Author's Note: Written for Nobody's Confetti challenge over at Dokuga. The theme was (obviously) "confetti". You'll notice I took a rather loose interpretation to the theme.
"He loves me not," she said, plucking a single pink petal off the stem with more force than was strictly necessary. "He loves me," she said, pulling another, feeling slightly ridiculous playing a silly children's game.
"He loves me not." She scowled. He certainly didn't act like he loved her at all. When people were in love there was supposed to be tenderness, soft phrases and whispered sighs. She snorted. She highly doubted that Inuyasha was even capable or murmuring sweet nothings into anyone's ear. Well, perhaps into Kikyou's, her treacherous mind supplied.
"He loves me." But for someone who didn't love her, he certainly was protective of her. Heck, he treated her like property! Sure, it wasn't what she really wanted from him, but that sort of possessiveness had to be indicative of something, didn't it?
"He loves me not." Love or not love? That was the question.
She paused, having run out of petals to pull. "He loves me not," she repeated softly. "No, I don't suppose he does." She tossed the stem down at her feet and plucked another flower, twirling it between her fingers, watching it become a pink blur.
Between the swirl of pink she caught a flash of white and looked up in surprise.
"Sesshoumaru-sama," she said.
"Miko," he replied tonelessly. "It is your custom to use flora for divination?"
She blinked and then glanced down at the flower in her hand, and the pile of stems and pink petals at her feet. She blushed and murmured, "no."
"Then cease," he said flatly. "Your method is clearly unreliable."
"That wasn't —" she began, before thinking better of it. "Never mind."
He frowned, his brows coming together in an uncharacteristic display of emotion. "What is it that you seek to discover?"
She felt her blush intensify, her cheeks burning brightly. "It's nothing." She stared at his boots, visually tracing the complicated patterns that adorned them, wishing that the ground beneath her feet would simply open up and swallow her whole.
Why did his curious tendencies have to pop up now of all times? she mused silently. She could sense his gaze on her, tickling her back between her shoulder blades with its intensity. Just go. Just go. Just go. Leave. Leave now. Please. Please leave, she chanted silently, but his feet remained stubbornly still.
"Where did you learn this method of divination?" he asked from somewhere above her head.
"Elementary school," she mumbled.
"Are you incapable of speech, miko?" he snapped suddenly, causing her to look up in surprise.
"No," she replied shakily. "I learned it in elementary school," she clarified.
Again his brows lowered slightly as an expression of vague puzzlement crossed his face. "Explain," he demanded.
"I learned it during the course of my schooling back home," she explained gently. "Where I come from there are three levels of schools for children. The first is elementary, which is for children six to twelve. The second level is middle school, for children twelve to fifteen. And high school is for students sixteen to eighteen."
"You are educated?" he asked. His question was all but toneless, but she got the sense that he was incredulous.
"You don't have to sound so surprised about it!" she snapped.
"Actions speak louder than words," he said simply.
"What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded, standing and placing her hands on her hips furiously.
He simply stared blandly back at her, a single manicured brow raising slightly.
"Well it's true," she said huffily. "I'm almost in high school. Provided I ever graduate, that is," she added, deflating slightly at the thought of her education prospects (or current lack thereof).
"You are fifteen?" Sesshoumaru asked curiously.
She nodded, smiling softly. "Mmhm." She looked wistfully down at the petals at her feet. "I met Inuyasha on my fifteenth birthday."
A surprisingly companionable silence fell between them before it was broken by Sesshoumaru. "I see," he announced, startling Kagome causing her to look up sharply. Her eyes met his, and she felt her heart begin to speed in her chest. She wasn't able to quite decipher the odd expression on his face, but his golden eyes seemed to be searching her for something, and she found herself unable to turn away from him.
"Sesshoumaru-sama?" she questioned finally, surprising him enough to elicit a blink from the usually unresponsive daiyoukai.
"You would be better served asking the whelp to elucidate on his own feelings than mutilating the vegetation, miko," he intoned as he turned, striding purposefully from the glade, the movement of his passage stirring the abandoned petals at her feet. She watched as they swirled up and were caught by the wind, dancing wild and free in the air above her head before falling softly down to earth.