Continuing Tales

Dragon's Prey

A InuYasha Story
by CiraArana

Part 10 of 10

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Second Chances

Kagome walked through the forest, following the meandering run of the brook. She was deep in thought, pondering on one certain demon lord she had just left.

She did not understand him, not at all, not one bit. Why had he offered her his help? Why had he been so kind and gentle with her? Only to become so cold again after he had finished his task?

She cringed inwardly. A task. Yes. That was all it had been to him. Well, she had wanted it that way. Of course she had. She did not want any kind of relationship with Inu Yasha's brother of all people! Not when the man she loved was Inu Yasha himself.

Kagome felt a little sick as she thought of Inu Yasha. How could she love him but and still give herself to his brother? She suddenly felt dirty and it had nothing to do with the cleanness of her skin or hair. Then she shook her head. No, she had done what had been necessary to protect herself.

And it was not as if she had somehow stolen something from Inu Yasha. He had had his chance to help her. She had waited for seven days, but all he had done was evading her. It had been her right to take care of herself. She would not feel guilty for it. Neither would she feel guilty for the pleasure she had felt. After all, it was over. They had come to an agreement, though she still wondered what he derived from it, and that had been it. No romantic relationship, no vows of love, no repercussions. A contract to save her life.

Yes, a contract. That was what she had called it and now she felt hurt because he had taken her by her word. Kagome shook her head vigorously. It was over and finished and she would no longer think about it! Now, where was the way back to her camp?

She looked around, for the first time really seeing her surroundings. It was a thick, dark forest with a small river running through it. Darn, but where was the camp? From which direction had she come?

Kagome looked around, trying to find something that would tell her the right way. When she found nothing she followed the brook a bit further, gazing left and right to maybe miraculously find a signpost or something.

She was near to despair of being lost when she found it. It was nothing more than trampled brush and some footsteps in the size of her feet, but it was a signpost to her. With a relived sigh she retraced her steps. Soon she saw the shine of a fire through the trees and sped up her steps. There was a fire and a blanket and probably some dry clothes!

Hurriedly she stepped around a tree into the light of the fire and then stopped. Instead of one grumpy Inu Yasha there were three huddled figures sitting around the fire. They looked up as she came closer, tired and worried eyes brightening with relieve when they perceived her. Kagome blinked in surprise.


Sango was on her feet and the next second Kagome was hugged fiercely. "Oh, Kagome-chan! We've been so worried! Where have you been? What happened? You could have been killed! Why did you do that?"

Kagome patted Sango's shoulder and smiled into the other girl's angry eyes, but before she was able to say something Miroku had joined them.

"Kagome-sama!" He hugged both girls. "Thank Buddha you are back! Now, where have you been? We've been so very worried for you!"

Kagome patted his shoulder, too, and looked at Inu Yasha. The hanyou was standing some steps away, arms crossed over his chest, glaring at her. She gave him a bright smile and then turned to Sango and Miroku.

"I'm so sorry for worrying you! But why are you here? I mean..." she blushed slightly and evaded Miroku's eyes, "you never come back before morning."

Miroku gave her a reproaching look. "Kagome-sama! What do you think of us? Do you really believe we would have any pleasure while you're gone heaven knows where and probably in danger?"

Now both girls blushed and glared at Miroku. The monk raised both hands in a silent apology but was not able to repress an amused grin. Sango huffed at him and turned to Kagome.

"Inu Yasha came to fetch us," she explained.

"Yes, and at a very inconvenient time," commented Miroku.

Sango glared at him but went on as if he hadn't said anything. "He told us you had just marched off after sitting him and that he wasn't able to find you."

Kagome blinked. "Huh? Not able to find me?" She looked at Inu Yasha. "Why not?"

He shrugged. "I could follow you to the river and some way down, but there was that reeking flower on the other bank and there I lost your scent."

"Reeking flower?" she frowned. "I didn't smell anything odd."

"Keh. Not surprising. Your weak human senses didn't catch it."

She shrugged. "Yes, probably."

The others blinked in surprise. Only a few hours before she would have sat him and now she did not even mind?

Kagome did not notice her friends' surprise because her mind had received some alarming signals concerning ‘cold' and ‘damp clothes' and ‘uncomfortable' and ‘catch a cold'. She stepped over to her bag and dug through it, looking for a change of clothes.

"Um, Kagome-chan?" Sango's voice was a bit unsure.


"Where have you been?"

Kagome looked up and met Sango's still worried eyes.

"Yes, and why did you just ran off that way?" added Miroku. "That was stupid, Kagome-sama. You could have come across a dragon or a demon!"

Kagome grinned lopsidedly. She had come across a demon...

"And where've you been that long?" growled Inu Yasha. "It's almost morning! You've been away the whole night!"

Kagome raised one finger. "Hush, Inu Yasha, don't shout. You'll wake up the children," she said with a gesture towards her sleeping bag where Shippo and Rin lay in deep sleep.

"Keh, don't mind ‘em. Answer!"

"Now, don't start yelling at me, Inu Yasha. And be quiet! I'll answer your questions as soon as I have changed." She got up, a change of clothes in her arms. "Because if I stay any longer in these damp clothes I'll surely catch a cold."

"Damp clothes?" Sango blinked.

"Hmhm," nodded Kagome. "Here, Sango-chan. Could you please hold up that blanket so I can change?"

Sango obediently took the blanket and held it up. Kagome disappeared behind it.

"Kagome-sama?" asked Miroku curiously. "How did your clothes get damp?"

"I didn't have a towel," was the muffled answer.

"Towel?" The monk blinked. He looked at Sango who shrugged as an answer. Miroku sighed and sat down. This was all very confusing but obviously he had to wait for answers.

Inu Yasha sat down next to him, a dark scowl on his face. He glared at the shadow behind the blanket and mumbled something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like "Stupid wench."

Shortly afterwards Kagome emerged from behind her blanket, now dressed in her pyjamas, her clothes hanging over one arm. After letting her underwear disappear in her bag, she laid shirt and skirt out over the low branches of a tree, and then joined her friends at the fire.

Yawning she sat down. "Okay. I guess you can't wait till tomorrow with your questions?"

"It is tomorrow," growled Inu Yasha.

Kagome shrugged and yawned again.

"Kagome-sama," said Miroku, his voice serious, "please tell us where you have been."

She smiled at him. "I was... well, I don't know, somewhere away at a lake."

Sango blinked. "Why?"

"Oh, I simply followed that brook and it ended in a lake."

"But why did you leave at all?" asked Miroku over Inu Yasha's angry snort.

Kagome hugged her knees to her chest and stared into the fire. "Because Inu Yasha was being a git again and I didn't want to argue with him."

"Hey! I wasn't-" began Inu Yasha, but Miroku cut him short.

"I see. But why did you stay away for so long?"

"I fell asleep." Kagome saw the astonished and incredulous faces of her friends and with a sigh she elaborated. "I ran through the forest for some time, and then I came to that lake. I grew tired and fell asleep and when I woke up I was dirty and so I decided to have a bath. Unfortunately I didn't have a towel with me." She shuddered. "Dressing while wet is really not my favourite thing!"

She did not mention Sesshomaru. She knew it would come out sooner or later. After all, she was not interesting for the dragons anymore. But right now she did not want to tell her friends. It was too recent to talk about and she was too confused about his demeanour. Furthermore, she really did not feel like discussing this with Inu Yasha, not now. She'd prefer never, but that was impossible. However, later was better than now, thus she kept silent.

She yawned again. Strange, but she hadn't known how tired she was until she had reached camp. Now she struggled to keep her eyes open. How did Sango and Miroku manage when they did this each night? Kagome blinked. She was even too tired to blush at her own thoughts.

"So, if this is all you want to know I'd rather go to sleep now."

Miroku eyed her suspiciously. "I thought you slept at that lake."

Kagome nodded. "But not very much." No, indeed, not very much.

Her friends, though, were not yet ready to let her sleep. They kept asking questions and telling her off for running off all on her own until she almost fell asleep. Only then they allowed her to curl up in a blanket and drift away into dreams.

When Kagome woke up for the second time that day she felt refreshed though still a little tired. The children were already awake and chattering with Sango who was busy dismebowelling a rabbit. Kagome grimaced. Rabbit was not her favourite breakfast, and she hated the disembowelling. But this morning she found to her surprise that her stomach rumbled hungrily at the thought of meat. Her nightly activities seemed to have an odd effect on her.

Shippo and Rin greeted her excitedly when she got up. They had collected some berries to go with the rabbit and where now full of things they had experienced, telling her about birds and butterflies and flowers they had seen. Kagome felt a bit dazed at their joyful chatter but did her best to answer correctly. She was thankful when breakfast was ready because that shut the children up.

Sango grinned at her. "Pretty exuberant, aren't they?"

Kagome nodded, watching Shippo and Rin pulling faces at Inu Yasha. "Well, they aren't very often in company of other children, so I guess it's only natural."

"Yes, but very hard for us," Sango answered. "I wonder why Sesshomaru allows her to follow him. I thought he'd be the first to get rid of what he must think to be an annoying child. Oh!" She turned her eyes to Kagome as a sudden thought occurred to her. "Do you think he seized the chance left her with us for good?"

Kagome shook her head slowly. "No, I don't think so."


Kagome pointed at Inu Yasha who had got up and Tessaiga ready for attack. The next second Rin squealed delightedly "Sesshomaru-sama!"

Kagome turned her head to look at the demon lord who seemed to have materialised between the trees. She had known he was coming from the way Inu Yasha had tensed, but that did not prepare her one bit for the sight of him.

He was dressed as usual, white silk, armour, the two swords at his side. His face was blank and his eyes distant and unreadable. There was no difference to what he had been yesterday or all the days before. Kagome wondered why she had never noticed how beautiful he was.

Her eyes trailed over his body without her really noticing what she was doing. In her mind, the proud demon lord standing in front of her now blended with the passionate man he had been last night. Hair tangled, face flushed and eyes burning red with desire, tensed muscles under her hand, pale skin covered with sweat, his lips on hers in a searing kiss and deep, hard thrusts into her body.

Rin interrupted Kagome's lustful thoughts. The girl jumped up and dashed over to the demon lord, coming to a skidding stop in front of him. With huge smile she said, "Good morning, Sesshomaru-sama!"

The demon nodded at her and she went on happily, "Rin isn't hungry anymore! Kagome-sama cooked something very tasty for Rin last night and for breakfast Shippo-chan and I collected berries."

Sesshomaru nodded again and then raised his head. His eyes met Kagome's, and she felt as if a jolt of electricity hit her. Her heart fluttered and her breath hitched, but then he turned and walked away.

Inu Yasha sputtered indignantly at being ignored like that.

Rin smiled over her shoulder and waved. "Goodbye, Kagome-sama and Shippo-chan and everybody!" Then she followed Sesshomaru, falling in step beside him and excitedly telling him what had happened since he had left last her last night.

Shippo waved, too, shouting his goodbyes after Rin. Miroku and Sango relaxed and went back to breakfast.

Kagome looked down at her hands holding a stick with some roasted meat and sighed.

They set out after breakfast, heading north where Inu Yasha expected Naraku to hide. The hanyou was determined to catch up with their shard hunt. Every now and then he turned to the others and urged them to hurry up, remembering them how much time they had lost because of the dragons.

Miroku gently reminded him that it was all his fault. If he had taken care of Kagome's problem they would not have been threatened by any dragon and thus been able to concentrate on the shards. Of course Inu Yasha did not like to hear that and the usual argument between him, Miroku, and Sango followed.

Kagome only sighed, shook her head and walked on, her quarrelling friends following her. She did not listen to their angry voices, having heard the arguments and insults repeatedly over the last few days. After all, she had more interesting matters to think about.

Her mind wandered back to last night and dwelled on the repeating question of why. Why had he offered his help? Why had he been so kind? Why had he suddenly turned so cold? From there her thoughts turned to the morning and her reaction to the sight of him. She had not anticipated this reaction.

To be honest, she had not thought at all about the repercussions of last night beyond now being safe from the dragons and Inu Yasha's supposed reaction to the news. She had not thought about what the events would signify to her personally. She had believed sleeping with Sesshomaru would be a solitary incident. Getting rid of her problem and nothing more. But when he had been so cold to her last night she had been hurt. This had been the first sign that things did not turn out as she had planned them. This morning she had been aroused by the memory of the lustful hours with him and had caught herself wishing it to happen again.

Why had she never thought about the possibility of being attracted to Sesshomaru? She had not been before and had thought she was able to brush something so essential like her first time with him aside. Obviously she could not. Now, what did that signify? What would happen now?

Inu Yasha screaming her name roused her from her broodings. Blinking, she looked back at her friends. Absently she noticed that they were all staring at her incredulously. "Hm? What is it, Inu Yasha?"

Inu Yasha gaped at her. It was Shippo who answered. "There was a dragon, Kagome."

"Oh?" she asked, mildly interested. She tilted her head back and searched the sky. Indeed, there was a dragon. It appeared to be flying away. "What about it?"

Her friends sputtered and slowly Kagome's mind cleared of lingering thoughts. She eyed the others. It seemed her secret was out. "Oh."

"Oh?" echoed Inu Yasha. "Is that all you have to say?" His ears twitched violently.

Kagome shrugged. "What am I supposed to say?"

"WHAT?!" he yelled. "That dragon doesn't attack you and you think there's nothing to say?!"

"Yes, I do." With this she turned and made to walk away but was stopped by an irate hanyou standing in front of her.

"Kagome, what happened," he pressed through gritted teeth.

Kagome sighed. This was it. The discussion she had known would be coming. However, she had not expected that it would come so soon.

Raising her head and looking him square in the eyes she crossed her arms over her chest. "Well, what do you think happened? I made sure I won't be eaten by a dragon."

Suddenly Miroku and Sango were at her side, eyeing her curiously and surprised and worriedly.

"So there you have been last night, Kagome-sama," concluded Miroku.

Kagome nodded shortly.

Inu Yasha's eyes narrowed and he growled.

"But... but... Kagome-chan! Who was it?" enquired Sango.

Kagome shrugged and smiled crookedly. "I came across a demon."

"WHAT?!" came unanimously from her friends.

"Who was it?" hissed Inu Yasha. "Who dared to touch you? I'll kill him! Was it Koga?" His gaze became piercing and Miroku and Sango watched her intently, interest sparkling in their eyes.

"No, it was not Koga," Kagome replied.

Inu Yasha's growl became even more dangerous. "Who then? Who was it? Do you know him? Did he force you?"

"Yes, I know him and no, he did not force me."

He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. "Who was it?!"

Kagome looked up into his furious eyes and took a deep breath, steeling herself for the hanyou's explosive temper. Then she answered calmly, "Your brother."

She heard her friends gasp, but her eyes did not leave Inu Yasha's face. He staggered back a bit as if hit, releasing her, and blinked. His jaw dropped. Then an expression of horrified shock crossed his face. He opened and closed his mouth several times but was too stunned to speak.

Shippo climbed up to Miroku's shoulder and peered at her face. "Sesshomaru?" he asked incredulously, obviously struggling with the idea.

Kagome nodded, still looking at the hanyou.

"Why? How?" Inu Yasha croaked finally. His face had gone pale, his eyes were huge and dark with shock and hurt.

Kagome felt sorry for hurting him, but at the same moment angry that he was hurt at all. He had been the one who had refused to help her!

"Why?" she repeated calmly. "Do you really have to ask? My life was in danger, Inu Yasha, remember? I didn't want to end in the stomach of a dragon, and since you were so absolutely averse to help me with this problem I took care of the matter myself."

"N-Not helping you?" stammered Inu Yasha aghast. "What...? I mean..."

She gave him a hard look. "Don't play dumb, Inu Yasha. You did nothing whatsoever to help me with this problem for almost one week! Plus, you made it very clear last night that you didn't want to. So, what other conclusion was there than that you did not wanted to help me?"

"But I wanted to!" he blurted out and blushed as the others looked at him curiously.

Kagome felt like something hard hit her. Had she understood him wrong? Had she maybe ruined everything with her rash decision to allow Sesshomaru to help her? But then anger flared up again and her eyes narrowed. "Oh, really, you wanted to help me? Well, you did a good job hiding it! You evaded me! You didn't look at me or talk to me, and when I came close to you, you acted as if I had some catching disease!"

"But, Kagome," he groaned and she felt her anger ebb away at the sight of his genuine upset. "What could I have done? You forget Kikyo and..."

He ducked away from the sudden fury in Kagome's eyes.

"Oh, yes," she hissed. "Kikyo. Of course. And of course your promise to protect her was more important than saving my life! See? I understand."

She made a move to walk past him but he grabbed her wrist, now furious, too. "Well, if you're so smart, Kagome, then tell me what I could've done! I made a promise to Kikyo and I won't disappoint her again!"

"Yes, but saving my life would not have affected your promise at all!"

"Of course it would've! You think I would've just... did it with you and then acted like nothing had happened?"

"Well, yes, I thought you would!"

Inu Yasha's jaw dropped open. "What?" he asked feebly.

Kagome yanked her hand out of his grip. "You see, I know you wouldn't break your promise to Kikyo. I wouldn't have demanded that from you. I wouldn't have demanded anything from you at all! Of course I would have liked it to be part of a relationship, but as things were it was impossible. However, I thought as a friend you'd help me."

Inu Yasha gaped at her. "Wha-? You wanted...? No, Kagome, you don't understand! I... I wouldn't have... couldn't have done that to you!"

Kagome shook her head. "But I wouldn't have minded at all, Inu Yasha."

"No, Kagome! That's not what I meant!" he cried, not able to hide the anguish in his voice anymore.

She flinched and on an impulse she reached out and took his hand. "I'm sorry, Inu Yasha. I didn't mean to hurt you, but it's not that I haven't given you a chance." She smiled sadly at him. "I have waited for one week, Inu Yasha, for you to decide that you wanted to help me. But a girl could die waiting for you. Literally."

"And so you chose Sesshomaru," deduced Miroku.

Kagome started in surprise and turned her head to look at Miroku and Sango. She had completely forgotten that they were there. "No, I didn't choose him. He offered his help."

This caused some more surprised gasps and incredulous stares.

"He - what?" panted Inu Yasha. "No. No, I don't believe it."

"Do believe it because it's true. I met him at the lake. I don't know why he showed up or why he talked to me at all, but he asked what was wrong. I told him about my problem and then he offered me his help."

"This is unbelievable," whispered Sango. "Sesshomaru? Offered his help?"

Kagome nodded. "I couldn't believe it myself at first. I thought he might have got something wrong. But he knew exactly what he was offering."

"Why did he do it?"

She shrugged. "I don't know. I asked him but he said his motives were not my concern."

"He could be planning something," suggested Miroku and put a hand on Inu Yasha's shoulder. The hanyou seemed to need support.

"Maybe, I don't know," replied Kagome. "But I know he doesn't expect me to do something to show my gratitude. I made that one clear and he agreed. Only this, nothing more."

"You trust him?"


Miroku nodded thoughtfully, absently patting Inu Yasha's shoulder.

Sango still regarded her friend worriedly. "But, Kagome-chan, doing this... with a demon, and Sesshomaru no less... I mean," she blushed heavily, "was it... okay?"

Kagome's eyes glazed over and a smile curved her lips upwards. Fascinated, Miroku and Sango watched the girl remember.

"Oh, yes," Kagome replied finally. "It was okay." She grinned. "Actually, it was more than okay."

Sango blushed a bit more. "Um, did he...," she cast a glance at Miroku, who was listening with obvious interest, then she grabbed Kagome's arm and dragged her away.

"I mean, did you feel... um... good ?" the huntress whispered curiously.

Kagome nodded, thinking of the several time she had felt good . "Hmhm, yes. He... well, he really made sure I enjoyed this."

"Oh..." Silence. "Did it hurt?"

"Yes, but before," Sango blinked in confusion and Kagome smiled at her.

"I think he cut through it with his claws before," she explained. "You see, he was... um..." Kagome blushed violently. "Well, let's say I wasn't expecting any pain when I suddenly felt a sharp sting, but that was before he... And when he... you know... it didn't hurt at all."

Sango blinked again. "Huh? Why should he do this?"

Kagome shook her head. "I don't know," she said slowly, thoughtfully. "Maybe he did it because he knew it would be painful for me and wanted the... real thing to be as easy as possible. Therefore he cut it before, so that I was able to enjoy... you see?"

Sango stared at her, a strange look on her face. "That is... Kagome-chan, do you know how odd this sounds?"

Kagome nodded. "Yes. Sesshomaru doing his utmost to save me pain is indeed odd, but like I said before, he really made sure I enjoyed it. Oh, Sango-chan, he was really so sweet and gentle and... and he made sure he did not hurt me and even tried to draw back before he had..." She stopped abruptly as she saw Sango's face. To say the huntress was gaping at her incredulously would have been an understatement.

"Ka-Kagome-chan," stammered Sango. "Do you... like him?"

Kagome opened her mouth to answer. Then she closed it. "I... I don't know," she said finally. "I... I liked him... last night."

The other girl looked at her closely. "Do you... um... want it to happen again?"

Kagome stared into space. She stayed silent for such a long time that Sango began to worry. Was that her answer? Or was she still thinking about her answer?

"Um, Kagome-chan..."

Kagome turned her head and looked at Sango. "I wouldn't mind at all," she whispered. Then she blushed furiously and averted her eyes.

No, she would not mind at all if it would happen again. And, if she was truly honest with herself, she rather wished it would happen again. She sighed and thought back to the morning and the way Sesshomaru had looked at her.

He might have sent her away last night. But the look in his eyes this morning told her louder than words that he would not mind, either.

A smile appeared on Kagome's lips. She had the very distinct feeling this affair was not over yet.

She grinned at Sango who eyed her thoughtfully. Kagome looped her arm with Sango's and pulled her along with her.

"Now, Sango-chan, I have a question..." she began.

Their heads stuck together, giggling from time to time, the girls strolled away and left it to Miroku to follow them with Shippo still clinging to his shoulder, leading a still dazed Inu Yasha by the hand.

Dragon's Prey

A InuYasha Story
by CiraArana

Part 10 of 10

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