Chapter Eighteen

Sesshoumaru sat miserably in his bed. I can't believe I hit her. He, again, mentally berated himself. I wonder if she'll even come back, now? It had been two days since he last saw her. Already, he was beginning to think he would go crazy if he didn't see her soon. Ever since she had left him so he could 'think', he had been starving himself. Sleep wasn't such a nice thing, as nightmares would come to him often. The one about Atasuke was becoming more and more vivid in his mind. I shouldn't have hit her. Going over the even again in his mind, he remembered that he had thought he hit Atasuke. I shouldn't have lost my cool. Burying his head in his hands, he, again, scolded himself. I am an awful youkai. She'll never come back. He wallowed in self-pity and guilt, wanting to have Kagome's presence near him once again. The doorbell rang, startling him out of his daydream. Ignoring the high-pitched bell, he lie down, pulling the blanket over his head. It rang again, but he ignored it. I wish Kagome would come back. After ringing several more times, the visitor started knocking. No, it was not knocking; it was more like pounding on the door. Still, he ignored the incessant noise, drowning out everything. Then, a voice started to shout, the knocking ceased. Vaguely, the voice seemed familiar. Finally giving ear to the racket, he recognized Kagome's shouts.

"Sesshou! If you don't open the door, I'm going to leave!" she shouted angrily.

Opening his eyes, he pushed back the covers and walked to the door. "Why are you back?" he shouted through the door.

"Do you not want me back? I'll just go!" she replied calmly.

He opened the door, wondering if he was dreaming. But, there she stood in front of him, hands on her hips and glaring him down. "Why didn't you answer the door?" she asked angrily.

Totally shocked, he could find nothing to say. She acted as if nothing had happened. Still, she stared him down as he gazed at her in silence. "Aren't you going to let me into my own apartment?" she asked, smiling.

He still stood immobile. Staring at her face, he found that there was still a reddish tint to one of her cheeks. He reached out and slowly touched it, making her wince. She shied back away from him slightly, before she caught herself and remained still. "I'm sorry," he said hoarsely, bringing her into his arms. "I'm really sorry," he said.

Caught slightly by astonishment, she hesitated before encircling his waist with her arms. "It's okay," she soothed. Strangely, he felt a light thinner than when she had last hugged him. Pulling back, she examined him with concerned eyes. She gasped slightly as she saw his beaten form. "You didn't get much sleep, did you?" she asked, gazing intently into his dull, gold eyes.

He didn't answer, turning his head away. "You didn't eat, either?" she asked, surprised. When she received no answer, she pushed him gently into the apartment, closing the door with her foot behind her. "You can't do that, Sesshou!" she scolded, turning to go into the kitchen.

Jerking her wrist back, he claimed her lips in a soft kiss. When they broke contact, he folded his arms around her tightly. "Don't leave again," he pleaded, rubbing his face in her soft hair.

"Don't worry," she reassured, laying her head against his chest. "I won't. I told you already."

He released his hold, feeling a large burden being taken off his shoulders. Already, he was feeling much better. Lightly, he strolled back to his room to take a shower.

(A/N: Amazing how everything turns out all right, isn't it?)

Kagome shook her head humorously at his behavior, strolling into the kitchen to make some breakfast. Even though her cooking skills weren't as high class as Sesshoumaru's, they were still pretty good. She reached to turn the knob of the gas stove, but her fingers brushed the cabinet. Looking down, she realized she was thinking of Atasuke's apartment, where he had a gas stove. Here, they had an electric one, placed on the countertop. She thought back to her time with Atasuke.

* * *

"This way," Atasuke said, smiling slightly and pushing her around the corner.

"It isn't far, is it?" Kagome asked, looking behind her shoulder to him.

"Nope, you're standing right in front of the building," he replied, opening the door for her, "After you."

"Thank you," Kagome said, smiling brightly at him.

Suddenly, his face turned to that of Sesshoumaru's. Kagome looked away quickly, blinking to rid herself of her mind's tricks. When she turned back to him, he had a slightly confused look on his face, which was back to normal. Smiling again, she walked through the door into the apartment complex. Royal blue plush carpets greeted her feet, cushioning the sound of her and Atasuke's footsteps. He passed her, leading the way to an elevator. The building was a lot like her own, the design anyways. She probably could have found her way around. Her building had deep magenta carpeting and crème-colored walls, whereas the carpeting was blue and walls were a brilliant white shade, here. Atasuke tapped her lightly on her shoulder, drawing her attention back to him.

"Are you okay?" he asked, eyes darting to her cheek and back to her eyes.

Kagome felt devastated, slightly angry, and confused, none of which were mentioned in her answer. "Sure," she said, "I'm fine."

"You know," he started carefully, entering the elevator, "He shouldn't hit you."

"Don't worry about it," she said wryly, feeling her temper rise a little.

"As you wish," he replied obediently, smiling.

As you wish. The words played in her mind as the elevator lifted up. An image of Sesshoumaru flashed across her mind. He had said that once… She felt a tug on her wrist and blinked, looking into the face of Atasuke.

"Are you sure you're okay?" he asked, gentle concern radiating from the golden orbs that were his eyes. "You seem kind of out of it."

"Yeah, fine," she said quickly, flashing a small smile at him. "Let's go."

"Yeah, sure," he said, brightening and pulling her out of the elevator.

Kagome followed him halfheartedly, her mind never straying from Sesshoumaru. Quickly, Atasuke unlocked the door to his apartment, holding the door open for her. "You comin'?" he asked.

"Mmm! Sure!" she said, laughing nervously and striding in.

Strange girl. Atasuke walked in after her and shut the door behind him. "What do you want to do?" he asked, throwing the keys in a bowl by the door.

"Nice place," she answered absently, looking around at the walls, decorated by a couple paintings. "Did you paint these?" she asked, turning to him.

"Umm," he said, placing a hand behind his head, "yeah, aren't very good, are they?"

"No!" Kagome assured hurriedly, "They're very good!"

She walked over to one of the said paintings. It depicted the beach, waves splashing against the sandy shore. A mountain stood proud in the background, shrouded by mists, as the setting sun's orange light reflected off the shimmering water. "It's beautiful," she complimented, running her fingers over the uneven surface. It really was beautiful. Such a peaceful scene. The words seemed to ring in her head. Peaceful…like Sesshoumaru. Kagome could have sworn she was going insane. Everything she did and thought about had to do with Sesshoumaru. She had even hallucinated in front of the apartment building. Shaking her head, as if to rid herself of the haunting thoughts, she turned back to Atasuke. "How about lunch?" she suggested, smiling.

"Sounds great," he said, smiling back at her, "What do you want?"

"Anything," she said, looking back to the painting.

What do you want? Sesshoumaru's voice echoed through her mind. What do you want? She shook her head again, completely dispelling the voice she had found comforting for so many years. I hope he's okay. "Why don't I cook?" Kagome offered, attempting to take her mind away from the youkai.

"Are you sure?" he asked, eyebrow raised.

He looks so much like Inuyasha. "Yeah, sure. Or, are you implying that you don't want to eat what I cook?" she asked jokingly.

"No," he said quickly, "no, no, no. I'm fine with that. Whatever you want."

Don't think about Sesshou. Don't think about Sesshou. Don't think about Sesshou. Kagome faked a cheerful smile. "Good!"

Happy to finally have a distraction, she flew to the kitchen and looked around in his refrigerator. She had a wide selection to choose from. He must be a good cook. Finding the stove, she turned it on. Though unfamiliar with gas appliances, she quickly figured out how to use it. She turned the knob, hearing a few clicks before the burner went on, alighting with a bluish-purple flame. Her arms and hands moved absently, on their own, chopping, frying, and then serving the dish she was unaware that she cooked. It wasn't until she had actually sat down that she realized she had cooked up something Sesshoumaru taught her to make. Oh god…I don't know how much more of this I can take. Watching as Atasuke tasted it, she was surprised to see his elated expression.

"This is good!" he exclaimed, also taking a bit of his rice.

"Really?" she asked incredulously.

"Yeah!" he assured, taking another bite with his chopsticks.

"Good," she said quietly, "I'm glad."

She didn't really have the heart to eat. Suddenly, she had lost her appetite. "What do you want to do after this?" she asked, taking an absent bite of her rice.

"Ah phon't row," Atasuke said through a mouthful of food.

"What?" Kagome questioned, smiling at his Inuyasha-like antics.

Swallowing his food, he answered more clearly, "I don't know, what do you want to do?"

"I'm not sure," she said, "You're the host."

"But you're the guest," he replied.

"Hmm, I guess you're right," she said, looking up at the simple chandelier above their heads.

"So, where do you want to go?" he asked.

"What do you like to do?" she asked back.

"Anything you want," he said, smiling slyly.

"Hey, don't take advantage of me," she said sternly, eyes flashing.

Lately, her eyes had been a storm gray color. They had been clouded with grief and worry. The only thing in Atasuke's mind now was to get rid of the grief and replace it with happiness. He didn't feel whole when she was unhappy. Now, what he wanted to do was make her smile, for him. "I'm not," he said innocently.

"Sure you aren't," she said sarcastically, carelessly taking another bite of the steaming rice.

"Mmm, I'm not," he whined.

"Oh, don't cry, baby," she said teasingly, "Only little girls do that."

"Oh, is that how you wanna play it?" he asked, eyes glinting evilly.

"Maybe it is," she said monotonously, rising to the challenge.

"Fight with words, is it?" he taunted, smirking.

"Fighting," she said thoughtfully, "why don't we go down to the kendo club at the campus?"

"You practice kendo?" he asked incredulously.

You know kendo? The words came back like the sharp slap she had received. "Yes," she answered, trying to keep a straight face.

"Are you any good?" Atasuke questioned, placing his bowl in the sink.

The same words echoed through the confines of her mind. "That's what you'll find out," she said mysteriously.

Somehow, she had finished her bowl of rice without knowing it, so she, too, put her bowl in the sink. The two cleaned up the table and headed out the door. Before she knew it, they had arrived at the dojo and were both dressed and on the mat, ready to fight.

"Maybe I should go easy on you?" Atasuke said thoughtfully through his caged mask.

"No, don't," she said firmly, trying to push back the memory of the match with her boyfriend.

"Okay, as you wish," he said, placing his shinai across hers.

She shut out all hearing. Kagome didn't want to hear anything more about Sesshoumaru. However, her wish was not granted, as the whole atmosphere seemed serene and peaceful, much like Sesshoumaru's manner. Deciding to strike first, she pushed his bamboo sword sideways with her own and thrust forward, barely missing the side of his helmet. She could almost see the surprise on his face at her bold attack. Nonetheless, he seemed to recover quickly and strike back at her, swiping the shinai horizontally in the air to hit her side. Kagome laughed harshly.

"Okay, maybe you're better than I thought," she said, resuming their starting position.

"Much better than you think, obviously," he replied, also resuming his position.

This time, he struck first, raising the sword above his head and plunging it down towards her head. She blocked, holding her sword horizontally above her head, warding off the coming attack. Quickly, she slid her sword out from under his and stepped around, the bamboo hitting his side.

"Don't underestimate a girl," she said coolly, again resuming the starting position.

"Feh," he responded, crossing his shinai with hers.

Just that single word seemed to bring thousands of memories. She saw Sesshoumaru lift his chin haughtily. She saw Inuyasha close his eyes and snort with impatience. In her mind, she watched as Sesshoumaru turned his back on her impatiently, and then saw Inuyasha do the same. It was just too much. Kagome fell gracefully to the floor, dropping her shinai. Luckily, Atasuke caught her, throwing his shinai to the side.

"Kagome!" he called, ripping off his helmet and hers, too.

She fainted. Maybe I shouldn't have been so rough on her? Quickly, he picked her up and carried her over to the wall, where he set her down. No one was here, so no one could help. He didn't want to take her to the hospital; she had just fallen unconscious. Atasuke shook her gently.

"Kagome!" he called sharply.

No one answered him.

"Kagome!" he called again, slapping her lightly.

Kagome could hear someone shouting her name distantly. She didn't want to wake up. Feeling her shoulders being shaken, she frowned slightly. Then, something slapped her lightly.

"Kagome!" he yelled, slapping her a little sharply.

Now, something slapped her hard. Sesshoumaru? No, Sesshoumaru would never do that…well, he did, once. She forced her eyes open, staring into the face of Atasuke. "Hehehe," she laughed nervously, bringing her hand to rub her cheek, "Sorry about that…just kind of dozed off."

He glared accusingly at her. "Yeah, right. Let's go back to my place, okay?"

Now, it was early evening as they walked back towards Atasuke's apartment. Kagome felt dazed and lightheaded. Maybe it was just the air in the dojo? She thought, though knowing that that wasn't true. By the time they reached his apartment, dusk was setting in and the moon was rising high above the skyscrapers of Tokyo. Once they got in, Kagome walked absently to the window, admiring the moon and the few visible stars. Silently, she wished that Sess-chan would come and get her, but he didn't know where she was. Sighing, she set herself down on the couch, oblivious to the fact that Atasuke was watching her.

"Are you okay?" he asked for the millionth time, sitting down next to her.

"Yeah, fine," she answered sleepily.

"I don't believe you," he said flatly, "What's wrong?"

Sighing, she decided to tell him. Maybe it would help to tell someone. "I want to see Sesshoumaru." She said simply, putting her head on his shoulder. She knew he wouldn't mind. Right now, she was really tired.

"So, why don't you go back to him?" he asked carefully.

"I'm afraid he won't want to see me," she said sadly.

Thought it was totally throwing his goal to the side, he decided to comfort her. Come on. If you comfort her about him, it won't help your purposes, a small voice said in his head. I don't care. As long as she's happy…God, what am I thinking? "He'll want to see you," he finally said softly, taking in her sweet scent.

"What makes you so sure?" she asked, eyes drooping slightly.

"I know he does. No one would give up on you that easily," he assured, shifting a little in his seat.

"Are you suggesting from personal experience?" she asked humorously.

He didn't answer, just savoring the sound of her voice, the feel of her head on his shoulder, and how she smelled like heaven.

(A/N: Right…)

"Right," she said, slowly drifting off to sleep.

"Why have you been so out of it?" he finally asked, curious as to what attracted her to Sesshoumaru so much.

"I see him everywhere," she said vaguely.

"Everywhere?" he asked, confused.

"I guess I was hallucinating," she replied sleepily.

Soon, all Atasuke could hear was her steady breathing as she slept. He watched her peaceful face as moonlight reflected off of it, paling her skin somewhat. Draping his arm around her shoulder, he, too, fell asleep on the couch, next to Kagome.

* * *

Kagome sighed, realizing she had been just standing there for a while now. It's really too bad I had to leave the next night, before he woke up. Poor guy… She felt two arms wrap around her shoulders.

"You've been standing here for a long time," Sesshoumaru said softly, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, sure, fine," she assured, turning her head and kissing him lightly on the cheek. "I missed you," she said softly.

"Mmm, missed you, too," he mused.

"I know you did, but you didn't have to starve yourself," she scolded, placing a hand on his arm.

"I wasn't hungry," he reasoned, knocking his head against hers.

"Oh yeah?" she asked.

"Of course," he answered, reaching down from behind her to turn on the stove. "What do you want to eat?"

"Anything you want," she answered, ducking out from his arms and strolling into the dining room.

"That's something new," he commented, throwing some stuff from the refrigerator onto the counter.

"School starts tomorrow, you know," she called from the dining room.

"I know," he said monotonously. She had Atasuke's scent all over her.

"I figured you got that I went to Atasuke's?" she asked, appearing beside him.

"Obviously," he said in a matter-of-fact tone.

"You're not angry?" she asked incredulously, leaning against him.

"No," he said honestly, "Where else would you have gone?"

"Yeah, I guess you're right," she said, sauntering away to set the table.

Sesshoumaru really didn't feel angry, and he asked himself why. Atasuke had been the reason he had slapped Kagome in the first place. Now, why wasn't he angry? Maybe, it was because he knew Kagome would come back to him? Maybe that won't be so true in the future… He felt himself tense slightly when Kagome drew her arms around him from behind.

"Yes?" he asked, turning off the stove he hadn't done anything with.

"I'm so sorry," she said, rubbing her face in his back.

"For what?" he questioned.

"For Atasuke," she replied, "I don't know what came over me."

He softened a bit. "Don't blame yourself. It's not your fault. I…shouldn't…"

Kagome spun him around to face her. "You shouldn't' have starved yourself," she reprimanded, pulling him down.

"But I-" he was cut short when she placed her lips on his.

When the kiss ended, Kagome glared up at Sesshoumaru. "If you'd have starved yourself, I wouldn't have a so-called mate."

Sesshoumaru smiled at the stubborn girl. Yes, I think I can be happy with her for the rest of my life. The thought of her extremely short life once again tore through his thoughts. I can fix that. He smiled evilly at her. Kagome noticed and her glare disappeared, replaced by confusion.

"Uhhh, Sesshou?" she asked nervously, attempting to pull away from him.

His arms, however, were locked tightly around her waist. "Do you want to live longer, Kagome?" he asked softly.

"Does this mean you're going to kill me?" she asked, glaring up at him again.

"No," he said, chuckling softly, "Do you want to live as long as I will?"

"Maybe," she said, trying to comprehend what he could be up to.

"It might hurt a tiny bit," he said, moving one of his hands from her waist to her shoulder.

She was wearing an unbuttoned white shirt over a tank top. Sesshoumaru pulled the shirt off her shoulder slightly. Kagome eyed him warily, wondering what he was doing. There was no doubt in her mind that he wouldn't hurt her. "What are you doing, Sesshou?" she asked as he leaned down towards her almost bare shoulder.

"Giving you a longer life," he answered, kissing the spot where her shoulder and neck met.

She simply melted at his touch, relaxing and forgetting all her worries. Then, he bit her, his fangs sinking deep into her flesh. She held back her cry of pain. "Tell me, why are you doing this?" she said through deep breaths.

"A longer life," he said, releasing her.

Kagome looked down to her shoulder. Surprisingly, it didn't hurt at all. And, to add to that, no indication that she had been bitten was given. She felt power surge through her, like she could run a thousand miles. Realization flashed in her eyes. Her eyes widened considerably as she replaced her shirt back onto her shoulders. "You…didn't…did you?" she asked Sesshoumaru.

Amusement danced in his golden eyes. "Yes, I did."

Kagome looked down at her hands, seeing that her nails were replaced with sharp claws. Sniffing, she found she could smell a thousand different things she had never smelled before. Her eyesight was fifty times better, allowing her to see things close up as well as far away. When Sesshoumaru spoke to her, his voice was very loud and very clear. So, her hearing had improved as well. "I'm demon now?" she asked, looking up at him.

"Half demon," he replied. "I'm half demon, too, now."

Kagome's eyes widened more. "You mean to say you shortened your life to make mine longer?"

"Our lives are equally as long. Mine was longer in the first place," he said coolly. "Don't you like the arrangement?"

"Like it?" she asked, throwing her arms around him, "I love it!"

"I do, too," he said, wrapping his arms around her. Now, I can live with her…with no problems at all.

A/N: I really hope you liked the story. I'm really sorry *apologizes and bows* that the ending had to be so stupid. But...I tire easily of things so this story...well, I was running out of ideas. So, I just ended it. I hope no one is TOO disappointed. ^_^ Okay! Reviews are appreciated. Point out any flaws in my stories, please! I already know that Sesshoumaru was just too nice. So, anything other than that. Kay! Thanks for reading! Please read my other fics, too! ^_^