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The Tell

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The Tell

The Tell Commissioned Artwork by Clearwillow

“Come on, guys,” Kagome cajoled her friends, “we’ve been stuck in this village now for two days. I know you’re all looking for something different to do.” She directed her comment to the whole group, but her main focus was on Inuyasha, who harrumphed and turned away from her, his hands tucked into his haori sleeves.

They had been stuck in the village for two days. The rain was ceaselessly pounding away on the roof of the inn; when the storm hit, the girls had just convinced Inuyasha to stay the night, and they got into their room just in time. Since then, it had rained nonstop, and there was no way in hell Kagome was going to go back out onto the road.

But, since she was the one who insisted they stay at the inn until the storm passed, she was also the one who was largely responsible for entertaining them. This was getting...challenging. She had already read Shippo every fairy tale in her fairy tale book three times, and he was now coloring on the backs of the drawing papers she had brought. She, Sango, and Miroku had played Janken several times over the past few hours, and they’d integrated all kinds of details into the game: for example, Kagome had suggested that the winner could do “Truth or Dare,” but Miroku only wanted to ask Sango to kiss him, and Sango only wanted Kagome to dare her to hit Miroku. 

So yeah, that game was a wash. Then, Kagome had an idea.

She brought out a deck of cards.

She started simply, with War, then Crazy Eights, and then Gin, and then Gin Rummy. The others were intrigued by all the games she knew with the cards--even Inuyasha, who couldn’t hide his interest this time. 

But Kagome had been purposely building up their skills to get them ready for the one game she was most excited for: poker.

More specifically, Texas Hold ‘Em.

Kagome was obsessed with the game. Over the years, when she returned home to the modern era, she found herself developing a very bad case of insomnia. In short, she wasn’t used to sleeping alone anymore: she missed everyone, sure, but she really missed Inuyasha. Even if all he was doing was sleeping in a tree above her--she missed his eyes watching her in the dark, she missed the feel of his youki, close and comforting. But most of all, she just missed him.

Alone in her own bed in her own era, she often found herself unable to sleep, unable to do anything but lie awake and think about Inuyasha. She should have been thinking about college entrance exams, and passing math, and graduating. But instead, her mind was full of his beautiful, long, silky silver hair; the soft, downy puppy ears she loved to massage (on the rare occasions he let her); the feel of him pressed up against her body when she rode on his back; the jolt of electricity that shot through her whenever he offered her a rare, fanged smile. But she knew these thoughts were futile; he would never think of her in the same way--she was his friend, yes, but that was as far as it would go. 

Kagome knew this.

So, she would beat herself up for being unable to think about anything but him, when she knew the last thing he was doing in Sengoku Jidai was thinking about her. Instead, to help calm her mind, she found the glory of late-night television. And it was there that she discovered the world of Texas Hold ‘Em.

And what a world it was! She quickly learned that poker was an exercise in patience, in acting, and above all, in psychology. She became obsessed with watching the players place their bets, decide whether or not to call, raise, or fold, and how the cards on the flop, the turn, and the river could drive people to make irrational decisions. Kagome found that she liked trying to read the players, to try and guess their moves, and she was delighted that, over time, she became skilled at predicting players’ moves.

The only problem was that she didn’t have anyone to play with.

Her mother and grandfather had no interest, and Souta was too young. Her girlfriends thought card games were silly, and Hojo...Hojo was just one person. She needed at least two; three would be better.

And in Sengoku Jidai, Kagome had a perfect group for poker--and they were the people she really wanted to play with, anyway. She couldn’t wait to see Miroku’s eyes gleam with the prospects of winning; she couldn’t wait to see Sango take him for everything he was worth. But most of all, she couldn’t wait to see Inuyasha, one fang poking below his lip, golden eyes serious, as he contemplated his hand. 

She saved her money to buy chips, and carefully created a cheat sheet. Because more than anything, she wanted to share something she loved, with the people she loved, almost the most, in the whole world. She wanted them to enjoy it as much as she did.

And now, in this moment, in the safety of the inn, with the rain coming down steadily outside, Kagome knew. It was time, and she was just about dying from the anticipation of the first flop. 

“How about a new game?” she asked slowly, taking the cards from Miroku and shuffling them. 

“Keh,” said Inuyasha, “how many games would you have us play, wench?”

“This one is a little different,” Kagome said, ignoring the grumpy hanyou. “There are stakes.”

“Stakes?” Sango looked suspicious. 

“Like, we bet,” Kagome said. She reached into her bag and pulled out something she’d bought the last time she was in her era. It was a long, narrow box fastened with clips on either side. She set it on the tatami and opened it. “With these,” she added, “poker chips.”

Miroku, Sango, and Inuyasha peered into the box. “What do you do with those, Kagome-sama?” Miroku asked.

“We’re going to use these to bet,” Kagome explained. “But first, I need something from each of you to exchange for some chips.”

“Something?” asked Sango faintly.

“Something that you own, that you would be willing to part with, that you would exchange for chips,” Kagome said. “If you have money, we can use that. That’s what players use in my world. We trade money for chips, and then when we’re done playing, we trade in the chips we’ve earned to see how much money we get back. Hopefully it’s more than what we put in, but it’s usually less. Here, I’m thinking we can use other things.”

“Like what?” Miroku asked.

Kagome reached into her bag. “Like these.” She pulled out four cups of ramen and placed them in the middle of the tatami. She didn’t miss Inuyasha’s ears perk up at the sight of his favorite food. “These will do just fine.” She carefully counted out the right amount of chips, then grinned at her friends. “Come on!” she said enthusiastically, “What do you have to exchange?”

Sango reached into her obi and withdrew several nioidama. “Will these do?” she asked, setting them beside the ramen cups. 

Kagome nodded. “You bet,” she said, and counted out the right number of chips for Sango. “Make sure that you stack them according to type,” she said. “That will be helpful.”

Sango nodded, and started stacking her chips, her face serious.

Kagome grinned. She knew she could trust that Sango would come to play.

“Here,” Miroku said, drawing several sutras from his robes. “Will these do?”

“Perfect!” Kagome exclaimed, counting out money for him, too. She turned to Inuyasha. “How about you, Inuyasha?” she asked.

“I ain’t got nothin’ to trade, wench,” Inuyasha scoffed. “So count me out.”

Kagome thought quickly. She really wanted to play with Inuyasha. No, that wasn’t quite right: she had been dying to play with Inuyasha. She couldn’t wait to see how he engaged in a game of real strategy. A game where he had to think with his head, and not with his...sword. She tried not to blush at her own double entendre. Kagome took a deep breath.

“How about food?” she challenged him. “You promise to bring the winner food for meals for two days.”

“That seems fair, Inuyasha,” Miroku said.

“And whatever’s around,” Kagome added quickly. “So it wouldn’t be, like, oh I want boar, Inuyasha, go find me a boar.”

Inuyasha snorted. “Fine,” he said. “Give me some of those chip things.”

Kagome smiled to herself, counting out the right amount of chips for Inuyasha, too. 

“Can I play too, Kagome?” Shippo asked.

Kagome shook her head. “It’s a pretty complicated game, Shippo,” Kagome said. “But if you want to sit with me, I can show you how to play.”

“You’re letting Inuyasha play,” Shippo pointed out.

“Oi, runt!” Inuyasha shouted. 

“Inuyasha,” said Kagome calmly, “stack your chips.”

Inuyasha grumbled, but put his chips into nice stacks, while Shippo grabbed his crayons and paper, and settled himself next to Kagome.

Kagome took the cards and shuffled them. She dealt everyone two cards. “You can look at your cards,” she said, “but don’t show them to anyone.” She turned to Sango. “Will you ante?” she asked Sango. “Take a 10 piece, and put it in the middle.”

Sango nodded and plucked a 10 chip from her pile and dropped into the center of the group. 

“Thanks, Sango,” Kagome said. She looked at the group. “Remember how we played gin, and the different types of hands you can have?” Everyone nodded. “So those rules will apply here. What you do is look at the cards in your hand, and try to imagine what possible hands you could have. And then there’s a round of betting, where you can call the ante, which means to put down the same amount of money. You can also raise, which means add money to the pot, or you can fold, which means you give up your hand and you don’t have to put into the pot for that round. If anyone raises, we have to keep going around until the pot is set--until everyone has had the chance to bet on the current amount in the pot. 

“Then, I’ll deal what’s called the flop. That’s three cards. Then there’s a round of betting. Then I’ll deal one more card, which is called the turn. There’s another round of betting, and then we get the last card, which is called the river. Then there’s one more round of betting, and whoever’s left at that point turns over their cards. The winner takes the chips.” She looked around. “We’ll do a few rounds so you get the hang of it. Any questions?” 

“Yeah,” Inuyasha said. “Why are there so many fucking rules?”

Kagome rolled her eyes, but quickly recovered and smiled at him indulgently. “It’s easy once you get the hang of it,” she said. “Trust me, okay?”

The sincerity in her blue eyes made his mouth freeze half-open. How could he be snarky when she looked so honest, and so fucking beautiful?

He let out a “keh” and snapped his head around, one eye keeping a close watch on the group.

“Right,” Kagome said. “Since Sango-chan set the ante, Miroku-sama, you’ll have the first chance to call. We’ll go around. And here.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a list of possible hands in poker, ranked from lowest to highest. “If you need to see where your hand might rank, use this.” She dropped it into the middle of the group. “And now,” Kagome added, her smile slow and sleek, “let’s play.”

Kagome led the group through a few rounds of Hold ‘Em first, carefully taking the time to explain each hand and possible move. She was incredibly patient, giving them time to analyze the cheat sheet as much as they needed, and answering their questions in great detail. They played a few rounds like this, the group showing Kagome their hands, and Kagome walking them through the different options available, based on the community cards that were dealt. They used the cheat sheet to see who would win each round, and once it seemed like they were ready, Kagome announced that they would be playing, for real. 

“Inuyasha,” Kagome said, her eyes glinting, “you ante.”

Inuyasha grumbled and tossed a 10 piece into the center. Kagome looked down at her cards: a jack of hearts and a queen of clubs. High pairs, or potentially a straight.

“I’ll raise,” she said confidently, “another 10.” And she tossed another 10 chip into the middle.

Sango groaned. “Fold,” she said, tossing her cards down.

Miroku looked at his cards, “I’ll call that,” he said, tossing in two 10 chips.

Inuyasha looked back at his cards, then at the pile. His face was impassive. “I’ll call,” he said, tossing another 10 chip into the middle. His ears twitched once, adorably, Kagome thought. It was like a slow, delicate ripple from top to bottom; Kagome could see them quake as they moved. She longed to run her fingers over them and relax them, then blushed at the thought. She saw Inuyasha’s nose turn slightly towards her, and blushed even more.

How did he do that? How did he know exactly what she was thinking? Did he know that her thoughts were about him, always him, only him? And his beautiful, downy ears?

She hoped not.

“Okay,” she choked out, “here’s the flop.” And she dealt out a king of hearts (great), a nine of diamonds (maybe!), and a seven of spades. She glanced at Inuyasha, who was looking from his cards to the flop, back and forth, several times. 

Finally, his ears twitched again, once. “Twenty,” he said, tossing in two chips.

Miroku looked down at his cards. “I’ll call,” he said, adding two more chips.

Kagome looked at her cards. Why the hell not?

“Call,” she said, adding chips. She then dealt the turn card. An ace of hearts. 

Oh, what to do?

“Another twenty,” grunted Inuyasha, his ears twitching once again.

“Ugh,” Miroku said, “I think I’m out.” And he threw his cards on the tatami in disgust.

Kagome eyed Inuyasha. His ears twitched at her again, once. He offered her a fanged grin. “Come on, wench,” he said, impatiently. “What’re you gonna do?”

Fuck it.

“Call,” she said, tossing her chips in, and turned the river card. A king of clubs. She had a pair of kings with an ace kicker. Not too shabby. Surely she’d be able to beat whatever Inuyasha had.

“A hundred,” he said, throwing in two fifty chips, his ears twitching once again. 

A hundred?

“It’s yours, Inuyasha,” Kagome said, throwing down her cards. “But, I wanna know what you had.”

Inuyasha barked out a laugh and threw down his own cards. “Nothing,” he crowed. “I’ve got nothing.”

Kagome looked at his cards and made an insane sound of disgust. He had a six of diamonds and a four of spades. “You really did have nothing!” she exclaimed. “Dammit!”

Inuyasha was laughing so hard, he was actually wiping his eyes. “Watch and learn, wench,” he said through his cackles. “I’ve got this game down pat.”

Kagome’s eyes narrowed. Oh, this was war.

As the rain continued to pour outside, the game of poker got more and more heated. Kagome and Inuyasha in particular went back and forth, their barbs biting almost as badly as their cards. Miroku tended to follow the flow of the hands; mostly calling, occasionally raising, and sometimes winning. Sango found her strength in gambling erratically, not letting anyone get a read on her bets. Sometimes she would bet high, trying to drive others out; sometimes she would just call or raise, trying to suss out what others were doing. She had an impassive countenance, too, making it tough for Kagome to detect any tells.

And then...there was Inuyasha. He seemed to be delighting especially in beating her, hand after hand. If she raised, he would raise even more. If she called, he’d try to push her to raise. And he did it all with a snarky grin, one fang poking out, his golden eyes twinkling and endlessly amused.

She wanted to take that fang and poke it right back into his face. something else with it. Something that made her feel warm and tingly in parts of her body she would have preferred to not feel warm and tingly. Right? 

She should not feel warm and tingly when it came to Inuyasha, should she?

But then, during one particularly tough hand, Kagome saw something that stood out to her.

Inuyasha’s ears.

Oh, gods, why hadn’t she seen it before?

Kagome had dealt herself a pair of tens. Not a wonderful hand, but definitely worth seeing the flop. Sango put up the ante, Miroku and Inuyasha both called, and Kagome, the last one to go, raised. Sango folded; Miroku called; Inuyasha looked at her, and tossed some chips into the pot. 

His ears twitched. Once.

She had seen that happen the entire night. Now, when did she see it happen?

The first hand. When he had garbage.

And, at least three hands after that.

Inuyasha had a tell.

Kagome dealt the flop, trying desperately not to cackle in her delight. She could beat him! She could totally and completely beat him!

The flop was a six of clubs, another ten, and a queen of spades. Kagome had three-of-a-kind. She wasn’t going to back out now. 

Maybe, just maybe, she could push him a little bit.

“Call,” said Miroku, up next since Sango had folded. 

Inuyasha’s ears twitched once. “Raise,” he said, adding three chips to the pot.

Kagome tried really hard not to smirk and keep her face neutral. “I’ll raise that,” she said, throwing another three chips in.

“I’m out,” said Miroku, tossing his cards.

“Call,” said Inuyasha smoothly. One ear twitch.

The turn card was another queen. Kagome now had a full house. The only thing she had to hope for was that Inuyasha didn’t also have a full house with a queen (or a pair of queens) in his hand.

He looked at her casually. “Raise,” he said, his ears twitching once.


“Call,” she said.

The river card was a four of clubs--unhelpful.

“Raise,” said Inuyasha again. His ears twitched once yet again.

Kagome took a deep breath. She just had to be right about this.

“Call,” she said, “and let’s see what you’ve got, dog boy.”

Inuyasha threw down his cards. “Jack and shit,” he said, looking at her triumphantly.

Okay, so he did have a jack (of hearts), but still...

“Full house!” she crowed, throwing her cards down and happily soaking up all the chips.

Inuyasha stared at her, dumbfounded. “How the fuck?” he muttered.

Kagome’s face was shining with glee. “Sorry, sorry,” she apologized, not sounding the least bit sorry. Inside, she was glowing. She’d found his tell!

Oh. This was going to be fun.

Kagome continued to deal until late in the night; the pot leader changed hands several times, but what became very clear was that Kagome was taking Inuyasha to the cleaners, so to speak. He couldn’t seem to hold onto any of his chips, and it seemed very much like Kagome was just toying with him at this point, as though he were the dog and she were the one dangling the bone in front of his nose. She would allow him to win a hand, only to wipe him out almost completely the next. Sometimes, he was so sure he had her, and then she would casually throw down some insane combination of cards, mumble something about luck, and then slip her hands around the coins and add them to her slowly (but steadily) growing stack.

She knew that she was provoking him with every hand, but she didn’t care. She could practically see the smoke coming out of his ears; she could feel the heat coming from his glare as his amber eyes burned fire at her. 

Truth be told, Kagome loved being able to get a rise out of him, and the fact that she was soundly kicking his ass at a card game made it that much sweeter.

What it came down to, though, was that Kagome hadn’t just discovered one tell from Inuyasha. She had discovered two.

The second one she happened upon quite by accident. She had a pair of jacks between her hand and the flop, which yielded a ten of diamonds, a jack of diamonds, and an ace of spades. When she called, Inuyasha called very casually. But she saw his ears, which she’d been keeping a close eye on all night; this time, instead of twitching once, they twitched twice. 

Aha, she thought. Let’s see what this tell is.

He was playing conservatively, only calling, but also calling someone else’s raise. He wasn’t pushing the pot on this hand. Instead, he was allowing everyone else to drive up the amount. But each time he called, his ears twitched twice, betraying his (surprising, for him) calm countenance. 

He has something, Kagome thought.

When the turn card was a seven of hearts, and Inuyasha continued to leisurely call, his ears still twitching two times, Kagome folded. He shot her a nasty glare, but she returned it coolly. She wanted to see if she was right.

Sango folded too, and only Miroku was left. The river card was a king of diamonds; Miroku called, so did Inuyasha (his ears still twitching twice), and then they showed their hands.

Miroku had a pair of aces. Inuyasha had a flush.

Damn, Kagome thought as Inuyasha barked with laughter and teased the monk. I think that’s...two tells? 

But like before, she kept that secret to herself.

“Okay, Kagome-sama,” Miroku said, “I think I’m done for the night.”

“Me too,” added Sango, offering a yawn. Kagome looked down at her side; Shippo was sleeping, his face buried in crayons and coloring paper.

“Okay,” she said softly, not wanting to wake the kitsune. “Let’s count up and see who has the most chips.The winner gets the spoils!”

As they all counted up their chips, it became obvious that Kagome was the clear winner; Sango and Miroku had each broken about even, while Inuyasha was left with almost nothing. He scowled and turned his back to the group.

“So much for you having this game down pat, eh, Inuaysha?” giggled Kagome, putting the chips away and giving Miroku and Sango back their belongings.

“You won these fair and square, Kagome-sama,” protested Miroku.

“Keh,” Kagome replied, in a perfect imitation of Inuyasha. “You know how to use them better than I do. I’d rather you keep them.

“But, Inuyasha,” she added, her blue eyes sparkling like sapphires as she turned to the hanyou, He turned his head slightly; he could see her eyes glitter. “I want boar for breakfast tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

Youkai rarely sleep. They don’t need much sleep to begin with, and besides, they prefer to stay awake, guarding their territory against attackers. So even though Inuyasha and his friends were at an inn, and (theoretically) out of harm’s way, he still decided that he wouldn’t sleep--he would stand guard over the group and make sure they were all safe. 

Inuyasha frowned as he leaned back against the wall of the room, resting his head gently. It had been an interesting evening, that’s for sure. At first, he convinced himself that Kagome’s idea to play poker was boring, and stupid; why would he want to play something like that, another dumb card game? He had only played the other games because she turned those big blue eyes on him; when she did that, he couldn’t fucking resist. 

But, he also had to admit: he was intrigued when she said they would be betting on each hand, and secretly? He had really wanted to participate, no matter what he said in the heat of the moment. He liked the idea of placing bets, especially when it meant betting against the rest of the group. He’d never gambled before, per se, but he’d seen it plenty of times, in the different towns he’d been through over the years. Honestly, he didn’t think Kagome would know about something so...scandalous...but it also...intrigued him? 

What other scandalous things might she know more about?

He tried to push that thought down into the recesses of his mind, but it lingered, like her scent on his skin after he carried her for a period of time on his back.

Not that he disliked how she smelled. No matter what he told her.

The truth was, the wench had been...different...around him lately. He didn’t quite get it. She blushed a lot, picked fights with him, but also went out of her way to touch him? It was really confusing. He wasn’t sure why she was behaving the way that she was, but he knew it was bringing up all sorts of...feelings...that he wasn’t quite sure how to deal with.

So...yeah. Cards, and in particular, this “Texas Hold ‘Em” game, seemed like a good distraction. For both of them.

And while he gave Kagome a pretty hard time about the whole thing, he really didn’t think the game was that hard, and he really didn’t think it would be so bad to play. 

Especially when he started winning, and he saw how Kagome’s nose scrunched up adorably in anger, and how her face was turning an interesting shade of purple with every stack of chips he collected.

Fuck. He loved that he was able to beat her at something. He loved watching her sputter and grunt and groan and shift around in her seat. He loved feeling more powerful than her, even if just for a moment--even if just in a game. 

Because he never felt like he had power over her. Quite the opposite, actually.

He would never admit it, but she was the one who had complete and total power over him.

Power that went beyond the kotodama. 


When she was happy, he wanted to laugh aloud; he wanted to tease her, and play with her, and do whatever he could to keep that luminous smile on her face. When she was sad, he wanted to fucking tear down everything around him in frustration as he sought to find some way to ease her tears. And when he carried her on his back, and she squeezed him with her thighs and pressed her breasts against his back...

Yeah. He needed this. The power and the distraction.

For a while, he had been accumulating a pretty steady collection of chips, and relishing how that was impacting the silently fuming miko. But suddenly, in a move that took Inuyasha completely by surprise, Kagome started winning, and didn’t stop.

Inuyasha couldn’t figure it out. He couldn’t see what she was doing differently--what he was doing differently. Instead, he could only see that now she was winning, and he was losing. He could see her blue eyes dancing with delight, he could practically feel her reiki humming under her skin, she was so fucking happy. And part of him was absolutely fucking raging over her winning, but another part? 

Another part of him was calm, and cool, and even fucking enjoyed her glee. Because she was happy. And fuck, if he didn’t love to be the one who made her happy.

Inuyasha paused, his eyes narrowing in on Kagome’s sleeping form. He could hear the gentle thrum of her heartbeat; he could hear her deep and even breathing. He could scent her calmness and her ease.

She was asleep. 

He breathed a sigh of relief, wondering how he would ever be able to tell her that. That he loved to make her happy.

And even, maybe, that he loved her.

Yes, he thought, settling back more deeply against the wall and nestling the Tetsusaiga tightly in his lap, let her win as many fucking games as she wants. 

So long as she’s happy.

Kagome did not get her boar for breakfast.

The rain eased up the next morning, and the group was finally able to continue on their way. However, being in a village meant a simple breakfast of rice and miso soup at the inn. When Inuyasha promised her that he would hunt her a boar when they were on the road, Kagome blushed at the fact that a) she had even asked him to do so in the first place, and b) that he remembered. The thought left her quiet and contemplating his promise, wondering how she should possibly respond.

As they left the village and continued on their way, Inuyasha and Kagome were strangely silent; Miroku and Shippo kept up a steady stream of chatter as they walked, but Inuyasha and Kagome remained at opposite ends of the group. Inuyasha took the lead, arms crossed and hands tucked away in his haori, while Kagome walked near the back with Sango, talking softly, each of them with one hand on Kirara, who walked gamely beside them. 

Sango noticed Kagome and Inuyasha’s mopiness, especially towards each other, that morning, and frowned. The game had been fun the night before, even though her friends had spent most of it sniping at each other. She saw Kagome casting little glances in the hanyou’s direction, and almost as though he could detect her gaze, Inuyasha’s ears kept twitching back towards her. Kagome’s face was a mixture of emotions, shifting from pensive, to angry, to something that caused her face to flush to the point where she’d have to turn away from Sango.

For her part, Kagome did have a lot of thoughts running through her head after the previous night’s poker game. She was brimming with excitement over her realization that Inuyasha had not just one, but two, tells, and she was trying to figure out how she could possibly use this knowledge to her advantage. Could she get him to play with her again? If they gambled, what would be at stake?

The possibilities that passed through her head made her blush.  She didn’t even know if she would be able to convince him to play, let alone to agree to bet. Kagome knew: he would protest, and tell her he had nothing of value to wager. 

But Kagome knew differently.

She knew that he had the most valuable thing of all. 

That he was the most valuable thing of all. 

How could she get him to see this?

Kagome wanted desperately to make a particular suggestion to him, but she was nervous about coming across as too daring. She was scared of how he might respond. And quite frankly, she was also scared of the fact that he might respond in exactly the way that she wanted.

She frowned. Everything she was thinking—everything she wanted to do—was all riding on the belief that she could even get him to play again. She’d wiped the table with him pretty well; Kagome knew that he would give her a hard time if she broached the possibility of another round to him. She knew Inuyasha as well as she knew herself: he wouldn’t want to feel humiliated or embarrassed, and she didn’t want him to feel that way, either. 

She just wanted him.

Her brow furrowed as she stroked Kirara’s soft fur, still lost in her thoughts. 

How could she convince Inuyasha to play poker with her again? 

“Kagome-chan,” Sango said suddenly, drawing Kagome out of her reverie, “we’re getting close to my village. I think that I’d like to take a day and visit. The hiraikotsu could use some work, and I’d like to check the warehouses. Those nioidama I put in the pot last night were the only ones I have left. I want to build my stores back up, as it might be awhile before we’re back this way again.”

Kagome nodded. “That sounds fine, Sango-chan,” Kagome replied. “Should we ask Inuyasha if we can stop there for the night?”

“If that’s okay,” Sango said slowly. Kagome understood Sango’s hesitation. They’d already stopped at an inn for two days. Inuyasha liked to be on the road, hunting jewel shards. But if Sango needed to stop, then they would stop, Inuyasha’s opinion be damned.

“I’ll talk to him,” Kagome promised, and jogged ahead so that she was eventually walking alongside the sullen hanyou. “Inuyasha?” Kagome said, smiling up at him.

“What do you want, wench?” Inuyasha couldn’t quite figure out why he was in such a foul mood, but he knew it must have had something to do with Kagome. Her lavender and vanilla scent was filling his nose again, making it hard for him to concentrate. He let out a tiny growl.

“Sango’s village is nearby,” Kagome said, “and she’d like to stop to check the warehouse and to care for the hiraikotsu.”

“Keh,” he retorted, irritated that she was affecting him this much. “We just stopped for two days.”

“I think she just means it to be for tonight, Inuyasha,” Kagome insisted. “Why don’t we let her stop? It’s been awhile since she’s been able to visit her home.”

Inuyasha turned and looked at Kagome for the first time that morning. Her blue eyes reflected the sun, making them seem deeper and shinier than he’d ever seen them. Her face was upturned and pleading. He felt a strange rush of...something...flood through him at the sight of her. He growled and whipped his head away, willing whatever that was within in him to back the fuck up.

“Fine,” he said. “But one night, and that’s it. We’ve been dawdling too much as it is.”

Kagome beamed. “Thank you, Inuyasha,” she smiled, and reached up to kiss him on the cheek. They both paused; Kagome was horrified that she had done that--something she’d always wanted to do, sure, but she’d hoped to do it with more conscious thought, and with him as a willing and eager recipient. Instead, he’d done something nice, she wanted to thank him, so she acted in the moment, purely on instinct. And now, she was embarrassed.

For his part, Inuyasha turned bright red and turned his face away from hers. He--he couldn’t believe she’d done that! He wanted to growl at her, yell at her, do...something...but he couldn’t. Truth be told, it had happened so fast, and again, if he was being honest, he...

He liked it.

“Um,” said Kagome in a small voice. Inuyasha turned back and saw her blushing. “I’m gonna go back and tell Sango the good news, okay?” He grunted as she practically ran away from him, the pads of his fingers tracing the spot on his cheek where she had kissed him.

Sango was right; the taijiya village was only a few hours’ walk from where they were, and they would be able to have yet another night with a roof over their heads. Kagome was grateful; she didn’t mind sleeping on the ground under the stars most nights, but to have three nights in a row with a roof over her head? Where she didn’t have to worry about bugs, or the threat of rain?

She would take that, every day of the week.

When they arrived, Sango busied herself in the warehouse, looking for new nioidama and other items she might be able to use. The hiraikotsu had also suffered a small crack in their most recent battle with a lizard youkai, and she wanted to take some time and clean that up, too. Miroku decided to refresh the graves at the village, and Kagome helped him. Meanwhile, Inuyasha inspected the fencing that surrounded the village, and Shippo helped Inuyasha mark the spots in the fence that needed repair. Inuyasha, Shippo, and Kirara then went into the forest to collect wood; when they returned, Inuyasha tucked up his haori and kosode sleeves and got to work, chopping and refining the wood so that he could fit it into the places on the fence that needed repair.

Kagome looked up from her work caring for the gravesite to see Inuyasha’s arms, bare and glistening in the summer sun, his forearm muscles tensing and releasing as he used the axe to chop the wood. Her breath hitched; she loved to watch him do manual labor. His body was so strong, so lithe, and he so often used it to kick the crap out of demons, that she actually enjoyed watching him do this kind of work instead. It made him seem…well, Kagome wasn’t sure. She knew that watching him like this made her face flush and made her picture those arms and those hands doing all sorts of things to her. But it was more than that. It made him seem like a provider, like someone outfitted to take care of others.

To take care of her.

Inuyasha looked up from chopping the wood to see Kagome staring at him, and his heart stopped.

Was she…was she?

No. He put that thought quickly out of his head.

“Oi, Kagome,” he called instead, “what’s the phrase you always use? Why don’t ya take a picture?”

Her dreamy look shifted to a scowl. “Whatever, dog boy,” she muttered, but he heard her. And he couldn’t help but let out a rich bark of laughter.

Kagome watched him laugh, her face beet red, her arms crossed.

Oh. She was going to get him good. And she knew exactly how. 

Chapter Text

While the taijiya village was a little creepy to Kagome (it being basically empty with its only inhabitants in graves), one thing she definitely appreciated was the fact that there were plenty of spare huts, and they all got a place to sleep by themselves. Shippo elected to sleep with Kirara; Sango chose a hut far away from Miroku. Kagome picked a hut on the edge of the village, where she could spread out her sleeping bag and get some rest, far from the group. She wanted a little extra quiet, and she knew that Inuyasha would be outside somewhere, watching over her, as always.

But once she laid down in her sleeping bag, Kagome found that she couldn’t relax. She had grown so accustomed to the energies of her friends around her that she couldn’t sleep alone anymore, no matter how much she craved a little solitude after being cooped up with them at the inn for two days. In particular, she found herself missing Inuyasha’s presence.

Kagome growled and pulled the sleeping bag up over her head. She should have been prepared for this; when she was home, without him, she missed him so much she turned to late-night television and poker to distract her from his absence. But even here, when he was just outside the doorway, she still couldn’t handle it; she still needed him by her side. She gave one little, pathetic, sniffle, and instantly she heard the mat in the doorway rustle.

“Kagome?” It was Inuyasha. “Are ya all right?”

Kagome peeked out from her sleeping bag. “I’m fine,” she said softly. “I was just—” she didn’t know how to tell him that she missed him.

Inuyasha scowled. “Come on, wench,” he said gruffly, “I’ll keep ya company for a bit.”

“I can’t see in the dark, you know,” she huffed. She thought that she heard him chuckle softly.

“I’ll get some wood from outside,” he offered. “There’s a space in here for a fire. Hold on.”

Kagome watched his silhouette as he got up and left the hut, the tatami mat slapping the sides of the doorframe as he shoved it aside. She sat up, impossibly nervous, and also, impossibly excited.

Could she do it? What she had planned?

A slow smile crossed her face as she reached into her bag and pulled out the deck of cards.

When Inuyasha returned, he found Kagome had situated herself next to the fire pit, knees drawn up, arms circling her legs. She smiled at him; even though it was difficult for her to see in the dark, she knew he would appreciate the gesture. In a few short minutes he had the fire going, and now she could take him in fully: gleaming gold eyes, shining silver hair, and handsome, slightly sour, face.

“So,” Inuyasha said slowly, his eyes glinting in the firelight, “having a hard time sleeping without me, eh, wench?”

Kagome laughed. “Something like that,” she said offhandedly. She pulled out the deck of cards from where she’d hidden it behind her and held it up. “Want to pass the time with me?”

“That game we played last night?” he asked. She nodded. Inuyasha paused to consider: she had beat his ass pretty soundly the night before. Did he really want to run the risk of her beating him again?

“What’s the matter, Inuyasha?” Her voice was silk threads pulling him back to reality. He looked up at her; her sapphire eyes held him steady. “Afraid to play against me again? Do you think I’ll beat you for a second time?”

Inuyasha let out a little growl. “Not a chance, wench,” he said. “Deal.”

“Hold on, dog boy,” Kagome retorted. “We need something to wager.”

“I’ll hunt for you,” he said quickly. “And this time I’ll get you that boar.”

Kagome smirked; she couldn’t help it. “I’m not interested in boar, Inuyasha,” she replied, shuffling the deck slowly. She placed it on the ground in front of him. “Cut,” she ordered. He carefully picked up half the deck with his claws and set it down. She accepted the cut deck and prepared to deal.

“Then what do you want, ‘Gome?” he asked her, growing impatient.

“How about...uh...” she took a deep breath; the tension in the air hung impossibly thick.


His head snapped up. “What?”

Her eyes were now shimmery blue and fierce. “It’s called strip poker, Inuyasha,” she said, way more leisurely than she felt, dealing out the cards and praying he couldn’t scent her nervousness. “Winner keeps their clothes. Loser has to take them off.”

Inuyasha felt his face grow heated. “Kagome, we can’t possibly…?”

“Why?” she asked, her voice that silky tone again that made his youki chafe. “You’ve seen all of me; I’ve seen all of you.”

It was true. They had.

“We have nothing to wager. It’s just a friendly game,” she continued, reaching for her cards. Her eyes narrowed. “Afraid I’ll have you naked while I’m still fully clothed? Are you scared of losing your clothes to a human?”

He growled and grabbed his cards. “Bring it, wench,” he grumbled.

Kagome silently gloated and found herself growing flush with embarrassment and excitement, and each for the same reason.

Oh, damn.

She realized: she couldn’t wait to get him naked. 

Inuyasha looked at his cards; his ears twitched once. “So,” he asked, trying to be casual, “how are we betting?”

“Oh,” Kagome said, just as casually, “one article of clothing per game, unless we decide we want to raise.”

“Fine by me,” he shot back.

Kagome looked at her hand. A nine and a ten of diamonds. Worth keeping.

“Do you want to stay in, Inuyasha?” she asked. Her eyes were glittering again. Fuck.

“I’ll call, yeah,” he said, putting everything he had into keeping his voice neutral.

“Okay,” she said, in a voice that made him instantly doubt this decision.

Kagome laid down the flop: a Jack of hearts, a seven of spades, and a six of diamonds. Lots of outs for her. She watched Inuyasha carefully. His ears twitched once again.

“I wanna raise,” he said. “You need to take off two things.”

Kagome laughed. “Okay,” she said. “I’ll call that.”

The next card was a queen of diamonds. A flush possibility now, too, thought Kagome.

“I’ll call this time,” Inuyasha said, his ears twitching once.

“Fine by me,” said Kagome, and dealt the river card.

It was a four of diamonds.


“Call,” Inuyasha said—choked out, really, Kagome thought.

“Great,” she replied, and turned her cards over.

Inuyasha looked at her cards. “You’ve got nothing, ‘Gome!” he exclaimed. He turned his cards over. “Neither do I, but I have an ace.” He smirked at her. “Two articles of clothing,” he commanded.

“Oh,” she answered him, “I don’t think so.” She put her cards down along the flop, and pulled out the three diamonds there. “I have a flush,” she told him. “Now, the fire rat, if you please.”

Inuyasha’s face paled. “I said two articles of clothing,” he protested. “It’s only fair.”

“Stop with your honor, Inuyasha,” she scoffed. “You’re only wearing like four things. I’ll take pity on you this time.”

His pale face became mottled with anger. “You don’t need to take pity on me, wench,” he hissed.

“Whatever,” Kagome replied lazily, collecting the cards. “Now, the haori, Inuyasha, if you please.”

Grumbling, Inuyasha removed his fire-rat and handed it to Kagome, who tossed it aside. “Ready for the next hand?” she asked glibly.

“Fucking just do it,” he grumbled, his hair blending with the white of his kosode in the firelight. It made Kagome’s breath catch, just for a moment, and Inuyasha glanced up at her, detecting a sudden change in her heartbeat.

Could she…?

But it was only a second, and then her heart rate continued as normal. Inuyasha pushed the thought out of his head as Kagome dealt the next hand.

This time, Kagome dealt herself a pair of eights.


She would play this one cool, see what he did.

“Let’s see the flop,” Inuyasha said, his ears twitching once.

Kagome pulled three cards from the top of the deck. “You got it,” she said, and slid the three cards across the dirt floor.

Another eight, a Jack of spades, and a seven of hearts.

She would have to be careful this time.

“Call,” Inuyasha said, his ears twitching once again. “Let’s see the next card.”

The turn was a six of diamonds. Kagome looked at him expectantly. Inuyasha’s ears twitching again—but just once.

“Call,” he said.

He doesn’t want to push it too far this time.

The river card was a queen of hearts.

“Show me your cards, ‘Gome,” Inuyasha said.

Kagome turned her cards over. “Three eights,” she said.

Inuyasha threw his cards down. “Fuck!” he cursed, and ripped off his kosode in his exasperation.

Kagome’s breath caught. The golden skin of his chest gleamed against the firelight, causing flickers of light and dark to dance across it. His chest rippled with muscles that Kagome found herself longing to run her fingers over—she wanted, more than anything, to feel the solid wall that was his chest pressed up against her. She eagerly followed the lines of his torso down, over his chiseled abs, and to the thin line of silver hair that was just peeking out of the top of his hakama.

Inuyasha paused. There was the quickening of her heartbeat again. And it was accompanied by a scent—spicy, like…the sansho peppercorns that Kagome’s mother sometimes used in her cooking. Why was Kagome’s scent shifting from its regular vanilla and lavender?


Holy fuck, Inuyasha realized with a start. She’s fucking aroused.

Could that be right?

He decided to test his theory.

Inuyasha rose and stretched languidly, allowing himself to preen a little as he turned. He watched her face closely in the firelight as it passed through a variety of emotions; he chuckled to himself as she struggled to bring her arousal under control.

“Should we keep playing, ‘Gome?” he asked her, settling back down across from her and leaning back so she could get a full view of his chest.

“What?” Kagome was now thoroughly distracted. Had he spoken? His beautiful, glistening chest was all she could see.

“Another hand, wench,” he grunted. “Let’s go.”

“O--okay,” she stammered, and dealt.

Inuyasha picked up his cards and barely looked at them. It didn’t matter what he held in his hand. The knowledge that he was turning her on like one of those fucking light bulbs in her bedroom at home was all he needed to win.

Kagome picked up her cards and studied them closely. Inuyasha kept turning from side to side, pushing his chest out and grinning at her. She rolled her eyes and tried not to pay attention, but her glances over in his direction told him everything. That, and the fact that the spiciness in her scent continued to escalate.

“Raise,” he said, his ears twitching once.

Kagome looked down at her cards, thinking hard. “You’re on, dog boy,” she said heatedly, and he grinned again at her and flexed his pectoral muscles. She scowled, making his grin grow even wider, and threw down three cards for the flop. They both peered over and looked at them interestedly. 

“Whaddya think, ‘Gome?” he asked. “I think I’m gonna raise again.”

“That’s three pieces of clothing, Inuyasha,” she pointed out. “You’re only wearing two.”

“Oh, I’m sure we can work something out,” he said, winking at her. Her face turned eight shades of red and she busied herself by looking down at her cards instead. His ears twitched twice.

What in the hells is he doing? she asked herself. 

Stay focused, Kagome. He’s trying to get to you.

“Fine,” she said, “three pieces of clothing. And you owe me if I win.”

“Fine,” he said. “The next card, wench.”

Kagome dealt the next card with a flourish. “Well, dog boy?” she snarked at him. “What’s your plan?”

He looked at the card lazily. “One more raise,” he said blandly, his ears twitching twice again.

He sounded so much like his brother in that moment Kagome wanted to scream. And then he offered her a fanged grin, another wink, and a flex of his pecs again. Kagome about died, and Inuyasha almost burst out laughing at the look on her face.

Like she either wanted to run away or have him for a snack. Probably both.

“Fine,” she said huffily. “What have ya got?”

He laughed. “Straight,” he said, throwing down his cards.

Fuck!” Kagome cursed, hurling her cards onto the ground. Inuyasha leaned over and peered at her hand.

“You’ve only got a pair of jacks,” he said, looking back up at her. “Why the fuck would you let me keep raising and call?”

“Because I thought you were bluffing, Inuyasha!” she yelled. She got up and began to pace the length of the hut, huffing and puffing as she tried to figure out how to get out of removing four pieces of clothing. Inuyasha sat and watched her, completely amused; he could tell she was trying to work out some kind of compromise in her head.

“No good, wench,” he said simply when she opened her mouth to speak. “You called every raise. Four pieces of clothing. NOW.”

Kagome grunted. Had she missed something? Did his ears twitch twice, instead of once? Had she just been too distracted by his gorgeous, golden, shiny, perfectly sculpted, sex god of a...

Kagome’s face suddenly set. “All right, Inuyasha,” she hissed, “you want me to remove four pieces of clothing? Great. Here we go.”

Inuyasha sat up, his ears twitching for real now, his golden eyes wide. Why did he feel like...he couldn’t wait to see this?

What the fuck was going on with him?

Kagome was standing before him, resplendent in the firelight. She leaned forward slowly, and removed one sock first, peeling it down the length of her calf and then over her heel. She slipped it down her foot, over her toes, then held up the sock, right in line with his face, before she threw it into the pile with his haori and kosode. 

“That’s one,” she said, a husky edge coming into her voice.

“One.” It was like he was possessed; was he panting? Oh, gods.

She then repeated the same process with her other sock; her hands slid down her body, and Inuyasha found himself watching them impossibly closely, as though they were his own hands, slipping over her knee, down her muscular calf...

And then the other sock was dangling in front of his face, just long enough for him to get a whiff of her sweet, vanilla scent, and then it was gone, tossed to the side with the rest of the clothing. He looked up at her, his eyes rich with want.

“Two,” she said.

“Two,” he answered, his voice dark and needy now.

Kagome’s hands then went to the hem of her shirt. “This...this is three,” she said in a shaky voice, and pulled her shirt over her head in one swift move. 

Inuyasha may have audibly whined at the sight of Kagome in her bra. It was a dusky rose, edged in a creamy lace, with a beautiful little bow in the middle. Her breasts were full, threatening to spill over the top, as she glared down at him, as though daring him to laugh, or...something. 

But he couldn’t have made a sound that wasn’t completely feral if he had tried. His eyes were taking all of her in--her creamy shoulders, her décolletage, her slightly rounded stomach that just peeked out from above her skirt. 

It hadn’t occurred to Inuyasha before (well, not in his conscious mind, at least), but Kagome was sexy.

And, she still had one more item of clothing to remove.

She ran her right hand down the length of her side; it came to rest at the little hook and zipper that held up her skirt. She looked at him expectantly; Inuyasha found that he couldn’t breathe. His anticipation was beyond anything he’d ever thought possible.

“This is four,” she breathed, and unhooked the skirt, sliding the zipper down and letting the last item of clothing fall to the floor. She stepped out of it delicately, then handed it to Inuyasha.

“You’re the winner,” she said in a voice that was slightly strangled. “Do you want to do the honors?”

He was so busy looking at her panties he didn’t even hear her. They matched her bra perfectly; dusky pink, lined with a creamy lace, and a little pink bow in the middle. He suddenly hated that bow and wanted to rip it from her panties--no, he wanted to rip her panties, right off her body. Her scent was intoxicating and cloying, and he wanted nothing more than to bury his face in her--

“Do you want to do the honors, Inuyasha?” repeated Kagome, and he looked up at her in shock. She was still holding out her skirt.

Inuyasha grunted, trying to clear his senses of her. “Sure,” he grumbled, taking the skirt from her hands. It felt light, and delicate, and much too thin for her to be wearing on what he now recognized as her incredible, delectable body. It was flush with her vanilla and lavender scent, as well as that sansho peppercorn scent--spicy and citrusy. He suddenly bit back a growl. 

Other men had seen her in this. 

Kouga had seen her in this. 

He resisted the urge to press her skirt to his face and then rip it to pieces; he chose to fling it aside, instead.

“You ready?” she asked him, going to sit back down on the ground.

Inuyasha was up in a flash. “No,” he said fiercely, grabbing his fire rat from the pile of clothes and spreading it out on the ground. “You need--” what the fuck did she need? What the fuck was he doing? “You need a place to sit,” he finished lamely.

Kagome gave him a look that was somewhere between angry and grateful, but sat on his haori cross-legged. He found his eyes drawn directly to the spot at the juncture of her thighs, and couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that it was settled right on top of his haori. That he wore every day. 

He was gonna be able to smell her, to smell her arousal, every day, on that haori. His cock was springing to life, and he didn’t know if he would be able to control his desire for her for much longer.

Kagome shuffled the cards, then placed them on the ground in front of him. “Cut,” she told him. He obediently cut the deck, and then Kagome dealt the cards. She eyed hers, and he eyed his, but neither was really paying attention. 

“Raise,” he said, the heat in his eyes burning hotter than the fire as he took in her nearly nude form. She blushed, but refused to let him see her embarrassment.

“Fi--fine,” she gasped, completely forgetting to check his ears, and laid out the flop. 

“Raise,” he said automatically this time, his ears twitching twice. He was suddenly eager to finish the game. 

“Inuyasha,” Kagome replied impatiently, “you can’t just say raise when you haven’t even looked at your cards!”

“Keh,” he replied, “raise.” He flipped his hair back over his shoulders and laid his cards down, eyeing her expectantly. 

Kagome’s breath caught at the sight of his gorgeous silver hair swinging back over his chiseled form. She thought about the time she’d spent clinging to his back, holding onto those muscled shoulders. How had she never noticed how sculpted they were? Her eyes trailed hungrily down his arms, taking in the solidness of his biceps, down to the forearms that she loved to watch when he worked. She felt a little dampness pooling between her legs, and she shivered, then shook her head, trying to bring herself back to reality.

“Fine, dog boy,” she shot back, “call.” Inuyasha watched her deal the turn card; she looked at him triumphantly.

“Raise,” he said easily, now leaning back on his arms.

“We don’t have any more clothes!” she exclaimed, her face turning red at that realization.

Inuyasha grinned slowly, his eyes gleaming again. “How about we make it interesting, then?”

“In-interesting?” she squeaked.

Interesting,” he said, then stood up, and walked across the floor to sit beside her. She yelped and hid her cards.

“I don’t give a fuck about your cards, wench,” he said; Kagome heard his voice drop an octave, and fuck, that dampness was back. “I propose that the winner removes an article of clothing from the loser.”

“What if I win and want to take off your fundoshi?” she challenged him, trying not to wilt under his hot, hot gaze.

Inuyasha shrugged. “You can take whatever you want off me, Ka-Go-Me,” he replied, his fangs dipping below his lower lip as he scented her arousal yet again. 

“Fine,” she agreed. A little too readily, he thought elatedly.

Keh. Whatever. So long as he got to taste her. 


“Here’s the river,” she said in a strained voice. They both looked at the card. 

“I’ve got two pair,” Kagome said, laying down her cards.

“Three-of-a-kind,” Inuyasha replied, putting his cards next to hers. He heard her sharp intake of breath; he saw her eyes go wide. 

“You won,” she said quietly. “You won, so what do you want to do?”

Inuyasha took her hands in his and slowly drew her to him. “This,” he said, and reached behind her to remove her bra. Kagome let out a little gasp, but held steady while he fumbled a bit with the clasps. He growled as his claws refused to cooperate, but at last he worked the pads of his fingers under the hooks and gently unhinged them. The back of her bra at last popped open, and he gently tugged forward, allowing her breasts to fall free. 

And they were beautiful, just like he knew they would be. Pale, round, so perfectly full, and just the right shape for his hands. The areolas were almost the same color as her bra and panties--just a tiny bit darker--and ended in pert, round nipples he found himself longing to set his mouth over and suck. 

Kagome, for her part, was completely awash in the way that Inuyasha was looking at her: reverently, like he’d never seen anything so beautiful. She wanted to bring her arms up and hide her chest, but she was frozen. And on fire. 

How was it possible to be both things at once? 

She was caught up in the way his molten eyes held her stormy ones so firmly; Kagome couldn’t look away if she tried. She found herself wanting to tumble into him, to feel his soft silver hair caress her body, to know what his bare skin felt like against her own.

She found herself wanting him.

Kagome was now breathing heavily; Inuyasha could not take his eyes off the rise and fall of her perfect, rounded breasts. 

"Call it a tie?" she asked, a little unsteady.

"Fuck yes," he growled, and tackled her to the ground.

Kagome immediately cried out as he crushed his lips to hers and trailed his claws down the sides of her torso; it both tickled and made her crazy with lust. She let out a gasp and he drove his tongue into her mouth. And gods, what a tongue it was: long and curling and devouring of her own. He was pillaging her mouth, forcing his way into every corner, swiping his tongue over her teeth and gums and against the roof of her mouth. She felt full and yet she was starving. For him. Only for him.

“Inuyasha,” she murmured, pushing him back a bit. He growled and attacked her again, this time locking his lips onto her neck and sucking hard. She could feel his fangs pricking her skin, and instead of frightening her, she immediately felt that now-familiar dampness pooling in her panties once more. She reached up and tangled her hands in his long hair, gently massaging his ears before dragging her nails down his skull and over his neck and shoulders. Inuyasha let out a deep snarl and worried her neck gently, laving his tongue over the spot, even as his lips and fangs held onto her. Kagome whispered his name again, and he finally let go of her neck, dragging his tongue across her throat and down between her clavicles, down her sternum, and between her breasts. He took his hands and pressed her breasts up to his face; he paused there to inhale her scent, then he turned his attention to her right breast. He gazed at it heatedly, then brought it up to his lips and kissed the soft, tender skin. Kagome let out a hiss, and Inuyasha looked up at her.

“Are you okay, ‘Gome?” he asked her.

“Yes,” she hissed. “It just--you feel so good, Inuyasha.” Her voice was dark and husky, and it lit him up inside, from his lips to his toes to his cock.

Fuck. His cock.

“Ka--Kagome,” he snarled softly, now nipping at the soft skin of her breast, “can you want to...?”

“Yes,” she said immediately, and pushed both her breasts into his face. 

Inuyasha growled sharply and took both her nipples in his mouth, Kagome letting out a keening cry of surprise at his move. He gave them each a sharp suck, then released them both and turned to the left breast, which he had previously neglected. Kagome thought she heard him mutter something about being “even,” and then gasped when he offered her left breast, then her right, a sharp bite, then turned back to her left nipple. He fit his mouth perfectly over the areola, then gave the nipple a luscious lick, suck, and nip. Kagome moaned loudly, and Inuyasha gave her another nip.

“Not so loud,” he grunted. “You want the whole fucking village to hear you?”

“No one’s here, Inuyasha,” she breathed. “No one but...” Her eyes grew wide.

“Now you get it, wench,” he rumbled, trailing his tongue down her belly to the heat of her sex. He pressed his nose into her panties, inhaling her scent, now overwhelmingly spicy. The citrus and peppercorn consumed him; he had to know if she tasted as good as she smelled.

“Kagome,” he muttered, “lift your hips.”

“What?” She peered down at him.

Now.” Godfuckingdammit, his tongue was aching to get a taste of her.

Kagome obeyed, lifting her hips delicately, and he tugged her panties down her thighs, over knees, and eventually, onto the floor. Once she was fully nude before him, he took a long moment to inspect her and feel her.

She was so fucking perfect. Tiny dark curls swirled around the apex of her sex, which was rosy pink and glistening with her desire. Just the thought that he had excited her even a fraction of how much she had excited him made his cock pulse with need; he let out a harsh moan of his own. Tentatively, he parted her sweet lips, and the scent of her arousal hit him so hard he nearly blacked out. “Fucking hell,” he murmured, and tugged his tongue along the full length of her pussy, from her silky opening to the tiny bud that he discovered tucked away as he explored her secrets. Kagome’s sharp intake of breath told him that he’d found something special, and he decided to stay with it for a while, teasing her clit with his fangs, drawing it out and making her quake beneath him. 

Inuyasha ran his fingers along the inner parts of her thighs as he worked her over, Kagome murmuring above him, her hands now yanking his hair, her body grinding in response to his ministrations.

“Inu--yasha,” she moaned, as loudly as she dared.

Inuyasha growled and nuzzled the whole of her sex with his face. Kagome let out a loud gasp. There was something slowly pooling in her groin: a heated want, a heavy need, a real push to let go. She twisted her hips into his face, and he slapped a hand to her hip, effectively stilling her. He took his other hand and teased her opening with his claws. Kagome’s slickness was drawing him in; he felt an overwhelming desire to penetrate her, to prepare her, to make her ready to be his. 

“Kagome,” he growled, “it’s almost time.”

“For what?” she asked, completely dazed from his efforts.

“For me to take you,” Inuyasha grunted, and thrust one finger, and then another, inside of her. 

Fuck. She was so slick, and so hot, and her walls felt impossibly soft. 

Yes, if he were going to die, this is how he would want to do it: buried within Kagome, within her moist, burning, yielding sex. 

Kagome nearly shrieked at the sudden intrusion, but Inuyasha’s golden eyes snapped open at her gasps, full of love and worry, and she paused, breathing heavily. “Kagome,” he said, “relax. I’m not gonna hurt you. I promise.”

She nearly cried from the pleading look in his eyes. She wanted so badly to make him feel comfortable, to make him feel safe, and here she was, maybe doing the opposite.

“You would never hurt me,” she assured. 

“I wouldn’t,” he said, and began to move his fingers inside her. She took a deep breath and tried to relax. When he put his mouth back over her clit and sucked, she let out a loud hiss and began to move her hips on her own. Inuyasha let out a low chuckle, right against her clit, and she cried out softly, now actively thrusting onto his fingers herself.

That pooling need in her groin was growing, twisting, making her feel desperate. Inuyasha could detect her heightened arousal, and felt his own lust throbbing away in his hakama in response.

“Inu--Inuyasha,” she gasped again. Inuyasha felt her entire body tense around his fingers, and she let out a low sob of pleasure as she found her first orgasm, her body fully letting go and her release spilling out around her. He grinned, lapping up her juices, shoving his face as deeply between her thighs as he could, savoring every drop.

When he pulled back at last, he wiped his face, and drew himself up beside her. Kagome was breathing heavily, her eyes unfocused slightly.

Dog boy,” she panted, sounding more like a dog than he did at the moment, “how did you know? How did you do that?”

He chuckled. “Good, huh?”

Fuck,” she swore for the second time that day, “yes.”

Inuyasha ran his hand along her body, tickling her skin with his claws as he went. She openly shivered and lifted her face to his. Inuyasha eagerly granted her the kiss she wanted, then stood. 

“Where are you--?” she asked, dazed.

“Hush, wench,” he said, “I’m a little overdressed.” He untied his hakama and slipped them down quickly, then unwound his fundoshi. When he was nude, he turned back to Kagome, a slow smile on his face as he scented her arousal going haywire.

“Like what you see, wench?” he asked her.

“Oh, gods, Inuyasha,” she breathed, “get over here. NOW.”

He chuckled and practically jumped on top of her, nuzzling her neck in the spot where he’d bitten her.

“Kagome, Kagome--you’re my Kagome, after tonight,” he chanted softly. “After tonight, you’re mine, Kagome.”

“And you’re mine, too, Inuaysha,” she replied, and dragged his face up to hers so she could crush her lips to his.

The feelings that pulsed through them both in that moment were more than they were prepared for. The heat, the spark, that leapt between them, vibrated with their desire and their need for each other. Not breaking the kiss, Inuyasha worked his way between her thighs, and parted her legs with his knee. He positioned himself above her, pulling back slightly and nuzzling her face with his.

“Are you ready, wench?” he asked with a wink.

“I’m ready, puppy,” she replied heatedly. “ gentle. It—it might hurt a little,” she added at his look of confusion.

He nodded. “I only want this to feel good for you, ‘Gome,” he said, his tone suddenly soft. “I want you to feel happy, and good, and light. I want everything wonderful, only for you.”

Kagome’s face shone with tears. “Then make love to me, Inuyasha,” she whispered, “and make it good, and hard, and long, because I need you, and I need you now.”

Inuyasha’s youki sang at her declaration, and he pressed himself inside her, fighting his youki to take it gentle and slow, instead of the swift claim it was begging him to make. Kagome sucked in a harsh breath, but a stern look from Inuyasha caused her to breathe back out and try to relax. He sensed her body calming down, and continued his penetration. When he came to a thin barrier, he looked at her questioningly. 

“It's my hymen,” she explained quietly. “You’ll have to go a little harder to break through. I’m gonna bleed a little; don’t freak out.”

He laughed. “Why would I freak out?” he asked, pulling back a little, and then forward with as much force as he dared.

Kagome winced at the strength of his movements, and at the slight tearing, but then he was fully sheathed inside her. He felt...huge...and she could feel him throbbing there. He scented her blood, and let out a little growl, but a kiss to his nose relaxed him instantly. Inuyasha rested for a moment, allowing her to get used to him, but he didn’t dare rest for long. She felt tight, and hot, and soaking; she was holding him firmly in place. He wasn’t going to last. Once she was comfortable, she leaned forward and nipped his lips; he growled and began to move.

Inuyasha’s first thrusts inside her were slow, and tender, trying to ease her into the feel of his motions. He was terrified that he was hurting her; her reaction to his initial entry made him nervous. But when she reached her arms around his neck, and pulled him in close for a deep, sensual kiss, he knew that what they were doing was right. He began to move in her vigorously, allowing his youki to guide his thrusts in order to maximize her pleasure. His youki seemed to know just what to do; Kagome’s little gasps and cries told him that he was working her over in exactly the right way. And when she began to rise and fall underneath him, their bodies moving together as one, she let loose a little spark of her own reiki in her passion. Inuyasha’s eyes grew wide, and he began to fuck her harder, and more swiftly, his youki begging to be the one to set her free. 

Kagome’s entire body was humming with need. She felt the tingles of their passion through her whole being; her walls were getting tighter, and tighter. Her reiki was leaping up around her in joy; she couldn’t control it, just like she couldn’t control how she felt about the moment--NO.

How she felt about Inuyasha.

She wanted to hold onto him inside her forever, and have him make love to her, and only her, for the rest of their lives. She never, ever, wanted to let him go, and her soft, keening cries conveyed that to him.

Inuyasha felt the pulse from Kagome’s reiki grow stronger, even as she started to milk his cock. She was drawing him in, more and more deeply, and fuck, his cock was fucking responding so beautifully. He desperately wanted to unload inside her and coat her with his scent, inside and out.

“Kagome,” he grunted, his thrusts coming faster and faster.

She hummed and pulled him down for another kiss, her hips following his in time. He let out a growl, his lips vibrating against hers.

“I’m--I’m close,” he said.

She smiled, her big blue eyes laden with lust. For him, and only for him.

“Then cum for me, Inuyasha,” she whispered. “I want to feel you cum inside me. Please.”

Inuyasha didn’t wait for her to ask a second time. He hitched up her ass underneath his palm, and adjusted her so that he could improve the angle of his thrusts. She cried out loudly--he didn’t give a fuck anymore how fucking loud she was--and he used the new angle to rub her clit with his thumb. Kagome felt everything in her pooling and she let loose a whole shaft of reiki as she lost herself in him. Inuyasha followed shortly after, squeezing her ass as he released into her with a mighty howl. He collapsed beside her, then snagged his kosode and pulled it over them. Satisfied she was now warm and protected, he drew her close to him for a kiss.

“So,” she said languidly, running her tongue over his nose sweetly, “should we play poker more often?”

He nipped her nose gently in response. “I don’t know,” he replied, his golden eyes twinkling, “I think I’m gonna need a lot of practice. Do you think we could make this a nightly game?”

Kagome giggled, and snuggled deeply into his side. Inuyasha inhaled her scent, now mixed with his, and rumbled pleasantly in contentment.

“I think,” Kagome said after a moment, “that we’re going to need more practice sessions to properly assess your skill level.” She paused, grinning. “A lot more.”

Inuyasha laughed loudly and pressed his lips to hers.

“There they go again, Miroku!” Shippo exclaimed as Inuyasha and Kagome started to wander off into the woods, under the guise of “private poker lessons.”

“Inuyasha is too sour when I try to teach him with other people,” Kagome had said offhandedly the first time Shippo asked where they were going. “But he really wants to learn, so I’m trying to help him any way that I can.”

“Kagome,” Inuyasha had said, his amber eyes fiery as they took in her form. 

“Right,” she had exclaimed, looking back at the hanyou. Her face softened. “Be good for Miroku-sama and Sango-chan, okay? Inuyasha and I will be back in a few hours.”

Inuyasha knelt down; Kagome climbed onto his back. He squeezed her thighs and she nuzzled his neck, and Inuyasha bounded off into the forest.

It had been like this every day for the past week; Inuyasha would give Kagome a heated glare, Kagome would suddenly remember it was time for their “lessons.” The two of them would slink away somewhere, only to return several hours later, Kagome blushing and Inuyasha smirking.

“They’ve certainly been spending a lot more time together,” Sango commented as she, Miroku, and Shippo watched them go. “And they seem to be getting along a lot better these days.”

“That they do,” Miroku commented thoughtfully. He stared after the direction Inuyasha and Kagome had gone for a long time. 

“What are you thinking about, Miroku?” Sango asked. 

Miroku sighed. “Inuyasha certainly is a very lucky man,” he said, more to himself than to her. 

“What does that mean?” asked Sango.

“Only that Kagome’s poker lessons are much more private than she lets on,” Miroku deduced. 

Sango’s eyes grew wide. “Miroku, you don’t mean that--that Inuyasha and Kagome are going off to, you know?” She blushed. Miroku nodded, and Sango sucked in a sharp breath.

"How did you know that's what they’ve been doing all this time, Miroku?" asked Sango.

Miroku leaned over, gave Sango's ass a soft squeeze, and chuckled when she gasped. "Well, my dear Sango,” he said, grinning, “don't you know? Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a tell."