Chapter 7

The sun rose after an eternity. Megahna stayed the whole night by his side, nursing his wound, wiping the sweat from his brow as his form fought off the remnants of the poison, and forcing him to drink fresh water to keep his body strong through its battle. The pale morning light crept its way along the floor, touching her bare foot and warming it before it made her way to her eyes. She groaned and opened her eyes.

She had fallen asleep against the wall. Her hair had fallen from its formal upsweep sometime in the midst of running around and giving orders. Her robes were in rags, half torn apart to be used as staunch against the flow of blood. She glanced down into the bowl of water that was tinged red still and saw her reflection. Never would a Lady of any land have herself seen in that manner, but she was too weary to care.

It felt like her heart had taken up residence in her throat, and as she felt the kiss of sunlight on her cheeks, she felt it harden there. Morning had come, she was being rejected by her husband. Dishonored and disgraced, she had little more to look forward to than perhaps her father's request for her honorable death.

'I don't want to leave him,' she thought miserably as she rose to her feet, and slid open the door. The cool morning air rushed over her, washing the sweat and worry from her body and causing her to shiver. She glanced over her shoulder at this sleeping body. The fever that was consuming him had broken and now his body was recovering the energies that it needed. She leaned her head against the posting of the door and felt a hot tear slide down her cheek.

'Why am I crying?' she thought curiously, wiping her cheek and staring at the droplet of water that resided on her finger. But she knew why. During some point in that night, amidst his groans and shivers, she felt something awaken in her, something she had tried to deny but realized she couldn't any longer.

'When did I fall in love with him?' she questioned herself as she wiped her brow, feeling the coolness of her hand there. Her arm ached with usage, but she knew that she would be fine. Kohana had given some of her blood, as a precaution to keep the poison from affecting Megahna, an act that had surprised the Lady. Most youkai would have left her to take her chances, especially after her treatment. But then again, Megahna knew that the young woman's mother had been a creature of immeasurable compassion and strength, and Kohana reflected this in her every action.

'Just when I find him, I lose him,' she thought miserably, and felt more tears slide down her cheeks. She allowed herself the weakness. No one was around, she was alone. It would be the last time she was in his presence, and for once she wanted nothing more than to lay down her defenses and let him comfort her, as only a husband can comfort his wife.

She heard him groan again and turned around, quickly wiping her cheeks as she kneeled by his side. She took the rag from the water and began wiping his face again as he made a face and began to open his eyes.

"Megahna," he whispered hoarsely and she nodded, turning her head to wring out the rag.

"M'lord, it is good to see you awake," she said softly, almost submissively, causing a look of surprise to show in his face.

"You have watched me all night," he asked and she nodded, rising to her feet.

"You had a fever, I did not trust any of the help to aid you properly," she said and turned away before the tears of relief showed in her eyes. It seemed that once she allowed herself to open up, she could not stop the emotions from flowing. Perhaps it was well that she was leaving, she couldn't bear leaving herself this vulnerable to him.

She felt his hand on her shoulder and she turned to look up at him, his face almost translucently pale, but unmistakably beautiful. Her hand itched to reach up and trace the moon on his forehead but resisted.

"You have been crying," he commented, and she almost heard a trace of softness in his voice.

'No that can't be, he wouldn't speak to me in that manner,' she thought as she felt his hand slide up from her shoulder to her face, and with a gentleness she never thought she would see him exhibit, and certainly with more gentleness than she ever saw him exhibit with the human br- Kirai.

"You have been crying over me?"

Megahna pulled away from the touch, as she tried to get her emotions back under control, but that look in his blazing golden eyes kept pulling them back to the surface. But it seemed he mirrored every move she tried to make.

"You need to rest," she said, trying to get him to lie back down, but his grip on her arm tightened. For a moment, she wished that he had both his arms to wrap around her. If he did that, if he showed any sign, she'd be lost.

"This Sesshoumaru has healed," he said calmly but didn't release her. "Why did you cry for me? Did you think me so weak that I would succumb to poison?"

Megahna shook her head, still trying to step away from him. "It was purification, more than poison." That was all she could manage as he stepped closer, seemingly staring into her soul as she swallowed uncomfortably and stared back.

"You are refusing to answer my question," he whispered deeply and she felt goose bumps rise up along her skin, a sensation she never thought possible. A tight feeling spread through her body, and she tried to calm herself, but as his nostrils flared, she knew what he had sensed.

"What do you want Megahna?"

She blinked at him, surprised by his sudden question. Never in their centuries together had he asked her what she wanted. Unbidden the tears began to fall again, and in anger she shouted at him.

"I want passion, I want romance, Damnit, I want a body count!"

He blinked quickly, and a sly grin slid over his lips as he backed her into a wall, his lips dangerously close to hers.

"In that order?"

She opened her mouth to speak when she found herself crushed against him, those very lips that were once so damn inviting now pressing against hers hungrily. Damn him, he was being so domineering. She growled and shoved him backwards, her claws tearing away his kimono from his shoulders as they fell to the futon.