Swimming in Silk

He was doing it again.

Kagome slightly frowned, and adjusted her grip on the novel in her hands, forcing her attention to stay on the words that had previously held her so engrossed.

Sesshoumaru moved once more.

She chewed the inside of her cheek, chancing a glance.

As expected, the Daiyoukai stood some distance away, poised and silent in a deadly stance, Bakusaiga drawn.

She sighed.

Sesshoumaru swung the sharp blade to the side in a wide arch, moving and turning his body gracefully. Lean muscle shifted. The hair at the back of her neck pricked as his energy flared to life, caressing the air of the clearing.

Kagome shut the book and stood. Turning on her heel with a distracted shake of her head, Kagome ignored her heated cheeks and grabbed her pack. She then set off in the opposite direction purposefully.

Of all the things she'd expected to deal with when deciding to stay in the past, this was not one of them.

Sesshoumaru had first taken to training in front of her bewildered eyes two weeks ago. Whenever she left the village for some reason- and whenever he happened to be visiting Rin, she stumbled onto him training.

Kagome splashed her face with water from a stream, feeling out of sorts. Stupid.

It was only Sesshoumaru. Demon Lord, Enemy, Ally, and now...Clearing Companion.

Yet some days later, when she was out gathering herbs, Kagome chanced a glance up, wiping sweat from her forehead- and found him in the clearing, as if he'd always been there and she was the one intruding.

It happened too often to be a coincidence, but no answers were forthcoming from the taciturn demon. She watched, staring at his back as he moved, bathed in the strong sunlight. His posture straight, movements quiet as his youki coiled out along the blade. Kagome could feel it even from where she knelt, and she pressed down her own powers, which fizzled to life on her skin in response.

"Sesshoumaru," she tried.

He turned slightly, some silver strands of hair falling forward to caress his cheek. Kagome felt her fingers twitch with the ridiculous urge to push it back behind his pointed ear.

"What is it, Miko?"

"Well, it's just...there's a lot of clearings around here, right?" She asked, before wincing. Now she just felt rude. It wasn't like he was doing anything wrong, and if she asked him to leave, didn't that imply that she felt uncomfortable in his presence?

He continued to shift position, bringing the sword down in a swift motion and then straightening again. "Indeed."

Kagome bit her lip. No, she couldn't say anything. The Daiyoukai was a pretty standoffish guy. She didn't want to discourage him from approaching her. She enjoyed their little talks when she sometimes brewed tea and watched over Rin. Maybe this was just how he showed he was comfortable around her? She didn't train around her friends...with her shirt off...but maybe full-blooded demons did that.

"Do you have a point?" His deep baritone came again, making her lift her eyes to his. Kagome blushed slightly, feeling like she'd been caught staring.

"N-no. Uh...but I did notice that you do a lot of basic forms when training. Is the fancy footwork just a heat of the moment battle thing?" She asked, lips lifting at the corners slightly. Teasing felt better, safer. She didn't want to feel like she was ogling Inuyasha's brother. My ex's brother, she reminded herself with a mental wince.

Sesshoumaru raised a brow. "Fancy?"

"Yeah," she smiled, standing. "You know..."

Holding her arm out in front of her and mimicking a sword swing, she swiftly spun on her heel in a circle. When she faced forward again, he tilted his chin up slightly.

"You realise you are mocking a centuries-old technique and recreating it improperly?" The demon uttered flatly.

"I'm not mocking- the part missing is where your fancy move lops off five heads at once." Kagome snorted.

His eyes glittered proudly at that, making her smile wider. He did love his dark humour.

Demons. She inwardly rolled her eyes.

"Hn, this one practices the 'fancy footwork' as well. However...ignoring the basics would be folly."

"How so?"

He turned to face forward, expression unreadable. "Paying attention to the simplest and smallest details helps to gauge a picture of the whole."

Kagome blinked and shifted, lifting the basket of herbs and holding it against her hip. She caught sight of the scar on his left arm, the ring of marks below his bicep where the new limb had filled the void where only a stump had been. She nodded slowly.

"That's cool, but..." she trailed off. Do you need to do that shirtless?

He moved again, and this time she could have sworn she spied a bead of sweat run down from his collarbone to his chest- and at that point Kagome swiftly turned. "I-I think I hear Kaede calling me! I'll talk to you again later!" She squeaked, hurrying away.

A few days later, Kaede asked her to run an errand. Kagome would have to leave Edo and set out for another village, to deliver some medicinal herbs. It was only a five-hour walk, but the older woman's back had been playing up. Kagome was happy to accept and soon steadied a pack on her shoulder along with her trusty bow. It had been a while since it had been used in self-defence, but she'd practised every so often on targets.

Exiting the hut, she ruffled Rin's hair in passing, who grinned up at her, clad in a new kimono. "Safe trip, Kagome!"

"Yes, have a safe journey, my lady."

Kagome looked up to see Miroku outside his hut, holding one of his twins. She smiled and nodded.

"I won't be long. Tell Inuyasha if he comes back before I do that I'm totally fine going to the next village on my own."

Miroku chuckled. "Sango and I will inform him, but you know how he is."

Kagome rolled her eyes and continued on, waving as she departed the village. Though she spoke of Inuyasha fondly, they'd certainly felt a strain in their friendship even after their decision to break up. He'd been running more errands than she had outside the village, though he always returned.

Six months had passed since she'd decided to stay in the Feudal Era. The awkwardness of her choice was not lost on her. Since her amicable breakup with Inuyasha, she had no solid reason for turning her back on her Modern Day life. She still visited her family, but those three years she'd spent in higher education felt so far away.

It was then she remembered her mother's words after she'd told her she was staying.

'We knew you'd fallen in love with the past a long time ago.'

After reaching the village and delivering the medicine without issue, Kagome noticed several children outside the hut. The village was slightly smaller and more remote than Edo, so it was easy to spot them pointing at the river. Kagome made her way closer and blinked, seeing a young boy sitting on a rock in the middle of the water, the current mild as it lapped around his tiny island.

"What's he doing?" Kagome asked one of the older boys, who glanced up at her.

"The dumb-ass was climbing on a branch from one of those overhanging trees and it snapped- so he fell in. Now he's stuck there."

"Can't he swim?"

The boy shook his head, looking at her as though she were an alien. "None of us can."

Kagome's brows drew together and she sighed, rolling her sleeves up as she pushed through the mini crowd. Without preamble she dived into the water with a small splash, making the children gasp and gather closer to where she'd disappeared under the surface.

Unbeknownst to all, golden eyes watched the spectacle unfold from the shade of the trees. The Daiyoukai shifted as Kagome broke the surface of the water near the boy and held her arms out to him, smiling encouragingly as she treaded water. Sesshoumaru stayed rooted in place until she swam back to the other side with the boy in tow, who clung to her fiercely.

Under an hour later she found Sesshoumaru reclining against a tree, having sensed him. Kagome was utterly unsurprised by it, for some reason. When he did not look up at her, Kagome brushed some hair away from her face.

"You know, a few of the children in the village can't swim," she casually informed him. Sesshoumaru hummed noncommittally. Kagome shifted her pack on her bare shoulder. "So, I'm going to teach them how to swim."

This time, he did look up. Kagome smiled as his eyes widened.

She'd decided to get some small form of payback by getting dressed into her swimsuit. If she was going to be swimming she wanted to do it properly this time, and she hadn't been able to resist getting changed before seeing him. I can't go shirtless but I can do this.

Her swimsuit hugged her form, some splashes of red hibiscus flower patterning it. The straps were thin on her shoulders, but apart from that, she felt it was modest. When he still said nothing, she started to ramble. "I'm not exactly qualified to do this but I taught Sota how to swim, how much different could it be?"

Sesshoumaru hummed, shifting his arm that was draped over his bent knee. "There will be several children to teach, not just one. And there's the unfamiliarity of this village."

Kagome was busy waving off those words when he threw in- "not to mention the wives that will hate you."

She froze and shot him a look. "What do you mean? I'm doing a good thing. Knowing how to swim is really important."

"Your intentions are noble, but they will not like your attire..." he cast a look at her swimsuit again, gaze dragging down her body from head to toe this time with lingering attention.

Despite herself, Kagome blushed and gestured to it. "T-this is really modest compared to some bathing suits!"

"They might not agree."

Kagome huffed and crossed her arms, ire rising to combine with her embarrassment. How come he got to strut around training, and yet one look from him unsettled her? "You're being ridiculous. You'll see."

He watched her stomp off with a flat look, before his gaze naturally slid down her retreating form. Her 'bathing suit' left little to the imagination. His lips parted enough to expose the hint of a fang as he exhaled slowly.

Not long later, he heard tell-tale soggy stomping approaching. Kagome appeared from around a tree, arms crossed and red-faced as she stood in her wet swimsuit. Sesshoumaru directed his gaze to the tops of the trees and seemed to stare at the horizon determinedly.

"Don't you say a word," Kagome muttered, trudging forward as she attempted to ring the water from her hair. Droplets landed on the forest floor softly.

"Take it you were dismissed?" He said anyway, making her growl.

"I'm just trying to help! But nooo." She kicked a stone and winced, whimpering and holding her foot. "As soon as I dropped the towel it was like I'd ran naked through their village. And when I tried to show swimming techniques the mothers accused me of being a water demon. I'm no Kappa." Kagome griped.

She barely noticed Sesshoumaru move, until it became apparent he'd undone the secures of his armour. He then lifted it off him and set it down, before reaching for his white and red hankimono, tugging at the folds of clothing. Kagome's face grew warmer as she quickly held up her hands. "What are you doing? I-if you need to train again, you could turn around to get shirtless."

Not that it would make a difference, he'd still be shirtless in her presence and oh god don't ogle-

Kagome swiftly turned around as he took off the outer layer of clothing. She jumped when she felt him nudge her arm, and the miko turned, expecting to see his bare chest. Instead, he'd kept his hanjuban on, the crisp white under-layer looking as pristine as the material he now held.

She looked down at his hand, seeing his trademark red honey-comb design staring back at her. Was he...seriously offering it to her?

Kagome quickly put one hand on his striped wrist. "What are you doing?" She asked in a weaker voice, confused.

"You can wear this. If you so choose," he stated, pushing the soft clothing into her hands. She stared, noting he looked strange without the billowing white and red sleeves, more approachable and unguarded. Blue eyes fell to the fabric she held, thumb rubbing it. Such fine silks in her hands felt wrong. She didn't think she'd ever held something so expensive and fine before. They were usually barred from human touch in a museum. He expected her to wear it?

Kagome opened her mouth to refuse, thinking she'd damage it- but the intentness of his steady gaze brought her up short. Somehow, it felt as though he were offering more than just clothing, though it was lost on her what that was. Yet she felt it's weight all the same.

"I'll be swimming in it..." she said instead, hoping he'd take it back. She didn't want to confront that look or the weight.

"This Sesshoumaru is aware."

Kagome faltered, cheeks burning. Her traitorous heart fluttered as though she were still a schoolgirl. "I don't know how to..." she unfolded it and then quickly held it up when the fabric nearly brushed the floor.

The Daiyoukai eased closer, retaking the clothing from her- long fingers skimming hers as he stepped around her. Kagome hesitantly lifted her arm, feeling as though she were naked in his presence now as he slid it into the sleeve. She kept her eyes fixed forward as she felt the weight of the sleeves, the warmth of the newly used silks settle around her shoulders.

Her lips pressed together, feeling his breath fanning against the side of her head as he lent in close to tuck the fabric in, his hand brushing her bare collarbone as he closed the parting at the front. He brought out a smaller cloth than his sash, but it did the job as he secured it around her waist to keep the fabric in place. All the while her heart had graduated from fluttering and was now majoring in hammering inside her rib-cage.

They were platonic. Friends. Platonic friends. Kagome tried to remember this as he leaned back slightly and she tilted her head up- underestimating his proximity and the intensity of his gold eyes.

"Done," he said, not touching her now. And yet her skin thrummed as though reaching back for him, and something hooked low in her stomach at just the thought of it; waiting for him to move.

Some silver hair tickled her cheek as she stayed still, looking up at him, nodding slowly. "Thank you," she murmured, breathing out and stepping away the moment she thought he moved an inch closer.

She lifted her arm, noticing the sleeves had been tied back at her elbows to allow for movement, and his attention to detail left her touched. More so, the fineness of the material had her looking at him again with true gratitude now, rather than awe. "Really. This is...I don't know why you're doing it, but I feel like royalty in this."

"Are you so certain...you do not know why I'm doing it?" he muttered, and it sang straight down her spine.

Kagome's eyes widened and she mentally stepped back even as she remained perfectly still. His voice combined with the look in his eyes sent her off-kilter. All that time there had been a safety-net- that Sesshoumaru disliked humans, so of course, he wouldn't look at her that way.

Only he was. Right then. In a way that was unmistakable to pass off as something else.

"These clothes are really important to you, so I-I promise I'll bring them back as soon as I'm done, okay?" She shakily murmured instead, and felt her body wilt the moment disappointment skittered over his expression, replaced with his usual passive and non-emotive face. Gone were the burning embers.

Kagome took a few steps back, smile hurting on her face as she waved. "Be back at sunset if those puritan wives don't come chasing me back with pitchforks!" she said, quickly heading away and feeling eyes on her back until she was out of sight.

The moment a decent amount of distance had been created between them, Kagome put her hand on her chest and stopped dead, breathing out. Emotion burst within her, all for him, which she viciously tried to temper. Those vague desires he'd elicited in her over the weeks with his training felt tame compared to whatever that had just been. Maybe he'd been building to this, or perhaps it had just been an accident.

Kagome reluctantly pushed herself forward, padding to a nearby river and gazing at her reflection. The white and red garb stood out starkly against her black hair, and she touched at her thigh, were the material ended. It was almost like when a boyfriend lent his girl a shirt to wear.

Only not many girls got to experience this kind of material. She passed an experimental hand over it, comparing it to Inuyasha's robe of the fire-rat. Much like the wearer, Inuyasha's had felt coarser, but reliable. Sesshoumaru's felt like touching cool water.

She mentally winced when remembering calling him 'big brother' last year, shortly after returning to the past. What the hell was she doing? And why couldn't she stop thinking that she really- really wanted to lift the material to her nose and smell it?

Kagome pressed her hands to her eyes and groaned, trudging off in the direction of the village.

Kenta splashed happily as he kicked his legs, thoroughly soaking Kagome, yet she laughed it off. She supported him under his stomach as they moved through the water, the seven-year-old wanting to take off like a jet and swim on his own, but Kagome was reluctant to let him go. She wished she had water wings, and without them, her mini-class had to rely on planks of wood or their protective mothers for support in the water.

The mothers weren't as dismissively hostile with her now, in fact, the moment she'd stepped foot in front of them in Sesshoumaru's garb, they had clammed up but been slightly more respectful of her. Kagome had felt mild irritation and sighed, but ultimately waved it off. However, the implications were not lost on her. The villagers probably thought they were lovers.

Her damned cheeks heated again. Why didn't that bother him? He couldn't just look at her like that out of the blue! And didn't his reputation matter to him? What if a big deal demon saw her and started spreading gossip that they were an item?

Kagome sighed as she straightened and helped the boy to the river bank. Knowing Sesshoumaru, he wouldn't care about that kind of thing. He seemed so secure in everything he chose to do, she sort of envied him.

Kenta took his mothers hand and waved at her while padding away. Kagome smiled and returned it as many more of the village children started to leave.

"Thank you, Kagome!~" chirped a young girl.

"You're welcome, Megumi. Keep practising your paddle and remember to try and kick your legs under the water next time." Kagome giggled, waving the children off. Some of the mothers nodded to her as they departed, and Kagome was left to herself by the river.

She held her arms, feeling a slight chill as she turned, bending to pick up the make-shift floats out of the water. The cool silk was now plastered to her, but somehow it felt comforting.

That exercise had been kind of successful, she thought. For the first lesson anyway. She'd have to keep visiting the village, but maybe she could teach some children of Edo how to swim too. Kagome briefly wondered if that would affect time too much- before the sound of several pairs of footsteps made her turn.

Two men stood on the river bank, one holding a fishing net, the other had his arm hidden behind his back, possibly holding a weapon. Kagome stepped back into the ankle-deep water of the shore cautiously.

"Hey, uh...can I help you?" She asked carefully. Crap, she'd left her bow and other things with Sesshoumaru.

"Sure can. You can strip for us, honey." The burlier one grinned, looking at her keenly as she bristled.

"Excuse me?"

The leaner man with the net shifted. "It's not what you think. We just want what you're wearing. That's demon clothing. Fetches a high price, especially tailor-made. Give it over and we won't have to hurt ya."

Kagome's eyes widened. "Don't you know who this belongs to? He'd kill you if you guys even touched it. No way- gah!" She jumped back as the big one swiped at her with the previously concealed knife. It was bigger than she'd figured, resembling a machete.

"Hand it over, damn it!" He growled, this time trying to grab her as Kagome ducked under his arm and ran up the riverbank, sprinting as hard as she could. Hearing their shouts and footsteps behind her, Kagome left the river to run up a steep incline, fairly certain it would lead her back to the path towards Sesshoumaru, when something hit the back of her legs.

She gave a yelp as her chin met the earth, and Kagome rolled down the hill some- before getting to her feet again. When reaching the top of the hill however, she found herself overlooking the deeper part of the river, and turned to see the men gaining on her. The lean one threw the fish net up, and Kagome grit her teeth, squirming as it fell over her head.

"Get this off!" She yelled, finding that she was getting tangled searching for a way to get free.

"You can strip under there girly or we'll remove ya clothes for ya," one of them grunted.

"I can't give this to you! It's important to him," Kagome staggered back, eyes wide as they approached her again.

Not thinking anything of it and acting purely on impulse, Kagome turned and jumped from the height- falling towards the river. She met the water soon enough, being plunged into the depths. She kicked her legs and managed to reach the surface despite the fishnet, but the current pulled her further downstream. Coughing, Kagome barely noticed that she'd lost sight of the men as she tried to keep afloat, feeling the net get tangled around her legs.

Kagome felt herself stop as some sort of force held her in the water. Looking back behind her, she found that the net had gotten caught in some branches from an overhanging bush. She let out her breath and eased down under the water, trying to find a way out while she had the chance. It was with difficulty but relief that Kagome eventually got herself free, sliding out of the net parting and swimming to the river bank, exhaustedly pulling herself ashore.

Coughing, she pushed her wet hair back from her face and sat for a moment to catch her breath. She then patted herself down with shaky hands. No injuries was a plus. Kagome almost congratulated herself when she felt it.

A tear.

She quickly checked her right side at her hip. A very large tear.

It arched up around her stomach, the fine material sliced in a clean cut. She couldn't believe she hadn't noticed it. Her skin was neatly exposed, but Kagome hardly cared about that. Instead, her heart raced as she pulled the two separate pieces together.

"Oh no..." she murmured, brows pulling together. She'd...promised to take good care of it. It didn't take a genius to see that the clothing meant a lot to him. It bore his crest, and he always kept it immaculate. In battle, he moved with his 'fancy footwork' as though trying not to spill an ounce of blood on it. Inuyasha had sometimes torn it, sure, yet even if it were easily mended she couldn't shake the feeling that she'd broken her word.

Kagome's shoulders began to shake and her cheeks grew warm. She then grew even more upset that she was getting upset.

Her vision had gone blurry by the time something large and warm fell onto her head gently, and Kagome started. She glanced up, a few tears falling as she saw blurry white in-front of her. Her breathing hitched as she smelled his scent even without lifting the material to her nose, and Kagome stifled a sob. "I'm sorry."

"Why are you crying?" he muttered, his warmth drawing closer- until Kagome pressed herself willingly into his chest and gripped his clothing tight. She let out a ramble of words that were meant to explain herself, but all Sesshoumaru could probably hear were the blubberings of a woman-child.

Kagome felt his warm palm stroke the top of her head as she cried. She slowly fell quiet because of that soothing touch, sort of wanting to stay there like that longer. He was gentle and calm in the storm of her emotions.

She soon opened her eyes, rubbing at her cheeks as she pulled away slightly.

"I never cry," Kagome mumbled. "Sorry, that was awkward, huh?"


She looked at him then and noticed his dark expression as he stared at the tear. "A clean-cut from a blade," Sesshoumaru uttered, lifting his gaze to hers. "You were attacked," he stated. It was not a question.

Kagome sighed and put her hand on her side. "Two guys. They're probably long gone now."

His youki spilt out and curled around him, the atmosphere turning heavy with displeasure. He was angry, she realised. Very angry.

"I could try and mend the tear," she tried to quell the energy snapping in the air. "It probably won't be as clean a stitch but-" Kagome's breath caught as he grasped the front of the clothing, tugging her in close as a snarl hissed out from clenched teeth.

"This one does not care about the clothing. It is you, foolish girl, that this one will be shedding blood for."

Kagome's eyes widened. The formless emotion within her that went beyond friendship swelled and scattered her thought process. She didn't want him to shed blood for her, but when he finally released her she was unable to form the words to stop him.

He set her pack and bow down, soon leaping into the air with a crackle of stifling energy that scorched the grass he'd been standing on.

Of all times, Kagome felt something click into place, watching him fly with such palpable rage. Anger...for her.

A few days passed after Kagome's trip and after returning back to Edo, everything had fallen back into the way it had been before. Sesshoumaru had said nothing when he'd returned to her on that riverbank with his claws bloody, and neither of them had brought it up. Dissatisfaction gnawed at his insides, but the demon ignored it as he bid farewell to Rin after visiting her. He could not move the miko's attention toward him by force, it wouldn't work.

As he left the village and made his way up the hill, Sesshoumaru's ears pricked as a soft 'thunk' sound caught his attention. The faint tremble of a bowstring had him moving even before he scented her, and he crested the hill in mere moments, walking on into the forest. He passed by arrows buried into targets on tree trunks and slowed to admire them. The targets were in a myriad of places, up high in the branches or in trees further off, all of the arrows crammed onto different bulls-eyes with reiki curling around the quivers.

Something gradually built and took hold of Sesshoumaru. The holy powers in the air caused the gold of his eyes to brighten unnaturally, and it was only a breath later that he lay eyes on her.

She stood, bow drawn and back arched in a way that made his claws twitch at his sides. Kagome let another arrow fly and it hit the target with a louder 'thunk' though this one missed the bulls-eye slightly. She breathed out and straightened, meeting his gaze, and he somehow knew his presence had affected her.

"I thought I'd pay you back for all those times you trained in front of me," she murmured as he stepped closer. "Though, I'm not half-naked."

"This one would not protest if you were." Midsummer night eyes darkened in time with her blush.

Kagome turned to face him fully, pointing at him accusingly. "I figured it out, you know. All this time, you were peacocking!" This caused him to stop and tilt his head slightly. Kagome nodded furiously. "Don't try and deny it. You were showing off your powers and strength."

"Yes." He admitted bluntly, eyes narrowing in thought. "Why call it that though?"

"Male peacocks do this thing where they display all their features, fanning them out. They do it because...uh, because..." Kagome trailed off, blushing as she glanced away.

"It is part of a courtship ritual to attract a mate." Sesshoumaru finished for her, stepping closer as his eyes warmed. He raised his head then, looking at the targets around them. "You did not need to do this. Your feats with the Shikon no Tama proved your strength."

"Pot kettle black, buddy," Kagome muttered, sighing as her cheeks continued to burn. "I know how strong you are. You didn't need to train in front of me to prove that."

Her heart hammered in her chest as he brought a hand up, sliding it into her hair behind her ear. "It was more than that, true you've seen this one's strength, but dedication must also be exhibited."

Kagome leaned into his hand slightly as she swallowed. "I knew that about you too, since you've taken care of Rin." Her hands tentatively rose to rest on his chest, thankful his armour was missing. She felt his warmth and the silk under her palms as she smoothed one hand higher, brushing it over the red and white honeycomb design on his shoulder. "It's not like you to be self-conscious of your abilities."

Sesshoumaru growled lowly. "It was not a lack of belief in my abilities, merely, it is tradition to show you will be provided for. And this one will take no half measures when trying to court you."

The breath rushed out of her lungs in a rush. He really said it, and so easily too.

"You really...want that?" she asked quieter.

The hand in her hair pulled away to raise her chin, until she stared up at burning gold. "Do not insult us both by questioning my intentions when this one has already given an answer." He muttered, mouth pressed into a thin, grim line.

Kagome made to say something when that mouth suddenly pressed against hers, making her squeak. His lips made her heart jolt, and she stood frozen- breathless for a moment before she leaned into him and kissed back.

He shuddered at the feel of her soft mouth parting as the kiss became more heated and explorative. Lightning crashed down her veins. Her hand smoothed up to cradle the side of his face- thumb accidentally brushing his stripes. Teeth nipped at her lower lip in response and she boldly let her tongue brush against his, experimentally touching his fang, retreating at the sharpness of it. He chuckled slightly against her mouth as she pressed more into him, finding he tasted like something inexplicable but familiar. Like the taste of the air on a warm summer night.

He pulled back enough to look her dead in the eye. "What do you want, Kagome?" he uttered, their breaths intermingling and coming in warm puffs against their mouths.

Kagome looked at him, cheeks rosy and lips still slightly parted to maddeningly tempt him. When her thumb brushed his markings again, he almost called her cruel, until she smiled.

"I set up all these targets for you, silly. When I figured out what you'd been doing all this time, I wanted to show off my feathers too, so to speak." She grinned, quieting slightly. "We need to work on our communication skills though, you do things the demon way and I don't always know what you mean by it, so yeah, we need to talk more."

She leaned up on tiptoe then and brushed her lips against his cheek. "But I do...want you. I want to get to know you more. 'Paying attention to the smallest details helps to gauge a picture of the whole,' right? So, show me-" his mouth on hers cut her off again and he swallowed her muffled words.

Kagome smiled against his lips as she felt strong arms slide around her waist. It would take a little time to get used to the newness of it. His reserved air was completely gone, and the determined, firm lips against hers perhaps should have intimidated her, yet Kagome only encouraged it.

As she willingly embraced the demon, she felt herself become wrapped in warm silken robes.