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A Winter Wish by Kanna37

Wishing

Disclaimer:  I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.

---cCc---

Kagome watched her breath condense in the freezing air of a time five hundred years before her own, and sighed, releasing more of her heated breath into the atmosphere.  

It was nearing mid-winter, and it seemed on track to be a very severe one; several people in the village had already succumbed to the cold and died, and there would probably be more.

That made it difficult for her - as she couldn't stand the idea of more deaths, she'd gone home and brought back as many blankets and winter weather items as she could, using her old college fund.  

Since she wouldn't be attending college anyway.

It had been six years, and still they were collecting shards and fighting Naraku.  They would battle, and at times, they would win, taking the shards from him - then at other times, he would win, taking the shards from them.  

The problem was that one, last shard.

It hadn't been found, not by anyone.  It was as if it had fallen off the face of the earth, and without it, the jewel couldn't be finished - and her journey couldn't end.  She was well and truly trapped in a time warp, and had no future - so there was no point in worrying about college.

She'd only end up staying here, anyway, even once the jewel was completed.

But not for the reason she had once hoped.

Three years ago, the end had come for Kikyou.  It was obvious as she lay dying again that Inuyasha would not have the will to continue on, and Kagome, grieving as she was to know that he would never love her as she did him, let him go - and saved Kikyou, literally bringing her back from death.

Since then, she'd withdrawn a great deal from her friends.

It wasn't that she didn't still love them all, but now, with Kikyou and Inuyasha together, and Sango and Miroku also a couple, she was a third wheel - the only real reason she still stayed with the group was for Shippo - and because Kikyou could no longer find the shards.

Her power was gone, and for some reason, Inuyasha blamed her for that.

She sighed again, a little bitterness slipping into the sound.  At least the village got some use out of the money... since I never will.  What else will I lose before this all ends... my life?

She looked up at the sky, thankful that the snow had stopped and the clouds dissipated, leaving a wonderland - the snow reflecting the abundant starlight and the light of the sickle moon, creating a silvery, glittering vista before her.

Her breath caught as a shooting star crossed the vivid night sky, and clasping her hands, she made her wish, a fervant hope within her that it would be granted... at least someday.

She didn't want to be alone forever - and it truly would be forever, at that.

It was another burden that she hadn't mentioned to anyone - and it hadn't yet been long enough for anyone to notice the fact that she wasn't aging.  She was thankful for that - she didn't want anyone to know, it would only bring questions she wasn't prepared to answer.

Sadness once again shivering through her, she continued on the path she'd been walking on before, determined to enjoy the privacy and the chance to get away from her erstwhile companions.

It was nice, she reflected, to hear the silence, broken only by the crunch of the snow beneath her boots.  There was just something about winter - it suited her mood.

Please, kami... grant my wish.  I'm so tired of being alone...

---cCc---

Sesshoumaru watched the young woman walk along the path and wondered, once again, how and why her scent had changed so much.  And the reason that her companions had not noticed.

At the very least, Inuyasha should have - his sense of smell, while not as keen as his own, was more than sufficient to have caught the change.

If he was paying attention, that was, which apparently, he was not.

Sesshoumaru himself had been rather appalled when the young woman had brought the elder, dead miko back to life - full life.  For one, how was that even possible?  He had thought only his sword, the Tenseiga, had such power.  And second - how could the half-breed blame the younger miko for the loss of the elder's power?

Forget that the older woman had lost that power on her own - how could he be such an ungrateful whelp as to treat someone badly who'd done such a thing for him?

The young woman had come to his attention from the moment he'd met her, though at first, just in a way that had angered him.  And for some time after that, if he'd thought of her at all, it had been indifferently.  He'd never hated her, not really, and had even defended her, but then...

Then, Rin had joined him, and over time and several meetings, she and the miko had become friends - and she had visited on occasion, spending time with the little girl.  As those visits had gone on, he'd begun to speak to her more, little by little, and had found himself becoming curious about her.

Then, about a year and a half ago, she'd been visiting and they'd come under attack by one of Naraku's ubiquitous hoards - and he'd been injured protecting Rin.  

Kagome had taken care of him afterwards, ignoring his protests - and then, she'd done the ultimate - she'd given him back his arm.

Her reason?  

So he could better protect Rin... and because she felt guilty about being part of the reason it was gone in the first place.  They were no longer enemies and there was no reason for him to continue to bear the loss.

From then on out, his fascination with her had turned to obsession.

She would probably be shocked if she ever found out how often he followed her - and watched.  He'd long ago gotten over his hatred of humanity - at least, her humanity - and now, it seemed as if that wouldn't even be an issue... because she no longer had the scent of a human.

Now, she smelled of something... other.

Something had happened to her, and he didn't know what that something was.

But he wanted to know - almost desperately.  Just as he wanted her, desperately.

He sighed.  It seemed that he was damned to some unhappiness when it came to her and his desires.  Because she wanted his brother - and that was the one thing that he could never understand.

After all the things that whelp had done to her, she still loved him.  In that moment, as he watched her stare into the night sky with an enigmatic smile on her face, he hated Inuyasha with more intensity than he'd ever felt towards him before - all because his passion for this one woman would be denied for the hanyou's sake.

The halfling didn't deserve the gift of this woman's heart.

His heart ached as he noted the shine of starlight and moonlight on her skin - she looked so ethereal, and he had to smile when he saw her clasp her hands as she wished on a shooting star.

What do you wish for, miko?  I wonder...

As she continued on her way, he remembered the first time he'd seen her do so, and his reaction to it... he'd been somewhat appalled that a grown woman would do something so silly... now, however, he thought that perhaps he understood, and as he watched the tail of the star disappear, he too, made a wish.

Please, kami... let me not spend eternity alone - without her who my heart so longs for.

It would be an ironic thing if he were to lose forever the one who had uncovered the heart he hadn't even realized he still had.

The heart he'd tried so desperately to destroy.

---cCc---

Kagome was somehow not too surprised when she entered a certain clearing and found Ah-Uhn... but was a bit concerned when she found neither Rin, nor Jaken.  Just as she was about to panic, she felt the Western Lord's immense aura swell over her, and she breathed a sigh of relief - he wasn't upset, meaning wherever Rin and Jaken were, they were safe.

She turned, waiting for him to appear, and smiled lightly when he stepped out from under the trees.  With his coloring, she thought, amused, he could easily blend in to the winter landscape were he to wear a straight white haori without the red patterns.  His eyes, however, would always stand out, shining, beautiful, she didn't think anything could hide those eyes.  They would never blend in.

She bowed.  "Hello, Sesshoumaru-sama,"  she said, softly.  "I had hoped to see Rin... is she somewhere close by?"

Sesshoumaru tilted his head slightly and considered her for a moment.  "No, she is at home at the citadel.  The weather is too cold for her to travel with me as I patrol my lands."

"Ah.  I understand,"  she said, a bit disappointed.

"Should you not be returning to the half-breed, miko?"

She shook her head.  "Oh, no... they all think that I'm visiting my family."  She noted his raised brow, knowing it denoted a certain curiosity.  "I needed time away from them all... and that worked well as an excuse.  They aren't expecting me back for a few days, at least."

He frowned lightly at her.  "Where then do you go?  It is not good weather for you to be out camping in."

She blinked at him.  "I... honestly hadn't thought about it.  I was simply planning to go back through the well once I got tired this evening.  My family isn't home anyway... they are spending the holidays with other family."

This is the perfect opportunity... we could speak, uninterrupted, and I could spend several days with her.

"I would be pleased if you would visit the citadel, miko.  If you do not want to remain here, it would be ideal."  He held his breath just slightly, hoping.

Kagome was taken aback by the invitation, but when she thought about it, she had to admit, it sounded good.  "Well... I would need to return to the well so I could grab some things..."  she trailed off, hesitantly, not wanting to irritate him.

"I will walk with you - it is not far, and would be a pleasant walk,"  he offered.

"Uhm... okay, that sounds... nice,"  she smiled up at him, a bit uncertainly, and he bowed his head a little and gestured back down the path she had walked in on.  

"If it's not too impertinent to ask... why were you so far from your borders, Sesshoumaru-sama?"

He continued to walk at her side, not looking at her.  "I was simply enjoying the peace and traveled far while doing so.  Since Rin joined me, I have not traveled quite so freely as I did in the past."

She smiled at that.  He's so considerate and tender towards her...

"I understand."  She chuckled.  "Children do have a tendency to change things, don't they?"

He nodded.  "And you, miko?  Do you someday wish to have children of your own?"

She sighed despondently at that question, shooting a sideways glance at him.  

"I... once had hoped to have that... but now - well, I don't think that's going to happen,"  she said, looking up at the sky once more, trying to hold her composure.  That question hit something inside - a raw, aching place.

"Why not?  Because my bastard of a brother took your heart and used it up and then tossed it away?"  She gasped at his words, shocked, and he continued on.  "Are you unable to ever love another, miko... is that it?"

She shook her head sharply.  "No!  That's not it at all, Sesshoumaru-sama!  Inuyasha hasn't held my heart in a long time... of course what he did to me hurts, and it probably always will, in a peripheral sort of way, but..."  she stopped as they reached the well, and brushed her hand through the snow that had accumulated on the side.  "I suppose I'm just lonely,"  she said on an exhale, once again watching her breath cloud the air.  "Everyone else around me has found someone to love - and I feel like a third wheel."

Sesshoumaru almost couldn't stand the thrill of hope that ran through him with her words.  She no longer loves that baka.... perhaps, if I declared myself?  Maybe I should take this chance to begin pointing out our similarities...

"That is something that I understand well, miko.  Loneliness."  He placed his hands behind his back.  "Go retrieve what you will need.  I will await you here."

Kagome nodded, a little too surprised at his words to answer, and hopped through the well, intent on hurrying to gather her things.  

Suddenly, she was very excited to be spending the next few days with the quiet daiyoukai...

---cCc---

"That is something that I understand very well, miko.  Loneliness."

For some reason, that statement kept echoing through her mind, over and over - all night long, and into the next day as she woke and found herself surrounded by warmth and comfort.

I can't even imagine it.  Those words, coming from him, just sound so wrong.  No one as magnificently beautiful as he should ever be lonely.

I wonder why he is,  she thought, a tiny furrow settling between her brows as she sat up on her very comfortable futon.  Surely, there must be female youkai galor that would give up limbs to be held by him.

She was pulled from her thoughts by a knock at her door, and calling out "Enter,"  she waited with blankets pulled around her to see who it was.

She relaxed when Rin came in, and letting the blankets drop, she held out her arms for a hug from her young friend.

"Hello, Rin!  I'm really glad to see you!"  She grinned as the girl threw herself into her arms, and gave her a huge hug.  One couldn't help but fall in love with the adorable little girl.  "Oh!  Hey... you see my yellow bag?  If you bring it to me, I have some things for you."

The child squealed happily, rushing over to the bag and grabbing it, she dragged it close to Kagome.  "Here you go, Kagome-sama!"

Kagome tilted forward and began to rummage through the bag, quickly finding the couple of wrapped gifts she'd brought for the child, and patting the side of the futon next to her, she smiled.

"Sit here, Rin, and I'll hand them to you one at a time, okay?"  The little girl nodded, and sat down next to her, idly swinging one tiny foot as she practically hummed with excitement.

"It's chr-ristm-as time again, Kagome-sama?" she asked when she saw the brightly wrapped packages.

She nodded, laughing at her struggle to get the word right.  "Yep!  It's christmas time again, and when Sesshoumaru-sama invited me last night, I went and brought the presents I bought for you back."  Clapping her hands together with excitement, she handed the girl the first gift and watched her tear into it with abandon.

As Rin unwrapped it, Kagome grinned - she was almost more excited than Rin was - and Sesshoumaru, who was standing just outside the door watching, was amused... and his heart was touched.

Another thing she and I have in common - our affection for Rin.

The tiny child breathed out with joy as she caught sight of the gift - a doll that looked like her - she even had a matching kimono.  She'd never seen anything so beautiful, and she stared up at Kagome wide-eyed.

"She's so pretty, Kagome-sama... are you sure it's okay for me to have her?"

"Of course it is, Rin - that's why she looks like you.  I made the kimono special, and fixed her hair like yours, just for that reason."  Rin's little face beamed, and her eyes filled with tears.  "Thank you, Kagome-sama,"  she whispered.  "No one has ever given me anything like this.  I will keep her safe always, I promise!"

Kagome's heart just melted, and she hugged her tiny form again.  "I know you will, Rin."  She pulled back, then, and clapped her hands again with a large grin.  "Okay!  On to the next!"

Sesshoumaru watched as the pile of new gifts for Rin grew, including many useful winter garments and even protective boots and socks.  Apparently, she'd thought of Rin traveling with him and her need for warm garments.

The woman thought of others all the time - and it was obvious that she cared greatly for his tiny ward.

Finally, once the gifts were all opened, he cleared his throat and knocked slightly on the open door, then stepped inside.

"I see that the miko has given you many things, Rin.  Perhaps you should take them to your rooms and put them away."

Rin nodded with excitement.  "Hai, Sesshoumaru-sama, Rin will.  And then it's time for breakfast?"  she asked.

"Hai, Rin.  The miko and I will meet you in the dining room when you are done."

Rin grinned and obediently gathered her new things and took off out the door, and Kagome chuckled at the sight.  She was such an easy child to please.

"I will step outside and wait for you to dress, miko,"  he said with a small bow, and she nodded, blushing suddenly as she realized that the gorgeous daiyoukai was watching her as she was in bed.

Strange, that - it had never bothered her before.

Twenty minutes later found the three sitting comfortably at the breakfast table, enjoying their meal.  Sesshoumaru watched as the two females ate and chattered at each other with a pleasant feeling of contentment.

Rin is so animated when the miko... Kagome... is around.  I think she would be good for Rin.

And for me.

Kagome, for the first time in almost three years, felt at peace - contented and happy - and not like a third wheel.  She wasn't interrupting couple time, bothering Inuyasha and Kikyou with her presence, or otherwise making a nuisance of herself.  She had been invited here, and was welcomed.

It was a feeling she'd almost thought she'd never experience again.

After breakfast was over, Rin went off to work on her lessons and Sesshoumaru offered to show her around his home.  From what little she'd already seen, it was absolutely beautiful - but then, that should come as no surprise - for one as gorgeous as he would be out of place in anything less than such elegant surroundings.

Watch your step, girl, don't start gaining an interest in that direction - he may not hate you, but he will never see you as anything other than a lowly human.

Just don't go there, unless your looking to get your heart broken even worse than the first time.

It was certainly difficult to maintain a certain distance, though, when the gorgeous specimen in question seemed determined to devote his every waking moment to her enjoyment.  

He had taken her arm and began leading her through all the main parts of the shiro - all the public rooms, and the areas where court was held.  She chuckled when she caught the definite contempt in his expression when speaking of court - apparently she'd been quite correct about the female youkai, and his disgust with the whole thing was quite amusing.

"Oh, come now, Sesshoumaru,"  she laughed up at him,  "just last night you were saying how lonely you were - surely the fact that beautiful full-blooded youkai females are throwing themselves at you is a cause for celebration?"

He shot her a look, frown furrowing his regal brow.  "Not at all.  While I would not be averse to finding a female to spend my life with, I have no liking for being eyed constantly as though I were the main course at a formal dinner.  Such things are beneath me, and a waste of time."

She laughed again, vividly amused at the imagery involved in that statement.  The laughter soon degenerated into giggles.

"Oh, gods... I could just see you all trussed up and surrounded by hordes of hungry females!"  

He stared at her haughtily.  "Miko, your sense of humor leaves much to be desired."  He shook his head, then, the amusement fading to seriousness as his gaze drifted around the room absently.  

"I have always had extravagant tastes in some things, I suppose.  The female that would catch my attention would have to be extraordinary in one way or another, and there is nothing like that here.  These females,"  he sighed,  "that I am surrounded by here are just like every other female that can be found anywhere else."

He cast a sidelong glance at her as he was speaking, wondering if she would equate herself with his statement about someone extraordinary - and betting that she would not.  Everything he knew of her told him that she saw herself as just another human girl - not an extraordinary woman as he did.

Sure enough, it went right over her head.  

Face losing the laughing look, she frowned thoughtfully, trying to think of someone worthy of him - someone extravagent that would appease his high standards.

"Hm."  She looked up at him.  "I can't really think of anyone that would fit that specification, either, my Lord.  I suppose I can see your problem... why you're so lonely,"  she said.  "You yourself are so far above ordinary, that no one really stands high enough to ever reach you."  Certainly not me, she thought sadly.

Sesshoumaru sighed internally.  "And what about you, miko?  Where would you look to find someone that would be a worthy match for you?"

She looked surprised at that question.  "What do you mean?  I'm just an ordinary ningen girl - and there's lots of ordinary ningen men out there to choose from... if I had time for something like that, anyway."

He'd had enough of her low opinion of herself, and snorted rather indelicately.  "Please, miko, do not try to mislead me.  You are as far from ordinary as I have ever seen.  No normal ningen - or indeed, youkai - would be a suitable match for one such as you."

She fell silent at that, averting her face from him as she blushed hotly.  What is he implying here?  It almost sounds like... no, no it couldn't be.  I'm just imagining things... aren't I?  I won't allow myself to think it - to hope.  That would be tantamount to emotional suicide.

"Wow!  This room... what's it used for?"  She stared upwards in awe - the ceiling was one huge painting - a battle scene between what appeared to be an eagle youkai and an Inu.  It was beautifully done.  And it gave her an excuse to change the subject.

He glanced up at the painting, then back down at her.  "This room is the formal audience hall - needless to say, I avoid its use as much as possible.  I enjoy my solitude too much to find pleasure in being surrounded by fools."

She chuckled, still keeping her face turned from his, and he narrowed his eyes - had she started to catch on to what he'd been saying to her?  Was that, perhaps, why she suddenly couldn't meet his gaze?

"Would you care to walk the grounds, miko?"  

She started as he spoke, having lost herself in her thoughts for a moment, and pasting on a fake smile, she nodded.

"Sure!  Sounds good - the fresh air would be nice."

He raised a brow, but didn't say anything, letting her get away with her attempt to change the subject - for now.

He wasn't about to give up, however...

---cCc---

Kagome once again stood outside under a beautiful winter night's sky, and sighed wistfully.  It had been a good day - one she had enjoyed very much.

She'd been happy, being right where she was - it had been comforting, and for the first time in years... she hadn't been lonely.

Well, she'd been comforted, besides the rather confusing times that it had seemed that Sesshoumaru was trying to say something - without actually coming out and saying it.  

What it had seemed like he was hinting at, however, just could not be real.  She had to be misreading something somewhere.

Had to be.

But... what if I'm not?  Is it possible that he's so lonely, that he's willing to take what he can get?  She shook her head almost violently.  No, if that were the case, he'd have simply taken one of the many youkai females around here and been done with it.

At that thought, an expression of such poignant loneliness and sadness settled on her starlit features that the youkai lord observing her took a step towards her involuntarily, reaching for her before he could bring himself back under control

She should never look that way, he thought, vehemently.  Damn the half-breed and his wench!

Clearing his throat lightly, he waited for her to acknowledge his presence, then moved forward and stood beside her.  He cast her an enigmatic look.

"What is on your mind, I wonder, miko?  For the expression on your face was not acceptable to this one - you looked... unhappy, and I would not see you that way," he finished softly.

Kagome flushed, still staring at the night sky.  "It's that whole loneliness thing again, Sesshoumaru-sama... nothing anyone can do to fix it, really."

"Do you really believe that?  In order to not be lonely, you must avoid being alone."  She sent him an ironic look at that.  "Tell me... were you lonely earlier - when we were together?"

"No..."  she trailed off, glancing over at him.  "But we will not always be together, ne?  And then what?  Back to being lonely.  Eventually, Sesshoumaru-sama, you will find your 'extraordinary female'... and I will still be alone."

There was silence for a while, as they both continued to stare into the skies.

And then he spoke.

"And what if I have already found my extraordinary female - but she does not realize it because she does not see what I do?  What would you advise me to do then, miko?"

She was startled, that was obvious, and he watched from the corner of his eye the emotions that passed over her face in quick succession - confusion, disbelief, hurt, resignation - and surprise.  

I... was hoping.  Even after trying to talk myself out of these feelings, I was still hoping, like the fool I am.  Damn... just how deep do these feelings go - and why did I never notice until now?  How did he sneak in?

Unaware of the yearning sadness visible in every line of her body, every glimmer of her eyes, she tried to smile and act as though nothing were wrong.

"If you have already found someone that you want, then you should just tell her.  Declare yourself... before it is too late."

"And if she were to reject me?"  He watched her closely, wanting to see her reaction to that question.

She looked almost insulted at that question.  As if..!  No woman in their right mind would turn him away!

 "You will never know until you try, Sesshoumaru-sama,"  she said, as she tried to school her expression into a blankly pleasant one.

She does not like the idea of me going to another woman... it bothers her greatly - as it would bother me were she to go to another male.  This is... encouraging.

Perhaps... perhaps I should then take her advice - and declare myself.

Before he could speak, however, a strong pulse of youki thrummed through the night sky, and Kagome's eyes widened as she looked around for the cause.  Sesshoumaru sighed internally and wiped all expression from his face as he waited.

"Do not be concerned, miko.  It is this one's mother."  He bowed to her.  "I will go and meet her - we will speak on this matter again later."  

Kagome nodded at him as he turned and moved away.  His mother, huh?  I didn't realize she was still around.

It occurred to her, rather belatedly, that he had said their earlier discussion wasn't over - and she wondered what else could possibly be said on the subject.

With a depressed shrug, she decided she'd think about it later, and hopefully, he'd forget it... she didn't really want to talk about his soon-to-be love-life.

Turning, she walked back the way she'd come, intent on finding her bed and crying herself to sleep.

Maybe a good cry will make me feel better.

---cCc---

Satori studied her son as he walked towards her, and raised a brow. Mockingly, she said,  "So.  This one's son still cannot act pleased to see her.  Even after she brought back your little ningen girl, you offered no thanks."

"What is it that you do here, mother?"  Sesshoumaru really wasn't in the mood to deal with her at this point - she'd never been the easiest person to get along with.  She was too dramatic in her actions for his more refined tastes.

She sighed, eyeing her son with exasperation.  "I came to encourage you, my son.  I am your mother, after all, and I wish for you to be happy.  It would be a waste of a long, long life if you were to spend it frozen and alone."

He narrowed his eyes on her suspiciously.  "And just what do you mean by that, mother?"  he asked, unsure whether he really wanted to know.

"It is time for you to take a mate, Sesshoumaru."

A subsonic growl burst threateningly from his chest.  "Do not attempt to foist some foolish female upon me, mother.  I already have found one I wish to take as mate - I do not need your assistance."

Waving a hand languidly at him, she turned with a rather superior smile.  "Did you think that I did not know this, my son?  I am well aware of the young miko that has thawed and stolen your heart, and who is currently here in the citadel."

Sesshoumaru gazed at her thoughtfully, eyes narrowed on her.  "And what do you intend?"

She laughed lightly, and turned to look at him over her shoulder.  "Come, my son, follow me to my rooms.  I have... something to show you - and then you will see that your mother only has your best interests at heart."  

He walked after her, curious, but not inclined to tolerate any foolishness on her part.  If she attempted to cause any trouble...

When they reached the set of rooms that had been set aside for her for when she would choose to visit, she moved into the sitting room and lowered herself gracefully to the cushions, motioning for him to join her.  He did, rather reluctantly.

"What is it that you wish to show this Sesshoumaru?"

She shook her head with mock dismay.  "So uncouth, Sesshoumaru!  Did this Satori not teach you any manners?"  She waved away his irritated growl.  "Do not growl at me as though I were a lowly servant.  I am still your mother, pup, and you will respect that."  She settled back comfortably on the cushions, and ignored his glare.  

"Now,"  she reached into her kimono sleeve, and pulled something out,  "I have kept this hidden for some time.  I knew, you see, of your interest in the little miko, and felt that hiding this would give you time to come to terms with your desire - and for her to get past her affection for a certain annoyance named Inuyasha."

With that, she reached her hand towards him, and he held his own out... somehow not surprised when she dropped a shard of the shikon jewel into it.  Brow cocked questioningly, he asked,  "How long have you had this, mother, and why did I not sense it?"

"Since just after the collapse of Mt. Hakurei, and I have had this shielded, that is why."  She chuckled with a satisfied air.  "It is the one that they have all been searching for so desperately.  I have kept it safe - I had no desire for that filthy Naraku to attempt to dirty the air at my palace, nor did I want you to know I had it when you came to work on the meidou.  It is still shielded."

He stared at it for a time, considering what she had said.  "So, you did this so I would have a chance at claiming the female I desire."  He looked up at her.  "She is ningen, and yet you do not attempt to dissuade me from this path - especially after father's actions?"

Satori stared at her son for a moment, then let the mask slip, and met his gaze with a seriousness he was unaccustomed to in her.

"There are differences between what happened with your father and I, and Izayoi, and you and your miko, Sesshoumaru.  For one thing, you do not already have a mate.  And for another, your little miko is far from a powerless female as Izayoi was.  Any pups she bears you will not suffer from the fate that Inuyasha does."

He sat back, his thoughts running rampant with the things she had said.  So... any pups I create with the miko will not have Inuyasha's weaknesses.  That is reassuring - I was not sure about that.  And mother does not wish to cause trouble over my choice.  That is most surprising, I must say.  Never would I have believed it if she had not said it herself.

He clenched his hand around the shard, and looked up at his waiting mother.  "This Sesshoumaru thanks you for this gift.  I will retire now, and will speak to the miko on the morrow.  Goodnight, mother."

Satori nodded as her son stood and left the room.

She will accept your suit, my son - do not be concerned.  This Satori has seen her heart.

It is yours.

 

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