InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ In the Blink of an Eye ❯ One-Shot

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

Blanket Disclaimer:

Inuyasha, and the characters therein, are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. I am in no way affiliated with Takahashi, or VIZ Productions.



So this was supposed to be a shortie and I was going to add it to my Splendent Shorties collection, but it accidentally got too long. Whoops? So enjoy this unexpected one-shot!

Oh PS, it's an Americanized modern day 'humans peacefully coexist with youkai' type of universe, emphasis on Americanized. It was just easier that way.

~ In the Blink of an Eye ~

"Brother Pele's in the back, sweet Zina's in the front, cruisin' down the freeway in the hot, hot sun..." Kagome sang along to the radio, and that last part was true since she was presently heading west on the interstate and it was the middle of summer.

She'd taken a few days off at work and was on her way to the coast for an extended weekend getaway at Shikon Beach. A little present to herself for a job well done, that being putting up with her current job of selling furniture for another year. Her anniversary at the company had just come back around again, and with it came a replenishment of paid vacation hours. She planned on taking full advantage.

"Destination unknown, as we-ah!"

Swerving to avoid the small scattering of random broken crap in her lane, or trying to, at least, her only warning being the car in front of her also swerving around it, Kagome didn't have as much freedom of movement as the car ahead of her had because the cars beside her on either side prevented her from going halfway into a neighboring lane. As a result, she ran over some of the unidentified debris, which appeared to be random car remains not swept up after a wreck.

"Just great," she muttered, no longer singing along with her radio. "Come on, baby, don't ruin the start of my vacation," she said to her car, while affectionately patting the dashboard.

She prayed her tires had handled the debris without incident. No blowout was definitely a good thing, but she had also definitely felt it as she ran over the broken bits of whatever random car bullshit had been lying in the road. Mostly unidentifiable bits of black plastic and possibly metal. Had there just recently been a hit and run or something? She couldn't imagine the cleanup crew sent to the scene of an accident doing such a piss poor job.

Whatever the case, as Kagome continued to drive on as if nothing had happened, and a quick glance in the mirror showed everyone behind her also successfully avoiding the debris that was thankfully only in a single lane of traffic, she sighed in relief then kept right on going. For maybe another two minutes or so, until her 'low tire pressure' warning light came on on the dash.

"Oh no, no no no..."

Sure enough, not long after the light came on, she noticed her car was handling a bit rougher, and it became impossible to deny that she had a flat tire.

But of course...she thought, followed quickly by, Damn it, as she started changing lanes to work her way over to the right shoulder since the left shoulder was currently closed.

But when she successfully pulled over and got out to examine her car it actually turned out that she had two flat tires, both on the driver side. Not being able to move over far enough to avoid all the debris meant she had actually ended up running right over a single piece of it, with both wheels.

"Seriously?!" she cried out in exasperation.

Not that she had really wanted to change her flat tire, anyway, but she would have. She'd have thrown her doughnut on there to get herself to the nearest tire shop. Now she had no choice but to call a tow truck. Without roadside assistance that was going to be expensive. And knowing her luck the tires probably weren't repairable, either, so she'd need to buy two new ones.

Fuck my life...

Resigning herself to her fate, and also wondering if it wasn't too late to cancel her hotel reservations and get a room at Motel 6 instead, in an effort to offset some of the cost, Kagome sat back down on the driver's seat and reached for her purse, to get her phone, when she noticed a large red pickup truck pulling over in front of her.

Please be a knight in shining armor and not a creep, please be a knight in shining armor and not a creep... she repeated in her head, grateful for the possibility that somebody wanted to help her while also being grateful it was late morning with loads of traffic going by.

"Come on, Kagome," she told herself out loud, then. "Everything happens for a reason, right?"

She snorted.

She wasn't actually sure she believed in all that, but it was one of her grandfather's favorite expressions. The gods worked in mysterious ways, and all that. Another one of his favorite expressions was 'in the blink of an eye' and her day had certainly gone from good to bad just that quickly. Hopefully it was about to get slightly less bad, though.

As her potential savior got out of his truck, the twenty-five-year-old had to consciously prevent herself from gaping at him with a drop-jawed expression at his approach. Her day had just gotten a lot less bad! Maybe he was sent by the gods. He was gorgeous! His tight red tank top revealed a toned chest and arms that were muscular, but not too muscular, while his dark loose fitting designer jeans and high end sneakers told her he had a decent amount of money but wasn't stuck up about it.

And from the look of those adorable ears on the top of his head of long, wild silver-white mane, he was clearly a youkai or hanyou of some sort. Not that that mattered to her in the slightest. Youkai and humans had made peace a couple centuries ago, and while their two peoples had more or less kept to themselves until only fifty years ago, the open border policy currently in place had not caused any of the conflicts the naysayers had predicted.

It had been the human government that had first approached the youkai council, hoping to barter for more land because, quite frankly, humans were overcrowding themselves, and unlike some treaties between different races of humans that the majority rule had no problem violating while ignoring any protesters, breaching a contract with youkai simply wasn't done. Not if you wanted to keep breathing. So when the human government had asked to renegotiate some borders, asking for permission to build more roads through the wilds to better link cities together, and to expand in some areas by a few miles here or there, the youkai council had grown understandably agitated, but had then countered with a proposal of their own.

The youkai council, which was comprised of leaders from many different top species of youkai, had proposed opening all borders, essentially allowing the humans to come and go as they pleased and to build wherever they liked, with the stipulation of course being that all manner of humanoid youkai (or those capable of creating humanoid guises) would then also be allowed to freely live in the human world if they so chose, including getting jobs in order to pay rent or buy houses, and even raise their families all in the heart of the human cities, their pure or part youkai children all going to human schools.

It had never been a hard border, and on rare occasion you would see a youkai in a human city if they were there on business, and even rarer still were the mixed romances, though most humans who chose to mate a youkai had lived with their partner in the youkai's domain at that time, but when both governments had agreed to full integration it hadn't taken long at all for the proverbial floodgates to open.

Turned out, a lot of youkai didn't get to enjoy modern human conveniences in their world. Even sophisticated youkai palaces were stuck centuries in the past, because necessity was the mother of invention and their basic needs could be provided for them via magic. Meanwhile, the less fortunate ones actually still lived in caves, or houses modeled after modest human dwellings from two centuries prior. But younger generations of youkai, who had found reason to interact with humans no matter how briefly, had learned of newer inventions, like cars, radio and television, not to mention electricity and plumbing, and fast food restaurants, and they had wanted to join the human world so badly. The youkai council had honestly already just been waiting for the right time to broach the subject, and the human government had given them the perfect opportunity.

The younger generations of humans had also welcomed the youkai with open arms, because humans were, generally speaking, fascinated by things like magic. It had only been the old codgers who'd protested, but since spiritually powerful humans were by no means in short supply, and the military had an entire branch of reiki wielders at the ready, there had never really been a genuine threat of the youkai taking over.

Fifty years later, it was safe to say all their fears had been based on old prejudices and superstitions. All the youkai who presently lived in a human city wanted to do was enjoy plumbing and electricity and Netflix. With the open borders treaty meaning it was illegal to deny a youkai employment on the grounds of being youkai they did their part in society, working the same jobs alongside their human neighbors. Certain types of jobs were even better suited for youkai, which of course meant a few disgruntled humans complained about losing their jobs to youkai from time to time, but all in all most everybody got along.

Kagome, for one, was glad their two governments had come to their agreement. She'd grown up around youkai and hanyou, had gone to school with them, and from her generation's point of view, youkai were no different from anyone else.

Well okay they were different, but so was she. She was a miko, which meant she was magical in her own right even though she was still human. What was so bad about being different, anyway? She hadn't feared any of her youkai classmates and neither had they feared her. In fact, during her senior year of high school, her ookami-youkai boyfriend Kouga had told her that most youkai actually respected reiki wielders, because youkai typically saw humans as weak but reiki wielders were the exception. She hadn't much cared for his view of non-reiki wielding humans, and the relationship hadn't lasted, but a part of her did still have to admit she was grateful she was a miko.

Especially right in that moment.

She just hoped her would-be savior didn't have a problem with it.

She couldn't deny that both her being a miko and him a youkai actually made her feel a hell of lot safer. A non-reiki wielding human would literally be powerless against a youkai, of course, but she would actually be much more vulnerable around a fully human male who could physically overpower her. Since her rescuer was at least one quarter youkai in order to have those ears, if he had anything unsavory in mind then she could just zap him one. That knowledge gave her the confidence she needed to actually have a little fun with this encounter.

After all, he was drop dead gorgeous.

All things happened for a reason, right?

Rolling down her window as the silver-haired Adonis approached her car, Kagome couldn't help but feel grateful for the times she lived in. Denying humans the ability to admire such perfection up close would've been a crime against humanity, indeed. Quickly glancing at herself in her rearview mirror, she made sure her makeup still looked good.


Cruising along in the right lane because his exit was less than a mile away, when Inuyasha spotted the small dark green car on the shoulder with two flat tires, and the visibly distressed young woman sitting back down inside the car that clearly wasn't going anywhere, he felt almost compelled to pull over and offer his assistance. There was just no way he could've continued on about his day without feeling horribly guilty for abandoning her to her fate when he was sure he could help. Life had already abandoned her to fate and that was where he came in, fate's answer, as far as he was concerned at least.

So he pulled over, unsure if she would accept his assistance but knowing he at least had to try.

As he approached her car he could tell she was staring at him while trying not to look like she was staring at him, and he couldn't tell yet from her carefully neutral expression what she was thinking, but if once he got to her window his nose informed him that his presence was freaking her the fuck out then he'd just apologize and leave. At least then he wouldn't feel guilty for outright ignoring her situation.

It wouldn't be the first time his very existence had frightened a human woman. He unfortunately got that reaction quite often, though usually from older women. Younger humans generally speaking tended to be more okay with his presence. And not all older humans gave him a hard time, either, of course. Life wasn't perfect, but he'd still definitely rather stay in the city than move in with his father and older half-brother in their demonic palace as the two full-blooded inu-youkai had offered after his human mother's death.

Youkai were more prejudiced against hanyou than humans were, and nowadays nearly all mixed families lived in human cities. The only reason most hanyou used to be raised in the youkai world was because before integration hanyou children hadn't been allowed to go to human schools, and youkai hadn't been allowed to get human jobs to earn human money to help raise a family the human way. Life as a youkai for the human partner and their kids had really been the only viable option.

Inuyasha, for one, was eternally grateful for the times he lived in, and that he'd been able to grow up with his mother in a human apartment and attend human schools. She'd been a single mother in her daily life, since his father's title and responsibilities meant that moving in with her in the city had not been an option ? and she thankfully hadn't wanted to move to his palace, either ? but as a powerful youkai lord his father had been able to provide for her in a youkai way, if not a human one, showering her with goods she could sell or trade as needed, and he'd visited with the two of them quite often.

Toga had cared a great deal for Izayoi, so much so that he'd even wanted to perform the mate-bond with her, but Izayoi had refused, for his sake. While the bond made the human partner a lot stronger, it didn't grant them the same strength as a youkai. They were still easier to kill than a youkai, and if you killed one partner from a bonded pair, the other one would usually die, too. Unless a young child were in the picture, in which case the surviving parent could usually will themselves to live with a broken soul for the sake of their child, but that wasn't a guarantee.

Toga had enemies, and Izayoi had been concerned that if they'd bonded somebody would have killed her in order to kill him. After young Inuyasha was in the picture she also hadn't wanted to make herself a target in such a way and risk their son losing his mother, or possibly even both parents. Once Inuyasha had been old enough to understand what mate-bonds were he had actually told his mother she should do it, but she'd still been worried Toga's enemies would find out. So instead of dying by an enemy's hand, Izayoi had wound up dying from wounds inflicted in a car accident that a mate-bond would have saved her from.

A young but grown Inuyasha had been with her, and helpless to save his own mother, he'd barely had time to tell her he loved her and forgave her before she'd died in his arms.

Shaking such random and unwanted memories free as he approached the driver's side door of the small green car, the window already rolled down in anticipation of his arrival, Inuyasha was suddenly hit in the face with the scent of the young woman's excitement at his appearance, and chuckling under his breath, then, he flashed her his award-winning smirk and asked, "May I be of assistance?"

Yes you absolutely may...oh he means the car, Kagome thought, trying and failing to wipe the silly grin off her face.

"That depends," she replied then, being completely sincere when she asked him, "do you have a spare tire I could borrow?"

"I do have a spare," he replied with a regretful shake of his head, "but I don't think it'll fit your car. It's a full size spare, not a doughnut."

The tires on his truck were noticeably larger than the ones on her little coupe.

"Well shit."

Laughing, Inuyasha examined both of her flat tires while Kagome got out of the car again to pout at her own predicament.

"Who'd ever think you'd need to carry two spare tires?" she lamented. "I have one, but that won't help me here, and my stupid ass doesn't have roadside assistance, either."

He nodded his understanding, his golden eyes showing genuine sympathy even as he appreciated the view she provided.

Her wavy jet black locks were dancing around her denim covered shoulders as she wore a cropped long-sleeved bleached denim jacket unbuttoned over a sleeveless off-white cotton dress that hit her at mid thigh, cute strappy tan sandals completing her summer look. A quick glance inside the car revealed a light blue wide brim summer hat with pink floral band sitting on her passenger seat along with a woven straw tote purse. Her makeup was subtle, and honestly he'd bet she was just as beautiful without it, but the light pink lip gloss was undeniably a good look on her.

Not wanting to seem like he was openly checking her out, he made a quick mental note of her sex appeal then got back to examining her car.

"What the hell did you run over, anyway?" he asked her then.

"Spike strip. I'm running from the law."

He laughed again.

"Well in that case I better get the hell out of here before the cops show up. I've got a warrant out for my arrest," he joked.

She could tell he wasn't serious, and quirking her lips she asked, "On what charges, being too hot?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact," he replied with a shit-eating grin.

Laughing a genuine, good old fashioned belly laugh, Kagome said, "I like you."

"Really? I couldn't tell."

"No but seriously though," she insisted. "Like just generally speaking."

He smiled then. A soft, genuine smile.

"I like you too," he said. "I'm Inuyasha, by the way," he introduced while extending his hand for her to shake.

That answers the question of what species he is, she thought. Not that it mattered; she'd just been curious.

"Kagome," she replied while shaking his hand, not hesitating in the slightest regarding his claws.

It did not go unnoticed.

"Well, Kagome, I can think of two ways I can help you here," he offered then. "I can pay for your tow truck for you, or, if you don't want to wait for a tow, if you trust me, then we can leave your car here on jacks, I'll take you to the nearest tire shop that accepts walk-ins, then bring you back with either your tires repaired or two new tires, my treat, and I'll even do all the grunt work for you."

"Wow, I've won the lottery!" Kagome replied with another little laugh. "And here I thought running over all that crap and getting two flat tires was a stroke of bad luck. What, pray tell, would I owe you for such a huge favor?"

Honestly, if he straight up told her he'd do it for sex, she would be all right with that.

"Have dinner with me?"

That worked, too.

"Tell ya what. I'm actually on my way to Shikon Beach for a four-day weekend. If you aren't busy, you're welcome to join me."

So okay, she was moving a bit fast, but fuck it, she was single and ready to mingle, damn it.

Inuyasha, meanwhile, could not believe what he was hearing...and smelling.

Which one of us has just won the fucking lottery? he thought, trying not to let his astonishment show.

He'd been single for far too long, ever since his college girlfriend Kikyou had dumped him because of pressure from her family, because they hadn't approved of him. He could easily sense that this girl Kagome was a miko, too, but apparently what 'daddy' might think of her dating a hanyou was not a concern. And even if she were being rebellious, because her family also wouldn't approve and ultimately nothing would last between them, well hell, she was hot, so he was still willing to enjoy it while it lasted.

That didn't mean he wouldn't hope it could turn into something real, though. He really liked her personality so far, and she struck him as the type of person he could easily get along with in daily life.

"It just so happens I'm not busy," he informed her then. "I live in Jidai City but am on my way to Tama Hills to buy a set of old vinyls I won on eBay. After that, I'm free all weekend."

"Forty-fives?" she asked.

"Seventy-eights, actually."


"You don't even know what the music is," he laughed. "Could be something you hate."

"I doubt that," Kagome replied, "because I pretty much love all music. And besides," she added, "vintage seventy-eights are vintage seventy-eights. It doesn't matter who it is. I love that you collect."

"And I love that you love that I collect."

A brief moment of silence passed between them then, but before it could get awkward Inuyasha said, "Well, I better text them to let them know I'm running late and then let's get this show on the road."

"I hope you don't miss out on your buy because of me," Kagome said, and she meant it.

"Oh don't worry, I already won them," he assured her. "I haven't paid yet, 'cause I wanted to see them in person first, but they can't offer them to the next highest bidder for a couple of days so there's no hurry."

Feeling relieved to hear that bit of information, not to mention the fact that Inuyasha actually lived in the same city as her, Kagome got her jack out of the trunk while he texted his seller and was just about to place it under her car near the rear flat tire when he took it from her with a playful "Uh-uh-uh, I said I would do the grunt work, remember?"

Taking her jack, he propped up the rear tire with it, then went back to his truck to retrieve his own jack, planning on leaving her car propped up sans left wheels with a note on it that said they'd be back as soon as possible and the time they left, so highway patrol wouldn't think the car was abandoned. He was just retrieving his jack from behind the right rear passenger seat when a sudden loud horn blast followed by squealing brakes and scraping tires and breaking glass and crunching metal and Kagome's gasp of horror all had him scrambling to get back to her side as fast as inhumanly possible.

It all happened so fast, in the blink of an eye, but yet, in an odd sort of way, time also seemed to slow to a crawl. He saw the cars on the freeway swerving and spinning out of control and crashing into one another. He saw the flatbed semi with the full load of galvanized metal pipes jackknifing before flipping onto its side. He saw the bundles of metal pipes, broken free from their straps, suddenly heading right for where Kagome was standing in frozen terror. He saw her try to dive out of the way, then, every little twitch of muscle movement in those gorgeous legs of hers happening in slow motion while his heartbeat thundered more loudly in his ears than all the sounds of the wreck combined.

He dove, moving so fast that had anybody been watching him instead of the horror unfolding all around them, he would have appeared as a blur to human eyes.


He felt the satisfaction of his hands making contact with her shoulders, first, as his momentum worked on pushing them both to the ground, but not quickly enough. The next thing he felt was the searing pain of being impaled through the back by a one inch metal pipe.

Oh, he'd recover just fine from an injury like that, but it still hurt like a motherfucker!

That was what he got for wearing a regular tank top instead of demonic clothing, he mentally chastised himself. His father still ran around in demonic silk robes like it was the freakin' Feudal era, and he'd given him a fire-rat kimono once, but he never wore the archaic thing.

He'd have to reevaluate that decision going forward.

Or see if he could talk a youkai seamstress into making him a collection of tank tops, at least.

Still, looking down at Kagome in that moment, who was now lying flat on her back on the ground beneath him, the force from the six foot long pipe sticking up vertically out of his back threatening to rip his insides apart as it bounced and sagged under its own weight and lingering momentum, Inuyasha clinched his teeth against the pain and was just about to grumble out his relief that he had taken the blow for her when he realized with a growing sense of dread that her eyes were open wide in pain, her mouth caught in a silent scream. He tried to climb off of her then, and she did scream, so loudly his ears pinned back flat on his head.

He couldn't move.

The pipe had run him clean through, to the left of his spine, and was also imbedded in Kagome's abdomen, probably through her liver. He hoped.

He didn't know everything about human anatomy, but he figured it would be much worse if it'd ruptured her ascending colon.

Feeling the way the galvanized pipe continued to sag and bounce with his heavy breathing, ripping his insides a little bit more with every move, and possibly hers as well, the first thing he did was reach behind himself with his left arm and with a frantic shout and blast of youki charging his claws, he slashed and severed the pipe about a foot above his back, the rest of it clanking down onto the road off to the side. Sighing in a fractional amount of relief as that action significantly lessened his pain, he then focused on her eyes again, to make sure she was still with him and not slipping into unconsciousness, as he tried to figure out what to do next.

As he tried to figure out what he could do next.

They were still impaled together, and he realized quickly enough that there was nothing he could do about that without causing Kagome further pain, or risk. If it were just him run through he'd just pull the pipe out and be done with it, but that wasn't an option with Kagome, he knew, and if he tried to raise himself up just enough to have room to cut the pipe in between them he not only risked accidentally pulling it out of Kagome, which could have her bleeding to death in a matter of minutes, but he also couldn't control his youki that precisely, in such close quarters, and would almost definitely hit her with his own energy blast if he tried it.

Although he needed to try something, because from the smell of it the end of the pipe inside Kagome was not acting like a cork against exsanguination. Yes if he pulled it out of her she would probably bleed to death a lot faster, but she was still bleeding to death now, anyway.

Trying to glance down in between their bodies, he couldn't see much of anything, his stomach flush against hers with blood soaking through both her dress and his tank top. He didn't know where his blood ended and hers began, but his nose informed him that most of it was hers, and he promptly went into a mental flashback of his mother's death, when the two of them had been in that horrible car crash together that he had walked away from but she had not.

Vaguely, he was aware of people standing all around them, of people screaming to call an ambulance, of people trying to talk to the two of them in order to assess their situation, but Kagome wasn't talking, only gasping and moaning in pain, and it was the sound of her distress that snapped the hanyou back into reality.

Not again. He couldn't watch a woman die again and sit back and do nothing. He couldn't save his mother, but he could save Kagome...if she would let him.

He was just glad the act of mate-bonding didn't actually require the act of mating.

"Kagome...Kagome! Look at me! Focus!" he said then, his voice quiet yet stern, and it worked because she was able to focus her tear-filled blue-gray eyes on his concerned orbs of liquid gold.

"C-cold..." she said then, and he could both see and feel her trembling below him.

She was losing too much blood, and going into shock, and he feared getting them separated would be far too complicated to do quickly. He honestly didn't think she would survive if they waited for the paramedics to arrive.

"Kagome, Kagome I can give you a fighting chance, if you're willing to become my mate," he said, and the word 'mate' had her snapping to attention. "I know we haven't even gone on our first date yet, but well...will you marry me?"

"B-but...if I die..."

He wouldn't let another woman use that as an excuse.

"Keh, you probably will die if I don't do this. How can I go on living if that happens?" he countered. "I can save you. Trust me. Do you have any idea how much stronger a mate-bond makes a human?"

She tried to shake her head no but it hurt too much to move.

"I may just be a hanyou, but my youki is strong, stronger than most full-blooded youkai. My father's a daiyoukai, so I know I can make a powerful bond. This wound, I can fully heal from this sort of thing in a couple of days. The bond'll probably have you fully healed in less than a week, and that's without surgery."

Kagome was in an excruciating amount of pain, but her mind was clear. She understood everything Inuyasha was telling her, and the question of Do I really want to become the eternal soulmate to a man I just met? wasn't that hard of a question when pitted against Or do I want to die right here and now?

She did have some standards, of course. She wouldn't agree to become the life-mate of some evil villain, for example. Yes she would rather die than sell her soul in such a way, if it meant her life from that point onward would be absolutely miserable. But from the scant few things she knew about Inuyasha so far, she seriously doubted that would be the case. He was a kindhearted Good Samaritan who collected vintage records. He also lived in the same city as her, so that was convenient. It meant it shouldn't screw up either of their lives too badly to suddenly need to move in together. He was also obviously just as attracted to her as she was to him, which was definitely a plus.

"I don't...even know..." she started to say, but it was hard to talk.

"Don't know anything about me?" he guessed. Then without waiting for her to answer, he listed off a few top things as quickly as he could. "I'm inu-youkai hanyou, if that wasn't already obvious. I'm twenty-seven years old. I grew up in Jidai city with my human mother, who's past away now. My parents never bonded and my dad lives in his snooty youkai palace along with my older half-brother from a political mating. I'm a firefighter with the Jidai City Fire Department..."

That explains being a Good Samaritan and wanting to save my life so badly, Kagome thought.

"...and I'm also a private trainer at a small gym. My favorite type of music is classic rock but I also pretty much like all music. My favorite food is ramen. My favorite color is red. Godsdamnit Kagome, let me save you! My mother died in a car accident and I couldn't save her! I can't...I can't go through this again."

Her eyes widened a bit at that revelation. That really explained why he wanted to save her life so badly.

"It's not just from that guilt, though," he added then, wanting to reassure her. "Please...I know we don't know each other, but we clicked so well, didn't we? I thought, well maybe...I thought maybe we had a chance at something real..."

"Shhhhhhh..." she managed to say as his words trailed off, blinking as his tears landed on her cheeks. She would have put an index finger to his lips but it hurt too much to move her arms.

"I was going to say, I don't even know what to do, with this bonding spell."

She wanted to chuckle at the sheepish look in his eyes, but it hurt too much for that, too.

"Won't b-being a miko screw it up?" she added then.

She knew a mate-bond between a youkai and human was the youkai's magical aura basically enveloping the human's soul, sort of like a demonic possession but one born from love. So would her reiki cancel out his youki and prevent him from forming the bond? She had no idea.

Fortunately, Inuyasha had looked into it back when he'd been dating Kikyou.
"No," he assured her then, his tone loving. "In fact, that you have your own magic, your own powerful aura, should actually make our bond even stronger, like two bonded youkai, rather than a youkai and a human."

"Okay," she said then.

He couldn't hide his relief.


She gave the tiniest of nods.


Lowering his face to hers, he kissed her gently, and she was surprised but then happily returned the kiss to the best of her ability under the circumstances.

"We have an audience," Kagome said once the crowds standing around them finally dawned on her.

"Keh, let them watch."

"Hentai," she joked weakly.

Knowing what a youkai mate-bond was, she knew it didn't have to happen during sex. That was the old custom, but nowadays a few youkai/human couples actually incorporated the bonding into their wedding ceremony.

He cracked a small smile at her joke and then got down to business. The smell of her blood in the air was getting stronger and her face was starting to get a little too pale.

Touching his forehead to hers, then, eternally grateful that the way they had been pinned together allowed him this measure of physical contact with her, Inuyasha closed his eyes and concentrated. He'd never done a mate-bond before, well obviously, but he knew what he was doing just as assuredly as he knew how to conjure up any of his youki-based offensive abilities, like when he'd cut the extra length off the pipe. He'd had the youkai version of the talk with his dad long ago, and knew all the ins and outs of what needed to be done.

He could hear the murmurs of the crowd all around them, including some people saying that the paramedics were on their way, but he still couldn't hear any sirens and Kagome was growing colder below him, her heartbeat slowing, so he knew he'd made the right decision. Tuning everything else out, then, he focused solely on Kagome.

He didn't even know where she lived, except obviously east of their present location, and he hoped she was also from Jidai City. It was a fairly large city, so it was definitely possible that's where she came from, but he would gladly ditch his apartment to move in with her regardless of wherever she lived. He concentrated on what he did know. She had the same kind of sense of humor as him, and a similar appreciation for music. She wasn't afraid to cuss in front of him, which was definitely a plus, and she had been openly physically attracted to him, which was a huge plus. Hell, he'd asked her to dinner, and she'd turned around and invited him to join her on her weekend holiday!

Taking in her scent, filtering out the stench of fear and blood, her natural aroma was pleasing to his nose, and he concentrated on that scent, that smell that was wholly Kagome, as he began wrapping his aura around her own.

"Think of me," he murmured to her then. "Focus on my scent if you can, or the sound of my voice, or the feel of my body lying on top of yours..."

"Or your stiff rod penetrating me," she mumbled, and he had to bite his lip to keep from laughing.

"Woman, I was going to wait until the ambulance ride to make penetration jokes."

"We really are a match made in heaven," Kagome said weakly. It still hurt to talk. "Jii-chan always says...all things happen for a reason."

"That's good, hold on to that thought," he said then. "We were meant to be together, it was destiny. Fuck, it had to have been, right? What are the fucking odds of something like this happening?"

Everything he said was barely louder than a whisper, wanting his words to be for her ears only.

"I'm your soulmate, and you are mine. We were born for each other, and our entire lives were set in motion so that we would meet here and now."

"Yes," she agreed.

It was the only thing that made any sense.

To any onlookers with the gift of spiritual sight, their two auras had become visible by that point, as their energies blended and merged with one another until their two bodies lying together appeared to share only a single aura that wrapped around the both of them, almost like they were within a protective force field.

Kagome gasped a little at the unexpected sensation of painless static electricity tingling all over and through her body, her eyes snapping open just in time to see the light show of their combined auras fading from view. Then before she could worry that she'd accidentally caused something to go wrong by opening her eyes she was suddenly bombarded with the heavy metallic scent of their blood, followed by all the other scents associated with lying on the side of the freeway, like asphalt, tire rubber, oil, exhaust fumes, the list went on and on.

"I think it worked," she said, instantly nauseous and trying not to gag.

It didn't take her long to realize she could now take deep breaths without debilitating pain racking her body from the pipe in her abdomen, but now the act of breathing made her want to throw up. It was all she could do to suppress her gag reflex at the horrid combination of smells. Even breathing through her mouth didn't alleviate all of it; she could taste the scents in the air.

"It'll take you time to get used to your stronger senses, but trust me, you'll get used to them," Inuyasha assured her sympathetically.

Then one of his ears turned. Finally, he could hear sirens approaching in the distance.

"They're on their way now, so we should probably still just stay like this and let them separate us," he said then. He had drastically increased her odds of survival, but he still wasn't taking any chances.

Especially since her death would now also mean his own, but he didn't care about that part. He'd known what he was getting into.

"They can probably just hold you down, and if you feel strong enough to hold on to the pipe at your stomach now, or they can, and then other workers can carefully lift me off of you, pulling me off the pipe at the same time, leaving it in you," he suggested.

He just hoped it hadn't actually gone all the way through Kagome's body, too. He didn't think it had.

She assured him it hadn't protruded through her back when he asked, because now that her tolerance for pain was much higher she could assess her body's situation with a more rational mind, and when the paramedics arrived on the scene he was able to tell them his plan of action. Under the circumstances, they agreed. If they'd both been human it would have been a different story, with them either trying to get a fine blade in between them or finagling transporting them both to the hospital still connected, but because he was hanyou he could survive just being pulled off of the pipe that they all made sure stayed inside Kagome for the time being.

Kagome didn't try to get up, then, not wanting to overestimate her newfound demonic strength even as Inuyasha was allowed to walk under his own power. She let them lift her carefully onto the stretcher to be placed inside the ambulance, and Inuyasha rode with her, allowing one of the techs to patch him up as well.

"Do you need me to call anyone for you?" Inuyasha asked her during the drive, having grabbed Kagome's purse out of her car for her before getting into the ambulance.

Grateful, Kagome asked him to call her mother so she could meet them at the hospital, as well as bring her a change of clothes since her dress was ruined and her luggage for the weekend was still in her car. After asking the paramedics which hospital they were going to, and asking Kagome what her family name was, he fished her phone out of her purse and made the call.

"Mrs. Higurashi?" he asked politely when a woman answered.

Kagome's mother took it exceptionally well when the stranger on the phone told her that her daughter had been in an accident but would be all right, and was being rushed to the hospital. When the man, who introduced himself as Inuyasha Takahashi, also said that there were other things they needed to discuss, but in person, his nervous tone of voice gave her pause, but drilling him again about the condition of her daughter, all Mrs. Higurashi cared about in that moment was his reassuring promise that Kagome would be all right. She could even hear Kagome's voice in the background, over the sound of the ambulance siren, shouting "Don't worry Mom, I'll be okay!"

Arriving at the hospital, the cat, or rather dog, was out of the bag before she was even given the chance to speak to her daughter.

"Thanks to her mate-bond..." the surgeon began, since Inuyasha had simply called Kagome his mate and had failed to mention the part about performing the bond right then and there in order to save her life.

"Wait, what? Mate-bond? Kagome's not even seeing anyone...that I know of..." Mrs. Higurashi said, her words trailing off.

"Uh...well, at any rate she's healing nicely. You can see her now," the doctor said, unsure of what else to say as he led the older woman to the room where her daughter was recovering from surgery.

Inuyasha definitely sounds like a youkai name, she thought vaguely as she followed, wondering just what was going on and if Kagome had a secret, mate that she hadn't told her family about. Kagome didn't honestly think that they wouldn't have approved, did she?

"I'll leave you three alone," the doctor said once he showed Mrs. Higurashi to the room where both Kagome and Inuyasha were waiting to face the music.

Despite all the hospital smells being almost even more overwhelming than the traffic smells, Kagome gave her mother a huge smile as soon as the doctor left, hoping to alleviate her worry right away. It also helped that they'd given her something for the nausea, so while the place stank of medicines and disinfectants she at least didn't feel like throwing up anymore. The younger miko immediately opened her mouth to launch into a rapid explanation of everything, but her mother raised her hand to silence her, and she closed her mouth again with an audible click.

"All I want to know, first and foremost, is what happened," Mrs. Higurashi said, gesturing to Kagome sitting upright in the hospital bed. She glanced Inuyasha's way, and offering him a polite smile, added, "We can discuss everything else later."

Smiling again, but also clearly a bit nervous, Kagome shook her head.

"Inuyasha is part of what happened," she explained then, reaching for and taking his hand when he held his out for her to grab.

They held hands tightly and locked eyes, and it was obvious to her mother in that moment that they loved each other very much.

Kagome turned back to face her mother again.

"He saved my life."

Mrs. Higurashi's eyes widened a bit at that, and then continued to widen even further when Kagome and Inuyasha took turns telling her the entire story. Yes, she had just become the virtually immortal soulmate of a complete stranger, but they seemed to have good chemistry at least, and more importantly, she probably wouldn't have survived otherwise. The doctors had confirmed that once they'd assessed the severity of her injuries.

She had been bleeding internally, and would have probably suffered cardiac arrest before getting to the hospital had it not been for the infusion of youki in her system that drastically increased the strength of her heart as well as her body's speed of blood reproduction. A youkai's body made new blood just about as fast as they lost it in cases of such injuries, and as soon as Inuyasha had completed the bonding her body had instantly begun repairing itself.

Mrs. Higurashi said nothing as they told her everything that'd happened. Then after they were done, and Inuyasha and Kagome waited with bated breath for her mother's reaction, Mrs. Higurashi remained silent but after a moment slowly approached the far side of the bed, where Inuyasha was standing. Wordlessly, she pulled the hanyou into a hug, and he could scent that the older woman was trying to hold back her tears. He returned her embrace.

"So what will you two do now?" she asked after stepping back out of the hug.

"Well, thanks to my newfound rapid healing, and the fact that they still stitched me up anyway, I'm actually already on the mend and will be discharged in a few hours, so I think we're going to try to salvage what we can of my mini vacation at Shikon Beach," Kagome admitted. "No swimming in the ocean, or other...strenuous activities while my insides are still healing," she added, blushing a little only because of her mother's knowing smile, "but a relaxing stay in a nice hotel room is just what the doctor ordered. Well sort of. Hey, he said 'bed rest' but didn't say it had to be my bed."

Chuckling, Inuyasha added, "Don't worry Mrs. Higurashi, I'll make sure Kagome doesn't over do it."

"Or you," Mrs. Higurashi insisted in a motherly way. Inuyasha was wearing a hospital gown too, after all.

"Keh, told 'em they didn't need to bother stitching me up, but it will help me heal even faster so when they insisted I let it go."

Kagome just smiled at him. The miko might not have known much of anything about her new mate yet, but she did already know she could fall head over heels in love with him. The more she saw of his personality, the more she liked him. He was also on top things for the both of them, showing both Kagome and her mother that he was responsible, as he called his best friends Sango and Miroku to help them out with their car situation, their vehicles having been towed along with all the cars damaged in the pileup. He also asked Miroku to let him borrow a shirt and pair of jeans since the clothes he'd been wearing were ruined.

The married couple arrived at the hospital a short while later, and after being brought up to speed the holy man teased Inuyasha good-naturedly about it taking a work of fate like this in order to get him mated. The hanyou never just went out trying to meet anybody, Miroku said, so the gods had had to practically throw her in his face. Kagome joined in on the joking only to say that she'd thought the gods had been throwing him in her face, and either way, she was grateful for their interference.

Sango and Miroku also quite sincerely welcomed Kagome into the proverbial family. Sango worked with Inuyasha as a fellow firefighter, so that was how they all knew each other. Miroku and Kagome had something in common both being reiki users, and she could already tell that she was really going to like the married couple, just the same as when she'd initially been drawn to Inuyasha. They just clicked.

Her mother's smiling nod told the young miko that the older Higurashi woman liked them too. These were good people.

In fact, Mrs. Higurashi even joined up with them in order to help her daughter and new son-in-law out regarding their vehicles. Sango and Miroku drove Mrs. Higurashi with them in their car to the impound lot, Inuyasha and Kagome's keys in their possession, and then Mrs. Higurashi used her roadside assistance – something she would have to discuss with her daughter at a later time – to get Kagome's car towed to a tire shop, riding along with the tow truck driver, while Miroku drove back to the hospital in Inuyasha's truck and Sango followed along behind him in their car.

Monk and firefighter stayed for a while longer, visiting, and it wasn't too much later that Kagome's mother joined them once again, smiling as she handed her daughter back her keys. Inuyasha told her he'd pay her back for the two new tires, since it had originally been his intention to buy them for Kagome, but she waved it off, joking that they could consider it an impromptu wedding present.

"Of course, you know your grandfather will insist on you two having a proper wedding," she told her daughter then, still smiling but also completely serious.

"Of course," Kagome agreed right away, smiling as she looked Inuyasha's way, the hanyou grinning and nodding back.

"I would be happy to perform the ceremony," Miroku chimed in with a playful glint in his eyes that made Kagome nervous before he was not-so-subtly elbowed in the ribs by his wife, which had Inuyasha chuckling under his breath.

"Keh, can't do that since you're going to be my best man," the hanyou added then.

Unfazed, Miroku replied with, "Oh good, that means I still get to make a speech," and Kagome laughed outright at the sudden look of horror on her mate's face.

Everyone cleared out after a while to let the new couple rest up and continue getting to know each other. Mrs. Higurashi said she would spare her daughter the difficulty of figuring out how to tell her grandfather and brother what'd happened because she'd tell them for her, but that it also meant she expected the two of them over for dinner on Monday night, allowing them their weekend at the beach first.

They readily agreed.

Kagome and Inuyasha spent the next couple of hours taking turns asking each other mundane questions.

"What's your favorite color?" he asked her at one point.

"Green," Kagome replied. "And yours is red, right?"

He nodded, before snorting a laugh. "Great, our house is going to look like it's decorated for Christmas all year round," he joked.

"That's okay, Christmas is my favorite holiday," Kagome joked in return.

"Heh, mine too."

Continuing to get to know one another, Inuyasha went into more details about his mother, and the human woman's untimely death. Kagome also revealed that her father had died in a car accident, as well, but when she'd just been a small child, her younger brother still a baby. She'd moved out into her own apartment at age eighteen, but Souta, who was eighteen now, still lived at home at the family shrine, the teen having the gift of reiki as well and planning on eventually taking over for their grandfather as shrine priest.

Inuyasha then told Kagome more about his older half-brother Sesshoumaru, although there wasn't really that much to tell, the younger daiyoukai a chip off the ol' block in every way except for their father's love of humans.

At one point during their wait to be discharged they also found out from one of the nurses that nobody else from that major accident had been seriously injured. Even the truck driver had walked away with just a few cuts needing stitches. They were definitely relieved to hear that.

Inuyasha also messaged his ebay seller again and explained an edited version of what'd happened. After requesting to see a few more pictures, since he couldn't go see the records in person at the moment, he went ahead and paid for them and told the seller he'd pick them up on Monday afternoon.

As soon as he and Kagome were discharged they had a hotel room at the beach waiting for them, and that was far more important to him than a few vintage records. He didn't even care that he didn't have any luggage with him. He could easily buy himself whatever toiletries he needed in the hotel gift shop, along with a couple more changes of clothes. Or maybe she'd let him lounge about naked. They were mates, after all, even if the actual act of mating would have to wait until she was fully healed.

He also knew he would need to tell his father and half-brother about her, but both daiyoukai were old school and refused 'human' conveniences like cellphones, even though they worked in the youkai part of the world now that cellphone companies had been allowed to expand out that way with new towers. Why wouldn't they when a lot of their valuable customers were younger youkai who'd want to be able to still use their phones while visiting family? Inuyasha had offered to get his father a phone on his own plan, just so that they could more easily stay in touch, but the ancient inu-youkai 'had no use for such things.' Which meant Inuyasha would have to hall his ass over to his father's palace in order to speak to him in person.

That could wait until Tuesday.

His old man would probably have a bone or two to pick with him regarding his rash decision making, but at the end of the day what was done was done, and could not be undone, so there would really be no point in criticizing him too much, or rejecting Kagome. She was family now whether his father and half-brother liked it or not.

Not that Inuyasha imagined his father would disapprove of him having a human mate in and of itself. How could he? Inuyasha then went on to tell Kagome about how his mother and father had also met purely by chance, while she'd been camping in the forest actually, although they'd then had a much slower courtship, which had never culminated in her becoming his father's bonded mate even though the inu-youkai had wanted it.

He also told Kagome that he still lived in the apartment he'd grown up in, but that there was really nothing keeping him there any longer, so he was more than happy to move in with her if she would prefer. Kagome in turn said that her apartment was pretty small, so she would be fine moving in with him, or, she suggested, they could get a new place together that would truly be their own. He liked that idea very much. Turned out their two places weren't even that far away from each other, either, so they could get a new place in the same neighborhood and neither of them would be much farther away from their work.

House hunting could wait, though. At least a few days. Because when the hospital gave them the all clear hanyou and miko had only one destination in mind.

They would be getting plenty of bed rest, of course. Doctor's orders. But regardless, they were still looking forward to spending the weekend together. Inuyasha missed having someone sleeping beside him, and it was quite fortunate that he loved holding someone in his sleep because, as Kagome revealed, she loved being held, and in her opinion she'd also been single for far too long.

It really was as if they had been born for one another. The more they learned about each other, the more obvious it became. Of course, it also helped that a mate-bond automatically drew people closer together on a spiritual level, but that didn't change the fact that all the minute little details of their lives seemed to already be compatible with one another.

It was still a little hard to wrap their heads around how both of their lives had been changed so drastically, in the blink of an eye, but they also both trusted that the gods knew what they were doing, because they certainly had no complaints. It was more that they feared they'd wake up to find it'd all been a dream. But as they headed for their beach-side hotel where they would be spending the next three nights, the miko having changed her reservation to two people, Inuyasha following behind Kagome in his truck,  they both couldn't help thinking that it was actually a dream come true.

~ Fin ~