Word Length: 500
Summary: Kagome struggles in the aftermath of battle.
Author’s Note: Part of the “Allegiance
” series, a sequel to ‘Salvation
.’ This is the last entry in this particular story arc of the serial.
Sesshoumaru wasn’t surprised when, upon entering the chamber, he found Kagome fast asleep on the bed. It had been a long day for them all; the aftermath of battle always proved more difficult than the preparation for it.
He moved across the room on silent feet, absently going through his nightly routine. He still hadn’t fully recovered himself from the monk’s attack; anytime he came so close to transformation, it took a lot out of him. All he wished for now was a peaceful night.
The cry cut through his reverie; turning, he noticed Kagome had wrenched awake, tossing the blankets aside and sitting up. Her entire body was shaking with quiet sobs. Before he could place it, he found himself in front of her, reaching for one shoulder.
“I can’t stop seeing it,” she blubbered, feeling the warmth of his touch. “All that blood – that sickening crack of bone – ”
She choked on her words, leaning forward, her hair falling over her face. “I killed a man.”
He sank down beside her, pulling her close. Her pain and anguish poured over him, but instead of allowing the emotions to overwhelm him, he corralled them, not willing to give in and let them feast on his own dark memories.
“Does it always feel this way?” she whispered after a moment.
“You have to understand the weight of life in order to understand the weight of war,” he murmured. It had been a harrowing lesson for him to learn as well, driven to the depths of hell and back in pursuit of power. “Only then will you be truly able to wield your weapon with a compassionate heart.”
“Where’s the compassion in killing a monk?” she asked.
“This is the same man who murdered your husband,” he reminded her. “I do not understand how you could feel remorse for causing his demise.”
“Because I’m human,” she surmised. “And so was he.”
Sesshoumaru quirked a brow at her reasoning, but let it pass. “I am only sad we were not able to recover your weapon.” The blade of the wakizashi had broken in two while still buried in the monk’s wound, a testament to the force she’d used.
This statement brought on a fresh round of tears. “That, too,” she sniffled, reaching for his free hand. “I feel like I’ve let you down. I mean, it’s the first tangible gift you gave me, and for such a special reason, and I couldn’t even – ”
He cut her off abruptly by pressing his mouth to hers, lingering through the shiver of surprise that shot down her spine, before gently pulling away.
Her eyes searched his for the space of a breath.
“What was that for?” she asked, confusion ripe in her tone.
He furrowed a brow as he studied her. “That is how humans offer their mates comfort, yes?”
Her expression faded into a smile as her arms drifted around his neck. “Yes,” she returned, drawing her lips to his once more.