Chapter 1: Fascination
Kagome stared up at the new youkai that had just descended from on high riding the shoulder of an enormous oni with shock – and instant fascination.
Vivid and wicked, silver-haired and golden-eyed, he stared down at Inuyasha contemptuously, and she couldn't even breathe when his eyes fell on her... his glance boiled the blood in her veins and froze every thought in her mind.
It was liquid sin, his molten-gold gaze, and she found herself unable to move as he stared at her, running his eyes over her – slowly - from head to foot.
Who is this guy? she wondered, awed. He's... he's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen...
Sesshoumaru's gaze moved from his brother to the female standing beside him slowly, and with just as much instant fascination.
Human, he thought with disgust... but then her scent hit him... or is she? He took another inhale of her scent, and his eyes became heavy-lidded as the call of her blood almost overwhelmed him – her blood spoke not of humanity, or of youkai, but of sheer, intoxicating power... and youth.
She is young, his eyes trailed down her body, then back up, but still mature.
Mine, his youkai blood insisted. Scent was the one thing an Inuyoukai could not fight or overrule – scent governed everything, every part of an inu's life, and not even the control-freak that Sesshoumaru was could fight the scent that this girl gave off.
Not that he even wanted to... he had already been seduced by it.
This fool half-breed has no business with a being of such power – and femininity, he thought. I will dominate this female... and my bastard half-brother will watch in vain as I take his little companion from him.
But first... the sword.
With a glint in his eye that had Kagome's skin rippling warningly, yet heatedly, he held her gaze and spoke for the first time.
She almost fell over on legs suddenly unable to support her.
“Why, it's a human girl,” he purred, scornful amusement clear in his voice.
Kagome narrowed her eyes then, pulled out of her preoccupation with him at his words. “You got a problem with that?” she snapped, temper heating her normal dulcet tones.
Sesshoumaru's brow rose at her response; the amusement deepened and he almost laughed as he turned to his brother.
“How fitting, that you should be dallying with humans. You, with your mortal wretch of a mother, you seek your own level at last.” Except she is not his level, his nose and his blood insisted. She is way, way out of his reach.
Or she will be... once I take her for myself, he thought to himself.
Kagome's eyes snapped to Inuyasha's back as he growled in anger, knowing then that her supposition that he was half-human had been correct.
She was appalled when the male – because as beautiful as he was, his masculinity was more than apparent – brought out a carriage with a woman inside he claimed was Inuyasha's mother. Isn't she dead? That question was answered when his vassal, a most annoying toad, claimed that for Sesshoumaru, bringing someone back from the dead was easy.
Of course, from there the fight only heated, and she listened intently to the male – who was Inuyasha's half-brother – explain his demands, before getting lost in her thoughts and confusion.
Family doesn't act like this... what's this guy's problem?
She was pulled back from her thoughts to the ongoing confrontation between Inuyasha and this... person, to find that Inuyasha's mother had been thrown to the ground, and she raced over to her and reached out, attempting to help her to safety.
“Are you all right?!” she asked when she reached the woman's side. What the hell is going on? Why is that youkai doing this – for some grave? That's stupid!
Sesshoumaru watched the girl run after the false-mother while Inuyasha battled his oni with a slight, weighing smile on his face. The girl is quick... it will be a pleasure to chase her.
Then he snarled as the boy exhorted her to take the un-mother and run, and moved his oni to attack his brother again – she would not get away.
“You will not!” he hissed, driving down to send the half-breed to the ground. His plan came together as the un-mother attacked in ostensible protection of Inuyasha, instead taking both the girl, and his bastard brother, into Jaken's already prepared illusion.
As they disappeared, he looked down at his gami servant. “Keep the girl from interfering, Jaken.”
“Hai, Sesshoumaru-sama – I will just kill the human filth, that way she will not cause any problems!” he croaked as he toddled into the illusion.
“If she dies, I will kill you. I did not say to kill her. You will not touch her, is that clear?”
The toad paled, back-pedaling rapidly. “Oh! Y-yes, Sesshoumaru-sama,” he stuttered. “Do you wish me to bind her, then, instead?”
Sesshoumaru considered that for a moment, then inclined his head curtly. “But make sure you do not harm her – or you will pay. This one has... plans, for her,” he said, “and will not appreciate having to change them because you blundered.”
He followed the slow, waddling pace of his retainer, walking into the illusion a few minutes after him, and his eyes were immediately drawn to where the girl lay, now bound by unseen chains, unable to move or speak.
What are you really, girl? he thought to himself as he moved closer to her, careful to stay behind her. The scent that you carry cannot come from a mere human. It is not possible.
He crouched and ran a finger down her cheek, his touch so light as to feel as though it were nothing more than a breeze to the girl that lay before him, struggling to open her eyes and regain her voice.
She is so soft...
His blood heated in his veins as he touched her and breathed her in; he was correct – this girl could not be human. She scented of pure power – as though she were born from the gods themselves.
In which case, she should not be with his half-breed brother.
I will take great pleasure in deciphering the mystery that you are, little one... and in defiling the purity that comes off of you in waves.
I will make you as wicked as I...
With a smirk, he stood then; looking to where his brother was being interrogated by the un-mother, he watched as Jaken pushed the thing to probe the boy harder. He moved away from Kagome, wanting to hear what Inuyasha had to say with his own ears.
Forcing her eyes open after several difficult moments, Kagome struggled to move, to speak, to do anything as she watched the demon impersonating Inuyasha's mother begin to suck him into herself, becoming frantic – until a sharp prick broke the spell she was under, and she reached up and smacked herself in the cheek.
It was Myouga, taking a free snack while she was immobile and unable to smash him.
“Thanks, Myouga, I think I can move now,” she said wryly as she opened her palm to free him. A splash had her looking up; she realized with horror that Inuyasha had been pulled into the water, and that the demon was still trying to suck him into herself.
She also saw that stupid toad that had come with that... gorgeous, but evil youkai moving a boat out into the water to try to get whatever answers he sought from the demon. But it wasn't working, and the moment he moved the boat back to land and climbed out, Kagome flattened him, stomping on his head as she took the staff he was carrying.
She looked around in fear, trying to figure out how to stop what was happening to her friend.
“Kagome, you've got to waken Master Inuyasha's soul!” Myouga said from her shoulder, bouncing up and down in excitement.
“Huh?” she asked, confused. “His soul? How do I do that?” I'm too late, she thought, beginning to panic as most of Inuyasha was now inside the nothing woman. Her gaze fell on the water, and that was when she saw a woman holding an infant.
Then she understood.
That's part of her spell... her illusion – I have to destroy it!
Dropping to her knees, she took the staff that she'd grabbed from the ugly toad and splashed it into the water, disrupting the illusion and breaking the spell completely.
As Inuyasha was cast from the illusion back onto solid ground coughing and hacking, Kagome looked around nervously, wondering where the youkai that claimed to be his brother had gone – surely, he was lurking around somewhere...
Sure enough, as Inuyasha crouched angrily on the ground, muttering to himself about it all being a lie, Sesshoumaru stepped forward. He'd been intrigued when the girl had broken the chains around her and decided not to interfere – merely watching as she attacked his retainer and then broke the illusion. He'd gained the knowledge he'd needed, anyway – and gotten a taste of her strength, as well.
“All for the best, dear brother,” he said smoothly, turning his attention to the half-breed, “now I know where the grave of our father is.” Moving forward in an instant, he grabbed the hanyou by the throat and lifted him. “I never imagined that it would be in such a place – can you imagine this Sesshoumaru being so blind?”
He chuckled mockingly, the sound causing a shiver to run down Kagome's spine.
“Trust father to hide his grave in such an odd place. The left black pearl... hmph. That must have taken a powerful bit of magic – he was determined to escape desecration, was he not?”
Inuyasha growled down at his brother as he tried to escape his grasp. “What kind of stupid shit are you babbling?!”
“Was the secret entrusted to you without your knowledge? Come along, then, and we'll visit father's grave together,” he said as he plunged his fingers into his brother's eye, drawing out a small, black object covered in blood which burned away at Sesshoumaru's touch.
Kagome stared, wide-eyed, as the daiyoukai impaled his brother's eye on two fingers, horrified, but unable to look away. He's horrible! Why is he doing this... and why am I unable to look away from him? He's evil!
She ran forward as he tossed Inuyasha down, coming to rest over him protectively. “Stop it!” she yelled defiantly, unafraid and angry.
He ignored her interruption as he stared at the object in his hand.
“It is no wonder I could not find it no matter how thoroughly I scoured the earth... I had only one clue to it's whereabouts... 'a place that can see, yet cannot be seen, a place its own guardian can never look upon'. So clear now,” he mused, a smirk once more crossing his face, “that the 'grave' is the black pearl that he conjured into your left eye.”
That's the grave? Kagome thought, scowling up at an amused Sesshoumaru. He pinned her with his lightening gaze, then, and she swallowed heavily at the heat that suddenly swirled through his eyes. Why does he keep staring at me like that?
Soon, little woman, I will have the sword – and then I will take you, too. Inuyasha will have nothing left...
His attention once more went to his angry whelp of a brother when his ears were assaulted by the boy's grating voice.
“Huh. All this, for that pebble even... giving that witch the form of my mother.” He leapt at his brother then. “You won't get away with it!” he yelled.
Sesshoumaru simply jumped up, avoiding his brother's clumsy attack with amusement. “I am rather busy – if you wish to delay me, I will just have to kill you.” He moved to impale his brother on one clawed hand, but suddenly, the un-mother threw herself before him, taking the attack instead of Inuyasha – and the hanyou and Kagome stared at her, stunned.
“The nothing woman... she protected him?” Kagome asked Myouga, who was still on her shoulder, unable to believe what she'd just seen.
“She's a demon born of a mother's love for her lost child – if she sees him being attacked, what else can she do?” he replied with a shrug of tiny shoulders.
“My boy,” the doomed demon whispered, and then she was gone, as Sesshoumaru stepped into the remains of the demon that his claws had destroyed.
“Worthless fool,” he said, staring down at the remains with contempt. Turning on his heel, he began to move away, determined to get the sword so he could get back and take the girl – until he was halted once again by her voice.
“You rotten, murdering...!” she began as her temper got the best of her, only to be interrupted by Myouga.
“No! Stop! Whoa! Don't antagonize him – you'll get me killed, too!”
Kagome looked down at him, irate. “Listen, coward...” she stopped suddenly, her attention going to the stupid toad she'd so thoroughly stomped as he finally groaned and stood up, reaching immediately for the staff he seemed so fond of.
“Clever lad that I am, M'Lord, I've found the head-staff again!” he croaked.
“Next time, you will lose your own head with it,” Sesshoumaru replied warningly, turning his attention to the toad. Then he looked down at the pearl in his hand. “How long I have awaited this moment...” he took the staff from Jaken, and smashed it into the pearl that he had placed on the ground – and Kagome watched, spell-bound, as power flashed as the pearl sparked... and a dark portal suddenly sprang open before them all.
Black light... she was startled when Sesshoumaru and his toad suddenly disappeared. Where the...?
By the time Inuyasha gathered himself and started to order Kagome to stay behind, she was already halfway into the portal, determined to catch that youkai and give him a piece of her mind.
“Idiot! Sesshoumaru's in there!” he shouted at her, annoyed that she just continually seemed to jump into danger.
“Well, then, if I'm gonna pound him, I'd better be there, too!” she yelled back, still irate, and yet, unable to stop thinking about that male.
He was a jerk – but there was something drawing her to him, too, and she was going to figure out what it was if it was the last thing she did.
“Well, then, if I'm gonna pound him, I'd better be there, too!”
With a gasp, Kagome woke and sat up almost frantically as she shivered in the cool night air.
Why am I dreaming about that... again? With a sigh, she reached up and wiped the little bit of sweat away from her forehead. It's been a week since that all happened – and yet I dream about it every night. Why?
She closed her eyes and let herself see him in her mind's eye once more. Tall, much taller than Inuyasha and with the same silver hair, though it was longer, and golden eyes. Yet, he had all those colorful markings – attractive markings that Inuyasha didn't carry. She wondered what they were for.
Well dressed, obviously wealthy, unlike his little brother, his clothes spoke of elegance and his armor of precision and care.
Beautiful, yes, gorgeous, yes... enough to get any female's attention. But he was nefarious. So why was she so fascinated? She should have been nothing but repulsed – and yet, repulsed was completely the opposite of the truth of the matter.
She was attracted – drawn to the sexy male.
Frustrated, she huffed to herself and climbed out of her sleeping roll to head out the door of Kaede's hut, careful not to disturb the elderly miko. It was apparent that Inuyasha was once again sleeping somewhere outside – but that was fine by her – she didn't want company at this time.
No, she needed to be alone.
Her mind wandered from the dream to what had happened with the rest of that confrontation – and she grimaced. Because that beautiful youkai was now minus an arm... courtesy of Inuyasha – and his new sword.
That sword had been the whole reason that Sesshoumaru had been after his brother, it turned out – but it had rejected him most violently, burning his hand as he'd tried to draw it.
Then it had resisted Inuyasha, too...
And yet, she blushed, it let me pull it from its resting place. I wonder why? It had certainly left an impression on Sesshoumaru – he'd stared at her even harder, and she'd felt the heat of his gaze as though it were a physical touch on her.
“What are you, girl?” he'd asked, every bit of his formidable attention pinned to her in that moment.
She shivered then, as she remembered what had come next... him pouring his poison over her in an attempt to kill her... or so it had seemed. And yet, she had noted the look in his eye that spoke of something else at the time – and it still bothered her.
What did that look mean? And the look he gave me when Inuyasha cut off his arm? Even though he'd transformed, the way he looked at me – it was as though... it was like he was telling me he'd return. Like... he didn't want to leave.
But that couldn't be it, could it? He doesn't know me, and apparently doesn't like humans. So why...?
She shook her head, then, flustered and annoyed at herself for not being able to get it out of her mind.
This whole thing was something entirely beyond her – she'd never dealt with anything of this sort, so she had no experience in being attracted to someone. After all, she was only seventeen – the only daughter of a shrine family, kept protected and pure.
Though that doesn't seem to matter here – girls as young as thirteen are married off as long as they've had their first courses. It's just the way things are done in this time, I guess... but it's totally different in my time. I'm not ready to deal with a man in such a manner...
And then, of course, in this situation there was the corollary that the one in question wasn't even a man – he was a male – an inuyoukai male. At first glance, that might not look like much of a difference... but it was a huge one, in truth.
Of course, he's a dog demon – and the only one that I could even ask about this would be Inuyasha – but that wouldn't go over at all well. So what does that leave me?
And then something occurred to her – perhaps there was some kind of information on inuyoukai at home... in the shrine artifacts and scrolls that her grandfather was always so proud of. Perhaps she could find out some useful information there – or possibly search the internet for stories and myths that might tell her something.
It was a start, and she sighed as she turned and stared out over the forest on one side, and the rice paddies of the village on the other in the bright moonlight. Yes... it would be a start, but...
But for all her thoughts, she was pretty sure that she wasn't going to find out what to do about her predicament from any of those sources.
No, she had the feeling that the only way she was going to be finding out about Sesshoumaru...
Was straight from Sesshoumaru himself.
Somehow, that thought was not comforting at all.
Inuyasha growled suddenly, warningly, staring challengingly out into the trees as he paused in his restless rounds of the village.
The moment he'd stepped this close to the trees, he'd caught the aura of the one being he never wanted to be around again.
“Back already, bastard – even after I cut your arm off, you're still coming around here to take the sword back?” he challenged.
There was no reaction for a moment, then the silent figure of his hated brother stepped from the trees to stare at him. He didn't speak a word.
“Huh. Cat got your tongue – just like the sword got your arm?” he taunted. “You should be careful, Sesshoumaru – if you keep losin' parts you won't even be worth spittin' on.”
Still, no acknowledgment from the silver Inu Lord, and Inuyasha began to get a little uneasy. Sesshoumaru was just standing there – as though he were awaiting something.
Inuyasha stared hard at him, but there was no movement – until Kagome came pounding up behind him, breathing a little heavy as she stared at the male standing his ground just a few feet away.
“Inuyasha... what's he doing here?” she asked quietly, gazing at the daiyoukai distrustfully.
The moment that Kagome had appeared, Sesshoumaru's gaze moved to her as though he were dismissing his brother entirely. The hanyou's hackles immediately began rising at the look on the bastard's face – it wasn't something he could decipher... and he didn't like that. A person needed to know exactly where they stood with that prick if they intended to survive any encounters with him.
Drawing the sword, he swung it under Sesshoumaru's nose. “What the hell are you doing here, you son-of-a-bitch?”
Sesshoumaru wasn't even having to try to ignore the half-breed – the moment the female's scent hit his nose, his brother's unpleasant one diminished to nothing. Holding her gaze with his own now smoldering one, he lifted his nose just slightly and scented the air – and it was clear that, though she was not inu, she knew what he was doing, as a flush spread across her cheeks.
He smirked – his point had been made to her. She was now aware that he could scent her attraction to him, and that he was watching – he was done here for now. With one last, lingering look, he pushed the Tessaiga aside with one finger, ignoring the small spark it sent skittering against his flesh, then turned on his heel and faded back into the shadows beneath the trees – all without speaking one word.
Within moments, you couldn't even tell he'd been there.
The minute his eyes left hers Kagome's knees wobbled and she actually fell, unable to maintain her balance as she was once again able to breathe.
In the instant that his eyes had met hers, she'd felt the impact all the way to her soul. It was sensual, hot, desirous, and she had no way to fight it. Just his gaze was enough to send her blood through her veins with a thick heat that sensitized every nerve in her body.
And it left her desperately drawing air once again as the white youkai with the dark heart disappeared. Her blood roared in her ears, deafening her to Inuyasha's confused and angered ranting after his brother as he sheathed the sword, then turned to glare at her.
“What the fuck was that all about, Ka-go-me, huh?” he asked acidly, seemingly offended by her bewildered expression.
She looked up at him finally and shook her head, not knowing what to say. “I... I don't know,” she whispered, dazed confusion clear in her gaze. Her eyes wandered back to where Sesshoumaru had disappeared, and her mind spoke one word to her.
She was pulled from her confusion by Inuyasha's rough voice saying, “Feh – stupid wench. Go back to Kaede's and get some sleep. And don't come back out, got it? Something's up with that bastard, and I don't want him getting his hands on you.”
She nodded absently, not even really listening to him as her innocent mind fought against the instinctive knowledge that Sesshoumaru's actions was forcing into it. Standing up slowly, she moved off silently, not noticing the sharp look her hanyou companion was leveling on her as she turned and walked away.
Obsession, her mind whispered again...
Shivering in visceral, virginal fear, she felt his eyes on her back – he was watching her from somewhere in those trees, and it was like being stared at by a hungry predator.
It was as real as if he was running his hands over her bare flesh.
A/N: And welcome to my new Sess/Kag, everyone! I started this one long ago, but just got too caught up in other things and it just sat quietly in its folder until a few months ago when I pulled it out and looked it over. I've since written several more chapters, and after letting my lovely friend and beta Tru look it over and fielding her excitement over what she'd read, I have decided that this one will be the Sess/Kag I start posting next. So... here it is. It's a canon riff in the sense that I pretty much follow the manga - except I slant things to change the canon pairings, of course, and there will be some deviations from CU, as well. At any rate, I hope everyone enjoys it!