I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.


Sesshoumaru stared blindly out of his windows, the glass of sake forgotten in his hand as he lost himself in his thoughts. Everything was perfect, was just as it should be... and yet it was all wrong.

He hated everything about his life - so-called 'perfection' included.

This feeling of dissatisfaction had been growing inside him for over five hundred years. Always before he had fought such useless emotions away and hidden them at the back of his mind. He was a daiyoukai, a lord amongst youkai and men, and his life should be perfect. And yet... those feelings had boiled and festered in his soul, spoiling everything, and nothing he could do would make them disappear.

His fingers tightened around the delicate glass he held in his hand as the incident that had first caused these unseemly emotions within him once more played out in detail within his mind, and a snarl of frustrated rage curled his lip.

His wretched brother had never realized just how often he had spied upon the boy's group, really in an attempt to find some way to destroy him. Inuyasha's human companions had not mattered to him much at all, and that was as it should have been.

Until, that was, one specific event had torn his previously unwavering attention from his nemesis and forced it firmly onto someone else...

The young miko that had been his brother's constant companion for so many months.

That event was the battle with the so-called 'flower prince' Kaou.

He had never seen a female stand with such strength of spirit and determination – grace and even beauty – as that little human woman had in that moment. He had never forgotten the youkai's words, the excitement in his voice when he'd announced the fact that the miko's soul contained more agony and pain than even his brother's – and in that moment he'd looked at the girl with narrowed eyes, expecting her to be a blubbering mess while she allowed the fool to give her pain a name. He'd thought that she would take the opportunity to make his brother understand the pain he'd induced within her in an attempt to passively manipulate him through the inevitable guilt he'd feel for being the cause of her anguish – and he'd waited with scathing superiority for those exact actions to once more prove his words about the inferiority of humans and their lack of honor towards anyone but themselves.

He'd been stunned into immobility when she had stopped the youkai's words before he could reveal the source of her anguish and then stood with such strength and pride and faced the weak fool down with pain in her eyes, fire in her heart, and the grace of the gods themselves, and told him that no matter the source of her pain there was nothing there for him to devour.

And then she'd drawn back an arrow, and attacked...

His world had crumpled at his feet in that one instant of time and in all the years since he had never been able to repair it.

He was half-drawn from his thoughts by glass shattering in his hand and the smell of spilled rice wine; with a growl he threw the shattered cup against a wall, watching with almost out-of-control anger as it was pulverized halfway to dust by the force of the impact.

For all his arrogant certainty that youkai were the ultimate work of creation and that humans were weak, worthless creatures with no dignity, he had been unable to find one youkai female that carried a more graceful spirit than that definitely human miko. Not once in five hundred years. And for just as many of those years he had hated her for that simple fact. Because he, Sesshoumaru, would not take an inferior female as his, and only one who was like her but not human would do. He wouldn't accept less than his due, and a woman with such strength – and youkai blood - was definitely his due.

But it had been five hundred years and no youkai had measured up, leaving him doomed to be ever alone... because she was only a human. Which meant that she was long since dead.

As he stood there staring out the window he hated mortality with ever-deepening enmity, death with more despite than he'd ever had towards his brother, and the fates with a sick malice that bordered on insanity. If he could have gotten his hands on them he would have destroyed them for what they had done to him.

His life was perfect...

And perfectly sterile. He was more dead than any corpse... and just as isolated and alone.

For the first time in his life he wished he'd never been born.