Continuing Tales


A InuYasha Story
by Maddie-san

Part 6 of 28

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The sun was low in the sky by the time Kagome woke up. For the second morning in a row, it felt empty and cold by her side. Also, she had a small headache and felt a bit dehydrated. However, none of these were the reasons why she was already awake despite the earliness of the morning. Noises, hushes and whispers were the reason she sat in her tent with her eyes wide opened.

Perhaps the others were already awake. Maybe they were packing? Last night was the last day after all. She smoothened her wrinkled clothes and tried to brush her hair with her fingers before emerging out of her tent. As soon as she stepped out, she realized she was right. Most of the tents were already all wrapped up and tons of coolers were piled up on top of each other. It was already the end of their little weekend getaway.

She recalled being very tired at some point last night but she remembered it all, even the end. Especially falling asleep… on Kouga. At least that was where she assumed she fell asleep since the last thing she recalled was talking to him. And the embarrassing conversation. She did not mean to make it look as if she was cornering him about the whole dating thing. They were friends and it was great. What she meant to say simply came out the wrong way. Although, she was not exactly sure what she meant to say to him last night. Perhaps part of her was a bit scared. Even though he found no one so far, what if he did? At the moment, he was her rock. If she lost him…

"Hey Sis'."

She turned her head to see Ginta smiling at her. "How did ya sleep?"

He tried not to smirk, he really did. Unfortunately, when Kouga came out of her tent he was about ten shades of red and the memory of that was enough for him to break into a large grin. Although they knew nothing happened - well a little something did have to happen though…but obviously nobody asked - even though many of them teased a grumpy Kouga. That left them with their curiosity unsatisfied.

"Mmm, I slept fine," she finally answered as she brushed her bangs out of her face.

"Kouga's over by the cars loading everything if you're lookin' for him. Or there's food by the campfire in case ya wanna eat somethin'," he said before grabbing a few coolers to carry back to the cars.

"Thanks," she said as her eyes scanned the vicinity.

Kouga and a few other wolves were shirtless, some almost naked, which she assumed was because they did one last run before leaving. That detail alone however made her decide to get some food instead even if she was not very hungry. She did not know how comfortable she felt about standing in the middle of naked wolves - guys. As soon as she was near the fire, the powerful scent of the meat reached even her weak nose. At least it was cooked. She could still vividly remember the time they threw raw meat at her and she almost shuddered at the memory.

"Hungry?" a blond hair wolf asked her as he handed her a plate.

Whatever meat it was, she was almost certain that she did not usually eat it for breakfast. Nonetheless, she took the plate from him and sat down on a large rock to eat. She cut bits and pieces off with her fingers before shoving them in her mouth. At first she was unsure, but afterwards, she decided she liked it.

Meanwhile, Kouga was charging the final supplies into his car. His eyes diverted and he found himself searching for Kagome. Obviously, her aura stood out in the midst of the wolves and he did not have to look for very long. After last night's realization, he still knew friendship was the way to go. However now that he was staring at her, it was slightly difficult to forget her lips on his skin or her cute little nose pressing in his neck. Before, it was easier to get over her since nothing truly happened between them but now was a completely different story. Nonetheless, all of her gestures were innocent and she meant nothing by them, plus he truly valued her friendship. It was nothing he could not get over.

Taking a deep breath, he headed her way.

She strangely did not seem to notice his presence, or chose to ignore it, since she did not move or turn around. Nonetheless, he spoke. "Hey."

This time, her hair swung to the left as she tipped her head to the right. "Morning!" she offered with a smile. "Are we leaving already?" she inquired, almost rushing to finish her food.

He shrugged. "You got some time left. No need to hurry. We just like to get all the packing out of the way."

"Can I help with anything?" It almost sounded a little silly considering they were all strong and fast youkais but she felt bad just sitting around doing nothing.

"Don't worry about it. We're fine."

"Sorry about last night," she blurred out before looking away. "I didn't mean to fall asleep on you."

"You were tired. And I'm gonna stop ya at one glass of sake next time."

She laughed. "Thank you for inviting me."


"I spent the last year pretty locked up. For a while there, I thought it would not get better, I thought that was it. After living a life of adventures and wonders I was supposed to pretend I liked normal."

"It ain't very exciting anymore."

"Maybe not." She paused. "But being with all of you makes me feel less crazy." They knew the times she knew and they were part of the world she was used to…and part of his world. "Thank you for that."

He crouched down to her level. "You don't ever have to feel crazy." He looked straight into her eyes, captivating her. "I felt crazy for a while, tryin' to be human and stuff. Ya just gotta remember who you really are. Doesn't matter if they don't know."

A bright smile formed on her face as she put her plate down. What she did next came as unexpected for Kouga: she threw her arms around his neck and held on tight. At first he was stunned but he quickly grinned and hugged back. She felt tiny and precious in his arms but he knew she was not fragile. Although she did seem awfully sad at the moment which he did not like. She was Kagome, she was supposed to be happy. She was meant to get everything she desired.

When Kouga opened his eyes and raised his head, he caught an unpleasing sight: Ginta and Hakkaku staring at them with the eyebrows arched. They seemed quite pleased with themselves.

Reluctantly, Kouga pulled away from Kagome and kept his best smile on, flashing his pearly white teeth. He almost expected her to be uncomfortable but then he quickly reminded himself what a friendly and caring person Kagome was. He could recall her hugging her friends quite often in the past and it was a friendly gesture and she had no reason to feel embarrassed or flustered about it.

He glared at Ginta and Hakkaku very briefly, which went unnoticed by Kagome. "We can go for one more walk if you want - after your breakfast."

"No, you should… wolf it up," she said with a laugh. "I'll be fine. You should really enjoy your last moment here."

"I don't need it," he quickly replied.

"This is why you come here. I will feel bad if you don't go."

She looked at him, begging him with her eyes and he found himself unable to go against her. "It will be real quick."

"Take your time. Now go before it's too late."

She was happy simply being there and she did not need him jeopardizing his fun for her. She shooed him with her hands and he laughed as he walked away.

Kouga did not even have a chance to make it to the forest that Ginta and Hakkaku began to crowd him. "You know, ya could have invited her to ride on your back."

"Didn't she use to ride on Inuyasha's back all the time?" Ginta added.

"I'm sure she woulda find it more fun to ride on a wolf."

He wanted to be mad at them for their intrusion but instead he was frustrated with himself. He could have thought of that! Not for his own benefit of course but for hers. Instead of waiting alone, she could have come with him. Now though, he would feel like idiot if he went back to ask. Especially since she probably could see him talking to Ginta and Hakkaku and would know it was not his idea. Damn it.

"Ya gotta at least try to woo her. How else are ya gonna have a shot?"

"I ain't gonna woo her," he reprimanded. "She's my friend."

"Then ya smell an awful lot like her for just a friend."

At their words, Kouga was unable to stop the blush from reaching his cheeks. "You don't know what ya talkin' about," he said before rushing away from them. They were not supposed to get a reaction out of him! Kouga hurried to shift in his form and began running far from their camp's location.

Now he needed that run more than ever.


The afternoon was near over when almost all the wolves returned. Barely anything was left unpacked but Kouga did not return yet. Kagome found herself watching the horizon. She knew he was fine or the others would have probably sensed it and she decided not to worry. Nonetheless, it did not prevent her from looking for him every once in a while. Since she was busy looking at the forest, she never noticed Kouga, who was still in his wolf form, sneaking up on her from behind. Taking, advantage of the opportunity, he pressed his muzzle to her back.

A yelp escaped her and she quickly turned around. When she found the blue eyed wolf looking at her she smiled. "Very funny," she said sarcastically. "I guess you had fun." She found herself wondering if he would prefer being in that form all the time instead of the human one.

He gave her the best nod a wolf could give and then laid his head on her lap. Her smile only grew in size as she started to scratch behind his ears. "It must be nice to just leave it all behind and run."

Kouga nuzzled closer to her as an attempt to bring her comfort. He chose to stay in this form because he thought she would be more comfortable - he did not mean to make her sad. He thought about leaving to change back but she slowly began to lower her hand and rub his neck and back. He had to admit, the feeling was nice. Though, he was fairly certain that once more, she was just seeing a wolf and she would blush once she would remember it was him, him.

Kagome lowered herself to the ground and scratched under his neck and he waggled his tail. Then, he proceeded to lick the side of her face and she giggled loudly as it tickled.

Ginta and Hakkaku were watching the scene from afar with their arms crossed over their chests. "Yeah, he ain't into her alright."

"He's lucky she's human. I'm pretty sure that counts as wolf courting, She just doesn't know it."

They were happy for him but they simply wished he would admit the truth and that he would actually try. It was clear that Kagome did not feel the same as she did before: her feelings changed. She was more receptive to him and his feelings. If he could just do it right this time, they knew he would have a shot. Unfortunately, they both seemed stubborn and they had a feeling that they would have to let them figure it out on their own… with a little help now and then of course.

"I think we're all ready to go," one of the wolves said as he joined Ginta and Hakkaku.

"Don't tell Kouga yet," Ginta said as he nodded in direction of their leader.

The wolf followed their glance only to see Kouga half on his back with Kagome rubbing his belly. "Are they?"

"Nah, she doesn't know."

"He sure does though," he said with a chuckle before walking away.

Meanwhile, Kouga knew it was time to change back into his human form. If he let her pet him any longer it might actually become torture. He could not remember if he ever let anyone close enough to do that. He did not know just how good it would feel to let himself be close to someone like that. The fact that it was her made it even better. At least he was glad that she could relax in his presence and she seemed to enjoy his wolf form.

He gave her one last lick before running further into the forest to where he left clothes. As he changed back, he found himself slightly tensed. The memories of her soft hands on him was a bit too vivid. He took a moment to breathe deeply before joining the group again. He did not miss the arched eyebrows as he walked past Ginta and Hakkaku but ignored them. Instead, he offered Kagome a smile. "Ready?"

"Awe, I kinda miss you as a wolf."

"Don't worry. This won't be your last camping trip," he said with a grin.

He offered her his hand to help her up and she took it. "Meet ya guys at the house," he said to Ginta and Hakkaku as Kagome and him walked to the car.

"Thank you for this weekend."

"Don't thank me yet. It ain't over."

"Please tell me it's not other party where I'm gonna get beer spilled all over me."

He chortled. "Hopefully for that guy, no. I can drive ya straight home if ya want though," he said while hiding the disappointment in his voice.

"No, no. I want to come." She did not want this to be over just yet. The life waiting for her back there was one where all her friends had graduated from school and she was left home with no real education and no job. There was no rush.

Good. He was almost always waiting for the moment she would say she was tired of hanging out with him. Especially now that old feelings were coming back, he was afraid of crossing the line without realizing it. He wanted Kagome in his life at all cost. He would be her friend.

"Don't worry. It'll be more fun than last time. Less alcohol too," he said teasingly. "Well, less alcohol on your shirt."

After weekends like that, the wolves tended to go overboard. It was hard to let go of the past after such nice reminders. He allowed a few slip ups now and then as long as nobody got hurt.

They got in the car and waited for everyone to leave first. Ginta and Hakkaku were in the first car leading the way which Kouga's car was the last in the line. Kagome rolled her window down, letting the wind play with her hair. It was a shame it was already over.

"Why don't you guys do this more often?"

"Too many wolves too often would make people suspicious."

"What does it feel like?"

He glanced at her, confused.

"Turning into a wolf, being a wolf."

She was always just Kagome. She never got to let go, be free and just be something else. She was envious of that. She was stuck with the same problems, the same state of mind.

"Does it still feel like you're you?"

"I'm more me as a wolf than I am now," he admitted.

"Then why not stay as a wolf all the time?"

"It's more complicated than that. And I like this form. I'm just less of a wolf like this."

He did not know how to explain his instincts and everything that came with it. This form felt more restrictive when he wanted to be free but it was better for other situations, sometimes more powerful too and certainly more convenient.

"It's - the wolf's the freedom."

Despite the fact that he was driving, he turned his head to fully look at her. She glanced back with understanding in her eyes and she had no idea how much that meant to him. All the years, he thought that was it for him. It was not as if the pack was expanding a lot or that new youkais would pop out. Humans - it was complicated. He did not think a lot of them would be fine with the concept of mating a youkai and having hanyou children. But Kagome - she was everything he needed, everything he wished for. Although, he was her friend and she was never going to be the magic answer. Nonetheless, his chest swelled with happiness and he grinned at her.

She looked happy.

He never wanted to see sad Kagome again.

Kagome was the one to break the gaze and looked out the window at the forests they were passing. She imagined the freedom of running through them without a care in the world. Without a heartbreak, without any sadness.

Oh, how she envied them.


By the time Kouga and Kagome arrived the house, the place already smelled like cooked meat and there was quite the party atmosphere going. The grills were on, the alcohol was out and the music was playing. Meanwhile Kouga was looking at the still packed cars and he shook his head.

"These better be taken care of before tomorrow!" he warned teasingly.

Once he was done laughing, he turned to Kagome. "I gotta check on a few things. Are you gonna be alright?"

"I think I can handle myself in a pack of wolves."

He grinned. "I have no doubts."

She watched him leave, the smile on her face never leaving. Even though he made it hard to be good friends in the past with his relentless pursue of her, he was now making it very easy. He cleared her mind and most of all, he reminded her she could have fun again without being in the feudal era or without being with him. Once again, he was wiped from her mind completely. Until now.

She shook her head: she had to stop thinking about him every time she was having fun. It would not do any good.

"Hey Sis!"

At first, Kagome expected to see Ginta or Hakkaku but it was another wolf. Apparently the nickname was catching on. "Want some?" he asked offering her a glass filled with a rather greenish liquid.

"What is it?" she asked as she took it from him.

"Just a little somethin' we all drink. Wolf drink."

Wolf drink? She was not sure she trusted it, not with a name like that.

"We all drink it at the end of the weekend. It's got no alcohol. It's not to get drunk and it's not drugs. I promise."

She eyed the drink, then the wolf before forcing a smile. One would not hurt. She quickly downed the whole thing and found herself agreeing with him; she tasted no alcohol. It did not taste that great and it was mostly spicy but it was drinkable.

"Thanks," she said as she gave him back the glass.

"There's more over there if ya want! Before it runs out!"

More? From what he told her it was a juice. If she was thirsty again, she would simply go with water instead; it was tastier. She was not really into spicy food so,the wolf drink did not really do it for her.

As soon as he was gone, Hakkaku popped up beside her. He had a concern look on his face as he watched the wolf walked away.

"Something wrong?"

"Nah," he said while shaking his head. "Ya should just go easy on those."

"I thought there was not any alcohol?" she asked with a frown.

"There isn't. It has something else though." It had very specific plant essence in it. He knew their reactions on wolves but he did not know how a human, miko nonetheless, would react to it.

"Is it bad?"

Noticing the concern now developing in her voice, he chose to smile. "Oh it's nothing to worry about. I just, ya know, I think he forgets humans and wolves just don't have the same tolerance."

It should not be bad. It was not drugs or alcohol. Wolves mostly used it to clear up their senses. The human lifestyle was very polluted and it affected their sensitive noses and whatnot. Their instincts could get dull out and it was very frustrating for a wolf when they could not count on their instincts. It was more like a cleanse. It was completely fine for wolves and most youkais but…he never heard of a human drinking it. The effect of it on her were unknown.

She nodded but it was clear she did not really believe him. She made a note to really make sure to avoid the drink from now on. Still, she decided to go mingle with some of the wolves since she was less shy than before and got to know quite a few of times during the weekend. Hakkaku watched her leave, making sure to keep an eye on her. Kouga would kill him if anything happened and he would not forgive himself anyway.

"What's wrong?" Ginta asked as he joined his friend.

"I'm gonna have to talk to Haru. I don't think he's gonna wanna face Kouga's wrath."

They both knew Haru meant no harm. Drinking the plant essence together was a tradition they had, a way to remain who they were, and Kagome was considered pack. As matter of fact, it was a great thing that even the wolves in the pack that did not know Kagome back then, came to accept her. Nonetheless, they all felt very protective of Kagome and did not wish for any harm to come to her.

"Don't worry, I'll explain it to him," Ginta offered as he marched in direction of Haru.

From where he stood, Hakkaku could already tell how apologetic the wolf was and he felt bad. Maybe they were trying to shelter her too much. Though, it was hard to tell. Kagome spent her teenage years traveling through time and then, locked up at home. She did not really have any experiences and might react badly if this made her feel sick, also her limit was much different than theirs. The last thing than wanted was for her to have a bad time or get sick or something.

Meanwhile, Kouga was in the living room with two wolves, Yuukie and Kiyo. It was old custom to tell the leader when a mating took place. Usually it was done before but since the traditions were not as important anymore, they mostly shared the news out of respect. Now, they were announcing to Kouga that during the weekend away they mated. Obviously, it was an event to celebrate, especially if you considered how low in population the wolf pack was. Wolves rarely had cubs outside of mating and since mostly everybody was single that meant no new life was brought into the pack. Also it was also perfect timing since everything was ready for a celebration.

"Congratulations," he said with a beaming smile.

"Thank you," Kiyo said as he wrapped his arm around Yuukie.

They had cubs in the pack but none of them were children as humans would put it. He did miss the feeling of having youngsters around. It took him back to the past when the place was crawling with little ones. He missed that.

He guided them outside so that he could make the announcement. He remained on the porch before whistling. He could have growl, like he used to, but over the years, as they learned to blend in, they lost some of their more animalistic habits. Nonetheless, his whistling got everyone's attention and they all stopped their activities to turn around and look at them.

"We have somethin' else to celebrate tonight." He pointed at Yuukie and Kiyo. "A new mating."

Cheers were heard and some whistling was added. The new couple blushed before joining everyone and mingling in.

"Now, ya'll gotta be careful tonight and don't get caught up in all that lovey feeling. Cause, remember that shit is permanent." Having a newly mated couple released a certain scent in the air and he did not need anybody acting like an idiot. He knew how tempting it could be sometimes, especially if they were interested in someone but mating was not joke, it was a serious matter and had to be treated as such.

Once everyone was done listening to him, he got off the porch and joined Kagome.

"Mating huh?"

"Yeah, it still happens once in a while."

She pinched her lips, unsure if the question she wanted to ask was appropriate or not. "What is mating exactly? I mean you explained the whole courting thing but I — you know what… just forget it," she concluded with a chuckle.

For the briefest instant, his mind wandered somewhere it should not but he quickly recovered. "Mating, hm, it's - it's just a bond. Between - usually - two youkais."

"A bond?" Since he turned quite red when she asked her questions she thought the answer was a bit more embarrassing than that.

He scratched the back of his head. "Ya see, there's a mark. The male leaves a mark on the female during," he paused, "the mating and it bonds them forever. It ain't reversible so ya gotta be sure when you do."

"That's incredible," she finally said. "I mean, to love someone so much that you commit to forever."

"Sometimes it doesn't work out."

"Then what do they do?"

He shrugged. "Some find other people but it hurts. They're link to someone else ya know? Shit, I mean, it must be like gettin' your hear ripped out every time. You're betrayin' the one you're supposed to love."

"Do you think you'll find the one?"

He did. "Maybe."

As she stared at the new couple and their happiness, she felt her body getting warmer. Puddles of sweat were forming at the base of her neck and her lips were completely dry. How did she not notice before how warm it was? She rubbed the back of her neck which transferred the sweat to her palm. Her aura became disturbed which did not go unnoticed by Kouga. He looked at her with concern shining in his eyes. He observed her strange movements and quickly realized she was quite uncomfortable.

"Do ya need something?"

"Oh," she said with a smile, "I'm just - I'm a little warm."

"I"l lget ya some water," he said as he hopped on his feet.

"Thank you," she said to his disappearing form.

Sweat was forming on her face and soon drops were in her eyelashes which blurred her vision. She tried to blink them away but it only seemed to make matters worse. Instead, she lifted her hands and used them to wipe her face. She remained in that position until she felt Kouga's presence. She hurried to drop her hands away from her face and then took the bottle from him. Even though she tried to smile, he still stood there as if he was expecting an answer from her.

"Really, I'm fine. Hakkaku said my tolerance to the wolf juice might not be as good as yours. Probably drank it too fast."

"Wolf juice?" His face darkened. "Who gave you that?"

Her lips twisted. "I don't remember."

"Are you okay?" he asked, his voice sounding like a growl.

She felt a shiver traveled through her as she nodded. "It's fine, I'm just feeling light headed." To try and convince him further she took a sip of the water. It was not as bad as he thought it was. The feeling simply took her by surprise while she was not expecting it. Now that she remained steady and drinking water, she would be just fine.

"Please," she said, pleading him with her eyes, "it's a joyous occasion and I'm fine."

He offered her a small grunt before sitting back beside her. "But if you feel we-"

"I will tell you," she said cutting him off. "Don't worry."

It was sweet of him to be so concern with her well-being but he did not have to be. Every second, he seemed to think that if something happened to her, it would be his fault. She was a big girl. Also, nobody forced her to drink. She made that decision on her own and she would not let some poor guy get yelled at because of her choice.

"Seriously. I mean there is not any alcohol in it. Maybe I'm just - not used to whatever is in it."

The plant was harmless. At least he thought so. It was just something they drank yearly. Not only did their noses work much better after but the lungs felt less filled with crap. He seriously did not know how she found the air and the environment tolerable in this era. It was the worst he experienced so far.

"It's nothin' toxic," he added as if to re-assure her. "You're not gonna be high or nothing."

The thought did not even occur to her. Though she knew they would not have let her have it if it was harmless. "I'll be okay."

It was then that a theory crossed his mind. "You're a miko. Maybe it's just acting up. We ain't got the same energy."

That was a plausible possibility. Sometimes it felt as thought she forgot about being a miko. After all, when did she ever use her power in this era? Up until recently she even though all youkais were gone and it was not as if you needed real holy powers to run a shrine. Being a real miko held no importance anymore. She had to admit though, she did not miss having to defend herself against Naraku all the time or watching her friends' time run out. Even though she could no longer see her friends, she knew they had long happy life without always fearing death.

"Ya alright?"

Kagome's aura suddenly filled with sadness and he did not like it. Was it another side effect to the plant?

"I'm fine. I was - I was just thinking about all of them. Sango, Miroku…" She stopped there. If she continued it would be even more depressing.

"You did the best thing you could do for everyone. Ya killed that bastard."

Naraku took from everyone - except her. At least that was true until the end. Apparently even in his death, misfortune had to happen and she found herself locked away. Although, could that be truly blamed on Naraku or was it simply faith? Maybe she was only meant to go in the past to fix the wrongs. After that, her place was here, in this time…alone. Naraku played with destiny and it corrected itself using her.

"I know."

She leaned forward, trying to hide the tears forming in her eyes. Of course, that did not fool Kouga and he gently raised his hand so that he could brush away her bangs. He took hold of her chin and raised her head a bit. "It'll feel better one day."

They did not experience the same things but he recognized the sadness in her eyes since he once felt the exact same way. Kagome deserved better; she sacrificed so much for others, including a normal life.

Awkwardly, and in a way to comfort her, he leaned in to press a kiss to her forehead. When he got closer she froze at first but relax afterwards. It was until she felt a shift in his aura; it was like it pulsed through her and immediately it brought a blush to her cheeks and she pulled away.

"I - hm, did you feel that?"

Kouga's own cheeks were a bit red. "Yeah, I guess you're feeling your aura more than usual 'cause of the drink. A clash between yours and mine. Youkai and Miko." He had no clue what he was blabbering about but he knew he had to say something.

"You know, I think I'll get myself a bottle of water too," he added as he rushed to his feet.

Kagome watched him leave and then pressed a cold hand to her heated face. That was… unexpected. Almost like a spark. It was like she felt his aura instead of her inside of her.

She tried to not look embarrassed and she kept her gaze on him. She looked while he picked up a water bottle from a cooler only to be stopped when a girl grabbed his shoulder. Kagome recognized her from the trip but could not remember her name. The girl spoke, and Kagome could not understand, then both the girl and Kouga laughed which made her frown.

Since they found each other, it was the girl time she saw him speaking with a girl - which he was absolutely allowed to do. He simply seemed so uninterested in the dating thing that - well she could be a friend. And then the girl squeezed Kouga's arm. Or she could be interested in him. Though, Kouga already knew everyone from the pack, clearly meaning he knew this girl.

It could be good for him. She would be happy for him.

She decided to look away, the sight a bit awkward for her to watch. Kagome decided to switch spot and go mingle away. If Kouga wanted to talk to other people, she did not want him worrying about her waiting all alone.

In her trail, she left a scent that did not go unnoticed by Ginta who stood nearby. He glanced at Kagome, then Kouga before shaking his head in disappointment.

Those two were going to need a lot of help.


A InuYasha Story
by Maddie-san

Part 6 of 28

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