Hello all, sorry it has been a while…but you all know how sporadic I can be…gomen! Let me first start by saying that I am still highly distressed by the fact that FFNet is banning all NC-17 stories…but I plan to test the boundaries of an R rated story in the near future! Bawahahaha, Darth Mer Mer returns to her roots! Anyways, also thank you so much for your words of encouragement and kind offers to host my stories on all of your wonderful and beautifully designed sites. On with the story…I own no one, they only live under my bed glaring at Sora and Riku for hogging my attention for 45 hours and counting…Love you all, please feedback. Darth Mer Mer
While He Slept…
Kaede sat quietly listening to the crackle of the fire and watching the embers flirt with the cool night air that slipped like a thief through the slatted window. The rest of her adopted family was outside enjoying the uncommonly warm weather and she had no doubt that they were pretending to watch the stars while stealing glances at each other. She only prayed that Miroku would keep his wandering hands in check and that Inuyasha would do the same with his sharp tongue. She shook her head, such tongues were made for better things than harsh words. Pushing her graying hair behind her ear she though again of the young girl that looked so much like her older sister…Kagome was truly someone special and after all the hatred and misunderstanding Inuyasha deserved someone like her in his life. Smiling wryly, she sighed. For fifty years she had watched her world bend and contort, break and mend, time and time again. The only thing that had remained constant for her had been the lean body of the boy with the silver mane of hair, pinned to a tree by the last act her sister preformed before her death. Granted, he had seemed to get a little smaller over the years, she realized that it had only been her body growing taller and not Inuyasha shrinking.
Now, things were so different…she was playing the part of a mother to the motley crew of characters brought together by her sister's reincarnation. If only they knew how it had been almost 45 years ago, how hard it had been for her. Sighing Kaede ran her fingers over the eye patch that covered the blindness that Naraku had bestowed on her. She regretted blaming Inuyasha all those years for her half sight.
From the doorway, a sleepy Shippou drug his tired body to the warmth of the fire. His little fox feet covered in the evening dew and drawing tufts of fog through the door with him. Kaede watched silently as he trotted over to her and accepted her embrace instead of his favorite place in Kagome's arms. She asked the question she already knew the answer to. "Shippou, why aren't you with Kagome?"
"She's taken…" He yawned, bushing out his tail and curling up in the old woman's lap. "She's too busy holding Inuyasha…" She thought she heard a little bit of jealously tinge the tone of his voice, but the little fox demon was getting used to the idea…perhaps even beginning to enjoy it.
Kaede chuckled low in her throat. "Well, then all is as it should be." Feeling a little mischievous herself, she patted Shippou's soft hair and said, "Would you like to know a secret?"
The tiny child nodded, his eyes drooping, eyelashes begging to kiss his cheeks.
"Promise not to tell?"
Again the little fox nodded his head as he shifted to a more comfortable position.
"Well, it all started a long time ago, in this very village…"
Embarrassment and anger burned her cheeks as red as her hakama. The weight of her bow was shifted and aimed at the target before she could even think. A sixteen year old Kaede pointed her arrow at Masaru Otouru, the son of the village headman, her lean arms flashing in the sun, the color of brewing tea. "Say that again, I dare you!" She growled.
Masaru raised an eyebrow, "Can you not hear either? I thought they only thing wrong with you was your eye!" He tried to laugh like a man, but puberty made his voice crack halfway through. Hands on his hips, his entourage of other village boys behind him, he shouted. "I said, if you were half as good looking as your sister was, you wouldn't make the stream run away from your reflection!" The boys behind him were slowly backing away as Kaede shook with anger, her arrow still poised to fly at them.
"You shut up about my sister!" She shouted. So what if she wasn't as beautiful as Kikyou had been? Her skin was dark from days of work in the fields and her training to be a priestess. She had none of the natural talent her sister had been born with, and it seemed all of it was taken to the grave with Kikyou when she had passed away. Kaede's lack of sight in one eye made her skill at archery limited and Masaru knew it, that's why he refused to flinch at the sight of her bow. Even her feet were too big for her body, they tripped her up enough to leave deep scars on her coltish knees.
"You gonna pin me like your sister did her little demon pet lover?" Masaru sneered, "My father says she got just what she deserved for bedding with a demon!" He pointed at the young girl before him, "You know it's true, or did you turn a blind eye to it?" He snarled laughter, daring her to make a move.
His taunts had left her speechless, his words stealing the very breath from her throat. Her sister had saved the boy's family along with everyone else in the village more times than anyone could have counted. How dare he utter such disrespect for her sister! The scale of her bowstring played as she stretched the cord to her ear. Blood rushed to her face, making her see only red. It hadn't been like that between her sister and Inuyasha…he wasn't all demon. And if her sister had loved him there must have been something there that was worth it. Even at the price of her precious sight and her sister's life, there HAD to have been something more to it! The wind blew and cooled her fevered cheeks…she slowly lowered her bow…this insolent whelp wasn't worth it… She glared at him… "Otouro Masaru, the best part of you ran down your mother's leg."
He looked at her confused for a split second before he covered by laughing at her again. Kaede spun on her heal and started to walk away. "Go on!" He shouted at her retreating back. "Run away again, Kaede-sama!" He stressed the honorific to make sure she knew he was being sarcastic.
Tossing her straw like hair behind her shoulder, she walked away from the slings and sharpness of the boys' jeers and ridicule. She knew were she was going without telling her feet to go that way. It was the same reaction as pulling back the string on her bow, it was instinct...
A few minutes later the girl was sitting down in the well worn seat of roots. Glaring up she said, "This is all your fault you know…" In the back of her mind she knew it was foolish to speak like this, but her wounded pride had led her to the easiest target available…the sealed hanyou, Inuyasha. "If you hadn't ki-killed my sister, none of this would have happened…" Slowly the tears started to leak out the corners of her muddy brown eyes. He didn't look like was capable of killing anything judging by the look on his face…the calm look of deep and dreamless sleep. That was what had pulled her here, less than a month after her sister's cremation ceremony…that and the morbid need to confirm that he was still pinned and that it hadn't all been some strange plot to distract everyone while the strange couple made their getaway.
Kikyou hadn't told her much about what had happened between the two of them, but Kaede's young mind had expanded and added many little details to the budding romance she saw blooming slowly in her sister's eyes. Kaede knew that the two were having wonderful adventures…Even if the village condemned her sister for her actions, in Kaede's young eyes, Kikyou could do no wrong. But something had gone wrong…so terribly wrong. And the thing that Kaede had believed would one day be her brother in law had ripped out her eye without a second glance as it sped past. Part of her heart still refused to believe that Inuyasha had been the cause of all the death and disaster caused that day…
But it was his fault that the boys all made fun of her…he had made her different by taking her sight in one eye. Now she was forever bound by the scars, visible and invisible, that rendered her unable to be anonymous in the eyes of the people of her village. She would always stand out as a symbol of her sister's failure as a priestess…and yet she would never be able to live up to her dead sister's reputation either. Her petulant glare fell to the one with dog ears… "This is all your fault…" She repeated, the anger building in her still flat chest. She stood, her feet tripping her up as she tried to stalk up to the sealed boy. Landing heavily against the hanyou she was stunned for a moment. The boy was still so warm…she narrowed her eyes.
How dare he look so calm and peaceful! She reached out her calloused fingers and pinched his cheeks, stretching them out so he was grimacing, pointed canine teeth just showing. "There that's better!" She looked around for a leaf or twig to stick up his nose. How dare he be here, away from all the taunts and jeers, while she had to endure every one of them alone! Her eyes fell on the arrow that pierced his chest. The reality of her loss rained down on her like a summer storm, streaking her face with tears. It wasn't fair that she couldn't see with her bad eye, and yet it could still make tears and give away her emotions. "I could have been normal! I could have gotten married when I was older, I could have had a family! But thanks to you I have to be a priestess now and I'll never have people who love me and care about me!" She beat his chest with her fists, her white priestess robes a stark contrast to her dark hands. "I hate you! I hate you! I HATE you!" she screamed. Finally her sobs subsided…the wash of emotions carried out by the tide of exhaustion. Looking up, seeing that the hanyou's face had gone back to it's previous form but now he looked sad, made her start.
She looked down at her feet… "Sorry…It's not all your fault…" She had been confiding in the silent demon for almost half a decade now…he was the only one she could trust with her secrets. Who was he going to tell? The birds nesting in the God Tree? Shyly she stood on tiptoe and gently kissed the boy's mouth. It was warm too. Blushing, she pulled away. "I need to get back…I have to train some more…bye, Inuyasha."
Kaede sighed as she looked down to find Shippou sound asleep on her lap. Well, it was probably for the best that he hadn't heard that last part. It was for the best that no one ever know about that…she smiled. It was funny that she had blamed him for her lack of family. Now it was as if he was helping Kagome form one for her. Albeit a strange family but a family none the less. Chuckling, she tucked Shippou under one arm, stood and started to put out the bedding for Sango, Miroku, Kagome and herself.
Who knew, maybe…in the grand scheme of things, everything had worked out as it should have.
Meanwhile, outside, Inuyasha sneezed. Kagome looked up startled. "Are you okay?"
He nodded, looked back at the hut puzzled, then shrugged and smiled. "Don't worry about it… guess someone was just talking about me." He hugged the girl beside him and stared up at the stars…
Please let me know what you think…I know this one is a little out in left field, but I'm obsessed with the events that happened after Kikyou's death and when Kagome gets transported back in time. Come on, you know if you were Kaede, you'd have done it! Please feedback! Love you all, g'night, Darth Mer Mer