Merry Christmas, Kagome!
Looking up at him, Kagome didn't know if she should react as she felt. She decided not to. That little innocent kiss was so… well… innocent, that she couldn't really think he meant anything by it. But… it was Sesshoumaru who'd done it. If there had been another man, she might have forgotten all about it by the next day, but it had been him. That kind of closeness was something rare when it came to her boss, she knew it, and it was very unlike him to act without thinking. Therefore, he must have planned it. That thought kinda confused Kagome.
But before she could think about a rational manner to behave, he'd pulled away from her, and sat back down on the other side of the table.
Sesshoumaru hadn't planned it at all. He'd never intended to kiss her, not even as he leaned towards her. He didn't think about the kiss in itself. Truth be told, he'd barely touched her. That wasn't really a kiss. Well, if you were a 13 year old kid, it might have bee, but they were… not.
He just wanted to feel her close, somehow, and an embrace seemed too… much. He was very distant; he didn't rejoice the idea of such an intimate contact, all of a sudden. Rin was the only one he allowed close to him, all the time.
But there had been something in her voice, something about her face in that particular moment, something that made him want to be close to her, to see more, to feel more about her. To know her better. That was all. He wanted to know her as something other that just his assistant. The realization didn't surprise him as much as he would have thought.
Kagome turned to stir into the chocolate filling for the cake, but she couldn't think straight anymore. She felt like a schoolgirl.
'Get a hold of yourself, Higurashi! What the hell?! Just… concentrate on something else.'
The bubbles weren't much of a distraction though.
"I apologize if my questions were out of place." Sesshoumaru said calmly. His voice made Kagome even more anxious.
"Oh, don't apologize." she said smiling, but not looking at him. She waved her hand while stirring with the other one.
"I'm used to it. I mean, both mom and Souta always nose into my life, wondering why I'm not married, don't have a boyfriend, or any friends for that matter…" she laughed, feeling a little more at ease. Sesshoumaru looked at her back attentively, his forearms on the table and his head a little tilted to the side.
"I always tell them that I have Sango, she's all the friends I could possible need, and that my… men problem has nothing to do with me being as obnoxious as Souta claims I am, but nooo… they have to know everything! Who I meet at work, what takes so much of my time, why you're…" Kagome realized she was rambling again, and stopped before she would say something incredibly stupid. However, she feared she'd already said it.
Sesshoumaru was silent, but a smile ticked the corner of his thin lips. He had no idea she could speak that fast. She was always so composed at the office.
"Oh, I didn't mean you nosed into my life, you know, but God, does everyone, all the time!!! It kinda gets old after a while…" Kagome added, in a fruitless attempt to mend her doing. She feared she'd offended him, when all he wanted to do was engage into a conversation.
Sesshoumaru elegantly cleared this throat.
"I wouldn't know." he said slowly. Kagome frowned, as she added some more sugar to the boiling, liquid chocolate. She gave him a fleeting look over the shoulder.
"Inuyasha and I aren't the closest of siblings." he added almost sadly. Kagome had never Sesshoumaru talk about his brother. All she knew was that Inuyasha was his step brother, but other than that… She didn't even know from which side they were related.
Kagome wanted to know what had made them grow apart, but didn't dare to ask. So she said nothing, and resumed her work.
Sesshoumaru was staring at the knot of her apron, and her simple dress, the way it fell on her body, the way it moved a little with her every motion, the way it tightened around her slim waist… His eyes followed her body to where the dress stopped, just over the gape at her knees. He wanted to stretch his neck and have a look at her legs, but stopped himself. Not because it was improper, he was way passed that impediment from his education. New times asked for new manners… But because, strangely enough, he was sure she would have been embarrassed to see him look at her that way. It was that simple.
Sesshoumaru realized that he respected Kagome. That was maybe the most impressive thing anyone could manage to make him feel. Sesshoumaru-sama's respect was by no means easy to come by. He could tolerate you, he could even like you to some point, he could agree to suffer your company, but his genuine respect… that was almost unreachable. Yet, Kagome had achieved this undeclared, unset purpose. And there he was, unwilling to rest his eyes on her body, because she would feel uncomfortable!
Sesshoumaru smiled in the corner of his mouth.
"Do you get lonely, Kagome?" he said, relaxed. Kagome turned with the bowl in her hand, putting it on the table, where a few aromatic ingredients waited to be added in. She looked at him a little surprised, and thought about his question for a moment.
"Sometimes. But everyone feels lonely sometimes. You could have an army of friends and family around, and still feel lonely." she shrugged her shoulders, adding some cinnamon. Sesshoumaru looked at her fingers. Her fingers never sat still.
"I guess you could." he replied, and leaned back on his seat.
"But when you have none, it is worse. Do you enjoy living alone?"
"I'm not in the position to complain, Sesshoumaru-sama. There are worse things than loneliness. And besides, it's Christmas Eve, let's not be sad, okay?" Kagome sent him a radiant smile, and Sesshoumaru smiled back, if only just faintly.
"Look at that. He can smile." she said, taunting him. She couldn't believe she was doing it, though.
"I have to take this out, so it'll chill faster." Kagome said, mostly to herself, talking about the filling. So she opened the window and put the bowl on the edge of it, hoping it wouldn't fall off. The cool air invaded the kitchen, but they both welcomed it. Kagome took in a long breath, and smiled as she looked outside, at the quiet street, covered in snow and little colored lights.
"I think Christmas is my favorite holiday ever." Kagome decided, as she returned to the table.
"Ever?" Sesshoumaru echoed. She'd sounded just like Rin.
"E-ver!" Kagome smiled, leaning on her arms on the table, and widening her eyes.
"Oh." Sesshoumaru replied flatly. Kagome stared at him for a moment, and then laughed out:
"God…" then she paused.
"I think we need to spend some more time with grown up people, right? All we do all day long is business meetings for you, where nobody's even human, let alone grown up, and computer work for me, then coming home to a kid and a cat, respectively. Yeah. Interesting!" Kagome concluded.
"My thoughts exactly." Sesshoumaru agreed.
"Daddy, Buyo won't wear the angel outfit!" Rin marched in the kitchen, making Kagome look over Sesshoumaru's shoulder, and the taiyoukai to turn around intrigued. The little girl had been trying to dress up the cat in an angel's robe she'd taken off an actual angel figure Kagome had laying around.
Buyo sat pouting in the little girl's arms, with a small robe on his big head, looking positively hilarious. Rin had a small halo too, which the cat clearly dreaded, by the look of it. Kagome grimaced.
"Rin, honey…" she said, but saw Sesshoumaru stand up and then kneeling next to his little girl.
"Buyo is a boy, Rin. They don't wear dresses." Sesshoumaru said very seriously. Kagome wondered how he managed to not laugh at the idea. Yet, he wasn't laughing. Rin pouted, looking adorable, and her eyes widened, looking at her daddy from under her eyebrows.
"But I wanna see how it fits him! It so nice! Look!" She moved her arms with Buyo in them towards Sesshoumaru. The Lord pulled the sparkly robes off the poor cat, and touched its ears with the tips of his fingers.
"It is indeed very nice, but it would look better on an actual angel, now would it not?" he said patiently. Rin eyed him skeptically.
"And besides, Buyo is a little too chubby to be an angel, Rin. I think…" Sesshoumaru whispered, leaning to speak into Rin's ear, "… I think Kagome's been giving him too many cookies. But don't say anything, she might be upset. Think about it. If the dress does not fit, Kagome will be very sad that she's been over feeding Buyo." Sesshoumaru parted from Rin, who still had an incredulous look on her face.
She took a look at Kagome, who was smiling at her from behind the table. Rin looked at the old, fat cat, and decided she didn't want to upset her hew friend.
"Okay." she smiled, and waved to Kagome. She turned halfway to the door, then looked over her shoulder and almost shouted to Kagome.
"Buyo is not that fat, Kagome-chan! He's just a little chubby!" the little girl giggled, and ran back into the living room.
Sesshoumaru retuned to his seat, while Kagome was eyeing him impressed.
"If you cannot fool a child, what is to become of you?" he said, simply. Kagome nodded.
"That's about right." she agreed.
"Rin is about… eight years old, right?"
"She is." Sesshoumaru responded, looking out the window, at the quiet street, and the strange yellow light spread on the snow, every here and there. The decorations were high up so they couldn't color the snow, but the light from the street lamps stretched across the road, and over the base of the trees, where snow had been shoveled. The shadows danced every time a car would pass by, which was not really that often. Sesshoumaru followed the long shades with his gaze, trying not to think about everything that was wrong with his life.
He was alone, it was the sad truth. Other than Rin, he had nobody. His brother wouldn't speak to him, because of a very… very old dispute they had shared. His father was dead. His mother… he knew nothing about anymore. He'd never been interested to share his life with a woman… Well, truth be told, he'd lived with quite a few, but never for longer than a few years, which was practically nothing, to him. Sesshoumaru frowned.
"So how did you come to… have her?" Kagome dared ask, seeing as the man sitting across the table had a gloomy expression that she didn't like. Nobody should be that sad, on Christmas.
Sesshoumaru didn't look at her, but focused on the sound of her spoon, in the bowl. She was stirring something, again.
"She just… popped up one day." he said. Kagome widened her eyes.
"Popped up?" Sesshoumaru looked at her, and inside his eyes she saw such a deep stillness, that she could almost cry. His half open, inhuman eyes stared at her in a completely different manner than before. He was… (dare she think it?)… vulnerable. His expression hadn't shifted, only the look in his eyes. His eyes… Kagome looked at him as she would have looked upon some wonder of the nature.
"She was… dead." he said, after a moment of thought. He didn't know how she would react to hearing something like that. Kagome didn't react at all. She'd never witnessed Sesshoumaru show any sign of his power, although she was sure he must have possessed a great amount of it. After all, he was a youkai. So she lust stared at him, waiting for further clarification. But none came from him. Sesshoumaru was as silent as a grave. Either that he didn't think she would understand, or that he didn't care to explain himself to her, he didn't attempt to clear the air of that strange expectation she was emitting. Kagome raised her eyebrows and sighed slowly. Her doorbell started to ring, and made her come back to Earth.
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
We wish you a Merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!
"Excuse me." she said, barely audible, as she went around the table to get the door opened. Sesshoumaru followed her with his eyes, slightly turning his head to catch her scent. She really did smell like cookies.
After a moment, she heard the door lock, and Kagome's high pitched voice squeaking:
"Sango! Oh my God, Sango! Come in! Kohaku, is that really you? You've changed so much this last year…" The door fell closed, and Sesshoumaru picked up some voices, but he didn't want to pry so he didn't pay attention to what they were saying. The voices were chirping happily, and he could tell the two were very good friends. He waited for a few minutes, and then decided to make an entrance.
"Oh, I was barely able to get a cab to your place, Kagome, the airport is practically jammed! Don't these people have homes?"
"Don't you?" Kagome laughed at Sango, who rolled her eyes back and stuck her tongue out at her younger friend. Sango had always seen Kagome as her younger sister, they had grown up together, but when Sango left for college their friendship had had a lot to suffer. Even so, not in quality, but in the frequency of their visits.
Kagome looked around in the living room, and noticed that Rin wasn't there.
"Rin, where are you honey?" she called the little girl. Sango raised her eyebrows, surprised. Kohaku mouthed Rin's name, in the form of a question, but his sister shrugged her shoulders.
Rin popped up from the hallway to Kagome's bedroom, holding Buyo.
"Here I am, Kagome-chan! What…" the girl stopped in the doorframe, and eyed Kohaku, then Sango, shyly.
"Come in, dear, this is my friend Sango, and her brother, Kohaku. They're both very nice and have come a long way to see me." Kagome's radiant smile gave Rin confidence. She walked towards the three, still eyeing the strangers. As she reached Kagome's outstretched hand, and the woman encouraged her to come closer, with a touch on the back, Rin found her smile. Sango smiled back, although she was confused.
"Hello." Sango said. Rin shied away from the woman, looking at Kagome.
"Where's daddy?" Rin asked.
Kagome opened her mouth to answer, but there was no need.
"I am here, Rin." the voice sounded, freezing any other sound in the room. Everybody turned to the door, from where Sesshoumaru came walking securely. He first took care to settle Rin, taking her small hand in his, and then looked towards Sango. The woman lost her breath for a second or two. Kagome did too.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Sesshoumaru-sama, this is Sango, my friend, and Sango this is Sesshoumaru-sama…"
"Also a friend." he completed the gap in Kagome's wording. Her voice had been dimming from the moment she realized she had to introduce him as her boss. Sesshoumaru noticed that she would have wanted to say something else about him, but she didn't dare. So he stepped in and took the friend shoes. Kagome looked at him in a little surprised, but not more so than Sango, who knew Sesshoumaru was her boss, from what Kagome had told her over the phone these last few years. Now, he was here on Christmas Eve, with his… daughter most probably, saying he was a friend. Sango smiled and took Sesshoumaru's outstretched hand. Where was the rigid youkai Kagome had told her about? Where was the icy glare, and the intrusive look? Sango eyed the Lord a little more that it would have been proper.
"This is Rin, Sesshoumaru-sama's daughter." Kagome added, as Rin stepped closer to her father.
"Kohaku, where have you…" Sango looked around, and took Kohaku by the shoulders.
"Kohaku, my brother." she said, simply.
As everyone was done introducing themselves, and eyeing the others, the atmosphere loosened up, and Sesshoumaru didn't feel as out of place anymore… and as analyzed by this strange woman. Sango was worthy of being Kagome's friend. By the look of it, they were both very dedicated women, although their line of work was so different, Sango being a reporter. She was very suspicious of him, as Sesshoumaru noticed, although she hid it very well. She was always asking him subtle questions about his life, what he liked and disliked, mindful not to upset him, or make him feel questioned. Sesshoumaru thought she was a very skilled reporter.
"I'm gonna leave you alone for a minute, I have to check on the cake filling." Kagome smiled at them both, and put her teacup on the low table.
"Buyo didn't sit on it this time, I hope." Kagome laughed as she got up.
"No, but I did almost burn the cake. If Sesshoumaru-sama hadn't been here… Whoof!" Kagome said, throwing her hands in the air and smiling at Sesshoumaru. The youkai took it rather unexpectedly. He smiled back, amused.
Kagome had a moment of hesitation, before turning to head for the kitchen.
"Quite a handful, huh?" Sango said, making Sesshoumaru quirk an eyebrow.
"How do you mean?" he asked, cautious. Sango was maybe leading him into a trap. He wouldn't have been surprised.
The woman sitting next to him smiled, and took a sip out of her cup.
"I mean, she's a pleasure to be around, she always manages to get your spirits up. But you should know that, after all you've been working together for some years now." Sango said, looking directly into the youkai's eyes. Sesshoumaru took a moment before responding. She really was making a statement. Even if he'd known Kagome for a few years, he was completely unaware of her personality. He'd only seen her as his assistant, the robot-woman who managed to take on whatever chores he assigned her, and get them done in record time, with record precision and ability.
"I do not know Kagome that well. I am… sad to say that I have only noticed her professional skills, up until recently." the demon said, staring back at the human. Sango almost narrowed her eyes.
"Pity. But then again, this kind of relationship is way too common for you to engage into it, right? I mean, the old boss getting involved with his secretary should practically ruin any attempt you might have had to know her better." Sesshoumaru almost smiled. Sango was serving him an excuse for his failure in being more than just Kagome's boss. But he would never take excuses, even if they were so conveniently handed out to him.
"I care little about the general opinion of others. That was not my motivation. I simply… failed to see her as more. Perhaps it was a fault from my part, perhaps not. I could not say. Fact is I am correcting this as we speak."
Sango raised an eyebrow, but the intrusive look she'd heard about for so many times kicked in, and she almost choked on the tea. She became very silent, all of a sudden. Sesshoumaru hadn't intended his look to silence the woman, but as he always noticed, he was a little hard to get accustomed to, as a presence, and people, especially humans, felt intimidated by him. That was generally useful, as they would shut their mouths and leave him be, or he could bend their wished to his liking, but manipulating others was not something he desired tonight. He felt too good. And he had to admit to it, Sango was a pleasant woman. She wasn't as pushy as most human women were; neither was she trying to gain his attention with frivolous actions. Maybe that was due to the presence of her friend.
Kagome entered the living room with another tray.
"Hey kids! Brought you some nice munchies! But don't shove them all in your stomach, leave some room for dinner, okay?" she chirped, while Kohaku gave her a disapproving look. He was explaining to Rin how snowflakes were formed, and tried to convince her that they each had a different pattern, but the little girl was a little to hard-headed.
"Thank you, Kagome-chan!" Rin smiled. Kohaku mumbled something about not being a kid anymore, but as Sango tilted her head at him, he half-mouthed thanked Kagome for the treats.
The dinner proved delicious, and Sesshoumaru had to give Kagome the credit of being a great cook, although he didn't express his opinion as openly as Sango, who couldn't stop wow-ing as she finished the courses. Kagome was radiant, and sincerely happy to have them all there. As an addition to her small group, Sesshoumaru and his little girl were quite something. While Rin was fussing around trying to gain Kohaku's attention, Sesshoumaru simply touched her shoulder sometimes, to make her settle down. He'd never seen her so lively, so interested in someone, as she was in Kagome and her friends. The thought somewhat relaxed him. If Rin, who was generally a reserved child, could feel at ease here, why wouldn't he?
Sango was in the living room, playing Twister with the two kids, who giggled and chirped as she contorted her body to reach the colored spots. Voices ran along the hallway, into the kitchen, and Kagome smiled as she heard them.
"She always does that. Get their attention, that is. Sango is as much a kid as Rin is, I'm telling you."
Sesshoumaru didn't know what to say. He hadn't seen a trace of that kid when the beautiful Sango had questioned him, and practically accused him of treating her friend as an object. Apparently there was much more to both these women that met the eye.
Sesshoumaru passed a hand though his hair, lifting his chin a little, and although Kagome was busy with God-knew-what looking in the fridge, she could sense his movement. And it surprised her when her heart picked up pace. As she turned, she saw that he was looking at her. That same look she'd seen all evening long. The different look. He was never eyeing her like that, at the office. Never. It would have seemed improper to him. But here, in her own house… Kagome wondered if The Lord Sesshoumaru was seducing her in her own home. The mere thought of it made her blush. Too many times she'd felt his eyes on her body, his thoughts headed towards her, his eyes stuck on hers. Too many times.
"What are you doing?" she asked, determined not to let him gain control. She had to take this head-on, or else she would end up like all the women who called at the office, asking for him. More often than not, Sesshoumaru would ask Kagome to say he was in meetings, or away. She didn't want that to happen to her as well. After all, it wasn't just her job at stake, but her heart too. No more broken hearts, she'd sworn to herself.
"What do you mean?" Sesshoumaru said, walking slowly towards her. Kagome leaned back against the fridge door.
"I mean this… game you're playing. Is this really you, or is it just a scheme to get to me?"
"Why would I need a scheme to get to you?" It was a good question, Kagome thought. He didn't.
"I don't know. I'm just saying…" laughs could be heard from the living room, where Sango was still playing Twister with the kids. Kagome momentarily looked towards the door, but resumed looking at him. He was at an arm's length from her. Her arm's length.
"I'm just saying that it feels strange to have you here. Strange, but… good. And… that kiss, or whatever you wanna call it, was really out of… well not necessarily out of place, but out of the ordinary, most certainly." she realized she was taking too much, by now, so she stopped, biting her bottom lip.
"You did not like it." he said, but his tone was making it sound like a question, although it was a statement.
Kagome took in air, and wanted to say that she did like it, but she didn't find the nerve. Sesshoumaru bowed his head and looked at her from under his eyebrows.
"Did you?" he asked, and this time she had to answer.
But it took an awful lot for her to do so. It was bad either way. If she admitted that she did, she admitted that she was feeling more than she should have, for him. If she was to lie, aside the fact that he could probably tell, it would most likely offend him. So she told the truth.
"It was barely a kiss." she said, avoiding a straight answer. Sesshoumaru smiled with intent, making her widen her eyes a little.
"That is not what I asked, Kagome." she felt trapped under his stare. He didn't even move, but he didn't need to. Even if the space between them was wide enough for her to get away from that look, she didn't really care to.
"No, it wasn't." Kagome said.
"Maybe I shouldn't answer, though." He widened his smile, in a permissive expression, looking down for a second, then back at her.
"Your choice." he concluded, raising his chin. Kagome watched in horror how he passed his tongue over his lips, in movement that wasn't too swift, but not too slow either. It could have been done with intent, or not. She swallowed, as she set her eyes on his mouth. When she saw that slick half-smile, she realized she'd given him an answer, even against her will. Her breath was fast, and she involuntarily put a hand on her chest. Sesshoumaru moved towards her and without even touching her, he made Kagome raise her face to him, and part her lips in expectance. They were an inch away from each other, yet neither dared to touch the other. The woman breathed fast over his lips, and Sesshoumaru loved how she struggled to remain still, to keep her excitement from showing. Her entire body was like a tensed bow, ready to snap at the slightest touch. But he wasn't going to give her that touch. She had to make up her own mind, because he could see she had doubts.
"You are different." he said over her mouth, and Kagome took in air, surprised at his words. He'd understood her reasons, why she was so reluctant to give in. She decided that she'd stopped herself from too many things. Not this time, not now. This she wanted. This, she would have.
She moved slowly, and barely touched his lips with hers, a few times. It was like butterfly wings touching his mouth. Sesshoumaru closed his eyes, allowing her to kiss him… in her own way. This time, he didn't want control anymore. He just wanted her kiss.
Kagome slowly pressed her lips over his, very lightly, making him tense and want more. When he moved forward, she pulled back, and touched his jaw.
"Shhh…" she whispered, to make him sit still. This was too good to be ruined all of a sudden.
She continued her light touches; her butterfly-wings touched his lips, slowly advancing, until she finally caressed his mouth with the tip of her tongue. Sesshoumaru almost moaned. Surprised with his reaction, he smiled a little, and Kagome smiled back, over his mouth. Gradually, she teased him, leading him until he matched her actions, and finally she held back, leaving him to take lead, and slowly slide his tongue inside her mouth. Her body quivered as he entered slowly, like time would have stopped, and he had no worries in the world. Kagome put a hand on his neck, and he lightly urged her closer by the waist. His gentle, but firm actions promised a lot, and Kagome turned red.
Sesshoumaru's movements weren't yet circling, but more like in-out of her mouth, making Kagome think of… well… other activities. The slow movement, the pace, the deepening every time he entered again and again was all so similar to making love, that she thought she couldn't take it anymore. But this time, it was his turn to make her sit still, by resting a hand on the back of her neck. Kagome got the idea, but her body just wanted to melt into him.
Sesshoumaru finally claimed her lips, and pressed against her mouth strongly, as their kiss burnt them both. His heart was racing, something the taiyoukai hadn't experienced in a long time, and most certainly never from this little action! Kagome was simply trembling under his hands, her entire body abandoned because of that single kiss. He couldn't even imagine how it would be for him to have her naked body at his disposal. It seemed like she had one erogenous spot, and that was her skin! He touched her on the back of her neck, and she tensed, he pressed his fingers against her lower waist, and she shivered. This woman was indeed something else! He could have touched any part of her body, and she would react like that. Images of them together, and what he would do to her flashed through his mind, but he tried to keep it legal, and decided to let her breathe.
Kagome's eyes were almost black, her pupils dilated, and her face flushed. As Sesshoumaru pulled out of her mouth, she was left with her lips parted, talking in air to last her for a year. She was out of breath, even if she hadn't realized it before he gave her room to breathe.
"You are different." he said, again, and this time he really knew why.
AN: Yeah, I know you were probably expecting a lemon. Weren't you? I didn't really have enough room to write it in. Or, maybe I would have, but I like taking things one at a time. So I'll probably write it in the next chapter. I never really intended this to be as intense, it was meant to be a light read, and somewhat funny too. Goes to show that I get carried away when it comes to Sesshoumaru. Well, that's it.