Kiss Me Fool

Chapter Two

"Kiss me out of the bearded barley
Nightly, beside the green, green grass"

-Sixpence None the Richer

(AN: Hey to those of you that are reading this again, this is not FFNet sending you the alert for the same chapter. I decided to add something to it, make it a little bit more towards the plot line, however silly it might be. I hope you enjoy the changes and to those of you reading this for the first time, enjoy! I would love feedback!)

"Inuyasha, so help me, if you finish that sentence, you'll be so far in the ground, you'll be in America," Kagome growled, her hands fisted so tightly, her knuckles were white. Inuyasha, mid-bellow, stopped at the look in her eyes: absolute and raw fury. Dealing with Kagome over the years had caused him to develop a six sense about how far he could push her and he could feel his feet slipping over the line.

Pulling back with a scowl, he huffed and turned his back on her, trying to ignore the hurt he felt that she would choose him.

I don't see that fucking wolf saving her from Naraku time and time again. I don't her scream his name whenever she's in trouble.

"Fine, you want to run away with that flea-bitten bag of fur, go ahead. No one is going to stop you!" Cursing, he felt his slim grip on his control slipping and he bound away to disappear into the trees. Far enough away that he couldn't hear their words, but close enough to get there in case something happened.

Even now, he groused, even now, I'll still save her when she needs me. I'm fucking pathetic.

Watching him go, Kagome sighed sadly and turned to her friends, who were for once staying quiet. Sango was looking at her as if seeing her for the first time, Miroku had a grim expression on his face and Shippo seemed to be frozen in shock.

"Are you guys mad at me too?" she asked softly, her eyes unable to meet theirs.

Why am I ashamed? I have nothing to be ashamed of! It's not like Inuyasha and I are a couple or anything. He even told me himself that we could never be together. So why can't I move on too?

Straightening her shoulders, she met their gaze with her own. Miroku broke the tense silence first.

"Forgive us, Kagome, we're just surprised is all. We simply thought that you never had any, ah, feelings for Kouga. Beyond friendship that is."

She deflated with a sigh and closed her eyes. "I know," she murmured, opening her eyes once more. "I never thought I did either. But lately, I…I know Inuyasha and I are never going to be more than friends, possibly not even that after the jewel is complete and Naraku is dead. So if he can have Kikyo, why can't I have someone too?"

Sango stepped forward and placed a hand on her friend's shoulder. "We know you loved him, Kagome. We all saw how torn up you were every time he went off to see Kikyo and it's not that we're not happy that you want to be happy. It's just…are you sure Kouga is the right choice? Do you truly care for him?"

Kagome's eyes widened and she stepped back, hurt. "You would think I would do that in front of everyone, and not mean it?"

"No, Kagome," Miroku said sincerely. "But we are worried that you might not feel this way in the future. That you might be doing this to simply get over Inuyasha. And the last thing we want to see is Kouga and you get hurt."

Taking a deep breath, Kagome nodded and sank down on her bedroll, folding her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. She had asked herself that very question many times after Kouga had left. Were these feelings she was having for Kouga real or were they simply to get back at Inuyasha? Kouga deserved to have her whole heart or none at all, not simply Inuyasha's left-overs.

"Kagome." She looked up when Shippo hopped onto her knees and stared her in her eyes, his own green ones surprisingly somber. Framing her face with his tiny paws, he searched her face and Kagome had a distinct feeling he was searching her soul. He seemed to find what he needed and relaxed, a small smile on his lips. "I know Inuyasha was an idiot when it came to you, and believe me, if I was older I would have given him a run for his money and taken you away. I just want you to be happy, Kagome. I love you, so if you do pick the wolf, then I'll stay with you."

Surprised silence followed his speech and Kagome felt her heart constrict. Blinking rapidly, she pulled him into her chest for a firm cuddle. "Thank you Shippo. You have no idea how much that means to me." Looking over his head she met Sango and Miroku's gaze. "I know you guys will support me whichever way I chose, which is why I'm going to wait until Naraku is dead. That's what we really need to focus on right now." Her friends nodded firmly. "But I don't regret what I did." Sango gave her a secretive grin.

"So how was it?" she asked, her smile growing at Kagome's deep flush.

"Kouga!" a cry went up as soon as he appeared into his cave. The dust cleared to reveal his very wolfish grin. Ginta and Hakkaku, who were rushing toward him, stopped and looked at each other nervously. "Kouga?"

Shaking himself from his blissful recount of that intense kiss, Kouga focused on his two right-hand men. His grin turned into a smirk and his walk was decidedly arrogant as he swaggered up to them. "Kagome has finally come to her senses and accepted my courtship." His men looked at each other, then twin smiles broke out on their faces. A cheer went up in the surrounding wolves.

Ever since Naraku's attack on his men, his pack had done their best rebuilding their pack, but their numbers were not even a third of their former glory. Most of his pack now was made up of pups and rouge wolves that had come seeking shelter from him.

Kouga was a firm and at times ruthless ruler, but he made a point to make rounds to see to his pack's needs personally. Every wolf, therefore, knew of his attempted courtship of the Priestess of the Sacred Jewel. After a year or so of flippant refusals, they had almost given up hope of her accepting and some had been afraid he would mate Ayame instead.

"She finally accepted?" Ginta asked, his eyes bright.

Kouga's canary-eating grin never left his face as he fielded questions from his excited pack. Holding up his hands, he waited until silence filled the cave, then spoke firmly. "She has decided to postpone our official courtship until after the demise of that half-breed Naraku." When a murmur of alarm went through the crowd, he growled and there was silence once more. "I will respect her wishes. There will be no arguments on this, am I understood?" He wasn't satisfied until all his pack was murmuring in acceptance, then he relaxed, a smile once more on his face. "Well then, it is time to celebrate!" The resounding howls could be heard all through the valley below.

"Inuyasha, behind you!" Kagome screamed from her potion sprawled on the ground where she'd fallen after narrowly missing a tentacle intent on beheading her. In the action of attempting to unleash the Wind Scar once more, Inuyasha didn't head her warning and Kagome's screams permeated the air as he was impaled through the leg.

He roared in anger and collapsed, shock keeping his reactions sluggish as the same tentacle, with his blood still dripping from its tip, turned its attention on the screaming girl.

Her eyes widened when she saw it coming towards her and her hands fumbled around for her bow, cursing under the breath when she saw it laying several feet away. She looked up and closed her eyes, bracing for the impact when she heard a menacing growl vibrate through the clearing. Naraku paused and looked over his shoulder, smirking when he saw the wolf prince crouched behind him, fury radiating from every tense muscle in his body.

"You dare touch my woman?" he growled and Naraku chuckled. Still looking at him, he shot his appendage towards the frozen girl once more. Her gasp was cut short when she felt strong arms heft her into the air as the tentacle stabbed the ground where she'd been. Looking up, her mouth moved silently as she saw Kouga's furious face, fear racing up her spine. She'd only ever seen him this angry when he'd found his slaughtered pack members and she'd hoped she would never see it again. But still, his hands were gentle when they set her on the ground next to her companions.

"Stay here," he told her, his gaze still locked on his enemy. When he began to get up, Kagome grabbed his arm, her eyes bright.

"Please," she whispered earnestly. "Be careful Kouga."

Some semblance of his cocky smirk flitted briefly across his face and he nodded. Inuyasha was already engaged in battle with Naraku and barely had time to curse Kouga's presence before he was thrown back once more. Growling in frustration, he struggled to his feet and his hands fisted into white-knuckled fists when he saw the wolf deftly dodging the writhing appendages to land a solid blow against Naraku's chest. The dark hanyou barely flinched as miasma poured from his wounds and chuckled when Kouga swore and jumped away from the noxious fumes. His sinister chuckle echoing through the clearing as the miasma pooled and formed a swirling cover around his body and he disappeared from sight. As the miasma dissipated, Inuyasha cursed and slammed his fist into the ground, his tedious control on his temper slipping.

Kouga ignored the furious half-demon and crouched in front of Kagome. Her eyes racked over his body, checking for injuries.

"Are you okay? Did you get hurt?" She asked frantically. When he simply shook his head, a relieved smile graced her features and her shoulders sagged. Beside her, Sango and Miroku walked over to check on their seething friend and giving the couple some privacy.

"I'm supposed to ask you that. Are you hurt anywhere?" Kouga replied. She gave him a bright smile and shook her head.

"Just some bruises, but that's it. What are you doing all the way over here?" she asked. They had been following a shard rumor in the southern territories and Kagome hadn't expected to run into the wolf prince.

"Some of my men heard of a rumor of a shard and I figured I'd either run into you or Naraku, so I followed it."

She opened her mouth to reply when she heard voices approaching and looked up in time to see Ginta and Hakkaku running towards them, sweat glistening across their faces and panting tiredly. She gave Kouga a stern glare and he simply smirked and shrugged. She turned to her bag and found some bottles of water and handed them to the tired wolf demons, earning herself brilliant smiles of relief.

"I'm going to go check on Inuyasha," she murmured, gathering her medical supplies, so engrossed in her task that she missed the grimace that briefly marred Kouga's face before he smoothed it away.

"We've got to get going anyway, Kagome. I have some tribal business that I need to look into." Standing, he clasped her free hand and gave her a brilliant smile. "But I'm glad I got to see your beautiful face. I'll make my nights that much less harder to bare." Ignoring Inuyasha's disgusted snort, he pulled her close with an arm around her waist and held her against him, relieved when she didn't stiffen but simply leaned into him, a sigh brushing against his chest.

"Be careful Kouga. Naraku is nothing if not unpredictable."

He nodded and pulled back and studied her face. He could see relief in her expression along with the slightest bit of something that he couldn't quite place. He reached up and cupped the side of her face, hesitant to make the type of contact he'd been yearning for since she'd kissed him all those weeks ago. He leaned forward slowly, giving her enough time for her to know his intentions and to pull away if she so wished. But his eyes widened when she simply closed her eyes and parted her lips in anticipation. He hesitated again with his lips scant inches hovering above hers. His message was clear when she opened her eyes. He wanted her to be the one to close the distance.

Giving him a shy smile she leaned up and pressed her lips against his softly, her eyes closing at the contact and her heart thudding loudly in her ears, so loud she was sure he could hear it. She placed the hand he'd released against the column of his tan throat, and felt the throbbing of his wild heart beat against her palm. She sighed against his mouth and relaxed fully. With a groan, he pulled back and pressed his lips to her forehead.

"Be safe Kagome. And wait for my return to you," he whispered against her skin and she smiled, her fingers curling against his chest guard, trying to savor the feel of his warm skin and the smell of him. She nodded and watched as he stood back and looked back at her for a moment, before disappearing in a cloud of dust, her loyal companions quickly following after him. Sighing, she turned back to her injured friend and focused on smoothing her companion's ruffled feathers.