Send Her My Love by Kithkin
There are as many ways to describe the absence of movement as there are to describe movement itself. There is the calm before the storm, an anticipatory, edge of the precipice type of calm, in which a horrid fascination exists as to exactly when the breaking point will come; but at the other end of the spectrum lies weariness; an acceptance of the inevitable and an almost inability to continue.
The lone figure on the balcony was motionless, yes, but he seemed curiously absent. The moonlight silvered his long hair and cast the deepest corners of the balcony into velvet darkness. Standing there, both arms resting on the wrought iron balcony, the slender young man gazed unseeingly at the timeless view of Paris. Heedless of the wine glass hanging precariously in his hand, his thoughts bent inward and Sesshoumaru remembered.
* * *
He had actually seen her many times before he noticed her for the first time. It had been while he was tracking Naraku, and he had come rather suddenly upon his brother and the companions that traveled along with him. The proficiency that his brother had described had been mildly surprising, but that was not what had compelled the stillness of the Lord of the Western Lands.
The desire to remain anonymous and thus unobserved had been spurred by the actions of the young woman who traveled with his brother. While the other humans in the party were adults, capable of caring for themselves, she was still young, and would have been considered still requiring of protection were their group considered a pack, as the inu-youkai considered them. His brother's activity towards her, be it conscious or no, failed to reflect that. Inuyasha treated her as if she was his equal, at least in pack standing. Yes, there were disagreements, but her will prevailed a good portion of the time, particularly when the issue concerned the well-being of the group. She was the one to make sure that injured parties were nursed, that the stops chosen afforded comfort and protection from the elements, that the night not prove harmful to progress the next morning. Inuyasha was the leader when it came to battle, and protecting the motley group that had formed a pack, but without the woman they might not have stayed together.
Sesshoumaru would have chuckled, had it occurred to him to do so. Inuyasha, his little brother, was behaving just as any proper pack leader might, especially in protecting his alpha female and the kit that clung to her ankle. As he stoically watched them a vague sense of loss had pervaded him. It had been too long that he had been alone, and the desire to be a member of a pack, or to at least have a pack belong to him, more personally than did the population of the Western lands, was compelling.
As this battle wound down he turned, intending to silently return to his retainer and young ward. His intentions were thwarted by a strident voice ringing across the clearing.
"Sesshoumaru!" He turned, to find his brother, obviously exhausted, glaring at him while trying to keep their father's fang steady in muscles that had all too recently been abused. Not deigning to respond, Sesshoumaru had turned and walked away.
Later that day, after making the difficult decision to send Jaken and Rin back to his compound, determining that their continued presence would generate far too much liability were his quest for Naraku to prove successful, he found that his course paralleled that of his brother's group. The discovery happened unwittingly on the part of both parties, when both emerged from the forest onto a riverbank at approximately the same time. The young miko had turned to Inuyasha, indicating her notice of him, but the other humans in the party, if they had noticed, gave no sign. Sesshoumaru simply ignored them.
He would have continued to ignore them over the next few days, but the coincidental meetings grew more frequent, and it became more and more evident that they searched for the same thing. Finally, the inefficiency of the arrangement, coupled with his increasing exasperation at being constantly aware of the other group, drew him to a rather uncharacteristic decision.
That evening, as twilight fell and the group settled in for the night, he approached their camp openly, making no attempts to conceal himself.