The bar sounded it's call, and the taiyoukai followed. It had been an incredibly stressful day, and although Sesshomaru was never really one to fall to the lure of liquor, a stiff drink containing some well aged whisky seemed more than in order.

He strolled down the crowded Tokyo streets, awash in mortals and neon lights, and reflected on just how far he had come. It was now the year 2007, and he was no longer the Lord of the West. He was however, considered by many to be the Lord of the Communication Industry. His corporation had offices from Japan to Silicon Valley and was responsible for the majority of the innovations in the field.

Gazing out among the crowd, he hardly noticed the amount of people staring at him. After so many years living among the ningen, he had become accustomed to their reactions to his person. At over six feet tall, he towered above the majority of the population. Add to that the fact that he had snow white locks and an obviously icy demeanor to match, and strange looks abounded. He was beautiful in a cold and dangerous way. Although it seemed over-used to him, the old adage was in his case quite true: women wanted him and men wanted to be him. He typically indulged neither of the sexes, preferring to remain aloof and independent.

He found them tiresome, these mortals. He had learned how to pass as one, adapted and acclimated to the changing world, and ever the warrior, had forced himself a place in it. He had become rich and successful, he wanted for nothing, and yet, he was bored. Perhaps not quite bored, but some other emotion that had no real name. For a moment, he paused in his steps to reflect on the time before; the time he had enjoyed the most in his exceptionally long life.

The feudal era. Now, that had been a wonderful time. Battles that raged, not in the boardroom, but in the clean, fresh open air. Battles where death was the price paid for failure, rather than simply being terminated from your employment. It was a time of magic and spirituality, of respect and fear. It was HIS time.

He gave his head a shake and released an audible snort. What was the point in dwelling on such things? Time had moved on, as had he, and it would continue to do so. To simply reminisce was to invite time to pass you by and forget about you. He had and would be many things, but forgotten was certainly not among them. His visage was burned into the memories of those who dares to challenge him in business. He had a reputation for being ruthless in the boardroom. The people who merely passed him on the street would recall his face for a long time afterward. For those few who shared his time in more intimate places and situations, he was truly unforgettable. Indeed, this Sesshomaru Taisho would never fall prey to a lapse in memory.

He had been walking for almost an hour, stalking silently among the ningen when he finally came upon a place to suit his needs. It was dark and classless, a place where he would run no risk of bumping into anyone who knew him. The name of the establishment mattered not to him, only the service it could provide. Adjusting his course, he slipped up to the entrance and through the door.

Flighty vixen that she was, time stilled when he entered and heads turned to view the new arrival. He had known that this reaction was inevitable; this type of place was surely frequented only by it's regulars. He, in his exquisitely cut Armani suit, with his delicate features and towering height, was most definitely not the normal type of patron. But as he sauntered up to the bar and placed his order while simultaneously pulling out an American Express Black card, the regulars went back to their previous activities. Another saying that he had found true, "money talks."

Three Crown and Cokes into the evening, two things happened. The first was that he began to think it a mistake to have brought that damned ookami Kouga into his business fold. The stress of the day had begun to eat away at him, and if that wolf had only been as capable as he should have been, much of it could have been avoided. The second thing to happen was his modification of his order. The drinks became double shots, chilled, hold the Coke.

By the seventh drink, he was starting to feel a little bit foggy, and had forgotten all about his resolution to discontinue dwelling on the past. As the regulars around him shot pool, watched the televisions, or just stared into their beers, he lost himself to the memories.

It felt as though it were yesterday, and at the same time, very long ago. He recalled times of fighting with demons, Naraku, and Inuyasha. Ahh.. Inuyasha, the ever insolent half-breed. Smiling a little at the memory of his brother, he thought of the time when he had faced him in battle at their father's grave. THAT was what fighting was supposed to be. There was an unbelievable prize for the winner, the Tetsussaiga, and blood shed for the loser. It had been the first time that the hanyou had beaten him. He, Sesshomaru, the great taiyoukai, had actually lost a limb in that skirmish. Granted, it had long ago grown back, but it could not be denied that he had suffered his first real loss on that day.

But it had not been only Inuyasha. No, that girl that the hanyou had traveled with for so many years had been there as well, and had it not been for her, his brother would never have been able to use the fang, let alone release it from the stone that it had been embedded into. That girl; the miko. Now there was a creature that he had not thought about in centuries. She had been intriguing, always at Inuyasha's side, fighting just as valiantly as any male, human or demon. Until the day she had vanished that is. Sesshomaru took a minute to try and bring forth her name, but it was a lost cause. Although he had many times caught himself watching her for many different reasons, he could not recall her name. It was a shame really, that one such as she had been forgotten. That miko had been something special, no doubt about it.

He gave a sigh as he drained the last of drink number 12 and notified the bartender that it was past time for lucky thirteen. He heard the door to the bar open, and paid it no heed. He cared not for any mortal coming to this place. But his head tipped when he heard one of the males at the pool table greet the new arrival.

"Hey there Kagome! Back again?"

Kagome. Why did that sound so familiar? Of course, there was that children's song, something about a Kagome and a bird in a cage, and although he was tempted to let it go at that, something continued to tug at the back of his brain.

"Don't be a smart-ass Mike, you know I'm here every night."

That voice. It was different, but familiar. Sesshomaru tried desperately to wipe away the whisky induced mental fog. He wanted to turn his head and see from who that voice came from, yet at the same time, his instincts screamed at him not to, that he would be much better off never knowing. He ignored them, and craned his neck to see long black hair and a well curved backside. She turned slightly and moved over to the bar, taking a seat a few places down from him. It was dark and smoky in the bar, and he could not make her out clearly.

And then, as she bent forward to grab the drink that the bartender had placed in front of her without her ever having asked for it, he caught the first fleeting whiff of her scent. Spicy and sweet, it was distinct and he knew that he had smelled it before. Only as he surreptitiously inclined his head towards her and inhaled strongly did he catch the undercurrent of energy that was laced throughout her scent. Like lightening it was pure and strong and unexpected. His eyes widened and his breath caught.

How long had it been since he had actually scented a woman with miko powers? 200 years at least. And the last time he had encountered one who positively radiated energy? Never. Not since his brother's wench. Not since... Looking up, amber eyes met blue and he whispered out a name her never thought he knew.