A/N: That's right, Maddie is writing a Kouga/Kagome. I've wanted to for a while (as a matter of fact this was months old), but nobody wanted to beta a kouga/kagome, so it gathered dust. I'm on Christmas break, so updates should come around at a decent speed.
Enamor (En Amour) verb: to be filled with a feeling of love
Thank you Shadow bby for beta-reading this! GO KOUGA TEAM! ...Rawr?
Chapter 1: Sparkling Claws
Stupid, stupid Inuyasha.
Kagome sighed heavily, wrapping her arms tighter around Kirara to keep from shuddering as the wind picked up. She could not believe the nerve of him. He voiced out loud his love for Kikyo and picked the dead Miko over her. Now he dared to be jealous just because Kouga, who kidnapped her against her will mere hours ago, professed his love to her?
As if she had any say in the matter!
It infuriated her to no end that Inuyasha thought he was allowed to be jealous. Actually, the fact that he thought he had the right to yell at her was even worse. Yes, she made the decision to stay by his side even though he chose Kikyo, because she had believed she could find happiness with him nonetheless. However, it did not mean he was allowed to toy with her heart by being jealous of another man. Though it was rather nice to know he cared.
On the other hand, he should have realized by now the she was not the kind of girl who went around smooching boys. Yes, perhaps she was still rather young and did not hold a defined meaning of love, but she had self-respect. Plus, she told Inuyasha that Kouga was not her type. 'Yeah, nice, caring, devoted and loyal isn't my type.' she thought.
She had to admit, though, he was bold; she gave him that much. For a while Kagome had thought Hojo was a little forward, but it was nothing compared to Kouga. It was still difficult for her to believe he proclaimed his love for her out loud in such a fashion. She could feel a blush creep back up onto her cheeks. Who did something like that?
On top of that, he blasted her with his silly remarks about how she was his woman and wolves mated for life! Apparently, wolves also did not consult anyone before they laid claims! As if she was someone that could just be taken. Clearly Kouga had his perspective of humans all wrong; she was not about to be claimed against her will.
She sighed heavily.
Though they were both canines, Inuyasha and Kouga had nothing else in common.
Well, except for their heated tempers.
However, it served no purpose for her to waste her time thinking about this. The chances of her actually seeing Kouga again were slim, and Inuyasha was being punished since she was returning home. Perhaps this time she would linger on the other side of the well a bit longer and let him stir in his own rage and guilt. If he wanted to be jealous of Kouga, she was not going to stop him. It was his turn to experience that heart wrenching feeling.
Kagome closed her eyes and enjoyed the nice breeze that gently blew against her face. After the heated, strenuous day she had –not counting the roller coaster of emotions- she desperately needed some time to cool off. That, and a long, nice warm bath, which only increased her excitement about returning home. The more time passed, the less she actually got to go back home, leaving her to enjoy every little precious moment.
Her joy began to build when she spotted the well, knowing it would be less than a minute before they reached it. She made sure to pat Kirara to thank her for the ride. As she was about to retract her hand, Kagome felt Kirara's speed suddenly change and she could not help but open her eyes widely, wondering about the reason. She gently ran her fingers through Kirara's fur as she glanced left and right.
"What is it Kirara?"
The neko tilted her head up and slightly to the left, before growling at the air. Confused, Kagome did the same an tried to spot the source of Kirara's irritation. Unfortunately, she could not see nor sense anything, forcing her to glance back down at her feline companion. She thought the neko would do the same, but she kept peering at the sky as if she was waiting for something to drop or even worse; attack.
"Is there someone after us?" Kagome tried with her head inclined to the side.
Kirara's fangs glinted as her lips curled into a snarl and a hissing sound slipped from her, before she harshly sped to the right. If it was not for the way Kagome was holding onto her, she would have fallen to the ground. Her breathing became heavy as she repositioned herself on Kirara panickedly, and her grip on the fur strengthened. 'Why did this always happen to her?'
"What is it?" she asked, despite the fact that Kirara could not provide her with an answer.
Nonetheless, Kagome could tell from the look in Kirara's eyes that she did not know any more than she did. Kagome twisted her body around as she attempted to obtain a better view of her surroundings. It was then, that out of the blue she felt a big shock. Something wet splashed against her back.
It was not until droplets hit the fur around Kirara's neck that Kagome realized what it was; blood. A small fear took hold of her heart before she spun around to take a look at the neko. Near where Kagome was sitting, was a giant gash, and blood was pouring out. Kagome did not need to wonder if Kirara was in a lot of pain; the way she was wavering through the air, the slowed speed and the lost in altitude answered that for her.
The opponent still unknown, Kagome began scanning the sky once more. The moment she lifted her head in the air she found herself face to face with giant, metallic claws. A gasp did not have time to pass her lips as they wrapped around her body, penetrating her sides, breaking the flesh and leaving her with an immense pain jolting through her body.
Slowly, she was lifted through the air as a ripping sound echoed through. At that moment Kagome found the strength to keep her eyes wide open, only to see Kirara even more wounded. The neko stopped flying completely and allowed her body to collapse against the ground meters from the well. Her will to struggle completely dissipated as she lay unconscious on the grass, which tainted her surroundings in red.
Meanwhile, Kagome desperately attempted to scream, hoping she would be heard, but no sound came out. The pain caused by the claws digging in her skin left her breathless, voiceless and helpless. Tears shone in her eyes as she did her best to keep consciousness. She twisted her neck, straining it painfully to catch a glimpse of her assailant.
To her surprise, it was none other than a bird of paradise.
Her eyes widened in horror. Hadn't they … killed them all?
Even from the terrible angle she was in, it was easy to tell the bird suffered a good amount of damage. Half of his feathers were missing and claw marks, probably a result of Inuyasha, covered its body. Was it coming after her for revenge? She was not the one who had done the most damage! She killed one of them, no more! And she did it in self-defense… well… someone else's self defense.
Why her? Why not Inuyasha, or Kouga? Not that she wanted her friends injured, but this made no sense. She was a worthless prey… was she not?
But she could see the jewel shards and the birds of paradise were aware of that.
Infuriation spread throughout her body; was she ever going to be more than a jewel detector? It was high time they got someone else to do that.
Since her voice was betraying her due to the insufferable pain, Kagome took hold of one of the claws with her tiny hands and attempted to pull herself free. She grunted, she sweated, but no matter what she did the darn thing would not budge. She hit it in frustration, but the bird did not even react; it probably could not even feel it!
Panic took hold of her mind as she felt him squeeze her even harder and a scream finally made it pass her lips. Unfortunately for her, they were quite up high in the sky and she had no idea of her location. On top of that, nobody was going to be looking for her right away since they all thought she went home! Her only hope was the injured Kirara…
As her blood began soaking through her white shirt, Kagome found herself becoming even dizzier then before. She did her best to hang onto consciousness, but she could hardly fight it. Her eyelids were getting heavier by the second as her mind pulled in and out of the darkness of a blackout. 'Just hold on.' If she passed out she would die, she was certain of it. Not that her chances of survival were really great at the moment either way.
Her bottom lip quivered and Kagome pressed a hand on the bird's foot trying to unleash some of her power. It was a desperate attempt, but it was all she had. It did not always work, but she prayed it would now. She focused all her attention and energy on it and waited for something to happen. Seconds passed before finally, flashes of pink emerged from her fingers.
Unfortunately for her, it did not turn out as expected. Instead of causing the bird to release her, his grip increased the moment he felt the pain.
Once all that happened, her will was concentrated on remaining awake as the barely hurt bird picked up his speed. Kagome could already tell it meant nothing good; they were reaching their destination fast. She opened her eyes as best she could and stole a peek around. She somewhat expected to be returned to the bird's nest where Inuyasha and the others should still be, but unfortunately she did not recognize the area.
Where was it taking her?
At that moment they began flying over mountains, but they were not as rocky as the one in front of Kouga's den. Vegetation was green and full and there was also a nice waterfall leading to a hot spring. As the increase in speed did not cease, Kagome found herself coughing, blood splattering upon her ruined uniform. She was gasping for air, trying to wiggle herself free and hoping to live.
She cursed herself for not even having arrows, which she could have used to stab her opponent; perhaps that would have worked better. She wrapped a hand around her own throat, almost as if it was going to soothe her and despite her best efforts, her eyes closed as exhaustion took over her. Against her will, Kagome's body began thrusting around, the pain taking its toll.
Kagome shivered as a coldness wrapped itself around her body. Her head reclined back, the shift in weight causing one of the claws to rip through her body and clothes even more. Since she felt so light headed, Kagome believed she would not survive the kidnapping and she forced her closed eyelids to hold back the tears. Her heart was racing and she could not even tell how much time had gone by since the bird took her.
It was in that instant, when she thought all to be lost, that the bird's perfect flight was interrupted. She felt it shake around and an intense scream of pain escaped its mouth. He began zigzagging around in the air as she felt something gushy hitting her in the face, blinding her at the same time. Their speed picked up as they grew closer to what she figured was the ground.
Kagome was unable to brace herself for the impact as she made contact with the ground, head first. A pain spread through her skull to the rest of her body while she yelped weakly. She could feel her blood spilling all around her, but she could not see it. She heard a big crunching sound and everything turned to darkness as she slowly slipped into unconsciousness.
"Come on! Hurry! We gotta bring her back!"
"She ain't gonna make it! Look at all that blood! She's gonna die if we move her too much."
"Well we can't take care of her here!"
"Fine, but if Sis dies, I'm telling Kouga it's your fault!"
Kagome was unable to open her eyes but she could, during her brief moments of awareness, hear voices that sounded rather familiar. 'Sis? Kouga?' What did Kouga have to do with this? She was trying to remember what happened but each time she attempted to think, it felt like her brain was being squashed under a giant rock.
Her body was being gently swung back and forth as she assumed they were carrying her. No matter how hard she tried, her eyelids refused to lift up, which forced her to remain in the darkness. She could feel thick liquids running down her body as she was being moved and if she had been able, she would have shuddered in disgust.
Her mind could barely wonder if the people carrying her were actually friends rather then foes, but the words she heard earlier had kept her at ease a bit. It sounded like they cared for her safety, though her mind was nothing more than a blur. All she knew was that these people were not strangers and if her head was not pounding as much as it was, it would all make sense.
If she could just…stay awake.
Ginta frowned a bit as he felt less movement coming from Kagome. "Do you think she's still alive?"
"She's lost a lot of blood." Hakkaku replied, unable to provide his friend with a better answer.
She was still breathing when they found her which he considered was a good sign. Kagome did not yet carry the scent of death around her, meaning they would do their best to keep her alive until they reached the den. Who knew, perhaps she would be lucky. It was already almost a miracle that they found and rescued her!
Well… they did not know about her until… it was a bit too late.
He could remember how a little bit after bringing Kouga back to the den, they heard the horrifying sound of a bird of paradise. Most of them were shocked since they were under the impression they killed every single one of them during the attack. Refusing to let one of these beasts live, they went after it.
It was obvious the bird meant to attack them since it did not fly over their den, but sneaked behind where their defenses, because of the amounts of waterfall and hot springs, were lacking. They could not allow it to take any more lives.
Ginta was the one to shoot it and jumped in joy when he reached its target. Of course it was also then that a fairly familiar human scream was heard along with blood splattering around. Once the scent hit their noses, there no longer was doubt: the blood belonged to Kagome.
After fear took hold of their hearts, they rushed to the scene to find her with the beast's claws still stuck in her flesh. They did their best to free her without causing too much damage and were now trying to save her life. Once Kouga learned about this, he would have their heads for allowing harm to come to his woman!
But how were they supposed to know? They were simply trying to protect the den from one of those wretched birds!
Also, Kagome rescued them which meant they owed her one and this was not exactly the best way to pay her back. However, now that she was under their care they intended on protecting her at any cost.
"Are we almost there?" Hakkaku asked from the back.
"I can see the den." Ginta answered with a bit of excitement in his voice.
They tried to hurry even more, without hurting Kagome. It did not take long for the scent of fresh, sweet blood to reach the den, attracting some of the pack members out who were salivating slightly. Ginta could not help but frown as he noticed the group gather, even though most of them did not understand just exactly who was injured.
"I don't think Kouga would like you eating his woman." he said while baring his fangs.
The tall wolf in front of him backed away slightly with his eyes widening. He already got in trouble once with Kouga today when he almost ate his female; he would not be given a second chance. He hurried to back away, which allowed Ginta and Hakkaku to move along.
"Make yourself useful! Get that healer! The woman healer!"
Kouga would not appreciate having a male put his paws all over his woman! "MOVE! MOVE OUT OF THE WAY YOU IDIOTS! WE'VE GOT AN INJURED GIRL HERE!"
Meanwhile, Kouga was in the den resting upon furs with his back pressed against the cold walls of the cave. His eyes were closed as he withheld his anger. Most of his rage was directed towards Inuyasha, but a small part towards himself. The Mutt-face had his woman with him. Of course, such thing would not have happened if he were stronger.
He allowed that damn bird to get the best of him, leaving him unable to fight for Kagome. It did not matter though; he would not give up on her. She only cared for that Inutrasha because she did not know any better; she had yet to be around a real demon for enough time. Once he was all fixed up, he would find her and bring her back.
Though, that was the last time he kidnapped her. She had quite the temper and apparently demons did not scare her one bit. He could not help but chuckle at the thought of his feisty woman.
When Sis's chest felt slightly lighter, he allowed himself to gaze around. It was then that his eyes landed on human bones, which caused him to frown. He could not let that eating habit perpetuate. His pack would no longer eat human. It was not right, especially now, since his little woman was one of them. He did not think they would miss it too much, after all it was not something they regularly ate.
They did not chase humans, but if they found them along the way, especially during a search… then they would eat them. It was just a foolish habit and it would stop now. Plus, they would no longer need to raid villages for shards anymore when they had Kagome to help them.
Kouga's thoughts were interrupted when someone came tumbling in. He closed his eyes, shutting off the vicinity and its noises.
"Where's that healer at?"
A wolf that was sitting near a fire at the entrance raised his head, puzzled. "The healer? She's in the back of the den. Whaddaya need her for?"
"Ginta and Hakkaku brought back this girl. She's bleeding," he said, as he tried to spot the healer from his current location.
At the sound of bleeding girl, Kouga's pointy ears perked up. Everyone was safe in the den, nobody had gotten out and he knew for a fact he did not lose anyone on the battlefield. That did not leave many options and he did not like it. Despite the throbbing pain in his arm, he pulled himself together and rose to his feet. His steps were fast as he dragged himself to the outside of the cave only to have his nose assaulted by the strong scent of blood. His woman's blood.
Ignoring his injury, he rushed to her side and shoved everyone out of his way. His eyes widened in surprise when he obtained a good look at her. The opened wounds, the blood gushing out of them, her fragile frame appeared to be broken and her chest was not rising up and down meaning she was barely breathing. Kouga clenched his fist tightly which caused his entire arm to tremble while his fury rose.
"What the hell did ya do to my woman?"
Ginta gulped. "Nothing… it was-there was this bird of paradise… it kidnapped her... we killed it but…"
'Another damn bird of paradise!'Those filthy things! Had he not fucking finished them all off? Was there really no way for them to completely be rid of the birds forever? Most importantly, how dare they attack is precious Kagome like this! She did not fight them, she did not destroy their pack, he did.
"Are they any left?" he asked, while glaring at the sky just wishing he could spot one so that he could rip it apart.
Ginta shook his head. "It was the last one, I'm pretty sure. He was already hurt when we finished him off."
Kouga clenched his fist even more as he re-focused his attention back on Kagome. He bent down slowly and gently cupped Kagome's cheek and brushed her skin and some of the gushy liquid away. He wished some of them were still alive just so he could destroy them and shred them to pieces for what they did to her. He kept glancing at her face because he knew if he peered at her sides, he would lose it.
"Get her inside. I want every healer looking after my woman, got that?"
Hakkaku nodded and Ginta resumed bringing Kagome inside the main den. Meanwhile Kouga looked out at the distance and he could still faintly smell the bird of paradise. He would make sure personally that this bird was dead. Forgetting that he was hurt, he walked in direction of it with every intention of destroying the body until there was nothing left.
Prior to exiting the den, he turned around to glance at his pack. "You guys over there, go destroy the birds' bodies now. Every single one of them, ya hear me?"
Kouga did not need to repeat himself twice, they obeyed his orders and immediately ran in direction of the birds of paradise's nest. He would not take any chance; they would all be pulled apart and ripped to pieces. They would also get a lot of meat out of them, which would be pay back for all the wolves those bastards ate. He would make sure their spirits suffered that humiliation.
His bottom lip was trembling because of high level of anger. He also felt like a failure; his woman was gone for such a short amount of time, and she got injured! If he did not get his shard ripped out his arm none of it would have happened. If his prowess had remained perfect, he would have killed that Dog Shit Inutrasha idiot and Kagome would have safely remained by his side.
He would not be making this mistake again. From now on, he would protect her every second of every day and he would not let her out of his sight.
She was his to protect.
Blood was dripping down Kouga's arms as he headed back inside his territories. It did not take him too long to notice that every else returned, which meant the job was done. They would not dare to return without every single bird destroyed, not after what the flying bastards had done– not just attack Kagome, but feeding off their pack for months.
His heart was pumping in his chest, ready to burst the entire time he was gone. The only thing on his mind was Kagome, and he could only hope the healers were able to take care of her injuries. He did feel a tad bit of worry however, despite his own reassuring thoughts. The healers were not human healers, but they should be just as good… right?
He wiped some of the blood dripping from his cheek with his hand, but only smudged it more across his tanned skin. As soon as he was half way near the main cave, Ginta rushed outside and once he spotted Kouga he ran to his side, still appearing a bit nervous. Kouga could not even pretend it was because there was good news.
"How is she?" Kouga asked as both he and Ginta finally came to a stop.
"They bandaged her wounds." he began with one hand behind his head. Oh boy, why was he always the one to tell Kouga? "We just don't know… She's human Kouga. She doesn't heal like us."
Ginta did not know how else to explain it. They did their best… but would that be enough for a human like Kagome? No matter how feisty she was, her healing process was still slow.
"I know that. That's why they were all supposed to take care of her."
"They did. They bandaged her up, they cleaned the wounds and stuff. She's sleeping now and breathing easier." He took a pause before remembering an important detail. "Don't worry, I made sure nobody looked at her."
He did not mention it when he barked orders, but Ginta knew it was important nobody caught a glimpse of Kagome's body.
Kouga sent all the healers in there both male and female without even thinking about that. Though, he hoped nobody was stupid enough to look at her. Usually he would have allowed only the females, but her life was in danger, leaving him with no choice really. Or at least that would have been his rational thinking if was given the time to be rational.
He put a hand on G,inta's shoulder to thank him, before he resumed his previous actions, thus allowing his friend to finally breathe. Now that he made sure his woman would not be harmed, now that he avenged her to the best of his ability, he needed to be by her side and make sure she was okay. It was all he could do for her.
Everyone moved out of his way as he headed inside, the stench of blood even worse there. He held back a frown as his eyes finally landed on his woman. There was a healer kneeing by her side pressing a wet cloth on her forehead. She had a fever. Humans were not very resilient to fevers from what he knew. The thought caused his heart to squeeze.
"Will she be okay?"
"She's gonna have to be looked after constantly. Someone's gotta change her bandages and keep her cool."
He never did anything like that before, but it could not possibly be that difficult could it? Plus he would rather be the one looking after her.
Now his only problem was that Kagome could not stay where she was. They brought her into the main cave because it was the closest place to treat her. It was, however, also the most dangerous place in the den. Usually the women of the pack avoided the area and rarely ventured in, at least not alone. This was set up directly at the entrance, leaving it more open for attacks.
"Can she be moved?"
The woman frowned. "I don't recommend it."
"Will it make her worse?"
If he had no choice, he would keep her here but it would be much more complicated.
"You'd have to do it carefully. She'll bleed out again if you're not."
Kouga stood still and pondered the best course of actions. Would it be safer to have many people carry her, or was it better if he was the only one holding her? After reflecting upon the matter, he decided he would do it alone. He slowly bent down and gently put his hands both under her neck and knees, and lifted her. He made sure to keep a distance between her body and his chest as to not irritate her wounds.
His steps were slow and careful as he made his way out of the main cave. The only safe place he could take her too was his own little place. He glanced around until his eyes landed on Hakkaku and Ginta.
"Get some furs laid down for her."
They did not need to be told twice as they ran so they would be ahead of Kouga. Usually such a situation would have brought a few wiggles of the eyebrow, but now was not the time, nor was it appropriate.
Her scent was so sweet and pure and now it was tainted with blood and the stench of the bird. Not only that, but her skin was pale and her breathing was slow. That, along with the fact that he could barely hear her heartbeat, was enough to make him cringe in guilt. He glanced down at her, the near irresistible urge to brush her bangs away rising.
"I won't fail you again."
It was with his heart swollen with regret that he entered his secluded part of the den and gently laid her down on the fur Ginta and Hakkaku prepared for her. He made sure her head was resting comfortably and her injuries not pressing on anything, before pulling arms away. He forced himself to tear his eyes away and glanced at Hakkaku.
"Bring me the bandages and other stuff she needs."
Now his duty was ripping him apart. On one hand, he had to look after his tribe, hunt for them, protect them. On the other, she was his woman and he had to be the one to help her heal. His loyalties to both were great and he felt conflicted. He would have to find a way to do fulfill all his responsibilities. At least they no longer had to worry about the birds of paradise.
A deep sigh rolled through Kouga's lips as he sat down near her, his eyes never leaving her broken body. He didn't need sleep, at least not much of it. If he took no rest at all, then it would be easier to manage. As Kouga watched her rest, his mind wandered. Now that he did not fear as much for her life, it was easier to think.
The moment he discovered her arrival at his den, the first thing he thought of was that he failed her. He completely omitted the fact that she was with Muttface and her friends. Out of all of them, how come they only found Kagome? He had seen them fight and there was no way they all got capture by one bird. There was also no way none of them could have helped Kagome.
The only explanation he could come up with was that she was alone when it had all happened. Obviously though, that only brought forward more questions. Like why was she alone in the first place, for example. The mutt was an idiot, but he would not have let her go off on her own... would he? Unless maybe Kagome left… He sighed; the more he thought about it, the less sense it made.
He would have to wait until she woke up to have his answers.
"Here you go." Ginta said as he dropped the bucket beside Kouga, along with the cloth.
Meanwhile, Hakkaku put some herbs and bandages on a clean piece of cloth the floor. "That woman said to change them twice a day at least. And wash the wounds first."
He might not be a healer, but he'd gotten his share of injuries in the past. He was not the youngest tribe leader ever to be in power because he stood in the shade and watched others work. The shards had not made him a leader, he did that himself with all the effort he put into it. The shards just happened to be a bonus after he'd come into his place as head of the pack.
"Should Sis stay in those bloody clothes?"
Kouga twisted his mouth to the side as he glanced upon her tattered clothes. They were nothing like any garb he had ever seen before. In his opinion, they revealed a bit much, but perhaps that was the way they dressed in her village. Though most human women he saw wore kimonos.
Nobody had changed her out of the ruined material since it was an emergency and frankly he did not feel right doing it himself. She might be his woman, but she was not awake and he would not undress her without her consent because it would not be right. He would have to order one of the women to do it later. At the moment, they did not have any clothes for her.
"Send someone to retrieve Kimonos for her."
Ginta and Hakkaku both nodded before they exited the cave. They were worried for their sister, but knew their presence would be too much. Their leader needed to be alone with his intended mate for now. If Kouga called upon them to come help, then they would come rushing back. Still, that did nothing to ease the worry in their hearts; hopefully she would be fine.
Kouga gave into his urge and softly brushed her hair aside. He was well aware that humans took longer to heal, he just did not know how long. Her injury would not be bad on a demon, but a human… was it fatal? He could not allow her to die, especially not under his supervision. Also, he was the one who dragged her through the whole mess with the birds of paradise; it was his fault.
"Don't worry Kagome, I'm gonna look after you."