Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or Wolf's Rain.
Promises Under the Moon: Chapter One
As he walked down the deserted streets of Tokyo, he didn't expect to run into anything unusual. It was nearly four in the morning and even the criminal activity should have ended by this time. He had volunteered to seek information about their journey from this city. That in itself was a rare occasion, but he knew that the others in his make-shift pack needed to rest.
They had big hearts, but he knew that the size of your heart was irrelevant when it came to starvation. First thing was first. He would find something suitable for nourishment and then seek out the rumor.
It was rumored that the mate of the prince of wolves from nearly five centuries before lived in a shrine in the outskirts of Tokyo. The rumor was no doubt a fallacy but it was one he felt must have held some measure of truth to it. It at least deserved some investigation.
The woman, Cheza, who had been guiding his pack and awakening the leader Kiba's heart at the same time was not doing well. She was a flower maiden and by nature her life span was a short one. Soon she would wither away and perish.
Tsume didn't want to still be searching for Paradise without even the little hope that she provided. Granted the flower maiden was not his favorite person, but then, he didn't actually have a favorite person. Everyone pretty much got on his nerves equally.
He shifted the bag upon his shoulder that he had grabbed to fill with food. Although Kiba wouldn't admit it, it was obvious he was suffering. The younger wolves, Toboe and Hige made no small show of their hunger. Tsume's stomach growled at that thought and he placed his hand over his bared stomach muscles that were revealed under his short leather jacket. He too was hungry.
The light of the moon reflected off of his alabaster skin and made his stark white hair luminescent under the lunar rays. His golden eyes showed like a beacon in the gloom. The street lamps really needed to be maintained in this part of Tokyo.
He would stop by the shrine first. The rumors would prove false but he was confident that the groundskeeper of a holy place would offer a stranger on a long journey food and drink.
As he drew closer to the shrine he thought about the rumors that they had learned at the last village his pack had stopped at. There were several stray wolves in the forest and they had talked with Toboe. That foolish child never knew when to shut up. He would try to make friends with a tree if it were possible.
The rumor that Toboe had shared was that the wolves were seeking the lost mate of their former prince and current king. She held the key to their return to Paradise. Five centuries before she had disappeared after the defeat of a great evil by the name of Naraku. After years of courting the young priestess, the wolf prince had finally gained her promise to be his mate.
Great celebrations were planned for the joining of the great priestess Kagome and the wolf prince Kouga. However, those plans were crushed when a force separated her from her friends and beloved mate-to-be by five centuries.
In that time the wolves retreated to Paradise where all the other demons of the Feudal Era and other times long forgotten had become separated from the normal human world. Not long after the prince and other powerful figures from the Feudal Era had retreated to the haven did the path vanish from those who sought it.
The only ones who could track Paradise now were rare and had to be connected to the land of Paradise itself. Therefore flower maidens could locate the land where Lunar Flowers grew abundantly, but also the chosen mate of the king of wolves would be able to find the promised land. For he apparently had waited in hopes of reclaiming his lost love.
She must have been some woman.
Tsume scoffed at the idea of any woman being worth all that trouble. That king should have simply moved on. How hard could it be for the king of wolves to get a mate?
The smell of an intoxicating scent of cherry blossoms and unconditional warmth washed over Tsume. He paused in his steps. How could unconditional warmth have a smell? He wasn't sure, but it was obvious that was what he smelled.
He tried to ignore the distracting aroma. He needed to find the shrine so that he could verify that those stray wolves were merely filling Toboe's head with nonsense. He just wanted to acquire some food so that he could be on his way on his pointless journey with a withering guide.
He was overjoyed with the prospect of trying to hold together the already tense strings of the pack after Cheza finally died. Kiba would no doubt be even more unreliable in his decisions as leader.
Why wouldn't that smell go away? Why was it growing in intensity?
The answer hit him like a bag of bricks. He could hear her before he could see her. His sensitive hearing identified the sweet bell-like tones of her voice as she sang of a lost love. She was standing near a large tree; her palm was splayed across the trunk reverently. He noticed the shrine behind her and surmised that she conveniently lived at the shrine.
At least someone was up so he wouldn't have to worry about disturbing anyone at four in the morning.
As if she suddenly sensed him, which should have been impossible in his opinion, she looked up. Bright sapphire orbs unlike any he had seen before captured and held his gaze.
She looked like an angel in the moonlight. Her raven hair fluttered behind her on the light wind. When it fell after the winds calmed it came past her waist. She had a body like that of a heavenly being. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Tsume had certainly seen a fair share of beautiful woman, but there was something else about this one that made her radiate with something he couldn't identify.
She continued to look directly in his eyes and appeared lost in their depths as she approached him, letting her hand slide down the bark of the ancient tree and fall to her side.
Tsume stood still as a statue. He found that he couldn't move away to reject this strange woman. Who was she to approach him? More importantly, why was he allowing her to invade his personal space?
She stood directly before him, toe-to-toe. Her hand lifted to his face. Her fingers brushed against his cheek lightly as she kept her gaze focused on his eyes. "Sesshoumaru?" she asked, seeking the answer behind the indifferent golden eyes that were scrutinizing her so intently.
Tsume roughly pushed her hand away from his face, his trance broken. "Do not act so casually with me human. Do not confuse me with some long lost friend of yours." He replied as he ran his hands through his cropped white hair in frustration. How dare that woman touch him!
She turned her back on him and sighed sadly as she made her way back to the tree. She pressed her hand upon the bark once more before replying, facing away from him. "Of course you aren't him. I haven't seen any of them. Besides he's the least likely to come and look for me," she answered sadly.
The longing in her voice tugged at Tsume's heart. Why should he care about this woman's problems? He had enough of his own to deal with. Why should the scent of her unshed tears unnerve him so much? "Are you okay?" he asked, his voice gruff.
Kagome chuckled softly at his ill attempt to reconcile for his harsh tone earlier. "No, I'm not okay, but that really is of no concern to you." She heaved a deep breath before turning to him, all sadness erased from her face. "Why have you come to my shrine?"
Tsume did a double take. He expected that she lived here, but he didn't expect it to be her shrine. "Your shrine?" He echoed with a hint of disbelief to his tone.
The woman crossed her arms over her chest. "Yes, I am the priestess of these grounds. What have you come for wolf?"
"You know what I am?" Tsume asked cautiously. Most humans when they discovered his true nature would run in fear or try to destroy him. Why was this slip of a woman acting as if he didn't intimidate her in the least? And how in the world did she figure out he was a wolf; he hadn't allowed her to see his wolf form.
"Yes I know what you are. I've been around enough wolves to know how to recognize one." She looked at him closely. "And you most certainly are not my former ally Sesshoumaru. I wouldn't have called him a friend per say, but at least he wasn't as rude as you."
Tsume found himself baring his teeth at the woman. "Look, I come in need of food. My pack and I are on a long quest and need supplies." He held out his bag to her that he had slung over his shoulder.
"Fine. Wait here and I will bring you enough food and drink to last a few days." She stared at him a moment before nodding to herself. "I will bring enough for you and your three companions." She turned to leave, but Tsume caught hold of her arm.
"How did you know how many pack members I have?"
She pulled her arm free but then seemed to notice the bag he had held out and took it. "I am a priestess. I have special powers. Let's just leave it at that."
Tsume watched as she walked towards the shrine. He found it rude that she failed to invite him inside, but then he probably didn't look like the sort of individual one invites inside at four in the morning. His black leather clothes gave him the appearance of some ill-repute biker. He shook his head at the injustice of it all as he made his way towards the tree where the odd priestess had been earlier.
He noticed several carvings marring the flesh of the tree. It would seem like several messages had been etched into the tree's bark. He looked closer at all of them.
Kagome, you were the friend I always needed. I love you forever.—Inuyasha.
You are the sister that taught me how to laugh. Love-Sango.
Kagome-sama I regret that you were unable to bear me a child. Perhaps we shall meet again to fix the problem. Love-Miroku.
Mother, thank you for loving me and accepting me. I miss your SITS. Love-Shippo.
Miko, You have earned this one's respect. -Tai Youkai of the Western Lands.
However it was the last message that caught Tsume's attention. He swallowed thickly as he allowed the carved words to recycle through his hunger-crazed mind. Exactly what did this little twist mean?
Kagome, I will find you again and make you my queen. I will wait for you forever if that is what it takes. Eternally yours-Kouga, King of Wolves.
Was the shrine maiden this Kagome? Could she be the one those mangy wolves told the boy about? Could she truly help them discover Paradise and leave this Godforsaken, human-infested, over-crowded existence?
A throat cleared behind him and he turned to see the woman standing before him with a large yellow bag across her shoulders, his smaller black bag in one hand and wearing traveling clothes. "I assume you have discovered my identity." Kagome stated more than questioned.
"How is this possible?" Tsume demanded.
Kagome shrugged. "That is not important. Do you seek Paradise?"
Tsume nodded. "My pack members are obsessed with finding the place. I merely want to make sure they don't get themselves killed for their stupidity."
A hint of a smile crossed Kagome's lips and then disappeared before he could be sure he ever saw it. It seemed that his words must have struck a familiar cord with her. "I apologize for earlier. You are more akin to my friend Inuyasha than to Sesshoumaru."
Tsume merely looked back at her silently, choosing not to comment. He was not familiar with being compared to others. It was a feeling he didn't appreciate either.
"I am Kagome," she greeted as she extended a hand towards the wolf in man form. Tsume stared at her hand as he reluctantly shook it with his own firm grip.
"Tsume," he replied. "Do you plan to guide me to Paradise?"
Kagome started to laugh at the simple question. "Man, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that line I would be rich!" She took a cleansing breath and calmed down. "Yes, I have every intention of finding my Kouga- kun. You have obviously been sent to me by the powers above for a reason."
Tsume reached out his hand. "I'll take that bag for you," he offered. She slipped the large yellow bag off her shoulders and handed it to him along with his smaller one. He was surprised at the weight of the large bag. He almost was caught off balance but corrected himself before she could notice. "So you know how to find Paradise?" he asked again skeptically.
Kagome seemed to ignore him as she walked past towards the tree and pressed her palm against the trunk reverently. "It's been a year since that night. Kouga has never broken a promise to me and I don't intend on breaking my promise to him."
"What exactly was that promise?"
"I told him that I would find him and never give up until I finally did, be it in this life or the next." Kagome replied. It was so unfair. She had finally come to realize the extent of Kouga's feelings for her weeks before the final battle with Naraku.
She had come to fall in love with the wolf prince and agreed to be his mate. Never before had she seen anyone quite so happy as he was. But, the last time she looked at his face it was stricken with fear and sadness as he watched her disappear the moment Naraku and the Shikon Jewel were purified. She had shouted out her promise to him and he tried to smile.
Tsume shifted uncomfortably under the weight of the bag and the look of pain that crossed the lovely woman's face. He found himself drawn to her. What he really wanted to do was toss the bag to the ground and take her into his arms and make her forget every bad thing that ever happened. Rather, he wanted to make her think of him and only him as he held her in his arms.
He imagined the feel of her lying against his chest. The scent of her hair tickled his senses and the sound of her steady heartbeat caused him to drop the bag to the ground. The loud thud knocked them both out of their revere.
Kagome flashed him a large grin. "Well, shall we be off?"
"What about the shrine? Didn't you say you were the keeper?" Tsume asked, slightly confused.
Kagome shook her head with a sheepish expression. "Actually, no. My grandfather is the shrine keeper. I left them a note explaining that I received a tip on Kouga's location and went to investigate it."
"Do you really think that Paradise exists?" Tsume had to ask. He was beginning to doubt the whole point of his pack's seemingly fruitless quest. It only brought the wolves together to share in their suffering rather than waste away in the human world alone.
Kagome moved to stand directly before Tsume and placed her palm over his chest, over the cross-shaped scar that he had received so long ago. He could feel a tingling sensation wash over his entire body and a soothing feeling followed suit.
"Tsume, you must learn to not be so cynical. You have a good heart, do not deny that it exists." Kagome told him as she released him. She had sent a rejuvenating energy bolt through him. His heart was shattered and she would make this quest one to piece those shattered remains back together.
She may not be able to find Kouga. Her friends were gone. She had nothing to lose. As a priestess it was her duty to aid those in need. It was obvious from the moment that this wolf creature came to her home that he was in need of her help. She would never deny one her protection and healing powers.
Kagome was nineteen years old now. She had spent three long years living five centuries in the past. She was more mature than most her age. She could sense that this Tsume had also been forced to mature before his time. He was scarred both physically and emotionally.
"I never said I didn't have a heart," Tsume replied annoyed at the implication. He may not have expressed the fact that he cared but to hint that he lacked a heart was a great insult. He had never left behind a comrade.
"I never said you didn't have a heart either," Kagome answered amiably as she patted the wolf on the shoulder before walking alongside him away from the shrine to meet the rest of his pack.
Far away, in a place that few could reach sat a king without his queen. He paced before his two royal advisors, Ginta and Hakkaku. "I just know that she is on her way here now. I can sense it," he confided in them.
His two advisors and best friends exchanged worried expressions. "But, Kouga, you've thought that several times in the last few centuries. I'm afraid that you really should just give up and move on," Ginta suggested quietly.
Kouga whirled on him and his eyes raged with a fire of great fury. "How dare you suggest that I simply abandon the love I have sworn to wait for! You are not connected to her like I am. Kagome would never break a promise to me. I know she is here in this time. I want to look for her."
Hakkaku shook his head. "You know very well that you can not leave these lands Kouga."
Ginta continued in the explanation, as Kouga looked ready to behead one of his oldest friends. "If you leave these lands they could be discovered and the entire pack that you have sought to protect for so long would be in danger."
Kouga sighed as he sat cross-legged on the stones beneath him. He propped his elbow on his knee and placed his chin in his palm as he grew deep in thought. "I know what I risk. But don't you understand?" He looked at his two best friends pleadingly. "To me she's worth everything."
"Maybe we can contact some of our wolves to find out information about her. They can scout around and search for clues," Ginta offered.
Kouga seemed to consider the idea. He fell back flat on his back and stared at the ceiling of the cave over his head. "I suppose that will work for now." He rolled to his side to glare at his two friends. "But mark my words, I am going out to look for her this time."
A/N: What do you think? I was watching Wolf's Rain on CN with my little brother and I really like Tsume. He's soooo cool! Anyways, I also read another fic that dissed Kouga so I thought I'd write a Kagome/Kouga...but it may end up Tsume/Kagome. Don't know. I've never seen a Wolf's Rain crossover. I don't think it's that popular of an anime. We'll have to see, no?