Kagome felt herself floating up from sleep to consciousness, a vague fuzzy feeling encouraging her to fight it. Of course, this only made her wake faster, and she sighed heavily as she became aware of the light beyond her eyelids. She was surprised, however, by the brush of soft lips on her forehead, and without opening her eyes, she felt herself beneath some sort of thin blanket, skin pressed against hers.

Sesshomaru. She opened her eyes, blinking a little until his face came into focus. "Were you watching me sleep?" she said in lieu of a 'good morning.'

He smirked and propped his head up with his elbow. "It is a favorite hobby of mine, I have found."

She smiled back and turned on her side to face him better. "No, I mean all night." A few strands of Sesshomaru's hair slid over his shoulder and caught the rays of light that slipped in through the shoji. Kagome was momentarily mesmerized by the effect.

"I slept for a while," he admitted.

A sudden wicked thought occurred to her, that their endeavors had worn him out, but despite her grin his face gave away nothing. He merely brushed a few hairs out of her face.

"I felt a deep peace I rarely experience, and so I slept," he excused, seeming to read her expression, and leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "I have not yet begun to exert myself."

She shivered and grinned at his typical arrogance. She kissed him, briefly, wary of seeming too cuddly for him, and then stretched. Their covering was Sesshomaru's inner haori, and she clutched it to herself absently as she sat up.

She winced, finding herself vaguely sore, and not at all surprised. She felt deliciously rumpled but stiff, and rather unclean. Glimpsing beneath the covering she saw a little dried blood—of course, she mentally chided herself. It had been her first time. She had been a virgin before this.

Suddenly a terrifying thought came to her. All miko were virgins. What if that meant that now she had no power? Panicked, she tried to summon her spiritual energy, and was rewarded with a faint buzzing. Sesshomaru jerked his leg away from where it had been against her knee, and she glanced back, surprised.

His expression said not so much 'ow, that hurt,' as 'why the hell did you do that?' "I… I thought that I might have lost my powers…" she explained.

He frowned. "Why?"

She shrugged, and glanced down to notice that he was totally exposed, and not self conscious in the least. She whipped her head around, hoping that he wouldn't notice the blush, knowing he would smell it anyway. "Miko are virgins…" she said lamely.

He sat up behind her and took hold of her shoulders, rubbing his thumbs back and forth slowly. "Yes, technically. So, you cannot preside at ceremonies. There's nowhere that says you loose the powers you were born with." His voice was as light as she'd ever heard it, and she guessed he was making an attempt at comforting her. He leaned forward further, slightly nuzzling his face into her neck and breathing deeply.

"You would make an excellent kuromiko, if you gave me your soul," he murmured suggestively. She turned to glare at him playfully, but he just smirked, making her laugh.

"I wouldn't know how," she dismissed, and he gave the merest of shrugs to indicate he didn't either, before letting his eyes wander lower on her figure.

She blushed again and turned away, but he wrapped his arms around her to pull her back against his chest. She sighed, comfortable, unexpectedly happy. He reached up to brush a finger along her left collarbone and she winced slightly when his finger caught on the new scabs. She twisted her neck uncomfortably to try and see it.

"Wow… that looks worse than I thought it was…" she reached up and poked it herself. "It looks like it will scar." Great, another one to match the ragged gash on her side, among other smaller gems of her collection.

"It's meant to," he said without explanation.

She turned around, modesty forgotten, trying to find the words to ask a reason. It wasn't like him to do something, anything without meaning. "Why?" was all she managed.

A dark look crossed his eyes, unfamiliar to Kagome, and she wondered if it was guilt. "It marks you. As mine."

Kagome felt the oddest emotion wash over her. She would have expected shock, anger, maybe even a blush, but instead she felt sort of… honored. She fingered the wound with a sense of affection.

There was a period of silence, although not entirely uncomfortable, just a little awkward. It was all so new to her, and Sesshomaru's unusually affectionate morning-after mood seemed to be wearing off. Kagome idly fingered her clothes, turning her shirt right-side out, and eyeing her panties across the room.

Suddenly Sesshomaru grabbed his hakama and stood up. Kagome didn't look. "You should make use of the hot springs," he said. "I believe it will help. I will join you after a while." Slipping on only his outer haori over his hakama and picking up his sword, he opened the shoji only a fraction and went outside.

Kagome dressed slowly, discovering new aspects to her soreness. There were some thin towels beneath the table, and she grabbed a couple, undid the sound barrier lest the servants discover it, and set out on the path to the hot spring.


I know, long time, no update, and now a really short chapter. But I promise that the next chapter is already underway! I just wanted to give you guys the heads up that I am actually updating this now!

Funny thing, I didn't really have much intention to write any more of this, I have a bad habit of dropping stories once the sexual tension is relieved, but first my MOM and then one of my friends got really sucked into it and insisted I write more! And they don't even WATCH InuYasha!

It kinda weirds me out that my mom likes the way I write lemon, though.