Daughter of the East, Lady of the West

Chapter 7

Sesshomaru worked with Nikki daily, he would go to her room and visit with her. Slowly he’d get her to open up; he wouldn’t ask her questions of what had happened for concern of her mental status. It took him a week to get her to go into the garden. After a few days of her being comfortable out there, he worked with her into common areas like the dining hall.

“Kitten, it’s good to see you out and about today,” Higashi said gruffly as he sat in his chair, he was extremely tense as he watched her. She was obviously alert as she eyed them all warily.

“Yes,” she replied with a whisper, “Lord Sesshomaru convinced me to visit everyone today.” Her movements and words were almost robotic. Sesshomaru wanted to sigh in frustration with her, he understood but he still couldn’t get why she was shutting them all out all the time.

“I’m happy he did so,” Higashi said with a nod. “It’s been about a month since our return; I’ve imprisoned those who’ve harmed you.”

“It does feel like forever since you rescued me,” Nikki said with a nod. None could disagree; it felt like an eternity for all of them. Higashi looked at her with uncertainty of what he wanted to ask her next. “You want me to face them.”

“Not if you’re not ready,” Her father replied as she nodded. “I know it was hard to come here and see us today, I don’t want to reverse all of Sesshomaru’s hard work.”

“Hard work?” she asked surprise as Sesshomaru wanted to roll his eyes.

“I’m sure he had to convince you a great deal to leave your room,” her father said bemused as she looked at Sesshomaru cautiously. “At least, I hope he didn’t do anything too brash.”

“I did nothing that was not needed,” Sesshomaru replied as Nikki shook her head.

“He didn’t threaten me, if that was your concern,” Nikki said in agreement. Higashi shot Sesshomaru a look but otherwise nodded as he listened. “How…how many…do you have in…in custody?”

“I have the dungeon crammed,” Higashi answered as Nikki nodded and seemed to be thinking.

“You have too many,” she whispered as he looked at her surprised. “All you need are…m…moth…mother, Aki…Akihiko, Genji, It…Itsuo, Fusao, and Kurou…” Higashi looked at her surprised as he looked to Seiji.

“Order the rest removed,” Higashi ordered as Seiji hesitantly nodded and got up. Nikki watched as they got to work taking care of things as she shook a little and Sesshomaru gently rubbed her back. She was partially surprised he was being so good to her, but she still had to receive her surprise as well.

“Is that everything?” Nikki asked uncertainly.

“Yes,” Higashi answered as Nikki nodded. He turned to the others as he thought. “Your mother and the guardsmen involved will have to go on trial. Due to the nature of the crimes and people involved, it can’t be a regular one though. Their judges will have to be the lords of the other kingdoms.”

“We’ll have the maids prepare and alert them to the need of assistance,” Jiro said nodding as he got up to get everything ready. Higashi watched as Rinji remained seated and looking at Nikki.

“I’ll get the troops ready,” Ryo said as he got up with Shinta and the two headed out.

“Sesshomaru cannot participate,” Nikki said softly as her father nodded in agreement.

“No, he can’t, he’s rather biased,” Higashi acknowledged in agreement, “I’m sure Nishi will bring Inuyasha for his place.” Sesshomaru nodded as Nikki looked at him worriedly. “Rinji, why don’t you take Nikki outside to see how Ryo and Shinta are doing with the troops?” Higashi suggested. Nikki looked at Sesshomaru as he nodded in agreement before getting up and walking with Rinji.

“We can stay within the doorway if you’re uncomfortable going all the way outside,” Rinji offered as they left. Sesshomaru wanted to roll his eyes as he listened but turned his attention to Higashi as the older youkai seemed to sigh heavily and show his age.

“They will die for their crimes,” Sesshomaru informed him as Higashi shot him a look and nodded.

“Yes, I know,” Higashi said after a bit, “and they deserve their deaths. They deserve to be destroyed for what they did to my daughter, even Mai.” Sesshomaru watched as he sighed and rubbed the back of his head as he thought. “I had always worried about Nikki being alone with her mother like she was; I couldn’t help leaving them here because I wanted to help you, your brother, and father return home. But I had never imagined that Mai was capable of this.”

“She was obviously out of control,” Sesshomaru said as Higashi sighed and thought about it.

“I just wish I knew why she lost her mind as she had,” Higashi said as he thought about it. “When the kittens were each born, she was so proud and happy. But once Nikki was around fifty, she started to change and while it was kept under control, over the years it did get worse.” Sesshomaru listened as Higashi sighed and shook his head. “I will alert the taiji-ya that they will be the ones to take care of the youkai.”

“Nikki will take more time, but she will get beyond this,” Sesshomaru said as he thought about it. “There is something, once things have calmed down, we should discuss.” Higashi smirked a little at him and nodded.

“I already know,” Higashi said as Sesshomaru just remained passive, “you wish to mate her. Why else would you have stayed with her like you have?” Sesshomaru nodded in agreement as he listened. “I can neither say yes nor no.”

“You’re leaving it Nikki’s choice?” Sesshomaru asked surprised.

“No, I don’t think she’d be able to make a rational decision right now,” Higashi said shaking his head. “I’ll discuss it with the boys; we’ll bring it up to her and assist her on making the decision. I want to make sure she makes her decision as best she can, I don’t want her to regret anything.”

“Understandable,” Sesshomaru said nodding his head. He stood up and headed out of the room to find Nikki and make sure she was alright. Higashi sighed and watched, shaking his head as he tried to rationalize what had happened in his own mind once more.

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