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The Winter Dance by SunsetMiko

The Winter Dance

I do not own Inuyasha and I make no money from the writing of these stories. This was written for Dokuga_Contest's Winter Wonderland Challenge on LiveJournal.

-

Inuyasha was startled when, as he walked through the front room of his home on his way to the door, he suddenly found himself pinned to a wall. Apparently, the taiyoukai thought he needed a little reminder of his demands before the school day started.

"You will get her to come tonight," Sesshoumaru snarled at his younger brother, "or you will pay for your failure."

"I'll do my best, okay? I said I would!" the hanyou replied, more than a little nervous. He was used to Sesshoumaru being intense, but not quite this extreme.

"For your sake, I do hope your best is good enough." The taiyoukai turned and stalked away without giving Inuyasha a chance to respond.

"Damn," the half-demon said to himself. "He's got it bad."

-

Kagome sat alone on a bench under a tree in the school courtyard, watching the snow fall in sheer silence. She was bored, lonely, and tired of pretending that everything was fine. Tonight was the 'Winter Wonderland' dance at school, and no one had asked her to go with them. All of her friends had dates, and though they had encouraged her repeatedly to come anyway, date or no, she just couldn't bring herself to do it. She would only end up being the third wheel, or the fifth, if one were to be specific.

Sango and Miroku had been in a serious relationship for more than three years and even Inuyasha, who after fawning over Kikyo for the entirety of his freshman year and, had finally managed to catch her eye, was in a steady relationship. Now it was their senior year and Kagome was still alone. It was beyond frustrating, and confusing as well, that no one ever seemed to want to ask her out. There were guys that had seemed interested, but none had ever taken that step to ask, so the miko was perpetually dateless.

She sighed as she saw Inuyasha coming towards her. 'Not again,' she thought to herself.

"Yo, Kags!" he hollered as he got closer. Once he was beside her, he gave her side a playful poke. "Are you out here pouting again?"

Kagome's lip curled in a snarl. "I am not pouting. I think I have the right to be a little disappointed. What the hell is wrong with me, Inu? Why won't someone ask  me out already?"

Inuyasha sighed. He knew exactly why no one ever asked his best friend to go out on a date. Someone in the school had already spoken for her, and everyone knew that she was off limits. That was, everyone but her. Why the big jackass didn't make a move sooner, he didn't understand. All he was certain of was that something would be happening at the dance tonight and Kagome needed to be there. Gods, he hated lying to her.

"Kagome, there's nothing wrong with you, except..."

"Except what?" she nearly yelled.

"Except that... maybe you're too beautiful. Maybe guys are intimidated, afraid to ask you out."

The miko rolled her eyes. "What a load of shit. Did you want something, Inu? Because I was enjoying my solitude."

"I wanted to see if you would consider changing your mind about coming tonight. It'll be a ton of fun and you won't be intruding. You know we're all thrilled to have you hang out with us; it wouldn't be a party without you."

Kagome sighed. "No, Inuyasha - I told you before - I am not going alone, and since I apparently have leprosy or some other horrific disease that I'm unaware of, I certainly don't have a date."

"You don't need a date!" Inuyasha was getting desperate. Sesshoumaru was going to eviscerate him if he failed to get her to go. Why the damn taiyoukai didn't just ask her, was beyond him. It would make things a hell of a lot easier! But no, the bastard had this planned down to the second and refused to alter his plans a bit.

"Yes, I do. Don't worry about me, Inu. I've planned a nice evening alone. I'm going to watch movies, take a long, hot bath, and then curl up in my bed and sleep until Monday."

"Yeah, that sounds like tons of fun," the hanyou replied snidely.

"Just go away. I'm not changing my mind."

Inuyasha did just that, deciding he would have to try another approach. Sesshoumaru hadn't put any restrictions on how he got her there, after all. It was time to resort to desperate measures and conspire with the enemy. He could only hope that the wolf was stupid enough to not question the sudden change, because Kouga was the only man for the job.

-

Inuyasha watched from a distance as Kouga approached Kagome with a smug grin on his face. The wolf had been easy enough to manipulate. A few little suggestions that the miko might reciprocate his feelings, along with assurances that it was now safe to ask her out, that Sesshoumaru had changed his mind, were all it took to get Kouga to step up to the plate. His fingers were crossed that she didn't turn him down flat. This was his last chance at survival.

-

Kouga slid into the seat beside Kagome, where she sat staring out the window at the snow covered meadow alongside the school. It was where teens frolicked and sports teams practiced in the warmer months, but now it was beyond beautiful, unsullied with footprints that would mar the perfect white surface.

"Hey, 'Gome," Kouga said nervously.

"Hi, Kouga," she replied blandly. The wolf was one of the worst offenders in her mind. He would act as if he liked her, even going so far as to declare her his woman, but he had never once asked her out. She was tired of him playing with her emotions and she was ready to tell him so.

"What do you want, Kouga? I'm not in the mood for your pointless flirting."

Her tone was angry, vicious, and the wolf reconsidered his plans for a moment, but only a fleeting moment. The hanyou had told him that Sesshoumaru had rescinded his claim and had given an 'all - clear' on the miko. Finally he could ask out the girl of his dreams, the one he'd wanted as his mate since he first laid eyes on her.

"I was wondering, if you're not busy that is, if you'd... would you..." Kouga ran his hand over his face in frustration and sighed heavily before spitting it out. "Would you like to go to the dance with me tonight?"

Kagome's eyes widened in shock. Had her invisible leprosy cleared up? Had, whatever had been keeping the male population at arm's length, finally gone? Was the torture of being alone over?

"You want me, ---Kagome... to go to the dance with you?" She was so stunned that she felt like she had to make sure he knew what he was doing.

"Damn straight! Kagome, I've loved you for years now. I would have asked you out sooner, but I couldn't."

"Why not?" she asked, hope rushing through her. Could she really be seconds away from finding out what the problem had been all this time?!

"I can't... I can't say." Guilt washed over him as her shoulders slumped in disappointment. "But it doesn't matter anymore, because it's over. So, would you go with me?"

A smile slowly spread across the miko's face. Maybe today would be a good day after all! "Yeah, sure Kouga, it sounds like fun." Then a thought struck her. "Oh, crap! Now I have to get a dress!"

The wolf laughed and put his arm around her shoulders. "Whatever you wear, you'll be gorgeous," he said softly, pressing a kiss to her temple, thrilled when she didn't pull away. This was lining up to be the best day of his life.

-

"You did what?!" Sesshoumaru snarled in Inuyasha's face as he held the hanyou off the ground against a wall by his throat.

Inuyasha tried to swallow, but found it impossible due to his brother's grip. "You said..." he gasped, and Sesshoumaru loosened the hand around his throat. "You said to get her there, you didn't say how. If I hadn't done it... she never would have gone."

The taiyoukai growled and dropped his captive to the floor. "How am I supposed to follow through with my plans if she has a date?"

"You know, this is all your fault. If you had made a move years ago, she wouldn't have spent so long feeling like an outcast, like something was wrong with her. She jumped at his offer because she's so lonely. It doesn't mean she actually likes him!"

"You dare question this Sesshoumaru? I have done things this way for a reason; I could not show my interest before now without consequences. You know how my mother is!"

"Yeah, yeah, " Inuyasha grumbled while rubbing his sore throat. He didn't doubt he would be sporting a ring of bruises around his neck tonight. "So your mom would have had a fit about you dating a human, so what?"

The taiyoukai fought to keep from rolling his eyes. "She would have done everything in her power to sabotage the relationship. She would have forced me to date eligible demonesses, but now that I am eighteen, she can no longer interfere. Father will not allow it. I have been planning this night for years and I wanted it to be perfect!"

"Yeah, so it was easier for you. Meanwhile, you made her miserable over the last three years. It wasn't fair to her. If she knew what you'd done... I don't think she'd give you the time of day."

"I had no other choice," Sesshoumaru said softly, as if trying to convince himself. He'd never wanted to do things this way, but his mother had forced his hand. His possessive instincts made it impossible for him to allow her to date other males while he waited for the freedom to claim her. He'd had no other option but to make her off limits to everyone.

"Keep telling yourself that. So, what's the plan for tonight? You need my help?"

"You would help me, even after all you've said?" The taiyoukai was surprised that he had his brother's support. He was the miko's best friend after all, and had seen the results of his actions first hand.

"Of course I will. I think you're perfect for her, even if you can be a giant ass. I wouldn't have helped you all this time if I didn't plan on seeing it through."

"Fine. Then this is how we shall proceed..."

-

At the sound of knocking on the front door, Kagome flew down the steps. He was there! She threw the door open and smiled brightly at her date, who handed her a bouquet of red roses.

"You look beautiful tonight, Kagome," the wolf said.

"You're not so bad yourself," she replied with a grin. "You clean up pretty good." He did look nice in a suit and tie, his hair pulled back in a low ponytail. He looked like a gentleman, instead of the shameless flirt she knew him to be.

Kagome's mother rushed into the room with her camera, ready to memorialize the occasion on film. Tears glistened in her eyes at the sight of her little girl ready to go on her first date. After what felt like forever, the couple was on their way to the dance in Kouga's bright red Firebird. It didn't take long to arrive at the school, where the shindig was being held, and Kagome stared at all the students dressed in their evening best while the wolf sat in the turn lane waiting to get into the parking lot.

One particular classmate caught her eye and Kagome had to hold in a sigh. He looked stunning in his black tux. A tad overdressed perhaps, but as good as he looked, no one would say a word. She had always wondered about him, her best friend's older brother. He was quiet and most often kept to himself, and she had never once heard of him going on a date. A part of her had always hoped he would be interested in her, that he would be the one to ask her out, but she'd always known better than to entertain those thoughts for too long. She would only end up hurting herself.

She was startled when Kouga's hand touched her arm. "Kagome? We're here. You ready to go in?"

The miko nodded, shaking her earlier thoughts from her mind. There was no way Sesshoumaru would be interested in her. If he didn't notice some of the incredibly beautiful girls in their grade, he certainly would never give her a second look. She put on a smile as Kouga helped her out of the car and offered her his arm. He led her towards the entrance to the gymnasium, which had been transformed into a scene out of a Christmas movie, and she gasped at the sight of it. The decorating team had done an incredible job!

-

Sesshoumaru watched with building rage as Kouga danced with the woman he desired as his own. It wasn't fair! Tonight was the night he planned to tell her everything, to declare his intentions, and have her finally see him as something more than a part of the background in her life. Instead, she was here with another male, allowing him to touch her in a familiar manner that had his hackles up. He had to find a way to fix this.

His opportunity finally came as Kouga left her at a table to go get them some refreshments. The taiyoukai sent a glance towards his brother, who nodded his agreement. Inuyasha would take care of keeping the wolf busy. The rest was up to him.

Sesshoumaru slid into the seat beside Kagome and was immediately put off when she didn't even notice his presence. Still, this was his only chance, and he would not let it slip away. "Kagome?" he said softly, watching as she turned to look at him.

"Oh! I didn't see you there," she replied with a blush. "Having a good time?" Kagome asked him nervously. She had no idea what to say to the imposing male before her, never had. He always seemed to steal the words right out of her mouth with just a look.

"It could be better," he answered with a smirk. Right on cue, the song he had bribed the DJ to play began, and he held out his hand to her. "Would you honor me with a dance?"

Kagome glanced around nervously, searching for her date. It wouldn't do to offend Kouga by dancing with Sesshoumaru, but the wolf was nowhere in sight and she really wanted to see what it would be like to dance to the taiyoukai, and to her favorite love song of all things! After a few moments of thought, which felt like forever to Sesshoumaru, she nodded. "Sure, why not?"

He took her hand and helped her to rise, leading her out onto the dance floor. His hands found her hips while hers rested on his shoulders, and he noticed that her hands were shaking slightly. Was she as nervous as he was? They began to sway to the music and slowly she relaxed, leaning closer to him and breathing in his manly scent.

"Kagome," he started. He only had a small window of time to attempt this before the wolf would return. If he didn't get the words out, all could be lost. "I have a confession to make."

The miko looked up at him in confusion. "What?"

"I have a confession to make." He sucked in a breath and gave it a shot. "I have been interested in you since the first time I laid eyes on you."

"But...?" Kagome started, but he interrupted. He had to stick to his planned speech. If she interrupted or asked questions, he wasn't sure he would be able to get through it.

"I could not show my interest because until I became of age, my mother controlled any relationships I might have had. She would not have approved of my dating a human, so I had to wait. Now that I am eighteen, she can say nothing and I can finally pursue you, as I have wanted to do for years. I... I believe I am in love with you, Kagome. Would you give this Sesshoumaru a chance to make up for all of our lost time, to court you properly?"

The miko just stared at him for a long minute, too overwhelmed by his words to even think of a response. Finally, she gave a shake of her head and stared into his eyes. "It's your fault no one ever asked me out, isn't it?"

He nodded solemnly. "I apologize for any pain I may have caused you by doing so. I felt it was necessary to protect my claim on you."

"A claim I knew nothing about? Dick move, Sesshoumaru."

He looked at her in shock, surprised by her words. Would she reject him now that she knew the truth? Would everything he had gone through to be with her be for naught?

"If I say no?" she asked.

"Then I will respect your wishes and rescind my claim so that others may pursue you as well, but I will not give up. I desire you far too much to merely give in. I do not want to lose you."

"But you never had me to begin with."

The taiyoukai swallowed hard. This wasn't going quite the way he had hoped. At that moment, Kouga showed up and Sesshoumaru mentally cursed the Gods and his brother. Why couldn't he have kept him away just a little while longer? He wasn't done yet!

"What's going on here?" Kouga asked, anger clear in his tone. "I thought you gave up on her."

Kagome's eyes widened. "You knew, Kouga?"

"What? That the Ice Prince here had claim on you and threatened to slaughter any guy that dared to ask you out? Yeah, but Inuyasha told me that he took it back, that he didn't want you anymore. As soon as I heard, I went to find you, to ask you to the dance. What the hell is going on here?"

"Are you kidding me?" Kagome asked in outrage. "So you like me, but not enough to stand up to him? I wasn't worth fighting for? Hell, at least he put in some effort, even if it was the wrong way to go about it."

"Kag... Kagome?" Kouga asked in confusion. "I couldn't ask you out before. He would have kicked my ass!"

Kagome sighed. "Whatever. Just go away Kouga. I have some things to talk to Sesshoumaru about." The wolf looked dejected, but obeyed, walking away to find Inuyasha. The hanyou had some explaining to do.

The miko took Sesshoumaru's hand and led him out of the gymnasium, hoping to avoid all the curious eyes and ears inside. The sun had set completely and it was snowing, the street lights lining the parking lot illuminating each flake as it fell.

"So, you expect me to date you, to let you court me even, after finding out that you're the reason I've been a virtual outcast for three years? Why should I?"

Sesshoumaru's hand caressed her cheek softly and she allowed it, her eyes falling closed at his touch. "Because you are the only woman for me. Because my life would be woefully incomplete without you. Because I am sorry I could not tell you sooner. Please, Kagome, at least give me a chance. I promise you I can make you happy."

A small smile pulled at her lips, and after a moment she nodded. "Alright, fine, I'll give you a chance, but you're on probation, Mister!"

He chuckled, the sound washing over her like a wave of pleasure, and wrapped his arms around her. "This Sesshoumaru accepts this, and any other terms you may have, so long as you will be mine." Then his lips found hers for their first kiss: soft, teasing, and uncertain. Her hands fisted in his hair and she kissed him back, adding passion to their connection.

When they pulled apart, Kagome grinned at him before tugging on his arm to lead him back inside. "You're lucky I already liked you, or I would have had to hurt you for this. Inuyasha, on the other hand... he's in serious trouble."

"Do not injure the boy too greatly," Sesshoumaru purred in her ear. "None of this could have happened without his help."

Kagome let out an exaggerated sigh. "Fine, fine, I won't kill him. But only if you dance with me again."

"I have every intention of dancing with you all night."

 

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