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Song and Dance Man

Chapter Text

Inuyasha walked out of his small kitchen, carrying a large mug of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a plate of chocolate chip cookies on a tray. He put it down on the coffee table in front of his girlfriend, stooping to drop a kiss on the top of her head, then snorted as she tried to nudge him aside so she could see the show she was currently watching. He didn’t know which one it was – they all seemed to blend into one another, and he did his best to block out the singing. Why was there always singing?

“Another one?” he teased, blocking her view even more. “You mean you haven’t watched every single musical on Netflix already? What’s this one called?”

“Singing in the Rain”, Kagome said testily. “And it doesn’t matter how many times I watch them, they make me feel better”, she said, trying to lean sideways. “C’mon, Inuyasha, move!”

Finally relenting at the pouting face looking up at him, he moved out of the way.

“Alright little storm cloud, you win.”

Kagome huffed at him, and he chuckled at her as he walked over to his desk, and picked up his headphones, grateful that the swelling crescendo of violins would soon be drowned out by the much more soothing sounds of screaming and gunfire from his paused game. He glanced back over to the TV as he sat down in front of his monitor.

“That guy looks constipated”, he commented. “How do you even watch this tripe?”

Kagome turned to glare at him over the back of the sofa, a cushion hugged to her stomach to help keep the hot water bottle in place.

“This is not tripe, and Don isn’t constipated!” she hissed. “He’s feeling! He’s in love with Kathy, but he has to act like he’s in love with Lina on screen”.

“That doesn’t mean he needs to torture me by singing and dancing about it”, Inuyasha muttered. “How are you meant to take any of this seriously, when they suddenly just burst into song about their innermost feelings? It’s utterly ridiculous. I don’t get how you can love musicals so much.”

“Is that what you really think?” she said quietly, the tone of her voice sounding brittle in comparison to the cheerful music playing in the background.

Inuyasha lowered his headphones, ears suddenly twitching with trepidation. He wasn’t always the best at reading a room, but he could definitely feel the tension in this one.

Their relationship was only new, but already Kagome seemed like a permanent fixture in his life. She was bubbly and kind, her tiny frame usually draped in the brightest coloured clothing she could find, and she always seemed to be singing or laughing. She reminded him sometimes of a sweet little canary, his own bright eyed and inquisitive songbird, with her happy go lucky mentality and readiness to try new things. She was everything he wasn’t.

They’d only met by chance, both of them stuck waiting in the Emergency Room at the local hospital, him waiting for his friend Miroku to get patched up after coming off his bike, and her waiting to get her wrist x-rayed after an accident with a set at the theatre where she worked. They’d chatted, or rather Kagome had, and he’d watched her, somehow mesmerised by this tiny human that was unruffled by his obviously hanyou features.

When Sango had appeared to pick up her bruised and scraped boyfriend, he’d decided to stay with Kagome, not liking the idea of leaving her there to wait all alone. Eventually she’d been x-rayed, poked and prodded, with Inuyasha tagging along at her request, finally triumphantly emerging from the hospital with her wrist strapped for a sprain. By then, the idea of her travelling home alone on public transport in the dark was abhorrent to him, so he’d driven her home. Somehow, she’d managed to get his number from him, and added herself into the paltry number of contacts on his phone.

When she’d texted a few days later to invite him out for a drink to say thank you, to his own surprise he’d eagerly accepted, and before he’d known it, they were inseparable. Early morning texts and late night phone conversations progressed to in person talks and late night kisses, until one night instead of accepting his reluctant good night, she’d launched herself at him and asked him to stay and take her to bed.

He’d hardly been able to look Kagome’s flatmate Shiori in the eye the next morning at breakfast, because they hadn’t exactly been discreet with the noise levels, with Kagome delighted to discover that youkai stamina extended to the bedroom. Shiori had teasingly remarked that his second task as Kagome’s boyfriend should be to buy her flatmate some decent earplugs. Kagome had found it hilarious, him, not so much.

Kagome now had two drawers in his dresser for clothes, a makeup bag and toothbrush in his bathroom, and an extra hook on the back of his door for her jacket. She hardly ever slept at her apartment now, only going back to do washing and visit Shiori.

It still shook him that Kagome actually cared for him, showed an interest in what he did. And the sex. They were starting to ease off a little now, but for the first few weeks, they were at it like rabbits, christening every room in his apartment, nearly every flat surface, and even some of the vertical ones. The sex was fucking amazing; she was so passionate, so eager, so utterly beautiful. It was like going from starvation rations to an all you could eat buffet, and he took full advantage of their mutual eagerness to explore each other’s bodies. He didn’t think he’d ever get enough of her.

But their relationship wasn’t just built just on that. They laughed with each other, teased each other, helped each other. He hardly knew the person he was becoming since he’d met Kagome, but the change was…good.

Even though it was early in the relationship, she’d already told him she loved him. At three months, this was the longest time he’d ever been with anyone and even though he was pretty sure he loved her too, he wasn’t quite comfortable saying that to her out loud yet. She understood. At least he’d done his best to try and show her how he felt, and she seemed happy with that. Miroku and Sango loved her too, and she’d slotted into their lives like she’d always been there. It was like she'd stepped out of a dream he'd never knew he had. He’d never felt so happy.

But right now, the look she was giving him was not a happy one. She seemed almost on the verge of tears. Kagome had warned him early on that she did get emotional just before her period and that some months were worse than others. He’d felt a little embarrassed by her candid remark, never having been in a relationship long enough for that kind of information to be shared. But so far everything had been okay.

Today hadn’t been great though. She had been out of sorts ever since she’d woken up this morning, feeling exhausted, achy and irritable, and he’d done his best to not take anything she said to heart and try and do little things to comfort her, knowing it wasn’t really her talking but her hormones. She’d smelt a little different, even though she wasn’t bleeding yet, but nothing concerning.

But right now, she was beginning to worry him – her heart rate was speeding up and her scent hinted at extreme agitation, similar to a fight or flight response. This was new. Should he remind her that she’d told him she got emotional just before her period and that she needed to calm down? Some deep seated sense of self-preservation made him realise that wasn’t a good idea.  

“Kagome”, he said uncertainly, trying to work out what the safest approach was, not wanting to upset her even more. “Are you okay?”

“What if we’ve been fooling ourselves Inuyasha.”

“Huh?”

“I mean, look at us,” she said, gesturing from Inuyasha’s faded Soundgarden t-shirt and ripped black jeans to her heart patterned leggings and hot pink t-shirt which proudly proclaimed she was Fuelled by Theatre and Coffee. “We couldn’t be more different.”

“But”, spluttered Inuyasha, his heart suddenly beating faster at the dangerous direction the conversation was taking. “Different is good! Yes, we like different things, but that shouldn’t matter!” Kagome’s bottom lip quivered.

“It might not matter tomorrow, or next week, or the week after that, but sooner or later, it would. That’s what you said last night.” Her breathing was picking up now, ragged gasps with a scent of tears.

“What?!”

“You said it’s important to find someone who shares your goals and your interests and fits into your life.”

“Kagome, I was talking about my asshole brother, and how he and Kagura aren’t on the same page about having kids! I wasn’t talking about us!”

“You just said musicals are utterly ridiculous”, she burst out, standing suddenly and letting the cushion and hot water bottle fall to the floor with a sad flop. “And just in case you’ve forgotten Inuyasha, I am a stage manager for a theatre company. Which means by default that you think I’m ridiculous.” A fat tear rolled down her cheek, quickly followed by another, and her distress was the only thing stopping him from snarling that the only thing ridiculous was this conversation. This wasn’t like her at all, and he needed to keep calm.

“Hey, hey, c’mon, I never meant that”, said Inuyasha softly as he stood, trying his best to de-escalate the situation. “I know your job is important to you, and just how much you love it.” Kagome continued on as if she hadn’t heard him, her voice breaking as tears streamed down her cheeks.

“You’ve never once shown an interest in anything that I’ve done at work. Never come to any of the shows I’ve been involved in”, she sniffed, and Inuyasha’s heart sank, made heavy with sudden guilt.

That was true. Kagome had listened to him rant about his work as a software test analyst, had shown interest in the games he played when he relaxed, had even made a WOW character and tried going on a raid with him when it was clearly not her thing. But she’d thrown herself into it, just like everything else she did, laughing at herself when she made mistakes, just happy to spend time with him sharing something he loved. He hadn’t done anything like that for her, hadn’t even noticed. That needed to change.

Kagome began gathering her things in a haphazard fashion, stuffing them in her backpack.

“Baby, don’t”, he said, trying to reach out to hug her. “Don’t leave when you’re upset. I promise we’re going to be better – I’m going to get better. I’m still learning how to be good at this. Please?”

She dodged his outstretched arms. “Don’t baby me”, she hissed, her tone venomous. “Sometimes I wonder if you’re even trying to get to know me. Do you even care at all? Or are you just in this for the sex?”

Inuyasha looked stricken. “Kagome…” His arms dropped to his sides.

Her eyes widened at his broken expression, her hands shaking as she reached tentatively towards him, then pulled herself back.

“I… I can’t do this right now”, she sobbed, pushing herself away. “I’m going home!”

And then the door slammed, and Inuyasha was left standing in the middle of his apartment, the untouched plate of cookies, cooling hot chocolate and water bottle the only evidence that Kagome had been there.

A man danced happily on his TV in the background, splashing around in rain puddles like it was the best thing ever. He plonked himself down on his sofa and picked up the cushion that Kagome had been hugging only moments before, burying his nose in it.

“What the fuck?” he whispered into the pillow. “What the actual fuck?!”

He didn’t know how serious this was, but it felt bad. She’d only been gone for seconds and already his life felt emptier. He felt sick, like he was going to vomit. He needed to fix it and fast. Because there was no way that he was going to lose Kagome over something like this.

Chapter Text

When Kagome had lifted her heavy head from her pillow the next morning and looked at her phone, there were ten messages. One from Shiori, one from Sango, and eight from Inuyasha.

She let her head flop back on the pillow, deciding not to open any of them yet. She wasn’t hiding, not exactly. This morning, she just wanted to pretend for a little while that everything was okay, have a quiet breakfast with her family, who she hadn’t seen for nearly a month, and then deal with the fall out.

The message from Shiori would no doubt be calm and caring. Sango’s message would also be caring, but she was pretty sure it would not be calm. And Inuyasha. She didn’t know. She didn’t know what to think. She’d put that in ‘after breakfast Kagome’s’ problem pile. Right now, she felt like crap, her period had finally arrived, and she needed to stand under a hot shower for at least, forever.

So she dragged herself to the bathroom and took some pain relief, had a shower, rummaged in her childhood bedroom for any clean clothes that still fit and found a pair of cut off jean shorts and a t-shirt from drama club that proclaimed Theatre is my Sport, then walked downstairs to the kitchen to sit listlessly at the table.

Grandpa read the paper, flicking the pages noisily every time he turned a page, making comments on various stories that no one replied to. Mama bustled around in the background, insisting on making her a cooked breakfast even though she’d said she wasn’t hungry. Souta clomped around noisily, calling out to Mama as he tried to find all the missing parts of his soccer uniform and put them in his bag for his game that morning.

Mama slid a plate in front of her and Kagome stared down at the single fried egg on toast as it glared at her accusingly. She deserved to be glared at. She had fought with Inuyasha. She had yelled at him, even after he’d been nothing but kind all morning at her bad mood, hurling her words at him like arrows, aiming to wound. Do you even care at all? Or are you just in it for the sex?! She felt the small amount of appetite she’d had leave her.

The back of Kagome’s eyes prickled with unshed tears, and she stabbed at the egg viciously with her fork, watching the yolk ooze out onto the toast. She should have known things were going too well.

Every few months, her period threw her a curve ball where her emotions got entirely out of whack and she became a paranoid anxious overthinking mess. If it happened when she was working at the theatre and they weren’t too busy, Jakotsu usually sent her home, recognising she wouldn’t be at her best. He jokingly called her mood swings her ‘little demon’ which made some of the youkai members of the crew roll their eyes, but it was true. She felt like an entirely different person when it happened, almost like she was watching someone else use her voice and say things she wouldn’t usually ever say out loud.

It had been so much worse this month, a slowly building feeling of anxiety and paranoia ever since she’d had the Depo Provera shot, wanting to try a birth control that was impossible to forget now she was in a relationship. Her doctor had been asking her to keep a diary of her symptoms, but she kept forgetting, and now look what had happened.

Sometimes Inuyasha said things without thinking. She knew that. He’d just been teasing her. And usually she’d just roll her eyes at him and tease him back, and they’d have a playful argument that led to a tickle fight or something a lot more hands on. But yesterday, she’d taken his words and twisted them. She could see that now. Yesterday, it had felt like her anxiety was looking for reasons to tear the world down around her. That look on his face – she’d hurt him. She had ruined everything.

She loved Inuyasha, even though sometimes he wasn’t the easiest man to love. He was a logical, practical person with a body to die for, who felt safest when he had order and control in his life. It was easy to see he was used to living alone, and sharing his personal space with her still threw him for a loop sometimes. He could be a little grumpy. A little obnoxious. A genuine diamond in the rough who carefully guarded his emotions. He was more a man of action than words, and she could appreciate that. But his sweet nature had been gradually revealed by the caring things he did for her, no matter how gruff his exterior could be sometimes.

She adored him. She’d never dated a hanyou before, and that came with a few extra complexities compared to being with a human, but she had grown to love his youkai traits. The way his ears told her how he was feeling. The way his pupils dilated when he was aroused. The way he took it upon himself to see to her physical needs, wanting to feed her, touch her, care for her. The way he relished how she smelled, how she tasted. He was a much more physical partner than she’d ever had before, and she loved it. How a simple touch from him, a spoken word in that low rumble could fill her with desire. In his hands, she felt cherished, desirable, wanted. She’d always thought she’d had a fairly average libido before, but with Inuyasha… she felt insatiable.

She’d had a couple of girl talks with Inuyasha’s friend Sango about him, and she'd hinted at a troubled childhood without giving any details. After that, Kagome had decided she wouldn’t push him out of his comfort zone before he was ready. He’d probably had to deal with so much growing up, and it was easy to deduce that he found talking about emotions difficult. That was okay, not everyone was good at that, he more than made up for his lack of words with his physical attentiveness and the way he looked at her. She could read the way he felt in those golden eyes.

To her delight, just recently he’d started to share things with her all on his own, just little details here and there, about his Mama or his Pop, family traditions they’d had when he was small, and she’d treated those tiny pieces of information like the gifts they were. And now look what she’d done. He’d probably never share his thoughts like that with her again.

It felt like there was a tight band around chest, making it hard to breathe properly. Her back was stiff from a night of tossing and turning, her lower belly twisted with cramps now that her period had finally arrived, along with a thumping headache that made her head heavy. She hoped the painkillers she’d taken in the bathroom would kick in soon.

The doorbell rang, adding to the family noise in the kitchen, and Souta ran to answer it, a piece of toast clutched in his hand. He was expecting a teammate who was getting a lift to the soccer game with him and Mama, and they heard him call out excitedly from the front room as he opened the door. Her mother sat down at the other end of the table.

“What are your plans for today, Kagome?” she asked absently, stirring her tea.

All Kagome wanted to do was go back to Inuyasha. Touch Inuyasha. Be with Inuyasha. But first they would have to have a Talk. Would he be like her previous boyfriends, and dump her for being ‘difficult’? Kagome sighed and slumped back in her chair. She shouldn’t have run yesterday, but she’d felt like a passenger in her own body, and had been frightened she would say something even more unforgivable than she already had.

Instead of going back to her apartment, she had caught a bus to the other side of the city to her childhood home, rushing in the door to fall into her mother's arms to sob hysterically, and had then taken some painkillers to dull what felt like an oncoming cluster headache and gone straight to bed before dinner.

“My plans? Oh nothing much. Mostly eating humble pie”, said Kagome dejectedly, pouring herself another cup of tea and pushing the impaled egg off to one side with a grimace.

Her mother lifted her head at that and inspected her daughter over the top of her teacup. “It’s going to be alright you know”, she said with a gentle smile, but before Kagome could ask her what she meant, Souta wandered back in, still eating his toast.

‘It wasn’t Kenji, it’s some guy for you, Kagome,’ he said vaguely.

‘Me? But nobody knows I’m here.” Puzzled, Kagome pushed back her chair and went to the door.

And there was Inuyasha. Her heart leapt with joy and the world, which had been dully monochrome and all askew, abruptly righted itself and sprang back into colour, just like the moment Dorothy had opened the door and found herself in Oz.

“Inuyasha?!”

She drank in the sight of him on the doorstep. He was looking more dressed up than she’d ever seen him, wearing an open-necked button shirt and jacket, his hair braided neatly. Even his jeans seemed to have no holes, and his black motorcycle boots looked polished. But otherwise he was indisputably, wonderfully Inuyasha. Her eyes roved over the austere angles of his face, his amber eyes and pointed silver ears, the stern mouth that made her knees go weak, the quiet solidity of him.

She wanted to throw herself into his arms and apologise profusely, but the strained look in his eyes, the tautness around his mouth, made her pause.

“Is everything okay?” she asked hesitantly.

“Fine.” Inuyasha cleared his throat. “Yeah it’s…uh, fine. I just came by because…um, I wondered if you had a balcony”, he finished in a rush.

Kagome’s jaw dropped. She didn’t know what she had been expecting, but it wasn’t that.

“A balcony?”

“Yeah. A balcony. Do you?”

Was this a peculiarly vivid dream? He seemed solid enough, standing there in a shirt and jacket she didn’t even know he possessed, his neatly braided hair revealing every nervous twitch of his ears.  

“There’s a back verandah”, she said cautiously, blinking up at him.

“That’ll do. Can we go there now?” he asked tensely. “If you’re not too busy that is?”

Kagome stared at him. “Inuyasha, are you sure you’re all right? You’re behaving very strangely.”

He huffed. “I know”, he said, his hands fidgeting with the edge of his jacket. “It’s just there’s somethin’ I need to do before I lose my nerve.”

“And this something needs to be done on our back verandah?” said Kagome slowly. He nodded.

She stood aside and Inuyasha stepped past her into the house. Maybe she was still asleep, and this was some sort of lucid dream brought on by those painkillers she’d taken last night. It definitely felt surreal. She blinked slowly and pinched herself, but he was definitely still there. Kagome led him down the hall and through the kitchen to the back door, ignoring Mama and Grandpa’s intense discussion about the need to clean out the storage shed, interspersed with polite requests to pass the tea.

“Well, here we are on the back verandah”, she said cautiously, wondering what might happen next. This day wasn’t turning out at all like she thought it would.

Inuyasha looked around anxiously and then gestured towards the old-fashioned swing seat that her father had made for her mother when she was a little girl. The paint was faded and peeling and it listed slightly to one side because the chains hanging from the beams were a little off centre.

“Sit down”, he said as he steered Kagome towards it.

“Inuyasha, what’s going on?” She watched as he walked down the two steps to the lawn and moved to stand in front of her, almost treading on her mother’s petunias, his hands clenching and unclenching.

“Just… don’t interrupt.” He took a deep breath, and opened his mouth. And then closed it again.

“What is it? Can I help?” she asked, twisting he fingers together. Kagome was getting really worried. Had he come all the way across town in his best clothes to dump her and now felt unable to go through with it?

Inuyasha cleared his throat savagely. “Sorry”, he said. “I’ll get it this time.” Another breath and then, to Kagome’s astonishment, he began to sing.

You were meant for me
I was meant for you!

Kagome’s eyes blurred with sudden tears. It was unmistakably You Were Meant for Me from Singing in the Rain. His voice was actually quite pleasant, a deep baritone that went off key a little here and there as he hit the higher notes, but mostly rang true. And then, when she thought she couldn’t be any happier, he began dancing! True, Inuyasha was no Gene Kelly, but he was definitely shuffling from side to side and every now and then he even tried a twirl.

Nature patterned you, an' when she was done
You were all the sweet things rolled into one!

His expression wasn’t really that of a lover delivering a heartfelt sentiment. It was intent, frowning as he tried to remember the words and coordinate his dance steps. Once he found himself facing the wrong way, and had to turn round hastily and pick up his routine again.

You're like a plaintive melody
That never lets me free

And then he was holding out his hand, inviting her to dance with him, drawing her up from the seat and leading her down the steps to the garden.

I'm content, the angels must have sent you
And they meant you just for me!

Smiling through her tears, she let him swing her round until he came to a halt with a flourish, looking into Kagome’s eyes at last with a mixture of relief, trepidation and excruciating embarrassment. Even the tips of his white pointed ears were red.

“Inuyasha,” she said, starry-eyed. “You were singing. And dancing.”

He coughed, then smiled at her hesitantly. “I’m not very good, I know. But I-“ She pushed her fingers over his lips to stop him talking.

“That was the best version of You Were Meant For Me I’ve ever heard.” Her voice cracked a little as she stood on tiptoe to put her arms around his neck. “The very best”, she whispered, “and I should know because I’ve heard it a lot.”

He gave her a relieved grin and pulled her close, leaning down for a kiss. But before their lips met, there was a burst of applause from the back door. Kagome’s family, evidently distracted from breakfast by Inuyasha’s singing, were beaming broadly and clapping. Souta whistled.

“Excellent! Very well done!” said Grandpa.

“Kagome’s always needed someone who will dance with her”, said her mother when Kagome introduced Inuyasha to them.

“I’m not really much of a dancer”, he confessed sheepishly, glancing down at Kagome with a blush.

“You looked like you were doing fine to me”, said Grandpa, which just went to show how much he knew about dancing.

Her mother, it appeared, knew more about what had happened yesterday than Kagome had thought.

“I have to admit young man, I had my doubts when you called me yesterday evening. When my daughter arrived here she was very unhappy”, she said, regarding Inuyasha with the severity she reserved for shoppers at the fruit market that squeezed the avocados hard and then put them back. And then she smiled. “But, you seem to have redeemed yourself. Welcome to the family.” Kagome giggled at Inuyasha’s wide eyed expression.

“We don’t like Kagome being unhappy”, her grandfather added. “She was born for laughter.” He broke off as the doorbell rang and her mother clicked her tongue as she checked the time on the kitchen clock.

“That’ll be your friend, Souta. You’d better let him in and then finish getting your soccer kit organised, we need to leave in fifteen minutes.” She turned back to Kagome and Inuyasha with a twinkle in her eye. “If there are to be any more song and dance routines, you’ll have to keep the noise down, I’m afraid, unless you want a larger audience.”

“I think once was enough”, said Inuyasha ruefully. He took Kagome’s hands as her family disappeared. “Was… once enough, Kagome?”

“Yes”, she said, her fingers tightening around his. She knew just how much that dance must have cost him. “Oh, Inuyasha, I can’t believe you did that for me! Especially after yesterday.”

“It was the only way I could think of to tell you how much I love you”, he said softly, stroking back her fringe. “I remembered what you said once about your job. That even though everyone in the company works hard to put a show together, being part of the backstage crew is always faceless because the audience is only there to see the actors shine. I wanted to show you that you’ll always shine like a star to me.”

Kagome’s throat was so tight, she could hardly talk. “Inuyasha…” was all she managed to choke out.

“I love you, Kagome”, he said, his eyes locked on hers. “If you want me to sing and dance for you every day, I will.” He grinned a little, one fang poking over his bottom lip. “You never know, I might even get better at it.”

“You don’t need to do that”, said Kagome, finding her voice at last. Drawing her hands free, she reached up and put them on his shoulders, feeling his strength and his solidity. “You don’t need to dance for me, or sing for me, Inuyasha. You just need to be you. You just need to be there. You just need to love me.”

“Now that, I can do”, said Inuyasha, so obviously relieved that a daily song and dance routine would not be required that she laughed, giddy with happiness. He laughed too and kissed her soundly, lifting her up and swinging her wildly around in a circle. Wild joy surged along her veins, and she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. The kisses didn’t get too heated, both of them very conscious that they were standing in her mother’s garden and could have an audience at any moment. But the promise of heat was there, and Kagome shivered in anticipation.

“I missed you”, she mumbled at last between kisses.

“I missed you too. You were gone for less than a day and it felt like a year.” He held her tightly, and she leant against him with a great sigh of contentment. “My apartment sounded so empty without you singing in it. I had to leave that damn musical running to fill up the silence.”

“Really?” giggled Kagome, delighted. “So that’s where you learnt the words! And how did you work out the dance routine?”

“Ah.” Inuyasha breathed out a deep sigh. “That was Jakotsu. When you wouldn’t answer your phone, I kinda panicked. Shiori said you didn’t go home, and Sango didn’t know where you were either. I called the theatre to see if you were there, and Jakotsu answered. When he worked out who I was, he made me tell him everything. And when he asked what I was going to do to win you back and I said I was going to sing for you, he said I couldn’t do it without a dance routine too. Made me come to the theatre to learn one. Longest fucking night of my life.”

Kagome giggled even harder. “He probably enjoyed himself.”

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. “He said that if you were prepared to talk to me after seeing the way I danced, you must really love me.”

 “He’s right”, said Kagome, standing on tiptoe to kiss him again.

“Now you know why I was so nervous when I arrived. I was terrified I would lose my nerve.”

“I’m glad you didn’t. That’s a song and dance routine I’ll never forget.” Her smile faded. “Seriously, I know how hard that was for you, Inuyasha.”

“I felt pretty stupid. But sometimes, taking a risk and letting go means you can win everything you’ve ever wanted. And I want you Kagome." He looked at her with a very serious expression. "I want this relationship to work. If you feel I’m taking you for granted, please tell me. I’m sorry I didn’t notice before. I’ve just lived alone for so long, sometimes I forget, but I'll make an effort to ask you more about your day, and the very next show at the theatre, I’ll buy a front row ticket. I know I’m not very romantic, but if you like, we could start going out for dinner. I could bring you flowers-”

Kagome shook her head, smiling. “It’s okay. I don’t need flowers. And I don’t need by the book romance. Your dance routine… now that was romantic. All I need someone who’s prepared to take a risk for me, someone who’ll grit his teeth and make a fool of himself to show me that he loves me.”

“And I need someone who’ll make me laugh and push me out of my comfort zone and make me feel”, said Inuyasha, gathering her into him for a long, sweet kiss, then sighing in contentment as he breathed in her scent, nuzzling his nose into her hair.

“So, about yesterday”, he asked carefully. “Are you feeling better today?” Kagome sighed.

“I am so, so sorry about yesterday”, she said. “I started on a new type of birth control, an injection instead of the pills I usually take, and I think it’s not a good fit for me. I’ve never felt that out of control before. I think I need to go back to my doctor and discuss it.”

“Would you mind if I came too when you have your appointment? So I know what’s going on? You really worried me yesterday sweet girl", he said seriously, stroking her cheek. "I didn’t know what to do.”

“You would do that?”

Inuyasha scoffed. “Well, it’s not like you’re taking the birth control just for you”, he said, a light dusting of red on his cheeks. “And if it’s makin’ you feel bad, I want to know the right things to do.”

In the garden, a blackbird started to sing, a pure trill of joy. Kagome felt the sunshine on her shoulders and Inuyasha’s warm arm around her, and when she pressed her face into his throat and breathed in the scent of his skin, she thought she would shatter with happiness.

“I think I feel a song coming on”, she whispered, snuggling her head under his chin.

“Yeah?” he said. She could hear the smile in his voice, feel it as he kissed the top of her head. “I don't mind that. Just as long as it’s a duet.”