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Where to go from here?
That was the thought running through Kagome's head for the past week. No matter how hard she tried to distract herself from everything that had happened, her mind always wandered back to that same question. The memories were strange, surreal, almost. To think that her life – once ordinary and quite uneventful – had come to this; it was baffling. As if falling through an enchanted well and travelling back in time wasn't enough, now she had an overly curious daiyoukai with a raging libido sniffing about! It was straining her already seriously frayed nerves.
Across the camp, monk and slayer exchanged knowing looks of concern. Something was bothering their young friend; she only ever chewed her nails when she was over thinking something.
Picking up a skewer of roasted venison, Sango approached the pensive priestess with a tentative smile. "Kagome, did you want more?"
Startled from her thoughts, the young miko blinked up into the taijiya's face, noting the proffered food and shaking her head. "No more for me, thanks."
She flashed Sango a forced smile, hoping it didn't look as transparent as she felt. The older woman looked disbelieving, but nodded and retreated back to the other side of the camp nonetheless. Sighing quietly, Kagome glanced guiltily at her friends from under her bangs, feeling terrible for keeping this from them. She would tell them – she would – but she didn't know how.
Her original attempt had been a flop; she'd been unable to dredge up enough nerve to actually admit to what had happened. She'd wanted to, but when she'd met up with her friends after the incident, the miko had only been able to mutter out a brief assurance that she was unharmed, and then proceeded to tell them that Sesshomaru and Inuyasha had gotten into a spat, and that they needed to find him. No one had pressed the issue further, but she was certain they were at least a bit suspicious.
'Ugh, when did I start hiding things from my friends?' she wondered sadly, upset at herself for being such a coward.
Miroku and Sango and Shippou, it was likely that they would be shocked, but she doubted they would be upset at her. Inuyasha, however, was another matter entirely, and it was because of him that she was hesitant.
How deeply would it hurt the hanyou to know that she had been intimate with his detested half-sibling? While not exactly an item, the two of them shared a very deep connection, and she was sure that he would view this as a betrayal. She was the closest friend he had, the first person he had truly allowed himself to trust in a long, long time; likely since the passing of his mother. Something like this could potentially destroy that trust and force him back behind the emotional barrier he'd hidden behind for most of his life. She didn't want to do that to him.
The inu hanyou in question was currently settled up in the branches of a nearby tree, eyes cast into the distance. She wondered what he was thinking about… if he was thinking about her? Ever since the 'ordeal', he had been disturbingly distant, dodging her glances and not speaking to her unless he was barking orders. Was it possible that he knew? He'd been apprehensive about Sesshomaru coming around, and after the little scuffle the two had had right before the daiyoukai came to her, it seemed likely that he would figure it out.
'No, if he knew, he'd have brought it up,' she reasoned. So then, why was he avoiding her? Perhaps he suspected, but wasn't certain? Maybe he was afraid of speaking to her because he didn't want to confirm his fears?
Letting her head fall tiredly into her hands, Kagome loosed a quiet whine, asking herself for the thousandth time how she had allowed herself to get into this situation.
'Damn you Sesshomaru; why do you have to be so ridiculously desirable?'
She needed to clear her head; a good, long soak was definitely in order. Pulling her pack over, she retrieved her bathing supplies and a towel, announcing, "I need a bath, I'll be back shortly."
Seeing an opening for some girl talk – and possibly an opportunity to find out what was bothering her friend – Sango queried, "Want some company?"
Kagome, not wanting to be rude, responded with a bright, "Sure!" Seemed she would have to find time to herself later.
The slayer looked to Miroku, who dipped his head in a small nod of understanding, before gathering a towel for herself and moving to follow the young priestess to the onsen. She was determined to find out what had Kagome so worried, and she wasn't going to return to camp until she found out what it was.
So, as you can see, not all of the chapters are going to be ridiculously long. Most will be longer than this one, but this is just a bit of a kickoff, so bear with me.
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