Past Featured StorySummary: Fanfiction gifts created for members of our Deviant Art group, Eternally Destined.
Categories: Fairy Tales, Fables Characters: InuYasha, Kagome
Genres: Alternate Universe, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fluff, Hentai, Romance, Slice of Life, WAFF
Warnings: Explicit Sex, Language
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 18 Completed: No Word count: 46901 Read: 22285 Published: December 24, 2011 Updated: December 27, 2011
FOR LAURENA1234: Winter Wishes by ED Staff
“Inuyasha has gone again,” Miroku sighed, not needing to point out where- or who- the half-demon went to as the group kept warm in Kaede's hut.

Sango frowned and leaned over to the monk. “He said he was bringing Kagome back,” she murmured low enough only for his ears.

“He must have gotten sidetracked,” Miroku muttered as his dark blue eyes glanced out where lost souls were steadily rising, causing a glow in the trees. Snow from the last few nights covered the whole area in white, but it wasn't so hard to catch the languid movements of the soul collectors keeping the souls close.

“Are you okay, Kagome?” Shippo asked as Kagome set her pack down and slipped off her black boots to sit near the fire.

Kagome smiled. “Yeah... It's kind of a shame, though. I wanted to tell him along with you guys that I'm going to celebrate Christmas with my family.”

“Chris...mas?” her friends questioned, looking at the girl from the future curiously.

Kagome grinned, her smile truly happy. Inuyasha's absence was pushed far to the back of her mind as she explained the holiday starting with St. Nick, elves, flying reindeer, stockings, mistletoe, decorated evergreen trees, and ending with gifts. Tugging her bag over, she said, “I got a present for all of you,” opening her bag to reveal the presents covered in different colored wrapping paper.

Shippo's emerald eyes brightened and he all but dove into her yellow backpack and snatched two of the smaller packages. He sniffed and shook it, hearing something jangle inside.

The priestess from the future shook her head. “You can open them tomorrow from now, Shippo. On Christmas.” She smiled when the kit pouted. “There's also names on them, so make sure to grab the right one.”

“Kagome” Sango waited until the girl looked at her before saying, “Maybe you should take Inuyasha with you to your time.”

Her brows went up in surprise and confusion. “Why would I? He looks like he rather stay here.” Saying that, her eyes drifted to the door frame, eying the glow of the snow just beyond. She was aware of the deceased souls hovering by the Sacred Tree- even went out of her way to avoid seeing the clearing. It was obvious Kikyou was around and that Inuyasha was with her but Kagome wanted to be ignorant. Nothing was going to ruin this special holiday for her.

The demon slayer frowned thoughtfully. “Well, lately he's been... acting strangely...”

Kagome gave Sango her full attention. “What do you mean?”

“He's been mopier than usual,” Shippo piped up. He hugged the lumpy present addressed to him as if it was an attachment to his body.

Miroku nodded. “It looks like he's depressed about something. You would probably be the best to talk to him about it.”

She frowned, “I guess I could see what's wrong...” After his little meeting with Kikyou, she thought as she stood up. Excusing herself, she stepped outside. The snow crunched underneath her boots as she walked in the direction of the well, the frost slapping color into her cheeks and the tip of her nose. The tips of her fingers felt numb with the cold but she absolutely adored it as winter hit the Feudal Era.

Whistling to the tune 'Winter Wonderland' she looked up as she entered Inuyasha's Forest. The bare branches spread like webs, entangling each other as the last leaves clung hopelessly to life. The birds had long since flown south for the winter, leaving her in silence. She wasn't even aware that she neared the Sacred Tree until a Soul Collector floated by her.

Kagome stared at it until it was gone from her sight, then turned to look at the Sacred Tree. She could just barely hear Kikyou's voice as she bid Inuyasha a farewell, at least for now as she faded away like a ghost. Inuyasha had stared at her even after she was gone, longing and mourning in his gaze.

Kagome watched solemnly at the scene before her. How many times has she said that she knew Kikyou and Inuyasha were meant to be together? It obviously didn't make any difference to the pain deep in her heart. She felt tears prick the back of her eyes and blurred her vision. Kagome quickly blinked them away, willing herself to step back. Why am I still here? It's obvious that if I left, Inuyasha would just easily replace me with Kikyou. It'd probably make him more happier, she noted dryly, grimacing at her own thoughts. Before Inuyasha could catch her staring, she turned towards the well, thinking that alone time would be what he needed- or wanted.

So caught up in her own thoughts, she didn't notice the wind change so that her scent blew directly in Inuyasha's direction.

She tried reasoning with herself that Miroku and the others may need her medical supplies from her time and Inuyasha would want to keep Kikyou away from the lines of battle as well as he could. Of course, she knew the real reason why she couldn't leave, even if she didn't want to see the hard truth. Inuyasha still had her heart. Even though Kikyou owned his.

Maybe she could have distanced herself from Inuyasha and try to have a more friendly relationship with him. But it seemed that every time Inuyasha would speak privately to her, it was way too easy to imagine that he had feelings for her as well. It was those moments of being together that made her stay there. They certainly outnumbered Kikyou's visits.

Kagome couldn't help but feel a bit of guilt for the undead priestess. While the school girl was able to travel with the half-demon any time she wished, Kikyou had her own lonely travels in order to keep track of Naraku's whereabouts and to keep herself off his radar.

A breeze blew through, tossing her raven hair and biting revealed flesh, making her shiver down to her bones. But was it the cold air? Or was it her thoughts on being kicked out of the Feudal Era by Inuyasha himself?

Kagome had to go to her time. That was the only place she could go without answering too many questions. She definitely couldn't ask what was wrong with Inuyasha after seeing Kikyou. Even if she did, Miroku, Sango, and Shippo would see her sullen mood and question her on that. Besides, she didn't want Inuyasha to be uncomfortable around her, which seemed to happen every time after he met up with Kikyou. It was easier just to leave for a while.

The well was in sight and she breathed a sigh, watching her breath leave in a fog. She just barely set one foot in the clearing before she heard Inuyasha's voice.

“Going back to your time, Kagome?”

Kagome turned around, taking in his crossed arms and sharp, but sad, gaze as if he had been waiting there for a while. She managed a smile at him, “Yeah... just for a couple days. I need time to spend with my family.”

Instead of the argument she was expecting from him, he just nodded. He walked beside her as she started for the well.

Kagome glanced up at him. His expression seemed unreadable as he stared straight ahead. She sighed silently, watching the first snow flake fall. “I could walk ten feet by myself, you know,” she said with no real heat in her tone.

He snorted, “With your luck? You might be attacked by a demon before you can get to the well. Or slip and break your head on something.”

She decided she didn't like his tone. It was too dull now, like he didn't want to be talking in the first place. She wouldn't blame him though, she felt uncomfortable talking to him after speaking to Kikyou too. When they came up just inches away from the well, peering inside to stare at the bones of Mistress Centipede, she shook herself mentally and turned toward him. He turned to her as well, as if expecting it. One minute passed. Then two. It took a moment to gather herself until she blurted, “Is something wrong?”

Inuyasha raised both dark brows as he stared at her. Obviously, this wasn't what he expected. “No...” he answered suspiciously.

Stuffing her hands in her coat pockets, she murmured a soft 'oh' and slid her gaze to his chest, unable to look at his face. She knew she'd see traces of sorrow and guilt on his face from meeting Kikyou. Holiday spirit. Happy, happy, happy, she thought to herself. The weight of her yellow backpack reminded her that she was still holding Inuyasha's gift. It kind of felt wrong for her to give it to him after seeing him with the priestess, like a scorned girlfriend. Her lips pressed together tightly at that. She wasn't even his girlfriend! She was being totally unreasonable!

“When will you be back?” Inuyasha's soft question drew her out of her resentful thoughts as he gazed at her with a gentleness that made her heart melt. He of all people knew that Kikyou was a poisonous thorn in Kagome's side.

It was merely a given she would be distant from him to hide her pain. “A few days,” she murmured as she peeked up at him through her lashes.

Inuyasha frowned slightly at her then shook his head. “Keh. Do whatever you want.” Crossing his arms tight across his chest, he looked away from her and the well. The walls were back up as quick as they came down and Kagome had to wonder.

“Inuyasha...” she said softly, her breath fogging in front of her. He glanced at her with a look of contempt, exhaling a sigh through his nose. “Can you come with me to my time?”

His brows rose, hiding underneath his silver bangs. He clearly didn't expect that out of her after she caught him with Kikyou. “You... want me to?”

Kagome nodded firmly, then smiled. “I want to give you something for Christmas.”

“What's 'Chris-mas'?” he asked in confusion as she knelt on the lip of the well. Kagome's smile only gotten wider as she dropped down and let the magic guide her through time. She knew he followed, out of curiosity if for nothing else, and waited as he emerged beside her on the other side to help her out faster. “Well?”

She searched through her coat pockets and pulled out a tiny, wrapped gift- the smallest of all the presents- and placed it into his upturned palm. “Don't rip the paper off until tomorrow,” she told him with a wag of her finger as he stared at it, sniffing subtly.

“What is it?” he asked as he shook it, hearing dull jingles inside.

“It's a present for Christmas, a holiday we celebrate tomorrow in my time,” she told him simply. It would be too much of a hassle to go into explaining Christmas to an ever-questioning dog. Instead, she led him outside, where it snowed heavily and covered the whole shrine in white.

Unlike the Feudal era's beauty she had admired, the snow in her time only served to remind her of the time when Kikyou had 'convinced' her that she didn't belong in their world after she had hurt Inuyasha to the point of unconsciousness. She had been so worried over Inuyasha, yet she didn't want to risk going back to him and prove Kikyou's point that she will end up hurting him again. Only Inuyasha's assurances were able to kick her back into her senses to go back to him.

“What are you waiting for, Wench?” Inuyasha's gruff voice startled her as he walked pass her towards the house decorated with Christmas lights. “It's only getting colder.”

Kagome merely blinked at his back. The determination to forget Kikyou and heartache reared it's head once again and she followed suit. Just ahead, she spotted Souta patting a plain snowman he had made and waved.

“Kagome! You're back already?” Souta questioned as his eyes slid from his sister to Inuyasha and brightened. “Hey, Inuyasha!”

“Of course, I'm back,” Kagome said in annoyance. “Why wouldn't I come back for the holidays?”

“I can name a few,” Inuyasha grumbled as he stuffed his arms in his sleeves. He caught Kagome's glare directed at him and sniffed but said nothing else.

“Mom and I already decorated the tree,” Souta informed as he picked up a handful of snow, much to Kagome's disappointment. “But we left the star for you.”

Kagome smiled and nodded. “Good enough.” Souta raised his gaze to his sister, glancing back down at the ball in his hand then at Inuyasha meaningfully. She beamed and gave a curt nod. “Go!” she commanded with glee and she and Souta ran in opposite direction, leaving Inuyasha clueless. Hiding behind the Sacred Tree, Kagome smirked to herself as she caught Inuyasha slowly looking around at the snow covered grounds. Eying Souta across from her, she motioned to the half-demon before balling up snow in her hands.

“Attack!” she yelled and threw her projectile, watching it fly just over his head. Souta's, however, smacked him dab in the chest when he turned towards her.

He brushed off the snow with a scowl before shooting her a daring glare. Combined with his widening smirk as he squatted down to gather snow, she squeaked hid behind the tree. She could hear Souta's grunt as he was knocked flat on his ass with a giant snowball and carefully glanced from her position- only to find Inuyasha gone and another snowball falling directly on top of her head. Shaking it away with a shiver, she looked up at the smug half-demon.

“Gonna have to do a better job than that, Wench.” Inuyasha smirked before dropping down next to her into a crouch, his expression all predator. “I'll show you a bit of mercy and give you five seconds to run. Five...”

Kagome squeaked and ran for her brother. She would totally use him as a human shield if Inuyasha was planning to hit her as hard as he had hit Souta. Poor Souta was still in a daze on the floor when she swept him up and dove for cover behind a heap of snow.

No sooner had she ducked did a snowball explode against her makeshift barrier.

“Attack!” Souta shouted as soon as he became aware of his surroundings. He and Kagome quickly made a pile of snowballs as Inuyasha stalked closer to them as gracefully as a predator with a single ball of snow. Souta set to throwing while Kagome kept their pile high.

Inuyasha dove to the right on Kagome's side and swung his arm as if he was throwing a curve-ball. And curve it did, smacking her shoulder with a lingering sting.

“He breached our area. Run!” Souta yelped and hopped over the wall with Kagome following shortly behind.

They played for well over an hour. The score came up to Inuyasha having hit them ten out of ten times. Kagome was sure that if she pulled her shirt up, she would see welts all over her body with the force Inuyasha threw. Souta was using her as a human shield more often than she was.

The game ended when Inuyasha's projectile slapped her retreating ass with the force of Sango's hand whipping across Miroku's face. “Inuyasha!” she shrieked as she whirled on him. The half-demon paled, dropping his next weapon. “Sit boy!”

He dropped like a stone and Kagome eyed him with disdain. He angled up his head to glare at her. “It was an accident, Wench!”

“It still hurt!” she crossed her arms, feeling her face heat uncomfortably in the cold.

Inuyasha glowered, grumbling under his breath as he stood and shook the snow from his clothes.

Souta sniffed as he came up to their side. “Let's get inside. Mom promised hot chocolate.”

Inuyasha sighed when Kagome stormed away before smirking at the snow that still stuck to the back of her pants. He quickly caught up to her, easily falling in stride. “Oi, it really was an accident,” he affirmed.

The girl hugged herself against the cold as Inuyasha opened the door to her house. She would take his low tone as an apology, since the half-demon rarely said 'sorry'. “...Forget about it.”

“Mistletoe!” Souta shouted in joy as his sister and Inuyasha walked through the doorframe.

“What?” Inuyasha questioned as he looked back at the beaming boy to Kagome's stunned stare. He followed her gaze up to the single branch of mistletoe tied with a red ribbon.

“Mom! You did this on purpose!” Kagome snapped as she looked inside the house just as her mother walked by with a smile.

“Nonsense, Kagome. You know I always hang the mistletoe there,” the older woman chided gently as she polished a metal, yellow star in her hands. “You don't want to break tradition, do you?”

“Pucker up,” Souta made loud, unneeded kissing noises at them.

Inuyasha continued to glance between the branch and the Higurashi family, utterly confused. “What's so special about mistletoe?”

Kagome flushed furiously and glowered at her little brother, then at him. Quickly leaning up on her toes, Kagome pressed her lips against his tense ones. Inuyasha's eyes widened and his reflexive hands gripped her waist when she stumbled against him. One second passed, then two, all the while Inuyasha's heart hammered in his chest as he wondered what to do with his surrogate family watching. It was all too soon when she pulled away and stormed pass him with a muttered apology.

Souta laughed, “Did you see her face? She was totally red!”

Inuyasha stammered a incoherent response before quickly following after the girl. “Kagome!” He caught up to her just outside her bedroom, gripping her arm in his hand. “What was that all about?” he asked, blushing when he still felt the tingle of her mouth on his.

The schoolgirl carefully avoided his gaze. “It's a tradition to kiss underneath the mistletoe,” she murmured in answer. Looking up at him, he could still see the pretty pink painted on her cheeks, “Sorry. I-I should have told- asked you first.”

She was flustered, embarrassed, and humiliated. For what, he didn't know. All he did know that he wanted her to kiss him again. He glanced at her lips, then back to her dark eyes. “It's a tradition,” he repeated, his tone low and rough. “Is there any more mistletoes around that I should know about?”

Kagome dropped her gaze. “Nope. Not that I know of. So don't worry about accidents like that happening again.” She gave a small, wavering smile, trying to assure him. “Unless Souta decides to be a brat and moves it around.”

She doesn't want to kiss me, he realized with a defeated sigh. A few seconds passed before she looked up at him and he realized he still had a firm grip on her upper arm. Reluctantly, his hand slid down her sleeve only to catch hers in his. He had so many things to tell her, but was now even the time? When she regretted kissing him?

Her gaze softened and she gave his hand a squeeze. There was just too many obstacles in between them.

“Kagome! Come back down here and place the star on the tree!” Souta shouted from the base of stairs.

“Coming!” she replied back and brushed pass him, marking the end of their conversation.

It was getting late when Kagome got up from her desk, her study books put away, and gathered two pillows and her comforter from her bed.

“What are you doing?” Inuyasha asked as he stared at the snow falling steadily outside.

“It's a tradition I made myself, when I was younger,” Kagome replied in a hushed tone as she opened her bedroom door. “Follow me.”

Downstairs, while everyone was asleep, Kagome dropped both pillows just in front of the colorful Christmas tree. The dim lights decorating it changed color from red to green to blue to yellow then back to red, giving them enough light.

Inuyasha sat cross legged beside her and stared up at the decorated tree. Ornaments of every shape and color reflected the lights around the room, highlighting the golden star at the top. He glanced at Kagome, who stared at the tree with a far-away look in her eyes. A look he immediately didn't like. “What's this tradition of yours?” he asked quietly, not wanting to wake up her family.

Kagome blinked out of her thoughts and smiled at him. “When I was little, I always camped out next to the tree and waited for Santa Claus to come deliver presents.”

He cocked a dark brow. “Who's Santa?”

She didn't say anything for a moment. “A mythical being that lives at the North Pole- at the top of the world- and flies around the world once a year in a sleigh with magical reindeer to deliver presents to kids all over for Christmas.”

Inuyasha frowned. “People trust him and let him into their house?”

Kagome nodded. “He's not real. It's just something children like to believe in until they're older.” She spread out the blanket to cover her cold, bare feet. “Now I just like to sleep by the tree on Christmas for old time's sake.” Laying down on her belly, she patted the other pillow in invitation.

The half-demon felt heat rise to his cheeks and stayed still for a long moment. Finally, he laid down on his stomach- not before tugging the pillow a couple inches away from hers.

Kagome silently sighed as she gazed up at the star on top of the Christmas tree, where it glittered and reflected the lights slowly changing. “It looks nice, doesn't it?”

Inuyasha hummed a single note in response. “Still don't see what's the big deal 'bout it,” he mumbled as he pulled out the gift Kagome gave to him. “Can I open this now?”

She rolled her eyes and checked the clock on the wall. It was already pass midnight but she was hardly ready for sleep. Maybe it was because Inuyasha was right next to her this time to celebrate the holiday with her. Smiling, she bumped his shoulder with hers, making him look at her questioningly. “You can open your present now. It's technically Christmas.”

His claws immediately poked through the wrapping paper but, surprisingly, he took his time in uncovering it and opening the small white box. When the gift sparkled in the light, he sent her a confused look.

Kagome bit her bottom lip, slightly nervous that he wouldn't like it. “It's a friendship bracelet,” she explained quietly. “I have one just like it.” She pulled her right sleeve up to show hers. It had five silver charms around it, a heart, a tear, a key, a fang, and a dog-shaped charm with little purple shards in between each one. On his were five gold charms that included a wishing well, a clock, a lock, a flame, and another heart. The biggest one on hers was the half of a gold heart with the word 'Best' on it. On his silver piece: 'Friends'. Heat rose to her cheeks and she glanced away. “Some of the charms reminded me of the Feudal era and I wanted yours to remind you of my time.”

Inuyasha curiously looked at every charm, running his thumb over the small, opaque white shards between them before switching over to look at hers. “Like that locket? Before that mess with Kaguya?”

Kagome grinned when he remembered. “Yes,” her smile dropped. “But you lost that, didn't... you...?” she drifted off when he pulled out an all-too-familiar locket from around his neck. Her eyes widened as it glimmered just as new as when she bought it.

He saw her surprise and scoffed. "It's not like I lose things the second I get 'em.” He opened the locket to reveal the same pictures of their angry faces and smirked, “And, yeah, this is a pretty good reminder of you.”

Her lips curved up as she touched the open locket gingerly. “I thought you didn't want it,” she slid her gaze to his face.

He sniffed. “Well you wouldn't take it back. Should I have thrown it away instead?”

“No...” Kagome watched as he opened her palm and dropped both the locket and the bracelet in her hand before gently closing her fingers around them. A sharp pain poked her heart as she looked down at her hand with the gifts twinkling between her fingers. “You really don't want them?”

“No,” he answered, adding to the pain in her chest. “They're gonna end up damaged if they stay on me for long,” she felt him shrug and looked up at him. He gazed at her with a serious intensity that made her stop breathing for a second. “Besides, I don't need anything to remind me of you. You're not leaving me,” he said simply.

She looked away once again, blinking against her tears. “What if the well closes?” she whispered, voicing one of her biggest fears. If her link to the past closed her off, there would be no chance they could ever meet again. Even if Inuyasha lived to be over five-hundred years old, she doubted he would still find interest in her.

From the corner of her eye, she caught Inuyasha's hands balling into tight fists. “It won't,” he growled before falling silent. She heard him suck in a slow, deep breath. “Even if it did... it'd be your choice if you want to stay with me.”

Kagome glanced at him to find him glaring at the carpet with his chin rested on his crossed arms. He's assuming I would be on his side of the well if it seals.... she realized.

Inuyasha glanced at her and their eyes met. “I... want you to be with me... but your family...”

Kagome frowned. “You have Kikyou. My whole life is here-” she stopped herself. I don't want that to be true.

His gaze softened at Kikyou's name. “Kikyou... I met her today, earlier,” he said, not taking his gaze off her. “She's not my Kikyou anymore. Our relationship died when she sealed me... when she... died herself. Maybe when I go to hell with her, we could actually be together again...”

Kagome felt more tears prick her eyes but she didn't look away, just as he didn't as he searched her gaze. She definitely didn't want him to go to hell. Maybe he belonged in Kikyou's arms, but he didn't belong in the afterlife just yet.

“But,” he continued grimly, “The more I am with you and the others, the more I feel like I don't want to leave. I... I broke my vow to Kikyou today. I swore that when Naraku's dead, I will follow her without a second thought. Now, I want to avenge her death and move on... with you.”

She finally closed her eyes against his stare and nodded. She felt so thankful and glad that she moved to hug him fiercely. He swiftly rolled on his side just when her hands closed on his haori, tugging her closer to him and gently placing his lips on hers.
Kagome's eyes snapped open and quickly fell close as his hand splayed against her back. Her tears finally fell in two drops of happiness as she responded to his kiss eagerly. When he pulled away, she hid her blushing, tear-stained face in his haori. “I love you, Inuyasha,” she whispered against him.

“Keh. I know that, Wench,” Inuyasha softly replied, causing her to give him a withering look. “Do you really think I didn't notice the countless signs?”

Kagome blushed once again, her hands closing into tighter fists. “Do you love me?” she asked, watching him for any hesitance.

“ 'Course, I do,” he rolled on his back, making half of her body rest against him and sighed. “We can't exactly make this known. Naraku's always targeting my weakest points. He'd use love against me, just like he did with Kikyou.”

Kagome silently nodded. As long as she was with the knowledge that Inuyasha wanted to stay with her, she was fine with hiding it for a while.

She felt his arm tighten around her. “We're going to have to make trips here more often. Can that count as my Christmas present to you?”

She laughed. “I like the sound of that.”

Inuyasha sighed, this time with content as he closed his eyes. “G' night, Kagome.”

Kagome closed her eyes as well, softly inhaling the scent of him and the decorated tree above them. She had his heart, just as he always had hers. “Thank you, Inuyasha.”
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