Past Featured StorySummary: Fanfiction gifts created for members of our Deviant Art group, Eternally Destined. Visit the first chapter of this series for a link to ED's 2013 calendar!
Categories: Fables Characters: InuYasha, Kagome
Genres: Alternate Universe, Angst, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fluff, Hentai, Hurt/Comfort, Oneshot, Romance, Slice of Life, WAFF
Warnings: Explicit Sex, Language, Mild Sexual Situations, OOC/Out of Character, Pregnancy
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 13 Completed: No Word count: 43661 Read: 8105 Published: December 22, 2012 Updated: January 02, 2013
Story Notes:
Eternal Destiny and its registered authors claim no rights or ownership to any of the InuYasha characters. The original characters and plots are the property of the authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

As a special gift to the members of our Eternal Destiny, and deviantART group, Eternally Destined, our talented fellow member, Moniquiu, has created a 2013 InuYasha/Kagome desktop calendar. To get yours, simply DOWNLOAD IT HERE.
Then, print and enjoy! ^___^


2. FOR MOONSTAR9411 by ED Staff



5. FOR UHSAW by ED Staff



8. FOR RAINFLAME07 by ED Staff

9. FOR KMOATON by ED Staff

10. FOR NEO by ED Staff

11. FOR NAIELLE by ED Staff

12. FOR KAGOME313 by ED Staff

13. FOR JUNEY-CHAN by ED Staff

On the 12th day of Christmas

My true love gave to me

“What is this?”

InuYasha was confused. The hut was covered in weird lights and his mate had even managed to bring and fit a small pine tree into the center of their small home. How was that even possible? It too was decorated in odd lights and round objects. She even hung red socks up by the fire pit.


He could smell her. She had been home recently. A quick sniff took him back outside. What was his mate thinking? It was freezing outside!

“What the fuck?”

A bra. Her bra was just lying on the ground in front of the hut. A few steps in front of the bra had her underwear. A red thong. InuYasha growled and hoped that he found his mate soon. He had been with Miroku in another village taking care of a demon that was terrorizing them, and it had taken a whole week. A week was altogether way too long to not be with her, inside her, lying on top of her..... Sighing, he picked up his pace. The path of clothing took him through the forest, past the Goshinboku, and back to the hut. 12 clothing items in all.

12 clothing items

As the hut came into view, InuYasha noticed black smoke filtering out of the front door. Excited, he bounded into the door, not realizing that the smoke obscured his sense of smell.


A sharp jolt to his entire body and InuYasha’s vision turned black.

Groaning, InuYasha first opened his eyes. He was inside his hut, in the bedroom. A quick sniff and he finally noticed that his sense of smell wasn’t quite right. Growling, he went to move and a shock to his wrists and ankles told him he was tied up. On top of the bed. Spread eagle. Naked.

Red seeped into his eyes and a dangerous growl began from deep inside his chest.


The growl stopped and his eyes turned back to his gold as the sound of his mate’s voice filled his ears.

“Kagome? Where are yo-.....”

Kagome stepped into his field of vision and InuYasha choked on his words. She was wearing a red strapless dress with white fur caressing the top of her breasts, that were practically falling out of the top, and along the bottom, barely covering the junction between her legs. Black thigh high boots and a red triangular had with the same white fur in a ball on top and along the bottom completed her outfit.

“Surprise mate.”

Slowly, she approached InuYasha, swinging her hips side to side and bouncing her chest as much as she could in her scandalous clothing. She ran a finger along all 11 knots holding InuYasha to their bed.

“I knew you would be eager to take me, and believe me, I’m eager too. But good things come to those who wait. So I had to slow you down somehow my love. Knots seemed to be a good idea. Add a little of miko energy to them and you’re all mine. At least for now.”

11 naughty knots

Kagome grabbed her yellow backpack and took out 10 bottles. Lining them all in a row, InuYasha was flooded with scents and smells, some that he recognized, others were new. Tilting his head and flattening his ears, he was for the first time, uncertain about what his mate was about to do to him.

As if sensing his thoughts, Kagome leaned forward and rested her hand on his cheek.

“Do you trust me?”

InuYasha’s insecurity deflated and the tension in his muscles immediately left him. He met his mate’s eyes and saw the love staring back at him. He nodded his head in consent, letting his mate do whatever she wanted.


She grabbed each bottle, one by one, and drizzled a little onto her lover's body in various locations. Across his nipples, down his chest, on each of his testicles and of course along his rapidly hardening length.

“You’ve always been delicious. Add a little chocolate here, a little cherry there, raspberry over here....With all 10 of these flavors.....I just want to devour you.”

10 tasty flavors

A smirk was all InuYasha saw before she lowered her face and began the slow task of licking off everything from his body. InuYasha valiantly tried to keep his head up and his eyes open to watch his amazing mate, but the feelings were too much and his lids slowly closed. His head finally fell back with a hard thump to rest on the bed while his mate paid special attention to his hardened dick, pulling him as far into her throat as she could and humming.

InuYasha only hoped she was going to stop soon.

“Ka-......Kagome......Stop. Please.”

He didn’t want to get one before her but fuck. He was getting there. Not to mention he was tied up. InuYasha tried to squirm and press his hips into her welcoming mouth more only to be met by the answering jolt from the enhanced knots. And damn if it didn’t make him even harder.

Giggling, Kagome stood and walked backwards away from her whining mate. Yes whining. He may have asked her to stop but why was she walking away!?

“I’m not leaving you. I was working on something while you were gone. All I want you to watch.

And watch he did. InuYasha was mesmerized. She danced. Spinning and twirling, InuYasha moaned loudly at the sight of his mate moving her hips like she was. Her hands were running over her body, touching everything that he craved to do.

9 teasing moves

InuYasha’s eyes bulged when she removed her hat. Her hands slowly ran over each button that was barely holding in her bulging chest. Inch by inch, she slowly began to reveal her skin to his eager eyes.

She really wanted to speed this up, but she worked so hard to perfect her moves. She did move a little faster though. Her practices took her at least 15 minutes to completely remove everything. This was going to be much quicker than that.

8 minute strip

Once she was completely naked, she skipped over to her bag once more and removed a book.

“I have one more gift for you InuYasha.”

Curious, InuYasha watched as his mate walked over and straddled his chest. He could feel the wetness seeping out of her core and the heat she was giving off. He twitched and moaned loudly. He wasn’t sure how much more of this he could take.

“I thought you might want to try something new. And then I saw this book and I knew it was perfect.”

Kagome slid her body down, pressing her breasts into InuYasha’s chest and her hot core right above his hard dick. A slight rock would put him inside and he tried desperately to ignore the rope and burns from the miko energy in an effort to get that extra inch.

She flipped to a random page, made a noise in the back of her throat and turned the book around to show her mate. InuYasha’s eyes widened and his jaw fell wide open. It was a sex book that showed a couple in a very detailed position. Even step by step instructions were given on each page.

A snarl filled the hut and Kagome found herself on her back with a highly aroused hanyou turned full youkai between her legs.

7 second freedom

Kagome was stunned. He wasn’t supposed to break free! She gathered her energy and prepared to shock her mate one more time. She wasn’t done playing with him yet. Her plans were quickly put to a stop when InuYasha released his youkai, quickly smothering her rising powers.

InuYasha quickly reached over to the book, searching until he found one he liked. A smile split his face and he roughly maneuvered his mate to the proper position.

“I believe this is called ‘The Plough’.” And he proceeded to plow into his mate as hard and fast as he could.

6 new positions

Kagome moaned, mewled, screamed and groaned as her mate continued to move her around. His movements changed from rough and desperate to slow and loving. She was pretty convinced he was trying to compose a symphony. He was doing a damn good job too.

InuYasha was in heaven. Lying with his mate was never boring. But this book she got him gave him ideas. Fantastic ideas. And he was loving how the new positions made his mate sing for him. Her voice always seemed to soothe him, but her new sounds only served to make him want to never leave her again. And to never allow her to dress and leave the bed.

5 brand new sounds

The couple was quickly losing track of time. Minutes turned to hours while the couple rolled around their small hut. Some of the time was spent against a wall. Some was spent sprawled across a floor or making love in bed. Being a hanyou certainly helped when you can get multiple orgasms. He could go all night.

4 screaming hours

InuYasha groaned as his latest orgasm washed over him and he released into his mate. She was exhausted and he could tell. He rolled his mate over so they were spooning and he was able to stay embedded inside her core. Wrapping his arms around her, he threw a leg over the two of hers and pressed his nose into her hair, taking a deep breath of her scent saturated with his own.

Kagome pressed her body deeper into his embrace and looked at her mate over her shoulder.. “Did you miss me?”

Snorting, InuYasha rolled his eyes. “What do you think wench?”

“I love you.”

3 short words

InuYasha smiled and tightened his arms.

“I love you too Kagome.”

Three weeks later, Kagome left Kaede’s hut with a bright smile. She was pretty sure she knew what was going on but having it confirmed meant a great deal. Directing her feet towards the Goshinboku, she wasn’t surprised to find her mate resting on a branch.

Before she could even open her mouth, her mate dropped down and landed in front of her.

“Well? What did Kaede have to say?”

Kagome’s finger pressed into her mouth and her eyes went to the sky. She wasn’t sure how to explain this.

“Ah...hmmm. Okay. InuYasha. I’m 2 weeks late.”

2 weeks late

Cocking his head to the side, InuYasha waited for her to elaborate. She looked excited. But when it was clear that he wasn’t reacting like she thought he would, her face slowly fell and her shoulders drooped.

Kagome sighed and shook her head. She should have known better than to beat around the bush.

“I’m pregnant. You’re going to be a dad.”

She squealed when she found herself in a tight hug. Her mate lifted her by her hips and spun her around, laughing the entire time.

A dad! He never thought he’d be a dad. But thanks to the wonderful, beautiful, amazing woman in his arms, all of his dreams were coming true. What would he do without her?

He finally stopped spinning her and kissed her with all the passion and excitement that he could. When he pulled back and allowed them to breathe, words escaped him. All he could do was stare at his mate and smile widely.

Kagome smiled back at him and knew he was more than a little bit excited.

“Merry Christmas, my love.”

And one truly awesome really big surprise.
FOR MOONSTAR9411 by ED Staff

Kagome walked briskly towards the back of the church. She tried to choke back her tears as she slipped through the back door, making sure not to be seen. The cold December air hit her and she wrapped her arms around her waist. The last thing she needed was the two people occupying the church to notice her. She barely wanted to admit what she saw to herself, but eyes didn’t lie, even if her mind wanted them to.

She swiped her hand across her cheek furiously as a lone tear fell despite her efforts to hold it back. She tightened her arms around her waist, cursing herself for leaving her coat in the car. She was halfway to where she parked her car when she heard her name being called in the distance. ‘Now you remember me.’ She thought bitterly to herself.

She picked up her pace as best she could on the rocky path. Before she knew it, she was in her car and driving towards the city. She heard the ringtone on her cell play softly as she drove. She had left her purse with her house keys and phone in the car on the passenger seat before she entered the church. She had arrived earlier than everyone else to ensure that everything was perfect for her special day. At least, she thought she had arrived before anyone else….

“Some special day this turned out to be.” She grumbled to herself as she pressed a bit harder on the gas pedal. She was going fifty in a forty mile zone, but she needed to get away faster. She needed to run from it all, especially the pain. She ignored the ringing of her cell as she weaved in and out of traffic. She had no destination; she just wanted to be far away from it all.

The scene she bore witness to in the small dressing room at the church kept playing over and over in her head as she drove. Hands running across skin, lips touching, whispered words, heavy breathing.

Tears fell from her eyes uncontrollably as a sob tore from her lips. She shouldn’t be crying over this, but she couldn’t stop herself.

It hurt.

It hurt to be betrayed by the two people you trusted most in the world. It hurt even more to witness that betrayal with your own eyes.

It hurt seeing your soon to be husband fucking your best friend in the church you were to be married in that very same day. That was the type of pain you couldn’t run from. That was the type of pain that made you drive seventy five miles an hour on a cold December day, with roads full of snow and ice.

That was the type of pain that made tears fall from your eyes so fast that your vision became blurry and you lost control of the wheel.

Kagome screamed as her car swerved over a patch of black ice. She took her foot off the gas and fought back the impulse to slam on the brakes. She fought with the wheel, trying to regain her control.

But it was too late.

Before she knew what was happening, there was a loud crunch and her head jerked and hit the steering wheel.

“Fuck!” She yelled out, clutching her head. The pain was intense, she squeezed her eyes shut and hissed. There was going to be bruising for sure.

She rubbed at the aching spot on her head for a few more moments before she registered the fact that there was a loud voice outside her car door. Kagome turned her head just enough to see a man standing beside her car. She could only see him from the neck down in her position.

“You gonna stay in your car like a coward or come out?” She heard the voice shout.

“Just fucking great.” Kagome groaned to herself. The last thing she needed was someone yelling at her after the shit she just went through.

Suddenly feeling pissed she jerked up and slammed her door open, barely missing the man who moved back in the nick of time.

“Look Mister, I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but I don’t appreciate your fucking yelling.” She snapped as she got out of her car. “It’s not my fault I slid on the fucking ice.”

The wind blew hair in Kagome’s face as soon as she was out of her car. She still had her jacket off and no hat on.

“Might have helped if you weren’t trying to be fucking Speed Racer, dumb ass.” The man fired back. Kagome finally got her hair out of her face and looked up, opening her mouth to rip him a new one.

She froze as she stared into the pissed off face of her past. She hadn’t seen him in three years. Not since they had broken up and she had moved out of town.

“Yash?” She asked softly, not believing it was really him. She watched as his golden eyes swept over her face and lit up with recognition.

“Kagome.” He said her name on a whisper she almost didn’t hear. His voice was still the same; Smooth and masculine. How the hell hadn’t she recognized it?

They both stood there, staring at one another in disbelief. Kagome noticed he had let his hair grow out. The thick, black locks now hung down past his shoulder blades. He had it pulled back in a low ponytail. She noticed his full lips were slightly parted and she has the sudden urge to feel them against hers again.

She shook her head and immediately regretted it. Pain exploded behind her eyes and before she knew it she was being cradled in a pair of familiar, strong arms. She tried to ask what was going on, but darkness was creeping up on her vision fast. Before she knew it, she was out.


Kagome felt something cold and wet on her forehead and tried to swat it off. She felt a hand grab hers and pull it down to her side. Her eyes popped open and she immediately squeezed them shut. There was a throbbing in her head and she suddenly remembered the accident.

“Yash?” She asked her voice cracking. Her throat felt dry and sore. Great, on top of everything else, she was now getting sick. Wonderful.

“You know, you always had a bad habit of going out in the middle of winter with no coat on.” She heard his deep, masculine voice say next to her.

She felt herself smile. They had, had plenty of fights during their relationship about her not bundling up before leaving the apartment they once shared. A dull pain started in her chest at the memory.

She opened her eyes slowly and turned her head towards him. She was lying on a couch, with him kneeling beside her. He looked down at her with a smile on his face. “I swear you think you’re invincible.”

“Yeah, I’m a regular Superwoman.” She said sarcastically. “Sorry about your car Yash. I’ll pay for the damage.”

“Don’t worry about it; you just caught the side of my bumper.” He said a crooked smile. The smile crooked smile that used to make her undies magically disappear. “Your car might be totaled though. It’s in a ditch.”

She groaned loudly, cursing her luck. “Great, just great. This has been the day from hell.” She says more to herself then to him. She noticed him watching her closely, worry evident in his gaze.

“What happened today?” He asked. Kagome shook her head. She didn’t want to tell him the humiliating details. “Come on. Whatever it was caused you to drive like an idiot and almost kill yourself and others. Seeing as I’m in the “other” category, I deserve to know what might have ended my life.”

She narrowed her eyes at her and motioned that she wanted to sit up. He leaned back on his heels and she sat up on the couch, placing her feet on the floor. She held her head in her hands and moaned softly.

She heard him stand and walk away, but refused to life her head. He returned a few moments later and kneeled in front of her.

“Here, take these.” She looked up at the two pills he offered her. She took them gratefully and popped them into her mouth, downing the glass of water he also handed her.

He smiled when she handed him the empty glass. “Better?”

Kagome returned his smile. “Much better actually. Thanks Yash.” He sat the empty glass on the coffee table behind him and turned his attention back towards her.

“So, you gonna tell me what happened?” He asked jumping right back to the previous conversation. Kagome rolled her eyes.

“Still the same huh?” She asked him playfully. “What Inuyasha wants, Inuyasha gets.” A look came over his face that she couldn’t describe.

“Not everything.” He answered as he stared into her eyes.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out what he meant. Kagome swallowed the lump in her throat and averted her eyes. She knew it had hurt him when she decided to leave, but she had wanted more at the time. More than he and their little hometown of Shikon could offer.

“Yash…” She started, but was promptly cut off.

“So, about your day from hell?” He asked her, getting up from the floor and sitting next to her on the couch. She sighed, Yash never let anything drop.

“I’m supposed to get married today.” Kagome said emotionlessly. The pain was still there, but at the moment she just felt kind of numb. She looked over and noticed Inuyasha’s body stiffen and his sharp intake of breath.

“Yash?” She asked timidly. He couldn’t have feelings for her after all these years, right? Not after she left him…

“You’re getting married? Today?” He asked, disbelief and anger in his voice. His eyebrows pulled together and he narrowed his eyes. “Who is he?”

Kagome’s eyes widened slightly. ‘What the hell…’ “His name is Hojo. We met almost a year after I left.” She regretted that sentence the moment it left her mouth.

Kagome watched as Inuyasha’s eyes went from the golden color she loved to a dark honey. He was pissed.

“So, you’re supposed to marry this Hojo guy today. What’s stopping you?” He growled.

“Am I missing something?” Kagome asked. She was a bit confused on why he was angry. They hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in three years. He couldn’t possibly feel anything for her anymore. Even if she still cared for him…

“Not at all. I guess I just read a bit too much into our spontaneous meeting.” He grumbled and stood. “Got my hopes up.” He said as he walked over to the other couch and picked up her phone. He tossed it on the couch next to her.

“I don’t want to hold you up on your big day. I can drop you off.” He said avoiding eye contact with her.

Kagome bit her lip and felt tears prick at her eyes. He said something similar to her three years ago when she left him. I don’t want to hold you back. She was such a bitch. And look where it landed her.

She left Shikon to be something more. To branch out and get a great job with her shiny new business degree. Instead, she ended up being a secretary to Hojo at his father’s law firm.

Yeah, some hot shot she became.

“No need Yash, but if you need me out of your hair I can call a cab.” She said weakly. She had no business being there with him. Not after how she left him.

He looked down at her confused. “What do you mean no need?”

Kagome gave a humorless laugh. Mine as well tell him what her life had become. “There won’t be a wedding today. I went into the church earlier and saw my so called fiancé fucking my so called best friend.”

Inuyasha’s eyes widened and his mouth fell open. There was nothing, but silence for a few moments that seemed like hours. He slowly sat back down next to her.

“You mean to tell me, that prick was stupid enough to even notice another woman when he had you?” He asked incredulously.

“I’m not much to write home about Yash.” Kagome said feeling bitter all over again. She had tried to be everything for Hojo, but nothing ever seemed to be enough.

Inuyasha raised an eyebrow. “Are you fucking kidding me? If I had the chance to have you barefoot and pregnant with my ring on your finger, I’d be the happiest man alive.”

Kagome looked at him like he grew two heads. “How can you say that after what I did to you?” She was confused. She had left him, all because she thought she wanted more than he could offer her.

Inuyasha turned towards her and took her hands in his. His face softened and he smiled at her.

“I can say that because I love you. I never really stopped.” He confused and Kagome felt her mouth fall open. “To be honest, I hoped you she what life was like out there and come back to me. We had a good thing Kagome.”

They had. What they had was a really good thing, until she went and messed it up. All because she feared that staying in her hometown would make her a nobody. All her friends from high school had left to study abroad; instead she went to the college just one town over.

“We did have a good thing. Great even.” Kagome whispered, once again feeling tears prick her eyes. Inuyasha squeezed her hands.

“It was hell watching you walk out that door Kagome. I waited a month for you to come back. When you didn’t, I left. There was no point in staying if you weren’t there.”

Kagome’s eyes got impossibly larger. He waited?

“You waited?” She asked breathlessly. He smiled down at her.

“It seems that you underestimated my feelings for you, Kagome.” He said softly. “I wouldn’t have made you stay in Shikon.”

“But you wanted to open your bike shop.” Kagome argued. Since Inuyasha was a little kid he had dreamed of owning a motorcycle shop. He was obsessed with the things. It was one of the reasons she fell for him.

“I could’ve opened that anywhere.”

“Did you? Open it I mean?” She asked. She hoped he did. He deserved to have his dream come true.

His smile widened. “Yeah, I did. Nishiyori’s Custom Cycles.”

Kagome smiled and through her arms around him. “I’m so happy for you Yash.”

She felt his arms tighten around her and she let him hold her for a few moments longer before pulling back. A sudden thought hit her.

“I guess I’m going to have to find another job. I was working as Hojo’s secretary.” Kagome said sadly. She never realized how much she depended on him.

“Well, I could use a secretary. It’s hard to keep up with orders and work on bikes.” Inuyasha said with a sly smile on his face.

“Really?” She smiled at him, and then frowned. “Where are we anyway?” He laughed at her question.

“Now you ask? This is the house I bought after I opened the shop.” He told her.

She narrowed her eyes playfully. “I figured that much out. I meant what city. I wasn’t paying much attention to where I was going.”

“A few minutes outside of Tokyo.” Kagome stared at him. “What?”

“How long have you been here?”

“About a year.” He looked at her confused. She shook her head and laughed.

“You’ve been so close. I live in Tokyo.” That was where she had run off to. Shikon was about four hours from Tokyo.

Inuyasha joined in her laugh. “What are the odds?”

Kagome’s laughter ended when her phone began to ring in her purse. She pulled it out and saw Hojo’s name on the screen. She also noticed the time, 5:40. Her wedding was scheduled for four o’clock. She saw thirty other missed calls from Hojo and ten from her “best friend” Eri. She was about to answer when Inuyasha’s hand covered the phone.

Kagome looked up into his eyes, seeing the determination there. “Don’t go back.”


“What are the odds of us running into each other on the day you’re supposed to be married? What are the odds of him cheating on you? This was meant to happen.” He said with conviction.

Kagome could do nothing but stare at him. What he said made sense, but could it happen? Could they start over? Get back what they once had?

Inuyasha must have seen the questions in her eyes. “We can start slow. See where this leads.” His eyes pleaded with her.

Kagome bit her lip. She wanted to try. She wanted to be with Inuyasha again. She wanted his love and she wanted to give him hers.

“Okay. Let’s try.” She laughed at the wide smile he gave her. He pulled her into his arms and gently kissed her. She sighed at the feel of his lips on her once again. It was like coming home.

A tear fell from her eye. Inuyasha was her home and she was an idiot not to realize it before. He had given her a second chance and she would grab it and never let go.


One year later…

Kagome looked down at the beautiful little baby boy lying in the crib asleep. Emotion swam through her as her gaze roamed over his tiny body.

“What are you doing in here?” She heard a voice say behind her, right before strong arms wrapped around her waist from behind.

“Watching him sleep. He’s amazing.” She whispered. “He’s ours.”

To think, her beautiful little baby may have never been there if it hadn’t been for her ex fiancé cheating on her.

Kagome turned around in her husband’s arms and wrapped hers around his neck. He looked down at her with love and adoration in his eyes. She was so grateful to have him back in her life. Lucky that he had even taken her back.

“I love you Inuyasha.” She said with deep emotion. Words couldn’t express how much she meant those words. He smiled down at her.

“I love you Kagome.” He leaned down to kiss her.

“Thank you for giving me another chance.” She whispered against his lips.

“Any time baby. You are a beautiful chance that I would take every time.”

"Fuck them!” Inuyasha mumbled as he stormed out of the house into the blowing snow. Leaving behind his soon to be former friends, Inuyasha ignored the well of pain that began to settle in his chest, choosing to focus instead on his anger. Pulling at his hastily thrown on outerwear, Inuyasha debated where to go. Back home was out. His brother was there and the last thing he needed to hear was an "I told you so". Sesshomaru made no secret about thinking his human friends were useless and while Sesshomaru thought the crush his hanyou brother had on Kagome was interesting, he expressed doubts at her maturity for a serious relationship. After this disaster of a night, Inuyasha could feel that seed of doubt taking root.

"What is Sess was right after all?"

Shaking his head to clear the painful thoughts, Inuyasha figured out where he would go. He'd stay long enough to fool his brother and hopeful cool his anger as well. The painful reminder, well, that would be buried like it always had been.


The trio sat in shock as their friend tore out of the house and into the stormy night. Kagome tried to stop him but he brushed her off and went out into the night. Nearly in tears over the hurt look on Inuyasha's face, Kagome rounded on Miroku. Sango was already glaring daggers at her hapless boyfriend, his cheek blazing red from the slap she planted on his face. Taking a seat, Kagome couldn't help but wonder how such a fun evening went horribly wrong.

It had been her idea to do the gag gifts before the real gifts. She knew Inuyasha had a hard time with the holidays and getting him to agree to join them had been a major feat. The tragedy had made him wary of intimacy and Kagome often wondered if they would go any further than just friends. Now Miroku had totally messed things up and she knew Inuyasha would possibly never speak to them again.

"What possessed you?” Sango screamed. "Why would you him a fake pregnancy test when you knew all of the circumstances? What were you thinking?!”

Still rubbing his face, Miroku could only shrug. "It’s been 3 years. I thought he'd be over it by now."

Kagome shook her head. "You don't just 'get over' it, you moron!"
Grabbing her coat and the real gift she bought Inuyasha, Kagome headed out. "I'm going to find him and apologize. He must think we are heartless."

Sango tried to stop her. “You don't know where he is plus a storm is blowing in.”

Pulling the front door open, Kagome gasped as the cold wind hit her. “I have an idea of where he is and I have to go. If we don't fix this tonight, Inuyasha might cut us off for good".

Arriving at the old shrine, Inuyasha went straight to the old tree. This was where he met Kagome, working a festival. It was her family’s shrine and she had grown up there but with passing of her grandfather, it was only open for festivals and sacred holidays. Inuyasha often came there to think or brood. He couldn't explain the pull of the place but he felt at peace there. It had been the one place he could think without needing to hide his feelings.

Kagome wasn’t surprised to find him in his spot on the biggest limb of Goshinboku. No matter the season, she had known where to find Inuyasha whenever he was troubled. She knew Inuyasha had watched her approach and her heart ached as she moved closer to the tree.

“Hey. I have the keys to the house. Why don’t we go inside and warm up?”

For a long moment, Kagome wondered if he was going to even acknowledge her presence but soon he jumped down beside her. Silently, they made their way to the house. Inuyasha walked and went to find to turn up the heater while Kagome found the tea and put a kettle on to boil. Spying a few packets of ramen, she set up a bowl as well, hoping Inuyasha would accept the peace offering.

They both sat quietly at the table, Inuyasha eagerly diving into the ramen while Kagome sipped her tea. It wasn’t until he finished did Kagome broached the subject of why they were there in the first place.

“I didn’t mean for everything to turn out like this.” Kagome started.

Inuyasha hung his head, his bangs hiding his eyes. “Do you know that Christmas reminds me that it’s my fault that Kikyou died?”

“How is it your fault? She left you. She decided she wanted to go to America and leave you behind. How is her death your fault?”

“If I had agreed to go with her, she would have left in a rage and had the accident. We wouldn’t have fought. She’d still be alive. I’d be…” Inuyasha’s voice trailed off, the words sticking in his throat.

“You’d be a father.” Kagome finished for him.

“Yea. The kicker was she didn’t even know she was pregnant. She would have been in America by the time she found out. I can’t help but wonder would she have even told me about it?”

Kagome reached across the table and held Inuyasha’s hand. “You can’t let the guilt of ‘what if’s’ do this to you. Sometime, you have to let it go and move on. The past is unchangeable but we can work on the future.”

Inuyasha snorted. “Have you been talking to Sesshomaru? “

Laughing, Kagome responded. “No, indeed! I know Sesshomaru thinks I’m trivial. He makes no secrets on how he feels about me.”

“It’s not that he doesn’t like you. It’s the fact, compared to demons, human lives are so short and he tends to feel humans and demons shouldn’t be together for that reason.” Inuyasha looked at her, blushing slightly. “Can I ask you a serious question?”

Kagome smiled. “Sure.”

“Have you ever been afraid that you’d mess things up so bad that you just ignore your feelings and pretend they don’t exist?”

Thoughtfully, Kagome replied. “No but I have held back on my feelings because I wasn’t sure if they would be returned and I didn’t want to be hurt.”

They stared at each other across the table, the pain, the loneness and fear vivid in their eyes.

Softly, Inuyasha asked. “What would it take to make you let your feelings go?”

Kagome didn’t speak for a moment. “What would it take to ease your guilt and be willing to give love another chance?”

“Maybe I have been looking for ways to give love another chance but I’ve been so afraid of ruining this chance that I choose to do nothing. I’m more afraid this person will slip away if I don’t, though. She won’t wait forever.” With a surprising smirk, Inuyasha reminded Kagome. “You didn’t answer my question.”

Kagome stood up and paced. “If I thought if I truly had a chance to be in his heart, I’d jump at the chance. Right now, I don’t know if he has room for me.”

Inuyasha came and stood in front of her, stopping her pacing. “For a long time, I let Kikyou’s death consume me. Then about two years ago, I saw this girl at a shrine, looking more alive than anyone I had seen in a long time. She dared to become my friend and I thought that was all I wanted. My brother told me I was an idiot for clinging to someone who had been walking away from me instead of paying attention to what was in front of me. Then a year ago, I realized that maybe I wanted more but I couldn’t let the past go. Tonight made me realize that my anger wasn’t going to bring her or my child back. Neither was my sadness.”

Kagome’s breath caught in her throat. She dared not read too much into what Inuyasha was saying. Buying herself some time to process what she was hearing, Kagome stepped back and reached into her bag.

“I bought you a gift.” As he took the package from her and sat at the table to open it, Kagome’s nerves took over. “It’s not anything fancy but I noticed you didn’t have one and, demon or not, I thought you needed one.”

Inuyasha pulled out a long greenish-yellow cashmere scarf. As he rubbed the soft material through his hands, he sincerely thanked Kagome.

“This is really nice. I promise I’ll wear it every day.” He walked up to her and pulled her close. Kagome melted into his arms and just enjoyed the moment. “Let’s go outside and enjoy the snow before it’s too bad.”

Hand in hand, the pair walked outside. Big flakes were falling but around the tree, it was peaceful. Once again, Inuyasha pulled Kagome close, this time to protect her from the cold. The stood there for the longest time, enjoying the solitude and the beauty of the snow. Kagome finally broke the silence.

“Inuyasha, I think I am ready if you are ready. I didn’t dare ask for anything more because I didn’t think you wanted that. I was content to be your friend.”

Running his fingers through Kagome’s dark hair, he thought about what she had said earlier. Was there room in his heart for Kagome? As he thought, Inuyasha realized the answer was yes. Kikyou had long vacated his heart, that spot having been replaced with anger and bitterness. Since getting to know Kagome, he hadn’t realized that spot was slowing being cleaned out and ready for a new tenant.

“I’m more than ready and it’s time. I need you to help me. I need you to show me how to love again.”

Kagome pulled back to see Inuyasha’s face and shivered, not from cold, but from the sincerity and emotion in his eyes.

“I can and I will. I promise.”

Their lips met and the heat from long dormant passions surged forward, making them completely forget about the cold. The need for air finally forced them apart.

“Wow.” Kagome mumbled against Inuyasha’s chest. Stroking her hair, Inuyasha silently agreed. As the heart died away, the cold reasserted itself with a sharp pickup in the wind.

“Do you think Sango and Miroku are still at your apartment?”
Kagome frowned. “More than likely. Sango would wait to make sure I got back ok. I can call.”

Inuyasha took her hand and pulled her towards the shrine steps. “Don’t call. I have a friend to pound and I don’t want him to get a head start running.”

Kagome laughed. After a rough start, it seemed things would be okay, at least with her and Inuyasha. Miroku, on the other hand, was getting ready to have a whole world of problems.

“Come on dogboy, come out already so I can see if your costume fits!” Kagome yelled at her little brother’s locked door. She’d been arguing with the Hanyou behind it for over half an hour. They would miss her friend’s party at this rate.

“Wench, there’s no fucking way I’m going out in public dressed like this! It’s indecent!” came the reply.

“Honestly,” Kagome muttered, getting very annoyed, “it’s no big deal. I’ve been dressed in my costume for like an hour and it’s no worse! Besides, you’ve locked Souta out of his room and I think he wants to play his games!”

“Yeah,” the fidgeting boy added. He looked over to his sister’s costume; sure it was a little slutty, it definitely left less to the imagination than what she’d normally wear. But he doubted that whatever Inuyasha was wearing was worth locking himself in a room and withholding videogames from innocent little brothers!

“Why can’t I just go dressed as I normally do?” Inuyasha whined from within the room.

“Because it’s Halloween, you have to wear a costume!” Kagome answered.

“Your friends aren’t going to know!” Inuyasha retorted hotly.

“But we’re going as a couple, we have to match,” Kagome said, throwing a little bit of a pout into her voice.

Inuyasha hung his head, imagining the look Kagome was probably giving him. He could never resist it; damn his soft heart. He let out a resigned sigh, muttering, “You’re giving me that look aren’t you?”

‘Ha! Got him!’ Kagome gloated in her head. She laid the disappointment even thicker, even throwing in a lip wobble, “And I worked so hard picking out the right costumes for us!”

“Fine,” Inuyasha said dejectedly. He felt himself flush as he opened the door to present his costume. Kagome was shocked into silence over how well the costume worked for her Hanyou. Luckily, Souta was there to break the silence.

“You’re so gross Sis!” Souta exclaimed in shock, “You just wanted to see Inu no nii-chan in a loincloth!”

Kagome blushed, “That’s… that’s ridiculous Souta!”

Inuyasha just shuffled his feet and stared at the floor, not able to look anyone in the eye. Kagome had lured him to her time for a Halloween party, saying it was something that boyfriends and girlfriends did. She’d been manipulating him with that line every other week since he’d nervously asked to court her last summer. She’d promised that he’d have a good time and wouldn’t even have to cover his ears if he came. That part was true at least; the costume she’d picked out was simply a ripped leopard print loincloth that went down mid-thigh and a plastic spear. She’d at least let him trade out that wimpy thing for Tetsusaiga.

He finally mustered up the nerve to look up at his Miko, shocked at what he saw. His innocent, pure Kagome was wearing a skin tight tan outfit. Like his costume, she was only covered to her mid-thigh; but that’s where the similarities ended though. For one thing, she actually had a top; it was a tight short-sleeved blouse. It was strategically laced across the chest to give a “busting out” affect, and to finish the effect, she had on a little matching hat.

Kagome noticed her tongue-tied Hanyou staring and sent him a dazzling smile, “What do you think?”

Inuyasha took a few moments to gather his thoughts, “Wench, you are not going out looking like that!”

Kagome rolled her eyes and grabbed Inuyasha’s wrist, dragging him mid-protest.

“…and what are we even supposed to be?” Inuyasha finally finished, not noticing that Kagome had successfully dragged him out of the shrine, down the staircase, and halfway down the street.

“Well, I’m the daring, brilliant, and gorgeous jungle explorer. You’re the savage half-man, half-beast that I found in some ancient ruins and brought back to civilization,” Kagome answered lightly.

“Keh. I thought the whole point of this stupid holiday was to pretend.”

“I’m choosing to take that as a compliment,” Kagome replied. “Now relax, you’re going to love this!”


“Fuck I hate this,” Inuyasha muttered to himself. Not only was there music blasting far above the Hanyou’s tolerance, but he had to deal with the overpowering scent of sweaty, hormone driven teenagers.

“Kago-hic-me, let’s boogie!”

Speaking of which… some Hojo guy wearing a green skirt and a plastic sword just wouldn’t leave his girl alone. Matters weren’t helped any by Kagome’s friend who was throwing the party; she just kept steering Hojo toward them and pestering Kagome to give him a chance. Not even Inuyasha’s well placed growls would dissuade them.

“Hojo…” Kagome gathered all of her patience, as once again she had to force herself not to smack the drunken teen, “I’m here with my boyfriend, he’s the only person I’ll be dancing with.”

“Oh you! Don’t be such a Scrooge! You don’t have to play hard to get with me!” Hojo said cheerfully, grasping Kagome’s forearm to try to drag her in the middle of the dance floor. He was stopped by a firm hand on his shoulder. His gaze travelled from the clawed hand and up the muscular arm holding him back until his gaze met the half-naked Hanyou.

“Hey listen,” Inuyasha growled, “I don’t care if you’re wearing a skirt; if you don’t stop bothering Kagome I will knock you the fuck out.”

“It’s not a skirt!” Hojo loudly protested, “It’s a tunic! A tunic!”

“Keh, I might not know who, or what, a “Link” is… but I know a skirt when I see one,” Inuyasha replied. He took Kagome’s hand into his own and led her away from the stammering fool.

Hojo unsheathed his plastic sword, waving it in what his inebriated mind was a threatening motion.

“You think you can take me?” he shouted, “I’m the legend of Zelda!”

With that Hojo charged the Hanyou, who nonchalantly stepped out of the way. There was a loud crash as Hojo ran face first, full steam into a wall. He stood still for a moment, as if he were stuck to the wall before he crumpled to the floor. An angry Eri stomped her way over to the Miko and Hanyou.

“Oh my God Kagome! Can’t you get your violent boyfriend to behave for a few hours?” she snarled.

“Hey!” Inuyasha protested, but he was interrupted by his girlfriend.

“Eri, I don’t know what you have against Inuyasha, or why you’ve repeatedly tried to push Hojo on me with my boyfriend here, but this is the last straw!” Kagome spat back at the girl, “Inuyasha didn’t do anything other than get me out of an uncomfortable situation that you keep trying to put me in. Inuyasha didn’t lay a hand on Hojo, and he certainly didn’t get Hojo so drunk he forgot to put on the brakes before face-planting into a wall. Back the hell off!”

Eri gasped in shock at her friend, “I’m going to have to ask you two to leave. I can’t have my house getting wrecked by hooligans!”

“Fine,” Kagome growled, dragging Inuyasha out by the wrist, “come on, Inuyasha!”


“So what now?” Inuyasha asked Kagome.

Kagome looked down at her watch, it was only ten o’clock, “It’s still so early, I don’t want to go home yet!”

“What about there?” Inuyasha asked, gesturing to a deserted park.

“That’ll do,” Kagome agreed.

They walked in a comfortable silence until they came to a bench that was sitting by a lake. Deciding that this was as good a place as any, Inuyasha and Kagome decided to just sit down and enjoy each other’s company. It was a chilly night, and Kagome let out a shiver.

Inuyasha automatically went to hand her his hoari before remembering that he currently only had a loincloth to wear. “Keh, I knew I should have dressed normally. Bet you don’t think matching costumes was such a smart idea now.”

“Sh-shut up,” Kagome answered, “Seeing you in a loincloth was worth it.”

“So the runt was right,” Inuyasha grinned. Kagome only looked at him with a ‘no duh’ expression.

Kagome shivered again, and wrapped her arms tightly around herself.

“Guess I’ll just have to get creative,” Inuyasha said lightly as he grabbed the girl and deposited her in his lap. He wrapped his arms tightly around the girl and pulled her snugly into his chest. He buried his nose and mouth into the crook of her neck, enjoying the scent.

Kagome felt herself slowly start to warm. She couldn’t believe it, she was mostly clothed while Inuyasha was practically naked but he still took it upon himself to warm her up!

“Don’t you ever get cold?” Kagome asked, and cut off his typical reply before he could give it, “and don’t say it’s because of your Youkai blood; Shippou’s full Youkai and I know for a fact that he gets cold.”

Inuyasha thought for a moment then moved his chin to rest on Kagome’s shoulder, “That’s ‘cause the brat never spent a winter alone without anyone to light him a fire. I got used to it, I don’t feel the cold anymore.”

“Oh,” Kagome whispered.

Deciding that he didn’t want Kagome dwelling on his shitty childhood, Inuyasha decided to distract her. He deftly spun her around so she was straddling his lap. He captured Kagome’s lips with his own and nuzzled her chest.

“What are-“

“Keh, you dress like that all night, you have to expect me to react,” Inuyasha said, moving a hand down to cup Kagome’s bottom.

Kagome jumped in shock, “You’ve been hanging around Miroku too much!”

“Dark cloud, something something spiritual whatever…” Inuyasha muttered as he focused his attention to Kagome’s throat.

Gentle flakes of snow fell around them, and Kagome pushed Inuyasha back slightly, “You’re not the only one who’s hot and bothered because of a costume.”

Kagome placed a quick peck between Inuyasha’s ears and moved her way down to his chest, giving him little nips and licks. Inuyasha’s eyes rolled back in his head and he moaned with pleasure as his Miko goddess paid homage to his body. His hands found their way to Kagome’s hair as he knocked her hat off and lightly stroked her hair. They enjoyed each other’s attentions, completely oblivious as the snow slowly started to pick up.

“Holy shit Kagome-“

Kagome placed a finger over Inuyasha’s mouth, “Shh.”

She nuzzled Inuyasha’s chest for a moment before kneeling down and gently kissing his thighs. Inuyasha gasped when Kagome accidentally brushed the bulge in his loincloth. Curious, she took a stronger hold and squeezed experimentally. Inuyasha writhed in pure pleasure; Kagome placed a light kiss to his crotch over his clothes. She gently lifted the skimpy covering to peer at the gift Inuyasha had to offer.

Inuyasha placed his hands on Kagome’s shoulders, stopping her. He took a moment to appreciate the sight of Kagome on her knees before his groin before he gently lifted her up by her armpits and placed her back in his lap. He gave her a small lick under her chin.

“Not yet,” he muttered. He didn’t think they were ready to go that far yet. He finally noticed the gradually building cover of snow. “Let’s go before we get buried.”

Kagome nodded in agreement, and Inuyasha deftly stood up, cradling her to his chest as he started the walk home. Kagome relaxed and rested her head on Inuyasha’s shoulder as she let him carry her.

“Kagome?” Inuyasha asked.


“Something that green guy said has been bothering me… What’s a Zelda?”
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Though her family were not Christians, Kagome and her family enjoyed the Christmas time celebration just the same as others. Kagome especially loved the beautiful arias and ballads for both the religious aspect and playful aspect of December.

She didn't fancy herself to the best singer, writer or artist around; she nethertheless loved to put her all into everything when not dealing with the heavily burdened stresses of school. So when the search for Naraku had stalled out with him cowering under a rock somewhere to lick his latest wounds, Kagome snapped up the chance to go home and be with her family for a few days. InuYasha grudgingly let her go with the agreement that when a solid lead on Naraku came up he'd be able to get her with no questions or complaints.

Kagome hugged her friends good-bye and had even managed to get InuYasha to walk with her to the Well without his normal temper or attitude. They walked in comfortable silence through the magical world that is a nature's winter wonderland untarnished or ruined by the modern world's pollutions. Then Kagome was jumping through the Well and into her own time.

After spending several days with her family and getting together with her friends while Christmas shopping Kagome started to look into what kind of gifts she could bring back to the Feudal Era that was time period appropriate. She settled on all hand made items of clothing and some quilts. Her mother was more than happy to turn the trip out of town to a local crafts artist into a family outting. Souta pleaded to help chip in with the purchases and was so thrilled when he could and to also pick out a special card for his hero. Grandpa even behaved himself and told fun and humourous stories about when the children were babies.

Once home Kagome and Souta wrapped up each gift and placed them carefully into a small sports bag for Kagome to take with her the next day. Her mother went off and baked holiday treats and dishes that can be easily reheated next to the fire pit in Kaede's hut and placed those into another bag with thermal lining.

Once the sun rose Kagome was up getting herself washed and dressed to take her gifts to her friends. Her breathe puffed like soft clouds before her as her cheeks went rosy from the chill in the air. The sunlight turned the snowflakes upon the ground into millions of glittering diamonds and Kagome felt this day was sweeter than the previous ones, perhaps in part because of the season and part because of Naraku being too wounded to cause any heartaches lately.

But mostly was InuYasha's mellow mood with Kagome going home without his usual fit.

On the other side Kagome was treated to a slightly warmer chill and with a delicate snow fall coming down. The flakes were all so big and light as they coated her hair and eyelashes. It wasn't long before InuYasha silently landed beside her with his own cheeks rosy and Kagome smiled widely as she lovingly likened him to a grouchy Santa Claus with his red and white. But her heart skipped a beat when he broke into a tender smile as he gently took Kagome's packages from her and with a movement of his chin indicated for them to head over to Kaede's.

As soon as Kagome neared Kaede's hut she braced herself for the impact of the small fox youkai child against her body but instead Shippou can racing over to her and stopped in front of her opening his tiny arms wide in the universal gesture for a hug. Kagome laughed and scooped him up into her arms almost missing the barest of nods between InuYasha and Shippou. She did manage to stumble slightly when InuYasha carefully placed his arm around her shoulder letting his haori act like a warm shawl about her shoulders cocooning them in his warm and earthy scent.

At the bottom of Kaede's steps her other two friends greeted her warmly with hugs and surprisingly no unwanted touches while Kirara trilled and purred about their legs before getting distracted by a wayward snowflake.

Kaede greeted Kagome happily as she sat by her fire pit and stoked the fire up to a warm golden glow.

Kagome had everyone sit down around the fire as well telling them she had some fairly special things to say. Miroku sat near to Sango but far enough for the slayer not to feel threatened by his hands, Shippou and Kirara sat beside Sango and InuYasha sat closer than usual to Kagome who felt a warm wave of love for the hanyou wash over her at his unconscious decision.

With her friends gathered about her Kagome explained about Christmas of her time period to her friends. They listened and marvelled at the magic of it and each murmured how they wish they could go through the Well as well to witness such amazing sights as the ones Kagome was describing.

They did brighten up when Kagome opened up her thermal bag and said she had brought some dishes and treats of the holiday with her and these just needed to be reheated. So as Kaede and Sango placed the corning ware dishes just beside the fire, Kagome explained next about the gift-giving that went along with the Christmas season and they all became excited about this new idea.

Kagome gasped as she opened the sports bag with the presents as her mother had packed in a sizable amount of ornaments and garlands for them to decorate at least three Christmas trees. With eyes sparkling Kagome gathered up the packages containing the decorations and soon had everyone outside finding a couple of trees in the forest they could decorate for the season.

They selected trees far away enough from frightening any villagers who may be out hunting for a meal and set about to decorating the trees. Kagome taught her friends the carols she did knew very well and they sang them as they had fun. InuYasha was also singing but more quietly than the others and put forth a fake grumpy face about having to decorate but everyone could see how his eyes glowed and his face smoothed out from its usual hard emotional walls to be so very boyishly vulnerable.

He had never had this type of accepting interaction with any other person nor did he ever experience such play time in his life. He felt for the first time what it was like to play with other children.

As they neared completion of the decorating Kagome then began a new game that would soon be the groups most favourite winter sport. Snowball fights.

Once they were all exhausted and starting to feel the chill from being wet from the snowball fight InuYasha stated he could smell the foods that Kagome had brought and they raced back to the hut and in two separate rooms stripped off their wet clothes to dry before the fire after the meal and slip on dry and warm clothes.

They sat before the fire accepting their plates as Kagome made up each one and handed them out. They ate in comfortable silence soaking up the warmth and savouring the new flavours of each bite. After Kagome gathered up the plates and placed them carefully to the wall by the door for washing, she reached for her bag with the presents again and handed out her gifts.

Her friends all got their own quilts as well as some warm kimonos, haoris and robes. They also got a scarf and mitts and a messgener-bag styled sack in which to carry their items. Kagome knew that InuYasha would store his items inside his haori so she skipped the bag for him. Kirara was vey pleased at her own special kitty quilt and promptly set to kneading the soft surface and purring up a vocal storm before she curled up and fell fast asleep.

Everyone loved their gifts and was saddened that they had nothing to give her back when Kagome raised her hand up and pointing to each one simply said can you teach me about herbs and healing to Kaede. To Miroku if he could teach her about mediations and improving her spiritual powers. For Sango she asked for help learning to fight better with other weapons. Shippou she asked about learning tricks in case they needed to escape.

But InuYasha was feeling even more low about having nothing for Kagome. Getting up he beckoned Kagome to go outside with him.

Outside he asked her to give him one day and one night to find her a gift, that he needed to do this and Kagome with a tear falling from her eye nodded her head. She watched as InuYasha took a powerful leap and disappeared into the forest in search of a gift for her.

InuYasha raced with his youkai speed across the landscape as he hunted down the perfect gift for Kagome. He stopped and examined hundreds of things but each time rejected the item as being wrong in one way or another for Kagome. He even snuck up on Kouga without being scented or seen and scowled angrily at the wolf youkai who so brazenly mistreats him and makes Kagome uncomfortable. The wolf king was proudly showing off a mostly cleaned wolf skin he was planning on giving Kagome when he next saw her to better set his claim on her and put InuYasha in his place.

InuYasha took off before he lost his control completely and got himself into a big problem that may only serve to boost the stupid wolf's delusions that Kagome wants him.

All through the late afternoon and into the dusk InuYasha searched and searched. As true night fell InuYasha slumped dejectedly into a small cave feeling like he's failed yet again at something else. He drifted into an uneasy slumber shortly after finish that thought.

He awoke several hours later with a jerk cracking his head against the back of the cave wall and swearing up a blue streak stopped moving. There it was.... The answer to what was the perfect gift for Kagome. Solved.

It was so simple.

So pure.

So incredibly rich for Kagome.

And with his gift secured, InuYasha set off back to Kaede's hut and his forest.

He pushed himself harder and harder to get back to Kagome. And finally as the dawn was breaking with the promise of a beautiful day he landed in front of Kaede's hut. His ears took in the sounds of his friends... his..... family slumbering within its walls. And his heart skipped a beat and began to pound out a rapid tattoo in his chest.

His family.

He had a family.


And he broke inside.

All the loneliness and years and years of hate and abuse that had carved chunks out of his light until there had been a bare flickering when he encountered Kikyou and with Kagome had be steadily grown as he grew alongside her.

He must had sobbed aloud and not realize it for there were his friends - family - with concerned looks on their faces followed by the sudden scent of Kagome as she wrapped herself around his rigid body. He couldn't respond as he was being questioned by everyone all at once.

He regained control over his body and slowly brought up his arms to enfold Kagome inside his embrace and curled himself around her small frame and inhaled deeply her sweet fragrance. Then he leaned back so he could look into Kagome wide and concerned blue eyes and smiled a fang baring smile.

Then he did something that shocked everyone silent.

He eased forward and captured Kagome's lips in a deep sweet kiss. She squeaked in surprise before melting into the kiss. It was only when Kirara had landed on his head and began to paw at their noses that they broke off the kiss. InuYasha, not releasing Kagome from his embrace, looked at his friends and simply stated that this Christmas was very powerful spiritual powers as he now has his deepest, most desperate desire of his heart a reality. He has a family. To his still shell shocked friends he explained he has a mother and grandmother in Kaede, a older brother in Miroku, a younger brother in Shippou and a great sister in Sango... and to Kagome...

Kagome he has a love, a woman to share the rest of his life with... if she would have him.

InuYasha gently turned Kagome around in his arms and softly told her that his gift he has for her is --- his heart. His love.

And Kagome fell against his chest, gripping his haori tightly and sobbed that his gift was the best one she could ever dream of having and she would always cherish this gift forever.

And high above in the sky the sun had just draped its brilliant warmth and light upon everyone in that every moment in which one terrible lonely hanyou finally got his Christmas Gift.

Merry Christmas
Christmas Snow and Mistletoe

InuYasha’s ears flattened against his skull as he regarded the well. All she had said was it was Christmas and she was going home. She had left, just like that.
He had the numbing feeling that it had more to do with Kikyo than this “Christmas.”
The wind blew, freezing and uncomfortable over the dead grass, shaking the tree beneath him. The trees themselves were starting to fade as well, relinquishing their leaves to the clutches of winter. The clouds above promised snow soon. Everything looked dead and lifeless. Especially now that Kagome was gone.
He hated when she was gone.
Maybe he could apologize. Maybe he should just go after her . . .
“Why don’t you go after her?”
InuYasha jumped, almost losing his grip on his branch. He whipped his head down to see Miroku staring up at him from the ground, leaning casually on his staff. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!” InuYasha yelled, trying vainly to cover up his slip in composure. He couldn’t be seen pining over a stupid human girl. He was a half demon. He had better things to do, like hunting for shards. He didn’t need her.
Miroku ignored InuYasha’s objections completely. “You know Christmas is a very important holiday to the people of her time. I’m sure it would mean a lot to her if you showed up.”
“Feh. Like I care about her stupid holidays,” InuYasha said, his eyes wondering back to the well. “Besides, she would probably just be mad.” He didn’t quite manage to keep the quiet disappointment out of the words.
“Not if you have the right approach,” Miroku said, a sly note entering into his voice.
InuYasha’s ears perked at that, but he quickly hid his interest behind a carefully crafted mask of boredom. “Oh? And what kind of approach is that?”
The grin on Miroku’s face stirred violent thoughts in InuYasha’s mind. “It’s perfectly natural to have feelings for a woman, InuYasha. You don’t have to be ashamed—“
“Get to the point!”
“What I’m saying is that, from what Kagome has said, Christmas is a time of gathering with friends and family, food, and gift giving. The emphasis here, being gift giving.” His eyes glinted and a knowing smile crossed his lips. “I am something of an expert in the subject of women, and believe me, the quickest way to a woman’s heart is through presents. I’m sure if you went to Kagome’s time and got her a present of some sort, you could easily win her over.”
“Feh. Like I need to ‘win her over’,” InuYasha muttered under his breath. But the Monk had a point; he was very knowledgeable about women, and if what he said was true, then InuYasha could easily use this holiday to gain favor with Kagome. It was perfect, actually. All he had to do was buy her some stupid gift in the name of holiday cheer and she wouldn’t be able to get mad at him for months!
“Her mother will probably be making Christmas dinner, too.”
InuYasha twitched. Her mother . . . cooking . . .
“I’m going to go grab some stuff.”
Kagome squinted down at her hands, carefully molding perfection. The moist softness caved to her every whim, slowing moving under her direction to form—
“KAGOME?” a familiar voice shouted from outside.
Her concentration shattered, her trance broke, and her hands slipped. Her creation, her culinary masterpiece, was smashed in her hands. The rice ball was a disaster.
Her temper immediately spiked to unhealthy levels. What was he doing here? She had told him very plainly she was going home to be with her family over Christmas. She was going to catch up on schoolwork, help her mother with preparations, help her grandfather around the shrine, and spend a few days relaxing. She didn’t want to see him for at least forty-two hours! All he would do was whine about needing to find more jewel shards, eat all their food, destroy their property, and ruin Christmas! He could be equated to the Grinch, for all the damage he was going to deliver.
“Is that InuYasha?” her mother asked, leaning over the sink to look out the window, washing fruit as she did.
“Sounds like it,” Kagome growled, trying to salvage the rice ball she had damaged. Maybe if she didn’t respond, he would go away.
Of course, taking hints wasn’t InuYasha’s style.
He responded better to being bludgeoned by the truth.
“Shouldn’t you see what he wants?” her mother asked, drying her hands on a cup towel. “It could be important.”
“I doubt his idea of ‘important’ even reaches my idea of ‘irrelevant’,” she said, smashing the rice ball with more force than necessary.
Kagome could hear the smile in her mother’s voice. “Are you two having trouble getting along again?”
“More or less,” she responded, memories of him chasing after Kikyo just the day before yesterday rushing to her. She forced them from her mind.
“Well, I know just the way to help you two sort through your problems. You should invite him to stay with us for Christmas.”
Kagome could feel her jaw drop as the weight of her mother’s words sank in. InuYasha staying with them . . . for over three days.
Kagome turned to face her mother, more than a little horrified. “But it’s my vacation!”
“What’s the matter? I thought it was a good idea! Did he do something to you?”
Kagome could feel her face flushing. What could she say? Her problems with Kikyo weren’t something she was willing to discuss with her mother just yet. “Well, no—”
“Then what’s the problem?” her mother said, beaming. “Ask him if he’d like to join us.”
Kagome’s mouth opened and closed soundlessly for a moment before she regained control of herself. There was no spring in her step when she left the kitchen.
She found him outside by the storage shed, probably looking for her grandfather to interrogate on her whereabouts. The snow was piled high around her, and she regretted not bothering with boots as her socks soaked through. That and the icy wind did nothing to improve her foul mood, so when she laid eyes on him, she was ready for blood. “What are you doing here?”
InuYasha’s face lit up at the sight of her for a fraction of a second, and Kagome almost regretted her tone of voice. At her query though, his features settled into his usual frown and his ears flattened. “Nothing. I’ve got the same right to come through the well as you do.”
His whole attitude was just infuriating! “InuYasha, I’ll have you know that I’m against it in every way, but my mother wants me to invite you to stay for Christmas.”
He blinked, ears perking. “Really?”
“But I promise you,” she said, her voice low and dangerous, “if one thing is broken, if anything catches on fire or is Wind Scarred, or has a barrage of diamonds run through it, you will be sitting until New Years. Do you understand?”
She was sure she heard him gulp, but then his uncertainty was gone and his frown settled back into place. “Feh. Like I would do something like that.”
She regarded him standing in the doorway, arms crossed and customary scowl on his face. Kagome felt a twinge of regret. Maybe that was a bit harsh. After all, he hadn’t really done anything to her. She didn’t even know why he was here. Maybe she should say something else; apologize for her behavior.
But she couldn’t shake the image of him, turning away from her and running after Kikyo. It was burned in her mind’s eye. In her heart.
“Dinner’s at six. Don’t be late,” she said. Then she walked away, leaving him standing alone in the snow.
InuYasha watched her go, his spirits sinking with every step she took.
Man, he really blew it this time. She hadn’t been this mad at him since he tried to fix her bike . . .
What was he thinking, coming to her world in the first place? That stupid Monk had no idea what he was talking about! What Kagome needed now was space. Maybe if he left her alone, she would forget about Kikyo and forgive him already.
No, he was already here. He was going to make her happy again, then she would come back with him and everything would be okay.
Why did she always have to be so emotional? It was exasperating!
Okay, he had his plan. All he needed to put it into motion was the bribe. This would require an expert opinion and counsel. He immediately set off through the snow for the back of the house, in search of Kagome’s younger (and more emotionally stable) brother. Souta had always given him good information before, so he had the utmost faith in his judgment.
Without so much as announcing his presence, he leapt from the ground to his window sill and peered into the boy’s bedroom. Souta was inside, sitting at his desk and busily studying some book or another. What was with these people and their books? Kagome never seemed to be without one.
InuYasha rapped on the window.
The boy jerked his head toward the window, then grinned at the sight of him. He crossed the small room and threw open the window. “Hey, InuYasha! What are you doing here?”
Well, at least someone was happy to see him. “I’m . . . I’ve been invited to stay for Christmas.” Not exactly the reason he was here, but not a lie either.
“Really? That’s great!” Souta beamed. “Did you get Kagome a present?”
“That’s what I’m here to talk to you about,” he said, reaching into his deep pockets and pulling out a handful of adamant shards. “I’ve got this to trade, but I don’t know what to get her. Any ideas?”
Souta looked at the rocks for a moment, then his gaze drifted up as he thought. “Well, that’s a tough one. What about a dog?”
InuYasha’s ears flattened. “Not funny,” he growled.
InuYasha blinked. “What’s that?”
Souta gave a knowing smirk that make InuYasha’s blood boil, but didn’t answer his question. “Well, girls like to feel special. They want gifts that show you thought of them when you saw it. They like stuff that reminds them of you, too. Have you seen anything like that?”
InuYasha could think of a lot of things that reminded him of Kagome; the scent of wildflowers, peaceful afternoons, flames of a campfire, starry night skies. He saw her in the wind and the quiet lakes, and every time lightning struck, he thought of her temper. He thought of her every time he took a breath. How was he supposed to get any of that stuff?
“No,” he said with a sigh. “Women are impossible.”
“You’re telling me,” Souta muttered. “Well, you could always get her a scarf or something.”
InuYasha shook his head. “Yeah, right. She’d kill me for not being thoughtful or something stupid.”
“Why don’t you go into town and go window shopping? Maybe something will stand out.”
That wasn’t a bad idea, actually. Besides, it’d give him an excuse to see more of the city. He wanted to know more about the place Kagome spent so much of her life in . . .
“Okay, I’ll do that. See you around, then,” he said, preparing to back out of the window.
“Don’t forget to be on time for dinner!”
“Yeah, yeah.”
After InuYasha left, it didn’t take Souta long to hatch a Christmas surprise of his own. He was in charge of decorations, with Kagome gone most of the time, so it wasn’t much trouble for him to set the trap.
Souta carefully fixed the adornments all about the house, hidden in plain view. The small plants were not initially part of their Christmas décor, but with InuYasha around, that changed things.
He smiled from his perch on the wooden railing as he fixed the largest bundle of unripened mistletoe on the porch awning. There was no way they could avoid it in the two days InuYasha would be here.
“Souta! Come help us set the table!” his mother shouted from the kitchen.
“Coming!” he said, stepping back to admire his handiwork.
Yes, they weren’t going to make it out of this holiday season without a good kiss.
Kagome probably couldn’t have been angrier if she tried.
They sat at the table in the kitchen. The room, though cheerily decked and dressed in Christmas decorations, felt stifling. Kagome’s mood was probably to blame for that. No one spoke as they waited, afraid to ruin the silence.
Her Mom, Grandfather, and Souta all sat in their places with hands washed, plates set, and Christmas Eve dinner ready.
InuYasha was nowhere to be seen.
She had specifically told him not to be late! That was the one thing she asked, the only thing she requested, and what did that inconsiderate jerk do?
“We should just go ahead and eat, Mom,” Kagome said, struggling to keep her voice even. “He’s going to be late.”
Her mother looked uncertain. “Are you sure, Honey? Do you think he’d mind?”
“He should have thought of that before he was late!” she said, shoving half a rice ball in her mouth and chewing it furiously.
Why did he have to do that? Was he trying to be rebellious? To get on her nerves? Well, it was working. It wasn’t enough for him to be chasing Kikyo to the ends of the earth, but he just had to rub in how much he didn’t care about her into her face . . .
Her face was wet. She quickly raised a hand to wipe away the hot tears before anyone could see.
Maybe that was all there was to it; he didn’t care about her. If she were smart, she would wall off all feelings for him and move on. Her stomach rolled violently, sickened by her thoughts. Why did he have to do this to her?
She hated the way he made her feel.
“Mom, I’m not feeling well,” she said, voice quivering. “May I be excused?”
Her family looked at her with concern. “What’s wrong? Are you sick?” her mother asked, reaching out to place a hand on her head.
“I don’t know. I just need to lie down for a bit.”
“Okay. Such a shame for you to get sick, on Christmas Eve,” she said, frowning as she touched her forehead. “You are a bit warm. I’ll bring you up some soup in a little bit, okay?”
“Thanks, Mom.” Kagome got to her feet and trudged out of the room and upstairs. Maybe if she went to sleep, she would feel better in the morning. After all, everything looked better in the morning, right?
Once in her room, she changed into her pajamas and crawled into her bed, feeling sick. Was this what it was like to be heartbroken? It wasn’t like he hadn’t ever done something like this before, but it was just too much too soon. She had come home to escape his insensitivity, but instead, he followed her to rub it in.
She buried her head in her pillow and tried to sleep.
InuYasha was painfully aware of how late it was.
Kagome was going to be so mad at him. He could only hope what he carried in his pocket would make up for it.
He had his doubts, though.
The cold nipped at his bare feet as he climbed up the stairs to the old shrine and Kagome’s house. His hands that had been bleeding generously just a while ago were now crusted in dried gore as the cold chased the blood from the veins in his hands. He was both tired and hungry. All of his worrying had sapped his energy, and he was disappointed that he had missed out on dinner. The night was dark, with gray clouds concealing the moon and stars from sight. There was a sharp, crisp scent in the wind that told him fresh snow wasn’t far off.
InuYasha wasn’t sure what he had been thinking. Of course he wouldn’t be able to find anything for Kagome in the shops. There was nothing there that spoke of her. The things there had been plain and and artificial and mundane. That wasn’t at all what Kagome was to him. Nothing there would tell her how much she meant to him.
His hand wondered to his pocket and clutched the pathetic gift. This didn’t do her justice, either, but maybe, since his heart had gone into it, it would be enough.
If nothing else, he hoped it might save him from her wrath tonight.
InuYasha loped up the last dozen steps, then past the ancient tree he had been trapped on for fifty years. Souta or someone had wrapped its great trunk in hundreds of white lights, and though it helped ease the sensation, InuYasha’s stomach twisted a bit at the sight of it.
The house was lit up much like the Christmas tree inside of it, with colored lights hanging from the roof and white lights twinkling from the trees. He bypassed the brightness of the front yard and went the side of the house, climbing up to Kagome’s darkened window.
Even through the dimness, he could see that her bed was empty. Confused and marginally alarmed, he opened the window and almost stepped down into the room, but a sound below him made him stop.
Kagome was curled up under the window, blanket wrapped tightly around her and pillow discarded a few feet away. She was breathing lightly, and InuYasha couldn’t help but note that she was beautiful when she slept. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t ever watched her sleep before, but there was something about the dark around them, and the lack of company that made him want to bend down and kiss her.
InuYasha almost fell off the window at that, and had to scrape his claws on the sill to catch himself. Where had that thought come from? That was completely stupid! All of this Christmas nonsense must be getting to him. He had seen the way people acted all evening in town. It was absurd the way this holiday made people lose their minds. He had thought he was immune to the stupidity, but maybe he had been overexposed.
Apparently the sound of his struggle hadn’t gone unheard. Kagome stirred, then sat up with a start. InuYasha’s breath caught and he froze on the ledge. She glanced blearily around her room and stood up, her back to him the whole time. She stooped down to grab her blanket from the floor and turned around.
Their eyes locked.
InuYasha’s heart stopped.
She screamed bloody murder and shoved him out the window.
InuYasha didn’t have much time to think about it. His hands reached out to grab something, anything, and closed around Kagome’s arms.
They both fell ten feet to the ground below.
He hit the ground hard, splayed flat on his back in the snow. The powdery layer helped to cushion the blow a bit, but it didn’t stop the fiery pain from blossoming around his lower back.
Promptly after that pain had registered, a new pain assaulted his nervous system. Kagome landed on top of him, forcing all of the air from his lungs. His vision dimmed and blood sang in his ears.
“InuYasha!” she said breathlessly, which InuYasha thought to be a great irony.
Since he didn’t really have any choice in the matter, he waited silently for her to get off of him. She finally rolled aside and sweet air filled his lungs. He sat there panting a moment. Kagome was saying something, but he wasn’t really listening. He was too busy enjoying oxygen.
There was a pause in her rambling, which caught his attention. “Are you alright?” she asked. She almost looked worried.
He tried to take a deep enough breath to respond, but only a wheeze came out. He frowned and slowly sat up. That was going to leave a bruise. He opened his mouth to try again: “Fine,” he said weakly. “You?”
“I’m fine.” Now that she knew he was alright, the worry vanished from her expression to be replaced with anger. It was like a storm blowing in. “What do you think you were doing? What right do you think you have to just walk into my room any time you please, especially after what you did tonight?”
InuYasha opened his mouth to respond, but she kept going. “I just wanted to come home to see my family, to get away from everything, and you follow me here! And then, to make it better, you show a complete lack of respect for me and my family! I asked you to be on time for dinner, and what do you do? You go out sightseeing and don’t show up! You don’t even bother telling anyone where you’re going!” The scent of salt burned in the cold air, and InuYasha saw tears flowing down her face. But her voice didn’t quiver as she kept going: “It’s not bad enough that you can’t respect me in your world, but you do it here, too! If I don’t mean at least that much, then maybe you shouldn’t come here at all!”
InuYasha, his pain suddenly gone from his mind, took an involuntary step back. That wasn’t how it was at all! “Kagome—“
“Why don’t you just go back, InuYasha. Go back and find Kikyo.” Her voice broke over the name and she sat down in the snow. She sobbed quietly into her sleeve and the sight of it made InuYasha’s gut wrench.
That was what it always seemed to come back to; Kikyo. She had been his first love, and there wasn’t anything he could change about that. He still cared for her deeply, probably more than he should at this point. He would be lying to himself if he said he didn’t love her, but it wasn’t the same. She wasn’t Kagome. How could he make her see that?
He didn’t like it when she cried.
He sat down in the snow beside her, the moisture seeping into his clothes. From their place beside the house, it was almost pleasant outside. The landscape was covered in snow and reflected the colors of the lights all around them. The wind had died down now, and the trees were still. A muffled silence blanketed the earth, quiet and reassuring.
Only broken by Kagome’s broken sobs and chattering teeth.
InuYasha would be the first to admit he wasn’t good at this kind of thing. In fact, his better judgment told him he should just carry her to her bed and disappear into the well. But InuYasha would also be the first to admit that he never went with his better judgment.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out his gift. It was pathetic, really. It wasn’t even wrapped, but it was the best he could do on such short notice.
Almost hesitantly, he placed the gift in her lap and waited.
She picked up her head at the contact, eyes red and face awash with tears. His hand twitched to wipe them away, but he thought the better of it and tucked both hands away under his sleeves. She looked at the item and slowly picked it up.
It was a piece of wood fashioned into a crane. InuYasha had spent hours trying to coax the figure from a block of wood, shaving away with his claws until they bled. It was a tiny, crude carving, and InuYasha was relatively embarrassed by it.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t find anything better,” he muttered, looking away.
She didn’t say anything, and InuYasha was almost afraid she was angry again. Then, she whispered, “You . . . you made this?”
“It’s a . . . crane.”
He chanced a look at her out of the corner of his eye. She was gazing at the carving in wonder, turning it over and over in her hands and stroking its rough texture. He was afraid to break the silence, but his nerves overran his caution. “It still means loyalty, right?”
“That’s how I . . . I want you to know—” He growled in frustration and ran a hand through his hair. Why couldn’t he just say it? “I’m sorry I act how I do. I’m sorry about Kikyo. I’m sorry I can’t say anything nice and always screw up. But, Kagome . . . you don’t understand that I . . . I need you. I need you. I can’t always say and do the right thing, but I’d do anything for you. I don’t mean to hurt you, and I’m sorry when I do.” Now he was just babbling. He tried to say something else, then when nothing intelligible came out, he shut his mouth and waited, glaring at the snow.
She said nothing for so long. Maybe he said something wrong? He sounded so stupid! He couldn’t believe he had just said all of that mushy nonsense—
His ear twitched. “What?”
“I’m sorry, too.” Her hand reached out and rested over his. It was so small. If someone had told InuYasha a few months ago that this tiny human girl would fight demons, travel the worlds, save his life multiple times and one day win his heart, he would have laughed.
What had happened to him? When did he go so soft?
"Why were you sleeping under the window?”
“I . . . I was hoping you would come.”
“Even after what I did?”
“I guess I missed you.” She put her head on his shoulder and shivered.
InuYasha was suddenly, painfully aware of the cold. He was marginally uncomfortable, but Kagome had to be freezing! She was wearing nothing but some thin winter pajamas and socks, and he knew from the days he was completely human that they were more sensitive to the temperature. “What are you doing sitting in the snow like that? You’re freezing!” he said.
“Well, as I recall, someone dragged me out the window,” she said, frowning. The smile in her voice ruined the threat, though.
“Well, as I recall, someone pushed me first,” he muttered back.
“You didn’t have to grab me!”
“You didn’t have to push me!”
He got to his feet and scooped her up in his arms as if she were a child. She made a muffled sound of protest, but didn’t squirm against him. “You scared me to death, though!”
“You scared me more!” He carried her around the side of the house to the front porch and set her on the railing.
She gave him an indignant glare. “You had no right to go snooping around my bedroom while I was asleep,” she said. As the banter escalated, the humor in her voice disappeared. InuYasha was having trouble telling if she was mad or not. He had just made it up to her, too!
“Why do you have to be such a pain?” he asked, crossing his arms. His logical side was aware of the fact that he was making the situation worse. His irrational side enjoyed pushing his luck. “I had to give you your present!”
“It could have waited until morning!”
“I did!” he said, pointing behind her.
The horizon in the east was a light shade of pinkish gray, slowly growing brighter and brighter even as the minutes passed.
“Oh,” was all she said.
They watched the sky turn a brilliant gold as light shot underneath the thick layer clouds, setting fire to them one by one. Then, the heavens above them opened up and tiny snowflakes floated to the ground, catching in the sun and lighting up like small embers. Thousands and thousands came down and the air around them shimmered.
InuYasha had never seen anything quite like it.
Kagome bent down near his face and smiled. “Merry Christmas.” She leaned forward and pressed her lips against his.
After one stunned second, he closed his eyes and kissed her back.
Above their heads, the mistletoe bloomed.

Lost and Found

Kagome felt three sets of eyes on her and groaned. `Here comes the interrogation,' she thought as Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi marched toward her, a united front wearing identical looks of pity, concern, and determination. `I really should have known better.' Nothing got past those three, especially when they watched her as closely as they had, expecting her to try and skip out early and unnoticed from Mika Kuriyama's Christmas Party.

Wrapping her olive-green scarf around her neck, Kagome mentally reviewed her excuse. The beginnings of a blizzard outside made a probable enough cause to prompt Kagome's early leave, though she wasn't sure her friends would buy the part about Mama wanting her home before the snow hit. Mama Higurashi had all but shoved her out the door when Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi came over and told her about the party, and it would take more than a little bit of snow to make her mother worried enough to call her home.

After all, Mama Higurashi had let her run around the feudal era with a crass, dog-eared boy, a fox-demon, a three-tailed cat, a demon slayer, and a perverted monk. Bad weather was nothing compared to shooting arrows at enemies, or collecting shards of a corrupted, ancient, and powerful jewel.

Kagome heaved an exasperated sigh when the girls did nothing but watch her shrug on her coat. They probably hadn't decided between a tough love approach or a delicate one. Either way, Kagome didn't want them forcing her to stay at the party.

“I'm fine,” she told them, rolling her eyes. “Mama just wants me home early. The snow is starting to fall pretty heavy.”

She darted a glance outside. Sure enough, a thin layer of frost already covered Mika's front yard, and snow fell thickly from the sky. When she looked back at her friends, they were frowning. As expected, they didn't buy her excuse. She would have to try harder to sell them on the lie.

“Kagome,” Eri said gently. “A couple of minutes ago, we saw you get watery-eyed while talking to Houjo. We're worried about you.”

“Yeah,” Ayumi chimed in. “Did he say something we need to kick his butt for?” she joked. Kagome forced herself to smile despite the uncomfortable turn in conversation. She didn't know they'd been watching her that closely!

“No. Nothing like that,” she assured them.

“Then what is it?”

Yuka gasped, a familiar look that Kagome long ago termed her girl-power glare settling in her eyes. Her brown-orbs narrowed at Kagome's forced smile.

“You were thinking about him again, weren't you?” Yuka accused. “That jerk dumped you,” she reminded none-too-gently.

“It's also been three years since you've last spoken to him. You said so yourself.”

“You guys, he was her first love! Don't be cruel,” Eri admonished, before turning to Kagome. “But sweetie, it really is time for you to—”

Enough!” Kagome snapped, stomping her booted foot. One room over, where a party had been in full swing, they heard the abrupt pause of music, dancing, and dozens of conversations. Some of the nosier party-goers even peeked a head in to see what was happening. Kagome's face warmed with embarrassment and anger toward her friends for making her snap like that.

Dropping her voice to a harsh whisper, she told her three meddling friends: “I don't know what you think you saw, but it had nothing to do with who you think it did. Really. I have to go!”

“Higurashi, wait!” she heard Houjo call out. Kagome smothered a groan as the kindly boy jogged over to her and her friends, heedless of the contents of his solo cup sloshing everywhere. “Are you leaving? So soon? Let me get my coat. I'll walk you home.”

Kagome smiled tightly. “No, thanks Houjo. I—”

“She'd love for you to walk her home!” Eri, Ayumi, and Yuka sang in unison, drowning out her protest. Kagome turned and glared at them, beyond annoyed by her pushy friends. When she heard Houjo walking toward the coat closet, she turned back to him and swore that she was fine to walk home by herself.

“Are you sure?” Houjo frowned. “I want to make sure you get there safely.”

Before Kagome had a chance to reassure him, Ayumi grabbed her by the arm and roughly spun her around.

“Kagome,” she hissed. “Let him walk you!”

“Yeah,” Eri whispered giddily. Her cheeks pinked as she peeked over Kagome's shoulder at Houjo. Kagome always suspected her of liking him and couldn't understand why—if that was true—she pushed so hard for her to go on dates with him. In some twisted way, she wondered if the shyest of her friends was trying to live vicariously through her.

Ayumi nudged her. “Do it! He might ask you out on the walk home!”

“Back. Off,” Kagome said through gritted teeth. When she turned back to Houjo, she said politely, but firmly: “I'm sure.”

Houjo looked crestfallen. “Oh. Okay,” he said softly, turning away.

“Not so fast!” Yuka yelled.

Kagome and Houjo both jumped. Eri giggled and pointed above them where Ayumi—wearing a mischievous grin—dangled mistletoe over their heads.

“You have to kiss now,” she sing-songed.

“It's tradition,” Yuka nodded.

Kagome looked at Houjo, horrified by his hard-to-read expression. More party-goers huddled in the doorway to the next room, waiting to see what would happen. One person even drunkenly called out:

“Kiss 'er, Hobo!”

“Y-you don't have to do this,” Kagome stammered. “Ayumi is only playing around, and anyway, it's a stupid, American tradition tha—mmph!

Houjo cut her off with his lips on hers. She didn't kiss him back, too shocked to do anything but stand there while he innocently fluttered his lips against her mouth. It was...sweet, chaste, gentle, and it would have been perfect had it not been her first kiss.

InuYasha was supposed to have given her that.

The cheers all around them stopped when Kagome, overwhelmed by emotions no one there would understand, shoved Houjo off of her and ran crying from the party.

. : .

`I have the worst friends ever,' Kagome thought. She swiped at her face with gloved hands, shivering when an icy blast of wind chilled her tear-stained cheeks. She was beginning to regret her decision to walk a longer route home. The ruined Christmas party was fifteen minutes behind her, and home was another twenty minutes ahead. Though the subway would have gotten her there faster, she preferred walking. It allowed her to compose herself some before facing any questions Mama might have about why she left the party early.

It also gave her time to think clearly about everything that happened at the party.

Deep down, Kagome knew her friends meant no harm with the stunt they pulled to get Houjo to kiss her. Yuka, Eri, and Ayumi sensed from the moment she returned post-well closing that something changed in Kagome, so they did everything they could to try and help her bounce back to the bubbly and smart girl she'd once been. When her sternest teachers refused her make-up exams, the trio bullied them into giving her extra-credit assignments and second chances to turn in missed work. They made a project out of bringing up her grades, organizing study groups and review sessions for all the big, upcoming tests. To revamp her social life, they signed her up for every school event, accepted dates (mostly with Houjo) on her behalf, and dragged her out to parties like the Christmas Party tonight.

I don't even know Kuriyama-chan,Kagome had protested in a last-ditch effort to get out of going.

Yuka waved away her concerns. “Neither do we. A friend of a friend of Ayumi's boyfriend invited Eri, who invited us. Now we're inviting you. Okay?”


Just come with us. It'll be fun!”

Only it hadn't been. Tonight made it more than obvious that Kagome's idea of fun didn't match up with everyone else's anymore. A year of hard trekking through the feudal era with people who knew no modern conveniences and found simpler ways to entertain themselves made drinking games with cheap liquor and dancing drunkenly to songs she barely knew unappealing. While her friends floated around Mika's living room, Kagome spent most of the night on a couch, nursing flat soda and speaking with Houjo about their upcoming entrance exams.

Houjo dominated most of that conversation, talking animatedly about his plans to study medicine. Kagome frowned at the memory of how sure he'd seemed of himself. While he and most of her friends were in that exciting limbo between high school and the rest of their lives, Kagome hadn't given much thought to her own future. A year ago, the only thing she'd been sure of was the well reopening and her future there, but then another year passed, and one more after that. Now, graduation approached and her hopes of returning to her old life waned. The thought that life here went on without waiting for her to catch up saddened Kagome.

What made her even sadder—and was likely the moment when Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi witnessed tears springing into her eyes—was when Kagome allowed herself to think about how life went on without her in the feudal era. It was a sick game she sometimes played with herself, where she'd sit and imagine the rest of her friend's lives.

Sango and Miroku no doubt made dozens of beautiful babies. She imagined little brown-haired strong-spirited girls and boys with twinkling eyes and their father's wily grin. Shippou passed his Demon Exams, earning the highest rank possible. He grew tall and handsome and charmed some village girl into marrying him. Kaede ran the village same as always, and in this game, she never died, a steel magnolia who forever healed and passed on knowledge to any girl willing to learn from her. And InuYasha—

—she always stopped playing when she got to him. Thinking too hard about how his life went on pained her. She didn't want to think about him finding someone else to grow old with, or worse—finding no one and spending the rest of his days lonely and bitter.

Wherever he was, whatever happened since she'd left, Kagome hoped he found the happiness he more than deserved from life after everything he'd been through.

That jerk dumped you,” she heard Yuka admonish.

Kagome shook her head. Her friends didn't know how wrong they were about him, and she hated herself for ever painting him as an impossible jerk. Of course they attributed her melancholy over the last three years to him “dumping” her, and she hated herself even more for allowing them to believe that. The truth was much too complicated and unbelievable, so she suffered in silence and let them think whatever they wanted. She cried on their shoulders, but refused to truthfully answer their questions.

`And when they tried, in their own special way, to help me get over a guy who they thought broke my heart, I got mad and ran out on them,' Kagome thought ruefully.

`Wow. It's me who's the worst friend ever.'

She stopped walking and debated going back to the party, if only to apologize to the friends she bailed out on and the boy she undoubtedly hurt.

`Houjo...' she grimaced, recalling his kiss.

Up until that moment she always thought Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi exaggerated his interest in her, pressuring him in the same ways they pressured her into dating him. But tonight, he'd made his feelings more than obvious in not just the way he kissed her, but the way he looked at her after she'd shoved him away.

He'd put his entire soul into the quick, impulsive kiss and watching it backfire had broken him. She knew she had to make it up to him somehow, but didn't know where to begin or how. It wouldn't ever work between them—he simply wasn't the one she wanted—so being with him was out of the question.

...or maybe not. She thought about it for a moment. If the well never opened up again and Houjo was all she had to look for would to, would that really be so bad? He was smart, sweet, and he obviously adored her...and if you can't love the one you want, love the one you're with—right?

The idea—along with all thoughts of Houjo and giving him a second chance—went out the proverbial window when Kagome turned onto a busy, snow-blanketed street. In large crowds, she instinctively began playing another sick game with herself: one that involved trying to find InuYasha among the swarms of people. It was stupid, but one day after thinking about Sesshomaru and how he'd been hundreds of years old when she first met him, she convinced herself that InuYasha might be out there, somewhere. Of course, if he was out there and hadn't thought to look for her by now, that would hurt, but Kagome pushed that thought aside, treating the game as something silly to do while walking.

`That guy kind of looks like InuYasha,' she started. She giggled when the man in question brushed past her, heavy-metal blaring from his headphones. `...only with spiked white hair and a goatee! Ooh, that one has colored contacts in almost the same shade as his eyes. I wonder where he got those.'

`This one...kind of looks like Miroku, actually,' Kagome perked up, passing an almost dead-ringer from the monk, but with a slightly bigger nose. The Miroku look-alike leered at her and she started walking faster. `Gross! He acts like him, too.'

`Hey, that one looks a little like InuYasha on his human night, but much younger and with short brown hair.'

`And that one—whoops, that's a girl. Oh! But THIS guy—'

Her heart stopped.

Next to a guy whose long black hair she'd been comparing to InuYasha's, there'd been a flash of red—and not the trendy oxblood red most people around her in fashion-forward Tokyo wore, or cranberry like the sweater she wore beneath her winter coat. It wasn't scarlet, maroon, burgundy, or firebrick. The exact shade of red was specific to a piece of clothing she'd only ever seen one person wear:

She'd seen fire-rat red.

Anyone could have been wearing it, but Kagome's heart screamed `InuYasha,' and before her brain could process the impossibility of seeing him, her feet moved. In desperation, she found herself shoving people out of her way while she tried to find that red again. One of two things could happen, she rationalized, after she'd put three city blocks behind her: she'd find him and they'd live happily ever after, or her search would prove futile and purge the last of any crazy ideas she had about seeing him in her time out of her system.

At least, that was how she justified chasing someone or something she might have imagined seeing on the off-chance that it led to InuYasha.

`I can't believe this!'

She saw fire-rat red more than once while giving chase, but each time it vanished behind the nearest person as if the wearer were intentionally dodging her. Wildly, she thought she'd saw a flash of silver, too, but in her crazed state-of-mind, Kagome didn't trust herself not to have imagined it. After what felt like forever, she ended up gazing dejectedly into a mass of people on the next city block, none of which were wearing fire-rat red. Ignoring the disgruntled shouts behind her from all the people she shoved while running, Kagome closed her eyes and blinked back the tears that threatened to fall. The disappointment struck hard, making her knees and chin wobbly. She felt so silly and stupid, and for a long time she stood, not moving and trying not to break down right there on the sidewalk in front of so many people. She didn't know where she found the strength, but eventually, she made herself start walking again, no real destination in mind this time.


One foot was barely off the sidewalk when the world around her exploded into chaos: screaming, a horn honking, and screeching tires. She quickly learned why the panic, but blinding headlights made it impossible for her to know where to move to avoid the 18-wheeler sliding rapidly toward her.

Oddly, calm washed over her when she realized she'd never get out of the way in time and when Kagome closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable, she thought one last time of fire rat red.

. : .

“Are you crazy?!”

A split-second after her eyes fluttered shut, something jerked Kagome backwards. Then, a familiar but hard-to-name sensation washed over her. She choked back a sob when she realized, after a moment, what it was:

Kagome was flying.

The feeling didn't last long as the something that pulled her out of harm's way dumped her unceremoniously on her butt. Kagome hazarded a look at it, then just barely smothered another sob.

She was pulled roughly to her feet, then held steady. Good thing, too, because Kagome swayed, dizzied when she realized that she was standing on top of a tree, overlooking the near-fatal accident.

Oh, and she was standing in front of InuYasha.

“Shit, Kagome,” she heard him mutter. He didn't notice right away the way his presence affected her, too busy with checking her for injuries to catch the stunned look on her face. Numbly, she spread her arms when he went to check beneath her coat for any damages there before he stopped and glared out into the street.

From their vantage point, they saw a very drunk-looking truck driver stumble out of his wrecked vehicle. Kagome watched as he checked for the person he thought he'd find splattered across his windshield. InuYasha shook his head, disgusted, drawing Kagome's attention back to him. She stared so hard at his face even as her vision blurred from her refusal to blink, afraid that if she did, he'd disappear.

“Drunken idiot—could have killed—shit!” he raged. His face purpled with anger as they watched a Tokyo police officer drag the man who nearly killed her away. InuYasha's temper clearly hadn't changed much in five hundred years.

Actually, neither did much of anything. InuYasha looked almost exactly the way she'd left him, only it was weird seeing him dressed in modern clothing: a black jacket and dark jeans, his silver hair tucked into a skull-cap that also hid his unusual ears. The fire-rat red she'd seen was wrapped around his neck in a scarf she suspected had been made from his old hakama.

She smiled, curling a finger around the scarf and reveling in the familiar feel of it. Then, because she couldn't help herself, she brushed a finger across InuYasha's jawline.

He stiffened, as if suddenly realizing her presence, then slowly tilted his head up toward her.

When his eyes settled on Kagome, they widened with fear and he jerked away from her so roughly, he nearly fell from the tree. She gasped, grabbing his arm to steady him, but he seemed hell-bent on getting away from her.

Shit, Kagome!he cursed, trying to shake her off. “Let go! I can't be near you!”

Kagome's heart broke at his first words to her. They were the last thing she expected upon seeing him again after such a long and devastating separation. Foolishly, she thought he'd be happy to see her. Fighting back tears, she let go as if he had burned her—and in a way, he had with this rejection.

InuYasha's eyes grew comically wide as he rushed to amend his harsh statements. “Wait, no! I didn't mean it like that!”

She lost the battle against her tears and started crying. `Great,' she thought. `Now he feels sorry for me and I feel pathetic.'

“Damn it. I'm messing this up,” he muttered, spearing a hand through his hair. “What I meant to say was—”

“Five hundred years later and you're still a jerk!” Kagome shoved him. Doing so made her lose balance, but InuYasha caught her and took the brunt of their fall out of the tree. She gasped, especially when she felt his chest shake violently beneath her fingertips as she leant over to make sure she hadn't hurt him.

And she hadn't.

InuYasha was laughing at her.

He only stopped when he caught her hurt expression.

“Damn,” he said softly, curving an arm around her waist to steady them as he lifted them both into a standing position. “You're right. I am still a jerk. I'm sorry.”

Kagome melted. Apologies from InuYasha were a rare thing in the past, so the fact that he gave her one so easily showed change. She swept her gaze over his form, wondering what else changed, then blushed. His chest, which her hand still rested on, radiated warmth even through his layers of clothing and her gloves. It felt hard, too, and she noticed how much broader his shoulders were and how much more defined his arms seemed. InuYasha had always been fit, but modern day gyms—or whatever he'd been doing to exercise over the last five hundred years—had been good to him.

InuYasha chuckled, raising a silver brow. “See something you like?”

She dropped her arm quickly, embarrassed. “Shut up!” she mumbled.

“It's okay if you do,” he teased, before his expression sobered. Kagome felt him tuck a finger beneath her chin to tilt it up. “Are you okay?” he asked.

She knew he was talking about the accident, but it was such a loaded question she needed time to properly answer. Physically—from the accident—she felt fine, but emotionally she was a mess because of his sudden presence. Finding him here in her time was a fantasy she never thought would actually happen. Now, InuYasha stood before her—real and looking too intensely at her with his beautiful, golden-hued eyes.

“I'm fine. A little confused,” Kagome said finally. Her gaze burned into his. “How are you here?”

Suddenly, InuYasha looked panicked. In what she recognized as an old avoidance behavior of his, he cut his eyes away from hers and shrugged. Clearly, he didn't plan on answering her question anytime soon, so Kagome cleared her throat, planning to change the subject and ask about Shippou. Before she could, InuYasha sniffed loudly, his face wrinkling in disgust as if he had smelled something foul.

“What the hell?!” he cried, outraged. He brought his hands down to her waist and dragged her into him roughly. Kagome blushed at his sudden proximity. He'd shoved his face into her neck, which was slightly damp from snow melting off of her scarf and hair. His warm breath tickled an especially sensitive spot there, and burned a trail upward as he moved from sniffing her neck to sniffing her lips.

“W-what are you doing?” she squeaked.

InuYasha pulled away and glared at her.

“Who the hell have you been kissing?”

Kagome gaped at him, caught completely off guard. “What? How do you know about—?”

“Answer the question, wench!”

The old loved-but-hated nickname snapped something inside of Kagome, drawing the spit-fire she'd once been out of her. She stabbed a finger into his chest, making him draw back slightly.

I didn't kiss anyone!” she said hotly. “My friend Houjo kissed me tonight, but I didn't want him to and even if I did, why are you so mad about it? You obviously were around and could have—mmph!!

For the second time that night, she was silenced with a kiss. InuYasha's kiss was nothing like Houjo's. Instead of being sweet, gentle and innocent, his was raw, passionate, and hungry. His claws tangled in her hair as his mouth worked against hers, gentle yet rough in coaxing her inexperienced mouth to move against his. When it ended, it felt too soon. His kiss had been three years of frustration and longing, and had felt like coming home.

“Wow,” Kagome gasped when he pulled back. InuYasha's eyes skimmed over her face, a satisfied smirk quirking his lips upward.

“I'm gonna kill that wimp,” he murmured, no real malice behind his words. He cupped her face and drew a gentle pattern with one claw-tipped finger against her cheek—up, down, two sideways brushes of his thumb... ``I' for InuYasha?' she mused giddily. “Don't ever let him kiss you again? I mean it. Ever. Or I'll kill him. Better yet, I'll get Eri to kill him.”

Kagome's brow wrinkled with confusion. “Eri?” What did her friend have to do with Houjo kissing her? Especially when she and her friends had facilitated that kiss? “I don't get it? Why would she—ooh!

InuYasha smacked another quick, playful kiss on her lips, but Kagome didn't miss the way his eyes widened as if he had let something he shouldn't have slip. “You talk to much,” he chuckled.

Kagome blushed, deciding to ignore his strange behavior for now. After finding him again, she had the rest of their lives to look forward to asking him whatever questions he wouldn't answer right now. The thought made her unbelievably excited, and despite the frigid, wintry breeze blowing about, her insides felt warm—as if someone had reached in and wrapped a blanket, or InuYasha's old fire rat haori around her soul.

“Sorry,” she grinned. “So um...what have you been up to?”

InuYasha shoved his hands into his pockets and motioned for her to follow him back into the busy crowds. “Christmas shopping,” he said a little nervously. “I know it's not a big deal here, but uh...the family likes to celebrate it.”

Kagome beamed, thinking this was a great time to ask about her old friends. “Family? So you and Sesshomaru talk now? And you still keep in touch with Shippou? Kouga, too?”

He laughed. “Yes, actually. Sesshomaru found himself a Kagura look-alike and had a tribe of kids. She wanted them to know their Uncle, so he made his peace with me. It wasn't easy, but we had five hundred years to work on not wanting to kill each other at every family gathering.”

“I can't believe it!” her eyes widened. “Sesshomaru? A dad?!”

“A damned soft one, too. The nieces, especially, have turned him into mush. Last week, I walked in on the youngest two braiding his hair.”

Kagome doubled over laughing when the mental image of a stone-faced Sesshomaru donning silver braids popped into her head.

“And you'd be so proud of Shippou,” InuYasha continued softly, sobering her. “He married Shiori, of the thunder tribe. They haven't had kids yet, but the brat isn't a brat anymore. He did good for himself. He takes care of his own.”

“I'm glad,” she whispered, rubbing at her eyes, which for the millionth time that night misted over with tears. “H-how about Kouga?” she asked shakily.

InuYasha scowled.

“He's still around. Still smells like wolf-shit,” he grumbled.


They both burst out laughing. From his answer, she gathered that he and Kouga had also made their peace with each other. On their long, destination-less walk, he regaled her with stories of his life now. He evaded some questions—like anything relating to Sango, Miroku, and Kaede—but hinted that some of their ancestors were around and doing well. InuYasha also made no mention of why he hadn't tried finding her, and Kagome was too scared to ask, afraid of his answer. Unfortunately, she got it when she innocently asked if he would take her to see Shippou and the others.

He stopped, and Kagome realized that where they stood was pretty close to her home. She smiled up at him, excited at the prospect of bringing him home to her family, but it faltered when his expression turned guilty.

“Kagome,” he said gently, resting his hands on her shoulders. “I can't take you to see them.”

“What? Why not?”

She tried not to sound too hurt, but her voice cracked anyway.

“Don't they want to see me?”

He sighed. “Of course they do,'s complicated. If I thought I could explain it in a way that made sense, I would.”

“Try anyway,” she said softly.

His golden eyes gazed down at her in a way that almost seemed to apologize. She shivered, suddenly cold.

“Kagome, I—this is so hard for me to say—but,” he started, shifting uneasily on his feet. She hung onto his every word, yet dreaded his next ones, somehow knowing what bomb he was about to drop.

“I'm married.”

Oh. His eyes cut away from hers. “I'm sorry, Kagome. I never meant—”

“It's okay,” she rushed out, surprising herself. Inside, she felt her heart breaking, but she refused to cry after doing so so many times that day, especially in front of him. She would wait till she got home to meltdown the way she wanted to. Right now, she needed to get away from InuYasha. With a hurried “Well, it was nice seeing you,” tossed over her shoulder and a forced smile, she began walking, but didn't get far before the anger and hurt that had been warring against her urge to cry overtook her.

“As a matter of fact,” she muttered, swerving back around and facing a stunned InuYasha. “It's not okay.”

She marched over to him and stabbed a finger in his face. “How dare you! You got mad about Houjo and told me I wasn't allowed to kiss him, then kissed me knowing very well that you're married! What about your wife?”

For some reason, InuYasha smiled at the word `wife.' Disgusted, she shoved him away from her.

“You ARE still a jerk,” she spat, before heaving a defeated sigh. InuYasha's kiss wasn't his worst offense, though she'd purposely made it seem that way. The worst was that this last hour they'd spent talking and walking, and her elation at seeing him again, were all tainted by his forgetting to mention that he'd found someone else. Now, her dreams of a forever with him were ruined. She couldn't even be his friend. He made that clear enough with his refusal to take her to see Shippou, Sesshomaru, and her other friends from their past. She didn't think being friends after everything they'd been through was possible anyway.

In the past, just being there for him while he tried sorting through his feelings for her and Kikyou, had made Kagome happy. She accept the fact that loving him meant doing it unconditionally and without hope of him ever fully reciprocating those feelings.


“I can't do this,” she whispered, turning away from him. She wouldn't begrudge him the happiness he seemed to have found, but didn't think she could handle being near him while he loved someone else. Again.

The smile fell from InuYasha's face.

“Kagome, wait!”

InuYasha grabbed her harm just as she'd started to walk away. She refused to meet his eyes for fear that if she did, she'd break the promise she made to herself about not crying anymore. Her chest burned, and she didn't think it would be possible to speak past the lump in her throat, but she managed somehow, and surprised herself with how strong her voice sounded:

“Let go of my arm.”

“Don't leave like this,” he implored her. “I can explain!”

Then, he hesitated. “Well, I can't explain everything, but—”

“I don't care. Let me go.”

Kagome—damn it!”

She ripped her arm out of his much stronger grip and began stomping away. InuYasha, with his hanyou speed, caught up to her easily and blocked her path. She stiffened when he crooked a finger under her chin and tilted it up in an effort to make her look at him.

“Don't do this to me again,” Kagome begged, squeezing her eyes shut. She felt his fingers fall away from her, as if he realized the parallel to their old situation.

“I'm not,” InuYasha swore. “This is all so complicated, but one day, I swear it'll all make sense. Just...don't walk away from me like this. Don't hate me for what I did tonight.”

Something inside Kagome melted.

“I don't hate you,” she admitted glumly, slowly opening her eyes. “But I can't be around you for a while, or I'll never move on with my life.”

InuYasha grabbed her face. “I don't want you to move on,” he said fiercely. “Kagome, you can't move on. You can't forget about me...about us!”

“InuYasha, you're married! How can you ask me not to do that? You selfish—”

“I know this sounds crazy, but go to the well tonight,” he pleaded. He pressed his forehead to hers and glared intensely into her eyes. Kagome couldn't break his stare even if she wanted to.

She also didn't move when he kissed her again. Slow this time. Gentle.

“Please,” he begged against her lips, punctuating his next couple of sentences with more butterfly soft kisses. “Go to the well. Tonight. Please. Don't forget.”

Then he released her.

She stumbled back and stared hard at him, committing this last view of him into a memory she'd cherish always, despite his turning the best day of her life into one of the worst.

“Goodbye, InuYasha,” she said sadly, before turning away from him.

Behind her, she heard him call out: “Well house. Tonight!”

. : .

`Why did I have to see him again?' Kagome thought. Hours after their snowy encounter, she sat at home thinking over InuYasha's parting words to her. She clutched one of her frilly pink pillows to her chest and walked over to her bedroom window. Sitting there, she couldn't resist looking over at the well house. How many times had she gazed longingly at it from her window over the last three years, willing it to open again? Only now, she knew it never would, and in the same way life here moved on without waiting for her, InuYasha would move on over there.

`Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't—darn it!'

A lone tear slipped out of her eye. Kagome quickly wiped it away, then hugged her pillow tighter and glared out at the well house, as if it had hurt her in some way. That's when InuYasha's words came back to her:

Go to the well tonight. Please.”

“...stupid InuYasha” Kagome whispered. She wanted to walk away from what was probably a bad idea, but she was curious. InuYasha probably wanted to meet her and explain properly why and how he'd moved on. She didn't really want to hear it, but knew that if she didn't go down there tonight, InuYasha would probably climb in through her window the way he'd done countless times before to force her to talk to him. So, it was with heavy feet and a much heavier heart that Kagome put on slippers and walked down to the well house.

. : .

“Okay, I'm here!” Kagome announced, feeling stupid. The well house smelled damp and disgusting from the snow outside soaking in through the wooden walls. It was cold in there, too.

Kagome wrapped her jacket tighter around her shivering frame and looked around. She couldn't think of a sadder place to get the closure she needed from InuYasha. She would have preferred meeting him at the Goshinboku. `Why not end whatever we were at the place where we began?' she thought ruefully. `Though I suppose this was really where it started.'

She looked over at the well for the first time since walking into the room. Had she never fallen down there, she never would have met InuYasha, and though he'd broken her heart earlier, she didn't—and wouldn't ever—regret the time they spent together. InuYasha was her first and only love, and her impossible feudal adventures with him were memories she'd cherish, always.

`But I have to let him go now,' she thought, frowning. She'd waited long enough for InuYasha to show, and with no sign of him appearing anytime soon, it was time to get out of the cold and move on with her life. She entertained no illusions of it being easy, but for the first time in three years, Kagome was going to give her life here a real, sincere chance. She was going to apply to college or get herself a job and put this well and her old life far away behind her.

...and maybe, years from now, after she'd had time to heal, she'd make peace with the InuYasha she met in this era. She might even meet his wife and thank her for taking such good care of him.

Smiling, content with her plans, Kagome made to leave the well house. She was stopped by a small, feeble sound echoing from the well's depths.


Kagome stiffened, one foot barely out the door. Cautiously, she approached the well and hazarded a look down. Buoyo, her cat, lay at the bottom, curled into himself.

“Oh no,” she murmured, realizing the obvious similarities to her first time jumping down this well. Then, her eyes widened and her heart sped up. This was no coincidence. Would the well actually open this time if she jumped down it? Was that why InuYasha made her come there?

She didn't dare hope this time, already knowing how things turned out for InuYasha. Even if the well did open and she somehow made it back to the Feudal Era, three years had passed without her there. Things might have already changed for the old InuYasha, and her heart couldn't handle him breaking it a second time.


She also couldn't leave Buoyo down there. Her poor cat would freeze to death!

Bracing herself for possible disappointment, Kagome hooked one leg over the lip of the ancient well and let herself fall in the way she had so many times before. When she dropped onto the cold, damp ground, and felt no magic pull, she closed her eyes and counted backwards from ten to compose herself before picking up Buoyo. Despite not wanting to, she had hoped for it to open again, and the disappointment this time was even harder to bear.

“Silly cat,” she said, just to concentrate on something rooted in her world, and not in a dream she badly needed to let go of. Buoyo looked at her innocently, his green eyes glowing. “Didn't you learn your lesson the first time?”

He purred in answer and snuggled into her chest while she climbed the both of them out of there.

“Go on now,” she said when they made it to the top. She swatted his behind and made him scamper out of the well house, leaving her alone in the damp, moldy-smelling room. This time, Kagome gave in and cried.

“I miss you so much,” she said, falling to her knees. Both hands held tight the well as she gazed into it longingly. “I miss being there with you. I—”

She started.

Something had sparked beneath her fingertips. Briefly, the well glowed a bright, ethereal blue, and from the very bottom, she heard a sound that couldn't possibly have come from Buoyo this time:


. : .

On the other side, InuYasha made his usual third-day trip to the well. He knew what Sango and Miroku thought about these trips, but couldn't help checking to see if it was working again. The ancient well disappointed him every time, but every time he convinced himself that this time it was going to work. The well had to bring his Kagome back to him. There was no way the Gods brought her to him, only to snatch her away as if she'd never come into his life and made things so that living without her felt like the lowest form of existing.

Kagome was born to meet him, and InuYasha was born for her.

He knew it...

...but knowing this, and believing it after the hundreds of times he'd been disappointed at the well's refusal to function was getting harder every day. Today, after a particularly hard day of missing the fiery, futuristic girl, Inuyasha placed both hands on the well and glared into the empty bottom.

“Give me a damn sign, would ya?” he demanded. He jumped when a spark of magic ignited beneath his fingertips, then stiffened when a familiar voice spoke from the well:

I miss you so much. I miss being there with you. I—”

InuYasha lunged at the well, his eyes wide. `No fucking way.'


. : .

Kagome shook, her tears now happy tears leaking from her eyes as she held onto the well's edge. Beneath her hands, the wood pulsed with feeble, barely-there magic, but it was enough to somehow give her this moment with InuYasha. She knew on the other side, he held onto the well too, and Kagome didn't dare let go for fear of losing the strange, but wonderful connection in which she felt his hands right where hers were the entire night she spent curled up by the well.

I miss you, too. Everyday. Come back already,” the magic carried back to her.

Several more times she spoke into the well that night, but had no way of knowing if InuYasha heard any of it after her last sobbed statement. It didn't matter, though. She took comfort in knowing he was there, and that he missed her as much as she missed him. Instinctively, she knew too that somehow, someday, the well was going to open again. She felt the magic promise her and smiled before falling asleep beside it, feeling through the well that on the other side, her hanyou did the same.

. : .

“C'mere, Buoyo. I can't believe you, InuYasha!”

Buoyo scampered into his owner's arms, but not before gazing confusedly back at the well house where he'd last seen her. Comfort won out over logic as he snuggled into the warm jacket she wrapped him in, though the urge to claw out of it nearly overcame Buoyo when the enemy sidled up to his Kagome.

“Everything worked out, didn't it?” InuYasha said coolly. He reached out to pet Buoyo, but retracted his hand when the cold, angry cat hissed at him. “Don't give me that look furball. She went in and got you.”

“But what if I hadn't,” Kagome challenged, hugging the cat that had been used as a pawn in her husband's scheme to bring their past selves together on Christmas night. She wasn't mad at him, only pretending to be. What she really couldn't believe—even after five hundred years of being his mate—was that he'd done something so romantic! Mirth danced in her eyes when she looked up at him adoringly. His clawed hands brushed against her cheek, tracing a familiar pattern.

``I' for `I love you.' For `I'm yours, always.'

“You had me scared for a minute there,” he admitted. “Actually, for more than a minute. I thought you wouldn't go down to the well house...that you'd make good on your promise to move on and that I'd lose you.”

Kagome smiled. “Was I right in thinking you'd come through my window and drag me down there if I didn't go?”

“Keh,” InuYasha said softly. “Of course I would have. Why do you think we came here tonight? It wasn't just to watch the show. Had to make sure you didn't go all 'stubborn wench' on me.”

“So weird,” Kagome murmured, looking back at the well house. “How many people can say they got to watch themselves go through something like this? It's incredible.” She knew, having lived through the moment, how much going into the well house that night changed her life forever.

That moment reignited her hopes of going back to the man who hadn't forgotten her, and who would eventually became her husband and mate. She smiled up at him now. It always amazed her how far they'd come. Their love was something unique, hard to describe. It survived an ancient, powerful jewel and a devastating three year separation, a kiss with a sweet boy who went on to marry her best friend, a heartbreaking misunderstanding, and the god-awful flu Kagome caught the day after she'd slept in the well house...

“Oh my God!” Kagome shrieked, dropping Buoyo. “I almost forgot about that. I should go warn myself!”

“What the—don't you dare!” InuYasha laughed before realizing his wife was serious.

“You have no idea what it was like! I almost didn't graduate because of how behind it put me in my studies, and then, Eri made me—mmph!!!”

“You'll survive,” InuYasha murmured against her lips. Kagome smacked him in his chest. After five hundred years she still talked too much, and he still silenced her with kisses.

“But you might not survive,” Kagome told him, playfully angry. “Don't think you're off the hook for what you did to me, buddy.”

“Oi! What did I do?”

“You kissed me!”

InuYasha raised an eyebrow, wondering what his crazy wife was complaining about when it hit him: the kiss—well, kisses—earlier that day with her younger self. He hadn't planned on kissing or even running into her. At first, InuYasha thought his wife had been spying on him while he went to buy her Christmas present, but then he remembered that both the wolf and Sesshomaru were on 'wench patrol' so it couldn't have been her. It had to have been the old her. Trying to avoid her, though she'd spotted him, ended when he saw her nearly get killed by a reckless drunk driver.

He thought he'd messed things up royally, irreparably changing time and altering the life he'd built with Kagome when he mislead her into thinking that he'd moved on with someone else, so in an effort to fix things, he pushed her toward the well, hoping that by some chance, she happened to touch the well on one of the days his younger self had gone to it.

Crazy, but his plan worked, and inadvertently presented him with the perfect present to give his wife: the opportunity to relive one of the most significant moments of both of their lives, a moment when they'd both lost and found hope by the well that kept them apart and then brought them back together.

Rolling his eyes at his wife, InuYasha leaned down and kissed her.

“You can't get jealous over me kissing you.”

“But it was the past me!” Kagome pointed out. She eyed him suspiciously. “It didn't feel like cheating to you?”

He thought it over, then shrugged.

“Nope. I consider it one of the perks of a love that transcends time.” InuYasha grinned, earning himself another smack.

Cole for Christmas

“We’re home!” Kagome joyfully called from the entryway of the house. Kicking the door closed behind her she crossed her left arm over her right to toss her keys on the small table by the door. Tugging at the leash in her left hand she kicked off her shoes and wiggled out of her gray pea coat, leaving it lay in a heap on the floor.

Inuyasha had fallen asleep on the couch waiting for her return. It was early twilight out, and a chill had gripped the air in the house. Upon hearing Kagome yell through the house his eyes popped open, and his ears perked up instantly at the clacking sound on the hardwood floor and unusual panting.

“Oh, she didn’t,” was his first conscious thought. He closed his eyes to count to ten. Without warning Inuyasha was suddenly assaulted by a huge, wet tongue across the side of his face. “Oh, my god!” He jerked up, grabbing onto the back of the couch with his left hand, and wiping his face off on the sleeve of his right arm.

“Inuyasha! I see you’ve met Cole! Isn’t he wonderful?!” Kagome stood at the end of the couch clearly very pleased with herself. She clapped her hands together and bounced, her wavy, dark ponytail swinging behind her head.

“What is it?” Surely this couldn’t be the dog they had talked about getting. This horse was huge! Much bigger than the 15-pound variety dogs they had talked about getting from the animal shelter Kagome worked at. Inuyasha sat up on the couch and barked out, “Sit!” to which the dog immediately dropped his hindquarters.

Sitting on the floor the dog was almost as tall as Inuyasha was while sitting on the couch. He looked rather gangly, reminding Inuyasha of a teenager who had recently shot up and hadn’t grown into himself yet. He had an interesting, steel blue color to him, and he looked like he was nothing but bone and muscle. The dog had to be at least 100 pounds and didn’t look much more than a grown up puppy. He had floppy ears, and Inuyasha had to admit, a rather loving look on his face. He could see why Kagome was won over, but he wasn’t having it. Standing up, Cole stood as well, moving to the side.

Standing in front of her in his dark jeans and white socks, he crossed his arms over his grey sweater and looked at his girlfriend. “Kagome, he’s way bigger than we talked about. We had agreed to go together so this wouldn’t happen.”

Looking contrite, she responded, “I know, but when he was finally released for adoption I just had to get him. I knew no one else would and he’s so sweet. He’s really smart, too. You told him to sit, and he did, just like that! Imagine all the other tricks we could teach him!” He could see this conversation was in danger of derailment from her exuberance.

“That’s not the point. We don’t have room for a pony-sized dog. He’s too big, Kagome, and our place isn’t big enough. He’s either going to have to live outside or he’s going back.” There. He had put his foot down.

“We can’t put him outside! He’s priceless! Do you know how much a dog like him would cost?” Kagome was indignant at the idea of her new best friend living outside in the dirt. And if anyone saw him they would surely steal him. “Inuyasha, he’s a Great Dain. He’s purebred, a perfect blue color, and he comes with papers.”

Unimpressed, Inuyasha replied, “I don’t care if he comes with a book, he has got to go. We would have to move in order to keep him in the house.”

“Then we’ll move.” Kagome looked him straight in the face and lost all sense of reality.

Inuyasha was very familiar with that tone. Kagome had just clicked over from “reasonably pleading” to “dead stop stubborn.” He could have smacked himself in the forehead. Instead he ran his hands over his face, then placed them on his hips, ready for battle.

“No, we won’t. It’s weeks from Christmas, it’s cold as Hell outside, we are locked into this place for another…” Inuyasha did the quick math in his head. “Four months, it’s too dangerous out to drive a moving truck, no one will help us move in this weather or at this time of year, it’s too expensive to hire someone to move us, and we’re saving up for a house.” She still looked at him straight faced. “He’ll eat us out of house and home, not to mention what a vet will cost for a dog this size! Come on, Kagome! Be reasonable!” He was all but pleading now for her to reconsider her decision.

“I’m not taking him back, and I’m not putting him outside in the cold to freeze or be stolen. I adopted him and that means he’s mine until he dies.” Turning sharply on her heal she strode toward the bedroom door. Snapping her fingers Cole stood and trailed behind her, the red lead to his red collar dragging across the floor behind him. Reaching the door she and Cole went into the room, and she slammed it behind her. The last thing Inuyasha saw was that horse jumping up into his bed.

Yelling, “Keep him out of my bed!” Inuyasha flopped back onto the couch, and stared at the ceiling.

Not sure how long he sat there, he was pulled from his reverie by the feel of his phone vibrating in his pocket. He didn’t even have to look at the number to know who it was.

“Is she still talking to her or has she hung up yet?”

“They’re still talking. It must be really bad.” For a minute Inuyasha imagined there was real sympathy in Miroku’s voice. He let out a long sigh.

“You know how we talked about getting a dog? A small dog? She came home with a pony-sized dog instead. He’s at least 100 pounds and as tall as me when we’re both sitting down. Our place just isn’t big enough for a dog that size and won’t be for a long while, not to mention the expense. I told her he had to go back or go outside. She said no to both and stormed off to the bedroom. I saw that beast jump into my bed before she slammed the door.” He put his hand over his eyes.

“You’re going to have to let her keep the dog. You know that. Why even bother fighting?” Miroku had no doubt the woman Inuyasha lived with tried his nerves, as all women did. Sango was great, but even she had her moments.

“I didn’t even want a dog. She at least got me to give in on a 15 pounder, and she brought home this beast. She just does whatever all the time. That’s the point.” He got up and paced the living room, stopping at the end of the hallway to listen for any noises from his room.

“Good luck with that.” Miroku knew all about that situation.

“Yeah, I’m gonna go. Catch you later, man.”

“You bet.” They hung up, Inuyasha headed to his room. Grabbing the knob he swung the door open, only to see Kagome on the bed snuggled up to Cole. He was instantly mad.

“I said I didn’t want him in my bed.” He stalked over and grabbed the dog by his collar, yanking him out from under Kagome’s arm.

“Don’t! You’ll hurt him!” Cole just lay there like a slug, refusing to budge.

“Are you kidding me? He won’t budge!” Inuyasha let go, and the dog flopped back onto the mattress with a harrumph.

Kagome instantly gathered Cole back to her, running her hands over his ears. She settled her head back down on her folded arm, cooing to the dog.

“Kagome, we need to talk about this dog. We just can’t keep him.” He was hoping she had calmed down enough, but he should have known better by the way she was babying Cole.

“There’s nothing to talk about if that’s all you want to say.” Kagome didn’t even look at him. Just the back of Cole’s head as he began to snore and twitch.

“What is your problem?! Why are you being so stubborn about this?” He just didn’t get it. Sure he knew Kagome could be stubborn if she really wanted, but this was even beyond her.

“Look, Inuyasha, there are some things I take very seriously. When you adopt a pet it’s permanent. It’s not until you get home and your boyfriend decides he has to go. It’s a lifetime commitment. I know he isn’t what we agreed on, but I couldn’t let him get away. Something about the look in his eyes spoke to me and I couldn’t let him go. He needed me.” Kagome spoke softly as she continued to stroke Cole’s ears. He started yipping in his sleep.

“Fine.” He turned and slammed the door behind him, causing Cole to twitch.

Stepping into his shoes he grabbed his keys off the table by the door, and left. Almost running down the stairs he jogged to his Jeep and hopped in. Not wanting to be around anyone he went to Kagome’s family shrine and sat up in the branches of Goshinboku. He knew they would find him eventually because he was a creature of habit, but he hoped they would stay away for a while. He needed time to think.

Hours went by and Inuyasha came up with nothing. He knew Kagome was going to keep the dog and there was nothing he could do about it. His problem wasn’t even the dog. The real issue was how she just went and did whatever she wanted and expected him to just deal with her decisions.

Hopping out of the tree Inuyasha walked toward the shrine steps that led to his Jeep below. Looking toward the house he could see Mrs. Higurashi smiling at him from one of the downstairs, front windows. He smiled, and then disappeared down the steps.

Once home he tossed his keys on the door side table and slid out of his boots. He picked up Kagome’s coat and hung it in the closet next to his. Walking toward the bedroom he opened the door quietly, peering inside the dark room. He could see Kagome asleep on the bed; Cole still curled up beside her. Even though it was a king sized bed, his legs still hung off the side. Inuyasha shook his head and smiled. He walked over to Kagome’s side of the bed and shook her gently.

“Hey, wake up. We need to talk.” He sat down on the edge of the bed and looked at her.

She groaned, and then rolled away from the dog. Reaching for the bedside table she turned on the light. Rubbing her eyes she slid scooched up the bed until she was leaning against the headboard with her hands crossed over her chest. “What’s up?”

“The problem isn’t the dog. The problem is how you just do whatever you want, and expect me to deal with it. We had a deal and you went against it. You could have said something to me about him and we could have worked something out, but instead you did what you wanted, brought him home, and it caused a huge fight.”

“Inuyasha, we would have fought about it anyway. You would have seen him and told me no, and we would have fought because I would have wanted him and you wouldn’t.” She looked at him like he was an idiot.

“That’s probably true, but at least then I would have had a choice. And you probably could have persuaded me and ended up with him anyway. We could have avoided this whole mess for a completely different one that could have been easier to deal with.” Inuyasha looked at her, unsure if he was getting through her thick head.

“Maybe you’re right.” She sat in the bed looking at her hands fidgeting in her lap.

“Maybe not. But you can’t keep doing whatever you want and expecting me to be ok with it. If you can’t keep your word when we make an agreement, then I can’t trust you. Is that really the way you want things to be? Because I can’t be with you if it is.” And there it was. Inuyasha wasn’t trying to give her an ultimatum, just simply trying to make a point.

“Ok, I understand. I’ll try to be better.” Kagome looked up at Inuyasha while still keeping her head bowed low.

“Don’t try, just do it.” Inuyasha took her hand and held it. Reaching over he patted Cole’s head “I guess he’ll be ok. We’ll make due.” Cole opened his eyes and gave Inuyasha’s hand a lazy lick. “But he is not sleeping in my bed.” And with that Inuyasha gave a shove, Cole landing gracefully on his feet.
Sex as Revenge: It Never Works Out

Kagome had Christmas carols blasting through the Range Rover’s stereo, and Inuyasha understood two things: 1. Kagome loved the holidays best, and 2. If he had to listen to one more Christmas song he was going to throw her out of the SUV and tie her to the bumper with her iPod attached to her ears so he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. They had been driving for the better part of the day through snow, over crunchy and slick pavement, and still had a couple hours to go. He just didn’t know if he could take anymore.

He decided to try tact. “Kagome, can we listen to something else for a while? I need a break from the holiday cheer.”

“Inuyasha, you’re such a Scrooge!” Laughing, she shook her head. “Sorry, but no way. I live for this time of year, and you know it. You won’t let me listen to Christmas music any other time, so suffer in silence.” Smiling she went back to looking out the window, snapping pictures of the scenery as it flew past them.

Thinking (hoping) she wouldn’t notice, Inuyasha gradually turned the radio down from his steering wheel as they drove. When he could barely hear the music anymore he waited for Kagome to be engrossed with her camera again, then nonchalantly reached over and took the CD out of the dash. Cracking his window he slipped it out of the crack onto the road and rolled his window back up.

Noticing the cold draft Kagome whipped around with a loud, “Hey!” Then she saw it. Her favorite holiday CD being thrown out onto the street for people to drive over and ruin. “INUYASHA! What the hell are you doing?!” She was now facing him fully with a scornful, yet indignant look on her face.

“Why? Wha’d ya see?” Inuyasha was trying the completely innocent act, which made Kagome angrier.

“Turn this truck around and go back and get it now. That’s bullshit, throwing my stuff out the window like it’s trash!” Camera forgotten all her focus was solely on Inuyasha and getting her property recovered.

“Hey, I asked nicely. You didn’t even notice you could barely hear it. If it hadn’t been for the draft you never would have known it was gone.” Now he was getting mad to which Kagome called bullshit on.

“Don’t you dare try to be mad at me and blame me. I wouldn’t dare throw anything of yours out.”

“Oh yeah? What about my t-shirt I cut the grass in?”

“You mean the shirt that has more holes than fabric. I didn’t throw it out, I cut it up and use it for dust rags.” Kagome crossed her arms over her chest.

“Same fucking thing. I don’t have it to wear anymore so you may as wells have thrown it out. And what about my favorite flannel sleep pants?” Now he was digging and he knew it.

“You mean the flannel pants that wear thread bare, and I could see the crack of your ass in because your farts had rotted away the seams? Yeah, dust rags. But still not thrown out. Now turn this truck around and go get my CD off the road before it gets ruined!”

“Kagome, it’s miles back. I’m not turning around.” And he was seriously not going to.

Smiling dangerously Kagome replied, “Ok, fine,” and turned away from him. She knew she could hold this stand off much longer than he could, and if he wanted to try her so be it. Picking her camera back up she turned her attention back to the scenery.

Later that day they made it to their cabin. Both bundling back up before getting out of the truck, Inuyasha waited to cut the heat until they both were ready. There were several inches of snow on the ground already, and it was still snowing. He was glad the cabin they had rented for their winter get away was gas so he wouldn’t have to worry about wood for the fireplace, and the stove would help heat the cabin more thoroughly by using real fire to cook with.

Kagome was packing up her camera when Inuyasha got out and slammed the car door. “Good,” she thought. “If he thinks he’s frustrated now, just wait. As the days go by he’s going to jerking off every five minutes to release the tension.” She chuckled darkly to herself. Finally ready she shouldered her camera bag and got out to help unload.

As soon as Inuyasha opened the cabin door with the first load Kagome rushed in and turned up the heat and fireplace. Inuyasha continued to make trips out while Kagome stayed inside to put things away. He brought the groceries for the week in first, and by the time he was bringing in their luggage Kagome was finished putting them away.

“It’s awful damn hot in here,” he grumbled, heading toward the thermostat. “Did you crank this thing up to 90?” Turning it down he turned to face Kagome. He was struck dumb by the look of her. She was standing in the living room facing him in her dark blue, skinny jeans that were unbuttoned and unzipped low enough for him to see she had no panties on. She crossed her arms under her breasts, pushing them up and out of her skimpy, lacey, black bra. He loved when she wore skimpy, lacey things up top and nothing underneath below.

“Uhm, yes? Who else is here to do it?” Turning her back to him she unhooked her bra with one hand and headed back toward the bedroom, flinging it over her shoulder. He saw just a hint of her breast before she disappeared through the doorway.

In hot pursuit he was shocked to find the door locked when he went to open it. Looking at the knob in confusion he called, “Hey, open up!”

“Hey, go get my CD!” was her curt response.

“Not funny. Open the door.” He stood jiggling the knob as if it were going to unlock because he wanted it to.

“I know it’s not. Go find something to do until I’m finished.” Inuyasha heard the bathroom door close.

“Dammit.” Huffing at the door indignantly he went to the kitchen to grab a beer. He tossed his coat on the floor in the entryway, and grabbed a beer from the fridge. Going back into the living room he picked up the remote and flopped back on the couch. Turning the TV on he took a long draw from his bottle when he saw a pair of naked legs pass in front of him. He creased his brow and looked at the fireplace again when he realized their bedroom wall and the living room wall shared the fireplace. Where he sat on the couch gave him the perfect view to watch the flat screen TV hung on the wall over the fireplace, or watch what was going on in the room he wasn’t allowed access to.

From his spot on the couch he could only see the foot of the bed, but if he got closer he was sure he would be able to see into the room. Deciding to test his theory he sat on the end of the loveseat, and sure enough he could see the Jacuzzi in the far corner. If he sat in the armchair he could see the dresser and the doorway into the bathroom. Inuyasha chuckled to himself.

“So she thinks she’s going to keep me from seeing her naked? Not likely.” He sat back on the couch and waited a few more minutes, trying to create a game plan. All thought was knocked out of his head when he saw Kagome pass by again in a robe. Unrolling her yoga mat in front of the fireplace she sat on it, and crossed her legs. Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun, her face clean. Looking Inuyasha directly in the eye she removed her robe to reveal naked skin underneath. Letting it fall around her she rested her hands on her knees, raised her head defiantly, and closed her eyes to meditate.

He swore he saw the woman smirk before she closed her eyes. He watched as her chest rose and fell steadily with each deep, measured breath, all interest in the TV lost. Taking a drink of his beer his eyes grazed her hungrily as he saw her skin begin to glow. He noticed a bead of sweat run down her neck, gaining speed as it picked up more droplets. That bead of sweat became the center of his focus as it ran down over the inside of her left breast and down her thin stomach to rest in her fine nest of curls between her thighs.

It was almost more than he could bear, watching the sweat run down her body while she sat naked before him and a wall between them. Just as he was about to get up Kagome’s eyes opened and she smiled. Winking she turned and stood, placed her feet together, then bent over, presenting Inuyasha with a lovely view of her bare ass and a peak at her lips. She rolled her mat back up and picked up her robe. Peaking around her legs at him she smiled, and stood. She flung her robe across the end of the bed, and walked out of site.

“Hmph,” Inuyasha grumbled. He got up and adjusted his stiffened cock before heading to the kitchen for another beer. Untwisting the cap he tossed it in the trash, and flopped onto the loveseat this time. He didn’t want to miss anything if Kagome decided to repeat the show. He wasn’t disappointed.

Coming back into his view she kneeled down and looked for him through the fireplace. He noticed she was still naked and now she was armed with their black bag. Seeing where he was now seated she smiled and gave him a thumbs up, approving of his choice. She stood back up and headed to the bed.

He watched her bare backside settled onto the fluffy comforter, and damn if she didn’t look sexy. He could see the beautiful curves of her body and the tendrils of hair teased her skin. He knew if he were allowed to run his tongue over her she would taste like salt. To keep from drooling he took a sip of his beer. He couldn’t see what she was doing but he had a healthy idea. His suspicions were confirmed when he heard the familiar buzz come on then cut off.

“Oh, that heathen bitch,” he though ruefully. As if she could hear him she turned her body to swing her legs up on the bed, and smiled at him again before settling back on the pillow. He saw the vibrator sitting on the nightstand by her head. Letting one leg fall to the side her middle was wide open for his greedy eyes to devour, had it not been for the robe obscuring his view.

“Move the robe!” he yelled. His response was laughter.

Closing her eyes Kagome relaxed and began to run her hands over her body. Starting at her chest her hands wandered over her breasts, tweaking her nipples. He could almost hear the sounds coming from between her parted lips.

He placed his beer on the coffee table and slouched down into his seat. Unbuttoning his pants he reached into his boxers and pulled his hard cock free. He pushed his jeans down lower around his hips and fully exposed his sack and shaft. Wrapping his hand around himself he stroked his shaft as he watched Kagome touch her body.

Inuyasha saw her breathing quicken and her hands delve between her thighs, and he knew what was coming. “Pick it up,” he coaxed. True to form Kagome picked up her vibrator and turned it on. “Show daddy how you like it,” he whispered. Kagome ran the tip of it down her stomach before he saw it start to rise and fall between her legs. Each time it lowered more of it disappeared behind the robe and he could imagine it disappearing inside her. He reminisced on how wet she would get for him and how she smelled when he had his face between her legs. As he reenacted licking her in his mind his strokes became more urgent, his cock getting harder. Occasionally he would tighten his ass, thrusting up into his hand.

Kagome was becoming more urgent in her quest for release. She was just as turned on as Inuyasha was, and she loved watching him jerk off while he watched her get off. She would often sneak peaks at him when his head was tilted back, staring at his cock as he fisted it. She loved giving him head almost as much as she loved having him inside her, abusing her. Sometimes she wished they could fuck for hours because no sooner would it be over than she wanted him again. He made her a sex fiend for him and she loved being his whore.

She could feel her vibrator hitting all the right spots but it wasn’t enough. She needed him inside her right now like she needed the air she breathed. “Inuyasha!” she called out. She saw his head snap up but he didn’t slow his pace. “Please,” he saw her whisper through the glass of the fireplace.

He snickered at her, then shook his head, motioning toward the door. Kagome knew what he meant. She had locked him out, but sometimes he was just too thick. “Bathroom,” she mouthed, and then he remembered. Their bathroom also had a door that lead into the entryway.

He got out of his chair; never slowing the pace he set on his cock, and headed toward the bathroom. Kagome heard the door open to their room and she opened her eyes to see him standing at the foot of their bed, shirt off and still stroking himself.

She removed her vibrator and dropped it to the floor. Getting on her hands and knees she crawled across the bed toward Inuyasha then sat on the edge and took his dick in her mouth. He put his hands in her hair and watched as she laved and sucked him. He didn’t try to hold back as her expert blowjob caused him to cum in her mouth.

Swallowing him down she pulled away when he was finished and got on her knees before him. She turned and bent over, offering up her pussy in his favorite position. Walking to the side of the bed he picked up her vibrator and turned it on then slid himself inside her. Once he had her close to finishing he placed the vibrator on her asshole, pushing in just the tip. He knew how to fuck her as well as he knew how to get himself off. He’d never met a woman who was so crazy about sex, but this one was insatiable and she always did what he asked of her. There wasn’t a kink he had yet to suggest that she had turned down and it was the biggest turn on he’d ever encountered.

Filling up both of her holes, he fucked her until she begged for mercy. Of course he would not give it. Seeing her exhausted on her belly he told her to roll over, then dove between her legs. He loved hearing her moan and groan as he licked between her lips after being thoroughly fucked. When he was satisfied she was ready, he moved up and latched onto a nipple while he shoved his cock back inside her. The longer they fucked the tighter she got, and it became so easy to make her cum. In the wee hours of the morning she finally told him she couldn’t take anymore. Two orgasms later he came again before laying over her, rested on his forearms.

“You owe me a Christmas CD,” she gasped between breaths.

“Fuck that,” he groused, snickering at her. “I’d rather go without than buy another.”

“Yeah, well, we both know that isn’t going to happen,” she replied, kissing him on the nose.

“Just like we both know I’m not replacing that damn CD,” came his smart-ass response.
FOR NEO by ED Staff
Memories, Old and New

Kagome stood shivering, her gloved hands shoved deep into the pockets of her long, grey, wool peacoat. Her earmuffs fit securely over her ears, and her knit hood with kitty ears was pulled low over her forehead. The attached scarf was wrapped so tightly around her neck she thought she might choke, but she was not about to let the cold wind whip around her neck. Her dark blue, skinny jeans were tucked snuggly down into her dark brown Uggs, and her feet were shoved into thick, cotton socks. Occasionally she would jump up and down to get her blood flowing while she waited. One did not take chances when it came to keeping warm outside during the Japanese winter.

In her excitement she was 30 minutes early to their favorite coffee house and found herself standing outside on the street so Inuyasha wouldn’t miss her. It had been four years since Kagome had been back to this place. Before then it had been months, and years since the last time she had been here with Inuyasha. Eyes scanning the passing crowd for his face, she got lost in thought.

As kids their mothers, who had been college roommates, would get the families together a few times a year to visit and catch up. During the holidays they would meet up and go Christmas shopping together, dragging the two little ones along. The only thing that kept the mischievous duo moderately well behaved was the promise of coming to this coffee house for cake and hot chocolate. Their mothers would put Inuyasha and Kagome in a booth with their snacks and cocoa to eat and play while the women would sit at a table next to them and chat. October through the end of December had always been Kagome’s favorite time of year, and she loved all the chances she got to spend time with her friend.

It was harder to keep this tradition as Inuyasha and Kagome got older and younger kids came along. Then when the pair were old enough to meet up on their own they rarely found the time, both involved with friends and school activities. Suddenly they were going off to college, and there wasn’t any time during trips home. Throughout the years they had kept in touch over the phone, then email and Skype, but it wasn’t the same. They literally hadn’t spent any time together in years. Now they were both graduated and home, and they could pick up the tradition again. At least for now. Inuyasha was her oldest friend, the one who knew her best, and to say she was excited as she bounced around on the sidewalk outside the coffee house like a nut, trying to look at every face that walked by, was an understatement.

Inuyasha had changed his shirt three times before finally settling on a dark grey Henley to go with his dark jeans and tan Sperrys. He drug a brush through his long, silver hair, looked himself over one more time before saying, “Fuck it,” and heading toward the front door. Putting on his tan Carhart and zipping it up, he grabbed his flannel scarf and walked out. He was instantly blasted in the face with a gust of cold wind coming through the breezeway of his apartment building, which made him head back into the apartment, change his Sperrys for heavier hiking boots, put a sweater on over his Henley, and grab his gloves. Checking his watch he cursed, seeing he was going to be at least 10 minutes late. As if he wasn’t suffering enough anxiety, now he was going to be late and drag it out even longer.

As he huddled down into his coat and scarf, he walked the familiar route to their favorite coffee shop. Inuyasha couldn’t believe how long it had been since he had been here with Kagome. One minute they were kids, hanging out with their Moms while Christmas shopping and trying not to get caught acting up. He chuckled at how sneaky they had become. When their Moms weren’t looking they would braid shirtsleeves together, or tie different shoe laces together, making odd pairs. They would lick their fingers and touch magazine pages so they would stick together, and mix up crayons in their boxes. If their mothers had known he was sure they would have gotten smacked in the head, but instead they wouldn’t get caught and would end up at the coffee house in their own booth with cake and cocoa. Kagome was the best co-conspirator he ever had. No other kid ever came up with the devilishly harmless pranks she did, and he never had as much fun with anyone else.

Inuyasha had missed seeing her over the years. As they got older life had just gotten in the way and they saw each other less and less. Suddenly they were headed off to different colleges, and years had gone by before he realized how long it had really been since he’d seen her. But now they were both graduated, and back in their hometown. She went back home to her family shrine for a while, and he went right into a designing job that afforded him his own place. He was glad they had kept up over the years, and Skype had really been a Godsend. Being able to see her had made him not miss her so much, but he had still missed her. When he was a kid he didn’t appreciate the ease that came with being a kid and being around your friend. He was expected to hold her hand and look out for her when they were together, even though she was a few months older, and they would snuggle up for naps, her presence helping him sleep soundly. Now it would just be weird to grab her hand and ask to take a nap together. If he was in bed with a woman it was because other things had lead him there, but a nap was not one of them. He didn’t want to think about that now, though. He just wanted to get to the shop.

Rounding the street corner Inuyasha saw the ears before he saw the girl. Those crazy ears on top of Kagome’s hood made him laugh out loud. Nothing was like her anywhere on the planet and he was glad. She had had a thing for dress up when they were kids, but as she got older he realized something was loose in her noodle. Dress up became cosplay and she was going to conventions dressed as all kinds of people from manga and anime, and the costumes steadily got more revealing. Not trashy, but she showed more skin than he cared for. The electric blue and light grey knit hood with cat ears on top was perfectly her style. And when he got a look at her face he wasn’t surprised by the electric blue contacts he saw.

“Cheshire cat?” he asked, sneaking up on her.

“Inuyasha!” she squealed, throwing her arms around his neck. Laughing he caught her in a bear hug.

“Hey, Kagome. I see your wig matches your eyes.” He smiled at her fondly; glad she hadn’t changed a bit.

“Well, yeah! I can’t be Chesh and only do it halfway. You should be grateful I didn’t do the makeup, and went with something more subtle.” She let go of his neck to slip her arm through his and snuggle into his side. “Let’s go in, huh? I’ve been out in this cold so long my hair turned blue.” Both laughing Inuyasha opened the door for her, and Kagome slid inside.

Waiting in line Inuyasha looked around. “Can you believe it’s hardly changed a bit? I’m glad for that. At least something in this damn city isn’t changing at the speed of light.”

“Yeah, I know.” Kagome sighed. “People always comment about how the shrine is so old fashioned, but it’s a shrine! What is it supposed to be? It’s not like we’re going to level the place in favor of a western church. Dumb asses. We have wireless internet in the house, and do you know people complain that it’s locked, and they can’t use their smart phones while they are there? Dumb asses.”

“You said that already,” Inuyasha smirked at her.

“Yeah, and that doesn’t make it any less true.”

Reaching the counter they placed their order, Inuyasha insisting it was his treat, then moved aside to wait. A few minutes later they were handed their hot cocoa and slices of tiramisu, and headed toward their booth.

Settling in, Kagome remarked, “How many hours have we spent in these seats, watching the people walk by with our faces all chocolaty and our hands covered in icing?”

Laughing, Inuyasha replied, “The best ones,” and smiled.

The afternoon slipped by quickly and before they knew it twilight was falling over the city. The stores were turning on their Christmas light displays, making Kagome smile.

“Still your favorite, huh?” Inuyasha sipped his cocoa.

“Of course! It’s all so beautiful and twinkly and festive. Christmas is only days away and even though I’m 22 I still get the same excited anxiety I got when I was a kid. When I decorate the tree the garland still steals my breath away, and I’m still wrapping gifts and putting them under the tree as soon as it goes up. The wonderfulness of it all never changes for me. I can’t wait to find someone to share the holidays with, and have my own family. How great would it be to share all this with our children?” This statement made Inuyasha quirk a brow, which Kagome didn’t seem to notice. “Then Sango and I can set the same winter tradition our mothers did, and drag our children around during the holidays, making them sit in this booth with hot chocolate and cake while we chat it up. I love those memories of us.” Smiling brightly she brought her mug to her lips and sipped.

Inuyasha loved that smile, even if skewed by her Cheshire cat get up. It just made her more endearing. “We should probably get out of here. We’ve been dominating this booth for hours. You have anywhere you would like to go?”

“Can we walk around and look at the lights? Then I’ll quit bugging you and go home.” Kagome collected all her trash and slid out of the booth. Walking over to the can she threw it away, then came back, bundling herself back up. Following suit Inuyasha did the same, and they headed toward the door. Taking his arm again Kagome snuggled into his side and Inuyasha moved to put his arm around her.

“Better?” he asked as he held her close.

“Much,” she smiled up at him, wrapping her arm around his waist.

They strolled slowly through the area, window-shopping and looking at lights. As it got darker it got colder, and they got hungry. Deciding to stop at the first place that smelled good they found Sakura and went in.

Ordering a healthy dose of sushi, Inuyasha was amused to see Kagome order a bowl of udon. “Comfort food?” he asked, surprised.

“Mmm hmmm,” she replied, closing her eyes and breathing in the steam off her bowl. “Some food is as much for the body as it is for the soul. I don’t understand how you can be eating cold, raw fish as cold as it is outside.”

“I’m a man and a carnivore. It appeals to the beast in me.” Inuyasha winked at her before stuffing a spicy tuna roll into his mouth.

Kagome laughed. “Still the ravenous swine, I see. I’m glad some things haven’t changed.” Taking her spoon in hand she reached for the hard-boiled egg in her soup.

Remember she always started with the egg first, Inuyasha smiled and replied, “Yeah, me, too.”

Inuyasha again paid for their meal, much to Kagome’s chagrin. “You know, I do have money. Don’t feel like you have to pay for everything.”

He gave her an indignant look. “Hey, I’m the guy! My pride would be hurt if I let you pay for anything.”

“Well, it’s not like it’s a date or anything, Inuyasha,” came her curt reply.

Stopping he turned to face her and took her into his arms. “Isn’t it, Kagome?” He lowered his head slowly and kissed her gently on the lips

Kagome looked at his amber eyes closing as his face came toward hers. When she felt his lips kiss hers she closed her eyes and kissed back. This simple gesture would change everything between them and she was ok with that as she kissed him back.

Inuyasha hands brushed against Kagome’s cheeks and he held her to him, breathing her in. The kiss began to change as she sucked on his lower lip and he ran his tongue across her top one. One kiss turned into many smaller ones, each braver than the last.

Breaking apart they rested their foreheads together, eyes closed. “Want to go to my place,” he asked, eyes downcast.

“Is it nearby,” she asked, looking up into his eyes. Nodding he wrapped his arm back around her, and she snuggled back into his side as they strolled.

Once at his apartment he took her coat and hood, hanging it on a hook in the hallway. She took her gloves off and put them in her pockets. While she made her way into the living room he watched her straighten her cream cardigan down around her hips. The sheer femininity of such a simple gesture captured his attention. Looking over her shoulder she smiled at him, knocking him out of his trance. He hung his coat and scarf next to hers, and made for the kitchen.

“Make yourself comfortable and I’ll make us some tea,” he called. A few minutes later he joined her on the couch. She had made what looked like a nest with his throw covers and was bundled up, lights out and his blinds to his patio opened, watching the snowfall.

Taking her teacup she breathed in. “Mmm, jasmine. Is there anything here that I wouldn’t like?” she teased.

“Nope,” he answered, taking a sip of his tea. “I was hoping you would come by eventually, so I picked up a few things I knew you liked. Just in case.” He leaned forward to place his teacup on the coffee table, and Kagome saw her chance. The back of his jeans gapped open and she shoved her cold hand into his boxers, grabbing Inuyasha’s bare ass.

“HEY!” he squealed, jumping off the couch to face a hysterical Kagome. “So not funny. Do you know how cold your hands are?!”

“Indeed I do, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab such a great ass,” she replied, sipping her tea as if she hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary.

“Alright,” he said, eyeing her suspiciously. “I see how this is going to go.” He sat down next to her and placed his hand around her shoulders and under her hair. Trying to make it seem as nonchalant as possible he ran his fingers over the back of her neck, caressing her.

“Mmmm,” she responded, tilting her head toward him and exposing more of her neck.

“You like?” he asked.

“Very much,” she replied. He saw that her eyes were closed and she was very much into what he was doing.

“Can’t have that,” he responded, and moved his hand away.

Kagome turned her head up to glare at him. “Jerk,” she said scathingly, and then went back to her tea.

Laughing, Inuyasha picked up his cup and took a sip. They sat in companionable silence as they watched the snow.

When the snow stopped falling Kagome stood from the couch, and collected up the teacups. Taking them to the kitchen she turned on the faucet to put water in them, then returned to the living room. Standing in front of Inuyasha she said, “I should really go. It’s late and Mamma will be worried.”

Looking up Inuyasha said, “Call her and tell her you’re here with me. I’ll return you tomorrow.”

Kagome looked down at him sitting on the couch. “Ok. I suppose you’re taking the couch?”

Laughing, Inuyasha said, “No.”

While Kagome was on the phone with her mother Inuyasha went to his bedroom and shut the door. He changed into a clean pair of pajama pants and t-shirt, and got out a festively wrapped box, sitting it on the bed. He stepped out of his room just as Kagome was hanging up the phone.

“Everything’s fine. She said as long as I’m with you to come back whenever. Cute jammies.” Kagome gestured to the polar bear covered polar fleece pants he had on.

“Hey thanks. I have something for you. Come on,” he took her hand and led her toward the bedroom.

“Oh, wow, subtle, Inuyasha,” she laughed, rolling her eyes.

“Totally not what I meant, but it could be…” he waggled his eyebrows at her suggestively. Leading her into the bedroom he motioned toward the present on the bed. “Open it.”

Excited, Kagome pounce on the bed and ripped the box apart. “Oh my goodness, they’re FABULOUS!” She held in her hand a pajama set with the Cheshire cat printed all over them in various forms and expressions. “Where did you get them?”

“ I had to order them back at Halloween time to be sure I had them for tonight.”

Putting the pajamas in her lap she look at him. “So, you’ve been planning this?”

“Sorta. Yeah. Maybe.” Inuyasha looked at her, grinning.

“Well, ok, then, let’s get this show on the road! Get out so I can change, then we can start this sleep over. Go make some popcorn.” She sprung off the bed and pushed him through the doorway, slamming his own door in his face. He stood in the hallway grinning.

Several minutes later Kagome opened the bedroom door and popped her head out. “Hey! I don’t smell any popcorn!” she called down the hallway.

“Because popcorn isn’t part of my plan to seduce you,” came Inuyasha’s cocky reply.

“Who said anything about seduction? And in those pants? I don’t think so,” Kagome feigned to slam the door again but Inuyasha caught it and pushed his way through. Kagome screeched and ran for the bed, standing in the middle of it. Not to be outdone, Inuyasha jumped on the bed, wrapped his arms around her, and body slammed her to the mattress.

“Hey! I’m a girl!” Kagome yelled through her laughter.

“Yeah, I know,” Inuyasha smirked down at her, capturing her lips again. The kiss quickly caught fire and the couple were virtually wrapping themselves around each other.

Inuyasha undressed Kagome slowly, savoring the taste of her skin like fine wine where as Kagome couldn’t touch all of him enough, her hands working quickly to remove his cloths so she could rub her skin against his.

Whispering in his ear, Kagome requested, “Please tell me you have a condom.”

Inuyasha relinquished his hold on her, and reached for his nightstand. Opening the drawer he pulled out a silver square, pulled it open with his teeth, and withdrew the slimy prophylactic. Kneeling between Kagome’s legs he unrolled the condom over himself, and settled back over her body.

Kagome wrapped her hand around him and guided him into her, sighing in relief as he slid in. At first he was gentle, not wanting to hurt her her first time, and she appreciated the thought but she had experienced enough self-pleasure that it wasn’t necessary. Hearing her whisper in his ear, “Please,” was his encouragement, and he increased his pace.

Wrapping his arms around her he rolled them over and whispered to her, “Ride me.” Staying chest to chest she tried out the new position before she gained confidence and sat up. His hands on her hips he guided her pace while he pushed up into her. Feeling her lower stomach begin to tighten she leaned forward and put her hands on the wall above his head while he leaned up and took one of her hard, luscious nipples into his mouth. Feeling the build up Kagome quickened her pace. For a split second she felt nothing before all her nerves flew into overdrive and she flung her head back, moaning loudly as she rode him out.

Feeling Kagome tighten around him Inuyasha drove into her until he felt himself get harder, then release as deep into her as he could. Reaching between them he held the base of the condom while Kagome eased off of him ad sat on the bed to his side. Grabbing a tissue he wrapped the condom in it and dropped it into the trashcan by his bed then used a second to clean himself up and threw it out. Turning to her, he opened his arms, and Kagome repositioned herself over him. She leaned forward and rested her head on his chest. Inuyasha wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head.

“Mmm,” she groaned, nuzzling under his chin.

“It’s better with a partner, I think.” He poked Kagome in the side with his finger.

She twitched, then giggled, but didn’t relinquish her spot. “What do you mean, you think? You don’t know, lady’s man?”

“Not until now,” he confessed. This made Kagome raise her head and look at him.

“I thought you were all about some chicks while you were in college.”

“I was, but I was never willing to cross the line.” He chuckled to himself.

“Yeah, me, too.” Kagome settled back down on Inuyasha’s chest and closed her eyes again.

“But you slept with me,” Inuyasha half asked, half stated.

“And you slept with me,” Kagome smiled.

Inuyasha laughed. “Yeah, I guess we did.” Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled the covers over them. They slept through the night wrapped around each other, spending the first of many Christmases together in just the same way.
‘Tis The Season For Kissing

Kagome gazed at her image in the mirrored walls of the elevator, inspecting herself with bright and nervous cinnamon orbs. She couldn’t understand why she was so frigid; it was not like this was her first time attending the annual Christmas party for the Law Firm she worked from fresh out of university. It definitely wasn’t to say she was nervous about mingling with so many powerful men and women – especially them men. Hell she had been working in the big sea with the most powerful men for the last three years, and she was pleased to know that she was making a name for herself – professionally – for her smarts and beauty to distract her opponents but also awe them when she revealed that beauty isn’t all she was worth.

So as shaking hands smooth back the stubborn strands dancing in her face, she gave a defeated sigh when the boastingly fell back in place, dangling as if in laughter at her futility.

“Ugh!” She screamed in frustration, her crimson lips pushing out in a cute pout. “This is ridiculous…!” When her bottom lip was held prisoner between her teeth, she suddenly groan when events that took place earlier assaulted her vision, forcing her face to flush, almost putting the crimson sequin dress to shame.

“This is ridiculous,” She repeated, smoothing her palms along her side. “It’s not like I’d cave.” She scoffed, forcing the confidence that kept dwindling away every time she felt comfortable to relax to stay with her and embrace like a lover. “He doesn’t have power over me..!” She slapped her chest lightly, quirking her brow at the imagine before her. “Yeah, you hear me,” Leaning forward, the imagine mimicked her, coming closer as it too brows were nearer to her hairline. “He does not have any will over lil ol’ me!”

Smiling brightly, with a new sense of surety latching onto her, Kagome straightened to her full 5’10 height, thanks to the four inch suede pumps donning her feet beneath the long dress that was graciously caressing the floor. “I’m all good… Just… ” The elevator’s door dinged loudly, indicating the end of her journey too abruptly. Like a filled glass being broken by an impatient spoon, spilling its contents – so did Kagome’s confidence and surety.

The mass of the rich and powerful didn’t even pause as the elevator door opened fully, waiting patiently for to exit the small cab. Kagome scanned the room idly, her breath hitching as she took in the beauty of the area – the decorations never seize to captivator her, pulling her into a world of blissful ignorance that was filled with the elegantly and multiplied colorful designs that enhanced the already extravagant vicinity. She pressed a palm to her chest, exhaling slowly as her eyes shone from the bright chandeliers dangling from the naked ceiling, which gave off a sense of galactic beauty with the constellations splattered across the roof.

“Beautiful isn’t it?”

The elegant voice made her jump in surprise, noticing that he was leaning casually between the paths of the elevator’s door, stopping it from closing in on her and deny her such captivity.

“It truly is,” She breathily admitted, her eyes shining like the sparkling ocean under the twinkling sky. “From the short time I’ve been here, you always manage to outshine the previous year’s decoration – even when I say, ‘no, this can never, definitely be topped’, yet I’m always proven wrong.”

The male gave a rakish smile, making my inside spark before igniting with each slow swipe of his intense gaze from head to bottom. “If doing such a small act awards me with such a breathtaking image,” His imploring eyes enslaved her, making her shudder with an anticipation she refuse to acknowledge. When his smile morphed into a smirk, Kagome couldn’t help the erratic pumping of her heart, threatening to break her ribcage and jump right out of her chest and into his dangerous hands. “I’d probably consider doing it every day.”

Blushing so hard, she swore it was running competition with her dress, Kagome turned her head from him, catching a glimpse of said blush, which only made its color deepen. Her thick braided strand fell over her shoulder, tickling her elbow, as if to tease her about her blatant reaction. “I can’t think anything than how foolish you sound…” She rasped and then quickly cleared her throat, she made to step out. “If you’ll excuse me….”

Feeling the kiss of his palm against her elbow, Kagome automatically paused, frozen in her position as the zinging electricity coursed through her form a thousand times, before finally settling at the pit of her stomach. “I can’t to take you on a date, have you alone with me…just the two of us without any distractions.”

She scoffed, amazed by the level of confidence oozing off of him. Oh how she wished she had the ability to do that, because then she knew that she would have the proper means to deny him any and everything without feeling guilty or regretful in the end. No point in dwelling on the past right? “Sure you are,” She whispered, slowly easing her arm from his hold. She would never admit it out loud, but the mere touch of him – or something belonging to him, whether it be his clothing or even his hot breath, traveling pass his scrumptious lips – make her coherent way of thinking to vanish in thin air, causing her to revert into the opposite of herself that she’d worked her entire life to build.

“Ah,” He chuckled, the sound reverting throughout her body, engulfing her in a web of false contentment. “You know how much I love a challenge,” Stepping closer to her, she felt the kiss of his lips against her neck, where he had to lower his head – his height still towering over her. She was surprise to see that his lips were warm, sensually addicting as it damned near lulled her to sleep. “…don’t you?” His hot breath tickled her neck and she almost – almost – giggled from the feelings he triggered.

“Good luck with that.”

When she made her way deeper into the party, her eyes continued its awed-inspection, taking in the multiple mistletoes dangling almost every twenty steps in any direction. “This is so stupid and desperate but so damn beautiful and romantic!” She softly gushed, sauntering through the crowd towards the mini bar, giving the occasional grins as well as hugs and light kisses on the cheeks.

All the while, as she mingled and conversed animatedly with her colleagues and some clients as well as possible clients, Kagome couldn’t help the burning sensation that slithered across her naked back, where the dress dipped low, bolding exposing her smooth back. She knew for a fact that it was her boss; the daring, unapologetic 6’3 Adonis with piercing eyes strong enough to burst throw any solid. Of course, that excluded her resolve. It definitely had to, or she’d know for a fact she was walking into this lion’s den with a futile plan.

And she wasn’t.

“…The Jacobson and Jacobson’s spoke so highly of you,” A short man gushed, his hands doing far too much touching than she’d like – especially coming from a lecher like him.

Nevertheless, Kagome smiled placidly, nodding her head in agreement. “My main goal is to make the client as comfortable as possible. It may be business, but there’s no harm in establishing an atmosphere such as the cloud of friendship,” She paused, her smile faltering a little when she felt a presence behind her.

“Kagome here is just being modest,” Her bane and boss spoke up, as if he was in the conversation all along. “She may a woman – beautiful and scrumptious,” Looking down, he waggled his brows slightly at her, making her flush slightly.

“You know, most people can argue that your words may come off as sexual harassment.”

“It wouldn’t hold up,” He countered boastingly. When he leaned closer towards her, securing their private talk, he was tempted to lick her lope, but refrained with a soft grunt. “Not when it’s something I know you want – and more.”

She shuddered when his index finger made a treacherous trail down the center of her back. “You’re just a walking torture in and of itself.” Hearing her breathing quickened, the daring male groaned deep within his throat, making it sound as if he growling.

With a quirked brow decorating the stout man’s face, Kagome smiled reassuringly at him, slightly pushing away her boss as subtly as possible. “As I was saying,” Just as the words passed her lips, a waiter came in their direction with a tray of sparkling champagne and she took two for each hand, downing the first one quickly and setting it back down, smiling bashfully as her tongue dipped at the corner of her lip where a raindrop of champagne trickled down. “Um… I was saying…” She cleared her throat, the long flute in her hand shaking slightly. “The Jacobson’s… They um…” Her eyes glazed over, and she had to shake her head slightly to regain her composure. “To accomplish…Before…”

The boss beside her grinned triumphantly.

“Are you feeling well Ms. Higurashi.”

It felt as if sheen of sweat was forming against Kagome’s skin, and she vaguely wondered if anyone behind her was paying her any mind. She’d hate to be the gossip of the company, and after today’s event earlier at the office, she couldn’t help but wonder if people thought differently of her. With a sigh, she silently scorned her boss, wishing unimaginable pain upon him for causing such an uproar. It was already difficult just being a woman and having to stand with the big boys, and she did it all with her studies. So for someone to accuse her of working her way through in terms of sexual means, she was not only pissed at them for such ignorant outlook, but annoyed at her boss for not even caring.

“Egotistic asshole,” She breathed, her eyes narrowing with a sidelong glance when he only chuckled.

“I should accompany her,” He eagerly stated, his smile charming even men in his wake. “To make sure she doesn’t fall,” He added, before excusing himself.

When her back was to the stout possible client, Kagome noticed that her boss’ hand was now decently placed in the middle of her back, the whisper of his touch keeping her alert. “We should go this way,” He mumbled, pulling her along on the far right towards an entrance where he tugged her forward without even a look at her.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Kagome breathed out her eyes opened to saucers, rooting herself in place even when he tried to pull her forward. “This is playing dirty!” She hissed, jabbing him with a sparkling crimson nail angrily. She glared hotly at him, willing him to dissipate before her very eyes.

“All’s fair Ms. Higurashi,” He chuckled when she rolled her eyes at him, his shaking form pulling her attention at his broad shoulders, making her lick her lips as memories once again flooded her mind. “You’re going to give your eyes a permanent damage.”

“Anything’s better than falling in your trap!” She hissed once more, looking behind her to see if anyone was coming before focusing ahead of her, where the vacant hall seemed to stretch on. “I know you how competitive you can get,” Still looking around as if someone would catch them in the act of something illicit, she leaned closer to him, the hiss in her words making her words sound like an angry melody. “You’re sick!” She finally accused her hand waving towards the ceiling.

Looking at her solemnly, his bright gaze setting everything aflame as he watched her silently in admiration from the mere personality oozing off of her, without fear of what he may do or simply who he was. “I like that about you, you know?” Chuckling when she gave him an incredulous look, he nudged her slightly. “You’re not afraid to speak your mind – nor do you care who I am.”

Snorting, she folded her arms. “Like I’m going to let an asshole who dresses up decently once in a while seduce how I act around him, just because he may be one of the most influential men in the country, possible the whole world.” Shaking her head, she turned her nose upwards from him. “Once an asshole – egotistic and all – always an asshole – egotistic and all.” She finished flippantly.

Throwing his head back, he laughed loudly, the booming sound making her jump at first before a smile tugged at her lips. “I love the way you manipulate your words.” He breathed, his eyes shining with an emotion she couldn’t put her finger on. “You’re just so amazing.” Lacing his fingers with hers, he walked backwards slowly, in the direction towards the hall before tugging her forward.

“You know damn well the moment I walk forward, I would have lost!” Though, looking at the decoration along the hall as it enchants her into caving she wondered if it would be an actual lost. The green dangling from above, made a train towards the very end, making it impossible to step anywhere that didn’t cause for the green and red to dangle above her directly.

“It wouldn’t be much of a loss would it?” His proximity shocked her, causing her to inhale deeply.

Taking a whiff of his natural wood and spice scent, just beneath his aftershave, she had to admit, that if she could take it that scent for the rest of her life, allow it to drug her sensuality and sexuality, then she would be the most happiest woman in the whole world.

“And then I’m taken back to the root of your attitude,” The same smile tugged at her lips, threatening to spread her lips in a wide smile.

“I’m just being honest,” Taking another step towards her, she heard as he inhaled her deeply, his nose kissing her neck. “You smell so fucking good.” He groaned, pulling her closer to him with the hand that was holding one of hers.

“I think it’s the champagne,” She squeaked.

Chuckling, and causing his hot breath to make her shudder in return, she gripped her flute for control as her lids grew heavy. “You damn well know it’s not that.”

At the feel of his tongue grazing her neck, she groaned, leaning her head to the side to gain him more access.

She was a goner.


“Emilia,” The voice on the intercom frightened the petite girl at the front desk. “I’d like a word with Ms Kagome,” The voice continued, as the female fiddled for a pen and paper. “On your way to lunch, be sure to send her up immediately.”

“Y-Yes Taisho.”

In the big spacious office, a tall man, dressed in a dark designer’s suit stood facing the floor to ceiling window, looking out at the distance where the ocean was in clear view as his building was the tallest in the city. “That…” Shaking his head, he turned towards his door in preparation for the spitfire that worked underneath him – not in the way he wished it – but still…

“Difficult women are such a tease,” Chuckling, he walked towards the door when he heard a buzz, indicating the access of the first door that led into a small lobby.

“Ah, Kagome,” He mumbled, standing in the doorway as she looked him over.

Nodding, Kagome stood firm, her posture poised elegantly yet professionally all the same. “Mr. Taisho.” She whispered, her eyes half lidded, giving off an air of aloofness in his presence.

Mr. Taisho grinned, sagging against the door frame with a folded arm. “I won’t bite you Kags,” He teased, revealing the closeness between them by the use of her nickname. “Not to say I won’t, if you but ask…Or,” Shrugging, he pursed his lips. “Express it with your actions.”

“Ugh, you’re such an asshole.” She spat, folding her arms as well. “I don’t know why I thought in your case with age, came a sense of maturity.” Rolling her eyes at him, she stepped a little closer to him, almost daringly.

Noticing how much his face practically split in half, Kagome paused slightly, narrowing her eyes accusingly at him. “What are you up to?” Looking around, as if expecting something to pop out of her, she threw a nasty glance at him every few seconds.

“Why do you think I’m always up to something?” Feigning hurt, he grasp a hand of hers, tugging her slightly towards him. “I’m but a humble –…” Her snot made him pause, laughing swirling in his amber spheres.

“Trying to kiss someone every five seconds like a spoiled brat – which you are – does not seem so humble to me.” Snatching her limb back at him, she walked passed him, but was suddenly jerked back to stand in front of him where he pinned her with a wide gaze.

“I didn’t try to kiss someone,” He had the balls to even look hurt by her comment. “You know damn well how I feel about you.”

“And you know damn well how I feel about you.” She hissed.

A slow smile formed on his lips, turning his features playful. She felt a sudden hotness in her stomach, but fight the urge to hold her tummy. Any sort of actions, whether it be big or little, this idiot had the power to figure out exactly what it meant. And even though it has been years since they’ve seen each other, before she started this job, she couldn’t understand why and how he remembered her so effortlessly.

“I know you how you feel,” He stepped closer to her, smirking bashfully down at her. “And I know you know how I feel…” Dipping his head down, his lips whispered across hers. “So stop fronting and just give in.”

Silencing forced her into stupidity, her body yearning for the touch of his lips once more, yet her mind refusing to accept it. This was Inuyasha Taisho. Known by his reputation to seduce anyone by a simple glance there way. She was lucky enough to keep under his radar, since back then she was anything but beautiful… and so accepting his teasing ways was one thing, but accepting both teasing and action was a different thing, and Kagome didn’t know if her heart was willing to fully accept that. With the way it was beating so erratically, she knew she needed more time to chastise it, teach it immunity in the wake of Inuyasha Taisho.

“I’m…” Gasping when his tongue snaked out to trace the seam of her, she gulped, her eyes darting from his glazed eyes to his lips... the temptation to allow her tongue to join his almost crippling her.

“Why don’t we just see how this goes?” His lips tickled hers, and she had to muster up control she didn’t know she had in order to keep from throwing herself against him.

“See how what goes?” She took a step back, breathing a sigh of relief when he didn’t nullified the distance she made between them. “Wanna know if I’m a good lay for the night?” She spat, “Or do you just wanna take me here in your office and get it over with?”

Inuyasha shook his head, tisking disapprovingly at her comment. “You’re so dark.” Shaking his head, he glanced up, a smirking forming on his lips once more. “’Tis the season for joyous feeling.”

“I’ll keep that in mind when I’m not around you.” Smiling sugary at him, she let it slide off of her face before rolling her head, as if the small action can rush away from her very core. “Was that all Mr. Taisho?”

“Ah, back to last name I see.”

Her blank stare made him chuckle.

“How about… letting me take you out to dinner some time, and see how it goes.”

“What? The one night stand?”

This time he rolled his eyes. “You’re infuriating woman,” Huffing he folded his arms, enunciating the muscles in his arms. “I’ve always been interested in you.”

“Sure,” She sarcastically replied. “Was that the first time you realize I had a figure, ass and breast, or was it when you realize I was Kagome without the glasses and pimples?”

“Isn’t that narcissistic of you?” He gasped. “And here I thought we had nothing in common!”

“How about a bet?”

“How about you kiss my ass?” She retorted.

“I’ll gladly do that,” He smiled, “And more.” Winking at her, he laughed when her face flushed.

“I have to get back to work.”

“One bet,” He urged, suddenly realizing that she wasn’t as easy to crack as he thought. In the past, it was simple, all he had to do was ask her twice and she would have definitely cave by then, but not now. The new and improved Kagome was powerful, confident in her decisions, never second guessing herself. He couldn’t deny the girl he left behind, and the woman he finally met and was instantly attracted to. The fact that she still treated him the same way as before, never even thinking to respect him, or gush over him simply because of the billions he’d acquire over the years, building his empire. That was the kind of woman he could see himself settling down with.

“What bet?”

“If I kiss you,” He started. “Then you owe me a date, and you have to have an open mind about what we could have.”

Rolling her eyes once more, she wet her parched lips, folding her arms – which instantly brought attention to her supple bosom. “Fine… It’s not like I’ll trip and fall on your lips.”

Shrugging, he grinned, slowly pointing his finger to the heavens. “How bout I pick you up at seven, to escort me to the annual Christmas party.

“You’re a sleaze dog!” Jumping up slightly, she knocked the mistletoe from between them. It was just like him to play dirty. Inuyasha was never known for playing fair and the fact that he was so sure on this best spoke a lot about him on a whole. How the hell could she be attracted to this guy in more ways than one; more ways than simply his looks.

“I’ll let this slide!” He shouted, laughing when she was heading to where she came from and grasping her by the elbow, drawing her back flush against his front to whisper in her ear. “Let’s just seal the deal, and continue this matter later.”

Before she could object, he spun her around, his lips instantly connecting with hers in a sensual kiss, using her sudden gasp to delve into her mouth, exploring it, where he battled sensually with her own tongue. When a groan broke out from deep within her, her body sagging against him, Inuyasha wrapped his arms around her, drawing her even closer to his frame.

“It’s on,” He mumbled against her lips, nipping her teasingly when she simply wet her lips, gulped and then staggered slowly towards the door.

“You’re an asshole,” She squeaked, and then walked away confidently with her head held high, out of his office.

End Flashback

“Now can I get a date?”

She rolled her eyes, his obnoxious voice pulling her out of her trance. How could one guy be filled with so much egotism to the point of no return? His looks were enough to get him any decent girl he chose, but no – he just had to turn something good into something sour with his attitude.

She shook her head, a smile still playing on her lips. “You’re always playing dirty.”

He ignored her and gave her a firm nudge under the first mistletoe. “I’m not.” He took one step beside her, his smile brightening his features as laughter swirled in his golden gaze.

She took a step forward. “This is not the way to ask a woman out.”

Mirroring her action, he too took a step forward, beside her. “I’m not asking out just any woman.”

Another step.

“Are you saying I’m difficult?

“Yes.” With another step, he grinned. “And I’m not complaining. You’ll definitely make my life interesting.” He looked up at the mistletoes. “You do know I’ve practically won right?”

“Sure, because every guy who demands a date with a stupid bet ought to spend time with me.” She took two steps forward, and then turned around to face him.

The music in the main room changed to a soft melody, and Kagome would bet all her money that no one was dancing. People out there would be quicker to get deals, and clients than to actually enjoy the season with their loved ones. To dance and laugh while being held closely by their significant other. Kagome sighed softly, her dream for that sort of love to come… Not for a guy to be intimidated by her just because of her brain.

“No, but you should give a guy who likes you a chance,” He whispered, the seriousness clouding over his visage. “You keep judging me without getting to know me…” When he took one step towards her, he sighed softly. “Honestly, don’t you think as a childhood friend, someone who knows me before the media got a wind of me, to give me a chance?”

“It’s not like I don’t want to, because I do,” She pursed her lips, her face tinting. “I just… It’s so…”

“I’m still the same Kags,” He flashed her a grin, but let it fall. “At least give me the chance to prove it?”

“Inuyasha…” She rested her hands on her hips, huffing loudly as her head lulled back slowly. Maybe giving in wasn’t such a bad idea right? To be honest, she really liked Inuyasha, she still do and simply giving in to try and see where it can go would save her from living a life of what ifs. “It’s been forever since we last spoke. And people change.”

“Then how about learning how I’ve changed for yourself,” When he took a step closer to her, he smiled softly when she didn’t move – knowing that she was finally seeing the appeal in giving him a chance.

Biting her bottom lip softly, she looked off in the distance, hearing faint laughter away from their secluded spot. “How about dancing with me?”

“Only if you promise to acknowledge the season.”

“Does my red dress differ you from the season called Christmas?”

“No, stupid,” He laced an arm around her waist,” Winking at her he captured her lips in a light kiss. “I’m talking about the season of kissing.”

She giggled. “Oh, Oh… so ‘tis the season for kissing eh?”

“That’s the only season I’m eager for.” He silenced her by deepening the kiss, taking sweet pleasure from the melody of a groan travelling from deep within her.

Finally, she accepted it all, raising her arms to his shoulders to pull him closer. She was finally willing to give in for once without thinking about everything before anything even happened. As their tongues began a fierce battle, Kagome smiled softly, happy that her long awaited Christmas gift had finally reached its destination.

Even if it took a couple of years to reach her.

FOR KAGOME313 by ED Staff

Learning to Trust

“I can't believe you're being such a jerk!” Kagome snapped, waddling out of their shared hut. The straw mat covering their door slapped back with enough force to make InuYasha stumble, though he recovered quickly enough to resume stomping after his pregnant and pissed off wife. Red-faced, he pointed a claw accusingly at her.

I'm being a jerk?” he bellowed, drawing the attention of every nearby villager and maybe some in the neighboring two villages. Kagome flushed hotly, annoyed and embarrassed at the feel of all those eyes on her. She and InuYasha were no strangers to this kind of spotlight, but she nonetheless hated that every argument between them became a public spectacle. She instinctively fluttered a hand over her protruding stomach to protect their unborn child from the judgmental glares being thrown their way. Her husband on the other hand didn't care about the attention or judgment, as evinced by his next words:

“I come home looking forward to seeing my wife after a long day of hunting our dinner, only to find her wrapped in another man's arms...and I'm a jerk for getting mad?”

Kagome gasped when their baby kicked furiously at her palm. InuYasha smirked triumphantly, his gold-toned glare dropping down to her belly. `That's right,' he thought cockily. `InuYasha: 1, Wench: 0.'

But when he blinked, his wife had marched right up to him—moving faster than a woman her size and in her condition should have been able to—and raised herself on swollen feet so that she and InuYasha stood nose-to-nose. Though he tried not to, he gulped when her narrowed blue eyes burned angrily into his.

`Wench: 1,' he thought lamely, the situation reminding him absurdly of a fighting game Souta had made him play years ago on one of his `eclectic' contraptions. InuYasha hadn't been very good at it—confused by the buttons and not entirely sure how pressing a circle or an 'x' or a triangle made his little fighter punch, kick, and dodge on the brightly colored screen—but the game's concept and tournament-styled matches had seemed cool after Souta had explained it to him. Such a thing should but, unfortunately, didn't exist in these parts, or else InuYasha would have been there, burning off the anger he instead channeled at his wife.

In the back of his mind, he knew he shouldn't be fighting with Kagome as much as he did and with how close she was to the end of her pregnancy, but he secretly enjoyed how her haywire pregnancy hormones at this stage intensified her every reaction to him. He'd always loved the spitfire side of her that fought and challenged him. Even now, though he was legitimately pissed at what he'd walked in on earlier, she had never looked sexier glaring up at him. Fury darkened her usually sky-blue eyes to a stormy hue and brought rosy, flushed color to her cheeks. When she sighed, frustrated, InuYasha's eyes dropped down to her plump, kissable lips and he—

—nearly forgot his own anger. Embarrassingly, his other sword chose that moment to perk up, hoping to engage in a different kind of fight with his wife, who was standing close enough to feel him against her stomach.

`Wench: 2, InuYasha: 1. Damn it!!'

Kagome cleared her throat and stepped back from him, bristling. As tempted as she was to end this fight the way they often did, she couldn't forget his ridiculous accusation—not when he'd announced it to everyone around them, and had even their baby turned against her!

“Don't be ridiculous,” she hissed, folding her arms across her chest. “It wasn't another man. It was Kouga!”

InuYasha growled, recalling how he'd found Kagome within the hated wolf demon's embrace. His pregnant wife had had her arms around his waist while Kouga grinned down at her. He wouldn't have thought much of the scene if not for the brilliant smile he'd seen Kagome beam up. That soft of look of contentedness was one he thought she reserved just for him, and seeing her look at another man that way killed him.

...but InuYasha knew better than to let her, or anyone, know they could affect him that way. Old habits die hard, and years of learning how to be hard-hearted and cold, and erecting walls to keep other people out kicked in effortlessly. InuYasha folded his arms across his chest to mirror Kagome's combative stance and rolled his eyes.

“Oh, excuse me, it was just Kouga,” InuYasha sneered, glaring at her. “Sorry. How wrong of me to get mad because I walked in on my pregant wife hugging a man whose professed his love to her and called her his woman more times than I can count!”

“Lower your voice!” Kagome hissed.

InuYasha's eyes narrowed. He knew shouting their business to all of Edo was overkill, but he was past the point of caring. Three years ago, he might have let something like this go, but three years ago, Kagome wasn't his wife. She hadn't been carrying his pup then. Things were different now and he needed her to understand why this upset him as much as it had.

“Just try to tell me I'm wrong for this, wench. I dare ya.”

“You are wrong,” Kagome maintained through grit teeth. She scrubbed a hand over her face, feeling the beginnings of a migraine pulse beneath her brow. “I told you a million times, we didn't do anything wrong. We were talking.”

“You were hugging!”

“We were saying goodbye! That's how friends say goodbye sometimes!”

InuYasha snorted and Kagome threw her hands up, frustrated. He was being so impossible! A lot had changed between them since coming back from their three year separation and the beginnings of their forever, but a lot still needed to change. She didn't understand the jealousy one bit.

“Don't you trust me?” she asked softly, the fight leaving her with that one, critical question. Kagome could tell him about the conversation she'd had with Kouga and easily put an end to their fight. When he'd come by, it was to gush about a girl within the village who he'd begun seeing, and Kagome had hugged him because she'd been so happy that he'd finally moved on. She wanted happy endings for everyone she'd come to love throughout her feudal adventures, Kouga most of all because he had fallen for her and she hadn't reciprocated. She'd been too head-over-heels for the bull-headed hanyou standing in front of her. But Kagome held back from explaining herself, because if InuYasha didn't trust her after everything they'd been through, then she saw no point in wasting her breath.

...and there would be no point in continuing their relationship. It physically pained her to think like that, but she knew she couldn't be with someone who didn't trust her, especially when she trusted him with everything. As if sensing his mother's turmoil, the child within her stopped moving, and the air between her and InuYasha became static with tension.

Her husband's jaw ticked, and golden orbs that had been glaring so intensely cut away from Kagome. The stony silence seemed to stretch forever and, drained of what little energy she had left, Kagome sighed in defeat.

“Okay. There's my answer I guess. I'm going to Sango's,” she muttered. She turned on her heel and began stomping away.

InuYasha's eyes widened. `What the hell just happened?'

He'd been contemplating the right words for an apology—which he rarely ever gave—and realized too late what his silence might have been interpreted as. Scrambling to fix his error, he jogged after Kagome and managed to latch onto her arm.

“Kagome, wait!

She turned back to him, and InuYasha was floored with the level of hurt he saw shimmering in her eyes. What had started out as a stupid argument somehow devolved into him hurting Kagome, more deeply than he was able to comprehend in that moment. In his stupor, he missed what Kagome had said before she shook her head disgustedly and wrenched her arm away from his. When he realized what happened too late again, she made it all the way to Sango's hut. The mat slapped soundly closed behind her.

InuYasha made to march in and explain, but the second his fingers made contact with the straw, angry priestess energy repelled him, the force of which threw him onto his back.

Despite himself, InuYasha thought back to that stupid fighting game.

`And Wench wins this one with a literal knock-out,' he concluded. 'Fuck.'

. : .

Sango looked up from feeding her youngest. “What happened now?” she asked, curious—despite living this scenario a thousand times over, especially with how close Kagome was to giving birth—as to why her best friend had stormed in so angrily. Before answering, Kagome procured an ofuda out of thin air and slapped it onto the straw mat. Sango raised an eyebrow.

“That bad?”

Kagome gave her a falsely innocent look, but poorly disguised a smirk when they heard InuYasha yelp, followed by a sound not unlike the one he used to make after being “sat.”

“I just needed some alone time,” Kagome lied, sitting down by Sango's sleeping twin daughters. She smiled softly at them. In slumber, they were perfect little angels, but she knew what terrors they were while awake. Instinctively, she knew her own little one would be like that—especially with hers and InuYasha's combined fiery tempers.

“I don't believe you,” Sango doubted.

“I'm fine, really.”

“Uh huh.” The slayer knew her best friend all too well. She rolled her eyes at the phony smile being shot her way. “You and InuYasha aren't fighting and my husband isn't a pervert.”

“When did you get so sarcastic?” Kagome huffed.

Sango grinned. “Just tell me what happened. You know you want to.”

. : .

“You know you want to,” Miroku prodded, grinning slyly up into the branches of Goshinboku where his fuming best friend sat, doing his best to ignore the nosy monk. After coming home from a long day of...”working”...Miroku wasn't surprised to learn that InuYasha and Kagome had had yet another blow out. They had been having them all too frequently and the monk hardly batted an eye when the first villager he encountered stopped him to tell him the gossip. What did surprise him was that he hadn't been able to get into his own hut. Kagome had ofuda-locked herself and his wife and kids in. As Sango assured him that they were okay and having “girl talk”--which would have made him scared if the talk were about him—Miroku thought it best to work on InuYasha.

...and by “work,” he meant tease mercilessly.

Miroku side-stepped the branch InuYasha threw at him.

“Go away you annoying bastard,” the hanyou fumed. Miroku barely stifled a chuckle when InuYasha finally moved from his perch, no doubt looking for something heavier and pointier to throw down.

“My friend, I'm hurt,” he said, feigning wounded by dramatically fluttering a hand over his heart. “I'm only trying to be helpful.”

“I don't need any help.”

“Maybe just someone to talk to then?”

“Fuck no,” InuYasha snorted, folding his arms over his chest.

“Come on,” Miroku insisted. “I'm a great listener.”

“And a big mouth! If I tell you what happened, then it won't be long before half the village hears about it.”

Miroku raised an eyebrow, barely containing his smirk. “So something did happen.”

InuYasha's eyes widened. “No!” he said all too quickly. “Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing.”

“Then why did your wife lock herself into my place? Really, InuYasha, I love her like a sister, but I've been traveling half the day and was so looking forward to seeing Sango. See, she promised me today that if I got home early enough, she'd do that thing with her tongue that—”

“To much information, monk!” InuYasha bellowed, his cheeks bright pink. Miroku did laugh this time, it being entirely too easy to rile his friend up. As an added perk, InuYasha usually resorted to talking more when he wanted to shut Miroku up.

“So what'd you do this time?” Miroku asked, pushing once again. InuYasha glared down from his perch in the tall, sacred tree before jumping down and getting in Miroku's face. “I didn't do anything—and some monk you are. If you're that desperate to see Sango, why haven't you been able to get through?”

“She set up a powerful lock this time around,” the monk admitted, before adding slyly. “You must've really pissed her off.”


“So tell me, my friend...”

InuYasha stayed quiet. Miroku, familiar with the hanyou's stubborn attitude waited patiently for his frustration to win out. It eventually did, with InuYasha throwing his hands up and raging: “Why am I always the bad guy?!”

Miroku tried to hide his amusement. It wasn't a particularly funny situation, but InuYasha was just too predictable for it to be helped. Shrugging his shoulders, he said simply:

“Because Kagome's a saint.”

“Not true,” InuYasha grumbled, but a brief, stricken look told the monk that, though no one was perfect, InuYasha most certainly thought his wife was damn close to it. Miroku knew that look and that fear. He sometimes had it with Sango, and wondered if it was the dilemma of every man to never feel good or deserving enough of the woman he loved. Suddenly serious, and faintly smiling at the thought of the amazing mother of his children, Miroku laid a hand on InuYasha's shoulder.

“Then what did she do, if you did nothing wrong?” he asked softly.

InuYasha raised worried eyes to his.

“She asked me if I trusted her.”

. : .

“And he said no?!” Sango fumed, startling the twins from their nap. Kagome sighed, looking pointedly at her dramatic friend as she shushed the slayer's daughters back to sleep. Shaking her head and fighting the urge to cry at the memory of their argument, Kagome said: “No. InuYasha didn't say anything.”

“...and I guess he doesn't have to,” she said after a moment. He was always a man of action, not words, and his actions said enough. InuYasha didn't trust her, though she'd never given him any reason not to.

Sango, calming down, took a rational approach to the situation. “You know how he is. He gets mad and acts like an idiot. I'm sure he didn't mean to imply—”

“That doesn't make this hurt any less,” Kagome admitted, curving a hand around her stomach. “Was I wrong?”

Sango looked puzzled.

“...for talking to Kouga and hugging him before he left,” she elaborated. “I mean, in my mind I wasn't doing anything wrong, but InuYasha got so mad!”

Her best friend thought about it, then seemed hesitant, as if she were choosing her words carefully. Kagome was anxious for her response, not sure if she was going to like it or not.

“Kagome,” Sango said after a long moment. “InuYasha always gets mad when he sees you with Kouga.”

Kagome waited for Sango to say more, but the slayer was staring expectantly at her, as if waiting for Kagome to come to whatever conclusion she had.

“I know that, Captain Obvious,” Kagome said, stumped. “And...?”

Sango rolled her eyes. “And he gets mad when Houjo, Miroku, and pretty much any other male gets close to you.”

“You make it sound like I'm some harlot,” Kagome grumbled, narrowing her eyes. “Are you saying I'm too flirty and this is my fault?”

“Not at all, sweetie,” Sango said gently, grabbing her hand. She bit her lip, trying to think of some way to make her reasoning stick, when it hit her. The slayer grinned brightly.

“You've seen me slap Miroku upside his head thousands of times for grabbing other girls' butts and asking them to mother his children, but I don't do it because I don't trust him. If I didn't, I wouldn't let him wander off as much as he does into other villages for fake exorcisms. I'd be worrying about him cheating on me but...I don't.”

Kagome looked even more confused. “Then why do you still hit him?” She'd always wondered if it bothered Sango that Miroku had yet to end his flirtations with other woman. In fact, it had only gotten worse since he'd married and settled down with Sango. Nothing female in their village was safe from the hand the monk swore hadn't entirely been purged of it's “curse.”

Sango grinned deviously. “Habit, mostly...and I swear, Miroku waits for that slap. One time, I stopped myself from hitting him and saw him angle his head toward me. It's just what we do—how we operate.”


So,” Sango continued. “InuYasha getting jealous, you two fighting about it and then making up later is how you two work. That's your relationship.”

“It sounds awfully dysfunctional,” Kagome said, worrying her lip. Sango noticed her hand tightening protectively on her belly and rushed to amend her statement.

“So what? That's how you two love each other,” she shrugged. Her words struck something within Kagome because an enlightened look settled in her eyes.

“I never thought about it like that,” she murmured, awestruck. Sango mentally patted herself on the back. “ still doesn't fix things.” Kagome added, her lingering doubts about InuYasha's trust in her resurfacing. Sango shook her head, smiling.

“All relationships are a work in progress,” she said, waving away Kagome's concerns. “And you have forever to work on your issues together. That's the 'fun' part of being dysfunctional.”

Kagome laughed and her friend felt relieved. Though sometimes InuYasha and Kagome could be wildly entertaining with their arguments, she hated how broken the girl had appeared for a moment there. It scared her to think that either of them could be having doubts about the other, and wished the two of them could see their relationship the way she and her husband saw them for the crazy, but loveable pair those two were.

...speaking of her husband, she saw movement out of the corner of her eye and peeked out of the window to her hut. Sango hid her giggles in a cough, seeing Miroku half-drag InuYasha after him, a mischievous glimmer in his violet eyes. Briefly, those eyes she loved met her gaze from across the village and he winked. She shook her head and turned back to Kagome.

“I think InuYasha is coming by. Are you going to speak to him or make him sweat this out a little longer?”

Kagome sighed. “Can I stay for another hour or two? If he's still mad I don't know that I can handle another argument,” she conceded, her eyebrows knit together. “The baby keeps kicking me in the ribs and I'm just so—” she yawned “—tired.”

“Of course,” Sango agreed, grinning just as mischievously as her husband had. She had a feeling InuYasha and Kagome's argument was about to take a turn for the entertaining.

. : .

“This is going to be fun.”

“This is stupid,” InuYasha disagreed, his teeth clenched and voice low. Miroku chuckled quietly at his friend before reminding:

“This will all be for nothing if you don't look more convincing. If Sango and Kagome look out the window now, they won't be seeing a very sorry looking hanyou...and you are sorry, right?”

Miroku said the last part loudly, as the two were walking close enough to the monk's hut for the girls inside to hear him. Sure enough, Sango peeked a head out and looked confusedly at them. He winked, then made to drag InuYasha after him.

“Now, just like we practiced...” he said under his breath.

Glaring, InuYasha said flatly and robotically, but loudly: “Of course I am, monk. I love Kagome.”

“...aaand?” Miroku prompted. InuYasha shot him a murderous look, but peeked down at the kanji Miroku had scribbled on his palm.

And of course I thrust Kagome.”

InuYasha nearly choked when he realized what he'd read wrong. He was going to kill Miroku, who now was doubled over with laughter.

“TRUST. I trust Kagome.

“I'm sure you thrust her, too, you dog you,” Miroku couldn't help but add. InuYasha lunged at him but stopped when the mat to the monk's hut fluttered open. His heart skipped a beat.


“Nope,” a frazzled looking Sango cut him off. Her trio of kids ran out behind her, three little balls of energy awake from a nap and ready to go outside and play. Thank God Kagome dozed off when she had and that the ofuda didn't need her touch to remove it, nor did it lock them all in with her. The kids woke up just moments after the exhausted priestess fell out, and Sango quickly jumped to peel the ofuda-lock off. Regrettably, Kagome had slept through the hilarious conversation Sango had overheard him having with Miroku.

“She's inside,” the slayer said, smiling at InuYasha. The hanyou looked relieved and rushed past her.

“...but take her back to your place if your apology is going to involve you thrusting her.”

InuYasha's jaw dropped.

“You're just as bad as Miroku!” he said, whispering so as not to disturb his wife's slumber. Miroku's eyes twinkled as he and Sango watched him gather Kagome into his arms.

“Sango, my love, he doesn't thrust her. That's what started this whole fight,” Miroku teased.

Sango giggled and the hanyou's ears burned with embarrassment. “Gee, InuYasha. You better start learning how to thrust her then if you want your marriage to work.”

“Don't worry, when they go home, I'm sure they'll get to work on their thrust issues.”

“We don't have—”

He stopped abruptly, refusing to play anymore into their teasing.

“I hate the both of you,” he muttered, blushing hotly. InuYasha walked briskly past them, their laughter still ringing in his ears on the walk back to his own hut. He never should have trusted the monk or his chicken-scratch to get him through this apology. This was something InuYasha needed to do for himself and he was thankful Kagome appeared to have been sleeping through that whole ridiculous conversation. The phony apology would have pissed him off had he been on the receiving end of it.

InuYasha had never been good with his words, though. He'd never trusted or loved anyone as deeply as he did Kagome, and though Miroku offered some surprisingly sage advice on how to deal with his insecurities and fears about her, he knew every day was a day he needed to work on being the man Kagome needed him to be.

...and the man he wanted to be for her.

InuYasha looked down at Kagome now, stunned by how beautiful and peaceful she looked sleeping. Her lips were slightly parted and her cheeks naturally flushed and rosy. He pressed a gentle kiss on her brow and heard his name sighed. Even while asleep she reacted to him, which made InuYasha warm all over.

“Every damn day I wonder what I did to deserve you,” he murmured. He blushed, nervous even though Kagome wasn't awake to hear him voice his biggest fear. Noticing the hand she splayed over her belly, he realized other greatest fear:

His son.

Before InuYasha could work himself into an anxious mess about that, Kagome stirred.

“InuYasha?” she mumbled sleepily. Her eyelids fluttered open and she gazed blearily around her. “I'm home?”

He fought back a smile, not sure if Kagome was still mad about their fight—though he hoped she wasn't, because hearing her call this their home, no matter how many times she'd said it before, had felt damn good in that moment.

“Yes, baby,” he said, surprising both her and himself with how gently he'd said it. Kagome's lips stretched lazily into a smile. “We're home.”

His hand trailed down to her belly when he said 'we,' and pride overwhelmed him when their child kicked right into his palm. Kagome's hand floated down to cover his.

“I'm sorry,” InuYasha said simply, moving to kiss Kagome's brow. If she was surprised at his apology, his wife didn't show it. She still looked half-asleep. “You okay?”

“Mmhmm,” Kagome sighed contentedly, snuggling into InuYasha. “Apology accepted. I'm sorry, too.”

InuYasha frowned, wondering if her half-asleep state was making her say stupid things. “You've got nothing to be sorry for,” he murmured. “I'm the one who fucked up for letting you think I didn't trust you. I'm always the one who fucks up, and Kagome, you—”

“—have things I need to work on, too,” Kagome cut him off, surprising InuYasha with how awake she suddenly appeared. Her blue eyes gazed intensely into his. “Really, InuYasha. I shouldn't have reacted the way I did. I forgive you and it's okay. We're okay.”

InuYasha wanted to let it go, but he felt guiltier with every word she said. For the millionth time he wondered why the Gods had thought him worthy of her.

“It's not okay. Why do you keep forgiving me all the time?”

“Because I love you, dummy.”

“But I keep messing up. I keep making you cry and storm off. I'm not—”

“Don't you dare finish that sentence,” she said firmly. Kagome's gaze softened and she curved a hand around his cheek.

“InuYasha, when I came back here it was for all of you: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We fight—that's nothing new. Then, we make up. That's how this—” she squeezed the hand that rested over her stomach, “happened. What we have isn't perfect, but I'm perfectly happy that I'm with you. I regret nothing.”


“Yes, InuYasha?”

“I love you, too, and I do trust you. I swear to both you and our son that I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you always trust me and never have regrets.”

“Okay,” Kagome said, happy tears shimmering in her eyes. She leaned in and kissed him before adding:

“I'm glad you really do trust me, but I like that you thrust me, too.”

InuYasha pulled back, hardly believing what he'd just heard. His wife looked more mischievous than Miroku or Sango combined had. It floored him that the sneaky wench had been awake the entire time!

You heard that?!”

The Miracle

The smell of fresh baked bread wafted to her nostrils. The sounds of children laughing as they played filled her ears. The dirt scuffled beneath her feet as she waddled through the village.

Kagome held her hand on top of her belly. She walked down the road with little shops on each side. She gave every shopkeeper a sweet smile of appreciation. Spotting the reason for her trip, she turned direction to stop at the small baker stand. Her mouth watered from the delicious smelling breads and pastries.

“Mmmm! These flaky pastries look delicious!” Kagome said excitedly.
‘I only came for fresh bread, but a pastry for Inuyasha and I wouldn’t hurt!’ She thought.
“I’ll take one fresh loaf of bread and two flakey pastries please!” She said happily. The baker smiled as he placed began preparing her order.

“Kagomeeeee!” Yelled Inuyasha through gritted teeth. Kagome rolled her eyes and straightened her back as he approached, replacing her hand atop her round belly.

The familiar red clad man emerged from the crowd and stomped toward her as soon as their eyes met. She tried to cement a stern look as he got closer. He hadn’t been letting her out of the house much ever since they found out she was pregnant. So if she wanted to go get fresh bread, she was definitely going to go to get it.

Inuyasha stopped only a foot from her, arms tucked into his sleeves so Kagome wouldn’t see his balled fists.

“What do you think you are doing?! I thought I told you not to leave the house without me! What if something would have happened to you? Or the pup?!” He quizzed agitatedly. Kagome sighed. She knew he was only worried about his family’s safety.

“Relax Inuyasha. Nothing happened and I am fine. I only wanted to get some fresh bread.” She soothed. She took a step forward and nuzzled her nose into his neck. He hugged her delicate form gently but securely. “Thank you for caring Inuyasha.” Kagome whispered for only his acute hearing. A grin crossed his lips.

“Here is your order ma’am!” The baker said cheerfully. Kagome escaped Inuyasha’s grasp as she grabbed her bag and paid the man. Inuyasha guided her back to their hut.

Inuyasha held up the entrance mat and let her enter first. Kagome bowed her head to him in appreciation as she stepped inside. He followed close behind. He quickly returned to his favorite spot on the floor against the wall. Kagome smiled at his familiar grouchy scowl in his usual pose. She walked towards him and attempted to sit in front of him. When her attempt failed, Inuyasha was swiftly there to assist her. Kagome was irritated that she needed so much help all the time, but she was also thankful for Inuyasha always being there for her.

Once she was settled on a sitting pillow, Inuyasha sat back down in his spot. Arms tucked into his sleeves with his eyes closed. He didn’t want to look in her face right now or he would lose his nerve to be mad at her.

Kagome placed her hand on her tummy as she released an exhausted sigh. ‘This is weird. I didn’t think I would be so tired after trying to sit down.’ She thought. Inuyasha opened one eye and glanced over her. She put a sweet smile for him. He huffed as he closed his eye and turned his head away from her.

“Awww… Don’t be like that Inuyasha. You know I can handle myself.” She cooed, trying to calm his mood. But of course it didn’t seem to work. He turned back, staring her intently in the eye.

“You can handle yourself? In your condition? Did you take the pup into consideration?” He retorted.

“Yes but-” She attempted to reply but was cut off.

“If a demon just decided to attack the village and I wasn’t there to protect you, what would have happened? You and the pup could have been hurt. I would never be able to forgive myself if anything happened to you…” He trailed off. Kagome hadn’t noticed him getting closer until he was inches from her face.

He brushed her bangs out of her face and tucked it gently behind her ear, grazing her skin with his claws. A chill ran down her spine and her breath hitched in her throat. How does he still get this reaction from her? He leaned forward to kiss her soft pink lips.

Just before their lips met, his ears caught the sound of a scream. He froze. Kagome waited for the kiss but it never came. She opened her eyes to see him frozen in front of her, eyes turned to the door way.

Worry creased her brow. She shifted her weight to sit on her knees. Cupping his cheeks in her hands, she forced him to look at her. His golden eyes showed her that he knew something was wrong.

“Go.” She said softly, giving him permission to check it out. Just like that, he rushed out of the hut in search of the scream. Kagome sighed again before plopping back down onto her bottom, wiping droplets of sweat off her forehead.

‘It sounded like it came from the forest.’ He thought, running swiftly in the direction of the forest named after him. ‘I can’t risk a demon coming this close to the village.’ He leapt into the branches of the trees and continued scanning the forest floor from above.

Suddenly, her heard the scream again, near the Sacred Tree. He jumped down to the ground and sprinted as fast as he could towards the giant, ancient tree. He passed the Bone Eaters Well so he knew he was close.

'The quicker I can take care of this, the quicker I can get back to protect Kagome.' He told himself.

He came to the clearing and was shocked at the source of the scream. A teenage couple from the village were play wrestling underneath the Great Sacred Tree. The young boy planted a soft kiss on her cheek and the girl blushed. She turned her head away and saw Inuyasha staring in shock and irritation. She screamed again but in a different manner. She shuffled away from the boy and both of them blushed.

Inuyasha crossed his arms and blushed himself as he averted his eyes. "Why are you two causing such a ruckus out here? If you're gonna get all lovey dovey, at least keep it down so the demons can't hear you." He scolded. But he was being soft on them because he knew what it was like to want some private time with his love.

"We're sorry. We were just playing around." The boy apologized. The girl next to him nodded without raising her gaze from the ground.

"Just get back to the village. Ya don't know what else could've heard you out here." He told them softly.

He jumped back into the branches but lost his footing as his body pulsed. Ba-Dum! He hit the ground with all his weight. The force should have knocked him out. But something was happening. And Inuyasha didn't know what. He pulsed again. Ba-Dum! His vision was becoming blurry.

‘Oh no.’ He thought. His eye flashed red and turquoise. He could feel his fangs and claws lengthening.

“Are you okay? That was quite a fall!” The young girl asked as the couple came closer.

“Get. Back!” Inuyasha managed, turning towards them. The two stepped back with wide eyes as they saw his appearance changing and the growls and snarls emerging from his throat.

Inuyasha stood and ran in the direction his instincts were taking him. To his mate. She needs him. He doesn’t know what’s going on, but he knows she wants him there with her.

Ba-Dum! Again. It was crippling. Each pulse. ‘What’s happening?’ He questioned. He forced his body to move faster. ‘I have to get to her now!’ He thought.

The village came into sight. Ba-Dum! He swiftly weaved through the walk ways. Ignoring all of the screaming and wide eyed villagers. That was when he heard her. Her cries of pain and agony. His body felt lighter in that second. He suddenly was able to move faster. And he was at their hut in one more second. He hesitated at the door way. He was frightened for a moment. Ba-Dum!

He pushed through the door mat. He saw her lying on the ground. Kaede was helping her. She was having the baby. Kagome turned her head and saw him standing there. She reached her hand towards him. He was by her side in an instant.

“Inuyasha.” She said weakly. Her face was pale and she was clearly out of breath. He leaned down and nuzzled her cheek. A low growl rumbled in his chest to try and smooth her. She sighed and panted as the pain returned. With his deadly claws, he delicately brushed her sweat plastered bangs off her forehead. Ba-Dum! Ba-Dum! Kagome and Inuyasha's bodies pulsed in unison. The pulse radiated off of them.

"One more strong push child!" Kaede coached. Kagome pushed with all her might and she screamed as her entire body ached. Ba-Dum! Ba-Dum! Ba-Dum!

And all of the sudden, the pain secede. She let her back fall against the floor. Inuyasha features instantly returned to normal. Kagome looked up at him to see him looking down. She didn’t have the strength to lift herself to look.

“What is it?” She called. She could hear the water splashing as Kaede washed the baby, but there was only silence. “What is it?” She called again in a panic. She squeezed Inuyasha’s hand to bring him back to her. His eyes were fixed on the baby though.

Out of nowhere, Kagome heard shrieks from tiny lungs. Her body relaxed again and she released the breath she was holding. Kaede walked beside Inuyasha and handed a bundle of blankets to Kagome as she propped herself up on her arm.

“It’s a boy.” Kaede said warmly. He was small but very healthy. His hair was as silver as his father’s but with streaks of raven black like his mother’s, with one silver ear and the other black.

Inuyasha lifted his hand to touch him but was afraid to hurt him. The little baby stopped his crying and grabbed Inuyasha’s finger and began to laugh. The sound caused both Kagome and Inuyasha to smile. He looked up at Kagome and Kagome looked up at him. She knew this was the beginning of a long and happy life with her new family. He knew that he was destined to be by her side and to protect his family for the rest of his life.

“What will you name him?” Kaede asked.

Kagome and Inuyasha looked at one another before replying in unison, “Ryuuhi.”
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