Chapter 1: Always Together

Kagura Kaze stood behind the counter with her one hand folded under her chin and the other drumming the marble top. Her crimson eyes fixated on the clock hanged just above the sliding door. She counted anxiously for her freedom. Eight more minutes; she sighed eight minutes feels like forever.

The store was empty except for a woman in her early fifties and a teenage boy browsing through the racks. She raised her brow at the young man, he doesn't look like the feminine type, yet he's browsing through a rack of frilly pink skirts. Plus, it's one in the afternoon on a Tuesday. High school doesn't let out until 2:30. She knows this because her younger sister Kanna goes to High school. She smirked at him, he probably ditched school, but out of all places, why is he here? Kagura shook her head growing wary of the young man. She shifted her attention back to the clock. Seven more minutes before her shift is over.

"Hey, Kagura!" the cheerful voice brought life to the bland store instantaneously. This made Kagura smile, that voice denoted her freedom coming quickly as anticipated. Seven minutes turned into none.

"Oh hey Kagome!" her voice heavy but her eyes glint a pleasant gleam. "You're early,"

"Yeah, I didn't have to catch the bus today. My mom dropped me off," she smiled cheerfully.

"I see." Kagura responded taking off her name tag and handing Kagome the store key. "Well she's all yours,"

"Anything exciting today?" Kagome smiled at her co-worker, attempting a small talk.

"Nothing much. It was kind of a slow day, but keep an eye on that kid will ya? I find it weird that he's here." Kagura glanced behind her to the teenage boy.

Kagome blinked. "Oh. Well alright, but I'm sure he won't be any trouble,"

Kagura shrugged. "I'm just saying, why would he shop so eagerly here?"

"Maybe for his girlfriend?" Kagome's face lit up.

Kagura glanced back carefully at the teenager. He was scrawny with an awful taste in clothing. On his back was a faded grey bag and attached to it was his skateboard. She watched as he looked both sides and checked for a price tag on a pink silvery skirt. He sighed and put the item back where he got it "Doubt it. Well I'm off!" she shrugged not really caring if he was shopping for his girlfriend or what not.

Kagome paused. "Oh and Kagura?"

Kagura turned around with bag already on her left hand.

"Your boyfriend is waiting for you outside, next time you should tell him to come in; I don't see why he can't hang out in the store while he waits for you,"

Kagura blinked and then blushed after realizing who her mysterious boyfriend was.

"He's not my boyfriend…" she murmured.

Kagome's eyes went wide like saucers. "Oh! I'm so sorry! I figured he was your boyfriend, he's always waiting for you after work."

Kagura shook her head. "Just a close friend of mines; take care now,"

"You too," she awkwardly waved, silently cursing herself because of her careless assumption. She could tell Kagura hated her job and only kept it because of the other benefits the job had to offer. In the beginning, Kagura kept to herself, got things done then went straight home with her now "close friend" Kagome always assumed he was Kagura's boyfriend. He seemed like the type of guy she would go for, and they had a lot of similarities just by looking at him, they both always have the same bored look on their faces and plus, he must be one hell of a "close friend" to be waiting for her everyday to finish work. Despite Kagome dying to know what Kagura's real relationship with the mysterious man waiting for her to finish work; she would just have to wait until she sees Kagura again. She always thought they looked cute together as a couple and it would be a real shame if they really were just "close friends"

Kagura stomped off the store, half sulking, half blushing. Sesshomaru always insisted that he wait for her after work. He didn't have much of a life outside school either, he didn't have a job being that he came from a cushioned life that he didn't need one. She's his only friend but that's only because ever since she could remember she was the only one who could tolerate his prince-like attitude. They often study after her shifts, Kagura never liked school and yet she's on top of her class. She couldn't have done it without Sesshomaru's strict study sessions so she's thankful for him.

She stopped her tracks as she approached the man in her thoughts. There he was leaning against the wall while staring blankly on the floor. His long silver hair brushed to perfection, his hands were stuffed in his pocket, a bored expression on his face. She stepped back a little studying his features. She's got to admit, Sesshomaru is one handsome fellow. She wonders why he is single, but quickly reminded of his diva like antics. She laughed quietly to herself but his eyes bore to hers.

He raised his eyebrow. "What are you laughing at?"

She covered her mouth with her hand and slowly walked to him. "It's nothing,"

His face remained passive as he watched her cling unto his left arm. "You seem unnaturally happy," he commented.

Kagura rolled her eyes. He made it sound like she was a grump. "What's the supposed to mean?"

He shrugged. "You're not usually in the best mood after work,"

"And of course you know this because you're always waiting for me. I'm a big girl you know, I can handle myself!" she bumped her hips to his, teasing his protectiveness.

He glanced away but his face remained passive. "If I didn't wait for you, you'd procrastinate."

Kagura sighed. "Is that really all? You need to find yourself a girlfriend."

Sesshomaru blinked at her blunt comment. "That's none of your business,"

"Pssh, oh please." Kagura stuck her tongue out, enjoying pushing his buttons. "Why don't you have one?"

"Like I said, that's none of your business," he reached for her bag to carry it. "Let's go,"

"Oh come on, surely you have an eye on someone." She looked up to him slightly putting on weight to his arm that's still entwined with hers.

"My place or yours?" he slings her backpack to his shoulder while he fished for his keys.

"Why are you changing the subject?" she pouted letting his arm go. "Unless…"

Sesshomaru raised his brow at her. It was interesting to see Kagura in a good mood after work. "Unless you're gay!"

Sesshomaru rolled his eyes. "Kagura,"

"That's it isn't it!"

"I am not gay,"

"I mean, you're smart, handsome, rich… but single?" Kagura counted with her fingers.

"Why are you so interested in my love life so suddenly?" he opened the car's door for her then hands Kagura her backpack. He shut the door not really interested with her answer, but she waited until he rounded up to his side before answering.

"Someone from work thought you were my boyfriend," she said abruptly as soon as he sat down on the driver's seat of the car. He dropped his keys and looked at her with a curious face.

"What did you say?"

" I said no of course!" Kagura looked at him with a wide eye. Surprised he'd even ask what he'd say. "She's seen you couple of times waiting for me to finish, and so assumed that we were a couple,"

Sesshomaru started the engine, kind of unsure where the conversation is leading to or what revelations it would expose.

"But I suppose we do look like a couple sometimes; I mean…we're always together." She began counting with her fingers. "You always wait for me outside after work, we have sleep over's, you make sure I do my homework, you've seen me naked…"

Sesshomaru swerved to his left but quickly regained his control on the wheel. " I did not see you naked."

"Two weeks ago, you walked in on me while I was changing,"

"I didn't see anything," his eyes focused on the road.

She could tell he was getting uncomfortable. She bursts into laughter. "Well anyway, what do you need to study tonight?"

He was relieved she's finally changed the subject. He glanced at her, amused at how animated she was at the moment. "Nothing,"

"Then why did you?"

"Because I know you haven't."

"Like I said I'm a big girl, I'm pretty sure I can handle a simple biology lab report,"

"I've nothing else to do," he let her have it this time. "I figured you needed a ride home,"

"I suppose it's very convenient," she smiled.

The rest of the ride home was quiet. They decided to stay at Sesshomaru's apartment to study and order food. Tomorrow was a long day for Kagura and a short one for Sesshomaru. She is facing three midterms tomorrow and she could not thank Sesshomaru enough (in her mind only, of course) that he didn't let her procrastinate. Though exhaustion is beating her, she memorized her study guide in inhuman vigor; breathing in, then processing the information one at a time while Sesshomaru sat across from her reading a book recreationally, he only has one class tomorrow and it's not till the afternoon, so he didn't mind staying up with Kagura.

"Bed time for crazy people don't you think?" Kagura yawned.

Sesshomaru glanced at the clock; it read 1:30 am. He closed his book then removed his reading glasses. "I'll drop you off,"

"Nah that's ok. I'll sleep on the sofa; going home now is too much work, and I am much too tired,"

He rolled his eyes at her laziness, but that's just her. "I'll sleep on the couch; you can sleep on the bed,"

"If only you showed this side of you more, you'd probably have girls lining up for you!" she grinned, once again teasing him.

He ignored her teasing and pointed towards the room. "Sleep. You need it,"

"What, you don't think I studied enough?"

"Knowing you, you won't wake up in time for your first exam," his face was dead pan.

"Actually, your bed is big enough. We can share if you like," she offered, feeling bad that she's taking his bed. They've had sleepovers before but always at her place, and she has an extra room for him to sleep.

He shrugged and marched to the small adjacent bathroom to get ready for bed. She stared at the back of his head as Kagome's words rang in her head. She laughed to herself, they do seem like a couple in strangers eyes, but it's amazing how close she and Sesshomaru are. He turned around and caught her staring.

"You are not sleeping on my bed with your work clothes. I've some extra pajamas and extra toothbrush in that drawer." He said before shutting the door behind him.

She smiled. He really is a diva.

Kagura climbed next to Sesshomaru as soon as she finished cleaning up. He was already on the bed but was sitting reading a book. She lay with her eyes open hoping for a good night sleep. "Thanks for letting me sleep here," she murmured before fading away to sleep.

He placed his book down and watched Kagura fade to sleep. He knew she didn't want to go home not just because she was tired. He knew it was because home reminded her too much of what she's gone through the past few months.

She lost her siblings because she was deemed as an unfit guardian, not because she neglected them but because she couldn't support them financially. After all she only works minimum wage on hours she can find with being a full time Biology student at the university. She lost her mother at a young age, and her father was estranged after becoming an alcoholic because of her mother's death. Kagura and her siblings were placed in different foster homes until Kagura turned eighteen and she decided to begin a life with her siblings, she tried but times were hard and finally she had to give them up. It was a lot to handle, Sesshomaru thought but he didn't mind helping her, she's strong and he admires that.

"Always together, huh?" he said as he listened for her even breaths as he himself fade to sleep.


A/N: Please review :)