Through the Ghost by Sereia

Chapter 1

SessKag Week 2022 - Day 5

Prompt: "Through the Ghost" by Shinedown


"Is this seat taken?"

Kimiko Hizuki looked up from her tea, finding a young woman with raven hair and piercing blue eyes motioning to the chair opposite her. Considering how crowded the cafe was, she shouldn't have been surprised that her solitude was being encroached on, but it wasn't very often when she was approached by a human.

She eyed the woman, clad in rainbow-covered scrubs, and shook her head. The human gave her a grateful smile, then slumped into the chair, placing her travel mug on the table.

"Thanks so much! It's been a long day, and my feet are killing me."

Kimiko removed her glasses, resigning herself to small talk. "I take it you work in healthcare."

Her smile was tired but genuine. "I'm an OBGYN. My practice is just down the street."

Kimiko raised an eyebrow, equally intrigued by her profession and her attire. The woman took her response to mean the latter. "I was at the hospital today. Two births and a set of twins. The last one was touch and go for a bit, but everyone's doing fine now."

"It is fortunate that technology has progressed enough to secure life through such a trying period."

The woman turned inwards, gaze shifting to stare out the window next to them. "It's why I went into this field in the first place. I travelled a lot as a teen and saw what happened to women when they didn't have the right resources."

"How noble of you," Kimiko sniffed.

The woman laughed, the sound refreshing. "I don't know about that. I also love kids, but the pay is good too," she said with a wink.

Kimiko graced her with a smirk, then raised her teacup. "To being noble for all the wrong reasons, then." The woman raised her travel mug in agreement, hesitating before realizing she'd been caught staring.

"Is there something in my hair?" Kimiko asked, knowing her appearance was pristine but humouring her anyway.

"You're gorgeous," she blurted, a blush staining her cheeks. "I'm sorry, that was rude."

It had been a while since she'd been propositioned, and she tried to decide if the human was her type. "Do you normally pick up women in a cafe after work?"

The woman blanched and waved her hands in front of her face. "No, no! I meant your markings!"

Kimiko stiffened, eyes narrowing. The intricate moon charm on her bracelet signalled her glamour was still in full effect, so that could only mean—

"You are a miko."

"I'm sorry," she said, "I haven't seen anyone of your calibre in a long time, so I thought—I shouldn't have intruded." She bit her lip as she started gathering up her things.

"You are not a threat, miko, so you may stay. For now."

The woman gave her a startled look but eventually sat back down. "Thank you. I'm sorry, again, I should've said something before—"

"It is not so often that I come across someone strong enough to see through a glamour," Kimiko said, cutting her off. "You must be well-practiced."

The miko rubbed the back of her head, her braid swaying in embarrassment. "You wouldn't have said that if you'd seen me in the beginning. I had to learn how to control it really fast."

"Oh? I was unaware there were such dire circumstances nowadays that it would be needed."

"I'm sure a daiyoukai like yourself has seen a lot."

Kimiko admired the miko's ability to evade her question and distract her simultaneously. "It has been a lifetime since I have heard that term." Very few of them were left, and most did not venture into populated cities anymore, preferring to spend their time with family in places where humans were less likely to venture.

"I'm sorry if it brings up bad memories."

The demoness leaned forward, resting her chin on her hands. "You apologize a lot for someone who has not done anything wrong."

The miko's smile was as reminisce as her own. "I've been told that before. By another daiyoukai, actually."

"Sounds like an intriguing tale. I would love to hear it."

"How much time do you have?" Blue eyes twinkled before both women dissolved into laughter.


The two met up often, sometimes once a week, and Kimiko never found herself tiring of the miko's company.

Kagome Higurashi, who insisted Kimiko call her by her first name during their first meeting, had turned out to be more than what she appeared. It did not take her long to reveal she had been behind the shattering of the Shikon Jewel 500 years prior.

"It's so nice to talk to someone who was actually there," Kagome sighed, setting down her chopsticks. "I don't have to use metaphors or modern idioms to cover up what really happened."

"I am sure you have had to do that quite often," Kimiko mused, swirling her wine around in her glass.

Kagome sighed. "Not as much as before. Mama, Grandpa, and Souta were all there when Inuyasha showed up, so they had proof. I don't visit them as often as I should, but I also don't want to keep bringing up the past when I'm around them."

"Three years is a long time to a human, especially when you were so young."

"It felt like longer. Especially at the end. Everything looked so dire, and we weren't sure if we'd survive."

"Yet here you are." Kimiko reached across the table and squeezed Kagome's hand, earning her a grateful smile as she squeezed back. "Tell me more about your daiyoukai. I enjoy hearing about him the most." As expected, Kagome's cheeks turned pink, and Kimiko struggled to keep herself from laughing—she was so obvious.

"There isn't much to tell," Kagome said with a quiet sigh. "I don't think he even knew my name."

Kimiko waved her off. "Nonsense. Someone of his skill and prestige would not have offered to train you if there had not been some interest on his end."

Kagome shrugged, the familiar scent of melancholy seeping into her aura whenever they broached this particular subject. "He trained Inuyasha as well, in his own way. He just wanted to make sure we won. And I was the only one who could sense the shards—"

"Those are his brother's words, not yours. You said from the beginning he had no interest in the jewel."

"He didn't. He even took off the arm Naraku had given him with a shard in it just to be free of its influence," her friend mused, her memories once again taking hold. "He viewed honour above all else, and Naraku had none of it."

"He also rescued you on more than one occasion," Kimiko pointed out.

Kagome flushed again. "I don't think that meant anything."

"Did it not?" Kimiko refused to let the subject die, needing to know where the miko stood on it.

"I mean, I wanted it to. A lot," she added when Kimiko gave her a meaningful look. "I was so naïve back then, especially after being attacked by Mukotsu. There was no reason for him to step in, no benefit to saving me. And then years later, after he found me inside Naraku—"

"He would not have protected you so diligently had he only seen you as an ally, dear one."

Tears pricked the sides of Kagome's eyes, the scent of salt permeating the air between them. "I wish we'd had more time together," she sniffed.

"Have you sought him out at all?"

Kagome shook her head. "I wouldn't even know where to start. I mean, I found you, but that was by coincidence. And I never sense your aura whenever we're together."

Kimiko rolled the moon charm between her fingers. "The glamour keeps us well hidden. The invention of electricity has been hard on those not trained in illusions."

"I always wondered how much of an effect I had on the past," Kagome said, blinking back her tears to keep them from falling. "I wish we could have learned to live in harmony together, so you didn't have to hide."

"Humans fear what they do not understand, as well as anything they perceive as a threat. Youkai are both of those things." Kimiko picked up her wine glass, a contemplative expression on her face. "Would you reveal your feelings to him, if you had the chance?"

Fidgeting with her napkin, the miko shrugged a shoulder. "Maybe. I guess it would depend on how happy he was to see me. But I'm not about to get my hopes up. You said it yourself that it's unlikely that we'd come across another daiyoukai in the city, let alone someone from your own clan."

"So I did."


"I still can't believe you managed to get a reservation! I've been trying to get one for months!" The miko's excitement was palpable, almost bouncing in her seat even after they'd finished the main course. "One of the nurses at my office is a photographer and managed to land the gig for their menu. The food looked stunning!"

"The chef is a personal friend of mine," Kimiko smirked, knowing he'd sneer at her if she ever used the term with him. As it was, Kagome's jaw dropped open, staring at her in shock.

"You know Shou Yasei? Why didn't you say something sooner?"

"You never asked," Kimiko shrugged.

"I don't usually go around asking new friends if they know anyone famous," Kagome groaned as she slumped back in her chair. "He is an artist with his food. After the nurse showed me her photographs, I thought it was all for show, but she was allowed to taste everything she took pictures of and said she nearly died with each bite. I've wanted to come here ever since."

Kimiko wondered if the miko knew how much her features softened when she spoke about things that were important to her; it was the most obvious when she made mention of her unrequited love.

"I have all his recipe books too. I love how most of them are simple enough for everyone to follow and use local ingredients. Some Michelin chefs only use imported items, so the recipes never turn out quite the same. Mama likes his desserts the best."

"Would you like to meet him?"

Kagome's mouth dropped open again. "What? Of course! Wait—no! He's probably super busy. And wouldn't want some random person fangirling over him in the middle of dinner service."

Kimiko was already getting to her feet. "It is close to closing time, and he has a large staff to cover him when necessary. And he would not dare refuse me."

"I wish I had your confidence, Kimiko."

"Darling, when you have been around as long as I have, you learn that even pretending to be important makes others perceive it to be the truth." She tapped the bottom of Kagome's chin. "You of all people have nothing to be ashamed of."

Kagome's smile was brighter than before, and Kimiko inclined her head. "I shall return soon. Try not to get into too much trouble when I am gone."

"That was one time!" Kagome said, crossing her arms. Kimiko raised an eyebrow. "Alright, four. But those other three were not my fault." The miko's laughter followed her into the kitchens, the servers bowing as she passed.

Kimiko found who she was looking for in the pastry section, swathed in his usual chef whites, the uniform belying the power hidden underneath.

"My dear son, I hope this evening finds you well."

The man sighed, then handed off the knife he'd been using to the woman next to him, indicating she should finish the dish he had been working on. "It was blissful until you appeared, Mother." The other workers snickered, used to their banter, Sesshoumaru wiping his hands on his apron before kissing Kimiko's brow. "How are you?"

"I am well. I came to compliment you on the new items on your menu. The duck is delectable."

"I am glad it was to your satisfaction," he said, moving to inspect the line in charge of vegetarian dishes. "Will you be staying until closing? I had not expected you until next week."

"I could not stay away any longer. I have someone I would like you to meet."

Sesshoumaru's gaze hardened. "I do not have time for your needless matchmaking. Especially while I am working." If she'd had her fan, Kimiko would have smacked him.

"I am doing nothing of the sort. This woman is my friend and, for some reason, a fan of yours, so I offered to introduce you."

"She sought you out in order to gain your favour, then." He looked over the last set of orders to go out into the dining room, giving the servers a swift nod before turning back to her. "You have been made a fool of, Mother."

Kimiko grabbed a ladle and struck him in the ear. "Bite your tongue. This woman has done nothing to warrant your ire. I only just revealed my connection to you moments ago. And she tried to talk me out of coming back here, as she thought it would be a bother to you."

Sesshoumaru rubbed his ear, then plucked the ladle out of her hand. "Fine, I will meet your friend. But if there is any mention of marriage, you will be banned from the restaurant for a year."

"I would not dream of it, dear son."

He gave her a skeptical glance, then mentioned to his head chef that he would be stepping away for a moment. "Is this the same friend who has been occupying your time as of late?"

"Indeed. I find her most fascinating," Kimiko said with a grin, leading him into the dining room. "Try not to steal her away after you meet her."

Sesshoumaru scoffed. "Why would I—" He inhaled sharply, pupils dilating and turning gold, unable to keep his youki from flaring. "This scent—"

"Something you recognize?" she asked, her eyes on Kagome, noticing the moment Sesshoumaru's aura reached her, her head whipping around before her cup fell from her hand. The nearest server bent down to retrieve the glass, asking Kagome if she'd like a refill, but the woman's eyes were glued to the male at the other end of the room.


If she hadn't been standing so close to him, Kimiko would've missed the whisper that escaped his lips. She wasn't even given the time to gloat as Sesshoumaru all but leapt across the dining room, pausing only long enough to turn Kagome's chair around before pulling her into his arms.

The normally stoic daiyoukai buried his face against her neck, it taking Kagome a full six seconds before she registered what had happened, her arms snaking around Sesshoumaru's neck. Her shoulders shook as she slumped against him, whimpering his name. It was only Kimiko's youkai hearing that allowed her to pick up the sound, her lips curving up into a smirk at the longing and desperation coming from them both.

She would chastise her son for stealing her friend later.

And demand an entire litter of grand-pups as payment.


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