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I Fell for Myself by Stella Mira

Kazusane

Kagome lay on the soft furs, eyes unseeing, lips ashen, sealed. Darkness dwelt in the chamber, inside her, slithered with soft sibilant sounds, licks of heat, pulsing. When Sesshōmaru's yōki touched the grounds, moved towards her, life almost returned, circulated within her blood, warmed her skin. She didn't welcome him but didn't turn him away either.

"You have returned."

Sesshōmaru stood in the center of the chamber, close yet not, strokes of gold against her flesh, gleaming light.

"The hanyō will wait for a week – but no more. You will have to speak with him if time needs to be extended."

His voice cooled the fever he brought with him, the swelter of his closeness.

"How did you convince him?"

"I subdued him physically."

Kagome was neither surprised nor bothered by this. It was better than the alternative, than having her sufferance made known to her pack. Inuyasha would never forgive himself for not suspecting, not guessing the truth – and she had enough regrets for all of them.

"Did you hurt him?"

"No."

Cold, devoid of arrogance. Kagome stared at him, agates afire, cutting, asked with her eyes for more than that simple word – and he obliged.

"Merely his pride."

A chuckle filled the fur-lavished chamber, feminine – but it was a humorless sound. She shrugged then sighed. "I suppose it is as well. Words would not have made a difference."

Leaning back against the pelts, Kagome closed her eyes. Her body spoke for her, urged him to leave, whispered she would like to be alone, but it went unheeded. Quiet footsteps, near soundless intrusion. It wasn't his refusal that disgruntled Kagome, but the implications of it and his intentions. Gazing down at her, voice flat, if a bit careful, Sesshōmaru answered the question suspended in the silence between them.

"These are my quarters."

Kagome didn't need to read his inner thoughts – they were written on his features with calligraphic letters, lacquered with a matte shade of steel.

I am not leaving.

There were not many things she could do to avoid this situation save for forcefully removing him or leaving herself – and she was too weary for either. There weren't many things to say either. Just one.

"Suit yourself."

His eyes flashed silver-gold in the dark, like raw metal – and she gave a small nod. The furs dipped as he lowered himself beside her, not close but not far either. Silence blanketed the chamber once more, apprehensive – until Sesshōmaru pried his lips open, asked what she already expected.

"Was it a son?"

Her throat constricted, spasms and acid, gliding down her abdomen, seething in a torrid mass there, yet Kagome pushed the words out of her mouth.

"It was too early to tell – but I felt it was so."

No motion, no respiration, only pause, heavy and recriminating – then a name.

"Kazusane."

Kagome repeated the sound, felt the consonants and vowels slide on her tongue, sweet, beloved name. The kanji which comprised it were old, rarely used for such words in her time, yet she recognized their meaning.

"The true…first? Is that…his name?"

Sesshōmaru didn't give vocal affirmation, he needn't have to.

"We shall visit Bokusenō once more in the morning. Sleep, Kagome."

Perhaps it was that he used her name, perhaps that he was lying beside her, but Kagome was aware of many things, things she hadn't cared to notice up until that moment. No – that was a lie. Kagome had taken notice, but she had built such high walls, had spurned everything his into the darkest depths, into the abyss of reminiscence, because she couldn't stand the very thought of them. Slowly, insidiously, those walls were crumbling down, leaving behind only ruins, scattered pain and ashes. Her mind was spiraling into paths she hated to revisit, realizations too sharp, intrinsic. Perhaps Sesshōmaru wasn't as heartless as she had made him to be, perhaps she wasn't the only one whose child was taken upon senseless, cruel happenstance. Yes, she was aware of all those things – and more.

Illusions of heat and nearness, of languid breaths, as if they would disappear without a trace were she to close her eyes, plunge into that abyss. Sesshōmaru was there this time, warm skin and stillness, strained voice and ache – but for how long? Kagome didn't want to accept anything he was willing to give now, couldn't forgive his past absence – she couldn't forgive herself, much less he. Why should she forgive him, why should she allow to be forgiven? If she relinquished her bitterness, sealed that void in her womb, then she would have truly nothing left. Nothing.

Time was such a chimerical concept, whimsical. It crawled along the expanse of her skin, not felt yet, all the same, slinking. How many seconds had passed? How many minutes, hours, days? How many weeks, months, since she had lost that which could never be reclaimed? She had ascended the ladder of chaos, step by step, only to descend once more. There was no need to scream, to puncture her flesh or spill her blood, Kagome knew, had accepted at last, and cursed him for it. Sesshōmaru had stirred the old traumas, with immaculate patience. He had broken the thin layer of cast she had so carefully applied, shredded the bindings, scraped the tender scabs – till they had bled and festered, their wounds too raw. All of it, her fault. Her body had borne lash after lash, and Kagome had been the one to give him the whip.

She had allowed him to wrap her in a cocoon of treacherous feelings, of empathy. Unwanted yet undeniable was his presence. Transient, not meant to last but lure and entrap. Each time she inhaled his warmth, took in his scent, she lost a little more of her immunity, her strength. Here she was now, her sole companion those very memories and that very man – invidious desire, still coveted. Kagome could almost feel him if she surrendered all enmity, nullified the venom in her veins. Moments lasting no more than a wolf's howl, a raindrop's life – hallucinations too real. Baser instincts knew no pain, could abide by no logic. There was only unwanted want – and his scent. Sakura blossoms blood-drenched, gold slathered on skin, like lust and wildness – like her, most of all, he smelled of her. Her lips parted, her lungs swelled, or she imagined they did. Inhalation. Exhalation. Again and again. It came and went, as it pleased, little by little, unraveling the web of her sanity, thawing her resistance.

Kagome turned on her side, despised the wetness on her cheeks, in her eyes, her damned weakness. She pretended that she didn't feel the ghost of the past, didn't breathe the fallacy of affection lying next to her – until sleek muscle coiled around her waist, pressed her against him. It was no mere touch, had too much of heat, of animal instincts in it to be called that – too much of him. Trailing down the slope of her neck, the swell of her breasts, it ignited the underlying need, killed the churning rage. Sesshōmaru needn't have done more. Of all the things he owned, were purely his, she only yearned for one. Kagome loathed it – loved it – when he gave it.

 

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