Chapter 10: An Artists' Confession
"Look I really don't see what the big deal is! Its just a drawing, so what if it inadvertently turned out to be the true form of the ice prick? It's just coincidence."
Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes, "Coincidence? Hn, I fail to see how such an honest mistake would garner such a strong reaction from you onna. Although, you humans tend to be a little on the 'dramatic' side."
Kagome gave an inhuman growl and stood up, "And you, demon, tend to be a pain in my ass!"
"Okay. Kagome is the painting truly a coincidence or have you previously been acquainted with Sesshoumaru-sama in his true form?" Miroku asked looking right into the eyes of his long time friend. He and Sango have always been able to get Kagome to talk even if she didn't want to. Kagome admitted that she felt as if she could tell nothing but the truth to her closest friends.
Kagome sighed, sitting back down, "I've never truly been acquainted with him. I just had dreams." Looking up, she noticed Sango frown slightly and Miroku rub his chin in thought, his eyes practically begging her to continue. Heaving a deep sigh, she continued, "It all started on my 15th birthday. My grandfather happened to be the caretaker of the Higurashi Shrine which undoubtedly would have been mine to keep up as the next generation of priestesses in the family line, however on that particular day of training-or just listening to Jii-san's outrageous tales- I saw something reflect from the well. "
Kagome swallowed, "I was curious at the time and it gave me the excuse of ditching Jii-san's lectures for the time being so I ran over to it. I peered down into the well and-well I'm not the most balanced person-
"-in the world so ultimately I ended up falling into the well."
Sango's eyes widened, "I remember that. You were in the hospital for weeks! I didnt know you fell into the well"
"Yea, well there's more to it than that." She twiddled her thumbs together as she spoke, 'After falling into the well and to the ground like I thought I ended up being pulled towards this blue light, before ending up unharmed at the bottom of the well. Let me tell you it just went downhill from there…
~Down the Rabbit Hole~
"What was that light all about? Am I dead?" Kagome ran her hands along her body, checking for any signs of injury and having found none breathed a sigh of relief, "Thank Kami. I better get out of here before Jii-san figures out that I left!" Frantically, she looked around for a way to get herself out. Shortly, she discovered a thick braid of vines and launched over to them, climbing up the inside of the well with vigor. Looking up she noticed that instead of the wooden roof of the well house she had been expected was a bright blue sky filled an abundance of clouds and a blazing sun.
Reaching the tip of the well, she peeked her head out and drew in a sharp breath. 'I am so not in Tokyo anymore'
Instead of the little trinkets and old bows and arrows that lay scattered around the old well was an amplitude of grass, flowers, and trees galore. Her eyes widened while her feet pressed harder against the wells wall to hoist herself up and over the edge. Landing with a soft thud, she quickly moved to stand on her feet, and out of the way, just as a bright orange ball hurled in her direction.
Kagome jumped, looking intently of the semi-orange ball that was currently groaning in pain. 'Wait! Groaning?' Stepping closer to the ball, Kagome attempted to touch what she thought was probably an injured animal when it cried,
"No! Mama! Papa!"
'Eh?' The orange ball uncurled revealing a small boy, with orange hair, a cute blue bow on top, and an equally blue haori and hakamas. What stumped her, however, was the bright orange bushy tail that swayed frantically behind the boy and the fangs he showed off as he wailed in pain. Ignoring her curiosity, she ran to the boy, kneeling in front of him,
"Hey little guy, what's the matter?"
The little boy turned his vibrant green eyes towards her and she silently melted at his cuteness, "W-Who are you?"
Kagome smiled softly, "My name is Kagome. What's yours?"
The boy seemed taken aback by her smile, but grinned back regardless, "I'm Shippo!" His boyish grin, honestly, warmed her heart. Little kids always had a knack for making her feel good and this little boy-no matter how demonic he may look- was no different.
"Shippo? That's a pretty cool name." She smiled, "So tell me, Shippo, what's the matter?"
In an instant, Shippo's eyes began to water and his nose turned red, "T-They killed them!"
"What?" Kagome frowned, trying not to panic at the sight of the broken boy, "Who killed who?"
"Ah there's the little squirt! Hey Kid! Don't you wanna join ya parents?"
Turning around, Kagome was met with possibly the ugliest thing she had ever seen. The demon before her had a large head, with about as much hair as a pine-needle, bulbous eyes, and a large shark like mouth. She shook involuntarily, was this what Shippo was running from?"
"You bastard!" Shippo screamed his little face turning red. Kagome frowned and looked towards the demon. She would not let that-that thing harm him. For some reason, she felt very protective of him. Grabbing hold of the small kitsune, Kagome hefted him up onto her shoulder and glared at the demon.
"Why don't you pick on someone your own size you big meanie!" She screamed, placing her hands on her hips.
The demon turned to her then, almost as if he just noticed her presence, and smirked evilly, "Well well well, Look what we have here! You are so pretty! Beautiful even. You will be my wife!" His eyes sparkled with something Kagome didn't want to catch the meaning behind and she frowned deeply,
~And Back Again~
The noise coming from the Ice Lord immediately interrupted the flow of the story and caused all three humans to look at him. Kagome, however, was the first to speak,
"Is there something wrong, Sesshoumaru?"
Sesshoumaru looked at Kagome disdainfully, "I was already growing tired of you rambling off about some whelp you found after you fell into this "magic" well however the tall-tales in your dream is all the proof This Sesshoumaru needed to believe that this story was fictional"
"What are you trying to say?" Kagome frowned. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, was telling her that the demon lord meant to insult her.
"In short...you are not the epitome of beauty that which the rouge spoke"
Miroku jumped up immediately to catch Kagome as she launched herself across the demon and Sango, placed her fingers to her temple rubbing lightly, trying to calm down. The demon obviously liked to mess with Kagome more often than not; it only reminded her of how little boys would try to show a girl that he liked her-being mean.
Of course, Sesshoumaru was over 500 years old and should be well acquainted with how a man should go about obtaining the object of his affections, but it seemed he was not exactly happy with his object.
"You fucking jerk! That's it! Let go of me Miroku! I'm going to show this asshole some respect"
"Kagome stop it! You know what happens when you get riled up" Miroku spoke steadily, trying to calm her down. He then turned his gaze to Sesshoumaru and frowned, "Sesshoumaru-sama your presence here, as you know, is unwelcomed, however we allowed you to stay in order to hear Kagome out not to insult her"
Sango placed her hand on Kagome's shoulder and smiled, "Kags how about you just give him the shortened version of the story?"
"It's no fun that way! But if it'll get him out of here quicker fine"
Kagome sat back down in her seat, straightening her top and hair, "In nutshell, the kitsune, Shippo, had become a companion of mine while in the feudal era. The "Rouge" who first made an appearance was Manten and his brother who came shortly was Hiten; The Thunder Brothers. To make this simple the two demons attacked us, however Shippo had managed to get free while I caused a diversion. The two demons had horrible plans for me and even more horrid for Shippo had they had found him."
Kagome paused to shiver slightly in remembrance of the gruesome details, and Sesshoumaru almost wished to know what those whelps had told her.
"Then what happened Kags?" Miroku questioned softly aware of his best friends inner turmoil.
"Mantan had hefted me up on his shoulder and was planning on taking me to their fortress where they laughed about how much fun we were going to have before boiling me in order to create some hair concoction" Her eye narrowed, "I screamed and kicked, struggled and bit, but nothing I did stopped them from their impending path."
A small smile graced her full pink lips and Sesshoumaru felt a tightening in his chest at the simple action, "Suddenly a flash of white entered my peripheral and my head snapped up at the sound of a low growl. Manten paused briefly, sniffing the area delicately, before directing his attention to the forest where the flash of white seemed to come from." She chose to pause then, looking at Sesshoumaru before closing her eyes and continuing, "It was quick but the sound was unmistakable, a deep growl resonating through the clearing putting both thunder brothers on the edge of their feet. The ground shook violently, resembling that of an earthquake just as a loud howl boomed from a distance. I questioned the noise but both brothers ignored me opting to gaze expectedly out amongst the trees awaiting the arrival of whatever was sniffing about around us."
Her eyes opened and she looked over to her two best friends before continuing, "No one could have prepared me for the beautiful sight before me. It was a dog! A giant beautiful white dog with deep magenta jagged stripes along its snout, legs, and cheeks with a blue crescent in the center of its forehead. His eyes glowed a dangerous red but for the life of me I couldn't find it in me to be afraid. His crimson eyes locked on me and he sniffed the air vehemently before he charged towards the three of us. Hiten foolishly tried to attack but was quickly defeated as was his brother in the same horrid matter. Eaten alive"
She gave a soft humorless laugh, "It was strange. I had just witnessed this beast...this beautiful beast... kill the two men who were planning on ending my life and I was enamored." She chose to look at Sesshoumaru as she spoke and for a moment she could see him as the dog in her dreams. His magenta stripes, crescent moon, and the silvery white hair was proof that his claims were true. His true form would be that of a dog and by the markings it would seem that her description was more than accurate. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the revelation.
Sesshoumaru didn't know what to think. The girl had irrevocably described his beast at its truest form, but that wasn't what left him stumped. The incident with the Thunder Brothers had happened he remembered when he was about 200 summers, how could she know of them? Why had his beast not picked up on her scent? Especially if she was who it chose to be their mate! His erratic thinking was put on hold as her melodic voice filled the brief silence,
"After the event, I had gained shelter with a village miko, Kaede, and in return I helped her treat the sick in the village. The Inu made an appearance every moon and when he did he sat by my side against the Goshinboku and lent me its warmth. I never questioned it but I always felt safe in his presence."
Miroku studied the look of pure content on his best friends face as well as the shock of Sesshoumaru's. It seemed that he believed her story, but he couldn't say to what extent. His gaze went to his wifes and the roll of her eyes made him fight the urge to chuckle. They both remembered the night Kagome woke up at the hospital pouting about a white dog she wished to have. In an ironic twist the white dog their little Kaggie was so enthralled with also happened to be the Daiyoukai currently sitting before her and they didn't get along in the least.
"And then all of sudden I just woke up in the hospital with a monster headache, you guys surrounded me, and a boat load of balloons" She giggled at the end remembering all of the gifts she received that day. It was great to know that she had friends and family that cared so much about her.
Sesshoumaru could do nothing but stare at the girl; study her. He would have been able to identify her scent so long ago if it were truly her that had been in the clearing that day. He knew this. So the question was how did he miss it? How could she have known of him, seeked comfort in him, if he had not been formally introduced to her over 300 years later?
Behind his mask he frowned.
Did he truly care to find out? He didnt know.
With a nod of the head in her direction, he stood up suddenly and without breaking eye contact with Kagome he said, "I will be in touch" before disappearing before them.
Kagome was torn between the relief of his sudden departure and the ache of wanting to be with her white dog. Could he really be Sesshoumaru? Could the dog that she had become so attached to be the demon who hated her?
"Well I'll be damned"
Both Sango and Kagome's head turned towards Miroku as he pulled out his cellphone. His fingers dialed a number furiously while his eyes twinkled and his trademark grin came out as he looked at them,
"I gave the pizza guy the wrong address"