Day Two: Green - Apart
Sesshoumaru had never been dependent on anyone.
Not his father. Not even his mother, because once he’d grown enough to walk and talk on his own he knew he cared little for being nitpicked and watched. He valued his freedom, and he valued having nothing of value. With nothing to hold him back and no one to made demands of him, he could do as he pleased.
Of course, things didn’t always go as he’d planned. The last few years he’d gained quite a few things―and even he would reluctantly admit―that he cared for. Not the last of which being the young human girl that tramped along beside him, babbling about something that had happened to her yesterday involving some other young girl in the village. He hadn’t been listening to the start of her story, too busy looking―
“She ain’t here.”
He stopped. Rin almost kept walking, but she backed up so that she was even with him again.
“I don’t know what you mean,” he said, turning to where Inuyasha was watching him. His brother had a stack of logs strewn over one shoulder and a scowl on his face to match his course language.
“Then stop sniffin’ around like you’re lost.”
Even if he’d had a rebuttal to that―one that wasn’t poisoned claws to the gut―he just watched Inuyasha walk away.
“Were you looking for Kagura-sama?”
Rin was staring up at him expectantly, but Jaken squawked out a denial before he himself could. She followed along beside him when he started walking again, laughing softly, but he didn’t ask what she thought was funny because he was stuck on his brother’s point.
He was not looking for Kagura. He’d merely expected her to be there, because she always was. So he wasn’t looking for her. He was simply unnerved by the lack of her.
He’d gotten used to her jabs, the insults that had gotten less and less potent as the months had passed. He’d even gotten used to the threats, which had grown bolder the more comfortable she’d grown around him, unfulfilled as they were, he found himself anticipating the day when she attempted to make good on them. And he’d grown very, very used to the warmth of her thighs wrapped around his hips―
He caught Inuyasha’s eyes flicking back to stare at him, as if he knew his thoughts, but Sesshoumaru didn’t know the meaning of shame, and refused to look guilty. His brother rolled his eyes and kept walking.
Rin was happy enough to host him on her own for the day, doing what she’d done for years before Kagura had returned and become a part of their routine: she paraded him through the streets, taking long detours to ensure that all the village people caught a glimpse of her youkai guardian―not that he minded, but he was aware that her flaunting of him had grown to new extremes in recent years―she brought him to see Kohaku, who was working with his sister to make tools from whatever youkai they’d recently slain; she walked him past Kaede and the miko who were laying out herbs to dry; called out to the fox kit who was practicing his juvenile tricks on some passing merchant; and she even tried to steer him in the direction of some of the children her own age, but they had run off to hide before Rin had even gotten within shouting distance, too scared of the youkai that she roped along behind her.
It wasn’t an uneventful day, they returned to the old woman’s hut for Rin to eat her dinner and offer him tea as a good host should, she regalled him with tales of her lessons from the slayer and her exploits with the fox kit until the sun had set and she was nearly falling asleep against his knee, yawning widely as she affirmed that she wasn’t tired.
As content as he was, he knew he could not stay, so he told her he would return soon and bade her a good night, despite her objections.
He wandered through the village as the humans readied themselves for bed, some finishing up their dinner and others still sitting out with friends, bottles in their hands as they laughed and joked.
An idyllic scene, and yet he felt uneasy―
She should have been back by now.
He told himself that it was of no concern, Kagura could care for herself, and yet her absence as the night cooled had begun to gnaw at him. It had become a routine, that was all, that she would be there, a smile on her face and a barb on her tongue when he arrived.
But she hadn’t been, and Sesshoumaru felt oddly bereft.
He felt no remorse at leaving Jaken behind when he took to the sky, searching out her scent and hastening his flight when he caught it...
He found her lounging on a hill, several miles from the village, surrounded by fireflies. Their light painting her with flashes of soft golden light, it illuminated the deep forest green of her kosode―he’d given her that one, he remembered as he landed.
His boots crunched in the grass as he landed none too gracefully, loud enough to alert her to his presence, though she seemed less than surprised. She pulled herself up into a seat languidly, as if she had no care in the world what sort of creature had just come upon her. That should have bothered him, but when she turned her head and met his stare with her own he didn’t care at all.
“Well, ain’t this a surprise,” she called, a grin spreading across her cheeks. “Come for a visit?”
It should have bothered him more that this felt like coming home.
She stood up at his approach, that smile still plastered to her cheeks, illuminated by the sudden flash of a firefly―
“You weren’t in the village.”
Kagura chuckled and stood her ground when he didn’t slow. “You didn’t miss me, did you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he muttered as he reached out for her, pulling her in close and pressing his nose into her hair.
Kagura tucked herself into the space beneath his chin, wormed herself against his chest. Her voice tickled his throat when she spoke. “Maybe one day maybe I’ll convince you to take me with you when you go.”
He inhaled her scent, he knew that he would let her.
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