Hello…sorry for the wait. You people rock…102 of you all love me. I love you all back. As promised here is the beginning of a two part sorta kinda R-ish story with a bit of lemon aftertaste. I hope you all like it, the outcome depends on feedback on how lemony to go. Love you all, I own no one, they only live under my bed stealing the last piece of the jig saw puzzles.


DarthMerMer

When the Smoke Gets in Your Eyes…

He hadn't been crying. That was the honest truth. He had not been crying. Sure, his throat had closed up and it had been hard to breath, but it wasn't like he was that emotional or anything…Kagome and the others weren't dead. The flames hadn't swallowed them up, as they lay helpless at the temple. Shippou had seen to it that they were safe with the aid of Kirara. That was all that mattered, that they weren't dead. Maybe it had all been a sick dream. Maybe none of it had actually happened…it couldn't have happened to them. They had been through too much together for a little fire to put an end to it all.

But they had stopped breathing…damn; there went his throat again. Shaking his head, he gulped down the lump that had appeared without his consent. It wasn't fair, he had been holding up his end of the bargain! He had held off the other assassins while he sent Shippou off the find a safe spot. Maybe if he didn't let any of them out of his sight… but that was impossible. Of all the stupid things to have to deal with…he had thought that he could have depended on at least Miroku to keep them safe. But even the monk had been powerless after the Shichinentai became involved. It was idiotic that they had been in the situation in the first place! Again, he shook his head and sent his fluffy hair scattering into knots and snarls. But they weren't dead, that was the important thing.

He watched as Kagome struggled valiantly with a piece of firewood. It kept slipping from her hands as she took shaky steps towards the fire. His chest started to hurt. She still smelled like smoke. Wafting to his sensitive nose, the smell of charred wood and burnt hair radiated off the girl. It was the undeniable fact that proved no matter how much he regretted or thought about it, it had happened. He had almost lost her. As if hearing his thoughts, Kagome took a delicate sniff at her sleeve. Turning her head, nose wrinkled as she caught the acrid scent, she shook her body as if to rid herself of the foul odor. As she threw the sticks into the flames, for the briefest of moments, he thought he saw tears reflect in the warm light. She retreated to her sleeping bag, only to find that any way she turned, she couldn't escape the smell. Finally she gave up and with her eyes full of frustration, she sat up and stared forlornly at the flickering flames of the fire. "Dammit, dammit…dammit."

"Oi, you okay, Kagome?" He called quietly from his side of the fire, all but invisible save for his golden eyes. She looked so small as she curled her arms over her knees. His throat constricted again…she was alive, but he had failed to protect her.

Her dark hair fell over her shoulders as she tilted her head up. The sound of his voice was comforting. But it did nothing to help her with the damned smoky smell that had permeated her clothes, her hair, down to her very skin that was still slightly dirty from the ash that had come close to consuming her. Her back itched fiercely from the spots she hadn't been able to reach to clean herself off. "Yeah, I'm just all smelly and itchy and dirty. But I'm still alive, so I'll deal with it." Maybe it had come across harsher than it had sounded, but Inuyasha's silence met her with all the power of a brick wall reinforced with steel.

She was happy she hadn't died right? She wasn't mad at him was she? Granted, he wouldn't blame her if she was, he had failed to protect her. He lowered his eyes. "Gomen…I didn't know that…that…" Inuyasha bit his lip as his words failed him, his silver hair hiding his eyes from sight.

The girl started. "Oh, no, I didn't mean it like that!" She stood shakily. "I'm just so tired. I guess that Myouga-jichan took a lot more blood than I thought he did." Stumbling slowly towards the hanyou, Kagome sighed. "I just…I was just really scared for a little bit."

"Cause I didn't save you in time…" He mumbled under his breath, eyes still hidden. But he did sneak a peek at the girl as she practically fell down beside him. Steadying Kagome with his arm, he maneuvered her closer to him so she could lean her tired body against his.

Raising a shaking fist, she playfully batted at the half-demon. "No, silly. I was scared for you! The way you looked when I woke up…it was so, so, well it scared me." Her shoulder brushed his arm as she steadied herself. Fingers clutched at soft red cloth as Kagome's tresses blended into Inuyasha's white hair. Sighing tiredly, her head throbbing with exertion, the young girl carefully kissed Inuyasha on the cheek. "You have never let me down, Inuyasha, I trust you." Her eyes fluttered shut. "I just wish I didn't smell so bad or itch like this." She mumbled into his body as she lean closer to him.

"You're supposed to use salt water to get out smells…" He mumbled.

She smiled tiredly, "Really? Too bad we are no where near any. At this point I'd be happy with just a little normal water."

"Ok."

Before she knew what had happened, the ground disappeared and the weightless feeling of flying was overwhelming her senses. Smiling as the half demon settled her safely in his arms instead of his back, she thanked the gods that he hadn't made her hang on to his back. Kagome was simply too tired to even cuddle the hanyou's back.

Still here, she was still here with him. Small, fragile and stinky, but here and that was what mattered. The smoke smell was making his eyes water or maybe it was just the chilly wind blowing a certain way into his eyes. The trees below them swayed gently in a mass of black cotton and flashes of green in the moonlight. How dare the night be so peaceful when such an awful thing had happened only a handful of hours before? Gritting his sharp teeth hard enough to nip his tongue, Inuyasha pulled the shivering girl closer to him. Keen eyes sought out what was needed and they landed near a puny stream nearly clogged with autumn leaves. It would have to do, the nearest large body of water was almost half a days trek and he was not willing to get that far out of ear-shot of the others.

"Uh, Inuyasha…?" Kagome mumbled quietly from her nest of his chest and arms. "What's going on?" Her voice warbled from weakness and weariness.

He grunted his reply because if he had talked normally, his voice would have cracked from emotion. "Get you clean." His hands reached for her uniform as he sat her delicately on the soft grass and leaves. Careful to be sure he was behind her, he carefully found the zipper on the side of her shirt and pulled it up.

"Inuyasha…what are you-"

He only made a sound that begged her to be quiet. "Clean…" Gulping down the rest of his words he looked at the grass and its small drops of half formed dew. Nimble fingers slid the red sash out from the sailor collar and the shirt soon followed. Both went into the stream and as the clean water did it's duty of sifting out the smoke scent, Inuyasha continued his work on her pleated skirt…this was a trifle more difficult considering she was sitting and he was desperately trying not to look.

Kagome shuddered as sharp claws searched for the easiest way to rid her thighs of her skirt. Too tired to protest, she lifted limp arms as Inuyasha got fed up and slid it, pleats, zipper and all over her head in the same manner as the rest. There was a muffled sploosh as the water received its next charge. Barely a foot wide the puddle of clear water was already getting rather crowded. Momentarily baffled by the night air, she hardly noticed anything but the hanyou's warm breath on the center of her back as Inuyasha bit at the strip of cloth that was her bra. It didn't occur to her exactly what the boy was doing until the straps slid down her slim arms and into her lap fell the modest piece of lingerie. Before her eyes grew too large for her head, and before she could scramble for it, the bra joined the other clothes in the water, useless and ruined since he had gnawed it off of her bare back.

He had hoped that the smell was only on the clothes…he had been sadly mistaken. The entirety of her skin had absorbed the acrid scent. Grabbing for the red kerchief now thoroughly soaked with clean water, Inuyasha began the slow process of rinsing the smell away. Normally rough hands fell into a gentle rhythm of circling and then rubbing. Small dark blotches of ash still remained stuck to the pale flesh of Kagome's skin. It was no wonder the wench smelled so bad or itched hard enough to welt her beautiful hide. Allowing himself a guilty pleasure, Inuyasha let his thumb trace the outline of the girl's shoulder blade as he washed the smells away. And in the warmth there he felt her heart beating again.

Kagome had tried to protest…she had gotten as far as folding her arms over her chest and considering the day she had had Kagome felt that was fairly exceptional. All she really cared about now was the cold warmth of his hands and the itchy scratchy feeling was receding with each pass of the cloth. Still shivering with exhaustion, she leaned back to rest her head on his shoulder. To her mild displeasure, Inuyasha only placed a hand on her shoulder and pushed her back into a sitting position in front of him. Ok, fine, she thought, be an angry puppy…her eyes drifted shut as the puppy scrubbed the small of her back.

He had expected her to at least 'sit' him. To amazed golden eyes, the girl still trusted him enough to bathe her half naked. Still, there was too much human in him not to notice the graceful curves of her shoulders and the slender line of her back. Heart thudding in his chest he carefully coaxed Kagome into lifting her arms so they too could be submitted to the gentle rubbing. Staring at the grass became priority number one for the moment.

Kagome swallowed her protests and shivered as the hanyou's skilled hands found all the most sensitive parts of her sides. Sucking in a wavering breath, her chest shuddered as the effects of the cool night air and Inuyasha's warm fingers took their toll on her body. Warmth in her belly spread lower and her breasts fought their own battle with the crisp autumn night, helplessly ignored by the warmth at her waist. Again, she tried to lean back into him. Only this time his forehead and soft bangs were a constant barrier to her recline.

The moon rose slowly, casting silver shadows up and down the small vale. It puddled light and shadow in the hollow of the girl's throat and juncture of her neck and shoulder. Her dark eyes followed the path as the crescent passed overhead as Inuyasha choked back his tears and sobs behind her. His soft hair playing against her damp skin as his hands clutched at her middle pulling her to him as his tears washed away the most stubborn ash.

She reached for his hand and rubbed her cheek over the strong tendons and calluses. "I'm still here…" She whispered, her breath pooling into his hands. And she slowly turned to him to prove it.

To be continued….

So, people…how lemony do ya want it?