I don't own either anime. Though I wish…
Kagome's cook had been flustered when she'd had to prepare a meal for two instead of the one she was quickly getting accustomed to. And the housekeeper was harried when she discovered that she needed a clean room for Illya's visitor. Luckily, used to Madame Red's whims, they were able to throw everything together quickly.
The servants went to sleep late, wondering about the mysterious Asher.
Kagome brushed her hair for hours, wondering why Shippou was so cold to her.
Shippou, Asher, stared out his window and wondered how he was supposed to feel about this little girl who was not the woman he had tried to forget for so long. There was something desperately wrong with her, and he couldn't quite put a finger on what it was.
Kagome allowed Violet to dress her in a soft green dress with butter yellow trim. Personally, Kagome thought the color looked disgusting on her, but really, who would care? She made her way down to the breakfast room and was pleasantly surprised to find Shi…Asher at the table already. The maids rushed in and placed food on the sideboard and fled, trying not to look interested.
"Good morning Asher."
"Kagome." The red haired man murmured.
"No, I am Illya." Kagome picked up her plate and filled it slowly, her back turned to the man. She shuffled away from the sideboard and he took his turn there. After, he sat at the table to her right and watched her eat. She paused.
"You cut your hair Asher."
"I did." Shippou refused to run his hands through his shorn locks. He could have hidden it behind an illusion, but to conserve on power he rarely even used, he had cut it.
"It…looks nice." Kagome looked down at her plate. Behind her, the Thing crawled into existence.
"What? Another demon? You bring home the sweetest things to play with little one. Tell me, are we allowed to twist his soul?"
"Shut up." Kagome replied.
"How have you been? What happened to the others?" She blurted out.
"Why do you care? You left." Shippou snarked.
Kagome flinched. The skin in her hand rippled and the fork she was holding exploded in a shower of shrapnel. There was a brief moment of suspended animation and then Shippou flung himself away from the table as the silver blew towards him. He sat up moments later to see Kagome pushing at the fruits on her plate with a spoon.
"It would serve you well not to judge what you do not know boy." There was an undercurrent of something else in her voice. Shippou restrained a shiver and sat back into his chair. "Now you will speak or I will find a way to pry the information from your cooling corpse." She smiled at him and finally Shippou understood.
This girl was not his Kagome. His Kagome had been soft edges and light and good. This abomination, for lack of a better word, was hard and brittle and not good. He had seen traces of his Kagome, but now that was gone.
"What happened to you?" He whispered.
"I died." Gray eyes met his and Shippou recoiled at the madness there. "The Jewel did not appreciate my resurrection and as such it as much a part of me as I am of them."
"Do you think that Midoriko was sane after years of fighting? And then I broke her. I broke her apart and threw her to the winds and she battled and battled and it swallowed us all up."
"I am Illya."
"They died. Everyone died. We thought you had killed Inuyasha once we found his body. Kikyou was nowhere to be found, Sesshoumaru retreated to his estate, I grew up. I thought you had killed the man I looked up to as an older brother and fled to use the Jewel for yourself. Miroku believed that as well. Sango left with her child and ran unable to bear the thought of you and your betrayal." Shippou hissed maliciously. "She died two months later as did the child. Miroku led a long but sad life. The woman he loved had taken his child and run from him. Sesshoumaru's estate was hit with consumption. After Rin was infected he killed all those in his castle who were ill and burned it."
"And you were no were to help. Everything fell apart. Had you been there to help, it would have been better." Truthfully, Shippou believed that Kagome would have perished in Sesshoumaru's castle. Sesshoumaru would have brought her there to save Rin and the woman he remembered would not have left.
"My fault?" Something in Kagome's mind broke just a little bit more. She looked down at her plate. "Of course, my fault."
"You are worthless Guardian. Did I not tell you so? You could not even keep your loved ones safe. How many times will you fail?" Midoriko murmured. She sat in the chair across from Shippou. "You could not save yourself. You could not save the ones you claimed to love. You could not save your Mama Red. Why do you not just accept that you are a failure and be done with it?"
"A….failure. Is that what I am?"
Shippou nodded, unaware that she was not talking to him.
"Oh yes. Failure is all you'll ever excel in. Why do you think your Earl has not come for you? He knows you would flee to this home and yet almost a full week has passed and he has not come to call. You are disgusting." Midoriko tore at a knot in her hair. Kagome stared at her before nodding.
"Kagome?" Shippou shivered when her eyes found his. Suddenly her skin turned alabaster as her power rose to the surface. She stared at him unblinking as it whipped through the room. There was a crash as the sideboard upended itself.
"I. Am. Illya. Durless. And I do not know you." Shippou screamed when her power slammed into him. She blinked and her powers waned. Cocking her head to the side, she listened to something. "Sebastian!" She ran from the room. Shippou pulled himself to his feet shakily. He wondered if this was a common occurrence. Her servants hadn't even come to see what the noise was. He stiffened when the questing power of another demon brushed against him. He walked from the room at a sedate pace and paused when he saw Kagome with her arms around a black haired man's neck. The man lifted her and brought her into the breakfast room. Curious, Shippou followed.
"Little miss," The man murmured. "Who is this you have brought into your home?" Shippou's breath caught at the pure malevolence that was leveled at him through red eyes. "Why have you brought him into your home?" Sebastian tore her arms from around his neck and shook her. "You are mine! Ciel's! What have you done?" Shippou winced when something writhed under the skin of her cheek.
"Why Sebastian, I can do what I please." There was a short flare of brilliance and the other demon hit the floor. Kagome stood up from the crumpled pile she had landed in when he had dropped her. "I can do whatever I please!" There was a moment in which she looked at him and Shippou hurt, knowing that he had something to do with this thing standing before him. "You want my soul Sebastian? Take it! I fail at that which I try! Elizabeth would make a far better fiancée than I! I'll only get Ciel killed. Better, I'll kill him myself." She blinked and brought her arm up. Shippou blinked at the pistol.
"Kagome?" He let out an agonized scream when she shot him.
"Illya! Illya you ignorant fool!" He looked down in horror where the bullet had lodged itself into his leg and was sickened by the sight that met him.
"Illya?" Shippou collapsed, his legs unable to hold him.
"Kill him." The Thing whispered. Kill him, killhimkillhimkilhimkillhim. KILL HIM!" Kagome screamed. Shippou's leg was not facing purification. It smelt as if it was infected and pus leaked out of the wound. She rushed to his side and placed her arms on the wound. It took minutes for her to even begin to heal the damage she caused and by the time she was done, the man who was once her son was screaming in pain. Kagome looked from him to Sebastian and fled.
Shippou woke to a harsh slap. He blinked up at burgundy eyes and the other demon sat back on his heels.
"Do you have a contract with her?"
"Have you formed a contract with her!" Sebastian yelled. And then Shippou understood.
"I don't eat souls to sustain myself. I am one of the origins."
"An origin?" Sebastian scrubbed his gloved hands against his face. "An origin! You can't even eat souls!" He stood. "An origin." He backed away. "How do you know Miss Illya, Origin?
"My name is Asher soul thief."
"It matters not. How do you know her?"
"It matters not."
And it didn't. Because Shippou didn't know Miss Illya. And what he knew of her quite frankly scared him. But he remained at Ka…Illya's mansion after the other demon had left instead of fleeing as he wanted to.
Was running all she was good at? Kagome held onto the horse as she whipped it, rushing to the Phantomhive Manor. Why did Ciel even care for her? Tear blurred her vision and the horse leapt over a fallen branch without her direction. Kagome closed her eyes and bowed even closer to the horse, protecting her face from the whipping branches. She made it to the stables in record time and threw herself off the horses back. She rushed towards the manor, to Ciel, ignoring the fact that her dress was stained and that Finnian was trying to slow her down. She burst into the entry way in time to see Elizabeth embrace Ciel and give him a small box. She paused at the doorway as Ciel started to open the box. Then Elizabeth snatched it back.
"It was a feint!" The blonde called.
"A feint?" Murmured Ciel.
"A lady who tries to win a man with gifts is no lady at all." Faintly, Kagome wondered how Sebastian had made it to Ciel's side faster than she, and then it no longer mattered.
"Yes, yes. Now Paula ring you bells."
"Jingle, jingle!" The governess rang her bells as directed.
"Well, it was good to see you, I have to go. Have a good day Ciel!" Elizabeth stepped forward to hug the Earl.
"Why, that's not proper behavior at all Elizabeth." Elizabeth drew back with a hiss. Kagome walked forward. "Though I commend you on bringing a chaperone. You can learn."
"Illya." Elizabeth smiled. "How wonderful to see you." She stepped closer to Ciel. "What has happened to you? You look as if you've had several unfortunate accidents. That's not the way a proper lady should act at all. For shame!" Elizabeth hugged the black haired boy and then walked down the stairs to leave. She stopped next to Illya. "Why, you smell rather rank as well."
"Ah, but I know Ciel loves me no matter what. And you, dear cousin, you are not loved at all."
"You are no cousin of mine. You are but a well dressed commoner." Elizabeth bit her lip.
Kagome pulled the blond girl into a hug.
"Doesn't it pain you that the next child of the Phantomhive line will be borne by me, a commoner rather than you?" She whispered so that only Elizabeth would hear.
Elizabeth rushed out the door. Kagome let her.
"Why are you here Illya?" Ciel called out. Kagome looked up at him. Her heart ached at the cold look on his face.
"I wanted to speak with you Ciel."
"Only now do you wish to speak? I am busy. I had wanted to speak to you on that day…but you left."
"Return to your home. It isn't proper for you to be here without a chaperone."
"Is this what you truly wish, Ciel?"
"It is." He spun on his heel and walked away.
"As you wish my lord." Kagome curtsied to his back and left. Once outside, she held up the small package she had liberated from Elizabeth. She peered down at the ring in it and smiled faintly. Had Sebastian not already fixed the Earl's ring, this would have surpassed what she would have given him. Kagome closed the box and hid it in her pocket as she felt Sebastian come closer.
"Get me the carriage Sebastian. Please."
"I wish to speak with you about the Origin in your home."
"One of the few demons left that do not need contracts to feed."
"Oh. I do not wish to speak of Asher." She closed her eyes and suddenly looked too delicate. "Please Sebastian. The carriage."
"It will be as you say." The demon faded into the background. Kagome waited until the carriage was pulled around to the front of the mansion and walked to it. She took Sebastian's offered hand and stepped into it. She paused when he moved to close the door.
"I am sorry." Sebastian peered up at her in curiosity.
"Please tell Ciel the same." She sat and turned to the window. Sensing the conversation was over, he closed the door.
Kagome stared down at the ring in her lap. She was stuck in traffic. She didn't know what she was thinking. She should have just taken the horse. She tilted her head to the side and studied the ring. It appeared to be shining. Moving it closer to her face, she stared at it for minutes before a song filtered into her mind. She opened the carriage jerkily and stepped out, ignoring the coach man as he called to her. She ran down an alley, following the music for reasons beyond her control.
"What do you mean Illya has vanished?"
"She left the carriage in Islington and never returned."
"We'll go immediately. What was she thinking? Something of this level of idiocy I never expected of her."
"She was distraught my lord. She came to you and you turned her away." Ciel winced at the polite reminder. "Before that, I have this for you." Ciel looked at the letter on the tray. He warred with himself for a moment, his duties or his fiancée. Finally, he took the envelope. He read the contents and sighed.
"What shall we do?"
"We shall ease the Queen's gloom. No matter what, that is the highest priority."
"And Lady Illya?"
Ciel stayed silent and closed his eyes.
Kagome wondered why she was drawn to a doll store, even as she pulled open the doors and stepped in. She hated dolls. She found them creepy. And from a person who had the Thing slithering through her mind that was damning.
"Welcome." She blinked at the man who was turning the music box. He stopped and set it to the side. He stood up. She tilted her head, curious as to why this man had no aura. "You must forgive me this intrusion." He brushed her hair away from her face. "But you have such lovely eyes. It is a pity that they are filled with such pain."
Kagome quirked an eyebrow.
"I…have been conflicted." She allowed. The man smiled at her.
"To cheer you up, I'll let you have anything in this store."
She blinked at him, genuinely surprised.
"No, I can pay for it."
The man smiled at her.
"Yes, you will pay for it most dearly." Kagome tried to shake his hand away but found herself unable to. She punched him instead and yelped when her fist connected with what she thought was bone. "Oh? You shouldn't be so cruel little one."
And for the first time, Kagome realized that she could not hear either the Thing or Midoriko.