Title: Only Drunks and Children
Author: Celyia (cel@celyia.com)
Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi owns all. Including, if you take a gander at my Ebayed-out credit card, my paycheck for the next fifteen years.
Genre: Romance
Note: Hiya! Yes, I AM updating FS and FMN soon. Hoping to get something out this weekend if possible. (Why oh why did I have to take a Saturday class?)

Regarding this story, I decided I had to give it a shot. While I am still retiring from fanfiction, I came to the conclusion that one short-ish story won't kill me. :-) It will appear to be a familiar plot, but I am hoping that I will give this enough of a twist that maybe you guys will end up liking this story. If I'm lucky, anyway.

OH! This story is early in the series before even Shippou joins.

So thanks a lot and hang in there! Thanks!

-Cel.


Prologue
Had it been any other night, her eyes would have been wide open in order to enjoy the mesmerizing way errant beams of starlight escaped the shadow of the moonless sky, but instead, her fingers were splayed over her eyes in an unsuccessful attempt to ignore the knowledge that the only reason she had yet to fall the several hundred feet to a rather messy death was due to the uncomfortably precarious grip the madman had on the old and quite threadbare band of her skirt.

"Cease your screeching," the aforementioned madman commanded, his smooth voice flat with the confidence of one who knows his orders will not be ignored.

No insults flung to put her in her place. No threatening "or elses ... " tacked onto that soft command to remind her of her desperate position. No, the youkai was evidently so used to others accepting his orders that it probably never dawned on him to qualify it, Kagome decided in wonder, her mind almost numb from the fear.

After all, it would be easier on him to just drop me than to continue carrying me.

Her jaw clamped shut as her survival instincts kicked into action, sending her small hands behind her back in order to grasp onto the slender, nearly effeminate wrist that dangled her so high above the ground. If he did decide she was too much trouble to carry and tried to drop her, Kagome vowed, she'd make damn certain he'd fail. If nothing else, Kagome had much experience clinging to the most slippery of surfaces with the persistence of a happy barnacle.

Anyway, she had survived through way too much in her life to allow some make-up-wearing-boa-carrying-anal-retentive-ice-queen to get her now.

She inhaled deeply through her nose, her eyes squeezed shut even as the moist scent of the heavy clouds in the air relaxed something inside her core. Slowly, carefully, her fingers blindly searched out the madman's delicate skin, refusing to admit to herself that if he decide to release his grasp on her skirt's band (or if the thing should finally snap, which was another option she denied to herself existed) her position was awkward enough to make it impossible to stop the long fall.

"Stop moving," Sesshoumaru, Lord of the West and Part-Time Abductor, murmured softly, his tones somewhat muted by the flush of air constantly battling against them.

"I'm not moving!" the girl grumbled, her annoyance finally getting the better of her common sense as she tried to bend her head back to glare at the youkai, but considering her position, it was an impossible task. While the youkai lord had not (fortunately) decided to carry her by the back of her neck, there was a reason that this paralyzing position she was currently in was favoured by mother cats the world over.

"Remain silent."

Sighing in frustration, Kagome reluctantly shut her mouth, her every instinct screaming for her to do something to get out of this mess, yet her mind unable to focus upon a single option (other than remaining still) that would keep her from becoming intimately acquainted with the rather hard ground.

In short, she would just have to wait to see where the mannequin Lord of No Emotion would eventually take her.

Not too unlike a kitten being carried away, really.

Except, Kagome comforted herself, this little kitten would scratch her abductor's golden eyes out the second they landed.

Well, if she didn't throw up out of terror first.

"Do you have to go this high?" Kagome blurted out in a desperate attempt to distract herself from the nausea, opening one eye for a microsecond to peek at the world below. Her voice caught as she briefly considered the wisdom of questioning her captor but her natural loquacity refused to be stifled.

No answer.

"Normally, I don't mind heights too much, but I think I'm going to throw up here," she exaggerated threateningly, only to squeal in fear as the youkai held her, wordlessly, out further from him. "Stop that!"

There is one little fact about Our Heroine that she did not like to admit to, but was definitely clear at times like this: if the choice ever came between pride and survival, Kagome had no qualms about choosing survival every time. And at that moment, Kagome's biggest goal was getting back to the safety of her abductor's single-handed grasp.

"Pull me back in, please?" she asked as sweetly as her chattering teeth would allow. "I promise to behave."

Yet, the youkai seemed untouched by her request.

"I promise I'll stop moving and I'll stop talking and I'll ... " Kagome shook her head, aware of slight tearing sound coming from her skirt. The band, she thought in a panic, it's ripping. Oh god, it's ripping. Now that she thought about it, she could feel the fabric slowly begin to give way, each second bringing her closer to a rather messy doom.

"Please. Look, I don't know why you took me," the words came out in a rush, sincere and slightly breathy. "But please don't let me fall."

It took all her willpower to open her eyes and try to crook her head to look up at the creature holding her so perilously in the air. Vivid golden eyes, alive with curiosity and distrust, met her gray ones, locking them with their intensity.

This creature who carried her, the girl suddenly thought as she let go of his wrists as if they were hot potatoes, she really knew nothing about him. What did she really know of the youkai Sesshoumaru, the lord of the ever-growing western lands? His little brother's angry words and Kaede's murmured teachings were all she had ever heard. Who knew what the slender monster was really capable of?

Maybe, she thought for a second as a wave of panic crashed over her, maybe it would be better just to fall.

No, it's not. No, I still have a fighting chance here. I'll be damned if I'm going to blow it by just dying.

She bit the bottom of her lip as she stared the best she could at his beautiful face, squelching the panic screaming within as she ignored for the moment the knowledge that it would be only moments before her skirt's band broke.

"Please," she asked simply, staring into those electrifying eyes that so did not seem to match with his stoic face.

Had she not known better, Kagome would has said the youkai sighed impatiently even as he pulled her up to tuck the girl beneath his arm, but at that particular moment, his expressions (or lack thereof) meant nothing to her.

She wouldn't fall and, for the moment, that's all that she needed to know.





Only Drunks and Children
A Feudal Age Romance

Celyia (cel@celyia.com)




Chapter 1


The wench's disturbing gray eyes were so tightly shut, Sesshoumaru noted with almost an academic detachment, that she had yet to realize that they were slowly losing altitude. In fact, if she opened her eyes at that very moment, she would see the meadow in the distant horizon that they would eventually be landing in.

Already, even, he could smell the heady pollen from the golden flowers that littered the meadow, flowers that would only open at the wispy break of dawn.

With a slight frown, he turned his head towards the eastern sky only to recoil slightly at the progression of the morning sun: already, fiery scarlet and orange rays begun to dance free of the night's embrace, singing their intent to arrive soon upon the gray landscape.

Just in the distance, he could hear the morning bell of the nearby village as it announced to all its residents "Awake! Awake and do your part!"

There was something so incredibly peaceful about flying overhead as the villagers slowly emerged from their twig huts and delved into the normalcy of a life that he had never known. To simply arise each morning with a set goal in hand seemed to be the highest of all luxuries to the youkai lord, but instead of resenting the villagers for it, he couldn't help but be fascinated. It was amazing how much work they could make out of nothing: the nightly feasts or the weaving of their coarse and barely useable cloths. He would watch every once in a while as they carried on, talking and laughing with one another as they carried on with their lives, seemingly oblivious to the fact that their pitiful lives would end of old age before his could even be said to have begun.

Still, there was something slightly attractive about that ignorance.

Without a word, he landed softly among the flowers, the soft petals and leaves a welcome cushion beneath his booted feet. While he tended to avoid landing among the flowers most of the time, this night he had chosen to leave his pelt behind so he didn't need to worry about getting the sticky (and rather pungent) pollen caught within the fine, white fur.

His thin lips quirked briefly as he looked at the dark head dangling to the side of his hips. For her to make no comment at their arrival spoke of only one thing: after the past three or so hours of travel, the girl had to have fallen asleep. It was, after all, too much to hope that the girl had learned to keep her mouth shut.

After all, miracles were things only from fairy tales.

With not even a single ounce of remorse, he loosened his grip on her and dropped the girl amid the sprawling flowers and springy grass.

"OUCH!"

The girl looked up at him, anger in those gray eyes as she remained on her undoubtedly bruised elbows and knees.

"You could have just told me to get up, you know."

She pushed herself back upon her knees, absently brushing at the dirt that now coated her arms, all the while wrinkling her pert nose like a rabid bunny.

It was, he admitted to himself even as he stared at her emotionlessly, a rather amusing picture.

"Get up."

Grumbling the entire time, this little miko climbed to her slightly unsteady feet. Automatically, she brushed the dirt off her skinned knees, pulling the youkai's attention back into the strange manner of her dress.

Simply bewildering, really. Why the woman wore such garments that not even the lowest of youkai females would wear was beyond his comprehension. She didn't appear to be sexually aggressive no matter how much her kimono proclaimed her otherwise. Indeed, he could see the soft curve of her hips beneath the minimal clothing and the much more prominent swell of her chest beneath the white cloth, only to be highlighted by what could only be called a flamboyant red tie meant to draw attention to her unbound breasts. Her long legs were bare and quite visible beneath the short hem, and while they were slightly marred by bruises, dirt, and a small amount of blood, there was no denying that male humans would find the expanse of thigh and calf very attractive. Strangely enough, what could only be called white cylinders of fabric encircled the lower part of her calves, only to culminate into a pair of black, hardened slippers that covered dainty feet.

And this was the woman who had stood with his brother against him?

A smile nearly escaped his lips as he turned away and started walking towards his hut. So the woman's human beauty had blinded his hanyou brother. All the better, Sesshoumaru admitted as he made a mental note to have a seamstress make similar clothing to replace the woman's tattered rags. If the girl's small and flashy claim to beauty enhanced his half-brother's human weaknesses, then this might just turn out better than he hoped. Perhaps this insane plan might just work after all.

No, it had to work, Sesshoumaru corrected himself as he paused in his steps, waiting for the girl to follow.

"There is no escape, human," he spoke softly, listening to the way her breathing suddenly quickened. "You are in the very heart of the Western Lands."

"Resistance is futile," this unique female referred to as "Kagome" intoned in a strangely accented voice.

"Resistance is futile," he agreed, liking the way the words sounded upon his tongue. "You cannot escape."

"No," the miko rejoined, her voice filled with a chipper cheer that instantly sent off warning bells in his head. He twisted around to look at her only to be graced with the falsely innocent look of her pretty face.

With wide, gray eyes, she bent to the dew-covered grass and plucked a golden flower from the ground. Smiling brightly, she tucked it behind a small ear as she jogged to catch up. She looked up at him as she stood by his side, seemingly oblivious to the knowledge he could rip her to shreds with even less effort than it would take to remove the grains of pollen from her jet-black hair.

"Let's get this over with, Lord of Borg," she yawned suddenly, her bruised arms stretched up to the sky. "You probably have no desire to have me remain in your presence any longer than I wish to stay in yours, so show me where I 'I'm going to stay while we wait for Inuyasha to come and kick your ass."

He couldn't stop an eyebrow from raising as he listened to her arrogantly amused tone, his mind reeling as he wondered where her fear from earlier had gone. Still, no matter how foolish her words, he couldn't allow the human to be so disrespectful. With no warning, he spun around and slammed his fingers around her throat, careful not to stab his sharp claws into the smooth skin as he lifted her off her feet.

"Remain silent," he growled, trying to cover his confusion as he saw the clear gray humour of her eyes.

"Too bad Inuyasha chopped off your other arm, Lord of Borg," the girl chattered with an attempt to seem at ease, but he could feel the way the strong pulse in her neck raced against his sensitive fingers. "Your hand is kind of pretty. Well, for a guy, anyway. Ever think about painting your claws red?"

In disgust, he tossed her to the ground, barely restraining himself from glancing instinctively at his claws.

"Only in your blood," he grumbled, waiting for the girl to cower away in fear. But all the girl could do was smile, those full lips of hers stretched in amusement across the whitest teeth he had ever seen. She must be a moron, Sesshoumaru decided as he pushed a straggle of hair behind his ear. No woman of sound mind would think to smile so brightly at a monster and live.

"Ah ah ah!" Kagome scolded him playfully as she bounced to her feet with an energy he had only seen in the very young. "Is that a good way to treat your hostage? Really, do you think Inuyasha will really come rushing to rescue damaged merchandise?"

He twisted away from her, his long legs carrying him far even as she raced to catch up. Her words rang in his sensitive ears and it was all he could do was be grateful the morning sun still was in the process of painting the sky a brilliant red: a red that could hopefully cover his discomfort at the words he knew she would say.

"I mean, I am only merchandise, after all, right?" the woman queried, her face made breathtaking by the sun's flaming highlights. "Merchandise to be exchanged for the Tessaiga. Which, by the bye, Inuyasha will never go for. If he didn't have the prayer beads around his neck, he would have killed me, you know. Hence why your ass is doomed to feel some serious kickage. But oh well!"

It took all of his considerable willpower, but Sesshoumaru lifted his chin with pride as he forced himself to ignore Kagome's words.

The ends justified the means, he reminded himself for what appeared to be the millionth time that day. And therefore, his intense embarrassment at stooping to kidnap his half-brother's loquacious mate would be worth it: anything would be worth procuring that single sword that would finally save his beloved lands forever.






Patience to those of you who may be feeling frustrated at the idea that I'm using such a tired plot. ;-) Trust the author! Trust me! Or at least pretend you do. :-)

Woo! Thanks!