Title: Spring Rain
Word Count: 2684
Summary: A chance encounter over Kagome's lost dog.
Author's Note: Inuyasha and all characters in this fan fiction are the property of Rumiko Takahashi.
A/N 2: Written for Eternally-Destined a href=" art/NEW-CONTEST-InuKag-Spring-Love-2012-289947881"Inuyasha/Kagome Spring Love 2012/a contest.
Kagome stopped working to look down at her dog, Ginger. She was beside herself hiding under the desk, head tucked into a corner, panting and shaking. Spring was the worst for her.
"Poor Gingy." Kagome took her shoe off and rubbed the dog's rump. She had adopted the lab-shepherd mix from an animal shelter about eight years ago. She was already fully-grown but still young, and had been adopted and brought back three times already. The guy at the shelter had named her Little Bit, but it didn't suit her at all. Kagome liked her kind face and passive demeanor right away. Kagome named the dog Ginger and brought her home.
As the years had gone by Gingy had proven to be a great companion, and proved to be quite needy, which was ok with Kagome. She liked snuggling so it worked out for both of them. There were three things that made the dog come unglued in completely different ways, disciplining children, storms, and getting her nails trimmed. Kagome found that Ginger would bark a lot and push the adult away with her body, or stand over the child to save it. Eventually she would resort to sitting on the child and putting her body between them and the parent to save the child from a spanking. It was really funny to watch. Storms, though, were terrible for her.
It would start hours before the sky turned gray. Ginger would start to pant heavily, making Kagome worry she was going to pass out. Then Ginger would hide. If she were closed in the bedroom she would smash her 60 lb. body through a 7-inch clearing under the bed to hide. After Kagome found her she had to take her bed apart to get her out. If she was closed in the office she would wedge herself through a 6 inch opening between the wall and the back of the desk, and push the drawers out to hide inside the desk. That time Kagome had to take the drawers out of the desk. Once Ginger had slunk into the bathroom, and wedged herself between the toilet and wall. Kagome let her work herself out of that one, being afraid of hurting Ginger or tearing up the toilet if she tried to get her out. The dog was more reliable than the weatherman.
To trim Ginger's nails was a two person job. Kagome usually had to have her brother Sota help her. He would pin Ginger down under his legs, hold her arm behind the elbow or knee so she couldn't jerk it away, and pet her head. Kagome had to work as quickly as possible to trim the nails and let the dog up. Through the entire experience Ginger would look wild eyed and whine, or try to get out from under Sota and slink away.
She also had one bad habit. Ginger was a runner. Kagome had hoped she would be able to play with her on the shrine grounds and let her run free, but her first time off a leash proved that was not going to work out. Kagome had gotten her to sit, then took her leash off. Ginger immediately bolted for the shrine steps, Kagome running after her, yelling her name. Ginger's love of kids was the only thing that stopped her long enough for Kagome to catch her and snap the leash back on her collar.
If Ginger had any faults those were it. She didn't chew or damage furniture or property, she didn't bark, and she didn't cry at night. She was in the habit of getting a bone at 9:30 every night, and reminded Kagome if she were late giving it to her. She didn't have accidents in the house, and generally walked well on a leash unless there was something especially interesting to smell. Then she could be very stubborn, not moving until she was satisfied. She didn't mind strangers, either, being perfectly behaved during walks in the city. Kagome loved that dog, and couldn't see herself without her.
Kagome could feel the dog trembling under her foot, and knew there was no way to calm her. Looking under her desk she said, "Don't worry, Gingy. I don't think it will rain long. The thunder just makes it seem worse than it is." Ginger didn't even bother to raise her head from the corner. She knew the light spring rain outside with the sprinkling of thunder was the undoing of the earth around her head, and she wasn't coming out of her corner no matter what.
Laughing to herself Kagome turned off her computer and pushed away from the desk. She went about her nightly routine, and as she climbed into bed she called out for Ginger. Not hearing her nails click the floor in response Kagome thought, "Fine then," and turned out the light.
The next morning was beautiful. Kagome woke to the soft spring breeze blowing across her face, causing her to smile before she opened her eyes. Flinging the covers back she sat up, and found Ginger curled up at the foot of her bed. Leaning over she patted the dog wishing her a good morning, which earned her some tail wags and a lick on the nose.
"How about some breakfast al fresco? I know a great little place around the corner with sidewalk tables, and Gingy bowls for nommies." At the mention of nommies Ginger perked up, lifting her head and ears, wagging her toil more insistently. "I thought that would perk you up. Ok, let me get cleaned up and we'll go."
An hour later found Kagome and ginger on their way to the café both looking lively and happy. Kagome chose a table at the café with a dog hook attached to the chair for Ginger's leash, then sat and ordered their breakfast. She loved the fact that there was an animal friendly restaurant near her home. You had to bring your own kibble and clean up after your pet, but they did provide bowls for food and water, and two separate eating areas. The restaurant was located on a corner; so one side was fenced in with a latching, swinging door for dogs, and the other side was fenced in with no gate for people. The eating area for pets had chairs with claw hooks on them so you could latch your pet securely to your seat. Kagome thought it was fabulous.
As they were served breakfast Kagome noticed Ginger began to pant and shake. "Oh, no," she mentally groaned. Reaching down she pet her. "Don't worry, Gingy. We'll be home before it hits, honest." Kagome ate, keeping an eye on her dog.
When the waiter came to clear the table Kagome asked for her check right away, explaining she had to get home with her dog before it began to rain. The waiter gave her an odd look. The weather said nothing about rain, and the sky was clear. He nodded his head and rushed back into the restaurant.
As she sat waiting the wind began to pick up and had gotten cool. Ginger had begun to pace uneasily, then would sit and stare at Kagome before beginning to pace again, panting nervously. "I know, girl, I know." Kagome tried to sooth her dog as they waited.
After several minutes the waiter finally returned with the check. Kagome counted out the bills and gathered her things. She had just unhooked Ginger's leash when a loud crack of thunder broke through the air. It was just enough to make the dog bolt, wrenching her leash from Kagome's hand. The woman ran after her, yelling her name, but it was no use. Rain had begun to fall and her dog was nowhere in sight.
The storm had last all day and into the night. Kagome paced through the house, waiting for the phone to ring. She had called her vet to let them know Ginger had run off in case anyone called the number on her rabies tag, and she had called local animal shelters as well, emailing them pictures of Ginger in case she showed up. She hoped whoever found her would at least call the number on her nametag, but by the next morning no one had called at all. By the afternoon Kagome was calling the vet and animal shelters again, but no one had turned Ginger in or called about her.
The fear that something bad had happened was eating her up inside. She kept thinking, "Who could ignore a 60 lb. dog running loose in the rain dragging a retractable, purple leash?" She knew Ginger was irrational when storms hit, and it was possible she ran until she couldn't, then crawled into somewhere dark and tight to wait it out. Still restless Kagome clicked on the evening news only to see a picture of her maimed and dirty Gingy flash onto the screen. Kagome noticed she was missing her collar. The anchor was saying, "… found in an ally wedged between a dumpster and building. The own of the building said he had gone around back to take the trash out when he noticed the dog's head stuck between the building and the edge of the dumpster." An interview of the owner began to play but Kagome had already jumped up and was grabbing her shoes and house keys. She ran back to the couch and waited anxiously for the name of the building. Sakura, that was a Japanese restaurant just four blocks from her house. She was literally running out the door and down the street, not even thinking if she had locked the door behind her.
Reaching the building she noticed a yellow sign on the door. "Closed for Remodeling. Will reopen on March 14, 2012 at 11 am for lunch. See you then!" Oh, no! Kagome was not going to wait until then to talk to someone about her dog. She began banging on the door frantically, and yelling up the side of the building, hoping someone on the other side of any of the open windows would hear her.
"Hello? Hello! Someone in there has my dog! Is anyone home?!" From inside Kagome could hear Ginger's unmistakable bark. "Ginger! Where are you, girl? Hey! Is anyone home?" Kagome stepped back from the door she had been pounding on, and began to look the building over. There was no way to get to the upper floors from the front, but walking around back she noticed steal balconies with a ladder leading up to each level. The ladder from the ground was about five feet up. Kagome made a jump for it.
Inuyasha was walking back to his building, passing the ally he had found Ginger in. Catching movement from the corner of his eye just before he passed, he stopped and backed up, not believing his eyes. Hanging from the emergency escape ladder was a dark hair young woman, struggling to pull herself up to the next rung on the ladder. He tilted his head to the side, more curious and amused than worried she was trying to break in. If she couldn't haul her butt up the ladder, she couldn't haul anything back down.
Walking toward the woman he sat his bag of groceries on the ground next to the building and laced his arms across his chest. "Hey," he called out. "Need a lift?"
Startled, Kagome squealed and let go, landing on her butt. "Hey!" she yelped. "You could have tried to catch me, you know!" She stood dusting herself off.
"Ooo, that's a nasty scratch you have there." Inuyasha motioned to her leg, which had a one-inch scratch that was bleeding down her leg. Pulling a bandana from his back pocket he grabbed it opposite ends and swirled up the slack. He leaned down, wiped up the blood trail, and then tied the bandana around Kagome's calf. "I bet that's gonna scar. You might want to have it looked at. What were you doing anyway?"
"I was trying to get in the building. My dog's locked up inside and no one will answer the door."
Inuyasha stood, asking, "Did you ever think maybe the owner isn't home?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Well, come on. I know of an easier way in." Inuyasha turned, grabbed his bag of groceries, and headed back around the building with Kagome in tow. Using his key he opened the front door to the building. Kagome stood on the stoop, looking embarrassed.
"You're the owner?"
"And you found my dog?"
"Why didn't you call me?!" Kagome rushed past him into the entryway. "Where is she?"
"Hold on one second while I lock the door and I'll take you to her."
True to his word after locking the front door to the eatery he took Kagome to his office in the back of the restaurant. Using another key he unlocked what she had assumed was a closet. Instead it led to a stairwell that went up. Following him in she was lead to a studio apartment. And there, in the corner of the room under an open window was Ginger.
"Oh, Gingy!" Kagome ran over to her wayward pet and threw her arms around the sitting animal. Noticing the bandage around her neck she asked, "Why is her neck bandaged? Why didn't you call me to come get her?"
"Her head was wedged between a dumpster and my building. It was scratched up from where she tried to pull free. I cleaned the wounds and wrapped them up to be safe. She didn't have a collar on so I didn't have anyone to call, and I didn't know she was yours, Kagome."
She stiffened when he said her name. It had been years since she had heard it from him, and she hadn't dared to say his. It was hard enough to be around him again. "Well, you could have called the local shelters. They all were keeping an eye out for her. Or the closest vet, or something."
Standing, Kagome turned to face him. He was just as handsome as she remembered. His hair was longer, almost to his waist, but the same beautiful black. She had to resist the impulse to walk up and run her fingers through the dense mass. She could see he had aged, but not terribly, and he still worked out, but not too much. Locking her eyes on his before he could accuse her of ogling him, she smiled, wrapping herself in the cheerfulness of finding Ginger. She locked her hands together in front of her unless they betray her desire to touch him, or her nervousness at being near him again.
"Thank you for finding her. We were breakfasting not far from here when a storm broke. They terrify her, and she got loose. Do I owe you anything for her care?"
"You still haven't said my name." He wanted to her it roll off her tongue again. To see if hearing her voice say his name still had the same affect as it used to.
"Well… Inuyasha," she hesitated slightly before letting the familiar name slip past her lips, "thank you. Do I owe you anything?"
He wasn't surprised to find it did.
"Why did we divorce? I never got an answer for that."
He wanted to bring that up? It had been almost 10 years. Karma was indeed a hateful beast.
Letting out a sigh Kagome resigned herself to her fate. "We were bad to each other. Me first, then you. There was too much wrong to fix, and you left. You didn't look back."
"Oh, I looked back, you just never saw. For years I've looked back but was careful not to let you see." Inuyasha moved to stand in front of Kagome, putting both hands on her upper arms. She noticed he still smelled the same. "Maybe now enough time has passed…" He let the statement fall off, waiting to see her reaction.
"I don't know. Maybe…" Kagome did the same.