Dream Catcher by NovemberDoll

Chapter 1

A/N: I’m on hiatus with my unfinished SessKag stories. Really sorry, maybe one day I might find the will to finish it. Although this one was a spur of the moment, it is complete, with 6 chapters. 

Please don’t mind the grammatical errors (English is not my first language). I am only writing for fun. 

Despite what this initially looks like, this will be very fairy-tale-ish and light. No complicated plot twists and such… So please enjoy. :)




“Come with me,” she started, 

and so he stared at the woman with orphic blue eyes. 

It was not only the spontaneity of the moment that seized his attention, it was a combination of many little details. She called him out amid a sea of strangers, then grabbed him by the lapel of his hooded cape. 

Yanking him roughly towards her, she tiptoed up -for he was a reasonably tall person, and she was an especially small woman- and she half-whispered in his ear, 

“I can give you what you want.”

The vagueness of her demand, and the absurdness of him, who stopped to even consider.

The sleep-deprived man paused, and a miserable smile broke out of his exhausted person.

He laughed.

It was not a sprightly laugh, nothing compared to the spirit of the ongoing festival or the people celebrating around them. Children were running about, squealing in joy, the melody of the drums and lyre penetrating the air. Everyone else was in high spirits, smiling.

It did include him, except his smile was twisted, tortured… 


He looked at her with great weariness and sighed:

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

 In the midst of the jubilant crowd, as the flower petals rained on them from the magic towers, his wretched figure would have been an easy target for an opportunist like her.

His eyes were visibly sunken and dull, his shoulders were slumped, and he knew, at this point, he was staggering like a drunk. 

This woman, a prostitute, probably, would have spotted him and found him an easy victim: once she would bring the unsuspecting fool into her cheap, rented room, she would have him drink more wine with the promise of sex for later, and when he would pass out, she would rob him dry and flee.

In his conviction, it was true. 

Rarely were his judgments wrong. 

His flawless foresight and impeccable instinct were only a few of the many things he prided himself upon as the thirteenth Emperor of Lira. 

But of course, she did not know.

“Then,” he pulled away, “I shall be going.”

“No,” she pulled harder on his cloak that the material almost ripped, “You will trust me, and you will come with me. I can give you what you want.”

The hand that grabbed his cloak now reached for his wrist, and he realized, despite how pathetically weak her commoner grip was, the skin of the palm of her hand was unusually soft.

This was not the hands of a hard-working comfort woman preying on miserable strangers like him.

“Mister,” she said again with such tenaciousness, “What are you dallying for?”

Underneath her concealing hood, azure blue eyes blazed in urgency. She dragged him through the dense crowd, refusing to let go. 

He sighed as he looked toward the petal-littered sky. He wouldn’t be surprised if the imperial palace had already sent a search party to find their missing Emperor. A few hours left until sunset, his guards would have probably noticed his absence by now. 

He had only sneaked out of the palace, anyway, to take a break from the endless amount of work piled on his desk. 

He chuckled.

Perhaps it was the stubbornness of the woman.

Maybe it was the fact that she had no idea who he was, as she was manhandling him and ordering him around like a jester in his own court.

Or maybe it was because he had no wink of sleep for three days straight.

The nightmares that kept him from slumber were trickling into his wakefulness. So sleep-deprived he was that the bright colors around him physically hurt. He felt his ears would bleed from the beat of the drums and the chatter of the people, and his vision was a haze, with an unusual mirage unfolding before his eyes:

He could see his dead daughters in the crowd, staring at him dolefully, wrapped in the shroud of darkness that was their bloodline’s curse.

The curse that drove his father into madness,

The same curse that slowly ate him away at this very moment.

“Mister!” the woman yelled at him, and it snapped him out of his hallucination. He had been frozen to his spot for who knows how long. He then paused to observe the strange woman.

She had let go, and she was swatting at herself as if invisible bugs were swarming around them.

He raised a vain brow in question.

“What?!” She mirrored, raising a vain brow herself. Azure eyes peered from behind her hood. She was blushing, embarrassed. She stopped swatting the air and huffed. “There was a....” she paused, obviously scrambling for an excuse to justify her odd behavior, “A fly. A tiny fly.“ 

When he made it pretty clear that he was not buying it, her brows scrunched, and she changed the topic instead. “I ran out of silver. I, uhh,” she looked away, her voice considerably dropping, “You need to pay for the room.”

He looked up to see the signage. Indeed, she had brought them to a cheap inn.

The Emperor sighed. Digging into his pockets he produced a gold coin, dropping it before the staring innkeeper.

“Room number ten,” the keeper swiped the currency, “Second floor on the end of the hallway.” He leaned forward and winked, “It’s soundproof.”


He really needed to go back to the palace. Prostitution was not allowed in sacred festivals, and his father had already banned such business inside the Kingdom walls years ago. He only agreed to come with the woman to give her a lecture. 

However this woman was persistent. Perhaps she was that desperate to make money for her starving family…

His plan was to gently tell her off. 

He would have a short talk in the privacy of the room. He might just give this poor woman a sufficient amount of gold as a little push in life, and he would be on his way. Wearily he deposited himself on the edge of the bed and sighed, “Listen, you are worth more than—”

“How long have you been without it?” she asked, and the question took him aback. He raised his gaze, she was standing by the closed doorway, waiting for his answer in the absolute silence of the room.

It took him quite a while to process what she was talking about, until it finally clicked. 

Of course, she was talking about sex. What else would it be?

He gave her a mocking grin. 

“I just had it last night.”

From behind her hood, she let out an unimpressed huff. “You obviously lie.”

He shouldn’t drag this on any longer. Although the bed under him was absolutely tempting, and the woman before him was more than so, too, he would rather “fall asleep” in the safety of his palace. There, the tranquilizers the royal alchemist made would guarantee him one to two hours of sedation. He would be tied securely to the walls, and his guards could lock the doors and erect barriers on the perimeter.

And then…

“Woman, as much as I enjoy your company, I—”

“The realm between your dreams and reality is blurred,” she suddenly said, 

And the Emperor froze.

“Your head is pounding, your body is screaming for respite.

Yet you refuse to close your eyes,

For the weight of your nightmares is too much to bear.

Mister, how long have you been without a peaceful sleep?”

The Emperor tried to conjure a response, but he was too stunned to do so. 

How long has it been?

The floorboards of the inn creaked. She was approaching him cautiously.

Suddenly he was on heightened alert. How did this stranger know of his weakness? Absolutely no one outside the imperial court knew of their curse except for their most trusted staff—

She was a spy. 

A cunning spy—

He sprang up. But before he could strike, she had already reached out, and they were tumbling onto the bed.

She pushed her warm hand against his head, and an absolutely tranquil energy surged into him.

His eyes rolled into the back of his head,

The utter euphoria of calm, rushing into his soul.

“You can let go. For now, entrust yourself to me.”

His eyelids were dropping, 

His breathing… slower and slower….

Remnants of a war-trodden city, bloody swords on breathing chests,

A bland marriage to unite two kingdoms,

The lifeless bodies of his two daughters who chose death rather than a life of endless torment—

A father driven mad, forever trapped in a wakeless realm of soul-crushing nightmares,

“Sleep, Mister, be at ease.” The calming energy trickled into the morbid images, fighting against his monstrous curse, “Do not fear. I will stand guard and catch the unwanted dreams that come.”

He let out a long, exhausted sigh.

“Sleep, Mister,” she cooed softly, “Be at ease.”

His head dropped heavier onto her lap, 

and then everything else around him faded into blissful nothingness.



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