Author's Notes: Before I say anything else, I want to tell any new readers that this is the third story in a series beginning with 'Confessions of a Broken Heart' and continued in 'The Realistic Happily Ever After'. As always, you can probably figure out what happened and not be too confused by just reading this story, but I would encourage you, as would I think all my readers, that it would behoove you to read the other two stories first. That's all I need to say, I think, in that respect. Hello again, everyone, it's good to be back for round three! I still can't believe how much support I've received from all of you, and how many of you have made demands for a third story. It's just incredible, and I'm loving every minute of it.
I would like to say right off the bat that I know in the first story I stated that Kagome never saw Kikyou again, but would now like to change that. At the time, I wasn't planning on writing a third story (I still can't get over that fact) so now I need to change a few things. She is coming back, however, she will not be doing anything to interfere with Kagome and Inuyasha, okay? I mean really, would I do that to all of you?
Let's see, other then that, Nancy White and Sesshoumaru are still together, in a much more serious way. I hope all you lovers of that pair will be satisfied. All the usual couples are still around, including my favorite lecher and exterminator, Sango and Miroku. And other then that I can't say much because it will give too much away.
This is not, I don't think, a story line that anyone is really expecting. I truly am kind of coming up with a lot of this on my own now, since I've sort of either killed or sent to prison all of my previous 'bad guys'. I don't really want to bring Ted Wilkins back, because I feel like that issue has been resolved and there is no point. As for Naraku, he's dead, right? Or is he? You'll have to decide on that one for yourselves after you read this chapter.
It's not quite as long as some chapters I've done, but I promise the chapters will get longer as the story progresses. And they will get a lot more action packed. But for now, enjoy the beginning of the third installment in what I am now calling 'The Confessions' Trilogy. I'm so excited! Enjoy!
Ryguy5387: wow, thank you so much for the wonderful review! You absolutely made my day. I hope this next story doesn't disappoint! Thanks!
Title: Soldiers in a Timeless War
Rating: PG-13 (for language and, at times, sexual implications)
Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.
The day was bright and cheerful, but with the crisp, cutting wind of autumn. Summer had come to an end, and everyone in the village was now preparing to store their crops for the winter ahead.
The basket of herbs in her arms was heavy, but she didn't mind as she walked through the center of town, the villagers stopping their work to acknowledge her with smiles, some even bowing slightly out of respect. She smiled warmly back at them all, truly loving this place as her new home.
As she approached her house, a modest hut at the edge of the village border, she felt arms encircle her waist and a familiar masculine scent surrounded her.
"You work too hard, priestess," the man said, and Kikyou felt her body shiver slightly at the contact. She turned around to face the man with the kind eyes and short wavy hair that framed his face.
"I could say the same thing about you," she replied, touching his cheek. "How many nights now have you returned long after I am asleep? Is that any way to treat your wife?"
He laughed, the sound warm and gentle. "I may be a healer, but in the summer I am also a mere farmer, my lady, and a farmer must tend to his crops."
"But the summer sun has faded," she replied with a suggestive smile, "And it will be another long, cold winter." Her husband laughed and tightened his hold on her waist,
"You entice me," he whispered as he buried his head in her long raven hair, causing the ribbon that held it back to fall away. She smiled.
"Don't be too enticed yet Gideon, I still have much to do in the village before the day is over." He pouted.
"Now who's the one working too much?" Kikyou just smirked playfully.
"I'll be done long before the sun sets." She touched his nose with her finger before handing him the basket. "But since you think I'm doing too much, you can put this inside while I go and tend to the villagers."
Gideon grumbled something about her twisting his words around, and Kikyou just smiled. She loved him with all her heart, and was his wife finally had the chance to be normal, without a jewel to protect or an evil demon to fight off.
Carrying a small sack of herbs and several bandages, she made her way back through the village until she reached a small hut near the rice fields. Knocking twice, she stepped inside.
A young woman looked up from where she was kneeling beside a man in obvious pain, beads of sweat trickling down his face. Kikyou gave the pair a sympathetic look before kneeling beside the man's head. "How is he today?"
The young woman looked up with pain in her eyes. "Not much better. He still barely stays awake for a few hours during the day, and I don't think he recognizes me at all."
Kikyou nodded and touched the man's forehead again, the skin cool and clammy. "Well, I think his fever has finally broken, because he is not as hot as he was yesterday." The young woman nodded, a flicker of hope in her eyes.
Kikyou placed a small package of herbs in the woman's hand. "Here is another week's supply of the herbs for his tea. Make sure he drinks it twice every day, two pinches per cup of water."
The woman nodded. "I will. Thank you Kikyou, the gods know he would be dead by now if it weren't for you."
Kikyou smiled kindly. "Your husband will be fine, just have faith." The woman nodded, and Kikyou exited the small hut to make her next stop.
As she was walking a young boy came running up to her, panic written all over his face. Kikyou knelt down to meet his eye level.
"What's wrong, little one?" The boy just continued to pant, unable to speak, so Kikyou waited patiently.
"Priestess, my father has been shot while hunting," he finally managed to say in between gasps, "And I think he's dying. Please come at once!"
Kikyou nodded, her mouth set firmly in determination, and rose to her full height. "Take me to him."
The boy took her hand and they quickly ran off in the direction of the woods. Kikyou felt a dark foreboding in her breast as they drew nearer to that forest. Something wasn't right.
They came upon an elderly man with graying hair, lying on his back with an arrow protruding from his side. The weapon was black, a style Kikyou had never seen before.
She quickly fell to her knees at his side, touching his forehead and feeling that it was hot with fever.
"Sir, do you know who I am?" The old man tried to smile.
"Of course I do. You are Kikyou, the priestess of our village. How could anyone forget your beautiful face." Kikyou smiled kindly and nodded.
"Can you tell me what happened?" The man grimaced in pain.
"I don't know. I was hunting with my son when suddenly an arrow came flying at us out of no where, accompanied by a voice that told us we would pay for trespassing. After that, it's all a blur as I tried to make it back to the village." He clenched his jaw in pain.
Kikyou frowned, unsure of what to make of anything the man said. It didn't make sense. There were no villages within the woods, that was free territory.
"I'm going to remove the arrow," she said suddenly, "And then stop the bleeding, okay?" The man nodded, and she handed him a cloth. "I want you to bite down on this, because the pain will be great." He did as she instructed, and Kikyou nodded, moving down to where the black shaft extended from his side.
"No common arrow could bring a man this close to death," she muttered, voicing her thoughts aloud. "There is black magic here." She could feel the darkness in the air, thick as butter. She moved to touch the arrow, but it crackled dangerously, and a sharp pain went up her arm.
Kikyou recoiled and stared at her hand, red from where it had been burned. "So," she whispered, and focused all her energy on the purity within the arrow as she reached out once more to take it.
She couldn't hold back her cry of pain, but after several seconds the arrow came free, the dark aura fading, the arrow itself going brown like any other. Kikyou was breathing deeply, gasping for air, her hair, which was still free of the restraining ribbon, falling over her shoulders.
The wound was filled with pus, deeply infected, but now seemed normal, and Kikyou quickly recovered her wits enough to wrap it in bandages, handing the boy a package of herbs. "I want you to boil some water and dump everything in this sac into it, do you understand? Your father has an infection, and these herbs will help."
The boy nodded and clutched the sac to his chest as Kikyou bent down to help the man to his feet. He smiled, though pain was in his eyes.
"Thank you priestess, I am in your debt," he said softly, and Kikyou couldn't help but smile.
"It is my duty to help others, good sir. There is no debt. How else may I be of service?"
"You've done enough, young woman. I can manage to get back to my home now."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I may be injured, but I am still strong enough to walk." He smiled at her one last time before extending a hand to his son. "Come, we'd better go and tell your mother everything is okay."
The boy nodded and took his father's hand, the older man leaning on his son for support more then he would ever admit. Kikyou watched them go before hardening her expression and reaching down to pick up the arrow, the tip still stained with blood.
It was enchanted, she knew that much, for no arrow had that much power on its own. But who could have done such a thing? And why?
"Why would someone go to so much trouble to stay hidden in the forest and then risk it all by shooting an innocent villager?" She asked aloud to the silent forest. She stretched out her mind, but could no longer sense the dark aura that had been there a few minutes ago. Whatever curse had existed, the arrow had been the key, and she had broken it.
Her mind was trying to tell her the logical explanation, but Kikyou refused to acknowledge it. She didn't want to admit it, because then it might be true. But still
"I've only felt that kind of aura in the presence of one creature," she whispered, clutching the arrowhead until it pierced her skin and a small line of blood ran down her hand. "Naraku."
Why now? Why now, of all the times when he could have told her, did the stupid idiot have to do it now? As if college wasn't hard enough, on top of that she had to deal with an overprotective husband and a brother-in- law who could barely tie his shoes when it came to talking about a certain blonde lawyer.
Kagome recalled the conversation she had with Nancy White twenty minutes ago, her irritation only growing.
"Kagome? Could you come over to my office right away?"
"Sure, what's the problem?"
"Um, Sesshoumaru's in my office right now, and I think you both have a little explaining to do."
Clutching the steering wheel of her mother's car a little harder, Kagome flew down the road, totally unaware of the fact that she was going forty in a twenty-five zone. She didn't care. Sesshoumaru, demon lord or not, had one hell of a lot of explaining to do.
Ever since the wedding, he had been coming around frequently to see Nancy, and it could be said that he was even courting her. Rin adored the older woman, which was a plus, and he really seemed to enjoy her company. But there was the ever-present reality that Sesshoumaru was from Feudal Japan, and that Nancy White would eventually have to know the truth, or break off the relationship.
"But why did he have to tell her today?" Kagome muttered to herself, thinking about how her morning had gone, including a flunked math test and a 'C' on a thesis essay. On top of that, Inuyasha was currently back in his time, so she had no one to vent to who could at least put up a good fight.
Pulling into the parking garage at the law firm, Kagome parked the car and threw up her hands, screaming for the entire world to hear before leaning back against the cushioned drivers' seat.
"My life sucks," she whispered with a sigh, "Officially."
Everyone at the firm knew Kagome by now so that she didn't even have to register with the secretary to see Nancy, she could just walk right into the woman's office. And she did, only to find her friend looking very distraught with Sesshoumaru glaring at the floor.
"You two have been fighting again, I see," Kagome stated as a fact, not a question. Nancy turned and frowned.
"You have one hell of a lot of explaining to do," she said in a soft but deadly voice. Kagome couldn't help but gulp, despite her annoyance.
"I think you know what about. I've been dating this man for nearly three months, and now, after I confront him about not being around for one of our dates, I'm told he's not even from this time period? Excuse me, but that is probably the lamest excuse I have ever heard."
Kagome glanced at Sesshoumaru, who was still glaring at the floor as though it were the most repulsive thing in the universe. She looked back at Nancy, trying to play dumb as long as possible. "And you called me because?"
"Because he," she jabbed a finger at Sesshoumaru, "Told me to, and that you would verify his story."
At that, the demon lord looked at Kagome with a glare, but underneath it she could see that he was pleading with her silently to back him up. Kagome felt torn. Either she lied again and made him look bad, or she told the truth, which could open up more problems then it was worth.
Oh hell, she thought with a sigh, my life is beyond any and all logic at this point anyway. "He's telling you the truth."
"What?" That was obviously not the answer the poor woman had been expecting, because her eyes were bulging out of her head. Kagome sighed again.
"I think you'd better come with me, there's something I need to show you."