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To Protect & Serve by Sage McMae

To Protect & Serve

“Do I make myself clear, detective?”

“Crystal,” Kagome says in a clipped tone.

The captain sighs and opens his mouth to continue. Kagome rises from her chair. She isn’t interested in hearing whatever sugar-coated nonsense he’s spewing. He’s only saying that because he wasn’t there. Captain Taisho doesn’t know what she saw. He is simply following protocol. 

She doesn’t want to hear it.

Kagome knows what is at stake. She and her partner have been working on this case for months. The details of Naraku’s narcotics ring are as familiar as her family members’ birthdays. She has studied the case file more times than she can count.

But nothing in that manila folder matters compared to him.

Not that she can tell Captain Taisho that. Though, considering her outburst, Touga probably already knows how Kagome feels about his son. After all, he used to be a detective, just like them. Not that anyone needs a background in investigation to put two and two together. She couldn’t be more obvious if she tried. 

“Don’t even think about going to that hospital, Higurashi.”

Kagome clenches her jaw. Just try and stop me. She makes sure to slam the door on her way out.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department is busy. No one bothers to look up as she passes through to retrieve her coat. Phones are ringing, the holding cell is full, and stacks of paperwork litter the desks. Kagome pointedly ignores her own.

She thought after graduating from the academy her homework days were over. The joke was on her. The thing they don’t tell you about becoming a member of the force is all the paperwork you have to fill out. Had she known, Kagome doubts she would have applied.

Her restless personality had made joining the academy ranks seem like a perfect idea. She has always wanted something different from the quiet life her family established at their shrine. It was a nice place to grow up but Kagome doesn’t like to be stagnant. She needs to be challenged. The academy certainly provided that.

Female candidates are rare. It may be the twentieth century but women still tend to pursue careers as secretaries, flight attendants, and teachers. Having a female officer, especially one who wants to be part of the detective unit, is unique. Kagome is lucky Touga is a forward-thinker.

She may be angry with him but that doesn’t discount the support he has given her. Without him, Kagome wouldn’t have her position in the department— a position she jeopardized tonight.

As Kagome reaches for her jacket, her hand trembles. She recognizes the signs of shock. Her adrenaline is burning off. She has less than thirty seconds before the tears come. If Kagome wants her peers to continue to respect her, she can’t fall apart.

Not here, not now.

Flashes of the evening pop into her mind. The unbidden images are like snapshots, fragments of the larger whole. Threats. The glint of metal. A cruel chuckle. Gunfire. Screams. A crimson pool on the cement.

Kagome barely has her jacket on before she’s sprinting out the precinct doors.

Touga can kiss her ass if he thinks she isn’t going to the hospital. She has to. She has to make sure he’s alright. She needs him to be okay.

A tear slips free. As it rolls down her cheek, Kagome can feel herself shaking. Everything she has kept buried comes to the surface— her regret, her rage, and her fear. The terror of losing her badge. Concern for the setbacks this will cause to the overall investigation. Panic at the thought of never seeing him again.

Her legs wobble. She grabs hold of a lamp post to remain standing as her vision blurs. Kagome has to remind herself to breathe.

In. One...two...three...four.

Out. One...two...three...four.

He’s going to be fine. He has to be. She can’t take down Naraku without him. She can’t live without him.

Clinging to the street light, Kagome inhales and exhales, silently counting until the hammering of her heart lessens. The ringing in her ears is still there, a side effect of having a gun discharge so close to her face. It’s annoying but it should pass after a few days. The ringing is a small price to pay for survival.

There’s a reason Kagome practices daily. It’s true what they say— that you don’t know how you will react until you are put into a life-threatening situation. She made a lot of mistakes tonight but without her training, Kagome wouldn’t have walked out of that warehouse. She would have been in a bag beside Kagura in the coroner’s bus.

She grits her teeth. If she had her way, Kagome would have put Naraku in there too. He had gone out the back. She could have followed, tracked him down, cornered him. She could have ended it. Kagome doesn’t understand why Miroku stopped her. Naraku deserves to suffer for what he’s done. 

I’m going to make that bastard hurt, Kagome vows, still shaking.

She zips her jacket closed, keeping her head down as she marched to the nearest metro station.

The platform is empty except for a few late-night workers. To Kagome’s right, there is a nurse in wrinkled scrubs with dark circles under her eyes. There are also two men in suits— most likely bankers —, and a waitress who, judging by the stains on her apron, just finished a rough shift.

Kagome takes in all the details, making up stories for each of them. It’s something she does to pass the time. There is the added benefit of keeping herself busy so she doesn’t remember how quickly his shirt turned red or the glossy look of his eyes.

She bites the inside of her cheek. The sharp pain keeps a fresh stream of tears at bay. Gunfire echoes in her mind as loud as a canon. Kagome jerks slightly. No one on the platform pays her any attention.

When the train appears, she boards alongside the other passengers. No one speaks to her. No one even makes eye contact. At times, the lettering on her navy jacket works better than a bulletproof vest.

Kagome takes a seat in the far corner of the car.

Tokai University Hospital is the best in the city. It’s a thirty-minute ride by metro but she’s less likely to cross paths with Arisu by taking public transportation. Kagome doesn’t have the energy to deal with his mother tonight. That woman is as shrewd as she is beautiful.

She has always made Kagome nervous, probably because Kagome thinks she knows. Arisu has never mentioned her suspicions but Kagome knows she has them. Why else would she prompt her son to take Kagome home after the department Christmas party? And there was that time when she asked Kagome about her future plans. Arisu hadn’t been subtle about hinting she expected her son to give her grandchildren. Kagome hadn’t been able to look him in the eye for a week.

No, tonight is not the night to run into Arisu.

One by one, the other passengers rise from their seats and leave. When the announcement comes over the PA system for her stop at Yoyogi Station, Kagome silently moves to the exit.

It’s a brief walk from the metro to the hospital. The moment she turns the corner, Kagome can see the brilliant lights of the entrance. Every time they’ve driven past in a patrol car, she’s compared the white building to a hopeful beacon. Now, however, it is terrifying.

Kagome inhales deeply. It’s just a quick in and out. Maybe a question or two for the doctor. That’s it. Shouldn’t take more than five minutes, she tells herself.

But as she steps inside, Kagome knows she is lying. The only thing more frightening than not knowing how he is would be to know.

And go home to her apartment.

By herself.

He’s her partner. She won’t abandon him.

Kagome doesn’t stop at the nurse’s station to ask her which room he’s in. She has been a detective long enough to pick up a few tricks. Touga may think he’s been careful but Kagome overheard him on the radio. She knows exactly where he is.

She ducks into the staircase as Miroku and Sango stroll past on their way out. They are the only other co-ed team in the department. They also happen to be her friends but Kagome can’t face them right now. She’s still too mad at Miroku and Sango— well, if her friend asked about the night, Kagome knows she would start crying.

Better to avoid them altogether.

Kagome climbs the steps to the fifth floor. The stairwell is empty. At this late hour, the hospital has a skeleton crew working. No one sees her as she slips down the corridor to room 512.

That’s where her luck runs out.

“Kagome, you shouldn’t be here. Dad’s on the warpath. He—.”

“How is he?” she interrupts, not even looking at her best friend.

Inuyasha’s shoulders sag. He recognizes the tone and knows there is no arguing with her. “He was lucky. The doctor said another couple of centimeters and the bullet would have shattered his humerus. They would have had to amputate his arm.”

Kagome feels a pang in her chest. He was struck on his dominant side. He would have been forced into retirement. For someone like him,— a man whose only goal was to follow in his father’s footsteps —, retirement was worse than a death sentence. He would have preferred to die in the line of fire than be honorably discharged.

“Look, Kikyo went to grab some coffee from the cafeteria. I’m going to head to the bathroom. If you happen to sneak in while I’m gone,” he pauses and shrugs, “well, no one can fault me for something I didn’t see, right?”

Kagome throws her arms around his shoulders. She embraces him tightly, feeling grounded by his presence. “Thanks, Inuyasha.”

He wraps his arms around her, hugging her in return.

As he releases her, Kagome turns to walk into the room. A temporary nameplate has been fixed aside from the door. It reads S. Taisho.

“Kagome.”

She glances over her shoulder at her friend.

“I’m glad you’re alright,” Inuyasha tells her.

Kagome gives him a small smile and enters the room.

Inside, it is dark. The blinds have been drawn closed to block out the skyline and give the patient privacy. Apart from several beeping machines besides the bed, the only source of light is a wall-mounted TV. The device faces a single bed in the middle of the room. Kagome can’t tell what’s on because the program is muted. She doesn’t dwell on it. The TV is the least of her concerns right now. 

“Hey,” she greets him tentatively. 

He doesn’t glance up to greet her. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“Neither should you,” she returns, guilt sitting heavy in her gut.

“Higurashi.”

“Sesshomaru,” she retorts, matching his disapproving tone.

Judging by the set of his jaw, he is clenching his teeth. Kagome glances down to find the sheet pulled taught from where his right hand has balled into a fist. His left one is propped up in a sling. There is a thick layer of bandages around his bicep where the bullet hit. 

She sighs, crossing her arms over her chest. “Look, I get it, alright? I messed up. Your dad and I already had it out at the station. I’ll probably lose my badge over this.”

“Good.”

“Good?” Kagome repeats incredulously. Her remorse transforms into outrage. He has always had a knack for getting under her skin and tonight is no exception. “Are you serious right now?”

“One of us has to be,” Sesshomaru remarks.

Kagome’s gaze turns icy. The freakin’ nerve of this guy!

“You blew your cover,” he reminds her.

“I didn’t have a choice!”

“You compromised a six-month-long investigation,” he snaps.

“Me?” she sputters. “You’re the one who burst into the place without warning. Maybe the blood loss is affecting your memory because that certainly wasn’t part of the plan.”

“Neither was him putting his hands all over you,” Sesshomaru snarls.

Kagome rolls her eyes. “I wasn’t wearing a wire. In that dress, he would have noticed.”

“Totosai would have noticed,” Sesshomaru says.

Her brow furrows. She doesn’t know what the blind-as-a-bat Archivist has to do with this. Before she can question him, he continues.

“That was our one chance to flush out the mole. They were the key to getting Naraku and you let it slip away. I hope you’re happy,” he grumbles.

“What the hell was I supposed to do? Let Kagura shoot you?”

His eyes go wide. “Kagura?”

“Yeah.”

“As in the—

“—the bitch from Narcotics? Yep, she’s the one who shot you. Oh, and by the way, if you haven't figured it out by now, she was the mole. I had Miroku tailing her. That’s how he was able to reach us so quickly,” Kagome reveals.

“You never trusted her,” Sesshomaru comments offhandedly.

“For good reason,” Kagome points out.

They lapse into silence, each staring at some undefined spot on the floor as they relive the evening’s events. 

The steady beeping of machines fills the air between them. On the other side of the door, Kagome can hear footsteps as someone walks by.

She tenses, expecting Inuyasha to pop his head inside and tell her to scram. He may be her best friend but that doesn’t mean he will intervene if his father shows up. Inuyasha respects Touga. He won’t directly undermine his authority.

The steps do not slow as they pass. Whoever it is, they do not enter the room. Kagome breathes a little easier. Most likely, it was a doctor on rotation or a nurse returning from break. She still has time.

“What happened to her?” Sesshomaru asks, breaking the silence.

“Who?”

“Kagura.”

“She won’t be causing any more trouble,” Kagome answers.

He smirks. “Your aim has always been impressive.”

The compliment catches her off guard. Kagome wonders what dosage of painkillers the doctor put Sesshomaru on. Gunshot wounds are particularly nasty. He’s probably on morphine. That would explain all of his strange comments.

Kagome decides to test her theory by asking him why ignored protocol. “I was so close to gaining Naraku’s trust. I could have brought down his whole organization from the inside. It’s everything we’ve been working toward. Why did you stop me?”

Sesshomaru’s face darkens.

His lack of response makes her feel sick. Doesn’t he trust her? After all these months working side by side, Kagome believed he saw her as his equal. He might not return her feelings but at least they have each other’s backs.

Except you didn’t, an ugly voice points out. He’s in here because of you. He’s hurt because you screwed up. 

Kagome swallows thickly. “Right, okay,” she murmurs.

The immense weight of the evening comes crashing down on Kagome. Her hands start to shake, her vision blurs, and her pulse accelerates. No amount of breathing exercises can help her now.

As the first round of tears burst forth, she moves to leave. Kagome has never cried in front of Sesshomaru before and she’ll be damned if tonight is the night she starts. She’s too busy running away that she fails to hear the shuffling behind her. 

Her hand is on the door handle when an arm snakes around her waist.

“Kagome.”

She stiffens. He never calls her by her first name. Sesshomaru is a professional. Even when they are off-duty, he refers to Kagome by her surname. Always.

Words fail her. Replying is impossible when her mouth feels dry and her throat is constricted. She doesn’t dare turn around. Her face is red, her nose congested, and her eyes sore from restraining her tears all evening. She is a mess.

“Stay,” Sesshomaru says, moving closer so she can feel him leaning into her. “Please.”

Kagome has imagined him taking her into his arms and holding her close so many times. She certainly hadn’t envisioned this moment happening in a hospital. Her fantasies hadn’t featured Sesshomaru in a smock or her in a torn party dress and oversized jacket.

That thought sobers her enough to find her voice. “Sesshomaru?”

“Hn.”

“There never was an issue with the supplier, was there?”

“What supplier?” he inquires, ducking his head down so the words tickle her ear as he speaks.

“For our uniforms. I asked for a small but each time I went to pick one up, they never had my size. I’ve been wearing your old one this whole time,” Kagome reminds him.

He doesn’t respond.

She whirls around, knocking his arm away. “You liar!”

“What’s it matter? It’s only a jacket,” he scoffs.

“It’s huge on me!” Kagome cries, holding out her arms to demonstrate how enormous the garment is on her slight frame.

“It keeps you covered up,” Sesshomaru states.

Kagome staggers back. The puzzle pieces fall into place— snippets of their conversations over the last six months, gazes that lingered a second too long, and an unnecessary amount of physical touch. She shakes her head as her hand covers her mouth to stifle her gasp.

Neither was him putting his hands all over you. 

It can’t be...

“Kagome—.”

“You were jealous,” she surmises. “You ruined a six-month undercover investigation because— what? You thought I actually liked that creep?!”

“He took you aside,” Sesshomaru growls.

“We were in a club. It was his private booth. I was playing my part!”

“It was a soundproofed back room,” he retorts furiously. “Anything could have happened to you. I wasn’t going to risk it.”

“So instead you got yourself shot?” Kagome demands.

He sighs and begins to remove his bandages. “It’s a minor graze, hardly worth the trip. I'm only here because of who my father is.”

She interrupts him with a smack. Her palm stings from the impact but Kagome barely feels it. The ache in her chest is far worse.

“You...absolute...idiot,” she croaks, struggling to breathe as more tears surface.

Kagome can’t see his reaction to her strike. Her eyes burn with wave after wave of hot tears. She pounds her fists against his chest until he wraps one of his hands around both of hers and pulls Kagome close.

She buries her face in his sterile gown, unable to control the body-wracking sons that escape her. Sesshomaru combs her hair away from her face and holds onto her, patiently waiting for the tears to subside.

“I was so scared,” Kagome says, her voice cracking. “All I could see was the blood and you were lying there not moving and—.”

Sesshomaru cuts her off. “I’d do it again.”

Kagome lifts her face to stare at him. “Why?”

There is a pause. So many things left unsaid linger in the air between them. Kagome knows that if they cross this line there will be no going back. She holds her breath, waiting for him to speak.

“I love you, you absolute idiot.”

Despite herself, Kagome laughs. Leave it to him to use her own words against her. She drags the sleeve of her jacket across her face, desperately trying to remove the remnants of her breakdown. “I love you too.”

Sesshomaru cups her face and leans down. Kagome closes her eyes in anticipation of them— Finally! —sharing their first kiss.

That’s when the door swings open, causing her to jump.

“Hey, Kagome, you better— oui, what the hell is going in here?” Inuyasha asks.

A pair of women poke their heads in. One is Inuyasha’s fiancée, Kikyo. The other is Arisu Taisho, Sesshomaru’s mother. Kagome feels her face heat. She wishes the floor would swallow her up. How embarrassing!

“Get out,” Sesshomaru barks, glaring at them over her head.

“Yeesh, I thought the meds were supposed to make him nicer,” Inuyasha gripes.

“Leave them alone,” Kikyo tells him, pulling the door closed but not before they hear Arisu exclaim, “Finally!”

Kagome smiles, delighted that Sesshomaru’s mother approves. Inuyasha may take some convincing but he’ll come around eventually. His relationship with his older brother has been steadily improving over the last few months. The only one she has to worry about now is Touga. 

“My father respects you,” Sesshomaru says. 

She blushes, realizing she voiced her concern out loud. “He didn’t want me coming here. In fact, he specifically ordered me not to.”

Sesshomaru smirks. “Because he knew you would. You’re very predictable.”

Kagome arches her brow at him. “Oh, really?”

He nods. 

She mirrors his earlier gesture, cupping his face in both her hands and standing on her tiptoes to press her lips to his. Kagome expects to take him by surprise. She does not anticipate him to return her kiss. 

He crashes into her, pressing her against the door Inuyasha closed only moments before. “I’ve wanted this for so long,” Sesshomaru admits. 

“Me too,” Kagome returns. 

He peels back the collar of her jacket to bare her neck. His lips leave her mouth to deposit a series of kisses around her pulse point. She slides her hands over his shoulders and down his back. The material of his hospital gown is thin. Kagome can feel the heat coming off his skin. It burns through the fabric and across her fingertips. 

Sesshomaru lifts her up, guiding her legs to wrap around his midsection. 

Kagome glances down at where the bandage is partially hanging off of his left arm. “Does it hurt?”

“No.”

“Liar.”

“Endorphins relieve pain,” he quips with a roguish grin. 

She bites her lower lip. Kagome is caught between doing the right thing and doing something she has always wanted. The choice should be easy but it’s hard to keep a clear head when her partner is looking at her like a five-course meal. 

He settles onto his bed, repositioning Kagome in his lap. First, he removes her shoes, then his hands are skimming up her bare legs. When they delve under her oversized jacket, he freezes. 

“You’re still wearing the dress.”

“It’s not like I had time to change,” she retorts defensively. His gaze lands on the zipper that bisects her jacket. He reaches for it but Kagome wraps her hand around his. “Maybe we should wait.”

Sesshomaru doesn’t move. He stares at her, searching her face for clarification. 

“You’ve just been shot. You’re in the hospital.”

“It’s a minor wound. I’ll be discharged tomorrow morning. This is merely a formality,” he explains. 

She eyes him skeptically. 

He tucks an errant strand of hair behind her ear. “I’ve never lied to you, Kagome. I don’t intend to start now.” 

Her resolve slips. “You’ll tell me if you’re in pain?” 

“I won’t—.”

“You’ll tell me,” Kagome demands, grabbing his earlobe roughly. Sesshomaru Taisho doesn’t have many weaknesses, but Kagome learned early on that his ears are sensitive. It’s a fact she’s leveraged more than once during close-combat sparring sessions. 

“I’ll tell you,” he promises. 

“Alright, then.” 

With her consent, he slowly unzips her jacket— well, technically it’s his jacket —and peels it off her shoulders. Underneath the navy windbreaker, Kagome is clad in only her underthings and a crimson dress. Sango called it ‘sultry’ but Kagome thinks a more appropriate word is ‘skimpy.’ 

He pinches the tiny straps between his thumb and forefinger. “I hate this dress.” 

Before she can ask why, he rips the garment apart at the seams and tosses it aside. 

“Sesshomaru!” 

“My overnight bag is in the closet. You can wear my T-shirt and boxers,” he responds calmly. 

“That was expensive,” Kagome chides. 

“It was in the way,” Sesshomaru argues.

“I think you just like seeing me in your clothes.” 

Kagome forgets to be angry when he begins to trace the outline of her lace bra. There is a fire in her core that flares under his touch. He’s gentle, in a way she expected but knows is extremely rare. It’s one of the reasons she fell for him— his unforeseen tenderness. 

The way he touches her makes her feel revered, powerful, worshipped. There is a hesitancy to his movements as though he’s afraid she’ll stop him at any moment. Kagome knows she should say something encouraging to him but the opportunity to speak passes when he dips below her waistline. 

He trails a single finger along the hem of her thong. Teasingly, Sesshomaru repeats the gesture on the other side, this time making sure to brush his fingertips across her thigh. Kagome leans into his ministrations, aching for more. Her skin is overheating and she wants nothing more than to drown in the bliss of his touch. It is the only thing that relieves the burning inside her. 

Sesshomaru continues his ministrations while his free hand palms her breast through her bra. Instinctively, Kagome rolls her hips. The hand on her thigh grips onto her. It is a bit rough, possessive even. Normally, the act would irritate her. Kagome doesn't appreciate men who try to control her. But this isn’t just some guy. This is Sesshomaru. She’s safe with him. 

His head lowers to the swell of her breast. Plush lips meet pale skin and Kagome moans. Her hips rock forward, searching for friction. Sesshomaru makes a low sound in the back of his throat. A second later, he is clawing at her undergarments. 

Kagome manages to hold him off long enough to remove both items. She can’t have him destroying every piece of clothing she owns. 

He sits up a bit straighter, maneuvering so he is able to discard his sterile frock. 

Time stands still while they drink each other in. Now, there is nothing between them— no rules, no garments, no secrets. It’s just them. The way it was always meant to be.  

Kagome settles over him, placing her hands on his shoulders to hold herself steady. Sesshomaru guides her down, watching as she lowers herself onto him. Centimeter by centimeter, Kagome takes him in until he is fully seated inside her. Then she rolls her hips. 

He hisses out a curse and bucks upward. She keens. 

After that, it’s a battle for control. They both vie for dominance, colliding and crashing together like waves on a rocky shore. It’s an intense coupling from start to finish. Kagome’s nails dig into his back. Sesshomaru’s teeth latch onto her collarbone. She shouts his name. He moans hers. 

With each thrust, he drives himself deeper until Kagome is convinced he has become a part of her. She has herself wrapped so tightly around him that perhaps, in a way, she has become part of him as well. 

Their frenzied pace can’t last forever. Neither of them has slept in over twenty-four hours and their adrenaline begins to wear off. 

Sesshomaru increases his pace. One arm is clamped around her waist while the other is cupping the back of her head. He steals a searing kiss just as Kagome’s climax hits her. Her cries are swallowed up by him. Sesshomaru follows soon after, hips stuttering as he releases. 

He falls back onto his pillows with an exhausted exhale. Kagome sags against him, sated and sleepy. 

Sesshomaru reaches around her, shifting them only enough so he can cover them with the sheets. 

This time, he doesn’t have to ask her to stay.

Kagome knows where she belongs— right next to her partner.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Note: This was written for all-my-cuffs-have-buttons's prompt 'Protective/Worried Kagome'. It was inspired by the amazing @angelicfoxus' depiction of Detective Sesshomaru and beta'd by originalone73. Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

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