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A Tanabata Tale by Lyra

A Tanabata Tale

~A Tanabata Tale~

Part I: Kagome-hime

~~~ - - ~~~

I waited, with the light of the moon and stars;

I embraced their shimmering faces in the tide, and found

my arms full with shadows.

~~~ - - ~~~

 

She sits in quiet, eyes closed, world open – the inner world, the world beyond masks and dreams. She fights the current that has lately shifted her whole being; an old current, endless, a recognizable feeling, a feeling she did not want to recognize.

She has seen him first – again – this time in darkness, and it is appropriate, the flame of his golden power, the rise and flux of it beating against her skin in the old familiar way. He has not seen her, not yet, and if he does he may not recognize her at all...but though she is now Hime-sama, and she is watching them force him to submit, to pay penance or face oblivion -

He is still Sesshomaru-sama, and she is still Kagome, even if they – the ones who decree otherwise – are the Gods themselves.

She is learning that time cannot change identity; that even lies do not wash away the truth; that silences speak louder than the most forcefully shouted words; that even in this world, this world above the World, a lonely night is cold...and never quiet.

She hears his footsteps first, a gift of new power, new status, new life. She says nothing, because she cannot forgive herself the difference, even if in another time and place it might have pleased them both.

She says nothing, because there is nothing to say. They each have their price to pay – one drenched in darkness, the other lingering in light.

She hears his footsteps, and this time they are walking away; she knows why she feels suddenly warmer, her breath sparkling in her breast.

She passes back into brightness, holding her heart in her hands. It is dangerous, but she knows what she has to do.

She must take -

Taunt -

Tease -

Torture -

Tempt.

She has no practice, no art, no way to know what is right and wrong in her seduction; she needs none of that knowledge. Her very presence is enough.

She taunts with natural elegance and does not know it, teases with the whisper of her hair as she turns. It is all torture, every movement temptation, but the silence she receives in return is stifling and she wonders if she is the only one with a plan; if she is the only one who seeks to reach what she should not touch.

 

Part II: Sesshomaru-sama

~~~ - - ~~~

The whisper in my ears is all of night and darkness

Quietly, come to me, and be possessed by fire; come to me,

ride on the wind tonight.

~~~ - - ~~~

 

He is being teased, tormented, and he knows it. He knows it from the moment he walks up to her and recognizes her, a scent as pure and sweet as stars and honey and now, here, in this place, he knows that scent for what it is. Knows, and with that knowledge learns that she has always been heavenly – always beyond his reach.

Despite himself, he is curious as to what she wants. Once she was a mortal miko; now she is other, and yet he senses no greater distance between them.

He wonders if it is because she wants it so, and snarls in the darkness of his own chamber – a servant's room, a penitent's – if that is the reason, the only reason...

He wills himself not to allow it, but he knows in the screaming depths of his soul that he has no choice. He was a wild Inu, the greatest of his kind – but the kami will keep a tame pet, even if tame is a scar; a void; a welling abyss forever furious, forever in contemplation of surcease.

He wills himself not to allow it...but he feels a burn of heat when he watches her, the sway of her steps, the grace of her gestures; he is led, laughing, to the steam-shuttered bathhouse and the soft, vibrant beauty of her skin, the water beading on her breasts and buttocks, slipping damp and dewy across her belly and thighs.

He sees scars, the line of her human life and death, scars turned into a masterpiece of the calligrapher's art, fine silver lines and wide, broad strokes. He sees on her skin a story too painful and beautiful for the World; he sees light extinguished there, and his own pride, and wonders if it is her story written, or whose...and by whom?

When he dreams, he dreams of her body, pale and lithe. He dreams of her scars and in the dream he runs his mouth over them one by one. His tongue moves over her skin and leaves behind smooth flesh, an untouched canvas, frail and brilliant as the snow.

He paints her with the pouring moonlight, rich and blue, a gown of perfect color, an essence to make even her bones luminescent...

And then he wakes, and he is alone.

He may dream of her all he wishes, make perfect portraits in his mind...but she is Hime-sama now. Even if she is still Kagome...even if he is still Sesshomaru-sama...she is untouchable.

He knows her as a whirlwind of power and purity, a well of light, a well of sorrow. He has been brought with her out of that past, here, to this place, where he is bound to a diminishing and undignified servitude -

This place; the palace of the gods...where she is Hime-sama.

 

Part III – Heavenly Union

~~~ - - ~~~

We could pretend yesterday never happened, walk

tied in time, aimless in an endless dream -

But today; and tomorrow?

~~~ - - ~~~

Sesshomaru takes long, deep breaths but those are not helpful. The scent of her – he is sure that his own personal hell will be full of this scent. Or is this place already hell? His control is tenuous, and time is running out. Heaven or Hell, he remains a demon; he remains Sesshomaru-sama – and she, even if they called her Hime-sama, remains Kagome.

He repeats it a thousand times in broken thoughts, but patience is losing its battle against promise and desire. Perhaps another twelve hours...a day at best. That would be as long as he could wait, for both their sakes...

There is a knock at his door. He bounds across the room and opens it without thinking, stares down, eyes wide, at an impossible figure – Kagome, in her impressive kimono, hair ornaments askew, cheeks flushed, lips trembling.

“Hime-sama.”

The word, as cold as he can make it, comes out full of heat.

“Enough, Sesshomaru! Enough!

Kagome flows into his hands like water, like moonlight, like summer nights and simmering dreams and all the wild hopes and memories of life. Her mouth is warm, but her kiss tastes like snow.

He is so surprised that stopping her does not occur to him, though it should; instead he reaches his arms around her and brings her close. A kiss that could have been chaste, a moment's violation of ancient laws – it is instead a terrible, wonderful beginning. In both of them is the knowledge that this is something that could have happened long before – if her eyes had once turned in his direction; if he had not been too blind to see.

With the knowledge comes more – that a kiss is not and can never be enough.

His hands are hungry on her in that moment, dividing the layers of heavenly garments, submitting to the feverish movement of her own hands, seeking to disrobe him -

And oh, what pleasure in that; in wanting, and having that want equally returned!

They are sinning in heaven and neither one cares; they are sating desires better left unspoken, discovering pleasures for which there are no words, moving in a unity that is the most simple and complex of all the perfections a soul can attain.

They are becoming one – one desire, one pleasure, one heart.

Part IV: For All Time

~~~ - - ~~~

Misery; one word, and with it hours and days that flow

one after another like wounded years. Love is the meaning - and a night that burns

like a fleeting candle of joy.

~~~ - - ~~~

 

It is forbidden – all of it.

Unity.

Madness.

Desire.

It is forbidden, and they know it; knew it even as it began, as they ordained their union in secret with all the eagerness of new love, as they brought themselves together again and again, each time beginning a no that ended in yes.

They are desperate for love, for the companionship which they each have been denied – one for purity, the other for pride. There is nothing either wants more, now, than these moments when waiting recedes like the afternoon turning to twilight - when they can lay, making heaven true.

One day becomes two, becomes twenty....a thousand....half an eternity of moments spun into pure joy.

It is not life, and it is not the same, but it is enough. It is more than enough – and that, perhaps, is why it does not last.

The whispers begin, as they have always known they will – whispers from the corners, whispers from the dark. They speak of Kagome-hime, the tainted one; of Inu-Sesshomaru, who engineered that taint.

There is part of him that preens and growls, pleased with his prowess.

There is a part of her that curls and burns with shame, but still denies it.

The sentence that is laid down on him is one that drives Sesshomaru to rage and more than rage; a life, he is given, his youkai life on the green and growing earth.

Alone.

A life, but not with her; a life, but missing all that is meaning; a life, memory edged with regret; a life...pain. Always and only pain.

The sentence that is laid down on her is just as damning, just an undeniable. Eternity as a heavenly being; eternity in paradise.

Alone.

Eternity without him; eternity watching the centuries pass as slow as dripping amber; eternity wrapped in silence; eternity, empty...eternity, full of agony.

In their eyes as they look at each other is the knowledge, and the truth. For one moment, he pushes forward and defies heaven and earth to kiss her - for one moment, she smiles, brave even in the face of damnation with his strength to hold her up.

And then the veil of the World snaps open and shut, leaving not a breath of shining air behind.

Part V: For Love Burns

~~~ - - ~~~

As if I would forget; as if the gods or time could make me. As if you

would not bridge all that divides us in a moment – even at the price

of worlds and dreams.

~~~ - - ~~~

On Earth, he is confused, disoriented, lost in the sudden shock of senses and powers and strengths and unbridled bloodlust returning all at once in a single, furious rush.

In the rush, as perhaps they meant it, all memory, all consciousness, all thought is lost. For a moment, he is Inu only, and not Sesshomaru – but it is only a moment, because he is more than his own power can destroy – infinitely more. He is youkai, a demon, and his kind were meant as a plague against mankind – but he loves her.

He loves her - he knows it - he remembers. He howls a cry she can hear in heaven.

Around him, rain falls, and the scent of every drop is salt-sadness-sakura; he knows she is crying for him now, crying for them.

He waits, and trusts in her power; waits, and does not move far from this place where he crashed once more into breathing life; waits, and knows each day that something is coming. Others know this; it is not often that he is alone. Some, who know him, scent and aura unchanged from a previous life, come unbelieving to seek truth and then offer vassalage. Some, who do not care, come seeking battle: the promise of power that whispers and grows in the air.

It is his element, and those who challenge him are fools – but time has passed, and not many remember, and it is good, good that he has to build a new legend, a new echo of fear. It is the only thing he can use to distract him from the agony that is every day and night without her; it is the only thing that soothes, even for a moment, his wounded soul.

In heaven, she has no hope for forgetfulness and only the voices of the kami, murmuring, rumbling, telling her he will forget. That no being, no strength, can hold onto self when they are born into new life. That memory and feeling will vanish – that she is better off now, better off....see, now you are one of us.

But she watches, and she waits, and she sees the moment when he is lost and the moment when he returns to himself. She hears his howl and hears that he remembers; that he loves her; that he knows.

In heaven, she weeps, and clouds gather below her in the World; in heaven, she makes a promise, vows that nothing will keep her from making her will come true. She has fought before for a less perfect love than this; she will not sacrifice what she has gained, and she will fight again, if that is what it takes. The kami do not know who they have challenged; they do not know what life has built into her soul.

She stands before them now unbowed, and issues a challenge of her own:

“Who will stand between us now? I will find a way – a way to meet him, a way to see him, even if it is only one more time.”

There is a ring of steel in answer; from the air, she plucks power – a familiar, comfortable weapon – arrow, bow. She fights them, rides on love like a coiled dragon of power sleeping in her soul. He is waiting – she is the one who must reach him – she is the one who must bridge the worlds.

Part VI: Epilogue

~~~ - - ~~~

In the night of the seventh day of the seventh moon, a break

in the defiance of the gods, a pause, a deep, held breath. And the fluttering

of infinite wings laid across the stars.

~~~ - - ~~~

She comes, as he knew she would. She comes to the bloody field of his victory and holds out her hands for him, walking on feathered moonlight, crossing the Heavenly River laid across the velvet shadow of the night.

In terror of this goddess come to earth, all his challengers flee; she looks tired, but so beautiful, as beautiful as his memory – and he, too, has not changed at all.

“Kagome...”

“Sesshomaru-sama.”

And then her laughter, sweet and soft, needed as rain is needed by the parched earth and twice as generous. He crushes her close against his body, and breath the fragrance of her shining skin.

“How -”

“I fought them. I will fight them forever if I have to, Sesshomaru -”

For the rest of that night, they are returned to the days of their love and power; to the making anew of old memories, to the sounds and feelings of love - until the dawn creeps up over the edge of the sky, and she fades from him like the midnight mist.

“I will come; on this night, forever, I will always come -”

Her voice drifts towards him on wave of incense-odor, the lingering fragrance of the realm from which he is eternally barred.

He raises his eyes to the clearing yellow dawn.

“I will be waiting.”

~~~ - -~~~

Fin

~~~ - - ~~~

 

A/N: A Tanabata Tale; I considered saving this for the actual holiday, but I'm too impatient for that. In the original myth, the girl, Orihime, is a weaver for the goddesses in heaven. She falls in love with a mere cowherd, and chooses him to marry, but in their nuptial delight each of them falls behind in their work. Angry that the most beautiful robes are not available for them to wear, the goddesses part the lovers, allowing them to meet only one day each year until the end of time. The myth is meant to explain the meeting of two stars in the summer sky, Altair and Vega, who cross the Milky Way (the Heavenly River that divides the lovers in the story).

This fic was inspired by a GMDDN prompt from my first GMDDN, which can be read in its original form in my seiko udoku collection; also by a song about forbidden love, and of course the story above!  I've taken significantly liberties with this Inuyasha retelling of an ancient tale...so -

Please Review!

*Note: All poems in this piece are original works of me :D

 

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