Time in Waiting
Kagome huffed as she was somewhat gently tossed onto their massive bed. Pushing her hair out of her face, she looked from one pacing inu to the other who calmly regarded her with cool eyes. “What the hell were you thinking, Kagome?!” Inuyasha yelled, coming to a halt at her feet.
She sat up, sliding to the edge of the bed, trying her best to look and sound reasonable. “I did not intentionally do anything. I just thought of my friend and that just sort of happened,” Kagome explained.
A frustrated growl left his lips, his temper getting the better of him for a moment. Then with a sigh, Inuyasha sat beside her, taking her hand. “Kagome…”
“I understand that your worried, but really I am fine,” she tried to assure him. That Sesshomaru just watched them with was making her nervous, even though she could not sense his thoughts through their bond at that time. “between Hasumi’s healing chant and lady Kei’s care, I am fully healed. It took surprisingly little effort to pull her from the jewel, almost like she reached for me and I just caught her hand.” Though destroying the thing afterward was another story… they caught the off-hand thought through the bond. It had made her tired, but did not threaten her health the way that they were thinking it would have. “Sesshomaru…” she held her free hand toward him, pleading slightly with her eyes. She did not want her mates upset with her, surprisingly.
After a short moment, he took it, pulling her to her feet. “I am grateful for my mother’s sake, Kagome, but you are never to put yourself at risk again.” The alpha tone filled his voice.
“I won’t, not without you two there, I promise.” She traced the ruby strip across his cheek, the same thrill running through her as it had the very first time that she had touched him.
He sighed, his breath warming the skin of her wrist. That was the best he would get from her, his mate fiery in her own way. Very soon, he would have to allow them close to danger again. It was an uneasy feeling even though he knew that they were strong and that he would be by their side for every moment of it. Sesshomaru leaned down, capturing her mouth, a long denied flame nearly scorching them with a simple kiss.
Dazed, Kagome clung to him, a smirking Inuyasha at her back beginning to loosen her clothing. “Sesshomaru?” her voice came out breathy and quiet.
“you need to prove your words, Koi,” he said as his fangs scraped against her mating mark, making a moan escape her lips.
“show us how well you really are, Kagome.” Inuyasha pressed against her, his arms wrapping around her as he continued his quest to strip her completely bare.
Kagome closed her eyes and allowed them to steal her thoughts away with heated caresses and the taste of their skin. There was no certainty in the coming battle, no way of knowing if they would ever return to this room together once they left it. The knowledge lingered with them, making their hunger desperate, each imprinting the feel of the other with the hope that memory was not all they would be left with.
Shikyomi soothed the blankets around the nearly comatose priestess, resisting the urge to touch her face to assure herself it was not a dream. It would not have been the first time she had seen Touga or Midoriko only to have them disappear with the morning sun. Even with that cruelty, she had been grateful for them, for they had reminded her of her love’s faces from her caramel colored eyes to his cocky smirk. It was so hard to believe, even with the proof of the woman sleeping in her bed, that some of what had been taken from her had found a way back.
It had been two days since Kagome had freed her from the torment of the sacred jewel. Shi would be forever grateful to her darling daughter, for the risk she took saving Midoriko, something none had ever thought possible. Had she been aware, lady death would have hit her knees before the young girl and begged her to do so, though she would never let another soul know such a sad thing, she thought to herself as she watched over her precious charge.
There was a faint stirring in the light blue aura that had slowly grew back to normal, the color always appearing around the priestess in the past, to yokai eyes anyway. Shi had remained close, hoping that it was a sign of awakening. They had very little time left, the preparations to go after Hisuhebi already underway.
There pack was meeting in the afternoon to make all final decisions and strategies. Knowing her son as she did, they would set out before long and not return until the snake was dead, or the last of them had fallen in the attempt. If such a thing were to happen, steps were being put into place so to protect the pups until they were old enough to carry the legacy. However, Shikyomi felt it in her bones, this would be an ending to it, one way or another.
A muffled groan pulled her out of her dark thoughts. She watched intently as those beautiful eyes opened. Midoriko reached out a hand and touched Shi’s cheek. “Is it a dream then?” she said softly as she rubbed the moisture between her fingers. The great lady death never cried in all the time they had known each other.
“you dream of my tears?” Shi asked, a half smile touching her lips.
“No, but I had wondered if I would ever be in your heart enough to see such a sight,” her voice was soft, but firm as she continued to trace the lone tear’s trail down her skin, “I am honored to be one of the few to be graced with your tears.”
“Aww, such a sweet blow to my pride.” She leaned down, pressing her forehead against Midoriko’s. “Welcome home, my love,” she told her before taking her lips in a tender kiss, the warmth stealing away the bittersweet sadness of so many years lost to them.
Sesshomaru looked over the adults in his pack, with the additions of Midoriko, Tsuyoi, Kei, and Hokoru. “We begin the hunt for the snake with the dawn. We will need to choose who it is that will stay and govern and who will be joining in the battle.” His eyes fell to his mother, where she sat beside her newly recovered mate to be. She would be the best choice in remaining behind. She had done so many times before and terrified those most likely to attempt attacking while he was gone from his home. He off handedly wondered if he could use Midoriko’s weakened state to keep her in the west.
“Dear one,” amber clashed with gold, “do not put this one in a position to which she has no choice but to defy you,” she said mildly. “It has been my life long duty to watch that worm burn in agony and spit on his ashes, my son. Do not try to deny me that pleasant sight.”
“I suppose I am supposed to sit here and wait for you to drag yourself back to me, hmm?” Midoriko asked, just as mildly. She raised the tea cup before her, looking down into the clouded depts as the room's attention focused on her. She had caught up to speed very quickly on the events that had happened while she had been trapped.
Shikyomi grinned, thrilled once more to hear that irritated tone. “No, my love, you may lay down in my bed and dream of me while this one is away. This one will join you as soon as she returns.”
The cup was set silently down, hot caramel colored eyes searing in her cutting gaze. “Is that so?”
“It is,” Shi replied, her smile widening, “you may challenge me on it when this one returns if you would like.”
A spark of humor wound its way through her annoyance, making it hard to remain angry with her. It did not help that she was being damn adorable, nearly seeming to wag her tail without moving at all, happily anticipating such an event. Smirking slightly, Midoriko reclaimed her cup. “Perhaps I shall,” taking a sip, she added, “if you return to me in any worse condition than this one sent you out in. In the meantime, would you please explain to me this habit you have of challenging your mates to be to me?” She twisted the cup in her hands, enjoying the scrutiny that Shi was now under.
“You challenged Touga?” Kagome asked, the thought having never accured to her. The tales of the previous western lord were legendary, his legacy vast. Even in her time there were still scrolls and stories passed down about the great inuyokai ruler, though they were akin to fairy tales.
It had even pulled her attention from Miroku and Sango for a moment. The two had entered separately and it seemed as if he was ignoring her, despite the glances she cast in his direction. She felt her friend was uneasy because, though it was quite normal for Sango to ignore him from time to time, he was not ever known to do the same. It worried both women, wondering how their future would play out.
Shi actually grimaced, sending the innocent looking priestess a pleading look, which was ignored completely. Wait in her bed, indeed. “I am surprised that you have not heard the story. It was Katsumi’s favorite, among several other misadventures our lady had in her youth. I am sure you would find them most int…”
Shikyomi’s lips sealed her own, stealing the remaining words away. “This one will return without the smallest scratch.” She told her, stroking her cheek.
“Back to the subject, though we do need to compare tales later,” Kei said standing, “Hokoru and I will stay and guard over these lands. We also have done so many times, if that pleases you, lord Sesshomaru.” She placed her hands on Hokoru’s shoulders, causing him to jump at the unexpected touch.
The western lord nodded to her, excepting her suggestion. “The rest of you, prepare for the hunt, this pack leaves at first light.
“So, you have found this place as well, monk,” Tsuyoi said, drawing him from his meditative state.
“Lady Tsuyoi.” Miroku bowed from his sitting position. The large grey stone had become his favorite quiet place. He had been so deep in thought that he had not even sensed her approaching him.
“You have leave to not use my title, Miroku.” She walked passed him, looking over the small water falls. This was the first time she had managed to come and check over this place. It had been hers long before the monk's birth and she wanted to make sure it had not been damaged in the recent battle. Tsuyoi was happy to see that it had not been harmed in any manner.
Contently, she joined him on the flat rock that easily accommodated her inu form when she chose to run on her few nights off duty. Closing her eyes, she lifted her face to the sun’s warmth and listened to the soothing sounds of gently falling water.
Oddly wary, he studied her relaxed form for a bit before shrugging. Some people got friendlier over time, he supposed. “As you wish, Tsuyoi.” He closed his eyes as well.
After a moment of peaceful serenity, he heard her voice again. “Are you not going to ask if I will bear your child?”
He startled, nearly falling back at her question. Miroku looked at her intently. She did not so much as glance in his direction, her face as calm as ever. After a moment, he relaxed again. “It has been a long while since I have asked that of anyone,” he replied easily.
“Really? Then you did not ask lady Shikyomi?” Tsuyoi asked, genuinely curious.
“No,” he chuckled at the thought, “but if I ever feel the need to be laughed at, I will give it a try.” Miroku grinned, “But then again, it is terrifying to think she might take me up on it. I cannot imagine my child having to bear the weight of being lord Sesshomaru’s sibling.”
“Inuyasha seems to handle it well.” She commented. There were not many she could have such a light hearted conversation with and she found it to be enjoyable.
“True,” Miroku said, his grin growing wider, “but Inuyasha tries to kill me every time I mention how well he is bearing Sesshomaru’s weight.”
Tsuyoi found herself smiling as well. “You are a brave one to tease his mate so.”
“Not really. We have been friends for many years and I also have a suspicion that Sesshomaru finds it amusing in his own way.”
“It is probably so. He has a surprising humor after you know him for a few decades.” She allowed the quiet to grow between them for a while before asking him something that had been on her mind. She was not a subtle person, so Tsuyoi just asked directly, “Why are you avoiding Sango?”
His smile faded as he winced. Miroku had not intended to leave it for more than a day, but he found that he had no idea what to say to Sango. He was even more uncertain as to what she would have to say to him. Thinking over her question, his honest answer slipped out. “I suppose I am not ready for battle just yet.” His lips curled up in a sad version of his earlier smile.
Rising, she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I do not think it will be the war you are expecting, but even so, this stalemate is not something you want in your heart when we head out tomorrow. Speak to her.” With that, she left him to his own thoughts, whatever they may be.