Ignorance Isn't As Blissful As It Sounds @kawaii_chibi_phantom
Chapter 7

cristine44, thank you for adding this story to your alerts! windbreaking, ah, she wouldn't know how to react to that after all this now would she? InuKagLover 1992, yeah, she can't keep it from them forever and knowing her with the maturity she shows some times she wouldn't act so childish with her friends and the information that would hinder them in any way. She never wants to be a burden, always wanting to find a way to help because that is who she is no matter what the cost to her own happiness that sometimes happens. As for the last part of your review. I take it as a compliment. It means I am getting across the feelings well enough that you can feel them too. :) Thank you for your reviews!

Early the next morning Kagome awoke with a sick feeling in her stomach, the contents of her stomach turning against her with such force that she rushed to get outside so she could save herself the embarrassment of vomiting not only on herself, but on any of the other occupants in the hut. Shippo blinked at her as she knocked into him in her haste, but just figuring that she had to use the bathroom laid back down and went to sleep. No one else heard her leave, except for a pair of golden eyes that followed her from his position on the room of Kaede's hut, his normal spot for standing guard most nights. Sometimes he slept inside the hut, but he was glad that tonight wasn't one of those nights as he watched the stricken teenager rush into the forest. His ears twitched on top of his head at the sounds that soon followed as the young woman crashed to the ground just about six feet from the hut. Wincing as she emptied her stomach, a groan of agony following soon after.

He did want to go to her, but felt that this was probably not the best time to check up on the Miko after how she had reacted to his presence yesterday. No, it was best, at least this time, to let her be. Kagome looked around her, her eyes watering from the expulsion of her stomach contents, and finally spotted the small river that ran behind the hut. Stumbling over she bemoaned about how she had been so stupid to shovel all that food in her stomach so fast yesterday. Had she known the one rule of thumb when you hadn't eaten... That you take it slow and in small portions she would have not had to experience what she was this morning. Then again, no one knew that she hadn't eaten the last few days so if one of them even knew that she was sick because of that they would be upset, but at that moment she felt that a white lie on that one would be fine. It's not like no one in their time had never experienced such a thing as hunger. They had no idea that such a thing was common in her time, but it was and she could explain it like that...No, they wouldn't believe my family had no food or that we just forgot to get food. Maybe she could say it was because of how sick she felt, and Inuyasha, he would vouch for that since he had seen her act so horribly just yesterday. Shuddering she felt the shame well up again. She had reacted so poorly and owed the male an apology for her reaction, but if she did that then he would want to know why she had acted like that to begin with. Not that he's not going to ask anyway... After washing the taste of her mouth and cooling her face with the cold water she headed back, her body aching in the worse way. Before she could enter the hut Inuyasha jumped down behind her, and to her credit she didn't jump, but the scent she was giving off was that guilt again.

Why does she always smell like that? He wondered. Sure it wasn't as strong as yesterday, but he felt that she was trying to remain control of her feelings and Kagome just wasn't like that. When she was sad, she tried, but failed to keep it a secret and when she was mad, you knew she was. She was an expressive person and now she was just trying to hard to be a controlled person. He didn't like this new Kagome. He loved the way she was naturally...loving. Even if sometimes he brought out male attention that he didn't like, he wouldn't change her. "You okay?" he inquired, worry seeping into his tone. She nodded.

"I overdid it yesterday with all that food," she explained, the silence that followed her statement as too tense as she waited for him to ask about why that was, but it never happened. He just nodded and jumped back onto the roof without another word. While she was grateful for him leaving it alone she felt even more anxious, that it was just not over. That the other shoe would drop any moment now and she was nervous without the knowledge of when it would happen. It wasn't a matter of 'if' when it came to Inuyasha. He was a 'when' kind of person and that was something that could be good or bad. In this kind of instance it wasn't a good way. Choosing to forget it and try to go about her day she entered the hut again as the sun rose over the horizon, Kaede up and about making breakfast for the group. Moving to sit beside the older lady, helping get the morning meal ready she asked, "Um, Kaede, could we have one of our training times together some time this morning?" She hoped the older Miko would understand that she wanted privacy for something other than training and to her joy the older woman nodded.

"Sure, Kagome," she said before they continued their tasks for that morning as the rest of the group stirred to life. "We can do it after breakfast, if ye would like." The raven haired teenager nodded, trying not to be too excited since the conversation wouldn't be all that comfortable when it came time to purge her secret and the real reason for needing the early training. After all, the plan was to head out later this morning to find out if there had been any activity that could be linked to Naraku. They wanted to get this battle over quickly and with the spider demon in hiding they were left scratching their heads. No one in the group, especially Inuyasha, wanted to wait around like sitting ducks. They needed to go on the offensive.

An hour later, after everyone had eaten and everything was returned to where it belonged the two Miko headed off behind the hut, leaving the others to do whatever they wanted that day. Miroku had gone with Sango back to her village to clean up her boomerang and to fix her mask while Inuyasha was probably watching them from somewhere or maybe he was staying close where he could hear, but Shippo was out with the children in the village. At least she had three, well, four counting Kirara, less people to watch for while she talked with the other Miko. Still, she wanted to make sure that Inuyasha wasn't able to hear what was going to be said so she asked that they travel a bit further than usual and Kaede nodded in understanding, not an argument from her since she did feel that whatever was going to be said was more than likely very personal and not something trivial with the way the other female had been acting since yesterday. Kaede could feel the emotions that flickered in the younger Miko's aura being a Miko herself. Whispering 'sit' under her breath she waited for a crash and again was surprised when no sound came. Inuyasha was being weird, but who was she to speak when she herself was acting weird too.

"So, what did ye want to converse with me about, child?" Kaede asked, getting straight to the point. Looking down Kagome forgot what she had rehearsed to say to her, feeling so bad for keeping it from all my other friends was bad enough, but Kaede was like a grandmother to her and Kagome was still scared that she might not like what she had to say. "I feel that it is weighing you down, in your soul and your body." Gulping she tried to form words past the lump in her throat, feeling as if her mouth had gone dry even though she had just eaten and drank her fill this morning. Well, not too much after the way her stomach had reacted just an hour before.

"I have to know if there is any proof that a Miko would...lose her powers, ya know, if she..." she faded off, hoping that she wouldn't have to say it again. Hell, this was just as bad if not worse than telling her own mother. Was that not a kick in the stomach when someone you had known your whole life didn't scare you as much as someone whom you had only known for mere years. It was insane. "Has anyone ever...you know..." Again she waited for the older woman to understand what she didn't really want to voice.

"Ah, ye mean had marital relations?" Blushing at the phrase, she had to admit it sounded less vulgar, but it made her feel just as guilty because she had done that. Had relations outside a marriage. "No, not that I am aware of," she said, looking thoughtful for a moment, "but then again there is no telling if a Miko would admit that now is there." Oh, that made her feel worse, the feeling that she was doing something taboo by just admitting she had done such a thing. "It is not something to be proud of, but there is nothing shameful." The Miko felt like the older woman was holding something back, but she didn't want to voice her belief so she took another breath.

"So, even if a Miko were to do such a thing there is no proof that she would lose her powers?" she asked again, wanting to be sure that there was a chance.

"Kagome, child, if you have had such relations there is no shame in telling me," she stated, without using such words of promise she knew that the older woman was telling her that she would keep her secret. That she somehow knew that Kagome was admitting to something that she was still finding shameful. And so the rest of the story came out, about that night that was only a week old. "Ah, so ye made a mistake, child, everyone makes such mistakes at some point in their life. Each are different. I made mine when I didn't push Kikyo about Onigumo and look where that got us, but then again if I had then you would not be here and that would be a sad thing to miss. Ye are a wonderful girl and truly this world needs more of ye." Kagome blushed harder at the words, the guilt of what she had done fading a little with her words. Even the shame was dissipating like a fog does when the sun finally rises high. She felt relief at the older woman's words because even with what her mother had said, Kagome knew that this time was different in their beliefs. Women didn't just go about having sex with random people. "In this time, ye would not be shunned for merely sleeping with a male. Ye would still have a chance to make a good match and hold a respectable status in a village or city." She just knew what to say to sooth her worries. "Ye should tell your friends though, child. It is not something that should be done in haste, but with thoughtfulness for both parties involved. "

She made a point, after all she considered her friends on this side of the well like family. Sango was like an older sister to her, the pair of them always talking about the men in their life and all the problems that only another woman could understand and while it still overwhelmed her with the shame that she felt she knew that Sango wouldn't have held out on her had this same thing happened. She would have leaned on Kagome for support and Miroku, he would have done the same thing, well, not about having sex with some random female. But he would have allowed her to lean on him even if he himself didn't understand it. He was that older brother type that would have probably hunted down the guy and ripped him a new one and then there was Inuyasha. He would kill the guy just for looking twice at her, hell, he had done that that night too. Clinging to her and giving the death glare to any male that had even glanced in her direction. He had acted like a...Like a possessive boyfriend? No, like a father that couldn't allow any male to have access to her. That was a melancholy thought if there ever was one. He didn't treat her like a love interest, no, that was all for her predecessor. And even if she should feel angry at him for that she knew that it wasn't fair for her to blame him or Kikyo for the fact that they had met first. She hadn't met the Hanyou first so she had no real claim on him, but for some reason her heart said otherwise. "Okay. I will tell them, but I'm not ready to do that all at once either." She would tell Sango when they were alone at one of the hot springs. Shit! That thought brought back the fact that even though all the other marks had faded, well, for the most part she still had that blasted bite on her body. The one that took up residence on the spot that marked the meeting of her shoulder to her neck. It throbbed even now.

Kaede would not be able to give her an answer to this and while Sango would know more she feared that it wasn't something to take lightly since it hadn't faded one bit in the last week while the others did. Then again, what would Sango say about what she told her about the fact that she didn't know who had done this? Only one way to tell and that would wait. Turning her attention back to the older Miko she asked for the training she needed to hide her scent, and even though she hadn't added why she wanted to work on that particular skill she knew somehow that after their talk that Kaede knew. Things were beginning to look up.

Or so she thought as she again found herself feeling dizzy and slightly nauseated. The heat of the day was not agreeing with the turtle neck she was sporting this day. It had been another week of searching and while she wasn't wearing the extreme measure of clothing she had just last week, she was still trying to cover her neck and that had meant sacrificing a few of her turtlenecks by cutting off the sleeves to make it more endurable with the warm weather. Inuyasha was carrying her as he always did when they wanted to move about freely, while the rest of their group rode on Kirara above them. They skimmed the trees, his feet barely making a sound as they headed off to find out if this new demon had anything to do with Naraku. It had been so many weeks before this that had been filled with the hunt for the missing spider demon and the Hanyou carrying her was getting rather irritated, snapping at everyone when another lead led to a dead end. He was tired of playing with this fucker and wanted to be moving on with his life! That gave him pause as his body flew under Kirara, he didn't know what he was going to do with himself after Naraku was dead. He wanted to be with Kagome, to see if maybe she would stay with him in a more romantic sense, but he didn't want to do that until he was sure there was no threat to her or their future pups.

Then again, Kikyo might be right and Kagome would never allow herself to be tied down to him, much less birth his pups. He glanced out of the corner of his eye, his thoughts forgotten at the face of his passenger. She was pale and sweaty, her body was tensing, as if she were trying to hold something in and in his gut he suddenly knew he needed to stop. What is wrong with mate? Shaking his head as his inner demon spouting nonsense he jumped down as carefully as he could, forgetting the others that were suddenly thrown when their other companions suddenly headed back to the ground. Kagome was not his mate, though he did want that with her. Forever with her was a dream that he wished for with all his heart, but knowing she didn't feel that way made him rethink this, not that he still didn't yearn to be with her like that, but it would take some time to convince her of that. If he could convince her. She stumbled off his back, his hands coming out to steady her and while she allowed him to help her she still rushed off alone to throw up. That was unusual, but it had only happened twice in the week since she had come back. It had to be the heat, but none of them could get her to discard the bulky tops she wore now. If she was so hot that she was getting sick then she needed to put on cooler material. Why did she feel the need to cover her neck? That was a curious thing and while he was giving her space to get over whatever had made her reek of all those scents unnatural to her own scent. That was another thing he had noticed more and more...her scent. It was almost muted to his nose. Was she doing something or was it from the way she was acting? She seemed so down before and while she had regained some normality to her attitude in the last few days, like allowing him to carry her, she still held such a haunted look.

She tried to hide it when someone looked directly at her, but they all had seen it. Sango and Miroku had come to talk to him about that, their concerns and ideas as to what was wrong with the young woman. He had told her what Kagome's mother had said, that teenage girls were moodier than their child phase. Sango agreed that while it was true Kagome was from another time and perhaps they were different than the girls in their time. After all they were usually married by such a young age that maturity was forced upon them and thus that left them little room to become so moody as a teenager. They were ingrained with the knowledge of what they would be doing, that they would be a mother and wife. That they would have to be mature to hold that role. She told them she would talk to the Miko when they found a hot spring. Right now she was behind Kagome, holding back the raven locks that threatened to become disgusting if not held from her face. Then she would definitely need a bath then because his nose was too sensitive to be around that smell for long.

Kagome was leaning over, thankful that she could have assistance with her hair since holding it up sometimes wasn't possible to do when your stomach lurched so suddenly. "Kagome, maybe it's too hot to wear that top," she said, concern scrunching her brow. "Wouldn't you like to change into another top?" Kagome shook her head, refusing to even consider exposing her neck to anyone just yet. No, she needed to talk to Sango about it first.

"I just need a minute," she managed as another wave of sickness shook her body. Maybe she need to do what they were suggesting or maybe she needed to find a thinner turtleneck top? And where would I find that right now? Nowhere! Too far from home to make that trip and even then we have to find out if this new demon can led us to Naraku! No, there was nothing she could do right now. "Is there a hot spring near here?" she asked, her friends looking at her like she was crazy.

"I think you need to take a cool bath, Kagome," Sango stated, the others nodding at her suggestion. The raven haired girl shook her head.

"It would shock my body," she stated, realizing that she was admitting that she didn't really need to wear the top she was in and that in fact she could be causing more harm than good, but before she could say anything Inuyasha disappeared from sight, his nose twitching slightly as he sniffed out his target leaving the others behind with curious looks in his direction. He wasn't gone for long, returning in no less than fifteen minutes.

"There's a hot spring over there," he said while pointing off to where he had come from. "You two can go." Shippo sputtered at his words, not liking that the male before him was uninviting him to bath with the women like he always did, but the look that came from said Hanyou shut his mouth. He wasn't pissed off at the kitsune, but his eyes told the small fox that the two women needed to talk, something that he had heard the three adults talking about while Kagome lay asleep. Even though he hated it he knew that it was probably best to let it be and frowning told Kagome when she asked that, no, he wasn't going with them this time. She had been a little shocked at the sudden change in their routine, but she let it go. Sometimes boys didn't want to be too clean and he was a demon after all. They might take baths, but it didn't mean they took them as often as she liked to. As they disappeared Inuyasha shot a look of thanks to the kitsune and soon the three males were setting up camp close to where the women were, Inuyasha going off to hunt while Miroku and Shippo held down the fort.

Sango and Kagome walked slowly toward the awaiting spring, both eager to get clean after a long week without. Kagome was thinking about what she wanted to say to the other woman when she revealed the mark on her neck while Sango was wondering what she was going to say to find out what was wrong with the female she considered a sister. Both were so lost in their thoughts that neither had spotted the shadow that lurked in the woods that surrounded the small clearing. No words were said as they both turned to disrobe, keeping their eyes peeled for either of the males or anyone that might be watching them. The shadow had merged in with the darkness of the trees by this point. Kagome covered her neck before climbing in with Sango, ensuring that the other woman would not see the mark until she was ready. Sinking low into the waters she opened her mouth just as Sango did, both stopping before a giggle erupted from the pair. "Um, you go a head," Kagome said and although Sango shook her head and offered that the Miko began Kagome didn't want to just burst out with her information, even though she was bursting to tell her friend. "No, you go ahead."

"Okay, soooo...spill," Sango said instead of asking her questions. She felt that Kagome was going to answer her questions without her even having to ask them. Looking down for a moment Kagome took a deep breath, and in doing so made the other woman more nervous about whatever she was obviously psyching herself up for. Could it be that bad?

"Um, so, remember the night I got...you know...drunk on sake?" Her friend nodded. "Well, I um...I had s-sex," she whispered, looking around them again, as if she wasn't sure they were completely alone. Sango was just frozen, her mouth hanging open as she digested what her friend had just said. When the Miko looked back at her she began to fidget. "And, um, I don't know who it was." Now Sango still hadn't reacted and even with the new information she couldn't even form words in her mind. Her brain was smoking from just that little bit of information before it struck her that this information didn't make sense and she wondered if the woman before her was playing a prank on her or she didn't really know that she had sex.

Now, she wouldn't do that! This is Kagome we're talking about and as for not knowing...well, that is impossible. And then what Inuyasha had said made a little bit of sense. The doctor hadn't been for an illness she had but an examination like what a midwife might perform. "Okay, um, Kagome how could you still use your powers if that was the case?" Kagome smiled at that question. The same one that had plagued her, made her feel worthless...well more worthless than having done the deed with someone she didn't know from Adam.

"Well, according to Kaede," she said, sounding more herself than she had in a week. "There was never any proof that Miko powers disappeared since no Miko had either done it or admitted to...you know, doing that." Hmmm...this was useful information that needed to be available to other Mikos and it did make sense if you thought of it. How were monks able to have sex and not their female counterparts? As Kagome opened up about what had happened, apologizing for how she had acted Sango just listened, assuring the female before her that it was understandable and that it was normal to feel that way when what had happened wasn't you were planning to do and the fact that she had no memory of the night made it extra hard to not feel a little bad about the whole thing.

"Are you going to tell the others?" Sango asked. Kagome nodded, though she reiterated what she had with Kaede. She wasn't going to rush into it and had only told Sango first because she felt a little more comfortable revealing what she still felt shame for. "You know that Inuyasha's not going to be mad at you, right?" Kagome looked up at her in surprise. Nothing about Miroku or even Shippo, no, Sango had dove right past them to the real root of her shame and guilt. How he would feel finding out that she had had sex with another male.

"I don't know," she said, admitting that she felt he protected her like a father would causing Sango to hold back a laugh at the thought that Inuyasha looked at Kagome like a daughter. No, he had been scent marking her for as long as she had known them and that wasn't what a demon did to his child! But she didn't dare tell Kagome that, not just yet. "And then I have another problem, well, more like a question that I think you might have an answer to." When she sat up a little, the water falling down her body so that the slayer could see her neck she expected the other woman to give her an answer, but the fact that no words came out and her friend only became more pale while keeping her eyes glued to the mark on her neck made her nervous. The shadow that had been watching them also looked shocked, but then that same expression morphed into pure glee.

Ah, Inuyasha would indeed be mad about this...

Another chapter for all my readers, reviewers, and followers. Who is watching the women in the water and what would they have to gain from Inuyasha finding about this mysterious mark on Kagome? At least we know that Kagome can still use her powers. :) Stay safe!

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