by Shadow's Mirror
It was a lovely night for a flight. A gentle breeze was skimming along the tops of the trees, carrying with it the sweet scents of the forest, while the cloudless sky was awash with stars that lit up the night almost as brightly as the full moon that beamed its light alongside theirs. Kagura smiled as she took a moment to admire the sparkling sky lights, then returned her attention to the forest beneath her gliding leaf.
"Where are you, Sesshoumaru?" She muttered to herself. "Your scent is still fresh upon the wind. You have to be near… Hmm?" Her attention was caught by a flash of silvery white. She smiled. "Found you." She turned her leaf and the flash came again, but this time she noticed something else. A flash of pale skin. "Oh… you're not… You are! Oh this is perfect!" Chuckling to herself, she headed in for a landing.
The stream that burbled merrily through that part of the forest fed a small, secluded pool that was just deep enough to come up to the chest of the Demon Lord currently relaxing in it. At first glance, he appeared to be asleep, but the moment Kagura moved a little closer to try and get a better look, his eyes snapped open and he looked sharply over at the bush she was hiding behind. She bit her lip, waiting for either a summons or an attack. Instead, it was Jaken's voice that broke the silence. "Are you ready for me now, My Lord?"
Kagura found herself starting to obey before she realised that he wasn't speaking to her but had (for once) replied to his minion's question. Well, she supposed, there had to be a first time for everything. She watched curiously as Jaken emerged from the bushes on the other side of the spring and approached his master from behind.
The small green demon was carrying a round wooden tray with a curious old bottle on it. It had a wide round bulbous base with a long slender neck and the glass was a very pale silvery-white in colour. It looked very elegant and didn't suit Jaken at all, so it was likely something of Sesshoumaru's. A drink perhaps? Kagura mentally ran through all the drinks she knew. She was still only half-way done when Jaken stopped behind Sesshoumaru and put the tray on the ground. Only then did Kagura realise that if it was a drink, then something was missing. There was no glass.
She was still pondering the interesting possibility that Sesshoumaru drank from the bottle when Jaken picked it up and unstoppered it, then poured a little of the liquid into one hand. It was only a glimpse, but it was enough for Kagura to see that it was pure silver and glittered faintly, as if it were liquid starlight.
As Jaken moved behind Sesshoumaru, Kagura belatedly noticed that the Demon Lord's lovely silvery-white hair was all wet. Putting two and two together, Kagura nearly laughed out loud. She hadn't just caught Sesshoumaru having a bath. She'd caught him having a bath and washing his hair!
Sure enough, Jaken began to rub the liquid into Sesshoumaru's long hair. He worked quickly, but without any haste. Kagura noted with a grin that the minion in fact seemed to be lingering over the task as much as he possibly could without his master growling at him. Was he giving Sesshoumaru a scalp massage? Yes. Yes he was. She watched, her grin widening as she saw just how much fun the little demon was having. She could practically see him holding back from singing as he worked.
Jaken paused to study the end of a strand. "Ah. My Lord, you have a split end, right here." He touched it and Sesshoumaru closed his eyes for a moment, as if concentrating on something. Jaken made a happy sound. "Wonderful, My Lord! It is all perfect now, as always. Ah, speaking of hair, My Lord, the child is looking a little raggedy again. Did you wish me to…?"
"No." The response came a little faster than his usual replies and Kagura, still getting over the fact that Sesshoumaru could apparently make his hair unsplit at will, almost missed the expression that flashed across his face as he said it.
Had Sesshoumaru really just looked panicked at the idea of Jaken giving his little human girl a haircut? Kagura was intrigued by the possibility.
Jaken pouted a little. "The village we passed yesterday?" He seemed resigned to not getting his hands on Rin's hair.
Sesshoumaru gave the suggestion no more than a cursory consideration. "No. Take her to that Demon Slayer again."
Jaken nodded. "Ah! Yes, My Lord! She did a rather good job, last time. Maybe she practices on that monk. At least she did a better job with it than Totosai." He shudders. "One would think that a Swordsmith would be more skilled with scissors."
Sesshoumaru remained silent, which was a relief for Kagura as she was too busy to eavesdrop on him at that moment. She was trying not to laugh at the mental image of the old demon Totosai being instructed to give little Rin a haircut. He would have nearly keeled over in shock.
Jaken finished and surveyed his handiwork, then nodded once. "I am all done, My Lord. Did you wish me to wash your fur tonight, with your clothes?"
Kagura peered more intently through her bush. Had she just seen Sesshoumaru wince at that question? Well, if he had, he had quickly schooled his expression again.
"As you wish, My Lord. Your humble Jaken will go and do that right now!" He picked up the bottle and carried it off, back into the bushes he'd come out of before.
Sesshoumaru waited until the sound of his footsteps had gone before he spoke softly. "Why are you here, Kagura?"
Kagura grinned and stepped gracefully out of the bushes. She smirked at him. "What would you do if I said I'd come to learn the secret of your silky, soft and smooth hair and finding you bathing was an unexpected bonus?"
"You do not know what was in the bottle."
Kagura somehow managed to not laugh out loud over the fact that he had ignored the second bit of her claim. Here was a male who knew his priorities! "I can guess. There's only one Demon Spring that has silver water and I happen to know that they sell different materials to mix with it. Including something that resembles star dust. Of course, I could always kidnap Jaken for the recipe… but I suspect the mixture works only on you, anyway. Ah well, Hakudoushi will just have to put up with having bed hair each morning. Personally, I thought his idea of finding out what you used was a bit farfetched to begin with. I mean, you sleep sitting up. I'm pretty sure that would have more to do with you never being seen with bed hair than what you wash your hair with."
Sesshoumaru didn't even blink at the revelation of her reason for being there. That just amused Kagura more.
"Out of curiosity…" She walked around the pool towards him, idly noticing that she could now see over the bushes where Jaken had gone. The stream continued on the other side and the little minion was busily washing his master's clothes there. "Whatever did Jaken do to make him forbidden to cut Rin's hair?"
He didn't reply. Just as Kagura was about to give up, though, he sighed very softly. "He used his staff for light and to dry her wet hair."
His voice was very soft. Kagura had to move a bit closer to hear him. She winced as she immediately realised the consequences of an open flame near hair. "Oh, ouch. She wasn't hurt?"
"No. Her hair was, however, singed in several spots."
"Ah. So that's why he's not allowed near it now." Kagura nods. "Can't say I blame you for that. But how in the world did you end up getting the Demon Slayer to do it? I take it you mean that female friend of your brother's?"
"Half brother. Yes. She saw Rin the day after Jaken's attempt."
Kagura nodded, suddenly losing interest in the conversation as she was distracted. From where she was now standing, she had a perfect view of two things that were far more interesting. Into the pool where Sesshoumaru was and over in the stream where Jaken was. "I see."
Sesshoumaru arched one eyebrow almost imperceptibly. "Why are you still here?"
Kagura smirked at him. "Why Sesshoumaru, if I didn't know better, I might think I wasn't welcome here. Or could it be that you know what's happening on the other side of that bush and want me gone, so I don't see you get out of the water to go stop it?" Her smile widened. "I had no idea you were so shy."
Sesshoumaru looked at her for a long moment. Then he stood up. As the magnificent Demon Lord stepped out of the pool and strode off towards the minion currently rolling around in the water on his fur, Kagura chuckled. "I never thought I'd be so glad that Hakudoushi had given me such a ridiculous task tonight. Oh and Sesshoumaru…"
While he didn't stop walking, he did at least pause for a moment. Kagura took the chance to give him a compliment.
"Nice loincloth. White really suits you."
Epilogue to Follow