Time Went On by gem1216
Summary: When he woke that morning he never once thought he’d be sitting at a table with the headmen. Nor did he think that she’d be sitting there with him. No, when InuYasha woke that morning he never had an inclining to today being as amazing and horrifying as it has become…

**Rated for my dirty mind**

Categories: Fairy Tales Characters: InuYasha, Kagome
Genres: Angst, Post-Manga, Romance
Warnings: Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 9 Completed: No Word count: 19810 Read: 7641 Published: February 05, 2013 Updated: August 21, 2013
Story Notes:
I only own my imagination nothing more.

1. Chapter 1 by gem1216

2. Chapter 2 by gem1216

3. Chapter 3 by gem1216

4. Chapter 4 by gem1216

5. Chapter 5 by gem1216

6. Chapter 6 by gem1216

7. Chapter 7 by gem1216

8. Chapter 8 by gem1216

9. Chapter 9 by gem1216

Chapter 1 by gem1216
When InuYasha returned from the well alone to retell his and Kagome’s tale, all were shocked, saddened and relieved. They would miss their miko but to know she was in her land and safe was good enough. When Miroku, Sango, and InuYasha were summoned to the headmen later that evening, they didn’t know what to expect. He rightfully could have banned them from the village due to their negligence of letting the fight be brought to his doorstep. However, they had been welcomed as the heroes they were. Offered whatever they needed in ways of rest, shelter, and permanent homes. True it would take some time since the village itself was in need of repairs, but non the less they were welcomed and would be honored for generations to come.

A feast seemed fitting for the trio. The greatest honor for these heroes that the village forever in their dept could give. But it was Miroku who first spoke to this stating that although he and Songo knew they would take up the offer on residency in this village, he felt he could speak for all of them in saying that without Kagome present they would not feel right in celebrating. “If the day comes that our dear Kagome-san comes back to these lands, then sir we shall humbly accept your offer.” His other two companions merely nodded their acceptance of such a statement.

The headman was disappointed, but he knew what the miko had meant to the group. He knew what she meant to the village, and himself. So begrudgingly he agreed as well. She had risked her own well being so long ago and dove into the icy waters and retrieved his only grandson after saving the young boy from the clutches of that crow. And for that the headmen would be forever in her debt personally. Turning and looking directly at InuYasha he asked, “And you InuYasha-sama, will you also be taking up permanent residency? Our bordering forest is already your name sake so I feel it is only fitting if you would. We’d welcome the addition.”

InuYasha till this point had only half heartedly been listening. He had left the speaking to Miroku and Sango, only filling in where he needed to. When talking of feasts and such arose he merely nodded to Miroku’s comment. He didn’t feel much like celebrating. They had spent the better part of a year traveling, fighting, and finally winning. But what had he really won? He avenged a dear friend’s death. Rid the world of an evil monster, and was able to save the one he loved. But he still felt empty. Without Kagome around nothing really mattered did it? She made the sun come up, and gave him the strength he needed. And now, he was drained and in darkness.

Stumbling out of his own musings he raised his head to meet the headmen’s eyes. Fully ready to decline his offer and move on like he thought he knew they truly wanted, when he was suddenly surprised. Looking at the elderly man he saw no fake smile, no half truth. All he saw was a man who was genially asking him to stay and who was hopeful he would say yes.

Acceptance and a place to call his own. Wasn’t that all InuYasha had ever craved? Desired so badly he had almost made a terrible mistake of his life, not once, but twice? Another gift from Kagome. If it hadn’t been for her these people would have never accepted him as he was. They hadn’t over 50 years ago, why start now? She showed them he wasn’t the monster society thought him to be. That he thought he was only capable of being. As much as he wanted to decline the offer he couldn’t. If he did it would be like taking all Kagome had given him and saying it was worthless, when Kami knew that everything about her and from her was and always will be the most cherished things he had in his life. “I will.” That was all he could bring himself to say at this time. It hurt to talk because of the raw emotion he wanted to free and was pushing back.

And that was it. Time went on and lives with it. In the weeks following the village was reconstructed. A home for Miroku and Sango was erected. Villagers would keep vigil at the well and offer up prayers for Kagome. But time kept moving and there were fields to plant. Laundry to do. Lives to lead. Except for one, InuYasha. He never strayed far from the well. When he and Miroku would go to neighboring villages to help with issues, the well was his first stop upon reaching home.

Home. Such a foreign word and feeling. There was a saying from Kagome’s time that he took to heart. ‘Home is where the heart is’ How true that was for him. He had refused help in the building of his house. He felt he had to do it. He had to make it just right. Just in case he ever got to show it to her, he could tell her that it was for her. He didn’t need a roof over his head most times. But she would. And if she ever came back, if he was ever able to see her again, he’d make sure she was safe and protected. That was his duty in life. She was his reason for being and so, he’d show her.

It was huge compared to the homes of his era. It took him just over a year to build. Several rooms, separate sitting and cooking areas. He made something that belonged in the modern era. In the exact spot her modern home was. For her, his time was well worth it. But then when it was finished, when he made everything he could for it, got everything he needed for it, he had nothing left to do. What was the point in taking payment anymore when his home, her home, by some grace their home, had been fully finished? So he didn’t. Miroku had a family now he needed the money more. So InuYasha only took what he needed to buy things he couldn’t grow or hunt on his own, like rice. And he kept to himself only coming out when his friends down right demanded it of him, or there was a job to do. He wasn’t a farmer so he stayed away from the fields, weather had been mild so no repairs needed done, and Kaede had a ward so even she didn’t need his help often. Alone again even when surrounded by people. All he had was the well and her bag, both of which were losing her sent.

And so it was that time went on. Lives with it, except for one. InuYasha.
End Notes:
R&R Please and Thank You *bows*
Chapter 2 by gem1216
Kagome’s heart had been torn. As relieved as she was to see her family again and be in their brace, she wanted InuYasha back. Her fears and trepidations kept her from attempting the well though in those moments. The thought of jumping in after him was not something she could face. Not that day. However, her fears didn’t stop her from sobbing into the well for her loss. Gradually being led from the well house to her home.

As tears dried and time passed, Kagome was able to retell her tale to her family. Silent tears were wept from the knowledge of just how close they had been to loosing Kagome all together. In those moments Kagome’s mother realized just how much she had truly owed to the young hanyou man who saved her daughter from the clutches of death, just how deep his love for her went. Realizing the state her daughter was in she dared not mention the well at this time. No she would save that for another day. To have watched InuYasha be dragged down it as he was could only mean one thing. And that was an issue to deal with when the time was right.

As mother Higarashi listened to her daughter her heart broke from the haunted look in her child’s eyes. She never would have denied her daughter her destiny, but being a mother meant you wanted nothing more than to take you baby’s pain unto yourself. As Kagome finished her recount of the time within the Jewel, her mother then decided that Kagome needed rest. She would fill her in later of the days that had passed, the well disappearing, and the fact that her friends knew to an extent of her last year’s journey. No, right now Kagome didn’t need to be plagued more she needed to be treated like the heroin she was. Kagome may only still be 15 but that was only physically, and the weight of that realization slapped her mother with a force to be reckoned with.

“InuYasha…” The name a mere whisper on Kagome’s lips as she sat with her family, tear she didn’t know were still left in her threatening to spill once more. Was this truly the end the Kami had for them? Were they so unforgiving that they would leave her heart broken? And what of InuYasha? His life was one abandonment after another, would the Kami just laugh this off and add it to his tally? Kagome’s heart broke further, not just for her own loss but for the realization of the monumental loss this would be for the hanyou. She knew in her soul he would always have their friends, but none of them had the time nor need to make his happiness their sole priority like she did. In the end of it all that’s was all she wished for him. Happiness. She felt he had paid his debt ten times over and he deserved that peace. But fate is a cruel mistress, isn’t it?

Her mother’s voice brought her out of her musings, “Kagome dear, why don’t you head upstairs and I’ll draw you a hot bath before I start dinner.” Simply nodding to her mother, she let herself be led up to her room. With one last hug from her mother she entered her room. Something so familiar but now it seemed so foreign. Memories of her window sliding open and InuYasha barging in swept over her. Slowly walking to the window and drawing back the curtain, Kagome looked at the well house with a forlorn expression. She had seen how he was pulled from this world. She watched as even he looked scared in that moment. The well wouldn’t work ever again would it? Time would forever be their separation. But just in case, if he ever came back to see her, get her, by some strange grace, want to be with her, she’d leave her window unlocked. Their universal sign to one another that he was welcome. Because even in her most direr situations he came for her didn’t he? She could always count on him to find a way to get her. He showed her that time and time again. And she put her faith and trust in him for it. Why stop now?

Sighing at her own hopefulness, Kagome went to her dresser and gathered her clean clothes. Her mother had finished drawing her bath water and so she wouldn’t insult her mother by ignoring it in favor of locking herself in her room to wallow in her own self pity.

And so, as time went on, Kagome learned of the happenings on her side, or rather her birth side of the well since her and InuYasha had left after graduation. It’s disappearance, InuYasha reassuring her family, her friends from this time walking into the well house. Eventually she would have to face them before they started High School in a few weeks. But for now she would wait and see if they even wanted anything to do with her. In essence she had lied to them for the better part of a year, and no small lie at that.

How was it that even though they had won she felt so defeated? The past was a place she loved and yet now, she feared returning. If ever given the chance to go back, right now she couldn’t. She was torn between her love for InuYasha, her want to be with him, and her love of her family. Fate was so cruel.

Her family watched as their once bright Kagome started to wither. She placed a happy smile on but her eyes gave her away. At some point just a few days before Kagome started school, her mother came into her room, only to find her daughter curled up on her bed clinging to a pillow. A heartbroken smile touched mother Higarashi’s lips at the realization that that particular pillow was the one InuYasha used whenever he stayed the night in her home. Sitting on the bed she patiently waited for Kagome to sit up as well before simply stating, “Write,” while she handed her a scroll. Placing a gentile kiss on Kagome’s forehead she let herself out.

Kagome watched her mother leave. Confusion at the forefront of her mind. Write, write what? And of all the outlets to write on why a scroll. And suddenly, she realized her mother had given her a bit of purpose. She was a miko, one who’s family ran a shrine. Was it not her duty to preserve her story for the future? Not just her story but their story. Her family on both sides of the well deserved their story told and she was the only one in a position to do so. And do so she would.

Eventually Kagome faced her friends who never judged but merely inquired. And slowly for them it all fell into place. The strange attire and name of InuYasha, Kagome not only missing from school but home as well. The bruises, cuts, blood, all of it made sense. And as Kagome finished the extremely shortened version of her tale for her friends she saw no judgment, no disdain, she saw awe. Things Kagome had done and seen were of lore and fiction, and yet she had lived them. And that moment made Kagome realize even more just how much she owed it to the world to write it all down.

Time moved on, and lives with it, except for one, Kagome. She went through the motions necessary to survive, but when she wasn’t doing school work she was writing. Continuously reliving the past. Her grandfather had cleared a shelf for her in his shed just for her scrolls. There were so many. No detail that she could remember had been left out. It was an account of their past from as far back as she could remember. Time around camp fires talking for a year had paid off. And in a strange way it made her feel like she had never been separated from the time she loved. And the years moved forward.

Sometime in the second year of her return came the day she was finished. She had no outlet left now. What was left to do then just continue on with the act of living? She once feared her friends reaction to her lie of where she’s been. Now she fear the worlds reaction to the even greater lie that she was moving forward and living.

The well then became a daily stop for her on her way home. Most days she would just stare into it’s depth. But one day she grew bold and climbed into it. Only to land on the dirt floor with a roof still over her head. It was on that day and the ones to follow that were similar, she’d cry till someone came looking for her. Eventually convincing her to come inside. She felt so alone even though she was surrounded by so many people. People who cared about and for her but they just never held a candle to how deeply she missed InuYasha. All she had of him was his pillow and the well. It wasn’t his per say but it was the one he used every time he stayed at her family home. For so long that pillow held a smell that she subconsciously associated with him. But now it held no smell and to look at it you could barely call it a pillow anymore. It’s shape distorted over time.

Time. It kept going in a linier path. Always moving forward and never back. For one small moment in her life though it did both. And then when it stopped going in both directions, for Kagome it had stopped. The tale of their journey was finished. No emotions were projected onto the scrolls only the very detailed re-telling of the path they had all once followed. Her duty to preservation completed. Soon her duty to her family would be also. Graduation was a few short months away. She had immersed herself into her studies and tale. With the tale over her studies got her only attention. She would graduate in the top percentile of her class. But then what?

Three collage acceptance letters sat on her desk. One she would stay home and commute, another she’d move to live on campus, and the third, the third would send her across the ocean. Far away from everything she knew. Should she stay and keep her vigil? Should she leave for only a short time? Or, should she just leave, putting everything she’d ever known behind her? Her fears in leaving were gone now, all that remained was her hope that one day the well house doors would open to reveal InuYasha. In truth she had no desire to continue her education, but she had to go through the motions. If her fate was to be here then she would have to continue on. But for now that decision could be left for another day. She still had time.

And so time moved on. Lives with it. All accept one, Kagome.
Chapter 3 by gem1216
The morning had come like so many before it. The scents of spring clung to the air. For most, the day would seem promising. But for InuYasha it just seemed like another day to be bitter at the world. He’d get up soon enough, maybe go see if he could hunt a rabbit for breakfast, then stop at the well before returning to his house. Yes the day would be no different then so many before it. That was what he thought at least as he stretched out his morning kinks.

Sometime during the mid day InuYasha caught Miroku’s sent on the wind. He was coming to see him. Drag him outside no doubt to socialize. InuYasha contemplated just leaving for the forest for a while. He really didn’t want to be around anyone today, like most days. Sighing in defeat however, he decided to meet Miroku on the porch and find out what he needed. Who knows, maybe there would be a job for him to do. Something mindless to pass some time on.

“Ahh so good to see you awake and alive my friend,” Miroku greeted with a warm smile.

Snorting to himself, InuYasha responded, “Whatever buzo, what do you want?”

Laughing a bit nervously he replied, “What, a friend can’t just come to visit?” Seeing InuYasha’s look that spoke of ‘bull shit’, Miroku sighed raising his hands in defeat. “Look, we’re all worried. This isn’t healthy, you keeping yourself so isolated. InuYasha we’re your friends we care. Please come join us and spend the day in the village. Shippo is back, and I’m sure Kaede could use some help in her garden.”

Waving Miroku off InuYasha turned to head back inside. That was before Miroku spoke again. “InuYasha, please. It’s been three years. Everyone else has moved on. Kagome-san wouldn’t want to see you like this and you know it.”

All of InuYasha’s muscles went tight. Who was he to say what Kagome would or wouldn’t want? What nerve did Miroku have to even bring her up? Through clenched teeth InuYasha said, “How do you think you know anything? What I do with my life or how I spend my life is none of your business. Now get the fuck out of here monk, and go back to your family.” He snarled not even bothering to turn around or meet his eyes.

Realizing he may have crossed the line, Miroku bowed his head and turned to walk away. “InuYasha,” he called over his shoulder, “I didn’t mean to cause you more pain. We miss her as well. We had all hoped that after Naraku, you two… Never mind. Just remember, I had meant what I said. We are all still your friends also. We still care about you. InuYasha, please consider my offer. We miss you too.” And with that he did walk off.

InuYasha sat on his porch with a huff. “Stupid monk thinks he knows everything.” Who was Miroku to tell him to do anything, let alone tell him what he thought Kagome would want. He realized he wasn’t the only one that cared for Kagome. That fact was painfully imprinted into him. Why else would he have let her go? True he regretted it, but she had been so scared and yet seeing her with her family, it just seemed that was where she belonged. He should have just fought against the well, just stayed in her smelly and loud time. They would have made it work somehow, right? He buried his face in his hands. What he wouldn’t give to relive that moment over. Hell what he wouldn’t give to relive so many moments over. He would have let her known what she meant, hell what she still means, to him.

Miroku may have crossed the line in what he said but, he supposed he shouldn’t have lost his temper like he had either. They cared and missed him? “Feh,” no one missed him. He was the welcomed outcast. Running his hands over his face he realized how wrong he was. They are his friends. Another gift from Kagome, and as such he should at least socialize once in a while. As much as he didn’t want to leave or be around anyone he once again thought on how upset Kagome would be with him for ignoring their friends. “I’ll check the well then go see what they want.” And with that decided he was off.

As the day wore on, InuYasha cursed himself for being talked into ‘visiting’ with his so called friends. At this point the sun was making it’s retreat and he envied the sun for it. He should have known that he would end up becoming Miroku and Sango’s runts make shift tree. His ears were sore and his temper was barely holding to it’s last thread. Shippo hadn’t helped the situation at all, he had followed him around all day making comments and then encouraging the little brats’ antics.

Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, the world around him suddenly stopped. Was he imagining it? Had he finally lost his last grip on reality? Insane or not he had to check. Swiftly removing the children and dropping them on Shippo, he said nothing more than “Slay the kitsune,” before taking off like hells fire was at his heals, leaving dust and confusion in his wake.
He didn’t breath, he didn’t blink, and he was damn sure his heart didn’t even beat. Not until he reached the well. He was also damn sure he had never moved so fast in his life. He was dead or maybe just dreaming. Those damn runts had to of pulled off his ears and he bled to death. That’s the only thing that could explain what his nose and eyes were telling him in that moment. How many nights had a dreamt of this moment? He had lost track over the years. So many reunions, so many dreams, so many fantasies he never once thought but only hoped would come to fruition.

Without much more thought he took his chance and he reached into the depths of the well.
Chapter 4 by gem1216
The blaring of the alarm clock brought Kagome out of her restless slumber. Rolling over and stretching to reach she turned the nuisance off. Sighing deeply she rolled onto her back placing a pillow over her face as if to hide from the world.

She had dreamt of InuYasha again. Tears pooled in her eyes. When would it stop? When would she move on? She knew it never would and that she never could. How could she move forward when the only one she wanted to do that with in her life was over 500 years in the past? For three years it seemed this was her morning routine. She’d wake up almost every morning with nothing but him on her mind and tears in her eyes.

Three years. More time apart then ever together. She would wonder from time to time if InuYasha had ever moved on with his life. Maybe he had found love? Possibly someone to share his life with, his love, even have a family of his own. A small bittersweet smile quirked at her lips at this thought. She had always just wanted him to be happy, even if she deeply wished it would be with her. But, she supposed, if he had at least found some happiness in the world then that’s all that mattered. As for herself? Only time would tell but she assumed she would never truly move on. If after three years her heart hadn’t mended, then she suspected there was no amount of time great enough for it to ever heal.

As if on schedule Kagome’s mother’s voice broke her from her musings, “Kagome dear are you awake?” She called from the stairs.

Tossing the pillow aside and sitting up, Kagome yelled back, “Yes mama.”

“Well hurry up and get ready. Breakfast is almost done and we need to get going if we’re to make it on time.” And with that said her mother retreated back to her kitchen. She had been up since before the sun to make sure everything went perfect today. Kagome deserved it. After all it’s not every day your baby girl finished High School.

The young woman in question though stared at her ceiling for a moment longer. She would graduate today. No longer a child. After today she would have finished everything she was expected to do in her society. Today her life and what she did with it would become her own.

Shaking her head clear, Kagome went about her room getting ready. With a quick glance of the clock she estimated she’d have about an hour before they had to be out the door. Plenty of time to dress and eat.

Kagome had been greeted with cheers and well wishes from her family that morning. They all told her of how proud they were of her and how well she had done for herself. To overcome what she had, and graduate in the top percentile of her class on top of it, she was truly a blessing in their lives. For Kagome’s part she smiled and nodded to their comments. Having the humility to feel a bit embarrassed over their gushing. But soon enough it was time for them to leave for the ceremony. And so, they did just that.

The day wore on. Speakers, student officials, and teachers all presenting words of encouragement to the graduates. Kagome couldn’t help but snort at the most commonly repeated one, ‘You have your whole lives ahead of you now.” Her life hadn’t moved in years why would a slip of paper make it do so now? A tear slipped down unnoticed in the high emotion room. She wasn’t crying over a childhood lost but a life she would never really lead.

As the ceremony finished and the once students officially graduated, Kagome found herself among her friends. They had already sent their replies to the colleges of their choice and would be heading off in a few short months. Emotion flowed freely in those moments together. They had stayed by Kagome’s side after everything and all they wished was to see that spark of the ‘old’ her once more. They knew better though. They had tried with their best abilities to bring her out of her slump but they never could fully prevail. Of course there were good times and memories over the years, but no matter how close Kagome would come to looking like she was 100% there with them, there was always that distant look in her eyes. They would never fully know what she had done or seen in that year but, whatever it was the fact that she would never again do or see those things showed it’s weight on Kagome’s shoulders.

Kagome watched her friends departing with their families, so full of hope and cheer. She envied them in those moments. Deep down though she wished nothing but the best for her childhood friends. Turning to her own family she left the school grounds without so much as a second look. That was a part of her past she could leave behind without so much as a second thought.

Lunch with her family had been pleasant. Some of her extended family had even made an appearance to celebrate. But even though she had kept her smile on, Kagome’s heart wasn’t in it fully. Although she had just graduated, she just didn’t feel like celebrating.

Then the dreaded question arose, “So what are the plans for the future? What college shall I be bragging my niece is off to?” Asked one of her aunts. Kagome blanched. She had yet to decide on a college. How did she not do that yet? How had the time gone with so little thought on the subject? She knew how, because her very soul itself refused to think about being in a world without InuYasha. Before Kagome could try and think of an answer, her mother saved her.

Upon hearing the question, mother Higurashi moved quickly to aid her daughter. She had known for months that Kagome hadn’t made a choice, but she would never fault her daughter for this procrastination. She had seen the college acceptance letters herself and knew the thoughts going through Kagome’s mind. “Suki-chan, have you tried my cake yet? Please, follow me I’ll get you a piece.” Winking and smiling as she saw the breath, that Kagome was no doubt holding, take, she ushered her sister off to the kitchen.

The afternoon continued with the guest gone and house clean once more. Kagome sat at her desk looking over the college acceptance letters. Three different options, but only one choice. Panic struck in that moment. This was it, this was the moment she would make the choice that governed her existence. She ran. She ran from her room, her home, her would be life. She ran from it all finding herself at the lip of the well. The irony wasn’t lost on her. How often did she find herself at this well? Almost daily.

Here she was about to make one of the most important decisions and she had ran to the well. Ran to seek comfort from the one thing that they had both shared. And so she poured herself into the well. Reflecting on her emotions over the years and her desires to be with InuYasha once more. In a strange way she was asking the well to give her the answer she needed. And then she saw a blue sky.

Kagome’s mother had seen her daughter rush out of the house in tears. What had happened? She thought the day had gone well for Kagome. Following as fast as she could behind her, mother Higurashi stood in the doorway of the well house. Tears burned her eyes to see the pain etched on her only daughter’s face. Walking into the well house in hopes of convincing Kagome to come inside with her, she was shocked when Kagome turned pointing to the well saying, “Mama, look.”

For a moment mother Higurashi was in disbelief. She had always hoped that Kagome and InuYasha would find a way to be together again, but as time went on that hope had dwindled. Maybe the well had just been waiting all this time? It’s possible that it knew they needed the time apart to make sure their feelings weren’t fleeting, to grow into adulthood, or maybe Kagome and InuYasha themselves had somehow made the magic work again. No matter what the answer she knew that this moment would either bring her daughter back to life or damn her to herself.

She would never deny her daughter her destiny. Turning to Kagome she spoke, “Kagome, this choice is yours. You have been granted passage back. Realize though, this may be a one way trip. Your family loves you and we want nothing but what’s best for you. Do what’s in your heart.”

“Thank you mama.” As the two women embraced each other with the knowledge that this maybe the last time they ever saw each other again, tears fell from both sets of eyes. “I love you mama.”

Whispering in her daughter’s ear she said, “I love you too my Kagome. Live well, be safe, and always be happy.” And that was it. Kagome took a chance and she jumped in with her eyes closed.

As she felt solid earth beneath her feet, the world around her stopped. She could hear birds, feel the warmth of the sun, and smell unpolluted air. Opening her eyes, she stopped breathing, and she was sure her heart stopped beating. This was a dream too wasn’t it? Her mind is playing a trick on her. She had fallen asleep at her desk and was still in her room. Maybe she didn’t stop at the well but jumped in and was unconscious at the bottom. That’s the only way this was possible, right? Dream or not, she had come this far already, hadn’t she?

And so, without anymore thought she took her chance and extended her hand out of the depths of the well.
Chapter 5 by gem1216
Two hands clasped. Two hearts began to beat once more. Two sets of lungs began to breathe again. Two souls began to mend.

This was real. They were together again. Few words were spoken. A joking insult and apology. But they didn’t need words in that moment. All they needed was to embrace one another and realize that this truly was no dream. Kagome buried her face in InuYasha’s shoulder and he in her, both taking one long drawn in breath. Wide eyes grew on InuYasha. He had done that because her sent always, always, brought him comfort. Why did she just do it though? Was there the chance that they could actually feel 100% the exact same for each other? Could the Kami have finally given him pity and she wasn’t just back to be his friend? Before he lost his nerve he had to tell her everything. But fate was cruel some times.

Miroku, Sango, and Shippo stared off in disbelief. Why did InuYasha take off so suddenly? Gathering the children as fast as they could they headed off in the direction InuYasha had taken. Soon they realized he was going to the well. They slowed their pace and became crestfallen. “Do you think something happened to the well?” Songo asked.

“I don’t detect an evil presence.” Miroku replied.

All three sighed deeply. When would their friend move forward? Fate had damned him in a way they realized, but he could have fought back a little. “Miroku, this isn’t healthy for him. We all know this isn’t how Kagome-chan would want him to live. It’s not…” Songo had been cut off by Shippo’s startled noise. Before she could ask though she looked to where he pointed. “Kagome-chan?!”

“I’m back.” Was all Kagome said, or could say before she found Shippo in her arms. They were all together again. Just like before. But as Miroku and Songo came closer, Kagome found that although some things were the same, many more were different. Chancing a quick look in InuYasha’s direction she wondered what else was different. Clearing her thoughts she concluded that she would deal with that soon enough. For now she wanted to just enjoy her friends and their company again.

InuYasha, however, was pissed. No, more than that. There was no way of describing what he felt in that moment. It wasn’t fair. Did they always have to follow him? Why couldn’t for once they just have watched him leave and let him be? He never should have been guilted into coming out today. If he hadn’t and he was at his house then only he would have known she was here. Why couldn’t he just get his chance for once? They were able to move on when would he get to? Sighing, InuYasha stopped his train of thought. She was back and that’s what truly mattered. He’d eventually get a chance to talk to her, right?

And so the day continued with the five of them talking and catching up. Well in honesty it was four. InuYasha kept quiet for the most part. That was until Shippo decided he should start talking about things he shouldn’t.

“You should have seen it Kagome. I don’t think there was more than three days that went by before InuYasha went and checked the well. He even became a hermit. And wow is he grumpy! I didn’t…” Before Shippo could finish his thought he found himself nose to nose with said hanyou, and then he was flying through the air with a very sore ass. Seeing the shocked looks of his friends, InuYasha chose that moment to take shelter in the tree above them. At least there he didn’t have to see their accusing stairs but he could still take in Kagome’s sent. “Stupid Shippo. He had to open his big mouth.” He grumbled to himself.

For as mad as Kagome was at the display, she couldn’t help but giggle. InuYasha still didn’t learn how to react well when embarrassed. “I suppose since InuYasha gave Shippo an excuse to be in the village it’s only a matter of time before they come to see if I’m truly back.” Kagome said sighing as her friends nodded in agreement. Kagome giggled again hearing InuYasha growl above her. “I think I’ll just stay here though till the villagers come.” She continued while winking to Miroku and Songo.

Hiding their laughter best they could, they nodded in return. It was uplifting to see Kagome back and to realize just how much she wanted to be back. It hadn’t gone unnoticed to them how often the two stole glances at one another. Or how often, when they had caught each other looking, they sported blushes. Too bad InuYasha’s temper had gotten the better of him, Miroku had already formulated a plan to pull the boy aside and threaten him about telling others yet. He had decided they could all eat their evening meal together and then he would send the would be couple off to ‘reacquaint’ themselves. After all, InuYasha had that extremely large home. He was sure it would have been no problem to the surly hanyou to put Kagome up for a night, or two, perhaps longer. But all best laid plans can go awry.

It didn’t take long for the group to see Shippo making his return followed by someone. Suddenly making his presence once again known InuYasha jumped down to stand in front of the group. “Toshi’s coming.” He said.

It took a moment for Miroku to realize who he was talking about, “You mean the headman’s son?” Seeing InuYasha’s curt nod the group began to stand as well. If only Toshi had come then that could only mean that someone was being asked to the headmen’s house. As the man in question arrived, you could see the pure astonishment in his eyes. The kitsune had been telling the truth. Their miko had come back! Bowing deeply and respectfully in Kagome’s direction he began to talk, “Miko-sama, the Kami are truly generous to bring you back to us.” Startled slightly hearing the growling coming from none other than InuYasha, he continued quickly. “I’ve come because your presence is requested at my father’s home.” Looking up at InuYasha he continued, “All of you.”

Stepping in before InuYasha could say something he no doubt would regret Miroku addressed the man, “Toshi-san please inform the headmen we will arrive shortly, so privations can be made for the children. I am assuming this is a matter between adults.”

The man nodded and took his leave to deliver the message. Miroku and Songo shared a look of worry. They both understood, especially how the young man had addressed Kagome, that she would be asked to become the village miko, permanently. For as much as an honor it may be, they knew, even without Kagome saying, that was not why she had come back. InuYasha would let the predigests of the world stand in their way of happiness. Not to mention should Kagome accept, she’d be expected to start right away, leaving no true time for the would be couple to talk. Sadly, Miroku and Songo knew the possibilities of what may happen.

As they watched Toshi leave, InuYasha’s thoughts took on a somewhat similar path to that of his friends. Although having Kagome back in his life in any way was a gift, if she accepted the offer that was it. The home he built for her would have been done in vain. She’d have to live near the village. At their beckon call. Although the village put up with him they would never let someone with tainted blood marry their miko. She’d have to marry a human from the village no doubt. And then what of their friendship? Would she even be allowed to be around him once that happened? Knowing Kagome, she’d never let their friendship go just because she was ‘supposed to’. No that he could assure himself would never happen. But, as amazing as her friendship was, he wanted more, so much more. He loved her. By the Kami did he love her. For years now he knew this and didn’t bother trying to deny it. But he’d accept whatever choice she made. He wasn’t going anywhere though. He had given her up once and was not about to make that mistake again.

Kagome, for her part, was in the dark as to why the mood suddenly shifted. Biting her lip and looking around she tried to think why everyone had taken on such grim expressions. Could going to the headmen’s home really be that terrible? Was he going to force her to leave or something? No that couldn’t be right. The man Toshi had been so respectful. He wouldn’t have acted that way if she was being forced to leave. Shrugging she gave up, the only way to know was to go and find out. So, turning to the group with a smile she said, “Well better see what he wants guys.”

With their thoughts all going a mile a minute they walked in silence to Miroku and Sango’s home, Shippo and Kagome the only ones engaging in light chatter. They were sure to run into Kaede on their way and would ask her if Rin could watch the children for them. Then it would be off to the headmen. It would take some convincing but they would also have to leave Shippo there. These were matters for adults and his tendencies to talk without thinking of the impact would not make things go smoothly.

When they reached the village they did indeed find Kaede who had also been summoned. As arrangements were made for Rin and Shippo to stay at Miroku and Sango’s for the night with the children, the sun had finally fell behind the horizon. They had prolonged this enough. It was time to head to the headmen’s home.
Chapter 6 by gem1216

Laughter filled the room as village elders, the inu-tachi, and headmen, with his family, talked and chatted. So far the summons had turned out to be a reunion of sorts. The headmen offering an evening meal to all who filled his home currently. He was boasting how great a blessing had been bestowed to his village to have their miko returned to them. Today was truly a day for celebrating. As the mild festivities continued, he made good on his promise for a village wide celebration. “We will hold your, far too long prolonged, hero’s welcome on the night of the next full moon.” He announced.

Humble thanks were said as they all continued in mild chatter. All except InuYasha. He seemed on edge and this didn’t go unnoticed by Kagome. Occasionally she’d whisper in his direction, “Are you ok?” To which he would simply nod and wave her off. Seated between Sango and InuYasha, she could get a feel that both of them were on edge. Getting Sango’s attention, she asked, “Is something wrong?” Songo merely waved her off with a faked smile, telling her everything was fine.
They were waiting for something, Kagome knew it. But what could send them on such an alert? They were enjoying a meal with people they knew in a friendly atmosphere. What was going to happen? Before Kagome could think much further on the subject, she found out what was coming.

“Kagome-sama,” the headmen called across the room, “tell us now that ye has returned, you will become our miko, ne?”

Kagome nearly choked on the bite she had taken. Become their miko? “Forgive my ignorance sir, but you mean as in taking over for Kaede-sama?”

Chuckling a bit the man replied, “Well in due time my child. But in essence yes! I’m inquiring if you would begin to train under Kaede-sama until such a time comes that she no longer is able to perform her duties. Then you would take over.”

Kagome chanced a look at her friends for guidance. This was a big honor being asked of her, however she wasn’t sure how to respond and she realized this wasn’t the time or place to ask further questions on the matter. Sango wouldn’t meet her eye, and Miroku looked to be thinking over something fiercely. Glancing to her other side at InuYasha for guidance, he had none to give. His face was an emotionless mask, and his eyes hidden behind his bangs. Even Kaede herself seemed to not give her any clue weather she should accept or deny the request. In honesty she wouldn’t mind helping here and there but she didn’t want to jump full force into miko training. Not yet. She needed time to get reacquainted with this time, her friends, InuYasha. Trying to think of the least insulting way she could turn down the offer, Kagome was cut off from talking by Miroku.

Miroku’s sudden laughter filled the air. Although those that knew him, knew this was his nervous laugh, no one else suspected anything as he quietly preyed that his quick plan would work. “Sir if I may be so bold, but our dear Kagome-sama has only just returned a short while prior to the summons. Perhaps give her a few days. Let her re-familiarize herself with this land. Make her previsions for settlement. Possibly even travel to see friends of ours she has not seen since before the day of Naraku’s defeat.” Hoping luck be on his and his friends side he flashed one of his dazzling smiles the headmen’s way.

Taking the hint at what Miroku was doing Kagome chimed in at that moment, “Yes I would love to visit some of our friends we made!” Who could she name? Who could she use as a good excuse? Thinking quick she added, “Possibly travel to the north and see Kouga-kun and his tribe.”

“Ahh yes Kouga-kun, a very dear friend of ours indeed. And he lives far in the mountains to the north. That will take some time.” Sango chimed in.

The growls coming from InuYasha hadn’t gone unnoticed at all. Although the inu-tachi knew the reason, everyone else was starting to wonder what had gotten under the hanyou’s skin.

Stroking his chin in thought the headmen then began to chuckle as well, “Miroku-sama as always you are wise. Forgive me Kagome-sama I was just so excited of your return.” Smiling warmly he continued, “Take the time between now and the festival to do what you must. If you wish to travel then I’ll provide some escorts for you.”

InuYasha wasn’t dense. He knew what Miroku was doing as soon as he started, and silently he was thanking the former monk with everything in him. Miroku knew how much this would affect him if Kagome had instantly accepted the offer. It had taken time but eventually he had somewhat opened up to Miroku on the subject of Kagome. Even though the damn letcher tried, he never told him of his more private and intimate thoughts, but that didn’t mean he didn’t confess his feelings. Miroku was his only male friend he’d ever had. And although the monk was shifty at times, if you told him something in confidence then it stayed that way. Between men.

If Miroku’s plan worked then he’d get his chance to finally take a chance. He decided long ago that if he ever got the chance to tell her how he really felt then he would. What’s one more possible heart ache? He knew they were friends but if he had the slimmest hope of more than he’d suck it up and find out. No matter what the outcome he’d have Kagome in his life, it was just a matter of how much of her he’d have. For as much as he had wanted to tell her before, he couldn’t. It was in their best interest to keep everything the way it was. They quite literally were heading to what could have been their death in those days. And back then he figured why plan for a future he may never see?

No, after hearing Miroku, he began to let hope well up once more. That was until Kagome spoke up. InuYasha’s heart fell at the mention of that damn wolf. Really? She had to bring him up? Did she come back here just to go off with him? Maybe he really was the one she had chosen. It would almost make sense as to why she never let him throttle the damn wolf all this time. Was it all lost now? Had he waited for nothing? Fine if she wanted to see the fucking wolf he’d take her to him. Before the headmen could continue, InuYasha finally spoke, “Won’t be necessary. I’ll take her where she needs to go.”

Kagome could not only hear the anger coming from InuYasha, she could feel it. “Please forgive me.” She begged in her mind. Did he not realize what they were trying to do? Couldn’t he see that she only brought Kouga up for lack of a better excuse? Taking the momentary victory where she could, she figured it best not to dwell on it. She had time now. Time they expected her to be away from the village. She would find a chance now to talk to InuYasha and explain to him what was going on.

The headmen seemed oblivious to InuYasha’s mood and continued talking merrily, “Well that’s settled then! You shall take a trip and upon your return let the village know of your decision. Just be sure you are both back before the full moon.”

The relief of Miroku, Songo, and Kagome was monumental. They had time now. When talk of Kagome’s sleeping arrangements came up Songo spoke out saying that they were already taken care of. To which the headmen accepted. After all seemed settled and the meal was finished the inu-tachi took their leave of the headmen’s home.

InuYasha and Kagome would have time.
Chapter 7 by gem1216

Upon reaching Miroku and Sango’s home they stopped when Miroku spoke up suddenly, “Why don’t you lovely ladies go ahead inside and check on the children. InuYasha and I will gather wood for the evening.” Before anyone could lay protest the monk had practically dragged InuYasha off. When Miroku felt they were far enough away from the girls ear shot he stopped finally.

“What the fuck Miroku?” InuYasha demanded. “Since when do you need to go so far away to get wood? Not to mention why the hell did I…”

Miroku cut off his tangent starting one of his own, “Look baka shut up and listen.” Seeing InuYasha’s stunned expression he hurried on talking before he could be interrupted, “The Kami have given you a blessing and I’ll be damned myself if I let you mess this up. I was able to give you time to talk to her and you better figure this out. We’ve watched the two of you dance around each other to only then have to watch you turn into a shell of who you are. I know how you feel, now she needs to know. And before you even start about Kouga, don’t! I’m sure she tossed out his name because he lives the farthest away from anyone we know.” Straightening his robes and calming his own annoyance Miroku continued, “Now, I’m going to gather some wood and head inside. You are going to stay out here. I’m sure it won’t take too much convincing to get Kagome-san to see where you have headed off to. Got it?”

InuYasha just nodded dumbly. He was at a loss of words. On one hand he wanted to punch the bastard for being such an ass. But on the other hand he wanted to hug him for understanding and going out of his way like he had. To InuYasha it meant the world that his friends were trying to find a way to get him and Kagome alone. They wanted to see the two of them together. They accepted the would be relationship and encouraged it.

But then again Miroku couldn’t be sure that Kouga was just an excuse. He basically admitted he guessed as much. A guess wasn’t a solid confirmation by any means. It would be just his luck that this would happen. He pinned away for Kagome for so long only to have his hopes dashed aside before they could really rise again. Who was he to think he had a chance? What was the point anymore? He should just give up and except his lonely fate. He’d tag along with Kagome as long as she’d let him but once she settled down, started a family of her own, once she started her life he wouldn’t have much room in it. Resigning himself to defeat, InuYasha started to walk off. He didn’t want to stand witness to Kagome not coming out. No, he’d go off to think on his own till sun rise then he’d take her north like he promised. At least while on the trip he could pretend a little since it’d be just the two of them. That was something right?

As Miroku entered his home, he couldn’t help but smile at the two women who sat chatting. Kagome was holding their newborn so lovingly. “She’ll make a fine mother some day,” he thought. Setting the wood down gently he took his place beside Sango to build up the fire for the night.

Kagome waited, but after a few moments she began to worry. “Miroku-chan, where is InuYasha?”

Shrugging he replied, “I believe he stayed outside. Probably headed off somewhere to brood knowing him.” He was forcing himself to not smile at the look of concentration crossing Kagome’s face.

Kagome bit her lip. He couldn’t possibly still be mad about the whole Kouga comment could he? Wouldn’t Miroku of explained that while they were away? Handing the infant to Sango, Kagome looked at her friends and spoke her concerns, “I know you guys planned on me staying here tonight, but I need to speak with InuYasha. I can’t let him continue to think what only Kami knows he is. I’ll be as quiet as I can be when I come back, I just…”

Sango and Miroku exchanged looks of knowing as well as the briefest of smiles. Raising his hand to stop Kagome, Miroku said, “We never truly planned that you’d be staying here. Kagome-san, all my usual kidding aside, InuYasha has waited for far too long as it is. We expect there is already a place for you set up in his home. Now please, go to the baka and be happy.” Losing his sincerity and turning into the Miroku they all knew he added, “Besides you two have plenty of time to reacquaint yourselves now, ne?” The suggestive smile plastered on his face caused Sango to land an elbow in his rib at such comments.

Blushing wildly, but giggling none the less, Kagome took her leave to try and find InuYasha. Although Miroku teasing her was something new, she wasn’t surprised that he realized her true intentions. After all the long, and seemingly unending, conversations between her and Sango over their travels revolving around Kagome’s feelings for the hanyou, it wouldn’t be surprising if Miroku knew some of those details. Sango was his wife now, and as such it would be only natural to have shared some of those thoughts. She’d never fault her friend, to Kagome it wasn’t a breach of confidence by any means. Spouses talk and confide in one another, it was that simple.

Sighing at her thoughts, she did realize that for as much as those two may have talked it seemed that InuYasha was still out of the loop. For him to have gotten as angry as he is that had to be the case. But on the other hand did that mean that her love wasn’t quite as unrequited as she once thought? She was long past misconceptions of her feelings of being a mere replacement to him. She knew InuYasha saw her for who she was, but did that mean he wanted her like she wanted him? It didn’t. All it meant was that he only saw Kagome when he looked at her.

Had she made a mistake in coming back? She knew she didn’t belong in her birth time. She had been so disconnected from it for so long she would never find her place there. She listened to her mother and did what felt right to her heart when she jumped into the well earlier that day. For as much as she felt just right being here though, she didn’t come back just to be here. Their friends knew that but did InuYasha? Maybe he did and that’s why he was so angry. Was it possible he felt pressured to do something he, himself had no interest in? Was all he ever considered between them was friendship and nothing more? Could it be possible that there was no room for her in his life for more than what they already had? He might not of looked at her as a replacement because maybe he didn’t want to replace the hole Kikyo’s absence has caused. Her head was starting to hurt with all the questions and new found worries.

She stopped walking. She could feel his aura she knew where he was. But she could just as easily turn back and just give up. She’d only been a few moments from her friend’s home. Shaking her head and squaring her shoulders she stood her ground. She had not just given up everything she’d ever known growing up to run like a coward now. No, she had to talk to InuYasha. She’d make him sit there and listen if she had to. She’d rather be a part of his life then 500 years away from him. And if he rejected her romantic intentions then she’d go to the headmen in the morning and tell him she’d be honored to become the miko of this village. At least then they could keep their friendship like it was and try and ignore the inevitable embarrassment she was about to go through. Nodding at her decision she continued walking in InuYasha’s direction.

As she crested the hill she was walking up, her heart skipped a beat, butterflies swarmed her stomach, and her breath caught. She had forgotten just how clear the nights here were, she had forgotten just how stunning InuYasha’s silhouette was. His silver hair shinned brilliantly against the ink of the sky and the red of his clothing. His ear twitching in her direction though gave her cause to move once more and take a seat as close to him as she would dare just yet. But she was feeling a bit daring and so there wasn’t much room left between them. Nothing was said for a moment. Kagome merely sat and took in the beauty around her before breaking the silence with a smile in his direction and a simple, “Hey.”

Since being left alone by Miroku, InuYasha was a bundle of doubts and nerves. He talked himself into and out of saying something to Kagome over and over again. Finally coming to the over look near his house he gave up and plopped onto the ground burring his head in his hands. Could he change her mind? Maybe if she saw what he’d done for her, for them, while she was gone she’d reconsider? She’d at the very least stay here in the village, right? She wasn’t so mean as to take a gift and toss it aside. That was it! He’d show her the house, and then, slowly, maybe he could change her mind. Looking to the sky he counted how many days he had. Less than five till the full moon. Would that be enough time to talk her out of a life with the wolf?

He’d never admit it to anyone, but he wished he had Kouga’s brazen bravado for once. That flea bag sure as hell didn’t know when to shut his trap, but he could fling the words InuYasha needed at that moment without hesitation. He was no good with words. How could ever get Kagome to understand? He had tried years ago, and he thought she understood then. But, they were from different times. She could have not understood what his proclamation to protect her had actually meant. What her words had meant to him.

He hated words. What good were words with no actions? But then what good were actions with no words? Stupid words, always getting in his way, always making his head hurt. Raking his hands down his face he tossed himself on the grass. Staring at the sky he begged anything listening to help him. He couldn’t lose her again. But nothing seemed to answer his silent plea. Sighing he was about to give up. Then he smelt her sent on the wind coming towards him.

Sitting up quickly and straightening himself out, he turned his ears in her direction. Yes she was certainly coming. For a moment he wondered what Miroku had to say to convince her to come, but he quickly dismissed the thought. It didn’t matter all that mattered was that she came. As she approached he kept his gaze to the sky. He dared not move for fear she’d leave. A stupid fear he knew but one he had all the same. It hadn’t gone unnoticed just how close she was sitting to him either. Was there hope? Or had she forgotten about personal space momentarily?

Try as he might he couldn’t think of what to say. His head was hurting again. Stupid words. Suddenly her amazing voice graced his ears and he visibly relaxed. Daring to look in her direction he froze all over again. That smile, her smile, directed at him of all things. He lost his mind in that moment. All inhibitions were tossed aside. Before he could even stop himself he had pulled her into a bone crushing hug.

Kagome hadn’t expected to be embraced, let alone so suddenly or forcibly. Shocked wasn’t even a beginning to her feelings in that moment. But that moment of hesitation was all it took to have InuYasha jumping to wrong conclusions again. Before she could respond and reciprocate the motion he had let go and was inching himself away from her with a mumbled, “Sorry,” tossed in for good measure. Regaining her thoughts Kagome rolled her eyes at him. Inching closer to him yet again and making herself comfortable she leaned herself fully into his side placing her head on his chest. Giggling a bit and sighing her content, she asked, “For what?”

“Never mind,” he replied with an air of awe to his voice. She was cuddling into him. His heart felt like it would burst any moment. Considering where Kagome was he was damn sure she could hear it too. He was silently grateful she couldn’t see his face at the moment because it was redder then his clothing. They had embraced plenty of times before. He carried her on his back constantly for Kami sake. The close proximity shouldn’t be reeking havoc on his poor mind. Or so he tried to tell himself. Truth was they were sitting in a much more familiar way then he had ever been accustomed to. He sure as hell wasn’t about to complain though. If anything he felt like out right howling.

Suppressing the mortifying urge he chose to just settle into her as well. Fear gripped him as he daringly draped his arm over her. Waiting to kiss the dirt, Kagome yet again surprised him when she tried to burrow deeper into him. That’s when he heard it. She had done it again! He was sure of it she had scented him. Why would a human do something so canine like? Nodding to no one but himself he decided he was going to ask. “Kagome?” Hearing her muffled noise of acknowledgment he continued, “Why’d you just do that?”

Kagome was in heaven. Not only did InuYasha not push her away, nor shy away from her, but he cuddled with her! Nothing could make it better. Well, there were things that could make it better but she’d take this moment and relish in it. The drum of his heart, although amusing with it’s speed, was starting to lull her to sleep. She was peaceful, content, and for the first time in recent memory, truly happy. That was till he spoke. She was confused. What had she done just now? Coming up with a blank she asked, “What are you talking about? What did I do?”

He blushed. Was she playing stupid or did she not even realize it? “Forget it.” Better to drop the subject than risk pissing her off.

Scrunching her nose in annoyance, Kagome sat up, both of them instantly feeling the loss of the embrace, as well as Kagome noticing how cold the night air was getting. Shaking a bit to clear her head as well as from the cold she looked at him, “No, InuYasha, I want to know. I promise I’ll answer you, I just don’t know what I did. Please.”

Turning from her a bit, in hopes she wouldn’t notice the bright huge his face had taken on; he cleared his throat and tried to act indifferent with his response. “I was just curious. It’s not a big deal. But,” he hesitated feeling his face grow warmer. Stupid emotions. Chancing a quick look he saw her intense stare waiting for him to continue. Sighing his resignation he blurted, “You scented me and I wanted to know why.”

Scented? What on earth was he talking about? Kagome had to think and when she realized what he was asking it was her turn to grow bright. “Oh,” she stated simply. Shifting her weight a little she fought an inner battle. She could just blow it off and say she didn’t know, but she had promised to answer him. Why did he have to ask that though? For as much of herself as she was ready to put on the line this tiny tid-bit seemed to be like her deep sin she kept for herself. But a promise was a promise, so steeling her nerves she answered as honestly as she could muster, “I well, you see, oh geez. It calms me. You just have this smell that reminds me of you. And it makes me calm and makes me feel safe.” Quickly glancing at him from the corner of her eye she couldn’t make out his expression. His face was a mask again. Feeling a bit dejected she mumbled quickly, “Sorry I’ll try not to do it again.” With that said she shifted a bit away from him, bringing her arms up to rub chill out. Weather it was from the night air or the feeling like she over stepped her boundary with him, she couldn’t be sure.

InuYasha on the other hand was floating on cloud nine for a moment. She was calmed by his scent. His, not someone else’s. Him. He calmed her and made her feel safe. Male smug pride swelled and he once again really wanted to howl his joy. Forcing that thought down once more he sobered up a bit. But one good look at him and anyone could see that he was busting at the stoic appearance seams. But that would have taken a good look, not a sideways glance. Quickly he realized just how embarrassed Kagome was from his lack of speech. Hearing her apology he was trying to think of what to say. Once again he damned his lack of words. But once again actions spoke louder.

Taking a deep breath and preparing for the worst he plunged forward. Just like any battle he’d ever been in diving head first into it was his answer. And although his life wasn’t at risk of being lost his heart sure as hell was. But reservations be damned if he couldn’t tell her he’d show her. Using the speed the Kami graced him with, he moved closer to Kagome once more and pulled her to him. Wrapping his arms around her and burring his nose into her neck, he made it a point to loudly take a deep reassuring breathe in. Heaven. Having her like this in his hold with his nose pressed to her skin, it was heaven. When he felt her relax and cradle his head to her, he relaxed even further. He could die happy in this moment. Kagome seemed to realize what he was trying to tell her and accepted it. For the first time in years he allowed himself to smile and finally found a few words, “It’s always been the same for me.”

Kagome giggled. Not at his words, but at the feel of his breath on her skin. Apparently her neck was one of those odd ticklish places. Sporting a smile herself at what he had said, she tilted her head further to the side to give him more room. But then a thought hit her and her smile grew at the memory, “You always said you hate the way I smell.”

He chuckled against her as the memory came to mind. Kagome was always good at making him feel light hearted and happy. Turning his head slightly he whispered in her ear, “I lied.”

A shiver ran through her settling deep inside. Weather it was how he said that or where she was unsure. But one thing she did know what the effect he was starting to have on her. How many nights had she dreamt of him? Furthermore how many of those dreams turned into her waking red faced and flustered? She didn’t even want to count. Although she was still a bit shy on the subject she was by all means still very much a woman with desires and her body wanted to remind her of that. Too bad it had to be at a moment like this. Something that started so sweet was sure to end terribly. She felt his silent chuckle and then once again he was whispering and causing a swarm of emotions. All it took was his simple question of “You cold?” to cause her to fluster further. She had tried to swallow the lump in her throat, but it just wouldn’t leave. She had also tried to sound normal, but that failed as well. When her squeaked reply of “no,” came out, her mortification grew further. Maybe he wouldn’t notice and just think she was trying to act brave and was actually cold. Maybe she was just unlucky sometimes, or was that extremely lucky?

He felt her shiver before he smelled the change. But the two were milliseconds apart. Being this close to her let him realize far sooner than normal what her shiver really was. He smiled a devilish grin at this sudden knowledge. Maybe changing her mind wouldn’t be so hard after all. But then again it could have just been innocent in response. There was only one way to really find out. So, keeping his lips close enough to her ear, just to test the waters, he asked if she was cold. Her reaction caused that male smug pride to double. Gods the things he wanted to tell her, show her, do to her. So many dreams, wishes, fantasies, that he could have only hoped would one day be possible. He wasn’t brazen like Koga, or a master of charm like Miroku, but damn it he was going to find a way to at least find out unquestionably where he stood in Kagome’s life. First thing was first though. Leaning back from her yet not giving up his hold, he said, “It’s late you need your sleep if we’re leaving early.” Trying to keep his anger at the thought at bay, he waited to see what she was going to say. Still full of doubt, he clung to the possible hope Miroku was right though.

Shivering a bit, this time from the lack of warmth, helped to sober Kagome’s suddenly hazy mind. “Leave?” She questioned out loud. Where could they be going? Looking at InuYasha she could see the scowl he wore. Why was he so mad suddenly? You could almost hear the proverbial light bulb turn on as Kagome’s sudden laughter filled the quiet night.

“Oi, what’s so funny wench?” InuYasha asked annoyed.

Trying to calm herself she looked at him shook her head. “InuYasha, you actually think that after three years away I’d want to go traveling half the county side again? I mean sure in time seeing old friends might be nice but I’m in no hurry.” She laughed again at his denseness, “Baka, it was just an excuse so I didn’t have to make a life changing decision on the fly. Then again, I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next few days or so. I mean I can’t go near the village since they expect me to be gone…”

InuYasha cut her off suddenly, “Can I show you something?” He let the words tumble out carelessly. He couldn’t contain them since he was desperately trying to contain his excitement over her reaction a moment before. Miroku had actually been right! She had said herself she was in no hurry to leave! He tried to contain the excitement and put on an indifferent face. But he was failing miserably. But he couldn’t help it. This was his chance.

Kagome for her part couldn’t help but look at InuYasha with a mix of wonder and confusion. He suddenly looked excited to show her something. He never looked excited though? It was sweet the way his face took on a childish look. Like a boy wanting to show off a new toy, a good grade, or tell someone of something he had done well. She couldn’t help but push aside the confusion and just smile. It was getting late and the day’s events were taking it’s toll, but she supposed whatever it was wouldn’t take that long and from his look he didn’t want to wait till the morning. “Sure,” was her simple response to him.

Before she could react she was standing and being led to the forest. Trying to keep pace she couldn’t help but look between them at their joined hands and let her smile grow warmer. It was rare when InuYasha would invoke such contact between them. Yet today it seemed like he was doing it more and more often. Letting her mind wonder off thinking about the day’s events caused her to miss when InuYasha stopped abruptly, thus further causing her to run right into him. The force should have caused her to fall back, but instead she found herself being held upright against the wall of a man she had run into in the first place.

Instinctively, InuYasha had grabbed Kagome before she could fall and pulled her closer. Years ago he would have let go the moment he knew she was stable, but now he couldn’t bring himself to. He had wasted so much time trying to keep her at arm’s length thinking she would always be around. But he learned too soon he had taken her presence for granted. Now that she was back he didn’t plan on doing it again, especially since he was going to be given the chance to show her just what she meant to him. Reluctantly he loosened his hold on her enough to look at her. “Close your eyes.” He told her.

Kagome looked at him like he grew a second head. “Well if I do that I’m bound to fall on my face aren’t I? I’ll trip on a root or something.”

What she didn’t know is she wasn’t going to walk much more than a few steps. But then the tiny voice of doubt crawled it’s way to InuYasha’s mind. If she didn’t know how much further they were going, and she thought she was bound to fall, did she not trust him enough to catch her? Hadn’t he just proven he would? Scowling he asked a bit harshly, “Don’t you trust me?”

Kagome was mad at the question. What was he thinking? “Of course I do baka!”

“The shut up and close your eyes already.”

She huffed and stomped her foot. Why was he being a jerk all of a sudden? Mumbling ,”fine,” and doing as he asked she missed the smile that played at InuYasha. She felt his arms leave her only to have both her hands grasped and be slowly led in some unknown direction. It was only a moment later she felt his hands on her shoulders stopping her to stand in one place. As soon as she felt him his touch was gone. She could tell he was somewhat behind her and as much as this little game was grating on her nerves she’d indulge him a moment longer before she’d ask him just what was going on. She was never able to give rise to the question because he had told her to open her eyes.
Chapter 8 by gem1216

InuYasha fidgeted nervously as he watched her, trying to gauge her reaction. Those self doubts giving rise inside of his mind once more. Would he ever be rid of them? Doubting that also, he let his mind take that well know path of waiting for rejection. Even if he spent all his time making this for her it wouldn’t mean much if she didn’t like it. Worse yet what if she didn’t want it because he had been the one to make it? Dear Gods he didn’t think he could live if that was the case. Telling her to open her eyes was hard for him. Maybe he should have waited and just taken her back to their friends. But it was done, he’d let his mouth over run him once again and now he felt extremely vulnerable. Not something he liked.

But Kagome had that effect on him. He was stronger yet so weak when it came to her. She was his air and suffocation all at once. For the life of him he never could understand his confusing feelings when it came to her. The moment he woke from his fifty year sleep, if you would call it that, he was drawn to her. After his nose had confirmed for him what his eyes and ears had been trying to tell him, that she was someone new, someone different, he was stuck. Even if he had been able to get the jewel from her, he doubted he would have strayed far from her presence. There was always something about her that he just needed to be near.

It went far beyond the mere intrigue he had when it came to staying around Kikyo. With Kikyo it had been a reluctant friendship at best. He was mad at her inability to try and really fight him. He could take it damn it! Even if she was a powerful miko, he could have survived. He wasn’t the bastard society thought, he never would have killed her, hurt sure, but only enough for him to have gotten the jewel he so desperately want back then and make his escape. Eventually he grew interested in the lone woman. He felt a kindred spirit of sorts. And maybe she did too. In the end though, his feeling for her never once stood a chance against Kagome.

He tried to force himself to stay drawn to Kikyo but he never could deny his instincts. Those first moments in meeting Kagome raked his brain in overload. Her sent, the fire in her eyes, the softness of her features, her ability to put her full trust instantly into him, and the fact she didn’t care what he was but only disliked him because of his behavior, all of it just sucked him in and head first he fell. Never liking the feeling of vulnerability and attachment he suddenly had to her, had caused him to lash out at her. She took the brunt force of his emotional turmoil. And yet she stayed. Hell she practically begged him to let her, when it should have been the other way around. He wondered if she ever knew the true power she held over him.

No one had ever trusted him so fully. Well no one that wasn’t his mother. But Kagome gave it willingly over and over. Through all the harsh words from him, all the tricks played on them, all his transformations, she never wavered. She was never once afraid of him. Even when he had taken that first swipe in her direction he didn’t smell fear, no he smelt and heard her sudden anger and confusion. Of course in those days it always just wracked his nerves more. Then the cycle they always fell into would start again. He got confused, lashed out at her, she’d get upset and confused, lash back, harsh words, subjugation, eventually leading to her running off down the well. Eventually one of them would use the well and see each other again and put the past behind them. Time would go on and then the cycle would repeat.

He had taken her presence for granted, thinking that he’d always go get her when he was damn well ready. He had been such a fool. Now, his nerves were in shamble again at the thought that since she never truly knew what she meant, no, means to him, that he may have ruined his one and only chance at happiness. He almost whimpered at the thought. The years without her had taken their toll and the day of her return has left him scared. All his determination over the last three years being tossed to the wayside and overcome by fear. The ‘what if’s’ were clouding his mind till her shocked voice flooded his head. Shaking his thoughts away he waited on a baited breath for her response.

“My Gods, InuYasha.” Kagome was beside herself with shock and awe at what she was seeing. The home in front of her was something out of the modern era. Or at least close enough to. She couldn’t believe the sheer size of it! Even in the dark she could see how well it had been constructed. The time and effort that went into it was unfathomable considering that there weren’t things like construction equipment or power tools to be used here to erect such a structure. This was unquestionably something that had been built since she was gone. They hadn’t walked far so it’s something she would have noticed from her days wondering the surroundings of the village. She couldn’t help but stand there and stare in wonder of the structure. “It’s beautiful.” She claimed in an awe struck voice.

That simple statement tossed all the fears welling up inside InuYasha out to be ignored. He smiled, pride bubbling out. Something he did, he made, he and he alone, she thought was beautiful. “Ya think so, huh?” He asked. He saw her nod silently. The wonderment in her eyes filling him with excitement.

Her question made him laugh a bit. “How long has it been here?”

Thinking he said, “Not much over a year.” She nodded once more to that. He frowned slightly, he hadn’t brought her here just to stand outside and stare. Growing impatient, he reached out and grasped her hand once more damn near dragging her to the entrance. He built the whole thing for her not just the outside. There was so much more to see.

Finally snapping out of her daze, Kagome pulled back a bit. “What are we doing? We can’t just waltz right in there like we own the place, baka.”

This time his laughter wasn’t silent at all. With a smile plastered on his face and mirthful glint in his eyes he turned to her and said, “Why the hell not? That’s what it’s there for since we do own it, baka.” He inwardly cringed at his choice of words. She did own it, that was certain, but ‘we’ didn’t. Not yet, and that wasn’t something he was sure of yet. From her reaction though he was sure she was at the very least staying right here where he could protect her, but whether or not he was going to do that from inside was up for debate yet. However in this moment he didn’t know whether to sigh in relief of frown from disappointment as it appeared she either chose to ignore or entirely missed his slip of the tongue. He decided that it didn’t matter though since she was the one dragging him to the doorway.

Kagome hadn’t caught on to what he said. She only understood that InuYasha lived here, that this was his. She was surprised to say the least, but considering the way it looked she wasn’t that surprised. Reaching the door though she was further impressed by the fact that it wasn’t a simple tatami mat door but shoji in style minus any paper, this door was solid. Try as she might though she couldn’t slide the door and so she huffed knitting her brow in confusion. Was it simply too heavy for her to move? She jumped at the feel of InuYasha directly behind her. Turning slightly so as to look at him she pouted a bit while saying, “It won’t budge.”

Suppressing the urge to lock onto the full lips that were pouting at him he winked saying, “That’s cause there’s a trick to it.” Seeing her look that spoke of a sarcastic “really?” he bristled a bit, “Don’t give me that look. How else am I supposed to protect what’s inside if I’m not here?” nodding to himself at his choice of words this time. He built the entrance with her in mind. There are times he’s away from the village, although he won’t be doing that any time soon, but when he was gone and she was alone, that door would be the only thing between her and whatever was stupid enough to try and get in. It didn’t hurt, either, that it had kept his friends from barging in over the years to drag him out when he didn’t want company at all. That just was a perk of the design he built with only her on his mind.

Kagome considered him for a moment. He had a point. It was no different from her family locking the shrine doors when no one would be home. She had just grown so accustomed to everything being so open here that locks weren’t much consideration on her part. Smiling she realized she was just as guilty as so many others for not giving InuYasha’s inelegance and forethought the benefit of the doubt. “Sorry, I wasn’t expecting a lock is all.” Clasping her hands together she continued with an enthusiastic, “OK! Show me what to do.”

Nodding to her he pointed, “See that piece of wood that looks darker?” At her nod he continued, “Push it, then twist it, slide the door open then put it back in place. It will lock the door again on its own when you close it.”

Doing as she had been told, Kagome couldn’t help but be astounded by his sheer creativity. After following his instructions the door slid weightlessly over. Pale moon light, and a few dying embers was all that offered light though. So, Kagome moved off to the side to allow InuYasha to enter. When he told her to wait there while he started the fire she did while being sure to remove her shoes so she could rush in and look around the second there was enough light. She still couldn’t believe he had done this, let alone in less than the three years she’d been gone. For all the complaining he did about the modern era he must have taken a liking to some of it. “Ya know you always hated going through the well but, your home looks like something from the modern era. I always knew you didn’t hate it as much as you claimed to.” She said voicing her own thoughts.

The fact that she said “modern era” wasn’t lost on him. Actually it stuck to him. Normally she would have claimed possessiveness over it, but now she’s distanced herself from it. Shrugging it off for now and adding that to one of the many things he wanted to talk with her about over the next few days he merely made an indignant, “Keh” his replay and went back to building the fire. He didn’t plan making it big since there was little doubt that sleep would want to claim them both very soon. Just needed enough logs caught to be able to start a fire in the other room for her to sleep in. The one out here would get banked for the night and be left to go out. The slight chill of the night wouldn’t affect him like it would her.

It had only taken InuYasha a few more moments before the room was in a wash of orange glow. Kagome took what she saw in, in wonder. There was a normal sitting area with the large hearth, but off to the side of that was a large space with shelves of herbs, barrels lined the wall, filled with rice and pickled vegetables no doubt, and then more shelves with cooking equipment as wells as bowls. Not only that but there was a low lying table that she assumed was for preparing. After taking it all in she noticed there was a hall that led to some other distance within. InuYasha’s voice broke her out of her trance, from somewhere deeper within he bellowed, “You just gonna stand there wench? You can look around ya know.” Smiling, she walked in fully now.

After inspecting all there was to look at in this section she ventured towards the hall. InuYasha had disappeared down there and had yet to return. The closer she got the more she thought she heard the sounds of water. Thinking that impossible she laughed at herself. Hearing this InuYasha emerged leaning on a door frame from a room, which also now had the orange glow of a fire in it, sporting a smirk. “I hear water?” She asked confused.

“Well, go figure it out then. There’s no more locks on the doors inside.” He replied.

Sticking her tongue out at him for the tease, she went and opened the first door she saw. Figuring it was a bedroom of sorts since there was bedding folded against the wall, and a few chests, she didn’t bother to go too far in. From the few steps she did take in though she could tell it was dusty. This room was sparingly used. “Guess I’ll be cleaning your house.”

“Oi, what the hell is that supposed to mean?” He yelled.

“InuYasha, you can’t honestly tell me you don’t smell the dust in here.” She stated giving him a pointed look.

Shrugging he said, “I never go in there. First time in a while that door’s been opened.” Rolling her eyes at him she shut the door and moved on. When she made her next target the room he was still blocking, he shook his head at her, “N’less you’re done looking around don’t go in there yet.”

“Why not?” She pouted.

Resisting the urge to capture those pouty lips again he sighed, “Cause that’s where you’re sleeping. So make it the last stop.”

Relenting she went down the hall. There she found a storage room with odds and ends in it. The sound of water got louder at the end of the house. Opening the door to her right she was shocked to find a toilet of all things! Given it wasn’t like the ones from the modern era but still impressive none the less. That’s why she heard water. Looking down she could see the stream that ran under the floor. “InuYasha you’re a genius!” She heard his bark like laugh but kept going, “No, seriously! I don’t think anyone will figure out how to do this here for a long time yet!”

“Glad you like it,” he said. More of that pride welled up inside him. She hasn’t said a bad thing yet. Well, minus the dust comment. But damn it he didn’t clean things, mostly because he still wasn’t used to it. Sure when the stale smell got to him he would break down but, that room was almost never used. Shippo being the only one to ever stay here, and dust being preferable to the other smells from Miroku’s and Sango’s home or annoying questions from Rin at Kaede’s place. Stifling a yawn he said, “Hurry up would ya? I want to get some sleep.”

Raising an eyebrow, Kagome replied, “Really now? And what do you have to do tomorrow?”

‘You’ his mind thought. Realizing that was not something to say out loud he glared at her while trying to sound angry rather than flustered, “Nothing, baka. I’m just tired.” Pausing for a moment he smirked again saying, “I’m all yours for the next few days since you said we’re not goin’ nowhere.” You could hear the implications of what he said just in his tone alone. Mentally shrugging he couldn’t help the hentai turn his mind went. Damning the bozo for rubbing off on him, he waited for her reaction. He missed teasing her, sure, but he was almost not teasing also. His smirk grew to a fangy grin at the sent that assaulted him.

Maybe he owed the monk for rubbing off on him. If he hadn’t then something like that never would have came out before. Then he might not be doing the mental dance he was doing. He could smell the emotions in her sent, angry, confused, embarrassed, excited, embarrassed again, then finally settling with aroused excitement. That he considered one win on his side. So the implied concept didn’t appall her, but rather excited her. He watched the blush spread over her, while he heard her squeaked replay of, “oh”. He kept his laugh in his mind at her actions.

Suddenly though he felt uncomfortable with himself. Ok, sure he had started it. He went and tested the waters verbally twice now, but it’s not like he actually knew what he was doing. In essence sure, everyone knew what to do to an extent. But he’s never once been in a situation like this. This first intimate contact he’d ever had was the day Kikyo tried to drag him to hell, and even then he wasn’t sure what the hell to do. At the same time he had been in such shock over the action his mind couldn’t respond. Kagome had been the first person to willingly touch him in a kind way since his mother had past. All the time he had spent with Kikyo had always been spent with a respectable distance between them. He had never once touched her except in the “your life is possibly in danger, so you need to move,” kind of way until after she had been resurrected.

Then again he never thought anyone would want him to touch them, period. At the very least not as a hanyou. Not until Kagome. She taught him that it was ok to show emotions, verbally and physically. He still had trouble with both, but he knew it was simply ok, even for him. A small smile tugged at him at that thought. Nothing he’d done since awakening would have ever been possible without Kagome, and that included his awakening. There was so much he had to thank her for. So many gifts she had given him that he owed his thanks for. If she gave him the chance though, he’d tell her and show her till the day he took his last breath. So lost in his thoughts, Kagome’s shriek startled him.

“InuYasha! This is AWESOME! How in the world did you do this?” She was standing in a bathing room! She couldn’t see well but she could tell what it was in the moon light. How in the Gods did he figure this out? The tub was raised and feeling it she could tell the base was made of metal, so a fire could be lit under it to heat the water she concluded. But by the Gods this was astounding! The greatest of the modern convinces right there in his house, a few hundred years before possible. “I’m never leaving this place.” She mumbled. Too bad for her InuYasha had amazing hearing, because when his simple, “Good,” reached her she nearly died from embarrassment again. Such a simple implication had her turning to goo inside all over again.

Her own hopes and fantasies began to surface, causing a deep crimson to color her skin once more. When had Miroku rubbed off on her? Conceding to herself she realized that he wasn’t her only ‘bad’ influence. Realistically the modern era was to blame. Having been raised there she had been exposed to everything sexual since an early age. And although she and zero experience in that field she wasn’t prudish to it either. Maybe a little naive but defiantly not a prude, after all she was a product of her environment. But was that a good or bad thing? Women of this era were expected to be shy and submissive. If there was any chance of a romantic relationship with InuYasha would he be expecting her to be like that? In the past something as simple as a hug had made him standoffish to her, but then again he had been the one to embrace her no more then maybe an hour ago. Her blush deepened at that thought. Maybe she could show him what benefits there were to her having been born in the modern era? Snorting a bit to herself, she was pretty sure there were things she could tell Miroku that would cause him to sputter.

Shaking her head and growling at herself she shifted uncomfortably. What was she doing? She can’t have thoughts like that! Thank the Gods InuYasha couldn’t read her mind right now, he’d either be disgusted or appalled by her thoughts. Then again… ‘NO NO NO,’ she screamed in her mind! Taking a deep breath she turned around and went back up the hall. This had been the last door other than the one InuYasha blocked. He said not to go there until she was ready to go to sleep. Well, maybe sleep was what she needed to clear her dirty mind out.

Looking up in time to see him no longer in the doorway but in the hall she was stopped in her tracks from the look in his eyes. He looked like he was fighting an inner battle. Over what she wasn’t sure but she could feel her own anticipation grow. Something was going to happen. She had seen that look before but this time it was so much more heated, ten times more extreme than she remembered. Licking her suddenly dry lips she watched as his eyes seemed to follow the movement carefully. As she opened her mouth to say something, she was stopped by a mouth not belonging to her.
Chapter 9 by gem1216
Author's Notes:
I apologize for such a LONG as hell delay! ENJOY!

InuYasha’s brain turned to mush in moments. Had he realized by speaking, he would have cause Gods know what to of crossed her mind, he might have re-thought what he said. Then again in this moment he could hardly be mad at himself for his actions. Whatever she was thinking it was good. Not in the “good idea” sort of way but in the “sweet merciful Kami you smell so good that I want nothing more than to have you writhing beneath me and act out whatever amazing thoughts you’re having,” sort of way. When he pushed off the door frame and into the hall he tried with all his might to fight it. Really he did, but her alluring scent added to almost four years of want, three of which her calming presence wasn’t even there for, was breaking him slowly. Every muscle tightened at his minds attempt to ignore what every other part of him was screaming to go for. That was till her one simple innocent move, watching as she darted her tongue out to run it over her lips broke him.

That simple moved proved his undoing and in this moment with his brain taking a nap and his senses in hyper drive he didn’t give a damn. The moment his mouth landed on hers he thought he died out of sheer bliss. He was standing in the home he hoped to share with Kagome kissing her and she was responding. All his pent up emotions poured out into this kiss, his loneliness, want and desire, and his love. His body moved on its own, one hand tangling its self in her hair guiding her head to give him more access, while the other splayed out over her lower back pulling her flush against him. He growled deep in his chest when her tongue fought for dominance of the kiss. But he wasn’t angry at the action, far, far from it, it only proved to excite him further.

If Kagome had thought she was goo before then she had evaporated. The heat of their passion being her end. At first impact she was stunned, but that shock to her brain didn’t keep her body from reciprocating. All conscience thought was gone, all that was left in its wake was the knowledge that InuYasha was kissing her. No scratch that, he was devouring her faster than if she was made of ramen herself. He was a starved man that had been left alone with no food, and she was more than happy to be his first meal in that moment. She was equally starved though and decided it was her turn. Gone where her fears of her naivety, replaced only by her own sheer wants, needs, and love for the man she clung to like a monkey. Wait when did she leave the ground? It didn’t matter, nothing except the man who she clung to in a desperate attempt to somehow remove any and all space between them.

When her tongue finally was able to invade his mouth the first thing she went for were those tantalizing fangs. The features he felt damned by she adored the most. Those ever dangerous pieces of ivory that sat at the edge of his lip on occasion always had her day dreaming. She soon found that they were far sharper then they looked when she felt the sting of the small cut she caused herself. Somehow the tiny amount of pain only heightened the whole experience for her causing her to bury her hands into his hair trying to force him impossibly close. Somewhere in her muddled passion filled mind she let her hand inch farther in search of a warm fuzzy appendage she had desperately wanted to touch.

He was on the losing end of a battle of restraint. When he tasted Kagome’s blood he almost died of heart ache at the thought he’d caused her harm and pain, but the woman in his hold surprised him by only becoming fiercer in her actions. He was beside himself in disbelief at the notion that physical attributes he had been damned by somehow fueled her more. When her hand connected with his ear in a slow scratch at the base, it was like he had been struck by lightning. The sensations traveled completely through him and he lost his balance a bit causing him to crush her against the wall for stability.

Feeling the impact forced the pair apart for the air they had forgotten was necessary. Kagome shivered and a moan escaped, as she felt claws gently scrape the base of her neck. There truly was no part of him she wasn’t attracted to. The only noticeable sound, save for their labored breathing. However as their foreheads rested on one another, Kagome’s mind started to come back to her and she stiffened a bit. What had just happened? Old self doubts flooded her, causing her to feel like she had just committed the ultimate sin. Even if InuYasha had been the one to kiss her, was it her he was kissing? Was it possibly just a matter of the day’s emotions becoming too much and pent up general hormones made themselves known? For as much as she loved him and wanted to give him literally everything she had, she couldn’t let herself just become a replacement, or some outlet for that matter. She frowned at her thoughts and tried to dislodge herself from InuYasha’s grip. Frowning further when he seemed to hold on tighter she chanced looking at him and gasped at the emotions swimming in his eyes.

Her sent said it all. Dear Gods what had he done? “Please… PLEASE! I’m sorry! Don’t leave!” He dropped his head to her shoulder, he felt like crying in agony. This isn’t what she wanted, at least not from him. She wanted no part of that. And now he’d gone and shattered their friendship. Clenching his jaw at his own foolishness he threw his pride away. What good was anything in his life if she left? “I’m a bastard, I know, I’m sorry. Just forget it happened. I thought that you and me… Never mind. Just PLEASE…” He stopped taking a breath and whispered, “Just don’t leave me again. We can stay friends if that’s what you want. Hell you can osuwari till you feel better, just don’t leave me.”

His words echoed in her mind. She didn’t plan on leaving. Never again. They could stay friends if that’s what she wanted? Did that mean he wanted more than that from her? Her heart leapt at he thought, they needed to talk, but she needed time to think. She had to say something though. She could almost feel his fright. He never pleaded or begged for anything. “InuYasha… I’m…” Sighing she set determination in her mind, “Look, I’m not going anywhere, ever, just let me down though. I, we, have to think and actually talk about some things. Not right now though, let’s get some sleep first.” She could feel his hesitance in letting her go, smiling she forced him to look at her and almost cringed at the desperation she saw. Steeling her nerves once more she smiled reassuringly at him and said, “I promised to always stay by your side didn’t I? Let’s just get some rest. I promise I won’t go anywhere.” Leaning forward she brushed a gentle kiss to his forehead and stroked his cheek, “Trust me,” she whispered.

All his tension left suddenly. Of course he could trust her. She was the only one he’d ever been able to fully trust. Nodding, he gently set her down, lingering in his hold a little longer then needed. She never pushed him away though and he took that as a hopeful sign. She was right there was a lot they needed to discuss and maybe right this moment wasn’t the right time. They had a few days before anyone expected to see them so there was time yet. Besides it was late and now, as the adrenaline receded, weariness took it’s place. Looking down at her, he couldn’t help the smugness seeping in from her appearance. Disheveled hair, swollen lips that were smiling brilliantly, and a flush that didn’t have much to do from embarrassment, all of which his doing.

He’d concede that although this isn’t how he expected their first kiss to go it had been one hell of one though. So, they needed to talk, that was evident from her sent alone not only her words. After a display like that there was something bothering her but he had initially guessed wrong that it was his actions. Who knows what was going on in her mind, whatever it was though she had doubts of something. Was it possible she didn’t understand what he had said to her years ago, before they left to fight Naraku? Hopefully that’s all it was. If that was the case than it was his own fault for never having been more forward about his feelings, he’d fix it though. Shaking his head clear of thoughts for now he took her hand and headed to the last room of the house. “Common last room to see, then off to bed for you.” His thoughts took on a happy note then. Maybe he could at least tell her the house was built for her tonight yet.

Coming to the last doorway Kagome stopped. It was another bedroom but it was much more eloquent than the dusty one across the way. There was a large fire pit with a warm and welcoming fire glowing with enough wood for the night. Behind that near the far wall was what looked to be a rather large and extremely comfortable futon with a few pillows and some blankets. Just another one of those things that didn’t belong in this era, she thought smiling. Chests lined the back wall where the light didn’t exactly reach, however there was something next to the futon that caught her eyes. Stepping all the way into the room and sitting on the edge of the futon, she smiled and started to cry. “InuYasha, where did you find these?”

Shifting uncomfortably from her tears, he responded from his place in the doorway, “When I came back, the bow was in the bottom of the well. I think when you ran to your mother you dropped it and it got dragged back with me. Your bag, well I found it. Somehow it wasn’t destroyed in the process when Naraku was.”

Tear still in her eyes she jumped up and slammed into InuYasha hugging him. “I can’t believe you kept it! Thank you so much!” She sobbed.

“What’d ya expect? I figured you’d want that stuff when you came back.” He said it before he could stop himself and was now almost as red as his clothing. It was true but it was still embarrassing. Pulling her gently from him and nudged her back to the futon, “Been a long day, go through it in the morning. Get some sleep.”

Kagome nodded fully ready to rest and stretch out on the beyond comfy futon, till a thought struck her. “Where are you going to sleep?” She had seen all the rooms and she could guess he wasn’t going to sleep in the spare bedroom since it was so dusty still. It was sweet of him to be willing to give up his room but she had her bag back and thus she probably still had her sleeping bag, not to mention there were pillows in the sitting space so she could be perfectly comfortable out there.

“I… eh, out there.” He said pointing. Frowning at the thought Kagome grabbed her bag intent on beating him to it. When she felt him stop her, “Kagome I’ll be fine. I don’t sleep long anyway.”

Shaking her head in the negative she attempted protest, but he wasn’t budging. Thinking it over she was about to give up until she thought about something. There were a few times he’d fallen asleep in her own bed and she was forced to shove him over to go to sleep herself. How would this be different? The futon was better than twice the size of her old bed so sharing shouldn’t be too hard? Of course she wasn’t really thinking of the position she’d be placing them in when she stated, “We can share. I mean we’ve done it before. And before you start it’s fine. Plenty big for two people to just sleep in.”

Swallowing around the lump in his throat he weighed his options. On one hand there were the implications of what she was purposing, she had said just sleep however, and she wasn’t stupid, so she said that for a reason. On the other hand he’d get to sleep next to her all night and be that much closer to her as well as her calming scent. Not to mention that even if they needed to talk in the morning this told him they could at the least stay friends. Giving up he sighed, “Fine.” Before walking over with her and claiming his side.

Kagome smiled as she laid down and settled herself under the covers. At least they’d always be friends, even if she wanted his heart at least she could take a small residence in it. Rolling over towards InuYasha she leaned in and kissed his cheek whispering, “Goodnight,” before rolling back over to let sleep take her.

She didn’t know it, but his hand rested on the spot where she kissed and he smiled. That simple gesture somehow meaning as much if not more than the heated kiss they had shared earlier. “Goodnight, Kagome.”
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