A/N: Edit update – this fic has been nominated for Best One Shot and Best Lemon on IY Fanguild, Feudal Assoc, and A Single Spark, so I felt obliged to give it grammar check.
A/N: This is just a bit of fluff – not to be taken seriously! Mostly, I wrote it to clear my mind of the last story I just finished. This has no real plot, no character motivation, or any socially redeeming value. Contains LEMONS (edited and marked with an XXX), so don't bother reading if you don't like them! For an unedited version, see the links on my profile.
It takes place relatively early in the series, before Shippo, Miroku or Sango had joined the group.
Disclaimer: I do not own any character created by Rumiko Takahashi.
Kagome lay on the stony ground with her eyes squeezed shut, feeling the earth shudder under her, hearing muffled rumbles around her, the skitter of small rocks striking the ground next to her, and wondering how much trouble she'd managed to get into this time.
It had seemed like a good idea at the time, as did most of her (stupid, Inuyasha supplied in her mind) plans. She supposed she should have known better: it was raining far too hard and the cave appeared far too dry for things to work out nicely. Shame on her for not wanting to trudge through the storm with an irritable, foul-mouthed hanyou! And for him to just leave in the middle of their argument, leave her in the pouring rain to watch his red-clad back disappear over the tops of the trees! What was all that 'shut up and let me protect you' crap? The 'shut up' she could believe; she'd heard that more than enough to suit her taste, along with weak, idiotic, smelly, ugly, pathetic…
Some protection. Stupid Inuyasha.
Kagome cracked an eye, and then opened both, blinking as dread crept from her belly and curled in her throat. Experimentally, she waved a hand in front of her face, then splayed her fingers, placing them over her eyes. Kagome was not the kind of girl to swear, but… "Shit."
It was really, really dark. Not the kind of darkness one wakes up to in the middle of the night, gradually lightening until one can see the corner of the nightstand one had just barked one's shin on, or the kind that lurked in narrow allies and stared back at one with tiny, beady eyes. Nor was it was kind that hung between the stars of Medieval Japan, rich and velvety and begging to be touched. No, this darkness was thick and impenetrable, filling her nose and mouth with dry mustiness and turning her eyeballs in on themselves. It pressed on her, caressing her skin with invisible, papery fingers, sliding through her hair, grasping at her unshod feet.
Kagome had never been afraid of the dark, but everyone had her limits. She'd just found hers.
Gasping in short, harsh pants, clammy sweat trickling down the back of her sleeping camisole, she sat up, belatedly realizing that she should have felt above her to make sure she didn't hit her head. Nothing happened, but she sat still for a moment, quivering and straining her eyes to catch sight of something, anything. Nothing continued to happen, so she shifted to her hands and knees, slowly feeling out her environment.
Rock, rock, and more rock. The passage back to the entrance of the cave was blocked with a pile of sharp rubble, her small campfire, her clothes, her backpack…the jewel shards…were now unreachable. Feeling her way up the sharp rocks of the cave-in as she stood, she confirmed that the way was, indeed, blocked. Moaning softly and crying a little, Kagome knelt back on the floor and crawled around in a small circle, patting the stony ground for her flashlight. She'd brought it with her when she wandered further into the cave but hadn't turned it on; the light of the fire had lit the way just fine. The flashlight refused to be found and Kagome sat back on her legs, sniffling and wishing she'd just stayed in the rain with Inuyasha, or at least stayed at the mouth of the cave. Assuming the mouth hadn't collapsed as well, of course. Inuyasha was going to be so mad about those stupid shards. Damn.
'Well, now what?' Kagome thought helplessly. 'What do I usually do in these situations?'
"Inuyasha!" her voice echoing off the cave walls had a forlorn quality to it. Bolstering her courage, she tried again. "INUYASHA!"
Her scream was accompanied by a small tinkle of rocks falling from an unknown place and sliding down other rocks. Kagome decided to shut up. Panic was threatening to overwhelm her, but being a sensible girl, she knew that if she gave into it, she would not get out of this alive. She may not anyway, but she certainly wasn't going to scream until the cave finished burying her. Shakily, she rose to her feet, one hand feeling out the rough wall of the cave and the other held in front of her, fingers splayed and waving as she navigated forward.
"Ouch!" Her toe struck something hard and smarted, the offending object skittering away. Kagome frowned and blinked back tears, and then realized that whatever she had tripped over was not rock. She couldn't help the surge of hope that gripped her as she bent down and felt around for the object. Her hand closed over something definitely not stone. Tears leaked down her face as she used both hands to examine the object and whispered a fervent thanks to any god that was listening. Finally finding the switch and pushing it forward, she almost gasped when a blinding light flooded the cavern. She almost dropped it, she was so startled and unprepared for the pain it caused her eyes.
Blinking back tears, now of pain instead of fright, she shone the flashlight over the cave, once again confirming what she already knew: she was trapped and there was nowhere to go but forward. At least the roof of the cave was a good seven feet tall and didn't look like it was lowering anytime soon. The floor seemed to slope gently up a few yards into the cave and the floor and walls were relatively smooth and regular. That didn't mean she wouldn't stub her toes on anything, but it could be worse. The cave could be full of jagged edges and horrifying demons, and she could be completely nude, instead of just clad in a tank and shorts. Sure, things could be much worse.
"I wonder how old these batteries are," she spoke aloud, the sound of her voice strangely comforting in all this darkness. As much as she hated the idea of being plunged into unrelenting blackness, she had to conserve the batteries. With a long-suffering sigh and a last long look down the passageway, she clicked off the flashlight and started forward.
How long had she been walking? It hadn't occurred to her to check her watch until she'd been in the cave for what seemed like several hours and it had been several confirmed hours since then. Had Inuyasha come back for her yet? Had he followed her trail to the cave? Had he eyed the blocked entrance and assumed she had died? Maybe he'd build her a little cairn of rocks and write an epitaph, "Good Riddance to Weak Humans".
'This isn't getting you anywhere, Kagome,' she told herself firmly as she began to choke up. 'Who needs that stupid jerk, anyway? Not me.' Her aching feet crunched over another sharp stone and she winced, clutching at her foot as she snapped on the flashlight, remembering to close her eyes to give them time to adjust, and shone it on the ground. The cave floor had been smooth for so long, now it was scattered with bit of rock…as if another cave-in had occurred close by. Sure enough, the wall of the cave bulged awkwardly with boulders, as if they had tumbled to plug an alternate passage. There was nothing it could do for her, and nothing she could do about it, so she simply shook her head and continued forward. Unless she wanted to end up cutting her feet and not being able to walk, she'd just have to use some of her precious light. "Shit."
She picked her way through the rubble, the small circle of light wavering over the rocks and casting shadows that leapt and danced. The sharp debris petered away and she reluctantly turned off her flashlight, scuffling forward with her hand on the wall and one in the darkness in front of her.
Her hands led her around a sharp bend in the cavern and she trailed her fingers over the stone, wondering how many other parts of the cave had been affected by…whatever had caused the cave-ins. Suddenly, she stepped on something furry, feeling wonderful on her sore foot but entirely unexpected. Screaming, she pinwheeled her arms as she stumbled backward, but whatever she had stepped on had moved and she ended falling onto softness and hardness and warmth, none of which comforted her at the moment. Drawing another breath to scream, she felt a hand flutter over her until it clamped over her open mouth.
"Silence," a voice rumbled out of the darkness, smooth, masculine, and hauntingly familiar.
She bit down on his fingers, hard, swallowing reflexively as tangy blood filled her mouth. The hand released her, shoving her away, and she scuttled backward until her back hit the wall of the cave. Blinking into the blackness where she thought her aggressor may be, she panted and wiped at her chin. Just her luck, she'd lost her flashlight again. Was he growling at her? Could he be youkai?
Kagome cleared her throat after the man had stopped growling, "Um…sorry. You startled me."
"I seem to recall that it was you who tripped over me," he pointed out.
"…ummm, yeah, sorry about that." At least he was talking to her. Maybe she'd just found help?
Maybe not. Kagome felt her temper flare and scowled into the darkness. "Well ex-cuse me. I said I was sorry. The least you can do is help me find my flashlight since you are the reason I dropped it!"
"Yeah, um… a flameless torch," Kagome tried to explain without giving too much away. Her hand brushed something soft as she crawled forward and its owner growled. "Oh, shut up, already."
Amazingly enough, he stopped growling, but Kagome didn't notice because that was the moment she found the flashlight and crowed in delight, flicking the switch to illuminate her companion. The cave remained cloaked in darkness and she swore, shaking the flashlight vigorously then toggling the switch several times. "Shit. It must have broken when it hit the floor."
The man was silent and Kagome squirmed uncomfortably. "You…ah…don't have a light, do you?"
"What are you doing here anyway? Did you get caught in a cave-in, too?"
He didn't answer and Kagome sighed, pushing to her feet as her hopes of teaming up with the unseen man faded away. However, being trapped alone in the dark with no flashlight was worse than being trapped in the dark with a jerk, so she gave it one more try. "Okay, let's try again. Hi! My name is Kagome, nice to meet you." Silence. "And your name is…?" she prompted.
"You may address me as 'my lord'." His voice was bored, disdainful and oh so beautiful.
"Yes, my lord," Kagome emphasized the title with as much derision as she dared, which wasn't a whole lot. "Shall we find a way out of here?"
"I'm trapped here and you're trapped here…so why not?"
Another long silence, then, "…very well."
She heard a rustle of silk and moved toward him, her hands in front of her, until she touched something soft and deceptively heavy. Twisting her fingers in it, she barely suppressed a sigh of pleasure.
The man made an irritated noise and silky stuff was pulled from her fingers. "That is my hair."
"Oh! Sorry, but I need to be able to find you somehow."
A cool hand grasped her own and placed a strip of fur into it. She clutched it gratefully and followed as it tugged her forward.
"Can we rest for a few minutes? My feet are killing me."
"What if I just sat down here?"
"I would leave you where you sat."
"Oh." Just like someone else she knew.
Kagome ran into her new companion's back with a thump, startling her out of the almost sleepwalking daze into which she'd fallen. She half expected him to growl at her, since growling and monosyllabic words seemed to take up the vast majority of his vocabulary, but he didn't say a word.
"Why are we stopping?" Kagome asked through a wide yawn. Her feet had become numb to the pain, her legs leaden, her stomach shrunk to the size of a pea.
"Our path has ended at a river."
Digging her knuckles into her sightless eyes, she realized that she could hear a rushing sound. It must have gradually crept up on them because she hadn't noticed it until he'd mentioned the river. 'Way to stay alert, Kagome,' she chided herself. "It can't be moving too fast."
"No," he said, and Kagome yawned again, waiting for him to elaborate and to her surprise, he actually did without prompting. "We will rest here."
Kagome sighed in relief and sank to the floor with her back to the cave wall, the tip of his fur still clutched in her hands. A quiet swish and she felt his presence settle next to her; a little taken aback at first, she then smiled into the dark. Perhaps lords were affected by never-ending dark just as much as girls were. Reflexively, she reached out until her hands found the smooth strands of his hair and the silk of his garments, running her fingertips over them until they hit cold metal and a series of sharp spikes. Her hands were captured in one of his and held away from him, his grip like iron.
"What are you doing?" his question was sharp and slightly hoarse.
"Um," Kagome didn't really know. "Sorry." He released her hands and she sat back, flushed and feeling silly, then patted the ground around her until she found the fur. Curling up on her side, she pillowed her head on the fluffy stuff, making sure that if he tried to leave her, she would wake up.
Kagome shuddered, her sight deprived mind conjuring all sorts of slimy things in the water. "Are you sure?"
"You may stay here, if you like."
She didn't, and shuddered again. She loved baths, but not in underground rivers in the pitch dark. "This sucks."
Kagome felt her cheeks heat with embarrassment as her mind supplied a mental image of the common, but fairly crude, saying. "Ahaha…nothing important."
Brushing by him, she stepped gingerly down the sloping bank, feeling for the water with her toes. Finally, her toes touched the liquid, but instead of the cold that she had feared, the water was actually tepid and almost pleasant. It wasn't until she'd waded up to her hips that she felt the current pulling gently on her body. "It's not so bad," she chirped back to her companion.
His voice was startlingly close, and she had to wonder again why it seemed so familiar. The fur moved in her hands, guiding her forward and she frowned at what she assumed was his back. How did he move so silently, and in water no less? It wasn't fair.
To Kagome's pleasure, nothing slimy brushed against her legs as they waded with the current of the stream and the water never rose past her breasts. If she'd known that she wouldn't have to swim, maybe she would have stripped so that she could put on dry clothes when they left the water. It's not like her companion would see her naked.
"The ceiling is lowering," her companion remarked far too casually for that kind of comment.
"By how much?" she asked, stretching her arm above her head, surprised to feel it only a foot above her. "Uh oh."
She let her fingers trail on the ceiling overhead as they waded, noting with concern that it was getting lower very quickly. Wondering how tall her companion was, she was about to ask when she realized that the rushing sound of the river was also getting progressively louder and that the stream had picked up its pace. "Um," she hated to do this, but "my lord?"
"What's happening to the river?"
"It is narrowing to a chute. How long can you hold your breath?"
Kagome did not like the sound of that. "I don't know…as long as it takes, I guess." What else could she say?
The river began to flow with a dull roar and Kagome found it difficult to stay on her feet. Dragging herself closer to her companion by his soggy fluff, she clung to it as close as she could get to him without actually touching him. When he didn't say anything (or growl), she happily took it as permission. He seemed to be bent over, which partially answered her question about his height – obviously, he was taller than the ceiling of the cave.
A particularly strong current knocked into her back, sweeping her off her feet and she clutched at him, finding a wet, silk-covered arm wrapped around her waist. Again, she was amazed at the strength that hummed through his flesh. Inuyasha was similarly strong, but this was different somehow. She wished that she could see this lord; was he as well built and handsome as he seemed?
"Take a deep breath." He said above her, barely giving her time to shake off her thoughts and suck oxygen into her lungs before they plunged under the water. Rushing under the water, she felt his powerful legs kicking to propel them forward.
Holding fast to the metal covering his side, she squeezed her eyes shut and tried to focus on something other than the burning in her lungs. Faster than she liked, she began to lose the fight, her body jerking as the need for air consumed her, but still they did not break the surface. She had to breathe, she had to…
Retching and sputtering, Kagome lay on her side on the stone floor and clutched her stomach. Finally, the convulsions passed and she opened her eyes to the impenetrable darkness. Terror drove its fingers into her brain and she screamed, a harsh breathy sound that bounced off of the walls of the cave. A hand touched her shoulder and she stilled immediately, the fear of being alone driven away by the slightest of caresses. She covered that hand with her own and closed her eyes.
"You saved my life." An interesting thought occurred to her and she brought her other hand to her lips. "Did you use CPR?"
A long pause, then, "No."
"Then how did you-"
"It is none of your concern."
"Why what?" slight exasperation colored his voice, but did not deter Kagome's next question.
"Why are you helping me?"
He was silent again and Kagome had already given up hope that he would speak when he answered, "I was battling an oni, which started an avalanche on the side of the mountain."
"Oh," she said. So, the lord felt honor-bound to help her because her predicament was his fault. "And here I thought you were afraid of the dark!"
A tiny sound, suspiciously like a snort, bloomed in the blackness. "No."
"Thank you," she said softly, the teasing fleeing her voice.
The hand left her shoulder and his fluff, still damp and oddly smelling of wet dog, was placed in her hands. "Rest a bit."
Kagome woke to the growling of her stomach, shivering in her damp sleep set. It was hopeless, she knew; aside from her companion, she hadn't heard a single other living being. At this point, she would eat just about anything, if only it would present itself, preferably with a side of fries. And a chocolate milkshake. Her stomach grumbled in protest and she dashed away the thought of a juicy Wacdonald's hamburger. Deciding to get her mind off of her stomach, she spoke into the darkness. "Do we have to get back in the water?"
Sighing, Kagome rubbed her fingers through the fur under her cheek. "When I get out of here, I'm going to give that jerk, Inuyasha, a sitting so hard he'll end up in America."
"Oh, yes. He'll have to pull his butt out of his ribcage. Let's see how quickly his hanyou healing will fix that!" She huffed, indulging in her frustration by taking it out on the absent hanyou. "If he would've agreed to stop to wait out the storm, I wouldn't be in this mess. After I gave him that stupid sword, no less! I should take it back and give it to his brother. Oh, excuse me, half brother."
A quiet snicker met her tirade and she grinned in the direction of the sound. "Come," he said, pulling her to her feet with his fingers wrapped around her forearm. The arm moved to her waist and Kagome gasped, heat creeping up her neck and burning in her cheeks. Something brushed lightly against her hair near her ear, sending a delightful tremor down her spine. "The water is deep and swift, though the ceiling is now much higher than it was."
"O-okay," Kagome stuttered, tingling a little where he touched her until they dropped unceremoniously into the water.
She couldn't help but shriek; unlike earlier, this water was freezing cold! Within minutes, she was shivering and clenching her teeth to prevent them from chattering. Her companion allowed her to cling to his body, but most of it was covered by metal that was just as cold and unforgiving as the water.
Time dragged by as they swam, Kagome's feeble kicking more of a way to keep her blood flowing than to move them forward. Her companion was a strong swimmer, more than making up for her lackluster performance. It wasn't that she couldn't swim, for she could, in fact, swim quite well; the problem was that she was so cold that her body refused to cooperate. She was quite certain that if she hadn't met up with him or if he'd decided not to help her, she would have already died.
The sound of water rushing through the rock passage changed, opened up somehow, and she felt her companion change course and pull them both out of the water with a powerful kick of his legs. Musty air hit her already chilled skin, worse even than the icy flow. Shaking violently, Kagome sank to the floor as soon as he'd let her go, her numb legs unwilling to support her.
"Woman?" her companion asked, his voice as bored as ever.
Her teeth clattered together as she tried to release her jaw to answer. She managed an inarticulate, "Nngg," clack-clack-clack.
He hissed, the strange sound followed by a metallic clanking that Kagome's clouded brain could not make sense of. By the gods, she was cold! She couldn't even protest when her top was slit down the front and peeled off of her. Her shorts were disposed of next and she was pulled against warm skin; her face and upper body pressed against a hard, muscled chest, legs sandwiched between firm thighs. Had she been lucid, she would have blushed furiously and protested such inappropriate contact. As it was, she burrowed into his inhuman warmth, thawing a little as his hot breath bathed her neck. 'Not human,' the thought drifted through her brain. She accepted it without question: on some level, she'd already known. Not that silly things like that bothered her anyway.
She almost drifted away several times, succumbing to the seductive warmth, and each time she was nudged awake with what she could only assume was his nose. It was frustrating, to be so sleepy and not allowed to sleep, and tears leaked from her eyes after the forth time he forced her awake.
"So mean," she whispered against his chest, smiling a little as it vibrated against her body.
Waking in pretty much the same position in which she'd finally been allowed to fall asleep, Kagome flushed and tried to wriggle free, trying not to notice how smooth his skin was or how finely chiseled were his muscles. Her companion, very male companion from the pressure against her thigh, held her fast, his soft breath tickling her ear. It had been one thing to curl up against him while suffering from hypothermia, but it was an altogether different thing to be almost naked, lying in his arms (though she couldn't quite remember feeling both of his hands on her at the same time) and feeling his morning wood, and be perfectly fine. She didn't even know his name, or for that matter, what he looked like! His humanity, or lack thereof, was last on her list of worries, though it did poke its head from the bottom of the pile to remind her that there could be cultural differences that would help to explain his odd behavior. That he had honor was apparent; he could easily have taken advantage of the situation.
She squirmed again, and then squeaked when his teeth latched firmly but gently onto her neck above her wildly beating pulse. Fangs pricked at her skin, sending delicious sparks of fire through her blood and Kagome could only wonder at the sudden heaviness of her limbs. Is this what Yuki had been taking when she described making out with a boy? She'd have to remember to ask her when she went back home, though she might want to fudge some of the details when her girlfriends tried to squeeze from her the story of her own encounter. They probably wouldn't understand about the fangs.
After she had stopped struggling, he released her and she scuttled away, feeling for her clothes. She could feel him moving with her in the dark, minute sounds that she would never have noticed before betraying a footfall and the brush of hair against skin. A heavy silk garment fell about her shoulders and she wrapped it around herself gratefully, fumbling until she found the wide armholes. A long, silken piece of fabric was placed in her hands and she wrapped it around her waist, tying it off in what she hoped was a tidy bow. That's right, he'd torn her clothes to get her out of them. This must be his shirt. Did that mean he was bare-chested? Kagome blushed all over again as she felt a desire to see what she had touched earlier.
"Thank you, my lord, but what about you?"
His voice was tinged with the slightest shade of amusement. "My inner shirt will do."
"Oh." Kagome was a tad disappointed until she realized how silly she was being. It's not like she'd have the chance to ogle him. Instinctively, she grasped at the air, easily finding the tip of the fur thing he always carried. Really, what was it? She made a mental note to ask him later, but first things first. "This is the second time you've saved my life. How can I ever repay you?"
"We will discuss payment later."
Kagome snapped her mouth shut in indignation. She had meant it as a rhetorical question; he wasn't supposed to ask for something in return! However, she had been the one to bring it up. What could she possibly give him, anyway? Maybe he wanted…that? No, he was more honorable than that…unless he was waiting for her to give herself freely? Would she, in fact, give herself to him? She held cool palms to her burning cheeks as her thoughts spun wildly.
'He is obviously well built…I've never even been kissed before, maybe I wouldn't be any good?' She'd always thought that her first time would be with the man she'd marry, but making love in a cave to the youkai who had saved her had its appeal. It would certainly top Yuka's blowjob story. 'Hentai!' she mentally berated herself. 'He probably isn't interested in you like that. Didn't Inuyasha say that youkai and humans hate each other? Of course, he's a half-breed himself…and this lord has a rather impressive…thing…'
Kagome swore that his voice was a shade raspier, a hint more throaty than usual. 'He can't read my thoughts, can he?' she wondered frantically as she followed him in the darkness. 'Oh, please don't let him read my thoughts.'
The cave floor was less even here, and paved with jagged edges that tore at her already sore feet. Kagome knew that she had developed several blisters on the balls of her feet and between her toes, and winced when a misstep tore one open. Bearing the pain in silence, she refused to ask her youkai for help, just in case he'd make good on his threat to leave her behind. However, the pain was distracting her from her empty stomach, which had given up on growling. She hardly felt hungry anymore, but she was terribly thirsty. Since they had left the water and she had no way to carry it with her, her mouth had become parched and her lips were threatening to crack.
She was so wrapped up in her physical discomfort, that she wasn't aware that he'd stopped until she ran into his metal-covered back.
"You are bleeding."
"Oh, um, yes. How did you know?"
"I can smell it. Why did you not mention your wounds earlier, woman?"
"I didn't want to be a bother," she mumbled, Inuyasha's words coming to the forefront of her mind: weak, pathetic, stupid human.
"Do you suppose you will be less of a bother when you cannot walk?" he voice was laced with disdain and Kagome crossed her arms over her chest.
"I didn't want you to leave me behind!" she snapped. "And I can walk just fine!"
He snorted, increasing Kagome's ire, and then a blunt object pressed into her stomach and she was lifted off her feet.
"Eeek!" she kicked her legs a couple of times, then stilled when an arm wrapped around the backs of her thighs. A disoriented moment later, she realized that she had just been thrown over his shoulder and her face was now pressed into his silky hair. It wasn't as romantic as it sounded; his shoulder was hard and unforgiving and the kimono he had given her to wear suddenly seemed a lot shorter than it had been.
After getting over the initial humiliation of being lugged around like sack of flour, she found that this mode of travel certainly beat walking. For one thing, they were moving a lot faster and that could only be a good thing. She liked the brush of his soft hair against her face and his spicy masculine scent. She also liked his clawed (yes, clawed, she thought with a delicious little shiver) fingers on her bare thighs, especially when they tensed and the tips of his claws pricked her skin. It tickled, kind of, in a naughty sort of way, and she couldn't help the gasps that escaped her lips or the eruption of gooseflesh that crawled up her legs. She began to wonder if he did it on purpose when the slight prickles evolved into longer scrapes that left her tingling deep in her belly and was wholly convinced when a claw stretched up graze against her inner thigh. She supposed that she should be scandalized that he was copping a feel but it was exciting and dangerous, and helped keep her mind off of more uncomfortable things.
His body went rigid, his claws freezing in their delicate teasing of her skin. Kagome twisted her body in a futile attempt to see what was ahead of them and felt an odd, familiar tug at her brain. "Oh, the light! That must be a jewel shard!"
Her companion grunted in surprise and swung her off of his shoulder, setting her gently on her feet and moving away. The soft glow of the shard was bobbing sporadically and rapidly approaching. "I think it's flying," she called to her companion.
"Get down," the command was issued by a man who obviously expected to be obeyed. Kagome didn't have to be told twice; the cold rock stung her feet so she dropped to her knees, hoping that the lord was as powerful as he seemed.
Her hand touched a loose stone and Kagome picked it up, an idea occurring to her. She could charge arrows with spiritual power, why not rocks? It was worth a shot, anyway. Winding her arm up to throw, she stopped just before she threw it as she realized that she had no way of knowing whether her companion was in her line of fire. She'd just have to save it in case the thing got through him.
The glow of the shard whizzed madly about, and the sounds of a scuffle echoed through the cavern. Wishing desperately to see how things were going, Kagome kept her head down and her body as close to the floor as possible while still giving her the ability to dart away if necessary. The creature suddenly shrieked, an eardrum-rupturing sound that set her teeth on edge and wrung a sharp bark from her companion. She barely had time to wonder about the bark before the shard was suddenly hurtling toward her. Claws dug into her chest as she brought her arms up to fend it off, her palms glowing briefly with a brilliant pink light. The talons tore out of her as it let loose another shriek, which was abruptly cut off by a short snap.
Pressing a hand to the stinging, bleeding gashes in her chest, Kagome rose to her feet, wincing as pain lanced through her legs. Was there anywhere on her body that didn't hurt?
The softly glowing shard hung suspended in the dark as she hobbled over to it. Her searching fingers fluttered over spiky fur and tough leathery skin as they felt for the shard. "Damn it all, the shard is imbedded inside its body."
"Guide my claw," the lord ordered, bending down and placing the body of the creature on the ground and tapping the sharp appendage against her palm. Wrapping her fingers around his, she used his claw slice through its flesh until she felt it hit something hard. Releasing him, she wiggled her forefinger and thumb into the wound and extracted the shard.
"GAH!" but the thing was nasty. Wiping cooling, sticky blood on its fur, Kagome wondered where on earth she should put her newest shard. Wait a sec…if her companion was youkai…"You, um, don't want the shard for yourself?"
"The power of that toy is meager compared to the power of this-"
"This what?" Something about the way he said that was setting off warning bells in her head, but she was more than relieved that he didn't want it, so was willing to ignore them. She had three important things to consider at the moment: what to do with the shard, how to disinfect the scratches on her chest, and whether the creature in the lord's hand was edible. Last in, first out. "Do you think we can eat this thing?"
"It was my assumption that humans cooked their food."
"I think I'll make an exception, this once," Kagome assured him, the rumbling in her stomach emphasizing her words. Despite the coppery scent of blood in the air, or perhaps because if it, her stomach had remember that it had been empty for an extended length of time.
She heard a slight sniffing, and then, "It will not hurt you, but do not expect it to be pleasing to the palate." This was followed by a wet tearing sound, almost enough to make her doubt her insistence that she could eat the thing, and then her hand was filled with what could only be a sliver of meat. He seemed to be waiting for something, perhaps assessing her, so she gulped and popped it in her mouth.
Wet…a little slimy…chewy…warm…salty with a smoky under-flavor that reminded her of barbeque sauce. She chewed several times and swallowed. "Better than okra!" she proclaimed and another slice of raw monster was placed in her hand.
"Indeed, I have had worse."
They finished eating in comfortable silence and Kagome welcomed the delightful lethargy that seeped into her bones. Metallic clanking signaled the position of her lord and she smiled in his direction as she found a comfortable seat on the floor. Sitting back against the wall of the cave, her eyes trained on the pink glow of the shard on the ground next to her, she sighed contentedly. Things were looking up, for a change. Before she dozed off, though, she had to clean up the cuts on her chest. Hissing quietly as she pulled the silk from her clotting wounds, she prodded at them with a careful finger.
"How badly are you hurt?" his voice spoke from the darkness much closer than she remembered him being, but she took it in stride.
"I think they're shallow, but I wish I had my first aid kit to clean and disinfect them."
Something warm, rough, and wet dragged over the cut across her collarbone, and her body jerked in response as she gasped. "Wh..what…Oh!" His tongue slipped between the lips of the cut, laving the torn flesh and igniting the languorous warmth into a slow burn. She didn't have words to protest as his tongue bathed the wound tracing her sternum, despite the fact that it placed his head between her breasts. By the time he'd found the sliced flesh across the top of her left breast, she'd worked her fingers into his hair, holding his head to her chest as his tongue tormented her skin. His cheek brushed a budded nipple and his mouth abandoned the wound to latch onto it, nipping lightly at the puckering areola. Kagome groaned and arched her back; nothing she had ever felt compared to this fire that raged through her, stroked and fanned by the youkai's raspy tongue and sharp teeth.
His claws grazed across her belly, pausing as the muscles twitched and jerked, then continuing to push the edge of the kimono away. Kagome welcomed the air on her skin, suddenly much too hot for clothing. Trailing her fingertips down his neck and chest, delighted that he'd removed the metal that he always wore, she marveled at the muscles rippling under the fabric, and without a second thought, parted the edges of his kimono to run hands over uncovered flesh. He was magnificent: hard, smooth and well defined. A low growl rumbled through the pads of her fingers, sensual, dangerous, and exciting.
He traced his tongue up her chest and over her neck, stopping to suckle the skin over her pulse as his hand glided down her waist and bared hip. All of her reason and inhibitions were scattering to the wind under his questing mouth, exploring tongue, each nip of his fangs sending a riot of sensation shooting though her limbs to settle low in her belly. She cried out as his tongue snaked through the folds of her ear, his teeth claiming her earlobe with an almost painful tug.
She was hardly aware of his arm wrapping around her lower back and her new position on her back on the floor of the cave. All she could feel was the tight muscles of his stomach clenching under her fingers and his lips pressed against hers, massaging, bruising, then parting them to allow entrance of his tongue. His kiss was demanding, hungry, and she moaned into his mouth as she met his tongue in a fierce dance. It wasn't until he'd covered his body with hers, his throbbing shaft still contained by his clothing and pressed against her inner thigh, that she was able to pull enough thought together to realize where this was headed. 'What am I doing!'
As if sensing her sudden hesitation, he softened the kiss, rolling his hips gently against the thin barrier of her panties and sending skittering sparks of pleasure shooting from that most sensitive place between her legs. Oh, she wanted him, badly, but was this really a good idea? Loosing her virginity to man whose name she didn't know? He rolled his hip again and she bucked against him, moaning as an ache began to build in her core. What if she never got out of this cave alive? Did she want to die a virgin? Besides, the whole virgin thing was highly overrated…
XXX (edited for content)
They lay still several moments, still joined with his weight pressing down on her body, nothing but their harsh breathing breaking the stillness of the cave. Then, his warmth left her chest to be replaced by his heavenly tongue, bathing the cuts left by the creature and the new ones he'd made with his teeth. Kagome reveled in the sensation like one intoxicated, sighing with pleasure when he eventually finished and pushed her onto her side to spoon her. She drifted to sleep in a haze of satisfaction and fulfillment, her unnamed lover purring against her back.
Chin propped in her hand, elbow propped against his back, once again thrown over his shoulder, Kagome giggled as his claws scraped at the flesh of her inner thigh. Much more brazen, he didn't bother to hide what he was up to, occasionally brushing against her exposed folds or the creases under her cheeks. She felt a little naughty…a lot naughty…clad in nothing but her lover's kimono and no panties, being periodically fingered by a demon whose face she had never seen…but she couldn't quite remember having this much fun. Yes, they were still trapped in a cave in impenetrable darkness, but still…she gasped as his claw flicked over the nub that just wouldn't retreat back into its safe little hood, mostly because he wouldn't leave it alone.
His cheek brushed against the top of her thigh, silky hair slithering over her bare skin as she heard him inhale. 'Is he sniffing me down there?' Kagome thought with a horrified little gasp. Another breath and his chest expanded against her, confirming her suspicion. 'Well, as long as he likes what smells.'
He did seem to like it because his claw pressed into her passage once, long and slowly, then withdrew. Kagome moaned, her arms going weak and dropping her head. 'Oh, the sweet torture…maybe he'll want to stop soon so we can…rest.' Apparently, he had a similar idea, because she was on her feet moments later, metal rattling on stone with a harsh clanking.
Reaching out in the darkness, Kagome found the hard planes of his chest, scoring his skin with her nails as she pulled the fabric of his shirt from his pants. With a wicked smile, Kagome kneeled as she undid the ties of his pants. Naughty girls do naughty things…
XXX (edited for content)
"Perhaps my father was right."
His velvety chuckle rolled through the darkness but he refused to explain.
"We're never going to get anywhere if you keep doing that," Kagome referred to the finger that diddled her clit as he walked, she being slung over his shoulder, bare ass facing forward.
"You like it when I do that," his melodic, though usually impassive, voice had a sensual edge that sent a shiver down her spine. Oh, this guy was addicting. For the thousandth time, she wondered who he was and what he looked like: was he as beautiful as his voice and the silkiness of his hair? Would she find his claws and fangs frightening instead of erotic? Would she get to see him again after they found a way out? His hot breath washed over her rounded cheeks, chasing away her mind's wandering.
"That's not the point," Kagome said when she had her breath back.
He did not stop his finger's gentle ministrations, a tickle of the flesh of her inner thigh, a casual flick of her swollen pearl, a graze of a claw over the puckered hole of her rectum, and Kagome found herself passing the time conjuring images of how they could screw while he was still walking. Most were wildly impractical but highly arousing, and it didn't take long before her own juices joined his to run down her legs, her sexual frustration intensified when his long tongue licked at the little trickle.
"Maybe I should try walking," Kagome moaned through the fog of lust that shrouded her mind.
She felt the prick of fangs on the on the skin where her butt and thighs met, pressing down lightly but inexorably to break the fragile flesh. Crying out and balling his hair in her hands, Kagome wasn't sure if it hurt or felt amazingly good, and decided on both as his teeth sunk deeper, white hot needles that branded her inside and out, each of his steps slightly jarring the wound and ricocheting fire through her veins. 'He's punishing me…or torturing me…ohhh…'
Their forward momentum ceased abruptly and his fangs withdrew, much to Kagome's mixed relief and disappointment. 'What is it?' she wanted to ask, but it came out as a wheeze, "Huhhh?"
"The air has changed."
'Yes, it's much hotter in here than before. Would you like me to relieve you of your clothes?' "…yeah?"
"I believe we are near an exit."
With a deft movement, she was set on her feet and she stood there, staring into the darkness toward the sound of her lover's voice, a hard lump forming in the middle of her chest. 'You should be happy, you're almost out!' Kagome scolded herself, but the lump remained and the tip of the fur was placed in her hands.
"Come," cold, impersonal, and businesslike once again.
The lump constricted and forced its way up her throat, but she followed, glad that her feet no longer pained her. Soon, she was able to feel it: a slight breeze, cool and fresh, smelling of rain and damp forest. 'Wet dog…I like wet dog better,' she brought the fluffy thing to her nose and inhaled, fixing the spicy, doggy scent of the fur in her mind.
A sound invaded her melancholy, a steady drip-drip of water falling onto stone and some other substance that she couldn't define. Her dry lips tingled as the humidity of the air increased, and she licked them longingly as she strained her eyes to catch a change in the darkness that hinted of the outside world. Finally, it revealed itself: a texturing of the shadows almost like light shining off of black velvet. Vainly, she tried to find the outline of her companion and huffed in irritation.
"Stay where you are," her lord spoke ahead of her and Kagome's heart almost stopped when she detected the faintest metallic glint. Obediently, she halted, and the shadows snapped and tore as if being slashed with blades, and then dispersed to expose…tiny stars and the sliver of the new moon.
Shouting her joy, Kagome dropped the fluff and rushed forward past her companion, tripping over the vines that had been removed to uncover the cavern opening. Tears steaming down her cheeks and inhaling great breaths of crisp air, she let her head fall back and stared up into the night sky.
"My lord, isn't it beautiful?" she asked, turning to him with her heart in her eyes. He was gone, as if he'd never existed in the first place.
Kagome scrubbed at her swollen, puffy eyes and sniffled noisily, soundly cursing youkai, hanyou, caves, mud, brambles, bare legs, time traveling wells and sacred jewels. She'd wandered through the forest into which the cave had opened for the remainder of the night, the novelty of being able to see quickly wearing off when clouds had gathered to blot out the faint stars and drench her with a steady drizzle that didn't let up until dawn. Around midmorning, by sheer luck, she'd found the path she'd followed to the original cave and, lugging her leaden heart by its bootstraps, she trudged up the slight incline to where her impromptu adventure had begun.
Her fire was a scattered smear of ashes, her backpack had been upended and its contents scattered, but at least her stuff was still pretty much there. "Except for the jewel shards," she mumbled to herself as she fished through one of the zippered pockets. "Just great."
Sitting back on her knees and examining the borrowed kimono that she still wore, she sighed heavily and indulged in a long moment of self-pity. What was it about youkai leaving her? Was she that ugly and foul smelling? After an quick sniff, she decided that yes, she was a bit stinky, and the kimono, which may have been white and decorated at one time, was a dark, dingy gray and rather ragged and bloodstained. Something about it jogged at her memory, but she pushed it away, frustrated as more recent, salacious memories imposed themselves. It was better to simply not think about that. Shoving her stuff into her bag with more force than necessary, Kagome lugged the thing onto her back. "I need a bath."
Perhaps the gods thought that she'd suffered enough, for she'd only wandered twenty minutes before she'd found an isolated spring bubbling out of the rocks of the mountain and into a shallow, steamy pool. Quickly stripping out of the soiled kimono and stowing it in a plastic baggie, she slipped in the water with a happy sigh.
After a delicious and well-deserved soak, Kagome was scrubbed clean and dressed in a clean uniform and was just adding water to a cup of instant Ramen when a familiar, and not wholly welcome voice broke the late morning quiet.
"Oi, Kagome! Where the fuck have you been?" Inuyasha dropped in front of her, eyeing her closely with brilliant golden orbs.
Kagome set down the kettle with an immense amount of restraint (the osuwaris were crowding behind her tongue, just waiting to be unleashed) and stirred her noodles with her chopsticks. "What do you care? You left me alone in the rain to fend for myself. Don't tell me you've been looking for me!"
"Stupid girl, of course I've been looking for you! I left you because I could find shelter quicker on my own, but you just disappeared! I found your stuff but… I've been searching these woods for days!"
"Humph. I don't believe you."
"Oh yeah? Well look!" he pulled the little vial that held her shards out of the front of his haori and brandished them under her nose. "Ungrateful bitch."
Kagome snatched it out of his hand and undid the stopper, dropping her newfound shard to join the rest. "Don't call me a bitch, dog-boy. And I'll have you know that I've been stuck in a cave since that night and I'm very put out."
"How did you get out?" he asked, suddenly suspiciously. "You smell funny."
"None of your damn business, Inuyasha," Kagome spat in a tone that brooked no argument. Inuyasha let it drop in favor of pulling a container of Ramen out of her bag and filling it with water. They ate in silence, Kagome amazed at how wonderful a simple cup of Ramen could taste.
The rest of the day she spent traveling on his back, and when she asked to make camp as their late afternoon shadows stretched long and lean across the forest path, he acquiesced with a minimum of complaint, even suggesting a nice spot that sported a near-by spring. She graciously accepted his attempt at an apology, though it would have been nice if he simply said something nice for a change. However, it didn't bother her as much as it used to for her thoughts kept turning to a mellifluous voice and nimble, claw-tipped fingers. She had a feeling that it would be difficult to find another man to live up to his gift of giving pleasure. Very difficult, indeed.
Collection her bathing supplies, towel, and an oversized tee shirt that would have to serve as jammies, Kagome left a brooding hanyou by the fire and wandered off to the spring he had said was just beyond the trees. Who said a girl couldn't have two baths in one day?
And so Kagome luxuriated in hot mineral water for the second time that day, sitting on a submerged boulder with her arms wrapped around her knees, her hair pinned in a pile atop her head and her eyes blissfully closed. She'd only just noticed the slight rippling of water against her skin when a hand wrapped around her mouth. Her eyes flew open and her arms released her knees to flail out to the sides in an attempt to flee.
"Silence," his voice slithered down her spine and pooled in her belly. Immediately, she relaxed against his chest, shivering as his tongue traced the line of her jaw.
"Now, close your eyes."
A/N: I had so many wonderful reviewers ask for a continuation that I had to oblige. So, if you are interested, the continuation is called "To Shed a Little Light" – please see my profile for links!
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