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Insomniac by Aimee Blue

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I don’t own Inuyasha.

Yawning hugely and trying to ignore the way her jaw cracked uncomfortably with the motion, Kagome trundled into her little kitchenette, Hello Kitty slippers scuffing on the linoleum. It was probably too early for her to be awake, considering what time she had retired last night, but sleeping really wasn’t something she enjoyed as of late.

Well, it wasn’t sleep per say that was her problem, it was the dreams that inevitably came with the sleeping.

After the well had closed on her friends, her other family, and trapped her in her own time, Kagome had been distraught and insomnia had been both her best friend and her worst enemy. But she’d never been one for giving up completely and had rallied herself.

Graduating high school was impossible when you combined her abysmal grades and shocking attendance records and so Kagome had turned to a different avenue.

Her great-aunt’s pet shop had been the perfect solution for Kagome, it was far enough away from home that she had an excuse to move out and close enough that she could be contacted in an emergency.

Of course, she loved her family, yet their continued well-meaning badgering and questions about how she was feeling made her feel claustrophobic and suffocated. Her tiny little apartment was in the middle of the busiest part of the city, a basement flat that didn’t particularly enjoy sunlight, but it was hers. And so she clung tightly to that tiny piece of individuality.

The offer from her great-aunt about a job had been a brilliant coincidence at the time, but Kagome discovered that the deaf old lady simply wanted someone to unload her shop onto as she couldn’t keep up with it at her age. Kagome had spent the best part of three years fixing the drab shop until it sparkled and he great-aunt had only then given her the shop as pittance for her hard work before disappearing back to the Bahamas.

Grandfather had always said his sister was flighty, Kagome had just never really cared because the eccentric woman had never really bothered visiting them before.

But it had been around this time, when she’d just signed the papers that would make the shop hers and no one else’s, that she started to have the dreams.

Toast popped from her toaster and, upon discovering that she had no butter or jam, she sighed and ate it dry. Piece of toast between her teeth, she put the kettle to boil and grabbed her favourite blend. Mug in hand, she dipped her dry toast into the brew and continued to munch, a strange habit she’d picked up from Ayumi.

It had actually stopped raining outside, which was unusual as of late, and Kagome mulled over her list of things she had to do on her rare day off.

Shopping was high on her list of priorities considering she didn’t even have any butter left but she also needed to clean her crummy little flat up a bit, her kitchen was kept immaculate, but her bedroom window was in a such state of disrepair that masking tape just didn’t quite cut it anymore. But she didn’t want to perform any of these mundane tasks.

What she wanted was for the dreams to stop.

They always started the same. Kagome would open her eyes to gaze up at a grey and stormy sky that looked for all the world like it belonged to a thunderstorm, but there was no rain, no thunder, no sounds.

She shifted from her position laid out on her back to sit up and that was when the sounds began, like someone had turned the volume up and she was suddenly in the middle of a thriving humdrum city, hearing snippets of conversation and cars go buy.

But above the cacophony of the city noises played the sorrow filled melody that Kagome sometimes found herself humming in real life, she knew it so well.

Soon she would find herself on her feet, crushed between a myriad of people who were walking in so many different directions it was hard to tell how they were moving at all, but she could still hear the beautiful tune, clearer than any of the noise around her.

The dream always ended the same way too, the noise would stop, and the tune would reverberate its final note and a baritone would whisper; find me.

And she’d wake up feeling like she’d run a marathon.

Opening the fridge again, she quickly assessed that what little she had was inedible and what she didn’t need was plentiful.

“Why did I buy seven tins of anchovies?” she asked no one in particular, “I don’t even like anchovies.”

A list was inconsequential, since she needed everything, so her purse was located underneath Buyo, who had followed her with steadfast determinedness when she had moved to her little flat, and she was off.

Grocery shopping really wasn’t high on her list of things she’d wanted to do on her day off, but most of her friends were busy going to classes at their prospective universities and so there wasn’t much chance of meeting up with them.

The lady who owned the grocery store was full of spirit and a proficient spreader of all the latest gossip and Kagome allowed the old lady to natter in her ear, listening only half heartedly until a particular phrase caught her unsuspecting attention.

“Long silver hair and facial tattoos!” the old woman shook her head like it was a crime as she measured out Kagome’s carrots, “and pointed ears! Like he’s some kind of fae!”

“Who?” Kagome asked, leaning in interestedly as the old woman continued to prattle.

“The piano player in that new restaurant that’s just opened in town,” the old lady sniffed derisively, “he dresses respectable enough, but I say he’s a hooligan, involved in something like that Yakuza lot,” she lowered her voice and inflected darkly.

Kagome blinked bemusedly. Sounds like... Sesshoumaru? Well, if anyone could survive so long it would be him.

Dazedly, she paid for her purchases and staggered home, zigzagging aimlessly as she walked.

Should I go and investigate? What if it is him and he tries to kill me? But then, surely not even Sesshoumaru could still be angry over something that happened all that time ago. Actually, maybe he could, it’s not as if I know Sesshoumaru all that well...

Lost in her musings, she was jolted back to reality when she reached her flat, looking at her ramshackle little home she sighed and pursed her lips.

Maybe I should investigate...

Pulling her phone from her pocket, she punched in Eri’s number with deft fingers.

“Eri-chan? How do you feel about dinner tonight?”

0-0-0

“I can’t afford anything on this menu,” Eri huffed, tossing her shortly cropped locks with disdain and drumming her red-painted nails on the table impatiently.

“Me neither,” Kagome admitted, smoothing her skirt down over her knees.

“So why are we here?” Eri inquired, licking her lips beguilingly as she watched a waiter’s pert behind as he walked past.

“Not to ogle the waiters,” Kagome reprimanded, digging Eri in the ribs with her elbow.

Mouth forming an ‘O’ Eri’s eyes grew misty. “Well, can I ogle him instead?”

Following her friends line of sight, Kagome’s eyes zeroed in on the glint of silver. With his back to her, Kagome couldn’t really tell whether it was Sesshoumaru or not, the broad shoulders bore a striking familiarity, the hair tugged at her heartstrings.

Sat at the piano, he had donned a pressed white shirt and a dark black waistcoat, looking every inch the respectable piano player.

The glance he flicked at the bar gave him away, and Kagome pressed a hand to her lips as she recognised his profile instantly. The markings were still there, magenta curves across his cheeks and the crescent on his forehead. How like him to leave them in the open, to refuse to disguise them. The tips of his ears were partially obscured by his silken hair but the arrogant tilt to his chin was unmistakeable.

Sesshoumaru.

But when long pale fingers began to play, Kagome nearly fell out of her seat.

It was her song, the song that she’d been dreaming about for the past goodness knows how long.

He was playing her song!

Scowling skywards irately, she wondered how long it would be until the kamis decided that enough was enough and that they were done sending her cryptic dream messages.

Eri tugged impatiently on Kagome’s sleeve and hissed, “Well, Kagome-chan, why are we here?”

“Curing my insomnia,” she answered numbly.

0-0-0

Waiting until closing time was agonising, and the shrewd glances from the barmaid made it clear that the woman thought Kagome had been nursing her drink for far too long. Eri had retired home a few hours ago with a jaunty wave and a mutter about a thesis paper she hadn’t even started yet.

Looks filled with an icy disinterestedness that would have made Sesshoumaru proud kept admiring and lecherous men away, and Kagome employed her somewhat dubious patience as she sat there, waiting until Sesshoumaru finished his shift so that she could talk to him...

But as the hours dragged by, Kagome’s courage was dwindling, until she was torn between running and the longing to see someone who remembered.

Soon, the barmaid turned her out with abject glee, and Kagome found herself leaning against the cold brick wall at the back of the restaurant.

Plop.

She ignored it.

Plop.

Arms folded under her breast stubbornly.

Plop, plop, plink.

Plop.

“Don’t you dare!” she growled skywards, pointing her finger at the overhanging menacing grey clouds.

As if mocking her, the heavens opened and Kagome found herself dashing under the awning of the adjacent shop to avoid being soaked through to the bone.

“Of all the times to forget an umbrella,” she mumbled, stomping her high-heeled boots on the pavement in an attempt to warm up.

“It was raining then,” a voice interrupted, “when you disappeared, claimed by the well’s magic.”

Gasping, Kagome spun on one heel and hit her nose into the speaker’s chest, startled that he was so close, she backed off; into the rain.

Quirking a silver brow, Sesshoumaru watched the flabbergasted Miko get soaked for a moment before he realised she seemed to have lost control of bodily functions. With an eye roll, he snagged the front of her shirt on a claw and dragged her back under awning.

She eventually made her strangely numb lips cooperate, offering a nearly silent, “It was.”

Lips pursing, he flicked her in the forehead and shook his head. “What took you so long?”

With that, and a toss of his long ponytail, he sauntered into the rain that doused the streets and made the normally busy road deserted.

Blinking in chagrin, Kagome stomped one foot in frustration and dashed after him, a little mulish that he seemed to be keeping a pace slow enough so that she could catch up to him.

Like he knows that I will... presumptuous, arrogant.... Sesshoumaru all over. Five hundred years and he’s still the same... she frowned as she reached his side and caught the amused tilt of his mouth, maybe not exactly the same though.

“What do you mean?” she demanded, blinking through the rain that plastered her clothes to her body.

“I’ve been calling out to you for years, little Miko,” he expounded, flicking a dry glance in her direction, “the art of dream invading is difficult to master and I was beginning to believe that it was also a waste of my time.”

Jaw dropping at his audacity, she yelped, “those dreams were you?”

“Quite,” he rebuked, leading her through the deserted children’s playground and turning to face her expectantly.

“You can’t just barge into my dreams, Sesshoumaru! I’ve been suffering with insomnia because of you! You obviously knew where I was, so why didn’t you come and find me, instead of invading my dreams and telling me to find you?”

“Conflicting promises,” he allowed as the rain heaved its last breath and shuddered to a stop, leaving them stood, dripping wet, in a rain coated playground.

Well, this is... surreal...

Narrowing her eyes at the tricky Taiyokai, she repeated, “Conflicting promises?”

“Hn,” Sesshoumaru moved to take a seat on one of the swings, seemingly uncaring of the soaked seat. But then, he wasn’t much drier himself.

“Explain!” she demanded, throwing her hands into the air, exasperated at the tightlipped demon.

Golden eyes darkened to amber and his head tilted slightly to one side. “You order me?”

Eyes wide, Kagome backpedalled quickly, for brief moments she’d forgotten that she was speaking to Sesshoumaru.

The name killing perfection isn’t just for show.

“No... it was more of a badly phrased request,” she hedged, spreading her hands in a peaceful gesture as she reluctantly took a seat on the swing next to him.

“Indeed.” His eyes crinkled at the corners with something akin to humour and her eyes narrowed again before her mouth dropped open with a click.

“You were... teasing me?”

“Obviously,” he sniffed, tossing his sodden hair over one shoulder, “if I were really insulted you would be dead. I grew used to your impertinence upon the meetings back then. Your temper tantrums are... amusing.”

“I was a court jester in a past life,” she quipped sarcastically.

“You were a Miko in your past life,” Sesshoumaru corrected dryly, earning himself a growl from his supposedly human companion.

“Would you quit distracting me?” she interrupted irately, “you said something about conflicting promises.”

Sesshoumaru nodded. “My half-brother told me not to look for you, but the monk told me to protect you,” he flicked her a bland glance, “one valued my worth as a killer, the other looked to my aptitude as a protector.”

“Who was right?” she queried softly, suddenly finding her boots impossibly fascinating.

“Both,” he uttered, inclining his head slightly, “I honour all promises. So I did not look for you, but I made sure that you would find me. Then, I could fulfil my promise to the monk.”

“Still...” Kagome shot him a wry glance, “dream invasion? That was a little drastic, you know.”

“Hn,” with one eyes shut, he looked at the little Miko, her clothes clung to her, saturated as they were with rain, and her hair clung to her face and neck, “let’s go.”

Surprised, Kagome allowed him to tuck her under one arm as he half dragged her through the playground. Heat seeped from the Taiyokai into her rain-cooled body and she serrupticiously snuggled closer.

A singular brow quirking at her snuggling, Sesshoumaru permitted it, silently deciding that, even if he was indulging a human, it was perfectly acceptable.

Because he was Sesshoumaru and there was no one who would contest his whims.

When the Miko shivered, Sesshoumaru frowned in consternation, it had been a while since he had taken a human under his wing, he seemed to have forgotten to account for her fragile health.

Sighing, he stooped and knocked her legs from underneath her, earning a squeak from the startled woman.

Kagome closed her eyes as everything around her blurred, she knew Sesshoumaru could move fast, but she’d never really expected to be brought along for the ride.

When he put her down once more, she still hadn’t quite figured out which way up was and subsequently she fell onto her bottom in a way that was analogous to a startled toddler who was learning to walk.

Lips quirking, Sesshoumaru offered her a hand and she took it sullenly.

“My house?” she asked, blinking at the familiar house, “you knew where I lived?”

“Hn,” he turned his nose up at her, “I traced your scent back to your house.”

Shrugging, she lingered on the stairs that led down to her basement apartment, watching him dubiously, like she expected him to disappear if she took her eyes off him for a moment.

“I’m coming inside,” he decided, his tone of voice slightly amused as she stared, wide eyed at him.

0-0-0

As the stoic lord of the western lands watched the Miko fuss over the cat who was unsuccessfully trying to get him to leave by hissing, he relaxed into the Miko’s armchair, her scent invading his mind and soothing him deeply.

The Miko’s scent was a balm to his soul and he relished the chance to bask in it freely as he had never been able to do before. Back then her pure scent had been coated liberally with Hanyou and it had taken all his restraint to not force her to wash it off so he could smell her purity untainted.

But, after tonight, she carried his scent with her own and he couldn’t help the dark smirk that crossed his features.

Mine.

Brow puckering at the errant thought, he pushed it down and shrugged it off. The Miko wasn’t quite ready to deal with such claims yet and he did not want to frighten her away, not when she had only just managed to find him.

“Tea?” Kagome’s voice interrupted his musings as she waved a steaming hot cup under his nose.

Taking a delicate sniff, he determined that it was jasmine and accepted the proffered beverage, smirking as she settled next to him on the sofa.

“Wanna watch a movie?” Kagome asked tentatively, for some reason she desperately wanted him to stay with her.

Nodding calmly, Sesshoumaru watched as the little Miko leaned across his lap to get to the television remote control, the back of her t-shirt rose baring her pale back to his gaze.

Choosing a movie, she pressed play and settled back to the sofa, surprised when Sesshoumaru manoeuvred her so that she was leant against him. Shooting him a startled look, she allowed it, bewildered when he began to dry her hair with the towel she had given him earlier.

“If you leave it wet, you’ll catch a cold,” he explained calmly, briskly towelling her hair.

Giggling at his intent expression, she muttered, “You have fun.”

A brow quirking at her insolence, he jerked his knees and she squealed as he nearly turned her off the sofa. Turning narrowed eyes on him, she was confronted with a smirk and poked her tongue out.

Following his impulses had never been his strong suit, but at this moment in time, Sesshoumaru decided to indulge a whim. Leaning in softly, gauging her reaction to his advance, he pressed his lips to her forehead.

Eyes agog, Kagome blinked mutely at him.

“Huh?”

“Hn.” Sesshoumaru uttered, pressing his lips to the corner of her mouth this time.

“Sesshoumaru?” she whispered. If there had ever been a ‘pinch me I’m dreaming’ moment in her life, this was it.

“Kagome?”

“Wha-what are you doing?” she muttered, cheeks bright red as she stared at a point over his shoulder.

“Showing you why I waited for you.”

“Oh,” she uttered, jaw slack as she blinked at him

“Indeed,” he smirked slightly, “may I kiss you?”

At Kagome’s mute nod, he inclined his head again. This time, instead of brief, his kiss was lingering and Kagome allowed herself to be carried away by it.

It wasn’t as if being kissed by Inuyasha’s half-brother was something one expected to do in their day to day life, but she found herself oddly comforted by his embrace.

Her sigh of bliss was his triumph.

“Mine,” he whispered against her mouth.

In the past, the claims of ownership had bothered her, but now, now she felt comforted by it.

0-0-0

“Bastard, always did find loopholes in everything,” a grumpy Inuyasha cursed, “smug jackass thinks he got one over on me!”

“Well, he did,” Miroku cajoled happily, “but I dare say that Kagome-sama will be happy.”

Inuyasha’s scowl softened slightly. “Keh, you might be right. Maybe his is a better protector than a killer after all.”

Miroku chuckled. “I did hope.”

A/N: This was written for Priestess Skye’s Weekly Challenge for the prompt ‘Dream’ and amounts to 3,330 words in total.

 

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