On a cool spring evening, Kagome and Sango relaxed in a hot spring, high up in the mountains

Kagome's Lost Hair Brush

Disclaimer: InuYasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi, I make no money my story.

On a cool spring evening, Kagome and Sango relaxed in a hot spring, high up in the mountains. The miko made lazy circles with her arms, enjoying the way the hot water relaxed her limbs, sore from the days climb. Next to her Sango kicked her legs slowly, also glad for this time to relax.

'Well, it's about time I wash my hair,' Kagome thought, and reached for her bag of toiletries, and pulled out shampoo and conditioner.

Dunking her long ebony hair in the water, Kagome soaked it down to her scalp. Then she squeezed out some shampoo and began the vigorously work it into her hair, from the top of her head down.

'Ah, feels so good to get the grit out of my hair,' Kagome thought with a smile of relief.

"Can I borrow some of that?" Sango asked.

"Sure!" Kagome answered, and passed her the shampoo.

When they were done with washing their hair, Kagome reached back in her bag to find her hair brush. She frowned as she dug in it, finally removing everything and coming up empty handed. Sango watched her, perplexed.

"What's the matter?" The demon slayer asked.

"I can't find my brush," Kagome answered in frustration. "I know I left it in here!"

"That's strange…" Sango said. "When was the last time you used it?"

Putting her hand to her chin, Kagome thought back to that morning.

"I brushed my hair before we broke camp," Kagome said slowly. "And I was sure I put it away."

In her minds eye, Kagome saw herself brushing her hair quickly, and placing it back in her bag – just before InuYasha impatiently scooped up her back pack and put it on his shoulder. Then she had grabbed her bow and quiver of arrows, and followed him as he stalked away, trying to keep up with the others.

With a sigh, Kagome began combing out her hair with her fingers, getting annoyed as she pulled them through the wet tangles. There was no place she could think of in the feudal era where she could find a brush such as hers – she loved that brush! The bristles were just the right type for her hair – not too thick and got out all the tangles without hurting. Damn….

The girls dried off, and then put on their clothes. Kagome picked up her bag and they walked down the hill, back to the camp site. Sango glanced over at her friend, feeling bad at the girl's forlorn expression. It was only a brush, after all! But obviously it had some meaning to her – maybe it was a link to her home that made her miss it so much.

"What's the matter with you?" InuYasha said at Kagome's long face as they entered the campsite.

The hanyou sat around the campfire with Miroku, Shippo and Kirara. Fish that he had caught was grilling on sticks over the fire. Kagome glanced at him and shook her head sadly.

"It's nothing InuYasha," Kagome said, and sat down besides him.

"She lost her hair brush," Sango said, sitting on Kagome's other side.

"You're upset about a hair brush?" InuYasha said in disbelief.

Kagome glanced at his baffled expression, shrugged and looked away. Figures he wouldn't understand. Somehow, that just made Kagome sadder. She let her hair cascade down the right side of her face, hiding her from him.

"Keh," InuYasha said, crossing his arms and looked away.

'How can she be so sensitive about such a silly thing?' The hanyou thought. 'I'll never understand girls.'

"Don't be so insensitive InuYasha," Miroku said, turning the fish on the fire. "Obviously that hair brush had an important meaning to our miko."

"Can't you just go back through the well and get another?" Shippo said hopefully. "And you can get me more candy too – I just ate the last lollipop."

That made Kagome grin, and she shook her finger teasingly at the kitsune.

"Haven't I told you not to eat sweets before dinner?" Kagome said.

"But…InuYasha ate a whole bag of chips just now," said Shippo plaintively. "How come he gets a snack before dinner and I don't?"

"Don't push me runt…" InuYasha said warningly.

"You know our hanyou here is a bottomless pit," Miroku said mildly, but quirked a smile, his eyes sparkling mischievously. "A bag of chips won't stop him from consuming most of our dinner tonight."

Everyone laughed except InuYasha, who scowled at Miroku and narrowed his eyes. One more word from that monk and he would get it as well. Looking back at Kagome, he could tell that behind her smile and giggle, she still seemed forlorn. Well, maybe he would just have to do something about that….

After dinner that night, InuYasha jumped on a tree limb above where Kagome slept in her sleeping bag. He changed his position, so he was faced down on the tree branch, his arms folded under his chin, and gazed down at her. Her eyelashes lay sweetly on her closed eyes, and her pert, pretty pink lips were slightly open. Truly, he hated to see her unhappy, even if it was over something as silly as a hair brush. Quietly he waited until it looked like every one was asleep, especially Kagome. Then he jumped down from the tree, landing with a soft thud next to the sleeping miko. He took a deep width of her sweet smelling hair, and then set off.

Something woke Kagome, and her eyes fluttered open. What was that puff of air she had felt by her face? Next to her Shippo lay sleeping – no, could not have been him. Tilting her head up, she saw that InuYasha was not in his tree. Where could he have gone? Glancing about, she saw him move stealthily away from the campsite. It was not like him to leave her unguarded at night – what was he up to? The light of the full moon reflected off his silver-white hair, and she scrambled up and went after him.

'It must have fallen somewhere,' InuYasha thought, and let his sensitive nose weed through the myriad smells of the forest at night, searching for the scent of her hair.

'Wait, is someone following me?' InuYasha thought, his instincts trained to pick up any perceived sound and motion as a possible threat.

When InuYasha spun around, Kagome was startled, but she had been running to catch up to him. Unable to halt her forward motion in time, she bumped into him and nearly fell down. Nearly that is, because InuYasha caught her before that could happen.

"What are you doing up, wench?" InuYasha said, putting her back on her feet.

"I'd like to know the same thing about you, InuYasha," Kagome answered defiantly. "Where are you sneaking off to?"

"Feh, follow me if you must," InuYasha muttered. "But stay close, I don't want you to get lost in the dark."

"Oh, okay," said Kagome, and they headed off.

Around them the night was cool, and the chirps and calls of the nocturnal animals of the forest could be heard. Kagome made sure she had the glowing banner of InuYasha's hair in sight, as he darted this way and that, sniffing.

"Ah," InuYasha said suddenly, and bent down and retrieved something.

As he stood up, Kagome walked up to him curiously. In his hand he held her lost hair brush, and she smiled happily as he handed it to her. Her eyes sparkled with thanks in the moonlight, and it made him blush. At least she could not see that in the dark.

"Thank you InuYasha," Kagome said softly.

'He really did care,' she thought. 'Silly hanyou, had to act so gruff and tough.'

"What is so important about this hair brush anyway?" InuYasha asked.

Thoughtfully, Kagome hit the hairbrush on her palm gently, watching him shift about uncomfortably while he waited for her answer. Maybe she would just show him something, it might make him understand.

"InuYasha, let's sit on that rock over there," Kagome said, gesturing with her chin.

"Keh, whatever," InuYasha said, and followed her over to a large rock, lit by moonlight, on the side of the path.

Making sure to sit slightly above and behind him, Kagome looked at the tangled mass of silver-white hair before her. Could she be so bold? Well, it was worth a shot…

"Let me show you what is so special about this hair brush," Kagome said, and before he could respond, she had carefully taken up a lock of his hair and began to brush it.

InuYasha was startled at first, but her hands were deft and gentle as she wielded the brush. He began to relax, as she worked out the tangles, and then carefully brushed his hair down from his scalp. The strokes were soothing and caring, he had not had anyone groom him since his mother had died. Despite himself, InuYasha had to admit it felt good.

When she was done, Kagome brought the brush down and looked at it. Strands of her ebony hair and his silver-white were tangled together in the bristles. She smiled to see them together so, wrapped around each other so intimately.

"So, how did that feel?" Kagome said softly.

"Um….yeah, it felt good," InuYasha had to admit, and turned to see her looking at the brush.

The way Kagome smiled at it and gently played with the tangled strands, made InuYasha look at the brush curiously. She was twisting the strands of her hair and his together, and it seemed like such an intimate thing to be doing, he felt like blushing again. What the hell? It was only hair…

"What are you doing Kagome?" InuYasha said softly.

In the moonlight he could see pink spots appear on her cheeks, and she cast her eyes down towards the ground. But her hand still twisted the strands of hair together.

"Our lives are intertwined," Kagome said. "Like our hair on my hairbrush."

Something about her words hit a chord in InuYasha, and he felt closeness to Kagome that he rarely let himself give into. Yet now, it seemed to be okay. The way she had brushed his hair had touched a place in his heart he rarely let people go – a place where it was all right to show you cared for someone, and let them care about you. He reached out and gently took her hand away from the hair on the brush and held it.

"Yes, our lives are intertwined," InuYasha replied. "And I will always protect you Kagome."

The look in her eyes as she looked up at him and the way their hands gently folded together took InuYashas breath away. No one ever looked at him like that, not since his mother had died, with such acceptance and admiration…and love.

"I know you will," Kagome said. "As you know I will always stay by your side InuYasha, there is no other place I would rather be."

With a sigh, InuYasha let his head come down so their foreheads were touching, and they stayed that way a moment, relishing this rare time of closeness and intimacy.

"We should get back to camp," InuYasha said. "Don't want the others to miss us."

"Yes, let's go," Kagome said, and broke the contact.

As they made their way back, InuYasha realized how important Kagome's hair brush was, and how special it would always remain from now on….