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I Fell for Myself by Stella Mira

I Swear

"The Shikon no Tama must never be used for selfish reasons, for impure desires. It must be…wished away." Kagome was speaking before she realized that she did, but what came out of her mouth made too much sense to be denied, was too strong to be discarded as mere possibility. It had to be done.

"Yes, yes, it must." Bokusenō's assent alloyed with the nature, turned his leaves copper, touched by decay for the merest moment, but Kagome was too lost in her musings to take note.

It's almost complete – only a few shards missing. The realization birthed more answers, new and unwelcome, though nothing was worse than what had already been revealed. Still, she asked them, brought them to life. "What will happen to me then? Can you tell? Will I return to my time?"

A sigh breezed past her ears, hints of a chuckle woven within, as if he was weary of speaking to a child for so long – and perhaps he was. "You cannot yet understand what the change truly is, can you, child?"

It was rhetorical, more of a slight chiding than anything – hence she kept her silence, allowed Bokusenō to shed light on his own time.

"It is a soul bond. A part of him always in you, a part of you always in him. If you wish to remain then you will. Like the Shikon, it will become your tether to this time."

Soul bond. The words repeated themselves in her mind, soaked through layers of tissue, delved into the pith of her cells, until they were absorbed then sealed forever. Lips sapped, athirst for something to unmake those words, she found none – Kagome nodded at last.

"Thank you, Bokusenō-sama. Is there anything else I should know?"

Bokuseno's eyes lost their slit-shaped thinness, widened and rounded, their pale yellow aflame, bright like the sun.

"Life and death – there is no shame in either, young one…but you cannot have both."

You are dead while living – you cannot be this way. How true and real it was when spoken by age, when thrust into the wind – and how facile to accept. Kagome chuckled, the sound soft, melding with the zephyrs. Despair tasted like plum wine – the more she drank of it the less sweet its savor. Glass after glass. Little by little. It was time to end her addiction – to fully live and fully die.

~~~~~

Sesshōmaru had never hearkened to the wind as he did so now. It whispered many things, hymns of the earth, songs of the sea, of places unknown to ken, untouched by yōkai and ningen alike – and it spoke of woman, of melted cinnamon, of primeval desires. She walked before him, each step taking her further away – but her scent wafted into the distance between them, thick and full of her, of words unuttered, of deeds that couldn't be undone. When Kagome spoke, she gave voice to none of these things, but Sesshōmaru already knew she wouldn't.

"I need to return to my pack, resume the hunt for the jewel shards."

His eyes stroked the contours of her back, glided over the arc of her neck – sinuous bones and leather and a flash of skin. She didn't turn to look at him, only gave her back, kept her strides even, but her gait was leaden, strained with implications untold. Sesshōmaru vocalized them, one shared, one silenced.

"You will not use the Shikon." You will not ask me to mate you either.

Her laughter merged with the wind, an amalgam of daring and resolution. It irked him for some reason, how soft it was yet hardened. The woman laughed like warriors before battle, like this would be her last laughter. Her words were no different, held the same qualities – war cries forged into solemn oaths.

"I have my duty and honor and pride – as have you."

The muscles in his thighs burned, blazed red, redder than blood flowing into swollen veins. Sesshōmaru wanted to quicken his steps, grab her by the arm, smother her in his grip. He wanted to kiss her like the last man who ever would – but he didn't. The sound of that laughter came as it went, abated with the wind, and she spoke again, tore her way through the delirium of his haze.

"I have a favor to ask."

If she knew the thoughts that slinked into his mind, like licks of wildfire, of untamed things, she wouldn't ask. If she turned back, the slightest tilt of her neck, the merest slant of her eyes, she would see, she would know – but she didn't. Sesshōmaru could only voice one of these thoughts, keep another buried inside, and leash the impulse to do much more than merely that.

"Speak your mind." Tell me what you need, what I can give you.

Her need, he would satisfy, anything she wanted, but his need couldn't be sated by her. It was overwhelming, a clangor of infant instincts, though he knew neither where it stemmed nor where it would end.

"Meet me here in one moon cycle – then take me away. I don't want my family or my pack to know. I will say farewell, tell one I choose the other – and disappear."

"Where would you wish to go?"

"Take me where they cannot find me, where I can be myself. No more lies, no more pains, no more regrets. Swear that to me."

Then she turned to him, with eyes not of this world, the blue hue flaked, streamed with black, lined with white, and she saw, she knew. The wind quieted, his muscles seethed hotter. For the barest moment, Sesshōmaru thought that perhaps she would curse him, curse the naked urge staring at her – but she didn't. There was only one thing left for him to say this time.

"I swear."

 

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