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The Shadow of Your Smile by Lucy Morningstar

Chapter One

DISCLAIMER: Inuyasha is Rumiko Takahashi's and its respective owners'. :(

[UPDATE: I had to pump in some more meat into this anorexic first chapter, after the admin pointed it out (it was too short). I was like, oh. How embarrassing. Ah, well.]

[A/N: I don't know whether to call this a love story or not. Heh. As usual, not your place if you're lookin' for some sweeping romance or epic adventure. Happy reading and please review.]

The Shadow of Your Smile

 

Chapter One : Barking

 

One night Kagome was rudely awakened by what sounded like a dog barking outside the house. In her groggy state of mind as she tried to grasp consciousness, she slowly wondered whose dog it belonged to. As far as she knew none of her neighbours here kept any dogs, although there were several cats and a chinchilla to recall.

Kagome did not move, instead listened intently in the darkness. The noise was getting incessant. It was as if the dog was barking solely for them, calling for their attention. The more she thought about it, the more uncomfortable she felt. It was like a bad omen, or a premonition.

Her husband roused in bed beside her. She could hear him as he sat up, reached for his cigarettes on the side drawer and lit a stick. So he heard it too, the dog. Ah, who is she kidding--the whole neighbourhood could probably hear it. Although her back was to her husband, she could just picture how he looked like then, resting against the headboard and taking long slow drags from his cigarette, as wisps of smoke clouded and swirled above. It was as if the smoke were the by-products of his thoughts channelling through his head, expelling out from his system in a material state.

After several minutes or so, Kagome finally turned in bed. She stared at her husband over her shoulder and squinted. His hand of which the cigarette nestled between his fingers, was shaking as it moved towards his lips.

"Dear," she said. "Are you alright?"

The taut expression on his face relaxed as his eyes slided to hers. "Yes?" Then as if like an afterthought, "Yes, I'm alright. Why do you ask?"

"You're shaking." Kagome answered, this time sitting up to hold her husband's shoulder. "You sure you're okay?" She placed a hand on his forehead to check his temperature.

He exhaled a small smile, smoke escaping from his lips.

"I'm alright. You should go back to sleep."

"Did the dog wake you up? It's creating a din, isn't it?" Kagome continued.

"Yes it is. It's a very noisy dog." He took another drag of his cigarette and quickly puffed. "I'm sure it'll go away soon."

"But it's being such a pest. Can't you at least take a look at it?"

Her husband seemed to sigh as he pulled himself off the bed. He stood up and walked to the windows, drawing the curtains close.

The sounds from the dog were muffled, but only slightly.

"Let's not worry about it," he said at length.

Kagome resumed her earlier position in bed, however the frown on her face still intact. Her husband crept back in, extinguishing his cigarette first on the ashtray that sat on the side drawer, before snuggling beside her. She felt as his hand reach over to smoothen her hair, then rubbed her shoulders warmly. As if to reassure her everything was alright.

She stared at the wall in front of her as her husband pressed his nose against her neck and held her tight. It had been a long time since he held her that way. She could smell the faint tobacco from his hand, the familiar light scent of his sweat. "Go to sleep," he had said. For some reason, it felt like he was talking more to himself. Kagome closed her eyes and tried to, pushing the dog and the awful noise off her mind, but couldn't, instead only pulled it in closer to entwine with her broken yet connected thoughts. Lulled by her husband's warmth, she slowly descended to sleep.

The dog continued to bark.

~* * *~

 

It was 4:03AM when she woke up. Her face creased with tiredness, confusion then wonderment, as she peered at the wall clock. She vaguely remembered she had awoken a few hours ago during the night. Now why was that?

Dragging her body out of bed, Kagome trudged to the toilet to relieve herself. That was nothing much to exert--just a short trickle. After she was done she washed her hands at the sink, and squinted at her reflection on the mirror. Not bad, she thought. She pinched her nose, rubbed it, and played with it.

Not bad at all.

It was during the middle of that moment that Kagome suddenly remembered why she had woken up at the first time.

She stopped to listen. The barking had ceased, replaced by the silence and serenity that now reigned the night. At least that was how it was inside the toilet. Then something occurred to her. Striding out of the toilet, she stopped only until she reached the foot of her bed.

 

Her husband was nowhere to be seen.

 

 

[A/N: Voila! A short (revised) first chapter. Good. I hate reading long stories. This is to be expected from an author who has a short-attention span.

Jokes aside, the title of the story is taken from 70's pop idol Bobby Vinton's song, which will more or less make sense in later chapters. :)]

 

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