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Dog Tags

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Summary: On the worst day of his adult life, a WWII dog tag washed ashore. Now, being a Navy man himself, he feels like tracking this soldier down is the right thing to do. It's amazing how sometimes random twists of fate can help you heal in ways you didn't know were possible.


Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from the Inuyasha universe or any of the popular name brand apps, products, services, etc. The rest is mine.


Chapter 1

Inuyasha's calves burned as he ran along the shore, his feet sinking into the soft sand as the grains gave way to his weight. His lungs were screaming at him to stop as he panted, but he ignored the pain. He knew that it would be worth the adrenaline he'd feel in his veins when he was done. He pressed the skip button on his earbuds when a slow song came on. He should have made a workout playlist by now, but it wasn't a priority. One day he'd find the time. His girlfriend, Kikyo, had always teased him about it.

Given his near gymrat status, she thought it was stupid that he hadn't taken the hour out of his life to just throw together something on Spotify. He had always replied that he had other things he would rather do with that same hour.

Mostly her.

She would then giggle and tell him that she would make one for him, but then they would get distracted before she could start. Or rather...he would distract her.

He glanced down at his watch and felt a grin break out across his sweaty face. 9 am. That meant that it was 6 am in California. That meant that her flight from Milan should have landed about half an hour ago, and she would be waiting for her luggage. She worked in the fashion industry as a designer for Lephant - a company that had been almost nonexistent until a few years ago when she was hired. She had helped turn them around, and her clothes could be seen on anyone who was anyone on the red carpet now.

He had met her a few years ago when she came to Florida on vacation and he had taken some shore leave from the Navy. He and his buddies had gone to a local bar they had heard great things about, and she was trying to order an appletini. The bartender, for whatever reason, was ignoring her. Being the gallant gentleman he was, he waved the man down and ordered a drink for her and a beer for himself.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now they had been together for three years, all while she lived in California and he stayed in Florida. He was hoping to change all of that now, though...and, in fact, had some exciting news he wanted to share with her.

As if she could sense his thoughts, his song was interrupted by her ringtone, and he slowed down to a steady trot before popping out his earbuds and hitting the answer button on his cell. He had asked her to call him as soon as she got her luggage, and he had been anticipating her call all morning.

"Hey," he greeted breathlessly into his phone.

'Hey yourself,' she cooed back. 'I just got my suitcase and am waiting on my Lyft.'

"Good," he panted, slowing to a walk. "How was the flight?"

'Long. Boring. Not nearly as much fun without you there to keep me company,' she whispered huskily into the phone.

"My apologies," he smirked. "Next time I'll try to accompany you."

'Ah...if only,' she laughed lightly. 'I would appreciate some new in-flight entertainment.'

He let out a ragged breath at the thought of the kind of in-flight entertainment she had in mind.

'You're breathing rather hard...just what are you up to?' She teased at the sound.

"Not what I'd like to be," he replied huskily. "I just went for a run on the beach to pass the time until you landed."

'Mmm...I like it when you get all hot and sweaty,' she purred. 'What are you wearing?'

"You first," he teased. This was always a dangerous game.

'Do you want the truth or should I make something up?'

"The truth - you'd be beautiful and sexy as hell in a potato sack."

'Design inspiration from the most unlikely of places,' she laughed. 'In that case, that Navy shirt you left that one time at my place, a pair of black leggings, and some sandals.'

He audibly groaned at the thought of her in his shirt again, and couldn't help but imagine taking her out of it. She laughed lightly at the sound before she started talking to someone else - presumably her Lyft driver, since she was thanking someone for taking her luggage.

He heard a car door open and close before she finally said, 'Alright. Your turn.'

He smirked and pressed a button on his phone to pull up his home screen, and swiped until he found Snapchat. He flipped the camera around and held the phone away from his body while sucking in his gut, or lack of one, to accentuate his already defined abs further. He hooked his thumb into the waistband of his shorts and underwear, and pulled them down ever so slightly so that the carved lines of muscle creating the V at his hips became more visible. He snapped the photo and sent it to his girlfriend and waited for her response.

'Snapchat notification from Inuyasha? I wonder what it could be?' she teased, and he heard her breath catch when she clicked to open the picture. He quickly received a notification telling him that she had taken a screenshot of the photo, and he immediately called her on it.

'Of course,' she replied. 'I needed to save it for tonight when I'm all alone in my big ol' apartment and you're on the other side of the country.'

"I won't be on the other side for much longer, you know," he said, breaking out into a giant grin.

'Oh? Do you have more shore leave? Can you come out to my coast?'

"Better," he replied, his grin somehow widening even further. "I put in for a transfer a while back to California. I got word that they want me in Ventura County Point! I'm already packed, and I'll be there this week. We'll be two hours away from each other. Two hours!"

'Oh...wow! That's...that's great, Inuyasha.'

His grin started to slip at the tone of her voice.

"It is, isn't it?"

'Yeah - you've been saying for years that you are ready for a change. This will be good for you.'

Good for you. You.

"And it will be even better for us," he replied, nervousness settling into the pit of his stomach.

'Inuyasha, what we have is fun...but you shouldn't be moving here for me.'

"Wait...fun? What the hell does that mean?" he demanded.

'It means that this was never anything serious...you know that. We've just been fooling around and it's bee—'

"—Fooling around? Are you fucking kidding me right now, Kikyo?! We've been dating for three years! You met my parents!"

'Inuyasha, I thought you knew that this wasn't serious...I didn't know you thought that meeting them was a big deal.'

"Fuck, Kikyo! Of course meeting my parents is a big deal! So is coming to fucking Christmas and Thanksgiving! What the hell is going on here?! We've been exclusive for three goddamn years!"

'Inuyasha...I think you're the only one who has been exclusive in this relationship. I made it clear the night we met that I didn't want anything serious. I was just looking for some fun, and you were a fantastic lay, so I—'

"—You've been cheating on me this whole time?" He whispered.

'Technically, it's not cheating if we're not exclusive…'

Inuyasha pulled the phone away from his ear and looked down at it in dismay. He couldn't believe this was happening right now. Everything he had done over the last three years had been for them, and now it turns out that there never was a them.

'...so if you move here, I think that's great...but it won't change anything for me.'

"Kikyo," he calmly replied. "Do me a favor? Lose my number."

He pulled the phone away from his head and pressed the red button with the phone symbol on it, ending their phone call. He looked down at his cell, trying to process how the hell his whole damn life had just been turned upside down. He had been wanting to tell her this for weeks, but she had been so busy preparing for her trip to Milan, and then she was in Milan and could hardly be reached…

If he had known that this was just some casual fling for her, he would have ended this years ago.

"Fuck…" he whispered, looking down at the black screen on his phone. This wasn't real...was it?

It was though.

"Fuck!" He yelled this time, taking his phone and chucking it as far down the beach as he could, his chest rising and falling in anger. He ran his fingers through his cropped silver hair as he leaned back to look up at the perfectly blue Florida sky above.

How the hell did this happen?

He sighed and trudged down the beach to pick up his phone and dusted the sand off of it. The screen lit up with Kikyo's name and a photo of the two of them wrapped in an embrace as she called him. He pressed the button on the side to decline the call. He didn't want to talk to her. There was nothing left to say.

She didn't want him, and when he was willing to move heaven and earth to be with her, she didn't give a shit.

As far as he was concerned, she was dead to him.

A text lit up his screen.

'I'm sorry, baby.'

Yeah. So was he.

Fuck.

He walked over to the surf and sat down, removing his socks and shoes. He threw them higher up the beach so they wouldn't get wet and allowed the tide to wash over his feet in its ebb and flow.

Bending his knees, he crossed his arms and rested them and his head against their tops. He felt the water rush over his toes and feet before pulling away. He closed his eyes and sighed.

"Fuck."

Everything was packed. The movers were coming tomorrow. He'd be in Ventura County Point by Friday. Starting his new post Monday. And to think...he used to be looking forward to this. If he weren't so fucking crushed, he'd laugh.

He wasn't going to back out now. He didn't think he could, even if he wanted to.

If...yeah. Right. Without Kikyo, he didn't see the point in the move. His friends and family were here. He had made a name for himself here. He had only wanted to move to California to be closer to her. He wanted to be in the same state before he finally proposed...and he had been thinking about it for the last year. That's why he put in for the transfer. She couldn't move here because her career was there. He got it...but at least the Navy had bases there, so he was willing to be the one to make the leap.

He was willing to try for something that apparently wasn't even real to begin with.

"Fuuuuck," he groaned, lifting his head and watching the ebb and flow of the tide.

Maybe this was for the best.

Maybe this move would help get his head on straight and help him work past the break up.

He curled his toes, scrunching the sand between them.

He had really thought that she was in this for the long haul, like he was. They shared things together. Emotionally as well as physically. He had told her things he had never told anyone else. He had really given her a part of himself he never thought he would give to anyone.

He wished he could have seen this coming. He really did...but the signs weren't even there. She always had time for him. Never hid him away. They had weekly Skype dinner dates for fuck's sake!

Then again, did you really need to hide someone away when they were on the other side of the goddamn country?

He flopped down onto the sand and closed his eyes, throwing an arm over them to stop the sun from turning the inside of his eyelids red.

He didn't know how long he had stayed like that until his phone started ringing.

He picked it up and glanced at the screen to confirm two things. The first was that he really had scuffed up the screen when he threw his cell. The second was that his mother was on the other side of that phone call.

Unfortunately, the answer was yes to both.

He sighed but swiped his thumb across the screen, accepting her call.

"Hey, Mom..."

'Hi, honey! Your father and I just noticed the time and realized that Kikyo had to have landed by now! We just wanted to know how it went? How was Kikyo's trip?'

"I don't know how her trip was. We never made it that far...but I'm sure it was wonderful," he scoffed. "We broke up, Mom."

'What? Oh, honey...I'm so sorry...what happened?'

"We were just...on two different pages," he sighed. He didn't want to relive the gory details with her right now. He wasn't in the mood for it. "I thought this was something more than she did."

'Oh, sweetheart…'

"I'll be ok, Mom," he smiled weakly. "I think this move might be good for me."

'You're still going?' he could practically see her wrinkling her brow on the other side of the phone.

"Yeah," he sighed again, pinching his eyes shut and rubbing them with his thumb and middle finger. "I am. It's too late to back out now, and I think a change of scenery could be good."

'Inuyasha, are you sure?'

"Yeah, Mom...I am," he replied, opening his eyes again and staring out at the surf. He watched as it carried something shiny onto the shore a few feet away from him. Fucking litterers. Because the ocean didn't have enough problems as it was? He leaned forward and scooped it up so he could throw it out when he hung up with his mom.

'Well...you know your father and I will support you in whatever you decide to do with yourself.'

"I know. Thanks, Mom," he replied, furrowing his brow at the metal he had assumed was trash. It was an oblong circle and almost looked like an old, worn down coin...only it wasn't. Coins didn't have names, next of kin, and service numbers on them.

Holy shit.

"Listen, Mom...I'm not really in the mood to talk right now. Can I call you back?"

'Of course, honey...we're here if you need us. You know that, right?'

"Yeah...I know, Mom. I'm gonna run now - love you."

He pulled the phone away from his ear and hung up before he could hear her reply and stared down at the metal chip between his fingers.

This was a dog tag.

A really fucking old dog tag.

"Shit…"

Mushin igur shi
92463856 T 2 43
Kaede H ra i
76 3 Bri ton A
L An les, CA 9 47

California. Of course it had to be California.

He exhaled in a deep sigh.

He hadn't been wanting a pet project, but it looked like he had one now.

This day was turning out to be fan-fucking-tastic.


A/N:

This story is dedicated to my wonderful beta, Saucy Librarian.

I hope you liked the first chapter! Next one is going up Tuesday. If you liked it, send a review my way! It makes me feel special, and when I feel special, I write faster. I will also respond to all reviews, even if it's just to say thank you for leaving one.

Until Tuesday!

Lemon Lush

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

The drive cross-country to get to Ventura County Point was brutal, but he had somehow done it. Between podcasts and Spotify, he had managed to stay focused on the road ahead instead of letting his mind wander to less desirable topics. The move itself had, fortunately, been less painful. The movers had been blessedly quick and efficient, and unpacking had been annoying...but he found that his Irish coffees had helped get the job done in record time.

With the last of the moving boxes torn down, he was finally free to hit up a liquor store to replenish his supply and start mourning the end of his three year "relationship". He had found one within easy walking distance and was strolling through the aisles before lunch. He stood in the tequila section weighing his options when he felt a pair of eyes on him. He glanced up at the woman on the other side of the store browsing beer, and she immediately looked away.

He couldn't help but feel a little offended at first - she had clearly been staring at him, after all. But that quickly gave way when she almost shyly glanced back up at him and a blush broke out across her cheeks. She looked away again when she saw him looking back at her, and she raised an arm to move a strand of hair out of her face in an attempt to ignore him. She pushed it behind her ear, and the movement brought his attention to the cast she wore on her left arm.

He watched as she self consciously opened the refrigerated case she was standing in front of and pulled out a six pack of Sam Adams beer. He could feel the corners of his mouth turning up into a small smile at her selection.

She was clearly a woman of taste.

None of that White Claw bullshit, or anything "lite".

She went for a real beer, and he could appreciate that.

He quickly grabbed the largest bottle of the Camarena tequila he had been eyeing, and strode over to her.

"If you like Sam Adams, you might also like Stella," he said, startling her. She whirled around and placed her hand on the arm with the cast over her heart.

"Thanks," she smiled weakly. "That's more of a back up for me if they're out."

She was cute. Not model sexy like Kikyo, but she was very attractive and charming and had a certain sparkle in her blue eyes that he could appreciate now that he was standing in front of her. She had her long black hair pulled up into a high ponytail away from her neck, and wore a simple pair of jean shorts and a white v-neck t-shirt. He liked that she wasn't wearing any makeup, too - or, at least, not a lot of it. Kikyo always wore a full face, even to the liquor store.

He mentally shook his head at the comparisons he was making. That wasn't fair of him. He didn't even know this woman's name, and he shouldn't really be talking to her. He wasn't in a place yet to start thinking about anything, and he wasn't about to turn this stranger into a rebound girl.

Even if she did have his taste in beer. And filled out her jeans in a way he could appreciate.

Still, it didn't hurt to pay a compliment when a compliment was due.

"You have good taste," he smiled, and the blush across her cheeks intensified.

"Thanks...so do you," she replied, glancing down at his tequila. "Getting ready for a party?"

"Ah...no...not really," he replied sheepishly, suddenly wondering if he really should have gone with the largest bottle they had. "Bad break up."

"Say no more - we've all been there before," she smiled softly.

"Yeah…" he agreed as he began to question why the hell he had even come over here in the first place.

"Well...I'm late meeting my brother for our movie marathon...but maybe I'll see you around? If you survive all of that, that is," she joked lightly.

"Yeah...that'd be nice. I don't really know anyone here yet. Kinda new to the area," he shrugged, scratching the back of his neck. Why did he say that? Some random woman he'd probably never see again didn't need to know his whole life's story, and she was clearly trying to leave. It just...it felt kind of nice to be seen as desirable after Kikyo...and the way she kept looking him over and blushing told him she found him very desirable.

"Well, I come here once a week to stock up on beer before I meet up with my brother, so maybe we will run into each other again. I'm Kagome," she told him, sticking out the arm with the cast on it.

"Inuyasha," he replied, gently shaking her hand. "Do you need help with that?" he asked then, glancing from her cast to the beer, and she blushed again.

"No...I'm fine. It was a stupid accident. I'm a bit of a klutz…" she chuckled, shaking her head.

"Ah...well...if you're fine, I'm going to go back to planning my pity party for one."

She chuckled at that and waved goodbye to him before walking to the front of the store and chatting with the cashier as she paid for her beer. She wasn't kidding - she was a regular here.

Maybe he should go for the smaller bottle.

It would be nice to run into her again.


The next three weeks were remarkably ordinary. He slowly felt himself settling into life on the base and learning who was who and where things were, but his heart wasn't really into any of it.

He had gone back to that liquor store the week after he had met Kagome on the off chance he would run into her again, but either his timing was off, or she wasn't stopping by that day. Either way, it didn't matter because he hadn't seen her.

He could hear his neighbor through the walls of his apartment and rolled his eyes. He had some company over for the night, and whatever it was he was doing, the general consensus from her was that he shouldn't stop.

He picked up the remote for the TV and tapped the "on" button, cranking the volume up to help drown them out. He really didn't need to know where "right there" was, after all. He wasn't into the rerun that was on and started flipping through the channels until the remote died on C-Span.

"Fuck me," he groaned in annoyance.

"Yes! Fuck me!" He heard from the other side of the wall and he couldn't help but laugh. His hand twitched to pick up his phone and text Kikyo about it, and his grin instantly soured.

He couldn't do that anymore.

He fished the phone out of his pocket and proceeded to delete her contact information from it.

Fuck her.

She didn't deserve to be in his phone anymore.

Pleased with this smallest of victories, he grabbed the remote again and headed to the kitchen, opening the drawer of random shit that didn't have a home. Pens and pencils. Coupons that should have been thrown out to Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Batteries. The dog tag he had completely forgotten about.

He quickly changed the batteries in the remote and shut off the TV. It was clear it wasn't going to help, and it sounded like they had just reached the finale anyways. He just hoped there wouldn't be an encore performance.

Dropping the remote onto the counter, he picked up the dog tag and rubbed his thumb across the letters embossed into the nickel. It would be so easy to just forget about it or pawn it off onto someone else at the base...but he knew he had to look up the family it belonged to.

It just felt like the right thing to do.

Besides, technology today should make it easier than it would have been thirty years ago.

He sighed and reached into his fridge, grabbing a beer he had picked up this past Sunday when he casually stopped by the liquor store to see if Kagome was there. He had gone straight for the Sam Adams, but again...bad timing or it didn't matter. At least he got this out of it, though.

He opened it and grabbed the tag, heading to his laptop and throwing the lid open. He groaned as the encore he had been hoping to avoid started next door and he popped in his earbuds.

It was going to be a long night.


Kagome held back a sigh as she scanned the barcode on the book presented to her by her favorite library patron, Sarah. A quirky, blond eight year old with a voracious appetite to read, Sarah reminded Kagome of herself as a child. She saw her and her mother at least once a week when they checked out the maximum number of books they were allowed.

Normally, she would have loved seeing Sarah...but today...she was just in a poor mood today.

She had gone back to visit her brother at his base two hours away last weekend, and the weekend before, and the one before that one, and stopped off at her favorite liquor store along the way every time. She didn't know why, but she had convinced herself that she was going to see that cute guy there again.

Cute was probably the wrong word.

Sexy?

Mmm...that felt closer...

God-like?

Too far.

Panty wetter?

Definitely accurate, but also far too crude.

Fine as fuck and would climb him like a tree hawt?

Also accurate, but too much of a mouthful.

God, she would have loved a mouthful of him.

She needed to get her head out of the gutter.

The point is, she had gone back and he wasn't there. She had been too chicken shit to give him her number, and now she was never going to see him again. She had been a complete and total idiot when the hottest guy she had ever met had actually come over to talk to her...

What was wrong with her?

It was clear he wanted to...to...well...ok...fine. So she didn't know exactly why it was that he came over to talk to her...but he had said he was new in town! Obviously that meant he was at least looking for a friend, and he had actually deemed her worthy to be one. And she would have loved to have been his friend. Or buddy. Or fuck buddy.

She could have had all of that sexyness on speed dial.

Ugh.

She needed to focus on her summer job right now and smile at Sarah and not think about the way his ass had looked in those jeans.

And what it would probably look like out of them.

And what they would look like on her bedroom floor.

With him in her bed.

Completely naked.

It had been seven months since she had last gotten laid, and it was starting to show. She wasn't kidding when she said she understood bad break ups...

So yes.

She was in a bad mood. And had been all week. Because she was too chicken shit to get the super hot guy's number three weeks ago and she was way too hung up over a guy she had literally met for five minutes.

Inuyasha.

She did wish she had also gotten a last name. Then maybe she could have stalked him on social media…

It didn't matter, though. She kept telling herself that if something was going to happen, it would happen. It's not like she wasn't going to go back to that liquor store ever again. And bad breakups normally meant you went through lots of alcohol...so who knows?

Besides. With a body like his, he was either a cross fit freak (unlikely, since he was in a liquor store), or he was in the Navy, like her brother.

Maybe there was still a chance?

"Bye, Kagome! See you next week!" Sarah chirped as she picked up her stack of books with both hands and placed them into the fabric bag her mom held open. She recognized that bag - they had decorated them earlier that summer in one of their programs. The local kids had absolutely loved it, and she remembered Sarah running up to her with her finished bag and proudly showing it to her.

Kagome sighed and rubbed her temples. That's what she needed to be focusing on. Not some mystery man.

Being a librarian.

Mind you, she would have been willing to focus on licking every square inch of mystery man's body…

"Kagome, are you ok?" She heard her manager ask, and she instantly stiffened. That was never good. If her manager, Miss Oblivious To Everything noticed that her head was in la la land daydreaming about Mr. Hot As Hell Inuyasha, then she was really letting him get to her.

"Yeah! Sorry...I guess I'm just feeling the pain killers today," she chuckled nervously, rubbing the shoulder of her injured arm with her uninjured one.

"Oh...honey, I'm sorry. Is it really bothering you? Do you want to take off early?" her middle aged manager asked. She looked every inch the stereotypical librarian. Salt and peppered hair pulled back into a tight and crisp bun, glasses that hung around her neck off of a beaded chain, and long shapeless dresses that she topped off with a white cardigan.

"No, I'll be alright. I only have another hour until my shift is over," she tried to smile brightly. Really, she did want to go home so she could wallow in a little bit of self pity and fantasize about if Inuyasha was a boxers or briefs kind of guy. Or neither.

She really did need to stop. This was starting to border on creepy.

Maybe she needed to redownload Tinder.

It couldn't hurt, right?

"If you're sure…"

"I'll be fine, I promise!" She smiled, trying to get her manager off her back and refocused onto almost anything other than her, and it worked.

Kagome refocused her attention back onto her job, and the last hour of her shift thankfully passed rather quickly once she was no longer thinking about him.

She clocked out and grabbed her purse from the back and was about to walk home when she spotted her grandmother's car across the street. She was surprised - she hadn't been expecting her grandmother to pick her up from work.

She quickly glanced both ways before running across the street and opening the passenger side door. She leaned over to give her grandma a kiss on her cheek and buckled in.

"I wasn't expecting you," she greeted as her grandma shifted the car gear into drive.

"Oh, I know. The most wonderful thing happened today, though, and we have a guest coming over tomorrow! I wanted to go to the store with you so we could pick up groceries for a special dinner. I already invited Miroku to come back from the base for it, and he thinks he can get the time away since it's Sunday!"

Her spritely grandma was practically oozing with her giddiness, and she couldn't help but be caught up in it. She also wouldn't mind the reprieve from driving two hours to go and see her brother, for once. It also probably couldn't hurt to not stop by that liquor store again this weekend.

She knew she was being...extra, and it couldn't lead to anything good. Maybe it was time to stop hoping she'd run into him again and just move on to Tinder.


Inuyasha patted his cheeks down with shaving cream and picked up his razor, bringing it to his neck. He slowly moved it upwards towards his chin and rinsed the blade in the water flowing out of the faucet. He repeated the action again and again until his face was completely clean shaven, and then splashed some water onto his face before patting it dry with a towel. He had spent the last week searching databases and records for the owner, or at least next of kin, on the dog tag. He had tracked a Mushin Higurashi all the way to his home in 1985, but then he up and sold it. He had the damndest time picking the trail back up until he had casually mentioned his mission in the mess hall. The guy he had been eating lunch with told him about another site that would help him finish his mission to find the man's current residence, assuming he was still alive.

During his research, Inuyasha had discovered that Mushin had fought in WWII, and the men who were still alive in 2019...well...there weren't many of them, that was for certain.

Still, he hadn't given up hope, and in the end it had paid off.

He was able to reach Mushin's wife, Kaede, the day before, and she had eagerly made plans for him to come and surprise her husband with the tag.

What surprised him was that he was actually looking forward to returning the tag to Mushin. He had been in the Navy, just like he was, during one of the darkest times in human history. If he wasn't opposed to it, he would love to hear about the man's experiences and his opinions on today's political climate.

Inuyasha pulled the towel hanging around his waist off and hung it to dry before dressing in a pair of grey slacks and a white button down shirt.

It was hot for California, but he wanted to be respectable when he met the man and returned this lost treasure.

Locking up his apartment, he heard his neighbor entertaining another young lady (or was it the same one?) and he couldn't help but roll his eyes. They finally concluded as he was about to make his way towards the elevator, but he changed his mind at the last second and pounded on the man's door instead.

He heard him call to the woman with a 'hold on baby, I'll be right back' before the door opened and he stood before Inuyasha as bare as the day he was born.

Inuyasha's eyes widened before he immediately averted them, staring over the man's head.

"Can I help you?" he asked, raising a brow.

Inuyasha held his breath and held out his hand as a gesture of good will.

"Inuyasha. I'm your new neighbor."

"Oh, so you're the asshole who was hogging the elevator a few weeks back!" he laughed, grabbing his hand and giving it a firm shake. "I'm Miroku. Sorry I didn't notice you moved in next to me...Would have brought you a few beers if I had."

"Nah. It's not a problem. You've been...preoccupied…" he replied, he eyes drifting past him to the woman behind who was clasping the back of her bra. "Listen...I hate to be a pain...but do you think you could keep it down a bit? I'm all for a man's right to enjoy life, but I'm also all for a man getting enough sleep at night."

"Ah...yeah. I get where you're coming from. I'll talk to her. Everyone here already knows I'm a fucking king in the bedroom - we don't need to announce it to all the newbies and scare them off," he winked.

"Much appreciated," he sighed, and turned to leave.

"Hey, where are you headed dressed like that? Special date?"

"You could say that," he shrugged, patting his pocket to feel the small box he had put the dog tag into. "See ya 'round, Miroku!" He waved and walked down the hall to the elevator. He quickly pulled up the address he had saved on his phone and plugged it into his car before heading out.

He was excited to meet this Mushin and his family.


"Would you look at my two girls puttering around in the kitchen! What you're whipping up smells great," Mushin smiled, coming to give his wife a loving kiss on the cheek before turning to plant one on Kagome as well. "Is there a special occasion for all of this?" he asked, eyeing the roast that Kagome turned to put into the oven.

"Dinner with my favorite grandparents should be reason enough," Kagome laughed, setting a timer as her grandmother patted her grandfather on the cheek.

"Why don't you go sit down in the family room and read the paper, hmm? Leave all the dinner work to us hens," his wife teased, and Mushin threw his hands up into the air.

"A man can take a hint! There are too many cooks in the kitchen!"

"I'll come and bring you some tea in a bit, ok Grandpa?"

"Three packets of sugar, please!"

"I don't think so," Kaede scolded. "He'll have one."

Kagome stifled a giggle and went to kiss her grandfather on the cheek.

"I'll give you three," she whispered into his ear.

"I always knew you were my favorite grandchild! Just don't tell that to your brother or your cousins."

Kagome laughed and Kaede turned to give her husband and granddaughter a suspicious look.

"What are you two plotting?"

"Just your birthday present, my dear!" Mushin replied dismissively, turning to shuffle into the living room.

Kagome started humming as she moved past her grandmother to start chopping more green beans, and ignored the still suspicious look she was giving her.

"You know, the nice young man will be here soon. Why don't you go freshen up before he arrives?"

Kagome looked down at her simple skirt and shirt and shrugged. She didn't see the point. She was excited to meet the guy her grandmother kept talking about, but he wasn't here for her. He was here for her grandfather. She'd rather spend more time helping her.

Besides, she didn't feel all that attractive at the moment with the monstrous cast on her arm. Putting on a different skirt or fixing her hair and doing her makeup wasn't going to change that.

"I'd rather help you," she simply replied, adding the green beans to the pot her grandmother was stirring before moving to start the tea for her grandfather.

"You know, I was making these recipes long before you were born. It couldn't hurt to put on a fresh face for our company. He's a Navy man too, you know."

She did know. It had come up before. Several times, actually. Being a Navy man didn't mean that he was her age, though. Or that she was interested. Or even wanting anything serious.

She was only here visiting her brother and grandparents for the summer before returning to Kent State in Ohio to finish her Master's Degree. Her grandparents were aging and she wanted to spend as much time with them as she could, and the fact that her brother was only two hours away was a nice perk.

She had also managed to get a summer job at the local library because her manager back home had connections.

It was the perfect summer. Sun, surf, family, and books. Or it would have been until she broke her arm…

Regardless, if she started something here...it would have to be for fun. It could only be for fun, since she would just be leaving again in two months.

"I know, Grandma," she sighed, setting the tea kettle onto the stove and fishing out a mug and tea bag. "I'm leaving in two months, though," she reminded her.

"And there's nothing wrong with a little summer romance," Kaede teased.

"Grandma! So saucy!" Kagome gasped in faux dismay.

"Oh hush. I was young once! I had a few summer romances of my own, thank you."

"Does Grandpa know?"

The tea kettle started whistling and Kagome removed it from the stove as Kaede swatted at her, chucking all the while. Kagome poured the boiling liquid into Mushin's favorite mug and placed the tea bag inside before sneaking three bags of sugar into it.

She took the cup out to her grandfather and found him reading an editorial in the paper.

"One tea with three sugars," Kagome announced, placing the cup on the coffee table in front of Mushin.

"Thank you, Kagome," he smiled, looking up at her and folding the paper in half. "Now, are you going to tell me what you and your grandmother are plotting?"

"And ruin the surprise?" She teased. "Go back to your paper!"

"Bah!" He replied, shaking his head as the doorbell rang.

"I'll get it," she called. "I think Miroku got here early!"

"Thank you, dear!" her grandmother called from the kitchen as Kagome made her way to the front door.

She opened it, and her stomach dropped.

Suddenly, she wished she had listened to her grandmother and took the time to freshen up.

"Inuyasha?"

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

Inuyasha double checked the address one more time before getting out of his car and walking up the small concrete path to the front door. 528 Lynett. This was the right address, alright. He pressed the doorbell on the side of the door and waited, hearing the chime on the other side.

He heard a muffled voice before the door opened and his jaw dropped ever so slightly.

"Inuyasha?"

"Kagome?" He replied, furrowing his brow. It was 528 Lynett, wasn't it?

He backed away from the door to look at the numbers on the side of the house again.

No...he was in the right place. Was she?

"What are you doing here?" She asked nervously, the fingers on the arm with the cast coming to play with the hem of her shirt.

"I...I'm looking for a Kaede or Mushin Higurashi?" He explained, pulling his phone out of his pocket. Maybe he hadn't heard Kaede right…

"They're my grandparents," she smiled weakly. "My last name is Higurashi," she offered nervously, as if that would explain everything. "Are you...did you find my grandpa's dog tag?"

"Yeah," he breathed. "I guess it's a small world, huh?"

"You can say that again," she laughed airily. "How have you been?" she asked, and he felt her eyes slowly rake over his body, like she was taking him in. He was suddenly very glad he had put in the effort to shave and wear a button down with slacks.

"Alright. I've been getting used to life on the base. You know," he started, rubbing the back of his neck. "I—"

"—Kagome dear, you're letting all the cold air out," her grandmother interrupted, stopping him from telling her that he had been a fool and had gone back to that same liquor shop every Sunday since they had met.

It was probably for the best.

She probably wouldn't have taken it well.

Kaede appeared at the door behind Kagome and suddenly he found himself enveloped in a warm and welcoming hug, much stronger than he would have imagined she would be capable of.

He felt himself being pulled forward by the tiny woman, and heard the door closing behind him.

"I've been looking forward to meeting you since you called yesterday. Now, Mushin doesn't know you have it. I thought we would surprise him, so he doesn't even know you're coming!"

He raised his brow at that. He had thought she was joking on the phone yesterday, but apparently he had been mistaken. Surprising a ninety six year old man somehow didn't feel like the wisest decision.

"Right this way," Kaede guided him down the hall before calling out, "Mushin! We have a visitor!"

"Ah!" He heard the man reply as he was led into the room. "I knew all of this cooking wasn't just for me! Hello, young man," he greeted. "I'm Mushin Higurashi!"

"Inuyasha Takahashi," He replied warmly. "It's an honor to meet you, Sir."

"I would say so!" He teased, his eyes twinkling in merriment. "Now, what brings you here, my boy? It wouldn't happen to be my granddaughter, would it?" He asked, noticing the way Kagome's face had been stained red since the young man had arrived.

"Actually, it's you, Sir," he replied, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the small white box he had wrapped the day before.

"Oh? A gift? And it's not even Christmas! I wonder what I did to deserve this?" Mushin asked, taking the small box from Inuyasha and gingerly unwrapping it. Kagome rushed forward to take the discarded wrapping paper from her grandfather and gave Inuyasha a warm smile.

That he had gone through the effort to not only find her grandfather, but had also taken the time to wrap the dog tag and carefully put it into a box? She didn't understand what had happened in his last relationship, but his ex girlfriend clearly didn't deserve him.

Wait...was he even straight? With DADT repealed, he could be gay...Oh God, she hoped he wasn't gay…

What kind of straight man in the Navy took the effort to wrap up a present for a stranger, though?

"Oh my…" her grandfather whispered, stopping Kagome from continuing with that train of thought. His fingers danced over the metal disc inside the box and his eyes took on a faraway look. "I haven't seen this in years...Where did you find this?"

"Key West," Inuyasha replied. "I was stationed there until a few weeks back. I found it before I moved. It just washed ashore and I thought it was trash, at first."

"Inuyasha spent quite some time tracking us down," Kaede beamed, taking his arm and leading him to a couch across from Mushin's chair. The older man sat back in his chair and Kagome glanced between the other open spot next to Inuyasha and the open chair on the other side of her grandfather.

Inuyasha watched her pick the second open chair and couldn't help but feel a little disappointed at the space she was putting between them. On the other hand, if she had sat next to him, he wouldn't have been able to see her skirt rise up a bit more around her thighs as she sat down, so he supposed that he really shouldn't be complaining.

"Stationed at Key West, you say?" Mushin smiled, closing the lid to the box with the tag. "You sound like you're a Navy man."

"Lieutenant Commander," he affirmed, nodding his head. "I'm a fighter pilot."

"Really? You look too young to be a Lieutenant Commander."

"I was recently promoted prior to my move here," he explained, and Mushin made a sound of understanding.

"To think that it would surface after all these years…"

"If you don't mind my asking, Sir, how did you lose it?"

"I was stationed out in Pearl Harbor in 1941. I was transferred long before the attack on December 7, but I tell you - it was a plum assignment before then. I met this local boy...Eddie Mokoe, who was the best damn surfer I ever saw. I tell you, he rode the waves there like it was what he was born to do. Nothing scared him.

We got to talking one day and he offered to teach me. It was one of the most exhilarating things I ever did. He had been helping me perhaps a month when and I got too cocky. I went after a wave that was far beyond my capability, and I got thrown off of the board," Mushin said, waving his hands as if to depict the incident.

"I went under and was thrown about. By the time I resurfaced, the tags were long gone, and I was in a world of trouble when I got back to the base. I never stopped surfing until it got to be too much for these old bones!"

The doorbell rang and Inuyasha watched Kagome jump to her feet and announce that she was going to answer the door.

She was grateful for the distraction. She had been staring at Inuyasha's profile the whole time her grandfather was reliving the story, and she needed to get out of there before she said or did something stupid.

"Miroku," she greeted roughly as she opened the door. "You're late."

"Well, talk about a warm welcome," he replied, his brows rising in surprise to her gruff tone.

"It would have been warmer if you had been here on time."

"I can't help it if traffic is crazy at this time of day!"

"We both know it wasn't the traffic holding you up," she glared, causing him to give her a sheepish smile.

"The heart wants what the heart wants."

"You mispronounced 'dick'."

Inuyasha turned as he heard the pair returning and was surprised to see his favorite neighbor.

"Inuyasha! Long time, no see - you know, when you told me you had a special date, I didn't think it was with my grandpa."

"Nor I," he smirked, standing to shake the hand outstretched to him. "If I had known that Mushin was your grandfather, I would have invited you to come with me."

"That's alright, I had some things to finish up at home first."

Inuyasha politely decided not to comment on what, or rather who, those things were.

"You two know each other?" Kaede interrupted.

"Not very well - I'm afraid that's my fault," Miroku chuckled sheepishly. "Inuyasha is my new neighbor. We met this afternoon."

"Oh, how marvelous!" Kaede grinned, clapping her hands together once in merriment. "It seems like we were simply destined to have you in our lives, Inuyasha!"

"It would," he agreed as Miroku took the chair Kagome had been sitting in. He watched Kagome shoot her brother a look he couldn't quite decipher before she turned and sat down in the empty spot next to him.

"You said you were stationed out in Key West," Kagome began. "Did you grow up there?"

"Born and raised there - I've moved around quite a bit since then, but I returned as soon as I could."

"I've never been."

"It's beautiful down there. Hot and humid...but we have the best key lime pie out of all of the Florida Keys - don't let anyone else tell you differently," he grinned, shifting slightly so that his knee accidentally touched hers.

No one would have noticed accept her face immediately turned bright red at the contact.

"I think I should check on dinner," she announced, standing abruptly.

"I'll help you, dear."

"I didn't mean to intrude…" Inuyasha cut in, "I should probably head back to base."

"Don't be silly! You're staying for dinner," Kaede scolded.

"Are you sure?" He replied skeptically.

"You don't know my family very well, but trust me - you never had a choice in the matter," Miroku grinned, causing Inuyasha to chuckle lightly.

"Well, then I suppose I'm staying for dinner," he replied as he felt Kagome's eyes on him again.

His lips quirked up at the edges, and he watched her turn red and dive into the kitchen after her grandmother.

He had a feeling dinner was going to be an interesting affair.


It's official. Kagome was now a new name for a type of tomato.

Between her grandmother giving her knowing looks and not too subtle "I told you so"s, her brother taking the single seat next to her grandparents, and the way she could somehow see his muscles moving under his shirt with every little gesture and movement he made, she was pretty sure she would never return to her normal color.

She knew she needed to get herself in check. She had spent the last four weeks fantasizing about the man, and now that he was here, it was like she had turned back into a school girl who had never been kissed. It was like she didn't know how to act around him.

She wanted to jump his bones and run and hide all at the same time.

He was the perfect guest, too.

He listened to her grandfather's old war stories and asked educated and insightful questions in response. She found that he shared the same political views as her family, but wasn't afraid to play the devil's advocate and challenge her brother and grandfather. He repeatedly complimented both her grandmother and herself on dinner, too. He said things like he "had never had a better roast", taken a second serving of their green beans, and talked all about how he was dying to get their macaroni and cheese recipe.

She had almost died when he had actually held out her chair for her grandmother and herself, and had poured her more water without her even requesting it.

What really did her in was when he had accidentally dropped his napkin, and his hair had brushed against her leg when he bent down to pick it up.

By the time her grandmother brought out the peach cobbler, she was convinced she would never return to her normal color again.

"So, Inuyasha," Miroku said once he had finished his piece of cobbler and vanilla ice cream, "seeing as we're neighbors, I feel like we should exchange numbers."

"That might be one of the smartest things you've said all night," Mushin teased, scooping up another piece of his cobbler.

Inuyasha couldn't help but laugh at that, and he reached into his pants pocket to pull out his phone. He handed it to Miroku across the table and took his in turn.

Kagome furrowed her brow in confusion when she felt her phone vibrate on the seat next to her leg. She flipped the screen over and her heart jumped into her throat.

'You have a new friend request from Inuyasha Takahashi'

She glanced up at her brother's innocent face across the table and watched as the phone Inuyasha was holding also flashed with the same notification.

"I just had you friend both of us too," Miroku casually remarked, purposefully not looking at his sister. "Since you're a long way from home, I wanted to make sure you knew that you had people here now."

"Miroku," Kagome hissed, nervously glancing at Inuyasha as he put his phone back into his pocket. "What if he didn't want that?"

"No, it's alright," he smiled reassuringly. "I like having such good 'people' here."

Kagome glanced from him to her brother and down to her phone at the notification again.

Her thumb was itching to press it and hit accept, and she saw Miroku casually unlocking his phone to do just that.

She silently cursed him and blessed him all in the same breath and hit the notification and pressed the 'accept' button.

After dinner had ended and he announced that he should go, Miroku also agreed that it was time for him to leave as well and offered to help show Inuyasha the way back to the base.

He had left her grandparents with warm hugs at the door, and when it was her time to say goodbye, she was pleasantly surprised when he offered her the same courtesy.

Now, she was laying in her bathtub (a risky move with her cast, but a much needed one), and casually scrolling through his profile.

He was twenty eight, and he had indeed been born and raised in Key West. It looked like he had a solid group of friends he had left behind, and she kept seeing one woman in particular appear in his photos.

They were normally hugging or touching in some way or another, and she couldn't help but wonder if this was the ex. She both prayed she was and wasn't. She hoped she was because then it would confirm that he was in fact straight like she had originally assumed...and she hoped this wasn't the ex because she was gorgeous.

Not just everyday gorgeous.

Photoshopped to perfection but somehow a real person, gorgeous.

She turned her phone screen side down and tried not to think about how her chances with him had just dropped.

If this woman really was his type, she didn't think she stood any chance in hell with him. She didn't think she was totally unattractive...but in comparison? No way.

"Ugh...man up Kagome…" she groaned to herself.

She obviously liked this guy. A lot. So much so that she wasn't even thinking of her ex now.

That meant that she had to try, right?

She bit her lip in thought and opened Messenger before staring at the blank screen. What should she even say to him?

"Hi, I think you're hot. I'm here for it if you are?"

God, could she sound more thirsty?

She shook her head and thought back to the dinner conversation from tonight.

He had kept asking for that macaroni and cheese recipe. Would it be too weird to send it to him? Did he even really want it? Was she over thinking this too much?

Probably...but she had to say something if she wanted to do anything.

She quickly wrote that this was the recipe he had commented that he would love to have, and typed it up and hit the send button before she could second guess herself. She roughly flipped the phone over onto the ledge and pressed her eyes into the palms of her hands and groaned.

She was acting like such a child. A child with a massive school girl crush. She finished up her bath and brushed her teeth before plopping into bed and picking up a book, hoping to distract herself from her real life for a bit. She had only gotten through a couple more pages when she heard the telltale ping from her phone informing her she had just received a new message.

She flipped her phone over and immediately sat up.

'Thanks! It really was great. I might have to make it sometime this week. Since we're sharing mac and cheese specialties, here's my normal go-to. It has five different cheeses in it but I promise it's worth it ;)'

Oh...oh my GOD.

She definitely didn't think she'd hear back from him tonight...he had to have just gotten back to the base if the current time was any indication.

She had to respond to that, but what did one even say?

She opened Messenger again and started typing the first thing that came to mind.

'Thanks! Five cheese huh? Sounds like it has to be amazing if it has that many.'

She hit the send button before she could second guess herself.

'I'd be happy to make it for you the next time you come to the base. Miroku tells me you're here every Sunday?'

Was he...was he flirting with her?

'Yeah - it's our day together.'

'I wonder why I never saw you at that liquor store again then...bad timing?'

He had gone back for her too…

'Must be...I've definitely been there every Sunday since we met.'

'So have I.'

He really had gone back for her...

'Next time we should just coordinate when we go. It's always more fun to go with someone else.' he continued.

'I think I like that plan more than what we've been doing.'

'Listen,' she continued, 'I wanted to thank you again for everything you did. You didn't have to track my grandpa down and return his dog tag to him, and you definitely didn't need to drive two hours to do it...but tbh, I'm glad you did.'

'Me too - I loved getting to know you and your family tonight. I might literally live next to your brother, but it took a month before I met him. I might not have met everyone else if I hadn't, and I think that would be a tragedy.'

She smiled softly at that.

'I have to get up early tomorrow for drills, so I need to head off, but I wanted to tell you I'm glad you accepted "my" friend request. I probably would have done it at some point if he didn't.'

She smiled harder at that.

'I'm glad I did too. Good luck with drills tomorrow.'

'Thanks - night!'

'Good night!'

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

"Eat shell, dick wad!" Inuyasha shouted as he aimed the turtle shell attached to Mario's car at Bowser.

"Fuck!" He shouted again as Bowser, or rather Miroku, swerved out of the way and crossed the finish line, coming in first. Again.

"Aww...don't feel bad just because you drive like my grandma."

"Yeah? Well fuck you, too!" Inuyasha scowled, causing Miroku to laugh. The game on the screen rolled through the highlights of the four races they had just competed in and declared Bowser the winner.

"Don't beat yourself up," Miroku snickered. "You'll do better in the next round."

"Do we have time for another round?" He asked, raising his brow before glancing at his watch. "Won't your sister be here soon?"

"Eh...and? She can wait a few minutes while we finish up," Miroku shrugged, not looking up from the screen as he started to play with the settings for the next game.

If Miroku said it was fine, he wasn't going to press the issue. Besides...he was sort of hoping to run into her today. They hadn't spoken since she gave him her family's macaroni and cheese recipe the week before, and he wasn't totally sure why.

He had thought about messaging her back on Monday, but he had been completely exhausted from dog fighting (also known as aerial practice fights) and the gym, so it simply hadn't happened. Tuesday had been a bust as well, but when she also hadn't messaged him by Wednesday, he started to wonder if he had said something he shouldn't have. By the time Friday rolled around, he was too chicken shit to even try.

That didn't mean that he hadn't thought of her, though. Miroku had stopped by his apartment on Tuesday and they ended up getting dinner together. He had learned that Kagome was actually Miroku's twin, and they had another younger brother, Souta. They had been born and raised in Ohio, and their parents still lived out there.

Miroku had also casually mentioned that Kagome had dealt with a pretty bad breakup, and she hadn't started dating again. Naturally, Miroku was concerned and he hoped that her being here in California this summer would do her some good before she went back to Ohio to finish her Master's Degree.

Inuyasha wasn't completely sure why Miroku told him that - he was convinced that his neighbor was either trying to help his sister get back on the proverbial horse (possibly meaning him), or he was telling him to keep his distance from her.

Maybe it was a bit of both...the man struck him as wanting what was best for his younger (if only by a few minutes) sister, and maybe he saw something in him that he thought she could use. Outside of what he naturally came equipped with, of course.

Regardless, he had started to see Miroku every day, and they had developed a nice bond over video games and beer.

Miroku had mentioned the night before that Kagome would be visiting him again later the next day, but he had still invited him over. Inuyasha had skeptically asked if he was sure, because he didn't want to interrupt their one-on-one sibling time...but Miroku had firmly insisted.

He said she wouldn't be there until the late afternoon, so they had all morning to "bro out" and play Mario Kart.

They were just finishing the last race when the door to Miroku's apartment opened without a knock, distracting Inuyasha for a split second and allowing Miroku to win again. He couldn't bring himself to care, though.

She was a vision in her halter top sundress made of blue and white gingham and a white sweater. She had styled her long black hair into a fishtail braid and wore very minimal makeup.

He felt a sense of relief wash over him at her appearance. Given what she had been wearing when he had met her at the dinner at her grandparents' house, this was considered "dressed up" for her...meaning that she had hoped she would run into him. Or so he hoped.

"Hey! How was the drive in?" Miroku asked, dramatically leaning his head back to look around Inuyasha at his sister as she removed her keys from the lock in the door.

"Fine. The traffic was light, fortunately!"

"Cool...would you put the beer in the fridge? I bought some last night that is already chilled, but I know we'll dip into yours soon."

"Sure. Hey," she smiled nervously at Inuyasha, and he felt his lips involuntarily turn up at the corners.

"Hey. Sorry - I didn't have a chance to make any macaroni and cheese. Rain check?"

"I'm back next Sunday," she replied casually, removing her sweater and throwing it onto the kitchen island as she walked to the fridge and opened the door.

"Next Sunday, then," he agreed, admiring the view of her now bared back and shoulders as she took out a beer and tried to twist off the top.

"Do you want some help with that?" he asked, watching her struggle a bit with the bottle.

"That would be great," she smiled impishly.

Inuyasha stood and stretched, the movement raising his shirt just a bit to reveal some of the abs hidden underneath as he yawned. He left the living room area and made his way to the open kitchen to take the beer from her, and deftly opened it.

"I would imagine that cast makes a lot of things difficult to do, huh?" he asked softly, his fingers brushing lightly against hers as he handed the bottle back to her.

"You have no idea," she chuckled breathlessly, bringing the bottle up to her lips. "Even showering is difficult."

She immediately blushed after saying that, and she felt his eyes roam down her body as if he were suddenly picturing her naked, covered in soap suds, and in said shower.

"Are you up for a round of Mario Kart before we start the movie?" Miroku interrupted, exiting back to the main screen to the race settings again.

"Oh, you mean you want an ass whooping?"

"Ha! I love how big you dream, Kags. It's cute."

She stuck her tongue out at her brother as he stood and announced that he had to use the bathroom and would be right back. Inuyasha turned to grab a beer and didn't see the look he shot to his sister as he passed her.

Kagome did, however, and her face immediately lit up at what her brother was insinuating. He had none too delicately told her the night before that he was inviting Inuyasha over before she arrived, and had told her she should come earlier than normal. You know - to hang out with him too, before they started the movie. Because he was such a cool guy. He really thought she should get to know him better because they would really hit it off.

She had then sputtered some response that was barely coherent and told him she would be there.

"So, how have you been?" she asked as he opened his beer.

"Good. I think I'm getting used to the routine here. How about you? How was the library this week?"

She paused and her eyes widened slightly. She didn't remember telling him she worked at a library.

"Sorry," he apologized, smiling weakly. "Miroku told me you're here for the summer and working at the library by your grandparents' place. We talked about you a bit."

"Really? And what all did he tell you?"

"Just that, and a bit about your family. He said that you're returning to Kent State in the fall to finish up your Master's Degree, and you got out of a bad relationship a while ago, too."

"Oh...so...not much," she laughed, trying to ignore the sudden urge she had to murder her brother as well as hide her embarrassment.

"I can tell you more about me, if that would make you feel better," he shrugged, leaning his hip against the small island in front of the fridge.

"I think I'd like that," she replied, taking a step forward and mirroring his posture.

"What do you want to know?" he asked, taking a sip from his beer and subtly inching a bit closer to her.

"Why were you transfered?"

"I put in the request for it," he replied, his smile souring and turning bitter. "That bad break up...the girl I was dating lived in LA. We were together for three years, and I wanted to take things to the next level. We broke up over it, actually. Apparently, our relationship was just for fun, and I didn't get the email about it."

"She actually emailed you to tell you that things were just casual?"

"No," he chuckled. "Sorry - poor choice of words. We were just...not on the same page. I wanted a wife and a house and kids and a real relationship...She just wanted a consistent and reliable lay."

"She doesn't deserve you," she replied mostly to herself, but he heard her all the same.

"You think so?" he asked, a small, genuine smile tugging at the corner of his lips.

"Yeah. You're...you're great," she blushed as the door to the bathroom opened and Miroku wiped his hands on his jeans.

"Alright. You guys ready for this?"

"Bring it!"


Miroku had kicked both of their asses in the next three rounds of Mario Kart, but Kagome just wasn't on her game. It was hard to be when Inuyasha was sitting so close to her on the couch that their legs were touching, and when things got really intense, she could feel his arm brushing up against hers as he threw his whole body into taking a turn in the race.

Finally, she declared that the gaming was over, and she wanted to order in and watch the movie she had been promised two weeks ago. Inuyasha stood up at hearing this and announced that he could see himself out so they could have some alone time. Miroku laughed and asked him to stay.

"I have had nine months of alone time with this crazy woman. Please. Stay and help save me from her."

Kagome had punched him in the arm at that, but she was silently thanking her twin and he knew it. Miroku seemed to put Inuyasha at ease, and he sat back down and asked what they were watching.

"I was promised Aladdin because someone won the coin toss two weeks ago and we watched one of those Final Destination movies."

"Oh God, those are horrible!" Inuyasha chuckled. "They make you afraid to do anything! I couldn't go into a pool for a whole month one time."

"Yes! See, this is what I was talking about!" She agreed as Miroku turned off the console and brought up a streaming service.

"You two are wimps! They're definitely comedies."

"You and I have very different definitions of what a comedy is," Kagome glared back as he started the animated movie.

Miroku just rolled his eyes and pulled his phone out of his pocket, opening his favorite food ordering service app. He put in his order for General Tso's chicken before tossing his phone to Kagome.

"King Wok? Good choice. Golden Dragon was too greasy last time."

"They've really gone downhill," Miroku agreed as Kagome put in her order for Hunan chicken.

"Have you tried King Wok yet?" she asked, turning to Inuyasha and handing him the phone.

"Nope. I was living off of mostly beer and ramen the first week until I finally made it to a grocery store. You seem like you know what's good here - care to give some input?" he requested, casually placing his arm around the back of the couch and leaning over to show her the phone when she said, "Sure."

She didn't even know what she recommended. She was too distracted by the fact that he had tucked her into his body when he repositioned himself to look at the menu with her. She thought she had said something with chicken? Maybe it was beef and broccoli? She wasn't sure. All she knew was that he didn't pull away from her after he added his order to theirs and tossed the phone back to Miroku.

She slowly glanced up at Inuyasha as Miroku secretly removed his pick and placed the order. She was so taken with his profile and how relaxed he was that she didn't notice Miroku texting his girlfriend Sango (affectionately and internally dubbed "the wild banshee" by Inuyasha) to call in a little bit, nor did she notice him switch his ringer on.

Instead, she nervously inched closer to Inuyasha until their legs touched and her entire right side was lightly pressed against his left.

Inuyasha didn't let it show, but he was silently both relieved and thrilled at her movement.

He was worried that he had been too bold and had taken things too far until she leaned into him. Deciding to really push his luck, he rolled his shoulders under the pretense of stretching, and moved his arm further up the couch so that the skin of his arm bared by his t-shirt was pressed against the skin of her shoulders. He allowed his hand to cup her arm, and when Jafar took Aladdin to the cave, he slowly started rubbing the skin there with his thumb. It was a classic move, but one that was classic for a reason.

Kagome felt her breath hitch in her throat and electricity shoot through her body at the new contact. She leaned her head into his shoulder, trying to silently encourage him and tell him that she liked it.

That went to shit, though, when she jumped as her brother's cell rang right before Robin Williams started singing "Never Had A Friend Like Me," causing Inuyasha to pull away as he mistook her startled shock at the unanticipated noise for rejection. He mentally cursed himself for going too far and folded his arms behind his neck.

"Hey, babe," Miroku greeted, rising from the couch and walking into the other room while saying, "What? Your engine won't start?" much louder than he needed to for a private conversation.

"I've always loved this part," Inuyasha commented in an attempt to ease the tension he suddenly felt in the room without Miroku.

"Robin Williams was a national treasure."

"That's another good movie. National Treasure."

"It is," she agreed, pressing herself back into his side and resting her head back onto his shoulder. "You can put your arm back, you know," she whispered nervously, looking up at him through her lashes. "I liked it there."

"Well...if the lady insists," he murmured, his eyes dropping to her lips as his arm came to wrap itself back around her shoulders.

"She does," she breathed, her eyes moving to his as she felt her head slowly leaning towards his.

"That was Sango," Miroku announced, startling the two and causing them to jump back slightly from each other as he reentered the room. "Her tire blew and she needs help fixing it. Why don't you guys stay here and finish the movie? Just put my Chinese into the fridge when it comes - I'm not sure how long I'll be gone, but it will probably take a while."

"Do you need some help?" Inuyasha asked as Miroku grabbed his keys from the hook by the front door and put on his sunglasses.

"Nah. Enjoy yourselves. Besides - it would be a shame to let all of that Chinese go to waste. If you need to leave before I get back, just lock up, Kags."

"Are you sure?" she called to him as he opened the door.

"Yup! Have fun, you two!" he called back, quickly closing the door and leaving them alone in his apartment.

Aladdin had just tricked the Gene to getting him out of the cave when Kagome muttered, "Didn't he say her engine wouldn't start when he picked up?"

"I thought she had a flat tire?"

Her face instantly turned red as it became clear what her idiot brother had not so subtly done.

"I think we're being set up," Inuyasha smirked, the same thought apparently having run through his head as well.

"I think you might be right," she whispered back to him, her heart suddenly pounding in her throat. "Do you...have a problem with that?"

"Should I?"

"Should you?" she echoed back.

"I don't think I do," he shrugged.

"Good," she murmured. "Neither do I...but...I just…" she sighed and reached for the remote, pausing the TV. "I think we should be forward with each other. No games."

"Are we having the talk already?" he teased, his left brow arching as his lips quirked up around the corners.

"Yeah," she smirked. "Because you just got out of a "serious relationship", and I leave in two months. I like you," she confessed, "but I don't think either of us are in a place for anything serious. Are you ok with just a "summer fling"?" she asked nervously.

"Well...given what I know about you," he said thoughtfully, moving his thumb up her shoulder, "and given what I know about me...I think that's exactly what we could use right now."

"So we agree? Nothing serious," she asked one more time, her eyes drifting back to his lips.

"Nothing serious," he whispered, leaning his head closer to hers. "Just a nice, mutually beneficial relationship to help us get back to where we need to be."

"I like the sound of that," she whispered, leaning up to close the distance between them as she placed a soft, lingering kiss on his lips. It was gentle and sweet, like she was dipping a toe in to test the water before completely jumping in. The results were pretty conclusive, however - the water was fine and she was pretty sure the swim would be fantastic.

When she pulled back from Inuyasha, he quickly tilted his head back down to capture her lips in another kiss, and she sighed at the unexpected but wholy welcome contact. The hand on her arm slowly moved upwards to the nape of her neck, and she felt his fingers wind their way into her hair. He tilted her head back as he continued to leisurely move his lips against her in a way that made her body flood with a heat she had forgotten was possible.

Not to be outdone, Kagome parted her lips ever so slightly and took his lower lip between her teeth, gently scraping his flesh and causing him to let out a nearly silent moan at the contact. The sounds of his appreciation of her boldness encouraged her to become more dominant in the kiss, and her arms somehow wound themselves around the back of his neck. She intensified the contact by pulling him closer so that their chests rubbed together with every tilt of her head.

Lungs burning for air, she finally broke away from him to breathe. When she looked back at him, she was pleased to see that his face had flushed a dark red hue, and his normally amber eyes had darkened to hazel. Closing said eyes, he leaned forward and pressed a sweet, delicate kiss to her forehead.

"That was…"

"Yeah," he agreed breathlessly.

It was good. Really good. It had been a while since he had felt like that at all, actually. He hadn't seen Kikyo in person for months before they broke up, so it had been too long since he had kissed someone that way...and it felt damn good to be kissed and to kiss back like that.

"In the spirit of being forward, though," Kagome whispered, pressing her palm to his cheek. "I don't want to go further than that tonight...if that's ok."

"Of course it is," he immediately agreed, moving his hands down to her back and gently rubbing the skin there. "You just help me set the pace, and I won't push you into anything. I have to say, though...I like all of this 'in the spirit of being forward' talk. It's very refreshing."

"It is," she smiled, leaning up to press another gentle kiss to his lips. He sighed at her gentle exploring, and when she started to push him backwards onto the couch, he didn't resist. He stretched out fully along the seat and allowed Kagome to climb atop him, supporting herself with her uninjured right arm while her left came up to play with his hair. Inuyasha moved his hands to her sides to not only help support her, but also to keep her as close to him as he could.

She pulled his bottom lip back between her teeth since he seemed to like that so much the last time, and was rewarded with another groan of appreciation at the move. Nervously, she darted her tongue out and ran it along the bottom edge of his lip to sooth the nips her teeth had just left, and she felt his hands begin to roam her back.

She knew she had said she wasn't ready for more, but now that she had him here, she was seriously starting to question her sanity on the matter...especially when he began to hungrily mirror her ministrations. She loved the feeling of his lips and tongue exploring hers...and when his hands moved lower to grip her ass, she let out a surprised but still very appreciative groan as he began to squeeze and knead her flesh in his hands.

Suddenly, they heard a knocking at the door, and Kagome sat back up and regretfully moved off of him.

"I'll get it," she murmured, pressing one last chaste kiss to his lips before leaving the living room area and going to the door.

"Great," he thanked her, hungrily watching the swish of her hips as she made her way to the door. He needed to cool his heated blood, so he stood and left the couch, readjusting his pants to help ease some of the discomfort he felt there now as he made his way to the kitchen.

He knew he had liked her before...but now? Damn…

He had meant what he said, though.

He would let her set the pace - whatever that may be.

Inuyasha turned to look back over his shoulder as he heard the door close, and Kagome came over to the island with a bag of Chinese food. He quickly pulled out two glasses from the cabinets and filled them with water from the fridge as she began taking out the containers and figuring out what belonged to who.

She had just finished when he pulled her back to him, sweeping her into his arms before tilting her head up and placing another lingering kiss onto her now slightly red and swollen lips.

"We should eat before it gets cold," he whispered in slight disappointment.

"Mmm…" she agreed, running her fingers lazily up the back of his neck. She pressed a soft kiss to his jaw and broke away to hand him a container of food and a pair of chopsticks.

"One beef and broccoli for the gentleman," she announced as he took it, and she turned back around to grab her Hunan chicken. She was a little surprised when she felt him reach around her waist and pull her back to his front so he could lean down and place a kiss at the junction of her neck before whispering into her ear, "Sorry - I couldn't help myself." He punctuated his sentence by pulling her lobe between his lips and gently running his teeth over the edge, careful not to pull at the earring he felt. He soothed his bites with his tongue before releasing her and leading her over to the couch.

She shakily followed him, almost spilling the water he had poured for her and crossed her knees as she sat down. It was an attempt to be both lady like and also soothe some of the ache she now felt.

It was pointless.

Said ache wasn't going anywhere any time soon.

Inuyasha picked up the remote and pressed the play button to wake up the TV and resume the movie. He opened his take out container and broke apart his chopsticks before digging in.

"Do you want some?" he asked casually before eating what he had taken out, and she said she wouldn't mind a bite. He held the chopsticks up to her lips and watched her blush sweetly as she allowed him to feed her a bite before digging in again himself.

"It's good," he agreed. "I'm glad I listened to you."

"I like to think I have good taste," she teased. "Here, try mine," she offered, breaking her chopsticks apart and picking up some of her chicken and brought it to his lips.

"It's pretty good!"

"See? I know my Chinese," she winked, taking another bite.

They ate the rest of their dinner while casually chatting, hardly paying attention to the movie before them. When they had finished, Inuyasha took the containers from the couch and placed them back into the bag before washing his hands and returning. Kagome had taken the opportunity to smooth out the hem of her dress over her knees and push the few errant strands of hair that had come loose back behind her ears before she checked her phone. She had one text from Miroku.

'Sorry...this is taking longer than I thought it would. Might be gone for a while still. Having a good time?'

Oh...she was sure it was taking a long time to fix an imaginary car issue.

'Yup! Btw...noticed you didn't order any Chinese for yourself…'

She hit the send button and immediately saw the three wiggling dots that told her he was writing back.

'Oh damn...must have accidentally removed mine. Probably for the best. I'll just grab something with Sango.'

She couldn't help but scoff at the phone.

'"Accidentally" my ass. This was a set up.'

'...No?' He wrote back before asking, 'Why, did he try something you didn't want? Do I need to kick his ass?'

'No. I wanted EVERYTHING he gave me ;)'

She immediately turned her phone off after hitting the send button on the last message just as Inuyasha sat back down next to her. He leaned back on the couch and threw his arm over the back again, silently telling her that she was welcome to come back to him if she wanted to.

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, she snuggled up to his side, easily finding a comfortable position. She also died inside when he brought his arms around her, holding her to him. She gently ran her fingertips along the exposed skin of his arm and silently marveled at the muscle she felt.

She didn't know when it happened, or how, but at some point they had both fallen asleep. Inuyasha was laying on the couch and she was laying on him, perfectly encapsulated in his arms.

She also had a very pissed off brother standing over her.

"What. The. Fuck. Kags?!" He hissed, staring down at her as Inuyasha continued to sleep.

"Huh?" She asked sleepily.

"You can't stop answering your goddamn phone when you're alone with someone that's still practically a stranger! Fuck, Kagome! Do you have any idea how goddamn worried I was about you?!"

"Isn't this what your master plan was, though? 'Oh Kagome...he's going to be here playing video games with me. Why don't you come earlier so you can hang out with him too? He's a really cool guy. I think you'd really like him.' Doesn't that sound familiar?"

"Yeah...I wanted you to have some fun, not go fucking MIA on me! Damnit! I was worried something happened to you!"

"Nothing bad happened!" She hissed back as Inuyasha shifted under her, pulling her closer to him. "Really," she insisted, subconsciously playing with the dog tags that had slipped out from under Inuyasha's shirt.

Miroku ran both hands up his face and through his hair as he sighed.

"Ok...then what did happen?"

"We just ate dinner and watched the movie."

Miroku raised a brow, letting her know that he absolutely didn't believe her.

"We also made out a little."

Her brother lowered both of his brows into a scowl and pressed his lips into a thin line.

"Fine," she groaned. "We made out a lot. Are you happy?"

"Are you?" He countered, coming to sit on the arm rest.

"Yeah. I am," she smiled shyly, continuing to play with Inuyasha's tags. "He's a really good guy. And I like spending time with him...and he has the biggest dick I've ever seen," she lied, just to make her brother wrinkle his nose in disgust. "I'm just kidding!" She snickered. "I didn't see his dick, don't worry."

"Oh, I'm sure that's coming…"

Kagome wrinkled her nose at her brother's double entendre, but didn't deny it.

"You're really fine here, then?" Miroku asked one final time.

"Yeah. And if I'm ever not, I promise I'll let you kick his ass."

"That's my Kags," he chuckled lightly, standing up from the armrest. "Listen...I'm going to head back to my room. You guys can keep hanging here. I'll stay out of your hair. Just keep your fucking phone on for my peace of mind."

"Ok," she smiled as Inuyasha nuzzled into the couch and Miroku turned to leave.

"Hey Ro?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks. For everything."

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 5

Kagome felt the back pocket of her pants start to vibrate while she was at work, and she slipped her hand in to remove her phone. A smile instantly lit up her face when she saw the name scrolling along the top of her screen.

'Inuyasha Takahashi'

After he had woken up the past Sunday on the couch, they had proceeded to make out a little more (a lot more) before she regretfully needed to leave. She still had a two hour drive to get home to her grandparent's house because she had to work the next day.

She had never resented her job before, but she had in that moment.

So, she regretfully told him she needed to leave and he proceeded to walk her to her car since it was late. And so that he could press her against said car and proceed to kiss her until she literally couldn't think straight for a minute. While she was still suffering from his kiss induced haze, he took her phone from her and added his contact information to it before calling himself on her cell.

He sweetly kissed her one more time and leaned his forehead against hers, whispering, "Call me when you get home? It's a long drive, and I want to know that you've made it back."

"Ok," she breathed before he gently cupped her cheek and placed one final chaste kiss to her lips. He backed away from her before he started something again, and she had to tell the small part of herself internally moaning in disappointment to shut up. She had already done a lot more than she ever thought she would tonight. She could find a way to wait until next Sunday.

Kagome glanced over to her co-worker, Susan, who was at the printer waiting for her job to finish and asked her to take over for her at the front desk so she could quickly take a call. She agreed, and Kagome silently slipped into the back, answering her phone quietly.

"Hey," she whispered, unable to keep the smile from her face or her voice.

'Hey,' he replied. 'How are you?'

"Good! How are you?"

'Exhausted,' he sighed as he briefly told her about his early morning and his day at work. 'What are you doing?'

"I'm still at work, actually—"

'—I'm sorry! Is now a bad time?'

"No! I can talk for a minute."

'Oh...really, I just wanted to hear your voice,' he explained shyly. 'I didn't mean to interrupt anything.'

"You didn't," she reassured, the hand on her broken arm coming up to absently play with the charm on the necklace she was wearing. "It's been a slow day."

'So you aren't having a great day either, huh?'

"I wasn't...until you called," she blushed.

'Well...I have something that might make it even better…'

"Oh yeah?" she smiled.

'Yeah...so, I was thinking...you come out every Sunday to visit your brother. What if you came out on Saturday and visited me? Then you wouldn't have to make the drive on Sunday to see him.'

Kagome's breath audibly hitched, and a giant grin broke out across her face.

'I mean, you don't have to,' he immediately started back peddling at the sound, 'and you can obviously stay with Miroku. I already asked him if that would be cool and—'

"—Inuyasha?" she interrupted.

'Yeah?'

"I'd love to. Let me see if I can convince someone to switch shifts with me, and I'll call you tonight."

'Ok - it's a date, then.'

She pulled the phone away from her face when they said their goodbyes, and had turned to leave when she immediately bumped into Jakotsu. She didn't know how long he had been standing there listening, but given the relaxed way he was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest, it had been a while

"So…" he drawled, popping the sucker he was working on out of his mouth. "Why would you need to switch shifts?"

Of all the people that could have overheard her...he could have either been the best or the worst person. Jakotsu was the resident boy whore, and if anyone were to appreciate her need to get to the base on Saturday, he would. That said, he would also probably be merciless in any trades since Saturday was his prime night for going out.

Still, she decided to play the odds and smartly opened Facebook and found the photo of Inuyasha shirtless and dripping in water on the beach that she had committed to memory.

"The one with the silver hair," she said, turning her phone around to show Jakotsu. "That's why I need Saturday."

"Oh guuuurl…" he practically purred, taking her phone from her and zooming in on Inuyasha. "I'd do anything for Saturday too if I had that waiting for me." he popped the lollipop back into his mouth and sucked hard, moaning in appreciation. "Daaaaamn...I would climb that like a mother fuckin' tree!"

"Can you help me? Please?"

"Oh, I think we can make something work...but I'm going to need you to send me that photo, and we're going to need to go shopping after we get off of work. No tea, no shade - I've seen what you packed this summer. That shit ain't gonna fly with that on the line...and I'm not just talking for clothes either, honey. We're going to a lingerie store because those bras you're wearing now aren't doing you any favors."

"Hey!"

"I'm sorry, but I'm just telling it like it is, gurl. You have some Prime. Rib. On. The. Line." He said, clapping his hands to punctuate each word. "We're not taking any chances just because you aren't showing off those assets of yours the right way."

Oh god...what had she gotten herself into?


As soon as they had gotten off, Jakotsu had practically forced her into his car and taken her to go shopping on the other side of the city. While she was held prisoner, she placed a quick call to her grandparents and told them not to worry - she was just unexpectedly going out with a friend after work.

As soon as they got to the store, he had paraded her down the aisles, plucking garments off of the racks that he thought she would look good in. She noticed that quite a few deep cut tops and rompers had made it into the pile he was collecting, and she felt her stomach start to twist into knots.

Apparently pleased with his selections, he marched her back to the dressing rooms and shoved her in, demanding to see everything after she had put it on. She begrudgingly obliged and came out after she had the first shirt on. Her cheeks were bright red in embarrassment over how deep the vee in the shirt was, and she would have turned tail and run back into the dressing room if she hadn't noticed the appreciative look some of the men who were forced to wait for their girlfriends were giving her.

"Yaaahs! Honey! Do you even see yourself right now?" Jakotsu screeched, snapping his fingers once in a wide arch over his head and leaning back in his chair, kicking out his foot.

She turned around to look at herself in the full length mirror and bit her bottom lip. It was a cute shirt, but it didn't look good with her bra. It was black satin and the deep vee cut into it almost reached her navel. The satin of the vee was bordered in a lovely wide, black scalloped lace, but you could see her bra straps and her actual bra through it.

As if he read her thoughts, Jakotsu told her to go back in and come out without it on. She looked horrified and was about to refuse when he reminded her that he didn't have to switch shifts with her.

Scowling, she obliged and returned a moment later. One of the men sitting in the chairs by the dressing room actually coughed when he saw her, and Kagome nervously played with the hem of her shirt in response.

"Gurl, didn't I tell you?" He praised, dragging her back over to the mirror. "Look at you! You are a goddamn goddess!"

She smiled weakly and turned, looking herself over in the mirror. She did look good. Confident, even. Possibly even...sexy. She hadn't felt sexy in so long that she didn't even remember when the last time was...but she also felt so exposed...and she didn't like feeling that way. Not after Hojo.

"Ok, I don't think we need to see the rest. I think this is the one we're going with."

She raised her brows in surprise. "Are you sure? I feel like if I move the wrong way, I'll give him a full view…"

"Come here," he demanded, taking her hand and pulling her away from the mirror and the gawking men. "Bend over," he demanded, and Kagome took a startled step back. "Gurl. Do you want to know if he's going to see your tits in this or not?" Jakotsu asked, exasperated.

"Of course I do…"

"Then bend the fuck over, bitch!" He said, snapping his fingers.

She finally did, and she could feel the shirt lowering over them as the fabric moved.

"Ok," Jakotsu announced, watching as her nipples almost made an unwelcome guest appearance. "So here's what we're going to do: I have some fabric tape at home that I'm going to bring in, and you're going to tape the ever loving shit out of it to your tits. We can skip the lingerie store because a bra will just ruin everything this shirt is doing for you. Pasties are up to you...but with your breasts, I'd leave them off. Besides - when he goes to touch them, you're going to want to feel everything, and so will he," Jakotsu reasoned with a wink, and she felt her cheeks imitate a tomato again. "Do you have any sexy underwear? You can wear the black jeans that I always say hug your ass in just the right way with this and some strappy black heels."

"Yeah," she breathed, nervously crossing her arms over her breasts as she felt herself being picked apart by Jakotsu.

"Oh gurl, STAWP! Put those arms down. You are sexy as hell. Let it show! Don't be afraid to let him see how good you look!"

She bit her lip nervously and thought back to the picture of the woman that had wrapped herself around Inuyasha.

His ex.

She wouldn't be nervous to wear something like this. She wore stuff like this all the time, and he was into her enough to date her...This was what he liked, right? So, if his ex wasn't nervous to wear this, then she wouldn't be either.

"You're right," she whispered, moving her arms to her sides. "I do look good."

"I'm sorry...can you say that louder for me?"

"I do look good."

"Louder, bitch!"

"I look fucking great!" She yelled, causing people to turn their heads and look at the two, making her blush in embarrassment.

"What? You got a problem?" Jakotsu asked loudly. "You heard her! She looks fucking great!"

Kagome burst out laughing and covered her face with her hands.

"Go back and change and I'm going to talk to the cashier. She's a friend of mine that low key gives me the employee discount."

Nodding her head, Kagome did just that before showing up next to him at the cash register.

"So, Jakotsu tells me you have a big date on Saturday. I want to hear everything and I heard that I need to see a picture of him."

Kagome blushed and bit her lip but took her phone out of her purse and pulled up Inuyasha's profile again, letting both of them scroll through his photos.

"He just moved here from Florida and he's in the Navy and stationed at Ventura County Point…" she began, telling them everything from how they had met, to him bringing her grandfather's dog tag back, to the very hot make out session they had on Sunday thanks to her brother.

"It's like a modern fairytale," the cashier sighed before whispering "Listen. I know that this shirt is going on sale on Friday. Why don't you come back for it then, and I'll give you my employee discount if you promise to come back on Monday and give me all of the juicy details."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive."


Inuyasha hit the cool down button on the treadmill and allowed the machine to walk him through the end of his workout. He felt hot and sweaty and exhilarated and excited for tonight. He had spent hours on the phone with Kagome this past week, and every time they spoke, it only got him more and more excited to finally see her again.

He had spent the last few days cleaning his apartment to make sure nothing was out or dirty, and he had purchased fresh flowers that morning for her along with the ingredients to make shrimp and grits. It wasn't the mac and cheese he kept promising, but he thought that it was better.

He could always make that another time, anyways.

For dessert, he had picked up some long stem strawberries and dipped them into chocolate.

He thought that would go well with either the red or white wine he had bought at "their" liquor store.

Between that and arranging the flowers, he was practically jumping out of his skin, which is why he found himself at the gym again. He had thought that maybe going for a run would wear off some of the excess energy he was feeling and help take his mind off of her.

Clearly he was wrong, since she was all he could think about. He had only met the woman three times, yet she had somehow managed to completely consume his every thought, and he had no fucking idea why.

She was driving him crazy without even trying.

The treadmill slowed to a walk before completely stopping and he hopped off, picking up a towel from the sanitizing station and wiping his face before grabbing a second to spray down and clean the machine.

He stretched, trying to loosen up his muscles as well as calm his nerves, but he was only able to successfully do the first one.

"Hey - fancy meeting you here," Miroku greeted, entering the gym with a friend. "Have you met Koga yet?" He asked, pointing to the black hair, blue eyed man next to him.

"No, I haven't had the pleasure. Inuyasha - Miroku's neighbor," he panted, holding out his hand.

"Koga," he replied, taking it and giving it a firm shake. "Unfortunately, I'm this asswipe's friend. You look like you just ran halfway across the country."

"I feel like it, too," he laughed before wiping his face down again. "Needed to get up here to take my mind off of some things."

"Those 'things' wouldn't happen to be my sister, would they?" Miroku asked casually, taking a sip of water from his bottle. If Inuyasha wasn't already so flushed, he was sure he would be blushing.

"I take it you heard she agreed to tonight, then?"

"Wait...no shit? You're going out with Kagome?" Koga asked in a shocked outburst.

Inuyasha gave a weak but self-assured smile. "Yeah - she's coming over tonight."

Koga gave a low, long whistle at that.

"Damn. What I wouldn't give to be in your shoes."

"Koga's been asking her out for years," Miroku explained, stretching. "We go way back."

"Yeah - to high school. Asswipe followed me into the Navy."

"Please. You followed me," Miroku replied, rolling his eyes.

"Seriously though...how did you do it?"

Inuyasha just shrugged and drank some water from his bottle. "I just did."

"Mother fucker," Koga smirked. "I was biding my time after Hojo broke it off with her, but it looks like I should have moved my timeline up. I hope your date sucks tonight," he laughed, and Inuyasha let the semi good-humored joke roll off his back.

"If it does, you'll be the first to know."

"So what are you going to do tonight? And keep in mind - I live next to you, so I can hear everything."

"Oh, I know. By the way...how is Sango?" he replied, laughing at Miroku's blush.

"Great, thanks - don't avoid the question! I swear, if you hurt her—"

"—I'm not. She asked to take it slow, and I told her I was fine with that. She's setting the pace, and I'm good with that too. If she wants to take things further, then we will."

"So what have you done so far?" Koga asked with a smirk, making Miroku throw in his earbuds and flip him off before jumping onto the treadmill.

"If you pervs are going to talk about my twin that way, do it over there where I can't hear you!"

Inuyasha chuckled and Koga led him to the other side of the room where the weights were kept.

"Bench press? I'll spot you." Koga offered.

"Sure," Inuyasha agreed, sitting down and positioning the bar across his chest.

"So…where were we?" Koga prodded again as Inuyasha started his routine. "Oh, right. Kagome. Spill."

"We haven't done much," he breathed out. "We just had a few heavy make out sessions. I wouldn't get too worried, though, if you like her. We're only keeping this going until she leaves."

"I'm sorry...you somehow landed Kagome, and you're going to end it when she leaves in two months?" he asked incredulously.

"Yeah. She just wanted something fun," he puffed as he finished his last repetition. "And I just got out of a serious relationship...we're just doing this to heal. It's a rebound thing."

Koga sighed and shook his head, taking Inuyasha's place as he stood up and returned the favor and spotted him as well.

"You haven't known her for as long as I have, but trust me. You'll regret letting her go. I know I sure as hell would."

"I mean, she's great, but I just don't think either of us are in a place for anything more than what this is, you know?"

"Hey, do what you've got to do. If all I could get from her was this, I'd jump at it, too. So what are you doing tonight?"

"I'm cooking her dinner. I'm from Key West, so I wanted to bring a little of that here. I thought we'd do shrimp and grits, and I already have chocolate covered strawberries ready, and there's wine in the fridge. I thought we'd have those after dinner and play scrabble or cards or something."

"Chocolate covered strawberries and wine? Yeah - sounds super casual to me," Koga laughed as he put the weight back and sat up. "Tell me how it goes, yeah?" he said, reaching to the floor where he had put his cell and tossed it to Inuyasha. "I want to hear all the pervy details you can't tell Miroku."

"So you can jerk off to it later? Yeah, right. I'll tell you how it goes, though," he said, putting his number into Koga's cell before tossing it back to him.

"Fine. I'll take what I can get."

Inuyasha chuckled and drank some of his water.

"Thanks for the spot, man. I'm going to go get ready for tonight. I'll see you 'round?"

"With asswipe as your neighbor, you'd better believe it," he grinned cheekily.

Inuyasha left, and as Koga watched him go, he couldn't help the bit of jealousy he felt for the man. If he had known that she was ready...or just wanted a fling…

Damn...what he wouldn't give to be Inuyasha tonight.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

Kagome had gotten to Inuyasha and Miroku's apartment complex much earlier than she needed to so she could get ready for their date. She had packed the shirt she bought on Friday on top of her other things in her overnight duffle so it wouldn't wrinkle instead of wearing it out of the house. She firmly believed that there were some things that her grandparents simply didn't need to know (or see). With that in mind, she made sure to leave earlier than she normally would have and snuck into the girls' bathroom in the lobby to do her hair and makeup.

She also firmly believed that Miroku didn't need to see her like this until she had absolutely no other choice, and this way she could get ready in relative peace. She started with her hair - curling it into big voluminous waves as Jakotsu had recommended before moving on to her makeup. She chose to keep it minimalistic and let the shirt do the majority of the talking. When she was satisfied, she broke out the fabric tape Jakotsu had let her borrow and put on her shirt. Her arms broke out into goosebumps, and her nipples visibly hardened under her shirt due to the sudden change in temperature and their lack of covering. She bit her lip nervously as she threaded her simple gold bar earrings into her lobes before she examined herself in the bathroom mirror.

She looked...sexy. Damn sexy. She hadn't felt that way about herself in...In a long time. She couldn't help but wonder if he would agree.

She brought her hands up to her breasts and covered them with her hands. She could feel the heat radiating off of her palms through her shirt, and she couldn't help but wonder how much better it would feel if it were Inuyasha touching her that way.

She blushed at the thought and leaned forward, curious to see if her breasts really would fall out of her shirt if she moved the wrong way.

It was close. She started to take out the fabric tape...but then she started thinking about her make out session with him last time. The feel of his lips on hers...his hands rubbing her ass...they were headed for sex eventually anyways, right? And she only had a two months before leaving...

She wanted to say 'fuck it', but in the end, she knew she couldn't.

She lined her shirt with the fabric tape and slipped on her gold bangle and strappy heels before repacking and heading towards the elevator.

"Kagome?" someone called out to her as she pressed the up button, and she froze.

She wasn't expecting to see anyone right now like this other than Inuyasha, and her arms instinctively wrapped around her chest.

She turned as Koga made his way over to her. He had a pizza in one hand and a six pack of beer in the other.

"Hey, Koga," she smiled shyly, and his eyes nearly popped out of his head.

"Kagome...wow...you look...wow…" he breathed. That lucky sonofabitch. He couldn't help giving her a once over. She was...wow…

"Thanks," she smiled, a blush rushing over her cheeks as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I went shopping with some friends this week, and they told me I had to get this shirt," she said, as if she owed him an explanation to her appearance.

His eyes drifted down to her duffel bag as they both got into the elevator and he pressed the number 15. Both Miroku and Inuyasha lived on fifteen. He was going to eat dinner with Miroku and watch baseball on ESPN. He knew where she was headed...but he couldn't help but hope that she would drop her bag off at Miroku's before going there, if only so that he had confirmation that she wasn't planning to fuck him.

He let out a sigh as the numbers continued to increase, telling them which floor they were passing.

"Is everything ok?"

"Yeah. I met Inuyasha today. Seems like a cool guy," he shrugged, and he noticed the way Kagome's cheeks darkened at the mention of his name.

She had it that bad for him, huh? He should have guessed, given her appearance. It wasn't like her.

"Yeah...he does, doesn't he?" she replied, biting her lip as a secretive smile spread across her lips.

The elevator came to a stop and she got out first, heading down the hall and stopping in front of his door.

"Are you going to come in to Miroku's first? Say hi? Drop off your stuff?" he asked hopefully. Originally, she had thought about opening his door and just swinging her bag through so she didn't have to see him, but with Koga here, she just wanted to be with Inuyasha now.

"Nah. I don't want to get distracted and be late. I might see you after, though. Ok?"

"Yeah…" he agreed awkwardly, picking up on the 'might'. "Have fun tonight, Kags. And listen," he quickly continued as she raised her hand to knock on Inuyasha's door, "if he doesn't treat you right or does something you don't like, we'll be next door. Just give us the word, and we'll be there."

"Thanks, Koga," she replied, trying to keep the exasperation out of her voice. "Have a good night, alright?"

He nodded his head before turning the door knob and entering her brother's apartment. She smoothed out her shirt one more time before knocking on Inuyasha's door.

She heard a muffled "coming" from the other side, and felt the knots in her stomach return before he opened it.

"Hey," he greeted as he opened the door, his amber eyes changing from warm and welcoming to dark with desire and need as he took her in. "Kagome…" he breathed, "you look...amazing…"

"Oh yeah?" she asked, pushing a strand of hair back behind her ear again.

"Yeah...good enough to eat…" he confirmed, his voice deepening with want. "I guess it's a good thing I started making dinner already, huh?" he smirked, stepping away from the door and allowing her to enter.

He watched her lean over to pick up her overnight bag, and his breath hitched in his throat for two reasons. The first was that she still had an overnight bag. He didn't want to make any assumptions, but it was a curious thing to bring to a date if your brother lived next door. The second was that when she bent over, he got quite the eyeful of her cleavage.

"Yeah, it is," she replied as he closed the door. "Is it fine if I leave this somewhere? I didn't want to drop it off next door until we were through."

"Of course it is," he smiled, taking the bag from her and trying to clear his head. She was just so damn...distracting and sexy tonight. He wasn't prepared for this.

He was so used to her sweet and innocent side...the almost girl-next-door look he had seen on her the last few times.

This was totally different, and it completely threw him for a loop. It almost reminded him of Kikyo. He mentally shook his head, trying to clear that thought. He didn't want to be thinking about her right now.

Still...he couldn't help but wonder what had happened, and he suddenly second guessed his plain white button down and jeans.

"Care to give me the grand tour?" she asked, even though the layout was the same as her brother's apartment. She still wanted to see how he styled his place, and she had to say that Inuyasha did a better job than Miroku did. Inuyasha's apartment was less bachelor pad and more sophisticated adult man.

He still had plenty of typical guy accessories - DVD's, gaming systems, and the like...but his furniture was nice and well arranged. His walls weren't decorated with sluty posters (or any posters), but rather paintings and framed artistic photographs.

That seemed to be true of the whole apartment too, and when they got to his bedroom, she couldn't help but notice his queen sized mattress. It looked comfortable, and she absently wondered what it felt like to sleep on it.

He tossed her duffle onto the floor at the foot of the bed before leading her back out, and she couldn't decide if that's because the bedroom and bathroom were the only spaces that were closed off and out of the way, or if he was hoping she would need it tonight and already wanted it to be put away.

"So, that concludes the tour," he announced, leading her back out to the main area.

"Your place is much nicer than Miroku's," she complimented, telling him the same things she had just been thinking.

"Well, I'm glad you like it," he smiled, holding out his arms in a silent invitation, and one which she readily accepted. She placed her hands in his and allowed him to gently pull her to him. He stepped closer and ran his hands up her bare arms, causing them to break out into goosebumps again. He hooked his index finger under her chin and gently tilted her face upwards so that he could easily place a lingering kiss on her lips.

"I've been waiting to do that all week," he murmured against them when he slightly pulled away.

"Well, you can do it again, if you'd like," she breathed.

"I think I would," he whispered, stepping closer until his chest was pressed to hers, and she absently noticed that she could feel the buttons of his white button down through her shirt. He lowered his head and placed another sweetly lingering kiss to her lips. "I should really focus on getting dinner ready if we plan on eating at all tonight," he sighed, pulling away from her.

"Mmm…" she replied, unable to stop herself from thinking that they could just have each other for dinner. "Do you want some help in the kitchen?" she asked.

"Sure," he smiled, leading her by the hand to his island and instructing her on how he wanted her to prepare the parsley and scallions while he worked on the shrimp and grits.

He opened a drawer, pulled out an apron, and offered it to her. She smiled and gave him her thanks for it, and he came to stand behind her. She felt him move her hair away from her neck as he went to secure the top, and placed a kiss in the crook of her neck before trailing slow, almost wet kisses to her shoulder. She felt his teeth scrape against her skin as his hands slowly slid along her ribs and down to her waist, where he secured the second tie.

His thumbs rubbed her hips as he planted one final kiss to her bare shoulder and pulled away, rolling up his sleeves to expose his strong forearms and continue working on the grits. She smoothed her hands along the front of her apron and took a shaky breath.

She was silently thankful for the apron he had given her. After his latest performance, there was no doubting it - he could turn her on like a light switch, and she could feel her nipples straining against her shirt in an attempt to make a guest appearance. She suddenly desperately wished she had a bra...he was driving her insane.

She watched him continue to stir the grits, watching the muscles in his forearm flex with each pass the spoon made in the pot, and how his body slightly swayed with the movement.

To hell with going slow.

She wanted him, and he wanted her.

What was the point in denying that when they already had so little time together this summer?

Besides...she decided that in a way, this was their third date. Sex was totally acceptable on a third date.

"It smells amazing," she murmured when she finished her task, coming to stand behind him and wrap her arms around his waist once he had started frying up the bacon. She leaned her head forward to press against his back, and she felt him let out a long, slow breath as if he were trying to control himself.

That's exactly what he was trying to do, too.

He wanted to have an actual date with her, not just another incredibly hot make out session that would force him to take care of matters after she had left, like last time. As it was, he was already struggling to stay focused on cooking dinner.

"Thanks," he replied in an exhale. "It's a family recipe. It felt only right since I had yours. I'm afraid there's no mac and cheese, though."

"There's always next time," she pacified as he turned around in her arms to face her.

"Haven't even finished this date and you're thinking about the next time?" he teased, wrapping his arms around her.

"What can I say - I'm a planner," she laughed, causing him to chuckle as well.

"You're distracting me again," he informed her as her hands slid from around his back to slowly make their way up the front of his shirt to play with the buttons. She could feel his muscles quivering at her touch, and she couldn't help but smirk.

"Good."

"Not good," he laughed. "I don't want to burn the bacon. There's some chilled white wine in the fridge and a plate of cheese and grapes I forgot to take out. Would you grab them?"

"A cheese plate and wine? You really do know the way to a girl's heart. Or at least into her pants," she teased lightly, enjoying the red that rose across his cheeks.

"You'll have to tell me how successful I am, then," he smirked, removing the grits from the stove and adding the cheese and butter to finish them as she located the wine and cheese.

"Glasses?" she asked, handing him the bottle since she couldn't get the top off with only one fully-functional hand.

"Top left," he said, removing the foil wrapper and deftly taking the cork out. He watched her remove her apron before stretching up to pull down the long-stemmed wine glasses. He quickly removed the bacon from the heat and wrapped his arms around her from behind.

"You really need to stop distracting me," he whispered, running his hands up her sides and placing a kiss behind her ear.

"Sorry...I wasn't trying to be distracting," she whispered back, turning around. The movement caused her breasts to rub against his palms, and he quickly backed away, blushing.

"Sorry," he immediately apologized. "I know you wanted to take things slow - I didn't mean to—"

"—it's fine," she reassured. "I know it was an accident, and it's not like we have to go that slow."

"Yeah," he agreed, "but still—"

"—it's fine," she repeated, crossing her arms over her breasts. His repeated apologies were making her nervous and very self-conscious. "Really…"

He jerkily nodded his head and turned back to the bacon, removing it and adding in the shrimp.

Kagome noticed the sudden stiffness in his form as she poured the wine into glasses and mentally cursed the tension she felt in the air now. Everything had been great until…

"Maybe since dinner is almost ready, we should save the cheese until after? I have a few board games I thought we could play."

"Yeah, that sounds great," she agreed, picking up her glass and nervously drinking from it to give her something to do. "Oh wow...what a beautiful sunset," she softly remarked as he began plating the food.

He picked up the plates and came to stand next to her, following her line of sight to look out the sliding glass doors on the other side of the apartment.

"Good timing, too - I wanted to eat out there," he smiled softly, and she noticed for the first time that unlike her brother's apartment, he actually did have furniture on his porch. It was a simple table and two chairs with a matching wicker couch, covered in bright green cushions. String lights had been strung along the support poles at the corners and along the ceiling, and he had put a stout, round vase of flowers in the center of the table.

She turned to regard him with a glowing smile and whispered, "It's lovely."

"Good - I was kind of worried you wouldn't like it, or would want to eat inside. Grab the glasses?" he asked, a soft smile gracing his lips as some of the tension melted from his body.

"Sure," she grinned as he led her outside. He held the door open for her, and as she put the glasses down, he put down the plates and lit the candles and turned on the string lights.

"You know, I've never really taken the time to see the view from here," she commented, resting her hands on the rail and looking out into the distance. They weren't right on the ocean...but they were close enough that she could get quite the eyeful.

"How come?" he asked, coming to stand next to her and lean on the railing. He turned to look at her and felt a certain peace fall over himself. The sunset bathed her in gold, and the wind gently tousled her hair. She really was beautiful...but the thing he loved most was that she seemed happy, too.

"If you didn't notice, Miroku doesn't really have furniture on his balcony. I think most of the guys don't have furniture, actually."

"Most of the guys, huh? And you would know this from visiting them?" he joked, and she lightly pushed his shoulder, knowing that he was just messing with her.

"Sure do," she winked, and he chuckled. A stronger breeze swept past them, causing her arms to break into goosebumps again, and she couldn't stop the shiver that ran up her spine even if she wanted to.

"Cold?" he asked, concerned.

"Maybe a little," she mumbled, blushing.

"Let me get you a jacket," he said, and was gone before she could protest, leaving her alone on the balcony until he returned a moment later with a zip up sweatshirt.

"Sorry I don't have anything smaller," he apologized, holding it open for her and she gratefully threaded her arms into the sleeves. He slowly pulled the zipper up and tried to ignore how he could see every detail of her breasts beneath her shirt.

"If you don't mind me asking…" he started before deciding against it and whispering, "Nevermind. Forget it."

"No...what is it?" she pressed, and he let out a shaky breath.

"You look amazing. Beyond amazing...You're gorgeous as hell tonight, and it's been really hard to focus on other things...but, I don't know," he sighed, running a hand nervously through his hair. "You just don't seem like the same girl I asked out. It feels like...like you're trying to be someone else."

She immediately blushed in embarrassment and wrapped her arms around herself.

"Shit…" he swore. "I'm sorry...I didn't mean to hurt your feelings...you really do look good," he insisted.

"It's not that," she mumbled, turning away from him so he couldn't see her face. "I just saw pictures of your ex, and I thought that's what you liked your women to look like...and I really like you, and I wanted you to like me too..."

His eyes softened and he reached out to cup her cheek, turning her head to look her in the eye.

"Kagome...I do like you...and I don't want you to look like my ex. Kikyo can go fuck herself, so don't compare yourself to her. She's my ex for a reason. I want you to be you, ok? Not her. I liked you when you were just wearing a plain white t-shirt and shorts. All of this," he said, gesturing towards her outfit, "it's sexy, but I don't think you're comfortable in it...and not being comfortable in your skin is the least sexy thing you can be."

She took a step towards him and cupped his face, kissing him gently as his arms wrapped around her, pulling her that much closer to him. She didn't know how long they stood there with her lips working his, but he eventually pulled away from her and breathlessly whispered, "We should eat before dinner gets cold."

"Yeah," she breathed, allowing him to pull out her chair for her and sit down before he pushed it in. "This looks great - thank you."

"Hopefully it tastes great, too," he grinned, picking up his fork and digging in.

It did - warm and wholesome, but deep and delicious. It filled you in just the right way, but still left you dying for the next bite.

It was him on a plate, and she loved it.

"Oh my god," she practically moaned. "It's amazing!"

"Why thank you," he replied, his grin widening.

"How did you learn to cook like this?"

"I spent a lot of time with my mother and grandmother in the kitchen," he shrugged. "Most of my favorite childhood memories were made in the kitchen. They taught me everything I know."

"Really? What are they like?" She asked, and he began to tell her things about his family - like how he had a half brother through his father. His brother's mother had passed from cancer when he was a boy, and after five years, when he was almost ten, his father married his mother. They had him almost immediately afterwards. He had a decent relationship with his brother, but due to the age difference, they weren't close for many years.

He said that once he was old enough to start having an interest in girls...that's when their relationship blossomed. It was like they finally had something in common. His brother, Sesshomaru, was apparently happily married now with a couple of kids of his own.

He had then asked her more about her family, and she told him about the aunt and uncle who had moved out here as soon as their kids had gone off to school to help look after her grandparents. She told him about her younger brother, Sota - the artist, musician, and athlete. He could be quite the ladies man, but he wasn't. He had kept a steady girlfriend for the last few years, and they were starting college applications. Apparently, he was affectionately referred to as a "let's see what happens if we do this" baby, since she and Miroku were seven years older.

Not that her parents would ever admit to that, of course.

By the time the sun had finished setting and dinner was long gone, they both felt like they knew the other even more than they already did. They had grown so comfortable that when Inuyasha laid his hand across the table with his palm up, Kagome immediately placed her hand into his.

She smiled as he gently stroked his thumb across her knuckles.

"So, I heard you met Koga today," she prompted, taking another sip from her wine.

"Yeah - Miroku said that they've known each other since high school?"

Kagome nodded at this and tilted her hand to absently draw invisible lines across his palm.

"He also said that he's been trying to go out with you for years…"

She blushed at that.

"Yeah…" she sighed.

"He seemed a little upset that we had a date planned for tonight. I'm not stepping on anyone's toes, am I?" He asked. "I just want to know for my own peace of mind that there's nothing there and I'm not intruding."

"Trust me," she giggled. "He's like a brother. I have no interest in dating him. Ever."

"Ok, good," he breathed, smiling at her reassurance. "Then you don't have a problem when I kiss you?"

"I don't think I'd consider being kissed by you a problem," she blushed, causing his lips to quirk up as he slid onto the couch. She followed his lead and sat down next to him.

"Let's play a game," he started, taking her hand pressing a kiss to her knuckles. "It's called truth or truth."

"This sounds dangerous."

"Depends on your definition of dangerous," he replied with a shrug.

"Well, what are the rules?"

"It's easy. I ask you a question. Any question I want. And you have to tell me the truth. If you don't want to answer, there's a penalty - I can kiss you anywhere on your body that I want."

"Anywhere, huh?"

"Mhmm," he murmured, running his fingertips along the edge of her shirt. "Except for any predetermined off limits areas, any part of you is fair game. Are you ok with that?"

"Yeah."

"And...are there any off limits areas?" he asked, his fingers slipping under the hem of the shirt she was wearing and he rubbed it meaningfully with his thumb.

"No…" she let out shakily. "You?"

"None…" he replied, leaning forward to plant another lingering kiss to her lips. "If it gets to be too much," he breathed, "tell me, and we will stop."

"I will," she agreed. "So, who goes first?"

"I can. What's your favorite color?"

"Green," she grinned, noticing his disappointment. "My turn now, right?"

"Yeah."

"What's your favorite color?"

"Red - you can't ask the same questions as me!" he laughed.

"I don't remember hearing that in the rules!"

"Fine...but it doesn't make the game as much fun," he pouted.

"I'll try to be more original," she giggled, and they continued playing their game with her attempting to ask different questions for a few more minutes, until...

"Ok...who was your first kiss?"

"Eric Anderson, and that's not fair - I really want to know the answer to that, too!"

"Jessica Cooper. When was your first kiss?"

"Sixth grade," she blushed. "When was yours?"

"I thought you weren't going to keep asking my questions!"

"Then stop asking such good ones," she giggled.

"Also the sixth grade," he sighed. The game was fun, but he was kind of hoping it would be more fun in another way. An idea popped into his head that made him smirk, so he asked, "Who is your next kiss?"

"Pass," she replied immediately, and his lips instantly crashed into hers. It was needy and filled with want, and she felt herself melting into him as he moved his lips against hers. She felt him pull her bottom lip between his and suck before releasing it and slowly moving away from her.

"Your turn," he breathed.

"Who is your next kiss?" she repeated, and she hardly heard the word pass leave his mouth before she was on him, her hands roaming up his chest to find purchase on his shoulders. She pulled him to her as she dominated him, and she felt a wave of satisfaction when she heard him lightly moan.

They finally broke apart, panting as he ran his hands up and down her back.

"What's your lucky number?"

"Pass," she whispered, and she felt his hands tugging at the zipper of the jacket, lowering it enough so that he could push the fabric away from her neck. He leaned in and sucked and nipped at her pulse point before laving the same area with his tongue to soothe his assault on her skin.

"What's your favorite movie?" she asked shakily when he finally pulled back.

"Pass."

She raised her hands and slowly undid the buttons of his shirt, her eyes darkening with desire as she went. When it was completely unbuttoned, she placed her hands on the fabric at his shoulders and looked up at him. She was searching for any trace of a signal that he wanted her to stop, and when she found none, she pushed his shirt off of him.

God.

Knowing what was under there and seeing it in photos was nothing in comparison to actually feeling it first hand. He was the most perfect man she had ever seen. It was like she was allowed to touch a Greek sculpture at a museum...only this one was covered in skin and made of flesh and bone that made the most amazing sounds of appreciation when she kissed his collarbone and trailed her lips down his body. She licked, nipped, and kissed her way to his pectorals, worshiping him as best she could. Her right hand splayed itself across his lower abdomen to feel the hard muscles quivering from her touch.

God, he was amazing.

His eyes had darkened from their normal brilliant amber to a beautiful hazel when she sat back up.

"Favorite time of year?" he panted.

"Pass."

He pulled the zipper on the jacket the rest of the way down and parted the opening to reveal the satin shirt she was wearing under it. He lifted his fingers to the lace lining her left breast and pulled the lace down to where she had used tape, exposing the top half.

He looked up into her eyes as he slowly lowered his face, giving her plenty of time to stop him before he first placed a gentle kiss there, then licked her skin. She gasped at the sensation and he looked up at her, ready to pull away if that was what she wanted...but it wasn't.

She felt his arm wrap around her back while the other hand slowly burned a path up her trembling stomach to cup her over the silken fabric of her shirt. He waited for a sign that he should stop, and when he received none, he nipped at the skin of her breast and gently stroked her nipple with his thumb.

She moaned at the contact and arched into him, silently asking for more. The heat from his hand was as spectacular as she had thought it would be.

"Do you have a question for me?" she heard him ask her through the haze in her head.

"Pass," she gasped as he lowered his mouth to her nipple over the fabric of her shirt and grazed it with his teeth. His fingers began working the edge of her shirt down over her left breast to completely expose it to him, and he let out a sound of confusion when he was met with the fabric tape. It took him a moment to realize what it was, but he was quickly able to identify it and carefully lifted the hem of her shirt up, the tape strips leaving red lines in their wake.

He pressed tender kisses to each red, irritated line before moving back down to his original target. She groaned in pleasure as his lips and teeth played with her tightening bud, rolling it around his mouth with his tongue. She felt his arms trade places as his right hand came up to knead and massage her right breast, pinching and flicking her nipple until they had both hardened into twin peaks. He carefully removed her other breast from is taped confinement, exposing it to the chilly night air.

"Do you want me to stop?" he breathed as he backed away from her breast.

"Pass," she gasped as his fingers continued to rub her puckered flesh. "We should take this inside," she moaned as his lips moved to her right breast, pulling it into his mouth before he let it go with an audible smack.

"Ok," he agreed, backing away from her and grabbing his shirt and jacket from the couch. She moved her shirt back into place and held her hair back, leaning over to blow out the candles. She looked up at him through hooded eyes and bit back a groan at the very impressive bulge in his pants.

God, she wanted to see what was hiding under that denim.

He held out a hand to her and she took it, allowing him to lead her back into his apartment.

As soon as the door closed, she found herself wrapped in his arms. She sighed in contentment as he began pressing wet kisses to her neck, trailing a line up to her ear lobe. His hands ran up her sides, one burning a path to the small of her back, the other heading for her right breast. Her nipples were still hard from his earlier treatment and the cool night air, and she found herself hissing in pleasure as he kneaded her soft mound.

His lips came back to hers as his thumb and index finger sent a particularly violent shock of electricity to her core when he pinched her nipple. She groaned in need and found herself clinging to his perfect, shirtless body.

He nipped at her bottom lip and ran his tongue across it again...she knew in the back of her mind that he had reached for the bottom hem of her shirt, but she frankly didn't care at that point.

She felt like a pile of goo in his very capable hands, and she was currently struggling to cling to reality.

"Kagome," he groaned, slowly lifting her shirt to her navel. "Stop me," he commanded, his words somehow breaking through the haze in her mind. "If you don't want this, I need you to tell me."

"I want this," she confirmed breathlessly, her hands finding their way to his chest. She raked her nails down his body, stopping at his belt. She grabbed a hold of it and pulled him closer before carefully removing it. It dropped to the floor with a definitive thump, and she bit her lip in excitement.

Kagome loved that sound. She had always loved the sound of a man's belt hitting the floor. It normally meant that good things were about to follow...and somehow, she just knew that this time would be no different.

Her fingers started to undo the button on his jeans before moving to his fly and gingerly tugging.

He groaned in relief as his throbbing stiffness was finally freed. He toed off his socks and shoes before kicking his pants away. When he was done, he finally lifted her shirt over her head, and her arms instinctively came up to shield her breasts from him. Her cast roughly scraped against her left breast, and she felt that much more naked in front of him.

"Don't," he whispered, gently taking her arms into his hands, but he didn't move them. "Please? Let me see you in the light..."

She bit her lip nervously, but allowed him to lower her arms.

"You're perfect," he smiled sweetly, moving a strand of her hair behind her ear.

"I'm not nearly as perfect as you," she confessed with embarrassment, her eyes roaming over his chest.

"Oh yeah?" He scoffed. "Why don't I tell you what I love about you, then." He lifted his hand and cupped her breast, gently kneading. "You fit perfectly into my hand," his whispered. "Not too big, not too small."

He leaned down and licked her other nipple, causing her face to flush even more. "So are these," he breathed, his hot breath fanning over her wet skin. "Beautiful. And so responsive…" he continued, blowing air onto her nipple and she gasped at the feeling. "I love how pink and puckered they are. And how you moan when I do this," he murmured, taking it back into his mouth and sucking. He ran his tongue over her again and again, scraping his teeth against her, and she felt her knees begin to buckle.

He released her breast and started trailing hot kisses to the middle of her chest before slowly lowering himself to his knees in front of her. He continued to press wet kisses in a long trail from the valley between her breasts to her navel.

"Every inch of you...God...you're so perfect," he breathed, running his hands up her back and down to her ass, cupping her there before moving them to her button and fly. He ran his fingers over the button and looked up at her, silently asking to continue.

She gave him a shaky nod, and he undid them, lowering them to the floor and helping her take off her shoes, stripping her until they both stood there in their underwear.

She reached out for his hand and he gave it to her, allowing her to lead him to his bedroom where she gently pushed him to sit on his bed. She climbed onto his lap, straddling him but still kneeling above his very uncomfortable erection.

His arms rose to help hold her in place as she cupped his face and began to passionately kiss him again until he was moaning with need into her mouth.

"Kagome," he breathed when she finally let him go.

"I want you," she replied, lowering herself to grind her core into the stiffness pressing against her. He hissed in pleasure and leaned his head to her shoulder.

"God," he groaned. "I want you so badly, too…"

She moved off of him and slowly slid her underwear past her hips, suddenly quite pleased that she had taken the time to clean up her "bikini area" while she was shaving before she left. His eyes darkened as she bared herself to him, and he reached out to her, pulling her back and onto the bed. He climbed over her and proceeded to kiss her senseless, kneading her left breast again. It was like he couldn't get enough of them, and it was starting to make her really believe what he said.

He found her incredibly desirable, and that made her feel empowered and sexy as hell.

She felt him move himself down the bed and press kisses to every square inch of her body. She trembled as he made his way to her belly, making sure to stop and press open mouthed kisses to her navel. He gently rubbed her thighs as he brought his mouth even lower, until his chin was just barely brushing against her core.

She was almost begging him at that point, her desire had become so overwhelming.

Finally, he cupped her with his hand and leaned back up to look her in the eye as he whispered, "Tell me what you need."

"I need you," she practically begged, squirming and trying to get him to do more than just cup her. She needed to feel more than just the exquisite heat from his hand.

"No," he chuckled throatily. "Tell me what you need. Tell me how to make you cum. I want to hear you scream."

"Oh god," she whimpered, her hips starting to rock against his hand in a feeble attempt to ease some of the ache.

"Tell me," he prodded again. "What do you need?"

"Touch me," she begged breathlessly.

"How?" He asked, rubbing his hand up and down her slit, feeling the wetness, proving her intense arousal. "Show me," he demanded. And so she did.

She grabbed his hand and slipped one of his fingers past her entrance, wetting it and bringing it up to her hardened bundle of nerves.

"Rub my clit," she rasped, moving his finger around in a circle.

"Like this?" he demanded, taking over and repeating the motion. "How about this?" he asked, changing the pattern and varying the pressure until she was gasping and quivering beneath him. He watched as her hands slid up her body to her breasts, and he shooed away her broken arm from her left one, taking it back into his mouth and loving it in his now familiar way.

"Tell me what else you need," he asked hoarsely, leaving her clit to rub his fingers against her opening. "Do you want me to put them inside you?"

"Yes," she begged, and he happily obliged, inserting one finger and curing it upwards, thrusting his hand in and out of her.

"God…" she whimpered as he added a second.

"Kagome, I want to taste you…"

She threw her head back, hardly able to understand what he was saying anymore. She felt him move down her body, and she cried out when his mouth started suckling at her clit. His tongue was lapping and licking her in a way she had never experienced before, and before long, she was screaming his name loud enough that he was sure Miroku could hear them.

He crawled back up her body, kissing her as he laid down next to her and let her come down off of her high.

"Inuyasha," she gasped throatily. "Oh my God…"

"Yeah?" he grinned, running his fingers in circles on her arm.

"Yeah," she smiled weakly back. "That was...oh my God…"

"That was just part one, if you'd like to continue," he smirked. It might have been a while since he was with a woman, but it felt good to know that he wasn't that out of practice.

"Fuck yes," she panted, laughing breathlessly.

"Let me get the condom…" he told her, not so subtly letting her know exactly what he had planned next.

"Please," she grinned. Fuck. That was amazing.

He leaned over her and rummaged through his night stand until he found a square packet and pulled it out before removing his underwear.

Goddamn. He really was fucking perfect,wasn't he?

He was thick (but not too thick) and just the right length. He also clearly cared about "lawn maintenance" as well, which she appreciated.

He removed the condom from its packaging and rolled it on before crawling up her body, placing a gentle kiss to her lips as he hovered above her.

"Is this position fine? Because of your arm..." He clarified, rubbing the head of his penis against her slit.

"Yes...please...I need you," she whimpered, and he finally aligned himself, pushing in.

He let out a shaky breath as her wet heat clamped down onto him. God, it had been so long since he had been inside a woman...he wasn't sure he was going to be able to make this last.

"You feel so good," he admittedly shakily, starting to thrust his hips, and his breath hitched in his throat.

"You too," she gasped, throwing her head back as he picked up the pace and found a very sensitive spot within her. She started to clench herself around him, and he let out a gurgling sound of surprised appreciation.

"You can go faster," she urged. "You can't break me more."

That was all the encouragement he needed before he was slamming into her. It didn't take long after that before he cried out a string of nonsense, stilling his rapid movement and trembling above her.

He rolled off to the side, closing his eyes as he collapsed.

"Damn…" he chuckled throatily. "Did you…"

"Not the second time...but the first was amazing."

He weakly rolled over to look at her and gave her a sincere, apologetic smile.

"I thought so. I'm sorry...it's been a while."

"It's fine," she smiled genuinely. "More than fine. That was still one of the best lays I've ever had."

"Next time will be better," he promised, drawing invisible patterns onto her shoulder above the cast. "Assuming you want a next time?"

"I expect there to be lots of 'next times' before I leave," she chuckled.

"Mmm…I like the sound of that."

"Me too."

"How about another one right now?"

"You can go again?" she asked, stupefied, making him let out a full-bodied laugh.

"No…" he replied, grinning. "But I can still see to you…"

And he quickly did just that, leaving her breathless and crying out his name for a second time that night.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

 

Kagome woke up the next morning completely naked and well-rested. The sun had filtered through the cracks of Inuyasha’s blinds, lighting the room. She was puzzled for all of five seconds as to where she was before her cheeks lit up in embarrassment. Images of the night before flooded her mind...vividly reminding her of Inuyasha and how good he was with her body as well as his own. 

Damn. 

He was going to ruin her for all other men. 

She doubted that anyone else could measure up to that. 

She rolled over and noticed that his side of the bed was completely empty. She was about to freak out when she smelled the most wonderful smells coming from the other room. 

Bacon and coffee. 

This man really was amazing. 

She slipped out of bed and tore the top sheet off, wrapping herself up in it before poking her head out of his bedroom. 

“Good morning,” she greeted shyly, seeing him at the stove in just a pair of underwear and his dog tags. 

“After last night, I’d sure say it was,” he smirked, causing her to blush again. “Interesting choice of morning attire,” he commented casually, looking her up and down in his sheet. 

“I didn’t want to put on anything clean until I took a shower,” she explained, moving a strand of hair behind her ear. 

“Is that why?” he smiled teasingly, coming to stand in front of her. 

“Yeah,” she reaffirmed. 

“You know,” he pondered aloud, tilting her head up and ghosting his lips across hers. “You didn’t have to put anything on…”

She didn’t know how or when, but his hand had snaked its way under the sheet to cup her breast before tweaking her nipple, making her screech in surprise. 

“Inuyasha!” she yelped.

“Yes?” he replied innocently, still rubbing his thumb across her. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, you could give me some of that bacon,” she replied, sticking her tongue out at him as he finally removed his hand from her breast. 

“After you shower, remember? I’d like to get my sheet back at some point!”

“I will!” she promised. “I just wanted to find my phone and let Miroku know that I’m fine since I didn’t go over last night.”

“About that…” he began nervously.

“Yes,” she prompted, raising her brow. 

“He might have already stopped by with Koga.”

“What?”

“It was when you were still sleeping!” he quickly explained. “They were concerned when you weren’t there this morning, and Koga had spent the night to make sure I didn’t murder you. We were both kind of tired after dessert yesterday and we didn’t send a text to let them know you were staying here,” he rambled as she silently seethed. “Hey,” he tried, “it’s ok. He’s just acting like any normal brother would. I’m not offended, if that’s what you’re worried about. I get it, don’t worry about it.”

“I’m going to kill them,” she hissed, and Inuyasha turned the burner off before gathering her into his arms.

“Don’t kill him,” he softly requested, kissing her forehead. “He’s protective, and he loves you. He just wants what’s best.”

“And he clearly doesn’t trust me ,” she wailed. “God... I’m so tired of this shit…” she moaned. 

Miroku had always been protective, but it had only gotten worse after the Hojo debacle. Honestly, she was surprised he had all but put her tongue down Inuyasha’s throat himself when she was here last week. Maybe it was because he could see how much she wanted him that let him feel like it was ok to interfere the first few times. 

She had been hoping that this meant that he was finally lightening up, but it was clear now that he wasn’t. 

“I know...I’m sorry,” Inuyasha soothed, kissing her forehead. “Why don’t you shower, and then you can call him after you’ve calmed down? I think a shower might help.”

“A shower is only going to piss me off more, now,” she snapped, making him raise both of his brows in surprise. 

“Sorry,” she sighed. “It’s just really hard to take one with this fucking cast.”

“I can help,” he offered with a shrug, making her bite her lip nervously.

“You don’t mind?” she asked shyly. God, that sounded amazing…

“Do I mind being in the shower with a sexy woman that I get to touch and lather with soap?” he smirked, raising his hands to slowly push the sheet down her body until she stood naked and blushing in front of him. “I do...but I think I can suffer through the pain,” he purred, reaching out to cup her ass and pull her to him. He reached up to stroke the underside of her breast before leaning down to kiss the crook of her neck.

“But you’re going to actually help me shower, right?” she asked, her breath hitching as his fingers found her nipple again, and his other hand slipped between her thighs. 

“If that’s what the lady wants,” he purred huskily.

“It is,” she confirmed shakily. “Stop trying to seduce me,” she scolded as his hand cupped her heat, gently rubbing her with his palm.

“Sorry...you just make it so hard…”

“I was there last night. I remember exactly how hard I made it…” she teased, making him groan. 

“Fine,” he grumbled good naturedly, leading her to the bathroom and grabbing her bag from the bedroom along the way. “Take out what you need,” he requested, turning on the water in the shower to start heating it. 

She nodded her thanks and began rummaging through it until she found her toiletries, and also the bag and roll of tape she had packed to cover her cast in. 

When she was done, she turned around and saw that he had already stripped. He had nothing to be ashamed of while flaccid either. 

“Need me to tape you up?”

“Yes, please,” she replied bashfully, and he helped position her arm into the bag and tape it to her. “That should be good,” she told him with a smile once he had wrapped the tape around her a few times. 

He tossed the tape back into her duffel and grabbed the soaps and conditioner she had left out by the sink before holding the shower curtain open for her. 

“My lady.”

“Why, thank you,” she smiled, taking the hand he offered her and letting him help her step into the shower before following her himself. He put her supplies onto the ledge and watched her stand under the spray, letting water drip down her body and soak her hair. 

God, this was going to be more difficult than he originally imagined…

Starting with the shampoo, he squeezed out a small amount into his palm and beckoned her to come closer. As soon as his fingers began working the shampoo through her hair and scalp, he felt her relax against him. 

“That feels really good,” she murmured into his ear as he continued to massage her scalp. 

“Good,” he replied, his tone matching hers. 

She pushed away from him after a minute to rinse her hair, and he watched the soap suds travel down her body in the rivulets created by the stream of water above. He watched one grouping of bubbles make their way from the top of her shoulder to float over her breast, narrowly missing her nipple before slipping down her stomach to her hip and then her thigh. 

If he could, he would have whined like a dog. 

Kagome asked him to condition her hair next, and he shakily repeated the same process, only this time she asked him to help brush her hair as well. When he was done, she moved away to rinse herself, and this time he had to avert his gaze. 

He wasn’t sure if there was a God, but if there was, they had a cruel sense of humor. 

“Do you want me to wash your body too?” he asked when she reemerged from her rinse and could hear him again. 

“If you don’t mind?” she asked shyly. 

She could probably do a good enough job on her own, but he had been amazing so far. His fingers in her scalp had completely relaxed her, and she knew that his hands washing her body would be just as good, if not better. 

“Not in the least,” he smirked, innocently forgetting about the gel body wash she had brought that would require a poof, and picked up his bar of soap. He rubbed it between his hands to get a nice lather going and started with her back and shoulders after she moved her hair out of the way. 

She audibly moaned when instead of just washing her, he massaged her back, working out all of the kinks she had developed over the last few weeks. 

“Inuyasha…” she groaned. “That feels so good…”

He smirked and slowly slid his hands from her upper back down to her lower back, and she moaned even louder and her head dropped to his shoulder. Her new position raised her breasts slightly, drawing his attention to them, and he bit the inside of his lip in want. 

Pleased that he had turned the woman before him into a pile of putty, he moved his hands even lower to massage her ass. 

“You don’t...” she began to object lazily, and he immediately waved it off. 

“I do. I don’t mind, I promise,” he whispered huskily into her ear, continuing to rub her body. 

She nodded and leaned back further against him, causing some of her soap suds to rub off onto his chest. She felt slick and wonderful against his front, and he could feel the blood rushing to his penis as a result of her close proximity and the activity he was engaging in. 

He mentally tried to give his body a pep talk, explaining that he was doing this to help her and she just wanted a shower...not another fuck session. 

Unfortunately, when she turned around and he started on her breasts, that’s all he could think about. He felt himself hardening as he rubbed his relathered hands across her breasts, covering every square inch of them. He rubbed his fingers and palms against her puckering nipples, and when she let out a moan of appreciation at his diligence, he bit the inside of his lip again. 

He needed to focus. He moved down her body to her stomach, and then lowered himself into a crouch to work on her calves. He skipped her thighs, and when he started working his way back up to them, he heard her whisper, “That looks rather uncomfortable.”

He furrowed his brow in confusion for a second before following her line of sight and blushed. 

She was staring at his very embarrassing erection. 

“It’s fine,” he shrugged, continuing to work on her thighs. “If we ignore him, he’ll get the hint and go away.”

When he finally reached the part of her he had most been looking forward to cleaning, she stilled his hands and blushed. 

“I can do that on my own. It needs a woman’s touch,” she explained, and he stood back up. 

“I’ll work on me, then,” he replied, before handing her the bar of soap and helping her get some suds on her right hand. When she had enough, he put it back and watched her hand move between her thighs, gently cleaning herself. 

A sound he couldn’t identify escaped his throat, and he had to turn around to not watch her. He knew she wasn’t...but it looked like she was touching herself in a way to bring her sexual pleasure, and there was only so much he could stand. 

Finishing, she rinsed off and traded places with him, his erection rubbing against her in the process. She couldn’t help but look down at the offending appendage, and he blushed at how much he had hardened. 

“Sorry,” he smiled sheepishly. “Hop out and get dressed - I’ll be done in a few minutes.”

A protest was caught on her lips as she stared at his length, but he turned around before she could find the courage to say something. 

Shower sex sounded very appealing at the moment, but with only one hand, she didn’t think she possessed the finesse required to show him just how much she appreciated the shower. This was also the cleanest she had felt in a long time...

She moved the curtain out of the way and used Inuyasha’s hand to help her step out of the shower and get dried off. She picked up her duffel and carried it back out into the bedroom, changing into a white spaghetti strap tank top and a pair of jeans. She was just zipping up her bag when she heard groans coming from the bathroom, and she blushed at the thought of what was going on in there. 

It made her feel good to know that she had affected him that much. Maybe he was right. Maybe she was beautiful and sexy just as she was. She didn’t think she’d be hearing those sounds if she weren’t. 

She left the bedroom and found the jacket she had borrowed the night before hanging off of the edge of the couch. She pulled it back on before heading next door to give her brother (and his friend, if he was still there) a piece of her mind.

 


 

 

Inuyasha noticed the distinct lack of a certain beautiful woman from his apartment as soon as he left his bedroom. He also noticed the shouting coming from Miroku’s apartment, and that one of the voices was feminine.  

He sighed, pulling a t shirt over his head and onto his damp body before exiting his apartment, not bothering to find a pair of jeans. 

He knew he was in part to blame for their strife, and he wanted to be able to address any issues they might have with him head on. The sooner, the better. 

The door to Miroku’s apartment was cracked, allowing him to gently push it open further so he could enter. 

He saw Koga awkwardly sitting on the couch, and he gave Inuyasha a weak smile. 

“Hey,” he greeted with a small wave. 

“Hey,” he replied, his eyes shifting over to the closed door of Miroku’s bedroom. “How bad is it?”

“Pretty bad,” he winced. 

“Fuck,” he sighed. “I didn’t mean to get you guys into any trouble.” 

“It’s not your fault. We should have known better, but no one was answering cells.”

“Sorry...we kinda left them in the other room and forgot about them.”

“I get it. They weren’t a priority.”

‘You aren’t Dad, Miroku!’ They both heard Kagome screech from the other room, causing Koga to wince again. 

“I’m sure I’m next,” he sighed, resigned to his fate. “So, how was it?”

“The date was great,” he smiled warmly, coming to sit on the couch as Koga picked up a mug and drank from it. 

“I’m not talking about the date,” Koga replied, shooting him a knowing look. “I was talking about how good her sweet little pussy was.”

Inuyasha’s brows shot to his hairline, and he subconsciously squared his shoulders. 

“That’s not something I feel that I’m at liberty to discuss with you.”

Koga nodded and drank from his cup again. “God, the number of times I’ve pictured myself where you were...fucking the shit out of her...eating her tight snatch...If you ever feel like sharing, you just let me know.”

There was something in the way he said ‘sharing’ that put Inuyasha on edge. Maybe it was his tone, or the fact that he could smell alcohol on his breath despite the coffee in his cup, or the strange glint in his eye...but regardless of what it was, his instincts were telling him to keep an eye on Miroku’s “friend” when it came to Kagome. 

There was something just so open ended to “sharing”...it almost sounded like Koga wanted to join them in the bedroom rather than just get sordid details or have Kagome for himself. 

“I’ll keep your interest in mind,” he replied, noncommittally. 

“You’re a good man,” Koga grinned toothily, standing with a little difficulty and walking to Miroku’s kitchen. 

The door to Miroku’s bedroom opened, and Kagome strode out with her head held high. She spotted Inuyasha and immediately went to him, pulling his head up for a burning kiss that left him moaning. 

What the hell was going on?

“Come on - I remember you saying you were going to finish making breakfast after you helped me shower. Yeah, that’s right,” she shouted, whirling back around to face a very pale Miroku. “We fucked and he took a shower with me. It was glorious, so you need to just deal with it! The same goes for you, Koga! I can make my own goddamn decisions, and if I want to fucking ride him like a horse, I’ll ride him like a goddamn horse! Now, stop acting like I’m a child!”

She grabbed Inuyasha’s arm and dragged him out of her brother’s apartment and back into Inuyasha’s, bursting into tears the second the door had closed behind them. 

“Kagome?” He reached out tentatively to her and she buried her face into his chest, sobbing uncontrollably. “Kagome...what happened…?” he asked softly, rubbing her back. 

“They’re such fucking idiots,” she sobbed. “I don’t know what’s worse: what Hojo did, or how they treat me since we broke up.”

He pressed soft kisses to her head, carefully guiding her to his couch and sitting her down on it. He continued to rub her back soothingly, not saying anything. He just let her cry until she couldn’t cry anymore, her body convulsing with hiccups. 

Finally, she looked back up at him, her face red and puffy. 

“I’m sorry,” she sniffed, rubbing her cheeks. 

“You don’t have anything to apologize for,” he reassured her.

“I do...I’m sure I seem like a total mess…”

“You are exactly what you need to be right now,” he countered slowly. He was an outsider - he didn’t know the dark details of her past like her brother did. All he knew was that she was hurting right now, and for some reason, it was because they had slept together last night. 

“I feel like I at least owe you an explanation,” she sniffed. 

“You don’t owe me anything...but you can tell me whatever you want. I’ll listen to you,” he soothed, smoothing her hair away from her face. 

“Hojo…” she began, “I met my ex two years ago. He was an accounting major, and nice and popular and I fell for him hard and fast. He seemed like he was a good guy,” she sighed, shaking her head. “I was convinced that he was the one. I was done. No more searching, no more dating drama...it was him. I was so convinced that I actually thought he was going to propose on our two year anniversary. I was so excited. I thought he was keeping our plans a surprise, and I spent the day at the salon getting my hair and nails done. I had this great little black dress picked out for when I came home...and that morning, I gave him this dirty book I put together. It had pictures…” her breath hitched at the word pictures , and she swallowed hard. 

“It had pictures of me in it. In lingerie...naked...touching myself…” she confessed, cupping her breast and moving her hands down to the front of her pants to demonstrate. “I was so stupid. I wrote this little note…‘I hope this gets you in the mood for tonight...love you, Baby!’ It got him in the mood alright - but not for me. I came home and found him fucking my friend. They had been sleeping together for the last year, apparently, and I was too damn blind to see it. That’s not even the worst of it...after I kicked him out, I realized that I couldn’t find the book.”

Inuyasha’s heart sank, already mentally predicting what had happened. 

“The asshole took it and scanned the photos and put them onto some revenge porn site. And then he circulated the link. Everyone saw everything . And then the slut shaming started…”

Inuyasha gathered her into his arms, letting her rest her head on his shoulder as she started to cry. 

“They were just so... mean. They tore my body apart. Criticized every inch of me...and then they told me that Hojo was too good for me…”

“He was an asshole,” Inuyasha immediately interjected. “He had no right to do any of that to you…”

“But he did...and now Miroku…” her breath hitched again, “Miroku thinks that just because we slept together last night, I’m making the same mistakes as before…”

“Hey,” Inuyasha soothed, tilting her face up to look at him, “I would never do something like that to you. Never . That was beyond low, and there’s a special place in hell for him.”

“I know,” she muttered. “I don’t know what happened...Miroku really seemed all for this, and he was practically pushing us together, but now he’s changing his tune…”

“Don’t worry about him right now. Do you like being with me? Not just the physical part. I mean hanging out and talking and stuff.”

“Yeah…” she smiled weakly. 

“Well, I like doing that same shit with you...so let’s do it together and fuck what they think. We know what happens in here. They don’t, and they don’t need to, ok? If you’re happy, I’m happy.”

“Thanks,” she smiled, rubbing her eyes. 

“You’re welcome,” he said, kissing her forehead. “Now, I think I have some chocolate covered strawberries left over from last night that I think we could use right about now…”

Chapter Text

 

 

Chapter 8

“Hold the door!”

Inuyasha looked up from his phone to the man in fatigues running towards the elevator. He stuck his hand out to catch the doors as they started to close, halting them. 

“Hey,” Miroku greeted, removing his hat so Inuyasha could see his face and he nodded in welcome, backing away from the doors once Miroku entered. “Heading home?” 

“Yeah.”

Inuyasha hadn’t seen Miroku since the day before when he and Kagome had their big fight...nor had Kagome. She had spent the rest of the day snuggled up in his arms on the couch while they talked and watched TV. He had only asked once if she wanted to go back now that things had cooled off, and she told him that she would see Miroku again in two weeks. 

Apparently, her cast was coming off next weekend, and she had all sorts of plans for him in the bedroom once it did and she had full range again. 

“Mind if I join?”

Inuyasha just shrugged. “Couldn’t stop you even if I wanted to. You live next to me.”

“I know,” Miroku acknowledged, a giant whoosh of air escaping his lungs. “But I wanted to talk to you. About yesterday…”

The elevator doors opened on the first floor, interrupting him. They walked in silence until they were outside before he finally continued. 

“Listen...I just wanted to apologize for acting like an asshole yesterday.”

“It’s ok,” Inuyasha reassured him. “I get it. Kagome told me about Hojo.”

“Did she tell you everything?” Miroku pressed. 

“She told me that they were serious enough that she thought he was ‘the one’, and she gave him something he couldn’t be trusted with. She also mentioned the cheating.”

“Yeah? What about the fact that the prick is engaged to the girl he was screwing behind her back?”

“She might have left that part out,” he winced. “Damn...I thought my breakup was bad...” he smiled darkly, folding his arms behind his head and looking up at the sky. 

“It was...it’s been really hard getting her to smile again,” Miroku confessed. “I just don't want to see her get hurt again.”

“I get it,” Inuyasha agreed, opening the door to their apartment building. “Frankly, I don’t blame you. If I had a sister and that shit happened to her, I’d probably be doing the same thing…so I get it. I do. But, Miroku...I’m not a bad guy. I know people never think that they are...but I’d never hurt Kagome like that.”

“I know. I don’t know what came over me. You’ve seemed like a real stand up guy from the start, and Kagome really liked you...I mean really liked you...so I pushed you guys together because I wanted her to be happy. And then she turned her phone off when you were there for movie night, and I started getting worried. Then you guys weren’t answering because you were having sex and Koga and I started talking about the past and I just...I overreacted. I got in the middle of your date, and you guys have every right to be pissed.”

Koga huh? Why did this make him feel so...on edge.

“Kagome thinks it’s because we slept together the other night,” he said instead, not mentioning his unease at what Miroku had just said, or what Koga had said to him the day before about wanting to share

“That didn’t help,” he admitted, wincing. “She’s not the kind of girl who normally does that. She doesn’t have one night stands, she doesn’t jump into bed with random people, and she doesn’t sleep with guys she’s just met. I thought you would eventually...but not after the brief time you’ve known each other.”

Inuyasha wasn’t sure how he should feel about that. Given what Miroku had just told him, it sounded like their relationship, as it were, was an outlier. He hasn’t pushed her, had he?

He thought back to the way she had taken off his shirt, instigating his response of kissing her breasts, and the way that she had constantly given him permission to continue throughout the night. 

No - he hadn’t pushed her...but Miroku must think that he did. 

“Miroku, I meant what I said the other day. I let her set the pace, and I gave her plenty of chances to back out. I’m not saying she’s a slut,” he rushed to say when Miroku opened his mouth, “but she wanted it too, or else it wouldn’t have happened. I was fine with just making out and playing board games. Really. I was. I don’t think that there’s anything I can say or do to make you believe that, though,” he continued smally. “Let me ask you something - did you sleep with Sango on the first date?” 

Miroku’s responding blush told him all that he needed to know. 

“Do you think you’re a bad guy for it? Just...think on that, ok? And...and try to have a little more faith in Kagome. With all due respect, the only one hurting her right now is you. And Koga, I guess.”

Inuyasha put his keys into his lock and opened his door. He was about to step through when he heard, “You’re right, you know. About all of it.”

He paused and turned to look back at Miroku. 

“And you’re especially right that I don’t really trust you yet...but I’d like to change that, especially since Kagome likes you. We’re having a surprise rooftop pool party in celebration of Kagome getting her cast off next week. I think it would mean a lot to her if you came and we all hung out. It should be good...barbecue and water volleyball and lots of sunshine...and I won’t make a fuss when you take her back to your place.”

“I wouldn’t miss it,” he grinned, seeing the invitation as the olive branch that it was, and extending one of his own. “I’ll talk to Kagome and let her know we worked things out, and that she should call you.”

“Thanks, man,” he replied, his eyes filling with relief.

“Don’t mention it,” Inuyasha replied, waving it off and entering his apartment. 

So much for a fun, casual, summer fling, huh? There was enough drama here to last him a lifetime.

Somehow, he knew she was worth it though. 

 


 

“Ugh...I think the wait is going to kill me,” Kagome groaned into her phone. This had become her favorite part of the day - laying in bed and talking to Inuyasha on the phone. She looked forward to their conversations, even when they were about nothing.  

‘Don’t be dramatic,’ Inuyasha teased from the other end.

“I’m not being dramatic,” she whined. “I think I’m actually going to die.”

She heard him chuckle throatily, and the sound sent shivers running up her spine as well as to other places.

‘You’ll be fine,’ he pacified. ‘Tomorrow will be here soon enough, and then that monstrosity will be gone. You just need to find a way to distract yourself.’

“Are you suggesting phone sex?” she asked, instantly perking up. 

‘I wasn’t,’ he laughed aloud. ‘God, woman...your grandparents are in the other room! I meant something like find a book. Or watch a movie. Or keep talking to the incredibly hot and equally bored guy on the other end of the phone and tell him more about your day…’

“I like mine more,” she pouted. 

‘And ruin the anticipation for this weekend?’ he purred huskily. God, she couldn’t wait for this weekend. She kept picturing all of the different things she wanted to do to him once her cast was off, and her body was constantly reminding her of how good he was at pleasing it. 

“Some might argue that phone sex would only help increase the anticipation for this weekend.”

‘Others might argue that the longer we’re denied, the more intense it will be.’

God...why did he make her so damn horny all the time? Just listening to his voice right now made her weak and needy. 

“You’re a cruel man.”

He barked a laugh out at that. 

‘I can help distract you in other ways. I could read to you. Or we could actually watch Netflix and chill together.’

“You won’t have the book I'm reading with you, and I’m a snob about bouncing between stories,” she reasoned. “What did you want to watch?”

‘What are you in the mood for?’

“I already told you, and you made it clear that wasn’t an option,” she teased. 

‘I’m always game for Marvel - I know of a way where we can watch at the same time and we will be at the same point. And we can FaceTime,’ he continued, blatantly choosing to ignore her second request for phone sex. 

“Fine,” she groaned, finally conceding. “Let me get my computer and some headphones.”

‘I’ll be waiting for your call,’ he purred, hanging up. 

She quickly ran to the mirror and threw her hair into a high ponytail and changed from her t-shirt into a low-cut tank top. She applied a light coat of mascara and reapplied her lip gloss. She wanted to look casual, but cute. 

She flopped back down onto her bed and opened her laptop, calling him. He instantly picked up, and she quickly identified his bedroom. He was laying across the length of the bed in a soft looking red t-shirt that clung to parts of his body that she wanted to taste again. 

This weekend...she just needed to last until this weekend...

“Hey,” he grinned. “I like this so much more than just talking on the phone. Now I feel like you’re here with me.”

“Only I’m not,” she sighed. “Why do you have to be two hours away?”

“Could be worse,” he shrugged. “We could be in different time zones.”

“Don’t say that!” she scolded, and he laughed. “I wish you were here.”

“Me too,” he smiled smally before typing something on his computer. She saw a notification fly across her screen, telling her she had just received a text. “Click on that.”

She raised a brow but did as he asked, and a website instantly popped up. He walked her through downloading the plugin, and soon, she was able to see his computer screen. 

“Ready?” he finally asked, and he hit the play button. 

She pulled a pillow up under her chest and wrapped her arms around it, wishing it was him. 

“Are you nervous about tomorrow?”

“A little,” she admitted shyly as the opening credits began to play. “I just want it to be over with. I hate the saws that they use to get you out of these things. I’m terrified it’s going to go through my cast and get my actual arm.”

“Do you want me to come?” he asked, genuine concern shining in his eyes.

“No...Miroku said he would, but I don’t want him coming to my doctor’s appointment anymore...and it’s a bit too serious for a summer fling kind of relationship, don't you think? It’s too...boyfriendy.”

She saw something flash across his face, but it was gone before she could identify it. Was it hurt? Or disappointment? Or had she just imagined it?

“Yeah...you’re right. Besides, it will be all gross and smelly when they remove it, and that’s a total turn off.”

“Jerk!” she laughed. 

“Have you talked to Miroku yet?”

“You’re just asking all the hard-hitting questions tonight, huh?”

“What can I say - it’s a gift.”

“Well…” she began hesitantly, “if you really want to know, I’m still pissed at him. And I know you said that he apologized to you,” she said, cutting him off from interrupting her with just that point, “but it doesn’t feel like enough to me. I need to know that he’s not going to pull this crap with any guy I’m interested in for the rest of my life.”

“He will always want to protect you,” he reasoned gently. “It’s in his nature as your older brother. You’re his sister and his twin, and he will always want to make sure that nothing bad happens.”

“But does he need to be such an asswipe about it?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s encoded into his DNA.”

She giggled at that. 

“Are you saying that I also have asswipe DNA?”

“But only the sexiest kind.”

She burst out laughing and couldn’t stop for a minute after that.

“Woman...I am not that funny!” he grinned, shaking his head. 

“I think you are. I think you’re smart and funny and interesting and sexy as hell.” She knew she was inflating his ego, but she didn’t care. She was having fun with him, and it was exciting to flirt. She loved the playful energy and light bantering they were so good at. 

“All that, huh?”

“And a bag of chips.”

“How old are you? A hundred?”

“Honey, I’m so old I still drive a model T,” she replied, wavering her voice so she would sound like an old woman. “Why...I was in Central Park the day they planted the first tree, and was a crossing guard when Moses parted the Red Sea.”

Inuyasha rolled over onto his back as he laughed, and Kagome could see his whole body shake and tremble from it through her small screen.

“Hey...Babe...are you ok?” she asked after a minute. 

“Oh God...yeah,” he grinned, wiping his eyes. “You just sounded so ridiculous,” he explained before what she had called him sunk in. Babe.

“So...I’m Babe now, huh?”

“Don’t read anything into it,” she admonished, rolling her eyes.

“Sure...whatever you say...Babe…”

He looked like the cat that ate the canary, and she hated it. She wanted to take him down a peg. 

“So, how did you learn how to set this whole thing up? Was it the ex?”

The way his face instantly drooped made her feel like a total bitch. 

“Yeah...it was. When you’re on opposite coasts, you have to get creative to spend time together.”

“It sounds like it was hard.”

“It was...but at the time, I thought she was worth it, you know? Staying up late just to say ‘hi’, or eating dinner at 10 o’clock so we could pretend we were actually sharing a meal together...it was really difficult.”

She rolled onto her back and turned to look at the phone as his words swam around her mind. 

“What made you want to do it?”

“I thought she was special enough to fight for. I was wrong. I was willing to do anything to make it work, and I shouldn’t have been. Can we...can we just watch the movie for a while? I don’t really want to talk about it anymore.”

“Yeah,” she whispered.

That was why they had to break it off in two months. Long distance...it was hard. He had already done it once before. He probably wouldn’t be willing to do it again, and she wasn’t even sure if she was capable of doing it. 

Being two hours away from him was hard enough - she wouldn’t be able to handle half of the country. 

They needed to keep things light and fun. She couldn’t start getting emotionally invested in him and start doing stupid things like calling him Babe. He was her fun booty call that had the body of a god...and treated her with respect...and she liked to talk to and who actually listened to her. Yup. That was it. Nothing more. 

And it had to stay that way. 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

 

Inuyasha pulled into a parking spot at the library where he knew Kagome was working. He shifted the gears of his car, putting it into park and he ran his hands through his sliver locks a few more times. He felt like he was preening like a bird, but he was pretty sure Kagome was going to be pissed at him. 

He figured if he looked his best, he stood a chance of not being eviscerated on sight. 

He knew she had said that she didn’t want him to come to her doctor appointment, but after asking him, he found out that she still hadn’t spoken to Miroku. He also found out that her grandparents were at her older cousin’s child’s something or other (which wasn’t nearly as important, in his opinion), so that meant she had no one and she would have to take an Uber to the office.

He turned off the car and nervously got out, double checking that the chai tea and scone were still fine (like he had every five minute since running into the coffee shop to get them), and finally locked his car before heading inside. 

It had been a while since he had been in a library, and pushing the doors open had been an instant reminder of that. It was like he had crossed over into a foreign state. The air was different. Not just how it smelled, which was warm and musty and like old paper, but it was an audibly different environment. It was like he was wearing ear muffs. 

He looked around and hoped he could easily spot her, but he didn’t see her in the main lobby. There was a reference desk, though, with a man who had been staring at him in a way that made him very uncomfortable since the moment he walked in. 

As much as he would rather talk to anyone else, he was on a timeline. He didn’t want to risk her leaving early, because then he would have to struggle with finding her at the doctor’s office. 

“Hi,” he greeted the man in a whisper, placing his hands down on the counter. 

“Well hello yourself, darling. Is there anything I can help you with today?” he asked, batting his lashes. “Perhaps you have something in mind you’d like to check out? I know I certainly do.”

“Ah...no...I’m actually here for someone. I think she’s your co-worker? Kagome? Kagome Higurashi?”

The man’s brows jumped to his hairline in surprise before his grin widened. 

“Oh, I thought I recognized you! You’re the reason I traded shifts with her last week! Inuyasha, right?”

“Uh...yeah...that’s me,” he smiled nervously. 

“You know, you’re even more handsome in person,” the man purred, propping his head up on his arm and leaning forward on the desk. Inuyasha pulled away and started looking around for Kagome again, and the man laughed. “Oh sweetheart, you won’t see her out here. She’s in the back,” he explained, pulling the swinging half door around the side of the desk open in a silent invitation. 

“Come on. I won’t bite. Unless you want me to.”

“Thanks?” he muttered nervously, following the man to the back offices. 

“Kagome, darling, I just got the most interesting shipment in that I need you to handle.”

“Jak, not now,” she sighed. “I’m swamped, and I need to get out of here soon.”

“Oh, honey. Trust me. If you don’t take this shipment, I will. I’ll see you later, stud,” he purred, leaving to go back to the front desk. 

Inuyasha watched Kagome’s back straighten at the word stud, and she slowly turned around in her chair. 

“Inuyasha?”

“Surprise?” he greeted weakly. 

“Inuyasha...what are you doing here?” she asked, her brow scrunching up in confusion. 

“I know you said that you didn’t want me to...but when Miroku told me that your grandparents couldn’t go to your appointment, and that you guys still aren’t talking so he wasn’t going to go...I just...I wanted to be there for you.”

Kagome’s face softened and she stood up, wrapping her arms around his neck. 

“You drove two hours just to take me to a doctor’s appointment?”

“Of course.”

“God...could you be anymore boyfriendy right now?” she teased, a soft smile spreading over her face. 

“Is this a bad time to tell you about the chai tea latte and scone I picked up for you? It’s waiting in the car - I didn’t think I could bring it in.”

“Bitch, if you don’t kiss him, I will!”

“Go away, Jakotsu!” Kagome shouted, a blush staining her cheeks. “Sorry - I didn’t think we’d have an audience.”

“That’s ok,” he reassured her before smirking, “so long as you don’t mind PDA.”

That was her only warning before she found his lips on hers, his hands coming to slide up her back. He felt her fingers scrape up his neck to the back of his head and he pulled her closer, lightly moaning as she pulled his bottom lip between her teeth. 

“‘Gome…” he rasped when they finally parted for air. “It’s been too long since I was able to do that.”

“I can’t believe you came…” she panted, ignoring Jakotsu’s snickers in the background at her phrasing.

He placed another kiss to her forehead in response and pulled away from her to look her in the eyes. “I needed to make sure you had someone. When do we need to leave?”

“I get off in twenty.”

“Gurl, now that he’s here, I think you’re getting off a lot sooner!”

“I’m going to murder him,” she groaned in embarrassment, hiding her face in Inuyasha’s chest as he laughed. 

“Don’t let him bother you. Think you can slip out now? Or can I sneak the latte back to you?”

“Yes...please bring the latte to me...I’ll grab it from you at the desk up front.”

“Ok,” he agreed, leaning down the place a kiss to her hair. “I’ll be right back. I...I don’t have to worry about Jakotsu when I leave, do I?”

“He’ll stare at your ass, but he’s pretty harmless otherwise,” she chuckled, leading him back to the front desk. “I can’t say I blame him, though,” she murmured, kissing his cheek and dropping her arm to cup his ass before swatting it and sending him on his way. 

As soon as he left, she put her face into her hands.

“Damniiiit…” she groaned, causing Jakotsu to turn and shoot her a look. 

“I’m sorry...what could possibly be the problem?

“He drove two hours to take me to the doctor…”

“Bitch, I know. I’m asking what the problem is?”

“With the way he’s acting...it’s just...it’s going to be really hard to say goodbye to him.”

“Are you breaking up with him? Sweetheart, are you blind?”

“Jak, I leave in September.  We have an expiration date...if he keeps doing stuff like this, he’s going to break my heart.”

“Listen...darling...I’m going to give you some advice. Men who look and act like he does don’t grow on trees. Take everything he’s offering you, and enjoy it while you can. From what I’ve seen and heard of the man...he’s worth a little heartbreak. If you really need to end it.”

Inuyasha came back in holding a cup from her favorite coffee shop. Steamed. She had told him about it during one of their many phone calls. It wasn’t even fair. 

Jakotsu instantly noticed the cup, too, and sighed. “Why are the good ones always straight?”

“You went to Steamed...you remembered.”

“Of course,” he beamed. “Here. One chai tea latte, and one triple cinnamon scone.”

Kagome took the bag and cup from him and took a sip of the latte. Of course it was perfect. Just the way she took it. And why wouldn’t he remember her favorite scone, too?

How was he this damn perfect? 

“Thanks. This was just what I needed. Let me finish up the thing I was working on and I’ll be right back, ok?”

“Oh, darling, just go! I’ll take care of it for you. Your man is here, and you get that eyesore off today. Go. Leave a few minutes early. Live on the wild side for once in your life.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes! Go, gurl! I’ve got this!”

“Thanks, Jakotsu,” Inuyasha grinned as Kagome stepped out from behind the desk. “Got everything, Babe?” he asked, turning to Kagome as she shouldered her purse. First he drove here to take her to the doctor, then he brought her some of her favorite treats...now he was calling her Babe?

It’s like he had it out for her.

“Yup! Let’s get this fucking thing off of me.”

He guided her to his car as they left the building, taking her scone back from her since she was having a hard time holding the paper bag it was in. He opened the car door for her and she slid in, letting him close it for her before moving to his side and starting the car when he got in. She typed the address to her doctor’s office into his phone and plugged it in, the voice of the GPS directing him to take a right out of the parking lot. 

She went to sip her chai tea latte, and she noticed that he also had a cup in the car. 

“What did you pick up?”

“Just some plain black coffee.”

“You take it black?”

“Yeah - only on days when I need a pick me up, though. Nothing does it for me like black coffee.”

“Was it the drive?” she asked, her eyes softening as she placed her hand on his knee, causing him to sigh.

“No, I...didn’t sleep very well.”

The way he said that set her teeth on edge...it sounded like there were external factors at play.

Still, she felt like if he wanted her to know, he would tell her. She didn’t feel right in prying. 

“Oh, I see...so you didn’t stop at Steamed just for me - I was an afterthought.”

He barked out a laugh at that. 

“Woman...I don’t think you could ever be an afterthought. You’re more like an everythought.”

She couldn’t help but grin, especially when he took her hand in his and kept it there for the rest of the drive, lightly rubbing her knuckles with his thumb.

 


 

 

“I should have used the bathroom before we left,” Inuyasha griped as they entered the building. 

“We’re almost there - hold it for a few more minutes.”

“I don’t think I have much choice,” he grumbled as they got into the elevator. 

“You really don’t,” she smirked, hitting the number three.

The good news for him was that the office was pretty close to the elevator. As soon as they got there, he asked where the restroom was. Tanya, the receptionist, directed him to it while Kagome checked in.

“It’s been a while, Kagome,” she smiled once Inuyasha had gone back. “Who was that? He hasn’t come with you before. Is he your boyfriend?”

The word ‘boyfriend’ seemed to echo in her mind over and over again. What were they? They were sort of dating, but also not...but they slept together...but only the once...was fuck buddy the right term? Or was it something else?

“Inuyasha? Ah...no...we’re just...friends,” she decided, ignoring the slight bitter taste the word left in her mouth.

Tanya’s brows shot up and an excited smile broke out over her face. “Really?” she grinned, reminding Kagome a lot of the cheshire cat. “That must be hard, since he’s so cute…”

“Yeah,” Kagome agreed, excusing herself to sit down and wait for her appointment and for Inuyasha to return. 

She didn’t have to wait long. A moment later, as the bathroom door opened, she saw Tanya fixing her long, fake extensions and pulling down her shirt a little before she waved Inuyasha down. He raised a brow to Kagome, unaware of the last minute preening Tanya had just done, but went to the desk she was sitting behind. 

“I just wanted to give you this,” she whispered huskily, sliding a card across the desk to him. “In case you had any follow up questions about Kagome. I’d be happy to answer any and all of them for you personally. Feel free to call day or night for whatever reason.”

Kagome saw Inuyasha stiffen a little and thanked Tanya for her deep concern for Kagome as he turned away from her, slipping the card into his pocket.  

She shouldn’t be annoyed. 

She literally had no right to be annoyed. 

She let out a deep sigh. 

She was annoyed. 

She glanced over at Inuyasha, and then back at her cast. 

It wasn’t his fault. She needed to remember that. It’s not like he really did anything wrong other than be himself. 

It’s not like he could help it if every red blooded woman with eyes thought he was a snack. 

She also should have known that when Tanya had asked about the nature of their relationship, she would pounce on him the second she heard the word “friends”.

Really though, they weren’t dating exclusively... 

Didn’t that mean that he was still allowed to talk to other girls? Especially since she was leaving in September. So what if she gave him her number? He was allowed to call her. Hell, he would be within his rights to fuck her.

She didn’t have a monopoly over him. 

So why did the thought of him with anyone else make her feel like vomiting?

He sat down next to her with a sigh and she tried not to sigh as well. Both for very different reasons. 

“Kagome Higurashi?” a nurse called, opening the door and startling them both.

“That’s me!” she called, standing up and feeling a second wave of annoyance wash over her at the way this woman was looking at him.

It’s like these fucking women had no goddamn boundaries!

He wasn’t a flank steak you could drool over! And what if he really was with her? How rude is it to be so blatantly checking out a man that’s with another woman?!

She bit the inside of her cheek to keep from mouthing off in front of Inuyasha as the nurse finished her basic check up in the small patient room.

Kagome silently glared at the door after the nurse left, continuing to mentally tell the woman to go fuck herself. She noticed Inuyasha lean over and casually prop his head up in his arm, resting his elbow on the counter by the sink. She watched a slow smile spread across his face as he watched her, annoying her further. 

A smug and self-satisfied smile. 

“Is there something bothering you?” he asked casually, his grin widening a bit further when she stiffened. 

“Nope. Just excited to get this damn thing off, is all.”

“Mhm…” he nodded in understanding. “So...that scowl on your face...it has nothing to do with Tanya?”

“Nope.”

“Or the nurse?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Ok,” he replied, his smile getting even wider. 

Why did he have to know her so damn well?

“You know,” he started again, “I’m not planning on calling Tanya.”

“You could,” she shrugged. “It’s not like we are exclusive.”

His smile seemed to weaken a little at that. 

“No...we aren’t.” 

Was that...was he disappointed?

“Inuyasha Takahashi...are you disappointed?” she asked teasingly, grinning when a light blush rose over his cheeks. “You are, aren’t you?!” She couldn’t keep her grin from widening at the way he suddenly stiffened. She could tell his mind was going a mile a minute trying to decide what the best thing to say was, and how to get out of what he was sure was about to be a very difficult conversation. 

“You know...for as long as I’m here, we could be…” she proposed casually.

“Higurashi...are you asking me to go steady?”

“Now who sounds like they’re a hundred?” she giggled, hopping off the table and coming to stand between his knees.

“Is that what you really want, though?” he pressed. “You said you wanted to keep things fun.”

“They can still be fun...and I know I’ll feel better when I know I don’t have to worry about you calling Tanya.”

“Only Tanya, huh? So everyone else is fair game?”

“Hardly,” she scoffed, placing her hands behind his neck and gently scraping the skin there as she ran her fingers up to his scalp. “I want to be selfish and keep you all to myself for as long as I can have you,” she explained, her voice dropping huskily.

“I guess it couldn’t hurt to indulge you...” he decided, his grin returning full force as he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer. “So, does that make me your boyfriend now?”

“Yeah. It does. Got a problem with that?” she demanded as she leaned down, her breath ghosting over his lips when she stopped mere millimeters away from him.    

“Nope,” he decided, pulling her the rest of the way down to pull her into a hungry kiss. Their lips moved together, battling for dominance, and all they could taste was the want and joy radiating off of the other. He was hers now, and she was his...for as long as she was here. “God,” he groaned when they broke apart, “the doctor sure is taking a while.” 

Her brows shot up in surprise - she hadn’t expected him to say that. Or anything remotely similar to that. 

“I want us to get out of here,” he explained. “There are some things that we can’t do in public,” he explained, his eyes roaming up her body - the sheer want in his gaze blatantly obvious.  

There was a knock at the door, and Kagome only had a second to move away from Inuyasha before it opened and Dr. Shultz entered.

“Ms. Higurashi! It looks like today is the day! Are we ready to regain our freedom?”

“Very much so,” she smiled as he looked over her charts and held her final x-ray up to the light. 

“Your break healed very well,” he grinned as he put it back into the folder he had removed it from. “And who is this?” he asked, finally noticing that Kagome wasn’t the only one in the small room. 

“Inuyasha - her boyfriend. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he replied, standing to shake his hand. The doctor noticed the light blush covering Kagome’s face at that, and he smiled warmly at the girl. 

“And you as well. It’s very kind of you to be here today. Well, Ms. Higurashi, are you ready to begin?” he asked, and Inuyasha came to stand on her right side.

“Never readier,” she smiled nervously, and subconsciously took the hand Inuyasha held out for her. 

The doctor briefly explained what he was going to do before picking up the saw and turning it on. He placed it onto the cast, and the loud sound of it cutting through the plaster filled the small room. She turned her head away from the saw and leaned into Inuyasha’s chest, and his hand came up to rub the back of her head. 

She was acting like a child. She knew that. It wasn’t like he was going to saw her arm off. She knew that, too. But that didn’t stop the little, irrational part of her mind. She pressed her head further into Inuyasha’s chest, and she felt his hand start rubbing slow circles up her back to soothe her. 

She looked up at him and gave him a weak smile before he leaned down and pressed a kiss to her hair.

She heard the saw turn off, and she looked away from the safety of Inuyasha to the doctor. He had a knowing smile on his face as he took out the next tool to split the cast further apart before cutting it off of her arm. 

The doctor finally pulled the cast away, and Kagome felt its weight disappear. It was so strange having complete freedom again. She absently heard him talking about what she would need to do now to build up her muscle again, and there was something about lotion, but she wasn’t paying much attention. 

The cast was finally gone!

She absently noticed Dr. Shultz leaving, but she was too focused on her arm...and on the hand still holding her right arm. She smiled up at Inuyasha and stood up from the table, snaking both arms around his neck to pull him down for a kiss. 

It was sweet and lingering, and when he pulled away from her, he rested his forehead against hers.

“We should get going - I need to take you home, and I have a long drive ahead of me,” he murmured regretfully.

“Ok,” she purred, pulling him down for a much hungrier kiss than their last one. When they parted, she was pleased to see that his eyes had darkened, and she forced herself to suppress the giggle welling up in her throat. “Let’s get out of here,” she whispered, grabbing his hand and leading him back into the waiting room. 

Tanya looked up from her place behind the receptionist desk, and Kagome pulled him over to her. 

“Sorry, Tanya...but I don’t think I was completely honest. He is my boyfriend.”

“Oh!” she chirped, unable to keep a bit of the disappointment from her eyes. “You know, you two make a cute couple.”

“Thanks,” Inuyasha replied, practically beaming. “I think so, too.”

 


 

 

Kagome moaned as she ran her fingers through Inuyasha’s hair. He returned the sentiment as he pressed his lips to her mouth one more time before trailing them to her jaw, and then up to her earlobe. She couldn’t help but press herself closer to him and rotate her hips above his, enjoying the feel of his growing arousal under her. 

“‘Gome,” he groaned as she unbuckled his seat belt so she could run her fingers down his chest. 

“Mmm…” she replied, moving her lips to suck at his neck, and his eyes drifted closed. 

God, he felt like a horny teenager in high school again. When was the last time he had made out with someone in a car? And had it ever been this hot?

She worked her way back up to his lips, sucking and nipping until she broke away from him, panting hard. She leaned her forehead against his and chuckled.

“You’re like a drug,” she whispered breathlessly.

“Yeah?” he asked, his tone matching hers.

“Yeah. You make me crazy. You’re highly addicting, and I’ve never felt as alive as I do when I’m on you,” she rotated her hips into his again, making him groan. “You’re my favorite temptation.”

He slid his hands behind her head and pulled her down for one more lingering kiss. 

“I think you’re mine too,” he sighed as she leaned her head down to nestle into the crook of his neck. 

“I don’t want you to go,” she admitted softly after staying that way for a minute. “Stay for dinner?”

“Won’t your grandparents mind?”

“They love you. They ask about you all the time.”

“They do?” he whispered, moving a strand of her hair back behind her ear as she sat back up.

“Oh yeah. If they could get our parents to adopt you, they would.”

“Not so sure I like the sound of that...makes this a little too...Lannister.”

“Targaryen,” she corrected. “Lannister is if I did this to Miroku, and I never plan on that happening.”

“You’re such a nerd,” he laughed lightly. “I love it,” he reassured as she started to blush. 

“Good, ‘cause I’m not changing any time soon.”

“Good - you’re perfect the way you are.”

She leaned down to kiss him sweetly one more time.

“So, is that a yes to dinner?”

“I wish,” he sighed, “but I really should be getting back to base.”

“I wish I could go with you,” she replied wistfully. 

“You can’t?”

“Work,” she frowned. “I have a shift tomorrow.”

“Is there anything I could do to convince you to try and switch and come home with me?” he asked huskily, thrusting his hips up to hers, and she pushed her own back in response. 

“There’s lots you could do,” she groaned. “Hold on. Let me try calling in another favor with Jak.”

She regretfully moved off of his lap and clumsily back into the passenger’s seat, taking out her phone to call him. 

Inuyasha shot her a hungry look as Jakotsu picked up, and he watched a shiver run up her spine.

“Hey Jak...I have a favor to ask…” she started, and a Snapchat notification sound rang from his phone, turning his blood cold. He must have made a noise or a movement because he saw Kagome shoot him a questioning look, but he wasn’t really paying attention to her or to her conversation anymore. He reached down to the cup holder where he had put his phone and flipped it up.

Kikyo. 

She had sent him a Snap last night, and he had never opened it. It was killing him inside. On the one hand, he was dying to know what it was. On the other, Kikyo could go fuck herself.

He was pissed that he hadn’t thought to block her, but now that this had happened, he didn’t know what to do about it. 

He heard Kagome hang up, and he shifted his attention back to her. 

“Ok - it’s done. I’m taking his closing shift on Thursday so he can go out, and I get to come home with you. Can we run in so I can pack a bag really quickly?”

“Of course,” he nodded, and she moved to open the door. “Kagome, wait. I...I need to talk to you.”

He watched her turn around and nervously face him. The words ‘I need to talk to you’ were never good, and he belatedly realized that he should have phrased things differently.

“Ok,” she finally prompted when he didn’t begin, biting her lip anxiously. 

“Do you remember how I said I didn’t sleep well last night?” he began with a sigh. She deserved to know. Even though he had done nothing...he wanted to keep things honest. They had been doing that since the start of their relationship, and he didn’t want that to change now. 

He just hoped that her response would be as positive as it could be.

“Of course,” she replied, encouraging him to continue. 

“It’s because after we hung up...I got a Snap from Kikyo.”

Kagome’s lips pressed into a thin line. She did not look happy.

“I didn’t open it,” he rushed to say. “And I still haven't...but she just sent me a second one,” he explained, handing his phone to her so she could see for herself. “I deleted her number when I moved here before I tracked your grandfather down, but I didn’t think to do anything about Snapchat. I haven’t spoken to her since I moved here…” he trailed off, noticing that her lips were pursed and her eyes were hard. 

“Kagome,” he tried again after a minute. “Say something…”

“I…” she struggled. “I don’t know what to think.”

“Kagome…”

“I...I believe you,” she said, helping him feel some small measure of relief. “You could have chosen to not tell me about it, but you did. What are you going to do about them?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted. “Part of me wants to know what they are. Another part wants to just ignore it. And yet another part of me wants to open it simply so that I can tell her to go fuck herself.”

“Yes.” she instantly agreed. “We should do that one.”

“We?” he asked, suddenly worried because he had no idea what was on the other end of that Snap. 

“We. I want to know what she feels she has the right to say to you after everything that happened.”

He could only nod his head and let her open the first Snap. He immediately turned bright red. 

It was a very explicit photo of Kikyo, and an obviously planned one. Her hair was tousled and messy, like she was trying to replicate wild sex hair. She had obviously spent time on her makeup, too. She had taken it in black and white, and she must have used a timer on her phone. She was lifting one breast on her arm and cupping the other - her fingers ghosting over a nipple while the other hand had moved down to the front of her sheer mesh thong. It was blatantly obvious that she was touching herself, and she had written above her head in glowing pink neon letters: “I MISS YOU”.

Kagome glanced at Inuyasha before tapping the screen to move on to the next Snap. 

She nearly dropped his phone at that one. 

It was a video, and Inuyasha’s volume was definitely on. Kikyo’s moans filled the car as the pair watched her touch herself, crying out for Inuyasha and begging for him to bring her release as she thrust a dildo into herself. Inuyasha didn’t wait for Kagome to finish watching the literal porn on his phone before tapping the screen, ending Kikyo’s show. 

“Of all the things it could have been...I was not expecting it to be that…” he whispered in dismay as Kagome continued to sit there in silence. “Kagome?” he finally asked after she had been silent for far too long for his comfort. 

“Yeah…” she breathed out as she turned to look at him, her expression serious and somewhat grim. “I need you to be honest with me - is it over between you two?”

“Yes,” he said, immediately and without hesitation. “What we had...it was a sham, and the illusion of us has been shattered for long enough that I’m not interested in her anymore.”

“The fact that she’s doing this to get you back is…is...”

“Desperate?” he supplied, and she grinned smally. 

“Yeah. It is.”

“I’m not going back to her,” he reiterated. “What she did is still raw and hurts to think about, but I don’t want her anymore. What we had was toxic, and I never even saw it.”

Kagome reached up to him and cupped his cheek, her eyes softening. She leaned up and placed a tender kiss to his forehead before whispering, “I know. I believe you. Why don’t you come in with me and help me pack, and then we can talk about how to respond on the way back?”

He sighed and nodded, smiling in relief. He had been so worried about how she would respond...she was handling this much better than he had thought she would, and he was thankful. 

He had gotten lucky with her... he just hoped that his luck would continue. 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 10

"You're sure you don't mind if we order in?" Inuyasha asked, unlocking the door to his apartment.

"It's not like you were expecting me to come over - ordering in is perfectly fine," she grinned, kicking off her shoes before heading to his bedroom to drop her duffle. Yet another way she knew he hadn't been expecting her? His bed hadn't been completely made. He was a pretty clean guy to begin with, but she could tell that he had gone the extra mile last time she was here because he was expecting her.

"You can make me your mac and cheese next time," she called, checking herself out in his mirror. It had been so long since she had seen herself without a cast on it that it was weird to see herself without it.

She turned to look at her left profile, noticing the unfortunate tan line. It would go away eventually, but not soon enough. The California sun had not been her friend so far this summer.

She heard him turn on music in the other room and left his bedroom, silently closing the door behind her.

She watched as he played on his phone before tossing it to her, and saw a food ordering service on the screen.

"What are you in the mood for? Other than me," she quickly continued as he took on a rather lecherous expression to her question.

"That's a pity - that was my first pick for dinner," he purred, coming over to take her into his arms. He leaned down and nuzzled her neck gently. "I love eating you…" he whispered huskily, gently nibbling on her neck and making her heart race.

"Yeah? Well, let's order, and then you can eat me as much as you like," she replied shakily as his tongue started moving up her neck.

"Mmm...or what if you order and I keep doing this?" he asked throatily, his teeth scraping against her earlobe. God, it was hard to concentrate. Her whole body was starting to feel like it was on fire. "I've missed holding you...and being able to touch you..." he whispered, his voice full of longing and complete need as his hands started to lower themselves to cup her ass. He gently massaged her, and she felt her breath catch in her throat.

"Indian?" she squeaked as he made a particularly firm squeeze.

"If that's what you want."

She did.

They took longer to get here than most places, which is why she and Miroku normally avoided ordering from them, despite how amazing it was. That said...this time, she needed them to take as long as they could.

"Indian it is, then," she decided, doing her best to concentrate on placing the order as his hand found the front of her pants. She could feel the heat from his palm radiating through the fabric of her jeans, and somehow, that was making her squirm all the more.

"Are you done yet?" he murmured against her neck right as she found the butter chicken, and she handed the phone back to him to approve and place the order.

He didn't even look at what she had picked - he just accepted it and started working on the button to her pants.

"Eager, are we?" she teased as she felt him unzip her fly.

"I haven't seen you in a week - I'm very eager," he replied hungrily, pushing her pants down her legs and she quickly stepped out of them, only to find his hand cupping her again and playing with the front of her underwear. His lips found their way back to hers and she moaned as he started rubbing her, looking for her clit behind the fabric.

He was not messing around today...but she didn't want this to be all about her this time. When she felt him start to push her underwear to the side, she broke away from him - which made him furrow his brow in confusion and disappointment.

"Kagome…?" he panted, and relaxed when he watched her remove her t-shirt and snake her hands behind her back to remove her bra. It silently dropped to the floor, waving like a white flag and telling him that she was surrendering all of herself to him.

He swore he started salivating the second he saw her perfect breasts, and he reached back to her as she started working on his belt buckle.

"Shirt," she admonished, pulling back slightly. He was still far too dressed. He smirked, but obeyed, pulling it over his head as she removed his belt and threw it to the floor.

Kagome looked back up at him, and her breath caught in her throat again.

God...would she ever stop being hungry for him?

She reached out and grabbed his hand, dragging him the short distance to the bedroom before her lips latched themselves to his neck and lowered to his chest. He could feel her fingers hastily undoing the button and fly to his pants before he felt them drop to the floor. Her thumbs quickly made their way to the waistband of his boxer briefs and pushed, dropping them as well.

The second he was bare, she placed both her hands onto his pectorals and pushed, making him stager backwards in surprise until he bumped into his bed. He lost his balance and fell onto his back with a yelp. Before he had a chance to recover, she pounced on him, pushing him back down onto the bed and trapping him there.

He felt her lips crash into his, hungrily moving against him as she completely dominated him. He wasn't sure what had come over her, but he wasn't going to complain. He had a feeling that this time would be equally as wild as last time was tender. He felt her teeth scrape and nibble his flesh as she lowered her lips to his chest. He couldn't stop the shaky breath from passing between his lips even if he tried as she moved even lower to his abdomen...licking the planes of his stomach as she went before resolving to memorize the feel of his V with her tongue and fingertips.

His breath audibly hitched when her fingers scraped up his thighs, and a delicious shiver ran down his spine as she slowly inched closer to his now incredibly hard erection.

"Kagome…" he practically whimpered as she edged closer and closer to his hardness, and Kagome couldn't help but smile. He needed her, and she finally decided to ease some of that need by lowering her mouth over him.

He gasped in delighted surprise, and a low moan escaped his throat as he felt her move and suck. Kagome looked up his body at him as he shifted to lean back on his arms and watch her head bob up and down on him.

She couldn't say that she had ever enjoyed preforming oral sex on a man before. Hojo, while not nearly as well endowed as Inuyasha, had not been a good recipient of her attentions. His hands somehow always found their way to the back of her head, forcing her down further than she would have liked before she was ready, and his pushy hands frequently caused her to gag. She had been forced to run to the bathroom a few times when his thrusting had become a bit too aggressive as well. He also had a knack for making her scalp sore. She had no idea how he did it, but he did. As much as she disliked it, however, Hojo had loved it...and because she loved Hojo, she kept doing it.

Inuyasha, however, was no Hojo. He kept his hands behind himself at all times, and forced his hips to stay put as best he could so he wouldn't choke her. He wasn't perfect - she could feel him trembling under her touch, and when she went to gently fondle his sack, his hips jerked harshly but involuntarily. He immediately apologized, and she showed her forgiveness by swirling her tongue around his tip and giving it a harder suck. It left his whole body trembling. Yes...given her past experience, working on Inuyasha was a complete joy, and she almost looked forward to doing this again.

His verbal response to her also made her feel like a fucking Goddess - like she could control him and bend him to her will however she saw fit. To hear him trying to keep his voice and his cries down...it made her feel like she could conquer the world. She loved the way he would tremble and make pleading whimpers when she pulled away to suck on his head, running her tongue around its ridge and over its slit. She loved the way he would groan as she bobbed her head carefully over him, and the way he would hiss in pleasure when she gave him a particularly firm pull with her tongue.

Eventually, however, she felt his hand on her cheek as he hoarsely whispered, "Kagome...stop…"

She looked at him in confusion, but wrapped her hand around him and continued to gently pump him as she pulled away.

"Inuyasha?" she questioned softly, and he hooked a finger under her chin and gently pulled so that she would rise up and join him on the bed.

"Not yet," he explained in a pant as she crawled up his body, and he leaned up to capture her lips in a very hungry kiss. He had a talent for leaving her feeling like a melted pile of goo.

She didn't know how he could do it with just a kiss...but he could. She also didn't know when he had climbed over her body, or when he had started kissing and worshiping her breasts...but he had, and she loved every second of it.

She felt him gently part her legs with one hand while the other helped support his weight over her, and he decided now would be a great time to memorize the feel of her nipple against his tongue. His fingers on his one hand began to probe her, searching out her clit and rubbing it in just the way she had showed him only a week ago.

"God!" she cried out when he changed the pressure and tempo - he was driving her crazy!

"Yes?" he whispered hotly as he switched to her other breast, licking and sucking the nipple until it was as hard and sensitive as the first. She felt him pull away from her breasts and began to trail kisses down her body. She would have protested, but his lips soon replaced his hand, and she just couldn't bring herself to argue with his expert decision-making skills.

"Inu...yasha…" she panted as his tongue began to move against her, his fingers lowering to her opening and sliding inside. She felt him begin to thrust in and out of her, and it wasn't long until she was crying out his name as she climaxed.

It was a few minutes before she could open her eyes and process the world around her again, but when she did, she saw him still lying between her legs as he lovingly rubbed her thighs.

"Wow…" she whispered breathlessly, blushing lightly.

"Yeah?" he confirmed, puffing up with pride at her compliment.

"Yeah…" she smirked, pushing herself up onto her elbows. "You know, that's not how I planned on this going."

"You had a plan?" he asked, his grin widening.

"Of course. I needed to properly thank you for coming today."

"I haven't cum yet," he replied, his eyes darkening as his hand drifted down to briefly touch himself. Kagome couldn't help but bite her lip and watch his very erotic display, and felt some relief when he stopped.

She did still have some plans that she wanted to see through, and she needed him just the way he was for them to work.

"Lay down on your back," she demanded, reaching up into his nightstand and looking for the strip of condoms she now knew he kept inside.

He couldn't help but grin excitedly and did as she asked, his erection waving like a flagpole in the wind as he moved.

God, she wanted to know what it felt like to sit on that flagpole...and she planned on doing just that. Once he was situated, she quickly tore open the condom and rolled it on, pinching the tip of the latex at the end.

She let out a tiny giggle at the sound it made, and he raised his brow at her. Laughing hadn't been involved the last time they had slept together, and he wasn't sure he liked that it was now.

"The sound it makes when you do that...it's funny," she explained sheepishly, and he relaxed.

"You're so weird," he chuckled, pushing himself up onto his elbows and reaching out for her. She climbed back up his body, and he pulled her down for a joyous, sweet kiss.

"The good kind of weird?" she asked, her lips brushing gently against his.

"The best kind," he replied, leaning up for another kiss.

She pulled away from him after a moment, eager to move on to the main event. As much as she enjoyed a hot make-out session with him (and she had enjoyed those sessions so far), she wanted something else right now. Something that would involve a lot more cardio on her part, and would be a hell of a lot easier to do now that her cast was off.

"Lay back down," she instructed as she climbed back over him. He quickly obeyed, waiting with rapt attention for her to make the next move. He didn't have to wait long.

She moved down his body to align his hardness with her opening, and she slowly sank down on top of it. The pair groaned in delight at the feel of his thickness being enveloped by her heat, and she was reminded of just how good he felt inside of her.

She could feel his eyes on her as she lowered herself onto him further, and she fixed her gaze on him. He was indeed watching her, switching between roving over her face and body and watching where he was sliding into her.

Once she had taken all of him, she slowly rose back up on her knees before sinking onto him again. Her pace was slow at first, like she was trying to find the angle and pace that would work for both of them...but if the way he clenched his fingers and pulled at his sheets was any indication, she was doing just fine.

"'Gome…" he groaned as she began to clench around him, squeezing him in the most delightful way. His hands left his sides and ran up her body. She felt them graze over her hips before continuing north over her ribs and finally finding purchase on her breasts. He gently molded them in his hands, his thumbs grazing over her nipples and causing her to stagger in her pace.

He sat up when it became clear that she was having a hard time continuing, and he began to thrust upwards to help. She felt his arms leave her now aching breasts so that one could support them while the other wrapped around her waist.

She moved her hands up to his shoulders, and Inuyasha shook his head.

"Touch yourself," he demanded, panting as he continued to thrust. "I want to watch you rub your clit."

God...was this dirty talk? She wasn't sure. No one else had ever spoken to her like this before.

Then again.

Sex had never been this good before, either.

Either way, it set her blood on fire, and she wasn't about to deny him his request. She followed his instructions, lowering her right hand to rub her very sensitive bundle of nerves. Her head rolled back as she continued her own ministrations while Inuyasha's thrusting became harder and faster. He was hitting parts of her she didn't know existed.

"Close…" she heard him say through the fog in her mind, and she wasn't sure if it was a question or a statement. All she could do was moan in response to let him know she had heard him say something as the coil within her wound tighter and tighter.

Finally, it snapped, and he felt her walls rippling around him as she screamed his name. He internally sighed in relief - he had been doing his damndest to hold off on his own release, and it was starting to become a losing battle.

Kagome's body felt like it had been molded just for him, and it was hard to perform to his normal standards when she just felt so damn good.

When she finally began to come down from her high, he allowed himself to let go, and he cried out as his orgasm shot through him. He collapsed back onto the bed, panting as Kagome fell on top of him.

"Wow," she breathed after a moment, and he chuckled under her.

"Yeah," he agreed. "I think I'm just going to lay here for the next month now, if that's alright with you."

"Nope. Unless I can join you..."

"You're always welcome to join me," he chuckled, running his fingers through her hair. She pulled away from him and he pushed himself up onto his elbows, watching as she untangled his top sheet from their feet. She was about to lay back down when she spotted his pants on the floor and the phone peeking out of the top of his pocket.

She swung her legs out to sit up on the edge of the bed and grabbed his pants.

"Kagome?" he questioned as she found his phone and she looked back over her shoulder at him. How was it possible for someone to be this handsome? His skin was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, and he was still a bit flushed. Light shone off of his dog tags in the dim room, and she couldn't help but notice the stark contrast between the tan of his skin and the pale metal hanging against it.

She stood from his bed and turned the light back on, and she heard him hiss at the sudden brightness. Then, because she felt that the room was still too dim, she went to his windows and pulled the drapes open.

"Kagome, what are you doing?"

"Responding to Kikyo," she replied, and his brows shot to his hairline. After the sex they had just had, Kikyo was the last thing on his mind.

"Really? Now?" he asked a bit incredulously.

"Yeah," she nodded, coming to join him on the bed, "now." She kissed her way up his body and absently noticed that he had yet to remove his condom. "That can't be comfortable," she commented, and he followed her gaze and blushed. "I didn't want to leave you just yet," he mumbled, and her grin widened.

"Well," she replied, kissing him just above the latex before moving further north, "I'm not going anywhere," she continued, placing another at his navel. "Why don't you get comfortable?" she reasoned, pressing a few to his collarbone. "I'll still be here when you're finished," she told him, pressing a lingering kiss to his lips.

"Since you put it that way," he agreed, returning her kiss before rising to deal with his contraceptive. While he was gone, Kagome grabbed his top sheet and wrapped it around herself, playing with it so that the sheet looked like there hadn't been much sleeping happening in their bed.

Their bed?

His bed.

This was his bed. His apartment. Not their anything.

She needed to get a grip on herself and her thoughts, or else she was going to be screwed.

The faucet turned on and off in the bathroom, and she looked up at him with a smile when he reappeared. He stood in the doorway, leaning his left arm against the frame above his head as he casually crossed his ankles.

She couldn't help the shy blush that spread over her face even if she had wanted to as she watched him check her out.

"Can I help you?"

"Nope. You're doing enough as it is," he smirked. "I just can't help but admire how good you look naked and wrapped up in my sheets."

"Then why don't you come here for a closer look?"

"I think I like that idea," he grinned, bounding over to her.

He flopped down onto the bed next to her, and she let out a small squeal at the feel of his mattress moving and shaking. He gathered her into his arms and ran his fingers up the skin of her left arm as she snuggled into him and used his chest as her pillow.

She felt him let out a contented sigh and press a kiss to her head as he held her, and she enjoyed the feeling of the moment for a bit longer before ruining it.

"I know how we should respond to Kikyo."

He let out a less contented and far more dramatic sigh this time, and she raised herself up onto her arms to look down at him.

"I feel like this is going to loom over me for the rest of the night until we deal with her," she explained, and his eyes softened.

"What do you want to do?" he asked, reaching up to cup her face and gently rub her cheek with his thumb.

"I want to take a photo of us, just like this, and send it to her. That way she knows you're moving on, and you definitely don't want her back."

He looked at her for a moment and couldn't help but feel like this was a bad idea. It felt a bit…juvenile…And like right now, Kikyo was just a little regretful and a lot of horny. He was worried that if they did this, she would retaliate in a way he wouldn't like.

Then again, what could she possibly do? It's not like she could go running around bad mouthing him to their mutual friends. They didn't have any mutual friends. At most, he would be a bad story she'd tell at a party.

"Ok," he finally agreed, and Kagome pushed him down and arranged him just how she wanted him before settling in next to him.

"Ready?" she asked, pulling his camera up on the phone.

"Yup."

She positioned the phone so that it was at just the right angle and snapped the first photo. Right as the photo was taken, he crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue, making her burst into a fit of laughter. She looked at the photo she had taken, and sure enough...instead of it being the sexy "he's over you" photo she had planned, it was now him looking like a goofball while she laughed her ass off.

"Inuyasha," she scolded, and he took the phone from her.

"Ok...we'll try again," he grinned, and she settled back to how she was before.

"One...two...three!" this time she couldn't help herself, and she touched the tip of her tongue to her nose, making him laugh.

They continued trying to outdo the other with silly faces, laughing and smiling until the whole reason they were doing this in the first place lay forgotten in the corners of their minds for a moment. She grabbed the phone back from him after a few minutes and started scrolling through their photos, favoriting and sending her favorites to herself. Then she found her favorite one of all. They weren't making faces. They were just laughing and happy and looking each other straight in the eyes. She didn't even know when he had taken it, but it captured them...this moment...perfectly.

"I really like this one," she smiled warmly at him.

"Me too," he agreed, leaning over to sweetly kiss her lips.

She snapped the photo and looked at it before showing him.

"This one."

"Ok," he agreed, raising his hand to cup her cheek as she began editing it, playing with the light and making it black and white as Kikyo's had been. She picked the hot pink neon text and wrote above their heads, "FINALLY HAPPY WITHOUT YOU" before sending it.

She handed the phone back to Inuyasha, and he tossed it off to the side before kissing her deeply.

Now that they had dealt with that, she felt like she could enjoy the rest of her evening...and if the way his lips were moving against hers was any indication, it was going to be a long evening.

Guess it was a good thing she'd picked Indian.

She didn't want this to stop anytime soon.


Kikyo was in the middle of responding to an email when she received a Snap from Inuyasha. She sat up a little straighter on her couch and grabbed the long, thin-stemmed glass of red wine off of her coffee table. She swirled the liquid around in the glass a few times as her thumb tapped the notification.

She hadn't realized it back when she had him, but Inuyasha had filled a void in her life that she didn't know needed filling - not just the proverbial one between her legs, but one that had opened up in her heart since he had told her to fuck off.

She should have realized sooner that he had been playing for keeps this whole time...and truthfully? Now that he was gone, she realized that she should have been doing the same. She missed talking to him, and how he listened to her problems and silently offered his support and offered her his strength when she needed it.

Like when that fabric shipment had been late a few months ago before she had left for Milan. God, that had been a nightmare...but he had listened to her bitch and cry and yell about it all, and he had sent her a bouquet of flowers so she would remember that everything would be ok and that he loved her.

Truthfully...now that he was gone, she saw what her open relationship was - a meaningless string of random men she didn't like enough to give her number to for a repeat performance. Inuyasha was her constant. Him and her job.

Now, she only had her job, and her life just wasn't the same.

She had sent the first Snap after she had one too many glasses of wine the night before. The second...for the second, she decided to remind him of what they had felt while they were together.

She noticed that it had taken him half the day to respond to her, since he had opened her Snaps in the late afternoon. He must have needed the time to really think about what he wanted, and she was confident in what the answer would be.

Once Snapchat loaded, she looked at his photo at first in confusion and then in horror.

"Finally happy without you?" she whispered, looking at this woman...this whore wrapped around him and kissing him. They hadn't been apart for even two months. How the hell was he moving on already? And with this thing? She wasn't even that attractive, in her opinion. The girl didn't know how to beat her face, and her hair was a mess. Clearly it was post sex hair. This whole photo was supposed to tell her that they had just had sex...and she was pissed.

She gulped down the rest of her wine and slammed the glass onto her coffee table, the long stem breaking and cutting her palm. She swore as blood seeped out from her wound, and she picked up the glass and threw it into the trash can before bandaging herself.

Inuyasha had warned her against those glasses. He had said: "Just because they look like the ones on Scandal doesn't mean that they are a practical, good glass to drink out of. With stems that thin, they will break like crazy."

She had laughed him off and bought them anyways...and at this point, she had spent so much on replacing them at Crate & Barrel that she wasn't about to let them win. She wanted the goddamn wine glasses, and she was going to have her goddamn wine glasses.

The image of Inuyasha with that other woman floated past her mind's eye again, and she closed her eyes when she felt a prickling start behind them.

"No," she said aloud. She wasn't going to cry about this. She was stronger than this...and if she wanted him, then she would have him.

Just like those fucking wine glasses.

Chapter Text

Chapter 11

A vibrating, buzzing sound woke Kagome up, and she groaned as Inuyasha's arm tightened around her, bringing her closer to him. She smiled softly at the feeling of being held by him and reached out to grab her phone. The bright screen blinded her in the dark room and she saw "Mom" scrolling across the top.

She silently swore as she untangled herself from him and picked up his discarded t-shirt, slipping it over her head as she quietly snuck out of his room.

"Hello?" she whispered, answering her phone as she opened his sliding glass door.

'Kagome? Dear? Are you alright? You don't sound well.'

"No, I'm fine, Mom," she said, answering louder this time. "I was just trying to be quiet. Did you forget that it's almost seven here?"

'Oh shoot! You know I always confuse the time difference between you guys and your cousins...I'm sorry, sweetie. Did I wake you?'

"Yeah, but it's fine," she shrugged. "I'm going to get a head start on cooking breakfast when I get off with you."

'Well then, I won't feel too guilty. I didn't hear from you yesterday. How did your appointment go? Are you cast free?'

"Completely," she grinned. "It went really well, Mom! The doctor said that my break healed perfectly, and he told me about some post-cast physical therapy I should do at home. He gave Inuyasha and me a bunch of pamphlets—"

'—Inuyasha?'

"Oh! Um...yeah…" she blushed. "He came with me to my appointment," she explained.

'Inuyasha...I know that name...Why do I know that name?'

"He's the guy who found Grandpa's dog tag," she reminded her.

'Oh, yes! Now I remember! He's Miroku's neighbor too, isn't he?'

"Yup! Same guy!"

'And he came to take you to your appointment?'

"Yeah…"

'Where was Miroku?'

"We're still having a bit of a fight," she mumbled into her phone.

'So he didn't come? I'm going to have to talk to him...that's not right. I know that your grandparents were busy, but he still should have come!'

"It was a pretty big fight, Mom…"

Her mother was silent for a moment before she said, 'Kagome, doesn't Miroku live two hours away from your grandparents? Why did this stranger take you to your appointment? What are you two fighting about?'

Well...this morning was off to a great start…

"Mom, we're focusing on the wrong parts - the exciting thing is that my cast is off! Yaaaay!" she cheered weakly, feeling her mother's rage on the other side of the phone.

'Kagome...I'd like some answers, please.'

"Mom…"

'Now, please."

"So...I might be dating Inuyasha…" she started timidly, waiting for her mother to say something on the other end of the phone. When she didn't, she continued. "He's a really nice guy, Mom. He found out that no one was coming to my appointment, so he drove all the way to the library to surprise me and take me. I even told him not to come, but he did it anyways because he didn't want me to be alone. He does all of these little things, too...like opening doors and pulling out chairs for me...and he's sweet and funny and nice and smart and an amazing cook...and Mom...I need to send you his picture. I swear, he's the most handsome man I've ever met."

'He sounds very impressive,' her mom replied, her voice tight.

"Oh, he is! I've...I've never met anyone else quite like him."

'When did you two start dating?'

"Our first date was last week, if you don't count the set-up Miroku made," she admitted, and she could feel her mother's displeasure on the other end of the phone.

'I see.'

"But when he came to pick me up yesterday, we decided to be exclusive for as long as I'm still in town."

'Oh, sweetie…'

"Mom?" she whispered, her mother's disappointing tone setting her teeth on edge.

'I'm just worried about you - I'm not sure you're making a wise decision by dating this boy.'

"He's not like Hojo," she defended, choosing to ignore the word boy and pick her battles.

'Sweetheart, no one is like Hojo but Hojo,' she pacified. 'But...are you ready for another relationship? It doesn't sound like this will be an easy one. You're going to leave in September - what happens then? You said he only has to be faithful to you until then. That's not much of a commitment.'

"Well, we're breaking it off when I leave," she snapped.

'And what if this gets serious? Will you be able to?'

"You know what, Mom? Aren't you the one always telling me that sometimes the best things in life are the ones that come from the hardest journey? Well, maybe he is worth the journey, but it will be hard for me to find out if you judge this straight out of the gate."

Her mother was silent for a moment before saying, 'You're right. I just worry. You're my baby girl, and your heart has already been hurt in ways I don't think I could ever recover from.'

"I know," she sighed, "but I think he's worth it. I wish we were all back in Ohio - then you could meet him."

'Why don't you put him on the phone?'

"He's still sleeping."

Her mother was silent for a beat before saying, 'I had meant when you were with him next...I thought you were at your grandparents' house. Are you at his place?'

Fuck.

"...No?"

'Kagome…'

"Fine - I slept over at his place last night. Are you happy now?"

'Only if you are, dear.'

"I was before you called," she mumbled, nearly intelligible.

'Kagome…'

"How about I call you back when he's up? Then you can interrogate him as much as you'd like."

She heard her mother sigh on the other end of the phone, but she ultimately encouraged her to do just that. Kagome hung up, rolled her head back, and groaned deeply.

This was just what she needed. Her mother interfering with her relationship. All the way from Ohio.

She stood on the balcony for a few more minutes, looking down at the world below, trying to get her anger in check. Her mother didn't know him. She didn't see how amazing he was. She couldn't see that he was just what she needed right now.

She needed a reminder that not all men were assholes. That there were some genuinely good guys out there...and he needed her, too. What they had...it might not be forever, but damn if it didn't work.

They worked. And wasn't that what mattered?

She pushed away from the railing she had been leaning on and opened the sliding glass door, creeping back inside. She silently stripped off his shirt and let it fall back to the ground where she found it as she watched the steady rise and fall of his chest. The room was still perfectly dark, and she was glad he was still sleeping. She had been a little worried that she had woken him when her mother called.

She quietly placed her phone onto "her" nightstand and slipped back into bed as gently as she could, trying her best not to rouse him.

He must have been exhausted because she was successful. Then again...his exhaustion made perfect sense. They had stayed up rather late enjoying each other's company. A blush crept over her cheeks at how many times she had enjoyed said company.

She felt him wrap his arms around her as soon as she settled back in, and she felt his lips press a soft kiss to her shoulder.

"Where did you go?" he asked as he nuzzled closer to her, his voice laden with sleep.

"'Nowhere," she whispered, taking his hand in her own. "Just to the balcony for a minute."

"Mmm…" he acknowledged before yawning. "Missed you...like holding you..."

She couldn't help but grin, and she rolled over in his arms to face him.

"Yeah?" she whispered.

"Mmm," he sighed back. "Sleep now?"

She placed a soft kiss to his lips before agreeing.

"Sleep now."


"Really? She wants me to call her?"

"Yup. Sorry, buddy...you have to 'meet the parents', as it were."

Inuyasha bit the inside of his cheek to keep from swearing. He could handle a phone call. He knew he could. Hell, a phone call was worlds better than doing the actual meeting of the parents. Because that? That was terrifying. Just talking to a woman on the phone for ten minutes? That he could do. No problem.

Inuyasha took another sip from his travel mug of coffee and took a deep breath, inhaling the salty early morning ocean air. He loved the smell of the beach. The ocean was his home, and the smell of salt water was always comforting to him.

After they had really woken up, Kagome got started on cooking bacon and eggs and fixing a pot of coffee for them. She had wanted to walk on the beach afterwards despite the currently overcast sky, so they had poured the coffee into a travel mug for him since she finished hers and got on their way.

That's when she had broken the news about her mom.

"I think I can handle it. Let's do this - dial her up for me."

"Really? Now?" she replied, her left eyebrow cocking up in uncertain surprise.

"Why not? Now is as good a time as any. And we're by the ocean...phones loose signal by the ocean all the time…I'm kidding!" he yelped as she playfully smacked his arm.

"Not funny!" she chastised, and he hooked a finger under her chin and tilted her head up. He placed a sweet kiss on her forehead and felt her ire disappear.

"Call her," he encouraged again. "I'll behave. In fact, I'll be on my best behavior."

"Do you mean it?" she asked skeptically.

"I promise," he reaffirmed, leaning down to place another kiss on her forehead.

She silently fished her phone out of her pocket and he watched her call her mother. It didn't ring for long before she picked up.

"Hi, Mom," she greeted nervously into the phone, and Inuyasha took another sip of coffee as the two chatted casually for a moment. Eventually, however, his time came when she said, "Yeah - he's right here."

Kagome handed him the phone, and he took a deep breath before plastering a smile onto his face.

"Mrs. Higurashi - it's a pleasure."

'My daughter and in-laws speak highly of you,' she informed him, and his smiled softened into a genuine one as Kagome nervously began playing with the hem of her shirt.

"I'm glad to hear it. I have loved getting to know your family. They have made me feel at home since my move here. You raised two amazing individuals, and I need to thank you for that.

Your daughter is perhaps one of the most ambitious and well-educated people I know. I can't help but admire her more and more the longer I know her," he complimented, and his smile widened when he saw her blush and push a strand of hair back behind her ear.

"Your son is a very bright and tenacious man, and an even better friend. I've enjoyed being his neighbor very much, and I appreciate how he looks after Kagome. He is everything a protective older brother should be."

'Are you a fighter pilot as well? Miroku is a Lieutenant Junior Grade,' she proudly told him.

"Yes, ma'am," he replied, silently nodding even though she couldn't see it. "Lieutenant Commander."

'Lieutenant Commander...How old are you?'

"Twenty eight, ma'am."

'And you're already a Lieutenant Commander?'

"Yes, ma'am. I was promoted last year."

'You must be quite gifted to already have such a distinguished ranking.'

"Thank you, ma'am."

'I know you are just trying to be respectful, but you really have to stop calling me 'ma'am'. It makes me feel thirty years older than I already am,' she admonished lightly.

"Of course," he blushed, ignoring the quizzical look Kagome shot him.

'So...why a fighter pilot? You clearly have drive and ambition - you probably could have chosen to do anything. Why this?'

"I always wanted to fly as a kid...and I always wanted to do things people have never done before. I wanted to be a pioneer and a revolutionary in my field. When I learned what it was fighter pilots in the Navy did...there was nothing but this. I got my degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, and entered as an officer immediately afterwards."

'Georgia Tech - that's a very difficult school to get into.'

"It was," he agreed, nervously scratching the back of his neck. "Even harder to get a full ride. Getting the acceptance packet was one of the best days of my life."

'And what were the others?'

"Getting my wings," he replied without hesitation. "I'd worked towards that for years. The path hasn't been...easy. It wouldn't be worth having if it had been, though. I think it's made me a better person. It's taught me leadership and teamwork and the importance of listening to others and discipline. And candidly...meeting your daughter has been the best thing that has happened to me since transferring here."

'Why did you transfer there?'

Inuyasha sighed and told her about his breakup with Kikyo. He mentioned how he had wanted to start a family and still did one day, and how he had believed that she was the one. He relived the falsities of his relationship, and finished by telling her that he didn't regret it. Ending their relationship had been hard, but he wouldn't have met Kagome if he hadn't, and she was the greatest thing that had come into his life since he was promoted last year.

They continued chatting for some time, and as their conversation continued, he could feel her tone easing more and more. He didn't know what her fears were (though he supposed he could guess), but he seemed to be easing them and reassuring her that he wasn't going to treat Kagome as Hojo had.

When they were done, she asked him to hand the phone back to Kagome. He bid her farewell and did as she requested, sipping from his coffee and smirking at her.

"Hey, Mom…"

'Well...I understand why you are so smitten with him.'

Kagome felt her cheeks heat, and she couldn't help looking away from him.

"Yeah…" she agreed.

'He's an impressive man. I can't deny that. But I still want you to be careful. What you're choosing to do...just...be prepared for how difficult it will be.'

"I will," she promised. "Are you going to tell Dad?" she asked hesitantly.

'I think you need to. We all love and care about you, dear...and what you're doing is a big deal.'

"I know," she agreed. "I'll talk to him when I leave."

'And when is that?'

"Tomorrow?" she squeaked.

'You aren't making me a grandmother before my time, are you?'

"Mom!" Kagome gasped, turning bright red all over again as her mother laughed on the other end of the phone.

'Just be careful, and remember our birds and bees talk!'

"I'm hanging up now, Mom," she ground out, ignoring the curious looks Inuyasha shot her way as he ran a hand through his hair before taking another sip of his coffee.

The pair said their farewells and she hung up the phone, groaning.

"Well?" he asked, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

"She's warming up to you. You're quite impressive."

He grinned and pressed a kiss to her hair, and he felt her take a deep breath as they turned and watched the waves.

"Let's take a photo," she decided after a moment, and he agreed. The only ones they had together were the ones from the night before, and those were classified.

She pulled out her phone again and handed it to him, wrapping her arms around his neck as they turned to place the waves behind them. He quickly snapped a few before she pulled him down for a long, sensual kiss. Their photos were forgotten for a moment as she worked her lips against his.

He tasted like comfort and coffee, and she felt like she could get lost in it for forever.

She moaned when he pulled her bottom lip between his teeth and nipped and sucked at it as his hands ran down to her lower back. He finally parted from her and leaned his forehead against hers, lightly panting.

"What was that for?" he asked breathlessly as she closed her eyes.

"Because I wanted to," she replied, sighing happily.

They stayed like that for a moment, just enjoying each other's presence and listening to the sound of the waves in the background. Finally, she pulled away from him and looked through the photos he had taken.

"These are good," she approved, thanking him with a kiss to his cheek. She hadn't noticed that the sky had darkened even more until she had seen those photos. It was definitely going to rain soon.

He responded by hooking a finger under her chin and tilting her face up so he could steal another real kiss from her.

When he pulled away, she couldn't hold back a disappointed groan as she wrapped her arm around his, allowing him to change directions and lead her down the beach and back towards his apartment.

"What's it like?" she asked after some time.

"What's what like?"

"Flying."

"It's...like nothing I can describe," he breathed. "It's exhilarating and thrilling and when you're in the sky, everything is so small. There's this knowledge that you're seeing and doing something that most people can never do, and that makes everything that much more exciting."

"I wish I could go with you once," she admitted, squeezing his arm.

"I wish you could too."

"Hey...what's that?" she asked, pointing at something in the distance.

"Dunno," he shrugged as she pulled him towards it. It was a large gray blob rolling around in the surf, and as they got closer, it became clear that it was a sea lion.

"Oh wow...look at it," she breathed as they got closer. "Is it ok?"

The surf was dominating it, throwing the sea lion around like a rag doll.

"I don't think so," he replied, pulling out his phone.

"We should help it," she told him as she moved closer to it, and Inuyasha's hand shot out to hold her back.

"Don't - we shouldn't go near it. It looks cute, but it's a wild animal. I'll call animal rescue," he reassured her, having already located their number. He quickly gave them directions, describing the sea lion's condition as they watched it seize. Its eyes were blood red and the surf continued to toss it, its neck bending in ways that didn't look natural.

Kagome tucked her head into his side as the surf completely submerged the sea lion's head, and bubbles rose from the water from its mouth or nose.

"Hey," he soothed, wrapping his arms around her. "Look at me," he whispered softly, and she slowly looked up from his chest. "It will be ok. Animal rescue should be here soon, ok? They can help it."

"But look at it," she wailed, gesturing wildly at the poor animal. "We should be able to do something!" she reasoned as a particularly forceful wave bent the sea lions neck again.

"We did. Kagome, I'm not being callous...it's dangerous. We can't get near it without the proper equipment. It's just going to lash out at us. I'm serious. It's cute, but it's a dangerous, wild animal. The most we can do is stay here and wait for the professionals to arrive so we can flag them down."

She buried her face back into his chest, and he felt her nod her head more that saw her do it. She clung to him for support and comfort, and he rubbed her back to provide her some.

It took animal rescue almost thirty minutes to arrive after he placed the call. When they finally did, he felt Kagome sigh in relief before he ran up the sand to greet them, waving them down and directing them to the sea lion.

"It's over here, still - it's been seizing on and off since we found it, and the tide has just been tossing it around. It finally washed ashore a few minutes ago," she heard him explain as they drew closer to the animal. They discussed something briefly amongst themselves before going back to their truck and grabbing a large net attached to a long poll.

Having had enough of watching on the sidelines, Kagome ran over to Inuyasha and took his arm again, asking him what they were going to do.

"They're going to take it back with them and find out what's wrong and treat it. We did the right thing, Kagome," he reassured her, rubbing her back as the team got closer to the sea lion and threw the net over its head. It immediately whirled around, its massive jaws clamping down on the metal rod. She jumped in surprise.

"That's why we couldn't help it," he explained, pulling her closer as the team continued to pull the sea lion into a large net. "That could have been your arm or mine, and then we would have had a much more serious situation on our hands."

"You're right," she agreed as a fine mist of a drizzle started to fall on them.

"We should go," he whispered into her ear as the team pulled the sea lion over to their truck and gave it a tranquilizer to help transport it back to their facility. "There's nothing else we can do now."

She nodded and allowed him to start leading her back towards his apartment building.

Chapter Text

Chapter 12

The mist of a drizzle had turned into full on rain as they reached the sidewalk, completely soaking them as they ran through the streets. It was exhilarating, but difficult to do in flip flops. Kagome almost slipped and completely fell once and Inuyasha stopped his run, turning back for her.

"Hop on," he demanded, lowering himself into a squat. "I'll carry you."

"You think you can carry me in this?!" she replied, baffled.

"Babe, I know I can. Hop on," he repeated. "I won't drop you. Promise."

She would have probably kept fighting him if he hadn't called her babe, but he did, and she really was struggling. She listened to him and removed her flip flops before climbing onto his back, allowing him to carry her like a child.

"Hold this," he asked, handing her his coffee mug so he could grip her thighs better in his large hands. She was suddenly very glad she had given in. She knew he was strong, but there was something about being held up and pressed against his body in the pouring rain...it was doing things to her.

She mentally shook her head, trying to get thoughts of riding him in other ways again out of her mind as he started running. She had no fucking idea how he was doing it, but somehow he was faster with her on his back.

It had to be his training. It was the only logical conclusion she could come up with. He probably had to do something like this before. Or several times before.

She didn't know why she had ever doubted him. She really should have known better by now.

His apartment building was within sight in a matter of minutes, and once they reached one of the awnings, he gently put her down. They still weren't at the front door, but it was clear he needed a break. He wasn't Superman, after all. His back slammed against the glass siding of the building, and she put the mug down as she slipped her flip flops back on.

"That was impressive," she complimented, wiping the rain out of her eyes.

"Thanks," he panted lightly, a weak smile on his lips. "You're lighter than the other people I've had to do that with...but it's been a while."

"So this wasn't your first time…"

"No," he snorted. "Definitely not my first time. Why...did it feel like I didn't know what I was doing?"

"I don't think that's possible," she replied, taking in the way his white shirt clung to him. God...she didn't know if wet t-shirt contests were a thing for men, but it should be. It was working for her right now.

Maybe it was the rain. Or how he handled the sea lion. Or her mother. Or all of it...it didn't matter. All she knew was that she suddenly needed to have him.

Her face must have been betraying her thoughts...or maybe he was already having thoughts of his own, because he reached out for her as she started to lean closer to him. His fingers tangled into her sopping hair as hers found their way behind his neck and clutched his soaked shirt. Their lips hungrily crashed together, battling each other for dominance as the rain intensified around them.

Somewhere in the back of her mind she noticed that the awning was doing a poor job of sheltering them, and she could feel the rain splattering onto her back. She didn't really care, though...especially when he switched places with her, somehow maneuvering them so that she was pressed quite firmly against the glass. She heard more than saw his hands slam against the glass by her head, helping him pin her in place while also stopping him from crushing her body with his as she gave into his domination.

Sometimes, it was nice to just let him have his way...and besides, given the way he groaned when she submitted, she knew she had made the right choice this round. There would always be a next time.

God, she was insatiable. They hadn't even finished this time and she was already thinking of next time? What was he doing to her? He was driving her completely mad. She needed him constantly - not just his touch, but him.

She hadn't realized it before, but she had only dated boys before now. Boys who were unsure of themselves and who took and took and took and never gave back. Boys who brought nothing but drama and headaches and heartbreak.

Inuyasha was a man. Confident, smart, and sure of himself...he knew who he was, and he definitely wasn't afraid to give back to her.

She felt her core ache from his ministrations and at the memory of his mouth and fingers between her legs, working her until she was a quivering mess before he slid in. God...he was definitely a giver. Even once he had his fill, he would rally to make sure she had hers, too.

She felt his lips descend from hers and make their way to her chin, and she gasped as his bottom lip glided against the line of her jaw and traced it up to her earlobe. Her hands left his shirt and ran up into his hair, her nails gently digging into his scalp and making him moan as he took the tip of her lobe between his lips and gave it a light nip.

She groaned at the move, tilting her head to the side to grant him better access and silently encouraging him to continue. He grazed her ear with his teeth one more time before moving on, much to her surprise disappointment, until she felt his knee part her legs to rest between them. She didn't know if it was an invitation or if he was simply trying to better maneuver himself to press hot, wet kisses to her neck, but she didn't care. She slowly ground herself against him, trying to ease some of the fire she was feeling and moved one of her hands from the back of his head to one of his hands pressed against the glass by her head.

She guided it away from the glass to the front of her soaked shirt, placing it over her breast and encouraging him to knead her through the wet fabric. He groaned in response, not needing much more encouragement than that, and her free hand traded places with the one on the back of his head as he moved up to find her lips again.

She felt his tongue prodding at her lips, silently demanding access that she eagerly granted to him as she moved her newly available hand down to the front of his pants as she continued to grind herself against his leg. He whimpered in need when her palm danced over the strained fabric of his jeans, his arousal having become quite prominent the longer they stayed under the awning.

She decided in that moment that if it were socially acceptable, she probably would have undone his fly and taken him then and there.

What was he doing to her? She never used to have thoughts like that before.

Did it matter, though? She needed him.

His tongue moved against hers as he continued to dominate her, his hips thrusting into her palm as she continued to rub him through his pants. The movements of his tongue against her were desperate, like he was trying to take all of her into himself. Like he was trying to drink her. Consume her. Completely devour her. His fingers found a hardened nipple through the wet fabric of her shirt and bra and gave it a firm pinch, making her cry out in need and grind harder into him.

He pulled away from her, gasping for air as she increased the pressure of her hand palming his hardness, causing him to let out a guttural groan against her neck.

"Yash," she whispered breathily as his other hand moved away from the window and found it's way between her legs, helping to rub her and massage her center. She couldn't stop her needy cry when his fingers began probing, and she cursed the shorts she had chosen to wear. She should have gone with a skirt instead.

Then she could be feeling his fingers directly by now. Rubbing her clit. Thrusting into her.

"We need to take this inside," she panted, and he made some noise of disappointed agreement. As much as she wanted to keep making out in the rain, she was done making out in the rain. She needed to feel him inside of her, and that wasn't going to happen here.

She took deep, calming breaths as his hands left her body and came to rest on the glass on either side of her head again. He backed his body away from her enough that she could slip out from her caged space and pick up the long forgotten coffee mugs as he tried to get himself together. He stayed like that for a minute before mentally saying fuck it and grabbing her hand, leading her back into the rain to the front door of his building.

She slipped in front of him before they entered, pressing her back into his front to try and help shield his very hard erection from view as they walked past the reception desk. They gave a quick wave and laughed about being caught in the rain, but Kagome quickly ended their conversation as she pulled him towards the elevators with talk of changing out of their wet clothes.

She didn't recall exactly what she said.

She didn't care.

The second the elevator doors opened, she pulled him in as casually as she could, hit the number "15", and counted the seconds until the elevator doors closed. Finally, they pressed together to shield them from the public eye, and she whirled around and slammed him into the back wall as they started to rise.

She mentally acknowledged the dinging in the background counting up the floors as her mouth latched onto his neck, sucking at his pulse point while her fingers found his belt and deftly undid it.

Two.

The belt fell open but she didn't bother pulling it through the loops, instead focusing her efforts on the button of his jeans while his hands began working on hers.

Three.

She pulled on his zipper, working the wet pants down his powerful thighs, causing him to groan in relief as his length was freed and poked through the hole in his maroon boxer briefs.

Four.

She felt her pants drop and his fingers tug at her grey panties, sliding them down until they dropped to her ankles, and she kicked the wad of soaked cloth by her feet away.

Five.

She lowered herself to her knees and pulled his underwear down, completely freeing him before taking him into her mouth. He groaned in relief and pleasure as she teased his tip.

Six.

He pulled away from her and pulled on the emergency stop, causing the elevator to jerk to a halt.

"We aren't finishing this before we get to my floor, and I'm not waiting until we get to my apartment," he explained, his voice deep and gravelly. His eyes were dark and hungry, and his chest heaved from panting.

"No - we aren't," she agreed, licking her lips as she beckoned him to come back to where he was. She wasn't done tasting him yet, and she wasn't going to be denied.

He obeyed, pulling his wet shirt over his head and she followed his example, stripping out of her own shirt and bra until she was bare before him. He reached down to cup her breast, gently rolling his fingers over her nipple as she moved her mouth back over him, pressing him back against the wall with such force that the elevator shook for a second.

She licked his tip again, swirling her tongue around his head and flicking it. She traced the vein on the underside of his cock from the entrance of her mouth back up to the bottom of his tip and pressed her tongue against his slit. He hissed when she finally gave him a firm suck, groaning as she began to bob her head on his shaft and lap at him as best as she could at the same time before focusing on just sucking and moving. She slowly took more and more of him into her mouth, and his hand left her breast to cup her cheek and gently rub the flesh there with his thumb. He moved it away after a moment to not hinder her, and let both hands rest on her shoulders instead.

Kagome was appreciative of the gesture. He, once again, had let her move at her own pace, and she decided to try and express her appreciation.

She moved her head as far forward as she could, taking his whole length into her mouth and letting him hit the back of her throat. He gasped in surprise before a guttural groan of pleasure slipped past his lips as she repeated the action.

"Ka," he mewled, his head dropping forward as she fondled his sack, gently rubbing the balls within as she continued to move over his shaft. She thought he might have been trying to say her name...and failing miserably.

It made her feel good. Powerful. Desirable.

She could bring him as much pleasure as she wanted, how she wanted, and he was only along for the ride.

His thighs began to tremble, and she felt his hand return to her cheek. She let him go with a loud pop and took deep breaths as she tried to recover from having his girth in her mouth. They had only slept together a handful of times, but she knew what that hand meant. She could also feel it with the tightening in his sack. He was close, and he wanted her to stop.

She lazily pumped him while he regained his bearings, and she realized for the first time that they had a slight problem. As much as she wanted to feel him between her legs, that wasn't going to happen unless he had a condom stashed somewhere.

"Do you have a condom?" she asked, kissing his belly just above his cock.

"Wallet," he panted, jerkily nodding his head.

Always prepared.

Nice.

She left him and searched through his discarded pants until she located his wallet and handed it to him. He quickly opened it and removed the foil packet. He ripped into it and quickly rolled the latex down his length. This time, when he pinched the tip, he wasn't worried when she giggled briefly.

It was a weird sound.

"Come here," he demanded, reaching down to pull her up from her place on the elevator floor. Once she was standing, he traded places with her and dropped to his knees, spreading her legs before gently reaching to spread her lips apart.

If she were a lady, she probably would have blushed at the hunger in his eyes when he revealed her clit, but she wasn't a lady. If anything, it only made her wetter and ache more for his touch.

He didn't disappoint.

His tongue reached out for her, and he licked her lips in a straight line from as far back as he could reach to her clit in the front. She shuddered at the feeling, and he repeated the motion a few more times before actually dipping his tongue into her once, making her cry out. He thrust his tongue into her opening again, fucking her with it. Her head rolled back onto her shoulders as he continued his ministrations, and she raised her hands to cup her breasts. They felt heavy and neglected, and her nipples were hard and screaming to be touched.

She felt him shove his face as far up into her core as he could, and she gasped as his tongue moved within her one last time before he moved it away towards the top of her mound to her clit again. He flicked her once and she mewled. A second time had her head rolling around on her shoulders. The fifth has her moving her hands to his shoulders so she could stay upright.

Every flick...every thrust...every nibble and scrape of his teeth brought her closer and closer to her orgasm. Her mind was filled with haze and hardly functioning, but she still had enough sense about her to notice when he pulled his face from her.

She looked down, panting and confused. She wouldn't say she was normally greedy in bed, but he had always brought her to orgasm first before moving on to sex. Could he not wait anymore?

"I want to put your leg on my shoulder," he growled, and her brows rose in surprise. She hadn't been expecting that. She also wasn't sure she could stand on one leg...but damn. How often was she going to have sex in an elevator in her life? This was going to be it...and if he wanted to eat her out with her leg over his shoulder, then who was she to argue?

She hesitantly lifted her left leg, not sure she had the capability of functioning enough to get it where he wanted it to go. She was relieved when he helped her place it over his shoulder. He then reached back up to spread her lips again, and she heard him groan.

"Are you ok?" she panted.

"Very," he replied huskily. "I'm just admiring the view. You're so wet," he explained, his mouth moving closer to her clit until she could feel the hot air from his breath as he spoke, and her toes curled on the leg over his shoulder.

"I like that I make you feel this way," he admitted. "I like knowing that you want me this much. That you need me as much as I need you."

She was throbbing for him. She thought she was literally going to die if he didn't touch her, and just when she was about to beg him to do something, she felt his fingers glide into her opening and she breathily cried out.

"Yash…"

"I'm here," he soothed, looking up to her face before lowering his gaze back to watch his fingers disappear into her as he continued to move them. "I'm not leaving. I'm not stopping," he reassured her, picking up his pace. "Relax. I've got you," he encouraged, glancing at her throbbing clit and opening one more time before lowering his mouth back over her bundle of nerves and closing his eyes.

His tongue was back, working her over, writing a sensual poem of dark desires across her clit as his fingers continued to thrust into her. She was losing her purchase on reality, and her hands found their way to the back of his head. She ran her fingers through his hair, and he must have decided that if she was still coherent enough to do that, she was coherent enough to spread herself open for him. He moved one of her hands between her legs, encouraging her to take his place and his now free hand roamed over the thigh of the leg thrown over his shoulder.

He ran his fingers lazily up her stomach and navel, relishing in the way she continued to tremble under him until he found her breast. He cupped her and molded her in the way he knew she loved before seeking out her nipple. He ran his fingers over it, his touch lighting over the pink circles of her areolas and making the whole tip pucker sensitively.

He finally gave it a hard pinch at the same time he gave her clit a firm flick, and her world exploded. She cried out for him as she finally lost her ability to stand, and she slumped against him. He caught her as best he could, his fingers and mouth still working in unison against her as she trembled.

"Yash…" she breathed, her eyes still pinched closed. "Oh my God…"

He pressed a tender kiss to her thigh and lowered her leg off of his shoulder.

"Good," he grinned, rubbing her thighs in large, lazy circles as she tried to function normally again.

"Now what?" she asked breathily, her world starting to make sense again. He shot her a look that said he thought she was crazy.

"Round two," he replied slowly.

"Yeah? Good. How?"

He was confused. What did she mean how? The same way everyone else had sex - with him in her until they came again.

"What position?" she asked, looking down at him and smiling at his baffled expression.

Understanding entered his eyes and he looked around the small space. That was a good question. They were suspended in the air, and what they wanted to do would shake the whole elevator.

He wanted to take her against the wall, truthfully. When she had her leg over him and his fingers had been in her...he wanted to try that angle with his cock. Badly.

"Tell me," she encouraged, noticing the strange look in his eyes. "We can try it. Please...don't say anal, though."

He laughed at that and stood up, wrapping his arms around her neck.

"Not anal," he agreed, pressing a kiss to her head. "I've never been a fan, truthfully. I want you against the wall with your leg up," he admitted, and he was relieved when that seemed to appeal to her, too.

"Help me get my leg where you want and I'm all for it," she decided, and he did just that. As soon as she was ready, he lined the head of his cock up with her entrance and slowly rubbed the tip against her, wetting it.

"Ready?" he murmured huskily.

"More than," she replied, her tone matching his.

He slowly slid into her, one hand helping brace himself on her hip while the other helped hold her leg up.

She sighed when he completely filled her and clenched her walls around him, making him let out a sound somewhere between a moan and a whimper. Slowly, he pulled away from her and slid back in, testing out the position.

She was so tight like this, and he felt so good...she couldn't help but wonder why she had never tried this position before.

Then again, compared to Inuyasha, all of her past lovers were so vanilla.

He was the spice she had been missing to turn her love life into the sweet treat she always knew it could be.

She encouraged him to go faster, and he didn't disappoint. They also weren't shaking the elevator nearly as much as he had thought they would, and he felt very reassured as he began to pound into her. Their cries were deafening in the small metal box, and they only seemed to fuel his passion.

She lowered her hand to rub herself like she knew he liked, and he leaned forward to silently thank her with a kiss to her forehead before he watched her continue. Doing this was so hot. She felt like such a rebel. Normally, she never would have done this...but he brought out a new side of her...and truthfully...she loved it.

He continued to thrust into her, and she felt the coil in her tightening until it finally snapped and he felt her rippling around him. Her release triggered his own, and her walls milked him as he felt himself pour out into her.

He lowered her leg and leaned completely against her, gasping for air as the aftershocks of his orgasm continued to run through him. She took his face between her hands and lifted his face up, pressing a kiss sweetly to his lips and he instantly responded, kissing her back.

Her lips were still tingling when they parted, and he leaned his head onto the wall behind her as his breathing returned to normal.

"Top three," he whispered into her ear.

"Huh?"

"For best sex of your life. That's in my top three," he explained, pulling away from her and shooting her a sensual smile.

"Yeah," she agreed. "It's always spectacular with you, but that...that was a new level of good."

"Good," he decided, pressing another kiss to her lips before pulling away and turning his back to her. She assumed he was removing the condom and didn't want her to see. That was fine with her. She had her own struggles - like getting back into her soaked bra. She looked at it for a moment before tossing it to the side in disdain.

He lived close enough to the elevator. She didn't need to put everything back on when she was probably going to have to take it off again in a minute. And going by that logic, that meant that her underwear were staying off, too.

She slid her shorts back up her legs and struggled back into her shirt as Inuyasha started to dress himself as well. He clearly had the same idea and stuck with just his basic outer clothes as well before gathering up the rest of their personal items and pushing the button to start the elevator again.

She wrapped her arms around him, laying her head against his chest and sighing in contentment as they finally continued their assent to his floor.

The elevator dinged one more time and slowed to a halt, signaling to her that they had finally arrived at his floor.

She looked over her shoulder as they left to make sure they had everything and suddenly ran into Koga, surprising her and stopping her search.

"Hey!" he greeted. "Fancy meeting you guys here. I didn't know you were visiting," he commented to Kagome, and she felt his eyes linger over her breasts. Was it obvious that she wasn't wearing a bra? Or that they had just had sex? She felt like she was going to die.

"Yeah," Inuyasha smirked, wrapping his arm around her shoulders and tucking her into his side. "I took Kagome to get her cast off yesterday and I asked her if she wanted to come back with me. It wasn't a planned thing," he shrugged. "There would have been no way you would have known."

His eyes left her chest and wondered to her left arm, noticing the missing cast for the first time.

"Oh yeah - that was yesterday! How did it go?"

"Great," she beamed.

"Listen, it was great chatting, but I think we're going to go back to my place and get cleaned up. It's pouring out there right now and we kinda got caught in it," Inuyasha explained, carefully not mentioning that it was also because they had just had sex.

Kagome couldn't help but think about that extra reason, however, and her cheeks instantly lit up at the thought.

They said their farewells and before they parted, Koga called, "Hey, Kagome? By the way - your shirt is on inside out," causing her to squeak in embarrassment.

Yup.

He totally knew what they had been doing.

She bolted down the hall in embarrassment, and Inuyasha shot Koga an annoyed glare before running after her. Koga's laughter could still be heard from down the hall even as he got onto the elevator.

He stepped inside and inhaled deeply. It smelled just as he thought it would: of sweat and sex. He wished he could bottle it up so he could always remember it.

He pushed the "17" on the elevator and noticed a swatch of grey, lacy fabric on the floor. Panties. They almost blended in with the slate tile of the floor and could easily be overlooked, which must have been what happened. He scooped them up and looked around the waist band for the "KH" he knew he would find. Kagome labeled all of her underwear like that so she wouldn't lose them in the communal washer and dryer in the basement of her apartment complex.

He located the marking and smirked.

They were hers, alright...and they were clearly soaked through with more than just rain water.

The elevator dinged and slowed to a stop, signaling his arrival on his floor. He stuffed them into his back pocket and quickly went to his apartment.

This acquisition was even better than anything he could have hoped for and he quickly settled in, dropping his pants and bringing his newest treasure to his face as he stroked himself.

This would do quite nicely for now until he could have her all to himself.


A/N:

Sorry! I'm the worst – yesterday was a crazy day, and so was Friday. As an apology, I'm posting a very VERY rough draft of chapter one of a new story concept I'm working on below, so enjoy! (Don't worry - it's an IY FF!)

Also....WE WON!!!!!! Literally just checked their tumblr page before posting this and my jaw hit the floor. You guys are amazing!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much to everyone who took the second to vote for Saucy and me! We are still going "Wait....that can't be right, can it?"

Thank you as always to Saucy Librarian for the amazing edits, and thank you to everyone who has reviewed so far!

Seriously. You make me feel like I should keep going!

Next chapter will go up Saturday, November 30 because of the holiday.

Until then!

- Lemon Lush


And now…

Chapter 1: Untitled

Her head was killing her. Straight up throbbing.

Kagome rolled over and snuggled her face into her pillow, reaching down around herself to pull the blankets up around her shoulders with a throaty groan.

God...she needed a cold compress and an advil. It felt like her head got run over by a fucking truck. What the hell happened to her?

She scrunched up her brow and mentally went back through the last things she remembered.

She was taking out the trash before going to bed...then her cat escaped and bolted for the woods behind her house, so she naturally ran after him. It was cold out and she remembered regretting not grabbing a jacket to wear over her pajamas. The jerk was fast and got pretty damn far, and it was dark out, and she remembered taking her phone out to use as a flashlight, but she still couldn't find him.

Then she heard some rustling in the bushes.

She bolted upright, opening her eyes and she smacked her head into the forehead of the man hovering over her and they both cried out in pain. She raised her hands to her head, cradling it as memories flooded her mind and she backed herself up against the pillow at the head of her bed.

Only it wasn't her bed...and she wasn't in her house.

"Who the hell are you?" she demanded, looking up at the silver haired man before her, continuing to press a hand to her forehead in an attempt to ease some of the pain. He had scrambled away from her and held one hand to his head as well, while the other was outstretched like he was trying to calm her down.

Yeah.

Right.

A little fucking too late for that buddy!

He started to speak to her in a slow, calm voice, but what he was saying didn't make any sense. It was like he was speaking a weird mixture of ten different foreign languages and she had no goddamn idea what he was saying or what the hell was going on.

He looked as panicked as she did, and she wasn't sure if she should take comfort in that, or be even more freaked out.

He slid a hand into his red pants pocket, and she took a deep breath to try and calm her racing heart as she took in his appearance. The long, waist length silver hair was odd, especially for someone who looked like they were in their mid to late twenties. Possibly early thirties? She was never good at guessing age...but that wasn't particularly relevant. Not when the guy seemed to have a pair of fucking functioning dog ears wiggling on the top of his head, and golden eyes with slits for pupils. His fingers were tipped with claws, and he was dressed in bright red, almost military looking clothes. Only vests without shirts underneath didn't feel very military.

Fucking hell...was she still dreaming?

She tried pinching herself, but she was definitely already awake.

Cool.

Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool.

This was great.

He pulled out of his pocket a solid silver, oval, ball like object and pressed something that made it shoot out a bright blue light.

"What the hell is that?" she demanded, and the device made a beeping noise that reminded her of a computer error.

She looked around the room, trying to take in her surroundings and plan an escape. She was in a very modern looking bedroom with lots of grey furniture and accents. Off to the right of the bed she was sitting on was a table with several chairs around it, and a couch was placed along the far side of the room.

100% not at home.

He began speaking to her again and gesturing towards the silver thing he was holding, but she still couldn't understand what he was saying or what the hell he wanted.

He slowly pushed himself so he was kneeling on all fours and brought a knee up. He wanted to approach her, and she snatched the pillow she was leaning against and pulled it in front of her, trying to put a barrier between them.

He stopped when she did that and froze in place, saying something to her again. His tone was soft, but she could sense some frustration behind his words and in his eyes.

When she didn't move or say anything in response to his mumbo jumbo, he placed his knee down and slowly edged closer to her to place the silver thing on the bed she was in. She glanced down at the silver object, back to him, and then back to the silver object.

He spoke softly again, his tone patient and caring and she looked back up at him.

He pointed at his mouth, saying something, and then down to the device. She furrowed her brow in confusion. It was clear he was trying to tell her something about it, and he repeated whatever it was he had just said. It was like he was looking for her to do something, and she just wasn't getting it.

He sighed and ran a hand through his bangs, glancing up at the ceiling before trying again. This time he picked up the device and held it to his lips and began speaking into it. When he was finished he held it back out to her, a hopeful light in his eyes.

It was like he wanted her to take it and speak into it?

But that was crazy right?

Then again, she had no idea what the fuck was going on and nothing made sense right now, and she didn't know where the hell she was...so maybe talking into a little silver oval wasn't the craziest thing that had happened to her lately.

She hesitantly reached out a hand and took it from him, holding it up to her lips.

"Ok, is this what you wanted?" She asked, and the ball emitted a green light.

This seemed to excite him, and he said something in an encouraging tone.

"Do you want me to keep talking?" She asked, realizing stupidly after asking that she wasn't going to get a response she could understand.

And she didn't, but he seemed happy that she was talking into the ball.

"My name is Kagome Higurashi...Please don't hurt me. I have no idea who you are or where the hell I am. I just want my head to stop spinning and I want to go home. Please let me go home? I was looking for my cat...I didn't mean to find you guys, I swear. I don't care what you were doing in the woods. I just want my cat and I just want to go home. I won't tell anyone I saw you guys I promise. Just please...let me go. I have a family. A mom, a brother, a grandfather...and friends. I have a bunch of people who would miss me if I went missing. Please don't hurt me," she pleaded, and the green light started flashing before turning off completely.

He seemed pleased but still nervous, and said something.

"Can you understand me?" The silver ball repeated in his voice and she dropped it, in shock. "That looks like a yes." He sighed in relief.

"What...the hell…"

The ball repeated what she said back to him in his language and he let out a laugh.

"It's a translator. It hasn't needed a new language added to it in decades. How extraordinary…" he grinned, leaning closer to look at her, and she pressed herself further against the wall, trembling.

He immediately stopped and backed away, raising his hands.

"I didn't mean to offend you…" he said softly. "I've just never seen your species outside of my system before."

Outside of his system?

"What do you mean 'my species'? What system? What the fuck is going on? I just want to go home...Please...let me go home…"

His posture slackened and his face fell.

"I can't do that," he told her firmly, standing and walking to the wall with the couch. He placed his hand on the wall and pressed a button, causing windows she hadn't realized were there to defog, and her breath caught in her throat.

They were surrounded by blackness and millions of twinkling stars...and in distance, no bigger than a marble was a small, blue and green dot.

Earth.

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Chapter 13

"He's going to tell Miroku, you know," Kagome groaned into Inuyasha's shoulder as he scrubbed her scalp. He was trying to calm her, but that had been a fruitless venture so far.

"He won't. He wouldn't do that to you."

"You don't know that."

"I know he cares a great deal about you," he countered before she ducked under the warm stream of water shooting out from the shower head. It was soothing, and she could have stayed there all day if Inuyasha wasn't also in the shower with her.

She had wisely suggested that they shower together after getting back to his apartment after the humiliating "Koga incident". She wanted his comfort, and needed reassurance that everything would be fine...and they were both cold and wet and in dire need of a good shower. They had already done it once before. Why couldn't they do it again?

She stepped out from under the stream and grabbed his bottle of conditioner, squeezing out a dollop onto her palm before reaching up to his head and rubbing it through his hair. He grabbed her bottle and began working on her at the same time, and she closed her eyes as his fingers scraped against her scalp again.

"I know," she sighed. "But we're still fighting, and I'm just not sure how he would react if he were to find out. It's not like people frequently have sex in elevators."

"And he would disapprove?" he asked, somehow doubting it. He had first met the man stark naked after he'd just had sex with Sango.

"If he did it, he would probably rent a billboard telling the world about it," she snorted as Inuyasha ducked under the water, rinsing out his conditioner as she started brushing out her hair. "If I do it, though, it's a capital offense. Especially since I normally never would have done something like that."

"You did want that, though...right? I didn't push you, did I?" he asked nervously as she switched places with him to rinse out her hair.

"If I don't want to do something with you, I'll make it plainly obvious," she smiled reassuringly. "It's sweet how you worry. I like it."

"Just don't want to push you, is all," he shrugged as she grabbed his bar of soap and lathered up her hands. "I know I'm not always exactly…"

"Colonial?" she supplied, and he laughed.

"That's one way to put it...Sure. Colonial," he smirked.

"That's ok. I like it. Being with you is...exhilarating. I've done things with you that I never would have thought of doing before, and I like it. I like who I am with you...I feel...free."

"Yeah?" he smiled shyly as she began to run her soapy hands over his shoulders. He was firm and slick and felt utterly delicious.

"Yeah. I never would have done this with Hojo," she blushed, moving her hands to his pectorals. She traced the tan, hardened ridges creating his muscle with her fingertips before ghosting her palms over his nipples.

"It was bland with him. Boring. Very...wham, bam, thank you ma'am. It wasn't bad...he had his moments...but I don't think we ever would have showered together unless we absolutely needed to," she continued, moving her hands down his abdomen. She watched as the soap she smoothed over him slowly slid down his chest, rolling over the ridges of his hard body.

It was one of the most erotic sights she had ever seen, and she mentally gave herself a firm talking to - they had just had sex. He wouldn't be able to do more now, and he had already given her everything she'd needed. Twice.

She really didn't know how he had done this last time without acting on his desires. She remembered exactly how their shower had left him, and she could completely understand now. Between the warm water, the foamy soap, and their slick bodies...not acting on the desires she was feeling was a Herculean feat.

"So, you're happier now? With me, I mean. With us?" he asked nervously as he lathered his own hands and gently rubbed her shoulders.

"Without a doubt," she replied, not a speck of hesitation in her reaction.

"Then you should tell him that," he advised, moving down to her breasts. She bit the inside of her cheek as his palms and fingers worked her soft tissue and rubbed over her nipples. "You know you need to talk to him. You guys can't fight for forever, and he regrets bothering us. Besides - I know you will feel better once you talk to him."

"I will," she agreed, moving into a crouch. "When we are done, I'll talk to him," she promised as she began to work on his legs and thighs. When her hands began to inch closer to his flaccid penis, however, he stopped her with a smirk. "That doesn't need a woman's touch," he teased, echoing back to last time when she had done the same.

"You're sure? I certainly don't mind," she smirked back, and he laughed.

"I'm quite sure," he chuckled before they finished up their shower, each one making sure that the other was more than sufficiently clean.

He offered her a hand as she stepped out of the shower, drying off with his spare towel.

"I think the best thing for me to do is call Koga and talk to him. I think if I ask him to not say anything to Miroku, he won't."

"I think that's a great idea," he encouraged, rubbing his other the towel over himself before grabbing his fresh clothes. "You do that, and I'll start the laundry. Then you can go and talk to Miroku and we can spend the rest of the weekend out from under all of this. Sound good?"

"You're really sexy when you start acting all logical and organized and leadery."

"Leadery?" he snickered.

"Just take the compliment," she replied, sticking her tongue out as she clasped her bra behind her back and grabbed her shirt.

"Yes, Dear," he laughed, kissing the top of her head as he scooped up the towels and brought them with him into his small laundry room where they had left all of their wet clothes.

She blushed, but felt a small smile tug at the corners of her mouth at the sweet endearment.

"Dear, huh?" she called out as she left the bathroom and found her phone on his kitchen island.

"You want me to call you something else, Darlin'?" he yelled from his laundry room.

"We will figure it out," she decided, curling up on his couch as she dialed Koga's number.

"Let's try to do that sooner rather than later, then - I like variety!"

"Yes, Pumpkin," she called as her phone began to ring.

"Excuse me - are we calling me fat?"

"Just orange and round!"

"Oi!"

"Shhhh...on the phone!" she sang just before Koga picked up.

'Kagome - it's been a while,' he teased when he answered.

"Hey, Koga," she greeted, nervously playing with a strand of hair. "Listen...I don't want to keep you, but I have a huge favor to ask."

'Really? Now, how could I possibly be of service?' he asked, his voice betraying the smug smirk plastered on his face.

"I...I know you know what we did on the elevator," she shakily replied, her cheeks heating in embarrassment. "I would appreciate it if you didn't share that with Miroku. I...I feel that what Inuyasha and I do together is no one's business but ours, and I would appreciate your discretion."

'I think I can help you with that.'

She let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you," she breathed. "I really app"

'—if you agree to go out with me.'

She was silent for a moment from pure shock before she said, "Koga…I can't..."

'Why not? I didn't ask you when you broke up with Hojo. I gave you your space. Hell, I even helped the asshole move his shit out of your place so he would be gone sooner! I've known you for years. Why not give me a chance?'

"I'm with Inuyasha," she whispered, pinching her eyes closed. "I won't cheat on him."

'I thought you guys were just having a fling.'

"It's...It's more than that. We talked about it yesterday when he came to take me to the doctor. I...I asked him if he wanted to be exclusive…"

'And he said yes,' Koga replied flatly. 'Can't say I blame the lucky bastard,' he chuckled darkly. 'Is he everything you hoped he would be?' he continued bitterly.

"I don't know what you mean by that," she replied weakly as Inuyasha came to sit down on the couch next to her. He cocked his head to the side, his brow furrowing in concern.

'I think you do,' he spat. 'When are you going to notice me, Kagome? Huh? What do I have to do to get you to pay attention to me?'

"Koga...I'm sorry...but I just...I don't see you that way. You're like an older brother to me…"

'Then change your fucking vision, Kagome!'

"Koga, I'm sorry…" she said again, and was met with silence on the other end. "Koga?" she tried again before pulling the phone away from her ear.

He had hung up on her.

Shit.

Fuck.

Shit.

What the hell had just happened?

"Kagome?" Inuyasha asked gently, taking her hand in his.

"He...he hung up on me," she answered, looking at her phone in dismay.

"What? Why?"

"I can't believe…" she said, shaking her head and trying to understand what had just happened.

"Tell me what happened," he encouraged, his other hand coming up to her cheek and gently cupping it.

"I just asked him to not tell Miroku...I said that what happened between us should stay between us...and then he said that he wouldn't tell Miroku if I went on a date with him...and then I told him I wouldn't because we're together...and he said he thought we weren't serious...and I told him we took things to the next level and I wouldn't cheat on you...and then he just started yelling," she rambled all at once, seemingly pushing everything out in one big breath as her eyes began to well up with tears.

"Hey, hey, hey…" he soothed, gathering her up into his arms. "Shhh...don't start that. I'll go talk to him. I'm sure he's just upset, is all," he reasoned, all while telling the part of himself that was fuming that Koga would actually make a move on her when he knew damn well that they were together to go to hell. He didn't need to be having those thoughts right now. He needed to make sure that Kagome was ok.

"I can't help the way I feel," she sniffled.

"You can't."

"I don't understand why he would even ask me out. Again. My feelings towards him have never changed...they never will change."

"I know Darlin'," he soothed as she buried her face in his chest.

He was going to kick Koga's ass.

Maybe not literally

But he was going to kick his ass for doing this to her.


"Koga!" Inuyasha yelled, pounding on the man's door. "Koga, we need to talk."

He heard some shuffling and some muffled swearing on the other side of the door before it finally creaked open.

"Well...if it isn't Prince Charming," he greeted, a bottle of beer dangling loosely from his grip. He took a swig as he looked Inuyasha up and down, his eyes slowly taking him in. "Tell me - how is our sweet, innocent Princess?" he asked mockingly.

"We need to talk," Inuyasha repeated, his jaw clenching and unclenching.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah...I heard you the first time," he chuckled darkly, and Inuyasha could smell the alcohol on his breath. How many had he already had? Was that why he was acting like such an asshole?

Koga took another swig from his beer before opening the door further and stepping off to the side, allowing Inuyasha to enter.

His apartment looked like a room in a frat house from a movie. Posters of scantily clad women in various positions hung around the living room along with some posters of women wearing nothing. He had so many dirty dishes piled up in his sink that Inuyasha absently wondered if he even had anything clean to eat from or with. Dirty clothes littered the apartment floor and his black leather couch, and there was a day old (or so he hoped) half eaten pizza still in its open box on his island.

He felt a wave of second hand embarrassment wash over him at the state in which Koga was living. Did he like living like this? How on earth was he in the Navy?

No wonder Kagome thought he had a nice apartment. He took care of himself and the place in which he lived, wherever that might be. He couldn't imagine subjecting himself to this lifestyle all of the time. How did Kagome even feel coming into this place and seeing all of these posters? It had to make her uncomfortable...

"I already know what you're gonna say," Koga said, flopping down onto his leather couch before drinking more of his beer. "Don't worry, your little secret is safe with me. I won't betray her trust."

"Thank you," Inuyasha breathed, sitting down on the armrest.

"Yup," he nodded, sighing. "I'll apologize to her later. At some point. Not now, though."

"It would mean a lot to her," he smiled weakly. "You know she does care about you."

"Just not the way I want her too," he replied, shaking his head. "I would give anything - anything to be in your shoes."

"I know," he acknowledged. "I'm sorry. It wasn't planned, you know."

"What happened? You told me it wasn't serious."

Inuyasha just shrugged and sighed. "It wasn't meant to be," he admitted. "I don't know how long we're gonna last...but while we're together, we decided we'd both sleep better at night if we knew that we were exclusive. Kagome isn't...she's not the kind of girl you want to leave on the market, and she felt the same way about me."

"I told you that would happen."

"Yeah...you did," he sighed. "You were right. Before she was just someone I kinda wanted to know better. Now I want to know everything. Know what I mean?"

Koga just sighed and leaned his head back, taking another long swig from his drink. "What's it like?" he asked softly.

"What's what like?"

"Being with her."

"Do you really want to know?" he asked uncertainly.

"Probably not, but it's the closest I'll ever get."

"It feels like...like your heart is coming home after a long, hard day."

"So nothing that special," he chuckled bitterly.

"You'll find someone someday. Someone who is perfect for you and who doesn't see you as a brother."

"Yeah," he replied dismissively, and Inuyasha stood to leave.

"I'll see you at her surprise party tomorrow?"

"Wouldn't miss it - I'm on the grill."

"Should we be worried?" he laughed lightly, and Koga smirked.

"Nah. I won't burn your burger too badly."

"I hope not," he chuckled, turning to leave. "Thanks again for your...discretion, Koga. We both appreciate it."

"Yeah. I know. Take care of her for me, will you?"

"I plan on it."


When Inuyasha returned to his apartment, he heard noises coming from his laundry room and went to investigate. He was greeted with the wonderful sight of Kagome bent over to switch their laundry. Her shorts had risen up enough to give him a delicious eyeful and he stopped in the doorway, leaning his arm on the frame as he took in the view.

"Hey," he smiled when she stood back up, wiping her damp hands on her shirt.

"Hey," she replied, allowing him to pull her into his arms.

He leaned his head down to smell her damp hair and sighed at the scent. "He won't tell Miroku," he said after a moment. "He said he wouldn't betray your trust. He's just...upset, is all. We didn't think this would evolve, so he didn't either."

"I know," she whispered. "Let's not relive this," she asked, and he agreed with a soft "of course," as he led her back out of his laundry room.

"How did it go with Miroku?" he asked when she sank down onto his couch. She opened her arms and he eagerly joined her, laying his head down onto her breast as she began running her fingers through his silver hair.

"Good. We made up. I told him about us."

"What part?" he asked, quirking a brow and tilting his head up to regard her with a nervous but curious look.

"The part about how you came to take me to the doctor yesterday. And how we're exclusive now."

"Word travels fast, huh?"

"My mom knows. Koga knows. Miroku should know, too. He's my twin."

"Yeah," he agreed, sighing softly and nuzzling further into her. "How did he take it?"

"He asked us to hang out at the pool tomorrow with him and Sango."

Ah. That was how he was going to lure her up there. He had to admit that it was a pretty good trick.

He pushed himself up onto his arms so that he could press a lingering kiss to her lips. "So, are we going?" he asked, still hovering above her.

"Yeah...I think it will be fun. I already grabbed the suit I keep at his place so I won't have to go back over until we need to."

"You did? Any chance I can get a preview of that?"

"The suit? Sure," she giggled. "It's on the island in the kitchen."

"And what about you in the suit?" he smirked, waggling his brows.

"You might be able to persuade me."

"Yeah?" he replied, his grin widening. "What do I have to do?"

"You can start by kissing me again."

"Start? You're really going to make me work for it, huh?"

"You better believe it, Pumpkin."

"Oi!"

Chapter Text

Chapter 14

"I can't believe we're running so late," Kagome complained as they got into the elevator and hit the button labeled "RT" for roof top.

"Don't worry - it will be fine," Inuyasha replied, swinging his towel over his shoulder.

"We should have left half an hour ago," she continued, holding her phone up with her camera on so she could fix her wild hair.

"You weren't complaining about being late at the time," he replied casually, silently laughing at the blush that rose over her cheeks.

"I was a little too preoccupied to notice how late we were," she countered, remembering the way he had stripped her out of her swimsuit after she had put it on before taking her on the edge of his bed.

"Relax. It's just Miroku and Sango, and we're on time."

"I know, but I wanted to get there early to get a good spot by the pool."

"I'm sure it won't be a problem," he soothed, wrapping an arm around her shoulders as the elevator door opened and they headed for the glass double doors that led outside.

"There are so many people here," she groaned. "We'll never get a good spot."

"Don't worry about it," he said as he opened the door for her. "I think you'll be—"

"SURPRISE!" everyone shouted, making her jump and grab onto Inuyasha's arm.

"What's going on?" she breathed, pressing her hand to her heart as the small crowd of people parted and Miroku and Sango came forward holding a small wrapped box.

"It's a surprise party for you! Jeez, Kags...I thought you broke your arm, not your skull."

She just rolled her eyes and pulled him into a hug.

"You did this for me?"

"Of course," he grinned. "I couldn't have done it without Sango and Inuyasha, though," he admitted, holding his hand out to the silver haired man and shaking his. "Thanks again for distracting her so we could set up."

"It was my pleasure," he grinned cheekily, and Kagome blushed as she remembered the way in which it really was his pleasure. She couldn't help but wonder if this was the reason he had practically pounced on her earlier.

Either way...should she really be complaining?

"Everyone!" Miroku shouted, "This is Inuyasha, Kagome's boyfriend. He's new around these parts, so give him a warm welcome, will you? For my fellow brothers, he's a Lieutenant Commander, so you'd better be on your best behavior," he joked, and Inuyasha blushed.

"Hey - it's great to meet so many people who care about Kagome. It's nice to see that she has such an amazing support system," he said as he waved nervously to the people surrounding them.

"This is for you," Sango smiled, drawing Kagome's attention down to the present she was holding.

"You guys! You shouldn't have!"

"Don't say that until you open it," Miroku winked, and Kagome eagerly tore into the small box.

"Oh my God...you didn't," she gasped.

It was a navy-blue box with the words "Guardian Alert 911" written in all caps on it.

"It's for the next time you fall and can't get up," Miroku replied with a shrug, and Kagome hid her face against Inuyasha's chest in embarrassment as he took the box from her.

"Look - it says you don't even need batteries for it! Isn't that great?" Inuyasha teased, and she groaned and burrowed even further into him.

"I think I'm going to die," she moaned.

"Now that the guest of honor has arrived, let's turn the music up and get this party started!" Miroku called out, and their friends all cheered in agreement.

"Do you want to introduce me to some of your friends?" Inuyasha whispered, bending his head down so his lips just barely avoided brushing against the shell of her ear.

"I think I've died from embarrassment and can't do anything ever again," she replied, pulling away from him to look up into his amber eyes.

"That's a shame. I thought we could repeat what we did this morning after the party."

"Is that why we did that?"

Inuyasha smirked and leaned down to whisper, "I'll take any excuse I can get to have amazing sex with my super hot girlfriend."

When he pulled away from her, she was a bright red tomato again.

"That is why!" she squeaked, and he shrugged.

"Is that a bad thing?"

She bit her lip and moved a strand of her hair away from her face.

"No...I guess not," she finally decided. "Not when it was so much fun."

"I aim to please," he purred.

"You certainly did," she blushed, wrapping her arms around his neck and standing up onto her tiptoes to give him a lingering kiss.

"Now, I believe you mentioned something about meeting people?"


"Can you get my back?" Kagome asked, taking her swimsuit cover-up off and Inuyasha nodded, picking up the bottle of sunscreen on her chair.

He was right, of course. Getting a good spot hadn't been an issue, especially since everyone here was a friend or their significant other that she had met over the last few years through Miroku.

Everyone had taken an immediate liking to Inuyasha, and she was secretly thrilled….especially with how well he got along with Sango, now that he had finally met the woman. It turned out they had a lot in common.

"Do me when I'm done with you?"

"I thought that was already the plan…?"

"Higurashi...not so loud!" he teased, pressing a kiss to the top of her shoulder as he moved her hair away from her back. He opened the bottle and squeezed some of the sunscreen into his palm.

"I thought you liked it when I was loud..."

"Higurashi!" he admonished again, making her giggle as she lowered her swimsuit straps onto her arms.

He smoothed the lotion across her shoulders, carefully rubbing it in and expertly pressing his thumbs into her shoulders.

"That feels so good," she groaned, her head dropping forward as he massaged her back.

"Good," chuckled, moving down her back and applying more sunscreen to her as he massaged.

"That looks amazing...can I get in on that?" Sango asked, coming to sit next to them in an open chair.

"That's what my brother is for - this one is all mine!" she grinned cheekily.

Inuyasha barked out a laugh. "Not willing to share, huh?"

"Sorry, buddy. I don't play well with others. Besides, I called dibs first!"

"Well, if you called dibs, then..." he chuckled, continuing to work on her. He had to say...he appreciated the suit she was wearing. It was a black one piece with a low-cut front and an even lower cut back.

"It's not worth asking Miroku. It will start out as him trying to help, and end with him trying to grope my ass."

The couple laughed at that before Kagome volunteered to do it for Sango instead.

"You don't mind if I get her back before yours, do you?" she asked, already picking up the bottle as Sango took off her cover up to reveal the two piece underneath it. A chain containing two dog tags swung around her neck as their resting place was disturbed before settling down against her skin. They glinted in the sunlight, drawing Inuyasha's attention to them. He made a mental note to ask her about them at some point. He hadn't been under the impression that she was in the service as well, but those tags indicated otherwise.

She put her black hair up into a long, high ponytail as Kagome opened the bottle.

"If I said I did, would you kiss me?"

"If you think that would help."

"I think it would," he reasoned, finishing Kagome's back and hooking a finger under her chin to tilt her head up and steal a quick kiss from her.

"You guys are cute together! You can tell you're a new couple. You could hardly keep your hands off of each other this whole time."

The pair blushed, and Inuyasha scratched the back of his neck in embarrassment.

"Thanks," Kagome smiled sheepishly. "We're really...happy, I think."

"Yeah. We are," he confirmed, smiling brightly.

Kagome quickly finished up with Sango, and Inuyasha took off his shirt so she could do the same thing to him.

"Man...those burgers Koga is cooking smell amazing," Sango absently commented, drawing Inuyasha's attention to the man. He was surprised to see him watching them, and he waved at Koga as he grilled.

He tilted the beer in his hand in reply, watching Kagome as she squeezed more sunscreen out and began rubbing it into his back.

"You aren't burning those, are you Koga?" Sango called out over the music as she rubbed sunscreen onto other parts of her body.

"Of course not - I'd never dream of ruining Kagome's big party," he shot back as the trio finished applying sunscreen to themselves.

Kagome smiled smalley at him across the pool, and twisted her hair up into a bun before grabbing a pair of sunglasses from her bag. She smoothed her swimsuit straps over her shoulder again as Inuyasha made to sit down next to her.

"Wait! Would you grab me a beer first?" she asked sweetly as he put one leg down onto the lounge chair she was sitting on. He sighed internally, but leaned over to press a chaste kiss to her cheek instead before rising to grab one from the giant cooler by Koga.

"He's much cuter than Hojo," he heard Sango whisper, and he heard Kagome voice her agreement. He couldn't stop the grin from forming on his face even if he had wanted to.


Koga watched from his place at the grill as Inuyasha pulled Kagome's hair away from her neck before placing a kiss to her shoulder and she moved her straps down. He couldn't help but wonder what her skin tasted like. How would the skin of her back feel under his hands as he rubbed lotion onto her?

She must feel so good...so slick and soft, but firm as well.

He couldn't help the jealousy he felt watching them whisper to each other as they basked in their special little private moment, interrupted only by Sango coming to sit with them.

He picked up the metal spatula and pressed it down onto the burgers, trying to take some of the bitterness and disappointment and jealousy he felt out onto the patties. Watching the juices pour out of them and sizzle against the hot grill helped him feel a little better, but that was shot to hell the instant Kagome started rubbing sunscreen onto Inuyasha.

God...what were her hands like?

How would they feel rubbing his back...and other parts of his anatomy?

Sango said something to the pair that made them blush and smile and kiss each other again, and he pressed down on another burger.

It should be him, damnit!

He was the one who was there for her all these years. He had watched her cycle through various boyfriends...when was it going to be his fucking turn?

He knew he just needed to bide his time. Eventually, this relationship would crash and burn like all of the others, but seeing the pair in action...it was harder to swallow than knowing what was going on behind closed doors.

Sango called out to him about the burgers and he replied, faking a smile. The one Kagome shot back at him...he hated that smile. It wasn't really genuine. He knew he should apologize to her, but he would wait until she was alone. Given how Prince Charming was practically glued to her side, however, that might not happen for a while.

He watched as the small group started to settle down onto the lounge chairs when Kagome halted Inuyasha. She said something to him, and he responded with a quick kiss to her cheek before he got back up from the chair and made his way over towards him and started digging through the drink cooler.

"Man, those really do smell great, Koga! Thanks for doing the heavy lifting and taking over the grill - we really appreciate it."

"No problem," he replied, glancing back over at Kagome as she continued talking to Sango. The pair glanced over their way and Kagome broke out into a deep blush while Sango gave a full-bodied laugh to whatever it was they were discussing.

Inuyasha followed his gaze to the women and waved.

"What do you think they're talking about?" Inuyasha asked, putting on his sunglasses.

"Honestly? You," Koga replied, finishing flipping all of the burgers.

"Really?" he replied, raising his brows.

"Sango is the closest thing Kagome has to a sister, and when Miroku proposes, she really will be her sister. You're the new boyfriend. They are absolutely talking about you, my friend. She sent you for those beers, right?"

"Yeah," he affirmed weakly.

"That's because she needed to send you away for a minute so she could ask Sango for her opinion on you."

As much as he hated to admit it, what Koga said made sense.

"Wait - when Miroku proposes?"

"It's been a long time in the making. He already has the ring. He's just waiting for the right moment."

"Good for him," he smiled, a pang of jealousy piercing his heart. He remembered when that had been him with Kikyo. He remembered how sure he had been that she was the one.

Their breakup hadn't been that long ago, truthfully. He shouldn't be surprised when his chest ached at the thought of he and Kikyo standing at the altar...Signing the papers to a house they bought that they would turn into their perfect home...Kikyo's middle slowly swelling as the life they created together grew within her...

"What's that look for?" Koga asked, taking a swig from his drink.

Inuyasha raised is brows in surprise - he hadn't realized he had been making a face.

"Nothing," he smiled wanly. "Just thinking about the past. It's not a good place to dwell."

"Care to share?"

"It's not that interesting," he shrugged.

"Try me, anyways."

He glanced from Koga back to Kagome and Sango. Kagome had her head tilted to the side as she laughed deeply at some secret the women were sharing together, and he took a deep breath.

He was with Kagome now, and he was happy.

What did it matter?

Those were dead dreams. They weren't going to happen with Kikyo, and he was moving on now. There were no tricks this time. No lies. They told each other what this was, and he liked that. He liked what he had with Kagome.

He was happy, despite the ache that he hadn't realized still hadn't gone away.

He would only continue to get happier the longer they were separated, right?

"I almost proposed to a girl once...until I found out that we weren't what I thought we were. It turns out that we just wanted two different things, and I ended it. I'm happy for them, though - everyone should have someone."

Koga held back a snort at that.

Of course he would say that. Prince Charming over here was fucking his woman.

"Well, I'm glad it worked out for you," Koga responded politely.

"Yeah...Me too."


Inuyasha couldn't help but feel like Koga's eyes followed them everywhere. It was like he was watching every move they made. When he tossed Kagome into the pool and started splashing water at her, he was watching.

When he pinned her against the ceramic tile side and kissed her, or when she jumped onto his back and wrapped her limbs around his body, he was watching.

When they ate lunch together and she wiped away the ketchup that fell onto his chin, he was watching.

Now, Kagome was sprawled out on a chair with her glasses on and her arms bent behind her head, basking in the warm summer sun.

She was talking to Sango again, and when Inuyasha glanced away from the pair, sure enough...Koga was watching them again. He was on the other side of the pool passively chatting with two men from his unit, but it didn't look like he was really paying attention to the conversation. It looked like he was eyeing them. Again.

It made Inuyasha...uneasy.

He had to just be imagining it. though.

He couldn't actually be staring at them that much, right?

Kagome laughed at something, and it pulled Inuyasha's attention away from the man. It had to just be in his head. Kagome was the center of attention today. He was sure that lots of people had their eyes on them, and it wasn't just Koga.

"So, Sango," he asked, rejoining the conversation happening next to him. "I didn't realize you were in the service as well. What's your rank and position?" he asked, and she cocked her head to the side in confusion before understanding lit her eyes.

Her right hand came up to cup the dog tags she wore around her neck, and she smiled gently at Inuyasha as she began to understand why he had that impression.

"I don't," she explained. "These are a replica of Miroku's. All of the members in his unit give them to their significant other when they deploy. It's like the Navy's version of the high school varsity jacket."

"I like that," he smiled warmly.

"Me too," she replied, taking them off of her neck so he could look at them more closely. "He found this website that let him do it. He just sent in the information, and then these showed up one day. He gave them to me about a year and a half ago. I feel like I always have a piece of him with me now, as silly as that seems."

"It's not silly at all to want to be closer to the ones you love," he gently admonished, handing the tags back to her. "I think it's a nice tradition they have."

"Thanks," she grinned, dropping them back into place over her neck and moving the mane of her ponytail out from under the metal chain.

"Hey - are you guys in the mood for some volleyball?" Miroku asked, dropping down onto the foot of Sango's lounge chair. "We could do boys against girls. Siblings against dates. Couple against couple."

"Or none of the above because I'm too tired to move," Kagome yawned.

"You can't be too tired!" Miroku complained. "Come on...volleyball will help perk you up!"

"I don't want to perk," she whined. "I'm too full and bloated. You guys can still play without me, though. I'll just cheer you on from here."

"You're such a spoil sport," Miroku griped, and Kagome just stuck her tongue out at him.

"I'm in, Babe," Sango soothed, rubbing Miroku's shoulder. "What about you, Inuyasha? I bet we could grab Koga, and we can team up against them."

"You won't be on my team?" Miroku pouted.

"Nope. You suck. Koga will balance you out," she shrugged. "Something tells me that Inuyasha isn't too bad. Besides...we can have our own personal bet going that way."

"Oh really?" he asked, suddenly perking up.

"Yup. But only if Inuyasha's in."

"Yeah...I'll play," Inuyasha replied, eyeing Koga across the way. He was still watching them. He was actually relieved that Sango had suggested the teams she had. He wasn't sure he wanted to be on the same team as Koga right now.

"Well, in that case…" Miroku grinned, leaning over to whisper into Sango's ear. Whatever he said made her turn bright red, and she thought it over for a minute before replying, "Fine, but if we win…" and leaning over to whisper a counter offer in Miroku's ear.

"You have yourself a deal! Koga!" he yelled across the pool. "Get over here! I need you to help me beat Sango and Inuyasha at volleyball!"

"I'm not in the mood for volleyball right now," he called back, taking another swig from his beer.

"My friend...You don't understand what's at stake here! Please...I need you!"

Koga was silent for a moment before rising, his eyes never leaving Inuyasha. It made Inuyasha suddenly felt very nervous.

"Yeah...ok, sure. Why not? You and me against Inuyasha and Sango. Let's do this."


The game had been intense - far more intense than anyone would have thought it would be.

It had started out casually enough. All laughs and smiles. Koga scored one against their team. Sango scored one for them. Then Miroku scored one against them. Then Inuyasha. Then again. Then again.

Then Inuyasha had hit the ball right before it would have hit the water and Sango put it over the net, the ball landing in the water right in front of Koga.

The people that had been watching cheered for him and called it an impressive move, and Kagome stood from her chair and went to the edge of the pool. She lowered herself to all fours so she would be closer to the edge of the pool and summoned him over for a kiss with the crook of her index finger, which he had readily gone to her for.

It was soft but lingering. He knew that he had a goofy smile that matched her own when they parted, but he didn't care. He was having fun, and so was she, and he wasn't letting Sango down.

After that, it was like a switch had been flipped in Miroku and Koga. They were trying harder and pushing them further, until they had whittled their small lead down to one. With each point Koga scored, Inuyasha saw him glance up at Kagome. It was like he was looking to her for something.

Was he trying to impress her? With volleyball? Just because he and Sango had gotten the drop on him once?

He had already been acting weird today...but this? This was a new level, and it was starting to piss him off.

They had really started fighting back after that, and now everyone had gathered around the pool to watch the match as it continued on and they slowly pulled further into the lead.

Miroku hit the ball over and Sango dove for it, bumping it up enough for Inuyasha to get under it and set it up for her to spike it over. Koga immediately hit it back to their side, and Inuyasha jumped up to spike it back down in front of him.

Kagome cheered for him, and he smiled back at her, wiping the sweat off of his brow. Miroku called for a quick water break, and Inuyasha swam over to his girlfriend and hopped out, sitting on the edge of the pool.

"You guys are doing great," she beamed, handing him the red plastic solo cup she had been holding filled with water. He eagerly took it from her and gulped down its contents.

"Thanks," he panted back, giving her a lazy and lopsided grin. "It's been fun - I'm glad Miroku and Sango talked me into it."

"Me too," she smirked before whispering into his ear, "and I have to say...I've been enjoying the view."

"Oh yeah?" he smirked back.

"Mhmm...I like seeing you all hot and shimmery and wet. It's making me look forward to everyone leaving so we can go back to your place."

"Well...in that case, maybe I should give you a little preview of later," he murmured, leaning over to capture her lips in a sensual, lingering kiss, ending it only when Sango called to him to tell him that they were back in the game.

She sighed when he pulled away, and she couldn't keep the disappointment from her eyes even if she had wanted to.

"Sorry," he whispered hotly. "I have a game to win."

He pushed himself back into the water and was at Sango's side in seconds, ready to pick up right where they had left off...when he noticed Koga staring at him. Again.

Miroku tossed the ball over to them, pulling his attention away from Koga. Why the hell was he constantly watching them? It was making him very uncomfortable.

Inuyasha mentally shook his head and refocused as Sango served the ball, hitting it straight back to Miroku who set it up for Koga. He hit the ball back over the net with a grunt and Inuyasha dove for it, catching it so Sango could get it back to the other side. Koga leapt up as the ball made it over the net, and spiked it down to their side just as Inuyasha looked back up.

He didn't see the ball hurtling towards his face, but he did feel the pain that exploded across the left side of his head as it struck him and he fell backwards into the water. He thought he heard Kagome scream his name, but he wasn't actually sure. He wasn't sure about a lot of things at the moment, frankly.

Sango reached down and pulled his upper body out of the water and he coughed, sputtering water as he reemerged. He looked down and saw red swirling around them. Was that blood? He felt Miroku put his arm over his shoulder and he direct him towards the stairs, guiding him out of the pool. Or trying to, at least. Why was it so hard to get out of the pool? And when did Miroku get there?

His whole head felt like it had just been run over by a bus.

Kagome bolted over to him, kneeling by his side as they helped him sit down in a chair. Then she was yelling at someone? He wished his head would stop spinning. He was having a hard time following what was happening. He felt her hands on his chest and shoulders, and he closed his eyes as they told him to lean forward.

He groaned in response and when he opened his eyes again, he saw Sango in front of him holding a giant wad of paper napkins.

"Fuck...it won't stop bleeding…" she said, holding them up to his nose. "Keep breathing through your mouth," she encouraged.

"I didn't know I was," he chuckled darkly. "Kinda hard to breathe through my nose right now, anyways."

"Shit...we need more napkins," she muttered, and Kagome quickly took her place and came to sit in front of him and gently pinch the bridge of his nose.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered, cupping his cheek and noting the swelling around his eye and the puffing of his bottom lip.

"It's not your fault," he sighed, placing his hand over the one cupping his cheek. "Fuck...I can't believe he actually spiked a fucking ball into my face...I thought this was supposed to be a friendly game," he chuckled bitterly. "I don't think I'll be much fun later," he apologized, and she choked out a biting laugh.

"That's the last thing I have on my mind right now, Pumpkin."

"You're really going to try and make that stick, huh?"

"You had better believe it," she chortled as Sango returned with more napkins. Kagome traded them off and pinched the bridge of his nose again until the bleeding finally stopped.

"I hate to call it, but I'm going to take him home," she apologized to Miroku.

"I'll help you," Koga offered, finally stepping forward for the first time since spiking the ball into Inuyasha's face, and Kagome whirled on him.

"No - you've done enough," she hissed. "If you want to do something, you can help clean this place up."

"Kagome, it was an accident…" he tried, but she wasn't listening to him.

"Sango, can you go and grab our stuff and come with us? Miroku, can you help me guide him?"

"Yeah," her brother agreed, immediately moving to put Inuyasha's arm around his shoulder again as Sango left to find all of their things.

"Kagome, please," Koga pleaded, placing a hand on her shoulder. She immediately shrugged, dislodging it.

"Go away, Koga," she hissed coldly. "I don't want to hear it right now. I have more important things to worry about than pacifying you and making you feel better about hurting my boyfriend."

"Kagome…"

"Do you have him, Miroku?"

"Yeah," he confirmed, glancing between his friend and his sister before helping her walk with Inuyasha towards the glass double doors. They led him back into the elevator and pushed the down button. It didn't take long for it to appear, and Sango joined them just as they were about to go.

The trip to his apartment was as easy as it could have been expected to be, and when Sango unlocked the door, Kagome asked her to go into his freezer and find something to press to his face. Kagome and Miroku led him over to his couch while Sango searched, and they spread out a blanket for him to sit on so he wouldn't get the fabric wet.

"I found some peas," Sango called, grabbing the kitchen towel and wrapping the bag in it as she brought it over to Kagome.

"Perfect," she thanked as she gently pressed the frozen vegetables to his face.

Inuyasha hissed at the contact, and she peppered his forehead with kisses and whispered soft reassurances into his ear.

After ten minutes, Miroku brought over a warm, damp paper towel so that Kagome could begin to gingerly to wipe the blood off of his face.

"What do you think, doc? Am I gonna live?" he asked groggily as she worked, and she choked out a hollow laugh.

"Yeah. You'll live. You guys should go," she reassured Inuyasha before turning to her brother and his girlfriend.

"I'm really sorry about what he did, Kags," Miroku interjected as she finished getting the blood off of his face and he handed her another paper towel.

"So am I. I don't want to see Koga again for a while. Do you think you can relay that message for me?"

"Yeah," Miroku agreed as Sango set down a bottle of painkillers she had found in his medicine cabinet along with a glass of water.

"We can see ourselves out. You just worry about him...and if you need anything, all you have to do is ask," Sango offered, gently squeezing her shoulder as she silently gestured for Miroku to follow her. He nodded and did as she asked, gently closing the door behind them as they left.

Kagome reached for the pain killers and popped two out of the bottle, bringing them to Inuyasha's lips before offering him the water. He groaned as the pills went down and hissed as she reapplied the frozen peas to the left side of his face afterwards.

"I'm so sorry he did this to you," she apologized again, and he wanted to smile at the genuine concern shining in her eyes.

She really was worried about him.

That made him feel...special.

"Yeah…" he sighed. He wished Koga hadn't done this to him, too. What's worse was that he wasn't sure it was actually an accident.

He didn't think he could tell Kagome that, though. She was already so worked up, and this guy was supposed to be her friend. He couldn't put her in that sort of position - he couldn't ask her to essentially pick sides.

Frankly, he wasn't sure what her reaction would be, and he didn't want to find out. He honestly didn't know if she would pick him. She had a history with Koga. He was just a quick footnote in the story of her life.

"How are you feeling?" she asked in a hushed whisper, removing the peas again and cupping the right side of his face in her palm.

"I've been better," he mused, and she smiled wryly back at him.

"I know. But I was being serious…"

"I know," he sighed. "I'll heal up in a few days, I'm sure."

"I want to spike a ball into Koga's face for doing this to you," she frowned, and he reached out to her and pulled her into a warm embrace.

"I know," he acknowledged as she curled up into him.

"Can I tell you something?"

"Of course," he reassured her. "You can tell me anything."

"I...I think he did it on purpose," she admitted hesitantly in a whisper. "I swear, he was watching us all day at the pool. It's like every time I looked up, there he was again. Staring at us. That's crazy, though...right?"

"No," he breathed. "It's not crazy. I was thinking the same thing," he admitted, and her eyes widened in surprise.

"You were?"

"Yeah...I was. I just thought that I was imagining it. The party was for you. I figured everyone was watching us. I just happened to notice him a lot more than everyone else."

"No - he was watching us the whole time. It made me feel so...uncomfortable. It was almost creepy."

It was one thing to make him feel that way - another to make her feel that way.

"If I could see straight, I'd kick his ass. I might just do that the next time I see him, anyways. Make things even." he seethed, and Kagome laughed breathily.

"I wish you could see straight for other reasons right now, but your anger at him is duly noted," she pacified, kissing the underside of his jaw where he hadn't been injured. She pulled away from him after a moment to gently reapply the peas.

He was already showing heavy bruising on the left side of his face, and his lip was rather swollen. At least his nose had stopped bleeding and it hadn't been broken. She'd take little miracles where she could get them.

"If you feel up to it, I think we should get you into a shower when we take these off next," she decided when she felt a shiver run up his spine. He was sitting in essentially wet underwear in his very liberally air-conditioned apartment. If she had been paying better attention to other parts of his body besides his injured face, then she might have noticed the goosebumps that had spread over him before now.

"I'm fine," he groused.

"Yash…" she gently admonished, and he gave her as impish a grin as he could muster given the pain he still felt and the fat lip he now had.

"You don't need to fret over me. I'll be fine. You should try and salvage the rest of your day."

"Uh huh," she frowned. "Well, I'd feel better if I salvaged my day by staying here and taking care of you."

"I'll be fine. This is nothing that a little bit of time and some rest can't fix. I'm not going to be much fun now. I'm going to be groggy from pain killers and a massive headache soon."

"Be that as it may, I'm staying here, so you are just going to have to deal with it," she replied firmly, removing the peas again.

"Kagome, really. Go and see your brother. I can lick my wounds on my own. You've already done enough. You have limited time with him..."

"I have limited time with you too, Yash…" she whispered, hooking her thumbs around the straps of her swimsuit. She slowly lowered them, blushing lightly and fully aware of his attention on her. "All I want to do is help you shower, get you into some warm clothes, and then cuddle with you in bed. We can watch a movie...order some take-out...whatever you want…" she continued, and swore she heard a whine escape his throat at the imagery.

She internally smirked, knowing that she was winning.

"Please come and take a shower with me and let me take care of you? You don't have to pretend to be a tough guy for me," she asked, continuing to lower the straps on her suit until she bared her breasts completely. She felt her cheeks heat more and her nipples pebble under his gaze as they were exposed to the cold room.

"Fine. Maybe I really am cold," he admitted begrudgingly and she giggled, standing and lowering her suit to her hips.

"Then come and warm up in the shower with me," she grinned, completely removing her suit and holding out a hand to help him stand.

She felt his eyes rake up her body and linger over all of his favorite parts as he stood, and her fingers found their way to the waistband of his swim trunks. She pulled him closer and pressed a soft kiss to his clavicle, pushing his trunks down and holding onto him as he lifted a foot to step out of them.

A knock came from the door to his apartment before he could, and she couldn't keep from swearing harshly.

"Now isn't a good time!" she called out, and their visitor only knocked on the door again.

'Kagome...please...it's Koga…' he replied, his voice somewhat muffled from the door. She pursed her lips and her nostrils flared as he called out, 'Please...I just want to talk…'

She bit the inside of her cheek and grabbed the now wet blanket Inuyasha had been sitting on, wrapping it around her body.

"Go and start the shower? I'm going to get rid of him." Kagome groaned in an annoyed huff.

"I'm not leaving you alone with him," he almost snarled, reaching down to put his trunks back on and groaning at the movement. It felt like all of his blood was rushing to his head and he wanted to vomit. Kagome lowered him back to the couch and helped work the soaked fabric back up his legs and thighs until his trunks were in place again.

"Hold on," she called out to Koga, cupping Inuyasha's face as he closed his eyes. He was breathing heavily and he looked very pale. "Are you ok, Yash?"

"Yeah," he groaned, opening his eyes and flashing her a weak smile when his world stopped spinning. "Help me up? I want to get rid of that ass."

"You're staying right here and waiting for me to get back," she countered firmly, gently stroking his uninjured cheek. "You'll be here the whole time. Though. You'll know everything that happens."

She turned to leave, and he caught her hand before she could go to the door.

"I'm sorry you have to deal with all of this," he whispered lowly. "I'm sorry I couldn't be better and keep you from being put into this situation."

"None of this is your fault. It's his," she scolded. "I'll be right back," she promised, and he nodded as he let go of her.

She wrapped the blanket tighter around herself and opened the door.

Koga was there holding the cake they hadn't yet cut into. He held it out to her, and she watched his eyes widen as he took in her state of undress. She crossed her arms under her breasts, scowling when he didn't say anything.

"Well?" she prompted, raising her brow in annoyance.

"I know you don't want to see me—"

"—I don't," she confirmed and he winced.

"I know. Kagome...I'm so sorry. Please...You have to believe me. It was an accident. I didn't mean to do it," he begged.

"Like I said before...now isn't a good time, Koga," she replied, her words clipped. "You need to go now."

"Wait!" he cried as she began to close the door. "At least take this," he pleaded, handing her the cake. "I picked it up for your party. You guys should still have it."

She pursed her lips but nodded and reached out to take it from him.

"I'm sorry I ruined your plans," he apologized again. "With the way you two were all over each other at the pool, it looked like you had quite the after party in mind."

She snapped.

He didn't get to hurt her boyfriend and then come here to apologize, only to then make snide remarks about her sex life. That wasn't how this was going to work.

She took the cake he had just handed her and shoved it back into his face. She watched it crumble and flake off him, falling to the floor as he yelped in surprise and pain before she slammed the door shut and locked it.

"Where were we?" she asked a stunned Inuyasha, her whole body shaking.

"Holy shit, woman…"

"Showering. That's where we were," she nodded, removing the blanket and letting it drop to the floor. "Coming?"

Inuyasha could only nod as she led him to the bathroom.

Damn.

He never wanted to be on her bad side.

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

Kagome sighed, snuggling into Inuyasha's side and pulling his lightweight blanket up further as a breeze washed over them on his porch. She felt his fingers work their way through her hair, absently playing with her silken strands as he read a news article on his phone. She put down the book she had brought with her and gazed up at the left side of his face, now bathed in warm oranges as the sun set in the distance.

It looked a lot better than it had a week ago. Now, his skin was a sickly yellow and green instead of the deep purples and blacks it had been. His lip was still swollen, but not swollen enough that he was letting it keep him from kissing her...Which he had made abundantly clear when she had arrived earlier that night.

The last week had been...hard.

After she had convinced him to shower with her after the "volleyball incident", she had only been able to spend a few more hours with him before she had been kicked out. She had to work the next day, and she had already cashed in so many favors with Jak that she couldn't swing another shift change. Inuyasha had then asked Miroku to take her home since she didn't have a car...and she was livid.

She had ranted and raved the whole way back to her grandparents and besmirched his name more than once...until, finally, Miroku snapped and told her to just stop.

Inuyasha was putting her and her needs above his own...even now, when he was hurt as badly as he was.

Inuyasha knew what this job meant to her. He knew how much trouble she would be in if she flaked. He was doing his best to take care of her and do what was best for her. Miroku liked and respected that, and he reassured her that he would look after the man when he got back.

Kagome had silently seethed at that until after Miroku had left...then, she had started to calm down enough to see that Miroku actually liked Inuyasha now. If he was defending her boyfriend to her instead of jumping on the shit-venting train, then that meant that Miroku approved.

She couldn't help but wonder what had done it while she was laying in bed that night. Was it taking her to the doctor's office? Or was it that he had convinced her to make up with him? Or that he had thrown her out to send her home for work? Or all of it? Or something else?

Then, she decided it didn't really matter. The important thing was he finally liked him. And as much as she hated to admit it...Miroku was right.

Inuyasha wasn't kicking her out to sleep with someone else or cheat on her. Hell, he probably wanted her to stay as much as she wanted to. He just wasn't letting it show because it would be that much harder to get rid of her.

With that thought in mind, she had proceeded to Facetime with Inuyasha and stayed with him from afar until they fell asleep...which they had started to do every night for the past week.

The next day, she felt like she was a day trader working on Wall Street. She had bargained and pleaded with her coworkers to change her schedule around until she had Friday afternoon and night, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning off. She pulled out every card and favor she had and tried to look as pitiful as she could, explaining to them what had happened to Inuyasha and weaseling her way into being able to go to him again for an extended period of time.

She knew that they were going to get tired of her doing this, but she didn't give a flying fuck at the moment...and could they really complain when she willingly snatched up everyone's late shift? No one liked closing.

No one.

As far as she was concerned, the only thing that mattered was him...and he needed her, so she was going to do whatever the fuck it took to get to him.

To top off her already stressful week, she broke down and told her grandparents and her father that they were dating.

Her grandparents were thrilled - it wasn't a secret that they loved Inuyasha, and her grandmother had commented a few times on how handsome and goodhearted he was. It was all grandmother code for "what is wrong with you, why aren't you pursuing him?"

Now that she had told them they were dating, her grandmother didn't even bother with code. She had told her point blank that it was about time she found her common sense, and wanted to know when he was coming back over for dinner.

Her father, on the other hand...that had gone...as well as could be expected.

He wasn't happy about her choice - not even a little. And he wasn't shy about letting her know that, too. Afterall, she hardly knew him. What if he was just using her? What did she really know about him? How trustworthy was his "story"?

She knew her mother had tried to help calm him where she could, but it had been her grandfather who told her father to "get off of her back and let her be young" because "the boy is a perfect gentleman".

Said boy's week hadn't been much better.

Apparently, Koga was stalking him and constantly begging him for forgiveness and trying to convince him to convince her to forgive him.

Like.

Hell.

She knew she would eventually talk to him again, but that would be long after Inuyasha's face had healed...which it still clearly wasn't.

Inuyasha had also been grounded for the last week due to his injuries. Apparently, flying at g-forces with bruises all over your face wasn't the wisest life choice. That had only lead to him needing to find a punching bag to take his frustrations out on, and a new gym membership that he was at least happy with at this point.

Inuyasha glanced over at her, and a slow flirtatious and smirk spread over his face when he caught her staring at him.

"Can I help you with something, Higurashi?"

"Nope. I can help myself," she replied, sitting up and arching her back as she stretched, raising her arms above her head. She internally smiled at the way his eyes roamed up her body at the movement, and she inched down towards the end of the couch.

"Why don't you put your feet up and lay down?" she asked, and he shot her a suspicious look.

"Why don't you tell me why you want me to do that?"

"Because I want to cuddle with you - is that suddenly a crime?"

"The worst kind there is," he teased, lifting his legs and laying down on the couch. She immediately crawled up his body and rested her head on his chest. She could feel the ridges of his dog tags beneath the soft cotton of his t-shirt, and she pushed herself back up to fish them out.

She ran her thumb over the embossed nickel, feeling the bumps of his name as she moved across that top line.

His hand came up to take her hand as it played with his tags, and his thumb rubbed her knuckles. He lifted her hand up and tenderly pressed a gentle kiss to her wrist before smoothing her palm across his uninjured cheek and holding it there with his much larger one.

"Hey," he whispered, his voice taking on a slight gravelly edge due to the angle he was bent into.

"Hey," she smiled back, leaning up to press a lingering kiss to his swollen lips.

A silly grin broke out across his face when she pulled away, and he tucked a strand of her hair back behind her ear.

"So, what do you want to do tomorrow?" he asked, and she laced her fingers together on his chest and propped her chin onto them as she hummed in thought.

"You know...I haven't the foggiest idea what I want to do," she admitted, and he chuckled throatily.

"You worked your ass off all week to come and see me for basically three full days...and you don't know what you want to do?"

"I know some of what I want to do," she replied, wagging her eyebrows and causing him to bark out another laugh.

"Yeah...I plan on doing that, too," he promised with a smirk, his eyes heating at the thought. He swore he could taste her excitement on his lips and feel her tight heat clamping down around his cock. He needed to tell himself to calm down - they weren't doing that right now. He wanted to make plans and go on an actual date with her. He didn't want everything to be about fulfilling their carnal urges...although that had been fun so far.

"I want to go out with you. I want to do something outside of the walls of my apartment. I want to know what you'd like to do," he admitted quietly.

"Hmm...well...there's a farmer's market we can hit that's an easy walk. I'm pretty sure Sango is coming tomorrow, so we could double date at night? There's a greasy little dive bar that we know of with the best burgers and karaoke, and tomorrow is half-off pitchers! Or...we could do mini golf or bowling or go to the boardwalk...does anything sound good to you?" she rambled.

"We can do all of it. And if we can't...we have the rest of the summer," he smiled as he cupped her cheek, and she closed her eyes at the reminder. He made it sound like they actually had a whole summer together. Really, they just had another month until she was gone. That was only a handful of weekends.

She swallowed the sudden lump that had appeared in her throat and did her best to shoot him a winning smile.

"Yeah. We can," she agreed, lifting her chin and smoothing his longer locks into place. She moved her fingers to the side of his head above his ears and noticed that the texture was no longer velvety, and she could almost run her fingers through it.

"Your hair is starting to get pretty long, you know," she commented, and he shrugged.

"Yeah...I do. I just haven't wanted to deal with it," he admitted. "Why? Do you hate it?"

"No," she breathed. She really didn't. She liked him with longer hair, and she told him as much. It seemed to suit him more, not that there was anything particularly wrong with his standard Navy cut. They had such strict rules about grooming...it was kind of a wonder he hadn't gotten in trouble.

"Well, I'm probably going to go get it cut after you leave on Monday, so enjoy it while you can."

"Or I can cut it," she offered, and he raised a brow at that.

"You?"

"Yeah, why not?" she shrugged, and his grin widened as his eyes danced with amusement.

"Because I'm not so sure you have the fineness to do it. When I met you, you were wearing that cast..."

"That has nothing to do with cutting hair!"

"Yeah, but I don't think I want to buzz it all off either," he teased, and she scowled at him.

"For your information...I used to cut Miroku's hair all the time, and he looks great."

"You and I have varying opinions on what 'great' means."

"Not funny!" she scolded as she started to push away from him, but he caught her wrists and pulled her back down.

"Hey...I'm kidding. It's only hair. I'd love for you to give it a go. It would save me a whole lot of effort, and I'm sure you can do a good job."

"Really?" she asked suspiciously.

"Really," he promised, bringing a captured hand up to his lips. He gently grazed them against her knuckles, ghosting a light kiss to each one before moving on to her fingertips. His lips fluttered across them like a butterfly's wings before he trailed them down to her palm and the base of her wrist.

He faintly heard her breath catch at the action, and he internally smirked.

So she liked that, huh?

He released the first hand and found the second, treating it the same way as the other. A wicked thought entered his mind and he pulled a fingertip between his lips, giving it a firm suck. He was almost instantly rewarded when her eyes darkened with want as his tongue began to move over her flesh.

He could only imagine that she was thinking of his tongue doing the same thing in other far more sensitive places on her body. He felt his cock twitch at the imagery and moaned. That sent vibrations through her digit, and she bit her lip in response to the sensation. That only drew his attention to them, and he had never felt more desperate to kiss her than he did then.

He released her finger with a wet pop and his hand tangled in the hair at the nape of her neck, guiding her lips down to his. He sighed in contentment and want at the contact.

God, he loved kissing her.

She was always so responsive and appreciative of what he did to her...and she wasn't afraid to dominate him, too. He felt her teeth scrape against the thickness of his lip, and he moaned in both pleasure and pain. She immediately pulled back at the sound, her brows moving up and together in concern.

"Are you ok?"

"I'll be better when you kiss me again," he replied nonchalantly, and her expression melted from concern to relief. She tilted her head back down to his, ghosting her lips against his.

"Like that?" she whispered, her eyes filled with humor and her voice laced with teasing.

"Nope."

"What about this?" she asked, placing a quick peck at the corner of his lips.

"Not even close," he replied, wrinkling his nose.

"Oh, so you mean like this," she replied with a smirk, latching onto his bottom lip and gently sucking on it.

Her fingers came up to scrape his scalp by his ears, and he felt her forearms rest against his chest as she held herself up. Her tongue prodded his lips and he parted them, allowing her to deepen it. He moaned at the new sensations and felt his cock start to harden. His ears caught the sounds of their lips moving together, and he sighed in disappointment when she pulled away from him and sat up over his crotch.

"Yeah," he panted, giving her a goofy grin. "Like that."

"Glad I could help," she smirked, rotating her hips above him and making him groan. "Is there anything else I can help you with? While I'm here and all..."

His eyes darkened at her offer and he moved his hands to her hips, grabbing a hold of them and bringing them back down to his as he thrusted his hardness up to grind against her core.

"Yeah. I can think of a thing or two."

She giggled and bent down to kiss him again, moving her hands to the lime green couch cushion. She placed one on either side of his head, and her hair fell down around them and blocked the outside world from view. She had effectively trapped him in a cage of her own making, and he was more than happy to be her only prisoner...especially when the warden had such talented lips that she constantly used on him. He couldn't say he minded at all.

He slowly moved his hands up from her hips as she continued to kiss him, moving her tongue against his and nipping his flesh when she could. He continued his path upwards, splaying his hands along her sides and feeling her tremble under his touch. He had thought that he had tickled her for a moment, but he dismissed that thought as soon as he had it when she moaned against him.

He internally smirked and continued to drag his hands up over her ribs. He stopped right when his index finger was millimeters away from grazing her breasts through the fabric of her shirt. Instead of zeroing in on his highly desired prize, he began to rub his thumb in slow circles across her ribs. He continued the movement for a moment more before she broke away from him and rested her forehead against his and grabbed his left hand. She moved it up to her breast and breathed out, "You're such a tease," before pulling away to claim his lips once more.

He chuckled throatily into their kiss before moaning as she intensified it, finally cupping her breast. He loved the feel of her in his hand and simply held it for a moment, enjoying its fullness before he gave it a gentle squeeze.

He felt her break away from him when he did that and her lips moved to his jaw line, pressing kisses to the skin there as she moved towards his ear. He felt her teeth nipping and scraping against him in the most delightful way, and his fingers fanned out across her breast as she gently bit his lobe. He could feel his breath coming out in puffs as her hips ground into his and she continued to work her mouth against his.

Not one to let her have all the fun, he moved his middle and index finger together and caught her nipple between them, giving it a light pinch. He felt it pebble almost instantly, and he moved it up and down between his fingers. He heard her breathing increase, and he moved his index finger over the tip once in a gentle caress.

"Inuyasha…" she moaned as he suddenly moved his hand away from her. "Why did you stop?"

"So I could do this," he replied heatedly, moving his hand up under her shirt and pulling her bra cup down over her left breast. Now that it was exposed to his touch, even if not his gaze...he cupped it again and rolled his thumb over the hardened peak.

"Yash," she breathed again as he moved it back between his index and middle finger, treating it the way he had a moment before on the outside of her shirt.

She finally pushed away from him and dislodged his hand, and he raised his brow in a silent question at the move.

She chose to not respond to him verbally and instead just smirked at him, lifting her shirt over her head and dropping it down to the side of the couch. She was quite a picture, sitting over his hardness with one breast out and a bra strap falling down her arm. She didn't stay like that for long, though. Her bra soon joined her shirt on the floor.

Once she was done, he sat back up and moved a hand to her underarm to keep her in place as his lips descended on her newly exposed breast. He pulled her previously ignored nipple into his mouth and gave it a firm suck before flicking his tongue against it. He moved in languid circles around her areola before zeroing back in on her nipple. He loved feeling the puckered texture with his tongue, and pulled away from it to admire his handiwork.

Perfect.

She was perfect.

He gently blew air onto her wet tip, and she shivered immediately in response.

He loved her every reaction - her moans, her shivers...and especially when she bit her lip to try and keep quiet.

He leaned forward again and pressed a wet kiss to the valley between her breast, and they gently caressed his cheeks as he did so.

He looked back up at her flushed face when he pulled away and removed his shirt. His dog tags swayed against his skin at the movement and glinted in the fading light.

"Touch them," he requested, and smirked when her face darkened further. "I want to watch you touch them," he explained when she bit the inside of her lip in embarrassment, but she nodded nonetheless.

Her hands moved up to cup her breasts, and his eyes darkened when her thumbs ghosted over her nipples. She pinched them, rolled her fingers over them, raised them up slightly only to release them...

"Is this what you wanted?" she asked, and he nodded as he cupped her cheek and moved down to capture her lips in a smoldering kiss.

"Yes," he breathed against her, his lips brushing against hers. "It is."

"You really like to watch," she observed, and he blushed.

"I guess it comes from years of not being able to actually touch," he replied, thinking of his time with Kikyo.

"You can touch now," she reminded him.

"And I love every second of it," he replied. "Right now, I want to touch something else, though."

"Yeah?"

"Stand up," he nodded as the sun finally disappeared behind them, bathing them in darkness.

She obeyed and stood up from the wicker couch, and it squeaked as she lessened its load. He immediately crawled after her, kneeling before her and reaching for her pants. She backed away from him before he could grab ahold of her and he scooted closer, reaching out again. She moved away and he glanced up to ask her what she was doing, and that's when he saw the twinkle in her eyes.

She wanted to play.

He could play.

He could definitely play.

He smirked and crawled preditorialy towards her as she continued to back away from him. She suddenly turned around and ran towards the door, but he sprang up and caught her and pushed her against the wall before she could make it.

"Going somewhere?" he asked hotly against her ear, the skin of his chest rubbing against her exposed back.

"Inside?"

"Why?" he asked, moving her hair away from her neck and pressing kisses under her ear.

"That's where the bed is?"

"You don't know where the bed is?" he chuckled at the question, pressing a kiss to the side of her neck.

"I know where it is," she replied, her breath catching in her throat as his lips found her pulse point.

"And that's where you want to do this?" he asked, nipping at the juncture of her neck.

"Yes?"

"You don't sound so sure," he observed, his hands massaging her hips.

"I don't?" she sighed, arching her back and tilting her head to the side to grant him further access.

"You don't," he confirmed, his hands moving over her waistband to the front of her pants.

"Oh."

"How about we play a game?" he asked, toying with the button keeping her pants closed.

"A game?"

"Mhm," he purred, undoing the button. "It's easy. I'm going to try and make you cum. If I can't do it within the next five minutes, we go inside and have traditional missionary sex on the bed. If I can, I take you right here against this wall."

"You have a gift for coming up with the most interesting games. You could make a killing at Mattel."

"I don't think they'd like my games," he chuckled, undoing the zipper on her pants and pushing them down her hips.

"That's a shame. I had a great time the last time I played one."

"I remember," he replied, nibbling on her earlobe before turning her around and kissing her lips before trailing them down to her clavicle.

Her loved the taste of her skin and the feel of it against his lips - slightly salty, but oh so sweet and soft.

He was pretty sure he was going to become addicted to her.

He trailed his lips further down to her breasts, lapping at them until they puckered before moving underneath them. He gave them a long, slow lick from the underside...up over her nipple...to the top of her mounds. He rounded it out by moving back to the valley between her breasts and pressing hot kisses down her stomach and over her thighs, skipping over her center.

He nipped her thighs and soothed the bites with more kisses, and he could feel her start to tremble. He couldn't decide if it was from anticipation or need. Either way, it made him smile as he gave her thigh a long, vertical lick.

"Wh-when does that time start?" she asked shakily.

"Now?" he replied, pushing her thighs further apart. He was about to zero in on the prize he had just revealed when she interrupted him again.

"Timer?"

He quickly reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, setting the timer. Done. He parted her thighs again and shoved his face between them as he spread her apart. He smirked at how she glistened in the dim light and gave her clit a firm suck, making her breath catch. He internally purred at the sound and gave it a flick with his tongue.

He loved the taste of a woman on his lips...but he loved her taste in particular. While she was musky, there was also an underlying tang that he couldn't get enough of. It was the most erotic and delicious taste he had ever had, and he loved getting to sample it whenever he could.

He heard her gasp as he thrust his tongue up into her, and he chuckled at the sound.

She liked it.

He moved his tongue in and out of her a few more times, thrusting as hard and as deep as he could before he moved back up towards her clit.

He gave it a firm flick before he pulled back and lifted her leg up over his shoulder like he had last week in the elevator.

He groaned at the reminder, and he felt his cock twitch at the memory. He wanted so badly to sink into her delicious heat and pound into her until she couldn't walk tomorrow...but that's not how he worked.

He had learned years ago the value of sucking before fucking, and he had taken that lesson to heart.

Her pleasure was tantamount to his, and he loved pleasuring his partners. Feeling them ripple around his fingers as they cried out his name...it brought him as much pleasure on an emotional level as his own orgasm did on a physical one.

He scraped his teeth against her clit as he massaged her thigh. She let out a choked gasp as her stomach muscles began clenching and unclenching...and he smiled.

He thrust his fingers into her and he felt her leg buckle. He moved his free hand up to her breast to both help support her and pinch her nipple at the same time.

As far as he was concerned, it was a win-win.

He massaged and kneaded her tender flesh as he continued to thrust into her with his fingers and suckle at her clit. He flicked his fingers and tongue over her sensitive nubs, and he heard her gasp out a guttural, "Yash," in appreciation to his attentions.

She was close. He could feel it in the way her walls twitched rhythmically around his fingers.

He continued to work her over, scraping his teeth carefully across her nub one more time while he gave her nipple another firm flick. She cried out his name and he felt her walls tremble around him, and his cock reminded him of just how good it would feel if it was there in place of his fingers.

Soon, he promised himself. He wasn't done yet, and he still had a bit of time left on his timer.

He continued to thrust into her and lap at her as her essence poured down around his fingers and wrist.

"Yash," she gasped, folding over onto him and grabbing onto his shoulders. He felt her fingernails dig into his skin as she tried to find a grip on her sanity.

It hurt, but in the best way imaginable. It was the action of a woman struggling to maintain her grip on reality and failing miserably.

"Yash," she gasped, trembling. "You c-can s-stop."

He was sure that he could. He didn't want to, though...so he instead chose to ignore her and kept up his mission to make her lose complete control.

"Y-Yash," she stuttered. "R-really…"

He continued to ignore her and instead curled his fingers up towards her belly. He felt her hands tighten around his shoulders as he thrust even harder and faster into her.

He heard his timer go off in the background, but he didn't care. He was a little too busy to turn it off, and he didn't want to let go of her breast long enough to silence it.

"T-timer," she gasped after a moment when he still hadn't turned it off.

"If you're worried about that, then I'm losing my touch," he replied huskily, pulling away for a moment and pressing tender love bites to her thigh.

She whimpered, and he moved his hand away from the breast he had been playing with to its very neglected twin.

"B-but—"

"—Shhh," he replied. "Stop worrying and just feel, Darlin'," he gently reprimanded, returning his lips to her thigh and trailing them back to her throbbing clit.

After another moment of suckling and lapping and thrusting and pinching, she finally screamed her second release.

He gently rubbed her thigh with the hand that had been fondling her breasts and he pressed a kiss to her trembling flesh, patiently waiting for her to come down from her high.

"Inuyasha," she breathed, her eyes squeezing shut and her hands gripping his shoulders as he lowered her leg back down. "Oh my God…"

He leaned back onto his heals and looked up at her flushed face, waiting patiently for her to open her eyes. When she finally did, he lifted the hand that was drenched in her juices to his mouth and made eye contact with her. He gave it a long, slow lick starting from his forearm and running his tongue up towards his index finger.

"Delicious."

"I…" she gulped. He smirked, repeating the action.

"If I could live off of eating you, I would," he told her before finally turning off that insufferable timer. He stood back up and tossed his phone onto the couch before turning to face her again.

His cock twitched in excitement, almost like it knew that it was about to be his turn...and he was very eager for his turn. Just keeping his erection confined was beginning to hurt.

"Are you ready for more?"

She looked him up and down almost like a deer in headlights, and he felt a twinge of nervousness shoot through his body at the look.

"I don't know if I can take more," she breathed, looking at the strained crotch of his pants. "But I'm sure as hell going to try."

Relief flooded his features, and he unbuckled his belt before undoing the button and fly of his pants. He pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and fished out the condom he kept inside as Kagome pushed his pants to the floor and he stepped out of them.

He internally sighed in relief when his cock was freed, and he was almost embarrassed by how angry it looked...but he made no apologies for it. It was the physical proof of what being around her did to him, and he didn't feel like that was something to be ashamed of.

He was about to rip into the foil square when he felt her hand on his erection. She gently led him by the base to take her place on the wall and dropped to her knees.

"Kagome...I don't need anything. We can skip straight to sex," he reassured her as she started pumping his tender flesh in her hand.

"I know. But I need to do this."

She needed to do this? Because she felt it was expected, or for a different reason?

"Why?"

"I still need a minute," she blushed, and he relaxed.

That was a more than acceptable reason.

She began to slowly pump him in her hand, and he watched her watch him. It was like she was studying his erection for the first time, even though she had seen him naked and hard before.

He grit his teeth together as waves of pleasure washed over him, and she looked back up at him before darting her tongue out to lick his tip.

"You're so hard, Yash," she breathed, and he forced his eyes to stay open to watch her as she licked him again. "Is this what I do to you?"

Oh God, she was learning to talk dirty.

He fucking loved it.

"Yeah," he panted as she licked his tip again, sending another bolt of pleasure through him. "That's exactly what you do to me, even when you're not here."

"What happens when I'm not here?" she demanded, taking his tip into her mouth and giving it a firm suck. Her tongue moved around his head, and his eyes dropped shut as he roughly inhaled. She was sending wave after wave of unbridled, electric pleasure through him. As hard as he was, it was even getting difficult to pay attention to what she was saying.

He needed the distraction, though. He didn't want to explode in her mouth. He wanted to do it somewhere else.

"What happens when I'm not here, Yash?" she repeated, this time pulling away from him entirely. He let out a strangled whimper at the loss of her touch.

"Yash?"

Fucking hell. She wasn't going to keep going unless he responded to her.

"I think of you. Dripping with soap in the shower. On the edge of the bed. Against the wall of the elevator."

"And what do you do when you think of me?" she demanded, rewarding him with a long lick up the underside of his cock.

"Fucking hell, woman!" he gasped, and she giggled. She fucking giggled like this was fucking funny. He was about to lose his goddamn mind over here!

"What do you do, Yash?" She repeated.

"I jerk myself off," he whimpered, subconsciously thrusting his hips forward as he silently begged her to help him relieve the ache he felt.

"Show me," she demanded, running her hands up his thighs and he shivered. "I want to see why you like to watch so much."

He swallowed hard before giving her what she wanted, wrapping his hand around the base of his cock. He gave it a long, slow, firm pull as he watched her watch him. Her eyes never left him as he repeated the action over and over again, and he moaned lowly at the pleasure. His eyes slid shut and he gasped her name as he continued to stroke himself, and he felt his orgasm approach.

God he wanted to fuck her...but he didn't think he could stop doing this now. He was too far gone.

He felt a warm, wet heat slide over his tip and his hand smacked into something, making his eyes shoot open.

He almost lost it at the sight before him - Kagome was still on her knees and working his tip over as he continued to pump himself.

"Kagome," he whined. She ran her hands up his thighs and to his stomach again before running them down and under him to his balls. She gently massaged them, and he felt his muscles tremble under her touch. She was driving him crazy. He just wanted to let go. He needed to let go. He was desperate for his orgasm. He shot her a begging look, and she pulled her mouth away from his hardness with a loud pop as she stilled his hand.

"Not yet," she whispered, and he thought he was going to cry from pure frustration. If he thought his cock was angry before, he had been sorely mistaken.

She reached down to where the condom had fallen when she started touching him, and she ripped the package open quickly.

"Ready to suit up, soldier?" she asked, and he swallowed hard. He nodded weakly as he panted from the effort it was taking him to keep going. God, he was beyond ready...and now that she had said that, his mind was already working on a role-playing game for them with her as his Commanding Officer.

He needed to focus. He couldn't be daydreaming about more sex when they were already in the middle of sex now.

She kissed his tip, running her tongue over his slit one more time before she pulled away to roll the white latex down over him.

This time, she didn't giggle when she pinched the tip of the condom. Instead, she just rose up to her feet and touched his shoulder, encouraging him to trade places with her.

"Are you ok?" she asked, and he nodded. He was panting rather hard, and they hadn't even started the best part yet.

"Yeah. It's just so fucking hard to last with you sometimes," he admited, and she smiled warmly at him.

"You don't have to this time," she reassured him. "You've already given so much."

"Not enough," he replied, shaking his head.

"Yash…"

"Please. I need to," he begged, making her brows raise. She silently nodded.

He said that he needed to, and that seemed to be enough for her. He brought her into his arms and rested his head on her shoulder, breathing deeply for a moment as he got ahold of himself. Finally, he lifted his head back up to look at her as he cupped her cheek.

"Are you ready?" she murmured.

He nodded his head. "I've been dying to sink back into you since I had you last weekend."

"There's nothing stopping you now," she smiled.

"Good, I might murder someone if there was," he told her quite seriously, and she laughed throatily.

"I believe you won our game, so that means the wall. Do you want my leg up again?" she asked, reaching between them to twirl her fingers around his dog tags which were somehow picking up the moonlight.

"Hmmm…" he hummed in thought. He then leaned his head down to press a tender kiss to her shoulder, and she inhaled sharply. The move caused her nipples to scrape against his chest, and he raised a hand to cup her breast again.

"We could," he agreed, grazing his thumb across her nipple. "Or...we could try something new," he proposed as her breath caught in her throat and she shivered.

"Don't like to be a one trick pony, huh?"

"It helps keep things lively," he shrugged, pinching her nipple.

"Wh-what did you have in mind?" she asked, and he slid his hands away from her glorious mounds to the back of her thighs just under her ass.

"If I helped lift, do you think you could get your legs around my waist?"

"Are you asking because you're worried about your figure again?" she asked with a laugh, and he scowled. She was doing wonders for his erection right now...at least he wouldn't be worried about lasting...

"Oi!"

"Sorry, Pumpkin," she giggled and he just scowled back at her. He was tempted to give her ass a firm pinch since his hands were already there.

"Ok...so we're not doing that, then…"

"I'm kidding!" she laughed. "I can do it if you give me a boost," she promised, shooting him a shy smile. "It sounds fun."

"Are you sure?" he asked skeptically.

"Very," she reassured him, and he lifted her up above his waist. He felt her legs instantly latch on to him, and he grinned as the position brought him to eye level with her breasts.

"Are you ready?" he whispered as he moved one of his hands away from her ass and to his erection. He placed it at her soaked opening, rubbing the tip up and down so she had no way to misunderstand what he was asking her about.

She silently nodded and he slowly lowered her over him, guiding his hardness into her and groaning as her tight heat encompassed him. God...she felt like home. She felt like they belonged together. The way her heat perfectly clenched around him, squeezing him, caressing him...she was fucking amazing, and he felt like he was going to lose himself before he even got started.

He pressed her back up against the wall to help stabilize them and she gasped, her whole body shaking.

"Are you ok?" he asked seriously.

"Yeah," she smiled, a soft blush rising over her cheeks. "It was cold, is all."

"I'm sorry," he apologized, and she cupped his cheek, silently letting him know that it was fine with her eyes.

He took that for what it was, and slowly pulled out before gently sinking back in and pressing her further into the wall. She closed her eyes, moaning a low hum in contentment.

It made him feel like she loved having him in her as much as he loved being there.

He repeated the move a few more times, getting used to the angle and finding a rhythm before he picked up speed. She gasped in response and tightened her walls around him, making him hiss in pleasure.

"Fucking hell, Babe," he gasped, and she let out a breathy giggle in return and clenched tighter around him. "I think you're trying to kill me."

"La petite mort, perhaps?" she questioned.

"Is that French?" he asked in return, continuing to thrust into her. He gasped in pleasure as she tightened her walls around him again.

"Mais oui," she replied, biting her lip as he hit something in her that made her nails dig into his shoulder and her head lean back. "I-it's the sensation of p-post orgasm bl-liss as likened to d-death."

"La petite mort," he smiled, pressing a kiss to her collarbone. "Of course the French have a term for that."

He decided that he was done talking now, and he pulled her head to his for a long, passionate kiss as he continued to thrust and she continued to work her muscles around him. She was so fucking tight at this angle, and she was sending waves upon waves of pleasure through him. There was no way in hell he was going to last much longer.

"Touch yourself," he begged, leaning to pull a nipple into his mouth as she reached between them to rub her clit. He desperately wanted to climax with her. It was one of the best feelings in the world.

He continued to lap at her nipple and scrape it with his teeth. She rubbed herself until, finally, her head rolled back as far as it could and she cried out her third release of the night. Her walls rippled around him and he finally let go, allowing the coil that had been winding up inside of him since just after sunset to snap. He cried his release into her shoulder, gently biting down as wave after wave of pleasure coursed through him.

His whole body shook as he felt himself empty out into the condom, and he let out a shaky breath as his legs quivered. He felt her unwrap her legs from around his waist, and her hands came up to rub his back as he continued to lean against her. He was having a hard time making sense of the world.

Finally, he looked up from her shoulder and gave her a gentle, lingering kiss.

"That was definitely a petite mort," he smiled lopsidedly.

"I agree," she replied, returning his smile.

"Damn, Babe…" he chuckled throatily, and she blushed as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressing another sensual kiss to his lips that left them tingling after.

"Can I ask you something embarrassing?"

Oh God. That made him nervous...but he had almost jerked himself off to completion in front of her. He wasn't sure it could get more embarrassing than that…

"Sure," he replied, tucking a strand of hair back behind her ear.

"Do you hate missionary sex?"

His brows shot up in surprise at that and he let out a full body laugh.

"No...why?" he grinned, and she blushed and looked away from him.

"'Cause of your game," she mumbled. "And the elevator. And our second time. And we've only done that once the whole time we've been together."

His grin softened and he tilted her face back up for another gentle kiss.

"I enjoy missionary position plenty, I promise. Sex is…" he trailed off in thought, trying to figure out how to explain himself. "Sex is like ice cream," he decided. "It's amazingly delicious and addicting, and there are so many flavors. Missionary is like Vanilla. It's a perfectly fine, wholesome flavor...and you can make it even better with whip cream and fudge. It's the staple ice cream. But sometimes...you feel like you want Rocky Road...or Cookies and Cream...and those are just as good."

"You sound like a cliche," she teased, kissing his nose.

"If I do, that's only because it's true," he smiled back before his lips weakened around the corners. "You...you'd tell me if I'm pushing you, right? I don't want to make you uncomfortable...or make you resent me just because I really like Rocky Road sometimes."

"It's fine," she reassured him, wrapping her arms around his neck and lightly scraping her nails against his scalp like she knew he loved. "All of my past relationships had a whole bunch of Vanilla. Maybe the occasional Chocolate. I like trying out Rocky Road with you. I just didn't know if that was all you liked."

"I like...a lot," he blushed. "And I love giving you a triple scoop," he smirked, making her blush again.

"I like your triple scoops too," she admitted. "And I promise that when you start scooping out Pistachio, I'll say something."

"Is that our safe word now? Pistachio?" he asked, kissing her forehead. She let out a full body laugh at that.

"Yeah, why not?"

"So...for example...if I wanted to try anal…"

"On you? We can talk. That's a pistachio for me though, buddy."

"Me too," he reassured her. "Nipple clamps?"

"Pistachio."

"Whips?"

"Pistachio. What's with this 50 Shades crap you're throwing out?"

"I'm just creating a dialogue. We have to try out the new word," he teased, his eyes shining with laughter in the moonlight. "Threesome?"

"No! Pistachio! I don't share, and I know you don't want to add a guy to the mix."

"Fair...Fisting?"

"Oh my God! Pistachio!" she cried out, throwing her hands up into the air and walking back into his apartment, ignoring his laughter in the background.

"So is that a no to getting hogtied too?"

"PISTACHIO!"

Chapter Text

Chapter 16

Kagome hazily and slowly awoke to the most wonderful sensations. There was a well-stoked heat throbbing between her legs, and she felt lips pressing tender and almost loving kisses to her clavicle. A masculine hand gently massaged her breast, and she felt an erection poking her thigh. This was a wonderful dream she was having. Now, she just needed to direct said dream man to rub her clit, and her dream would change from wonderful to amazing.

She heard dream man's lips gently smack against her skin as he pressed another kiss to her shoulder...and suddenly, her dream felt a little too real. She opened her eyes as she realized that she wasn't alone, and there really was a naked man hovering over here. She wacked the side of his head and turned on the lamp as she bolted up, and he yelped in pain.

Fuck.

She just hit her boyfriend.

"Inuyasha," she yelled in concern, gathering the poor man into her arms. "I'm so sorry!" she apologized, examining his right cheek. It was pink, but it wouldn't bruise.

"What was that for?" he ground out, clearly trying to get his emotions in check.

"I just woke up...and there was some guy hovering over me and touching me—"

"—Me! I'm 'some guy'!"

"But I didn't know it was you, at first. You scared the shit out of me! What were you doing anyways?"

He mumbled something she couldn't hear, and she asked him to repeat himself.

"I was trying to give you some of the vanilla you like," he blushed, and she smiled softly.

"You wanted to wake me up with sex?"

"No, I was getting you ready for sex. I was going to wait until you were awake for the actual sex," he grumbled.

"Why didn't you just wait until I was awake to start?"

"I thought you'd like the surprise."

"Yeah, well...your surprise scared me half to death! I thought someone was trying to take advantage of me!"

He shot her a look that said that's exactly what he was trying to do.

"Not like that," she sighed. "I thought someone was forcing himself on me."

"Oh," he whispered, looking down rather dejectedly. "I'm sorry. I didn't think...I just know how much I like waking up to that…"

"It's ok," she smiled warmly, cupping his cheek. She pressed a soft kiss to his forehead and noticed that since she had smacked him and scared the ever loving shit out of him, his erection had lost quite a bit of altitude.

God...did she know how to kill a mood or what?

"I'm sorry I ruined your master plan," she grinned weakly. He shrugged and gave her a shy smile.

"It's fine. Now I know that move goes into the Pistachio category. I'm sorry I scared you. I really didn't mean to...I just…" he sighed, running a hand through his hair. "I just wanted to give you a nice surprise since I woke up before you and realized that my smoking hot girlfriend was actually here and was going to spend the day with me...I just...I got excited and forgot myself. I didn't think it could come off that way," he smiled smally.

"Why don't we just cuddle instead? Not everything we do has to be about sex. I like waking up to just...you," she asked shyly.

"You're sure after that?"

"Very," she replied with a nod, encouraging him to lay down next to her. He gathered her into his arms and sighed in contentment.

He had thought that she had mostly wanted that out of this arrangement. Sex. And while it was fun, he liked this, too. He loved the feel of her in his arms and the way her small body fit against his. This was nice.

"Did you sleep well?" he asked after a moment, running his fingers through her hair.

"After those three scoops you gave me last night? I slept very well."

"Good," he purred, drawing her closer and nuzzling her neck. "Did you want to go to the farmers market today?"

"We can."

"I'm sure we can, but is that what you want to do?" he pressed, and she giggled.

"Yeah. I'd like that a lot."

"Then that's what we'll do," he decided, placing a kiss on her shoulder. "I really do like having you here with me."

"I love being here with you," she echoed, and his ears started ringing.

"You love being with me?"

Her eyes widened and she blushed. "I didn't say I loved you. Don't start reading into things, Takahashi!"

"But would you still love being with me if I did?"

"Stop being a pain."

"Because then you won't love being with me anymore?"

She frowned and pushed away from him, thoroughly embarrassed.

"I'm going to go and get dressed," she grumbled. He quickly caught her around the waist as she sat up, and he pulled her back down onto the bed. She yelped in surprise before scowling at him - he looked like the cat who just ate the canary.

"What if I told you that I love spending time with you, too? Would that make you feel better?"

"Only if it were true," she mumbled, and his grin widened.

"Kagome Higurashi," he said, his features smoothing out to give her a very serious look. She could tell from his eyes that he wasn't joking around anymore. "I love spending as much time with you as I can, and I don't want this weekend to end," he whispered, pressing a gentle kiss on her forehead.

"I don't want it to end either," she whispered back, biting her lip as a little voice inside reminded her that she should be glad that she still had the whole weekend with him. Soon, the summer would end, and then he wouldn't be hers anymore.

She felt her throat restrict at that final thought and pulled him down for a sweet, tender kiss.

He moaned lightly at the contact, and he had a stupid smile on his face again when she pulled away from him.

"What did I do to deserve that?" he asked. She could feel her lips still tingling.

"Nothing," she whispered, pressing her finger tips to his no longer swollen bottom lip and gently caressing it. "I'm just...really glad I'm here. I want to make the most out of this weekend with you."

"Ok," he agreed, moving his head down a fraction to press a lingering kiss to her fingertips. "So let's start with the farmers market. When we get back, we can ask Miroku and Sango on that double date, and then we can see where the day takes us. Does that sound good?"

"Mhmm…" she nodded before a blush rose across her cheeks, and he lightheartedly asked her why she was blushing.

"I was just thinking about adding an amendment to our plans..."

"Oh yeah?" he asked, raising a brow and kissing her shoulder. "What do you want to add?"

"I was just thinking about you...and vanilla ice cream…"

"Ice cream? Or ice cream?" he asked, wagging his eyebrows suggestively. They were going to a farmers market. He didn't go to them often, but he assumed that they had a bunch of food there.

"The second one," she blushed, and he smirked. Ah. Sex. She wanted sex.

"Yeah?" he purred, feeling his cock suddenly twitch at the idea of play time happening after all.

"Yeah. Why don't we have some vanilla ice cream, then take a shower, then go to the farmers market?"

"Well...if that's what my girl wants.." he sighed dramatically before attacking her neck, and she let out a squeal of joyous delight.

There really was something to be said for having some plain old vanilla ice cream first thing in the morning.


"So, I was thinking I could maybe make you some quiches or something for breakfast in the morning? And I could make a pie for us to enjoy this weekend?" Kagome thought aloud as she twisted her hair up into a high ponytail.

"I see your quiche and raise your a frittata," he replied, adjusting the drawstring backpack on his shoulders.

"You prefer that over a quiche?"

"Yup. It's easier to make."

"Don't pick it because it's easier," she scolded as she began to lead him down to the local permanent farmers market, Stanley Market.

It was like a small village. There were dozens of local farmers who brought their produce and set up stalls on the outside. Then, there were several large buildings on the inside filled with venders who sold everything from gelato to spices to thick slices of bacon to wine to pottery. The overall atmosphere was that of a quaint small town, complete with cobblestone streets, flower boxes, and ironwork signs.

It was the busiest farmers market he had ever been to, and he wasn't even really all that sure it still counted as one. It was more like a food and craft fair.

"I'm not," he promised. "I was just trying to use that as a selling point. I'm picking it because of that layer of cheese on top. Do you not like frittatas?"

"The only real difference between a frittata and a quiche is the crust and that layer of cheese, in my opinion. I'm perfectly fine having a frittata if that's what you like."

"Now I feel like I'm forcing you into it…"

"Stop, Babe," she giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I'm here for two days, and the leftovers are for you for the week. It's just breakfast. Stop stressing."

"Ok," he blushed, and she rose up onto her toes to plant a sweet but chaste kiss to his lips.

"So, frittata it is?"

"Frittata it is," he agreed, taking her hand and allowing her to lead him around. They wandered up and down through the produce vendors, looking at the wide variety of vegetables and fruits they had available at this time of year.

Kagome stopped at one who had some beautifully ripe peaches, and she asked Inuyasha if he'd like that in a pie. He said that if it was anything like the cobbler he'd had with her grandparents, he was sure he would love it. As she began picking them, Inuyasha leaned down to whisper into her ear that they reminded him of her ass. She blushed bright red, matching the nectarines the same man was selling.

If he noticed what was going on between the young couple, he wisely chose not to comment.

Inuyasha paid for the peaches and put them into the draw string bag on his back, then wrapped his arm around Kagome and allowed her to lead him again.

"Do you want to get stuff for the frittata now or get something to snack on?"

"And I can't snack on you?"

"Not here you can't," she blushed.

"Ok...then yeah. Let's find something. What do you want?"

"Let's go inside...that's where the good stuff is," she smiled. Twenty minutes later, they were unpacking their loot at a small round table for two tucked away in the corner of the building. It turned out that Inuyasha had a rather voracious appetite for a lot of things...and that included food. They had originally wanted to get something that they could just sample as they walked around, but that went straight out the window the second they had found beignets.

"Let's start with these," Inuyasha said, moving the rest of the food to the side and handing her one.

It was a simple, square, fried doughnut coated in powdered sugar, and she raised her brow at him.

"You want to start with this over the hand pies and puffs?"

"We're adults now, Kagome. We can have ice cream for breakfast and no one can tell us not to," he winked, and she couldn't help but wonder which type he was referring to this time.

"Ok, fine," she agreed and picked up her doughnut, taking a tentative bite out of the corner.

"It's good!" she exclaimed, holding her hand up over her mouth as she chewed and giggled at Inuyasha. He had shoved half of his into his mouth all at once. "Are you worried that it was going to go somewhere?" she laughed, and he shot her a sheepish grin.

"Sorry," he said after swallowing. "It's just been a really long time since I've had a beignet. It's good, but I've had better in New Orleans. I don't think a better beignet exists."

"You went to New Orleans?" she replied, taking another bite of her doughnut.

"Yeah," he replied, his smile waning softly. "A few years ago."

"What were you doing there?"

"I...Kikyo and I went there for vacation," he replied, finishing his beignet. She paused in eating hers.

"Oh…"

"I'm sorry I brought it up. I wasn't thinking...I don't have to talk about it," he fidgeted, scratching the back of his neck nervously.

"I...I don't mind," she decided.

"You don't?"

"I don't," she reaffirmed. "She was a big part of your past, right?"

"Yeah…"

"And are you going back to her?"

"No!"

"Then what does it matter?" she shrugged. "Your time with her...You shouldn't feel like you have to hide it from me. I like knowing. It makes me…"

It makes me feel closer to you. Like you aren't afraid to share the bad as well as the good. It makes me feel like this is real.

That's what she wanted to say, but she couldn't. This was for fun. This wasn't serious. She couldn't keep him...no matter how much she was starting to want to.

"It makes me feel like you trust me," she said instead, and his eyes softened as he reached across the table to take her hand.

"I do," he smiled gently.

"Good," she smiled in return, swallowing the lump in her throat.

"So, why did you guys go there on vacation?"

"She had never been and really wanted to go, and I hadn't either and it was on my 'half' of the country. It was just for a few days. We mostly did sightseeing and ate our weight in...everything. Seafood. Beignets. Everything," he said, finishing off his beignet and drinking some water.

"It sounds like you had a lovely time."

"I'm having a better time right now," he replied without hesitation.

"Good," she smiled softly as he rubbed her knuckles with his thumb. "Would you tell me about her?" she asked after a moment when he went to split their elephant ear.

They were interested in so much that they decided it was smarter to just get one of everything that caught their eye and split it so that they could get a little taste of everything - with the exception of the beignets, of course. That was something that he wasn't willing to share. They made a pact that if there was another thing they found and liked a lot, then they could always get more of that too.

"Really?" he replied, unable to keep the surprise from his face even if he had wanted to.

"Yeah...I want to know what she was like. Why you wanted to...marry her…" she whispered the last part, glancing down and away from him.

He had never explicitly told her that he had wanted to marry Kikyo...but it was heavily implied. Hell, he thought he told her something to that extent the day Miroku had set them up, and she had still made it clear that she was interested in him.

"Well..." he sighed, "Have you ever been with someone who you could be yourself around? Where you were completely and entirely and unapologetically you?"

"Yeah." She had. She was with him now.

"I thought I felt that with Kikyo. She accepted me, warts and all, and I loved her for it. She looked past all of my flaws to me. She didn't give a shit about all of the things that bothered all of the other women I've ever been with."

"Like?" she asked, cracking off a piece of her elephant ear and popping it into her mouth.

"Damn, Higurashi...look at you asking all the hard questions today," he joked, trying to lighten the mood a little and ease his nerves.

"Just making conversation," she shrugged with a blush. "Why...are you afraid to tell me what they are?"

"They're probably pretty easy to guess," he replied sheepishly. "I'm a neat freak. I mean a neat freak. Everything has a place and a home, and that's where it needs to go. You know Monica? From Friends?"

"Of course," she snorted.

"Yeah. Hi. I'm the guy version of that. Except I just have a drawer of clutter, not a whole closet."

"It can't be that bad…"

"Oh, but it is," he laughed, shaking his head. "It can be a lot for some people to handle."

"Or, it can be nice knowing that you never have to ask for help around the house," she countered with a shrug. "I can't imagine most women having a problem with a guy wanting to do the laundry."

"When I need to use a certain kind of detergent and everything has to be sorted just so and you can't come anywhere near the laundry room when I'm doing it? Yeah...they kinda develop a problem with it. She didn't care about that. Or how obsessed I am with my job. Or how…" he paused, blushing and lowered his voice. "Or how dominating and commanding I am in the bedroom. Or lack thereof, at times…"

"Ah…" she blushed.

"Yeah," he agreed, scratching the back of his head. "Like you said...I'm not exactly colonial. Not everyone is as willing as you are to go along with my wants. I've never forced someone to do what I want to do...but I still want what I want some of the time, and that can be a problem in terms of sexual compatibility."

"Your wants haven't been that bad," she tried, smiling softly to reassure him.

"Not everyone likes the dirty talk, though. Or lets me look at them. Or command them."

"Look at them? Like, sex in the dark?"

"Like when your leg is over my shoulder and I'm touching you," he explained, and she tilted her head to the side. Oh God. How was she not getting this?

"I like seeing how wet I make you," he mumbled, nervously looking around as her eyes finally widened in understanding. "It's one of my kinks, and not everyone I've ever dated likes it. It reassures me that you want me and you like what I'm doing. It's not always physically all that obvious in other ways, and it turns me on...and you know I like to watch now, which wasn't always the case...I don't think everyone I date from now on will go along with all of that..."

She noticed his comment hinting that he would eventually go on to date more people than just her, and she tried to ignore the sting. That was the plan. What he was saying wasn't wrong, but fuck if it wasn't like taking a knife in the chest.

"That doesn't sound all that bad. Those can't be all of your flaws," she said instead, pushing past their conversation on his "kinks".

"I can get pretty jealous and territorial when other guys are interested in the woman I'm with," he winced.

"Ah…"

"And I have a hard time sleeping in late...0830 is normally pushing it for me, unless I'm exhausted or jet-lagged. Sometimes I have a hard time being around people...I need to recharge my social battery, so I just want to stay in and lay on the couch and do absolutely fucking nothing. And flexibility - I suck at that. I need to make plans and stick with them. And when I'm in a bad mood, everyone knows it and I can't hide it...what do you think? Have I scared you off yet?"

"I think...that you being so open and honest about this only makes you more attractive to me," she blushed, and he reached across the table to take her hand and kissed her knuckles.

"You know I'm only telling you all of that because you asked, right? I don't like showing my warts."

"I appreciate it. I like to hear about them. So...you could show your warts to her? That's what did it for you?"

"It wasn't just that," he explained as she redirected him back to their original topic. "It was that she just didn't care, and it felt like she loved me despite them. I had never really been with anyone like that before her. And...I thought I had a real connection with her. I opened up to her about everything, and I thought she was doing the same thing. I don't know...maybe she really was, but I don't think doing it meant anything to her. Not if she was sleeping with other guys on the side. Even if it was just for sexual gratification alone since I wasn't there...we didn't have that kind of relationship. I never wanted an open one. I just wanted her...and she didn't feel the same way, so I ended it."

"Do you regret it?"

"I regret her cheating on me, but I don't regret the relationship. I think it was the first real, adult relationship I've ever had. It leaves a mark on you, and hopefully it's only made me better for what comes next."

"And what does come next?"

"I...I want something real after you leave," he admitted. "I'm twenty eight. I want to find who I'm supposed to be with. Settle down. Have a family. Become a Captain and lead my own unit...Maybe get a dog?"

"Sounds like you have it all figured out, Takahashi," she smiled wanly. She was happy for him. She really was. She just...God, she was stupid. There was a small part of her that wished she was included in those life plans.

Why did she have to like him so damn much?

"Not all of it. I still need to find the girl."

Her. She was right hereShe could be the girl.

"So, you want a dog huh?" she asked, forcing herself to smile.

"Over a cat?" he asked, wrinkling his nose. "Yeah. I definitely prefer them. I don't mind cats. I'm just not a fan of having one as a pet myself."

"I can't say that I blame you. We have a family cat. Buyo. I love him, but I always wanted a dog too."

"Well, I guess that answers the age old 'are you a cat person or a dog person?' question, right?"

"I'd say so," she replied, finishing her elephant ear.

"So what about you? Since we're digging deep this morning...why Hoho?"

"Hojo," she giggled in correction. "I don't know...I guess there was a lot of what you said about the flaws, and he was my first real relationship as an adult, too. He was...oh god, this sounds so stupid…" she moaned, covering her face with her hands.

"Tell me," he encouraged with a wide smile. "It's only fair," he teased further, and she groaned.

"You're really going to make me say it, huh?"

"You'd better believe it."

"Fine," she sighed. "He was the first person who made me feel beautiful and special and wanted, and he drew me in like a moth to a flame."

"That's not stupid," he calmly replied, leaning forward to pull her hands away from her face. "Look at me, Kagome," he demanded when she shifted her eyes away from him. "That's not stupid," he repeated. "I'm serious. It's not. You should feel that way when you're in a relationship."

"I know," she sighed.

"Did...did you really not feel that way before him?"

"I didn't...and then I did with him. Then he made me feel so...so completely hideous and unattractive after we broke up. I sometimes still feel that way now."

"Even...even with me?" he asked smally, his brow furrowing as he tilted his head to the side.

"At the beginning," she blushed. "Not so much now."

"Did I do something to make you think that you aren't beautiful?" he asked, wracking his memory for something he had said or done that would have made her feel that way.

"No! It's hard to explain…"

"I see," he whispered, looking away from her.

"It's...Inuyasha, look at you. You're perfect. You're like a twenty on a scale of ten."

"And? What does that have to do with anything?" he demanded.

"I'm just...not. Being around you at the beginning just made me feel very self-conscious because I found you so attractive."

"So, finding me attractive makes you feel unattractive?"

He really didn't understand women. What did one have anything to do with the other?

"I...It's…"

"Complicated?"

"Yeah," she sighed. "It's like...I saw you as this great, perfect, completely unattainable being that I could never be with because, let's face it...we're not even in the same league. You're like pro level...and I'm five year old kiddy practice."

"So you felt unattractive because you thought that I would find you unattractive, even though none of that is true," he stated flatly.

"In a nutshell? Yes. I guess it's just one of my flaws," she shrugged, looking away from him.

"Yeah," he sighed. "It is. Damn, Darlin'...I knew you had a monster living in you during our first date. I didn't realize it was so big and took up so much of you." He gently squeezed her hand again, and she glanced back up at him. "Stop feeding the fucker, will ya?" he smirked, and her face softened slightly as her lips turned up ever so little at the corners.

"I'll try," she promised, and he leaned back to finish his elephant ear.

"Good. Do you still feel that way with me? Because you know I find you attractive, right?"

"Yeah," she smiled weakly. "I know you do."

"That didn't sound convincing," he replied. "Kagome...you're gorgeous. I've always meant that when I've said it. I don't just call you smoking hot for giggles. I've seen every square inch of you, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing."

"I know," she replied, squeezing his hand. "I know you think that. And when we're together, I feel that too. You wouldn't...react the way you do if you didn't find me attractive, I think."

"I wouldn't. Do you know what you put me through after Miroku set us up? A cold shower couldn't handle it, and I thought about you the whole time," he told her bluntly, and her cheeks lit up at the thought of him touching himself while thinking of her. That was the second time that had come up now.

"I believe you," she said a bit more firmly this time, but he was still unconvinced.

"Good," he sighed, and he guided her face forward to place a soft, lingering kiss to her lips, trying to reinforce everything he felt he was so clearly failing at saying.

"You want to know what I see when I look at you?" he asked honestly. "Right now, I see a beautiful woman who was completely destroyed by some asshole and doesn't see her self worth anymore.

I see this stunning creature who I dream of touching and holding and being with all week, and she is completely shattered...and it hurts because I want to make it better, but it's not something I can do. I can't just whip out the Elmer's and piece you back together.

You have to.

I see a woman who is smart and funny and witty and kind. I see a woman who saw a stranger who was lost and hurting and reached out to him and tried to ease the pain a little. How can you not see that?"

"It's just something I need to work on."

"It is," he agreed. "And I'll be there to give you as much Elmer's or Super Glue or whatever you need to help you with it."

"I appreciate that," she smiled...and this time, he knew it was real.

"Good. So, this is clearly one of your flaws. Come on. What else do you have hiding? I already told you all of my warts."

"Oh, you want to keep digging, huh?" she smiled as she broke their apricot and almond galette in half.

"You bet your sweet ass I do."

"First it was a peach, now it's sweet. You sure you don't wanna stick it in there, Takahashi?"

"Only if you really want me to," he replied, wrinkling his nose and taking a bite of his half of the pastry.

"I'm just saying that you seem to have a fascination with it today."

"Squeezing. Touching. Nothing more."

"Mhmm…" she snorted, eating her galette.

"Stop changing the subject! What...do you not trust me enough to talk about them?"

"No...it's just not something I've ever done before," she shrugged.

"And you think I make a habit of it?" he countered, raising his brow.

"Well...obviously you don't."

"Obviously?"

"You want me to tell you or not?" she giggled, and his response died on his tongue.

"Yeah. I do."

"I hate cauliflower."

"That's a flaw?"

"Yup. I hate it. I don't care what you do with it. It's not rice. It's not pizza dough. It's not taco shells. It's sure as hell not mashed potatoes. It's just mushed cauliflower that will always taste like cauliflower."

"So...never make you cauliflower?"

"Not if you want to touch my sweet ass later that day."

"Duly noted," he gulped.

"Or cilantro. It tastes like soap. Or buffalo chicken wings. Or anything with blue cheese. I'm really fun at football parties."

"Really? Buffalo wings?"

"It's the sauce. It's god awful. And blue cheese shouldn't exist."

"You're killin' me, Darlin'," he grinned. "Ok, so what else?"

"I'm nowhere near as clean as you are. I'm not a slob, but when I come home, I kick off my shoes and where they land is where they land. And my jacket always ends up on the closest piece of furniture. And my backpack goes...wherever. And I can never find my car keys in the morning."

"Oh, you really are trying to kill me," he groaned, and she laughed airily at his pained look. "You know, they make this thing called a key hook. So you can find your keys."

"I know. I have one," she told him, and he looked like he was going to lose his mind.

"And you don't use it?"

"Takes the surprise out of my mornings. I like the drama of it all."

"You're stressing me out," he groaned, leaning his head into his hands. "I'd have to be that guy to find your keys and put them away for you so you could find them."

"And ruin my whole morning? You wouldn't dare!"

"I wouldn't just dare, I'd fucking do it."

"Monster!"

"Neat freaks - we're the worst kind."

"Clearly!" she groaned. "If it helps, I'm very picky about how my books are stored. About as compulsive as you are with the laundry, it sounds."

"Ok, so you aren't a complete loss. I guess I can keep dating you," he teased.

"Oh, we were thinking of breaking up with me, were we?"

"You don't use a key hook!" he exclaimed, and she giggled.

"I guess I can make an effort if it bothers you that much," she sighed in mock exasperation.

"It really does," he winced. "Ok...so what else?"

"Ummmm...I lose track of everything when I'm reading? I have to set alarms on my phone to pull me out and be a productive member of society again. And I hate math. It took me years to figure out how to do a 20% tip in my head."

"Just take 10% and double it," he smirked.

"Yeah, I know that now...but it took a while, ok?"

"Ok," he chuckled. "So...how does it feel getting all of that out in the open?"

"It...it actually feels pretty good."

"See?" he replied, his smirk morphing into a full smile. "Glad I forced you to do this?"

"Please! I started all of this by asking you about Kikyo."

"You did," he agreed, splitting their plum tart with honey and black pepper. "It...it doesn't hurt as much now, you know," he confessed.

"What doesn't?" she asked, furrowing her brow in confusion.

"Our breakup," he whispered softly. "I used to think about her all the time, and I used to want to call her and talk to her but I knew I couldn't…"

God...why was he telling her this?

"...but since I started dating you, everything has gotten so much easier...and it just doesn't hurt anymore. I still miss the illusion of what we had, and the dream of what we could become...but the sting is gone."

She gave his hand a gentle squeeze, and he responded with a smile.

"Thank you for everything, Kagome. I mean it. You've...you've made my life so much better without even trying."

How did someone even respond to that? Here they were, sitting in the middle of Stanley Market...and he was just...baring his soul to her.

"You've helped me too, you know. You're the only guy I've been even a little interested in since Hojo. It's been nice remembering what it feels like to be wanted."

"I wanted you from the start," he admitted with a blush. "Maybe not the exact second I saw you the first time, 'cause I thought you thought there was something wrong with me...but within the first five minutes. I knew I wanted to talk to you and get to know you. I was just too chicken shit to do something about it."

"You thought I thought there was something wrong with you?"

"You kept looking at me and looking away! It took me a minute to figure out that you just thought I was hot," he replied with a smirk.

"Yeah, well, don't worry...I don't think that anymore."

"You don't?" he asked, tilting his head to the side.

"I think you're sexy," she smirked, and he laughed.

"Isn't that the same thing?"

"It's not," she shook her head firmly.

"It it!"

"No! Hot just means you're physically attractive. Sexy means that you're really physically attractive, but there's more to you than just looks."

"I think you're making this up."

"I'm not! Google it!"

"I don't want to Google it."

"Because you know I'm right?"

"Because they mean the same thing and you know it...you're just trying to save face."

"If I wanted to save face, I'd just change the topic instead of trying to get you to Google it."

He laughed wholeheartedly as he watched her finish her half of the tart.

"Alright fine - let's agree to disagree since we both know I'm right," he decided, picking up a puff-like pastry with a spinach filling they had found. "This next?" he asked as she drank her water, and she glared at with an affirmative nod.

"Sure - that next," she agreed when she was done, allowing him to drop the subject as he split the puff in half.

She bit into it and moaned in delight, and he shot her a look.

"Should I be jealous?"

"Maybe…"

He snorted and bit into his and moaned back at her.

"Oh...No...Not jealous. I understand," he groaned, and she giggled.

"Do you know what this reminds me of?"

"What?"

"I've never liked your spinach puffs! Never!" quoted, raising her fist and shaking it.

"Pull the lever, Kronk!" he replied, making her smile grow.

"Wrong lever!" they laughed, finishing the quote together.

"God...I haven't seen the Emperor's New Groove in years."

"Well, maybe that's what we can do when we're done here," she suggested with a shrug.

"Do you actually want to watch it, or do you just want to cuddle on the couch and make out?" he asked, raising a brow.

"Is there a reason we can't do both?" she countered, and his smile widened.

"No...no reason at all," he agreed as she picked out a hand pie for them to try. It was like a western omelet wrapped in a flakey pastry crust that you could eat on the go, and shaped in a half circle like a calzone.

She deftly split it and gave him the other half. He bit into it and commented that he liked it, but the spinach puff might have been better. They continued sampling their pile of treats and casually talking and laughing, and by the time they left the market, neither could remember the last time when they had such a wonderful morning.

Chapter Text

Chapter 17

Kagome hummed as she chopped the peaches they had purchased the day before for their pie. He was kindly doing their laundry to get out of her hair while she was working on it, and frankly, that suited her just fine. It was one less thing to worry about when she got home tomorrow.

Last night had been fun. After they had gotten back from the market, they had asked Miroku and Sango if they were free that night for a double date. It was nice to cut so completely loose - the beer was refreshing, the burgers were greasy and satisfying, and the company couldn't be beat.

It was great seeing Miroku open up to Inuyasha again. It was like it was before that infamous first date. They were laughing and joking around and slapping each other on the back, and it was a joy to see.

The karaoke had been quite memorable, too. She had learned that for as amazing as Inuyasha clearly was in most aspects of his life, when it came to certain things (such as singing while intoxicated), he could also show that he really was as human as the rest of them. His singing voice was...well...nails on a chalkboard would have been a compliment. But damn...she respected and appreciated him for even trying in the first place.

However, the highlight of the night was when he proved to her just how jealous he could be. She had gone back to the bar to refill their pitcher when a random man started talking to her. If she had been a bit more sober, she might have noticed that he was doing more than just talking and was actually hitting on her, but she wasn't and she didn't.

If she had, she might have said something to the man about being there with someone. Instead, she continued to talk and laugh with the guy, causing Inuyasha to "come and check on her" since she was "taking a while" and wrap his arms around her middle from behind before kissing her neck.

Taking out a billboard ad would have been more subtle.

She had then proceeded to scold him, and he had scolded her back for scolding him and further admonished her for letting that guy think she was interested. Which had led to a fight. Which had led to a very hot make out session outside of the bar, and an even hotter session in the bedroom.

It was raw and unbridled and passionate, and through her beer-hazy state, she couldn't decide if he was making love to her, trying to ask her to not leave him for someone else, or reminding her exactly why she shouldn't be interested in anyone else.

Either way, it was...wow...

She suddenly heard him start the laundry, which drew her out of her thoughts of the night before. Kagome shot him a warm and grateful smile when he reappeared at her side.

"I appreciate you doing that for me."

"It's not a big deal," he shrugged casually, moving to stand behind her instead. "I was out of fatigues anyway, and I don't mind the extra work."

"Yes...but you didn't have to. You chose and offered to, and I appreciate that," she insisted, turning to wrap her arms around his neck and press a chaste kiss to his lips.

"Well...it's nice to be so appreciated," he replied, a gentle smile tugging at his lips as he leaned down for another soft kiss.

"Mmm...very appreciated," she replied, pulling him down to her again.

"You know...you don't have to take everything back home. Unless you want to, that is. I'm sure I could move things around in my dresser and make some room for your things if you think that would make your life easier."

She felt her jaw drop ever so slightly. He was offering to give her a drawer?

"Really?"

"Why not?" he shrugged. "It makes sense, right?"

"Yeah," she beamed. "It does. Thank you," she said pulling him into a long, tender kiss to help show her gratitude.

"A guy could get used to this, you know," he sighed when they finally parted. She just giggled as she cupped his cheek and felt the stubble that he had let grow since Thursday.

"Oh, I'm sure. You know what I could get used to? This," she smirked, rubbing her thumb across his cheek. She watched him furrow his brow in confusion for a moment before his eyes widened in understanding.

"You like that, huh?"

"I do," she grinned. She loved the feel and look of his stubble. "It's a shame you have to get rid of it."

"You know, I'm starting to think you like me looking like a caveman. First you want my hair longer, and now you want this? Am I going to come home one day and find a loin cloth and a dino bone to wear? Is this a kink you have?"

"I do not want you to be like a caveman!" she exclaimed. "I just like you with a bit...more fluff. But still well-groomed fluff."

"Mmhmm…" he replied dramatically.

"Oh, stop it. Try this," she encouraged, trying to change their conversation's direction. She reached down to the cutting board and plucked a chopped peach from her pile.

"Peach?" he asked, eyeing the beautiful orange and pink colored fruit between her fingers.

"Mhmm," she nodded, and squealed when his head suddenly shot forward and caught her fingers between his lips and teeth, reminding her of a cobra.

"Yash!" she giggled as he sucked the peach away from her loose grip and gave her fingers a gentle nibble before releasing them.

"It's good," he purred, his tone causing her to blush.

"Good. I'm almost done cutting them, and the crust should be chilled by now. Want to roll it out for me?"

"If that's what you'd like," he shrugged, turning to wash his hands in the sink. "What do you have to do once they are cut?"

"Just add in the rest of the ingredients for the filling and mix it together. Nothing fancy. Pie is easy."

"Sounds like I should get a move on it, then," he decided, looking at the dwindling pile of peaches.

"Yup. Hop to, soldier!"

"Yes, Ma'am!" he replied, throwing her a mock salute as he dried his hands.

He really needed to talk to her about that little fantasy he had swimming around in his head. Maybe before she left for the summer? The hardest part would be getting the outfits…

He shook his head to clear his thoughts. Now wasn't the time. Besides...since when was he so into role playing?

He glanced up at Kagome as he reached into the fridge and found the dough she had made.

There was something about her that made him want to do...anything. Everything. He wanted to eat life with her and savor it to the fullest while she was here.

He dusted the countertop with flour and placed the dough in the center of it while she began dumping the rest of the filling ingredients into the bowl in her hands.

"I think I'm going to beat you," she teased as she picked up a spoon and began carefully mixing it all together.

"Well, if I had known we were racing…" he replied, pushing down harder on the dough with the rolling pin in his hands to try and roll it out faster.

"You're going to make it too thin!" she quickly admonished with a tiny bit of panic, and he shot her a look that said he clearly disagreed.

"Now I think you're just trying to slow me down," he smirked, bumping his hip into hers.

"I am not!"

"You are! You don't want me to get done first."

"Yes...you figured me out. That was my goal all along - to distract you from rolling out pie crust. So I couldn't put my filling into it. So we couldn't have pie."

"Oh yeah?" he countered, his lips pressing into a thin line as he arched his brow.

"Yup."

"Well this is what I think of your master plan..." he countered and he reached down into the dusted flour in front of him and stuck his index finger into it before swiping it across her nose.

"Inuyasha!" she squealed, looking at him in shock. She pursed her lips and picked up a pinch of flour herself, tossing it into his face.

He stared at her in silence for a moment before a predatorial smirk stretched across his face.

"Oh, you're dead now…"

That was all the warning she had before he lunged to the side towards her. She giggled as she dodged out of the way before he could grab her, and she ran to the opposite side of the island to get away from him.

"Oh I am, am I?" she replied, a flirtatious smile spreading across her face as she reached back into the bag of flour and took out another pinch.

"Don't you dare…"

"Don't I dare what?"

"Higurashi…"

She tossed the flour at him again and he lept towards her, reaching out to grab ahold of her shirt and narrowly missing her as she squealed and ran.

"For someone who works out as much as you do, you sure are slow…"

His nostrils flared and his eyes narrowed at the blatant taunt.

"You're only faster because you're so damn small!"

"I'm sorry, was that supposed to be an insult? It sounded a lot like a compliment."

He reached into the bowl of peaches and took out a slice, raising it and aiming.

"You wouldn't..."

He threw it, and it hit her square in the chest.

"Takahashi!"

"Yes. Yes I would."

"I can't believe you!" she gasped in faux abhorrence, tossing more flour at him.

"Oh yeah?" he laughed, picking up another slice.

"No. You put that back!"

"Why don't you make me?" he smirked, his eyes dancing merrily as he threw it. This time, it hit her cheek.

She lunged across the island for the bowl of peaches, the countertop edge catching her in the abdomen and slamming her front into its surface and just barely keeping the bowl out of her reach.

Inuyasha swiped the bowl up and held it protectively away from her.

"I don't think so!" he laughed, throwing another slice at her. This time, it landed on her back and fell down to her butt when she stood back up.

His smile widened when he looked down at her shirt. She was covered in butter and peach juice and flour. She followed his gaze down to her shirt and she looked down at it in horror.

"Inuyasha…" she growled lowly.

"Don't 'Inuyasha' me! No one told you to do that."

She glared at him, reaching out and grabbing another stick of butter and opening it.

"Kagome…" he warned her lowly as she pinched off a bit.

"Yes?"

"Kagome...you leave the butter out of this. It didn't do anything wrong…"

"As I recall…" she began a smile slowly spreading across her face, "you started it!" She threw the butter clump at him, and it landed on his face.

"You! I can't believe you just did that!" he exclaimed, his eyes dancing with laughter as he wiped it off. He quickly retaliated by throwing another peach at her.

"And I'm gonna do it again, too!" she warned, pinching off another piece and throwing it at him. It bounced off of his shirt and landed on the floor.

"Oh...this means war, woman!"

"I thought we were already at war," she shot back, throwing another clump.

He dodged to the side, barely avoiding it and moved to grab her. He missed. When that failed, he just picked up a few more peach slices and launched them at her. They continued with this back and forth retaliation until Kagome finally ran out of butter, and Inuyasha couldn't stop his grin of victory even if he had wanted to. He most certainly didn't!

"Oh Kagooome...looks like you're all out of ammo…" he sang, and she gripped the countertop nervously.

Shit.

She looked around, trying to figure out an exit strategy from the kitchen. The problem was that he was on the side facing out, effectively trapping her...

She really hadn't been thinking ahead.

She felt like a fucking rabbit trapped in a hole staring up at a hungry dog - and the look Inuyasha was giving her right now was very hungry.

She needed to take a chance. She bolted and tried to get away from him and out of the kitchen, but he reached out and caught her with what felt like impossible speed. She instantly realized in that moment two things:

The first was that he had been toying with her this whole time.

The second was that she was now well and thoroughly screwed.

He pulled her back flush against his chest, trapping her arms at her sides. She felt him tilt his head down and his lips hotly grazed the shell of her ear.

"Where do you think you're going?" he asked in a sultry purr, his hot breath fanning over her.

"Ummm…"

"Um?" he replied, and she could feel his smile against her skin as he teased her. "Well, I don't know where "um" is, but you aren't free to go until you pay for your crimes," he told her quite seriously.

"What crimes?" she asked shakily as he ran his tongue up against the skin behind her ear.

"The crimes you committed against my kitchen," he replied huskily, "Do you see what you've done to it?"

It was a mess. Flour and peaches and butter were everywhere. It probably wasn't going to be fun to clean.

"I think you're just as guilty here as I am," she whispered, her words catching as he caught her lobe between his teeth.

"Maybe...but I won, so that means I'm blaming you."

"How thoughtful."

"I think so," he agreed, his grip on her loosening enough to bring a large hand up to cup her breast and roll her nipple through the fabric of her shirt and the lace of her bra.

She knew what he wanted, and between their little food fight and the way he was nipping and sucking her neck and the skin behind her ear now...she was already throbbing. She felt an undeniable pulsing between her legs, and she couldn't understand for the life of her how he was always able to do that to her so quickly.

"Ok," she breathed. "So, if I'm not free to go until I pay for my crimes...how do you intend to have me pay?" she sighed in mock defeat. She knew exactly how. She would have to be a fool to not know what he wanted at this point.

"Let me think…" he whispered huskily, and an involuntary shiver ran up her spine and made her shake.

"Cold?" he asked quite seriously, his tone shifting out of seductor mode and into sincere concern for a moment.

"Hot," she replied as she arched her chest into his hand and encouraged him to continue, and he laughed throatily. "You were telling me how you wanted me to pay for my crimes..." she reminded him, and she felt him smile against her neck again.

"Yeah, I was…"

He spun her around and lifted her to sit on the countertop, which caused her to squeak in surprise as a giant grin broke out across her face. She forced it away as he parted her legs and came to stand between them.

"It's going to be hard to make up for this..." he decided, gently pushing her down onto the countertop.

"I'm sure," she breathed as he leaned down over her, supporting his weight on his forearms that he placed on either side of her body.

"...and it might take a while..."

"If that's what it takes."

"...and it might require a lot less clothing than what you're currently wearing."

"Should I take them off now, then?"

She saw him almost laugh before he schooled his features and tried to regain control.

"You seem awfully eager to pay for your crimes."

"I don't like having debt. It's why I have such amazing credit."

"Woman...I'm trying to seduce you, not talk about your credit score."

"If that's what you're trying to do, you'd do a better job just kissing me," she pointed out, wrapping her arms around his back as he chuckled.

"Are you saying I'm bad at seducing you?"

"I'm saying you already seduced me," she whispered quite seriously. "So shut up and kiss me already."

"You mean like this?" he asked, placing a soft, sensual, albeit chaste kiss to her lips.

"No…"

"Then like this…" he replied, tilting his head back down. He ghosted his lips across hers once...twice...a third time before she tilted her head up and tried to nip at him, making him pull away with a smirk.

"Nuh uh," he scolded. "You behave yourself,"

"Yash…"

"Shhh...I'm busy," he teased. "Now, where was I…" he sighed dramatically. "That's right. I was right about here," he decided, tilting his head down to capture her lips in a slow, burning kiss that made her moan and sigh in contentment. He pulled back slightly, his lips releasing hers with a wet smack before he dipped down again and repeating the action, slowly rekindling the fire between her legs.

"Mmm…" he moaned, gently nipping on her lip. "God...I love how you taste. Like...peaches and sugar."

"Yeah?" she breathed heavily. "That would make sense. I tried the filling before you threw it all at me."

"I didn't throw all of it at you," he corrected, taking her ear lobe back between his teeth and whispered, "Just a lot of it. There's still enough to make a pie with."

"A very sad pie," she replied, her breath hitching in her throat as he tugged very gently at the stud she was wearing.

"I guess I better find something else to eat. Something sweeter. Any suggestions?"

"I'm sure I could come up with a few," she breathed shakily as he moved on to her neck, laving her ivory column with his tongue.

"This doesn't taste too bad," he told her. "It's a little sweet...but mostly salty. I'm not really in a salty mood."

He nudged her chin up and back with his nose as he continued on to the front of her neck, and he moved one of his arms away from the counter and brought his hand to the hem of her shirt. He slipped it under the soft but now very sticky and dirty fabric and splayed his hand across the trembling skin of her abdomen.

"It's a little salty here too," he said, giving his new spot on her neck a long slow lick as he raised the hand under her shirt up to her ribs. "I guess I should keep looking, right?" he asked, his fingers now brushing against the wire bottom of her lace bra.

"Yes," she gasped as his hand came to fully cup her breast.

"Hm...what's this? This feels soft," he whispered, rubbing his thumb across her nipple again. "I bet it could taste sweet...do you think I should try it?"

"Yes," she begged, arching up into his hand. He pushed away from her to take off her shirt before he also removed his own, tossing the dirty fabric into a corner of his kitchen. He encouraged her to lie back down, and he pressed a wet kiss to the part of her breast spilling up and out of the cup of her bra as he gave her nipple a firm pinch. She gasped as a shock of electricity ran through her straight from her nipple to her core.

God...she was sure her underwear were soaked from this.

That thought only reminded her of what he had told her the day before at Stanley Market about liking to see how wet he made her...and she suddenly felt embarrassed.

The thought of him just spreading her apart to look at...all of that...and seeing how wet she was...oh my god...thinking about how he was probably going to do that once he got her pants off made her blush bright red.

She wasn't sure she could handle it now that she knew that was one of the things he was doing when he was down there...but...she wanted to try. If that turned him on, she wanted to try. And...should it really be all that embarrassing?

She loved to look at his length, no matter the state it was in. She loved to know how much she turned him on, and the proof of his arousal was pretty blatantly obvious. It's not like he could hide that even if he wanted to. Wasn't this just proof of hers? Didn't showing him make it fair? It evened the proverbial playing field.

It wasn't embarrassing. It was...but it wasn't. It was her body's natural response to him, and that wasn't something to be embarrassed over or ashamed of. If she could see how she affected him, it was only right that she allow him to see how he affected her, right?

Right.

She needed to add this to the list of things she never thought she would have to give herself a pep talk about.

He moved his hand to her other breast and gave the unattended nipple there a firm pinch, making her arch and suddenly forget everything about him looking at her.

That could be a worry for later.

Right now, she wanted to just feel him on her and enjoy the sensations of his hands and lips and tongue worshiping her sensitive breasts...and he was proving to be amazing at it, as always.

"Sweeter," he murmured, giving the top of her breast a long, slow lick across the top of her mound exposed by the bra before trailing his lips down to her still lace covered nipple. She felt him flaten his tongue against her pebbled flesh before giving it a swirl. The lace of her bra scraped against it in the most delicious way, and she tilted her head back in a gasp at the sensation.

"Even sweeter…like candy..." he purred, and she felt his fingers toying with the top of her cup. "I bet it will be even better when I get it out of its wrapper."

"Why don't you find out?" she breathed just before he pulled the fabric down.

"I think I will," he smirked before latching onto her nipple and pulling it into his mouth with a moan. Her head rolled to the side and she tried to bring her hands up to his head to pull him closer to her, but he caught her by the wrists before she could make it there. He pulled his lips and tongue away from her and smirked.

"What do you think you're doing?" he asked, his eyes letting her know just how pleased he was with himself.

"Nothing?"

"'Nothing', huh? Didn't seem like you had nothing in mind," he scolded gently, leaning up and pressing a chaste kiss to her lips. "Be patient," whispered against her lips. "I'll give you what you want in time."

"What if I want it sooner?"

"Well...then that is just a problem you are going to have to solve on your own."

"Why do you have to suck so hard?" she whined with a pout.

"Really? You think I've been sucking too hard? I can be more gentle," he teased before lowering his mouth back to her nipple and pinning her wrists down on either side of her head. He gave her nipple a feather light lick before tracing its pebbled center with a whisper of a touch. He fanned out to her areola next before pulling away and blowing on it.

It was pure torture.

"Yash…" she whimpered, arching up as best as she could to get him to stop teasing her.

"Did you want something?" he asked, moving to kiss the underside of her breast.

"You know exactly what I want."

"I don't think I do. I think I need you to tell me."

She let out a whimper before he moved to her still covered breast and lightly scraped his teeth against her lonely nipple.

"Damnit, Yash," she uttered in something between a growl and a whimper, and he laughed. The jerk laughed.

She didn't know how, but she broke her wrists free and pressed her hands against his chest, making him straighten. Given the surprise on his face, she imagined that the only reason she was able to move him was because he hadn't been expecting her to rebel against him.

She quickly sat up and unlatched her bra, throwing it somewhere inconsequential in his kitchen before grabbing him and pulling him down for a burning kiss. Her core was already trembling and needy, and this teasing he was doing...she wasn't going to stand for it anymore.

She needed more. She needed firmer.

"Stop toying with me," she scolded breathlessly when she finally let him go. "I want to feel you. I don't want to be teased."

"Yeah?" he panted. "And what do you want to feel?"

"Your mouth, on my breast," she replied, cupping the one that had hardly received any of his wonderful ministrations yet. "I want you to suck it and touch it harder."

The grin he gave her was so big she didn't think he could have stopped it from showing even if it was necessary to do so. She was expecting him to give her some smartass response, but instead, he just obeyed and gave her exactly what she asked for. He was loving but firm, and he left her squirming on the dirty granite countertop.

By the time he pulled away, she found herself bringing his hands to her pants button to undo them without realizing it.

"You're ready?" he asked with a smirk.

"Yeah," she nodded, panting. "Take them off."

He made quick work of doing just that, and she allowed him to remove both her pants and her panties in one pass. She noticed that her underwear were, in fact, as soaked as she thought they might have been. She blushed, suddenly remembering her thoughts from earlier.

She steeled her nerves and moved her legs further apart before reaching down and spreading herself open. Her cheeks turned dark red as she looked him dead in the eye and mustered as much courage as she could.

"Go ahead. You can look," she murmured, forcing herself to keep his gaze as his eyes widened and his brows shot up in surprise. "I know you like to."

His face softened considerably into a look she couldn't describe. He then reached down to cup her cheeks and give her a soft, tender, passionate kiss that left her breathless and made her chest ache. She removed her hands from her heat and wrapped them around his neck without another thought.

Appreciation. She could see that. And she could identify the wonder and disbelief. But there was something else there that she couldn't quite put her finger on...

Perhaps it was longing? But she didn't understand what he could be longing for.

It also could have also been love...but that was stupid. There was no way he could possibly love her, right?

Maybe it was gratitude. That would make sense. She didn't think many of the women he had been with before had ever willingly put themselves on display for his viewing pleasure.

That was it. It had to be. Because love was just...it just wasn't possible.

"Are you sure?" he asked when he pulled away, cupping her cheek and pulling her out of her thoughts.

"Yeah. I thought about it. I don't mind. If I could give oral to guys who have given me less than half of what you have, then I can satisfy your needs and let you take your time and look at me."

He looked surprised at that, and he opened his mouth to say something before promptly closing it. Maybe she didn't need to explain that part of her logic, but it was too late now.

He must have decided to not press her further and instead leaned down for another tender kiss that somehow left her chest aching again. When he pulled away, she moved her hands back to where they had been, spreading herself open in a silent invitation.

He placed his hands on her thighs and she watched him lower himself to his knees, his eyes never leaving her face as he stroked her tender flesh gently with his thumbs. Finally, he shifted his gaze to her core and she shifted hers up to his ceiling, the knowledge that he was actually stopping to look becoming too much for her...until she dared to glance back down at him.

He was really, truly enjoying this. It made him look even hungrier for her, and that thought not only renewed the blush in her cheeks, but it did something else quite unexpected.

It was making her throb painfully.

He liked what he saw. A lot. She was turning him on...and oddly...doing this was starting to do the same for her. It was making her feel...powerful...because she could make him feel this desire for her, too.

Watching him look at her made her feel things her past lovers never had come close to.

Powerful. Desirable. Needed

"Kagome," he suddenly said, looking up at her and drawing her out of her thoughts. "Thank you," he breathed, his eyes tender as he pressed a soft, wet, lingering kiss to her thigh.

"You're welcome," she blushed, not quite sure if there was a more appropriate response to that.

"I want to taste you here now," he murmured huskily, and his fingers brushed against hers as he moved a hand to cup her.

"I won't stop you," she encouraged, still parting herself for him. She would never stop him...but she didn't say that. Instead, she just looked down at him as he took his hand away and moved his head and lips to her opening. He thrust his tongue as far up into her as it would go, making her moan and her head roll back against the hard counter.

"Yash," she groaned as his tongue began to move within her before he finally replaced it with his fingers and refocused his attention to her clit.

How was he so good at pleasing her? Why the hell did Kikyo betray them?

Why the fuck was she complaining?

That woman was clearly insane and if she didn't want to be with him, then fine. She was more than happy to take her place.

She felt him give her clit a feather light lick. Her whole upper body hunched forward as he did it again and again, teasing the very tip of her hardened nub and making her bite the inside of her lip.

She felt him circle her bundle of nerves, tracing it with his tongue before he pulled it into his mouth and gave it a solid, firm flick and suckled at it. She felt his teeth gently scrape against it and she cried out, removing her hands from her core and placing them on his shoulders instead.

If he was bothered by this change, he gave her no indication. Instead, he moved his free hand up to her right breast and gently cupped it as he continued to suckle and flick and thrust, driving her closer and closer to her end.

She let out a choked sob-like moan as he rolled her nipple with his thumb, electricity pooling at her core as he wound the coil within her tighter and tighter. Her nails dug into the skin of his shoulders, and he curled his fingers within her in response.

The coil finally snapped, and she screamed as he continued to pump his fingers in and out of her as her walls quivered around him. Wave after wave of pleasure washed over her and left her breathless. As she finished, she slumped even further forward and her arms wrapped themselves loosely around his neck. He moved the hand that had been fondling her breast to her sweat slicked back as she struggled to find her grip on reality. He gently stroked it as he peppered gentle kisses to her skin wherever he could.

Finally, she found the strength to push herself back and regarded him with hazy eyes and a lopsided but satisfied grin.

"I think I found my sweet treat," he decided, his voice rough and gravelly.

"Better than the pie?" she asked weakly, her eyes dancing with amusement. She couldn't believe that he was still playing that game. He had her. He didn't have to. But...she had to admit that it was fun.

"Much."

"I swear...the more you do that, the better you get."

"The more I do that, the more I learn about what you like, and the better I can make it," he smirked back, and her grin widened.

"So, if I let you do that all day sometime...you'd become an expert?"

"You couldn't last with me all day," he replied rather smugly.

She really wanted to argue with him...she really did...but the truth of the matter was that he was right.

"Probably not."

His grin only widened at her admission, and he pulled her down for a kiss. She could taste herself on his tongue and his lips and she knew that she should be embarrassed, but she honestly didn't care and she groaned into the kiss instead.

When they parted, he placed his hands on the countertop next to her legs and stood up.

She immediately reached for his belt buckle and undid it before moving to his pants and boxer briefs, pushing everything down in one go. He quickly stepped out of them before bending down to locate his wallet and the condom within it. He was about to tear it open when she reached out and stopped him.

"Wait...trade places with me first."

"Why?" he asked, his brow furrowing in confusion.

"Because...I want to pleasure you now."

His face immediately softened and he cupped her cheek, suddenly understanding that she wanted to perform oral on him as well.

"Not this time, Babe," he smiled, stroking her cheek with the pad of his thumb when she looked back at him with all of the confusion he had just looked at her with a second before.

"You don't want it?"

"I don't need it. I just need you right now," he reassured her, and she whispered her understanding.

No one had ever turned down her offer for oral before.

Did he actually not like how she performed? She wasn't bad at it, was she?

Oh god, what if she was? How embarrassing would that be...to think you were pleasuring someone when all you were really doing was turning them off...she couldn't handle it.

She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice him rolling the condom down his length, and he startled her slightly when he cupped her cheek again.

"Hey," he smiled warmly, "everything ok? I think I lost you there for a second."

"Yeah," she smiled back. "Just wondering which position you're going to surprise me with this time."

"Why don't you pick, then," he smirked.

"Really? You don't have an opinion on that?"

"I can relinquish control sometimes!"

"Only sometimes?" she giggled, and he rolled his eyes and smiled.

"I am this time. So?"

Kagome bit her lip in thought for a moment before a blush rose over her cheeks and she slid off off the counter. She turned around and bent over it, raising her left leg back up onto the counter.

"Really?" he asked when she turned to look back at him and asked him how this was, and her blush deepened at his response.

"Yeah...is this bad?"

"No," he smiled gently, moving her hair away from her shoulder as he came to stand beside her, and he pressed a lingering kiss to her blade. "Just highly unanticipated for someone who loves vanilla."

"Well...maybe I was in the mood to try a banana split."

"I think we should call this peaches and cream," he smirked, and she dramatically rolled her eyes this time.

"You're sooooo punny...I can't decide if that was a Dad joke or just plain bad…"

"You love it and you know it," he teased, lining himself up. "Ready?"

"Always," she grinned, and he slowly started pushing himself in.

"Fuck," he gasped once he was all the way inside of her. He leaned his head forward to her shoulder, closing his eyes to find his composure.

"I know," she breathed, making him chuckle.

"You picked a good one," he agreed, beginning to slowly thrust in and out of her, testing out the angle and trying to find something she responded positively to.

"Yes," she gasped in agreement as he hit something marvelous within her.

That was a good response...he thrust back in at the same angle as before, and she let out a moan.

Oh yeah. He had definitely found it.

He slowly began to pick up speed, aiming for that same spot again and again. Kagome arched her back forward, slumping onto her arms as she tried to keep herself upright...but it was a losing battle, and her leg was starting to cramp.

"Yash," she gasped, trying to get his attention. He moaned in response, continuing to thrust. "Yash, wait…stop."

He let out a choked whimper, but his hips slowly stopped thrusting.

"What's wrong?" he panted, his voice rough and heavy.

"It's starting to get uncomfortable," she blushed, and she felt him pull out.

"What hurts?" he asked as she turned around, and she felt her heart melt a little at the concern she saw in his eyes.

"My thigh," she admitted. "I think I need to take up yoga to keep up with you," she joked, and he laughed at that.

"Hey...you picked it this time, Darlin'!"

"Yeah I know," she replied, rolling her eyes. "I just didn't think it all the way through, apparently."

He just smiled and leaned down to kiss her gently before intensifying their kiss in a way that left her moaning and completely unaware as he laid her down on her back on the countertop. His hands left her shoulders as he continued to kiss her, and she suddenly felt one between her legs rubbing her clit as the other came to her thigh to massage it.

"Are you feeling any better, Babe?" he asked, pulling away. His lips brushed against hers with each word, and she felt his hot breath fanning over her skin.

"Yeah," she whimpered, her hips squirming as he continued to rub her aching nub. All she could feel was his fingers, the pain in her thigh long forgotten.

"Good. Can I...um...come back in?" he asked with a blush, and she smiled gently at him before biting her lip when he made a particularly delicious pass around clit.

"Please do," she gasped before squealing as he tugged her ass closer to the edge of the cold countertop.

"New position," he declared, encouraging her legs to rest over his shoulders as he lined himself back up and slowly slid back in.

"Much better," she sighed as he slowly started again, and he turned his head to kiss her calf.

"Good," he breathed before picking up speed again as he continued to grip her calves and thighs, alternating his hold occasionally.

She looked up at him, and she felt a certain amount of pride wash over her at the closed-eyed bliss on his face as she clenched her internal muscles around him. Why did it feel so good to make him feel good?

She made another hard clench that caused him to hiss in pleasure, and a wicked idea entered her mind.

"Yash? Open your eyes," she demanded, and he did with what looked like great difficulty. "Look at me," she instructed once she had his attention, and she moved her hands down to where their bodies connected. She used one to spread herself open, causing him to glance back up at her in surprise, and the other she used to rub herself as he continued to thrust.

"Look at me," she repeated in a gasp, the sensations running through her body starting to make it hard to hang on and talk.

"'Gome…" he moaned, obeying and pressing another kiss to her skin.

All of her concerns about exposing herself for his viewing pleasure had really flown out the window in a very short period of time. If she had been in a clearer mind space she might have taken a moment to mentally ponder that, but as it was, he was making her feel so fucking good right now that she just didn't give a shit.

"Yash!" she gasped as he hit a particularly pleasurable spot within her.

She was burning everywhere. Her skin. Her core. Her flesh. He was scorching her and making her feel like she was going to die of pleasure, and she was loving every second of it as he continued to burn her.

"Close," he whimpered. She picked up her pace, rubbing herself in just the right spot until, finally, the combined sensations of him thrusting into her and the electricity she felt from her clit sent her tumbling over the edge of the cliff she had been so determined to jump off.

She cried his name as her orgasm overtook her, and he collapsed over her after doing the same.

"Goddamn, woman," he chuckled throatily after he regained his breath, pushing himself up onto his arms to look down at her. "What got into you?"

"Looks like you," she teased, shifting her eyes down to where they were still connected and he barked out a laugh, slipping himself out and offering her a hand to pull her back up.

"Yeah, I did," he grinned, hooking his index finger under her chin and tilting her face up for a sweet kiss. "I think we both know that's not what I meant, though," he sighed against her lips when he parted from her. She blushed hotly and shifted her eyes away from him.

"Hey...what's that about?" he asked, cupping her cheek when she averted her gaze. "Kagome…" he breathed, stroking her cheek with the pad of his thumb. "What's going on, Darlin'?"

"Did you not like it? I thought you would like it when I…" she trailed off, and his face softened from concern to something else again.

"Of course I did...I loved it...but were you really ok with it?"

"Yeah!"

"Really? Because I got the impression that you were...pushing yourself. For me."

She sighed at that and shifted her gaze away again.

"Kagome…"

"I was," she finally said. "At the beginning. At the very beginning of this, I started thinking about what you said yesterday at Stanley Market. And it made me feel nervous and embarrassed, but I wanted to do something for you, so…"

"You didn't have to, though…"

"I wanted to," she insisted, shaking her head. "I wanted to give you some of what you like because you've been so good to me...and after a little bit, I...I actually kind of liked looking at you looking at me," she admitted with a blush.

"Really?"

"It was...it made me feel more excited to see you look so…" she paused and just shook her head, unable to say the right words. "I just thought it was hot. It was hot as hell watching you get turned on by me, and it wasn't as embarrassing anymore."

He leaned down and pressed another sweet, tender kiss to her lips.

"Well, thank you...I appreciate it," he admitted, and she pulled him back down for another gentle kiss.

"You're welcome," she breathed. "Can I ask you something now?"

"Always," he replied without hesitation.

"Why didn't you want me to give you oral this time?" she asked, mustering up all of the courage that she had. "Am I...is it because I'm bad at it?"

"No!" he exclaimed instantly, his brows shooting up in surprise at her worry. "God, no...Kagome, I've enjoyed it every time you've wanted to do it...but you said something earlier that made me think you don't enjoy it…"

She tilted her head in thought for a second before realization spread over her face. "Oh…"

"Yeah…"

"I can see how you would think that," she nodded. "But I don't feel that way when it comes to you, you know. You're the best recipient I've ever had, so I kinda like it now."

He tilted his head slightly to the side in confusion, so she explained her past with Hojo and how he was vastly different and better. He kept to himself and let her stay in control and work him over in her own time and way, and she appreciated that.

"That's all I meant. When I said that, I just meant that if I could put up with that for Hojo because I loved him, then I could give you a little of what you liked."

Inuyasha let her words roll around in his head and tried to not let his heart jump in his chest.

He wasn't going to let himself mistake what she had said.

At no point in time had she said she loved him...just that she had put up with what she felt was worse for a man she did love.

It sounded an awful lot like she was saying it, though...in a roundabout way...and it was doing things to him.

He shook his head and pressed a kiss to her forehead. He needed to do something about those thoughts. It was only going to hurt him when she left. Love wasn't part of the deal.

Sex. Friendship. General companionship. That was the deal. Anything deeper...that was off the table.

"Well...I think your crimes against my kitchen have been paid for," he teased, swallowing the lump in his throat he hadn't realized had developed. "Why don't you go take a shower and I'll get this place back in order?"

"You don't want to join? Then I can help you after?"

"Nah...it's going to bother me until it's fixed," he smiled. Really, he just needed a minute away from her so he could get himself in check, and this would be the perfect distraction.

"Well...if you want to fix this mess on your own, I won't argue with you!" she decided with a grin, and she pulled him down for another gentle kiss before hopping down off of the counter. She started heading for the bathroom when she saw the bowl of peaches. She couldn't resist a peak inside.

"Inuyasha! You used, like, a third of what was in here!"

"Yeah...but it was worth it," he smirked.

"Yeah. It was."

Chapter Text

Chapter 18

"I don't want it to end, Sesshomaru. I don't know what to do," Inuyasha sighed into his phone to his older brother as he waited for Kagome to arrive. He leaned over the railing on his balcony and looked down at the world in the twilight, pressing his arm against its cold edge. A nearly empty beer bottle dangled from his fingers and he tapped it against the metal bar.

He had tried calling her to hear her voice instead, but her phone was dead. That had been an issue lately. Her phone battery was at critical health, and the charger in her car must have had some brittle wires or something as well because it wouldn't charge her phone on the drive here either. Sometimes he couldn't reach her until she magically arrived and immediately plugged her phone in to charge in his apartment.

So he was now stuck on the phone with his brother instead, telling him all of the woes of his love life.

It was true, too.

He didn't know when it had happened, but as the summer slowly passed, the thought of ending whatever this had become began to hurt more and more.

It had really hit home last weekend at the book fair. They had stopped at one booth that had a lovely little edition of Pride and Prejudice that she had been tempted to buy. The cover was leather, and the edges were beautifully gilded...but she had felt that it was a bit out of her price range.

She had mentioned to him previously that it was one of her favorite books and movies. She had read it in high school and fallen in love with Jane Austen, and her favorite English teacher had given her a copy as a graduation present.

That edition was now falling apart.

When he had asked her about it and why she didn't just replace the tattered thing with the new one she liked, it had come up that he had never read the book or watched the movie. He was more of a math and science kid, whereas she was more driven by English and art and history.

She had joked lightly that between the two of them, their kids would have ample help with homework.

That...that had made him feel things. He knew she was just joking. She had to have been, right? But...the way it made him feel…

Fuck...what was this woman doing to him?

He had ultimately gone back and bought the book as soon as she had gone to the bathroom, and he was glad because when she got out, she had decided that he was right. She could use a replacement copy. She was crushed when they had gone back to get it and the book was "gone".

He had silently pleaded with the vender to not say anything to her about who had just purchased it. He didn't need her knowing that he had bought her a farewell present.

Instead, he had comforted her by watching the movie that night and holding her in his arms...and all the while he felt this...hole opening inside of himself.

Things just hadn't been the same since.

'Do you want advice or do you want to keep stupidly bitching about your love life?' his brother snorted, drawing him back to their conversation.

"I'm not bitching. I'm venting."

'You can alter the vernacular all you like, but it won't change the fact that I've heard you bitch about this for the last hour,' he replied coolly, and Inuyasha rolled his eyes.

Why had he thought this was a good idea again?

Oh right.

He didn't think.

That was the problem.

If he had been smart, he would have kept to himself. The problem was that he wasn't smart.

"I'm allowed to be upset!" he snapped, pushing away from the railing and slumping down into the couch. He glanced down at the lime green cushion and was unexpectedly hit by waves of memories of them sitting here: Their first date. Having sex against the wall. Just laying here and enjoying each other's company. He groaned and finished his beer and pulled out another one, deftly opening it.

"She leaves soon, and I'll probably never see her again..." he mumbled for the umpteenth time.

'And we've established that this is troubling to you.'

"Because it is! She's...she's amazing. She's funny and sweet and kind and sexy and she's so easy to be around—"

'—I know,' Sesshomaru sighed. 'And as much as I'd love to talk about that for the next three hours, I have other things to worry about. Like replacing Rin's frog.'

"You killed Jaken?" Inuyasha laughed, picturing his eldest niece's pet. She loved that thing for reasons no one could understand.

'No one killed him. He was just dead one morning, and I saw no need to replace him until she came back from summer camp.'

"In case you killed him again?" he snickered.

'Because then I wouldn't have to worry about taking care of it,' he snapped back, only making Inuyasha laugh more.

"You know she will be able to tell the difference."

'She's twelve. I'm not that concerned.'

"Famous last words," he taunted. "You should just come clean," he advised.

'She will never go to summer camp willingly again if I do that, and Kagura and I need some time to ourselves,' he groused, and Inuyasha just snickered harder at that.

"What, finding it hard to have alone time since you had kids?"

'I hope you realize that when it's your turn, I will not help you.'

"Please...like I'd want your help. You'd probably just 'accidentally' drop my kid on their head. They're safer off with you at a distance."

'Really? And how would Kagome feel about you keeping their uncle at a distance?'

Inuyasha sputtered at that for a second, much to his brother's delight.

"She has two brothers," he finally replied. "They will be just fine in the uncle department, thanks...but you're making some pretty damn big assumptions, Sesh."

'Do you want to know what I really think, idiot?'

"Idiot? What's this? Feeling affectionate tonight?"

'Fuck you.'

"Oh, Sesh...I love you, too!"

'Do you want my opinion or not?' he growled.

"Yeah...what the hell...lay it on me," he sighed, taking a big swig from his beer.

'Exactly. What the hell. Just ask her to stay with you.'

"She can't. She has to go back to school and finish her degree. I can't ask her to give that up."

'No, you idiot. Long distance.'

"Ah…"

'Ah? Really?'

"I just…I don't think she would be open to that. It's...hard. And she knows that. I told you...she made it clear from the beginning that once she was gone, this was over. That's what we both agreed to. We were just fucking around - no pun intended. I don't know if things will really have changed that much for her."

'And you will never know if they have until you ask her,' he replied smoothly.

"Yeah…" he agreed with a sigh. "But...I don't know if I can."

'You are many things, Inuyasha...but I didn't think coward was one of them.'

"What's that supposed to mean?"

'It means that if you're going to be this upset about losing her, then grow some damn balls and do something about it. Ask the woman to stay with you. Best case? You continue your relationship long distance and see what the future has in store for you. Worst case? You make a fool out of yourself and you never see her again...which you are currently on the path to doing now as it is. The only difference between asking and not asking is that you at least have a chance at happiness.'

Well...fuck him for making everything sound so damn logical. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't find fault with anything he had said.

'Your silence tells me that I managed to get through that thick skull of yours. If that was all, I should go and get Jaken the Second.'

"You can't be serious...you can't name him that!"

'I can, and I will. I just won't give Rin his full name.'

"I still think you're making a mistake," he replied with a shake of his head.

'And you are a fool if you don't do something about this girl since she is all you seem capable of talking about, Inuyasha.'

"And Jaken," he joked lightly before hanging up with his brother.

He sat there silently stewing over his conversation with his brother for a few more minutes before gathering up his beer bottles and trash and going back into his apartment. He threw everything away and glanced at the time.

She was running late. He quickly dialed her, hoping that her phone had enough of a charge at this point for the call to land, but he was out of luck. It went straight to voicemail. Still...he was sure she was fine.

He was just going to have to have a conversation with her about responsibility and getting a charger in case something happened and...oh my god what was wrong with him?! He was doing it again - getting all involved and overly concerned. If he asked her to stay and she said no...fuck...he was just screwing himself over.

He needed to take his mind off of this. He sighed and rubbed his eyes, finally deciding that he could at least start working on dinner. He wasn't in the mood for more take-out, even if it did give them more time together. He was in the mood for fish tacos, so he had picked up the stuff to cook that at the store earlier along with some white wine to go with them.

He sighed and asked his Alexa to play NPR for him, hoping that the radio and news would take his mind off of her absence. He began to prep for dinner, chopping up all of the vegetables, cilantro, and mango before sorting them into containers. He then mixed together the guacamole and puréed everything for the arroz verde.

Finally, as he was about to put on the rice, he heard a knock at the door. A sense of relief washed over him. He turned the burner off and opened his door, pulling the sheepish looking woman outside into his arms and immediately burying his face into her neck. He deeply inhaled, letting her calming scent wash over him and reassure him that she was fine.

"Hey," she whispered, running her hands up his back in a soothing motion.

"Hey," he murmured, placing a kiss at the juncture of her neck. "I missed you - I was worried about you," he admitted as he pulled away, and she winced.

"Sorry," she apologized. "The charger…"

"Yeah...I know," he sighed, pulling her into the apartment and watching as she hung her purse on the coat closet handle.

"Do me a favor...just take one of mine? You give me a heart attack when you drive without one and your phone is dead."

"Yes, Pumpkin," she teased, and he frowned at her. He knew what she was trying to do. Pumpkin had become her nickname for him when she was annoyed or wanted to tease him. He wasn't going to take the bait this time, though.

"Hey…I'm serious," he said as he ran his hand through his hair, and she turned around to look at him. Her eyes instantly softened, and her lips turned up in a small smile.

"You really were worried, weren't you?"

"I couldn't reach you...anything could have happened."

"Well," she began, her smile widening, "I'm here now. I'm perfectly fine, and I'm not leaving again until Sunday. You don't have to worry about me until then, ok? And I'll take a spare charger, if that will make you feel better."

"Yeah - it will," he smiled, pulling her back into his arms and placing a sweet, tender kiss to her lips.

"Mmm…" she sighed, burrowing into him for a moment before she pulled away and took note of what he was cooking. "What's for dinner? Mexican?"

"Yeah," he smiled, stepping away from her and reaching into the fridge to take out the white wine and guacamole he had made. He handed the bottle to her, and she twisted off the top as he went for the glasses. "Fish tacos."

She made a choked snort-like sound as he opened his cabinets, and he pulled away to raise a brow at her and ask her if she was ok.

"Yeah...fish tacos? Really?"

"What's wrong with fish tacos?"

"Nothing," she laughed. "You really missed me, huh?"

"You know I did," he replied, furrowing his brow in confusion as he took down the glasses. "What do fish tacos have to do with missing you, though?"

She just grinned and took the glasses from him, placing them on the island before taking his hand and moving it to the front of her pants so that he was cupping her core.

"Fish tacos?" she replied, her eyes dancing with laughter.

He tilted his head to the side for a moment before his cheeks flushed and he rolled his eyes, removing his hand.

"Oh my God...really? That's where you go when you hear fish tacos?"

"I just know how much you enjoy your...ahem...tacos."

He just rolled his eyes again and opened the bag of chips, pouring them into a bowl.

"It's ok...I missed your taquito all week." she added.

"First of all," he began, dipping a chip into the guacamole, "It's a burrito, not a taquito," he stated emphatically, making her laugh as she poured their wine and he ate his chip. "Second, get your mind out of the gutter, Higurashi! It's just Mexican food. I was in the mood for it, so I'm making it."

"I mean, if you just wanted a fish taco, I would have been happy to help…"

"Ka-go-me…" he groaned, turning around and turning on the burner again heat the oil and brown the rice he had started prepping before she arrived. "Stop reading into this! Clearly you're horny as hell, but it's literally just Mexican food."

She laughed harder at that and wrapped her arms around him from behind, and he could feel her whole body shaking from the force of her giggles.

"Ok…" she relented. "So...fish tacos, huh? What else did you have in mind for tonight?"

"Well, I know what you have in mind," he replied, and she giggled again.

"I told you...It's been a long week without your taquito."

"Keep calling it that and you won't get it," he snorted, adding the rice to the pot.

"Oh my...is that a serious threat?" she laughed. He couldn't help but smile.

"Maybe? Care to find out?"

"No...that's alright. It's not worth the risk," she grinned.

"Good. Can you keep an eye on this for me while I start the fish? Just stir it a little and don't let it burn."

"Sure," she agreed, watching him dip back into his fridge and pull out the fillets he had prepared earlier before grabbing a pan and heating it with oil.

"You know...I really do appreciate it when you cook for me," she commented, stirring the rice. "It makes me feel special," she admitted with a small smile as he placed the fish into the pan.

"You are special," he grinned, leaning over to place a kiss on the top of her head.

Very special.

One of the most special people he had ever met.

He blushed and turned his attention back to the fish, glancing back at her quickly to see the genuine smile his words had caused her to wear on her face.

"So...we never discussed what we're doing tonight. Other than sex."

"Dinner on the deck," he began, and she nodded her approval. "Then there's ice cream in the freezer, and we can drink wine and play board games and have a quiet night in."

"Ugh! That sounds amazing," she sighed, clearly loving his plan. "I could use a nice night in with just you. Work was the worst today," she explained, telling him about inventory day and all of the stresses that created and the general annoyances that came with it. He willingly listened to her vent and couldn't help but take in her profile and just feel complete and utter...happiness.

"Hey, how does this look?" she asked, drawing him back to the rice.

"Perfect...just like you."

"Look at you! You're Mr. Smooth tonight!"

"Just tonight?" he teased, pouring in his parsley and cilantro mixture and telling her to let it come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

"You're pretty smooth most of the time…" she complimented, moving away from the stove and taking a chip and dipping it into the guacamole. "Hey! This is pretty good!"

"You sound like you doubt my talents," he replied in faux abhorrence, flipping the fish and moving to mix the mango salsa together.

"Only some of the time," she winked and dipped a chip for him, holding it up to his lips. He took it from her and chewed it, kissing her gently once he had swallowed.

"Hey...tomorrow...can we go to the beach? I want to get in some real beach time before the summer is over. And we can go on the boardwalk...check out the games and the food and the rides...what do you say?"

"I say any excuse to see you in that swimsuit again is a good one. It sounds like fun."

Before the summer was over...maybe he could ask her then? Tomorrow at the beach?

His heart leapt up into his throat again at the thought.

What if she said no...what if he made a complete ass of himself…

What if...what if she said yes?

He could do the time zone changes and the dinner dates over the computer and the phone calls...and he would.

She...she was worth it. It would be hard. He knew first hand how hard it would be, but he would do it. If it meant exploring this for real, he would do it in a heartbeat...because this? This felt real.

They felt like they could be real.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from the Inuyasha universe or any of the popular name brand apps, products, services, etc. The rest is mine.


Chapter 19

"Why did you put vinegar all over these?" Kagome asked as she plucked a fry out of Inuyasha's blue and orange paper cup with the words "Frankie's Boardwalk Fries" in giant 90s style bubble letters on the side. She held it up to her face and examined it, giving it a tentative sniff and lightly squishing the thicker cut fry between her fingers. It wasn't exactly soggy, but it wasn't crisp and hard either.

"Why did I put vinegar on these? Oh my God...Higurashi, are you telling me that you've never had boardwalk fries before?"

"They're just fries," she shrugged as they walked along the worn wooden path of the boardwalk of Benning Beach and sat down at a bench. It was an old boardwalk. It had been developed in the 1970s with just a few shops and games, and it had grown significantly over the last forty plus years. Now, it was littered with people and included hotels and restaurants along with vendors who sold everything from weed to healing crystals.

They had spent the whole day lying in the sun, playing in the surf (which mostly just consisted of him chasing her, catching her, and then tossing her to the point that she had accidentally flashed him a breast - not that he minded), and walking up and down the boardwalk. It had now grown late enough that the sun was finally setting, and they had slipped back into slightly more "normal" clothes before relaxing at the small bench and waiting for dark - that's when all of the "fun" rides opened.

"They are not just fries! Take a bite, and then you can judge it. Besides...the place doesn't even have ketchup. There was a sign up and everything."

"What? If the one thing you sell are fries, how can you not also have ketchup?"

"Because they're boardwalk fries. Just eat it," he sighed, taking one out for himself. He popped it into his mouth and gave her a pointed look, telling her with his eyes to just humor him and try the fucking fry.

She squared her shoulders and took a tentative bite, and surprisingly...it wasn't bad.

The overall texture reminded her of a Five Guys fry, which she liked - not quite a potato wedge, but not a thin and crisp McDonald's stick either. It was salty, which was a given, but the vinegar...she didn't know why, but it worked.

It added a little extra something that she just couldn't explain. It was kind of like eating a salt and vinegar potato chip, but without the extra crunch...and what surprised her the most about the whole thing was that she actually liked it.

"Well?" he asked, handing her a cup of ice water with a paper straw poking out of the top.

"It's good."

"See?" he grinned. "Boardwalk fries. They're only acceptable at the beach, and you only put vinegar on them. That's just the way it is," he shrugged as she stole another one.

"I promise not to doubt you again, oh Wise One," she giggled, and his grin widened.

"You really shouldn't. I'd never point you in the wrong direction."

"Except for when you get lost," she teased, reminding him of when he had gotten confused as to where the car was earlier when they went to drop off their stuff. He just rolled his eyes.

"One time - I get turned around one time, and you can never let it go."

"Am I supposed to?"

"If you love me, you will," he said without thinking, and he instantly froze as his eyes widened.

Fuck.

"I...ah...I'm gonna go and get napkins," he nodded, shoving the fries at her. "I just realized I forgot them. I'll...ah...I'll be right back."

Kagome blinked hard a couple of times, trying to process the last ten seconds.

"If you love me, you will."

Had...had she heard that right? She had to have, given how abruptly he had just left. But...what...what was that supposed to mean?

Did he…love her? He didn't, did he?

No.

Absolutely not.

He couldn't...not when he had only broken up with Kikyo a few months ago. There was no way he loved her like that. That's not even what he had said. He had said if you love me...totally different from I love you

But why did he even have love on the brain?

What was going on in that head of his?

She sighed and leaned back, staring up at the sky and holding onto that cup of fries.

Hypothetically speaking...let's say he did love her like that...was that a bad thing?

She knew she liked him. She liked him a lot...so much so that the only thing making them end this was her departure in two weeks. There was no way he would be willing to do long distance after that train wreck of a relationship last time…

But if he was…

If he asked her, or gave her some indication that he would be willing to try one more time, then yes. She would stay with him in a heartbeat. She'd find a way to make this work.

So...if he did love her like that...then she was fine with that, because she could see herself quickly falling for him too. She had never met anyone else like him. She had never felt this way with anyone else. He made her feel...whole. Complete. He gave her a sense of peace when she was with him. He literally ticked off every box she had when it came to a partner, and even a few extra she had never known she had on the list.

If she could stay with him…

If she could stay with him, then she knew she would love him. As long as he would let her...which was hopefully forever.

She looked up and saw Inuyasha nervously standing in front of her, a wad of napkins crinkled up in his hands.

"You found them," she smiled warmly, and he nodded jerkily as he sat down next to her.

"Yeah...sorry...it took me a bit longer than I was anticipating."

"It's fine," she reassured him, scooting closer to him on the bench as she watched his hands clench and unclench. "Fry?" she offered, raising the cup.

"Yeah...sure…" he nodded, shakily putting the wad of napkins down and hastily snatching one from the cup. It was almost like he thought that if he was fast about it, she wouldn't see how completely and totally freaked out and terrified he was.

She sighed deeply at how he was acting and whispered, "Yash—"

"—Can we not? Please?" he begged. "I don't want to talk about it. I don't even know why I said it. Can we just pretend it never happened?"

"Yash…"

"Please? It was stupid. Really. I didn't mean anything by it."

The fact that he immediately ran after saying it meant that he did mean something by it, in her opinion.

"Ok…" she relented. "It never happened."

"Thank y—"

"—Only it did, and I do. Just so you know. I do love you," she whispered, and he let out a choked gurgle like sound as his eyes widening to the point that he reminded her of an owl. "I love you like I love a very dear, close, old friend. But...I'm not there romantically, because I didn't let myself." She watched him close his eyes, and his fists squeezed the napkins tighter. "I couldn't...I...when we started this, we always said that this was over at the end of the summer. I couldn't give away everything I had when I knew that we were going to end. I just couldn't, Yash..." she trailed off and he just nodded his head and smiled sadly at her.

"Yeah. I know. I get it. I...me too, Higurashi."

"I can't say I love you in that way, but I do adore you. Can...can that be enough for this?"

"Of course," he replied, his voice gravelly, "I...I adore you, too."

She smiled warmly and leaned forward, bringing a hand up to the back of his neck and encouraging him to lean down and meet her halfway. She placed a long, lingering kiss to his lips that left both of them tingling.

"Why don't we finish this up, and then we can go on some rides?" she asked, shaking the cup a little and relaxing at how relieved he seemed to be now.

"I like how you think, Darlin'."


"I think I'm gonna puke," Inuyasha groaned as they stepped out of the octopus ride and back onto solid ground.

"You are not," Kagome scoffed. "Stop being dramatic. You're a fighter pilot! You've handled worse."

"Exactly - I am a fighter pilot. That should tell you how bad that one was!"

"Not bad - amazing. Would the teacups be more your speed?"

"No," he glared. "I can do some others, but I want to take a break. That's all. How is your stomach not upset?"

"I wish I could tell you - I don't understand how yours is!" she laughed as he led her away from the rides and over to the games.

"Maybe it was the funnel cake?" he speculated as they made their way into the thick of the games. Bright colors and flashing lights were all around them and the air was filled with the sounds of buzzers and bells and tinny music.

"I had the funnel cake too...and I'm fine," she pointed out with a smirk, raising her voice so he could hear her over the noise.

"Guess it's just not my night, then," he shrugged. "Anything look exciting to you?"

"Bumper cars?" she asked hopefully, and he did his best not to groan.

"How about we do that in ten minutes after my stomach settles down. What about the games...anything look fun? Want to try and win something?"

She looked around and pulled him up and down the aisles, making note of all of the traditional carnival games and prizes. There were some cute stuffed animals - frogs and goats and elephants, but she paused at the stand that had a medium sized plush dog. It had white fur and gold eyes and for some reason, it made her think of Inuyasha...and she just...she loved it.

She saw him glance between her and the wall of toys and then over at the game, and a giant grin broke out across his face.

"Come on," he motioned with his hand, walking towards the booth.

"Wait...what are you doing?" she asked as she ran after him.

"You want something from here, right?"

"I don't need it, though…"

"Doesn't matter. It will be fun trying to get it," he shrugged, standing behind the current contestants. "Have you ever played before?"

She shook her head.

The game looked simple enough. There was a row of jockeys on horses on the back wall that were hooked up to the row of machines that people played on. The objective was to roll a ball up the wood board at the bottom and sink it into one of the holes in the top. The holes were arranged in v-shaped rows, each row a different color. The further back you sank your ball, the further the jockey would move. The first one to make it all the way across was the winner.

"No, we never really played carnival games when I was a kid," she admitted, and he looked at her in shock with his mouth dropping open a little.

"Really?"

"My dad thought they were a waste of money. He said he'd rather just buy us the toy than try and win it."

"It's not just about the toy, though," he smiled sadly. "It's about the fun...and making memories, too."

"Tell that to him," she snorted, and he laughed.

"The day I do that is the day I become a dead man. Come on, Babe...let's right a lifetime of childhood injustice."

They watched the next game play out, and a little girl and her father won. She took a minute to decide on her prize, but in the end, she couldn't deny her desire for the sparkly pink unicorn with a rainbow mane and tail.

"You're up," Inuyasha whispered, pushing her forward to take the girl's spot as her dad took her to get ice cream.

She absently caught herself picturing Inuyasha as the father that was leading their child away and onto the next adventure.

She could see him making a great father to some lucky little kid one day. She knew that was what he wanted. He wanted that. He wanted to be that dad. He had made it perfectly clear that he was ready for that chapter of his life, and he wanted to settle down

"Ready, Babe?" he asked, drawing her out of her thoughts and back to the here and now.

She had been given a ball, and the guy manning the stand was about to hit the start.

"Yeah," she nodded nervously.

She just had to roll the ball into the hole, and she had to get it in faster than anyone else she was competing against.

Easy, right?

"On your mark, get set...go!" the man cried out, and a shrill bell sounded letting everyone know that it was fine to roll the ball.

She practically chucked it up the board, watching it roll and bounce out and rarely sink into any of the holes time and time again.

"And we have a winner!" the man announced seconds after they began, and she felt her jaw drop slightly.

How did someone win already? They had just started!

"Do you want some advice?" Inuyasha asked, and she put the ball down and shook her head.

"Nah...that's ok. I think I'm better off just watching."

She stood back up and Inuyasha placed a hand on her shoulder, a frown marring his face.

"No you aren't. Give it another chance. It was your first time. You aren't going to become an expert at this after only one round."

"Yash…" she sighed.

"Please?"

Her shoulders slumped. He looked so hopeful...like he really wanted her to like this.

How could she possibly say no?

"Ok. One more round," she said, sitting back down on the stool.

"One more," he promised, nodding his head as he put down another ticket for the man to collect. The worker grabbed it off of the counter and gave her another ball before starting the machine.

The race was over in less than a minute, she didn't even get a ball in this time.

Inuyasha slapped down another ticket before she could even stand up.

"Babe," she sighed, and he shook his head and was determined not to listen to her.

"One more," he insisted before bending down to whisper in her ear. "You're being too aggressive. Be gentle with it...slower, even. Trust me."

She looked at him skeptically, but decided to listen to him.

What did she have to lose?

That time, she followed Inuyasha's advice when the man started the machine. She gently rolled the ball up the slope and sunk it in the back row.

She gasped in surprise and excitedly glanced up at him, but he told her not pay attention to him and to keep going. She gently rolled the ball again and again, and this time, she came in second.

"One more time?" she asked hopefully. He was already tearing off another ticket.

"Of course. You've got this. Just do what you did last time again, ok?"

"Ok," she nodded, ball already in hand.

The man started the machine and she gently rolled the ball. She kept landing them in the back row until she heard the telltale sound of the bell announcing a winner, and her heart lept into her throat.

She had won.

She had actually won!

"Well Miss, what would you like?" he asked, and she grabbed Inuyasha's hand. She was absolutely beaming.

She had really won! She had won her very first carnival game!

"The white dog, please," she said without hesitation. The man glanced between her prize and Inuyasha and let out an amused laugh.

Apparently, she wasn't the only one who saw the similarities.

He pulled the dog down from the top of the overhang with the other toys and handed it to her, and she crushed it to her chest.

Why did it feel so...so good to win?

Inuyasha waved to the man and gave him their thanks as she continued to hug her plushie, and he wrapped his arm around her shoulder.

"You did great, Babe," he warmly praised her, squeezing her to him.

"Thanks to you," she blushed.

"Eh. I just gave away the secret. You're the one who actually won it," he shrugged. "So what now? More games?"

Kagome bit the inside of her lip and scanned the area, a wave of excitement washing over her when she caught sight of their next activity.

"Nope. We're going to do something even better," she replied, pulling him in the direction of the Ferris Wheel.


"It's been forever since I was on one of these," Inuyasha mused as the man working the ride checked their safety rail before they took off.

"Me too," she nodded, placing her prized toy between them and snuggling up against his arm. "Thanks for doing this with me."

"Are you kidding? This is much better than the octopus," he murmured softly into her hair, and she let out a breathy chuckle.

"I wasn't talking about the ride," she replied as she snaked her fingers between his, pulling him even closer.

"Then what were you talking about?"

"Today," she breathed. "It was...it was perfect."

He leaned his head down and nuzzled her hair, breathing her in. She smelled like comfort and home and the sea, and he loved it.

"It was," he agreed, and silence fell over them as they continued their slow journey to the top.

"Wow...look at that view!" she softly exclaimed as they peaked, looking down at the world around them. A rainbow of lights flickered from the games and rides, creating a magical and glittering world below them in the surrounding night. "It's beautiful," she breathed.

"Yeah...it is," he agreed.

Now was the time. If he wanted to ask, this was the perfect moment. They were up here, staring down at one of the most romantic views he could ask for and completely trapped with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. They would be forced to say their truths here and now.

He wasn't going to flat out ask her right away...he wanted to do a small test. Just to see if maybe she would even want to see him again in the future. If she said yes...then he'd ask her to stay with him.

If she said no…

He knew where he stood, but at least he could save some face.

He took a shaky breath and pulled slightly away from her, causing her to look up at him.

He had to do it. He needed to take the risk.

"So, the summer is almost over," he began nervously. "Are you...ready to go home? Get back to your old normal?"

"I guess," she shrugged, wondering why he was suddenly talking about this instead of doing something a bit more fun...like kissing her. It wasn't exactly a taboo topic, but it wasn't exactly one they openly discussed. Clear lines had been drawn ages ago, and they had silently respected them.

"What about your friends? Are you excited to see them again? Or start classes again? Finish up that degree?"

"Yeah...of course…" Was he...rambling? Who was this guy, and what had he done with her Inuyasha?

"Good! Good...I'm happy for you. It's an exciting stage of life that you're in," he nodded, and she pulled completely away from him as they began their descent.

"Yeah, it is," she agreed.

"Do you have any big plans for when you get back?"

"I'm going to move into an apartment with my friend," she replied, still trying to figure out why he was talking to her about this stuff.

"And what about your breaks? Like...Thanksgiving and winter break? Do you have anything exciting planned for those yet?"

"Half a year away?" she smiled warmly, suddenly catching on. He was trying...and failing...to casually ask her when she was coming back.

"I didn't know how much of a planner you were," he shrugged.

"Not that much," she giggled. "I'm spending Thanksgiving in Ohio with my mom's family. Miroku and Sango are coming in for it...but I'm not sure what I'm going to do for winter break yet. I had thought about coming out here for Christmas - I know my parents were talking about it last year."

"That sounds fun," he nodded, before falling silent for a moment.

She glanced back up at him, silently pleading with him to just ask her. She wanted him to ask her. She wanted to hear those five simple words: will you stay with me?

"If you do decide to come back for winter break," he finally said, and she felt her heart jump into her throat. She could feel each beat pulsating there, and she had to swallow to help ease the sensation. "Do you think you would be able to find the time to say hi to an ex?"

"An ex...meaning you?" she asked, watching intently as he nodded.

"Yeah. Me. Assuming you have the time and it won't piss off your new boyfriend."

"What makes you think I will have a new boyfriend?" she asked, raising a brow. God, she hoped she wasn't being too subtle. She didn't want a new one. She wanted him.

"A smart, funny, beautiful, driven woman like you? You won't stay on the market for long," he chuckled dryly, looking away from her. "You...you didn't answer me," he whispered forlornly.

"You didn't answer me," she shot back.

"I did," he bit out. "The first guy you see that catches your eye is going to be all over you, and that will be that."

"The first guy, huh?"

"Yeah," he confirmed, releasing her hand and grabbing onto the rail. "All you'll have to do is snap your fingers and he'll be yours...and I...I'll be happy for you. You deserve it, after everything. If there's one thing I hope that I can give you before you leave, it's your heart back in good enough condition to love someone again. I really do," he nodded, pinching his eyes closed. "I want you to be happy. You deserve to be happy."

"It sounds a whole lot like you're breaking up with me, Yash…" she whispered, looking at him as they neared the bottom.

"That's what you want, isn't it? In two weeks?" He finally opened his eyes again, and her breath caught in her throat at the look in his glossy eyes.

He looked...devastated. Like the thought of two weeks was killing him inside. Like maybe...maybe he wasn't asking her to stay because he thought that's what she wanted. Like maybe he wanted her to stay more than he was willing to admit. Like maybe...maybe he...loved her after all.

"Is that what you want?" she whispered back.

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, moving his head away from her as he seemed to struggle to find the words to say...whatever the hell it was he was trying to say.

"You still haven't answered me," he finally said instead, reopening his eyes.

"Which question?" she asked, raising her brow.

"Damnit Kag—"

"—Yes."

"Yes what?" he asked, swallowing hard.

"Yes, I'd want to see you again. I'd want to spend the whole fucking break with you...because I won't have someone new by then, Yash. Moving on from you...you make it sound easier than it will be," she confessed. "I won't want someone new. Not by then. Not for a long time. If I weren't leaving, I wouldn't even end this," she finally confessed.

There. It was out there.

He knew where she stood.

It was all on him now.

"Kagome," he breathed, turning to face her and cupping her cheeks, pulling her closer to him as he tilted her face up and crashed his lips into hers.

She still wanted him. All he had to do was ask, but he didn't want to right now. He just wanted to feel and taste and love and bask in this warmth. He poured all of his emotions into the kiss he was sharing with her, moving his lips hungrily over hers. Tasting her. Consuming her. Devouring her.

He moaned as she gave back to him everything he was giving to her, making him feel like he had just conquered the whole fucking world.

She wanted him.

The joy and elation that he felt in his chest made it feel like it was going to explode. He felt like his heart was going to pound straight out of his body.

He finally pulled away when he needed air, and he leaned back down to press a chaste kiss to her swollen lips. He felt her lean back up and press another to him and he grinned, panting. Finally, he leaned forward and placed one more lingering kiss to her lips before completely pulling away.

She reached up and cupped his cheek, using her thumb to brush the tender skin under his eye.

He looked down at her digit and noticed that it was shining in the rainbowed light around them.

Tears.

He hadn't realized he had been crying.

He roughly wiped his eyes and cheeks with the back of his hand and she reached out, grabbing his hand.

"Inuyasha—"

"—Thanks for joining us tonight, folks," the completely tone deaf Ferris Wheel worker cheerfully said, removing the bar keeping them in their seat. For the first time, they finally realized that the ride was over. "You have a great night, now!"

"Yeah...thanks, man. You too," Inuyasha grumbled, silently cursing him and standing up.

The magic was gone.

The moment was over.

"Yash, wait," Kagome said, standing up and following him. She wasn't going to let this just...just die. They were going to fucking finish this.

"I'm not going anywhere, Darlin'," he replied softly.

"Good. Then let's finish this conversation."

"Yashie?" she heard a woman call out, and she watched his whole body stiffen before he turned around.

"Ki-Kikyo?"


A/N:

Took forever….but we did it! I'm going to stop saying when next chapters will be up because life clearly happens. Hell, I'm behind in A Heart's Abduction right now because I have to re-write a whole chapter. The best way to follow along for updates / news about stories and posting dates is honestly my tumblr. I'm insanely active there now, it's easier to get the word out, and I even currently have a tumblr exclusive story called One Last Ride inspired by artwork by the lovely Clearwillow.

If you read it, bring tissues and wine. I've been told you'll need it.

Didn't get to A/Rs because despite quarantine / social distancing / whatever the hell ya wanna call this…I just haven't found the time. Just know that they are appreciated and I will get to them!

And thank you for not giving up on us / this story! Saucy in particular has been having a real time lately.