Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Celyia (cel@celyia.com)
Note: Not much happens in this chapter, but for future reference, Chap 8 is Fluuuuuuuffffy! Let me know what you think, eh? Hope you like!


By the bye, I'm gonna wait on responding to reviews until I get to campus. Doing it on this computer is annoying. :-) Sorry about that!

Chapter Seven

"Pleasure to meet you," the young man gushed. eager brown eyes looking up at him with the exuberance of an overly hyper puppy.

Sesshoumaru looked at the extended hand, his lip curling with distaste as this Hojou's smile seemed to falter for a moment before he allowed the uncallused hand to fall at his side.

"I am certain," he nodded curtly, his head throbbing from the headache he had been suffering from nearly the whole of the morning.

"Hojou-kun! Thank you so much for picking us up!" the very cause of his headache interrupted suddenly, the tone so perky and chipper that it took nearly all of the youkai's willpower not to demean himself by snapping at the girl.

But it sure as hell didn't keep him from cursing her in his thoughts.

Out of the corner of his eye, he watched as Higurashi placed her battered pack (that duct-taped mess was an eyesore that annoyed his sense of taste to no end) in the back of the new Honda vehicle. Smiling gamely, she hopped into the back seat.

"So! Where am I taking you?" Hojou asked, his head cocked curiously towards the youkai as he sat in the front passenger's seat.


Higurashi laughed gaily, her hands waving in the air between the two males as she chattered, her very voice making his head ache more.

"Oh, Maru-san has such a sense of humour!" the girl giggled, the sound strangely sweet although forced. "Could you take us home…?"

The boy seemed to jump at that, the perpetual smile on his lips frozen as he looked at the youkai carefully. Then suddenly, almost like an old wax candle kept too long in the summer sun, the smile drooped and quivered until the only reason it could conceivably continue to be called a smile was because there was no other word in the dictionary to describe the jumble of lines and chaos it had become.

"H-home?" Hojou stuttered, his fingers fiddling with the key in his ignition.

"Oh, not our home, Hojou-kun. The shrine. I meant the shrine."

Sesshoumaru took a certain pride in his inability to be surprised but the insinuation that Higurashi lived with this runt admittedly startled him.

Strange. He had thought the girl had better taste than that. But it made sense, Sesshoumaru decided as he watched the male driver. The pup was giving off every indication that he had very strong feelings for Higurashi.

No longer successful in subduing the frown that tugged at his lips, he turned back to glare at Higurashi. Her cheeks were flushed from embarrassment as she leaned back in the seat, those strange brown eyes of hers refusing to meet his as she fumbled with the latch on her pack.

"The shrine?" the boy laughed nervously as he started the engine. "Of course. The shrine. Heh…."

He stared straight ahead as they drove off into the morning sun, yet it seemed to be absolutely impossible not to dwell on the events of the morning.

Which one was she?

Logic dictated that the Higurashi must be Inuyasha's second female since he had been there himself when the first crumbled into a heap of bone and earth. Yet logic also insisted that the second female would be dead by this age. Humans were lucky even now to live even seventy years and the girl who sat behind him was not only merely human but young as well.

It made no sense. She couldn't be Inuyasha's wench. It was simply impossible.

But she had called him by name: it wasn't the fact she knew his real name, but the way her eyes looked as she stared up at him. The shock was too real, killing the idea that the girl was a spy from Haruma.

So, in the end, as incredible as it sounded, he knew what the truth was.

Somehow or another, Inuyasha's mate had found her way to this time.

He turned his head slightly, just enough to examine the woman out of the corner of his eye. Embarrassment seemed to exude from her, the very scent teasing his nose as she continued to shuffle around in the back seat.

A small smile haunted his lips as he heard Higurashi play idly with a zipper.

Since the incident of the morning, the woman had been unable to sit still. He supposed it could have been due to Haruma's extremely incompetent thugs, but deep inside he knew what caused the girl's discomfort.

Their kiss.

Had he fact that he had caught her attempting to watch him (Higurashi really needs to learn something about subtlety) several times already not proven the point, the fact that her scent had changed so drastically would have.

He frowned suddenly, a growl escaping from his throat as he remembered the moment. Even now, he could still smell her sweet fragrance that temporarily overpowered his better sense as he lay on top of her. His fingers itched to touch her again, even now, as his body relived the memory of the way the soft, black hair whispered against his hands. His blood rushing through his body as he remembered the way her heart, its determined pounding nearly frantic, had felt as it pulsed against his chest.

The smell of innocence he had so long just associated with her had faded with that one kiss, though. Musty arousal teased his senses, awakening his blood until all he felt was the exhilaration of lust.

It was such a shame that all this was over his brother's foolish wench.

The gods must be out to get him, Sesshoumaru decided suddenly as he glanced out at the scenery that flew by. Why else would he be feeling lust, of all things, for the damnable woman?

For even now, the desire to degrade himself by coupling with the creature made it difficult to sit still. He wanted her.


Obviously Sesshoumaru had spent way too much time around humans. If he was not careful, he'd end up like his brother.

God forbid.

"So… have you had them for long?"

He blinked, the abruptness of the question startling the youkai out of his reverie. Slowly, he turned his head to stare at the young man, uncertain if that rather inane question was directed at him.

"The …" the young man coughed, his free hand tapping at his cheek and forehead pointedly. "… those. Have you had them for very long?"

It took a great deal of willpower (for some reason, this morning just insisted on being one of the most trying in recent time), but Sesshoumaru barely kept his fingers from parroting Hojou's actions.

"He's referring to … to your tattoos, Maru-san," Kagome piped in, her voice obviously nervous. He tossed a look of disdain towards to girl, wishing that she would refrain from trying to "help" him.

Because it was evident to anyone who had any sense at all, the girl was lying through her teeth.

"I've never seen anything like those," Hojou continued innocently, blissfully unaware of the almost incredulous look the youkai gave him. "I mean, I've seen a few tattoos over the years… in my career, its hard not to when so many criminals wear them as if they are trophies… but nothing like yours."

And now the pup is insinuating I'm a criminal? Sesshoumaru smiled brutally, imagining the way Hojou's thin neck would have felt beneath his claws.

"Aren't they something?" Higurashi clapped her hands once, the sound drawing Sesshoumaru's thoughts away from the idea of how pleasant it would be to throttle the young man before the continual optimism caused the youkai's still pounding head to explode.

"Oh! Look!" Higurashi exclaimed, a finger pointing towards the road. "Traffic! How strange! Why so much traffic so early in the morning?"

"Kagome-chan," Hojou smiled patronizingly as he turned his attention back to the road, "it's seven in the morning. There is always traffic at this time."

Kagome? Why call her that when her name is Higurashi … unless…

"Higurashi-san," Sesshoumaru spoke up suddenly, his golden eyes focused on the young man to see how he responded to the name. But the idiot pup just continued driving, his eyes flitting over the traffic as he switched the left indicator on.

The girl looked expectantly at him, her eyes filled with curiousity as she waited politely for him to continue speaking. Her response to the name was instinctive, the kind of response you'd get only if you had been answering to a name for the whole of your life. If Higurashi had been an assumed name, she wouldn't have responded so…

Bloody hell.

He had forgotten about the rather presumptuous habit of humans to carry several names. For some reason, the beasts seemed to believe that possessing more than one name proved their own importance.

"Where is this shrine?" he demanded, frowning as he spoke the first question not about her he could think of.

"Oh, it's okay. I grew up there," Higurashi placated, her fingers now pressing repeatedly into the soft fabric of the seat.

She really needed to learn how to fidget in another fashion, Sesshoumaru decided as he stared pointedly at her fingers. After a moment, the girl seemed to get the idea and instead began to pull incessantly at a straggle of long, black hair.

"My family still lives there. It's actually quite a pretty place. Did I mention it's a shrine?"

The pounding in his head just seemed to strengthen as the woman chattered incessantly. It was almost as if ever word she uttered only added to his annoyance. As much as he hated to admit it, he knew the girl held some modicum of intelligence: so why the hell was she hiding it?

Refusing to dignify her inane comments with even a look, Sesshoumaru gazed back onto what was beginning to appear to be an endless road.

"Beautiful morning, isn't it?" Hojou spoke up suddenly, his hand tapping against the dashboard.

"No, it is not," Sesshoumaru growled, the pup's inability to allow a moment for silence seriously grating on his already sore nerves.

"Oh," Hojou breathed, his mouth rounded as he looked out at traffic. Anxiously, his hand traveled until it began tapping a short rhythm against the leather steering wheel.

"Well, I think it's a pretty morning," Higurashi piped in, her head peeking out from between the seats.

Finally, Sesshoumaru noticed with no small amount of relief, the girl stopped her silly fidgeting.

"Look at those clouds, all white and puffy like marshmallows. Reminds me of when we used to be kids, you know? Remember when we took that camping trip by that river a few years ago?"

"How could I forget?" Hojou grinned, perfect white teeth shining with such a bright cheer that Sesshoumaru was sorely tempted to knock them out. "You stole all my marshmallows."

So Higurashi and the pup had gone on a camping trip together. It shouldn't have surprised him, but the very thought of the girl and the pup spending time… in a secluded forest … alone had completely caught him off guard.

"Yeah," Hojou chuckled as he turned to speak with the youkai who was increasingly on the verge of losing his temper. "Kagome-chan, as good as she is in many things, seems to be absolutely incapable of keeping a marshmallow on a stick. So what does she do after she drops nearly a dozen of them into the fire? She takes mine!"

As if Higurashi was nothing but a mere thief.

Sesshoumaru stared at the young man, barely able to keep the growl from sounding in his throat.

"Perhaps you should have taught her how to perform the task properly," he murmured, enjoying the way Hojou's face fell at the comment.


"He did!" Higurashi protested. Perhaps he should call her Kagome instead? After all, if the pup was on familiar enough terms to call her that, then a youkai lord such as he should have even more right to address her as such. "It's not his fault that the stupid marshmallows couldn't stay on."

"I see only two reasons why you would have such difficulty, Kagome," Sesshoumaru continued, not quite certain what he enjoyed more: the way the name just rolled off his tongue or the surprise in her eyes as he said it. "Either he didn't teach you correctly or he made certain that you wouldn't succeed."

Startled by the silent reaction to his words, Sesshoumaru allowed his head to fall back as a soft chuckle escaped the confines of his throat.

It was ridiculous.

Simply ridiculous.

But at that moment, Sesshoumaru's amusement at the vivid scent that was emanating from the young man had taken control of his better sense. It was priceless, the youkai decided as stench of burning anger rose off Hojou.

So the puppy had teeth after all.

The arrogant smirk twisted Sesshoumaru's lips as he sat back in the soft, leather seat. Annoying Hojou, the youkai came to the conclusion as he enjoyed the scent of the young man's anger, had the potential to be every bit as entertaining as annoying Inuyasha had once been.