Genre: drama/angst/romance, sorta
Word Count: 548
Notes: Kouga/Souten, written for geofount.
With Naraku defeated and Kagome lost to him, Kouga finds himself floundering. Habit drives him after a purpose that no longer exists and he can’t stay still; it isn’t in his nature. The day arrives when he can’t fight it any longer. Ginta and Hakkaku protest when he tells them to stay with Ayame and help her to build the ragtag group of survivors back into a strong tribe--they protest, but in the end they acquiesce. They don’t want to admit it, but they are tired of running. He promises Ayame he’ll return to her, but she only nods wearily, her eyes dry. She doesn’t bother to pretend she believes him.
Then he is gone: running, because after so many years of it, it’s the only thing that still feels right. Even that is tainted now, because without his shards he feels hobbled. Shackled. Slow and ordinary. He grits his teeth and tries to ignore it. Kouga runs. He doesn’t know to where, and doesn’t particularly care. Days blend into miles blend into weeks and roads and fields and forests....
Weather means nothing to Kouga, so he doesn’t bother to stop when the rain begins. It is only when he notices the figure leaping wildly across the sky that he pauses, too curious to ignore her. She is young, just budding into womanhood, though too lean and muscled to accurately be called pretty. Still, she dances between the bolts of lightning with a kind of manic grace, and Kouga is captivated.
When she notices him watching, her eyes widen in outrage.
Without his shards, he is slowslowslow and he barely dodges the thunderbolt aimed at his head, tumbling artlessly to the ground. When he tries to get up, he finds a foot planted on his chest and a spear leveled at his throat. A woman-child squints down at him, her chin raised haughtily. Kouga lies still until, finally, she steps back and offers him a hand up.
Her name is Souten and she is the last of her line.
She insists on wearing the ill-fitting armor of her departed older brothers, a battered mishmash she has crafted together herself. She keeps her dark hair always in a tight braid down her back; he has never seen it loose, even when they make love. When he tries to touch it, she hits him, setting her jaw and glaring.
Kouga can see the restlessness in her eyes and recognizes it for what it is. He’s never truly seen his own reflection before, but he knows that his eyes must hold the same look. His impulse is to chase that elusive it (whatever it may be) over ground, while Souten ricochets across the sky, tearing lightning along behind her, but they are both after the same thing, he knows. At heart, they are both runners.
Souten must know it as well, for there is no time wasted on talking; no discussion necessary to formalize an understanding between them. They both know this can’t last forever, nor would they want it to. It would be wrong to deny their nature. One day, one of them will feel that urge rising up from inside again and then they will part.
For now, he stays, and that is all there is to it.