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The Real Me

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The most famous arena in the world. One of the most famous bands in the world. And the crowd knew it, and they were ready: girls in tank tops, their bras in their hands, sitting on their boyfriends’ shoulders, who were more than ready to let their girls hurl lingerie at the guitarist and the bassist. Banner after banner filled the arena:

Shippō will you go to the prom with me?
Miroku will you have babies with me?
Inuyasha will you marry me?

On and on and on, all around the arena, the crowd was restless, bodies packed together on the floor, standing in the seats, waving their banners and screaming the names of their favorite band members. Of the band.


The chants grew louder and louder; when the lights dimmed momentarily, the crowd immediately began to lose its shit, then broke into a chorus of boos when the lights came back up. But it was only a few minutes, and the audience burst into frantic cheers again when the lights went down and the banner above the stage faded into a magnificent projection screen, which reflected the stage below. Laser lights shot out over the crowd, then drew back towards the stage, where they faded into spotlights on the drums, keyboards, and microphones, and the crowd absolutely started to lose its collective mind.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” came the booming voice of the PA announcer, “please welcome back to the Garden… Inutachi!”

One by one, the band members jogged out to take their positions: Shippō Midori on the keyboards first, then Sango Akari on the drums, then Miroku Aoi on the lead guitar. As each member crossed the stage, the roars got progressively louder, and louder, and louder.

Because they knew who was next.

The most famous hanyō in the world.

His silver hair pulled back from his face in a series of three small French braids that cascaded down his back, his bangs slicked back, his tattoos just barely visible under his long-sleeved black shirt, the sleeves pushed up just a bit, a black choker and his signature kotodama necklace hanging low. His jeans ripped, his black Converse colored in on the rubber soles, he jogged out to the stage, picked up his bass, and gave it a quick tune. 

And the crowd roared. They roared, for Inuyasha Masaki, leader singer, bassist, and wet dream for women and men of all ages, everywhere. 

Hello New York

Artwork by kalcia

Inuyasha walked up to the mic, the bass dangling from his neck, and shouted in his signature gruff, impossibly sexy voice, “HELLO NEW YORK!” The crowd roared its approval, and Inuyasha promptly snapped up his bass and pounded the first chords to their latest hit. Sango was next, slapping her drumsticks together then beginning to play, moving effortlessly across her kit with her hands and feet. Shippō was next, his keyboards lending to the beat and melody, tuning perfectly with Miroku’s lead guitar, who came in last. Inuyasha turned to the mic, and began to sing. His voice was clear and effortless, and carried the range of notes perfectly. The crowd shrieked, and started to sing along; when they hit the part of the song where the music dropped out, Inuyasha dropped his bass, grabbed the mic, and leapt across the stage to Miroku; when the two of them began singing side by side, instruments dangling, the entire crowd went crazy, yelling and screaming as the two hottest men in music harmonized together. 

Sitting in the club on a Friday night
And I’m bored out of my mind
I see you dancing like it’s just for me
And I got to be by your side…

Backstage, Kikyō Kimura stood, headset on, surveying the entire scene, finding fault with just about everything. Inuyasha’s bass was a little too loud; the feedback from Miroku’s guitar was a little too much; Shippō’s keyboards were too soft. She was talking in low tones with Jinenji Hasegawa, the band’s roadie, and Ayame Okamoto, the sound director. Ayame raced off to the sound board to try and fix the music; Kikyō’s eyes followed her suspiciously. 

Kikyō sighed. Everyone around her, from the band, to the sound engineers, to the tech people, to the PR team...everyone was a failure. One of the biggest bands in the world, and they couldn’t seem to get a sound team to match the caliber of the music. No matter how hard they tried.

“They look good out there,” said an unfamiliar voice behind Kikyō.

Kikyō turned, and frowned at the petite woman standing behind her. Her long, dark, wavy hair was pulled back into a high ponytail; she wore a black tank top and cargo pants, the bottoms of which we tucked into cherry-red Doc Martens. Her dark blue eyes watched the band intently; she had a small pad with a pen attached to it in one hand, and her phone in the other. Her lanyard carried a VIP pass, but Kikyō had never seen the woman before in her life.

“Kagome Higurashi,” the woman said, juggling the items in her hands and holding out one for Kikyō to shake, which she did, disdainfully. “I’m here to follow the band, interview them, and write a profile piece for Zeitgeist. You are?”

“Kikyō Kimura,” she murmured. “The manager.” Kikyō knew exactly who this Kagome Higurashi person was. She would have rather had literally any other journalist in the industry come and cover her band, but Zeitgeist had insisted on sending Kagome, who they called their “best journalist.” But Kikyō knew: “best” meant “expose,” and the last thing she needed was an expose on Inutachi. Nope. The longer she could keep this band under tight wrap, the better. 

But with Kagome Higurashi on the job, that was going to prove to be a nearly impossible task.

Kagome followed Jinenji, the large, but gentle and kind hanyō who was also incredibly strong, and thus perfect for the laborious tech work of a band like Inutachi, down the hall to the band’s green room. She had been fairly impressed with what she saw on stage; Kagome had been to a number of concerts in her life, and been backstage for at least half of them, so she knew a well-oiled machine when she saw one. The Inutachi team was such a machine. The sound engineers worked flawlessly with the roadies; when Miroku and Inuyasha changed out their instruments for acoustic ones, the transition was seamless; when Sango did her drum solo, the sound was loud and reverberated throughout the arena. But this was the most famous concert venue in at least the States, if not the world, and Kagome had honestly expected nothing less. 

And she had to admit, she was kind of excited to spend three weeks traveling with the band, getting to know their routines, their lifestyles, their music. She was already a decent fan of their music, and she was curious to know more about the band members, especially the lead singer, Inuyasha Masaki. She didn’t know why, but she was drawn to him...even before the story had crossed her desk. For some reason, every time she saw him on television, in music she scoured his Instagram (for research purposes, of course), she was compelled by his face, by his voice, by his personality (gruff, yet sensitive and thoughtful). 

Until Kagome’s assignment, Kikyō Kimura had been notoriously tight-lipped about her band, and extremely protective. She didn’t let journalists near the band, save for junkets where she was able to control the questions. It was a well-known rumor that she and the lead singer, Inuyasha Masaki (the hanyō who’d "taken the world by storm," as was often said about him), had engaged in a tumultuous affair that had left Kikyō a bitter and hard woman, and had left Inuyasha Masaki...well, no one really knew, actually. Kikyō still kept a tight leash on him after the supposed breakup; perhaps even tighter, for some reason. 

But Kikyō couldn’t keep the journalists away for long. The record label needed to market the band, and part of marketing was interviews, stories for magazines, and the like. So Kikyō had been forced to allow Zeitgeist to send a journalist to write a cover story, one that would culminate in the band’s upcoming performance at the annual Climate Change charity concert in LA. One that they would be headlining, along with Kōga, one of the biggest solo rock stars in the country, and Inuyasha’s hated rival.

Kagome nearly rubbed her hands together with glee as she stood outside the green room door, waiting for Jinenji to get the okay to let her in. Secrets, drama, old-fashioned music rivalries...she was gonna write the hell out of this. 

She was gonna write the hell out of Inuyasha Masaki’s story. 

At last, Jinenji opened the door and allowed Kagome to enter. She stepped inside, and looked around. Sango and Miroku were sitting at a table, close together, holding hands and whispering (so that’s how it was with them, Kagome immediately noted); Shippō was lounging across several chairs, talking loudly on his phone and drinking a beer. 

And there, on the opposite side of the lounge, leaning up against a wall, was the man himself: Inuyasha Masaki. 

Inuyasha Smokes

Artwork by kalcia

He was tall, taller than Kagome had expected; she was used to rock stars seeming massive on stage, but he had to be well over six feet tall in real life. He was still in his concert clothes, his silver braids and hair falling forward over his shoulders in a wave. Several leather bracelets dangled from his wrists, and Kagome could see his famous kotodama around his neck. He was leaning forward, and she could see that he had a joint between his fingers. She watched, slightly fascinated by the way his long and lithe fingers (that played the bass so freaking well) maneuvered the joint expertly, then brought it up to his lips. He produced a lighter from his pocket, lit the end of the joint, then took a nice, long hit. He looked up, saw Kagome standing awkwardly in the middle of the room, and walked over to her, his golden eyes darkened, and she blushed for a moment, but pulled her shit together. No matter how handsome he matter how much she was immediately attracted to him...he was a story. 

He was a story

When he reached her side, he looked down at her, and she looked up at him, her eyes firm and solid. She crossed her arms over her chest. She knew what was coming.

Inuyasha sneered, then blew a massive puff of smoke right in her face.

Yup. Exactly what was coming.

Inuyasha Masaki? Maybe the hottest man on the planet. 
But also? Biggest fucking ass.

His golden eyes, still darkened with what Kagome supposed was anger, looked her up and down, slowly. “I don’t take fucking groupies,” he snarled. “Get the fuck out.”

“Maybe she’s not here for you, Inuyasha,” Shippō chirped from his seat in the back. 

“She sure as shit isn’t here for you, runt,” Inuyasha snapped. He turned back to Kagome. “You got a VIP pass,” he said, nodding at her chest, which Kagome noticed his eyes lingered on for a second too long, but she was determined not to blush. “Who the fuck are you? You’re no groupie.” He took a drag off his joint and glared at her, hard, his eyes widening momentarily before narrowing again. 

Kagome took a chance and held out her hand. “Kagome Higurashi,” she said confidently. “Zeitgeist. I’m here to…”

“You’re the bitch the magazine sent over to interview us,” he groused. 

“To write a cover story on you,” she corrected.

“Same fucking thing,” he muttered. He took another hit, then held out the joint. “Ya want some?”

Kagome seriously considered taking him up on his offer. If it meant that she could get closer to the band…

“Not tonight,” she said instead, dropping her hand. “I just got here from LA, and the time change has already made me wonky enough.”

To her surprise, Inuyasha chuckled. “Fair enough, HIgurashi,” he said. He turned around and went to the fridge. “Beer?’

“Now that I can handle,” she said, relieved. He snagged her one and tossed it to her; Kagome caught it, and he nodded. Inuyasha looked at her approvingly before grabbing a beer of his own. 

“You’ve already met Shippō,” he said, gesturing to the keyboardist, who scowled at Kagome but waved. “And over there are Miroku and Sango, our resident happy fucking couple.” Miroku and Sango looked up; Miroku gave Kagome an encouraging smile, but Sango glowered and tugged Miroku back into their conversation. Inuyasha turned and looked at her, grinning. “So, Higurashi,” he said, “Not too much to see here. A little hentai kitsune—”

“I am not, you fucking pervert!” Shippō shouted.

“—And your fucking rock god fairy tale come true,” he added, nodding at Miroku and Sango. “So not terribly interesting.”

“And you,” Kagome pointed out. “What about you?”

“Me?” Inuyasha glared at her. “Keh, I’m just a bassist in a rock band.”

“You’re a hanyō who is the lead singer in one of the biggest bands in the world,” Kagome said as gently as she could muster. “And that’s the most important thing in the world right now: acceptance, diversity, peace.”

“Well you’re just a big ol’ fucking ray of sunshine, aren’t ya, Higurashi,” he sneered. “I’m telling ya. You won’t get much here. So you might as well just…”

“Inuyasha.” Kagome and Inuyasha whipped their heads around to see Kikyō in the doorway; Kagome didn’t miss how Inuyasha growled and nearly took a step back.

“Kikyō.” His voice was lethal. He took another hit off his joint and then a big swig of beer. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“I came to congratulate my band on a successful show,” Kikyō said smoothly.

“You came to try and peg me, Kikyō,” he snapped. “And it’s not gonna fucking work.” Inuyasha took a hit, and blew it right in Kikyō’s face. She merely stood there, like he did this every single day, and sighed. 

“I see that Ms. Higurashi has been shown into the room,” she said, turning to Kagome. Kagome smiled and nodded. “I’m still not pleased with you being here,” Kikyō said to her with pursed lips, “but I suppose that while you’re here, we can all make do.”

To Kagome’s surprise, Inuyasha slung an arm around her shoulders and leered at Kikyō; Kagome’s body betrayed her with a shiver that started at where he touched her and traveled the whole length of her body. She saw his eyes widen for a moment, but his face settled back into a sneer, as if he were fighting whatever he felt when he touched her, too. “That’s right, Kikyō,” he said silkily. “Ms. Higurashi’s gonna be with us for the next few weeks. So, we might as well enjoy it and enjoy her.”

Oh. So this was what was going on.

“I’m quite happy to be here, Inuyasha, Ms. Kimura,” Kagome said. She shoved Inuyasha’s arm off her, the connection broken, and he scowled and skulked away into the corner again, his braids flouncing as he went.

Kikyō glared at Kagome. “Don’t get too close to him,” Kikyō said. “He’s one of the most talented musicians in the world, but he’s also an asshole. Don’t forget either part of what I just said.” She turned to Miroku and Sango. “Can I talk to you two? In the hall?”

Sango and Miroku got up; Sango glared at Kagome again before following Kikyō out. Miroku smiled at Kagome, said, “Hey,” and when she said “Hey” back, he nodded and followed Sango, leaving Kagome alone in the room with Inuyasha and Shippō.

Kagome looked at the two, trying to decide where to push her luck. She was already pretty sure that Inuyasha was just going to use her to make Kikyō jealous, so she decided to go sit with Shippō instead.

“Hey,” she said. “I’m Kagome Higurashi.”

Shippō had just hung up his phone and was pouring himself a glass of whiskey. “Inuyasha,” he yelped, “you want one?” When Inuyasha grunted, Shippō poured a second drink, then handed it to the hanyō. Inuyasha accepted with another grunt, then returned to his corner, his golden eyes glowing as he watched Kagome closely.

“Shippō,” he said. “You know all about me already.”

“A little,” Kagome said. “But that’s kind of why I’m here? To get to know you better.”

“So you can write a story about us,” Shippō retorted. Kagome didn’t miss the ice in his voice.

“Yes,” she said. “But part of the reason I’m sticking around for so long is that I want to make sure that the band has a say in how I write your story. If you read my other work,” she added, shooting a look in Inuyasha’s direction. He scowled right back and downed the rest of his whiskey, then crossed the room to have Shippō pour him another drink, which the kitsune did gladly. “You’ll notice that authenticity is part of my goal. It’s why I’ve won awards. I’m not here to create a bias, or to bullshit. I’m here to tell your story, and I promise that we’ll work together to make the story you want told too.”

“I bet that’s what you tell everyone,” Inuyasha shot from across the room. Kagome rolled her eyes. Shippō glowered at her.

“Fine,” Kagome said, “fine. Google me. See what you think. And we’ll talk.” She stood up. “I’m gonna be here for the next few weeks,” she said. “You better get used to me. I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Kagome rose, and gave them both a wave. She set her beer down on the table, and left the room.

Inuyasha and Shippō looked at each other. “So whose idea do you think it was?” Shippō asked. “Letting a journalist in here to ‘watch us’ like fucking kids?”

Inuyasha shrugged. Kagome Higurashi...wasn’t quite what he was expecting when they were told that the journalist was going to be following the band for a few weeks and writing a cover story. Okay, so he’d totally expected a male, and someone a little older, not someone so, so…

Inuyasha growled and downed the rest of his whiskey. He slammed the glass down on the table. “More, runt,” he grunted, and Shippō was only too happy to obey. 

Because they were both annoyed at the sudden intrusion into their world; they were both irritated that they had to invite an outsider in, someone who would be following them for the next few weeks. Inuyasha growled softly and tugged at his braids, thinking more about Kagome Higurashi.

Fuck. When she’d walked into the room, when she went up to him and introduced herself, he’d been so bowled over by her scent he nearly swooned. He hated to admit to anything, but her scent? Vanilla and lavender: soothing and relaxing. His youki had started reaching for her, like it fucking knew her or something. And then, as soon as she got close to him, he wanted to either bury his face in her neck or run in the other direction. She…

Inuyasha growled and shook his head. No. There was nothing about her that attracted him to her. Except…

Except that she seemed to piss Kikyō off.

Inuyasha chuckled. Anything...anyone that seemed to piss Kikyō off was someone he wanted on his side, for sure.

Chapter Text


Artwork by kalcia

Kagome arrived at her hotel dehydrated and exhausted. It had been a day. Her luggage was behind the front desk; when she got there and gave her name, the receptionist smiled, slipped her some paperwork, and waited for her to sign it. She handed Kagome a room key, then walked Kagome’s suitcase around and handed it off to her. Kagome smiled back, and proceeded to the elevators. 

Once on the elevator, Kagome sighed, and leaned her head against the wall. She pressed her floor number, and closed her eyes as the elevator went up...up...up. She paused for a moment to think about her day.

First, as soon as she heard that she’d been given the assignment, her boss insisted that she hop on the first flight from LAX to JFK so that she’d get to New York in plenty of time for Inutachi’s show. They knew she was coming (supposedly), and they would have all the necessary paperwork and materials ready to show that she was, as a the journalist assigned to follow the band, a VIP. She’d have backstage passes to every show; she’d have whatever she needed.

Her plane leaving LAX was (of fucking course) late. The car that the band had “supposedly” sent for her? Didn’t show up. (She suspected Kikyō Kimura on that one.) She hired a taxi, dropped her bags off at the hotel, told them she’d be back later to check in, then got back in the taxi to go downtown to the arena. When she got there, apparently no one knew she was coming, and she had to make a million phone calls and yell at several different people (including her boss; Totosai would never forgive her for that, she was sure, unless she delivered something award-winning) to get her credentials. By the time she made it into the actual venue, the show was just starting, and she had to make her way backstage on her own, only to be greeted by the dour manager, who, Kagome knew, was oh-so-thrilled to see her. Like the rest of the band.

Like Inuyasha Masaki.

Kagome hurled her suitcase onto the bed and opened it up. She took out her toiletries, as well as a tank top and a pair of shorts. She was determined to forget about him for the night. She was determined to forget about his dark golden eyes that seemed to burn from within; she was determined to forget about his long silver hair and his adorable dog ears that poked out from among the braids; she was determined to forget the piercings that had been clearly apparent, and the tattoos that she could see peeking out from beneath his shirt sleeves. 

She was determined to forget the way that her body had responded to him when he touched her. Like his body had been calling to her, and hers was calling, right the fuck back.

Kagome unpacked the rest of her suitcase, hanging most of the items in the closet, and putting her underthings and workout gear in the drawers. She tended to travel light, and buy clothes if and as she needed them. She’d learned a long time ago that it was impossible to pack for every occasion, and so instead, it was better to pack for no occasions, and buy as needed.

But tonight, she was not going to buy anything. Tonight she was going to take a hot bath, and maybe wash her hair, and watch some bad television, like Untold Stories of the ER or something like that. No brain power. No thoughts of music, bands, or sexy, annoying lead singers who exuded machismo and asshattery and blew smoke in her face. 

Kagome ran the bath, dropped in a bath bomb (she packed light, but always carried at least one until she could find some wherever she was), and stripped and threw her hair up into a bun. She sank into the tub and closed her eyes, feeling the hot water lap at her skin and the fizz from the bath bomb tickle it. 

As she lay there, soaking in the tub, the stress of the day melted away, and she allowed her mind to drift to the research she’d done on Inutachi. The band had formed eight years ago, and all the original band members were still active. They had played clubs and small venues for several years, and then rocketed to fame on their third album, which had a slew of hits attached to it (something like six #1 hits on various charts; unheard of for one album). They were incredibly prolific, had just released their fifth studio album, and were apparently getting ready to release a live album and a concert DVD. This was all according to her boss, but Kagome figured from how the sound engineer was rushing around that night, they were getting ready for something big. Live album and concert film sounded about right. 

Kagome shut off the water and dampened a washcloth, then laid it over her face for a moment. The heat felt good; her skin was exhausted after a day of traveling, and the hot wash cloth was as good as a massage and a facial. When it cooled, she took it off, set it aside, and retrieved her phone from the side of the tub, opening up her notes and looking through them.

What else did she know? Shippō Midori: Inuyasha’s adopted son and the band’s keyboardist, he was adorable and known for being pervy and a little handsy, especially with pretty young women. Kagome sighed, glad that she didn’t fall into that category anymore at 32. She’d worked hard to get where she was; she’d had a series of shit writing jobs in the industry before her position at Zeitgeist, and was proud of herself and of her work. No big awards yet, but they were coming. 

And this band, Inutachi? They were the key.

Kagome’s mind moved onto Sango and Miroku next. They were totally inseparable and totally impenetrable; as far as Kagome could discern, it had been like that since the beginning. Miroku and Inuyasha’s friendship went way back; they were the original founders of the band. They brought in Shippō next, but then had trouble finding a drummer they liked. Kagome had read an interview with Kikyō where she said Sango came in and blew them all away; Kagome could certainly see how that might be the case. Miroku and Sango got together not long after that, but both wanted to be in the band, so that meant other things, like marriage and children, would have to wait.

Of the three, Kagome thought that perhaps she could work with Miroku. He might be a place to start. With Shippō, she could hold her own and maybe earn his respect if she could hang with him (which she could). Sango? She wasn’t great at making friends with women to begin with? So hopefully that whole thing would just take care of itself.


Artwork by kalcia

And that just left Inuyasha Masaki. Bassist, lead singer, social media darling (or notorious social media maniac, depending on how one perceived it), beloved by fans, but definitely a headache for his public relations people. Kagome opened up her Instagram app and searched for his IG posts; as part of her research for work, she followed several hundred musicians, and “tachi_my_inu” (as he called himself on Instagram) was not only a massively popular account (with more than ten million followers), but it also showed some...interesting...aspects of Inuyasha’s life.




Artwork by kalcia

Kagome recalled that it was about six months ago that the change in his IG account took place; he went from posting pics of himself and his bandmates (him eating ice cream on a beach was her personal favorite) or selfies (the one with him in the airport, that self-satisfied smirk on his face, was droolworthy—even she could admit that). But then, about six months ago, Kagome had noticed a change in his account, starting with a dick pic showing his very nicely-sized penis, complete with a piercing (which made Kagome shiver with both fear and arousal), and a comment about his half-demon penis being “good enough.” The post was later taken down, but it didn’t matter: it had been screenshotted and distributed across the Internet within minutes, and if you looked up “Inuyasha dick pic” on Google, it was still the first image you would see. 




Artwork by kalcia

That change was coupled with a slew of tabloid photos that started after a concert in Miami. Inuyasha had been seen partying outside a series of nightclubs; he hadn’t bothered to wear his concealment charm, and so was easily recognizable to everyone : women, men, bartenders, drug dealers. Paparazzi. He was photographed inside said nightclubs, drinking, snorting coke, putting whatever he could into his body. He was photographed urinating outside a prominent club, giving the photographer the finger as he pissed. The photographs permeated social media for several weeks, after which point they seemed to quiet down, even though the dark Instagram posts continued.


Artwork by kalcia

That change had been the main reason Kagome had been able to push her boss in hopes that she would be the one to have a chance to interview the band. She wanted to know: what happened to Inuaysha Masaki? What made him flip a switch? Why had he gone from someone so apparently sweet and loving, to someone so angry, someone so alone? To someone who would share pics of himself and Shippō, grinning before concerts, one minute, and backlit selfies that didn’t show his face and quoted song lyrics the next? 

Kagome paused on that one. The way his head hung low, the way his ears were pinned back, the way his entire body posture called out with pain, and with agony, and with hurt, it pierced Kagome’s heart. It made her want to reach out to him, to comfort him, to make him feel better.

She needed to know: what had happened to Inyuasha Masaki? What made him the way that he was? What changed, and why? 

Finally, she had the opportunity to find out.

A loud rap at the door brought Kagome out of her reverie. “Whoever it is, they’ll go away,” she murmured aloud, and closed her eyes again. A second series of knocks, harder and more insistent, sounded this time, and Kagome groaned audibly, tore the washcloth off her face, and dragged herself out of the tub. She wrapped a towel around her body; she left the water, because she had every intention of going back to the tub. The knocking on the door continued; Kagome changed quickly into a hotel robe, and, in her haste, forgot to check the peephole. She threw the door open, and her mouth dropped.

“Well, well,” said a most familiar, most unwelcome, gruff voice, “ya didn’t have to get all undressed on my account.”

His hair was still pulled back in braids; his ears poked up through his silver hair, twitching as he took her in. His golden eyes were glistening amber, and slightly unfocused. He wore a black tank top; Kagome could see he had tattoos lining his arms; in particular, her eyes were drawn to a large one just below his left shoulder. It was a giant paw, with massive claws, that looked like it had torn through his skin, with blood dripping around the edges. It was...grotesque, but also beautiful? Kagome couldn’t stop staring at it.

Couldn’t stop staring at him.

Inuyasha saw where her eyes were directed, and he laughed. “I got more than that, Ka-Go-Me,” he leered. “ If you let me in, I’ll show you.”

Kagome leaned into him, just slightly. He smelled of cigarettes, and alcohol. Whiskey. Beer. He pulled a joint out of his pocket and lit it in the hallway, taking a hit.

Oh my GOD. He’s gonna get himself arrested. And me.
Fuck. There goes my evening of bad television.

“Here,” Kagome said irritably. She reached out, grabbed his arm, and yanked him inside.

“What?” he said huskily. “You can’t wait to get me into bed?”

“No, you asshole,” she hissed, “you can’t smoke pot in the middle of the hotel hallway?”

“And why the fuck not?” he snapped, striding over to the couch and flopping himself down. “What’s anyone gonna do to me?”

“Arrest you, for starters,” Kagome muttered. Inuyasha emitted a soft growl; clearly he had heard her. She stalked over to the liquor cabinet and opened it, looking at her options. She pulled out a small bottle of vodka, and a Diet Coke, and proceeded to mix them together into a small glass that was on the dresser. She stirred it with her finger, and took a big gulp.

“Ya got some for me?” he asked. Kagome didn’t miss how his voice slightly slurred.

“You’ve had enough for one night,” she told him. “Me, on the other hand? I need this. To deal with you.”

He laughed and leaned back against the couch. “You’re gonna need more than that to deal with me, Ka-Go-Me,” he said, turning his intense gaze directly on her.

“Damn fucking right I will,” she said quietly. 

“What was that?” he asked, even though he knew exactly what she had said, and he wasn’t too thrilled. 

“Why are you here?” she asked, turning around and leaning against the dresser. Inuyasha exhaled; fuck, she was fucking delectable. Her blue-black hair was falling from her bun in soft tendrils; her blue-gray eyes were steely as they held his gaze. Her full, rosy lips were slightly pursed, because she was judging him; he had seen that look many times before, even though with her, he wasn’t quite sure why she was judging him. It wasn’t because he was a hanyō; that he knew. What could it be?

But best of all, the thing that was making it hard for Inuyasha to sit in any position without bringing attention to the fact that his cock was rapidly betraying his rising desire for her, was her robe. Her plush, white robe had fallen open, and all Inuyasha could do was stare at the cleavage that had revealed itself to him. Her beautiful, glorious cleavage. From what he had seen earlier that evening, and now, she was well-endowed, and he found himself longing to bury his face between her ample tits and lap her up. 

His youki, once again, was purring, slipping out and wrapping around her: he could actually fucking see it , and as far as he knew, his youki had never done that before, with anyone.

Not even Kikyō.


Why exactly had he come to her hotel room? 
He couldn’t remember. All he could think about were her tits, and that robe, and what was beneath that robe... no.

What wasn’t beneath that robe. 

Before he knew it, he was on his feet, the joint dangling between his fingers. He wanted...what the fuck did he want?


When did she get so close to him? Did she know what her scent was doing to him? What her breasts, out there and shining in the light of the hotel room, were fucking doing to him?

“ should go.” Her breath was coming in short, quick pants. Her scent was laced with ginger and lemon now, on top of the vanilla and lavender. And those scents were growing.

Holy. Fuck.

Was she just as aroused as him?

“I—I don’t know why I came here,” he stammered. Fuck. He was usually more suave than this. Too much whiskey and pot. God-fucking-dammit.

“Then you definitely need to go.” Was that her hand on his chest? Was she pushing him?

“No. Wait.” He grabbed her wrist and yanked it upwards, making her robe fall open even more and oh fuck he had to stifle a groan.

She looked up into his eyes, and saw the strain in his face. She glanced down, saw that her robe had fallen open, and tried to shake herself free of his grip. When he wouldn’t let her go, she clutched her robe closed with her other hand. 

“You’re—you’re very close,” she whispered. 

Close. He was so close. Too close for her to think straight, or do anything else, but clutch at her robe and gaze into his golden, glowing eyes. She...why was her entire being calling out for him to touch her, taste her, be with her?

“You came to me,” he pointed out, a fang poking out and pressing into his lower lip. 

That did it. That irritated Kagome beyond anything else that he had done.

You came to me,” she huffed. “You knocked on my door. You let yourself in. You’re holding my wrist.”

He looked down at his hand, still circling her wrist, and back into her face. He was incredibly attuned to her breath—how it was short, and fast; he was attuned to the way that her chest was heaving, even through the now (dammit!) closed robe.

“You’re right,” he purred. “I did knock on your door. And I am holding your wrist.”

Kagome leaned into every ounce of who she was to not roll her eyes and/or smack him across the face with her free hand. Instead, she tried again to shake her hand free, her entire being torn between anger and lust.

“You’ve got me,” she said, her voice weirdly husky (when had it gotten like that?), “so what do you want to do with me?”

Inuyasha leaned forward so that his breath was hot on her neck. She could smell the whiskey on his breath; she could practically see herself gleaming in his piercings. She braced herself for what was coming; ready to hit him as hard as she could (in his face and in his nuts) if he tried anything.

No matter how much he was making her entire body sing at that very moment. 

She could not let him know this.

Because she was tired, and did not have time for this shit. For the back-and-forth that she knew was going to happen if she let him come any closer. For the fact that she was already falling prey to his ministrations.

But as Inuyasha leaned into her, he was overwhelmed with her smell—that lavender, vanilla, ginger, lemon—like a delicious tea that was balm for his nerves. A tea perfectly made for his youki. And like a tea, he had to...he had to taste it.

He had to taste her.

With his free hand, he parted her robe just enough so he could have access to her collarbone. She sucked in a breath; the tension in the air crackled. He buried his face in her neck, gave a good, long inhale, and paused.

“Just what in the hell do you think you’re…”

He silenced her when his tongue rolled out of his mouth, and he pressed the pad into the hollow just above her clavicle. He gave her one long, luxurious lick, starting there, and working all the way to just behind her ear. 

Kagome shivered, despite all her instincts screaming at her not to. Because he felt good—hell, he looked good—and Kagome was now actively fighting against all her senses, which were telling her to say fuck it all and jump him.

But as quickly as it started, it was over; Inuyasha pulled away from her, smacking his lips voraciously. “Fuck,” he said, “you taste good.” He let go of her wrist and sauntered back over to the couch, where he flopped down and spread his arms across the back, then spread his legs wide, letting her get a good look at the fact that he was very much at attention at that moment. He grinned, that fang poking out again, and looked up at her. 

“Seriously, though,” he said heatedly, “you’re fucking delicious.” He patted the seat next to him; when she shook her head, still trembling from the memory of his tongue on her, he grinned even more broadly.

“S’okay,” he said amiably, but Kagome could hear the strain in his voice, as much as he tried to hide it. “I’ll take a rain check.”

“Why—why are you here?” Kagome finally burst out.

“Kikyō,” he said immediately, “hates your guts.”

This was news to Kagome, although… “She did seem a bit...frosty,” Kagome said. “I thought that’s just how she is.”

“Oh,” said Inuyasha, “it absolutely fucking is. She’s a fucking ice queen, and we’re her frozen subjects.” He grunted and gestured at the vodka. “If you don’t mind.”

Kagome turned, shrugged, and snagged the bottle off the table. She poured what was left into the other glass, and asked “Diet Coke?” When he shook his head no, she handed him the glass. 

She was drinking with Inuyasha Masaki. The Inuyasha Masaki. Drinking and...he had licked her.

It was hard to keep the heat from rising in her body. To keep away from him. To keep from touching him. 

“Thanks,” he said, accepting the glass from her. Her scent was...changing again, to that gingery lemon scent. 

Fuck. He loved it.

“Kikyō is...our manager,” he said instead (way to get a boner under control, he thought dryly), “and she’s a mega-bitch. Icy, frosty, a drill sergeant, the nastiest woman you’ll ever meet.” He paused and took a drink, then pointed a finger on his drink hand and waved it at Kagome. “You need to be careful.”

“Why do I need to be careful?” Kagome asked, crossing her arms and pushing her breasts up in the robe. Inuyasha’s youki howled, and he nearly drooled, but he kept his shit together. Remember why you’re here, he told himself.

“Because,” he said, “because she’s built us into her own little empire, and she’s always been able to deny the media stories like this. Interviews? Sure, if she’s able to control the questions. But this? A full-on story? With a journalist who’s gonna follow us around?” He laughed and kicked his feet up before taking another swig of vodka. “Kagome Higurashi,” he said, grinning and hooking a finger at her, “you are Kikyō’s worst nightmare.” He chuckled again at her confused face.

“Then why would Kikyō ask me to come here?”

Inuyasha patted the seat next to him; against her better judgement, she sat down, but not too close to him. She eyed him cautiously as he watched her every move approvingly. But when she didn’t scoot closer, he huffed, drank more vodka, and kept talking.

“I would bet that she used her most disdainfully polite voice when she talked to you on the phone,” he guessed.

She shrugged. He was quite possibly right.

“The order for this story came from the record company,” he told her. “The higher ups demanded it, actually. And so Kikyō hired the person she thought would do the shittiest job and make sure the band never had to do this again.”

“But why?” Kagome asked.

“Control, Kagome,” Inuyasha said. “The control she lost when...The control she loses every time I do this.” He paused to relight his joint, take a hit, and then downed the rest of the vodka. He offered the joint to Kagome before he got up to refill his glass, and fuck, with what had just happened? With what he was telling her? She took it. Inuyasha watched her as he got more liquor out of the cabinet and poured it. His face was expressionless as she took a hit, closed her eyes, and let the THC caress her body. It had...been awhile.

She opened her eyes and handed the joint back to Inuyasha, who had returned to the couch  with both his glass and the fresh small vodka bottle (along with two bottles of whiskey) in tow. He accepted it and took his own hit. They sat there for a bit in silence, passing the joint between them; the tinkling of their glasses as they set them on and off the coffee table, as they refilled them with first vodka, then whiskey, was the only sound.

Kagome was thoughtful. There were so many questions reeling through her head; so many that she needed to have answered. But the pot was helping her focus, and was numbing her attraction to him, until at last, she had only two questions she needed to know immediately.

“Inuyasha?” she said, and he turned to her, his golden eyes gleaming and strangely open.

“Why don’t you fire her?”

He looked...odd. “She’s the best,” he said in a strangled voice, but that’s all he would say. Kagome narrowed her eyes slightly, but decided that she would drop that one...for now.

“One more question,” she said. He looked at her inquiringly, one eyebrow raised.

“Why are you telling me this? Why did you come here, to tell me to watch out for Kikyō?”

Inuyasha leaned forward; she could feel his breath, and she shivered. “Two reasons,” he whispered. “One. I fucking hate her. She hates you. That makes us allies. And, two…” He crossed the distance between them, supported the back of her head, and crushed his lips to hers, biting down with his fangs so they pierced her bottom lip.

Kagome gasped; he was so hot she could feel his burning through her robe. Without thinking, she pressed herself into him; he was all hard muscle and his body practically dripped with desire. When she moaned slightly, his tongue invaded her mouth; it swiped over her teeth and wrapped itself around her own tongue. was...holy fuck.

More. Her body was crying for him.

But, just as soon as it started, Inuyasha pulled back, and stood up, leaving Kagome shuddering on the sofa. He looked down at her flushed face, her mussed hair, her now very open robe (fuck, he was so close to seeing her nipples), and grinned.

“Kikyō doesn’t own me,” he told her. “No matter what she thinks.” His gaze traveled over Kagome’s form; she nearly moaned from the lust in his eyes.

“Plus,” he added. “I Googled you. You’re a good writer. You don’t deserve the shit she’s gonna try. So...write your story, Kagome Higurashi. I’m not gonna stand in your way.” He went to the door, opened it, and looked back one last time at her, fighting all his instincts to go and fuck her immediately. He passed through the door, and closed it, leaving Kagome on the couch, a very wobbly, very confused, very aroused, mess.

Chapter Text

The sun was shining, its warm rays tickling his wet, naked skin. Inuyasha tilted his head back to rest on the edge of the pool, letting the warmth soak him further. 

The pool on the hotel roof was completely deserted at this time of the day; everyone was down in the restaurant enjoying their all-inclusive lunch. There was no one to disturb his rest, and fuck, he needed it. 

Last night’s performance had taken more out of him than he expected. His mind wandered back to the journalist that had joined their tour. How her hips swayed when she walked, how her hair escaped in flyway curls from her ponytail, how her eyebrows knitted and her nose scrunched when she was annoyed. 

How she made his youki purr and call out for her. 

How he’d gone to see her, because fuck...well, he still wasn’t quite sure why he’d gone, only that she smelled so fucking delicious, and Kikyō hated her so fucking was like he couldn’t stay away. Then, they’d talked, and drank, and smoked, in her hotel room, and she had been so... fucking sexy and daring ...he hadn’t been able to help himself. Her divine taste; her divine scent; her divine lips. He’d licked her, and kissed her, then left her, aroused, against his better judgment—all his instincts were telling him not to be a fucking asshole to her. But even as he left, even as he tamped down that feeling of arousal, he had to admit that her lithe little body had lit something in his soul that hadn’t been ignited in a long time.

How her hips swayed…yes… He chuckled to himself. That was it.

"Something amusing you?" A soft voice came from behind him, making him jump. He had been too preoccupied to notice anyone joining him at the pool. But now that his senses were back, a strong scent of vanilla and lavender hit his nose.

Inuyasha turned his head around to see Kagome looking at him, dressed in a short, silky white robe, and carrying a white towel. He watched as she dropped the towel onto a lounge chair, and then slipped the robe off her shoulders and down her body, leaving her only in a very skimpy-looking red bikini and revealing more of the delectable body he’d seen glimpses of the night before. He swallowed loudly. 

"Keh," was his only reply as he turned away, hiding the blush that crept up his cheeks. 

The sound of water splashing made him whip his head to the side. He saw Kagome lowering herself right next to him: her thighs, her hips, her stomach, all flashing by him, then disappearing under the water. Her breasts, barely covered by her bikini top, swayed gently with every move. 

"C-cold…" she whispered. Inuyasha's eyes were glued to her breasts; he couldn’t stop staring, especially not now that he saw little pebbles start to poke out through the fabric.

"Y-yeah," he lied: he felt hot. Too hot. 

He moved his hands from where they were resting behind him on the edge of the pool to play with his fingers in his lap, under the water. 

He was glad his lower half was hidden under the water. He felt like a teenager again, and he did not like that feeling one bit. His body her in ways that he wasn’t quite prepared for, but didn’t exactly dislike.

Kagome scooted closer to him, resting her hand on his upper arm. He could feel a jolt of electricity hit his nerves at her touch. Her delicate fingers brushing his skin. Suddenly, she was straddling him; he felt her breasts pressed against him, hardened nipples digging in. 

He wanted to stand up, pitch her off him, and run away, but he couldn't. He was frozen to the spot, his dick growing hard. He wanted to touch her so badly.

"Inuyasha," she whispered, her hot breath tickling his neck. Her hand moved to his chest, then slowly further down, over his abs. He could feel his muscles tensing. As her hand traveled even further south, a low growl escaped his mouth. Lower…Lower… his mind kept repeating, but her hand never reached its destination. 

Inuyasha woke up with a start. He quickly sat up, sweat dripping down his neck. He looked around, trying to gather his bearings. 

Yeah. He was in his hotel room.
He fell back on his pillows with a sigh.

"Dream, huh?" He closed his eyes. Inuyasha knew there was one thing that was the same as in his dream as it was when he was awake, and that was his raging hard-on. He reached down under the sheets, pushing them away to run his fingers down his shaft; of course, he slept nude—it gave him easy access whenever he needed to relieve some tension.

A soft sigh escaped his lips.

"Ah, what the hell," he muttered. He trailed his fingers over his cock, giving it a light stroke and enjoying how that felt, before fisting it and slowly increasing speed. 

Soon he was pumping his dick hard, stroking the precum up and down the shaft, soft grunts escaping his mouth. Images of Kagome in that bikini danced behind his eyelids: he could see her breasts, her hips, her plump lips. His mind egged him on, treating him to pictures of her lips kissing his chest and her hands traveling south to his cock, just like in the dream. He could feel her breasts brushing his stomach, and then his straining erection. He then imagined it was Kagome's hand on his dick, pumping him, looking up at him from where she was on her knees. And then her tongue darted and licked his tip.

Inuyasha came with a loud moan, spilling himself on his stomach. A soft grunt came out of his mouth as he slowly descended from his high.

"Well… that was quick," he chuckled humorlessly, grabbing his shirt that was laying next to him on top of the covers. He used it to wipe himself before throwing it on the floor. He really didn't care about it.

Inuyasha laid in his bed, and planned on staying in said bed, but then his phone started ringing. He growled angrily and rolled to the side to grab it from his nightstand. 

The name displayed on the screen made his eyebrows furrow.

"What!" he spat.

"You have 10 minutes to be down in the restaurant," said a familiar, cold voice before hanging up.

"Fucking Kikyō," Inuyasha whispered before slowly crawling off his bed and stumbling towards the bathroom.

He turned the shower on and moved to the sink. He glanced at the mirror. He looked like shit.

Last night, after the show, before he went to go see Kagome, he had been drinking and smoking with Shippō, as per usual; he couldn’t remember, but he thought that there may have been some pills involved as well. 

The dark circles under his eyes spoke volumes; he also noticed that he hadn't even bothered to take out his braids last night. 

Inuyasha sighed and started undoing his braids, fighting with especially annoying knots.

"So much hassle, why do I even do it?" he muttered at his reflection in the mirror.

Cause you look awesome. The voice in his head spoke confidently, and he smirked.

Kagome had been around a lot of bands, from just covering shows in her early days, to interviews as part of press junkets, to now, when she got to cover the top bands in the industry. Yes, she’d been around a lot of bands, and seen a lot of things, but even she had to admit:

She had never seen anything like Inutachi.

Over the next few days, she joined the band on their bus, traveling from city to city, and she both saw a lot and very little. And that was one of the many things that surprised her.

First: the a lot. Inutachi were almost always together. Shippō and Inuyasha, Miroku and Sango. And even though there were little factions, no one seemed to mind these factions; instead, they were like one family, with a mom (Sango), a dad (Miroku), and two boys (Inuyasha and Shippō). Kagome was fascinated by the family-like dynamics that existed among the bandmates: after a show, Miroku and Sango would hang out in the green room for a while, then leave together, usually holding hands or Miroku’s arm slung around Sango’s hips. Inuyasha and Shippō would stay, sometimes for a half hour, sometimes for hours, shooting the shit, drinking, smoking. On off nights, they would go to a club; Miroku and Sango sometimes going with Inuyasha and Shippō, but more often than not, it was just Shippō and Inuyasha (or “the two boys,” as Kagome often called them), Kagome trailing along after them, eager to watch their interactions with the public.

She noticed, though, that not a lot of people even paid attention to who they were. And that was because both of them wore concealment charms. Inuyasha’s was kept in his fanged necklace that he almost always wore around his neck; Shippō’s was in a leather bracelet he wore on his wrist. Kagome was always astonished at the transformations that took place. For Shippō, his fox ears became regular ears, his tail vanished, his feet became regular human feet (and not cute little fox feet), and his hands lost their claws. He kept his hair and eye color, though.

Inuyasha’s transformation was much more extreme. He lost his ears, his hair turned from silver to black, and he lost his fangs and his claws. Kagome would have a hard time keeping track of him in a crowd if it wasn’t for Shippō, whose appearance stayed largely the same. And Inuyasha, while he didn’t try to lose her, definitely didn’t try to let him keep up with them, for sure. 

Those nights were usually raucous, with Inuyasha buying shots, or taking out the molly he’d scored mysteriously, somewhere between the end of the concert and the night out. Kagome was never really sure how drugs made their way into Inuyasha’s hands, and Shippō was definitely reticent about it. She didn’t really care? But, she did want to make sure the drugs he was buying were at least relatively safe (no PCP in the marijuana, for instance). Without knowing the source, though, it was hard for her to do any backtracking. So she kept a respectful distance, and watched for any signs that they might be in distress as they partied. She knew they both had demon blood in them, but still...there had to be a limit to what even their bodies could take.

And even though Inuyasha wore his concealment charm, he was still exceptionally, ridiculously hot, and he and Shippō never failed to have a constant bubble of people around them. Kagome watched carefully as Inuyasha flirted back, leaning in, whispering in their ears, touching their arms. He bought them drinks, but never kissed them, never touched them inappropriately, never took the opportunity to leave with them. Instead, he would simply flirt, one eye on Kagome, making sure she saw everything, and one eye on Shippō, making sure he didn’t get into any trouble.

It was clear to Kagome that this was some kind of a test: he was watching her, watching him, trying to see what he could get away with, trying to see what she might call him out for. And really, if Kagome were going to say anything, it would be about the drugs, and the alcohol, and not the girls. Because he didn’t touch any of them. Not really; not to the point where Kagome could even remotely call him a player.

That translated into pre- and post-concert activities at the venues, too. Kagome noticed that night after night, the green room was empty: no groupies, no celebrities coming to see them...just the band, alone. When Kagome asked Inuyasha, he smirked and said, “Why? Are you volunteering to be my groupie?” and she was so pissed off she stormed over to Sango and Miroku and asked them the same question. Sango glowered, and intimated that girls were not allowed backstage because of Miroku, while Miroku blushed and said that Inuyasha had ordered that there were to be no girls, before or after shows, because he was a quiet guy and liked to focus on his work.

However, Kagome often wondered if that was true. During concerts, Inuyasha was a maniac: an untamed stallion, galloping across the stage, ripping his shirt off, screaming “Can’t hear ya, bitches!” at the top of his lungs, the sweat running down his chest, collecting in rivulets at the dips and curves of his muscle, his “Inutachi” wrist band flinging sweat as he played. 

Can't Hear Ya Bitches

Artwork by kalcia

He, charming, and wildly talented on stage. Kagome found that she couldn’t keep her eyes off him. He his tight black jeans, his black boots, and especially in his black skirts and leggings. On the one hand, she’d seen so many musicians, pulling so many antics like his, before. But on the other hand, there was something so earnest, and pure, and honest, about his performances...something she hadn’t expected. It was like when he was on stage, connecting with his bass, with his bandmates, with the crowd...he was…

Well, shit.

He was really, truly, free, and happy. 

The grin on his face as he shouted to the audience, the way his fingers danced over the bass guitar, the way he sang, his voice pure and strong and was the most effortless, and the most joyful, performance, that Kagome had maybe ever seen. The way that he gave of himself on the stage, the way that he accepted the crowd’s love and enthusiasm? Like he needed it, in the worst way.

It made Kagome wonder: what had happened in his life, to make him so needy for the attention, but also, to make him so enthusiastic in giving that love right back?

She felt like she had to know about all of him: not just his gorgeous, sculpted body (which she had already had a taste of, and hello, she wanted more); and not just his music. No. She wanted to know all about him: his favorite movies, if he liked to work out (she would bet her entire bank account that he did), if he liked the ocean at sunset, if he ever stargazed. 

If he would like to do any of those things with her.

At the times when her focus lapsed, she would concentrate on her daily mission: watching the band. During the day, though, while the band relaxed, practiced, showed up for soundcheck, etc., doing her research was much harder. Kagome felt like she got a lot more material out of watching the band on stage, backstage, or out at clubs. Because when they weren’t doing much, they were kind of...boring?

But Kagome especially loved Inuyasha’s interactions with Shippō. They went to clubs, but also, during the day, they ate, they swam, they worked out, they teased each other relentlessly. Kagome had discovered through her research that Inuyasha had adopted Shippō, years before. Their relationship was more like brothers than like father and son, however. They were so similar in mannerisms that sometimes Kagome believed they actually were related, which she knew to be impossible. And when she tried to ask Shippō, or Inuyasha, they would simply scoff and make a snarky comment about the other as they flounced away.

Then one morning, about a week into Kagome’s shadowing of the band, she was heading down to the gym to get in a workout, when she ran into Shippō in the hallway outside the pool.

“Oh! Hey, Kagome,” said Shippō. He was obviously out of breath. 

“Hi, Shippō,” Kagome replied, surprised. 

“I—how are you?” He was not meeting her eyes, and Kagome was immediately suspicious.

“Fine, Shippō,” Kagome answered. “Is there something I can do for you?”

“Ummm, yes!” Shippō exclaimed. He fumbled around in his shorts pocket, and pulled out a key. “Here,” he said, pressing it into her hand. “This is the key to Inuyasha’s room. 1425. He’s at the pool, and he told me that he forgot his sunscreen, and demanded that I go get it.” Shippō turned his big green eyes on Kagome, who felt her heart melting, just a little bit. Who was Inuyasha to make poor Shippō do anything?

“And he’s at the pool now?” Kagome asked.

“He is,” Shippō said. “And if I don’t come back with the sunscreen, he’s gonna be so mad, Kagome. But I…” he dropped his voice. “I really need to go to the bathroom. Do you think you could grab his sunscreen for me?”

Kagome sighed. Here was a chance to get in good with Shippō; she knew this. At the same time, though, the last thing she wanted to do was rifle around in Inuyasha Masaki’s room, looking for sunscreen.

A little grunt pulled Kagome back; Shippō was pale and clutching his stomach.

“Of—of course I’ll help!” Kagome said quickly. “1425, you said?”

“Y—yeah,” he groaned. “Thanks, Kagome! I owe you one.” And as Shippō stumbled off to find a bathroom, Kagome trudged back to the elevators, so she could go up to Inuyasha’s room. 

The whole elevator ride up, Kagome fretted. Was she doing the right thing? Was it worth rummaging around in someone’s room—in a fucking rock star’s room—to try and get the in that she needed? 

He’s not going to be there, she told herself. You go in, you get the sunscreen, you get out. Super easy.

The elevator pinged, and Kagome stepped out into the hall. She followed the signs for 1425; it was at the end of the hall; maybe a suite?

Whatever. Stealth, Kagome, she thought.

Kagome put the key in the slot and opened the door into a living room, with a kitchen and a large television. It wasn’t as fancy as Kagome was anticipating, but it was definitely nicer than her room. She stepped in; the scent of smoke and booze hung heavy in the air. 

“Sunscreen would be in the bathroom,” Kagome thought to herself. There were two closed doors towards the back of the room; one of them had to be the bathroom, she reasoned. Kagome walked over to the first door, pressed down on the handle, and walked into the room. 

What she saw made her gasp, and gape, unable to move or cover her eyes.

There, sleeping on top of the covers, was Inuyasha. Naked.

Kagome let out a squeak. Holy fuck, he was beautiful: his long silver hair flowed around his body, his arms, muscular and covered with tattoos, were folded up, his hands buried beneath his pillow. He was sleeping on his stomach; his delts and his back muscles were taut, even as he slept, the massive tattoo on his back stretched out beautifully. His ass—what?—was like two perfectly sculpted mounds of clay; they gave way to his muscular thighs and calves; then, Kagome could just make out the claws on his feet. 

Her entire body went taut at the sight; she felt a mad rush of desire for crawl on top of take him…

No, Kagome, she told herself. Take all that crazy lust for his ass and tamp that down. Now.

As Kagome struggled to bring herself under control, she tried to assess the situation she suddenly found herself in. could Shippō not know Inuyasha was here? Unless...unless…

“Do you see something ya like?” came the saucy question from the direction of the bed.

Kagome jumped, and looked up. There, lying on his side, was Inuyasha: his elbow was now resting on the mattress, propping up his torso, and all of him was on display for her to see.

Like What You See

Artwork by kalcia

He was hard, and long, and magnificent in circumference. A line of trimmed silver hair started below his belly and worked down towards the base of his shaft, behind which Kagome could just see peeking out two beautifully shaped sacs, partially hidden from the soft curls down there. And he had that piercing, right through the head, through his urethra, and it looked both incredibly painful and sexy as fuck. Kagome found herself getting aroused just looking at him and she needed to tamp that shit down.

“Wh—what?” she asked, completely distracted.

Inuyasha’s grin got bigger (if that were even possible). “Do ya see something you like, Kagome?” he asked her again, more slowly. 

Kagome breathed in, and out, and looked hard at him, taking in his complete form and trying to help herself stay grounded. 

“Not really,” she commented sharply. “I prefer my dicks rock-hard, not flaccid.” And she turned around, gathered herself up, and out of the bedroom and towards the door as she heard Inuyasha laughing behind her.

She was going to fucking kill Shippō.

“Wait, Kagome!” Inuyasha was up, and running after her, a towel draped loosely around his hips, his body still taut, sending Kagome reeling. “Wait.”

He turned, one hand still clutching his towel, but Kagome could see him through the towel and fuck.

She paused when she got to the hotel door. She turned, and there he was, standing behind her, tucking the towel ends in and securing them solidly. “Can—can you tell me what you’re doing here?” he asked her.

Frantically, Kagome searched her mind. What was she doing there?

“I—I—” She really couldn’t remember.

She felt his hands on her shoulders. His hands were gripping her lightly; he didn’t want her to go, that much was clear.

“Didya want something?” he asked, one fang pressing into his bottom lip, a smirk settling on his face.

“Shippō,” Kagome breathed. “Shippō...he...told me you left your sunscreen here…”

Inuyasha dropped his arms from her sides and clapped them to his thighs. He began to laugh...hard. “Well, shit,” he said in between gasps, “shit. That little asshole! Fucking playing pranks on us…”

“What do you mean?” asked Kagome, the rage starting to build back inside her.

Inuyasha suddenly stopped laughing, and stood straight up. Kagome felt her body temperature rise as she took him in: his wide, open grin; his bemused golden eyes, which were rapidly darkening; his piercings, his tats, his bulging biceps, and his sculpted abs. She imagined her fingers reaching out, touching his chest, running her fingers in every dip and every ridge of his torso. She bit her lip so hard she drew blood, but she didn’t care. She needed…

She needed to get herself under control.

“You’re bleeding,” Inuyasha said suddenly, and Kagome noticed that his voice was raspy, husky, like he was having a hard time controlling himself. “Fuck, Kagome, am I really that bad you had to bite yourself to keep from getting sick?”

“No,” Kagome blurted out, then immediately crossed her arms over her chest and looked away. She couldn’t look at him anymore; not when he was half-naked, and she knew what was under that towel—something she was dying to find out how it felt inside her, piercing and all. “No,” she said, in a (hopefully) much calmer voice. “I’m fine. It was….an accident.”

Lame, Kagome, really lame, sang her inner voice.

Inuyasha’s eyes suddenly glowed hungrily. “You know that when a dog demon sees a woman in pain,” he said, stepping forward, “his instincts demand that he help.”

“Oh?” she challenged him. “And what do you know about instincts?”

Inuyasha pressed her to his torso, and lifted her head back. “Is this a journalist question,” he whispered, “or is this a Kagome question?”

“I don’t know what the difference is,” she murmured. “But if you don’t want me to print it, I won’t.”

“Good,” he breathed. “Because I keep my instincts reserved for the most special women.”  And he leaned forward slightly, darting his tongue out, and running it along her bottom lip. He paused at the sight of the bite, and latched on there, sucking lightly, clutching her to him. 

The thought of the last time Inuyasha kissed her was nearly too much for Kagome, and she moaned softly. Inuyasha took that opportunity to detach from her lips and slip his tongue into her mouth. And just like last time, Kagome keened and nearly collapsed from the pleasure. He swept his tongue across the roof of her mouth, then back down and around her tongue, drawing it out, begging it to come play with his. Kagome couldn’t say no; she could only say: 


Before she knew it, she was falling, falling, and then was caught up in his strong arms, which laid her gently back onto the sofa. He straddled her, his towel falling open slightly, his dick pushing on her belly. He was hard, and she was hot, and all she could think about in that moment was fucking him. 

His lips were nibbling on her ear, her cheek, her neck...His hands were tugging at her t-shirt, trying to lift it over her head. Kagome moaned again, palming his chest, tugging on his hair as it fell forward. Her hands ran through his hair and came to rest on his ears; she massaged them gently, then gave them a little tweak when he growled with pleasure and worried her neck so hard she was gonna have a mark and she found that she didn’t give a fuck. His hands found their way under her shirt; when he discovered that she had a sports bra on, he growled again, this time with frustration, and he yanked down the zipper and shoved the cups aside so that he could find her breasts. He teased her nipples between his claws and the pads of his fingers, and when she moaned again and pulled on his ears, he smirked, and pinched them, nicking her breast with the claws on his right hand.

His eyes flashed red, and he knew what had to happen next.

Inuyasha bit down on her neck, hard, and Kagome cried out loudly. She saw stars behind her eyelids; her insides became a puddle as she orgasmed and pushed herself onto his dick. Her body was weeping for him; her soul was burning for him; her mind was a blank as she acknowledged that he owned her.

“Nah-ah-ah,” he said teasingly into her neck. He detached his fangs and licked the spot where he had bitten her. He stood up, allowing the towel to fall completely, and strode into the bathroom, Kagome gasping and breathing heavily on the couch, her panties and her leggings soaked. When her vision stopped swimming, she saw him standing over her, grinning madly and holding out sunscreen.

“Can’t keep Shippō waiting, you know,” he said, his golden eyes twinkling.


Chapter Text

Kagome stomped back to her room, raging. She could not believe Inuyasha Masaki. She could not fucking believe him. He had...he had teased her, beyond anything that was acceptable or professional in terms of behavior. She...she was a journalist. And he was her subject. 

Who just made her orgasm by barely touching her. And then whose dick she had thrust herself onto like she was some fucking groupie, not a music journalist who had been around the top artists in the industry. She had interviewed Kōga fucking Kobayashi, for Christ’s sake. She wasn’t some newbie. She knew what the fuck she was doing. And she was known for (and admired for) her professionalism, her research, her attention to detail, and her ability to portray artists in an authentic light. That’s why she had won awards. That’s why she was one of the most sought-after journalists at Zeitgeist. That’s why her magazine had sent her to do this story.

But yet, when it came to Inuyasha Masaki, was suddenly so easy to just throw all that out the fucking window, wasn’t it?


Kagome opened the door to her room and practically fell through the door. Now that she was alone, and away from any potential prying eyes, she collapsed onto the couch, her body finally allowed to tremble from the way that Inuyasha had worked her over so thoroughly—and so well. She needed to get to the bathroom to clean herself up (ugh, did she really just say those words, even in her head?), but right now? All she could do was let herself come down from that high, and think.

She knew. She was compromising herself, and this story, by letting him get to her like this. By letting him touch her, tease her, kiss her, bite her, make her orgasm like she was eighteen years old and she had never been touched that way before. She didn’t know why she lost her head so completely around him, but for some reason, he moved her in ways she had not ever been moved by another person. 

Not even Shiori.

Kagome sighed as she thought about her ex. She had loved Shiori, a bat hanyō with extraordinary hearing and the ability to create impressive sound barriers. She was a concert pianist who Kagome met when she was writing music reviews for The New Yorker early on in her career. Things between them had been passionate, and intense, and Kagome had been devastated when they broke up. Kagome had been offered a job working for a magazine in LA, and it was definitely a step up from music reviews, and she had jumped at the opportunity. But, it meant leaving New York, and Shiori, and in the end she had done it, even though she was pretty sure that they were in love.

Shiori had thought even more than that, though: she had thought that she and Kagome were mates.

From what Shiori had told Kagome, yōkai recognized their soulmates when their yōki called out to the other person. However, for yōkai who had human soulmates, while their yōki would still reach out for the other person, humans (who didn’t have yōki) would feel more of an intense longing (which Kagome definitely had for Shiori). Everything seemed to indicate that they were, indeed, soulmates, except...Shiori’s yōki didn’t call out for Kagome. But still, Shiori insisted that it was because of her status as a hanyō—that maybe she didn’t react to her soulmate like other yōkai did?

But if they were soulmates, Kagome often thought later, would it have been so easy for her to leave?

In the end, Shiori had done everything in her power to try and get Kagome to stay. She had cajoled, teased, threatened, yelled, cried. Shiori’s yōkai instincts were strong, even though she was a hanyō, and Kagome felt terrible about breaking Shiori’s heart. She knew that yōkai tended to be affectionate, loving, and possessive...that they spent their lives searching for their mates, for their life partner. Shiori was so sure that Kagome was her soulmate, but the lure of a new job had ultimately outweighed Kagome’s love for Shiori, and Kagome knew that was also ultimately unfair: to Shiori, and to their relationship. 

So, she had ended things, and while she had cried, and eaten a lot of chips and chocolate, and drunk way too much wine, she knew that her pain wasn’t even half of what Shiori felt, and that was what actually made her feel the worst.

Since Shiori, there hadn’t really been anyone for her, even though she’d definitely had interest (both on her side and on the side of others). She was way more interested in music, and her career, and making a name for herself, which she did, quite illustriously. 

But now...she had the name, and she had the reputation, but she didn’t have companionship, or love. And three days ago, she would have said that was fine. 

Until Inuyasha Masaki kissed her. Until he kissed her, and he wormed his way into her heart. 

A heart that had been opening up to him since the first time she laid eyes on him; a heart that was now jettisoning towards him, no matter how much she wanted to try and stop it.

A heart that was leading her down a path where now, she didn’t know what to do.

Kagome sighed, and rubbed her face, and stood up. She stripped down, leaving her clothes on the hotel room floor, and went into the bathroom to get cleaned up. She turned on the shower, held her hand under the water, and waited for it to be nice and hot. She stepped in, and turned the stream full onto her face, closing her eyes.

She wanted to write this story. She needed to write this story. But...she couldn’t write it with a certain inu hanyō hanging over her every second of the day, his golden eyes twinkling, his face smirking at her, like he knew every single one of her secrets. Which he didn’t. But the way she was going, she was gonna spill every single thing about herself to him before the first week was over. Including how she liked to be fucked. 

And he had a piercing there. How would that feel, massaging her walls? Just the thought was making her weak for him all over again.

Kagome smacked herself in the face, twice. Hard. Get it together, Kagome. You’ve got a job to do, and if you don’t put Inuaysha’s dick out of your mind immediately, you’re going to have to give this article up.

And that was the last thing she wanted to do. She did not want to give up this story. She couldn’t. She’d done all the work; she was ready to write. 

She needed to write this story.

So Kagome washed herself, washed the remnants of Inuyasha Masaki from her body, and resolved to avoid him at all costs, except for professional settings, and to put an immediate end to any teasing. 

She turned off the shower, grabbed a towel, and stepped out. Kagome walked up to the mirror and wiped the steam away with her hands, meaning to brush her teeth and get rid of the last of Inuyasha’s taste in her mouth. 

And...that was when she noticed it.

A giant, red bite mark on her shoulder. 

FUCK!” Kagome shrieked. “That bastard!

It looked like she wasn’t fully cleansing her body of him anytime soon.

She was avoiding him. She was absolutely fucking avoiding him.

To the point where it was distracting.

On stage, he was supposed to be singing, making love to the thousands of men and women in the audience. He was supposed to be completely captivated by them, and only them. But yet, every word that dropped from his lips, every pluck of the bass...was for her. He found that she was constantly dancing on the edges of his thoughts, a delectable piece of ass who he couldn’t seem to push from his thoughts. 

He...wasn’t like this. Since Kikyō, no one had held his attention. Women and men hit on him, flashed him, begged him to fuck them, but none of them had seemed to measure up to Kikyō. None of them were as beautiful, as alluring, as distant. None of them held his dick in their hands.

Until Kagome Higurashi walked into his green room, and he blew smoke in her face, and she fucking took it—and took his cock right along with it. And now, every time he sang on stage, every time he played a solo, he was looking around for her, hoping to catch her eye, hoping to show her how fucking awesome he was.

Because for some reason, some reason he couldn’t quite understand, he found himself wanting to impress her, wanting to hold her attention at all times. His yōki was demanding it, and he...he fucking hated it. He hadn’t been such a puppy for anyone since Kikyō, and he was trying to keep it that way. And yet...Kagome Higurashi had somehow wormed her way into his mind, and his heart, and now, goddammit, he just wanted her out.

But he couldn’t let her go.

He saw how she was ignoring him. He saw how she was trying to pay attention to other members of the band—Shippō, especially, the little punk—how she was trying to get to know everyone. For her story, he supposed. Which made sense. He knew that she needed to have a full picture of the band in order to write the most “authentic” (or whatever the fuck she called it) story. He totally understood what she needed to do. And maybe, just maybe, he even understood why she wanted to pull back from him.

It didn’t mean he had to like it.

So he decided: as much as she wanted to pull back, he was gonna push forward. As much as she wanted to keep it professional, he was gonna try to make it less so.

Because he wanted her, dammit, and Inuyasha Masaki always got what he wanted. 

No matter the cost. 

Kagome stood in the wings of the arena, watching Sango’s drum solo, Kikyō close by. Kikyō had her earpiece in, and a mic, and was anxiously making demands of the sound mixers, trying to get the level of bass just right. The rest of the band had gone offstage to take a breather, and after Sango’s solo, Inuyasha and Miroku would get their chance to play a song or two together. Kagome knew the set list: after Inuyasha and Miroku’s little set, Shippō would join them, and then Sango would come back, and they would play a few songs together before the finale. 

Kagome liked watching Sango play. There weren’t a lot of female drummers with such high-profile bands, and more often than not, they weren’t given that much to do. But Inutachi recognized Sango’s talent, and liked to put her on display. And Sango always delivered: her licks were solid and crisp, and she executed her rolls and double rolls with finesse. Kagome was in awe.

“She’s pretty good, don’t ya think?” A gruff whisper tickled her neck, and Kagome jumped nearly a mile. She turned, and there was Inuyasha behind her, acoustic guitar in hand, his face inches from her throat. She immediately flushed from his heat, from his closeness, and her body shivered. Kagome shook her head slightly, trying to regroup; she needed him away from her, and fast. So she gave him a little shove, and he took a step back, his face reflecting his confusion, his hair tied back in a bun, his ears twitching.
“What’s the big deal?” he asked, his eyebrows narrowing. His voice dropped. “Ya didn’t mind me so close to ya yesterday.” 

“That was yesterday,” she said. “This is today.”

He tried to nuzzle her neck, but to no avail. “Come on, Kagome,” he cajoled her, “why don’t ya relax a little?”

She huffed. “You know why, Inuyasha,” she replied. “I’m here for a job.”

“And I’m here to have fun,” he retorted. “So why don’t we have some fun?”

“You’re on,” Kikyō said abruptly, giving both of them a dirty look. Kagome rolled her eyes; Inuyasha flashed her a grin before jogging out onto the stage, a grin that went right to the heat of her sex. She keened a little, but pulled herself back up straight and refused to wilt under Kikyō’s withering glare.

“You’re not the first, you know,” Kikyō murmured to Kagome. 

Kagome turned to Kikyō, surprised. “The first what?”

“The first journalist who’s tried to get into his pants,” Kikyō replied. “The first journalist who wanted to fuck him. The first journalist who came sniffing around looking for a story and found something else that they liked better.” 

“I’m here for the story, Kikyō,” Kagome shot back. “I’m here to cover the band, and that’s it.”

“Sure you are,” Kikyō murmured, but turned her attention back to the band. Kagome did the same. 

Inuyasha and Miroku were now on stage; Sango was in the other wing, drinking water and watching her partner with the softest expression that Kagome had ever seen her wear. Kagome found herself sighing at the sight. As if on cue, Inuyasha turned to her, flashed her a grin, then turned to the microphone.

“This one is dedicated to a very special person,” he said, his voice deep, and gruff, and already threatening to heat Kagome’s body from the inside out. “You know who you are, and you know exactly what you do to me.”

He stood up, dropped his guitar, and took the microphone off the stand, cradling it between his hands. He turned slightly to Kagome, winked, and then turned to Miroku, and nodded. Miroku started to play, slowly and sweetly, strumming the guitar with his eyes closed. His fingers caressed the strings, and Inuyasha closed his eyes too, and leaned into this microphone. 

There’s a place in my dreams
Where I go sometimes
Where I see just your face
But it’s not what it seems

It’s cold, and it’s dark
And your hand’s over mine
As you caress my cheek
You smile and you whisper
“It’s time”

Kagome’s breath caught; she couldn’t help it. His voice was smooth, and silky; it danced over the lyrics, and hit the high notes with an ease that Kagome didn’t see from many artists. His eyes were closed; he was singing into the microphone with a passion Kagome rarely saw. 

And then, his eyes opened; they looked out into the audience, but Kagome watched as he slowly, almost imperceptibly, turned his head towards the wings. His eyes were a molten amber; they were burning with a fire she had only seen when he was looking at her. They were burning...for her. 

Alt title text

Artwork by kalcia

The keys are your heart
The keys are your soul
But I slammed them shut
And I walked away from it all 

And when I see you in the night
I’m sorry for letting go
I’d like to think you’d understand
But you can’t tell me, I can’t ever know

Kagome felt the blush starting in her chest and blooming upward. The heat in his eyes—the fire that was burning there—was making her hot, so hot—

She tugged at her shirt, trying to let in some air.

“What is that on your neck, Kagome?” Kikyō said, leaning over and peering at her neck. 

Kagome yelped and moved her shirt back. She’d worn something to cover that stupid bite, but had forgotten in the moment and moved her collar to try and release some of the heat spreading throughout her body. Kikyō’s eyes narrowed.

“I told you,” Kikyō said, shifting back to her feet and crossing her arms, “you’re not the first.” But Kagome saw that Kikyō had paled, and her lips pursed, and that made Kagome immediately suspicious.

Why was Kikyō pale? Why was her face pinched? Kagome’s eyes couldn’t help but narrow. The things that Kikyō was saying...they didn’t add up. She was saying that people were trying to come on to Inuyasha, and that he welcomed it? That seemed like a lie. No one was allowed in the green room before or after the show; Inuyasha never expressed interest in anyone who hit on him (she saw Inuyasha and Shippō at clubs and saw them interact with women and with men; while people were touchy-feely with him, he never was with them). Something...something was not right.

And then Inuyasha looked directly at Kagome, and she could feel the electricity radiating off his gaze. She could feel that...every word he was singing? They weren’t for the masses. They weren’t for the audience there that night. 

They were for her. 

And as much as she felt drawn to him—as much as she felt as though the red string of fate had looped itself around their wrists and was drawing them together, more and more, all the time—him? Singing just for her?

Kagome still wasn’t sure how she felt about that. 

He was watching her; he was always watching her.

After the show, Kagome sauntered into the green room, and slid into a seat next to Shippō. She poured him a whiskey, poured herself a whiskey, and then started talking to Shippō in hushed tones. Her gray eyes kept flickering towards Inuyasha; when he smirked at her, she frowned and returned her attention solely to Shippō.

Inuyasha growled and ripped off his sweat-laden t-shirt. He tossed it aside and crossed his arms over his bare chest, his claws on his right hand driving into his skin. He’d put his fucking heart out there for her. He’d sung a song for her—just for her!—and how often did he do that? 

Never. He’d never even sung a song for Kikyō. 

But Kagome...the pulling away was driving him fucking insane. 

He couldn’t explain why, but there was something about her...something that made his blood boil and made his entire body burn with a passion and a longing he had never felt. The first time he met her, he’d been a jackass (he knew this and could totally own it), but he felt an inextricable pull toward her, even as—especially as—she pulled away from him.

If she wanted to play games, he could play games. If she wanted to keep her distance, he would let her.

But he was also going to make her regret it.

Kikyō had never played games with him; it had always been clear that she was into him, but also, that she was only willing to fuck him on his human nights (and look where the fuck that got him). Other people wanted his dick, but he wasn’t interested in other people.

But his interests had gone as such:
No one.
No one.
Kagome fucking Higurashi.

And the last one pissed him off the most, because she was the one he wanted the most. She was the one who he couldn’t control himself around. She was the one he wanted to touch, taste, feel, and smell, all the time. She was near? He had to initiate some kind of contact. She was in the same vicinity as him? He had to track her, watch her, wait for the right moment to make a move on her. 

Except she didn’t seem to want that anymore.

At least, her mind was relaying that message. Her body? It was completely different.

Even now, the gingery scent was clear in how it radiated off her body. He could sure as fuck smell it; he knew the runt could sure as fuck smell it. And no fucking way did she smell like that because of Shippō.

No; she smelled like that because she was aroused. By him, Inuyasha.

And that was why he was both impatient and patient. Impatient because he wanted to get her to the nearest empty room and fuck her until she couldn’t walk; his instincts were clamoring at him to take her, now . But patient because he knew she had a job to do and shit, and his human side was urging him to take it slow with her, to let her feel her way into what she wanted with him. To let her write her article, to maintain the respectful distance that she wanted. To do it right.

His hanyō side? Was tired of both those fuckers, and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Shippō shouted with laughter over something that Kagome said; Inuyasha scowled and stalked over to them. 

“What’s so fucking funny?” he demanded. Shippō and Kagome looked up at him, innocent-eyed. 

“Nothing,” Shippō said, his eyes darting over to Kagome, who snickered, her eyes lingering on his bare chest, making his breath catch just the slightest bit. 

Inuyasha snorted. “Yeah, right, runt,” he said, pouring himself a glass of whiskey and downing it immediately. He looked at Kagome, who blinked at him. He slammed the glass down on the table. “Come on,” he said roughly to Shippō, “we’re going out.”

Shippō looked at Kagome, who shrugged. He pushed back the chair and stood up. “Sure,” he said casually. “Let’s go.” 

“Are you going to a club?” Miroku called out. Inuyasha gave a short nod, and he stood up too. “Count me in,” he said. 

“Me too,” Sango said, standing as well. 

Inuyasha shot a triumphant look at Kagome, who sighed and stood up too.

“Fine,” she said. “Where are we going?”

Inuyasha smirked. “Who the fuck knows?” he said. “We’re going to get drunk.”

Inuyasha could not stop grinning. He could not stop grinning.

He was watching Kagome from across the club. She was sitting at the bar, sipping a Manhattan, looking impossibly bored, which made him smile even more.

He’d wanted to get her away from the hotel, from the concert venue. He wanted to show her how desirable he was, how much people wanted him. 

He was wearing his concealment charm, because he couldn’t be seen in public without it. Not after what he’d done. He’d promised Miroku he wouldn’t go out without it anymore.

But that didn’t mean that he couldn’t still have fun.

He was the center of attention at the table: even human, he was massively attractive, to humans and demons alike. Everyone had jostled to get close to him, but he was careful to keep Shippō to his left and Miroku to his right. He...liked the attention, but he also liked to have a buffer. To protect him from too much unwanted attention. 

Attention which he normally didn’t want, but tonight? When he was trying to get a rise out of Kagome?

Maybe some extra attention was exactly what he needed.

Inuyasha ordered shots for all of them, and smiled and gave a mock bow as the table burst into applause. He also ordered a shot sent over to Kagome, who looked at it suspiciously, but when he raised a glass to her, she saw and nodded, and they took the shot together, Inuyasha’s violet eyes gleaming at her. 

Yes. He wanted her focus to be solely on him. And he was going to do whatever it took to get her to notice him, to pay attention to him, like she had before.

He turned to Shippō. “Oi, runt,” he said. “Go see how she’s doing, okay?” His face settled into a smirk. “Let’s see how she likes what’s about to happen next.”

Shippō looked at Inuyasha. “What are you…?” he asked. Inuyasha grinned at him, flashing two rows of brilliant teeth; if he wasn’t wearing a concealment charm, Shippō was sure his fangs would have been dripping.

He sighed. “Sure,” he said, and stood up, pushing his way around the table. Inuyasha smirked and, with his buffer now gone, grabbed a pretty young woman with her hair cut into a sharp bob and pulled her into his lap. “What’s your name, beautiful?” he asked her. 

“Yura,” she said, blushing as he ruffled her hair.

“Yura,” he said. “Name’s Yash. Let’s see about getting you a drink, huh?”

Inuyasha didn’t miss how Shippō rolled his eyes before he stalked away, but fuck, he really didn’t care. He waved the waiter over. “Another round of shots,” he said. “A martini for the lady. And…” his eyes sauntered over to where Kagome was sitting at the bar. “Another shot for the one at the bar, okay?”

The waiter nodded, and walked away.

“You’re buying shots for someone at the bar?” Yura asked, her brows furrowing as she snuggled into him.

Inuyasha laughed. “Just someone I know,” he said casually, flicking his long black hair over his shoulder. He leaned forward and nuzzled her neck; she giggled. “Now,” he said, “suppose you tell me all about yourself.”

Kagome, meanwhile, watched the table with mild interest, trying not to yawn. It was late—1am probably—and while she certainly wasn’t a prude when it came to the time, she felt like it had been a long day, and she wanted to get home, put some ointment on that stupid fucking bite, and get to bed.

And hope that she could get through at least one day without wanting to fuck the shit out of Inuyasha Masaki. 

She sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. One thing I will do, she thought, is get my notes in order so I can think about who I can pass this story off to if I can’t control myself.

The bartender dropped a shot in front of her. Kagome looked at him skeptically. “From your friend over there,” he said, pointing at the table. Kagome turned, and followed the bartender’s finger. She saw Inuyasha, his violet eyes on her, even as he nuzzled the neck of a female demon with a severe bob. It might have been her imagination, but he seemed to be beckoning her, even as his lips were on another woman.

The rage that she felt bubbling up in her throat made her want to smash that woman’s face in, but she couldn’t. She was Kagome Higurashi, lead music journalist at Zeitgeist, someone that musicians spilled their deepest, darkest secrets to. She was not some groupie who dropped her pants at the first sight of a hot guy with a guitar; she was also not some teenager who threw her bra on stage. She was an adult woman, a professional, and a fucking badass writer. 

So why was this pissing her off so goddamn much? Why did the sight of him with another woman make her want to kick someone’s teeth in? 

No. She couldn’t do that. She couldn’t do anything.

Oh, wait. Yes, she could. Kagome grabbed that shot off the bar, downed it in one swoop, slammed the glass on the counter, and followed it with a swig of her Manhattan. The double burning of the whiskey made her sputter and cough a little, but it brought her brain from the image of Inuyasha’s pierced dick in her face and back to the nightclub. She refused to look back at the table, where she knew he was still sitting, that little bitch in his lap, but his eyes still focused on her.

“Did you enjoy that?” a cheery voice said next to Kagome. She turned, and there was Shippō, perched on the bar stool, his big green eyes sparkling at her. 

“Hey,” she said, smiling, and sipping her Manhattan. “What’s up?”

“Rum and Diet Coke,” Shippō said to the bartender, who nodded. Shippō turned to Kagome. “He insisted that we send one to you.”

“That was nice of him,” Kagome grimaced. 

“It’s weird,” Shippō commented, looking back at where Inuyasha was sitting with Miroku and Sango, a group of men and women sitting around him, Inuyasha the clear center of attention at the table. Sango and Inuyasha were talking animatedly about something, Yura still snuggled in his lap, and Shippō smiled softly. “He’s trying so hard to impress you, and he never tries to impress anyone.”

Kagome shrugged. “I don’t know why he would care,” she replied.

“I don’t know either,” Shippō said, looking hard at her. “I can’t figure it out.”

“And I guess if you can’t figure it out,” she said, “I guess that no one can.”

“What does that mean?” Shippō’s green eyes grew hard. 

“You’re his adopted son,” Kagome said. “So shouldn’t you know his motivations better than anyone else?”

The bartender brought Shippō his rum and Diet Coke, and he sipped it thoughtfully. “I can’t explain what he’s thinking here,” he said at last. “But then again, when it comes to love interests, I never seem to be able to predict what’s going on with him.”

“Like his supposed relationship with Kikyō?” Kagome asked him.

Shippō blushed and turned his eyes down. “Maybe,” was all he would say.

Kagome frowned, and looked across the club at Inuyasha, Miroku, and Sango. The rumor that Inuyasha and Kikyō had been involved had never been confirmed by either of them; even for all the time Kagome had spent with the band, she hadn’t heard either of them reference a past relationship. So as far as anyone knew, it was a rumor only, and at least on the surface, Inuyasha was a perpetual bachelor. But was that not the truth? Had he been in love before? Had he been sexually active before? If so, was it with Kikyō? Or maybe someone else?

“How often do Miroku and Sango come out with you?” Kagome asked. “Don’t they usually go back to the hotel after a show?”

“Usually,” Shippō said. “But once in a while Sango likes to party, and Miroku always likes to drink, so here they are.” He stood up, and grabbed his drink. “I’m gonna head back,” he said. “Do you wanna join us?”

Kagome shook her head. “I’m—trying to keep my distance,” she said. “Be professional. Like how it should be.”

Shippō shrugged. “And how’s that working for you?” He leaned into her. “Because from where I’m standing? You’re doing a terrible job. And so is he.” He stood upright again. “Honestly, the two of you should just fuck and get it over with. Then, you’ll be able to get the distance you want to write your article.” He paused; Kagome was sure she was all kind of shades of red. “Just…” he added. “If you know...none of us really want to know about it.” Shippō took a deep breath

“And definitely, definitely, don’t tell Kikyō.”

He turned and walked back to the rest of the band; Kagome saw Inuyasha’s eyes follow Shippō, then drift back over to her. He grinned, and she smiled back tentatively. Inuyasha had won; Kagome knew it, and in this moment, she was happy to give him the victory.

But what did Shippō mean, none of them would want to know? And especially Kikyō? Why should she care about what Inuyasha did in his free time? Kikyō certainly knew about the piercings (including that one that made Kagome’s entire body quiver with anticipation), the tattoos, the drinking, the drugs. She knew about all that. And she didn’t seem to mind—so long as it didn’t interfere with his music, and the tour, why did it matter?

But as Kagome watched Inuyasha interact with Miroku, Sango, Shippō, and the others at the table, she was struck again by the realization that normally, Inuyasha didn’t seem to flirt; he didn’t seem to interact with anyone else as though he were interested. 

What he was doing tonight? Flirting with that girl, sitting her in his lap? Kagome was pretty sure this was all an act. An act for her.

Because the only person he seemed interested in was her .

So why would Kikyō care about that?

Chapter Text


Artwork by kalcia

Kikyō frowned and looked at her laptop calendar, the list of meetings she was about to embark on that day disturbing.

Normally, the amount of work she had in front of her wouldn’t bother her much. It was, after all, what she did, and did best; managing one of the top bands in the world was like having three full-time jobs, and Kikyō’s business hours often started early in the morning and went late into the night. 

But today? Today she couldn’t help feel irritated. By her job. By her clients. By a certain female journalist who was making rapid inroads with her band, but more importantly, with her former lover.

Kagome Higurashi was trouble. Kikyō could tell this even before they met, even before the journalist showed up at the green room the night of the New York show. Kikyo had done everything she could to keep journalists away from her musicians, save for a few interviews here and there that she approved, and it had mostly worked. But as the band became more and more famous, it got harder and harder to make an argument for why they should not allow journalists to get an interview. The truth was, or had been, that she didn’t want Inuyasha to spill the secrets of their relationship; at the time, he’d been hopelessly in love, and while she had been interested in him, she was unwilling to commit to anything long-term, especially not with a half-demon. 

Especially not when she had someone else her heart was yearning for.

Back then, her reasons for keeping the relationship secret had been to protect herself, and to protect Inuyasha; now, her reasons were entirely self-serving. She knew that at this point Inuyasha would tell just about anyone who would listen about their past relationship, and while he certainly didn’t mind confessing all to the media at this point in time, she certainly didn’t want him to. How bad would it look if the rumors were confirmed? That she had slept with her client, and then that things had ended the way that they had?

No. It was better to do all she could to fend off reporters. 

But she hadn’t been able to do it forever. As the band rocketed to fame, Kikyō found it harder and harder to get the stiff shirts in upper management to see things her way. And once Inutachi hit this most recent tour, and with the charity concert with Kōga coming up, there was really no longer a way for her to say no. All she could do was smile, and nod, and grimace when she heard that Zeitgeist was sending Kagome Higurashi, their top journalist, friend to musicians throughout the industry. Because Kikyō had read Kagome’s work, and she knew: Kagome Higurashi didn’t fuck around. She did her research, and she was an authentic writer; she was someone who was going to make sure that the musicians were accurately portrayed, and that the story was told well. She was an excellent writer, and Kikyō didn’t know how the hell she was gonna get Kagome Higurashi to lay off.

A tentative knock at her hotel door had Kikyō jumping from her spot on the couch. Who could it be so early? she wondered, and her body immediately tensed at the thought that it could be something about Inuyasha, or one of the other band members. She flew to the door and wrenched it open, only to gape at the person standing there.

Kikyō sighed. “What do you want?”

Kagome shuffled on her feet; a little nervous perhaps? Kikyō’s face shifted into what she hoped was a polite smile. 

“Hi,” Kagome said. “I was wondering if we could make some time to chat?”

“On or off the record?” Kikyō asked.

“Both,” Kagome replied immediately. “Or, whichever you prefer. You can tell me as we go, and I promise, anything you say off the record won’t make it into an article.”

Kikyō considered the woman before her. Did she honestly think that Kikyō was a fool? 

“I seriously doubt that,” Kikyō said glibly. “You’re a reporter; all reporters do the same thing. They search for the truth, and when they find it, they expose it. No matter how that might impact other people. Consequences be damned, right? If you can get the scoop, you’ll go for it. You might think that you’re different, Kagome Higurashi,” Kikyō added when Kagome’s mouth opened to protest, “you might think you have a different angle, but really? You’re just like the rest of them.”

“Give me a chance to prove you wrong, Kikyō,” Kagome responded quietly. “I can show you that you’re not seeing the whole picture here.”

“Oh,” said Kikyō, anger seeping into her tone, “I am seeing the whole picture. Perfectly. You think you can waltz in here, make friends with the band, get them to spill their deepest, darkest, secrets to you? To get them to tell you secrets about me? About each other?” Kikyō laughed audibly. “Come off it, Kagome,” she said, “and get real . No one here thinks that a journalist has an ounce of integrity in their bodies, and all your empty words and silly prostrations fall short.”

“I only fall short when I can’t get the whole story,” Kagome said heatedly. “And this time? I’ll get the whole story.” She stepped away from Kikyō and went into the hallway. “You’ll see, Kikyō,” Kagome said one last time. “I will get the whole story, but it won’t have your point of view. You won’t be able to respond to anything that anyone has said about you, and you won’t have a voice in this article. And as the manager, you should have a voice in it, and in shaping it, but this time? I’m going to include your refusal to work with me in my notes, and will have to rely on the rest of the band, and maybe some of the crew, to shape my story.”

“Fine.” Kikyō really didn’t care. So long as Kagome got the fuck out of her hotel room.

“Fine.” Kagome shot Kikyō a look, but didn’t press. Good move. “I’ll see ya around, I guess.” Kagome paused. “Let me know if you change your mind,” she added. “I’m always glad to talk.”

Kikyō rolled her eyes, and slammed the door in Kagome’s face.


Kagome, meanwhile, was perplexed.

She knew that Kikyō didn’t like her, but the way that the woman had slammed the door in Kagome’s face? It was rude; it was unprofessional, and above all, it was just plain wrong. Kagome had done nothing to irk Kikyō; she had done nothing except be an excellent journalist who did her research and covered her fucking tracks. And this was the thanks she got? A door slammed in her face?

Oh, fucking hell, no.

Kagome stalked the hallway of the hotel floor, trying to figure out where to go first. Who should she talk to? She needed to know what was up between Inuaysha and Kikyō, and neither of whom were talking, that was for sure. Miroku and Sango...what might they know? Kagome shook her head: probably nothing much. She could try them, though, and see if they knew anything worthwhile.

Shippō, though...Kagome paused and rested her head against the wall of the hallway. Shippō was an...interesting...choice. Inuyasha’s adopted son, he would surely know something about Inuyasha and Kikyō: what happened, and when, and why.

Kagome took a quick look at her phone; it was 10:30, which meant that Shippō would just be getting up, and he would be ravenous.

The buffet closed at 11; she had to move quickly if she wanted to get food back to Shippō before he woke up. She figured, a full Shippō would equal a talkative Shippō, which would equal a satisfying of Kagome’s thirst for knowledge when it came to Kikyō Kimura.

Kagome rushed to the hotel restaurant; she gave her room number to the hostess at the lectern, then made her way over to the buffet. She surveyed the buffet carefully; she had to make sure that she had just the combination of food that would make Shippō talk. But what would that be?

She thought back to the night before. Shippō had been drinking...a lot. He would probably want...hangover food. 

Yes, definitely hangover food.

Kagome went to the hot food. There were sausages that looked decent; she picked up a to-go box and put several sausages in it, along with some home fries. The scrambled eggs she looked at suspiciously, then shook her head (one never knew about hotel buffet eggs). She went over to the pastries; they had some beautiful cinnamon rolls, so she took another to-go box and filled it with cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, and a bagel (she also added cream cheese and butter, not sure which he would prefer). She then grabbed some of the to-go utensils, which she put in the box with the pastries, and she stacked the boxes and balanced them on one hand. With the other, she took a coffee cup from the stack, and looked at her coffee choices. 

“Dark Colombian roast,” she murmured, sliding the cup under the spout and pressing the “start” button. She watched the coffee drip into the cup, her mind wandering. 

What kinds of questions could she ask Shippō to get the information that she wanted? How might she manage to get him to open up to her? 

Kagome sighed. She felt compelled to do this. She needed to know: what was it about Inuyasha and Kikyō’s relationship that had made him the way that he was? Was she just a controlling manager? Was their relationship sexual, like many assumed, and did it go south, also like many assumed? She sighed; the coffee dinged, and she took a sleeve, set the coffee in it, then grabbed a lid and pressed it down on the top. 

Kagome expertly balanced all her boxes and her coffee and left the restaurant to head back to the elevator. She used her elbow to press the up button, and then waited patiently for the elevator doors to open. She got inside, pressed “5” (again with her elbow), and rode up to the fifth floor, alone with her thoughts, which were full of Inuyasha. 

The man was obnoxious, yes . But also incredibly sexy, and he seemed to gravitate towards her, for some reason? And holy fuck, she kept seeming to gravitate right back towards him (her ovaries was certainly crying out for him nonstop). He was the focus of her story—her editor could say that it was the band, but they both knew that it was Inuyasha Masaki that the readership thirsted after, that they craved more and more content on. And the pressure on Kagome to deliver a stellar article was high. She felt confident she could do it, but she needed to maintain her self-control and not allow Inuyasha to distract her anymore.

Kagome’s best weapon against distraction? That was knowledge.

And she intended to get as much of that as she could.

Shippō’s hotel room was at the end of the hallway; she balanced the takeout boxes on her knee, then knocked on the door: once, twice, three times. She pressed her ear to the door, and when she didn’t hear anything, she knocked again. This time she heard a, “What the fuck , Inuyasha? Do you know what fucking time it is ?” and she couldn’t help but giggle at what she imagined Shippō’s face would look like when he opened the door. 

There was the click of the lock, the sliding of the deadbolt, and the door yanked open. Shippō stood before her, his red hair sticking out every which way, his big green eyes cloudy with sleep, his fangs dripping from where he’d been drooling. He was…

Oh, god . Kagome tried to look every way but at him, and failed miserably.

Shippō was naked.
No. No. That was wrong. He wasn’t naked.
He was wearing…
Were those Spider-Man boxer briefs?


Artwork by kalcia

Kagome eeped and immediately turned her head away. She heard Shippō working his mouth calmly, and she turned back to see him standing there, staring at her, his eyes focused on the boxes in her left hand and the coffee in her right.

“Are those for me?” he asked her.

Kagome nodded. “I—I thought you might need a little pick-me-up after last night?” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

Shippō chuckled. “Fuck,” he said, “you’re fucking right.” He stepped out of the way. “Come in,” he said, “it’s a mess, but you can come in.” 

Kagome walked past him into the hotel room. It was smaller than Inuyasha’s, with a couch, a television and dresser, a queen-size bed, and a bathroom. 

“It’s not much,” he said, as though he could read her mind, “but at least it’s  mine. Inuyasha used to make me room with him on the road, but when he and Kikyō…”

Kagome turned her eyes on him, but he immediately stilled and sat on the couch. “You brought me food?” he said instead.

Kagome nodded. “Yup,” she replied, pushing the boxes towards him. “And coffee.”

Shippō accepted the cup gratefully and popped the lid open. He leaned forward and inhaled. “Dark roast,” he said to her. “Black?” When she nodded again, he moaned audibly and drank it gratefully. “This is not terrible,” he said. “Thank you for it.”

Kagome set the boxes side-by-side on the couch between them. She opened them each, one at a time; she saw Shippō’s eyes widen as he set the coffee on the ground and took the takeaway utensils to open them. 

“ brought me sausage? And home fries? And cinnamon rolls?” Shippō’s eyes were eagerly trying to devour everything in front of him at once.

Kagome laughed. “I just took a guess on what you would like,” she said. “I know you were out late last night.”

Shippō laughed too, and dug into the sausage, eating it in large bites off the fork. “This is also not terrible, Kagome,” he said in between bites. He took some home fries, too, his lips smacking as he ate those eagerly, as well. “I might not have a headache today,” he added, helping himself to more sausage and home fries, and sipping more of his coffee.

“Shippō?” Kagome said. He grunted a reply and then picked up one of the cinnamon rolls, starting to make quick work of that, too. “You said that Inuyasha used to make you room with him on the road?” Shippō’s emerald eyes turned to her suspiciously, so Kagome followed up quickly. “Is it because he’s your adopted dad? He didn’t want you to be far from him?”

Shippō started laughing... hard. “Are you for fucking real, Higurashi? Inuyasha is not someone who is exactly nurturing,” Shippō told her. “Have you seen his social media?”

“I...I have,” she replied, a smile creeping across her face as well. “You’re right. He’s not exactly fatherly material, is he?”

Shippō snorted. “You got that fucking right,” he replied. “Hey,” he added suddenly, looking up at her, “you want any of this?”

Kagome smiled. “No, but thanks for asking,” she told him. He shrugged and helped himself to the second cinnamon bun.

“So why did Inuyasha adopt you, if you don’t mind my asking?” Kagome pressed. She’d come to learn about Inuyasha and Kikyō, but maybe this was another possible way in. 

Shippō’s hand paused halfway to his mouth, the cinnamon roll stuck mid-air. “You like really want to know?” he asked her. “Off the record?”

Kagome nodded. “I don’t have any equipment with me anyway. So anything you say here is confidential. If later you decide you want to tell you story, we’ll do it the right way.”

He smiled and took a huge bite of his roll. “I was just a little kid, yeah? My parents…” he frowned. “They were killed by robbers who broke into our house. My dad was a kitsune leader, and he had a pelt that belonged to my great-great grandfather. The pelt was said to have special powers that granted the owner long life—which isn’t true because kitsune live for fucking ever anyway—but let’s just say people were very interested in the pelt. And two bastards—the Thunder Brothers, they called themselves—broke into our house. My dad hid me with the pelt in our secret room, but they killed my dad. And my mom. And then they tore the house apart looking for the pelt.” Shippō smiled sadly. “They never found it. Or me.”

“Shippō!” Kagome’s heart was breaking. For a young man with such a tough exterior, he had certainly had a tragic life.

“It’s okay,” Shippō said quickly. “I mean, it’s not really okay, but it’s okay, you know? I got out of the room, I took the pelt, and I left.” He paused. “I was a kid. I was too stupid to take anything else, so pretty quickly? I got hungry and started begging. Sometimes people gave me money, and sometimes they bought me food.” He turned his big green eyes on her and blinked. “I’m pretty fucking cute, you know,” he added. Kagome giggled, and so did he.

“After a few months of wandering like that, I got caught by the police. They stopped me, and were about to take me downtown to wait for a social worker when Inuyasha stopped them. Said he was my older brother, and that he’d been looking everywhere for me. When the cops questioned why we didn’t look alike, Inuyasha just said, ‘not all siblings look alike,’ and left it at that. They queried him further, but Inuyasha had a smooth answer for everything. Eventually the cops let him go, and he brought me back to his apartment. Back then he lived in a little place in the West Village—”

“New York?” Kagome interrupted.

“Yup,” Shippō said. “I lived on the Upper East side until…” he voice caught, and he couldn’t finish the sentence. Kagome reached out and squeezed his arm affectionately, and he smiled. 

“Anyway. Inuyasha brought me home, fed me, clothed me, put me back in school. He helped me out so much,” Shippō continued. “He was working as a bartender at a little place on Bleecker Street, and they used to let me come hang out at the bar after school. I’d do my homework sitting at the bar, and the customers used to try to help, but they were either stupid or drunk so they couldn’t do much for me. But I loved it.” Shippō smiled. “He used to play open mic nights and little festivals around the city, always bringing me, always hiding me so he wouldn’t get in trouble. When I was 11 he started teaching me to play piano; he said he should have gotten me lessons because he sucks, but honestly I think he’s the most beautiful pianist I’ve ever heard. His mother taught him; did you know that?”

Kagome did not. She hadn’t even known that Inuyasha could play the piano at all.

“Almost immediately he started the paperwork to become my legal guardian; it took three years, but he persisted. Kept saying he wasn’t gonna let me down, that he knew something about what it was like to lose the only family you knew.” Shippō raised his eyes to meet Kagome’s. “You know his dad died the day he was born,” he added. “And his mom died when he was a kid, too.” Shippō paused. “I think that’s why he doesn’t play the piano much,” he said. “Reminds him too much of her.”

“But he still taught you,” Kagome said in a quiet, respectful voice.

Shippō gave a little harrumph and started on the bagel. “It’s been me and him for so long,” he continued. “Me and him and now the Black Plague.”

Kagome nearly choked on her own saliva. “The Black Plague?” she repeated faintly.

Shippō grinned. “My hamster,” he told her. “And our honorary mascot. He stays in LA at our house; Granny Kaede takes care of him when we’re not there.” He paused. “I love him,” he said after a moment, “but Inuyasha...tolerates him.”

The Black Plague

Artwork by kalcia

Kagome tried very hard not to laugh. “That’s awesome,” she replied. “How about the rest of the band? How did you find them?”

“We found Miroku at one of those open mic nights, and decided we wanted to start a band. Sango…” Shippō barked out a laugh. “Miroku said there was a ‘drummer’ he was interested in. We thought he meant because they were talented. Not that Sango isn’t, bet,” he said quickly when Kagome growled at him. “But as soon as we saw her, we knew exactly why Miroku had suggested her.”

“They weren’t together when the band started?” Kagome asked, surprised.

Shippō shook his head and had another sip of coffee. “It took about two years of solid cajoling to get her to even go out with him without us there,” he replied with a cackle. “But I think he can be pretty persuasive, and within six months they were living together. Miroku wants to get married, but Sango says she wants to wait. For what, I don’t know. But I think he’ll wait forever for her.” Shippō made a gagging noise and then shoved more bagel into his mouth. “The true love stuff is shit, I mean, am I right?”

“Have you ever been in love, Shippō?” Kagome asked gently. “Do you know how it feels?”

“Fuck no!” he snapped. “And I have no intention of falling for anyone. People are assholes, as far as I’m concerned.”

“Has Inuyasha…” This was supposed to be a natural segue way, but she was struggling.

“He sets a bad example, if that’s what you’re asking,” Shippō snarked. “Him and Kikyō.”

“So they did date,” Kagome said.

“I’m—I’m not sure what to call it,” Shippō said. “Only that it fucked up Inu massively for months. He’s still fucked up about it.”

“But something did happen?” Kagome pressed.

Shippō said nothing for a long moment. Finally, he got up, went over to the closet, and Kagome heard the safe clock open. She heard him swear and rummage around for a few minutes, then slam the safe closed. He shut the closet door and came back to her. In his hand was a…

“Here,” he said, shoving an external hard drive at her. “I try and record all my shows, so I can watch my playing, see how I’m doing in terms of pacing, keeping the melody, etc. Watch the shows from six months ago. You follow his IG, I would assume?” Shippō cocked an eyebrow at her. “Big-time journalist that you are?” When Kagome nodded, he sighed. “If you do, you’ll know what show to watch. And see what you see. Off the record though, Higurashi.” He walked towards the door and opened it. “I don’t wanna see my footage end up on any social media pages, got that?”

Kagome clutched the hard drive to her chest. “You have my word,” she said. “No bullshit. This stays between us.”

Shippō nodded. “Good. Now get the fuck out. I’ve gotta get ready for tonight and before that, I’ve got some stuff to take care of.” His wicked grin nearly made her blush. “See you later.” 

Kagome rose from the couch and headed for the door. She looked at Shippō, hard; he stared back at her, his green eyes dark and menacing.

“If you tell anyone this footage exists,” he said, “I’ll tell everyone that you’re fucking aroused by Inuyasha Masaki.”

“How did you…” she said blankly. When he grinned and tapped his nose, she laughed and leaned in close to him.

“Oh, Shippō,” she whispered in his ear.
“You have NO IDEA what I’m aroused by.” 

Kagome sat on her bed, her laptop open, the external hard drive plugged in, her phone open to Inuyasha’s IG account. She immediately knew what Shippō had been referencing in their conversation: that change in his content that had happened, seemingly overnight, six months before. She’d already charted the changes in his account: darker photos, tats, piercings, lots of half-naked photos (including the one with his Prince Albert that nearly literally set the Internet on fire). She found the date of the shift, and Shippō was right: nearly six months ago. She opened the finder window for the external hard drive, and saw that Shippō had labeled all the files by date. Between the IG account posts and the dates on the files, she managed to find the one that she was pretty sure Shippō was talking about. Kagome opened the file, and settled in to see what Shippō wanted her to see.

That’s right , she remembered as the band came onstage in the video, this was Miami. First leg of the tour was Europe and a little bit of the East Coast. As she watched the opening number, she could immediately tell: Inuyasha seemed... different. Off. His singing, normally crisp, his voice dancing over the notes, was either a low, gravelly, grunt, or a high-pitched shriek. There was no in-between. His onstage presence was equally manic; shouting and screaming at the audience enthusiastically (almost too much so, she thought), or leaning heavily over the mic, mumbling his words, barely understandable. 

What was going on?

Sad Panda Inu

Artwork by kalcia

Then, about a third of the way through the footage, it happened. The band was playing one of their big anthems (Kagome had learned that the band liked to intersperse their really big hits instead of playing them all at the end), and Inuyasha just went….well, crazy was the only word she could think of. He bounced around the stage, yelling and shrieking the lyrics, and then, during Miroku’s guitar solo, he took his bass and smashed it into the stage. Repeatedly. Until it was just a mass of splinters. Kagome could see that the band nearly stopped playing; Shippō even made to leave the keyboards to go help his adopted dad. But Inuyasha waved them off, left the stage for a moment, then came back with a new bass, which he promptly started playing again, and which sounded like it needed tuning. But he finished the song, joked to the audience that this bass was “more to his liking,” and launched immediately into the next song.

And so it went for the rest of the footage: Inuyasha manic (he smashed the second bass), the rest of the band looking worried and confused. Kagome could see them all exchanging glances with each other; she almost felt like perhaps they were trying to decide if the show should continue?

Then, it happened. Just a few songs away from the end, Inuyasha and Miroku had their little bro moment on stage, where Miroku would play an acoustic piece and Inuyasha would sing. Kagome recognized the song immediately: it was “Izayoi,” the song that Kagome had read was written about Inuyasha’s mother (the song he had sung for her ), but as she watched, she couldn’t be sure if he wasn’t thinking of someone else that night.

Because as Miroku played, Inuyasha sang, and his voice was raw, full of pain, and hurt, and anger. He gripped the mic stand so tightly Kagome was sure he would break it in half. Then, he stepped away for a moment, and hung his head, his skirt ripped and torn, his hair completely wild. He held his (third) bass in one hand, and with the other, he raised his hand to his face. His shoulders shook as his head bent forward slightly and his ears dropped.

With a start, Kagome realized what was happening, and she gasped loudly. of the great musicians in the of the greatest artists in the world…

Was crying. Onstage. In the middle of a show.

Inuyasha was crying.

Inu Cries

Artwork by kalcia

Kagome’s hands balled into little fists as she watched the rest of the video, where he carried on, but his voice kept choking, breaking...but it was clear that he no longer wanted to be there. He wanted out.

And Kagome had never seen Inuyasha want out of anything, especially not a performance.

But this show? He definitely did.

Kagome growled instinctively; her hackles were raised, and her instincts were insisting that she needed to protect him . To comfort him . Fuck. 

She needed to know:
What the fuck had happened with Kikyō?

Chapter Text

Another bottle, another pill. 
Another bottle.
Jack, Stoli, Jose.
What did it matter?
What did any of it matter? 

Inuyasha threw the bottle aside; it crashed against the edge of the coffee table and the top of the bottle shattered, glass shards flying into the carpet. He grunted, and grabbed the next bottle off the table. He unscrewed the cap, took a deep swig, and grimaced, then groaned, as the heat of the bourbon seared his esophagus.

It had been six months: six months since it all had changed; six months since everything he knew was destroyed; six months since his life became empty as fuck.

Since he became empty as fuck.

Inuyasha tucked a hand behind his head, nestling his claws into his hair. He closed his eyes; maybe, just maybe, he could pass the fuck out and forget this day had ever happened.

Forget that day had ever happened. Six months ago. To the fucking day.

First leg of the tour. They were in...Miami? Fuck. He couldn’t remember.

The show the night before had kicked ass. He and Miroku wailed away; Sango played an epic drum solo; Shippō didn’t fuck up the keyboards. It was a good show. He and Kikyō went back to the hotel and celebrated with champagne, and the promise of the next time they could be together. 

They had been dating over a year. Inuyasha was over the fucking moon. She was cool and businesslike, yes, but she also was warm and loving when they were together. He loved the way she smelled: like persimmons, and cedar. She seemed to prefer his human nights above all others—making sure that they always had sex on his human nights, and often, more than once—but she supported him, encouraged him to do more shows, churn out more albums…

To be the best.
Kikyō wanted him to be the best.

And that made Inuyasha want to be the best, too. So he’d pushed himself to impress her: more gigs, more appearances, more everything. He started an Instagram, and actually had fun doing it. He let Shippō get a damn hamster, and then he let Shippō take fucking pictures of him holding said damn hamster. And he let Shippō name the hamster Black Plague (what the actual fuck?). He took pictures eating ice cream on the beach in Miami. He took pictures arriving at the airport. Everything Kikyō wanted, he and Shippō did, and gladly. 

Because Inuyasha loved Kikyō. He loved her, so fucking much.

The next day, Inuyasha had wanted to snuggle all morning, but Kikyō had begged off to go meet with members of the press and take care of a few other things. She insisted that Inuyasha go to the gym, hang out at the pool, and relax. She’d kissed him as she pushed him out the door, and he was all too glad to go. He hit the gym, then swam in the pool, and he and Shippō challenged Miroku and Sango to a game of chicken (which they of course won). It...had been a good morning.

He left the band to head back to his room and shower, and wait for Kikyō to get back, so he could thank her for getting him out of the room and to hang out with his buddies.

Too bad Kikyō was already there when he got back.

Her grunts were the first thing that Inuyasha heard when he opened the door. His instincts roared to life, and he immediately thought she was in trouble...until the smell of sex hit him hard, so hard he nearly fell over. The smell of Kikyō, persimmons and cedar, but for some reason the smell of the cedar was...stronger. Why?

His instincts took another, more menacing shape, and he flew into the bedroom. 

And what he saw brought him to a complete standstill; his eyes grew wide and his body froze.

Kikyō was on her back, her legs straight in the air, wearing the Louboutin heels that Inuyasha had given her, with a man kneeling behind her, ramming his cock into her. The man was leaning over her, one hand on her hip, one on her clit. She was panting and swearing as the man fucked her soundly.

He...he couldn’t believe what he was smelling. What he was seeing. What he was hearing.

With a roar, Inuyasha picked up the coffee table and lashed it against the doorway, shattering it into pieces. He drove his right hand into the wall, digging his claws into the plaster, and yanked them down, tearing a series of holes where his hand had been. He bellowed Kikyō’s name and ripped the wall apart, his eyes turning red as his demon roared to the surface.

“Inuyasha.” Her voice was deep, and terrible, and quiet. 

Inuyasha whipped around to face Kikyō, who had slipped into a robe and was now standing there facing him. Her dark eyes were cool; her face was unperturbed.

“What the fuck, Kikyō?” he bellowed. “What the fuck is going on in our hotel room? In our fucking hotel bed?”

“Sex, Inuyasha,” she replied coolly. “Sex is what’s been going on in our bed.” She turned to the man beside her; he had pulled on a pair of boxers, and looked incredibly ashamed and embarrassed.

Not that Inuyasha gave a fuck.

“Who—who is he, Kikyō?” Inuyasha spat. He was now gripping the wall, his claws digging into the hole he’d just torn right through it. He was...he was having a hard time breathing, holding onto his sanity.

“Suikotsu,” she replied. “Suikotsu Honda. I met him two years ago; he’s an accountant with the record company. We’ve been dating ever since then.”

“What about us?” Inuyasha gasped, his mind reeling. She’d been dating this...Suikotsu fool?...for two years ? Since before they’d started dating?

Suddenly, the reason that Kikyō smelled of cedar made total sense. This man...Suikotsu... also smelled of cedar. So the whole time, when he thought that he was just smelling Kikyō, he was smelling…


And the thought of that made Inuyasha rage, and growl, and want to tear an even bigger whole in the wall.

“Inuyasha,” said Kikyō, as though talking to a child, “you know very well that what you and I have is nothing. It’s just a business arrangement: manager and artist, having some fun. What you and I have? It’s not anything real, or serious. It never was, and never could be?”

“Why the fuck not?” His voice was low, barely a growl. 

Kikyō sighed and rubbed her temples. “Because,” she answered him, “you’re my client, and I’m your manager. We can’t have a romantic relationship as well as a business one; that’s just not possible. Suikotsu and I—” she turned and looked at her lover, and Inuyasha wanted to either kill them both or throw up (maybe both) “—because I’m on the road so much, it’s been an open relationship, almost since the start. He’s known about you, just like I’ve known about the other women he’s had sex with, since the beginning. We’ve kept things open, and honest, and it has worked for us.” She paused. “Although maybe,” she added thoughtfully, “it’s time that we put an end to that openness.” She smiled, and stroked Suikotsu’s cheek; Inuyasha saw the man close his eyes and embrace her. 

“Kikyō.” Inuyasha was growling; his fangs were bared, and he was livid. “Please. Please then: tell me. Just what have we been doing for the past year?” He roared, and tore off another piece of the wall in his fury. Suikotsu shivered and stepped behind Kikyō, who continued to look at Inuyasha calmly and coolly. 

“We have been having sex, Inuyasha, nothing more,” Kikyō replied. “And, it’s been sex on your human nights, or did you not notice that?”

He had, but he thought that was coincidence or something? He couldn’t be one hundred percent sure, though, now that she was pointing it out so plainly.

Had Kikyō...had she only wanted to have sex with him then? They’d done other things on other nights, but...maybe it was only his human nights where they made love?

“That’s right,” she said. “Only your human nights. Do you know why?”

Inuyasha gripped the hole in the wall again, his eyes wide and flashing red and gold. His demon was dying to come out, waste Suikotsu, and fuck Kikyō senseless. But for some reason...he was holding back. He needed to know what she meant; what she was saying. He needed to know how she felt before he took any action at all.

“You’re a half-demon,” Kikyō spat, “or did you forget? I have no desire to saddle myself to a half-demon for life; to deal with the mood swings, the human nights, the threat of the demon always hiding beneath the surface?” She scoffed. “Please,” she said. “I have no interest in you for a romantic relationship; we are a business arrangement, that’s all.” 

The words were coming out of her mouth, but they weren’t making sense to Inuyasha. Saddling herself to a half-demon? A business arrangement? He thought they were fucking mates. He thought they were destined to be together, forever.

And yet, here she was, in their hotel room, so cool and calm, like... yes . Like this was all a business arrangement. Like he was a motherfucking business arrangement.

Because, he realized in horror, that’s exactly what he was.

Inuyasha snarled, ripped out another section of the wall, and left the hotel room. He wandered blindly, stumbling through the hallways, leaving trail marks on the walls with his claws. Shippō found him sitting outside the vending room on the fifth floor of the hotel, staring at the ice machine, muttering about how he should have just fucked that instead and he would have gotten more out of it. He remembered Shippō taking him back to his room, getting him some whiskey and some pizza, and then calling Miroku and Sango. Together, the three of them sat him down, listened to what he had to say, and tried very, very hard not to judge the fact that he’d been having sex with their manager, that he was in fucking love with their manager, and that this had been going on for over a year and that he had told none of them about it—not directly, or cleanly, or clearly, anyway.

(Although, he knew how it looked—really fucking bad is how it looked—and he knew that they were, in fact, totally fucking jduging him; how could they not?)

The concert that night was a low point for him. They got on stage, the crowd was roaring, and Inuyasha couldn’t hear any of it. He played his heart out, screamed repeatedly at the audience, smashed two basses, and sobbed through most of the performance. Anyone who saw that show would think there was something wrong with him.

Because there was. Fuck, he had barely been able to get through half the set, let alone the whole thing. It was only his bandmates giving him breaks, Sango and Miroku each doing extended drum and guitar solos, that helped him survive the night.

After the show, he stormed off, got wasted at a couple nightclubs, and ended up on the front page of Your News for public urination. And thus began six months of piercings, tats, drinking, and drugs. 

And now, the bottle dangling from his hand, he remembered his lowest moment. He had just gotten his dick pierced a few days before (because he wasn’t gonna fuck anyone else, so why the fuck not?) and he uploaded a picture to Instagram; he’d bared it all for social media, flashed “Up Yours” at the camera, and written a caption that said “Is this half-demon dick good enough for you, ladies and gents?” Before it got deleted, it got over 12 million likes. It was still one of the most popular pictures on the Internet, because Inuyasha had known damn fucking well that everyone was gonna screenshot the shit out of that pic. The high from posting that one led him to post others; every new tat, every time he felt like shit, the time Shippō passed out drunk and Inuyasha just kept going all night? 

It was all fun: too much fun, maybe, but a lot of fucking fun. 

About six weeks into his binging, Miroku had sat him down. It was clear he, Sango, and Shippō had discussed what to do; Miroku was the only one who would be able to get through to him on something like this. Shippō was his kid, and his kid couldn’t tell him what the fuck to do, and Sango was too much like his mom, and too judgy, and she would just face some serious backlash from him. He’d done it one morning after a show, when Inuyasha was still sleeping, still hungover, and still pissed as fuck about Kikyō.

Inuyasha shivered even just thinking about what that bastard had done; Miroku had ripped the sheets and blankets off the bed, causing Inuyasha to yelp with surprise when the cold air hit his body.

“Miroku!” he’d screamed. “What the actual fuck!?”

Miroku had gotten down and right in Inuyasha’s face. “You gotta wake the fuck up, dude,” he’d said. “What you’re doing? All this nonsense? It’s killing our image. It’s killing the band. You wanna go piss outside a nightclub? Fine . But don’t do it on our time. Don’t do it on the band’s time. Don’t drag us down with you. This nonsense over Kikyō? You need to stop it, Yash.”

The use of Inuyasha’s nickname—the name he only used when he wore a concealment charm to go out—gave him pause. Was he as bad as Miroku said? Was he fucking things up for the band?

Fuck it all, he didn’t know. But if Miroku was asking him to stop? The only one who could keep pace with him, who could match him shot for shot, hit for hit? The one who would help him carry Shippō and Sango home after a particularly rough night?

Well, then, fuck. He would stop.

Some of it.

He’d stopped the social media antics, limiting his posts to tats, sad backlit images, and occasionally cute ones of him and Shippō. Everything else he relegated to behind the scenes: the drinking, the drugs, the tats, the piercings. He wore his concealment charm more and more frequently when he was out and about, so that people wouldn’t know what they were selling and to whom. 

Because in the end? He was just another hanyō—another fucking half-breed who would never find love, would never find his mate. All the glory that he had on the stage? All the feelings of happiness, and joy, and freedom? 

When it came down to it, everything he did was empty. Because he’d had it all, and, as it turned out, it was never his to begin with.

Everything Feels Empty

Without You

Artwork by kalcia

Kikyō had been fucking a human while fucking him, and would he ever be enough for any other woman? Would anyone want him the way that he thought that Kikyō had?

Kagome Higurashi.

That name made Inuyasha grunt and down the rest of his bottle of whiskey, tossing it and then picking up another one that was laying on the carpet beside the couch. He was interested in her; he was drawn to her. She made his yōki go apeshit in a way that no other person had before. He found himself wanting to be near her: to touch, taste, feel, and smell her. She awakened all of his senses. She drove him wild.

But now? Now, she was pulling away from him too. And she claimed that it was because she needed to maintain “professional distance,” or whatever the fuck that meant, but maybe in reality she was just like Kikyō. Just like everyone else he’d known. Maybe to her, he was just another prop; just another means to an end. Write an exposé on Inuyasha Masaki? Win awards. Maybe that’s all he was to her, too.

But holy fucking god in all the heavens, he hoped that wasn’t the case.

A faint knocking at the hotel room door barely roused Inuyasha. He grunted and closed his eyes, willing whoever it was to go away. When the knocking became louder, and more insistent, he barked out a “leave me the fuck alone!” and turned his face to the back of the sofa. He heard the lock click, and the door open.

“Inuyasha?” came the cold female voice that he knew all too well, fuck you very much. “We need to go. The event is starting soon.”

“Fuck off, Kikyō,” he growled, stretching one arm behind his head, taking another massive swig of whiskey with his opposite hand. He dropped his hand and let the bottle rest against his leg.

Kikyō stepped into the hotel room and looked around. She saw several empty whiskey bottles, glasses, a few stubbed out joints and cigarettes in an ash tray, and what looked like a pill bottle. She sighed, and rubbed her temples. 


Artwork by kalcia

“Charming,” she murmured. Then, snapping to attention, she used her most aggressive voice on Inuyasha. “You have fifteen minutes,” she ordered him, stomping over and grabbing the bottle from his grip. “You need to go shower and pull yourself together. We have people at the venue who paid a shit-ton of money to see Inuyasha Masaki, and we’re not going to disappoint them.”

Inuyasha sat up, and then groaned loudly when his entire head swam. “Ahhh, what the fuck!” he shouted, holding his head.

“Now, Inuyasha,” said Kikyō, shoving him in the direction of the bathroom. 

“Don’t wanna join me?” he asked her, leering in her direction.


Inuyasha paused. “You’ve forgotten what day today is.” His voice was sharp, cutting. 

“I haven’t forgotten,” Kikyō said. “This is a happy day for me, remember. It’s the day that Suikotsu and I finally could make things official.”

“Then you should go fuck off with your fuck boi, then, and leave me the fuck alone!” he shouted. He stumbled off to the bathroom, crashing into furniture and walls, hurling things aside, leaving Kikyō alone in his filthy, smelly, disgusting hotel room, rubbing her temples, wondering just what in the hell she was going to do with her drunk, stoned, and very angry superstar.

Sad Panda Bathroom Inu

Artwork by kalcia


Chapter Text

Kagome stood anxiously, watching the doors to the venue, waiting for Inuyasha and Kikyō to come through them. She had been worried when he didn’t show up, but since Sango, Miroku, and Shippō all seemed to think this was on par with his normal behavior, Kagome tried not to worry.

Not that she cared per se. Okay, she did care. But as one colleague cares about another one. As one professional shows concern about another one. As…

Oh, who was she kidding? She was fucking worried about him, because it wasn’t like him to not be on time for an event. Shippō, or Kikyō, or Miroku and or some combination of them was always looking out for him, always trying to make sure that he got where he needed to go on time, that he was (relatively) sober, and that he conducted himself in a manner appropriate to the event. So the fact that none of them had seen him, and that none of them had thought to check on him…

That was...also concerning. And made Kagome go into Mamabear mode, just a little bit.

Miroku, Sango, and Shippō were doing a great job handling the crowd; they were posing for pictures, they were signing autographs, and they were chatting up their fans. But Kagome heard the same question, over and over: “Where’s Inuyasha? When will he get here?” And it pissed her off to no end that his bandmates had to make excuses for him, that they had to tell lies about where he was and what he was doing, so that he could be off doing whatever he actually was doing and shirking his duty here.

Just the thought of it made Kagome growl.

Then, the doors to the venue opened, and in stumbled Inuyasha, basically being pushed through the doors by Kikyō.

Kagome gasped. He looked like shit. His hair was pulled back in haphazard braids; he wore a blood-red, long-sleeved shirt that was cut low in the front, leaving his upper chest on full display. His face was a hideous scowl; his eyes were bloodshot; he looked like this was absolutely the last fucking place he wanted to be.

Kikyō dragged him across the concrete floor towards the VIP event. When the fans could see that it was him, they started to cheer, chanting his name over and over. Even from her vantage point some distance away, Kagome could see Inuyasha flinch, then force his face to settle into a smile. He sauntered over to the tables, shouted, “How’re y’all doin’, my bitches!” and the group of fans roared in response. He laughed, then turned to Miroku and said, “let’s get some pictures dude! Whaddya say?” 

His behavior was...over-the-top, even for him. He was flitting from one fan to another, posing for selfies, flashing his devil horns fingers, singing along with anyone who asked. To any innocent observer, he seemed slightly over-enthusiastic, but nothing serious. To Kagome, though, he was a wreck. For him to be this friendly? Something had happened.

“Worried about the keystone of your story?” Sango said, coming up beside Kagome. 

Kagome frowned. “Aren’t you worried about him? He seems really off today. How’s that going to impact the show?”

Sango shrugged. “We’ve been dealing with it now for six months,” she said. “You kind of get used to it? At least now he’s not posting all kinds of crazy pics on social media.”

“You mean like his dick?” Kagome wasn’t going to mince words. When Sango looked at her, one eyebrow raised, Kagome knew she had a way in. “I mean, it’s not quite typical behavior, right? Something...something traumatic...must have happened for him to act like this.”

“Something did happen,” Sango said suddenly, “or some one.”

“Kikyō,” Kagome guessed.

“Kikyō,” Sango agreed, her eyebrows raising. “You don’t miss anything, do you?”

Kagome shrugged. “It’s not hard to see,” she pointed out. “Inuyasha’s openly hostile to her. She’s very cool, the face of professionalism, and yet, he tries to antagonize her at every turn.” She paused. “Off the record, Sango?”

Sango looked at her, brown eyes wide. “Ye—yeah,” she agreed. “Off the record.”

“What exactly happened between them?” Kagome had to know. Why was Inuyasha so hostile to Kikyō; why did the band keep her on as manager; why had he insisted on befriending her (Kagome) and belittling Kikyō? 

“I—we don’t really know,” Sango admitted. “The night it happened, he was a fucking mess. Shippō found him near a vending machine and brought him to his room. Shippō called me, he called Miroku, and...Inuyasha was barely articulate. All we could get out of him was that he’d been dating Kikyō, and it was over. He wouldn’t say why. We all knew that this was maybe what had been going on—that something had been going on between them—but this was the first time he’d actually confirmed it for us.” She paused. “He was—he was a massive wreck. It was all we could do to get him to go onstage that night. And…”

“Still off the record, Sango,” Kagome said quietly.

“You know about the bender he went on after that, right?” Kagome nodded; Sango took a breath. “It was six weeks of drinking, drugs, piercings, tats...whatever he could do to destroy his body. Whatever he could do to try and focus on anything but Kikyō.” She looked at Kagome. “You have tats?” 

Kagome nodded. “A couple,” she said.

“Then you know that it’s a....a…” Sango looked like she didn’t know quite how to say something.

“It’s a good way to channel your pain,” Kagome said quietly, thinking of the tattoo she’d gotten after she left Shiori for LA.

“Exactly,” Sango agreed. “But for him? It became kind of a high.”

Kagome could see that. Hurt yourself physically in order to dull the emotional pain. To transfer it. To feel it in a different way. She knew a little bit about that.

In fact, Kagome knew a little bit about a lot of things, especially when it came to human-yōkai relationships. And none of them painted Kikyō in a positive light. And the more she thought about it, the angrier she became. 

If it had been her...if Kagome had been the one with Inuyasha, through all of this?

She would never have treated him in this way. 

Hells, she would never, ever, have let him go.

“Also off the record, Sango?” Kagome said. Sango glanced over at the VIP table, saw Miroku waving for her, then waved him off. 

“Quick,” she said. “They’re waiting for me.”

“I dated a hanyō before I moved to LA,” Kagome said. “They have very strong yōkai instincts, even though they’re only half. In some ways, I think they’re stronger, because you get the human emotions built in too.”

“What happened with you and your ex?” Sango asked.

“I broke it off because I got a job offer in LA to do real music writing,” Kagome told her. “Shiori was...she was devastated. She was convinced we were mates. Now, yōkai know their soulmates because their yōki calls out to the other person. Shiori’s didn’t call out to me, but she thought maybe it was because she was a hanyō? Regardless, she just felt like she knew we were soulmates. But I knew it wasn’t true as soon as I got that job offer and it was easy for me to leave.” Kagome paused. “Soulmates…” she added, “if Kikyō was Inuyasha’s mate, she wouldn’t have been doing whatever she was doing. And he probably had no idea what was going on. Kikyō...I would bet that didn’t know what she was doing. She didn’t realize how she was breaking him.” Kagome’s voice was getting heated; Sango placed her hand on Kagome’s arm to calm her down. 

“With me and Shiori,” Kagome said, “I absolutely thought that Shiori was right; that we were soulmates. And then...when I got the job offer and it was so easy for me to leave? To make that decision? I knew that I’d been wrong—so fucking wrong—and I should have brought Shiori down easier than I did. It’s a mistake I’ll always regret, Sango. And,” she took a deep breath, and a chance, “if Kikyō understood anything about soulmates, and about what Inuyasha must have been thinking and feeling, even if they weren’t mates? She wouldn’t have treated him so harshly. And because of how he was acting? From what you’ve said? I’m sure that’s what happened: he was convinced they were mates, she knew nothing about being mates, and broke it off without thinking about how this would affect him.”

Sango looked at Kagome, her eyes wide open, her face clear. She flashed Kagome a thin smile. 

“Glad we’re thinking the same, then,” she grunted. “I gotta go join the rest of the band.” And Sango turned and jogged off, leaving Kagome alone with her thoughts.

As she watched the band interact with their fans, Kagome had time to think. They all knew that something had happened between Inuyasha and Kikyō, but no one was exactly sure what that “something” had been. Inuyasha had been a destructive mess for six months. Kagome was pretty sure that, like Shiori, Inuyasha must have thought that they were mates, and Kikyō rejected him. Her heart twisted for him; she knew just how devastated he must have been.

Kagome approached the tables where the band was greeting their fans; she saw Kikyō, standing off to the side, watching them all, but Inuyasha especially, with narrowed eyes. Kagome leaned up against the wall casually, right beside Kikyō, who looked at her disdainfully. “Having fun?” she asked Kagome.

Kagome crossed her arms and watched the band—watched Inuyasha—closely. “These events are always kind of dry, if we’re being honest,” she said. “I’ve always felt like some booze and eats would liven the VIP events up.”

Kikyō made a sound that was half a scoff, half a tsk. “The band has a show in less than two hours,” she said. “Do you really want them to go on stage drunk?”

“Inuyasha looks like he’s going to go on stage tonight drunk,” Kagome pointed out. 

Kikyō said nothing, but also folded her arms and leaned back against the wall. Kagome took this as a sign to perhaps press a little more. 

“Do you know why he’s in such a mood?” Kagome asked. Kikyō whirled to face her. 

“I can’t say that I do,” she grunted, tucking her arms even further into her elbow creases.

“Does it have something to do with you?” Kagome pressed.

Kikyō grunted again. “I’m the only one who can handle everyone and everything when it comes to Inuyasha,” she said firmly. “I’m the only one who can touch him.”

“What does that mean, Kikyō?” Kagome asked.

Kikyō’s dark eyes flashed. “It means, Ms. Higurashi,” Kikyō snapped, and Kagome was forced to tamp down the heat burning throughout her body, “it means that I am the only one who can keep him under control.”

“And how’s that working out for you?” Kagome snapped. 

“Better than you might think,” Kikyō snapped right back. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” She stood up and stalked away, leaving Kagome fuming and with more questions than answers. What had happened to make Inuyasha go ballistic? Why was Kikyō being so evasive?

As she watched Inuyasha interact with his fans, laughing and chatting, and flinging an arm around someone for a photo, her expression softened. He was drunk; he was stoned; and yet, here he was, making the best of things, being polite to his fans, even if he really, really didn’t want to. 

It was eating at Kagome. She had to know.

Suddenly, Inuyasha stepped back, waved to the crowd, tossed out some apologies, and left through a set of double doors on the other end of the space. Sango, Miroku, and Shippō exchanged what Kagome could only describe as concerned glances. They all watched when Kikyō dashed after Inuyasha. Kagome’s eyes followed Kikyō, but she stayed behind with the band, feeling for some reason like she was intruding, like even though she’s been around Inuyasha in some pretty intimate moments, this one was too intimate, and not her space to invade.

Instead, she stood back, watched the rest of the event, and prayed that Inuyasha was all right.

Inuyasha was definitely not all right.

Kagome, Miroku, Sango, and Shippō could hear the fight all the way down the hall at the venue. Inuyasha’s roar was loud, and angry, and hurt . Kikyō’s voice, on the other hand, while loud, exuded calmness and coolness. Exactly like Inuyasha; exactly like Kikyō.

Miroku shoved open the doors to the green room; they all gasped when they saw Inuyasha and Kikyō facing off against each other, shouting with all they were.

“How could you, Inuyasha?” Kikyō was shouting in a cool tone when Miroku opened the doors and ushered them all inside. “You knew there was a VIP event before the concert tonight! How could you get wasted beforehand?” She threw her hands up in the air and began to pace the length of the room. “Gods,” she added, “could you be any more fucking immature? I swear to Christ, you really need to grow the fuck up.”

“No, Kikyō,” snapped Inuyasha, “It’s you who needs to grow up. You think I didn’t know there was an event before the show? I absofuckinglutely knew. And I had every intention of fucking this up for you. You know that I am not gonna do a goodman fucking thing for you anymore, and that includes all these ridiculous meet and greets. And yet you continue to insist that you are our manager, and that you’re in charge.” He stepped forward, and pushed his finger into her chest. “I got news for you, Ki-ki-yo. I run the show now. It’s me. And you’re gonna have to abide by my rules, otherwise you know what? You can go and find yourself a better lead singer, because I will be out.” Inuyasha hurled a VIP badge at her; Kikyō caught it and tossed it aside.

“Inuyasha,” she said, in that terrible, calm voice that made even Kagome want to punch her in the face. “You need to put your personal feelings aside. What happened then was none of your concern—”

“It was my fucking concern,” he sneered, “the minute I thought I was in love with you and that you were my soulmate!”

“—And as such,” Kikyō continued loudly, openly ignoring Inuyasha. “As such, I would recommend that you continue to put your feelings aside and learn to do what is best for the band, not just for yourself. Tonight was a typical display from you: as per usual, Inuyasha Masaki behaving badly. When are you going to grow up, and stop acting like such a little boy? You’re a man, Inuyasha, so dammit, the sooner you suck it up and start to improve your behavior, the better.”

“Why, so you can just cuckold me again?” he bellowed. Kikyō’s eyes grew wide, and Inuyasha stood there, breathing heavily, his golden eyes manic now in their pain. Miroku, Sango, Shippō, and Kagome stood stock-still, none of them daring to speak. Kagome’s heart wrenched for Inuyasha—for the pain he had coped with the past six months, for the pain he continued to endure, now. She found herself longing to rush to him, hold him, comfort him, but all she could do was watch as he laid bare for all of them the exquisite torture he had endured.

Inuyasha’s handsome face was now twisted in its agony. “You fucked me,” he said to Kikyō, his voice suddenly low, and terrible, “and then you fucked me over. You think I can let that go? What I saw? Fucking how I saw it?” He dropped his hands to his knees and began to breathe heavily. “You’re wrong, Kikyō,” he panted. “As per usual, you’re so fucking wrong.” He stood up, went to the liquor table, and opened a bottle of whiskey. He tilted it down his throat and drank, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed. He finished the bottle and threw it aside, the glass shattering.

“Come on,” he said to the others, “we have a fucking show to do.”

Kagome stood backstage, in the opposite wing from Kikyō, waiting for the band to take the stage. Things had been...tense...since Inuyasha and Kikyō’s blowout, and no one felt comfortable saying anything to either party. Kikyō was unusually unsettled, barking orders into her headset, coming down especially hard on the sound engineers. Inuyasha was pacing backstage; he’d pulled himself together slightly, but his face was still a wild mess of fluctuating emotions. His braids were more refined, and he’d changed out of his jeans and into tight black pants and a black skirt. He clutched his bass as though he might crush it with his bare hands. 

And Kagome definitely understood why. Now that it was clear what had happened between Inuyasha and Kikyō six months ago, Kagome felt like punching Kikyō’s face in even more. How could a person—a human—have sex with a demon (even a half -demon) without understanding the consequences? Kagome knew: most yōkai mated for life. When they found someone, when they had sex with someone? They never wanted to let that person go, because they believed that person was their soulmate. Human emotions were more complicated, more gradient. They were able to fall in and out of love, relying less on instincts and more on physical, psychological, and emotional attraction. But if a human was even going to think about getting into a relationship with a yōkai? They needed to know the consequences of their actions should they want to leave.

Kagome’s heart twisted as she thought back to Shiori. If LA hadn’t come along...would she have ever known? Would she have understood that perhaps she and Shiori weren’t destined to be together, and that Kagome’s own heart belonged somewhere else? 

That her heart...maybe?...


Kagome shoved that thought out of her head with both hands. There was no way in fucking hell she was gonna give one ounce of that thought to Inuaysha Masaki.

He was a story; nothing more. He and his gorgeous face, his hard body, his thick cock where the ball on the piercing was arranged just so it would blow a girl’s mind. 

She growled and rubbed her face in her hands.

Just a story, Higurashi, she told herself. Stay the course. Just a story.

She heard the crowd begin to roar, and looked up. Shippō jogged past her, giving her a quick wink and the flash of a smile before he ran onstage and took his position at the keyboards. Sango was next; she jogged out to the drums and arranged herself behind the kit, testing each pad carefully. Miroku followed her; he also jogged out from the opposite side, clutching his guitar, which he promptly plugged in and tested while acknowledging the crowd.

The band was assembled onstage, all but one. And the crowd knew who was missing; it began to chant his name, over and over, louder and louder, desperate for him to make an appearance.


On and on it went; for several minutes, the band tuning their instruments, waiting for Inuyasha to take the stage. Kagome saw Miroku and Shippō exchange a glance; Shippō was about to leave the keyboards when a flash of silver flew past Kagome and onto the stage.

It was Inuyasha. 

The crowd roared its approval as he took his position at the mic; he plugged in his bass and gave it a quick tune. The crowd’s chanting got even louder; Inuyasha put his hand up and behind one of his ears, as if to say “I can’t hear you!” The crowd bellowed its approval.


“How the fuck is everybody tonight?” Inuyasha shouted, waving his arms and gripping the bass. Kagome watched his face; her eyes grew wide at the expression he wore.

His face was still that twisted and shifting visage of emotions; Kagome couldn’t quite get a read on him. There was anger, sadness, regret, and, Kagome thought, shame. He picked up his bass, and plucked out the first notes to their opening song; Sango followed with the beat, then Miroku, and lastly, Shippō with the synthesizer.

He was like a man possessed as he sang; Kagome had never seen him so focused, so emotional, so raw. She could tell: he was laying everything out on the line, his voice scraping against the lyrics, his fingers dancing over the strings of his bass. She felt a piercing in her heart as she understood what he was doing out there, and how exactly he was doing it. 

The first song ended, and Inuyasha spun around to face the rest of the band, and launched directly into the second song, his fingers flying over the bass, Miroku, Sango, and Shippō struggling to keep up with Inuyasha’s speed. “Let’s get this fucking party started!” he bellowed, and flew across the stage as he grabbed Miroku’s mic and began to sing.

He might have been giving it his all out there, but Kagome could tell that there was an increasing desperation to his playing, to his singing, to his performance. He was laughing during the bridge, and when Miroku went over to him so they could play the break together, she saw Miroku’s lips moving, and Inuyasha’s head shaking vigorously. Kagome frowned; if Miroku was speaking to him during a set, this couldn’t be good.

Inuyasha growled and pushed away from Miroku, then back to the mic. He sang, louder than before, more anguished than before, and now Kagome was sure that he was crying. 

The song came to an end, and the crowd screamed its approval. Sango lifted her sticks to tap out the beat to the next song, but Inuyasha held up his hand to stop her. He stepped up to the mic; the crowd grew silent, and Kagome felt a twisting in her gut.

“Hey, Chicago!” he yelled. “How’s everyone doing tonight??”

When the crowd yelled right back, Inuyasha laughed. “I’m glad you’re all doing great,” he said, his voice eerily quiet, yet reverberating through the arena. The crowd grew silent; rarely did Inuyasha address the crowd, and they all wanted to hear what he said. 

“I’m doing shitty,” he said, harshness seeping into his tone.

Oh, fuck.

More Sad Panda Inu

Artwork by kalcia

“The world is a shitty place when you’re a half-demon,” he said, “and in the last few years, I thought that maybe I was wrong, or that at least I was gonna be the exception to that rule. That I would be the one half-demon who got the kind of life he felt like he deserved, or at least, one that wasn’t so fucking terrible.” He turned and looked at Shippō, whose shining face was begging him not to go on. But Kagome knew: there was no way Inuyasha was gonna stop now.

“Being a half-demon means that you spend your whole life not fitting in,” he continued. “I was half one fucking thing, half another, belonging nowhere. Music was the one place where I felt whole, because it was the one place that didn’t care who my parents were; it cared about how fucking well I could sing and play my instruments.” He looked offstage in the other direction, at Kikyō, and Kagome could only imagine his face in that moment. “Too bad it’s all been a fucking lie,” he said. “A huge, fucking lie.”

The arena was deadly quiet; Inuyasha walked off-stage for a moment; when he returned, Kagome saw that he had changed from his red t-shirt to a black tank top, and had pulled down his hair. Inuyasha picked up his bass, turned to the band, and nodded. He played the opening riff to the next song, which Miroku picked up, followed by Sango, and then Shippō. He let out a massive growl into the mic, and picked up the pace of his playing, so that it was frenzied and wicked and out of this world. When he opened his mouth to sing into the mic, Kagome had to bite down on her lip to keep from crying out.

She knew this song. It was the song he’d written not long after his breakup with Kikyō. The crowd wouldn’t know it, but Kagome had done her research, and she knew that right after he and Kikyō ended things, while he was in the middle of his bender, the band released an EP, and the lead song on that album was about…

It was about Kikyō. 
Kagome was sure.

She's on my mind
She's in my soul
But she's all wrong
And the bitch has to go

The crowd went bananas; this was a song that the band had never played live, and to be honest, it showed. Miroku was having trouble following Inuyasha, whose fingers moved faster than lightning over the strings of his bass. Sango was unsure of the beats, and even Shippō was struggling to keep the melody. For the first time maybe ever, Inutachi was falling apart on the stage, and Inuyasha was the conductor of a great disaster.

His voice was dark, and rough, and hoarse, and Kagome felt the ache in his soul stronger than ever. She longed to run out onto the stage and hug him, hard, to remind him that he wasn’t alone, that he didn’t have to bring everything and everyone down around him. 

But she couldn’t.
She could only watch.

Fuck Off

Artwork by kalcia

The song mercifully ended; Inuyasha bellowed the last line, and gave the crowd an angry middle finger. He lifted his bass above his head, then brought it down on the stage with a massive crash. It splintered into pieces, the reverb penetrating through the arena, the crowd gasping and screaming and covering its ears. 

When everyone looked up, Inuyasha was gone. He turned and fled the stage, raging past Kagome, grunts ripping from his throat, his silver hair streaming behind him, the tears flying. 

Kagome hesitated. Should she stay? Should she go? She felt a pulling towards him, like the red string of fate was yet again looping them closer and closer together. 

Did she want this for a story? Or for him, and for her…

Did she want to go after him for them?

Fuck, she didn’t know. 

But Kagome turned on her heel, and took off after the traumatized hanyō.

Chapter Text

He was fast, so fucking fast. The soles of Kagome’s boots pounded the concrete as she raced after him. 

“Inuyasha!” she yelled. “Inuyasha!” 

She couldn’t see him; she could only hear him, growling and snarling and swearing up ahead. She pumped her arms and ran faster, hoping to catch up to him. 

And then, she came in contact with something impossibly hard, and hot, and slick. She bounced off it, and nearly shrieked as she tumbled backwards. Strong hands steadied her, and she found herself looking at a distraught Inuyasha right in his pained golden eyes. He glared at her, then scoffed and turned away. She saw that he had removed his tank top; his massive dog and sword tattoo that took up his entire back gleamed with sweat.

“Ya shouldn’t have followed me, Kagome.” His voice was dark.

Kagome couldn’t help it; she reached out and laid her hand on the hilt of the sword. He snarled, but didn’t shrug her off.

“Inuyasha.” Her voice was as soft as his was dark.

“The fuck do you want, Kagome?” he asked her, his tone mocking.

She increased the pressure of her hand against his back, trying to soothe him. “What’s going on?” she asked. “Why did you run off like that?”

Now he shrugged her hand off and whipped around to face her. His gold eyes were flinty and sharp. “What’s going on?” he repeated faintly. “Were you not witness to what happened before the show tonight? Do you not know what’s going on? How the fuck could you not figure it out?”

She refused to let him dismiss her; she now placed her hand on his bicep and squeezed. “I want to hear it from you,” she said, as calmly as she could. “What’s going on? Are you okay?”

Inuyasha grunted, then began to laugh; a maniacal, mocking laugh that actually chilled Kagome’s soul. didn’t sound like him, at all.

“Why, Kagome?” he asked her. “Why do you give a shit? Why are you even here?” He tried to shrug her off again; when she held on more tightly, he growled and grabbed her shoulder with his right hand, his claws pressing into her skin. “Are you just here for your article? Is that all I am to you? Just a story to chase down?” He leaned in more closely to her. “Is that why you’re here, Kagome?” he mocked her. “Looking for the exclusive? Inuyasha Masaki cuckolded and melts down at Chicago concert? How’s that for a headline for you?”

Kagome growled right back at him. “Gods,” she said, “how fucking clueless are you? I’m not here for a story! I didn’t chase you down for some kind of scoop. I’m not here to get an exclusive. I was fucking worried about you. I wanted to make sure you were okay.” Now she struggled against his grip, but he held her fast. “What Kikyō did to you? It’s fucking terrible. You don’t deserve that. No one does, but least of all you.”

He laughed darkly again. “Yeah, okay, Kagome. You’re not here for a story, and I’m not a cuckolded bastard. The woman I thought was my mate cheated on me! I’m a fucking half-breed that no one will ever care about more than as a quick lay and a meal ticket.” He let go of her arm. “Leave me alone, okay? I don’t want to see anybody right now.”

“No.” Something inside was eating at her, telling her that she needed to comfort him. She needed to tell him it was going to be okay, that he was going to be okay.

“Inuyasha,” she tried.

He tried to pry her hand from his arm, but she wasn’t going anywhere. “Fuck, woman!” he shouted. “Why the fuck won’t you leave me alone when I ask you to?”

“Because I fucking care about you!” she shouted back. “Because I care, and I want to make sure you’re okay!”

Inuyasha stopped, and looked at her with a long, heated glare. Kagome saw his gaze drop to her lips; when she bit the bottom one in response, he let out a moan and crushed her to him. 

Fuck,” he said, slanting his lips over hers, “why the fuck are you so fucking irresistible?” He crushed their lips together, and gripped the back of her head and tilted her neck backwards, his tongue forcing its way into her mouth, devouring her whole. Kagome opened herself up for him eagerly, gripping his bicep more tightly, and running her free hand through his hair. His tongue met hers and battled for dominance between their mouths; when she licked his fangs, he moaned and hiked her up into his arms. 

She was wearing a skirt; she could feel the heat of his groin pressed right into the heat of hers. His kisses were deep, harsh, he was terrified she was going to vanish right under her grasp. She wanted to slow things down, reassure him that everything would be fine…

But she couldn’t. Because she also wanted him, in the worst way, and wanted him to take her—to take all of her—right then, right there. 

All the feelings she’d been having for him—all the moments of desire she’d tamped down—all of the moments where she wanted to be the one to love him, to comfort him? They all came crashing to a head, here, in this moment.

A moment that Kagome realized she didn’t want to stop.

Her back pressed up against a wall and she realized that they had been moving. She opened her eyes for a moment; they were still in the arena, backstage, and they were still in plain view of anyone who happened to pass by.

“Inu—Inuyasha,” she moaned as his lips began to move down her jawline, and his fangs dragged roughly over her skin. “We—we can’t stay here.”

He nipped at her neck and she squeaked, then tightened her legs around his waist.

“Fuck,” he grunted, his face still pressed into her throat. He pressed down with his fangs and she cried out as he drew blood. “Fuck.” She gripped his hair and yanked him back up to her lips, which she smashed to his, then drew his fangs to her lips and pressed them into the sharp points. She moaned when she felt them prick the skin, the world falling away as his tongue found its way into her mouth again. 

She was pressed tightly against the wall; he held her easily with one hand as his other made its way up under her tank top, where it found her breast. He teased it out of her bra cup and squeezed, hard, his claws pinching her nipple. She moaned again and threw her head back against the wall, banging it against the concrete, but not really caring. He was setting her on fire and she was burning: brighter, higher, deeper, darker. Her body was crying out for his in a way that it had never begged for another living soul. She didn’t care where they were; every time his  tongue massaged hers, every time his fangs drilled down into her lip, she was rocketed away to another world, one where they were alone, and free to do what they wanted. 

She didn’t notice that his hand had left her breast and was now trailing up her thigh until she felt his claws dig into her skin. She yelped, and shoved her tongue even farther into his mouth; he growled and worked his fingers up inside her panties, until he found the heat of her sex. His fingers traced her opening—more tenderly than she had anticipated—and he chuckled with what seemed to be delight? 

But before she could break the kiss to say anything, she was being pressed back into the wall, and one, and then another, finger inserted itself inside her, and Kagome cried out as she felt her searing heat welcome him in. He shifted his hand completely inside her panties so that his palm was resting full on her mons; he ground down fiercely, his fingers began to pump vigorously in and out of her, and all Kagome could do was whine and twist as she was pinned between him and the wall, her own fingernails clawing at his back in response. His fingers were rough, and calloused from years of playing the guitar and the bass, but yet he still was able to work her over. When he felt even more deeply inside her and reached the rough patch of tissue that he knew would drive her wild, Kagome cried out in his mouth and arched her body; his hand supported her ass deftly while the heels of her boots pressed into the small of his back. His fingers massaged, pumped, and swirled, and his tongue was invading every part of her mouth. When he broke the kiss at last, he immediately went back to working over her neck, licking and inhaling and biting at her. There was something desperate, and raw, in the way that he wanted to take her, and while Kagome wanted him to take her too, she also felt an incredible sense of anger, sadness, and longing radiating off him. 

When he teased her ear with his fangs, her entire body went taut. He dug one into her earlobe, and ground into her as forcefully and as deeply as he could; he was in her, all around her, and her body was rapidly succumbing to his wicked ministrations. Her breasts heaved and her vision blackened, and with a jerk and a cry of his name she came, her juices running over his hand and dripping onto the floor. 

As she panted slowly, she felt his fingers inside her, still massaging her walls, still pushing to take all that they could. Slowly, carefully, he removed them one at a time, and brought them up to his mouth. He licked one finger, his long tongue wiggling at her seductively, his golden eyes aflame; then, he moved the other finger towards her.

“You taste fucking divine,” he murmured, shoving his finger into her mouth. “I want you to know how fucking good you taste.” Kagome ran her tongue along his finger, which he swirled inside her mouth, and she tasted her own sweetness, mixed with the musky odor of sex. She thought that it would disgust her, tasting herself, but only turned her on even more. She wanted to taste him, to know what it was like to take that glorious cock of his in her mouth and suck it, hard. She wanted to run her tongue over every dip and line of his hard body; she wanted to leave him with bites and hickeys and lay her claim on his body, like he was doing to hers.

“Kagome,” he whispered, removing his finger from her mouth, “I wanna fuck you.”

“Inu—Inuyasha,” she panted, grinding against his belly.

“Will you let me?” he asked, a hint of desperation and darkness in his tone. “Will you let me fuck you? Here? Now?”

Gods, how she wanted to say yes. How she wanted him to continue what he had started, replacing his magical fingers with that insane dick of his. How she wanted him to fuck her senseless, until she couldn’t walk. How she wanted to feel what the piercing would be like, caressing her walls so roughly. But she…

“Only thing is,” he added, a hint of a whine in his voice, even as he moved to ghost her lips, and his fingers drifted back under her shirt to tease her nipples, “no condom.”

“I’m on the pill,” she breathed, suddenly and to her own surprise. She wanted him, and she didn’t want to have to wait. 

“Really?” he breathed into her mouth, and she could smell the darkness and the alcohol.

“Really,” she said. “Please.”

Inuyasha growled, and crashed his lips against hers, removing his hand from her breast. Kagome now took the initiative; she pressed her tongue between the seam of his lips, and when he opened up for her, she thrust her tongue inside his mouth, giving herself the freedom to explore him. He was hot, and soft, and moist, and her entire body was growing weak at the thought of how it would feel to have him inside her. She moaned quietly; he felt so good, she thought she might burst. 

Kagome gradually became aware of his hand pressed between them; he was pulling up his skirt and opening his pants, just enough so his dick could spring free. Kagome could suddenly feel it, teasing her clit, sweeping along her weeping pussy, and she cried out to him, twisting her body so that she could feel his piercing drag along her heat. When it pressed into her small bundle of nerves, she moaned and thrust her hips up into him, trying to take most of him in. He chuckled into her mouth.

“So eager,” he breathed. “So beautiful, so fucking sexy, and so eager.” He pulled back for a moment, and rubbed her clit with his piercing. She nearly sobbed as the pressure filled her entire body with a rush of adrenaline and heat; it started coiling in her groin and spread upwards, across her stomach, into her chest, and pinged her nipples hard. 

“Please,” she begged him, “please do it.”

“Oh, Ka-Go-Me,” he whispered, the tip of his cock now pressed up against her entrance (and she could feel the fucking piercing holy shit). “What do you want me to do?

He was teasing her; he was fucking teasing her, and she couldn’t put into words how this was affecting her. How it was taking away her ability to speak. How it was causing her mind to chafe at the very edges of sanity. He pressed into her slightly, and when she moaned, he withdrew almost immediately.

“Oh,” he murmured. “I don’t think that you’re quite ready yet.” He removed his cock and pressed the piercing into her tiny bundle of nerves again, and teased her neck with his fangs as she swore rapidly and shifted in his hold. “I think that you need to be prepared a little bit more.” 

Kagome jerked her head back and then latched onto his neck, biting down hard. He yelped “what the fuck !” and she pulled away only to thrust her hips against him harshly.

“I’m so fucking ready I’m about to burst,” she hissed. “Put your fucking cock inside me. Now.”

“Fucking hell,” he swore, and drove his cock into her weeping sex.

Against the Wall

Artwork by kalcia

Immediately Kagome was swept up in the feeling of Inuyasha inside her. His cock was definitely ample, and thick, and filled her completely, pushing against her understanding of what was possible. Both of his hands gripped her ass now, under her skirt; she was almost certain that her underwear had been torn beyond recognition. She moaned her pleasure, and kissed him again, pulling him to her when she wrapped her arms around his neck and yanked him to her, more and more tightly, until she could feel every muscle, every drip of sweat, against her own chest. He growled, and thrust up into her; his piercing massaged her walls bluntly, bringing her all kinds of pleasure she hadn’t known possible. His dick was scorching hot, but the metal was cool, and her body both welcomed him in and refused to let him go. Every thrust of his was met as she pushed back against him; every growl of his was met with a hiss of her own. Her entire body was quaking, on the precipice of pleasure, and she could see that she was looking down, wondering what it would be like to fall.

And then Inuyasha hiked her up a little higher, and pressed her into the wall yet again, and she gasped as his cock pushed ever more deeply inside her. When he was buried as far as he could go, he began to move, subtly and quietly, allowing the piercing to do all the work of hitting her special spot inside repeatedly. Kagome’s insides burned, craving release; she was grinding against him now, begging him to end it all by finishing them both off.

“Not just yet,” he whispered wickedly in her ear, as though he knew exactly what she was thinking. “You don’t get to cum until I’m done with you.”

“What the fuck else could you do to me?” she hissed.

Inuyasha grinned, and kissed her, and moved his hips in a fierce, circular motion, effectively hitting all the parts of her, one after another, and building a fuse for the powder keg that was her body, just waiting for him to light the spark that would make her explode. He did it a second, and a third time, and she moaned his name loudly and thrust up into him, trying to catch all of him inside of her. 

He kissed her, hard, and stopped his movements, letting himself rest for a moment. Her entire body was quivering, twitching with the anticipation. She could feel him pulsing inside her; even in stillness, their bodies could not stop responding to each other. Kagome was suddenly possessed by such a feeling of need radiating through her body that she couldn’t stop herself. She pressed the heels of her boots into his ass again and drove him into her, using her thighs to create the motion. He gasped, and bit her lip, and she shrieked as he bottomed out inside her and her spark was finally lit. Kagome’s cries were matched only by his growls as he froze, his own body hitting that precipice and falling over as well. She felt him grow impossibly large, and then the heat of his cum coated her walls as he grunted through his own orgasm. 

They paused, Inuyasha resting Kagome gently against the wall, their foreheads touching, both of them panting as they came down from their combined high. She could feel him, still spasming inside her; her fingers were so tangled in his hair she didn’t know if she would be able to get them undone. 

“Ka—Kagome,” he breathed lightly, his eyes still closed, his forehead slick with sweat.

Her eyes fluttered open, her own breath ragged and harsh. She was struck by how handsome he was—perhaps even more so in the glow of sex. His entire body thrummed with the aftermath of the heat of the moment, and she couldn’t help but shiver as her own body tried to recover.

When he opened his eyes, she saw that they were shining: a beautiful, sparkling gold, and it made her heart flutter. He took a deep breath, unsheathed himself from inside her, and set her on the ground. He turned away from her to pull up his pants; flustered, Kagome realized that he had, indeed, accidentally shredded her panties. There was also a rent in her skirt, and she had one breast half-hanging out of her tank top and bra. Quickly, she arranged herself back to something that looked like normal.

Inuyasha turned back to her; his eyes were now darkening with lust again. She saw them flash red, and she realized he wanted more.

And so did she.

“Come on,” he said roughly, slipping an arm around her and whisking her towards their private exit, “let’s get the fuck out of here.” His voice grew dark and deep. “Because I don’t think we’re finished just yet.”

Chapter Text

The feel of something warm against his skin roused Inuyasha from his slumber. He grunted, and tried to stretch his body, but something was resting on him and preventing him from moving. He looked down, and saw a mass of blue-black hair matted and covering his entire chest. He blinked, and the hair sighed, and moved, and he could see there was a face—a beautiful, peaceful face—and the magnitude of what had happened the night before—and into the morning—struck him, hard. 

He and Kagome...he and Kagome

What had they done?

Had the greatest fucking night of his life, that’s what.

They had sex. At the arena. In the car, on the way back to the hotel. In the hotel hallway. In the doorway of his room. Against the wall. In the bedroom. On the bed, and on the floor. And somewhere along the way, they must have finally passed out, and now...what time was it even? What day? They had a second show in Chicago...had he missed it? No; Kikyō would never let him. So, they definitely weren’t going anywhere, but...he should probably get himself together so that he could see what was going on outside? 

And then, the full enormity of the previous evening hit him, and he blanched when he remembered his on-stage tirade. He’d...broken that bass. He growled and gnashed his teeth. What a fucking fool he was. He had gotten drunk, and stoned, and caught up in the Kikyō drama and just not used his head. How could he not have used his fucking head? Why was he such a fool?

Because. When it came to Kikyō, he was always a fucking fool.

But now, with Kagome laying on him, he couldn’t help but feel as though he wasn’t a fool anymore. Sure, the way that he had taken her was perhaps not the best, or the safest, but he had at least cleaned himself up when they got back to his hotel and made sure that he took out his piercing and cleaned that too. When he’d gotten it...well, to be honest, he hadn’t really thought he’d ever have sex again, much less seven ( eight ?) times, practically in a row. His heady lust for her didn’t dampen his desire to be safe, and fuck, they were already fucking without a condom, so he didn’t need to worry about giving himself an infection, either. 

Kagome...his hand brushed over her hair lightly, and she stirred, moaning his name as she rolled off him and onto her side. Inuyasha’s heart caught a little bit. She was...there hadn’t been anyone other than Kikyō before her, but the sex just blew Kikyō out of the water. Kagome was raw, and passionate, and met his desperation to fuck her with a desperation of her own. He was sure that she felt something for him, no matter what she said. She wouldn’t have run after him last night after he freaked the fuck out and destroyed his favorite bass; she wouldn’t have kissed him like that (and Inuyasha nearly groaned aloud at the memory of her lips pressed into his fangs), and she wouldn’t have encouraged him to fuck her in all the different ways and places that she did. No…

This was clearly...something, right? Clearly she wanted him; clearly he fucking wanted her. So there should be no problem going forward.


Inuyasha grinned and rolled out of bed, careful not to disturb Kagome’s slumber. He stumbled into the bathroom, splashed some cold water on his face, pissed, cleaned out his piercing again (because he had the time and why not?) and then stumbled back into the bedroom, where he paused, in awe of the woman who lay sleeping before him. 

Had she looked this beautiful the night before? Had she seemed this tender, this calm? Had she been the salve on his soul, like she was right now?

Inuyasha could feel his yōki beginning to stir. He had done everything he could to hold it back, to repress it, but there had been flashes the night (and the morning) before: his vision and his claws growing sharper, Kagome’s gasp and subsequent tracing of what he knew where the jagged lines on his face that marked his demon status. He knew that he was shifting between demon and half-demon, between light and dark. But he couldn’t help it, and fuck, he really didn’t care, either. In the moment, all he had wanted was her.

And fuck the consequences. 

Inuyasha dropped to her side and nudged her cheek with his nose. She grunted and swatted at him; he chuckled and began peppering kisses up and down her jawline. She grunted again and tried to roll over, but he caught her by the waist and pressed his face between her breasts. Had he noticed how delicious she smelled the night before? The hint of ginger coming through her usual vanilla and lavender scent was driving him wild ; he couldn’t believe that he was restraining himself this much. But he wanted her to know what it was like to wake up next to him, with him loving on her, so that she would feel safe, and comforted, and then maybe, pick up where they had left off.

“Inuyasha?” Her voice was small, and sweet, and tired. Inuyasha looked up at her and grinned. 

“Hey,” he said, his voice rough with sleep and with desire.

“What...what are you…?” she asked, not really making much sense.

He removed his face from her breasts and covered her with his body. “Good morning,” he breathed, and kissed her, softly, gently, sweetly, again resisting with all he was to avoid flipping her over and taking her swiftly...even though she had loved that position the night before and begged for it a second time before finally passing out.

“Hey, ‘Gome,” he said with a smile. “Did ya sleep well?”

Kagome yawned, and stretched, and a tiny mewling sound came out of her mouth when her arms went up over her head. Inuyasha used the opportunity to lavish her with kisses, nips, and licks; she moaned and tried to swat him away again, but he only moved closer.

“I was sleeping.”

Oh. So she was testy in the morning.

“Were you?” he whispered, his body taut with need to fill her up yet again. He couldn’t get enough of her; he couldn’t believe that she had spent the night with him, and in such a passionate and pleasing way. 

A way that made him want to spend every second of every day, pleasuring her, and her alone.

Inuyasha growled into her neck, the vibrations going straight to his dick. He was already growing hard again (had he ever been this turned on by another person??), and his yōki was calling out for her, body and soul.

When her lips sought his, when her body heat threatened to take him in full, he didn’t mind. The sounds coming from his body showed just how much he wanted her; he needed her to give herself to him, again, and again, and again.

Kagome moaned softly into his mouth, and swatted at him again. “You already kept me up most of the night,” she groused. “Can’t I get a little rest?”

He grinned, and licked her lips, and she moaned and pushed at him again. “There’s no rest with me, love,” he whispered. “Or haven’t you figured that out yet?”

Kagome grumbled. “I need a minute,” she said at last, and closed her eyes.

This wouldn’t do at all. He was awake, and she smelled amazing, and he needed her. Now.

He had to wake her up, somehow.

Inuyasha got off the bed. He walked around so he was at the foot, and took her by the legs.

“Inu...yasha?” she asked tiredly. “What’s...what’re you doing?”

“Letting you sleep,” he said jovially. “I’ll just entertain myself until you’re ready.”     

She grumbled, but opened her legs for him, turning her head and stretching her right hand up behind her pillow. He smirked, grabbed his cock, and lined it up with her pussy. She was already glistening with want, and he knew that he could drive her wild, even in her half-awakened state.

When he pressed his piercing into her clit and massaged it gently, she moaned softly, and turned her head into her pillow. He smirked, and repeated the action again. Her body shifted on the mattress, her legs involuntarily opening up wider for him. He grinned, and slowly, methodically, began rubbing his cock over the whole of her sex, relishing the way that her grumblings and grousings were giving over to moans, the way that her body was quaking and responding to his touch (and he was barely touching her!).

It was driving him just as insane.


Artwork by kalcia

“Inuyasha,” Kagome finally murmured, “please.”

“Please what, Kagome?” he asked her, now rubbing his cock up and down, teasing her opening, pushing the tip in just a little bit.

“Please come here,” she whispered, her sleepy, adorable face straining with need. 

He immediately dropped to all fours on the bed and crawled up to her; it was so easy with her legs open and her body already pliable to his touch. He dragged his nose up her torso, from her belly, between her breasts, all the way up to her mouth—her scent, even now, was salty and spicy with ginger and lemon. She was like a margarita: his own, personal, delectable margarita, that he alone got to drink of until he was full. 

When his lips pressed against hers, he felt her legs lift up underneath him; her body adjusted itself so that she was lined up with his cock. Her tongue felt slick and soft against his lips; he opened his mouth to accept her as he sheathed himself inside her, Kagome’s hips and thighs eagerly taking him in. He dropped his arms to either side of her and wrapped them under her shoulders; Kagome whined at the fullness of the contact and shifted her hips up to deepen the angle from which he was able to fuck her. Satisfied with his position, and hers, Inuyasha began to slowly thrust, his hips moving in time with hers, the feel of her heat surrounding him fully.

Yes , he thought as he moved in her, yes. She was beautiful, and responsive, and her entire body sang for him when he touched her. And his body…

His entire body quaked as he felt Kagome’s fingers trail lightly up his biceps, his shoulders, and into his hair, resting gently on his ears. They stroked the soft fur in time with their movements, Kagome gently rubbing with and against the direction of the fur, her delicate fingers massaging so tenderly, Inuyasha was ready to lose it right then and there.

Oh, he was gonna try and hold on for as long as he could. Because all the sensations shooting through his body in that moment? Kagome’s fingers on his ears; Kagome’s lips on his; Kagome’s thighs pressing into him; Kagome’s heat welcoming him thoroughly. 

All of Kagome was his. And in this moment? He felt as though he was all of Kagome’s.

In the haze of their marathon of lovemaking, he had thought of how she was nothing like Kikyō. But now, as she openly relished the non-human parts of him—as she stroked his ears, as she moaned when he pressed his fangs into her sweet flesh, as she endured his stamina and met the challenge time after time—he was sure , with every part of his being, that to compare the two would be impossible, and unnecessary.

Kagome was her own, amazing, wonderful, glorious woman.

The woman that, in the clarity of the morning, his yōki knew that he wanted to keep making love to, over and over, eschewing all other responsibilities and obligations, all for the ability to worship her beautiful, magnificent, person.

Inuyasha’s hips quickened their movements as Kagome began to tickle and tug on his ears a little more forcefully. Her own body writhed underneath him, thrusting into him; he could tell she was searching for the release that he too so anxiously desired. But, he was savoring the feel of all of her, against all of him, and fuck, if that didn’t just drive him absolutely wild. 

Then Kagome dug her heels into the small of her back and used that to lift herself higher, to urge him on, to try and get him to quicken his pace and to maximize her pleasure. He was now nibbling at her neck, even as she still worked his ears over, and he growled into the hollow of her throat, causing her to moan and squeeze her thighs around him. 

“Inuyasha,” she whispered.

A quaking of her walls, a hitch of her breath, a soft tweak of his ears, told him that she was close. He again found himself strung taut between two poles: the pole of holding on and the pole of sweet, sweet release. But with every gasp, every stroke of the soft fur of his ears, every time she drove up into his groin, the balance between those two poles was getting harder and harder to maintain. 

Ear Rubs

Artwork by kalcia

Then he paused and pushed as deeply into her as he could go; when she wantonly called out his name as his piercing made contact with the rough patch of tissue it was designed to pleasure, he stopped, massaged it, and swiveled his hips as he again bit down on her shoulder, reopening the bite mark he’d given her previously (and which had nearly healed). Kagome’s cries became louder, and her fingers pinched the tips of his ears. His jaw locked onto her shoulder as he felt her tremble and come apart around him; her fingers dropped from his ears and her nails dug into his upper back, dragging along the skin deep enough that he knew they would leave marks, and he didn’t care

He was never wearing a shirt again onstage. Let the whole world see Kagome’s marks on him; let the whole world see that he belonged to a woman who accepted all of him: body, mind, and soul.

The feeling of her walls closing in on him, coupled with the understanding that this joining was something deeper and more meaningful than any of the previous times, caused Inuyasha to follow her quickly into oblivion, his body convulsing as he released inside her, over and over. 

His body was buzzing with the joy of sex with Kagome. He licked the bite mark that he’d reopened (oh, he fucking wanted everyone to know she was his, too), and nuzzled her neck affectionately. Kagome’s legs wrapped around him, and she sighed, her body relaxing under his weight. He chuckled, then pressed his lips to hers; she welcomed him eagerly, returning his kisses, her fingers finding their way back up to his ears. Still buried inside of her, he growled with pleasure.

“Kagome,” he whispered against her lips. “If we don’t stop now, we’ll be here all day.”

“And you have a show tonight,” she murmured back.

“And I have a show tonight.” Was this the first time he was genuinely disappointed he had a show? The first time he didn’t want to leave his hotel room for a reason other than drugs or alcohol?

No, it wasn’t much different. Kagome was like a drug to him: a beautiful, tantalizing drug that he could return over and over again. The best kind of addiction. 


She giggled, and pushed gently at him until he unsheathed himself and rolled to her side. She snuggled into him, her fingers tracing the muscles in his chest, her breathing gradually slowing and becoming more even. He kissed the top of her head and drew her even more closely to him; he had already fallen in love with how their bodies fit together in the moments after sex. He wanted to stay here, Kagome nestled in the crook of his arm, her fingers caressing him lightly, her body still warm, still inviting. 

They lay there together for several moments, Inuyasha afraid to speak or move, for fear of breaking the spell that had settled over them. At long last, Kagome pushed away from him, staggered to her feet, offered him a tired smile, and muttered something about “bathroom” before stumbling away. Inuyasha smirked as he watched her go; she could barely walk, and he had done that to her. His stupid pride couldn’t help but preen at how thoroughly fucked she was...and how thoroughly fucked he was.

When he heard the water to the shower turn on, Inuyasha turned over onto his side and closed his eyes. He wasn’t going to sleep—definitely not—but he wanted to rest a little before getting up and starting his day. He grabbed his phone off the night stand; already 11:00, and already six missed texts from Kikyō. Inuyasha let out an irritated growl. Fucking Kikyō. He would have to do something about her bothering him all hours of the day. If Kagome was going to be moving into his hotel room, which he hoped that she would do, because she had just gone to take a shower and he already missed her, he would need to make some boundaries with Kikyō. She couldn’t barge into his room anytime she wanted; she couldn’t demand his attention and his energy at all hours of the day.

Kikyō would have to accept that, with Kagome? This was gonna be real, and he was gonna do everything he could to make it so.

Inuyasha was so busy thinking about his plans for the future with Kagome that he didn’t hear the water stop running. He was so busy thinking about how he could stick it to Kikyō that he didn’t see the bathroom door open. But he did become highly aware of Kagome’s scent returning to the room: vanilla, and lavender, and the aftereffects of ginger and citrus.

He looked up, and there she was, shining against the fluorescent lights of the bathroom. She was wrapped in one towel, and drying her hair with another. He grinned at her, allowing his fangs to hang out, and he smirked when he saw her blush.

“Since you’re all clean,” he purred from his place on his bed, “why don’t you come over here and let’s get dirty all over again.”

He saw her face blanch; he saw her bite her lip and nervously grip her hair. Her scent shifted to something tinged with…

Embarrassment. And maybe, a little bit of fear.

“Inuyasha,” Kagome said slowly (oh, so slowly). “We...we need to talk.”

Inuyasha sat up immediately.

“Talk?” he repeated blankly. A sickening feeling started to spread through his stomach, radiating up to his chest. She sat down on the bed next to him; she wasn’t looking him in the eye, and her fingers twisted nervously in the towel that was wrapped around her body. “Talk about what?” he asked, feeling like he might throw up.

“This,” she said, obviously trying to sort through her thoughts. “Really fun.”

He grinned despite the waves of nausea rippling through him. “It was,” he told her. “But it’s not a past tense thing, Kagome. Hopefully the ‘was’ can become an ‘is’?” He paused. “I hope that it will,” he added.

Kagome’s face twisted, and he could smell her tears. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “But—we—we can’t do this again. Not now. Not ever.” She looked up at him; the tears now plain on her cheeks. “We can’t,” she said again, a little more firmly. “We just can’t.”

Chapter Text

Kagome stood in the hot water of the shower, washing Inuyasha’s scent from her body, which was still trembling from the feel of him inside her. She’d had to get up, to get away from him, as quickly as possible: the man was like walking pheromones and there was no way in hell that she (or any other person, for that matter) could possibly keep their hands off him. But she’d been wrapped up in him—in his shining golden eyes, his silky silver hair, his muscled arms and torso, in the glory of his tats, and his hips, and his thighs, and his cock—all of it hitting her hard, and making it difficult for her to concentrate on anything other than that piercing that rubbed her just so and made her quake and keen with want. 

No. She’d had to break the cycle they’d gotten themselves into, in only a few days: he would tease her, she would tease him, and now, he would fuck her, and she would tell him where and how she wanted it. But there couldn’t be sex; there couldn’t be sex. She was Kagome fucking Higurashi, the lead journalist for Zeitgeist, the top music magazine in the country. She wasn’t some silly groupie who threw herself at every sexy musician she met. She was independent and she looked to do things her way, but when that started to interfere with her ability to perform her job, then she knew that things had to change. 

Take this moment, for example. She liked Inuyasha Masaki. She liked him a lot; maybe even more than she had any right to like anyone that she was assigned to write a story on. The way that her body and even her soul yearned for him? The way that he kissed her, that he touched her? The way that he fucked her?

Kagome sighed and rested her head against the tile of the shower. It had...been a long time for her, since she had been with anyone. And he had been pushing her buttons for days: longing looks, fanged smirks, teasing kisses, teeth on her neck, claws on her breasts? The way he made her body call out for him, the way that he made her feel so sated and full? Had it ever been like that, with anyone?

No. It had not. Not even with Shiori.

Kagome in the Shower

Artwork by kalcia

But now, it was like that. With Inuyasha Masaki, one of the biggest rock stars in the world, and the subject of her very exclusive story. He was the one person in the world she could not be making mad, passionate love to in a trail from the arena to the hotel, and yet, here she was, laying herself bare and completely open for a man who was, for all intents and purposes, an ass.

Except that...he really wasn’t. He was all tease and bluster and defiance on the outside, but on the inside? He was quiet, and vulnerable, and an attentive and careful lover. He could already tell which moves she liked best, which positions drove her insane, and that she liked to cuddle after sex.

(It seemed that Inuyasha liked to cuddle, too, although Kagome was sure that he told no one that little fact.)

But for all of this—for all of the ways that he lit her up like a beachside fireworks display on the 4th of July—there was no way that it could continue.

In fact, Kagome realized with a blanch, as she ran her hands through her hair, that not only could she not do “this” anymore (“this” meaning having sex with Inuyasha), she also could not to this anymore.

Not any of it.

She couldn’t fuck Inuyasha again; she couldn’t write the article; and maybe, if she held onto even a small semblance of her sanity, she could walk out of here with her head held high, where she might also get a research credit or something on the published piece. The thought of someone else getting the opportunity to write this story made her sick to her stomach, but she’d crossed a line. She knew this. She’d had sex with a subject. She’d had sex with the subject: the one, most elusive musician on the planet...the one she’d been brought in to write the story of the century on, and the one that she’d just had…

Kagome banged her head against the tile.

Fuck. The one she’d just had one of the best nights of her life with.

But Kagome also knew: she was compromised now; she couldn’t write an objective and authentic piece on Inutachi. Not when she knew every inch of the lead singer’s body nearly as well as she knew her own. Not when the mere thought of his fangs on her throat made her body quake so badly she needed to grip the shower wall to keep her balance. But she also knew that she needed to do the right thing—the ethical thing—and walk away. Now. And hope that she could cling even a little bit of self-respect. 

Kagome sighed resignedly. The only thing was telling Inuyasha. Because she knew that he wasn’t going to be happy. 

She turned off the water, and grabbed a towel from the rack outside the bathtub. Carefully, she toweled herself off, then wrapped it around her body, tucking the ends of the towel in just over her breasts. She snagged a second towel and began to dry her hair, rubbing the strands vigorously between the terry cloth. Kagome stepped out of the tub, still drying her hair. She paused in front of the mirror; her eyes came to rest on the bite mark that he’d placed on her shoulder yet again this morning. It was larger this time, more clearly like he’d been trying to mark her. 

Mark her as his mate.

Kagome let out a little “keh” and smiled softly. Her fingers drifted up to the mark and caressed it gently. She felt a dim vibration radiate through her body; tears formed in her eyes.

She couldn’t do this.

She couldn’t do this. Not to him. Not to Inuyasha.

Inuyasha, who had been an outcast his entire life because he was a hanyō. Inuyasha, who had found solace through music, and used that to catapult himself into the upper echelon of the industry. Inuyasha, who had taken in an orphaned kitsune child and given him a new life. Inuyasha, who’d given his heart to Kikyō, and who had in turn stomped all over it. 

How could she do the same thing? How could she, when she saw what Kikyō had done to him? When she saw how Kikyō’s cheating and rejection had fucked him up so royally, the evidence of his pain clear on his arms, and his back, and his ears, and his dick. 

Kagome leaned forward onto the sink counter, shaking her head. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t hurt him. She didn’t want to hurt him.

But yet...what choice did she have? If she wanted to keep her job, and her integrity, what choice did she have?

Kagome took a deep breath, and went to the bathroom door. She opened the door and went through, allowing it to clang softly behind her as it closed. She continued drying her hair; her eyes widened when she saw him reclining on the bed, his head propped up on his hand. He was watching her appreciatively, his fangs openly hanging out in the excitement of seeing her again.

She blushed, and her heart twisted when he smirked in return.

“Since you’re all clean,” she heard him say, his voice low and seductive, “why don’t you come over here and let’s get dirty all over again.”

Kagome paused; she couldn’t do this to him. She reached up and tugged on her hair; she bit her lip so hard she nearly drew blood. Her body began to tremble with the anticipation of what she had to do. What she didn’t want to do.

“Inuyasha,” Kagome said slowly, searching for the right words to say this to him, “we...we need to talk.”

He sat up, and her heart plummeted. His face...his beautiful, precious, gleaming full of hope, and, if she wasn’t mistaken, love ?

Was love with her?


And if it was possible…
Was love with him?

No. You need to do this, Kagome chanted, ignoring the part of her soul that was positively chafing against every inch of her rational being. You need to do this if you want to save your job. If you want to save your reputation.

She steeled herself against everything: against the way his face was draining of color; against the way his body was falling in on itself; against the way her own being was rebelling against everything her brain was telling her had to happen.

“Talk?” He repeated what she was saying; Kagome didn’t miss the numbness in his tone. Kagome took a deep breath, and sat down on the bed next to him; she couldn’t—she wouldn’t—look him in the eye. Her fingers twisted nervously in the towel that was wrapped around her body. “Talk about what?” he asked her, and Kagome heard the pain wrapped up in his tone. She took another deep breath.

You have to do this.

“This,” Kagome said, trying to find just the right words to express how she felt, and failing miserably. “Really fun.”

He grinned, and her heart clenched. “It was,” he replied, and was that sound her heart literally breaking at the hesitation in his voice? “But it’s not a past tense thing, Kagome. Hopefully the ‘was’ can become an ‘is’?” He paused; her breath hitched. “I hope that it will,” he added.

Oh, god.

The tears were threatening to fall; she couldn’t stop them now. She scrunched up her face to block them out, to stop them, but again could tell she was not succeeding.

Fast. Do this fast, and get the fuck out. It’s the only way to do it without breaking both your hearts.

Kagome opened her mouth to speak, only to be stopped by a voice coming from somewhere inside. She recognized it as her soul, as something deeper and more primal than any part of her rational mind. She paused, and allowed herself to listen to what her soul was trying to say.

If you do this, her soul warned her, you will regret it. You will never forgive yourself.

The tears were uncontrollable at that point; Kagome couldn’t stop them from forming and spilling over. She started at the realization that her soul was right, that her body was crying out for Inuyasha, that her entire being wanted nothing more than to be with him. 

But she couldn’t. Her job was everything to her. 

She closed her eyes, a wild hope that she’d open them and be back in her room, that this night (this amazing, glorious night) had not happened. But when she opened her eyes again, there he was, and his face was twisted in fear and concern. She wanted to reach for him—she wanted to hold him and tell him it would be all right, that this was an “is,” and not a “was.” 

She wanted so many things in that moment, and she could have none of them.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, going against everything that her body and soul were telling her to do. “But—we—we can’t do this again. Not now. Not ever.” She looked up at him, tears streaming down her cheeks. The pain, the confusion, on his face were clear and palpable. Kagome took a shaky breath and steeled her resolved. “We can’t,” she said again, her voice finding strength. “We just can’t.”

He blinked, and gaped at her for a long, terrible moment. 

“What do you mean…” he said blankly, clearly struggling to understand her words, “what do you mean ‘we can’t’?”

“I mean, I can’t do this, Inuyasha,” she said again, her voice strained and struggling against every instinct in her body. “I am...I’m a journalist. I’m supposed to be neutral and unbiased. But in order to remain so, I have to maintain a certain level of distance from my subjects. And this? This?” She gestured at the space between them and offered a weak laugh. “This is like the complete and total opposite of what I’m supposed to be doing.”

He was still staring at her openly, his mouth now hanging open. The silence and the space between them was deafening. Kagome had to...she had to say something.

“What we’ve done here?” she said. “This goes against every code of ethics I could possibly imagine. I’ve violated like so many things, and while yes, the last twelve hours have been absolutely incredible—” holy gods in all the heavens was it incredible and she never wanted it to stop “—it’s not something that can happen again.” She kept going, ignoring the flush that was taking over his cheeks, the anger flashing in his eyes. “I’m—I’m going to be giving up the story too. I’ll be calling the magazine and asking them to send a new journalist, on account of a conflict of interest. And I’m going back to LA on the first possible flight I can book.” She paused and took a breath, still ignoring Inuyasha’s face.

“I have to do this,” she said at last, and quite lamely. “I have to do what’s right for the magazine, and what’s right for the story. And this is what’s right.” She finished, and peeked at him from under her eyelashes. 

Her breath caught. His eyes were flashing; his face was twisted into a horrible scowl. She could hear his breathing coming in slow, loud, long spurts.

He was quiet for a long, terrible moment; Kagome couldn’t stop the tears, and she couldn’t take back the words she’d said. Nor did she want to... right?


“You…” Inuyasha spoke at last, and Kagome’s heart seared at the pain that was clear in his tone. “You think that this is what’s right, Kagome? That you walk out of here, that you walk out of my life, after how you barreled into it? After how you’ve nestled yourself into my heart?” He laughed bitterly. “You are no better than Kikyō, you know.” He leaned forward, and grabbed her by the shoulders; she winced as his claws on his right hand punctured her skin. “You are no better than her. You want to fuck me, and leave me? You want to fuck me, and say, sorry, it was fucking amazing, but ‘we can’t do this’?” He pushed her away and turned to throw his legs over the other side of the bed. He threw his arms out to the side, and then gripped his face. “How can you even say this?” he asked her, the fury now pouring out of him. He rose and began to pace the length of the bedroom, looking at her with a wildness to his gaze that made her shiver with both anticipation and a little bit of fear.

“Do you realize what last night meant to me, Kagome?” he asked her, the desperation and the want clouding his normally husky tone. “We fucked. A lot. It was outstanding.”

“It was,” she whispered in agreement.

“So what?” he challenged her. “So you want to just give this up? Give up the promise of what I think could be something that’s really fucking amazing? Give up what we shared, and what we could share? And for what? For a stupid job? For your integrity?” He laughed. “Get real, Kagome. Do you think that if you give up this assignment, you’ll still have a job? Do you think that if you give up this assignment, there will be anything waiting for you back in LA?”

“I think that I’ll still have my honor,” she retorted. “And that I’ll be able to take another assignment. It won’t be as good, sure, but my editor will find me other work.”

Inuyasha paused, and loomed over her. His eyes had hardened to a honey gold: strong, and thick, and unyielding. “So your...what might you call it? Your ‘journalistic integrity?’” he said. “Is that worth more than this? Than what we shared? and me? Because don’t you fucking deny it,” he added, “whatever is going on between us? You felt it, and I felt it, too. We both fucking felt it.”

Kagome’s entire body froze. What was he…

Inuyasha snickered and leaned into her. Their foreheads rested against each other, and Kagome shivered again. “You heard me right, Higurashi,” he whispered thickly. “This? What we shared? What we share? It’s greater than anything I’ve ever experienced; that’s for sure. And I would guess that it’s the same for you. If you can honestly look me in the face and say, no Inuyasha, I’m sorry, but I don’t feel the same for you? If you can honestly say that? If you can honestly say that your job and your fucking integrity as a journalist are more important than what is happening in this room, right now?” He laughed and pulled away from her. He stood up straight and pointed towards the door. “Then get the fuck out.”

Inuyasha walked away from her; she couldn’t help but admire the perfect half-moon shapes of his ass as he moved. No, Kagome , she told herself, now is not the time to be lusting after his luscious ass. He went over to the bathroom door and put his hand on the handle. “So what will it be, Kagome?” he asked her. “You don’t wanna be with me? You don’t wanna give this a chance?” He scoffed. “ Fine. That is fine. Then you need to get the fuck out, before I throw you out. Please.” He pushed open the door. “Now,” he said, smiling darkly, “I strongly suggest you go back to your room, and get freshened up. Because we have an event before the show tonight, and we wouldn’t want Zeitgeist’s top journalist to be late, would we?” Inuyasha went through the door and slammed it shut. 

Kagome gasped and clutched at her heart. She didn’t know whether to scream, to cry, or to go after him and fuck him again. Because she realized: she didn’t know her own heart. She didn’t know what she really wanted. When she had said, “We can’t do this,” she really meant, “I can’t be around you anymore because I’m so in love with you and I think you might be my mate but I love my job and I don’t know what to do?” But listening to him talk? Hearing the passion, the despair, the rage ? All over what...all over her? And one night of insane sex? Unless...unless he felt the same pull? The same...the same connection? Like they really were...

She gripped the sides of her head with her hands. Inu hanyō. He was an inu hanyō. She was probably like the second person he’d ever had sex with, and the first time around hadn’t gone so well. She was a fucking idiot. She was a fucking idiot.

She heard the water turn on in the shower, and again resisted the urge to go to him. She needed to hold onto what he was offering her. She needed to stay away, to be professional, to finish the article, and to get a million miles the fuck away from Inuyasha Masaki.

So she didn’t have to feel her heart pounding every time he glanced her way. So she didn’t have to feel her groin tighten when he smirked at her. So she didn’t have to see the inexplicable pain on his face when she told him no. 

So she didn’t have to feel her soul being torn up and shredded because it couldn’t have what it truly wanted.

Her job... yes. Her job was what mattered. It was what had mattered before, with Shiori; it was what mattered again, with Inuyasha. 

So why this time did it have to hurt so goddamn fucking much?