A Farewell to Sorrow by Drosselmeyer

Chapter 1


By: Drosselmeyer

An obscenely late birthday gift for Milomai19. My dear friend, I have so enjoyed our late night talks and constant discovery of shared loves across multiple subjects - including hands and piano music. ;)

I blame this on that.


He tells her stories without words.

After midnight, Kagome wakes to memories that drift on the veiled notes of ivory keys and slips from their bed. It calls to her, this language only spoken on the whispers of shadows, and she must commune with it before the sun rises.

Once day breaks everything changes.

Grabbing her robe, she shrugs it on, shivering as the cool silk glides over her skin. But the sensation is welcome, and she ties it loosely, all but begging the night air to chase away the summer heat that still lingers.

And it always, always lingers.


“Oof. We bought a heat trap.” Kagome pulled the t-shirt sticking to her away from her skin and grimaced at the sweat marking the front.  

Sesshoumaru didn’t look to be faring any better.

She gave him a sly grin. “Ready to lower your standards and embrace the breathable benefits of cotton?”

An indignant snort was her response. “No.”

Laughing, she tugged his hair. “At least let me pull this back.”


“Suit yourself.” She flopped into a chair. “But by this time next year, you’ll be the one stretched out naked in the library with a man bun.”

“Again, no.”


She opens their bedroom door.

The hallways are dark. Haunting. Lighted sconces line the walls, the rich tones of antiquated décor muted by the dark while amber flames flicker in a draft that warns of an open window. 

It makes her wonder which ghosts have found their way in with the invitation.

Padding softly down the long corridor, she follows the melody that dragged her from sleep. It echoes in her chest, his heartache taking over the beat of her own as the vibrations of new strings resonate in antique wood.

She sighs. He was right; the sound is warmer.



“What are you going to do with this?” Kagome wrinkled her nose at the dust rolling off the antique Hamburg Model A Steinway.

“Restore it. Play it.”

“I’ve never known you to play anything.” Curiosity getting the best of her, she depressed a key and then cringed at the buzzing twang that rang back.

Sesshoumaru hissed and flinched, his head snapping to the side.

She smiled sheepishly. “Oops.”

Glaring, he lowered the fallboard. “I do not play yet.”

“How much did we spend on ‘do not play?’”

He said nothing and turned to walk away.

“Stop right there, Demon Lord!”


He still surprises her even after centuries together.

Moving to her tiptoes as she draws closer, Kagome warms to the soft music and finds herself smiling despite the melancholy that sings through the wee hours.

His playing is as beautiful as always.

He doesn’t read music—has never had to. His hearing is a scary kind of perfect that allows him to listen to something once and then play it back forever. And while playing the piano is not something she ever would have pictured him doing, he does, and now she can’t imagine it not being part of him.


He only played at night.

Kagome crept into the library, lured by the melody of memories best forgotten, and sat on the rolled-arm sofa, waiting for him to finish with the haunting tune spun from their past.

She sighed. Like everything he played, it pierced her soul with a longing that made her arms scream to reach out, wrap around him, and never let go. But it wasn’t that simple.

Eyes watchful, she sunk down into the cushions. And as he bled through his fingertips, she pretended that her heart wasn’t breaking.

That he wasn’t shattering like glass before her.



She doesn’t bother knocking anymore.

Without a word, Kagome slips past the heavy door into the library. The floor to ceiling window is cracked open to let in the night breeze, drapes blowing in the draft as moonlight spills into the room.

Pale beams fall onto him where he plays, and she shivers at the silvery, spectral image, inhaling through her nostrils. A part of him will always be otherworldly, and she finds herself grateful for the reminder.

Moving to the sofa, she sits, watching him play as the language only spoken on the whispers of shadow surrounds them both.


“Your hands are perfect.”

Fingers stopping on the keys, he stared silently at the unmoving appendages. “Strange that you think so.”

Kagome frowned and motioned for him to move over. “I know what you’re thinking.” She sat hip to hip and laced her fingers through his against the ivory. “That was a long time ago.”

He didn’t speak, his fingers mimicking the movement of the piece he had been playing as he lost himself to memory.

She sighed, lifting his hand to kiss his palm. “I love you.”

When desperate arms suddenly pulled her close, she just held him back.


The desperation is always there. It cries out in the syncopated undercurrents of rhythm he weaves, and he buries himself in the pulse, barely managing to staunch the agony weeping from his fingers.

Tears burn at her eyes. She can’t say anything, can’t stop it. She’s as much a prisoner to his pain as he is, waiting night after night for that moment—the moment grief gives way and leaves him hemorrhaging what is trapped inside over ridiculously expensive ivory keys.

His rhythm changes, the downbeat suddenly accented, and her head snaps up.

He’s closer to breaking than she thought.


“How are you two really?”

Kagome shrugged at her mother over their video call, her hand automatically settling over her empty stomach. “It comes and goes.” She forced a smile. “We’ll be okay.”

“Are you getting enough rest?”

“When I can.” Flipping the phone around, she headed into the library. “Actually, let me show you my favorite napping place. It’s almost done. We just need the new air conditioner—”

Her mother gasped.

“Sesshoumaru!” Kagome shrieked.


Man bun.


“Well,” her mother’s disembodied voice choked, “you staying in the past suddenly makes more sense.”

Kagome cringed. “Oh, gods.”

Sesshoumaru smirked.



Even memories spun with humor seem destined for asperity, and she smiles so she doesn’t cry. But as the corners of her mouth begin to creep up, bittersweet like citrus peel on her tongue, the music changes, and she feels it slip away.

A dirge.

Her tears come back, and she closes her eyes, the pain too intense in that moment as remembrance swallows her as it does him.




Too many babies to count.

His mother.

When she finally opens her eyes, the first silvery tears are slipping down his cheeks, silent as he continues to play.


The call had come two hours after sunset, and the sound of the piano had not ceased since.

Sniffling, her eyes rimmed red, Kagome moved behind the bench and leaned over his back, placing her hands over his.

His playing stopped.

“What can I do?” she whispered.

His voice was unnaturally calm, even for him. “Nothing.”


He suddenly threw the prop stick, cacophonous sound raging as the lid slammed against the rim, and her clothes fell in shreds.

Dissonance plagued their ears for an hour, and after, it cost them nearly three hundred dollars to get the piano tuned.



His fingers stumble, and he misses a note, and she’s off the couch before he can try to resume the melody.

“No.” Her voice trembling, she wedges between him and the key slip, straddling his lap and cupping his cheeks. And when vacant, dull gold opens to look at her, her heart plummets. “No.”

Cold tears trail over her fingers, but his face never changes.

It’s terrifying.

Fighting for her own control, she pulls his forehead to hers. “No more ghosts,” she whispers, and her heart shatters—hopes—when his breath hitches. “Sesshoumaru, let them go.”

And finally, he does.


They lay together in bed, their window open as the sound of thunder rolled in from a small distance, promising rain before morning.

“Do you remember that first Obon”—his voice, still rough from earlier, caught—“after Rin?”

Turning in his arm, Kagome nestled her head under his chin. “Which part?”

A wistful smile pulled at his lips. “Inuyasha.”

She snickered. “Lord of the Dance?”


“Sesshoumaru,” she said, laughing, “I will never forget your face when you realized your hair was on fire—or Inuyasha’s.”

He chuckled, the sound warm and deep. “It is my fondest memory of him.”


It’s not quite noon when soft tendrils of music reach her ears, and her eyes dart to the shining sun out the window before a ridiculous smile splits her face.

He’s playing.

Abandoning her coffee, she rushes up the stairs and down the hallway to the library, nearly tripping over her feet on the way. But when she pushes through the door, when she sees him playing there wrapped in peace and serenity, it’s worth the almost faceplant.

“‘Nuvole Bianche?’” she asks, sitting beside him.

He bends to kiss her, still playing. “Yes.”

Heart surging, Kagome scoots closer. “Teach me?”




A/N: "Nuvole Bianche" is a piece by Ludovico Einaudi. Thank you for reading.