"Have you told her yet?"
Inuyasha looked up from the math book he'd been gaping at—not reading, but merely staring at for the last five minutes. His golden orbs met the indigo pools of his friend Miroku, but the half-demon simply kehed in response before pretending to focus on his late homework assignment once more. Despite trying to pry his mind away from a certain raven-haired, azure-eyed classmate with the distraction of complex geometry problems, he couldn't help gazing at her from across the cafeteria.
His eyes ignored the multiple scarlet hearts adorning the walls. He didn't notice how many girls were wearing pink, red, and white today. He disregarded the many male teens with chocolate boxes, thanking the girls who had just confessed their love for them. For the most part, he would've forgotten the fact that it was Valentine's Day at Shikon High, and females were giving sweets to the boys who'd stolen their hearts. He would've forgotten it if it hadn't been for her.
Higurashi Kagome was…beautiful. There really was no other word for it. She radiated saccharine warmth whenever she smiled, held no worries while laughing, and her eyes shone with genuine emotions that even Inuyasha's Ice King of a half-brother couldn't ignore. Her hair danced against her slender back as she made her way out of the lunch line, grinning and giggling at something her friend Sango relayed in her ear.
Never once did the beauty of their high school glimpse Inuyasha's way. But that was to be expected.
He was the freak.
"You haven't, have you?" Miroku asked with an amused tone. Inuyasha's eyes met his again, but upon seeing his perverted friend's smirk and inquisitive rise of eyebrows, he turned red before huffing once more, closing his useless geometry textbook, and getting up to dispose of his tray.
As Inuyasha walked to the trash, his amber gems scanned the room once more until falling upon her, Higurashi Kagome. The pull he felt towards her was inevitable—his eyes could always spot her in a room; even if she had filled it with Kagome-look-alikes, he could see her immediately within the crowd. She would never notice him, however; he was the half-breed, the outsider, the loner who had only a lecher as a friend. She was the most attractive woman in school, the people person, the girl who had everything. Everybody loved the miko Kagome; they all overlooked the hanyou Inuyasha.
Her cheeks were tinted pink at something Sango said, which Kagome instantly replied with a slug to the arm. Sango rubbed it in mock-pain, but Inuyasha barely noticed that or his sudden stillness as he watched Kagome carefully, taking note of each movement she made and everything she did. He remained oblivious to his surroundings because of the girl, watching her from afar, until sudden clunking of food against the bottom of the garbage can rendered him outside of his appreciative thoughts. Embarrassed and with a slight blush that someone could've caught a lowlife such as himself admiring Queen Kagome, he quickly disposed of his uneaten food before making his way back to his and Miroku's empty lunch table.
He hadn't told her yet.
He still hadn't told Higurashi Kagome he was in love with her.
The class was alive with flurries of papers covering desks and voices of excitement ringing throughout the air. Inuyasha remained quiet in his seat, staring at the large blank page before him, though he could've watched Kagome paint on the other side of the classroom. Art class had never been his specialty, PE always taking the gold medal and first place, but now, on February fourteenth, Inuyasha was eager to better his skills in the category.
Not for himself, but for Kagome.
He knew men weren't supposed to admit their love to a woman on Valentine's Day in Japanese culture, that men were to wait until the following month for White Day; Valentine's Day was meant for women to profess their love, not men. Yet, Inuyasha felt compelled to show her his feelings before that mangy wolf demon Kouga got to her. He was aware that no one as perfect as Kagome would return his affections, but he hoped…
He set to work on his gift for her, glancing at her occasionally as he scribbled with his pencil on the soon-to-be filled paper. She laughed happily at a comment her friend Rin made as they painted…something. Inuyasha couldn't see what they were working on, but he saw Rin looking at him from time to time as she always had—it was to be expected, since they were practically sibling-in-laws. Mysteriously, the girl giggled at something, and Kagome's lips quirked into her award-winning smile.
Inuyasha's heart melted on spot as he was rapidly reminded as to why he joined this class in the first place.
At the ring of the bell, Inuyasha scooped up his things and quickly hightailed it out of there. Usually, he would've watched Kagome for as long as possible, staying in his seat until she completely left the room. But today, with his present in a safe embrace to his chest, he used all his speed to make it to her locker before she did. He couldn't handle encounters or endure rejections, much less have the first time they talked to each other be the moment she turned him down.
He dodged his peers swiftly as he made his way to her locker on the second floor. With accurate precision, his eyes automatically found her waxed locker, free of neighbors or her friends—something that rarely occurred, but helped him immensely. Inuyasha flicked the tape holder on his jeans' waistband, dropping his school supplies to the floor before putting the plastic in his mouth. His masterpiece remained unharmed in his hold, and he held it out at arm's length, giving it a once-over of the eyes. Approving of its condition and quality, he nodded to himself then used one hand to hold it against her locker, the other ripping a piece of tape from the plastic in-between his teeth. He quickly swiped the poster to the wall, careful of his claws, before stepping back and letting a sigh escape his lips.
He hoped she liked it.
Grabbing his things, he calmly walked away, glad that no one was in the halls anymore, thus wouldn't see Kagome's reaction to his gift. He idly wondered why she hadn't been to her locker yet, if she'd had to talk to a teacher or if she'd gotten in trouble, but scoffed at the idea as quickly as it came. Kagome was passing in every class—except math, where Inuyasha excelled and spent most of his time gawking at her—and was a well-behaved girl. He didn't have the slightest clue as to what she was doing, but whatever it was, it wasn't something bad; Kagome could never be bad.
Inuyasha finally reached the staircase, his feet thudding recklessly on the steps as he practically jumped his way down. At the turn-off, he hit solid floor and was about to go down again when he came face-to-face with the person his eyes couldn't leave freely, the woman who never left his mind no matter how hard he tried to will her out of it—not that he would ever want to stop thinking about her, the maiden who haunted his dreams and made him feel emotions like no other.
Kagome. She was close, as close to him as she'd ever been, and his heart sped up at the thought. His skin clammed up somewhat as she noticed him, too, before a priceless smile lit up her angelic face, her natural blush darkening just slightly. Inuyasha reddened as well, but probably for much different reasons, as she had given him that truly content expression. After she brushed past him and made her way up the stairs, he watched her walk away until he'd noticed how stupid he looked and acted with her around at a simple exchange of eye contact. Cursing inwardly to himself, Inuyasha made his way down the rest of the stairs with demonic speed, walking to his locker distractedly.
It wasn't until his feet knocked into something on the ground that he stopped mentally hitting himself on the head.
He looked down, confused at first, until his gaze glued itself onto a paint easel. He blinked several times at the image in front of him, not believing his own eyesight. He roamed over the classroom background, the red t-shirt and ripped jeans, not to mention detailed facial features, snowy white hair, and alert dog ears. His artwork was hidden by his textbooks, blocking off the view of the creator, but—
It was him. Someone painted him, Inuyasha, the nobody. His eyes coursed into rapid spasms again, blinking repeatedly, still not believing the sheer evidence of the matter in front of him. He noted how well the strokes matched real life imaging, how the colors coordinated perfectly with reality, how true his personality was illustrated on the canvas. He felt himself smiling, still shocked, until his eyes scanned the name for the painter and his breath caught. He ran as hard as his legs would take him to the upper floor, gripping the canvas securely, though he still remained cautious because of his claws.
Then, at the same place they'd faced one another just a moment ago, both Inuyasha and Kagome stared at each other in surprise, confusion, and happiness with two art pieces in their hands, blushing madly in both cheerfulness and slight embarrassment.
The queen of the school hugged her portrait of a dark-haired beauty working on a painting that couldn't be seen, signed Your Admirer, Inuyasha, to her chest while Inuyasha held his painting of a familiar hanyou at his side protectively, signed Your Admirer, Kagome.
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InuYasha © Rumiko Takahashi.
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