Bouquet ala Miko by ECCougarBeta

You Might Stink

It wasn't every month Kagome felt like complete crap, but this month was worse than others. She knew what she smelled like without the additional copper of blood... But she knew as time had gone on it wasn't a scent that Inuyasha liked to flaunt out in the woods. While tampons were great to staunch bloodflow, she hated shoving that nastiness up her lady bits. The only problem with not using them meant the scent was that much stronger and she tended to be a beacon of temptation to carnivorous demons. Some demons liked spicy food - and pure miko menstrual blood was about as good as it got. She didn't understand really until Sango explained it, which was necessary after about the millionth time she'd been kidnapped. So until she was back home, tampons it was. The unfortunate thing while traveling though, was changing out in a timely manner. And not every... Cycle... was the same. Some were light and breezy, and others were disgusting and bloody long.

This one?

Bloody long. And she didn't have the luxury of home's bathroom to change out in. They were at last ten miles from home, and by the time they reached the well, the worst of the cycle would be over. There was no retreat this time. Kagome sighed and tried to relax the clench in her thighs as they moved on. Not only did she hate tampons, she hated pants. Her skirt was always more breathable, but periods meant pants for convenience. It only took one cycle where she bled down her thigh to decide on that one. They were headed out of a village into the forest once more on the edge of a swamp. Kagome could feel her lower half clench angrily, and she suppressed the urge to cry out.

"Hey Sango - hey!" She called out to her friend, who lead the pack with Inuyasha. Sango turned and paused, concern threading her face when she saw the pained look on Kagome's face. "Hey... I know we're trying to make good time, but I need a break. Please, I just need to change out." She pleaded. Sango nodded sympathetically and went to the guys to insist they search for a spot to camp off the beaten path. Once they found an agreeable spot near a small creak, Sango asked Kagome if she needed a lookout for her sponge bath.

"I'll be fine. If you want you can follow me to the edge, but I brought the other things so I'm not so.. ick." Sango nodded.

"Don't forget to bury the blood as deep as you can next to the bank. It'll temper the scent and make it less likely to attract demons." Kagome nodded and trudged through the brush toward the creek, Sango not far behind her looking out. Shoving cat tails and tall grass aside, she found a small clear spot at the edge of the creek. She dug a small, deep trench and grabbed a new tampon before pulling her pants down and changing out the old tampon for a new one. She wetted a thick paper towel in the cleanest water and made sure there was nothing left before she put the used tampon in the hole along with the used napkin and burying it deep. Once finished, she quickly returned from the creek and made for the campfire. "Thanks again Sango. You have no idea how much I appreciate it." Kagome reiterated. "Its always nice to have another girl who gets it." Sango nodded and smiled before returning to the small cooking pot on the fire, stirring broth for the vegetables she had set aside for dinner

 ~*~

Sesshoumaru had scented pure priestess blood before. It wasn't as though it was a new scent to him, as travelling the country side meant a myriad of experiences (and scents) to be had. He had been travelling a well hidden backroad with his vassal, ward, and her mount when he'd stumbled upon the scent. Jaken's frog nose scrunched, as he could smell it too. Sesshoumaru had be following the scent unwittingly, and realized much to late where they were. Clearly they were just about to stumble upon -

"FUCK?!"

And there he was.

Sesshoumaru had been so obliviously lost in one scent he failed to identify the white and red streak coming up the road behind them. Ah-Un roared as Inuyasha collided with him, attempting to keep little Rin in the saddle by curling in on himself so she wouldn't be injured. She squealed in fright as Inuyasha flew into the brush where barberry bushes grew with a loud crash and more crass language. Moments later the miko and houshi of the group Inuyasha frequented with came running from the opposite direction, concern on their faces.

"We heard a loud crash! I everyone okay?" The priestess called. She glanced around and saw Ah-Un struggling back to his feet with Rin still clinging to his saddle, sobbing all the while. Not a moment was wasted as she ran to the little girl, cooing and assuaging her crying. He approved of her mothering - but he did not approve of her coddling.

"Rin is fine. This one strongly suggests you attend to the hanyou. For some reason he thought it appropriate to play in the barberry." He said coolly. At first the Priestess seemed confused, her brow furrowed and then she heard the brush crashing and the hanyou swearing. It dawned on her in an almost humorous fashion and she gave Rin one last reassurance before running for the embankment. Then he realized something - the priestess was wearing pants instead of the unusual scrap of fabric that covered next to nothing of her legs. It struck him as odd, but he dismissed the thought. The priestess's choice of garb was none of his concern. He watched in mild amusement as she helped escort the hanyou out of the embankment, arms all akimbo as he struggled forward. Humorously enough, the priestess was picking the berries off the bush to help with the multiple scratches that were all over his hands, feet and face. Inuyasha shook the priestess off and told her to, as he put it, 'fuck off' as he stumbled back toward the road with a couple of dead mountain hare in his hand. The priestess approached and bowed gently. "I'm so sorry Sesshoumaru, he must have been trying to beat us back with the meat for stew." She faltered before going on.

"If your traveling party would like to join us, I'm sure we could spare some of the stew we made for supper." He glanced over to the girl, who had slipped down from Ah-Un's saddle and was snuffling, chewing on her index fingernail. She had been looking a touch thin, paler than usual.

"Hn."

The priestess' face puckered. He could see the wheels turning in her head trying to determine his answer for a brief moment before shaking her head and kneeling down next to Rin.

"What do you think, little Rin?" She asked sweetly. "Would you like to eat some stew?" Rin glanced up at him, with a small smile and nodded happily.

"Yes please Miss Kagome!" she answered, a small snuffle escaping her. The little girl bowed to him before taking the priestess' hand and walking off with her, talking animatedly as they walked back in the direction they came. While he was minutely charmed as he waited for the group to walk ahead of him, he was struck once again by that scent that kept hitting him. He huffed through his nose in a vain attempt to rid himself of her scent and continued after them.

~*~

Kagome walked hand in hand with Sesshoumaru's young ward who was chatting happily about wildflowers and the magnificence of her Lord and Savior, and which daisy chains he preferred. Her happiness was delightfully infections, and she couldn't help but snicker occasionally when she would start to say something about the Taiyoukai and stop to check that whatever she was saying was alright with the demon lord. Somehow, someway the little girl knew what was an affirmative and what was negative, and it just fascinated her. Caring for others always took her mind off of what she was going through, especially during her period. As Rin entered the camp, Shippou greeted her with enthusiasm and took her over to show her his new set of crayons and coloring book. Ah-Un had decided to settle closer to the fire where the small cooking pot was boiling with vegetables, and Jaken had settled with Sesshoumaru on the farther outskirts of their camp.

"I see your brought some guests for dinner." Sango said cheerfully from her spot beside the fire where she was dressing the hares to be spit roasted. "With three of these little guys we should be just fine." Kagome nodded.

"Yeah, apparently Inuyasha nearly knocked poor Rin for a loop on his way back. Hard to believe neither of those two could smell one another before running the other off of the road." Both girls shared a laugh.

"So how are you feeling now Kagome?" Sango asked. Kagome shrugged.

"Not great, but it could be a lot worse. The cramping died down with some of the medicines I brought from home." She sighed hard. "I don't know what I'd do without modern medicine. Kaede's weird tasting brews just arent the same." Sango hummed her agreement.

"Hey! Is dinner almost on?" Inuyasha called. "I'm starving!" Kagome looked at him flatly.

"The rabbits need to roast first. Don't eat raw meat! Its bad for you!"

"Yeah yeah yeah, you and your weird magical all knowing crap. With all that shit you know you should know how to get rid of that wicked stink you get every month." Kagome grabbed the nearest and largest rock she could find from the ground and threw it at his head.

"Quit being gross! And I can't help it. Its part of life." She snapped, blushing hotly. She glanced over at Sango. "Seriously, though. Why does everyone say I smell so bad at this time? We both have our monthly stuff right?" Sango nodded and her brow scrunched. She opened her mouth then closed it briefly before trying again.

"Maybe... Maybe it isn't a bad smell so much as its just a stronger smell based on what you do." She reasoned. Kagome frowned and she digressed. "So I'm a demon slayer right? I've been taught to conceal my scent my entire life, so during my cycle I've learned different coping methods to hide the smell so I can avoid attracting unwarranted attention." Kagome sighed and nodded.

"Yeah, that makes sense I guess." "Maybe I should go about teaching you some of the tricks my slaying sisters taught me." Kagome nodded.

"That would probably be a good idea. Maybe we should go visit Kaede too. This really has become a weird problem. First Inuyasha started complaining, then Kouga started commenting. I've been captured so many stupid times during my monthly I'm sick of it." Kagome gazed into the far off nothing for a long few moments, not realizing her eyes had landed on Sesshoumaru. When she focused on him she noticed he'd leaned against small stick of a tree. His eyes were closed and if it weren't for her careful study of his face, she'd never have noticed his nostrils flaring. She chewed on her lip in contemplation as she watched his nostril briefly twitch, and at one point a near snarl curled for the tiniest of moments before he became placid and serene again. She wondered if he could smell it too. She blushed hotly and fisted her hands in front of her mouth trying not to think too hard on it. Surely she smelled abhorrent to just about everyone that had that sensitive nose.

 ~*~

Dinner had been served to his ward and she supped happily with the group. He was pleased at her happy little tunes as she ate and giggled with the fox kit. He'd been offered a leg of hare and he'd declined, translated by his ward who knew what he meant. It seemed his brother's group had trouble reading him. All the better. Before dinner he'd caught a whiff of the priestess, called Kagome. She was wearing a pair of dark blue cotton pants with a draw string and some kind of clingy covering on her torso. The scent coming off her was not unappealing; in fact it was intoxicating and hard not to want to soak in. There was an undercurrent of complete disgust with himself for briefly inhaling deeper. He'd been in the process of meditation when he'd smelled a sudden flare of that delicious purified blood coupled with a wave of embarrassment.

It was then he'd opened his eyes a touch and looked at the miko. Her face had flushed and she was hiding her expression behind two fists. Clearly something was bothering the priestess; she'd been driven to distraction all day. Now as he sat waiting for Rin to finish her meal before leaving the campsite, he wondered if the priestess knew that she was a beacon of promise in so many ways. Perhaps he should warn her. She smelled like ruttable food, something you could bite and breed at the same time. There were some days he had trouble discerning whether his beast needed to feed on some days, or fuck. Occasionally the chase felt vaguely the same, especially with any particularly spirited female. Sesshoumaru snorted quietly in decision.

He'd inform the miko before they left for the evening.

~*~

Kagome excused herself from the fellowship around the campfire, letting Sango know she was headed for her evening changeout quietly. "I'll be right back everyone - just going to freshen up by the creek." She grabbed the little blue zipped bag with tampons in it and moved to leave.

"This one shall accompany you, priestess." Sesshoumaru announced, breaking his reticence unexpectedly. All heads turned toward her and Sesshoumaru, who was now towering over her. Inuyasha stood in protest.

"If you think she needs a body guard, she doesn't you gaping asshole." He snarled, moving forward to put a body between her and the silvery haired demon lord. Kagome blinked.

"Is there a reason I should be concerned, Lord Sesshoumaru?" She inquired, somewhat worried at his sudden interest in escorting services. The taiyoukai raised a brow, seemingly offended he would need to explain any of his actions to anyone for any reason. Her uterus suddenly cramped and she could feel the blood rushing through her.

'Shit!'

She needed to wrap this argument up.

"Hn." Both Inuyasha and Kagome huffed in exasperation now, neither knowing what the hell it meant. Kagome waved one hand and pushed Inuyasha out of her way. She barely brushed by the silk of Sesshoumaru's haori.

"I don't care one way or another. Come if you want to, but keep your distance. I have business to attend to." She grumped, continuing towards the trail she's blazed for the day. They'd been staying close to the creek for a bit while Kagome waited out the worst days of her cycle before they carried on, blessedly thanks to Sango and her unyielding assurance it was necessary for them to be stopped. Sesshoumaru said nothing, but continued after her. Inuyasha, not wanting to miss out on food, seemed torn, and eventually gave a pointed glare to his brother.

"Don't let anything happen to her, shit bag. You'll answer to me if she gets hurt." She didn't see or hear his response as she marched away toward the creek. About five minutes later, she arrived where she had been cleaning herself and glanced back, seeing a flash of white trailing after her.

'Great...' she internally groaned. She hadn't anticipated what she'd do when she reached her potty spot. She cleared her throat loudly.

"Stay there. I'm... I'm going to the bathroom." She called, flushing again with embarrassment, but went about digging another small trench for her waste. She dampened a sanitary napkin and went to work, moving quickly to finish her business. Once the worst was done, she took a terrycloth dishrag and dampened it as well to wipe over her face before bedtime. She gathered her things up and headed back the way she came, coming upon Sesshoumaru as she headed back towards the campsite. They exchanged a brief glance and she continued on.

"Miko." The deep timbre of his voice startled her, and she turned.

"Yes?"

"This one has noticed a deep scent trailing your company as of late. We are assuming the scent is coming from you?" There was the tiniest hint of a question in the lilt of his voice. She scowled at him, flushing in embarrassment and frustration before jamming her hands on her hips.

"I swear to GOD! I KNOW OKAY!" She blurted angrily. "I SMELL HORRIBLE. You really don't need to mention it, it isn't like this is something I can help!" He blinked slowly at her. "Besides, I'm looking into ways to ebb the smell. It'll be over in another day or two, so if my smell is soooo offensive," she fumed sardonically, "I suggest you take the rest of your travel mates and leave. I'm getting tired of you weirdo demons telling me I smell." She threw her arms akimbo and had spun on one heel to storm away when she was stopped once again by his baritone.

"It is not offensive." That gave her pause. She glance back questioningly. "It is the contrary. You are attracting predators. It smells..." For the first time in her life, she watched the demon lord pause, seeming to search for the wording. In all his eloquence, she'd never seen him struggle with phrasing. "The scent is attractive for multiple reasons. One of which is prey..." he paused, eyeing her carefully as though he was curious what her response would be as he explained. "The other is based on breeding. One would suggest you to find a way to mask the scent before it finds its way to another that does not care for your consent." She balked at him in disbelief. Had... Had Sesshoumaru just...? 'Naaaahhhh....' she flustered. Her quiet seemed to encourage him to continue.

"Understand this is a warning simply due to This One's ward. Rin enjoys human interactions with this pack. We are not accustomed to pairing an already vulnerable creature with scent that marks her as good eating." Sesshoumaru paused. Kagome was losing her mind. Even in the dark, she could see the tiniest hint of a smirk appear on his pale face. "Even if you happen to be exactly that."

She stared. It didn't really occur to her that her mouth had dropped open, but Sesshoumaru had taken advantage of her halting and as he passed, paused just long enough before her to place a cool fingerpad under her chin and snap it shut.

"You already ate dinner, Priestess. Flies are not a good palate cleanser." He breezed by, and left her standing staring after him as he continued back to the campsite ahead.

"I swear to god, he just made two jokes in conversation that nobody ever expected he have with anyone, let alone me." She mumbled to herself, shaking her head in disbelief as she finally found the umph to move forward again. This was one she was going to have to share with Sango. Clearly, her period was becoming a problem.

~*~

Sesshoumaru could readily kick himself.

The conversation had taken an unintentional turn for the lewd, and he'd been nearly powerless to stop it in the wake of the tantalizing scents that kept barraging his senses. Instead, as he entered the camp he kicked Jaken who'd been snoozing where Sesshoumaru had originally settled. The little green goblin screeched in surprise before apologizing with a bow.

"Where is Rin? We take our leave." Jaken bowed again and hobbled over to where the little girl had fallen asleep beside the kitsune on the silky blanket the priestess had set out close to the fire. He was about to poke the girl with his staff when Sesshoumaru stopped him.

"Jaken. Leave her to sleep. She will be retrieved on the morrow; until then, This Sesshoumaru leaves her to you and Ah-Un." With that, he turned on his heel and moved to depart from the campsite.

"Good riddance, flea sack." He heard Inuyasha grumble.

"Ahem! Uh, Sesshoumaru. You're welcome to stay for the evening if you like." It was the priestess again. The monk and slayer shifted and exchanged glances as they watched the exchange.

"Hn." He continued on his way out and down the road. The scent was flaring again, with something that was fighting his exit. A shiver of something ran down his back and he continued away from the camp before launching into the sky, searching for a fresh breeze to carry it away. To his great annoyance and displeasure, it lingered on in memory. Unbidden, a horrible, delightful, blasphemous idea fluttered through his mind. The Demon Lord frowned hard. The scene that played through his imagination put the priestess in a position of exuberant obedience. One where thick black hair thrashed as she squirmed beneath ministrations that claimed her scent and mixed it with his own warning bouquet. This wouldn't do at all.