Disclaimer: Have we not been over this? I do not own Inuyasha.
A/N: VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ! Okay, a few of you may (or maybe not) have seen this story made under the name "Alyn Kent." Well, that's because it was. I had made a new name to post under, but (call me fickle) now I really don't want to have to keep up with two. So, I am putting this story back under this penname, and it will be the one I stick with. Same story though. Please enjoy! E-mail me if you are confused. I'll be more than happy to explain it to you in more detail.
BUT NOW… Remember that episode with the Soul Piper? I believe it was called The Mischievous Little Soul. Well, this is a simple one shot about Inuyasha watching the Soul Piper from a distance. Not a take off of the episode though. Different time.
The Soul Piper's Song
By: Of Memories Past
A haunting melody serenely poured over the cool night breeze across the dark land. Its tune spoke of untimely death, yet the sad tone sang along with a noise much happier and full of joy than its own source. The high-pitched, joyful laughter of children echoed in the still night and flowed liltingly through the air. Their laughter was musical, expressing their light hearts and blithe cares. Not even death could steal away their innocent nature. Instead, it only amplified the facts. Death brought fear and sorrow to so many. The laughter coming from the soul's of children not yet ready to rest made death seem a lesser foe.
Inuyasha's ears twitched at the tune, and he looked up from his place on the roof of a hut to watch the Soul Piper pass as it played with the deceased children. He had inaudibly crept out of the hut where he and his friends slept, running silently through the village and leaping from hut to hut until he found one on the outskirts where he could simply rest and watch.
He lightly pushed a branch that blocked his view aside and smiled when he saw some of the children happily swimming through the air around the Soul Piper. The provisionally friendly demon picked up its melody, seeming pleased when the children's giggles grew louder. Its closed eyes crinkled happily.
Smiling again, Inuyasha drew his knees up to his chest and rested his chin on them, watching the Soul Piper and children contently. There had once been a time when the Soul Piper was a friend to him too. After his mother had died and left him to roam the land alone, the Soul Piper had taken pity on the lost, lonely and living child and invited him to remain by his side for company until he so chose to leave. The hanyou had spent over a year with the musical youkai, wandering with it and playing with the dead children who had accepted him simply for who he was.
His head popped up suddenly and his amber eyes watched curiously as the Soul Piper suddenly changed its path and began coming toward the village. Small, laughing lights followed it to a small hut, and Inuyasha's eyes saddened. The little girl who had been sick did not make it. He saw the small light of her soul float into the air and join the other children, her cheerful voice filling the night air immediately. She drifted happily along with the others to the light and joyful tune played.
Amber eyes gazed sleepily at them, only opening fully once more when he noticed the Soul Piper hovering a short distance from him, illuminated by the soul lights. The lights slowly began to fade and left in their stead the hazy images of the children. They were smiling, playing games of chase with each other around their musical friend. Inuyasha smiled when the little girl from the village broke away and stretched her arms out to him.
She recognized the hanyou she had seen so many times before in her village. Not even death cleared her memories. She smiled widely when the hanyou stretched one of his clawed hands out to her, and she grabbed it immediately, pulling herself toward him. A child's gift for discerning a person's true character told her that he was kind and not to be feared as many had thought. She tucked herself into his lap, smiling up at his gentle face and motioning for her new friends to join her.
The Soul Piper continued playing while the children swam toward Inuyasha, a few joining the girl in is lap. The demon's eyes crinkled happily once again when Inuyasha's laughter joined the children. It did not need the gift of sight to know that they clambered all over him.
Inuyasha grinned, playfully snatching the obscure ends of the kimonos belonging to the boys who tried to see if they could get close enough to touch him and then escape without being caught. All in all, it was a fun game for all. He smiled gently at the little girls who came close and stood on his knees to drop a sweet kiss on his nose or cheek before floating off again.
A change in the melody played reached his ears, and he watched as the children waved goodbye to him, their laughter filling the air as the floated back to the demon. The little girl in his lap stood and kissed his forehead before joining her friends. He smiled at the sea of children grinning back at him.
But the Soul Piper suddenly came forward until it floated gently in front of him, almost touching. Its tune suddenly turned bittersweet as it played for the living child that had once traveled with him. Inuyasha watched as the round body swayed with the music with its tail swishing softly behind. He knew from experience that this youkai loved music. He knew that it felt the music that it played. And so Inuyasha listened reflectively with his eyes closed, comforted by the presence of the children's souls and midnight sky as his old friend played a melancholy tune that spoke of his childhood.
The Soul Piper abruptly stopped its song, and Inuyasha opened his amber eyes to find the demon holding its flute out to him. Bowing his head slightly, Inuyasha accepted the flute offered to him and brought it to his lips, repeating the melody that the demon had played for him.
The resonant, emotional tune filled the night once again as Inuyasha began to play, and the Soul Piper seemed to smile as it joined the children and swam in the midst of them as they played. All was peaceful as it should be. When the Soul Piper finished swirling about the children, it approached Inuyasha, and the hanyou returned the instrument.
Soon, the laughter and music faded as the Soul Piper and its charges continued on their travels. But Inuyasha sat basking in the moonlight with his eyes closed serenely, listening to the last few soft streams of music until silence once more filled the night. Sighing when the music no longer reached his ears, Inuyasha noiselessly jumped down from the hut to return to his sleeping friends.
He did not expect to see the girl standing a small distance from him.
"Kagome?" he slowly made his way over to her, his feet softly crunching on dried leaves as he walked.
"I never knew that it was friendly," she whispered, tears forming in her eyes. "You both play beautifully."
Inuyasha blushed at the praise, glad that it was dark. "You need to go back to sleep."
Kagome nodded, yawning tiredly as she did. "I do. Walk with me?"
Silently, Inuyasha took the hand that she offered, and they slowly began their walk back in a companionable silence. Like the music of the Soul Piper, her presence soothed him. He did not need words with her and was content to simply walk with her small hand in his. It was something that they did often lately, simply as two friends who understood each other and were comforted by each other being there. The would steal away after dinner in the evenings and head off into the woods hand in hand, sometimes talking quietly and at other times simply walking in silence. Either way, it strengthened their friendship with each other.
This was one of those silent walks. Inuyasha watched Kagome out of the corner of his eye, holding in a smile as he watched her brows furrow and then relax while her mouth pressed into a firm line before pursing into a little pout. She was thinking about something. Her facial expressions always gave away when she was. Sometimes he would find her lips silently moving while they walked as she warred with her mind over some matter or another. He lightly ran his thumb over her hand, smiling back at her when she looked up at him, the corners of her mouth lifting slightly.
They reached the hut soon after and stopped outside facing each other silently. Their hands were still joined, but neither showed any sign of letting go. Neither wanted to relinquish the warmth that their joined hands imparted, and neither was ready to leave the presence of the other just yet.
Kagome sighed and moved forward, wrapping her arms around his neck. She smiled when Inuyasha wrapped her readily in his embrace and rested his chin atop her head, closing his eyes as he gently rocked her tired form. He could feel her slowly slipping back into the dream world.
Music suddenly filled the air again. It was an amorous tune, growing closer as the seconds passed. Inuyasha opened his eyes, and Kagome's head lifted from his chest as they tried to pinpoint the direction the music came from. It did not take them long, however, for the Soul Piper and its cluster of children soon floated right before them.
The laughter of the children made Kagome smile, and she gently pulled away from Inuyasha to go to them.
Inuyasha watched with a small smile while she spun around as the souls of the children swirled about her, switching between their hazy forms and small lights. Her laughter joined theirs. She spent time saying goodbye to each one before returning to his side.
"It's sad, but at the same time it's also happy," she whispered, thinking of the children.
Inuyasha merely nodded his agreement.
The Soul Piper continued its romantic tune, suddenly moving behind Kagome and nudging her toward Inuyasha. At first she tried to stand her ground, but she eventually gave up giggling and allowed the Soul Piper to move her until she stood directly in front of him. She laughed quietly when it gave her one final nudge to push her against Inuyasha before floating around to face them. It softened its tune.
"I think it's trying to play matchmaker," she whispered to him, a smile in her voice.
"I think you're right."
Kagome leaned against his chest as the music played and smiled. "Old friends can do that, can't they?"
Inuyasha smiled and wrapped his arms around her. "They certainly think so."
A yawn suddenly broke from Kagome, and she stretched out her arms as far as she could in his embrace. "I have to go back to bed." She turned and bowed to the Soul Piper before facing Inuyasha again. "Goodnight, Inuyasha."
Inuyasha smiled as the music filled his senses, and he stepped closer to pull her into his embrace. "Goodnight."
Lifting her head, Kagome looked lazily up at his amber eyes. "He's making this difficult, you know."
"Only too well," he murmured. He looked down at her as she playfully glared at the Soul Piper and knew that his every last defense was gone.
Kagome felt his hand gently grasp her chin and turn her face toward him. She looked at him questioningly, and he smiled mischievously before slowly dipping his head toward her. Her eyes widened for a moment and then closed as she stood on her tiptoes to meet him. Their lips brushed against each other's tenderly, their caresses remaining gentle and unrushed. Kagome wondered at the soft pressure of his lips as they moved against her own until a smothered chorus of laughter sent them both pulling back from each other.
They both smiled when they saw the children's souls giggling from behind their hands. Their faces shone with their light as they pulled their hands away and began laughing freely and swimming about.
A small laugh escaped from Kagome as she watched their antics, and she leaned against Inuyasha, content to be held in his arms as she watched the children and listened to the tune played for them. "That was nice."
Inuyasha placed a warm kiss atop her head in agreement and then listened with her to the music and laughter.
The Soul Piper's closed eyes crinkled again in pleasure. Sometimes its job could be a bit nicer than usual.
A/N: Hello everyone! This was just an idea that popped into my head, and I had to go with it. Personally, I like the Soul Piper and had not seen many stories about it. I hope you enjoyed. Please let me know what you think, but only constructive criticism please. Thank you, and God Bless you all! ~Of Memories Past