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Mistakes are Meant to be Made

Chapter 15

Chapter 15: Mistakes are Meant to be Made

 

^**^

 

     Kagome walked along the path, not really paying attention to where she was going. The overcast skies and deserted park suited her present mood. Fallen leaves carpeted the ground, crunching slightly with each step. The bare limbs of the trees rattled together, whispering about the approach of winter.

 

     Not surprising that her feet brought her out from under the trees to the play area. Kagome sighed as she looked around. The place was empty. Nobody was playing on the swings, or the teeter-totter, or the jungle gym.

 

     "Shiro loves the park," she said, her voice sounding loud in the empty clearing. Thoughts of Shiro led to thoughts about Shiro's daddy. She raised a hand to her lips. It had been two weeks, and still she could feel the pressure of his mouth on hers.

 

     "Why did he kiss me?" Talking to herself was a habit she had picked up somewhere which, in more populated places, would earn her odd stares from passersby. Luckily, the park was empty, though at the moment she didn't really care what others might think. "It can’t be because I look a little bit like Kikyo. She's so much prettier." She sighed. "He probably didn't mean it. I bet he was just trying to shut me up because I talk too much." Kagome wandered over to the swings and sat down. With a gentle kick, she set the swing in motion.

 

     Kagome closed her eyes, pretending that Inuyasha really did see her as more than an annoying schoolgirl. She shook her head before leaning against the chain. The links pressed into her forehead, but she didn't care. Two weeks and she hadn't heard from him. Maybe Sango was right. Maybe it was a mistake.

 

     A high-pitched squeal alerted her seconds before a small body rammed into her stomach. Kagome let out a grunt of surprise, automatically closing her arms around the child as the swing swung wildly.

 

     "I missed you, 'Gome!" Shiro nuzzled against her. "Why don't you come over anymore? Are you mad at me and Daddy?"

 

     "I'm not mad at you, munchkin." Kagome pulled him closer, digging her heels into the ground to stop the swing. "I missed you, too!" Gravel crunched nearby. Kagome raised her eyes from the top of Shiro's head to look at Inuyasha.

 

     He stood at the base of the slide; eyes fixed on a point somewhere over her head. Kagome felt her heart clench painfully. Inuyasha didn't even want to acknowledge her. The kiss had been a mistake and now he was embarrassed to be around her.

 

     "Hi, Inuyasha," Kagome said. "What are you doing here?" She didn't stand up, silently telling herself that it was because she was holding Shiro. But, really, she didn't think her legs would hold her.

 

     "It's a free park," Inuyasha said defensively. "I promised Shiro that I would bring him. We won't bother you." Tears pricked at her eyes. He couldn't look at her and didn't want to be in the same area. The silence stretched between them. Kagome looked down when she felt a small hand tugging on her shirt.

 

     "'Gome?" Shiro looked up at her. "Can I ask you a question?"

 

     "What is it, Shiro?"

 

     "Will you be my mommy?"

 

     Kagome almost fell off the swing. Her eyes snapped up to meet Inuyasha's. He looked horrified. Was it because of the inappropriateness of Shiro's question, or was it something else?

 

     "I asked Daddy," Shiro continued when she didn't speak, "but he said no. Don't you love me?"

 

     Kagome found her voice. "Of course I love you, Shiro!"

 

     "Do you love Daddy?"

 

     "Um… I… " Kagome floundered. A blush stained her cheeks and she refused to look at Inuyasha, afraid to see the rejection in his face. "I do like your daddy, Shiro. We're… um… friends." And I don't think he likes me in that way.

 

     A pair of strong hands reached out and lifted Shiro out of her lap. Inuyasha set his son gently on the ground. "Why don't you go and play, Shiro? Kagome and I need to talk."

 

     Shiro pouted, not happy at being told to leave. "Okay," he reluctantly agreed, "but I still want 'Gome to be my new mommy." He ran over to the jungle gym, leaving two uncomfortable adults behind him.

 

     "I'm sorry about that," Inuyasha said. He sat down on the swing next to her. Neither one spoke for several minutes.

 

     "Why does Shiro want a new mommy?" Kagome asked, unable to take the silence anymore. "I thought he had a mommy. It's Kikyo, right?"

 

     "Kikyo never wanted to be a mommy." Inuyasha's face hardened as he spoke of his ex-wife. "And Shiro knows that Kikyo doesn't care for him. This is all your fault you know."

 

     Kagome twisted around to stare at him. "Why is this my fault?"

 

     "That little brat cousin of yours-- Shippou. He filled Shiro's head with all sorts of nonsense."

 

     "Can I help it if Shiro is tired of having a mother that can't stand to be in the same room with him?" Kagome stood up and stalked to the edge of the play area, leaving the empty swing dancing behind her. Inuyasha shot to his feet and followed. He grabbed her arm and spun her around.

 

     "Leave Kikyo out of this!" Kagome took an involuntary step back at the anger in his voice. Then her own temper got the better of her.

 

     "Are you the only one who can insult Kikyo?" Her voice rose. "Well, I've got news for you. Kikyo is a bitch! Even Shiro knows it!" Shock made him loosen his grip and Kagome pulled her arm free.

 

     "Kikyo's not the only bitch around here!" Inuyasha struggled to regain control of the argument.

 

     "So, I'm a bitch now." Kagome tried not to show hurt at the statement. She turned her back on him. "You've made your feelings perfectly clear. I'll just stay out of your life and you can explain things to Shiro. Tell him that all women are bitches and his daddy is a jerk."

 

     "Where are you getting all this?" Inuyasha growled, sounding like he was an inch away from strangling her.

 

     Kagome didn't turn around. Despite her words, she didn't want him to see how close she was to tears. "I know it was a mistake. You don't have to keep pretending. I'll continue to baby-sit Shiro if you want. Nothing has to change." She sniffled and surreptitiously wiped her nose with the back of her hand.

 

     "What are you… ? Oh." Inuyasha reached out and gently grasped her shoulders, turning her towards him. She resisted for a moment before allowing him to manipulate her. Refusing to look at him, she stubbornly kept her eyes fixed on the ground.

 

     "You are a little idiot." His voice was soft and amused. She snapped her head up. Was he laughing at her? His grip shifted, pulling her closer to him. Kagome found herself blushing. What a silly little girl she was. Reading too much into a simple kiss. She wanted to die.

 

     Kagome squirmed in his hold. "I'm a fool. Just forget everything I-- " Her words cut off as Inuyasha claimed her mouth with his. This was no simple kiss like the one before. He didn't back off until they were both gasping for air. And then it was only far enough to look into her eyes.

 

     "Are you convinced?" Puffs of air caressed her skin as he spoke. She wrapped her arms around his neck and tried to steady her heart.

 

     "Not quite," she whispered, a little breathless. Smiling, he bent his head. She met his lips eagerly. He moved his mouth over hers, coaxing her to respond. Placing one hand in the middle of her back, he urged her a little closer. When she gasped, he took the opportunity to slide his tongue inside. Shyly at first, and then with growing enthusiasm, she explored his mouth as he explored hers. Investigating the surface of his teeth and tangling her tongue with his. His hands slid to her waist and gripped tightly.

 

     "I want a kiss, too!" Shiro attacked his daddy's leg. Kagome and Inuyasha broke apart, breathing hard and a little embarrassed. "Did you kiss and make up? Is 'Gome going to be my mommy now?"

 

     Inuyasha recovered first, picking Shiro up and planting a kiss on his cheek. "'Gome and Daddy aren't fighting anymore." He straightened the strap on Shiro's overalls, avoiding her eyes. "Maybe Kagome would like to have dinner with me sometime and talk?"

 

     Kagome smiled. Suddenly the world didn't seem quite so gray and dingy. "I'd love to."

 

^**^

 

     "And then what happened?" Sango leaned forward, her expression avid.

 

     "Well… " Kagome absently fiddled with the straw of her soda. The lunch crowd had come and gone and the late afternoon munchie crowd hadn't arrived yet. The small café was mercifully quiet for a Saturday. "After he called me an idiot he… " She blushed just remembering. "He kissed me and asked me out to dinner. Sort of."

 

     Sango sighed and stared into the distance, probably remembering her first real date with Miroku. She focused on Kagome again. "How was it?"

 

     Kagome groaned. "It was beyond awkward. Neither one of us knew what to say without Shiro there. He asked me if I was having a good time at least two dozen times between the appetizer and dessert and complimented me on the whiteness of my teeth."

 

     "You gotta give him credit for trying." Sango looked around, trying to catch the eye of someone to give her a refill on her soda. For the sparse amount of customers present, flagging down one of the wait staff proved difficult.

 

     Someone called to them. Kagome looked up to see Miroku waving from the door. Sango beckoned him over and he wove his way around the tables toward them. Inuyasha was with him, holding tight to Shiro who was bouncing in his eagerness to see 'Gome.

 

     "'Gome!" Shiro wriggled free of his daddy’s grip and scrambled into her lap, nearly upsetting the table and their sodas. "I missed you! Did you miss me? When are you going to come over and play with me again? Daddy said you needed a break and someone else would watch me.  I don’t like this babysitter very much. She won’t kiss Doggy goodnight and doesn't make the squeaky voices when she reads to me. Did you and Daddy kiss lots? Are you my mommy now? Shippou says that mommies and daddies kiss lots."

 

     Inuyasha and Kagome turned redder and redder. Sango muffled her giggles with her hands. Miroku didn't have any such problems. He howled. At least he did until Inuyasha's fist met his stomach. Then he bent double and wheezed.

 

     "What did I tell you, Shiro?" Inuyasha asked, fixing his attention on his son and avoiding Kagome's eyes. Miroku slid into the booth next to Sango and inspected her soda glass, obviously disappointed that it was empty.

 

     Shiro sat up straight on Kagome's lap, his little face creased in thought. Suddenly he smiled. "I remember now, Daddy. You said that you'd explain it to me later." His smile turned into a cute pout. "But I'm tired of waiting until later. Why can't 'Gome be my mommy?"

 

     Sudden inspiration! "Let's go to the toy store, Shiro," Kagome said. "I'll buy you a present." Easily diverted, Shiro thought that was a great idea.

 

     "We need to take Rin with us," Inuyasha said. At Kagome's confused look he explained. "I promised my brother that I would look after her for a couple of hours this afternoon. Something about tedious paperwork and the girl should spend more time with other children. The place he's meeting us is only a couple of blocks from here. They toy store would be a good place to take both kids."

 

     Shiro shot out of the booth almost as fast as he had climbed in. A hand entered Kagome's field of vision, and she blushed again before allowing Inuyasha to assist her. He applied more force than necessary to get her out of the booth and she stumbled against him. He took the opportunity to give her a quick kiss. Miroku made several comments, even offering to watch Shiro if the two of them wanted some privacy. Sango's fist descended on his head. She waved to the three of them while Miroku nursed the newest bump on his head.

 

     Shiro grabbed the hand that Inuyasha wasn't already holding and started jabbering about the newest must-have toys that were being advertised on television. They both paid very little attention, giving vague mumbles of agreement whenever he stopped for breath.

 

     Inuyasha lightly stroked the back of Kagome's hand with his thumb. "So, you survived one date with me. Do you want to go on another?" Kagome started to reply when she felt him stiffen. She peered ahead, curious to see what had upset him.

 

     "Look, Daddy," Shiro shouted. "It's Mommy and the monkey man!"

 

^**^

 

Food for thought: (courtesy of Infinite Silence)

 

De mortuis nil nisi bonum- (say) nothing but the good of the dead.

copyright: The Literary Dragon 2004