A Grudging Loss

Summary: AU. A little Inuyasha, a little Romeo and Juliet, some rival college sports and a struggling rock band all make up the facets of this college age romance. Inu/Kag Inuyasha and Kagome are famous college sports players from rival teams. They find themselves drawn to each other while at the same time circumstances pull them apart. Inu/Kag Some M/S

Currently rated T for Inuyasha's swearing and fight scenes. Lemon will follow in later chapters and the rating will change to an M at that time.

Pre-Game Show

The days of Los Angeles rarely varied from one day to the next. The skies were clear and scarcely saw a drop of rain. The mornings were cool and the afternoons warm. It didn't matter what time of the year it was. A day in April was pretty much the same as a day in December. If it weren't for the change in storefront displays, you would have never noticed a change in seasons. Southern California has always been in a perpetual spring.

Today was September, but as usual the blue skies and wisps of white clouds were the same as any other day of the year. Within the confines of Los Angeles a sportscaster was interviewing a coach at an exhibition game at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

The middle-aged man was dressed crisply with a blue tie and a navy blazer. His hair was shiny and black and he smiled into the mike as he talked to his interviewee. He was addressing an older woman with long gray hair that was tied behind her hair in a pony-tail. The woman was stout and wore the traditional clerical robes of a miko. Her hakama pants were red and she sported a white haori top. The most startling feature of the older woman was that she wore an eye patch over her right eye. However, the eye that remained was bright and clear. She was an old woman, but her entire countenance seemed to radiate knowledge and wisdom.

"Good Morning Los Angeles. This is Steve Hartman, your sports caster at KCAL covering the widely anticipated exhibition game between USC (University of Shikon Cadets) and UCLA (Universal College for the Lost Arts). We're here today to meet with the coach of both teams. First we will start with the USC's team coach, Kaede Maknamara," said the sports caster. "Tell me Coach Kaede. How does your team stack up this year?"

"Steve, I have high hopes for my team this year. As you know we have many teams that will be competing today, but my top team has two of its three original players returning," answered Coach Kaede.

"That would be the grand finalists from last year, Sango Taijiya and Miroku Moroboshi?"

"Yes, Sango's expertise with the Hiraikotsu is legendary. Most people cannot even lift the weapon that she wealds with grace. And of course Miroku's spiritual powers defeated many opponents in the games last season," said the priestess.

"As you know your two top seed players will be graduating from college after this season, so it is time to bring in fresh new talent. Is that what Kagome Higurashi is?" asked Hartman.

"You will undoubtedly agree with me after today's exhibition games that Kagome is a miko who will bring our team into top standing for years to come. You will find her spiritual powers amazing!"

"Yes, thank you Coach Kaede. Now if you don't mind. We need to interview your rival coach from UCLA. Coach Myoga Morita," said the sportscaster.

Steve Hartman turned to the other white haired coach who was even shorter and stouter than Coach Kaede. His white hair was thin and his face was round and portly. If he was even a foot shorter, he might have been mistaken for a dwarf. He wore more traditional coaching clothes with a white polo shirt and black slacks.

"Coach Myoga Morita what can you tell us about your players this year?"

"We have many demonic teams this year, but our top team is without rival. As always I have been blessed to have the talented Sesshomaru as a player. His legendary demonic powers often frighten the opposing teams. He's an iceman! Cool, calm and collected... The perfect player," answered the diminutive coach.

"Yes and Coach Myoga you have two new players on your lineup this year—Sesshomaru's younger brother, Inuyasha Taisho, and Koga Okami. What can you tell me about them?"

"Koga is a fearsome wolf demon with a speed that has yet to be rivaled. Inuyasha is a chip off the old block and like his brother he possesses extraordinary demonic powers. His greatest strength is his tenacity. He never gives up."

"With two new and younger teammates can we see this season as a team building year?"

"Absolutely not Steve. These new players are top notch. We have a chance to win this year's events when we play in the real tournament in June when we play for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy," added Myoga.

"Well, you heard it here first folks. The stiff rivalry between USC and UCLA is alive and well. Stay tuned to KCAL Channel 9 as we cover the first exhibition game of the season between these two competing colleges and their stiff tradition of athletic excellence. This is Steve Hartman signing off."

Steve Hartman smiled for a moment before frowning and giving his mike to the cameraman. Myoga and Kaede only glanced at each other briefly to fiercely stare at each other before walking away in opposite directions.

Standing in the entranceway of the locker rooms was a man with clear cerulean blue eyes and long black hair tied back into a ponytail. He was wearing traditional wolf fighting gear with furs and breastplate covering the top half of his torso with a katana by his side. He stood next to another man with long silver hair, golden eyes and who had the most curious pale dog-like ears on top of his head. This man wore crimson red hakama pants and a matching red haori overcoat with a long sword attached to his obi.

"So have you seen our opponents yet?" asked Koga while he looked at his claws.

"No, why bother? I'll beat every one of them. No need to see them before the match," answered Inuyasha in his usual blustery style.

"Whoo Weee," jested Koga as he smiled with his fangs poking out over his lips. "You certainly missed a lot. One of our female opponents has legs to die for. You should have seen her in the white leather mini-skirt she was sporting. That Kagome is one hot chick."

"What is it with you and women Koga? Stop thinking that way. She's just an opponent. We need to beat her—end of story," said Inuyasha hotly.

Koga still looked at his claws. "I wonder if she has a boyfriend. Maybe I could ask her out after the game?" he said thoughtfully.

"Are you nuts Koga? She's from the rival team! If you got too close to her she could find out some of our team's secrets. It's not happening. You cannot date her. Besides why would a human date a demon anyway?"

Koga frowned as he stopped looking at his claws and walked away from Inuyasha. "You never know… Lighten up man! I'll see you at the match."

Inuyasha also frowned as he adjusted his sword and walked back into the locker rooms for a pre-game pep talk by their coach. "Stupid human bitches," he muttered. "Nothing but trouble..."

Author's Notes:

My apologies for setting the Inuyasha universe in Los Angeles, CA. All of my other Inuyasha stories have taken place in Japan—so this is an abrupt deviation from my usual modus operandi. But I did want to say that this story grew out of my time in Southern California ('SoCal'). While I was in college I was amazed at the intense college rivalry between USC and UCLA. (The two colleges are only 10 miles from each other and the rivalry almost borders on sheer hate.) I had university press passes and I even covered a few games in Los Angeles while I was in college. (If you are wondering, I went to college at UC Santa Barbara and was able to avoid most of the USC and UCLA rivalry.) 90 percent of this story is inspired by Inuyasha, but the other 10 percent is all about the things I observed in SoCal while I attended college. I hope you have as much fun reading this as I did writing it.