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Come, Sango had said.

It will be fun, Sango had said.

Running is good for you, Sango had said.

Kagome Higurashi, bent in half on the side of the running trail, stared at the vibrant green grass beneath her feet and wondered, vaguely, if it was as soft as it looked. If she just…went and had a lie down, would it be comfortable? The grass looked comfortable. It looked leagues better than the other view, which was of the running group she had unwillingly joined on a Saturday afternoon. Sango’s idea, obviously. She and her husband, Miroku, were all about getting healthy before the summer truly hit. The extra warm spring had been inspiring, and Sango wanted to be as fit as possible for all of the excursions she and Miroku had planned.

Kagome, on the other hand, was a victim of poor timing. Miroku hadn’t been able to come and since it was only their third time running with this particular group, Sango hadn’t wanted to go alone. Hence the invite. Hence the guilt trip. Hence Kagome’s current presence on the side of a running trail, panting pathetically with sweat dripping off of her face while she contemplated the validity of grass as an acceptable place of rest.

“Kagome!” Sango yelled, a few feet up ahead. She jogged back, concern evident on her face. “Are you okay? Want to walk for a bit?”

Honestly, the thought of moving made her want to die. “You go ahead,” Kagome offered, half-hearted wave gesturing her friend forwards. “I’ll catch up in a minute.”

Or two. Or, like, twenty.

Maybe Kagome could rejoin Sango on the next lap. That sounded like a much better idea.

“Are you sure?” Sango pressed again, clearly worried. “I can wait, it’s fine.”

“No, no,” Kagome laughed, hoping it came out normal and not at all croaky. Not at all like death had its spindly fingers on her throat, choking the life out of her. Huh. Oxygen deprivation made her a little morbid. “No, go. I promise I’m fine. I’ll catch up. Or you’ll catch up. Either way, it’s fine.” Maybe if she said fine enough, Sango would believe her.

It took another few seconds before Sango sighed, patting her on the shoulder. “Okay. Don’t push yourself, alright?”

Kagome was pretty sure she was long past that already. With a forced smile, she nodded and kept up the cheery façade until Sango, reluctantly, turned back around and continued on her run. Instantly, Kagome sagged. “Dear god, something kill me.”

Nothing did, of course. That would be insane. Although, Kagome was pretty sure that if she kept running, her heart would give out and finish the job anyways. Shit. She knew her desk job as a graphic designer was giving her that ‘office spread.’ Her manager had lamented over it once, the slow degradation of her body as it got used to barely moving for a solid eight hours straight. Kagome hadn’t ever paid it much attention, thinking it was silly.

That was early-twenties Kagome. That was a Kagome far younger and dumber.

This Kagome knew.

Bent over still, she twisted until she caught sight of her little bum. It had always been little, but Kagome was positive it was saggy now. She wasn’t even thirty yet, but things jiggled that never jiggled before. And that was… That was…

 Not why she was here, honestly. Kagome had been living in blissful ignorance that she was still in shape until this moment. This horrible, wretched moment.

Maybe this was a sign. Maybe Miroku being forced to work late and Sango dragging her out was the wake-up call she needed to get some activity back in her life. New Year, New Her. Well. New Quarter-of-the-Year, New Her.

She would run. She would keep trying, even if it was slow and embarrassing. Kagome had never been an athlete, but she’d never been bowled over and near death after a little jog. She would fix this, she thought to herself. She would pick herself up, one foot in front of the other, and she would run until—

“The hell?”

Oof. Of course. The moment Kagome stepped back onto the main running path, having been so caught up in her own little world, she hadn’t even thought to look first. The result was being practically taken out from behind, instantly stumbling back off the trail as she struggled to stay upright. The battle was lost when she stepped on something – a rock, maybe, the universe despised her – but before she could crash down onto the grass that had once looked so soft and now definitely didn’t, something grabbed her arm. It was just enough for her to get her feet back under her, ankle twinging slightly.

Oh god. Sango was never going to let her live this down.

“What the hell was that?”

The snapped demand had Kagome freezing. It was only then, standing on the grass that had once been her friend that she realized it wasn’t something that held her up. It was someone. Whirling around, apology already on her lips, Kagome made what she hoped was the saddest face in existence until she caught sight of—



Inuyasha and Kagome by Nartista

Breathtaking Art by Nartista

Kagome blinked, sure that her eyes were betraying her, just like her lungs had. There, standing right in front of her, was the hottest man she’d ever seen. Tall, with shining silver hair that was loosely tied back and falling from its hold, the man was a picture of perfection. His ears were poised above his head, focused on her and somehow flawlessly bracketing the stream of sunlight that was just…on him.

And then Kagome made the mistake of looking at his face. God, his face. Beautiful golden eyes and a jawline that she wanted to cut herself on. Sweat glistened on his forehead, trailing down his temples to his cheeks, falling off and down to—

He was shirtless.

Kagome opened her mouth to say something – anything – but no sound came out. It made sense, really. What could one vocalize when in front of a man so…toned? His pecs were—Well. They were. And his abs just—

Oh god, his abs.

Oh god, the V. He had a V.

Kagome whined then, face on absolute fire because she was straight up ogling the man in front of her and she kept looking down and soon she was going to—

Yes. Yep. Those were short shorts. Or, short for men, anyways. Not the loose, baggy basketball shorts that most men wore. No. Of course not. Kagome couldn’t have been spared. These shorts were black, perfectly fitted, and they ended high enough above the knee that Kagome felt like a Victorian man about to have a seizure over some ankles.

This was some special kind of hell.

“Eyes up here,” the man snapped, voice practically a growl. And that—

That did things to her. Kagome was pretty sure she had an orgasm. Just a little one. “Uh, sorry, I just—” Orgasmed. The word she was looking for was— “wasn’t paying attention.”

“Yeah,” he replied slowly, still glaring. “Pretty sure that’s not your problem.”

Oof. Kagome slapped her hands on her cheeks and forced herself to meet his gaze. This was unfortunate, yes, but this man didn’t have all the facts and the facts were these:

  1. She was highly deprived of oxygen and clearly his presence with the whole too-hot-to-really-exist-in-this-mortal-world thing was making her even more breathless. So really, in a way, this was his fault.
  2. Did she mention that he had a fucking V—

“I’m so sorry!” Kagome blurted out. Her hands were scalding from the fire in her cheeks. She had never been this mortified in her entire life. She tried to look somewhere else – a tree, maybe, or god, even the grass would do – but he was so big and there that Kagome found her gaze right back on his very pronounced and very muscular pecs and—

There was a moment of true insanity when Kagome actually had the audacity to reach out and try to touch them.

“Are…you breathing?”

“Don’t think so,” she answered, somehow making actual sounds with her mouth. Oh god, she needed to leave. Run away, preferably, as far away as she could from this stupid running trail and its stupid running club and its stupidly sexy— “I’m so sorry,” Kagome babbled, dropping her arms and very firmly clasping her hands behind her back. Lest they wander, and all that jazz. “I didn’t mean to run into you.”

“Uh-huh.” The man didn’t look all that convinced. In fact, his face was scrunched up in what could only be considered sexily irritated. “You’re new.”

“What gave it away?” she asked, high-pitched and breathy. “I mean, beyond my wheezing.”

“You’ve been bent over looking like you were about to puke for the last, I don’t know, five minutes?” He scowled. “Didn’t anyone fucking tell you to start off easy?”

This time, the growl was far less attractive and far more annoying. Was he talking down to her? Kagome squared her shoulders, arms crossing defiantly. “Hey! You don’t have to speak to me like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like that,” she insisted, waving a hand at him. “It’s rude.”

“Rude?” The man scoffed. “You literally almost collapsed onto the ground because you were so tired. You couldn’t keep yourself up!”

“Because someone ran into me!”

“It was your fault!”

Inuyasha!” A sharp, female voice called out, snatching both of their attentions. Along the running path, a beautiful woman with matching silver hair ran by, so fast that it hurt Kagome just watching her. “Be nice!” she yelled.

The man – Inuyasha, oh god – growled, glare temporarily fixed on the rapidly retreating figure. The lack of attention was a blessing and a curse. Kagome had a stunning moment of clarity that she had, in fact, done the following: a) caused a collision, b) ogled the hot stranger, c) got into an argument with said hot stranger and d) tried to put the blame on him to top off what was clearly her entire fault. This was without a doubt the most mortifying experience of her life.

“Ah—” Kagome winced when he looked back at her, scowl still firmly in place as he waited for whatever she was going to say. What was she going to say? “Uh, sorry again. You can go back and run with your friend or girlfriend or—” Stop talking, stop talking, stop talking.

“Ew, Shiori? Fuck no.” Inuyasha, if anything, looked even more irritated. “Make sure to never say that out loud anywhere near her. Her aversion to dick is so strong, she may slap you at the suggestion.”

That was…a lot to unpack. “What?”

Inuyasha made another face at her. Probably at her inability to form a proper, coherent sentence. “Are you sure you’re alright? Did I concuss you or something?”

Wow, extremely insulting.

Also: fair.

“Maybe,” she answered eventually, dragging the word out.

Inuyasha snorted. “Right, well. Maybe don’t try to run again. It’s your first time here, yeah?” After her nod, he gestured towards the path. “Just walk the rest of the time. You can try for longer next week.”

“Oh, no, I’m not doing this again. I hate running.” And then, because maybe she still suffered from oxygen deprivation, Kagome smiled at him, a tiny giggle slipping out.

This whole day was an endless disaster. What the actual fuck?

For a second, the man blinked at her, startled. Then, with an easy shrug and a jaunty salute, he ran off. It was such a powerful transition. Those black, tiny shorts left nearly nothing to the imagination. His leg muscles tensed and released, going from zero to really freaking fast in only a moment. His demonic speed had him disappearing before Kagome could even blink, although the view right before he vanished had been…

Something to revisit later.

Oh no, she was definitely coming back.

The following week, Inuyasha Taisho – in his shortest shorts yet – was pathetically irritated.

“Your cloud of doom and gloom is trashing my vibe,” Shiori told him, violet eyes assessing. “This is normally your favourite part of the day. Why are you so weird right now? Need me to yeet your stuff into the lake so you have an excuse to cool off?”

Five years younger and yet, she spoke what Inuyasha could only assume was another language entirely. “It’s a pond.”

“Called Sacred Lake. It’s a city treasure.” Shiori’s eyebrows disappeared into her bangs. “Seriously, what’s with you? There’s barely anyone out running today. You love the trail when it’s empty.”

Right. He did like that. It allowed Inuyasha the freedom to run as fast as he wanted to without worrying about crashing into small, beautiful women who looked like they’d be stunning when absolutely wrecked and drenched in sweat.

Which was neither here nor there, and not attributed to any one person or experience.

“I’m fine,” Inuyasha said lightly, going for disinterested even as his eyes swept over the group of runners still gathering at the usual spot along the running trail. The Sacred Running Club, a small gym only about a block away and Shiori’s employer, had started weekend group running as a way to gather more members. Years later – after being dragged by Shiori wearing her embarrassingly bright pink Sacred Running Club t-shirt and refusing to wear his own – the group was fairly large and well-known in the area.

“If you’re looking for that gorgeous newbie,” Shiori started, voice sickly sweet, “I didn’t see her with her friend this time. I think the friend brought someone else.”

Inuyasha, alarmed and trying desperately not to show it, made a face at her. “Who?” he lied, like a fucking liar.

“Cute ponytail. Black hair. Wrist tattoo. Was so entranced by your shirtless body that she nearly fainted.” Shiori waved a hand up and down him, like that meant something. “There was visible thirst.”

Inuyasha smirked. Then, he desperately tried to tamp it down because no. No. Not again. Every time he had shown an interest in someone, Shiori had been so earnest and encouraging and cheerful that when it came time for Inuyasha to actually attempt to ask them out, he fucked up.

For example, the time he said his own name incorrectly, and then promptly turned on his heel and walked away.

Or the time he tried to flip his hair perfectly – because the woman clearly had a thing for his hair and Inuyasha wasn’t above playing to his assets – when the ends of one of those strands poked him in the eye mid-flip and made his eyes cry. He didn’t cry. His eyes did.

There was also the time he scowled so hard at one of the women (because of indecision over what to say!) that she thought he was mad at her, which made her cry, which made him stutter and yell because he was panicking and then Shiori dragged him away—

And who could forget – certainly not fucking Inuyasha – that time he tried to sexily pull off his sweaty tank top because, you know, vanity, but then he got stuck in it like a fool. A fool. And then—

So yeah. Just.

Not a great track record.

The Incidents – as Shiori kindly called them so as not to deflate his ego entirely (where would the fun be in that?) – didn’t always end in utter disaster. Sometimes he even still managed a date or two. The problem was that it never mattered because Inuyasha had an internal alarm screaming at him to not mess this up again or you will die alone forever, you are practically thirty and you’ve only had one quarter-life crisis so far, so you are VERY behind—

“I don’t see the appeal,” Shiori continued, unaware of his inner turmoil, “but Gorgeous Newbie clearly wanted to jump your bones. So.” She shrugged. “Get on that. Growl at her again, I don’t know.”

What?” he asked, distressed, still stuck on the almost-thirty thing. Thirty was a great age. It was the best age, apparently. Science said so, or whatever. He wasn’t panicking and he wasn’t going to die alone because thirty was still, practically, a baby. He was fine.

Maybe there was such a thing as a one-third life crisis.

Inuyasha looked over the crowd of runners again with a desperation that nearly had him leaping into the air, if only for a better view.

“She’s not here.”

“I know that.”

“She’ll be back,” Shiori promised him because she was the only nice person in the world. “And then you can growl at her again, like you did last time.”

“I wasn’t growling.”

“You absolutely were.”

“Was not.”

She raised a brow at him and Inuyasha had the urge to strangle that inquisitive look right off her face, along with the smile that never, ever seemed to leave because she was too nice. “Inuyasha, I’m a half-demon too.” She tapped at her nose. “Trust me, do the growly thing. Just not around me, again, if possible.”

Inuyasha didn’t know what the fuck to even say to that. Was this awkward? It felt awkward.

“Come on,” she needled, leaning into his side until he started to shuffle towards the front of the running pack. “I’ll race you the first lap.”

God, so fucking nice. All the time. “You’ll lose.”

“Maybe,” Shiori admitted, smile sweet. “Or maybe your good mood from winning will be a win for me too!”

Gagging at her dramatically, Inuyasha lightly shoved her off until Shiori was laughing, taking off at an instantaneous sprint. He shook his head, took one last look at the congregation of running club members that was distinctly missing someone, and left.

“It’s better this way,” Kagome murmured to her computer monitor, eyes so dry that when she blinked, her vision remained spotty and black even after opening them. “So what if you wanted to go back? It’s not like the hot stranger was going to be there.”

Inuyasha, her mind unhelpfully supplied. Right. Inuyasha.

“In fact,” Kagome continued, glad that she was the only one in the office so that no one could hear her descent into madness, “your boss giving you an entire extra project due tomorrow morning is a blessing in disguise. No point in seeing the sexiest man alive if the chances of you riding him into the sunset are less than zero.”

Definitely a good thing she was alone.

As the sun sunk below the horizon, dying light fading through her tiny office window, Kagome pushed the entire thing from her mind. An extra week, she decided, would be good for her. She could put the nonsense of Inuyasha in a tiny little box and leave it at that. The man could be good for a nice ogle when his backside was racing away from her, and that was it. Nothing else. He would be her tiny little fantasy in the bubble that was the running trail. When Kagome left it, she’d return to the real world and go on like she always had been. It was better that way because if she ever met Inuyasha in a normal setting – when she wasn’t out of breath, huffing like a grandmother and sweating like a pig – then Kagome would absolutely waste no time climbing him like a tree.

So yeah. This was better: a self-indulgent, limited-time fantasy on the running trail, and nothing more.

Her vibrator would thank her.

“She’s back.”

Inuyasha scowled and pointedly glared daggers at Sacred Pond. Lake. Whatever. “Don’t know what you’re talking about.”

But he did. Oh, but he did. Inuyasha had only been fantasizing about Gorgeous Newbie for a solid two weeks now, which was grossly horrifying for him. It was made distinctly worse by Shiori’s happy gaze, like she experienced some kind of boundless joy only because Inuyasha had yet another chance at true love.

“It’s the girl you nearly took out two weeks ago.” His best friend stood beside him, finally looking away and releasing him of that sunny gaze as she twisted into a light stretch. Everything about her screamed casual and even now, after years of friendship, Inuyasha couldn’t tell if it was faked or just brutally, naively honest. “I thought for sure you scared her away.”

“But you said she was going to come back!” he yelped, looking over at her feeling rather betrayed.

“You looked so sad! What else was I going to say?”

He couldn’t help it. With a growl, Inuyasha scanned the crowd, too invested to not, and was instantly rewarded with the sight of her. Her, the Gorgeous Newbie. Her, the woman he had been thinking about while at work, using the image of her flushed face and wide eyes to bolster his heated gaze while he posed for the camera.

And well. At other times, too.

Showers were kind of fun again, at least.

The woman stood with some couple Inuyasha vaguely recognized, her long black hair tied up and begging to be pulled. Her helix piercings glinted, a taunt to drag his teeth across them if Inuyasha didn’t know better. Shit, she looked so put together. Her arms were crossed yet again, but instead of the defensive defiance that Inuyasha had found so unbearably attractive before, she just looked relaxed. Happy.

Inuyasha wanted to wreck the fuck out of her.

Shit, he couldn’t believe this was doing it for him. He didn’t even know her name. This was going to be difficult to deal with, especially with his best friend right beside him, cheering him on like always. It would be hard, but as of the last two weeks, Inuyasha had a lot of experience dealing with hard things, so—

Shiori nudged him, startling him out of his (horny) daze. Christ, he was so fucked. Just not literally. Why was it not literally? “She’s cute.”

Denial. It wasn’t just a river. “What?” he growled, the only voice that seemed to come out when he was nervous or unsure. “No.”

Ah, there was that snort again. A patented response to any of Inuyasha’s stupidity. It was a wonder that Shiori’s airways were still intact. “Okay, Inuyasha.” And wow, did that sound motherly. It should have sounded sarcastic, which was what everyone would have expected coming from a woman who claimed to be Inuyasha’s best friend. But no, Inuyasha was blessed with a ray of fucking sunshine for a friend, and so her statement held all the sincerity of a blazing meteor, crashing upon the earth and eliminate the human race.

The meteor being her and the human race being his last five remaining brain cells.

Shiori beamed, the asshole. “Race you?”

This time, Inuyasha took off first.

As had always been true, Inuyasha and Shiori kept up a similar pace for the first few laps around Sacred Lake. It really was just a very large pond, scattered fountains keeping the water from growing stagnant as the seasons changed. It was a popular spot, not just because of its beauty, but because of the wide, well-paved path that curved around it, a perfect running trail all year long. It was exactly two and a half kilometres if you completed the loop, but the pathway branched off into several other directions if you felt like traipsing through a wooded park. Inuyasha, who lived only a five minute walk away, had been running on this particular path for a long time. It was because of how often he’d run the trail that eventually Shiori tapered off, slowing her sprint to a quick jog as Inuyasha continued his dash around.

He lapped the gorgeous woman from two weeks ago. Unsurprisingly. Inuyasha lapped everyone, except for the odd demon who joined their little running club every once and a while. It was a pretty human area. The regulars who came here were used to his speed.

He lapped her again.

And again.


On the eighth lap around, Inuyasha watched from far away as the woman clutched at her side and started to walk. Her shoulders were clearly heaving up and down, evident even at this distance. She didn’t stop though, hobbling closer to the grass and continuing on. He watched her, unable to peel his eyes away, and didn’t realize that he was slowing down to walk beside her until her big brown eyes were staring up at him, bewildered.

“Oh, hi,” she panted out, wincing afterwards. “You’re…here.”

“I’m always here,” he responded immediately, eyes tracking her up and down. He wasn’t eye-fucking her. He was just…checking. For injuries. Because he was nice or something. “At least you can talk this time.”

Impossibly, her face grew even redder. She turned her attention away, avoiding his gaze. “Yeah. Uh-huh.”

Inuyasha could do this. He could be normal. Shiori wasn’t even here, cheering him on. This would be fine. He wouldn’t make a mistake. All he had to do was say something vaguely interesting so they could converse. And then maybe he’d make her do that thing again, the giggle, which had almost tripped him up the last time he heard it.

God, he wanted to hear it. Why did he want to hear it?

She spared him the quickest of glances before resolutely turning back to the path. Shit. Fuck. He was taking too long. Say something, Inuyasha. Say something!

“Didn’t you say you hated running?”

Unexpectedly, Gorgeous Newbie groaned. “Last week was a bad week, okay? You can’t hold it against me.”

“Two weeks.” Not that he was counting. At all.


“Two weeks was the last time you were here.”

The woman finally – finally – properly looked back at him, something akin to incredulousness in her expression. “Do you always have to be right?”

This was not going well, Inuyasha thought. Why was this always so hard? Why was everything perfectly fine until he talked to them? Why couldn’t he just be like Shiori, who walked up to women and smiled at them and just. Bewitched them.

He was taking too long again. Inuyasha could see the way she fidgeted, confused and uneasy. Her steps fumbled a little, unsure as to whether she should speed up or slow down. Time was running out so his default took over, a scowl crossing his face and a growl leaving his throat as he said, “I don’t have to be. I just am.”

Inuyasha wished Shiori would yeet him into Sacred Pond.

“Right.” Gorgeous Newbie shook her head, smacking at her lips as they continued to walk along the path.

Oh! This! Inuyasha recognized this action, had seen it on so many other newcomers that for the first time, he knew exactly what to say. “Where’s your water?”

“My what?”

“Your water. You’re thirsty.” Inuyasha smirked, proud at his accomplishment of halfway decent communication. “No wonder you’re so red.”

The woman choked a little, probably because of her dry fucking mouth. “I forgot one.”

He frowned. “You forgot.”

“This is only my second week!” Gorgeous Newbie exclaimed, glaring at him. “Give me a break!”

Why was there yelling? Why was she yelling at him? He was trying to be good. “It’s hot out and this is only your second week. Water is important.” God. Fuck words. Fuck communication. Jerkily, Inuyasha reached behind himself to grab the familiar bottle attached to his belt and shoved it in her direction. “Here. Drink it.”

She blinked at him, confused. “What? No. I’m not going to take your water. I’ll be fine. I never drink much anyways.”

Oh god. Could she make anything easy on him? “Drink the fucking water, you idiot.”

“Don’t call me an idiot!”

With a frustrated groan, Inuyasha pushed it into her stomach, forcing her to take it. “Well what else am I supposed to call you?” This whole conversation was a roller coaster. Inuyasha was going to die by the end of it, or Shiori was going to finally lap him and successfully yeet him into the pond. Once yeeted, he would never come back.

“Kagome,” she bit out, eyes narrowing as she struggled to aim the water bottle’s popped spout properly into her mouth. She had to stop walking, which only seemed to make her more irritated, and Inuyasha strangely found himself holding back on the urge to smirk. This, at least, was a much better distraction than his own horrible thoughts.

She was just so… Flustered. Stunning. Her face was still incredibly red, cheeks ruddy with it, and Inuyasha watched a bead of sweat drip down her brow as she finally attempted to squeeze water out and only managed to drink about half of it. The rest of it dribbled off her chin, falling to her breasts and sliding down, down to where he wanted to—

“Just drink from it,” Inuyasha growled out – oops – when he was in serious danger of actually doing more than just scowl at her. “I have a bunch. You can keep this one.”


“Kagome,” he insisted, and oh, he liked the way her name sounded coming from his lips. He wondered then what his name would sound like coming from hers.

Eyes still narrowed, she drank properly from the bottle until Inuyasha had to look away. Or else—

Well. Or else. Actually, it was better that he not stand there and stare at her. He was supposed to be running, not watching gorgeous women struggle at basic human hydration.

“Thank you,” Kagome said then, breaking the quiet between them. It made him inordinately pleased to see that she looked so much better than when he had first caught up to her. It made him even happier that this yo-yo of a conversation seemed to be ending on a vaguely pleasant note. “I’ll wash it and bring it back for you next week.”

If he thought he was pleased before, Inuyasha was positively giddy now. So she was coming back. Inuyasha felt his lips twitch without his consent. “I told you, it’s fine. Keep it.”

Good conversation. This was a good conversation. No disasters! No hair attacks or stuck t-shirts or—Well, okay, a little bit of scowling but—

Kagome slowly smiled, a small thing that distracted him entirely until she let out another one of those tiny, happy giggles. “I can’t tell if you hate me and think I’m an idiot, or like me because you gave me a water bottle.”

He couldn’t help it; he rolled his eyes. “It’s a fucking water bottle.”

“It’s a Prada-branded water bottle,” Kagome argued, shoving it in his face. “Why would you have a Prada-branded one?”

Was it Prada? Shrugging, he pushed it back. “They were just giving them out.”

“Giving them—Wait. This isn’t real Prada, is it?” Now she just looked alarmed. “You can’t give me this if it’s real!”

“It’s fine.”

“It’s not!”


“Inuyasha!” And there. There. So she did know his name. A part of him wondered how, but the other part didn’t care in the slightest. It sat between them, his name dripping in the sweet tone of her rising desperation as she tried to give the offending object back. All Inuyasha wanted to do was make her say it again, only this time have her desperate for something else.

“Until next week,” he told her, smirking and taking off at a run, careful to not dislodge the water bottle from her hand that she was still fruitlessly shoving at him. Even as he disappeared, she yelled at him to come back, stubborn as all hell. Inuyasha couldn’t help but spin around to give her yet another salute.

Kagome stared at him, mouth parted and eyes hovering low on his body.

He sped away.

This counted as an absolute fucking victory.

“Where is it?”

Kagome looked around, startled when she felt the brush of warm skin against her arm. Jogging beside her and looking none-too-happy, was Inuyasha. “What?”

Her confusion could be forgiven, considering everyone just started running fifteen minutes ago. Miroku and Sango were already further ahead, though not outside of her sightline yet, and Kagome expected at least another forty minutes of torture before Inuyasha maybe – maybe – stopped by. Not that she had been thinking about talking to him again all of last week. That would be silly and embarrassing and Kagome was—

Well, she tried to avoid being like that, anyways.

“The water bottle,” Inuyasha stated, an expression on his face that looked a little like a scowl and a wince combined. Kagome was pretty sure he just looked like that all the time, and that it wasn’t personal. If he really did hate her, making sure she drank water and didn’t die was a pretty funny way of showing his disdain.

“Uh.” And right, yes. The water bottle. The Prada water bottle, which Kagome absolutely did not spend ten minutes looking up last week to determine that its value was well over a hundred dollars. For a water bottle.

Kagome may have had a tiny breakdown about it, had washed it five times and then left it on her counter to just…sit there. She had brought a different bottle this time but, apparently, she had left it in her car, in the parking lot on the other side of Sacred Lake. Oops. “I forgot,” she told him, wincing when his look shifted into a full-on scowl. Zero to hundred, he always seemed to go. Did the man do anything less than that? Her urge to climb him like a tree certainly suggested he did not. “It’s in my car!”

“What good is it doing in your car?” Inuyasha actually sounded offended.

“I’m not used to running!” Kagome whined, getting more and more out of breath. Having this conversation while jogging was not in her best interest. “And it seems weird to just hold it in your hands, I don’t know. I forgot.”

“You—” Inuyasha cut himself off, which was probably for the best, she thought. Then, in a flurry of swift movements that made his arm muscles glisten in the sun, he was suddenly handing her yet another water bottle though this one was horrifyingly still attached to the black band that Kagome always saw around his waist. “It’s a belt that holds them,” he growled, shoving the thing into her hand.

Kagome fumbled it, stopping in the middle of the running path just to make sure it didn’t crash to the hard asphalt below. “Inuyasha, no. I can’t.”

“Take it, for fuck’s sake. If you die of dehydration, I’m going to be really pissed.”

“Why do you care?” Kagome blurted out, unable to stop herself from voicing the question that had haunted her since the first day. Why did Inuyasha care? Why had he given her his water bottle? Why was he constantly watching her? Because surely – surely – it wasn’t for the reason that Kagome wanted it to be. Inuyasha was a modern day Adonis with his, well, everything. The pecs and the abs and the shoulders, and the glistening hair and enrapturing eyes and those goddamn short-shorts that did nothing to conceal what was undoubtedly a well-endowed—

Blushing so hard she was getting a bit of a headrush, Kagome grabbed at the water bottle and drank from it immediately. There was clearly no point in arguing. Her fluster didn’t go unnoticed, the man watching her keenly with an unreadable expression. It was still part-scowling, but it was also… Kagome didn’t know what. She wanted to know what.

But this was her fantasy bubble. Nothing would ever come outside of it.

“Just don’t die,” Inuyasha grumbled, brow furrowed.

They were nearly close enough to be touching and Kagome eyed the glistening of his arms, vaguely outraged they looked so good when he wasn’t even doing anything. She wondered what it would take to close the distance. “You never answered my question.”

With a grunt, Inuyasha took the belt from her hands. His golden eyes refused to look at her as he stepped closer, methodically tightening the strap and then wrapping it around her waist. All she could do was stare at him, confused and breathless. Maybe this would be the time her lungs gave out for sure.


“Water bottle goes in a pocket on the back. Make sure to tighten the chord around it. It’s going to feel weird as fuck but you’ll get used to it.” He tugged at the elastic of the belt a little, the barest pressure of his finger against her side, her loose tank top the only separation. “Don’t forget this next time—”

“Or you’ll be pissed,” Kagome finished. There was something endearing about the way he blustered, all scowls and curses while he fretted like a mother hen. “You shouldn’t give this to me.”

“I have more.” Inuyasha shrugged and took a few steps away, the distance suddenly immeasurable. Kagome wanted to go back to that closeness, if only to feel the way it set her alight, the warmth and desire curling in her stomach. It had been a long time since she had felt that way. “I’m going to—” He gestured with his thumb towards the trail, still moving backwards.

In her stupor, Kagome could only nod and watch. Every bit of him was tantalizing, she realized, dumb-struck. From his zero to one-hundred attitude, the prickly care, the play of his muscles as he ran.

And the V.

Kagome had never wanted to lick anything more in her entire life.

The thought carried her through the next lap, a welcome distraction from the way she wanted to absolutely die. Running was the worst. It was hell on earth. It was terrible and made her lungs hurt and why was she even—

Inuyasha ran by again, his sweat-slicked skin gleaming in the afternoon sun. His shorts were so well-fitted that his ass just—Looked like that.

Kagome had, quite literally, never been interested in the butts of men. Girls never asked each other whether they were an ass or an abs woman. Before watching Inuyasha run, men with cute butts were just there. Existing. An interesting side note that was part of a larger package.

But Inuyasha had an ass. And Kagome kind of wanted to poke it, and see if it was as pert as it looked.

Her horniness was absolutely bringing her to the brink of insanity.

“Kagome! How are you doing?”

Gasping a little in shock, Kagome whirled around to see Miroku catching up to her, grinning. God, he could probably smell her thirst. That man was like the embodiment of Horny on Main, only tampered by his love for Sango and the fact that his wife was down for making him work for each orgasm. Oh, the joys of a drunk Sango, spilling all of her sex secrets like Kagome was her priest during confession.

“I’m fine!” Kagome squeaked out, unable to stop herself from glancing at the spot Inuyasha had just been in. Luckily, he was so fast that he was gone again. “How are you?”

“On death’s door,” Miroku replied cheerfully. “But Sango and I have a bet going so I can’t slow down.”

“Please don’t tell me about the bet.” It would be a sex bet. Kagome was sure of it.

“I will absolutely tell you all about it,” Miroku shouted, winking at her, “but only once I’ve won. Don’t die, Kagome! You’re doing great!”

“I hate you!” Kagome yelled back.

Unsurprisingly, Sango appeared only a minute or so later. Unlike Miroku, she ran up and immediately matched pace with Kagome, looking for all the world like she hadn’t been running for the last forty minutes. Out of the three of them, Sango was definitely in the best shape. She regularly worked out, a mixture of yoga and kickboxing and jiu-jitsu. Kagome vowed to never, ever, attend any of those classes. Running was bad enough.

“Miroku already ran by,” Kagome told her, feeling her lips tilt up when Sango broke into an easy grin. “Oh no, you’re not letting him win again, are you? You guys are gross.”

“Compromise, Kagome,” Sango answered, eyes twinkling. “I won the last five times, though. Any more would just crush his spirit, and that makes him mopey. A mopey Miroku is not a good lay.”

Gross. God. “Why am I friends with you?”

“Because three a.m. study sessions bond people for life.” Sango nudged her, gently enough that Kagome didn’t even stumble for once. “How are you doing?”

“Fine,” she panted, though in truth she was slowing down. Her friend at least matched her pace and eventually, when Kagome came to a walk, Sango linked their arms together. “This is the worst thing you’ve ever dragged me to.”

“Can’t be worse than that bar on seventh. Remember, the one with the orange walls?”

Kagome grimaced. “Okay, fine. Point. But still.”

“You didn’t have to come back,” Sango reminded her. Kagome could feel her friend’s eyes on hers, considering. “In fact, I remember you willingly offering to join.”

She opened her mouth, sprouting nonsense to the tune of, “But it’s for health!” And then she promptly ate her words when Inuyasha ran on by, instantly stealing her attention with his beautiful flying silver hair and those back muscles – he had back dimples! back! dimples! – and that cute butt.

“Ah,” Sango said.

Kagome pursed her lips. She didn’t even bother to deny it. Miroku could smell horniness, but Sango could smell intention. She knew exactly why Kagome was there.

“He’s so hot,” Kagome whispered, face flushing again without her consent. It was an automatic response to the thought of him. Well, that and the possible orgasming-on-demand thing when he growled, what even was that—

“Wow.” Sango didn’t even have to say anything else. Just wow. Because yeah.


That ass, though.

Inuyasha had a problem. Its name was Kagome.

Guiltily, he dragged Shiori with him to start off the running, well before the club’s leaders were meant to set them off. He just needed to escape, to take away the excuse of staring at the gorgeous woman with her long hair and endearing giggle, his hydration belt wrapped and cinched at her waist. The tank top she wore was pink, tighter than usual, and Inuyasha had been so tempted to stare at the swell of her breasts until he remembered he wasn’t an asshole tween with no concept of boundaries or bodily respect.

Because god, the things he wanted to do. He’d be banned from Sacred Pond for life and that was just—

Well, it would probably be worth it.

It really hadn’t helped that before he came over here, bored from an unexpected day off after shooting schedules had changed, Inuyasha had jerked off to the thought of that flushed face underneath him, eyes rolling back as she gasped his name, arching into the grass below as she grinded down on his cock like she was made for it—

Yeah. No.

This was not a good time for another boner.

“I say this out of concern,” Shiori said suddenly, thankfully breaking through his thoughts, “but what is wrong with you?”

“Weird day,” he croaked out, a non-answer if he’d ever heard one. Shiori seemed to think so too, if her disappointed look was any indication. In part apology, Inuyasha kept a slower running pace, allowing his best friend to stay at his side while they lapped the running trail. The weather was unseasonably hot – hotter than normal – which meant that people from all over the city had come to take in the scenery. Usually the city was quieter on weekends, the hustle and bustle of downtown work diminished without the commute. Today was clearly an exception.

Shiori didn’t say anything more, further cementing her status as his best friend. Silently, the two kept pace with each other, twirling around the pedestrians as they made their way around their second lap. No one paid them any mind but as they approached the halfway point, Inuyasha was momentarily distracted by the sight of familiar pale skin, dark hair, and a pink top. It was enough to have him nearly careen right into a child who was chasing a soccer ball, only his last-second instincts saving the day as he leapt to the side.

The disappointed look returned full-force.

“My bad,” he grimaced.

“What is up with you?” his best friend asked, looking at him in confusion. “Are you okay? Did something happen at work? Wait, no, you said you stayed home today.”

And the thought of home made him think about being in his bed, the slick slide of his fist stroking his dick as he wondered at the things Kagome would do. And because he was the worst and had absolutely no self-control, Inuyasha sought her out, her figure disappearing around the bend.

A baleful snort and a punch to his arm snapped him out of it. “Wow. Okay, Romeo.”

“Shut up.”

“No, I get it. She’s cute.”

“Absolutely not.”


“Shiori, I’m fucking warning you.”

“Or what? Will you scowl me to death?” She had the audacity to smile at him, and while every other person in the world would call it sweet, Inuyasha knew better. “It’s not like you have to worry. She’s clearly into you, too. Anyone with eyes would know that.”

He reeled back as if struck. This was not at all what his horny hindbrain needed. He needed sense! He needed reason! He needed to stop imagining what that pink fucking top would look like on her soaking wet with literally nothing else on— “What? No. How would you know?”

“Because I get great pleasure watching you fumble in your attempts to flirt your way into her pants. Which, honestly, is depressing. I knew you were bad with women but I’ve been pretty disappointed with your game so far.”

This was getting worse by the second. “You—”

“I mean, wrapping the belt around her was slick. Well done there.”

That. Hadn’t even been intentional. It had been a delay tactic since she asked a question he was very much not prepared to answer.

Shiori must see it on his face because she laughed then, hands wrapping around her stomach as if it hurt. “Oh my god, you’re so bad at this.”

“I’m…not that bad.”

“You’re pretty bad.” She said this fondly, like one would to a puppy failing to pick up a tennis ball in a game of fetch. “Just ask her out, dingus.”

“That’s so fucking rude,” Inuyasha muttered, crossing his arms and scowling at her.

His friend laughed. “No. You know what’s rude? Making every adult within a one-kilometre radius of here stare at your shirtless, Greek God-inspired body so that they can either become horny, or miserable. Most of them horny.”

“I don’t like how shirts cling when they get all sweaty,” he groused. Also, he was still traumatized over the sweaty-shirt-removal-fail that would haunt him until he was eighty. At least.

“Which explains the booty shorts from hell, too, I suppose.”

“Fuck off.”

Shiori sighed. “Not without a strap-on.” Inuyasha’s look of horror made her roll her eyes, hitting him yet again. “I’m not your little sister. I’m a twenty-four year-old adult. Which makes you—”

“Don’t fucking say it—”

“Almost thirty.”

Inuyasha growled. “You better start running.”

And with the most innocent smile he had ever seen, Shiori sent him a peace sign and took off. “Ask her out!” she yelled at the top of her lungs, laughter ringing in the air.

He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and ran.

The thought of Inuyasha on top of her was what did it.

Look, Kagome had only wanted to go to bed at a reasonable time. Work tomorrow was going to be a nightmare, solely due to the number of projects she had going on. Her workload was already far too high, but some projects that had been previously labelled ‘complete’ somehow managed to come back. Her patience would be tried, she knew, so Kagome had taken the evening to relax. She painted her toenails and listened to some low-fi, humming along with the notes as if they were lyrics. When she eventually crawled into bed, prepared to steadily fall asleep along with the usual white noise of her house, an unbidden thought arose.

This weekend at the running trail, she should try to get there a little early. Inuyasha always seemed to be there first, no matter what time Kagome pulled up with her friends. If she arrived early, then maybe they could speak.


Kagome groaned, hands sliding up to rub at her face. She really didn’t need to think about him. It felt like Inuyasha was always on her mind: that steady golden gaze, his arms, his abs. God, his abs. Kagome wanted to lick them and rub against them and just lose it on them. And that thought—

With another groan, Kagome kicked at her blankets, shoving them off. She knew the process, by now. Thoughts of Inuyasha usually derailed this way and Kagome was helpless but to let them continue until she was so hot and bothered that if she didn’t get herself off, she’d do something even more embarrassing – like hump her mattress. No, better to just get off and make it good. She’d pass out easily, at least. Kagome was always sleepy after a good orgasm or two.

She glanced at her nightstand drawer, disregarding the need for her vibrator quickly. It needed new batteries and this wouldn’t take long.

With a sigh, Kagome rucked up her oversized t-shirt. She shoved a hand into her underwear, eyes closing. The muscles of her pelvic floor clenched, anticipatory, as the slow drag of her fingertips above her folds teased. She knew without even pressing in that she was wet. God, what was up with her these past few weeks? It felt insane to be this horny. It couldn’t be healthy.

Too much enticing fodder, probably. The running trail would be both Kagome’s blessing of health and her curse of unending friskiness.

But god, just the thought of him made her clench, needing something to fill her. Kagome bit her lower lip, fingers slowly dipping to press inside of herself. Slick and sensitive, Kagome took a deep breath and curled her fingers inside her heat, coating them, teasing at her entrance. She wanted more. She wanted her fingers to be someone else’s, a body looming over her as she was pinned to the mattress. Kagome groaned a little, hand sliding back and up, dragging the wetness with her until she dragged her fingertips over her clit, already far too sensitive.

It’d be rude, she thought, to think of Inuyasha, but Kagome was far too weak and far too exhausted to really care. Besides, it wouldn’t have been the first time. Even if it had started as someone faceless, just the vague impression of a body and hands, it never stayed that way. She’d think of silver hair cascading around her, broad shoulders settled above. She’d hear his growl, that voice that fucking sent her every time. God, and those eyes.

How, exactly, would he take her apart? The thought made her tremble, so many ideas crawling up her spine, sinking into her bones. Her first thought, always, was him holding her, placing her, putting her exactly where he wanted her. The idea of it made her breath catch, fingers pausing on the tantalizing circles around her clit to dip once again inside herself.

Would he tease, like she was? Kagome wasn’t sure if he was patient enough. The thought of him, naked and straining, his cock so hard and flushed, made her think of those hands of his sliding up her thighs. Would he play with her? Or would he press the head of it to her entrance, a sweet, wicked torture? Those arms of his, holding her up and spreading her wide, his dick sliding slick and slow against her, not yet breaching. God, she’d want him so bad. What if he just put the tip in, the thick head of him pumping in and out, making her ache? Could she come from that alone?

Kagome keened, her wet fingers returning to clit to circle incessantly, teasingly, sparks flying up her spine. She needed more though, needed his cock inside of her so badly she throbbed with it. Her other hand came down, instantly diving two fingers within herself, curling and coaxing along her inner walls. How long could he hold out for, fucking her like that, cockhead sliding in and out until she wanted to scream, wanted to flip them over and impale herself.

Three fingers, and Kagome couldn’t stop the flood of moans escaping up her throat. What would happen when that patience ran out? What would he do? Fuck, those shorts of his left nothing to the imagination. He’d feel so good, wouldn’t he? He’d fuck her exactly the way she wanted it. He’d wrap himself around her, all radiant heat and slick sweat and golden intent. He’d bury himself in her, growling. Oh god, his voice— She knew exactly what he’d say, too, brows furrowed and a scowl on his face as he panted into her skin, fuck, fuck

“—Fuck,” Inuyasha hissed, pushing his head into his pillow as his hand stroked achingly slow up his length. He couldn’t remember the last time he was so hard. Actually, he could. Last Saturday. After the run. God, that fucking pink top. The way her breasts were framed in it, the soft swells tantalizing. It was so much worse when he considered the sweat that would drip off of her, the way her face would flush at the slightest provocation. Inuyasha thought of those dark bangs of hers, the way they plastered to her forehead. It made him think of all the ways he could get the same effect without any running at all.

He had to pause, hand circling tight at the base of his dick as he breathed. This was bad. This was so, so bad.

“Goddamn it,” he panted, thrusting into his own hand. He refused to speed up, wanted to drag this out as long as he could. It felt too good, the drag of his palm against his aching cock. His thumb flicked over the head, pre-come beading and slicking down the length. Each stroke was a particular kind of torture. Was that how Kagome would touch him? Face flushed, staring at him with those big brown eyes and on her knees? He couldn’t imagine her there for long. That defiance, the proud tilt of her chin. He wanted to bite it, wanted to press her into the mattress and take her apart bit-by-bit, until she was shaking apart beneath him.

Inuyasha wouldn’t stop. He’d make her beg for it, wrecked and flushed and beautiful. He’d make her scream his name, make her plead nonsensically, words barely more than slurs as he kept fucking into the tight heat of her body. That desperation he so badly wanted to hear pouring from her lips would be driving him on, begging, Inuyasha, Inuyasha, don’t stop, don’t stop—

please don’t stop.

So, so sensitive, she buried her fingers back within her heat, pressing and curling. One orgasm was enough to make her clit throb, needing a break, but Kagome wanted more. She loved consistency, the same motion again and again and again, nailing her until her body trembled under the onslaught. And even as the warmth spread through her, lighting her up from the inside and making her head hazy with pleasure, she wouldn’t cease. Wouldn’t stop.

Inuyasha wouldn’t, she decided. He wouldn’t. He would keep toying with her, wouldn’t he? He’d put those muscles to use, would lift and push and pull. Inuyasha would fuck her so, so well. Fuck, that was all she wanted. He wasn’t even there and all she wanted was his cock, her fingers not nearly enough. Kagome needed more.

Inuyasha, she pleaded, arching her neck. She was so wet, so desperate, muscles clenching in anticipation. More. She needed more. So much more. His cock. Kagome needed his cock, thick and pulsing inside of her. She wanted the slick slide of it, the pressure, his body pressed tight against hers, rubbing her clit, so sensitive.

Too much. Too much

Kagome rubbed the wet pads of her fingers against her clit, again and again and—

Her back arched, body seizing but she couldn’t stop, not until she was frozen from it. More, she needed more, she needed—


“—Kagome,” he panted, hand far too tight around his cock as he came, thick white lines shooting up and landing on his stomach, on the bottom of his chest. He milked himself dry, until he was too sensitive to even hold himself. Sinking into the mattress, Inuyasha shut his eyes and draped the hand not covered in his come over his face.



This was so, so bad.