1/3 by ProudHanyou

Chapter 1

Existence is suffering.

After more than a millenium of solely walking this earth, Sesshomaru was tired.

Every step he ever gave made him further and further away from everything he knew and called home.

Like a titan he wondered thought many lifetimes, never leaving anything behind, never taking, never caring. He had absolutely no idea if his solitude was a welcomed friend or a sad reality.

He never forgot anything.

So he devoted his particular eternity to remembrance, to collect memories.

Not his, but the ground’s he journed upon.

Sesshomaru was never one to care about details, he was never careful, he was never delicate with anything he touched. Much to his surprise, he ended up doing all these things and more, in his line of work.

There was no need for the money, of course, but the need was for something much more powerful, the need of being part of something bigger and more important than him. History.

Becoming an archaeologist was not hard or tiresome, it was what only can be described as natural. He was part of history, only fair he ended up searching for and preserving it.

His mother would have laughed at his face. In his youth he was absolutely terrified of staying grounded by his duties, he felt like a caged animal, suffocated. 

Funnily enough, his whole life now is to stay grounded, looking for things that once were, that are now only fragile dust on his brush. His life is now to remember for those who can’t, for those who are no longer walking with him.

The absurdity of it all, to go looking for pain. To free-willingly remember anything that was taken from him. To choose to remember her, knowing how much it hurt, how much it still hurts.

This burning agony of knowing he would never touch her again. The worst of it all, he still could remember her scent, he would wake alone at night, smelling it, like she was just there a moment ago.

Every morning he would wake up exhausted, not from the sleepless night but from the weight of the centuries he carried, every morning he would go to work he would have nothing to come back to.

A call interrupted his much needed not at all efficient morning cup of coffee, his intern and assistant had scheduled a meeting for later that morning, turns out the matter at hand was more pressing than thought and he was needed immediately.

Apparently some artifacts from an unknown period of time were found in his excavation site, being the person responsible for this facility and the more experienced professional in his field he had to be the first one to uncover the truth about this new discovery.

The deeper part of the excavation led to a place totally unknown to them. The place looked weirdly untouched by man or time, like it was dislocated from history itself.

Had he known what was about to happen, would he step into this god forgotten piece of earth? To that, he had no answer.

As he walked through the dusty hole, his eyes adjusted just enough so he could see whole houses inside a village and what looked like a public space. 

Such an eerie atmosphere made his skin crawl, the soil powder was of little help, his nose could smell nothing but the ancient death within these walls.

He walked carefully between what once were homes, looking for something he had yet to discover what was. 

Feeling a bit lost from all the dust and dark, he followed his gut to the highest place he could see, a tower nearing the end of the village.

The door disturbingly loud squeaking noise announced his presence, inside the tower the air felt dense and unmoving, like a place outside of time.

There was some kind of altar at the end of the room, oddly clean for a place so old. Upon a red untouched pillow laid a pink marble. The iridescent little jewel just stood there, like a predator waiting for its clueless prey to get dangerously near.

Sesshomaru could feel the stone's vicious aura, but he was not one to retreat, not to death, not to anything.

So he took a step closer, and then another, until he reached the little shrine made for that wicked gem, he had to know.

The stone shone violently, asking to be touched, patiently waiting for its dinner.

Sesshomaru closed the little distance left between him and the jewel, carefully his digits brushed against the surprisingly warm surface.

An unknown sensation ran through his body. The stone suddenly ignited under his fingers and exploded, throwing him from the altar’s steps into the cold floor.

His head hurt from the impact, there was a liquid running down his neck.

The smoke smell, the burnt flesh, the bloodied hair, all invaded his nostrils at once. His hands felt rock beneath its palms, his ears were covered by desperate distant screams.

He seated himself, his vision blurry. The only thing he could make, red and white not far from him. Her scent caught his attention between the battle’s smells. After centuries her sweet fragrance lived only in his memory, he had forgotten how it really felt to fill his lungs with her.

The fuzzy sight began to normalize, his heart abruptly stopped at her bloodied beat up view, her limp body laid motionless on the ground.

“No.” He inhaled deeply, breathing her scent he realized there was so much iron in it. So much.

Slowly he waddled in her direction, wanting to get to her but progressively recognizing the smell of death in each step he took closer.

Sesshomaru kneeled by her still form, too still for his likes. She was such an outrageously restless creature. Why wasn’t she moving?

“Miko?” His voice was low and quiet. Only Kagome could discern the broken tone underneath that single word.

Carefully he gathered her fractured body to his chest, her breathing weak and almost inaudible.

Her ocean blue eyes opened, looking directly into glassy amber eyes, her face pale from blood loss, her smile still intact.

“Sessho...maru.” Her hand reached his face fraily stroking his magenta stripes. “I’m sorry, I was… careless…” A sole tear went down her face.

“Miko, I will summon a healer, everything will be well.” He cupped her delicate face, “I know it is difficult for you but try not to speak.” 

She laughed feebly, blood went down the side of her mouth.

“I’m grateful for us, Sesshomaru.” Kagome continued to muster her last life force to touch his face. “Don’t forget I… love you.” Her hand fell limply to her side, her glossy static blue eyes staring at the color matching sky above.

He hugged her lifeless body. “Do not go, Miko.” Sesshomaru's breath caught in his throat, “This is an order. You cannot leave this One behind. You made a promise."

“You do not have this One’s permission to die.” He hugged tightly. “Miko!”

No one was there to hear.

The woman he was holding dissolved between his arms, like a bad dream in the morning, not quite there but still too real altogether.

Sesshomaru stood there, unblinkingly staring at the empty arms that once held his entire world.

Then he heard her, her scent again attacked his senses, this time with no blood. His eyes slowly went from his arms to the quiet creature seated on the altar’s steps.

She made no mention of moving as he stepped closer.

“Miko?” He inquired.


Her shiny blue eyes focused on his nearing figure, she still sat, doing nothing but breathing and waiting. 

She was wearing the usual miko garment. It was her, it was her scent, it was her always smiling eyes.

He kneeled before her once more, his goddess in another shrine, in another time. “You are really here.” He finally said, hugging her smaller body.

She hugged back, tightly.

“I really am, Sesshomaru.” Kagome whispered in his ear shakily. 

Breaking the hug he held her arms inspecting her face. “How can this be?”

“I-I don’t know, everything went black and I was enveloped in darkness… and…” Her voice began to crackle, “And I woke up here. I remember seeing your face last.” She began to cry.

The weeping woman covered her face with trembling hands. “I-I don’t…”

Sesshomaru held her in his embrace again.

“Don’t worry, everything will be alright now.” He spoke soothing words to her.

“You think so, my little puppy?” A muffled chuckle came to his ear.

With a frown, Sesshomaru quickly released her, getting distance. “Who are you? What have you done to Kagome?” he growled.

“I’m all you want.” She gave him a uncharacteristic luscious look “Your heart’s first desire in the morning,” Kagome got up from the steps. “your mind last thought before the sleep claims your body.” Her smile was unnaturally similar to his late wife.

“My image is made to meet your soul's deepest craving.” She began to circle him like a shark.

“What are you?” Sesshomaru questioned warily.

“Does it matter?” She replied, “If I can give you everything you yearn for, does it really matter?” Kagome stopped and got closer.

“Se-ssho-ma-ru” She spelled softly in his ear.

He knew this wasn’t her, still her voice calling his name evoked so many memories, so many times he longed to hear his name deliciously slip between her soft lips, so much he wanted to hear yet and never got the chance.

“What can you give me?” He asked.

“Three wishes.” Kagome replied. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

“What do you gain from it?” His eyes laid suspiciously on her form, so alike yet so different from her.

“That is not of your concern. I’m simply to give what you want, and we will be gone from each other’s lives.” She resumed her bloodthirsty shark circling. “Simple as that.”

“No conditions?” The demon lord inquired.

“No conditions.” She answered. 

Sesshomaru’s mouth ran dry. He knew for a fact this would take a dark turn and backfire horribly, still, faced with the chance of having her back, he would risk it all. Damned be the consequences, for everything he wanted, everything he hoped, dreamed and wished from the bottom of the deepest places of his soul was just a few words away. He would destroy this cursed land before letting her go again.

“Agreed.” He told her.

Kagome let out a tenebrous smirk, her posture changed from predatory to victorious. She knew she had caught her prey, the only thing left to do was to savor it.

“Very well, Lord of the West.” She halted in front of him. “Give me your best shot.”

Sweat ran down his spine, he never felt so gravely anxious in his whole absurdly long life.

This was it. The moment that would define the rest of his life. He took a deep breath like he was about to jump from a cliff and had no idea where he would land.

“I want Kagome Higurashi back alive and with all her memories until the moment of her death.” He said it all in just one exhale.

“One of three.” Her unnaturally blue eyes shone treacherously. 

She made no movement, drew no breath.  

Sesshoumaru was waiting for it, holding what seemed like the oxygen 5 centuries in his lungs, as if any sudden motion would break the spell.

Waiting for the big magic moment she would come crashing from the skies or explode a huge chunk of the earth making herself appear, the deafening supernatural clash that would come and fill the whole atmosphere with light, the obvious devastating sensation of her presence. He felt the shattering pain when she had left this world, it would only be expected that his whole being would’ve felt full again the moment she’d come back.

Everything was dead silent. He would have thought she stopped time if not for her mischievous expression and those shining borrowed eyes.

“Sesshomaru?” he heard the calling behind him. His spine stiffened even more, letting out the breath he was holding, he then could smell the overwhelming scent of her, not only her natural scent, but the miko garment, the earth and smoke on it, like the day she died. The only thing missing was the smell of blood, her blood.

Very slowly he turned to see what was really talking to him, it couldn’t be her. It was not possible.

His eyes widened in shock.

There she was, as the day he’d lost her, afraid and confused, extraordinary and beautiful. Her blue eyes apprehensive, questioning.

“What-” She began with no chance of finishing. Suddenly his large body was wrapped on hers, his strong hands held her like a fragile crystal swan, with exceeding care, his face buried on her neck, filling his lungs with a much needed long due fix of her scent.

“Why are there two of you, Sesshomaru?” Kagome asked, disoriented.

Sesshomaru retreated quickly from their embrace to look for the source of her confusion. There, still standing at the same place, stood Kagome, the other one, not his. 

Her already grotesque smile broadened. His brow shot up in realization.

“What is happening here?” She started to look annoyed with the silence of both Sesshomarus.

“Miko, you will have to trust me.” He said in a low voice only for her ears. She was about to complain but a warning look stopped her. 

“So,” Other Kagome began, “you can see what I’m capable of.” She said before looking at Kagome and back at him again. “What is your next wish?”

Sesshomaru battled within himself, he knew what he wanted next, but his mind slipped to the consequences of his first wish and what was yet to happen, the effects that were yet to show themselves. Had he asked the right way? Maybe something was wrong with her. These kinds of creatures tend to be tricksters and work with nothing but half-truths.

He took a deep breath, he couldn’t waver now.

‘Whatever it takes.’ He thought.

“I want my daughter back, I want Rin alive.” Sesshomaru ordered her.

Once again, she remained still. Not a single hair of her head moved. Her smile, still creepily intact.

“Two of three.” She proclaimed motionless.

Seconds later he heard a horrendous scream behind him. Kagome sank to her knees and began to ball in pain holding her stomach, her teary blue eyes perplexed, so agonizing it made her faint . As it came, it went. The pain lasted only a few instants. After that she smelled different, there was something contrasting with her scent, something off.

“What have you done to her?” He roared desperately at the mystical creature. 

“I gave you your daughter back, as you asked.” Her malicious expression gave it out.

His wild eyes went from fake Kagome, to his wife, to her belly. That explained the odd scent coming from her, it was inside.

“How could you?” He held his wife closer giving the creature a menacing reddening look.

“I gave you exactly what you asked.” She stared at him from above. “Nothing more, nothing less.” 

“You can’t-” Sesshomaru began to protest.

“Oh, but I can, and I will, and I did.” She shot back. “So if I were you I would become a little more grateful for what I gave or you will have to start being concerned for what I can take instead.” She threatened. 

Sesshomaru was not one to bugde to threats, that was certainly one of his many characteristics, but given that this unknown ancient con artist gave him back from the dead the two most precious humans that crossed his lifetime, he had grounds to believe this thing could wipe out him, and for a matter of fact anyone it deemed fit from existence.

His mouth shut mid sentence.

“That’s what I thought.” She mocked. “Now, you have one last wish and we all can go home.” 

“You better ask carefully. There’s no going back, as you can see.” She said, eyeing the passed out human in his arms.

Sesshomaru pondered cautiously, what he desired was very clear in his head, yet seeing what was done to Kagome, the second thoughts ran havoc though his mind. What could he possibly wish that could not worsen this situation?

The static silence made the atmosphere even eerier, as if the air particles had halted to watch the circumstances unfold, as if the place stood independently from time itself and nothing else existed outside these aged walls, outside this group of four.

The crushing pressure on Sesshomaru’s back was taking its toll on him. Never had he been in the position he is now, one simple order away from happiness or a complete catastrophe. He used to like giving orders, normally someone else’s life hung by his words, never his, never someone’s he loved.

He gathered the last of his resolve to say the words. Before he decided to admit defeat, before he started to run with her in his arms, away from all this madness. He didn’t even know if the creature would let him or this was an ‘ask or die’ contract. Sesshomaru couldn’t make himself walk away from this, though. He knew it was his only shot to regain all he had lost along the way.

“I want our life spans to match, Kagome’s and mine.” He finally spoke. The order was given with grave uneasiness. Seeing her expression change to an even more nefarious one, he immediately regretted.

“Three of three.” Her eyes shone hungrily in the suddenly dark room.

‘Shit.’ Sesshomaru held Kagome tightly as if she was about to be captured by Hades himself.

Now it was his turn to feel pain. His heart began to pound hysterically, he could feel the power dripping to the soil like sweat running down his body, his jaw locked in agony. Sesshomaru looked at his hands, his claws contracting until they turned blunt and short. His hair cascading to the ground began to turn brown rapidly. His eyes went from unworldly amber to dull hazelnut eyes. 

The pain ceased. 

He could no longer smell his surroundings or hear her beating heart, even at this short distance.

“What have you done to me?” His now human eyes stared at her with indignation.

“I matched your life spans. Again: as you asked.” She gave a silent smirk.

“Not like this.” Sesshomaru complained feeling utterly powerless. 

‘This is how humans feel all the time?’ He inquired to himself.

“Well, if not like this, you should have asked better.” She closed the distance between them. “Aw, cheer up, Sesshomaru.” Fake Kagome crouched a few feet from him and stared into his regular eyes. “I like you, that’s why I gave you a clean wish. Kagome is well isn’t she?” 

“One out of three is more than you could have asked of me. More than I gave anyone in centuries. You should be thankful, little human lamb.” She got up.

“Now if you excuse me, I have to get back to my millenia sleep. We will never see each other again, since you know, you will be but a whisper in history. Hope she is worth it.” She spoke, eyeing Kagome.

The odd creature turned her back and disappeared into the pink marble that started it all.

“She is.” He whispered to no one, tenderly bringing his sleeping wife close to his now human chest. “She definitely is.”


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