Muddled by Sereia

Chapter 1

Kagome frowned as her phone rang, a photo of her and Inuyasha squished into a photo booth lighting up the screen. Pausing the true crime documentary she'd finally found time to watch, she slid her thumb along the screen. "I thought you had a work thing tonight."

There was a muffled curse on the other end of the line and what sounded like breaking glass. "Damn it! I told you to hang onto him—K'gome, you gotta come help."

Considering he sounded more exasperated than worried, she popped another handful of popcorn into her mouth. "I'm not driving your drunk ass home."

Inuyasha groaned. "It ain't me this time! Sesshoumaru—don't give him any more!" There was a flurry of faraway noises before he got back on the line. "Listen, someone managed to convince big boss man to join us peons for this outing, and now he's off his rocker."

Kagome immediately sat up, placing her bowl on the ground. She hadn't encountered the older Taisho brother in the almost ten years she'd been forced back to her own time, even though she'd spent the five in Inuyasha and Kouga's company. He was always busy with work or off travelling, so the fact that he was in the same country, let alone the same city, was surprising.

"Doesn't he have a tolerance like you?" she asked.

Inuyasha snorted. "Not in the slightest. He's never liked the stuff."

"So then why—"

"Someone might've also made a comment about how having a permanent stick up his ass wasn't going over well with the clientele and that letting loose once in a while might help his image."

She dragged a hand down her face. "Yash—"

"It's not my fault!" he groused. "He showed up just as the shots were being poured and didn't know it was youkai sake instead of the human shit." There was a loud bang, and he cursed again. "Please, just come get him. I don't want him transformin' and breaking something."

She eyed her television and popcorn. It was her one night off in the past two weeks—the emergency room hadn't seen a reprieve since it had started snowing—and she'd been really looking forward to lounging on her couch. "Why can't you take him?"

"'Cause he won't listen to me. Keeps thinkin' I'm tryin' to attack him."

She rolled her eyes. "Can't imagine why."

"Please?" he whined.

"Ugh, fine," she said, already pulling on her coat. "But you owe me big. And if he pukes on anything, I'm frying your ass."

Inuyasha thanked her profusely, then hung up the phone as Kouga slung an arm around his neck. "She didn't question it?"

The hanyou smirked and shook his head. "Didn't even ask why he'd listen to her instead."

Kouga tugged affectionately at his mate's ear. "And this is why I love you." Most of what he'd told her was true; he just happened to leave out the fact that the only person who'd been given the youkai sake was his brother.

Inuyasha looked at the daiyoukai. Sesshoumaru was currently pressing himself against the wall of the booth he'd shoved him into, hissing at him every time he tried to get close. "Ya brought this on yerself."


Kagome grunted as she opened the door to her apartment, one arm gripping Sesshoumaru's waist. Inuyasha hadn't been kidding about him thinking everyone was trying to attack him. When she'd finally shown up to the restaurant, which she'd balked at the price range of, the former western lord had sequestered himself into one of the booths across from the table of the company workers.

Amber eyes were unfocused, his claws swiping at everything that came near to him, including his brother. They'd since made up—500 years will do that—but old habits were hard to break, and if he didn't hold his liquor like Inuyasha said, Kagome could only imagine what was going through his head.

His senses were probably muted, so she hadn't expected much, but as soon as she'd spoken to him, he'd crawled forward, accepting her touch as she pulled him to his feet.

She'd shot Inuyasha a questionable look, which he returned with a shrug and a mouthed 'thank you', then pulled Sesshoumaru out the front door. His steps were unsteady, and she still couldn't figure out how she'd gotten him into the back seat of her car. Thankfully, he was still semi-conscious when they arrived, so she hadn't had to drag over two hundred pounds of deadweight into the elevator.

Eying the couch as she got him past the foyer, she sighed. There was no way he'd be comfortable on it. Besides, if he slept there, she couldn't finish her documentary. Readjusting her grip, she led him toward the bedroom. "Just don't puke, okay? I deal with enough of that at work."

His snort ruffled her hair, his body hunched over hers, and when she got to the edge of the bed, she tipped him over, uncaring if his dress shirt ended up rumpled. Considering his clothes were abnormally white when they'd been battling Naraku, she was surprised to see him in such a vibrant shade of blue.

When she returned to her time, she'd been shocked to discover how many youkai there had been hiding in plain sight. They didn't usually attend high school, so it wasn't until she'd entered college that she'd sensed them, and she was glad people like Sesshoumaru could walk around without the need for glamours.

Inuyasha tended to wear one just to hide his ears, but that was more out of self-preservation and not wanting people to touch them than anything else. She chuckled at the memory of her mother doing it, first when Inuyasha had come through the well and then again when they'd reunited.

He'd tried to brush it off, but she'd seen the sense of relief when her mother had treated him like she always had, only scolding him slightly about waiting so long.

It was nice that things had returned to normal.

Glancing at the daiyoukai in her bed, she snorted. "Normal, my ass," she muttered. She removed his shoes but nothing else, not bothering with a blanket. "I'll get you some water," she said, squatting down and giving in to the impulse to trace the moon on his brow. "I don't know what youkai hangovers are like, but I doubt it's anything good." Her knees only straightened halfway before his hand shot out, yanking her down onto the bed with him.

Kagome let out a yelp as his arms went around her waist, face buried in her hair. She heard him inhale deeply, and then his body sagged, all the tension leaving him. "Why do you always smell so delicious?"

Her face flamed, and she tried to push him away, hands lying flat on his chest. "I'm trying to help," she said, ignoring his question. "I'll be right back—"

"You never came back." Blue eyes widened, and she tried to get a good look at him, but his face was pressed against the crook of her neck.

"What?" It was barely more than a whisper, but his arms tightened, his nose sliding up the length of her neck.

"You were hurt. I was angry. I could not protect you." His words were disjointed, but the melancholy was real, and if she hadn't still been in shock, she may have hugged him. "And then you were gone."

"Did you not want me to be?" she asked, wondering just how intoxicated he was. His youki was still sporadic, licking at the bottom of her pyjamas that she hadn't bothered changing out of before picking him up.

He whined, fangs brushing the bottom of her ear, and the blush on her cheeks deepened. What was he doing? This was Sesshoumaru. Daiyoukai of old, brother of her best friend, and someone she literally hadn't seen in years.

He was also drunk in her bed.

She placed her hands on his chest again, gently pushing. "You need water."

"I need you," came his soft reply, and a kaleidoscope of butterflies took flight in her stomach. She could feel his heartbeat against her palms, the erratic pulse belying the calm façade on his face, and she instinctively slid an arm under his head. She ran her fingers through his hair, and his response was immediate, relaxing into the touch as his breathing evened out.

It finally gave her the chance to look at him, and her head tilted as sleep softened the lines of his face. He'd aged since she'd last seen him, those 500 years ago, but his skin was still pristine, magenta stripes cutting across high cheekbones.

She caught herself staring and flushed again, then tried to detangle her limbs from his, but he held fast, refusing to let her go even in sleep, and she eventually sighed in resignation. "Fine. But if you get all weird in the morning, a hangover will be the least of your worries."


The muscles in her shoulders popped as she woke, her back arching as she stretched. She could already tell she was going to need some painkillers, and probably some yoga, but as her eyes finally fluttered open, the memories of the night before came flooding back.

Sesshoumaru sat with his back against the wall, still on the bed but putting as much distance between them as possible, and she forced herself to smile. "Good morning." Her body was still warm, so he'd probably only woken up moments before and was likely trying to save face.

His eyes narrowed, but she could sense his panic, and she patted his hand. "Don't worry, nothing happened. You drank too much at the business party, and Inuyasha—"

"He should have known better than to call you." The venom stung, but she couldn't fault him for it. If she'd blacked out and woken up in the bed of her secret crush, she would've been prickly, too.

"Seems like I was the only one you'd let near you," she mused, finally sitting up.

His eyes widened marginally, hands clenching into fists. "That is likely a side effect of the alcohol," he bit out, unable to tear his eyes away from her, though she could tell he wanted to. "Next time, I will be more selective with who mixes my drink."

She cocked her head, then snorted softly. "Or you could just admit why I was able to bring you home without incident."

His ears turned crimson, muscles clenching along his jaw. "My brother seeks to meddle—"

Kagome waved him off. "Inuyasha didn't say anything." She rested her elbow on her knee, chin in her hand as she smirked at him. "You did, though."

The blush reached his stripes this time, and he finally looked away. "I apologize if I did anything unsavoury."

"I don't know," she said, enjoying the view. "Does telling me a smell nice and saying you missed me count?" She knew he was feeling vulnerable, but she figured she could press his buttons a little as long as he was sitting there and not brandishing his claws.

She watched as his body stiffened, youki turbulent as his head shot back toward her. "I did not."

Kagome chuckled. "Actually, you used 'delicious', but I wasn't sure if that was too strong of a word with how early it is." Unfamiliar emotions, at least for him, flickered through his eyes, and she raised her chin, daring him to deny the claim.

His gaze shifted, sliding along her lips before he remembered he was being watched. "I apologize for the offence, then," he said.

She tapped her foot against the bed, refusing to take her eyes off him in the slight chance she missed something. "I'm still here, aren't I? Even though you tried to use me as a pillow last night. You didn't throw up, so I'll forgive you for it."

He gave a curt nod, ears still flushed with embarrassment as he attempted to slide to the edge of the bed—to escape. "I will take my leave."

Her hand shot out, much like his had done the night before, and she grabbed his sleeve. "Or you could stay," she offered. He jerked at the touch, then again at her words, and the mask slipped. Kagome could see the conflict on his face, the longing, and she got up onto her knees. "I'm pretty sure you have more to say." She stroked the marks on his wrist but kept their gazes locked. "I'm willing to listen."

It seemed to be the final nail in the coffin, his head slumping onto her shoulder. His arms hung loose at his sides until she ran her fingers through his hair, again, suddenly tightening around her. "You do smell delicious," he admitted.

"So you've said. You'll have to come up with something new to sway me."

There was a slight rumble from his chest, and his shoulders shook. "I have much to say."

"It would be a first." She gave a lock of silver hair a soft tug. "You're not allowed to kiss me until we've both brushed our teeth, though." He gave her an incredulous look as she slipped from his grasp, and she winked over her shoulder as she sauntered to the bathroom.

When they'd both freshened up, his hand had cupped the side of her face, giving her the chance to pull away, but she just shook her head, pulling him down to take her fill. It was tentative and slow, and she didn't push it, grinning up at him before offering to make them breakfast.

He spent the entire day in her apartment, spinning soft tales of how much of an impact she'd had on him—and how long he'd been waiting for her.

And when he built up the confidence to kiss her again, her toes curled, and she completely forgot about being mad that she'd missed her documentary.


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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