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Notes from The Future by Omnicurls

Sight

“Can you hurry up?” Inuyasha scratched the bandana she had forced him to wear. He hated it; it looked silly, and it itched. He hated this tea shop; there were far too many people, making too much noise, and the impossibly large selection of tea leaves and flowers blended into one sickening herby-sweet smell that he knew would cling to his hair and clothes for days.

“You didn’t have to come with me; I told you that you could wait at home.” She was speaking to him, but her eyes were glued to the wall of teas. She looked down at the two tins in her hand and bit her bottom lip, “Pomegranate or hibiscus. This is hard.”

“Right. So you’d spend all day here and waste the time we should be using to fix the damn jewel?” He folded his arms across his chest. “They are the same, just pick one.” He reached for the nearest tin, determined to end the shopping trip by deciding for her. She saw what he was trying to do and turned her back to him, protecting her precious tins from his exasperated grasp.

“No. This is my free time; let me have this.” She held the teas to her chest and pouted. It tantamount to cheating; he could not force her to leave when she pouted like that.

Inuyasha threw his head back and groaned at the ceiling, “Tea is tea. Pick one. Hurry.”

“Ok, one minute. Let me ask for the shop assistant’s opinion again.” She hurried off before he could change his mind, and Inuyasha raked his hand down the side of his face. When he looked down, he saw Kagome on the far side of the shop, coming out of the restroom – could she have walked that quickly? He narrowed his eyes and frowned. He could swear that when they entered the shop, she had been wearing her school uniform, but now she was in a pale blue summer dress.

He did not trust his eyes, but he let them follow her across the back of the store, to cluster of tables nestled against the windows. She stopped at a table and his breath stilled. He watched her place her hand on the back of the sole empty chair and leaned towards at the man seated across, “Ok, let’s go.”

He knew that man. Try as he might to hide behind darkened hair and an erasure of his markings, Inuyasha could Sesshomaru in a sea of imposters; his arrogance was singular, otherworldly, and as much a part of him as his own skin.

He watched Sesshomaru drink from a teacup, place it down gently, and nod to Kagome. Sesshomaru stood up and she slipped her arm through his, ready to leave.

“Wait.”

Inuyasha knew that voice. He wanted to say something, to confront the pair and demand and explanation, but his mind had ground to a halt as it frantically searched for a gear that would enable him to understand what his eyes were telling him.

Sesshomaru picked up a scarf off the back of the chair and carefully wound it around her neck. He slipped his hand behind her neck and pulled her free of the looped scarf. “You can be so forgetful.” He sounded soft.

Kagome smiled. Inuyasha had never seen that smile on her; it was radiant and giddy. He watched Sesshomaru kiss her lightly on the forehead before leaving the store with her, and all the while Inuyasha remained immobilised by disbelief. Before the shop door closed behind him, that bastard looked back and caught his eye.

“Ok, I’m done. I hope you’re happy.” He jumped and turned, and he was looking at Kagome, his Kagome in her school uniform sipping tea from a disposable cup. She frowned at his obvious confusion, “Are you ok?”

In that moment, he realised he had been dreaming. He had to have been. “Yeah, this place is driving me crazy. Can we go now?” Without waiting for an answer, he grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the shop. He needed to leave and return to a place where things made sense.

……………………….

Inuyasha knew he had seen a hallucination, brought on by the hellish mixtures of tea that wreaked havoc on his senses, but no matter how hard he tried he could not get the image of Sesshomaru softly looking down at Kagome – that bastard was never soft; that alone was proof that he had been dreaming. But dream or not, the idea of Kagome smiling up at Sesshomaru as if he were the sun, hurt in ways that Inuyasha himself was still trying to understand. So he kept an eye on them.

He had to monitor opposite sides of the camping ground because Sesshomaru would never deign to mix with common humans. He had brought Rin over, and immediately retreated as far away from the group as he could without actually leaving them. Kagome was whispering to Sango over a boiling kettle. He could hear them; it was harmless village gossip that had somehow seeped into their group. Inuyasha leaned comfortably against his tree branch. He was glad to be back in his era, where things made sense, and Kagome and Sesshomaru never so much as looked at each other. They could have been in different world for all the contact they had, and that suited him perfectly well. Satisfied, he let his eyes slip closed.

“Inuyasha, would you like some tea?” Kagome called for below.

“You know I hate that shit.” He scowled.

“You could have just said no.” She rolled her eyes at him and shook her head. She scanned the camping ground until her eyes fell on the quiet daiyoukai, staring into the distance.

“Sesshomaru-sama.” She called out, and Inuyasha opened one, lazy eye to watch her. “Would you like a cup of tea?”

Sesshomaru tilted his head so slightly it was almost imperceptible and watched her without saying a single word. Inuyasha could feel the unease rolling off her as she tried to read his half-brother, and he found comfort in how uncomfortable she was speaking to Sesshomaru – as she should be.

“It’s pomegranate white tea.” She spoke slowly, as though unsure of her own words.

Sesshomaru looked at her for a moment longer, and then nodded as imperceptibly as he had tilted his head. Kagome smiled and filled the cup she held.

They had spoken, as they had in the tea shop hundreds of years in the future, but there something missing in their exchange. Sesshomaru was as cold to her as he was to every other being, if not colder; he never said a word and barely graced her generosity with a full nod. When she smiled it was in his general direction, and it was the polite yet distant smile she gave to strangers of which she was wary. There was no string to pull the two together, and though Inuyasha did not know what exactly was missing in their interaction, he knew it was fundamental to that hallucination in the tea shop. So much so that he allowed his eye to slide closed, content with the present, not realising that the present always gave way to the future and the only thing missing was time.  

Kagome walked over to Sesshomaru, careful not to spill any of tea. She was uniquely uncomfortable around him, and she told herself it was because he made himself so intimidating. He was uniquely guarded around her, which he attributed to her unwarranted openness. “It’s very subtle, I hope you like it.”  She held out the cup to him. When he reached to accept it, his claws grazed the back of her hand. Her breath hitched in her throat, something sparked behind his normally impassive eyes, and time creaked into motion, ready to fling itself at the miko and inudaiyoukai with the force of the gods.  

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A/N: I loved this story when I first wrote it, but after taking down my stories, I realised I did not have a copy of this one story. I have tried to recreate it, and I hope I did it justice. 

 

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