Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. If I did, we'd play fetch all day… in bed. Kouga and Sesshoumaru can come too.

I am writing this in regards to the amount of Sesshoumaru/Kagome stories I've read recently. All of which were extremely good (wipes sweat from brow at extreme goodness), but there was something that I felt was a bit off—Kagome's fervor in how she reacted toward the demon and his, shall we say, ministrations? So, here is my little rendition.

Thank you SlytherinWitch03 for your betaing magic! It gave me the ego-boost to post this story::begins to spread magical dust everywhere...:

The grasses brushing up against her legs made her itch. Slapping away the random bug that had alighted onto her thigh, Kagome wished that the river had been a tad-bit closer. And that perhaps her skirt was floor length to stop the uninvited bugs that seemed attracted to her pale skin.

Inuyasha had said that a small river was close, but he had failed to mention that it was close for him and not for her, and that the "small valley" he had referred to was truly a giant expanse of grassland. When one could jump in the air and move farther than any human, distances were a lot shorter than they appeared.

She was, however, surprised that neither he nor Sango wanted to accompany her on this trek (Miroku never got to come along, the perv). Sango had declined due to a recent bruising to her ribs thanks to a run-in with a random degenerate demon, while Inuyasha had sputtered and replied, "WHAT? No! I'm not gonna hang around while you bathe! You can just yell for help!"

Right, Kagome thought. And your absolutely superior ears will hear it from a billion miles away! Where in the world is this river?

Huffing, Kagome stopped, shifted the weight of her supplies from one arm to the other, and moved her bangs from her eyes. Turning to look behind, she glanced to see if Inuyasha had followed her anyways, but he indeed had not wanted to come; she could see a distinct path where she had flattened the long grasses into submission from the line of the wood's edge, behind which the camp that the group had created was. Shrugging, Kagome glanced to either side of her as if crossing a road, and trudged on through the tall grass.

Seemingly belated, Kagome vaguely remembered seeing a bright something to her left for a brief moment. Curious, Kagome did a double take and saw a tall figure in shining white walking parallel of her a good ways away. Squinting against the bright sunlight, Kagome focused on the walking figure and a little light went off in her brain.

"Oh…" Kagome said, as though an epiphany had just come to her. "Sesshoumaru."

Kagome was mildly surprised to see the demon lord, but not very. They had been running into him a lot more than not as they both searched for Naraku, but Sesshoumaru had left them alone save for the fights that Inuyasha started... not that Sesshoumaru didn't start a few of his own.

Turning away from him, Kagome moved her supplies into the other arm and decided to ignore Sesshoumaru as he was doing for her. He was like a bee; you leave him alone, and he leaves you alone. Besides, she didn't want him to catch her staring at him. It would just be awkward.

Looking up from the path she was plowing, Kagome was surprised that she had reached the end of the valley and was finally to the small river Inuyasha had informed her of. Reaching the soft silt mud that made up the bank, Kagome searched for a rock to place her things on before she decided to bathe.

Rocks were pretty scarce, but a little ways down the river she saw a nice large boulder that went a little into the water's edge to place her things on. However, Kagome was startled to see that Sesshoumaru had stopped at the river's edge as well and was closer to the boulder than she would have liked him to be; he had been a lot farther away in the valley and she saw that either he or she had closed of some of the distance between the two.

Decisions decisions…

Sighing inwardly, Kagome began to walk toward the boulder, intent to at least place her things down and wait until Sesshoumaru left before she undressed to bathe; she could just kick around in the water for a bit. Maybe it'd even drive him away.

Kagome smiled secretly at the disdain that she could imagine Sesshoumaru feeling as she kicked around the water up-stream from him.

"Humans," she imagined she could hear him say. "Sullying up the water. Tsk. I must move on to a different, unpolluted hole to drink from."

Sesshoumaru's head turned in her direction, causing Kagome's heart to skip for a moment, startling her from her silly thoughts of imagination.

Sesshoumaru is like a bee, Sesshoumaru is like a bee…

He wasn't looking at her, but rather around her, as if she did not exist on the same plane as he did. She didn't particularly mind really; Sesshoumaru was just him. She didn't know what drove him to do what he did—such as allow a young girl to follow him around, or to help Inuyasha and his friends at the strangest of times—but she just accepted it for what it was and let it be.

Ten steps away from the boulder, Sesshoumaru seemed to notice Kagome for the first time. That is, his cold, level glare was finally aimed at her. Kagome didn't mind though, and smiled slightly at him.

"Bath," she explained, shrugging her hands with the foreign items for him to see.

Not like you care.

Sesshoumaru didn't move, nor did he lessen the extent of his gaze. Kagome broke eye contact and placed her things—towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and a clean set of undergarments—onto the top of the boulder to rest. Slipping out of her shoes and socks, Kagome placed those on top of the boulder as well and made her way into the small river.

The shallow area by the mud was pleasantly cool. Standing onto her tippy-toes, Kagome scooted her wash-things closer to the end of the boulder, by the knee-deep water, so that when Sesshoumaru finally decided to leave, she could reach them without having to leave the sanctity of the water. Her shampoo, however, had a different idea.

It plopped into the deeper side of the boulder and took off with the current. Kagome gasped and splashed off after it, her eyes trained on the bobbing white bottle as it meandered…

Ohhh no…

…and swiftly made its way over to the muddy bank that the demon had been standing patiently on.

Kagome stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes wide as she watched him look from her proximity down to the offending white, foreign object that was nestling dangerously close to his black shoe.

"Ah…" Kagome softly intoned. "My, uh, shampoo…"

Sesshoumaru's eyes shifted up at her and seemed to glare at her as if demanding an explanation of the alien word to him. Not that he would care to know or anything.

Shifting closely—slowly, slowly—through the water, Kagome looked from Sesshoumaru's cold gaze down to the bottle that she was very intent on retrieving. Gasping, she noticed that the cap had come unscrewed and was leaking her precious hair staple onto the muddy silt of the river.

Without thinking, she dashed forward and bent down to tip the bottle back up before it leaked any more out; her finger scooped up any shampoo that hadn't soaked into the mud and squeegee it back into the bottle opening. A flash of relief went through her as she closed the cap, and Kagome sighed.

Phew… I almost had to go back home to get more!

It was only after a moment that she realized that she was crouching at the feet of Sesshoumaru, in a much closer proximity that she would have ever liked to be.

Her eyes took in the still form of his shoe, traveled up the leg, bypassed the mid-section, and slowly made their way up to the absolutely passive expression on his face. His hand dangled dangerously close to her face.

Kagome slowly stood while keeping eye contact with the demon, her right hand clenched around the bottle while her other hand unconsciously held itself away from her as so not to get any shampoo residue on her clothing.

Sesshoumaru's nostrils flared as though he had taken a deep intake of air, his eyes stony and staring, and Kagome's body went rigid with fear. Then, as if time slowed down, Kagome watched as Sesshoumaru began to gradually bow toward her, keeping full eye contact.

As Sesshoumaru leaned in close, his nostrils flared again, his eyes hard and glaring, boring into hers as if daring her to move. Kagome's heart rate sped up in alarm.

He…is so close…what could he possibly be doing?

She was already rigid with fear; this was so out of character for him to be so near to her, so near to anyone for that matter. She could feel his presence as he leaned in; a heavy, demanding aura that made Kagome feel as if she would topple over from the sheer weight of it.

Sesshoumaru's pale face was inches from her own, but Kagome's eyes couldn't focus on anything but the bright paleness of his skin contrasted by the demonic stripes flashing across his face, even though her gaze was still level with his. His eye contact suddenly broke, but Kagome knew it was only because his cheek was now level with her own, his nose and mouth next to her ear.

Kagome began to tremble, her lip quivering and her jaw wiggling in fear. She heard him take a deep breath, and she jumped slightly at the sound of it, her heart beating painfully in her chest. Slowly, Sesshoumaru moved away from Kagome, his eyes finding hers again; his were still impassive and cold without any indication as to why he had decided to act so differently.

Then, without fanfare or any words, Sesshoumaru turned and walked away, back across the path he had created while walking through the valley parallel to her. He didn't look back.

Kagome watched as he walked away, her body still trembling with curiosity and well-founded fear. Looking down at her hands, Kagome noticed that she had latched onto the shampoo bottle so tightly that it had created an indentation from the pressure of her grip. Letting go slightly, Kagome worked her hands into molding the bottle back to its original shape.

Then Kagome really did have an epiphany.

"Shampoo. He could smell the shampoo and then…" Kagome looked up to see that Sesshoumaru was much further than she imagined he could have been in such a short amount of time. "…and then he sniffed me."

Watching him for a little longer, Kagome felt the fear melt out of her body only to be replaced with a strange sense of adrenaline.

Whirling, Kagome walked back into the water.