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DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV – Sunrise. No money is being made from this work. The author (Evellin) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media.



AUTHORS NOTES: Hey everyone! So this chapter does not have a song acting as inspiration. None the less, here is chapter 4. Honestly, I can not wait for the next chapter. Finally, the story is getting to the good parts! Hold on folks, this is going to be a really fun ride!

So with that, I say, enjoy!



As It Will Be

By Evellin

Chapter IV – A Dept Paid



Kagome stared up at the skyscraper located in the heart of Tokyo. Somewhere toward the top floor sat the offices of Ford Models. And somewhere inside, Ian Mackenzie awaited. Kagome gulped nervously as she tugged at her black tank-top. Was she really going through with this?

“Go get 'em, Kagome!” Kelsey squealed in delight as she leaned out of the passenger side window. Behind her, Azumi waved energetically. In the back seat, Makoto pressed her face against the window, staring up at the city skyline in wonder. This caused Kagome to smile brightly.

Okay. She could do this.

“Thanks guys! I'll call you when I am done.” Kagome announced in a happy, upbeat tone as she returned Azumi's wave. Then, without ceremony, turned and headed for the revolving doors leading into the steal and glass building.

Upon her entrance, Kagome's nervous energy returned ten-fold. The streets of Tokyo were alive with high energy go-getters. Naturally, Kagome figured the Tokyo hustle and bustle would be subdued once inside. However this was not the case. Instead, the finite space of steal, glass and marble was brimming with the cities energy. Loud clacking echoed through the high-ceilinged space as stilettoed heals strutted across the floor. Men in power-suites went this way and that. Fashionable, tall women walked to and fro. And in the middle of it all, Kagome stood in all her awkward glory.

“Kami help me...” Kagome whispered to herself as she began to fidget with nervous energy. This was wrong. She didn't belong here. She wasn't meant for this life. Kagome felt her heart flutter in uncertainty as her blue eyes scanned the sea of beautiful men and women going about their business. She shouldn't have come here. She should have never called Ian's assistant. She...

“Higurashi Kagome?” A familiar, sweet voice questioned, interrupting the young woman’s internal self-doubt. Upon hearing this voice, Kagome turned to face its source.

“Yes...?” Kagome's blue eyes landed upon a short, red-headed woman with soft features and slender form.

“Hello! I'm Kate. I am Mr. Mackenzie's assistant.” She bowed politely, despite her obvious heritage. -She too spoke with an American accent.

'Mr. Mackenzie, huh?' Kagome took note of her formality when concerning Ian. “Please to meet you, Kate.” Kagome bowed in return, offering the small woman a genuine smile. Despite this smile, Kagome was brimming with curiosity. “So, is it normal for Mr. Mackenzie's assistant to intercept possible models in the lobby?”

Kate shook her head as she began to walk toward a set of silver elevator doors. Kagome followed as Kate replied. “Absolutely not. But Mr. Mackenzie thought you might be...overwhelmed by everything.”

The young Miko snorted. 'That's putting it mildly...' Kagome thought to herself as she and Kate entered the elevator. Upon their entrance, Kate pushed the button for the thirty-seventh floor. There were forty levels all together. Kagome was both impressed and nervous. She couldn't help but fidget in the small, back corner of the elevator.

“Nervous?” Kate asked sweetly as her turquoise eyes watched Kagome fidget.

As a result, Kagome's cheeks turned a soft pink hue. “A little...” she admitted.

Kate offered a warm, reassuring smile. “Don't be. Mr. Mackenzie is kind. And extremely knowledgeable. Every potential model he schedules to come in walks away with a contract. Mr. Mackenzie does not like to waste time.”

Kagome gulped. “Yeah... He mentioned that...”

Bing went the elevator. They had reached their destination. And when the silver doors slid open, Kagome felt her heart leap.

In big, bold, black letters stood the word 'FORD' upon a pristine white wall. Beneath, a large, white marble desk where an attractive male sat. He was currently speaking into his headpiece. Clearly, he was engaged in a conversation, for he did not glance up until Kate and Kagome approached. When his large brown eyes looked up, he gave Kate a big grin before offering Kagome a playful wink.

“This is Derek. Normally you would check in with him, however since I am here, we can just head on in.” Kate said with a smile, waving to the male who continued to talk to someone about something called a 'go see'. Before Kagome could learn more about this term, Kate was marching past the desk, and into the offices of Ford Models. Dutifully, Kagome followed.

“So these are the Tokyo offices. When you become signed with Ford, this will be your base city, however your information and portfolio will be shopped around the world. Ian thinks you will be a huge hit in America. Plus models are up and coming in the biz, and a Japanese beauty like yourself will be a hot commodity.” Kate's declaration would have shocked Kagome, however she was preoccupied by the countless pictures and magazine covers decorating the white walls. Several of the images she had seen on store shelves. Several others were unfamiliar. All of them were flawless, fashionable, and impressive.

Kagome gulped nervously as she continued to follow Kate. The sensation of inadequacy was looming over her head like a raincloud. However, this sensation tripled when the two women entered a new section of the Ford offices; the client waiting room.

Beautiful, modern furniture, all upholstered in black leather, decorated the large area. Along the walls were doors leading into separate offices. However, one wall in particular was covered end to end with images of models. They were ordered alphabetically, and separated into two groups: men and women. These model sheets listed the models name, their measurements, and other important information a client might possibly require. Every single one of these models were flawless, and almost one-hundred percent of them wore a size four or smaller.

“This is were potential clients wait, that is, if they come to the offices. Sometimes castings will even be held here. However, when you are signed, most of your go-see's will be at the clients business location.” Kate interrupted Kagome's areal inspection, causing the Miko to snap her head forward, toward Kate.

“I heard Derek use that term... What is a 'go see', anyway?” Kagome asked after turning from the sheets of models, and focusing her attention solely upon Ian's assistant.

Kate smiled warmly. “A 'go-see' is when a model goes and see's a potential client. It means the client has looked over your information, and wants you to come in, so they can see you in real life. It is one of the final steps before booking a gig.” Kate explained as she began to walk toward a set of doors.

Kagome nodded, following Kate. Through the clear doors, she could see a large, private office. Inside, Ian stood, staring out a large, floor-to-ceiling window. He wore a black suit, a crisp, white button down shirt, and no tie. He stood in silence, one hand in his pocket as he stared out to the city.

The Miko couldn't help but admire his beauty; he looked like a brooding, modern-day god.

“Alright. So here we are! Go ahead and head on in. -Is there anything I can get you? Water? Coffee? Tea...?” Kate asked as she opened one of the doors so Kagome could step inside. As she walked past the petite woman, Kagome shook her head.

“No, I am good, thank you.” Kagome said as she entered Ian's office.

“No problem. And congratulations! I am so happy you are apart of the Ford family!” Kate happily declared before closing the door, and walking away. This left Kagome standing awkwardly in Ian's large, masculine office, looking about in unmasked awe. This is when she felt more than saw Ian's eyes upon her.

“Kagome! There is my blue-eyed doe. How are you?” Ian happily greeted, his warm, deep voice pulling Kagome's attention forward.

Looking to Ian, the Miko blushed prettily as she squirmed in embarrassment. “Um, I'm okay.” Her voice was pleasant, however she could not hide her nervous energy. Ian seemed to pick up on this fact instantly.

“Nervous?” He asked, his voice holding a slight edge of humor as he turned from the large window, and made his way toward his desk. Kagome followed suit.

“Wouldn't you be?” she asked as she took a seat in one of the plush, modern chairs arranged before his desk. To her surprise, Ian didn't sit behind the glass and metal workspace. Rather, he half leaned, half sat on the edge, his own body a mere foot from her own.

Even in this position, the man was a giant. What was he, seven feet tall?!

Ian grinned as he replied. “Immensely. Then again, this meeting is just a formality. As far as I am concerned, you are already a Ford model. We just need to have it in writing... that and I need your stats and a few polaroids.”

The expression on Kagome's face was one of pure shock. “I... Really? Just like that?”

Ian smirked. “Yes, just like that. I'll be blunt...” Ian paused as he leaned forward, and playfully tapped Kagome's chin, encouraging her mouth to close. “...Most models spend a good year, or even longer working on their craft. They build a portfolio, skill-sets, and a reputation before they shop for an agency. You, on the other hand, are jumping right into the deep end.”

Kagome gulped nervously. “I'm still not sure I want this...”

Cocking his head, a thick, perfectly shaped brow lifted in quizzical fashion. “Then why did you call my assistant? Why are you here?”

Again Kagome squirmed uncomfortably. “Well, I...” Why did she call? It was all happening so fast...

“Hmm. I see I still have my work cut out for me. No worries. I always enjoy a good hunt, specially for the right prize.” A devilish smirk covered Ian's face as he leaned back, and gave Kagome the once over. “Perhaps we should get down to business so you can learn what you are getting into?”

Kagome inhaled slowly, resting the palms of her hands on her jean-clad thighs. “Sure.”

Ian nodded his head in approval. “So we at Ford Models are here to work for you, our models. We represent you in all aspects of your career. As your agent, I will guide you through the world of fashion. I will personally handle every possible client, and contract that will come your way. I will offer career advice, and tools to expand your knowledge. I will even suggest events for you to attend. When it comes time to build your portfolio, I will help select photographers and stylists. I'll even make suggestions on your personal, day to day style. Remember Kagome, modeling is so much more than being beautiful. You are a commodity. A tool used for marketing. And thus, every aspect of your look says something. We need to find your niche. And your personal style helps clients see that.”

Ian shifted from his position, only to stand upright. He towered over Kagome, forcing the girl to crane her head back. “Let's go over what it means to be a plus model.”

Over the next thirty minutes, Kagome came to learn the ins and outs of the business. She learned the process in which a client books a model. What to do at photo-shoots, and fashion shows. She even learned about standard rates, and what percentage Ian would make from her booked gigs. General knowledge of how to model would come later, Ian assured. He even promised to attend her first photo-shoot, which, he announced, was anytime she had available this week. Ian also explained what Ford Models expected from her.

“All models, whether standard or plus size, must maintain their STATS. You are a US size 12, so you need to maintain that size. Every month you will come into the office and be measured. Your portfolio will be updated on the regular, and only images from the past six months will be used. If you hair changes to any degree, new polaroids will be taken.” Ian turned to face his desk. There, he leaned over, and pressed a button on the in-office phone.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Mackenzie?” came a feminine voice over the intercom.

“Can you send Kate in here, to take Ms. Higurashi's measurements? Tell her to bring the camera too. We need to take a few polaroids.” Ian asked kindly, but in an authoritative voice.

“Right away, Mr. Mackenzie.”

Ian turned from his desk, and fixed Kagome with his stare. There, he offered a smile. “We'll get this part taken care of, then we will move on to the contract. And maybe not today, but at some point I need to watch you.”

Kagome felt a blush color her cheeks. “Excuse me?”

Ian snickered. “I need to watch you walk, to see how you move in heels. You are tall enough to do runway, and I want to see if I can submit you to, lets say, New York Fashion Week.”

Kagome's blush vanished as her skin blanched. “N-New York...?!”

Again Ian snickered, his green eyes watching her in amusement. “Yes, Kagome. New York. And London. Madrid. Portugal... By this time next year, you will be incredibly well traveled.”

Kagome didn't know what to say to this, so she opted for silence.

“Well don't get all excited...” Ian chuckled as he resumed his previous position, half leaning, half sitting on his desk. His long legs stretched out before him, practically touching Kagome. For some reason, this small detail made her heart pound within her chest. Rather than focusing on this, Kagome offered a pretty pout.

“I will! I mean, I am...! I... I just...” Kagome chewed on her lower lip as Ian watched her intently. She could feel blood rushing to her cheeks as embarrassment blossomed within. “I just... I never expected any of... this.” Kagome explained, signaling to the room with her right hand. “I never planned on being a model. I never saw any of this... I'm not sure I am cut out for this life...”

Ian shifted his weight, and reached forward. Resting his hand on Kagome's shoulder, a warm smile was offered. “I get it. I would be overwhelmed too if I was in your position. But Kagome...” Ian paused as he squeezed her shoulder reassuringly. “...it will be worth while. I promise.” Here, Ian's green eyes locked on with Kagome's sapphire orbs. And while maintaining this intense eye-contact, delivered yet another reassuring smile before lifting his hand from Kagome's shoulder. Instead, he captured her chin with his strong forefinger and thumb.

“I will help you, if you let me.”

Kagome couldn't breathe as her blue eyes widened in surprise. “I... um.... What?”

Ian's green eyes continued to stare into her sapphire depths as a knowing smile returned to his full, masculine lips. Unfortunately, just as he was about to reply, this intense, intimate moment was interrupted.

“Knock, knock!” Kate laughed as she entered Ian's office without permission. Her arrival was most welcome. And yet, simultaneously, was unwanted. Her entrance made Kagome frown, and Ian remove his hand. They both stood up together.

“There you are Kate.” Ian greeted, his voice pleasant yet flat, and without warmth.

“Yeah, sorry about that! Minako got lost again.” Kate laughed as she approached both Kagome and Ian.

“Lost?” Kagome inquired, a blush still coloring her cheeks. She was painfully aware of how close she and Ian were standing, and the fact he had yet to step away. When Kate noticed their close proximity, and the intense atmosphere, a slight frown crossed her features. This inspired Kagome to step away from Ian, allowing some semblance of personal space. Ian acted as if he didn't notice.

“Yeah, she started working here about a week ago. The poor dear still hasn't figured out how to get to her office.” Kate chuckled as she stood next to Kagome. “Alright, so, let's get you measured!”

Over the next few minutes, Kate measured Kagome. From her bust, waist, and hips, to her height and inseam, Kagome's body was measured and remeasured. Then, once this was completed, a few polaroids were taken against a white wall. As this occurred, Ian stood back and watched. Occasionally he would look at his IPhone, and send off a text. Meanwhile, Kagome stood silently, and did as she was told.

“Alright, that should do it! The photos should already be on the system. And I'll go get the rest of this info entered, and build you a model sheet!” Kate happily announced before waving goodbye, and leaving both Ian and Kagome alone once more.

“That wasn't so bad, now was it?” Ian asked as he rounded his desk, and took a seat. There, he opened his laptop, then, from a drawer pulled out a folder. From it, a stack of papers were produced.

Kagome smiled as she reclaimed her seat in front of Ian's desk. “No, not at all. But the rest of it...”

Ian offered Kagome a reassuring expression. “I know you are anxious, and think you are a poor fit. But look at this shot Kagome...” Ian reached for his laptop, and casually spun the screen around.

On his screen was a picture of herself, standing in front of the white wall. Her blue eyes were brighter than the sky. Her skin was flawless and glowing. Her raven hair was pulled up in a ponytail, and curled sweetly on her left shoulder. What Kagome thought was a blank stare at the time, translated well on camera. She sported a natural, pouty expression in the photo. And Kagome could not camouflage her surprise.

“Wow...That's... That's me?” Kagome's voice sounded just as incredulous as she felt. She was... beautiful! But, she didn't feel like that. She did not see that when she looked in the mirror... How did this happen? They must have done something to...

As if he could hear her internal dialog, Ian huffed. “Stop it, Kagome. That is you. No filters. No editing. Just you, a white wall, and a camera.” Ian turned his laptop back around and closed it shut. Once this was accomplished, Ian stood, a thin stack of papers held in his left hand. Rounding his desk once more, Ian resumed his earlier position, half leaning, half sitting on his desk, mere inches from Kagome.

“When are you going to start believing me when I say you are model materiel?” Once again Kagome found herself locked in Ian's green gaze. And once again, a blush colored her cheeks.

“Never.” Kagome answered without hesitation.

Ian chuckled. “You are a very stubborn person.”

Kagome lifted a brow as a smile crossed her lips. “You have no idea.”

Again Ian chuckled, running his right hand through his glorious brunette hair. “I am starting to.” Here Ian shifted, and handed Kagome the shin stack of papers held in his left hand.

“This is your contract. Shall we go over it?”

“Sure.” Kagome took the offered materiel, and glanced at the first sheet. At the top was the Ford Models logo, followed by its contact information. Below, was the beginning of the legal document.

Over the next several minutes, Kagome and Ian went over the details. She learned Ford would be the only agency she could work with. No problem there. The contract laid out their fee's, which was a flat twenty percent from any booked gig. Again, no problem there. The contract even covered Kagome's looks and stats, stipulating that she must maintain her current size, unless specified by her agent. Even her hair cut, color and styling would be up for discussion. This seemed a little odd to Kagome, but then again, modeling was about marketing. She was a canvas for designers, and thus must look the part.

“Do you agree to the listed terms?” Ian asked, looking up from his copy of the contract. Kagome could feel his green eyes upon her person, and so looked up. Once she met his gaze, Kagome nodded.

“Yes.”

Ian smiled a cocky, happy smile. “Excellent. Shall we sign?”

Again Kagome nodded. This led to Ian handing her a pen from off his desk. Once in her possession, Kagome stood. Then, standing beside Ian, used his desk to sign her contract. Ian followed suit. Once her copy was signed, she then signed Ian's version of the contract, while he signed hers.

There it was. It was done.

She was now a signed plus model, managed by Ian Mackenzie of Ford Models.

“Congratulations, Kagome! Welcome to the Ford family.” Ian grinned as he filed away his copy of the contract. Simultaneously, Kagome folded up her contract and held it in her left hand.

“Thanks.” Kagome smiled, before fidgeting awkwardly. Why did this feel so... anti-climactic? It was a big deal being signed by Ford Models. And yet she felt no different than she did this morning.

Again, as if he could read her mind, Ian chuckled. “A little anti-climactic, isn't it?”

Kagome felt taken-aback. Could he read her mind? Kagome almost laughed at this ridiculous notion. Of course not... “Yeah, a little bit.” Kagome laughed, all-be-it nervously.

Ian chucked again as he stood up. Now, towering over Kagome, her agent offered his hand. “It is always a pleasure when I talk with you, Kag's. I look forward to our professional relationship.”

“Yes, me too.” Kagome replied as she took his hand. And just like in the grocery store, a flash of heat rushed up her arm. Again, Kagome gasped in surprise, and again a cocky, knowing smile crossed Ian's mouth.

“Let me show you out.” Ian signaled toward his door. Then, with his left hand resting just above the small of her back, guided Kagome out of his office.

“Call me when you know of a free day this week. I want to get you in front of a camera right away.” Ian said as they both made their way through the offices of Ford Models.

Kagome nodded, feeling breathless and overwhelmed. Part of it was due to the fact she was a represented model. Part of it was due to the fact that Ian's hand had yet to leave her lower back.

“And make sure you call me if you have any questions.”

Kagome gave Ian a sidelong glance. “Any question?”

Ian chuckled warmly. “Yes, any question. That is not a request.”

Kagome scowled, but couldn’t help but giggle. “Challenge excepted.”

“Excellent.”

Together, Ian and Kagome made their way to reception. Once there, Ian pushed the 'down' button, summoning an elevator. Within a few moments, a familiar 'ding' announced its arrival.

In absolute silence, Kagome entered the elevator. Once the lobby button was pushed, her blue eyes fell forward. In this moment, emerald met sapphire for one last time.

“See ya later, Ian.” Kagome said, smiling to her agent.

Ian smirked back, and offered a wink. “Until next time, Kags.”

The elevator doors closed, and Kagome was whisked past several floors. But even though the newly signed plus model was heading downward, Kagome felt like she was finally moving forward in her life. The question was, what was on her horizon?

.

.

.

.

.

.

Ian Mackenzie watched as Kagome entered the elevator, his green eyes savoring the sight of her form one last time. Kami she was a beautiful little thing...

“See ya' later, Ian.” Kagome's voice was music to his ears, even when bidding farewell.

With a smirk on his face, he watched her plump lips move. He could not help but wonder, would she taste as sweet as he suspected? This single thought inspired a playful wink. “Until next time, Kags.”

Then she was gone, the elevator doors coming to a close, and sending her on her way. It was silly, however the room seemed to dim minutely with her departure. Then again, what else would happen?

It was not every day the Shikon Miko graced one with her presence.

Inhaling slowly, Ian turned, and headed back to his office, his mind filled with thoughts concerning his newly acquired beauty. And beautiful she was. He recalled the first time he laid eyes upon the Miko; arrow drawn, a look of determination on her face as a fierce cry escaped her full lips. This was the moment she annihilated the giant spider known as Naraku. Ian remembered the moment very clearly. The sheer, raw force of her power was almost as shocking as the news of her disappearance. Almost.

Ian entered his office, and closed the door before heading to his desk. There he sat as ancient memories consumed his thoughts. Five-hundred years ago, the great battle occurred between Yokai, Hanyou, and ningen alike. As the Daiyokai Lord of the European Lands, he himself had been present, though admittedly he played a lesser roll. Due to his lesser roll, he removed his presence once the battle had been won. However, despite his absence, Ian Mackenzie did hear the rumors. The rumors of the Shikon Miko vanishing from sight. Literally.

Rumor has it, the young ningen woman had made a selfless wish upon the completed jewel, only to vanish from thin air. No one knew where she went, or if she would ever return. And she didn't. For the following five-hundred years, the Shikon Miko named Kagome was forgotten through the many generations of the ningen population. Only the most ancient of Yokai and Hanyou remembered the girl. And now, five-hundred years later, here she was.

One of his own; a plus model made so due to a debt Ian himself owed.

Ian Mackenzie glared at his desk, his mind returning to the here and now. It was true. Kagome was signed to Ford Models due to a dept he himself owed. Granted, if there was no debt, Ian would represent the girl regardless. However, he would have never sought the girl out himself at that grocery store. Hell, he didn't even know she existed in this time. That is, until a certain son of a bitch came a-knocking.

Ian couldn't suppress the low rumble of disgust which vibrated within his chest. Kami he hated the Inu. When they first met some seven hundred years ago, a general distaste for one another bloomed. Over the many centuries, this distaste grew into hatred. Now, this hatred was brimming with blood-thirsty rage.

Specially when the Inu obtained the deed to his families lands several years back.

“But no longer.” Ian whispered to himself as he took out his IPhone, and dialed the correct number.

With Kagome now signed to Ford Models, the requested favor from the Inu was complete. Now, in return for such actions, the Mackenzie’s would have their lands returned. Ian couldn't help the smirk that crossed his lips as he listened to the phone ring. -He had to admit it; he was getting the better end of this deal.

His lands would be returned. Kagome was his to manage, and enjoy. Not only that, but it appeared the Inu Lord had a weakness. A weakness that was in the form of a ningen woman.

“Taisho and Sons Incorporated, this is Amanda, how many I help you?” came a female voice, interrupting Ian's thoughts.

“Yes, Ian Mackenzie for Sesshomaru Taisho.”

“Ah yes, Mr. Taisho is expecting your phone call. Please hold.”

Ian smirked to himself as his green eyes glittered with malicious intent. Perhaps he was playing with fire. But the Dragon Daiyokai was rather fond of flames.

After all, it was not everyday new prey was gifted. Specially if that prey had a direct line to a rivals heart.
As It Will Be - Sesshomaru/Kagome -CHAPTER 4

DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV – Sunrise. No money is being made from this work. The author (Evellin) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media.

 

AUTHORS NOTES: Hey everyone! So this chapter does not have a song acting as inspiration. None the less, here is chapter 4. Honestly, I can not wait for the next chapter. Finally, the story is getting to the good parts! Hold on folks, this is going to be a really fun ride!

So with that, I say, enjoy!

 

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DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV – Sunrise. No money is being made from this work. The author (Evellin) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media.



AUTHORS NOTES: Yay! An update! So this chapter was a necessary one, the general setting and plot are established. Now, after this chapter, we can get to the good stuff!

So with that, I say, enjoy!



As It Will Be

By Evellin

Chapter III – Nothing To Lose

Chapter Inspiration/Song Tracks:

Florence + The Machine - 'Shake It Out'



“Milk, eggs, butter. Milk, eggs, butter...” Kagome whispered to herself as she entered the grocery store on the corner of 8th and Main.

The market was located two blocks from the condo she shared with three girls, all of which attended the same college as herself. Kagome was the eldest of the group; she was in her senior year of college while the others were juniors. They were sweet girls. Very talkative, very friendly, but they ate like horses. Which, to Kagome, was surprising. They were much shorter, and much smaller than herself. Shrugging at this, Kagome took hold of a shopping basket, and began to meander through the store. Higher metabolisms, she supposed.

Kagome started off in the produce section. She had a short list of necessities, but that never stopped her from looking at the fresh food. It was April, so the selection was a little sparse, however fresh fruit and vegetables were still accessible thanks to modern technology. Kagome couldn't help the small tinge of sorrow that touched her heart. Though it had been four years since her forced return, her modern-day life still left her off balance.

In Feudal Japan, she and Sango would have a hell of a time finding fresh produce like this...

Kagome shook her head to clear her thoughts. Today was the four year anniversary of her exile from the past. Fours years to the day since she last saw her friends. Her family, really. Kagome inhaled slowly, attempting to calm her beating heart. She would not cry in the store. Nope. Not gonna happen.

Kagome looked at some fruit, and decided to grab two small, clear cartons of well ripened strawberries. This was followed swiftly by a couple avocados still firm. Unimpressed with the rest of the produce on display, Kagome moved on to the rows of aisles. “Milk, eggs, butter...”

Seasonings. Cake mixes. Frosting. Sugar and flour. The baking aisle reminded Kagome that one of her roommates, Kelsey, had a birthday coming up. Perhaps she should bake her a cake?

'Inuyasha loved it when I baked for him...' The random thought whispered through her mind in a most unwelcome manner. It caused her brows to furrow in annoyance. With a huff, the Miko quickly walked down the aisle, only to pause. She loathed the next aisle entitled 'packaged food'. These words of warning were written in white, bold letters upon a hanging, green sign. Despite her trepidation, she pushed forward.

'Maybe I should grab some pasta for dinner...' Kagome thought to herself as she attempted to focus on the task at hand, and not her growing anxiety. 'But what kind?' Hmm. Kagome paused in the middle of the aisle, looking at the brightly labeled foods.

“Spaghetti. Tortellini. Macaroni...” The possibilities were endless. Settling on a package of macaroni, Kagome decided to go 'American' tonight with dinner. She hadn’t made mac n' cheese in ages. She knew her roommates would approve. One of the girls was even from America. Seattle, if Kagome remembered correctly. Pleased with herself, Kagome moved on from the uncooked pasta, and continued on her way.

That is, until her eyes landed upon the large section completely dedicated to ramen.

Kagome couldn't help but stop dead in her tracks. Brilliant blue eyes stared unblinking at the many variations before focusing on one. 'Chicken was his favorite...' Kagome recalled, her heart constricting painfully as she looked at Inuyasha's preferred food. She use to buy pounds of the stuff. Now, Kagome rarely went down this aisle. And for good reason. As soon as Kagome came to a halt, her eyes began to swim in tears.

“Kami...” Kagome cursed at herself, using the sleeve to her over-sized sweater to mop up her tears. Was she ever going to bury this dead horse? The Miko shook her head, and sighed. 'Damn demons, always wanting their pound of flesh...'

She didn't want to make a scene. Crying in the middle of a grocery store did not sound like a good plan. However, standing in front of the ramen would certainly guarantee such a display. Because of this, Kagome bolted down the aisle, determined to put these negative emotions behind her.

Unfortunately, she was so determined to escape, she completely missed the 'wet floor' sign awaiting at the end of the aisle.

“Good Gods!” Kagome cursed loudly as she slipped and fell, sending strawberries, avocados, and macaroni flying. She herself became sprawled on the white, linoleum floor in a haphazard pose. Her unkempt hair, once held in a messy bun, became loose, and fell in tangled strands about her face. The tears shed not but moments ago became forgotten as embarrassment colored her otherwise pale complexion.

“Just my luck...” Kagome muttered in a frustrated, embarrassed tone as she scrambled to her hands and knees. Once there, she began to gather her scattered produce. She became painfully aware of the by-standards who had witnessed her slip, and now stood watching the show she provided. However, her embarrassment spiked when a pair of feet, once watching on the outskirts of her scattered produce, suddenly approached. Her blue eyes maintained their focus upon her spilled strawberries, trying to ignore the large, male feet shoed in expensive leather. However, she could not continue to ignore the man when he knelt, and a strong hand came into view. It offered one of her wayward avocados.

“You should be more cautious....” He spoke with an American accent and undercurrents of something European. His tone was deep, and crisp. It reminded Kagome of a thunderstorm in Autumn.

Hesitantly, the Miko reached for the avocado. When her fingers made contact with the fruit, her blue eyes glanced up through moist, black lashes. What she saw made her jaw drop.

Kneeling before her in an expensive suit, offering Kagome her avocado, was one of the most handsome men she had ever seen.

Instantly her mouth went dry as her brilliant eyes widened minutely. He wore a suit of charcoal grey, with an eggplant button down shirt. He wore no tie. Rather, the first few buttons to his shirt were undone. This allowed a small but tantalizing view of a strong collarbone. Broad shoulders, and robust arms fed into a thick neck which supported a chiseled, masculine face. It was clear he hadn't shaved this morning, a six o'clock shadow was proudly displayed upon his strong jawline. Full lips curled ever so slightly, while piercing green eyes watched her intensely. A mess of dark, brunet hair crowned this male god.

“...Wouldn't want you to get hurt.” He spoke again. This time, his voice held a slight glimmer of awe as his green eyes bore into her own.

Awe? Kagome almost scoffed at the idea. It had been some time since she had any sort of dealings with a male of this physical caliber. Four years, to be exact. As such, she felt off quilter. Her frumpy attire, and unkempt appearance stole what little grace Kagome naturally proclaimed. At least this was her opinion. In her eyes, there was nothing awe-inspiring about herself.

“I....Uh.... Thanks.” Kagome muttered nervously as she snatched her produce from his large hand. Once in her possession, Kagome quickly stuffed her items back into her basket, and climbed to her feet. To her surprise, he helped her up, his hand at her elbow lending her balance and support.

Even through her ratty sweatshirt, Kagome could feel the heat of his skin.

“I'm afraid your avocados might be bruised.” the male casually pointed out. His hand remained upon her elbow a fraction longer than necessary. Once removed, he took a casual stance as he continued in his regard.

Kagome could feel the blood filling her face. “Yeah. Along with my pride...” she muttered in embarrassment as she fidgeted uncomfortably.

To her mortification, he chuckled in response. “I'm sure it will heal without issue.” Here, the male paused casually, his brilliant green eyes glancing over her form. Kagome could almost feel his eyes touch every inch of her attire. Kami, why did she always wear this lumpy, dark-blue sweatshirt? Kagome pleaded with the Gods to strike her down now.

“Sure. Okay...” The onna grumbled. Refusing to look him in the eye, she bowed politely as she began her departure. She wanted nothing more than to high-tail it out of there. Oddly enough, he made her feel uncomfortable. Perhaps it was his immaculate appearance clashing with her unkempt attire. Perhaps it was his fierce, emerald eyes memorizing every curve of her body. Regardless, this male made her uneasy, and the need to escape overwhelming. Unfortunately, his rich, borderline seductive voice stopped her in her tracks.

“My name is Ian Mackenzie.”

Kagome shifted her weight back on her heels, stopping her departure. She then turned to face this new acquaintance. Ian Mackenzie... Why did that name sound so familiar?

With her blue eyes finally meeting his own green stare, Kagome offered him a forced but honest smile. “Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Mackenzie. My name is Kagome Higurashi.” She was about to deliver another polite bow, however her actions were interrupted by his extended hand. 'That's right, he is an American, and Americans shake hands.' Hesitantly, she accepted his offered appendage.

The moment her hand made contact with his, Kagome gasped quietly from the sudden flash of heat which traveled up her arm. 'What the hell was that?!' Kagome mentally wondered as her blue eyes focused on his massive hand now swallowing her own. It was strong, and lightly calloused from some sort of regular physical activity. However, his nails were perfectly manicured. It was an odd combination.

Upon Kagome's quite gasp, a knowing, cocky smile crossed Ian's mouth as his piercing eyes watched with humor. “The pleasure is all mine.”

Now Kagome was certain she would die of embarrassment. When was the last time she washed her hair? When was the last time she made any effort on her appearance? The last four years had been entirely dedicate to her studies, and attempting to forget. And yet, four years later, she hadn't forgotten. She still grieved. She still ached. She was locked in perpetual darkness, unable, unwilling to let go. She could not, would not dance. Not with a devil on her back. Not with Inuyasha's face and voice still haunting her dreams.

Kagome offered a polite smile to her new handsome acquaintance. She needed to get out of here. She needed to escape. This man was just an ordinary man, and yet his confidence, his height, his god-like appearance... they reminded her of a different time. A time where god-like beings roamed the Earth. A time where Yokai and Hanyou lived. And these small, seemingly innocuous facts tore at the Miko's heart.

“Thanks again for helping.” Kagome announced in as happy a voice as she could muster. Then, with a forced smile upon her lips, offered a slight bow. “I must be on my way...”

Kagome didn't take a single step before Ian reintroduced himself into her life. “Wait.”

Returning her sad, blue eyes to the tall brunette, Kagome paused in her departure. When nothing but silence reigned between them, the Miko cocked her head in curiosity. “Yes...?”

Here, Ian shifted in his stance as he took out a black leather wallet. From it, he pulled a business card. Now Kagome's curiosity was truly piqued. When he handed her the card, her blue eyes widened in shock.

She now understood why his name sounded so familiar.

“You're... You're Ian Mackenzie... The Ian Mackenzie...” Kagome's voice sounded as shocked as she felt.

She did not study fashion, nor had any real interest in the subject. But everyone knew who this man was. His name and face had been splashed on the covers of every major magazine and newspaper around the world. He was a world famous agent known for his good looks, impressive ability to scout talent, and his infamous playboy habits.

And this man just handed Kagome his card. This man who stood in a random grocery market like a normal person...

Kagome felt her head swim as shock overtook her thoughts. She barley registered his chuckle of amusement. “Indeed I am. I take it you have heard of me...”

The Miko choked upon her tongue as she laughed nervously. “There are few who haven't...”

Again a knowing smile crossed his full lips as his green eyes glowed in amusement. “Alas, one of the many burdens I must endure.”

Kagome rolled her eyes before she could stop herself. This man was full of himself... His ego could rival that of a certain Inu Daiyokai she once knew. “Yes... What a trying life you must lead.”

As a reply, Ian offered a full blown, hearty laugh. Kagome, to her frustration, enjoyed its sound.

“Beautiful and witty... Now there is no way around it.” Ian paused long enough to fix Kagome with his piercing green gaze. “I don't usually go about scouting talent like this, but when life offers an opportunity...” Ian paused as he shrugged in a carefree manner. “Call me, Kagome. I think I could find you a lot of work.”

Kagome knew she didn't hear him right. “Excuse me?”

Ian smirked at Kagome's shock as he resumed a casual stance. “You heard me. I think you would make a great plus model.”

Again Kagome choked upon her tongue, this time resulting in an unflattering fit of coughing. “Excuse me?!”

Once more the tall male laughed as he reached for his pocket, this time producing a handkerchief. When she declined his gesture, he continued. “A plus model... You're about, what? A US size 10, or 12?”

Thanks to her American roommate Kelsey, she knew the American clothing conversion. “A 12...Yes...” Kagome eyed the gorgeous male suspiciously.

Ian nodded as his assumptions were confirmed. “And standing about five foot nine inches?”

Again Kagome eyed Ian. “Yes...”

Here the male smiled brightly as he crossed his arms. “As I suspected. And I am going to guess you know nothing about the fashion industry, or what a plus model even is.”

Kagome couldn't argue with him on that one. And yet the only question she had was why. Why would he think she was model material? Did he not see her sloppy, frumpy appearance? Her unkempt hair? Her puffy eyes still swollen from shed tears? She was a mess. And his interest in her only made her want to crawl into a hole.

“Mr. Mackenzie...”

“Call me Ian.”

Kagome's brows furrowed slightly from his interruption, but continued none the less. “...Mr. Mackenzie, I am flattered you would say such things to me, but really...” Kagome paused as she glanced herself over. “...I am no model.”

Here Ian cocked his head as his green eyes gave her the once over. “I beg to differ.”

Kagome snorted in both humor and annoyance. This guy was something else. “Really. The girl who slipped and fell in the middle of a grocery store. This is the girl you think is model material...” The sarcasm and judgment which highlighted her tone was also displayed on her face.

A single, dark brow rose as Ian accepted Kagome's challenge. “Yes.” His tone was absolute as he crossed his arms in front of his chest.

Again Kagome snorted, and to her surprise, this seemed to inspire the slightest edge of frustration on Ian's part.

“Look. Who is the professional, here?”

Kagome's brows lifted in surprise. “Well... I...”

“And who has made a name for himself discovering, training, and managing models?”

Kagome shifted her weight as her embarrassment resurfaced. Man, this guy was something else! “Um...”

“Okay then. Perhaps you should listen to me when I say you have what it takes.” Here Ian took a minute step forward, closing the distance between their persons. Now, standing mere inches away, he spoke in an intense, self-assured tone. “I never waste my own time, Kagome. Nor would I waste yours.”

Green eyes glanced down to the card in Kagome's hand before returning his stare. “I mean it. Call me.”

Silence blossomed between the two individuals as blood continued to fill Kagome's face. She was mortified. She was embarrassed. She was intimidated and whats more, she was one-hundred percent certain she would not call. To her growing embarrassment, he seemed to gleam this fact from her facial expression.

“Kagome...” Ian glanced away as he pulled his IPhone out. With it, he wrote something down, either in a text or a memo. It was then a mischievous expression warped his features as his green eyes returned to hers. “...Don't make me hunt you down. Because I will.”

Kagome snorted. “Sure...”

To this, Ian offered a wicked smirk as he leaned in, reducing the space which separated their persons. “Try me.”

Sapphire eyes widened in surprise and embarrassment. This was nuts. He was nuts! And Kagome had had enough.

Opening her mouth to give this guy a piece of her mind, Kagome found herself interrupted by a long index-finger pressed against her lips. Now, shocked into silence, Kagome stared up into Ian's eyes as his finger maintained its position.

“I already contacted my assistant. She will expect a phone call by tomorrow.”

Revoking his finger from Kagome's lips, Ian finally stepped back, adding space to their once close proximity. It was here that he turned on his heal, and began to walk away.

Stunned silence held Kagome hostage before she took a breathe she wasn't aware she had been holding. With the reintroduction of oxygen to her brain, Kagome's infamous temper made its debut. “Hey! You've got some nerve, buddy!”

Ian simply continued to walk away, his right hand lifting to wave off her comment. “I'll talk to you soon, Kags.”

Kags? There was only one person who had ever called her that.

Kagome glowered after the retreating form of Ian Mackenzie. “What a jerk...” she grumbled under her breathe as her blue eyes twisted downward. Looking to his business-card in hand, the Miko made a face. “...Like I am going to call him. Me? A model? Get out of here....”

With a huff of frustration, Kagome was about to toss his card onto the ground, and be-rid of his existence all together. However, she stopped herself. 'No need to litter...' Kagome mused as her eyes glanced around her surroundings for a garbage can. When none was spotted, she decided to place the card in her purse. Not to keep, of course. Rather, to spare a store employee from cleaning up the mess.

Resolved in her frustration, Kagome went about her shopping. But rather than having thoughts of Inuyasha and the gang per usual, a tall, handsome stranger with an American accent kept her company.





~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~





“I want a chocolate one. At least two layers.” Kelsey chirped happily as she danced around Kagome. When Kagome went to put the milk away, Kelsey held the refrigerator door open. “Devils food, if you please!”

Kagome eyed her American friend out of the corner of her eye, smirking in amusement. “You'll eat what I make you, and you will like it.”

Kelsey made a face before mocking her in a salute. “Yes, Ma'am!”

Kagome snorted, pleased despite her confusing day. She really did like her roommates. They offered a nice distraction from her stressful college life. And with only a few months left before graduation, she needed all the amusement she could find. Finals were fast approaching, and soon it would all be over. Soon, Kagome would have to face the real world.

A world as bleak and mundane as she felt on the inside.

With an internal heavy sigh, the Miko attempted to clear her thoughts. She really did need to get over the whole thing. Inuyasha, Sango, Miroku and Shippo were in the past. Here, now, they were gone. Long gone, in fact. The only one's who might have survived to this day and age wold be Shippo, and Lord Sesshomaru. However, having never felt a Yokai aura in the modern era, Kagome accepted the truth. No one she knew from Feudal Japan had survived. They had all passed away. So wouldn't it be best to let go? Was it not time to bury that dead horse?

“Is that okay, Kagome?” Kelsey's sweet voice cut through Kagome's inner musings like a knife, causing the Miko to jump in surprise. What had she been talking about?

“I'm sorry, what?” Kagome inquired, blinking her eyes rapidly as she returned to the here and now.

Kelsey cocked her head in curiosity. “Whoa... What planet were you just on?”

With a smile and the shrugging of shoulders, Kagome brushed the topic away. “Finals, you know.”

The blonde American rolled her eyes. “Oooo that's weeks, and weeks away. Plenty of time to stress about that later.” Here Kelsey reached for Kagome's purse still resting on the white counter top. “So is it okay if I use your chap-stick?”

Nodding, Kagome allowed her mind to wander back to her departed friends as Kelsey dug through her purse. However, these private thoughts came to a screeching halt as realization came flooding back to Kagome's mind.

She had yet to throw Ian Mackenzie's business-card away. And Kelsey being, well, Kelsey, the unfortunate topic of Ian's offer would be breached.

“Oh hey, Kelsey, let me find that for...” Kagome's attempt to prevent Kelsey from finding the business-card was thwarted when shocked, delighted sequels erupted from the American.

“Oh. My. God!!!” Kelsey cried out as her hand held up the discovered card containing Ian's information. “Is this who I think it is?!”

Almost instantly Kagome's face filled with blood as mortified embarrassment swallowed her whole. “Um...”

“Oh my god, it is. You have Ian Mackenzie's business-card. Ian freaking Mackenzie!!” Within a heartbeat Kelsey danced out of the kitchen, and into the living-room where Azumi and Makoto sat, watching the news.

“You guys! O.M.G you guys! Lookie what I found in Kagome's purse!”

“Give it back, Kelsey!” Kagome cried out, chasing after the girl, albeit uselessly.

Azumi and Makoto pulled their eyes away from the TV screen to look at the outgoing blonde now fluttering about the living-room.

“What's going on, Kells?” Azumi asked, cocking her head quizzically.

“You will never guess whose business-card Kagome has.” Kelsey came to a halt in front of Azumi and Makoto, grinning from ear to ear. Kagome, in the meantime, fought to retain her lost piece of garbage. Unfortunately, Kelsey had a firm hold on the small piece of card-stock thus rendering her attempts futile.

“Oh this must be good...” Makoto giggled as she eyed the irate Kagome before settling her attention on their American roommate. “Give it here, Kells.”

Without hesitation, Kelsey passed the business-card to Makoto, who then held the card in front of her face. With furrowed brows, she read the card aloud.

“Ian Mackenzie. Ford Models. Model Scout, Manager, and Casting Director. -Tokyo, New York, London.” Makoto's voice sounded as incredulous as Kagome felt. And when her large brown eyes looked to her in disbelief, the Miko felt her face turn a new shade of a red.

“Holy shit...” Azumi whispered in disbelief.

“When did this happen?!” Makoto asked in both shock and exuberance.

Kagome looked to her feet, and began to fidget with nervous energy. “Today...” Kagome mumbled as she pulled at her lumpy blue sweatshirt. “...At the market.”

“Holy cow... Ian Mackenzie. THE Ian Mackenzie at OUR grocery store!” Kelsey squealed in delight before giggling. Then, in excitement, the American took hold of Kagome's hands and pulled her into a spin, forcing the girl to dance.

“You're gonna be famous!” Kelsey laughed as she spun with Kagome.

“You're going to be rich!” Azumi cheered as she watched the mortified Kagome stumble about.

“Oh my god you guys... No, I am not.” Kagome half laughed, half bemoaned. This allowed Kagome to pull her hands away from Kelsey who simultaneously ended her parade.

“What do you mean?!” The three girls squeaked simultaneously.

Kagome looked to each of her roommates before shrugging at their incredulous expressions. “Come on you guys... Me? A Model?” Kagome laughed nervously before settling her eyes on her feet. “...Let's be real... I can't be a model...”

Kagome did not see their physical reactions, however, she could hear their gasps of shock. This was swiftly followed by noises of outrage.

“What do you mean you 'can't' be a model?!”

“'Be real?!' Um, Ian freaking Mackenzie just discovered you! How much more 'real' do you need?!”

“You are way to hard on yourself, Kagome...”

“Here, I will get your cell...”

“Yes! Let's call him now!”

“Do you think you will travel?”

“Ooooo! If you do, I am coming with you!”

“O.M.G! You might model in America! I could visit you!”

“Your first photo-shoot I am so gonna be there!”

“I call dibs on the first single male model you work with!”

“No fair! I wanna cute hunky model!”

“You can have the next one...”

“Guys!” Kagome shouted over the din, waving her hands frantically to call attention to herself. This ended the noisy declarations and needless planning. When three sets of eyes stared at her blankly, Kagome sighed heavily before shaking her head.

“Look, I really appreciate all the kind words. I do. Really. But let's be real for a moment. -I am clumsy. I don't know a thing about fashion, or what it takes to be a model. Do you really think people are gonna want to look at this?” Kagome gestured to herself vaguely.

“Yes!” The three girls replied without hesitation, and in unison. This caused Kagome to pause in her negative self examination. In this moment of silence, Azumi stepped forward and placed a hand on Kagome's shoulder.

“Kagome...” She started off, her large brown eyes staring at her friend in earnest. “We have been roommates with you for two years now. And though there is much you refuse to share, we know how hard you are on yourself. We've seen you hide from the world, from yourself... It's pretty clear you think very little of yourself.”

The other two roommates nodded their heads in agreement before Kelsey stepped up.

“It's true Kagome, you are your own worst enemy. You really need to get that devil off your back...”

Makoto was last to step up, but spoke just as passionately as the other two. “I don't think you realize just how gorgeous you really are, Kagome.”

A snort of denial escaped Kagome before she could help herself. “You guys are just as crazy as Ian...”

Kelsey rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “No. We are smart. You are the crazy one. A girl with your curvy figure? Pssh, you are a heart-breaker, Kagome!”

Makoto nodded her head in agreement. “I bet it was your hair that caught his attention; Liquid, sapphire-midnight, I swear to Kami.”

Azumi pushed her way into the conversation, “What about those big, baby-blues? Have you ever see eyes as blue as hers?”

The three roommates shook their heads simultaneously before completing their circle of love around Kagome. “A heart-shaped face... Skin to die for... Kagome, you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. Ever.” Azumi finished.

Again, all the girls nodded their heads in unison before settling their stern gazes upon the overwhelmed Kagome. In return, the Miko felt her cheeks color a vivid hue.

“Thank you for that. Really. But...”

“But what, Kagome?” Kelsey interrupted, crossing her arms in frustration. “What is holding you back?”

Kagome felt her tongue swell as her blue eyes looked from one girl, to the next. “Well, I....”

“There you have it. Nothing. Nothing is holding you back, except yourself.” Makoto placed her hand upon Kagome's shoulder, before speaking again in earnest. “You deserve to be happy Kagome.”

The Miko swallowed as she attempted to digest her words. 'I deserve... to be happy? No...' Kagome's internal voice struggled with their words of encouragement.

As if she could hear Kagome's internal berating, Kelsey growled. “Stop it, Kagome! You do too! You deserve to be happy!”

“Yes!” Azumi agreed with absolute certainty.

Kagome bit her lower lip. '...Can I? Even after everything? Do I really deserve to be happy when my friends aren’t even alive?' Blinking her large eyes, she fought off tears that threatened to form. “But what am I suppose to do? I'm sure they would want me to come in for a meeting... What would I wear?”

Smelling a victory, Kelsey grinned from ear to ear. “We will help you with that! If anything, we will take you shopping!”

“I'll do your makeup!” Makoto declared.

“I can drive you down to their office!” Azumi offered.

Taken aback, Kagome chewed on her bottom lip. “I don't know you guys....”

With these words, Kelsey stood in front of her friend, and took hold of her shoulders. “Come on Kags. What do you have to lose?”

What did she have to lose...

These words echoed through Kagome's mind. They tore through her self-doubt and internal struggles, only to pierce her heart. To her surprise, a single word came bubbling up from her depths.

“Nothing. I have nothing to lose.” Kagome replied, in awe of her own response.

Kelsey, Azumi, and Makoto grinned simultaneously. “It's settled then!” the three girls chirped happily.

Kagome felt her head swim as a timid, but honest smile formed on her lips. 'Really, what do I have to lose?' She asked herself as she looked upon her roommates, her friends. And for the first time in four years, she felt a heavy weight fall from her shoulders. Finally, after four years, the dead horse was being buried. And it was there, deep underground, that her grief, her pain, her guilt and self-doubt, would remain.
As It Will Be - Sesshomaru/Kagome -CHAPTER 3

DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV – Sunrise. No money is being made from this work. The author (Evellin) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media.

 

AUTHORS NOTES: Yay! An update! So this chapter was a necessary one, the general setting and plot are established. Now, after this chapter, we can get to the good stuff!

So with that, I say, enjoy!

 


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Cover Art Preview for 'As It Will Be'
Been working on this baby today. Lot's still to sketch out before I line her, and transfer her into a digital version for cleanup and color!! As you can see, my fur-baby Gracie is helping me! Such a good little helper.... 

-This image is of a scene from my fanfiction 'As It Will Be', a romantic tragedy between Sesshomaru and Kagome.  The scene has yet to happen in the fanfic; honestly the scene won't come up for several more chapters. But here is a preview! 
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DISCLAIMER:  All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author; Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV – Sunrise. No money is being made from this work. The author (Evellin) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media.

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AUTHORS NOTES:    I'm not even going to beg for forgiveness. It's been forever since I updated this story, and well, that sucks. But here it is, Chapter 20. Honestly, I am still not happy with it, but eh, it's time to post this sucker. -I can't tell you how many times I've rewritten this thing. (at least six, and no, I'm not joking) But anyway, here it is.
So with that, I say, enjoy!


Autumn
Chapter Twenty
By Evellin







This was her second shower today, and yet the Miko scrubbed at her flesh as if it were the first. A permanent scowl twisted at her features, while teeth nibbled upon her bottom lip. Charged with emotional angst, Kagome took her frustrations out with a soaped loofah scented with lavender. Skin, both creamy in texture and color, soon turned bright red from the vigorous actions. Meanwhile, an internal berating lashed at raw nerves.

'You need to get it together, Kagome...' came the mental hiss of the angered Miko. '...You have three days. Three freaking days to get your family settled. To say goodbye to them. To make it so they aren't worried about you. And yet I just spent an entire day bitching and moaning... Kagome. You baka.' A frustrated huff escaped her lips as tears prickled at her eyes. 'You are as spoiled, and thoughtless as he is egotistical, and judgmental.'

Blunt teeth resumed their assault upon the captured flesh of her bottom lip. 'You have to be stronger than this. For Mom. For Grandpa... Even college-shipped Sota. Why else do you think you are here? To sit around and complain about the dog outside? No... Come on, Kagome.'

The Miko snorted in disgust as her mind switched topics by recalling her false promise made this morning. 'You made a fool of yourself in front of Sesshomaru today. If I act like a child, he is going to continuing to treat me as one. And what is Tatsuta-Hime going to think? Some Miko, acting as if she can evade the will of the Kami? I mean, what is going to prevent a Goddess from sending the two of us back to the Feudal Era? You can't just stop this, Kagome. Not you. Not Sesshomaru.... Certainly not my family. This is it.'

At this moment the words spoken by her Mother not but fifteen minutes prior, echoed through the Miko's mind.

“Kagome, I think you should let Sesshomaru see the future.” Mother-Higurashi paused for a brief moment only to continue in her parting of wisdom. “I can only guess at the horrors you have faced.... And at the hands of that Yokai. So I get it. I understand why you are behaving this way. However, I do know this is something even you can not change. If the Kami of Autumn was able to bring you home, She can and will return the two of you back to the Feudal Era. I don't think there is anything you can do about that...” Once more Mother-Higurashi paused, looking to her daughter in sympathy before continuing. “...Just like this situation between you and Sesshomaru. Make the best of this opportunity, honey. Show him the error in his ways.”

Even now, standing in her privet, hot shower, a chill ran down Kagome's back. Though her Mother's advice was gut-wrenching, even when initially spoken, the Miko knew the truth of it. Mrs. Higurashi was right. Nothing can be done. Kagome was Mated to Sesshomaru. She would be returning the the Feudal Era in two days time. And when they returned, she would be the new Lady of the West.

Tearing blue eyes fluttered to a close as the Miko completed her brutal scrubbing. She sighed in exhaustion, and silenced her mind. She was so very tired; physically, mentally, and emotionally. It seemed like an eternity since Sesshomaru claimed her for himself, and yet it has only been five days. Five days that spanned a lifetime. Five days that has changed everything beyond recognition. And it all belonged to her. Granted, it was a life not of her choosing; how could it? None the less, this was her new reality. This was her life. And so, because of this, Kagome would seize the opportunity granted by Tatsuta-Hime.  She had too. What choice did she have?

She could not change the fact that Sesshomaru was her Mate. But she could stand up for herself. She could demand respect. And with the modern age surrounding them, who knows? Maybe she could show him a new way of thinking, and thus, a new way of behaving. This thought gave the onna pause as an idea popped into her head. Maybe if he understood how deeply he had hurt her... Maybe if he saw the repercussions of his actions... Could it be? Is it possible? 'Can Sesshomaru actually change? Can Sesshomaru be remorseful?'

Blue eyes flashed open as a spark of determination grew into a tiny but permanent fire. She knew what she had to do. Unfortunately, it would be an unpleasant undertaking.

“You can do it, Kagome.” The Miko's voice was quite, brimming with the exhaustion that weighted heavily upon her. However, below this saturation of fatigue, lay a current of strength ripe with conviction. It was time to make a stand. It was time to demand respect. It was time to let that Inu know she was his equal.

It was time to reiterate how deeply Sesshomaru had hurt her.

With a weary but determined sigh, Kagome rinsed away the lavender-scented suds from her form. Then, after wringing excess water from her hair, brought an end to her shower. With the simple twist of a knob, the heated spray stopped falling. And as water droplets slowly streamed down her naked curves, Kagome reached for the shower curtain.

Pushing the moss-green, plastic material aside, the Miko looked up from the tiled floor. But rather than finding the typical view of her small and feminine bathroom, strong masculinity was on display.

For there, not but three feet from her naked body, filling every available inch within the tiny room, stood the fully armored figure of Lord Sesshomaru.

“WHAT THE HELL!!” Kagome cried out, jumping with a start as she did so. Instantly her hands returned to the shower curtain, only to pull the plastic fabric taunt around her form. Meanwhile, a brilliant rosy hue colored her cheeks as her bright eyes stared daggers upon the one named Sesshomaru.

“What is wrong with you?!” Angered by this intrusion on her privacy, the Miko's left eyebrow twitched as blood continued to flush her cheeks. “You don't just come into the bathroom when someone is in here, Sesshomaru!” her voice was borderline hysterical as she chastised the foreboding male. “For Kami's sake, I'm naked!!”

Frustration seared the Inu's blood. Anxious need for answers drove his instincts. However, despite these intense feelings, Sesshomaru came to a pause. The sight of Kagome's naked curves sent a shiver down his spine. And the bashful display of her modesty inspired a humored expression. He had seen the girl naked several times before.  He knew the feel of her. The taste of her. And yet she was embarrassed? The girl who once traipsed around Feudal Japan in nothing but an over-glorified green loincloth, and a thin-fabric, white houri? Sesshomaru couldn't help the small snicker which escaped his smirking lips.

“Indeed...” The Inu's voice was deep, and filled to the brim with admiration. “...I rather prefer you in this state of undress.” As a response, his Mate's blush intensified which in turn issued another chuckle from the temporarily distracted Inu. Her verbal reply, however, brought him back to the task at hand.

Displaying an expression full of exasperation, the Miko freed her left hand from the shower curtain. “Yeah, well, don't get too use to it, buddy! I'm not your little chew-toy! Not anymore!” These harsh words were accentuated with the wagging of her finger while her right hand tightened it's grip upon the shower curtain.

“Now, be a good dog, and GET OUT!”

Sesshomaru did not find this amusing, and in response, bared a single fang in challenge. “Come here, and make me.” His tone was simple, and yet within its current lay dark promises. Promises he was prepared to carry out with impassioned vigor if the situation called for it.

This poorly veiled threat sent a shiver down Kagome's spine, despite her modest outrage. However, her Mate's words, and silent promises did nothing to dampen her spirits. Rather, she inhaled loudly, and bristling with bravery, stared at her Inu Mate in bemusement. This was followed swiftly with an ice-cold snarl.

“I do not train dogs.”

Stalemate.

Pegged against one another, a stare-off began. Brilliant sapphire hardened towards liquid gold. Slitted pupils shortened as magenta-lined eyelids narrowed. The two Mated beings remained perfectly still in this tense session of silence. However, due to their spiritual bond, a conversation of sorts transpired. A conversation where emotion was the chosen language. And to Kagome's surprise, Sesshomaru's actions was the topic at hand.

Apparently, now was the time for the dreaded honest discussion. And she had no problem leading the charge.

Kagome was enraged. She was hurt. With zero hesitation she displayed the deep emotional wounds inflicted upon her mind and soul. This was the seed to her pain: his actions, his mannerisms, his total disregard for her feelings and thoughts. And like a taproot coiled tightly around her heart, distrust over her Inu Mate had grown. Too much had occurred. Too much was inflicted. There was nothing she could do, to overlook this discord. At least, not in such a short span of time. Did Sesshomaru not understand this? Could he truly be so clueless as to the crimes he committed against her person, and the results there of?

The answer was no.

To Kagome's surprise, the sensation of sympathy resonated from her Mate. It bled into his anger, his frustration, his longing. It rippled through his spirit, and gently caressed her own. Sesshomaru did feel empathy toward her. However, hidden behind this surprising emotion, was his sense of superiority. A righteous truth that made the very essence of Sesshomaru. And though his sympathy for his Mates suffering was fully developed and recognized, it did not, would not, usurp him.  

Sesshomaru was not sorry for his actions. And he never will be.

Kagome's legs began to tremble from this very blunt, and matter-of-fact discovery. 'He isn't sorry...?' came the eternal whisper of Kagome's soul. 'He isn't sorry...' Like a dagger, the truth sliced at armor protecting Kagome's heart. With surgical precision, what little hope remained was quickly dismembered. Anguish curled within her chest, and corroded her bloodstream. It filled her mind, and left her panting from the ordeal. And with eyes brimming with tears, the onna broke eye contact, unable, unwilling to continue her challenge.

“You aren't sorry that you raped me...” Kagome whispered, ending the silence that had befallen the tiny bathing room. “You feel sorry for me, and yet you are not sorry for what you have done...”

To hear his Mate verbalize the emotional vortex swirling within his person left the Inu momentarily conflicted. However, he soon found his voice.

“Yes.”

This single word was the final blow. He wasn't sorry. He wouldn't be sorry. He felt compassion, but not remorse. And he wouldn't change his mind on the matter.

He refused to change at all.

Biting her lower lip, the Miko blinked her eyes rapidly in a failed attempt to refrain from crying. “...I... I don't understand how you can be so cruel...” Sorrow unfurled within her gut as her voice cracked. “How can you be so cruel?!”

Pausing momentarily, the Inu Lord regarded his Mate in surprise. His expression went from general startlement, to one of consternation. Then, after a fraction of a moment, took a step forward. With less than two feet separating their bodies, the Daiyokai went to make his move. Grasping hold of the moss-green, foreign material, Sesshomaru proceeded to push the fabric away.

“No!” Kagome whimpered out, tears flowing from her large blue eyes as she desperately clung to the shower curtain. Heartbroken, her whining voice was desolated by betrayal as she fought for her modesty. However, despite her feeble attempt to hide herself, the Miko was ultimately uncovered. With absolute authority, Sesshomaru revoked every covering, every shield, from his Mate. And now, standing naked, became physically, mentally, and emotionally prone before the Inu male. He could see everything. He could feel everything. She was an open book, unable to prevent the Inu from reading each page.

It was all too much. She couldn't do this. This isn't what she wanted.

With an anguished sob, Kagome hid her body as best she could. Hugging her breasts, and twisting her torso, the Miko was swallowed whole by devastation as she stood naked before the Inu. “No...” she cried again as her body was overtaken by overwhelming sorrow. It was too much. She couldn't hold it together any longer. Why should she hold it together? With the hope for his remorse stripped away, there was nothing to fight for. There was nothing to help him change. He would always be her predator, and she his prey. And because of this, Kagome's knees gave in, leaving the Miko unable to hold her own weight.

Watching his Mate collapse before him, Sesshomaru moved swiftly. And before her knees could hit the ground, captured the grieving woman with his strong arms. Now, down on one knee, the Inu Lord offered a low, comforting rumble from his chest. And as this sound reverberated throughout the tiny space, pulled Kagome in, cradling her warm, soft body against his cold, armor-clad chest.

“No...” Kagome sobbed once more, her voice miniscule as she lamented. Her hands left her body, attempting to push the Inu away. Simultaneously, she shook her head as tears streamed down her flushed cheeks. “You're so cruel...” her voice was but a whisper as her body trembled within his embrace.

Despite the pathetic resistance offered by his Mate, Sesshomaru held her tightly. He refused to let her go even as he shrugged his mokomoko off his shoulder. Then, possessively yet tenderly, engulfed his Mate with the warmth of his pelt.

“Kagome.” Sesshomaru's voice was low, and filled with a tender heat. “Kagome, listen to me.” the Inu spoke again, his words easing over the Miko's pathetic mewling, and fruitless struggles. His large, strong hands held her firmly as his robust arms maintained their commanding grasp. And with his white, fluffy pelt swaddling her nude form, protected her modesty in this intimate embrace.

“I will not have remorse over actions which brought you to me.”

His voice, though dripping with male dominance, whispered over Kagome's prone form like the gentlest of strokes. It caused the Miko to hiccup to a stop, her tear-ravaged eyes fluttering open only to look up into orbs of amber. When fiery gold met brilliant sapphire, the Inu continued.  

“I did not plan to take you as my Mate, Kagome. But I will not view my actions as a mistake. The pain you have expressed? Yes... That is my doing. Your distrust of me was a lesson learned. I accept those truths. I do regret your pain. However...” Once more the Inu paused. And in doing so, tightened his hold, and tucked Kagome up under his chin.  

“...I do not regret the moment where I took you for my own.”

Kagome was brought to a shocked silence. '...He... He doesn't regret...? …I don't understand...' Lost to this startling admission from her Inu Mate, she neither resisted, nor complained about her new position under his chin. Even as the Daiyokai nuzzled the top of her head, she did not retaliate. With his white, fluffy expanse swaddling her body, Kagome did not feel the cold bite of Sesshomaru's armor. Nor did she feel his clawed hands holding her tightly. What she did feel, was his overwhelming strength, his unshakable control, and his raw honesty which ensnared every inch of her mind, body, and soul. Mystified, the Miko continued to listen as the Yokai's lips pressed against her moist, raven hair.

“I will protect you, Kagome. And the pups I shall sire upon you. And with time, I will earn your trust.” Once more the Yokai paused as he slowly leaned back in an attempt to look down upon Kagome's face. When the emotionally stunned onna refused to return his stare, the Inu's right arm tightened, allowing his left to capture her chin.

Held firmly between clawed forefinger and thumb, Kagome's chin was tilt back, forcing the onna to look directly into his eyes. There, a concoction of emotion brewed. Confusion. Longing. Sympathy. He was overflowing with these emotions, and connected as she was, Kagome's spirit absorbed the excess. She was angry. She was hurt to her very core. None the less, she felt. She felt every inch of Sesshomaru's tribulations. And when the Inu spoke, she had not the will, nor the desire to squash the empathy which blossomed within her heart.

“It's too much.” Sesshomaru admitted lowly to the silent Miko who refused to blink. Here the Yokai inhaled slowly as his eyes closed to the world. When he spoke again, they slowly opened. “I can hear the Earth screaming, Kagome. I can taste the suffocating air. I feel the trees shiver in fear....” Golden orbs burned all the brighter as his full lips, mere inches from her own, sagged in dismay. “I am torn in every direction. I have no barrings. Mother Earth is dying, and yet I know not as to why. What sort of world has this become? How can the ningen be so thoughtless? So careless? So greedy?”

Here, Sesshomaru's embrace tightened minutely as his face edged ever closer. “Help me to understand, Kagome. I need to understand.”

Kagome's sapphire gaze widened. Her breathe hitched. And for the first time in her life, she saw Sesshomaru differently. For the first time in her life, she heard the Daiyokai Lord ask for help.

Silence reined over them. It was not uncomfortable. It was not awkward or embarrassing. Rather, in this still, privet moment, there was understanding. There was honesty. There was respect.

Before Kagome knew what she was doing, she spoke. “Yes...” Her voice was a whispered breathe, practically drowned by her own thundering heart. Meanwhile, her brilliant eyes had yet to blink, let alone revoke their stare from Sesshomaru.

Inhaling her scent through his nose, the Inu's brows furrowed slightly. His full lips parted. He ever so slowly began to lower his mouth onto hers. However, when the Miko spoke again, the Inu became perfectly still.

“...But I will need something in return.”

Here Kagome felt her body begin to tremble as a nervous energy spread through her veins. Blinking her brilliant eyes, she watched as Sesshomaru returned to his previous station. Once again a few inches separated their lips. His fingers had yet to revoke their hold upon her chin. But now his eyes blazed with an intensity flavored by curiosity.

“Speak.” The Inu's voice rumbled yet maintained a soft, and non threatening quality. “Tell this Sesshomaru of your needs.”

Taking a deep breathe, Kagome bit her lip as she bolstered her courage. 'Here's your chance, Kagome. It's now or never...' the Miko thought to herself. Then, blinking once, made her demands.

“I need you to do more than get me pregnant, Sesshomaru. If I am ever going to trust you, I need more than your protection...” Here Kagome paused as Sesshomaru cocked his head every so slightly. “...What I need is your respect.” Kagome paused again as her brows furrowed, and her pink tongue moistened her lips. “Look, I understand you are Inu. I'm a Miko, you are Yokai... I get that. We're different. But... Does that mean we can't work together? Can't we find... I don't know... Some sort of common ground?” The ningen onna bit her lip as her heart began to race. “...I need this from you, Sesshomaru. I will try and keep in mind the nature of your instincts... But I need you to do the same for me.”

Maintaining eye contact became unbearable. With a blink of her eyes, Kagome shifted her gaze down and away, only to fidget within the Inu's unrelenting embrace. Why did she feel so embarrassed? Her heart was racing a mile a minute. She was on edge. She was proud of her vocal declaration, however the outcome of such a display was still in question. Chewing on her lower lip, the Miko blinked before glancing up at her Mate. How was he going to respond?

To the Miko's amazement, the Daiyokai returned her nervous glance with a warm stare. He was not mad. He was not offended. Though his typical placid expression was in full use, Kagome could see the slightest upturn at the corners of his mouth. Golden eyes, usually ablaze with hunger and power, now radiated something softer, more gentle.

With his forefinger and thumb still holding the Kagome's chin, Sesshomaru looked down upon his nervous Mate. 'More than my seed? More than my protection? Oh little girl...' Sesshomaru's inner voice surprised even himself, '...I will give you so much more.'

He couldn't stop his lips from twitching upward. Though far from a smile, the physical display of his satisfaction was natural, and unpreventable. His amber eyes glowed. And with his clawed forefinger maintaining its position under Kagome's chin, used his thumb to pull her lower lip from between her teeth.

“Agreed.” The Inu's voice was deep, and low in volume. It held the weight of his sincerity, and the depth of his promise. And as the Inu continued to stare down upon his Mate, Sesshomaru felt an odd sensation spread within Kagome. This sensation, though experienced with others, was new when concerning himself.

Kagome believed him.

She could not put into words as to why. She did not understand it herself. Every part of her functioning brain told the Miko to ignore his promises. Their past suggested the Inu to be a liar. And yet, locked within Sesshomaru's embrace, held tenderly, carefully, cautiously, she knew the truth of his words. Sesshomaru would try. He would do more than try; He would succeed. Sesshomaru was capable of change. And it was this realization that brought an end to the Miko's tears.

With one last blink, the final drop of sorrow escaped Kagome's sapphire eyes. As this lone tear slipped down her cheek, Sesshomaru's thumb was there to wipe it away. Gently his clawed digit caressed tender flesh still blushing from her emotional tribulations. And as this gesture came to an end, Sesshomaru blinked his golden eyes before parting his lips, offering a modest glimpse of his two sharp fangs.

'He's going to kiss me now...' Kagome mentally whispered as her blue eyes lowered to his full, masculine mouth. The thought made her heart leap within her chest, making her body tremble once more. She was nervous. She was excited. She was scared. She didn't want him to touch her, and yet she was ready. She was prepared.  

Kagome stopped breathing as she watched Sesshomaru's mouth lower. Every muscle in her body tensed in preparation. However, mouth-to-mouth contact was never made. Instead, her captured chin was gently tilted, forcing her head to cock ever so slightly. Then, with her eyes wide, and breathe held, the Inu's check brushed against her own as his lips found her ear.

“It is time for bed, little otome.”

The gentle caress of his hot breath made the onna shiver. The smooth texture of the Inu's cheek made her heart skip a beat. And when his fingers released her chin,   she found herself immobile; unable, unwilling to move. Eyes wide, lips parted, Kagome had to remind herself to breathe as shock whispered through her system. However, this expression, and total lack of verbal response, came to an end when Sesshomaru moved.

With his arms cradling her form, the Daiyokai slowly and effortlessly stood. This caused the Miko to gasp, her arms jumping to Sesshomaru's neck in response. “Hey! Put me down...” the Miko whined, a look of righteous outrage lighting up her features. “I'm not tired yet, Sesshomaru!” Her bemusement morphed into embarrassment as a powerful yawn momentarily held her hostage. Per usual, her body betrayed her mind.

Sesshomaru could not prevent the warm chuckle which rumbled through his chest. His Mate, so strong, so intelligent, was still very much like a child. “Yes, you are.” His deep voice confirmed. Its warm timber resonated with dominance, yet caressed the air soothingly. It was akin to that of a loving parent guiding a wayward child.

Glaring at her Inu Mate, the onna pouted prettily. “No I'm not.” Her voice was quiet as her lips pursed. However, this small tantrum came to a swift end when Sesshomaru left her tiny bathroom, and entered the bedroom. Upon seeing her bed, a second yawn ripped past her control, forcing the onna to cover her mouth from the loud display. Simultaneously, a vivid blush colored her cheeks.

Once more the Daiyokai chuckled his amusement as he approached Kagome's bed. “You are a terrible liar, Miko. Now behave. It's time for bed.”

Maintaining her pouting expression, Kagome kept her mouth shut. She didn't like it when Sesshomaru was right, even on trivial matters such as this. None the less, the Miko remained silent. She needed to learn to choose her battles. And her bedtime, specially after such a long day, was not one of them.

Adjusting his hold, Sesshomaru leaned over Kagome's mattress. Then, with his left hand, pulled back the pink blanket. Once the white sheets were exposed, Sesshomaru began to lower his sulking Mate. And careful to keep his mokomoko about her naked body, revoked his arms from her person as he went to one knee. In this position, he began to tuck her into bed.

An odd silence enveloped them both as Sesshomaru concluded this intimate action. He was highly aware of Kagome's blue eyes, watching him in uncertainty, unblinking, unmoving. However, it was only when the job was finished that he met her vivid stare. There, a flash of electricity sparked between them. So powerful was this sensation, Sesshomaru could all but see the brilliant light. And when Kagome gasped in surprise, Sesshomaru realized he was not alone in this experience.

“...Um... I, uh...Well, thank you...” Kagome whispered, her brilliant eyes wide with curiosity and the slightest tinge of fear. She wasn't sure what more to say, and felt terribly unnerved by the energy coursing between them. Thankfully, Sesshomaru interrupted her confused murmurings.

Blinking his eyes, the Daiyokai quickly changed the subject to a less intimate topic. “I wish to start early, tomorrow.” The Inu announced as he shifted upon his knee. Reaching down, he began to loosen his obi which held his swords in place: it was a desperate attempt to ignore the delightful electricity which flowed though his veins. “However I shall leave it to you, as to when and how we start.”

Kagome's brows lifted in surprise. He was letting her take the lead? Kagome bit her lip as she snuggled into the warmth of Sesshomaru's pelt, and the pink blanket covering the bed. “Sure... Okay.” the Miko whispered, peering up at him from her prone position upon her back. From this angle, she watched as Sesshomaru removed his weapons. To her surprise, he did not remove his armor.

“Aren't you... uh... Aren't you uncomfortable?” Kagome asked, her eyes lowering to the metal plates guarding his chest and torso.

Sesshomaru looked down his nose at his Mate, eying her with an indifferent stare. “No.” was his simple response. He was pleased when an embarrassed blush colored her cheeks.

“Oh.” Kagome whispered, turning her eyes anywhere but the massive, silver-haired god currently kneeling beside her bed. The following awkward silence led to a massive yawn, her weariness reintroducing itself to the forefront of her thoughts. Out of politeness, she hid this physical display below the covers.

Upon seeing his Mate's fatigue, Sesshomaru could not help but sigh gently. It was indeed time for bed. His Mate had undergone much over the past several hours. Her ningen abilities must be stretched to the max. With this in mind, the Daiyokai glanced about the odd room, filled with alien objects and materials. Within moments, his golden stare fixated upon the brilliant, unwavering flame lit at the center of the ceiling. 'Hmm. How does one extinguish this unnatural light?'

Right on cue, as if the Miko could hear his thoughts, Kagome freed her right arm from beneath her covers. “Do you see the small rectangle on the wall, by the door, Sesshomaru?” With this inquiry, the onna pointed toward the door which fed out into the hall. Following the invisible trail with his eyes, Sesshomaru took notice of the described item.

“Yes.” Sesshomaru replied as he effortlessly stood, and moved toward the rectangle. At its center, a small, white nubbin of sorts protruded. It looked unusual, however it was not the first time he took notice of it. He had seen these odd things scattered throughout the house.  

Kagome couldn't help the sleepy grin that contorted her face. “See the switch at its center? Flick it down.”

Curiously, and without hesitation, the Inu did as he was told. And with a click, the room instantly went pitch black. “Extraordinary...” the word left his lips in a hushed tone of bewilderment. Moments later, driven purely out of curiosity, Sesshomaru flicked the switch again. Just as suddenly, and just as bright as before, the light returned. “...Extraordinary.” He whispered yet again. This was followed by repeated action; light switch on, light switch off. Light switch on, light switch off...

Watching the Yokai examine this modest piece of technological advancement, Kagome couldn't help but giggle in amusement. However it was this musical sound that made Sesshomaru pause his actions, leaving the room brightly lit. Turning toward his giggling Mate, the Daiyokai offered the girl a smirk before extinguishing the light, returning the room to darkness.

“Do you laugh at this Sesshomaru?” The Inu's voice purred from the black depth. The sound, and the reaction it inspired within Kagome, made her palms sweat. His voice was entirely overwhelming, and frighteningly erotic. As a result, her lower stomach tighten in a most delicious and alarming manner.

“No...” The Miko squeaked, clutching the mokomoko tightly as she blinked in the dark. “-I wouldn't dream of it.” Minute horror lined her hushed tone of sarcasm. Meanwhile, a shocking thought crossed her mind. 'My god... Am I...? Are we...? Flirting...?!'

“Hnn.” Came the velvety tone of Sesshomaru's voice. The sound made the hair on Kagome's arms stand on end as a delightful shiver ran down her spine. She couldn't help but fidget beneath the covers. However, when Sesshomaru spoke again, she jumped with a start.

“Careful, little girl...” The hushed warning was spoken in a playful, alluring tone. And it's source was located just above her head. So close, in fact, she could feel Sesshomaru's heated breath caress her parted lips. His mouth couldn't have been more than an inch or two from her own.

“Kami!” Kagome hissed in a startled tone, her eyes wide open, staring into the blackness above. Somewhere in said darkness, her Inu predator watched. “Are you trying to freak me out? Gah, you did that shit on purpose...”

Kagome could hear rather than see the Daiyokai's uncharacteristic grin. “Behave, Miko...” came the Inu's gentle reprimand, bringing an end to their random, yet playful banter. Simultaneously, Sesshomaru's clawed hand reached forth, and pulled his royal pelt up under Kagome's chin. There, his forefinger and thumb took hold of her in a secure yet caressing manner. “...Go to sleep.” It was a command.

“Oooo, you can be so overbearing, you know that?” The Miko grumbled as her heart-rate slowly returned to normal. Once more she heard Sesshomaru smirk, his thumb caressing her cheek while doing so.

“Only when I must. Now go to sleep, Kagome. I will not ask you again.” The Inu ordered, his voice maintaining its soft tone despite its commanding presence.

When Sesshomaru released her chin, Kagome made a face in the dark. “Yes, your Majesty...” The Miko mumbled in a sulking fashion, a full on pout shifting her features. However, despite her bemused attitude, Kagome shifted upon her bed, getting into a more comfortable position. Once she was on her side, hugging Sesshomaru's pelt to her chest, Kagome's blue eyes fluttered to a close. There, she huffed in frustration as her internal dialog spat a few choice words. None the less, she kept her mouth shut. 'Choose your battles, Kagome...'

In no time at all, Kagome's awareness began to drift away. Oh how she missed sleeping on a modern-day bed! Spread out, warm and comfortable, Kagome felt completely at ease for the first time in days. Months, even. However, there was a nagging sensation prickling at her senses. She was being watched, and she knew by whom.

In a muffled, sleepy, slightly annoyed voice, Kagome broke the silence to address this small distraction. “Are you going to keep watching me like that?”

To the Miko's surprise, Sesshomaru responded. It was a response that left the onna speechless. It was a response that made her embrace her own exhaustion as a form of escape.

“For the rest of my days.”




*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*




The Shrine was dark. He worked best when alone.

The night was silent. Though surrounded by Tokyo, the hill upon which the Higurashi Shrine sat, remained excluded.

His goal was clear. He must protect that which belongs to him. And though it was impossible to break the spiritual bond which melded the spirits of Lord Sesshomaru and Kagome together, Grandfather-Higurashi still had options.

'That son of a bitch will pay.' whispered the angry thoughts of the old Priest.

The moment dinner concluded, Grandfather-Higurashi excused himself from the kitchen. With a peck on Kagome's cheek, and a mumbled 'I love you', the old man left his Granddaughter and Daughter-In-Law alone. After all, listening to Kagome's rantings did nothing to help the girl beyond showing support. And though that was all well and good, Grandfather-Higurashi wanted... No, needed to do more.

And he would. Tonight.

Alone in the dark he stood, surrounded on all sides by the holy Shrine. Within this sacred space his own ability could be honed. It was true he was no great Priest. His abilities with holy power were next to nil when compared to his own Granddaughter. However, he was trained. And within this holy space, even his modest abilities would prove enough. They had to be enough. For though the spells in which he conjured were simple, they must be solid. They must be unbreakable.

After all, they would be used upon one of the greatest Daiyokai to have ever walked this Earth.

The process was slow. It was a project that would take all night. Each bead must be created individually, and yet be perfectly identical. They must be formed, one by one, until the exact amount required was met. Then, each bead, one by one, must be painted. This too must be identical, both in color and style. However, at each of these steps, each individual bead must be infused with the chosen spell. One by one. Bead by bead. The process was tedious, and time consuming. But it would be worth it. Oh how it would be worth it.

All night the old Priest labored to achieve his goal. Muscles cramped. Sweat dripped from his brow. Hands ached, and stomach turned. All the while he chanted. Quietly. Evenly. Like a lullaby sweetly hummed to a dozing child, these ancient words surrounded his work. It offered him a rhythm. And with it, a distraction. His muscles cramped and yet he did not stretch. Sweat burned his eyes and yet he did not blink. Sick to his stomach, and aching from old age, Grandfather-Higurashi gave everything of himself.

Everything to achieve his goal. Everything to save Kagome.

Everything to bring that son of a bitch down a notch.
Autumn - FanFiction Sesshomaru/Kagome - CHAPTER 20
DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author; Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV – Sunrise. No money is being made from this work. The author (Evellin) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media.
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Hello everyone! 

I am Evellin Greenwood. A little about myself... 

I am Twenty-Six year-old female. I am located in the USA. I have dreamed of being a published writer since I was eight years old. One day I hope to achieve this goal. In the mean time, I enjoy writing fan fictions, and sharing them with the world via the internet. 

Not much else to say other than thank you for stopping by and reading my little delirious scratchings. 

~ Evellin

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EvellinGreenwood

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:iconshiloh-serenity:
Shiloh-Serenity Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Girl, I just realized how similar we kinda are.  You're 26 and I'm 25.  I love your stories on fanfiction.net.  In fact, I'm a literary snob and cannot stand to read things that are elementary in diction and syntax.  So even though I am a Sess/olderRin fan, I have labeled Autumn as the only fanfiction that I seek to emulate in writing style.  Seriously, yours is the only one. 

You want to be a published author!!!  I'm actually working on that too!  I am almost done with the rough draft of my first story.  It's at 67,000 words right now and will probably finish at 80,000.  I hope to be submitting to agents by February or March!

Hopefully we both reach our dreams!  I don't know if you found me by fanfiction.net or not, but my username is XeraQuick on there. :)

Maybe we can be friends?![ YURI ON ICE ] Applause. 
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:iconevellingreenwood:
EvellinGreenwood Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I need to update my profile, I'm now 29 lol, but hey, still one more year in my twenty-somethings!! 

Wow, that is one heck of a compliment! Honestly, I don't know what to say to that, other than thank you!! Autumn has been a work in progress over the past few years. It's helped me work on my actual skills as a story-teller, while honing my literary voice. I always want each chapter, each paragraph, each sentence to have a rhythm that ties all together. Some area's are more successful than others, but overall I am happy with the piece. -I WILL finish that story. It may take me a million years but I will do it! lol

Good for you!!! You are further along than me by a landslide!! I myself have only recently figured out my story. I know it was be a three-book series. I know each will be 200,000 or more words. But I have yet to actually put words on paper. Honestly I am still developing my characters; though I do have my main character fully formed. So that's something lol. 

Heck yes we can be friends! I'll go check you out on FFnet as soon as possible! Happy Happy..Onion 
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:iconshiloh-serenity:
Shiloh-Serenity Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohhhh goodness, I probably should have checked the date on that journal entry of yours hahaha. My bad, but yay!  Still one more year lol

I totally get you.  I can't write unless the sentences have a flow to them.  If going from one idea to the next sounds too abrupt, I find some sort of transition.  Which, I've noticed, you do amazingly as well!
Haha, yeah I was lucky enough to happen upon Autumn after you had come back from a long break so I wasn't too upset by your off-and-on antics :P

Mine will be a three book series too!  
Do you live in the US?  Because just a tip from what I've seen through the interwebs... I read that most young adult novels are 40,000-80,000 words (like around 300 or so pages) and that most publishing companies won't touch you if you are a new author trying to submit more than 100,000 words.  If you've been published before, then the agency is more willing to accept it (like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was only 75,000 words (Rowling was a new author), but then Goblet of Fire was 190k, and Order of the Phoenix was 257k).

BUT.  If you don't give a damn about publishers and are going to self-publish then MORE POWER TO YOU, DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT. lol

Sometimes it sucks to be limited by the restraints of companies and editors so that's always a grand option. 

As far as the story, I've been working on mine since I was 14 but just started writing it last year (I originally wanted it to be a manga).  I wish I could actually take the time and develop/know my characters but for some reason that's a bit harder for me to do.  I tend to picture them in my mind and take their dialogue and actions one sentence at a time.  That might bite me later, but oh well!

yay!  I hope you like my stuff!  I would post more comics of my sess/rin doujinshi but I'm too focused on my book at the moment :)
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:iconevellingreenwood:
EvellinGreenwood Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Totally! I hate it when authors jump from idea to idea. That's not how life works. That's not how any of this works! lol -Even when something random and surprising happens in the story, there is a moment just before, that tells you something. A sound, a smell.... something. I want my readers to feel. I want them to be be fully emerged as if it were happening to them; that is my goal, at least. 

Wow, I didn't know that. Thank you for that bit of info! If I have to self-publish, well, I have zero issue with that. But ever since I was a kid, I have had this dream of strolling down some street, with little boutiques and cafe's, only to see my book in the window of some small bookstore. To achieve that, I am pretty certain a publishing house is required. 

I have learned every author has their own way of doing things. There is no right way, or wrong way, to write. If you are able to imagine your world, and actualize it into words, then you are a writer. However you achieve this, is correct. 

I feel your pain. I have been putting so much of my free time into working on my own story, that I neglect Autumn. About three weeks ago I was able to work on chapter 20, and it is almost finished, but I still have about 500-1000 words to add. Plus, it's a bit rough. -I have literally re-written chapter 20 four times. I'm just not that happy with it, but its getting to the point where I want to push it out anyway, just to move the story along. It's not perfect, but it captures the general ideas I need it to, to get to the next part of the story. 
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:iconsano-br:
Sano-BR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2016
thanks for the watch =D
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stormhelen Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi!!

Thanks for the fav! Racing Girl Emoji (Lovely Wink) [V3] 
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DiabolicalLover Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the +fav !
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DiabolicalLover Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the+fav !
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Amarna Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thx for the fav :)
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xMillaMaxwellx Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2016
Thank you for the fav^^
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