~*Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha? Hnnn…
"…" - speech
'…' - thoughts
~*~*~ - change in scenery or time
Miroku glanced at his companions.
It had been two days since Kagome had come back from the other side of the well. The group had left on the trail of another rumour only a few hours after she and Inuyasha had arrived back at the village. The two had seemed a little… closer than usual, and had even been holding hands when they'd re-entered the village.
The other travellers had exchanged confused glances before shrugging it off.
However, when night fell, and they had set up camp yesterday, something had been amiss.
For one, Inuyasha had said nothing against stopping, and hadn't criticised the 'frail needs of humans'. Then, when the ramen was ready, he had taken it from Kagome with a 'thanks'. Granted, it was gruff, and he had adverted his eyes, but this was INUYASHA!
But that wasn't all.
The real shocker came when he'd started eating.
He hadn't inhaled his favourite food like usual. He hadn't made a mess of dinner, finishing in a few minutes like he usually did.
He had eaten it slowly. He had taken his time.
Kagome had been alarmed, and had felt his forehead for any signs of a fever, to which he'd responded with a 'Keh', and had escaped to the trees. That was a little more like Inuyasha.
Then, the next morning, the hanyou had allowed the group more sleep than usual, waking them up much later than usual. All through the travelling day, he hadn't said anything, seeming to be in deep thought. Shippou had even tried provoking him, but soon gave up after fifteen minutes of pestering with no response.
This was highly irregular. And it was freaking the others out.
But not ones to complain, they had brushed it off, deciding to take advantage of the situation before Inuyasha returned to normal.
That is, if he returned to normal.
The monk looked at the girls, and found that they were fairly sleeping on their feet. Kagome was leaning heavily on that metal contraption she called a 'bike', and Sango was beside her, holding a sleeping Kirara. Shippou was nestled in the basket of the 'bike', already fast asleep.
Raising his head, Miroku was about to call out to the hanyou leading them when Inuyasha had stopped walking. He turned back, and seeing the group's condition, hurried to them.
The houshi opened his mouth to speak, but he beat the monk to it.
"We're stopping for the night. Let's set up camp."
Raising an eyebrow, Miroku walked up to the hanyou, "Inuyasha, are you feeling alright? You don't… look sick…"
An annoyed expression crept up the boy's face.
"Keh. You weak humans look like you're gonna drop dead soon anyway. Might as well stop now."
Kagome stumbled in front of the hanyou, and peered into his face suspiciously. Squinting, she examined his face closely, making the boy blush.
"Alright. Who are you, and what have you done with our Inuyasha?"
A small tic developed in the dog-demon's left eyebrow.
"I AM Inuyasha."
"You can't be the real Inuyasha. He never suggests that we stop!" argued Sango.
A ball of fur hopped onto the boy's shoulder. It looked like Shippou was awake.
"Sango-chan's right. The real Inuyasha would have hit me on the head for bothering him, but you didn't even react!"
"You ate your dinner slowly last night!"
"You let us sleep in!"
"What have you done with Inuyasha?!"
The hanyou closed his eyes in annoyance, the tic growing stronger. Finally, he couldn't stand it anymore, and his eyes flew open.
"I'm going to scout the area. DON'T follow me!"
And with that, the boy took off for the trees, leaving behind four confused companions and a sleeping cat.
Kagome looked worriedly around the small clearing surrounded by trees they had decided to set up camp in.
After his sudden burst, Inuyasha had left them to set up for the night. He'd returned when the food- Miroku made rice balls- had been ready, grabbing his share and glaring darkly at the others before retreating to the shade of a nearby tree to eat. After finishing his meal, the boy had jumped up into the branches of that tree. Knowing not to bother him, the others had allowed the dog-demon to brood in peace, preparing for sleep.
Inuyasha, in the meanwhile, was sitting atop the upper branches of a tall tree, mumbling to himself quietly.
"Keh. I try to be nice, and this is what happens."
He'd tried to be more reasonable, but where had that gotten him?
'Maybe you just scared them a little."
Starting in surprise, the boy's eyes widened in surprise, before closing in displeasure.
"What- You again? I thought you weren't going to bother me for a while…?"
Yes, the voice that called itself 'common sense' was back. After only two days.
'I am always here at your disposal,' was its mysterious reply.
"Yeah? Then get the hell outta here and leave me alone."
He could almost hear it tutting in disapproval. 'You didn't take my advice- you're still talking to yourself.'
The eyebrow tic started up again.
"Maybe that's because YOU're here?"
'Point noted. Now, how far have you gotten with Kagome?'
"Shouldn't you know? You're in me… I think…"
'Hmph. You hugged. I expected more. And you got the others to believe you were an impostor. Good job.' The sarcasm was evident.
"Keh… Like you could do any better?"
'Yes I could.'
'Ha. Score one point for me.'
"You know what? Just leave me alone, and get the HELL OUTTA MY HEAD!"
Inuyasha listened in satisfaction as he determined that the voice had quieted. He leaned back.
Then a more tentative one called for his attention.
"Inuyasha?" Looking down, the hanyou saw Kagome at the foot of his tree, looking a little concerned. "Inuyasha? Are you feeling okay? You nearly woke the others with that shout…"
Turning slightly pink that she had overheard him talking- er- shouting to himself, he jumped down from the tree, landing in front of the girl.
"So? They're still sleeping aren't they?"
There was a slight pause before she spoke up again, "Inuyasha?"
"What…?" There was something in her eyes…
Kagome smiled at him, making his heart do a funny skip that was becoming more and more common these days…
"Can you… bring me up into the tree?" At his surprised expression, she explained herself, "I'm just curious about what it's like to si- err… to be so high up."
Rolling his eyes a little at her childish curiosity, he quickly picked up the girl like a groom would to his bride, and before she could object, leapt up through the branches. Using some of the sturdier ones like a set of stairs, the hanyou had soon made his way up the large tree. He stopped where the limbs were still strong enough to support their weight, near the top of the tree.
Carefully setting Kagome down, he sat cross-legged opposite her, nearer to the trunk.
Still slightly dazed at the sudden change in height, she tried to still the quickened beating of her heart. It was not due to the elevation, but rather from the close contact she'd had with Inuyasha. Sure, he'd carried her many times on his back, but to lift her like that left a rather warm feeling in her heart.
But once she'd seen the view this height had to offer, Kagome's eyes widened, and a smile made its way onto her face. She got onto her knees, and ventured as close to the edge as she dared.
"Wow! We're so high up…! Look! Are those Sango-chan, Miroku-sama, and Shippou-chan?"
Looking down from the treetop, the girl was not aware of the soft expression that had come over Inuyasha's visage. She could be fascinated by the smallest things.
"This must be how the birds see the forest everyday. It's interesting…" Noticing the boy's silence, she looked up, "Inuyasha…?"
At the look on his face, she fell silent. He had an almost tender smile, and Kagome's heart skipped a beat.
'He's looking at me like…'
"Kagome… You don't know…" 'I want to… kiss her…'
A little confused, she tilted her head to the side, "I don't know…?"
The hanyou leaned closer to the girl. Almost unconsciously, she too, advanced inwards.
"You don't know how much…"
Their faces were mere millimetres apart when they both stopped simultaneously. Their hearts beat furiously from the close proximity. If either just leaned forward a little…
"You don't know how much you mean… to me…"
Eyes drifting closed, Inuyasha closed the distance, capturing her lips in a chaste kiss. It was soft, but full of emotion. His heart soared when she returned it. Almost tentatively, his arms encircled her frame as her hands rested lightly on his chest.
The forest was near silent. Breaking apart, Kagome opened her ocean blue eyes and smiled shyly at the boy who embraced her. He was a light pink colour, and looked away, but brought the girl into his lap. Inuyasha leaned against the trunk, and held her closer, allowing Kagome to shift into a comfortable position, and to snuggle into his warmth.
After a few moments, she broke the comfortable silence, "So… what do I mean to you?"
A little surprised, the dog-eared boy glanced down at the girl he held. She was so… so innocent, so pure, so caring. What she meant to him… couldn't be interpreted in words. She made him feel accepted. She shed tears over him. He felt something warm in his heart whenever she was near, and felt empty when she was gone. She… meant more to him than Kikyou did.
He realised that now, even though he had a feeling it'd been true for a long time.
His eyes widened slightly.
Was… was this love?
Amber eyes focusing on Kagome curious face, a small smile flitted over his.
"You… mean a lot to me. You… I…"
She looked, entranced, into his eyes. Even if he couldn't put what he was feeling in words, she could see the raw emotion in those amber depths.
She knew that Inuyasha saw her for Kagome, and only Kagome.
Her heart almost burst in happiness.
Beaming, the girl leaned forward to capture another kiss before cuddling into his chest.
A little relieved, the hanyou rested his cheek on the top of her head. She knew. She understood what he couldn't tell her.
Inhaling her scent, a lazy smile crept over his face. She always made him feel calm. Her scent could always soothe his nerves during even the most dangerous of times. Kagome gave a content sigh, and snuggled against the warmth. Not soon after, the girl's breathing slowed- she was asleep.
Kagome was so… precious to him… She may have given him many presents through the past two years, but the most important of all, was herself. Her comfort. Her love.
Eyes drooping in mild drowsiness, Inuyasha grinned again before he too, entered the world of dreams.
Maybe that voice wasn't so bad after all…
This story was originally meant to be a oneshot, but since I forgot to include that into the summary, some of you wonderful readers assumed it to be an ongoing fic?
Well, to make up for that error on my part, I decided to make this a twoshot.
So… hope you enjoyed!]