Inuyasha Taisho was in a bind. Literally. Somehow, he had gotten himself tangled into the string of what Kagome had called “fairy lights” that she wanted decorating her balcony, and he was not sure how he would undo this without damaging the lights. He tried to follow the wire to see where he had gotten so tangled up, and soon found the problem.
His long silver hair had gotten wrapped around a few of the bulbs, and as he had moved and twisted the string to plot out its placement, it had gotten more and more tangled. He eyed the mass, weighing his options. If he destroyed the lights, Kagome would be mad at him. If he cut his hair, Kagome would be mad at him. Two puppy ears at the top of his head folded downwards, he knew this was one of those ‘lose-lose’ scenarios.
A soft giggle pulled his attention away from the dilemma of his hair and the lights, and his golden eyes saw the girl leaning against the sliding door to the balcony.
Kagome Higurashi. His goddess.
They both attended the University of Tokyo and had met when their respective roommates had begun dating. At first it had been awkward between them, they often seemed to act as Sango and Miroku’s chaperones, but over time they had grown closer. He had been there for her when her ex-boyfriend Hojo had broken up with her to study in America, she had been there when he and his former girlfriend Kikyo had parted ways.
He wasn’t sure when it had happened, but he had fallen hopelessly in love with the raven-haired girl during the last three years. Over time she had become the one he wanted to share everything with, the funny stories, the ranting over a fucked-up group project. He hadn’t even realized it until that summer. They had both had internships, and the group had not been able to get together as much. He quickly realized that as great as the internship was, the summer had felt empty because she wasn’t there to share it with. Oh, he had talked with her on the phone, but he hadn’t been able to see her reactions, the twinkle in her sapphire eyes. Now, every time he thought about life after their senior year of college, every single scenario had Kagome there with him.
He just… hadn’t worked up the courage to ask her out.
Which is why he was there, playing the good friend, helping her get her first solo apartment exactly right. He had helped her pack up everything from her apartment with Sango earlier that day and unload it at the new apartment. Sango and Miroku had gotten engaged over the summer break and had officially moved in together, and Kagome had decided to live off campus for her senior year. She had looked so adorable when she told him about it, all her plans for it now that she didn’t have to follow the dormitory rules. He hadn’t realized she had asked him for help until he heard her squeal of “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.”
He was glad she hadn’t invited Koga to help too. The wolf demon had been around more and more after he had worked with Kagome in her summer internship. It drove Inuyasha nuts seeing the wolf around, to see Kagome smile at him. Inuyasha wanted to be the one to make her smile, but if the wolf made her happy, he wouldn’t stand in the way.
Kagome was trying desperately to get her giggles under control. She knew the knot was probably painful, but he looked so gorgeously adorable with the slight pout on his face that he had when he was lost in thought.
“Here, let me help you with that.”
She said as she walked to his side, reaching out to take the mass from him. “I have a better vantage point.” When she heard his soft “Keh” she started the slow process of working out the knot.
Well, it shouldn’t have been quite so slow, but she would take any opportunity to be close to him that she could. She had really missed him over the summer, their respective internships had made opportunities to see their friends few and far between. They had spoken on the phone almost every day, but it hadn’t been the same as seeing him.
Her hand caressed the strands of his hair as she gently tried to unwind the strands from the lights. His hair was always so soft, and she loved the feel of it against her skin. She had dreamt of that feeling, among other things, way more than she should have over the past few years. With a soft sigh, she managed to separate his hair from the lights, smiling when he turned to her with gratitude.
Her breath caught in her chest at their proximity, his golden eyes never ceased to captivate her, and she could feel herself falling into the deep honey gaze.
She wished she had the courage to tell him how she felt, but she was a coward. She didn’t want to risk losing his friendship by making him uncomfortable. She had never seen him going out on any dates after things had ended with Kikyo, she was sure he was still pining for her, waiting for an opportunity to resume their relationship.
Not that she had dated anyone since Hojo, but realistically, she hadn’t found anyone that compared to Inuyasha. She knew she was being foolish, but she didn’t want to date anyone that she knew wouldn’t measure up to him. She knew who and what she wanted; it was just… she couldn’t let him know.
She forced herself to turn away and move back into the apartment, if she had stayed near him, she knew she would have done something stupid… like try to kiss him.
She had tortured herself all day by having him help her move everything and then stay to help set up the apartment. It was just, he felt so right being there, even when he was putting up her fairy lights (lord he had scoffed at that when she told him what she wanted). This was her first space that was all her own, and he was the only one that she wanted in there, helping her arrange it and putting together furniture. In a small way she could say it made it ‘theirs’ and not just hers.
But that was only wishful thinking.
“Hey Kags?” She heard Inuyasha ask from the balcony, making her turn to look back. Her mouth watered looking at him, he was so damn gorgeous it wasn’t even fair. Maybe it was better that nothing happened between them, she was sure he would ruin her for any other guy.
“Yeah Yash?” she made herself respond, she found that she had to fight to keep her voice even.
“Your ‘fairy lights’ are up, what do you want me to do next?”
She pointed to a box in the living room, grinning when he growled.
“You had to go and get shit from Ikea, didn’t you? You know it’s a bitch to put together.” He scoffed as he walked over to take in the boxed entertainment center.
“It was cheap.” She gave a small shrug.
He narrowed his eyes at her. “And you want me to… what? Put it together for you?”
Kagome bit her bottom lip, and Inuyasha bit back a groan. He wanted to nibble that lip so badly, but he… he couldn’t. Kagome looked up at him from under her lashes with a pleading expression. He groaned.
“Don’t... don’t give me that puppy dog face Kagome, you know I can’t say no to that.” Kagome’s face broke out in a brilliant smile.
“Well, you did say I wasn’t allowed to use any of the tools didn’t you Yash?” She teased as she moved to pass him.
His hand reached out to snag her wrist before she could move too far, and when she turned mere inches separated them. Both froze for a moment, sapphire and gold eyes locked together, before they both backed away with blushes forming on their cheeks.
“Keh… Alright, but you gotta order pizza for dinner, I don’t work for free.” He stammered, trying to defuse the tension in the room. There was no way he had seen desire in Kagome’s eyes in that moment… was there?
Kagome dashed to the bedroom under the guise of getting her phone. She… god… that was… that one moment had rattled her more than she had thought possible. For a second, she thought… she almost imagined… that he wanted to kiss her as much as she wanted to kiss him. She shook her head, trying to force those thoughts of her mind. She quickly called their favorite pizza shop to order two meat lover pizzas to be delivered, thankfully she and Inuyasha both liked the same type of pizza (she would have to snag her slices early).
She stayed in the bedroom, unpacking clothes, and linens to avoid going to the living room and the unknown tension between her and Inuyasha.
Yes, she was a coward.
Inuyasha was cursing a blue streak as he attempted to put together the entertainment center. It gave him something to focus his frustration on, he had almost fucked up. The need to kiss Kagome had been so strong, if she hadn’t pulled away when she had, he probably would have… fuck. It was obvious that he was at risk of ruining their friendship, she had fled as soon as she could and was staying as far away as she could. He could hear her, hiding in the bedroom. His ears dropped, maybe he should ask Sango to come over so it wouldn’t be so awkward between them anymore.
The sound of the doorbell pulled him out of his thoughts. He hoped it was the pizza, maybe food would...
“Hey Mutt Face, how are you doing?”
So much for the universe hearing him and cutting him some slack. Inuyasha stepped back to let Koga into the room. He didn’t have a problem with Koga, per se. It was his obvious interest in Kagome that bugged him. Come to think of it, why was the wolf there?
“Yash was that the pizz… Koga?” Kagome came out of the bedroom, surprise evident in her voice.
“Hey Kagome.” Koga smiled as he saw her. Inuyasha felt his heart break a little when Kagome gave a small smile back.
“Wha... what are you doing here Koga?” Inuyasha watched the wolf intently, he wanted to know the answer to Kagome’s question too.
“Can’t I want to see if I can help my girl with her move?” Inuyasha seethed internally at the response. That ‘my girl’ comment had sent pain through his heart; he had lost her before he ever had her.
“Koga, we’ve been over this, I am not your girl.” Inuyasha’s ears perked, maybe there was still a chance.
“Can’t blame a guy for trying right?” Koga grinned at her. “But I am serious about seeing if you needed help with the move.”
Kagome paused for a moment, Koga was a nice guy, but his obvious pursuit of her made her uncomfortable. She had been trying to get him to understand that she didn’t like him in a romantic sense, but he always made comments like that, especially if Inuyasha was around. But at the same time, she knew it would be rude to refuse his offer. She sighed, Inuyasha was not going to like this.
“Thanks Koga, I appreciate that. The dining table still needs to be constructed if you want to work on that. That’s the last thing I was going to have Yash do.”
Koga followed Kagome to the last box and began to work on it while she returned to the bedroom. A few minutes later she came running out, her cell phone against her ear.
“Yeah, it’s fine, I will head over now, thanks… No, it’s no problem at all.” She assured the person on the other end of the line. She shot the boys an apologetic glance.
“That was the pizza parlor. Their delivery driver got a flat tire, so I have to go pick up the pizzas. Will you guys be ok for a few minutes?”
Inuyasha grunted softly, he wasn’t thrilled with being left alone with the wolf, but he wasn’t going to object.
“Don’t worry Kagome.” Koga said with a smile. “I promise not to kill the mutt while you are out.” Inuyasha’s snarl caused Koga to burst out laughing. “I’m serious, we will be fine.”
With a last glance at Inuyasha, Kagome ran out the door.
Koga and Inuyasha worked in silence for a few moments. They had an unspoken competition going between them, who could put together more of their project without looking at the directions than the other. It was going about as well as could be expected. With a glare at Koga, Inuyasha pulled the instructions over, determined to make sure that HIS piece of furniture was perfect for Kagome.
“You know I envy you.” Koga’s voice surprised Inuyasha.
“What the hell do you mean by that?” Inuyasha snarled back.
“You and Kagome.”
“Keh. There’s nothing between me and Kagome.” Inuyasha said, a sour expression on his face.
“You don’t even see it do you?” Koga asked, surprise colored his voice.
“Look wolf, what game are you trying to pull?” Inuyasha snapped, he had no clue what game Koga was playing but he was not amused by it.
“You don’t. Son of a bitch, you have no clue.”
Inuyasha growled. “What the fuck are you talking about.”
“First answer one question. Do you like her?”
Inuyasha glared at Koga.
“No offense wolf, we don’t really know each other, why would I answer a question like that?”
Koga smiled softly before turning back to finish the table.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” he said softly.
“Look Koga, can you please just tell me what the fuck you are going on about?” Inuyasha was quickly reaching the end of his patience with the other demon.
“Did you know you are all she talks about?” Koga’s soft statement broke through Inuyasha’s irritation. The wolf chuckled at the shell-shocked expression on Inuyasha’s face.
“Yeah, as I said, you have no clue.” Koga let out a tortured laugh.
“She is one hell of a woman, if I were you, I would snap her up before some other guy comes and takes her from you.”
That broke through Inuyasha’s daze.
“She’s not a possession to be taken you jackass. She’s… She’s Kagome. And she isn’t mine to lose” Inuyasha said sadly, his ears lowering.
“That’s where you are wrong.” Koga said back. “Anyone who spends more than 10 minutes around her can tell you that.”
Inuyasha was dumbstruck. It… it couldn’t be. The wolf had to be lying.
“Keh. Then why are you here?”
Koga broke out into a smirk. “Can’t blame a guy for trying can ya? Besides, I’ve seen you two dancing around each other, and it's making her miserable.”
“Again, why the hell are you here then?”
Koga looked Inuyasha dead in the eye before continuing.
“Someone needed to pull your head out of your ass and tell you to man up or get out of the way. Personally, I would prefer it if you got out of the way, but that’s not what she wants. So, man the fuck up.”
Inuyasha was stunned. He… what…. Wait… could she…
The door opened and Kagome walked in carrying the pizzas just as Koga finished setting up the table. She set the boxes down on the counter and turned to Inuyasha, still sitting on the floor, his eyes unfocused.
“Koga, what happened?” Kagome asked, turning to look at her friend.
Koga shook his head. “Nothing, don’t worry about it.” He glanced down at his watch and looked out the window to see the sunset. “Hey, I gotta go, I’m glad I was able to help.”
Koga gave Kagome a quick hug, turning down her offer of pizza as he made his way out of the apartment. When he reached the door, he turned back to Inuyasha.
“Think about what I said mutt.” Koga closed the door behind him as he left.
“Yash?” Kagome questioned as she handed him a paper plate with a slice of pizza. “What was that about.”
“Keh.” Inuyasha’s cheeks turned pink. “Just the wolf being stupid.”
The two pizzas were soon completely devoured. Kagome had tried to prod Inuyasha to learn what Koga had meant, but the hanyou seemed lost in thought and wouldn’t respond. When she finished her pizza, Kagome moved to sit next to him, her knee touching his, one hand absentmindedly playing with the ends of his hair, which did not escape Inuyasha’s notice.
‘Could the wolf be right?’ he thought to himself.
Kagome’s gasp drew him out of his thoughts, though his mind blanked when she placed a hand on his knee when she suddenly stood. He watched her dash out to the balcony just as the last bit of sunlight faded under the horizon.
“Yash, come out here!” Kagome giggled as she spoke. With a raised eyebrow he moved to join her on the dark balcony.
“Look!” She could barely contain her excitement as she flipped the switch for the outdoor outlet.
Those damn fairy lights twinkled, making it appear the balcony was floating among the stars.
“Isn’t it beautiful?”
Inuyasha could not take his eyes off her. Kagome looked almost ethereal in that moment, and she completely took his breath away. Kagome turned to look at him, concerned that he had not answered her question. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw how he was looking at her, and she felt hope soar. This time she hadn’t imagined it, he looked at her as if she were the most precious thing in the universe.
“Yash?” She whispered, pulling him out of his trance. He took a hesitant step towards her, one hand moving to her cheek as his thumb stroked her skin.
“You are so gorgeous Kagome.” Inuyasha’s voice was so soft she barely heard him. “I have to know, even if it fucks things up, what would you say if I asked if I could kiss you?”
Kagome’s heart suddenly soared.
“I… I would… I would say please do.” Her voice broke with the weight of her emotions at the words.
Inuyasha moved to cradle her cheeks with his hands before he slowly lowered down, waiting to give her the opportunity to change her mind, before sealing his mouth to hers.
It wasn’t what she had imagined it would be. It was so much MORE. The kiss spoke of promises, dreams, goals, and above all, a future.
Inuyasha broke the kiss and moved back just enough for his golden gaze to capture her dazed sapphire eyes. There, among the twinkling lights, he asked her the most beautiful words she had heard.
“Kagome Higurashi, will you be my girlfriend?”
She reached up to place a hand at the back of his neck, gently tugging to lower him to her again.
“I thought you would never ask.” she whispered against his lips, before fusing her mouth with his.
Two years later, Kagome and Inuyasha sat at the head of the table, their friends and loved ones with them at their rehearsal dinner. The next morning, they would be making their vows in front of her family shrine. Inuyasha looked across the room and caught Koga’s eye, the two had since become close friends and Inuyasha had asked Koga to be part of the wedding. After all, if he hadn’t told Inuyasha to get his head out of his ass and man up, he wouldn’t be here, about to marry his goddess.
He owed the damn wolf.