His Name On Her Lips by SHORTFRY

His Name On Her Lips

It was raining when she first called his name.

He recognized the voice, the scent, the eyes. From a distant forgotten memory, she emerged from the crowded streets of packed umbrellas. Hers was glaring and bright, a beacon amongst the dark masses of nylon shields.

He did not wait, he did not acknowledge.

He turned and walked away.


It was windy when she spoke his name again.

Unlike the last time, the streets did not divide them.

He turned towards the fading sound. Her face was pleading, disbelieving, almost distraught. Words tumbled breathlessly to dance in the breeze.

It really is you.


It was snowing the third time she said his name.

It had been months since their first contact in the world of the now, and over five hundred since the world of the past.

She was older, but he was ageless still.


Please don’t leave, she blurted after their fourth crossing of paths.

His eyes lowered to the grip at his sleeve, and as if burnt by a flame, her clenched fingers released.

There was no reason to linger. He did not know her. She did not know him. Yet the stranger pleaded again.

Can we meet?


He was patient when she finally walked through the door.

Apologies were hasty as she made her way in. Her smile was grateful but telling, and he already knew why.

He ordered a tea while she settled for coffee. And before long, the jitters were noticeable – napkin twisting and folding, scrunching and wrinkling. There was a long stretch of silence before her courage arose.

I want to know what happened to them.


He did not see her again after those coincidental encounters and the one-time rendezvous. His days continued as they had always been.

Uninterrupted and unflinching.  

Ebbing and flowing.


A year later, he heard his name once more.

Over the phone, she sounded dolorous, depleted, defeated. She wanted to meet again.

I have already told you everything, he informed.

I know that.


She saw him again, a familiar face once more.

But she did not ask about them again. He did not care to know why.

And so he tolerated her momentary persistent presence, so long as he did not have to repeat himself.


The months rolled over another year.

By then, he had lost track of the times they’ve met.

How old are you? She inquired without warning, perusing a menu with face half covered.

There were things that he counted, and things he did not.

I am immemorial.

The waiter came and noted their selections. Without distractions, she held her glass like a chalice of Ponce de León, tipping wine to rouge-coated lips.

I turn twenty-seven today.


Tell me about yourself, she whispered one quiet afternoon.

He paused in his reading, aurulent gaze meeting her faded blue. In the distance, the patter of raindrops muted the city static, his tea gone cold.

There is nothing to tell.

She didn’t take his answer for an answer.

Everyone has a story, Sesshomaru. I want to know yours.

He did not like repeating, and so he resumed reading, leaving secrets untold.


They were sat at a bench in the park one spring, when her humming suddenly stopped mid-tune.

What are your likes? her inane curiosity coaxed. She toyed with a petal from a flower picked, sparking a reminder of halcyon days.

What did he like?

He once liked power, conquest, and reining supreme.

Yet now, those concepts were dated, expired, no longer a need.

For once, he did not have an answer.


It was winter when his name fell from a pleasured moan.

The days had shrunk shorter, the sun less bright. But on this night, silver cascaded around in a waterfall veil. His body trapped hers. Bird in a cage, she panted beneath in resplendent bliss.

The sun had still shone through.


I like the smell of the rain, she commented one day.

There were many things she had said that she liked. Several had been recounted to him in previous chats. Reasons for affinity were never requested, and each rationale was never divulged.

He briefly wondered if she knew he would not ask, or knew he did not care.

There was no rain today.


Cold and frigid weeks crept with melancholic haze.

She paced his living room, seemingly engorged in a book. But he knew better.

Her eyes were glazed, obscured, and vague.

When she passed by once more, he reached out and pulled. She fell on the couch beside him and begun settling in.

Bleariness blinked away, tracing angular lines of a sharp profile in vivid perfection, untouched by time.

Unchanging, yet changed.


In a dream-swept fugue, she called out a different name.

It had been eroded from memory, but pulled him from focus in a reminiscent glance.

She had fallen asleep from a tiring day at work. He did not keep company, no one else visited. It was a perpetual preference, yet he did not mind her intermittent appearances.

So he left her to slumber undisturbed.

A different name, for a different time.


She was on top when she cried out his name next.

Head flung back, throat was bared. He recalled a question she had proposed one spring.

There was now one thing he concluded he liked.

But it was fleeting.

And when they both came down from their soaring highs, they shifted back into the casual comfort brought by each.


What are we? she voiced through the dark one night.

Sitting up, he turned slightly to face the figure leaned against the headboard.

I am a demon. You are a miko.

Even in the pitch black, he could see her scowled frown.

I was a miko. I’m just a regular woman now. Only human.

It was apparent the words between the lines. There was no fighting. No adventure. No fairy-tale.

Is that so unpleasing?

I don’t know. She sighed, ambivalent and impassioned. Sometimes, I feel like we’re strangers. Yet you know me more than anyone else. More than everyone else. What does that say about me?

He traced her cheek in a weightless touch, sweeping aside stray tresses from unseeing eyes.

That you are easy to read.

And you’re impossible to read, she countered, before once again asking, So, what are we?


More years passed like grains of sand in an hourglass.

A single grain. A single year.  

How long since his timekeeper had last been turned?

A silent witness, he did not keep count.  


Sesshomaru? Her hand splayed upon his chest, bare to the touch. Fingertips flittered the warmth of his skin. Have you ever been in love?

An aimless question, he had thought. What is love, truly?

No. I have not.

She looked at him with crestfallen empathy. I thought I was once. But I don’t think that was love beyond friendship.

Her watchful regard spoke of a one-sided heartache, and he snickered at such guileless emotions.

Then you too, have not been in love.


She was growing restless again, irritation sprouting with each passing day.

And when he returned to his home that evening, she tackled him with vice-like grip – arms around neck, legs around waist, lips upon lips.

Her touches were fervent, her clutches desperate, her voice heady.

It was a humid summer night, but their sweat-slicked sheen was of a more heated nature.


She was remembering again, a walk down memory lane.

Do you ever miss anything from then? She tried to pull him along.

Nostalgia lingered in her wilting eyes, staining her lilting voice, coating her citric scent.

There was a lot that she seemed to miss. It was a path she traveled alone.


How did it happen? Her hand rested on the broken blade.

The hilt was worn, the scabbard cracked, the metal in pieces of two. It had been an inheritance of begrudging belittlement, a brackish bestowment.

Until the day that it wasn’t, and there came a use.

But only once. And once no more. Its song had been sung, so it sang no more.

He will allow her this one story.

It could not save her. It broke upon my rage.


His bedroom door opened to find her sprawled.

A come-hither look flashed behind lush lashes, beckoning with a glimmering shine from candle-lit flames. Dull doll eyes were alive again. He wasted no time to stake his claim.

We were enemies, she breathed hotly against unhidden striped cheeks.

His rich staccato ghosted the shell of her ear. We became allies.

She laughed, whole heartedly, hauntingly. We’ve come a long way.

We have, he agreed as lids slid shut, closing out anything and everything that wasn’t her.


His name wavered from red, bitten lips.

She was sitting idle at the kitchen table with a glass of water in hand. The clock ticked midnight in soundless clicks, an irrelevant detail he noted while pulling out a chair.  

He waited.

And waited.

Then she finally spoke.

What am I to you?

A clawed hand reached to cover her own, soft to the touch. He hoped it was comforting.

You are a companion.

Salt diluted the air with her uniquely fresh scent, reminding of a tangy paradise drink. 

I want to be more.

She waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.


They went on a trip to a faraway beach.

The sky was ablaze with washes of orange and red. A star so vibrant, so burning, so constant – and beautiful. He looked to the side at her sun-kissed face. The resemblance was uncanny.

You hurt me, she surprised him out of the blue, snapping consciousness from the illusionary trance. But I don’t mind.


He held her close when she cried awake.

It had startled him, shaken him, and perhaps even scared him. And so he held her close in a tight embrace, skin gliding over skin to calm trembling nerves.

When the tears ran dry, she grieved her fears.

Will you remember me when I am gone?

The answer came to him clear as day.



She was happy again, but he knew it was transient.

Thirty-five candles flickered out in an instant.

Soon, the smile she wore would also fade.


They were watching the clouds as she toyed with his hair.

Each tender stroke was a meditating touch, reciprocated by his wandering hands between onyx-silken strands. 

You’re flawless, she marvelled in wide-eyed wonderment, stoking his amusement at such a delightful scene.

There is no such thing as flawless.

Her stare flickered, disbelieving as a rare smile slid upon his porcelain mask. Maybe I’m blind then.

Hn. Perhaps, you are.


Then came a night when she didn’t come home.

He lay awake not falling asleep, contemplating if she had gone back to her own home instead.

Would she leave him without telling? It didn’t seem like her to go without a goodbye.

His ears perked up when a sound began ringing.

With swift motions, he picked up the phone and heard his name.

Except this time, I wasn’t from her.


The walls were white and smelled of sterile slate.

The clock ticked.

And ticked.

And ticked.


Days gone-by in muted greys.

And he waited.

And waited.

And waited.


He faintly recalled what the uniformed man had said over the bone-chilling rain.

They had hailed her a hero, actions noble in cause – selfless and quick-witted – to save the child.

He laughed in a humourless cadence, straining to hear the background thrum of a fading beat. His grip on her motionless hand tightened beside the cold steel frame.

Silly miko. You weren’t supposed to be a hero. Not anymore.


A companion, he had once told her, nothing more he could give.

Yet how bitterly ironic, that the light he had found would ever leave him so dark. All those years he had been holding her were in a lover’s embrace.

And yet she had never known. He had not revealed her his story.


Her name slipped at last past a shuddering breath.

There were things he did not care to count. And there were things that he did.

Until we meet again.

The hourglass flipped over.

Let the counting begin.



A/N: I was reading some of Resmiranda’s vignettes lately (had to google what the hell a vignette was - learned something new today) and was just inspired to write out some sadness after listening to Dido’s Thank You. Definitely exploited the meeting-at-a-coffee-shop-AU trope. And first time writing a vignette.


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