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A2S Chpt 3

Disclaimer: I don't own Inu-Yasha

All Too Soon:

Consideration

He could hear her from where he stood, a few yards from the well. But the sounds of her labored breathing and the battle of lose dirt against gravity, brought on by her climb up the bone-eater's dirt walls, were not what had first alerted him to her presence. It was the scent of her that had crept up on his senses, surprising, but also very... peaceful. Hers was the scent of fresh rain, of a cloudless morning or a brilliant sunset. Sweet like a budding rose and more pure than crystal, it had stirred the blood throughout his resting body and beckoned him to the well. Or rather, to her.

The first trace of her scent that reached is nose had been like that first gasping breath of an underwater swimmer as they broke the surface. Her scent was like air to him, and only now was he realizing... he had missed it.

It's not as if I... feel that way about her, Inu-Yasha snorted mentally, crossing his arms stubbornly over his chest. A head of black hair peeked over the well's wooden edge, followed by the familiar green and white, the long legs, and those ugly shoes she always wore. Kagome stumbled out of the dark hole, bending over to catch her breath, seemingly unaware of his presence. And she could just take her sweet time becoming aware, for all he cared.

He looked her over absently. She looked the same; her hair, her clothes, her scent... just her. Had it really been but a few weeks? It felt like ages... mentally he slapped himself. It was stupid to think of her as more than she was: a shard detector... his shard detector.

He had stopped actually looking at her long moments ago, so he was startled to find a pair of cobalt eyes not so far from his own. I-Inu-Yasha...? In the silence that followed Kagome's cautious uttering of his name, Inu-Yasha felt as if she had never left, as if they had never aided Shippo, as if he could still pretend he was nothing but a nuisance She is! She is nothing but a nuisance!

Inu-Yasha snorted and turned away from the young girl's image, as if she was beneath his notice. He would have folded his arms, just for emphasis, had they been at his sides and not folded across his chest already. "It's about time!" It had been the longest she'd left since theyd met... "If youre finally finished with that ridiculous school thing of yours, we can... get back to... to searching hey! Are you even listening!?"

Kagome had been facing him, yes, but she could have been blind and be seeing him just as well. He struggled not to growl. A damn nuisance... at his words she looked up at him, this time with greater focus. A smile lit her face. Then... why do I feel... relieved?

"Yes, Inu-Yasha," she... she giggled. Unthinkable. He dropped his arms to his sides and stared at her openly. "I'm listening."

His stare turned from one of surprise to one of suspicion. "Bitch... what are you laughing about?"

"I'm laughing... because I'm happy." Her gaze, startlingly warm, washed over him much like the sun across stone. There was something indefinable in her sparkling eyes... and he found it was a bit too much like sun across stone for his comfort. Inu-Yasha turned swiftly and began to stalk away from the woods, his back to her, to hide his heated cheeks. Damn it! What's wrong with me!?

Of course, it was too much to ask to have some time to think... "Wait! Inu-Yasha!" It was all because of her too, that he needed that time. He had known just what to do... until she came back, and then he found his plan oddly lacking. "I listened to you, now you listen to me!"

Kagome had taken a death grip on his arm, and while it was almost tempting to drag her through the forest now, he might have to later anyway. So why not let her make her flimsy excuses first? It didn't matter what she had to say. He had made up his mind about one thing: she was staying, at the very least until the jewel was finished. Although... he wasn't quite sure what he wanted with the jewel anymore. It had seemed almost... unimportant in the midst of Kagome's near death. And he was having a hard time shaking the feeling.

"I have something to say," she began, making a show of composing herself. His arm she had dropped, as he made no further move to escape her words. Inu-Yasha found himself wondering if she had taken the time to compose some sort of speech, but, though she sounded sure of herself, no sound came from her open mouth and he realized she was searching for the words. He sighed. How like her.

"Well...?"

"Ah I... I don't know you very well," she paused, and he snorted. This was what she wanted to say? "No, no thats not true. I don't know much about you, is what I meant." And now she was contradicting herself. And he was about to contradict his decision to listen to what she had to say.

"They're the same thing, wench," he snapped. "Do you have point?"

"Of course I do!" she seemed to puff up, and then her voice lowered to a grumble. "Though, I don't know why I bother..." Now she wasn't so nervous, at least. "I know you. I know how you act, and I'd like to think I understand you... at least a little... but you won't talk to me about yourself. All I know about you, I've learned because circumstances forced you to reveal a part of yourself. I know so little... and... well, it bothers me."

Inu-Yasha stared at her, non-plussed, and maybe... a little surprised. "Huh?"

"What I mean is... I want to know you better... because... even though I haven't known you very long I... think I might be... falling for you..."

Well, now he really was surprised. Shocked. He wasn't exactly sure what he had been expecting, but this certainly wasn't it. She's...not serious...is she? Kagome was speaking again before he could even process the thought. Maybe...

"I don't expect anything from you, though. Not right now. I mean, obviously I would if something were to happen, but I think we should just keep looking for the shards for now... I mean... well... Inu-Yasha...?"

"Uh..." What was he supposed to say!? Maybe I... "W-what?"

Kagome looked at him quizzically. "You know... you're not the only one... who still needs time to think." Maybe I don't... hate her...

"Kagome!" Shippo appeared from who-knows-where, and sped into her arms. "Kagome, you're back!"

Inu-Yasha groaned mentally as he watched Kagome converse with that stupid kit. He didnt stop to wonder why he was almost disappointed.

"Let's go," he ordered gruffly, turning towards Kaede's village. He could think about her words as they traveled to find the next shard... he could think about her words... "Kagome?"

"Yes?"

"Thank you." And maybe...I will consider what you said...

"Um... Inu-Yasha?"

He glanced at her. "What?"

"Well... school isn't over yet... I only came to ask if you knew something about..."

The sound of Inu-Yasha's exasperated growl drowned out the rest of her words.

A/N: Not the ideal ending, no, but honestly I don't think either of them would be able to really come to a conclusion so early in the series. I think I'm even stretching it here... Anyway things seem to be on the right path... but wouldn't Kagome be mad when she found out about Kikyo? Gah no, no, I'm not going to be writing any more of this story. It is completed! Just assume they'll admit their feelings eventually... well I thought it was kind of cute... um... review please! C ya next time!

A2S Chpt 2

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