The Sounds of Being by SakuraRyuu
Summary: Written for the At First Tweak Sound AFX challenge.
Categories: Fairy Tales Characters: InuYasha, Kagome, Kirara, Kouga, Miroku, Sango, Shippou
Genres: Angst, Divergence, Drama, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Suspense
Warnings: Language
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 9 Completed: Yes Word count: 6261 Read: 36174 Published: April 08, 2010 Updated: April 08, 2010
Story Notes:
InuYasha and all characters in this fan fiction are the property of Rumiko Takahashi.

1. Doing This My Way by SakuraRyuu

2. From Bad to Worse by SakuraRyuu

3. Intervention by SakuraRyuu

4. Kagome’s Mistake by SakuraRyuu

5. InuYasha’s Misgivings by SakuraRyuu

6. Kouga Steps In by SakuraRyuu

7. Drastic Measures by SakuraRyuu

8. Sessoumaru Makes an Appearance by SakuraRyuu

9. Right as Rain by SakuraRyuu

Doing This My Way by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:

Prompt: SFX Challenge - Zah! (dramatic entrance) 

The weather is bad and Kagome is in no mood for any foolishness

Kouga spun into the campsite, flinging mud all over everyone and dropping a huge clump in the middle of the fire pit, effectively putting it out. InuYasha groaned.

"Nice entrance you mangy wolf." Kouga grinned over his shoulder at InuYasha but otherwise ignored him.

The small group had been traveling through the rain soaked countryside all day. They were weary, wet, and gloomy and it had taken them forever to find a dry enough spot off the roadside where they could set up camp. Had it not been for Kagome's waterproof matches they would never have gotten a fire started to begin with. Now with Kouga's fabulous entrance all hope of warmth had certainly been squashed. If Kagome got sick InuYasha was going to kill that mangy wolf.

"Kagome." Kouga strode up to Kagome, took both her hands in his and looked her in the eye, smiling. "How's my woman?"

Kagome simply smiled the weary smile she always had when he started their encounters on such a note. She knew InuYasha would leap in front of her, knock Kouga away, they would exchange insults, maybe even spar, Kouga would come to her again to say goodbye and spin off into the sunset. Then Hakaku and Ginta would get there all winded after Kouga had left, swiftly greet Kagome and say their goodbyes in one breath, and run off after him calling his name. If Kouga wasn't so insistent and InuYasha wasn't so possessive it would almost be funny. And no matter how she reacted to Kouga she was damned with both him and InuYasha. It was all way too complicated for reasons that made zero sense to her and today she was just too tired for all that. She decided to keep it light and friendly, and hope Kouga would be on his way quickly. She should have known better.

"Hello, Kouga, how have you been?"

"I'm honored you would ask about my well-being, Kagome."

"You are my friend, Kouga, and I like to know how my friends are doing when I see them." Kagome stressed the word friend, knowing Kouga would completely miss the implication.

Right on cue InuYasha interjected, "Hey you mangy wolf, get your hands off Kagome," poking the delicate situation with a big, pointy Tetsaiga, trying to egg on the wolf.

Kagome closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She was not having that today. From her vantage point between the men she turned away from Kouga, took her hands from his, and put a hand on the breastbone of each man, sending a sizzle of her spiritual energy through her palms. Both men yelped.

InuYasha jumped back out of Kagome's reach while Kouga stepped back to put some distance between himself and the miko.

"Alright, boys, we are not going to do this today. I'm wet, I'm tired, the weather is gloomy, and the fire is out so I have no warmth, no way to dry my clothes and no way to make food. I'm just not up for your bickering. Let that zap be a reminder that I can do away with both of you quicker than you can do away with each other and I expect civility when you both are around me at the same time. If you can't say anything nice to each other don't say anything at all and keep your hands to yourselves. That includes weapons. I belong to no one and make my own choices, thank you very much. Now, Kouga, if you have some news for us I would be grateful to hear it. Otherwise, I would like to know if you know of a cave nearby where we can get out of this weather."

Kouga stared at Kagome a moment before he responded. She had zapped him with her purifying energy! His one true love had threatened to purify him if he wasn't more civil to a hanyou! He was in shock. Why did she ask the impossible?

"There is a cave just a little farther down the road, about 200 paces or so. I'll take you to it."

With that the small group collected themselves and followed Kouga toward the cave. InuYasha reluctantly followed, way back from the group. He had taken it for granted Kagome wouldn't purify him. This created a tension and resentment in him toward Kagome that he hadn't experienced since he had woken from his sleep pinned to Goshinboku. Kikyou had used her spiritual powers not to purify him but to put him in an endless sleep. Kagome had threatened him with her powers if he wasn't more civil to that mangy wolf. Now he wondered could she have something similar to what Kikyou had done planned for him? He wasn't sure if he would wait around long enough to find out.

From Bad to Worse by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Basa basa (rustle, rummage)

The group settles in for the storm.

While Kouga led the way to the cave, Kagome followed behind him walking alone, Miroku, Sango, Shippou and Kirara walked together in the middle and InuYasha brought up the rear. He noticed the wolf was keeping a more respectable distance from Kagome. "Probably afraid to get zapped again," InuYasha thought, grinning evilly. The grin immediately fell when he remembered he had been zapped as well. His heart felt like it was clinching in his chest, skipping a beat every time he thought of the feeling to his skin. His mind was in complete turmoil. He was still shocked Kagome had used her spiritual powers to zap him and it brought the memory of Kikyou sealing him to Goshinboku. Kagome had never caused him to not trust her, but if she was willing to zap him over that mangy wolf, she might be willing to seal him to a tree as well. Maybe even purify him. The familiar feeling of betrayal was beginning to seep into his heart, clouding his judgment, making him doubt her.

Once inside the cave the group set about making camp. The cave provided enough room for everyone to fit comfortably and the opening was pointed away from the chilled wind. Kagome had been lucky enough to find some dry brush and wood just outside the opening and Kouga had started making the fire pit. InuYasha sulked quietly in the farthest, darkest corner of the cave, scowling deeply at Kagome. Just as Kouga was about to leave the sky let loose and the rain began to fall. As if it had been waiting for this moment all day, the rain poured down, trapping InuYasha, his small group and Kouga in the cave together.

Standing at the opening of the cave holding her pot in the downpour to gather water for their supper, Kagome wondered idly what happened to Hakaku and Ginta. She hoped they had found shelter from the rain. She turned and walked toward the fire to set the pot on to boil and started rummaging in her backpack for ramen. She thought it would be a good piece offering to InuYasha for zapping her earlier. As she looked around the cave she saw him sitting quietly by himself, his face set in a fierce scowl. It seemed his mood was extra foul thanks to Kouga being stuck in the cave with them due to the rain.

InuYasha had his back against the wall, his right leg stretched out in front of him, his left bent at the knee and brought up to his chest. Tetsaiga was leaned against his left shoulder and his arms were crossed over it with his hands tucked in his sleeves. As Kagome walked toward him she noticed his eyes didn't shift in her direction making her realize he had already been looking at her, yet the scowl didn't ease. To her dismay, it grew darker. As she kneeled down next to his right leg he shifted away, trying to stay out of her reach.

"InuYasha?" Kagome questioned, sounding confused.

"Don't touch me, Kagome," InuYasha warned, his voice cold and flat.

Kagome reached to touch InuYasha's shoulder and he growled, a low, threatening rumble in his chest. Everyone in the cave turned to look at them as she stared at him in shock.

"I will only say this once, Kagome, so listen good. You will not touch me again." With that InuYasha got up and walked away, leaving Kagome staring after him with her mouth hanging open.

Intervention by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Paa! (sparkle)

Kouga takes in his surroundings.

Kagome spent the night in her sleeping bag with Shippou snuggled to her middle. She, Miroku and Sango were sleeping feet to head around the camp fire while Kouga kept watch at the door of the cave and InuYasha kept watch over his companions from the dark corner he had chosen for himself. The rest of the evening had been tense to say the very least. InuYasha wouldn't come near Kagome and only talked to her if necessary. She, in return, had stayed away from him as well, and tried to not talk to him at all. Her feelings were hurt, she didn't understand his reaction to her and why he was acting so severely cold toward her. She lay awake long after everyone else had fallen asleep and she knew he was awake as well, but she didn't dare approach him. He could tell by her breathing she hadn't fallen asleep but still wanted nothing to do with her. The farther away he was from her the better.

Kouga eyed the two suspiciously. As much as he wanted Kagome for himself and was certainly not about to give up trying to claim her as his mate, he was not pleased that she was so upset and Dog-breath was to blame. He knew what InuYasha's problem was but was not about to approach either of them about it. He knew they both were awake and no matter what he chose to say to whom, the other would hear. And the rest of the group was there as well, leaving even less privacy, if that were possible in this cave.

As he surveyed their surroundings outside the cave Kouga formed a plan. There was a spring nearby and he knew InuYasha usually watched over the area while Kagome bathed although he didn't think that would be the case now. He would offer to accompany her to the spring when the rain broke so she could bathe and get into fresh clothes before the next bought of rain fell and they were confined to the cave again. Along the way to the spring he would approach her about what had caused InuYasha to pull away from her so harshly. If he could make her understand her mistake he knew she would try to fix things and ease the tension everyone felt.

Once he got back with Kagome, Kouga would approach InuYasha and offer to help him hunt for the group. He knew if he didn't try to loosen the hanyou up about what Kagome had done, he would never allow her to get close enough to try and fix anything. Thinking about InuYasha's past he was surprised Kagome didn't seem to understand her mistake or the repercussions she was experiencing now. Kouga shook his head. How could they both be so emotionally constipated? He knew she was so much smarter than this, although he wasn't so sure about Dog-breath.

The slight shadow of a tree outside the cave caught his eye and Kouga realized the sun was trying to rise. Sometime during his scheming the rain had stopped and the wind had settled down. It was still very gray outside but the little bit of sunlight that was getting through was making the water hanging around the cave entrance sparkle. It was a lovely site. He knew the weather was going to keep them in the cave another day at least so he had to act fast before the rain came again. He got up and walked toward Kagome, ready to wake her for her bath.

Kagome’s Mistake by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Pisha (splish)

Kouga helps Kagome along.

Kagome woke to find Kouga shaking her gently by the shoulder.

"Kagome, the rain has stopped for the time being. There is a hot spring nearby. I'll go with you and keep watch while you bathe."

Kagome looked at Kouga like he was speaking another language. She was still so tired and simply miserable from lack of sleep it took her a moment to comprehend what he was saying. She looked at him, confused.

"A hot spring?" she asked. "No, thank you Kouga, InuYasha will..."

Oh, wait. Kagome looked around the cave to see InuYasha still as far away from her as he could get and she suddenly remembered why he was that way, eyeing her suspiciously. Suddenly she was very sad.

"Yeah, Kouga, that would be great if you would take me to the hot spring. I'm so dirty from traveling in the rain and a change of clothes would be nice." Kagome carefully scooched out of her sleeping bad so she wouldn't wake Shippou, who was still asleep along with the rest of the group, with the exception of InuYasha, and headed for her backpack. She dug out her bathing supplies along with fresh clothes, then turned to InuYasha to let him know she was leaving and where she was going. As soon as her eyes hit his he turned away with a grunt. Kagome sighed, still not understanding what was wrong with him and knowing better than to approach him.

"InuYasha, please tell the others I went to the hot spring and I'll be back soon," she requested, offering him a small smile. He ignored her again, so Kagome stepped out of the cave with Kouga, headed for her bath.

Once Kouga couldn't hear the sounds of the cave anymore he turned to Kagome.

"Kagome, do you know what's wrong with Dog-breath?" he asked.

"No, Kouga, I don't. And I don't understand, either. He's never acted this way toward me before. Sure he's been angry and we've fought but he has never tried to ignore me for this long. He growled at me, Kouga! And he told me not to touch him ever again. What would make him act like this?" Kagome looked at Kouga, completely baffled.

"I swear, Kagome, for being so beautiful... Look, we'll go over what happened and see if you don't understand. InuYasha and I got into another fight yesterday, right?" Kouga quizzed her.

"Yeah, well, that wasn't so unusual. You guys always fight when you get together."

"Ok, so what was your response to our fight this time? What did you do yesterday that you've never done before when Dog-breath and I fight over you?" Kouga looked at Kagome hoping she would understand what he was trying to get at.

"Well, let's see. You came flying into camp, flinging mud everywhere, you took my hand, InuYasha jumped in, I got aggrevated and I zapped you both." The light bulb shined brightly over her head. "Kouga, what have I done?" Kagome gasped, stopping dead in her tracks.

Kouga turned to Kagome and took her by the shoulders, looking her right in the eye.

"Kagome, you used your spiritual powers to subdue InuYasha and I." The color left Kagome's face as she stared, gaping at Kouga.

"I used my spiritual powers against InuYasha, just like Kikyou did when she pinned him to Goshinboku with her arrow." She couldn't believe she didn't understand what she had done. Now Kagome understood his reaction to her perfectly. Why he had given her such a wide berth, why he wouldn't talk to her, look at her, or let her touch him.

When InuYasha had been sealed to the tree it was because he felt Kikyou had betrayed him. But when he woke from her spell 50 years had passed, she had passed, and it was all still very new to him. He still felt resentment toward Kikyou for using her powers against him, and that is exactly what Kagome had done yesterday.

Kagome turned from Kouga and walked to the bank of the hot spring. Waiting for Kouga to turn around, she disrobed and eased into the spring. For a long while she sat on the bank of the spring with her knees drawn up to her chest, waist deep in the water. She was running her fingers through the pebbles on the bank, picking one up and tossing it back in with a small splish, thinking over what to do now. She knew InuYasha wouldn't talk to her, much less let her near him, but they had to talk. She had to explain to him she did not mean to hurt him and she certainly had no intention of sealing him to a tree or trying to purify him. She had to find a way to make him understand she had zapped both him and Kouga because she was cranky, wet and tired of their non-stop nonsense. She had learned long ago his beads did not teach him anything when she sat him for fighting with Kouga, so a new tactic, at least for yesterday, was in order to make them both stop, not just him.

As she eased fully into the water to wash Kagome could see now how wrong she had been and how much damage she had done. Her mind started racing, trying to find ways to approach InuYasha and not make him uncomfortable. She had to explain but as she got out of the hot spring and put on fresh clothes, her mind still struggling for ideas, she had none on how to get him to listen. She could not find a way to gain InuYasha's trust enough to get him to allow her close enough to talk to him about the horrible mistake she had made.

Kouga watched as Kagome walked toward him, her face drawn with worry. They walked back to the cave in silence, Kagome no doubt debating what to do next. Kouga knew the easy part was over. She was pretty sharp but sometimes needed to be turned in the right direction, like everyone did every now and again. Dog-breath was another matter completely. Kouga knew he was going to have to practically beat that dumb mutt over the head to get him to listen long enough to think about what was going to be said. Kouga did not relish the thought.

InuYasha’s Misgivings by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Fuaaa (yawn)

Kouga tries to steer InuYasha in the right direction.

As Kouga and Kagome entered the cave she went back to lay back down on her sleeping bag while he looked around. Sango, Miroku, Shippou and Kirara were moving stiffly from their sleeping positions, stifling yawns as they stretched. He found InuYasha sitting exactly where they left him when he had taken her to her bath at the hot spring. He sighed deeply, knowing this was going to be a challenge.

"Hey! Dog-breath!" Kouga bated. "The rain is going to let loose again. Let's go hunt before it's too late."

Surprisingly, InuYasha rose without argument and headed for the cave opening. He had barely moved from his chosen spot once he had walked away from Kagome the night before and hadn't slept at all. He was stiff, he was tired and he needed fresh air. Once outside and away from the cave he stretched, listening to his joints pop and feeling his muscles protest. What InuYasha needed was a run.

"Hey, wolf. I need a run. I'll be back." InuYasha shot to Kouga with a sideways glance.

"I think I could use a run myself. Mind if I come along?" With that, Kouga took off knowing InuYasha's competitive nature would make him follow and try to out run him. Seeing through his whirlwind he saw a streak of red shoot past him in the trees. They raced quietly for a few more minutes when Kouga caught wind of a deer and called out to InuYasha.

"Dog-breath! Don't forget we're supposed to be hunting! There's a deer nearby! I'm going for it!" And with that Kouga took off after his prey.

InuYasha growled, following his hunting companion. He was not in the mood for company or hunting. He simply wanted to run, only returning to the cave when it was necessary. He wasn't ready to see Kagome again now that he was away from her. He had made the decision to not leave the group, however he was nowhere near ready to allow her close to him again much less touch him. Didn't she realize what she had done? She had used her spiritual powers against him to subdue him. How could she not see how it was the same thing Kikyou had done and that situation still pained him? He had trusted her and she had betrayed him.

As he leapt from branch to branch his mind started whispering doubts about betrayal in his ear. InuYasha took a look at the big picture. Kagome had given her word to stay by him and she had. She took care of him, defended him, fought with him. She accepted him as he was and never went with Kouga all the times he had tried to lure her away. However, she had used her spiritual powers against him. He wasn't sure he could forgive that.

Kouga glanced over his shoulder at InuYasha. He was clearly in a world of his own, not caring about the hunt or that he was pulling up the rear. Kouga came up on the deer quickly, felling it with one swipe of his claws. As he stood over his kill he noticed red and silver coming up beside him.

"I'll clean it and we can head back," InuYasha offered, kneeling down to gut the animal.

"Hold on, Dog-breath. While I got you out here I want to talk to you about something." Kouga waited as InuYasha digested what he said.

"Make it quick, wolf, I don't want to get stuck in the rain hauling this carcass around." InuYasha motioned at the deer.

"What's your problem with Kagome?" Kouga asked simply.

"None of your business!" InuYasha was instantly mad.

"Look, mutt, you know I want Kagome as my own, and I know in your own twisted way you do as well."

InuYasha opened his mouth to protest but Kouga silenced him by holding up his hand and shaking his head.

"Deny it all you want but you wouldn't protest so much when I come around if you didn't. Now, the sooner you let me say what I got to the sooner we can get back to the cave and avoid the rain." Kouga said in a matter of fact tone of voice.

InuYasha nodded curtly and wait for Kouga to resume.

"I know that Kikyou chick stuck you to a tree with an enchanted arrow. I know Kagome used her spiritual energy to zap us out of fighting yesterday. I'm not so dense I don't recognize the problems you have with that. Kagome knows what she did was wrong and she wants to talk to you about it but you have to back down and let her near you. If you don't let her make this right she may not stick around."

With that Kouga kneeled down, made swift work of cleaning the deer and slung it over his shoulder to carry back to the cave. InuYasha followed behind, thinking on what he had been told.

Kouga Steps In by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Doki doki (heartbeat)

Kouga tries again.

Just after Kouga and InuYasha returned from their hunt the rain came down once again. InuYasha restarted their fire from the night before and set some of the deer up to cook. Kouga resumed his post by the cave door, Shippou and Kirara were playing chase, and Sango and Miroku were playing Go Fish with a deck of cards Kagome had given them while Kagome had settled on her sleeping bag with a book in her lap, studying.

Out of the corner of his eyes Kouga continued to watch InuYasha and Kagome, waiting to see what would happen. He noticed every so often, when she thought he wasn't looking, Kagome would sneak peeks at InuYasha but if he so much as shifted in her direction, she would turn away. They still weren't talking and she didn't want to get caught looking at him. She wasn't sure if she should go to him or wait for him to come to her considering he was the one who told her to stay away. She decided to wait. While she sat studying she kept her hand lightly over her heart, making it look like she was fingering the neckline of her shirt. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she thought surely he could hear her heartbeat. She figured keeping her hand over her heart would muffle the sound and help hide her anxiety.

Kagome was right, InuYasha could hear how hard her heart was beating, and keeping her hand over it didn't help muffle the sound at all. When she wasn't looking he would steal glances at her while he built the fire and readied the meet, however, he just couldn't bring himself to approach her just yet. He could tell by the way she held her body she wanted to come over to him but knew what he had said to her the night before was preventing it. He was starting to realize Kagome would never treat him the way Kikyou had, but for him, the moment she zapped him the foundation of their relationship was shaken. Common sense told him she would never hurt him because she never had. She would never lie to him because she lied to no one, and she would stand by him because she had given her word. So why couldn't he get over this? Why had she not just sat him and been done with it? Why did she have to take it so far?

As Kouga eyed InuYasha he could smell his apprehension. He, along with many, many others, could not understand what the problem was between these two. How they felt about each other was so painfully obvious to everyone else yet it was as if these two were blind to the only thing right in front of their faces. It was a ridiculous game of cat and mouse that had to be stopped. But, first things first! They needed to talk. Kouga needed to come up with a new plan. A plan that would force InuYasha to let his guard down enough to save Kagome in some way. Something that would cause InuYasha to charge in, sword drawn, to scoop Kagome up and carry her to safety. Kouga grinned evilly. What he needed was Sesshomaru.

Drastic Measures by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Dooon! (boom)

Kouga goes for some help.

"Kagome, I'm going to have to leave you for a short while. Will you be alright here until I get back?" Kouga asked, kneeling next to Kagome on her sleeping bag.

"But Kouga, it's pouring down rain! Can't you wait for a break in the storm?" Kagome's concerned eyes fell on Kouga's smiling face.

"Why, Kagome, I didn't know you cared so much!" He teased, causing Kagome to blush. "I have to go see if I can find Hakaku and Ginta. Knowing those two they're probably sitting under a tree in the rain instead of finding real shelter. I'll be back as soon as I can." With that Kouga spun out of the cave into the rain.

In truth Kouga had left to find Sessoumaru. He wasn't sure yet how he would goad the daiyoukai into following him close enough to the cave for InuYasha and Kagome to sense him, but something would come to him, he was sure. He had to be found first. When Kouga had run into InuYasha's small group the night before he had come close to running into Sessoumaru's group first. However, a whiff of Kagome was on the wind and Kouga went in her direction instead. The wolf prince hoped the storm had held up the Inu lord enough that he was still in the same area as he had been the night before.

As Kouga approached the small camp site he had found Kagome at he veered west toward where he had sensed Sessoumaru. There was only one other cave in the area that could be used for shelter and that is where he was headed. As he drew closer to the second cave he saw Ah and Uhn curled up in the opening and he knew he had the right place.

Kouga stopped about 50 feet from the opening to Sessoumaru's cave, looking for the Inu lord.

"What do you want, wolf?" came a reply from behind Kouga, causing him to spin in the mud. "What are you doing in The Western Lands?"

"Last night I came upon InuYasha and his group and led them to a cave nearby for shelter. Before I saw them I noticed you were nearby, as well. Although he is not in your territory I wanted to investigate how close the two of you actually were to each other. Kagome is in his company and I want no harm to come to her." Kouga replied, looking Sessoumaru in the eye.

"You will take me to my brother's cave. I will investigate this situation further." came Sessoumaru's curt reply as he stepped back to allow the wolf to guide him further.

Upon reaching InuYasha's cave Sessoumaru stood just out of the way of the entrance.

"InuYasha," Sessoumaru called simply. "Come out and face me."

InuYasha and his group appeared in the entrance of the cave, staring at Sessoumaru standing in the rain.

"Sessoumaru!" InuYasha bellowed. As was his way, he immediately drew Tetsaiga and yelled, "Wind scar!" slinging the attack at Sessoumaru.

Sessoumaru easily dodged Tetsaiga's attack, letting if fall onto the tree behind him.


The tree immediately splintered, falling to the ground.

Kouga, who had been standing off to the side of the cave watched the exchange between the brothers. This was going to go just as he had hoped.

Sessoumaru Makes an Appearance by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Kon kon (knock knock)

Sessoumaru comes for Tetsaiga.

"As impulsive as ever, little brother," Sessoumaru sneered at InuYasha.

"What are you doing here, Sessoumaru?" InuYasha bellowed, jumping from the entrance of the cave to land nearer to his brother.

"The wolf said you were near my lands so I came to see for myself. Lucky he was correct because now I can take the Tetsaiga from you. Prepare yourself, InuYasha." Sessoumaru growled as he swung his poison whip at his younger brother. InuYasha jumped, blocking the whip with Tetsaiga.

"Sessoumaru! You better leave or I'll shoot this arrow straight through your heart!" Kagome yelled at the daiyoukai, pointed her drawn arrow directly at his heart.

"You dare threaten me, girl! I take orders from no one!" With that Sessoumaru deserted his attack on InuYasha and leapt at Kagome, poison claws drawn.

"Kagome!" InuYasha yelled to her, "Move outta the way!" With that he hurled himself after his brother, throwing his body into Sessoumaru's side, knocking him off course.

Shippou jumped up on Kagome's shoulder, rapping lightly on her head with his tiny fist: knock, knock, knock.

"Kagome, is anybody home? If Sessoumaru attacks us here the opening of the cave could fall in and we would be trapped inside!" Shippou whined, a look of genuine concern on his small face.

"Gosh, Shippou, you're right! But we need to lead Sessoumaru away from InuYasha!" Kagome's mind worked frantically for a way to separate the brothers. "I've got it! I'll run to the right and shoot an arrow at Sessoumaru. That should draw his attention away from InuYasha and maybe he'll follow me. You guys stay here in case something goes wrong." With that Kagome ran into the rain and to the right of the opening of the cave, headed toward the road they had walked down the day before. As she got near the road she turned and shot an arrow at Sessoumaru. He turned from InuYasha just in time to dodge the arrow and flip his poison whip at Kagome, aiming for her head.

"Kagome!" InuYasha bellowed at her, forgetting about the battle with his brother and heading for her to snatch her out of the way before it was too late.

"InuYasha!" Kagome screamed back, afraid he would get hit under Sessoumaru's attack instead. At the last moment he slammed into her, snatching her off the ground and not breaking his stride. He continued to run with her until she was safely out of Sessoumaru's line of attack and sitting in a tree on the other side of the road.

"Kagome, are you ok?" InuYasha asked, looking over her quickly while he still held her to his chest.

"InuYasha, I'm fine. Are you ok?" Kagome asked him, grasping the shoulder of his haori, concern on her face for the hanyou.

"Keh. Let me finish him. I'll be back." InuYasha bounded out of the tree and back to the battle.

Once Kagome was out of harm's way Kouga left his position among the trees near the cave and attacked Sessoumaru. "I told you I did not want her harmed!" the wolf prince yelled at the daiyoukai, readying his fist to land a punch to Sessoumaru's face.

"She is none of my concern, wolf. I came for the Tetsaiga." Sessoumaru dismissed the wolf by turning away to face his brother again.

"Move it, you mangy wolf!" InuYasha yelled, knocking Kouga out of the way and receiving the punch to the face meant for Sessoumaru.

"No way, dog-breath!" Kouga countered, drawing his fist back for another blow.

Kagome watched from her perch as Kouga and InuYasha slammed into each other, InuYasha dropping Tetsaiga on the ground with the first punch from Kouga.

"InuYasha! Your sword!" Kagome screamed as Sessoumaru walked toward the discarded Tetsaiga and reached for it. Just as he was about to pick it up a barrier glowed around Tetsaiga, causing Sessoumaru to draw back with a painful hiss.

"InuYasha. It seems Tetsaiga does not wish to come with me today. I shall leave it in your care for now." With that Sessoumaru turned his back on his brother and left.

Right as Rain by SakuraRyuu
Author's Notes:
Prompt: SFX Challenge - Ha! (gasp)

InuYasha confronts Kagome.

InuYasha stared after his brother, stunned. Out of nowhere Sessoumaru had waltzed in, started a fight and waltzed right back out. Kouga walked up behind him, mouth hanging open. Sango, Miroku, Shippou and Kirara came rushing toward them asking if everyone was alright, looking around for any signs of the retreating daiyoukai. InuYasha left Kouga to answer their questions while he went back to the tree he had left Kagome in. Once there he jumped up in the branch next to Kagome and looked at her.

"Kagome, why did you zap me?" InuYasha asked in a hurt voice.

"InuYasha, it wasn't meant the way you took it. I wasn't trying to hurt you. I was tired, wet and in no mood for the usual nonsense you and Kouga go through every time we are all together. I did the only think I could think of to stop you both and let you both know I had had enough for one day." Kagome explained, hoping InuYasha would understand.

"Why didn't you sit me?" InuYasha was still confused.

"Why would I do that when it doesn't stop you from fighting with Kouga? I've learned two things from this situation. First, Kouga is still able to pick a fight when you're subdued and second, once the spell wears off you go right back at it. I didn't want just you to stop arguing, I wanted Kouga to stop, too. I had to do something that would get both of your attention. I'm sorry, InuYasha. I didn't mean to hurt you." Kagome's expression showed genuine sadness as she apologized to InuYasha.

"Keh. Felling you zap me reminded me of how it felt for my chest to be pierced with Kikyou's arrow." He put his hand over the old wound. "I was afraid you had changed your mind about me. I was afraid you were trying to purify me." InuYasha's ears flattened to his head and he hung his head, hiding behind his bangs.

Kagome reached for him, placing her hand on his cheek. InuYasha gasped in surprise at her unexpected touch and looked up at her from the corner of his eye.

"InuYasha, you need to understand I am not Kikyou. And before you say you know that I want to tell you something. Sometimes I think you forget. I don't blame you but I wish you would learn that I won't hurt you. Especially not like she did." Kagome took a deep breath and sighed. She wished InuYasha could see inside her heart.

"Keh. Do you want to get down now?" InuYasha offered.

Kagome leaned toward InuYasha and wrapped her arms around his neck. He put his arms around her waist, pulling her close to make the short leap down. It still hadn't stopped raining and he noticed she was soaked through again. Once on the ground he let her go and they walked back to the cave, side by side. As they came in through the cave entrance they discovered their group was already back inside, huddled around the fire to dry out. Once inside Kagome went to her backpack and pulled out two towels: one for Sango and Miroku to share and one for her and InuYasha. Things seemed to be returning to normal as the group settled in to wait out the remainder of the storm.

Kouga watched the group retreat for the cover of the cave and smiled to himself. Now it was time to find Hakaku and Ginta. He spun away, slinging mud as he went.

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