Inuyasha pulled himself out of the well and opened the sliding door to the shed. He grumbled, dusting off his haori and hakama as he made his way to the main shrine house. Kagome had been gone for three days, for something called “finals and graduation,” and had told him that she didn’t know when she was going to be back. And that had pissed him off, to no end, because more than anything, he wanted to see her again.
The night before she’d left to come home had been his human night; as usual, she’d sat up with him, keeping him company the entire night, “protecting him” from whatever the fuck she thought was out there that he couldn’t take care of himself. They’d been sitting together, close to the fire; everyone else had been asleep. And dammit, she’d smelled so good and felt so warm, and when she put her head on his shoulder, and his arm just went the fuck around her?
Keh. He’d just about lost his fucking mind.
And then, his stupid fucking emotions had gotten the best of him. He’d turned to face her, and her deep brown eyes had stared back up at him, warm and inviting. All of her that night had been...warm and inviting. Inuyasha had been overwhelmed with the feelings he had for her: feelings of love, of lust, of desire...to be with her. To know what it felt like to kiss her, to touch her, to taste her. And so, his stupid human self had done just that.
The kiss had been sweet, and gentle, and Kagome had kissed him back. She’d put a soft pressure into the kiss, making him moan with pleasure and deepen it. Kissing her had been everything he’d ever dreamed of, and the fact that she didn’t stop him—that she wanted him to keep going—had filled him with a kind of longing he didn’t know existed. But then, overwhelmed by all the rising emotions (and the rising of something else in his groin), he felt weird about kissing her, and then, because he was weird and awkward as a human and didn’t know what to do, he had broken the kiss. Kagome had simply hummed, and snuggled back in underneath his arm, allowing him to hug her close.
But despite Kagome’s eagerness, Inuyasha still worried. Embarrassed. He knew that he had been overcome with human emotions, and kissing Kagome wasn’t something that he was supposed to do. Sure, he could admire her from afar, but when it came to actually acting on his desire for her? Well, fuck. That was something that he couldn’t do. Kagome was perfect for him. She was beautiful, and kind, and generous, and smart, and fierce. She knew way more about the world than he did. He was just a dirty hanyou, mixed blood, straddling two worlds and not fitting into either. And she had a clear world she belonged to—the modern world—a world that he, a hanyou, did not.
No. They were from separate worlds; they were destined to spend their lives apart. It was better if Inuyasha simply cut his losses and said, that was a great kiss, but we can’t do that again. Because he wanted to protect her, to keep her safe. Because he thought she could do better.
Because he loved her.
But apparently even his hanyou self had different ideas. Because when she announced the next morning that she was leaving, what did he do? He walked her to the well, and before she jumped down and returned home, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. A-fucking-gain.
And this time, if it was possible, Kagome had seemed to enjoy the kiss even more. She’d practically jumped into his arms, and kissed him so hard he could neither breathe nor think straight. When she had probed his lips with her tongue, he hadn’t known what to do, so he opened up his mouth and let her inside. And fuck, the way that her tongue had caressed his fangs? Well, it made him feel a lot of pressure in his dick, and he wanted more than anything else to relieve that pressure, but at the same time, he’d just wanted it all to stop. Because again, he was a fucking fool, and he was hopelessly in love with her.
She’d given him a shy glance, and one more peck on the cheek. She’d said, “I’ll see you in a few days, Inuyasha,” and then she was gone. And Inuyasha...how he had yelled, and growled, and even cried, once Kagome had left to return to her own world.
That had been three days ago. Three miserable days, punctured by an ache that could not be healed, by an emptiness that could not be filled, without Kagome. He knew she was busy—he fucking knew that she needed space—but he just couldn’t leave her alone. He couldn’t. And every day without her, he’d gotten increasingly more volatile, more crabby, until Miroku and Sango had exchanged knowing glances, until Miroku had walked him back to the well and practically pushed him in. Because they weren’t stupid; they knew what was going on in Inuyasha’s mind. They knew how in love with Kagome he was, and how badly he needed to see her.
So here he was, walking the earthen courtyard, every step a step closer to her. And fuck, he was nervous. When they’d parted, he’d kissed her. And she’d kissed him back. When they met again, should he greet her with a kiss? Should he do something more?
Or...should he do the thing that he’d been dying to do, the thing that became even more important three days ago?
Should he ask her to marry him?
Dammit. He wasn’t worthy of kissing her. He wasn’t the kind of man that she could find in her own time: dependable, capable…
Inuyasha’s ears laid flat at that thought. Kagome needed someone who was fully ensconced in her world. Someone who was human every day, not once a month. Someone who…
“Oh, Inuyasha-kun?” Mama Higurashi was sweeping the entrance to the house and looked up to see him trudging across the courtyard. “Is everything all right?”
Fuck. He couldn’t let Kagome’s mother know.
“Everything’s fine, oba-san,” he replied gruffly, trying to hide the quaver in his voice. “Is—Is Kagome—?”
“She’s here,” Mama said. “She’s in the bath. Why don’t you go wait in her room? I know she’ll be glad to see you.”
The thought of Kagome, naked and in the bathtub was more than he could take. He grunted out a “thanks,” then slid open the door and bolted inside. He called a quick hello to Sota, then barreled up the stairs to Kagome’s bedroom. Once there, he flopped onto her bed, his ears straining to hear any sounds from the bathroom.
Because he wanted to...make sure she was okay.
Yes, that was it.
Inuyasha sighed and rolled over onto his back. He stared at the ceiling, his mind once again full of Kagome. Of marriage. Of what a fool he was when it came to her. To feelings. To his feelings for her.
He wanted to do so many things for her. Show her that he was worthy of her. He would do anything for her.
In fact...he already was.
Inuyasha had told literally no one, because Miroku and Shippo would tease him, and Sango would tell Kagome, and Kaede would...well, he didn’t want to think about what Kaede would do. She was Kikyo’s sister, after all, and he didn’t know how she would take to him moving on so easily. He’d made a promise to protect Kikyo, and failed, and even though he knew Kaede didn’t hold it against him, he still…
Inuyasha growled and dug his claws into his palms. Kaede loved Kagome like she was her own, and there would be no issue.
But still. His secret was safe, and Kagome would be the first he would tell. If he could work up the nerve.
On the edge of his forest, in a small clearing, far from the prying eyes of the village, Inuyasha had been secretly working on building something: a hut. A hut that would be his, and his alone. Unless...Kagome wanted to share it with him.
Breathy sounds coming from the bathroom caused Inuyasha’s ears to perk up. He sat up straight on the bed, and turned towards the door, his ears swiveling in that direction, too. But then all was quiet, and he settled back down to return to his thoughts.
Inuyasha’s original plan to propose to Kagome had been: get up the nerve to show her the hut once it was finished, show her that he could be a good provider and a good mate, and then...ask her to marry him. And then kiss her...and do a lot more.
But his stupid human emotions had gotten the best of him, and done things out of order. He kissed her first, which was supposed to be last, and now? Now he didn’t know what to do. How could he possibly propose, show her the hut, do things the way that he wanted? It was true that she had kissed him back, and seemed enthusiastic about kissing him, but…
The sounds from the bathroom got a little bit louder, and Inuyasha sat up again. He listened, his ears twitching, trying to see what else he could discern, trying to see if she was okay. But things quieted down yet again, and he relaxed, allowing his thoughts to become full of Kagome.
What was she doing in the bath? Why was she taking so long? Didn’t she know that he was here? That they had things to do? He couldn’t sit around here all day. He...he wanted to show her…
Inuyasha leapt off the bed and flung open the door to Kagome’s room.
She was hurt.
Stupid woman had fallen.
She needed his help. Now.
He had...he had to hurry.
He rushed down the hall to the bathroom, and threw open the door, the steam from the shower clouding his vision.
“Kagome!” he barked. “Are you okay?”
What he saw made him blush, and duck his head, his ears drooping and his body turning slightly away. How...how could he have been so stupid? How could he have not scented her, figured it out? How could he…?
But then, a breathy voice said, “Inu—yasha? Is—is that really you?” and he dared to peek one golden eye out, and saw a hand reaching for him, through the steam. And the voice said, in a gentle, sensual tone that made his ears perk up with hope:
“Come here, please.” A beat, and then: “It’s okay.”