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."