Disclaimer: Of course, Inuyasha (and more specifically, our favourite demon Lord) does not belong to me. I'm just a full-time student; please be kind to me. This disclaimer can serve for the whole novel, I hope.
An Unexpected Spring
Smiling, I dropped my hideous yellow backpack onto to ground beside the well I stood before and knelt to pat the cat on the other side of my feet. 'I'll see you soon, Buyo,' I told the animal who simply meowed in response. 'I'm going through the well early so I can surprise Inuyasha,' I confided.
Bouyo simply gazed back at me, considering. I frowned. 'I'm not trying to impress him,' I told the judgemental cat. 'I just want to find that last shard so that we can complete the jewel. Then it can't hurt anymore people,' I added softly, my mind spinning over the catalogue of those who had been injured or killed as a result of the jewel's existence.
We only had one shard left to find and then we could all get on with our lives. I felt a flicker of selfish sadness when I considered the fact that I might not be able to travel through the well anymore once the jewel was gone.
Biting back a sigh, I stood and slung the backpack onto my shoulder and looked to the well in question. I would miss everyone, I decided at last. There was Inuyasha, Sango, Miroko, Shippou and Kirara. Because of them, my life would never be the same.
With that thought in mind, I jumped and smiled as I was encased in the familiar blue light. Soon enough, I felt the solid bottom of the bone-eater's well underneath my feet and looked up at the clear blue sky above me. It was a beautiful day in feudal Japan.
Grabbing hold of the vines that grew down the side of the well, I began pulling myself up. I was nearly to the top of the well when a clawed hand reached down and yanked me gently out of the well and dropped me back on my feet.
Blinking, I came face to face with the last person I'd expected to see. Sesshomaru, Inuyasha's taiyoukai older half-brother, stood watching me carefully.
My muscles immediately went rigid with shock. 'Sesshomaru-sama,' I managed, my voice sounding jerky and strained. Although Sesshomaru had stopped attacking our little group of shard hunters over the last little while, I'd never been entirely certain he wasn't just waiting for the perfect moment to rid the world of us.
'Miko,' he replied, a strange note in his voice that I'd never heard before.
Now that I was paying closer attention, his face also held an expression that was, from him at last, utterly foreign. Now I was certain that something was up. 'I should probably...'
'Inuyasha is not waiting for you,' Sesshomaru interrupted and I noted in distraction that he'd actually used his half-brother's name. Normally, "half-breed" was more than sufficient for the great taiyoukai to get his point across.
I stared at him for a moment, perplexed when he seemed disinclined to do anything but watch me in return. I felt like I'd jumped out into an alternate universe and everything was different. 'Is... something wrong?' I asked, completely confused. He didn't appear to want to kill me but I didn't exactly trust that strange glimmer to his eyes.
'You have arrived one hundred years later than you normally arrive in the feudal era,' Sesshomaru said suddenly in response and I was finally able to place the odd tone to his voice.
He was amused.
I stared at him in shock. 'But...' It just didn't make sense whichever way I looked at it. The well had taken me to another time? And Sesshomaru was waiting for me? 'Why are you here to tell me this?' I asked when I couldn't stand my confusion any longer.
Something flickered in his eyes and I stared at him, stunned. 'Once you return through the well to your own time,' he replied, 'you will need to collect something that you refer to as "medicine". You will need it when you next go through the well.'
My mind was a chaotic mess. 'We have many types of medicine,' I replied quietly. 'What is it for?'
'Rin,' he replied simply. 'When you next travel through the well, it will return you to the usual point in time. As soon as you arrive, run straight through there,' he instructed, pointing clearly through the trees. 'You will find myself and Rin, who will need your healing to live.'
I stared at him for a long moment before some of the shock wore off. 'What's wrong with her?'
'She will have pneumonia,' Sesshomaru replied and it seemed like he said the word very carefully, making sure he got it correct. His eyes suddenly sharpened on my face. 'If you do not do exactly as I've asked, Rin will die,' he said bluntly.
My eyes went wide. 'Of course,' I found myself saying without hesitation. 'I will help.'
He inclined his head, seeming to be more relaxed now that he'd delivered his message. 'There is... something else you must do,' he continued more carefully now.
I regarded him equally carefully and decided there was no doubt about it. There was a strange warmth and even humour in his expression now. 'What's that?' I asked warily.
Those golden eyes of his never left my face. 'You will need to insist on staying with Rin,' he advised calmly, his eyes taking in every detail of my reaction. 'In case she does not recover fully from her illness.'
I froze. 'Does she get sick again?' I asked, my heart turning over at the idea that I would try and save the little girl and fail. My heart clenched at the very idea.
'No,' he replied almost gently, as though he were soothing me. 'She recovers. There is another purpose for which you must stay.'
I stared back at him, uncertain. 'Why do I need to stay?' I asked warily.
My heart just about stopped beating as Sesshomaru, the great Taiyoukai, stepped forward until we were within an arm's distance away from each other, a small smile on his face. 'There are personal matters between this Sesshomaru and yourself that must be attended to,' he revealed, that glimmer of amusement all too apparent in his once expressionless eyes.
I took a hasty step backwards instinctively. This was a joke, wasn't it? He was really going to kill me...
'Careful,' he murmured, catching me by my upper arms as my heels hit the edge of the well. Pausing, he continued to regard my expression. 'Make sure you do as this Sesshomaru has asked,' he reiterated.
Whether it was due to my previous knowledge of how Sesshomaru had protected Rin, his adopted daughter, or whether it was the unusual lack of impassiveness in his eyes, I knew he was concerned about getting the message across. Because if he didn't, Rin would die.
'Sesshomaru-sama,' I murmured, his golden eyes not leaving my face. 'I will find you and Rin when I next go through the well,' I promised. 'And I'll have the medicine with me.'
My heart started to beat strangely as the corners of his mouth tipped up ever so slightly in amusement. 'I know,' he said simply. Then the hands steadying me by my arms lifted me straight off the grass and I was suddenly plunged back into the blue light of the well, a gasp escaping my lips. Because as soon as he'd done that, a very important detail had made itself known to me; he'd used two hands to drop me in the well.
His arm had regrown.
Soon, my feet were back on the solid ground and I glanced up automatically at the roof of the family shrine, my mind still reeling. I'd gone one hundred years later into the feudal era and found Sesshomaru waiting for me.
Even better, I still lived.
Shaking my head, I made my way out of the well. At the top, Buyo meowed at me again as though perplexed at my sudden appearance. 'There's been a bit of a complication,' I told the feline as I walked past.
Going back inside, I found myself wishing Sesshomaru had been more specific about what happened when I found them. There was some little niggling voice in the back of my mind that told me Sesshomaru wasn't going to be pleased when I suddenly burst into the campsite while his ward was sick. If I had to guess, he was going to be suspicious and definitely defensive.
Neither of which promised a long, healthy life.
Shaking my head, I dismissed all that. After all, Sesshomaru (the hundred-year older Sesshomaru) had told me what I needed to do to ensure his ward's survival. That would be enough.
'Grandpa?' I called.
'Ah, Kagome,' he greeted, coming from upstairs. 'You're back already.'
'Yes,' I said slowly. 'Do you think it's possible to get some antibiotics for pneumonia?'
His brows creased together. 'No need to get more,' he surprised me by saying. 'The doctor dropped some off for you last week.'
A deep sigh escaped my lips. 'Is that what you've been telling everyone? Well, it's better than gout, I suppose,' I muttered. 'Where are the antibiotics?'
Half an hour later, I stood back at the top of the well and peered down into it while I tried to calm my furious heart beat. Because I knew what (or who) I was going to have to face when I jumped through it. It wasn't going to be pleasant.
I touched the strap of my backpack nervously and then decided that procrastinating was just going to give me time to think of a hundred ways Sesshomaru could kill me for invading his camp site. So I took a deep breath and jumped.
My stomach twisted sharply as the blue light surrounded me and then dissipated. All too soon, I was hauling myself up out of the well, relieved to see no sign of anyone I knew when my feet touched the grass.
"As soon as you arrive, run straight through there," Sesshomaru had said.
Nodding to myself, I clutched the bottle of medicine tighter in my hand and took off running in the direction he'd given me. I was suddenly grateful for Inuyasha pushing our group so hard in our quest to find the jewel shards.
Thankfully, I knew what I would find so I wasn't shocked to suddenly burst into a clearing to find Sesshomaru facing me, his face terrifyingly impassive. My eyes flew over his face and then darted around the clearing, finally locating Rin where she lay on some unrolled bedding. My heart jumped to see how pale she looked and, even though I was human, I could hear her rasping breathing from here.
A warning growl brought my eyes sharply back to Sesshomaru's face and I quickly managed a bow, despite my climbing anxiety. 'Sesshomaru-sama,' I said quickly. 'I have something here that will heal Rin.' Lifting my eyes to his face, I almost flinched at the cold distrust that I saw.
'What do you know of her ailment, miko?' Sesshomaru demanded.
I considered all the responses I could give him to that question and decided, after another glance at Rin, that this discussion was better left until later. 'With respect, Sesshomaru-sama,' I said softly. 'I need to treat Rin now. We can discuss this afterwards.'
His eyes narrowed slightly on my face and my pulse thundered in my ears. 'You can be sure that we will,' he said, though he stepped aside to let me through.
I couldn't prevent the relief that swept through me. Darting forward, I dropped to my knees beside the desperately ill girl. 'Rin,' I spoke calmly as I carefully slipped an arm under her tiny shoulders, half resting her on my lap.
Rin half groaned but that was enough. I quickly uncapped the bottle and shook two tablets out onto my hand, aware of the formidable taiyoukai standing directly behind me, watching my every move. I forced myself to ignore him and focused on the girl. 'Rin,' I said again, pleased when her eyes opened. 'You need to swallow these,' I told her soothingly. 'They'll make you better.'
She blinked and her eyes focussed somewhat. 'Kagome-chan?'
'Yes, Rin,' I said, unzipping my backpack with my free hand and extracting a water bottle. 'Now, will you swallow them for me?' She nodded lethargically. 'Good girl,' I said. 'Open up,' I continued, keeping up the constant stream of words as I managed to get the tiny girl to swallow both tablets and drink some water to flush them down.
'Okay,' I murmured, gently easing her back down onto the bedding.
'Are you leaving now?'
Blinking, I glanced at Rin, even as I was pulling a cloth from my bag. 'No, Rin,' I told her gently. 'I'll be here to make sure you get better.'
She accepted that with a nod, closing her eyes again.
I poured more of the water over the cloth and used it to wipe the old sweat from her forehead. I moved a little distance away, rinsed out the cloth using the water bottle and then wrung it out until it was just cool and slightly damp. Returning to Rin, I folded the cloth and placed it over her forehead. Then I watched as she gradually eased into a gentle sleep.
Deciding there was nothing more to be done immediately, I turned to find Sesshomaru seated across the clearing from where I was, his eyes locked on my face. Seeing he had my complete attention, Sesshomaru inclined his head towards the ground next to him.
Reluctantly, I got to my feet and went over to sit beside him, a polite distance away. I kept my eyes on Rin, although I suspected fierce gold eyes watched me carefully.
'Now,' Sesshomaru said meaningfully. 'You owe this Sesshomaru an explanation.'
A/N: so this is my first fanfiction. In all seriousness... would you like for me to continue writing this story? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated :)