Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Notes- I've been so stuck on this chapter... That's all that needs to be said for my absence... My apologies, I suppose. Demo... Watashi wa koukai wa shinai. (But... I am without regret.)

I've been brushing up on meh Japanese lately... enthused? (Smiley-face)

xXx

I woke up from the deepest sleep I've had in a long time. My eyes peeked open to the warm room, the sun peircing through the window and bleaching my surroundings a yellowish hue. I stirred in the covers, stretching my muscles, but quickly snuggled back into the warmth. I don't think I've ever been this relaxed... and my energy's back to boot.

Forced to stop taking my old medication, all the side effects washed away, and I feel great.

I can't help but let my mind wander to last night. Inuyasha and I had a rather... embarrassing conversation. Apparently, the night I was attacked, I had been drinking. It's just like my mother had told the doctor. It's not like me at all... but, from what Inuyasha told me, I didn't realize it.

He, Sango, Miroku, and I went to a party. There wasn't supposed to be any alcohol but Mitsuki spiked the drinks, so I accidentally got hammered. When Inuyasha came to get me from Eri and Yuka, we were all so drunk, that I don't remember anything. The only reason Inuyasha remembers is because the alcohol didn't cloud his judgment that much...

I say 'that much' because if he was completely sober, what happened probably would have never happened.

He and I went to find Miroku and Sango and I... Ugh, I can't believe it. I feel so terrible about leading him on like I did! Before we could even find Sango and Miroku, I started flirting with him. He says that I told him that I wanted us to be more than friends... then finally we... started crawling all over each other. Or something to that effect, I don't know. I was intoxicated so I don't recall anything about it. Everything I know I learned from what Inuyasha told me.

Speaking of what he told me... I remember him saying that he told me something, but before he repeated it he stopped short. The curiosity is killing me about what he said. I can't just ask him about it... he's already told me too much. Pressuring him would only cause him to be more recluse...

The stir of the house helps me realize that I let my mind wander. A frown is stuck on my face from my catastrophic thoughts.

I glance to the other side of the room. Inuyasha is sprawled onto a chair near the bed with his head resting on his curled palm, pulling on his cheek. His silver bands messily fall around his face, and his lips were parted so slightly to let air through.

He looks so serene when he's sleeping. Such a calm expression, I start to wonder what he's dreaming about. His shoulders gently rise and fall to the rhythm of his breath and I start to feel drowsy just looking at him.

To keep from falling asleep again, I gently sit myself up on the bed. My wound immediately retaliates by embedding a razorblade deep into the muscle. I take in a sharp breath of air through clenched teeth. Squinting my eyes, my hand flew to a grip on the bandage adorning my injuries.

A vigilant hand suddenly rests on my good shoulder. I look up into deep gold and couldn't stifle the small gasp that escaped me.

"Inuyasha... I'm sorry... I didn't mean to wake you up." I meekly apologized.

He blinked, eyeing my clenched hand. I didn't get a response from him. He either didn't hear my apology or just acted like he didn't care. "Are you okay? Does your shoulder hurt?"

His concern over my well-being helped me smile a little… but just a little. "Yeah…" I squirmed, "It's throbbing."

I watched him whip his head around and reach a clawed hand to the nightstand. Revealing a tiny bottle of ibuprofen, he opened it and tapped two small pills into his hand. "Here. Take these." He instructed, outstretching his hand. "They should take care of the pain."

"Thank you." I spoke hardly above a whisper and graciously took the medicine.

Inuyasha replaced the plastic cap and shifted uneasily in his chair. "They'll kick in a few minutes…" His worried expression wasn't wavered by the acceptance that hung in my eyes. "It's still early…" I almost smiled at how forced the conversation sounded, "You could get some more sleep if you want to…"

I shook my head. "No… The pa-" I instinctively stopped myself from uttering the next word. I really didn't want to stir up his disturbances… "My shoulder, " I intervened, "will keep me awake."

The colour in his face slowly returned, or maybe it was the way the sun was rising through the window.

I carefully removed my hand from the bandages and showed a heartening smile. Inuyasha seemed content with my excuses and finally eased back into the chair cushion, a relieved look washing over his features.

"Inuyasha! Kagome!" A voice roared from down stairs. "Breakfast!" Funny, I didn't recognize Izayoi's voice until she shouted 'Breakfast'.

We were so conveniently knocked out of our ravines at the call of our names. With little effort, we both made our way downstairs and were greeted by the intoxicatingly welcome aroma of early morning cuisine.

XxX

After breakfast, Inuyasha offered to take me to the pharmacist's office. Obviously, he wants me to stop taking that horrid medicine with the excruciating side effects… right away. I wonder why the doctor put me on such a pill… I mean, if the simple ibuprofen that Inuyasha gives me subdues my pain then why not just suggest I do that?

Maybe he gets commission…

My thoughts were interrupted when the car abruptly pulled into a parking space right by the door to the Doctor's Office. Throwing the car into park, Inuyasha glanced at me with look resting in his eyes that demanded me to get this over with. I thanked him for the ride and walked into the door.

A bored looking receptionist looked up from her magazine, a mug of coffee dangling from her finger. With a smack of her gum she replaced the mug with a pen that was chained to the desk. "Do you have an appointment?" Her American accent was thick, and I could also tell by her light brown hair and jade coloured eyes that she wasn't a native Japanese woman.

I gave the secretary a friendly smile and fiddled with the orange bottle in my grasp. "No I don't actually… I just need to speak with him for a moment on getting my prescription changed."

She nodded and glanced at the clipboard in front of her. "Name?"

"Higurashi Kagome. If it could be soon, that would be great." I showed another smile while she nodded again, uninterested.

"He's with a patient right now, but should be finished soon." She mumbled, sipping her coffee.

Now it was my turn to nod my head in agreement, "Thank you." I turned on my heel to take a seat in the waiting room but before I could get very far, the door separating the two areas of the office slung open. I peered at the person standing in the doorway with unyielding interest. Two frighteningly vehement brown eyes narrowed at me. I felt a chill shoot down my spine at the amount of malice filling them.

The girl's face was a few tints lighter than my own, and her colourless lips pursed in displeasure. She puffed a stray lock of pale black hair from her face while her glare never lifted. "You." She spat, making me shudder.

My voice cracked and sputtered a bit at the sudden awkwardness of the atmosphere. "K-Kikyou."

Her brows furrowed when I said her name, and I could tell that she was thinking 'Peons like you aren't worthy enough to breathe my title.'

Haha, that sounds more like Sesshoumaru, doesn't it?

"So…" I spoke so nonchalantly it visibly made Kikyou livid, "What's your illness, Kikyou?"

She whipped her head furiously to the receptionist with a disgusted, "Tch!"

I only let a shrug roll off my shoulders while hers continued to freeze over. Before the receptionist would tend to Kikyou, she glanced in my direction and droned: "You can just go on back now. The doctor has no other patients right now."

I bobbed my head in thanks and briskly strode past Kikyou, not letting her realize that her deathly glares can actually blemish my composure.

xXx

I sat in the appointment room, on that paper-covered cushion, for almost twenty minutes before the doctor finally decided to show himself. Dr. Byakuya placed a chart on the table and rolled over to me swiftly on his tiny swivel-stool.

"What seems to be the problem, Kagome?" He smiled brightly at me, making me feel like I was at a pediatrician's office.

I revealed the bottle of my medication to him and hummed in thought. "Well, it's this pain medicine the doctor at the hospital gave me. The side effects are too much for me, you see."

He nodded and took the bottle from my hand, eyeing it carefully. I sat patiently while he examined the cursed prescription, and finally he looked up at me. "Those side effects are a doozey." He mused.

"Yeah." I nodded. "I've had most of them after just a few days… A friend of mine made me stop taking them and put me on ibuprofen, and it seems to work just as well. …There're just no side effects."

Dr. Byakuya agreed and slipped the bottle into his coat pocket. "Yes, well, before I change your medication… mind if I get a look at that wound of yours?"

"Oh, no. Go right ahead." I complied while slipping the collar of my shirt and my bra strap off my shoulder. "I haven't even taken the bandages off yet."

The doctor stood from his chair and tugged on the white wrap smartly. I tilted my head as to make it easier for him and I felt the bandage slip away from the gash a bit. He narrowed his eyes at the wound and nodded. "Just as I thought." He noted matter-of-factly as he replaced the medicine bottle in my hand.

"What? What's wrong? Can you not change it?" A mild panic started to overwhelm me; I really didn't like this medication!

"I'm afraid I can't. You're wounds aren't just a slash in the shoulder, but wounds of shouki. They are very different." He shook his head sadly at me as I sunk into myself.

My eyes blinked in bewilderment, "Shouki?"

The doctor sat back down in his chair and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "Yes, demonic miasma. Whoever attacked you was not human, and their weapon was infused, or just was, shouki." His eyes flipped open and looked at me sharply. "The reason the doctor prescribed that particular medicine is because it's the only approved medicine that fights off the shouki. I noticed that you haven't been taking that medicine for about a day or two, right?"

I nodded, feeling guilty. Did I do something wrong?

"Well," he started, "when you stop taking the medicine, even for a few days, the shouki will spread. The markings on your shoulder have already almost reached the end of the bandages. Simple ibuprofen won't fend off shouki. If you stop taking your medication and the scars spread to your heart, it will eventually take your life."

I gasped. "I didn't think it was that serious." My voice escaped my lips, exasperated.

He gave me a sorrowful glance, "Unfortunately it is. You must take that medicine or your body will never rid itself of the shouki. When the scars disappear completely, the shouki will be gone and you can cease. Until then, you must take this medicine whenever you feel the shouki spreading."

I raised an eyebrow at him. "That means… when it starts to hurt uncontrollably, right?"

"Indeed." He smiled, returning to his cheery self from the Mr. Serious that he was before. "I'm sure you can commit to it, Kagome. Just make sure you keep that bottle bottomless!"

I watched him stand rather enthusiastically and lead me to the door. With a disappointed nod, I walked through the hall and into the waiting room. Kikyou was gone, and the room lost that icy aura.

The receptionist was still sitting at her desk, a magazine in one hand and her coffee in the other. I flicked my wrist at her in a wave and put on a smile. "Have a good day!" I called. She simply gazed up for a moment, an uncomfortable look across her face, before returning her attention to the magazine.

Sheesh, whatever happened to people persons?

Or is it people… people?

No, that'd be too redundant. It's definitely people persons.

Because I mean, common… people-people? Does that sound right to you?

My pointless thoughts rounded my brain a few times over as I walked out the door. The sunlight pierced my eyes and dragged me back to reality in a single yank. I have no need to be lost in thought anyway… what I was thinking about sounded like a plot line to an episode of Seinfeld.

With a shrug, I walked across the small sidewalk to where Inuyasha parked. He was probably waiting- very impatiently- for me. Knowing him he's gripping the steering wheel muttering: 'Where the hell is she?'

I try to laugh, but suddenly forgot how to. It's not like it would matter anyway, because the desire was suddenly sucked right out of me.

As soon as I stepped onto the black asphalt of the parking lot, Kikyou locked lips with Inuyasha, sitting right in the passenger's seat of his car…

XxX

Author's Notes- And Kikyou enters… Found out about Kagome's attacker too! Gee, I wonder who it could be? But you still don't know why!

If you've read the Inuyasha manga to the parts after the episodes cut off… then you know where I got Dr. Byakuya. Yeah, I'm a name thief, who cares? Byakuya's just another appendage of Naraku's anyhow. It's not like he's dramatically important. Pft, Byakuya of the Mirage… my arse. Also, to fix any confusion:

Shouki- Basically poisonous miasma.
(I will definitely be using this at some point. So I'll just tell you now.)
Shunsatsu- Pretty much the Japanese equivalent to PWND!

Oyasumi-nasai,

-Destiny