A merry tune hummed from lips curved in a small smile, while busy hands plucked essential herbs from a well-kept garden to be ground into paste or powder later to stalk up on a quickly dwindling supply of medicine. Kaede’s hands had become far too gnarled to attend her garden, so Kagome offered a welcoming hand, or two, whenever she and her other friends were in town. She was not the only one of her companions to assist the elderly woman with her chores.
Inuyasha had, thankfully, been convinced that they all could do with a short respite from shard hunting, and they all had started back towards Kaede’s village in unspoken agreement.
Upon arrival, they had all started helping around the village, doing normal every day work to get their minds off their fruitless hunt and instead do something more productive with their time. A village woman had come to them asking if one of the men could help her patch up her roof as it had been leaking when it rained. In return, she would wash their dirty garments for them with the help of her two growing daughters. Luckily, the girls were still too young for Miroku’s lecherous ways, but he kindly agreed to help if the woman herself would kindly bear him a child, to which Sango knocked him over the head and he agreed to be more than happy to help.
Sango had not gone with the monk. Instead, she went off to help a widowed man by cooking for his small children, with Shippo’s help, while Inuyasha agreed to help a couple farmers in the fields; though, Kagome knew Inuyasha had no idea how to do this, her hanyou friend was willing to learn. He was a softy at heart, no matter how he blustered and yelled, Kagome thought with another small smile.
That left her helping Kaede. Kagome was glad that Inuyasha was out in the fields as it hid her from his sight because she knew if he saw her garbed as a miko as she was now, he would become silent and pensive, unable to look at her. Kagome couldn’t help what she wore as her own clothes were being washed and dried by the woman Miroku was helping. Still, she sighed sadly, Kikyo was forever on Inuyasha’s mind, no matter how much she wished otherwise.
Picking another herb, Kagome turned her thoughts toward the task at hand and felt a sense of accomplishment as she gazed at the basket full of plants. She had learned so much from Kaede, making her feel more useful and independent in this strange era. She was more accomplished in her healing skills and becoming more adapted with controlling her reiki. Her good mood once more restored, she stood to take back her findings for the older priestess’ inspection when a fiery snarl reached her ears and loud noises signifying a battle, followed by a cry of pain almost too faint for her human ears.
Dropping her basket, unheeding the danger she could be running into, Kagome tightened her fingers around the hard wood of her bow and, grabbing an arrow from her quiver as she went into the forest that surrounded the village, tried to locate the sound of battle. Minutes went by before she stumbled to a stop as her eyes took in the scene before her bewildered gaze. She watched as a man, a demon by his aura, was beheaded by none other than the Western Lord.
He was beautiful, dressed in his customary flowing, white and red flower patterned haori. Upon his muscular chest, he wore his spiked armor, with a fluffy mokomoko resting upon his right shoulder. She looked upon the cold, unmoving face that seemed sculptured out of marble with perfect features and alabaster coloring, high cheek bones, striking demonic markings, and piercing amber eyes that flickered to her for just a moment before dismissing her completely.
She watched him sheathe his sword and turn away from her, but he stumbled in his movements, barely, but noticeable to her watchful gaze. That was when she noticed the blood soaking his left thigh when he sat, reclining against the trunk of a tree not far from his fallen foe and closed his eyes, ignoring her presence and the dead as if neither was there.
Though not liking his disregard towards her person, Kagome was hardly offended as she was used to his offhand treatment towards everyone, it seemed, except for the human child who traveled with him, but Kagome did not see Rin now. Her eyes once more took in his blood soaked hakama before she returned her arrow to her quiver and took a few steps in his direction in an effort to gain his attention.
“You are injured, Sesshomaru-sama,” she said to him softly, adding his title to hopefully make him more receptive towards her.
It seemed to have worked, she supposed, as he deigned to answer her even if he continued to refuse to look at her. “Nothing more than a scratch, miko.”
Feeling more courageous after his willingness to converse with her, she asked, “What brings you here? Who was that?” Kagome looked over to the corpse of the demon he had previously slain. “Did he deserve to die?” she asked him on a whisper.
She was surprised to see his amber eyes open and nail her with an emotionless yet fierce look, unnerving her. “Do not question my actions, girl.”
Kagome noticed how he switched from using her honorable title to demeaning her value, causing her to go tight lipped. No longer afraid, as annoyance coursed through her, she moved closer to him and knelt on the lush, green grass a respectable distance away, trying to remain polite even though he seemed disinclined to do so.
“Your presence is unwanted,” he told her, removing his intense stare from her to the surrounding forest, ignoring her once more.
Undaunted, Kagome did not leave as he wished. “May I take a look at your wound?”
“That is unnecessary.”
“Still, you’re hurt. I would help if you’d let me,” she replied doggedly. She didn’t know why she insisted upon helping him, as he continued his rude behavior, but walking away from a bleeding man, though he was much more than that, went against her conscious. Even he deserved someone looking after him. Or so she thought, until he once again opened his mouth.
“This Sesshomaru is not so weak to need a human’s help.”
“You sure do bleed like a human,” she told him, miffed at his attitude.
He turned to glare at her, death in his frigid gaze if she did not tread more carefully.
Looking at him steadily, she asked softly, “Why do you hate humans so much? I am only trying to help you, Sesshomaru-sama.”
He sneered at her words. “You are a hypocrite, human.”
Kagome flinched under the contempt veiled under his harsh words, feeling hurt by the callous and unjust name calling. Exploding in fury, she demanded, “What have I done to warrant such accusations?!”
“I have heard of you, girl,” he intoned to her, surprising her. “You are spoken of with kindness and reverie.” Kagome was flattered that her kind actions towards others were not forgotten as she had previously assumed, and she smiled, remembering. Then her mood darkened with his next words. “All humans are self-serving creatures, and you are no different, miko,” he mocked her title, making her grit her teeth in renewed anger and hurt feelings. “Your words of aid and kind gestures are nothing more than a way to gain attention.”
Kagome was so surprised and shocked by his evaluation of her that the best she could do was choke out her next question. “Is that really what you think of me?” She couldn’t understand how he could so misjudge her actions. She had never tried to get into another’s good graces by offering help and kindness, yet it seemed, somehow, Sesshomaru thought as much. It hurt. His judgment of her caused tears to prick her eyes and her throat to go dry, but why his opinion should mean so much, to cause such distress in her, she had no idea, but she refused to cry in front of the bastard!
“You’re wrong,” she tried to tell him, defending herself. She tried to tell herself to shut up and leave him to his hurtful words and bleeding leg; however, she could not. “I would never do that! I just don’t like seeing someone hurting or sad. I would help if I am able!”
“Touching,” he mocked her further, softly, before he stood gracefully, seeming unhampered by his wounds. “I tire of your prattle.” He walked away from her, while she choked on her rising anger at the injustice of his accusations and the tears that clogged her throat.
Poor miunderstood Kagome, but that is the way society is, seeing only what they want instead of making the effort to understand. Can she open the demon lord's eyes to the truth? Or will he crush her with his harsh words?
Edited by: Tiny paws