Actions

Work Header

Five Hundred Years Of Waiting

Chapter Text

"I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes." ~ Jane Eyre

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Kikyo knew she was going to die at a very young age.

How could anyone continue to live with such foresight?

Well...

She just did it as if it were an extension of her training. Kikyo lived her life effortlessly until the very end. It was the hardest secret to keep and the most difficult kind of meal to eat alone because she had no one to share it with. She knew no one with a heart nor stomach strong enough to endure the rumination of her plight.

"Lady Kikyo, why don't you ever smile?" Asuka asks her—which is an unexpected question from a shikigami. Kikyo inwardly scolds herself for thinking so cruelly. Of course, it's only natural when you spend an endless amount of time with anyone to ask inappropriate questions. Kocho looks up at her starry-eyed, she too waiting to be freed of her burdensome curiosity.

"Because..." Kikyo tucks a strand of hair behind an ear, thinks deeply for a reason. Searching and searching the dark caves of her memory, but settles with, albeit rather dryly,"There is absolutely nothing to smile about."

Misfortune remains the only persistent lover in Kikyo's life (her many lives). Sorrow lowers her lids and disdain dries her tongue.

Her servants are well mannered enough to conceal their disappointment. Kocho and Asuka look at each other, straight lipped, and nod.

Thunder crackles the gray sky. They wait for the downpour of rain for some time but it refuses to come. Like tree frogs, they squat under the shadeless leaves. Taking heed of the coming storm's bluff. The wind combs through the western lands, hurrying the thick clouds north.

Within the fierce current of air, Kikyo catches a sudden spike of energy. The grass in the west is tall but it isn't tall enough to hide prey. A demon had licked up her distinct stench. She could sense them, at a surprisingly eased pace nearing her.

Unfortunately, a child who can prophesy their own death is no servant to fear. Asuka and Kocho sense the aura too but they only show mild contempt. As if it were a floating displeasurable smell.

The demon stops ten feet away shouldering an aura stronger than the space that held them together. To a weak person, his presence has the potential to scramble the mind. For a long while, no one feels the need to speak, but the silence is pregnant with curiosity.

His footsteps close the gap. Their spiritual strengths meet to form a transparent wall. He lifts his hand, pinching a strand of hair from his face. Kikyo has only ever laid eyes on Sesshomaru once, but she knows him through the untainted mass of his power. It seeps from his skin like sweat.

She wonders if he remembers her.

"Does the smell of my corpse entice you?" Kikyo simply asks of him.

Sesshomaru flares his nostrils and narrows his eyes creature-like.

"I've smelled better deaths. However, none this pitiful." He speaks from the tomb of his chest.

"Pity? If you came all this way to belittle me, then you wasted a journey. Your pity will not inspire nor caution me." Kikyo says with a semblance of what all beautiful women should have. Confidence in tomorrow, her past, and the sun setting in the west.

And she knows Sesshomaru through a collection of shared memories. Kikyo's second curse is the burden of remembering the minute details of her experiences. She has hoped that she could get by without the past nipping at her ankles but the moon lulls beneath Sesshomaru's bangs causing her to feel a thousand heartbreaks simultaneously. It is childish to wish for an escape. The similar glitter in his eyes reminds her that. Kikyo catches herself, gathering her thoughts so that the evil wind could not break and scatter them.

"Well?" She urges him.

Sesshomaru's expression matches hers. He takes a deep breath, keeping his lips slightly parted. Kikyo counts to ten between his silence. Then eleven becomes twelve and thirteen...

"Your assistance." He finally speaks.

"Pray tell?"

The way he experiences walking through a field of flowers, death lingers around Kikyo like a residual haunting. So much so, Sesshomaru is sure that the form her spiritual energy takes is not fashioned around her as a shield but it is the shape of an otherworldly being seeking miserable company.

"A sick child." He reaches deep into his gut, breaking some ribs along the way with the cruelty of his pride.

"A sick child for you to eat?"

But out of all the many sensible human women it could have been...Sesshomaru feels cheated and disgusted. Death preserved with the sprinkled remains of sweet depravity. He doesn't take kindly to the broken shards of her words nor how boldly she presents herself. Imagining the many ways he could break off her limbs with the hunger of a starving artist, Sesshomaru curls his fingers into a fist.

No. He can't spread her body parts throughout the West. Rin is sick.

"Human children are a poor man's delicacy...Not of my ilk."

Rin grew on him like vines of ivy. It didn't matter how many times he cut and ripped at her potential, she would only inspire more beautiful metaphors for him to fix onto her.

"I would not have guessed..." Kikyo licks her dry lips and Sesshomaru cringes. His skin crawls with a hotness that could rival the sun. She is antagonizing him as if she knows his secret. And like a mad man, he internally accuses her of reading his mind and stealing his fears for her to devour. He sees himself wrapping his hand around her neck and squeezing until all the flies and vermin flutter from her mouth.

"I don't mind." She spits at the climax of his imagination. All the flies and putrid death fell from her lips and he released her lifeless body back into his daydreams.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

...

"You're full of terrible ideas, Kikyo."

She had reserved a special vanity for Inuyasha that liked the way he balanced her name against his teeth, at the middle of his tongue. It always made her skin feel pretty.

"Kikyo..." Inuyasha bellowed down into the shadows of the well as she scaled the cool walls with her boney fingers, brushing against the odd flowers that coursed like veins up the walls of dirt. Pure white petals that didn't resemble anything familiar.

"I'm not coming down to get you." He protested once more. Kikyo pursed her lips to reprimand him, but a ghost crawled over her. Slipping down her shoulders as she brought her nose to the heart of a flower. A supernal tingle as she inhaled. A swarm of butterflies erupting in her stomach as she exhaled.

Inuyasha said her name for the tenth time and she sneezed.

...

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Time and place sometimes work together in harmony. It felt right that day. Inuyasha helped her forget that she was born with an evil perceptiveness. The desperation of his voice had sewn together their bad luck. Hands, feet, torso, and a broken neck. They were very doomed and she allowed him to 'make' her forget.

It was the last time she had seen flowers like that and it was also the last time she recalls fully being enraptured with Inuyasha.

Staring up into the trees and sky, Inuyasha's eyes reflected the sunlight that spilled over him and into the well. The light barely touched her forehead. The damp confines of the well cooled her body, neck down.

Sesshomaru is similar to Inuyasha but simultaneously opposite. His voice doesn't echo the same way and his eyes are harder to look into. She imagines he is waiting to catch her in a lie.

He looms over Kikyo like an oppressive ghost as she smoothens Rin's sweaty curls of hair. His expression is the beginning of a story with no discernable ending. Rin's complexion can be compared to a clouded sunset. The unsteady rise and fall of her chest like a spring chill cutting through valley. Kikyo encloses Rin's tiny fingers inside of her hands. She has a slight fever, not once twitching in her sleep. She only shivers when her warm skin rivals Kikyo's icy touch.

"She just needs rest. Children aren't made for the abuse of the weather." Kikyo states bluntly. Sesshomaru holds his breath before releasing a short 'hm'.

"The seasons are changing. That's why she's sick. Dragging her around like a pet animal hasn't done her any favors." Kikyo looks at him over her shoulders. She tugs at the pitiful rag of a blanket wrapped around Rin's body. The rag isn't long enough to reach her knees. Kikyo scoffs.

"What a nuisance!" Jaken rasps. A-un sniffs at Kikyo's hair and Jaken swats at him with his staff. The little green man mutters something about 'catching fleas'.

"She's not a pet." Sesshomaru manages not to growl.

"Then what is she to you, Lord Sesshomaru?"

A-un sneezes against Kikyo's cheek. Snotty strands of hair stick to her face.

"That is none of your business, woman." Sesshomaru offers her no gratitude.

She stands up shakily. Wiping away the snot and dragon spit with her sleeve. She isn't the least bit thrown off by the stickiness of her face. The cold timbre of his voice throws her off balance. Sesshomaru towers over her like a massif but she dims the sympathy in her eyes. Stands straight like she too could sprout two heads taller to oppose him. Lightening slithers across the sky. A ground shaking thunder gallops behind it.

Sesshomaru is mildly surprised by her sudden shift in posture. He acknowledges that she is challenging him again. The right corner of his mouth twitches.

For Rin. If he cuts her down to cold chunks of meat, Rin won't get any better. Mortal women have consistently been the biggest threats to his legacy.

"Whatever she is to you, I couldn't care less, but if you wish for a swift recovery, I need specific herbs." It seems that favors are all Kikyo has ever done for people. She is starting to resent people and regret her ability of feeling remorse just to spite herself. Remorse got her killed. Remorse broke her heart and she wished it's affair with her misfortune would end.

Sesshomaru waits for her to say more. A-un makes a beastly noise of complaint at his master.

"If she dies, Mi'lord, think of it as an emancipation!" Jaken clicks his tongue.

"Come with me." Kikyo demands of Sesshomaru, though she chokes a little. Demons truly repulsed her. She cuts past Sesshomaru with a vicious flip of her hair.

Sesshomaru licks his fangs. The man in him is wildly incensed and begins to cruelly insult her but he swallows the daggers back down his throat. He hesitates and looks down at a pitiful Rin. Dirt is smeared down the bridge of her nose. Sesshomaru likes to think that all of his decisions are tactful. Yielding to Inuyasha's failed conquest is humiliating—beneath him like all the graves of his victims.

But he sincerely does not want Rin to suffer. For the first time, ever in his life—at least that he can remember, Sesshomaru can't find another solution to his dilemma. Cursing himself into a bottomless pit, he turns to follow Kikyo who had begun her search without him.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Sesshomaru watches Kikyo scramble through the foliage attentively. She does not mention what exactly she searches for and he is too haughty to ask. They roam for a very long time. If the sun were out, he figures it won't be long before sunset. The bright gray fades to the sooty color of smoke. The tip of his nose catches a single raindrop before it starts to lightly mist.

"I find it quite hilarious, Sesshomaru…" Kikyo's voice warbles as she climbs down into a depression of brambles. He doesn't follow her into the mud. Sesshomaru stands at the top of soil, beaming down at her as she kneels into a patch of wet leafage.

He wonders what she finds so amusing about crawling around in the soggy dirt.

"I know your own lands better than you." Kikyo digs into the soil, harvesting ginger root. She holds up the plant victoriously in his direction. The warm breeze cuts around her figure, washing loose strands of wet hair across her face. For a very brief moment, he captures her in the right light, discovers the allure that had imprisoned his brother. Her cold aloofness makes her pretty. Kikyo isn't the prettiest woman he's ever set his eyes upon. At best, she is three steps above mediocre. Kikyo has lines under her eyes like an old woman who has lived for too long. Her young woman features are merely a symptom of never having the privilege to rot like an authentic mortal.

"Is that so?" His voice croaks as he laps up the strange mix of her scent and the rain.

"Clearly." She stands on her feet. Mud soaks into the fabric of her hakama. "Are you aware of the healing capabilities of ginger?"

Sesshomaru doesn't answer. Kikyo doesn't need him to.

"That's what I thought. Had you known, you wouldn't have needed me nor anyone really. Your quality nose would've led you here."

"You're patronizing me." He inhales sharply.

"I don't believe I am. I'm just curious—why me when you could've found any old village woman to help you?" She makes a sound like laughter, but she doesn't smile.

Sesshomaru thinks about how he wants to answer her. There is a reason. Sesshomaru doesn't make uncalculated moves. The misty rain collects like morning dew on his lashes.

"If you were an old village hag, would you help me?" He asks.

"Absolutely not. I only bothered this time because a human child is involved."

"Exactly." It had been coincidence that they happened to be within close proximity of each other. He did not gamble on the intense aura belonging specifically Kikyo. Sesshomaru just knew that her energy was potent and uncorrupted, so he acted upon instinct.

"Can I be completely transparent with you?" Kikyo begins to climb from the trench, but she slides in the mud. Sesshomaru continues to watch her struggle like a drowning beetle.

"I thought I was going to have to kill you." She gazes up at him with an expressionless face. Her eyes two dark holes in her head. There is no hint of malice in her voice. It is stated very plainly. A simple exchange of information.

Sesshomaru grabs her by the wrist with quick precision, yanking her up from the hole but his force also causes her to collapse brutally against the wet surface.

"It doesn't hurt to think highly of yourself. It's only damaging when stupid people act on their ambitions. Snakes are ambitious but sometimes they do swallow things they cannot easily digest." He isn't the least bit offended.

Kikyo remains on her knees. Startled but not shocked. She doesn't know why she expects anything that resembles generosity from a demon. She loosens her grip on the ginger roots and thumps them at his feet before standing.

Unmoved, he bends down to retrieve them, dirtying his hands.

"Boil it and brew her some tea." She doesn't meet his eyes again. "But first get her out of this awful weather. She will die eventually if you don't."

After that, Sesshomaru nods his head. When there is no more to say, he takes off in the opposite direction at a speed that causes the trees to bow and the bushes to whistle. He leaves Kikyo without any gratitude.

And that is the end of it. She considers going back and killing him simply for offending her.

But those kinds of feelings don't inspire her anymore. Like with most things, she is left underwhelmed. Kikyo stands there, under the misty downpour, contemplating the wasted day.

Life will go on completely indifferent to her good deed.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

A close death changes the way food tastes. Sesshomaru loved his father the best way he understood. He showed his affection through counter productive arguments and refusing to bury his pets alone when they died. They always died too soon—his father 'suggested' that his lifespan simply moves too slow, even for a turtle spirit.

Sesshomaru has killed many and buried his agony along with their bodies. The act of killing itself isn't gratifying. It's just something that he can do and not be forced to stand trial for it. He didn't wake up one night powerful. It took many beatings from his father—whom he never got the chance to surpass.

Before the old demon died, he swore that his son continued to lose to him on purpose. Sesshomaru insisted that this was never the case. Days of not eating, days of mourning brought Sesshomaru to the realization that his old man was right. He never desired beating his father.

And the awful truth that a human woman was capable of doing so made him hate any and everything soft. Tenderness is sinister and he can not be convinced otherwise— despite the fact that he walks as a hypocrite and continues to collect 'pets' like the little boy who liked to watch them grow old and die.

Inu no Taisho left Sesshomaru an inheritance of misery. A crumbling estate that the forest slowly eats whole. The walls that fall apart are broken pieces of Sesshomaru's heart that he is too stubborn to clean up after. He hates the existence of Inu no Taisho's house but is, unfortunately, still too craven to burn the stretch of land to the ground.

Preserving and destroying are too difficult choices. Apathy can save him one hundred more years of time.

As Sesshomaru stares out of a hole in a wall, eyes following the wild overgrowth of spring pouring into a lake-like puddle, he feels a nip at his neck.

"Spring...has treated you well, Sesshomaru!" Myoga gargles his words with a mouthful of Sesshomaru's blood.

"And you somehow managed to survive the winter I see." Sesshomaru plucks Myoga from his neck with enough force of his nails to cause the flea to choke and spit up flecks of blood.

"I've got two hundred more years left in me! I intend to outlive you!" Myoga wheezes.

"What do you want?"

Myoga is always the bearer of unwanted news. It's an unspoken agreement between them. If it isn't about the less than desirable politics of his father's peers, then it is gossip surrounding Inuyasha—which peaks Sesshomaru's interest more than he is willing to admit. He will never vocalize his curiosity. Amazingly, Myoga knows the heir of the West better than his own mother. Sesshomaru will never have to ask.

"For you not to squish me!" Myoga flails his tiny arms around.

Sesshomaru heaves a sigh, saliva bubbling at the back of his throat.

"Sesshomaru, you needn't ask...you already know what it is I've come to tell you."

"I will burn this place down myself before I hand it over!" Fighting is second to breathing for Sesshomaru, but he has trouble rationalizing murdering the very men who helped shape his values. It just doesn't sit well in his stomach.

"My honest opinion is that they aren't stupid enough to wage a war with you about it." Myoga sniffles.

"It's not about being stupid. They pity me. For made up reasons of course." Well, they act as if they pity him. Sesshomaru might be stuck in his ways but he has always been a practitioner of common sense.

"Lord Sesshomaru, I speak to you as an equal and not as an old man who has contributed to your upbringing. What is it that you wish to do? What do you expect out of all of this?" Myoga's hands are little but his gesturing is broad. He calls forth attention to the warmth emphasizing the mildewy stink of the estate. A pair of mating dragonflies hum past Sesshomaru's right ear, fluttering out of the dilapidated window growing a tongue of wild flowers and weeds.

The natural silence depresses the flea. He watches the changing emotions in Sesshomaru's eyes. Staring at Inu no Taisho's ghost, Myoga recollects Sesshomaru's birth, boyhood, and the first time he ever adored a living thing. A small turtle he had managed not to squish while sparring.

Very few people are capable of causing Sesshomaru to be speechless. People who know him at his most intimate.

"I do not know." Sesshomaru forgets to conceal his bitterness. His voice is thickened with pain. The consistency of his tone does not crack, but each syllable drags up his throat, cutting the soft path of pink flesh as the words make their way to his wet tongue. "I truly don't, Myoga."

"It's time to figure it out or you're better off setting this place on fire with you and everything you love inside of it." Myoga has no reason to lead him astray and has yet to abandon him.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.