Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha and friends. Rumiko Takahashi does.
¨"Kagome!" several voices shouted at once. She lay there motionless, the mirror still clutched tightly in her fingers. Inuyasha bent over her and Sesshomaru crouched by his side crying.
"I told you it was bad," he whimpered. "I told you it burns." Inuyasha put a comforting arm around his brother, too distraught over what had happened to Kagome to realize it was his brother. He felt the extra weight of Sesshomaru's Tenseiga at his side and drew it carefully into his hands.
"Father's sword," Sesshomaru whispered, his eyes wide. "You can use it?"
"Inuyasha, that won't work!" Myoga told him mournfully. "The mirror is from hell, it takes the lives directly there, no demons of the underworld to slay."
"But- but she can't-" Inuyasha began, feeling tears coming.
"Whatcha doing with that?" Kagome asked cheerfully.
"What do you mean, you baka? I was going to save your stupid ass, that's what," Inuyasha grumbled without realizing who had spoken.
"Kagome!" the others exclaimed. She sat up, still holding the mirror pressed to her chest.
"You're not dead," Inuyasha said, still in shock.
"I guess not," she told him. "I feel alive. But I'm not sure why I am. I dropped my shirt."
"Why did you do that, Kagome? You should have just let the mirror fall," Inuyasha demanded, his voice husky with emotion he was trying to control.
"I couldn't do that," she answered quietly. "He may be an ass, but he's still your brother, and I'd hate for the memory of your father to be lost."
As she said this, Kagome pulled the mirror away from her chest to look at it. The image of Sesshomaru vanished as a hazy white mist burst out and then flew into the young child beside her. Thousands of other souls fled as well until the mirror remained, quiet. It's surface now was clear and reflected her face perfectly.
"It's been purified," Miroku commented in amazement.
Sesshomaru groaned and collapsed in a tiny heap. Kagome pulled his little head onto her lap and stroked the hair from his face.
"Isn't he supposed to go back to normal now?" she asked with concern.
They all leaned over him anxiously. Suddenly, a bright light engulfed the demon. She couldn't see, but Kagome felt the increase of weight. His fur tickled her skin as it rippled in the breeze of power radiating from the demon. His aura is incredibly strong, she thought. I forget just how powerful he and Inuyasha really are sometimes. I can just imagine how strong their father must have been.
The light diminished. As their eyes adjusted, they saw Sesshomaru lying unconscious, his head on Kagome's lap, but other than that back to his normal self.
The demon lord shifted, the first of his senses to return was smell. The reek of his brother and his human companions saturated the air, especially that of the miko wench and his brother, though oddly he felt a strange desire to be wrapped in her smell like in a warm blanket. Shocked at himself, he wondered why he had his eyes closed and why he was sensing these things. His eyes burst open, glowing red and he growled fiercely warning anything nearby that he, Sesshomaru, was not to be taken unawares.
What he saw shocked him, but not enough to break the his emotionless composition. His head lay on the lap of that wench, Kagome, and she had her hands on his head in an almost loving fashion. For a second he was struck by her beauty and the comfort of her scent, but then he noticed the other curious faces staring down at him, the scowling one of his little brother retreating as soon as Sesshomaru looked at him.
"Yep, he's back to normal all right, the bastard," Inuyasha grumbled. "After all we did for him, and he's just gonna stare icily at us."
"I don't know what you speak of, little brother," Sesshomaru replied arrogantly. He sat up alarmingly suspicious that there was something he could not remember. Of course, why waste time with these fools. He would have to bathe to get their scents off of him. He touched his left stub briefly. Oddly, he missed it, something he never did now that he had grown accustomed to its absence. Silently, he made his way back toward where he had left Rin and Jaken.
What was he doing there? Why had he even come in the first place? His memory had cloudy places he could not access and this angered him. He, Sesshomaru did not like to encounter things he could not control.
"Don't be that way, Inuyasha, it is doubtful he would remember after that mirror," Myoga told the disgruntled half-demon.
Mirror. Mirror. That was familiar. There had been a mirror on a tree. It did not feel right. Sesshomaru paused, contemplating the flea demon's words.
"I'll say he doesn't remember or he never would have left this with me," Inuyasha answered smugly, and Sesshomaru knew the words were directed at him. He turned slightly and saw his Tenseiga in Inuyasha's hand.
Without showing a reaction, Sesshomaru turned and questioned, "How did you get your hands on my Tenseiga, half-breed?"
Inuyasha smirked at him, fingering the weapon, as he overtly relished in the knowledge he held that Sesshomaru did not. This enraged Sesshomaru. He narrowed his eyes and sent his light whip at his brother, retrieving the Tenseiga with one swift tug.
"Touchy," Inuyasha said. "It's not like I took it or anything, you made me hold it. Preferred a fish, if I remember correctly."
"Inuyasha, stop!" Kagome insisted angrily. "The poor guy can't remember, so there's no use taunting him like that. Do you want to fight him, or something?" She realized the foolishness of her question quickly. "Never mind, don't answer that."
Sesshomaru ignored curiosity.
He turned to go again, when Inuyasha remarked, "Yeah, well, I liked him better as a pup. Why'd you have to go and purify that mirror?"
Again that mirror. He could remember vaguely, studying the strange mirror, then he touched it. Then he woke up with those humans staring at him. But that wench, her voice, her smell had entangled his mind. He could feel a desire for her embrace as though he remembered it, but other than just now, she had never touched him, had she?
Turning again, he said, "Wench, what does that half-breed refer to? What is this mirror you purified?"
"What, curious now?" Inuyasha interjected, placing himself between Kagome and his brother.
"I was speaking to the woman," Sesshomaru told him icily.
"I have a name," Kagome fumed. "Ka-go-me! Kagome!"
"Great, now look what you did," Inuyasha complained to his brother as Kagome stormed over to the mirror and picked it up.
"This mirror was stuck to that tree. It steals lives if you touch it, or it used to. You must have touched it and Tenseiga managed to save you, sort of, by allowing you to remain alive only as a child," she explained, trying to remain calm.
"Hmph!" Sesshomaru scoffed. "Ridiculous."
"Why you ingrate!" she squealed and chunked the mirror at his smug, icy face. "You were so cute when you were little, maybe we shouldn't have restored you!"
He caught the mirror and studied it until her words caught his attention. Had that mortal woman just said he was cute? No, this was ridiculous.
"I do not accept that answer. Tell me how you came to have my Tenseiga, Inuyasha, or I will kill you now," Sesshomaru said. He almost smiled when those pathetic humans tensed as if they would help the half-demon.
To his surprise, Inuyasha smiled, and said, "I was just hoping you'd ask, because it was a really good story. You bawling your eyes out cause some spider demon was chasing you. Kagome saved you from drowning in the river and gave you candy. You ate it too fast and then ran around and got sick, so I had to take you back to the river and make you bathe and wash your clothes. I still smell your stench in my kimono that you had to wear while yours was wet.
"You smell it, don't ya? Your scent on me, on Kagome. The river scent on that fancy kimono of yours. You kept crying for father, you even said I-"
Inuyasha stopped. He had hit on his own nerve. It had meant a lot for Sesshomaru to compare him to his father. Perhaps it had even made him feel like he had met his father. His gloating mood soured and he turned his back to his brother.
"You're lucky you knew him. He taught you," Inuyasha muttered to himself, then added louder. "Forget it, I stole the sword and now you've got it back. Just go."
Without another word, Sesshomaru dropped the mirror and disappeared into the woods. He caught a rabbit and gave it to Jaken to prepare for Rin when he returned.
"Lord Sesshomaru, where have you been?" Jaken demanded shrilly. Sesshomaru ignored him, but went instead to the edge of the ridge to look out across the lands again.
"I'm so glad you're safe, my Lord. I started to worry, but I knew you would be back. You must wish to think, my Lord," Rin cried out running up behind him, but politely turned back when she saw him staring.
"Rin," he said quietly.
Her reaction was immediate. "Yes, my lord?"
"What is 'candy'?"
"Candy?" she repeated then ran back to Ah-Un and returned carrying a shiny little object in her hand.
"Kagome gave me some last time we ran into one another," Rin told him. "It is very sweet and very good, but if you eat too much it will make your stomach hurt. Would you like it?"
He felt a slight turning of his stomach as he smelled the chocolate from inside its seal. "No, no thank you, Rin. That will be all."
"Yes, my lord," she said, then bowed and ran back to where Jaken was trying to cook the rabbit.
Though he could not quite retrieve them, some disturbing memories were lurking in his mind. He doubted now that his brother and the woman had been lying, which meant that like it or not, he, Sesshomaru, lord of the Western Lands, owed them a debt. He definitely did not like it. Now he would have to remain close enough to return the debt and maintain his honor. But even more upsetting was the lingering desire to smell that wench again, to feel her arms around him again.
I hope you all have enjoyed reading this short story as much as I have had writing it. As you might have noted, the ending is rather open, and I have started a sequel or continuation called "Sesshomaru's Dilemma," though I must warn that it is not as fluffy and light-hearted as this one. Thank you all for reading!