Up on the Roof by Sereia

Chapter 1

Inspiration: "Up on the Roof" by The Drifters


The modern era was stifling.

Even as he gazed down at the current city of Tokyo, Sesshoumaru grimaced at the foul odours wafting up from the street.

Curse the humans and their industrial revolution.

The rooftop of a local skyscraper was useful to a point, but he longed for the wide-open spaces of Nikkou National Park.

Making a mental note to look into the current listings when he returned home, Sesshoumaru stepped off the ledge, careful to remain in the shadows as he touched down in a deserted alley. The humans were very unforgiving when it came to the strange and unexplainable, and as a published author, he spent enough time in the spotlight.

He hadn't taken more than a step when there was a scuffle, and someone was dragged around the corner. "Just gimme the purse, lady!"

"Not on your life! If you want extra money, go get a job!"

Sesshoumaru dragged a hand down his face. Couldn't they have picked any other alley?

The woman stomped on the mugger's foot, but he refused to let go, and Sesshoumaru sighed, silently stepping forward and grabbing the back of the man's jacket.

"Perhaps you would prefer to pick on someone your own size?" The mugger audibly gulped, blood draining from his face. Sesshoumaru may have been missing his claws and markings, but he still stood over six feet and was no less intimidating even as a human. "I thought not."

The man scrambled away, already reeking of urine, and Sesshoumaru wiped his hand on his coat. Perhaps now he could—

"Thank you so much!" The woman bowed deeply, her short, chestnut hair falling over her shoulders.

"It was nothing," he said dismissively, hoping she would leave him be.

"But you saved me." She frowned, finally straightening. She looked oddly familiar, but he knew from her scent that he'd never met her before.

"I merely removed some trash from the alleyway."

The woman shook her head, determination etched into the lines on her face. "You stepped in when there wasn't any benefit to you. Therefore, you saved me. Which means I need to repay you." And before he could protest, she grabbed his arm and dragged him down the street.

"I promise you, the meal will be worth it," she said once they'd reached the top of a large set of stairs. The woman, who'd introduced herself as Emiko, had mentioned that her family ran one of the few shrines still functioning in the heart of the city.

"My daughter is really the one in charge of it," she grinned, "but don't tell my father that. You'll never hear the end of it."

Considering Sesshoumaru didn't plan on staying more than a few minutes, he assured her it wouldn't be an issue.

"Good. The main house is this way." She led him across the courtyard, but he paused in the middle of it, gazing at a large tree at the back of the property. An ancient power, one he hadn't felt since the likes of Bokuseno, pulsed under his feet, and he dipped his head in respect.

Were the humans aware that their land resided on that of the Tree of Ages?

Perhaps that is why the air feels so much clearer here.

There had been a barrier at the top of the stairs, but he'd passed through it with ease, so he hadn't paid it any mind. It was likely the shrine's priestess, Emiko's daughter it seemed, knew enough of her craft to erect one but not enough to keep one of any consequence out.

"Not many people know about Goshinboku," Emiko mused, noting his delay.

Sesshoumaru fell in step with her again, shrugging a shoulder. "My family deals with Japanese folklore. I recognized the image from one of my father's books." The lie fell effortlessly from his lips, having used it many times before, but she gave him a sideways glance, brown eyes searching.


He raised an eyebrow at her, but she was already sliding the door open and stepping into the house. Suppressing his curiosity, lest it give him reason to stay longer, Sesshoumaru kept silent, even when her elderly father slapped an ofuda on his forehead.

"Demon begone!"

This was why he stayed away from shrines.

He somehow convinced Emiko that fixing him a meal was unnecessary, relenting to her pouring him a cup of tea instead. The blend was pleasant, a mixture of honey and jasmine, and he found himself lingering over a second cup.

"Are you sure I can't convince you to stay for dinner, Yasei-san?" Emiko asked, her tone hopeful as she turned on the rice cooker.

Sesshoumaru shook his head. "I must be going. The manuscript is due in the morning." It was already finished, had been for a week, but she didn't need to know that. Besides, he'd melt the table if he had to listen to another minute of the old man grumbling about letting demons into the house.

"It's a shame you couldn't meet my daughter. She delves into folklore a lot too."

"I'm sure she does." They all did, especially when vying for an autograph. Sesshoumaru rose to his feet, intent on handing her the empty cup, when the front door slid open.

"Mama! Did you get the new set of brushes today? I need to redo the spells around the back of the property."

"Oh!" Emiko clapped her hands together. "Perfect timing. No honey, I ran into a bit of a predicament on my way there."

"What kind of predicament? Are you okay—" Emiko's daughter rounded the corner, clad in traditional miko garb, dark hair falling in waves around her face instead of pulled back into a low ponytail.

Sesshoumaru gave Emiko a short bow, attempting to escape before he was drawn into more mindless chatter, but the younger woman plowed into him, grabbing his face and pulling him down into a fierce kiss.

Her mouth moulded to his as if she'd done it before, and he grabbed her by the arms, yanking her away, teeth gnashing. "Release me, wench! What do you—"

"How did you find me? Are the others okay? Where have you been?" The woman was close to hysterics, and he finally looked down at her, lungs seizing as his gaze focused upon a pair of sapphire eyes he hadn't seen in nearly 500 years.

Ones he'd thought he'd never see again.


She let out a choked sob, then grabbed him again, and this time he responded in kind, enjoying the taste of the mate he'd thought he'd lost.

"What are you wearing? Take it off," she whimpered, pawing at his clothes.

"Your kin is present."

Kagome finally pulled back, tears pouring down her face even as she laughed. "Perv. Your glamour. Get rid of it."


He unclipped his watch, midnight giving way to moonlight as his demon features faded back into view.

Kagome reached up, stroking the stripes on his face. "It's really you."

He placed a clawed hand over hers, kissing her palm before wiping away her tears. They'd had so many plans before the fall of Naraku, before the well had sealed her away. They knew there was a chance of separation, had braced themselves for the possibility, but the sensation of her suddenly not existing had nearly torn him apart.

They'd put it off, not wanting to give the vile hanyou any more leverage, and it was something he'd sorely regretted. Finding her would never have been an issue if he'd mated her properly. His soul would have shattered nonetheless, but hers would have called out to him the moment she returned.

"You did your job too well," he chided, unable to let go of her. "I knew the time and location were correct, but your barrier kept you hidden."

Her face scrunched up in pain. "We changed the future. There were suddenly youkai when I got back—I had to protect everyone."

"I do not blame you, mate."

She sagged against him at the endearment, wrapping her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly. "But you waited so long."

"And I would do it all again, just to get to this point." His confession only made her embrace more desperate, waves of happiness and anguish mixing together.

"I missed you. I was so worried—"

"Oh come now, Kagome. From what you told us about him, something as trivial as time wouldn't stop him."

Sesshoumaru turned around, Kagome still crushed against his chest, realization dawning. "Emiko Higurashi."

The matriarch inclined her head, her smile soft and warm. "It's nice to finally meet you, Lord Sesshoumaru."

"Mama, you found him?"

"Only by accident dear," she said, waving a dismissive hand. "I wasn't sure at first, but he paid his respects to Goshinboku just like you do, so I was fairly certain after that."

"I apologize for my earlier rudeness—" he began, but Emily waved him off again, nudging them towards the door even as the old man sputtered in protest. "You can make it up to me later. Make it up to her first."

A smile, the first genuine one he'd felt in a long time, tugged at his lips. "I intend to."

"Good." She turned to her daughter. "Go have fun. We can handle things around here. How long do you need, a week?"

A delightful blush stained Kagome's cheeks. "W-What? Mama, that's not—"

His arm tightened around her waist. "A week will be fine."

Emiko giggled, the sound youthening her features, the resemblance to his mate uncanny. "Let us know if you need longer."

"Mama!" Kagome groaned, burying her face in her hands.

"Take good care of her."

"You have my word." He lifted Kagome into his arms, silencing any further protests with a kiss as youki enveloped them.

"You're terrible," she mumbled against his mouth.

"So you have told me." He brushed their cheeks together before sliding his lips down her neck. "Would you rather not spend a week with me?"

Kagome shook her head, pulling him closer. "Of course not! I just didn't need to talk about it in front of my mother."

"Even when she is encouraging it?"

"Especially when she's encouraging it."

Sesshoumaru chuckled. "Forgive me for siding with her on this one, mate."

She huffed but contradicted the action by kissing the underside of his jaw. "You know, you're not technically allowed to call me that yet."

"A fact I am about to rectify immediately." Hidden from prying eyes in the wake of his youki, he rushed them home, the pieces of his fractured soul slowly healing with every bout of laughter, every brush of her power against his.

He would give it a day before requesting more time from her mother.


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