It was like playing hide and seek. He had spotted her more than a few times today, and each time he had tried to walk towards her, presumably to talk to her. Kagome saw him approaching the table where she and her friends sat. She looked around in panic. She was blocked and both sides and should she stand up, she would only draw more attention to herself. Oh god, he was looking straight at her with those intense golden eyes. He looked very unamused – not that he ever looked amused. She looked around again, hoping some means of escape would magically present itself. He was only a few steps away. With no other option, she ducked underneath the table. “Kagome?” She heard Sango say, her voice full of concern.
“Shh.” She hushed her friend as she crawled towards the end of the table. Why did Kanna’s stupid potion have to work? Or perhaps it hadn’t worked, but then why else would he have been trying to hunt her down all day? ‘To kill you. Obviously.’ She thought to herself.
She reached the very end and was about to stand up when a large shadow fell over her. Kagome looked up, helpless as a child, at the silver haired fourth year glaring at her.
“Are you normal?” He asked, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly. This was it; she was going to die.
“I- um, I was looking for my contact lens. It dropped.” She said sheepishly. Obviously he did not believe her.
“Meet me at the gate after school.” He said flatly, and then turned and left without even giving her a chance to respond. Kagome sat on her knees and tried to steady her shaking hands. Why would he want to meet her? Was he going to hurt her? He probably meant to do it in front of everyone to make an example of her. She buried her face in her hands and supressed a frustrated scream.
“Kagome, what was that about?” She heard Ayame say from behind her. She turned to see her friends staring at her curiously. It took all her willpower not to point an accusatory finger at her, after all she was the one who had convinced her to go to Kanna for a love potion.
“Obviously she annoyed Sesshomaru somehow.” Sango said, “What were you even doing talking to a person like him?”
Kagome hung her head, “It was an accident. I spilled coffee all over him yesterday.”
Ayame and Sango paled, “Is he mad at you?” Ayame asked.
Kagome stood up solemnly, “I don’t know,” she said, her voice hopeless and resigned, “If you need me I will be in class writing my first, and last, will.”
Kagome ducked into the janitor’s closet and quickly shut herself inside. She pressed her back against the back corner of the closet and prayed to every single god she had ever heard of that he had not seen her. Why had the end of the day come so quickly? Normally class dragged on forever, but today when she needed it to actually last the eternity it felt like, it had decided to fly by.
All she could think about was the extreme lengths she had gone to today to avoid him, especially ducking under a table and attempting to crawl away. It was embarrassing, to say the least, but at least people understood whom she was running from, and anyone would agree that when it came to escaping that icy glare any act, no matter how undignified, was excusable.
Maybe something else had gone wrong and he was trying to kill her to gain revenge. Maybe the potion had poisoned him and made him slightly ill – yeah, he would probably kill her for that too. She slumped to the ground and buried her face in her hands. She did not know which was worse; having the most terrifying guy in school stalk her out of love or out of revenge. “Why are you so stupid Kagome, why?” She chided herself.
The door opened and the cold fluorescent lights from the hallway lit the dark closet. She squinted until her eyes adjusted to the sudden brightness. He stood in the doorway, his silver hair reflected the light and gave him an ethereal glow. Like an angel come to whisk her away – except an angel of death. He tilted his head slightly to the side, his hard amber eyes watched her with carefully scrutiny, “What is wrong with you?” when he spoke she felt herself snap to attention.
“Nothing.” She said quickly, scrambling to her feet.
“Where you not supposed to meet me? Why are you are sitting on the floor in the janitor’s closet?”
“I- I- I needed to think.” An awful, awful lie. She groaned inwardly and wished the world would just open up and swallow her.
“Well, I wanted to apologize for my behaviour yesterday. And to offer to replace what I took.”
His words caught her off guard. “What? No, no. Never mind.” She said as she tried to move past him, but he refused to budge, essentially blocking her path.
“I insist.” He said “I will take you to my favourite café, and you will understand why I was so upset to spill it.” He spoke in his usual impassive monotone, but there was something right underneath the surface of his words that set her on edge. She needed to leave. Now.
“It is really not necessary. Let’s just leave that in the past, ok?” She smiled a bright, diplomatic smile that silently pleaded for him to let her escape in one piece.
“I think you do not understand the meaning of ‘insist’.” He said. His voice was smooth and rich, with a warm timbre that made her suddenly incredibly conscious of every part of her and how awkwardly she was holding herself in front of him.
“Look, I don’t even like coffee. I’m more of a milkshakes person, so it’s ok.” She waved him off, hoping he would finally leave. But he just stared at her quietly. Obviously he had said as much as he would, and was willing to wait until she understood that ‘no’ was not an answer he was willing to hear today.
‘This, Kagome, this is why you don’t go to witches.’ She said to herself. She let her shoulders slump and she gave in, “Ok.”
He reached out and grabbed her hand. Kagome felt herself practically dissociate as he pulled her out of the closet and walked down the hallway with her hand in his. She felt as though she were dreaming. She must have been dreaming. There was no way on earth, magic or not, that Sesshomaru Taisho himself, the man who sneered at everything that so much as dared to breath the same air as him, was holding her hand in public.
Slowly she regained her sense and the first thing she caught were the curious stares and whispers. ‘Oh god no’ she quickly tried to pull her hand from his but his grip would not as much as budge. “Um, Sesshomaru, I think you can let go of me now. I am following you.”
“I do not enjoying owing debts, so I insist on getting this over with. But you, today, crawled under a table, tried to climb up a tree, climbed out two windows, and shut yourself in a closet all to avoid speaking to me. I don’t trust you.” With each word he spoke she felt her cheeks grow warmer and warmer in embarrassment. Had she really resorted to all that?
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are kind of terrifying.” Kagome shot back defensively. Everything she had done was perfectly understandable; there was not a creature on this earth that would not have done the same. “There are rumours that you actually killed a guy because he stepped on you. I spilled coffee on your shirt; of course I would try to run for my life.”
He slowed his steps, allowing her to catch up so he was no longer dragging her through the courtyard. He turned slightly and smirked at her, and then she saw it. Almost every girl in the school was as obsessed with him as they were afraid, but she never saw why. Yes, he was attractive but his arrogance and general condescension had been too much for her to see why girls were falling over themselves for him. But in this moment, with that smirk and playful glint in his eyes, she realised that he was inhumanly beautiful.
“Kami” she breathed under her breath. It was a wonder no one had tried a love potion on him yet; she would have seen the out of character public displays of affection if they had, seeing as he seemed to have no qualms running around the school holding her hand.
Then he spoke, “You are incredibly silly. I stand by my assertion that you should not have been allowed to leave middle school.” and just like that whatever magic had descended upon her died.
“Why are you so mean?”
“Hn.” Was the only reply she received. He kept her hand in his even as they walked down the street. He finally stopped in front of a café so small you would miss it if you did not know it was there.
He pushed open the door and led her in. “Ah, Sesshomaru! I was wondering when you would stop by.” A pretty, dark haired woman said from behind the counter. She was tall, and flawless just like Sesshomaru, and immediately Kagome felt somehow inferior in their presence.
“Sesshomaru!” A tiny voice yelled from behind the counter. A little girl with an askew ponytail came running from behind the counter and towards the pair. Kagome watched, surprised and amused, as the girl latched herself onto the older boy’s leg. “Rin is happy you came! Rin missed you!”
He bent forward and patted her head gently, “You have not been trouble?”
Rin beamed up at him and shook her head, “Rin is good, Rin…” her words died away when she finally took notice of the girl beside Sesshomaru.
Kagome smiled and waved at the little girl, “Hello, I’m Kagome.” She had a gift for dealing with children; they just seemed to love her. Well, except this one. Rin looked away and quickly scurried behind Sesshomaru’s legs, hiding. Kagome looked up at Sesshomaru, her brows knitted in confusion, “Did I do something wrong?”
He shook his head, and then turned his attention to the woman behind the counter. “Can I have one regular coffee for me, and one of those things excessively sweet things that really have no coffee in them at all. You know, the one for children – make it strawberry or something silly like that.”
‘Oh you are so funny’ Kagome was ready to quip; she even had the perfect eye roll to go with it. Except the little girl spoke before she could, “Wait, Rin makes Sesshomaru’s coffee. Rin makes the best coffee.”
Kagome watched as the girl sped behind the counter and climbed onto one of the stools. “Sesshomaru! Rin can’t reach!” Rin said, her voice high-pitched and happy. She watched as the most feared guy in her high school, walked behind the counter, picked up the little girl who squealed with delight and lifted her so she could reach the top cabinet.
“Are you his girlfriend?”
The question caught Kagome by surprise and she whipped her head in the direction of the dark haired woman, “What? No. no. no.” She shook her head, vigorously denying the accusation.
“It’s a pity; he’s a really sweet guy, but I never see him with any girls.” The woman said. ‘Maybe because he insults them and scares them all away’ Kagome thought bitterly. “But I guess he is really hard to get to know. And like. He is always so serious.” The woman laughed.
Kagome smiled at the little girl’s excitement, “Well Rin seems to like him well enough.” She said, she watched as the little girl turned the stoic senior into her personal sous-chef. She never in her wildest dreams would have imagined Sesshomaru Taisho could be like this.
“He saved her life. Rin and I owe him everything.”
“What?” Kagome asked in disbelief, “Saved her life? How?”
“A few months ago she was attacked by a wild dog. It very very bad, people didn’t know how to stop it, but he just jumped right in and held off the dog. He got injured himself, but he still helped me take her to the hospital, and stayed with her. When she got better, for the first few weeks she did not speak at all, and when she finally started to speak she would only speak to him. It was really really hard, but he started coming in everyday to see her, just to help her recover. Now she speaks a bit more to me, and sometimes even to strangers. I don’t know anyone else who would show that kind of kindness to a complete stranger and her child.”
Kagome stared, unable to reconcile the Sesshomaru she knew with what she was hearing. She remembered one week when he had showed up to school with his left arms bandaged. The rumour was he had gotten into a fight with a rival gang. “All done.” He said as he placed a cup in front of her, “Courtesy of Rin.” He then leaned in close to her and whispered, “Rin says you are rather pretty.”
Kagome blushed, and smiled at the little girl who had partially ducked behind the counter, “Thank you.”
She lifted the cup to her lips and took a sip. It was amazing. “Oh my goodness, this is amazing.” She looked up at him and lifted one eyebrow, knowing he must have made hers, “Rin makes very good drinks.”
“Now you understand why I was rather annoyed to spill mine.” He said. She felt as though she was meeting him for the first time; who was this person standing in front of her? It definitely was not the terrifying, distant senior that terrorised her school.
“See you tomorrow Sesshomaru! And I hope you stop by again Kagome!” The woman waved as the pair left the shop.
“Tomorrow?” Kagome asked, “You still come every day?”
“What do you mean ‘still’? Oh, don’t tell me she was relaying her life story again. That woman can be so dramatic.” His voice was cold and emotionless, but somewhere between his words she could sense the faintest glimmer of emotion. He snapped his eyes to the sky and let out a short breath that was meant to be irritation, but after seeing him with Rin she could no longer take his icy demeanour seriously. “Yes I come every day; it helps her. But I also wanted to walk you home, so I had to bring you along this time. I hope I didn’t waste your time.”
“You wanted to walk me home?” She asked, all this just to walk her home? She could tell he was not the kind to let people in very easily, and she was rather certain that what he had just let her see was something very few people knew about – all in the name of keeping her around so he could walk her home?
“Yes, but if I had asked directly you would have refused.” He said matter-of-factly. He took her hand in his and laced his fingers with hers, “You should go out with me.”
She felt her heart stop and she almost stumbled over her own feet. “You don’t have to answer now.” He said in a tone that made it seem as though she should have known he did not expect an answer immediately, as though she were an idiot for being startled by his statement. How he could, in one short sentence, convey so much complex condescension was beyond her. He turned and looked at her, his lips turned up in the slightest of smirks, “Just think about it.”