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Dinner and a Movie

Chapter 13

Chapter 13: Dinner and a Movie




     Kagome woke slowly. She stretched, coming more fully awake when her hand didn't hit the wall. Wait a minute, this wasn't her room. The events of the previous evening came back to her and she sat up; eliciting a sleepy protest from the warm body curled up next to her. Carefully, she peeled the blankets away to reveal the sleeping face of Shiro.


     Kagome smoothed the little boy's sleep-tousled hair. Shiro grumbled and wrapped his arms tighter around his white dog. Inuyasha had told her that he had given the stuffed toy to his son on the day he was born and that Shiro refused to go to bed without it. She fingered the floppy ear, the result of her inexpert mending job. Smiling, she slid out of the bed without waking him.


     Inuyasha wasn't in Shiro's room or any of the other upstairs rooms. Frowning, Kagome padded down the stairs. A corner of a blanket could be seen, sticking over the edge of the sofa. She walked into the living room, intent on tidying up before Inuyasha came back from wherever he was. A soft snore alerted her that she wasn't alone.


     Inuyasha lay on his back, sprawled the length of the sofa with the blanket twisted around his waist. Kagome caught herself staring, and blushed when she realized he wasn't wearing a shirt. His well-toned chest rose and fell with the evenness of his breathing, making her fingers itch with the sudden desire to explore the smooth planes. To distract herself, she looked lower and saw his bare leg sticking out from under the blanket. Swallowing hard a couple of times, all she could think was, ‘Well, that answers that question.’ Inuyasha apparently didn’t wear anything to bed. Abruptly, he yawned and stretched. He rolled over and stood up, the blanket falling to the floor.


     "Good morning, Kagome," Inuyasha said. He blinked fuzzily at her, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. She continued to stare at him, prompting an answering frown from him. What was wrong with the girl?


     "You--" Kagome cleared her throat and tried again. "You're wearing boxers with little teddy bears on them."


     Inuyasha looked down at himself. "They were a present from Shiro." For the first time he realized that he was standing in front of a pretty girl clad in nothing but his underwear. He blushed and grabbed the blanket, wrapping it around his waist. With a stammered apology, he retreated up the stairs to get dressed.


     "That's a sight I could get used to," Kagome mused. She got a look at the clock and gasped. "Look at the time! I’d better call Mom. I hope she isn't too worried."


     Inuyasha walked into the kitchen, fully clothed, carrying Shiro over his shoulder. The little boy still wore his pajamas and held Doggy in one hand, giggling as his father tickled his bare feet. Kagome was on the phone, talking to her mother from the sound of it. Inuyasha plopped Shiro in a chair and rummaged for breakfast, shamelessly eavesdropping on Kagome's conversation.


     "I'm sorry I forgot to call, Mom. I fell asleep during the movie." A slight pause. "In his bed." Kagome held the phone slightly away from her ear. Inuyasha could hear Mrs. Higurashi talking excitedly, but he couldn't make out the words. "No, Mom." Kagome blushed. "Mooom!" Turning away so that Inuyasha could no longer see her face, she lowered her voice to a whisper. Inuyasha inched closer, pretending to look for something in the fridge. "We didn't do anything! He let me have the bed and slept on the sofa like a perfect gentleman." She twisted the phone cord idly between her fingers. "Alright. I'll ask." With one hand covering the receiver, she turned to him. He shifted things around in the fridge, trying to look like he hadn't been listening.


     "Do you and Shiro want to come over for dinner?"


     "Who's cooking?" He grinned when she slapped him lightly. Shiro had gotten bored and wandered over. One arm was wrapped around Kagome's leg, with the thumb of his other hand firmly in his mouth. It was amazing how quickly the little boy had taken to her, and the feeling appeared to be mutual. "Sure, we'll be there." She smiled before turning back to the phone.




     "Will you quit pacing, Sis? You're making me dizzy." Souta didn't look up from his position sprawled on the living room floor. For once he wasn't playing video games, but had the remote control and was flipping through channels on the television. "What are you so nervous about?"


     "I am not nervous!" Kagome smoothed down the skirt of the red dress she was wearing. She eased a finger under one of the spaghetti straps to straighten out an imagined kink. This was the outfit she had purchased when she bought the book for Inuyasha and the stuffed monkey for Shiro. Glancing again at the clock, she noticed that it was thirty seconds later then the last time she looked at it. The doorbell rang.


     "I'll get it!" Kagome raced to the door, flinging it open just as her grandfather reached for the knob. Inuyasha still had his finger poised over the doorbell. Kagome stared at him from the doorway, taking in the jeans and red shirt he wore. 'Damn,' they both thought at the same time. 'Nobody should look that good.' They blinked stupidly at one another.


     Kagome's mom came up behind her, wiping her hands on her apron. "Invite them in, dear." Examining Inuyasha, with an eye towards seeing if he was good enough for her little girl, she spotted Shiro peeking out from behind his daddy's leg. Daddy had stressed that he must be good, so he didn't fling himself at 'Gome like he normally did.


     "What an adorable little boy!" She knelt so as to be at his level.


     "Hello, Mrs. 'Gome's mommy," Shiro said politely.


     She laughed with delight. "What an angel! You can call me Nana. How would you like to be my official taster? I'm making spaghetti."


     Shiro nodded and looked up at his daddy. Inuyasha gave him a little nudge. Shiro took the hand she held out to him.


     "Thank you for inviting us, Mrs. Higurashi," Inuyasha said.


     "Call me Makiko, Inuyasha. Kagome's told me so much about you." She winked. Kagome suddenly found the floor very interesting. Inuyasha looked at Kagome curiously and stepped into the house so that she could close the door. Remembering her manners, she introduced him to Grandpa.


     "You remember Souta," she said, pulling him into the living room before Grandpa could start one of his long-winded stories. After only a few minutes she returned to the kitchen, leaving the two of them energetically discussing whatever it was guys talked about when they got together.


     Shiro perched on a high stool in the kitchen, opening his mouth obediently for the spoonful of spaghetti sauce Makiko was feeding him. Kagome grabbed a head of lettuce out of the fridge and started preparing a salad. She whacked Grandpa's fingers every time he tried to steal one of the cherry tomatoes, ignoring his protests that he was a taster, too. He finally left, grumbling, and went to sit in the living room until dinner was ready.


     Kagome called everyone to dinner ten minutes later. Makiko assigned the places, and it came as no surprise when Kagome ended up sitting between Inuyasha and Shiro.


     Dinner was interesting. Shiro managed to get spaghetti tangled in his hair and on the floor under his chair. Makiko kept commenting on how much Kagome adored Shiro. It was really sad that the little boy was being raised without a mother. Souta peppered the conversation with questions about Tetsusaiga, asking bluntly if Inuyasha had ever killed anyone with it. Kagome alternated between being mortified by her mother's matchmaking efforts and disgusted by her brother's tactless discussion of fighting at the dinner table.


     After dinner, she walked Inuyasha and Shiro to the door. Suddenly nervous, she plucked a piece of spaghetti out of Shiro's hair. A damp washcloth had done wonders, but he still looked like he had wrestled a tomato and lost.


     "I--" Inuyasha paused on the front step. "Thank you for a great dinner." He was so close she could smell garlic on his breath from the spaghetti sauce. A sharp whistle shattered the moment.


     "Did I interrupt something?" Miroku asked, jogging over to them. "I'll walk with you, buddy. I'm headed that way." He ignored the icy glare Inuyasha gave him. "Did you two want to go to a movie with Sango and me tomorrow?"


     "What about--" Kagome began.


     "Shiro can stay with your mom and play video games with Souta," Miroku cut in. "She already agreed to watch Kohaku."


     Inuyasha and Kagome exchanged a glance. Inuyasha shrugged and looked away.


     "Great!" Miroku prodded Inuyasha down the steps. "We'll pick you up at five o'clock." Shiro turned around to wave.


     "Bye 'Gome! Bye Nana!"




     Miroku looked up as Inuyasha circled through the living room for the fifth time. He held his fist next to Shiro's spread fingers.


     "Paper covers rock!" Shiro shouted. Learning ‘rock, paper, scissors’ was fun. Miroku kept losing.


     "Lose something, Inuyasha?" Miroku asked.


     Inuyasha flung away the sofa cushions, frantically looking for something. "I can't find a matching pair of socks. The stupid washing machine keeps eating them."


     "I don't think Kagome is going to be looking at your feet."


     Inuyasha blushed slightly. "Well, I like wearing socks that match." He spied the mate to the one in his hand sticking out from under the coffee table. Cramming his feet into his socks and shoes, he hustled Shiro into his coat. Lifting Shiro into his arms, he broke into a trot. He ignored Miroku's pleas to slow down. It was a bit of a walk to Kagome’s house and they were already running late. Kagome wouldn't be happy if they missed the start of the movie.


     Kagome and Sango were waiting for them in front of Kagome's house. Shiro leaped into Kagome's arms, squealing as she swung him around.


     Makiko appeared in the doorway and held out her arms to Shiro. "Nana!" he cried, flinging his arms around her neck. She smiled at the four young people.


     "Have a good time!" She jiggled the little boy in her arms. "Do you want to help me make cookies?" Shiro nodded in enthusiastic agreement. He waved as Makiko carried him into the house.


     "Shall we go, ladies?" Miroku held out his hand to Sango. She took it with a small blush and a smile. Kagome glanced at Inuyasha out of the corner of her eye. He shoved his hands into his pockets. 'This isn't a date,’ Kagome reminded herself. 'Just four friends going to the movies.'


     They reached the theater just before the awkward silence between Inuyasha and Kagome became unbearable. There was a small argument over who was paying. Finally, the girls agreed to let the boys buy the tickets.


     "You two find us some seats. Sango and I will get the snacks." Miroku and Sango left their friends at the door of the darkened theater while they went to find a concession stand.


     Kagome tripped on the first step. Inuyasha slid a hand under her elbow to steady her. He left it there as they searched for four seats together.


     Kagome fiddled with the strap of her purse. The silence stretched, unbroken, between them. This was the longest that they had been alone without Shiro nearby. Relief lit her features as the other two returned with the promised snacks. Miroku passed over a tub of popcorn and a large soda, almost spilling the drink into Inuyasha's lap.


     "Two popcorns and two sodas?" Inuyasha glared suspiciously at his friend who was busy handing a popcorn to Sango before settling in his seat.


     "The wonders of going to the movies." Miroku draped his arm around Sango and took a drink. "You get to share, my friend."


     "There's plenty for both of us," Kagome reassured Inuyasha, thankful for the darkness that hid her reddened cheeks. He grumbled a few times, before passing the popcorn and jamming the soda into the cup holder between them.


     The movie was good. Kagome soon relaxed and began to enjoy it. She was a sucker for a good action film and loved anything with Jackie Chan in it. The popcorn diminished kernel by kernel and soon the inevitable happened. She reached into the nearly empty tub and encountered the fingers of Inuyasha. His thumb slid slowly over the back of her hand. Twisting slightly, she glanced over to find him carefully not looking at her. Still, they left their hands where they were longer than was necessary.


     They left the theater together; Miroku still had his arm around Sango. Kagome blinked in the brighter lights of the lobby. Miroku and Sango sauntered out the door and along the sidewalk in the opposite direction from Kagome's house.


     "Where are you going?" Kagome called to them.


     "Didn't I tell you?" Sango didn't stop walking, but she turned to look over her shoulder. "Kohaku is spending the night with Souta. I'll see you tomorrow, Kagome."


     The thought of walking home with Inuyasha, when it wasn't raining, made her shiver. An abrupt weight settled over her shoulders. She peered up at Inuyasha to again find him carefully not looking at her.


     "One of these days, you're going to freeze to death and I won't be there to lend you my jacket." Kagome smiled and pulled the warm material tighter around her. She caught his hand in a grateful squeeze. He wrapped his fingers around hers. Streetlights gleamed softly against the night. Kagome sighed, tempted to walk slower and drag this evening out as long as possible. What a perfect ending to the day.




Food for thought:


Of all the things I've lost


I miss my mind the most

copyright: The Literary Dragon 2004