One Step at a Time by Sunset Miko
FeatureSummary: Miroku meets a girl on the train but he doesn't get her name. When he finally meets her again thanks to a meddling friend it seems that the world is intent on getting in the way.
Categories: General, Romance Characters: Inu Yasha, Kagome Higurashi, Miroku
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 11 Completed: Yes Word count: 13911 Read: 18997 Published: 06 Mar 2008 Updated: 23 May 2013
Story Notes:
I do not own Inuyasha and Company, no matter how happy it would make me. Rumiko Takahashi does.

1. Chapter 1 - Order of Operations by Sunset Miko

2. Chapter 2 - You Can Thank Me Later by Sunset Miko

3. Chapter 3 - Not the Wrong Number by Sunset Miko

4. Chapter 4 - I Thought It Went Well by Sunset Miko

5. Chapter 5 - Explanations by Sunset Miko

6. Chapter 6 - Phone Tag by Sunset Miko

7. Chapter 7 - The Zoo by Sunset Miko

8. Chapter 8 - The Third Date by Sunset Miko

9. Chapter 9 - Confrontation by Sunset Miko

10. Chapter 10 - Pop the Question by Sunset Miko

11. Chapter 11 - The Move by Sunset Miko

Chapter 1 - Order of Operations by Sunset Miko

I do not own Inuyasha and Company, no matter how happy it would make me. Rumiko Takahashi does.

This was written for MirKagFic's March challenge, prompt: Token.

 

 

Chapter 1 - Order of Operations

 

 

"Would you hurry it up?" someone in the long line behind her yelled.

 

"I'm trying," she grumbled. "I know I've got one in here somewhere! Why can't I ever find something when I need it?!" Right when she was about to give up, get out of line, and dump her entire purse out on the station floor, a young man leaned around her and dropped two tokens in the slot. Kagome gave him a huge smile. "Oh, thank you! You just saved me so much trouble! I'll give it back to you!"

 

"No need, Miss," he said while guiding her out of the way of the impatient commuters.

 

"No, I have to do something to pay you back," she said, taking a seat.

 

Miroku took the seat beside her and gave the flustered girl a quick look over before smiling.

"There is one thing you could do for me..." When she looked at him in question, he took her hand and stared deep into her eyes, making her heart flutter for a moment. "Would you be so kind as to... bear my child?"

 

By the time he got off the floor of the train, Kagome was in the next car, leaving him with just a bump on the head to remember her. 'It felt like she had a month's worth of tokens in that bag!' he thought, ignoring the odd looks he was getting from the other passengers. 'But damn she was pretty. Should have asked her name first...'

Chapter 2 - You Can Thank Me Later by Sunset Miko

I do not own Inuyasha and Company, no matter how happy it would make me. Rumiko Takahashi does.

This was written for MirKagFic's April challenge, prompt: Ulterior Motive

 

Chapter 2 - You Can Thank Me Later

 

 

"Dude, as much as I like hanging out with you, you've come over every day for two weeks. Something's up, so spill."

 

Miroku looked at his oldest friend while nervously scratching the back of his neck. "I'm hurt, my friend. Can I not want to spend time with you without there being some underlying reason?"

 

"You forget that I know you?" Inuyasha said with a laugh. "There's always something with you. So, what is it? Is the chick that sells the train tokens really that cute?"

 

Miroku smirked. "Yes, actually, she is quite pretty, but that is not the reason for my visits."

 

"I find that hard to believe. If it's not the token chick, then you're after someone on the train, aren't you?"

 

"You know me too well," he said with a laugh.

 

"So, spill then! She must really be something for you to ride the train out of your way every day for two damn weeks!"

 

"She was a beauty," he started, before detailing his first and only meeting with the nameless woman with a seriously heavy purse. "I haven't seen her since, though. She must not take that train regularly. Perhaps it was just not meant to be."

 

-

 

Miroku sighed as he sat on the train heading back home once again. He hadn't been able to forget about the girl on the train two weeks ago; no matter how hard he tried. Even his favorite pastime, feeling up unsuspecting women while holding the door for them, had lost its magic. He didn't know what it was about her, but she was firmly lodged in his thoughts.

 

He had to find a way to see her again, but he didn't even know her name thanks to his inability to stop himself from asking a pretty lady to bear his child. His plan of 'accidently' running into her again on the train was a failure, and he didn't have the faintest idea of what he could try next.

 

-

 

Once Miroku was gone, Inuyasha grabbed his cell phone and dialed. He couldn't believe it. It was just too perfect to be a coincidence. When he heard a sweet feminine voice answer, he stopped thinking and started talking. "Yo, Kaggie! What's up?"

 

"Nothing much, Yash, why?"

 

"I was thinkin'. You wanna go out tomorrow night?"

 

Kagome smiled on her end. "What'd you have in mind?" She sat up from where she had been laying on her bed and grabbed her calendar from her bag.

 

"Dinner, hit a club or two maybe? I haven't seen you in a while."

 

She flipped through her calendar to make sure she didn't have any previous engagements before replying. "Sure, why not? Sounds like fun."

 

They talked for a while longer, working out the details and chatting about nothing at all. When they hung up, Inuyasha had a huge smirk on his face. "One more call to make."

 

-

 

Miroku had been a tad confused when Inuyasha called him and invited him out for a night on the town before he had even made it all the way home. Why his friend hadn't mentioned it while he was there he had no idea, but it didn't matter. He needed to get out and have some fun. Maybe then he could get the girl out of his mind. Maybe he could find a new one to think about. He hadn't been able to make it to dinner first, opting to work late that Friday night so he didn't have to work early Saturday morning. Chances were good he wouldn't be getting much sleep.

 

He checked himself in the mirror before grabbing his wallet and keys and leaving his apartment. He loved clubs. Everyone was crowded together, bumping into each other all the time, so no one even blinked when he allowed his 'cursed' hand to brush across a sexy ass here and there. It was definitely his kind of place. He had a grin on his face as he got in his car and headed to the club Inuyasha had told him to meet him at.

 

-

 

Kagome was sure there was something going on. Inuyasha had been really odd during their dinner, and now he kept looking around like he was expecting someone. He kept checking his watch, too, but when she asked him about it, he brushed it off. After what had to be the twentieth watch-check, she was sure of it. He was up to something. What, she had no idea, but her hanyou friend had always been rather sneaky.

 

"Hey, Kaggie, you mind going to the bar and grabbing us some new drinks?" She rolled her eyes but walked away, and just in time too. He spotted Miroku making his way through the pulsing crowd to their usual meeting place. He knew he had to set this up just right, or he would end up with a pissed off Kagome and a depressed Miroku. He slipped through the throng and grabbed his friend's arm, startling him with his quick appearance. "Hey, pervert, come 'ere," Inuyasha said before pulling his friend a bit away from the table he and Kagome had claimed.

 

"What in the world?" Miroku asked when they finally stopped.

 

"Look, I got a surprise for you, but you gotta stop being a perv for little while. You think you can handle that?"

 

"Inuyasha, I'm offended. I never act in a perverted manner."

 

The hanyou rolled his eyes. "Yeah, right, sure. I went out of my way to set this up, and if she ends up pissed at me I'm gonna blame you, got it?"

 

Miroku's eyes widened. "She? Just what is it you've done?"

 

Inuyasha's ears twitched atop his head as he heard Kagome call out to him. "Okay, she's back. Go... go to our table, and see just how lucky you are to be my friend."

 

He rolled his eyes but figured he would humor his friend. Really, he didn't need help meeting women. Inuyasha should know that! Whoever it was that was supposed to be his surprise... well, he just hoped she was good looking. He didn't want to be stuck all night with some strange girl he didn't even find attractive. Of course, when his eyes landed on her, he was no longer worried about her looks. She was perfect, just as perfect as she had been on the train. Was this his surprise? How did Inuyasha find her?

 

-

 

Kagome turned around, still scanning the crowd for silvery white hair and puppy ears, and froze. It was him, the perv from the train... the cute perv from the train. She smiled softly. She felt rather guilty about hitting him with her purse, and, if she was honest with herself, she had been hoping for a chance to apologize to him. It could very well have been a joke, and she overreacted.

 

When she smiled at him, he almost forgot how to breathe. Inuyasha was right. He needed to keep his hands under control and watch his mouth if he didn't want to screw up this second chance.

 

She watched as the guy from the train made his way closer and caught a flash of white. Suddenly, Inuyasha was standing next to her. "Kagome, I'd like you to meet my friend, Miroku," he said smugly. "Miroku, this is Kagome. And I don't have to warn you she hits... hard."

 

Kagome turned around and glared at her friend. "I knew it! I knew you were up to something!"

 

"You can thank me later," Inuyasha said with a grin before disappearing into the crowd, leaving the two alone.

 

Kagome laughed. "I wonder if he meant you or me."

Chapter 3 - Not the Wrong Number by Sunset Miko

I do not own Inuyasha and Company, no matter how happy it would make me. Rumiko Takahashi does.

Written for MirKagFic's May Patience of a Saint oneshot theme.

 

Chapter 3 - Not the Wrong Number

 

 

He was still a perv. No misunderstanding. No miscommunication. It hadn't been a joke when he asked her the question that caused her to clock him with her purse. But he was cute, and the longer she spent with him, the more fun he was. Miroku was playful, that was certain. He was also awesome at paying compliments, even if they were incredibly inappropriate. Really, what guy told his date that her breasts were beautifully symmetrical? She had the urge to smack him, but the desire to laugh won out.

"Would you care to dance, pretty lady?" he asked her with a waggle of his eyebrows.

 

Kagome giggled and nodded, allowing him to lead her out into the pulsing crowd in the middle of the club. His hands started innocently enough on her hips, but as they moved to the beat, they began a slow but steady trek to their true and final destination, her ass. Again, the urge to knock him out was overcome by the humor of the situation.

 

"I can't believe Inuyasha did this," she laughed. "How did he even know we met?" She watched as the male dressed in tight blue jeans and a purple silk shirt actually blushed slightly.

 

"I had mentioned my encounter with a beauty on the train. I had no idea he knew her... er... you."

 

"Really?" Kagome asked. "You know, I was going to apologize for hitting you, but I think you deserved it."

 

He smirked at the girl who hadn't hit him once the entire evening, not even when his 'cursed' hand found its way to her perfectly squeezable rear. "You are probably right. My mouth does tend to get me in trouble."

 

"Not just your mouth by the feel of things," she grinned as she reached behind her and moved his hands back to her hips. "I take it you get hit a lot then?"

 

One hand came up to rub his left cheek, the one that would have been sporting a handprint if she were any other girl. He knew she was special, but he had no idea how much. "More often than not." He smiled when she laughed again. Never before had he been so focused on just one girl, but the club might as well have been empty  aside from the two of them because no one else existed, just this one goddess in his arms.

 

"Let's get out of here. It's too loud." Miroku nodded and followed the perfect girl for him out of the club, her hand holding tightly to his like she was afraid of losing him in the crowd. They were halfway down the short flight of steps that led to the sidewalk when her heel snapped and Kagome came frighteningly close to smacking her face into the concrete.

 

"Omph," she grunted before opening her tightly closed eyes, wondering what had stopped her fall. He had pulled her into his arms just in time.

 

"If you wanted to get to know me better, you only had to ask," he joked.

 

She shot him a playful glare. "Thanks." Kagome straightened and tried to take a step, hissing in pain.

 

"Shit, I think I twisted my ankle."

 

She held tightly to the railing while Miroku knelt down and slipped off the broken shoe before carefully examining the already swelling joint. "Looks like you'll need some assistance then." Before she knew what was happening, she was in his arms, and he was walking towards where his car was parked.

 

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you planned this," she laughed, looping her arms around his neck.

 

"Where to, my lady? Your chariot awaits."

 

--

 

Kagome groaned as she searched the table for her cell phone. "Hello?" she grumbled groggily.

Inuyasha frowned at the phone. He had meant to call Miroku. He shrugged, deciding he must have hit the wrong number, and it didn't matter who he talked to first. "So, how was it Kaggie? How many times did you have to hit him?"

 

"You know what; I didn't have to hit him once. He's a sweetheart, too. I hurt my ankle, stupid shoes," she growled slightly. "And he carried me inside, got me an icepack and everything."

 

"Wait, he took you home? And you didn't smack him even once? Damn, Kagome! How drunk were you?"

 

She laughed at her friend. "Not even a little. Can I call you later? I'm tired."

 

"Sure thing, babe," Inuyasha replied before clicking off. "I was sure she'd have knocked his ass out by the end of the night," he thought aloud. "She's never been a patient one." He pushed a few buttons and listened to the ringing while he waited for Miroku to answer his phone.

 

"Hello?" a frustrated, familiar, and definitely female voice answered.

 

"Kaggie?" he asked in shock before pulling the phone away from his ear and checking. He was sure he dialed Miroku this time, and the glowing display confirmed it.

 

"Inuyasha?" she grumbled. "I said I'd call you later."

 

"How in the hell did you... never mind." The hanyou closed the phone and just stared at it for a minute. It wasn't possible. There was no way in hell his Kagome would have taken Miroku home with her for the night. It had to be some mistake. Maybe they accidently switched phones. Deciding that had to be it, he dialed Kagome's cell number.

 

"Yeah?" a familiar and thankfully male voice answered this time.

 

"You and Kagome musta' got your cell phones mixed up. She said she didn't have to hit you once! How the hell did you pull that off?"

 

"Why Inuyasha, I don't know why you're so surprised. She has the patience of a saint. Didn't get mad at me once..."

 

"For fuck's sake! Would you tell him to leave us the fuck alone?" Kagome's irritated voice could be heard in the background.

 

"Hmm, it seems like she's not feeling so patient with you at the moment, my friend. Perhaps you shouldn't call quite so early in the morning. Oh, before I forget... thanks!" Click.

 

Inuyasha's jaw was hanging so low he could have tripped over it, and he stared at the phone in his hand like it had just sprouted arms and legs, and was dancing the Hokey-Pokey. "He... she... holy shit." Of all the outcomes he imagined... Miroku actually thanking him later wasn't one of them.

Chapter 4 - I Thought It Went Well by Sunset Miko

I do not own Inuyasha and Company, no matter how happy it would make me. Rumiko Takahashi does.

 

Chapter 4 - I Thought It Went Well!

 

It had been nearly two weeks since the night he set up his two best friends, and at first Inuyasha had assumed that they were just busy getting to know each other and having fun dating. Now, though, he was beginning to worry. He hadn't heard from either of them since the strange and short conversations the morning after, and he usually talked to them at the very least every other day. Finally, he gave in to the urge to call and find out just what the hell was going on.

 

Miroku was first, and as soon as his friend answered the phone, Inuyasha knew something was off. He had never heard Miroku sound so... so... depressed. "Hey, man! What the hell's the matter with you? I haven't heard from you in forever, and you sound like shit!"

 

"God, Inuyasha, I thought it was bad when I couldn't stop thinking about her, and I didn't even know her name. Now is a million times worse. I wish you'd never set us up."

 

"What? I thought you said it went well!"

 

"I thought it did, but apparently she didn't think so. I called her, but she never called me back. I fucked it up somehow."

 

"Okay, you need to start at the beginning. Tell me about the whole night. Kagome sounded like she'd had a good time, too, but I haven't talked to her since that morning either. What happened after I left?"

 

"We talked and laughed and danced. I thought everything was perfect! She was so patient with me, even when I said the stupidest things."

 

"I knew you wouldn't be able to keep your foot out of your mouth or your hands to yourself. I still don't know how you managed to not get smacked," Inuyasha said with slight confusion in his voice. She had clocked him on the train for asking her to bear his child, but she didn't hit him once the whole night? It just didn't make sense to the hanyou who had known Kagome and her short temper long enough to have felt her wrath multiple times.

 

"I don't know either. Seeing her... well, it made me nervous, and every time I tried to compliment her, the most ridiculous things kept coming out of my mouth like I didn't have any say in it."

 

"Aww, man, what did you say?!"

 

Miroku sighed heavily. "That her breasts were perfectly symmetrical, that her ass was nice and squeezable," he admitted nearly tonelessly.

 

"And she didn't smack you?" the hanyou asked in shock.

 

"She laughed. She has the most beautiful laugh, like music."

 

Inuyasha smiled on his side of the line. He had never heard his friend so obviously enamored by just one girl. It sounded to him like Miroku had fallen for Kagome... hard. His smile turned to a frown when he remembered just how shitty Miroku sounded. Had he made a mistake setting them up together? If Kagome had enjoyed the night as much as it sounded so far then why wouldn't she have called him back? Something was wrong here, and he needed more info. "Go on," he gently encouraged.

 

"She asked if I wanted to get out of there, that it was too loud, and when we were going down that little flight of stairs, you know the ones..."

 

"Yeah," Inuyasha agreed with a nod, even though Miroku couldn't see it.

 

"One of her heels snapped, and she started to fall. I caught her before she hit the ground, and when she tried to take a step, she couldn't. She'd done a pretty good job of twisting her ankle. For a minute I thought she might have actually broken it. Anyway, I picked her up, carried her to my car, and drove her home. I helped her inside, got her ice. I even got her aspirin. I didn't really want to leave her since she was all alone, but I didn't have to cuz she asked if I wanted to stay and watch a movie. She let me put my arm around her, and she put her head on my shoulder, and eventually we fell asleep. We went back to sleep after you called. Her roommate woke us up a couple hours later when she came home. Everything was fine, I thought. She smiled at me, gave me her number, told me to call, but when I did, she didn't answer. I left a message, but she never called me back."

 

"That's odd. It sounds like she had a good time, even if she did hurt herself. That girl is clumsy like you wouldn't believe."

 

"Inuyasha, I made a fool of myself." Miroku's voice dropped to a lower, even more depressed tone.

 

Inuyasha scowled at the phone in his hand. "Whaddya mean?"

 

"When she didn't call me back, I called again, and then again. I was worried she couldn't get around. I had to have left a million messages. She's gotta think I'm a freak or a stalker or something by now. I couldn't stop myself. Now I can't get her out of my head. It's so much worse than before. God, Inuyasha, I've never felt like this about a girl before, and she must hate me!"

 

"You don't know that. There might be a reason she hasn't called you. Tell you what. I'm gonna call her and see what's up, and I'll call you back, alright?"

 

"You will? But then she'll just think I'm even worse, having you call her for me."

 

"I don't have to say I'm calling for you. I haven't heard from her since that morning, and I'm worried about her. I'll just casually ask what she thought about you. Just chill, and stop sounding so miserable."

 

"But I am miserable, Inuyasha."

 

The hanyou sighed and shook his head. "I know, man, I know. I'll call you back soon, ‘kay?"

 

"Yeah, sure," Miroku said flatly. "Bye."

 

Inuyasha stared at the dead phone for a minute before clicking it off and then back on and dialing Kagome. Something wasn't right. Kagome would never just ignore Miroku's calls. If she didn't want to see him again, she wouldn't have given him her number, and if she changed her mind, she would have told him flat out to stop calling. The girl wasn't subtle, that was for sure.

 

He dialed her cell phone and smirked when he heard her voice answering. "Hello?"

 

"Kaggie! Where the hell have you been? I haven't heard from you in almost two weeks."

 

"I'm not sure I want to talk to you at all at the moment, Yash."

 

"What? What the fuck did I do?" he nearly yelled into the phone.

 

Kagome sighed. "Why did you set me up with a jerk that won't even call me? I thought we had a good time, that he liked me, but apparently not."

 

Inuyasha frowned. "He hasn't called you?"

 

"Not fucking once. I don't need this. I was just fine before, and now I can't stop thinking about him, and he isn't interested. Just fucking great. Thanks a lot, Yash."

 

"Hang on a minute here, Kagome. You gave him your number, right? Home or cell?"

 

"Home, why?"

 

"And have you been home? Maybe he left messages?"

 

"I was at the shrine with Mama for the last week and a half or so. She wanted me to come over there when she heard I hurt my ankle, and then when it got better I hung around a few more days to help out. I called Kagura every day to see if he left any messages for me. Not a single one, the ass."

 

Inuyasha sucked in a breath, knowing what he was about to say was not going to make her happy in the least. "Kaggie, I just talked to him. He said he's been calling, and you never called him back. He left messages. Now he thinks you don't like him. Dude, I've never heard him so down before."

 

There was silence on the line for a minute, and the hanyou pulled the phone away from his head, holding it out at arm's length, knowing what was coming. Even with the distance between his ears and the phone, he could still clearly hear her. "That... bitch! I'm gonna fucking kill her! What the hell?"

 

When he was sure the outburst was over, Inuyasha brought the phone back to his head. "I don't know why she would lie to you or delete your messages, but she has to be. He said he called a lot." He laughed. "He's actually worried that you think he's a stalker or something because he called so many times. Kagome, he most definitely likes you."

 

"I'm going to kill her." Kagome's voice was now soft but laced with a dangerous tone that Inuyasha was glad wasn't aimed at him. "She fucked the whole thing up! Now he thinks I don't like him. Yasha, how do I fix this? I don't even have his number, or I would have called him a week ago just to tell him off for not calling."

 

"I have his number."

 

"I know, but I can't just call him and say ‘Hey, I heard you were calling, but my bitch of a roommate has apparently been deleting your messages and lying to me about it. So, you still interested?' It's too late. The whole thing's all screwed up."

 

Inuyasha laughed. "It's not too screwed up to fix. I know he'd be thrilled to hear from you. Just tell him the truth, and then give him your cell number."

 

Again the line fell silent, and the hanyou waited as his friend thought it over. "You really think he still likes me?"

 

"I don't think, babe. I know. Just call him and explain things. I don't know what Kagura thought she was doing, but you can't let her succeed, not if you like him, too. You do, don't you? I mean, would you go out with him again?"

 

Kagome snorted, and Inuyasha laughed again. "Yeah, I'd go out with him again, even with the wandering hands and the perviness. He was... sweet. Sweet and cute. I actually think I like him more than I've liked any guy in a long time. Fine, give me his number."

 

Inuyasha smiled and rolled off the digits. Miroku would be sounding a lot happier the next time he called. Even though his friend was a little odd, he really was a nice guy, and he deserved to be happy. Kagome had been rather down lately, not even bothering to date anymore since she broke up with her last boyfriend months ago, and she deserved to be happy, too. Seeing Miroku happy with Kagome, that was even better, like hitting two birds with one stone.

Chapter 5 - Explanations by Sunset Miko

5 - Explanations - Wednesday

 

Kagome stared at her phone with a frown. She had been doing that for at least an hour, ever since she hung up with Inuyasha. She didn't know how to do this. How was she supposed to call and explain that her roommate is obviously evil and attempting to sabotage the first relationship she had in months? She didn't even know why Kagura had done it!

 

She sighed and set the phone on her nightstand. She wanted to call him, but she wanted to have a good explanation for him when she did. Kagome looked at the clock and shook her head. Kagura always worked the late shift on Wednesdays, and she wouldn't be home for hours. She needed something to distract her, so she got up and began to clean.

 

Maybe if she were busy, she wouldn't spend the whole time worried about how to talk to Miroku or enraged about what her roommate had done. If she had the time to think, maybe she wouldn't be so upset by the time Kagura got home that she would end up screaming. That wasn't likely to get her an answer, and she definitely wanted one.

 

Kagome sighed again. By the time Kagura got home, and she finished her interrogation, it would be far too late to call Miroku. Guilt flooded through her. Inuyasha had said he sounded down and here she was, making him wait another day before she called. Still, she just couldn't do it yet. She had to figure out the best way to explain. She really liked him, and she wanted this to work!

 

She could only hope that he would forgive her, even though it wasn't really her fault. Maybe they could just start over. She shook her head trying to dislodge her worries and threw herself into her housework while trying to keep her mind blank.

 

-

 

Inuyasha checked the clock before picking up his phone with a smirk. He was certain Miroku would be in a better mood now. He dialed his friend, looking forward to hearing the excitement that he was sure to be feeling at the prospect of another date with Kagome.

 

"Yeah?" Miroku answered, sounding just as lifeless and depressed as he had earlier, maybe even worse.

 

"What the hell, man? Why do you still sound like shit? Didn't she call you?" Inuyasha didn't know what to think. Why wasn't he happy?

 

"No, not a peep. I figured she wasn't going to since you didn't call me back right away."

 

"Damn it, she said she was going to call!"

 

"Well, apparently she changed her mind. I don't blame her. I didn't really make a good impression. If she didn't take my calls before, why would she call me now?"

 

"You don't understand..." Inuyasha started.

 

"No, I understand completely. She probably just told you she would call to make you happy. You can't force the girl to go out with me if she isn't interested. I'm not so pathetic that I need you to pressure her into giving me another chance. I don't deserve one anyway."

 

Inuyasha snarled into the phone. "If you'd just shut the hell up for a second, and quit feeling sorry for yourself, maybe I could explain! She never got your damn messages!"

 

The line was silent for at least a minute, and at first Inuyasha thought that Miroku had hung up on him. Finally, he heard his friend suck in a breath. "She didn't?"

 

"No! She wasn't home, was staying at her Mom's while her ankle healed, and her roommate never told her you called. The bitch deleted the messages and lied to her about them."

 

Miroku frowned. "Why would she do that? Are you sure Kagome didn't just tell you that to get out of an awkward conversation?"

 

"Because her roommate's a bitch, and no, Kagome didn't lie to me. She wouldn't do that. Hell, when I called, she was pissed at me for hooking you two up because you never called her. She was just as upset as you were. I don't know why she hasn't called yet. Maybe she's busy cleaning up the crime scene after she murdered Kagura."

 

Miroku managed to chuckle, and Inuyasha's shoulders sagged in relief. "Perhaps one of us should offer our assistance. Hiding a body cannot be an easy task."

 

Inuyasha barked out a laugh. "Nah, the wench can handle it. I dunno. Maybe she wanted to confront the bitch first. She'll call you, dude. I promise. You just have to relax and wait. Do me a favor though. Don't sound too eager when she does. You got lucky with her not having heard all your pathetic, whiny messages. Don't ruin your luck by acting all clingy and needy. Chicks don't dig that."

 

Miroku rolled his eyes at his friend. "I'll do my best, Inuyasha. It's not like I've never dated before."

 

"Yeah, but you've never been this into a chick, either. You don't want to scare her off."

 

"Is there some reason you are telling me this? Is Kagome afraid of commitment?"

 

"Nah, but she hasn't dated in a while. She's been hurt before, so you'd better treat her right, too. If you hurt her again I'll flatten your ass."

 

"Again?"

 

"I told you, she was upset that you didn't call."

 

"But I did!"

 

Inuyasha laughed. "Yeah, but she never got the messages, so she's spent all this time thinking you blew her off, just like you have."

 

Miroku sighed. "I suppose you are right. So what do you suggest?"

 

The hanyou scratched his head in thought for a long moment. "Ummm... I don't fucking know! Just don't be too clingy, and tone down the pervert act."

 

"But she seemed to enjoy my wandering hand and my compliments, despite their inappropriateness. She certainly didn't seem angered by it."

 

"Fine, just ignore everything I said then. Be yourself, and hope she doesn't get tired of being groped."

 

"If I even get another date."

 

"You will, dude. I just hope things work out. I don't need the wench mad at me for setting you two up."

 

-

 

The sound of the front door closing startled Kagome awake. Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she rose and walked into the kitchen, spotting her roommate digging in the fridge.

 

"Kagura, are you sure I didn't get any calls while I was gone?"

 

Kagura jumped and turned quickly. "N...n...no. Why do you ask?"

 

Kagome sighed and ran her fingers through her bangs. "I know you deleted my messages. Why would you do that? I spent all this time thinking Miroku didn't like me, and then I find out he called? How could you?!"

 

"You're lucky I did," she responded snidely. "He sounded like a stalker. What guy calls that many times without any encouragement whatsoever?"

 

"A guy that wanted to see me again! Why would you do that?" Kagome growled, clenching her jaw to keep from screaming loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

 

Kagura sighed and shrugged her shoulders. "He was cute."

 

"Yeah, I know he was cute. That's one of the reasons I wanted to go out with him again."

 

"It wasn't my fault."

 

"How was deleting my messages and lying to me about it not your fault?"

 

"It was my brother. He came to visit while you were away, and he's... he still hasn't gotten over you. He heard the first message, and then deleted it. He made me promise not to mention it to you. Then he kept deleting them. When he left, I had to do it, too. If he called again and you got the message, you would have found out what I did and I... I like living here. I don't want to have to move again."

 

"Damn it, Kagura. You'd better hope he still wants to see me again or I'm going to make you pay. You know I haven't gone out with anyone since your ass of a brother! I need to move on, and he needs to stop being such a fucking creep!"

 

"He just wants another chance to fix things between you guys. He said he really cares about you."

 

Kagome rolled her eyes. "No, he doesn't care about me. He just wants to own me. You can tell him it's not going to happen. He treated me like crap and tried to control me. He was always jealous, accusing me of things I would never do. No way in hell would I go back to that!"

 

"I'm sorry, Kagome," Kagura said, real regret in her eyes. "I'll explain things to the guy if you want and apologize to him, too. Naraku can be such a dick sometimes. I should have told you about it the first time he called. I don't know why I let him force me into things like this."

 

Kagome smiled. "So long as it doesn't happen again, I forgive you. But I don't want Naraku in this apartment again. It makes me uncomfortable."

 

"You're not the only one."

Chapter 6 - Phone Tag by Sunset Miko

6 - Phone Tag - Thursday

 

Kagome sighed and rolled over again. She couldn't sleep; the guilt of not having called Miroku earlier was eating her alive. Glancing at the clock, she groaned in frustration. It was four in the morning, and she hadn't slept a wink! She wondered for a moment if she should just call now. At least then she might get a little shut-eye before she had to go to work.

 

"No," she grumbled to herself. "If I call him now, he's certainly not going to like me very much. He probably has to work in the morning, too. Just go to sleep, Kagome. You'll call him when you wake up!"

 

She doubted talking to herself was going to help the situation, but she was far too tired to think logically. Kagome flipped over her pillow and snuggled down under the covers, pinching her eyes closed in a last ditch effort to get some rest.

 

She sighed again and growled at the ceiling as she saw Miroku's face in her mind. She imagined how he would look sad, since she had only ever seen him happy, and found she didn't like the mental image. She didn't want him to be depressed. She wanted to be the one to make him smile! Kagome sat up, threw her pillow across the room, and flopped flat on her back. "I wonder if he's having trouble sleeping, too."

 

-

 

Miroku glared at the alarm clock. It's annoying beeping was unnecessary. He had been awake for hours. With a groan, he dragged himself out of bed and got into the shower. He continued to go over the thoughts that had kept him up in the first place. Was Inuyasha right, that she would call him, or was he holding out hope for nothing?

 

He had never felt so strongly about a woman before; even when he didn't even know her name, he was overcome by his desire to be with her. Was this what people called 'love at first sight'? If it was, he could only hope that she felt it, too. He didn't want to imagine just how much it would hurt if she rejected him, even though he had already been suffering that pain for almost two weeks. Now that he had gotten his hopes up again, he knew that the crash would be ten times worse than it already was.

 

He needed to see her, to get the chance to make a better impression. He wanted her to want to be with him, but he knew he needed to work on a few things if he had any chance of keeping her. No woman wanted to date a pervert who did nothing but grope them. Sure, she seemed amused by it that evening that seemed so very long ago, but that couldn't last. Kagome was sure to get tired of it. She deserved a more mature male, and Miroku decided right then that he would be that for her... if she ever called, that is.

 

When he finally climbed out of the shower, he walked back into his bedroom, a towel wrapped around his waist. Unable to help himself, he immediately checked his phone. His heart fluttered and his stomach twisted in knots when he saw a missed call from an unfamiliar number. He instantly dialed his voicemail and sighed in relief as he heard her voice.

 

"Miroku... This is Kagome. I'm... I'm sorry to call you so early. I was hoping to catch you before you went to work. You can call me back at this number, if you want to, that is."

 

He couldn't help but smile. She finally called him! He missed her voice, but at the same time he didn't like how hesitant she sounded. Did she honestly think he might not call her back?! Of course he would! She was the woman of his dreams, and he wasn't going to miss his chance to see her again. Not when she was all he could think about.

 

Upon the realization that he now had to call her back, Miroku suddenly felt nauseous. Kagome made him nervous, and he already knew when he got nervous he said the most ridiculous and inappropriate things. He spent several minutes going over what he would say to her before sucking it up and going for it. He quickly added her cell number to his contacts; right next to the home number he had no intention of calling again, just in case of further roommate interference. Then he hit send and waited.

 

The line rang four times before being sent to voicemail and Miroku scowled. She just called him not ten minutes ago! Was she punishing him for not having answered the first time? No, he decided, Kagome wouldn't do such a thing. At the sound of the beep, he stammered for a moment before untangling his tongue and leaving a message.

 

"Hey, Kagome. It was great to hear from you. Sorry I didn't answer when you called. I was in the shower. Sorry, that's probably too much information, huh?" He silently cursed his stupidity before continuing. "Anyway, I'd love to see you again. If you want, we could go out on a real date this time, whatever you want to do. C...call me and let me know, okay? I... I missed you."

 

Miroku quickly hit end before swearing up a storm. "I missed you?" he hissed at himself. "Way to sound pathetic, Miroku. What the hell is the matter with me? Now she's going to think I'm some clingy, needy dork. Ugh!"

 

-

 

Much to both of their frustrations, the entirety of Thursday was spent playing phone tag. He called while she was making breakfast, and she hadn't heard it ring. She called while he was driving to work, and he couldn't dig his phone out of his back pocket without crashing. He called while she was on the train to work, the noise droning out her ringtone. She called after he started his shift, and he couldn't call her back until his first break, at which point she was now working as well. It went on and on until the evening, when finally she answered his call.

 

"Hello?" she asked nervously. She knew it was him, but she was surprised he bothered to call again. They had been missing each other all day, and she was sure he had have given up on her as a lost cause by now.

 

"Kagome? It's Miroku," he answered, just as nervously. All the missed calls had built up a tension in him that was just about ready to snap. After waiting so long to hear from her at all, even if it wasn't her fault, their extended game of phone tag had only served to stress him out.

 

"Hi! Oh, I'm so glad we finally got connected. All the messages were making me nuts!"

 

"I'm... I'm sorry I kept calling," he said, his tone full of remorse.

 

"What? No, I told you to call me back. That wasn't what I meant. Just, missing each other all day... It was frustrating. I've wanted to talk to you for so long."

 

Miroku smiled, relaxing slightly at her words. She wasn't upset with him after all, and she hopefully  didn't consider him a stalker. "I know what you mean. How... how's your ankle feeling?"

 

Grinning at his concern, she replied, "It's just fine now. I'm sorry about missing all your messages before. I was staying with my mom because I couldn't get around too well and my roommate... Well, let's just say her brother is my ex, and when he dropped by to visit her, he didn't like the idea of me seeing someone new."

 

His eyes widened in surprise. "So, he was the one that deleted them?"

 

Kagome sighed. "At first, yeah, but then Kagura kept doing it once he'd left because she didn't want me to find out what he'd done. I guess she thought you'd give up, and I would never know the difference. She didn't know that you're friends with Inuyasha, too. If you weren't, I suppose the plan would have worked."

 

"He sounds like a creep. Isn't it uncomfortable, living with your ex-boyfriend's sister?"

 

"It can be. I knew her long before I ever went out with Naraku, though, and she doesn't like him much either. I think he only comes around hoping to run into me. I told her I don't want him here again, and she agreed."

 

"I see," Miroku replied, finding that he was apparently more uncomfortable with the idea than she was. Shaking his head to keep from saying something he shouldn't, he decided to take advantage of the fact that he actually had her on the phone before it was too late. "So, I was wondering... Do you think maybe you'd like to... go out with me?"

 

Kagome laughed softly. "If I didn't, I wouldn't have bothered calling you all day, silly. What did you have in mind?"

 

He let out a sigh of relief before smacking his forehead. There was no way she hadn't heard that! Gods, did he have to keep making himself sound pathetic? "Umm... I don't know. Dinner? A movie? A walk in the park? We could go to a museum if you like that kind of thing, or an art gallery. Maybe a play."

 

"You really have no idea what you want to do?" Kagome asked, stopping him from listing every possible option.

 

"What I want isn't important," he answered rather quickly. "I want to do something that you'll enjoy."

 

Kagome fought the urge to roll her eyes. She didn't remember him being so passive before. Really, with all the groping and suggestive comments, he came across as a very straightforward guy. Why was he being so indecisive? "I wouldn't have any fun if we went somewhere you didn't want to be just because you thought I would like it."

 

Miroku frowned. Already he was screwing it up. She sounded annoyed with him. At lightning speed, he went over every word they had said to each other that night almost two weeks ago, and the morning after, grinning like a fool when it came to him. "How about a day at the zoo? You mentioned that you hadn't been there in a while."

 

"And do you like the zoo?" she asked.

 

Before he could stop himself, he put his foot in his mouth. "Sure do. The best part is spotting the animals getting it on." His eyes widened as he realized what he just said. "I mean... I didn't mean... I just..."

 

Kagome laughed at his stammering, as well as the comment he made that he so quickly wanted to retract. "Then the zoo it is."

Chapter 7 - The Zoo by Sunset Miko

7 - The Zoo - Friday

 

"You're fucking shitting me," Inuyasha said, voice laced with disbelief. "You told her you like the zoo because you can watch the animals screwing, and she still agreed to go out with you?"

 

Miroku couldn't keep the grin off his face, and he was sure his friend could hear it when he answered. "Yup. I'm meeting her at the entrance in an hour."

 

"I can't believe it! I would have bet good money that she'd have turned you down flat after that."

 

"Me, too. I wanted to smack myself when that came out of my mouth, but she actually seemed happier after I said it. She sounded, I don't know, irritated with me when I tried to let her decide where we should go."

 

"Huh... Maybe the wench likes you cuz you're a freak. Probably not, though."

 

"Well, I'm going to try to be as mature as possible. She deserves a man, not a guy who still acts like he's twelve. This is important to me, and I don't want to mess it up by being myself."

 

-

 

Miroku rushed to Kagome's side, worried that he was late. "Kagome? I'm so sorry." He gently took her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing her knuckles. "No one should ever keep such a beauty waiting."

 

She only laughed and waved it off. "I was early. I'm always early, no matter what I do. It's kind of a compulsion. So, you ready?"

 

"If you are," he replied, offering her his arm. He smiled as she took it, and he led her to the booth, quickly paying for their admission before heading inside. "So, where to first?"

 

Kagome released his arm, much to his disappointment, and opened the map she grabbed on their way in. She studied it for a moment before using her finger to show him her proposed route. "I think we should go this way. Then we should be able to see everything without having to double back."

 

"Works for me."

 

-

 

Kagome was getting increasingly irritated. Sure, she didn't really know Miroku all that well, but he didn't seem to be acting like the man she had gone out with two weeks earlier. She knew that most people would have called her crazy for being annoyed by such a thing, but he was being too damned polite! He hadn't complimented her inappropriately or attempted to grope her once!

 

By the time they reached the monkey exhibit, she knew she wasn't just imagining things. There, right in the middle of the viewing window, was a monkey... pleasuring himself. It wasn't subtle, either. He was really having a go at himself. Kagome looked over at her date and noticed that his jaw was tightly clenched while his right eye twitched from time to time. He also seemed to be purposely avoiding looking at the masturbating monkey, though he seemed to be unable to keep from sneaking a peek every few seconds.

 

With a growl of frustration, Kagome grabbed his arm and dragged him away from the crowd that had formed to watch the performance. She stopped when they were mostly alone and immediately crossed her arms over her chest to keep herself from poking him while she spoke.

 

"I don't know what the hell your problem is, but you need to quit it!" she hissed.

 

Miroku was confused. He had no idea what he had done to upset her. He had been nothing but a gentleman, even when the pervert in him was absolutely screaming and clawing to get out. The monkey had tested his determination, but he had managed to keep quiet about it with great effort. "Kagome? What's wrong? Did I do something to upset you?" He watched as her gaze darkened, and he said a little prayer that she wouldn't ditch him right then with no explanation.

 

"It's what you're not doing! Where is the guy that couldn't keep his hands off my ass? The guy who would have had at least something to say about what that monkey was doing back there? What the hell is going on with you?"

 

He furrowed his brows in confusion. "You mean you want me to grope you?"

 

"Yes! I mean, no. I mean... What are you trying to prove here? You're acting so... so... different."

 

As understanding dawned in his eyes, a smirk pulled at his lips. "You liked it when I groped you, didn't you? You liked the inappropriate comments. Ha! And here I was thinking I needed to act more mature for you to like me."

 

Kagome rolled her eyes and sighed. "I don't want you to be someone you're not. Yes, I liked you the way you were, even if it was... unconventional. How in the world did you get it into your head that I wanted you to change? If I didn't like you, the real you, I wouldn't have agreed to see you again."

 

"That would be Inuyasha," Miroku said while shaking his head. "He said I should tone down the pervert thing. That, and you deserve a man, a real man, not immature me."

 

She couldn't stop herself as Kagome began to poke him in the chest with each word as she responded. "I... liked... you... dumbass!" She sighed again and allowed her hand to drop to her side. "You're fun. If I wanted some stuffy, overly polite gentleman, I wouldn't be here with you."

 

"Are you saying I'm not a gentleman?" Miroku asked with a playful pout.

 

"You're something, alright. I don't know if gentleman quite applies. Why in the world would you let Inuyasha convince you that you needed to be someone else for me to like you?"

 

"I just... I've never felt this way before. I'm drawn to you, Kagome," he said while wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her close. His lips brushed her ear as he continued. "I didn't want to screw up my chances, but if you prefer the real me, I am more than happy to oblige." His hand brushed teasingly over her ass, and Kagome laughed. "That monkey was really into it, wasn't he? A serious exhibitionist."

 

She only laughed harder as she moved his hand off her ass to her lower back and wrapped one arm around his neck. "I've never seen anything quite like it."

 

He couldn't help himself as the first thing to pop into his mind came out of his mouth. "I'm sure I could top it, if you're into that kind of thing." Kagome's cheeks flushed bright pink, and she pulled away, much to his distress. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."

 

"You didn't upset me, dork," she giggled. "In fact, I might just have to take you up on that offer." It was Miroku's turn to blush as she called his bluff, which only made Kagome laugh harder.

Chapter 8 - The Third Date by Sunset Miko

8 - The Third Date - Saturday

 

"You," Kagome growled as soon as Inuyasha answered the phone.

 

"Aww, fuck. What'd the perv do? I told the idiot to tone it down."

 

"Inuyasha, I would appreciate it if you stopped thinking that you know what I want in a man. You tried to ruin Miroku!"

 

"Ruin him? How the hell could I ruin him?"

 

"I liked him just the way he was! Because of you and your big mouth, I spent half our date trying to figure out what the hell happened to him. Why would you tell him he needed to change to have a chance with me?!"

 

"Because I thought he did! Come on, 'Gome, think about it. How many times have you whined at me that the guys you go out with are immature? Sure, you haven't gone out recently, but did you change your preferences that much?"

 

Kagome sighed. "I might have said that in the past, but, I don't know. I'm not looking for that right now. I like Miroku because he's fun. He makes me laugh, and his odd compliments make me feel good about myself. Maybe it's a rebound thing."

 

"Don't say that! He likes you, Kagome, a lot! He isn't looking for a short-term thing here. Don't make him the fun guy who carries you over until you find your next serious relationship. He wants to be the long-term guy. Why else would he try to change everything about himself to make you happy?"

 

"I don't want him to change to make me happy, that's what I'm trying to tell you! I like him already. He doesn't need to change."

 

"But if he wants to be your boyfriend in the long run, he'll have to," Inuyasha pointed out.

 

"No! I don't want him to pretend to be someone he's not. I... I like him, too. I don't want him to be a rebound either, but who knows what will happen. What I want to hear from you is that you won't poke your nose into our relationship again, and that you won't ever tell him that he needs to change."

 

"Alright, alright," Inuyasha grumbled.

 

"No, not good enough. Say it."

 

"You're damned annoying, wench. Fine, I won't interfere in your relationship, and I won't suggest the perv keep his hands to himself. But don't blame me when he screws up and things go bad. I was only trying to help. So, the date went well?"

 

"Once I called him on acting weird. Really, the guy looked like he was about to explode, trying to hold in a comment about a monkey we saw jacking off."

 

Inuyasha broke down laughing. He could only imagine how Miroku had looked. "Yeah, I suppose that made it obvious. You seeing him again?"

 

Kagome blushed; glad Inuyasha couldn't see it. "Yeah, tonight. We're going to dinner, and he mentioned maybe dancing after."

 

Inuyasha smiled. "Two days in a row? Not too shabby. You know, this will be your third date," he hinted. "Have any special plans of your own?"

 

"Inuyasha!" Kagome hissed. "Whether I have sex with him or not is not something I want to talk to you about! And he'd better not either. Even thinking about you guys chatting about that..." She shuddered. "It's just creepy."

 

"Hey! I take offense to that! You know guys like to compare notes."

 

"Ewwww. No. Besides, what would you have to contribute? We've never had sex, thank the gods."

 

"Well, maybe he'll want some tips," Inuyasha said arrogantly.

 

"No tips! No advice, no meddling, no fishing for details, nothing! I swear, Inuyasha, if you can't stay out of it, it won't be Miroku that ruins this relationship. It'll be you!"

 

-

 

The evening had gone wonderfully. Kagome couldn't remember having more fun on a date than she had that night.  As he was walking her to her door  she decided she didn't want the night to end. When Miroku leaned down to give her a chaste kiss goodnight, Kagome wrapped her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss. She poured passion into it, and when they finally pulled apart to breathe, she smiled at him.

 

"Do you want to come inside?" she asked in a seductive tone, clearly relaying what her invitation included.

 

Oh, how he wanted to come inside! Still, a part of him told him that it was too soon, and for once in his life, he decided to listen to that part. "I... I don't think that's a good idea, Kagome."

 

She pulled away from him as if she'd been burned, feeling utterly humiliated. "Oh, okay."

 

"No, let me explain," he started quickly. He could see how upset she was, and the guilt tore at him. "It's just that I really want this relationship to work, and I'm afraid if we jump into bed too quickly, it'll screw things up."

 

Kagome nodded her understanding, though he didn't think she truly believed him. "Alright, well, then I should go in." Before he could stop her, she slipped inside and slammed the door closed. She leaned against it, tears welled up in her eyes. She couldn't believe he turned her down! No one had ever rejected her before, and it hurt more than she could have imagined. She thought for sure he wanted her! She felt it, more than once, as they danced and then during their kiss as well. What was wrong with her that he would turn her down?

 

She headed towards her bedroom, having decided on taking a hot shower. She suddenly felt dirty and wanted to wash the feel of his hands on her body away, hoping the embarrassment of rejection would wash away, too.

 

-

 

Inuyasha growled as he rolled over, slapping his nightstand several times before he successfully located his ringing phone.  "What the fuck do you want?" he snarled, not even looking to see who was calling him.

 

"I screwed up, man," Miroku said sadly.

 

"Do you have any idea what time it is?" the hanyou muttered while rubbing his eyes, trying to clear his vision enough to see his bedside clock.

 

"It's after three. I'm sorry for waking you up, but I need help."

 

"Oh, no. I've been forbidden from giving out any advice. She tore me a new one last night. I'm not looking for another lecture."

 

"Please, Inuyasha. I screwed up big time, and I need someone to talk to, someone to help me figure this out."

 

"Aww, fuck, what did you do now?"

 

"It's actually what I didn't do that is the problem. The date went wonderfully. It was perfect! Then when I kissed her goodnight, she invited me in. I... I told her no."

 

"Wait, wait, wait. Did you just say that you turned down sex?"

 

"I just thought that we should wait, that if we slept together now it would mess things up. I really want this to work with her and thought we should take it slow. But she looked so upset, man. Like I'd just broken her heart. I don't know what to do."

 

"I can't get past the fact that you turned down sex!"

 

"Not helping, Inuyasha."

 

"I'm sorry, I just can't believe that happened. You never turn down sex!"

 

"And I've never had a successful relationship! Nothing ever lasts! I thought that if I did things differently this time, it might turn out better."

 

"But she was upset? Angry?"

 

"No, not angry. Hurt, humiliated, even. I tried to explain why I wanted to wait, but it didn't help. She's never going to talk to me again. What should I do?"

 

"I dunno. If it were me, I'd go back there and bang on the door until she answered, and then fuck her brains out. Of course, I'm not supposed to be giving you advice, and that would completely go against what you were trying to do in the first place."

 

Miroku sighed. "I should have accepted her invitation in the first place. I wanted to, so badly."

 

"Yeah, I don't need to know just how much you wanted to fuck my best friend, Roku. Just go to sleep, and call her in the morning. Then you'll be able to judge just how much damage you did. Hell, by then, she might just be fine with it. She'll realize why you did what you did and appreciate it once she's had a little while to get over the sting of rejection."

 

"But I didn't reject her! I just said we should wait."

 

"To her, I'm sure it felt like rejection. Just stop thinking, and try to get some sleep, buddy. Things will look better in the morning."

 

"I sure hope so."

Chapter 9 - Confrontation by Sunset Miko

9 - Confrontation - Tuesday

 

Several days had passed, and just like Miroku had feared, Kagome hadn't taken his calls. He did his best to control the urge to call repeatedly, restricting himself to two per day, but it was making him insane. He wanted to explain himself, to apologize for hurting her feelings, for making her think he didn't want her when he did.

 

What was worse, she wasn't answering Inuyasha's calls either, so neither male had any idea how she was. They didn't know if she was simply busy, though it wasn't likely, or if she had decided to separate herself from them both. Miroku was incredibly depressed, while Inuyasha was just plain pissed off. She had been his friend for years, and he refused to be dismissed simply because he hooked her up with a friend, and things didn't work out.

 

After three days, Inuyasha was done playing around. He wanted to talk to her, and he wasn't taking no for an answer. After checking to make sure her car was in the parking lot, he pounded on her front door. Kagura answered and glared at him.

 

"Where's the wench?"

 

"She's not here."

 

"Don't fucking lie to me. I know she's here. I saw her car, and I can smell her. You'd better let me in. We both know you don't want the apartment destroyed while you try to keep me out."

 

Kagura sighed but nodded. "She doesn't want to see you. Enter at your own risk."

 

"Just get the fuck out of my way, bitch," the hanyou growled. Kagura stepped to the side, and he barged in, heading straight for Kagome's bedroom. He knocked and waited only a moment before opening the door, startling the girl lying on the bed. "What the fuck is your problem, Kagome? You're not allowed to ignore me!"

 

She merely rolled her eyes before turning her head to stare out the window. When he stomped over to stand in front of her, she sighed. "What do you want, Inuyasha? I'm not in the mood."

 

"You're not in the mood? Well, you should have thought about that when you decided to ignore my calls. You know, I thought I was doing a good thing, introducing you two, but I wish I hadn't. Now Miroku is a mess, and you're acting like a spoiled brat."

 

"Inuyasha," Kagome growled through her clenched jaw. "You have no idea what you're talking about, so I suggest you butt out!"

 

"Oh, come fucking on. You're really gonna act like this because he didn't fuck you? Did you even listen to why he said no?"

 

"I heard him. It was crap."

 

Inuyasha sighed and ran his fingers through his bangs in frustration. "No, it wasn't. Kagome, he really wants this to work between you two. He's always jumped into bed the first chance he got, and he's never had a relationship last more than a few weeks. He thought that maybe, if he did things differently, it would turn out better. He just didn't want to ruin things by having sex too fast."

 

"I thought I told you to stay out of our relationship."

 

"I tried, damn it. You didn't leave me any other choice. Now, you need to quit pouting and call him. You're fucking up a good thing because you were a little embarrassed."

 

"A little?" Kagome yelled. "No, I was humiliated! I threw myself at him, and he rejected me! The guy that was pawing at me all fucking night rejected me! Why would he do that if he didn't want me?"

 

"Kagome," Inuyasha said, trying to calm his anger. He sat down beside her on the bed and looked into her eyes. "He did want you, still does. He was just trying to make sure your relationship lasted longer than a few weeks. He really sucks at the long term. Never made it past a month with any girl, and he thought that maybe having sex too early was the problem. He regretted his choice the second he told you no. He didn't mean to hurt you."

 

"It doesn't matter. I can never face him again."

 

"Yes you can, and you will. You're going to call him right now!" Before she even knew what was happening, Inuyasha snatched her phone from the bedside table and dialed Miroku. He switched it to speakerphone and waited, ignoring  Kagome as she tried to set him on fire with only a glare.

 

"Kagome?" Miroku answered, the happiness and hope in his voice making Kagome's stomach twist up in knots. "Kagome, are you there?" He waited for a long moment before sighing. "Of course you're not there. You probably butt-dialed me. That's the only way you'd ever call me again."

 

Kagome continued to glare at Inuyasha as he held the phone out to her, refusing to take it. She already said she didn't want to talk to Miroku, and he wasn't going to force her into it.

 

He knew she couldn't hear him, but he felt compelled to continue anyway. He needed to get his feelings out, and this was the closest he was going to get to talking to her. "I... I'm sorry I hurt you, Kagome. I didn't mean too. I just... I wanted things to work between us. I wanted you to love me, too. I wish you would let me explain."

 

Inuyasha watched as his best friend's eyes filled with tears, and he knew she would cave. A moment later, it happened.

 

"Miroku, wait! Don't hang up," she said before accepting the phone from the hanyou.

 

"Kagome! Oh, did you... did you hear all that?"

 

"Yeah," she said softly. "Did you mean it?"

 

"Every word," he answered without hesitation.

 

"Do you... do you love me?"

 

"From the first second I laid eyes on you on the train platform."

 

"Do you, maybe... Could we...?"

 

"Would you accompany me to dinner this evening, Kagome?"

 

She smiled and Inuyasha finally relaxed. "Yeah, Miroku. I'd like that."

 

-

 

"So," Kagome started after taking a sip of wine. "What makes you think that having sex is the reason your previous relationships failed?"

 

"I'm not really sure," Miroku replied slowly. "It's the only constant, the only thing I've always done, so I figured it was worth a shot."

 

"Did you ever consider that maybe you're just bad in bed?" Miroku's eyes widened, and Kagome couldn't help but laugh at the shocked look on his face.

 

"No, I mean, I don't think so. No one's ever said anything."

 

"Relax," she said with a grin. "I was just kidding." He stayed silent, and Kagome could almost see the gears turning in his head. "Stop torturing yourself thinking about it. It was a joke." She felt guilty now; never having thought that a simple comment said in jest could shake his confidence so much.

 

"Well, I suppose it's possible. But, wouldn't someone have mentioned it to me if I was that bad?"

 

Kagome sighed. "How about this? Have you ever had sex more than once with the same girl?"

 

"Yeah, why?"

 

"Well, if you were so terrible, why would they sleep with you again? I think that maybe you were just picking up the wrong kind of girls. Think about it. If they were just looking for something casual and not long-term, they would be more likely to sleep with you early in the relationship and then move on. You're looking for a girl that wants a long-term relationship now. That's just a different kind of girl."

 

"I'm not looking for a girl to have a long-term relationship with," Miroku said with a grin. "I'm looking at the girl I want to have a long-term relationship with."

 

Kagome couldn't help but smile. "So, how long are you planning on waiting before we sleep together?" she asked. She had no intention of putting herself out there again to be rejected, so initiating was now solely on him. She was just looking for a time frame.

 

"I... I really don't know."

Chapter 10 - Pop the Question by Sunset Miko

10 - Pop the Question - Sunday

 

Miroku and Kagome had now been dating for over a month, and things were going extremely well. They saw each other at least every other day, and sometimes more often than that. There was only one problem as far as Kagome was concerned: they had yet to be intimate. Although she was becoming rather frustrated, she was determined not to be the one to initiate sex, and he hadn't made a move. She had never had such a wonderful relationship before and decided the wait was worth it.

 

-

 

Miroku was obviously nervous, and it was making Kagome concerned. Usually he was laid back on their dates. He always seemed so relaxed, but tonight it was very clear that something was on his mind, and she couldn't help but wonder if something was wrong.

 

They had dinner at a nicer restaurant than usual and  then went back to his apartment to watch a movie. They were snuggled up on the couch in front of the television, sipping wine, and she was definitely feeling the sense of calm that always washed over her when she had been drinking. The wine didn't seem to be helping Miroku at all. He was still tense, and Kagome decided she couldn't take it anymore.

 

She poked him playfully in the ribs, smiling as he jumped, startled from his thoughts. "What's going on with you tonight? You seem stressed out."

 

"Oh?" he asked. He hadn't known he was being that obvious. He had something very important he wanted to ask her, and he had been trying all night to figure out how to broach the subject. "I guess there is something I wanted to discuss with you."

 

"Is something wrong?" she asked. She thought things had been going beautifully between them, despite the lack of physical intimacy, but maybe she had missed it.

 

"No, nothing is wrong," he assured her. "There's actually something I've been wanting to ask you."

 

"It had better not be if I'll bear your child," she said in a teasingly scolding tone.

 

"Not at this moment, no," he replied with a grin. "I've been thinking about it for a while now, and while I know we haven't been together that long, and I know it might be a little fast, but... I don't know. It just feels right."

 

"What is it?" Kagome asked, now incredibly curious.

 

"If you don't want to... If you think it's too soon, I'll understand. You can tell me no. I won't get upset. Sure, I'd be disappointed, but I... I don't want to rush you into anything."

 

She sighed. He was babbling, as he sometimes did when he was nervous. Yes, it was adorable, but it was also irritating. "Just ask me, then. Right now, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and you're not making much sense."

 

"I'm sorry," he apologized quickly. "You know that I've never been in a relationship this long, so I don't really know the protocol and timing for things, but..." when she sighed again, he decided to cut to the chase. "Would you move in with me, Kagome?"

 

Kagome shifted on the couch, turning so that she could look at him fully. "Why?" she asked.

 

"Why do I want you to move in with me?" When she nodded, he continued. "Do you remember the first night at the club when you sprained your ankle?" She nodded again. "That morning, when I woke up, I was the happiest I have ever been. When I'm with you everything is perfect, but when we're apart, it's like the world turns gray. I want to spend every single moment of my life that I can with you. I want your beautiful face to be the last thing I see before I go to sleep and the first thing I see in the morning. I know it seems fast, but it just feels right. I want you here with me."

 

She smiled, and Miroku allowed himself to relax slightly. At least she hadn't turned him down yet. "There's something I need to know before I can answer you."

 

"Ask me anything," he proclaimed, ready for an interrogation on his intentions or anything else she might think up.

 

"It isn't so much something you can answer as something you would demonstrate."

 

His brows furrowed in confusion, though that look was quickly wiped off his face as Kagome straddled his legs. She leaned in and pressed her lips softly to his, and he instantly responded, passionately deepening the kiss. He had wanted her for so long, but after he told her he wanted them to wait, he had no idea how to initiate sex. He had been hoping she would do so but had nearly given up hope. Once they pulled back, she grinned at him.

 

"I need to know if we're," she rolled her hips against his, causing them both to moan, "physically compatible. That is, if you think we've waited long enough." Sure, she hadn't wanted to be the one to bring up sex, but the wait was killing her, and it was getting ridiculous. At least he wasn't telling her no this time. If he had, she might have exploded.

 

"Gods yes," Miroku breathed out, his hands finding her waist and sliding around to firmly grip her ass, pulling her tightly against him once more. "I've been waiting so long."

 

"It's your fault, you know," she breathed out, her hands attacking the buttons of his shirt.

 

"I know, and I've regretted wanting to wait every second of every day since."

Chapter 11 - The Move by Sunset Miko

11 - The Move - Monday

 

"I can't believe you're doing this," Inuyasha said as he carried several boxes up the stairs to Miroku's apartment. "Your first relationship to make it a month, and you decide that means you have to move in together?"

 

Miroku grinned. "She said yes. It can't be that crazy, can it?"

 

"At this rate, you're going to be married by the end of the year," the hanyou said, plopping the boxes at Kagome's feet.

 

The miko smiled. "I doubt it. Moving in together is a big enough step. Getting married would be skipping a few."

 

Inuyasha looked from one friend to another, taking in their happiness. "So, you really think it's going to work?"

 

Miroku swept Kagome into his arms, one hand cupping her ass. "I have never been happier, Inuyasha." He pressed his lips to hers, and the hanyou groaned.

 

"I don't need to see this, dude."

 

Once he had thoroughly kissed the love of his life, the monk turned to look at Inuyasha once more. "There's plenty of boxes to carry. No one is asking you to watch."

 

Kagome giggled and pulled Miroku into another kiss while the hanyou stomped out of the apartment towards the moving truck. "This shit did not end up how I thought it would. Now they get to make out while I carry all of the wench's shit? Not fair."

 

Though his complaints never paused, he couldn't keep the smile off his face. He had done a good thing, bringing them together. He just hoped they hadn't moved too quickly. He didn't want to end up stuck in the middle if things didn't work out. For his own sanity, and for his friends' sakes, he would keep his fingers crossed.

 

The End

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