AU; not connected with the other chapters
She smiled at him. A token of genuine affection, acknowledgement; a prize he had payed for with oceans of shed blood and anguished tears. No longer did he have to sustain himself on the vague memories of her practiced indifference staring down at him. Most of these precious recollections were simply echoed amalgams of past reality merged with the fevered imaginings of a dying man to begin with. His guarded fantasies and most secret of dreams were all but obsolete in the face of the real thing. At this moment, he knew for certain -just as he did fifty years ago- this was what he craved the most.
So when she smiled , it should have been a moment of supreme fulfilment, the realization of a thousand whispered yearnings, long denied, but never fully silenced.
Her legs shifted beneath the fabric of her simple dress as she glided toward him, arms raised, ready to embrace. He completes the action, savoring the touch he had purchased with his soul. Her gaze turned to him. He hesitated to match it. A caress of those hands - hands that could bring life and death, damnation and redemption with a single gesture - stole away his resolve
His illusion was shattered. Empty eyes, devoid of the pride, compassion, and determination that defined them once. No sign of the devotion he so desperately sought after. He almost prefered the hatred that once radiated out of them, pure and unfettered. He knew he could undo this, make things the way they had once been; he could try and do things the real way. However, his bargained existence had arisen from the desire to crush the bonds of others; he knew nothing of building relationships.
His heart was too weak, too frightened to face the gaping maw of loneliness he had once felt to go back to the status quo; to face each waking moment with the realization that he would never obtain her.
The Jewel was the only way he would ever have a chance of being with her. In time you'll forget why her serene gaze tears at your petty human heart a voice purred from the his mind's abyss. You'll forget that you had to kill her in all ways but one for her to touch you. His grip on her tightened as he desperately tried to assure himself.
Darkness swirled in the depths of the Jewel, delightful pain, sorrow, and perennial denial. It knew, as did Naraku, the greatest despair was that of a wish granted.
A/N: oh wow, I still exist.