Author: Lily Kalanoa
Story: An Heir
Genre: InuYasha - Angst / Romance
Rating: T / PG-13
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my laptop, which put me into significant debt. All characters and series belong to their respective creators, I just like to torture them, heh heh.
Warnings: Yaoi. Possible NCS but not really, depends on how you look at it.
Pairings: Gradually Miroku / Sesshoumaru
Spoilers: generally very few . . . in fact I can't think of a single one that isn't common knowledge.
Author Notes: Hello and welcome to my insanity. This is my first posted InuYasha fic (Believe doesn't count, it was a poem) and I hope you all like it very much. I was debating over whether to put this into chapters or post it as a one-shot. As you'll be able to soon tell, chapters won. I will try and finish posting quickly, however, as I would love to hear what people think of the finished work.
A / N 2: This story is specially dedicated to Katalyst and Sunfreak. I forget whose stories I read first, but these are the two that turned me on to MiroxSess and, apparently, the only freaking writers out there that write said pairing. TT So, this is dedicated to them, I hope you both read and love. Oh, and sorry all MiroXSango fans out there. I do pay tribute to you, but it ain't happening.
He hurt. Again. To be more specific, his hand hurt. Miroku had been grateful an hour ago when his small band of traveling companions decided to stop for the night. Kagome had gratefully slumped onto a fallen log and began fishing food from her bag. Sango had run around with Shippo, gathering wood and starting a fire. Inu Yasha, grumbling about having to stop at all, scouted the surrounding woods, making certain there were no dangerous youkai in the area.
But Miroku hurt and simply wanted to sit. He leaned against a large rock and stared at the flickering flames in front of him. He gave no response to Kagome and therefore received no supper. He didn't care.
Miroku could remember when his life was simpler. When he was a child, when the full weight of his curse had yet to hit him. Back then, his hand hadn't hurt much. It had been more of a dull throb in his palm that he'd only feel every couple of weeks. As the years wore on, however, so did the pain grow. Now what had been a dull ache had grown into a stabbing pain that lanced up to his shoulder three or four times a week.
"Miroku? Hey, Miroku!" The monk startled and turned to see Sango looking at him worriedly. "Are you all right? Everyone's bedding down for the night."
"Oh, yes, sorry. I guess I'll take first watch." He didn't elaborate, simply waited for Sango to walk away and curl near the fire to sleep. Miroku watched her for a minute before focusing on the fire once again. Sango was so sweet and she cared so much about him. Miroku knew she loved him the same way she loved Kohaku. It didn't matter what he did, she would always love him.
And it could not be denied that Miroku loved her as well. He could see himself living with her, loving her, having a life with her . . . Another stab of pain shattered the monk's daydream. Dreams and fantasies were all well and good, but they could never come true. Sango wanted to be romanced, swept off her feet, deserved to be loved fully.
Miroku couldn't give her that. It was simply impossible to give her what she wanted. It was a fact that Miroku chased women and would sleep with them in a second, if any of them agreed. He was driven by the need for an heir and until Naraku was dead, that wouldn't change.
Miroku stayed there for a long time, simply staring into the fire, mulling the tragedies of his life over and over in his head. Sango's turn to stand watch came and went, but Miroku made no move to either wake her or go to sleep himself. With dawn still several hours away, it was Inu Yasha to finally break the stillness of the night. He rolled over, internal clock waking him for his own turn to stand watch and rose to his feet facing Miroku and the fire. The monk had his back to the hanyou and Inu Yasha frowned. The monk shouldn't still be up. He wasn't moving, slumped over . . . had he fallen asleep?
Inu Yasha was quickly working himself into a pretty good fit. Angry, he was ready to wake the monk with a knock on his head. Only a few strides away though, Miroku spoke, stopping the half-demon in his tracks. "It's been quiet all night. There are a number of small youkai watching us, but none are brave enough to attack. The fire won't last much longer without more wood." Miroku stood, keeping his back to Inu Yasha. "I'm going for a walk, I might not be back until sunrise." Completely stunned, Inu Yasha grunted his acknowledgment and watched the monk disappear into the surrounding forest.
Miroku let the night swallow him, his feet carrying him where they willed. He walked perhaps a half hour before coming to a small stream. Still troubled with thoughts of pain and death and a life of loneliness, he sat on a small boulder and did his best to meditate. Miroku tried to calm his mind and ignore the pain in his arm. He gazed at the glass water before him, counting each ripple as it went past. He lifted his gaze, shifting from the reflection of the moon to the real thing. It was a full moon tonight, and the beauty was breathtaking. Finally, Miroku began to relax.
For a few minutes he forgot about his life, about how much he wanted to be with Sango and how much it hurt knowing it could never happen. He forgot about his constant arguments with Inu Yasha, about his father and his curse. Forgot – Miroku let his eyes slip closed – about Naraku.
Life was trying to bring Miroku out of his blissful meditation. Off in the woods he heard something approaching him. It was small, moving quickly, and coming directly towards him. Miroku ignored it. He could sense demons, hear what sounded like a frightened child, still he refused to return to reality. The sounds burst through onto the riverbank, but Miroku kept his eyes closed. They were right behind him when the child tripped. He could hear her startled scream; Miroku swore the demons hissed with glee. He could ignore it no longer.
Miroku spun, not even rising from the stone on which he sat. He caught the falling child with his left arm while his right continued the circle, propelling his staff into and through the pursuing demons. And then they were gone.
The small girl was trembling slightly and Miroku held still as she calmed down. Finally she pulled back, still seeming highly agitated. "You have to help!" she cried as she looked up at her savior.
Miroku recognized the girl as the one who traveled with Sesshoumaru. Was her name Rin? She began pulling on his sleeve, urging him to follow her. The monk took a moment to search the woods, refusing to be moved. "We can't go back that way, there are a lot more demons."
Rin looked up at him as if he'd just denied her desert. "Please, you have to help him!" She dropped his sleeve and darted towards the tree line.
Miroku gave a startled yelp and dashed after the girl into the forest. Every tree and bush seemed to catch at him while Rin slipped by unobstructed, so when Miroku did catch up with her, they had reached another small clearing. Miroku stopped dead, drew a deep, hissing breath, and his eyes widened, all in very quick succession.
There in front of him, lying prone in the center of the clearing was Sesshoumaru himself. The demon lord was on his stomach, arm stretched out in front of him. Only inches away lay toukijin, as if Sesshoumaru was reaching for it when he was struck down. The little toad – Jaken – stood in front of him, waving his staff rather frantically and chasing off demons with its fire. That was the other reason for his shock. Miroku stood transfixed by the sight of dozens upon dozens of lesser demons. It was small wonder Sesshoumaru had been felled. None of the demons were very strong by themselves, but the sheer number was baffling. And the corpses that littered the grass were proof enough that there had been many more.
Rin had not stopped at the tree line with Miroku. She ran forward, little hands covering her head as if that would protect her. When she ducked behind Jaken's limited protection, the green imp looked up, eyes falling on the frozen monk. "Rin, why did you bring him back here? I thought you were going to find someone helpful!"
The words barely registered, but Miroku was forced into action none the less as several of the nearer demons turned on him. With a grunt, Miroku began fighting, working towards the center of the field.
Miroku reached Rin, cleverly dodging a gout of flame from the toad, and crouched beside her. He kept one wary eye on Sesshoumaru as he gripped Rin's little arm. "We need to get away from here." But Rin didn't move, valiantly pulling back so she wouldn't be dragged away. Miroku hesitated again before he dropped his hold.
Reaching into his robes in one practiced movement, Miroku threw his charms out. He rose and joined the fight in earnest, laying into the attacking demons. He took up a position so his back was to Jaken and Rin – and Sesshoumaru, he grudgingly admitted. He couldn't effectively use his Kazaana, but there was less chance of a demon being able to flank them.
There was no end to the creatures, it seemed, and Miroku fought several minutes like that. Then, behind him, Jaken gave a yelp of either pain or surprise and Rin screamed. The monk spun to protect the child, but it cost him his staff as it was caught and hurled across the grass.
No good, there were too many to fight off with sutras alone. Miroku looked around, gauging the area Jaken was keeping free of attackers. He'd have to erect a barrier and hope Sesshoumaru came to soon. Miroku repressed a shiver at the thought and started the spell.
It was as if something knocked him hard in the side of the head. The barrier wouldn't form and Miroku looked around for the cause. There, Toukijin was crossing the line of the spell; he had to move the sword. Miroku reached for it and dangerous energy crackled around the hilt. The monk hesitated, not wanting to brave the demonic energy, but there was no other choice. Quickly, he grabbed the pommel with his left hand, already creating the barrier with a wave of his right, and pulled the weapon inside so that it lay beside its proper owner.
A groan of pain escaped his lips as he positioned his hands to keep up the spell, but he ignored the vibrant new burn. Rin whimpered in fear, but the attacking demons could not reach them to do any actual harm. Already Miroku could feel his energy waning. If Sesshoumaru did not awaken soon, the demons would get through. And if he did, Miroku was certain, his fate may very well be much worse.
His senses returned to him slowly, and with them a rush of memory. The battle had been . . . pointless. And enormous. More than a hundred youkai swarming on a single target. Perhaps even more than that, Sesshoumaru wasn't certain. And at the center of it all, the only demon of decent power. The brat son of an enemy long dead who had finally come of age. Kirin.
By himself, the boy was no threat, not even a mild concern. He would have been dealt with in his own time if this hadn't come up. He wasn't even that powerful! Smoke and mirrors and cheap tricks, that was all there was to him. But it had been enough to let the boy get in one good, solid blow and disarm the youkai lord. Sesshoumaru had lunged for the blade . . . if the throbbing at the base of his skull was any indication, Kirin had managed to knock him out.
It would never have happened if he hadn't been protecting Rin. Jaken could take care of himself, but Kirin had made a direct attack on the little human girl. Sesshoumaru focused on the here and now. He had been unconscious in the middle of a battle. He had managed to survive, but he needed to regroup. He could sense many demons still surrounding him, could smell their sickly sweet breath. Rin was there, too, and Jaken, both smelling extremely frightened.
And there was someone else. His scent was vaguely familiar, but Sesshoumaru couldn't place it. The unknown man didn't seem to be moving and his breath was ragged and uneven, like a sprinter after a big race. Sesshoumaru tensed. Was it possible Kirin had defeated Jaken as well? Would the water demon have stayed to gloat without killing him? Well, that would have been very foolish indeed.
All at once, Sesshoumaru was moving. Dimly he registered the profile of the monk that traveled with Inu Yasha as his taloned hand closed around the startled boy's throat. Miroku gasped, his eyes widening, but he didn't move to defend himself. All he could manage was a feeble, "Please don't." Sesshoumaru left his claws where they were, but didn't deliver the killing blow. "If-if you force me to move, the barrier will fall."
Slowly the demon lord let his gaze drift around the field, taking in the demons kept at bay, presumably by the monk's will alone. He also spotted Toukijin lying beside them. "Then let it fall," he sneered and stood, pushing Miroku off balance as he did so.
The barrier faded and Sesshoumaru scooped up his sword. Behind him, Miroku scrambled to his feet. He didn't even have time to pull out a charm before the first demon was on him. Hand to hand fighting was tiring and within minutes, Miroku had drifted away from Sesshoumaru several yards. Looking around, he spotted his staff lying in the grass; if he could get to it, he would stand a chance.
A humanoid demon hit Miroku with no warning. The monk lurched to the side, attempting to disentangle from the beast. A well-placed charm freed him, but another demon was there to take his place. Miroku felt something wrap around his ankle and between the two attackers, he toppled to the ground. Miroku could see his staff clearly, still several yards away.
Miroku struggled, but knew he was on the losing end of this grapple. His eyes slipped to Sesshoumaru and Miroku felt a surge of anger. He had helped the demon! Quite possibly saved his life! And if not him, certainly Rin and now he was just going to let him die. But what was he thinking? Of course the youkai wouldn't help him. Another demon appeared, blocking his view and seconds later, Miroku fell into blackness.
A / N: All right, before any raging Sesshoumaru fans hunt me down to inflict serious bodily harm – YES, I know that Sess is tough and I know that a lot of you think he could take on that many demons without getting knocked out. Bare with me here, I give the demon his dues. Aside from the fact that I believe this to be realistic, no matter how strong he is, it's a darn useful plot device, don't you think? So just keep cool, you'll be satisfied with this I think.