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By shadowmaven



The sea throws high and dry a heap of broken images…

He knows that this life is not what his life used to be.

Driftwood and sea glass, tattered scarves and weeds. The stranded refuse of the verging sea that Kohaku fingers dully, piece by shattered piece. These are the gifts she brings and scatters unknowingly. These are what slumber beneath the moon's ceaseless tug: the ebb and flow of their lives.

Day and night come and go, but he has forgone sleep; he has forgotten dreaming.

When Naraku retreats into his quarters, darkness lengthening and folding behind him like black wings, Kohaku drifts on night's soundless, billowing waves. Each breaker deposits discomfiting images and strange faces on the shores of his soul, but when she comes to him, these things build in him and dully roar, like the sea inside a pearly shell.

He never hears her footsteps, just the slightest breeze stirring his tangled hair. He knows this is their time, if time is something two such as they can possess, yet the touch of her cool hands always startles him. Their soft, soft fingertips steal in such deliberate silken slides down his chest. When her lips graze his cheek, her warm breath tasting like forbidden spice in his hungry mouth, he knows what it means to be lost…

Every time she comes, he leaves...

Something strange comes upon him in that moment; something he knows is his, but still is extracted, drawn from him, as a winter's day draws out the body's heat. Taken into her, it becomes something else again… Lifting, pulling, slipping, pushing… Plumbing depths he can never reach. She works her dark magic upon him until the moon and stars are whirlpools in his fevered head. His heart flails inside its cage and Kagura murmurs her wordless lullaby, a song that is never about sleep.

Sleep is for the living.

Always, it is over too soon: her song, the dizzying spell she casts. When he tries to question, to plead, to probe, Kagura closes her robes and silences him with a nervous kiss and, 'Shhh! Don't awaken him!'

Every time he comes, she leaves…

She leaves, but other rooms, other voices, inhabit his shuttered cell. Sounds and images rise like river mist: the gravelly bass of a man he cannot place and then, an equally unreachable feminine trill… There, in the vapors, are the hands that ruffled his hair, that cupped his cheek; there are the arms that embraced him without such panting, crushing need. A tall girl with hair like polished ebony beckons to him, 'Leave this! Follow me!'

As long as Kagura lives he cannot leave.

All these things he knows but does not yet know how to know them deeply, only this: he will never refuse her. For every time Kagura takes him into her, the ocean inside him rises and roars and the undertow deposits him closer to familiar shores.

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