Title: Tainted
Authoress: Ladya C. Maxine
Rating: T
Summary: Sesshoumaru does not understand his reason for being...or does he?
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or any of it characters. I am not making any money off of this and I write with the sole intention to entertain.


by Ladya C. Maxine

Night has fallen.

Another day has ended.

Just one of the thousands I have witnessed.

I will not miss it. I never do.

Everything that has happened today is now gone. Nothing more but memories to add to my past that grows darker than the sky above. Darker, yet as vivid in my mind as the glaring sun. Though I would never relive what I have done today, I will remember. Forever. They are now memories. Memories that I look back upon without a trace of regret. Memories that will plague my mind with their presence, but not their images. I will have to live with them for the rest of my long life.

In my mind. Before my eyes.

The stench of blood is on me. Crimson layers long washed away by water and time, but I am stained nonetheless. Forever tainted with the lives of others I have taken. Lives that I have ended in my quest for power. Power that I now no longer pursue with as much vigor as I did as a young youkai. Power that I now know is not eternal. Lives, as short as they may have been, would have been better spent had I not slain those in my way. I have shed blood with each theft as I robbed them of what they held dear.

Blood, a scent I had come to know as well as my mother's.

My childhood had been tainted early on by the shadows, wars and the then anticipated heritage of my father's lands. Crimson was the color I had learned to identify above all others. It was one I was the most familiar with. My mother had taught me, and taught me well. I had easily recognized the scarlet substance that had stained her otherwise flawless skin as she had lain on the ground before me, eyes open and unblinking. Yet another victim of the quest that would take such a large role in my life. Though I had not slain her myself, she had died for me. And to this day, I know not how to feel about that.

The older I got, the more blood I saw, smelled and shed. Both mine and others. It has now reached the point where I can no longer tell who it is that bleeds.

My past is an endless pit of hell. I fall without fear of ever hitting the bottom. My future shrouded in a death-promising mist that looms above my head. As for the present...I do not know. I don't even know if I am indeed living. I feel nothing. I feel no joy. I feel no sadness. I feel no pain. I feel no emotions. Do I even have any? What do I have? Why do I continue to trek across these lands?

I have no family. My mother died when I was but 40, my father when I was 194. That half-breed mutt of a half-brother of mine has never existed to me. He is filth. Scum. A stain in our royal-lineage. A product of the wishful trice between my father and a mortal, who feared him as much as she loved him. I do not doubt that their was a bond of true love, but that only sickens me even more. That he had allowed himself to lust after and then grow to love a human village girl. It was as if he no longer cared for anything else. Not his pride and lands, not our family and my mother's memory. All was lost the day the woman and her mongrel son, my so-called brother, moved in to what used to be our home. I needed only to take one look at the infant and I knew that it was over. Our line was tainted. My father's enemies mocked us. The war broke out and he died, defending the weak, which I found ironic since he should have defended himself in that case. He had grown weak. And in these times, in this land, the weak cannot and should not be allowed to roam. For their own sakes.

I lost my father to a brother I refuse to acknowledge. The woman ran back to her village with her tail between her legs, so to speak. For the first few years I lingered in the area, taming those who had begun to plunder what was now my territory. The woman's village was situated near my borders. I saw them both on many occasions though they never saw me standing amongst the trees in the distance. I tried to find something, anything, in the runt that would prove him worthy of our father's blood. Time and time again, he disappointed me. I left, convinced that I alone was left to uphold our family's honor, or at least try to salvage it. Till this day, the hanyou continues to disappoint me. Even though he has inherited a fair amount of father's special powers as well as father's most powerful sword, he has proven himself unworthy too many times in my eyes.

Yet, despite it all, he has a goal. He and his companions travel the lands in search of the infamous Shikon no Tama shards, hoping to remake that jewel that so many craved. I know he wishes to use the jewel to become a full demon. He wants to prove himself worthy of being our father's son. I know that, more than anything, he wants to prove to me that he deserves the honorable title of the great Inutaisho's youngest son. He wants me to take back all the insults I have bestowed upon him since we crossed paths once more. He wants to prove me, the eldest and his superior, wrong for having judged him so poorly. It will never happen. Even if he were to single-handedly slay Naraku; even if he were to obtain full youkai power; even if he were to eve defeat me; the fact remains that he is a hanyou by nature. His demon nature may take control at times, but his mind is that of a half-breed that always stays his claws from giving the killing blow for his human side is too weak to follow through. There is nothing he can do that will ever make me think more of him. He's but a hanyou.

He is forever tainted as a hanyou. As I am tainted a killer. Nothing can change.

Yet, as futile as his journeys are, he has something. A goal. A dream. A reason for living.

What do I have? What am I living for?


She stands there, waiting for me to acknowledge her. I do by giving her a sideward glance, not blinking when she kneels down next to me, carefully balancing something in her hands.

"Rin made this for Sesshoumaru-sama."

A leaf appears before me, on it a fish, gutted, cleaned and cooked.

"Rin wanted to catch something bigger, but Rin's too small."

Ignoring the offered meal, I simply look at her, studying her round face and bright eyes. Her dark hair is long and uncombed, its tips brushing the ground. She is so small. And fragile. It amazes me that she's made it so far, I must admit it. I know little of humans, but she claims to be eight years old. Eight years, is that enough to count for a life? I have been alive for over two centuries; eight years to me is hardly worth the time. But to mortals, time is of great importance. Not that she would know that, being a mere child.

She is tainted. I have seen blood on her. I can still smell it on her despite it having been months since she came to me when I myself had been tainted.

In a way, I realized that she is like me, aside from the obvious differences. Death has played an important role in her…life from an early age; her young eyes have witnessed the slaughter of her parents and sibling. I believe that her eyes were once light brown, the years of sorrow having slowly darkened them. The dark pieces of the past reflecting in those bright pools.

Her young flesh has felt the sting of pain. She has been beaten many times. I have seen the whip marks on her small back. I have noted the burn marks on her stomach. I know of the scars on her fragile hips and thighs. The last had been the last piece of evidence needed to show just how dark her past has been. The darkness should have consumed her. The trauma and injuries are more than enough to send any being, youkai or human, to their early death; to spend the rest of eternity in a dark place, nursing their wounds in silence and solitude.

Tenseiga brought her back from the dead, but had she been living before that? Had the small being who approached me that day in the woods ever lived? What type of life is one of darkness, pain and solitude? What type of life is lived for the sheer reason to exist?


I see myself in her. I see the same darkness that has forever hung over my head, waiting to descend and drag me to my own demise. I see a being who has been pushed out of the world of living yet still evades the realm of death. A being that doesn't belong in either.

Why do I keep her? What do I expect from her?

I expect nothing. She's only human, a member of a species cursed with cowardly and weakness, though she has shown remarkable resilience for one. But she has nothing to offer me in return for my protection and companionship. My mate she will never be. She's but a child and a human. I keep her for curiosity's sake. The mere thought of bedding a human, much less one I am raising, is too despicable in my eyes.

As it is, I want to un-stain her. By amending the wrongs that had been brought upon her, I hope to amend the wrongs I've inflicted on others. Can I make things right for myself by ensuring her well-being?

I believe so.

I feel so.

I want to spare her from what I've been through.

I don't want her to know the smell of blood by heart. I don't want her bright world to be shaded by crimson and black. I don't want her to see the world through dead eyes. I don't want her to witness things with a cold heart. I don't want her to bring pain upon others with an indifferent look on her face. I am a youkai; I am strong enough to survive such hazards. She is a human; strong in mind, but weak in body.

I have been given a chance to amend my past wrongs. And I intend to do so.

Tenseiga may have given her life, but I will have her live.

I will have her see the different colors of the rainbow, as hidden as they may be behind the black clouds of war and bloodshed.

I will have her smell the fragrances of hope and faith, as faint as they may be amidst the rancid stench of moral decay.

I will have her feel the touch of guiding hands, as tainted as they may be under the blood of enemies and betrayers.

What is my goal in life? Why do I live?

I don't.

At least, not for myself, because I don't want to.

I live...

For her.

Because she has to.

Read & Review, please.