The weather was getting cooler, but it was a beautiful, sunny day. All of her students had left. Well, all except one. The little girl was huddled at her desk trying to be invisible, but that didn’t work at all. Kagome pulled out her phone and sent a quick message to the girl’s 'guardian' asking if Kagome could take the girl to the park. Rin lived in a girl’s home that was understaffed, and the instant “yes” with no questions asked broke her heart a little. But that wasn't the priority here. She stood up and slid her phone into her pocket, slowly approaching the little girl.
The small form was hunched so her dark brown hair hid her face, and she seemed to shrink more as Kagome got closer.
“Rin, I think I want to go to the park, but I always get bored and lonely when I go by myself. What do you think I should do? I was trying to think if there was someone who could go with me, but I don’t know who would enjoy just swinging on the swings, or I was even thinking about flying a kite, the wind seems like it’s blowing perfectly for kite flying. What do you think?”
Kagome hadn’t quite made eye contact with most of this conversation, keeping her eyes looking upwards back and forth as if deep in thought. As she finally asked the last question, she met the deep brown eyes which had raised to meet hers and had a slight sparkle of hope. The little whisper was not unexpected, and Kagome held back a smile as she listened earnestly.
“I could go with you, Miss Kagome.”
Now she smiled widely, “Oh! Would you?! Thank you so much! Now I would have someone to talk with and play with! Now what do you think, should we fly a kite or swing on the swings?”
Rin’s small reserved smile was cute, but Kagome knew she had seen a much brighter smile on the girl’s face before. Both ladies put on their jackets and collected their things before reaching the door, and Kagome was listening for the tiny voice to respond.
“I love the swings, but I’ve never flown a kite before.”
Kagome put on a very dramatic show of stopping dead in her tracks and knelt down to be on the same level as the young girl at her side.
“You’ve never flown a kite??! You have no idea what you’re missing! Let’s go pick one up from the store so I can teach you, you’ll love it! It was always my favorite thing when I was your age!”
The grin was definitely growing. And it made Kagome’s smile grow in return.
They had stopped at the dollar store, and Rin picked out a bright orange kite with deep pink flowers. Then once they arrived at the park, the two walked hand in hand to a big field. The wind was perfect for flying kites, and soon Rin’s laughter bubbled forth while watching the diamond float and dance across the sky, winding its tail all over the place.
Kagome showed her little companion how to pull the string slightly to get the kite to move and it didn’t take long for Rin to realize that the more she moved the more the kite moved. Soon the girl was dashing around the giggling and twirling backwards to keep an eye on the dancing diamond following behind her. Kagome stayed close but tried to let the girl have some free rein. This was a rite of passage. Rin needed to feel as free as the kite on the breeze, tethered only by the small string that kept it safe.
Kagome had become so entranced by the sheer joy on the girl’s face she had missed the barking dog now barreling towards the child. As RIn saw the dog, the kite string left her fingers, and the kite took off. Kagome took off as fast as she could to get to the little girl, now seemingly terrified of the behemoth beast coming towards her.
A deep voice bellowed, “Todashi HEEL!” and the dog stopped dead.
Kagome didn’t. She threw her arms around the girl, who was slightly shaking and sobbing, scooping her up. As she turned she saw the man who had stopped the dog. He looked guilty and contrite… and sexy. He had thick silver hair in a bun on the back of his head and two white triangular ears on top of his head. He was wearing a dark blue t-shirt and a pair of light blue jeans.
“I’m sorry about that. I hadn’t realized he had slipped his collar until he had gotten too far away. Are you both okay?”
Rin sniffled and burrowed deeper into Kagome’s shoulder, but Kagome gave a small nod.
“He won’t hurt you, he just loves kids and wanted to play.”
The dog was staring at Kagome with her ears pinned back and giving her the biggest puppy dog eyes. Kagome whispered to the child, who was quickly calming down.
“Rin, did you want to pet the puppy?”
At her confident voice Rin looked away from Kagome’s shoulder and at the dog sitting on its haunches and begging for attention. Kagome felt the nod against her shoulder and instead of putting the girl down she carried her over towards the giant fluffy beast. Kagome put her hand out first to make sure the girl would be safe, and as soon as she felt the huge wet tongue slide across her palm she felt a grin take over her face. Still keeping the girl in her arms, she knelt and spun the girl around so she could pet the big dog.
The smile was hesitant, but after receiving a big slimy lick across the cheek the little girl in kagome’s arms began giggling again. The dog seemed almost as happy as the young girl to play and get attention.
“I am really sorry about that. My name’s Inuyasha.”
Kagome was grinning at the little girl playing and running with the dog close on her heels.
“That’s Rin, and I’m Kagome. It’s nice to meet you Inuyasha.”
She spun and stuck her hand out to shake, which apparently surprised him as it took him a few seconds to process it and shake her hand. Then they looked back to the girl and the dog playing in the field.
“Your daughter is cute.”
She felt her eyes bug out of her head for a second before she chuckled. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights at her laughter.
“I’m her teacher. But she needed a pick me up, and I figured a trip to the park would help. But she is cute.”
“I can honestly say, none of my teachers would have done that for me. She’s lucky to have you.”
As they chatted back and forth a strong wind blew in, and seemed to remind Rin what they had been doing before the dog showed up, as she appeared at Kagome’s side with little tears in her eyes.
“Miss Kagome, I lost my kite.”
Kagome was kneeling at her side and squeezing her tightly.
“Oh, honey. I doubt we’ll be able to find it. But I promise I’ll buy you another one.”
The man kneeling next to her shocked her, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise.
“Hey there. If you want, I can take Todashi on the hunt. He’s pretty good at finding stuff. Maybe it’ll turn up.”
The slight hopefulness was beautiful. Kagome couldn’t help but smile. He was definitely good with kids. Rin gave him a nod and her bottom lip began sticking out a little further than her top lip, and started quivering.
“Rin, this is Inuyasha. Inuyasha, this is Rin. Today was her first time flying a kite, and I think it’s her new favorite thing to do. Do you really think you can find it?”
His smile was bewitching and she almost had to remind herself to breathe.
“It was orange with pink flowers and a tail, right? I think I saw which way it flew, and I can at least go look. If I don’t find it, I think it’s only fair that I buy you a new one, Rin, since it’s all my fault you lost it. Although I might take it out of Todashi’s allowance.”
That had Rin giggling a bit, then she jumped into Inuyasha wrapping her arms around him and squeaking a ‘thank you’. His chuckle was deep and Kagome couldn’t help but want to hear more of it. She mouthed him a ‘thank you’ and he smiled at her then Rin let go and fell back to Kagome’s side.
“Rin, did you want to go with Inuyasha to find the kite, or did you want to go swing on the swings until he comes back?”
Rin looked around and once her eyes landed upon the swings she met Kagome’s with a hopeful twinkle.
“Inuyasha, I think we’re going to go swing on the swings. Is that okay? If you can’t find it in a few minutes, you can give up. It’ll be okay. I promise.”
His rumbling chuckle was back, and Kagome was starting to get goosebumps.
“Sure, I’ll be back in a few minutes. Go swing for a bit.”
He stood up, called his dog and bounded away. Kagome and Rin walked to the swings a little ways away and soon Kagome was pushing Rin on the swing. Once Rin was swinging steadily, Kagome sat in the one next to her and pumped her legs to get herself moving.
“Rin, if you tuck your legs while you’re moving backwards then straighten them out when you move forward you’ll see how high you can go.”
It took a few attempts, but soon Rin's legs were pumping in perfect rhythm. And it only seemed to take a few minutes before a dog appeared in front of them and Kagome stopped herself so she wouldn’t kick the pup. Rin leapt off the swing and was on the ground with Todashi in seconds. Kagome couldn't stop herself from looking around for the silver haired man. He came into view and held an orange kite high above his head.
RIn and Todashi ran to him and soon little fingers were gripping his jeans excitedly, exclaiming little ‘thank you’s.’
“Look what I found! It had gotten stuck pretty high up in a tree, but luckily, I’m a good climber. Let’s make sure it still flies, ok?”
They all spent the next couple minutes untangling the kite string and once it was back in the air, Todashi was happy to dance around Rin while she had the kite flying high above them.
“Thank you, Inuyasha. You definitely made her happy again.”
His smirk was even more amazing than his smile, and she felt herself melt a bit.
“Not a big deal. But, how about you give me your number to make it up to me?”
How could she say no to that?