Title: Illusions of My Memories
Author: SavingRain
Rating: R
Summary: After Naraku's death, Kagura needed to find her place in the world. Listen to her story, as she falls in love, backwards.(KaguraxSesshoumaru)

ETA- to put in italics

When it happened, I thought that he would have more to say to me.

Through everything I had experienced after Naraku's death, he had been a constant, and I had looked to him for guidance. It may sound strange that I even expected him to give me any, but he was a survivor, he was powerful and had been around longer than many youkai could remember. Those who could recall the days of his father often remembered him ruling by his side, sweeping across the land as a solitary figure, going where he pleased and about his business, a striking enigma of strength.

He was my guide, and what Naraku could never be. He was my teacher.

I was strong before I met him, but after Naraku's death, Sesshoumaru had made me stronger. I longed so much for freedom, I don't know if anyone can understand what it is like to want something that you have never experienced, something that seems so common to everyone else. There are many slaves who can identify with my plight, who have had a taste for freedom, a thirst for water that they knew existed but could never taste. Once I thought that I would always go thirsty.

I was horrified when I finally was able to drink, and still found myself unfulfilled.

Kagura sighed, leaning into the wind as she gripped the edges of her feather. She looked down and saw the earth stretch out beneath her. People moving about their business, youkai slaying youkai over their pathetic land squabbles. She looked back up to the sky, focusing on her destination. Freedom. It was precious, and rarely ever appreciated. She recalled the emptiness that came when she first tasted it, and the unbridled elation that was quickly followed by a sickening emptiness. Freedom without purpose.

I learned then, how unsatisfying it was to posess freedom and have nothing to do with it. I won't deny that it felt good to breathe air into my lungs and travel aimlessly for days on end, losing track of time and satisfying my fancies--but if that satisfaction did not linger.

If it had, I would never have returned to the Western Lands. I sought Sesshoumaru out, needing something that I wasn't sure I had the right or the strength to ask for. But I had never been one to be bound by the rights that I felt society had given to me.

I searched for a long time, so long that for a while I wondered if our meetings together had been a dream. I even allowed myself to think that I had only imagined him, towering over me with his great blade of life, restoring me with the same hand that had killed me moments before.

Kagura reflexively placed her hand against her stomach, kneading it against the silken fabric and feeling the imaginary scar that was there. Sometimes at night, it stillburned. The sun was starting to set on the horizon.

The night I finally saw him again, he had the same look in his eyes as when he had given me new life. He was so sure, andso empty. He barely acknowledged me as he turned away and led me off into the darkness.

I followed him, and he allowed me to come astride with him and share the sunset. The wind swept over us and I felt like I had never left, as if the moment when he had brought me back to life was all a dream, and I would have to flee for fear of Naraku or death.

The feeling I had then, like something was clawing at me and grabbing my chest, ripping my heart from my body. Uncharacteristically, and despite myself, I reached for my chest to halt the imaginary pain. I felt him react, a subtle movement as he inclined his head slightly to the side.

"You have returned." For some reason I could not find my voice. I looked up at him instead, hoping he could find my words for me. He always did. "You wish for this Sesshoumaru's help."

That memory had not been an illusion.

I nodded.

He didn't respond, he merely indicated to me with his hand that I was to come with him, and walked away into the night, allowing me to follow.

Kagura directed her massive feather over the treetops, recognizing the looming cliffs that penetrated the landscapes, bathed in waxing light. An orange glow surrounded the valley. Time seemed to pass slowly, and she was anxiously pressing her fingers against the soft ends of her feather, contemplating her past.

I stayed with him for years, putting up with his toad. I even went with him when he visited the grave of his long-dead ward. The girl, Rin, she had looked on me kindly once. I remember being touched the first time he allowed me to stand and watch him give silent eulogy to her memory. She had a simple shrine at the base of a mountain, surrounded by a field of flowers. I wondered how long she had lived, if she had laughed and smiled even until the end.

I think her life and her death had changed him. I think that was why he allowed me to stay with him as he taught me. I think that was why some nights, he would turn to me for his release, and allow me to fall asleep against his hard body.

Time passed quickly, but it wasn't long before I realized I no longer needed him. I wondered if I should tell him that it was time for me to go.

But I didn't want to go.

In the end, he turned me away. One morning, he simply nodded towards me, leaving for his greater, vast lands that I had never laid eyes upon. He disappeared into the morning fog, and I felt as if he had dropped off of the edge of the mountain and out of my life.

I can't remember feeling sad.

This is the same place where he once stood. Here, beneath that cliff, a tree grows there now.

The winds began to die down and Kagura descended towards the rocky cliffs, guiding her feather with practiced expertise.

I wonder if he will be ready for what I have to tell him this time. I wonder what he will say when I tell him that I have returned because I had to see him, because I could not leave this part of my life unfinished...after everything he's taught me...I know that it would be wrong for me to leave peices of myself behind at the mercy of my memories, to eat away at me and ruin my future. If I didn't come back, I would always think of him and wonder what he would say, what he would think. I would wonder how would he look at me.

Would his eyes be the same as they were then?

Sesshoumaru.

His figure appeared, like a long ghost among shadows. He was standing on the edge of the mountain, looking up at Kagura, and at the other she had brought with her. Kagura leapt off of my feather and caught it in her finger tips. Her heart was in my throat as she took him in. He was unchanged, it was almost as if he existed outside of time. Even his left arm, which she had helped him restore, was still in place.

Kagura reflexively moved her toes against the cool grass, trying to find her footing and relax her mind. She never imagined that her memories and emotions would come back to her like this, just because she was seeing him again.

Isn't it strange? Standing here, like this, I notice how perfect he is in his silence. A pretty man, a warrior, a god. I came all this way simply to tell him that I have found my place, and that his teachings took me somewhere. I feel anxious, a knot in my stomach, frightened of how he will react. It wasn't long ago that I was eager to hear his response, and now here he is, and my tongue is heavy in my mouth. My throat won't come unstuck, my hands are shaking by my sides. But his presence, at my side, reassures me.

Kagura lifted her hand, allowing her fan to gently sweep out and present her companion. A characteristic smile lit her face as she leaned to the side, taking in the sight of the man who had been her stability for the greater portion of her life. Finding her courage, she spoke.

"Sesshoumaru, I'm pleased that you could come. I wanted you to meet, my mate, Azumamaro."