Hi, I'm Himari Tanuki." there was a soft voice to Kagome's side, and looking up from her phone, she saw the brown-haired girl bowing.
"Taisho, Kagome," she said softly. It seemed weird to say that, though they had already talked about her using this name. She resigned to it.
"May I sit here with you?" she asked, and Kagome nodded, gesturing to the seat to her side.
The tengu twins came over after a few moments and kagome saw the texts pile up around her. Kagome couldn't help but get involved with scanning and looking for related material. She noted some of the works she wanted to read herself, and getting into the conversation felt like the students were really welcoming her.
Takane and Setsuko, the Tengu, moved with synchronized movements, reading the same book, writing in synch, and asking questions with an eerie monotone voice that made Kagome unsure what either of their voices sounded like.
"What will you wish for when we find the citadel?" Himari asked softly. She seemed shy, her bangs nearly covered her eyes, and she had a soft, timid demeanor.
"Wish? I have never heard that part of the legend," she asked, and the tanuki shook her head.
"Forgive me for assuming," she said, and Kagome laughed.
"It's okay. I have been in the United States for a while doing some research on another topic. The citadel is completely Sesshomaru's project. Now, what about this wish?" she asked, and Himari nodded.
"If we are successful, then all who make it inside, will be granted a wish by the highest kami. There have been many cases where youkai are granted immortality, power, a different relationship with their people, even ascension into the higher plane itself. We are all here, hoping for the chance to better our people with the wish. That is why the council is so involved with the project." Himari was very helpful, and Kagome noted her nervous manner and the other students' agreement. There was a lot at stake for them. Moreover, there was a lot that she still wasn't being told.
" I guess I will have to think about my wish," she said
Sesshomaru opened the car door and circled to the driver's side. She was quiet, tired, and stepping on the crumpled pieces of paper; she didn't even seem to care about the notebook anymore.
"What are you going to wish for?" she asked when the engine started and they pulled away from the space.
"I am going to wish for absolute rulership," he said.
Kagome laughed. "They were telling me about your obligations to the heads of the demon houses. They each have a wish, and I wondered if that was really why I was brought here," she asked, and he shook his head.
"You are here because of your powerful spiritual energy. When it is located, you will be able to unlock the gate for us to enter the tower," he said, and she nodded.
"Did I help you before?" she asked. "Five hundred years ago."
"Yes." he answered.
"Is that where I died?" she asked, and he looked at her.
"There was a deep sadness in his features that would have been missed by anyone else but watching his frown deepen and eyes dim, she knew that there was something different about this pain. "No."
"Then you got your wish?" she asked, and he looked away.
"No.," he said. Kagome didn't know what to say. She wasnt paying attention to where he was driving, wasn't paying attention to the passage of time, but contemplated his answer. Just when she thought she had figured this out, a new layer unfolded.
Kagome let her head rest against the window, closed her eyes, and waited for the car to stop before she looked up. She felt the door open and looking around. She saw a familiar set of stairs and red columns. Her eyes became alert, she was excited and looking around as she got out of the car.
"Are you taking me home?" she asked, wondering what his intentions were.
" to visit," he said, and she sighed, suspecting as much.
"Then let's go. I am excited to see my family," she said and led him up the stairs and around the shrine buildings to the path to the front door. The small two-story house came into view, and she was running. Stopping on the welcome mat, Kagome raised her hand to knock on the door and waited, nearly shaking.
"It's been four years since I was home," she said, regretting the fact.
"Who is it?" she heard her mother's voice.
" Mom, it's me," she said, the door flung open, and she was in her mother's arms in a breath. She couldn't help but cry when her mother's arms closed around her.
" You're here. Oh, I am so glad you are home," she said, crying. Looking up from her daughter's onyx hair, she saw the stranger. "Who is this?" she asked and wiped her face trying not to appear as emotional as she felt. Kagome wiped her tears and motioned towards Sesshomaru.
"I am kagome's boyfriend. I work as a professor at the university here in Tokyo." he moved forward and bowed respectfully. Mrs. Higurashi was smitten. Looking at the tall and strong-looking, black-haired, man she saw exactly what her daughter liked about him.
"Of course you are. Come in, both of you. I am glad to meet you-" she left space for him to fill in his name.
"Taisho, Sesshomaru," he said, and she nodded, liking his manners. She didn't see the look of surprise Kagome shot him from behind her. Following Mrs, Higurashi's lead went into the house after her.
"You told her we are involved?" she groaned quietly.
"She loves me," he said, and Kagome tried to deny it but seeing her mother's backward glance of approval, knew it was true.
"Taisho, are you from Tokyo?" she asked.
"Yes. However, I was not born here. My family moved during my early years, when my father got a good job in the city." he lied almost effortlessly, and watching him closely, she could tell when he stretched the truth for aesthetics. Shaking her head, she tried to seem both interested and surprised by his performance.
"You never told me you were seeing someone." Mrs. Higurashi said pointedly to her daughter. "Or when you arrived here in Tokyo. After your las phone call, I didn't know what to think," she said, feeling like she needed to say something.
"That is my fault. I went to Washington, searching for her. I read her master's degree dissertation and was very interested in the results. There was some misunderstanding, but as I started to explain over the phone, I dropped it quite tragically in the sink." he said, and kagome's mother hung on every word.
"I remember hearing someone before the phone went dead. So you are dating now?" she asked, and Kagome blushed when her mother's sharp eyes inspected her for an answer.
"Uh. I was a little worried at first, but I found that we have a lot in common. When he asked me to have dinner together, we talked for hours. After that, I knew that we would be great together." she explained, hating to lie and knowing she wasn't great at it.
Her mother must have taken the awkward and shaky response for nervousness because she accepted the explanation without questioning her further. "I dated your father for a very short time before we were married."
"Mom-" kagome began
"I will be sure to ask your permission before we marry. But I came here for your blessing. Before we could become official, kagome insisted that I ask your permission."
"Granted," she said.
"What's going on down here?" grandpa came down the stairs wearing his blue hakama and white haori.
" This is kagome's boyfriend!" her mother shouted. Souta popped his head out of his bedroom and shouted a greeting to his sister before running down the stairs and throwing his arms around her.
"Kagome! I'm glad your home," he said. She sighed, seeing how grown up he was.
"You're so handsome! How is highschool?" she asked, and he grinned.
"Great-wao, is this him? " Souta looked at Sesshomaru and sized him up. "He's way tougher than that last one," he said, and kagome groaned.
"So do you know anything about youkai?" grandpa asked, moving in front of Souta before Kagome hit him.
"I would like to think it's my hobby," he said, and grandpa began to scheme. "You want to see the shrine. I've got some demonic items that my ancestors have collected through the centuries. You see, your family were priests and priestesses for fifteen generations here at this shrine. My ancestor built it here, and here we are still." he said, putting his hand on Sesshomaru's shoulder and ushering him out of the house and towards his shop. Kagome began to intercept but saw that Sesshomaru was genuinely interested in the collection.
They spent a few hours looking through the collection. He and Grandpa talked about the items' history and authenticity, sometimes getting heated about whether it was a demonic item or a trinket sold from humans but laughing it off. They seemed to get along quite well.
Kagome went into her old room and got a few of her old books to take with her. Getting onto her computer, she began arranging for her things to be packed up in her Seattle apartment and be shipped to Japan. She sighed after getting off the phone with her landlord. She lost her down payment for ending the lease early.
Going back downstairs, she went to the living room to find her mother. Seeing her sitting in her childhood home's familiar setting, kagome went to her side and sat down. She laid her head on her mother's shoulder.
"I know you must be disappointed about your studies, but I am glad you are doing so well," she said. Kagome nodded but, not wanting to talk about it, turned her attention to casual conversation. They caught up on the local affairs, her friends' gossip, and finally, Soutas school drama when they heard the door open, and Sesshomaru emerged into the living room with grandpa at his side.
They seemed to be in high spirits. Sesshomaru moved to where Kagome was and seeing the tiredness in her eyes knew it was time to cut the visit short.
"It's getting late," he said, and sitting up, Kagome nodded and stood to leave. Hugging her mother, brother, and grandfather, Kagome waved goodbye and left with Sesshomaru.
"Thank you," she said, meaning it. "I needed to see them," she said, and he nodded.
The drive back to the estate was peaceful. It was like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Coming to the driveway into the reenactment area, they parked at the road and walked past the shrines. Kagome could almost make out tiny figures walking back and forth along the treeline. Her eyes tricked her as she looked out through the forest and saw shadowy figures and mysterious lights that she couldn't explain.
"It is safe for you here. No demon will hurt you," he assured her, and she nodded, thinking that old habits were hard to break. Nighttime paranoia was like a veil over her, but with him so close by, she didn't worry so much. It was not much further to the cabin, and grabbing hold of his arm, walked closer with the double purpose of staying warm and making the shadow-like figure fade into the background. "Can you see them?" she asked, and he looked down at her.
"You can see them too if you focus," he said, and she tried to look, but it was too dark to see anything.
"I can't. It's dark," she said, and he smirked.
"There is nothing to be afraid of. In the morning, I will show them to you," he said, and she nodded, relieved to be at the porch. He opened the door, and she found that the fire was already going once more.
"How-" she started. "Are the youkai doing this?" she asked, and he nodded.
"Yes, quite a few lesser youkai have dominion over domestic chores. If in need of a home, they are beneficial for warming and cleaning a house," he said, and she nodded, looking around and squinting for any sign of small youkai.
"Okay." she nodded.
Kagome put her things down, her notebook books from her bedroom, and a change of clothes from home. "You can put your things in the closet inside the bedroom. This is your space, too," he said, and she looked at him curiously.
Kagome went to where he was and looked him over. "You are so transparent," she said finally.
"What do you mean?" he asked, and she scoffed.
"You tracked me down, made up an elaborate lie, and made it very clear that you are intending on extending my stay here. Until we have found you a way to restore my memories, that is. I know what you want from me." she said with her hands on her hips.
"What do I want?" he asked.
"Me. and you're lying to everyone about it-" she started.
"It's not a lie. You have been my wife and my mate for close to six hundred years." he said plainly. " your death did not change this fact. I am inuyoukai."
"You- what are you saying?"
"I am saying that I can't let you go. I won't," he said
"What about me? What if I don't want to be yours forever?" she said
"Don't you?" he was so sure she would say yes that for a moment Kagome thought she would.
"...I don't know." she couldn't say. "I can't tell if it's me that you want... What if I never remember."
"You will. When you do, none of this will matter. None of it."
"You seem so sure," she answered.
Sesshomaru watched her body language as he dared to move closer to her. The waves of distress rolling off of her were enough to set him on edge, and with a few measured movements, he pulled her to his chest and held her tightly.
Resisting for a moment, Kagome almost pushed him away when instead she slackened and let herself lean against his sturdy frame. Knowing that he might as well be a perfect stranger, Kagome couldn't help but feel like she had been enveloped in a net of safety. For a moment she let herself believe that he really did love her. Slowly she let her hands move to bunch in his haori. "Don't break my heart. I will never forgive you," she warned, and he sighed.
"I will break the world first," he promised and, sighing, she stepped back and grabbed her things. She seemed to be less burdened by her thoughts as she reached around him to the table.
"I will take these to the closet," she said and picked up the pile of items. Taking them to the bedroom.sliding open the door she looked down at a built in set of drawers with a long flat space for folded clothes or shoes. Tucking her books in the corner and folding her clothes, she set them neatly beside what she found to be slacks and button-up shirts. Marveling at the wardrobe she found it odd that he would wear regular clothes and made a mental note to ask him about it tomorrow.
Going back to Sesshomaru, she found him resting against the wall with his eyes closed and warming himself by the fire. Going to the cushion beside him, she reached out to touch him and grabbing her hand before she could reach him, she saw him jerk awake. He was hazy, still mostly asleep when she realized her mistake. Letting go of her slowly he began to apologize when she stopped him.
"You were sleeping?" She asked, seeing the tiredness still in his focusing eyes. She shook her head knowing that there must have been a reason that he rested in the same position as the previous night. She felt guilty "I'm using your futon."
"It is yours to use," he said, and he shook her head again.
" It's yours too, right?" she said, and he furrowed his brows. "If you promise not to try anything funny, I don't see anything wrong with sharing the futon… Let me get changed first, but I think we should go to bed." Kagome felt the suggestion was indecent, by all means, but nothing about the situation was decent.
Looking up at her, Sesshomaru simply nodded and waited as she disappeared once more into the bedroom and then motioning for him to come in, he stood and slowly walked to the door, he saw her getting into bed.
Turning down the blanket, she was already on the futon. Looking down at her for a moment, he turned to the closet and, opening the sliding door, found the drawer with his night clothes. He went into the next room to change his clothes, and returning he knelt on the futon. It was a moment before he moved to lay beside Kagome, and signaling the sprites to extinguish the lights, laid his head on the pillow.
"Good night," she said.
It was a while before she could get to sleep. Turning to face Sesshomaru, she found him sleeping soundly. He seemed to have slipped into unconsciousness without effort. Sitting up for a moment she rubbed her temples until she could stop thinking. When she was seeing spots against the darkness, she laid back onto the pillow.
Signing, shifted so that her back was to him, there was no reason to be nervous. He was already asleep, and there was no threat to her reputation. So why was it so hard to fall asleep with him there? She felt as silly as she did nervous. Turning over again, she looked at the outline of his face and chest. He seemed innocent enough.
With her eyes closed she waited, and waited for sleep to come but still it was far from a reality. Irritated, she opened her eyes when she felt Seashomaru shift . He was still after a moment and knowing she was alone in her misery, Kagome made a bold decisionto move closer.
Moving his arm, she tucked herself into his side and laid her head on his chest. Kagome waited for a moment before settling. She wanted to make sure he was still asleep.When he didn't move, she relaxed. Slowly closing her eyes, Kagome surrendered to the pull of sleep. When the strange room, small demons, and unlikely bed partner had ceased to worry her, all that was left was the warmth garnered between them.
AN: Here you go! I hope you are all enjoying the story. please relax and review!