In Sickness [Yandere Sesshoumaru x Reader]
Title: In Sickness [Yandere Sesshoumaru x Reader]
Synopsis: You were not often alone with the demon lord who took you captive. Then again, you were not often touched by the demon lord who took you captive, either.
Word Count: 2029
notes: yandere, kidnapped reader, mentions of illness
You were not often alone with the demon lord who took you captive.
Then again, you were not often touched by the demon lord who took you captive. Yet here he was, bent over you, hands wringing out a rag he’d just dipped in a pail of river water. You barely register his fingers glancing against your skin, the slight sharpness of his nail edges, as he lays the damp rag on your forehead.
You can’t help it. At the touch of the damp rag, you sigh, soft and pleased. The coolness is blissful, a brief respite from the fever that has been wearing you down for days.
“You are a nuisance,” he mumbles, grimacing at droplets of river water that dribbled their way onto the elevated mat he’d set you on. To keep you away from the cold ground, you supposed, but you hadn’t the ability to care about his unusual generosity.
Once it had become clear that your illness was no minor trifle, he’d sent Rin away with Jaken as unwilling, grumpy but admittedly loyal protector. Where they were, you didn’t know and truthfully, you didn’t have the strength to care. It was hard enough to muster up the energy to care about your own self, drenched with sweat yet wracked with bouts of shivers that alternated with fevers that made your dreams terribly real.
It had started small. A tickle in your throat, a bit of weariness. You were tired, more so than usual, more so than you expected. But it wasn’t until the fever came and refused to leave, until your legs became red and swollen and could no longer carry you, until you started to become delirious, that Sesshoumaru had taken direct action. Jaken and Rin were gone, and you were taken somewhere. A cave? It was a shelter, at least, something more permanent than the campfires and group sleeps you were used to in recent months.
And Sesshoumaru had tended to you, quietly, without much in the way of conversation. You slept most of the time, half-awakening to hear him grinding medicine and waiting until it was placed on your swollen legs, or in your mouth mixed with hot water, to fall back into a listless sleep. You wonder how long you will be able to recall the feeling of his hands on you, the unusual way he sometimes bent over you and stared, checking your breathing, feeling your forehead.
It was intimate and uncomfortable, but you couldn’t be bothered to fight it.
You were just so sick. You were just so tired.
Yet you weren’t exactly a stranger to fatigue, to stress, particularly since the day you’d been forced to go with the demon. Stress dragged you down, often making you wish you could sleep for days, a luxury that was not afforded due to the frequently traveling nature of your captor.
That day that came back to you so often in your dreams, and was now a memory that ebbed and flowed with your fevers.
Did you talk about that day, in your feverish ramblings? Sesshoumaru acknowledged what you said sometimes only with passive noises, either uncaring or not wanting to encourage your incoherent words, intent on making you better and resuming the original course.
You really were a nuisance. So why did he keep you? You’d never asked him this out of fear. You’d certainly never questioned his decision to keep you alive, much less questioned why he wanted you in the first place. Why he agreed to the wild offering thrown before him.
Your village elders had begged the passing demon lord Sesshoumaru to lay waste to a band of lesser demons that plagued the village for years. Men, women, children, even animals--taken and slaughtered in unspeakable ways. Sometimes even killed in their homes, partially eaten. It was not unusual to wake in the morning to piercing cries from mothers finding their children mangled in their beds, or hear husbands wail in agony at the loss of much-beloved wives on the way home from fetching water.
You remember the day so clearly. Like the rest of the people in the village, you were watching from your home, peering out the door like a child, as the elders got down on their knees and begged for assistance from a demon who’d passed along the outskirts of the village.
You remember the shock of his long white hair, his luxurious clothing, his imposing presence that seemed strong enough to make you shake even from behind the safety of the doorway.
He didn’t even bother saying no. He’d simply glared at them as if they were dirt and began to walk away. Then one of the elders pivoted on his knees, spitting out words that would turn out to seal your fate: “We will give you one of our women as an offering! Please, o great lord!”
Still, he did not stop, and the elder let out a shaky cry. Then the elder stood on wobbling knees and looked wildly around the village until his eyes landed on your half-open door, your face barely peeking out of it. He was a man who’d witnessed your birth, a man who’d once given you a special treat for free when you tripped and skin your knee as a child, a man who had serious conversations with you in recent weeks about finding a husband as surely someone so dutiful and kind did not wish to remain with her parents forever.
He was also a man who’d run to your home, quick as you’d ever seen him, and yanked you out of the doorway until you fumbled and fell over on the ground. His hands were sweaty with fear yet they clamped around your wrist like a weight.
“This one will make an excellent servant! She can cook and clean and embroider! Or you may have her--or, or kill her! Whatever you wish! Please, please,” he’d begged again, bowing low while keeping an iron grip on your wrist.
You remember the sound of wind in your ears. You remember the feeling of pain in your knees, in your elbow, where you’d fallen hard. You remember the soft scratch of the door opening, the way your neck twisted around to see your parents and brother hiding behind one another, simply watching you. You remember the look on their faces, confused and scared yet saying nothing. Why didn’t they pull you back in?
And then you remember the sound of footsteps approaching. It was the demon. You looked up and he loomed over you, staring impassively at your form. He didn’t bother glancing at the elder, who was now trembling as much as you.
“Very well,” he said quietly, yet with a tone that was unmistakably firm. “She is mine. In exchange, I will kill some vermin for you.”
A sound rushed through the villagers from behind their doors. Sometimes when the wind blows just right, you’re reminded of it. It was a murmur, a gasp, a collective sound that was relief and sadness all at once. They would be saved from the demons at the expense of one of their own. A sacrifice.
You remember pulling on your arm, crying out something. Did you cry for your mother or your father? You can’t remember now. It didn’t matter. They had already shut the door, and the sound of your sister crying from behind it was the only noise that came through.
Someone tied a rope around your wrists. You kicked, and the rope was jerked until you were standing on numb legs. You had no choice but to walk, to be dragged, as the demon held onto the other end and simply left the village without another word. You cried, you begged, you feverishly cried out to the people watching from behind the doors, to the elders who clutched their hands but watched you leave all the same.
He took you. But he didn’t kill you, or have you, or even make you a tireless servant to his demonic whims. He simply expected you to pull your weight, or at least, that’s what the green imp--Jaken, you’d learned--told you was the expectation. So you helped to cook, you helped to mend clothes, you minded Rin. Nothing more or less than the others were expected to do.
You were kept bound when not doing your chores for a few weeks. When he’d taken the rope off, you’d waited for the moment and run--not that you got far or got anything than a few more weeks with the rope for your troubles.
You hadn’t tried to run for a while. It did no good. And the areas you’d traveled through were sometimes riddled with demons or wild animals that would surely kill someone such as yourself with little effort, should you try to make it on your own.
With Sesshoumaru, you were fed. You got enough rest. You were protected. Not that you didn’t wish every day to return home, to sit with your family for meals, to chase your sister around and tease her to get her to laugh when she felt blue. Not that you didn’t hate being sometimes treated like a pest, like a dog, when it wasn’t your choice to be here in the first place. But at least you were still alive, still able to hope you would see your family again some day.
A sigh from lips that weren’t your own draws you out of your memories, sweeping away the memory of that day and every day of captivity since like dirt being beaten out o f fabric.
You open your eyes, grateful for the soft light in the cave, and see Sesshoumaru sitting across from you, his back up against the stone wall. Your head feels clearer, less foggy, less hot, thanks to the rag and you decide to sit up a bit. Laying down all the time makes you feel dizzy. He watches with no change in expression as you wiggle yourself into a higher position, wiggling yourself back on the mat until you’re resting against the wonderfully cool stone.
You stare at each other for a few moments. The sound of the fire he’d set up further in the cave is low, crackling. You try to imagine him gathering wood, crouching low to do the mundane work that you and Rin and Jaken often did, and it seems ridiculous.
You try to imagine these things in order to avoid asking a question that has been on your mind since the moment the ropes had chafed your wrists, the moment you’d been forced to stumble after him.
But you can’t avoid it forever, and finally, you speak.
“Why did you take me?”
You would never dare to ask this question if the others were here, if Sesshoumaru hadn’t been tending to you, intimate and up close, for days. But the fever and the strangeness of the situation has made you feel clearheaded in a bold, perhaps too much so, way.
He simply stares at you for a few moments, and you think that he will choose to ignore you until his gaze shifts almost imperceptibly to the side.
“You were offered to me.”
It is your turn to offer a passive noise. The answer he gives is is nothing. At least nothing that makes sense to you, makes sense of your situation.
“Why didn’t you kill me, then?” Surely there was a reason, since he didn’t make you a hapless servant, either. “I was supposed to be a sacrifice.” Or you were meant to be. Instead he’s made you something altogether in-between. You weren’t worked to the bone or treated terribly, but you couldn’t leave. You weren’t killed, but you weren’t any more useful than his willing companions, either.
You don’t get the answer you wanted. Or any answer at all. Instead, he merely scoffs, and stands up to leave the cave. He pauses at the entrance, waiting until you turn towards him to speak.
“I will not take long.” He gestures towards the mat with one hand. “Go to sleep. And refrain from asking such stupid questions when you wake up.”