I don't own these characters.

This is an AU, pretty much present day.


Kikyo sat down at the same outside table at the same café as she had for many years. She used to come to the café often with Sesshomaru, mostly because it was located very close to his office. She actually could see his office from her seat. The thought of his office caused her to glance up briefly and spot his window. She sighed longingly.

Many of her friends and associates that knew where she took her lunch break did not think that it was healthy behavior. After all, she had broken up with Sesshomaru over a year ago. They seemed to think that she had not moved on because of her afternoon dining habit.

She had broken up with Sesshomaru last year because they had both been focusing so hard on their careers that it just did not seem plausible for them to focus on each other. They floated by each other in their condo more often than not back when they were together. They actually used to get surprised when they finally noticed each other, even if they had both been home for hours with each other. They were not really in a relationship with each other at the time, so she had proposed that they should separate until they got their lives in an order that they desired.

Sesshomaru had not looked very pleased with the idea. It would have been difficult for others to notice, but after being with him for so long, she knew all of his little reactions. He had stared at her for a long while; she was not sure what had gone through his mind, but she could tell that the notions were not pleasant to him. He eventually frowned and grunted what sounded like an agreement.

Their breakup had not been messy in any way that most people typically associated with such things. They barely discussed it after they concurred on the matter. He had even left her the condo; he would rather be the one searching for a new place to live if they were going to be a part than having his precious Kikyo going through the trouble of doing such a thing. He also preferred knowing that she was some place safe and secure, especially while her mind had been trying to focus on a specific task, namely her job and her research. He was a good man and she knew that, and many ladies that she knew thought that she was crazy for giving him up. Maybe they were right, she considered.

Now that she had her life in order, all she did was miss the one component that had stood in her way, sort of anyway. He had not stood in her way, but trying to be there for him and trying to get her career to where she wished it to be was a burden; it was the same for him, even though he did not admit it. But, now, she missed that. She missed him. She missed being an "us."

Sesshomaru was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination; well, by any stretch of her imagination, anyway. Of course, Sesshomaru swore that he was perfection. Many women seemed to think that he was the greatest catch of all time and she knew that he was the envy of many men, human and demon alike. She accepted him for who and what he was and did not request that he try to be something he was not. He returned the favor to a point.

While Kikyo would ignore what women thought of Sesshomaru, even when they were throwing themselves at him, he could not do the same in regards to her. The silver-haired demon was possessive of Kikyo to the point of coming to blows with men for their crime of looking at her. She was aware that his behavior was due in part to his demon nature, but he had better control over himself than he generally showed when she was involved. But, other than that, she did not mind much of his behavior. He was still a good man and she knew that many people agreed with notion considering the fact that she had lost several so-called friends because they dared to approach him when they found out that he was now single.

It was not hard for Kikyo to find out that "friends" of hers had gone after Sesshomaru, even though she did not speak him to get the information right from him. She and Sesshomaru had cut off communication even before they ended their relationship; in fact, it was one of the reasons that she cited when explaining why they should break up. Other people would tell her about her "friends" behavior or she would just overhear the gossip that someone had gone out on a date with Sesshomaru. She did not know any of the details behind the dates because she had not heard anyone talking about anything beyond the dates, which she was thankful for.

She suspected that her demon prince had been with other women in the past year, but she would prefer not knowing the details behind the acts. She was not sure what she might do if she heard someone speaking about her Sessho in bed, but she was certain that her reaction would be violent, either vomiting or hitting that woman that dared to touch her Sessho. After all, he was still the love of her life, even if she had suggested that they part ways for an undetermined amount of time.

As a rational and pragmatic woman, Kikyo knew that Sesshomaru had been with other women for the simple fact that he would want to keep up appearances. He liked to be perceived in a certain way that reflected his status. As a demon noble, a prince at that, he would be expected to have a woman on his arm almost whenever he stepped out of his hotel room. She could not hold it against him because she knew how he was, but she tried her best to not think about it. Sure, she was not with him anymore, but she disliked the idea of someone else being with him. He is still mine, even if we are apart … or at least my heart seems to think so.

She could not help not wanting someone else to have Sesshomaru. He was the only man that she had ever known. They had been together since high school, so it was hard for her to let go. They had been together for roughly ten years. She knew people that broke up with spouses, or mates when it came to demons, after brief periods together and they always wanted to know her secret to staying with Sesshomaru so long. She could not help them out because she did not know the secret. There was no secret as far as she was concerned.

She and Sesshomaru merely fit nicely together like pieces in a puzzle. They could look at each other and without speaking any words, pretty much know what they other was thinking, provided the thoughts were not too off-the-wall. A glance could tell them what the other needed or wanted, even if the other was unaware of those things. They treated each other like they wanted to be treated. They respected each other deeply and they loved each other in a way that many people did not seem to comprehend. Our emotions were so focused and quiet most people didn't believe they were even there, despite how long we were together.

Kikyo loved Sesshomaru because she was used to him. Seeing her demon prince used to be bring her a joy that most women did not feel after a while with their respective mates. Every glimpse of him sparked light and love within her. His presence brought her comfort and she relaxed when having an in-depth conversation with him, which was not something that she did often with other people. Just thinking of him set her at ease while increasing her heartbeat ever so lightly. Whenever he touched her, even in the simplest manner, she felt like everything was right in the world. Her love went beyond what she noticed many other people associated with love, namely physical ecstasy.

She recalled when people found out that she broke up with Sesshomaru and they always wanted to know what went wrong. They assumed that it had something to do with sex almost all of the time, but she was certain that nothing went wrong. They had just broken up; it was as simple as that.

She never told anyone about her sex life with Sesshomaru because she did not think that was anyone's business. Though she had never experienced another man, she was certain that Sesshomaru was a fantastic lover. He was gentle with her when need be or when the request was made. He always took her into consideration and he always made sure that she got as much enjoyment out of the act as he did.

Once the couple had broken up, two things happened. First of all, her father had outwardly rejoiced. She was stunned that the man did not throw a party when he found out that she was no longer dating the demon prince. He never liked Sesshomaru; he especially did not like the fact that the demon had been dating his little girl. He did not think that Sesshomaru was a good influence on her daughter and he was glad that the couple had gone their separate ways. Kikyo had not been surprised by that reaction because she had always known that her father disliked Sesshomaru.

Her father had a dislike of demons in general, but Sesshomaru got special attention from the time that he began pursuing Kikyo up until the time that she had broken things off with Sesshomaru. They came from a family that had a long history fighting against demons and even though that was not done nowadays since everyone was so civil, their loathing of demons still held on. She even had some prejudices toward demons before Sesshomaru came into her life. So, she had expected her father to hate him and she doubted that his opinion of Sesshomaru would ever change, not that it mattered now.

Her father still held on to his loathing of Sesshomaru and he made it a point to tell her how glad that he was when they saw it each other that she had come to her senses and gotten rid of that demon. He always said that he did not know what had gotten into her to even date Sesshomaru. He had thought that she lost her mind all of those years ago when she had first started going out with Sesshomaru. He actually used to threaten to transfer her from school when Sesshomaru used to call the house, trying to get her to talk to him before they began dating or when they had started going out.

The second thing that happened when she broke up with Sesshomaru was that a few of her friends began insisting that she could now date. She had never dated before, but she did not see why they would suggest such a thing. She split up with Sesshomaru to focus on her career, not to see other men; yet, she eventually found herself doing just that. She had quickly learned that it was better that she did not date because she did not seem to have very much luck with men; she often joked with herself that the gods had been looking out for her when they delivered Sesshomaru into her life. The funny thing was that if it had been up to her, she would not have even been involved with Sesshomaru.

She had begun dating because she just could not find it in herself to call Sesshomaru and say that she wanted to get back together with him. It seemed selfish to get in contact with him after her life was in order and tell him to come back, as if he were a puppy that she could send away and call back whenever she felt it was necessary. Besides, she actually considered that she might find someone that complemented her as much as he did; she was so very wrong there, very, very wrong.

The first person that she had dated was the brother of a colleague of hers, Jakotsu. Jakotsu was an interesting fellow in the sociology department of the university where she worked. She was a history and political science professor while Jakotsu was a sociology professor. He beamed, as he had a habit of doing, while telling her about his brother, a high-powered medical doctor that he swore to the heavens and back she would get along with fabulously. He failed to mention that his brother was hemophobic and psychotic; other than that, Suikotsu was a fine gentleman, but the latter was a hard thing to get over.

Kikyo stopped seeing the doctor, Suikotsu, after she figured out that he was mentally unstable because she was not looking to put herself in a bad situation. She could just tell that if she stayed with him nothing good was going to come of it. She explained to him just that and he seemed to take it pretty well. There was more to her breaking up with him than the fact that he was mentally imbalanced.

There was the fact that Suikotsu, while a grand young man, he was not Sesshomaru. Every time that she was with Suikotsu, she mentally compared him to her demon prince. His build was different from Sesshomaru's, making embracing him a different experience than what she was used to and she did not equate different with better. Everything about him was just different from what she was used to and she finally figured out that everything about him was different from what she wanted, and yet she pressed on.

The next male that Kikyo found herself seeing was even more of a disaster. She only went out with him twice to discover that he was just not right in some way that she was not going to stick around to figure out. There was something in his scarlet eyes that told her to get away from him while she could and she had done just that.

His name was Naraku and she was upset with herself for getting involved with him. Sometimes, he still just randomly called her, trying to make a date with her, but she would always quickly think of some excuse to not talk with him. He occasionally asked her disturbing questions when he called her, like what she was wearing before she managed to hang up on him, but she was not too worried about him. She believed that if he tried anything stupid, she would be able to handle him.

She had not seen Naraku for months now, but he did make her reconsider the whole "dating" thing. She was not looking to run into another man, demon, or hanyou which Naraku was, like the crimson-eyed male. She did not want to end up putting herself in a position that she did not want to be in.

She had gone out with a couple more men, but no one was worth noting. They were not Sesshomaru, simple as that. She had easily given up on trying to find a new man because she realized that there was only one male for her: her demon prince, Sesshomaru. He was the one that she wanted and she pretty much always knew that, despite trying to convince herself otherwise.

Kikyo had actually never removed any of Sesshomaru's pictures from around the condo, not that they had had many. She left many of his things that he had forgotten at their home right where he left them; she even dusted them to keep them clean. She just did not want to move anything, as if he was going to come back and she wanted everything just the way that he recalled it. But, it had been a year and he had not returned. She still enjoyed looking at his photos around the apartment.

Sesshomaru always looked so adorably miserable whenever he had his picture taken. She actually did not look too happy when taking pictures, either. People often told them that they took "execution photos," in other words it was like they were going to be murdered once the photos were done, even when they took pictures together. Kikyo sometimes put on a small smile when she took a photo with Sesshomaru, but he never smiled, no matter the circumstances.

They had never been considered a "cute" couple, even when they first hooked up in high school. They were a couple that made sense to most people now, but when they first got together, it had been a complete mystery to their classmates and teachers as the reasoning behind the hookup. Sesshomaru was a demon from a noble family and she was a human from a family with spiritual powers and a past history for slaying demons; such a thing now was not considered legal.

Kikyo had been likable back in high school while most people had and still did consider Sesshomaru to be an arrogant bastard on a good day; on a bad day, they figured that Kikyo would have all the legal backing in the world if she decided to blast him into dust with her spiritual powers. Back then, people that knew Sesshomaru felt sorry for her when she started going out with him.

Many girls had actually been jealous of Kikyo in high school when she landed Sesshomaru; well, they looked at it as landed, but she would always look at it as trapped and he had been the one that trapped her. She had gotten so many dirty looks from females back then; even now, she still got looks from females that were envious that she had Sesshomaru, she guessed. Many they were just jealous that they did not have the chance to lie underneath him or something to that effect, she considered. She, of course, wanted him for so much more.

People that saw beyond Sesshomaru's pretty face did not think that Kikyo deserved the fate of having to date the haughty demon. They did not think that he would treat her properly. Some of them even feared for her safety because it was known how impatient he could be. It did not help matters that it was well known that he was a very powerful demon, too.

On the outside world, after graduating and things, Sesshomaru and Kikyo had come to be known as a sophisticated couple. They were a couple that other well-to-do couples tried to mimic. They were a couple that could set a trend … if they ever thought to do so, but they were both too aloof for that.

Now, even though people attempted to be like them, they were still viewed as an oddly matched couple because she was a human and he was a demon. It was a very rare match even in modern times. Their breakup had been big news in many sectors of the world, demon society, high society in general, the intellectual realm, and the business world; they were both involved or associated with each area in someway. And, while many thought the breakup was logical, it was still interesting because Sesshomaru and Kikyo were the "it" couple.

Separated, the pair was a hot commodity, even though they both hated the attention. Reporters dared to try to interview them on the matter; Kikyo ignored the people, which she was very good at, while Sesshomaru all but attacked people. It had been an interesting first few weeks alone because of the attention, but eventually the reporters found another story and ceased their focus on the former couple.

It had not taken Kikyo long after the breakup to realize that she was lonely, even though she was focusing on her career. There were certain things that left with Sesshomaru that had not occurred to her when she proposed the idea. She guessed that she had taken him for granted for ten years since she had not thought about the things that would be gone once he was no longer there. One of the biggest things that she noticed when Sesshomaru left was how large their bed was. To that day, she could not get comfortable in their huge bed and that was far from all. She still accidentally made coffee for two in the morning; the same could be said when she made tea and she went as far as pouring the second cup before she recollected that Sesshomaru was not there. She still did many little things that she used to do when Sesshomaru was there, as if he were still there.

She concluded a while ago that her subconscious was attempting to tell her something and it would do her well to listen. She was not getting anywhere by persisting in remaining as she was. She obviously wanted her prince back. She just was not sure if he wanted her back.

There was always the chance that Sesshomaru was enjoying his existence was a bachelor or that he was with someone else now. He was handsome, charming in a strange way, incredibly rich in his own right, and of demon nobility. A demoness would undoubtedly want to snatch him up as quickly as possible; human females were probably looking to snatch him up if they could, but he was not very attracted to humans. Kikyo had been the exception. She might have lost him to someone by now, she considered.

She sighed at that thought, but life was not about feeling sorry for herself or considering "what if." She needed to take some sort of action to move on with her life in some manner. She decided that it was time for her to put the ball in Sesshomaru's court instead of assuming things about him. She pulled out her cell phone and called his number. He did not answer; she guessed that he was either busy or actually not taking her calls, which was a frightening thought. She had no problem with leaving a message.

"If you want to, come home," Kikyo plainly said to his voicemail and that was all. It was a bit surprising that a woman who seldom spoke and when she did, it was usually only the words necessary to get her point across was actually a renowned university professor and often gave speeches all over the country.


Next time: Sesshomaru thinks about the relationship that he had with Kikyo.