“What kind of spell is that, Kagome?”
Warmly tucked inside the cerulean wool oversized cocoon of her recently purchased blanket sweater, the young miko leaned back a bit so the kitsune could hop in her lap and more easily inspect the algebra book in front of her.
“It's not a spell, Shippou-chan,” Though, to be fair, I think I'd wrap my head around a spell faster… I'm not even sure what I’m not getting anymore! “It's a mathematical formula. They're these sets of rules, you could say, that we use in my time to help us with day-to-day living. We use them in trading, for medical practices, to know the distance to the moon, and pretty much anything else imaginable.”
Miroku's eyes twinkled with admiration over the fire. “Your time is truly remarkable, Kagome-sama. To equip you with such knowledge, and at such a young age, too.”
“Eh, well,” she stammered with a smile. “We’re not really taught advanced stuff like that just yet. And even what we are taught is to prepare us should we choose a career that requires it in the future. Anything not to do with sciences and whatnot you can get away with the basics… I hope…”
“What’s this one do, Kagome?” Shippou pointed at the bottom of the page she had been battling with.
What did it do, exactly? With a defeated huff, she rubbed her face in frustration. “I don't even know… I've missed so much school these last couple of weeks that I'm completely lost…”
“Maybe you should take a break, Kagome-chan,” Sango offered with concern. “You’ve been studying since before dinner.”
“And we could play a game, Kagome!”
Her apologetic response came in the form of a gentle head pat. “I’m sorry, Shippou-chan. I know I've been a little distracted but it's just until next week, I promise. My make-up exams coming up and I need all the time I can get to prepare.”
“But it'd be nice to distract us from the cold…”
“Leave her be, runt,” Inuyasha's annoyed groan sounded from behind them. “And Kirara should be back in a while. There ain't no way there're no caves or somethin' around here. Ya can quit your whining then.”
“It's fine, Inuyasha,” Kagome assured with a timid glance over her shoulder. She cradled the kitsune closer to her belly for warmth, even though he'd been thoroughly covered from head to toe with a beanie, mittens and the smallest pair of boots she could find.
Aside from Inuyasha, – because he wasn’t a pup or a weak human, of course – the whole group was wrapped in wooly goodness from her time. It was fine. She'd get him later. He'd have no excuse not to wear at least a scarf once the sun set. Although she had been excited to see him in the dog ear warmers that she got for him the other day. At the pet store, obviously, but Hell would freeze over before she shared that particular bit of information.
At this rate, I'll be the one freezing over, she thought while scooting closer to the bonfire. Basic outdoors experience told them their bodies should have started adjusting to the low temperature by then, but somehow the air around their campsite felt crispier by the minute.
“I shoulda been the one looking for shelter…” Inuyasha grumbled from his distanced spot against the tree.
“A few minutes before the new moon?” Kagome turned to him apprehensively. “You need to stick close to us.”
“Keh. You make me sound like a weakling who can’t handle himself! And besides, if we took care of that before dinner like I suggested we wouldn’t be out here freezing our asses off in the first place!”
“Boy, you sure get grumpy when you're about to turn human,” Sango commented with an accompanying eye roll. “We’re surrounded by mountains, it'll be faster with Kirara flying over…head… Houshi-sama?”
Four sets of eyes trailed to the monk as he stood up from the rock he'd been sitting on and took a few steps towards the forest. Once their chatter was paused so the group could assess the motive for Miroku's odd behavior, they noticed the eerie silence that had fallen over the forest.
“It- It's starting to snow all of a sudden.” Shippou held his palm up, a small flake evaporating upon contact.
“You’re not a weakling, my friend. But your demonic senses are certainly dwindling drastically fast,” Miroku uttered without turning around. “Who’s there?”
That got their attention. The quietude of the moonless night was broken by the group scurrying to their feet, weapons in hand.
“A demonic aura,” Kagome whispered, suddenly embarrassed that she hadn’t picked it up herself because she'd been so focused on her studies.
From between the shadows of the trees, a slender figure took shape, with steps so graceful it felt much like it was floating towards them. A young female youkai, dressed in a transparent milky white kimono that displayed every nook and cranny of her body. Usually, the less than modest way some youkai presented themselves equaled an embarrassed reaction from all of them except Miroku, of course. This time, however, the strange aura surrounding the youkai gave them something else to worry about.
“Have you lost your way?” The youkai asked as her face was revealed from the shadows, piercing ice blue eyes unmoving.
“A yuki-onna?” Sango's edged voice had Kagome stealing a glance at the older girl, noticing how she looked irritably at Miroku when he took a step towards the female youkai.
“Keh. Hardly, so you can move along if you know what's good f-”
“Perhaps. It seems like you'd be willing to escort us back to the main road,” Miroku interrupted amicably despite Sango's obvious annoyance. “We could offer a morsel of our boar in return, if you'd like.”
“The fuck are ya doing, Miroku?!”
The youkai smiled coldly. “I am not hungry, luckily,” she said before scanning the group for the demonic aura she'd felt before, her eyes zeroing in on Inuyasha. “But I can make an exception.”
Kagome felt a shiver run down her spine. It was only natural for their foes to focus their attention on Inuyasha from the get-go. It was clear as day that he was the strongest member of the group, for anyone with or without demonic powers to aid them in that judgement, and youkai had a habit of attacking the strongest link first so they could get it out of the way. Inuyasha held the front line since day one.
That woman, though, had a foreign glint in her light azure orbs and Kagome didn’t like it one bit.
“We, uh, should actually get going. You're free to help yourself to the rest of it, of course,” Kagome announced while gesturing to the impaled boar and walking closer to Inuyasha.
“You know the way then?” The youkai inquired, her line of sight following the strangely-clad girl as she gripped the red sleeves of the hanyou's suikan.
Kagome nodded before sending Miroku a meaningful glare. “I have my compass, we'll find the main road with no problem and hopefully before night sets in completely.”
“Shame,” the youkai sneered. “I’ve been lonely for the last couple of nights. I was looking forward to having such handsome traveling companions to accompany me down the trail…”
“Well, in that case-”
“Oh, give it a rest, Houshi!” Sango darted in front of the monk, Hiraikotsu in hand. “Can’t you see she's a yuki-onna?”
“A what?” Shippou whispered from Kagome's shoulder.
“A nasty kind of succubus,” Inuyasha hissed back loud enough so the others would hear. “Feeds on human and youkai males alike and steals their life force.”
The woman raised an elegant brow and the corner of her lips twitched. “I wouldn’t dare to attempt such a thing. I knew it from the moment I felt your youki from the other side of the mountain. But I had to check for myself who exactly was giving off such a deliciously powerful aura… Though, it seems watered-down right now. Don't mind me, if you're aiming not to intimidate.”
Kagome gulped when she felt Inuyasha’s muscles tensing. She was sure the same concern that was plaguing her thoughts was also running wild inside his head. The youkai was afraid of him and wouldn’t attack while his youki was around. But his youki wouldn’t be around for much longer.
“If you were to come to me willingly, however,” she continued and her voice morphed into a near seductive purr while her pale hand trailed to her robe. “I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity. With how strong your youki is, you wouldn’t have to worry about perishing.”
Inuyasha growled. “Leave, now. Or you'll be the one worrying about perishing.”
The youkai smiled in response. “Wouldn’t expect such an aura from a hanyou. But my, you're one of the pretty ones. Probably the son of a daiyoukai, am I correct?”
His guttural growl stretched out the longer she kept talking, his arm coming to wrap around Kagome's waist to pull her behind him. Kagome, on her part, was feeling increasingly sicker. The youkai's intentions were clear now and it was something they had never dealt with before. She knew the rise of jealousy was going to be engraved in her mind as her most absurd reaction to any situation ever but she couldn’t help herself.
“Inuyasha, we need to move,” Sango warned with urgency, her arm tugging Miroku towards the trio.
“Hmm, Inuyasha. I like it. I'll be sure to remember it for later.”
Oh, Kagome wanted to throw up.
“Fuck off already, you creepy fucking witch,” he warned menacingly. “Not fucking interested.”
“Oh?” The pale woman smirked. “Aren’t you now? Because I find it near impossible to encounter a man to whom I'm not appealing.”
“Lucky fucking day for ya, ya found one,” Inuyasha countered and started leading the group away. “Come on, we’re leaving.”
Just as he turned to usher into the deep forest and away from the progressively daring female youkai, a pulse shot from his core and spread through his limbs like liquid heat.
Fuck, he thought with a sense of impending doom, his eyes widening in panic as his claws retracted and human fingernails took their place. Of all the fucking times not to be close enough to the village so he could spend his night of vulnerability on the other side of the Bone-Eater's Well.
A surprised gasp echoed behind them, followed by silence.
It didn’t take long until the yuki-onna spoke again.
“Well, now… looks like you're not going anywhere.”
Sango and Miroku were in front of the hanyou turned human in a flash, the Hiraikotsu and the monk's staff crossed in front of them like a barrier.
“You three get out of here. Sango and I will hold her off,” Miroku demanded.
The youkai snickered. “And how do you plan on doing that, exactly? Even as a monk, my powers over humans surpass any sutra you might throw my way…”
Miroku reached for the beads around his wrist and answered with a scorn, “Fortunately, I'm not all sutras. You’re about to be sucked and not in the way you were hoping for.”
Demonic reflexes were usually hard to beat and that standoff was no exception. Before he had time to open the kazaana, a small dart-like snowflake was thrown his way, embedding itself into his forehead and paralyzing him on the spot.
“Houshi-sama!” Sango cried, reaching for the stone-still monk. There was no blood on his skin but his eyes had glazed over before regaining their focus and locking on the female youkai. “Houshi-sama?”
Without a glance back, he took a step towards her.
“Miroku! What're ya doin', asshat?!”
“Houshi-sama!” Sango stepped in front of him again and dug her heels into the snow, using all her strength to restrain him. “She’s possessed him! I- I can't get him to turn back!”
Inuyasha growled and instinctively reached for his sword, even though he knew it wouldn’t serve them any purpose at the time. If he could get to Miroku without the youkai's interference, he would be able to drag him back but it was likely a life-threatening risk given his current mortality and the yuki-onna's proven bewitchment abilities.
“Don’t even think about it!” Sango yelled at him as if reading his thoughts. “We can't hold you off too. You need to get out of here! Now! Kagome-chan! Please!”
Kagome trembled and grasped his arm. “Sango-chan is right. We need to lure her away from him or Miroku-sama will-”
“The monk is of no interest to me,” the woman declared with a fake innocuous shrug. “And I'll free him. If you give yourself to me, Inuyasha.”
Kagome felt a knot constricting her throat at the way the succubus sang his name. She didn’t have to turn her head to see Inuyasha shuddering in repressed rage, his hand gripping the hilt of Tessaiga until his knuckles turned white.
“Thought you were after my youki, you fucking witch. I'm all out of it right now, in case ya didn’t notice.”
The woman sneered. “That would have been more fun, I must admit,” she trailed off with a sinister gaze and they knew then something was coming. “But you are still absolutely mouth-watering…”
Two spear-shaped icicles suddenly shot from her nails and sprung towards them at lightening speed.
“Look out, Kagome!”
She fell on her side with a painful thud as Inuyasha roughly pushed her out of the spears' trajectory, her foot twisting back because of a thick root it had been caught in during the fall. It hurt like a mother- It was agonizing! Any other time she would have her eyes brimming with tears due to the throbbing ache shooting up her leg like a knife trying to stab through her flesh, but she refused to give the youkai the satisfaction.
Instead, Kagome watched in horrified stupor as one of the sharp icicles impaled Inuyasha's shoulder, the loud accompanying groan of pain he let out making her heart thump violently in her chest.
“Now look what you made me do, Inuyasha. You could have fully enjoyed this. In your current condition, you can't exactly afford to act so defiantly,” the youkai sighed in feigned concern. “But worry not. I’m nothing if not forgiving and I’ll be sure to make it up to you, my gorgeous hany-”
A sacred arrow pierced through the ice spear dead center, shattering it into thousands of small pieces like glass.
The yuki-onna gasped and turned her viscious glare to the side where the projectile had come from, the human girl that had been clinging to the hanyou before holding a bow with practiced poise even though she hadn’t risen from her kneeled position on the ground.
“Where I- come from, that's called sexual harassment,” she spat out and drew another one from the quiver at her side. “And he's not your anything!”
“Kagome,” Inuyasha whimpered, clasping his hand on the ice spear still jammed under his collarbone. “Get outta- here. She'll kill you!”
“Inuyasha, don’t take it out!” Sango wailed from the other side, still struggling to hold Miroku down. “It’s- stopping the bleeding!”
A feminine chuckle brought their attention back to the pale woman. “I can make it go away, Inuyasha,” the youkai raised her cold stare to him before returning it to the threat between the trees. “Let me just get rid of this small nuisance first.”
Before the youkai could react or Kagome release the second arrow aimed at the woman's heart, a loud visceral roar was heard from the skies, powerful and ominous like deafening thunder.
“I can't believe it,” the youkai snarled, her fangs elongating in panic as the nekomata landed in front of her, its golden fur spiked along the spine.
“Kirara!” Sango exclaimed, relieved that her companion returned safely but wary of the aggressive stance of the succubus in front of her. She hadn’t backed down against Kagome's spiritual powers but was slowly and carefully retreating from the transformed nekomata.
What was it about her? Was it the mere presence of a new demonic aura? No, that couldn’t be it. Inuyasha said the yuki-onna's kind fed on human and youkai energy alike. So, what…?
“Fire…” Kagome whispered, her eyes widening in realization. “Yuki-onna… Snow woman... Of course, fire!”
The female youkai's ear twitched at the sound of the young miko yet again straining the arrow against the string of her bow.
“I’m a succubus, mortal!” she snarled. “I feed on energy. You cannot kill me with energy!”
“No,” Kagome answered quietly and exchanged a look with the nekomata. “But I won’t be the one killing you.”
Faster than the succubus could blink, the arrow cut through the chilly air like a needle and impaled her under her sternum. She realized much too late that purifying her was never the goal.
“Get her, Kirara!”
A ferocious growl tore out of the colossal cat’s throat as it charged at the succubus, and while folded down in pain she had no way of defending herself against its fire-lit claws. It took only one strike, and the youkai dissolved into snow with an excruciated scream, leaving only the sheer fabric of her robes behind.
“Houshi-sama,” Sango rasped out as Miroku abruptly stopped squirming, leaning the whole weight of his body against hers as she dropped them both to the now snow-free ground. “Are you alright? Can you hear me?”
Miroku grimaced in pain when his hand touched his forehead. Trying to blink the confusion away, his eyes regained their spark, eliciting a cry out of Sango who hugged his head tightly against her chest and rocked him gently.
“She's gone for good,” Kagome breathed with relief, before feeling her heart speed up again. “Inuyasha?”
Against the backdrop of greens and browns, she saw a puddle of bright red curled on itself. Inuyasha tried to stand, only to end up on his knees with his head hung low between his stretched out arms.
“Kagome!” Shippou was by her side in an instant to transform into a cane with an orange-tainted poof.
“Thank you, Shippou-chan,” she said softly before picking him up and dragging herself to Inuyasha's side with a little difficulty.
“Inuyasha?” Kagome dropped to the gravelly soil. “Are you okay? Let me see your wound…”
He kehed in response, more quietly than she would have liked. “This is nothin'. It'll heal in the morning.”
“If you make it 'till morning. We're hours away from sunrise!” Kagome exchanged a knowing look with the taijiya. “Sango-chan…”
Sango dismissed the unspoken request in a heartbeat. “We’ll meet you there as soon as Houshi-sama can walk. Take Kirara with you.”
The future miko nodded. “Thank you, Sango-chan. Be safe, okay?”
“You too.” Sango smiled.
“Okay, you,” Kagome huffed as the hanyou eyed her with annoyance. “We need to get you to Kaede's. I've got some antibiotics in my bag but I'm all out of gauze.”
“Weren’t ya- limping your way here? Shouldn’t you be worried about- yourself?” Inuyasha protested even though he allowed her to help him hoist himself up on Kirara's back.
“You do get grumpy when you're human,” she complained. “Oh! Wait! I almost forgot!”
Inuyasha tilted his head in confusion while watching her hop her way back to the makeshift fire pit, the discarded 'al-gee-bra' book now safely tucked against her chest.
“Ugh, you and your books.”
“Nevermind that,” Kagome groaned, a mix of annoyance at his annoyance and pain from jumping on the nekomata's back. “Miroku-sama, Sango-chan…”
“We’ll see you tomorrow or so,” Sango offered kindly, her eyes moving to the hanyou turned human. “Alive.”
The taijiya watched Kagome smile back before Kirara bent down and leaped into the air, leaving a small gush of wind behind her. When the foursome were out of sight, she turned her attention back to the houshi who was still finding his ground.
“Sango,” he called out to her, voice still a little rough. “Were you hurt?”
She shook her head, a faint pinkish hue on her cheeks. “They took the brunt of the fight. Kirara is flying them back to the village. How are you feeling?”
Miroku straightened his back. “A tad hazy still…and confused…”
The taijiya nodded with understanding. “The yuki-onna possessed you. It should take you a while to fully recover.”
Miroku blinked. “No, it's just… of all the things to get attacked for… would never have guessed Inuyasha's beddable looks to be one of them.”
Ironically enough, puppy eyes didn’t work on an inuhanyou, Kagome realized dejectedly.
Feeling the fat cat get up from her lap and into Inuyasha's, she allowed herself a much needed leg stretch. The ankle support brace didn’t actually restrain her movements all that much but she wanted to keep from moving around so her recovery would be swift and easy. The faster she got back on her feet, the faster a certain golden-eyed boy would get off her case.
We have shards to find, after all…
“Keh, forget about the stupid shards.” Had she said that out loud? “Is it that bad?”
Kagome shrugged. “Not really, no. They said it's not a severe strain and it could have been even worse if I had broken it.”
“Two weeks at best. It could be up to three, dear,” Mrs. Higurashi reminded from the kitchen.
The young girl’s eyes widened, shifting to the hanyou for a brief second to check for damage. “Mama!”
“Inuyasha should know, dear,” Mrs. Higurashi turned to argue. “We’ll see what kind of progress she makes. Once the swelling subsides it’s a sunny road to recovery and you get her back.”
Inuyasha felt a blush tinting his cheeks at Mrs. Higurashi's wink. “I- I'm not- forcing you to come back. I know ya need rest. I'm not stupid, stupid.”
Kagome giggled at his colorful choice of words. It was partially her fault for not coming straight home to apply some ice and head to the hospital but she couldn’t travel down the well herself in her condition and his wound would leave a lot of unanswered questions if she brought him to her 'modern healers'. After sunrise, he'd taken her home and went back to check on Miroku and Sango, while she spent the whole morning at the doctor’s and the whole afternoon messing up her sleep schedule.
“You know, it kinda worked out for the best, I guess,” Kagome sighed contently. “I can go to school and have some more time to prepare for my exams.”
“Ya wanna go to 'skool' like that!?”
Kagome glared at him. “Of course I do! I finally have some time to catch up before college admissions in a few months! And I've got my crutches. If I can travel through Feudal Japan while slaying youkai I can handle a fifteen-minute bus ride!”
“Pft. You can't handle stayin' upright for more than five without something trying to eat you,” Inuyasha mocked, not noticing Kagome's scowl. “Besides it- it was my fault you got hurt. I'll carry you, alright?”
Her features immediately softened. “You’ll… carry me?”
“It’s not like I- got much to do with you gone, anyways,” he admited sheepishly. “I won't bother you, don't worry. Just- from here to 'skool' and whatnot I'll help you…”
“That's so considerate of you, dear,” Mrs. Higurashi smiled brightly. “And I'd feel much more at ease if you were together.”
Kagome bit her lip and met two pairs of awaiting eyes. Inuyasha walking her to school every day? It almost seemed like- no! Don't go there, idiot! “Sure. I guess… But no beating up thieves on your way back and the cap stays on the whole time!”
“I’ll do you one better,” Mrs. Higurashi winked and helped her up so she could usher her upstairs. “Why don’t you go freshen up, Kagome? I got you new bath salts for you to try. Inuyasha will help me finish dinner in the meantime, okay?”
She was confused by the glint in her mother's eyes but the prospect of a bath was too much to pass up. With an excited nod and a quick 'thank you', Kagome started heading for the stairs before noticing Inuyasha following behind her.
“What’re you doing?”
“How are ya gonna bathe alone?”
Her cheeks were suddenly piping hot. “It’s fine.”
“What if your clumsy ass falls again and breaks the other ankle?”
“I’m sure Kagome will call us if she needs anything. Right, dear?” Mrs. Higurashi lightly grabbed the hanyou's shoulders and pulled him along. When Kagome was well out of hearing range, the older woman smiled at him kindly and led him to another room. “If you're gonna stay here for so long, you should look the part. It'll draw less attention to you and I'm sure she will love it!”
“Look the part?” he deadpanned.
“Yes, yes,” Mrs. Higurashi nodded. “But first things first. What was that about my daughter getting eaten?”
He looked like a God and God, did she want to dig a hole for herself and never come back up. Maybe go all the way to America.
It had to be close to ten minutes since the initial shock wore off but she was still trying to pick her jaw up from the floor. It was getting embarrassing how she couldn’t help but stutter whenever she addressed him and how her heart was hammering away in her chest like it was doing a whole home renovation. She knew he could hear it too and, with her luck, probably smell her nervousness, which made her even more nervous and on and on it went.
“What're ya gawking at?” Inuyasha barked though he didn’t intend to sound so rude. “Is it that bad?”
...could get him a modeling gig, only the ears would be a no-no, and oooh I have to see him without the beenie later 'cause they're the best part and- eh? Why is he looking-? Did he say something?
Inuyasha groaned, crossing his arms. “This is stupid. Your mother asked me to change into these weird robes, alright? So I wouldn’t, ya know, get noticed.”
Oh, you'll get noticed, alright…Dammit! I'm doing it again!
“No- n-no, you… You look great, really,” she finally managed to breathe out when the anxious look on his face got to be too much.
In her opinion, men always looked best in simple clothes. And that was for regular men. Inuyasha looked out-of-this-world gorgeous. Mama had had the brilliant idea of giving her an early morning heart attack and gotten him into a faded light gray cotton shirt and a pair of black jeans…
And she was trying very hard not to focus too much on the leather belt.
“Here you go, dear! I put some extra should Inuyasha decide to visit you for lunch.” Mrs. Higurashi skipped outside to hand her the lunchbox. “My, don’t you two look so nice together!”
“Mama…” Kagome begged.
“Inu-no-onii-chan!” Souta's voice echoed inside the house before he sprinted to the door. “Are you taking Nee-chan to school? Can I go too?”
Inuyasha scoffed. “Sorry, squirt. One passenger at a time. I need to be careful with your klutz of a sister.”
Kagome would have been mad but he was just so pretty…
“Well? Do ya wanna go now?” Inuyasha grumbled, obviously starting to get shy under her scrutiny.
“Yeah, sure.” Looking back at her family, she could tell Mama was having the hardest time containing her mischievous grin as the hanyou carefully kneeled to allow her to climb on his back and picked up her crutches. “See you guys later!”
“Bye, sweetheart! Be careful with that leg!”
“Bye, Nee-chan! Inu-no-onii-chan, I have a new video game we can play later! Are you coming here after dropping Nee-chan off? Are you coming here every day now? I have to take the bus but if you hurry maybe I'll still see you! Do you like…”
“He sure is chatty,” Inuyasha groaned as Souta's voice faded into the background the further they got from the shrine.
“It’s a Higurashi thing,” Kagome giggled. “He kinda idolizes you, you know?”
“Uh, well, he kind of sees you as a cool older brother of sorts,” she explained.
After that they fell into a comfortable silence that lasted about a block or so. Once they reached the main road, the heads started turning. If at their current walking set-up or at Inuyasha's eye-catching features she wasn’t sure, but she thought it'd be best for her to distract him from the unwanted attention lest he started biting someone's head off for staring too long.
“You know, I think you'd make a great big brother…”
“Keh,” he replied, original as ever. “How come?”
Kagome decided to take the bait. It wasn’t often he fished for compliments. “Because! You're really protective of your friends, though you'll be the one throwing them in the pond, of course. And you're selfless, even if you don’t share ramen. You'd be the one to chase after bullies but not seriously hurt them because you like to play the villain but you’re actually just grumpy and annoyed and occasionally hungry.”
Something about only throwing Shippou in the pond occasionally was groaned under his breath but Kagome saw his telltale nervousness.“
"Even if the example set out for you isn’t the best.”
Inuyasha stiffened under her hands. “Fuck that bastard. He ain’t even worth mentioning. I got you and Miroku and the others and that's enough. Cool older brother, my ass…”
“Hmm,” she agreed while trying not to sound too elated at his admission of thinking of them as family. “And Souta, apparently. He'd adopt you in a second.”
No matter how much time passed, she would never tire of seeing the confident, loud, powerful Inuyasha blush. Her last remark got him contemplating something.
“These- they were your father's, I think…”
“Oh…” Kagome saw a hint of movement under his beanie, obviously a trained ear trying to pick up on her reaction. “I knew Mama kept most of them. At least now they have a purpose.”
She was confused by his silence. What was it exactly that was bothering him?
“I just… I don’t mean to overstep…”
Kagome managed to unwrap one of her hands from around his neck to tug softly on his hair. “What have we been talking about for the last five minutes? If Mama was the one giving them to you, why in the world would I have a problem with it? And you're not overstepping anything. You’re part of the family already. You're- you're very important to all of us…”
“Keh. If you say so…”
She stifled a snort at his dismissal. “So, how do they feel?”
“Like hell.” His groan softened into a chuckle as the girl on his back laughed openly as his honesty. “There’s this thingy itching my neck and I can't move my toes in these shoes.”
Kagome frowned, sliding down his back before he turned around to balance her. “I’ll remove the tag for you after I get home but don’t even think about walking all the way back barefoot!”
Inuyasha rolled his eyes in response. “Never said I would, idiot. Also, what's with this thing? Why is it so stiff and tight?”
Her own russet orbs widened and she glanced around the school entrance in panic as he started fumbling with his belt. “Don’t take it off, stupid! It's supposed to be that way!”
“It ain’t even doing anythin'! This tight ass hakama's already squeezing everything in.”
She could feel her face turning beet red at his explanation. Never in a million years would she guess seeing Inuyasha undoing a belt would have her legs turn to jelly… But you learn something new every day…
“You’ll take it off at home, alright?”
“But it's been strangling my waist since we left!”
“Stop it, already!” Kagome slapped his hands away.
“Let me just loosen this shit a little!”
“Not out here in the open!”
Both hands very close to the hanyou's crotch, Kagome turned slowly towards the voice hesitantly calling her. The three girls watched them with a mix of shock and interest, all sets of eyes running laps between the position of her hands, Inuyasha's face and her ankle brace.
“What- uh, what're you doing?” Yuka broke the silence.
“Uhm…” Living the dream- Oh my God… I'm turning into Miroku-sama… “N-nothing! Uh, you guys are kinda early, aren’t you?”
“Ayumi-chan’s brother gave us a ride,” Eri answered, still dumbfounded at the scene. “What happened to your foot?”
“I fell down the stairs but it's just a little sprain,” Kagome said with a smile. “I should be able to take it off in a couple of weeks. So, no viral disease this time!”
“That’s…great, I guess?” Yuka laughed nervously, her gaze shifting to Inuyasha. “And…?”
“Oh! R-right! Uhm, this is Inuyasha…” She couldn’t think of anything else to say and it occurred to her that maybe they should have planned it out a little better, in case her friends did show up earlier than expected. “And these are my friends: Ayumi, Yuka and Eri.”
Unsurprisingly, Inuyasha didn’t utter a word of acknowledgement, choosing to wait for their reaction. Kagome reckoned it could be unsettling to be transfixed by his unearthly golden gaze, so she decided to insert some clarification into the conversation.
“He's from overseas.”
Ayumi had a curious sparkle in her eyes and Kagome knew exactly what was coming. “Kagome-chan, is this your delin- uh, I mean, your… boyfriend?”
“N-no, no such thing,” she decided not to lie, even if it would make things easier to explain to the girls, since she didn’t know how familiar with the term Inuyasha had become. “Inuyasha's a eh- family friend, yeah. And he's offered to give me a… ride to school while I'm still recovering.”
“That’s so thoughtful!” Eri beamed.
“Yeah, really thoughtful…” Ayumi's smile widened lazily and the next moment her voice rose in pitch. “Say, Inuyasha, do you go to school around here?”
...What? Is she-?
“Keh. As if I'd waste my time. Kagome already spends way too long worrying about this shit if ya ask me. It ain't worth her health.”
Collective wonder spread through their faces at his unfiltered crude language, Ayumi being the most obviously enamored one. Kagome had drifted apart from the trio for the last three years, ever since her trips to the Feudal Era began, but she still prided herself in knowing the customary awe at the warm-hearted bad boy trope from miles away. Granted, they had tried to protect her from that exact same cliché before but she had a sinking suspicion that taking one good look at him and his exotic beauty had something to do with their sudden agreeability.
“I guess it's stressful for all of us but especially Kagome-chan. It can’t possibly help with your irritable bowel syndrome,” Yuka lamented.
That’s a new one, Jii-chan…
“You have such a beautiful eye color,” Ayumi marveled at him without looking away. “And your hair, I mean, do you dye it or what?”
Inuyasha glanced at Kagome inquisitively. “It’s the color I was born with…”
“Wow, that's different!” Eri grinned.
“Ya think so?”
Kagome stared at him, mouth agape, as he shyly rubbed the back of his neck.
“Can I touch it?” Ayumi asked.
“Yeah, I- guess…”
This was not happening. Had a sudden eye-candy beacon gone off to alert all females in the area? Past and present!? First the snow youkai and now her friends, all in the span of a measly three days. Looking around Kagome could tell that several pairs of eyes were secretively X-raying her traveling companion as well.
“So uhm,” Ayumi glanced timidly up at him as her fingers smoothed his silver locks. “How tall are you, exactly?”
“Alright, that's enough,” Kagome muttered mildly irritated. “Meet you back here later?”
Inuyasha nodded, half-confused. “End of the day?”
“We’re gonna meet up in the library after classes to study. You wanna come, Kagome-chan?”
Kagome bit her lip in thought. “I could use the help, to be honest.”
“How do I know when you're ready?"
“Hm, I don't have my cell anymore. Yuka-chan, can I borr-”
“You can give me your number, Inuyasha, and we'll let you know when we're done,” Ayumi offered with a huge smile, already pulling the device out of her pocket.
“My- number? Of what?”
“I'll call home. Have it memorized. Don't worry, Ayumi-chan,” Kagome gritted her teeth before turning to the stunned hanyou. “Mama will let you know, 'kay?”
With a small appreciative smile sent in his direction, Kagome waved him goodbye and turned on her crutches to walk inside the high school grounds, the girls following behind her a few seconds later.
“Are you sure you're not together, Kagome-chan?” Yuka rushed to her side to whisper while the other two trailed behind. “You two seem pretty close. When did you even meet him?”
Kagome shrugged. “Seems like hundreds of years ago.”
It had only gotten worse.
For the following week, whenever he didn’t feel like wandering off to the past, Inuyasha accompanied her to the recurrent study dates the girls insisted on setting up. It got to a point where they wouldn’t even bother pretending to want to study anymore. The trio would march to her house, set their school bags somewhere in the corner of her room and themselves on the bed, and try to coax some sort of dialogue out of him.
On the one hand, it was Inuyasha, which meant they didn’t get more than five words at a time on a sunny day. On the other, the one slapping her across the face, he seemed to be enjoying the attention he was receiving and…it was getting to her…
“Are ya even listening to me, Kagome?”
“Hm? Sorry, what?”
The hanyou groaned and lifted her crutches in the air. “You wanna take these things too or not?”
“Of course I do, Inuyasha. How else am I supposed to, ya know, move around?” she crossed her arms irritatedly.
“On my back? Like we've been doin' for the last week?” he argued back. “We’ll only be in the village for a couple hours either way. Didn't ya tell your mother we'd be back here for dinner? So, what's the point?”
“The point is that I'd like to be able to move independently of you, thank you very much.”
“Alright,” he said before gripping her arms and forcing her to sit on the edge of the well. “Enough’s enough. Why have ya been so fucking huffy with me all day?”
Kagome looked away from him. “I haven’t been huffy.”
“Bitchy, a pain in my ass, whatever ya wanna call it,” Inuyasha raised an eyebrow in disbelief. “If I hadn’t been carrying you, you'd have osuwaried my ass 'till I found water already, and I wanna know why.”
Kagome spared him a peeved glance. “Sorry about that. You'd probably prefer it if I batted my lashes at you and brought you free lemon cakes, but I'm all out of flour, unfortunately.”
Okay, that was low… Admittedly, it hadn’t been his fault that the waitress at the coffee shop she took him for breakfast that morning had shamelessly started hitting on him as soon as they sat down but he was guilty of drooling at the pastries on the display counter, full-blown puppy-eyes on, and taking the lemon cakes from the giggling girl. Kagome had been holding it in all week and she was ashamed to admit that was her tipping point.
“The- fuck? Are you mad I didn’t give you a cake?”
Kagome hid her face in her hands to let out a tiny muffled scream. “Oh my God… You're so goddamn dense it's a wonder you don't sink in the hot springs.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The young girl sighed. “Forget it. This is pointless. Let's just go, 'kay?”
“Nah. We ain’t goin' anywhere 'till you tell me what's bothering you.”
Kagome got up calmly and turned towards the well on one leg. “Look… I'm sorry, Inuyasha. It's stupid and petty and I'm just being unreasonable at this point, so I'd rather we talked later. I promise I'll explain it to you. Just, not now. Is that okay?”
Slowly but surely the frown marring his beautiful features vanished, replaced by just mild curiosity. Groaning out his agreement, he knelt by her side so she could climb on his back and picked the crutches up from the ground to take with them, just in case. One leap in the air and the familiar pull of the portal had them floating through time itself.
“Whatever I did, I- I'm sorry, okay?” he said softly once they reached the other side. “You may not believe it but I don't always wanna argue with you…”
Kagome chuckled. “Just sometimes?”
“Yeah,” he added with a smirk. “I’ll even let you touch my ears later, if you want. As a truce. If your friends don't come over after dinner that is, don't want them getting any ideas.”
His suggestion was met with a pregnant pause.
“Miss your girlfriends already, do you?”
“Oh, fuck this,” Inuyasha set her on her feet before grabbing her and putting her against the well's wall, arms caging her in despite her little eep of surprise. “Explain, now.”
Kagome looked genuinely regretful and shocked. “I didn’t mean that, honest! It just slipped! I don’t- I- I don’t know what came over me, I'm sorry…”
“That’s fine. Don’t care. Explain.”
She munched on her bottom lip. “Later, oka-?”
“Now, Kagome,” he ordered firmly.
She needed a readying intake of air to clear her thoughts. He wasn’t helping matters in the least by standing so close to her, not uncomfortably so but enough for her to feel the heat radiating off his body, but she doubted he cared at the moment.
Well…here goes nothing…
“I’m sorry, I just… I- I've been feeling kind of… jealous, I guess…”
Golden eyes narrowed. “Jealous of what?”
“Of everything! Of the attention you’ve been getting from, oh let me see, every uncommitted female we've come across in the last few days? It's youkai, it's humans, you've gone through the whole spectrum…”
“Ya talking about that succubus witch!? How is that my fault, stupid?”
Kagome rolled her eyes. “It’s not, idiot! I never said it was! None of it actually is. But I don't like it all the same. The same way you get all pissed off when Kouga-kun comes around. I don’t actually do anything to lead him on but it doesn’t mean you don't go rabid on him!”
Inuyasha grunted. “Yeah, that's pretty fucking debatable. Ya don’t exactly ask him to fuck off either!”
“You wanna talk debatable? How about the fact that you were all smiles and rainbows towards that waitress this morning? You knew what you were doing!”
“She had the key to that fucking glass box with the cakes! Was I supposed to bark at her!?”
Kagome was sure her face would have morphed into a question mark if it had the ability to. “Are you kidd-? We’re you actually doing all of that for the food!?”
“Why else would I, stupid?”
She stared at him like he was the dumbest being she'd ever met. Which he probably was.
“Ya know… you would be very dangerous if you weren’t so damn oblivious.”
The hanyou frowned, not understanding what she meant, but deciding to brush past it. “Oh, I'm oblivious? How about the fact that I've been lookin' after you for a whole week, carrying you everywhere around that smoke-infested village on your side and puttin' up with those annoying ass friends of yours, just for you to come to the conclusion that ya should be jealous ‘cause somehow I'll be interested in one of…them.”
“I know you won’t… I'm just- insecure,” she breathed out and looked up at him. “You’re really pretty, you know?”
Inuyasha snorted at her softly-whispered confession, that she admitted so plainly like it cleared everything up. “Keh. You're- really one to talk.”
He loved seeing her turn bright red. Usually it was either in anger or because he accidentally stumbled on something personal of hers but he was finding it much more amusing when this particular kind of blush colored her cheeks.
“So…you don't want a lifetime supply of pastries or Ayumi braiding your hair?”
“Pft. You really let your imagination run wild sometimes don't ya?” The hanyou chuckled. “I don't give two fucks about what those girls think of me. Or any youkai for that matter. I- Yours is the only opinion that matters, dumbass. And if I got a rise outta someone, I'd hope that someone woulda been you.”
Kagome bit her lip so she wouldn’t smile too widely. “You make it sound like it's news…”
“I can see that now but how was I supposed to know before?”
Her confusion was visible by the way her brows furrowed in thought. “You know how I- feel about you. We wouldn’t be talking so openly if you didn’t. I meant everything I said about you being important to me. About how you're already part of my family…”
“That’s not the same, Kagome. I know you-… I know you love me. But it's one thing to care for someone… Being attracted to a hanyou is a whole different story.”
She sighed curtly. “Was that the way you took it? That I only care for you like I would for any other member of my family? And I know you've been- Your whole life you… Ugh, I guess- I'm just trying to say that people in this time don’t know what they're talking about, okay? Do you need more proof that you couldn’t be further from the truth than all of my friends practically drooling at the sight of you?”
Inuyasha stared at her adoringly, her words drawing a shaky breath from him. “I told ya I don’t care about what they think.”
Kagome narrowed her eyes playfully and decided to go along with it. “They're not the only ones… You looked really handsome…”
She slapped his shoulder, her hand lingering on the deep red fabric of his haori. “Though… I still prefer seeing you in this, to be honest.”
“Yeah? How come?”
She paused to think and then met his eyes. “It’s familiar. Reminds me of home.”
Inuyasha didn’t move, his expression unreadable. The full blow of what she was implying hit him like a silent storm. That something of his, from his own time, was what made her feel at home… That even though they’d spent a whole week in her era, a reminder of the past was what brought her comfort…
Kagome gasped as his forehead fell against hers, the tips of his bangs tickling the bridge of her nose. From under her own half-shut lids, she saw him opening his eyes as his knuckles ghosted over her jawbone.
“Can I?” he whispered.
Perhaps it was the fact that she'd started breathing in the air he'd panted out but she felt warm and dizzy caged between his arms. Choosing actions over words would always be his forte but maybe after three years the hanyou had started rubbing off on her, because the next thing she knew, she was tilting her head up to close the painful gap between them.
It started out tentatively enough, with their lips sliding leisurely against each other, a few trembling gasps slipping out when they parted for air because of how hard their hearts fought to match in beats. Kagome saw the spark igniting in the deep amber pools of his gaze and soon enough Inuyasha was flexing his hand on her jaw to pry her mouth open, his tongue slipping between her parted moist lips to massage hers.
He tasted like the raspberries they had stolen from the kitchen on their way out. Smelled like the forest on a damp day with a light tint of an incense-like musk. Felt like rock-solid sin against the soft planes of her body as he pushed her against the cold surface of the well's wall.
“Inuyasha,” she rasped out when one of his fangs accidentally nipped her lip.
“Sorry,” he whispered huskily, taking the mistreated flesh between his own lips and sucking it gently to soothe her.
Kagome felt numb under his fervent stare and ministrations, her hands clutching the front of his robes so she'd keep her balance. Not that she could actually go anywhere with her sprained ankle. Nor did she want to, either way.
“And a-also…” She trembled when his lips hovered over hers, tricking her into thinking he wouldn’t let her finish, just to tenderly press against the skin of her jaw. “Red really compliments you...”
“Hmm,” he acknowledged hearing her through a soothing purr as his kisses ambled up her jaw to her ear. “Ya think your friends would like it?”
The snap of anger that had her whole body tensing should be enough for him to realize she wanted to torture him to death at that very moment, but, if not, the way her mouth opened comically with indignation and her eyes seethed with blue flames would do the trick. And was he laughing at her!?
“You! Monumental! Ass!” she shrieked, punctuating her insults with very minor shoves and punches that didn’t make him move an inch.
“I'm kiddin', woman!” Inuyasha barely surpressed his laughter enough to tell her, clawed hands gripping hers with a swift movement and pinning them to her sides. “You’re cute when you're foaming-at-the-mouth jealous.”
Darn it, she should protest! That was so not the moment for him to try to be clever! The pompous jerk had the audacity to use it to get a rise out of her after she’d opened her heart to him! She should let him have it! She would!
When he swallowed her last whine of annoyance, she was a goner. Her arms immediately curled around his neck after he released them so she could meet him with the same urgency he was using to kiss her. Her head was spinning out of control and she was sure she would have tipped over already from trying to balance herself on one foot if not for the iron-grip one of his arms had around her waist.
“Fuck,” he protested with a grunt when she bit his bottom lip. On purpose.
“Sorry…” she mimicked his earlier response and leaned into him again with a sly smile to kiss it better, much like he had done to her.
Inuyasha smirked and dipped down to meet her awaiting mouth and push her back, the soft moan that that particular rougher movement had her releasing sending a jolt of heat right down his groin.
“In’yasha,” she whimpered between short intakes of breath as his head bent to her neck, her throat tingling from the soft nips of his fangs alternated with open-mouthed scorching kisses. “My- ankle…”
The inuhanyou resourcefully solved their problem by gently prying her legs open and placing his thigh between them so she could partially sit on it. A strangled moan stumbled out of her lips at the intimate position he'd put them in.
“You don’t know how long,” he whispered huskily, hands curling around her small waist. “I’ve wanted you like this…”
Kagome held on to his silver locks while he kissed a slow deliberate wet path from her collarbone to the swell of her breasts, following the motions of his hand as it undid the top buttons of her cardigan and she thanked the kamis for not picking the purple turtleneck she had been eyeing that morning.
“I probably do,” Kagome's voice rose in pitch when he stopped to breathe in her scent, the tips of his claws prickling her over clothes as he tightened his hold. “And y-you didn’t exactly make it- easier for me these last few days…”
“No?” he feigned surprise.
“No,” she let out with a small whimper when he boldly bit the top of her breast. “Mama knew what, eep… s-she was doing- with those pants.”
Inuyasha laughed and lifted his head to take her disheveled state in.
“Ya think this was her goal?”
Kagome blushed, imagining what her mother would have to say about her current state of dress. “She’d probably disinherit me for doing this in the well, of all places. So, no. If she wanted me to jump you, she would have put you in a tie.”
He knew what that was. “Keh. Noted. For later.”
The miko smiled against his mouth as he bent for another kiss, her legs tensing in response to being roughly pulled closer to his torso. A tingle ran down her back when he slipped a hand into her hair, his claws lightly scraping her nape as he deepened the kiss.
“Kagome?” he panted to get her attention.
Through the haziness he had pushed her into, she watched him watch her with barely repressed need. His breathing had quickened and the outer golden hue of his irises darkened to a rich whiskey. Understanding what he was about to ask permission to do, Kagome placed her smaller hand on his and tugged it up the expanse of her waist, stopping just before reaching her chest.
Inuyasha was mesmerized at the sight of her flesh spilling from the top of her undergarments as he gave the base of her breast a small squeeze. At Kagome's encouraging whimper, he tried it with the other at the same time, molding the twin peaks to his liking. She barely had time to swallow a gasp as he bit her rapidly hardening nipple over her bra, the warm feel of his breath against her skin having her shiver in his arms.
“Fuckin’ hell,” he groaned. “How do I-?”
“No, don’t!” She glared at him when he became frustrated with the front-closure and hooked one of his claws in. “These are expensive, stupid! You can't just rip them in half!”
“Keh. Why d'ya even wear this? It's not like they need holdin' up,” he said crudely and she would have smacked him across the head hadn’t his mouth immediately latched onto a nipple and forced her protests to the back of her mind.
Kagome felt herself trembling all over, her hands finding purchase on his broad shoulders as he lavished her breasts with hot needy nips and sucks. The sensation of his tongue coaxing her peaks to harden even more had her crying with blind want.
They were getting carried away. Kagome was struggling to keep herself from squirming and Inuyasha was on a mission to make her squirm all right.
It eventually got to be too much for him too when she got a hold of his ears and massaged them as gently as she could in the throes of her delirium.
Kagome heard the guttural groan before she even felt him move, his face now leveled with her skirt as he kneeled in front of her and held her hips.
“Put your leg up on my shoulder.”
Kagome gulped with nervousness. “Eh, what?”
He grazed his finger under her cardigan and gave her hip a soft nip. “Please, Kagome?”
Her mind wasn’t pristine enough that she couldn’t figure out what he planned on doing. “But- w-what if someone-?”
“Have ya forgotten who you're with, idiot?”
How did he have a talent for making her sigh dreamily and want to wrestle him to the ground practically in the same breath?
Reluctantly, she lifted her leg off the ground, careful not to bump her injured ankle into him. The inuhanyou kissed her inner thigh as she shakily placed it on his shoulder, his eyes burning a trail up her naked torso until they met her own.
“Are these expensive too?”
Kagome's squeal of disapproval died on her lips as soon as his claws ripped through the material of her underwear and his tongue delved inside her.
“Shh, quiet. So I can hear.”
It wouldn’t have made sense if she didn’t know he meant to stand guard. She couldn’t help but curl her fingers around his hair as he sucked her into his mouth, his tongue velvety and insistent against her entrance.
Kagome was rapidly losing the strength to hold herself up, her leg cramping and trembling from being handled that way. Feeling her slumping against him, Inuyasha brought his hands behind her back and squeezed her ass cheeks at the same time that his lips clamped on her clit and sucked hard.
“Oh,” she cried before taking her hand to her mouth so she could bite on it.
She felt frenzied, wild, tilting towards a wrecking orgasm while he kept the torturous licks up her slit and inside her tight heat. It felt like a fever dream, having Inuyasha do this to her inside the Bone-Eater’s Well where they'd been so many times before for much more innocuous reasons. The animalistic sounds he made when he kissed her, touched her, ripped the clothes off her body, would forever come in echoes to her whenever she used the time portal from then on, she was sure.
“You’re gonna have to cum, K'gome,” she heard him groan then, and fought to suppress a moan of her own at seeing him took up at her from between her legs. “'Cause someone's coming.”
Kagome froze on the spot. “What!?”
Inuyasha used his strength to restrain her amidst her frantic attempt to straighten her clothes. “The faster you cum, the faster I'll let ya do that.”
The young girl cried as he brought her against his mouth again, restarting the furious rhythm and the fire coiling up in her belly.
“Inu-Yasha-!” Kagome hissed, her eyes shutting as her hands gripped his hair again. “We- c-can't-”
A wave of panic laced with pleasure washed over her at the prospect of getting caught and she was mortified to find that little bit of information about herself. The inuhanyou kept a tight grip on her backside, drawing her further from the wall and closer to his face when she wiggled against him.
It was getting closer and bigger and stronger and she was afraid of the magnitude of the orgasm she was about to be hit with, mainly from fear of being heard. Grabbing onto one of the vines that slithered the whole way down the well, Kagome let her head fall back in a silent scream, white fireworks flashing under her closed eyelids when he plunged his tongue inside her and growled, the vibrations finally pushing her over the edge and into a bottomless pit.
“Fuck,” Inuyasha groaned, taking one final lick before kissing his way up her body.
She was still shivering lightly when he started nibbling on her chin as his hands fastened the buttons of her cardigan, stopping when they reached her exposed breasts so she could work her magic and clasp the 'braw' thing back together.
“It’s all of them,” he snorted, ears twitching atop his head to pick up the sounds from the world above. “I told them yesterday we'd probably come before sunset.”
“Hmm…” Kagome tried to steady her breathing and her trembling fingers as they finished buttoning her up.
She noticed Inuyasha grabbing her ruined panties from the ground and shoving them inside his robes and felt herself burning up. Oh God. Would the others be able to tell?
“We could, ya know, jump back,” she suggested to his utter amusement.
“Keh,” Inuyasha walked to her to place a tender kiss on her forehead. “We ain’t finishing this in this goddamn well. Next time, it's gonna be somewhere warm, cozy and without bones lying around.”
Kagome bit her lip but nodded despite herself. “I’ve just... Had to share you all week. This isn’t fair.”
Inuyasha chuckled, before placing a feather-light caress to her lips. “I know. But this lot doesn’t wanna take my clothes off, at least.”