Disclaimer: I own a few manga, some ramen, a DVD or two, and a small white dog, but nothing else even remotely connected to Inuyasha…more's the pity for me. I do however, have some leering smut!bunnies free to a good home…

A/N: A gift!fic for Nokomarie the Snake. She's been generous with her time, information and friendship over the past year, has Covered My Ass on numerous occasions and kept the fics from becoming ridiculous…and is a 'lemon beta' extraordinaire. The House of Noko has also done their part, with odds 'n sods ranging from motorcycles to mikos.

Edited (and improved) by Alterfano.

Body Language


Inuyasha pushed aside the sliding door and stepped inside the Higurashi foyer, feeling equally excited and nervous. While it was true that Naraku had yet to be defeated, the part of him not dedicated to figuring out that bastard's next move was doing a giddy little dance. He and Kagome were going to spend some time alone together today …although she doesn't know it yet; hope the wench goes along with it… he'd decreed a day off in the never-ending round of battles over Jewel shards, and the rest of the group had emphatically agreed with him.

They had to be alone, because he had some repair work to do. She'll be the death of me yet…

He'd threatened the runt with the hiding of his little furry life if he tried to butt in, and when Shippo had run crying to Kagome yesterday with his usual complaint that 'Inuyasha's being mean!', she'd been distracted and unusually immune to the kit's crocodile tears…because of the shit I've caused. He hadn't seen the little pain-in-the-ass since and wasn't exactly sure where he was; hopefully annoying Kaede-baba, or the houshi and very far away from him and his girl.

His girl. Has it only been two weeks? Despite the little bit of worry determinedly poking him in the gut, a big silly grin still threatened to break loose when he remembered the happiness that filled his heart that night. He'd bucked up his courage and surprised both Kagome and himself by confronting her on her way back from the river once Sango was safely out of earshot. The nearly full moon had haloed her hair as she blinked up at him, and he could almost hear her puzzlement. He recalled exactly how she tensed when he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her …lucky it was too dark for her to see how hard I was blushing... and then how her body had melted into his, blotting out the hovering fear that she would turn him away …instead she pressed herself against him, her arms twining around his neck as she breathed his name… and before he lost his nerve, he kissed her. Or tried to.

He missed and his lips grazed her soft, warm cheek instead, but that had worked out okay because he was already in position when she turned her head just-so-slightly, her nose brushing his. For a heartbeat, they hesitated, and then her eyes had fluttered closed, she leaned into him…and he forgot how to breathe. The first kiss was good, but the next few just kept getting better, although breaking apart for air was kind of annoying. If Sango hadn't called sharply at that precise moment, he wasn't exactly sure if he would have been able to force himself into letting her go. He sent her on ahead to the campsite, then waited in the undergrowth for a while, finally ghosting over to the other side of the clearing and nonchalantly swaggering into the circle of firelight. He could hardly take his eyes off her, entranced by how she kept smiling softly and touching her lips as if she could still feel his touch…

The next day, much to his annoyance, he blushed scarlet every time she looked at him, to the point where Shippo innocently inquired if he had developed a rash from Kagome's cooking. He might have over-reacted a little, as the kit was still dazed nearly an hour later and Kagome continued to glare at him for another hour beyond that. She stuck tight to Sango and let Shippo share her bedding that night, giving him a clearer signal than even a 'sit' that he'd gone too far. He kept his distance, but found himself dwelling on how soft her lips were, the way all those nice curves had felt pressed up against him and wondered how to get out back into her good graces.

The following night, Kagome forgave and came to him. The campsite was quiet when she wriggled out of her sleeping bag, carefully moving the kit, and tip-toeing up to the trunk of the tree in which he was perched. He wasn't surprised, since he'd been watching her the whole time, but the inviting way she smiled up at him, and then held out her arms in a wordless request had surprised the hell out of him. She was in his arms and back up on the branch before she had time to change her mind…and he wasn't sure, now that he had her alone, exactly what came next. Kagome didn't have any trouble letting him know what she wanted, and he happily obeyed when she gently tugged on his sidelock to bring his lips down to hers.

The first couple of kisses had been the same as before, soft and tender…but then she parted her lips against his and he jumped a little when her moist tongue had lightly flicked against his skin. Breaking the contact, he pulled back, staring at her in surprise, and had seen the look of confusion cross her face, before her arms dropped from his shoulders and she lowered her head. Moving fast, he tilted her face back up with a finger under her chin and kissed her the same way…and the sensations that flowed through him were a revelation that still gave him the shivers weeks later. When her tongue stroked his, and then carefully explored his fangs, testing their sharpness before withdrawing and inviting him to follow, he had to remind himself that they were twenty feet off the ground. His whole being wanted to roll her onto her back and press himself against her, kissing her until they were both dizzy from lack of oxygen…

…and they'd spent the whole night curled around each other up in the tree, kissing until their lips hurt. Kagome finally fell asleep with one hand fisted in his suikan and the other behind him, buried in his hair. Just before dawn he dropped them down to the ground and carefully tucked her into her sleeping bag next to Shippo. Instead of leaping back up into the tree to complete the illusion of normalcy, he seated himself at the base of the trunk, Tetsusaiga propped against his shoulder, so that he would be the first thing she saw when she woke up. He noticed the brat sniffing her intently the next morning and eyeing him speculatively, but for once Shippo kept his mouth shut. Each night for the rest of that week, once the rest of the group was asleep, or at least giving their best impression of peaceful snoring, he carried her either aloft or a short distance away, and their caresses soon included tentative explorations under their clothes.

Good thing the weather's been nice…she'd get too cold being naked in the rain. Things really started to heat up during a particularly intense kiss eight days ago, when Kagome moved closer, took his hand from her waistband and slid it around her waist and underneath her top, against her warm skin. When he opened his eyes in surprise, she was regarding him intently; he licked his lips and slowly ran his hand farther up her back until he was spanning the distance between her shoulder blades with his clawtips…He was even more surprised when she gently tugged both his suikan and his kosode out of the front of his hakama, undid the ties, and watched him for signs of disapproval before flattening her palms and splaying her fingers over the taut muscles of his bare abdomen. When she slid both arms around his back and hugged him close, pressing her cheek against his naked chest, he nearly whimpered at the sensation and wondered how she guessed his skin was this sensitive.

The next night, as he held her in his lap, his robes open and her delicate hands exploring his chest, he gasped when her fingertips brushed over his nipples, and the jolt to his groin woke powerful impulses that he barely contained. He disguised the needy sound with a low growl, which discouraged her from repeating the caress…and he discovered that he'd rather be touched and risk making undignified noises than not have her warm hands stroking his skin. He caught her wrists and pressed her hands against his chest, wordlessly giving her permission to touch however and wherever she wished. Kagome had him moaning into her mouth with a few more passes across the erect flesh…and then he decided to see if she liked the sensation as much as he did.

The way her scent spiked when he rubbed his thumb over her fabric-covered breast told him all he needed to know, although the whimpering moan was pretty good, too.

Despite her response, he was still taken a little by surprise when Kagome leaned away from him and pulled her sleep-top over her head, exposing herself to his gaze and touch. His hands moved before she changed her mind, and the way she arched her back, pushing her breasts into his palms made him smirk arrogantly with the knowledge that he was the one who caused these reactions. He soon had her squirming, and her alluring scent wound seductively around his brain, until he lifted and swung her, parting her legs around his waist and pulling her core snugly against his groin…and the contact with his erection stilled her until he bent her backwards and took her breast into his mouth.

She really liked that. Especially when he nibbled lightly with his fangs.

After several minutes of increasingly heated kisses and caresses, by some unspoken agreement, they called a halt before things went too far. Ignoring his instinct's frustrated howling, he retrieved her top and helped her put it on, and then she closed the front of his kosode, but he kept her wrapped within his fire-rat, feeling both tremendous contentment and the definite stirrings of possessiveness as he held her in his arms. That night, once they returned to their companions, he sat right beside her sleeping bag, not bothering with the pretence of keeping his distance. The next day, when she shyly slipped her hand into his as they walked side-by-side, he squeezed back and didn't blush, not even when the houshi loudly commented on their 'public display'.

After two more nights of pretty much frustrating their obvious desires, Kagome had increased the tension while simultaneously relieving it.

The encounter started out as it usually did, with ever-deeper kisses and hands moving under fabric to caress and touch. She told him how much she liked the way he smelled and he chuckled that she'd been hanging around him too long…and then she started kissing her way down his throat, her tongue and teeth stopping to nibble his skin before she pushed his robes off his shoulders and paid attention to his chest in a way that had him as hard as a rock within seconds. When she started tentatively stroking his shaft through his hakama, he seriously thought he would lose his mind, especially when the scent of her arousal slammed into his brain. All he could feel, all he could smell was Kagome, and her body's responses called longingly to his most primal being. Recklessly, he pulled off his suikan and spread it on the ground before stripping both of them out of their remaining clothing. His breath caught as he admired the woman standing before him, shyly covering her breasts, slightly angling her hips as if trying to hide the dark triangle marking her sex, her heart beating as madly as his…

The hell with the covering up shit. He wanted to see.

…Kagome, her soft skin silvered by the moonlight as he tenderly wrapped her in his arms, gently kissed her, shrouded her in his hair and pressed their naked bodies lightly together. She was nervous, made him promise not to go too far because she wasn't ready yet. Greedy to touch her, feel her, let loose all the want he'd penned up inside him since the night that she'd set him free, he promised, and then she let him lower her onto his fire-rat and explore her curves with his hands and lips. If he lived to be a thousand, he'd never forget how Kagome's eyes had darkened, how her sweat-sheened skin had tasted, how her body had trembled, and most of all, how sexy his name sounded when broken down into gasping syllables…and that had been the first time she'd let him touch all the places he'd begun to explore in bits and pieces, feeling her body move under his hands as they skimmed over her curves, moving closer to those mysterious soft dark places…closer but not quite there. He wasn't sure that he was doing it right and worried about his claws…but her passionate response to his fumbling efforts had reassured him that she wanted him to touch her.

Him. Not that fucking wolf, not that 'Hojo' guy either…him. The tainted hanyou. Kagome wanted him, and wasn't afraid to declare her choice in public.

And then, the next night, she'd gone a long step farther than just holding his hand in front of the others; the memory caused his fang to slip out over his lip in a lop-sided grin. After a particularly long, angry, bloody day, Kagome took his hand and tugged him towards the hot spring. Sango's mouth had dropped open, and the brat had started after them, but was restrained by Miroku… I owe the houshi for that. Once assured that they were alone, she'd led him to the very edge of the water, and then had slowly undressed for him, shedding her clothes until she was completely naked to his gaze, and he was weak-kneed with desire. Smiling naughtily…what's happened to my innocent little miko?... she then proceeded to undress him, taking her time with the knots and layers until his hands were shaking and his breathing ragged. She'd then stepped away from him and into the steaming water, the rising vapour shimmering her skin like transparent silk and gracefully sank down before holding out her hand. He had her in his arms in a heartbeat, delighting in the needy little whimpers and soft moans she voiced between heated kisses. He didn't even care that he actually whined loud enough for the others to hear him at the mind-blowing sensations caused by her slender fingers circling his erection and stroking him in a manner that he had no hope of duplicating himself. Between her clever hands and the warm water, his knees buckled in record time. As he came down from his release, they lay in the gently lapping water, her body curving into and moulding against his even as their hair swirled together in the water, equal parts moonlight and moonshadow.

Finally, he'd had a taste of what he wanted for so long, had come so close… Now, standing in the entryway of her house, waiting for her, the grin slid off his face. Yeah, and it's been going downhill ever since… when the hell is she going to trust me? Sighing, hoping that she had cooled off so that they could go back to their previous intimacy, his keen ears picked up Kagome's unmistakable light footsteps, and he shook himself out of his erotic reverie, making sure that not only was his face composed into its usual smirk, but that his voluminous sleeves covered his throbbing crotch as the dark-haired object of his fantasies popped her head into the foyer and flashed him a startled glance. "Oh! Uh…Inuyasha. I'm not ready…"

"Keh, wench. Even if you had all day, you still wouldn't be ready." He affected nonchalance as Kagome disappeared back into the house, but that look she'd given him spoke volumes, and his ears drooped a little. Guess she's upset…

She took far longer than he thought necessary, and he was about to fling open the inner door and search her out when she returned, carefully manoeuvring an even-more-bulky-than-usual backpack. He took note of it only after admiring the way the dress she wore clung to her curves and showed off her shapely legs. "What the hell are you carting around this time?" he asked, taking the backpack from her and testing its weight, frowning.

Kagome bent to slip on some sandals, giving him a great view of her rear and incidentally reminding him that there was a particular position he wanted to try… "I, um, thought we could go for a picnic…with the others…" She sounded more than a little unsure, and he noticed that she was chewing her lip as she waited on his reply; his intent quailed a little, but he covered it up with a careless shrug.

"Whatever." He swung the pack onto his shoulder and headed out the door; Kagome lagged behind a bit. "Come on, wench. We ain't got all day." He reached behind and caught her hand, pulling her into keeping pace with his longer stride until they reached the cool darkness of the well house. She hesitated, almost as if she wasn't sure she wanted to be with him. Not good! Shit! She's definitely still upset.

Inuyasha let go of her hand and thumped down the inner staircase, then turned and waited beside the well. Observing the doubtful look on her face as she stood above him on the platform, scuffing her shoe and biting her lip, he made up his mind. No picnic with the others today; no fucking way. He was taking her back there. It's been nearly three years to the day, or pretty damn close…will she remember? Decision made, he bounded up the stairs and caught her around the waist, smirking slightly at her 'eep!' as he pulled her close to his chest, and then took them from the platform right into the well in one fluid leap, the shimmering blue light enfolding them.

At the bottom of the well, on the other side, he squeezed her a little tighter before leaping out of the shaft to land in the soft grass. The buzzing of cicadas and trill of bird song were the only sounds in the golden-hued meadow as he handed her the backpack, and then crouched, offering her his back. Kagome didn't immediately respond; he glanced up over his shoulder at her. She fidgeted, biting her lip again. "We can just walk, if we're only going to the village to pick up the others."

"We ain't going to the village, wench. Last thing I feel like right now is that nosey little brat hanging around. Get on." He made it sound more like an order than he meant to, but it had the desired effect of causing her to slowly arrange herself against his back. Standing up carefully, testing his balance with the extra weight, he tucked her velvety bare thighs more snugly around his hips and enjoyed the illicit thrill of having her warm skin under his hands as they took off into the summer afternoon.

He loved the feeling of flight, the wind streaming their hair behind them, Kagome's warm weight against his back, her arms around his shoulders, her breath warm on his neck. Hell, since he'd acknowledged how much of his heart and soul she held in her dainty calloused hands, he'd allowed himself to love everything about her. Wait a minute…she's not exactly snuggling up to me like she usually does…shit.

Testing his theory, he deliberately planted his feet a little harder on the next landing, and as he expected, she 'oofed' as the force of the impact caused her body to slam into his…but once she'd recovered her balance, she pushed herself slightly away from him. Shit, again. Since the first time they'd investigated under each other's clothes, she never passed up an opportunity to touch him, as if it was her way of scent-marking him. That idea made him smirk, but only for a moment, as his brain finally stopped thinking about how Kagome's skin felt and made him confront the fact that the girl on his back was not just a little upset, and it was his own damn fault. Hell…she's miserable, and this situation isn't doing anything for me, either

Adjusting his course, he angled them through the trees towards the other side of the village, conscious of how much tension was radiating from Kagome's slender body. He did his best to ignore it, and hoped his idea would soon have her melting in his arms…but then tensed up himself when he acknowledged exactly how he'd fucked things up between them.

Two nights ago the soul collectors had appeared, and Kagome had been extremely quiet and withdrawn ever since…and he absolutely, positively screwed up by not telling her right away what the situation with Kikyo really was. He'd gone to Kikyo's summons, not sparing the girl a look on the way out of the campsite, mainly because he'd been consumed by the hope that the undead miko finally had some news about Naraku that they could use. Not to mention the fact that the faster he heard her out, the quicker he could return to Kagome and embark on the evening's activities.

How could I be so stupid? I should have taken Kagome with me… He growled audibly, even as he mentally smacked himself upside the head.

Kikyo hadn't any new information, and he found himself almost rolling his eyes as she tried to draw out of him a renewal of his promise to accompany her to hell. "No," he said, plainly and simply, surprised by the strength of his conviction. "I will avenge your death… but that's it. I have people who need me, and I will not leave them behind." Kikyo had sighed lightly and shrugged a little, as if she expected this final betrayal, but when once the indication of her lack of faith would have wounded him, now he merely straightened up a little more and watched her keenly, alert for any sign of her trying to bespell him. He turned on his heel and left, his thoughts focussed on sparkling grey eyes and warm smiles.

Once he returned to the campsite, he couldn't miss the scorching looks sent his way by the slayer, nor the salty scent of tears hanging over the form tightly curled up in Kagome's sleeping bag while Shippo petted her hair and glared at him. Somewhat puzzled by all the hostility, because he hadn't done anything wrong, he 'keh'-ed and sprang up into the tree. He watched her no less closely, and indeed, had crept down to sit next to her once the fire died to embers, watching her sleeping face and barely restraining himself from licking away the marks of her tears. What the fuck does she think I did, anyway? The next day, Kagome had been distant, avoiding looking at him, appearing close to tears and riding on Kirara with Sango. This had gone on all day until, frustrated by the undeserved silent treatment, he finally intervened with the simple expediency of grabbing her off the fire-cat's back mid-flight. She sat him into a small crater as soon as they touched down, and then she stalked away without a backward glance, rubbing her arms as if his touch had burned her.

That night, she had used Shippo as a shield, carefully keeping her distance until he thought he was going to go insane from the desire to touch her, to have her smile at him, to smell how her scent spiked when their bodies touched and they looked deeply into each other's eyes. Barely waiting until the fire had died down, he tossed Shippo out of the bag and took her airborne, a hand clamped firmly over her mouth to prevent a repeat of the afternoon's cratering. She twisted and fought against his hold and finally went limp just as he landed in a secluded glade. I really should have talked to her first, but I just…dammitI needed her… He replaced his hand with his lips, kissing her hungrily as he peeled her out of the sleeping bag and her night clothes, almost desperate to re-establish that feeling of connection. Is this is how my father felt, all those centuries ago? He hazily wondered as he nuzzled her throat and caressed her soft curves.

She hadn't resisted, but she hadn't exactly responded enthusiastically either, allowing him to have his way…but he couldn't fail to notice that as he kissed and stroked her skin, ran his claws through her tresses, rubbed his body sensuously against her, her expressive grey eyes were tightly closed and her face turned to the side. Alerted by her tension, but too intent on reacquainting himself with the feel of her skin to back off completely, he was extra-tender, wanting to reassure her with his touch that she was his world. Drawn almost magnetically to the source of her scent, when he kissed a path down her body and positioned himself over her short curls, she twisted her hips away and tensed up so that he abandoned the attempt and just wrapped himself around her. She lay quietly in his arms…too quietly. He pressed tender kisses to her brow, murmured endearments into her hair, purred softly to relax her, but her hands remained folded against her breast, her own voice silent, her downcast lashes fanning across her cheeks. I should have said something then, but I…couldn't. Damn me anyways. He dressed both of them, then gathered her and the bedding into his arms and carried her back to the others, giving the kit a 'don't-you-dare' look when he approached them, and settled himself to keep watch at her side, Tetsusaiga cradled in his arms, when it really was her he wanted to hold.

In the morning, she had been silent and again ridden on Kirara. No wonder she doesn't want me to touch her. I practically molested her…I'm an idiot, but I'm her idiot. Why doesn't she understand that? He paced alongside the monk, who only desisted from lewd questions when threatened with being knocked unconscious and left on the roadside for scavengers. Just before they reached the village, Kagome had said something to Kirara, and the cat disappeared over the trees. By the time he and Miroku reached Kaede's hut, he knew she'd gone home. He knew why, but figured he'd give her time to bathe and then talk to her later. Instead, just after dinner, when he had begun thinking about going through the well and hopefully trying out Kagome's bed, a messenger from the next village over had arrived, begging assistance against a low-level demon that was destroying the crops. Sighing, he'd gone with the slayer on Kirara to deal with it, and by the time they returned, it was too late and he didn't feel like risking a 'sit' over waking her up in the middle of the night.

Now that he had her alone again, on the way to the place that he hoped would allow them to get back to where they had been before Kikyo showed up, Inuyasha set his jaw and landed hard again. The silly wench…I chose her so long ago, and she still doesn't believe it… He made a slight course correction and in two more bone-jarring leaps, they reached the spot he had in mind… He let Kagome slide off his back and smooth her dress before turning around and relieving her of the backpack.

"C'mon, wench. I'm starving, and your 'picnic' actually smells half-decent." She didn't rise to the insult, and that's when he knew he was really in trouble. She obviously didn't recognize where they were, so his hopes of her understanding the importance of this place, and making this whole thing easier to explain were shot. Sighing, he put down the worn yellow backpack next to that tree, then pulled his suikan out of his hakama and spread it on the ground. Kagome uttered a sharp noise, and when he turned to see what the problem was, she appeared to be on the verge of backing away. The expression on her face was wary, as if she expected him to grab her, and his ears drooped again as he turned back and began to unload the backpack.

"Ya got enough food in here for ten people; no wonder it was so damn heavy," he muttered, while peeking inside the various containers and sniffing their contents carefully, then arranging them on one of the spread-out sleeves of his fire-rat before plunking down and putting Tetsusaiga to the side. "Ya gonna just stand there, or are ya gonna eat something?"

Kagome slowly approached, her eyes darting everywhere except him; he was reminded of a skittish fawn. Shit, she's acting like I'm some kind of predator…I really fucked myself this time… She edged up to the part of the suikan that managed to be the furthest from him and gingerly knelt, looking like she would bolt at the slightest sign of him moving towards her. Sighing, he rummaged in the pack for some chopsticks and extended them out to her, as well as a container that held the shrimp rolls he knew she liked.

He tucked into a container of cold noodles in some kind of mildly spicy-sweet brownish sauce that had shredded chicken and chopped cucumber mixed in with it, watching her through his lashes as he ate and tried to figure out how to bring up the topic that lay heavy between them…without getting 'sat' right off the bat. Kagome spent more time chewing on the tips of her chopsticks than eating; in fact, she looked pretty damn unhappy, and her bright scent was muddied. Her silence was also beginning to unnerve him; this was so unlike his Kagome that he decided to try desperate measures…including flattery. "These noodles are pretty good, Kagome. Not ramen, but still pretty good." She mumbled a response that sounded like thanks, and returned to poking listlessly at her food.

Okay…that didn't work… He delved back into the bag, and his nose detected some sweet dumplings in a small box; he fished it out and scooted over to her. Before she could retreat, he held up one of the morsels in front of her nose. "I know these are your favourites. Open up…" Kagome gulped and stared at the dumpling like he was offering her something poisonous, but then she quickly nipped it out of his claws and popped it into her mouth.

Inuyasha watched her narrowly while she chewed, her eyes downcast. He made a show of looking in her almost-untouched lunch container, and then scooped out one of the rolls and ate it, sensually licking his fingertips and watching for her reaction. Her scent radiated nervousness and acute discomfort…and he was tired of it. Time to drag this dead horse back out into the open and beat it some more….

He caught her chin in his claws, tilting her face up; she stubbornly wouldn't meet his eyes. "What's wrong, wench? Don't tell me 'nothing' because it's obviously 'something'." She shifted, tried to pull away, and he let her go, watching her carefully. "You haven't looked me in the eye since I went to see Kikyo the other night." At the mention of the miko's name, Kagome went white and then flushed. Setting her food aside, she began to rise…but he had her wrist in a grip of steel and emitted a low warning growl. She froze. Misery, and a touch of fear, tinged her scent, and he was sure he saw a glint of tears gathering at the corners of her lashes. Gentling his hold, he quietly rumbled, "Tell me, Kagome. I can't fix it if you don't tell me."

"You can't go from my arms to hers. I won't allow you to do that to me." Her voice was a fierce whisper.

His ears flattened and then went rigidly vertical. "It wasn't a love tryst or anything like that!" His temper rose, but he wisely kept it under control. She flinched and kept her gaze firmly fixed on the rosary where it lay on his chest. This is getting old, dammit…he narrowed his gaze at her, and asked the question to which he was pretty sure he already knew the answer. "This is why you didn't want me touching you the other night, isn't it? Why you kept your eyes closed, and you turned away from me?"

Kagome swallowed hard, tried to turn her head away just like the previous night, but he gripped her chin in his fingers and firmly prevented her escape. A long moment of silence wrapped around them; she showed no sign of answering, so he shook her a little. "I'm waiting, wench, and we ain't going anywhere until I'm sure of what's going on inside that stubborn head of yours."

Finally, her shoulders straightened and she looked him square in the eye. "If I keep my eyes closed, then I don't have to watch you wishing that she's the one you're…you're…" She couldn't get out the last word, and her eyes dropped as she flushed. He was so startled that he let her go, and just stared at her while his brain caught up with her accusation…and then he barked with laughter. Ooops…bad move, hanyou. Kagome's eyes flashed angrily…and then she seemed to shrivel up into herself, turning away from him. Finally, he caught her chin again, and jerked her face up.

"For a smart girl, sometimes you're really stupid," he growled and waited until her eyes flew to his, at first surprised, and then narrowing in fury. Never taking his gaze from hers, he gestured around at the clearing. "Do you recognize this place?"

She forced herself to look around, at least as far as his hold on her chin permitted, and finally said, in a very small voice, "No." Shit…I knew it.

"A long time ago, I was sitting over there…" he pointed to the base of the tree with a long claw, "…and you came to ask me if I was going to help retrieve Kikyo's ashes. You got all upset because I wouldn't look at you, and you grabbed my hair." Inuyasha paused, aware that he finally had her full attention, and dropped his hand from her chin to her wrist. Lifting her hand, holding it the same way he had then, as if he had just wrested his hair from her grip, he rested his cheek against her curled fingers. "Do you remember what you said that day?" Kagome's face flushed bright pink, but she said nothing. "You asked if it bothered me so much that you looked like Kikyo…and you asked me if I hated you for it."

Her grey eyes grew impossibly wide; she wet her lips. Inuyasha brought up his other hand to cup her cheek while he looked deeply into her gaze. "I said, 'you have it all wrong'…and you still do, Kagome." He made an effort to soften his voice even more. "You've never been her replacement…you've always been yourself…my Ka-go-me. I chose you that day…I've wanted you ever since, and now that I have you, I'm not letting you turn away." His thumb swept over her cheekbone, his eyes gone very dark. "You've wasted a lot of energy being angry about this, and it's time to stop."

She yanked herself away from his touch and glared furiously at him; hot tears began racing down her cheeks and she dashed them away as quickly as they fell. "You jerk! You never told me…! How could you promise to go to hell with her if…"

"Keh! I wasn't thinking straight when I said those words…I was trapped by Kikyo's illusion..."

"How do I know you're thinking clearly now?" She backed up slightly, just out of easy reach, and he let her go…for now.

"I'll never go with her, because then I'd have to leave you." She froze, eyes riveted to his as his words sunk in. Good. She's listening. "I promised myself to you that day. I wanted to kiss you, but you weren't ready…" He slowly reached for her, giving her plenty of time to react; she scooted backwards again, but she didn't pull sharply away, and she didn't 'sit' him. Her heart was pounding so loudly he could hear it easily over the rustling of the leaves, and there were still tears, but now they slid slowly down her cooling cheeks.

"Then why…?" Her voice was hollow, and he mentally winced at the old pain. I've been a fucking bastard…in more ways than one

Inuyasha ran his claws through his bangs in exasperation. "I'd failed her once, allowed Naraku to use us…and Onigumo's heart still wanted her. She still needs my protection even now…but I'd never leave you for her." Kagome's head bowed, her thick hair sliding forward to hide her face; he noticed that her hand clutched at the top of her dress, twisting the fabric…and incidentally tightening it so that the contours of her breasts were on full display. I shouldn't be ogling, but what the hell… "You really think I'd touch her like I touch you? My honour…and my heart wouldn't allow that. Give me some credit, wench."

Kagome shook herself, and was silent for a while, worrying the buttons on her dress. When she finally spoke, her voice was very soft. "I've been so happy these past few weeks that I just…I couldn't take watching you go to her…"

"I only talked to her, and the whole time I was thinking of you. You made yourself unhappy for nothing." He saw her throat move when she swallowed, and heard her sigh. He took the risk of shifting closer to her, ready this time to grab her and hold her tight until she heard him out and they resolved this stupid misunderstanding. When she looked up, glistening-eyed, there was a small, wry smile on her lips; encouraged, he leaned in and hesitated for a moment before softly kissing her. When she kissed back, he could have shouted in relief. He broke the contact after a few moments and rubbed his nose against hers, rejoicing when her fingertips came to rest lightly on his cheek. Kissing his way over to her ear, he breathed, "I should have told you months ago; I just assumed…aw, hell, I'm not really that good with words, wench, so just let me show you…and please…don't look away this time."

Kagome's lashes lowered, but she didn't close her eyes either, and they kissed for several long minutes, watching how each other's eyes darkened and misted as the heat rose between them. He broke the kiss again, and moved the food containers out of the way before shifting back onto the centre of the suikan. Holding out his hand in invitation, his lip curved in a crooked smirk when she took it without hesitation, and he drew her into his embrace. Their lips met again, and Kagome slipped her arms up around his neck while he held her tightly before toppling both of them over onto the soft fire-rat and indulging in a long, passionate kiss. He sat back up, and she watched him intently as he stripped off his white linen kosode, his hakama now slung so low that the girdle of muscle defining his torso as well as the thin line of downy fur that pointed towards his sex were on full view. Inuyasha shook his head vigorously and silver spilled over his shoulders as he lowered himself to lie beside her, propping himself up on one elbow while he regarded her with hooded eyes.

His gaze was too intense; Kagome closed her eyes, and his fingers were instantly on her chin, causing them to fly back open. He regarded her seriously, a dark eyebrow arched. "You keep closing your eyes, wench, and I'm gonna think you would really prefer Koga to be doing this."

Kagome's mouth dropped open, and then anger sparked again, but before she could explode, he took advantage of the situation and kissed her very deeply. She tore her mouth away and subjected him to a death glare while pushing against his chest. "How could you say that? How could you even think that?" she spat.

Inuyasha laughed, ignored her puzzled fury and kissed her again. "Keh…how could you think that I want you to be someone else?"

The girl went very still, regarding him with a thoughtful expression before nodding slowly. "Point taken." The following kiss was full of promise and acceptance, and she burrowed into his heart a little further. I wonder if I can make her blush…she's damn cute when she does…fuck me! I'm turning into a damn wuss…

"Oi. You have too many clothes on for such a hot day…" His claws traced patterns on her collarbone, and then moved to tap on the row of small buttons that closed the dress down the front, from the top curve of her breasts to mid-way down her thighs. The soft material clung to her body, enhancing as much as it concealed, and he liked the effect so much that he decided against simply slicing the dress away. "Take this off for me, Kagome…I like to watch you get naked like you did at the hot spring." Her cheeks flared, but her slender fingers obeyed, and as the fabric began to loosen, he started folding the material away and kissing the bared skin. He ran his tongue-tip lightly alongside the strap of her 'bra', and then nibbled along the lacy edge over the curve of her breast, listening in satisfaction to the way her heart jumped at his touch. Personally, he thought these 'bra' things were a usually a waste of material, but right now, when he could gently torment her by kissing her nipples through the fabric until she gasped and squirmed…they were more than tolerable.

He made it as far as her navel when the last button came undone, and two things happened. One, her fingers started fondling his ears, which he reluctantly admitted he actually liked, and two, her delicate lacy 'panties' were on full display. These were particularly nice, and he smiled into her skin at the realization that even though she was upset with him, she had still dressed for him. Her scent beckoned him closer, and he wondered if she would let him do what she had denied him the other night…

First things first. Returning to her breasts, he kissed and nibbled the sensitive flesh, groaning a little when her talented fingers found that spot at the base of his ears that nearly reduced him to jelly. Sliding his hands up to her shoulders and down her arms, he helped her to sit up and wriggle out of her dress, her bra joining it in the 'discard' pile. Kagome ran her hands into his hair as they kissed, obeying his command to keep her eyes open, and he found watching her pupils dilate in response to his touch to be very satisfying.

Watching for her reaction, he cupped her breast, gently rubbing the pad of his thumb over the erect nipple, and then slowly stroked down her body until his claws were plucking at the dainty ribbon securing her panties. "Oh, Inuyasha…don't cut these! I just bought them…"

"For me?" He couldn't resist asking, tugging on the ribbon a little, and thoroughly enjoying her blush.

"Only if you're a very good boy." Then she pulled him down for a very hot kiss that made his head spin while her hands stroked his skin, urging him to press his entire body against hers, and he felt his groin respond to her invitation. With her willing help, he freed her legs of the panties, tossing them to the side, and knelt between her thighs. Kagome inhaled sharply, and regarded him intently.

"I'm always a good boy…and only yours." Untying his sash, he let his hakama drop, and shimmied out of them. Taking them and his discarded kosode in hand, he rolled both items into a rough pillow and lifted her slightly to slide it under her head and shoulders. As he leaned over her, he made sure to press his erection into her soft thigh, making it impossible for her to mistake his intentions, and enjoying her encouraging response. Starting at her earlobe, he kissed his way down her body, until he reached her dark curls, loving how her scent spiked and her breathing sped up. I'd better check if she wants this… He dropped a kiss right onto the soft hair and then looked up at her; Kagome smiled a bit and then opened her thighs a little wider. He grinned back rather toothily, kissed the satiny skin below her navel, then swept his hair out of the way and lowered himself until he could practically taste her heated scent. He wondered if she'd forgotten how to breathe since there wasn't any sound coming out of her.

He kissed the soft flesh gently, savouring her reaction when she gasped and a tremour shook her whole body as her hands landed on his shoulders. He did it again and then lightly nibbled on a particularly hard nub of flesh…and when her hips bucked right off the ground with a choked cry, he knew he was onto something. Going to work on that one spot with a will, occasionally leaving it to see what other sexy noises she would make if he let his tongue stray down there, he found that he actually had to hold her hips down to prevent bruising as she cried out and thrashed. Oh, yes…she definitely likes it… Her whole body tensed; her fingernails dug into his shoulders and then she arched herself with a gasping scream and a rush of heat that took him by surprise. When he peered up at her through his bangs, he was completely entranced by her flushed countenance and her passion-darkened eyes…and then it was his turn to nearly go cross-eyed when she began rubbing his ears.

Giving her womanhood a final lingering kiss, he began sliding up her body, mapping it with his tongue and teeth until he reached her breasts, and thoroughly enjoyed how she writhed in his arms when he lightly suckled the rigid peaks. Her hands left his ears, ran through his hair and down his back as she wriggled and opened her legs wider, inviting him inside. Does she really…gods, she does! His erection throbbed, his groin so tight it nearly hurt, and as he rested the tip just at her entrance, the heat swamping the sensitive skin nearly overpowered his restraint.

He had almost brought himself back under control, when Kagome smiled up at him and purred, "I want you inside me, Inuyasha…I want to hear you growl." She emphasized her demand with a roll of her hips that caused him to slip inside…and then he was lost. With the angle that she was on, propped up by his clothing, he hooked her legs over his arms, cupped her behind and rose slightly onto his knees, spreading her even wider. Kagome gripped his biceps; he locked eyes with her…enjoying the extra rush it gave them both… as he slid inside her at last, waiting for several long, rather intense moments for her to adjust, and when she gasped his name, he began to drive into her tight, wet heat, and he knew he wouldn't last long.

Snarling, he panted hard, feeling the anticipatory tightening winding deep in his belly, more powerful than any time he had touched himself while thinking of her, watching her face as she tried to meet his thrusts even though she was helpless in his grip. "Touch yourself, Kagome…show me how you like it." He hardly recognized the feral tone as his; her eyes widened as she registered his demand. Hesitantly, her hands left his arms, and slowly moved to cup her own breasts. Under the spell of his dark amber eyes she was soon caressing herself and moaning almost non-stop from the pleasurable assault on her senses.

Inuyasha wasn't sure how he was able to hold onto the slightest shred of control, wanting Kagome to fall over the edge with him, but he completely lost it as his primal being threw back its head and roared…and then he was helplessly pounding into her body, riding out the waves of his orgasm when he felt her suddenly tighten around him, her breathing stall…and she cried out his name as she came with such shuddering force that he was momentarily afraid he'd harmed her somehow. Gasping, he slowly collapsed onto her; her arms came up to loosely circle his shoulders and lightly press his face into her soft breasts. They lay like that for a while, until he moved his hands from under her and allowed her legs to relax alongside his hips. He stretched up her body until he could kiss the underside of her jaw and snuggle in the crook of her shoulder, listening to her sigh of contentment. She forgave me…and I'm a fucking lucky idiot she did…

The warmth of the day dried the sweat rapidly, and he was just considering seeing if she was up for trying out a more traditional inu position, when Kagome's stomach growled…loudly. The girl underneath him giggled a bit, and then her body emphatically announced again that it needed some sustenance sooner rather than later. Chuckling, he carefully removed himself from between her legs and sat up, then lifted her into his lap. He felt a strong thrill at holding her naked body against his, like it was natural and normal…because it finally was… and then reached for the abandoned container of shrimp rolls. Kagome held the box, and allowed him to feed her, relaxing in complete acceptance into his embrace. Between them, they polished off two more containers of mixed rolls and a bottle of water, and then sat quietly, enjoying each other's company.

"Have you had enough?" she finally inquired, twisting away from him to stack the empty boxes without completely leaving the circle of his arms.

He allowed a deep rumble to leave his chest as he nuzzled the nape of her neck, and nipped her lightly with his fangs, his hands sliding up to cup her breasts. "Never, wench…and I have an idea…"