Title: The Name of the Wind
Characters: Kagura/Sesshoumaru, hint of Inu/Kag
Genre: Canonish, Drama
Summary: Retelling of The Little Mermaid—think Hans Christian Andersen, not Disney
Long ago, when spirits were ascendant and people had yet to lose belief, the wind had a name. Kagura.
She was ancient, younger than the Earth, but far older than its inhabitants among whom she traveled. Though invisible to them, she made her presence known, and as her mood changed, so did the form she chose to take—a tickling breeze, brushing the bare arms of children at play; a strong gust, loved by sailors and loathed by farmers; a vicious gale, feared by all in her path.
Kagura was fascinated with the mortal world she looked down upon, their brief lives, anchored to the ground, so different from her own unending freedom and flight. There was a favorite couple she loved to spy upon. High above the forests of Japan, Kagura watched as a human girl and a white-haired hanyou talked and argued, kissed shyly at first, then eagerly. And one day she saw them, naked limbs wrapped around each other, and went closer. The way they touched and thrust, their tenderness and passion were precisely like her gentle breezes, her tempests. Differences became similarities, and curiosity of the humans and demons on the land below suddenly turned into an inescapable envy.
At home, Kagura found her elder sister in a familiar place, gazing at her mirror. "Do you ever wonder about those mortals? Do you ever wish to be like them?"
Kanna didn't look up. "No. Naraku would never allow it."
Kagura knew her sister was correct; their father enjoyed too much his control over them, and she kept her interest well hidden.
And so she continued to fly with the air, content to simply observe. Content until the day she saw him, and then her freedom became a prison.
Standing tall and proud on a cliff's edge, the demon lord looked out over the Western lands. Kagura had been watching humans and demons for centuries, but never had she seen one so ethereally beautiful, but solid and strong and alive. She flew down and hesitantly touched him, lifting his long, silvery hair. He made no move to show displeasure, and she grew bolder, caressing his pale, smooth skin and muscular frame beneath billowing silk.
Sesshoumaru sighed. He was a solitary creature by nature, but the cool whisper of the wind was not unwelcome, and Kagura curled around him, dancing in happiness.
Her happiness was short-lived. Desire's barbs took hold and twisted her contentment into yearning, but without a body, she could do no more than flutter through his hair and blow kisses from a distance, and he could never return her touch.
Naraku laughed at her restlessness. "Fool. It is a human trait to want the thing that is unattainable. Have you forgotten who you are?"
"Please," she begged wretchedly. "I'll do anything. Just make me one of them."
"Your desperation reeks. You've already started to become like them." A cruel, mirthless smile played on his lips. "But I hate to see my offspring suffer so. I'll grant to you a mortal body." He held up a hand to silence her outpouring of thanks. "But with this body comes a price."
"Anything," she said, reckless and unafraid.
"I want your voice."
Kagura looked at him sadly and nodded. She loved the songs she sang as she blew—rustling through leaves; howls in the winter; soft, warm murmurs in summer. "So be it."
"I'll give you a body," he purred, "but I think I'll keep your heart for now. You must earn it."
"Make the one you desire love you. In one week the moon will be full. He must make a declaration of love to you by then."
"And if he does not?" she asked, head bowed. The question was unnecessary; she already knew the answer.
"When the sun rises after that night, you'll die."
She straightened, resolute. The price, the gamble were worth the chance. "I accept."
When she woke the next morning, no longer surrounded by Naraku's castle walls, she rose and looked down. Her feet on the ground. Her body made of blood and bone. She had a heaviness that was entirely unknown.
She felt beautiful.
Sesshoumaru smelled her before he saw her. A Youkai female, oddly familiar, though he knew he had not met her before. She was alone in a clearing in the forest, moving as a child plays. Timid, but absent guile, she danced and twirled, arms out. Slowly her awkwardness was replaced with joy, and he became entranced by the grace in her motions. He stepped into the clearing and held out his hand.
For three days he kept her with him.
For three days she did the things she saw mortal females do, only wishing she had been able to practice the downcast eyes, the coy glances and craft them into the fine art she had witnessed.
On the fourth day, he pulled her against him. She felt light and marveled that she didn't float away. He took the feathers and combs down, spilling black hair into his hands.
"Who are you?" he asked.
She answered by tracing her fingers along the markings on his face and bringing her mouth to his. She didn't know how to kiss; she had never tasted anything. The newness of it all, their lips and tongues, made her tremble, and she grabbed hold to keep from falling.
He steadied her and laid her back, deft hands parting their clothing, flesh upon flesh. The cool air on her breasts made her shiver until his mouth warmed her skin, and when his fingers found her wet heat, she instinctively moved to bring him closer. Earth hard under her back, his shape looming above, she at last had the body she craved, and he taught her all its secrets. Finally he was on her and in her, gentle at first, like the wind that had caressed him, then hard and fast, a storm that needed to burn itself out. Kagura felt pain and pleasure build together and wanted to cry out, but soundless tears were her only release. Hurt and happy, confused and certain…she was indeed a denizen of the mortal realm.
By the seventh day, Sesshoumaru was surprised to realize he had become accustomed to her presence. He had always considered himself incapable of tolerating the constant company of another, but her reserve during the day and wantonness when they lay together pleased him. If only her quiet was not so unsettling, he thought. Who are you? Where do you come from? Why won't you answer me? Questions asked each night were met by silence. It had almost become an erotic game they played.
That night was no different.
"Tell me your name," he whispered into her neck.
She arched her back and moved into his arms.
"What do you want?" he asked, biting her lower lip.
She pulled back and looked at him. I want to stay with you. I want your love. I want my heart.
He saw desperate frustration in her eyes. "You don't need to answer," he said. "I'll stop asking. I will be quiet as well."
Kagura knew then that her fate had been sealed. She couldn't make him understand; he wouldn't say the words before morning.
Sesshoumaru wiped the tears from her face, wondering why the enigmatic creature he held had become so sorrowful.
Much later, they slumbered together.
A cold hand on her shoulder startled her awake. "Kanna, is it you?" she said to her sister, ghostly in the light of the full moon.
Kanna pressed a dagger into her palm. "Naraku says kill him by morning and you will be saved. When your hands are bathed in his blood, you will once again become as you were."
Kagura sat and watched the horizon as the sky slowly began to lighten, another inevitable day about to begin. She looked at her lover sleeping next to her, his chest rhythmically rising and falling. She looked at the dagger, sharp and deadly as the bargain she had made. She threw it away and kissed his forehead, then felt her new body dissolve into nothing, mere ashes born away by a different wind.
Moments later, the bright sun stirred him to rise, but he was soon set by confusion. She was nowhere to be found, and the breeze had suddenly turned cold and lonely.