Okay. Here's the deal. I came up with this last summer on a muggy, miserable day, and wrote half of it in one sitting...before realizing it was the most ludicrously lame premise ever. So I stopped. However, being both a ludicrous and lame person, I secretly still liked it. So when forthright announced her bad!fic challenge...I decided what the heck, logic and characterizations bedamned, I'm going to finish. (And I even went for the overdone pun title. Yes, I know, it's awful. Bite me. ). It has no redeeming qualities, except that it might be funny. If you're looking for plausibility, quality, and meaningful content, look elsewhere. If you're as easily amused as I am, you're in the right place. Enjoy!
Dedicated to everyone who has ever suffered the bite of a malignant mosquito.
There was something wrong with her blood, Kagome decided by midmorning. It must be a product of being from the future—people in these times didn't have much access to sugar and sweets, and a lifetime of chocolate and ice cream and pocky must have permanently altered the chemistry of her blood. It was the only explanation.
Swatting her arm again, Kagome muttered something unladylike under her breath.
It was the hottest day of the year; the sun burned down on them like a hot iron pressed to the back of her neck, and the air was chokingly thick. Her clothes were plastered to her skin and her hair hung in damp strands around her face—she felt like she was walking through a sauna. Everyone was miserable; even Inuyasha had been in favor of stopping for the afternoon.
But none—none!—were so miserable as Kagome. Because Kagome apparently had the sweetest blood the feudal era had ever seen, and every mosquito in a hundred miles had come to pay her a very personal visit.
"You shouldn't scratch, Kagome," Sango said, fanning herself with a large leaf.
Kagome gave herself another vicious scratch and said something even more unladylike. Shouldn't scratch—that was easy for her to say! Her friends were all entirely untouched. Not a single bite. But Kagome's skin was a sea of itchy misery, and she was drowning in it.
Maybe they're demon mosquitoes, Kagome thought, remembering how much Myouga always liked to drink her. Too bad the little flea wasn't around; maybe he could defend his territory and drive the gluttonous freeloaders away.
"That's it," she said, slapping herself again. "It's time for drastic measures." She tore open her backpack and started rummaging through it. Inuyasha's head shot up so fast he nearly fell off his branch.
"Oh no," he said, eyes growing huge, "not that!"
Kagome pulled the bottle of mosquito spray out of her pack. It was sealed inside about six ziplock bags. "I'm gonna die of anemia if I don't do something." She pulled a strip of cloth out of her bag too. "Here, cover your nose with this."
"I won't do it near here, don't worry," she said, standing and dusting herself. He opened his mouth in a snarl and she cut him off. "—Unless you try to stop me, in which case I'll say the word and then I'll spray it all over this camp!"
Ears flattening, Inuyasha snatched the cloth and retreated into the trees.
A short while later, as she was tromping through the woods, her cloud of devoted mosquito followers still trailing her, she felt a bit guilty. She knew how much Inuyasha couldn't bear mosquito repellent—the chemical smell was so intense it nearly knocked him out. He said it was worse than that demonic ink from way back, and even she thought that was terrible.
But if she didn't do something soon, she'd end up going home with malaria!
Eventually she stopped in a small clearing and scanned around. The muggy heat was too much for her and she couldn't go any further without risking dehydration. But, this should be far enough to spare Inuyasha.
Removing the cap, Kagome spritzed the air and spread her arms as the mist rained down on her, letting out a sigh of relief. This is positively luxuriant.
She imagined she could hear the tiny mosquito screams of dismay, and let out an evil laugh.
A short distant away, there was a heavy thud.
Kagome froze. She hadn't imagined that sound. Popping the cap back on, she ducked into the shadows of the trees and crept toward the noise.
When she found its source she let out a shriek and dropped the bottle.
Sesshoumaru, Lord of the West, feared taiyoukai, was sprawled in the grass. His limbs were splayed out awkwardly and his white hair pooled messily around him. His skin was deathly pale.
He wasn't moving.
"Oh no," Kagome mouthed. He had been in range of the spray! Carefully she approached the fallen demon, ready to run at any second. "S-sesshoumaru?"
He didn't answer, and she edged closer. "Sesshoumaru? Are you okay?"
Still no reponse—not a single movement, not even the rising of his chest. Swallowing the chilly lump in her throat, she nudged him tentatively with her foot. Then nudged harder.
"Inuyasha is stronger than you are," she said, trying a verbal prod. Surely he'd wake up out of sheer indignation? "Cats rule and dogs drool. Naraku wants to make you his love slave. Your mama likes humans!"
Kagome pressed her hands to her face in horror, panic setting in. She killed Sesshoumaru!
"Oh god, what have I done, what have I done? What should I do?"
Maybe she could revive him with tenseiga? Should she give him CPR?
Maybe he wasn't really dead—maybe he was just in some sort of coma!
She knelt beside him and tried to feel his pulse, when his hand shot up and caught her wrist in an iron grip.
Kagome shrieked and tried to pull away, but it was like trying to bend steel. A harsh, rumbling growl emanated from deep in his chest.
Kagome was very happy that he wasn't dead, but she didn't really want to be dead either, and she didn't think she was going to survive the fallout of this.
When he opened his eyes they were a glowing blood red, confirming her previous thought.
Oh, he was livid.
"Listen—I'm really sorry, I didn't mean—eeeek!" He yanked on her hand, jerking her forward, and snarled in her face.
"What was that?"
Heart pounding, she tried to scramble backwards whilst scrambling for an answer. His hand tightened till it almost hurt. "It—it was an accident! I didn't know you were there! I—"
Her grasping hand closed upon something. The spray bottle.
Still flying on adrenalin, she'd popped the cap and shot it full in his face like a can of pepper spray before she even had the chance to think about it.
He went out like a light.
Oh shit, she thought, he definitely won't forgive that!
Clutching the bottle, she could only stare in horror at her handiwork. Oh, she'd really done it now. She was right back where she'd started—an unconscious demon lord—only this time, he would probably interpret her actions as an attack and take personal offense at them.
And judging by his recovery time from before, he'd be back on his feet very soon.
As if to punctuate this disaster—like being given the divine finger—a mosquito chose that very moment to bite her.
Kagome decided it was time to run.
She made it back to the camp in record time and didn't stop, snatching her bag on the move.
"Hey!" Inuyasha yelled, dropping from his tree. "Where are you going?"
"We've got to leave!" she said in a shrill voice. "Right now! Come on! Come on!"
"I ain't going nowhere until you tell us what…" His ears flicked and he turned to face the forest in the direction she had just come from.
Miroku and Sango got to their feet as the roar rang through the trees, sending flights of birds into the sky. The priest's hands tightened on his staff and Sango went weak at the knees as the wave of powerful youki washed over them like a tsunami, swamping their senses.
"Get going!" Kagome shrieked.
"Hey, wait a second," Inuyasha said, "that smells like Sesshoumaru! What're we running for? I can take him!"
He turned to scowl at Sango and Miroku, only to find they had already packed up and ran.
"Humans!" he snorted.
Sesshoumaru had caught up to them mere minutes after they began their flight, tossing Inuyasha aside and stalking towards her. He had her pinned up against a tree before she even had the chance to aim the bottle.
Which is why she'd given it to Sango.
A well-timed spritz sent him down and they were on the run again.
It took them late into the night to reach Edo, zigzagging across the countryside. They hadn't stopped the entire time and her spray bottle was almost empty. But still he followed, like a wolf running down a deer for days on end until it dropped from sheer exhaustion.
It was beneath him to give up, and she had delivered too great an insult (and probably scorched his poor nose). She knew he would follow them to the ends of the earth to catch her.
Fortunately, she'd taken a detour through time.
Kagome let out a sigh and locked the door behind her, worrying about her friends. She hadn't wanted to leave them like that, but Inuyasha had insisted. He was firmly convinced that Sesshoumaru wasn't the type to act on displaced anger—he would only lash out at his target, not those around it. The best thing to do, Inuyasha had said, was remove the target and wait for the whole thing to blow over.
He had said not to come back for a while.
Sighing again, she dropped her bags in the hall and headed for the darkened kitchen, finally feeling the hunger from their desperate flight kicking in. There was nothing she could do about it now but wait, and she could definitely use a rest after that run anyway. She was tired, achy, stressed, and on top of it all, still itchy. It was all she could do not to pass out on the counter.
Not wanting to cook and wake her sleeping family, she made a sandwich instead, feeling another twinge of guilt as she wolfed it down. Here she was in her cozy safe house, leisurely making food, while her friends were possibly facing off with a homicidal taiyoukai.
And she didn't even blame him for being angry! She would be angry too if someone were to, say, pour battery acid down her nose. Repeatedly. Which is probably what it felt like to Sesshoumaru.
Shaking her head, she retrieved her bag and slunk up the stairs. Each step felt about a mile long. Her shoulders were aching from her bag and all her bites had started itching again.
She carelessly dropped her bag on the floor of her bedroom while she fumbled along the wall for the light switch, just like always. But unlike always, the heavy thump of its landing was followed by a loud rrrrrip. Forgetting about the light, she reached for the bag, but it was too late.
Dismay lanced through her as she watched her bag finally give up the ghost after years of service. It burst along every seam, exploding like a car bomb.
The accursed bug repellant, hardly a teaspoon left in it, slid out of the wreckage and stopped at her feet.
Her hands closed into fists.
Kagome felt a sudden irrational surge of hatred for the bottle. She hated its sour, stringent smelling spray, she hated that it had gotten her into this mess, and she hated that it didn't even work!
"This is all your fault!" she said, snatching it up and chucking it at the wall.
After a few moments, she realized that she didn't hear it land.
With a sort of strange, calm clarity, she reached over and turned on the light.
Sesshoumaru stood by her open window. In all his regal, deadly glory. His hair was tugged by a small breeze that came through the curtains and his armor gleamed eerily in the artificial lighting.
Kagome didn't move. She didn't run, she didn't scream, she didn't do anything. She couldn't. Shouting would bring her family in, and fleeing would lead him out to them. To where they were all sleeping, totally unaware that certain death had paid the Higurashi house a late night visit.
She stepped into the room and shut the door behind her. There would be no more running. She would have to face him herself.
"I thought Inuyasha was guarding the well," she said in a small voice.
"Inuyasha is sleeping." A moment later, he added: "Involuntarily."
"Oh." Kagome shrank against the door. Her eyes darted to the floor along the opposite wall, scanning it quickly. She scrambled for something else to say. "I, ah, also thought that you couldn't go through the well."
"Is this what you are looking for?" he said darkly, holding up the bottle.
"Ah…" Her heart skipped. "No?"
"Good." He lifted the bottle higher and his hand glowed white with youki. Her jaw fell open as the bottle…collapsed in on itself. It crumpled beneath the sheer weight of his power until it was just a blackened lump. "Then perhaps," he said crisply, "we can at last hold a civil discussion in regards to this transgression."
Kagome felt a small spark of hope at this, but her heart didn't stop pounding. Civil sounded like it had a lot of good potential, but civil war had the same start and always ended with a bloodbath. And by discussion, did he mean a chat over tea, or the Spanish inquisition? Would this discussion be involving claws?
"As Lord, it is within my right to execute you for your unprovoked attack. In fact, it is my right to kill whosoever I wish, whenever I want, for whatever reason I want." His eyes narrowed. "Or no reason."
Kagome swallowed. This wasn't starting too well.
"I will admit; this was my original intention. However, I find that the circumstances of this insult are so…unusual…that my curiosity now outweighs my ire." He gave her a haughty look. "Therefore, I am willing to bargain."
Kagome blinked. She seemed to have missed something. "Um. What?"
"Bargain," he said in a cutting voice. "Barter. Negotiate. An exchange."
"No, I mean, I know what bargain means, it's just…what sort of bargain?"
He flicked the charcoal-like dust from the dead bottle off his claws. "This…repulsive substance you carry is unknown to me. I had thought myself knowledgeable of all forms of holy magic. Further," he added darkly, "I had thought that this Sesshoumaru's superior strength made me invulnerable to them all. It appears I was mistaken."
Kagome was losing track of the conversation again. What did this have to do with not killing her? They seemed to be talking at each other from the opposite sides of a logical gap. Holy magic? Whuh?
"Killing you would thus only eliminate any chance for me to learn how to defend myself from such foul elixirs in the future. Hence I am willing to barter with you, priestess, for information on this noxious weapon you have devised. In return, I shall grant you a favor of your choosing." His eyes narrowed. "And, of course, one assumes that you will never use your weapon upon this Sesshoumaru again, as part of the bargain."
Suddenly all the pieces clicked together in Kagome's head.
"Wait—are you talking about my bug spray?"
"I am speaking of the malodorous weapon that you assaulted this Sesshoumaru with earlier today."
Kagome clapped her hands over her mouth. Mustn't laugh, mustn't laugh! The whole thing had been funny enough already—really, she'd downed the mighty Lord Sesshoumaru with an unpleasant smell, for god sakes—but hearing him describe it as a weapon…it was just too much!
But, then again, for all intents and purposes, to him it was a weapon.
The ultimate weapon.
Because Kagome knew that it was a measure of his strength that the spray had such an effect. Brute strength could never defeat the demon lord—there was no way to match his kind of power. But with the bug spray, she didn't have to match it—it used his own superior senses against him.
It was the only "weapon" in existence where the more powerful the opponent was, the more powerful an effect it had.
No wonder he was taking things so seriously.
"No, no, you don't understand," Kagome said, waving her hands. It was time to clear this up. "It's not some kind of magic priestess weapon, its just self-defense."
Sesshoumaru frowned. "Defense? This Sesshoumaru did not make the first attack."
"Ah, no, not defense against you." Kagome let out a nervous laugh. "It's, you see, well…defense against..." She coughed. "Mosquitoes."
He gave her a highly skeptical look.
"Yes…mosquitoes. I was spraying myself with repellent to keep the bugs away. I had no idea you were nearby or I would never have done it. It was an accident." Kagome gave him her most apologetic smile.
He looked even more dubious.
"Am I truly to believe that humans are so fragile they must defend themselves from tiny insects?" An elegant brow arched high. "Humans may be weak, but even this seems implausible."
"Hey!" Kagome folded her arms. "It's not that humans are weak and fragile; mosquitoes are really annoying! Don't you ever get bothered by mosquitoes?"
"No." He gave her another haughty look. "My blood is as poisonous as my venom. Insects do not dare to bite me."
She scowled. Ooh, did he have to sound so smug about it? "Well, that's just great for you, but the rest of us lowly creatures aren't so lucky. Look at me! I'm covered in little red welts, and they all itch like crazy." Kagome shook her hand at him; she was working herself up into a full rant now. "And another thing! I'll have you know that to mere mortals like me, mosquitoes really can be dangerous!"
He opened his mouth, presumably to say something about how this confirmed humanity was just too pathetic to be allowed to live, but she continued before he could get a word in. "No one knows this on your side of the well, but nearly all the deadliest diseases—malaria, black plague, west nile, you name it—come from bug bites. You can't blame me for trying to protect myself."
Now that seemed to be worth his attention. Black plague, she was sure, rang quite a few bells. In the world before modern medicine, disease was almost certain death.
After a moment of considering, he spoke again. "So…you coat yourself with atrocious smells to defend yourself from diseased insects."
"Er, well…pretty much, yeah."
Sesshoumaru scowled slightly. She suspected that being knocked out by bug spray wasn't nearly as dignified or honorable as being taken down by miko mega-weapons, and he knew it.
"Fine," he spat, "your explanation is valid. Give me your oath to never again bring this foul substance to my lands, and we will conclude this exchange."
Kagome threw up her hands. "Look, I swear I'll never bring it back again, okay? It was stupid and I'm sorry! I won't even bring it through the well! I promise!" This whole thing was giving her a wretched headache, and she just wanted it to be over.
"That will be acceptable. Name your request and we can be done with this."
She could've sworn Sesshoumaru gave an exasperated sigh. "You will recall, miko, that in exchange for your vow and for the information you have provided, this Sesshoumaru promised to do something in return."
Kagome blinked. She hadn't really thought he was serious about that part. This was all her fault, anyway. She's the one who'd hurt him in the first place. It wouldn't be right for her to get something out of it. "But I don't need anything." She shrugged. "All I'd really wanted was just to keep the mosquitoes away."
"Your terms are accepted."
Her mind backtracked wildly. "Wait. What? I didn't mean—"
"I will defend your person from these insects you so fear."
The statement sounded so ridiculous that all protests were forgotten.
"You mean—you mean you're going to fight them?" she said, her voice squeaky with disbelief. An image of Sesshoumaru darting around her, decapitating tiny mosquitoes with his acid whip flashed through her mind.
A similar image must have gone through his mind, because he blinked for several moments. A disgruntled look crossed his face. "No. My saliva contains the same poison that runs in my veins. Coating you in it should be enough repel the insects. And since you claim these insects are deadly to you, doing so will in effect save your life, which should be more than enough to fulfill my end of the bargain."
Kagome's thought processes suffered a brief seizure. He—what—wha?
"You're going to coat me in saliva?" Kagome said, jaw agape. Can we say, ew? She made a face of disgust. This situation was getting more deranged by the minute. "Right. Uh-uh. And just how are you proposing to do that? Drool on me?"
His hand snapped out and closed around her wrist like a band of iron for the second time that day, and before she was able to mount a protest, he brought her hand up to his mouth and gave her a slow, delicate lick.
His tongue was rough and warm and Kagome suddenly felt faint.
Oh my god.
"Well, ah…" Why did her voice sound so breathy? "…That…could work…but…" Her voice firmed. "But there's a hole in your crazy plan. I have to bathe, you know." Frustrated and confused by the madly darting butterflies in her stomach, she huffed, "Just what do you plan to do? Come back and lick me again every day?"
He didn't answer.
"Sesshoumaru?" He was still holding up her wrist, and he was just…staring at it. Wearing the strangest look on his face. "Sesshoumaru?" she asked again. "Are you…are you okay?"
As she looked on, he carefully turned her hand over, and slowly, so slowly, brought it back up to his lips. They were warm and butterfly-soft against her skin, and the storm of butterflies inside her went wild, swirling about like some kind of crazed mating flight, and then he dragged his tongue over her palm and she nearly died.
He paused again, his eyes fixated on her skin with a look akin to wonder.
"S-sesshoumaru?" she somehow squeaked out.
"Hmm," he said in answer, and then the wonder melted into a smirk and he resumed lapping at her arm with the fervor of…well, of a dog with a new treat. "I think," he said in a rumbling voice as he nibbled down her forearm, "that this arrangement will work out very well."
He delivered a minute nip to the hollow of her elbow. What the heck is it with everything and biting me? she wondered, jumping a little. Pushing her sleeve up, his tongue rasped its way along her upper arm. Little powdery wings danced inside her. She felt dizzy. And fuzzy. And very very warm. And as he started on her shoulder she thought about how this had all started, and how mosquitoes had always had an obsession with her blood that bordered on the unnatural.
Kagome wondered if maybe, just maybe, her skin was sweeter than normal too.
And as he started on her neck, molding his mouth to her collarbone, her tummy fluttered again, and she felt giddy and lightheaded.
And as he tugged up her shirt and moved on to the aforementioned stomach, she decided that while she wasn't fond of most insects, she found she rather liked butterflies.
And her very last coherent thought of the night, as he nipped her sensitive navel, was that maybe being bitten wasn't so bad.