Inuyasha slammed into the ground several yards away from where his brother stood, silver hair stirring in the slight breeze. “You will respect this Sesshomaru.” He said, his voice deadly cold.
Kagome and Kikyo stood side by side, sighing over this latest display of brotherly affection. The fight that had killed Naraku was weeks over. Kagome was trapped permanently in the past, changed forever by the shikon no tama. Purifying it had a far bigger price than any of them could have guessed, especially for Kagome. Even so, looking at the happiness that her friends had found, she knew that that payment had been worth the cost to her.
By making that selfless wish, wishing the jewel destroyed, she had released Midoriko and the dark yokai she had fought for so long, setting them free from their torment and laying them to rest. The process, however had taken lifetimes and forever changed the priestess. She now had ability’s that had never been hers, nor any priestesses before. They had belong to the occupants of the jewel. With these, she had completely restored Kikyo to life, giving her best friend his hearts greatest desire. She had felt that they both deserved the chance at a life untainted by the jewel or Naraku. She was not saddened by it, content to have him as her friend, the bond forged from years of fighting never broken, just changed. She just wanted to see them happy.
The women looked at each other, shaking their heads at the brother’s stubbornness. Kagome stood between them. “This must stop. You are family.” She said calmly, despite the tension on either side of her.
“Huh, not likely,” Jakan said, “he had been most rude to my lord Sesshomaru and amends would have to be made.” The little imp laughed, knowing the chances of that were nonexistent.
“Like hell.” Inuyasha said, standing once more. Kikyo went to his side, hoping to control his mouth somewhat.
Kagome looked at Sesshomaru. His face gave nothing away, but she could feel the strike coming. After all he had been wounded it the one place he could not bear it, his pride. There was no way he was going to let this go easy. Inuyasha had been quite rude when he turned down his brothers offer to join his household for his father’s bloods sake. The brothers had been grudgingly getting along until this point. She had to fix this somehow. “What amends must be made?”
“Traditionally, for such grievous offence,” Jakan replied, “It is a worthy gift and a year of servitude.”
Inuyasha opened his mouth in time for Kikyo to stick an apple into it. She was grateful she had been carrying a basket of them when the fight had broken out. The older priestess had complete faith that Kagome could defuse this problem if only her love could keep his mouth shut.
Kagome looked over at the two of them. She still felt bittersweet from time to time, but glad that the two most hurt by Naraku finely had each other. To set Kikyo’s soul free, they had joined lives, living through one another for a time. Thus they were now truly more like sisters and held an understanding of each other beyond the soul that they had once shared. She could not allow them to separate now, even for a year. Not that Inuyasha would do any such thing anyway. Decision made, she turned to Sesshomaru. “As his friend, would you accept them from me on his behalf?”
Jakan’s jaw dropped open, but no sound emerged. Sesshomaru was also surprised, she could see a slight widening of his eyes. She would have missed it had she not been watching so closely.
The priestess had just offered herself to him for a year of service. To say he was surprised would be fair, but also slightly intrigued as to why she would do such a thing even for his brothers sake. Humans were always self-serving in his experience. A tug at his side brought his gaze down to the only one that he had any feeling for.
“Miss Kagome is coming with us?” she asked, smiling brightly, happiness rolling off her in waves. He would do much to keep her so.
Recovering, Jakan sneered. “What gift could she give worthy of my lord Sesshomaru?”
“May I approach you, Sesshomaru?” She asked, trying her best to fix this problem with no blood spilled.
“Lord Sesshomaru.” The imp corrected her. Sesshomaru waited to see what she would do, his anger dimming somewhat, amusement taking its place. His brother’s face now held a look of absolute horror. This may even be better than beating him to a bloody pulp.
She took a deep breath and slowly let it out. Apparently, fate had decided that she needed a lesson in patience. “Fine then, lord Sesshomaru, may I approach you to offer a gift?” She could only think of one thing that he may find acceptable.
“You may.” He told her, curious as to what she would do. His brother looked more miserable by the second, arguing quietly with his mate.
Kagome nodded and walked to his side. As she drew near, he began to notice changes in her, not that he had ever paid that much attention to her before. She seemed older in spirit and body as if she had matured in the few weeks since he had last seen her. She was slightly taller and fuller in figure than she had been, but the most startling change was the wide band of violet that circled the blue iris in her eyes. It was the exact color of the purified jewel.
“In the manner of a gift, lord Sesshomaru, I offer the return of something lost to you.” She touched his arm where the tetsusaiga had cut through it, pouring power into his flesh.
Sesshomaru felt a stinging pain, soon covered over with heat that moved over his arm. Within moments, his arm was restored to him. He flexed the deadly claws, feeling the poison gather under them, waiting to be put to use. It was fully healed as thought it had never been severed from him. “This Sesshomaru accepts this gift and your service for the period of one year in amends for the half-blood’s rudeness.” He said, thoughtfully studying his arm.
“Don’t!” Inuyasha shouted, determined to stop her.
“Are you sure?” Kikyo asked worried for her sister and her mate.
“It is done.” She told them calmly and firmly, never turning from Sesshomaru’s golden eyes.
“Bare your throat.” He commanded her.
Not understanding, but willing to bet he would not kill her when she owed him a years worth of work, she did as he asked. She pulled her waist length hair over her right shoulder, leaving her left side open to him. Raising his healed hand, he pressed a claw into her, barely breaking the skin. She felt the slight burn of his poison, then the hum of his power cooling the area.
“You will be marked thusly until your service has ended.” He told her, pulling her to his side. As she turned, they all could see that she now had his crescent mark low on her neck where he had touched her, marking her as his property.
“Keep your paws off her, Sesshomaru!” Inuyasha took a step toward them, slightly dragging the priestess holding his arm.
Kagome noticed a slight curving of the elder brother’s mouth. She stiffened as his arm came around her waist, pulling her tight against his side, his gaze never leaving Inuyasha’s face.
“Sit boy.” Kagome said, slightly aggravated. If he offended his brother again, she had nothing else he would value to offer to him.
“Damn it, Kagome.” He groaned from the ground.
“I will return in a years’ time, my friends. Be well.” She told them.
Sesshomaru turned her toward his dragon, Ah Um. He kept his grasp tight around her, until he lifted her onto its back. Before releasing her, he caught the suspicious look in her eyes. “You’re deliberately baiting him.” She said quietly.
Smirking slightly, he lifted Rin up to her. “She is now in your care.”
Swallowing her irritation at the inuyoki, she replied properly. “If that is your wish, lord Sesshomaru.” She snuggled the child. Rin was easy to love and care for. At least some of her time in the west would be pleasantly spent in the girls company.
He was surprised at her answer, along with her easily noticing him aggravating the situation with his half-brother. It made him wonder at the changes in the girl and why she would be able to read him with ease. Something was definitely different, her sent had changed, no longer like the human that she had been.
“I think that I would rather die than see this.” Inuyasha slammed his fists into the ground.
Sesshomaru’s smile widened, though he did not take his eyes off of Kagome, her own narrowing on him, the violet color slightly glowing.
Kikyo stood over Inuyasha. “Stop this.” She did not even flinch at his glare. “You are being a fool. Kagome has given so much for you. She gave up loving you so that you could have me returned to you, she has taken your place so that one day you may have your family. Quit dishonoring her sacrifices for you!”
“Who asked her too?!” He shouted. “I love you both, damn it!”
From the sidelines, Miroku laughed. “I told you he would try to keep them both.” Sango, his wife of a week, hit him in the back of the head, silently telling him to stay out of it.
Kikyo glared. “Careful, Inuyasha that you do not end up with either.” She walked stiffly away, pausing only to share a look with her soul sister. Inuyasha shot a pleading look in her direction before following behind his mate, as he always had, as he always would.
Kagome sighed again and pulled Rin closer to her. She was getting tired of the constant drama surrounding her and Inuyasha and Kikyo. She had tried to explain to him that she had had lifetimes for her love to change and she no longer wanted him in that way. Perhaps it was better that she was leaving for a while. Maybe in the time she was absent, he would move on and enjoy his life with his mate and have cute little dog eared babies for her to be an aunt to.Sesshomaru noticed the weary look upon her face before she hid it. “Come,” he said, clouds forming beneath his feet, lifting him into the air. He streaked toward the west, never looking behind to see if they followed. Au Um leapt into the sky, never losing sight of his master, Jakan hanging from his tail, screaming, “Wait for me, lord Sesshomaru!”