Substitute

For Saholia's flower challenge over at Dokuga...I hope you all enjoy this :)

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha, nor do I make any money from this.

xxxxxxxxxx

"Miss Higurashi, cease your noise," the male from across the room ordered.

Kagome glanced up from her desk and pinned the man in front of the classroom with a glare. Kagome's fingers stopped tapping on the desk; with a huff, she dropped her chin onto her palm and stared out the side window. Of all the days to have a substitute, it had to be today. From the moment she'd stepped into the room, the man had hated her. It hadn't helped that she'd been half an hour late to class. Kagome sighed. Her regular instructor would of understood, he always did.

Now she had to deal with an arrogant prick that wanted total submission from the students and chose to get on her for being late. Great.

"Miss Higurashi," his annoying voice grated on her nerves like nails racing against a chalk board, "your turn to read."

So his voice was not so horrible, but his attitude was. But seriously? What were we in—middle school? Did he seriously want us to popcorn read? Kagome resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

"I pass," she said, not bothering to turn her gaze from outside the window.

The air in the room stilled, and Kagome heard the faint sound of footsteps. From the corner of her eyes she saw the loathed instructor walk to stand in front of her desk.

"How old are you Miss Higurashi?"

What ever it was Kagome had expected, it had not been that. Startled, she looked up into the dirty brown eyes of the instructor.

Pursing her lips in thought, she consented to the innocent question.

"I'm twenty-two."

"Hn," he said, his eyes blank, "Twenty-two, and yet you do not understand what I just said."

Kagome's cheeks flushed with a mixture of anger and embarrassment. He had asked her with the intentions of embarrassing her. Narrowing her eyes, Kagome couldn't keep her mouth shut.

"I understood perfectly clear. I—"

"Then read. I had not asked you—It was an order Miss Higurashi," he said, his lips ending in a thin line.

Kagome trembled with anger as the man turned around and walked to the front of the class, fully expecting her to follow his order.

Kagome huffed, and stared down at her text book.

"Page fifty-two Miss Higurashi."

Kagome pursed her lips, biting her tongue so she wouldn't respond with her smart comments. She turned to the page and read.

"Well done, now do keep up with the rest Miss Higurashi," he said, his voice carrying a clear message.

The class dragged sitting and pretending to pay attention to the lecture. Kagome peeked at the clock at the back of the classroom and nearly cried from relief. Just a few more minutes and she'd be free.

"Very well class," the instructor finalized, snapping his text book shut, "you are dismissed."

Kagome jumped out of her chair and gathered her materials.

"Except you Miss Higurashi," Kagome's mood deflated, and her eyes narrowed as she heard snickering from some of her classmates.

She dropped her books on her desk and placed her pen inside her purse. Peering at the instructor, she found him sitting behind his desk, hands folded on his desk, staring at her.

"How can I help you Mr. Sato?"

The instructor's brown eyes bore into her softer ones, his lips pursed. Faster than any human should be capable of, he was on his feet, towering over Kagome's smaller frame.

"Um, what are you doi—" Kagome was cut off by the wave of his hand.

"Tell me Miss Higurashi," he started, unblinkingly staring at her, "what high school did you attend?"

Kagome wrinkled her brow, where was he going with this? Such a strange man...she answered his question nontheless.

"Hn...and were you never absent?" he asked, his hand coming up to rub tab his chin.

Kagome's eyes narrowed, "yes, I was absent."

"Hn. And yet you've never missed college classes." he said, narrowing his eyes at her.

"Are you going some where with this Mr. Sato?" Kagome asked frustrated and a bit annoyed.

"Yes," he answered, moving back to his desk. He sat and looked out the window.

"It is simply strange that you were absent in over seventy percent of your high school time, and yet you have perfect attendance here...why is that Miss Higurashi" he trailed off as he pinned her with his eyes.

"With all due respect," Kagome said through clenched teeth, "that's my business."

"Wrong."

Kagome's eyebrows shot up, completely taken off guard. Prior anger evaporated in an instant. She saw his lips pull into a knowing smile, and shock raced through her as his eyes turned from muddy brown to hazel and then to a blazing pure gold. His dark brown hair shimmered until only pure white was left behind. Bright magenta stripes slashed his cheeks, and lastly a sky blue crescent moon adorned his forehead.

Silence filled the room, tense and strong. Kagome's mouth moved, yet no words came out.

"H—how are you here?" Kagome's voice caught in her throat, eyes wide.

Sesshomaru stood from his seat and moved around the desk to stride towards the door. Pulling it close, he locked it.

"Don't kill me," Kagome pleaded, wanting to run out as fast as she could. Surely we would kill her for the mere fact that he could. How could he of survived so long? As far as she was aware, demons had not made it to her time.

"This Sesshomaru will answer questions later," Sesshomaru said walking towards her. His movements were slow, as to not startle her more, "For this Sesshomaru has questions of his own."

Kagome was shocked, and a bit skeptical that he hadn't threatened her life for even asking him a question. Deciding to test her luck further, Kagome insisted, "No, tell me now"

She tried to take him all in—every inch, trying to find something that had changed him in all of the 500 years. She found none. Only his clothes were different.

His answering smirk was barely there, but she saw it.

"You have not changed girl," he said, his eyes far and unfocused. Kagome knew he was remembering, for she'd often held the same expression. Kagome took a moment to remember too, though she'd long tried to lock those memories of her past adventures.

"Join me," he said, snapping her out of her thoughts.

"E—excuse me?" Kagome asked, confused.

"Join me for dinner" his eyes were still far away when he spoke.

"Alright."

"Here's my address. Be there at six," Sesshomaru pulled a pen from his slacks' pocket and wrote his address on a piece of paper by his desk.

"Wait, at your house?" Kagome's voice was hesitant as she kept her eyes on him.

"No," he saw her relax, "my apartment."

He stopped the smirk that threatened to escape as her shoulders tensed again. She was just too easy to bait.

"Do you understand?" he baited her again.

Kagome's cheeks flushed in embarrassment again, remembering her earlier incident with that question.

"Y—you jerk. You embarrassed me in front of the class!" she could not help her tone, indignation and irritation marking her words.

"Hn." this time he smirked. "I will see you then."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Kagome drove to the address Sesshomaru had neatly written for her. Surprisingly, he did not live far from the school. The only reason why she'd never ran across him was because he worked at the university and not at the community college she attended. She pulled up onto a neat parking lot and looked up at the tall building before her. It looked...homey?

She took out her cell phone and dialed his number. It was answered on the first ring.

"Hi, I'm here..." she started.

"I'll open the door for you. Push."

Kagome heard the door buzz and she pushed it open. Thank him she hung up and made her way to the elevator. She was surprised the building he chose to call home. It was not elegant or high class as she would of expected him to live in, but it was clean and well kept.

Kagome stepped out the elevator and made her way to his door, knocking twice. The door opened and her mouth almost hit the floor. Her eyes racked him from head to toe—and back again. She'd never seen a man look so good in jeans and a turtleneck sweater. He seemed so unreal, so different, so...domesticated. So damn sexy though.

"Hn." he said, his golden eyes taking in her appearance, "you understood the directions," he teased.

Kagome rolled her eyes at his teasing, surprised he could do that in the first place. She stepped in when he moved aside and welcomed her in. Immediately her eyes took in the space. Clean, elegant...masculine. Just like him.

She felt her jacket being helped off her shoulders and moved to help it slide off her. She saw Sesshomaru walk towards a door and place her jacket in it.

"Sit," he said, his eyes never leaving hers, "dinner is almost ready."

Kagome waited in the living room while Sesshomaru went back to the kitchen. Her fingers played with the hem of her shirt, her brows knitting together. This was not the same Sesshomaru...it couldn't be. Where was the once stoic and dangerous taiyoukai? She peeked back and saw him in the kitchen, his broad back to her. Ok, so he was still dangerous, but he was still not the same.

"Miko, you will stop thinking of the past for now," his voice carried to her and Kagome 'eeped'. Damn the man.

Standing up, Kagome made her way to the kitchen. "Do you need help?" she offered.

"This Sesshomaru has been making his own meals for centuries miko," he gently reminded her.

Kagome flinched. Centuries. While it had only been years for her, it'd been centuries for him. Days, months, years, hundreds of never ending years without any of his companions. The vast loneliness he must of felt nearly brought her to her knees as the truth hit her full force. In an instant she was wrapped up by strong arms, her cheek resting on a solid chest.

"Breath," was his gentle order.

Kagome closed her eyes and breathed deeply. The warmth and wetness on her face drawing her attention. She brought her fingertips up to touch her cheek and found it was wet. Tears; when had she started crying?

"I'm sorry," she whispered.

Sesshomaru's eyes closed shut. He knew what she had been thinking, knew he could take her apology in hundreds of ways. His arms tightened around her, soothing both her and himself. In all honesty, he had been alone. As a canine, he needed pack, he needed contact, and yet his own blood—the same blood he'd prided himself of carrying, had denied him of such.

"Do not," he said, knowing he had to tell her now. He felt her stiffen under his hold, and ran his claws through her dark tresses.

"This Sesshomaru has not been alone since some time ago," he started. " This Sesshomaru has found the one I had been unknowingly looking for a year ago, Miko."

Kagome stiffened in his arm; so he'd found someone? And she was allowing him to hold her this intimately? Slowly, she tried to pry herself out of his hold, but it was as if trying to move a mountain.

"Cease your attempts at escape," he said, his voice thick with amusement. Kagome stopped her movements and listened to the rest of what he had to say.

"Miko, a year ago, This Sesshomaru substituted for an instructor at your college. What surprise did this Sesshomaru have when he saw a figure from his past walking the walls next to the classroom this Sesshomaru was in."

Sesshomaru peered down at the one in his arms, and continued, "Miko, a year ago I found you..."

Kagome's throat felt dry suddenly; this evening was just full of surprises. She pulled away, but not completely, and looked up at him. All her insecurities, vulnerabilities and questions clearly displayed in her eyes.

Sesshomaru's lips pulled up in a gentle smile, "Stay," he said and turned towards the kitchen. Kagome stared after him curiously and saw him open his refrigerator. He pulled something up and hid it behind his back. In a flash, he was before her; a bouquet of bright red, fully opened roses in front of her.

Kagome's eyes widened, " W—what's this?" she asked, hesitantly taking them.

"It was this Sesshomaru's belief, that the male gives flowers to the female as a sign of courtship," his golden gaze pinned her then, their force stealing her breath, "Am I wrong?"

Kagome's throat convulsed, unable to swallow. Taking a small breath, her lips pulled up into a light smile. This is what she'd been missing, something new.

"No Sesshomaru, you are correct."