After The End: New Beginnings

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Getting Busy

Knowing he was waiting on pins and needles for her response, those pins probably slowly working their way into his heart the longer she remained quiet, Kagome spoke up in that moment.

“Inuyasha...no matter what...” She moved around to stand in front of him and made sure he met her gaze. “No matter what, I love you and my opinion of you will not change over something like this.” She grabbed his hand again. “That being said, are you forgetting that I've already seen you naked?” Her eyes adopted a hint of a playful sparkle as he blushed at her reminder. “If I recall, a certain troublesome hanyou absolutely refused to let me study for my tests one afternoon, and then while trying to keep you occupied my little brother had the ingenious idea of trying to boil you alive.”

She chuckled at the memory, and he did too, a little bit.

“Keh, I swear that kid was more fireproof than I am.” He raised his free hand to rub at the back of his head awkwardly and gave her a sheepish grin. “I can't believe I just went barging into your room like that. I wasn't even thinking about being naked, I was just running away from the bath, and your presence felt like safety so I automatically ran to you.”

Surprisingly, Kagome adopted a guilty expression at his tender admittance.

“And then I went and threw all my stuff at you and ordered you out. I'm sorry; I was a stupid fifteen-year-old back then, and a naked boy rushing into my bedroom, and one I'd already been crushing on no less, well...”

“I understand. You just always used the beads on me whenever I saw you naked faster than I could start to get all flustered, myself, otherwise you would've seen me turning into as much of a freaked out mess as you became that time.”

“I didn't always use the beads on you when you saw me naked. Only when I thought you were spying on purpose.”

He blushed and looked away again.

“Oh? How many times was I right?” Her merry tone of voice told him she wasn't upset. “It wasn't really seeing me naked that made you all flustered, was it? It was me catching you seeing me naked that freaked you out,” she added teasingly, matter-of-factly, but still in a tone that revealed she wasn't angry. “I bet you were always nice and calm up until I noticed you were there.”

“Umm...as much as I appreciate the change in subject, because believe me, I'd rather think about you naked than me naked, I'd rather get this over with before I completely lose my nerve and rush us back to the village.”

“Okay,” Kagome agreed, grateful that he already seemed more relaxed, at least, instead of all tensed up as if afraid that at any moment she'd rip his heart out of his chest and stomp on it. “So I'll admit, I'm drawing a blank here. From what I saw you looked normal, and from what I've felt...” She waggled her eyebrows suggestively, and his blush darkened.

“Normal...?” He released her hand, and looked away, that one word holding all the weight she imagined he'd been carrying on his shoulders up until that point. “I'm hardly normal. I turn normal one night a month, remember? So I know what normal looks like.”

“Since when are you so self-conscious about your inu-youkai half, though?” Kagome asked, legitimately confused, which he could hear in her voice.

“Since my dreams became reality, and I became your husband for real?” he answered with a questioning edge to his tone, shrugging his shoulders helplessly.

“But I thought you were all into being a forest youkai and stuff. I thought you totally accepted yourself for who and what you are now.”

“I was...I mean I am, and I do. It's just...well it's different now, with you. I accept me, but...”

Kami, he wished he could explain himself better. Fortunately, she still understood him; she just didn't agree. Maybe he needed more than just tender reassurances, after all. He wanted the truth, he'd get it.

“And I accept you, too. Sheesh, I'm beginning to think I should feel offended here rather than just trying to reassure you. I mean come on, I accepted you as a hanyou even before you did. And yes, I know...” she added as he opened his mouth to interrupt, “...being your wife is way different than just being your friend, and accepting you as a friend is different than accepting all the things that go along with you being my husband. I get that, I do. But weren't you the one telling me it's okay to think of you as a canine, so long as I didn't mind having a dog for a husband?” she reminded. “And what was my response to that? I said we're 'the dog and his wife', remember?”

He sighed, and smiled a little.

“Yeah, I remember. I'd actually said what I'd said kind of on purpose. I'd wanted to hear what you'd say, and...and I really liked what you said.”

She smiled then.

“And I meant it, you know. Just 'cause I don't think of you as my inugami, I'm perfectly aware of the fact that you're half canine, and that you see yourself as such. Did you know that your nose is even wet and cold like a dog's nose? I can feel it when we kiss, especially when you kiss my neck, and also when you nuzzle my neck at night, but it doesn't bother me.”

His eyes widened a bit at that, and he raised the back of his hand up to touch his nose.

“I...I'd completely forgotten about that. I'm sorry.”

She waved off his concern.

“See, there you go again. I don't care, all right? Even if you had a dog's tongue I'd still want to kiss you 'cause you're my husband. I understand, I do, why you're worried all of a sudden now that we're married, when before, when we were just friends, it wasn't as important. There wasn't any sexual intimacy between us when we were just friends, and so you're worried that I just think I accept everything about you but I'll realize I've bitten off more than I can chew.”

He nodded, the look in his eyes telling her that that was it, exactly. He didn't doubt her acceptance of him as a friend, her lack of prejudice, but being intimate with him was different, or at least, he feared that it would be.

“How about when I was rubbing your ears?” Kagome asked him then. “Do you think I'd have done that if I was bothered by your inu half in any way?”

“Keh, you always have liked my ears, weirdo,” he kidded good-naturedly.

Suddenly, she looked worried.

“It...it doesn't bother you when I rub them like that, right?”

He snorted.

“You kidding? Have you got any idea how sensitive my ears are? The only thing about you rubbing them that bothers me is that it makes me wish you were rubbing somethin' else. That's why I never liked you touchin' 'em before. Now that we're married you can play with my ears as much as you want.”

She chuckled a little at his admittance.

“Okay, good,” She nodded. “So help me out here. What are you worried about? I already know your 'down there' hair is as white as the hair on your head, like that really matters to me. It's not like your shaft is within a sheath that runs up along your belly like on actual dogs, and guess what, even if it did I'd still not care. I just mean, I don't see what the big deal is that you're so worried about my reaction in the first place. What am I missing?”

He just stared at her, mouth open, completely in shock.

“You... Even if I were that different from a human man, you still wouldn't mind it?”

She just grinned, and bounced on her heels a bit, tucking her hands playfully behind her back as she twirled her body a bit from side to side like a younger girl might do.

“Nope! Wouldn't bother me in the slightest.”

It was beyond obvious to him that she was being completely honest, and he exhaled slowly as her words fully sank in. Adopting a huge grin that revealed his fangs, he shook his head, both amazed and amused.

He then pulled Kagome into a quick, fierce kiss, that was over almost as quickly as it'd started and was anything but chaste.

Pulling back, he said, “This has got to be the single most embarrassing day of all time, but you've just made me so fucking happy right now that I don't even care anymore.”

She laughed, not in mockery in any way, the sound coming from her own happiness that whatever his fear had specifically been about, she'd already alleviated it. She also decided to make him feel a little bit better in the embarrassment department by reminding him that today wasn't necessarily the champion of all humiliations, after all.

“I don't know about today being the most embarrassing day ever. Remember when I had my first monthly blood during the shard quest, and Shippou-chan completely freaked out on us?”

He laughed instead of feeling embarrassed again at the reminder of that day, having had nearly an entire year of traveling with first one and then two women to get used to it by that point. Besides, it wasn't as if he hadn't already been aware that human women experienced such things. He'd smelt it on his own mother originally, and terrified, he'd been nearly hysterical until she'd had no choice but to explain it to him at a much younger age than any other boy learned of such things. He had been politely ignoring it that night in question during the shard hunt, knowing that Kagome wasn't injured, his nose more than strong enough to tell the difference, but young Shippou, who'd never been around human women before, hadn't had a clue. He'd woken up in the middle of the night frantically exclaiming that Kagome was bleeding, and Kagome, not even having realized yet at that time just how good youkai noses actually were, had been beyond mortified to be jolted awake by such an announcement.

“I'm surprised you didn't osuwari me when our eyes locked and you knew I knew,” he said, his tone of voice lighthearted.

She sighed, a bit of a chuckle escaping as well.

“I probably would have if you'd said the wrong thing right then. Grabbing Shippou-chan and running off into the shadows was a smart move.”

“Keh, it might not have seemed like it back then, but I did have some smarts.”

She grinned, and then adopted a more serious look.

“I'm glad I've put your mind to ease, but I gotta say, I'm totally curious now,” she said conversationally, and he knew exactly what she was talking about. “Can you tell me now, now that you know it won't bother me, just what, exactly, you were worried about? The only thing I can think of is that your pubic hair is white, but you should've known I already knew that.”

“Keh, even from just how you keep sayin' it, I know you didn't really get a good enough look, plus I was wet at the time, which made it harder to tell.” At her expectant look he elaborated. “Let's just say it ain't exactly 'hair',” he explained, knowing now that what she'd said before was completely true, meaning he now knew he had nothing to worry about, even when he told her the rest of it. One part at a time, though.

It took zero pondering time for Kagome to realize what he obviously had to mean by saying his hair wasn't hair, and she reached up to gently tweak one of his ears in response.

“Fur?” she asked, and he nodded.

“Mmmm...softer for running my fingers through it.”

He coughed/laughed at her words, heat returning to his cheeks.

“Uh...and that's not all,” he finally managed to admit, although he didn't appear to be in any hurry to elaborate as he blushed darker and averted his gaze.

Kagome's eyes adopted a wicked playfulness.

“If you can't say it, you could just show me,” she suggested, both joking and serious at the same time. She was only teasing, but if he was really willing then so was she.

She was willing to do more than just look, but she knew that'd probably be pushing it and she would not break her silent promise of not pushing him into something he wasn't ready for yet. That being said, she wasn't going to stand idly by and just assume she knew what he was and wasn't ready for. All he'd ever stated with finality was that he wanted their first time having sex to be indoors, and she respected that. She did. That still left plenty of wiggle room for them to do some of those other things in the meantime.

Mind made up, she closed the gap between them.

Inuyasha, having blushed even darker at her comment of him just showing her, never once meeting her eyes, had not yet given her an answer when Kagome decided that a little nudge wasn't the same thing as a full-blown push. She'd back off immediately if he asked her to, but he would have to ask.

Putting herself in his line of vision, then, she smiled at him, reaching up immediately to fondle his left ear again since she now knew how much he actually enjoyed it. He looked unsure for a brief moment, but then closed his eyes, a soft moan escaping his lips as he tilted his head slightly into her touch, deciding to just enjoy this moment and not let his worries ruin it. His arms, which he'd crossed at one point, unfolded to hang at his sides before he then bravely rested his hands on her hips, neither pushing her away nor pulling her in closer.

Stretching herself up on her tiptoes, Kagome whispered seductively against the side of his mouth, “You need to stop worrying so much, and just focus on this truth. You are the man that I love, and I am your wife.”

That said, she tugged on his ear ever so gently to encourage him to lower his face enough for her to kiss him, and he wordlessly complied, and her left hand, instead of going immediately for her ultimate destination, wrapped around his body to clutch the fabric at his lower back.

It didn't take long for the kiss to cause the smoldering embers in his blood to reignite into blazing flame, and he growled possessively in the back of his throat as his grip on her hips tightened.

Inuyasha had been debating her request, warring with himself, caught somewhere in between absolute mortified panic and logical reasoning. As more and more blood vacated his brain, however, it was becoming harder to remember why he'd even hesitated in the slightest, except now he had a new growing fear. More than one thing was growing in that moment and it was no longer her appraisal of his body that he feared the most but if he would be able to stop himself if she actually got him undressed.

Yet, even as that concern came to mind as he continued to kiss her, it fled just as rapidly, replaced with thoughts of how wonderful she both smelled and tasted. Then her lips were leaving his, and he instinctively tried to follow them, bending his head lower. She turned her head slightly and he caught the side of her face, but that was all right with him as he immediately began leaving heated, open-mouthed kisses on her cheek, along her jaw, and then down the side of her throat. Kagome tilted her head back and moaned, and his grip on her hips tightened even more, as he pulled her close, flush against his body.

Feeling his erection pressed between them reminded Kagome of what she'd been trying to accomplish, but in that moment she was too busy feeling to be in that much of a hurry. Still, she knew she shouldn't dawdle. With her right arm growing sore from being raised for so long she released his left ear, but just as quickly raised her left hand up to his right ear, and he immediately tilted his head to the other side to grant her better access, shifting his own attentions from the right side of her throat to her left as she tilted her own head the other way to better accommodate him as well. Her right hand she then used to snake in between their bodies, keeping it outside of his hakama initially as she palmed his length and began gently massaging, rubbing and squeezing. He growled louder, and pulled her in even closer, making it hard for her hand to work, although she didn't think he'd done it on purpose as a means of stopping her. Not if the way he was rocking against her palm had anything to say about it.

Guess I was wrong about his shaft not running up along his belly, she thought, mentally snickering, since she knew it was only because his raging hard-on was so tightly constricted within his fundoshi. That can't be comfortable.

Turning her head back to recapture his mouth with her own, Inuyasha eagerly resumed kissing her, and then Kagome suddenly yanked her hand out from between their bodies and just as quickly plunged it back in through the side slit of his hakama. He stilled all movement, but didn't push her back, and going for broke, Kagome found the edge of his fundoshi and managed to get her hand inside that as well, gripping naked flesh for the first time.

It's like velvet wrapped steel, she thought in wonder, experimenting with lightly sliding her hand up and down his length.

His reaction to her touch was instantaneous. He gasped and shuddered, moaning loudly with a breathy exhale, breaking away from the frozen kiss to rest his forehead against her left shoulder as he shivered, legs shaking, his hands at her hips clutching fistfuls of fabric in an effort to keep himself grounded. Releasing his right ear she rested her left hand gently on the back of his head, and slowly began moving her right hand up and down a little faster; she could feel his entire body shake, his breath coming in heavy puffs. After a moment he reached over with his left hand and grabbed her arm, stilling her movements, although he didn't try to pull her hand out of his pants.

“Ka...Kagome...I...” She squeezed him gently. “Oh kami...”

He whimpered, the sound distinctly canine, and Kagome stopped flexing her fingers around him but still did not release her grip of him, holding him but also holding still.

“Inuyasha...?” she murmured quietly, the unasked question registering loud and clear.

Prying his head off her shoulder and meeting her eyes, the look in his own was not one she had been expecting. She'd just never seem him in the throes of pleasure before. It was a look she planned on seeing much more of throughout their lives together. In that moment, however, seeing that look of vulnerability in his eyes for the very first time, Kagome did the only thing she could think of and placed her left hand over his right, where he still clutched a fistful of her hakama at her left hip. A part of her was tempted to guide his hand into the side slit of her own pants so that they could pleasure each other at the same time, but she quickly realized that would probably be too much for him in that moment, and she did not want him to chicken out. This moment in time, it was about him; her own pleasure could wait. Besides, seeing that expression on his face was quite pleasurable for her in its own right. She'd never loved him as much as she did in that moment.

Slowly, she began moving her hand again, using the tip of her thumb to spread the bead of moisture that'd gathered at his tip, and he closed his eyes as his body shuddered, his left hand moving from her arm back to her right hip in an attempt to steady himself. She got the feeling that if she seriously started working him it would be all over before it began. He already seemed on the verge of exploding from what she could tell, and she was barely even moving her hand at all.

“Kagome...?” he murmured again, suddenly so like an unsure child it made her heart ache with how much she loved him.

She stilled her hand again.

“I know you do not want to consummate our marriage in the forest, and I promise you I will not disregard that desire and get you to do anything you'll later regret. It's a matter of honor for you, and I understand that. Let yourself go, Inuyasha, and I promise I won't let things go too far. I'll keep my clothes on. There's nothing to worry about. This moment is about you. Let me pleasure you. That's all I want.”

She could see from the look in his eyes that he was considering her words, and she did not play dirty by starting up her ministrations again before he'd reached his decision.

Inuyasha weighed her words, knowing she would keep her promise, and even more importantly than that, his body was wound so tight that even if he told her to stop he'd have to rush off to finish the job himself. No cool dip in the river would put out this fire. He was already so close, just from her gentle, almost teasing touches. He wanted to cum so badly. And it most certainly wasn't as if he was using Kagome in any way, he realized; this whole thing was her idea and he knew she wanted to see his penis after he'd alluded to its inhumanity. More importantly, he wanted her to see it, to get that final step over and done with. And even more importantly, he wanted to cum, damn it! So if she was willing to do this for him without asking anything of him in return, allowing them each to maintain their mutual virginity, then he knew he would not only be a fool to refuse her, but a masochist, as well. All he was worried about was changing his mind in the heat of the moment, taking her, and then later regretting it, but with her promise that she wouldn't let them, and that she'd remain dressed, he realized in that moment that he was completely out of excuses. And what's more, in that moment, with her hand still wrapped snugly around his throbbing erection, he abruptly realized that he didn't even want an excuse why they had to stop. He didn't want to stop. He wanted her to move that hand, damn it!

Kagome had her answer when she suddenly found Inuyasha's lips covering her own, as he devoured her hungrily, and she immediately returned the kiss while also resuming her hand's ministrations. He groaned and whimpered, his legs shaking, both of his hands clutching her hips desperately, her left hand still offering moral support where it rested over his right. After a moment's time, pulling back from the kiss, he released her right hip with his left hand and used it to still her own again, only temporarily. She gave him a questioning look.

“You said you wanted to see it, didn't you? Besides, I don't want to have to clean my fundoshi.”

That said, he pulled the sheathed Tetsusaiga from his obi and laid it gently on the ground. Kagome followed suit, releasing him for the time being in order remove her bow and quiver from her back so she would not be hindered by their presence.

Inuyasha then made quick work of the ties holding his hakama in place. He feared his face would be a permanent shade of fire-rat red, and he couldn't quite meet Kagome's eyes at the moment, but nevertheless he continued in his task until he had his trousers almost completely undone.

Realizing his hakama were almost completely untied and that just one tiny pull on the final knot was all it'd take to have them dropping to his feet, Kagome smirked. Reaching for the tie herself, she gripped it firmly, seeking out his eyes, and his only response was a silent nod of approval, his blush never fading. She offered him a loving smile in return, more genuine than her previous smirk, and tugged. In a swoosh of fabric the hakama dropped fully to his feet. Nothing was immediately exposed to her gaze, of course, his suikan and kosode both still tied in place, but she made quick work of the primitive obi knots and soon enough had both robes splayed open, hanging loosely at his sides, revealing a bare chest and bulging fundoshi.

Dropping to her knees before her husband, his eyes widened at the erotic sight as she smirked up at him. Picking up his discarded leather pouch from where it'd fallen and tossing it gently towards his sword, Kagome then turned back and focused on her prize, the look in her eyes determined. It took her a couple minutes of fiddling, but soon enough she figured out where the fold in the fabric was on his fundoshi and she immediately began unwrapping him. He closed his eyes and held his breath, his hands unconsciously tightening into fists at his sides. This was it.

Freeing him, his engorged erection stood proudly at full attention, and Kagome had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from snickering.

That was what he'd been worried about?

Although granted, she was mentally kicking herself for not having thought of it as a possibility and guessing it aloud earlier during their discussion. He was half dog, after all.

“You're beautiful, Inuyasha. Dark pink is my favorite color,” she stated with an openly amused edge to her voice.

At least his actual shape was entirely human, although she'd meant what she'd said earlier; she would've been fine with it no matter what. This was Inuyasha; that was all that mattered to her.

He opened his eyes and looked down at her at her words, looked at her staring at his dick, and suddenly, the contrast between his flesh colored base and foreskin and very distinctly canine pink head and upper shaft was the farthest thing from his mind.

“Are you gonna touch it or what, wench? I'm gonna turn blue before much longer!” he laughed in return.

Chuckling, Kagome unhesitantly reached forward, wrapping her right hand around him fully, and he tilted his head back and moaned loudly, his hips rocking back and forth as she began pumping him in a slow, steady rhythm. A part of her was tempted to use her mouth, but another part of her wanted to save that experience as an upgrade for later, and besides, even she could admit that the idea was a little new and scary. This was her very first time touching a man's penis, after all. She could just stick with using her hand for this first time around. Besides, as she glanced up at the rest of her husband he certainly didn't seem to have any complaints, head tilted back, eyes closed in bliss. To remove the temptation, she stood back up in that moment, releasing him for only a couple of seconds as she moved around to stand semi-behind him off to his right, her right hand immediately back where it was while she wrapped her left arm around his back, her left hand resting on his left hip. It was a much better angle to work him, as she pumped him more steadily, and he lolled his head in her direction and met her lips with a hungry kiss, his left hand coming to rest on top of her own, threading their fingers together, as his right hand made its way over to her right ass cheek, gripping firmly.

Breaking out of the kiss after a moment, Kagome asked him quietly, “Is this okay?”

He opened his eyes to stare at her incredulously.

“O-ok-kay? F-fuck yeah...it's okay.” He could barely even talk, she was doing so 'okay', and he gave his hips a little extra rocking motion to emphasize his point.

Kagome blushed at the obvious compliment, but then said, “Just tell me if...if you want me to do something differently. I don't really know what I'm doing here.”

“Coulda fooled me,” he rasped, before conceding. “You...you could go a little faster.”

She immediately complied.

“MMMmmmmaaaahhhh...” he moaned in appreciation, head tilted back again, eyes pinched shut in bliss as his legs shook.

It was such a surreal experience for the hanyou, to realize with a lucid clarity that it was Kagome's hand pumping his cock. He vaguely remembered her making a comment about his coloring, but at that moment there wasn't enough blood left in his brain for him to remember what that comment had been or care either way. She couldn't be disgusted with him, she was touching him, and doing a damn good job of it too, he might add. It'd been less than two minutes, and already he could feel the pressure building, those little wisps of telltale tingles traveling up his spine that alerted him to the fact that he couldn't last much longer.

“K-Kagome, I...I'm gonna...” he moaned breathlessly.

“Yeah...that's what I want. Let it happen,” she said seductively, her naughty words pushing him over the edge.

He gasped, his entire body locking tight, and then he groaned quite loudly, a sound not unlike those he'd made when getting severely hurt in battle. But the spurts of white hot seed that suddenly shot forth from his manhood to stain the grass below told Kagome that he was experiencing everything but pain, and trying to guess the best way to handle it based on what she knew of her own body she maintained her speed for a few moments longer before slowing to a languid milking, squeezing his head on the down strokes, which earned violent shudders from the hanyou as a few more beads of cum leaked out to coat her hand. Finally, she came to a complete stop, but waited a few more seconds before releasing him.

Feeling her hand release him then, it took Inuyasha a few more seconds to remember how to breathe, and then when he finally realized he'd wound up leaning a good amount of his body weight on her he stood back up straighter, letting go of her ass as he finally braved meeting her eyes again. Or at least tried to; she was currently distracted. He grinned at the sight. She looked so adorable the way she was staring at her messy hand; her expression looked like she was trying to problem solve, since they hadn't brought any of their usual traveling supplies with them on this run. She wasn't looking at the mess on her hand with disgust, but it was clear she was trying to figure out what to do about it. Chuckling then, he reached out and grabbed her hand before she gave in and wiped it off on her clothes. They should show some respect for her miko robes, after all, married or no.

Kagome jumped the tiniest bit in distracted surprise as he grabbed her hand, and she immediately turned her eyes to meet his own, offering him a warm, tender smile. He smiled back, and then brought her hand up between them, the hand that had just brought him unbelievable pleasure.

“Thank you,” he said sincerely, no hint of perverted teasing in his voice, and then he raised her hand to his mouth and began licking it clean.

She stared in surprise, but quickly realized this was again one of his canine differences, realizing it made sense for him to do this even if most other men, or at least heterosexual men, would feel disgusted by the concept. She certainly wasn't bothered by it. Truth be told, not wanting to soil her miko clothing, Kagome had been reaching the same conclusion. She was going to do it, herself. After all, she did eventually plan on using her mouth on him, so she'd been trying to psych herself up. He'd just beaten her to it, not that she minded.

Once her hand was clean, there was a bit of a delayed reaction but they both finally realized that they were both just standing there with him still for all intents and purposes completely naked. Robes hanging open, pants around his feet, fundoshi discarded on the ground beside him, his still mostly hard phallus was twitching mildly, and he blushed, but not as intensely as he had some previous times during some of their conversation.

“I, uh...” He cleared his throat nervously. “I guess you've gotten a good enough look now, huh?”

He and Kagome both chuckled at his words, and when he moved to close his kosode she didn't stop him, although she quickly snaked her hand back underneath the robe, touching what she could no longer see.

“I've gotten a good enough look, but not a good enough feel,” she answered, and he closed his eyes and sighed softly as she tenderly fondled his furry testicles. “I was right, nice and soft for running my fingers through it.”

He somehow managed to open his eyes back up and meet her gaze, his look stone cold serious.

“Unless you want a repeat, you better knock that off. Youkai stamina, remember? I can cool off after a single go if I let myself, but with you playing like that you'll get me fired back up again in no time.”

She knew he was telling the truth since his previously semi-flacid penis was already fully erect again, causing his kosode to tent out.

“Duly noted,” she stated in answer, pulling her hand away. “I could do that all night, myself, and somehow, I don't think you'd complain.”

He laughed at that. She continued.

“But right now I think you owe me one, and since I promised I'd keep my clothes on that means I'll have to collect at a later time. Unless you want to build up a huge debt I suggest you pay in full at your earliest opportunity, 'cause I don't honestly think I can keep my hands to myself for very long.”

He knew she was just joking around, but he also knew she was serious. Hooking his sagemono through the belt of his kosode before fastening his suikan and then pulling up his hakama and fastening them as well, just shoving his fundoshi into his robes for the time being, it was with a heavy, contemplative look as he ran Tetsusaiga through his obi that he finally answered her.

“Kagome I...I want to repay you. Believe me, that's one of my major fantasies. But I...I just don't know if I can trust myself. If I get you...like that...I know I'll want to mate with you.”

“And that would be a bad thing because...?” she asked, feeling exasperated at this point. “You no longer have anything to fear with regard to my reaction to your appearance. I know that's the biggest thing that'd been holding you back before, and now that it's been explained to me, I totally understand that. I understand why you were worried. But now that you know it isn't an issue, that your slightly inhuman characteristics don't bother me in the slightest, I gotta say, you're running out of excuses.”

He had the good grace to look embarrassed at that.

“Yeah, I know,” he replied sheepishly. “I'll...I'll think about it, okay? I still don't like the idea of...of us doing that out in the forest. At least not for our first time. I'd feel like I failed you. I feel like...like it's bad enough you have to put up with a husband who's half dog. The least I can do is treat you-”

“Like the human woman I am, yeah,” she interrupted, having heard this speech once before already. She sighed. “The kami know I can't get you to change your mind when it becomes a matter of honor in your head, but you'd better think of something, Inuyasha, because I don't like the idea of waiting a whole freakin' month to be with my husband, especially when other fully human couples sneak off into the forest all the time. It isn't animal like, it's what young people in love and without privacy do, but if you've got a stick up your ass about needing to overcompensate for your youkai blood then fine, whatever.”

Jeeze, Kagome, bitter much? she scolded herself as soon as her little speech was over, visibly cringing at how bitchy she knew she'd just sounded.

Turning back to look at her husband, her heart melted at his whipped puppy expression, his ears droopy, eyes shocked. Damn...way to ruin the romantic atmosphere. If she'd had ears like his, they would've drooped as well.

“I'm sorry,” she apologized sincerely, coming up to him and pulling him into a tender hug that he automatically returned. “I didn't mean to snap at you, I'm just horny and frustrated,” she added, laughing at herself because it was the truth.

He chuckled a little at that, although her brief bout of anger still bothered him. He knew he was being unfair to her. Burying his nose in her hair, meaning to take in her scent to calm himself in his upset, Inuyasha was hit with a blast of just how aroused Kagome actually was, and the realization shocked him. How was she not ripping his clothes back off? No wonder she'd gotten a little crabby; he knew he couldn't maintain that level of self control without taking it out on everyone around him. Hell, that was one of the reasons why he'd been so dicky to her so many times back during the shard quest. He'd confess that part to her later, though. Realizing her predicament was entirely his fault, he decided to man up in that moment.

“So long as you still promise to keep your clothes on...” he hinted suggestively, pulling back from the embrace to meet her eyes with a serious yet playful look in his own.

“Inuyasha?” Kagome questioned, not daring to risk misunderstanding him.

“May I?” he asked her then, reaching up with his right hand to gently cup her left hip, his fingertips ghosting playfully within the open side slit of her own hakama.

Realization dawned in Kagome's eyes, and she smiled playfully in return as he smirked at her.

“Yes, you may.”


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