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Blood in the Water by Starfyre

Watching

AN: I own nothing. FYI: There is NO rape in my stories. Ever. It may be mentioned, but it will NEVER under any circumstance be described. Now, I'm in college, so updates may be slightly erratic. I've written several chapters to this so far so it'll be a few days before school interferes. For those waiting on an update to Borrowed, I apologize now. My muse abandoned me because I started doing some research for that fic. :/ fickle bitch. lol. I promise that I will get an update out on it eventually. but for now, please enjoy my muse's newest obsession. Warning there will be slight OOCness as Kagome is not from the future. She is a fully trained miko. They do not know each other. so yeah, different relationship dynamics.

Warning: this story will have death! There will be CHILD DEATH at some point, and possibly character death. You are warned. Read at your own risk.

Chapter 1

Watching

She stood watching the waves crashing on the sandy beach, the wind tossing her ebony tresses to and fro. Occasionally an errant lock would whip her lightly tanned face until she reached up and pulled it back.

Spring was coming. The quiet village that sat little more than a twenty minute walk away from the shore was gearing up quietly for the upcoming change. But it was not a pleasant change. Spring brought more than planting in this village.

Spring meant that the merfolk would return to their shores. That was why the priestess stood watching the ocean. It was coming. She could feel it. Almost taste it. Her eyes searched for the signs. It was not the mermaids this village feared. It was the mermen.

Last year, no less than four young virgin women had been drowned. Two more had been taken by the mermen, never to be seen again. That would change this year, they knew. Those two were not dead. They were the chosen. They had become the new brides of the males that stole them.

Now, they would return, with tails, hoping to drag the unwary prey of the land dwelling creatures into the depths. Animal, human, hanyou, youkai, it didn't matter. Any not strong enough, not fast enough, would be dragged from shore or ship into the waters, and all that would return would be bones, if they ever found anything at all.

The priestess stared out at the roiling winter clouds and the dark gray waters, with the angry foam caps. How ironic. The ocean looked so threating now, while the gravest dangers of those dark depths were still off haunting distant shores to the south, or slinking in the deepest recesses of the salty seas. When spring truly claimed this place, the tides would turn. The water would seem so much friendlier, so much more inviting, belying those dangerous things that waited just below the surface.

“Lady Kagome! The other priestess has arrived!” a woman yelled as she came running.

Kagome turned only enough to let the other know she had heard, her eyes never leaving the crashing waves. The woman came to a stop beside her a moment later.

“Thank you, Sango,” Kagome replied quietly, “Who is it that has come?”

“Lady Kikyo's sister, Lady Kaede. Lady Kikyo could not come this year. The winter was too harsh on one of her age. The temple in the mountains has promised to send a monk to assist us this spring. Perhaps this year, we may send these youkai away to uninhabited shores so that this poor village might recover. They have lost so many to the sea the last few years. There is talk from those with daughters who will be coming into womanhood within the year of moving, or sending the girls away to other villages. My father does not think that it will save the women of this village. I am beginning to think we are facing more than just the average merfolk,” the slayer sighed, shaking her head as she, too, watched the ocean.

“I agree, Sango. If the count is accurate from the last three years, this village has lost nearly twenty girls, and still they return. The number of mermaids has increased, but no one has spoken of seeing their young. Why take brides and not breed?”

“Perhaps it will be different this year, last year they took that traveling priestess who had offered aid,” Sango stated, although she didn't really believe anything would change this year.

“No, it will not change. I can feel it. They are coming. They are already here. I know they are. The signs have not been seen as of yet, but they are here. The mermen will gather, and they will call, they will stalk and hunt. Were you here to defend last year, Sango?”

“No, the slayers' village did not receive the request for aid soon enough. The village headman thought that Lady Kikyo, and the traveling priestess would be enough, until after the girls started washing up on shore. By the time our slayers could get here, it was over. Four drowned, two claimed, one of which was a decent priestess from what Lady Kikyo told Lady Kaede. Not overly powerful, but certainly not weak. She was fairly experienced as well. We will know soon enough if they have come, for now, we should return to speak with Lady Kaede. You need food and rest as well, Lady Kagome,” Sango explained, before touching the other woman's arm, gently imploring her to leave her lone vigil behind, “You have been out her since before the sun. It is after midday. This cold wet wind, and no food will lead you to nothing good, Lady Kagome.”

“Yes. You are right, Sango. Let us return to the village then,” Kagome sighed.

Sango turned away, moving back to the faint path she had followed here. Kagome stood a few minutes longer, staring out at the still crashing waves. Even as they had spoken she had never taken her eyes from the raging sea. With her arms still folded over her chest, she finally, slowly turned away shaking her head sadly. She followed the path left by the female slayer away from the beach.

Out in the waves, eyes watched...

 

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