so it began.

Half way through the second number, her adrenaline pumping, smile firmly in place whilst doing her rond de jambe, she saw him.

Blue eyes locked with topaz and she nearly fell over.

Shit.

No way.

Inside the privacy of her own mind she floundered but on stage she was still following the steps choreographed automatically, but she was no longer in the driving seat.

She was very glad that she was not the lead; she wasn’t sure she could have trusted her voice to sing a solo. Not now.

He was dead! He had to be. He was dead, wasn’t he?

The fact that he was staring a hole through the dancer in front of her in order to look at her made her denial piteous. It was obvious he was still very alive and also in Paris in the Moulin Rouge?

Since when was he into cabaret?

Ah! The end of the song was close! She’d have to skedaddle off stage to do a quick change; hopefully it would be long enough to help her collect her abruptly scattered brain.

Sprinting off stage, she quickly yanked off her costume, replacing it with a skimpier number that left her breasts on show and had more feathers than its predecessor.

Tiffany, more astute than most, nudged her in the ribs as she secured her headdress, “Who’s the hunk that’s been watching you all night?” she grinned conspiratorially.

Kagome choked on air for a moment before she shook her head. “He’s just someone I used to know.” She shrugged.

“Yeah right.”

Kagome rolled her eyes as they spilled back onto the stage, throwing themselves back into another of Sandrine’s perfectly choreographed routines. Kagome could do the steps in her sleep; they all could, so as long as she kept one eye open she was free to muse and to watch. Meeting Sesshoumaru’s eyes every now and then. Not the best she’d ever danced, but she figured she was liable for a slip up when he was in the audience.

That was scary. Tiffany’s tone had hinted to a pre-existing relationship. Kagome scoffed, yeah they’d had a relationship, one where he’d tried to kill her for hanging around with his half-brother and she’d shot him for trying to kill said half-brother.

Needless to say their relationship wasn’t exactly brilliant.

But now he was meeting her eyes like they were old friends, smiling. That was disconcerting; his smile wasn’t something she’d ever get used to seeing. Ever.

She wondered how he recognised her; she’d changed a lot since then, grown taller – though she was only just tall enough to be in the show – and more athletically proportioned. She no longer retained her baby fat, her body lithe and graceful.

She was a dancer. And she had done it for a purpose.

She’d endured ballet classes through her younger years, though they had been left by the way side when she had been dragged through the well and into her destiny, when the well had sealed her on the wrong side she had picked up her lessons again, determined to move on by throwing herself into dance.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Moulin Rouge was a dream of hers ever since she had begun to dance. Aged five she had seen some of the more modest dances on television, entranced by the glitter and sequins and glamour of these incredibly tall women who exuded sparkle and confidence she had been determined to go there one day. Of course, she had never dreamed that she would be the one dancing.

It was a buzz; the energy and the thrill of performing were as exciting to her as freefalling was to an adrenaline junkie. She supposed it was her way of coping with the missing thrill of life threatening situations, as weird as it sounded. Those moments truly made you feel alive and dancing helped relive some of that.

She spun again and caught his eyes. They flickered with unnameable emotions, emotions that she had never seen in the past, the emotions he had tried to hide were now more apparent.

It would appear even Sesshoumaru, the killing perfection, mellowed in five hundred years. Or maybe his emotions had simply accumulated so much over the years, with all the death he had seen and the lives he had taken; now the emotions flooded his eyes.

It was frightening.

He looked impeccable, but then that was Sesshoumaru all over. His hair was the same as always, it appeared though time had changed his mannerisms somewhat it’d had no effect on his stubbornness. He probably loathed the thought of fitting in with humans. She was surprised he was wearing the classic black suit and tie; it was strange seeing him without his haori, hakama, armour and swords.

She watched him throughout the show and he watched her.  She could imagine what Inuyasha would think if he knew she’d danced topless in front of his hated half-brother. His brain would probably explode; it sounded like fun.

The show ended, as everything inevitably did, and Kagome sat in the dressing room a long time after the others had gone home. Only Sandrine remained and she was merely waiting for her lazy husband to come and collect her; it was pouring down outside and she didn’t want to walk.

She had noticed Kagome had been distracted throughout the performance and wondered what could possibly be on her smallest dancer’s mind.

“Kagome?” she asked softly, startling the Japanese woman from her thoughts. “Are you okay?”

Kagome smiled wanly. “I’m fine.” She shrugged, not wanting to admit she was hiding in case Sesshoumaru came to talk to her. She wasn’t sure what she was going to say to him.

It had been seven years since the well had closed and she had moved on, really she had, but she wasn’t sure what emotions Sesshoumaru would encourage.

“Really?” Sandrine quirked a brow “The fact that you’re wearing one ballet pump and one stiletto says otherwise.”

Blinking in shock, Kagome looked down at her bizarrely clad feet. “Ah.”

“So, what’s wrong?” she asked pulling up a chair and straddling it.

Kagome smiled slightly “In the audience tonight... there was someone I know.” She bit her lip and studied her interlocked fingers.

Sandrine was surprised; she hadn’t thought Kagome was a run away; perhaps she was avoiding someone in particular.

Kagome waved her hands at her hurriedly, seemingly reading her mind. “It’s nothing bad, I just haven’t seen them in a while and its weird is all...”

Sandrine pinned the young dancer with an appraising look. “Sometimes, Kagome, we need to face our demons.”

Demons huh? Apt word choice. Kagome thought as she waited for Sandrine to continue.

“If you don’t go out there and you never see him again then you’ll regret it forever, you’ll play the ‘what if’ game for such a long time. Whatever happened is in the past right? So now’s the time to look forward to what new turn your relationship can take.”

Kagome nodded as she accepted the information and then quirked an eyebrow. “Who said it was a guy?”

Sandrine smirked as she stood and grabbed her bag. “Your face my dear, reveals a lot.”

Pursing her lips, she watched Sandrine depart with a jaunty wave and considered her options.

She could either sit in the dressing rooms sulking with odd shoes on her feet all night until security chucked her out, or she could go out and face Sesshoumaru.

Neither option was exactly appealing but she knew what she had to do.

Steeling herself, she stood and, with a defiant toss of her hair, changed into her casual clothes and shouldered her gym bag.

She left via the back exit, intending to go round to the front of the club to deposit her bag into her car before she actually went into the club to see Sesshoumaru. That way if she chickened out her escape route was in sight.

But her plans were thwarted by a wobbly step, slippery concrete and slide down said stairs to land in a puddle at the bottom.

“When I saw you on stage I had my doubts, but this act of clumsiness has indicated that you are indeed the Miko that travelled with the whelp.” A smooth politely detached voice cut in to her cursing the steps.

She glanced up to see Sesshoumaru, umbrella in hand to fend off the rain that was rapidly soaking her through, smirking at her in an unnerving fashion.

“Sesshoumaru,” she whispered.

“Miko,” he acknowledged before his smirk became rather impish, “are you going to sit in a puddle gaping at me all night?”

She blinked at him, rainwater making her eyelids stick together in clumps and her hair flatten to her head.

He sighed. “Come, Miko.”

Rather like a bewildered child offered a sweetie by a stranger, Kagome accepted Sesshoumaru’s outstretched hand, allowing him to haul her out of the puddle and help her into his waiting car.

They sat in silence the entire journey; Kagome because she was still in a state of catatonic shock and Sesshoumaru because he wasn’t much of a conversationalist beyond his usual witty death threats, he had a feeling such would not get the Miko to relax.

He led her through the lobby of his apartment building to the elevator by her elbow and she followed meekly, unused to the splendour that Sesshoumaru seemed to be surrounded with at all times. He was unspeakably elegant and she reflected that it was a shame he was not a dancer, it would be beautiful to watch him. She wondered if he would dance with her if she asked nicely.

He led her into his apartment and traversed the floor to his bed. She frowned at his back as he picked up a towel and threw it at her.

“Dry your hair, you’ll catch a cold,” he ordered but there was a slight hint of something... almost as if it was an order for her own wellbeing. Almost as if he cared whether she became ill or not.

With that she started to towel dry her hair and, when finished, she handed Sesshoumaru back the white towel and studied him as she shivered.

“Take off your clothes.”

She blinked and wondered if he’d perhaps gone insane in the five hundred years since she had last seen him. When she’d last known him he’d never asked ningen females to strip for him and he’d certainly never demanded such a thing from her before.

“Huh?” was her stunningly eloquent reply as she blinked at him dumbly.

“If you stay in your wet clothes you will catch a cold,” he walked over to her and handed her something made of silk “here.”

Five minutes later she came out of the bathroom wearing a pair of pale lavender pyjamas. She looked at him thoughtfully. “Why do you have a pair of women’s pyjamas, Sesshoumaru?”

He flashed her a devilish smile. “I am not a hermit Miko; sometimes it is necessary to have a female to visit for the night.”

She quirked a brow “And what sort of female company spends the night in pyjamas?”

The answering leer was evil. “It makes them feel like they have a safety net and... voilá.”

She smirked “I never took you for a player Sesshoumaru.”

He shrugged and undid his bowtie before taking off his jacket and hanging it over the back of a chair. “There is much you do not know about me little Miko, but there are greater secrets that you hold about yourself, how are you still alive?”

Ah, so that was why he had taken her home. Sesshoumaru always knew everything; not knowing how she was alive must be perplexing to him.

“I time travelled to the feudal era through the bone eaters well, this was the time in which I was born.”

He regarded her arrogantly “So it is through no triumph of your own that you time travel?” he snorted “How very ningen.”

She glowered at him “When did you become so damn talkative anyway? I think I liked it better when you were silent!”

“Loud mouthed as always, little Miko.” He rolled his eyes “but I did not bring you here to argue.”

“Then why am I here?” she demanded.

“Because life is long, Miko, you, of all people, should know that.” he sighed heavily and collapsed into a chair. He looked so old in that moment that she found herself walking forward until she stood close enough that she could feel his body heat.

She stared at Sesshoumaru, conqueror of lands and people and balked at this sudden display of weakness. It scared her more than his smirking had.

“What?” she whispered “Sesshoumaru?” she stomped her foot when he didn’t answer “damn it Sesshoumaru! Stop being so damn stubborn and talk to me! Can’t you at least talk to me? I mean all we’ve shared; I’m the last person alive that remembers Rin!”

He growled gutturally at her and she jumped. Before she could gather her wits she was pinned to the wall with Sesshoumaru glowering down at her, his normally impassive eyes swirling with some emotion that she couldn’t identify... that she didn’t want to identify.

She looked down and he bit her neck lightly in reprimand. She caught his gaze again.

“What? Sesshoumaru? I need you to tell me what’s wrong.” She whispered softly, brokenly, she couldn’t do this; seeing him was bringing back far too many memories of things she had tried so hard to forget.

He sighed. “So old.” And he leant his forehead against hers.

“Sesshoumaru?”

His breath fanned across her lips. “Too long I have endured solitude.”

“I thought you liked solitude.” she said softly.

“Solitude follows me, I do not pursue solitude.” He corrected her “I wanted, even back when you knew me, for someone to understand that.”

She looked down and he growled at her.

“But you understand it perfectly don’t you? You are so empathetic that it is impossible you don’t see it. Why do you turn away from what you used to willingly comfort?”

“You say you’ve changed?” she gave a bitter little laugh “I’ve changed too Sesshoumaru! Do you know what it’s like to be broken? I was never like I am now! I thought I was okay... but you took that from me!”

Their eyes locked for the longest time and they both came to the same conclusion. Though one pair were gold and the other blue they were mirrors of each other. Each holding the pain of isolation.

He dropped his forehead to rest on her shoulder. “Hn, it seems we are both broken Miko.”

“But I was healing” she whispered “really I was!”

“Healing or hiding?” he asked seriously “I can tell you now that it was most definitely the latter.”

And then he did something that very nearly killed her.

He let lose his youki.

Her knees buckled and she clutched onto his suited shoulder to keep herself from hitting the wooden floors as his arms came around her waist to further assist her.

A lone tear fell from her eye and he gently kissed it away.

“It is okay, little one, I am here”

And, strangely, those words were so very soothing to her. She leaned into his embrace, flattening herself against his chest and kissed him chastely but lingeringly on the lips.

He made a purring thrum of contentment and she smiled a soft but true smile.

“I’m glad.”

Her Miko ki rose up to meet the youki in the room and they shared a sigh as the auras melded and caressed almost desperately; they had missed the contact.

Slowly she pulled away and smiled rubbing the tears from her eyes before bowing at the waist and offering him her hand “Won’t you dance with me Sesshoumaru?”

He titled his head to one side like a curious puppy and she chuckled.

“Or shall I dance for my Lord?”

One haughty silver eyebrow quirked and she took it as approval as she twirled out into the middle of his room nimbly dodging the furniture as she began to dance to music only she could here. Her aura lingered behind her and coaxed Sesshoumaru into watching her.

She reverted back to her ballet training as she danced for her lord, still slightly bewildered at the sudden change in their relationship, she was slightly nervous at dancing for him alone.

But dance she would, she would dance and it would signify and end and hopefully, a beginning.

This dance was all for him, her blue eyes fixed upon his being and in that moment he revelled in being the centre of her attention, much like Inuyasha had been in the past. But her attention was enough to make a grown man weep and he didn’t understand how the Hanyou had been unable to truly appreciate her.

The graceful extension of her arms and the proud elegance of her lean legs and body as she pirouetted on the spot before gracefully leaping to a halt on one leg and retreated backwards, away from him, smiling coyly and beckoning him to come and play.

The moves were graceful and disguised the raw strength used to pull them off. He materialised beside her in time for her to fouetté into him, knocking them off balance and sending them sprawling onto the hardwood floor, his body perched precariously over hers.

She laughed, a free and happy sound, as his hair fell to caress her face.

“And for a moment you were so graceful,” he mocked.

“That was your fault!” she rebutted, “You got in the way.”

He shrugged and glanced down at her legs “On the contrary, Miko, your legs got in my way.”

“Are you always this ornery?” she asked grumpily.

He gently knocked his forehead into hers and she went slightly cross-eyed as she tried to look at him.

“Yes,” he admitted with a quiet aloofness that made her smirk, “and you would do well to get used to it, I’m not going anywhere.”

A/N: I don’t own Inuyasha. Hope you enjoyed this and please drop me a review!

 

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