*** FALLING STARS ***

An Inuyasha Fanfiction

Celyia (ladycelyia@aol.com)



Author's Note: Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to write any more but last night I was inspired. :-) Don't analyse. Don't look for consistency. Just go with the flow! :-) Lemme know what you think, eh? By the bye, the prologue is short, but those of you familiar with my writing know that my stuff tends to get pretty long. Hang in there! Thanks!




Prologue
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He lay sprawled out upon the forest floor, his mouth pulling into a slight, unwelcome frown as he realised that he was powerless to tear his eyes away from the diminutive figure that hovered above him.

He, one of the most powerful youkai lords to have ever stalked across this land in literally thousands of years, had been bested by a mere human. A human *girl*, at that. It annoyed him to lie there, stunned among the grass and rocks of the quiet forest, to watch as the puny white knees (visible beneath the short hem of the strange green and white kimono she always adorned) shook and knocked together.

This strange, weak girl was the one who had defeated him. And the most incredibly galling thing was that she appeared to be more surprised by this than he was. Which, to be completely honest, was saying a lot.

Had Jaken or Inuyasha been around to see this humiliation, he would have killed them before they could have blinked. But instead, his movements were slow and wary as he pulled himself up into a sitting position, watching an unaccountable fear blossom in the girl's widening eyes.

Her hands, clutching so tightly to the rather puny bow and arrow pointed at his heart that the knuckles were white, trembled even as she tried to draw herself up to her full (and, unfortunately, unimpressive) height and stare down at the fallen lord.

He barked out a short laugh, the sound rusty and ironic, as he looked the girl over carefully, the most petty part of his pride pleased to see her jump at the sound. So this was the driving force behind his little brother's recent successes. She didn't appear to be much, but that strange blue light that had emanated from her hands had struck him down effortlessly, making it completely obvious that there was more to her than he had originally assumed.

But that wasn't all, he thought as he waited for the killing blow. Had he been the superstitious sort, he would have been instantly suspicious at the way her clear, blue eyes seemed to capture the attention of his golden ones, leaving him completely unable to look away. So now he sat rather gracelessly, like any sort of menial peasant, on the filthy forest floor staring at the pitiful human who would kill him.

"If you," the girl started, the strange steel in her voice belying the terror her body language screamed, "If you come near Inuyasha, my friends, or this village again... " A flash of something flickered behind her large eyes, but she just shook her head nearly imperceptibly. "I will kill you. I swear to god, I really will kill you myself."

In a blink, the girl was gone, the soft echoing of her words the only sign she had ever been there. Frowning, he looked around and finally noticed the gentle quivering of small, green leaves as a testament to the path on which she had fled.

Instinctively, Sesshoumaru closed his eyes as he inhaled deeply. The scent of her fear was so strong, he could nearly *taste* it even now. But still, she had not cowered and she had not cried out for help that, indeed, would never come. Instead, once she had evidently come to the conclusion no one would come to her rescue, the girl had merely struggled out of his vise-like grip and forced a small, white hand towards his heart. He had watched those unusual blue eyes grow even larger, the black pupils usurping her irises as the strange energy burst from her hands and struck him directly in his heart.

A million thoughts had flooded through his head as he flew through the air, each one more pressing of a burden than he would have ever guessed. Who would now protect the lands of the West from being overrun by inferior youkai? Certainly not his brother, who was currently too busy dallying with useless crystals and humans to see what was indeed happening in the world. Who would ensure that these lands would not become yet another bone of contrition between the greedy youkai lords of the opposing cardinal points? It didn't please him to consider the way his lands would be contested and eventually divvied up among the victors. Then, not to forget, who precisely would take care of Rin now? Jaken wouldn't do it. The fool would undoubtedly either just leave the child stranded or kill it himself. And that simply was not acceptable.

Yet, the human girl had left him alive, essentially free to strike her down at any moment he chose. So certain she must be that she had the power to defeat him!

Would that make her brave or incredibly foolish?

With a growl, he forced himself to his feet. His heart pounding as a rush of adrenaline surged through his body, Sesshoumaru started walking towards the tiny village that lay beyond the cover of the forest. It mattered not whether the girl was courageous or an incredible dolt, the youkai lord decided suddenly. The girl had dared to cross him.

And for that, she would die.