A/N: Hey, yes, I'm back. Here's a pairing I need to experiment with, an idea that budded randomly, so I had to write it down. The chapters will be fairly short, and I will definitely be done this very shortly. I will install the next chapters once I have completely finished the story, which, at the progress I am making now, shouldn't be long at all.
Kagome sat on the ledge of the well by the old God Tree, feet dangling from the sides while her fingers rested on the old wood that was beginning to rot away.
'Dammit, Inuyasha, why are you so late today?' she thought furiously, trying to quell her frustration by spotting as many different types of birds she could find. She spotted two or three, heard their distinctive calls, and with practice from recent times she mimed them.
"Come here, little birdie," she called out as she continued to whistle, gazing as she watched the birds start to flock around a tree fifty paces from her. "Come on, I'm not going to hurt you."
As she continued whistling, she removed a bag of seeds from her knapsack carefully, and chucked them in front of her. "Go on, eat up!" The birds soon began to hoard around her, pecking at the ground, while she watched contently at the scenery before her. Being quiet and keeping her moves discreet, she snaked her hand into the knapsack once more to pull out her digital camera. With professionalism, she snapped a few photos, before resting the camera in her lap and gazing at the sky.
'Inuyasha, it's well past noon. Where the heck are you?' pouting, she scanned the area for more possible photo spots, and soon, she was so immersed in her work that everything seemed to be a beautiful canvas worth saving for lifetimes. Kagome snapped pictures of the God Tree, clips of the green trees with a bit of blue sky, followed by the ray of the sun that would appear spread out in a kaleidoscope of colors, the grass, some after thoughts of the well itself, before she suddenly felt like everything was worth a memory.
She started venturing just a bit further on the outside of the clearing, surrounded by thin interwoven trees, snapping pictures wherever she thought she could, capturing wildlife and how she remembered that this part of the era would, in a few centuries, be modified before giving way to her own city and buildings and pollution. So, as a reminder if she never was able to return to the Sengoku Jidai, everything was memorialized on her camera.
So caught up was she on her work that the presence of the taiyoukai did not daunt her in the least, until his claws were on her neck and on her pressure point.
Instantly, she froze, dropping the camera to the ground with a muted thud. Eyes wide, she attempted to speak, but the pressure on her neck prevented her from doing so.
"Miko," came Sesshoumaru's cold voice, his grip becoming a bit rougher, "what is that flash you keep producing? Some sort of purification spell?"
Had Kagome not been on the verge of choking, she would have laughed. As it was, the demon lord relaxed his grip enough to allow her to respond. "No. It's a camera."
Curiosity piqued, he asked, "And what is a ca-mer-a?" The sound was foreign to him, that much was clear.
Realizing he had put pressure on the fragile human again, he relaxed his grip enough so that his hand was just gently clasping her neck. Butterflies stirred in her stomach. Kagome said unsteadily, "It's an object that lets you take pictures." Knowing he didn't know what a picture was, she elaborated. "A picture is an object that has the image of the object or person on it. It comes out on paper if you want it to."
"Show me." He commanded, allowing his hand to slip away, his claws grazing her skin to cause her breath to hitch.
"Um. Okay." She wheeled around, picked up her camera, and aimed it at his face. "Say cheese." His initial reaction wasn't quite what she was expecting; for the taiyoukai became rather threatened with the idea of the unknown object being pointed at him specifically, and in turn he raised his hand to swat it out of her hands.
"Hey!" she shouted indignantly, stomping her foot. "That's an eight-hundred dollar camera!"
"It posed a threat, I simply got rid of it." He replied without concern about the price.
"It didn't pose a threat at all! You had better not have broken it!" With fury she stomped toward where her camera had been rudely chucked, stooped down to pick it up, but realized phantom hands had already snatched it away from her. When Kagome looked up, there was Sesshoumaru, camera in his hand held in a precarious way, inspecting it, for what she assumed to be sutras or any assortment of demon weapons that could potentially harm him.
"Give that back!" she demanded, walking up to him and attempting to take it from his hand. A chilling glare was her answer.
Wordlessly, he stuck it out to her.
Perplexed, she canted her head to the side. 'He's just going to give it to me?' she thought.
"Show me how it works."
'Well, I did that already, but you flipped out.' She thought sourly.
Exasperated, she gently retrieved her item and proceeded to make sure it was still alive. To her relief, it still worked, so she turned it on with a click and started instructing him what to do with it.
"You see this button?" she pointed to the button on the right hand side at the top. "It turns it on so it's...accessible. Now this button allows you to focus on an object, so you press this one once you've aimed it and then you have your picture."
When she slightly turned to make sure he was paying attention, she was suddenly aware of how close he was. The proximity was to say in the least invigorating, the feel of his hot breath just slightly fanning her ear was enough to make her loose her balance, not to mention the smell of him was absolutely intoxicating. And if she searched even further, she would have assumed he was so intent on the camera in her palms he wasn't even remotely conscious of how close their bodies were.
Ignoring this, she returned to her explanation. "Now, what you do, you take it with both hands, aim it, and then just press the button like I showed you." She tentatively handed him the camera, which she hoped he wouldn't throw away again. "Would you like to try?"
He contemplated this in silence, maybe debating if it would flash and he'd loose his vision, or perhaps he'd disintegrate into dust. Either which, he was obviously curious enough and took the camera from her hand, fingers once again brushing the soft flesh of her palm to send her head spinning the circles. 'Stop that!' Kagome yelled at her body furiously. 'Just quit it with the hormones!'
The taiyoukai placed the camera in his one hand, mimicked Kagome's movements, and watched as he captured her head and upper torso in the photo. "If you want a full body picture, step away a bit."
Internally, the demon lord thought it was suitable the size that it was and repeated mockingly, "Say cheese."
Nonplussed, Kagome smiled a bit awkwardly, and watched as the flash went off and little black dots congealed her vision. After she thought he was content with one photo, she asked, "Would you like me to take a picture of you now?"
He didn't answer at first, continued to look at the picture he had just took, scrutinizing for flaws and defects and anything that may seem witch-like. Unfortunately, and a bit irritatingly, he found no such problems with the picture which discomforted him a bit, and quietly assented to the miko's suggestion. She was perfectly fine from the looks of it, he should be fine also.
She stepped back a few paces, planning on a full-scale picture, and aimed the camera with practiced ease. Her throat and heart clenched when she viewed the image of him in the camera's lens, with his ethereal appearance, dressed in his full regalia, silver hair somewhat stirred from the soft, almost nonexistent breeze, and the passive look on his pale face that was accentuated by his markings and amber eyes.
Kagome tried to get a grip on the matter, snapped the photo. Promptly, the demon lord became frantic as he searched for the miko's neck blindly. When he did find her however, his one clawed hand again gripping her neck, his voice was pure venom when he blindly glared at her. "What did you do to my vision wench?"
Kagome struggled to keep calm, failed, and told him earnestly. "It's just the flash effects! It'll wear off in a few seconds, don't worry!" She felt sort of guilty; she should have known his vision would've been more susceptible to bright lights.
He didn't relinquish his hold on her until his sight was fully restored, bothered only by tiny black and green dots only when he looked too fast. He peered down at the miko's frightened expression, her brown eyes wide and her face turning an unhealthy blue hue. He also realized her legs were dangling off of the ground. Unceremoniously he dropped her to the ground, while she clawed at her neck and started wheezing for breath, but other than the obvious display of discomfort she did nothing to complain nor made any noise.
When Kagome regained her balance, she picked up the camera she had dropped, glad to find it still in one piece and working order, and viewed the picture she took. Gasping, she almost dropped the camera again at the picture that was not the demon lord she was seeing in front of her.
"What is it miko?" he asked stoically, coming to slide beside her as if he hadn't almost killed her, to view the picture over her shoulder.
"It-it's not you." Kagome stammered, wondering how he even had the ability to conjure up his true image before the flash went off.
"Stupid human," Sesshoumaru scolded, looking at the picture a bit more intently than he'd prefer, "it is me. That is my true form. I am just in a human shell." His one clawed hand reached out to point at the picture of him in his full demon glory, hackles raised at the top of his neck, fur wild in the wind, fangs protruding from the mouth, one paw missing from the other three, tongue flapping about outside of the mouth while his red eyes were wild with untamed fury.
"O-oh," Kagome said, forcing her mind to get rid of the thoughts of what he could do to her in that state. Quickly, she switched to another photo.
"Why do you take pictures of the birds?" he inquired when she started assessing her earlier pictures, startling her because of his genuine curiosity.
Fighting to come up with a proper answer that she'd deem interesting to his person, she replied, "Because, they're beautiful and they deserve to be memorized."
"If so, then why of the landscape itself? I see nothing that comes across beautiful."
Frowning, and becoming peeved because of his arrogance to simple things, Kagome retorted, "It's not going to be here forever you know. I'm saving this so that everyone will be able to see what it looked like when it's finally gone. And there is beauty in it, you've just got to look hard enough for it."
He ignored the last statement, instead targeted the first. "And how would you know it won't be here forever?"
She picked up on his condescending note, and tried to stem a reason that didn't give away her time-traveling abilities. Instead, she thought of something that he would be able to understand. "Everything gives way to change. Places, people, and objects don't often remain the same, for growing purposes. We've evolved into species capable of taking care of ourselves and have been given knowledge to teach the new generations. This, here, won't be like it is for very long. A few centuries it may become another farm field, or possibly a site where you build a long row of homes for people to live in."
The taiyoukai did not respond for several moments, digesting her words, for maybe he knew more than he was letting on.
"I suppose you're right," he conceded finally, but not happily.
She was tempted to say, "Of course," but settled for a nod before aiming her camera at a random location in the dense forestry. When she took the picture, she showed it to him. "See? This is something that's beautiful, just for the simple reasons."
The demon lord did not look convinced. "And, what pray, tell are the 'simple reasons'?"
Biting her lip, she said, "The way the sun's rays filters through the trees that are canvasing above us, creating an illuminated glow that compliments the green tree leaves on the ground and on the tree itself. The way the rocks on the solid ground sparkle and how the trees are woven together in perfect designation as if someone had pre-chosen their birthing spot." She took a moment to calm herself, knowing she was babbling. "It's all just so remarkable. I...don't have this where I live."
Her admittance didn't go unnoticed. "And where would you have to live not to see this each day?" Suddenly, Kagome was again aware of their close quarters, how he seemed to inch nearer and nearer without her noticing. Why was he trying to set her off?
"Um..." knowing she really didn't have a clue as to where she wouldn't see such dense forest, she gave up. "Okay, so, the place I live isn't exactly here...it's a long long way away and hard to find. It just doesn't have a lot of forest."
"And what does it have?" the feel of his hot breath on the back of her neck tickled her alarm bells but she ignored them.
"Homes," she answered, hoping to calm the fluttering in her stomach. "They took away the trees to make a lot of homes."
"Foolishness." He spat. The thought of hundreds of humans settled in one place was probably disturbing for him.
"In a way, yes," Kagome agreed, but refrained from allowing her leniency to show that she agreed fully on his opinion. "But there are so many of us we need a place to live, so it was necessary."
"I'm sure it was." She could have sworn she heard him say, but she paid no mind.
The silence that encompassed them wasn't what Kagome would have thought was awkward, or even tense, it was just comfortable. The birds offered twittering to break them of complete silence, the rustling of trees Kagome thought was mimicking the photographer blood in her, and the sun continued to beam brilliantly through the tree's blanket.
"I smell your hanyou," Sesshoumaru stated, nose wrinkling just in the slightest. Without another word, he pivoted on his heel and began stalking away.
"Um, bye?" Kagome called to the retreating form. Not wasting her breath, she stumbled out of the woods and into the clearing, where she was just in time to meet Inuyasha's bound into the clearing himself.
"You're late." Kagome chided, walking near to him while he shouldered her knapsack.
"Pheh, got held up by the monk." He replied, stopped, sniffed the air. His finger came to point at her, eyes wide. "Why do I smell my brother on you?"
Flushing, Kagome hastily tried to pluck an answer from thin air. "He...um...found me while I was taking pictures..." she could feel the heated glare on the hybrid's face even though she wasn't looking at him.
"You let my brother come near to you!?" he roared, beginning to scan the area in hopes of finding him. "Where is he!? I'll rip his head off!"
"Oh, calm down, Inuyasha." Kagome drawled, gripping his arm and leading him toward Kaede's village. "Let's just return to everyone and forget about it."
"Hmph," grumbled the half-demon as the miko lead him from the clearing.