Disclaimer: nope, still don't own Inuyasha, but thanks for asking.

A/N and Summary: Even though I only got one review for "Falling Over You", *frowns*, I decided to go ahead with the sequel, and after wracking my brain, I think I figured something out that might work nicely for the next step.

The fics in this arc are(in order):

1. Falling Over You

2. All He Needs(takes place within the time frame of "Falling Over You")

3. After Love(2 small vignettes. . .sorta)

4. Before there was You (this fic)

5. Love Like Water(to come after this fic. . . not a love story exactly, but. . . sort of a one-shot-can you call it a one-shot if it's part of an arc? I just don't know, anyways-that I got the idea for when I got the idea for this one, but I have to write it after since reading "Love Like Water" before reading "Before there was You" will totally ruin "Before there was You". I know I know, I'm being cryptic, but I can't really say much about this fic without ruining the story for you!)

Sesshomaru and Kuma love each other very much, having the prospect of a beautiful family with their adopted daughter, Rin. But there seems to be something blocking the path to their happiness, something, emotionally, between them that they can't surmount, and neither of them knows what it is. Is love really as strong as everyone says? Is it a bond that can overcome everything, even family? (and if I tell you any more, I'm gonna ruin the story).

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"Before there was You"

by: Banshee Puppet

Chapter One: Dreams of Forgotten Times

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They never talked about family. It was a taboo, something looming in the air beyond their reach. Her, because she couldn't remember, and him, because he didn't want to. And that small difference, made all the difference. Their reasons for silence became a barrier between them, keeping them apart. And neither of them could place or name the problem, they just wanted to be rid of it, wanted to be strong enough, and weak enough, to hold one another without obstacles.

It was the two of them, and it was Rin, but they weren't a family yet, even the young girl knew that. They weren't a family. They didn't know how to be a family. In truth, they were falling away from one another, spending more time apart, trying to decipher the silences, and these past few weeks had been the worst.

It was something. . . something almost tangible between them, a thickness in the air that had been building and building but never quite got ready to erupt. It made Kuma nauseous, made her feel like she couldn't breathe. As for Sesshomaru, these past few weeks, silently, when he was alone, he was learning to cry. Nothing had ever hurt this much. It was a kind of pain he didn't know was possible.

But no, they never talked about family. They didn't know they were supposed to.

*****************

Drowsily, Kuma rested her head on Sesshomaru's shoulder while Kagome continued the one-sided conversation she'd been holding for the past thirty minutes. The air was so tense it was almost stagnant, and for once, this wasn't because of the tension between the two brothers. In fact, Kuma and Kagome were surprised to find that not only were both men still alive, but the silence between them had gone from the glaring and muttering that they had left to something almost companionable. . . brotherly, even. They had thought leaving the pair alone would have resulted in bloodshed and injury to both parties, but Kuma had said simply, "eh, don't worry about it Kagome, let the boys have their fun. Just remember boys, don't kill each other, or we'll never forgive you." Well, they hadn't killed each other, but what they had done was beyond the girls' collective fathoming.

"We're meeting the others in the village by the well tomorrow, right Kagome?" Kuma asked blearily. "Yeah. It'll be great. Shippo and Miroku and Sango. . .you haven't seen them in so long, and they're really excited about it."

"Hmn," Kuma yawned affirmatively. "It'll be nice to see everyone again," she said softly, nuzzling deeper into Sesshomaru's shoulder, trying to forget the day's earlier worries. She loved him, she really did . . . so much.

He gave her a gentle kiss on the crown of her head, taking in the scent of her hair as he did so and wrapping his arm a bit more tightly about her, his eyes sad, though you'd have to know him pretty well to notice.

"Mn. Sleepy," she muttered.

"Then sleep," Sesshomaru said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, which, it may well have been.

"Don't wanna," she mumbled, but already she was drifting into dream. Jaken and Rin had been asleep for at least an hour, Rin curled up in Sesshomaru's lap and Jaken just within the circle of firelight, uncomfortable yet with being near Inuyasha and "that miko girl".

'To look at them, you would think they were just a happy couple, but you can see it in their eyes. Something's wrong,' Inuyasha observed silently, though he'd never say anything like that out loud.

Kagome smiled warmly at a now sleeping Kuma and said, "maybe she has the right idea. We'll be going far tomorrow, and we have to make it there on time for the celebration. It wouldn't do at all for Kuma to miss her own birthday party!" a mischevious, excited light danced in Kagome's eyes, causing a humored "keh" to come out of Inuyasha's mouth.

"Hey, you're laughing at me, aren't you?" she accused.

"Uh huh. Let's sleep now," he replied, pulling Kagome close to him.

With a mental sigh, Sesshomaru allowed his eyes to drift closed and sleep to claim him.

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Falling. She was falling again. What was it about this dream that kept coming back to her. It made her shiver in her sleep.

Kuma knew how she had lost her parents. It was a plane crash, and since she was very young, she didn't remember it well. It disturbed her a little that she couldn't remember their names, but she just took it for what it was worth, it was traumatic, her mind was blocking out everything that happened before that day. Besides, she was only three back then, so it's not as if she was likely to remember anyway.

So why then, this dream of falling. This vivid dream where she reaches out her arms, calling "papa!" and sees something black, something resembling hair disappear through the slender block of light before her, and then, to blackness, she awakens. Always to blackness. And this blackness is the end of her dream.

Her eyes flutter open to see concern etched on Sesshomaru's face. "The dream again?" he asks.

She just nods distantly.

"You know if you want to talk about it. . ." he begins to say when she nods and pulls herself out of his embrace, rocking back into a kneeling position and rolling up to the balls of her feet. Standing, staring out at the stars for a moment. She had had this dream for as long as she could remember, but it was her secret, she couldn't bring herself to share it with anyone, not even him. . . because, it was frightening, but she wanted to keep it. It was hers alone. This terrible dream, it was somehow. . .precious to her.

"I'm going for a walk," she says flatly, heading away from camp.

'Why won't you talk to me?' Sesshomaru wonders, staring after her with longing. This dream, whatever it was was the thing that was tearing them apart. 'What can be so bad that you feel you have to keep it a secret from the one who loves you most?' He frowned slightly and sighed.

Inuyasha opened his eyes and stared at his brother for a moment, seeing Kuma's form disappearing into the trees. Unsure of whether to speak or not, he decides, finally, that he can't not. "Something wrong?" he whispers to Sesshomaru.

Sesshomaru's eyes dart up and stare at Inuyasha for a moment, as if deciding what the intention of the question is. Rin cuddles deeper into Sesshomaru's hip, still fast asleep as he absently brushes some hair from her face.

Finally, his lips part and he says quietly. "I have this recurring nightmare in which she's walking away from me. Perhaps it is a nightmare because it is far too close to the truth for my liking."

"Ses. . ."

"Go back to sleep, Inuyasha."

*************

Naraku closed his eyes distatefully and turned his head away, waving the girl off. "That's enough, Kanna," he said flatly, standing and staring out the window as the girl left.

He could feel the bile rising in his throat.

'Enough, Oni Gumo. My affairs are none of your concern.'

The human in him laughed bitterly at the being that had become the most evil creature alive. 'Just admit it. You can't help yourself, when it comes to that one.'

'Don't be ridiculous. It's been a long time. I feel nothing any longer,' he lied to himself.

'You're glad you failed to kill her.'

'Shut up.'

'It bothers you that she is in pain.'

'Shut up!'

'She is precious to you.'

"SHUT UP! IT'S NOT TRUE!" Naraku hissed angrily, losing control of himself as he slammed his fist into the wall, causing it to shatter and break away. "It's not true." Breathing deeply he calmed himself. "Curse you, Oni Gumo. Curse you and your wretched human heart," he whispered. "I will be rid of you soon enough."

'And until then?'

'Until then, I will. . .' Naraku gritted his teeth together in an uncharacteristic sneer. He hated this side of himself more than anything. '. . .protect her from Ajika.'

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well, that's not EXACTLY how I thought that chapter would go, but all in all I suppose I'm satisfied enough with it. It's only the first chapter after all. Can't say I have any inkling as to how long this sequel is gonna be, but I'll just run with it.

Now, you've read chapter one, so go on and hit that little "submit review" button and stop making me beg. Oh and um, since at this point I think we can officially call this an arc, I'm trying to think of a good title for it. So if anyone has any ideas I'd be more than happy to hear what they are.