Cuckoldry and Deserted Love

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.


Kagome woke quickly, going from deeply asleep, to wakeful in milliseconds, some sixth sense warning her that something was very wrong.

Sitting up carefully, she looked around, taking note of everyone's positions, and the fact that the fire had burned very low and was in danger of going out. That wasn't how it should be... Inuyasha was supposed to be keeping watch, and taking care of the fire, since taking over from Miroku.

But he wasn't, and it didn't take long for her to realize he was no longer in camp.

She knew why, too... she could feel the dead one close by.

As she stood to go track him down, she put her hand on her pillow, and it brushed against something laid across it. Looking down, her brows rose and eyes widened at what met her eyes – a flower lay there, and one she was quite familiar with – columbine.

Cuckoldry, and deserted love.

Someone was trying to warn her...

Clutching the flower to her chest, she made her quiet way out of the camp, knowing that person didn't lie within its confines, and followed her soul's pull to where Kikyou was, almost certain of what she was going to find.

She'd been so happy when Inuyasha had come to her, several months before, and claimed he loved her. He'd stuttered and blushed... but Kagome was pretty certain now that had only happened because he'd thought Kikyou dead.

When they'd found she wasn't...

He'd started pulling away immediately, becoming distant and gruff with her. It had hurt, at first, but by this time, she was simply resigned to the truth – Inuyasha had only come to her because she was his only link to Kikyou, or so he'd thought. Once he found the other was still alive, he'd no longer needed her.

Sure enough, as she reached the place the hanyou and dead miko inhabited, she could hear exactly what was going on, and it was enough to make her feel physically ill. She stopped, not needing to go any further to know the truth.

Looking down, she stared at the flower that had lain on her pillow so innocently. "You were quite right, little flower... but who sent you to me? That's the only question left in my mind," she whispered.

Somehow, though, she wasn't really surprised when a shining figure in white and red stepped from the trees to stand before her, another columbine flower held in one hand.

"Sesshoumaru," she murmured. "You've been watching him, haven't you?"

"The half-breed has disgraced our family name many times, miko, but this one time brings the final dishonor," the daiyuokai responded. "To do as he has done to you is inexcusable, and there will be no absolution for him this time." He met her gaze, and the look in his eyes brooked no argument. "You will no longer travel with the dishonest whelp."

She nodded quietly, looking down at the flower in her hand. "I must go gather my things, and my friends," she said, and Sesshoumaru nodded, falling into step beside her.

"I will accompany you."

No more was said, no more was needed, and when Inuyasha finally walked back into the camp he'd left unattended for so many hours, he found nothing left...

But a single columbine flower, and a piece of cloth bearing the crest of the Lord of the West.

Deserted Love.