The Only Exception by Sereia

Chapter 1

SessKag Week 2022 - Day 4 (Sequel to Rise)

Prompt: "The Only Exception" by Paramore


Time flowed differently here.

At least it felt like it did.

Kagome lay her head back against the wall, the cool stone helping to combat the fever plaguing her for the last few days. Or hours. She couldn't tell.

After Rin's escape, Kagome thought the mink would dispose of her quickly—his initial outburst had shown the temper he kept carefully hidden, bruises and lacerations covering her body.

She'd been prepared for death, had accepted her fate, but the mink had had other plans. He'd demanded her head, only pausing when she'd spat blood in his face and told him killing her wouldn't release the barrier, her blades pulsing in tandem as if to prove her point.

There was a circle of ash around them from the underlings that had been ordered to pull them out of the floor, each having disintegrated the moment their hands had made contact with the hilts.

And so, she'd been thrown into the dungeon. Well, something akin to a dungeon. Was it still considered a dungeon if she was on the top floor? Kagome turned her head, glancing out the lone window in the room. She wished she could move closer, to see if the stars were shining, though she knew it was just another illusion. The window probably wasn't even real.

Every time she opened her eyes, another day seemed to have passed. Meagre scraps and a bowl of water were also thrown into her room at random intervals, so they seemed intent on keeping her alive.

For now.

"Come on, K'gome! We gotta get out of here!"

Kagome sighed. Inuyasha was crouched in front of her, golden eyes filled with ire as he tried to pull her to her feet. She didn't even flinch when his claws pricked her skin.

"Go away," she said, voice deadpan.

"Stop arguing, wench! We gotta—"

"You're not him."

He stopped, staring at her for a moment before leaning in close. "You'll never escape." Then he was gone, leaving the minks to try again tomorrow.


Shippou was next, then Rin, both tugging on her sleeves as they tried to convince her to leave. Kagome knew better. She had more faith in her power than to think the children had made it through unscathed.

They put on a convincing show, tears running down their faces as they begged her to help them. Kagome eventually threw her water bowl at them, their sorrowful faces twisting into sinister sneers before disappearing.

Then there was Sango. And Miroku. Even Kirara showed up, mewing as she ran in circles around the room. The light from her flames when she transformed was a welcome reprieve to the intermittent darkness, Kagome allowing her growls to go on a little longer than the others before wishing her away.

Did the minks think this would actually work? Their leader had spent all that time with them, learning their routines, their connections, their determination; when would he accept that there was no way to break her—


She sucked in a ragged breath, not daring to look at the figure that now stood in the doorway.

No. Anything but him.

"We need to leave."

"You're not real," she hissed, pulling her knees up to her chest. "You're just the others." She felt his hesitation, his boots not moving any closer.

"You have spent enough time here; it is time to leave," he repeated.

She shook her head, still refusing to look at him. If she didn't look at him, she could pretend she was strong enough to resist his call.

To resist him.

He was closer now, his youki brushing up against her senses.

That was new.

Every spectre they'd sent had barely been more than a flicker—not giving off an aura, let alone youki. They were upping their game, but Kagome refused to be fooled.

No matter how much she wanted to.

How many times had she dreamed of being in dire constraints and him coming to her rescue? He'd done it before, with Mukotsu and in the bowels of Naraku after she'd been injured. But there'd been no incentive behind his actions, no love. 

And Rin was safe now. He wouldn't waste his time with—

Kagome was yanked to her feet. "No!" She clawed at his hand, digging her heels into the ground. "Let me go! You're not him!"

"Miko, we do not have time for this. The others are waiting outside the barrier." His grip tightened, and so did Kagome's panic. She wrapped her free hand around his arm, summoning the paltry amount of reiki she'd been able to build up with how little sustenance the minks had given her. Sparks flew from her fingers, dancing in spirals along his skin with absolutely no effect.

"See?" she said, her tone weary but triumphant. "If you were real, that would've hurt! Not even Sesshoumaru is invincible."

His golden eyes narrowed as he leaned down, his face a hair's breadth from hers. "I have always been immune against your power, miko."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Fatigue quickly gave way to indignation. The illusions had never lasted this long before, especially when she'd called them out on their lack of influence. Was this their last resort? Would they give up if she could resist him?

The sound of shuffling stopped him from responding, Sesshoumaru releasing her wrist only to wrap an arm around her waist. He pulled her flush with his own body, flattening them against the adjacent wall, his eyes on the door she hadn't realized was still closed.

All her other visitors had been trying to lure her towards an open door, signifying the freedom that they'd each promised to give her. Her eyes widened as she realized he'd been pulling her towards the window.

Kagome held her breath as the door opened slightly, the familiar clang of her food and water bowls echoing around her cell before the lock clicked back into place. The shuffling started up again, returning down the hallway.

"Is that what they have been feeding you?" There was a hard edge to his voice that she hadn't heard before. One that had her looking up at him, silently cursing herself for the hope that took root in her heart.

"Yes. They keep going on about how merciful they've been." Even in the dim lighting, she saw the edges of his eyes bleed red.

"Unforgivable." Keeping her locked against him, he strode towards the window.

Kagome immediately began to struggle. She hadn't survived this long for the minks to throw her to her death.

"Miko," he growled, "I have told you, we do not have time—"

"And I told you! You're not him! Everyone who's been in here has been fake. You're just their last resort. Especially that stuff about my power not working against him. No youkai is immune to reiki!" She glared up at him, beating her fists against his chest.

"Soulmates are incapable of harming each other."

Instead of calming her, as she assumed had been his intent, his words only incensed her more. "Liar!"

He raised an eyebrow at her, the action alone making her throat go dry.

"No! That's a low blow, even for you! There's no way that Sesshoumaru would even believe we're soulmates, let alone show up to rescue me because of it."

"Are you so sure?"

She tried to pull her hands away so she could hit him again; spectre or not, she wasn't going to let him tempt her with such—

He finally set her on the ground, and she braced herself, ready to attack, but he didn't let her pull away, turning her hands over before dropping something into her palm. Kagome stared at it for a moment, blinking several times as her mind tried to process the item in her hands.

"Where did you get this?" she whispered, her voice hoarse. It was a cruel joke, one meant to finally break her.

"You do not recognize your own gift?"

"Of course I do! That's not what I meant!" She'd given one to everyone in the group before their final confrontation against Naraku. A small good luck charm from the shrine back home to keep them safe—to keep their hopes up. To keep them from giving in to the despair looming over them.

Sesshoumaru had sniffed at the gift, but Kagome had been resolute that everyone got one, so he'd tucked it into his robes before returning to his patrol.

"I gave this to you before our fight with Naraku."


"When I was fifteen."


"That was over five years ago!"

"I was unaware objects like this lost their value over time."

"That's not the point!" she wailed, her vision blurring as tears overflowed down her cheeks. The feel of his knuckles against her skin as he attempted to wipe them away only made her cry harder.

"I have upset you."

Kagome shook her head, almost dropping the charm as she wrapped her arms around his neck. He was here. He was real. And he still had the stupid shrine trinket she'd given him when she was a teenager.

"I'm actually really happy." He snorted in her ear, the sound making her hiccup with laughter.

"You have a strange way of showing it."

She laughed again, the sound feeling strange considering just moments before she'd been ready to fry him. She felt his hand slide into her hair, returning the embrace in a way she'd only experienced in her dreams.

"You're really here."

His cheek slid along hers, her heart clenching at the blatant show of affection. "I would not leave you to these monsters."

She suddenly pulled back, eyes round with horror. "Is Rin alright? What about the others?"

"Calm yourself. Everything I have said thus has been true." He tugged the charm out of her fingers, tucking it back into his robes. "The others are waiting on the other side of the barrier, ready to come to your aid."

"But you got through."

"I got through."

"Because we're soulmates." He raised an eyebrow, daring her to contradict him again. "Hey! Cut me some slack! It's been a really long—how long have I been here, anyway?"

His eyes darkened. "Three days."

Kagome shuddered. "They made it seem like longer." The forced meals, lack of sleep, and illusions made it feel like she'd been there for months.

"They will pay for all their transgressions," he said, his arm wrapping around her waist once more, his body poised to carry them out of her cell.

"Wait!" She grabbed onto his collar. "Did you know? Back when we first met?"

Sesshoumaru shook his head. "Your power was not mature enough for the bond to form."

"So you felt it when I came back?" She frowned; it all felt so surreal. She wasn't against the thought of soulmates, but she hadn't felt anything different since she'd returned from her time.


"Then how—"

"Magatsuhi had sealed your power. Once it was released—" His pupils dilated as he looked at her, and Kagome felt the bottom drop out of her stomach. "—I knew you were mine."

"Why didn't you say anything?"

"It was not the time. The focus was on the extermination of Naraku." Emotion clogged her throat as regret poured off him in waves. "And then you were gone."

"I'm here now," she whispered.

His expression turned feral, golden eyes deepening to burnt amber. "So you are."

Struggling to breathe, she was helpless against the heated expression on his face, her grip on his collaring tightening as she pulled him down. He didn't resist as she pressed their mouths together, the kiss remaining chaste only long enough for his tongue to slide along her bottom lip.

Kagome's gasp turned into a moan, any warnings about it not being the time or place fading away as his tongue slid over hers. She slumped against him, whispering his name against his lips, her fingers brushed the back of his neck as she found his fangs, and suddenly he was pulling away with a snarl.

"You test my patience, woman."

"Do I?" She gave him a dazed look, his eyes following her tongue as she licked her lips.

"Indeed. There is protocol. Tradition."

Confusion made her brow furrow. "For what?" She thought she saw the glint of his fangs as he smirked.

"Let us escape this dismal prison and return to the others first. They are anxious to confirm your well-being."

Kagome nodded, letting him carry most of her weight. "But after?"

"After," he confirmed. "And I will show you what I procured during my travels to the south." Youki pooled under their feet, her door bursting open a few moments later, the minks screaming in protest as he propelled them out the window.


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