Summer had come to Sengoku Jidai. The grasses were growing long, and rich, as their color started to thrive under the heat of the sun. Higurashi Kagome roamed among them, looking for flowers to pick, to make a bouquet for Kaede, as a thank you for letting Kagome stay with her. Kagome tried to bring back things from her own time to repay Kaede for all the food she ate, and the shelter Kaede provided her, but this time around, she had forgotten the tea and the herbs and the salves, and so she resolved to instead gift the older woman a pretty bouquet of flowers.
But as Kagome wandered the countryside, searching the clearings, the sides of the road, she was having trouble finding exactly what she wanted. There were no sakura trees, no plum trees, near the village, so Kagome was looking for camellias, azaleas...whatever she could find in the wild.
Kagome sighed, and continued her walk through the grass, her eyes constantly on the lookout for flowers. As she searched, she allowed her mind to wander, and she couldn’t help but think of Inuyasha in moments like this.
Wishing that he would be the one to bring her flowers. That he would be the one to tell her that the flowers were a sign of his love for her. That he would be the one to cross the distance between them and press his lips to hers.
For three long years, Kagome had traveled with Inuyasha, Miroku, Sango, and Shippo. And for three long years, Kagome had harbored deep feelings for Inuyasha in her heart. She loved him, wholly, and absolutely. He was the only man for her; he was the only man she would ever, could ever , desire. To be with him always was her most fervent wish. But Kagome knew...it was a wish that could never come true. Someday, Naraku would be defeated; the jewel shards would all be collected; and Kagome’s time in Sengoku Jidai would come to an end. Someday, Kagome would have to say goodbye to Inuyasha.
Someday...she would have to give up the man that she loved.
Tears slipped down her cheeks as she continued to look for flowers. She loved Inuyasha, so much, and she wanted to be with him, so much. She wished...she wished…
Her eyes fell upon a white, fluffy flower: a dandelion that had already turned to seed. Kagome dropped to her knees, and picked the dandelion, holding it up in front of her face so she could see each individual seed, the white, feathered tops skimming her fingertips.
Here was her chance. Her time to try and make her wish come true. She knew that it was silly, that wishing on a dandelion was just an old wives’ tale. But still...she felt like she needed all the good karma she could get, and besides, maybe this time? Maybe it would work, after all.
Kagome held the dandelion close to her lips.
“I wish,” she said softly, “I wish to be able to stay by Inuyasha’s side, always.”
And she puckered up her lips, and blew gently across the dandelion, the seeds breaking free and dancing away on the light summer breeze. Kagome watched them as they floated in light patterns, carried across the clearing and into the sky. Then she stood up, sighed, and turned to head back to Kaede’s.
“I guess no flowers just now,” she said quietly, sadly. “Maybe I’ll go back out and look after lunch.”
As Kagome walked away, a pair of white, fluffy, puppy dog ears peeked out from behind a bush, watching to make sure that Kagome was gone. Once they were sure that she was, the dog ears rose, and Inuyasha appeared through the leaves, his face shocked and full of disbelief.
“What the fuck?” he muttered. “She wants to stay by my side, always? What does that mean? What else could she possibly want—we’re already together !”
Commissioned Artwork by kalcia
All afternoon, Inuyasha stalked around Kaede’s hut, trying to sort through what he’d heard. He’d watched Kagome wandering around the outskirts of the village, looking for flowers for the obaba. Then, when she’d stopped and sunk to her knees, he’d popped behind a bush so he could watch her without getting caught. He saw Kagome pick the weed (sorry, but to him? Dandelions were fucking weeds), make a wish, and blow the seeds away. And her wish? That she would “be able to stay by his side.” And then she’d gotten up, and walked away, seemingly melancholy because….she didn’t think that she was going to stay by his side?
Seriously, though, what the what?
Every time he thought about her words, Inuyasha growled. They were together! They were! And no one was going to take her away from him... no one would prevent her from staying by his side. It was what they both wanted!
He had to take himself away from the hut, so that he could huff and puff and grumble about Kagome’s “wish,” his mind reeling with all the points that indicated they were, in fact, together. He grunted, and started to tick them off on his claws:
- Point One: he let her ride around on his back, basically all the time, which meant that he had to hold her thighs...her beautiful, muscular, creamy thighs (fuck, not now, he thought to himself).
- Point Two: they’d held hands. More than once.
- Point Three: He let her lean into him, basically all the time.
- Point Four: He promised to protect her, again, multiple times.
- Point Five: She’d already asked if he would let her stay by his side, and he’d said yes.
Didn’t all these points add up to them being together, like as a couple? Didn’t all of this tell her that he was all in with her? That he fucking loved her, and she didn’t need to wish that she could stay with him, because they were already together?
Inuyasha growled and drove his claws into his palms, not caring if he drew blood. He...he had to know…
Why didn’t Kagome think they were already together?
He had to ask her. Dammit, he had to know.
He had to find her. Now.
Kagome’s scent drew him easily. She was in Kaede’s garden, harvesting herbs, when Inuyasha approached her. He could still scent the sadness radiating off her, and instead of it lighting up his nurturing instincts, it made him mad. How could she be sad, when she had no reason to be sad?
“Hey, ‘Gome,” he said, coming up beside her and squatting down on his haunches next to her. “Everything okay?”
He heard the hitch in her breath and he had to bite back a growl. “Ye—yeah,” she sighed, wrapping her hand around some kitagawa and clipped it neatly with a knife.
Now Inuyasha did growl lowly in his throat; Kagome looked up at him and frowned. “What on earth is the matter with you?” she asked him, a hint of weariness in her tone.
“You don’t sound like everything is okay, Kagome,” he pointed out.
“Maybe—maybe it’s not,” she agreed.
“Anything I can help with?” he asked, now trying very hard to be patient and understanding.
She smiled, and reached out, and touched his sleeve. “No,” she said, now leaning on him to help herself to rise, “I need to bring these back to Kaede.”
“Wait, ‘Gome,” he said hurriedly, getting to his feet too, “are you—are you—”
Kagome paused. “Am I what, Inuyasha?” she asked him.
“Happy,” he burst out, and as soon as he said it, he realized that was his way in. “Are—are ya happy,” he repeated, softer now. “Here, with us? With—with me?” His cheeks were pinking up. He could not believe he just said that.
Kagome smiled softly. “Of course I am,” she said, again reaching out to touch his arm. “But...you know, Inuyasha, someday? Someday we’ll defeat Naraku, and collect the jewel shards, and someday I’ll go back to my own era to stay.”
Inuyasha gaped at her. What—what did she mean, that she would go back to her own era to stay?
“Why—why would you—?” He was struggling to find the right words to express what he wanted to say.
“Well,” she said, “I hope that I can continue to travel between the two worlds, but…” She paused for a moment, tapping her chin adorably as she thought. “My mother and grandfather will want me to move on with my life,” she reasoned. “I graduated high school already, you know. And I don’t have any plans for what to do next. I didn’t take my college exams. I didn’t apply anywhere. Those are things I’ll have to do...things I’ll have to take care of. And that…” Her voice got impossibly sad, and Inuyasha felt his heart, desperate and breaking. “That will take me away from here more.”
“You—you don’t have to go, Kagome,” he said automatically, his hand reaching out to cup her cheek. Kagome smiled and nuzzled his palm, almost instinctively.
“If—if there were something—someone— keeping me here—” and oh fuck, did she look like she was choosing her words carefully, “then maybe I’d be able to stay.” She stepped away from his hand. “I need to take these to Kaede,” she said again. “I’ll see you later, okay?”
“But, hey, Kagome, wait!” he called after her, but Kagome just raised her hand to wave and kept walking. Inuyasha could smell the salt, and he knew that he’d fucked up, but didn’t know how.
Inuyasha growled and paced around the garden. She clearly had no idea that they were together. How had she missed the signs? How did she not know?
He...he had to talk to someone. Not the bouzu...never the fucking bouzu.
Inuyasha sighed. Sango. Sango was her best friend. She told all her secrets to Sango. Besides, Sango knew the ways of humans and of youkai. He really didn’t want to do this...but he had to know. Why Kagome was upset. Why she had a different idea of their relationship. How to get her to see.
That he loved her.
And that they were, in fact, already together.
Sango was playing with Kirara outside Kaede’s hut when Inuyasha found her. He called out to her, and beckoned her to come talk to him. At first, Sango shot him a scathing look, and tossed Kirara another dead mouse, but when Inuyasha called to her a second time, she set down the mice and made her way over to him.
“Why are you calling me, Inuyasha?” Sango asked. “What can I do for you?”
Inuyasha toed the ground nervously. “I—need to talk to you,” he said. “About Kagome.”
Sango sighed and rubbed her temples. “Okay, Inuyasha,” she said. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Why doesn’t she know that we’re together?” he burst out. “I heard her today—wishing on a dandelion—she said that she wished to stay by my side forever. But fuck, Sango, of fucking course she’s going to stay by my side! We’re committed!”
The horror on Sango’s face told him that he’d just said something very wrong. “Okay, sorry,” he muttered, “let me try again: Sango, of course she’s going to stay…”
“It’s not the swears, Inuyasha,” said Sango, who, he could tell, was now trying not to laugh. “It’s—oh my goodness—why on earth do you think that you and Kagome are together ?”
“What the fuck, Sango!” Inuyasha exclaimed. Did he have to go through the bullet points for her?
“Well,” Sango replied, her smile now overtaking her face, “it’s just that—have you asked Kagome to be with you, like as a couple?”
“Asked her?” Inuyasha scoffed. “Keh. Why would I need to do that?”
“Well, if you had, then you and she would have gone to talk to her family, right?” Sango pressed. “To get permission to court her?”
“Pfft,” he retorted. “Again, why would I need to do that?”
“Have you been on outings with her? Presented her with gifts?” she asked, ignoring his question yet again.
“Sango, dammit!” he exploded. “Why would we have to do those things?”
“Because those are human traditions, Inuyasha,” Sango said gently. “How do you think humans show that they’re ‘together’?”
Inuyasha quickly went through his bullet points for her; after each one, Sango’s cheeks got redder, but her face also became increasingly concerned.
“Okay,” she said softly when he’d finished going through his points. “That’s...that’s some list.”
“Isn’t it, though?” he said proudly, puffing out his chest.
“And you must really love her, to do all those things for her,” Sango added.
Inuyasha suddenly blushed; his ears laid back into his hair, and he looked away. “I...I…”
Sango reached out and touched his shoulder. “It’s okay,” she said. “You don’t have to tell me. But I think that you need to tell Kagome.”
“I did!” he protested. “I told her that I would protect her with my life!”
“But to Kagome,” Sango said gently, “that means something very different. She needs to hear that you love her. You need to tell her these things; you can’t just show her. Sometimes...sometimes words are better than actions.”
“Keh.” He wasn’t good with words. In fact, pretty fucking terrible was how he would describe himself. But…
“Tell her how you feel,” Sango encouraged him. “Tell her, and show her. Let her see that all your actions...they have a purpose behind them. She needs to know, Inuyasha. Think about how you want to tell her—what you want to tell her—but she needs the words. Okay?”
Inuyasha thought for a moment. What Sango was asking him to do...well, it was harder than fighting the toughest youkai.
“She needs to hear the words, Inuyasha,” Sango said again. She turned to go. “Think about it, okay?” When he grunted an assent, she patted his arm again and left him alone with his thoughts.
Inuyasha watched Sango go, then turned and ran towards the Goshinboku. He...he needed to think. He needed to figure out what to do.
When he reached the tree, he jumped up and nestled himself among the branches. He growled as he thought about Kagome, and her wish, and his own stupid inability to not read her better.
Fuck. He loved her. So fucking much. He loved the way that her eyes flashed when she was angry, He loved the fierceness with which she protected her friends. He loved how determined and ambitious she was. He loved...he loved her smell (vanilla and sakura). He loved how soft her skin was. He loved the feel of her against him. He loved every single inch of her, and now he knew…
While he’d been showering her with love, it wasn’t just love that she needed. She needed words. She needed to hear from him that he was committed to her. She needed to hear from him that, as far as he was concerned, they were already together, but if she needed to do the things that humans did to show commitment, he’d do them too. And gladly.
He just...had to figure out how to say all this to her.
Inuyasha sat, and thought, and sat, and thought, for so long, that the sun started to sink in the West and the light in the sky started to grow dim. He was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice the scent of vanilla and sakura wafting his way, from the direction of the village. He was so lost in visions of Kagome that he didn’t hear the soft footfalls approaching. In fact, he didn’t notice anything until a melodic voice called up to him, and he jumped so high he nearly fell out of the tree.
“Inuyasha?” Kagome called hesitantly. “Are you—are you okay?”
Fuck. He had to get down, and he had to tell her. Now.
Inuyasha jumped down from the tree, landing lightly on his feet. Kagome’s face lit up when she saw him, and his heart immediately began to beat out of rhythm.
“Um...yeah,” he said, reaching up to scratch behind his neck nervously. “Yeah. I’m okay.”
“Why’ve you been out here for so long?” she asked. “Sango sent me to look for you.”
Oh, she did, did she? Inuyasha had to growl a little at Sango’s machinations.
“I—I had a lot of thinking to do,” he said. Not a lie.
“A—About you,” he said, taking a deep breath as he spoke.
“About me?” Kagome asked, confused. “What about me?”
Inuyasha took another deep breath. You can totally fucking do this, he told himself.
“Yeah,” he said. “You. And…” He reached out and took her hands in one of his; he didn’t miss how her breath caught at his touch.
“You and me,” he said at last.
She blushed, but the confusion remained on her face.
“Kagome,” he said, now drawing her to him, “I—I heard your wish today. On the dandelion.”
He didn’t think it was possible, but she got even more red.
“You—no one was supposed to hear that,” she whispered.
“Well, I heard it,” he replied. He tucked his other hand under her chin and tilted it up so she was looking at him. “And I’m a fucking idiot.”
“What on earth do you mean?” she cried. “You’re not an idiot.”
“But I am ,” he insisted. “I didn’t understand. I—I—” Okay. Maybe he couldn’t say it.
“You what?” she asked softly, squeezing his hand. The tenderness in her voice, the warmth of her touch, gave him strength.
“I thought—Kagome, I thought—Ithoughtwewerealreadytogether,” he said in a rush.
Kagome blinked, and said nothing for a moment. Inuyasha’s heart had stopped; he was sure it was no longer beating, and he was totally focused only on her. His ears twitched; his breath held; his entire body was taut from the anticipation of what she was going to say next.
She blinked again, and looked at him, long and hard. Then, at last, a small smile began to peek out from the corners of her lips, and spread over her entire face. He still couldn’t breathe; he couldn’t move. What if she was going to laugh at him? He already felt like a fucking fool. What if she was going to reject him? What if she…
“Together, huh?” she said thoughtfully, and tuned her chin so that his hand came up and cupped her cheek. She turned her warm brown eyes on him, and he could see all the love and affection she held for him in her heart. “Can...can I ask you?” she said, and when he nodded, still breathless, she went on. “What...what makes you think that we’re together?”
“Well,” he said, suddenly finding his voice, “I always carry you everywhere, and I get to...um..”
“You get to what?” she whispered, and he was suddenly aware that she was stepping closer to him.
“I get to feel your skin,” he breathed. “I get to feel your skin, and fuck, it’s amazing.”
Still blushing, she giggled a little. “What else, Inuyasha?” she said softly. “Why else do you think we’re together?”
“Well,” he said, “we’ve held hands.”
“Like twice,” she pointed out.
“That’s more than never,” he retorted, but it was light and enthusiastic, and she had to smile.
“You—you lean into me,” he said, again suddenly away that she was closing the gap between them. “And I put my arm around you.”
“Yes,” she said, “that certainly sounds like something people who are dating—sorry, courting—do.”
“And I told you that I would protect you,” he continued quickly. “And I still mean that. I will always, always protect you.”
“I know you will,” she said gently. “I always feel safest when I’m with you.”
“And you already asked me if you could stay by my side,” he finished, his words now coming out in a rush, “and I said yes .”
“Yes,” she whispered. “You did say yes.”
“And I meant it, ‘Gome,” he told her earnestly. “I want you with me, by my side, always.”
“And I want to be by your side,” she replied, “always.”
Before Inuyasha knew what was happening, her lips were on his, and they were sweet, and soft, and her arms were now around his neck, and his arms were around her waist.
The feel of Kagome this close to him—her supple body pressed against his, her lips moving over his, her fingers tangling in his hair—was making Inuyasha heady and delirious. Was this what it was like to be with someone? To be with Kagome? Because if it was…
He knew. He got it. What he’d thought was being with her? Wasn’t even close. Because this? This was so, so much better.
Kagome broke the kiss first, leaving him sighing and wanting more. She smiled, and drew one finger around to trace his lips lovingly.
“Kisses,” she said, “are the first part of being with someone.”
“Okay,” he said, suddenly eager for all her knowledge. “What comes next?”
“Tomorrow,” she said, “we go back to my time, and you’re going to talk to Jii-chan.”
“Why the fuck would I want to do that?” he asked, surprised.
“Because it’s only proper that you get his permission to court me,” Kagome answered him. “It’s the right thing to do.”
“Great. Done.” He would do anything to kiss her again. And if he agreed to whatever she said, maybe she would let him.
“And then,” she said, “We’ll go out on dates—on outings together,” she added quickly, “so that we can see if we’re compatible, if we really do like each other...”
“Hold on, hold on,” he said, shaking his hands furiously. “I just want to be with you, Kagome.” He took her hands from around his neck, and pressed them to his chest.
His heart hurt. From all the rules; from all the things that they would have to do in order to be together. Fuck it all, why couldn’t they just...
“I—I just want to marry you,” he blurted out. Kagome’s eyes grew wide, and she stared at him in disbelief.
“Fuck,” he said, “all these rules? Fucking outings, and shit like that? No, ‘Gome,” he continued when she opened her mouth to reply. “I just want you. I want to be with you. I don’t need to ‘find out’ if I like you; fuck, I love you, ‘Gome…”
Kagome let out a little cry of surprise, and pressed her lips to his again. He growled with pleasure, and pulled her closer to him, their hands tangling between them. This time, the kiss was electric, and powerful, and made his entire body light up with desire for her. He...he wanted...he knew.
“Kagome,” he whispered against her lips.
“No,” she whispered back. “I know, and I love you too.”
To hear her words—to hear her say that she loved him? It was everything he could have asked for. It was a warm salve applied to the years of hurt, of abuse, or pain that he’d suffered. It was a blanket covering him, wrapping him up, protecting him—protecting his heart.
Because in that moment, Inuyasha knew:
Just like he would do anything for her, she would do anything for him.
And that, he realized, was what he wanted from her. Kagome.
He just...wanted Kagome.
“Now,” she said softly, pulling away from him. “What I want?” She leaned in and kissed him again. “I want you. I want you.
“So tomorrow,” she said, “we go to my time. We talk to Jii-chan. And then…” her eyes gleamed. “What do you say we come back here, talk to the headman, talk to Kaede, and get married, for real?”
He stared at her. “Just...just like that?” he asked incredulously. He’d been sure that his stupid declaration had been the end. But instead...
She giggled, as if she’d heard his thoughts. “Just like that,” she said. “I mean, you already thought we were together, right?” She ducked her head adorably. “Why wait, then?”
Inuyasha crushed her to him, spun her around, and kissed her again.
“Well, then, ‘Gome,” he said huskily, “it looks like your wish came true, after all.”
She stroked his cheek lovingly. “It did,” she replied softly. “All thanks to you.”