AN: So, this is my first attempt an an InuYasha fic, my muses have been bugging me about this for a month and a half now, it should be call the story that wouldn't die for how much I had to rewrite parts of it, but oh well. I'm in the process of typing it out, but the whole thing is done, I'll just have to post everything once it's typed out. Also, I know that the characters are slightly OOC, but they're suppose to be, it's years later for both of them, and I know from experience that years of grief and depression change a person, so yeah, anyway, thanks if you actually read and/or review this one, you guys are awesome as usual :D
Disclaimer: I do not own InuYasha or the characters...I do own the background characters, and yes, I did name them randomly from other animes, except Sesshomaru's human name, that's the name of the hero in a book I read awhile back that happened to be a samurai and king of the dragon kami-sama (that's what they called them, though what the author actually described was yokai), though I realized after naming him that Captain Hitsugaya's first name is also Toshiro, so that works too.
Wonders Never Cease –
The village of Edo, the Feudal Era, the day after Naraku's defeat –
Sesshomaru, powerful taiyokai and Lord of the Western Lands, felt confused, and for someone like him, feeling confused didn't happen very often and he really didn't like it, neither did he understand it. That bastard hanyo Naraku that had dared to try and use Rin to further his plight as far as gaining Sesshomaru's help was concerned, was finally destroyed, and the Shikon no Tama was finally complete. Naraku wouldn't be harming Rin or anyone one else Sesshomaru had come to care about; whether he had realized it himself yet or not. He saw the lecherous monk and his lady taijiya embracing in the shadows some feet away, and even Rin was dancing with the little kitsune and the village children. But Sesshomaru didn't feel much like celebrating and he was starting to get annoyed with the strange emotions that had been plaguing him even more since he had temporarily allied himself with his brother and his measly little band of companions. Across the fire he saw his hanyo brother embracing his once dead, and newly mated love, that the idiot had given the heavy price of half his own soul to bring her fully back to life, and couldn't resist the urge to snort out loud at the ridiculousness of such a gesture that had halved InuYasha's life as the price. Sesshomaru, however, did not see the little miko that his brother had seemed forever in the company of until the battle ended yesterday.
More and more his thoughts seemed to be pulled in that direction, seemingly without his permission. His bestial nature told him that she was a strong and beautiful miko in both spirit and body, and her scent seemed to call to both sides of his nature whenever he was near to her. If not for the fact that she seemed to be constantly in the company of his damn brother, and was just a human besides, he would have allowed his beast to discuss her suitability as a bedmate. Now that his brother was mated to someone else and the miko was definitely not attached anyone it seemed his beast had taken that as permission to become quite vocal about the idea. His interactions with his brother's friends, and Rin as well, had slowly had a strange affect on his thinking. Indeed more than he had truly realized if he was now actually thinking of lowering himself enough to rut with a human. Not to even mention the ludicrous thoughts his beast whispered of more.
Disgusted with himself, he walked away from the celebrating villagers and toward the forest where he hoped to find some peace and solitude that seemed to be escaping him lately; even in his own mind. He almost found himself looking for Jaken before he remembered that the little toad had been killed in the crossfire and the Tenseiga couldn't revive him a second time. If only there was a way to bring that baka Naraku back, if only to torture and kill him again, but more slowly this time for all the death and grief he had caused all of those unfortunate enough to ever hear his name. Reaching the Goshinboku where he had left Ah-Un after the exciting events of the day before, Sesshomaru was surprised to find he wasn't the only one that had sought the solitary surroundings of the forest. Of all it could have been, it had to be the little miko that had been plaguing his thoughts since it was made quite clear she was not attached to his brother any longer, if she ever had been.
"Lord Sesshomaru," she exclaimed standing up in surprise when she noticed him standing next to her. "Forgive me, I did not hear your approach," she went on and he raised an eyebrow at this uncharacteristic outburst and the nervousness that was pouring off of her aura now.
"This Sesshomaru did not want anyone to hear him, so, you did not," he told her with his usual stoic mask in place, but for a slight smirk that in no way gave away his true emotions. "Miko," he called out to her then, "Why are you sitting by Ah-Un, why are you not celebrating with the others of your kind?" he asked, a quirk of one of his silver brows was the only sign of his real curiosity. He saw her face flush suddenly before she looked down to her feet. Interesting reaction, he thought, most uncharacteristic of her as well, and tried to shush his beasts' thoughts about how she looked lovely in the full moonlight, her dark hair and pale skin gleaming.
"I was actually hoping to find you here," she said looking up at him sheepishly, her cheeks bright red. It shouldn't be affecting him like this, but her sudden submissive attitude since he approached had piqued more than his curiosity. "As I've said goodbye to most everyone else, I thought I should say goodbye to you as well," she went on and he felt a wave of what could only be panic and worry streak through him.
"Goodbye?" he questioned, "Are you going somewhere, miko?" he asked her, trying to keep his conflicting emotions hidden.
"Umm, kinda," she told him confusingly and he felt worry and sadness in her aura. "I'm going home after making the wish on the jewel tomorrow," she continued quietly, "And I don't know if I'll be able to come back to visit everyone again, so I'm saying goodbye, just in case." She smiled shyly up at him when she finished and he felt more confused than ever. The miko's sudden appearance last year was still a subject he was not entirely clear on and he hadn't really ever thought that she would suddenly go back to wherever she came from for good when her task of completing the Shikon Jewel was finally done. He was conflicted about the whole situation, for on one hand, he thought that her going away would most likely be much better for his peace of mind. And on the other hand, he felt like he would never get to explore what it was the miko caused him to feel. He felt even more confused than he had in the village while surrounded by humans and he did not like the feeling at all.
"Well," he said trying to clear his mind, "This Sesshomaru wishes you good travels then, miko," he told her as unemotionally as he could, which was pretty darn. He looked down at her when disappointment suddenly infused her aura. Curious, he lifted a brow without meaning to, and was suddenly caught within her brown eyes that were luminous with what had to be unshed tears. Before he could even guess why she was holding back tears, or what she was doing, the little miko lunged at him. He tensed and instinctively reached for his sword before he realized that she was just hugging him, her arms around his neck bringing them face to face.
"Goodbye, Sesshomaru," she sniffed back her tears, "I hope you find what you're looking for and have a happy life. And please don't kill InuYasha after I leave. Or me for this," she added in a voice that sounded more like herself and would have caused a characteristic snort from him if she didn't suddenly shock him beyond words, and herself it seemed, when her lips brushed very lightly against his cheek. He was so surprised that all he could do was stand there in shock as she hurriedly retreated toward the village. It wasn't like he knew the proper reaction; or any kind of reaction at all, to this situation anyway. The hint of attraction to him that sizzled in her aura seconds before she kissed him and their eyes met was for him the most shocking part of the whole affair. Coming out of his daze slowly after just letting her run back to the village as if she were afraid he might pursue her and ask her what the hell that was all about; or something worse like kill her as she had asked him not to before sideswiping his forced mental calm like that. But perhaps if she was indeed leaving for somewhere tomorrow going after her was not the best move. The fact that he was even more confused and questioning himself caused a very loud frustrated growl to burst from him before he could stop it. He felt a strange feeling deep inside at the thought of never seeing her again, but he had no name for it and it just made him even more frustrated. Deep in thought, his physically and emotionally drained body fell asleep leaning against the Goshinboku.
Upon waking early the next morning, an insane fear gripped him that the miko had somehow already left and he would never see her again. Taking off at a run that was so fast that the human eye wouldn't be able to track his movements, he made it to the center of the village proper in seconds. He followed her scent and sighed in relief when he saw that she was still there for him to see. That relief was short-lived however as he saw that she had the Shikon Jewel in her hands and her eyes were now closed. The rest of her friends, including his hanyo brother, stood around her, watching and waiting tensely, fear and sadness present in every one of their auras. The miko smiled then, and she opened her eyes to look directly at him. Her smile brightened briefly when she realized who she was looking at. They looked into each other's eyes a moment or two before a bright pink light enveloped the little miko. She was in front of him one moment and gone the next, completely disappearing in front of him and a village of stupefied humans in less time than it took to blink. And in the place where she had been standing the only signs that she had ever really been there to begin with were the imprints of her strange shoes in the dirt and her lingering scent in the air that was already fading, and much too quickly for his liking. A collective gasp was uttered by all that had been gathered around her when they realized what he, his brother, and her friends had already deduced; she had disappeared and would most likely never be coming back again.
Chapter One –
Tokyo, Japan; Present Day –
Kagome Higurashi looked around the dance club, Blue Moon; she found herself in tonight and sighed. She supposed it wasn't such a bad place, and it was packed for it had had its' grand re-opening earlier this month, whatever that meant, but she was still not having fun. The dance club scene wasn't really her thing, but she let her friends drag her with them because she knew she needed to get out more. Without their help she would have no social life at all. At least she had become comfortable going to the places they usually went on weekends, but this club, that they were only at because one of her friends had gotten free passes, was new and out of her comfort zone. This was the main reason she was sitting by herself at the table her friends had grabbed as soon as they had gotten here earlier. She knew she was also on edge for a reason that had nothing to do with loneliness that set in when her friends left her to find their respective guys; either boyfriends or recently acquired companions for the night. She was on edge because her extra sense was telling her there was a yokai in the area. She didn't know whether to believe that sense that had served her so well in the past or not, for it had been years since she had actually needed to rely on it. Almost six years to be exact. The sudden thought triggered a parade of memories she had kept close to her heart and vowed never to forget.
Kagome had been back in her own time, her own world it seemed, for these five years, much to her chagrin as she had had no choice in the matter. After they had defeated Naraku she watched the world she had known with her friends in the Feudal Era change very quickly. Sango, having saved her brother and gotten him back in her life, and Miroku, who was still adjusting to life without the curse of the kazana, had stopped fighting their feelings for each other and gotten engaged faster than Miroku could grab a passing woman's behind. Shippo, who had recently found a place to study his fox magic and friends there to boot, was now making his home with Kaede in her village when his lessons didn't call him away. Lord Sesshomaru, that had helped them so vitally in their enemy's defeat had done the responsible thing and installed Rin at Kaede's home since he had no permanent home to speak of. This had made Kagome and the others realize that he truly did care for the girl despite his notorious dislike of humans. But thinking of that particular taiyokai was very confusing for her as she had finally gotten over her fear of him toward the end of her time in the past, but there were other confusing feelings that she hadn't gotten to explore before being ripped away from the place she had begun to think of as more of a home than her family's shrine in modern day. Thinking about him now just left her confused, conflicted, and sad that there was yet another unanswered question as far as her time in the Feudal Era was concerned.
She moved on then, mentally shutting the door on thoughts of the taiyokai and it suddenly brought her to thoughts of his brother. InuYasha had saved Kikyo from Naraku's corrupting power and solved the issue of her having to die again by giving his love half of his own soul. Before both of them were even fully recovered from the battle they had mated in the yokai way and made plans for a human ceremony not long after Sango and Miroku's wedding as well. Kagome had been happy for him, of course, but the dream she had of at one time being more than his best friend had been crushed for good. It seemed that everyone had gotten hope of a happy ending except her. She had barely had time to witness this, become deeply conflicted about everything, and say goodbye to everyone before upon making a selfless wish upon the jewel, it pulled her out of the past and into her own time; closing the portal of the well forever.
Kagome had gone to the well, hoping the remaining magic of the jewel, if there was any, would recognize her and allow her to pass through at least once more. She had even gone to the well multiple times a day in the beginning, only to run back to her house as the sobs of sadness and denial shook her body. After a year she had gotten dispirited and fed up with the looks of pity she would see on her family's faces upon her return from her daily trips to the well. After two years she had still not given up hope and made herself keep up the sunny disposition she no longer had when it came to life in general. After three years her trips to the well had trickled down to two times a week. Even as depression closed a tight fist around her, some hope still remained deep inside of her. At four years all hope of seeing her friends that had technically been dead for almost five hundred years slowly died. She allowed herself to begin accepting this truth and grieve for the people she loved and would never see again. By the five year mark she had begun to pull herself out of the funk she had been in since returning. Kagome began to live again instead of just going through the motions of the life going on around her.
It had helped that she was finally graduating from college and leaving school for good. The monotony and routine of both high school and her university life had made it much too easy to become a living zombie. She had even gotten a job she didn't have to think much to do. But now that she was trying to really live again she even performed better at work. Over the last year she had begun to think and see less of the past and more of the life she hadn't really been living. Kagome had even made some friends at work and it was a nice feeling. She hadn't really had close friends for awhile since her high school friends had gotten tired of her attitude and secrets upon returning the final time. Her new friends, which worked as receptionists and personal assistants at Dragonfire Technologies Unlimited, a computer processing firm, as she did, had helped pull her out of her daze and she thanked them for that. Except now, she thought suddenly, for they had all abandoned her to go bump and grind with their chosen partners. Not being able to do much about it, she chose instead to drown her bitterness and memories in a glass of Grey Goose and cranberry juice. Kagome knew she was a lightweight when it came to alcohol, and usually stuck to her self-imposed limit of one drink, but tonight her stubbornness and the tingle of yokai magic she wasn't even sure she felt spurred her to order a second drink.
It didn't take long for her to feel that warm glow spread through her and her inhibitions lower considerably. She gulped down her second glass more quickly than the first and thought, screw it, before heading to the dancefloor. She prayed to whatever Kami was listening to keep her balance long enough to make it to the dancefloor and enjoy her new level of comfort there. She usually did dance when they went out, and enjoyed to, and was glad that the liquid courage was allowing her to finally get on the floor tonight. She lost herself in the music, intent on enjoying herself and forgetting everything, if only for a little while. What she hadn't intended; was to trip over her own feet in the middle of a step and run straight into someone. Kagome glanced up to see who she had hit and wondered why that extra sense that had been bugging her all night was acting up again. She thought she might have found the answer as her eyes finally reached the face of the man she had hit and met a pair of bright golden amber eyes that she never thought she would ever see again; eyes that seemed to show as much shock as she felt. Realizing that she was pressed rather closely against him in the middle of a very crowded dancefloor, she looked up again to make sure her mind wasn't playing tricks on her. The dark gold eyes and striking features were indeed hauntingly familiar and stirred up painful memories she thought the alcohol had suppressed.
"Sesshomaru is that really you?" she asked in a disbelieving whisper. She knew that if it was really him he would be able to hear her above the din of the crowded club. Before he could answer her or make any response at all, someone bumped into her, sending her even closer to his tall and leanly muscular frame. When they recovered, it wasn't his voice that broke the silence and sudden tension that had formed as soon as their eyes had locked.
"Nakagawa-sama!" someone called as they came up beside him. It was a short and wide little man with a stern look on his face and a business suit that looked extremely out of place on this dancefloor. The newcomer seemed to take in their shocked expressions and stiff body language in a glance. "Is this young woman bothering you, Nakagawa-sama?" he asked the man in front of her. Kagome, truly wondering if she was going crazy, looked at the man before her again. She realized that the familiar yokai markings she desperately searched his face for were missing, as well as he elven-like ears and claws. She was also uncertain if she was really sensing yokai energy as she hadn't in so long. But when they were both jostled by the crowd again and some of his hair, that was pulled back at his nape, flew over his shoulder she realized she must have been truly mistaken. For it wasn't the expected silver, it was an almost as light, but still not the same, blonde. Now thinking that even if there was a very slim chance she wasn't mistaken, being this close to him probably wasn't the best idea, so she decided to make an extremely hasty retreat.
"Excuse me," she stated swiftly, her eyes filling with sadness as her mind worked overtime, "I mistook you for someone else," So saying, she turned around and almost ran until she reached the women's restroom. The ghosts of her past that she continued to grieve for suddenly swam before her eyes until she was blinking away tears. She was also extremely embarrassed for mistaking that guy for Sesshomaru. Though she knew it was her own fault for thinking about the past so much tonight. She also blamed her haywire extra sense. Kagome was extremely embarrassed at the moment that she had thought that gorgeous guy was Sesshomaru, for she had been suddenly very happy to see him, and the fact that it wasn't him saddened her and made the tears finally start to fall despite her best efforts. She did run when she started looking for her friend, Momo, who had driven her here. She knew she needed to get out of this place and fast. Kagome found Momo on the dancefloor with her boyfriend and told her that she needed to leave now. She assured her she would take a cab home since Kagome knew it was far too early for her to think about asking her friends to leave. Momo seemed concerned, but not so much to want to see her home herself once Kagome had soothed her. She headed outside after retrieving her jacket and purse, memories of her time in the Feudal Era all she could see as she approached the road to wait for a passing taxi.
Sesshomaru was in such a state of shock and confusion that he hadn't been in for centuries. He had had to change identities over the years and at the present time he was known as Toshiro Nakagawa to his human associates. Like others that had a seemingly endless lifespan, he had had time to raise quite a fortune by modern standards by investing well over the centuries. I have changed quite a bit in five hundred years, he thought, since I'd last seen the young woman that had just fled from my presence. It was only by a strange flaw in his schedule that he happened to be here in this club during their busiest time. As the businessman he had become in the human world he had started buying businesses in old Tokyo, trying to save it's history. He had recently acquired this nightclub as it was housed in one of the oldest buildings in this part of the city. Instead of closing it, his advisors told him to reopen it under a different name, saying it could be a lucrative business move for Nakagawa Industries and open doors in a completely new sector. He had come here tonight to go over the numbers with the man he had put in charge, hoping his advisors were right about this risky move. He had been satisfied that everything was running smoothly and finishing up with the manager when that scent had assaulted him.
As he stepped out of the manager's office where he had been going over the books, he felt his senses go into hyperawareness. That scent, he thought as a new smell assaulted his nose when he tried to take a relaxing breath, it's her scent. He closed his eyes and sighed as disappointment that five hundred years hadn't fully suppressed reared it's ugly head. But our nose never lies, his beast yelled at him then, it must be her scent. Without giving any explanation to the manager that had been seeing him respectfully to the door, he started following the achingly familiar scent that was working its' way deep into his very soul, it seemed. Just like the last time he had smelled it. Surprised that the scent did have a trail and was not just the work of his overactive imagination, he followed it to where it led to the very center of the dancefloor. What he saw when he reached the source of the scent; made him feel and remember way too much. All he could do was stop and stare in complete shock.
The scent led to a very familiar young woman dancing entirely too sexily for his peace of mind. It's Her! his mind shouted. But how was this possible, he wondered, that was five hundred years ago and she was still just a fragile human; still mortal. He found himself walking closer to her as if drawn to her like a moth to a flame. She looked almost exactly the same, he noted as his eyes raked over her form like he was afraid she would disappear, yet again, at any moment. Not exactly the same, though, his beast told him hungrily as he noted how her body had seemingly matured. Her curves were more womanly, and not as girlish as they had been before. His beast almost howled at the way her body was moving to the music, as well as the way she looked in her revealing blouse and skin-tight black mini-skirt.
He kept getting closer, needing to smell her scent at the source, the half-crazy beast in him shouting. The closer he got, the more her scent filled his flared nostrils and the more of her familiar features he took in. Her hair was shining in the lights of the dancefloor and he got the urge to reach over and take it down from the up-do it was in, curled and falling in graceful waves down her neck and back. The way it fell so far made him believe that when it was down it would be longer that it had been the last time he had seen her. Just then she turned and tripped over her foot before she could catch herself. She landed against the closest thing within reach; which just so happened to be his chest. Feeling her pressed against him was better than the innocent hug so very long ago. He saw her eyes finally try to focus on who she had run into, before raising them very slowly inch by inch. He felt his temperature rise slightly for she was most definitely looking his body over in an assessing manner.
Sesshomaru heard her gasp when she finally reached his face. And her all to beautifully familiar brown eyes locked intently with his. He knew he was the only one that would have been able to hear her gasp over the music and was glad. He was surprised when he thought he saw recognition deep in her eyes even though she had a human's memory and it had been a very long time. The inconsistency of those thoughts reminded him that there was something he was definitely missing, for it just couldn't be possible for her to be here and alive. He would have found her in his travels if she was still in the area; he would have found her before now, wouldn't he? Before he could do more than briefly ponder that she finally spoke.
"Sesshomaru is that really you?" she asked, the shock clear in her voice. She looked him over again and he saw doubt bloom in her eyes. Oh, he realized, he had the glamour up that made him look human and covered all of his yokai features. It was amazing in light of that fact that she had recognized him immediately. Filled with curiosity and questions for the miko, he was about to speak when Soong, the manager that had been seeing him out, came up beside him.
"Nakagawa-sama!" Soong-san exclaimed, "Is this young woman bothering you, Nakagawa-sama?" he asked with a stern look toward the miko. Apparently Soong was afraid of one of one of the patrons offending his boss, afraid it would reflect badly on him. As the manager spoke to him, Sesshomaru watched as uncertainty entered her eyes before they were suddenly filled with sadness. Her emotions almost pouring from her as was her scent into all of his yokai senses.
"Excuse me," she rushed out, "I mistook you for someone else," she apologized before making a hasty retreat after bowing politely. He watched in shock as she fled from him and her scent ruffled the air as she sped away as if she had seen a ghost. Which, he realized, she must now believe she had. After accepting Soong's speedy apology for the rough behavior of the patrons, he escaped the man as soon as he could. Instead of heading for the exit, he followed the miko's scent. There were too many unanswered questions surrounding her presence here, and the fact she was living at all, to let her escape his notice that easily. His beast was sitting up at attention at the chase, even if it was a simple one such as this. He followed her scent until he saw it led him to the ladies' room. Standing in a place she wouldn't see him in unless she really searched he waited for her to come out. When she rushed out in a ball of confused energy he followed her inconspicuously. He couldn't help but catch the salty scent of tears that she was trying to hide and was sorry for them. He was wondering why she looked so distraught now, but knew it was at least partly from seeing him. He stilled as she came up beside another young woman dancing with a young man.
Sesshomaru couldn't help overhearing the conversation as the miko told her friend that she was leaving. She didn't give an exact reason, but the sadness in her voice as well as her poorly concealed tears must have convinced the girl it was better not to ask the reason at the moment. The other girl called the miko 'Kagome,' he noted. Memories washed over him; his brother screaming out her name as he tried to protect her from their enemies, even from Sesshomaru a few times. If any doubt remained, that would have squashed them into nothing. She literally sprinted for the door then, but slowed down once she reached the sidewalk in front of the club, as if in a trance. Lost in thought she seemed to be, and when she was about to step into the street as a car sped closer, he didn't think before rushing closer and pulling her back to the safety of the sidewalk. The force of it making them bump into each other once more.
"Wha--?" she exclaimed, or started to, before she looked up and was shocked into silence.
"You should be more careful, miko," he told her, his heart beating double time to think she almost got hit by a car minutes after realizing she was still alive. His voice barely contained all of the emotions he was feeling at the moment. She turned around in his arms then, surprising him when she didn't move away right away.
"It is you!" she exclaimed, "I thought I was going crazy and that my extra sense-thingy wasn't working anymore, but there was a yokai next to me," she murmured into his neck as she was suddenly hugging him. He was close enough now to realize that the little miko was more than a little tipsy from the alcohol infusing with her scent at the moment. "I never thought I would see any of you again," she said and from the sudden salty wetness against his skin he knew she was crying again. "I missed you so much," she told him and he felt a weird feeling deep inside his chest. Before he could wonder what it was she moved a little away from him then, looking him in the eye once more.