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For Heirlooms and Honor by cakeiton

New York

I don’t own anything Inuyasha.

Reposting this story on Dokuga.

Swiftly, two black-clad figures slipped and dashed through poorly lit hallways of an impressively tall building. Reaching a service staircase, they descended floor after floor, never once slowing down. Fifteen levels from the bottom a crash was heard from above as a door was flung open. Without thought, the taller, silver-haired man of the two pulled out his gun and shot out the lights exposing them. The woman faltered at the sudden darkness, but was quickly grabbed by the man as he jumped over the railing and fell into the shadowy abyss below. She gripped tightly to him, but not out of fear. As the wind whipped at her face and the black swallowed them she looked to his eyes that shined no matter how bleak the surroundings, and trusted him completely. Against all his judgements, he trusted her, too. They landed impossibly quiet on the ground and ran towards their predetermined exit out to the streets of New York.

The night gave them enough cover to travel the numerous blocks towards the rendezvous point and the end of their fifth and final mission. Now, all they had to do was get home. The two burglars slowed, rounding the last corner, and casually walked through a door while ignoring the “Closed for Maintenance” sign posted. She walked past him and stood in the unlit room, allowing herself a smile as she touched the necklace that glowed around her neck. The man flipped the light switch on and watched as the woman slowly turned towards him, grasping the pink, round jewel in reverance, and said, “Thank you, Moon.”

He nodded wordlessly and joined her in the public bathroom they had prepared earlier that day. Her smile remained, but her eyes looked sad, even when he approached dangerously close. He wouldn’t ask; he never asked her personal questions. Instead, the man tenderly tucked loose strands of her soft, dark hair behind her ear, sending warm tingles over her body.

“Come, Ocean. Let’s prepare.” They shared another look before each taking a stall and rummaging through bags waiting for them. As they both started stripping down, Moon reminisced about the events of the last three years, when he first encountered the woman code-named “Ocean”…

.

His anticipation was almost radiating off his skin. A cloudy Tokyo night was perfect for the mission; his first mission. The moon was blocked so not even a shadow casted were he stood and his inevitable success had never seemed so possible until this moment when he was about to enter the building. The line was secured and he slowly lowered himself horizontally over the edge of the building preparing to rapel down, but stopped when a small flash got his attention. Using his exceptional vision, the thief spotted someone on the ledge of the floor that was to be his destination. This could not be possible; another burglar was here. Growling low in his throat, the man quickly and silently rapelled down, swinging into the window the other thief had just opened and crashed into the offender, effectively pinning them down to the ground.

His hand was around the small jaw, covering their mouth and keeping her head from moving. Her head…

It was a woman.

And he was on top of her, straddling hips to the ground with his own and pressing against parts of he hadn’t touched on anyone in a long time. She angrily narrowed her shining, blue eyes and he returned the gesture, but she did not struggle. He brought a long, elegant finger to his lips, telling her to be quiet, and said, “What are you doing here?”

He loosened his hold to allow her to speak. At first, she didn’t, she just stared into his eyes and for a moment he found he couldn’t look away. The instant his control slipped and his body relaxed she moved. The woman brought her knee up and crushed into his stomach, narrowing missing her intended target. He curled up in defense and she took advantage, pushing him off balance and rolling away. She was on her feet in an instant and answered, “Apparently, I’m beating you to the staff” before running through the door and disappearing down the hall.

In a flash he was up and pursuing the overly confident woman, but she was nowhere to be seen. It was fine- he knew where she was heading. Following, he entered the once protected room, gracefully jumping over unconscious guards and slipping under a laser alarm trap he already knew to be there. By the time he got there, both the staff and the woman were gone. A clicking sound brought his attention to the ceiling and he watched her lithe form enter the vents effortlessly.

“Hn.” He had studied the building's plans. He knew where she was heading- it was the same way he planned to escape. Frustrated, he noted the cameras were disabled before turning to run through the halls again, this time using his youkai speed. It felt good to be hunting and exhilarating to have his blood rush through his body again. It had been so long since he’s had a good chase.

Too bad it would be a short one.

He jumped out the window he had come in from without slowing. Instead of falling he started floating to the top. The girl, if she was as good as she appeared to be, would be coming up from the vents to the roof any moment. He couldn’t wait to greet her.

The woman pushed a grill off the top of the small, metal passage and climbed out with ease. Landing softly on the harsh surface of the rooftop she started to run when the sound of hands clapping broke her concentration.

The man stood against the background of Tokyo’s concrete and metal landscape, applauding the woman in front of him. “Impressive. Thank you for doing all the work.”

“How…”

Within the blink of her eyes his smooth, markless face was inches from hers, but did not attack. “Relinquish my staff.”

She took two steps back. “You’re youkai!”

“Silence, woman.” He stalked towards her again. “And do not make me repeat myself.”

The woman wasn’t still for long. Quickly she turned and jumped over the side of the building.

He was shocked for a second, but promptly followed. The woman was falling fast and her scent invaded him in the pursuit. He was curious to why she wasn’t afraid, and the silent question was answered when he heard deliberate ripping and watched as a small parachute was unleasehed. He fell passed her as she gave him a sarcastic salute.

This woman was infuriating. The man slowed, watching as she landed on top of yet another roof and he changed direction to end this silly chase once and for all.

Preparing to run once again, he was surprised to see her just standing there casually leaning against the staff she’d just stolen.

“Couldn’t very well talk at the scene of the crime, could we?”

“There is nothing to discuss.”

She chuckled smugly and looked out to the expanse of the huge city, once again insulting him by no longer acknowledging him as a threat.

“Woman…”

“I don’t want the staff.”

He quieted and she brought her gaze back to his.

“That’s one hell of a concealment implant you have, though I should have guessed by your silver hair. I thought it was fake.”

He lowered his brow. “Is this what you wished to discuss? Hair color?”

Shaking her head and rolling her eyes, the woman sighed. “I didn’t come for this” she held up the intricate staff with the man and woman faces on top. “I came for you.”

He, once again, remained silent.

“Got something personal against this Naraku guy?”

He scoffed before answering. “You can say that.”

“Yeah, same here.” Chuckling once again, she relaxed. “I want in.”

“I work alone.”

“You seem the type. However, I don’t want what you’re after; I want your help with a job.”

“What benefit would I receive helping you?”

She slowly started approaching him. Her hair shined with the now exposed moon, the black reflecting indigo in the light. It suited her brilliant blue eyes well. She was tiny, compared to him, but very well proportioned and moved with grace that only one with training could. When she was only a few meters away from him she finally answered. “I can get you in to his other buildings.”

“I have not had a problem yet,” he arrogantly countered.

“Other than me.”

She was infuriatingly confident. “Hn.”

“Tokyo is nothing… But if you plan on hitting Naraku’s other strongholds; Beijing, Amsterdam, Wales… those are difficult places. Four man jobs at minimum, but with me it can just be us.”

Repressing a growl he stared into her with the falsely colored brown eyes and sniffed the air. Either she wasn’t lying, or she was very, very good.

“I’ll help you with those, and you help me gather something in New York.”

“What?” His curiosity peeked against his will.

She told him, and he was genuinely shocked. It was the ultimate job, the greatest strike against Naraku, even though it wasn’t part of his mission.

If what she said was true, then being in a partnership might be beneficial. His honor would not let him abandon her, but one sign of her going against their bargain and he would have no qualms with taking her life. To answer her proposal, he bargained “New York last.”

With her nod, a deal was formed. “Last.”

“What do I call you?”

“Ocean.”

It was obviously fake, but code-names were probably best.

“Moon.”

.

Of course, he did not trust her at first. In fact, he hadn’t trusted a human in four hundred years- not since the event that nearly obliterated the youkai race and caused his once great, noble family into hiding.

As a child, they had changed their names and were forced into living in fear with the rest of his kind while their estates and possessions were overrun by filthy, dishonorable humans. Ningen history books called it The Shikon Cleansing; where the races became divided and the attempted genocide of his kind took place. He called it the humans’ biggest mistake. A powerful warlord Naraku led the charge, but the secret that he himself was youkai had been kept since his legacy was built. Because of him, his mother had died after dropping into a deep depression, having no will to heal herself. Falling to the elements, she passed from exposure one early winter night. Shortly after, he denounced his father for bedding a human. His sire tried telling him that all humans are not to blame, that before The Shikon Cleansing there was peace and beauty between the races, but he would hear none of it. It was because of humans that no one even has used his real name in centuries. Some days, he even forgot what it sounded like.

It hurt how much he missed his own name.

The day his half brother was born he vowed to reclaim the items stolen by Naraku and make him suffer for eternity.

Many years passed and youkai lived amongst humans once again, but it was changed. There were centuries of prejudice and many found it easier to continuing hiding. Concealment implants became very popular and though he hated the idea, they were best if he was to succeed in defeating Naraku. His natural markings and eyes were too noticeable and distinguishable. He had to remain unknown before exposing himself completely the moment he took that bastard’s head.

Now, a lifetime of planning was coming to fruition, but already he had run into an obstacle. Moon kept a very close eye on Ocean as they planned for the second job. It was curious. She could be so graceful, controlled, and arrogant while training, but clumsy, perky and modest when not. Her change in personas caused him to be very suspicious.

.

The second job proved more difficult. After obtaining the item they found themselves closely followed by Naraku’s henchman through a towering building in Beijing. Ocean had turned and fired a shot against Moon’s orders, burying the round deep into the knee of the man that almost had a grasp on her hair.

She could hear Moon scoff and knew it would make him angry. However, they still ran together and quickly slipped away into the crowded Beijing streets.

Later in safety, he scolded her. “You should get less identifiable bullets if you intend on leaving so many behind.”

Expecting her ire, he was surprised to see a smile instead. “But I don’t trust my life in anything but the best.” Grabbing her hair comb, she pulled and let the soft, ebony waves of hair fall and caress the creamy expanse of her neck while giving him a pointed look. “That includes you too, Moon.”

.

The months between jobs eased his tension. Everything she did in life had passion behind it and he discovered it was impossible not to be entrapped by it. By their third job together, he found he could trust her.

.

What jobs have you done?”

It was an innocent question, but Ocean has never asked him about his life prior to their partnership. How had he grown so comfortable around someone who didn’t even know him? In fact, he knew nothing of her either. He realized he was at ease whenever she spoke and wondered when he stopped ignoring she was a human and began becoming endeared to the fact.

“You thwarted my first.”

“Really!? Well, guess I can’t be too surprised, not like I’m all…” She stopped there, without reason or explanation. Moon never questioned her before and though an instinct nagged at him to ask, he remained silent.

“Sorry” she said brightly after a minute. “Lost my train of thought. So, that is a pretty good concealment implant. Can you control it?”

He considered how he should answer. They both had secrets and there were some that had to remain as such.. But this…a part of this… was okay.

“Yes.”

With a smile he came to depend on, she requested, “Can I see you?”

“No.” That was a secret he would never reveal.

Ocean playfully rolled her eyes… those eyes he got lost in the first time he saw her. “You’re never any fun.”

“Hn.”

That night, he held her close as they swiftly flew up the dark side of Naraku’s mansion in Wales. He could feel her heartbeat and her hair was like silk against his cheek. Reaching their destination at a blind spot from the security cameras, he set her down and started moving, surprised to feel her hand run through his own hair, reluctantly losing the contact.

.

By the fourth job, he regretted not listening to his father.

.

They ran. Her chest was burning, but she never stopped. Maybe it was because of the recent thefts, or maybe they just had rotten luck tonight, but the job did not go smoothly. Slipping in was easy. Passing guards and defense systems proved simple. However, when they reached the items location, everything went to shit.

Alarms sounded and suddenly male voices screamed throughout the house, giving orders and charging towards them, only seconds away. Ocean and Moon stood back to back, her handguns aimed at the door while he easily broke through the thick glass case and grabbed the katana. After tying it to his belt, he looked to Ocean and nodded. As practiced she tucked her arms in and let him grab her, the gun barrels pointed out to the side, then with a strong push off the ground they were crashing through the nearest window and falling to the ground.

Right below them was an unexpected group of dozens of armed men.

Ocean strategically regained her right arm, gripped her weapon tight, and fired round after round at the ground, scarring those directly in their way into running off.

Once they hit the ground, they moved. Moon could feel the waves of men after them and sense Ocean’s fear. His breath hitched; she was never afraid.

They took a preplanned route, but were still followed by many. Shots were fired, echoing their explosion against the city of Amsterdam as the two as they moved. Moon led and Ocean toppled over bikes, café tables, anything the streets provided to create obstacles for their pursuers. Their last dark alley turn was close and they had lost all but fifteen or so men. They could do it, they could make it.

She had to make it.

Then, the reverb of a shot fired stung his ears, but it was Ocean’s scream that rang in them.

He turned as she collapsed; her hands already soaked red as she grasped her calf. Time slowed as Moon watched the henchmens’ weapons take aim as she tried to stand.

He could run. He had all the items needed, the most treasured at his hip. They were to leave each other soon anyways, no strings attached.

Then she looked up at him, fear and trust dancing in the eyes he now knew he could not abandon.

The running men stammered and stopped dead at the sound of his growl. It was ferocious, dangerous, and targeted at them. In a blink, Moon was standing over Ocean, his hair waving behind him and his claws exposed from the concealment implant.

One man called out, “Just shoot them!”

Unsheathing the sword that once traveled with him on countless journeys across Japan, nostalgia led his attack as they blade smoothly went through the vocal man’s neck. There was little resistance against the skin, more when it hit the spine, and the satisfying thump once the body hit the floor glazed his eyes red. Moon brought his gaze back to the others that dared harm Ocean.

“She is MINE!”

Falling into an old routine his blade swung again, this time expelling youki directly into the chests of their pursuers. Moon took only a moment to enjoy the sound of their hearts exploding in their chests before picking up Ocean tenderly and flying to their hiding house. He did not care who saw him as she huddled into his arms and focused on not passing out.

It took longer than he cared for to stop the bleeding and properly dress her wound. Moon tried washing his hands, but the smell of her blood would not rinse away. He had let her get hurt. He almost lost her.

He almost gave her up.

She hobbled into the kitchen of their tenth floor safe house and watch light from the late night parties outside silhouette his frame while he leaned over the sink.

“Hey.”

He turned and was awed by how the same outside glow played of her hair and illuminated her sweet, soft smile.

Ocean did not catch the emotion in his eyes. “I just wanted to say, thank y—“

Before she could finish, Moon’s lips desperately caught hers and his hands entwined in her hair. Ocean’s response was immediate, even as surprised as she was. Their mouths and tongues danced as hands roamed desperately, hungry for this contact.

She was as soft and strong and giving as he knew she would be.

Then she gently pushed him back. “Wait.”

Reluctantly, he moved back just enough to look at her face, but his arms stayed around her, refusing to let go.

She wouldn’t look in his eyes. “We can’t do this.”

His left arm unhooked from her waist and he lightly touched her chin, raising her face to his. Ocean kept her eyes closed, but he could smell her unshed tears.

“Look at me.”

Her breaths were shaky when she finally did what he asked and was mesmerized. Moon kept the concealment implant down enough so she could see his natural eyes. They were no longer brown, but a rich, impossible gold that burned for her.

Neither said another word as he caught her lips again. They didn’t break contact for the rest of the night.

.

Now, this was it; their last job and her personal mission. The reason she sought him out in the first place. She was almost in tears when he broke through the barrier safeguarding the necklace. He could scent the end of her internal anguish. After years of training, studying, and planning, he now had his family’s legacy intact once more. She now had what she required. Yet, he felt uneasy. He was losing something else he now treasured. After tonight, he would lose Ocean.

She sighed from the stall next to his, then her apprehension and a strong wave of guilt hit his nose. After each job, she never showed remorse… what was different now?

Suddenly, his instincts flared within him and there was something he just had to know.

“Ocean…” He listened to the ruffling of her jacket as her arms slid in it and the sound of her handguns that she was never without. When he heard her exit her stall, Moon asked the only question about her he ever had. The statement she left unfinished a year and a half ago was burned into his memory and now, on their last night, he had to know. “What was your job before this?”

Fully dressed and packed, Moon unlocked the stall and swung the door out. Ocean was standing in front of him wearing a blue, wavy sundress and a black pack on her back. However, he saw the tears down her cheeks before noticing her gun in his face and became too shocked to move.

“You,” her trapping blue eyes begged for forgiveness. “Sesshoumaru.”

Then she mercilessly pulled the trigger.

…..

His first conscious awareness was a rhythmic beeping sound. Though he just realized its presence, a nagging feeling told him he had been listening to it for a very long time. The next thing was the searing pain on the left side of his head. Trying to feel what could be causing the annoying throbbing he noticed how weak he felt… he could barely lift his arm.

“Oh shit. Oi, Doc! Get in here, he’s awake!”

Then he realized that his half-brother, Inuyasha, was sitting by his side.

He looked to the tired looking man with jet black hair and brown eyes. The hanyou’s concealment implant was top quality, just like his own, but his scent was too distinguishable.

He smelled like their father.

“Wha—“

“Shh… don’t try talking. You’ve been out of it for a long time.”

The older brother blinked languidly, trying to understand what Inuyasha said to him.

“I… command. You… obey.”

Inuyasha smirked. “Good, you’re still a prick.”

Weak or not, he found the strength to stare daggers at his younger sibling.

A doctor came in a minute later and quickly explained his medical condition. After being mugged and shot on the left side of his head he had slipped into a coma for four months. The mugger had taken his belongings and passport, but luckily through his concealment implant they were able to find who it was registered to and notify his next of kin.

“I do not remember a thing…” The demon turned back to his sibling. “You have been here four months?”

Inuyasha shrugged. “Yeah, well, when you got nothing there’s nothing to worry about.”

“You are very fortunate, Mr. Takahashi,” the doctor interrupted. “An inch to the right and I’m afraid you would have been in a lot more trouble.”

He didn’t respond, but being called by his fake name angered him. The doctor kindly said his goodbyes with a promise to check in on them later, leaving the two alone again.

Ensuring no one was around, Inuyasha leaned close to ask a question, but the patient beat him to it.

“He spoke English. Are we not in Tokyo?”

Inuyasha’s response was stalled by his shock. “No. Damn, Sesshoumaru, why are you in New York?”

It all came flooding back to him.

New York… His quests, her mission. Her. Ocean… "You, Sesshoumaru." Then a flash of blinding pain.

Suddenly, he found strength as the past three years that ended with her betrayal flashed in his mind. Faster than Inuyasha was ready for, Sesshoumaru grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him to his face. “I found them… I found them all!”

He didn't need to clarify what; Sesshoumaru had been obsessed over the family's heirlooms for years. "What? Really? Where?"

“That BITCH took them!”

“Who?”

He didn't know. He didn't know her at all. "Ocean…" Darkness flooded his vision and Sesshoumaru felt the energy drain from his body as he passed out.

.

“I really like your hair.”

“So you keep saying.”

Ocean smiled at him. Her body pressed against his, completely bare except for the bandages around her calf. Over and over she stroked the same gathered strands of silky silver hair as he rubbed soothing circles on the small of her back with a clawed thumb.

“I wish I had hair this pretty.”

His hand moved and ran through her black locks. It was as dark as new moon night, so dark it flashed indigo when the light was right… like the first night he met her. He had ached to touch it then, and now he was.

“I would not change a thing about you.”

The fingers that played with his hair lightly moved up his chest, teased his neck, then cupped his cheek. With little effort she guided his face to hers and rewarded him with another breath-stealing kiss.

.

Three years together of planning, bonding, stealing, trusting, loving… all for nothing. He had become a fool just like his father. Sesshoumaru believed her to be different, to be genuine, and in the end she had done what all humans did; dishonor and betray him.

The months of physical therapy were hell. He had to relearn to walk as if a pup, accept assistance in using the facilities like an invalid, and even sleeping proved to be a challenge. But, all of it didn’t compare to the constant pain in his head. The wound had healed, thankfully not affecting his brain functions, but his skull felt tight and his skin burned. It was an ongoing migraine that refused to let up that served as a constant, painful reminder of the consequences of trusting humans.

He was going to kill Ocean… wherever she was.

…..

Three months passed since he awakened. Through pain, sweat, and perseverance he was able to move on his own. It felt good to have power over his body again, but he was anxious to be released- to train and hunt down the woman he had foolishly believed in. As Sesshoumaru signed release papers, a steady knock came from the door.

“Mr. Takahashi? Saka Takahashi?”

Sesshoumaru, internally wincing again at the use of the false name, looked up to the official looking man in his doorway.

The violet eyed man gave a warm smile, but Sesshoumaru could already detect the intelligence and manipulation this man was capable of.

“I’m Agent Miroku Houshi. I was wondering if I can ask you a few questions about your attack.”

This was odd. “You speak Japanese?”

The agent took a seat next to Sesshoumaru, the same one Inuyasha had used for months, and replied, “Hai, that’s actually where my department is.”

“Why would a Japanese agent be inquiring about an American crime?”

“I believe this to be far bigger than just New York, Takahashi.”

Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes. Just what did this man know?

“So,” Miroku continued, pulling out a small notebook and pen. “You are youkai?”

Again, he did not respond. Miroku looked up from his notes questionably, only realizing the mistake at seeing Sesshoumaru's anger. "Oh, don't worry. I have no prejudice. I was only curious about who could take down a youkai. Do you remember anything about your attacker?"

“I don’t know who.” To Sesshoumaru, that wasn’t a lie. “I was assaulted.”

Miroku smiled. “Yes, but didn’t you get a good look at them?”

Sesshoumaru wondered if he should answer. “This was over seven months ago. Surely, you cannot hope to find some low level criminal after this long.”

“Actually, as I’ve said, I was hoping for a lead in a bigger crime.” His voice was respectable at the same time it was leading. “You were accosted near a crime scene in which a very ancient artifact was stolen just moments before your incident. The bullet extracted from your skull is not your typical round. Another has been found on an earlier crime scene where an artifact connected to this one was stolen.”

Sesshoumaru fought against narrowing his eyes. He had warned Ocean to get less identifiable bullets. Remaining silent, he waited for the detective to continue revealing all he knew.

“There have been five crimes, all connected and all against the same owner, Onigumo Naraku, and I think they were all done by the same woman.”

“Woman?” Obviously, he was not surprised by the fact that it was a woman who assaulted him, but by the fact that the detective knew.

“Yes. A security camera caught a brief flash of a dark haired woman on the roof of the third crime scene.”  The agent paused, assessing Sesshoumaru. “My, you seem awfully curious about this.”

His gaze darkened. “Just interested about the nature of my attack.”

“Uh huh.” Miroku’s eyes never left Sesshoumaru’s, even when he paused again. “Well, there were five artifacts stolen over the course of three years. An old, intricate walking stick,” he pulled out a picture of the Staff of Two Heads from a thin, leather bound notecase. “An odd black stone, said in legend to open the doorway to hell.” Out came a picture of his mother’s Meidou Stone. “And two swords, both well made but almost impossible to wield.”

“Impossible?”

“Yes, one doesn’t cut, and the other… well… no one can touch it.” A picture of Tensaiga and Bakusaiga reflected the artificial light of the fluorescent lights above.

“Then how was it stolen?”

Miroku leaned forward, giving a sly smile. “Yes, I wonder that too.”

They stared at each other again and in that moment Sesshoumaru knew this human was lying to him, too. The agent was aware Sesshoumaru was involved somehow.

“Well, I’m off!” Miroku said suddenly, gathering his pictures and note book without looking towards Sesshoumaru again. “Thank you for your time.”

“Sorry I could not be more help.” He waved a hand dismissively and went back to the release papers.

“Oh, and Takahashi-san…” The agent called out from the door, a playful tone in his voice. “Aren’t you curious about the last item?”

Something unspoken went between them that revealed both men knew more than they were saying. Miroku was suspicious of Sesshoumaru and now the youkai was extremely suspicious of the agent. “Alright,” he placated. “What was the last thing stolen?”

"The cursed jewel from the Shikon Cleansing; The Shikon no Tama… I'm sure you've heard of that."

Sesshoumaru glared dangerously at Miroku's back as the door closed behind the detective's fading farewell, "Have a safe flight back to Japan."

 

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