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Inquiring Minds by Creature of Shadow

Questions

Written for Tangerine Dreams Ultimate Fanfic Tournament.

Prompt:"What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals.

Word count: 2285

Rating: T for a slight bit of language.

“SIT!”

Sesshomaru inwardly smirked as his half brother's face was once again driven into the unforgiving ground. He was certain that the hanyou had deserved the punishment, but he didn't understand why the indignant pup would hang around a female that could chastise him so. Inuyasha could easily go on his way alone, and only have to worry about other youkai physically harming him. So why didn't he?

That was one question of many that had popped into his mind since he joined his younger brother's group. Sesshomaru just couldn't understand why any youkai, hanyou or full fledged, would want to associate with the beings known as humans. They were dishonest, disloyal, rude and uncouth. And, most carried the none to pleasant odor of sewage and disease.

'I cannot find even one redeeming quality.' Sesshomaru thought, shifting his position slightly as he continued to watch Inuyasha make a fool of himself.

He had seen other youkai, aside from his sire and half brother, fall for humans. There had to be a reason. Some trait, or characteristic they possessed that made them so appealing and likeable to some of his race. Or perhaps it was a mystical energy that ensnared the unsuspecting youkai, masking their better judgment in favor of the mortal to whom the magic belonged.

Sesshomaru nodded to himself. 'A spell of some sort. That makes much more sense. No youkai, or hanyou whose blood is already tainted, could stoop so low as to befriend a human without magic's deception. The enchantment must be powerful indeed, to have captured my great and terrible father with it's lies.'

He looked at the futuristic miko called Kagome. 'A sneaky little wench to be sure. She plays helpless quite well, for a harpy. Although, I sense no power from her but those of a spiritual nature. Damn.'

Once again, Sesshomaru found himself stumped. If the miko wasn't the culprit, who was? It was her after all, who had started the group in the first place. So how was it that she had sank her proverbial fangs into his pathetic excuse of a half brother?

He sat, pondering this for the rest of the night as he watched the antics of the mixed group. The next morning, when the miko went to bathe, he decided he would follow her. To see an enemy unguarded is to see their weakness. He would surely be able to deduce her fallacies while she is otherwise distracted.

Sesshomaru smirked, and stalked after his unknowing prey.

As he watched from his perch in the treetops, another question came to his mind. Why did the human miko take the adolescent kitsune into her care? She could have left him numerous places, with numerous youkai that would have accepted him, but instead she treated him as though he were a child of her own body. What could her motives possibly be for that? He was to young to mate, to young to offer any protection or bring any rations. Nothing he could do made him of any value to her. So why did she keep him?

So caught up in his thoughts, he didn't notice said kitsune and the slayer leave. After mentally kicking himself for his lack of attention, Sesshomaru decided he needed a closer look anyway and without the one called Sango there, it was less likely he would be discovered.

Landing silently on the moss covered earth, he moved behind a great oak tree to observe and continue his musings.

He was once again caught in thought as he watched the woman cleanse herself, humming softly while she rubbed the sweet smelling concoction she called soap into her skin. The sunlight was just barely coming through the canopy of trees, making her wet skin glow in the dim atmosphere. She looked like a goddess, and for a moment, Sesshomaru was so caught up in her beautiful purity, he forgot what it was he had come here for.

“I didn't take you as the type, Sesshomaru.” the familiar voice of the lecherous monk whispered laughingly from underneath the bush beside him.

Sesshomaru instantly broke out of his trance and mentally kicked his attention once again. Glaring down at the interrupter, he growled, inadvertently alerting the miko to his presence.

“Sesshomaru? What the hell?!” Kagome shouted angrily, covering her naughty bits with the water and her arms.

'Purity indeed.' Sesshomaru thought irritatedly.

“Why would you, of all people, peep on me? In case you haven't noticed, I'm human!” she continued.

“Of this I am well aware, miko.” Sesshomaru replied blandly.

“Well? Still waiting for an answer here.” she pointed out.

“This one owes you no explanation.” he replied turning to leave, and unconsciously stepping on the hidden monk.

Kagome's eyes widened even more as she heard the grunt come from the plant. “Miroku you too? Can't a girl bathe without being spied on in this era?!”

“Miroku is not here. It's all in your imagination.” came her response.

“Oh right. I'm day dreaming of a talking bush with Miroku's voice. I certainly fantasize about Miroku enough I suppose it's possible.” she said knowingly.

“Really?” the corrupt monk asked, forgetting in his excitement that he was supposed to be a bush. He stood and smiled goofily at the now towel encased miko.

“Talking bush my foot!” Kagome screamed, throwing a well aimed rock at Miroku's head.

“What's going on here? What's wrong?” Inuyasha said as he jumped out of the trees into the clearing, sword drawn.

“Sit! Jeez, I'm gonna start going home every time I need to wash so I can do it without all you perverts watching me!” Kagome grouched as she left the two males of her group groaning on the forest floor.

Sesshomaru sat at the base of a tree, and rubbed at his temples. It had been a week since the bathing incident and he his head was still throbbing from the miko's scolding. Yet another unseemly quality of the human race. Never had he heard such a shrill sound come from any other creature.

He watched idly as said loud mouth played with the kit and his ward, and another question floated unwanted into his mind. The woman called Kagome had adopted the fox child in every essence of the word, missing only the title. The boy addressed her as Kagome, but the rest of the maternal bond was there.

Even more perturbing, was that the bond seemed to be forming in his Rin as well. Though he didn't say it, to anyone, Rin was his. She needed no mother as long as she had him, and she would have him for all her remaining days.

Sesshomaru shook the small, green feeling of jealousy away. One such as himself was above such a petty emotion. It served no purpose.

Not even a moment later, an old woman carrying a child scrambled into the camp, looking ragged even by normal human standards.

“Please, please help us.” the woman pleaded, looking directly at the miko. “I have heard tale of the miko that travels with a hanyou, a monk and a youkai slayer. You have healing powers. Please save my grandson.”

“I'm not sure I can. Do you know what's wrong with him?” Kagome asked, tone indicating just how unsure of herself she was.

“He's been bitten by a snake youkai. The venom is destroying his body.” the old woman replied.

“I-I can try to purify the poison.” Kagome responded, pulling the limp form of the boy to her lap.

Sesshomaru watched as the miko called her power forth, and pushed it slowly into the child's body. He watched her put all her effort into saving someone else's child, a child that had nothing to do with her what so ever. And he watched her fail to purify the toxin.

“I can't do it.” Kagome said tiredly.

The old woman cried brokenly.

Kagome looked on her aged form comfortingly. “Don't give up yet. I have one more idea.”

Sesshomaru watched as the miko once more brought up her power, though this time it was pulling from the boy, instead of pushing. She was bringing the poison into her own body, to save the child. With a gasp, her power receded and she collapsed.

The boy coughed quietly, and opened his eyes. “Grandma?”

With a happy cry, the elder woman embraced the somewhat stunned child, while the rest of the miko's group crowded around her unconscious form.

“We'd better get her to Kaede.” Inuyasha said somberly, picking Kagome up and heading towards the village Edo, followed by the rest of the pack.

Sesshomaru was thoroughly puzzled once more as he sat staring at the sickly female resting on the mat. Why would she draw the toxin into herself, knowing she may very well perish by doing so? Why give your life to save another you didn't even know? Nothing about this woman made any sense to him, and since none of his methods of deduction provided any answers, he decided to just come right out and ask her when she woke up. The medicine the elderly miko had provided had worked, that much was apparent by the younger miko's scent. All he had to do now was wait.

“Sesshomaru?” came her weak voice.

At least he didn't have to wait long. “Hn.”

“What are you...” she started.

“I have questions.” he replied

“And they couldn't wait til I was a bit more together?”

“You are completely intact, miko.”

“That's not exactly what I meant.” she said dryly. “Nevermind. What did you want to know?”

Sesshomaru kept eye contact with her as she sat up and faced him. “Why did you save the boy?”

Kagome looked at him incredulously. “ Why wouldn't I have? He needed my help, so of course I would save him.”

“I do not understand. You had no attachment to him, no need or feeling. What did you gain by almost dying yourself so he could live?”

“I didn't get anything. I did it because it was the right thing to do. I couldn't have lived with myself knowing I let him die. Only a monster could do nothing.” she stated matter of factly.

“Hn.”

“Was that all you wanted?”

“Why did you keep the kitsune?”

“What kind of question is that?” Kagome said, raising a brow.

“You could have left him with another tribe of Kitsunes, or a number of other youkai to care for him. Yet you keep the burden yourself. Why?” Sesshomaru pressed.

“First off, Shippo is not a burden. He is a wonderful little boy, and I love that he needs me. I love him period and as long as he wants me to take care of him, love him or anything else he needs I will.”

“But why?”

“There is no answer that I can give you that you'll understand. Caring about someone is a foreign concept to you outside of Rin.” she snipped.

“He is a youkai. Your worlds are different, everything is different.” he pointed out.

Kagome shrugged. “Rin is human. Does that make a difference to you?”

Sesshomaru stared at her silently.

“Look Sesshomaru. Race makes no difference to anyone with a true heart, and though I can't imagine you having one, you obviously do or you wouldn't care for her the way you do. I don't know why I love Shippo like I do, or why I care for all living beings, aside from Naraku. But I do. I can't change it and I wouldn't want to. I like that I care. It may get me hurt or someday killed, but I wouldn't do anything differently to save even one life, or to help even one soul in need. Not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's the right thing for me to do. I want to help. I guess that's my need.” she told him with complete honesty.

Before he could respond, the rest of her group filed in and surrounded her, cutting her off from him. Wordlessly, he left and walked aimlessly into the forest.

The miko called Kagome gave of herself daily, wanting nothing in return. Over the past weeks he saw that countless times. She was herself not much more than a child, yet she nurtured and loved one that was basically her own now. She showed the same type of care towards Rin, and even the rest of her companions if you came right down to it for no reason other than she cared.

'What a piece of work is this woman, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a goddess: the beauty of the world, a paragon of animals.' he thought, a new door of perception opening to him.

Not all humans were bad, his Rin should have been proof enough, but it took the words of a human more pure than he could have imagined to make him see. Sesshomaru turned and gazed at the hut that housed the miko. Not all humans should be in that category, and the miko was one he would have to spend more time getting to know. Not only did she give off a feeling of peace, but a new emotion was stirring deep within his heart, raising of course, another question. One he knew only she could answer.

A/N: All done with not a minute to spare. Please R&R and don't forget to read my competitor Kirai's as well please. After which. please take the time to vote for which ever one youliked the best by sending a private message to Tangerine Dream stating such. Thanx! <3

 

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