CHAPTER 17: Last Resistance
After the heaviest make-out session of her life, Kagome learned many things. The first, that Shippo was the reason she had been found so quickly. He had explained to her a long time ago how he had been able to find her and so it was no surprise that he had offered his assistance to Sesshoumaru when the daiyoukai's search had become frustrated. After she'd been located, Shippo left the scene, knowing that they would figure things out one way or another. The second thing Kagome learned was that her daiyoukai actually whined and growled - not that he'd admit or acknowledge it - when she sucked and nipped the tip of his elfin ears. The combination whine-growl did amazing things for her arousal, which Sesshoumaru made good use of. The third thing she had learned was that there had been a lot that she'd been missing out on.
The red-eyed Sesshoumaru was a lusty creature, a side, he swore, only came out for and because of her. After their little discussion at the park, he had given her a ride on his back unlike any other she had received before. As they flew over rooftops throughout the city, Sesshoumaru had Kagome's thighs locked in his claws and he made sure to press those claws closer and closer to where her heat rubbed against his back until the scent of her made him nearly miss a step. When she panicked, he chuckled and told her it was worth it and that he may never allow her to ride in a car again. He kept at it and Kagome got back at him by latching her teeth around the side of his throat. Sesshoumaru had completely missed his next step and barely caught himself from kissing the pavement. He stopped on the next rooftop and shoved her up against a door that led to the inside of whatever building they were on. Sesshoumaru ravished her lips, giving her a preview with his tongue of what the last step of their mating would be like.
It was amazing that Kagome had managed to walk away from that encounter with her clothes still in tact. They were in a rather haphazard state but still in their original locations. And that had just been the trip home. When they reached home, Kagome didn't know which way was up. They had just gotten through the door when Shippo appeared in the entry way. Sesshoumaru had pulled Kagome back against his chest and leaned over her in a protective stance. He let out a low subsonic growl that she felt and barely heard but Shippo had heard loud and clear. The fox demon lowered his eyes and his head and slowly backed out of the room.
Kagome thought they'd be headed up to their bedroom to get better acquainted but she was surprised when Sesshoumaru had walked her to his office, again posturing when they ran into Seiichi. Seiichi's eyes were wide with shock. His father stood before him in his more instinctive state with a snarl on his curled lips. It was the first time for the young inuyoukai to be in that position and he prayed that it would be the last as well.
Sesshoumaru growled out something that sounded different than how he'd growled to Shippo, Kagome was sure of it. When Seiichi left the office, Sesshoumaru pulled her toward the couch in the corner and onto his lap once he sat down. His growls changed again to that low, gravelly one that made her legs rub together to soothe that ache that was becoming all too familiar in his presence. Sesshoumaru lifted her and set her to straddle his lap. His hands helped to pull her knees closer to his waist and when she was as close to him as she could possibly get, he slid his hands up her thighs, up to her arms and lifted them to rest on his shoulders.
Kagome got the hint and wrapped her arms around his neck, one holding onto him, the other twirling strands of downy silver in between her fingers. Sesshoumaru sagged into her and he buried his head in her neck. Soft, gentle kisses were placed on her even softer skin and then his arms tightened around her and he just held her like that.
After a few minutes of just hearing the sound of their breathing, Kagome stopped moving her fingers and pulled back enough to see his face. She tried to anyway, but Sesshoumaru wouldn't release her or move from his position at her throat.
"Sesshoumaru? Are you okay? Is something wrong?"
The movement was a slight droop of his shoulders, something Kagome would have totally missed if she hadn't been so attuned to him by now.
"Swear to me."
It was so quiet that Kagome wasn't sure she heard.
"Swear you will never leave my side again."
Her response was immediate. "I…" Kagome stopped and after a few seconds of silence, Sesshoumaru stiffened against her. "I swear that once we are mated, I will only leave when you ask me to or when you're being a complete and inconsiderate jerk."
Sesshoumaru pulled back sharply after hearing that. His eyes bored into hers, intense and angry but Kagome held his gaze.
"Unacceptable," he growled.
Ooh boy...To hear that tone directed at her - she would not have survived that tone or glare back in the past.
She wanted to glare right back at him but the hurt was still fresh, even after Sesshoumaru assured her that his devotion to her remained as eternal as ever. Instead, unbidden tears glazed her eyes and choked her sigh.
"That's all I can swear to you, Sesshoumaru."
His anger melted into irritation. He knew enough not to push her now.
"Why would this one ever ask you to leave?"
Kagome looked ashamed but she answered him. "One day you might get bored of me and decide that you no longer need or want a human mate anymore-"
"Enough," he growled. "No more. You will think this no more," Sesshoumaru demanded.
"Yes," The sarcasm in that single word was thick enough to cut it with a knife, "because just commanding me to not think it will make me stop." When she moved to slide off his lap, Sesshoumaru clamped his hands on her waist.
"Where do you think you are going, woman?"
Kagome narrowed her eyes at him. "Wherever I want, demon."
Sesshoumaru stood faster than Kagome could blink. She was gently deposited back onto the office sofa and the pupils of Sesshoumaru's eyes were ringed in blue. Kagome knew what that meant and she stilled herself on the couch. She knew she had nothing to fear but caution was powerful reflex she had honed over the years.
"No," he commanded, every bit the lord now. "You will stay here."
"Where are you going?" Her voice was whisper soft but Sesshoumaru heard it, of course, and watched her eyes slowly ice over in protection against his answer.
He sighed again and pressed his palm against her cheek. "This one is merely going to retrieve something to help you understand."
Sesshoumaru waited until her eyes met his again. "What your mind will not believe - that you are mine, forever."
The ice melted into tears and she nodded. She would stay to see whatever this magical thing was that would help her understand. When he had stood, her heart had ceased to beat, sure that he'd had enough of her human emotions. For the love of the gods, she had had enough of her emotions. For a moment, Kagome wished she were as sure of her emotions as he claimed higher level demons to be.
~ S K ~
Nobuhiro's breathing remained steady as ever. His reddish-brown hair reached his shoulders now. He used to wear it tied back but Rin requested that it remain down so there would be no excess tension on his head throughout the years. Sesshoumaru waved his hand over his grandson, satisfied with the youki that wrapped around the boy in the induced coma. That was the term the medical field would use had he been in a hospital but Nobuhiro's state of being was actually due to something else. Something older. It was a skill that ancient youkai healers used to lock down the youki of their patients in circumstances where the patient's youki was out of control to the detriment of their health. The last time Sesshoumaru had seen the skill put to use was during a battle between his father's army and an invading human warlord. The human had brought an army of warrior priests and priestesses and decimated a good portion of the Inu no Taisho's army before they were killed.
In the old days, the holy men and women were couriers of peace and healing. They did not serve only humans and so the warlord had swayed young priests and priestesses who had not completed their training in the ki arts. He instead focused on strengthening their battle skills with the sword and spear and eventually lost the war because of it. The arrows the priestesses and priests used were so weak that they caused anything from rashes to rot and if brought to his father's ancient healer, they were able to make a modest recovery.
One of the stronger priests had stabbed a demon soldier in the arm with a small blade and it could not be removed by anyone except a reiki user. The youkai healer blocked the youki in the soldier's arm so the reiki would not seek it out and devour it and then Sesshoumaru's father wrapped the blade's hilt with Tenseiga's energy and then with his own youki to use as a barrier before removing it.
Now, the sword of heaven held his grandson's self-destructive auras at bay.
Sesshoumaru whispered to Tenseiga that its powers were needed elsewhere for the time being. He removed the piece of Tenseiga from around his finger and slipped it onto Nobuhiro's hand so the boy would not be far from the power he needed to keep him safe. As he walked back up the stairs, Sesshoumaru felt Tessaiga's weight grow in his hands. The sword was tired. He knew a new blade should be forged but Sesshoumaru knew something was missing. As much as it irked him to admit it, Sesshoumaru knew he was still not ready to commission it, not for lack of will or trying.
It was the first time Sesshoumaru could ever remember using that title as a word of prayer. With that single word, Sesshoumaru had placed his hopes of a brighter future for his pack, for himself, in the strength of his father. He had no clue how to proceed with his desired female. The only other being whom he trusted to know what to do was the demon he had mocked for taking a human female for himself, a demon whom he had blamed his less than desirable past on.
He blinked his eyes when he realized he stood in front of his office door. The door was still open and Kagome was still on the couch, looking like the lost little human she was. Her wide, watery eyes looked up at him and her lip trembled. Sesshoumaru's heart lurched and he held a hand out for her. He shouldn't have been surprised when she leapt off the couch and into his arms.
His little kitten had abandonment issues, he was realizing just how bad it was for the first time. Probably due to the fact that the Fates had thrust her into the past where she lived a double life, only to be thrust back into the future, permanently, to live only a half life. She was afraid of being left behind again. Or finding herself alone. But after tonight, she would have no more doubts. He was sure of this. He would allow no other outcome.
Sesshoumaru called Tenseiga's sheath and it appeared around the sword. He tied it to the belt loops of his slacks and walked up the stairs with his little mate in his arms. He placed her on the bed with a kiss to her forehead and teasingly said, "stay", to which she pouted. He was tempted to kiss those plump lips but shook his head and walked into the closet to pack a small bag. He tossed the bag on the bed and helped Kagome to stand next to the bed before placing a bundle of clothing in her arms.
When Kagome saw what clothing lay in her arms, her eyebrows went up in surprise.
"Alright." Her voice was soft, meek, and very appealing to the beast that controlled the demon tonight. Sesshoumaru changed into dark blue and silver traditional clothing and re-tied Tenseiga at his waist. Kagome walked out of the bathroom wearing the familiar robes of a Shinto priestess in white and blue and paused to look at the handsome demon waiting for her.
If it was possible, he looked even more regal in this outfit than he did in the white one he used to always wear in the past. The dark and silver fabric only accentuated his natural coloring - as if he wasn't devastating on the eyes already. The wind blew through the window and Sesshoumaru's silver hair waved, distracting Kagome from the demon himself. That was when she noticed a duffle bag sitting on the bed.
"Are we going somewhere?"
When Sesshoumaru said nothing else, Kagome sighed. "Are you going to tell me where?"
The demon's lips quirked up. That meant no. Well, there would be no budging him so Kagome settled for quietly watching Sesshoumaru tie Tenseiga to his belt. When he finished, Sesshoumaru held his hand out for Kagome.
"We are leaving for my private island," Sesshoumaru said and grabbed Kagome's hand right before she stumbled mid-step, "where we will complete our mating bond. We will not leave until you understand exactly what you mean to me, woman." If it were possible, Sesshoumaru's eyes darkened until they looked almost black. "Until you know exactly what you will mean to me forever."
The heat in his eyes burned through her.
"Alright," she managed. "I understand."
Sesshoumaru pulled her behind him until they reached the balcony doors. He gently shut the doors behind them. With the duffle bag under his arm and Kagome on his back, Sesshoumaru leapt out into the night, headed due west.
Kagome hid her face in Sesshoumaru's neck. Even though they were traveling faster than they had during their previous trips like this, it was more exhilarating because Sesshoumaru let his youki reign free. She was at the epicenter of the most powerful surge of youki she had ever felt and to have it also running through her body was a heady, indescribable feeling. She felt invincible knowing that all life remained on this planet simply because Sesshoumaru did not feel like wiping them all out - invincible because if he ever did feel like that, Kagome would never be on the receiving end of his wrath or ill-humor.
And now, more than ever, Kagome could understand why all those demonesses chased Sesshoumaru back in the day or why they looked for powerful demons to catch. The power he held in check within his humanoid frame was addicting and seductive and Kagome had no protection against it as it thrummed against her senses.
Sesshoumaru took a couple of leaps upward and when he finally stopped, Kagome looked out over her shoulder and gasped at the sight. They were high above a forest, standing on the top of a tall pine tree and looking over the forest below.
"Sesshoumaru, this is beautiful."
Kagome didn't have anything to fear, even being this high, because she knew that Sesshoumaru would never let her fall without catching her.
"Come here, little mate."
Sesshoumaru tugged and maneuvered Kagome until she stood in front of him, both of them now perched on his cloud of youki.
"Since the birth of Japan, youkai have roamed the lands. The gods were pleased with their creations and decided it was time to move us ahead. Higher youkai were created to rule over the lesser creatures of the land and though the gods were pleased with their creations, the higher youkai still missed something essential. It was then that the gods created humans. Though youkai were intelligent and strong, they were still ruled by their instincts and could not experience great joy nor great sorrow. By creating humans, youkai were taught many things at the hands of the humans. Together, they lived in peace for centuries. Too much turmoil would have fallen upon Japan if humans were allowed to rule because of their shorter life spans so the gods created daiyoukai, which had the intelligence and physical strength of youkai and the wider span of emotions of humans, including the ability to love and cherish.
"Daiyoukai ruled Japan for several millennia and still do to this day, this you know. Of all the territories and daiyoukai, only one house has kept its original lands."
"The House of the Moon?" Kagome imagined that twelve millennia ago, the forest they stood above looked about the same as it did today.
"Yes. It has been a matter of pride that the inu clan has kept their lands. From what I was taught, the borders have expanded a bit, but we still hold the original lands that were assigned to us."
Kagome squeezed the arms that wrapped around her to let him know she was grateful for the history lesson of his family's origins.
"I have spent most of my life protecting and expanding these lands, these very lands that we stand above now. The very lands that the gods gave my forefathers, which they have protected with their lives. But what is all of this if I have no one to share it with?"
He paused and Kagome was content to wait for him to say what he had come here to say. She knew the pride he had for his beautiful lands, for the stability and peace that those he ruled over enjoyed.
Sesshoumaru's arms tightened around her in a protective embrace. "These lands that I have protected with my life and that my forefathers have protected all their days, I would give them up to be with you."
Kagome gasped in shock. "No! You can't-"
Sesshoumaru chuckled. "I have every right to-"
He responded with a raised brow. "What exactly do you refuse?"
She pouted and lightly slapped one of the hands in front of her. "I refuse to be mated to a homeless demon."
To that, Sesshoumaru chuckled and then leaned down to take a deep pull of her scent.
"Once upon a time, I would have seen these forests and all my lands cleared of humans. And now, I would give them all to you if you but asked it of me. I would gladly give up all my riches, all I own, to have you by my side for eternity.
Kagome smirked. "I don't know what I'd do with a poor mate, either." After thinking about how much they struggled on the journey to complete the jewel, she continued, "I didn't much care for being poor on the jewel hunt."
Sesshoumaru didn't miss a beat. "Even without my money, you are still individually wealthy."
"Sesshoumaru." Kagome sighed before turning in his arms. "You know I don't care about money."
He raised one eyebrow and looked down at her. "It would not be unheard of for a couple to mate for financial reasons-"
"But you know, right? You know that I'm not with you because of your lands or your riches or your title? You know that none of that matters to me? What you give me is far more important than that."
"And what is that, little miko?"
Kagome elbowed him in the side for calling her miko. "You validate what had been a very important part of my life. You give me peace and you gave me the rest of my family back."
Sesshoumaru crooned into her shoulder when he smelled her tears. As they slid down her cheeks, he kissed them away along and allowed his low growls to comfort her. "Let us be on our way, mate. We have only reached the border of my lands. We still must cross them to reach the island off the eastern coast."
Kagome regained her perch on his back and tucked her face against his neck again, expecting to be spirited away at demonic speeds. "I'm ready."
Strong, warm hands gripped her thighs and with a blink of an eye, they were off.
Note: I apologize for taking an entire year (and then some) to update this story. The chapter's not as long as I would have liked but I think it was a fair enough place to stop for today. Thank you to all those who keep reading and reviewing. I appreciate every single word of review that comes into my inbox. Hopefully, you enjoyed this little interlude and can be reassured that I'm still alive, but more importantly, so is the story.