"What did you just call me?"

The cold fury in Kagome's voice had Seshomaru revaluating the arrogant response that had been on his lips. He had never seen this sort of rage in the girl's eyes. Along with the rage, there was another feeling he could feel probing him.

Pain, betrayal.


He wanted to say something but he did not know what. The look she was giving was one of anger but the feelings she emitting were anything but. He did the only thing that crossed his mind and he tried to offer warmth across their tentative bond only to have it rebuffed.

Maru tightened his arms around her looking a little frightened. The entire clearing was silent till Taya sauntered over with a smug smile, "If you are done with your conversation, Lady Miko, we should hurry. You humans are already so slow that our journey has been delayed by too much."

With the parting shot, she moved forward, delighting in the little miko's distress.

Kagome closed her eyes and took a trembling breath. When those blue eyes opened, they seemed shattered and confused. Her voice was quiet, "Let's go, Maru. You two hurry up as well."

The children flocked around her and Seshomaru watched her walk away. He could feel her anguish growing and it annoyed him that it affected him so much. However, as she moved further and further away, he noted that the sway in her hips was gone and she was almost trudging, like a wounded puppy.

He had just called her a bitch.

He was an Inu. She was his bitch.

Anger, he could have expected, but not this torment.

How was he supposed to fix this?

Further along, Shippou clambered over Kagome's shoulder.


Kagome didn't speak but he knew she was listening. He wa salso aware of all the other sharp ears tuned towards them so his words were low, "Are you upset at what Seshomaru called you?"

Kagome climbed over a log and then helped Rin across it, but she didn't say a word. However, Shippou had known for a long time and he knew her moods so he just continued, "You know when Inuyasha called you that, he meant something different and when Seshomaru called you that he meant something completely different."

Kagome didn't respond and for the rest of the day, although she smiled at what the children told her and went along with their plans to cheer her up, her heart clearly wasn't into it.

As the sky darkened and dinner was distributed, she played with her food and fed the rest to Ah-Un not aware of the gleaming golden eyes which followed her everywhere.

Seshomaru saw her and he frowned.

This behavior was unacceptable.

Putting Rin and Shippou to bed, Kagome turned towards Maru who was leaning against Ah-Un. For a moment she thought he was asleep but his golden eyes opened suddenly and he just stared at her, the sadness in his eyes more than even she could bear.

"May I lie with you, Kagome?"

Not having the heart to say 'no' to him, she lay out her sleeping bag and let him cuddle with her.

"What's wrong with you, Maru?"

She placed her arm under his head, letting him use it as pillow and he snuggled into her, "You are upset. I do not like that."

Kagome sighed and then ran her fingers through his hair, in a comforting, absent minded gesture, "I thought you were supposed to cheer me up, not get sad with me. Who will cheer me up if we both get upset?"

He looked up at her, his eyes wide and convincing, "Rin and Shippou will. They pinky swore. And you can't break a pinky swear. It is very impolite."

Kagome bit her lips to prevent herself from laughing. Sometimes, she wanted to hide this innocent child from the world and prevent him from turning into that cold, power hungry adult.

"I really do love you, Maru."

He was silent for a few seconds before he asked, "Then why do you hate my future self?"

Kagome swallowed, and looked up at the sky, very well aware that Seshomaru was listening to every word they spoke.

Her voice was rough, "I don't hate him, Maru."

"But you -"

She put a hand on his mouth, And murmured, softly, so as to avoid being overheard, "I am expected to be strong all the time. But I'm human and I'm weak. And sometimes that weakness is obvious. Just let it go, okay?"

She kissed him on the forehead, and settled back down. However, inu were anything but docile. They were inquisitive and curious and never knew when to back down. So, Maru's small hand tugged at her insistently till she sighed and looked at him, "Yes, what is it?"

"Inu, only call their mates 'bitch'."

Kagome's eyes widened and she tried to slap a hand over his mouth, but he beat her to it by announcing, "It is considered an honor to be called that."

Kagome groaned. More than half the camp would have overheard this little announcement.

"Shippou says that when Inuyasha called you that he meant something bad." His eyes were serious as he shook his head, "You should not let anybody call you that because that means he has a claim on you. My sensei told me that."

Kagome looked at him and hours later when Maru was asleep and his hand was clutching at her hair, possessively, she tried to tell herself to let it go, but her heart had been wounded so badly once that it found it hard to digest this new information.

She had loved Inuyasha once and the degradation she had born at his hands, the way he had used to call her a bitch and stupid and abused her, hearing the words from Seshomaru would destroy her. The very realization that this cold inuyoukai had come to mean so much to her had her freezing. Was she in love with him? Could she really be that stupid?

Although he said he was courting her, she had been hesitant to get her heart involved and it seemed it already was.

A tear slipped down her cheek and her soul cried in anguish. She didn't want to be in love with him. If he decided, midway, he didn't want her, that way she could deal with it. But not like this. Anything but this.

She didn't know when she fell asleep, guarded by a pair of fierce golden eyes which harbored confusion and resentment in them.

She was supposed to be his and he was supposed to have her heart and soul but these feelings that were getting involved were unnecessary. Her pain was not supposed to send his soul in turmoil. He was not supposed to spend the entire night staring at her still form or wanting to hold her and drive that pain away.

He was aware of the terms Inuyasha used to address her with, but he had never imagined the scars they might have left in her soul. It incensed him to note that his actions were being compared to those of that half breed's. He would never humiliate his intended that way.

Furious, with himself, with his beast which rumbled in agony and fury at the pain of his intended, he tried to close his eyes but rest was not what he was going to get tonight.

It was near dawn when Kagome's eyes opened. The lack of warmth by her side made her blink and she looked around for Maru only to find him missing. Sitting up, she cast her powers around but nothing registered.

Come to think of it, even Seshomaru was missing. She looked at where he had been sitting last night and the place looked undisturbed. Ah-Un was for some reason, awake and alert with Jaken on duty, fast asleep and snoring.

Seeing Ah-Un awake had her relaxing and she stretched. It was rather cold and the fire had died out. Gathering some sticks, she started it back on and then took out a small kettle and put on some water to boil. Taking out some coffee she had brought with her, she made herself a cup and wrapped herself in a shawl.

However, curious where the males had gone, she used her powers and with her bow and arrow hanging off her shoulder, she wandered off in the direction where their youki was emitting from.

It took a while but she found them. They were next to a spring and Seshomaru's armor was off and he was demonstrating a sharp movement with his blade. Maru copied him with a stick and was reprimanded rather harshly for his misstep. Suddenly, Seshomaru attacked Maru and Kagome had to claps her hand over her mouth to stifle a cry. She knew Seshomaru would never hurt his past self but her heart had nearly stopped when that sword had rushed towards the boy who was becoming more and more precious to her every day.

Maru raised his stick in a defensive maneuver which had Seshomaru raising a brow and jumping back to attack him again. This time, the edge of sword found itself at Maru's neck.

Kagome sat down on a log and watched this go on. She knew Seshomaru had registered her presence so she sipped at her coffee in the early morning chill and watched the two males in her life with differing roles practice their sword skills.

By the time they were done, the sun was rising and Kagome stood up and watched Maru look delighted at first and then run towards her, "Did you see me block him?"

Kagome smiled proudly and ruffled his hair, "Just you wait. You're going to become the strongest swordsman in the land."

He beamed up at her in that quiet excited way of his, "And then I'm going to protect you from everything."

Kagome paused and her eyes fell on the frozen Seshomaru. The quiet intensity from his eyes burned her skin but she couldn't look away. Wasn't that what he was already doing?

Her heart constricted and broke eye contact with Seshomaru to look down at the happy pup. If someone looked at them now, would they see a family? She wondered and strange sort of pain dug a hole in her heart and she covered it like she did with all of her other silent wounds. She had to, lest anybody see them.

"How long has this been going on?"

Maru blinked, "A few weeks. My future self says I am weak. And I can't protect you if I am weak." He leaned forward, burying his nose in her stomach, "You smell nice."

And then tossing a look behind him, he rushed back towards camp. Kagome frowned, wondering at that sudden strange behavior. Suddenly she realized that she was alone with Seshomaru and yesterday's events and thoughts came rushing back and she turned on her heel to follow Maru.

A strong arm block her way. The looming but familiar figure came into her field of sight and buried his nose in her neck, causing her to freeze. He held her arm in a firm grip and she could feel his nose skimming along her neck and jawline.

"You do not smell 'nice'." She stiffened but before she could attempt to pull back, he growled, "You smell of the pup."

His tongue reached out to lick the base of her neck, a point which she never known as her weakness. Kagome tried to pull away but his free hand went to her waist and he walked her backwards towards the tree. And then proceeded to feast on her neck.

The cries she tried to muffle were swallowed by his mouth and she bit him causing his eyes to gleam. It was different when his armor was off, giving her hands more skin to touch and although she tried to resist, her body and her emotions were attuned to his and she couldn't fight him on both ends. So she gave in and let him have his way.

She didn't know how much time had passed but when he released her, she slipped to the ground, shaking and trying to draw her breath in. He looked unruffled but his eyes were brighter and there was a small satisfied curl to his lips, a very slight one but one she noticed.

"You don't have to look so smug, you know."

He didn't reply, only leaned down to help her off the ground. Pulling her towards him with her hand, he looked down at her and after a few moments of silence, he spoke, "You will not give this Seshomaru the 'silent treatment'."

Despite the seriousness of the situation, Kagome swallowed a chuckle. It seemed the inuyoukai was picking up on the modern slang. It was strange hearing it from him. Seshomaru could feel the amusement emitting from her and he frowned.

But amusement was better than the anguish he had felt yesterday. And after the conversations he had heard yesterday, he had realized that upsetting his mate to be was not going to get him anywhere. "Calling you a -"

Kagome shook her head, "Don't explain it. I already know." When he released her and raised a brow, she shrugged, "Don't call me that because I will never be able to associate it with an honor or a title. To me, it reminds me of the abuse I endured at Inuyasha's tongue. So just - leave it, okay? We're okay. We're good."

Seshomaru watched her walk away but despite her words, he could feel that everything 'was not okay'. And his little miko was suffering from a wound that even he might not have the power to heal.

A.N: Soooo, long time. I've been really swamped these days. And today I got free and I realized that I actually have time on my hands and I wanted to watch some movies or catch up on my tv shows but I didn't feel like it. So i just sat down and started writing this.

I hope you enjoy.

Also, I write random pieces whenever on tumblr. The link is in my bio/profile(whatever its called). I wont be posting those pieces here.