I don't own them.

This is birthday gift for Fenikkusuken, who very kindly shepherded me in fandom, beta's my stories, (which I am still working on!), and acts as a muse more often than one might think. Needless to say, you should check out her writing, it is well worth it. This was originally posted elsewhere and she asked me to post it here. Enjoy!

"Don't you mind?"

Her brown eyes were serious, her mouth tipped in an adorable little frown. Once upon a time she hadn't worried whether or not he would miss her. To simply be remembered had been enough. But age and wisdom had brought the knowledge that long after she was dust he would walk the land, once more alone. He kissed her and drew her to the bed as he deftly undid her obi. Though he made her gasp and clutch at him, a little frown line lingered between her brows and did so for weeks afterward. He said nothing, waiting for other concerns to distract her.

"You do… I mean you will mind."

It wasn't a question and so he felt that a noncommittal noise would suffice. She shot him a wry look and he deigned to smile ever so slightly. She laughed and turned back to looking over the garden ignoring his small huff of mock exasperation. No matter her age and no matter the era, she alone was unperturbed by his smile. He enjoyed the moment, the sheer normality of it. She was so often gone into her own head these days, reminiscing about things past. It was disconcerting that she always knew him, always knew the season and the day but could mistake the year by decades. His face was ever the same and when she was fully lucid she was wryly grateful for that. "You are not a constant Sesshomaru-sama," she would say, "you are the constant."

But that sardonic tone, the hallmark of a woman who had outlived nearly all her contemporaries would disappear randomly, as would the memories that fueled it. Sometimes she spoke in the naive manner of the young woman she had been when he found her this time, sometimes she spoke slowly like the child she had always been. That time he took particular time to lay her to rest surrounded by flowers, the only thing besides him that she had reacted to until the last.

"I feel like I should apologize… Tell me you don't mind?"

But before he could open his mouth she was gone, another victim of a terrible weapon from the west. He gently closed her eyes and studied her ravaged face. The gift of life had been given some years back when she was barely more then a child and she had been swept away by a river current. He could do nothing now but search for a clean place for her burial.

"You're not going to answer me are you? Fine. Just going to sit around looking sickeningly handsome then, see if I care."

She laughed, a woman in her prime, hands steady at the wheel of her birthday present. She was in her early thirties, well educated, happy in her chosen career, loving and loved in return. The world wasn't perfectly peaceful but it was on the better side of chaos and human medicine had advanced so far that it sometimes rivaled the sword carefully secured in the back seat. He allowed his lips to curve ever so slightly. Road and years stretched ahead of them and would again and that was the only answer required.

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