A/N: Heh heh, another fic...

Twy: Well this should be stunning. Considering it's not a dark-fic! *glares*

CA: Oh shaddup. I like la-la Inuyasha fics.

Twy: Uh-huh. Riiiiight.

CA: *grabs a sword sheath and hits Twy on the head* Hah! Take that!

Twy: Remind me to yell at Innie for leaving his things within grabbing distance of you.

CA: Okies. Here's the story!


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Kagome just could not believe the situation she was in. She just couldn't! It had all started out as a simple routine fight-- for them anyhow. But while they were fighting the snake youkai, who should show up other than Kouga himself. Inuyasha was busy fighting; he couldn't worry about the idot wolf youkai now. So Kagome had decided to handle him on her own. Oh she handled him alright.


Right straight into distraction. While arguing will the wolf she hadn't noticed that when Inuyasha dodged a tail strike from the snake youkai, it hit the ground directly above them on a sharp hill-like rise, sending an avalanche of earth down at them. Kouga noticed though, at least fast enough to grab Kagome and duck into a cave on the face of the rise. And that's where she was now. Stuck, since the avalanche completely covered the entrance, in a cave with only a small fire going for light and warmth, with Kouga. Well this was just wonderful.


"You! Woman! You warm?" Kouga called from his side of the cave. It irked her that he had never bothered to learn her name.


"Yes." She said through gritted teeth. "And get it through your thick head before I pound it into ya-- my name is Kagome. Ka. Go. Me."


"Ka. Go. Me." He repeated, though she wasn't sure he meant it mockingly or not. "Fine then, Kagome. Can I ask a question?"


"I wouldn't consider it wise to speak to me right now, because I just might tell Inuyasha some things that he might not want to here when he and the others finally get me out of here. And I think I'll enjoy watching him tear you into tiny little shreds." She snapped. He seemed surprised at this outburst and kept his mouth shut. ~Good.~


Using her ever-present backpack as a pillow, she laid down near the fire. Deciding it would be better to wait until Kouga fell asleep, she watched the flames dance across the few pieces of wood they had managed to find inside. Kouga also watched the fire, but he seemed to be in a trance; he didn't move or even blink. Even his tail stayed still, which for him was a miracle unto itself.


At first Kagome dismissed it from her mind, but it was wandering around for lack of anything else to do. ~I wonder what he's thinking about?~ She blanched at that thought. ~Jeez girl, get a hold of yourself! This is Kouga! What makes you believe he even thinks?~ Even so, with that admonishment to herself, she still wondered. Finally she couldn't contain herself anymore.


"What are you thinking about?" She asked softly.


"Hmm?" He said, his eyes not moving away from the fire.


"I said, what are you thinking about?" He looked at her smiled. She mentally shivered at the sight. The fire only highlighted his fangs and made his eyes shine more, giving him an almost evil look.


"First you tell me that it would wise if I didn't speak to you and now your speaking to me? Let's see, if I don't answer you'll get pissed and if I do you might get pissed, so either way you look at it, I'm screwed." He said, returning to the fire. Kagome sat up and leaned against the cave wall.


"Okay, okay, sorry I snapped earlier, and I promise I won't get mad if you answer. I want you to answer."


"Apology accepted. What was the question?" He asked so innocently that she wanted to deck him. She decided on glaring instead. "Okay! Sheesh, I was just kidding. So you wanna know what I was thinking, am I right?" A nod. "I was thinking about the question I was going to ask you before you snapped."


"Oh? And what was that?" Kagome asked, preparing herself for something perverted or something. Honestly she didn't know who was worse at times, him or Miroku.


"Why do you pretend that you like that hanyou mutt?" He asked, his face sincere, like he believed what he was saying.


"What?" Was all Kagome could manage to say.


"You heard me." He repeated himself anyway. "Why do you pretend to like the mutt, when it's obvious that you don't and neither does he like you?"


"I... I, uh... I don't... I don't know." She stuttered out in a whisper. The shock of what the wolf youkai had just said sunk into her, and it hit a nerve that she didn't know she had. And she knew that what he said was true. She only pretended.


Kagome was thankful she had the cave wall to support her, or she probably would have fainted on the spot. Kouga was looking at her expectantly, but she had no real answer to give. She just kinda did it without thinking. The realization hit her with a force. Every time any man got close to her, she'd put them off by mentioning another's name. Around Inuyasha it was Hojo and around Hojo or Kouga she'd say Inuyasha.


"Kagome?" She heard Kouga ask, but she didn't how to respond. All sense left her as she brought her knees up to her chest, holding them, and hiding her face in them. She felt a strange form of shame. Guilt, almost. She heard Kouga get up and sit beside her. He gently put an arm around her and pulled her in towards his chest. She didn't fight back, rather, she accepted his embrace. "Kagome?"


"I'm sorry." She said, tears forming. He gently raised her head up until she faced him. He surprised her by licking away the tears, but still she didn't fight back. "I'm sorry."


"Shh, it's okay." He told her. "Please don't cry, you didn't do anything. It's my fault, I shouldn't have said anything."


"No, it's not your fault, Kouga." She replied, the tears gone for now. "It's me, it's always been me. Every time any guy gets close to me, I put him off. I'm just so scared..." She trailed off.


"Scared? Of what?" He asked her quietly, trying not to provoke any more tears. She collapsed into his chest again, and held her tight.


"I don't know! I guess I'm just afraid that they'll leave me... Like he did..." Kouga didn't know who this 'he' was, but suddenly he wanted to rip his throat out. How could anyone leave this beautiful girl? How dare they?


"Kagome, I don't know who hurt you, but I want you to know that I would never do that to you. When I say I love you and that I claim you, I'm not kidding. I want you to be mine." Kagome looked up at him, surprised. "In the youkai world, just claiming a woman makes her her claimer's property. But if you don't want me, I'll back off my claim."


She was stunned. Here a man had just confessed his love-- his true love-- but also said that he would back off if she didn't want him. In that moment, another realization hit her, but she wasn't sure if she was ready. It was a leap of faith, and she didn't know if anybody would be there to catch her.


"Kagome, please say something." Her silence was unnerving. Blinking out of her stare, she looked at the ground, then back up to him, and posed him a question he hadn't expected.


"Will you catch me?" Kouga was confused. What did she mean? "If I take a leap of faith, will you catch me?" He understood what she meant. He wanted so desparately to prove to her that he would, but he had to settle on words only.


"Kagome, I will catch you and should I miss, I will stay by your side and nurse you back to health and never leave you." Her response astonished him, but he wasn't about to argue.


"Oh Kouga!"


Kagome felt a wave of undying love for the wolf youkai. She kissed him suddenly, rough and chaste, but quickly fell into place. He returned her affections, his body telling him to go faster and further, but he hurridly quieted that part. He could wait. When they broke, he held her face, her beautiful face, in his hands.


"I love you, woman." His voice was husky as he nuzzled her neck, kissing it here and there softly.


Kagome wasn't upset by his lack of using her name. In fact, she liked it, and felt bad for ever growling him about it. She returned his nuzzling, the words starting form in her throat when she hesitated. ~He said he would never leave me, and I believe him.~ Kagome grinned to herself.


"I love you too, Wolfie." She watched as he pulled back and raised an eyebrow at the nickname she had just given him.


"Wolfie?" He repeated.


"Nah." She said, receiving a wondering look. "MY Wolfie."


He grinned back, and they returned to their former positions-- him leaning against the cave wall watching the now smaller fire, and her resting her head against his chest. She listened to his heart, and let it lull her into sleep. ~Inuyasha's going to get a surprise when we get out of here.~ She thought, just before sleep took her over.


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"WHAT IN THE SEVEN HELLS IS THIS?!" Kagome knew who the shouter was without opening her eyes. She heard and felt a slight growl from Kouga, and looked up at him. He was rolling his eyes and mocking Inuyasha's rage. "WELL?!"


"Cool it, mutt." Kouga muttered, rubbing his face. Obviously he had just woken up as well. Kagome looked over to Inuyasha, who's eyes were glinting dangerous with red and ears that were flat against his head. "This is certainly one way to wake up."


Kagome laughed at Kouga's muttered words. Inuyasha stalked over until he stood right in front of them. Shippou wasn't far behind, hoping that the hanyou wouldn't lose his temper. The last thing they needed was a fight between dog and wolf, with a mad Kagome thrown in and a couple of sits.


"Inuyasha! Maybe we should go outside and wait for them to come out." Shippou instantly regretted his words as he was quickly booted to the other side of the cave for them.


"Hey! Leave him alone! And calm down." Kagome said, glaring at him as she stood up, pulling Kouga with her. She turned the little kitsune who was rubbing his sore behind. "Shippou? Take Kouga outside and don't let any of the others try and chase him off, okay? Inuyasha and I need to have a little talk." The infant fox youkai complied, showing Kouga where they had finally dug through. When they were gone, Kagome turned back to the enraged hanyou. "What is your problem?"


"What is my problem? What's yours?! How do I know that wolf wimp didn't do something to you?! How do you know?!" He said, gesturing towards the hole where daylight shined through. "Huh?!"


"Look, I understand that you're worried and upset, but you don't need to--" That was as far as she got.


"Worried and upset? I'll say! I trust that jackass as far as any human can throw him!" He growled in response. Kagome resisted the urge to sit him-- that would only piss him off even more.


"Please, just listen to me." He crossed his arms, but didn't say anything. "I know you two don't get along, and most of the time it's because of me. But the truth is, I do love him. I want to be his woman." Kagome was amazed at how easily she spoke those words. "And I know that you will probably hate more than you normally do, but dammit Inuyasha, I think it's about time I get some happiness."


He stood there, looking at her, stunned. She... loves him? Kouga? He honestly didn't know what amazed him more, her admission that she loved the wolf or the fact that she cussed. He lost himself in thought for a minute, but only for one before he conceded to her.


"You're right, you do deserve happiness. I just can't believe you chose him." He said, expecting to get scolded for his tone of voice in reference to the wolf youkai, but none came. Instead, he received... laughter?


"Truthfully, me either, but then I guess who haven't seen the side of him I have. He's actually kinda sweet, in his own warped way." She added the last part quickly. She felt that he needed to know what Kouga had told her. "In fact, he said that if I didn't want him he would leave me alone, and back off his claim."


Inuyasha about sat himself when he heard that. For any male to back off his claim, at least in the youkai world, without being challenged by another and losing was unheard of. And Kouga promised that he would if Kagome hadn't wanted him? ~Maybe I have misjudged the wimp.~


"Inuyasha?" She watched as shock and astonishment registered on the hanyou's face. "What's wrong?" He told her, except for his last thought. That, he figured, he should keep to himself. "Seriously?"


"Seriously." He said. Kagome mouthed 'wow' and sat abruptly down on a large rock that was nearby. ~Damn, he really must love me.~ "I'll make you deal." He said, bringing her back to reality. "I'll leave you two alone on the conditon that you'll still detect shards for me."


"Oh Inu--" She started, but he waved her off.


"I wasn't finished. If you'll still detect shards for me and will still be my friend." She smiled at him, wanting to hug him all of a sudden. She resisted herself, knowing that wouldn't be just quite right, at least at the moment.


"Of course. Just don't use me to get the shards out of him, okay?" Inuyasha smiled sheepishly and nodded. He had just been thinking about that. Kagome started to get up and leave, but he stopped her.


"But if he ever hurts you in any way, or if anyone else does for that matter, come to me, okay? You'll be amazed that I actually can be a good listener." Kagome was about to make a friendly joke about it when she heard Kouga's voice yelling through the hole.


"You better not have done anything to her, mutt, or I'll return the favor!" Inuyasha rolled his eyes, repeating the action that Kouga had done earlier. "Kagome, you okay?"


"I'm fine, Wolfie!" She yelled back, laughingly, figuring that the others were probably getting a Kodak moment of Kouga blushing. ~Never a camera when ya need one!~


"Wolfie?" Inuyasha said in disbelief. Then he grinned toothily.


"Oh no you don't!" Kagome shouted as Inuyasha lept through the hole. Climbing up she could hear him teasing Kouga. "INUYASHA!" She yelled, her voice warning him. The teasing continuted. "SIT!"


"Ow, hey!"


"Ha ha, mutt!" By this time she was through the hole. Inuyasha jumped up when the magic wore off and began chasing the youkai. "Hey, leave me alone! Kagome! Stop him!"


~Some things never change.~ Kagome thought, rolling on the ground with laughter.



Twy: Hey, I like. Anything that has Kouga in it is good!

IY: *sarcastically* I feel so loved.

CA: Well, I gave him a nickname just like you, so stop complaining. He's sharing the torture.

IY: *rolls eyes* Joy.

CA: Well, if any of you are wondering, I was watching "The 10th Kingdom" again for like the fiftieth time today, and Wolfie kinda reminded me of Kouga. I mean, look at them! They're both wolves (okay, Wolfie is only half, but still), they both have tails, cool-looking eyes, and have that 'tall, dark, and handsome' thing goin' on! *drools*

Twy: Anybody got a towel?

IY: Please, you're drooling too. What's with you two and wolves? Besides, I thought you liked white hair. *points to pictures of himself, Pietro Maximoff, Yami Bakura, and Ryou that are plastered on our wall*

CA & Twy: Uh.... *blink*blink*

IY: Never mind.