Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Property - Chapter Three

"You scared Sango," Kagome informed Sesshoumaru. She kept her tone neutral, since she didn't want him to take it as a criticism. Gods knew that he had intimidated her on first sight, too, with his stoic silence. Still, Kagome wished that Sesshoumaru would act... a bit friendlier, though she couldn't imagine exactly how he could do that.

Sango had left the room earlier to change for dinner. It was to be a formal event tonight, and everybody was requested to join, including Kikyou. Kagome's mother had finally returned with Souta and had said that it was alright if their personal blood-bounds wished to join, too. Kagome expected Kikyou to bring Inuyasha and thought that she might as well bring Sesshoumaru.

As usual, Kagome chose a simple and elegant kimono and completely skipped powdering her face. She really hated sneezing while eating, which always seemed to happen if there was obnoxious powder on her face. Besides, it was only family tonight. Sango was close enough to be family.

"Then I should apologize," Sesshoumaru replied evenly.

Kagome frowned a bit. Aside from Sesshoumaru's neutral tone, there was something wrong with what he just said, and Kagome was determined to figure it out.

She thought some more before narrowing her eyes at him. Should apologize, he had said. Not that he actually apologized. But she decided that she wouldn't quibble, especially since this was an encouraging sign towards him learning who he was and what he wanted.

"That's okay. You didn't know," Kagome said magnanimously, as if he had apologized. "But mother decided to have a formal dinner, and I was wondering if you wanted to join us. You'd have to change into a formal robe, though."

"I would be honored to escort you, my lady." Although Sesshoumaru spoke formally, he was speaking as an escort, not as a blood-bound. He spoke as if he were her equal.

He didn't lie, though. Kagome was kind and beautiful, even wearing everyday attire. She was brilliant in her formal outfit today, and he would be honored to be the one accompanying her.

And yes, Sesshoumaru admitted reluctantly, Kagome was kind. He had seen her act considerately towards the servants, giving them extra time off. She bantered with her friend and managed to soothe her friend's anxiety. She had never punished him, even a little. Still, that didn't mean Sesshoumaru lowered his guard against her, because everybody had faults.

"Great!" Kagome smiled happily, lighting up her chocolate eyes. "Be ready in half an hour. I'm going to check on Sango now."

Sesshoumaru frowned at the door after Kagome left. He knew that she knew that he hadn't apologized. But he wasn't sure if she understood that he had spoken the ancient words of protocol between equals before Naraku had started the Sentient War.

As Sesshoumaru stood up to change into formal robes—which he had wondered at the use of before—he told himself to stop being absurd. Kagome would only think of youkai as enemies and blood-bounds as slaves. She had no knowledge of the time before the Sentient War or of Naraku and the Shikon no Tama. Or of protocol between men and women.

There was no use anyways, Sesshoumaru accepted. The only way to win back the youkai's goodwill was to break the Shikon no Tama, and it had disappeared long ago. Sesshoumaru had felt the last tendrils of its essence disappear sixteen years ago.

It didn't matter, Sesshoumaru thought grimly. He didn't want Kagome to accept him as anything... more.

As he tied the red sash around his waist, a question niggled at the back of his mind: What... more? Sesshoumaru ignored it.


"Soy sauce," Souta demanded as he elbowed Kagome.

"Ow!" Kagome glared at Souta as she handed him the bottle of soy sauce which he poured generously into his rice. "Why'd you have to elbow me?"

Souta shrugged. "You weren't listening."

"I was listening to Mom and Grandpa. And now you made me miss what they said anyway," Kagome complained. She rubbed her side. It did hurt, but she exaggerated her motions for Souta.

"Shikon no Tama?" Shippou piped up from the other side of Souta. Although loud and mischievous like any boy—even a youkai boy—Shippou's mouth was usually too full of food during meals for him to talk.

"Shikon no Tama?" Kagome repeated stupidly. Her Mom and Grandpa were talking about the sacred jewel? She shot Souta another glare just for good measure. The Shikon no Tama was part of the Higurashi house's secret, though little enough was known about it. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Sesshoumaru's gold eyes focus on Grandpa.

Kikyou put down her bowl correctly. "Yes, cousin, the Shikon no Tama." Although the words were perfectly polite, Kikyou's superior tone made Kagome want to hiss at her despite Kagome's usually mellow constitution. Even though they were both sitting, Kikyou managed to glare down her nose at Kagome. "You know, the little jewel that started the Sentient War? Just because you have no miko powers does not excuse from basic history, cousin."

Kagome ground her teeth and bit her tongue but managed to refrain from insulting Kikyou back. Just because Kikyou insulted her didn't mean she had to lower herself to the conceited, arrogant, egotistical bitch's level.

"Now, Kikyou, I'm sure Kagome has a lot of things on her mind," Mom tried to arbitrate.

Kikyou harrumphed delicately, before taking another careful bite of the chicken.

Grandpa rolled his eyes. "I'm sure Kikyou just has something stuck up her—"

"Father!" Mom cut Grandpa off sharply. She glanced around the table and saw that everybody had quieted. "I'm sure that everybody here, including our Sango, Shippou and Sesshoumaru, is more interested to hear more about the Tama."

"Well..." Grandpa was always eager to tell stories. "As you all know, the Shikon no Tama was made from the essence of four pure souls in a great war long before the Sentient War. One of the four souls was Midoriko, a great priestess and the youngest daughter of the Higurashi house."

"Shippou," Mom admonished as if he were her child, too. "Make sure that the food goes in your mouth, not on the floor."

Souta sniggered. Shippou flushed as Grandpa continued, "Midoriko knew that it would be a powerful jewel. So before—"

"Souta, that goes for you, too." Souta made a face when Mom stopped looking at him.

"—Midoriko sacrificed herself, she told her sister Aiko that the most powerful priestess of the Higurashi house must guard the Tama after the war, because the negative energy absorbed during the war would cause any being who used the Tama afterwards to turn evil."

"That's my job, cousin, as the most powerful priestess in this generation. The only priestess in our generation."

Kagome declined to answer and bit down on the rice with more force than necessary.

"Unless the Tama was used with pure intent." Grandpa slurped some of his miso soup before continuing, "Midoriko said that in four times four generations—or sixteen generations—the jewel would disappear and hide itself within the most powerful priestess born. And for four times four years it would hide, taking all of the priestess's power to hide it. And there would come a war over the jewel that would last four years."

"Lots of fours," Shippou commented.

"Yeah," Souta agreed. "Can you count that high?"

Shippou sniffed a couple of times before big, round teardrops started leaking out of his eyes. "Kagome," he whined.

Kagome immediately came to the rescue, her temper already on edge from Kikyou. "How can you be so mean, Souta? You are older than him. Act it."

Souta shrugged uncaringly and went back to his chicken.

Sango spoke quietly, "I have heard this story before, though the taijiya tell it slightly differently. And we were also told that the Sentient War was the war in the legend."

"The war lasted four years," Grandpa agreed and nodded to himself. "But the Shikon no Tama didn't disappear. And we have no way to know if it has been sixteen generations."

"Kikyou," Kagome called out. Something inside her goaded her to say it even as she knew that it wouldn't end up well. "Maybe it's not your fault that the jewel is lost after all. You've always been destined to be useless."

Kagome refused to avert her eyes when Kikyou glared at her. Brown eyes met brown and Kagome almost swore she saw sparks. She had taken enough insults from her cousin.

Yes, Kagome understood that her cousin is upset and bitter. Yes, Kagome understood that if her uncle had been responsible, Kikyou would have been the heir—and the current matriarch of the Higurashi clan. Yes, the deaths of her mother and her sister were harsh blows. But Kagome had had enough of Kikyou's vindictive attitude. Especially today. Kikyou seemed especially ready to lash out today. And Kagome refused to be a sitting duck.

Suddenly, Kagome found a bolt of spirit power shooting at her. Kikyou's dark eyes glittered like a madwoman's. Just as Kagome turned to dodge the attack, the bolt of power dissipated against an invisible wall.

Both Kagome and Kikyou were startled. Nobody besides Kikyou in the Higurashi family could channel miko powers. Sango was a taijiya and incapable of channeling miko powers. Shippou was too young. Kirara not present.

That left... Sesshoumaru. Who was calmly sipping his miso soup. And a blood-bound besides. Everybody knew that vicious blood-bounds wouldn't lift a finger to help their owners unless asked to do so specifically, and being used as a pleasure slave would make any blood-bound vicious.

But he was the only who could have repelled Kikyou's attack.

Kikyou came to this conclusion at the same time as Kagome, but just as Kikyou prepared to strike again, Kagome felt something odd through the blood-bond and turned to see specks of red showing through Sesshoumaru's normally gold eyes as he set down the bowl of miso soup carefully. Otherwise, his face remained completely impassive.

Just as Kagome was trying to figure out how to stop the two of them from fighting, her mother slammed both hands on the table and stood up.

"I can't believe you! Acting like little children at the age of seventeen. Souta and Shippou act much more mature than you. Kikyou, I had enough with you trying attack Kagome verbally, but abusing your miko powers... At the dinner table. In front of guests. That is going beyond too far.

"And you," Mom turned to Kagome. "There is no excuse to insult anyone back. Ever. And to have your blood-bound use his powers against her, a priestess. Completely unacceptable. I can't believe I raised you."

"But—"

"And if you hadn't asked him to attack her," she cut Kagome off as Kagome was about to protest. "Then you should seriously castigate him. Sometimes independence is good. Sometimes it's not."

Finally, she turned to Sango stiffly. "I must apologize for the behavior of these girls in the family. But it appears that they are not yet ready to sit and eat politely with the adults. I am no longer in the mood to enjoy dinner anymore. Everybody is excused if they wish to retire to their rooms."

Kagome tried to see how Sesshoumaru was taking all this, but his gold eyes were averted.


Kikyou returned to her rooms, very much shaken. She sat woodenly on her bed and replayed the events during dinner.

It wasn't like her to attack needlessly. Sure, Kagome's jibe had pushed the wrong buttons. Sure, there was animosity between the cousins. But it had never been this bad. Never escalated to physical violence.

But Kikyou had not expected to have any miko powers left. Priestesses were told to remain maidens so that their power stayed pure. Did this mean that Kikyou had impure power? Dirty power? And she had flung it around the Higurashi house, the house she was to protect.

But that must be it, Kikyou reasoned. Normally, priestess powers are valued because their power differed from priestly power and youkai power. Their power was something so pure that youkai had difficulty fighting against with their own selfish power.

That Sesshoumaru had repelled her power so easily could only mean that her power was tainted. And even then, Kikyou had felt the strength of that bolt. Sesshoumaru should not have been able to repel her attack that easily, not even if it had been tainted. But he had acted as if it was as simple as breathing.

Kikyou felt herself shaking. Cold, she thought desperately. She was cold. And she pulled her blanket over her knees, but her trembling didn't stop.

Just then, Inuyasha came into her room. "Kikyou, is there something wrong?"

Kikyou looked up with wide eyes. "Out!" She shouted at him. "Get out! I don't want to see you here."

Kikyou felt him resisting her command, but ended up obeying. He walked out of her room with rigid movements.

Suddenly, everything was calm around Kikyou again. She felt herself go numb. And even Inuyasha wouldn't be able to disturb her peace.

She let her head fall down to her knees and felt tears falling. She was crying. But what did it matter? She was a fallen priestess. Kagome was right: Kikyou had no purpose to begin with. No Shikon no Tama to protect. No family to love or cherish. She had slept with a monster whom she had thought she loved to control him. And now that she controlled him, she didn't feel any better.

She couldn't even do her duty to protect the Higurashi house because she had just attacked the heir.


"I'm sorry," Kagome apologized quietly to Sango without looking at her friend as Sango entered her room.

"It's okay," Sango accepted easily as she sat down on the bed next to Kagome. "We all have our moody moments."

Kagome smiled weakly. She had felt agitated the whole day, and now she just felt tired. Maybe it was being holed up inside in winter. Maybe it was the snow. Maybe it was because her father was away and possibly in danger.

Still, it was no excuse.

"I... don't know what came over me."

Kagome had wanted to ask Sesshoumaru if it had been him. But he had not been in her suite after dinner, and Kagome was too tired to search out the entire wing for him. Besides, she didn't know what she would say when she saw him. Ask him if he was to blame—as ridiculous as that sounded? Should she thank him? Reprimand him? Pretend none of it had happened? Kagome didn't want a confrontation.

"You were edgy," Sango explained easily for Kagome. "It's okay. I would be worried too if my father were dealing with a disagreeable youkai."

Kagome felt herself smile at that comment despite her worries. "Your father's a taijiya. Disagreeable youkai are the only ones he deals with."

"And he deals with them efficiently, too," Sango added, pride clear in her voice. "Did you ask him to defend you?"

"Huh?" Kagome was surprised by the sudden change in subject. "Of course not. You were there."

"Well, sometimes telepathy can develop from blood-bonds."

"What?" Kagome wasn't quite sure she had heard correctly. There were rumors of dark priests and priestesses developing telepathy through blood magic... She supposed that it made sense that blood-bonds might develop into telepathy as well.

Kagome felt a sudden wave of panic; She didn't want Sesshoumaru to know what she thought about certain things. Especially when they pertained to him.

"Never mind," Sango waved the thought away. "It's unusual that he would defend you, you know."

Kagome sighed. "I still have a hard time believing that it was actually him. Out of all of us, he was the most nonchalant."

"Oh, it's him," Sango reaffirmed darkly. "The wall was definitely made of youki, and not Shippou's or Kirara's. That he could manipulate his youki that quickly, that precisely, and that easily... Kagome you have to be careful of him."

Kagome nodded. "But he did protect me. Maybe I should trust him instead."

Sango turned to look out the window. "Youkai can't be trusted. Except Kirara and Shippou, but they were raised in human civilization."

Kagome remained silent for a while. Then, "Sango?"

Sango shook her head, as if ridding herself of old memories. "I deal with youkai everyday, Kagome. And they all love carnage. They don't care about others, only about how others can benefit them. They don't love their mates—they mate with a bond. They... are not raised to be gentle or loving or considerate."

Kagome flashed Sango a smile. "Then all the more reason to show them love, right?"

"No," Sango disagreed grimly. "You can't teach old dogs new tricks. They'll just turn vicious."


Kagome was just about to blow out the light when she found Sesshoumaru standing in the doorway to her bedroom, a silent mirage.

"Sesshoumaru," she greeted, but then realized that she had no idea what to say. She felt uncomfortable with him just watching from the door, though, even if he probably stayed awake the entire nights that he spent beside her. That was under cover of darkness. And she was asleep, so she couldn't worry.

"My lady," Sesshoumaru replied. "Kagome."

Then, he fell silent, too. After a slight pause, he asked evenly, "Are you going to punish me?"

"No," Kagome answered immediately. That was one issue she had settled after Sango had left. "You were defending me. I'm not going to punish you for defending me."

He wished that she would punish him, keep him in his place. Without that, he found it hard to hold onto his anger and hate. And he needed his anger and hate, because otherwise, he would truly be nothing but a slave, groveling to keep his mistress happy.

Yet Sesshoumaru felt a part of him relax. A part of him that he didn't even know had worried. After all, he had been punished often enough by his previous owners. Kagome, though, had been different since the beginning. Special. And Sesshoumaru realized that if she too decided to punish him... he would lose something.

Lose what, exactly, he had yet to figure out.

"I—" They both started speaking at the same time.

Kagome continued when Sesshoumaru stopped. "I wanted to thank you. For protecting me."

Sesshoumaru nodded once. "I was only doing my duty."

Kagome didn't know how she felt about that. On the one hand, that Sesshoumaru gave duty any worth at all signified that on some level he still maintained his honor. On the other hand, duty was cold and hard, and Kagome had almost hoped that Sesshoumaru had a more personal reason for protecting her.

She was being silly, Kagome told herself. She should be glad that Sesshoumaru had no feelings for her. He was her blood-bound, and she would be taking advantage of him if she asked him for anything more than his duty. Even if some owners considered pleasuring in bed part of the duty.

Even if he weren't a blood-bound, he was still a youkai. Her mother had warned her against youkai. Sango, too. Even Kikyou distrusted youkai after her friendship with Inuyasha.

Kagome nodded.

"I..." Sesshoumaru started, but found that he was afraid of Kagome's reaction. Not that she would punish him, which he had handled enough times already, but that she would be angry at him. Or disappointed.

But Kagome was already disappointed, Sesshoumaru knew, though he didn't know why. She had tried to hide it after his last comment, but he could see it in her face as she looked away from him. Even if he hadn't seen her, he would have known from the blood-bond.

Being a human—even from a family of priestesses—Kagome would not know about blood-bonds. Sesshoumaru, though, had had five centuries to accustom himself to the bond. He knew everything that could be done through the blood-bond, by his owners and by him. Feeling his owner's feelings was one, and he was used to constant vigilance against his owners' moods, as well as holding in his anger at his owners' glee when he was punished.

It was how Sesshoumaru had sensed Kagome's shock and fear during the dinner, and before Sesshoumaru had had time to think about his actions, he had already made a wall of his youki and absorbed Kikyou's attack. He still didn't know why it had felt so natural or so necessary to protect her.

The blood-bond was how Sesshoumaru could sense Kagome's disappointment so acutely now. But not the anger that usually accompanied his former owners' disappointments in him. Instead, he felt a bit of regret.

And Sesshoumaru couldn't figure out what he had done to cause her disappointment and regret. He felt as if he had done something wrong for the first time since he became a blood-bound, and he didn't even know what it was.

He hated this guilt and doubted that anything he said could make it worse. "I caused the agitation at dinner today."

Sesshoumaru braced for pain—he would endure that stoically—or at least a torrent of angry words. Instead, when Kagome looked up, there was only confusion in her eyes. "You couldn't have."

Sesshoumaru held in a sigh. His mistress didn't know the first thing about youkai or blood-bonds, apparently. He hated this waiting for her anger, but he explained anyway. "Youkai are powerful... more so than ordinary humans and sometimes even more than priestesses and priests. So, when they are agitated, some youkai broadcast their agitation. This way, the humans can go to safety and save the youkai a fight.

"Priests and priestesses, though, are especially sensitive to these broadcasts and since they are supposed to protect humans, they become very edgy if a youkai broadcasts agitation. Since both you and Kikyou are priestesses, you both responded to that. I would say that the little kitsune was more easily upset today, too, since he can sense it too."

Kagome blinked twice before she started speaking slowly. "So... you were agitated. Kikyou and I felt it—never mind that I am not a priestess... and we became snappy..."

Sesshoumaru nodded jerkily.

"Why were you agitated? Is something wrong?"

A moment passed before Sesshoumaru processed what Kagome had asked. Her tone wasn't angry. Or accusative. It sounded... concerned. But that couldn't be. He had just caused a scene at a formal dinner. With a guest. And she wondered what was wrong with him? He thought she needed to get her head re-examined.

Kagome pushed. "Do you need something?"

She knew that he was passive and used to being a blood-bound. So, she had tried to think of all the things he would need. He had a bed and food. He was allowed to roam the house. He could read the books or play any of the instruments if he needed a way to pass time...

"I would like to go outside," Sesshoumaru answered quietly.

Kagome felt her cheeks heat up. Of course. How could she be so stupid? She took a walk in the garden everyday. Kikyou practiced her archery in the morning. How could she not remember that she hadn't given him permission to go outside? Part of it, Kagome admitted, was that she thought of the gardens as part of the house. Strictly speaking, though, the gardens were part of the estate, separate from the house, and the blood-bond would make that distinction.

"Of course you are allowed to go outside," Kagome tried to rectify the situation. She had basically put him under house arrest for a week and a half. "Here, I'll show you the gardens."

"It's okay. It's not that important," Sesshoumaru said even as he followed Kagome meekly down the hall. He added quietly, "Thank you."


Sesshoumaru stepped into the chill winter night. The smell of fresh snow was still in the air. Kagome followed just a step behind him and he could feel her shivering in the cold. The stupid girl had been in such a hurry to let him go outside that she hadn't even put on a coat over her thin kimono. Sesshoumaru was about to remove his own boa so he wouldn't have to notice her shivering when he suddenly felt a sharp surge of wanting.

Violent wanting.

Sesshoumaru gritted his teeth against the need. It was not yet spring. He shouldn't be feeling this. Not now. Not here. And not around Kagome, who had brought him outside so his agitation would stop, not so that he could kill anybody who provoked him right now.

And right now, he would, because he was in heat. Like an animal. And his youki was augmented.

Sesshoumaru refused to let anybody see the animal side of him taking control.

At least, he refused anybody to see and live to tell it.

Another surge of heat rushed up from the base of his spine, momentarily overwhelming his mind, but he fought for control and won.

Damn, he had stayed inside for too long. Remained calm and fucking gentle for too long. Every five years or so, he would come in heat in spring. The last several times this had happened, he had deflected lust with bloodlust.

Hot, red, mindless slaughter.

Even the stones of the castles had turned to dust by the time he was done.

But his current mistress hadn't done him any wrong yet. Despite her ignorance of the ways of the world, she hadn't actually intentionally caused him pain.

A part of Sesshoumaru wanted to let lose the killing rage anyway; After all, she had been the one that repressed his being in heat by not letting him outside earlier, and causing it to be all the more explosive. But another part of him recognized that she hadn't known what it would do to him.

Sesshoumaru remembered Kagome's face as he asked to be let outside. Guilt for her ignorance and negligence had spilled over her warm brown eyes. He had felt so much guilt through the bond so that he had even tried to soothe her. Tell her that it wasn't serious.

Right now, he was concentrating very hard to keep up that fa├žade.

Besides, even slaughter could not completely satiate the lust. The need to take someone, make her his, mark her as his—the need to drive himself deep into a woman and know that she surrendered herself to him drove him.

"Are you ok?" She asked him from behind him, her tentative touch on his arm jarring him out of his thoughts, even if there was a layer of silk between them.

Without turning around, he growled low, "Go away."

He wouldn't level her castle, but he could always go elsewhere. Or he could...

"What's wrong?" He felt her approaching him. He caught her tantalizing scent and knew: He couldn't find another woman to relieve himself.

Because at that moment, it didn't matter that she was his mistress or that she could punish him; the only one he wanted was her.

He would have her or he would slaughter her, her family, and her friends.

He hadn't damned her. She had damned herself.

In one swift movement, he turned around and faced her. By her gasp and quick step back, he knew that his eyes were red, that he was more beast than man.

Before she back up any further, his hands clamped down hard on her arms, holding her in place.

He answered her, "I'm in heat."

"As in, you need to..." Kagome trailed off, not knowing quite how to finish the sentence.

Right then, she saw his blood-red eyes that she had only heard of in Grandpa's stories where youkai lost control of their mind and let their demon side take over. It almost never happened to full youkai—but Grandpa had never mentioned youkai being in heat either.

All of Sango's warnings came to mind in a rush. Kikyou's distrust. Mother's quiet efforts to guide her away from him. No, she hadn't forgotten about their warnings. She had merely thought differently. In the past weeks, he had been gentle and caring, if a bit taciturn. He had been considerate and sensitive. Kagome had thought she knew him better than them. That she would need to bring out a more defiant side of him. Let him gain a temper.

But now, he was in heat. And he certainly had a temper.

Kagome had heard about youkai being in heat. Sango had given her an implied warning. Kikyou had mentioned something in passing, once, after she had argued with Inuyasha. Only male youkai went in heat. And when they were in heat, they were mindless savages, brutal, cruel, unrelentingly ruthless and completely unaware of what they were doing. They didn't even remember their brutality afterwards.

But the only way for Sesshoumaru release his lust without bed play would be through bloodlust. And Kagome had no doubt that with his power—Sango said he had lots and Kagome felt more inclined to trust Sango now—he could destroy much of the castle.

Kagome stepped closer to him, intending to ask him... something, though she wasn't quite sure what.

Sesshoumaru covered her mouth with his own before she could utter another sound. She expected it to be messy and painful, but instead, his lips were warm and gentle and intoxicating.

When he lifted his head a moment later, Kagome was breathless and dazed.

Sesshoumaru's hand tightened around Kagome's arms again, his nails almost breaking skin. "Leave," he told her again. "Now."

For a moment, Kagome couldn't understand what he had said to her. She was focusing on staying standing. When she finally understood, she looked down at his hand around her arm.

Sesshoumaru saw her look down. He was holding onto her and his body did not want to let go. A voice told him that he would never want to let go, but he was quickly losing the clarity of mind he had gained from kissing her. With great effort, Sesshoumaru forced himself to release her, when he wanted nothing more than to have her to himself.

Concerned, Kagome asked, "Wh—"

"Don't." Sesshoumaru said through clenched teeth. The stupid girl didn't seem to get the message. He was in heat—for her, would act no better than an animal in a couple more minutes, and all she could do was prattle.

Kagome looked Sesshoumaru. He was beautiful, his silver hair fanning out behind him in stark contrast with the night and his body hard from his restraint. The silver moon on his forehead glowed.

Since the very first night, Kagome had wondered what it would be like...

But he didn't seem to welcome that kind of attention and she didn't want him to feel obligated if she asked.

Now, though, Kagome could rationalize it and say it was for his own good. Besides, he probably wouldn't even remember it.

Kagome made her decision.

Read More...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Property - Chapter Two

Over breakfast, Kagome's father handed her a packet of paper. "Documentations and agreements. Negotiations in process, too," Mr. Higurashi explained to his daughter after swallowing his bite of fish.

Breakfast had always been a private familial affair at the Higurashi's. Kagome's mother had taken Souta to see Grandpa just a week ago, though, right after Kagome's birthday. Since Kikyou insisted on training in the morning, she always took breakfast before the rest of the family. So, only Kagome and her father were at breakfast today.

Higurashi sighed at Kagome's blank look. "You are already sixteen, and fairly mature for your age. As my heir you will have to learn how to handle things like this."

Kagome's brown eyes only continued staring at the papers in her father's hand. Mr. Higurashi finally placed the paper in her hands. He tried for a reassuring smile and wished that Kagome's mother was here. Kagome's mother was good with the whole reassuring people business. "Don't worry; your mother will help you with this."

After a pause, Kagome finally responded. "You're leaving again. In winter."

Mr. Higurashi winced inwardly at Kagome's almost accusatory tone but he nodded. Normally, he wouldn't travel during the harsh winter, either, but this couldn't wait. "I have to negotiate with the Lord of the Western Lands."

"Touga... Taiyoukai?"

Mr. Higurashi sighed and nodded.

Kagome frowned with worry. "Is he upset with something? Half of the youkai would follow him if he decided to end the peace treaty."

"More like three-quarters. And the other quarter would do it just because they despise humans," Mr. Higurashi corrected. "Which is why we need to negotiate before the dispute goes out of hand."

"So he is upset with something." Quickly, Kagome flipped through the stack of papers handed to her. "Magical items trading protocol," one was titled. Kagome skimmed just several more of the document titles. "Slaving and slave trade agreements." "Ownership of sacred objects." "Inter-species criminal and justice agreement."

"You won't find the reason for disagreement there." Mr. Higurashi knew what her daughter was looking for.

Kagome looked up expectantly. "Then why are they uneasy?"

Mr. Higurashi sighed again and pushed the rest of his bowl of miso away. He didn't have much of an appetite anyways. "It's his elder son. He's a blood-bound."

Kagome nodded. "But we have an agreement about blood-bounds. They capture many hapless humans as slaves each month, and they wouldn't let the humans go no matter what." Kagome added as she remembered something she had heard once, "Taiyoukai was rumored to have lost his heir four hundred years ago."

"Five hundred years ago." Mr. Higurashi shook his head slowly. "That's not it, though. They think... He thinks... that the Taiyoukai heir is in our possession."

"What?"

"That's why Touga Taiyoukai is so upset. Earlier, he said he was even willing to free all the current human slaves if we freed his heir."

"But... that's not possible." Kagome forced herself to take a deep breath. Grandpa always advised deep breaths as the cure to anxiety. But then, Grandpa had a lot of unique ideas. "We can't release a blood-bound we don't have. It's not possible."

"I know it's not possible." Higurashi paused a bit before continuing in a graver tone. "I just received another missive from him three days ago, claiming that his younger son is now a blood-bound at our family, too, and better be treated right."

"What? How?"

"I don't know," Higurashi said in resignation. "I don't know. I just... really don't know... But I think he means to go to war."

"A war?"

Higurashi nodded. "It would be a repeat of the Sentient War. We don't have nearly as many priests and priestesses this time. Even if we found the Shikon no Tama, I doubt it would give us the boost we need. And the Tama has disappeared sixteen years ago."

"But what if Taiyoukai refuses to believe us?"

"If he refuses peace... I don't want to think about that." Higurashi stared at the table for a long while and took a deep breath. "But if he refuses peace, I am going to go see Kouga."

"Kouga?"

"Leader of the wolf pack," Higurashi explained. "The second strongest clan after Taiyoukai's—and a far second even then. But he's always been a little discontent with the way Touga handles things. He's young and a little brash, too. Just a baby compared to Touga, really. With the right incentives, though, I'm hoping he can be persuaded to join our side."

"Then he will persuade Taiyoukai?" Kagome asked hopefully.

"No," Higurashi answered grimly. "He will give humans more hope in the war."

"Oh."

Straightening, Higurashi said with more calm than Kagome felt, "I should be gone for no more than a fortnight. I hope you can keep order within the human alliances at least, and do the duty that has always been given to the House of Higurashi."

"I will try," Kagome promised sincerely.

Higurashi smiled and patted his daughter's hand. "That's all I ask for." He hesitated before saying, "If I don't return within a fortnight, prepare for war. Your mother will help you. And Kikyou is quite knowledgeable, too."

Kagome didn't know quite how to respond to that. There had always been tension between the youkai and the humans, but the danger had never seemed so immediate or imminent. It's okay, she told herself firmly. Father will be fine. Father is the best at diplomatic negotiations.

Higurashi stopped at the door as he was leaving the dining room. "Aren't you going to wish me good luck? I'm going to need it."

"Good luck," Kagome replied. "And be safe."

Higurashi nodded. "I will see you in a fortnight."


Kagome pored over the papers that her father had given her. They spread and covered her normally meticulous oak desk. She would have needed to know all this eventually anyways, but she hadn't expected the responsibility for another two years. Even then, it would be with her mother by her side, explaining the nuances and semantics of each sentence and un-puzzling the complex, ancient script that all legal documents were written in.

Just because she was unprepared didn't mean she had to remain unprepared, though. Besides, she was sure that the more she learned, the less intimidating it would become. Her father stood a very real chance of getting killed or being held hostage, if Taiyoukai truly believed that the Higurashi house bound the heir to the Lord of the Western Lands.

Kagome wouldn't be surprised if Taiyoukai declared war. In fact, he had been resisting many other youkai lords' calls for violence for centuries. He had been unusually peaceful for a youkai, especially a taiyoukai.

It had been rumored that Taiyoukai's mate had been a human woman. This would explain his benevolence towards humans and his inability to produce more heirs, since mated youkai remained monogamous to their mates even after their mates' deaths.

This theory, though, wouldn't explain the absence of the Lady of the Western Lands. Ancient scrolls claimed that once a human's lifeline was bound to a youkai's, the human would be able to live just as long as the youkai, provided that the mating ceremony altered slightly.

Of course, it was an ancient scroll of a rather dubious source, and with the tension between youkai and humans, there had been no inter-species union since Taiyoukai—if the rumor was true in the first place. At least, no unions declared in public.

Kagome looked at the first document in her stack, "Magical items trading protocol," when somebody knocked on the door.

"Yes?" Kagome answered, looking up from the documents and rubbing her tired eyes. The indecipherable phrases refused to stop swimming in front of her eyes.

A blood-bound servant opened the door and bowed respectfully. "The bed frame you ordered is ready, Lady Higurashi."

"Oh, okay." Kagome paused to remember what she wanted to do next. "Would you send for Sesshoumaru please? I think he is—"

"Right here." Sesshoumaru's deep voice startled Kagome. She looked to see him at the door to her bedroom beside the maidm, as if he had always been there.

"Well." Kagome paused to gather her thoughts. It was almost eerie how suddenly Sesshoumaru appeared, as if he knew she expected him. She collected herself before continuing, "I wanted to know where you would like to sleep. There is the room next to mine in this wing, which is empty. There are rooms in the Riding Wing if you wish to house with the males. I believe that there is a room in the Tailing Wing, too, if—"

"I wish to stay where I am," Sesshoumaru cut her off again.

Over the past week, Kagome had not asked him to do anything nor punished him. She had given him a mattress to sleep on and regular meals. The food seemed to be what the family itself was eating as well. She seemed intent on treating him decently, as if he weren't a slave.

Furthermore, the few times that Sesshoumaru had felt pain from the bond, Kagome had been fast asleep. He was fairly certain now that she experienced chronic nightmares, which he seemed able to soothe just be staying next to her. She fell asleep fairly quickly every time after that first night, even without his sedative vapor.

Which perplexed him even more, because that would imply a certain amount of trust, even with a blood-bond. Or just an extraordinary amount of ignorance.

Especially since even Sesshoumaru himself thought he shouldn't be trusted. No, he didn't have violent urges to hurt her anymore. Instead, his body stayed on edge, wanting to hold her and touch her. Against the black screen of night, his mind played fantasies of his body covering hers. His limbs tangled with hers. His breath mixed with hers as it rose in the cold winter night.

No. Kagome was foolish to trust him.

Sesshoumaru narrowed his gold eyes when Kagome didn't even rebuke him for cutting her off. Instead, she protested, "But you can have your own room."

"I am your blood-bound. I wish to stay where I am," Sesshoumaru repeated. He decided to push some more, even reminding her that he was not her equal. So far, Kagome had been unpredictable, and he needed to know what game she played, because he intended to win. And, he needed to find a fault in her to take away from his wanting. "Unless you are willing to share your bed with me."

The servant, who had remained impassive until now, gasped.

Kagome long lashes covered her warm brown eyes as she looked at the carpet and blushed. "Uh..." She eyes flickered uncomfortably to the servant, avoided looking at Sesshoumaru, and returned to staring at the carpet. "I guess you can stay in my sitting room, then, if you really want to."

Outwardly, Sesshoumaru only nodded. The servant hurried to instruct other servants to place the bed and the mattress in the correct location and find all the necessary bedding.

Inwardly, though, Sesshoumaru damned Kagome for not reacting the way he expected her to; He had expected her to lash out at his impertinence and audacity like his previous owners. It made his life more difficult, but not impossible.

He would not trust her. All rational beings had motives. The only human that he had known with pure intentions had been his mother—Inuyasha's mother, actually, but Inuyasha didn't deserve her—and she was an unparalleled paragon. And damn her, too, for telling him that he shouldn't hurt somebody unless it was in defense, and this girl certainly hadn't hurt him on purpose, or enough for him to justify causing her the pain he wanted to.

As Sesshoumaru watched the servants put the bedding on the bed with quiet efficiency, Sesshoumaru decided that he still had another month or two to push her to violence so he could retaliate. She was, after all, only human, and all humans made mistakes. Come spring, though...

"Did you want another pillow, or a heavier blanket?" Kagome's quiet question startled Sesshoumaru out of his thoughts.

"No, my lady," Sesshoumaru answered simply.

"Anything at all?" Kagome asked.

She had been encouraged by Sesshoumaru's insistence to stay in her sitting room, even if she felt that it would be rather awkward. At least it showed that Sesshoumaru still had a spark of will within him. Just as quickly, though, the spark had disappeared and he refused to act as an individual with a mind.

And he had called her "my lady." Within the last week, he had called Kagome by her name several times, but now he seemed to revert completely to being the obedient slave.

It would be difficult to make Sesshoumaru learn to think for himself, Kagome had already determined. But it wouldn't be impossible.

Kagome wondered at his personality. He seemed... quiet. No, not quiet. Just concise and to the point. Almost... arrogant. But that wouldn't be right, because he was not even confident enough to tell her what he wanted.

Kagome sighed, and turned back to her papers, only to find Sesshoumaru looking over them, a strange looked reflected in his gold eyes.

He stared at her with those eyes. "Why would you have these papers?"

"Uh..." Kagome hesitated to answer. His stare made her feel guilty, though she had no idea what for.

Besides, these were private documents, since most negotiations took place hidden from the public eye. If humans had their way, they would already be attacking all the youkai indiscriminately. Some because they thought youkai were evil. Others, because they thought they would be able to acquire many more blood-bounds.

On the other hand, this was the first time that Sesshoumaru had asked her a question. First time he talked to her at all without her prompting him.

"I'll tell you, but don't tell anybody else," Kagome finally said. She tried to impress on him the importance of the secrecy of some of these documents when she looked at him. "Swear that you won't tell anybody else."

"I swear I will not tell anybody else about these documents," Sesshoumaru acquiesced easily. He could not have refused her requests anyway, though, because she gave them as commands. However, she didn't seem to realize that he would have had to do as she commanded, and he didn't want to remind her.

"Um, okay." Kagome turned to look at the paper again before deciding that his oath was genuine. "Do you know the Higurashi house?"

Sesshoumaru nodded.

"Well, the tradition within the Higurashi house is that the head of house is passed down the eldest child, no matter the gender. My father is the current patriarch."

Kagome paused to see if Sesshoumaru had questions, but he remained silent.

"And I am the heir," Kagome continued.

"The other woman?"

Kagome frowned for a second in thought. "Kikyou, you mean? She... her mother was younger than my mother."

Sesshoumaru could tell that Kagome was withholding some information, but he decided that it wasn't important. What was important was that he had in front him, the heir to the Higurashi house.

"Your father should have these papers, then."

Kagome nodded in agreement. "But he had to make negotiations, and he decided to let me look them over."

"He has left?"

Sesshoumaru sounded slightly different as he asked that question, and it set Kagome on edge. When she looked at him, though, he only stood with his back straight and his eyes cast on the carpet.

"Yes," Kagome affirmed. Even if Sesshoumaru planned something, he wouldn't be able to harm her because of the blood-bond. Once he learned to think for himself and she decided that he is not dangerous, though, she would remove the blood-bond. Meanwhile, he couldn't harm her.

Kagome accepted that she was grateful to the blood-bond in this one regard, no matter how much she loathed blood-bonds. After all, he was a rather powerful-looking youkai and she had no doubt he could at least hurt her just by physical strength alone. Although, to be fair, he had not shown any inclination to violence.

Kagome resolved to ask Sango about Sesshoumaru as soon as Sango arrived.

"My father went to negotiate with the Taiyoukai."

"Taiyoukai?"

"Touga Taiyoukai." Kagome sighed. She really worried about her father and she supposed that Sesshoumaru was as good as anybody else as a confident. "He claims that his heir is a blood-bound in the Higurashi house."

"He does?"

"But he can't be."

"He can't?"

Kagome shook her head adamantly. "It's not possible. We don't usually keep blood-bounds for more than a year or two. The only ones we keep are the ones who can't learn to be independent. If... the Taiyoukai's heir is in our household... I mean... wouldn't we have noticed him?"

"Would you have?"

"Papa would," Kagome said with more conviction than she felt. "He knows what Taiyoukai looks like. So he would notice if the Taiyoukai heir is in our house..."

Kagome looked up at Sesshoumaru then, and just realized that she had been rambling on. With a wry smile, she said, "Don't worry about it, none of this affects you anyways."

"It doesn't," Sesshoumaru said, but Kagome thought she heard an odd note in his voice, almost a question mark. Or irony. Then, she decided that she was just too tired and worried.


"Sango, you're here!" Kagome said happily and she gave her best friend a hug as she met Sango at the entrance to the Higurashi house. "You look..."

Kagome pulled back to actually look at Sango. The pink kimono seemed good enough, made of carefully embroidered silk. It was more Sango's disgruntled expression that gave Kagome pause.

"Like shit," Sango finished for Kagome, pulling the chopstick out of her bun and retying her straight black hair in a simple ponytail.

Kagome tsk-ed at her friend. "I would have thought that Miroku would treat you better. You know, it's not too late to run away."

Sango laughed at Kagome's antics. "Miroku's treating me fine. It's just that I prefer to walk on my own two feet. Or ride Kirara." Sango wiggled her foot in pink slippers from under her voluminous kimono for emphasis.

"But..." Kagome prompted.

"But he insisted that I wear this." Sango tugged at her kimono and rolled her shoulders as if trying to rid herself of an itch. Although very different from the usual fighting outfits Sango wore, it definitely flattered her figure and complimented her complexion.

"Then," Sango continued her rant that had picked up momentum. "I had to sit for a whole day, while being jostled around in a cart. A whole day in a cart! As if my own feet wouldn't do. I feel like I won't be able to stand straight for a week. And all the while, I couldn't even see a thing of where I was going!"

Kagome patted Sango's hand consolingly. She noticed that Sango's fingernails were painted in pink and stifled a laugh. "He's treating you well. Besides, you wouldn't have wanted to walk for a whole day."

Sango's mock anger deflated. "I know, but I hate having to act like a lady. I was brought up knowing how to swing my boomerang.

"And both my boomerang and Kirara are coming with somebody else." A sigh. "I told Miroku that you already knew I wasn't ladylike, but he insisted that I oughtn't offend the Higurashi house even if I can claim friendship with the daughter of the house."

"He's just looking out for you." Kagome stood up from the receiving room at the discreet signal of a servant that Sango's belongings have been settled into her rooms. Sango followed. "Here, I'll show you to your rooms."

"Sure, and thanks for having me over."

"No problem," Kagome replied easily. "As long as you'll let me stay at your house the week before my own wedding."

"Promise."


Sango came to visit Kagome after finishing her bath. She had just stepped into Kagome's suite to catch up with her when she noticed the youkai sitting quietly against the wall.

She didn't know how she could have almost missed him, as if he was so silent and still that the eye simply passed over him. Upon closer inspection, Sango found that he was tall with exotic features and long silver hair; Streaks of purple marked his face; And the most astonishing of all, was that Sango could feel his aura. It wasn't lively like Kirara's, or determined like Inuyasha's. Instead, it reeked of a quiet menace that made the hair on her neck stand. Sango wondered how Kagome could not feel it.

"Taijiya," the youkai acknowledged with a low and even voice, quiet enough that it wouldn't carry to Kagome's bedroom.

"Youkai," Sango replied in kind.

The youkai's lips twisted cynically. "No, blood-bound."

Sango stared at the youkai a bit more. Kagome had never liked blood-bonds since they impinged on free will, and mostly, Sango agreed. This time, however, Sango could only be grateful that something controlled the youkai.

Then, she noticed the crescent on the youkai's forehead, and became even more grateful. The markings on his face already declared him a powerful youkai lord, but the crescent moon...

Sango remembered that under only one condition was she to retreat from a youkai, and it was if the youkai "carried the mark on the moon." Even if she had the whole clan of taijiya behind her. It was some mark of some youkai family, though she never seemed to remember.

"Then I'm glad that you have a nice mistress," Sango said.

The youkai smiled even wider, showing his fangs. A puff of poisonous green smoke had Sango backing up quickly in alarm. "I'm only restrained from harming my mistress, not anyone else."

"I'm her friend," Sango warned. It was a two-fold warning. First, she could tell Kagome about Sesshoumaru and have Kagome punish him. Second, if Sesshoumaru harmed Sango, he would cause Kagome distress, and thereby be harming his mistress, which he could not do.

He startled her, though, by whispering almost gleefully, "Go. Go tell her."


"How are the accommodations?" Kagome asked as Sango came through the door. She turned from her papers to look at her friend. "I see you are back to your usual, boyish ways."

Sango rolled her eyes and plopped on Kagome's bed. "They are just pants."

"And you are practically royalty, being a taijiya and all."

"And you are royalty," Sango quipped. "I see you've already taken up the duties as the heir to the Higurashi house ought to.'

Kagome shrugged and started straightening her desk. The documents she perused and understood in one pile. The documents she had questions about in another pile. And the documents had hadn't looked at yet in the third pile. "I'm not getting married."

"So," Sango said casually. "How'd you get the blood-bound out there?"

"Oh."

But Kagome didn't say anything more.

"Well?" Sango asked. "Aren't you going to tell me? He's pretty good looking and in any other house he'd probably be a pleasure slave..."

At this, Kagome felt her cheeks heat up. She hadn't actually done anything, but she couldn't say that she hadn't thought about it. Or been sorely tempted on the several nights she had slept beside him when he came to soothe her nightmares. But Kagome was glad she wasn't the only one to find him attractive.

Still, if what Sango said was true—and Sango was an expert on youkai, since she was a taijiya—then Sesshoumaru had probably used in that way in previous households. And that thought definitely made Kagome uncomfortable.

Sango's eyes widened. "Don't tell me that you've actually used him as a pleasure slave."

Kagome shook her head.

At this, Sango let out a sigh of relief.

"Why do you sound so relieved?" Kagome asked. "We both know that it's wrong to use people like that, but you sound like..."

"He's dangerous," Sango warned ominously.

"He's a blood-bound," Kagome corrected, the frustration evident in her voice. "He can't—or won't—do anything for himself!"

Sango's eyes belied her doubts. "No?"

"Well, not usually," Kagome conceded. "He has spoken up once or twice, but mostly he just stands there or sits there, as if he doesn't have a thing to do unless I give him something to do."

"That's... not what I expected."

Sango continued when Kagome looked at her without understanding. "He's... He has the crescent moon mark."

Kagome nodded. "It's quite beautiful."

Sango snorted. "The whole of him is quite beautiful." Before Kagome could make a joke out of it, Sango continued. "But he's also dangerous."

"You already mentioned that," Kagome pointed out. "And I agree. I mean, I know he's probably a lot stronger than me—"

"Not just strength, but youkai abilities, too."

"But still, he's blood-bound. And he's about as subservient as I've met. Doesn't set one toe out of line—or even tries to."

"His eyes," Sango said suddenly. "They're not dead."

Kagome smiled as she thought about those golden eyes. They were definitely very alive and especially calming when he sat by her silently after her nightmares. "It's what gives me hope that he can be freed."

"It would be dangerous," Sango warned, for the third time. "He's... not friendly."

"I'll keep that in mind, but... I don't think he even thinks about what he wants anymore. He's not unfriendly."

Sango saw that Kagome had decided to give the blood-bound a better life, and Kagome was stubborn when her mind was made up like this. Still, Sango resolved to keep an eye on her friend. The blood-bound seemed intent to keep Kagome ignorant of his abilities. "If he does have sexual urges, though..."

Kagome laughed at that. "I'm sure that there will be plenty of willing women."

Sango didn't laugh. "It's... violent with youkai. Sometimes they don't even remember what happens afterwards...," Sango warned, but didn't know how much more to tell her friend. Sango had heard stories of how castles turned to ashes because of a youkai in heat. But they were only stories. And the youkai weren't blood-bound. Furthermore, Kagome was an innocent, and if nothing else, Sango had no wish to explain the more exotic technicalities of sex to her friend.

"I'll keep that in mind. Speaking of sleeping with people..." Kagome eyed Sango speculatively as she changed the topic. "Has Miroku performed up to expectations?"

Sango swatted at Kagome and blushed. "We're not married. Yet."

"You mean to say, Miroku hasn't done anything?" Kagome asked disbelievingly.

"Oh, he's tried," Sango said easily, her brown eyes sparkling at the myriad of memories that conjured. "I just haven't let him. You know, if I can take out a demon, I can definitely stand up to him."

"I know," Kagome agreed. "But I didn't think you'd want to. After all, you are getting married in a week."

"Patience is a virtue." Sango bit her lips worriedly. "But I think... he's worried about something. Hiding something. He is always so cheerful. Too cheerful. Like he's expecting something awful to happen, but he never tells me anything. I just want everything to go smoothly, and then I know I'll enjoy being his wife."

Kagome smiled at Sango's pre-wedding jitters. "You're acting so feminine, getting worried last minute and all that."

Sango glared at Kagome and Kagome laughed.

Sango growled, "I'm seriously worried."

Kagome laughed. "I know. That's what makes it so cute."


Inuyasha groaned as he slowly started to feel the pain that racked his body. It felt like... something he had felt long ago, but he couldn't quite remember what.

"You're awake," Kikyou's cold voice informed him.

Slowly, Inuyasha blinked his eyes and let them adjust to the light. It felt like he's been out for a week.

"You've been out for a week," Kikyou informed him.

Inuyasha looked over at Kikyou. Instead of her usual red and white priestess outfit, she wore red and black. It was supposed to symbolize something, Inuyasha thought. White meant... but his brain didn't want to think.

"Swear to me," Kikyou ordered Inuyasha brusquely.

Swearing... swearing... Inuyasha thought he should know how to do that, but he couldn't remember. Then, the pains started racking his body again. Pins and needles. Hammers joined the party too.

"Swear!" Kikyou repeated.

"I..." Inuyasha started to say, but couldn't remember the words. His throat felt like sandpaper.

"I..." Inuyasha tried again. Only, he ended up saying, "I'm a blood-bound?"

"How dare you question me?" Kikyou asked, her face hot. "Swear to me. Now."

For a moment, Inuyasha just stared at Kikyou in disbelief. "You bound me," he mumbled. But his disobedience earned him more pain, same as but worse than he remembered from so many years ago.

He knelt in front of her and declared detachedly, "I shall henceforth be forever governed by the will of my mistress, the worshipful Kikyou Higurashi."

Then he stood up and looked at her, his gold eyes quiet and mournful. "You didn't have to do this, you know."

"How dare you!" Kikyou shouted at him, her face flushed and her hands fisted by her side. "How dare you! How dare you!"

Inuyasha felt only the pain from Kikyou's anger. Why? Inuyasha wanted to ask, but knew that he wouldn’t get any answers. What had happened? Since the death of Kaede two years ago, Kikyou had started acting strangely. But Inuyasha had thought he understood. Death of a loved one always hurt. But why did she shut him out? And why did she bind him again?

Even Kikyou didn't know why she was so angry at Inuyasha. But she didn't need a specific reason. He was Inuyasha and therefore deserved her anger.

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