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The Curious Case of Kagome's Scent by SunsetMiko

Bubblegum

This was written for Dokuga_Contest's Cherry on Top Challenge.

What the hell was with her scent?! It was making him nuts!

When he'd combined his group with the hanyou's traveling party, he'd expected some difficulties. Inuyasha, of course, being the biggest. They'd never gotten along, and now that they were forced to be in such close proximity, things only got worse. Inuyasha still wanted to be in charge, even though Sesshoumaru was clearly more suited to lead. Even though they'd never acted like it, they were still pack and the taiyoukai had always been - - and would always be - - his alpha. The half-breed simply refused to accept it and fought him at every turn. Though he would never admit it, Sesshoumaru was actually sort of enjoying being able to prove his dominance over his younger half-brother repeatedly and with witnesses, so it wasn't the annoyance he'd expected.

Next, there were the monk and slayer. He'd known about Miroku's less than gentlemanly tendencies, groping any female that came within range. It was actually mildly amusing, seeing him being punished by Sango every time he touched her inappropriately. Sure, it was somewhat inconvenient when she knocked him unconscious, forcing them to either stop and wait while he recovered or have him carried by the fire cat so they could continue on. The humor he found in it, though secretly of course, outweighed that small issue.

Then there was Rin. She seemed even more energetic and excitable now that she had another child around, but Shippo was there for her to play with so it worked out. They ran themselves ragged, dropping with exhaustion every night. She'd never slept so well. She'd needed a playmate and Jaken didn't really qualify, though he'd tried. The kappa was clearly grateful for the change; she'd been more than he could handle.

Kagome also took the pressure off of them. She'd slipped so easily into the role of mother figure, and before joining with Inuyasha's group, he'd never even considered the idea that  Rin sorely needed a strong female influence in her life. However, even if he had recognized the need he wouldn't have been able to do anything about it before. He would never have left her in a human village, trusting others to care for her. She'd been through too much in her young life and he would never risk her being exposed to the abuses she'd suffered before she came to him. She was his, to care and provide for. She was like his own pup and he rather enjoyed the responsibility that came with her presence.

He would have to find  a way to keep Kagome in Rin's life once their quest ended. She was so attached to the miko, and Kagome seemed to be just as attached to the little girl, so he doubted she would protest. Sure, Inuyasha might have a thing or two to say, but Kagome didn't have any trouble putting the hanyou in his place so it wouldn't be a problem.

The miko herself, however, was a problem he hadn't anticipated. She had always treated him with the respect one of his status expected and deserved. Kagome mostly avoided him, but when they interacted she was polite, from time to time trying to include him in their conversations or games they played to pass the time at night. She offered him food at every meal and, though he rarely partook, she didn't stop offering. She treated him as a part of their pack and, though she was hesitant to approach him, she occasionally attempted to talk to him one on one, probably in hopes of making him feel more comfortable.

Comfortable was something he most definitely was not. It wasn't her fault that he found her intriguing, no matter how hard he tried to nip that in the bud, and his beast wasn't helping things. She was kind, caring, and loyal; educated far beyond even the upper class men of his time, which astounded him. She knew of things that even he did not and he couldn't help but approach her and engage her in conversation, soaking in her knowledge and learning all he could. That wasn't the problem though.

The problem was her scent. It changed rapidly, and not simply with her emotions like most humans. It shifted drastically from day to day, sometimes even multiple times a day, with no apparent explanation. He wanted, no, needed to know why. If he didn't figure it out soon, he was certain to fall prey to insanity. He couldn't really explain why it mattered so much to him, except that scent was very important to his kind. He not only wanted to understand the changing scents, but he needed to know what those various aromas were hiding.

His beast demanded that he uncover her natural scent. No one demanded anything of him, and usually not even his other half dared, but on this there was no give. His instinctive half literally ached to know, but refused to tell him why it was so important. Typically, he would not have given in, but to be honest, he was curious as well. It was an incredibly powerful desire he couldn't fight against. He would figure this puzzle out. He would know how and why she smelled so different so often and then, somehow, he would discover her natural aroma. Once he did, everything could return to normal and he would be in control once again. He was tired of trying to ignore it, so he was going to figure it out and he was going to start now.

His head whipped to the side as a new aroma caught his sensitive nose. Perfect timing. She'd returned from her home beyond the well and changed her scent again without any obvious cause, right when he'd decided it was time to sniff out the reason. He would go to whatever lengths necessary to satisfy his curiosity. She didn't have a clue what was coming.

-

Kagome tensed for a moment at the force of the demonic aura approaching her, though she calmed when she realized it was Sesshoumaru. Once he came into sight, however, she tensed again. He looked so serious and determined and she had no idea why he was focused on her. She licked her lips nervously, hoping he was just passing through on his way to maim or murder someone else, but her hopes were dashed as he sat stiffly beside her, where she'd been waiting beside the well.

"Um, hi?" she said nervously, uncertain what he wanted.

"That smell," he said softly, his tone surprising her. "What is it's source?"

"What smell?"

He fought back a sigh. Nothing could be easy, could it?

"It is sweet, unlike anything I have ever smelled before. There is a creamy hint to it, though that is fading quickly."

"Ummm..." Kagome searched her mind quickly, trying to figure out what in the hell he was talking about. "Is this smell coming from me?"

Sesshoumaru studied her intensely for a moment, making her shift under his gaze, before responding. He tried to keep his tone even and empty of all emotion, but found immediately that he'd failed at even that simple task.

"It seems to be focused on your mouth."

Her mouth... Oh, her mouth. Why couldn't he tear his eyes off of her lips? Why couldn't he banish this intense curiosity? She was going to be the death of him, or at the very least the death of his pride.

"My mouth?" Kagome thought for a minute, though it was difficult with the way he was looking at her. Finally it dawned on her. "Oh! My ice cream!" He lifted a brow at her and she continued. "Before I came back I had some ice cream. It's a frozen treat." She shifted her tongue around in her mouth, not noticing the way his gaze intensified at the sight, and pulled a wad of chewed gum from her mouth. "It had bubble gum in it, that must be what you're smelling. Is it bothering you? I can get rid of it."

He couldn't help but notice how she jumped when his hand wrapped around her wrist, pulling her and the strange item held between her fingers closer to sniff it. Yes, that was definitely the source of the scent.

"What does it taste like?" He eyed the 'gum' with interest.

"Ugh, you don't want ABC gum!" When he raised a brow at her again, she sighed. "Already been chewed. I don't have any more, but I can bring some back for you next time I go home. It's losing its flavor anyway. That's the problem with the bubble gum they put in ice cream. It goes bland pretty fast."

He loosened his grip on her wrist and she pulled her hand away, popping the gum back into her mouth. Before she had a chance to do what he knew she usually would, what he sorely wanted to for her, and before he could stop himself, Sesshoumaru caught her wrist again and pulled her hand to his lips. He studied her fingertips for a moment before slipping his tongue out to barely slide over the tip of her index finger, and she almost seemed to choke on her breath. Finding that the flavor wasn't offensive, he pulled the digit fully into his mouth, sucking on it while running his tongue repeatedly over the pad of her finger, watching as she made the most interesting face. Once the flavor was completely gone, he did it again, this time with her thumb, laughing internally as she let out a little gasping moan. She certainly was an entertaining creature.

When he let her go, Sesshoumaru looked away dismissively and watched as she rose quickly and scampered off to the safety of the village and her companions, utterly confused by his actions. He sat there for quite a while, savoring the taste in his mouth. He now had another problem.

As if being obsessed with the source of her changing scent wasn't bad enough, now he'd gone and tasted her flesh and it was exquisite. It was completely unexpected and he was overcome by the almost uncontrollable urge to pin her down and taste every inch of her skin, searching out and memorizing every subtle nuance. He'd never before had the desire to taste any female and now he was aching to do just that, and to a human! This was bad. Very, very bad.

-

His beast snickered in his mind at his obvious distress. He'd suspected, of course, but the way she masked her natural scent with so many others was preventing him from completing his most important task. He'd figure it out though. He would torment his master every chance he got until the taiyoukai gave in and found a way to get a good nose full of her pure, unadulterated, natural scent... and then he would know for sure.

 

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