Atonement by Kourin
Prolouge : Sins and Saints
Sin is a funny thing. How it eats away, tears at the very essence of your being until it is atoned for. It becomes the nagging voice at the back of your mind, the one you just can never seem to shut up. That voice that whispers, "killer," "demon," "monster." It broke through, even in sleep. Five hundred years ago, maybe these words would have delighted the stoic taiyoukai. But now, he tossed and turned on a makeshift cot, dreaming of the bloodbaths and the fear in the faces of the countless lives he'd taken. Stirring slightly, he took a moment to adjust to his surroundings.
The shabby cot he laid upon was covered by a second, suspended just above it. Too many restless occupants had caused the mattress and weak bed frame to sag down. His gun lay on a battered and beaten table, discolored by split water. The walls were a dingy brown, the paint chipping off in places, exposing stark white plaster. The door, hanging slightly ajar, was askew on its hinges. The kind of way where you have to lift it up just to get it to close. Yes, the place was rather depressing. But their work there wasn't happy either. Sesshoumaru Taishio sat up, mindful not to hit his head on the top bunk. For a moment, he took a look around, and smirked cynically. How far he'd fallen. He was once the Lord of the Western Lands, the feared, regal creature who ruled over his lands with dignity and pride. That had all fallen away centuries ago, destroyed because of a small human, two hanyous, and a jewel.
"How did I end up here?" He muttered, before getting fully up, stretching his long legs. His eyes were tired. He had a headache. He didn't even want to know what time it was. Sesshoumaru resigned himself to another night, mostly sleepless, at work. Slipping his gun back into its holster, he calmly walked out the door, habitually attempting to close it. It didn't close. He tried again, and then lost patience, slamming it. Facial expression blank, the taiyoukai walked quickly down the creaky dusty stairs. The remaining employees of the 3-6 precinct, mostly just nightshift guards, did not dare speak to him. Though no longer a lord, Sesshoumaru Taishio was a man who demanded respect. He'd resigned his title of lord nearly 3 centuries ago, and had recently acquired a new one: detective.
"Higurashi-san?" a kind voice called. The woman in question groaned, attempting to pull covers over her head and thus block out the annoying sound, but found that there were none. Then she remembered. She was in a car, on her way home from work. And that voice was her current partner, Matsumoto Jinsei. Mumbling a thank you to him, she turned her head and looked out her window. The night sky in Tokyo looked sick, as though a layer of impurity lay over it, covering everything in the city. So unlike the clear evening stars and moon that had once shone down upon her, back in Sengoku Jidai. But those days were gone, she reminded herself, and she guessed that she'd never see a sky so clear again. She sighed, resigned to the fact that she wouldn't be sleeping any time soon.
Six years had passed since she'd left the past behind. She never intended to. Inuyasha, Sango, Miroku, Shippo, Kouga, Sesshoumaru. They were the last things she saw, all in varying states of injury, but most looking pleased. Naraku had been defeated, after five years of fighting him. The jewel had been absorbed back into her body. She had looked around at the wreckage that had once been Sesshoumaru-sama's palace. It had been destroyed in the final battle, and to her shock, he had helped. He, who'd tried to kill Inuyasha, her and her friends on numerous occasions a few years before, had delivered the final blow to Naraku, his poison claws ripping the spider marking on the demented hanyou's back.
True to her nature, she'd only wanted everyone else's happiness. Getting to her unsteady legs, she placed the jewel, now completely whole and glowing in an ethereal light, in Inuyasha's hands, clasping her own around his for a moment. She smiled at him, like she'd done so many times before, looked around to everyone she held dear. Then, she was gone. Disappeared as Inuyasha made his final wish. She never knew what it was.
Jerked back into reality by her radio's loud static, she responded automatically, almost unemotionally, as she'd been taught in the academy. "Higurashi and Matsumoto to base. Come in." She said, her voice flat. Jinsei looked over at her. She had that look in her eyes again; like she was elsewhere and only her body was still in their squad car. She was scary when she got like that, he mused. A voice, unmistakably their Capitan's, barked over the channel. "I need you two over at 133rd and Rejiko, third alleyway down. There's been an incident reported. Some old lady's hysterical, and I need you to check it out."
"We're on it." Was her brief answer. Her partner needed no prompting, and swung the car around. His driving really would be the death of them some day. The ride there was silent, an understanding between them. Every time they were called, they wondered what horrors awaited them at the scene. Each time, it seemed to be a little more horrific than the last. Though her partner had been on the force for four years, she had little experience, and had only recently graduated the academy. Pulling alongside the curb in a nearly abandoned street, Kagome Higurashi carefully treaded into the alley, where she supposed the 'incident' had occurred. She took one look, and rapidly recoiled, wondering vaguely if she would lose her dinner.
The scene looked like something she may have seen in Sengoku Jidai. Limbs were scattered, blood covered everything in sight, and there, just in front of her, was a head, its lifeless eyes staring straight at her. Shock spread through her, then disgust, anger, and then dissociation. Her expression went blank once again, her body threatening to give out. Jinsei quickly put a comforting hand to her shoulder, supporting her were she to become sick. She did not. Finally satisfied that she could function again, they began to silently process the scene. As much as a couple of rookies could, at least. Kagome's first homicide was shaping up to be a brutal one.
It was a while before detectives showed up. All at once, the silence was disturbed as her Capitan arrived, barking out orders to his detectives and the rookies. Kagome, however, heard not a word of it. She looked up from a paint mark she'd been photographing, and saw two amber eyes, shock evident in them, boring into her own blue ones. Neither spoke a word.