Kagome awoke by the fire, Shippou snuggled against her. She wasn't sure what had awoken her, until she noticed that Inuyasha was missing from the group. She yawned, displaying a set of sharp teeth, and then carefully extricated herself from the clingy fox demon. She smiled down at him before rising quietly to her feet.

Miroku and Sango were sleeping contentedly nearby, and in each other's arms. The time they had shared alone seemed to have helped them come to some conclusions…

A small sniff of the cool night air and Kagome picked up Inuyasha's scent, not far off. She stepped carefully around the sleeping forms of her friends before leaving the campsite.

Normally, Kagome would be lost right now, unable to see well in the inky darkness. But now, with her hanyou eyes, she quickly adjusted and saw as easily as if the sun were in the sky, not just an endless expanse of stars. Normally she would not be walking on bare feet, either, but her life had been drastically changed.

I've done all I can for you, child… My herbs will keep your mind and body in harmony, for how long I do not know.

The words of Keiko came back, and Kagome felt a pang of nervousness. The older woman had been willing to help, especially after Inuyasha destroyed a nearby nest of nasty snake demons. She had stared into Kagome's eyes for a very long time, and Kagome had felt as if someone else were strolling in her memories and emotions.

The experience had been disturbing, but when it was over Keiko had brewed a dozen or so herbs Kagome had never before seen, and had her drink it. Her mind had cleared completely.

The only power I can imagine strong enough to let you safely assume either human or hanyou form…Hmm… Do you know of the Shikon no tama?

They did indeed know of the jewel, very well in fact…

Kagome climbed a gentle rise in the landscape, and spotted Inuyasha farther up. She approached the dog demon, where he was leaning against a maple tree, looking down at the forest below. He looked up as she approached, and smiled.

"Not tired, Inuyasha?" she asked.

"No, not really," he replied.

Kagome smiled, reaching out to tweak an ear. She laughed at the face he made.

Silence descended on them, and they stood quietly. Crickets played their music from all around, and an occasional maple leaf descended. Drops of water from yesterday's rain slipped from one leaf to another with small slaps. A breeze whispered softly through the forest, rustling the leaves of trees and underbrush.

"Inuyasha… If we get the Shikon jewel back… I know that you always wanted it, to become a full demon. I just wanted to tell you that it's fine with me," Kagome said, eyes fastened on the grass beneath her feet. She was startled when a hand gently took her chin and tilted it back up. She gazed up into concerned, yellow eyes.

 "Kagome, we will use the jewel to help you. As long as I am with you, I'm happy with who I am," Inuyasha said.

Kagome swallowed, and blinked back the tears that were forming.

"Thank you, Inuyasha," she said, before jumping into his arms.

They tumbled to the ground, happy in each other's arms and certain that together, they would find a way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Fin.

Okay, if I do a sequel, it will probably be a couple weeks before I start it. I'm off to work on my Sesshoumaru/Kagome story, as bizarre a couple as that may be… Yosh!

Thanks again for all the great reviews. Only 12 away from 100; wowies. Thanks!!!