Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

Night Blooms by Reira

Night Blooms

A/N: My entry for Kirai's 'Neverending Title' Challenge! I've been heavily inspired my fantasy, fairytales, mythology and music lately for most of my writing - so this will reflect that as well.

I am not affiliated with the creators or producers of Inuyasha in any way. No profit is made from writing this.

------

Night Blooms

A single black tear cascaded down her cheek as the water danced around her bare feet. She could feel the push and pull, the yin and yang as the water dragged across her skin. It shone a radiant blue light so blinding, Kagome had to close her eyes. She inhaled a deep breath and then exhaled.

'For ye shall be eternally cursed! The night shall fall and ye shall bloom! Never shall ye see the day. The darkness will become ye sanctuary!' the old witch had chanted when she placed the spell. Kagome thought the woman was insane, but looks like she was indeed what one shall call a 'witch'. Now, when she finally believed it, she was being swallowed by water which will probably guide her to the new stage of her life. The curse as the witch had put it.

Even though a single tear was shed, Kagome was not sad. For why would she be sad? She was all alone in this ugly, yet beautiful world. She had no relatives, no loved ones, no one to protect. All she had was herself and herself alone. No one was going to miss her if she was to vanish.

The water rose quickly. Kagome stood still, her eyes still closed. Soon her entire body was enveloped by the water and then the water dissolved into nothing, leaving behind a single black flower that shone under the moonlight.

------

"Lord Sesshomaru!" Jaken called as he quickly scurried over the plains to catch up with his master. Sesshomaru did not stop, he continued to move forward, his gaze focused on the horizon before him. Ah-Un followed obediently with Rin on his back, fast asleep.

It was a strange day. The air carried with it a dark and dreadful aura. Something was off, and Sesshomaru could feel it. Even Ah-Un seemed on edge, but the two-headed dragon continued on silently with his duties. Jaken on the other hand seemed to be completely oblivious to the danger that floated through the air.

Rin's eyes fluttered open and she sat up, her eyes twinkling when she noticed Sesshomaru was still with them.

“Lord Sesshomaru, Rin has awoken!” Rin exclaimed. She received a curt nod in response. The group continued on their journey further, until the scent of blood passed by with the chilly breeze. Sesshomaru stopped and faced his right, where the scent of blood was the strongest.

Smoke, blood, burning flesh – it all added together to make a foul stench. There was a massacre somewhere. Sesshomaru brushed it off, it was after all only a human village. Villages get attacked and destroyed. People die. It's the natural order of life.

However, Sesshomaru was stopped from moving forward when a whirlwind appeared out of nowhere and practically knocked itself through their group. Rin shrieked and fell off of Ah-Un, while Jaken acted as her pillow, for she fell on top of him. Sesshomaru stood still, his eyes narrow as the scent of ash, lilies and salt danced with the wind. The wind disappeared, only to reveal an elderly woman dressed in a green kimono. She had large beady eyes and was watching Sesshomaru carefully.

“You!” Jaken yelled, “How dare you appear in such an unfashionably order before the great Lord Sesshomaru!”

“Silence, Jaken,” Sesshomaru ordered.

“So ye are still alive,” the woman pointed out, her voice was gruff and masculine, “ye demons never die, do ye?”

“What do you, a human witch want with this Sesshomaru?” Sesshomaru asked.

“Aye,” the woman smiled, “I came to deliver ye a message.”

“A message?” Jaken asked, amazed that a human could possibly have a message to deliver to Sesshomaru.

“Aye,” the witch nodded, “I have cast a spell in the northern borders of ye lands, Lord Sesshomaru. I advise ye keep meddlers away.”

“You what?” Jaken bellowed, “You cast a spell on the great Lord Sesshomaru's lands? How dare you, you insolent human! Lord Sesshomaru, grant me permission to burn this woman alive!”

Sesshomaru ignored Jaken and watched the woman before him carefully. He was trying to decipher the mystery behind her, for a human she was very hard to understand. She was human, yet she has lived far longer than any normal human would have. She was alive when his father still ruled the Western Lands and served under his command. However, when the Great Dog General passed on, she left and never returned. What was the witch doing back here now?

“What purpose do you have, witch?” Sesshomaru asked.

The witch smile wickedly, “I punish those who have sinned. A human was defiling ye territory, so I punished her.”

Sesshomaru's eyes narrowed dangerously, “This Sesshomaru can defend his own land.”

The witch turned around to leave and cackled, “Can ye, truly? If ye should ever need me, I shall be with ye mother.”

And just like that, the witch once more disappeared into a whirlwind.

------

“The nerve of that woman!” Jaken grumbled, “Lord Sesshomaru, just order me and I shall hunt her down.”

The group was resting for the evening near a stream, where Rin was currently trying to catch fish. Jaken was fuming, while Sesshomaru sat quietly under the protective shade of an oak tree.

A small rock hit Jaken's head. He fell over with an 'oomph'.

“Silence, Jaken,” Sesshomaru ordered, “leave the woman be.”

Sesshomaru shifted his gaze from Jaken to Rin, who was now sitting by the fire, preparing her fish for dinner. The witch's words returned to him. She has punished a human who was defiling his lands...if that was so, he would have known. Not only was his senses at its peak, but he had countless of warriors and servants who patrolled the lands for him daily. Certainly he would have heard of human trespassers who were causing a scene and disobeying his law. Something was off.

Once Rin finished her dinner, she bid Sesshomaru goodnight and lay down to rest. Jaken followed, his head still aching from the stone he was abused with earlier. Sesshomaru closed his eyes, but he did not sleep. He was alert and he was waiting for any strange happenings.

------

“Jaken,” Sesshomaru called out to the sleeping imp. When the little demon did not awaken, Sesshomaru picked up the staff lying beside the imp and poked him on his head. Jaken jumped up with a yelp.

“Lord Sesshomaru!” The imp greeted. He bowed down in respect.

“Look after Rin,” Sesshomaru ordered.

“Of course, My Lord!” Jaken nodded, “But, are you heading out this early? It's still dark!”

“Just do your job, Jaken,” Sesshomaru stated as he walked away.

Jaken sighed, “I'll never be able to go on adventures with him again, will I? Stupid Rin...stupid humans...”

Rin mumbled in her sleep and turned around, grabbing hold of Jaken's robes and pulled him against her. He screamed and kicked and swore, but the little human girl proved to be to strong for him. He sighed in defeat and cursed the gods who hated him so.

------

Sesshomaru was disturbed by the vile feeling of the witch's witchcraft. It was coming from the northern borders of his lands. She truly did cast a spell there, but it was far stronger and darker than he imagined. Just what was the witch thinking when she 'punished' this human?

He followed the aura of the magic until he reached a large river. He scanned his surroundings as the sun's first rays peeked out from its resting place. Nothing seemed out of place. Sesshomaru did not see any sign of struggle, no sign of any battle or magic ever being used. The place was peaceful, clean and tranquil. In fact, it was almost too peaceful. Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes.

Did the witch somehow try to deceive him?

A single, soft and weak scent suddenly hit Sesshomaru's nostrils. His eyes widened. Human. It was the scent of a human. It was feint, but he could pick up the fishy smell of a human's genitals, he could pick up the smell of sweat, dirt and strawberries. Along with all the natural scents and scents from herbs and cleansing products, he also picked up the original scent. The one scent that belonged solely to this single human.

And surprisingly, he recognized it.

Once again, Sesshomaru scanned his surroundings, but just like before he saw nothing out of place. Everything was fine, just like it appeared when he was here several weeks earlier.

Just where was the witch hiding the priestess?

------

Nobuko was an old woman. She, a human witch had learned many secrets of the world. She was a master of the dark arts and could create spells that no human should ever trespass. She was once a pure-hearted witch, with only good in her heart, until she learned that her magic could not bring her the happiness she desired. So, after that, she used her magic for selfish reasons and only to please herself.

She could live far longer than any other human being. She has already seen several centuries, she has stood beside amazing rulers, human and demon alike and has encountered the good, the bad and the insane. She was old, she was wise, but she was not happy.

For she could prolong her life, but she could not bring back the dead.

Nobuko bowed before the Lady of the Castle before her, “I have returned, my Lady.”

“Rise,” the woman commanded. Nobuko rose and looked into her Lady's eyes. She was a magnificent and powerful demoness, beautiful and cunning unlike any other. Such a pity that her Lady's son was not meeting up with their standards.

“I have relayed the message to Lord Sesshomaru,” Nobuko stated, “Just like ye ordered me to.”

“Good,” Sesshomaru's mother nodded in satisfaction, “and the human girl?”

“She won't see another day, my Lady.”

Sesshomaru's mother smiled, “A pity, but let's see what happens.”

Nobuko nodded. Indeed, her Lady was cunning. She was wicked too. She made such plans simply to get her son to notice a human woman.

------

Sesshomaru did not return to the camp. Instead, he stayed by the river. He searched for any source of the priestess, but her scent was so feint, he always reached a dead-end. He felt annoyed, but he knew he was getting worked up for nothing.

After awhile, he decided to give up and he sat down against a tree instead. He wasn't resting, he was great demon, he doesn't require rest, but there was nothing else he could do. He was not the type of demon who slaughtered or played with women to have 'fun'. Sitting still by himself was entertaining enough.

He remained still for hours. He was so still, he could be considered to be part of nature.

------

It was by nightfall when he sensed something was off. The dark aura of the witch's magic was suddenly growing stronger. His eyes snapped open and he was instantly alert. Sesshomaru stood up and sniffed the air.

Yes, the power was getting stronger. And fast. He allowed his instinct to lead him down to the river bank, where under the bright light of the moon, he saw a single black flower. He frowned. He did not see it earlier. The flower shimmered and stood straight and proudly. Sesshomaru was mesmerized. Never in his life has he seen such a plant.

The last ray of the sun disappeared and the flower suddenly pulsated. Sesshomaru stood rigid, his eyes glued to the flower. The witch's dark magic swirled around the flower like a whirlpool. The flower pulsated once more and then with a loud 'poof' it transformed into a human girl.

Sesshomaru stepped backwards, merely on instinct to protect himself. Before him sat the human woman, her long dark hair cascading down her back under the moonlight. Her arms were wrapped around her bosom as she shivered. She was naked.

“What the heck?” Kagome asked to no one as she glanced around her. She was back to normal? A shiver ran down her spine. She cursed mentally, why was she naked? Annoyed, Kagome stood up and looked around her. She was still by the river bank she was before. She was certain she was placed under a spell. She could still remember how she viewed the world as a flower. But now...now she was human.

Kagome jumped when she felt something warm kiss her shoulders. She pun around, her face in a snarl, only to come face-to-face with golden eyes that watched with interest. She instantly relaxed when she recognized the demon before her.

“Sesshomaru,” she trailed off. She looked down. He had given her his haori. She mustered a small smile and quickly pulled her arms into the sleeves. She was buried within it, but at least it was warm and covered her genitals.

“Did the witch place that spell on you, priestess?” Sesshomaru asked. Kagome nodded as her teeth clattered together from the cold. Sesshomaru noticed this and ordered for her to sit while he gathered wood to start a fire. Kagome refused and offered to help him. Once they had a fire going, Kagome sat close to the dancing flames and sighed.

The silence was interrupted when Kagome's stomach grumbled loudly. She blushed and buried her head in her knees. Sesshomaru glanced at her, then stood up and started to walk away. She looked up, panicked.

“Where are you going, Sesshomaru?” she asked.

“Getting you food, woman,” was the reply. Kagome blinked, then smiled.

------

Kagome stayed up all night with Sesshomaru. The two did not speak, nor did they look at each other, they merely sat by the fire in silence. It wasn't awkward, it was comfortable and warm. Kagome felt whole beside him, the hole that was in her chest was healed with him in her presence.

It was when the first rays of the sun came into view that Kagome felt something pulsate through her. She gasped when a pain shot through her body. She grasped her aching chest and coughed. Sesshomaru glanced at her, confused. Kagome stood up and shrieked. Sesshomaru winced at the noise.

Within a flash, Kagome's body disappeared and in her place stood a small, withered black flower. Sesshomaru's eyes widened.

The spell was yet to be broken...

Sesshomaru stood up, his eyes never leaving the flower before him. Suddenly he felt empty. He turned around and left.

------

“Lord Sesshomaru!” Rin called out when he returned to their camp. She an up to him and smiled widely. Jaken stood up from where he was sitting.

“Welcome back, Lord Sesshomaru!” Jaken greeted.

“Hn,” was all that came from the demon. Rin happily skipped over to Ah-Un and patted his two heads. Sesshomaru noticed that she has gathered some food for the day's trip.

“We're leaving,” Sesshomaru stated. Rin climbed onto Ah-Un's back and soon the group moved away from their now abandoned camp.

They did not travel far until they reached a village. Usually Sesshomaru ignored villages, but today was different. Jaken watched confused as his master moved towards the village, as if he was planning to actually enter it. Jaken glanced at Rin, who was humming a song.

Once in the village, Sesshomaru stopped by a seamstress' shop. The woman was frightened when he entered, but after a reassurance from the human girl, the woman calmed down and listened to the demon's request. Once he ordered what he wanted, the woman scurried away.

“A kimono, my Lord?” Jaken asked when he noted it was an item Sesshomaru had requested. Jaken glanced at Rin. Her kimono was still in one piece, she did not require a new one...so why?

“What of it, Jaken?” Sesshomaru asked.

“Ne-never mind, my Lord!” Jaken stuttered when he noticed Sesshomaru was glaring at him. The seamstress returned with a blue checkered kimono, a bag of rice and straw sandals. She bowed deeply and then accepted the payment Sesshomaru gave her.

And just like he arrived, he left.

------

After they set up camp, Sesshomaru left to return to the river where the priestess lay. With him, he carried the blue checkered kimono, the bag of rice and the straw sandals. He couldn't place why, but he suddenly had this desire to help the woman. Was it because she was in his territory? Was it because she was part of his brother's pack, thus part of his?

When he arrived, it was already dark and Kagome was already human. She sat by a fire she she made herself, her knees pulled against her chest and her arms wrapped around her knees. She was naked, cold, hungry and miserable.

“Woman,” Sesshomaru called as he tossed the items he bought her at her feet. She stared at the items before her in surprise, then looked up into Sesshomaru's golden eyes.

“You...came back?” she asked.

Sesshomaru nodded.

Kagome smiled weakly, “Thank you.”

Kagome grabbed the kimono and pulled it on. She missed her underwear, but knew she could not complain. She quickly pulled on the sandals and then peeked inside the bag of rice. She glanced around her. Now all she needed was a pot and some water.

“Use this,” Sesshomaru stated as he tossed yet another thing at her. It was a bowl of some sorts. She inspected it, and nodded in satisfaction. It will do. She quickly filled it with water and then headed for the fire where she could boil the water to drink and then to make rice.

Sesshomaru sat down and watched the priestess flutter around. He felt satisfied watching her. She proved to be very entertaining.

Especially when she talked to herself...

------

“Where is Inuyasha, woman?” Sesshomaru asked when Kagome was calm. Kagome winced, her blue eyes suddenly darkened and her body became stiff. Sesshomaru also noticed the change in her scent.

“He...,” Kagome trailed off, “He's dead.”

Sesshomaru was surprised, but he did not snow it. Kagome burst into tears before him, but he did not move. He didn't like the scent of the salty liquid that leaked from her eyes, but he wasn't going to make a move to console her. So his brother died. Things happen. That's the cycle of life.

Although he did feel a small pinching emotion of sadness. But only a little.

Kagome cried herself to sleep, her body exhausted not just from her endless travels, but from the toll the spell was taking on her body. She curled into a ball by the fire and fell into the dark depths of nightmares and sleep.

Sesshomaru watched the priestess sleep, until he sensed the witch beside him. He looked up and narrowed his eyes dangerously at her.

“What do you want, witch?” Sesshomaru asked.

Nobuko smiled, showing her yellow teeth, “Do ye not see, my Lord? She is the elegance that only blooms at night.”

Sesshomaru snarled, “This Sesshomaru will not play your games.”

Nobuko laughed, “For only when the night blooms, so does she. Until ye can find the thing ye both lost, she will not be released.”

“This Sesshomaru's mother put you up to this, didn't she?” Sesshomaru asked.

Nobuko lifted her hand, revealing a golden comb, “Aye, that she did. I shall leave this with ye, my Lord. Do with it as ye see fit.”

After placing the comb on the ground, the witch disappeared into a puff of smoke.

------

Sesshomaru returned to the river every night. His feet lead him there, no matter how many times he told himself that he should not go there. Kagome was always happy to see him, but she was awfully silent. Her radiance, the light she illuminated before was gone. Completely eaten away by darkness.

“Priestess,” Sesshomaru broke the silence one night as Kagome nibbled on some rice. Kagome looked up, her blue eyes wide with confusion. Sesshomaru tried to push away the sweet perfume she carried out of his mind.

“What happened to Inuyasha? Your friends?” Sesshomaru asked. Usually he didn't care, but in the past few days he spent with Kagome, he felt drawn to her. He wanted to to know her, he wanted to dive into the depths that was known as her.

“It was an accident,” Kagome whispered, “We came across an army of really powerful demons. We were outnumbered, so I suggested we retreat. Sango, Miroku, Shippo and Kirara heeded my advice and fled the scene, but Inuyasha was stubborn...” Kagome trailed off as tears started to flow down her cheeks.

“Go on,” Sesshomaru urged. He was extremely pleased that she was actually opening up to him.

Kagome was surprised that she was actually sharing this with Sesshomaru, “He was badly wounded and then...Tessaiga got grabbed from him and he fell down a cliff. There was no way he survived the fall with the injuries he had.”

Sesshomaru sighed, leave it to his idiotic brother to die an idiotic death.

“It's my fault,” Kagome sobbed, “if only I wasn't grabbed by that demon! Inuyasha would not have tried to protect me! If only I were stronger!”

Sesshomaru felt anger boil within him. He could not fathom another touching the priestess. She was not allowed to be touched.

“You are strong, Priestess,” Sesshomaru stated, “you just haven't developed your talents yet.”

Kagome continued to sob. Sesshomaru moved closer to Kagome, wrapped his pelt around her, causing her to gasp in surprise and then ordered her to sleep. She nodded slowly and tearfully she lay down, wrapping herself in his pelt. She inhaled deeply and fell asleep.

------

Nobuko watched Sesshomaru visit the river every single night. Every night the priestess opened to him and he to her. They now talked, shared stories from their pasts. The priestess even revealed that she was from the future, much to Sesshomaru's disbelief.

Nobuko smiled to herself, “My Lady, ye plan is working fine.”

After they talked for awhile, Kagome would wrap herself in Sesshomaru's pelt and lie down to sleep next to him. He usually lay down beside her and watched her, his golden eyes never leaving her sleeping face.

Nobuko's smile widened, “Indeed, my Lady, ye plan is working so fine, I think it's time.”

------

Kagome woke up earlier than usual. Her blue eyes met Sesshomaru's golden eyes and she smiled weakly and snuggled closer to him. Sesshomaru tensed when she buried her head in his chest.

“Thank you, Sesshomaru,” Kagome whispered.

“Hn.”

A few minutes ticked by. Kagome smiled to herself. She hasn't felt so alive in weeks. Being beside Sesshomaru made her feel special, she felt needed.

She inhaled deeply, then spoke, “After Inuyasha's...death, my friends and I went to search for him, but he was nowhere to be found.”

Kagome choked, the memories flowing through her was still so much to bear, but Sesshomaru deserved to know. She wanted to share this with him. She wanted him to know her, feel her and be with her. She never thought she would ever feel this way, but she did.

“We eventually gave up and set up camp for the night. I left to get some water with Shippo and Kirara. When I got back...the others were dead. Miroku and Sango were both pierced through the chest by a sword. I was so horrified, that I ran.”

Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes. Something was strange about her friends' deaths. They were all killed very close to each other and it seemed impossible for them to die, they were powerful and could defend themselves. There was something very wrong with the events the priestess saw.

“What happened to the kit and nekomata?” Sesshomaru asked.

“I left them in the village with Kaede,” Kagome whispered, “I couldn't look after them if I can't even look after myself.”

Sesshomaru wrapped his arm around the priestess and pulled her closer. She gasped, but relaxed against him. Sesshomaru closed his eyes and found himself lost in the woman's presence.

“Sesshomaru?” Kagome questioned after awhile.

“Hn?”

“Rin...when I returned to village she wasn't there...” Kagome trailed off. Sesshomaru could sense the fear and worry in her voice.

“Rin is with this Sesshomaru,” Sesshomaru stated, “we are currently patrolling my lands, then we shall return to my fortress.”

“Oh,” Kagome sighed in relief, “but, I thought you wanted her to live amongst humans?”

“There are humans who reside in this Sesshomaru's fortress.”

“Oh,” Kagome was surprised. He actually had human servants? She couldn't fathom it at all. In fact, just the mere fact that he was holding her so tightly was shocking. She knew that he was more tolerant to humans now, but she never suspected him to ever get this close to a human, unless it was Rin.

“Sleep, woman,” Sesshomaru ordered when he noticed Kagome yawned. She nodded slowly and closed her eyes, feeling content in his arms.

------

Rin skipped to Sesshomaru who approached their camp from the distance. She smiled at him and showed him the flowers she gathered. He merely gave her a nod, then moved past and started walking in the opposite direction. Rin, Ah-Un and Jaken followed him without saying a word.

They came across a stream, where Rin asked to rest. Sesshomaru merely nodded, then sat down under a tree to hide from the sun. Jaken joined his master ans the two sat in silence as they watched Rin play in the water.

A whirlwind danced through the trees and came to a halt before them. Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes when he recognized the witch's scent. The old woman smiled wickedly as she watched the demon with her beady eyes.

“Good day, Lord Sesshomaru,” Nobuko greeted.

“What do you want, woman?” Jaken asked.

“It seems that ye have become fond of the human I punished,” Nobuko ignored the imp. Sesshomaru remained silent, but Jaken glanced at his master, surprised. What was the old woman talking about?

“How dare you accuse Lord Sesshomaru of such blasphemy!” Jaken yelled. Nobuko glared at the imp.

“Lord Sesshomaru,” Nobuko continued, “Ye mother awaits you at her fortress. She has some good news for ye.”

Sesshomaru quirked an eyebrow, “Good news? And what news could be good for this Sesshomaru?”

“It shall pleasure the priestess,” Nobuko stated. Jaken was about to yell at the old woman again, but Nobuko bowed and then disappeared.

“The nerve of that woman!” Jaken fumed, “Lord Sesshomaru, are you truly going to visit the Lady Mother?”

Sesshomaru stood up, completely ignoring the imp's question and moved away from their resting place. Rin stopped splashing in the water and looked up, alarmed. She glanced at Jaken, who merely shrugged and quickly hurried after Sesshomaru.

------

When night came, Kagome transformed once more, however Sesshomaru was nowhere to be seen. She quickly hurried to the bush where she hid her kimono and dressed, the chilly wind making her skin tingle. After getting dressed, she started a fire and cooked the last of the rice she had.

After eating, Kagome sat curled up by the fire. It was lonely without Sesshomaru's company, but Kagome knew that he won't be there forever. He probably only spent those other nights with her out of pity or because it was his duty since she was on his lands. The thought made her heart clench. She didn't want to be a burden to him.

For the first time in awhile, Kagome was all alone again.

------

Sesshomaru stared at his mother in silence, awaiting her to greet him, but she merely watched him with the eyes that resembled his and smiled. Beside her, kneeling on the floor was Nobuko. It was clear that the witch was on a leash.

Jaken shifted uncomfortably, he did not like the stare the Lady Mother was giving his master, but he knew he could not object her, she was his mother and therefore he should respect her.

Sesshomaru broke the silence, “What connection do you have to the priestess' curse?”

Sesshomaru's mother huffed, “There you go again, accusing your poor mother.”

Sesshomaru's eyes narrowed dangerously, “This Sesshomaru does not have time for your foolish games. Out with it, bitch. I am your alpha.”

Sesshomaru's mother stood up, anger visible on her face, “You might be alpha now that your father has passed on, but you should show your mother respect! I was after all the one who brought you into this world.”

“Lady Mother,” Jaken interrupted, “I do apologize on Lord Sesshomaru's behalf, he is not in a very good mood.”

Sesshomaru's mother shifted her gaze to the imp, “Are you angry, Sesshomaru?”

“What business do you have with the curse?” Sesshomaru repeated.

Sesshomaru's mother smiled, “I was the one who ordered Nobuko to place the curse on the child. I was also the one who ordered the army of demons to assassinate her friends.”

Sesshomaru's jaw clenched as his eyes turned red from fury. His mother watched him calmly, awaiting him to transform and lash out at her. She waited, but it never came, for Nobuko stood up and leaped in front of her.

“Please wait, Lord Sesshomaru,” the witch exclaimed, “ye must learn the full truth.”

Sesshomaru stood passively, awaiting the witch's reason.

Nobuko sighed in relief, “The priestess' friends are still alive, my Lord. My Lady saw to that. She was merely testing the woman as well as ye. She wanted to see if your beast would react.”

“My beast? What does my beast have to do with anything, bitch?” Sesshomaru asked in a snarl.

Nobuko opened her mouth to explain, but Sesshomaru's mother placed her hand on the witch's shoulder and pushed her aside gently.

“Do you not feel the hunger for her, Sesshomaru?” the Lady of the Castle asked, “Do you not yearn for her touch?”

Sesshomaru remained silent. Jaken gaped and glanced at his master. That was impossible! Lord Sesshomaru would never crave the attention of a human!

“Do you like Kagome, Lord Sesshomaru?” Rin asked innocently.

“I believe he does,” Sesshomaru's mother stated, “he did after all inherit that trait from his father, just like Inuyasha did.”

Sesshomaru snarled, then turned around and started to descend the stairs to leave.

“Don't deny it, Sesshomaru!” Nobuko called after him, “The priestess' friends are recovering here! You are the only one who can reunite them again! Remember that!”

------

A young merchant wondered the lands, his legs sore and aching from the endless walking. He was hungry and lost. He could not find any human life, all he saw was trees, plants and the occasional demon he evaded. His trolley was long destroyed, he had nothing left.

The poor man was going to die in the wild.

His ears perked when he heard the gushing noise of running water. The adrenaline pumped through him as he started to run towards the noise, hoping that he could finally quench his thirst. The blistering heat from the sun has left him parched and exhausted.

He collapsed by the river bed and buried his head in the water, taking large gulps of water. He assumed it was safe, since the river was running. What did it matter anyway, he was going to die out here eventually – he might as well die earlier. Once he had enough, he collapsed onto his back and sighed. His fingers brushed against something soft and he yelped.

He shot up, expecting to see an animal, but was greeted by a single wilted flower as dark as the night sky. He stared at it in amazement. Never in his life has he seen such a plant! His fingers slowly touched the wilted petals. Soft, like the hair of a woman.

Mesmerized, the merchant decided that this flower could easily bring him a fortune! He quickly cupped some water in his hands and poured it over the flower. Almost instantly the flower brightened and stood more straight. Amazed at the response, the merchant cupped more water and poured it over the flower. It continued to bloom, until it opened up completely.

The merchant ran his fingers over the flower once more. Such a truly magnificent specimen! He could grow these and sell them! He would make a fortune! Slowly, the merchant wrapped his fingers around the stem of the flower and just as he was about to pull it out, a loud growl echoed through the forest.

The merchant looked up, alarmed and frightened. From the trees a large, white beast approached him with red eyes that looked like blood. The merchant yelped and stumbled backwards, the flower long forgotten. Fear coursed through his veins as the beast stared at him.

“Lord Sesshomaru, isn't this where the witch performed her spell?” Jaken asked as he too appeared at the scene from the trees. Jaken came to a halt when he saw a human on the ground, his eyes wide in fear.

“A human?” Jaken asked, “Oi, you, human! What brings your here to Lord Sesshomaru's lands?”

The human trembled, “I-I'm lost, I meant no harm, I swear!”

The beast growled loudly. Jaken glanced at his master, then back at the human, “Unfortunately you have done harm. That plant belongs to Lord Sesshomaru, therefore you have insulted him by touching it. You must be punished!”

The merchant's face turned ghostly pale, “Please! I meant no harm! Forgive me!”

“Lord Sesshomaru,” Jaken ignored the human's pleas, “Shall I punish this human accordingly?”

Sesshomaru growled in response. Jaken nodded in understanding, “I understand, my Lord, I shall punish him.”

Jaken grabbed the human's kimono and dragged him away. He might be small, but Jaken was not weak. No human could withstand him as long as he remained brave.

As Jaken and the merchant disappeared, Sesshomaru's gaze shifted to the flower. He curled around it and closed his eyes. He was never leaving her side again. Not when she was nearly ripped from his side today.

------

Kagome opened her eyes slowly, realizing she was in human form she sat up, only to gawk in surprise at the large dog demon that lay curled around her.

'Sesshomaru...' she whispered softly. His ears moved slightly. Kagome reached out and glided her fingers over his fur. He was so soft, it was hard to believe he was a ruthless demon. As he lay beside her here, he looked like an innocent puppy, despite his size.

Sesshomaru slowly opened his eyes and was met by the concerned stare of the priestess. She was yet to dress, but it didn't seem she was disturbed by her state of undress before him. Her fingers tickled him as she stroked him, a small smile playing on her lips. It felt good. Her touch was his and would remain only his. Sesshomaru let out a pleased growl.

Kagome laid her head down on Sesshomaru's belly, shocking him, but he did not move. Kagome sighed, she felt content so close to him. Ever since he started to open up more to her and Inuyasha as the battle with Naraku progressed, she felt drawn to him. Now that she was all alone, she could truly appreciate him. She knew that this was no longer a simple crush of a foolish middle school girl. No, she was an adult now.

“Thank you, Sesshomaru,” Kagome whispered, “I love you.”

She felt him stiffen beneath her. Her heart was beating erratically in her chest. She was taking a dangerous gamble by finally revealing the truth. The truth that she kept hidden for so long.

She didn't leave Shippo and Kirara with Kaede because she wanted to. She didn't leave to travel alone because she felt guilt for her friends' deaths. No, she left because she wanted to find Sesshomaru. She wanted to tell him the truth. To finally reveal the secret she has carried all this time.

Until the witch appeared and cursed her to only bloom in the night.

Sesshomaru moved, causing Kagome to be thrown back. She panicked. Did she offend him? Sesshomaru stood up, he flexed his paws and then shook off his pelt, transforming back into his human form. Kagome suddenly felt embarrassed under his golden gaze. She felt very naked. When he was in his true form it didn't bother her for some reason, but now when he looked human like her she felt nervous.

“What did you say, priestess?” Sesshomaru demanded.

Kagome gulped, “I love you.”

Sesshomaru's eyes widened. Kagome closed her eyes, expecting an angry growl or even a beating, but it never came. She slowly opened her eyes and was surprised to find Sesshomaru kneeling before her. He reached out and cupped her cheek. Kagome's breath hitched as his fingers tickled her skin.

“You are strange, priestess,” Sesshomaru stated, “you make this Sesshomaru feel things he never thought he would ever encounter.”

Kagome smiled and placed her hand on top of his, “Are they good feelings?”

“That they are,” Sesshomaru answered, “they are very good, and shall only belong to you.”

Kagome closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Grasping onto Sesshomaru's hand, she guided him down to her neck. Sesshomaru watched her curiously, wondering what the woman was planning. Kagome stopped once his fingers brushed her collar bone. She bared her neck, as if surrendering to ho him. His eyes widened.

“Do you know what you are doing, priestess?” Sesshomaru questioned.

“Yes,” Kagome whispered, “I'm surrendering to you as my alpha.”

Sesshomaru's eyes darkened, “Once I mark you, it's for life...you can never go back.”

“I know,” Kagome stated, “I want this.”

Sesshomaru smirked and then leaned in closer to the willing priestess before him. He moved his hand away and cupped the back of her neck. Kagome let out a whimper when he brushed his tongue along her shoulder and then slowly allowed his fangs to sink into her flesh.

His eyes bled red and he growled, “Mine.”

“Yes, yours,” Kagome responded.

Kagome shrieked when she felt something strong pulsate through her. It was like an earthquake was erupting from her inside. Sesshomaru pulled away, his gaze suddenly worried as Kagome shrieked and pushed him away. She grasped her shoulder where he marked her and collapsed onto the floor. She rolled over, her shrieking only getting louder.

“Ye have broken the spell, my Lord,” Nobuko stated as she appeared from the shadows. Sesshomaru snarled at the witch and leaped in front of her, grabbed her and curled his fingers around her neck. The witch did not show any fear, nor pain from being strangled by the demon. “Instead of trying to kill me, ye should try to lift the girl's pain. She won't die, she's merely transforming. Tomorrow when the sun rises, she shall be human once more. Ye have broken the spell, my Lord.”

Sesshomaru let the woman go and stepped away from her. He gave her one final warning glance, then he joined Kagome by her side. He grabbed her shoulders and pulled her against him. She struggled and screamed in agony, but he did not let her go.

Finally, after awhile of struggling Kagome calmed down and fell limp against Sesshomaru. Sesshomaru ran his fingers through her hair to soothe her. He knew she was unconscious, but he did not wish her to have nightmares.

“We must return to ye mother's fortress, my Lord,” Nobuko stated, “Lord Inuyasha has awoken from his slumber. Same goes for the monk and the slayer.”

Sesshomaru ordered Nobuko to hand him Kagome's kimono. He quickly dressed her and then left with the witch to return to his mother's fortress, meeting Jaken and Rin halfway.

------

The sun hit her skin when her eyes opened. Kagome groaned in pain and rolled over, cursing that the sun was blinding her. She sighed.

A few minutes passed. Kagome jumped up, shocked. The sun! She looked down at her hands. She was human! She moved her fingers. This was no an illusion, was it? Curious, Kagome pinched herself. She yelped. No, this was definitely not a dream! She dropped her hands in shock. She was human again!

Her fingers touched something soft. She blinked and looked down. Sesshomaru's pelt...he must have wrapped her in it to shield her from the cold. But where was he? And where was she? She scanned her surroundings. She was inside some sort of fortress. The room was large and elegant and she lay on a large futon.

The Shoji door slid open, causing Kagome to look up in alert.

“Kagome-chan, you're awake!” a familiar female voice exclaimed. Kagome felt her heart shatter when a familiar brunette female entered the room and collapsed beside her. Sango smiled in-between tears and hugged her best friend.

“S-Sango-chan?” Kagome asked as tears also started to flow down her cheeks. This had to be a dream!

“Yes, it's me! We were so worried about you!” Sango cried, “Sesshomaru's mother saved us, Kagome!”

“Sesshomaru's mother?” Kagome gaped. He had a mother? She always thought his mother was dead...

Sango pulled away and smiled, “Yes, she found Inuyasha and brought him here. That's why we couldn't find him!”

Kagome sobbed. Her friends were alive! She couldn't believe it! Sango patted her best friend's back as she cried. After she calmed down, Sango led her out to meet Inuyasha and Miroku, who were currently with Sesshomaru's mother.

Sesshomaru sensed the two women approaching first. He was on his feet in a flash and appeared beside his mate to support her. Kagome smiled as she locked her arm with his and he led her inside where the others were.

Inuyasha was first to speak up, “Kagome!”

Kagome pulled away from Sesshomaru and jumped into Inuyasha's open arms. The half-demon returned to gesture, but only for a few seconds, since his brother was sending him evil vibes. Inuyasha pulled away and laughed nervously.

“Relax, Sesshomaru,” Inuyasha sighed, “I know you've claimed her. I can smell you on her. I wouldn't say I'm happy, but...I've known that she loved someone else for awhile now.”

Kagome sobbed, “I'm sorry Inuyasha.”

“Eh, I'll get over it,” Inuyasha shrugged. Miroku was next to greet Kagome. The monk seemed healthy, just like the other two. No sign of death or injury was apparent on them at all. It was like nothing happened. Kagome smiled as she embraced them all and then turned to face Sesshomaru's mother.

She gulped when she met the demoness' golden stare. She bowed deeply to show her respect.

Sesshomaru's mother smiled, “I like you, girl. You fit my son. That is why I ordered for all of this to happen. I hope you can forgive the pain I inflicted on you, but you see, my son is stubborn.”

Kagome shook her head. Yes, she was angry for what the demoness did, but she also understood that Sesshomaru was stubborn. In fact, she was stubborn herself. If it were not for the demoness' intervention, she never would have told Sesshomaru the truth.

“Excellent!” Sesshomaru's mother exclaimed when Kagome told her she understood, “Now that we have that all behind us, I have a question! When do I meet my first grandchild?”

Sesshomaru wished he could hit his mother over the head like he always did with Jaken.

------

That night, under the moonlight, Kagome lay next to Sesshomaru, her head buried in his chest and his arms curled around her. They slept peacefully, knowing that nothing will ever be able to separate them.

Not even the dark magic of a human witch.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.