Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own Inuyasha or any other characters affiliated with him. *pout*
Edit 10/09/12: I fixed a few loopholes/errors that were pointed out to me by two awesome reviewers, youkaineko on MM and little25victor. Thanks, you two, for your criticism and pointing out my mistakes so I can fix them. =]
Just Go With It
The sound of tires screeching.
The smell of burnt rubber.
The taste of blood on her tongue.
Crushing pain, and then all she was able to hear was the blood rushing in her ears as her world was turned upside down, the only thing keeping her rooted the piece of fabric that stretched across her chest and waist. It seemed like forever as her body was slammed against the unyielding interior of her car.
A sudden lurch, intense pain ricocheting throughout her head.
Pain like nothing she had ever experienced before brought her back into awareness. She wanted to cry out, to move, to escape the agony that traveled from one end of her body to the other.
"C'mon, wake up."
"Open your eyes, dammit."
Laced with something she wasn't able to identify in her current state. Eyelids that felt like one hundred pound weights fluttered briefly, struggling to obey that lulling tenor, before finally lifting to reveal dazed and unfocused pools of chocolate brown.
A blurry image of twin moons the color of the whiskey greeted her, surrounded by a blonde veil so pale, it almost seemed silver.
"Hey." That voice again. Desperately she focused on that comforting tenor, wanting to escape the crushing agony that threatened to devour her very being. Something brushed against her cheek and for a moment, warmth replaced the overwhelming pain. She didn't know how, but the young woman was positive the voice was coming from those twin pools of amber above her. "You're gonna be okay, you hear me? Everything's gonna be okay, just hold on."
Inwardly she sighed, allowing the warmth from the soothing voice to wash over her and drive away anguish tearing her apart. Don't stop, she pleaded, needing more of that warmth, the assurance, the strength. "Help is on the way, I promise. It's gonna be okay."
She believed it. Without a shadow of a doubt, she believed that deep tenor and felt something brush against her cheek again, sending a spiral of warmth through her once more. Bleary eyes suddenly became clear, and a face accompanied those orbs of gold. She locked onto those orbs, vaguely detecting the hint of surprise in them, and felt her head nod once before allowing the darkness to succumb once again.
It was 10:32 PM when Inuyasha Takahashi was finally able to close up shop at his garage centered in downtown Tokyo. The day started out like it usually did on a typical Thursday; he was the first to arrive there like he did every day at seven o'clock AM, an hour before the garage opened at eight. He'd make sure everything was fired up, ready to go and in good working condition by the time his co-worker and manager Miroku Tsujitani arrived at 8:30. From then on, it hadn't been a particularly eventful day. An inspection here, an oil change there. Maybe the odd motorist who popped in unexpectedly with car trouble.
Sango Kuwashima, his secretary, wasn't scheduled to come in until noon, since Thursday mornings weren't usually busy. His other employee, Shippou Watanabe, a college student working on his degree in Automotive Technology didn't come in until 2:30 that day since he was only part-time and had classes all morning long.
It wasn't until around 11:30 AM that things started to go downhill. Half an hour before her shift, Sango called in pleading for the day off because her younger brother Kohoku came down with the flu and she had to stay home to take care of him. Inuyasha agreed and said he'd give her paid time off. He'd met Kohoku and although shy, Sango's younger brother had a certain charm to him and was always bugging Sango to bring him with her to work so he could watch and learn a few things from his mechanic idol Inuyasha.
He should have known that was only the beginning.
Just after noon, the garage became uncharacteristically busy with people phoning in with appointments, motorists dropping by unexpectedly with car trouble, Shippou being a pain in the ass and slacking off (which wasn't all that unusual, actually), people coming out of nowhere and demanding attention, and to top it all off some of the equipment started malfunctioning and putting them even more behind schedule than the already were.
So both Miroku and Inuyasha were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to appease angry customers, fixing equipment and yelling at Shippou to get his ass in gear before Inuyasha fired him (they both knew he wouldn't – he was too damn fond of the kid, though he would never admit it). Mercifully, there was a brief lull around 4:30 where the two adults were able to catch their second wind while Shippou dealt with a customer with battery problems. It didn't last long, however. Before they could even finish their take out dinner, business started back up out of freaking nowhere and the two mechanics reluctantly went back to work.
Finally, by closing time at seven PM, Inuyasha was able to sit down and start on the paperwork that Sango usually did during the day. Miroku and Shippou took their leave at a little after seven, and from then on until ten PM the owner of the garage was stuck in the office filing paperwork, filling out forms, doing inventory, counting up today's profits and making sure everything was as it should be before heading home at 10:30.
As he climbed into his red F-150, Inuyasha's brain started divvying up pictures of his nice, warm, comfortable bed at cozy ranch house on the outskirts of town, waiting for him with its soft covers and downy pillows. But first he'd have to take a hot shower. Just thinking about how the hot water running over his aching muscles made him sigh in bliss and press a little harder on the gas pedal.
But of course, karma always had a way of kicking you in the balls when you least expect it.
Driving down a deserted back road, Inuyasha had the radio off and his window down, enjoying the feel of the cool September night air on his face. All was quiet, and Inuyasha's thoughts strayed toward Kohoku and that he should send Sango a text later to see how he was doing when out of nowhere the sound of an approaching car came up behind him, no headlights on. Inuyasha frowned into his rear view mirror, wondering what kind of stupid this guy was as the vehicle got closer and closer until evidently the guy got impatient and passed him going about seventy.
"Dick," he muttered and rolled his eyes. It was times like these that Inuyasha wished a patrol car was hiding somewhere up ahead to pull said dick's ass over, either for speeding or driving without his headlights on. With his sharp sight, the mechanic got a good look at the automobile as it passed and what he saw made his eyebrows shoot up; a black Bugatti Veyron. A low whistle escaped his lips. Now that's a car you didn't see every day and when you did, you whipped out your camera and took a picture of it.
The asshole was a good mile or so ahead of him by now, and it was then that Inuyasha noticed with his heightened hanyou senses a pair of headlights coming down a connecting road up ahead. And the asshole wasn't slowing down.
Inuyasha's spine stiffened and his hands tightened on the steering wheel. "Shit," he whispered as a terrible sense of foreboding swept over him. That car, the driver undoubtedly human, wouldn't be able to see the bastard without his headlights on. It didn't help that the sleek car was black as well. "Shit. Shit. Fuck." Without his permission his foot pressed a little harder on the gas pedal, and what happened next made his blood run cold and jerk his truck to the side of the road to avoid a deadly collision.
It was like what happened next was in slow motion and all Inuyasha could do was watch in horror as the Bugatti t-boned the other car, a small Honda, head on as it was crossing over and absentmindedly the mechanic compared the scene to an action movie he once saw as the night was filled with metal scraping against metal, car parts flying in every direction, tires screeching against the pavement as the smell of sulfur, burnt rubber and gas filled the air. It seemed like a small eternity had passed as the little Honda, bent grotesquely out of shape and missing the driver's side door, rolled across the asphalt until it finally rocked to a stop on its roof, and all was silent once again. The Bugatti ended up on its side somewhere off to the right, the front scrunched in and looking like it had come out of a junk yard.
It only took Inuyasha a millisecond before he was out of his truck and full out running toward the scene of the crash, pulling out his cell and calling 911, praying that he wasn't too late. When the operator answered, he quickly gave the road name and briefly explained the situation before hanging up. It only took a matter of seconds for the mechanic to reach the Honda and the smell of blood was strong, making his face go pale and his heart to beat a little faster. Swallowing the bile that rose in his throat, Inuyasha dropped to his knees next to the driver's side and immediately took stock. The driver, presumably a female from the long black hair, was still strapped into her seatbelt, the strip of fabric the only thing keeping her from tumbling onto the roof. She was limp, probably unconscious, and there was blood dripping steadily from the region of her head.
And to make matters even worse, the very distinct smell of gasoline reached his nose and his face drained of color. A quick search assured him a potential fire wasn't a threat at the moment, but that didn't mean there weren't some lose wires hanging around and sparking dangerously somewhere, like under the hood where he couldn't see. He needed to get her out of there, fast, and he desperately hoped that she didn't have any other major injuries that he couldn't visibly see, like a back and neck injury, or something equally as bad. Inuyasha definitely didn't want to make matters worse for this unfortunate young woman.
"Shit," Inuyasha cursed again and quickly reached in to wrap an arm around her waist while the other sliced through the seatbelt with his claws. He caught her weight easily and very carefully maneuvered her out of the door, minding the broken glass and sharp, twisted metal.
The smell of blood was starting to make him sick, but he refused to leave her until he was positive she'd be okay. Arranging her carefully so her legs were stretched out and her back was supported by an arm, Inuyasha's amber gaze flitted over her visage, wincing at the deep gash adorning her left temple. That's where all the blood was originating from and a quick survey of her body, decked with various cuts, scrapes and bruises, assured him that that was the only major injury. Still, Inuyasha wouldn't let himself feel relieved. Head injuries were serious, and could lead to many unpleasant diagnoses.
Taking a deep breath, more to filter out the coppery scent of blood than to calm himself down, Inuyasha cupped her cheek in his hand, willing her to open her eyes. "Hey," he said, patting her cheek softly. "C'mon, wake up." Please wake up. "Open your eyes, dammit." His arm tightened a little around her, and he bent down to listen carefully for sign she might be waking up. Chances are she has a concussion and while Inuyasha wasn't familiar with medical stuff, he did know that concussions were bad.
Her eyelids fluttered and Inuyasha waited with baited breath, until unfocused brown orbs were revealed and the mechanic released the breath he hadn't realized he was holding. Something shifted in the air between them as he stared down into her cinnamon eyes and a nearly overwhelming need to protect this woman washed over him. Vaguely he heard the sound of sirens approaching with his heightened hearing and his ears twitched toward the sound before focusing on the woman in his lap.
"Hey," he said again softly and tucked a piece of raven hair behind her ear. He offered a small smile and leaned down a little more. "You're gonna be okay, you hear me? Everything's gonna be okay, just hold on. Help is on the way, I promise. It's gonna be okay." His thumb stroked her bruised cheek tenderly, and for a moment those chocolate eyes became clear as day and Inuyasha's breath caught in his throat.
Their gazes locked, and after a moment, the woman gave an almost inconspicuous nod of her head, before closing her eyes and falling unconscious once more.
Swallowing thickly, Inuyasha noticed that the sirens were getting very loud and he looked up to see the ambulance had arrived, followed by two police cars. Finally allowing himself to relax a little now that help was here, Inuyasha looked back down at the woman in his arms, wondering who she was and why he felt so drawn to her.
The paramedics rushed over to them and Inuyasha reluctantly allowed them to carefully place her on a stretcher. Knowing she was in good hands, the silver-haired mechanic left them to it and turned toward the other vehicle that caused this whole mess. With a dark scowl, he strode over to it, ignoring the police officers demanding an explanation – he didn't recognize them anyway. He hoped the bastard was conscious so he could rip him a new one—
The sight that greeted him made him curse long and loud.
He was gone.
Forty-five minutes later, after sticking around to give the police his statement, found Inuyasha showered, changed, hungry as hell, and on his way to the hospital. It had taken a great deal of mental energy on whether or not to say fuck it, get in his truck and follow the ambulance back into town, or go home and get the smell of grease and oil off of his clothes and hands. In the end, personal hygiene won out and he figured he'd just end up in one of the waiting rooms anyway, so why not make use of the time. Inuyasha had planned on grabbing a bite to eat before he left, but he couldn't bring himself to wait any longer. For some unknown reason to him, he wanted to be there when she woke up. He didn't know if her family had been contacted or not, or even if they lived in the same district, but Inuyasha wanted to be the first one she saw when she opened her eyes. Not only did he feel this deep connection with her, but the mechanic also knew from personal experience how disheartening it was to wake up in a hospital room all by yourself, with no recollection of how you got there or how bad your injuries truly were. It was a need he couldn't explain, and decided that it didn't need one anyway. He was going to be there, goddammit, and nobody was going to stop him.
As he entered Tokyo General's ER suite, Inuyasha thought about how just an hour or so ago he couldn't wait to get into bed, but now sleep was the farthest thing from his mind. He wasn't even tired anymore. A little drained, yes, but that was to be expected after the night he's had. Inuyasha may have more energy than the average human, but hey, even half-demon's had their limits.
He stopped before the reception desk and the nurse manning it continued to type away on her computer for a few more seconds before flicking her gaze, framed with thin reading glasses, toward him. "Can I help you?" Her tone wasn't rude, per se, just crisp and to the point.
"Uh, yeah. I'm here to see a woman who was brought in about an hour ago from a car accident?"
The nurse hummed and clicked away on her keyboard. "Hmm…yes, there was one woman around her mid-twenties admitted about an hour ago with severe head trauma and a battered body. A one Kagome Higurashi? "
Inuyasha balked. Was that her name? "Uh…yeah…Kagome…" he said slowly, hoping he didn't sound as idiotic as he felt.
"Yes, well, unfortunately, visiting hours are over, and nobody is allowed in her room. I'm sorry, sir." She went back to her work, clearly a dismissal.
He cursed inwardly. Inuyasha wouldn't be able to sleep without knowing how she was doing, and he'd be damned if he was missing valued sleeping time for nothing. Think, Inuyasha, think! "But I'm her fiancé," he blurted and then immediately started kicking himself. Fiancé?! Where the hell did that come from?
The nurse eyed him skeptically for a moment, however that didn't seem to sway her as she shook her head apologetically, not looking sorry at all. "I'm sorry, sir, but family or not, nobody is allowed for visitations at this time. Come back tomorrow morning at eight o'clock, and then we'll talk." With a stern look, the nurse gathered up some clipboards and turned her back to him, her heels clicking against the linoleum.
Yeah, fuck that.
Challenge accepted. Narrowing his eyes, Inuyasha shoved his hands in his pockets and nonchalantly started wandering around the reception area, whistling a little tune under his breath and casually, albeit slowly, making his way over to the staircase. An elevator would be too slow for what he had in mind.
When he was a few feet away from the door leading to the stairs, Inuyasha loitered for a moment or two, trying to seem like he was just waiting or somebody. Then with a quick glance left and right, Inuyasha dove for the door and yanked it open, darting up the stairs two at a time and hoping nobody saw his rather hasty and suspicious exit.
Five seconds later and he was on the second floor, assuming this was where she was. Cautiously peeking through the window in the door leading out to the lobby, the silver-haired dog demon made sure no nurses or doctors were milling around before sneaking out and meandering over to the hall on his left. He didn't want anyone questioning him as to what he was doing up there. A quick sniff told him that he'd guessed right; Kagome's familiar scent drifted to him and without his permission his feet took him down the hallway, passing two doors before halting before a door marked 18B where her scent was the strongest. With a deep breath, he slowly opened her door and poked his head in.
His "fiancé," one Kagome Higurashi, was stretched out on the hospital bed, the covers pulled up to her stomach and her arms lying on top of them. Inching into the room, he closed the door behind him quietly and continued to drink her in with his eyes, noting the IV in the crook of her right elbow – medication, no doubt – and how her face, bruised and pale, was lax in sleep. A white bandage was wrapped snuggly around her head, hiding the stiches and staples from the bloody gash he'd had the pleasure of seeing earlier. Her left arm was in a sling, and upon further inspection, Inuyasha noticed the hospital gown she was wearing didn't quite cover up the nasty bruise blossoming over her collar bone and if he had to guess, he'd say she most likely broke it from the force of the seat belt keeping her in place. An oxygen monitor clipped onto her pointer finger completed the look.
Despite all of the bruises, the small cuts on her arms, the sling and her pale complexion, however…Inuyasha still thought she was beautiful as he ambled over to her and before he could stop himself, he reached out to run the back of his finger down her cheek. Regardless of the ugly bruise developing on her left cheek, her skin was soft to the touch. "Kagome," he breathed her name, a small smile curling at the corners of his mouth.
Dragging the chair from against the wall over to her bedside, Inuyasha made himself comfortable and without thinking touched the tips of his fingers to the back of her hand.
"You're not alone," he murmured and settled in to wait.
The first thing that Kagome thought when awareness was once again granted to her was that the pain was now just a dull throb, much more bearable than before. The second was that her left hand was really warm for some reason. Thirdly, it dawned on her that she was laying on a soft surface and the smell of chemicals and antiseptics assaulted her nose. She was in a hospital. All at once, she remembered just exactly why she was here. The car crash. She was on her way home from her friend's house when a car literally came out of nowhere and t-boned her as she was crossing a road.
Feeling groggy and a bit disoriented, Kagome cracked her eyes open and winced, slamming them shut as the bright light seemed to sear straight into her brain and make her slight headache pound uncomfortably. A sound akin to a pained grunt sounded in the back of her throat and it was then that she realized she desperately needed a drink of water.
After a few moments of lying there, taking everything in and breathing deeply to lessen her headache, Kagome dared to open her eyes again, this time slower than before. When her head didn't throb in agony, she exhaled and blinked her vision into focus. Ugh, did anyone get the number of the bus that hit me? She joked inwardly, and it was then that she realized two things: one, her left arm was in a sling and two, something warm was pinning her right hand down.
Wha…? Blinking, Kagome slowly turned her head – even that slight movement hurt – and her chocolate eyes widened at what she saw.
Covering her hand was a much larger one, tipped with claws and, shocked, Kagome trailed her eyes up the muscular arm it was attached to and found a head of sterling silver hair spilling onto her bed where it rested in sleep, twin dog ears perched atop said head. His other arm was curled underneath his head, face hidden and all Kagome could do was stare.
What…who…Waitaminute. Frowning, the young woman stared hard at those hoary tresses and with a start, she realized she'd seen them before.
…surrounded by a blonde veil so pale, it almost seemed silver.
Kagome's mouth dropped. It actually was sliver, and not blonde like she had first thought it was. This…this man…he pulled me from my car… She didn't know how she knew that fact, but Kagome was positive it was true. A wane smile graced her lips. Drifting her gaze back down to their hands, a sudden blush overtook her face and automatically she tried pulling her hand out from underneath the silver-haired man – or was it demon?
Unfortunately, all that managed to do was make his grip tighten on hers and Kagome sighed. She was about to try again when she heard what sounded like a growl emit from him and she froze, eyes locked onto his head. A minute later, he started stirring, paused, then shot straight up, eyes wide and Kagome was startled by the amber pools staring directly at her.
…twin moons the color of whiskey…
Silence commenced between the two, gold and brown locked together, until finally Inuyasha broke out of whatever trance he seemed to be in. When had he fallen asleep? Though he supposed it was inevitable since he'd worked all day today – er, yesterday, since a quick glance at the clock told it him it was after midnight. Getting a hold of himself – a guy can get lost in those eyes… – the half-demon offered small smile and unconsciously rubbed his thumb against the flesh of her hand. "Hey," he said softly. "How are you feeling?"
Kagome blinked, and another flush seeped into her cheeks. She felt that stroking sensation on her hand all the way down to her toes. "I've…been better," she rasped and frowned, swallowing a few times. Her tongue felt like sandpaper.
"Here," her…what was he to her, exactly? Her savior? In a sense, she supposed he was. He pulled her out of the car wreck, and she supposed he was the one to call 911. Before she could dwell on this any further, however, a plastic cup of water was suddenly under her nose, and gratefully Kagome took a few careful draws from the straw. The cool liquid felt wonderful on her dry throat and she sighed in relief, aiming a wan smile in his direction.
"Thanks," she said, watching as he sat back down. She was a little surprised when he automatically took her hand again, and she blinked down at them. Inuyasha followed her gaze and blushed, immediately releasing her hand to scratch the back of his head uncomfortable. He had no idea why he did that. It supposed he'd just gotten used to the feeling of her smaller hand in his own. And he liked that feeling.
"No problem," he answered and another silence enveloped the two for a while. He didn't miss the soft blush that painted her cheeks, nor when she lifted her hand to press against her chest…above her heart, which, he might add, was beating quite fast. He refrained from smiling.
"You…" she began, and Inuyasha focused his attention on her, his ears straining forward to hear her soft voice. "…you were the one to pull me from my car…weren't you?" Soft doe eyes glanced up at him and the silver-haired mechanic's heart skipped a beat.
"Yeah," he answered just as softly. Then he frowned. "It was pretty bad. It was a good thing the impact was on the passenger's side of the door, otherwise you'd probably be in a lot worse shape." He gestured to her sling and head.
Kagome bit her lip and looked down at her slung arm. "I wonder who it was," she whispered to herself, however her rescuer heard her anyway.
Inuyasha's visage darkened and a thunderous growl vibrated from within his chest. He knew who she was referring too. "His name is Naraku Morikawa and he was—
"Wait, wait," Kagome interrupted, and Inuyasha raised his eyebrows in inquiry. The young woman frowned. "How…do you know? I didn't think the police were allowed to disclose information like that to a perfect stranger."
Inuyasha blinked, and then looked a little sheepish as he rubbed the back of his neck. "I, uh, have a few connections. My half-brother is chief of police and once they realized who I was they pretty much spilled the beans." He shrugged then continued where he left off. "Anyway, the asshole was drunk driving without his headlights on, which is why you didn't see him until it was too late. Cops scanned his license plate, found where he lived and staked out the place until he arrived – he was actually stupid enough to go home – and the bastard got arrested. Whenever you're ready, the police are waiting for your statement. Obviously you can't now."
"Oh," Kagome mumbled and looked down at her lap, biting her lip. A sudden thought occurred to her then and she looked back up at him. "I…didn't get the name of my savior." Her eyes sparkled with a hint of mischief, a cute little smiling gracing her lips, and Inuyasha found himself smiling back.
"Inuyasha," he supplied and on a rather bold move, took her hand in his again and brought it up to his lips to kiss her knuckles.
She blushed. "I'm—"
"Kagome Higurashi." He chuckled at her startled look and elaborated. "The nurse on the first floor provided it for me when I asked about you. I almost got myself in trouble because I didn't know your name." He grinned and was rewarded with a light giggle.
Something niggled at the back of her brain. "But how were you able to come see me at all? I thought visiting hours ended at ten."
Kagome watched, amused, as color suffused Inuyasha's cheeks and he looked away. "I, uh…said I was your fiancé, and when that didn't work, I kinda…sneaked my way up here," he mumbled and Kagome's eyes widened slightly, pink tinting her face.
"Oh," Kagome squeaked and ducked her face to hide her blush. He said he was my fiancée just so he can see me? And snuck his way up here? Something warm swept through her at his realization and she found herself smiling to herself. To be honest with herself, Kagome was…sort of glad that he lied just to see her. It was nice to have somebody there to keep her company. Kagome wasn't sure if her family had been notified or not, but since they lived in Hiroshima, a good five hours away from Tokyo, they had quite the drive ahead of them. Inuyasha, though…he took the initiative to stay with her, to be there when she woke up and for that, Kagome was very grateful.
"Thank you," she suddenly blurted out and Inuyasha blinked at her.
Smiling, the young woman ducked her head and Inuyasha didn't miss the way her cheeks tinted a soft pink. God, she's cute when she blushes. "For…being there." She peeked up at him through thick lashes, hoping he understood what she meant.
Luckily for Inuyasha, he did understand and his face softened as he returned her hesitant smile with one of his own. "Any time, Kagome. Anytime."
A comfortable silence ensued after that exchange, and Kagome was content to let it continue, but something he said earlier came rushing back to the surface and a slight frown marred her features. Inuyasha noticed but didn't say anything, somehow knowing she'd tell him when she was ready. He didn't have to wait long.
Her voice was small and Inuyasha had the nearly overwhelming urge to take her in his arms and shelter her from the world. "Yeah?" He settled for squeezing her hand.
"Can…can you come with me…when I go to give my statement?" Pleading coffee orbs gazed up at him and his earlier urge doubled in intensity. He frowned. Where the hell is it coming from?
Misinterpreting his frown, Kagome took a deep breath and plunged ahead. "I-I mean you don't have to if you don't want. I just figured I'd ask, you know, since—since you were there, and all, and I thought maybe it would be a little easier for me and, well, I can go alone if you don't want to go, I completely understand—"
Realizing Kagome thought he was frowning because he didn't want to go with her, Inuyasha quickly remedied the situation and chuckled, reaching over to place a single clawed finger to her lips. Kagome abruptly stopped and her cheeks flamed a nice scarlet color. "Kagome," he said fondly, "of course I'll go with you, if that's what you want." He aimed a lopsided grin at her, wanting to put her at ease, and was relieved when it worked.
Feeling foolish for thinking he'd say no, Kagome smiled and giggled softly, giving his hand a squeeze back. "Thank you."
Before the golden-eyed mechanic could respond, the door to Kagome's room opened and the doctor swept in, a middle-aged man with glasses, gray hair and a cheery disposition. "Ah, Miss Higurashi. You're awake," he observed and Inuyasha wanted to say no shit. Kagome obviously saw his expression because she muffled another giggle behind her hand, feigning a cough. Inuyasha tried to hide his smug smirk.
Thinking this was as good a time as any, Inuyasha excused himself and went in search of food. He still hadn't had anything to eat since dinner yesterday at work and he was starving. It didn't take long to find the cafeteria – all he had to do was follow his nose and even though the food wasn't exactly up to par – hospital food never was – the half dog-demon didn't particularly care at the moment since he was so damn hungry.
As it turned out, the food wasn't all that bad. After having two turkey sandwiches, a pudding cup, and some mashed potatoes, Inuyasha was feeling much better and wasn't even all that tired anymore. The food, plus his earlier nap in Kagome's room, rejuvenated him to the point where he felt like he could go back to work. Which was weird, to be honest.
Shaking his head, and shoving his hands in his pockets, the mechanic headed back to Kagome's room and couldn't stop the smile from spreading across his face. There was just something about that woman that just made it so easy for him to just be himself around her. He felt comfortable around her, which was definitely saying something being a half-demon. Growing up was never easy for a half-demon, since he didn't belong in either world, human or demon. Trust was something he didn't give out feely, and the only people Inuyasha would say he completely trusted were Miroku and Sango. Maybe Shippou.
But Kagome… Inuyasha stopped a few feet from her door, a far-away look in his eyes. Kagome was different, somehow. Without even trying, with her soft smile, large doe eyes, and easy acceptance, Kagome had somehow managed to penetrate all of his defenses in one shot. And…Inuyasha was okay with that.
Now all he had to do was understand just what the hell it all meant.
Heaving a sigh, Inuyasha shrugged to himself and walked the few remaining feet to Kagome's room, but stopped just outside when her heard voices other than Kagome's and the doctor's. Cautiously, he peeked around the door frame and his eyes softened at what he saw.
An older woman who looked remarkably like Kagome was hugging the younger woman for dear life, Kagome hugging back just as strongly and the silver-haired mechanic could smell the salt of tears. An elderly man, looking relieved, was occupying the chair Inuyasha himself had sat in earlier, and a boy around the age of sixteen was grinning broadly, but Inuyasha's sharp eyesight detected wet trails down his cheeks.
Kagome's family, he immediately deducted. So they made it here after all. He watched for a few more seconds before silently drawing away, deciding he would give the family some privacy. He was basically a stranger to them, and he didn't want to intrude. Besides, he told himself as he walked away, ignoring the way his chest constricted with each step. She's got her family now. She…doesn't need me. Strangely, the thought felt him feeling a little empty inside and he designed not to dwell on it.
Trudging down the staircase and then exiting the building, he was almost to his truck when a harried "Wait!" from behind him had Inuyasha stopping in his tracks and looking over his shoulder, eyebrows shooting up into the fringe of his bangs at what he saw.
Seeing she finally got his attention, Mrs. Higurashi slowed her run to a fast walk and closed the remaining distance between them, her face flushed and her breath a little heavy. Inuyasha turned around, curious, and blinked at her, wondering what she could possibly want with him.
Then she smiled at him and it was so much like Kagome's smile his heart ached. What was wrong with him? He barely knew the girl, and already she had some kind of effect on him. He swallowed the sudden lump in his throat and waited for her to speak.
"You're Inuyasha." It was a statement, not a question.
He blinked. "Yeah." Kagome must have told them about him. He didn't exactly know how to feel about that. "Kagome's mother, right?"
She didn't look surprised he knew. "Yes. Kagome told us about what you did, pulling her from the car and calling 911. Inuyasha," she stepped closer and lifted a hand to gently cup his cheek and Inuyasha's eyes widened slightly. "I want to personally thank you for saving my babygirl's life. If you hadn't been there, who knows how long it would have taken for somebody to drive down that road and see the accident. McHaven isn't a very popular road to begin with, what with all the potholes and uneven pavement, and even more so at such a late hour. So I'm thanking my lucky stars that, for whatever reason, you decided to travel that way and…help my daughter." By now, unshed tears were shinning in her cinnamon eyes.
"O-oi," Inuyasha stuttered, frantic to say something, anything to stop her tears. He hated when women cried, dammit. "I-I wouldn't actually call it saving—" he tried, but Mrs. Higurashi cut him off with a shake of her head.
"Call it what you will, but I will always be grateful to you, Inuyasha. Please remember that." With another warm smile, she patted his cheek softly then turned around and headed back the way some came, back to her family.
Back to Kagome.
His chest constricted again and before he did something really stupid, Inuyasha turned around and headed for his truck once more, telling himself this was for the best, that Kagome didn't need him in her life. She'd forget about him, he was sure of it.
Thing is, though… Inuyasha wasn't so sure he'd be able to forget about her.
Just before she entered the building, Mrs. Higurashi looked back and watched silently as her daughter's savior revved up his engine and drove away.
The older woman smiled fondly. "Don't be a stranger, Inuyasha." She disappeared back inside.
Two weeks later
"Takahashi Auto, this is Sango, how many I help you?"
Sango Kuwashima propped her head in her hand and only half-listened to whatever the customer was staying. It was two o'clock in the afternoon on a Thursday and business was slow. To say Sango was bored out of her mind was an understatement. Since they opened at eight that morning, they had only had two appointments and four phone calls, the one she was handling now being the fourth one. She had already filled out and filed all of today's paperwork within the first two hours of opening. Regularly, she wasn't scheduled to come in until noon on Thursdays, but Kohoku had early morning classes on Thursdays, and the secretary didn't want to stay home alone so decided to come into work a few hours earlier than normal. Not that Inuyasha minded; ever since the fiasco two weeks ago, the mechanic was grateful for Sango's early presence.
"The check engine light's on, you say," she drawled, already knowing what the problem was. They got these all the time; the check engine light would randomly come on and stay on, and the driver had no idea why. Nine times out of ten it was because fumes were leaking out from behind the gas cap because the rim was rusty or something to that effect.
"Mmhm." Switching screens on her computer from Solitaire to the calendar, Sango scheduled an appointment for the guy's car to be looked at tomorrow at ten am. "Okay, so I have you in for tomorrow at ten am, sound good? Okay, see you then. Mmhm. Yes, you too, bye." Hanging up the phone, Sango sighed and dropped her forehead onto the desk, thinking a nap sounded good right about then. Dammit, but why did she come in early today?!
"Um, excuse me?"
"Wha—?" Lifting her head up, Sango blinked owlishly at the young woman standing at the door with a hesitant smile, her left arm in a sling and a fading bruise adorning her cheek that looked like it had once been very nasty. Realizing she was staring, Sango blushed faintly and plastered a smile on her face, sitting up straight and folding her hands neatly in front of her. "Yes, how can I help you?"
The woman smiled back and Sango relaxed a little. "Um, well, I'm looking for…Inuyasha Takahashi? I…believe this is his garage?" The girl looked adorably uncertain and Sango immediately liked her.
Trying to appear as nonthreatening as possible, Sango's smile turned genuine and she nodded, reaching for the walkie-talkie that was always kept in the office. "Yes, this is his garage. Do you have an appointment with him?"
The woman blushed and the secretary wondered why. Unless…waitamiute. Sango's eyes narrowed slightly. Wasn't the woman that Inuyasha supposedly "saved" from that car accident dark haired? And she sustained a broken collar bone… Realization dawned and her mouth dropped. "You're-you're Kagome Higurashi, the girl—"
Kagome's blush deepened and she ducked her head. "Yes, that's me."
Grinning broadly, Sango winked and brought the walkie up to her lips, pressing down on the button. "Yash, come in."
From underneath a rather large SUV the color of fuckin' Shrek – the hell was the guy thinking? – the walkie-talkie at his hip crackled before Sango's voice came in. "Yash, come in."
Grunting, Inuyasha switched hands with the wrench he was holding and reached down to unclip the walkie from his belt. "Yash here." He didn't stop what he was doing; multitasking was one of the talents he did best.
Crackle. "You, uh…have a visitor."
Inuyasha frowned at the slight hesitance in her voice and grunted again, tightening his grip on the wrench and yanking hard. Damn, but this was a stubborn plug. How the hell was he supposed to change the oil if the stupid thing wouldn't budge?! "Visitor?" Grunt. Curse. "Well, Sango, I'm a little—" Grunt. "—busy right now—" Grunt, grumble, curse. "—so whoever it is, tell 'em to—" Grunt. Triumphant cry. "—come back later." Inuyasha held the drain plug up in victory as the oil poured into the drain pan. Bout time that sucker came loose. He'd been working on it for a solid twenty minutes. If only the lift wasn't malfunctioning again, then he would have been able to stand and put all his strength into it. It probably would have been a lot easier.
There was a pause on the other end, then after a moment, the device crackled. "…Trust me, Yash. You can spare a few minutes for this one."
Glaring at the device, the mechanic brought it up to his mouth. "The hell do you mean by that?" Silence. "Sango?" Nothing. "Goddamnit!"
Grumbling about weird secretaries, Inuyasha carefully maneuvered himself out from beneath the vehicle and rolled to his feet, snatching the rag hanging out of his back pocket and wiping his hands. "Miroku!"
"Finish this oil change."
A sigh. "Fine, fine…"
Snickering, Inuyasha tucked the rag back into his pocket and headed toward the office, swiping his hat off to run a dirty hand through his hair. He cracked his neck, and then replaced the hat backwards. For some reason, that position didn't irritate his ears as much as it did when it was facing forward.
Heaving a sigh, Inuyasha rounded the corner and entered the office, sweeping his arms out. "Alright, Sango, so who's this—" His mouth dropped, his arms felt limp to his sides, and his golden eyes went wide.
Familiar chocolate brown eyes smiled at him. "Hi, Inuyasha."
Said woman blushed and using her good arm, waved at him with the tips of her fingers.
With a shit-eating grin on her face, Sango snickered quietly to herself and stealthily snuck around the desk toward the door. "I'm, uh, gonna go see if Miroku needs help." With one last glance, she shut the door gently behind her.
Inuyasha continued to stare at her in stunned silence until finally he realized he must look like an idiot and closed his mouth. Clearing his throat, ignoring the way his heart pounded in his chest, he nonchalantly leaned back against the door, shoving his hands into his blue uniform's pockets. It was all one piece, with his name blazoned across the left breast, and he usually let it hang around his waist when he wasn't working. At the moment, though, Inuyasha just felt like stripping the top half off anyway, revealing a white tank top underneath, because, damn, was it hot in there, or was it just him?
Tucking a piece of ebony hair behind her ear, Kagome bit her lip and smiled shyly at him, discreetly trailing her eyes up and down his form. "I didn't know you were a mechanic," she said for lack of anything better to say. She didn't think it would be this awkward…
Inuyasha only nodded, drinking her in, appreciative of what she wore. Since it was late October, the days were getting cooler and Kagome was obviously prepared for the chill. She donned a forest green sweater that fit snuggly against her body with what looked like a corduroy green and brown skirt, black leggings sticking to her legs like a second skin. She had on lace up black boots that complimented her look nicely, and a long gray pea coat completed the style. Damn, but she looked…
"You look good," he blurted out and then inwardly groaned. Way to be subtle, Inuyasha. Dumbass.
Kagome's eyes widened slightly at the abrupt compliment but couldn't stop the smile from gracing her lips. "Thank you," she said softly and responded boldly, "I like a man in uniform." Not exactly knowing where this flirtatious side of her was coming from, she threw a wink at him, but not without a dark flush covering her cheeks.
The mechanic's eyebrows rose into his bangs and a slow smirk curled the corners of his mouth. "Yeah?" he drawled and crossed his arms over his chest. This was a side of Kagome he definitely liked.
That smirk did funny things to her insides and she felt a responding grin quirk her mouth. "Yeah," she agreed and started toward him slowly. "So," she began, "you never did come with me for that police statement." She peeked up at him through her sooty lashes.
Inuyasha winced and rubbed the back of his neck. "Uh, yeah, sorry about that. I figured…" What? That she really would forget about him? Well, obviously not. And it made his stomach do not so unpleasant flip flops. He didn't exactly know how to finish that, so he didn't and just stared at her, hoping she would accept it for what it was.
Apparently she did, because Kagome shrugged and closed the last few feet between them, halting right in front of him. "I see." She nodded and raised her good arm to the lapel of his uniform. "Well, since you didn't hold up to that…" She slid her hand down the fabric and expertly released the top button.
Inuyasha held very still and waited for her to finish.
"I seem to be in another dilemma I need help with." That hand slid down some more. Another button released.
Inuyasha swallowed hard and slowly, so she had time to back away, reached forward and placed his hands on her hips. Her smile got wider. That was good. "Oh yeah?" His voice was low, husky.
"Mmm," she hummed and freed another button. She was halfway down now. "You see," she started, her eyes focused on what her hand was doing. "I had this car." Another. "And about two weeks ago, it sorta got totaled." Two left. "And now…" One more. "I'm in need of a new vehicle. So…" Kagome freed the last button and finally flicked her gaze up to his, startled to find his amber eyes smoldering down at her. She quickly composed herself and with a slow breath, she reached up peeled the top half of his uniform down his arms, forcing him to release her hips for a split second before replacing them. The end result left it hanging off his slim waist, revealing muscled arms and a nicely toned chest hidden behind a white tank.
She picked up where she left off. "Do you think…" Kagome took a step closer, pressing their bodies together and wrapping her good arm around his neck. "…you could…" She tilted her face up, feeling his breath warm on her lips. "…help me find a new one?" She smiled innocently at him and felt his deep chuckle vibrate against her chest.
"Well," he rumbled, one side of his mouth quirking up into a smirk. "As it so happens," he wrapped both his arms around her waist and pulled her flush. "I happen to know a thing or two about cars." Their lips were a hairsbreadth away and it was taking everything that Inuyasha had in him not to close that scant distance.
Kagome's eyes sparkled mischievously. "Is that a yes?"
"That's a hell yes."
Then his mouth was on hers and his hand came up to cradle the back of her head, holding her to him, not letting her escape from his assault. Not that Kagome wanted to. She gave as good as she got and grinned against his mouth when she felt him growl against her, feeling his chest vibrate against her and it sent pinpricks of warmth all over her body. His hands were in her hair, tugging, caressing, and when Kagome's hand found one of his ears – when had she knocked his hat off? – a deep groan escaped his mouth and into hers. He felt her smile against his mouth and retaliated by nipping on her bottom lip, swallowing her gasp and delving in with his tongue to steal a taste.
Kagome whimpered and arched against him, mindful of her left arm, and wished her damn collar bone wasn't broken so she could wrap both arms around him for the full affect. But, alas, karma was a bitch and more often than not dealt you a hand that more or less kicked you in the balls and walked away.
Well… she thought as Inuyasha drew back only to dive down at her neck and lavish it with kisses. Kagome hummed appreciatively, and smiled.
…Maybe not this time.
Sometimes, you had to take the hand that fate dealt you…and just go with it.
I hope the ending kind of explains itself, but if anyone is having trouble deciphering it, lemme know and I'll be happy to elaborate. :)
So, I kind of wanted to add a bit more in the middle about fate, what if's, why, and all that good stuff but I thought that it was nice how it is and I'm actually quite satisfied with how it turned out.
I'm not a wiz on exactly how the justice system works, like giving police statements and whatnot because I've never had to give one, so if you find a loop hole or something that you know is wrong, again lemme know so I can change it.
Random note: I have ALWAYS wanted to make Inuyasha a mechanic, haha. I dunno, just the thought of him in one of those uniforms, with the top half hang off his waist, wife beater on… Buwahaha. Oh, and an interesting note on Kagome's outfit at the ending. It just…came to me. I saw a perfect picture of her in my mind wearing those clothes and I knew I had to make it a reality (sorta.)
Bah. Anyways, as always if you see any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, please let me know. And constructive criticism is very welcome on this piece. I really want to know what ya'll thought of it. I kinda struggled with this one for some reason, but I do like how it turned out. Please give me your thoughts and opinions! It would make for a very happy KeiChanz. :)
And I feel the need to say this with everything I update that's not one of my stories: I will never abandon a story, I will always finish it, even if my updates are few and far between. Thanks for reading!
Until next time,