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Speechless by Reira

Speechless

A little note: One-shot entry for dokuga_contest. I wrote this last year, but never posted it here. Weird. The prompt was 'Tongue' and it came first place.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the creators or producers of Inuyasha. No profit is made from this.

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Speechless

The world came as a blur when Sesshomaru regained consciousness. Aware that there was something breathing nearby, he sat up; fangs beared and a snarl escaped from the depths of his throat. A young woman scurried back, not making a sound as she stared at him with wide, blue eyes. The red faded from Sesshomaru's eyes and with it his senses returned back to normal. His head ached and he could not feel his legs. Sesshomaru frowned, what had happened to him? His attention turned back to the woman. She was still watching him, but not with fear. She had dark hair that wove down her back, fair skin and two beautiful blue eyes that even the ocean would be jealous of. The two strangers stared at each other for several minutes, and then the woman turned and scurried away, disappearing behind the dark metal fence in the distance.

She returned two hours later, with a bucket of water, a bag and chocolate cake. She kneeled beside the demon and reached out to him. Sesshomaru snarled again. She backed away, and then tried again. Sesshomaru slapped her hand away. The woman frowned, and then reached out to him again.

"I do not need your help," Sesshomaru hissed.

The woman gave him a look, and then she grabbed his wrist. Sesshomaru hissed, he had not been aware of the pain until she touched him. He tried to remember what it was that knocked him unconscious, but his memory was hazy. The woman applied a salve to Sesshomaru's wounds, which he noticed resembled burns. She then wrapped the severe burns and made sure he was comfortable. She handed him the chocolate cake.

"I do not eat what humans eat," was his short reply. The woman did not budge. Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes, but the woman was not backing down. Finally, she turned away from him. Sesshomaru smirked and closed his eyes. He just needed to rest for a few days and then he would be walking again. Something touched Sesshomaru's lip, causing him to jump. Sesshomaru opened his mouth to protest, only to find a piece of chocolate cake melting on his tongue. His eyes shot open and he glared, but the woman was smiling in triumph.

The woman returned to the place behind the fence, but she left the bucket of water for him. Sesshomaru assumed it was drinking water. He did not touch it.

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She came back the next morning with a fresh bucket of water, cooked fish and vegetables and new wrappings for his wounds. Sesshomaru reminded her that he did not need her help, but she ignored him. While she tended to him, she did not say a word. Sessomaru ignored her presence.

She left just like she did the day before, only this time; the food was also left untouched.

"What is your name?" Sesshomaru asked her the third day. The woman looked up from the arm she was wrapping and blinked. She then smiled weakly and turned her attention back to his arm. Sesshomaru sighed, "Never mind, you don't have to tell me."

When the woman left, Sesshomaru noticed she had left her haori behind. He reached out to touch it; it was still warm from her wearing it. He picked it up and pulled it closer, inhaling her sweet scent. She smelled like flowers and herbs. He noticed a tag on the inside. It had her name on it.

Kagome.

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"What's behind the fence?" Sesshomaru asked the fourth day. The woman had completed wrapping his wounds and was sitting beside him munching on a nashi pear. She glanced at him, but did not answer. Sesshomaru never liked noise or chatterboxes, but this woman's silence was starting to grate on his nerves.

"Kagome," Sesshomaru whispered. The woman turned to look at him. Sesshomaru shook his head. "You have a strange name."

Kagome smiled strongly for the first time.

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Kagome did not come the next day, but a young girl dressed in a checker kimono and a small ponytail did. She removed Sesshomaru's wrappings and made sure he did not need fresh ones. Luckily, due to his heritage, he healed quickly. Sesshomaru watched the young girl pack her things away into the bag Kagome had brought the previous time. Not even this girl, who was easily ten years younger than Kagome showed any fear towards him. It was as if she was completely oblivious to the fact that he was a youkai.

"Where's Kagome?" Sesshomaru asked the young girl.

"My sister is sick," was the reply, "she's in bed."

Sesshomaru frowned. "You're her sister?"

"Yes." Silence enveloped them, and then the girl spoke again, "She asked me to come take care of you. My name is Rin."

"Hn."

"We're not really sisters. My father married her mother."

"Hn."

"You're a youkai, aren't you?"

"Yes. Are you afraid?"

"No," was the short reply, and she meant it. There was no fear present on Rin's face.

"Why aren't you afraid?" Sesshomaru asked.

"Because if you were truly dangerous," Rin started, but then trailed off, almost as if she was debating completing her sentence, "then the barrier would have killed you."

Sesshomaru frowned. "Barrier?"

"Yes," Rin replied, "the one around the fence. You approached it a few days ago and got zapped. It's a youkai defence – and it usually kills. The fact that you are alive means the spirit of my ancestor senses you are no danger to our family."

Rin then stood up and swung the bag over her shoulder. She turned to return to the safety of the dark fence, but she looked over her shoulder at Sessomaru one last time.

"Forgive Kagome," Rin whispered, "she cannot speak."

"Why not?" Sesshomaru asked, having noticed the woman's silence a long time ago, but not knowing a reason for it.

"She's mute," Rin shrugged, "some says it's in her mind, while others say it's a youkai's curse. We don't really know."

And so once again, Sesshomaru was left alone.

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Two days after that Sesshomaru spent his time alone. He was recovering quickly and he knew that by the eighth day he would be able to walk. Finally he could leave, but somehow he could not bring himself to do so.

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Sesshomaru rose at dawn on the ninth morning. He sniffed the air, the aroma of flowers and herbs filling his senses, and then he found himself approaching the fence. He knew it was dangerous, Rin had told him about the ancient barrier that protected her family, but he had to see her. He had to say goodbye to Kagome.

She was in the garden. Sesshomaru's eyes widened. It was probably one of the largest gardens he had seen, filled to the brim with colourful flowers, herbs, fruit trees and vegetable patches. Kagome was on her knees, her kimono sleeves tucked away, and watering plants. In the slowly rising sun, she looked beautiful. For several minutes he just watched her in silence, and then he turned and left without a word.

Kagome looked up, thinking that she had seen something, but she was alone. With a sad smile, she returned to watering the plants. Somehow she knew Sesshomaru wasn't resting under the oak tree anymore.

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Sesshomaru returned to the garden. He couldn't help it; he had to see her again. He could feel the ancient magic of the barrier pushing against him as he got closer to the fence, but it wasn't painful. Kagome was watering plants again. Sesshomaru spent the day watching her.

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Rin was watering the plants a week later. Sesshomaru wondered if Kagome was sick again. Nevertheless, he remained hidden in the branches of a large tree he found and watched, waiting for Kagome to come outside. His eyes constantly shifted to the large house, but there was no movement.

Rin stood up after her work was done and turned to the tree Sesshomaru was perched in. "Do you always watch my sister from there?"

Sesshomaru was surprised the girl had noticed him. He jumped dwon from the branch he was perched on and looked the young girl in the eye. He did not say a word. Rin smiled.

"She's sick again," Rin stated, "mother won't allow her to come outside. She's been doing it a lot more lately; I think she somehow knows you're watching her."

Still, Sesshomaru said nothing.

Rin chuckled. "Or maybe she's hoping for your return."

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Kagome was sitting in the garden when Sesshomaru returned once again. She was reading a book while the sun baked down on her. However, she was not alone. There was a young boy with her, probably a few years younger, but he was definitely older than Rin. His scent was similar to Kagome's, so he concluded that they had to be siblings.

Sesshomaru did not have the nerve to make his presence known, even if he didn't want to admit he was scared.

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The next time he returned, Rin was waiting for him.

"She's really sick," Rin stated, "the doctor doesn't know what's wrong."

Silence enveloped them as an eerie breeze swept through the garden. Rin was nervously playing with her kimono sleeves. Sesshomaru did not know what to say, he was conflicted. She was sick, and the human doctor could not help her. Was this the end of Kagome's fleeting life? This is why Sesshomaru hated humans, they were weak and their lives were so short, he could not comprehend it.

"What if she dies?" Rin asked, tears now rolling down her cheeks, "I can't lose her!"

Sesshomaru did not know what to say.

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"Will you take her away from here?" Rin asked one day when Sesshomaru came to hear how Kagome was doing. The rain was pouring down like a torrent, reflecting the inner turmoil the two felt.

"Take her away?" Sesshomaru asked, surprised by the suggestion.

Rin nodded.

"And your family?" Sesshomaru asked.

"They'll understand," Rin smiled weakly. Sesshomaru could not tell if she was crying or not, the rain pouring down her cheeks was making it impossible to see. "She needs this. She needs to see the world, smile and try nice food. She's been locked up in here all her life. I think this barrier is what is making her sick."

Sesshomaru nodded. Take Kagome away? He had not thought of it himself, but the thought was pleasing. He would have her all to himself.

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The sun was finally peeking through the clouds when Sesshomaru woke up. He turned, only to realise he was alone. However, when he sniffed the air, he knew Kagome was nearby. Her sweet scent of flowers and herbs were floating all around him. Content, he closed his eyes again.

It's been two months since he's taken her away from her home. She wasn't any better. And she still could not speak a word.

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A year passed and Sesshomaru was starting to wonder if Kagome's death was coming closer. The clock was ticking, they were far away from the barrier, but the woman remained sick and mute. All hope was gone; Sesshomaru was on the verge of giving up. Kagome was slipping through his fingers.

That night, he curled up with her in bed and held her tightly. She was icy cold. While she slept peacefully, Sesshomaru watched her. She was so beautiful, how could something so beautiful be so fragile? Sesshomaru sighed and closed his eyes. When had he come to feel like this? All these powerful emotions that bloomed within him were foreign to him. Yet, he knew, deep down, that he was in love with her. Sesshomaru opened his eyes, leaned forward and planted a kiss on Kagome's cold lips. He knew that that was the first and the last kiss he would ever share with her, but he would never forget it.

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Sesshomaru woke up alone the next morning. In a panic, Sesshomaru stood up and followed Kagome's scent down to the kitchen. Was she alright? Was she still alive? Sesshomaru could feel his heart hammering dangerously in his chest as he stepped into the kitchen. The scent of eggs and bacon filled him, followed by shock. Kagome was cooking breakfast…

She noticed his presence and turned around with a large smile. She was dressed in a pink kimono, her dark hair was tied up into a messy bun and her blue eyes were sparkling. Her skin was radiant, filled with colour and life. Sesshomaru had never seen her so healthy before.

"Good morning," she greeted him. Sesshomaru had to make sure he heard correctly, for surely Kagome did not just speak.

Kagome chuckled at Sesshomaru's expression. "Cat got your tongue?"

"You…" Sesshomaru trailed off. For the first time in his life, the youkai was rendered speechless. Kagome laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck. She gazed at him lovingly, and then planted a small kiss on his lips.

"I've been meaning to say this for a long time," Kagome said, "hello, my name is Kagome. It is very nice to meet you."

Sesshomaru smirked, then leaned down and kissed her again. This kiss was different from the others; it was passionate and filled with longing. A strange euphoria fell over them. Everything was going to be alright now.

When Kagome pulled away for air, Sesshomaru frowned. "Why would a cat get my tongue? Dogs are far stronger than cats; therefore this Sesshomaru would have overpowered the pathetic feline."

Kagome's laughter was like music to Sesshomaru's ears.

 

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