Disclaimer: Inuyasha-tachi belongs to Rumiko Takahashi. I'm just borrowing them for a little good old-fashioned fun. For the past chapters: Beauty and the Beast® isn't mine either. I'm borrowing and I'm not making any money off of it. Hell I'm not making any money period and I have two jobs. Thus, I own nothing but a crazy fish who stares at me while I write. Lord knows why, it's not like I'm interesting to watch or anything.
Kagome tucked her legs underneath her and narrowed her eyes over at the two young ones who were whispering softly among themselves. Occasionally they would pause, look over at the bewildered miko, then giggle conspiratorly. After a few moments of this, Sesshoumaru finally gave them a look that both silenced them and excited them.
This was most disturbing.
Even Sesshoumaru was in on what ever was going on. Whatever was going on had been going on for the two weeks she'd spent there. Conversations stopped dead when she entered the room (when she was finally allowed to leave hers as her mouth sometimes tended to get her sent to…or rather, dragged to her room.) Giggles and lopsided smiles were cast her way.
Sesshoumaru stood suddenly, a flurry of his elaborate robes and dark hair swaying with the motion. The thing that really surprised Kagome was the faint tinge of blush that adorned Sesshoumaru's usually pale skin. He was flustered.
Was the world ending and she just missed the memo?
Sesshoumaru narrowed his gaze on the children again, gave a curt nod, then left the room in, what looked to Kagome like, a half-run. If she hadn't been so suspicious she would have been amused.
"What's wrong with Sesshoumaru-sama?" an all too innocent voice asked.
"I'm not sure," another oh-so-innocent voice responded. Kagome turned to see both children's eyes on her.
"What?" That's right, make it obvious that they're making you nervous.
"You should go after him." Rin nodded happily.
"I don't think that's…" Before she could finish, the two were up and pushing her out of the door and after Sesshoumaru. The door shut behind her followed by non-to-innocent giggles. She stood at the door for a while, staring at it as if it had been the culprit. She really didn't want to bother the youkai lord when he was in such an unusual state. Angry Sesshoumaru she could handle, blushing Sesshoumaru…well she wasn't so sure.
Finally turning from the door she glanced up and down the halls, considering her choices. Where would a flushed Sesshoumaru go? Flushed meant embarrassed so maybe…his room? With a heavy sigh she headed down the hall that darkened toward the end. She caught up to him all too quickly.
Sesshoumaru was facing a wall, his arm pressed to it above his head, his forehead pressed to the cold surface. She tried not to notice how elegant he managed to look in the uncharacteristic pose. Or how incredibly vulnerable it made him look.
"Uh, um Sesshoumaru-sama. Are…are you alright?"
His head jerked away from the wall, turning abruptly and fixing his molten gold eyes on hers as if she'd woken him from a vivid dream. A heartbeat later he was walking toward her with his mouth set in a determined line.
Kagome found herself unconsciously backing up until once again she was against the nearest wall. She fought the hysterical giggle the threatened to spill from her lips as Sesshoumaru stopped mere inches from her while she wondered why every encounter they have in a hall ends with him pinning her to the wall.
Sesshoumaru's eyes looked over Kagome's body in wild, jerky movements. His eyes fixed on her eyes, wide and so open. Then his gaze jerked down to her lips, parted slightly in surprise. Further he jerked his gaze to her chest rising and falling from running to catch up with him. Her hands, which were clenched in front of her chest, one holding a piece of the blood red kimono she wore. She was a vision. So fragile but so strong. Annoyingly strong-willed and infectious.
His hand came up to lightly touch her cheek as she stared wide-eyed at him. His soft touch surprising her.
And the spell was broken.
He moved away with a noise similar to a growl, turning his back on her. "I dislike this," he finally ground out.
"Dislike what?" The words left her mouth before she could stop them. A heartbeat later she was silently cursing her curiosity. She should have run away when she got the opportunity.
"This lack of control." He turned finally, his eyes filled with a fire that Kagome never thought she'd see in him. "One moment I want nothing more than to send you away, to bother me no more."
At this she couldn't help but frown.
But he continued. "Another I…"
She couldn't stop herself. "You…?" Damnable mouth.
He advanced on her again, every bit the frightening lord she imagined he was as a youkai. "The next I want nothing more than to take comfort in you in a way that would frighten even you, my little miko." His hand came up again, weaving through her raven hair as he smirked at her in a way that made her think right now was a good time to be afraid. And she was.
Her mind flashed back to the first night she spent in the castle, after dinner as he walked, more like dragged, her back to her room. This man could make her blood run cold one moment, then flare it to life in a fury of consuming, burning flames. Oh, yes. She was frightened.
But then, there it was, showing its ugly head to her. That damnable complication. She had to get him off that particular subject. She still refused to reveal the secret of the miko's curse.
"You're right, Sesshoumaru. You do frighten me, but not for the reason you think…or hope for that matter." She took a step forward and away from the damned wall, an impressive glare aimed at him.
"You frighten me because you're given a chance to learn something from this, a chance to change and you're not taking it. You frighten me because even as a human, your motto is still 'kill first, ask questions later.' And even now you probably consider that a compliment instead of a chastisement." She didn't bother to decipher the look on his face, she was sure she wouldn't like it.
"You confuse me more than any man before, even more than that idiot Kouga. One moment, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help you and the next, I'm ready to leave you to your fate."
"And what will it take?" he asked suddenly.
She opened her mouth to reply her usual "You have to fall in love," but closed it and lowered her gaze instead.
"Tell me something, Sesshoumaru," she said softly. "When this is over and if I find a way to change you back, what will I be to you? If in human form, you should fall in love with me, when you're youkai again…what will I be to you? A human, a miko. Would I be your lover, your wife?" Her eyes snapped up suddenly, aflame with anger. "Your whore? What would I be to you then?"
His gut reaction was to assuage her, tell her that she would be his wife, his life mate with all the titles and privileges that came with it, but he wasn't sure he could give her that as a youkai lord. The only thing he knew for sure was that no matter how much he loved to tease her, he couldn't degrade her by making her his whore—as she put it. He may not love her—yet, but he did respect her.
He looked at the woman in question, her eyes softened again, the anger before a distant dream. She was beautiful, he give her that. Engaging, intelligent…powerful. He found his legs moving on their own accord, taking him closer to her. He was pleased when she didn't back away.
"I have to regain my former power. I have to be youkai again." Her eyes lowered again, a sad air forming around her. He found himself panicking, she wasn't understanding him. Before she could move away, one hand went to her hip, pulling her back toward him and the other went to her chin, lifting it to get her to look at him. "I cannot protect you in this form."
He watched as the meaning of his words sunk in. She looked momentarily shocked, then slightly annoyed. When her mouth opened, he silenced her with a finger to her lips, a small smirk on his own.
"Before you protest that you can take care of yourself and we begin to argue, let me simply state that it would be my job as a husband, a mate, should we…fall in love."
She almost laughed at the way he hesitated at the part about love, but she was enthralled by his words. She wouldn't have thought this cold, dark lord would be able to say something so…sincere.
Taking a step back, her eyes still widened in wonderment, she blushed and cleared her throat, trying to ignore his hand still on her hip.
"I give you permission, then," she said finally, her gaze never leaving his. He gave her a blank look. "To court me."
At this, he smirked, moving close to her again. "You're mind," he said, his voice soft with suggestion, "is just now catching up with your body." He leaned down, planting light kisses on her neck to emphasize his point. He whispered against her skin, eliciting a gasp from her. "Your body gave me permission long ago."
With one final smirk, he moved away and continued down the hall, leaving Kagome to stare after him.
"Oh Kami," she whispered breathily, her body still thrumming from his words. He was right, her body had given in already, her blood pulsing violently through her veins. She had been so sure she could fight it, deny that he'd been right. She wanted nothing more than to push him away while he "tried" to show her how her body reacted to him and scoff, showing him that he had no affect on her.
But she couldn't.
Because a small part of her already belonged to him. And it was just waiting for the rest to be claimed as well.
I had considered doing revisions for this chapter but I think it's ok now, having looked at it a week later. For those of you on the update list for this story, go back to napea .notify. com (just get rid of the spaces) and add your email to "stories" because I'm going to delete the other lists and just make one en mass mailing list.
On Come Away With Me, I've finally figured out what I'm going to do with it and it is NOT abandoned, look for chapter 16 of it soon!