I'm not dead, I swear. I'm going to try and write chapters in advance, though! It'll take me a while, so please bear with me. I also really appreciate the fact that everyone thinks I'm paranoid. That tells me how much you all love me! Haha. Thank you again for the nice reviews everyone. I am seriously craving a Toblerone chocolate right now. Does anyone have one? And whoo, this sure took a while to get out. Again, I'm afraid that I'm letting you all down with this chapter.

And holy shizzles, I just re-read that author's note and realized that I had written this in August of 2006. Maybe even earlier. I am so sorry. The only thing I can do to make it up to you guys is to continue writing this. And okay, some of the things I write seem to be a bit outlandish, but for the sake of the story, they can totally happen. I try to make it as realistic as possible. I hope you enjoy. And if you have any suggestions (as in, think I have plot holes lol), please let me know!

Disclaimer: Once, I owned an eraser. I erased too hard, and it went away. Now, I don't own an eraser anymore.

PG-13

[AU] She likes chocolate. He likes flowers. Don't flowers and chocolate just go hand in hand? Oh, and she just has one tiny little problem that few people know about... [SessKag]

O n l y A D a y d r e a m A w a y

Chapter 3

Hanging by a Moment

----------

And so the night arrived. The day had gone by quickly with all of the preparations required for the party. It was originally intended to be a formal dinner with business partners, but InuYasha's mother had changed that in no time. She felt that it would be better if the guests were more relaxed and if there was a more festive atmosphere. Fortunately, her husband agreed.

It was the place to be. Everyone who was anyone would be there. Because of this, of course, InuYasha did not want to be there. He had decided it would be rather nice to go off in his room and hide—no, not hide, take a breather was all, —until the party was over. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. His father had demanded he stay until the very last guest had gone home. Pfft. As if he wasn't being tortured enough.

As always, Sesshoumaru was the obedient and respectful son. That dickhead. He hadn't complained about being in a room with stuffy old people all night. He hadn't tried to beg his way out of it. In fact, he had barely said a word the entire time he was home.

InuYasha huffed and plopped on the couch, immediately reaching for the remote. He'd try and put everything off until the last minute. It was how he functioned, of course. He sat up and whipped his head quickly to the side when someone grabbed the remote from him. Sesshoumaru. It figured.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" snapped InuYasha.

His older brother did nothing but raise an eyebrow delicately. He knew it aggravated InuYasha when he did that.

On cue, InuYasha barked, "What?"

"Shouldn't that be my question, otouto?" Sesshoumaru replied. "What are you doing watching television a mere two hours before the dinner? It would take you at least three hours to even begin to look presentable."

InuYasha bit back a growl. "All I have to do is put on the damn tux, and I'll be done. What I do two hours before dinner is none of your business."

"Hn." The elder of the two dropped the remote back onto the couch with disdain. He was bored, damn it, and he knew he could get a tiny bit of entertainment by getting a rise out of InuYasha. Now that that was over, he had nothing left to do. He watched as InuYasha fell back on the couch, sulking. Ah, at least his mission had been accomplished. InuYasha could no longer watch his beloved television in peace.

He watched InuYasha throw his hands up in the air out of frustration and stalk out of the room, brushing past Sesshoumaru rather rudely. But that was okay, really. All it meant was that he had done his job properly. Oh, the joy of younger brothers.

----------

"I'm awake, I'm awake," Kagome mumbled incoherently. There were two hours until the dinner, and she had only gotten out of bed four hours earlier. It seemed like an eternity ago.

"Honestly, Kagome, what possessed you to read an entire novel before you went to bed last night?" Jakotsu scolded as he supervised Kagome's hair stylist. He designed her clothes and knew what looked good on her, but when it came down to it, he had no skill whatsoever in applying makeup or fixing hair. Clothes were his thing, and he was sticking to it.

"It wasn't a novel. It was just something I found online. Bankotsu helped me—," she yawned, "---print it out, and I just couldn't put it down. Those fanfiction authors sure are getting good these days."

"No, no, it should be a little higher than that. The curls should frame her face like this," he said as he demonstrated for the hair dresser, "and Kagome, you really should know better. It was at the very least novel-length."

Kagome ignored him and went on, "You like Yuu Yuu Hakusho, right? Yes, you do. And I seem to recall a certain love of a Draco Malfoy? So put them together, and bam. No sleep."

Jakotsu's eyes gleamed as he considered this. It was wrong to indulge Kagome like this, but…it was Draco Malfoy. "Give me the website after we're done."

Outside Kagome's dressing room, Bankotsu watched as the two interacted with one another. They were the most bizarre pair. They were mischievous, playful, and impish, and he was usually at the receiving end of their jokes. He was glad that they had gotten along so well though. They were the best of friends.

His mind, however, wasn't entirely focused on that at the moment.

He was going to be Kagome's escort for the dinner. Jakotsu was already well-known and flamboyantly gay, so he was out of the picture in a heartbeat. Renkotsu had something on his mind and wouldn't be able to focus on Kagome. Suikotsu was unfortunately out of town working as an adviser to the head of the Higurashi Hospital. Mukotsu was far too old to even consider, and Kyokotsu and Ginkotsu were too large and bulky for the job. They were going to guard the entrance anyway. That left him.

Well, damn. Obviously, trying to search for a way out of it wasn't going to work no matter how many times he went over it in his head. He was still mulling over it when Jakotsu came out of the room.

"What the hell are you doing?" Jakotsu asked. Wearing a clean black tux and his hair smoothly pulled back in a long braid, he looked out of place just leaning on the wall across the hall. In fact, he looked incredibly awkward.

"Waiting for you ladies to get ready," Bankotsu replied without blinking.

Jakotsu rolled his eyes. "Well, we're done. You two can go on your merry way now. Go ahead, leave me to wither away in this house by myself," he simpered, the back of his hand resting on his forehead.

It was Bankotsu's turn to roll his eyes as he easily sidestepped his brother's feigned swoon and poked his head into Kagome's room.

"Ready to go?"

"As ready as I'll ever be," she replied glumly as he took her hand and led her towards the door, trying not to think about how beautiful she was or how great she seemed to smell at that moment.

Kagome was sulking and dragging her heel-clad feet on the carpet. Her hair was pulled back with loose strands of curls framing her face. Silver crosses dangled from her ears, and a long silver necklace with crosses on it as well rested between her breasts. She wore a simple chiffon black dress that came down to her knees with silver ribbons that laced around her waist and came together into a small bow on her lower back. It was tailored for her, accentuating her curves and small waist.

She stumbled a bit as they were walking towards the car, Bankotsu's arm automatically coming around her waist.

Well, I'm screwed. He took deep and steady breaths as they walked together in silence, Kagome thinking about what the dinner would be like while Bankotsu tried not to think at all. It would definitely be a long night.

----------

The guests had started arriving earlier than expected. His parents, ever the gracious hosts, were busy greeting the guests and mingling. InuYasha stood off to the side, brooding. Any attempts to speak to him were thwarted by his ever present glare. The reason for his foul mood, however, was currently the center of attention...quite literally.

There in the middle of the room stood Sesshoumaru amidst a crowd of women and men. He seemed to draw them towards him like moths to a flame. Instead of displaying his usual cool and collected demeanor, he played the part of an avid socialite, greeting everyone by name and inquiring on the well being of family and friends. He flashed smiles at everybody while chatting away. Sesshoumaru seemed to be the epitome of perfection, while InuYasha the scruffy castoff. It grated on his nerves.

InuYasha hated these social events. Sesshoumaru seemed to thrive on them. The same old boring stuffy people with their stupid snotty attitudes and the sticks up all their asses. Oh. Maybe this was why Sesshoumaru seemed to blend in with them so well. He was just like them. Ugh.

Kagura Hiroi—more of a social butterfly than Sesshoumaru, if that was possible—was busy buttering up all the old CEO's and executives in the room. She needed to leave an impression on them all if she was going to inherit her father's company. Even at a party, business was never far from the picture, though she made a considerable effort avoiding Sesshoumaru. Her younger sister Kanna, however, sat on a couch near InuYasha by herself, playing with her dolls silently.

Kikyou Takeda—an ex he didn't like to think about—hung onto Sesshoumaru's every word. Like Sesshoumaru, she was usually never seen without a calm, collected countenance, but wherever Sesshoumaru was concerned, Kikyou could change in a heartbeat. The younger Takeda, Kaede, sat next to Kanna on the couch, trying—in vain— to engage in a conversation with the stoic girl.

Houjo Aoyama—a nice guy, if only he wouldn't smile so damn much or be so fucking polite all the time—was trying to escape the grasp of the trophy wife of an esteemed restaurant branch owner without being rude. They were roughly the same age, but Houjo definitely did not want to mess with the restaurant owner, who was twice as wealthy, twice as old, and twice as large. It was the latter that scared him.

Plenty more familiar faces crowded the room as InuYasha brooded. He stood off to the side next to the two little girls. He liked to call their section, "The Outcasts." They had no place being in a party like this. He wondered vaguely what time it would have to be for him to leave the party without getting scolded.

It was then that a butler came in announcing dinner was ready, fully disrupting his thought process. His stomach grumbled, forcing InuYasha to follow the crowd into the dining hall. With one last look back at the room, his mind registered a new face before he turned the corner.

Sesshoumaru was one of the few to remain in the room rather than go into the dining hall. The others were his father, stepmother, and the two young girls on the couch. He ignored the children and walked over to his father, his shoes clacking loudly in the silence. The two girls finally seemed to notice the emptiness of the room and scrambled to follow the rapidly disappearing crowd.

"What are you waiting for?" Sesshoumaru asked, rubbing his jaw a bit. He hadn't smiled so much in years. It felt like he'd almost forgotten how.

"Just checking to see if there are any stragglers," his father replied easily.

"He's just indulging me, really," the matriarch of the household said with a grin.

The eldest son said nothing in reply, wondering if he'd gotten everything right. He really wasn't as social as he made himself out to seem. Assistants provided him with the daily gossip on everybody else, and he made a small effort to remember them. He would enquire as to the wellbeing of other family members, and people would fall over themselves in amazement that the Sesshoumaru should even remember their names! He sometimes mused that he should have become an actor, though that was certainly out of the question, given his penchant for avoiding being the gossip. He would rather hear about it and use it to his advantage.

He was jarred from his thoughts, however, when a faint clack-ing sound caught his attention. Was there someone coming up the stairs?

His parents had the same idea, and they both waited for the eventual appearance of their (hopefully) last guest.

A woman and a man walked towards the door, arm in arm. He didn't recognize the man, but the woman…

"Why, hello! We're so glad you could make it tonight!" greeted his father with what seemed to be genuine sincerity.

She blushed a faint pink before apologizing for her tardiness. "I'm Higurashi Kagome, pleased to meet you. The man to my right is my companion for the night."

Three pairs of eyes followed her hand towards the man with the braid. He stepped forward and gave a deep bow before replying, "Bankotsu of the Shichinintai, a pleasure to meet you."

The Shichinintai were well known in their circle. They guarded high profile celebrities and families, and they were the best in the business, not one of their clients ever befalling a tragedy. How strange that one of their members happened to be appearing with the secluded heir of one of the richest families in the country.

"Likewise," Sesshoumaru said curtly.

"Oh, where are my manners? Come in, come in!" Sayuri waved them over, embarrassed for having stood in the doorway for so long.

Kagome once again took Bankotsu's arm as they walked to the dining room. They (or rather, Kagome) held polite conversation with his parents, speaking of inane things such as the weather and the traffic. Sesshoumaru stayed one step behind, something he was sure the bodyguard wouldn't take well to that.

Expectedly, Bankotsu's eyes trailed to Sesshoumaru's figure every now and then. Sesshoumaru himself didn't mind. He was too busy contemplating the recent events of his life. He wasn't one to believe in fate, and coincidences were something he held no regard for. So how was it that this woman would appear before him twice in only so many days?

She was a Higurashi, for God's sake, something he never would have expected from the scene in the flower shop. Then again, he was in an incredibly similar, if not the same, situation as she was. He doubted she recognized him from the one word he spoke, and he had yet to announce to the general public what he knew.

He wondered if he was going to keep the promise. He was a man of his word, after all, but he honestly hadn't thought the need to reveal her secret would ever present itself. He had been satisfied in finding out anything about her in the first place, let alone information like this.

They were seated immediately, the rest of the guests already having had taken their seats in their hosts' absence. InuYasha sat with the rest of them impatiently, but Sesshoumaru could already see the gears in his head turning (who knew he had anything in that brain of his anyway?) and figuring out who these two new mystery figures were. Obviously, the only empty seats left…

"You're Higurashi?" he asked rather bluntly. If he weren't so skilled at hiding his emotions, Sesshoumaru was sure he would have flinched. He briefly wondered why his parents had gone off to go make small talk with other people instead of preventing what he predicted to be one of InuYasha's many social blunders.

Instead of taking offense as Sesshoumaru expected, however, she let out a light tinkling laugh and bowed her head slightly, looking down as if embarrassed.

"That I am," she replied. "But you can call me Kagome."

With that, she raised her head with a smile as her guard led her to her seat, leaving InuYasha somewhat gaping and flustered.

Sesshomaru was extremely intrigued by the turn of events. If he hadn't known better, he never would have guessed that she was blind. Every one of her actions helped conceal that fact, and they all seemed incredibly natural.

At the head table (on the second floor, one that gave the ones seated the whole view of the room) sat the Yamada family, Kagome, and Bankotsu. Everyone took their seats as the meal began to be served. As luck would have it, Kagome was seated right between Sesshoumaru and Bankotsu. She wasn't sure what exactly it was between them, but she could literally feel the tension. It was incredibly uncomfortable.

As an attempt to make small talk, Kagome asked, "Have you two met before?"

Bankotsu glanced at Sesshoumaru, who did the same. Sesshoumaru didn't answer, while Bankotsu gave a curt "no" in reply. Kagome tried not to deflate.

She wanted to say more, but the first dish was being served. Bankotsu gave a small shake of his head and muttered, "Drink your soup, Kagome."

To her credit, Kagome didn't even hesitate to take hold of the spoon, gracefully leaning over just enough to put the spoonful of soup in her mouth without spilling. She repeated the action a couple more times before putting the spoon down, presumably to talk.

"There, done. Happy now?" she asked in what one would call a petulant tone if only it hadn't come out of Kagome's mouth. It wouldn't have surprised him if he turned to find her tongue sticking out as well. Bankotsu couldn't help it, chuckling a bit before sipping a couple of spoonfuls of soup as well.

The elder of the Yamada brothers couldn't help but raise an eyebrow, the only outward sign of his surprise at her adeptness in doing simple things that would normally be a struggle for those with sight impairments. How in the world had she done that? He kept himself from staring too much, however, as her guard continued to eye him suspiciously.

"So you're the daughter, eh?" InuYasha asked, managing to at least swallow his soup before speaking.

"We've managed to establish that fact, InuYasha," Sesshoumaru spoke up blandly.

InuYasha made a face at his half brother before continuing before continuing, "How come I've never seen you before then? I mean, this is a pretty small social circle, so we've basically all known each other since we were small, y'know? But you look to be around the same age as me, and we've never met."

Crudely put, but accurate enough, Sesshoumaru supposed. He had wondered about the circumstances of her appearance at this particular party. Already, he could hear the chatter amongst the others, speculating who the girl eating with the Yamada's was. Bankotsu already gave off an aura that screamed bodyguard to anyone who cared to notice, so he was disregarded.

"Well, I'm certainly legitimate enough, I suppose, if that was what you were wondering," she said, clearly amused. Her eyes went to him (or what Sesshoumaru correctly assumed to be the direction his voice was coming from), and she gave him a friendly smile. "My parents were extremely protective of me, so I've been somewhat sheltered my entire life."

They considered her answer, vague as it was, and InuYasha (as well as every other eavesdropper) seemed to accept it.

"I've met your parents once or twice before, I think. If that helps at all," she added. She could feel the doubt swirling in the air, and she needed to make this work. A Higurashi would accept no less.

"Really?" InuYasha asked, knowing this to be true--otherwise how else would his mom have known the Higurashi's had a daughter?--but wanting to hear the events from Kagome's mouth herself.

"Oh, you don't want to hear about that. Just one of those random events of childhood where you run away from evil, scheming piano teachers that think you might become the next Mozart if only you would just apply yourself, and--"

InuYasha let out a sharp bark of laughter, finding it hilarious at how she seemed to get so infuriated at something that had happened years ago. She was beginning to rant, and realizing this herself, let out another of her tinkling laughs.

"Ugh, we've all been there," InuYasha agreed with a disgusted noise, eliciting another laugh out of Kagome.

"She ran, quite literally, into your father and begged so desperately for us to hide her that it was the end of that," spoke up his mother from across the table.

"Did you do it?"

Here, Kagome grinned, bit into a slice of bread, and swallowed before answering, "It was two hours before anyone found me."

InuYasha grinned back at her, but under his breath, Bankotsu said, "You had the whole house searching for you. We nearly thought it was another kidnap attempt!"

Kagome said nothing in reply, going back to focusing on the food. In fact, everyone at the table was incredibly famished, and the conversation was dropped. Small talk, however, took its place. They chattered about inane things like the weather, the stocks, any new events with their old friends. Kagome gave her opinion every now and then, and the meal passed quickly.

From across the room, Kagome could hear a small jazz band playing music, the lead singer crooning about his lost love.

"Bankotsu! Bankotsu, there's a band!"

Her companion couldn't help but smile at her antics. Kagome loved music, and when she had the chance, she loved to dance as well. Where she failed in piano, she excelled in dance. Expression through movement was right up her alley, after all. And, well, the Higurashi's had told her to leave a good impression on everyone, hadn't they?

With that, he stood up, scraping his chair a bit so that she could hear his movements.

"Well then, may I have this dance?" he asked, ever the gentlemen. He held out his hand and as she moved her own hand, he met her halfway, grasping it gently. It seemed perfectly natural. This was merely years of practice paying off. That plus the fact that she trusted him so fully that she didn't even consider the possible ramifications of their actions if she had missed his hand. She trusted him to be there for her, and he was proud of that.

Hand in hand with Bankotsu, Kagome stood up from her chair as well, excusing herself. She bowed lightly towards the general table before dashing off with her guard, mock whispering, "I can't pass up this opportunity. Bankotsu loves dancing."

Everyone laughed, already knowing that Kagome was indeed the one to instigate the activity. Her cheer and good humor put everyone at ease, and they found themselves liking the girl without any conscious effort. The ones who hade a conscious to dislike her, however, had a hard time doing so. But they tried, and it was the effort that counted.

The dance floor downstairs and in front of the stage was empty. The lights flashed on the tile occasionally, and the singer was grateful for the couple that walked towards him. He knew that the people at the tables were listening to him to some extent, but it still felt weird with no audience. With these two dancers, however, he could sing unperturbed. He thrived with an audience.

For her part, Kagome managed not to stumble all the way to the dance floor, and she applauded herself for that. It wasn't until she stepped onto the actual tile that she realized no one else was dancing. Would that be strange, she wondered, the newcomer and her bodyguard dancing while no one else was?

As if sensing her hesitation, Bankotsu nudged her forward encouragingly.

"It's just us here. More freedom to do as you please without worrying about knocking people over," he teased.

It worked, just as he had intended, even though Kagome knew he was trying to cheer her up. It worked.

The band started up a new song, a jaunty jazz tune this time. Her hips swayed to the beat, and all she had to say was, "I love swing dancing," for them to step into action. Quite literally.

As her dance partner since childhood, Bankotsu had (unwillingly) learned all the steps along with Kagome. They knew each other best, and she had faith in his ability to lead her. He wondered if she could feel all the eyes on them, but judging from her wide smile, maybe not. He held out his arm, still holding her hand, for her to spin into him, keeping his steps light.

She was a wonder in heels. The dramatic aspect of the dance held people captive, he knew, and though they wouldn't be doing anything difficult, like flips (she was wearing a dress, after all), the theatrical arm movements had the guests cheering them on. Eventually, other couples wandered onto the dance floor as well, older couples able to enjoy and remember when they themselves used to dance like this.

Every time she spun, his breath would catch, and though there were other dancers on the floor now, he couldn't see anything but her. She was in her element here, sure in her movements and abilities. He didn't want this moment to end.

Of course, he had to jinx it, didn't he? The song ended with the guests applauding and cheering. He kept her hand in his as she smiled at everyone, bowing her head a little each time in thanks. Another song started up immediately, however, this time a slow paced ballad.

"Now this is for the ones who need a little break after all that action," the vocalist said jokingly into the microphone.

Just as he was about to ask her what she wanted to do, someone else stepped up. Damn it.

"Would you mind if I cut in?" asked the insufferably arrogant--

"I wouldn't mind at all," Kagome answered with a little surprise. "I'm sorry, what was your name again?"

"Yamada Sesshoumaru," Bankotsu replied with barely contained scorn.

The elder Yamada brother ignored him, smoothly pulling Kagome over to him with one sweep of his hand.

"We shouldn't be too long," Kagome reassured him as she carefully walked away, misinterpreting Bankotsu's annoyance at Sesshoumaru for annoyance at being unable to take care of her, lest she blow her own cover.

With her right hand in his left, Kagome disappeared into the crowd of swaying bodies with Sesshoumaru, of all people. He wasn't sure what it was he disliked about the man, but he had always trusted his intuition. It had never failed before, so he'd be keeping a close eye on this…Sesshoumaru.

Unaware of her guard's dark thoughts of the man she was with, she placed her free hand on his shoulder (and my, he was tall!) as he settled his own hand on her waist. They were still hand in hand, slowly swaying to the music and dancing the simple steps. 1, 2, 3...1, 2, 3...

"Higurashi Kagome," he murmured with something akin to wonder in his voice.

"I already told you that you can call me Kagome," she admonished.

"On the contrary, you told InuYasha that he can call you by your given name. Seeing as how we have yet to speak one on one, well…"

"Oh, I'm sorry. Yamada Sesshoumaru, was it? Well, you can call me Kagome too. I have to ask, though, have we met before? I know that you and Bankotsu say you haven't, but your voice…I just can't place it."

Sesshoumaru didn't reply. Instead, he watched as she determinedly looked forward, his steps leading hers. She didn't seem as if she was blind at all. If not for her penchant of avoiding eye contact, he would have said that she was a perfectly normal woman. His voice, eh?

"I think you would remember my face, if anything, Kagome," he said at last.

He felt her tense in his arms, her expression frozen on her face. "I…well, I don't think I've ever seen you. Maybe just heard your voice."

"It's entirely probable, though seeing me would be more of a normal, everyday occurrence. I can promise you that."

If possible, the girl in his arms became even more rigid as realization dawned upon her. It was a feat that she remained dancing.

"You…you're. There was. You. The man in the store. It was you," she whispered. "You know."

"Hn."

"Do they know? Your family?"

"No," he answered, disgust coloring his words, "I'm a man of my word, if nothing else."

He felt her relax, unsure of how to act now that she was smiling at him like that.

"Thank you," she said softly. "This is really a coincidence, isn't it? To think I would meet you, of all people, again so soon."

He sincerely hoped she wasn't going to start spewing some asinine female drivel about fate and the like.

Another couple bumped into them, and Kagome squeezed his hand a little tighter to regain her balance. The couple apologized with a laugh, and Sesshoumaru smiled back at them with what he hoped was devoid of all the annoyance he felt.

He turned back to his dance partner, surprised when she said something completely off topic.

"You practice with a sword, don't you?"

What?

Without waiting for a reply, she adjusted their hands a little to gently touch a callus on his hand.

"This here. A callus could mean a number of things, but having it on this particular point on your hand…well. I could be wrong," she said nonchalantly, but to him, it was a challenge.

"When I have the time," he admitted grudgingly, "I'm known to pick up a sword. Recreational purposes, really."

He found it irritating that she was correct in her assumptions, and it was even more irritating to watch her lips curve into a little satisfied smile.

Out of nowhere, however, Bankotsu reappeared at Kagome's side, deftly pulling her hand out of his. The song had ended without his notice, and the couples on the dance floor were slowly dissipating. He spared the guard an annoyed glance before stepping back.

"It was a pleasure, Kagome."

"Without a doubt. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of each other," she replied without missing a beat.

Another song started up, and other corporate big shots as well a few young men vied for her attention. She obliged a couple of the elder men (Bankotsu assured her that they were gentle and grandfatherly), seeming to enjoy every single dance. They talked while dancing, with Kagome answering simple questions about herself.

Mission accomplished, it seemed. Sesshoumaru suspected that for Kagome to appear at one of the most attended parties of year meant that she was making a debut of some sort. Hmm. It worked. Rumors mixed with a hint of facts were circling already, and the adults were impressed with how she carried herself. She'd been established in their circle.

He caught Bankotsu's eye again and smirked at him. Just like a cat, his hackles shot up. Sesshoumaru suspected that if he were a cat, hissing wouldn't be that far away either. It was just as amusing hassling this Bankotsu as it was to irritate InuYasha.

Speaking of InuYasha, there he was. The flirt. He was chatting it up with Kagome, and she was laughing at him. It was interesting how Bankotsu viewed InuYasha as harmless whilst Sesshoumaru screamed danger at him. Well, he did need more amusement in his life.

They'd be seeing more of each other, eh? With half his mind focused on what the politician was telling him, he thought of just how much more he would see this Higurashi. On some level, she fascinated him, and though he wasn't necessarily the curious type…well, he never did back down from a challenge.

--tsuzuku--

Okay, this chapter is a little longer than usual, but I hope it was alright. GAH. I feel weird picking it up again after nearly 3 years. D: I've just fallen out of the fandom (I don't even know how this series ends! Blasphemy, isn't it?), but I don't want to leave any stories unfinished. Not really, anyway. And that little thing up there about Kagome reading fanfic (lol) was a little shameless plug of Joisbishmyoga's amazing stories The Best Defense and A Good Offense. Seriously, I could read and r-re-read these two fics over and over and over again. Which I did. And have done. So. Yes. Um, please let me know what you think of this chapter. And I plan to update on a more regular basis! Not weekly or anything like that…but more regular than once every couple of years. Thank you for reading! Oh, and music consumes my life. As well as college.

Thank you to all the reviewers. Your comments are really encouraging, and I hope you're still here. Please let me know if there are any errors!