Oneshot gifts written for the Eternally-Destined 2013 Secret Santa event at deviantART. Plots are based on the recipients' specific requests.
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Categories: Fables Characters: InuYasha, Kagome
Genres: Challenge Response
Chapters: 13 Completed: Yes
Word count: 44437 Read: 7120
Published: December 24, 2013 Updated: December 26, 2013
For Rocioo by ED Staff
Recipient's name: Rocioo
Story title: Finders Keepers
Inuyasha still couldn't quite believe she was back.
It had been three years. Three long, lonely years since she had disappeared from his world, gone with the Bone Eater's Well. Three years since he had heard her voice, smelled her scent, seen her smile.
And then, like magic, the Well had reappeared, bringing her back to him after all that time.
She was just there, looking up from the bottom with that gentle smile on her face, as if she had never really been gone in the first place. As if the past three years hadn't happened at all.
Before he could so much as string a sentence together, the others had arrived and swarmed her like a hive of demons. Sango and Miroku hugged her, and Shippo immediately latched onto her like some kind of leech. Kaede and Rin arrived and dragged her away to their home where they began preparations for a feast, and all the villagers gathered to welcome Kagome home.
Inuyasha tried to be happy for her. He tried to be glad at the attention she was getting. After all, she deserved some kind of welcoming, and everyone had missed her after all.
But he was fairly convinced that he had missed her more, and he hated how she was so quick to turn away from him and talk to them, mingling with all those annoying, twittering human women, and every time anyone male even glanced at her, he could feel his hackles rising. He even had to make a few threats to let them know that they were most certainly not her type, thank you very much.
Of course, after said threats, and after a few of them were cleaned up and carried out, the rest got the hint and left her alone, much to his satisfaction.
After being away from his priestess for all of that time, Inuyasha didn't want her more than arm's length away from him, and he didn't want to share her attention with anyone.
This was not unreasonable. He had found her first, all those years ago. What was that saying Shippo always prattled on about? Something about "finders keepers." Seemed fair to him.
Finally, it was getting late. The villagers slowly cleared with waves and well wishes as they dragged themselves and sleepy children back to their homes. Food was put away, lanterns and fires were put out, and finally Kaede declared the whole affair over with.
Finally, he was alone with her.
Kagome glanced at him with tired eyes, but there was a certain glow to them that he couldn't quite place. "Do you know where Miroku and Sango's house is? I'm staying with them tonight."
Inuyasha blinked at her. "You're staying with them? In their hut?"
"Yeah," she said, frowning at him. "Is something wrong with that?"
Inuyasha stifled a growl and a multitude of fantasies involving creative ways to kill Miroku. "No," he huffed. "This way."
He led her to the outskirts of the village, not sparing her a second glance. Of course she'd stay with those two. Sango was like the sister she'd never had, and Miroku was her friend (and he'd better not have any further ideas on that matter). He should have seen it coming. He should have asked her to stay with him first. Not that he exactly had a place she could stay at . . . but it wasn't unreasonable that he would expect her to stay near him. She was his priestess. He saw her first.
His ears swiveled a bit, but he didn't slow. "Huh?"
She hesitated a moment. "Is everything okay?"
She didn't say anything after that, and neither did he.
He took her to the home's threshold and stopped. She looked back at him with those dark eyes that were questioning and maybe there was something else there, but he didn't know what it was. A small smile finally flitted across her face and some of his anger melted away. He liked that smile. He liked how it had been on her face all day long.
But he really hated how it wasn't always directed at him.
That wasn't selfish. She was his priestess. He had rights.
"I'm glad to be back," she said, her voice low and gentle as to not wake Miroku's sleeping pups. "Thanks for waiting for me."
Inuyasha could feel his cheeks burning, but it wasn't from embarrassment or anything like that. It was warm outside. "I . . . I mean . . . thanks for coming. Coming back," he clarified to the ground.
She moved before he could do anything about it. She just stepped up and pressed her lips to his cheek, and while he was reeling in shocked silence, she turned and walked into the hut and out of his sight.
Well, she certainly hadn't done that to anyone else in the village.
He watched her go, unable to do anything but stand there with the curtain closed in his face until Miroku and Sango had gotten all their mewling brats back to bed, voices died down, and the candles were blown out.
He waited at the threshold in the moonlight, listening as the roomful of humans breathed and their hearts beat. He listened until everything finally slowed with sleep and the hut was quiet.
His cheek was still tingling . . .
With a scowl he finally left the doorway, scaling one of the more comfortable trees around Miroku's hut and settled in to sleep. He sighed, leaning against the rough bark that felt so familiar under his body. He even closed his eyes, letting his thoughts be serenaded by the world at rest.
The breeze sighed through the trees.
Kagome breathed in and out.
His eyes snapped open and he frowned again. Stupid woman! How was he supposed to sleep like this?! Her scent still burned in his nose, and he still felt her lips against his cheek, and it had been years and she was just down there sleeping like nothing had happened!
It was driving him insane! He needed her where he could see her. What if something happened in the night? There were always demons to worry about. Or what if that monk tried anything untoward? Inuyasha wouldn't be there to stop it. He'd only be there after the fact to kill him in the most violent way imaginable.
But he couldn't exactly just ask if he could stay in the hut with them. With her.
Wait . . .
This was ridiculous. He'd been without her for three years. One little night forty feet from her shouldn't be a big deal.
Right. No big deal. Time to sleep now.
He closed his eyes again.
Thump thump. Thump thump. Thump thump . . .
GAH! Why couldn't he focus on something else?! Anything else?! And he could still hear her shallow breathing against the backdrop of the family's cacophony of inhalations, but he couldn't see her and he couldn't stand it!
He had already missed three years. He didn't want to miss anymore.
With a strangled growl he threw his legs over the branch and jumped.
He landed almost silently in a crouch, clawed feet and hands biting into the earth, sending up a cloud of dust and the fresh scent of loam. He approached the hut without a sound, pulling back the curtain and stepping into the dimness. His eyes peered past the dark, passing over the various sleeping forms until he spotted the one he was after.
She was staring right back at him.
He resisted impulse to jump in surprise. How did he miss the change in her breathing?! In her heartbeat? She had him so distracted that even when he was focused on her, he couldn't focus at all! The woman was completely infuriating!
Kagome blinked at him a moment in confusion, as if waking from a dream, then smiled. She lifted herself to an elbow and put a finger to her lips in a universal "quiet" gesture, throwing back her blanket and getting to her feet. She made so much noise, it was a miracle the others didn't wake up. How had she survived so long without him nearby? She was going to attract every nocturnal demon for miles around!
When she was finally up, he followed her outside into the cool night air. He stayed close behind her, watching as she stopped in the grass, stretching her arms high above her head and inhaling through her weak human nose. "It's a beautiful night, isn't it?" she asked to the sky.
Inuyasha watched her easy, peaceful smile. "I guess."
She started walking.
It took him a moment for that to register.
"Wait! Kagome, where are you going?" he demanded, following after her. Stupid human girl! Was she just going to go wandering through the woods in the middle of the night?!
She didn't answer him. She just kept walking.
Stifling another growl, he trailed after her.
She followed the edge of the village, practically skipping through the grass like a child. She took him all the way past the last scattering of huts, out into the night and the rolling hills surrounded by forest. She climbed one of the tallest ones, stopping at its summit, and from it Inuyasha could easily spot the giant Sacred Tree, and past that, the Well.
Inuyasha got an uneasy feeling just looking at it.
"What are we doing out here?" he demanded, studying her while trying to not look at her at the same time. Three years ago, she had been scrawny and pale, but with a strength and endurance that came from facing the threats and battles Inuyasha had dragged them into. Now, she looked . . . well, weaker somehow. She had grown, no longer quite as skinny, but in a sort of nice way. The physical strength seemed to have diminished in her time away, making some protective base instinct of his twinge, but somehow her aura was all the stronger for it.
Regardless, she definitely didn't need to be out of his sight anymore. Period.
Kagome sat down in the grass, her eyes skimming over the surrounding hills and forest before finally locking on the Tree. "I'm just so glad to be back. I really missed this place." She paused, hesitating. "And I really missed you, too," she murmured.
Inuyasha's ears perked at that, even as his cheeks burned. He sat down cross-legged next to her, refusing to look at her. "Took you long enough to get back," he said, then almost kicked himself for it. She said the she'd missed him, and that was how he responded?! How stupid was he?!
She giggled and he looked at her in surprise. "I missed that, too; you always being such a jerk," she teased.
Inuyasha felt his ears flatten against his skull. "That's not what I meant," he muttered.
Her laughter died away and Inuyasha kind of missed it. It was better when it wasn't directed at him, though. She regarded him curiously. "You know, I was almost afraid to come back," she said.
He barely contained a flinch. Afraid? Afraid to come back? Because he was a half-demon? Because she thought he would have given over to his demon side? A sudden cold feeling settled in his gut, and he had to swallow several times to find his voice. "Why?"
"Because . . . well, I guess I wasn't sure if you'd still be there. If you'd wait for me . . . or if you would have moved on, forgotten about me."
Forgotten her . . . ?
She was the only thing that had been on his mind for three years! What did she mean, "move on?!"
"Of course not!" he snarled, voice brimming with indignation as he leaned in her face. "You think I could just move on? What's wrong with you?!"
Her eyes widened in surprise and he remembered himself, backing away quickly and folding his hands into his sleeves, eyes falling to the ground. Silence hung thick in the air, as if she were waiting on him to say something. He fidgeted, looking to the side. "I missed you."
When he finally dared to look at her, she was smiling. It wasn't the reserved one like she'd had on earlier that evening, or shallow like it had been just a few minutes before. She was positively beaming with joy, and Inuyasha dared to hope that he hadn't offended her irreparably for the millionth time.
She leaned her head on his shoulder, and Inuyasha tried to pretend that his heart wasn't racing around his chest like Shippo after sugar. "I missed you too, Inuyasha," she said.
Inuyasha wasn't sure if it was what she had said, or how she had said it, or maybe it was just the sweet, gentle way she'd said his name, but something about it had his ears ringing and his body doing things without his consent.
He was fairly certain that this was the reason he suddenly found his lips on hers.
This was not at all how he had planned things. Not that he had actually ever planned on kissing Kagome, mind you, but if he had planned it, this is most certainly not how it would have worked.
She hadn't been back for even half a day. She was tired, it was the middle of the night, and Inuyasha was fairly certain his brain had stopped feeding him good solid advice and was now taking up part-time work as a paperweight.
He broke away quickly, his face burning as he looked at the ground, the sky; anywhere but at her. He tasted her on his lips and it was like fresh flowers and something so very human, and he hated the way he loved it, wished he had done it years ago, and wanted to try again.
But he could hear her heart hammering in her chest and her suddenly quick breaths and felt her eyes boring holes in the side of his head.
They both sat there and panted a moment.
"Inuyasha," Kagome breathed.
He finally dared to look at her.
She wasn't seething, though, like he thought she would be.
She was smiling. The biggest smile he had ever seen, and tears were coming from her eyes, and . . . wait, why was she crying?!
He felt his mouth moving of its own accord, sputtering and hands twitching as he tried to find a way to make it stop. What did he do?! He couldn't think of any reason for her to be crying! It was just a little kiss!
Then she was laughing, and now Inuyasha was completely confused.
Maybe he broke her. She'd only been back for less than half a day and he'd already broken her.
She wrapped her arms around him and of their own volition, his arms snaked around her, pulling her close, practically in his lap. Somehow, though, it felt too right to be embarrassing, like this was how it was supposed to be, the perfect place for her.
She looked up to face him, the tears staining her face, but the smile more than made up for it. "I'm glad I found you, Inuyasha."
And for the second time, his lips were on hers and he didn't really know why.
But this time, he didn't really care. She was his priestess. He could kiss his priestess if he pleased.
After all, finders keepers.
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InuYasha © Rumiko Takahashi.
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