"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.