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Chapter Three: Behind Hidden Doors

-A line indicates a new event or day occurring-

-A space between paragraphs insists that a small amount of time has passed, or a different point of view enters-


The final bell for the bell rang, and people rushed to and from their lockers to make their ways to the buses and to their cars. Kagome, on the other hand, slowly approached her locker and put her books on a handy shelf, then taking out a few notebooks to bring home. Unfortunately, she had forgotten her bag in the library, and she was afraid to go get it.

She wasn't afraid of the library or anything, but she was one hundred percent certain that Sesshomaru would be in there, possibly waiting for her. But she didn't want to confront him, because she was still uncertain about how to feel. She wasn't sure if this feeling she developed for him was safe, or if it would only endanger their relationship. She didn't want to ruin the only thing that kept her moving and breathing everyday.

Closing the metal door and waiting for the clicks of the lock, Kagome stared at the shiny handle and sighed. Turning and leaning up against her locker, Kagome noticed that she was all alone in the hall.

She slowly came to the conclusion of going to get her bag, thinking that there might be a possibility that she might not have to speak to Sesshomaru (although that was highly doubtable). So she stood up, with very little confidence in herself, and slowly walked down the remainder of the hallway to stand in front of the library door.

Through the window in the door, she saw Sesshomaru sitting down at his usual table, the table a mess with a bunch of work. But it didn't seem as if he was even looking at the work, but rather the wall across the room. Kagome sighed, rethinking her plan to go into the room. She might disturb Sesshomaru from his work, and she didn't want to do that. She just wanted to slip in and out.

But she couldn't leave without her bag.

Then another problem appeared. A girl walked out from the aisles and aisles of books, smiling as she walked happily towards Sesshomaru. She spoke to him without hesitation, and she got a quick response- but a response nonetheless. The girl giggled and put some books down on the table that she had been carrying at her side, and Sesshomaru nodded his thanks.

The girl sat in Kagome's seat next to Sesshomaru, and chatted about something that seemed to catch Sesshomaru's interest. He responded, Kagome realized, in a way that made it seem as if he was eager to continue their conversation.

Something pulled at Kagome's heart when she noticed that Sesshomaru never talked to her like that. He never really was eager to talk to her – or to be with her - like he was with this new girl who had suddenly just... appeared. Kagome's eyes radiated the hurt that she felt as she blacked up a step, and she noticed that she had stopped breathing.

Slowly inhaling, she continued to watch as the two interacted at the table, and saw the girl laugh as Sesshomaru raised an eyebrow only to smirk.

Kagome's frown darkened as she recalled her conversation with the girl Ayame from earlier. 'Since you've come he smiles at least once a week now.' But was that truly accurate? Was she the only one who affected Sesshomaru?

After a few minutes, Kagome was sick of just standing there and subconsciously hurting herself by just dreaming up everything that she could have been clueless to. She reached for the handle, opened the door and walked into the room, looking for her bag.

She walked up to the table, ignoring the girl when she asked who she was, and ignored the look Sesshomaru gave her. She noticed her bag was not on the floor, or on the chair, or even on the table. She was forced to ask.

"Where is my bag?"

Sesshomaru reached over to the side to grab said object, which he had put next to his. He handed it to her, and she took it without saying anything. Regretfully, she looked up to see Sesshomaru looking at her, his eyes asking the obvious question.

"Yeah, I'm alright." she stated, and proceeded to walk out of the room.

"Excuse me, if you didn't know, it's very rude to ignore people when they're talking to you." Came the girl's voice, who had turned in her seat to stare at Kagome with a stern look in her eyes.

Stopping and turning her head so she looked back at the girl, Kagome's eyes dulled in boredom as she replied quite coldly. "Oh, sorry."

The girl quickly responded, shocked to be treated the way she was being treated. "Yes, you should be. Now, what is your problem?" Kagome cocked her head to the side and glared.

"Problem? I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that I had problem." Kagome continued. "But if you would like to submit a complaint, I'm sure that wall over there would love to listen." And with that, Kagome turned back to the door and walked with confidence toward it.

After opening and closing the door behind her, Kagome walked to the side to lean up against the wall, closing her eyes in defeat. Sure, she walked out with the air of victory about her, but she lost to herself. She didn't know she could be so mean, let alone cold to someone who was only talking to Sesshomaru.

She heard the door open, and then close, but she didn't care. She assumed it was the girl, who probably was too stubborn to give up, and who probably wanted to slap her like she wanted to slap herself at the moment. But surprisingly, she was swept up into the arms of the guy who she thought she was fearing. She gladly accepted those arms, and dug her face into his chest without hesitation or question. He simply understood how confused she was.

"Her name is Amy, and she is new here." Sesshomaru began. But Kagome just shook her head and responded without lifting her head.

"I don't care."

"I was helping her Kagome." Sesshomaru replied just as quickly. Even though he understood, he doubted Kagome would also.

"Yeah, sure. I get it."

"Kagome, don't treat me like the enemy. I didn't do anything." Sesshomaru took his hand and forced Kagome to look up at him. "And she didn't do anything either."

But Kagome refused to look him in the eyes as she cried. Was there something that he wasn't getting?

"I know she didn't do anything." Was her only defense as she tried to pull her chin out of his grasp.

"Kagome, what is wrong?" He asked quite sincerely, but she shook her head.

"Nothing. Nothing..." But he could tell that even she didn't believe her own words.

"Kagome, look at me." But she still tried to avoid him. "Kagome." He stated with more demand, and slowly she stopped resisting him as she turned her eyes to look up at him.

He saw hurt. He saw sadness. He saw self-consciousness. And he saw doubt. All of these emotions weren't usually Kagome's, but something must have happened to have caused all the pain that she was feeling. But what could have caused her to feel that way?

"Despite the fact that you know everything in the entire world, it seems as if you have no clue as to why I feel the way I do?" The way she had said it made Sesshomaru feel extremely guilty. But that was the thing, he must have done something to her accidentally. Was it because he had played with her at lunch?

"What is that girl... to you? Sesshomaru?" Kagome asked reluctantly, not really wanting an answer. She was already assuming the worst, despite only seeing this girl once in her entire life.

"That girl is the same girl whom you saved me from that Saturday at the party." Kagome's eyes started to grow cloudy with confusion.

"What is she doing here?" Kagome asked, taking into consideration that he didn't actually answer the question the way she wanted him to.

"She transferred here. And apparently, from what I've seen, she wants to go to the dance with me tonight." A fury lit up in Kagome's eyes that Sesshomaru hadn't seen there before.

"Oh. That's it? She's not here to marry you?" Kagome asked, a smile lighting up her face at the sudden use of sarcasm.

"It's possible." Sesshomaru replied, but Kagome noticed he was only using his non-existent sense of humor. She giggled and was allowed to rest her cheek on his chest again.

"Too bad. Cause I really wanted to go to the dance with you."

--

Later that night, Sesshomaru and Kagome went to the dance. Kagome dressed up in similar, yet different attire than what she wore to the 'ball' quite some time ago. Although she knew no one was impressed about how she looked, she felt a lot better. Not only about the situation between herself and Sesshomaru, she felt more sure. She was sure about the fact that, no matter what happened, Sesshomaru would always be there to comfort her.

They danced, Kagome met Ayame's boyfriend, Kouga, and Sesshomaru had the ability to actually talk. They sat at a table when they weren't dancing, and chatted. There was also a maze, which caught Sesshomaru's interest, so Kagome went with him to satisfy him. Although the maze was used by some of the older students as a more-private area to kiss and other things (nothing too dirty, mind you), Sesshomaru seemed not to notice them. A few times Kagome had to clear her throat and walk faster past some obviously very-attached students, but Sesshomaru didn't mention anything.

Their night held no special events, and the girl Amy was a no-show, much to Kagome's happiness. Ayame had actually asked what had went on, because she had seen Kagome rush out of the library after lunch, but Kagome just made up a story about being very sick. Ayame seemed to care, and ask if she was alright, but Kagome just waved it off and said it was nothing to worry about.

A half-hour before it was time to leave, Sesshomaru noticed Kagome was growing tired, and offered to drive her home early.

"I would like that, thanks." she replied, turning her head to smile sweetly at him. Ayame looked over at Kouga, waiting for him to offer the same, but he was clueless. Ayame just sighed, leaned across the table and whispered "You're so lucky." to Kagome. Kagome laughed, and watched Sesshomaru's retreating back as he made his way to the exit.

"How did you ever hook that dude?" Kouga asked with a tone of curiosity.

"I didn't 'hook' him. He and I are just good friends." Kagome responded rather defensively, not wanting anyone to get the wrong idea.

"Oh, I see. But you guys would make a good couple." He just so happened to slip out. Kagome blushed and replied with a bit of bitterness in her voice.

"We would not."

"You would too."

"Would not!"

"Would too!"

"We would not!" Kagome said with a little more anger, her face a fiery rose color. Ayame giggled at their childishness, not wanting to stop their silly quarrel. Kouga stuck out his tongue, but Kagome just stuck hers out even more. The two sat their, glaring and sticking their tongues out at each other.

Ayame stopped them after a few minutes, not liking the stares they were getting. Kagome sighed in defeat.

"I bet Sesshomaru is waiting for me, so I better go. I'll talk to you guys later." Kagome smiled, receiving a warm hug from Ayame and a sticking her tongue out again at Kouga. After a moment, Ayame pushed her away in fear that they might have another stupid fight, and Kagome smiled and started Walking towards the exit.

Seeing Sesshomaru standing there, his arms folded across his chest and waiting, Kagome smiled and walked faster to meet him. When he caught sight of her, he bowed slightly and took her arm in his, and they made their way back towards Sesshomaru's Dorango.

"You know, I appreciate the fact that you weren't boring, Sesshomaru." Kagome giggled, knowing full well that her statement probably annoyed him. "I think you deserve something special." She continued, looking up at him as he just stared at his car that drew closer and closer each step.

"Something special like... a free coffee. Let me buy you one." Kagome smiled when Sesshomaru's eyes reflected his interest. "Alright, a coffee it is!"

A few moments later, Sesshomaru and Kagome were walking into a small café that had it's lights dimmed, to give it a more relaxed feel at that time of night. Sesshomaru sat down at a table Kagome picked, while Kagome went up to the counter to order a snack for her and a large, steaming cup of coffee for Sesshomaru. After a moment, she got her order and turned to see Sesshomaru staring out the window which was next to their table.

She stood their for a moment, admiring his soft features and his gently flowing hair. Her eyes moved to his eyes, and smiled when she saw a glint of comfort from within them. Slowly walking over to their table, Kagome placed the coffee in front of Sesshomaru and her snack in her small purse for later.

When she had sat down, Sesshomaru looked over at her and thanked her. Kagome said it was nonsense, but Kagome knew how grateful he was. She guessed that he probably wouldn't have had an opportunity like this at home.

"Hey Sesshomaru, why don't you tell me about your family?" Kagome asked, propping her elbow onto the table and resting her chin her palm. Sesshomaru looked at her with a hint of confusion in his eye, but Kagome just urged him on.

"Rin is in the third grade, James in fifth. My mother is rude, and my father is always working." And with that, Sesshomaru returned to his coffee. Kagome expected that he wouldn't say that much, but one thing interested her very much.

"What's you're mother like? I didn't know you had one, because she didn't come to the dinner a few weeks back." She really tried to have a conversation with him, so why not talk to him about something he knows well?

"My mother is one of those women who doesn't care about the world, only about money. She thinks she owns the earth, and that she can control everyone's lives." Kagome was about to ask more about her, when Sesshomaru continued. "She didn't come to the dinner because she thought my father was cheating on her with your mother."

Kagome was left in shock, blinking once or twice in confusion. "You can't be serious."

"I am. And my mother holds a grudge against your whole family." He took another sip of the hot liquid from the brim of his cup before standing. "Shall we go?"

Kagome stood, grabbing her things and following Sesshomaru out to the car. Her family is being held as a grudge? How... odd that sounded. Kagome still held so many questions about why anyone would doubt Inutaisho (for he seemed like a very trustworthy man), but Sesshomaru seemed bent on not talking about it anymore.

So Kagome just sat back in her seat, pleasantly enjoying her ride home with Sesshomaru.


"Kouga is so angry with me, and I can't possibly understand it!" Ayame cried, clinging to Kagome as she wrapped her arms around her new friend.

"He's angry with you? How so?"

"He won't answer my calls, I page him and I don't get any type of response. I email him, attempt to talk to him online, I do everything to try to see him- but it's as if he just doesn't feel like being with me anymore. And the last time something like this happened, he was mad at me because someone else had asked me out." She sniffled and looked into Kagome's eyes.

"What if... what if he has another girl?" Ayame's eyes started to water, but Kagome quickly switched into protective mode.

"Of course he doesn't have another girl. On Friday, he was all over you, Ayame. If he had another girl, then why wouldn't he tell you? He looks at you like you're the most important thing to him."

Ayame sniffled again and let those few words sink in, before letting Kagome go and wiping her face with a warm cloth. "You're right. He wouldn't willingly ignore me. I think I'm considering all the negative things too much."

Kagome smiled and nodded, looking at her watch. It was in the middle of lunch on Monday, and she was supposed to be in the Library with Sesshomaru. Only, she was rather reluctant to go there in fear of finding that girl (Amy was it?) there.

Suddenly, a cheery ring came from Ayame's pocket and she gasped. "That might be him!" she said joyously, but then her face darkened. "What if... what if he is breaking up with me?"

Kagome laughed a full-hearted laugh before saying, " You won't know until you answer it." Ayame sighed, and quickly pulled her cell from her pocket to flip the phone open.

"Hey Kouga..." she started, quite nervous. Kagome stood by and watched.

"Um, I'm with Kagome right now. We're on our way to the cafeteria..." She took a small breath. "You're where? Are you serious?" Ayame's smile lit up the room as she jumped up in down in happiness. "I can't believe it!"

Kagome was so confused, but she knew that everything was okay. Waving goodbye to Ayame to let her talk to Kouga in privacy, Kagome left the bathroom to slowly trudge towards her seemingly depressing destination.

The walk was short and uneventful. Kagome grew more nervous every step, and then finally found herself staring through the library's door window and into the large room. She saw Sesshomaru in his chair, like always. He was reading a book, and it seemed as if no one was around. Smiling mischievously, Kagome silently opened and closed the door after entering, and tip-toed over to him. Silently setting her bag in her chair next to Sesshomaru, she leaned over his shoulder to read what he was reading.

"...couldn't understand the possibilities of having another..." Kagome started to read aloud, and sensed the growing annoyance from Sesshomaru. She stopped herself, stepping back to give him back his personal space.

"Okay, okay, I'll leave you alone." Kagome joked. Sesshomaru doubted it, and marked his page before placing the book down.

"Where have you been?" Sesshomaru asked, watching as Kagome picked up her bag so sit in her chair. Looking up at him, she smiled.

"Was Sesshomaru worried about me?" She asked, batting her eyelashes in a silly way. Sesshomaru glared at her, obviously not in the mood. Kagome huffed and glared back at him.

"Chill, I was kidding. But I was with Ayame." Kagome explained. Suddenly Sesshomaru grew bored and leaned back in his chair.

"So where is that girlfriend of yours?" Kagome asked, leaning to the side to look down an aisle of books. After a moment of silence, Kagome looked over to see Sesshomaru's eyes closed, and that he was ignoring her. Kagome grumbled something about 'It's rude to ignore people.' When she noticed Sesshomaru's slowly rising and falling chest. She stared at him for a moment, observing how his shirt fit him quite well, and how she remembered the feel of his strong arms, and his hard chest.

Blushing, Kagome stared down at the table as she tried her best to clear her mind. Unknowingly, Sesshomaru opened his eyes just slightly to watch Kagome stare at him, then to blush furiously and to turn away. Smirking, he closed his eyes again to wait another moment for his smirk to fade.

Kagome looked back up in time to see him smirk, and scolded herself for further inflating his already enormous ego. Sighing, Kagome stood, took a step forward, and turned only to gracefully plop into Sesshomaru's lap. If she couldn't gain his attention before, she definitely had it now.

"Is there a reason why you are using me as a chair?" Sesshomaru asked in a bored tone, looking at the back on Kagome's head expectantly. She shook her head no, and crossed her arms across her chest.

"Then why are you sitting on me?" he asked, when suddenly Kagome leaned back and relaxed against his firm chest.

"Cause I feel like it, thats why." She replied in a matter-of-fact way, almost sounding cocky. Sesshomaru refrained from huffing in response, and instead just picked his book back up in an attempt to regain some peace. But it was rather hard when you opened up to the page, and Kagome just put her hands on them. He grumbled, and used his free hand to hold both of her wrists down so he could see the page, but Kagome was stubborn. She tried raising her knee to knock the book out of his hand, but Sesshomaru held her down with her already captured hands.

Kagome was quite amused that she was making him resort to tyeing her down, so she started nudging his chin with the top of her head to try to keep him from reading.

"You can be quite annoying."

"Thanks. I try." Kagome replied smartly, giggling when Sesshomaru sighed. She watched triumphantly when he put the book back on the table, and released her hands. She smiled happily and adjusted herself so she was more comfortable on his lap.

"So, explain what that book was about." Kagome demanded, taking pride in being in control. "I think it was about fi--" Oh no, she wasn't in control. Let us take into account that she is smaller than Sesshomaru, and Sesshomaru is stronger than her. Sesshomaru is also older, smarter, has had more experience with annoying people... It's basically obvious that Kagome also has a lot of weaknesses.

Kagome stiffened when Sesshomaru locked his arms around her, and clamped his hand up against her mouth. She immediately started to try to escape, but had no room to move or even fidget. She tried to release her arms from Sesshomaru's hold, but he didn't allow her to.

"Sesshomaru, this isn't fair!" yelled into his hand as he just sat there, enjoying the fact that he could restrain her. A glorious day it was indeed.

"You're the one to blame." he responded in his normal tone of voice, which made the situation more frustrating for Kagome.

"Yeah, I'm the one to blame for you wanting to put your hands on me." Kagome replied cockily, but only earned a tighter hold around her waist.

"What was that?" he asked, a smirk appearing on his lips.

"I'm irresistible to you!" she yelled, and earned another squeeze. Kagome was almost on the brink of breathlessness when Sesshomaru loosened and let her inhale again.

"As far as I know, you just can't keep away from me, Sesshomaru."

"Oh yes, it was my fault that you chose to sit on my lap for your own pleasure." That caused Kagome to blush.

"What pleasure? Who would ever want to sit on your lap? Disgusting." Kagome tried her best to bluff, but she knew that Sesshomaru saw right through her.

"Yes, you are quite disgusting, Kagome." Sesshomaru joked right back, somehow managing to keep a straight face. Kagome grumbled, mumbling something about 'Smart-ass Sesshomaru-pants.' Smirking, Sesshomaru leaned forward and asked in Kagome's ear, "What was that?"

"I said... 'I'm smart, I passed my test... Sesshomaru! Uh... heh heh, nice pants?' " Sesshomaru decided that Kagome still had not learned her lesson, so he covered her mouth once more. After a few moments of her continuous arguing on Kagome's part, Sesshomaru decided that she had enough, and removed his hand.

After a few minutes of recovering, Kagome took the chance to catch Sesshomaru's hands in order to not get tied down anymore. "Don't worry, I won't restrain you anymore." Sesshomaru informed her, but she didn't trust him enough to let him go. Smiling, she turned her head to look up at him.

"Yeah, sure. You only say that now, when I finally have control over you!" Wrong move. Sesshomaru slipped his hands out of her grip only to grab hold of her wrists, and to cross her arms across her chest as he bent down his head to whisper in her ear.

"And you were saying?" He asked, when the bell suddenly rang for the end of first lunch.

"You're too powerful, and I gotta get to class?" Kagome giggled, and started to laugh nervously when Sesshomaru's arms only tightened around her.

"Come on Sesshomaru! I give up!" Kagome blurted out, when suddenly he let her go and stood up, making sure that Kagome didn't fall clumsily on the floor.

"What do you say when you're held captive, and have been rude?" Sesshomaru asked into Kagome's ear. She turned her head to look him in the eye, and smiled.

"I owe you?" She asked nervously, and Sesshomaru took that small question into consideration. He nodded in acceptance, and slowly let her have control of her arms again. But before he let her go, he whispered into her ear once more.

"Yes, you do indeed owe me."

--

Kagome couldn't concentrate for the remainder of the day. She was very twitchy, wondering when someone would just turn to her and just start making fun of her for not having control over her egotistical friend. She blushed subconsciously at her weakness. She couldn't remember a day when Sesshomaru would find out about her being so vulnerable (someone is in denial), so she was quite surprised that he just... knew!

After seventh period and the bell rang for buses and for the end of the school day, Kagome rushed to her locker, trying to avoid all contact with anyone and everyone who was a potential enemy. Sesshomaru included, now that she... owed him.

And she was also curious as to what Sesshomaru would have in mind for her. Would he want her to do something embarrassing? Would he want her to do a horrible job? Or would he want something as painful or as simple as buying him a coffee or being silent for a car ride? She closed her locker, listening as the lock clicked shut and kept her books safe. Looking to the side, she could see that everyone had left.

No one was around, no one was a witness. Turning her head, she slowly inched her way to the library, slightly worried and yet excited about seeing Sesshomaru. Why she was slightly excited, she didn't know. Maybe it was because she enjoyed the fact that she could never predict what would happen with him, even when she was held captive in his arms.

Looking through the glass window and into the library through the library door, she saw her Savior sitting at the table, the girl Amy right next to him in her seat. She seemed to be talking to Sesshomaru, but he wasn't paying any attention to her. He was reading his book again, seemingly more interested in the book than anything else in the world.

Smiling, Kagome entered the library and closed the door behind her, happy when Sesshomaru looked up to see her walked towards him. When she reached him, he put his book down and grabbed his bag.

"I'm reporting for duty, boss!" Kagome joked, ignoring the girl who huffed and puffed to her side. Sesshomaru stood, putting his book away, and led her to the door without a word. Kagome asked what was going on, but his response was quite blunt.

"Come." He opened the door for them, and left Amy stranded in the library. But Amy couldn't care less as she watched them disappear. She already had hooked Sesshomaru, whether he liked it or not.

Meanwhile, Kagome was forced to leave her car in the parking lot as Sesshomaru demanded that she ride in the passenger seat in his car as he drove. She asked many questions about where they were going, but Sesshomaru never spoke a word. When Kagome tried to turn some music on, Sesshomaru shut the radio off. Kagome also tried to call her mother to tell her she wouldn't be home until after the skating session that night, but Sesshomaru confiscated her phone, leaving her utterly bored.

"This is more torture than I imagined." Kagome stated. Sesshomaru threw her a look through the corner of his eye, and she shut up, not wanting to prolong whatever Sesshomaru had in mind. After a half-hour of driving, Kagome was sure that they were no longer in their home town. Instead, they were somewhere where there were seagulls flying to and fro, landing on lamp posts and walking on empty sidewalks.

Kagome's window was open, letting in the cool salty air that tickled the insides of her nose. Smiling, she stuck her head out the window as she looked at the people that passed by. Some men were shirtless, wearing sunglasses and sandals. A few women were wearing shorts and a bikini top, but none of them were wearing pants. It was odd attire for the end of fall, but the temperature was seemingly warmer there.

Sesshomaru watched Kagome giggle and figure out where they were, and smiled when she launched herself at his resting right arm. "We're going to the beach!" She squealed, hugging his arm like it was the best thing that could ever happen to her.

"Not quite." Was all that Sesshomaru said, before slowing down his car and turning into a smaller street and away from the city streets. In the distance you could see the ocean, playfully moving in the shine of the sun. Kagome leaned forward, still latched onto Sesshomaru's arm, and watched with curious eyes as the sand came into view. Sesshomaru slowed the car down as they reached a rocky road, no longer on a paved lane.

After a few minutes of driving on the road and pulling away from the buildings that were left behind along with the paved road, Sesshomaru turned the steering wheel. Pulling over to the side, Sesshomaru parked the car right next to a small picket fence that seemed ancient. He ordered Kagome to stay in her seat as he opened the trunk to get something. Looking back at him, she wasn't allowed to see what exactly he had when he closed the large door, and walked through a small opening in the fence and onto the soft sand.

Looking through the window, Kagome saw that this beach was abandoned, and that the only life on the beach was a few crabs here and there, and small leafless bushes that were randomly scattered around the sandy plane.

Sesshomaru set his item down on the beach, and walked back over to her side of the car to open her door. Offering his hand, Kagome gladly took it as she slowly stepped out of the truck, stepping onto the dusty rock road that stopped when it met the picket fence. Sesshomaru walked slightly behind her and to the side as she took her first steps towards the sanctuary.

Stopping at the opening, Kagome rid herself of her warm sweatshirt and hung it on the fence. She took off her heels and socks to take a step forward before trying to sprint towards the water. But Sesshomaru caught her, and wrapped an arm around her waist to pull her back towards him.

"Careful." he warned, before ridding himself of his shoes and socks also. She waited until he led her down the sand very slowly, sidestepping here and there. Kagome asked what exactly they were avoiding, but Sesshomaru shushed her. When they were only five feet in front of the water, Sesshomaru let her go.

"From her to the picket fence, you need to walk very softly." Sesshomaru explained when Kagome turned to look at him.

"Why?" She asked.

"Crabs do tend to hide themselves in the sand." Was all he said before Kagome nodded, smiled, and ran for the water. When she stepped onto the wet sand, a wave came in as high as her shins and she ran back to him in surprise. She smiled at him, after a moment, and bent down to roll up her jeans before running back into the ocean.

Every now and then a wave came in, and Kagome rushed back to him to hug him like child who didn't want to get caught in the tide. She smiled foolishly every time she let him go, but always went back to play in the water.

After the fifth or so wave, Kagome invited Sesshomaru to come with her. He was hesitant, but Kagome took his arm in her hands and gently led him into the water. Once she let him go, he bent down to roll his pants up to his knees, not caring what wrinkles that would result later. Standing, he rolled up his sleeves and stepped forward to grab Kagome.

Confused, she looked up and asked, "What's up, Sesshomaru?" When he didn't speak, she looked forward to see a wave coming in. Stiffening, she let the water brush past her legs, dampening her jeans that were rolled half way up her thighs. She gasped at the feeling, but giggled when the water pulled back and tried to pull her in. Sesshomaru held onto her tight, and Kagome gripped his wrists tightly in an attempt to stay closer to him.

After a moment, Sesshomaru walked her further into the water, Kagome having no say in it. They were knee-deep, Sesshomaru's pants already wet up to his mid-thighs. Kagome took in the beauty of the sunset off to her right, but turned back to look in front of her in order to see an impending wave.

"S-Sesshomaru!" She squealed when he tightened his arms around her knowingly, and the wave knocked into them, waist-deep. Kagome gasped, the smile never leaving her lips as she felt seaweed tickle her shins and water soak her clothes and skin. Kagome squealed when the water stopped flowing towards them, and looked down. The foam from the waves had wet her shirt, and she was left smelling like the ocean.

The water started to recede back into the ocean, and her soft hold on Sesshomaru's wrists turned into a death grip. Sesshomaru leaned down and whispered into Kagome's ear.

"Relax, I've got you." Kagome's muscles slowly loosened, and a butterfly escaped into her stomach as she rested in Sesshomaru's arms, the water no longer an overpowering fear. It pulled her knees, then her shins, and finally it stopped pulling all-together and she was calmly in Sesshomaru's arms.

The butterfly tickled her furiously on the inside of her stomach, and she giggled as she leaned back against Sesshomaru. Another wave threatened them, but she trusted Sesshomaru. She rubbed his bare arms when the tide back into the ocean, slightly worried that he was getting a cold.

"Thank you Sesshomaru." She whispered softly, and smiled when all she got was a 'hmm'. Laughing when she felt a fish stroke against her ankle, Sesshomaru's arms tightened once more when the wave returned to the ocean. Kagome continued to giggle, and looked down to notice that her feet were covered in the muddy sand under the ocean water. Slipping her feet from the gooey dirt, she sighed happily when the butterfly returned when she saw a new wave roll in.

"This one is bigger." Was the only warning as the wave knocked into them, chest high. Kagome gasped and tripped, not fully stable like she was when her feet were under a bed of sand, and squeaked when she noticed that they were slowly falling.

Sesshomaru was caught unguarded when the wave came at them with full force, a foot or two taller than the previous ones. Then he felt Kagome slowly slip away in his arms, and went to grasp her tighter when he tripped, Kagome's legs tangling with his own. Being forced to let go of Kagome, he fell backwards and into the water the wave brought in.

The water started to recede right when he sat down on the bottom, only his shoulders being saved from becoming totally wet, if not damp because of the foam the wave produced. He sat there, the water only a few inches high, with Kagome laying on top of him.

"Ugh, that sucked." Kagome muttered sadly, noticing that she had her face planted on Sesshomaru's chest. The man who had saved her from drowning had grabbed her shirt at the last moment when the ocean pulled it's hardest. The only thing that kept him from laying in the mud were one of his elbows propping him up.

Digging her knees into the wet sand beneath her, Kagome dug her fingers in it and lifted herself off Sesshomaru's chest to find out that she was once again in a very compromising situation.

Not only was she on top of Sesshomaru like he was on top of her not too long ago, but they were both soaked to the bone. She looked down to discover her dark blue shirt was stretching and sagging, dropping off one of her shoulders to reveal her pink bra strap. She pulled her shirt back up quickly in an attempt to regain some composure, but it didn't help. Her shirt just slipped back to it's place, and she was left utterly embarrassed.

Looking forward, she noticed Sesshomaru staring at her. It wasn't one of those blank stares either. There was a playful spark in those golden orbs, and it made her smile. She looked at her reflection in the water, noticing how much of a loser she looked with her hair tangled and dripping wet surrounding her face.

From Sesshomaru's point of view, he was noticing a new side to Kagome. It wasn't one of insecurity, or one of total embarrassment while she looked like she could use a good towel. But while he wanted to continue watching her, a small wave made it's wave toward them in the distance.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to trip you and to get you totally wet." Kagome apologized, lifting one of her slightly sandy hands to brush a few strings of hair behind her ear. Sesshomaru smirked when she made a large line of sand on her cheek when she tried to make herself more composed.

Letting go of her shirt near her waist, he cleaned the sand from her face. "It's quite alright. I am just as guilty as you." He explained. But at that exact moment, the wave (which would have been shin height if they were standing) knocked Kagome back into Sesshomaru, which made him lose some balance.

When the wave rolled back, Sesshomaru's elbow slipped and he found himself laying in the cold, muddy waters of the beach. He laid on his hair, thankful for putting it up it a hair elastic that morning, and felt a shell beneath his head. Truly uncomfortable.

He heard laughing. He propped himself back up again to see Kagome laughing hard against his chest. She was clutching her shirt against her chest, it's collar fully stretched out to reveal both of her shoulders. She held her shirt to keep herself from totally revealing herself, yet it barely bothered her as she continued to laugh.

Sesshomaru wondered if she had gone completely crazy, when he felt something on the top of his head.

"Y-you have a starfish on your head!" Kagome pointed out as she continued to laugh. Sesshomaru raised a hand to gently lift the creature off his head, and to hang it lazily in front of his face.

"You looked so silly!" Kagome exclaimed as she used a hand to wipe a tear from her eye. Sesshomaru looked from the girl seated on his stomach to the starfish, then back to the insane woman.

He put it down on a stranded piece of seaweed, knowing that it'll be carried back into the ocean the moment that the tide came to drag it back.

Still propped on his elbows and with Kagome sitting on him, he watched as Kagome pulled her shirt and tied the saggy material so it stayed in place. Sighing, she looked back at him and smiled. "I am completely soaked, thanks to a certain someone."

Sesshomaru glanced at her curiously, realizing she was blaming him again. Leaning his head forward, he was only inches away from her. "And I suppose I am also to blame for you being on top of me?"

She smiled. "Yeah, you are." She didn't blush, but her grin grew wider. "You knew that I would fall on top of you if you 'fell'. Well, it worked." She giggled and looked into his eyes. He raised his eyebrows and looked up to the sky.

"Really? Well, I apologize for having such thoughts." His tone was sarcastic, which made Kagome stick her tongue out at him playfully.

"I guess it's okay. I mean, every man in the world does want me, don't they?" Kagome laughed at her own joke, happy when Sesshomaru smirked.

"I guess I have competition." He quirked an eyebrow mischievously, making Kagome giggle.

"Well, Buster, you better work your butt off. Men are very competitive when it comes to me." She looked up and thought a moment before looking at him with a cruel smile. "You, however, are the most brave."

Sesshomaru looked at her in surprise. "Brave? How so?"

Kagome looked at him with a bored look in her eyes. "It's not every day someone drags you to the beach and then soaks you through and through, you know." She started, but her eyes lit and she smiled. "And sometimes you just can't keep your hands off me."

Sesshomaru's face fell into a look of contemplation.

"One more bad move, and there is a definite possibility that you could be... disqualified." Kagome played innocent while Sesshomaru thought.

"Would you care to name a few of my competitors?" He asked, confused.

"Well, in general, every man on earth. But the ones that work the most...? I would say, maybe a few of those celebrity people... and... " She thought hard for another person, making them up as she went along. "I think his name is Shippou. Told me he wanted to marry me when he grew up." Kagome chuckled. Sesshomaru watched as Kagome tilted her head and smiled at him.

"You better hurry, I think Shippou is going to make a move soon." Kagome joked again, and smiled wider when Sesshomaru appeared to be caught in his thoughts.

A wave moved in, and Kagome fell forward, hugging Sesshomaru when it pulled back rather quickly. Sesshomaru smirked, out of Kagome's view as she continued to hug him.

"Alright, I'm all for going home and taking a nice warm shower." Kagome sighed and looked up to see Sesshomaru in the same condition as her. He nodded and stood with her, holding her by the waist when she tried standing only to slip again.

"Dry off first, I don't want the interior of my car to smell and look like it belonged in the ocean." Sesshomaru mentioned and headed for the small bag that he had taken out of the trunk of his van. Kagome watched him as he ripped the plastic knot, and pulled out two towels.

Kagome smiled when she received a thick cotton towel, wanting to hug it to her body. Looking up, she saw Sesshomaru strip himself of the button-up shirt, but kept his beater on. Kagome blushed and turned back around, but a part of her wanted to turn around again and wait for him to take his tank off.

"I suggest you do the same, Kagome." Sesshomaru pointed out. Kagome quickly swung around to look him squarely in the eye.

"I certainly will not!" She argued, feeling totally naked even with her shirt still on. "I don't strip willy-nilly like you." She continued, sticking her tongue out at him. Sesshomaru smirked, but his intentions were pure. He held her sweatshirt out to her. Blushing even harder because she had made a fool of herself, she grabbed the sweatshirt and stared at Sesshomaru.

"Fine. But turn around." She watched as he slowly turned around and started to towel-dry himself of the wreck he had become within the last ten minutes.

Reluctantly, she looked around to see if there were any perverts wandering about, and quickly peeled her shirt off and brushed the towel against her skin. After a moment, she looked up to see her reflection on the car. She looked at Sesshomaru warily, but noticed he stood looking in a different direction.

Mumbling about herself being paranoid, she slipped her sweatshirt on and hugged the warmth. She sighed happily, noticing the feel of the softness against her soft and now clammy skin. Looking at Sesshomaru, she smiled. He was vulnerable, his back turned to her as he stared off in the distance, the towel wrapped around his neck.

Rolling up her sleeves, revealing her wrists and elbows, she walked towards Sesshomaru and stood on her toes. "Oh Sesshomaru..." Kagome said tauntingly, sticking her hands out and showing her wrists to him next to his waist. He stiffened when he saw the her arms were naked, and was truly lost. Was Kagome trying to seduce him?

Kagome retreated and started laughing so hard. She bent down, hugging her sides as tears formed at her eyes. Sesshomaru turned quickly to see that she actually had her sweatshirt on, and she was only joking around by rolling her sleeves up. He stared angrily at her bent form, not knowing the end of the torment she caused him.

"Y-you actually thought I was naked?" Kagome asked as she wiped her cheeks. Seeing that he wasn't glaring at her, she smiled. "Sorry Sesshomaru, but that was priceless. I had to do it." She rolled her sleeves down, still chuckling softly. She walked towards him, holding out her arms.

"Forgive me?" He looked in her eyes and saw that she wasn't being cruel, but he had his own plans. He looked down at her and raised an eyebrow.

"You have a five second head start." He replied sternly, and smiled when she looked at him questionably.

"One." He started, and watched in amusement when she backed up a few steps.

"Wait--"

"Two." She took a few more steps, the smile no longer on her lips.

"-- a second."

"Three." Kagome gasped and kept backing up clumsily.

"Four." Looking around for somewhere to hide, she only saw the long length of the beach.

"What're you-"

"Five." Kagome spun around and started running, trying uselessly to get far away.

It only took Sesshomaru a few seconds to catch up with her, and when he did, he wrapped his arms around her waist and spun around. "Got you." Before she new it, Sesshomaru had his overpowering arms strapped around her again. Kagome was caught off guard already and when Sesshomaru avenged his pride by grasping her wrists, leaving her with no control over anything; she was completely dumbfounded.

Wiggling her arms to try to stop him, Sesshomaru only held her tighter. Kagome started laughing abruptly, trying her hardest to escape. "N-no fair!" She called out, but it reached ears that only ignored her. After a few moments, Kagome was having a hard time, this being the second time she was held captive. But when she was loose enough, she turned in his arms, gained back control over her arms, and pushed away from him.

"O-okay." She stated in between deep breaths. "I get it, I'm sorry!" She tried her best to push him away, but it was like pushing a brick building over a few feet.

Sesshomaru suddenly stopped when Kagome threw her arms around his neck, giving up and trying to calm herself. Surprised, Sesshomaru stopped and smirked. He had defeated her.


"Okay, make your move."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure."

"I could wait for you to--"

"No, have your way with me." Kagome sighed. "Please be nice."

Sesshomaru knew that it was over if he made his move. He had planned it from the very beginning, and now Kagome was as vulnerable as anyone could possibly be. Leaning forward, he used two fingers to move a piece over a few spaces, and then planted it squarely in the middle.

"Check. Mate." He said plainly, watching as Kagome's jaw dropped.

"I said to be nice!" she grumbled at him angrily, looking across the board at all the pieces, a majority of them Sesshomaru's.

"You asked for it."

"Did not. You could've gone easy on me."

"I played fairly. If you are not up to standards with me in a simple game of chess, that is your own loss." Sesshomaru looked bored. He had had better competition before, but Kagome was Kagome. If she wasn't good, that wasn't his fault, was it?

"Fine. I played your stupid game of chess, so I don't owe you anymore, do I?" Yes, Kagome had owed Sesshomaru for yesterday when she had sat on his lap, uninvited.

"No. Your debt has been paid." He noted and swept the pieces onto the table. Then, turning the game board over, he hovered it below the edge of the table and pushed the pieces into the pocket where they were to be held and kept when the board was folded in half.

"Good." Kagome huffed, leaning her chin on her palm. Looking at Sesshomaru's watch, Kagome tilted her head to read the time. Gasping, she sprung from her chair to grab her backpack from the chair next to her.

"I gotta go! I have an early skating session and I gotta cook supper." Kagome explained as she pushed her chair in. "I'll see you at six!" She cheered happily and dashed for the door. Sesshomaru watched as she hurried to her car, not giving him a second to respond.

Kagome rushed towards her car, hopping over puddles and getting her keys out at the same time. She was never one to multi-task, but she was late for her second to last session with her instructor Mr. Amou. He was a nice man, in his upper thirties with a wife and a few kids. He had the mind of a business man, but his heart was always focused on ice.

And when he became too old to skate, he decided teaching younger people would be just as rewarding. Sadly, no one wanted a man as old as him anymore, but there was one girl changed that. It was Kagome, someone who was practically desperate for an instructor. And he played the perfect part.

Arriving at the rink within minutes, Kagome grabbed her sports bag from the back seat. Hopping out of the front seat, Kagome almost forgot to lock her car before running toward the double doors. Swinging them open and ignoring a few people as she passed them, Kagome smiled happily when Mr. Amou stood in the middle of the rink, waiting.

"Mr. Amou!" Kagome yelled and waved at him, breathing in the crisp air that wasn't too different from outside. The man looked up and smiled when he saw his star at the top of a flight of stairs, waving to him.

"Hurry up now, we don't have much time." He yelled back, and watched as she jumped down the stairs in her thin heels.

A few minutes later, Kagome was dressed in sweats and a matching turtle neck, her cheeks rosy in color because of the chill in the rink. She opened a door and stepped onto the ice, pushing herself away from the entrance to get a warm-up lap around the rink.

"Today, I want you to perform the whole string of moves that we planned up. Understand?" Mr. Amou explained to the girl, and received a nod in confirmation.

"Tomorrow is our last practice, and on Thursday I want you to do some jogging. Maybe at your school's track lane, I don't care. But I want your legs to be used to the pressure." Another nod. "Friday is the big day. I know you won't let me down."

Kagome threw him a look. "Have I ever?"

--

Kagome walked into the kitchen, her breathing uneven as she placed a few shopping bags on the floor along with her heavy sports bag. She looked at the counter, the stove, and the fridge. Actually, she couldn't even see the surface of the said objects.

On the counter were numerous things spilled onto it; such as milk, juice, egg yolks and many other things that wouldn't be so hard to identify. On the stove were pots and pans, filled with things that reeked of disaster. The fridge was left wide open, it's contents either on the floor or hanging by a thread on the door. She looked at the floor and almost wanted to cry.

"Who... why!" Kagome asked softly as she shed her coat. She looked at the small table that was in the kitchen, and was glad to see that it was sparkling clean, not one spec of disgusting goo plaguing it.

She picked the groceries back up and placed them on the table, frowning when something from the floor stuck to a couple of the bags. Then she picked up her sports bag and threw it into the coat closet, hanging up her winter coat and gently placing her shoes in a safe corner. She looked at her socks and decided that they were too good to waste on cleaning. Sighing, she shed them and hung them on the living-room couch's arm, preparing herself for one of the worst things that she pictured herself going through.

Digging out every cleaning supply that was in the house, Kagome slipped latex gloves on her hands and looked at the clock. She had twenty minutes before Sesshomaru arrived.

Wait... twenty minutes? She gasped in realization and jumped for the phone, dialing her mother's cell. A few rings later her mother answered, and Kagome immediately explained her situation.

"I came home after being totally exhausted from a skating session and found a humongous mess in the kitchen! Everything was turned inside out and Sesshomaru is going to arrive in twenty minutes! I haven't even thought about what to cook yet!" She screamed in frustration as she pulled at her hair.

"Honey, I'm on my way home. I'll help you clean and I'll brainstorm a good meal, alright? I don't think Sesshomaru would mind if you were still cooking when he arrived, so please calm down. Everything will be alright." Kagome sighed happily as her mother solved all her problems.

"Alright, but please hurry." And with that, the two hung up and Kagome started cleaning.

First, she spread a few layers of paper towels across the counter, watching as the liquids soaked the thin material. Then, in one stroke, she wiped them all into the trashcan that she found tipped over on it's side. Then, she wiped it down one more time with more paper towels. After that, she sprayed a more than necessary amount of cleaner onto the counter, scrubbing the surface with a scrub brush. After drying the counter, Kagome went to the stove and emptied every bit of the disgusting contents into the trash, not looking as things slowly plopped into the bag that was almost over-filled.

"Souta!" Kagome shouted angrily, and proceeded to scrub the stove as well. Her little brother entered the room with a scared look on his face, and feigned innocence.

"Yeah sis?" He asked warily, watching as she cleaned the stove with professional scrubbing techniques.

"Take out the trash, and then put another bag in the can." She ordered, not caring for anything else other than getting the place cleaned.

"Yes ma'am." Souta complied, and quickly did as he was told, much to Kagome's approval.

After finishing with both the counter and stove, Kagome turned to see the fridge- her new arch enemy. Stepping forward cautiously, she grabbed her broom and poked the doors of the fridge, watching as they closed. Then she looked at the floor, and quickly brushed everything into the center of the room. Then, she used an expert technique in order to get most of the slime into the trash can without having to touch anything.

After mopping the floor so it shined like the sun, Kagome opened the fridge and organized it so that even she would be able to know where to find some decent food at midnight. She even washed all the goo from the handles of the milk container and juice handles.

Sighing and wiping her forehead of the sweat that had accumulated from all the work, she looked over to the side to see a certain little man staring at her worriedly. Smiling at him, he smiled back and jumped into the kitchen.

"Mommy is alright?" he asked silently, as if it were against the law to talk. Bending down, Kagome sighed again. Since when did she become a mother figure to this child?

"Yeah, I'm alright. How are you, Shippou?" She asked, stripping herself of the forever-stained gloves and throwing them into the trash.

"I good. Just..." He looked around at the clean kitchen. "... hunjy." Kagome giggled when she translated his sentence.

"You're hungry, are you? Well, I'm making supper soon." Kagome explained and stood up, untying her apron and slipping off her old rain boots. She looked herself over and decided that she definitely needed a shower.

"Alright, momma." He said, and then gestured for her to kneel down again. "Thank you." Once she was kneeling down, he kissed her cheek and ran off somewhere, giggling like the little tot that he was.

Kagome smiled, and turned around to see her mother standing there, her camera in her hands as she smiled. "Sometimes I am always in the right place and time."

"Hey mom. I gotta go take a shower." Kagome said, glancing at the clock. Four minutes until Sesshomaru arrived. "A very...very... quick shower." Her mother continued to smile.

"I'll put a pot of water on the stove for spaghetti. Would you mind stirring while I clean myself up?" Kagome asked as she filled a pot with hot water.

"No problem." her mother answered, and Kagome was well on her way to a sane life once more.

--

Kagome stood at the stove, one hand in a pot mitten, and the other in her apron pocket. It was ten past six, and her spaghetti was just starting to boil when she took out another pot (although small) and poured some sauce into it before putting it on the stove to cook.

Hearing the side door open and close, Kagome smiled and picked up her wooden spoon to stir the food. She listened as another door opened, hangers clanged as someone placed a coat on them, and then a door closed.

Steps followed into the kitchen, not stopping to look at her. Standing next to her, Sesshomaru watched as she tapped the end of the spoon on the edge of a large boiling pot, then placing it on the clean counter.

"Hello there, Mr. Perfect. How are you today?" Kagome asked, turning to him and smirking.

"I'm doing well. And yourself?" he asked. She shrugged, then untied and removed her apron again.

"I've been better." She replied, looking at the floor of the kitchen with much disdain.

"I'm sorry to hear that." He stated sincerely, and watched as Kagome pulled her hair out of a bun, her wet hair falling into beautiful curls and waves.

"Care to inform me about how to make your day better?" He asked when Kagome didn't speak. She looked at him, and stepped forward to fix his collar.

"Thank you, but no. I'll be fine." She looked up at him with tired eyes, and then turned to stir the sauce. Sesshomaru watched as she sighed and turned off the stove, putting another pot glove on her hand before approaching the steaming pot.

"Let me." Sesshomaru offered, and stepped up behind her to gently push her to the side.

"Thanks." She smiled at him, and took off her mittens to hand to him, but he shook his head. Picking up the pot with bare hands, Kagome watched as Sesshomaru bravely poured both hot water and noodles into a strainer that was already in the sink. She went to his side and watched as he ran cold water over the noodles, and doing his best to rid the strainer of water.

"Do you have a sauce bowl?" he asked, looking over at Kagome. She nodded and went into a corner-cupboard with different size bowls, picking up a bowl that was about twice the size of a cereal bowl. Leaving the spaghetti to drain, Sesshomaru stepped over to the sauce pan and picked it up delicately, and brought it over to the sauce bowl Kagome provided.

Kagome, who was standing in the corner and in Sesshomaru's way, went to step back when Sesshomaru's free arm wrapped around her waist, keeping her where she was. He stood behind her, his arm holding the pot securely over the bowl and slowly tipping the contents of the pot into the bowl with the touch of expertise.

"S-sorry." Kagome blushed as she felt herself being pushed into Sesshomaru, trapped with only a few inches of room to move around.

"It's alright." He whispered, not noticing that she was blushing so much. Kagome just stood there, trying to convince herself that she wasn't blushing. It was the heat from the stove, and from working non-stop all day practically. Yeah, that was it!

"Why don't tell me about your day." Sesshomaru suggested, leading Kagome into the living room as her mother set the table. Sighing when they plopped down on the couch, Kagome continued to blush when she realized Sesshomaru's arm was still around her waist.

"Well, when I got to the rink, Mr. Amou started to come down on me; and rather hard too. But I took it, I needed to be criticized. But when I came home after going food shopping, I found the kitchen torn apart and almost everything was spilled and messed up. The criminal got away, but that only meant more work for me. So I cleaned up, then took a four minute shower to come downstairs and cook. I haven't been able to relax since."

At that moment, Shippou raced into the room and jumped into Kagome's lap. Smiling up at her, he didn't notice her exhausted expression and Sesshomaru's slightly surprised one. "Mommy play game with me!" He cheered happily.

Looking down at him, Kagome ran her fingers through his bangs. "Later, Shippou. Supper will be ready in just a moment."

When the boy scurried off and into the kitchen to talk to her mother, Kagome leaned fully against Sesshomaru, who welcomed her. He moved his hand from her side to her forearm, rubbing her skin softly. "Dedicate the rest of your night to relaxing. I'll clean up after dinner."

"Oh no, you don't have to do th-" Kagome tried to argue, but Sesshomaru silenced her by placing a finger on her lips.

"I don't mind." He whispered to her, and pulled her into a hug when she wanted to only argue more. Kagome kept her hands on his shoulders, trying to hide her blush. It was obvious, she was blushing because of Sesshomaru's closeness. But there was something she didn't understand.

Yesterday afternoon she was practically all over him, and didn't even have one thought cross through her mind about something not being right. But now that she was being hugged by the same guy, it felt so heart melting. Maybe something had happened yesterday that triggered her feelings for him?

Or maybe she was more accepting of the fact that she liked being close to him the day before? And now she was uncertain again?

She could hear his heart beat, and swore that it was beating half as slow as her rapidly beating one. Closing her eyes tightly, she moved her arms so they were around Sesshomaru, instead of blocking her from being up against his chest.

Click.

--

After dinner, Kagome was forced to sit down as her mother and Sesshomaru tended to the rest of the work, Souta and Shippou playing on the coffee table in front of her. Watching them play with their little G.I. Joes, made it seem as if life was so odd. Calling over Shippou so she could fix his little pony-tail, she watched him stand on his small legs and wander over to her.

Smiling at him as she fixed it, he smiled back and hugged her before apologizing.

"I'm sorry, Kajome."

Looking down at the small boy who sat in her lap, Kagome raised an eyebrow as she brushed a strand of his hair behind his ear. "What are you sorry for, Shippou?"

He looked up at her with wide, guilty eyes, the fear making him shake as he replied. "The mess in the kitchen." he gulped. Kagome looked at him, confused.

"Shippou, did you make that mess?" Quite impossible, because he was so little and couldn't even see above the counter.

"No, no! Shippou didn't make the mess." He said, looking up at her with his bright green eyes. "Doggy did it!"

Intense confusion. "What dog?" Kagome and her mother asked simultaneously, as she walked into the living room from the kitchen. Shippou looked over at the older woman, and then to Souta, who excused himself to 'help' with the dishes.

"Dog upstairs." Shippou answered, looking up at Kagome guiltily. Kagome, who couldn't believe what she was hearing, looked at her mother. Setting down a wash cloth, her mother headed for the stairs, Kagome following her with Shippou in her arms.

"Where, Shippou?" Kagome asked when they got to the hallway.

"I dunno." He answered smartly, shrugging his small shoulders. Sighing in frustration, Kagome and her mother made their way towards Souta's room where the boys slept. Opening the door, all they found was a mess on the floor made of Legos and small Star-Wars figurines. Stepping into the room Kagome's mother looked around, no dog in sight. She made to look under the beds before shrugging and leading Kagome into her own room.

Walking in there, it was spotless with beautiful interior decorating, and nothing out of place. No dog had been through there.

Turning to look at Kagome, they shared a look of knowing. Without speaking, they made their way towards Kagome's room, opening the door slowly to find what they were looking for.

Well, they found the dog. He was laying comfortably on Kagome's heavenly bed, lifting his heavy head to look at them curiously. He started to wag his tail when he saw Shippou, but was cautious about the two women who looked tense at the moment.

"He is... big." Ms. Higurashi whispered to herself, looking at the dog in amazement.

"I didn't think dogs could be that big." Kagome responded, setting Shippou on the floor to continue staring at the enormous dog.

He was big, with thick black fur and a long tail. His face was absolutely cute, and he was shedding all over Kagome's bed.

--

Sesshomaru's cell phone rang, and he excused himself and let Souta finish up with the dishes. Stepping to the side, he answered with a constructed, "Hello?"

"Why hello, Sesshomaru. I just wanted to remind you that you are coming with me Saturday night." Amy smiled happily over the line, not knowing her plans for her future were making Sesshomaru extremely annoyed.

"I don't recall you ever controlling what I do, and do not do." Sesshomaru responded sternly, unknowing that Souta was listening into his conversation curiously.

"Oh, but Sesshomaru, you should come. After all, I am to be engaged with you. Arrangements can still be made by our parents, even in our modern world. Now, you wouldn't want your father or mother to be upset with you, huh? So if you come, you can avoid all that trouble." Amy mentioned, still smiling.

Growling, Sesshomaru replied rudely. "In no way will that happen. We've already discussed this."

Clicking her tongue in a scolding fashion, Amy wagged her finger at the phone. "Oh, poor you. You haven't realized that I am the only future you have. You didn't think that you escape from our world did you?" She giggled. "And I hope you didn't think of spending your life with that other girl, Kagome was it, because that was way out of your reach."

Silence. Sesshomaru hadn't thought of that, but the way Amy approached the subject made it hard to respond.

"... You actually believed that you could do that?" She giggled again. "That is so sweet! And yet, futile."


"Beautiful. Just beautiful. Her performance was truly outstanding, I can't believe that she is so... experienced!" One man said to another, who sitting next to him. They both were sitting along a large table with a fancy blue sheet over it, people seated beside them on both sides.

"Oh yes, truly outstanding. But experienced? Pish-posh, she has uneasy footing after some of her jumps. No one notices it because she is to busy swirling around the ice." An older woman criticized, pushing her thin glasses up onto the bridge of her nose. A man huffed in agreement, as another sympathized.

"Yes, that may be so, but look at her form, her gracefulness, her... everything! The positive outweighs the negative in this case, I think." The same man looked over at the woman, emphasizing his words with small hands motions.

"I agree." Said another man, and they all turned their attention back to the ice as Kagome bowed toward them with a smile on her face, curls of her hair dancing around her neck.

The judges clapped their small, golf-clap and stopped when Kagome stood straight on her skates to glide over to the door where she was to hug her instructor. After she was gone, the judges looked at each other and made up their mind. They gave Kagome her score, and the crowd erupted with excitement as Kagome launched herself at her mother with an over-joyed smile on her face.

--

"Sis, I can't believe you won the semi-finals!" Souta cheered, watching as his sister shook hands with some people as they left.

"I didn't win, I just received a good enough score that allows me to go to the finals." Kagome replied, smiling at a man who congratulated her.

"But you did so well, Kagome. I am so proud of you." Her mother praised, kissing her daughters cheek and making her blush as a camera man took a picture. Sesshomaru, on the other hand, stood off to the side and watched all this with some amusement. It was already Friday night, and he was ready to go home and sleep. And yet, something seemed to make him want to stay there longer, so he wouldn't have to face the next day.

Glancing over at Kagome's back, he noticed she was having a conversation with a tall, dark woman who held a card in her hand. His curiosity spiked, as he listened in.

"... So I would really like for you to come, if you can. This would give you a chance to meet a lot of sponsors, and socialize with your fellow skaters. And of course, you can bring a date if you like." The woman convinced, playfully waving the card in her hand, which appeared to be an invitation to a fancy dinner.

Kagome tilted her head with a smile, and accepted the polite gesture with a hug and a thank you. The woman smiled back at her, and told Kagome that she would see her the following night before leaving. Kagome, who had the small invite in her hands, examined it carefully before turning around to look at Sesshomaru.

Although she really wanted him to come with her, she didn't want to ask and make it seem as if she assumed he had no life.

"Hey Sesshomaru, you doing anything tomorrow night?" She asked curiously, approaching the subject slowly.

She saw his brain calculating something, before he frowned. "Unfortunately." He replied, and bowed his head in apology.

"Hey, no problem. Everyone has things to do now and then." Kagome smiled at him in understanding, and turned back around when her instructor called to her.

"Yes, very unfortunate indeed." Sesshomaru whispered, before walking outside to get some fresh air.


"I thought I'd never come back here." A man smiled sarcastically, leaning up against a black car, which had a large flame painted onto both sides of passenger and driver doors. He lifted his sunglasses to the top of his head as a girl approached, and he grinned widely.

"Thank you for coming." She said, and bowed formally. The man waved a hand, mentioning that there was no need for being polite.

"I asked you to move back in with your family after three years of living in a different city. I owe you all of my respect." The girl returned, and bowed once more.

"Eh, you can say that all you like. I don't need any respect. After all, I'm getting the girl I want. So its no big deal." He replied back, and smiled when the girl blushed.

"You two are so... different." The girl murmured, and noticed that Inuyasha was still listening to her, instead of being interested in the girls walking by in very revealing clothing.

"Who are different?" He asked, stuffing his hands in his jacket's pockets.

"Oh, I apologize for saying this out loud but..." she paused, and he continued to listen. "You and Sesshomaru are so different, that the only resemblance you both have are your facial features, and your hair."

The man chuckled. "Amy, you are so naïve." He chuckled again.

"Well, excuse me for my naïve behavior, Mr..." Amy began, before the man put his hand to her mouth.

"First of all, I now have my old last name. And second..." he grinned his toothy grin like he always did when overly confident. "You can just call me Inuyasha."


Next Chapter: Your Reality (I Can Look Into Your Reality)

Your Reality: With Inuyasha home, Sesshomaru is aggravated by so many things.

Amy is one thing, and another is his mother.

Why does everything get screwed up, with only one new appearance?

Author's Note: School has started. Soccer season is here. Homework is bothersome. I have tried my best to get this chapter out. If interested in beta-reading, PM me. (It appears that I will not have the time of day to do anything but school work.)
(Also, PM me if you see a mistake. I will appreciate it greatly.)