Warning: Spoilers? Sort of? The only major spoiler is something I mentioned about Sango and Miroku from the last episode of The Final Act. And I did throw in a few references to some episodes, but they're too small to be called spoilers. ANNND—there's also something that might make really sensitive readers a tiny bit uncomfortable. It's not really bad, not even 'warning' worthy. I just thought I'd put it here so I don't get flames telling me I should have put up a warning.
A/N: Huh. Been a while since I'd last actually sat down and wrote something productive. Anyways, Inuyasha is my newest favourite anime, and I keep getting this insane urge to write something for it. The plot bunnies won't stop nagging at me, so I guess, here I am. It's my first Inuyasha story, so I don't know if it's any good. I'm pretty satisfied with it, though.
Also, if you don't get this . . . I honestly envy your ignorance.
Youkai – Demon
Hanyou – Half demon
-baba – A disrespectful way to refer to an elderly woman. I think.
Disclaimer: Inuyasha doesn't belong to me. But jeez, it'd be so cool if I had a well in my back yard so I could also go kick some youkai butt :o)
They were sitting together comfortably in the highest branches of Inuyasha's favourite tree, watching the soft pink petals of cherry blossoms sway in the wind as they leaned against each other. It was a peaceful evening, the sun casting gentle rays over the earth as it slowly made its way over the horizon, birds chirping their last songs for the day.
Kagome sighed contently, snuggling deeper into Inuyasha's strong arms. He, in turn, tightened his hold on her, burying his nose in the crook of his mate's neck to breathe in her intoxicating scent.
It had been quite a hard day of work for the two; Kagome was tired after spending the day in the hot—but by no means unpleasant—sun, harvesting herbs with the help of the gentle hanyou Jinengi, while he taught her everything there was to know about the plants' various healing qualities. Inuyasha had spent the entire day helping Miroku exorcise youkai in the surrounding area, most likely ripping people off with their payment in the process. When they had all gotten back to Kaede's village to help Sango prepare dinner, the sun was already slowly making its way down over the mountains, which meant helping Miroku and Sango put their three adorable—but exhaustingly hyper—children to sleep for their afternoon nap.
All in all, Kagome appreciated her time alone with Inuyasha.
A gentle breeze ruffled their hair and clothes, whistling through the tree's branches and complimenting the cheerful birdsong, creating a strangely pleasant blend of music in the background. Next to her, Kagome felt Inuyasha pressing impossibly closer to her, inhaling deeply.
"Say, Inuyasha," she said softly, leaning her head against his shoulder. He hummed in response, letting her know that he was listening. "What do I smell like?"
Startled at the unexpected question and thoroughly confused, Inuyasha pulled back enough so that he could see her face, frowning.
"Huh?" he asked, cocking his head to the side. Kagome noticed one snowy white ear twitch in her direction. "Whaddaya mean, what do you smell like?"
"Exactly what I said. You're always breathing in my scent, so I just started wondering: What do I smell like?"
Kagome studied Inuyasha's face, watching as a pink tint coloured his cheeks in embarrassment, as though he thought that she didn't notice. He looked away, sticking his nose in the air indifferently with his trademark 'Keh!'
"How should I know what you smell like?" he asked in a vain attempt to keep his dignity intact. "It ain't like I actually go with you to buy that ridiculous smelly girly stuff you and Sango like so much."
Kagome frowned. "You mean perfume? But I'm not wearing any right now."
"No, I'm not. I only wear it to special occasions." She grinned, amused. "Besides, aren't you usually sneezing all over the place whenever I do wear perfume? I'm sure you would've noticed if I was wearing it right now, with that sensitive nose of yours."
"Keh," he scoffed, even as he settled back into the previous cuddling position they had been in before he'd moved away from her. "Stuff smells different after a few hours. Not as strong."
Smiling to herself, Kagome relaxed back into Inuyasha's arms.
"You never answered my question, though," she said, closing her eyes. "What do I smell like? When I'm not wearing any perfume, I mean."
Inuyasha thought for a minute on how to answer, looking down at his mate as she rested comfortably against him, looking utterly at peace. Her eyes were closed, her eyelashes casting long shadows over her cheeks. The rays of the setting sun reflected off of her rosy skin, giving it an ethereal glow. Her soft lips pulled up into a content smile as the breeze cradled her face, playing with her ebony hair and blowing several strands of black in front of her closed eyelids. He had the insane un-him-like desire to reach over and brush the silky locks out of her face and behind her ear, and it took all of his willpower to keep himself from doing just that. Control was wearing thin though, as Inuyasha found his heart beating faster in his chest at the look on her face, and her overwhelmingly beautiful scent didn't help much as it swirled around them.
Not to sound like that Akitoki Hobo character they had met a few years back, but, in that moment, Kagome looked like some kind of celestial maiden.
Inuyasha blushed at the thought, averting his gaze. In that moment, he thanked whatever Kami spirit that was listening that she had her eyes closed.
"W-when you're not wearing that perfume stuff?" He cringed internally at his slight stutter, but was eternally grateful that she didn't seem to notice.
At Kagome's little sound of confirmation, Inuyasha swallowed down his embarrassment and felt a smirk tug at his lips, seeing a perfect opportunity to annoy her. Come to think of it, it had been a full twenty-four hours since he'd last seen her mad! He wanted to see her eyes flash at him again like they usually did when she was angry or annoyed, and he knew better than anyone how to ignite that spark. Besides, he needed to get back his manly male pride, before she started thinking that he was going soft with all of these mushy moments (not to mention before he himself began thinking that he was going soft with all these mushy thoughts!).
"Let's see . . . right now, all I'm getting is sweat and dirt," he said, his voice taking on the arrogant tone that he was starting to use less and less when he was alone with Kagome and no one else was close enough to hear him act all gentle-like. His smirk widened when he felt her stiffen in his arms at his words. Encouraged by this, he plunged in further. "There's a little bit of old feet, too, but that's probably coming from Kaede-baba, so it doesn't count." He laughed inwardly at this one, knowing full-well that she hadn't even seen Kaede today; if she didn't take the bait, then his next indirect insult would definitely ruffle her feathers. He wrinkled his nose, pretending to smell something vile. "And rotten fruit. Did you and Jinengi throw out the rotten fruits today, Kagome? I thought you'd already moved on to medicinal herbs."
Oh yeah, he could practically feel her fuming now.
With a huff, she pushed him away from her, scooting closer to the tree trunk in an attempt to get away from him. She glared at Inuyasha's seemingly confused and innocent face.
"Are you saying I smell?" she demanded, crossing her arms.
Inuyasha felt that familiar tiny twinge of fear at her expression, but, seeing her temper spark to life in those deep grey orbs of her, decided that it was too late to back down now.
Acting indifferent, Inuyasha shifted his position on the branch until he was reclining against the soft, sweet-smelling cherry blossoms, balancing his weight in a practiced manner. He used his hands like a pillow as he tucked them comfortably behind his head, while one leg dangled off of the side of the branch.
"Well, I guess it changes from time to time," he continued, closing his eyes. He smirked inwardly, deciding to take it up a notch. "I mean, every demon downwind from you can smell when you're . . . how did you put it in your time? 'Turned on', or something like that? Why d'ya think Shippo stayed away from us for a good few months after you became my mate?"
Kagome felt herself blanch at that, before her face flushed bright red.
"You—you mean Shippo can smell when we—when we've—"
"I mean, he's still just a kid, so he doesn't really know what it means," Inuyasha continued, cutting her off when it looked like she wasn't going to come up with an ending to that sentence. "Doesn't keep him from feeling uncomfortable." He stopped talking for a moment, scratching his temple with an index finger, feigning a look of contemplation. "Oh, and, not to mention—your scent changes at a certain time every month, too."
Inuyasha paused at this, cracking an eye open when he heard Kagome's heart practically freeze to an utter standstill. He felt a twinge of worry at this, but it was soon wiped away when he saw her utterly mortified expression. Her face and neck was quickly filling with blood, turning to an almost unhealthy red that could put Inuyasha's scarlet kimono to shame. Her mouth was open to retort, but no sound came out as she seemed to be choking on her own words.
"Y-you mean, you—I—you—" she spluttered, reminding Inuyasha oddly of that giant fish demon that they had killed about three years ago in Kagome's time, at that 'cultural festival' thing she had gone to. He watched her struggle for words, enjoying her embarrassment.
"You can smell when I'm having my period?" she finally managed, her voice coming out in nearly a scream.
Inuyasha jumped at her sudden outburst. Wincing, he instinctively pressed his ears flat against his skull. He scowled, pushing himself up out of his relaxed position to glare at her, his attention crudely wrenched away from her embarrassment. He was about to yell at her for screaming in his ears like that when he was right there, but, before he could even open his mouth, Kagome's voice screeched "SIT BOY!" so loud, that even the surrounding birds were startled out of their nests.
Inuyasha felt shivers run down his spine at the sound of those all-too familiar words, his blood running cold at the tell-tale glow of the subjugation beads around his neck. It took only a few seconds for the beads to take effect, barely enough time for Inuyasha's brain to completely comprehend the command before he was plummeting head-first towards the ground, the distance between the highest branch of the tree and the ground closing at a painfully fast speed. Inuyasha could barely prepare himself for the impact before his face was very thoroughly introduced to the earth, so hard that he swore he would be scrubbing dirt out of his teeth for the next month.
Still up in the tree, Kagome was staring in horror at nothing in particular, her hands pressed against her cheeks in an effort to hide her blazing red face. She was no longer leaning against the tree's trunk as she had been doing after pushing Inuyasha away; she now sat rigid, her back ramrod straight and her legs tightly hooked around the tree branch. Every inch of her body screamed complete and utter mortification.
So far gone was she, that she didn't even notice when a very pissed off Inuyasha came jumping from one branch to another, face fixed into its usual annoyed expression after a 'sit', black eyebrow twitching in his effort to keep at least some of his anger contained. He landed in a crouched position next to Kagome, a growl escaping his lips and his hands curled into fists. She didn't even look at him.
"What the hell was that for, Kagome?" he demanded, his voice doing nothing to hide his annoyance.
At this, Kagome jumped as though noticing him for the first time, and she turned her head slightly to look at him from the corner of her eye. Impossibly, her cheeks grew even redder when she saw his face.
Quickly looking away, she shrank back into the tree trunk, trying to make herself invisible.
"You . . . you can smell when I'm . . . when I'm . . ." She trailed off, unable to say the words for a second time. Oh, how she wished she could disappear in that moment.
"Yeah, I can smell it," Inuyasha snapped, sitting down on the branch so his legs dangled off of the side. He crossed his arms and looked away, still ruffled by his latest and greatest face plant. "Big deal. I can smell it on Sango, too. So what's your problem?"
Kagome cringed. "It's just . . . it's . . ." She swallowed, and managed to remove her hands from her flaming face. "You're not . . . supposed to know."
Inuyasha scoffed at that. "I'm not that stupid, Kagome. Geez, get a grip, why don't ya?"
That seemed to spark at Kagome's anger, as she jerked her head in his direction.
"And what exactly is that supposed to mean?" she snapped. "The least you could have done is told me sooner!"
"Keh! Are you kidding? If I'd known you'd react this way, I wouldn't have told you at all!"
"But you can smell it when it's that time!"
"You're not supposed to know!"
Inuyasha crossed his arms, scowling. "Hey, it ain't my fault. Not like I can just turn my nose off, or anything."
For some reason incomprehensible to Inuyasha, that comment made Kagome's cheeks—which had slowly started to return to its normal colour—flare up again. She looked away, her hands balling up into tight fists.
A moment of silence passed between them. Inuyasha sighed, closing his eyes. He leaned back into his previous position, trying to move into the same tranquillity they had been enveloped in minutes before.
"It doesn't . . ." Kagome's soft voice made him crack open an eye to look at her. She still had her face turned away from him, but her weary voice told him that she wasn't angry anymore. "It doesn't . . . smell too bad, does it?"
"You know, when I . . . You know."
Inuyasha rolled his eyes before closing them again. "Come on, you're really worried about that?"
"Well, I . . ."
When she didn't continue, he sighed and sat up, scooting ever so slightly closet to her.
"No, it doesn't smell bad," he told her honestly. "Just . . . different."
Hearing that, Kagome seemed to relax, just a little.
"What do you mean, different?"
He shrugged. "Just different. Like Human and Youkai different. Like how you can tell I'm not a full demon just by my scent, different."
". . . Oh."
When she didn't move or say something for a while, Inuyasha bit his lip, his earlier urge to make her mad seeming stupid to him now; he didn't really want her mad at him. At least, not like this—he'd just wanted to annoy her. He hated it when she was really, actually mad, beyond the usual arguments mad. Or really hurt. It didn't happen a whole lot, but when she really took their banters to heart, he would usually suffer the consequences for at the very least a week . . . if he was lucky.
His ears lowered into his hair at the mere thought.
"Kagome?" he asked softly, and winced at the way he sounded like a kicked puppy. "You're not . . . really mad, are you?"
She sighed, and leaned against his shoulder, her eyes closed. "No, not really, I guess."
A moment of peaceful silence passed, before Inuyasha decided that it was safe to wrap an arm around her waist without her 'sitting' him again.
Kagome hesitated. "What you said earlier . . . I don't really smell that bad, do I?"
What . . .?
Oh. He had almost forgotten about his earlier jibes at how she smelled after a day of working.
Deciding to give in, he muttered, "No, you idiot. I was just kidding."
This made Kagome smile. She relaxed completely into his arms, tilting her head up to look at him through half-closed eyes.
"So can you tell me what I really smell like?" she asked. "No jokes this time?"
One look into her eyes, and he knew he couldn't say no. She looked so relaxed at that moment, so peaceful despite their earlier banter, that he just couldn't help but be honest.
So, with a seriousness that he saved just for moments like these, Inuyasha slowly lowered his head, one clawed hand tilting her head so that he could bury his face in the crook of her neck, where her scent was the strongest. He inhaled deeply, quickly exhaling so that he could breathe in her scent once more. He felt Kagome shiver underneath him, her heart beating faster against his also-speeding heart. He spent several seconds just breathing her in, feeling his head swim with the perfume of her scent, and hers alone. She filled his every thought in that moment, the rest of the world around them disappearing.
"Well?" Kagome whispered. Inuyasha shivered as he felt her breath breeze over his ear, which was positioned right in front of her mouth in the position they were in.
"Cherry blossoms," he finally decided. "And something else. Something sweet. What do you call that sweet sticky stuff from your time that Shippo likes so much? That yellowish stuff?"
"You mean honey?"
"Yeah, that's it."
Kagome was no longer listening. She wasn't even comprehending the fact that she smelled like Inuyasha's favourite flower and Shippo's favourite sweet. All she could comprehend was how close he was at that moment, how his claws were buried in her hair, and how his other arm was tightly wrapped around her waist in an unbreakable grip. His lips were ghosting over the skin of her neck, the tip of his nose brushing her jawbone. His breath was making goosebumbs rise on her skin as he teased the lobe of her ear with the tip of one of his fangs.
Wrapping her arms around him, Kagome pulled herself closer to Inuyasha, pressing her face into his thick silver hair. The foresty, naturey smell that was so familiar to her filled her weaker human senses, but it was enough to lose herself in him, to lose herself in the embrace that she had longed for during their entire journey looking for the Sacred Jewel Shards.
Kagome was broken out of her spell when she felt Inuyasha pull away momentarily, allowing her to take in a whiff of Inuyasha-free air; just enough to clear her head. She almost whimpered by the loss of contact, but the sound was soon swallowed by Inuyasha's mouth, which had come down on hers with a fierce sort of gentleness that almost broke her heart.
They stayed like that for a while, holding each other and kissing in the setting sun. Neither wanted to move from their spot, wanting to spend an eternity in that single moment alone.
Eventually, though, Kagome heard Inuyasha growl.
"You'd better not tell Miroku about any of this," he whispered against her lips.
Kagome couldn't help the laugh that bubbled out of her throat at that.
"What, this?" she giggled. She pulled away enough so that he could see her rolling her eyes at him. "Trust me, Inuyasha, this isn't half as sweet as all of the adorable things Miroku says and does for Sango!"
This pricked at his curiosity, and the dog ears atop his head perked up.
"Yeah?" he asked curiously. "What kinda stuff does he do for her?"
Kagome giggled. "I can't tell you. My lips are sealed."
"Aww, Kagome! Come on, please?"
"It's getting dark. We should be heading back."
Kagome blinked innocently, though mischief sparkled in her eyes. "What?"
Inuyasha growled, which made Kagome sigh.
"Fine," she said in a resigned tone. "I'll tell you if you let me down from here."
Almost instantly, Inuyasha scooped her up into his arms and jumped down with a fluent, practiced movement, gracefully landing on his feet with barely even a jostle. He set her down, giving her a chance to straighten before saying, "Now can you tell me?"
Kagome paused for barely a second, before she suddenly broke into a run, laughing.
"No way!" she threw over her shoulder.
"Hey! You promised!"
"If you can catch me," she yelled playfully, "I might think about telling you."
Inuyasha stared after her, momentarily baffled, before a smirk crossed his features.
"What makes you think that you can outrun me?" he mocked after her, before he set of in a full sprint in the direction he'd watched her disappear in.
His only reply was Kagome's laughter.
A/N: Well, the ending is kinda awkward, but it'll have to do. I really hope you guys enjoyed it, and that it wasn't OOC or anything. Please tell me if there were any mistakes, and I'll fix it as soon as I possibly can. If there's someone willing to Beta this for me, to make it flow better or to fix some dialogue or add better descriptions, please send me a PM.
If you liked it, please leave a review if you have some time in your hands! :D If you didn't like it . . . well, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me what I did wrong and what I can do to change that. Just no senseless insults, okay?