Daniels Disclaimer: A WAFFy piece (in case you couldn't guess) with some angst. I almost cried writing this, thinking about Kikyo. Anyway, I don't REALLY own this. Rumiko Takahashi is the person that REALLY owns this. She just doesn't know it.

Kagome massaged her temples, not wanting to deal with her friends right now. So Sesshou-maru was in this time, alive, was he? And he had grown back his arm, it seemed, and now he was interested in her somehow. Damn.

She looked up, and sighed. "Please, just give it a rest. I REALLY don't want to talk about him anymore, okay?"

Yuki glanced at Ami, and then at Saishi. "Fine," she muttered, and throwing her hands up. She hadn't even gotten his name, only that he was the HALF-brother of the mystery bastard that had broken Kagome's heart. Yuki looked up at the clock. Class, and thus school, would be over soon anyway.

Sesshou-maru stood outside the school gates. This simply would not do. The second day in a row that he had left work early. The last time he had done that had been the birth of their last child, and that was a good ninety years past.

It didn't help that Jaken kept voicing his own thoughts. "Really, m'lord, why are you becoming involved in such petty mortal affairs? Surely whatever blood-right has bound you to your brother's request does not demand tha-"

"Shut up, toad. You displease me." Sesshou-maru said. Jaken gulped, and nearly prostrated himself right there on the edge of the school grounds.

"M'lord, I am very sorry! I did not mean to displease you with my foolish words an-"

"Just shut up, and go wait in the car." Jaken nodded dumbly, and walked off.

Kagome gasped as she saw Sesshou-maru waiting, staring at her, oblivious to the other students, coolly indifferent to their stares. "He's really beginning to creep me out," Yuki muttered, and Ami nervously agreed. It took little urging on Kagome's part to convince them to go home a different way. He wouldn't dare use his demonic power, not around so many witnesses-

They turned a corner, and there he stood. Ami slammed into him, and bounced off his chest, stumbling back a step. He didn't even flinch.

"You will listen to what I say, wench." He said, narrowing his eyes at Kagome.

She gulped, but stood up to him. "Why? I heard what he said to me- I don't need your lies to comfort me for whatever unfathomable reason you have! Just leave me alone!" Again she shoved past him.

"What did he say?" Sesshou-maru asked, softly.

"That he was just using me. That he really loved Kikyo!" With this admission, tears began to trickle from her eyes.

Sesshou-maru tightened the muscles underneath his lip and between his eyes a little, almost frowning. His brother had mentioned no such admission- unless...

"You stupid little bitch," he carefully, coolly, annunciating each word, "you fool to have spent so much of your time running back here to learn, when your are just as idiotic, just as moronic as you where before." His fist clenched, and he calmed himself. Such anger was unbecoming, simply not acceptable.

"You've got some nerve, you know that!?" Yuki demanded angrily. The arrogant bastard had called Kagome... he had called her a LOT of nasty things. "Where do you get off saying stuff like that, you arrogant, stuck-up woma-"

She cut off abruptly as Sesshou-maru shifted his gaze to her. She could FEEL the danger literally radiating from him. He barely whispered. "Quiet. Or I will kill you."

"He's not bluffing," Kagome said. "Maybe you should leave."

"A-are you serious?!" Yuki blanched, but stood firm. "Leave you with this crazy bastard?!"

"I'll be okay," Kagome said, looking at Sesshou-maru cautiously. "I think if he wanted to hurt me he would have already." He nodded slightly, and projected a little more youki at the girls for good measure. They had the bravery of fools, and fled quickly given the chance. Amazing that his brother had found a woman such as this among their number. He looked back at her.

"Walk with me," he said, turning.

"Why?" She asked, demanding and a little hesitant.

"I still have Tensaiga. I could kill you, carry your corpse where I wish to go, and resurrect you. Now, would you prefer to walk?"

"Yes," she said, a little meek, the fire quenched but not gone. Sesshou-maru approved. He strolled lazily, setting an easy pace to where Jaken should be waiting with the car. She kept along at his side, looking up at his expressionless face as they went along. He seemed to part people before him, so she didn't have to worry about getting bumped.

"Tell me," he said, abruptly changing the topic, "how did Naraku instigate the death of Kikyo?"

"He disguised himself as Inu-Yasha," Kagome said, a little lost, "and he- oh!" Suddenly, it came clear. She stopped, and stared ahead. Sesshou-maru paused a little ahead, and then waited for her to catch up. He started walking again before she reached him, forcing her to continue moving.

"Are you saying that..." She stopped speaking, afraid to voice it.

"Yes. And you will notice this time he didn't have to worry about a reincarnation."

"Oh no..." She whispered.

"Inu-Yasha was very distraught. His companions blamed him, you see, and he did too. Without the support of his friends, he just gave up. He did not even have the opportunity to grovel at your feet to be forgiven for something he did not do." Kagome stared up at Sesshou-maru as he strode along. Had he actually gotten angry? He turned, and smiled at her, and Kagome shivered. That was not a happy smile.

"With the well sealed, he would not be able to reach you for five centuries. As a hanyou, he could live that long. But he would be decrepit, old- about your grandfather's 'age', in fact, while you would be as you are. He could not have you."



Sesshou-maru paused, now slowing, and his voice grew distant. "He blamed Naraku. Rightfully so. I saw when he extracted his vengeance. It was- terrible." He shuddered slightly, like he was trying to shake something off of him, and Kagome wondered what could possibly have happened. Then he spoke again, still in the distant, almost awed tone. "It took me three centuries to explain, to cover up why an area about half the size of Tokyo was simply gone, blasted, no longer there. I have never seen a similar display of raw power, and I hope I never see another."

And then Kagome realized why she was filled with dread. "You keep talking about Inu-Yasha in the past tense..." she whispered, and Sesshou-maru quietly opened the car door, and motioned her in. She slid in, not thinking. "Why?"

"Because he is dead."

"What?! Oh no, Inu-Yasha, I never got to-"

"Please, shut up. I'm not finished." Sesshou-maru quietly reached down, and drew out a bottle.

"My brother knew the power of Tensaiga. He begged me to resurrect him in this time, to return him to life in this era so he could at least apologize to you. I refused." Sesshou-maru opened the bottle, and drew out two glasses, and poured the rich red wine into them. "But then... after he slaughtered Naraku... he came before me again. He did not ask; we both knew what he wanted. I was going to refuse, but his eyes..." Sesshou-maru stopped pouring, and held out a glass for Kagome. They both sipped, Kagome's eyes on Sesshou-maru, and Sesshou-maru once more stared into the past.

"I knew those eyes would haunt me. So filled with despair, so empty- but lit with a single hope. Me. It was a terrible experience, knowing then the power I held over my brother. Over Inu-Yasha." He looked down, eyes still not focused on anything. "If I had asked for Tetsusaiga, he would have not hesitated. If I had demanded his arm for my shoulder, he would have ripped it straight out of the socket where he stood." Sesshou-maru shivered. "I did not hold the power of life or death over him- I held the desire for life over him. It was terrible." Sesshou-maru took another sip, and stared at the wine, so like blood.

"I agreed, because I knew his ghost would stare at me until it drove me insane upon my deathbed." Here Sesshou-maru looked up, and looked intently into Kagome's eyes. She was staring, looking at some portion of his soul. It was a measure of him that he spoke of being haunted without a single quiver of fear, Kagome wondered.

Sesshou-maru looked out the window. "We are nearly there."

"Where?" Kagome asked, startled.

Sesshou-maru narrowed his eyes slightly, the emotionlessness back in place. "Need you ask? My brother's tomb."

Her shoes clicked softly on the floor, the hard artificial floor. They were underground, underneath Sesshou-maru's opulent home. Still she followed where he led, through the basement of his mansion.

He stopped before a door that Kagome recognized as an industrial freezer. "You kept him in an icebox!?" She demanded, a little angry at how ludicrous that seemed. At how trivial it made his death seem.

Sesshou-maru nodded, a little surprised at her dismay. "Of course. You didn't think I'd let him decay, did you? Spells can only do so much. Originally I enslaved several oni as guardians for where I had him, when I had him sealed in a glacier far to the north of any land claimed by a Demon Lord. About thirty years ago I had him cut out of the ice and brought here, in anticipation of this day."

He opened the door, and gestured for her to wait. Several minutes later, he wheeled out a gurney, covered in a white sheet. The sheet was frozen stiff, and covered in several spell-scrolls. She did not have to ask to realize that the sheet was really a death shroud, enchanted to stop decay.

Sesshou-maru wheeled the gurney down the hall, and stopped to unlock another door. The shroud was melting, now, and water tricked in a little path behind them.

The door opened, revealing a plain room, with several futons rolled up against the wall. The carpet was very thick, and quite nice. Sesshou-maru lifted his brother's body off the gurney, and carried it inside. Hanging on the wall of the room was Tetsusaiga, and below it Tensaiga. Kagome shivered as she walked in. The wards on the room where almost unbelievably strong.

She rolled out a futon, and Sesshou-maru lowered him down, carefully placing him on the mat. He unwound the damp shroud, pulling back the spell scrolls. Inu-Yasha lay naked on the futon, and Kagome blushed. And then gasped, seeing the wounds that covered his body. He was so pale, so blue, that he looked ready to die- but he was too well-preserved to be a five-century old corpse. She supposed it was the magic that made him look so fresh, so fragile.

Sesshou-maru swallowed. He had nearly forgotten how delicate, how... dead his brother looked. He smelled of ice, of extreme cold. It turned his stomach, that smell. Sesshou-maru reached over, pulling the old fire rat clothes out from under another rolled-up futon. He tied the kimono on, Kagome lifting up Inu-Yasha's upper body. He pulled the hakima over his brother's legs without her help. He supposed they would be coming off again soon enough, but no matter.

Finally he fastened on the haori, the outer coat. He looked over to Kagome, who swallowed and nodded. Now was too solemn a time for words.

Sesshou-maru stood up, and walked over and drew Tensaiga. With a single thrust, he jammed it into Inu-Yasha's chest, and Kagome winced. He pulled it free, feeling the magic of his sword healing the wounds. And the Inu-Yasha coughed.



Kagome cried and reached out, latching her arms around him as she sobbed into his chest, laughing as her tears flew once more, tears of joy.

Inu-Yasha opened his eyes. "K'gome..." he mumbled, and smiled, wrapping her arms around her. She tightened her grip. He looked up. "Sesshou-maru... brother..." he whispered, and Sesshou-maru stared into his eyes, so full of joy. Of hope.

Sesshou-maru felt the muscles in his cheeks tighten as his mouth drew up and open, and his eyes closed a little.

"Good afternoon, my little brother." He said, and his face relaxed. "There are many things we must discuss, but I will leave now. I will know you're done when this door opens again. This room is soundproof, by the way." With that, Sesshou-maru left the blushing couple alone, as the door drew closed with a soft click, and the spells resealed with a soft hum.

Inu-Yasha looked down into Kagome's tear-filled eyes. "Forgive me..."she whispered, dropping her gaze. He pulled her tight, and lifted her chin in his hand, and smiled. And then he kissed her.