Rumours by Sereia


Author's musings: For Dross, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Inspiration: "Rumours" by Adam Lambert feat. Tove Lo

Kagome checked the clock again, glaring at the moving hands over her glass of champagne.

Stupid modern traditions.

People mingled around the room, and she was forced to smile as a few of them stopped to pull her into mundane conversations. Her grip on her glass tightened every time someone asked who she'd be kissing at midnight.

Stupid modern youkai.

A flash of gold caught her eye, and she bit the inside of her cheek to stop herself from looking over at the subject of her ire.

Eight years since the well had closed. Five since she'd given up hope of ever seeing her friends again. Four since she'd stumbled across the one person least likely to reveal himself.


She hadn't even been paying attention to those around her on the long train ride home, her mind more focused on the music coursing through her ears, trying to distract herself from the long day in the emergency room. A brush of youki had been her only warning before firm fingers had wrapped around her wrist.

He'd been clad in a glamour, a strong one, but hazel had given way to gold as they'd stared at each other. Her name had tumbled off his lips, his features wide with shock. Soft murmurs had broken them out of their trance, and he'd thrust a handkerchief into her hand.

Kagome hadn't even realized she'd started crying.

Apparently, they'd almost crossed paths for years, separated only by a single train. A train that Kagome happened to catch late that day due to a multi-car pile-up on the freeway.

And now, here they were, at a posh corporate party on New Year's Eve, surrounded by clients, friends, family, and minutes away from midnight. They were supposed to be celebrating, and all Kagome wanted to do was stab the pompous ass in the eye.

She shouldn't be surprised—had told herself that very thing multiple times with all the people vying for his attention—but each smile he returned, every conversation he instigated made her want to throw something.

Namely at him.

It had been little under the two-year mark of their reunion when their relationship had shifted. After a particularly long day, Kagome had made a passing comment about how some drunk had gotten handsy with her at the hospital and had ended up handcuffed to his stretcher.

The incident had put Sesshoumaru in a foul mood, youki flaring every time she got near him. It wasn't until she was pulled into his lap, his face buried in her hair, that he'd admitted that she stunk of the other male.

And how much he hated it.

Usually, Kagome would've been insulted at the show of machoism, but the feral look on his face, coupled with the way his youki swirled around the areas the drunken patient's smell lingered, had triggered her own animalistic response, and she'd quickly given in to the tension that had been growing between them.

She'd soon realized just how shallow her feelings for Inuyasha had been.

And how much his rebuffs had affected her.

They'd already settled into the role of friends by the time the final battle had happened, and Kagome knew that if she'd been able to go back through the well, nothing else would've happened between them. There was only so much her heart could take.

Her tolerance for bullshit was a lot lower now, too.

She never expected anything from Sesshoumaru, had told him as much in the beginning, but he quickly made it known that this thing between them wasn't a passing fling. So, she'd opened her heart and enjoyed every moment they spent together.

It hadn't taken long for her to fall in love with him.

Only to find out he'd lied to her face. She didn't mean anything to him. Certainly not enough for anyone of significance in his life to know about her.

Holding onto her anger to keep her from doing something ridiculous as crying on New Year's Eve, Kagome turned away from the main room, barely able to stop herself from stomping onto one of the balconies.

The view was beautiful, neon lights glittering in the dark, and she was struck with a heart-warming thought: would he recover from shock in time to save himself if she pushed him over the edge?

Kagome polished off the rest of her champagne, the bubbles doing more to sate her emotional turmoil than the alcohol.

It had started small; he always wanted to be alone on their dates, ordering takeout from the comfort of his apartment instead of going to the restaurant. She'd enjoyed it at first—he led a busy, corporate life, and was always in the public's eye with the multiple hospitals he'd help build, hers included. Everyone needed a break.

But that turned into him flat out refusing to take her anywhere, always claiming that being alone gave them more time to focus on each other. He never let her come to his office either.

That had been her first indication something was up.

But she'd brushed it off. This was Sesshoumaru. He never did anything without purpose. Even the version she knew in the Feudal Era didn't bother with things that didn't mean something to him. And she'd seen those changes firsthand with Rin.

But the 'not wanting to be seen in public with her' had continued, festering in her heart until she'd called him out on it. The look on his face when she'd told him she wanted to dress to match him at her hospital's year-end celebration had told her everything she needed to know.

He was ashamed of her.

Kagome hadn't let go of her anger long enough to be upset. Yet. She was saving that for the week of vacation she'd booked off after the party. She just had to make it to midnight without bumping into him, the magnanimous benefactor that he was, and then she'd be free. Free to curl up on her couch and drown her sorrows in fattening food and people who actually found their happy endings.

Free to forget.

At least she could be proud of the fact that as soon as she'd confirmed his true feelings, she'd had the strength to break it off. No 'trailing after him in the hopes he'd change his mind' like she'd done with Inuyasha.

It didn't mean it hurt any less.

It hurt more. At least Inuyasha, in his teenage mind, had had the guts to apologize. Kagome hadn't heard anything from Sesshoumaru since that day.

Tears pricked her eyes, and Kagome swiped at her face in frustration. She wouldn't waste a single one on that jerk. Glancing at the clock over her shoulder told her there were five more minutes to her torment. Five more minutes, and she could—

"Are you trying to catch your death out here?"


Kagome's hand clenched around her empty flute. "Even if I was, it's no business of yours." The wintery evening appeared to get colder, and she smirked.

Good. Serves you right.

"Just leave me alone. You have a room full of people to sing your praises. One out of a hundred won't make a difference."

His fingers brushed the back of her arm. "Kagome—"

Jerking out of his touch, she whirled on him, eyes blazing. "You do not get to call me that anymore! You made it clear I don't mean anything to you and your prestigious bloodline."

"If you would just listen—"

"No! You had your chance. You could've called or texted or even emailed, but you didn't."

Sesshoumaru's expression darkened. "You have said it yourself; those means of communication should not be used for matters of the heart."

Trust him to use her own words against her.

"'Cause you've been so busy these last few weeks. You couldn't even find the time to tell me to my face that you wouldn't be caught dead with me in public. I refuse to be your dirty little secret—"

Youki raged, raven curls lifting off her shoulders as he snarled at her. "Never, in my entire existence, have I been ashamed of you. Or our connection."

Kagome raised her chin, hands on her hips as she stood her ground. "You've got a funny way of showing it."

"I do not want to share you."

Her mouth dropped open, gaping at him. "That's it? That's your excuse for not wanting to go out or avoiding any PDA or even wearing a matching tie tonight?"

The crowd behind them began to chant, counting down the final ten seconds of the year, reminding Kagome where they were. Gritting her teeth and clamping down on the wave of emotions that threatened to spill over, she waved him off.

"Whatever. Guess I'm not even worth the truth anymore." She choked on her laughter. "I'm sure there's a ton of people in there hoping you'll be their New Year's kiss. Now you won't disappoint them—"

Sesshoumaru didn't wait for the party to hit zero. He grabbed her, claws biting into her arm as he claimed her mouth in a rough kiss.

Kagome bit him.

His hiss turned into a chuckle, and then his mouth was on her again, one arm snaking around her waist to anchor their bodies together. She was able to resist him for a full three seconds, but a brush of his tongue had her toes curling, and she sank against him.

The cries of the partygoers fell away as revelled in his taste, fingers finding their way into his hair. There was significantly less of it to grab, Kagome not used to touching him when his glamour was intact. The memory of why that was stilled her response, and she tore her mouth away from his.

"S-Stop it. I'm s-supposed to be getting over y-you—"

She whimpered as he kissed her again, swallowing any future arguments. The tears she'd been holding back overflowed, her heart clenching painfully.

Love shouldn't hurt this much.

Sesshoumaru pulled back enough to brush his lips across her cheeks, licking her tears away as gentle hands cupped her face, fingers stroking her jaw. The action just made her cry harder.

"Do not cry."

"Don't tell me what to do! You don't get to play these games with me. I'm worth more than that!"

"Of course you are."

"What? No! Don't talk like that! You're supposed to defend yourself so I can stay angry at you!"

"But I do not want you to be angry with me."

"That's not up to you!" Kagome glared at him through watery eyes. "You're the one who—"

"Who still has much to learn when it comes to communication."

"Well, at least we agree on something."

"I will agree to anything to keep you in my life."

She groaned, her head dropping onto his shoulder. "That's not fair."

"When have I ever played fair?"

The tip of her stiletto made contact with his shin, and she delighted in the painful curse that escaped his lips.

"The reason behind the secrecy of our relationship was not for my benefit but yours."

Sighing, Kagome raised her head again. "That doesn't even make sense. What benefit do I get by you—"

A flash went off to their right, momentarily blinding them. Kagome jerked in confusion, but Sesshoumaru's grip was ironclad, one arm having made its way around her waist again. His breath wafted past her ear, his voice barely more than a rumble.

"Do not speak."


More flashes. Followed by a myriad of questions, each coming from a different source. They ranged from asking about her name to her occupation to the status of their sexual relationship. Sesshoumaru's aura was a mixture of irritation, resignation, and amusement.


Kagome stared up at him as realization dawned. A dark eyebrow raised, the haughtiness of his expression tempting her to kick him again.

She'd do it again when they were alone.

If it was before or after they were naked was solely dependent on how the rest of the night went.

"Dear Sesshomaru, where have you been hiding this rare gem? You assured me you would be spending the new year alone. Again."

Blue eyes widened, catching the tick in his jaw before her head whirled around. Half of the reporters swarmed an elegant woman in violet silk, pale fur wrapped around her shoulders.

"Since my son has failed to recall all his childhood lessons in manners, I shall have to introduce myself." The words were more meant for the journalists who'd thrust their cameras and microphones in her face, but Kagome didn't miss the pointed look the woman gave Sesshoumaru.

His grip on her waist tightened, but Kagome extended her hand nonetheless. The woman's fingers had barely wrapped around her own when her image rippled, revealing moonlit hair, golden eyes, and a familiar crescent moon on her forehead.

Sesshoumaru's mother was alive and well.

The hidden features widened in surprise before shifting into a smirk. "How very interesting. It seems you are full of secrets tonight. No wonder you have been so petulant these past weeks."


A fan clicked open, hiding the bottom half of his mother's face. "I will cover your escape, but I expect a full explanation in the morning. Bring her to the manor when you are finished apologizing for your abysmal behaviour."

Sesshoumaru's brows furrowed, but Kagome tugged on the front of his vest, cutting off his response as his mother turned back to the flashing lights. Her plea was barely above a whisper, but it was enough, Sesshoumaru managing to escort her away from the growing crowd without much fuss.

Her coat was dropped onto her shoulders, and they were in the elevator before Kagome realized she was still holding her champagne glass. Looking around with a shrug, she left it in the corner of the lift, figuring someone who worked in the hotel would find it and return it to its proper place.

"Do you wish to go home?"

There was no hesitation in her answer. "No."


Laughter bubbled up at the growl in his voice. "You still have a lot of explaining to do, though."

"Are clothes required for said explanations?"

More laughter. Maybe she'd tell him how much she'd missed his sense of humour. Maybe.


How he succeeded in kissing her so thoroughly while dragging her to his car at the same time, she'd never know. What she did know was that she wasn't above giving into his touch for a little while.

She'd demand answers later.

Much later.


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