Chapter 7: Powerful Revelation
Kagome awoke with a startled gasp, her head dunking under the rapidly cooling water. She popped back up, sputtering, searching for whatever had woken her. A pulse of youki came her way again, and she nearly killed herself in her haste to get out of the bath and dry off. The thin kimono stuck to her damp skin and she was shivering too badly to do more than tie the obi in a simple knot. She ignored the provided sandals and flew through the screen between the bath and Sesshomaru’s sleeping chamber.
He still lay on his back, one eye swollen shut, the other open only far enough to reveal a sliver of red. The same color stained his upper lip and mouth. Thick, wet blood ran from his nose and the corner of his lips, trickling onto his bare shoulders and the white bedding. His youki flared again, and a gasp drew Kagome’s horrified attention to the anteroom. The screen was parted slightly, and Kento knelt there, struggling for breath. Kagome didn’t miss the dark spots on his hands, or the way his skin flushed with fever. Eiichi and Eiji stood behind him in the open doorway to the corridor. Eiichi also had signs of smallpox.
“He, he- is getting worse,” Kento panted.
Kagome turned back to the daiyoukai, and suddenly, she knew what had to be done. “Kento, clear the castle.”
“The – the whole castle, Isha?”
“Everyone in this building,” she clarified. For the first time in days, Kagome felt a sense of true calm settle over her. The right thing. No matter how difficult it was, no matter how she struggled and suffered, Kagome always did the right thing. She would not allow fear to keep her from that path.
A shuffling sound indicated Kento’s crawl away from another overwhelming surge of youki. Kagome stepped forward; Sesshomaru’s power swirled around her and called to her. He needed her, whether he knew it or not. He needed her, and she would not let him suffer. She would not let him die. Another flare of energy blew back the sleeves of her kimono and lifted her wet hair into a maelstrom of heat. She stepped forward again, dimly aware of the other demons retreating, and Kento’s whispered, “Thank you, Kagome-isha.”
Kagome moved with purpose, and Sesshomaru’s youki parted and pulled on her, calling her to him. His one open eye did not move, but his breath, raspy and shallow through the metal tube she had inserted in his neck, sped up. “Shhh,” she whispered. “It’s okay, Sesshomaru, I’m here.” This time, she was conscious of her reiki. It had been growing, restless since she got into the bath, and she could feel her own power reaching out to meet his. Like a veil had been pulled from her eyes, she could see the currents of energy in the room. Green, turbulent waves of youki buffeted her and lashed against the confines the daiyoukai seemed to have placed on it. He filled the room with his energy. It spilled over, outside the walls, and still more poured out of him, trying to find release.
Trying to find something to fight the enemy that was destroying his body.
Pink threads of reiki emerged from her fingertips. They twined and twisted languidly, tangling with the much larger, more aggressive youki. The holy lines seemed ridiculously fragile next to his overwhelming strength. As she walked closer to him, her reiki pressed and prodded, slowly smoothing the turbulent waters of his power. She knew instinctively how to direct her energy, in a way she had never considered before. She knelt on the futon, and pink light wound around her and formed a thin blanket over the youki simmering in the room. His power did not retract, but it eased, calmed for the time being.
Kagome pulled his head into her lap, gently pulling his braid out to the side to make him as comfortable as possible. She smoothed her hands across his forehead, lightly touching the place where she knew his crescent should be, under the horrible rash of smallpox. She ghosted across his cheekbones and down his neck to swiftly remove the breathing tube. He stiffened, and blood oozed from the hole. “Shhh,” she repeated and he relaxed again. She finally settled her hands on either side of his chest, her thumbs resting on his collarbones. Kagome called to her power again, leaving what she had already released to glide along his youki and summoning more than she ever had before – with greater control.
Her hands glowed pink and she leaned over his face, curtaining them both with her unbound hair. She stared into his good, red eye and whispered, feeling his hot, harsh breath on her lips, “I’ve got you.”
Shippo and Rin sat on the steps of the castle, watching the building tension of every demon in the upper bailey. Kento sat near them, at a little table that had been brought outside. He kept records of all who had taken ill or died, where they lived and worked, whom they had come into contact with. He had another long scroll that noted the reassignments of servants and soldiers to keep the castle running and protected during the crisis.
Shippo was very aware that it wouldn’t be much longer before the list was useless. There wouldn’t be anyone left to fill in, or take an extra patrol, or even to care for the sick. The infirmary couldn’t hold their numbers. Futons and pallets had be strung out in the courtyard, the entire upper bailey becoming a quarantined sick room. Those who had not taken ill, or were not yet too sick to move, brought water or cool cloths, extra blankets, to those who lay suffering. The dead were wrapped and laid on pyres in a stone alcove of the high wall. The courtyard stank of burning flesh, and it would continue to do so. Shippo turned his eyes from the pallbearers who carried another victim to the next pyre, waiting to collect enough to start another funeral blaze.
Kento did not look well. His hand shook as he wrote, leaving inky splatters on the edge of his paper. He had to stop several times to cough, but he did not look up as Hisao approached. “I pierced Jun’s throat, as you told me she did, and it seems to be helping.” Shippo’s eyes widened. Rin had said Jun was a healer who would help Kagome, but apparently he was sick too.
“I know,” Kento responded quietly.
“She was supposed to help, but things have only gotten worse since that human arrived,” Hisao’s words were harsh, and Shippo bristled.
“I know,” Kento repeated, “but we need to give her more time to-”
“Get rid of her. Get her away from Lord Sesshomaru, or I will.”
Shippo didn’t give Kento a chance to finish, but jumped off the steps. His chest blazed with fury and angry tears stung his eyes. He refused to let them fall. “You can’t!”
His own voice was almost drowned out by Rin’s, “Don’t touch her!” Shippo turned to stare at the girl. Only the day previous she had practically accused Kagome of letting Sesshomaru die. She had calmed down since then, but Shippo was both stunned and pleased to see that she was still on Kagome’s side. “Kagome-san will save Sesshomaru-sama; Rin knows it!”
“You have to give her more time,” Shippo added. “Her medicine is good, but Sesshomaru-sama is very sick. You need to wait for-”
“I don’t need to wait for anything, kit,” Hisao growled and released a harsh lash of youki that threatened to push Shippo to his knees. He stubbornly pushed back with his own energy, taking the captain by surprise and forcing him back a step.
“If you want to hurt my mother, you’ll have to go through me!” Shippo knew he was no match for Hisao, even if the older demon was showing the first signs of the illness. He had to try. He readied his acorns and his top. Kagome would save Sesshomaru, he knew that. She was just so tired from helping everyone else. She needed time. They have to give her time!
As if the kami themselves had heard his silent plea, shocked gasps and outraged shouts erupted below the wall. Hisao turned, only to come face to face with a flying ball of red and silver. “Oi!” Hisao was knocked back, right onto Kento’s table. The wood cracked and ink flew everywhere. “Back the fuck off, asshole! He’s just a kid.” Inuyasha turned to Shippo and Rin, one hand on Tessaiga’s hilt and an ear twitched towards Hisao’s prone form. “What the hell is goin’ on here, runt?”
Shippo couldn’t stand it anymore, he flew towards Inuyasha and buried his face in the robe of the fire rat. Tears leaked out, no matter how hard he tried to hold them in, and he raced through the tale of Sesshomaru’s sickness and the growing numbers of dead at the castle. “And now they think Kagome isn’t trying hard enough. They want to get rid of her!”
Shippo was surprised when Rin joined him, tugging on Inuyasha’s sleeve and gaining his attention. “Rin thought so too, but Rin was wrong. Please Inuyasha-san, please help Kagome-san stay! We need her! Sesshomaru-sama needs her!” Rin was crying outright, but Shippo did his best to wipe off his tears before Inuyasha or the other males could see them.
The hanyou stood, stunned for a moment, and Shippo was suddenly aware of the silence in the courtyard. Everyone who wasn’t dead or close to it was staring at the half-demon who had entered so dramatically, leapt over the twenty-foot high wall, and knocked Captain Hisao on his back without a fight.
“Keh,” Inuyasha said finally. He picked up both children and set them back on the steps, placing himself in front of them. “As if Kagome would let that asshole die, she can’t even skin a rabbit without feeling bad. ‘Sides, she knows the only one who gets to kill my fuckin’ brother is me!” There was another ripple of outrage in the crowd, and several soldiers put their hands on their weapons. Hisao came to, and pushed himself out of the remains of Kento’s desk. “Oi, Shippo, who’s this asshole anyway? And when’d you get the second tail?” Shippo nearly broke his neck trying to look at his own tail and almost missed Inuyasha’s grumbled last words, “I leave you and that wench alone for a few days, and all hell breaks loose.”
Sesshomaru was tired. He wasn’t sure why. He was sitting comfortably, in a quiet, dark place. He didn’t think he had been exhausting himself. The last thing he remembered was working through the reports at his desk… No, he frowned. His head had been hurting. Then he was on his futon, and the miko was there. She’d smelled of bitter fear and salty sadness because she couldn’t give him her modern medicine. He’d needed it because…Sesshomaru’s eyes widened with realization, although it did nothing to illuminate the darkness around him.
He was ill. He had contracted the pox that threatened the Western Lands. She had offered to keep him from getting sick, and he had refused, believing that nothing made by human healers could possibly compare to his own powerful self. And perhaps, in the smallest corner of his mind, he had not wanted to appear weak in front of her.
He had been wrong.
That thought, something he had never admitted before, took him aback, and he almost missed the eerie glow that parted the darkness before him. A swirling white light coalesced in front of him, slowly taking shape into his demonic form. He admired himself in a detached way, noting that he had nearly grown to the size Inu no Tashio had achieved before his death. The beast lay down and put his head on his paws, as though he was defeated. That irritated Sesshomaru.
“Get up,” he commanded it in a strangely hollow voice.
The beast did not respond, but another wave of exhaustion overtook his humanoid form. Sesshomaru looked down at his own body, naked and bathed in the glow of his youki. His skin was covered in black pustules, blood dripping onto his torso. He put one hand to his nose and mouth, and it came away sticky. His hand drifted down to his neck, and he traced the open wound there that allowed breath past the tightness in his throat. His throat…with that realization, all of the pain in his body came back to him. No longer merely tired, he wanted to roar from the blazing agony in his joints, the roiling acid in his belly, the aching tightness in his chest.
The beast stood and circled him. Two tails coiled around his smaller form as though trying to comfort and protect him. His youki dulled the pain, but he could still sense the disease, eating at his flesh and burning through his blood. Sesshomaru sank a deformed hand into his own fur and closed his eyes against the soft pink glow around him. Despair, an emotion he had never before experienced, welled up inside him. He had walked the path of conquest and sought complete perfection, absolute primacy for himself and the Western Lands. The thought that he would be brought low by illness was –
Sesshomaru blinked. There was a pink light, a glow, warming the blackness around him. His beast noticed as well, lifting its head and sniffing at the air. Some sound whispered at his ears, but he could not make it out. His beast must have heard it, and appreciated it, for his tails thumped on the ground. “Stop that,” Sesshomaru rasped, “We are not a pup.”
The beast ignored him and wagged harder. The light intensified and brightened, almost blinding in its intensity. Sesshomaru lifted his face, and felt a warm, salty breeze against his skin. A whisper kissed his ears, Let go, I have you. The pain in his body exploded, rejecting that light and fueling a wracking, necrotic misery that clawed at his insides. His beast howled.
Sesshomaru reached out a shaking hand, for only the second time in his life, asking for assistance. Pink stars burst behind his eyes and the scent of sweet cherry wood and magnolia blossoms filled his nose even as the pain pulled him back into darkness.
Kagome could feel the breath in her lungs. In. Out. In. Out. She was conscious of the rough texture of Sesshomaru’s skin under her palms. Pebbly. Don’t press too hard. Ugh, it burst and now it’s sticky. Her left foot had fallen asleep and she was cold everywhere except where his head lay on her lap. I should have grabbed the mokomoko. All of those things ran through her mind, but they came and left like leaves on a breeze, never drawing her focus.
Her being was concentrating on what was happening in the millimeters between her skin and his. In that space her reiki pushed against him, cajoling his youki to gain access to his body. It had seemed like hours, or maybe only a few seconds, and then hot green energy licked up her arms and twined through her hair, securing her hands against him and giving her unspoken permission. Then the hard work began.
With Rin, it had been a matter of letting her reiki flow through the girl’s body. She had identified everything that was Rin, and then she searched for what did not belong. She’d imagined the virus to look like enlarged versions of the black dumbbell shape from her textbook. She then found the vaccine in Rin’s system and pushed it towards her own natural antibodies. A war had raged in Rin’s body, and Kagome became the general, issuing orders and ensuring none of the enemy escaped. She was behind the lines as well, healing damage in the wake of the disease and repairing antibodies to return to the battle. It had been a matter of will and energy and understanding of what she was fighting, and on what ground.
With Sesshomaru, she lost nearly all advantage. He had no potent vaccine in his system that prepared his antibodies to push out invading viruses. In fact, she wasn’t entirely sure demons had antibodies. Kagome lost any sensation of her physical body, hunched over Sesshomaru, as she labored to understand him. She needed to identify what was Sesshomaru, what belonged, before she could lay out a strategy. His body was strange to her, and yet familiar.
One heart. Dub-lub. Dub-lub. She had heard it through her stethoscope, but from inside him it was louder, more robust. It forced blood through his veins and she followed it.
His blood. Red like mine. It was strong and it knew she was inside him. It did not push against her, but considered her, flowing over her power, drowning her in a tide of thick, deep heat that coated her and she nearly drowned as it explored her – while she explored him. When it withdrew, she was left gasping, but it revealed some of his secrets, showing her how a daiyoukai killed enemies within.
Two lungs. In. Out. In. Out. Just like her, but slower. He did not need as much air, he was more efficient. His tissues felt wet, his breath came with difficulty. Laying on the cells inside was the dust of the inoculate she had forced him to inhale. The dead virus was rejected by his body. It had done no good. She could identify just as easily as him that this – this filth – was not of Sesshomaru.
Liver and kidneys and stomach. So empty. He needed more food, so much more than she did. He needed sustenance of any sort, which he had been denied for days. More than that, he needed meat – proteins and fats, carbohydrates and amino acids. Blood. His stomach craved wet, hot liquid rich with iron and electrolytes.
She mapped his entire body. Traced his muscles and bones. Followed the flow of fluid in his spine. She knew him. Knew what made the body he inhabited youkai. Daiyoukai. Sesshomaru. The farther she pushed, the harder it became, like he was shrinking away from her. No. Like something was pulling him away, pushing an opaque barrier between them. Kagome caught a glimpse, just for a moment, of the tiny black virus that had caused so much devastation in the most powerful being she had ever known.
She narrowed her eyes. It had made a mistake. Sesshomaru was often aloof. He was stoic and egotistical and tight lipped. He was difficult to be comfortable with, harder to like, harder still to love. But he was not alone. She stood by him. There were others too. Others that wanted to be with him. Others that liked him. That loved him. Whatever instinct or fate or villain or cruel twist of virulent destiny had sent this smallpox to Sesshomaru, it had miscalculated. He could not be defeated, because he was not alone.
“I will not let you die, Sesshomaru.”
She wasn’t sure if she really spoke or not, too deeply embedded inside him to recognize the signals of her own body as more than distant shadows. A darkness was closing over him, and Kagome could feel his youki withdrawing, being torn away and clutching at her to remain. “I’ve got you,” she ground out. She forced more power into her hands, pouring reiki into his body.
His youki bucked, flaring in response and racing back from the darkness to reach for her. Energy answered in her without conscious effort. A wellspring within her erupted and Kagome felt all at once torn apart and held tightly by the tremendous outpouring. Pink light blossomed in the room, blinding her to everything but Sesshomaru’s face below her and the imagined sight of his being which she still held in her mind. An unnatural wind, holy power tasting like salt and ozone, swept around her, lifting her hair and pulling Sesshomaru’s white strands free from his braid. The blackness still clawed at him, and Kagome could feel it reaching across his youki, climbing up the connection they shared to tug at her as well.
“Fight with me, Sesshomaru,” she cried softly. She could feel her own energy faltering, feel her concentration divided between pushing that invader from her own body and eradicating it from the daiyoukai. A small tendril of youki, a hot thread that seemed so thin it might snap at any moment, unfurled against her skin. It slid along the wide vee made by her hastily thrown on yukata, glided over her collarbone, and slipped up and around her neck to caress her jaw. She held it to her with her reiki and a snarl was ripped from her throat. “Sesshomaru!” Kagome had never been so determined, so absolutely focused and she threw everything she was into Sesshomaru, willing that darkness to be banished from his perfection.
Then, she exploded with power.
“What the fuck do you mean, ‘get out’? I ain’t leaving without Kagome, and she sure as hell ain’t leavin’ until all these idiots are better.” Inuyasha-san scowled at Hisao-san and gestured to the sick in the courtyard.
Rin blushed at his language, but she also felt a swell of pride and admiration. Sesshomaru-sama’s brother was only a half-demon, but he still stood up to the most skilled fighter in the castle, aside from Sesshomaru-sama of course, and refused to back down. Kagome-san and Shippo-kun were his friends, and Inuyasha-san would do anything for his friends. She was certain he didn’t even feel the tiniest bit afraid.
“You are not welcome here, hanyou. Leave or-”
“Not welcome?” Inuyasha snorted. “No shit. I’m not excited to be here either, but Kagome told me to come, and the asshole didn’t object – not that he could have done anything about it. I’m here, and I ain’t leaving. Unless you want to make me?” Inuyasha-san put his hand on the hilt of his sword, and from behind him, Rin got a good view as his stance widened and he braced his feet for combat. “But I think you got a few things more important to deal with than havin’ your ass handed to you.”
“Let him be, Hisao-san,” Kento-san interrupted. Rin smiled at Sesshomaru-sama’s secretary. He looked tired, but he would talk sense into Hisao-san. “If Kagome-isha has not succeeded by morning, we will discuss this further.”
“In the morning? She’s already been in there all night and the better part of today. How will we even know if she is doing anything?” Hisao-san was close to losing his temper, his demon markings were growing more pronounced.
“Eiichi and Eiji stayed behind to guard Sesshomaru-sama. They will send word if there is any change.” Kento-san paused, finally looking up from the disarrayed papers and ink he was failing to mop up. “Those men deserve recognition for their bravery. I understand there is a good chance she could injure them in the healing process.” Hisao huffed, but turned away from Inuyasha to survey the courtyard.
Rin smiled and restrained herself from clapping her hands together. She turned to Shippo-kun to share the small victory, to find him still staring in awe at his two tails. “Two,” he muttered. “When did I get two? This is- I have to- When Kagome sees-”
Rin giggled and secured him to her side in a hug. Shippo-kun was growing up, just like Rin was growing up. Kagome-san would heal Sesshomaru-sama and they would all live at the castle and…Rin’s smile fell. Rin would have to apologize to Kagome-san. She had not deserved the things that Rin had said, but Rin had been very sad. Still, she straightened her shoulders, Rin was of the West, and she would correct her error. Just as soon as she could.
“She really tryin’ to use her powers on the asshole, runt?” Inuyasha-san asked Shippo-kun quietly. Rin grew nervous when she noticed Kento-san and Hisao-san listening to them.
“Yeah,” Shippo-kun whispered. “She promised Rin she would do everything she could to save him.” The kit swallowed hard, finally dropping his new tail and looking up at Inuyasha-san the way any frightened boy looked up to a mentor. “He looked really bad. Way worse than Rin did.” Inuyasha-san considered that with a frown, and Rin’s worry deepened. If Sesshomaru-sama’s brother was worried about him, then…
“Keh,” he shrugged and folded his arms across his chest. “She’ll fix him up, no problem. If I’m lucky she’ll at least purify him a little in the process. Bastard.”
“Purify?” Hisao-san rounded on the hanyou and his expression was thunderous. “Sesshomaru-sama is being healed by a miko?” Hisao-san was not a soft-spoken demon at the best of times, and with his temper inflamed he fairly roared. Every eye in the courtyard – all those that were not already fixed on the newcomer – turned towards them in shock and terror.
Rin stepped up beside Inuyasha-san, grabbing hold of his hand and prepared to defend him and Kagome-san to any of Sesshomaru-sama’s vassals. “Kagome-san is a good miko,” she called out in a strong voice. “She would never hurt a demon…who didn’t deserve it.” Rin took another deep breath, knowing that her speech was not going as well as it could have. She squeezed Inuyasha-san’s hand for courage. “Please, just listen to Rin. I-” She didn’t get a chance to finish.
An explosion washed over the castle. An explosion without sound, or vibration, or pain. Pink light, so bright it was nearly white, blinded Rin and everyone else. A warm wind tugged at her hair, pulling loose strands from her neat bun to curl near her face. Her orange kimono fluttered and she could faintly smell the ocean. Then it was over and silence reigned. Except-
“Oi! What the fuck, wench! How come it’s always me?” Inuyasha-san patted ineffectually at his reddened skin, and Rin let go of his hand to fan at the faint smoke rising from his hair. She frowned, wondering what had happened, what had gone wrong that Kagome-san had let out so much power.
“Kento,” Hisao-san’s shock was evident in his lack of an honorific. “Kento, your face…” He trailed off, and everyone stopped to stare at the secretary. His hair and clothes were in disarray from the same wind that had left behind the salty-warm scent in the air. Rin frowned deeper. Kento-san’s face was the same pale mushroom color it had always been. His cheekbones were high and sharp, the smooth flesh of his forehead was marked only by three long blue lines.
The smooth flesh of his forehead.
Rin’s gaze snapped to Hisao-san, then the demon on the closest pallet. From one to another her eyes drifted, and she quickly realized what the residents of the castle were joyfully, disbelievingly seeing. There was not a spot among them. Not a single demon had the marks of the disease. Their skin was smooth. Their eyes clear of fever. Some stood and tested their limbs – free of pain. Rin shrieked and grabbed hands with both Inuyasha-san and Shippo-kun.
“She did it! Kagome-san did it!” With a strength she didn’t know she possessed Rin pulled the two boys behind her as she ran into the castle to find her Lord. “Sesshomaru-sama!” she shouted with elation. Her heart echoed the cry, Papa!
Sesshomaru blinked, but his vision didn’t clear. For a moment, he thought he was still in the blackness of his own mind, waiting for his beast to appear. Then his eyes adjusted, and he saw that it was not total darkness, but only a dim room, further shadowed by a veil of black…hair. He brushed one hand across his face, pushing the hair back. He became aware, all at once, of warm breath against his chin, a light weight on his chest, and the pleasing scent of cherry wood and magnolia blossoms. Kagome.
He looked down, not surprised so much at the stiffness of his muscles as at the lack of pain he felt. Her head and upper body lay on his torso, one hand brushed against the marking over his collarbone as he breathed. Her legs curled around his head. The warmth of her thighs pressed against his skull and soothed the last vestiges of a headache that felt as though it had raged for days.
He did not move immediately, struggling though vague memories of his illness. She had been there, he knew. Kento, as well, but always her. He recalled her soft voice speaking quietly, of nothing and everything. Sometimes telling him fantastical tales of the future which he could barely remember, other times asking questions about demons at the castle, his parents, and Inuyasha. She sang sometimes too. Nothing elaborate or with great skill, but still sweetly and he remembered it calmed him.
Her hands on his skin; he reached one hand to hers where it lay on his chest. He surprised himself by not immediately removing it. By not wanting to remove it. She had washed him, cared for him, soothed him over and over again. And always she told him he would get better. He had to get better. She was with him. She had him. He traced his claws over the back of her hand and admired the silky feel of her. One layer of simple kimono – Sesshomaru wondered where she had gotten it and who had managed to convince her to wear such modest clothing – had been put on with no real skill. The obi was barely knotted, and the neckline gaped in a wide vee revealing the full curve of one breast and the slender column of her neck. Beautiful.
Sesshomaru closed his eyes and blew out a long breath. He had already admitted to himself that she was attractive, both in spirit and in flesh. There was nothing to be gained from further admiration of her form. The full, milky- He snapped his eyes to the ceiling, to keep them from being drawn back to that intriguing shadow between her breasts. Apparently he hadn’t sorted out his own thoughts as well as he needed to before he had taken ill. It was a nuisance. He shifted, prepared to wake her, thank her for her assistance – which he would do no matter how it pained him – and send her to her rooms. His muscles protested at the small movement, reminding him that although he may have been asleep, his body had not rested for some time.
The miko let out a pained sort of mewl as well. He frowned. She was foolish enough to ignore her own needs to care for another, even if they did not need it. He found his arm easing between them, gripping her thighs and pulling her around to lay beside him. He wondered why he would do such a thing, but the rightness of it was too strong to ignore, especially in his exhausted state. He felt grateful. He had the suspicion that the miko might have saved his life. She deserved his respect. His thanks. She deserved a long, recuperating rest as a member of his pack. Sesshomaru didn’t examine that thought closely either. There would be time later for such things. It was enough, in that moment, that he was no longer ill. She was beside him, smelling sweet and reassuring, and warm against his bare skin.
His bedding was in disarray, pushed down around his waist and exposing one leg. Her body trapped the coverings beneath her, and she shivered in the cool air. Sesshomaru found his mokomoko nearby, and it covered her from head to toe, leaving enough left over to drape over his chest as well. He closed his eyes, feeling a real, deep sleep pulling at him. Her breath puffed softly against his neck. She had one hand tucked against his side and the other stretched over his chest, fingertips grazing his marking. Her long hair covered his arm and trailed across the futon. Her top leg draped across his, her toes nestling between his calves. Her scent wrapped around him and a heavy blanket of spent power, youki and reiki, lay across the room. The corner of his mouth twitched slightly in a small smile.
He was right about her power. It was almost as great as his.