Prologue: The Lady in the Shadow

Author: Nefertili

Fandom: Inuyasha

Rating: PG13

Pairing(s): Sesshoumaru/Kikyou, Sesshoumaru/OC

Genre(s): Romance, Angst, Adventure, AU

Warning(s): Battle scenes, betrayal, over-anger (if there is such a word), fluff... What more can I say?

Disclaimer: None of the characters, except perhaps some, are mine. They are owned by Rumiko Takahashi.

Summary: Kikyou, being saved from peril by Sesshoumaru, joins him in a quest against Naraku and one of his allies, who happened to share a past one-sided relationship with the Demon Lord. SesshKik!

A/N: This is my first time with this fandom, so please help me improve! I just came across this idea after listening to the ending theme 'Fukai Mori', featuring Sesshoumaru. I know some of you guys hate Kikyou, and if you do, hit the back button now, as I don't want flamers. FYI, I took a break from slash and LOTR for the time being...


Mist drifted in and out of the dark bands of night. In the distance, a fearsome castle loomed into view, its dark aura killing all plant and animal life in the soil within its parameter. Darkness enveloped the gloomy domain, for the smoky shield of the castle blotted out the light of the stars and moon. Within this place, at its very heart, sat a slender figure robed in black and dark purple, his long raven hair pulled back from its face of evil.

He was not alone, for within the shadows in one of the corners of the barely lit room wafted the haunting tunes of the plucking of koto strings. Pale, long-fingered hands skillfully manipulated the instrument at her will, and her face was hidden within the darkness of her fawn-colored hair. After the long fingers finished the last measures of the sad melody, the other figure stirred and flexed his hand that had been grasping a jewel that had a huge chunk missing from its glassy surface.

"I sense rebellion in you, my lovely associate," Naraku whispered in a monotonous tone as he idly rolled the large shard of the Shikon no Tama in his hand.

"And right you are," the figure in the shadows answered. Her hands left the koto strings and withdrew within the folds of her kimono. "I can sense his presence, his power, stronger than before. My ears can hear every breath he expels and takes in. I cannot sit here in peace knowing that he still lives, that his aura still abides. I wish to forever end his existence and any reminder of his filthy deeds."

The fingers which had been playing with the jewel temporarily stopped. An evil laughter rang about the room. "My dear, you are being too sentimental. However, you amuse me greatly if you express your anger and dark desires. Well then, worry not, for the time is near..."

The hands of the shadowed woman clenched on her lap. "The time is near, eh? I hear that from your mouth a hundred times a day. How can I guarantee that?"

Laughter once more reverberated around the room as Naraku resumed fiddling with the Shikon shard. "Patience is a virtue, they say. But you or I shall wait no longer." His evil eyes flashed with malice as his fist closed around the part of the Shikon jewel that he possessed. "I have felt her reawakened aura. She has resurrected."

"Her," the woman whispered, getting the half-demon's message. "The priestess whom you killed fifty years ago..."

Naraku gave a low grunt as his hand tightened its hold around the jewel, as though attempting to crush it. He was clearly troubled by the mere memory of the miko, the original guardian of the Jewel of the Four Souls. The part of that burned thief was still in him, and he burned with desire for the priestess as much as he hated her.

"Indeed, and it is only right that we set our wheels in motion..."

"I have waited for hundreds of years. I have lived with this hatred for that one person even longer before you or Onigumo were conceived! I can wait no longer, Naraku. Within your halls, my powers are in dormancy, but now they have awakened again, and I wish to be of full use of them."

"Yes, yes, you've made your point perfectly clear. Well then, set out, flex your powers and revive your demon energy! But don't attempt to go ahead of our planned steps, my dear, or you shall pay dearly." Naraku smiled a twisted smile that spoke of a threat. The lady in the corner was unperturbed and unmoved by his menacing gesture, however.

"The sleep in peace, for I am one who sticks to her own business," she replied in an equally threatening voice. "I am not like the one whose blood I so long to spill." Pausing for a time, her lips also curved up in a malicious grin. "And forget not that I am more powerful than you think."

Naraku chuckled in amusement.

"You do have a fine way of expressing humor," he replied. His face then became devoid of all emotions as he said, "Then waste not your time, and keep your ears open for the interesting whereabouts of our victims."

The woman then stood up, and where the koto once was, an empty space lingered. Instead, in her hand, she held a naginata, a spear-like blade that flashed in the flickering light. "Then I shall be on my way."

As she turned around and walked towards the door, Naraku said, "In time, we shall have our revenge. You with your demon friend out there and me with the miko who only knows hate."

The woman was almost at the door when she stopped to reply as she wrapped her ochre-colored shawl more securely about her, "I care nothing about your miko, Naraku. I have nothing to do with her, but I have agreed to entangle myself in her affairs because of our truce. Make sure you don't disappoint me, Naraku."

As the final whisper of her silk robes left the chamber, Naraku smiled his demonic smile to himself and gazed at the half-done jewel in his palm.

"Rather, my dear, you shouldn't disappoint me," he said to himself as his evil aura enveloped him, shielding him from all eyes as he carried on his malevolent planning.


Er, how was that? I cannot get the Naraku-playing-with-the-Shikon-jewel image out of my mind. Please, please, review and help keep my spirits up!