Nocturne by Momo Rei

Tequila Sunrise

Nocturne - Chapter Two: Tequila Sunrise

Rated - M (for suggestive adult themes, references to some violence, and coarse language)

o - o - o - o - o : Indicates scene or POV change

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha.

o - o - o - o - o

Kagome dashed through the dense forest aimlessly. She only had a vague idea of where she might be, and she had to hurry. She zigged and zagged around in a generally easterly direction, hoping to come upon a water source. The river ran alongside her village, so even if the trek was long, this was the surest path home.

After nearly a mile of jogging, she finally came upon the river. She sighed with relief. The water ran smoothly here, thank Kami. Further down, the river widened and pushed along with growing force. She pulled the exquisite hankimono loose, still marveling at its exceptional quality. It seemed a shame to leave it here, but she couldn't take it with her either. Just the smell of it would set Inuyasha off into a frenzy unlike any other. And then once he noticed the scent all over her?

She shuddered at the thought and pushed it from her mind. One problem at a time. How could she get back? Perhaps the cold water would shock her system and rejuvenate her ideas.

Determining that the garment could be traced back here by its smell, she left it on and entered the water. The slow current was freezing. It nearly caused her body to go numb, but the numbness only extended as far as her flesh. Guilt and shame racked through her, and the waters were not doing anything to wash that away. She took a deep breath and ducked her head under the water.

Seconds ticked by. Submerging herself was not having the desired effect, but she remained below as long as she could stand. Thoughts raced through her head and memories washed over her in a force mightier than the current downstream.

What had she done? As much as she wanted to be angry with herself, there was also a flood of something else. A gasping breath escaped her when she broke the surface of the water. Submergence was not the answer. So, instead, she deemed it worthy of remaining in the cold water for a few moments more and let the slow waters wash away her sins.

Birds chirped happily in the trees, and she cursed them for their simplicity. They didn't have to worry about jealous hanyos.

Reflecting on her life in the past wasn't as glamorous as she'd hoped. Three years ago, she had desired nothing more than to return to the Feudal Era and spend her life with Inuyasha, the man she had fallen in love with.

After the Shikon no Tama had been wished out of existence, Kagome had been transported back to the present, her original timeline. She lived there while finishing school until her wish was finally granted. She was finally allowed to travel through the well into the past one last time and reunite her with Inuyasha. He'd been there, waiting, when she'd emerged, and she couldn't have been happier.

At first, things had been fantastic; their passion had been as obnoxious to others as it had been intoxicating to them. Their first joining, a first for both of them, had been clumsy but beautiful. Afterward, they made love incessantly and had been ostracized to the outskirts of the village, where others did not have to tolerate the noise. Inuyasha had made a home for them there, and they enjoyed many days exploring one another when they were not busy contributing to the village they called home.

Things were going well but, like many newer couples, sex was one thing, and fighting was another. Sometimes the fights outnumbered the sex, though the make-up sex had been very stimulating, to say the least. They fought about everything and anything; another reason the villagers had pushed the pair to the outskirts of the village.

Kagome knew that Inuyasha was stubborn, but she was stubborn as well, and they had a hard time finding neutral ground. Their fights either ended in passionate lovemaking, or Inuyasha would sleep it off in a tree.

Kagome blamed herself for many of their fights. Anytime that Inuyasha would cool off away from their home for the night, she would cry herself to sleep. She was angry and embittered, and lashing out was the only thing that gave her any solace. Why should she be the only one who felt this way? Despite knowing her shortcomings, Inuyasha was not guiltless. At times he was too dense to recognize that Kagome was suffering.

As the days passed by, everything around them changed, but Inuyasha stayed the same. People grew older; even Kagome had grown older. She was now twenty-two and knew that she should be settled with a career and a blossoming family - a couple of things that would see her into her sunset years. She was relatively young and shouldn't be thinking about these things yet, but being a miko, she was exposed to her fellow humans’ exceedingly low mortality rate in the Feudal era.

Death was always on the horizon for mortals, no matter their age, and when Kagome looked at Inuyasha, she had difficulty fighting off the growing fear that he would have to watch her grow old and die long before he would even reach his prime.

She'd only had the courage to bring up the topic of her lifespan once, and Inuyasha had tenderly told her that it didn't matter. He would be with her through it all and would likely waste away to nothing after her passing, implying he may take his life once her own had ended. Kagome had felt love swell within her chest when he told her that, but it did little in the following days to diminish her growing doubt. Perhaps if they'd had children, Kagome could settle for the fact that she'd leave something for Inuyasha to remember her by. Except, they had not been successful in that endeavor either.

From her time, Kagome had brought with her knowledge of medicines in the forms of herbs that would stop her monthly cycle and prevent unwanted pregnancies. She had not used any of those herbal remedies from the moment she'd arrived, though she had shared the concoction with her good friend, Sango, after her fourth child. The woman had a complicated delivery, a footling birth, that resulted in Kaede informing her that future pregnancies would not only risk the child's life but her own.

Unlike Sango, who was as fertile as the planting fields, Kagome was not so lucky. Even with all of the lovemaking and nonuse of birth control, Kagome never fell pregnant. She felt that, just maybe, there was something wrong with her. All the fighting and her ever-impending mortality crushed down like a heavy weight, causing her to lash out in pain. Still, Inuyasha was oblivious to it.

Just the night prior, they had fought over something stupid. Inuyasha had brought up something that one of Miroku's brood had done, believing it would lighten the moment, and Kagome snapped at him. Of his two usual reactions, fight or flight, he'd chosen flight that evening, not wanting to deal with her outburst.

It may have also been coupled with the fact that it was his human night, and he did not want to spend his most vulnerable evening in her company while she was feeling somewhat vindictive. He would likely return sometime after midday, giving her and himself time to cool off.

Kagome knew she'd had some time before Inuyasha may return to their home but hoped that he had not come back early and attempted to look for her. She rose out of the cold water, now acclimated to the near icy rush, and shivered at the cold air as it hit her skin. She'd concluded that her best bet at getting home without her previous whereabouts being tracked was to follow the river, keeping her bare feet in the shallow banks to mask the scent to the outskirts of the village. She knew that the river paralleled the town, and it was not far from their home, so she began her journey home.

o - o - o - o - o

Sesshomaru watched as the woman went under the water. She remained submerged for nearly two minutes, a remarkable feat for a human woman, he supposed. Then again, if she'd been trying to kill herself after last night, he could not blame her.

He'd left her shortly after she'd fallen asleep from exhaustion last night. The magic that had coursed through him had finally dissipated, and he'd regained complete control of his faculties. His clothes had been discarded in a pile near to where their bodies had lain entwined, and he quickly fetched them to dress.

The mortal woman still slept soundly upon the ground, and Sesshomaru barely afforded a glance to her in a supine position, her breasts rising and falling with each slow breath. He'd reached the edge of the cave and used a hand to part the vines where darkness still lingered outside. She was his brother's problem, not his. He did not have to answer to anyone but himself and sneered at the implication and annoyance at being found in such a compromising situation.

Still, the woman's nakedness weighed upon him slightly, and the night was cold. He let the vines fall back into place and turned to the sleeping woman. Her name, he knew, but he was not about to abase himself and acknowledge it. He quickly pulled off his hankimono and knelt to drape it over her. He could afford her nothing more and felt she should be grateful for this kindness when he could just leave her exposed to wander back to her human village and his brother.

Sesshomaru stood for a moment in the darkness, looking upon her delicate features. He'd often watched his young human charge slumber and noted upon the similarities. The soft, fragile existence they led marked their mortality. The young human girl he'd saved and cared for, Rin, now dwelt in the same village as the woman before him. Rin had grown into a lovely young woman and a bright spot within the human community she was now a part of. His visits to her had lessened over time as she found her place among her kind.

He left the woman there without a second glance. She was no longer of any concern to him. He told himself that again and again, even after the sun rose and he'd found a hidden spot to wait and watch. He convinced himself it was to ensure that he was not implicated in the situation. It had not been his fault; some form of magic had been cast upon either of them, and he made a mental note to find the nuisance and extinguish their life force promptly.

There was the matter of his younger half-brother, Inuyasha. If the runt even suspected that Sesshomaru was involved with his woman, Inuyasha would kill himself in an attempt to avenge his honor, and Sesshomaru believed that killing his flesh and blood, even one tainted with humanity, was beneath him.

Sesshomaru's scent permeated the area around the cave. There was nothing to do for it. After the acts carried out last night, there was a great chance many beasts and yokai alike would be drawn here from curiosity, especially considering that a human still laid within. So, he waited despite his initial inclination to leave.

Once dawn had breached the horizon, he studied at the cave mouth for movement. It took longer than he would have liked for the mortal to wake. When she finally exited the cave, she looked around wildly and confused before she dashed away. He felt oddly pleased with the woman's ingenuity. He watched her weave through the area to confuse anyone who'd had enhanced senses so that they wouldn't be able to follow the trail easily. It was a laudable effort, but any yokai with half a nose could follow the path.

When she'd stopped at a river, he was doubly impressed. The running water would certainly wash away the scent, and he found himself mildly perturbed by the notion. He quickly chided himself for such ludicrous thoughts. This woman was human and, therefore, nothing to him. He may have developed compassion, but that had not distinguished his long-held distaste for the dishonor his father had brought upon their lineage by creating a half-breed who could only hold his own in a battle through brute force and lucky swings.

He supposed that coupling with the human was beneath him as well, but he was daiyokai and could do as he pleased with who he wanted. There was no risk in one night, he'd assured himself. The coupling had been a relief in itself, though he'd wished he could have let go of his restraint without the worry of killing her in his intensity. A mere human could never wholly satisfy a yokai, though that certainly did not seem to stop some lesser oni from trying.

The woman left the deeper part of the river and trekked towards the small village from which she hailed. He watched her go, still clothed in the hankimono he had left draped over her. He could catch the scent from where he hid among the trees. It was distinctively hers. His scent had been washed away. He leaned against a tree and closed his eyes, fighting a ridiculous urge to go back and fix that.

Clearing his thoughts, he moved away from the area and began his trek back to his holdings, intent on finding the caster and ending their miserable existence.

o - o - o - o - o

The Onibaba danced around wildly. Her joints did not allow for graceful movements, but the decrepit old woman did not know nor care. What she did care about was playing out before her in her cauldron. Swirling images could be seen if anyone dared to peer in, but no mere mortal nor yokai alike were crazy enough to venture near enough to the crone's dwelling to find out. Her white mane flailed about as she bounced from foot to foot. She hummed a tuneless song and peered back into the bubbling pot. The contents of the pot now resembled a congealed mush that took some effort for the crone to stir.

"Yes!" she said and hopped up on one foot.

The Onibaba was so pleased with herself. It had taken so long for her to complete her spell; centuries now. One necessary component that her spell required had been missing for so long she could not help but cackle with glee anytime she witnessed the results. It was her fortune that some peddler had brought her the arm bone from the Inu daiyoukai. She'd only required hair or blood, but the entire unbroken bone from the arm of her hated enemy was more than what she could have bargained her fellow humans’ The spell was now promising to be even more potent than planned.

She knew that the Inu daiyoukai felt that humans were an inferior species, undeserving of his time or notice. So far, things were falling into place salaciously. Gazing into the cauldron, she could see beyond the mortal plane. Her rheumy eyes glazed over, and she saw what was yet to come. She saw the Inu daiyokai searching her out. Well, let him try. Let him come. The damage had already been done. She only wished to see the events unfold in the following months.


A/N: Kagome is doing the walk of shame. Yikes. At least she is fortunate enough not to have any peeping toms...oh, wait.

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