He loved the moonlight. He would never admit it out loud, but he loved the soft silvery glow of moonlight. He loved the way it made it easier to see at night. He glanced down at the one below him. She was oblivious to the moonlight, caught in her own dream world. He envied her. He kept a silent vigil instead of letting sleep take him.
He watched her in the moonlight, her skin silvery blue from the faint light. She sighed and rolled over, obscuring her face with a tendril of hair. He sighed and settled back on his tree branch perch, letting his eyes rest on her form. No one lay beside her. Usually she snuggled against the little boy demon, but not tonight. The entourage of jewel seekers had broken up for the night. He and Kagome were left alone for the first time since since that night the night of the bloodsucker.
He closed his eyes and held his breath. The night had been both fantastic and grotesque. He almost lost her, but he didnt. He had held her close and been one with her. She accepted him as mate now, but they never had an opportunity to do anything about it without interruption. What about now? a little voice in his head asked him.
He opened his eyes and stared at her sleeping form. Im not in my cycle now, he told himself.
Does it matter? Part of you is human. Human males dont cycle, females do.
But, shes not cycling he scowled at his thoughts.
Does it matter?
No, he said aloud without intending to. He covered his mouth with his hands and watched as she rolled over and sighed in sleep.
Go to her part of his mind urged.
He swung his leg over the tree branch and dropped to the ground with barely a sound. He crawled nervously to his slumbering mate. Her familiar scent tickled his nose. Softly he sat beside her and stared longingly into her face.
She moaned in her sleep and her eyes fluttered open to stare at him in confusion. Inu Yasha she breathed groggily.
Mate, Inu Yasha responded from his spot.
What is it? she asked, yawning.
The moonlight he began and stopped himself.
What about it? she sat up nervously, ready for battle.
Its nice, thats all. The stars too, he said, looking up at the heavens.
Is that what you woke me up for? she asked, half amused.
Not really, he responded.
Then why? she queried, leaning back in her bedding.
He stared at her, silently. He smiled softly. May I sleep next to you tonight?
Is that all? she giggled, opening her bedding. Come in.
He wrapped his firerat robe about his sword to make a pillow as he snuggled down next to his mate.
She cuddled against him and rested her head on his shoulder. Tell me about your mother, she mumbled into his armpit.
What about my mother? Inu Yasha asked, wrapping his arm around his woman.
What was she like?
She was very young when she had me. She was very beautiful and very proper a true lady. She was a witch, like you. I dont know how she met my father. After I was born, Father was killed in battle protecting her at least that is what she told me. She was left alone to raise me. In my first real memories of her, she was always so sad.
Because of your father?
Maybe. I didnt really understand her sadness or even knew that she was sad until she was gone and I thought back on her. She rarely smiled and often cried. He sniffled. She must have loved him, he said as if coming to a realization. He tightened his grip around his mates waist, bringing his free hand up to gently caress the side of her face.
Does that surprise you?
No, he said quietly. At least not anymore. Not since you and I he trailed off and slid his hand down her arm to clasp her hand that lay on his chest. He played with her fingers.
What is it? she asked, propping herself up to look him in the eyes.
He stared back at her. What if Im taken away from you in battle?
She rested her head on his chest. I dont want to think about that now, she said quietly.
If I lost you he began, but stopped himself. Youre right. I dont want to think about that either.
But if you stay a demon
He closed his eyes and made a face. Lets finish collecting the shards before we think about that, OK?
OK, she agreed as she settled back down on his chest.
He hugged her close. He could feel her heartbeat through their clothes. He took comfort in it. Kagome he whispered.
Hmm? she responded.
How did you arrange it so we were alone?
She giggled softly. I told them we wanted a night to ourselves.
He opened his eyes wide and sat up in shock. You didnt!
Kagome rolled over to sit up, laughing.
I have an image to maintain, woman, he growled.
What? The Im too tough to need a mate image? Oh please. They all know about us. Myouga told them.
That little he began.
She tapped him on the head. Got ya! she smiled. No one knows. I was just messing with you, she giggled and settled back down in the bedding. One point Kagome, Inu Yasha zip.
Is that the way you want to play it? he growled with a predatory glint in his eyes. Fine Take this! He pounced on her and began to tickle.
No, no! she screamed, kicking her feet and squirming.
He straddled her to keep her in one place. You made me mad, now face my wrath! he intoned while tickling her ribs. Taste the torso tickler!
Stop, stop, stop! she cried breathlessly.
He sat up and crossed his arms into his kimono sleeves. Do you yield?
Never! she cried defiantly.
He raised an eyebrow. Never? he questioned, quietly. Carefully he crouched down above her and delicately used his nose to caress her cheek, taking in her scent. He brushed his lips against hers so smooth and soft. He teased them for a moment, not really touching. She tried to pull her head up to meet his, but he moved on with a smile. He rubbed his cheek against hers and purred softly. Her hands reached up and scratched behind his ears. Mate he whispered, rolling his head away from her fingertips.
What? she asked breathlessly, her eyes half closed.
He reached up and flicked her nose with his middle fingertip. Inu Yasha evens the score, he smiled and rolled off of her.
You animal! she grunted, hitting him with her pillow as he settled down next to her.
Your point being? he grinned.
Oh Just go to sleep, you. The others should be back early tomorrow.
He watched her as she tried to fall back asleep.
Mate? he whispered.
Im not falling for that again, Inu Yasha, she announced with a frown.
OK, he said quietly. Rolling over to face her, he placed his lips on hers. Beneath him, she breathed in sharply in surprise. He delicately licked her lips. They tasted of her lip-gloss. Her lips parted and his tongue found hers. He tapped it playfully and gave her a shallower kiss before rolling away from her and onto his back.
She touched her lips with her fingertips. Inu Yasha?
Hmm? he responded, staring at the heavens.
Why did you chose me as your mate?
I just did.
Was it because I was Kikyo?
He held his breath and watched one star among millions sparkle. No, he said quietly. You are nothing like her. Youre the same, but different if that makes sense.
You smell the same share the same soul, but its changed. Your personalities and attitudes are different. Your smile is different. Hers had pain.
You chose me for my smile?
Kagome, he sighed, pulling her body onto his, wrapping arms around her. Kikyo is dead. Please understand that. I loved her and she left me behind. You are like her, but you are not. If you must know, I wasnt entirely ready to take a mate before I met you. It would have taken Kikyo a long time to get this far with me. Hell, I cant even show affection for you now unless were alone. Can you imagine me fifty years ago?
I think I can.
Its taken me two more years to tell you that you are my mate.
You told me, huh? So in your mind I didnt have a choice?
He looked at her for a long moment. Not really, no. You know I think of you as mate and I mate for life. You accepted it and that was your choice. But you could never force a demon to choose you. That was all me.
Well, a demon cant force a girl to accept him either, so we were equal.
Equal, he breathed. The mating ritual was based on equality. They had started the ritual during the bloodsucker incident but they never found a private moment to complete it. He leaned and kissed her on the lips. He nipped his tongue to offer his power. She delicately licked his lips. The taste of blood filled his mouth and she pulled away, wincing. Whats wrong? he asked.
We are already equals, Inu Yasha.
I dont want to hurt you, he said quietly.
Dont worry, she smiled and kissed his nose. She sat up and pulled off her shirt. She playfully tossed it on him. He pulled it off in time for her bra to hit him.
Enough with the clothes tossing, he growled.
Kagome smiled and lay down on his chest, covering them both with her blanket. She started to wiggle.
What are you doing, woman? Inu Yasha asked amusingly.
She tossed another article of clothing at him. Here, she said with a smile.
Inu Yasha pulled them off of his nose. Is this your skirt? he asked with a smile, tossing it to where he tossed the other clothes.
Yep, she giggled, Here. She draped something over his ears.
He reached for it. Panties, he snorted and tossed them. Are you done now?
Nope. We still have your clothes, she laughed as she reached down for his ties.
I can undress myself, thank you very much, he pushed her hands away. He pulled at his clothes, trying to get them off as quickly as he could. He felt giddy and nervous. He managed to wiggle out of his robes without bothering to untie them. He tossed them away with a grunt. There. Am I unclothed enough for you? he asked, wrapping his arms around her waist.
For now? How much more naked can I get?
She touched the prayer beads thoughtfully. He watched her as she rolled them between her fingers, before letting them go to stroke his chest. Will you release me? he asked quietly.
Will you run away?
He grinned playfully. Maybe.
She smiled and opened her legs to straddle his. Where would the fun be in that?
Besides, the beads no longer hold me to you.
Its something else now, he grinned and playfully bumped her in the butt with his knee so she went flying forward. He caught her and held her before she could fall.
What if the others come back early? she asked.
Then then theyll see us That wont be good. Ill kick their asses and make them swear secrecy. But, Im a man, damnit. I have every right to do this thing that we do.
You called it rut before.
That was the demon way. You dont want the demon way, remember? What do humans call it?
Sex Making love.
Inu Yasha cocked an ear. Yeah Thats a good name.
Which one? Kagome asked, snuggling against him.
Both, he mumbled as he lightly traced her spine with his fingers. So What do humans do?
I dont know.
Ive only done this with you.
Then how do you know my way is different from your way?
I know what the other girls at school say.
What do they say? Inu Yasha asked quietly, content just to have his arms around her and feel her skin against his. She reached down between them and gently rubbed his male organ. It hardened at her touch. It was an odd sensation outside of his heat cycle. He felt desire but it wasnt as focused into the actual mating aspect. Her fingers felt good and he didnt feel the need to explode.
He sat up and pushed her onto her back, nibbling her ear and purring. She moaned and arched her back, pressing her front to his. He pushed down with his hips and felt himself enter her. He sighed in contentment and wrapped himself around her. Resting his head on her shoulder, he took pleasure in her nearness. He could feel her soft thighs wrap around his body. Her hips pushed up against his. Her fingers traced his spine and squeezed his shoulders. Her neck was intoxicatingly perfect to nibble on. The jewel she wore about her neck was cool against his chest despite their body heat.
Inu Yasha, she moaned.
Work with me.
He kissed her lips and pushed himself into her, over and over. It was like the first time. The sensation built, but it took longer for it to crest. Suddenly Kagome arched her body beneath his and cried out. He stopped, fearful that he somehow hurt her and tried to sit up.
Sit! she commanded.
He found himself pressed tightly against her. Her hips jerked and she moaned, holding him close. His body responded by quickening and expelling seed.
What was that? he asked, breathlessly.
She smiled and hugged him. It felt good, didnt it?
That was making love.
Oh, he said, wrapping his arms around her and rolling onto his back, keeping his connection. So you liked it then?
Mmm, she moaned with a smile as she settled on his chest.
You cried out. That worried me.
I told you not to worry.
Inu Yasha rolled his eyes and closed them.
So we are mated now, completely.
Yeah, he said quietly.
So what happens now? she asked him, playing with the prayer beads around his neck. I just cant pretend that this didnt happen. I could barely deal with this when it was only a technicality. Now theres no question. We are mated, Inu Yasha.
I know that, he responded gruffly.
I really think we should tell the others.
Inu Yasha was silent.
I mean Myouga already knows. I dont know if Shippou figured it out last time or not. And the others
We will never find peace.
If they know, the whole world will know. Not only will we be fighting jewel-crazed monsters, but anyone who holds a grudge against me. Theyll find an exposed weakness, my mate and pups. We will be hunted.
They stared at each other, neither dared to break the silence. Something caught Inu Yashas attention. He swiveled an ear and lifted his nose. Get dressed, he whispered as he pulled himself out from under her. He fumbled with the ties of his robes.
What is it? she asked, adjusting her skirt.
He pulled on his firerat robe and attached the sword. I feel something. Get on, he commanded, turning around and bending his knees so she could climb aboard.
Where are we going? she asked, straddling his lower back.
It calls me, he responded as he pushed off into the air.
Dark treetops stretched up beneath them. Fine mist filled in the crevices. Inu Yasha descended through the trees. He landed at the shores of a lake shrouded in mist. I know this place, he said quietly, looking around. His eyes caught a familiar shape a tree. Thats thats the tree I fell out of when I was a whelp.
You fell out of a tree?
I was very young. It was my first try. Mother bandaged me up. Mother, he gazed out longingly to the mist covered lake. He tightened his hold on Kagomes legs and pushed off, soaring over the dark waters. Last time I was here I couldnt find it.
A huge shape materialized out of the night mist.
That, Inu Yasha responded as he alighted upon a balcony. Mother used to wait here for me when I went out at night before they found us, of course.
Before who found you?
The demons. I came back one night and she was dying.
I tried to heal her, but they came back and she and I ran away and hid. I tried to come back later, but I got lost in the mist.
This is ?
The place of my birth. Father built it for Mother to protect us. It didnt work, he grumbled and kicked a rock off the balcony.
Kagome entered the building. The room was hugely ornate with elegant furniture and soft cushions. It looks like a palace.
It is a palace. Father was lord of the Western Lands, he replied, following her.
They passed through many richly decorated rooms. Not a spec of dust clung to any corner. It was always like this. No matter how messy I was, it was always cleaned up. They passed a room filled with toys for a young child. My room, Inu Yasha said with a small smile. Whenever I got bored with one toy, another would appear. Mother said that the servants left them for me.
Kagome nodded. You were young, werent you?
Very young, only a few summers, Inu Yasha said, picking up a stuffed dog with a lolling tongue and big red bow around its neck. It was filled with sawdust and he sniffled at his younger selfs scent. Mother had made it for him. He laid it down carefully.
The adjoining room was large and mostly empty. It had a futon and a cupboard in the corner. Mothers room.
Kagome opened the cupboard. Hundreds of scrolls spilled out and onto the floor. She glanced up at him apologetically. He kneeled to examine them. She was always writing. She tried to teach me, but I had no patience for it.
Kagome looked them over. They were all labeled. One caught her eye. This one has your name on it.
What does it say?
Kagome picked it up out of the pile and gently unrolled it near a small oil lamp that appeared out of nowhere. The dialect is tough to read, but Im familiar with it. Its like the old texts at the temple.
You can read it? he asked hopefully.
I havent been a shrine maiden most of my life for nothing, she smiled. It says... My dear child, my son Inu Yasha, you may not remember me very well when you receive this letter. I know it will be many years after my own death. I see it in my visions. Your mother was a priestess, you know. It is hard to imagine the little boy who plays at my feet will someday be a man and find a mate, but if you receive this, then I know you shall. The mists of this island will only part for you if there is someone worthy for you to protect here. Your father built this place to protect us, my son and to insure that your own little ones and mate will be protected. Guard them well.
Little mistress who holds my son, I know you read this. I know my son will never learn to read so he relies on you to tell him his mothers words. The other scrolls are a testament of my life as a priestess and mistress of the powerful Inu Youkai. You are not with child yet, but if the son is anything like his father It is best that you finish all of your unfinished business now. Consider that advice from your mother in law. Take good care of him, Kagome.
Wait! How did she know my name? Kagome broke off her reading.
Inu Yasha was blushing with his eyes to the floor. With child, he whispered over and over.
Whats wrong with you? she demanded.
Am I with child, Inu Yasha? Can you tell if I am or not?
I was careful, he responded with a sniff and stared thoughtfully at his toes.
Kagome returned to the scroll. Yes, I know your name, daughter in law. I see you entering my sons life when he has the most need When his is lonely and jilted. Your powers are more than your own, girl, they have strengthened through time, as they should be if you are to be wife to the Lord Inu Yasha, my son. Youll need more strength than I ever had to stay alive for him. Someday you will have the power to heal him and make him whole. Until then, peace be with both of you.
Kagome stared at Inu Yasha. He shifted his gaze to stare at her. Is that all?
No, theres a bit more.
My son, my death will not be your fault. I knew long ago when I first met your father what my fate would be. I accepted it and you should too. Please be happy now.
Inu Yasha stared dully at the pile of scrolls. His mother knew. How did she know everything? Why couldnt she have done anything to save herself? He shook his head and stared at Kagome. We should go back to camp. It will be dawn in a few hours and the others will return.
What about the palace?
What about it? As long as I have you it wont disappear on me again.
All your mothers writings Your past
Theres time enough for that. He reached for her wrists. Dont you want to finish your unfinished business in the outside world before you have to stay here?
Will you stay with me?
He gave her a small, sad smile. Walls cannot contain me, Kagome. I am a creature of the forest.
But I dont want to be alone here.
He pulled her to him and wrapped his arms around her waist, resting his cheek on her head. I dont want you to get hurt.
What if you were human?
He delicately reached up and tangled his fingers in her hair, scratching her scalp with his claws. If I were human we wouldnt need this place.
She pushed away from his embrace and stared up into his eyes. Then
His lips twisted in nervousness. Gently he leaned down to kiss her warm, soft lips. I told you, when the jewel is complete well talk about this.
But what if I get pregnant with your child before you turn human?
Inu Yasha sniffled and turned away from her, returning to his old room.
Inu Yasha? Kagome called after him.
Take some of my mothers scrolls if you like. I dont know when or if well be coming back, he called over his shoulder.
What do you mean? she asked an empty doorway.
He came back into the room with a bag. Here, fill this.
Why? Kagome asked, looking into the bag. She gave a smile and pulled out the stuffed dog with the lolling tongue. Is this yours?
Thats Inuko. It was my favorite. Mother made him from an old kimono, Inu Yasha said with a snort. I thought the little ones would like him.
We arent coming back, are we? she asked quietly, replacing the stuffed dog in the bag.
You dont know how hard it is to have demon blood. You dont belong anywhere. I want more than that for my little ones. I dont want them to live in fear or have the childhood I had. He wandered over to the cupboard and began to stuff the bag with scrolls.
Inu Yasha, Kagome said quietly, placing a hand on his shoulder.
I want to see them grow up, Kagome. I want to be there for them a real father, not just some guy in your stories when you tuck them in at night. Maybe well retire to your time where there arent so many monsters to fight. He stuffed in the last of the scrolls. Maybe its time for me to face my own mortality and age with you.
Do what I meant to do fifty years ago.
He buttoned the flap on the bag, thoughtfully. He paused and stared off into space. Yes, but not now. Not until the quest is done.
Of course not.
He looked up at her and gave her a little smile. Are you ready? Its almost dawn, we should be getting back to the others.
She smiled. Will we tell them about us?
If they know us so well, they should be able to figure it out on their own, he said as he slung the bag over his shoulder and took her hand, leading her back to the balcony. He bent his knees, allowing her to crawl up onto his lower back. She took the bag from him and settled against his back. He pushed off. She tightened her legs around his waist and reached down into his robes to touch his skin. What are you doing woman? Dont distract me while Im flying.
So you dont want me to do this? she asked, tickling his ribs.
He came dangerously close to getting intimate with a tree. Stop that.
Make me, she giggled in his ear.
When we land you are so going to get it.
Oh, Im so scared. Kagome two points, Inu Yasha one.
He spotted their destination below and dropped out of the sky, dumping his cargo on the dew wet bedding. He crouched above her, pushing the bag aside in haste. Now you are going to get it.
Get what? she asked with an innocent smile.
He pounced on her, kissing her desperately. Around them the landscape brightened with sunrise. He pulled off her shirt and fumbled with her bra. Stupid contraption, he growled between kisses.
Kagome three points, she began before being smothered by kisses.
Good morning, my lord, a new voice said.
Inu Yasha and shirtless Kagome sat up to stare guiltily at the band of newcomers.
Ready for a new day? Myouga asked, settling on Inu Yashas shoulder.
Inu Yasha hurriedly covered his mate with her blanket. What are you doing back so early?
Couldnt sleep, Shippou bounced up to Kagome and stared at her adoringly.
Doesnt look like you two got much sleep either, Miroku said with a knowing smile. Are you going to bear his child? he asked a blushing Kagome.
Not yet um no I mean yeah one day oh not now, she flustered.
You old dog, Miroku smiled at Inu Yasha. I didnt know you had it in you.
Kagome looked worried. The rest of the group snickered. Inu Yasha frowned.
Kagome lowered herself into the cool waters of the stream. Inu Yasha stepped out of the forest and sat on a rock to watch her. She froze and frowned out of habit before resuming her bathing ritual. Care to join me? she called over her shoulder.
Inu Yashas clothes fell into a small pile at his feet. He carefully stepped out of them and crossed the rocky shore of the stream. Thought you didnt want to be seen with me after today, he said softly, lowering himself into the water.
I was just a little upset. They kept talking about me bearing your child, she said with a pout.
Inu Yasha found a submerged rock to sit on. Is that so bad? he asked quietly, playing with his hair that got caught in the current.
She sighed and lazily swam to him. She used his knee as an anchor and let her body float. No, she finally responded. We are mates. It will happen eventually. All the teasing just got to me, you know?
I think I do, Inu Yasha said with a small smile. Ive been called dog boy, dog ears, old dog, dog man and Spot the Wonder Dog.
What? she giggled in amusement.
They are all names I get called in battle.
Spot the Wonder Dog?
Shows what they know I dont even have any spots, Inu Yasha pouted.
Kagome sighed and shook her head. Spot.
Kagome, Inu Yasha touched her cheek.
She looked up at him and smiled faintly.
He leaned forward so only she could hear his words. I love you, he said simply. He kissed her cheek and slipped off his rock to wade back to shore. As he shuffled through the ankle deep water near dry land, he turned to her with a smile. New moon Ill take you with me.
Where? Kagome called after him.
Thats a secret, he said, grabbing his robes and walking away.