Note: This is meant to be a complement to the main story Entwined Destinies. While it may be a little strange to read it as a stand-alone, I think it can be taken as such if you were to simply assume that Sess can wander back and forth between Kagome's time and his – much like Inuyasha can. But then again, a number of references will be made to my main fic, so that can blow this theory out of the water. Either way, I'll leave it to you, as the reader, to decide on how it goes. To all those who have been eagerly (at times demandingly ), here are the long-awaited Sess / Kag moments at last. Please be kind, and thank you for your patience!

Bern (17-09-2004)

Entwined Destinies Side Story

Sesshoumaru and the Costume Party (Part 1)

Higurashi Shrine, Tokyo
Late afternoon

Kagome made her way slowly up the stone stairs to the shrine she called home, her mind in a swirl of worry and nervous anticipation. Since her return from the Sengoku Jidai, she had thrown herself back into her life in modern Tokyo and had tried to forget everything that had happened to her when she had been lost in that strange place and time. Well, the operative word being 'tried to'. But now, after all those months of desperately trying to convince herself that it had been but a strange dream, he had somehow entered her life and successfully blowing apart all that she had worked so hard to build up.

As she neared the top of the stairs, she could feel the soft tingling down her spine at his presence. That was the other thing she still had troubled trying to accept. Sesshoumaru's presence always created some sort of resonance within her soul that was disconcerting to her. It did not help matters that Kagome was also drawn to the cool and aloof taiyoukai. Looking up in the direction of the feeling, she saw him lounging gracefully in the branches of the Goshinboku, his eyes already watching her approach.

Kagome waved up at him and smiled in greeting. As she made her way to the house, she could sense him following her. 'Like a dog waiting for its master to return home,' was the sudden thought and Kagome had to restrain the smirk that crossed her face. Sesshoumaru would definitely not appreciate such a comparison – if he did not kill her on first impulse. By now, the taiyoukai had caught up with her and matched her pace. He remained silent but Kagome was more than adept at reading his silence and body language. His accompanying her was a subtle greeting and one that made her quite happy to accept.

"Tadaima!" Kagome called out as she removed her shoes at the entrance before slipping on her house slippers. Sesshoumaru did the same and followed her into the house.

"Okaeri, Kagome-chan," came her mother's lilting response and she poked her head out of the kitchen. "How are you feeling, Sesshoumaru-san?" was the enquiry that followed after.

"I am well," came the short reply and Kagome's mother smiled in return. "Do check on his bandages, Kagome-chan. There are more in the medicine cupboard if you need them. Dinner will be ready in about an hour."

"Hai, Mama," Kagome replied and made her way upstairs. "Let's have a look at them, Sesshoumaru," she continued gesturing for the youkai lord to follow her. Sighing under his breath with restrained patience, he accompanied the cheerful girl upstairs to her room.

"How's the healing process, Sesshoumaru?" Kagome asked as she pulled the First Aid box to her. "Any soreness or bleeding?"

"I said I am fine, Kagome," Sesshoumaru said but slowly unbuttoned the strange shirt of this world. "I would however, appreciate the removal of these bindings."

"Uh-huh," Kagome murmured absent-mindedly as she dug through the medical contents. Looking up, she blinked as she took in the bared torso of the taiyoukai before her. Even after seeing it several times before, it still made Kagome blush lightly whenever she had to face his unclothed body. He was just so... 'Male,' came the unbidden thought and she ducked her head as a blush darkened her cheeks further.

Sesshoumaru smirked slightly as he noted the suddenly uncomfortable girl as she continued to waste time digging about in that medicine box of hers. He was not blind to that fact that she was more than interested in his body and he felt the temptation to tease her about it. And he did not resist it. His smirk widened at the thought. Reaching down, he cupped her chin and pulled her startled eyes to meet his. For a moment, he held them in his gaze before speaking.

"Kagome," came the deep baritone that sent a shiver through her as he said her name. "I have not as yet thanked you for your generous care of this Sesshoumaru's body."

The combination of his closeness, intimate touch of her person and the tone of his voice as he said those words caused the poor girl to lose all coherent thought. Her mouth opened but no words came out. The blush had spread across her face and she felt her heart rate speed up. Her breath caught and Kagome felt faint as he continued to pull her into the depths of his honey-hued gaze. Unknowingly, her eyes slowly hooded and she unconsciously moistened her lips. At the sight of her pink tongue lightly flicking across her lips, his eyes darkened further.

He leaned down without thinking, his own lips eager to taste hers once more. A small part of him protested against it but the more instinctive part of him overrode it. She was there, so close, so tempting with her delightful scent surrounding him, tinged with her own desire. Sesshoumaru vaguely realised that his little trick had backfired but he no longer cared. Kagome was a sweet drug to him and he would not be satisfied if he did not get to at least taste it. His own eyes began to close, their lips a hairsbreadth apart. Only a heartbeat more...

"Onee-san!" came the loud ear-splitting cry as Souta came pounding up the stairs and around the corner.

The sudden shout caused the two of them to jerk apart and their eyes to fly open. Kagome's mouth opened and shut a few times trying to voice her scrambled thoughts. Sesshoumaru looked startled and his eyes blinked a couple of times in reflex. Kagome had scrambled backwards and was now pressed up against her wardrobe. A panting boy had now appeared at the doorway and he took in the sight of the half-dressed youkai lord and his flustered, red-faced sister at the wardrobe.

"Are you checking Sesshoumaru-niisan's injuries, 'nee-san?" came the innocent question. Kagome tried to say something but could only manage a faint squeak and nodded her head. Turning to look at the now composed youkai lord, Souta smiled happily and inquired after his health. Accepting the curt nod, he simply grinned and returned his attention to the now calming Kagome.

"Mama asked if you have decided on the costume you are going to wear to the party on Saturday," Souta began. Kagome looked at him blankly for a moment before remembering. Her hand covered her mouth and she eeped in surprise. Souta almost rolled his eyes at the sound. "'Nee-san..." he whined as he continued to stare at her. "It's been three days since Mama asked you and you still haven't decided? If you don't know, you can always let her..."

"I'll think about it, Souta," Kagome quickly said as she tried to think of an answer. Darn it, but she had totally forgot about the weekend party.

It was to be a grand masquerade ball and the Higurashi family had been invited to attend. The hosts of the party were loyal patrons of the Shrine and Grandpa had made it clear that they were all to attend the function – no exceptions. But given the sudden turn in events, Kagome wondered about what to do with Sesshoumaru. They would be staying at their hosts' house in Kyoto for the duration and Kagome was uncomfortable with the prospect of leaving Sesshoumaru alone to fend for himself until their return. As if sensing her thoughts, Souta grinned brightly.

"Sesshoumaru-niisan is also invited to attend."

"What?!" came the chorus from youkai and teenager.

Souta nodded his head sagely and smiled widely. "Mama said that with Sesshoumaru-niisan's injuries and him being new to our world, he'd have to come with us. It shouldn't be a problem as it's a costume party and people will be dressed up and wearing masks. We can pretend that Sesshoumaru-niisan's make-up takes a long time to put on and take off so he should be alright then."

"But-but... I mean, Sesshoumaru's a youkai and..." Kagome sputtered as she tried to get her head around the sudden turn of events. "How could Mama decide on this so suddenly?"

"Because you did not, dear," came the reply from the doorway. Mrs Higurashi stood there with her calm smile and hands clasped in front of her. "Really, Kagome-chan, after asking you about your costume for the umpteenth time, you have still not made up your mind. No matter, it's all settled. I've packed the things and sent them on their way."

Turning to the silent taiyoukai seated on the edge of the bed, Mrs Higurashi gave him a warm smile. "Don't worry, Sesshoumaru-san," she began as her smile widened further. "I've seen to it that your costume will take into account your obvious characteristics like tail and ears. It may not be exactly what you're familiar with but it would still complement your noble heritage."

Sesshoumaru looked the woman in the eye as though engaging in a silent battle of wills but he felt himself failing. The fact of the matter was that he still needed their assistance as much as it grated on his nerves but to be forced to attend a "costume party" was below his standing. But he could also see the steely glint in the woman's eye and he backed down. Kagome's mother was a formidable woman, he grudgingly admitted to himself. His eyes flickered in Kagome's direction and he could understand where she inherited that steel will from.

Despite himself, Sesshoumaru was beginning to develop a respect for the human family who had graciously admitted one of the most dangerous youkai into their midst without considering the consequences. Either they were too foolish to realise it, or they had sincerely placed their trust in his better nature not to harm them. And on some odd level, he liked it. They made him feel welcomed and had put up with his demands good-naturedly, to which he felt strangely indebted to them for it.

For the first time in his life since his mother's death, Sesshoumaru experienced the feeling of family. And he had Kagome to thank for that.

"Very well," he said. "This Sesshoumaru will accede to your request to attend the 'costume party'."

"Lovely," Mrs Higurashi gushed as she clapped her hands together in delight. "We'll be leaving tomorrow evening."

Glossary in brief:

Tadaima – A greeting called out to let family know of your return home. In English, the closest would be "I'm home".

Okaeri – Shortened from Okaerinasai. Usually a greeting used to welcome the person home. Depends on how someone greets you when you come back like "Hi, welcome home!"

'Nii-san – Shortened from Oniisan meaning 'elder brother'. In this case, Souta is attaching ''niisan' to Sesshoumaru's name as a sign of brotherly respect. He also does that to Inuyasha if you've heard the Japanese dialogue version.

'Nee-san – Shortened form of Oneesan meaning elder sister. Because of the hierarchy system in the family, each sibling is given their 'rank' according to birth order. It also applies to the Chinese as well the birth order that is.

Hai – Simply means 'Yes', but can be flexible much like 'Okay' or 'Sure' as the English equivalent.

I hope I've got the spellings and terms right. It's been a while since I've used these terms, so pardon any mistakes. If I'm wrong, you can easily drop me a note.

Author's Notes:

A side story to the main tale? Why? Simply because I wanted to, that's why. Actually, I realised that if I were to include every chapter of this within the primary story arc, it would take the impact away from it. So, I've decided to create a separate story arc to complement the main one. And let's face it, I want to indulge in some whimsy and humour among other things that I know will not work too well in the main story. Also, don't take the title too seriously – it's a crappy title that was intended as a filler until something better came along but then it took over and refused to let go. ::continues to beat at it with a tyre iron::

So where am I going with this? Well, I'm just playing around with ideas and I'd like to see where this one will lead me. Also, I want to develop the Kag / Sess relationship further. As he is now in her world, Sess has to learn to eat humble pie and allow someone else to lead the way instead of the other way round. I know that he's exhibiting traits of Inuyasha with regards to the tree thing but I've put it down to it being an inu youkai thing instead. Also, I believe it adds to the whole "need to get away from it all and be by myself" thing too. I know Sess sits under trees with his furry boa propping his head and back but let's face it, unless the ground is lush and green, our dear taiyoukai's going to have a dirty butt.

::runs away giggling from an annoyed Sess::

So let me know what you think of this, as I'm always open to C&C. So don't forget to drop a little something in the Review box below then. Till the next time, ja mata ne!