….Need Not Be Lonely At All
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.
Sesshoumaru inhaled deeply of the fresh scent of spring as a mischievous wind sprite darted past him, causing his hair to flare around him with silvery flashes in the bright sunlight. Even with his eyes closed and concentrating on meditation as he was at the moment he couldn't miss the scent of the woman he'd been living with for four months now. He reveled in the fact that scent didn't have any taint of death, because that meant that he would never have to be alone again.
Just the thought of that had him frowning and a shiver going down his spine. No... he did not think he could ever go back to being alone as he had been for so long. Actually, he knew that he could not. If death ever managed to get his hands on Kagome, he would simply follow her into the other world.
With a barely audible sigh his eyes fluttered open and he stared with a pensive expression at the gorgeous view that lay before him blindly. It was a concept he'd never bothered paying attention to, death being something that could only really find him at the hands of another youkai, and as he could attest to, at least here in Nihon there were no longer any daiyoukai and very few youkai, either – a few kitsune, some wolves and river otter... neko. That was it. So he hadn't bothered thinking about dying... until now.
It had taken a shockingly short bit of time for his heart to get involved with the little priestess he'd found four months ago living in solitary splendor and slowly dying inside from the isolation. She knew who and what he was, accepted him just as he was, and openly gave him all the affection he needed without even having to be asked. Her aura alone blanketed the entire region with feelings of health and joy, and he knew that most of that joy was due to his presence and the fact that she wasn't alone anymore.
No... if she went he would follow, for there was nothing left in this world for him without her in it. And he knew without asking that it was the same for her. She would never be able to go back to being alone and death would be a kindness if he were no longer here with her.
Once he would have scoffed at such sentiments as dying only to follow another, judging the being as weak and unworthy to be acknowledged by him for such a ridiculous reason for seeking death. But now... now he understood. He could only be thankful that the kami had taken pity on him and allowed one of their creations to stand by his side through time without fear of dying.
It was inevitable really that deeper feelings would grow between them. He was well aware of the feelings and attraction Kagome held for him, and where once it would have enraged him that someone he thought of as a lesser being dared to lust over him, now he could only welcome it. And it wasn't even as though the feelings and attraction were all on her side. He couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if he'd gotten to know her back in that distant past. Would he have ever been able to look past her supposed humanity back then?
Most likely not. While I did not hate her and nor did I find her presence objectionable, that is a far cry from feelings of a deeper nature between a couple. I was too blinded to reality, to the changing of the world and everything in it to allow any sort of deeper bond to form between not just her and I, but anyone and I.
Time had definitely showed him the error of his ways.
He allowed himself a deep stretch as he stood up, tightening and then loosening every muscle in his body and enjoying the slightly drowsy spring day with a languid blink and another deep inhale.
Maybe he should find Kagome and see if she would like to take a nap? It was the perfect weather for it, and he enjoyed sleeping wrapped around the little miko – it was a comfort thing for them both, since both had at times worried that this was all a dream and that they were still so damnably alone with burnt out sanity the only thing left tying them to this world.
He figured it would just take time for it all to sink in – after all, he'd been alone for three hundred years and that was bound to cause some problems. Kagome was also sometimes worried that it was all a dream because she'd been faced with the prospect of being alone for so many years as her family aged around her and then passed on, leaving her with no one else to turn to.
Tilting his face into the wind he inhaled and locked on to Kagome's scent; she'd taken herself off when he decided to meditate so as not to bother him while he was busy. Without thinking any further about it he took off, changing into his smaller inu form between one step and the next.
Within moments the clearing was empty once more as sakura blossoms danced on the wind and carpeted the meadow in a profusion of color and the lovely smell of spring.
Eyes closed, Kagome smiled contentedly as she simply enjoyed the smells of spring, of growing things and life... and happiness and light. She couldn't help but smile, her happiness complete as she thought of the being sitting in the meadow around the cabin and meditating.
Sometimes it still seemed so strange that she was living with the daiyoukai. If anyone had told her this would be her fate back when she'd first met him, a fierce and seemingly black-hearted warlord who was anything but what he seemed she would have slapped them into a straightjacket and hauled them off to an insane asylum.
And yet... it seemed so right now, as though it was always meant to be this way. Perhaps it had been, and that was her real reason for being sent back into time – to meet him. She giggled a little and shrugged her shoulders. Well, even if it had not been strictly why she had been sent through the well it didn't matter because this was where they had ended up, together and separate from every other living person on the planet.
That had to count for something.
Her smile softened then, and she blinked as a butterfly fluttered baby-soft wings across a cheek and then wandered away to land on a nearby flower before returning to her thoughts.
He was so much more than she'd ever have imagined back in that distant past she'd met him in. So much of what he truly was inside was hidden from the world... but not her any longer. And she was truly grateful for that fact.
Kagome wasn't at all surprised at the speed with which he'd taken over her heart... it was inevitable with the kind of person she was that she would fall in love with him, and sooner rather than later. She certainly didn't regret her feelings, and though she hadn't actually spoken of them she was almost positive that he knew, because she wasn't good at hiding her heart, and he was a very perceptive being.
She could only hope that maybe... someday... he'd allow her into his own heart as more than just a fateful companion and allow her to love him with all that she was. Chances were pretty good... At least I really, really hope so, she thought wryly to herself. If not, she was in for a long, long lifetime of never speaking her heart and trying her best to hide her feelings so as not to chase him away. She didn't think she'd be able to stand it if he left – the loneliness would overwhelm her and she would end up fading away into nothing more than yet another lost soul trapped by this world and unable to break away, let alone move on to somewhere else.
Shaking those thoughts off with determination she laid back in the softly-scented grass and put her arms behind her head, staring into the cloudless sky contemplatively.
His manner with me has been different, lately, she thought to herself encouragingly. Softer... gentler than I would have ever thought he could be. Of course... Rin certainly seemed happy to be by his side every time we saw her, so maybe he was always that way, and I just wasn't privileged enough to be allowed to see that until now.
She had the feeling that was actually the truth of the matter, because looking back, Rin had never seemed concerned with her place in his life. The girl had always been content with the way he cared for her, and that really spoke volumes about Sesshoumaru's true character. It was too bad she'd never really thought about these things back then, but then again, it wasn't like it really mattered, because now was when those realizations might actually count for something.
A slight shiver went down her spine and Kagome closed her eyes, her gentle smile widening as she concentrated on the feel of the aura brushing over hers so sweetly. He was coming for her, she knew, and she didn't move, letting him find her as he willed.
Within a minute the potency of his full aura washed over her and a slight swish of silk gave away his presence as well as he sat down at her side.
Staying quiet, perfectly willing to wait for him to speak, Kagome's expression did not change – and to the male sitting beside her and looking at her she was so vital in that moment that he found himself hesitating to speak and break the feeling growing between them. After a few moments contemplation of her he pushed that feeling away and folded his arms into his sleeves.
"Is there anything you wish to accomplish today?" he asked softly.
Eyes slowly opening caught his attention, and he allowed his gaze to become meshed with hers.
She shook her head after a moment. "No," she said huskily, her voice almost trapped in her throat at the look in his eyes. "Everything is taken care of, so there's no rush to do anything today. Why?"
"This Sesshoumaru simply wished to ascertain whether you would be willing to nap with him," he replied easily in the same soft voice. "The day has a drowsy feel to it."
Kagome blinked. "It does, doesn't it?" she sighed after a moment, letting her eyes fall closed once more. "I think I would very much enjoy that."
"Then come," he returned, flowing smoothly back onto his feet and holding out a hand to assist her. He almost smiled when she unerringly found his hand without once opening her eyes.
In peaceful silence the two wandered back towards their cabin, hands still clasped together and a secret smile on Kagome's face at what she knew that meant.
As they disappeared inside she looked back over her shoulder and out the door into the bright blue sky for just a second.
... Lonely places in the wilds need not be lonely at all...
The door swung shut and the clearing around the little hut fell silent... but indeed, the quiet left behind didn't feel lonely at all – it was a content silence...
A full one.
A/N: I just couldn't resist this little companion piece to Lonely Places in the Wilds... I hope everyone thinks it's a good ending to the tale.
P.S I'm baaack! Now that I'm in Washington and have Internet again, I can start posting once more... I'll probably have a new chapter of Nefarious next week sometime, I think. Keep your fingers crossed, everyone!