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29 May 2008 @ 10:24 pm
Bruised Knuckles  
Title: Bruised Knuckles
Pairing: Sesshoumaru & Kagome
Fandom: Inuyasha
Genre: Backstory, General, Drama, Friendship
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,261

Bruised Knuckles

the purples and blacks and greens…
like leopard patterns
on dangling arms and other limbs

I. some things come unharmed

Her skirt was too short, he thought. And she was too young.

And it was so strange that she thought of him romantically, and he felt like her father. Or grandfather, or great-grandfather and so on.

But eventually, she realized things would never work out and released her girlish ideas and pathetic fantasies.

-x-

Years passed and the little human who followed him grew up and left him too. She turned gray and smaller, bones more fragile and skin looser, and one day, she disappeared all together.

Just like that, here today, gone tomorrow.

“Mortals,” he scoffed, but left a flower on the ground where she last stood.

-x-

“Go home, Kagome,” Sango persisted.

“Yes, you should really go back to your own time,” and Miroku insisted.

“Go, will ya?” and Inuyasha assisted.

And so, Kagome left (reluctant and really, horribly confused). Didn’t they like her? Wasn’t she their friend?

-x-

At home, Kagome drowned herself in sorrow, plunged through her homework and schoolwork and more work and work.

But, she realized (ultimately—like a nightmare turned to dream, bliss even before she woke), she wasn’t truly sad. It was just reality.

-x-

Sesshoumaru fought (eternity). He didn’t sleep, didn’t need it, and roamed the land—like a savage, like a vagabond human, like an animal.

In his heart, he knew, there was a hairline fracture about to break. And when it did, all the horrors would be unleashed, and he would finally be content. But for now, Sesshoumaru slaughtered without rue.

And Kohaku followed suit, forever in shadow, almost (nearly) forgotten but not.

Once, Kohaku broke his leg—and spine, that part of his frail body too. His little boy bones bending and curving, and Sesshoumaru wrapped it up in white (cloth). And out blood bloomed forth, like roses in snow, soon to be frozen and left preserved.

The next summer Kohaku left. And that was that. Because humans died regularly, daily. A quotidian truth, a small, insignificant waver. Sesshoumaru was alone again, except for Jaken and the winds (when they laughed, it felt like murder).

But that was the first year when his knuckles bruised over. Pale and fluttering, the colors spread out like foams reaching for the horizon sea.

II. a while ago, life was simple

Twenty-one was a large expanse. A plain or a field that extends endlessly. And when Kagome arrived on the bridge taking her there, she broke down and cried.

Twenty-one was a step forward and no step leading back (to childhood, to delusional, haphazard calm).

Just her and a number dancing together.

-x-

He hated the taste of strawberries. Loathed them fervidly, powerfully.

Sour and light, they were repulsive. But when the girl offered him one, he took it. It was Rin’s favorite food, and Rin was like a daughter (or pet) to him. And so, Sesshoumaru ate it, no complaints or killings.

Bony fingers went and laced and intertwined themselves in his hair, sharp like claws, the girl reached up to kiss him. “You are very pretty, almost like a girl.”

“And you are very filthy, just like dirt.”

And this girl, Shiori (hanyou and white-haired and watery) smiled brightly.

This girl, Sesshoumaru silently mocked, this girl will die one day too. And one day soon. She was half-and-half, had no crevice to crawl into—to hide.

-x-

When the world was new and just beginning, when a few thousand years ago, Sesshoumaru had a secret.

He had a friend, or a pseudo-friend, and she was a princess (made a whore).

“Do you think we could be friends again? If we find each other, that is. If I will be reincarnated, that is.”

Yes, he wanted to say, because she was full of sins.

And so, when she died (and gave birth), he felt betrayed. And when he was called to save his father, he stayed behind. Humans laid in ruins until their graves were dug.

That which made civilizations great.

-x-

“Kagome, where did you get this?” Mrs. Higurashi asked.

Her daughter held up the pebble higher to show her mother. Held it up to catch the flickering light, and from the innards of the stone, out came a sheen—like soft skin coated in sweat.

“From someone I met, well, actually…I found it. But he said it was special and I should keep it.”

Mrs. Higurashi frowned and reprimanded her, “You shouldn’t talk to strangers, Kagome. Now come on, you’ll be late for pre-school.”

-x-

Izayoi was teased horribly awful when she was a little girl. She wasn’t very pretty, and she wasn’t very distinguished. Her mother was the third wife of a wealthy daimyo, but a third wife nonetheless.

Her hair was limp and dull, and there was a sadness in her. Stoic and somber, like a withered old lady.

“Eat it, eat it!” the half-brother urged, pushed her down into the earth and forced her mouth open.

And Izayoi bit down on the cricket, felt the crunchy shell skittering down her throat.

“Just you wait!” she screamed, “He’s gonna come and he’s gonna make you pay!”

“Who?” the half-brother laughed, “the imaginary youkai you call a friend?” And for good measure, he hit Izayoi across the face (gave a subtle scar on her left cheek, pink and faint, it was a heavy reminder).

But one day, the half-brother died. No one knew how, no one knew why, but he did. And the morning before the funeral, Izayoi sneaked into his room and slapped him hard.

-x-

Lost and startled, Sesshoumaru learned about justice.

He was young and wispy like smoke, and learned to deal strikes by the full, thorough and quick—and leave nothing hopeful.

III. reunion was like disunion, precarious and not always wanted

Kagome drank down the poison (coffee) and grimaced at the unaccustomed bitterness. A remote warmth and a hellish piquant, slicing taste. She preferred tea—no complications, bland.

“I can’t believe you’re still alive.” Kagome took another sip, to guarantee that this was real and not some hallucination.

“Youkai live long.”

“Yeah, you can say that again. So how have things been going for you? Still bickering with Inuyasha’s ghost?”

Sesshoumaru frowned. “I wouldn’t call that bickering.”

“Oh, that’s right! What is bickering compared to cutting off limbs and stuff? I forgot. In your world, arguments are settled the old-fashioned way.”

Old-fashioned like when the boy opened the door for the girl, and the door slammed shut.

-x-

“You know, we have not seen each other in fifteen years. But that is what? Plus five hundred more for you?”

“Time doesn’t really matter.”

“Only if you can live forever.”

And they left it open like that. Things forgotten were hard to be recalled.

-x-

“At least we’re friends,” Kagome agreed.

Sesshoumaru nodded, unsure what to make of that. This time was like last time, a mirror unfolded in silk—the retrospective view piercing way back when…

And he’s about to leave again, and she’s about to die again. But now, she’s surrounded by her own family and love and he was there.

Friendship was a strange thing. It rotated, revolved around and around, and emerged in the blink of an eye. And strangled that quick too.

-x-

“Have we met somewhere, youkai?” Kikyou asked, bow and arrow ready to shoot, quivering.

“Perhaps,” Sesshoumaru answered and took a step forward.

 
 
 
sinulatansinulatan on June 6th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
I like the way you've written this. Messy timelines. :)

For the Japanese, I believe it's Twenty, not Twenty One.

Nevertheless, good job. :D I like your descriptions, your use of words, and the structure of this as a whole.