Cross the Bridge by Chiaztolite

Cross the Bridge


The suspension bridge, hanging over two hundred feet above the ground, swayed beneath Sesshōmaru's trembling legs. His hands clasped the meagre railing on each side of the wood-plank construction someone had dared to call a 'bridge'. The so-called railing was a thin rope between flimsy wooden posts set every four feet apart, utterly insubstantial.

Sesshōmaru drew a shaky breath, trying his hardest to calm himself down. Even amidst the brisk mountain air, sweat had beaded at the nape of his neck and along his hairline.

"Don't look down," Kagome shouted from the opposite end. As soon as they had arrived at the famous suspension bridge — supposedly a prominent tourist attraction in the area, but he believed it to be a medieval torture device of some sort — she had cheerfully skipped across the way and left him behind.

He supposed this was part of the 'therapy' she had planned, with the sole purpose of defeating his fear of heights.

Sesshōmaru felt the urge to fall to his knees and curl up into a ball.

How did he — a daiyōkai of over a millennia-old, capable of flying, levitation, and a slew of other impressive skills — end up fearing heights?

His mother often boasted that he had excelled in flying since he was a young pup. To hear her tell the tales, one would assume he came out of her womb already air-borne, practically shooting out into the world. During his youth, he had conquered both lands and air easily, able to summon clouds and winds to carry his body to whichever destinations he desired. In adulthood, he was much the same.

It was not until he reached the 20th century, when humans began to create massive steel birds called 'airplanes' to carry passengers across the oceans and beyond, that he began to rope himself into trouble.

He had always known he loved the sky, loved flying, loved the feel of the winds in his hair and the sensation of floating amongst the clouds. And thus, when sports such as paragliding and all kinds of others which required the participants to jump out of airplanes became popular, was it a wonder that he was besotted?

That was, until he got into an accident five years ago.


"Sesshōmaru!" Kagome shouted again, bracketing her mouth with her hands to get her voice to carry through the four hundred feet of voids between the two valleys. "Take a deep breath and try to be in harmony with your surroundings! Then, calm down, and start taking one step!"

Although she was confident the daiyōkai could hear her, he did not move. Instead, he seemed paralyzed, or to be exact, petrified with fear. She tried calling again.


Finally, he lifted his silver head. Those golden eyes, flickering with deep panic, collided with her blue gaze. She smiled encouragingly and opened her arms, as if she could beckon him to come to her that way.

After many minutes of hesitation, he took one step and finally had one foot on the bridge. It was a tiny step, but it did not matter. Progress was progress.

Sesshōmaru had been involved in an accident five years ago, in which he had jumped out of a plane – for fun, and yet something must have happened to him that instead of levitating, he ended up crashing onto the ground. Because he was a daiyōkai, he did not suffer much physical damage. But, as a result of the accident, he had acquired a severe fear of heights.

Kagome had been a Tokyo University student majoring in Reiki Therapy since she returned to the modern era. Inuyasha asked her to help Sesshōmaru in any way she could, as several yōkai doctors had examined him and came to the same conclusion: there was nothing wrong with his physique. The problem could only be psychological.

And thus, since they were reunited a year ago, she had been slowly trying to help Sesshōmaru overcome his fear of heights. 



Sesshōmaru heard Kagome's voice distantly as though she was hundreds of miles away. Be in harmony with his surroundings? How was he to achieve that?

He followed the rest of her instructions. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and focused on the sharp scents of pine and balsam trees surrounding them and the smells of damp leaves and soil below. He attuned his ears to the chirping of the birds and the rustling of the breeze through the autumn leaves.

His heartbeats began to slow. Focusing on his surroundings did evoke a sense of calmness within him, and he was able to find his centre. Enough to take one tiny step onto the bridge and begin his crossing.

Not even two steps in, a strong wind blew and swayed the suspension bridge. His heart fell to the pit of his stomach, and he could not help but look down below. Over two hundred feet of empty air lay between him and the hard ground beneath, where a large river filled with rocks and strong, frothy currents awaited him.

"Sesshōmaru!" Kagome's voice penetrated the panic haze inside his head. "It's okay. The wind has died down. Keep going."

He wanted to keep going, but his legs quivered, and the trembling of his limbs shook the bridge further. His hands tightened around the rope on each side of him.

"Kagome," he spoke up. "I don't think I can do this."

She was quiet for a long time, so long that he thought she had given up. His eyes were riveted to the ground as his mind replayed the final scene from his accident over and over. He remembered the sensation of crashing onto the solid earth so vividly that his limbs still ached whenever he thought of it.

The cold sweat returned with a vengeance, and his hands and feet trembled further.

Sesshōmaru did not dare to look up to peek at her, afraid of the disappointment he was sure was etched on her face. She had so generously been working with him to overcome this fear for nearly a year before she suggested they take this trip together. A vacation, she called it. He had not put up any argument. On the contrary, he had no desire to, knowing this vacation would give them a chance to get closer.

He was startled when the warm feel of her energy reached him. Looking up, he saw the rosy tendrils of her reiki weaving together to form a rope, stretching across the way – from her to him.



"Sesshōmaru!" Kagome called out again. "Hold on to the rope!"

She saw him eyeing the reiki rope with surprise, and she breathed a sigh of relief when he finally grasped the rosy, glowing manifestation of her energy in his hands.

Though their skin did not make any contact, she could feel the touch of his fingers through the rope. She felt the crackling, searing sensations of his yōki travelling up the length of her invention until it finally reached her hands.

He must have exerted his yōki to keep himself calm and composed. His energy mingled with her reiki, bright turquoise intermingling with rosy pink, snaking along the translucent rope to form an entirely new colour, beautiful in its uniqueness.

It felt… rather intimate, Kagome thought, to have his yōki brushing up against her. She licked her lower lip, tried to suppress her blush, and forced herself to concentrate on maintaining the shape and stability of her rope while Sesshōmaru slowly, very slowly made his way to her.

And then he slipped.

Their connection broke.

Kagome nearly screamed when she saw the daiyōkai hanging off a broken wood plank off the side of the suspension bridge.

"I am alright," he managed to say. His voice sounded a little shaken, but he was handling his slip remarkably well, all things considered.

Fortunately, he had not entirely lost his agility as an inu daiyōkai, even with the fear of heights. Without too much trouble, he leapt back onto the bridge.

But, after one look at his pale, greenish face, Kagome had a sinking feeling that perhaps she had forced this 'therapy' session a little prematurely on him.

She had meant this to be a fun exercise. A chance for them to get closer to each other outside of their efforts to get him to overcome his fear of heights.

She had even booked them at a romantic resort in the mountains with a private outdoor bath for later, hoping she could inspire the daiyōkai to see her as a little more than a friend.

Needless to say, none of those plans would come to fruition if he plummeted to the ground.

Now, it was clear she needed drastic measures to get Sesshōmaru over to her side.

"Sesshōmaru!" She called out again. He raised his head and looked at her. The pallor of his complexion was still deathly pale.

"With every ten steps you take, I will remove one article of clothing," she told him.


Sesshōmaru could hardly believe his ears. Did Kagome really say…

He opened his mouth and was about to ask her to clarify when he saw Kagome unzipping her windbreaker and shrugging it off her shoulder. The first article of clothing fell from her body and lay next to her feet in a puddle of pink.

"Kagome," he nearly choked. "What do you think you are doing?"

She shrugged. "That was a bonus item," she said. "You want to see more, you better take ten steps towards me, yōkai."

Sesshōmaru was torn between laughing and growling exasperatedly at her. She certainly had a way to befuddle him in a fashion no one else could ever accomplish. Only her.

But, he was beyond intrigued by her proposal.

And, yes, he wanted to see more. A lot more.

Slowly, he took the first ten steps. The suspension bridge swayed threateningly again, but he kept his eyes on her, just as her bright blue gaze never strayed away from him.

After the tenth step, he let out the breath he did not know he had been holding.

True to her words, Kagome slipped her fingers underneath her sweater, lifted it over her head, and discarded it the same way she did her windbreaker. Underneath her top, she had on a sleeveless knitted camisole. Unlike her loose sweater, this item clung to the hills and valleys of her curves, and for long moments, he forgot what it was he had feared.

"Uhh… Sesshōmaru?" Her voice broke the spell. There was a smile in her voice. When he returned his eyes to her face, he saw the same smile curling on her lips. "Another ten steps, please?"

Sesshōmaru licked his lips and made himself take another set of steps. He counted in his head, syncing each number with each step until he reached ten, and stopped.

The corners of her mouth twitched into a teasing smile before she toed her sneakers off, unbuttoned her jeans, and shimmied them down her legs to show off a pair of shapely calves, toned thighs, and… by gods—

Are those black lace panties?

He was breathing heavily now, though he did not know if it was because of the fear of heights, the high altitude of their location, or the sight of Kagome slowly undressing for him.

For his eyes only. 



This time, she did not need to prompt him. His body fell into motion as though pulled by an invisible string. Ten more steps. His eyes were fixated on her as she slowly, as seductively as she could manage, took off her camisole. She revealed her bare torso and a pair of black lace bra that matched her panties.

If he wondered why she wore such flirtatious undergarments while they were hiking in the mountains, he did not voice it.

His golden eyes, now darkened into a shade of dark caramel, were too busy admiring what she had laid out for him. His gaze was so intense, it took her breath away. Her body began to tremble, and not because of the chilled mountain air. Her breasts grew heavy within their flimsy lace casings as her nipples grew taut.

"Another… ten?" She asked hoarsely.

He had reached the middle of the suspension bridge now. The good thing was he seemed oblivious to where he was, to the fact he was suspended two hundred feet above the ground and held aloft only by a series of aged wood planks and a few meagre ropes. She knew he had not flown, travelled in an airplane, or even gone out onto the balcony at his high-rise penthouse after the accident.

This might seem trivial, but it certainly felt like a victory.  

"Kagome," he said. "You are scantily clad, you might catch a chill."

His voice sounded so gravelly now, it caressed her spine like a physical touch. She shivered in response.

"It seems like a paltry price to pay," she replied, puffing out her chest to show him she was doing fine.

He narrowed his gaze, looking quite skeptical. She wondered if his superior eyesight caught how goosebumps had risen on the skin of her arms.

"May we have… another ten steps, Sesshōmaru?" She asked, holding back her shivers.

He gave her the ten steps she wanted, slowly treading the bridge and coming closer and closer towards her.

She rewarded him with a smile, as sultry as possible, despite air that felt increasingly colder. Then, under his heavy gaze, she reached back to unhook her bra.

A strong wind blew, and she sneezed.



He sprinted towards her when she sneezed, not caring that the suspension bridge swayed threateningly under his hastened steps. In the end, his instincts took over, and he let the brisk winds carry his body as he flew toward her.

Within the blink of an eye, he stood before her. Swiftly, without hesitation, he took her into the circle of his arms. He summoned his mokomoko and wrapped it around her, around them both, enveloping their bodies together within the warm cocoon of the white pelt.

She was covering her mouth, hands reddened by the cold air, eyes still watery from her recent sneeze. He could feel how cold her body was, feel the pebbled texture of her skin. Feel her trembling against his solid frame.

He exerted his yōki and let it caress her back, arms, and torso. He let his energy slowly warm up all parts of her she had bared to get him to cross the bridge. Finally, her body began to loosen, to melt against him, until she was leaning on his chest. He could feel the peaked points of her breasts stabbing into his abdomen.

"Silly woman," Sesshōmaru growled as he rubbed her back in wide circular motions. He tightened mokomoko around her, covering her with more warmth. "Look what happened now."

She did not seem to care she could have caught hypothermia, or at least the cold, from her decision to undress in the middle of the mountains at the height of autumn. Though still watery, her blue eyes shone brightly as they gazed up at him.

"Sesshōmaru," she breathed, voice filled with amazement. "You made it."

Stunned, he looked back towards the direction from whence he came. It was just as she pointed out: he had traversed the four hundred-something feet length of the bridge.

Astonished, he shifted his eyes back to her blue depths. She was grinning widely at him. Her cheeks flushed with excitement and pure joy.

The victory of something so minuscule should not taste so sweet, he thought to himself.

Yet, he had to admit: the feel of her body within his hold was the sweetest prize he had ever received.



Without words, he lifted her body into his arms, still wrapped within the warm embrace of mokomoko, and walked towards the bridge. There was no hesitation in his steps as he began to make his way to the other side.

"Sesshōmaru?" Kagome said, looking up at his serious mien, filled with concentration.

He looked down at her. Though his expression remained grave, there was a hint of a smile in his golden eyes and the twitch of his mouth.

"Let's get you somewhere warm, shall we?" He said.

She was stunned. Smiling, she laid her head on his chest and closed her eyes, savouring the steady rhythm of his footsteps as he brought her back to the other side of the suspension bridge. The winds blew still, and the bridge did sway with them, but somehow Sesshōmaru maintained his balance, even with the added baggage of her weight. Each of his steps was solid, secure, and confident.

Apparently, with her in his arms, with her well-being at the forefront of his mind, he feared nothing.

Not even heights.


Sesshōmaru took her back to the car and let her get dressed before they left the parking lot. Their exercise for the day was completed, and both of them were safe. Perhaps he had his pride stripped off a little, though he managed to regain it in leaps and bounds – in her eyes, anyway. And she might have caught a tiny bit of cold, but she thought it was all worth it.

Later that night, after they checked into the inn where she had booked them a two-bedroom suite, they went to relax in the private outdoor bath. Together.

There had been a tiny awkward moment when Kagome came out to the terrace with only a skimpy towel covering her body. She had blushed when she found him submerged to the waist inside the wooden tub filled with steaming hot water. The rhythm of her heart rapidly accelerated when she gazed upon his male glory.


He remained inside the water, watching her, deliberately stopping himself from making a move. Waiting, just waiting.

He hoped he had made himself clear that he wanted her. Not just to help him overcome his fear of heights, but to have and to hold. To laugh with, to live with. To mate, to have children with.

To love.

If he had not been clear enough, he would make it known that he desired her.

"May I help you get into the tub, Kagome?" He asked.

For a moment, he thought he saw a faint blush cresting her cheekbones. Then, she approached the rim of the tub and slipped the skimpy towel off her body. Now, she stood before him nude, skin flushed and warmed by the hot steam wafting from the water's surface.

Sesshōmaru shucked in a deep breath, because the sight of her completely bare punched all the air out of his lungs.

He approached her side and offered his hand. She placed her hand in his and allowed him to help her climb into the water with him.

"Towards the end, you did not hesitate," she said. "Why?"

"Because I would do anything to protect you," he told her, his tone confident. "From the elements. From everything.”

"I only sneezed." Her tone and smile were teasing, and the twinkle in her blue eyes was even more so.

"Still, I would protect you nonetheless," he said. "It is ingrained in me."

She lifted her lashes to look up at him. Her blue eyes met his golden ones and their gaze held.

"Ingrained in you?" She repeated.

He did not answer with words, but instead, bent down and pressed his lips against hers, kissing her tenderly, languidly. Kagome moaned and parted her mouth, and he took advantage to deepen their contact. Her arms reached up to wound themselves around his neck as their tongues met and tangled. He cinched the narrow spans of her waist, bringing her body flush against his.



The air was warm, and the body plastered to hers was hot, yet Kagome could not stop the shivers of anticipation coursing through her. Sesshōmaru was suckling at her lower lip, nipping the tender flesh, further heightening her desires to a feverish pitch. She raked her fingers in his damp locks, cupping the back of his head as she stood on her toes, asking for more. More…

But, tenderly, he stopped and broke contact. His golden eyes were fevered as he stared at her, pupils blown black and large.

From the hard length she could feel pressing against her stomach, there was no doubt he wanted her. He must have scented her desire as well, as her sex had softened and wept continuously ever since she came out onto the terrace and saw him lounging inside the tub.

Probably even long before then.

Yet, why did he still refrain from making love to her?  

"I love you," she blurted out. If he still had doubts that she wanted this, she would immediately sweep the notion off his mind. "This past year, I've been secretly in love with you."

His golden eyes widened slightly with surprise, but his lips quirked into a smile. She fancied catching the blush on the apple of his cheeks.

"And I thought I was the only one in love with you," he told her. "And the protective instinct was ingrained in me, because I wanted you. As my mate."

She bit her lower lip and shook her head, nearly giggling at how foolish they were. It took a trip to the mountains, a suspension bridge, a half-completed striptease, and a sneeze to get them to confess their feelings to each other.

Kagome cupped his face and stood on her toes to catch his mouth into another kiss. He moaned as though the feel of her lips upon his was what he had been waiting for his whole life.

"Do you know what the sight of you half-naked in the mountains did to me?" He asked her when they both came up for a breath.

"It made you cross the bridge," she told him, dizzy with pleasure and the warmth inside her chest.

"Silly woman," he murmured, not for the first time today. "That was only part of it. Crossing the bridge, overcoming fear of heights pale compared to this."

"Oh?" She raised a raven brow. "Then, what did it do?"

His knuckle caressed her chin, and her shivers intensified.

"It gave me the much-needed courage to get you," he said. With those words, he pulled her back into his embrace and again into his kiss.


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