Ceilings and Pipes by Smittee

Knock Once

Author's note: Do not own the Rumiko Takahashi characters. Merely a fanfic. This fic is all based on a song. Let's see if anyone can guess the song. :) There are hints along the way. I'm not great at updating quickly, because my beta and I both get rather busy, but I will try my best. Already working on Chapter 2. The rating I have is because I'm not entirely sure where my fics go, or how mature they may go. Once a fiction is complete, I gaze upon it days later, reading through it all once more, and then fix the rating if needed. This is for CYA purposes, as I will always forget about what I rated something. 


“Are you sure this is what you want?” A slender finger was outstretched towards the listener. Hanging off a purple clawed finger dangled a wire with earbuds. The demoness attached to said appendage sounded like she was sincerely asking her question, but her expression told a different story. 

The younger demon looked away from his task of packing to look at her. “Hn,” was the only reply she would receive, before taking the earbuds from her and pocketing them. He knew on the inside she felt absolutely giddy that he was defying his father’s wishes. Join my company! I’ve got a girl lined up for ya! You know you want to meet her!!! It was the same rhetoric over and over from the buffoon. True, he respected his business decisions. His father had one of the best electronic companies known throughout the known world. When it came to other decisions however…

“Well,” spoke the voice again, faking ‘giving up’. “If you are sure, I guess I can’t stop you.” Her true emotions came out with her next line. ``Finding your own path would only upset that rake.” Her laugh was laced with malicious intent. It mattered not to him. His long white ponytail bounced as he forced the suitcase closed  in front of him. Finally, he stood straight and turned fully towards her. 

“If you are done, Mother, please tell Jaken that I’ve finished packing.”

“Hnnn.” Her right eye twitched at being called ‘mother’. Turning, she called out. “Jaaaken, Sesshomaru is ready to  depart!” She then promptly stomped out of the room.

‘Truly. Could she be more infuriating,’ thought Sesshomaru. Unlike his mother, his emotions stayed locked behind his golden eyes. He reminded himself he wouldn’t have to worry about her meddling or Jaken’s incessant  whining. It would just be him in a new land, taking classes at a college he hoped was far enough away that no one in his family could find him. 

As he walked out of his childhood home and towards the car that would take him to the airport (refusing to take the family plane), he tried his best to ignore Jaken’s pleas of, “Please mi’lord! Don’t go!” and ,” I don’t know how I’ll get along without you, mi’lord!” He had cared for the family as long as he could remember: an imp demon lacking the ability to disguise himself. Perhaps he would have been a useful vassal in the Feudal Era, but those days are long passed. 

Finally, he found himself free of those sounds. Totosai was the driver today; a driver who knew not to bother him. From time to time, he had been a valuable ally in a world full of idiots, and Sesshomaru found he would be the one person he may miss having around. If the tourist pamphlets are any indication of how this place will be, I won’t have to worry about annoyances at all.

He pulled out said pamphlet and stared at the palm trees on the front cover. 


Sesshomaru stepped through the terminal. Looking around, he saw a waving hand stretched out as far as it would reach in the air. The hand was covered in a deep purple sash with prayer beads wrapped around the palm and wrist. In a sea of people, he almost didn’t recognize the purple-shirt human. 

Walking up to the grinning fellow, he watched as the man put his hands on his own hip. “I’m shocked to finally meet you outside the screen, Destruction_of_Life_5. Don’t worry, I know how you much prefer not to talk too much,” he held his hands up in a sign of surrender. “My real name is Miroku, by the way. I’ve already brought your things to the apartment, but I just have to ask again: Are you sure you want to live there? There’s plenty of room at my place, if you want to bunk there instead.”

Sesshomaru raised one brow. He appreciated how this human cut to the chase. This was one of the few that also knew that he was a demon. “I am certain,” he answered. 

“As curt as always, I see. Well, if you say so. Just know the offer stays open as long as you need.” Miroku turned and motioned for Sesshomaru to follow. The demon returned focus to the covered hand.  ‘Seems like it may take a bit to figure out how to break the old curse.’ Part of the reason he was here was to study his friend’s curse. He was not as well-versed as his mother, so he unfortunately may need to enlist her aid. I will have to send a full report. It is much stronger than I first thought. 

The first thing he noticed upon leaving the building was the heat. During this time of year, things were beginning to cool elsewhere. Here it felt as if it was still summertime. The only thing that showed any sign that it was that time of year was a singular tree losing its leaves. All other flora was a luscious green. He pulled at the turtle neck he was wearing, instantly regretting his decision. Sure, it meant he wouldn’t have to work as hard at a disguise, but seeing others with varying tattoos showed he might be able to get away with it here. It appears tattoos aren’t a problem in the States. He kept this in mind once he was in the car. 

At first, the heat in the car seemed to only be worse until the AC kicked in. He only made a slight sound of appreciation at the welcoming breeze. The car’s windows were tinted, so he took the opportunity to let his magic disguise fall away. Miroku looked on in awe. 

“Damn, Life,” Miroku said,” I tell ya, if you had something different between your legs, I would have asked you to bare my children!” He wiggled his brow playfully. 

Sesshomaru stared at him for a moment. “If that was the case, I may see why it is so difficult for you to have a rewarding relationship.”

Miroku sucked in air quickly. “Oof, that hurts, Life. It hurts so much, it feels like it might be too cold to keep the air on.”

Sesshomaru tilted his head towards the ceiling, sliding down a bit in his seat and closed his eyes. He let out an audible groan. He could feel the sweat rolling down his neck under his shirt. The man beside him had yet another grin slide across his face. ‘You win this round.’ Miroku didn’t have to hear it to know it. He then switched the car to reverse and they were off to the very small town of a very small county in a fairly large state.  


The floor creaked below their feet. Sesshomaru looked around at the bottom floor of the two story apartment complex. It was a small building with only 6 apartments in it. He chose it for both the lack of people and the cheap price. As he could tell, the pictures online did not speak the truth of the place. It was quite run down. I can see why there is a lack of renters, but the quality isn’t a deal breaker. An older woman came to meet them. 

“Ah, Miroku, is this the renter of the room upstairs? “ 

“He sure is! This is-uh-Life, what is your real name anyways?” Miroku turned to look at his friend, baffled for a moment.

Sesshomaru turned his attention to the woman. “I am Sesshomaru. Are you Kaede?” He could sense something from her, but it wasn’t quite what he felt from demons. It felt more like what he may feel walking passed a shrine still guarded by monks or priestesses. 

“Yes, I am. I do want to apologize. The original apartment number you were going to rent ended up needing some…. Renovations. In the meantime, I hope the new place will do you quite well. It has an extra room, as it was originally for a small family unit, but we are giving it to you at the same price as the original place.” As if on queue, a crashing sound and cursing could be heard from down the hall. 

“I’m sure it will do fine.” Sesshomaru appeared to them as unfazed, but on the inside he was rolling over Miroku’s offer in his head. 

“Well then, here are your keys. It’s already furnished and has your things in it, thanks to Miroku here. Just let me know if you need anything.” Before he could follow Miroku to the room, Kaede spoke once more.

“No need to hide yourself here. The only other guest will be able to sense the disguise as well.” Sesshomaru turned to address her, but she had already walked through to another room. 

“I told you she was more than she looked,” spoke Miroku, before returning to climb the stairs. 

As they climbed the rickety stairs, he couldn’t help but notice the scent wafting from one of the rooms below. It must have been the other guest mentioned. It was a sweet aroma that he couldn’t pinpoint, but it was pleasing to his senses. He listed it under both a ‘curiosity’ and a ‘pro’ in the chart he was making in his mind. 

“You know, it is still a wonder how this got built. Most places in Florida, especially here, are no more than a story tall. Well, unless it is someone’s house. But, I guess they thought it might be a good idea. This area is kinda weird anyways. Not really a town itself, but less than an hour away from the nearest town. It’s even closer to the college you're going to. It’s still pretty new, and not a lot of people go to it. So, it’s kinda perfect for you. The chicks there are pretty hot too.” Sesshomaru snorted at the ridiculous comment made about women.

“Yeah, this place doesn’t look much different from when I first came here. Ah, here we are!”

He opened the door for Sesshomaru to a room that looked like it hadn’t had a resident since the 70s. Yellow, floral patterned wallpaper as far as the eyes could see. Sesshomaru covered his nose, as his nostrils were assaulted by the smell of cigarettes. Instead of being hidden in the wall, pipes for the stove & bathroom were visibly shown and looked in need of repair. Miroku noticed his friend’s discomfort and added,” By the way, the owner said any improvements you want to do are fine by her. She said to just let her know anything you do. I did try my best to air out the place, but I think if you want to get rid of that you’re going to have to remove the wallpaper...and…” he looked down at the green shag carpet below his feet. All sorts of lint, dust, and who-knows-what could be seen coiled within it. 

“I know you usually take your shoes off before entering a home, but I suggest not doing that just yet. I’m off work every Tuesday and Thursday, so I’ll be happy to help you with home improvements.”

Sesshomaru nodded in appreciation. Looking around, he took note of everything in there. Other than the old decor and the stench, he could see it had a decent kitchen, one large bedroom, one small bedroom, and a bathing/restroom. Though it was much different than what he was accustomed to, he and Miroku had spoken about the differences in bathrooms before the move. The living room was wide open with a door to a balcony at the end. While the door to that balcony looked like it too needed some love, at least didn’t appear to let the conditioned air just leak out.

If it meant he could live here without another living soul, he would welcome this place. “Let’s get started.”

“Oh? Now? Uh, okay.” Miroku shifted around a bit, wondering what they would do first. Sesshomaru rolled up his sleeves and started rifling through his boxes for tools that might help him.

It had been a lot of work, but they were able to roll all the carpet from the place. Kaede nodded in approval as she pointed them to the dumpster outside. During a break, Sesshomaru started to hear music playing below him. While it wasn’t to his usual taste, it was handy to have some time playing as they worked till the dusk. It most likely is masking all the noise we are making up here as well.  They had taken breaks throughout the day, but there was just so much work to still be done. For the time being, Sesshomaru and Miroku ended up stuffing much of his belongings in closets: the cleanest parts of the apartment. The only other clean place was the bathroom. Miroku had suggested the bedroom be the most important, but Sesshomaru simply said ‘no’, before sending the human out for cleaning supplies. 

The outside temperature was cooler at night, so the demon took it upon himself to turn off the air conditioner and open all the windows. Looking out at the sights, he noticed not only the large amount of vegetation around the place, but also the vast night sky. Sure, there were still some distant lights taking some of the stars. The more important thing was just how many he could still see. Miroku had gone home for the night and couldn’t help letting down his guard. A smile spread across his face. The music was gone and the quiet night was all that was left. 

‘This was the correct choice.’

A car stopped and went, but he barely noticed. Neither did he notice the woman looking up at him as he looked off into that distance. Only one word hung in the woman’s mind as she gazed upon this new resident who almost glowed in the moonlight. 




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