Gone

By: Artemis


It was over this time. She was absolutely serious. No more chances, no more cheating…she was through.

"I swear, I'm sorry." Crap. Damn her forgiving heart. When she would finally decide to be done with him, her heart would tell her to give him another try.

"Alright, Inuyasha. One last time." He grinned devilishly, looking like a demon with his dark hair hanging to his shoulders. His deep violet eyes gazed lovingly into hers, or so she hoped.

"You won't regret it, Kagome. I promise." Probably just another empty one, like all the others. Why couldn't she say no for once? Inuyasha wrapped his arms around her waist and placed a kiss at her temple. She closed her eyes at the contact. "I love you." He murmured, pulling away and grabbing his keys off of her coffee table.

She said nothing, but nodded her head. She watched him walk down the hall to the elevator from her apartment door. He twirled his key ring on his finger and whistled merrily. When he stepped inside the machine, he turned around and smiled at her. That smile that always broke her resolve.

You would think that in her twenty-three years of living and learning, she would be able to deny someone what they wanted, especially when it was her own emotions on the line.

She smiled back just as the doors closed. She was setting herself up again. He knew it…she knew it…

In about a week they would get into an argument in her apartment; it always happened there. He would get mad because she would be right, most likely, and stomp out in a storm. He would go to that woman for consolation, she would learn about it in a couple of days, they would get into another big fight over his problem with monogamy, and they would break up…again. And his promise would be broken…again.

It hadn't always been like that, though. They were actually happy once. They were even engaged at one point. Before he met her, of course.

Oh, how to describe Kikyo. The evil woman crossed their paths the previous year, when Kagome had just completed her first year towards being a college professor. Inuyasha, Sango, and Miroku had decided to take her out to celebrate at a nightclub that had just opened up.

Kikyo had been their bartender. Her attraction to Kagome's fiancé had been quite obvious, and Inuyasha had done nothing to squash her hope, flirting back every moment he believed her head was turned the other way.

'Let him get it out of his system.' Was what she told herself at the time. In a few short months, he would no longer be a bachelor. Though, technically, he wasn't one since he was with her. Open relationships were not in the equation for her.

He had plainly had a lot in his system. Later that night, she had lost him in the crowd. Deciding to just leave him a voice-mail, she went home and called it a night, promising to check up on him in the morning.

Obviously, Inuyasha didn't like surprise check-ups. She had gone to his house, only to find him still sleeping, spooning with the flirtatious bar-maid.

One accomplishment could be said about that day: she managed to temporarily deafen half the household. She had screamed and hollered until she was hoarse, not caring if his family learned of his infidelity.

On her way out, she had bumped into his older brother, she bit out an apology and left, brooding over every bit of anger and embarrassment she felt. Thankfully, that little bump had bloomed a friendship.

Not even a week later, he had apologized and promised it would never happen again. He played on her trust and forgiving nature. She gave him another chance, but called off the wedding. Smart move on her part.

The cycle seemed to repeat itself, much to her dismay. It seemed to always happen at least once a month. She began expecting it after a while.

The only reason she didn't explode from all of her emotions was because of a deeply forged bond with a certain silver-haired man. Sesshomaru, Inuyasha's half-brother, who was the complete polar opposite of the unfaithful rat. He knew how to listen to someone vent and not try to make sense of everything or defend the guilty party. He was her source of comfort. He consoled her in the most non-sexual ways; she was too loyal for that, even when she was with a shameless boy. No use participating in the crime she was accusing him of.

Sesshomaru's voice alone could soothe her battered feelings. She still wondered how she had ever gotten along without him. And it wasn't like all they ever talked about was Inuyasha's cheating ways. No, she had the in-depth conversations with him that she had never been able to even start with Inuyasha.

Sometimes--well, most all the time--she figured she had just chosen the wrong brother…

Five days. What a record. Over socks. That was about the most petty thing Kagome could ever imagine having an argument over. She sighed in resignation as the door slammed, rattling the pictures hanging on her walls.

She picked up her cordless and dialed a memorized number, having only called it a billion times before. He answered in two rings…and she didn't have to say a word, because she knew she would start crying.

"I'll be there in a moment. Put on something decent, we're going out." She nodded, even though he couldn't see her. She clicked the phone off without saying a single word and went into her bedroom, not allowing any tears that had welled up in her eyes to fall.

Sesshomaru arrived a scant ten minutes later, and let himself into her home with his spare key. After the first few times of the on-again-off-again relationship, she had given him a key instead of having to worry about coming out of her bedroom with red and puffy eyes. She would call, not saying a single word; he would go over, let himself in and walk directly into her darkened bedroom, where she would be curled up and crying.

The tears had become few and far in between after the fifth time, though. Kagome would only cry once she heard his voice, and only because she could hear the compassion shining through the coldness, something nobody else had ever noticed before in him. Having someone show some caring towards you when you've been through an ordeal such as that was enough to make anyone break down and weep.

"I'll be out in a minute!" He heard her call from the door down a narrow hallway. He glanced briefly towards the light that flooded the dark hall, catching a glimpse of a leg as black pants were pulled over the bronzed skin. He coughed in ordered to relieve the tightness in his throat, and sat on the couch, stretching his long legs out in front of him.

He still didn't understand exactly what it was that the beautiful young woman saw in his half-brother. The brat didn't even have his own place to stay, he still mooched off of their parents. Sesshomaru at least had the sense to move out as soon as he was out of college. Then again, as he was getting out of college, his younger sibling was just getting out of high school. That was reason enough to get out of there.

"Sorry. I haven't had time to put up my laundry yet." She said while moving a small pile from the opposite corner of the couch. Kagome smiled at him, startling him completely from his thoughts. He nodded, no smile on his face, but softness lining his eyes.

She almost came undone. And he knew it as soon as he saw her eyes mist over sadly. He sighed in feigned annoyance and held his arms out. She slowly sank down next to him on the sofa and leaned against him with her cheek pressed to his muscular chest. As soon as his arms closed in around her, she fell apart in a mass of silent sobs and tears.

"Do you feel up to going anywhere?" He asked as softly as his voice would allow. She shook her head slightly, just enough for him to see. "Then we shall stay in and have a movie night." She nodded and pulled away from him with her head still bowed so he wouldn't see her tears.

"I'll go make us something to eat." She pushed off the couch once her face was free of any evidence of her break-down. Kagome smiled, and he believed it was the most breath-taking sight he'd ever seen, even with her red tinged nose and puffy eyes. She was beautiful no matter how she looked…

Who would've thought he would be falling for someone his brother had had first? It was usually the other way around. Inuyasha would get his ex-girlfriends after he had dumped them, but never vice-versa. And as he watched the beauty walk into the other room, he found himself not caring so much anymore. He finally found something to smile about.

She came back into the room a minute later with two bowls of rice and soy sauce, and sat back down on the couch. It didn't even take a minute for the awkward atmosphere to dissipate between the two as they slipped into easy conversation.

Her first real smile of the day was from the grunting noise he made at a stupid commercial on the television. How such a simple and almost coldly stoic gesture could make her feel so warm inside was completely beyond her. The most time she spent with him, the more she hated it when he would leave.

His golden eyes were suddenly on her, and although she felt her face begin to get really warm, she didn't turn away. Something about him captivated her in a way that nobody ever had before. She could feel the hard exterior he wore becoming softer as she watched it in his eyes.

She became lost. That's the only logical explanation she could think of for what happened next. She simply became lost in all that was Sesshomaru.

His hands were touching her face before she even realized he had moved, and her eyes slid closed from the sensuality of the feeling.

Their mouths came into contact in a sweet and longing kiss that seared their souls and entwined their hearts. She felt as light as a feather and hot as hell. He could feel his heart racing in his chest. It was the most amazing and emotionally honest thing he had ever done.

She leaned closer to get more of him against her and his arms slipped around her waist and across her back, pulling almost on top of him. She sighed as his tongue touched hers intimately.

He definitely kissed like a man. Nothing like anything she had ever experienced with Inuyasha…

Warmth spread through her chest, focusing mainly on her heart. It was almost as if it was healing the little holes that had been created from every betrayal wrought upon her by her ex-boyfriend. If her heart truly did have a hole for every time, it would look like Swiss cheese. Sesshomaru was her healing balm, her support.

There was no way he would let her down…

Right?

He eased her face away from his, concern written across those distinguished features that made him so much more appealing to her.

"Kagome?"

His thumb brushed across her cheek, wiping away the tears that had begun to travel from her eyes. She hadn't even realized she'd been crying. Amazing, her body was doing things without her consent now.

She pulled herself back into a sitting position and wiped away the stray tears the pads of his thumbs hadn't caught. "I'm sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me."

"I believe this is my fault." Sesshomaru straightened his black turtle-neck shirt and stood up. "I apologize for my inappropriate behavior." He honestly felt no regret for the events that had taken place, but he could suppress his feelings for a while longer. "The best thing would probably be for me to return home." He was just reaching for the keys he'd left on the side table when a smaller hand stayed his actions.

"No." she said quietly. "Please stay. I…it was my fault. I shouldn't have thrown myself at you. It's just that…" She hesitated. "I'm so comfortable with you…you make me feel like everything is going to be perfect when you're around." She began picking at her nails.

He couldn't help but smile softly at her honesty and discomfort, just another reason to admire her. It was clear to the most innocently oblivious of people that she was nervous about telling him her feelings, but she did it valiantly.

Sesshomaru placed one of his hands along the side of her cheek, smoothing away the sticky trail of dried tears. She finally began smiling again, his favorite expression on her face. The way her lips curved in such a luscious way and her bottom lip parted from the top, but only slightly. Oh how he wished he could just take that bottom lip between his teeth at that moment.

"You are the one that makes everything perfect." It was probably the most clichéd thing he'd ever said, but it suited the moment more than well. She smiled even more brilliantly at the cheesy dialogue that seemed to be passing between them. It was as if they had both studied the same old black and white chick flick and were now spouting out their favorite quotes.

"Will you…" She was back to being nervous again. He waited in silence for her to ask whatever was on her mind. A blush began to stain her cheeks and the bridge of her nose a pink color. Kagome let out a loud sigh. "Will you…stay the night with me?" She finally asked.

He was rendered speechless, astonishment written plainly across his face. She was such an innocent and to hear such insinuating words come out of her mouth put him in a state of shock. Sure, they were all adults here, but she was still four years younger than him. He surely couldn't claim that he hadn't thought those things about the brunette beauty before him in the past year, but could he really act on them?

Her heart began pounding another furious beat in her chest the longer he took to answer her brazen question. Ok, so it was a little sudden. This was their first kiss after all, but she was a woman. A woman who was through with little boys and with just that one passionate lip lock finally knew who and what she wanted. Inuyasha be damned. He was no longer in the equation for her. She didn't even know why she kept taking him back; the love had died a long time ago between them.

She could hear the clock ticking while she looked into those glorious golden eyes, and with each tick her face turned a shade redder. She was beginning to regret her wanton suggestion until his lips crashed against hers for the second time that night.

Her eyes closed and she allowed the ecstasy that came with those drugging lips to overwhelm her body. His hands were splayed against her hips, causing tingles wherever they touched. She let out a little whimper.

He thought it was the sexiest thing he'd ever heard. He moved one of his hands to bury into her hair; her soft moan told him she liked that.

They pulled apart for some much needed air, taking shallow gasps as their foreheads touched and they looked into each other's eyes. He couldn't help but to allow a small grin to settle on his face once he saw the haze of passion in her eyes.

She grabbed his hand and started pulling him towards her bedroom. He watched the sultry sway of her hips.

He was a man after all…

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

He felt so confident.

So, it had been a week of fun with the sexy little bartender he just couldn't seem to stay away from, but Inuyasha was ready for the secure and stable lifestyle that was being with Kagome; at least until he got tired of it again. He just needed a little break every now and then.

It was early morning so he knew she would still be in bed. It was the perfect time for him to convince her to take him back. It didn't bother him much that she hadn't even called him to yell at him about sleeping with Kikyo; she must've just become used to the fact that it was useless to even try to stop him and just had gotten used to the whole deal.

Inuyasha stopped in front of Kagome's apartment door. She had long since taken away his spare key, saying he had no reason to be in her home while she was gone. He didn't blame her too much considering the last time he'd been there he'd blown up on her for wearing a pair of his socks that he'd left over a couple of days before.

He wasn't really mad at her; he'd just wanted a reason to leave her and see if Kikyo would fulfill the naughty promises she'd sent to him in a text message. She took care of the needs Kagome began neglecting not long after the first incident.

He sighed at the loss of her small but fit body that used to writhe beneath him every night. He could probably get something out of her today, it wouldn't be too hard. She always was a little bit of a pushover.

He rapped on the door with four sharp knocks and stood back, rocking back on his heels. He heard the lock click on the door and smiled; looking around once to see if anyone else was in the hallway.

"What are you doing here?"

Inuyasha almost jumped. This was most definitely not what he had been expecting. Kagome's voice had never been that deep before. He looked at his half brother, standing in the doorway of his girlfriend's apartment in just a white wife beater and a pair of black fruit-of-the-loom boxers. He couldn't hide his obvious astonishment.

Sesshomaru cocked his head to the side once he saw the anger begin seeping into the eyes of the younger man, if you could call him that, who stood before him.

"What the hell are you doing here?! In my girlfriend's home?!" Inuyasha sputtered, working himself up into a fine rage.

"Sessh?" Sesshomaru turned his head slightly to the girl who was just out of Inuyasha's view. "Who is it?" A smirk appeared on the older man's face as he stepped aside and opened the door a little wider.

Inuyasha's mouth dropped open as he looked upon the petite form of Kagome being covered by an overly large men's shirt that went to her bare knees. Her mouth formed a perfect little "o" when she saw her ex standing at the door in shock.

Sesshomaru turned to walk back into the living area, grazing her cheek with the back of his hand as he passed. It was a sign to Inuyasha of how much things change.

He began to yell, unsurprisingly enough. Kagome just stared at Inuyasha blankly. No matter what he said, no matter how many insults he threw at her, she remained silent and stoic. She had obviously been taking lessons from his bastard half brother.

"How dare you?" He raved on. "How can you act this way?!" The lack of response defeated him. Guilt tripping was his only option left. "After all we've had together…how can you even be thinking of leaving me like this?" He gave her the biggest set of puppy dog eyes he could muster.

Kagome glanced behind her to the man sitting on the couch, allowing her the freedom to speak semi-privately with someone he had no reason to trust.

"Oh, Inuyasha." She finally spoke, a sad smile on her face when she turned back to those violet eyes. "I'm already gone." She closed the door softly in his stricken face.

END!


Okay, so this was inspired by the song "Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. If you listen to the lyrics...I already know...it's not exactly like it. Let me just re-word what was just said...this is NOT a songfic perse, just a fic that was inspired by a song. Hence the title and the little references to the actual song. I've actually been working on this for over two years...I started it about the same time I started "A Boyfriend for Christmas," which will actually hopefully be updated real soon. I decided that it'll have two chapters to go before it's complete.

So, go ahead and tell me what you think! I'm actually very excited to get some feedback on this story since I've been working on it for so long. Even if it's constructive criticism, I don't care. REVIEW!

Much love, guys!

-Artee-