You and Me Equals Three by Chiaztolite


The brilliant amber eyes that stared at her brought past memories to the fore. Memories of epic battles inside demons’ bowels, of wars over a magical jewel and the mad race to collect its shards. Of a magnificent demon lord in white and crimson regalia and spiked armour, and a mighty sword capable of destroying anything and everything in its path.

That said Lord was no longer dressed in such regalia. Modern clothing should have looked odd on a singular individual like him, but on the contrary, it suited him to perfection, moulding around him like a precisely tailored work of art. He wore the three-piece suit with austere elegance; each button and fastenings were affixed with military precision. The stitches were so fine they could be nothing other than yōkai craft.

With a surprising sense of regret, she realized his silver hair no longer streamed down his back in long, silky locks. Instead, it was now short, barely reaching the stiff collar of his tailored white shirt, though it was handsomely cut.

In many ways, he was different, yet the same.

“Sesshōmaru.” The name slipped out of her mouth in a breathless whisper.

His brows instantly furrowed at the casual way she called his name. Without any honorific, no less. The distaste was palpable. Golden eyes flickered with irritation.  

“Higurashi-sensei, is it?”

There was no hint of recognition in those eyes. Kagome bit the inside of her cheek as her face instantly warmed up. Had she mistaken him for someone else? It cannot be. He even had the crescent moon and all the facial markings.

 “Pardon me,” she said when she managed to gather her bearing. “You are—” She paused to check the student’s paperwork. And there it was, listed under the ‘Parents’ section: Inukai Sesshōmaru – Father.

“Inukai-san,” Kagome finished. “It is a pleasure to meet you. And you too, Haine-chan.”

“Have we met before?” Sesshōmaru asked, a vague confusion on his face.

So. The inu daiyōkai of the western lands did not remember her. A jolt of indignation sprouted in her chest, though she managed to tamp it down. Perhaps it was fair, since it had been over five hundred years since they last saw each other. And frankly, how much did he care about her anyway, back in those days? They happened to be pursuing the same supervillain for less than a year, and that was it.

Sure, he was Inuyasha's half-brother. And since Kagome reunited with her dog-eared friend in the modern era, they talked about Sesshōmaru from time to time, but never in-depth. Although she had heard he married and had a child, she never actually laid eyes on the child. Until today.

Looking at Haine, Kagome saw the boy had his father’s eyes and chin. And perhaps he would inherit the jawline and the cheekbones too, once the roundness of childhood face diminished as it often would when a child progressed into adolescence.

She gave Haine another bright smile.

And to his father: “Err… never mind. Perhaps I was thinking of someone else.” She smiled tepidly at him. “Will we be seeing Haine-chan’s mother later on?”

She hoped the mother would be a more approachable person she could speak to. The daiyōkai’s golden eyes narrowed as though he recalled an unpleasant memory.

“She is no longer in the picture,” he said in a clipped tone.

Kagome’s amicable expression never wavered, even if she was stunned for a moment. She flicked her eyes to Haine, noting that the boy had slightly lowered his head. The expressive dog ears twitched before they lay flat against his skull. 

She waited as Sesshōmaru said farewell to his son, which involved only a somewhat awkward pat on the boy's head. As the daiyōkai turned to leave, Haine’s golden eyes following his every move, a thought popped into Kagome’s head.

“Wait, Inukai-san. Did Haine bring lunch and snacks today?”

Sesshōmaru turned back and frowned.

“I was informed the Academy provides food for the children,” he said stiffly.

“Yes, we do,” Kagome replied patiently. This information was included in the orientation package, which he must have missed. “But in the case of new students, we ask that the parents pack them a lunch and two snacks for the first few days. It helps them to transition slowly into the new environment. It is also comforting for them to know they have something from home, especially if they had never attended school before.”

“I can have my assistant drop off something later,” he offered. “Or order something to be delivered.”

That would be a problem. Although they lived in a relatively peaceful society, mixed children kidnapping was not rare. And thus, the Academy had a strict security protocol, especially for the Kindergarten section. Their gate would be locked precisely thirty seconds after the school bell rang and would not be opened again until the end of the day, unless a specific arrangement had been requested and approved by the Principal’s office.

“Errr… well, perhaps there is no need just for today.” She smiled. “There is bound to be something in today’s menu that Haine can eat.”

He gave her a brisk nod. “Good. I will leave you to your duties, then.”

“Wait— May I ask just a couple of questions?”

Sesshōmaru glanced at his watch. A flash of irritation passed over his eyes. “If you must.”

“Does Haine have any food allergies?”

“None that I am aware of.”

“What food does he like? Or perhaps… what food he absolutely will not eat?”

This should have been included in the comprehensive questionnaire that the Academy sent out to new students' parents to be filled in and signed before the child's first day. But Haine's papers were so riddled with holes, they hardly knew anything about the boy.

Kagome waited for Sesshōmaru to answer. It did not take her very long to realize: he also had no idea.


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