One Month Later…
"Please tell me you're joking…"
"Why? What's wrong with what I sa—?"
"It's just not possible."
"You think I'm lying?"
"No." Shippo replied stiffly. "I'm just wondering where you could have come up with such an idea."
Hojo scoffed. "What's wrong with my idea? I think it makes perfect sense."
"Not when you've known him for as long as I have."
"So you've known him for a couple more years than me, that doesn't matter! I've seen them together and I'm almost positive about this." Hojo replied strongly.
"Playing kendo everyday and having a few meals here and there doesn't exactly mean anything. It's nothing short of what they've done before."
"But you don't know that…" Hojo spoke with a low and spooky voice. "What about…behind the scenes?"
Shippo rolled his eyes.
Hojo growled in frustration. No way was he giving in to Shippo's words. He looked toward the door to see a couple more kendo boys walked in to the dojo. Master Totosai had yet to arrive so they still had some time.
"Bankotsu!" He called. The boy in question walked over. "Inuyasha and Kagome…they're going out…right?"
Bankotsu blinked. "As in boyfriend and girlfriend?"
"Of course not."
His face fell. "What?!"
"What made you think that?"
"Why wouldn't he think that?" A new voice appeared. "They spend so much time together. Surely they are dating by now."
Hojo's eyes shined. "Finally! Someone who agrees with me!"
"I only agree because it is the truth." Miroku said reasonably.
"The truth?" Bankotsu replied. He chuckled humorously and patted Hojo on the back meaningfully. "Listen lover boy…I spend way more time with Inuyasha than you. He treats Kagome like he always treats her."
"Really? I don't recall him nearly beating the hell out of other boys for insulting her. He certainly didn't do that before. And did he gaze at her when he thinks that no one's looking? I don't think so." Miroku insisted.
"You're not serious, are you?" Shippo appeared next to the group, taking his supporting position next to Bankotsu. They both stood, facing off against Miroku and Hojo, both 'teams' staying stubbornly to their opinions. He crossed his arms.
"We are still talking about our Inuyasha here right?"
"The Inuyasha that is probably slower than a dead turtle when it comes to love?" Shippo added dryly.
"I'll admit he's a little slow…" Miroku began, "…but he knows what he wants."
"It's all unrequited love if you ask me…" Shippo snorted. "And I'm sure that Kagome will probably move on."
"Kagome isn't that fickle." Hojo said seriously.
"But she isn't dumb either." Bankotsu interjected. "Listen…I want them to be together as much as you guys, but the reality is that they are just friends, nothing more. This isn't some fairy tale ending."
Something flashed in Miroku's eyes. "You truly believe that?"
"Then how would you like to wager on it?"
"What?!" Three voices cried out this time and Miroku grinned.
Hojo stared at him in confusion. "Miroku what are yo—"
"I'll bet you two fifty dollars each that Inuyasha and Kagome will be going out by the end of practice tomorrow." He proposed, glancing at each of his friends. Shippo and Bankotsu's eyes slid toward one another.
"By tomorrow?" Shippo asked. Miroku nodded. "So soon?"
Miroku chuckled. "Ah…but you forget. Today is Kagome's birthday."
The two of them whispered a few more words to one another before looking at Miroku with amused eyes. "It's a deal. By tomorrow after practice, or else we owe you fifty bucks each. But if they aren't together, you pay us fifty each."
"Easy money…" Bankotsu stated confidently, before shaking Miroku's hand.
Master Totosai suddenly stumbled in to the gym "Sorry I'm late!" He wiped some sweat off his brow. "There were some things I had to take care of. Now then…let us begin."
Immediately, the two teams formed a small circle around the Master. He blew his whistle and they all began stretching, first working on their arms. They were just finishing up when Hojo spoke.
"Master Totosai…where's Kagome?"
The Master stroked his chin. "Kagome…oh yes, I do believe she said she would be gone today. Birthday stuff…"
So Kagome wasn't at practice? Well then what about…
"What about Inuyasha? Where is he?" Bankotsu asked.
"Dentist." The master replied simply. Everyone shot looks at one another, some of them snickering madly. Miroku smirked.
"Why are you all laughing?" Totosai asked bewildered.
"You didn't honestly believe him, did you Totosai?" One of the boys hollered. The master cocked an eyebrow.
"Why would he lie to me?" he questioned, now completely confused. All the boys groaned.
Miroku sighed. "Don't worry about it Master Totosai…let's just say that we all knew that it would happen."
"That what would happen?"
Kagome laughed softly before reaching over and touching his cheek. "Does it still hurt?"
"Is that a yes?"
"I'm fine." He replied stubbornly. He started the engine of his truck. "It doesn't even hurt any more."
She poked his cheek and he winced. "Doesn't hurt any more?" She moved to poke it again but he stopped her. He glared at her, and she smiled smugly. One point for Kagome.
"That's what you get for not brushing your teeth properly. Two cavities." She teased, clicking her tongue disapprovingly and he glared at her once more. He slowly pulled out of the parking lot and made a right turn.
"You didn't have to come you know. I told you I would have picked you up after my appointment."
She grinned. "And miss all this?"
"It's not that funny…" he snorted.
She laughed. "Okay…maybe it's not. But still…I wanted to see you. Is that a crime?"
A soft smile came to his face. "Guess not…"
"Thank you." She said happily and glanced around. "Where are you taking me anyway?"
He only sped up a little faster.
"Inuyasha…" she droned. They were driving through an unfamiliar area full of trees and open land. She had never been through this area before. "Are you sure we're not lost?"
"You don't need to be ashamed to pull over and ask for directions…" she pointed out.
He rolled his eyes. "Keh. I know where I'm going."
'Typical male…' she thought sourly. They continued driving in silence for a few more minutes, the suspense almost getting to Kagome. They had been moving for more than a half and hour now, and she still had no clue where they were or where they were going to. And of course, Kagome couldn't take that sitting down.
"Can't you just tell me where we're going Inuyasha. It is my birthday. I deserve to know at least that." She said impatiently.
"We're almost there." He replied, making a few more turns. Minutes ticked by and Kagome wondered if he really did know where he was going. But…he did look awfully sure of himself. But then again, he always looked like that! Still, it was almost three in the afternoon. Kendo practice was long over by now.
She leaned back in her seat, closing her eyes. "Just tell me when we're there."
More minutes went by. Kagome could feel the truck moving with each turn, grinding along the pavement. Only when she felt the truck enter upon rough terrain did she open her eyes. Rough terrain? Where was there such a bumpy road in Kyoto? Okay…the Foorai Shrine was bumpy, but that didn't count. Inuyasha parked and shut off the engine. She sat up, and gasped.
They were at the beach.
She felt frozen to the spot. Shock and surprise filtered through her body wildly. She felt happiness engulf her. He had taken her to the one place she had always wanted to go. The beach. She felt like she should have known, but then again, the surprise of it all was worth it.
Inuyasha stood next to her, on her side of the car. He opened the door and she beamed at him. He blushed. "Come on. We're losing daylight."
She giggled loudly before launching herself in his arms. He returned her embrace immediately and smiled at her. She felt herself melt once more in his arms. He reached in to the trunk and pulled out a black backpack and a cooler. Slinging the pack over his shoulder, he made his way toward the beach. He motioned at her with a tilt of his head and she followed, slinging her arm through his.
The beach was fairly deserted, a few couples and families here and there. They picked their spot and laid out all of their belongings. Once they were settled, Kagome took another moment to gaze out on to the horizon. She could feel the sand between her toes, and the salty air. The water glistened like diamonds and she sighed happily. It was exactly how she had imagined it.
"Kagome?" She turned around just in time to see him toss something at her. It was her bathing suit. She had recognized the designs on it instantly.
"You took my bathing suit from my room?" she cried out. He had to have taken it while she was gone. He'd been there before, but without her there?! Had he rummaged through her drawers? Did he see anything? Her mind jumped to the worst.
"Keh. No. I had your brother get it for me."
Souta? Eh…not much better. Her mouth formed a small 'o' in response. "Go get changed." He ordered, pointing toward the bathrooms.
She complied, changing in to her black two piece bathing suit. When she returned, Inuyasha was already changed, his signature red swim trunks standing out brilliantly. He was shirtless, Kagome noted with pleasure, but quickly banished her thoughts. But still, she couldn't deny how amazing he looked. Playing kendo certainly did wonders on his muscular figure.
He turned toward her just as she approached, sun screen in hand. However, seeing her, he almost dropped it. His face flamed redder than she'd seen in a while, and he sucked in a breath. She chuckled inwardly. He handed her the sunscreen bottle.
"Here…" he muttered.
"Thanks." By the time they finished applying the sunscreen, it was nearing four. The tide was growing stronger with the cooler temperature, and a few of the families had left. The sun was still out, but it was currently hidden behind the clouds. Great.
She felt Inuyasha lace his fingers through hers and pull her toward the ocean. They stood on the edge, their feet at the brink of the incoming waves. The cold water finally touched her toes and she jumped back.
She shivered and Inuyasha laughed. "Are you going in Kagome?"
"I didn't expect it to be this cold…"
"Keh. It's not that bad…" She pouted at him and he rolled his eyes. Slowly he stepped in to the freezing water, not even flinching. She sighed tiredly, moving to take a step in, but jumped back at the last second. He shot her an annoyed look and she huffed.
"Fine." Taking a deep breath, she gained whatever endurance left within her, and walked in next to him. He smirked at her and she shuddered once more, feeling the icy waters bite in to her skin. She bit her lip from crying outward, and followed Inuyasha as he ventured farther in.
However, once the water reached up to her hip, she froze, goose bumps forming on every inch of her. Her body wasn't getting used to the water as fast as she would have liked. Inuyasha walked up next to her.
"F-Fine." She chattered between her teeth.
He looked back toward the shore. "We can go back if you want."
She shook her head frantically. "No." He had brought her all this way for her birthday. No way was she going to ruin it just because she was cold. She was determined to have fun and get used to the water. She wanted to enjoy this with him.
Despite her answer, her body couldn't seem to move. Inuyasha chuckled and she glared at him with a true icy glare. A powerful wave came at them, crashing in to Kagome, practically knocking her off balance. She felt Inuyasha's strong arm hold her, bringing back her balance. She smiled gratefully.
He suddenly moved to stand in front of her, his back just inches from her front. She just stared at him in confusion, trying to calm her racing heart.
"Get on." He ordered. He was going to carry her?
She hesitated for a split second, her mind weighing the options. Get on Inuyasha's back and go through the blistering cold? Or just go back to the shore and never get this chance again… Hmm… maybe this wasn't such a hard choice after all.
"Alright." Carefully she jumped on to his back. Her arms came loosely around his neck while his hands supported her. "Thanks." She whispered in to his ear.
"Keh." It was harder to see his face, but she could still detect the sudden redness that had crept up on his cheeks. She smiled contently, the chilly waters seemingly gone. The water felt nothing but cool now against her skin. He carried her, slowly but surely in to the deeper water.
"How are things with you and your dad?" she asked. His dad had come home from his business trip when she had come over last week. He had been a tall and dominating figure from the moment he walked in to the room and Kagome couldn't help but fear him. Luckily, he was somewhat polite to her, but Inuyasha still didn't trust him. She had left early that night on Inuyasha's request.
"Yeah. I mean… we tolerate each other. You can thank my mother for that."
She hugged him tighter. "I'm glad."
"Yeah." He jumped over another wave. "Oh…by the way, my mom wants you over for dinner this weekend."
"She insisted." He said shortly.
She smiled and laughed. "Alright. Then I accept."
They continued through the waves for a few more minutes until the water was up to their shoulders. The wind blew around them gently, and the sun had finally emerged from beyond the clouds casting a beautiful shine on the water. In her life, Kagome swore she had never seen anything so peaceful.
"The beach is beautiful…" she whispered. She could be here all day, just gazing out on to the sea.
Suddenly, she felt Inuyasha's hold on her body slip and loosen slightly. Her hands tightened frantically on his shoulders. "Inuyasha?!" she cried out, the water suddenly becoming chilly once more.
He turned his head around. "What? Don't tell me you can't swim…" he said playfully.
But she didn't loosen her grip on his shoulders. "No…I can… it's just—"
"Then prove it." He retorted, a familiar light coming in to his eyes.
"Show me you can swim." He repeated. He completely released her without warning, and she dropped unceremoniously in to the water. The coldness attacked her once more and she came up, spitting water. She glared at his amused face.
But not for long. A huge wave came at them, overtaking and throwing them both in to a watery darkness. The water swirled her around, pushing her towards the shore. Eventually she broke free to the surface. She coughed harshly in her throat and Inuyasha swam over to her.
"Are you okay?" he asked. Something in her heart flipped over his concern and she managed a small smile.
"I'm fine." She replied. She seriously needed some more swimming lessons. Nearly drowning in front of Inuyasha? How pathetic.
They stayed like that for a few minutes, their bodies moving with the waves; flowing and floating through and through. The numbness from the cold had left her body and was easily replaced with the warmth from Inuyasha's amber eyes. They were so close, but Kagome didn't dare go any closer. Inuyasha…it was always so difficult to read the signals he gave, and she didn't want to push her luck.
If someone asked her what she was to him, she wouldn't know how to answer. It was all so confusing. Not that she didn't enjoy it. This past month had been amazing; between the kendo practices with her friends, transferring to Shikon State, her relationship with her mom; everything seemed to be fitting together. Well…almost everything.
Her feelings hadn't changed, but she still wondered how long that would take. She almost feared it.
Another gentle wave came at them, causing the water to deepen slightly. The water came up to Kagome's neck, while Inuyasha stood easily with his head and shoulders above the waves. She cursed him inwardly for his height and he smirked at her.
When she felt something touch her sides, she practically screamed, images of the movie Jaws flashing in every corner of her mind. But her yells quieted when she realized it was just Inuyasha. She could feel his strong arms holding her, lifting her easily so that she was level with him. He held her tenderly and she rested her hands on his shoulders. Okay…maybe she could take back all her curses for his height. This was nice…
"Thank you Inuyasha…for taking me here." She said softly. Tears came to her eyes for the first time in weeks.
He smiled. "Not bad for a happy birthday surprise, right?"
She laughed. "Not bad at all. One of the best actually."
"Better than that stupid Kouga's?" he asked with a cocky edge. She almost rolled her eyes. Leave it to him to bring up his name. She would never understand men and their egos.
"Yes Inuyasha... much better than Kouga's."
And then he did something she never would have expected.
He kissed her.
A startled gasp escaped her throat, but it was quickly swallowed up by the kiss. She felt shock for just an instant; almost completely baffled by his actions. But she soon relaxed in his arms and closed her eyes. Her arms circled around his neck to bring him closer, and he reacted by bringing her body even closer to his.
A lonely spark that had almost died within her body sprung to life once more; igniting with the intensity he seemed to give her. A coil of heat had submerged within her and she let herself drown within it. She had been waiting so long for this moment. And now that it happened, she was at complete bliss. He finally pulled away, his eyes shining with something she hadn't seen in a while.
"Inuyasha…" She touched his cheek and he blushed.
"I'm sorry for making you wait…" he whispered tenderly.
Her heart thudded and pounded against her ribs at his words. The tide of emotions was overflowing within her now, and she knew it would never stop. She pressed her forehead against his, her eyes practically drunk with happiness.
"Don't even worry about it…" she said sweetly. Inuyasha…he could be such a fool sometimes.
He let out a sigh of relief. The cockiness returned to his eyes. He pecked her on the lips. "Better than Kouga…right?"
He knew the answer. That smug smirk on his face said it all. She laughed at his childish game. Slowly, she nodded, and his face lit up.
He kissed her again.
"Kagome! Did you have a nice birthday?"
"It was alright…"
"Keh." Inuyasha snapped from behind her. She giggled and Master Totosai looked confused once more.
"What is everyone laughing about nowadays?"
"Nothing Master Totosai. Don't even worry about it." Miroku replied, coming next to the old man and patting him on the shoulder. The master whined softly.
"I just want to know what everyone is talking about…" He muttered and walked away toward the group of 'B' team students. Inuyasha suddenly appeared next to her, his arms crossed.
"Alright?" He questioned hotly. "Just alright?"
"Inuyasha…" Kagome whispered impatiently. "I'm not about to spill out my feelings to our kendo master. That is some serious blackmail!"
He frowned in response, his hand coming to touch her elbow suggestively. Seriously…the guy couldn't wait another thirty minutes for practice to be over?! She pushed his arm off gently and he growled.
"Later on. I promise…" she said. He pouted, but complied, resuming his practice swings.
After a few more minutes of practice swings and drills, Master Totosai announced a quick water break. Gratefully, the team dispersed, Kagome taking a seat, trying to rest her tired body. She drank her water greedily, some of it slopping down her chin. Inuyasha sat next to her, his arm resting on the top of her chair casually, but still possessively. She smiled.
It was then that Kagome noticed that Inuyasha's eyes were not on her, but looking off toward the other boys. All around the dojo, more than a dozen pairs of eyes were on them, almost looking expectantly at them. Were they waiting for something? Well one thing, Kagome was certain of: they weren't going to quit until 'something' happened.
Well to hell with them.
Yawning widely, she leaned back so that her head rested on Inuyasha's chest. She kissed his cheek and he flushed, looking away from everyone else. Half a dozen jaws dropped to the ground, while the others exchanged all knowing glances. From the corner of the room, two people nearly shrieked.
"Inuyasha! No! How could you?!" Shippo and Bankotsu cried out in horror.
"How could he not?!" Miroku snapped. "I told you guys I was right. Now then…if you please?" he held out his hand. Both boys shot Inuyasha one more glance, before each of them dropping a few large bills in to his hand. Miroku tucked the money in to his pocket, smirking widely.
"Easy money…" he snickered. Shippo and Bankotsu's faces fell even more.
Kagome's eyes widened. "Wait a second. You guys made a bet on us?!"
"I was just trying to show these two how capable you both were of forming a relationship despite Inuyasha's lack of appropriate…action." Miroku explain sheepishly.
"Hey!" Inuyasha cried out angrily and Miroku gulped. Kagome groaned, burying her head farther in to Inuyasha's shoulder. Men and their egos…so frustrating.
"Alright! That's enough of that! Everyone line up!" Totosai commanded. The teams scurried in to place, forming a straight line. Carefully, Master Totosai began pairing all of the boys up for sparring. His eyes narrowed when he came to Inuyasha and Kagome.
"You two…" he pointed at them. "Since you guys 'match' so well…you can spar."
Both of them shrugged. It was no different than what they usually did.
"You know…they say that fighting is a healthy part of any relationship." Hojo whispered to Miroku who chuckled lowly. Inuyasha glared at them and they shrunk away.
Coming up next to him, she touched his arm, trying to cease his growls. "Come on Inuyasha…"
"Keh." He replied, and walked off with her toward the other side of the room. They both slipped on their gloves and grabbed their shinais. Just as she was about to get in to position, Inuyasha stopped her.
"You promised." He said stubbornly. She rolled her eyes, knowing there was no 'in between' with him. She gave him a quick meaningful kiss on the lips. Once she heard his satisfied growls, she pulled away.
"There…now can I kick your ass?" she asked with a coy smile.
"Keh. As if…" He faced her, his shinai at the ready.
They both stood, ready for the fight. She could feel her muscles strengthening and tensing automatically as they did with all matches. She could also feel her heart soar to see him standing across from her; with her like he would always be. And she had little doubt that he was thinking the same as she was.
This is where she belonged and he was who she wanted to be with. It was the closest thing to perfect she would ever get. And it made her happy…that was enough for anyone, including her.
They both charged.
I honestly can't believe this story is actually over. I think that was the reason why I spent so long on it. Half because I wanted it to end good, and the other half because it would actually mean that this story was done and finished.
Thank you all so much for your encouraging reviews! They meant so much to me and really motivated me to write to my fullest ability. I hope you all have enjoyed this story as much as I have writing it. This will probably be my last story considering I start college in two weeks. But you never know…a few one shots here and there might occur.
Before I depart, I figured I could leave you with some interesting facts I had about this story…
How many times did you watch She's the Man while writing this story?
About 6 times mainly because I love it so much. Channing Tatum and Inuyasha…mmm…
What surprised you most about this story?
I had serious doubts about it in the beginning, but I was surprised to see more reviews and more people liking it especially after the carnival scene. The reviews jumped from like 6 per chapter to like 20. Oh and I was surprised that I actually finished it.
What were some things you did not plan to have in this story at first?
Going to Inuyasha's house and the fortune teller booth. But hell those were fun to write.
Any parts of the story that you regret?
Sometimes I regret making Inuyasha have such a complicated past. I think this would have made things simpler. But then again, it did give him more depth.
Favorite chapter or chapters?
A Bridge is Formed, The Real Me, You and Me, Winning and Losing, The First Step.
Least favorite chapter?
"Sweet Jesus", "You have really pretty eyes.", "Seriously Inuyasha, you are just like your friends.", "You don't suck as much as you think…", "Open your legs for me" "Pardon?", "Just because you wear a wig, doesn't prove you're a girl…", "You're still the same no matter what…", "Better than Kouga?"
I have more; I just can't think of them.
Most difficult chapter to write?
You Can't Win Them All.
Most fun scenes to write?
Kikyou and Keade's jealously plan, communication lesson for Inuyasha, seduction scenes, the betrayal scene (no I'm not sick. It was something different to do and I liked it a lot), the real Souta on the kendo team, Kagome's secret confession scene, all the scenes in 'The First Step' chapter, the beach scene.
Favorite characters to write about?
Inuyasha because he is so complex and challenging when getting him in to character and Kikyou because I like portraying her in a different way than her cold self.
Thanks you all once again! Love you all! And I want you all to go out and watch the movie "She's the Man"!
Oh and feel free to tell me some of your favorite parts of this story. It's always interesting to read things like that…