Until Then by MoonAngel

Chapter One

The breeze blew gently across the plains. Blades of grass dancing to an invisible tune. The sun glistened against the rocky castle walls. Days like these were to be enjoyed by the playful happenings of little children. There would be none of that in this dank place. It had been years since he had been here. He remembered the days as a pup, running the halls with his misfit of a brother trailing behind him. They got along well in those days. Too often they would get themselves into trouble. Each blaming the other. He tried to discipline the child himself. But he wouldn't listen. He had too much of a human inside him still.

He tried not to think of those days. Good memories were becoming harder and harder to find. The best solution was to stop looking for them. He walked the halls mutely, as though listening for the sounds of laughter that used to fill them. He sighed softly, only to hear it echo along down the ghostly corridor. He didn't know why he came here. Was he looking for torturous memories? He came here to get away. To be away from that halflings little ragtag bunch. He left Rin with them as well. She cried out for him as he walked away. As much as it pained him to leave her side, for now it was the best. He stated he had things to take care of and the he will be back to get her.

She half smiled and nodded understandingly and he drew her into a hug. Something he found himself doing quite often to appease the child. He was also surprised to find he liked such contact. He never imagined himself, the Great Youkai Lord of the Western Lands to take comfort in a humans touch. Well, he is his father's son is he not? Perhaps he had obtained the same weakness that had killed his father. Perhaps. Another reason he had to leave Rin. She looked to much like her.

Yes, that little wretch of Inu-Yasha's. What spell had she cast upon him? Why was the intensity of those gray orbs the only thing that could render him motionless? Why did he worry when she was injured? And the most important question, Why in seven hells did he CARE? He sighed angrily and punched a hole through the warn rubble that was the south wall. He couldn't understand. What brought this on? He wanted to know.

He tried to think, maybe it was the last battle with Naraku. Yes, that had to have been it. They were in the courtyard of his vast castle like mirage. Naraku claimed it to be the last battle any of them would fight. He scoffed at that notion, knowing he could hold his own against the brunette hanyou. Inu-Yasha drew the sword he so desperately wanted to obtain. The youkai hunter drew her weapon, as did the houshi. As they readied for their attack, a woman appeared next to Naraku. He knew he had seen her before. He first mistook him for his brothers bitch. But then he noticed their differences. This woman smelled of death, earth and bones. Whilst the other smelled sweetly of flowers and perfume. A smell he had come to know by instant.

This girl, Kagome as she called herself. Was positioned next to the youkai hunter. She watched Inu-Yasha with intensity. Many expressions danced across her pale face. He heard his brother whisper a woman's name, but it was not Kagome's. Her face saddened and mouth drew into a frown. His chest tightened at this site. He hated it when women cried. She did not cry though. Not a single tear fell. Her fists clenched off and on at her side.

He glanced back at Naraku and this Kagome look alike. The dark hanyou was the first to attack them. Inu-Yasha slashed at Naraku with a force he didn't know the mutt had. The hunter and the houshi also joined in on the fight. He just watched from the sidelines. He would attack when his brother fell. Then he would have the sword and the victory. Though it seemed Fate had other plans that day.

Naraku slipped a glance towards the youkai lord and sent an attack. It had caught him off guard, and he knew he wouldn't be able to dodge it. He braced for the blow but it never came. Instead there was a blinding light, once it subsided, he noticed the girl. She had blocked it from hitting him. He was truly astounded. He had never seen such power emitting from a single human before. Maybe it was then, that she had captivated him.

Or yet, maybe it was what she did next. She turned at looked at him, setting those gray eyes upon him and asked if he was alright. All he could was give a curt nod. She sighed slightly, as if relieved and then turned her attention to Inu-Yasha. The events that passed were a blur. Naraku died at the hands of both him and Inu-Yasha combined. Kagome retrieved the last pieces of the jewel and it was complete once again. He didn't understand what this was all about. What made this jewel so special. And honestly, he didn't really care.

He watched the two miko women and Inu-Yasha. Such a triangle. One loving another. Well, at least that's what he perceived it as. Inu-Yasha glanced back and forth from Kagome to this Kagome look alike. His expression is one of plain confusion. Ah yes brother, who will you choose. This dark miko insisted on having him and taking him into hell. Kagome just stood there. Why she didn't try to stop him, he didn't know.

Needless to say, his brother chose hell over heaven. What a stupid mutt. All were, as predicted, quite astounded by this little turn of events. Kagome was .. well he couldn't tell what she was at this moment. It was a look of utter amazement. Obviously she must have thought he'd chose life over death. Well, we can't all be right can we.

She watched silently as the dark miko pulled him into hell. They're eyes never leaving one another. Her seemed to say "please don't" while his screamed "forgive me". Then it occurred to him, if Inu-Yasha was in hell then so was the sword. He cursed to himself as he started to walk away. He walked passed Kagome and stopped. He glanced sideways and gently brushed his hand against hers in an airy touch. It startled her from her reverie as she looked at him.

"Gomen" He whispered softly.

"A..Arigato .." She said a little unsure.

He brushed her fingers against his again as he walked away. The others looked at him with an unreadable expression. He ignored them and walked away. Little contact such as that made him eager for more than that. There was so much it had awoken in him. Such curiosity. Where did she come from? Did she always wear such material? Where had she gotten her power? There was so much she could teach him.

He sighed as he pushed himself away from the open castle window. She had such a hold over him and she didn't even know it. It had been 3 months since that day and still he thought of her. The way she smiled, the way her hair blew in the wind. Such things he had taken for granted before. Yes, he was definitely cursed with his fathers sickness. Yet now as he thought of that, it didn't sound so bad.

He worked his way down the many paths and halls till he came to a closed room. He opened the door and looked inside. Yes, there would be so much she would teach him. He felt a tug at his chest whenever he saw her. She was a complete beauty in her own way. Her stubbornness, her compassion, her headstrong behavior. She was even more so when angry. He smirked and moved his way towards the bed in the corner of the room.

Never would he thought he would become so obsessed with a human before. He had watched them over the months, learning what he could. But it wasn't the same. He was a student willing to learn, but he wanted her as his teacher. He was definitely willing. But was she? He wanted to know.

He looked down at the figure before him. Coal black hair against white silken sheets. He bent down and gently brushed a few stray hairs from her face. She moaned slightly and turned over, still unaware of her surroundings. Yes, he supposed she would be angry when she awoke. It was nothing he couldn't handle. He walked back to the door and stole another glance at her. All these feelings he held for this girl, he wanted to know what they were. Was it just fascination? Was it just curiosity? Or perhaps love? He knew not, but he assumed she did. And she would tell him all he yearned to know.

"Until then, oyasumi .. Kagome" He whispered as he shut the large wooden door.

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