Kagome sighed tiredly as she unlocked the door to the apartment she shared with her best friend, then knocked loudly as she walked in so her roommate was warned that she was back.
"That you, Kagome?" her roommate called as she stepped inside. Sango was her best friend – a rather dangerous woman when needed, she didn't put up with any male bullying her... or Kagome, either. The young woman had learned a lot about independence and strength of will from her friend. They were lessons she'd sorely needed when they'd first met. "Want some coffee?"
She admired Sango greatly.
"Hai," she called back, "and yes, please!" The thought of coffee was a definite mood booster. It had been a long day.
It looked as though it was going to get even longer before it was through, too, she acknowledged with another sigh.
She flipped through the mail laid neatly out on the little table in the foyer, looking for the one in particular that Sango had made mention of when she'd called her earlier - 'something difficult and official looking' from Tokyo.
Moving into the small living room she set her bag down and, with trembling fingers, neatly slit open the letter addressed to her in an elegant, spare hand. She wasn't looking forward to reading what it contained...
Five minutes later she was still reading it, a deep frown creasing her brow as she struggled to take in what it was telling her while remaining calm. Sango frowned in turn as she entered the room with two mugs of coffee and took note of her best friend's expression.
"Bad news?" she asked, concerned. Kagome didn't often frown, and when she did it was serious.
"You could say that," she said slowly, still perusing the letter and answering abstractedly. "Sesshoumaru won't release my money to me unless I go see him in person, first." She sounded frustrated. "I need that money and he knows it. He can make me pretty much dance to his tune anytime he wants by holding my inheritance from me."
Sango looked confused. "I thought your lawyer was named Kouga? Isn't he in charge of your money?"
Kagome looked tired in that moment and Sango had a feeling that things for her friend were about to get very, very difficult.
"Sesshoumaru is my husband," she said, and the young woman's mouth fell open. "He controls all my monies until I'm twenty-five. Two years from now."
"Husband? You're not married! I met you the same day you arrived here from Tokyo, the day you turned eighteen – and you haven't married any of the local wildlife, so..." she trailed off with an expression of concern – and more than a little confusion.
Grabbing her mug of coffee and taking a sip, she sighed. "I was seventeen when I was married to Sesshoumaru."
"Seventeen?!" Sango was horrified; her eyes opened as wide as they could go and she blanched. She stared at her friend for several moments and then sat up; clapping determined hands together, she said, "Right. Start talking."
"I suppose I could discuss it."
"Suppose? Gee, don't sound too enthusiastic. What in the hell possessed you to marry someone while still a schoolgirl?"
"I wasn't given a choice, really. My father had just died and I had no other close family. The only other choice of person for me to stay with would have been my distant cousin Kikyou – and she would only have done it to gain access to my inheritance. You've met Kikyou-" matching dirty looks crossed both girl's faces at mention of that name, "-so you know how much of a choice that was. Father was friends with Sesshoumaru and his father – he's youkai – and trusted him to take care of me. Not to mention some of my inheritance was tied up with their fortunes, as most of my shares in stock were in their companies. Apparently, before father had died he had spoken to Sesshoumaru about taking me as his wife for my protection, supposedly. To keep any smooth talker from coming and getting me to marry them so they could get their hands on my money," she trailed off, swirling the coffee in her mug absently as she spoke.
Sango shook her head, thinking that it all sounded so barbaric and heavy-handed. To marry your daughter off to a much older man, just so no one else could get her money? He could have just been named her guardian, with the ruling that she wasn't allowed to retain her money until a certain more mature age, as it appeared they had done. And even maybe with a provision that a potential husband had to be screened, just to make sure. She could see that. But this? Something didn't sound right to her...
"I don't know," she finally sighed. "Something about all that doesn't sound on the level, girl. There were other ways to keep your money safe, even if you'd turned out to be one of those silly fools that fall for every good-looking bad man out there. I guess it just seems odd... I mean, what did this Sesshoumaru get out of this? Not too many men are that altruistic to marry a young girl like that and not benefit in some way out of it."
"Oh, he gained something, all right. He needed someone to keep the women off of him. You see, he's quite handsome, beautiful really, and while he enjoyed 'sowing his oats-" her expression going distant and grim, "-he didn't want to be harassed about marrying any of them. Having a wife already was a good excuse."
Her friend looked scandalized. "A lecher, eh? Sounds like another person we both know," she frowned, it being her turn to look grim. "Wanted to play, but didn't want to pay. Lovely, Kagome. Another man without a heart."
"Oh, no, he had a heart," she denied her friend's allegation. "It was just that she had died. He'd been married before – he even has a daughter that's not that much younger than me. She'd been the love of his life, as his mother constantly delighted in telling me. She was perfect and elegant and always knew what to do in any situation. She had class and power – of course she was youkai, where I was just a silly human girl with some reiki that I couldn't even control. A teenager with no experience. When she died he buried his heart with her, and after that women were only good for one thing." She sighed after a moment, then chuckled, her tone dry. "I tried so hard to be a decent wife, tried to act older than I was, but I was surrounded by much older people with a sophistication I couldn't compete with – I'd barely even lived, and until father died I'd never been away from the shrine much at all. And of course their high-society friends pulled no punches laughing at me for my so-called husband's infidelities. They didn't even bother talking behind my back – they did it to my face. Finally..." she trailed off, then stopped, and shook her head. "I'd had enough, what with all that and everything else, besides, and ran. That's how I ended up here, an ex-pat Japanese girl living in New Zealand. And you know the rest of the story."
It was a tale right out of a nightmare, and Sango was outraged. "It's those traditional men I'm so glad I've never had to deal with in living here. I might be Japanese by birth, but I just don't think I could put up with the men over there. It's the same the world over – the good old boy syndrome. That's why your father married you off to some older guy. It wasn't because he'd really be good to you and do right by you. It was because they all think that marrying you is doing right by you, no matter how badly they really treat you. As long as they feed and clothe you, you should be happy and keep your mouth shut." She huffed. "First one tried that with me I'd lay them out."
Her friend's black eyes flashed as she spoke; Kagome had no doubt she'd do just that, too. She would have loved to see someone do that to Sesshoumaru and any combination of his cronies, she thought, with the brittle anger that hadn't abated in the years since she'd left. It had merely eased somewhat.
And now she was going to have to return to the scene of the crime, and all because Sesshoumaru apparently felt like flexing his muscles. Why he'd never agreed to a divorce, she'd never understood. It wasn't like he needed her for any real reason whatsoever.
After a bit more desultory conversation she made her excuses and went off to take a nice, long, relaxing soak, knowing she would have little relaxation for some time to come once she arrived back in Tokyo. She hadn't gone back once since she'd left, and had never intended to again. She'd figured that Sesshoumaru would simply have the divorce put through on his end, and that would be that – she would close the door on it all and chalk it up to experience.
But he never had, even though she'd finally gotten tired of waiting for him to do so after five years and written him asking him to basically get on with it. It hadn't been two weeks later that she'd been offered the chance to buy the bookstore chain she managed, and sent him a second letter requesting he release some of her funds. She'd been furious when he'd refused the divorce, citing certain mysterious reasons that he refused to divulge, but while he still controlled her money she had to dance to his tune and she'd not mentioned divorce again, instead once more asking for a certain amount of her money to be released to her. The letter she'd received today had been his answer to that request. Spend one month back in Tokyo, and then he'd give her the money. She had no choice but to agree. Once she turned twenty-five, though, and her accounts were turned over into her control she'd file for divorce herself the very next day and to hell with him and his 'reasons'.
She chuckled to herself, then. While she may have to go back to Tokyo for a time to see the bastard before he'd release the funds she needed to buy the chain she wished to, he would be the one getting the surprise. Because after five years she was nothing like the frightened and socially awkward girl she'd been back then. She was a businesswoman, successful in her own right and much more experienced and worldly than she had been the last time he'd seen her– and truthfully, perhaps even a little jaded, thanks to him. The bottom line was that she was no longer anyone's fool.
That didn't mean that she was promiscuous; no, after her experiences with Sesshoumaru and his womanizing she'd remained single, in no hurry to involve herself with any male again. If he'd taught her one thing it was that the male of the species – human or youkai, it made no difference - were not to be trusted.
As the next few days passed by and she prepared herself for her unwanted trip, she worked late every night so that she could leave with no work left unfinished for her boss, the current owner of the bookstore chain she was being given the chance to buy. She wasn't about to allow Sesshoumaru's high-handed demands to inconvenience anyone else, even if they did her. She was actually pretty sure that he hadn't even realized that his insane demands had inconvenienced her, not that he would care if he had realized it, but it would never occur to him that the young, lonely, and awkward girl he'd known had grown into anything useful. He probably thought she lived off of the middling allowance he sent her every month.
She didn't. Every dime he sent her went into a savings account; if this business opportunity had come along even six months later she wouldn't have had to ask Sesshoumaru to release any of her other money. She'd never used what he sent her every month like clockwork. From the moment she'd landed here in Auckland she'd found herself a job and worked her way up from there. It occurred to her to wonder what he thought of her suddenly asking for some lump sum of money to invest in a business venture. And then she laughed – he probably thought it was some gigolo that had fooled her into thinking he was a businessman, since he seemed to think she was a foolish air-head that could do no more than sit on her allowance and languish in the city waiting for some well-heeled man to pick up her tab.
Won't he be surprised, she thought with heavy irony. He thinks me as stupid as his erstwhile 'lovers'. Then again, he seems to have a low opinion of all women... except his beloved Kagura, of course. And Rin.
After he'd married her in a rather rushed and meaningless ceremony just a few days after her father's death, he'd taken her back to live at his overly large estate where his mother had moved in soon after his former wife's death to help him care for his then-young daughter, Rin. In her mind the place had been ostentatious and overdone, but that was apparently how high-society flew – she much preferred a more refined, understated tastefulness in her decor. She supposed some might call her a minimalist, but really she just wanted to be comfortable in her home, not live in a cluttered, overdone, huge mausoleum of a mansion.
But the disturbing thing about it was that the place had been kept as a shrine to his dead wife, as she found out within moments of arriving at her new – and unwanted - home. Everything was as it had been when Kagura was alive, and as she found out the hard way, nothing was allowed to be changed. The only rooms that she had been allowed to decorate to her tastes had been the suite of rooms she'd been given that had been connected to his.
She frowned, setting aside the last bit of work she'd needed to finish before leaving in the morning as her mind wandered back to those nightmare months in that house. That was something she hadn't understood then, and still didn't understand to this day.
When they'd left her family's shrine after the morning marriage she'd been subjected to, she'd expected what every girl did when they were married – that he'd be collecting on his conjugal rights. She'd been horribly mortified when he'd glared haughtily at her when she'd tentatively brought it up, saying that she was just a child and he didn't sleep with children. So she'd been stunned when his mother had taken one look at her when she'd walked in the door and wrinkled her nose as though catching a whiff of something rancid, suggesting that she be put in a room in a different wing of the mansion and he'd glared the woman into submission with an almost acid dislike in his eyes, ordering that her things be placed in the rooms adjoining his.
When she'd found out initially that he had been married once before and even had a daughter, she'd been surprised and rather put off, especially when his mother began her campaign of psychological torture from the moment her son had walked her in the door, always comparing her to Kagura, to her constant detriment. It turned out that Kagura had been her goddaughter, and she'd adored the woman to the point of worship. When she'd died, she, Satori, had been as devastated as her son was, and she was aghast – and enraged – when he'd returned from a business trip with a child-bride, business partner's daughter or not and marriage of convenience notwithstanding.
It was then that she'd asked to be moved into a smaller room somewhere else in the mansion, herself, only to be angrily rebuffed by a male that was almost always cold and seemingly viciously hateful. She'd been completely stunned and even frightened when he'd turned on her and denied her request to move rooms in furious and impassioned tones she'd never heard from him until that very moment. A day or two later he'd coolly cornered her and asked why she wished to move rooms; angry, confused, frightened and miserable herself by that time, she'd answered in a curt voice that she didn't wish to live in rooms that his beloved wife had and that were still set up as a living shrine to her. He had coldly informed her that the rooms he'd shared with his dead wife had been in a different wing of the mansion, and that she could do what she wished with the rooms she was in.
She sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose with sore fingers, her memories wearing her down. She was truly tired, and tomorrow and the next month that he was insisting she spend in Tokyo were going to be just as tiring, if not more so. He was one of the most complicated people she'd ever known, and she couldn't wait for the next month to be over. Hopefully after that he'd leave her alone and she'd never have to see him again. Finishing up her last bit of work, she let her mind continue wandering as she headed home.
Sesshoumaru was almost impossible to read. Most of the time of their year-long marriage he had been distant and cold, and there would be entire weeks on end where she wouldn't see him at all. When he did bother to show his face he could be quite mean, and there were days where she went out of her way to stay away from him herself. But then, very occasionally and confusingly, he would defend her – and when he did it he was vicious about it.
Several times he'd caught his mother in some bit of cruelty towards her and he'd nearly kicked her out of his home, the row that would start from him reprimanding her for her words nearly deadly enough to bring the house down around their ears.
And then there were the parties. Kicking off her shoes as she slipped into her apartment quietly, not wanting to wake Sango, she couldn't help the tight-lipped expression that took over her normally mobile, warm features. She had hated those parties with more vehement animosity than she'd ever felt towards anything else.
Time and time again she was humiliated to the point she couldn't even speak; she'd been raised on a shrine with a father she'd loved in a distant way and a mother who she'd adored, though she'd lost her far too soon. The point was, she'd never seen anyone behave the way members of society appeared to. All too often, those who took such delight in tormenting her were to be seen in the news, smiling and trying their best to look like honorable, down-to-earth people with humble hearts and charitable natures towards their fellow man. Or youkai, as the case may be.
And all of it was nothing but lies. All of them were nasty, petty, bitter, haughty and narrow-minded people that enjoyed bullying an innocent seventeen year old girl, making her life so miserable that it finally came down to fight or flight. She'd chosen flight. It was the only way for her to survive.
She'd never forget the smirks, the superior looks and the cruel laughter from the crimson-painted lips of the women, the talk of her husband's newest flavor-of-the-week. And even though her marriage wasn't a normal marriage in the traditional sense, she couldn't help but think that if he was going to play a male whore, he could at least have been a bit more discreet about it – or at least not forced her to attend those stupid parties, where he would abandon her the moment they walked in to go talk business with the men – or disappear into some back room or pool house with the current piece of ass.
And as yet another bitch would stalk her to needle her some more, her bitterness would begin to peak – and then he'd appear, apparently feeling magnanimous after getting laid while everyone drank and gossiped and she hid as best she could in a dark corner, and turn her world upside down by confronting whichever bitch it happened to be at that particular party and biting her head off. Then he would sweep her home and let her cry her frustrated rage and hurt and humiliation out on him. He'd force her to, actually, pulling her to him and rocking her a little until it would all burst out of her, and he would even take her bitter, angry and hateful words about himself and simply say nothing, thrumming some soothing cadence from his chest to calm her down. How ironic to be comforted by the cause of your pain. It was as hypocritical as a medieval torturer taking his victim off the rack and then holding them and soothing them and acting sympathetic to their agony.
Eyes shadowed, she quietly shut the door to her room and immediately began to undress. She needed as much sleep as she could get before having to go back to the scene of her hellish fake marriage and face her chief tormenter.
This time, though, they would be on even ground. She was no longer a sheltered teenager with no experience or class.
And by the time he was through playing whatever game it was that he was playing this time, she'd walk away from him just as coolly as she'd walk towards him tomorrow evening when he arrived at the airport to pick her up.
He would be the one left grasping for balance on uneven ground, not her.
With that pleasant thought warming her she rolled herself into her blanket and drifted off to sleep.
Sighing with a touch of nostalgic sadness, Kagome looked out the window of the plane at the city of Tokyo, not realizing how much she'd missed it until just this very moment. Despite the cruel and mocking high society people she'd been forced to deal with after her marriage, she'd been happy when younger – just another average schoolgirl living on one of Tokyo's more well-known shrines. Her family had tended that shrine for generations, and she'd been proud of that, planning on continuing that tradition when she grew into the fullness of her reiki and her stature as an adult.
But then her father had died and her world had been upended in the most vicious and painful way, leaving her living in a hell she'd had no way of coping with. She still didn't understand her erstwhile 'husband's' actions at all during that horrible year – or the fact that he still refused to give her the divorce she'd asked for.
Eyes pensive as the plane came in for a landing, all those painful memories came flooding back over her again – as well as the humiliating and rending truth that she'd hidden from everyone and even from herself for so long – that the reason she'd tried so hard to grow up fast in the beginning of her marriage and become just like his dead wife was because she'd been bowled over by the beautiful youkai she'd been married to – and had fallen hard with her seventeen year old innocent teenager's heart.
Her lips twisted bitterly at that thought – he'd certainly managed to turn that innocent love into hatred and fear. After all this time that hatred had softened to cool dislike and mistrust – but she sighed again with the knowledge that it wouldn't take much to revive that hatred. He'd just done too much damage, and she grimaced with the silent admittance that some of that bitterness was aimed at her father – he had to have known what his friend and business partner was like and yet he'd basically thrown her to the proverbial wolf – and all just because he didn't want some gigolo to get his hands on the money he was leaving behind?
The plane landed with a jolt which drew her attention back to her surroundings, and firmly putting that past away and locking it up in a dark corner of her mind, she drew her usual cool poise around her like armor and checked her watch.
Right on time, she thought with satisfaction. Sesshoumaru was always such a stickler for being on time, so that's one less thing he will be able to look down on me for.
She wasted no time on disembarking; heading directly for baggage claim she took hers as soon as they arrived and headed for a restroom for a quick chance to refresh her hair and light makeup and to make sure her clothes weren't too wrinkled. She could not afford to give the bastard any ground, anything that he could use against her in any way.
A few minutes later, satisfied that she still looked professional and collected, she left the restrooms and headed for the airport coffee shop where he was supposed to meet her. Fortunately, the shop was not overly crowded at this time of night and she was able to get herself a drink and find a seat to await Sesshoumaru's arrival.
After about ten minutes with no Sesshoumaru in sight, she looked at her watch again and her brow rose – the male who was always so adamant about arriving at precisely the time he'd given... was late. So after demanding my presence in a high handed and haughty manner, he can't even have the courtesy to arrive on time?
Firmly putting the arrogant son of a bitch out of her mind before she could get angry all over again she sat back, crossing her long, slim legs and delicately picking up her cup to take a careful sip of her hot tea. Her attention was drawn by a young couple, obviously weary from travel and needing a pick-me-up – she watched as the man carefully assisted his tired significant other to a seat and then took her order before shuffling tiredly up to the counter to place said order.
Lucky woman, she thought... but only for a moment, and then her hard-won cynicism caught up with her and she dismissed the thought. Enjoy it while you can, because sooner or later things will change. Males aren't to be trusted – because one day they'll turn on you and you won't know what hit you.
"Kagome," a well-remembered smooth baritone murmured just at that point, and with firm control she turned to look coolly up at the male that had so cruelly ruined her younger years.
Her heart skipped a beat painfully as she took him in; in that moment she was glad that she'd learned to control her reiki, because she was able to hide those little indicators of stress from the arrogant beast that was standing before her with an odd little half-smile on his elegant face.
"Sesshoumaru," she acknowledged just as smoothly, once again checking her watch – this time with a pointedly cocked brow at his late entrance.
"I had something that I couldn't get away from," he said, openly looking her over as she stood and reached for her baggage cart.
She shot him an amused glance at that. "Or is that someone?" she rebutted lightly, ignoring his proffered hand and pulling her own cart behind her as he turned with an ironic little incline of his head and began to lead the way out of the shop.
"Are you insinuating something, my dear, long-lost wife?"
"Come on, Sesshoumaru, I haven't forgotten what you're like. There is always a someone with you."
"Jealous?" he asked.
She laughed outright. "Not hardly. And we both know that I'm not really your wife, so please, don't bother with playing the devoted husband. It's not as if I'm still a child-bride with wide eyes and an innocent view of the world. The niceties coming from you never meant anything much, anyway," she dismissed derisively.
Not looking at him, she missed the angry flash of cat-slit golden eyes as she followed him absently through the airport parking garage to his car. "It seems you've grown some fangs since you've been gone, Kagome," he said, his voice dangerously soft; where once she would have instantly been drenched in fear, knowing what that softness presaged, now she simply wasn't impressed.
"It had to happen sometime," she shrugged carelessly, coming to a stop behind him as he used his keyfob to open the trunk of the expensive car he owned. Once again ignoring his silent attempt to lift her luggage into the trunk, she loaded her own things and then stepped back to wait for him to close it.
He did so, and then simply looked at her through hooded eyes for a long moment. "How independent you've become, little girl – it seems you've done quite a bit of growing up down there in Auckland. One wonders how many teachers you've had," he said insinuatingly.
Eyes going coldly amused, she flicked dismissive fingers at him. "I don't need a man to teach me anything. Whatever poise and professionalism I've gained since I've been away from Tokyo was learned the hard way – the right way. Now, are we going to stand here in a parking garage and try to slice each other to little pieces with soft insinuations and cutting insults, or are we going to get a move on? It has, after all, been a long day, and I would like to find my bed."
At that, a dangerous smirk twisted his firmly molded and aristocratic lips. Even as he unlocked the doors with another press of a button, he shot her a rather lascivious look through suddenly hot eyes. "Already speaking of beds, are we, Kagome? Is that a Freudian slip? If so, I would not be averse to you finding my bed."
That was just too much for Kagome; eyes going flatly angry as she climbed into the passenger side, she turned to look at him as he slid into the seat beside her. "I'm not here to play games with you, Sesshoumaru. Have you already worked through every female – available or not – here in Tokyo? Trust me when I say that your bed is one place I have absolutely no ambition of visiting – I'm no notch on any male's headboard. I have much, much more class than any of these females flaunting their wares on the society scene here in Tokyo – and no man can buy me," she finished, her eyes flashing warningly at the fascinated male beside her.
The car remained silent for a few minutes as he started it and backed out of the space he'd taken before smoothly shifting into drive and accelerating through the garage to the entrance. Flicking his turn signal on carelessly at the stop sign, he merged easily with traffic and began heading for the outskirts with practiced ease.
Once they were on the expressway, he spoke, his voice coldly authoritarian – the wealthy businessman and aristocrat had come to the surface. "What is it that you needed the money you requested for? Some shady 'business deal' a sly gigolo has convinced you is your ticket to the easy life?"
"You'd like to think that, wouldn't you, Sesshoumaru?" she asked, her voice just as coldly businesslike as his own. "If you must know, I have been offered the chance to buy a bookstore chain in Auckland."
"And have you even seen any proof that this bookstore chain exists other than on paper?"
"Why yes," she murmured poisonously sweetly, "I have. Every day that I go to work as the manager of said bookstore chain. It is quite a lucrative business, and has always operated in the black. Anything else you wish to insinuate about my intelligence level, hmm?"
He shot her a surprised look beneath lowered brows. "You... work?"
Her mouth tightened at his obvious surprise. "That surprises you, doesn't it? I'm not some wastrel female hanging on a rich husband to avoid doing so. I have worked since the day I landed in Auckland five years ago after leaving you and this false and hateful city," she snapped, her temper heating once again.
He frowned, his eyes narrowing moodily in the low light of the car's instrument panel. "What have you done with the money I have been sending you every month?"
"Nothing," she replied flatly. "I have never used a dime of your conscience money. It's all sitting in the same account you have insisted on wiring it into for the past five years. From what I understand it's actually a tidy little sum now – not that it matters. And if this business offer had come just a few months later I wouldn't have even needed to contact you at all. If it would have given me the ability to avoid having to communicate with you, and even better avoid having to see you, I would have gone ahead and used it and you could have just taken it out of the funds that father left me. Since I really don't want your money – or anything else of yours, for that matter."
Her answer didn't please him; it was quite clear from the low growl it ripped from his throat.
Kagome really didn't care.
"Do you hate me so much?" he asked after a moment to get his own temper under control.
"Hate you?" she murmured after a moment. "No. I don't hate you. I don't feel anything for you at all except irritation that you have refused my request for a divorce."
"And I will keep doing so," he shot at her, his eyes flaring redly for a moment.
His temper rising cooled her own, and she shrugged. "Whatever," she replied. "In two more years you won't have a choice – I reach my majority and my money reverts into my hands. Make no mistake – the very next day I will file for divorce myself."
"Make no mistake," he parodied her with a growl, "I will fight you every step of the way – which means it would take another five years to get your divorce."
Frustrated with his intransigence on this subject, her voice rose sharply in the enclosed space. "Why are you so determined to keep a fake wife that doesn't even live in the same country as you do?!"
And that's when all her nightmares came to life as he said coolly, "Because this month I have demanded you spend here is to effect a reconciliation." He shot her a determined look out of hotly burning golden eyes. "You won't be going back to Auckland again, Kagome – it's time you came home – I've been as patient with you as I intend to be. Your days of freedom are over."
A/N: And welcome to my new Sess/Kag, everyone. Please be patient with me as I try to catch up on a year and a half of writer's block! I only have the next chapter written and no further, so this might move a teeny bit slowly at first.
Nonetheless, I hope you all enjoy it, since it is an odd departure for me. I'm not much usually for modern day A/U stuff, since I live in this world and it sucks. I like to keep my fantasy world just that, lol, not anything based out of this reality. But this was just begging to be written, so I finally obliged.