With New Eyes
Sesshomaru woke in a way he had never before. Not only did he sleep outside of the western palace or his mothers, he woke to the warmth of another in his arms. Kagome had turned in the night, curling into his chest as if they had always fit together. Inuyasha had also turned, his arm wound tightly around her waist and his head resting on her back. Sesshomaru slid his arm across his, effectively holding both of them, his instinct humming contently.
“It is a most wondrous thing, is it not, my son?” Lady Shikyomi asked from her place by the fire, enjoying the simple pleasure of cooking over open flames. She was very happy for her son, though she knew that there were still many, many trials before they learned to live together well. The worry that he might turn truly cold inside was easing somewhat. There was not a thing that could warm a soul like waking in the arms of your mate. She, herself had never had the experience as an alpha, but Touga had agreed there was nothing that matched it.
“hn” Sesshomaru opened his eyes and looked over to where she sat, serenely turning fish over the fire. It seemed a morning of firsts because he had never seen her do such a thing before. The mother he knew was coldly proud, turning down many suitors, she was confident in battle and very often wildly unpredictable, and she was loving at home when he allowed it. In the less than a day, his history had been rewritten and the woman who birthed him had become a stranger, or perhaps he had never truly looked at her, she had just always been there. “Do you miss it?”
Her amber eyes widened. She never expected such a question from him. He would have seen it as weakness. “Hn” she said with a touch of sadness. Then a wicked grin spread across her face. “I might have missed it less had you not gone and abused my new play toy last night.” She pouted prettily.
He suppressed the urge to growl. “Why the monk?” She was his mother and he would not tell her what she could and could not do. Sesshomaru just couldn’t see sense in her choice even if he was just a play thing for her. Besides, he was not sure if she would comply even if he were to give her an order, then he would be left having to punish his mother, something he did not want to do no matter how aggravating she got.
“You would prefer the slayer then?” she asked, amused. Technically, since she had acknowledged him the stronger, therefore leader of their house, he could order her if he pleased, but she knew he never would. “He makes me laugh, dear son. It is not an easy task for anyone.”
Sesshomaru closed his eyes and buried his face in Kagome's hair, not far from where Inuyasha’s head rested. As if sensing his irritation, she ran her hand down his chest in comfort, calming him. He held them tighter, ignoring it when Inuyasha tensed for a moment. Soon, his brother sighed and relaxed again, though he was not sleeping.
Kagome was so warm. For a moment she wondered if she were back in her bed in her mother’s home, but for a few differences. Her blankets had never wrapped around her, holding tightly, or her bed rise and fall gently as it breathed, nor played in her hair. Her eyes popped open, white fabric all that was visible. She was aware of Inuyasha awake behind her, his arm tightening when she began to move. She slowly looked up and met Sesshomaru’s golden eyes and she could have sworn something in her brain snapped. “Um, good morning.” Kagome said shyly. Unsure of what else to do, she sat up, their arms falling reluctantly away. She ran her fingers through her hair, trying in vain to straighten the wavy mass.
“Good morning, priestess.” Lady Shikyomi called from her place by the fire. “I trust you slept well?” she asked charmingly, playful light in her eyes.
“Yeah…” she looked away, red once more overtaking her cheeks. She bit her bottom lip, pulling it through her teeth before getting up. Would this awkwardness ever end? Even Inuyasha, who used to blush and grumpy in these situations seemed to be handling intimacy better than she was. She sighed again, rummaging through her bottomless bag, trying to find her hair brush.
Inuyasha sat up, one hand resting on his knee, watching with fascination as Kagome ran the brush through her hair. The motion made it appear as spun silk, the muted morning light bringing shade of gold to it in his enhanced sight. He had just spent the best night of his life, even though he did very little sleeping. Holding and being held by Kagome had been so incredible, he had no words to describe what the night had meant to him. Even when Sesshomaru had held them both together, he found he could not care, just enjoyed the moment granted to him. Thinking of him, he looked over to find his brother watching him. After a tense moment, he began to rise.
Sesshomaru had stayed where he was, half propped up with their pillows and blanket, now empty arm resting against his side. Inuyasha sat up, his eyes on the priestess. He wondered what was going through his mind. As if he had spoken, their eyes met and Inuyasha stilled for a moment, then looked away, starting to rise. Sesshomaru stopped him by taking his wrist. “Otouto, we must talk.”
“I know.” Inuyasha said quietly, forcing himself to relax instead of throwing him off. “In a while, alright.” He was careful not to make it sound like an order. Being a beta would be very trying for him, it was not in his nature to follow behind someone, least of all, the brother who had been cold all of his life. The alternative, however, would be unbearable.
“Hn” Sesshomaru agreed, releasing him. At least he wasn’t arguing about it. They had to establish pack order between them, it was part of an inuyokai’s instinct to fight for dominance so that they were only led by the strongest. His brother did not seem to want to fight with him for once and although he wondered at his reason for it, he was grateful. A grand bloody fight would make a bad start for all three of them. Life was a constant battle in one thing or another, he was actually hoping for a bit a peace in his home.
Sango came to Kagome who was sitting by the fire across from Shikyomi. She was staring absently into the playful red and golden yellows, her mind far away. “Are you alright?” she asked her.
“Hmm?” Kagome asked, looking up at her friend with dazed eyes. “Sorry, Sango, I think I shut down for a moment.” She smiled sheepishly.
“I can certainly understand why.” The slayer replied. “I have not yet decided whether I envy you or pity you.” The women laughed together, even lady Shi chuckling.
“Ah, the lovely sound of your joy could brighten any darkness.” Miroku said, charm oozing out of every word. “Might I join you ladies?” he asked, beginning to take the place next to Kagome. Inuyasha grabbed the back of his robe, efficiently moving him over and taking the spot himself. Some things, it seemed, never changed. The grinning monk took his place between Sango and Shi.
Kagome sat, enjoying the hum of the group as they ate and talked to one another. Soon, she knew, they would once again have to rush to their destination. Not wanting to think of that, she looked around, her gaze falling on Sesshomaru. He was sitting, his back against a large bolder. How apart from them he seemed, but it had always been that way. Even the few times they had met while he traveled with Rin and Jaken, he had seemed apart. The thought made her feel lonely. Unable to help herself, she walked over and sat by his side, feeling awkward, but determined. She looked up at him, her head tilted to the side. “Why didn’t you join us?”
“This one has no need to.” He told her, but his tone was not as cool as the words were. He looked her over as if he was trying to figure her out.
This was the look she had grown used to over their time together. It was as though he really did not understand her, but maybe he wanted to. “Just for the fun of it, maybe?” She asked him smiling because she already knew how he would react.
He did not disappoint, smirking slightly. Still, he was captivated by her smile and obvious need to include him. He gently reached out and tucked her hair behind her ear, his fingers lightly following her cheek bone. “You need not worry for this one.”
Still smiling, she looked back at those around the fire, her hands playing in the grass before them. “I cannot help but worry for those I care for.” Her gaze lingered on Inuyasha.
“Are you afraid?” he asked. He knew that she was entering into a whole new world with him and his brother who had already given her scars.
Her smile faded. Pulling a blade of grass from the ground, she twirled it around her finger and thought of an answer for him. “I am.” She admitted readily enough. “There have been many moments in this life that I have been scared, some with reason, some with out. Fear will never keep me from doing something that I know to be right. You may want to remember that in the future.”
“Planning on being disobedient already?” Sesshomaru knew she spoke the truth. The very first time they had met, she had shook with fear, yet still stood between him and what he had sought. She truly was a rare being.
“You’re talking about that alpha thing, aren’t you?” She asked a little concerned. “Are there specific punishments for disobeying?”
“Hn.” Sesshomaru turned more toward her, “There are, depending on status and what position you hold. Would you like to know the punishment for disobedient mates?” There was a definite heat in his stare.
Kagome felt her face warming, a dozen images flashing through her mind as her mini Miroku narrated each scene. “Um, I think I need to get packed up.” She said hurrying away to where her bag waited.
Lady Shikyomi had been observing them for the last little while and noted amusement in her son’s eyes as the priestess fled him. He was playing, she grinned to herself. She was so proud that he remembered how. Now, she need to get the two stubborn ones alone for that discussion they kept putting off. Their time was shorter than they thought, Hisuihebi would work fast to seek them out and destroy all they held dear. She hoped to give them what little joy she could in the short time of peace. A wicked idea formed in her head.
Sango and Kagome straightened up the camp, packing away blankets and supplies while lady Shi doused the fire. Stopping by the monk, she began to whisper in his ear. “Does that bother you?” Kagome asked, just in case. Her friend truly seemed fine with it.
Sango looked over to where they stood. “No, not at all. After all, I turned him down. He can bring heat and maybe even lasting love, but that is not what I have in mind for my life right now. Also, he wants children. I would rather not have them just for them to perish or grow to see me die.” Old sorrow clung to her. she had lost the last of her family, her brother Kohoku nearly a year before when Naraku had taken his jewel shard, then left him in a field for them to find. They did not get there soon enough for even Kagome to heal him, though she still tried, nearly to the point of exhaustion. She was able to give them enough time to say good bye, for which Sango would be forever grateful. “Besides, it’s kind of fun, watching her twist him up like that.” She forced a smile.
Kagome saw through it, but let the moment pass. Everyone dealt with grief in their own way. Shoving the last of their supplies in her bulging back pack, she stood and stretched. Sango walked over to where the two spoke, curiosity winning out. Inuyasha took her place. “What did he say to you to make you blush like that?” He asked, not upset, just interested.
She flamed anew. “Um, he was just explaining some of the inuyokai’s customs to me.”
“Kagome,” Inuyasha placed a hand on her arm. “Are you sure you’re ok? I mean with everything.” He looked away, the shame of the hurt he caused her still fresh in his mind.
“I will be.” She told
him, “I trust the two of you, as odd as that may seem. Even when you had set out to hurt me, neither
of you has ever lied to me. I take
comfort in that and have faith that this will turn out well in the end. I want to learn more about you, see the both
of you with new eyes, so to speak”
“Good!” Came the excited voice of the western lady, “Because it is time to leave now.” As before she pulled Kagome to her. She just had barely enough time to wave to Sango before she was once again whisked away by her future mother in law.Sesshomaru saw Inuyasha shake his head at their abrupt exit. Indeed, his mother had suddenly seemed in a hurry. “We should follow.” He said, coming to stand behind him. Looking over at Sango and Miroku, they were already preparing to leave, loading some things on the neko’s back. They nodded to him, understanding that they would follow as they had they day before. Wrapping his arms around him, Sesshomaru swept Inuyasha away before he even had time to brace himself. They would be at his mother’s home in less than a day. Then, the reality of their situation would be far more evident.