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Hollow Man by raindancer13

Hollow Man

  He sat in his home and glanced out the window. The sunset was beautiful. But never as beautiful as she was. He remembered her so clearly. The way her black hair shown with blue highlights in the sun. The way that her eyes sparkled in such a way that they seemed to make the stars look green with envy. She was perfect in everyway. Except one major flaw. One that he just could not seem to let go... Her mortality. He knew when he took her as a mate that she would one day die. Her frail human body aged everyday that passed. As the years went by, the lines in her face became for evident. Her hair once a sleek black, became a dull grey. Her eyes never changed though. Her eyes, that he loved so much. He sat and stared at the picture. The only picture he had of her. It was painted in the fuedal era and restored over the years so many times, he was afraid that it was disentigrate at his touch. Yet, somehow, it held fast. His left hand stroked the beard that he had let grow. Nearly as long as his hair now.

"Kagome..." The word was a whisper on his lips. A word he'd repeated a thousand more times and a thousand more times after that. Why couldn't he save her? What was the point in being powerful if you could not even save the one you love? The once great and powerful Lord Sesshoumaru was now an empty shell of his former self. And had been for nearly five centuries. He had to admit that the only time he felt alive was when he watched her. Watched her grow from a baby to a child. From a child to a teenager. From a teenager to the woman he so desperately loved. Stalking was the term most commonly used. But he never let her see him. He never approached her. Never touched her. Though it killed him that he could not hold her, he just had to see her. He had to hear her voice even from a distance.  

 He knew the moment she was born. He'd found her family a long time ago. Monitered them. Made sure they were fit to raise his Kagome. He found them acceptable. When her father died he made an anymous donation to the shrine that her family had moved to, to help them as best he could without interfering or upsetting the balance. The Fates were watching him and he knew it. He knew that if he even had so much as an accidental run-in with her, they would change their design completely and they would never end up together when she made her trip through the well. He could not risk it. So he watched. He waited. He did nothing. He waited until the day that she went through the well for the first time. He knew exactly what would happen then. He knew exactly how time would play out. And he knew what he had to do.

He gently took the painting from his wall and placed it in the shipping crate padded by the packing peanuts. A note written in an elegant hand was placed ontop of the painting. He poured on more packing peanuts and nailed the lid onto the crate. There was no return address. He would take the crate to the shrine himself.

 As he marched his way down the street, crate under his arm, he received many strange looks but he did not care. He did not see them. He only saw her. It was as if she knew what he wanted to do and was guiding him through the masses of people that seemed to bar his way. Everywhere he looked she was there. Her dark hair with the blue highlights. Her pale but flawless skin. Her eyes... Her eyes that seemed to see into his soul. Her eyes that saw him for who he truly was and not some killing machine. Kagome. His Kagome.

 He knew that she would not be at the shrine. She was gone. Gone through the well and straight to his half brother.  However, her family was there. And he did not bother to conceal himself. He let his long silver hair shine in the light. His markings were worn proudly on his face. His pointed ears poked through his hair. Lord Sesshoumaru was once again. He climbed the shrine's stairs one by one. Each step seemed lighter than the last. As if a terrible burdden was being lifted from his shoulders. He felt confident that this is what she would want. The courtyard was empty. Her mother, brother, and grandfather were in the well house hollering for Kagome.

"She fell down there, gramps, I swear she did!!"

"I believe you, Souta, but she isn't there now."

"What do we do now, dad? Where's my baby gone?"

He tuned out the panicked tones of her family. There was no point in listening. He leaned the crate against The Sacred Tree. The Sacred Tree. He looked up into the knarly branches of the tree that had been his brother's resting place for fifty years. The place where he and Kagome had shared their first kiss and many more that followed. He closed his eyes at the memory of her soft lips caressing his own. A warmness touched his cheek. When he opened his eyes, there stood Kagome. His Kagome. The Kagome that he could not live without. Her smile that he had not seen in so long took it's rightful place on her beautiful face.

"Sesshoumaru." She said softly. "It's time to come home, now." Sesshoumaru leaned into the softness of her hand and closed his eyes.

"Take me, then. I am yours. As I always have been." Kagome smiled and kissed him gently on the cheek and he felt himself fill up. He was whole again. He wrapped his arms around his mate and let her take him. He was happy to go.

When the Higurashi family emerged from the well house, they looked up just in time to see a group of Sakura petals dancing playfully in the wind where Mrs. Higurashi could have sworn there was a man standing there with her daughter not a moment before. But when she blinked they were gone, replaced by the soft pink petals.

"What's this crate, mom?" Souta asked running over to it.

"I- dont' know, dear."

"Can we open it?" Souta asked. Mrs. Higurashi looked at the crate. It was adressed to them. Interesting. She didn't remember ordering anything off line. They family carried the crate inside in silence and opened with the greatest of care. Mrs. Higurashi genlty moved the packing peanuts aside to reveal the face of... Her daughter? But the painting was so old it couldn't possibly be a painting of her. As she gently lifted the painting out of the crate a peice of paper fluttered to the ground. Souta picked it up and read what it said. His eyes widened before handing the note to his grandfather. As the old man's arthritic hands clasped the paper, Mrs. Higurashi noticed it for the first time.

"What's it say, dad?" She asked turning her gaze back to painting that held a woman that eerily resembled her daughter. Gramps read the elegant script.

To The Honorable Higurashi Family.

I have it on good authority that this is a painting of a Higurashi maiden from the Fuedal Age and I feel that it rightfully belongs to the Higurashi family.

Sincerly

Lord S.

Along with the note there was a check pinned to it that had been written out for $12,000,000 dollars.

As Mrs. Higurashi wondered who Lord S. could possibly be and why he would make such a... Well, a generous donation, Souta shouted in amazement and began pointing to the back of the painting.

"MOM! LOOK!"

Mrs. Higurashi carefully turned the painting over to find some characters that were badly worn down but still readable. But just barley. To this day she swears that the characters on the back of the painting say, "Lady Kagome Higurashi. Mate to the Great Sesshoumaru, Lord of the Western Lands." And to this day, it hangs in the Higurashi shrine for all to see.

 

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