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I Fell for Myself by Stella Mira

Truly a Pity...

Kagome stared at the older woman, at the reflection of what she would become. Madoka's eyes had eclipsed with deep-buried ache, with shadows of things unspoken. If she allowed obsession to grow and suppurate, seeds of old-suffered wounds, long-dried, watered for forlornness' sake, would these be her eyes then? A sigh made its way out of her lips, slightly bitter, notes of melancholia composed into a sound.

"This might sound rude and unkind, but I don't know you well enough to talk of these matters with you. Even if I did, I still wouldn't. With that said, I am sorry for your loss."

Madoka chuckled, chimes of mellifluence and perception. "Yes, I gathered. You have not shared this with anyone, no?"

A shrug, not as elegant a motion as Madoka's, yet still comely. "What does it matter? Did you talk with someone when it happened?" Hints of curiosity layered the latter question, delicately uttered, despite the thick veneer of indifference, as if Kagome was afraid to know the answer. Madoka's smile was a mirror of the past, too red, laden with self-condemnation. It appeared that even beings made of ice had things to regret.

"No, I did not – and I lost my mate for my foolishness."

"I have no mate to speak of." Admission tasted like a pome of astringency, poisonous fruit but easy to swallow.

Inukimi hummed, introspection in the gilded luster of her irises. "You do have a pack though."

Kagome's nails sank into the fleshly part of her palms; blood drained from her lips to spill inside her fists. "They don't need to know. What good will it do to tell them?"

It was Madoka's turn to stare at the young woman now, at the reflection of what she used to be – her turn to sigh that same sigh. "What of your change then? Will you hide that as well? For how long? They will know…eventually."

It wasn't foolishness that laved Kagome's features then, that moved her lips, but stubbornness – the kind that only came with youth. "I will cross that bridge when I come to it."

Laughter snaked around gracile wood, lathered on rouge petals. Madoka's gaze held perspicacity, traces of experience – the kind that only came with age. "It will come sooner than you might think."

Kagome appraised Sesshōmaru's mother, delved into her black-slit eyes, eyes that spoke more than her lips ever would. The miko's posture stiffened, became guarded. Sharing the same pain did not make them beings of the same ilk, she reminded herself – merely women.

"Why do you care? If you're worried that I might trick your son into mating me out of some sense of misguided honor then you need have no fear."

"Oh I can tell you would not." Canny – eyes, laughter, words. "Perhaps it would be easier for both of you if you did."

Kagome's mouth curled, downcast, soured. If there was one thing she detested, it was half-words and canniness – and Madoka throve in all of them. "If you have something to say then why not just come out and say it?"

Madoka's laughter was untainted, hums of the fairest music, an utter contrast to her guiles. "You do resemble my son in the strangest of ways. Truly a pity…"

Kagome could not help the question that tangled in her tongue, poured out of her mouth before she could halt it.

"A pity?"

"The life you lost."

A sough of pity, a sashay of hips, and Madoka was gone.

~~~~~

The sky was dark but star-plaited, bedecked with azurites and amethysts, when Sesshōmaru returned to his mother's sky fortress. He followed the scents of vanilla and moonflowers, made for his mother's pavilion, in the farthermost corner of her dwelling, his strides slow and leaden. There was no need to announce his presence or dally with pleasantries, not that he was ever one to do as such.

"Did you speak with her?"

The smile that curved his mother's lips foretold prevarication, amusement for her, vexation for him. Her next words validated his initial assumption, told him nothing and everything.

"Yes, I did."

A growl spilled into the sumptuous garden, merged with the hush of the wind, gave an edge to the serenity of this place.

"I am in no mood for your games, mother."

Madoka remained undeterred by his less than cordial mood, quite used to her son's volatile tendencies. Sesshōmaru had inherited his sire's shortness in some things – and had never outgrown this bad habit.

"Neither was she."

Sesshōmaru, too, was undeterred by her whimsical nature, did not relent on his questions. His mother would answer if he pressed harder, though she seldom gave the answer he sought – or liked. This time was no different.

"What did she say?"

"That she would rather suffer than share her pain – as would you."

 

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