Red Lotus

BY : Maddiesan
Category: InuYasha > Het - Male/Female > Sessh?maru/Kagome > Sessh?maru/Kagome
Dragon prints: 17451
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

A/N: When this was first written, Daniella beta-read it! (Thanks love!) But, I did make quite a few adjustments, so any mistakes you see are my fault.


Red Lotus


1. The Promise

The sun was diming in the horizon as he closed the blinds of his apartment. He shut the world and the buildings of Tokyo away before sitting down in his olive couch, a deep sigh escaping his lips. His slender fingers ran through his bangs as he pressed his head against the sofa.

Every day was painfully long.

He no longer led the life he used to and he was no longer the person he used to be.

Five hundred years had changed him; then again five hundred years had changed everything and everyone.

Back then he was feared and powerful. Now, he was nothing more than a common mid class human who worked as a financial advisor in a bank. Oh how far did he fall? In the past being around so many idiotic humans would have driven him insane, but now he learned to deal with it. How else would he survive?

His new self and his job were not the only tiring thing in his life however.

Many youkais withered away when the world transformed and decided it was not for them. Also, many were slaughtered during the changes as humans took over the power. In Sesshomaru's case he had been forced to not only live this world, but bury the weight of a promise.

Three hundred years ago his half brother made him promise the most ridiculous thing.

Inuyasha and he were never on good terms and it remained that way until the end. However, he was called upon to his half-brother's side during his last moments and Sesshomaru accepted the request. Inuyasha was pack, and Sesshomaru found it acceptable to listen to his demand.

Look after Kagome; make sure nothing bad happens to her.

Sesshomaru was very surprised especially since the Miko was missing since the completion of the jewel. There was no way she lived to be over two hundred years old. Obviously, it all made sense when his half-brother explained to him the whole situation.

And so, Sesshomaru agreed to protect the Miko. It was Inuyasha's dying request and it was his duty to honor it.

She was the only reason he was in Tokyo living the life he was. Perhaps he would have gone away, in hiding, living with the remaining youkais, but it would have made it to difficult to look after her.

The Miko was fairly easy to find since he had information about her and a three hundred year head start. Sesshomaru lurked in the shadows when she was born, grew up, and fell down the well fulfilling her duty. The first few weeks he was slightly amazed that, although she could remain in her world safe and sound, she decided to put herself at risk nonetheless.

Years passed before she stopped traveling to the past and since he was nowhere near the house, he never knew why. He could only assume that the well ceased to work leaving her stuck where she truly belonged. Of course, he also noticed her heartbreak and the way she lingered by the well house every day for weeks.

Then after nearly a year, she ceased to visit the object of her sadness.

Once that happened she rarely came out of her house. She went to school, and helped her grandfather and mother around the shrine. He only saw her a few times in the Feudal Era, but he remembered that she was usually fueled by an intense passion and fiery spirit. When she lost the ability to travel through time, that fire was lost as well.

Frankly, it was none of his concern how she chose to live her life but he was bound to her in some way. Was her happiness part of his promise? He was only supposed to watch over her, and protect her. As long as her sadness did not cause her to commit any kind of foolish action, he should not get involved.

He decided then that his involvement in her life would be very small. It would have remained that way if her situation did not drastically changed five months ago. Exactly five months ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer. At first he was surprised, but he realized that during her travels she was exposed to a lot of miasma and apparently it had its toll on her lungs.

At first he, believed that she would be eligible for treatment, or that would be subject to an operation and she would be back on her feet. However, he soon learned that she was too advanced for full recovery and that it was not possible. The only thing available for her was chemotherapy. Of course, her family did not have much money but they went along with it nonetheless.

That should have been part of his duty. However, he did not have much money himself, and he found himself stuck. He could barely manage his bills; how could he afford her treatment? Because of that he decided to not reveal himself to her yet. What was the point if he could not provide any help?

Now though, his time was running out.

The treatment did not seem to improve her state and from his spying, he noticed that she was coming home less and less. The hospital was her main residence for the past couple of months. What was he supposed to do now? Would it truly be helpful to go see her? He figured she was not aware that youkais were still alive in her time, so perhaps she would think he was a hallucination.

Another sigh passed his lips before he rose to his feet. Slowly, he loosened his tie as if it was going to provide him with some relief, or piece of mind.

Life had many sorts of irony, and the turn the Miko's life took was one of them. After all, did she not sacrifice education, time, and love simply to rid the world of the jewel, to complete her duty? Yet all it brought her was heartache, pain, and apparently, a premature death.

Sesshomaru was well aware of the promise he made to his half-brother, but cancer was not something he could save her from. He did not have the money, or the resources to do anything about her situation. The only thing he could do, the one thing that could bring her some sort of relief was to know that Inuyasha never forgot her.

Meeting her, explaining the situation to her… it was something he could do.

Not today.

Tomorrow.

It was his day off and he would dedicate it to taking this weight off his shoulders forever. One meeting with her and he would be free of all obligations, would he not? She was perhaps the least annoying person to deal with from the whole group his brother used to travel with, but she was stubborn and strong headed nonetheless.

He was hoping she would understand and nothing would be too complicated. She seemed like a somewhat intelligence person and he was sure that once he explained the situation to her, he would be able to move on.

Hopefully it would be that simple.


-R-

She coughed loudly while every action, every breath brought upon her a pain she did not know before. Once the usual ten coughs were out of the way, she laid her head against her pillow feeling exhausted and flustered. She could feel her heart racing through her chest while the pain exploded inside her lungs.

It all happened so fast.

For the longest time she believed that the pain in her chest was due to the fact that she missed him and her friends. Of course, when she became out of breath sooner, and the pain caused her to pass out, she realized that something else was wrong. Obviously, nothing ever prepared her for the diagnostic she received.

She was young and healthy on top of having spent way more time outside than anyone else her age. Apparently that did not help her at all. If it helped she would not weigh 75 pounds and she would be more than skin and bone.

Cancer.

She was dying.

After everything, after all the dangerous situations she found herself in, she was dying. A bitter chuckle escaped her lips as she closed her eyes, preventing the tears from leaking from her eyes. She had to be strong not only for herself but for her family. They spent the last few months watching her break down and she could not bring them more suffering.

For them she would put up a façade.

However, it was a lie. Since was been unable to return to him, she was not the same. She had made a life for herself on the other side of the well and she never expected that it would be taken away from her in such a harsh manner.

Plus, nothing would ever answer the million questions she had.

Did Inuyasha find someone? Did he end up happy? Did Sango and Miroku get married and have the life they deserved? What about Shippo?

Kagome stopped her all her thoughts before they overwhelmed her like they did many times in the past. She was sad and depressed about her current situation but not bitter. She wanted to be angry, but it felt as if it would take too much energy and she had none. The life was sucked out of her, and she could not find a way to retrieve it.

She was about to allow herself to fall into a deep slumber, hoping to get a few minutes of rest since it was difficult with the pain and the coughing, when her process was interrupted by a knock on the door. Her eyes snapped open and as the blurriness of her vision dissipated she could discern the nurse standing in the doorway.

"Miss Higurashi?"

Not able to find her voice, Kagome offered a weak nod.

"There's someone to see you, but his name is not on the list of friends and family."

She could not help but frown a bit in confusion. Who would come visit her? The nurse took it as her cue to continue. "He says his name is Sesshomaru."

Kagome could not prevent her heart from skipping a beat. That name could not be a popular name and what were the odds right? No. It could not be him. Sesshomaru. He could not be alive. Also, he never really knew her or liked her so why out of all the youkais she knew from the past would he be the one to come see her? What about Inuyasha? Shippo? Or even Kouga!

Not Sesshomaru.

Perhaps she was having a delusion.

Her breathing increased without her knowing, which she just realized brought her immense pain because of her weak lungs. In her confusion and suffering all she could do was nod her head in response, hoping the nurse would understand what she meant by the gesture. Whoever this person was claiming to be called Sesshomaru, she had to know.

Blood was rushing through her veins fast as her eyes were locked on the doorway waiting for him to come into view. For an unknown reason, tears were forming in her eyes and she could only hope he would appear soon or she would be unable to see him.

As if on cue she saw a shadow and suddenly he came into view. She started from the bottom, observing his black shoes, black pants, until she came to a pure white shirt, and a long dark leather coat. Her heart was ready to explode as her eyes landed on his face and it was at that moment that she knew.

Long silver hair pulled into a perfect ponytail, bright amber eyes staring coldly at her.

It was him.

Her throat and mouth instantly became dry and she licked her lips trying to make it better. It was now too late to hold back tears as they flowed down her cheeks. The rush of memories from the past overwhelmed her brain and she felt an ache in her heart. She might not know Sesshomaru well, but he was connected to many memories.

"S-sessh-o-ma-ru?" The Sama she used to add at the end of his name was now gone. Perhaps it was because she did not want to hurt herself further by talking more, or because she was too surprised to remember it.

He nodded at her before proceeding further into the room. His eyes glanced all over the place, and he held in an expression of disgust. He despised hospitals. They were filled with weakness and sickness, and a terrible scent that bothered him to no end. However, this was his duty as alpha male of the pack.

After peering at everything surrounding her, he looked at her. The black circles under her eyes were only the beginning of the signs of her current state. She looked nothing like the Kagome of the past, but then again it was to be expected since she was dying.

"Miko," he said his voice a bit cold as he glanced at the chair by her bed.

He could sit, but he would much rather stand up. He peered into her blue orbs trying to figure out what he could say to her or how he would explain the situation. He was not one for sparring feelings, or trying to make situations easier, but he supposed he could do it for her.

"I am here on Inuyasha's behalf."

Kagome was too stunned by his words to notice he dropped the 'this Sesshomaru'. Inuyasha? Did that mean he was still alive? That he was somewhere in the world?

He saw her eyes light up with hope, and he knew he had to shatter the hope. "He passed away two hundred years ago."

As if her pain was not enough, as if her heart was not shattered enough, now there was this. Still, the amount of tears streaming down her cheeks did not increase. She was prepared for him to be dead for a long time now. As a matter of fact she always assumed he did not make it to her time. Still, to see Sesshomaru alive and well… it brought her hope.

Seeing as how she remained silent, he decided to take it as his cue to keep explaining everything to her. He had no reason to hide details or to try to be subtle. He was only here to tell her the truth. "He requested of me that I look after you and protect you."

Kagome could help but blink as her confusion only grew. The one person Inuyasha asked this of was Sesshomaru? Out of everyone? Perhaps the most surprising part was the fact that Sesshomaru agreed to it. Did he not despise her and Inuyasha most of all?

Then again, she did not know what occurred between them during those three hundred years. Perhaps things changed. She could not help the warmth that filled her heart at the thought that Inuyasha never forgot about her. After all, it was only a few months for her, but hundred of years for him.

"I- I gu-ess you're t-oo late."

Kagome turned her head in direction of the wall, almost refusing to look at Sesshomaru. She could not care less for his purpose to be there, or his promise. Obviously even he being a youkai could not do anything for her situation. She wished she could help him fulfill the promise he made, but she was unable to. She was dying and nobody could help her.

He was already aware that he was too late, but he could not let her pass away without knowing. However, now that he was right beside her, he felt a bit foolish which was out of the ordinary for him. If he did nothing for her then it would be a failure, and he could not accept that.

"Do you have any requests?"

Kagome knit her eyebrows together before turning her head and glancing at him.

"Re-quests?"

To ask her what she wanted from him was putting him in a lower, non dominant position, but it was perhaps the only way he could somewhat keep his promise to his dead half-brother. After all, it would tarnish his honor to not keep it.

"I cannot protect you, or save your life. I could however grant one of your requests."

A request? Did she really have anything she wanted? Most of her dreams would never happen and she stopped hoping for them a long time ago. She never really had any desire for herself and now that he asked her, she did not think she could come up with something.

While her mind tried to think of a wish, silence filled the room and all Sesshomaru did was stare at her. He could smell the raw emotions on her, and the sickness it was almost hurting his nose. The only thing he could not sense was weakness and fear. Even when she was close to death, she did not seem to be scared. He had to admit her emotions and reactions surprised him more than once.

After all, she never feared him.

Youkais who could have actually damaged him were terrified of him, yet that little human never once showed fear of him.

Kagome lifted her gaze and found herself staring out the window. For the past month she was not allowed outside and frankly soon enough she would be too weak to go anywhere. Right now it was difficult for her to leave the hospital because there were fees for the equipment she would need like an oxygen tank. Her mother already had trouble covering her current fees, and could not afford anymore spending.

"I want to go outside."

He tilted his head slightly, his ponytail sliding to the side. He was a bit confused. The outside world was right there, in her reach, and it was what she requested?

"I do not understand."

She sighed without thinking causing her to wince in pain before focusing her attention on him. "It's expensive. I need an oxygen tank, and a few other things I think. My mother can't afford it."

He was not rich either, which was proven when he came to the conclusion that he could not pay for her treatment. However, this was perhaps something he could afford. It was actually a smaller wish than he expected.

"I will make the necessary arrangements."

Her eyes widened a bit. "Reall-l-y?"

"Yes." He offered her a nod that resembled a goodbye.

Until he could set everything up he had no reason to be in her presence, or waste any of her time. He did part of his duty, and now he had to figure out how to do the rest. Kagome watched him leave with her heart almost feeling lighter. She was not offended by his lack of words, because she was still a bit stunned by everything that happened.

In her heart she did not know if she should believe he would be back. Then again, Sesshomaru was always a man of his words. He would not have come to see her if he was never going to come back. He was bound by his words, by his promise. He could hate her, but he would stick to doing the right thing.

But.

Life could be disappointing.


-R-

Hospitals could be very difficult to deal with sometimes. Especially if you were not the highest placed person in the world. However, after two weeks and many discussions, he managed to organize for her to come out of the hospital for a day. He strongly believed that she would be spending that day with her family, but apparently she wanted his presence.

It shocked him, but he could not deny the request.

Now he was waiting for her outside the hospital since someone was supposed to bring her out in a wheelchair with her necessary equipment. He peeked down at his watch, watching the minutes tick away. He took a day off work for this, and he did not need the establishment to waste his time.

A few more minutes went by before the doors finally slid open and Kagome appeared. A nurse was pushing her wheelchair outside while the Miko was covered by a green blanket. It was not very cold outside, but he figured that her body temperature was probably lower than usual since she was fighting a disease at the moment.

She offered him a weak smile that he barely notice as the nurse let go of her, officially leaving her in his care. He never really took care of anyone, and the last one was Rin. Even then, he did not do much for her.

No words were exchanged as he took hold of her chair and began to push her away from the hospital. He brought his car, though it was not equipped for her current situation. It was hard to prepare since she did not mentioned specifically where she wanted to go, simply outside.

"Can w-we go to a-a park?"

He nodded, though she could not see him and he began to head for the closest one. He did not want to ask her why they were doing this, why she did not wish to see her mother instead of him, but he would not ask. It was none of his concern, and he should not bother himself with such questions in the first place. It was simple curiosity and he did not care for the answers.

Kagome closed her eyes enjoying the breeze on her face. Even though she needed the blanket to keep her warm, she enjoyed the coldness of the air. Her flustered cheeks became a brighter red because of the cold and her very short spiky hair was flowing in the wind.

When she finally opened her eyes again, she was greeted with the sight of a green park. She could not help the smile that reached her lips while she gave a small sigh of contentment. It brought her some pain, but she completely ignored it. The smile only faded when Sesshomaru stopped moving her, and came to stand beside her.

"I g-guess you're wo-ndering why y-you're here."

"It is none of my concern. I am here to fulfill my obligation."

She nodded. Fair enough. Nonetheless, she would share. Of course, she would do it in as few words as possible so she would not strain herself too much. She intended on remaining outside as much as she could. The tubes attached to her nose to the tank were enough to remind her she was not free, but this was enough to make her feel better.

"My m-mother is w-worried. I wou-ldn't be able to h-ave her here k-nowing she is r-eady to bre-ak down."

Her mother was putting on a strong façade just like she did when her father died. Never did she let her kids see her sadness. Kagome wanted her to know she could cry, but her mother would not have it. Being here alone here with Sesshomaru was the best solution. After all, he would not talk to her or ask any questions, and it was the greatest gift.

She simply wanted quietness to enjoy her last moment in the outside world.

He could somewhat understand her reasons. Sesshomaru could comprehend the process of wanting to spare the feelings of the ones you loved, but it was not something he did before. Knowing she would talk and share if she wished to, he remained silent by her side as she stared ahead.

"W-was he happy?"

Sesshomaru was quite surprised that she asked something so quickly, but he did see it coming. "He was."

Of course, Sesshomaru would stretch on the subject, but at least she knew he told her the truth and it was enough. "W-what ab-bou-ut every-on-ne else?"

"From what I know they were. The Monk married the Slayer."

Good.

Miroku and Sango both went through hardships and she was glad that they were able to find peace and love with each other. She could only imagine the amount of groping Sango had to deal with, which brought a tiny smile to her lips.

"I n-never would have ex-pected to see you."

That he agreed with. He never expected him to be bound to his half-brother or to be in the Miko's presence. "It was my duty."

Her smile remained on her face at his response. It was nice to have someone who knew all she went through by her side. No lies, no sugar coating anything. Sesshomaru knew the past just like she did. Maybe he understood her silence and the ache in her heart. He would not share it, but he understood why she felt the way she did.

Nobody else did.

Kagome turned her head slightly and looked down at Sesshomaru's shoes. She could still remember when she had first met him and he was flying in the sky. She was very envious of that ability. To fly freely in the sky, decide where you want to go, and fly until you were happy again. To be one with the world.

Perhaps when her suffering was over, she would be able to do the same.

"Do you s-still fly?"

She was aware that in this world it was hard for him to fully use his youkai abilities but perhaps in secluded areas, he was still able to be himself. Just like in her room, by herself she did not have to hide. In a way, they had some similarities. The thought gave her goose bumps since she never thought she could compare herself to Sesshomaru.

"Sometimes."

As a matter of fact, it was a while since he last gave himself that freedom. Usually he would drive as far in the country as he could and swirl around for an hour before returning to the world. It was true that the fact that he had to hide himself was a bother, but it could not be helped in this world. Humans were full of greed and wicked ambitions and all he could do was live through this period until they would fall.

"I w-wish I cou-ld fly."

It was strange to blurt out her thoughts to him, especially since this was the most she ever talked to him in five hundred years, yet it came naturally. He was never really scary to her she simply thought he was afraid of his feelings. But then again, perhaps she never had Sesshomaru figured out.

Her words echoed through his mind as it tickled his thoughts. Helping her fly was something he could do, but he wondered if it fell under the things he should do. Granting any possible wishes she had was acceptable was it not? It was the only way he could look after her.

It would be a bit difficult since she could not stand on her own, and she had an oxygen tank, but it would be manageable as long as he made contact with her. It was something he usually avoided but in this case… he would have to make the exception. Of course nothing forced him to respect the promise he made to his half-brother, but unlike humans, he had honor. No matter his feelings towards Inuyasha he was bound by his status and the pack.

He would do what was required of him.

"It is an acceptable request."

Wait. Request?

Before Kagome could understand what was about to happen, she felt two strong arms wrap around her tiny waist. Her blanket dropped on the floor while he lifted her along with her tank, and her heart skipped a beat. Her eyes widened as she felt him run somewhere, before stopping. Then, she was being lifted in the air and the air became a bit thicker fairly quickly.

He was aware that this was not the best location to fly her around, but it was not as if he could drive her around. If he made this quick, it would bring him no trouble. Plus he could always go fast enough not to be detected, though he was not sure it would be good for her since her health was so fragile.

Never did Sesshomaru fly with someone before, at least not in such a close proximity. He found the situation a bit uncomfortable, but he put up with it for the sake of her request. He did not glance at her since he began flying and he would not have if he did not feel her shake in his arms. Could she be cold?

He peered down at the tiny, extremely skinny girl in his arms, only to see her biting her bottom lip. He took a sniff, only to realize that she was scared. He was bit perplexed at the situation since he was pretty sure she flew in the air before. Why was she terrified of it now?

Kagome felt sick to her stomach, ready to vomit. She was used to being in the air was she not? How many times did she travel with Sango on Kirara and whatnot? Could it be that the Feudal era was a safer area to fly into? The buildings, the closeness of civilization, seemed to be suffocating her, and she did not enjoy it. Not only that, but she could barely open her eyes.

Maybe two years ago she would have killed to fly on Sesshomaru's cloud, but not at that instant.

Part of the reason why she was feeling so unsure was perhaps because she was weak. Could it alter her mind and perception? Could it make everything look more dangerous and sharp?

"Do you wish to cease flying?"

Kagome shook her head as vigorously as possible. She wanted to fly. She did not wish for her sickness to ruin what she just wished for. She was stronger than this. The disease was weighing on her and on her body but it should not matter. This was her last chance. On top of that, she had fought bigger, meaner things did she not?

She shook her head one last time while holding back tears. Even though Sesshomaru was getting mixed signals, he decided to respect her decision and kept flying, though he made a mental note to keep it as short as possible.

Twenty minutes went by before they returned to the ground, which brought Kagome some relief. Although it was her idea to continue, her stomach was extremely happy when he put her back in her chair. As she pulled her blanket back on herself she couldn't help but be a little nervous that someone might have seen them. Then again, chances were that Sesshomaru took precautions. He probably didn't want to get caught on her account.

"Th-ank you," she whispered, her body still shaking a bit.

He nodded in answer, before grabbing the handles of her chair and beginning to push her. A sigh almost escaped his lips as he headed as slowly as possible towards the hospital. He meant to take her out for longer, but from her body's signals he could tell she needed to be back inside.

"Se-sshomaru?"

When he did not answer after a few seconds, she decided to proceed. She was about to make the most insane request of her whole life. "Do yo-u thi-nk you co-uld come bac-k once in a whil-e?"

Once again, he found himself perplexed by her request. He could agree to it because she asked for it. Frankly he was not much of a talker and this was a bit strange since he had no connection to her nor did he want to talk about himself. He was not there to be a comforter; he was there to look after her.

"Why would you wish for my company?"

Honestly it was a valid question, but he was not sure if she had a full answer for it, or at least one that he would accept. "B-ecause you don't l-ook at me with a br-oken heart or like I'm a ch-arity case."

She loved her mother dearly, but it was hard being around her when she knew what lie in her thoughts. It was the same thing with her grandfather and her brother, and all of her friends. Even the nurses and doctors looked at her with pity, though that was part of their jobs. On the other hand, Sesshomaru showed no emotions at all. It was nice to have someone look at her as if she was the same as everyone else. It was insane to seek his company but she needed it.

"Hn."


-R-

 



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