DisclaimerInuyasha characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi.  Other characters are property of Kidoairaku.

Rating:  PG-13: for possible language, adult situations, and just in case

Summary:  [Sess/Kag] An elf, captured from overseas, was abused in all ways imaginable.  She finds it, now, too hard to bear.  She will live on through Kagome…but what problems will it pose to the young girl?


A/N:  Thanks for sticking with me!  ^_^  An off-chapter ahead.  =)

Merged Souls

Chapter Five: Infidelity

August 2003


He turned at the sound of his name, silky hair whipping with his head.  Hahaue…  His mother did not look the least bit happy, if the tight frown curving her lips was any indication.  He had a feeling it was not something triggered by any sort of event, but the general scope of things; maybe she had done a little soul-searching?  She came to sit beside him on the bench, lifting her gaze to the heavens.  Perhaps she was only looking for him, upset that he had left the gathering?  Was it over? he wondered idly.


A sighed fluttered from her rosy lips.  "You left early, Sesshoumaru," she said softly.

"Yea, I did.  Am I to be punished now?"  His voice was barely above a whisper; it was a naturally quiet one, yet strong and commanding.  He inherited his mother's voice.

Toshira turned her azure eyes to him, wordlessly observing.  "Sesshoumaru," she murmured.  Suddenly, his mother seemed very tired to him, like her energy was sucked away…like the 304 years she'd lived had suddenly caught up to her in the timeline of a more human being.  She was still yet young in youkai years.  "You will have to learn to speak in a more sophisticated manner."  Her hand lifted to curl his shoulder-length hair around a pointed ear.  "You will be the Western Lord one day, my eldest and only son."

She smiled then—an empty smile seemingly devoid of meaning at all.  Though he was young, he could see the long-suffered sadness, that strange aura that screamed "alone."

Sesshoumaru's eyes ran over her in concern.

His mother was, all things considered, a beautiful person.  Her hair, falling to her slender hips, was a deep auburn hue that complimented her bright eyes.  She possessed long dark lashes that framed the blue orbs nicely; a well-defined face that sculpted her as a patrician.  All who knew her were familiar with her charming personality and educated sophistication.  Not only that, but she was fairly powerful—a fox demon.  Toshira was everything perfect and more; it was beyond Sesshoumaru why she'd be unhappy…

Maybe except for that tiny problem with his father…

Despite everything, he smiled back at her brightly.  "Of course!  I'll be the Western Lord, and everything'll be fine.  Don't you think?"

He didn't expect an answer, and she didn't give one.  They opted for staring up at the star-bedecked sky.

"Come," his mother beckoned after a moment, rising.  "We have much to do."

Sesshoumaru hopped up and followed in his mother's shadow, snagging his discarded clothing from a tree branch as he went along.  He didn't know what she meant by "much to do" because they were, surely, only up for bathing and then going to sleep.  Unless, of course, the royalties had not dispersed; then he was in for a long night.  He decided to ask her about it.

"Have they left yet?"

She seemed surprised by this inquiry.  "Who?"

"The people, the gathering, the annoying Ladies and Lords," he answered with a dismissive wave of his hand.  "Those people, you know."

"Show more respect, Sesshoumaru," she scolded weakly.  He could tell she didn't think they warranted much respect anyway.  A smile played on his lips.

"Have they left?" he repeated, slipping his black and silver garments on.

"Some have…"  Her voice did an abrupt decrescendo.

He looked up in alarm, casting his gaze about the cavernous room swiftly.  "…Father…?"

"Probably another one of his concubines," Toshira replied quickly.  She sighed deeply, averting her gaze to the ground.  "Come, Sesshoumaru.  We are retiring for the night."

His sun-like eyes shifted over her curiously.  …We?

`           `           `

            Well, it turned out his mother was not sleeping in the same room as his father this night.  The Western Lady took to a room neighboring his, warmly bidding him goodnight before sliding the doors shut.  It was obvious she was upset.  Sesshoumaru still had yet to understand why she'd taken a different room, though.  Surely, even if his father had left with a concubine, his mother could still barge in anytime and call it quits.  Easy, right?  Maybe it didn't work that way, though.  He didn't particularly care to find out.

`           `           `

            Toshira spent a half-hour in the foreign room, simply sitting on the balcony rail and staring at the stars.  What could she do?  Their alliance was all but shattered, hanging by a proverbial thread.  She was recklessly in love; she'd do anything for him, for her Inutaisho; he didn't feel anything for her.  Their first child was male—Sesshoumaru—so the Western Lands already had a suitable heir.  That was the end of her.  That was it.

            …It wasn't supposed to be like this…

            Not after…well, they hadn't really been through anything together.  There was nothing emotionally binding between them.  Their relationship was…weak…

            She felt lost and hopeless.  Nothing else was to come from their joining, from their so-called mating.  She realized with a sad yearning that they were finished—that he was finished with her…

            That there was a replacement for her…

            Toshira curled into herself, rocking dangerously on the balustrade of the overhang.  Her hand fisted and opened again, a flower blooming from her open palm.  It was a trick Inutaisho had enjoyed seeing repeated over and over again.  She lifted the blossom to the wind, watching as the welcoming arms of the breezes set it afloat in the night sky.

"Goodbye," she whispered brokenly.

`           `           `

            Even as his mind screamed the irrationality of this new concept, this new feeling budding inside his being, he could not pull himself away from the distraction.  His lips curled into an amused smirk as she continued to lilt on the state of human-demon affairs.  He himself did not partake in much interest on the subject, but seeing her obvious passion for it drew him in.  The way she seemed to flourish in every matter of relations amazed him.  Her long, thin fingers curled around his as she finished in that breathy way of hers, dark eyes entreating him to entertain her.

            "Do you understand?" she prodded, leaning over ever so slightly.  "The way we have it now—it is not meant to be!"

            The Western Lord was taken aback, surprised.  It was almost as if she was reading his mind—his treasonous thoughts, it seemed, she had taken into light—the way we have it now…it is not meant to be.  His gaze drifted distractedly over her digits, wandering over each delicate nail and groove in her skin.  It was justifiably wrong for him to have any kind of connection to this human, albeit a noble one.  He frowned, one name ringing in his head: Toshira…

            "Inutaisho-sama," she huffed in exasperation, "are you paying me any attention?"  Her lips flashed in a brief smile just to show she meant it all in good humor.

            His eyes finally turned to her, softening a light sense of laughing.  The taiyoukai brought her hand to his lips, briefly brushing them in a chaste caress.  "Would you care to join me outside, Haruko-san?"  He rose without receiving her answer, taking her with him as he trailed out of the cavernous hall.

            The lady Haruko moved at his side, occasionally sending him questioning glances.  She knew him well enough to configure the fact that he was distracted tonight.  As of late, too, Toshira-sama had drifted from her side, from both their sides.  The lady seemed to be erecting a firm barrier between herself and Haruko, as well as Inutaisho.  Why?  She laced her fingers firmly into his, silently reassuring him.

            As the corridor opened to the outside world, cherry blossoms burst into bloom around them, twirling gently in the night breeze.  Inutaisho inhaled deeply as the rhythmic murmur of running water greeted him.  Of all the places in the world, he would rather be here in the garden than anywhere else.  It was piece of the humanity his race deeply suppressed: simplicity and tranquility.  Those things, it seemed, were the only things humans could hold onto in their small, fragmented world.

            His dark amber eyes turned on her, as if demanding her unwavering attention.  Her gaze was turned skyward, stayed by the winking of stars.

            "I wasn't aware you had a garden," she whispered, fingers loosening from his.

            He kept a firm grip on her hand, not wanting to let her go.  He would not allow her to drift from him; she did not reciprocate the odd feelings he held for her, and it worried him.  Sighing, he glanced to the sky as well.  The display was nothing special—not anything different from any number of centuries before, he thought.  Disinterested, he focused more on her, on his Haruko.  A silly infatuation, he thought.  Meaningless, not worth the discord.

            "Aren't they beautiful?"

            In consideration, he spared the heavens another glance.  "Not anything special," he quipped.

            "So you think," she laughed, finally facing him.  "But you have a lifespan rivaling the stars themselves."

            The taiyoukai held her gaze, lifting a hand to face.  She was a special creature, he realized.  A girl aglow with life, under the oppression of aristocracy.  She had once said to him, unbound by the structured boundaries of political matters, "Fly free."  It only took a second when he decided, all things, all people, Toshira aside.  "I am taking your advice, Haruko."  Her name trickled from his lips like so much rain from pregnant spring clouds, so fitting to her, the 'spring child.'

            Haruko could only filter blatant confusion onto her features before her mouth was brought against the Western Lord's.  The movement took her completely by surprise, but his gentleness, his unyielding need and unhurried coaxing brought her into his favor.  She could only submit to him as he cradled her form and took off.

            Inutaisho found himself hovering over her in his bed.  His mate's name only rang once in his mind before he settled his lips against the human lady's once more.  He realized hazily that he was courting infidelity now.  The pristine white of silk slid off his shoulders fluidly as his mouth moved over her soft skin.

Fly free…

A/N:                Strange, huh?  Not much Sesshou, either.  I'm hoping to develop this right; let me know if the chapter was rushed; it seemed that way.  For clarification, Toshira is the Lady of the Western Lands, Inutaisho's offical mate, and Haruko is just some random lady, maybe princess.  ^_^  Thank you for reading!