Disclaimer : I don't own InuYasha, or any of the other wonderful character Rumiko Takahashi created. If I did, do you think I'd be sitting at this computer? I didn't think so.

AN : Another one shot while I work on breaking my writers block on Starlight and Shadows. Thank heavens I had chapters written ahead of time there, or I'd have people screaming for my blood. This fic just sort of popped into my head one night, and has been sitting around on my computer for a week or so now. It's told from InuYasha's point of view as he reflects on who and what he is. I hope you all enjoy it, and please, read and review. You make my life so much more interesting when I get reviews to get happy over.


Night. My favorite part of the day. Why, you ask, do I like the night? Because it's easier to pretend then, without the harsh light of the sun to take away all your dreams and fantasies.

I stare down at my traveling companions from the branches of a tree nearby. They laugh, talking amongst themselves as they settle down to sleep. Such easy trust and comradery. Do they know how precious and rare that is? I do. I've never had it before them. Not once. They trust each other . . . they trust me, somehow. I don't really understand. After all, I'm half youkai, a thing to be despised. How can they trust me so easily?

Trust. Such a small thing to some, and such a large thing to others. Who have I trusted in my entire cursed life? Who's trusted me in return? Such a fragile thing is trust. So easily broken. Just look at what happened to Kikyo and me. We trusted each other, but that trust was broken so terribly easily. How is it that the woman who claimed to love me didn't trust me as much as these people do?

I look at them in turn. Miroku, the monk with an ever widening hole is his hand. Pervert extraordinaire. Mr. "See a Pretty girl and ask her to bear my Child" himself. How he's survived this long I don't know. The amount of bruises he gets from Sango alone should have killed him months ago. Yet, even though he fondles them every chance he gets, the girls trust him. I just think he's a lech. But, at the same time, he's a friend.

Friend. There's a word I've never used before either. Hanyou's don't have friends. We have people to stay away from and people to stay FAR away from. To be a Hanyou is to never have friends, to never be accepted in either world, while being a part of both. And yet, I have friends now. Friends who accept me, trust me, know my secrets, protect me . . . help me.

Sango, the youkai exterminator. She wanted to kill me, once upon a time. Now, she goes into battle at my side. She's a good fighter, too. I trust her at my back. And I sympathize with her. Like me, she had everything taken away from her. Her family, her friends, her home. She's with us for vengeance against Naraku, just as I am, in a way. I understand her.

Understanding. Something else I've never had before. No one wants to understand a hanyou. We're an abomination, something that should never have come into being. Who cares why we do the things we do. We're not human, we're not demon. We just are. People look at us, and see only what we are on the outside. Does anyone care about the hearts beating inside us? I have to answer honestly, yes. Some people do care, some people can see past the fangs, the ears, the claws. Some people, like the ones relaxing below me.

Shippo, the young kitsune. I both understand him and am annoyed by him. He lost his parents to other youkai . . . but at least he's a full youkai. He still has his heritage to cling to . . . yet he clings to us. Why, I don't know. He's cute in that annoying little brother kind of way. Now if he would just calm down a little . . .

Youkai. Hanyou. Human. All categories of people, all different. Yet, with the jewel I can choose to be one of the three. But do I want to? To become fully human is to become weak in body, to become emotional, to lose the youkai edge. To become youkai means losing the heart that beats inside, that gives me the strength to keep fighting. But, why would I want to stay as I am, stay an outcast? Maybe cause I'm not an outcast anymore.

My eyes rest longest on the one I've known the longest. Kagome. Just thinking of her is like a balm on my soul . . . not that I'd ever tell her that. She freed me from my imprisonment, and began to heal my heart. She's made me see things I never thought I'd see as a hanyou . . . love, trust, acceptance, friendship. . . all things a hanyou lives without.

Yes, I am hanyou. Once upon a time, I despised myself for that. I wanted to be a full demon, to become something strong and heartless. After all, what use are emotions? They make you weak, easily defeated. Then, I wanted to become human . . . for Kikyo. For love. Kikyo couldn't accept me as anything else. But not Kagome. She accepts me as I am, who I am.

Acceptance. Such a trivial thing, and yet so important now. They all accept me, as I am. They don't want me to be anything but myself. Do they understand what that means to me?

Yes, I am hanyou. And for once, I'm proud of who and what I am. Because of them.