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The Soul is a not a Fickle thing, nor is Love. by Stormfall

Spring's End

-Soulmate Challenge by Pyreite on Dokuga

Sesshomaru and Kagome Fanfiction, Rated MA 18+

Told from Sesshomaru’s Side

Time Line: Four years after the Defeat of Naraku

AN: I didn't like how the first start came out, so I deleted it and re doing the story, hopefully for the better.

Chapter 1: Spring’s End

It wasn’t often that his mother called upon him from his wanderings the Western lands of Japan. When she did it was often something serious that needed attending to if not at once soon after meeting her. He had first gone to her fortress in the sky, but saw that it was no longer there went to his old home, the Shiro of the West. There would be only one reason why she would be there that he could think of. When his feet touched the paved stone he looked around at the servants as they rushed to and fro, the guards going through practice, all being called upon again, the Shiro was alive again. He took it all in and his mind supplied a second reason as to this change.

He ignored Jaken as the imp waddled forward and looked around with his big yellow eyes.

Sesshomaru stood and took it all in. The Shiro had been cold and bare boned staffed since his father had died and his mother moved to the fortress in the sky. His mother had summoned him here, he stood tall. After all his wondering and the defeat of several enemies he was now finally going to be given his due right, that or there was war. His cold golden eyes landed on his mother as she gave instructions to several of the servants with a fan in her elegant claws. Her layered Kimono showing her rank as a Lady, the current Lady of the West and holder of the seat of the West and all its lands and powers.

She tilted her head to him, her long silver hair fell to the side and she moved it to the side before her lips turned into a smile.

“Sesshomaru, my son,” she greeted him and he nodded to her in polite greeting.

“Mother,” he said as he stepped up next to her. “What is all this?”

The woman, a few inches shorter than Sesshomaru himself hummed lightly as she looked at the courtyard as gardeners were sweeping away dead and fallen leaves and weeding the flower beds.

“This Saori has wonderful and bad news,” she said no longer looking at him.

“You are preparing the Western Shiro, surely that is good news, even if war is in the future.” He said trying to gain some headway in the conversation.

Saori looked at her son then, “This Saori will be stepping down as Lady of the West in the coming weeks,” she paused watching her son for reaction, he had none. “This Saori has chosen who will take my place, while This Saori and Iurka-sama will Mate in the following year.”

“You will become Lady of the South?” Sesshomaru questioned.

“Yes. That is not all, and this Saori fears you will fight me on,” she let out a soft sigh. “This Saori is not naming you son,” she said. “I cannot.”

Hearing his mother drop the proper speech of ranked Yokai he growled low, this was serious. “And why can you not?”

“Because your Great and Terrible father did not bestow the title of Lord or General upon you before his untimely death,” she said. “That and we need an advantage.”

“Advantage?”

“Yes. The yokai are dying son,” she said and then started to walk along the engawa. Sesshomaru followed her. “Between the monk, the miko and the ningen we are losing clans, families and races of our kind. It has come to the point where we must start allying ourselves with the ningen,” she said. Sesshomaru seethed inside. They did not need the ningen. He was about to suggest killing them all when Rin’s smiling face flashed before his eyes. He knew that they couldn’t, there were good ningen out there that got along with yokai. “That is why this Saori will be naming a ningen as the Lady of the West.”

“You cannot, the West will be attacked for having a weak ningen in the Western seat.”

“And who will attack us son? This Saori will be mated to Iruka-sama the Lord of the South, and we have been allied with the East since before your birth. The Dragons no longer control the North, just the lazy rock clan. The minor Lords will deal with This Saori’s choice. The ningen should also be someone that can assist in bringing the ningen and yokai together.” She stopped walking when she was at the Southern side of the main building; she turned and looked at Sesshomaru.

“This Sesshomaru will not mate the ningen you choose mother,” he said firmly.

He watched as something danced in her golden eyes before she closed them and then leveled him with a look, what it was he saw he wasn’t sure, but it almost looked like amusement crossed her now stone features. “This Saori didn’t ask you to,” she said. “When the ningen takes the title and the seat you will then be given your father’s title, Great Dog General of the West.” She watched servants clean and polish the floor boards. “If you wish for the title you think you deserve, you will have to get it from her.”

“This Sesshomaru assumes you have a ningen in mind for this task?” He asked his mother.

“Yes,” she said and waited, Sesshomaru saw she was hesitating. “The Shikon Miko Kagome,” she said the name with a strange fondness lacing her otherwise neutral voice.

“The hanyo’s wench?”

“Be respectful of the Lady of the West Sesshomaru,” she snapped at him and then opened her fan to cover her lower face and glared at him. “Besides you often go see Rin in that ningen village of Inuyasha’s, surely you know his mate isn’t the Shikon Miko.”

Sesshomaru nodded his head. “The girl hasn’t been seen in four years Mother. She likely died after her wish was made.”

“No… she is here,” Saori said and looked towards Edo. “This Saori will be retrieving her in two weeks,” she said. “You have that time to make yourself comfortable here, or to get your last minute wandering out of the way. You will be needed after all at the side of her.”

Sesshomaru fought against rolling his eyes. “So this Sesshomaru will be playing the role as Lord of the West when I have not the title?”

“The West hasn’t had both Lord and Lady in so long Sesshomaru; it would do good to show the minor Lords and the yokai court that we are still a house to be feared. Who knows the girl might even surprise you.” Saori turned and watched as the doors opened for her entry.

“This Sesshomaru disagrees with you mother.”

She sighed. “Yes, but it is what it is son.” Saori finished off with that and walked inside the Shiro leaving Sesshomaru standing there on the engawa. Jaken looking between the closed doors and Sesshomaru and back again, baffled.

“Can you believe her? Naming a ningen miko as the Lady of the West! I am insulted for you Sesshomaru-sama!” cried the imp.

“I thought I heard a familiar and old voice,” said a deep tone. Sesshomaru looked up and over at a dark haired man with pointed elfin ears like his own, but a single deep blue marking across his face. His hair was braided and pulled over his shoulder as he wore black hakama and a deep blue montsuki and a black haori, he also had on plain seta. He had a smile on his face showing fangs, but in a friendly manner.

“Hakori,” Sesshomaru greeted.

“Sesshomaru-sama,” the inu yokai bowed at the waist to him. Sesshomaru looked around at the Shiro. “It’s nice to see you back.”

“You stayed?” Sesshomaru asked.

“I did… I couldn’t leave the Shiro, I am not the only one that stayed behind,” he said and walked up the steps and looked out over the Shiro with Sesshomaru.

“Who are you to get close to my lord?” Jaken asked.

Sesshomaru glared at Jaken; however Hakori simply smiled down at the imp.

“I little imp, am Hakori, Sesshomaru-sama and I grew up here together,” he said and then looked at Sesshomaru. The Daiyokai was looking towards Edo.

“Hakori,” Sesshomaru said and caught the inu’s attention. “Do you know anything of the miko coming here?”

Hakori was silent a moment. “Little Sesshomaru-sama, only that she is powerful and treats everyone equally, be they ningen, yokai or hanyo.”

“This Sesshomaru will retire,” he said. Hakori nodded his head and bowed to him again. “Jaken you will take on the duty of steward,” he said as the doors were opened for him. He walked down familiar halls.

“Yes Sesshomaru-sama… but who was that Hakori fellow?” he asked.

Sesshomaru didn’t answer him. He had much to do before the miko arrived at the Shiro.

So work had begun on his end to, going through alliances treaties and trade documents, everything that had been in place since before his father’s untimely death. Soldiers and staff counts, he needed to know he could trust everyone at the Shiro not to kill the miko when she arrived or anyone that she would bring with her. He would have to provide her with tutors so that she could at least learn to read, write and do basic math and then her courtly training. Last he remembered she was still vastly untrained in her powers as well. If the West wanted to hold its image of being feared and respected he would have to make sure this miko didn’t make a fool of herself or him in the yokai courts.

There was one good thing about all this, she was a ningen, which meant she was already half dead and once she died he would truly be the Lord of the West, for ningen didn’t live long.

He saw his mother off on the morning two weeks later, the Shiro in working order; he would meet his mother, the miko and whoever else the woman brought when they returned. Until then he made sure there were trust worthy guards posted everywhere along the main courtyard. The minor yokai Lords and Ladies had started to drift back into the Shiro and their apartments on the Shiro grounds sometime last week.

He had met with most of them; his mother had met with all of them. They were curious to see this Shikon miko as they started to stand around the main courtyard after a few hours. Sesshomaru watched them from one of the offices in the estate complex. He was reading over some of the older scrolls and war documents while enjoying some tea in the afternoon, not expecting his mother and company back within this day he was surprised when he felt Saori’s yokai flare to inform him of their arrival. He looked at the golden color of his tea as he sensed the strong aura and power of the reiki of the miko that accompanied her. He sat the cup down on the table and stood walking to the engawa and around to the front of the Shiro and looked to the gates. He ignored a servant as she went in after him to clean up the extra office.

The minor Lords and Ladies hushed when they felt Saori’s yokai flare, soldiers came out and Hakori stood to the left of the steps, dressed a bit more formally he bowed his head to Sesshomaru when he stopped at the top of the steps.

The gates opened and Sesshomaru watched as his mother stood next to a woman, at first he didn’t know her, then her scent and her appearance caught up to him. Her scent, plum blossoms and rain, it washed over him and the court, he breathed it in and it was almost like the shiro complex itself became alive with her scent. His golden eyes met her ocean blue eyes that lit up with joy and happiness, they danced in the light. Her raven black hair was pulled back in the low pony tail of the miko. She had with her a bag of some kind, it was large and black, a quiver of arrows and the miko weapon, a bow. On her shoulder sat the fox kit that traveled with her four years ago, and one she had claimed as hers if he was scenting the kit right, and next to her was Rin. His eyes softened at his ward, and how much she had grown in the four years. And the child being what she was left the miko’s side and ran through the court yard of yokai towards Sesshomaru.

He stood impassive his eyes following her to the steps where she stopped and smiled up at him.

“Rin has come!” she said happily.

“Welcome home Rin,” he said gently. She smiled and nodded her head as she turned and watched Saori and the miko walk the court yard. Sesshomaru watched as everyone bowed to them, well to his mother anyway. He expected the miko to blush at the attention and be overwhelmed with the amount of yokai here. However she wasn’t as she walked closer, head held high and unafraid. It was foolish of her to believe no one here was an enemy.

He took in her appearance. No longer did she wear the strange garments of hers that showed too much of her. She wore simple miko garments. Saori stopped a few paces back as Kagome kept walking closer to Sesshomaru. When she stopped a couple of yards from the steps, Hakori turned towards her and bowed. Kagome looked at him and Sesshomaru noticed her eyes soften and dance with a tender happiness at the inu yokai.

“Kagome-sama may I take your bow?” he asked from his bow.

“Hai Hakori-san,” she said and handed his outstretched hand her bow and quiver of arrows. She looked back to Sesshomaru. Sesshomaru looked at her.

“Welcome to the Shiro of the West,” he said.

Kagome frowned at him for a moment but then smiled. “This Kagome is happy to be home,” she said and handed her bag off to a servant that came forward. Once she was free of her burdens she took the first step up to the engawa of the shiro and looked at Sesshomaru before turning to the courtyard.

The courtyard bowed to her, before they started to disperse. Saori walked up to them.

“Miko, this Sesshomaru is surprised you did not bring the half-breed with you,” Sesshomaru said. Kagome looked at him, and he stared back at her.

“Why would you believe that? Inuyasha has a life and family his own, This Kagome doesn’t need to interfere with it unless needed,” she said softly. “Thank you Saori-san for coming to get This Kagome.” She said turning to Sesshomaru’s mother. Saori smiled at Kagome, Sesshomaru wondered at that. “But first order of business,” she said and Sesshomaru’s eye twitched, already. Sesshomaru watched as Kagome hooked her arm in his mother’s and Saori simply looked at the miko.

“What is that dear?” Saori asked kindly. Sesshomaru was unsure how to take the miko and his mother getting along so well.

“This Kagome needs a bath and a proper change of clothing,” she said. Sesshomaru looked at Kagome. She didn’t smell unpleasant, but now that she was close he could detect the hits of others on her, his half-brother was one, and the older miko that was in Rin’s scent too.

“Rin wants a bath too Kagome-sama!”

Kagome smiled. “Of course of course,” she said and then looked at the fox kit who was trying to hide in her hair from Sesshomaru.

“Miko,” Sesshomaru looked at her. Kagome looked up at him.

“Ah… Sesshomaru-sama,” Kagome said. “Let us be polite to each other ne?”

Sesshomaru looked at her and frowned. “We will talk after your bath miko.”

He watched her as she stood there looking up at him. She was shorter than his mother, and her head came to about his caller bone. She hummed at him as if she had decided on something. “Hai,” she said and nodded her head. “We shall discuss whatever you like over dinner.” She said and offered her free hand to Rin who took it easily and she let go of Saori’s arm as she walked inside.

Saori stepped up beside her son and followed the miko with her eyes until she vanished on the other side of the shoji screens. “This Sesshomaru thinks this is a bad idea,” he said to Saori once he knew Kagome was out of ear shot.

“Why do you have doubts son?” she asked as she looked over her fan.

“The girl in ningen and she cannot possibly accomplish what you wish her to in her short life,” he said. “And attacks on the west will be met like they always have, with force and power.”

“Give her a chance Sesshomaru, she may surprise you,” Saori said and watched her son. “Besides you have had no luck in finding your soul mate,” she said a little off handedly. Sesshomaru looked to his mother his expression cold, and unbothered. “You would have felt it if she had died.”

“This Sesshomaru is aware,” he said.

Saori nodded her head and then started to walk away.

“Mother,” Sesshomaru called and she stopped and turned to him. “Why the Miko? It could have been any demoness in the land, and yet you choose the miko.”

Saori stood by the shoji doors and looked to him. “There are reasons my son,” she said and turned away. “You’ll have to figure them out for yourself.” With that she walked into the shiro. The courtyard cleared out leaving Sesshomaru standing on the engawa with Jaken and Hakori for company.

“Hakori,” he spoke and the black inu yokai turned to look at him. “Gather together a squad of guards for the miko, have two with her at all times,” he said.

The inu looked towards the Shiro compound and then back to Sesshomaru. “Hai Sesshomaru-sama.” He said and bowed to him before he turned and motioned for the soldiers and guards that were there for the greeting to come with him back to the barracks to the back and side of the complex.

“I still cannot believe your honorable mother chose that ningen as the Lady of the West,” Jaken said. “She will be challenged every time she takes a step.”

Sesshomaru looked to the imp and then to where the Miko and his mother vanished. Perhaps that wasn’t such a bad idea. “If she is challenged and loses she will no longer hold the title,” he said. He would have to rid the miko of her title soon, but not before she named him. He would have to be delicate, he had the court graces that she did not, and he could manipulative where she could not. He walked down the engawa and around the shiro complex to the family buildings.

Evening meal would be taken together in the family room; this he remembered is where he spent a lot of his younger years with his parents learning to read and to write and taking his first swings at his father. He looked up from his seated position to Rin as she entered the room. She wore a young girl’s kimono of simple design, single layer of bright orange back with colorful butterflies and branches. She bowed to him and he nodded his head to her as she took a seat on one of the zabutons. Shippo entered next with his mother behind him. Shippo wore the more traditional hakama and montsuki, the hakama was dark brown nearly coal color and the montsuki was teal. He was timid to enter the room, but his mother smiled down at the fox kit and leaned over and gently nudged him into the room. His mother was in her typical layered kimono of her rank in glorious designs of flowers and a flowing river.

Shippo bowed to Sesshomaru before he went to sit next to Rin. He watched as she happily greeted him and started to whisper to him of how regal her lord looked. Sesshomaru looked at Saori as she walked into the room and took a seat, not the seat next to him as he thought she would, but the one from across from the children.

He looked up when Kagome entered finally; her hushed whispers to someone on the other side of the shoji caught his attention. “Thank you for your consideration Hakori, keep This Kagome informed to any changes,” she had said before the shoji were opened again to allow her passage. To say that Sesshomaru was surprised would be an understatement as he looked at her. Though his expression gave nothing away to his inner thoughts, he had perfected the stoic facial features long ago.

Kagome was in a simple yet beautiful three layered kimono. The outer layer white with the shoulders and hems in deep red with the three hexagons and plum blossom design as his own. The second layer was a cream and the inner most a light pink. Her obi was deep red with the pattern done in opposite colors to the kimono. Her hair was done up in an elegant and simple design with two hair pins. He looked at her and blinked as she smiled at him and lifted one eyebrow at him. He watched her as she walked fluidly over to him and sat on his right, where he thought his mother would have sat.

He missed his mother’s look at him, but that didn’t matter as his golden eyes were fixed on Kagome. She was smiling at him and looking at him with those clear blue eyes of hers. He heard servants come in and set their dinner trays before them. He had a simple cup and container of liquid like his mother had on her tray. The ningen and Shippo got dishes of rice, grilled fish pickled cabbage. The smell hit his nose and his eyes darted around the room. He looked at Kagome’s hands as she picked up the container on his tray and filled his sakazuki with the sake from the container. He looked at her as she smiled up at him and placed the delicate bottle back on his tray. He had to admit she had more manners and grace than the last time he had saw her. He picked up his cup and took a sip of the sake. She smiled brighter at him and then poured her tea and picked up her chop sticks. They began eating and he sipped his sake slowly watching them. Though he noticed that Kagome made sure that his cup was never empty for long and he caught her a couple of times filling his cup.

“You want to discuss something with This Kagome?” she asked before she put a bit of fish into her mouth.

“What do you hope to accomplish miko?” he asked her. She watched him studying his impassive face for a moment; he turned to look at her fully.

He wasn’t sure what she saw in his face, he knew he kept his emotions hidden. Her eyes brightened and then dulled into her own impressive mask though an amused smile tickled her lips. “Well, This Kagome hopes to create an alliance between most the yokai and the ningen population. It would be best to get the Shinto and Buddhist temples on our side, but that will be harder than the daimyo,” she said honestly. “If we can stop the slaughter of the thinking yokai and daiyokai then you shouldn’t die off so quickly.”

“Die off?” he asked.

“Yes, if you haven’t noticed since Naraku came into power over four years ago most of the stable yokai population was destroyed, it needs to be built back up. With the larger clans being Inu, Kuma, Neko, Okami, Kitsune, and Iwa, then you have all the minor factions as well and they are too numerous to name. But the monster yokai, the baser non-thinking yokai, they give the better yokai a bad reputation, and that is what we need to change,” she said. “Not that yokai need to change, I don’t really want them to, but the yokai will need to get along with ningen.”

“You have proof of this need?” Sesshomaru asked.

Kagome sighed and sat her chopsticks down and looked at him fully. “Sesshomaru,” she started. “I come from the future; you know my clothing choices from 4 years ago? That was called a school uniform that is popular in my future time. Inuyasha went to my home a couple of times so he knows. But there are no yokai there, I have checked.”

Sesshomaru looked at her and then took a slow sip of his sake. “You hope to change the future?”

She nodded her head. “I have a liking for Yokai, and as an honorable race I do not believe it fair that you all died out before my time,” she said.

“And the problem is the ningen?” he asked looking at her.

She stared back at him. “Yes and no. It is one of the problems that can be solved; sure there may be a couple of wars, but in the end I hope to have peace between our peoples, that is one of the reasons I am the Lady of the West,” she said and then turned to her food again.

“You would kill your own people to save another?” he asked.

“Yes. Just as I would wipe out another to save two,” she answered.

That wasn’t what he expected to hear from her. He sat his cup down. His eyes went to his Mothers and she was smiling at him. He looked back to the Miko. “You have changed Miko.” He said.

“Everyone changes Sesshomaru,” she said to him. “Some more drastically than others, and some for different reasons than others but it’s the way of life.”

“This Sesshomaru wonders what caused you to change so Miko.”

Kagome just smiled at him and went on to finish her food. She then started talking to the children and what they were doing. If he was honest with himself and he always tried to be, he was greatly surprised with how much she had changed in the four short years of her being gone. When everyone was finished Kagome stood up and gave a respectful bow to Sesshomaru and Saori before motioning for the children to come with her. Sesshomaru watched as Rin and Shippo both bowed to him and then left with Kagome.

Saori watched the shoji doors close behind her and then turned to Sesshomaru. “Well?”

“She is different, but This Sesshomaru still thinks it is not the best idea to have a ningen miko as a yokai Lady,” he said.

“You will need to inform the rest of the Yokai Lords, she will need to be showed off,” Saori said.

“Yes, This Sesshomaru agrees with that,” he said. “This Sesshomaru will write to them in the coming week, and on the Summer’s Eve she will be formally introduced to the Yokai Court.”

Saori nodded her head before standing up. “This Saori will leave it to you then son,” she said and walked towards the door Kagome exited from.

Sesshomaru watched his mother leave and then he looked around at the empty space. Standing up he watched as servants came in and cleared away the trays from the room. He opened the shoji himself and walked down the engawa towards his private rooms. He looked out at the large family garden. The servants and gardeners did a wonderful job at restoring it to its formal glory. The large pond off to the side had two bridges connecting to a small island, and a tree and flower trellis covering, it was a nice picnic spot, there were koi and gold fish in that pond, and it was surrounded by cherry and plum trees, it was a private public place for the family. The grass was lush and green and was void of most weeds. The flower beds were all beautifully crafted and newly planted. Memories came back to him as a small child playing in this open area with his parents sitting not too far away. He walked along the path and looked up to the sky.

“It’s going to rain soon,” said a voice from behind him. He turned and looked at Kagome.

“You hid your aura,” he said. She nodded her head at him. “How do you know?”

“I can smell it coming,” she said. He knew he could smell it, but for a ningen to smell the difference was unheard of it him. She walked up beside him and looked up to the sky as well. “I like the rain, it cleans and washes everything away, and summer rains are my favorite.”

“You smell of rain,” he said.

She laughed lightly, “So I have been told before.”

Sesshomaru stood there; she stood there in companionable silence watching the clear evening sky. It strangely wasn’t awkward to be standing there with her; she seemed to fit in well with her new surroundings. He breathed in and again he smelled plum blossoms everywhere. They watched the sun set over the walls and forest of the complex and following forest and yokai city. He turned to her as she looked up at him with her crystalline blue eyes, her lips turned up into a small smile of amusement. “What is amusing you Miko?”

“Everything really,” she said and looked at the darkening garden, the light from the sun nearly completely gone. “The Shiro, Saori-san, the children, you,” she said. “It feels as if I am home finally, and at peace.” Her face twisted into worry and he raised a brow at her, and she laughed at him. “I have a feeling that my worries aren’t over yet,” she said, “my duty not finished, it still hangs over me. But this is close.”

“And what is your duty Miko?” he asked.

“Making sure the yokai survive,” she whispered softly.

“Why do you care so much Miko?” he asked her.

“I have many Yokai friends, and I claimed two yokai children as my own,” she said almost sadly. “I would be heartbroken if something happened to them that I could have prevented.”

“Even over your own kind?”

“You already asked that Sesshomaru, it’s not like you to ask twice,” she said and turned her head before a servant came around the corner and bowed. She turned back to Sesshomaru. “This Kagome will see you in the morning Sesshomaru.” She gave him a small bow and then turned and left with the servant.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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