Falling Rain

Chapter 14

Kagome whimpered in pain, desperate to speak but unable to form words.

"What gives you the right to change his punishment? To unleash his beast?"

Kagome took a slow, steadying breath, her muscles relaxing in his hold as her panic dissolved with her understanding. He wanted justice, he wanted the beast's pain…he wanted to protect her. But she was a big girl and she would take care of herself.

"You did"

He pulled her down the wall until their faces were even and her toes skittered near the ground, her skirt riding high against the stone, his eyes bearing down on her, his body pressing her into the cold wall. Her words whispered gently around them, caressing the air, firm with truth.

"His life is mine, remember?"

She felt his breath on her lips, the heat of him pressing against her, the strength of him holding her up. His eyes roamed her face, her eyes, looking deeper into her than he ever had before.

"So it is"

He held her there still, after the anger, after the panic, after the anticlimactic punishment. She looked up to his eyes and watched him as he watched her, her eyes calling out to him, her desire for him a bare and open need for him to see.

His hand lessened the pressure around her neck, his lower body pushing harder against her, holding her still as his fingers splayed across her collar bone. She felt his other hand skating over her stomach, a nail dragging sensually over her covered skin, shivers of unknown pleasure racing through her blood.

"Don't toy with me Sesshoumaru…not again"

She felt his lips fall on hers, gentle but firm, demanding but slow; it was so very different from any other time before and she felt the heat of her arousal grow faster than it had when he was rough.

"What would you do if I simply gave into you?"

Her top was ripped open, her upper body bared to him within seconds, the heat of her skin scorching and cold all at once. One of his hands caressed her breast, pinched her nipple and flicked it, his eyes watching her reaction the entire time.

She fought to keep her eyes open, to not drop her head back in pleasure, but it was difficult, so very difficult.

Her breath came out half as a sigh, half as relief, but mostly it was just a raw, animalistic frustration.

He reached down and lifted her up by her knees, her legs wrapping around his waist easily. She found the binds of his clothing and pulled at them, a cry of victory melting into moans of pleasure when he didn't stop her, when he pulled back and allowed his top to fall away for her. The heat of his skin scorched and burned her, melted her, fed her desire for him.

She felt his lips on hers again, a quest of sensual heat and tongue. Her body melded easily to his, her back arching away from the wall, pressing her lower body harder against his, feeling so easily the truth of his desire for her.

He nipped at her chin, pushed down on her hips and grinded his into her. His hand slipped up her skirts and held her tighter, the heat of his body bleeding through her, warming her, burning her. She gasped in pleasure, a moan of excitement drawing desperately from her lips when he lowered her onto the bed and crawled on top of her.

She felt the weight of him settle over her, the cloth that hid him from her being only his hakama as he climbed atop her half naked body. His eyes looked down at her, a gentle thought crossing his mind, shining deep within the honeyed amber hues that captivated her so well.

He kissed her forehead, one hand holding his weight away from her, the other pressing down on her, holding her to the futon. The gentleness of his touch, the strength of his hold, it all culminated into an erotic moment of power and arousal.

His lips found hers again, a hunger building in them, thoughtless kisses burning into her with fervor. She reached for him, found the heat of his skin, ran her fingers down the firmness of his chest.

She reached down and slid her hands inside his clothing, wrapping her fingers around him, feeling him, controlling her experience with him. She looked up to find him watching her, waiting for her, and she was grateful for it.

She squeezed lightly and ran her hands back up his body, over and around his back, pulling him down to her. Words whispered softly over passion and hunger.

"Please Sesshoumaru"

She could see the arousal bared in his eyes, the excitement of her challenge, the truth of her demands.

She felt his fingers curl in her hair, his lips burning across hers, his tongue dancing with hers, and the only thought she could conjure was a desperate plea for him to not stop, not this time.

His lips left hers and she opened her eyes to find his closed, a look of deep concentration etching the finest lines of his skin.

"No! No, no, no! You can't do this to me! Not this time…not like this!"

Her breath hitched with anger when the heat of his body left hers, his back turned to her as he sat at the edge of the futon.

"Why, Sesshoumaru? Why do you do this to me?!"

She sat up and pulled her legs under her, settling on her knees behind him, a hand poised to reach out to him. It was difficult though, to touch him after he had so wretchedly denied her; his rejection stung more than she wanted it to.

And his words, spoken so softly, so filled with tenderness, made her pause if only for a moment.

"I must deny you"

Kagome blinked as tears filled her vision, her hand falling to her lap; she no longer had the strength to reach for him, to try.

"Why?"

Her breath stopped as he sat up, her heart beating in broken pieces, an arrhythmic song of sorrow, of yearning…of acceptance.

"I must"

**FR**

She had barricaded herself in her rooms this time, refusing all visitors and servants. Food trays littered the hall throughout the day to be swept and gone by nightfall. It was so difficult to find a reason to keep doing this.

She looked down at her hands and wondered if they felt as bony as they appeared. Her weight, while nowhere near dangerous, was certainly affected by her voluntary quarantine. It had been four days since she last saw anyone, since he had left her crying throughout the night, trembling in the aftermath of his rejection.

Because he must…

He had no right to do this to her! Didn't he know that he hurt her more by stringing her along like that? He had isolated her, sent away her companion and stole all of her time, and yet he gave nothing…nothing in return.

Something behind her breastbone ached with a deep pain that she tried to lessen with the pressure of her fist; the motion of rubbing it was soothing only for a moment before she realized that she couldn't reach the thing that hurt the most. She felt so empty, as though she had been walking through a void these past months. The reason she was here, along with her experiences while here in the citadel still seemed so farfetched and yet so…small? She wasn't sure what to think of it all. It was as though she was watching someone else make bad decisions with her eyes closed.

She felt entirely out of control and it terrified her.

A sound like clanking and scuffling broke her from her thoughts and alerted her to a servant outside her sitting room, most likely leaving a tray of food that would be wasted once more. She had no appetite, no desire for food. She didn't want their pity or their care.

But that low, deep, bass-like voice that melted her so easily was there this time. His words were soft, short, and too low for her to know what he was saying. Still, though, she knew that it was him.

She looked up when the door to her sitting room opened, her head and eyes moving, but the rest of her remaining as still as a statue at the side of her futon. His boots toed open the shoji to her inner chamber and she watched mutely as he stepped into her room uninvited.

"Food will no longer be brought to you. Your days of being catered are over"

He turned on his heel to leave it at that, the biting words clearly meant to incite a measure of pain. He was lashing out at her in his anger and she should have left it at that, but she couldn't.

"Finally"

His hair flourished around him, a cascade of silver fury wrapping around him like armor, but his tongue stayed. She waited, her eyes a storm of oceanic blue fury stared into him, watching, waiting.

"You've done something I wanted this time"

It was fascinating to watch him control himself, so close to the edge of insanity, so close to losing everything. Suddenly she wanted him to fall, wanted to watch him crumble underneath her, broken and helpless as she felt under him. She wanted him to feel what it was like to lose control just like she had.

And she wanted to deny him.

"Let go. Do it. Just once. Lose your mind, lose your temper, say what you fucking mean!"

She hadn't meant to yell, hadn't meant to stand and turn on him in her righteous fury, but damn it she was hurt and she was pissed. He had no right to do this to her!

"Give me one good god damn reason why I shouldn't purify your fucking dick off right now!"

The world spun around her, colors meshing around her, blinking behind her eyelids. Pain spiraled like lightning from her head where it met the stone wall.

Kagome wavered on her feet where she stood, proud that she hadn't crumbled to the floor, and slowly took in deep breaths to steady the rush of blood in her ears. The simple fact that he had actually struck her gave her more than enough reason to want to carry out her dirty little threat. Gods she was so angry with him!

"Do it again. I dare you"

His feet stayed still, his head cast down and his face in shadows. She didn't know what he was thinking, didn't care really, but suddenly everything about him seemed wrong.

Without thought, her feet carried her to him, stopping just in front of him with hesitation. Would he strike her again? Would he fall? Had he already? She didn't know, but now she wanted to.

Her hand came up slowly, the tips of her fingers so close to his face that she could feel the heat of his skin. But his growl stopped her from advancing any further.

"Why?"

Kagome let her hand drop back to her side and blinked several times.

"Because you need to fall-"

His hands gripped her arms in a vice like grip, claws pricking at her through her kimono and cutting off her response.

"Why?"

She took a deep breath and pushed her fears to the back of her head, steeling her resolve for whatever retribution he might seek for her touch, and put her hand on his cheek. His skin burned against her palm but she ignored it and tilted his head up so that she could see his eyes, the truth in them.

A small gasp escaped her when she finally caught his eyes, the ring of blood red that encircled his golden irises entrancing her with their honesty.

"So I can catch you"

**FR**

His breath was caught somewhere between outrage and disbelief. This human woman, this priestess, had challenged him, had dared to insinuate that he had a weakness as offensive as…as that! For once in his long life, Sesshoumaru was speechless.

He had taken long, deliberate strides; he stepped forward until he heard the very satisfying sound of her body colliding with the stone wall followed by her outcry of pain. Something in the way she cried out had called to him and brought him back to himself, to a place most comfortable and more familiar than anywhere he had been these past long months.

He looked down upon the small human woman and his grip tightened with fury licking at the chains of control that kept him from removing her presence from this living world at the moment. The very idea that she would presume to say something so bold was more than enough to cut the leash on his beast, but still he held it back.

Something about this woman made him want to protect her and that was the true reason that she had not yet met her end; he couldn't bring himself to do it and he hated her for it!

He dragged in a slow, long breath and loosened his grip, his hands sliding down her arms, the silk of her clothes rustling under his claws, until he no longer was touching her. That very tiny fraction of space between them that it granted him was enough to gain his footing again. He let out his breath and took a step back, marveling in the severity of her scent, the hundreds of nuances that cascaded around her all at once.

She was an overly emotional creature and he had tangled within the web of those emotions as of late. It was more than he had wanted to do and he found himself grateful for the modicum of control that he held so fastidiously to throughout it all. If not…he'd rather not think about the consequences actually.

There were many things he could have said then, many ways he could have put her back in her place and forced her to stay there. He was rather tired of this game they'd been caught up in though; so instead of giving her anything more, he turned and left her chambers, uncaring of what she chose to do next. He would no longer encase himself in her troubles. He simply did not care.

Funny then, that his steps felt so incredibly heavy as he walked away.

**FR**

"Such a lively thing you turned out to be. I'd expect you get that from your father"

Inuyasha turned his head to the side with wary interest as the very beautiful demoness that looked so incredibly much like Sesshoumaru circled around his chained form. He had met her before, when he was young and defenseless. She gave him a gift that day, one that he had not yet reciprocated.

He never did like having debts to pay.

"What do you want, Honored Mother?"

She was outside of his line of sight, but even so he could almost see the anger and the amusement twinkling in her devious golden irises, taste it like butter too thick on bread. It was a wonder he didn't start choking on it.

"The priestess is in a very precarious position right now. It is one that, as I understand it, you put her in…"

The lull in her words let him know that she was looking for a response of some sort and he wanted to keep it from her, but he couldn't. As much as it burned him to know it, it was worse to actually admit it…he had a weakness and it had caused his best friend the worst damage.

"It wasn't me"

"Oh but it was. Dear boy, do you not know yourself? Your beast is, after all, the other half of you."

Inuyasha blinked and steadied his breathing, clawing desperately inside to keep his cool composure with this very dangerous female. He chose to not speak this time, knowing that everything he had to say on the matter would incite her wrath in one way or another. She seemed to like Kagome so far and from what he understood, she blamed him for his lack of control…not that she was wrong.

"My late mate was quite the fiend, was he not? Leaving you and his lover to fend off the world, never telling any single being the whole truth of you and your blood. My but he was a scoundrel! Of course, I expect that he likely did not plan to die that night either"

A low growl trembled beneath his bones, burning a path through his body and over the conniving cadence that suffocated the air in the room to caress the ears of his current tormentor.

"Shut up!"

"Oh ho? Am I not worthy to speak of your father then? I speak only truths and you know it. Why then, should I not speak of him? It is how he would like to be remembered, of that much I am certain"

"You know nothing"

"I know more than you think, brat!"

Inuyasha smirked in evil glee, happy to have gleaned such a reaction from the nearly immovable bitch. She was insufferable, and her son was almost as bad!

"Tell me, Inuyasha…if your father had lived, we shall assume that he would have remained with his lover and his beloved child, what might you think your life would be like now? Do you consider his strength a great protection from the realities of prejudices long born? Would you have stayed in this citadel, loved as you were, cherished child of the Great Dog General? And if you did…what then of your friend? Would she have come so far in time to meet you?"

Inuyasha sucked in a breath and held it there, not wanting to contribute to this line of thought and at the same time wanting to scream at this bitch to shut up. He felt like he was losing his mind with her odd questions.

"Your blood, beloved child, is the reason for your troubles, is it not? Don't you wonder what might have been…if only your father had been here to guide you? She would never have been so mistreated…"

Inuyasha ducked his head in shame. She was right.

"…beaten…"

He cringed in agreement.

"…raped…"

His breath left him as though someone had ran him through the gut with a sword.

Cold, hard, sharp clawed fingers ran across his shoulder blades, up over his shoulders, and under his chin. He could see her silk-wrapped form as she walked back to the front of him and felt a claw prickle under his chin as she prodded at him to look at her. He didn't want to, but she was digging her claw in and was ready to break the skin there.

His head came up, his eyes settling with determination and anger, a red hue washing over them while the stripes of his father's heritage broke out over his pale cheeks.

"…all because of you"

She whispered seductively to him, entrancing him, pulling him down and around his own soul to wail in desperation.

"I LOVED HER YOU BITCH!"

"Oh, Toukai, how nice of you to join me"

"Fuck you, bitch!"

"Now, now, treacherous little boy…is that any way to speak to your guardian?"

His laugh was dark and graveled a grating sound that was more anger than amusement.

"Guardian. Bah! What did you ever guard me from? You and your castle in the sky, hiding away from everyone…longest damn temper tantrum I've ever seen!"

His cheek stung; somewhere in the back of his mind he understood that that sensation was pain. Still it didn't matter the way it probably would in his other form; it was just blood after all. The problem was that she had struck him and it pissed him off beyond words.

"I gave you your life you ungrateful wretch!"

"Hah! That? You call that a life? You're pathetic! Why'd you do it, huh? What made you save me all those years ago? Petty revenge for a human that was dead?!"

"You know nothing"

"Mm…maybe not, but you ain't talking either, so I'll come up with whatever story I want! What do you care?"

He watched with a sick sort of fascination as her hand came up again, poised and ready to strike, but her eyes told a different story. Her tears would never fall, he knew that, but they were there all the same and that was enough for him. Unfortunately, her hand never swung down at him; instead, he watched as it fell gently to her side, resting against her hip as though she had never thought to strike him.

"You know too much, and yet you know nothing. Amazing really that you've survived for so long! I suppose the sword helped with that."

Toukai watched with a vague sense of curiosity as the bitch sat down on the stool across from him, the very same one that Kagome had sat in just yesterday. The thought that she would cover Kagome's scent pissed him off, pulling a low growl from his chest, which only made the bitch smirk and sit more comfortable. He wanted to run her through with his claws so very fucking badly!

"Now, calm yourself puppy and tell me about Kagome. You say that you love her but you committed the greatest atrocity against her. How can this be?"

"Loved, bitch, not love"

"Oh? So you don't love her any longer then"

"Not romantically, no"

Why was he telling her this? He wasn't certain he wanted her to know anything at all, but then again it couldn't hurt, not really. If she tried to do anything funny with his words, he'd just rip her lips off and serve them to her for her meal…then he could rip her throat out and watch her bleed to death. Demons didn't take so well to long, torturous deaths…they were worse about it than humans, but probably only because it took so much more to torture and murder a demon than it did a human.

"For the sake of understanding, I'll not discuss the transgressions of the physical sort with you at this time. What I want to know is why you thought to meddle with that spell. I'm not even certain you can perform that particular spell"

Toukai smirked and felt the giddiness of that truth slide over him, through his body and around his soul. Little did she know…

"You're probably right"

Her surprise was refreshingly beautiful; it sparked with fear and desperation, a need to understand, a question burning inside her. Oh but she knew as well as he did that he would never tell her what happened or why it is that he attempted a spell that he knew damn good and well he was not skilled enough to perform.

He loved the scent of her fear; it was like sweet cherries and sour lemons all at once. Absolutely delicious! He could taste it on his lips, the slip in her restraints leaving the bitter sweetness of it for him to lick at tantalizingly.

"Why?"

He was almost surprised that she asked, knowing that she was well aware he wouldn't answer her.

"Would probably be more important if you asked about the what rather than the why?"

Her eyes dropped to glower at him and he smiled in that boyishly rogue sort of way his other half did when he wanted to get his way with the ladies. It seemed to work on all of them apparently.

"Well if not that spell, then which?"

Such a stubborn bitch; she even refused to ask the right questions…even when he gave her the right questions to ask.

"It was that spell"

"Fine….what….what did you do?"

He growled at her, low and fierce. Man, she was such a pain in the ass. She still didn't get it right!

"I have a lot less patience than your son, bitch!"

"Yes, I am aware"

He rippled against the chains that held him from ripping her pretty little throat out; what he wouldn't give to have her hot blood running over his claws and down his throat!

"Fine, fine. Honestly, you boys are so touchy. So you performed the spell, but it didn't work…it was never supposed to…so what did it do?"

"Well that depends. That damnable human heart of mine would not let me finish the switch, which ultimately would have done nothing more than change her appearance a little, maybe made her senses better, given her a longer lifespan…yadda yadda yadda. But now…"

"Now you don't know because it was never finished."

He flashed a set of sharp fangs at her in cruel amusement. At least one plus one was still two with this bitch.

Her arms came around him over his shoulders from behind and she pulled her claws across his jaw with one hand while the other held his chin from snapping her head off. Her lips rested near his ear, the dark whisper of his words creating an itch he couldn't scratch.

"You know…"

Her claw drew a straight line from his neck to his chest, a thin rivulet of blood following the agonizingly sweet sensation and he couldn't take his eyes away from it.

"…I really do hate you"

"Leave him alone, mother"

Toukai looked up as Sesshoumaru strode around the corner, his eyes set in that solid ice glare he had perfected so long ago. His mother's arms were still draped over him as though they were old pals just hanging around in the dank dungeon for kicks. He felt her head fall to his shoulder and watched her from the corner of his eyes, heaving as though it were a great burden to talk with her only child.

Heh, it probably was!

"You ruin all my fun!"

He snapped his jaws at the bitch and watched with perfect satisfaction as she jumped ever so slightly before shooting him a glare and backing off. It felt good to be feared.

"You will be released on the morrow after the woman has had some rest"

"Oh? And what's she need rest for? She already opened her legs for you?! Damn that was fast!"

Dark mirth rolled over him as his dear older brother willed poison to drip from his claws.

"Hey, did you know I can do that too? Ain't as pretty as yours, but…"

He shrugged and left the rest of that statement up to them. Let them think what they want.

"I have not, nor will I ever, lay with that woman!"

"Yeah right! Her scent is all over you and when she was down here, your scent was buried so far in her that you'd think you were living in there!"

Man, what was it with this family slapping him?! Usually his brother would just punch him, gut him, run him through, or do something equally of that violent nature. Sesshoumaru slapping him, though it hurt like a son of a bitch (heh…pun intended!), seemed almost too sissy.

"The Priestess will be here in the morning to bind your life to hers. Once it is complete, you may go where she allows you to go and no further. Your binding will be...painful…as will the consequences if you fail to comply with her precise wishes. Such will be the contract"

He felt his eye twitch in irritation and growled low at the older male. He didn't like the idea of being some bitch's slave; it didn't matter that it was her or that his humane half had agreed to it. . .this!

"What she does with you is not my problem. Mother,"

He looked up to find that he had been disregarded after that, the two of them making their way down the corridor to quit the dungeon chambers. In a fit of jealousy, he strained to hear the rest of their conversation in hopes of having something to blackmail the bitch with later.

"…you may speak to the girl now; however, you will not encourage any relations between her and I."

"But Sesshou-"

"None!"

*FR*

On to the next one…