yeaaaahhh, so...i ended up just buying the standalone Microsoft word because i’m a finicky bitch with preferences and MS word has spoiled me lmao.
i tweaked the prompt for this one; originally it was darkest fears, but i thought fuck it and made it biggest fears because honestly who the hell cares anymore i want this fucking thinG DONE.
Spooktober Day 29: Biggest Fears
“Mama! Are you watching?!”
“I’m watching, honey,” Kagome called back to her son from her place on the park bench, lifting her head to put truth to her words and watch as he disappeared inside the brightly colored tube slide then reappear at the bottom, grinning and giddy.
Smiling as her youngest laughed and zipped toward the ladder to slide down the, well, slide, once again, Kagome waved to show she was watching and then shifted her gaze to search for her daughter. Izayoi hadn’t moved from her location on the swings, surrounded by Rin and her friends as they chatted and ignored all the little kids and grownups around them. Unsurprisingly Raiden and Kohaku along with a few other boys she didn’t immediately recognize weren’t far away, roughhousing with each other like boys do and generally just having a good time being kids. It was heartwarming and Kagome was glad her daughter had such good friends.
Checking on Tai to find him at the bottom of the slide playing with some other children his age, Kagome felt her phone buzz in her hand and dropped her gaze to read the newest text, secure in the fact that her children were safe.
what r u wearing?
Kagome snorted loudly and quickly typed her reply.
new phone who dis
oh shit don’t tell my wife
She laughed aloud that time and couldn’t stop the stupid grin from spreading as she responded.
That you’re a no good cheating mutt?
u spelled charming and sexy wrong
Your wife is a saint.
yeah i kno, dunno why she puts up with me
You make pretty babies.
is that all?
Kagome bit her lip to stifle the urge to giggle madly. Well okay you might have one or two uses…
oh yeah? care to enlighten this no good mutt?
Liiiiiiike…killing all the spiders :)
not really what i was thinking tbh
She snickered, an impish grin curling her lips upward. Oh no? well what other uses do you have other than jar opener and resident Tall Person among the Short People
think real hard baby 👅🐈
Shoulders shaking in silent laughter, Kagome swiftly typed up her response and she could practically hear his exaggerated groan.
Why are you licking the cat? Do I need to call animal services or
Hitting send, she sat back with a rather smug grin on her lips and waited. Only a minute or so passed before her phone buzzed and this time she burst out laughing at his predictable reply.
fucks sake woman ur damn lucky u ain’t here right now
Cackling gleefully, Kagome typed, OOOOOHHH okay I think I got it now...
A minute passed. Then, i swear to god wench
Kagome felt positively devilish as she sent her response, the contents of which being three emojis.
Her husband’s reply was instantaneous and there was no mistaking the proud grin that spread across her features as she read it.
😂 god i fucking love u
I know 😘
“Hm?” Turning her head with a smile, Kagome opened her mouth to greet whoever it was that said her name. Her gaze landed on a slim figure standing a little uncertainly next to the bench, and when caramel brown collided with twin pools of familiar cinnamon, Kagome gasped.
Relief flitted across the woman’s face and she offered a friendly, if a bit awkward smile. “So it is you. It’s...been a while.”
Kagome was too dumbstruck to do anything but stare and nod, eyes wide and mouth slightly parted in shock.
Kikyou’s smile faded somewhat and she shifted on her feet, looking a bit uncomfortable. She glanced at the playground, glanced at Kagome, and then hesitantly asked, “May I...?”
She gestured to the bench Kagome was seated on and finally snapping out of her shock, the other woman shook her head and gave a strained smile as she wordlessly scooted over to make room.
While she said a quiet thank you and settled beside her, Kagome thought to herself that her formal rival hadn’t changed a bit. Still drop dead gorgeous with the same sleek black hair, model-perfect body, slender legs, and a flawless complexion Kagome had always been jealous of. She looked older, of course, but she had aged extremely well and didn’t look a day over twenty.
Sitting back with a sigh and crossing one leg over the other, Kikyou rested her hands in her lap and offered another smile. It was small but genuine with perhaps a bit of uncertainty, and her brown eyes held a wealth of burgeoning hope that had Kagome suddenly remember her and Inuyasha’s conversation on their deck the night she’d come knocking on their door.
Having absolutely no idea what to say, Kagome managed to return the smile before looking away, cursing herself for the awkwardness that settled between them. No doubt Kikyou could feel it too because she didn’t say anything, allowing the silence between them to grow until Kagome felt like you could cut the tension with a knife.
God, what did you even say to your husband’s former high school flame that had tried to sabotage your relationship before up and vanishing to another freaking country?
Kikyou sighed and looked toward the playground, hating this tension between them, but unsure of how to clear it. A flash of silver caught her attention and automatically her eyes sought it out, lighting on a child with sterling silver hair and very familiar dog ears that strongly hinted at who his father was.
Her eyes lit up and she smiled. “Is that your boy?” she asked softly, nodding toward the toddler as he chased after a cute little girl with brown pigtails.
Blinking, Kagome followed her gaze her and face softened, instantly finding him among the laughing, playing children.
“Yes,” she answered, her smile warm as she watched her son play. “That’s Tai. Five years old and a complete handful, but I wouldn’t have him any other way.”
Kikyou sighed and it was a little wistful, but her tone held neither contempt nor jealousy as she commented, “He looks just like him.”
It was obvious who she was talking about and Kagome’s smile broadened slightly.
“He definitely has his looks,” she agreed, “but thankfully that’s all he inherited. All of his attitude, on the other hand, went straight to his first born.”
Kikyou grinned. “Is she here?”
Kagome nodded toward the swings where her daughter and her friends had claimed for themselves. The girls were swinging now with the boys pushing them and their peals of laughter were pleasant as the sound drifted over to them.
“Oooh,” Kikyou murmured, brown eyes glinting knowingly. “His looks and his temper? Tell me, how many broken hearts has she left in her wake?”
Kagome laughed. “More like broken noses.” At Kikyou’s look, akin to confused alarm, she smiled wryly and explained, “Remember Kouga? Well, unsurprisingly his son is a lot like his father and he’s been chasing Izayoi for a while now. Not too long ago his posturing went a little too far and, well…” She shrugged. “Let’s just say my girl is more than capable of taking care of herself.”
Amused, Kikyou’s eyebrows rose into the fridge of her bangs as a little smile flirted with her lips.
“She is her father’s daughter,” she commented, perhaps a little somberly.
Kagome’s smile dimmed a little and she nodded, her gaze drifting to the girl in question.
“Yes,” she breathed, and the two fell into another awkward silence as they watched the children play. Tai was on the jungle gym now and showing off his hanyou skills to the awe-struck human tykes. They were both 100% their father’s children, and Kagome wouldn’t want them any other way.
“Kagome,” Kikyou suddenly said on a sigh and said woman turned her attention to the figure beside her. “May I be frank with you?”
Having a good idea where this was headed, Kagome sucked in a sharp breath and nodded wordlessly.
Kikyou flashed her a quick smile of thanks before shifting on the bench so she was more or less facing her. Kagome did the same, figuring the least she could do as give the other woman her full attention, however she still made it a point to keep an ear and eye out on her children.
“I won’t insult you by beating around the bush,” Kikyou began, doing the other woman the courtesy of looking directly into her eyes. “And I’m not expecting everything to just be okay after this, but for what it’s worth, Kagome…I am truly sorry. For how I acted, for what happened, for what I put the three of us through…for everything.”
Kagome swallowed thickly and said nothing, sensing her companion wasn’t finished.
“I realize now that my behavior was immature and inexcusable,” Kikyou continued, confirming Kagome’s suspicion. She smiled bitterly and dropped her gaze to her lap.
“For years I’ve harbored the guilt of how things ended between us and I suppose it’s not very fair that I ask for your forgiveness, and Inuyasha’s, for what I did. But, here I am.”
She shrugged and Kagome’s heart went out to her. All this time, for over ten years… She couldn’t imagine what it must have been like to bear the heaviness of guilt for so long.
“Kikyou…” Kagome began but the woman shook her head. Kagome forced herself to remain quiet, fisting her hands in her lap.
“I was scared,” she admitted, much to Kagome’s surprise. “As a teenager, my world was rather simple and it consisted of three things: shopping, my friends, and…the boy I liked.” Kikyou lifted her gaze and found Kagome’s again.
“So, when Inuyasha started showing interest in another girl—in you—I was terrified and I did things that I am not proud of. And I realize the irony only now, years later when I am an adult with a mortgage and a husband, of how much of a fool I truly was.”
“You can’t pin the entire blame on yourself, Kikyou,” Kagome said, her voice rough, unable to stay quiet any longer. “We were all young and did things we regret. We all made…not very smart decisions, and we let our emotions get the best of us.” She paused. Then, “I was scared too, you know.”
Closing her eyes and releasing a shaky sigh, Kagome bit down on her lip as she gathered her thoughts, a slight frown creasing her brow. Kikyou patiently waited, holding her breath, her cinnamon eyes holding a smidgen of hope that not all was lost.
“When things started getting really complicated,” Kagome began, “My biggest fear at the time was that Inuyasha would get tired of it all—the drama, the fighting, the misunderstandings—and just…decide it wasn’t worth his time anymore. I was scared he’d not only write me off, but forget me entirely and move on with his life without me and I remember how I cried myself to sleep sometimes, thinking about it all.”
Kikyou swallowed thickly and rasped, “You must have hated me.”
Kagome was silent for a beat and then admitted in a whisper, “I did.”
Kikyou closed her eye and nodded. She wasn’t surprised. Because she hated herself, too, for what she did.
“But,” the mother of two continued and Kikyou’s eyes fluttered open, the breath caught in her throat. “I also envied you, Kikyou.”
At the woman’s completely baffled look, Kagome had to smile before elaborating, “You can’t tell me you didn’t notice how completely torn Inuyasha was. He didn’t want to hurt either of us by picking one over the other so it was obvious to me he still cared for you. And I asked myself, why? Why would he still care for someone who’s put us through so much torment and gave us nothing but grief? I was jealous. I didn’t want him to care for you; I wanted all of his attention for myself, for him to pick me, and forget you, and I absolutely hated the fact that you had something with him that I didn’t.”
Kikyou frowned as she tried to determine just what that could be and Kagome’s expression softened. She used to think that her former rival in love was vindictive and knew exactly what she was doing the entire time. Now she realized that she had just been a desperate and brokenhearted girl, fighting to keep her first love’s affection for herself.
Perhaps she and her husband’s old high school flame had been more alike that she’d originally thought.
Kikyou was still looking lost so Kagome finally explained, “Thinking back on it now it’s petty, and I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but I envied you, Kikyou, because you knew him longer than I did. You had memories with him that I didn’t. You got to see every side of him before I did, got to know him before me, and it drove me crazy knowing that you were his first kiss, and I wasn’t.”
The freelance writer digested that in silence, her eyes a little wide in wonder. She’d never realized that was how Kagome had felt. But then again, she’d never taken the time to really understand, had she? No, her only goal had been to get Inuyasha back by any means, uncaring who she hurt in the process, and that was one of her biggest regrets.
Sighing, Kagome finally smiled, and though it was small, it was genuine as she locked gazes with her formal rival and decided it was time to extent the olive branch. They were both adults now, with husbands and a career; it was time to put the past behind them and make a fresh start.
“Thank you for apologizing, Kikyou,” Kagome said sincerely, glad they’d had this conversation. “And I’ll gladly accept it, but only if you accept mine, too.”
Kikyou blinked in surprise and Kagome shrugged. “I wasn’t exactly a saint either. I said some pretty hurtful things to you, Kikyou, things I didn’t mean, and I definitely wasn’t my best self. I could have ignored you and not add fuel to the fire by taking your bait, but I didn’t, and I’m sure it didn’t help matters. In fact I made them worse, and then graduation came around, nothing was resolved, and then suddenly you left and Inuyasha was devastated because he didn’t get to say goodbye.”
Unbidden tears sprang to Kikyou’s eyes and she blinked rapidly, fluttering a hand over her mouth. She definitely had not been expecting that.
Kagome gave a wavering smile and reached out to take Kikyou’s hand in her own. Stunned, the other woman let her, staring down at their hands in a combination of wonder and confusion.
“See, Kikyou,” she murmured, throat feeling tight with emotion. “I’ve been dealing with guilt too, because if I hadn’t been so selfish in wanting all of his attention for myself, maybe he would have had the chance to talk to you before you left and things wouldn’t have gone unresolved for so long.
“But you’re here now,” she continued, eyes bright with unshed tears and her smile broadening. “And you were brave enough to approach me first asking for forgiveness, and I’m giving it to you now. Will you forgive me too, Kikyou? For being a selfish brat and denying you two the closure you so desperately needed?”
Kikyou gave a choked laugh and wiped her eyes with her free hand, a smile curving the corners of her lips upward.
“Look at us,” she rasped. “Two grown women blubbering on a public park bench about events that happened in high school.”
Kagome giggled and reached up to dab at her own eyes with the sleeve of her jacket. “Inuyasha always did tease us that we were too emotional,” she said and they shared a laugh, both of them no doubt thinking about how he’d be freaking out right now if he saw them.
Relieved and so utterly grateful, Kikyou got herself together in short order and beamed at Kagome, taking her hand and holding it between both of hers. She squeezed, drawing Kagome’s attention.
“Of course I forgive you, Kagome,” she said and laughed lightly at Kagome’s relieved sigh. “We were young and dumb—”
“And full of c—”
“Ohmigawd, don’t say it!” Kikyou squeaked and Kagome snickered, eyes flashing with glee as she covered her grinning mouth with a hand. Kikyou relented and dissolved into giggles as well and the two of them sat there laughing quietly, feeling comfortable, all previous awkwardness completely vanished.
“And full of the cafeteria’s awful Mystery Meat,” Kikyou finished with a grin and elicited an indelicate snort from an equally grinning Kagome. “And maybe it was that dreadful concoction of questionable food the school fed us or something else entirely that made us act the way we did—”
“Teenage hormones?” Kagome put in.
“I was thinking PMS,” Kikyou opined and once more the two giggled quietly together before the writer continued, “But now it’s in the past, we’ve realized the mistakes we’ve made, so now I’d love to say let us let bygones be bygones and finally put the whole thing behind us.”
Relieved, Kagome smiled and gently tugged her hand from Kikyou’s before extending it.
“A clean slate,” she announced and felt something loosen in her chest when the other woman without hesitation clasped her hand. “And a fresh start. I like the sound of that.”
Feeling like she was going to break down and cry all over again, Kikyou gave a trembling smile, squeezed Kagome’s hand, and breathed, “Me, too.”
Half an hour later, after making plans for the four of them – Kikyou, Kagome, and their respective husbands – to meet up for lunch this weekend, the two women bid each other a fond farewell and went their separate ways. Kagome collected her children and started the fifteen-minute walk home, trailing behind them on the sidewalk and watching with a small smile as her daughter and niece swung Tai back and forth between them. Raiden, Kohaku and their friends left to head home as well, and Kagome had pretended not to notice Raiden tug Izayoi aside to whisper something in her ear before kissing her cheek and leaving the half-demon in a blissful state of euphoria.
As Tai’s laughter rang out in the crisp October air, Kagome smiled and pulled out her phone, bringing up her messaging app with a few taps of a finger.
Only thirty seconds or so passed before he responded; he never kept her waiting and it was one of the many things Kagome loved about him.
what’s up baby
Feeling warm all over as her heart burst with affection for her husband, Kagome quickly typed her response, a mere three words.
I love you.
She didn’t wait for his response; closing the app, Kagome brought up the keypad and dialed a familiar number before bringing the phone to her ear. When her mother didn’t answer, however, she wrinkled her nose and tried another number.
“Hey, Sango,” she said when her friend picked up. “Listen, would you mind watching the kids for an hour or two? I want—” She paused as her friend interrupted and her eyebrows slowly lifted into her bangs as an amused smile lifted the corners of her lips.
“Oh…he did? And Miroku agreed? I see. Yes, don’t worry, everything’s fine. It’s just…well…I had an interesting chat with someone and I just…I dunno, I want to spend a little time alone with him, is all.
“Not right now,” she said apologetically as her house came into view. “I promise to call you tomorrow though, and tell you everything, okay? Trust me, you’re gonna need a glass of wine for this conversation. Or two.”
Kagome laughed at Sango’s begrudging agreement to wait and with a promise to see her tomorrow, the school teacher hung up and pocketed her phone, increasing her pace to lay a hand on her children’s shoulders and quietly tell them to head to Sango and Miroku’s house. She assured them everything was okay at their questions and she just wanted to talk to their father alone for a bit. Izayoi still looked unconvinced, however she nodded and waited for Tai to hug his mother before taking his hand and leading him across the street to their aunt and uncle’s house. Rin waved and jogged down the street to her own house, and Kagome watched for only a minute before turning and going home to her husband.
The house was quiet when she entered through the side door and she was shrugging out of her coat when two arms suddenly snaked around her waist and a mouth dropped to her neck. Kagome smiled and leaned back against him, reaching up to slide her hand into his hair and find a soft ear, rubbing the flesh gently. She was rewarded by a low growl reverberating against her back and a sharp nip to the ear that had her gasping as her heart beat a rapid tattoo in her chest.
Turning around, Kagome lifted her chin in time to receive her husband’s hungry kiss and she wrapped her arms around his neck as he effortlessly swept her up into his arms. She gasped, he growled, and with a shared, intimate smile, Inuyasha carried his wife upstairs to their bedroom, murmuring against her lips how much he loved her and how goddamn lucky he was to have her.
Kagome’s response to that was a trembling smile, a loving kiss to his lips, and a whispered plea to show her how much he loved her as she tugged the door shut firmly behind them.
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