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Affection by mythicamagic

Chapter 1

For the SessKag Valentine's Big Bang 2020. Prompt is - 'kisses.'

Joro was my partner for this event and here's their lovely art:


For every action, there is a reaction. Or so he'd read in the miko's textbook once while leaning surreptitiously over her shoulder.

The first action may have been him slaying a wild boar youkai that had been rampaging around the village. Or perhaps it had simply been his random inclination to visit Edo that morning.

But by far the action with the most devasting reaction and consequences came with an innocent peck on the cheek from a happy miko.

When Kagome's lips had grazed his striped cheek in a quick kiss, one of several things had happened that Sesshoumaru was not proud of; the traitorous heart within his chest picking up speed, thundering loudly in his ears. His body shamefully stilling, indicative of its shock. The unfurling of bloodstained claws at his side, twitching with want.

And the inane, consuming thought that 'this was it.' This was what he'd been waiting for. A blessing, a sign that the months of one-sided, disgusting pining and various youkai signals of wishing to mate with the powerful, frustrating woman had paid off. Sesshoumaru's pupils had dilated, limbs breaking free of their frozen surprise for him to whirl in her direction, fangs aching with the desire to claim-

Only to find that Kagome had flounced off to go help a villager fix his fence.

Well...that behaviour seemed unusual. But he'd surmised that she had a village to look after and responsibilities were not to be shirked. Yes, Kagome had merely given a sign that she'd address her acknowledgement of him later.

But that did not come to pass.

While lingering on in the village, watching its residents fix their chicken coops or clear away the debris from the boar's rampage, the skies had darkened. Rin checked up on him every now and then, Sesshoumaru remaining in his reclined position against a tree. He could tell she was curious about his continued presence but the great lord Sesshoumaru did not explain himself.

Straightening, his ears pricked as Kagome jogged out of a hut, adjusting the strap of her backpack over one shoulder. Inuyasha finished up helping a farmer, and as easy as breathing the miko had done it again before Sesshoumaru's very eyes; pecking Inuyasha on the cheek and saying goodbye, rushing off in the direction of the well.

Sesshoumaru stared, jaw ticking.

His reaction could be likened to jealousy, frustration and mild hurt but the proud lord would claim otherwise.

This did not stop him from glaring daggers at the whelp. He'd seen them break-up and get over their month long relationship, what on earth was the miko doing, handing out affection to one so undeserving? Were they an item again?

Inuyasha didn't even notice him or get flustered, he just scratched his stomach and wandered into the older miko's hut, loudly demanding food after a hard day's work.

Sesshoumaru's confusion did not end there, unfortunately. He watched when she hugged the Monk tight or took up a brush and glided it through the Demon's Slayer's hair. She'd pat villagers on the shoulder for a job well done, give gifts that were useful, chase and catch the kit, nuzzling her face against his, even hold hands with Rin as they walked back from herb collecting.

Sesshoumaru simply could not understand it. Kagome lavished those around her with care and affection. Sometimes she'd even change things up and hug a villager instead, marring her exquisite scent with their unpleasant sweat laced ones. She'd been extremely patient when the wolf Prince had visited, patting his fingers with a free hand while he held one of her soft palms captive.

The Daiyoukai sneered.

Such a loose display of touch would mean something else to youkai society, but...he'd clicked now. Kagome was not part of a youkai society, but a human one. And when observing other humans he noticed they did not touch each other as thoughtlessly as the miko did.

This left a conundrum. If the miko gave affection so freely it became difficult to distinguish between romantic interest or friendship on her part. She acted so 'nice' it felt next to impossible to know if someone among the rabble was special, a possible love.

He'd never get anywhere displaying for her in youkai ways to show his affection and interest. It hadn't worked for months. No, another strategy was in order. He'd just have to follow her example.


Sunlight shone bright and radiant that day, bathing everything in a warm, wonderful glow. The humble village and rolling hills beyond Inuyasha's Forest looked positively picturesque. Kagome sucked in a long breath of clear airs and scents from the Sengoku Jidai, exhaling with a pleased sigh. Maybe it was nostalgia talking but three years away from the place had really made her appreciate the little things about the era.

"Hey Kagome!"

She smiled and waved, hurrying over to the children sitting near the border of the trees. "Hi, what are you two up to?"

Rin grinned, pointing to the tree stump which acted their own makeshift table. A scroll lay atop the surface. "Shippo is going to make some flowers using magic!"

Setting her bag down, Kagome rose a brow. "Really? That's pretty cool. Care to show me as well, oh great fox youkai?" She returned the little girl's infectious smile, taking a seat beside her.

Shippos chest puffed up with pride, hopping atop the scroll. "Of course. Witness my power! Fox petals!" He yelled, his tiny form jumping into the air with a flourish of his hand.

Some fox fire puffed out of his palm instead, soon whimpering into nothingness.

Kagome and Rin exchanged a glance before clapping uncertainly. "That's uh..."

"No, that's not it!" Shippo huffed, cheeks puffing up. Gritting his teeth and jumping again, he cried; "Fox petals!"

The same thing happened.

And again.

And again.

Finally, Kagome stood and lifted her hand placatingly. "Shippo, it's okay. You just need practice to-"

"But I had it the other day!" He snapped, tail lowering while small shoulders fell, noting Kagome's concern. "Sorry. Maybe if I saw a demonstration it would be easier to picture it but no one around here can teach me youki techniques."

Kagome's brows drew together, heart squeezing. She stepped closer and smoothed a hand through soft red locks, words of consolation on her tongue.

A ripple of heat danced along the back of her neck, that of stifling, rich youki. Kagome tensed, only to inhale and feel Sesshoumaru's aura fill her lungs. Sharp energy crackled above their heads. Somewhere behind them, Rin gasped. "Pretty!"

Kagome and Shippo looked up, gaping at the silent explosion of red youki that fell like radiant confetti. The flecks of energy fell slowly, curling in the air as though replicating the fall of cherry blossoms brushed by a phantom wind, raining down around them.

Lifting a hand, Kagome twitched as a 'petal' landed on her palm, giving the brief sensation of candle wax dripping on skin, fizzling away in the wake of her answering reiki.

"Lord Sesshoumaru! That was so beautiful!" Rin was cooing.

Turning, Kagome witnessed the girl race over to Sesshoumaru's approaching figure. She collided against his leg, hugging his side.

Kagome bit the inside of her cheek to keep from grinning as deadly fingers unfurled to rest on her head.

Shippo scratched his cheek, hopping off the tree stump and following Rin a little awkwardly. He cleared his throat, "um…"

The Daiyoukai lifted snow kissed lashes to pin the full force of his golden stare upon the boy. Shippo wilted, taking a breath. "Y-you... could you um...could you teach me that technique, Lord Sesshoumaru?" He bowed his head, getting on hands and knees to touch his forehead to the floor in a bit of an over-exaggeration.

"Indeed," the answer came easily, voice unruffled.

Straightening, Shippo blinked and slowly grinned, his joy palpable. This time Kagome couldn't stop herself from outright grinning. The children gave happy shouts while running to each other and clasping hands. Spinning in a circle they chattered excitedly.

Kagome didn't even notice Sesshoumaru until his voice caught her by surprise, sounding closer than anticipated. "Does this please you, miko?"

Raising her head, she gave a smile, finding that Sesshoumaru bathed in sunlight was truly a sight to behold. "Yes of course it does, thank you so much! Shippo's been wanting a teacher for a little while now. There's only so much to do around the village and I think he was getting bored."

She was babbling, Kagome knew she had a penchant for it. Hopefully he didn't mind. Blue eyes naturally sought out the children again and she watched them play with a warm, bubbly feeling.

"Hn, this one will start training him right away."

She opened her mouth to answer- when the slight pressure of lips against her cheek halted her words and promptly threw them careening off a cliff. Kagome stiffened, body becoming a livewire. Her mouth became dry, heart stuttering in her chest.

The thin lips pressing against her cheek withdrew and Sesshoumaru straightened, smoothly pivoting on his heel and walking away. "Come, kit," he threw over his shoulder.

Rin and Shippo were gawking at Kagome, having noticed. Shaking himself the kit hurried after Sesshoumaru's retreating form, leaving the two stunned humans within the clearing.


The next incident, as Kagome would come to reflect on it, happened a few days later.

She'd been quite happily reaching over the side of the village well, (a usable one, not the Bone Eater's monstrosity of old bones and dead earth) grasping the handle of the bucket while keeping hold of the rope.

She jumped when a striped wrist appeared in her eye line, helping her unhook the filled bucket and lift it away. Kagome set it down on the ground, straightening to see Sesshoumaru standing before her.

"H-hello Sesshoumaru," she hated the squeak in her voice. Okay so perhaps that peck on the cheek had been an uncharacteristic move on his part but that was no reason to get weird with him. She remembered the burst of adrenaline that had made her rise on tiptoe and kiss his cheek a week or so ago. Maybe he thought that was how she said goodbye?

"Miko," he inclined his head a touch stiffly before thrusting a hand out towards her. Kagome blinked and looked down at the parcel balanced perfectly in his palm.

She took it, tilting her head. "Do you want me to pass this on to Rin-"

"It is for you."


She stared. He stared back. Belatedly, Kagome realised she was not dreaming and a demon lord was currently watching her a little impatiently. Kagome gave a nervous giggle and started unwrapping the white package, blinking when she uncovered sandals inside.

Gaping, she burst into a wide smile. "The strap of my sandal broke yesterday! This is- I mean thank you so much. It's very thoughtful! I'm surprised you noticed."

Sesshoumaru hummed, falling silent when she lifted her leg to check the size, only to notice they were a little too small against her foot.

"They are unusable," he grit out stiffly.

"Ah, don't worry!" Kagome dropped her leg, trying to assure him. Whatever had inspired his acts of kindness recently, she didn't want to discourage him. "I can still use them."

"No. They must be worthy of you," turning on his heel, Sesshoumaru stalked away with heavy energy crackling around him, greatly displeased.

Once again he left the miko stunned, words caught in the usually talkative girl's throat. What the heck is going on with him lately?


Letting out a happy sigh, Kagome stretched her arms above her towelled head, sitting on a log outside Kaede's hut. She'd just experienced a wonderful dip in the nearby hot springs, managing to work out the stiff joints in her body. Honestly, she'd felt a little directionless and meandering after returning to the past without a villain to fight or shards to find, so helping the village improve with a little manual labour had been a good way to keep her mind off it. Maybe procrastinating wasn't ideal in the long run but it helped. A secret desire to leave the village kept cropping up, but that would mean leaving her friends behind. Kagome wasn't entirely sure what to do.

Letting out another sigh, one not so happy, she removed the towel from her hair. Damp locks hung down in disarray while Kagome made to pick up her brush-

Which wasn't where she'd left it.

A soft pressure met the back of her head. Her muscles tensed all over again, youki curling around her like a summer breeze. Kagome felt the glide of her brush touch her neck. She hardly dared to turn around but glanced over her shoulder, mouth falling open. "Se-sesshoumaru?!"

The Demon Lord knelt behind her, grasping her head and turning it to face forward. "Hold still."

"But you're- why are you brushing my hair?!"

He continued, the bristles dragging through the damp ebony locks. "The Slayer grooms you often. Is there something wrong with this Sesshoumaru doing it?"

Kagome pressed a hand to her curiously red, burning cheek. "Not...wrong, per se don't usually."

"Perhaps this one is seeking to rectify that."

She swallowed and thought for a moment, about to ask a question when the brush snagged on her hair. "Ow."

Sesshoumaru glided his claws through dark strands, untangling them. He continued in his careful ministrations, lulling the miko. Once the initial weirdness wore off it began to feel a little nice. Pleasant even.

The brush being set down broke Kagome out of her haze, along with silks rustling. She shifted to see Sesshoumaru walking away.

Standing, words collected on her tongue. "Sesshoumaru," she called.

He halted, taking her by surprise. Kagome bit her lip and wrestled with what to say. Out of the thousands of questions that bubbled to the surface, nothing slipped out but a measly: "Won't you tell me why…?"

Why are you doing this? Why are you getting close to me and doing things for me? Why...for me?

Silver hair picked up from a stray breeze, flowing around him as white and red patterned sleeves ruffled, teased by the wind. Despite the almost ethereal presence he possessed, the demon merely looked at her with a raised brow. An ordinary expression for a cripplingly ordinary answer: "Why not?"

Blue eyes widened and Kagome's breath hitched. The cool breeze attacked her more fiercely in the wake of those quiet words and the miko hugged her arms, watching the pale demon leave.


Dead on her feet, Kagome panted, staring down at the fallen bear youkai. A few arrows were embedded in its hide, however, the hit that had taken it out had been a blast of reiki directly from her palm into its chest. She'd been sloppy, the bear shouldn't have been able to get so close. At least her powers hadn't faltered.

"Great job, Kagome."

"So cool!"

"Yes well done, Lady Kagome."


Giggling weakly she glanced at her friends that lingered in the clearing, having followed the fight that had broken out on the border of the village into Inuyasha's Forest. "Thanks, guys. It really wasn't a big deal though, I can take these types of demons down no problem."

Sango and Miroku smiled with pride, ready to head back to the village and relinquish Kaede of her sudden babysitting duties. Inuyasha huffed, Shippo grinning on his shoulder as they too were about to return and continue on like any other day, before a hand met her shoulder from behind.

Starting, Kagome turned- only to feel herself be pulled against a warm chest, arms encircling her.

"ACH-" Inuyasha made a strangled noise, ripping Tetsusaiga out of its sheath. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOIN'!? LET GO OF HER, YA BASTARD!"

Kagome's cheeks bloomed red, her cheek pressed against sublime silks. Subtly inhaling the scent of magnolia and a masculine, heady sort of spice, Kagome pushed past her shock and mild mortification to focus on the heart beating beneath her ear.

It drummed strong and quick.

Is he nervous? That didn't sound right for the Killing Perfection. Nonetheless…

Her hands came up to touch his back, grateful for his lack of armour. "I-it's okay, Inuyasha!" She muffled out, "Sesshoumaru is just giving me a quick f-friend hug. You know, as a job well done!"

"No friend hug lasts that long!" He bellowed somewhere behind her.

"Yes it is not a friend hug," a silky voice uttered directly into Kagome's ear, eliciting a shiver.

Mercifully or unmercifully, Sesshoumaru released her. Straightening, he met Kagome's perplexed gaze as though waiting for something.

"W-well…" she squeaked, clearing her throat. "Even if you don't consider me a friend, I consider you mine. So uh- thanks!" She chirped. "You give good hugs?"

His brows pulled down, eyes narrowing with what seemed to be frustration. Turning on his heel the Daiyoukai walked away once more.

Inuyasha cursed up a storm, following after his brother with loud demands to fight. Miroku and Sango lingered, muttering amongst themselves while Shippo dropped down from Inuyasha's shoulder to climb up Kagome's.

"Are you alright, Kagome?" The couple approached her with concern as if she'd just been through a traumatising ordeal.

Waving a dismissive hand, Kagome forced a smile. She felt like she'd just hurt his feelings though wasn't sure why. "I'm fine, really. Sesshoumaru is just branching out with how he shows affection. It's not that weird, right? I bet he does it to you…"

Sango and Miroku were firmly shaking their heads. Kagome looked at Shippo weakly, who also shook his head. "I haven't seen him even give Rin a hug. Just head pats."

"I thought he was going to impale his hand through your back," Sango breathed a sigh of relief. "What other things has he done, Kagome?"

"There's the gift giving-"

"He gives you gifts?"

Kagome bit her lip, glancing away. "Yeah. He's brought me sandals- they were the wrong size so he brought me another pair and left them outside the hut. But also kimonos, yukatas, scrolls on different types of herbs and remedies, hair ornaments, a comb I'm pretty sure was made from demon bone, uh...oh and a bowl."

They stared at her like she'd grown a second head.

"A...bowl?" Miroku asked weakly.

"Mhm, I shattered one the other day. Then a few hours later he just set one down in front of me and walked away again. I wanted to run after him but the tea was boiling. He's kissed me on the cheek and also on the forehead just the other day when I was collecting herbs."

Shippo sighed and patted her ear so that she'd turn her head to look at him- before grabbing both of her cheeks. "Kagome, are you blind?" He huffed, squishing them. "I thought you'd get it once he stopped performing youkai mating rites and started doing human things. He wants to take you as his mate. Real bad."

Kagome stared, taking hold of the scruff of his happi coat to tug him away. "You're going to have to run that by me again," blue eyes narrowed. "And maybe explain why you didn't share this helpful information with me sooner."


Beyond frustrated, Sesshoumaru approached the crest of the hill that overlooked Kagome's village. Apparently the humans called it Kaede's village, but he did not see it as such. Yes...the woman who so damaged his pride with every rejection deserved a little respect. She had guts, he'd give her that.

Still, he could not continue in the same vein. His teeth ached, gut churning with the heavy waters of longing. No matter how much he covered her in his scent, she washed it off. No matter what he did it elicited no change.

It had been foolish to try in the first place. They were ill matched. Perhaps he should content himself with being Kagome's 'friend' and nothing more.

"You could have just said something out loud, you know."

Sesshoumaru stilled, wondering where she'd come from. He scented the air and turned to see Kagome stepping out of the bushes, approaching from downwind.

Slit pupils dilated. Clever miko.

No. He could never see this woman as a friend. His instincts clamoured and demanded to see her as something else entirely. He realised then that the howling want for her might never go away, even if he could persuade it to sleep within his chest.

"Always doing stuff with actions but never words, huh?" Kagome stopped before him, hands coming to rest on her hips, causing his heart to thud rapidly. Claws twitched at his sides. She let out a sigh, shoulders falling. "I should have realised what you were doing. There's actually this thing called Love Language," she murmured. "There's Acts of Service, which would be teaching Shippo. It means a lot to me...and I guess you know that."

Sesshoumaru stared, unblinking, not moving an inch.

"There's also Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch, which are self-explanatory," she laughed a little nervously, cheeks turning red and making the strange, cosy thing in his chest flip flop.

"But…" Kagome raised her head. "There's also Quality Time and Words of Affirmation."

The Demon Lord took a step closer, until they were nearly touching. Slowly, the mask he usually presented to the world melted away a touch, brightening the gold of his eyes and curving his lips. "And what do those entail?" The tone of his voice dipped into a quiet, honeyed one.

Kagome's hand curled in his trailing sleeve and if he focused, Sesshoumaru could hear her heart thundering. "For one thing you need to stop walking away all the time, mister," she teased. "It means one on one time and uninterrupted conversation."

"One on one time," he repeated with a silky edge to his voice.

Fixing some dark hair behind her ear, Kagome nodded, making the locks fall loose again. "I didn't realise what you were doing, because for me...I need Words of Affirmation the most."

Inclining his head, Sesshoumaru's fingers flexed wide, curling some dark strands around his fingers to return them behind her ear.

Kagome gently touched his wrist, freezing him in place. "Thing is, you're not like that. You don't talk about what you're feeling and I don't want to make you uncomfortable. In that way we might be incompatible-" his gut clenched and Sesshoumaru made to pull his hand back but Kagome wrapped her fingers around his wrist in a surprisingly strong grip. His lips parted, nerve endings flaring alive as she looked at him firmly. "I need someone who can clearly say that they want me. Because…" the passion in her gaze died. "I promised myself I'd never assume anything again. No dancing around the subject. No 'does he like me?' or 'am I the only one feeling this?' I've done that before and I didn't like it," she mumbled, eyes downcast.

A quiet but clear admission escaped into the space between them. "I want you."

Kagome blinked, looking at him. Slowly, her tempting mouth tugged up at the corners, until the miko smiled so wide and brightly Sesshoumaru wondered why he hadn't chosen this method in the first place.

Her hand gentled on his wrist, shaking a little as she released him and instead touched his chest. "Huh," she murmured. "You said that easier than I thought you might."

He nodded in agreement. "It was easier to say than anticipated."

Giggling, Kagome leaned into his warmth, while the demon's hands came up to rest on her hips. She didn't pull away, making him inwardly purr, leaning so that his breath danced over her lips. "I have something for you," she murmured. "In my backpack. I kind of forgot it because I was in such a hurry to catch you but it's a book on Newton's Laws of Motion. I saw you sneaking peeks at my old textbooks, nerd."

Sesshoumaru quietly huffed, molten gaze warming slightly.

She grew thoughtful. "Shippo told me you were displaying demon mating rites. I'm sorry I didn't pick up on them...or you apparently replicating how I acted."


Kagome blushed. "In my defence, you were replicating how I act with my friends."

Sesshoumaru slow blinked, palms creating a gentle pressure on her hips to press her closer against him. "And in this one's defence, I do not know how you act with someone romantically."

"It's pretty easy, I'll show you," standing on tiptoe, she used his shoulder as leverage, pressing soft lips to his. Sesshoumaru inhaled sharply, marvelling at the feel of her smiling against his mouth. Deepening the kiss, the demon lord buried long fingers in her exquisitely soft hair. A pleased, rumbling growl escaped his chest, sounding almost like a purr.

For Kagome's action, he'd respond in kind with plenty of deserving reactions.



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