AN::Blink blink: Holy shit. Wow...I really didn't think I would get such an emphatic response for this first chapter...Well, a very special thanks to: Althea Astera Renata, ChineseKagome, Flame-sama (Triple points for Flame-sama for being the first to review, and the first to put this story on alert!), Kalana Fox, Kagome lover, katarafightingprincess, MelissaRocks214, SlummyRedDragon(Double points for having this story as a favorite and on alert!), DatChicAnna (Double points for being the first to put this story on favorites), dragon's kitty, katty-kat, and RRED. Also, sincere thanks for all of the people who have reviewed this first chapter. I hope the story continues to live up to your expectations!
Coming of Age
"If you would quit moving so much, Kagome-sama, it would hurt less." Kaede chastized the girl, noting how Inuyasha flinched every time she cried out. There was a strange atmosphere between the two that she'd noticed ever since they'd returned, and Inuyasha had insisted that she fix Kagome's ankle.
A brief explanation that it would, in fact, take TIME to fix a strained ankle did little to calm the vexed demon. Her telling him that she shouldn't walk on it for a minimum of two weeks didn't help matters. He was acting as though Kaede herself had been the one who'd inflicted the quite non-fatal injury.
"Isn't there anything you can do, Kaede-babaa!" Inuyasha snapped, watching Kagome biting her lip tighter and tighter as the old woman bound the girl's ankle to prevent the girl from moving it too much. Watching her do such to his potential mate wasn't making his temper go away, it was just making it worse.
Kaede glared at the hanyou. "Inuyasha, things like this..." She gestured towards the ankle she was wrapping. "Take time. Her muscles have pulled, and she's lucky she didn't fracture her ankle completely!"
Inuyasha made a whining noise, remembering that her injury was his fault. He pouted, getting to his feet and walking abruptly from the hut.
"Inuyasha, wait!" Kagome called. To her surprise, he stopped, glancing back at her.
His heart had jumped clear into his throat when he'd heard her say his name. 'Listen to her, maybe there's something the people in her world can do...' He flexed his hands. He didn't say anything, just waited for her to continue.
"If you'll take me to my home...and give me a day or so..." She could see the irritation begin to form on his face. "Then I can get crutches to help me move around a bit." She saw his eyes widen and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Fine, we'll go as soon as babaa is done wrapping your ankle..." He looked away, but moved back into the hut. He sat down on the other side, away from everyone else, watching Kagome with a rather irritated expression.
Miroku glanced towards Sango, then gestured towards Inuyasha. The demon had been acting very strangely for several days. In fact, he'd been acting strangely since the night Myoga had rejoined them, announcing that Inuyasha was reaching his coming of age. Since that night, Kagome had been exceptionally quiet, and Inuyasha had been sticking close to her, like glue. He had a hunch, but he hadn't had a chance to get Sango alone and voice his opinion. After all, Inuyasha had insisted they head right back, which meant that they hadn't been alone at all.
"Inuyasha-sama! I demand that you answer me right this instant!" Myoga bounced on Inuyasha's knee, all four arms waving up and down, the picture of anger in miniature. "Have you decided on taking a mate yet!"
"Shut UP, you fucking flea!" Inuyasha snapped, squashing the flea as hard as he could into the floor. He caught Kaede looking at him and glared at the woman. "WHAT!" He snapped, then looked away, leaning back against the hut wall.
"I see you have reached your coming of age..." Kaede gave a small smile. "That explains a bit. Such as why you're so eager for Kagome to be able to move freely. Has she consented yet?"
"Mind your fucking BUSINESS, Babaa!" Inuyasha snapped. "Hurry up with her fucking ankle so she can get her stupid 'kruches'." He looked at Kagome and his face softened almost imperceptibly. "I'm gonna be outside. Call me when you're fucking ready to go." He snapped. A moment later, he was leaning against the side of the hut.
Kagome watched him go, then looked back at Kaede. "Kaede-obaa-chan...what makes you think that he asked me...?" She asked, playing with the hem of her skirt.
"Wild guess, really. And from the looks he's been giving you for a few weeks. It was like suddenly he'd discovered that you were actually a female." She chuckled, tying off the wrap. "I will only say this to you, Kagome-sama." Kaede said, smiling a bit. "Don't let him rush you into your decision."
The girl blushed darkly. "Don't be rediculous...Kaede-obaa-chan..."
Shippou bounced towards. "What's the coming of age?" He asked, looking up at Kaede.
Sango scooted closer, lowering her voice. "Well, from what Myoga-jii-san said, it's about time for Inuyasha to mate." She said, thumping the kit on his nose. "You don't need to worry about it for a few hundred years."
He wiped sweat from his forehead. "Thank god!" He said, blushing. "That's just icky!"
Kagome giggled a bit. She opened her mouth, about to say something, when Inuyasha stormed into the hut. She looked at him, and then her eyes dropped to the ground. "Sorry..." She mumbled.
Inuyasha glared at the residents in the hut and picked up Kagome, scooping her up onto his back, before walking out the door without a word. He began walking towards the forest, ignoring the strange looks from several of the villagers. Fortunately for him, few normal humans knew shit about the coming of age, much less that it even existed.
The girl on his back squirmed a bit and he glanced back at her. "Are you uncomfortable?" He asked quietly.
She lifted her face and blushed a bit. "Um...no...I'm fine." In all honesty, his claws were biting her backside just a bit, but she wasn't about to say that and get his mind focussed on her backside. A frown turned down her lips again and she shifted.
The hanyou bit back a moan and gave a warning glare to the girl. "Kagome, stop moving." He said, his voice cracking a bit. He glanced back and saw the confusion on her face and gave her a meaningful look. "Look, bitch, just...stop squirming like that..."
She blushed, stilling her motions and buried her face into his shoulder. "Then please ease up with the claws." She bit back, closing her eyes.
"Sorry..." He muttered, and she felt the sting ease up. He felt her hands resting lightly on his shoulders and looked away. "We still need to talk." He muttered under his breath.
She lifted her face, glancing towards him. "Later...okay?" She said softly.
He bit his lip, glaring at the ground. Her breasts were once again pressed against his back and a strangely seductive scent was tickling his nose. "Kagome, I need to tell you this NOW." He said firmly. They reached the well and he sat her upon the edge, putting his hands on her shoulders. "It's really important, okay?"
She bit her lip, lifting her gaze to his. "Alright, Inuyasha." She said, sighing, her shoulder's sagging.
He dropped to his knees, staring up into her face. "Kagome, some demons don't have to ask for the woman to be their mate." He looked her directly in the eye. "Sometimes, all a demon has to do is rape the woman. Each kind of demon's ritual is different. Dog demon's HAVE to ask permission before they mark their mate. It's part of...a mutual respect thing." He shifted, uncomfortably.
Kagome took a deep breath, nodding for him to continue. She shifted uncomfortably, chewing on her lip. "Go on..."
"One of the demon races that don't ask...are wolves." He said evenly, looking her dead in the eyes. "And if Kouga has reached his coming of age as well, then...Kagome, it might be best for you to stay with your mother until you make your decision." He said, exhaling slowly.
Her eyes widened and she stared at him in shock. "Wh-what about the jewel?" She asked softly, cupping Inuyasha's face between her hands. "What will you do until I decide? You guys need me here, and Miroku's kazanaa is like a time bomb...and he's running OUT."
He gave her a dry smile. "Then I guess you better hurry up and decide..." He said, standing. "I should get you home..."
Inuyasha stiffened, and he gave her his back, scooping her up onto it. "Shit...I knew he'd be coming soon..." He glared in the direction of the wolf's voice and jumped into the well, letting it take them away from this time. When he went back, Kouga would undoubtedly have several questions for him.
Kagome's mother stirred the soup that rested on the stove, smiling faintly. She hummed as she cooked, checking the fish that was roasting in the oven. She heard two arguing people approaching the house, and smiled. She knew she had a reason for cooking such a very small meal that night. After all, Souta was spending the night at a friends house.
Inuyasha stormed into the house with Kagome on his back. The woman's eyes were drawn from the annoyed hanyou, towards her daughter, who was yelling at him that he was 'such a jerk' and around the time Inuyasha brought up it was for 'her own protection', the older woman caught sight of her daughter's ankle. "Ah, Inuyasha, Kagome-chan, okaeri nasai!"
"Mama...that smells heavenly..." Kagome murmured, her argument temporarily forgotten. She saw Inuyasha was about to storm away, and her mother spoke up.
"Hojo called earlier...I tried to discourage him from coming over, but...he just wouldn't listen." Her mom winked at her, letting her know she was telling a white lie. "I guess when he gets here, he'll want to ask you out again..."
Inuyasha froze, standing stark still. "Why would he do that?" He glared at Kagome, his hands tightening into fists.
Mrs. Higurashi looked at Inuyasha with an arched eyebrow. "Why would that matter, Inuyasha-kun?" She asked, smiling.
The hanyou blushed, grinding his teeth together. "Keh, it doesn't..." He snarled.
"Then again, I suppose you'll have to go with him when he gets here anyways...I only made enough for me and grandpa, since Souta's staying over with friend, and you DO have to eat dinner..." She smiled idly, watching the hanyou twitch in annoyance.
Kagome saw Inuyasha tossing around the idea that her mother had so cruely planted into his over active mind, and he was suffering for it. "But what if Inuyasha stayed here?" She looked at her mother, fighting a grin. She heard the hanyou suck in a sharp breath.
"Well, I don't really have enough food for two more people tonight, tomorrow I go to market, so I guess you'll have to go out anyways." A shrug. "Sorry, Kagome, I know you miss my cooking when you're away." She said, smiling faintly. "I could go upstairs and check to see if we have any clothing that might fit Inuyasha..." She said, smiling cheerfully.
"I never said I was staying!" Inuyasha snapped as the woman left the room. 'But wait...if I don't stay...Kagome will spend time with a different guy...if I'm here, Kagome can spend time with me doing things that...guys and girls do...' His mind slowly lodged itself in the gutter, and he started imagining all the things that boys and girls might do in Kagome's strange time. A moment later, the sound of Kagome clearing her throat shook him out of his stupor. "Huh, what?"
'What's with that dopey grin on his face?' Kagome wondered. "Are you staying or not?" Kagome asked, arching an eyebrow.
He coughed, looking away. "Fine, sure, whatever..." He muttered.
Her heart jumped up into her chest. "R-really?" She blinked in shock. He actually wanted to stay. She'd thought that after the argument about Inuyasha jumping into the well because Kouga was coming towards them would have chased him off in a heartbeat, but he was going to stay. She cautiously peered up at him when he nodded his head. She smiled. "Then you better go get cleaned up." She said, shooing him away. "I'll stay here and watch the food. I can at least hop as far as the stove."
Hesitantly, he complied, leaving her alone in the kitchen. Once she was alone, she began to ponder the past few weeks. She hadn't really noticed Inuyasha's strange behavior until just a week ago, when she realized he seemed to be sticking closer to her than was normal, and his eyes always seemed trained on her. Then, the anti-climatic event, when Inuyasha told her he wanted her to be his mate. She had frozen. Even today, a little less than four days later, she still hadn't responded to his statement, in either the negative or the affirmative.
Kagome looked down at her hands, biting her lip. She could remember the event clearly. She could even remember why she hadn't responded. And then...only a day later, Inuyasha disappeared into the forest around noon, returning to tell her that he had officially called off his relationship with Kikyou. Which told her one thing.
Inuyasha was serious. Dead serious about this 'mating' business. It embarassed her to no end, but he had told her, completely seriously that it wasn't just for sex.
Kagome put her hand over her heart, closing her eyes. Why was she still hesitating? She opened her eyes, staring at the ceiling light. The fan turned round and round, hypnotizing her. A small sigh escaped her, and she heard her mother enter the room. She turned towards her and saw the woman smiling faintly.
"Inuyasha's in the shower. I left some clothing in their with him. I'm not sure on the fit, but better a little big than too small." She moved, sitting across from her daughter at the table. "Now, tell me what happened."
This had become a ritual, whenever Kagome returned, she had to give her mother a complete update on the mission, and how her second family was doing. Yet, Kagome couldn't think of the others, her mind was too filled with a certain hanyou. "Mama, he said he wants me to be his mate..." She said, staring at the table.
Mrs. Higurashi's eyes widened and she touched her daughter's hand. "Baby..."
"He...he said that's what demon's call marraige..." She clung to her mother's hand, taking a steadying breath. "I was so shocked...I didn't know what to say...and then I remembered all that ugly business with Kikyou...and I just couldn't say anything..." Tears began to fall down her face. "I didn't know what to do! I love him so much, I don't want to say no, but...what if he still loves Kikyou and only sent her away because..."
Her mother stood, and embraced her daughter tightly. "Kagome, I think that boy cares for you a great deal." She said softly. "I don't know everything that happened with him and this Kikyou woman, but I don't think he would ask you something like that if he didn't care for you much, much more." She stroked her daughter's hair. "I found grandpa's crutches. They should be okay for you till we can get you to a doctor."
Kagome nodded, sniffling. Her mother brought her the things and handed them to her. Kagome tested them and then sat back down, adjusting the height till it was better for her. When she was done, she looked at her mother and smiled. "Thanks mom, I'm going to go up and get ready."
Inuyasha grumbled as he got into the clothing Mrs. Higurashi had laid out for him. "This is so stupid." He complained, pulling the t-shirt over his head. It was a tiny bit snug, but the material was very soft, which he liked. It also stretched easily and was easy to move in. 'Hm, are all of the clothing in this world like this?' He glanced doubtingly at the bluejeans and pulled them on as Kagome's mother had instructed. He fiddled with the zipper, cursing and muttering as he finally figured out how to secure that part of the pants. The button was easy. There was a nice little hole to slide it through.
He looked at the other shirt she'd brought him and shrugged, pulling that one on, too. This one had much longer sleeves, and buttoned down the front. He looked at himself in the mirror and scowled. "Stupid human clothing..." He muttered. Then, he stomped out of the bathroom, and down the stairs.
He walked into the kitchen, expecting to find Kagome waiting, but to his surprise, Kagome wasn't there. "Where's Kagome?"
"Upstairs changing." She said, smiling cheerfully. "Have a seat. I need to talk to you."
He frowned, grumbling. Yet, he complied with her demand and seated himself at the small table.
"Now, I understand you asked my daughter to be your mate..." She said, stirring the pot.
His jaw dropped. How did she-Kagome. His face darkened. 'What the hell possessed the bitch to tell her MOTHER what I said...for the love of-'
"I want to know why." The woman turned, her face perfectly serious. "Don't get angry with Kagome. She needed to talk to somebody, and you're lucky that I didn't flip out and come upstairs brandishing a frying pan." She leaned against the stove, her arms crossed. "Why do you want my daughter to be your mate?"
He played with the edge of the shirt, refusing to look at her. "Damned if I know...seemed like a good idea at the time..." He muttered, glaring towards the door.
"Inuyasha-kun, if you're just asking her because she looks like this...Kikyou person, I suggest you just leave her alone." She said sternly. "Now, I gave her a pep-talk, telling her that you wouldn't have asked if you didn't seriously care for HER. Don't make me have lied to her."
He squirmed. "Look..." He finally said. "I don't know how I really feel for Kagome. I know she's attractive, and I know she's my friend. I'd rather have her as my mate than pick Kikyou. I broke things off with Kikyou." He blushed, looking at the ground. "Why the hell am I defending my decision towards you..." He muttered.
"Because I'm the one person who can keep you from marrying my daughter." She said sternly tossing a ball cap at him.
Kagome's voice ended the conversation. Inuyasha glanced towards the door, seeing Kagome walk in. His jaw dropped. All logical thought in his head screeched to a halt.
She walked in wearing a short satin dress that reached to the middle of her thighs, the same color brown as her eyes. It clung to her breasts, then flared out a bit for the skirt. Her hair was pulled back into a french braid, and there was a sweet blush on her face.
The hanyou didn't know when he'd risen to his feet, or when he walked to her, but he did know that at the moment, for him at least, there wasn't another person besides them in the world. He brushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear. He couldn't think of any words to say to her. She looked beautiful.
Kagome took in Inuyasha's appearance and managed to keep herself from getting a stupid grin on her face. He had on dark blue jeans with a black t-shirt on beneath, that she couldn't help but notice it seemed to have formed to each of the muscles in his chest, and she idly wondered if it did the same at his back. Over that, he wore a decidedly un-buttoned black linen shirt. 'He looks really good in black...' She idly thought, giving him a bright smile. It was just starting to get dark, and she was getting hungry.
Inuyasha shook himself out of his stupor and ground his teeth together. "C'mon, let's go..." He said, gesturing towards the door. He'd be damned if he made more of a fool of himself in front of her mother. He pulled the ball cap the older woman had given him over his ears.
The girl pouted a bit when Inuyasha didn't even give her a single compliment. 'What, am I not pretty enough in this!' Her mind screamed. She felt him carefully take her hand and fought the urge to rip it free in anger. 'Give him a chance...maybe...maybe he'll still say something...' She looked at the ground, wearing a dark expression. 'Yeah, right, Kagome. And you'll sprout wings and become a dove, rather than a pidgeon.' She glared at the ground. She hobbled outside and sat down to put some shoes on.
"Kagome..." Inuyasha started, trying to think of something to say. He could tell she was annoyed with him, and idly wondered if it wasn't because he hadn't said something about how she looked, which confused the crap out of him. 'Why would she care what I think of the way she looks?'
"You should put something on your feet, Inuyasha." She said, pointing at a pair of zori that were on the ground. She watched him do as she requested and arched an eyebrow. He was being awfully complient with this situation...She shook her head, and gave him a weak smile. "You look very nice, Inuyasha." She said softly.
"Thanks..." He mumbled. "Y-you too..." He offered a hand to help her get up again and his heart pounded when her tiny hand rested in it. He hauled her to her feet, and let his eyes ran over her again. "Kagome...about that thing that I said...about you becoming my mate...maybe it wasn't a good idea..." He muttered softly as they walked side-by-side.
Kagome froze, looking up at him abruptly. "Wh-what!"
He scooped her up in one arm, and grabbed her crutches in the other, carrying her down the many shrine steps. "It's just...you seem uncomfortable about the whole situation and..." He set her down when they reached the bottom. He hurried, getting her set back up on her crutches. "I don't want to change things between us...I want us to still be friends..." He looked away, blushing faintly.
"I'll always be your friend, Inuyasha..." She said softly. She hobbled along beside him, and looked towards him. "You're the best friend I have..." She said, blushing, looking at his lightly blushing face. "I l-" She didn't notice that she'd set her crutch on a rock till her balance gave and she began to fall forward.
"Kagome!" Inuyasha deftly caught her, steadying her. "Are you okay?" He asked, holding her steady. He saw tears in her eyes and his breath caught in her throat. Without a word, he wrapped his arms tightly around her, holding her tight. He rested his forehead on her shoulder. "Kagome..." He whispered. "Don't cry, you know I hate it when you cry..." He gently stroked her back, enjoying the way her dress felt against his skin. It was cool and smooth, but not quite as smooth as her skin.
Kagome ground her teeth together. 'Stupid rock! I was about to tell him, and it ruined the moment! She felt Inuyasha's hands trailing over her back and a flush colored her face and she pulled back quickly, wiping her eyes. "I'm okaya, Inuyasha..." She smiled faintly. "Let's go get some food, I'm starving..."
He released her, allowing her to balance her weight on the two sticks again. "Okay...yeah...let's go..."
"Where are they, MONK!" Kouga asked, getting dangerously close to throttling Miroku, who'd been out to dwell on his fate, when the wolf demon had come across them.
Miroku glared at him. "They went to Kagome's home. It's a place I can't follow, and as far as I know, neither can anyone else. Inuyasha and Kagome are the only two who can go there. The well wont allow other's to pass through!"
Kouga snarled, throwing the monk away. "What right does he have to be with my woman without supervision!"
"From what I understand..." Miroku straightened his robes. "Kagome's mother is there to chaperone, and Kagome is far safer with Inuyasha, right now." He stood, looking at the demon. "You've reached your coming of age as well, I take it?"
"Naturally, and I've come to take Kagome as my mate." He snapped, glaring at the monk. "Now, you tell me when they'll be back!"
"I don't know. Inuyasha may be back tonight. Kagome has hurt her ankle and she'll be in her own world until it heals, which Kaede-baa-san says will probably take a few weeks." Better if Kouga didn't know the exact length of time. After all-
"Fine, if no one knows, then I'll just go wait for her by the well, till she returns!" With that, the wolf demon disappeared into the forest. 'When she comes through that well, I'm going to mark her, and then let's see that dog turd fucking try to keep her with him all the time!'
Kagome and Inuyasha ate at a ramen shop. Inuyasha had begged, and since she knew his favorite food in either world was the noodles, she relented. It was a nice change of pace, rather than Hojo, who always insisted on dragging her to Wacdonalds for the eight millionth time. Her companion's eyes had bulged when he'd seen the selection of ramen on the menu and he asked Kagome if this was normal.
She smiled, watching as he deftly carried the tray of ramen to a table, and they sat across from each other. It took her several moments after they began eating to realize what he was doing differently than he normally did and realized he was taking his time, and eating in a civilized manner. Her eyes widened and she felt tears prickle them and quickly blinked them away. He would even finish chewing before speaking. "Wow, you really DO have manners...where did this come from?" Kagome teased lightly, smiling at him.
He blinked, realizing he'd been displaying the manners he'd thought he'd forgotten. He set the chopsticks down and frowned. "Mom..." He muttered, his face saddening a bit. "She always insisted I learn them..." He stared down into the ramen broth, then looked up at her. "I'm kinda glad now...I don't want to embarass you." He looked down again.
She leaned over the table, cupping the side of his face. "You never embarass me." She whispered, smiling at him.
"Kagome-chan! What are you doing here!"
The pair jerked apart abruptly, and Kagome looked towards the intruders. Their names were Sayuri, Ayumi, and Reika, her three friends and schoolmates. She groaned inwardly. Deep down, she'd been hoping that this day would never come, that her school friends would never meet Inuyasha. "Hi, guys..." She said, wishing they would just go away...
"Wow, imagine our good luck, we were bringing Hojo-kun over to see you tonight, and imagine that, here you are, up and about! Hojo-kun's with us!" Sayuri said, cheerfully sitting on one of Kagome's sides, leaving the other open for the boy approaching.
"Ah, Higurashi-san!" He said, sliding into the chair on her other side, while the other two girls shrugged, sitting on either side of Inuyasha.
Kagome flashed the boy she had started the date with a look that begged for his forgiveness.
"So, who's this cutie?" Ayumi asked, although she already had her suspicions. 'This must be that boy that Kagome's in love with...'
"Everyone, this is a dear friend of mine, Inuyasha. He's in from out of town." She said, wishing she could just sink into the floor, right then and there. She watched him pick up his chopsticks and give a careless wave. Then, as she watched, he gave a murderous glance towards Hojo, who was acting entirely too familiar with her, and then began eating his ramen calmly.
"Higurashi-san, I must say you look positively radiant!" Hojo gushed, smiling brightly at her as he began to eat his ramen with a great deal of dignity. "Why haven't you worn that dress on one of our dates?"
Kagome glanced at Inuyasha outside the corner of her eyes and saw his grip on the chopsticks had tightened. "Because Inuyasha bought it for me as a gift." She said evenly. She glanced towards her favorite hanyou and rose slowly. "I've kinda lost my appetite, Inuyasha...I'll wait for you outside."
"No, I'm done, too." Inuyasha said, standing up and walking around the table to help her stand. He retrieved her crutches and gave Hojo a look of murder over her shoulder.
"Oh, Higurashi-san, I could walk you home!" Hojo said, jumping to his feet. "I need to talk to you, anyways." He gave this 'Inuyasha' person a challenging expression, only to have the wind knocked out of him by the girl he'd always considered his girlfriend.
"Inuyasha is more than capable to escort me, besides, we're not going straight home." She said, feeling Inuyasha guiding her towards the door. "Bye, guys, see you in school!"
The girls watched in shock, and Hojo squeezed his chopsticks till they broke. "What...the hell...was that!" Hojo glared towards the girls and they jumped.
Ayumi gave Hojo a look. You girls know the one I'm talking about. "It's Kagome's business who she dates. But I think 'that' as you put it...was her ditching you."
Sayuri and Reika looked at her in shock. "Ayumi! You know that guy isn't any good for her! She even said so herself!"
Ayumi stood up, looking at her friends. "I was never part of this 'let's get Kagome to forget the guy she loves' plan. I think that boy is exactly who Kagome needs. Didn't you see them together! It was true love." She smiled, brightly, then gave all three people at the table a dark look. "If you guys keep it up, I'll officially swear you two off as friends, and...well...Hojo can just fend for himself!" With that, she dumped her ramen into the trash and hurried after Inuyasha and Kagome.
Kagome led Inuyasha towards the park, and sat down on a bench. "I guess...this would be a good place for us to have that talk you wanted to..." She said, fiddling with the hem of her dress.
Inuyasha bit his lip, dropping to his knees in the dirt in front of her. "We don't have to talk about it now if you don't want, Kagome..." He said, taking her hands. He paused, looking up at her, then soldiered on. "Kouga's probably waiting on the other side of the well, you know..." He said, toying with her fingers.
She nodded slowly. "I know, that's why you want me to stay here until I make my decision." She leaned towards him, resting her forehead against the top of his head, and inadvertantly giving him a clear view down her cleavage.
His brain slowed to a stop and he moved his hand up her arm to her shoulder, where he stroked it idly. 'Nice...' He thought, eyeing the soft looking mounds visible down the neck line of her shirt. 'Is this why Miroku always grabs for them?' He slowly moved his hand down her chest, resting it against her heart, no mind that it was nestled between the two warm breasts.
Kagome blushed dark red, but allowed him to keep his hand there. "Inuyasha..." She said. "What is it you need to talk to me about?"
"I should probably tell you about the mark before you make your decision..." He said, meeting her eyes, till his eyes trailed down to the spot at the place where her neck and shoulder joined. "I'm going to have to bite you." He warned softly.
She nodded, blushing. "Why?"
"Because I have to...'taint' your blood with mine..." He blushed, angry at the word that Myoga had used when he was a runt. "You deserve to know the details before you make your decision." He muttered softly.
She looked at him in surprise. "'Taint'? You mean a blood bond?" She used one of her hands to tilt his face up so she could see it. She saw his eyes widen at her choice of words and blushed. "I have heard about stuff like that...in movies and stuff...it kinda gives two people a sort of psychic connection or something...but it links them inexplicably."
He nodded. "That sounds about right, but with demons it's a bit different." He chewed his lip. "If it was just a blood bond, it could be done anywhere...but demons have to mark in certain places, because it creates a link between the two people's souls...or something like that..." He muttered, blushing faintly.
She blushed as well. "Wh-where are these places...?" She asked, stroking his hair carefully.
He moved the hand that was nestled between her breasts and gently drug it up her shoulder, to the crook of her neck. "Here..." He murmured, trailing his fingers lightly along the area. "This is where dog demons make their mark. It's only temporarily visible to humans, but it's always visible to demons. And the lightest touch by one's mate...it can send someone into throws of ecstasy...or calm them completely..." His voice became a bit husky with that last part. "The mark is reflected upon the one who marked as well..." He murmured, caressing the spot gently, almost fondly.
Kagome shuddered faintly at the idea of such power over him. "Then...If I were to touch you there after...after you mark me...then it would do the same for you?" She reached out, gently caressing him in the same spot.
"That's what I've been told..." He murmured, closing his eyes, enjoying the play of her soft fingers against his skin. "God, I want you..." He whispered, clenching his jaw, whimpering softly. "I need you..." He slid his hand behind her neck, drawing her close and pressing a furious kiss against her lips. "Kagome, do you know what you do to me?" He whispered against her mouth, lightly scraping the backs of her arms with his claws, careful not to break the skin.
She shivered in his arms, slowly winding her arms around his neck, threading her fingers through his hair. His lips left hers, kissing down her neck to above her heart, where his lips began to assault her there. "I...nu...ya...sha..." She gasped, trying to catch her breath.
"You make me crazy..." He whispered against her skin, nipping her lightly with his fangs, letting his hands slide down, wrapping around her waist. "You make me forget everyone else, everything else..." He heard her whimper softly and moaned as she arched against his mouth. He was rapidly losing that small shred of control he posessed, and he wanted nothing more than to just let it go. "Oh, gods..." He whispered, ripping himself away, putting several feet of distance between them. He turned his back to her, taking several deep, controled breaths.
"Inuyasha?" Kagome whimpered softly. He stopped? Why did he stop? She thought he wanted her, too! She blushed at the thought, but it was true, the second his lips had collided with hers, her control was gone. If he'd asked her right then, while he was kissing her, she would have said yes, without a second thought.
And that scared the crap out of her.
Inuyasha stood there for a long time, regaining control, while all his body wanted to do was lose it again. When he turned towards her, regret shone in his eyes. "Woman, you'll be the death of me..." He murmured, kneeling, grabbing her crutches off the ground, then helped her stand. He could see small bruises forming on her chest and his eyes shifted away from her. "I'm sorry."
She settled herself onto her crutches, and felt something drape around her shoulders a moment later. She looked over and saw Inuyasha had removed the long sleeve shirt and wrapped it around her. Her eyes softened and she looked up at him, seeing his face was very upset. "What is it?" She asked, pulling the shirt on and buttoning it up most of the way.
He moved, standing in front of her, buttoning it all the way to the collar. "I almost lost control...I'm sorry..." He lifted his eyes staring at her. "God knows I didn't want to stop..." He finished, and gently caressed her cheek. "But if I hadn't...I would have rushed you into something that you're probably not ready for...I said I'd give you time..." He shook his head.
Kagome flushed, looking away. "Let's go home, Inuyasha..." She said, giving a small smile. A soft gasp escaped her when he wrapped her in a tight embrace, and his face was buried into her shoulder.
"I have to go back to my world..." He whispered huskily. "If I remain at your side, I could hurt you..." He breathed her scent deeply, catching something that he didn't always smell when they were together. Her heat scent. Arousal. He squeezed his eyes shut.
"You wont." She said softly. She rested her head against his. She felt his hands shift from her back to her hips and suddenly, his hips were against hers, and something hard was wedged between them.
He moaned softly, opening his eyes, staring into hers. "Kagome, you don't know that. Hell, even I don't know that..." He looked meaningfully into her eyes. "I have to go back. I'll return...I'll come back once a week till you make your decision. If you want, we can keep going on these 'dates', until you're more comfortable with the idea..."
"I don't want you to leave..." She whispered, her eyes filled with tears. "I want you by my side..."
"But you wont tell me if you'll be my mate..." He said, his eyes pained. He gently caressed her face. "Kagome, I don't want to overwhelm you. I don't want you to think that you have no choice. It is your choice alone." He closed his eyes tightly. "Let's get you home." He put his arm around her shoulders, guiding her as she hobbled along beside him.
They reached the house and he quickly changed back into his own clothing, while Kagome waited downstairs with a dejected expression on her face. She'd genuinely enjoyed their time alone, and now he was leaving, and it broke her heart. She still wore the shirt he'd worn around her shoulders, and she pulled it tighter around her as she sat on the couch. Everyone else had long since gone to sleep.
When he returned, he was wearing his normal clothing and he had a sad expression on his face. He walked directly to her and dropped to his knees before her. He embraced her gently, and kissed the top of her head. "I'll come back in a week..." He promised softly, caressing her hair, then her face. He gave her the briefest kiss goodbye, and then he was gone.
Tears filled Kagome's eyes as he left, and when she heard the door closed, she buried her face into her hands and began to cry.
Inuyasha stood outside the door, fighting the urge to go to her, to kiss her tears away. He couldn't stay too close to her or he'd lose himself and do something he knew he'd regret. "It's useless if she doesn't say she wants it too..." He murmured, then headed towards the well. He lept in, and then immediately sprang out of the other side, beginning to walk to the village.
He was obviously very distracted by his own thoughts because he didn't even remember seeing Kouga there earlier, much less smell him.
The blow left him reeling from shock. He staggered backwards several feet, then looked at the wolf who had struck the offending blow. "What the fuck was that for!" Inuyasha snapped.
"Your covered in my mate's scent..." The wolf snarled. "Where is the two-timing bitch...?"
Inuyasha saw red at the words. He was about to attack the monster who'd offended his potential mate, but he stopped himself, scoffing. "Keh...like I'd waste my time on you..." He snarled. "You'd force her to be your mate just so she couldn't be with me!"
"You're a hanyou...unnatural by all the standards that have been set by life...you don't deserve to live, much less mate..." Kouga hissed, circling the hanyou. "Let's finish this battle right now...So I can find and take my mate..."
"I've told her not to come back." Inuyasha said evenly. He saw the shock on Kouga's face and looked him dead in the face. "I see my instinct was right...you've reached your coming of age as well...and thought you'd just come here and force her to be your mate..." He glared at the wolf. "Let me give you fair warning, even if Kagome turns my offer down, if you force her to be your mate...I'll take her back to her time and make her stay there indeffinately. And then I'll kill you."
"Why the hell should I need permission, dog turd...I've told you a million times, she's MY woman. I will do with her as I please!"
Inuyasha snorted. "Let's see you do that if she never comes back. Maybe if she decides she wont be my mate, I'll just seal the well so she can't come through! Better to lose her myself than see her forced by you!" The hanyou took a steadying breath. "Now fucking get out of my face..." With that, he moved down towards the village.
Kagome stared out the car window, her eyes dead. Her mother had tried to cheer her up all morning, but it was reasonably impossible. It had been less than two days and Inuyasha hadn't come back. She'd managed to stop crying, but she was still heart broken. She wasn't eating nearly enough to sustain herself, and her mother was worried.
"I'm sure he'll be back soon, sweety..." Her mother gently ruffled her hair and silently cursed a certain hanyou named Inuyasha.
"I'll be okay, mama." She said softly, glancing down at her strained ankle. She had a doctor's note excusing her from being to class exactly on time, and was relieved about it. "At least at school, I can throw myself into my work...and try to forget that he's gone..."
"Do you think he'll return for the new moon?" She asked idly, glancing towards her daughter.
"Probably..." She nodded. "Deffinately is more like it." She smiled. She'd like to have a nice, quiet, danger free night with the human side of her favorite hanyou. A sigh escaped her and she adjusted the shirt so her hickies weren't visible. The make-up had covered the lighter ones, but the dark one's were trickier. "And remind me to sit him really, really hard when he get's here...I can't believe he left bruises..." She mumbled.
Her mother laughed, glancing towards her. "Why, are you embarassed that he was so...kind as to leave you a reminder of that little tryst in the park?" She teased, having been the one who'd pointed them out to her daughter. "I wouldn't worry too much, Kagome. All of your friends have unboubtedly had a hicky or two.
The statement turned out to be more true than Kagome would ever admit. Her friends had caught sight of one of the larger ones near her breast and immediately inquired about it, causing the girl to flame up with a blush that would have rivaled Inuyasha's haori.
"So are you gonna tell us what happened!" Ayumi begged, urging the girl to gossip about the boy she'd last been seen with. "Is he a good kisser!"
Kagome shivered. "He's an amazing kisser..." She unconsiously touched her throat, as though she could still feel his lips there.
"Scale of one to ten?" Reika teased. She and Sayuri had gone to Ayumi to make amends, and had sworn not to try to hook Kagome up with Hojo anymore. Then, they'd apologized to Kagome for always trying to force her into the dates with the boy.
"Well..." Kagome pondered that for a long minute. "I'd probably give Hojo-kun a five for effort, he did kiss me once, but he wasn't...anywhere near as good as Inuyasha is...so I'd give him a..."
"Twelve?" Sayuri grinned at her. She could see the mild hickies that were along the girls neck and chest and felt a twinge of jealousy. "I'm jealous." She admitted. "All the boys I've kissed were lousy kissers. It was like they thought shoving their tongue into my mouth and slobbering all over my face and neck was kissing..." She shuddered, wincing. "Ick."
"All the ones I kissed were dry. It was like they were scared to kiss me for real..." Reika sympathized. "Were you his first kiss!" She asked eagerly.
"No..." She said. "But he was my first..." Kagome rested her hand over her heart. "It was a long time ago..." She closed her eyes, remembering how close he'd been to turning into a full demon permanently. And she'd run to him, completely trusting him, and pressed her lips firmly against his. A shiver ran down her back at the memory. Then, he changed back, and his lips pressed back against her's, kissing her back. A tiny smile turned up her lips. "He's gotten alot better since then..." She idly wondered if he'd been practicing with a certain undead priestess, and quickly banished the thought. No, Kikyou didn't think he was pure enough to kiss as a hanyou...she wanted him to become a human for her.
Her friends watched as she lost herself in thought, only to scramble to their seats when the teacher entered.
"Kids, it would appear Hojo-kun has decided to move to this class." He said, gesturing to the boy who walked in behind him. The boy fixed Kagome with a stare, but she didn't notice. She was too busy thinking about the boy in another time, who had puppy ears and soft lips and smiled at her with a sad longing.
"Higurashi, is the seat beside you open?"
"Um, no, it's Misaki Hoshi-san's." She answered, snapping out of her stupor. She breathed a sigh of relief when the teacher nodded. "Hojo-kun, take the seat beside Sayuri-san."
The boy scowled and walked down towards the back of the class, sitting a full three seats away from Kagome. Yet, he pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled a note on it, tossing it towards Kagome. It landed on her desk.
Kagome took it, opened it, read it, then crumbled it up, shaking her head. 'No, Hojo-kun, I'm not going on a date with you.' She ignored the other notes he tried to pass her, instead focussing on her classwork. That helped her forget that she now had to deal with Hojo-kun by herself, since Inuyasha was no longer there to help her.
When lunch rolled around, she was unable to escape the boy. He swaggered over, which made her roll her eyes in disgust and she glanced towards her friends to plead for help. They shrugged.
"Higurashi-san...can I have a word with you?" He asked, thinking that if he asked directly to her face, there was no way she could turn him down.
"No, Hojo-kun." She said firmly. "I'm eating my lunch."
"Then perhaps tonight, over dinner, we might talk?"
"I'm eating dinner at home with my family, Hojo-kun."
"Surely they wouldn't mind setting a place setting for one more person?"
Kagome was getting impatient. "Look, Hojo-kun, I don't like you. Not in the slightest remotely possible way, will I ever date you. I love Inuyasha." She said firmly.
Something caught the boy's eyes and he stared closer at her neck and chest. Small bruises, not the size of fingers, but similar to-"YOU SLUT!" He shouted at the top of his lungs. Several people nearby stopped eating their lunchest to stare at the mild-mannered boy in shock.
Kagome's jaw dropped in outrage. "Excuse me?" She asked, her face darkening. She noticed her friends scoot away from her. "You JERK! How dare you call me that! You don't even know the circumstances!"
"So why don't you tell me, Higurashi-san!" Hojo hissed, fisting his hand in her hair. He gave it a sharp jerk.
"Inuyasha is my fiancee..." She hissed, her face darkening. "So he has every right to kiss me whenever he likes..." She realized what she said and fought back a blush. 'I always knew what my decision would be...but...am I ready to be his mate? Will he agree to do this the human way, too?'
Hojo looked like she'd physically punched him. "F-fiancee...?" He whispered, staggering backwards. "B-but what about me, Higurashi-san...I thought...we had something nice going...I'm nice, aren't I...why would you..."
"You are nice, Hojo-kun, but I don't need a nice boy." She said softly. "Inuyasha is the kind of person I need." Slowly, her brain caught up with her mouth and her heart, and she thought about what she said. It was true. She did need Inuyasha. She needed his presence, his touch, and everything else he had to offer. "Now leave me alone..." She looked into her bowl of instant noodles and took a shuddering breath.
The argument had taken alot out of her. Her heart was throbbing, and she silently wished that Inuyasha had heard every word she'd just said. 'I need to see him...I need to be near him, maybe I should just go to him...but if what he said is true, then Kouga is probably hanging around the village waiting for me...'
Another thought hit her. 'What if Kouga attacked Inuyasha while he was sleeping, and he's hurt! I knew I should have asked him to come check in daily.' She bit her lip and she fiddled around with the styrofoam container. 'Please come back to me...' She begged, telegraphing her thought and praying he would hear her.
'Finally...' Inuyasha stood, stretching, about to head towards the well. He caught Kouga looking at him and glared at the wolf. "Oi, Babaa, I'm going to check and see how Kagome's ankle is..." He said, looking towards the old woman. He glanced towards all of his other companions, all of whom knew the real reason he was leaving. He was going to see if Kagome had made her decision.
"I just had an idea, dog turd..." Kouga stood, stretching lazily. "If you don't show up this week, Kagome's going to come and find out what happened to you..."
The hanyou stiffened, standing by the door. 'That is something she would do, isn't it...but then this fucking wolf will claim her and she wouldn't get the choice...' He snorted, pushing the entrance to the hut away and stepping outside. He immediately began walking towards the well.
He wasn't surprised when Kouga headed after him, and began to pick a fight with him. The hanyou didn't raise a fist, focussing on making it to the well. He winced as Kouga struck him several times, and his claws slashed him, but he kept walking. He saw the well just as his vision was beginning to blur. He had to make it there. He grunted, propelling himself into a dead sprint, not caring that the wolf was running behind him. 'Just a bit farther...' The week was up. He was going to see Kagome again.
He smiled weakly, one of his hands touching the wood of the well just as his world began to go dark. He allowed himself to fall forward, and then the darkness overwhelmed him.
"Buyo?" Souta asked, wandering towards the wellhouse. It seemed that it had become the overweight cat's favorite place to hide. Now, usually, someone would come out of the wellhouse holding Buyo by the scruff, but this time, the cat had gone in...and no one had come out.
Souta hated the wellhouse. Every time he wound up in there, something either bad, or scary happened. Like when Kagome was first drug into the well, and then again when the noh mask attacked them. Needless to say, it was with a great deal of trepidation that the boy walked into the wellhouse. "Buyo...?"
He didn't see the cat anywhere, but it's meow confirmed it was in the wellhouse...somewhere. "Buyo...where are you...?" He walked down the stairs and began searching under the raised floor.
Souta froze. Buyo wasn't just in the wellhouse. He was INSIDE the well! Souta stood quickly, running over to the lip and freezing in horror.
Inuyasha lay in the bottom of the well, covered in blood, and laying in a slowly widening pool of it.
Souta ran to the shrine. "MOM! MOM! It's Inuyasha and he's HURT!"
"Higurashi Kagome, Higurashi Kagome, please come to the main office. Higurashi Kagome, please come to the main office."
Kagome looked up from her book, her eyes wide with surprise. She glanced towards her teacher and the old woman nodded. She stood, and left the classroom, well aware that several students eyes were fastened upon her. She began walking down the hallway, fidding with the skirt of her uniform in fear. 'Why am I being called to the main office...maybe I failed too many tests and they're going to kick me out of school...maybe because I've missed so much school, they're recomending my expulsion...maybe they realize that grandpa's been lying all this time. Oh, crap, what's going to-" She pushed open the door to the main office and was met by a concerned looking woman.
"Miss Higurashi, I'm Mrs. Kamasaki..." She gestured towards one of the plush western seats. "I am afraid I have to be the bearer of bad news. I just recieved a call from your home, and it seems that your fiancee is severely injured." The woman said softly. "I have been requested to allow you to go home."
Kagome's heart lodged in her throat. "He's hurt!" She jumped to her feet. "I have to go see him!"
"I also should say it's my responsibility to call the police and hospital, to let them know, I'm sure they'll want to question-"
"NO." Kagome said firmly. "If I know him at all, this isn't something all the doctors or police in the world can help him with." She looked at the principal. "Please..."
Slowly the woman nodded. 'Odd, usually people demand it...'
"Can I go?"
Mrs. Kamasaki nodded. "Go ahead. You may take an escort, if you'd like."
Kagome nodded, then sprinted back to her class. Her mind was racing over a mile a minute. An escort it was, and Ayumi was the only option. The others were still very uncertain about her relationship with the boy, and Hojo openly disliked her since she turned down his advances. She reached her class and skidded to a stop. She went in, beginning to scoop up her books, then she looked at the teacher. "Ma'am, the principal said I could have an escort to walk home..."
"You don't look very sick." Her teacher commented.
"I'm not, my fiancee got hurt. I'm going to see him." She looked directly at Ayumi. "Ayumi-chan, could you walk with me?"
The girl blinked, nodding. "Sure, Kagome-chan..." She began collecting her books as well. When they were outside the classroom, Kagome grabbed her by the arm, dragging her out as fast as she could. "Mou, Kagome-chan...slow down!"
"I can't...Inuyasha's hurt..." She took a deep breath. "We have to hurry...I'm used to sewing him up, but I'm not used to doing it here..." She drug a hand through her hair.
"Sewing him up! Is he in a street gang?" Her friend whispered eagerly.
"No...no, nothing like that. He tends to get into alot of fights, and usually gets hurt pretty bad. No more questions, I'll explain the rest when we get to my home...I need your help!"
Ayumi shrugged, and they began to run to Kagome's home. This was undoubtedly going to be one of the strangest days she'd ever had.
AN: Will Kagome be able to confess her feelings in the next chapter! Or am I going to leave Inuyasha hanging for a little while longer! (Lord knows he deserves it for how long he left HER hanging!) Anyways, thanks for all the reviews. Inuyasha's mind isn't delved into quite as much in this chapter, but wait till Kagome gives her response, and lays down some ground rules. Whoo Hoo! FUN! See ya'll next chapter, thanks minna-san!