Tied To You by Sereia

Tied To You

Inspiration/Prompt: SessKag Annual Falloween Event (SAFE) 2021 event, Red String of Fate


Tied To You

"Please Mama?"

Kagome groaned as she looked at Shippou, his eyes large and pleading.

"I've told you not to use those on me."

"I know, but this is for school!"

She sighed, setting her basket down beside her. Her mischievous son was one assignment away from his next tail and he seemed hellbent on using her as a guinea pig.

"And what exactly does this spell do?"

Shippou jumped in excitement, grinning in his victory. "It's about the Red Strings of Fate."

Pursing her lips, she went back to picking herbs. "Pass."

"No no! It's not about making them, it's about breaking them!" He paused, his face scrunching up in concentration. "We've been learning about creating our own fate and how focusing on one thing can blind us to other things. More important things."

"Sounds complicated."

He grinned at her again. "That's why it's the final exam! The spell is supposed to 'Clean away the cobwebs that we have tangled ourselves in, in order to see that which has not been noticed before.'" His voice took on a serious tone as he recited the assignment from memory.

"Why can't you use it on someone else?"

"It has to be on someone who isn't mated yet. Or marr-ied," he replied, sounding out the last word. "And we're not allowed to test out spells on kids."

Kagome shoved the next batch of herbs into her basket, her muscles tensing. So the spell has to be used on someone old and single, how lovely.

She glanced towards the village, her jaw tightening at the darkness that clouded the windows of her own hut. After the well had opened again, she'd expected a happily ever after, but the fates seemed to enjoy it more when she was wallowing in misery instead.

She'd tried, they both had, but in the end, they'd realized that forcing anything more than friendship between them just wasn't possible. The end of their non-existent relationship had been amicable, but things still felt awkward, even after a year. Inuyasha has decided to travel around a bit more, embracing the freedom of doing so without the threat of Naraku forcing his every move.

However, he hadn't outgrown his possessive streak and couldn't stop himself from berating any male that showed any interest in her whenever he was visiting.

At first she'd found it sweet—he was her best friend after all—but it had quickly shifted into annoying as he'd turned himself into a self-appointed chaperone who never left her alone.

"So can I?" Shippou tugged at her robes, and she shook her head, ridding herself of the unpleasant memories and the fight she knew was coming the next time Inuyasha showed up.

"I guess I really have no choice."

Shippou let out a cheer and wrapped his arms around her neck, peppering her face with kisses.

"Thank you, Mama! You're the best!"

She laughed, his excitement infectious and pulling her out of her foul mood. "Just promise me that you'll get another tail out of this."

He struck a determined pose, then sat in front of her, grabbing both her hands. Kagome tucked her feet underneath her as she watched him chant under his breath, his tiny claws drawing symbols on her palms. The sensation tickled and she forced herself not to twitch, her hands beginning to glow before a single string wrapped itself around her finger in an intricate bow.

Blue eyes widened as the string curled and twisted into the air in front of her, moving like a snake before flying towards her hut. It wrapped itself around the posts of her front door, creating a tangled mess of thread, barring anyone from moving in or out. Kagome watched the string turn from white to green before catching fire.

A protest was on the tip of her tongue as the ashes fell to the ground, the wood of her hut left untouched. The string then turned a brilliant shade of purple, the wind swirling the ashes around the charred end, lifting it into the air and blowing it west.

Kagome felt a tug on her finger—like holding onto a kite—urging her to stand. She frowned slightly and got to her feet, Shippou's eyes watching her intently. She couldn't see the end of the string, but it felt attached to something. Her heart squeezed, feeling like she was on the verge of something important before Shippou's chanting stopped and the string faded altogether.

Blinking, Kagome looked down at her hand and found it bare.

"What happened?" Shippou's voice was low but excited. "Did you see something?"

She turned her hand over, clenching it a few times, the tugging sensation still there.

"Is the string supposed to change colours?"

"Oh! That's supposed to tell you certain things!" He pulled out a small scroll and moved down to the bottom of a clumsily written list. "What colours did you see?"

"White, then green, then fire, then purple."

"So… The white part is the same for everyone at the start, it's you before you have any romantic bonds. Green stands for toxicity, meaning the bond is bad for both you and your partner."

Kagome raised an eyebrow at that. She'd accepted that she and Inuyasha weren't meant to be together, but she'd never classified their relationship as toxic.

"Flames or explosions mean…" He checked his list again. "Something bad will happen and you have to fight to be with someone. And purple means that you choose your partner out of love, not duty."

He rolled the scroll up again, then hugged her leg tightly, his head now coming up to her hip.

"Thank you for doing this, Mama. I'm sure to get a good mark on it. Especially with all the different colours you saw! No one else's string has turned purple!"

A tug at her hand had her looking west again and she stared at the horizon, wondering about the true meaning behind Shippou's spell.


The sensation was back.

Sesshoumaru frowned as he looked at his hand, his skin bare save for the usual stripes adorning his wrists. Nothing else was visible and yet the feeling remained.

He thought increasing his trips to Edo would suffice, as that seemed to be the direction he was being pulled in, but the tugging only lessened in Rin's village, it never quite disappeared.

Flexing his claws, he paused outside the miko's abode, the windows dark as usual. She never seemed to be home when he visited Rin, though the distance from her home varied depending on her current task. His ward seemed very interested in the woman's daily routine and was always ready to inform him of her latest endeavour.

An angry growl sounded from the neighbouring forest before said miko burst through the trees, reiki crackling around her. Sesshoumaru paused, curiosity overcoming him as he watched her approach. An autumn breeze carried the scent of his brother and he cocked an eyebrow, wondering what the hanyou had done this time to set her off.

She stomped past him, the sounds getting louder as she reached her front door before she whirled around, angry azure fixating on his person.

"Are all inuyoukai inbred?"

He bristled at the insinuation but then reminded himself of her previous company. "Only those who are ill-mannered, ill-tempered, and unwilling to better themselves."

"Yeah, well some of you seem to like checking off that list on a daily basis."


Her gaze moved to the forest again before her shoulders slumped, resignation littering her aura. "Would you like some tea? Rin's in the middle of helping Kaede with some sick children in the next village and won't be back for a while."

He wasn't sure which surprised him more; the fact that he'd missed the stale scent of his ward, or that the miko was offering to receive him while he waited. He felt himself nodding, then following her into her hut, sitting at her low table as she pulled up the shades covering the windows.

Her face looked hallowed, and he was unsure if it was the filtered sunlight casting shadows along her skin or something deeper.

"Rin had mentioned that you were no longer involved with Inuyasha."

"I'm not, he just likes to trample all over the boundaries I try to put up." She placed the cups down on the table, then served him first, their fingers brushing as she pushed the cup closer to him.

"He has always been protective of you."

"There's protective and then there's down right overbearing." She turned her own cup around in her hands before drinking. "He wants all the benefits without any of the work and I'm sick of it."

He watched as the fire in her eyes dwindled with each word and the tugging at his palm became more insistent.

"Do not let the hanyou's petty antics impede on the boundaries you have set. It shows his lack of respect for your person if he does not adhere to your wishes."

Her mouth opened before she thoroughly processed his words and it snapped shut. She looked down at her cup, her aura finally calming.

"Thank you. I'm glad someone understands. Everyone else just thinks he's looking out for me but—"

"If he had your wellbeing in mind, you would not be feeling this way."

A smile crept onto her face and Sesshoumaru found himself staring at her mouth, the twitch of her lips lighting her features and lessening her burden. They continued their conversation, most of it spent talking about Rin and his affairs in the west. The woman's inquisitiveness knew no bounds, so when a soft knock sounded at the door, he was surprised to realize dusk had fallen.

The miko's shock was written all over her face. "I'm so sorry! You came to visit Rin and I've taken up all of your time. I didn't realize how late it was." She looked at his ward, standing dutifully in her doorway.

"It's alright, Kagome. Lord Sesshoumaru wouldn't have stayed here if he didn't want to."


An intriguing blush dusted the miko's cheeks as she rushed to clean up their dishes, placing them in a bucket to be washed before grabbing his hand.

"Thank you for your time and wisdom, I really appreciated it."

He gave her a curt nod, then looked down at their still connected hands. The miko squeaked and let go, Rin erupting into giggles behind them. He raised an eyebrow at the woman, then exited her hut.

"Until next time, miko." He waited a few moments for Rin to join him, failing to notice that the tugging sensation hadn't bothered him the entire time he'd been in the village.


Their conversations became a weekly occurrence. At first he'd chosen times when Rin was busy, but he soon sought her out even when Rin was free. The little girl sometimes joined them, especially if Shippou was visiting as well; the two of them trying to one-up each other with jokes and tricks.

The Western Lord always seemed to know when Inuyasha left the village though.

In the beginning, she'd chalked it up to coincidence, but after the third time, she realized he was showing up on purpose. To cheer her up.

She smiled as she watched Rin braid his hair, small pink blossoms woven into his silver locks. The Sakura trees had bloomed early this year and Kagome was grateful. The winter had been terrible, harsh winds blowing through every crack in her walls and piling up snow at her door. She rubbed her arms at the memory of being trapped in her hut for weeks on end.

Mokomoko was dropped onto her shoulders and instantly curled around her body.

She started, then murmured her thanks. This wasn't the first time he'd offered up his pelt to her and she secretly hoped it wouldn't be the last. Stealing a glance, she found his gaze already on her, his golden orbs dancing with amusement as he rested his chin in one hand.

She just couldn't stay away from him.

She'd been burned so badly before, to the point of still having scars from it, but the initial tugging from Shippou's spell the previous fall was nothing compared to the magnetism she felt now. Every part of her begged to be closer to him, to be gifted by one of the micro expressions that flitted over his features when he thought no one was looking.

He wasn't as emotionless as he let on—Kagome figured he felt just as much as the next person—but it was all carefully hidden. She often wondered if he'd been raised that way or if it was a defense mechanism. It certainly helped keep his enemies guessing.

"Lord Sesshoumaru, do you believe in the Red Strings of Fate?"

Both adults turned to the kitsune, his gaze questioning as he styled Rin's hair into an intricate fishtail braid.

"Only those too weak to build their own path rely on things such as fate."

Rin giggled and tried to look at Shippou over her shoulder. "Told you so."

The kitsune tug on her hair, forcing her to look forward again so he could finish. "But you know about them, right?"


"Do you think it's possible for people to break the strings? Or to be tied to one person but choose to be tied to another?"

Kagome felt the daiyoukai's eyes on her again and she blushed.

"All creatures are capable of changing the course of their life, regardless of what they were raised to believe."

Her heart started to pound in her chest and she slowly met his gaze, unable to hide the hope that swirled in the sapphire pools. He wasn't talking about her. About them. There was no way he—

"So then your string could be tied to Lord Sesshoumaru, Mama!"

Kagome blanched, all of the previous heat draining from her face. She cast a terrified look at her son, his eyes widening in surprise.

"S-Shippou, I know you got full marks for that spell, but that doesn't mean—"

"But it could! You were with Baka-Yasha but then he went away, which is good because he was always making you sad and—"


"—then when I did the spell, you looked away from Edo. To the west! To where Lord Sesshoumaru lives! And you've been spending a lot of time together and he doesn't make you sad and—"


The young youkai finally paused in his ramblings, Sesshoumaru's tone firm and commanding.

"You are distressing your mother."

Green eyes widened and he bit his lip, an awkward silence settling around them. Kagome's body had gone ramrod stiff, her hands clenched tightly in the furs still wrapped around her.

"Rin, go collect some of the yellow blooms on the other side of the stream. The kit may use them in your hair."

Rin flashed him a smile, then got to her feet, dragging Shippou with her as she trekked down to the water's edge. Kagome watched them, hypersensitive of each shift of silk beside her.

"Do his words bother you?"

"Don't they bother you?" she asked, almost choking on her words.

"Should they? It is natural for children to want to see their parents happy and taken care of."

Her aura darkened. "I can take care of myself! I don't need anyone else to do it for me."

"I meant nothing by it, miko."

Her retort died in her throat as he reached under his pelt, seeking her hand. Pulling it out of its furry confines, he turned it over, brushing his thumb along the middle of her palm before sliding it up her ring finger.

The one supposedly tied to the Red String.

"Would it be so bad? Being tied to me?"

Her skin tingled where he touched her and she struggled to breath, watching his claws trace each line of her finger.

"I thought you didn't believe in that stuff."

The pad of his thumb slid over her palm once more before he lifted her hand to his mouth, replacing claws with fangs.

"I do not, but I find it interesting that you have never denied me company."

She wanted to pull her hand away, she really did, but it stayed where it was, each drag of his teeth sending heat coiling between her thighs.

"I asked you for tea first."

The golden eyes of a predator gleamed under pale lashes. "So you did. Continuously seeking me out every time I entered the village."

"That's not—" He dragged his tongue across her hand and Kagome sucked in a ragged breath. The tip delved into the ridges of her skin before curling around her ring finger and she watched his pupils dilate as she squirmed.

"Answer the question, miko."

"What question?" Her voice was breathy, barely able to focus on his words with what his mouth was doing.

He nipped at the end of her finger in reprimand. "If given the choice, regardless of strings or fate, would you tie yourself to me?"

His face was too close, their noses almost touching. She couldn't look away, honey turning to amber as he waited for her answer. She'd never been good at hiding her emotions—she wore them on her sleeve for the whole world to see. She knew he had his answer before it echoed in the small space between them.





"You heard me, K'gome."

Reiki-fuelled flames blazed around her. "You don't get a say!"

"The hell I don't!"

"You're my best friend, you are, but you don't get to make this choice for me."

"You're not making this choice either! It's that stupid string bullshit!"

Kagome groaned. Shippou had let the results of his spell slip after Sesshoumaru had announced his official intention to court her and Inuyasha was convinced that she was being manipulated.

"That has nothing to do with it!"

"You wouldn't have given him a second look if you thought you had a choice. The bastard probably forced the runt to cast the spell and—"


Sesshoumaru looked nonchalant but Kagome knew better. His careful controlled rage burned brightly within his eyes, his claws twitching at his sides.

"Kagome has been given ample opportunity to refuse my suit."

Inuyasha growled at the use of her name. "Don't act so familiar with her!"

"He has more of a right to it than you do!" She stomped her foot, uncaring how childish it made her look. "I've made my choice, Inuyasha. I want to be with him. And the only things that choice has been manipulated by are his caring nature and willingness to listen."

The hanyou's ears flattened against his head in shame and Kagome moved towards Sesshoumaru, trying to make her friend understand. He gave her a panicked look and unsheathed Tessaiga.

"No! This isn't right! And I'm going to prove it." He grabbed Kagome by the wrist and yanked her out of the way. "I'll slice up this bastard and the stupid string and bring you back to your senses!"

Kagome cried out, caught off balance by Inuyasha's forceful jerk and stumbled backwards, the back of her knees hitting the edge of the Bone Eater's well. Momentum kept her going and she caught Sesshoumaru's gaze, her heart crying out at the look of unabridged terror on his face.

She reached for him, his name on her lips as she fell backwards, darkness consuming her.

The string snapped.


"Are you sure?"

"I'm fine, Mama. The doctor said I needed to get used to using it again."

She was only walking to the grocery store, but it would be the first time without a cast or crutch. Kagome knew her mother was worried—she'd barely left her side in four months—but she needed to stretch it out and shuffling around the shrine wasn't enough.

"No extra stops, I promise. Just right there and back."

Her mother gave her a concerned look but eventually nodded. "Alright. But be sure to call me if anything happens. And be careful on the stairs!"

Giving her a reassuring smile, Kagome pulled out her phone to prove she had it, then walked out the door. Her leg was still sensitive, especially around the ankle joint, but she knew she'd be fine. She forced herself not to look at the wellhouse as she passed it, focusing instead on the long flight of stairs ahead of her.

There was another reason she needed to get out of the house.

She'd expected broken bones, maybe even a concussion. What she hadn't expected was the inside of the modern-day wellhouse staring down at her after she finally opened her eyes.

After returning to the feudal era for almost two years, after finally deciding where her purpose lay, after finally feeling at peace with her decision, the well had sent her back.

Had sent her away.

A fresh wave of tears stung her eyes and she wiped them away angrily. In the end, Shippou's spell had meant nothing. There was no more string, no more pull. She was just here, alone. Without youkai or magic or anything that could help her get back. She'd searched, scoured the internet for any rumours of magic or supernatural items. Something that she could use her reiki on, but everything had been a dead-end.

She rolled her foot around to relieve some tension when she got to the bottom of the shrine steps, then continued on her way. Normally a broken bone only took a few weeks to heal, but her leg had broken in three places. She still didn't know how she'd managed that, considering she'd fallen into the well backwards, but she was glad to finally be back on her feet.

The leaves had begun to turn again, lining the sidewalks with vibrant colours, the fiery foliage crunching under her feet. The wind tousled her hair and she tucked a wayward curl behind her ear. It would need to get cut soon; she'd been letting it grow out since she got back.

Not as long as his, but still longer than I'm used to.

Someone jostling her shoulder brought her back to her current task and she sighed, looking around at the produce in front of her. Mama wanted some apples for a new dessert she wanted to try. She picked out a few of the ripest ones before moving on to the vegetables.

A firm hand closed around her wrist, snatching her hand away from the radishes.

"What the hell—" Her bag of apples fell to the floor with a discernible thunk as a pair of amber eyes stared back at her. Her mouth opened, lips ready to speak his name but he shook his head, turning around and dragging her from the store. She stumbled as she tried to keep up with him, wincing as the speed forced extra pressure on her newly healed leg.

"W-Wait, I can't—" She yelped as he ducked down an alley, pinning her against the wall. And then his mouth was on hers and she forgot all further protests. The kiss was desperate, but his hands were gentle as they cupped her cheeks, his thumbs stroking her face. The fabric of his dress shirt bunched between her fingers and she pulled him closer, the touch and feel of him taking her back 500 years to stolen moments by the Goshinboku.

Her lungs fought for air, and he finally broke away, his hands still on her face as he kissed her forehead, her temple, her eyes.

"I knew… I knew it was near here. I knew if I waited, you would appear."

The tears she'd fought before came back with a vengeance, pouring down her cheeks and getting caught in his fingers.

"Y-You're here."

"I will always be here, Kagome. Always." He kissed her again, teasing her tongue with his own before pulling her close, his chin resting on her head. "But you cannot be."

A chilling wave of dread washed over her, and she stiffened against him.


"You have to go back."

"Go bac—I've been trying to go back! There's nothing here that I can use!" Her grip on his shirt tightened, tears staining the material. "And why now? You're here. I found you! Well, you found me, but you're here. Why do I need to go anywhere?"

"Because he needs you more than I do."

"He? He who?"

One of his hands buried itself in her hair and yanked her head back, forcing her to look up at him. His hair was darker, shorter, but his eyes were the same. His jaw was tense with how much he was trying to hold himself back, but she could see the despair swirling in his eyes. She reached up, her fingers brushing the back of his neck before she pulled him down, claiming his lips for herself.

He groaned, plastering his entire body against her as he dragged his tongue over every inch of her mouth. She arced against him, and he pulled away from her with a snarl.

"No! This needs to stop. You must return."

"To who? You're the one I want!"

"I nearly died that day… The day that you disappeared… You cannot leave me—him in that time."

Her mouth dropped open, his words stopping her from reaching for him again.

"I want you with me, Kagome, more than anything. But he needs you more than I. And I am nothing if not selfish. You returning will grant me more time with you."

"But how do I do that? There's no magic left in the well. I need a connection—" Her rant was cut off as his arm flashed, blinding her for a moment before he thrust Bakusaiga into her hands.

"You have one. Use this to connect with the one from that time. It will bring you to him."

She clutched the sword to her chest, struggling to breath as hope swelled within her. Already she could feel Bakusaiga calling out to her, ripples of reiki swirling around the handle caused the blade to glow. Wiping her sleeve across her eyes, she gave him a watery smile.

"Can you tell my mother—the shrine down the street—" Her voice cracked.

"Succeed Kagome, and you will be here to tell her yourself."

The glow of the blade turned blue, then purple, their powers mixing before enveloping her small frame.

"I love you."

His eyes softened, blunt nails digging into his palms to keep himself away from her. "I am aware. Be sure to tell him that."

She disappeared before she could reply, Bakusaiga clanging against the concrete as he stood alone in the alley.


Sesshoumaru prowled around the gardens at the Western Keep, Bakusaiga pulsing at his hip. The sword had been more insistent lately, buzzing every time he was plagued with thoughts of the miko.

It had been almost five months to the day since his imbecile of a brother had knocked her into the well and sent her back to her own time. The well had emitted a single pulse of power, protecting its mistress from harm, before swallowing her whole.

He'd nearly torn the entire meadow apart, stopping only when pleas from Rin and the kit had hit his ears. The half-breed had slunk away in shame, protected only by the fact that he had been able to use the well before and could do so again if the magic returned.

But there hadn't been so much as a glimmer.

Bakusaiga pulsed again, more insistently this time and he tore the blade from his waist, growling low in his chest. It had been this way for a week, even keeping him awake at night when he wanted nothing more than to sink into the lies his head fed him while he slept.

"What good is a weapon of my own making without someone to protect it?" He threw it to the ground, the blade sliding halfway out of its scabbard as it hit the earth. He turned away, intent on going on patrol, the need to kill burning through his veins, but was stopped by the violet light emanating from the sword.

Bakusaiga vibrated, its song making the trees sway as they joined in the chorus. The light intensified and Sesshoumaru was forced to shield his eyes, power pouring out of the blade before solidifying in front of him. He bared his teeth, preparing to sink his claws into the creature that had dared to intrude on his solitude, but froze as a familiar scent hit his nostrils.

The light faded, revealing the miko, her hands on her hips as she glared at him.

"Took you long enough! Do you know how long I've been trying to get out of there? You can be stubborn sometimes. Couldn't you hear me calling you?"

A hand reached out hesitantly, brushing her hair over her shoulder to make sure she was real, a brilliant smile greeting him as she jumped into his arms. Her hands buried themselves in silver hair as she kissed him, coaxing him to return the favour.

Finally giving in to the temptation, he buried his face into the crook of her neck, inhaling the scent that had become a memory over the last few months. Her body sank against him in relief.

"I'm still mad at you."

"Be mad later. Please…" He barely got the last word out as he clung to her.

"As you wish," she teased, before her grip around him tightened, their soft touches slowly becoming more desperate. "I'll never leave you again."

He dragged his teeth across her shoulder, letting the promise of forever linger on her skin. He still refused to believe in trivial things like fate, but as he carried her through the garden, he felt a slight tug around his finger and was grateful the string had been restored.


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