Before she had passed away at the ripe old age of ninety-five, Kagome's grandmother had often commented on the convenience of modern day appliances. She had told a wide-eyed Kagome stories of sleeping with a heated brick on her feet to keep warm at night, of drinking powdered milk with water for calcium, of sharing a bed with her three sisters- two younger, one a full three years ahead. The stories had lasted throughout Kagome's whole twelve years of life, blurring together as Kagome got older and, well, a little lazier as well. When her grandmother had passed away - heart failure through the night - Kagome had run over all of these stories again and again, trying to separate one from another through her endless stream of tears and heartache. A full three years later, Kagome was having trouble picturing her grandmother's face, but there were some stories from the woman who had been through so much that still reverberated through Kagom'es head in the raspy old voice, on the occasion that they were somehow prompted.
Now was one of those times.
Kagome stumbled in her mini skirt as the night noises around her sent her into a state of panicky awareness. She hadn't wanted to come out here, all alone, in the dark, but of course, life couldn't ever go her way.
There were simply no indoor bathrooms in the feudal era.
Of course there were none back in her grandmother's time either.
"suck it up, lass."Grandma said. It was amazing how well her mind had managed to hold onto the sound. A little raspy, tough, worldly, and completely and totally filled with tough-love. That was Gramma.
"Shh. Grandma, I'm trying to hear. Something could be lurking in the shadows just over there, or... or there!"
Kagome spun around. She knew she was just being paranoid so she summoned up the voice of her grandmother yet again, calling on the comfort the memory of the old woman always brought her.
"In my day, we had to walk a mile through the woods behind our house at night to get to the outhouse. It was good for us. Those trips built character and courage. "
That one made Kagome smile a bit. Grandma wasn't afraid to go through the woods as a child, like she had been afraid of going down the hall and past the coat closet. Her grandmother had been brave.
Kagome took a deep breath, taking in the fresh, cool air around her and shivered. It was too bad she wasn't in her pajamas, but no, Inuyasha had kept arguing with her about them.
"You take too long to put them on every single morning and night too! And what if we get attacked, are you prepared to leave them behind?"
he had been, at least until he brought up the subject of the length of her baths.
"Choose Kagome, one or the other. You can't keep holding us up like this!"
Needless to say that the concept of cleanliness had won out in her mind. She could still wash her clothes when she took her baths. Right now though, she was seriously starting to reconsider.
The cool breeze kicked up again and caused her hair to fludder around her face, in her eyes... She gasped, it was freezing! Way too cold for as late in spring that it was.
At least she had her handy flashlight. She would be beside the extinguished camp fire soon, in her warm sleeping bag, and then she could drift back to sleep in the safety of her friends' circle of protection.
She just needed to find the trail she had left behind. Kagome raised the trembling hand holding the flashlight and jumped when she heard the noise of rustling leaves behind her.
She spun around her, the thin trail of light no longer a comfort in duo with her Grandma's voice.
She knew what she would do! Whatever it was was obviously nocturnal, wasn't it? Why else would it hunt at night? That meant that it probably had sensitive eyes when it came to light. She would simply wait for it to come into range of her flashlight beam and then shine it directly into it's pupils and run! Maybe climb a tree if it looked like it belonged on the ground.
Feeling slightly more confident with each passing second, Kagome got into a battle-ready stance.
"Come out, come out, little darling. I won't cause you much pain if you come willingly," it hissed. from the shadows.
Kagome shivered again, though this time not from the cold, but she held her ground.
"Hah, bring it on you-"
The beam of light flickered once before disappearing for good. Her batteries were dead.
Kagome let a groan pass her lips. What would she do now? She wasn't Sango, she couldn't fight it! She wasn't Inu Yasha, she didn't have long, claws and a demonic sword! Hurling insults at it until it became blind with rage wouldn't help her at all either. She wasn't cunning like Miroku, with his deadly wind tunnel, or knowledgeable in the arts of fox magic and trickory like Shippou. She couldn't fly away like Kirara, couldn't run like the wind like Kouga, she couldn't even disappear from danger the way Myouga some how managed to every time they faced a dangerous foe.
No, Kagome was just a girl from the future. She could read, she could write, she knew the formulas for pi and volume and density, but she couldn't defend herself in tight corners. The only things she did have were her flaky spiritual powers passed down from a corrupted priestess, and modern technology that had already failed on her!
Realizing that she truly did have no way out, Kagome began trembling so badly that she dropped her lifeline; her dead flashlight, and let it roll into some bushes to her right.
Now, as it would seem, Kagome was only a hairsbreadth away from completely losing it, and when she dropped the flashlight and a large, absolutely hideous, purple thing launched itself at her from the bushes, she seemed almost insane, so insane, in fact, that the look on her face almost managed to scare the demon into running back through the bushes, most likely back to it's mother and fifty-six brothers.
Just as the creature made it's mad dash for the bushes, an impossibly long, thin strand of yellow, demonic energy caught it by the throat and flung it to the South of where it had been running. Right back to Kagome.
"Idiot," A harsh tone began. "Really, what kind of low-life would really be so scared by some lone, teenage, human girl, that they would turn tail and flee in the middle of their own demain after dark?" The voice had been sneering, but the world 'human' had apparently been the worst of all- for it had been uttered with a sniff and absolute indignity.
This made Kagome angry. She understood insulting the purple thing, but really, why her? She had done nothing wrong!
Her eyes, still containing the look of insanity, snapped up at the approach of the speaker. Long white-silver hair, so similar to inuyasha's but some how nicer, cleaner, more brilliant fluttered in the breeze around a perfectly symmetrical face adorned with demon markings and pointed ears. The being stepped from the bushes with a gracefulness that would have set any ballerina to shame and cold, cruel eyes locked with Kagome's crazed ones.
The being took a quick step back in abvious fright, eyes red and wide.
"Come on!" Kagome screeched, angry mind not bothering to process the identity of the being before her. "I know that I just woke up and I'm cold and my clothes are wrinkled and I'm groggy and tired but I'm really not so hideous that everyone needs to treat me like I have the plague! I'm not deceased or anything you know!"
Kagome continued her rant for a good five minutes before she turned and caught the man's eyes again. She gasped as realization finally dawned, far too late. Why her? Why? She had just had to pee for crying out loud, and now the great demon lord of the West, her best friend's nemesis, Sesshomaru stood before her in all of his dazzling and terrifying glory while she screamed at him. What had she done to deserve this? She was a goner!
Face flushed, tears beginning to flood her dark eyes, hair matted and frizzy, Kagome spun around and stared at the purple demon again. This time her silence did not go unnoticed by Sesshomaru.
"Are you about finished yet? I do have things of actual importance, things such as Naraku for example, to attend to." The surprising smirk in Sesshomaru's voice was evident and caught Kagome by surprise once again and she blushed scarlet. This night was just too weird. First the purple demon attacking her, then the lord of the west appearing and actually tolerating her ranting at him like a madwoman.
Wait, where had her flashlight gone? Kagome bent down to retrieve it as Sesshomaru began lecturing her on how important time was, even when you were nearly immortal, and how she should be more careful and not wander around at night, and blah, blah, blah. Kagome was now far too enraptured by the beautiful flashlight she held in her hands to actually listen to him. She popped the batteries in and out, she experimented with the switch, finally, she tapped the end with the palm of her hand. Her hard work was rewarded with a dazzling shaft of strong, yellow light that erupted almost instantly from the tip of the flashlight............ and straight into Sesshomaru's sensitive eyes.
"Arrrgggg!" Sesshomaru cried out, quite indignantly, as the harsh artificial rays of light attacked his poor eyesight. The woman was assaulting him now! Who did she think she was?! Just because one low-level demon had been scared away by her, didn't give her any right to attack him so blatantly with her freakish weapons!
He was snapped out of his angry silence by the sound of laughter. Kagome's laughter. Shouldn't she be running or apologising and pleading for her life now? Surely, his indifference toward her was coming around to bite him in the butt now, he really should have known better. He was about to slaughter her for her idiocy when he caught sight of what she was laughing at, and had to hold back a few chuckles of his own.
The demon lay there, it's arms far too small for it's own body, with small wings just beginning to protrude from it's back. A large toothless, goofy grin was stretched across it's baby face on it's big, balding, flat head. Ginourmous, blue eyes were left open surrounded by the thickest purple lashes he had ever seen, and a pink, dangly thing was hanging from it's double chin. Despite all of this, the funniest thing he could find about it's body were the purplish feathers covering it from it's yellowing ankles to the balding spot on it's head.
"It looks like a cross between a chicken and a taurranusourous rex!" Kagome exclaimed before she once again doubled over, clutching her stomache.
"It's.... it's mauve." Sesshomaru said, still staring at the incredible sight before him. It also smelled slightly like lavander. That was just plain weird.
Kagome, finally noticing that Sesshomaru was stunned into silence, decided to take a moment to take his picture on her new cell phone. Rather than freak out at the flash like she had expected him to, he turned to look at her slowly, eyes so wide she burst into giggles again.
"Mauve...." He repeated like an idiot.
Then, he finally snapped out of it.
"I shall let you live today miko, if only because we have both just witnessed something...." He trailed off, at a loss for words, and turned his head to glance at the creature again. It's watery eyes caught his and he wondered aimlessly if maybe there were more of them out there somewhere, and if he could find them if there were.
"Yes, I understand." Kagome poked it with a stick and snickered. "So... weird...." She said.
He swivelled around to look at her. "You can tell no one of this interaction between us miko." He said. "I do not need anyone thinking that I have grown soft."
"Of course not!" She said. "Like anybody would believe me if I talked about that purple thing anyway."
"Mauve." He corrected.
"Mauve." Kagome agreed. Sesshomaru turned to look at it one more time, before turning on his heel and glancing back just one more time to look at it again. Just..... weird. He would never be able to look at mauve the same way again.
Kagome stood there for a few more moments, allowing a few more giggles to escape her lips. Her grandmother had been right after all, trips through the woods at night didbuild character. Or, it at least taught you something new.
She turned to go back to camp, still howling with silent laughter.
A/N: So, this didn't turn out exactly as I had intended it to, but I still liked it enough to post it and yes, I know I should be working on meddling fathers, but I actually have writer's block concerning that story. Hopefully I will have that written up and published within the next week.
Question: Should Sesshomaru be more of a nomad in MF or should he have a palace? I will have a poll up on my profile on this subject.
Thanks for reading, please R&R! ^^