Summary: Being on her own for the first time, Kagome spends her summer with her best friend in a small beach town. She finds it in herself to grow into her own shoes, and fall in love for the first time. But even the purist of summer love has a cruel ending.

Sand and Single Beds

AN: This piece isn't my strongest, but I really wanted to see how it would go. Please let me know what you think of this piece. Continue, discontinue, constructive criticism. I am going to go back and edit it, because this is something that I feel is going to be a bit difficult to write. I really really want to, though. Haha.

EDITED JUNE 17 12

Thanks for reading everyone.

The summer sun kissed her skin, gently lapping away the chill still lingering from the winter. She was golden beneath the rays, delicately dancing in her summer dress. It was the first time she'd had experienced the freedom of being alone. The first time she had let the sand roll over her skin like a gritty blanket.

This was an adventure. An adventure which pierced her veins with electricity, as well as the nervousness and possibility of failure. Kagome was finally gaining the trust of her family, and growing into shoes that were once far to big for her to walk in.

Her small hands brushed back the messy hair from her face as she dipped her toes into the hot sand. "Are you coming?" The seventeen year old called, eyeing her lackadaisical friend from over her shoulder.

The older girl adjusted her belongings beneath her arms and jerked her head to fix a pair of large sunglasses rolling down her nose. "Kagome-chan, you really need to slow down!" The woman exhaled.

"We only have a few weeks here, Sango-chan!" Kagome exclaimed, raising her arms into the salty breeze. The beach that laid before her was littered with golden bodies and seagulls perched upon the piers. She was lost in the moment and wrapped her arms in the wind, pulling herself into its arms.

It smelled familiar, welcoming, as she indulged in the rushing sound of the water. Sango was far more passive about their vacation, as she'd spent many a summer away from home. She had always talked about it like it was full of magic and hope.

Yet, every move Sango made was methodical, well planned and direct. It was probably due to the abundant amount of baggage and surf board she dragged around. Never the less, Kagome waited impatiently until she caught up with her.

"You made sure that you got that job, right?" Sango asked, trudging towards a heard of shanties. Each one stood crookedly on stilts and rocky platforms. She had stayed at the same old shack for the past few years, and it always stood out from the others.

Kagome absently nodded, finding the walk to be almost excruciating. The bag in her hand was so small in comparision to what her friend had brought, that it made her question her decisions. She just wanted to be settled and not waste a precious second of this trip. "I did. Now I'm just worried I didn't bring enough."

Sango snorted, "I always over pack." She shrugged, heaving the surfboard and luggage at the front door at the house with familiar pastel facade. "Besides, it's not like you can't hop on the train back home for a day or two."

Kagome chewed at her lip, wiggling against the prickly sand. Her eyes inspected the chipped paint and lovingly handmade windows. Sango, on the other hand, merely unlocked the rusty door and pushed her way inside, dumping her belongings on the bare floor.

"It's a bit dusty, and needs cleaning." She said, pulling her hair into a quick ponytail.

Kagome rushed about the living room, as though it had been the inside of a castle. She was so astounded by haphazardly placed furniture and old photos on the walls. It was as though there was no other place in the world. Every warped floorboard seemed to have a story to tell her as her feet splayed across the thinning lacquer.

Sango, out of habit, slid her bag to the small staircase that lead up to the bedrooms. "Come pick out your room, Kagome-chan. You don't want to have to room with a stranger do you?" She winked, darting up the wooden steps with a series of thuds.

Kagome blinked, furrowing her brows as she gripped to the railing. "What do you mean, 'share a room with a stranger'?"

The other girl laughed, catching her breath as she shucked her her things into her favorite of the rooms. It was the one she always chose. It was plain, earthy smelling and had a single bed smack dab in the center of the room. The white walls made it look larger than it was and held a few odds and ends scattered in disarray.

"Rent is expensive here, Kagome-chan. You can't make it with just two people." She said, finding her friend's worried expression to be adorably naive.

"But, what if they turn out to be murderers or something?"

"Kagome..." Sango sighed, sitting down on the creaky bed. Her hands smoothed over the freshly placed floral quilt, and looked down at her feet. "You know that there's probably going to be another person like us. I mean, you're so worried about nothing. I've done this for the past three summers, and I'm still amongst the living."

"Yeah," Kagome pouted, peering at the other rooms from the doorway. "But, you know self defense."

Sango's hands wiped the sweat from her face, and the expression she tried to hide. "Please, please, please." She begged, "You really need to stop this. You were so excited about five minutes ago. If anyone tries to kill you, I'll kill them, okay?"

Kagome scoffed slightly, "I'm going to go get my room, then write my will."

A scowl fell on Sango's face, dragging down her round cheeks. "Thank you for having so much faith in me." She quipped, throwing a sandal at her friend as she scampered away.

Kagome was skiddish when it came to people she didn't know. It may have been her mother's over protectiveness, but she assumed everyone had a trick up their sleeve. It may not have been such a bad thing to be wary of strangers, but she was almost an adult. And being an adult meant having your head on your shoulders and giving up her childhood daydreaming for something more realistic.

This was something she had to learn on her own, wasn't it? As she stood between the two rooms, she flicked them open to inspect the interior. The one on the right was loser to Sango's room, which was only a few feet away.

The one of the left was larger with a spacious block of windows. The ocean rolled, hypnotizing her as she stepped on the bed. The bed, itself, was brass, winding and painfully American. She adored the chipping brass and the plain red blankets. There was another single bed, which she assumed was for overflow. It was diminutive and sat on a bare frame and was naked of sheets.

There was even a vanity and dresser tucked away in the corner. It seemed like it was meant to be a girl's room, whereas the middle room was unisex and only held a bed. Sango didn't care too much about the extra junk, as she'd put it. As long as she was away from her troubles, the girl could have cared less about what she did or didn't have.

All she needed was a bed and a pocket mirror. Unlike Kagome, she was a tomboy. Growing up without a mother had really solidified her identity to be one of personality and flare, rather than make up and purses.

Kagome envied that about her, but she kept trying her best to transform her into a beautiful woman. She already was, but a dress and a pair of heels wouldn't hurt. The girl mused, leaving her bag on the bed.

Her friend peeked her head in the door, proudly watching Kagome rushing around the room. "You like this one?"

"I love it! I can see the ocean, and all of the people." The dark headed woman beamed. "I need to go pick up my uniform from the diner before it gets late." Mostly, Kagome was itching to escape the old house and play in the roaring sea. The job was an after thought to what delight the salty air could bring.

Sango nodded at her, waving a hand. "Well, let's go. I saw some good looking guys down there." She winked playfully.

Kagome's skin erupted with a rosy flush. That had been on the back of her mind, as well. She'd never been kissed, never had a real boyfriend. The most that she had done was hold hands with her neighbor's son; And that, had been when she was 14 in a school play.

She as about as green as a daisy's stem. Hopefulness crept into her gray eyes, muting the sound of her chastising voice.

It was now or never, right? Closing her eyes, Kagome slapped her palms together. "Chase 'em down." She teased, reopening her eyes to see Sango's cherubic face ablaze with approval. Below Kagome's excitement came a feeling of unprecedented dread. This was something she wasn't sure if she was really ready for, but it was safe to say that she would at least try to not be a prude.

That afternoon was spent meandering around the small town. Kagome picked up her colorful, yet questionable, uniform from the local diner and grabbed a quick bite to eat. Sango was about as sticky and tired from the beaming sun, as the balmy breeze that gripped to her skin like a film.

She didn't care if Kagome was pleased as punch, she was miserably doubting the well being of her skin when the evening rolled in. Her job was the same every year, and all it required was getting up at five A.M. and showing wayward teenagers how to catch a couple of waves.

Kagome had graciously skipped and kicked amongst the foamy edges of the water, leaving Sango to suck back the rest of her oversized soda. There were still a few people hanging around, starting small bonfires and drinking to their hearts content.

Today hadn't been terrible, she thought, kicking off her sandals dig her toes into the sand. A few shells scraped against her skin as she leaned back upon her elbows. This place used to be her secret and being able to share it with her best friend was even more special.

Kagome was like the wind, just as carefree and gentle. She was drowning in innocence as she enjoyed her freedom. Her heart was pulling her to follow the smoke towards the handful of silhouettes in the distance. She wanted to devour her surroundings and Sango did nothing but encourage her.

Yet, as she jealously watched the girls laughing at the men's jokes, she smiled softly and looked back towards Sango upon her perch.

It was almost as though she was waiting for something to happen. Kagome felt badly that she was just blowing off all of their plans to run along the shore. She had all summer to do that, but boy stalking wasn't something she was comfortable with.

By the end of the night, Sango had left for the town's small grocery store. It left Kagome to walk in the dull light back home alone. It was surreal that she was here, lucky enough to spend her time somewhere so beautiful.

However, a queasy rumble in her stomach made her remember that she was alone. It was still foreign from the bustle of the city, and left her gripping to her bare arms, checking over her shoulder for anyone that may be following her.

When she made it to the house unscathed, Kagome sighed in relief as she unlocked the creaky old door. The cool air hit her skin, cleansing the heat of the day that still clung to her like fire to kerosene.

Her hair tangled at the drier air and begged to be cleaned. Cautiously, she ran a hand through the mess and made a face at the grains of sand that fell on her fingers. "I'm disgusting." She murmured, placing her uniform on the countertop on her way to the stairs.

On her ascent, Kagome heard a sound that made her blood run cold. Her heart thrummed in her ears, crying for her to turn and run in the other direction. As much as she had whined to Sango about protecting her, there was no one to do it for her.

Quietly, the girl held her breath and slid into Sango's room. It was dark, lit only by the distance sun setting on the horizon. Along the wall, she knelt down, pulling her white dress around her knees.

Her quivering hands found a tennis racket and clutched it like a crux to her breast. She closed her eyes, inhaling deeply before pushing the door open. Carefully, Kagome peeked around the the hallway, and back over the circular balcony that exposed the living room below.

There was a few articles of clothing tossed around, and it made her furrow her brows. For a moment, she collected her rattling nerves and tiptoed across the warped floorboards to the clinking sound coming from her room.

Instinctively, the girl protected her territory. Kagome's adrenaline kicked in, blindly leading her to the cracked door. Before she got the chance to open the door, it was pulled back and she let out a mortified scream.

The tennis racket it in her hands flew forward, striking the person square in the face.

"What the fuck?" A man rasped, covering his bleeding nose.

Kagome gaped at him, dropping the tennis racket onto the floor with a clack. "I'm-I'm sorry, this is my room!" She panted, frantically grabbing the bottom of her dress and kneeling down beside the man.

She'd barely had time to register what she had done. She'd also never struck anyone before and her senses were overloading.

The man rolled, trying to stop his nose from gushing. "I don't care if who's room this is, this bullshit!" He garbled, hissing in his distaste.

Kagome dropped to her knees. "Gomen! Gomen! Gomen!" She cried, moving the boy's hands from his face, she placed her white dress upon his nose.

Fighting, he swatted at her hands, trying not to hurt her. "Get the hell off of me!" He seethed, furrowing his thick brows.

Kagome pressed her lips in a tight line and ignored him. "Let me stop the bleeding, okay?" She said, feeling her dress soak through with the warmth of his blood. It stained the fabric like ink and she delicately blotted it off.

When she pulled back, a blush hit her cheeks as he sat up. "Are you staying here?" Kagome asked, shifting her eyes to the blood stain on her dress.

The man wiped his nose and brushed a hand through his long, black hair. "Yeah, I'm thinking about leaving if there's crazy women going to attack me." He bit, rolling his eyes. "Didn't you know that this is a share space?"

Kagome looked away, trying to cover her face with her hair. He was handsome, even with the bloodied nose. "Yes, I just thought that someone had broken in." She admitted, bringing her lips into an absent pout.

"First time on your own?" He smirked, letting his eyes finally fall on her. A rush of heat gnawed at his sun-kissed skin. She was a pretty thing, he thought to himself.

Kagome nodded slightly, averting her sooty eyes to his. "Yes. I'm sorry for that, but what were you doing in my room?" She asked genuinely.

"I didn't see any of your things in here." He shrugged, pushing himself to his feet.

"I left my bag in here, I guess I should have known to -" She said, gripping to the brass bedframe to gain balance.

"Well, there's two beds in here."

"I-I don't even know you." Kagome blanched.

"Keh. Don't worry, I've gotta girlfriend. I won't touch you, unlike the neighbor." He snorted, killing a little bit of the girl's buzz. "Ito InuYasha, by the way."

InuYasha flashed a quick smile at her that made her stomach knot. "Higurashi Kagome." She bowed, biting her lip.

"Well, it's nice to meet you." InuYasha said, pulling his shirt over his head. "I'm going to try to sleep off this busted nose, so I'll catch you later, Higurashi."

Kagome watched his lanky body breeze across the room. She didn't really feel comfortable with this ordeal, but it was thrust upon her. Why was her luck so terrible? Here was this beautiful man, with a girlfriend, that she had just met and he was sharing a room with her.

He probably secretly hated her.

It was obvious that he as irritated. As he pulled the string to turn off the light and climbed his single bed, Kagome remembered the blood on her dress. So much for that perfect summer. Maybe she just needed to grow into herself? Maybe, just maybe, this wouldn't turn out as bad as she thought it would.