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A Midnight Waltz by Priestess Skye

Chapter 1

Title: A Midnight Waltz

Author: Priestess Skye

Prompt: Mimoto - Origin

Partner: Maddie

Words: 2921

Rating: T

Universe: Alternate

Genre: Friendship, Romance

Notes: This is an entry for Tangerine Dream’s tournament. Please read through this and then the awesome Maddie’s story entry and send a PM to Tangerine Dream declaring your favourite of the two.

Once upon a time, as all good stories begin, there was a young youkai lord and a beautiful human priestess who shared a love deeper than all who came before them; a love that defied time itself. But like all fairytales, their love didn’t come easy, and it didn’t come quickly. For some it can be instantaneous, that bolt of lightning that seems to strike quick and true to the heart, blinding the owner to all others but their one true soul mate. For others it takes months, years, decades, even centuries to uncover the feelings that are buried deep and often denied. But when they are found and revealed, there is nothing sweeter than two beings becoming aware of the other; getting that glimpse of happiness that they had once dreamed about. Our hero and heroine was one such couple, facing adversity, prejudice, hate, violence and war throughout their young lives. They fought against each other and they fought side-by-side to instil peace in the land and ensure that the future she knew was protected. Swords clashed, arrows flew, nasty barbs were exchanged; still, when all was said and done, a new, delicate alliance had been formed, as well as the fragile beginnings of something more.

Our story begins five hundred years ago, shortly after the defeat of Naraku, on a quiet eve beneath the stars.

~*~*~*~*~

The cool breeze wafted in slowly, caressing her skin as it passed her by. Kagome, sighed, tilting her head back, allowing it to float over her face and through her hair. In three years she had never once taken the fresh air of the feudal era for granted. Breathing deeply, she enjoyed not having to choke on the pollutants that filled modern-day Tokyo. For all of the technological advances meant to make human life easier, fresh, clean air made them pale in comparison.

Of course she was the only one who had any point of reference to make the comparison, but that was beside the point. The point was for the first time in as many years, she was happy.

“We have airplanes,” she explained, pointing to a picture in the modern-day convenience she had kept with her. “They’re large containers, almost like wagons but made of metal, and they fly through the air. People travel around the world in them and see far off places that they could never walk to and visit.”

Her partner listened intently as she explained the ‘science’ behind flight and the ability to fly such a metal contraption. Always looking for a new challenge, or a way to better himself, Sesshoumaru had a thirst for knowledge. His life experience alone allowed him to surpass any other who would consider themselves to be a rival, while his strength and power made others quake and tremble in fear.

Except her.

Perhaps it was because others considered her to be scary as well.

Now, Kagome wasn’t really scary, not to the naked eye, but there was something about the young woman that stood out. Many thought her a witch because of her garb. Short skirts were unheard of, women standing up to men folk was even more outlandish. She remained single, yet spent years travelling unabashedly with two unmarried men without a chaperone. There was nothing typical about her, not from her long, black flowing hair, to her bright blue eyes. She was about as unique as they come and, until recently, of no interest to Sesshoumaru.

Heir to the Western Lands, Sesshoumaru prided himself on his strength, discipline, and his ability to surpass his great and terrible father, the great dog general, the Inu no Taisho, in terms of power and leadership. He bowed to no one, least of all his brother and his wayward group. In truth, they were barely beneath his notice.

Barely.

As blood of his blood, Sesshoumaru admittedly liked to keep tabs on Inuyasha. While there was no hope of the hanyou surpassing his strength and power, he had the one tool Sesshoumaru had fought for his entire life – the symbol of his father’s love and devotion, Tetsusaiga. Having created his own blade, Sesshoumaru still felt that niggling doubt in the deep recesses of his mind. He could never master the one sword he coveted above all others. It was a blow to his ego and pride, though if anybody had ever stated so aloud he was prepared to melt them until there was nothing left of the offending creature.

The group his brother traveled with held little interest. The slayer, perhaps the strongest human of the bunch, still had much to learn about life beyond the demon hunt. The monk would most likely end up in an early grave due to his wandering hand, the miko was just hopeless and, while the fox could grow up to be a powerful youkai, he was still young, and still had far to go.

Perhaps the most promising of the group was the fire cat. She was very deceptive in her appearance and had the ability to outmanoeuvre most opponents.

And he hated cats. So that praise was saying a lot.

Still, the miko’s parlour tricks never failed to amuse him. There were very few events that would earn a smirk out of him, but watching his half-brother slam face first into the hard rock was difficult to ignore. She had accomplished such a feat using mere words, when he would have to exert force to do much the same. That action alone piqued his interest much to his brother’s dismay.

“Why would you wish to travel to another world?” he questioned, staring down at the page. “What is elsewhere that cannot be found here?”

She smiled, a rare slight upturn of her lips that he believed was meant only for him. In his years of observing her with his half-brother, Sesshoumaru had never once witnessed her gifting Inuyasha with a smile as she did him. It was as if she knew a secret meant only for her. Frowning, he shifted his eyes away from her face, glancing down at the so-called airplane. The mysteries of the miko would not dissuade him from his goal tonight, to learn the mysteries of twenty-first century travel. He was unaware that beings other than youkai could travel great distances so easily.

“Why not?” she replied, leaning back against a large tree trunk. Their tree, she had declared it not so long ago. For a possessive being such as himself, her declaration had given him pause and a moment to inwardly preen. This was his space, and her space; their space where she could tell him of the wonders of her world uninterrupted. Coming to this spot nightly was, at first, an annoyance. Then it became routine.

Now, he looked forward to it. And to her.

“Seriously, haven’t you ever wanted to just get away from what you know and try something new, something different? All of my life I have lived in Japan, in Tokyo, and I’ve never seen anything outside of it. Even now, five hundred years before my birth, I am still in Japan, and still situated within what will become modern-day Tokyo. I want to see the world. I want to try new things, meet new people, eat different foods, wear different clothes and listen to different music. I think, after being here for so long, I’d find it difficult to settle in one spot.”

“And this airplane will take you to wherever you’d like to go?” he questioned, turning the book back to the map she had shown him only a few nights previously. “If you wanted to go to… Brazil,” he peered at the strange word on the page, unsure of whether or not she would wish to visit that country, but using it as an example, “you would hire an airplane and go?”

“I would buy a ticket,” she explained. “We need to buy plane tickets and purchase a seat on the plane for the trip. It’s like trading goods for services, but we’re using money, similar to gold, instead. But yes, essentially, that is what I would do.”

“And you have been on these planes?”

This time she frowned. It was as if in one moment, with those seven words he had extinguished the flame of her excitement. When had maintaining that flame become so important to him? Why did he suddenly wish the frown would disappear and she’d once again replace it with a smile?

My smile, a hidden recess of his brain corrected. He wanted his smile, the one meant only for him.

“I’ve never been on a plane. Not even within Japan.” She closed the book and placed it back in her yellow bag, signifying the end of the evening. It was Sesshoumaru’s turn to frown. Their time had flown by so quickly and, not for the first time, he found himself loathe to leave her presence. “One day I will know what it is like to fly. I just need to live another five hundred years.”

Her jest did little to settle his unease. For him flying through the air, gliding amongst the tops of the trees, was second nature. His speed and agility were a part of who he was. His ability to transport quickly between locations was an integral part of him.

And one he could quite easily share with her.

“Come,” he declared, rising from his spot on the grass. For the first time in his life, and not for the last with this particular girl, he extended his hand in trust and faith.

“Where?”

“Anywhere.”

Her hand grasped his, warm and soft between his fingers. Blue eyes began to widen with excitement, and her small smile had begun to return. This was the Kagome he had come to know. This was the Kagome he wanted to see on a daily basis, the Kagome he looked forward to seeing every night.

For years now he had watched her ride upon Inuyasha’s back as they traveled across the countryside. In the past it didn’t interest him one bit. In fact he openly scoffed at the idea of allowing a human to lay hands upon him. It suited the hanyou well at the time, the lowly dog that he was. It was funny how things had changed, and how easily he was accepting this change. Not only did he not want her touching the boy again, he wanted her hands on him instead. He wanted her eyes looking at him filled with adoration. He wanted her smiling at him with that secret smile.

He wanted her.

He should be disgusted with himself. A human was the downfall of his father. However, he was filled with nothing but hope. He was not his father. He would not allow a mere slip of a girl to destroy him. He would allow her to make him stronger.

“What’s it like to fly?” she asked, eyes sparkling at the prospect.

“Hold on tight,” he instructed, settling her upon his back. He thrilled at the feel of her arms around his shoulders. He preened at the idea of being able to give something back to her. Inuyasha was a fool for letting her slip between his fingers. He would not make the same mistake. Catching a strand of her onyx hair, Sesshoumaru indulged himself for a moment before letting go and allowing it to fall back into place. One glance at her and he knew he had her complete attention. Without another moment’s notice, he leapt up, taking off into the air, and skated above the treetops, and eventually amongst the clouds.

Her laughter surrounded him as she clutched his shoulders tighter. Smirking, he sped up, enjoying the contact between them. She was pressed tightly to his back, the heat of her body permeating through the clothing, warming him in the coldest of the night winds.

He didn’t know how long he travelled... minutes... hours... days... none of it seemed to matter. Time was nonexistent when she was with him. Her laughter was like a drug to his system. He needed to hear more of it, knowing he was the cause.

He wanted to make her happy.

After years of heartbreak, she deserved it. He wanted to be her happiness. Of course he’d sooner cut out his own tongue than admit those words out loud. He had an image and reputation to maintain.

“Where are we?” she asked, breathless as she stepped off his back when they found themselves on solid ground. She didn’t let go, wishing to maintain the little bit of contact they still had. Sesshoumaru didn’t argue.

“Your Brazil.”

Blue eyes glittered, then widened in amazement as she settled and looked around. She ran to the edge of the little clearing and looked up to the trees. He still had yet to see what she found to be so fascinating, Brazil looked much like home, but she seemed enthralled with what she was seeing. “I can’t see anything,” she finally stated, a small pout settling on her face. “There are no people, no animals. This is nothing like I thought it would be. It’s supposed to be filled with people, little villages and towns, large cities. It’s supposed to have exotic wildlife. It’s supposed to busy.”

“Busy in your time, or in this era?” he questioned, walking behind her and placing a light hand on her shoulder. “Sometimes I believe you forget that there are five hundred years between how you know things to be, and reality. You say there are millions of people at home in your time, and yet we don’t see close to that.”

She stopped for a moment, and then turned to face him, her arms wrapping themselves around him as she pressed herself in for a hug. Voluntarily or involuntarily, he wasn’t sure, his own arms came up and enclosed her in. Breathing deeply, he inhaled her scent, one he had memorized long ago. It used to evoke his hatred. If she were nearby then so was his bastard brother. Over the years that had changed and it came to mean so much more. “Thank you,” she mumbled. “I had never flown before.”

They were having a moment, he knew. He could feel it deep within. At that moment his fool of a brother had truly lost the one thing that he should have held close and dear. Sesshoumaru couldn’t have been more pleased. The sun was beginning to rise above the trees, and he could hear the birds and other wildlife wake up to a brand new day.

In a way he was waking too.

“Anywhere you want to go, just ask,” he declared, his voice rough with newfound emotion. She looked at him strangely then, as if she had trouble deciphering his words. Or perhaps it was deciphering what was left unsaid. He had never been one who found it easy to express himself with words. He often found comfort stating what needed to be said at the end of the sword, but for once he would make an exception for her. Away from people, away from those who knew him, and away from those who held certain expectations about his behaviour, he had his moment to be free, to state what he wanted to say, what he needed to say. “Just ask,” he repeated. “Anything you want, if it is within my power, I will give it to you.”

“Thank you,” she whispered, her voice heavy. Blue eyes continued to sparkle at him. She looked as if she were staring at her whole world in that one look. Caught in the moment, he felt drunk, elated. He was reflected in her eyes.

Just him.

He could feel her steady, slightly rapid heartbeat pulsing against the muscle of his own chest, her fingernails digging lightly into his arms as she shifted and stood upon her toes as she reached higher. It made him realize for just one moment how much he dwarfed her. Yet she fit perfectly as she lifted her arms to wrap them around his neck.

“Thank you,” she whispered again, leaning in close, her lips a hair’s breath away from his.

He reached out, taking what he had yearned for in the past few months since beginning to meet with her nightly. She belonged to him, just as, in that moment, he belonged to her. The whole world shifted beneath them and everything that had felt off before fell into place.

“Thank you.”

~*~*~*~*~

The sun, the moon, and the stars witnessed many a great sight since that night long ago. Over the years they had witnessed thousands of couples fall in love, and out of love, as easily as night shifted to day. But nothing was as strong, as right, as these two. Like many couples, they fought, they slung angry words, and they caused physical damage as well as emotional turmoil. They faced adversity, discrimination and, while they had set aside prejudices, others found it difficult to do so when they saw them. Yet it was in these moments of strife that they seemed to be stronger together than they ever were before.

And they loved.

They loved like no other couple during his time, or her time... their time. It was a love that transcended time and, to this day, if you look closely enough - don’t blink, because if you do you’ll miss it - you can still see our hero and heroine dancing above the clouds as they travel the world.

 

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