Crying for the Moon
Mrs. Higurashi didn't like when she stayed out late, but sometimes Kagome liked to.
She didn't go anywhere special, just to the rooftop of the office building she did cleaning for in the evenings a couple times a week to help Mama with the bills. On a nice evening she could see the stars.
The security guard would be doing their final rounds before locking the building for the night, and glancing at her cellphone to check the time, just a bit after eleven she had about half an hour. Good enough.
Climbing the last set of stairs, Kagome wrapped both hands around the door handle and shouldered the heavy door open. The wind caught it and she stumbled out to catch it before it smashed into the wall. Adjusting her pink scarf around her neck after it became dishevelled, she made sure the door wouldn't close and lock her out before drifting to the edge of the rooftop. There was a concrete wall that wrapped around the entire square that came up to her waist and she braced her arms against it, learning forward with a small sigh.
Looking up at the sky the faraway stars glittered, although a bit dulled by the heavy smog that hung in the air. Her eyes wandered, searching the black until a melancholy pang in her heart reminded her of the time of the month. Completely in the sun's shadow there would be no moon tonight.
In her memories, silver turned black. Golden eyes became violet.
Inuyasha had despised the night of the new moon.
Resting her forehead down to her arms, Kagome breathed in deeply, pushing down the longing that wanted to claw its way out of her heart. The stars blurred when she glanced back up and she blinked away tears.
Down below, in the roving shadows of the city, she imagined a forest. She wasn't on top of an office building, she was on a mountain.
Stop, she told herself, you have to stop.
Days, weeks, months, years – it had been years and she had to let it go. The past was the past. Literally, figuratively, whatever the case, she was here now, and had been and would continue to be. She hadn't been meant to stay there.
But gods, why did it have to be so hard –
Sadness, a deep gnawing sadness speared her insides and she gritted her teeth against the pathetic sob that wanted to rise out of her constricting throat.
Inuyasha, her mind whispered.
Pushing away from the wall, Kagome turned back to the door, angry. Tonight wasn't a good night to dwell on things, the fate that she couldn't change.
Curiously, her neck prickled, goosebumps rising over her skin, and then a cold hand plunged into her spine and she froze. A sudden gust of wind threw her hair all around her face and the sensation of youki crawled up her back, sinking its claws into her shoulders, tearing her open and pouring over her brain.
Every muscle in her body tensed, as taut as a bowstring, and she dared to breathe, her eyes flaring wide. H-How?!
There was a scuffing noise against the concrete like claws scraping, followed by the sound of an inhuman growl.
Slowly, Kagome turned her head to look over her shoulder. A scream began to bubble up in her throat but quieted before it could escape her lips. The rest of her body pivoted and she stumbled back, gracelessly falling on her backside.
Without the light of the moon, the shadows around the creature seemed to expand, slithering out towards her like snakes. Demonic energy vibrated in the air around it.
And gods, was it ugly.
A long spindly, skeletal body, four arms, gossamer wings, sunken eyes like black holes and a snout full of sharp teeth. Too many different kinds of features to really distinguish its type.
"A human girl? How fortunate I was just getting hungry," They rasped at her.
Kagome scuttled backwards like a crab, fear snaking her heart as she gazed into its awful face. It had been so long, she hardly even remembered what it felt like for these demonic energies to brush up against her dormant purity. How sinister they could feel.
She wished that she had her bow, but this was the modern era, not the warring states. People didn't walk around with bows and arrows, or swords, or staffs, or giant boomerangs. She was defenceless. Would her powers even work anymore?
And yet a tiny ember of hope suddenly burned in her chest.
If a youkai was here now, ready to devour her, maybe, just maybe, in the final moment he would appear from the night, eyes blazing, ready to save her just like before –
The youkai lunged with a crazed cry.
Kagome screamed and threw an arm over her face. "Inuyasha!"
Hot on the trail of a renegade youkai that had managed to trespass into the Human World, Kurama bounded across the concrete landscape, a graceful shadow.
It was in his sights and he would catch it soon, already reaching into a curtain of crimson hair to extract a rose. With a flick of his wrist, it transformed into a long thorny whip. Lunging forward, his foot made purchase on the wall and he pushed off the rooftop of the adjacent building, soaring through the air.
And his calm green eyes widened when suspended in the sky, he saw.
The youkai towered over the immobilized body of a young woman, who stared up into its terrible face with fear, but there was something in her stricken gaze that told him she knew exactly what the creature was.
She screamed when it converged on her and cried something that he didn't understand, prepared to tear her to pieces with tooth and claw, and Kurama snapped his whip with force. "Rose whip!"
It wrapped around the youkai's neck, easily slicing through its sickly flesh and its swiping arm stopped in the air as its head slid off cleanly and fell to the ground. Its body followed, slumping dead in a heap. Blood pooled forward thickly and Kurama landed neatly in a crouch.
The woman lowered her arm, eyes incredulous, lingering on the dead youkai in front of her before her gaze turned to him. Back and forth her eyes bounced between them before a quivering hand brushed her unruly bangs out of her eyes.
"Are you all right, miss?" he asked.
She scurried away, making him worry that he had further frightened her, when he realized she was looking distastefully at the blood that was seeping towards her.
The haze in her eyes cleared and she finally focused enough to speak. "I-I'm fine."
Kurama nodded, falling silent, observing her. Something in her eyes…
Seeming to remember her manners, she said to him, "Thank you for saving me."
Kurama didn't outwardly acknowledge her thanks, still watching her closely. She was not acting the way a normal human should. There was wonderment on her face to be sure, but he'd seen the face of someone who'd never seen a youkai before, and it just wasn't it. Especially these primitive types, weak and bloodthirsty. Frightening looking beings that people could only dream about.
"Tell me," Kurama said to her, softening his voice. "Do you know what that creature is?"
The young woman slowly climbed to her feet, her dark eyes glittering in the faint starlight. A shadow passed over her face changing her features; she was pensive, skin wan, and she looked undeniably…. sad. Lonesome.
Kurama's interest heightening palpably.
A tear slipped down her cheek. "Yes, I do."
Was this a dream?
Kagome felt the sudden, blinding need to run, but her feet were rooted to the concrete.
Her mind was a chaotic mess, trying to sift through all the emotions she was feeling and interpret them. She needed to focus on something, so she focused on the red-haired man who had saved her life.
He was beautiful.
His eyes were sharp, beautiful cut emeralds. The flaming hair around his face looked like silk. And it reminded her of Shippo.
Her heart cracked.
"You…" she whispered to him, "You're a youkai too, aren't you?"
There was no need to lie. She knew. Could feel his youki.
Her savior nodded once. "I am."
It was ironic, really. All this time she had hoped, prayed, was dying for this moment. And it was wrong.
He wasn't Inuyasha. Not Shippo. Not Kouga. Not Sesshomaru. Not even Naraku. Not any of the ones that mattered.
Kagome's heart broke some more.
"Who are you?" she asked quietly.
After a long moment, he finally responded. "My name is Kurama."
"Kurama…" Kagome tested the name on her tongue, letting it settle into her soul. He wasn't trying to hide the curiosity in his eyes anymore. Her emotions were a coursing river inside her, turbulent, palpable and thick in the air.
Turning on her heel suddenly, Kagome began to walk to the door. "I have to be getting home." Her feet picked up and she ran the short distance, wrenched open the door and slammed it behind her. The sound echoed across the rooftop as she left him alone.
Kurama was mystified.
Moving to the edge of the rooftop, he leaned and peered down into the dark. The entrance way of the building was directly below and he watched her scamper out, her sensible black shoes scuffing against the pavement.
She stopped suddenly, right underneath a streetlight, and the pale cone of light beamed down on her. She looked up at him and their eyes met, and he was stricken, although he couldn't begin to know why.
He had to know her.
"Wait!" he called to her, but she was running again. Disappearing into the roving shadows.
She wouldn't get far.
Taking one more cursory glance down the street, empty on a night in the middle of the week, he vaulted over the root top and sailed to the ground below. Landing solidly on the pavement, he gave chase and followed the scent of tears and heartbreak.
What had he done to this poor woman?
The city blocks blurred together as he ran, blending into residential streets. When he caught up to her, she was halfway up a set of long stairs that belonged to a Sunset Shrine according to the marker at the bottom. When he placed his foot on the first step, an ancient power echoed deeply in his soul and he faltered. Holy energy swirled into his heart and he half expected to be purified on the spot.
The sensation ebbed and Kurama let out a breath.
The young woman had stopped, and was watching him.
"Please," Kurama coerced gently, "Don't run away. Tell me your name." Words died on his tongue.
Something… I don't know why. I just have to know who you are.
Kagome's heart pounded so hard it was going to crack a rib.
Why was she running? She had wanted this. To see a youkai again. How unprepared she had been for it not to be the ones that she longed for.
Her legs wobbled and she wanted to crumble to the stairs. Locking her quaking knees, she held her ground. Only her bottom lip trembled.
He approached slowly, his eyes cautious. "I'm not going to hurt you."
Oh, but how he didn't realize how much it hurt.
"H-How," Kagome whispered. "How can a youkai be here?"
Confusion passed over Kurama's face. "That youkai I was chasing wasn't supposed to be here," he answered slowly. For now she didn't seem like she was going to bolt again, so he gently pressed her, though he hated to point out the obvious, "Miss, you seem very overwhelmed... I'm sorry if I frightened you—"
Kagome interjected, "You're a youkai too… how are you here?"
Why aren't they here?
Her friends. She wanted them.
The information that he had collected so far wasn't fitting together. She knew of youkai… but how did she not know of the Makai? Kurama was hardly ever this baffled. "I suppose I'm not supposed to be here either, but I am."
Mind too scattered, adrenaline pumping too thickly in her blood, Kagome fell silent, unable to form anymore questions.
Kurama composed himself. "Can you tell me your name, miss?"
Another tear slipped down her cheek. "Kagome. Kagome Higurashi."
Gently, Kurama took her by the shoulders and guided her down to the stairs and settled down beside her. Casting him a sidelong glance, she sniffed pitifully. "I'm so sorry…"
Taking her hand, he tried to squeeze warmth into her cold fingers. "Why are you sorry, Kagome?"
"You helped me, and…" she couldn't seem to find the right words. "I….I've waited so long and they didn't come. But I've been ungrateful. I could have died."
A small piece clicked into place in his brain. "You were hoping I was someone else."
Kurama didn't know why that rankled.
"Yes…" Kagome admitted, and then suddenly threw herself into his arms, sobbing anew.
Her cries echoed down the street and Kurama was at an utter loss. In his long life, he didn't recall ever comforting a crying girl. She pressed into him, burying her face in his shirt, the hot tears saturating the fabric, small frame quivering in her deep sorrow. He wondered how she shouldered a despair so heavy.
He stayed, awkwardly wrapping his arms around her narrow shoulders. After awhile her sobs quieted to small whines, then silence. When she gently pulled away, he hadn't realized how tight he'd be holding her.
Their faces were close.
Idly, Kurama thought to himself that she was beautiful. Even tragically so.
"I'm sorry that I'm not who you wanted me to be." Softly cradling her face, his thumb trailed over her pale satin cheek, and he leaned in despite their very short, very strange acquaintance, and how wholly presumptuous it was, he pressed his lips to hers.
Her shoulders tensed and he slightly lessened the pressure, ready to pull away, knowing he'd made a mistake, when she pressed back, petal soft lips clumsy at first before finding their rhythm.
The kiss was languid, slow, and he didn't take too much, and when they finally parted, she was an open book.
Shy, curious, unsure, yearning, he could see it all, and was enraptured by it.
Tucking a lock of her silky hair behind her ear, she shakily stood and he rose with her.
"May I come see you again?" Kurama asked. He didn't know if he could even stay away.
"You may…" she acquiesced quietly. "I… would like that. Goodnight."
Then she bounded up the stairs, disappearing beneath the torii arches.
A/N: The only part of this small one shot that I planned was just the very first scene and then this sort of happened. I hope you like it though.