"What do you mean, you have to go?"

Inuyasha's voice was loud enough to frighten away several nearby birds. Kagome gritted her teeth at the half-demon's rebellious expression. He'd been like this for almost as long as she'd known him, which was quite awhile. He wasn't a reasonable person by nature, but he got even crazier when she talked about going back home.

Nearby, Miroku and Shippo watched with mild interest as Inuyasha became more and more irritated. Sango was off in the distance, seated on a rock, polishing her enormous boomerang. "I don't know why you ever come back here," he snapped. "You're always jumping down the well to that strange era of yours."

"Look Inuyasha, I have a whole week of finals to prepare for," Kagome shouted. "A week's worth! I have to take one practically every day. It's not something I WANT to do, but it is something I HAVE to do!"

"And what about US?" Inyuasha shouted back. "Are we just supposed to bob around while you take your finals?"

"I don't know what you're supposed to do! Unlike you, I have to balance two lives around in two different eras! You could occasionally TRY to be sympathetic to that!"

"I've been VERY patient!"

"Oh please! I've met preschoolers who waited longer for what they wanted."

"I need you to find the jewel shards!"

"And I need to take my tests!"



"You're acting like a pair of children," Miroku said in a maddeningly calm voice, keeping his face composed. "Inuyasha, if Kagome finds it necessary to undertake her... finals, then that is a prior obligation."

Kagome wasn't sure whether to be grateful for Miroku's support or not. On one hand, he was on her side. On the other, she could see Inuyasha flushing red at the intrusion of the monk, whom he looked on with less than a friendly eye.

"You stay out of this!" Inuyasha snarled. "This is between Kagome and me!"

"Is that 'Kagome and me' or 'Kagome and I'?" Shippo piped up.

Kagome winced. Inuyasha's eyes flared, but he somehow kept his mouth under control. She took the opportunity to say quickly, "Look, Inuyasha, I know that a week is more than I've ever asked before. But this really is important to me."

He turned his back. "Hmph."

"Can't you just ONCE try to see things the way I do?" Kagome shouted.

"So what are the rest of us supposed to do, huh?" Inuyasha said in a tight, snappish tone. "Are we just supposed to camp in the woods until you deign to come back?"

"I don't know what you're supposed to do!" Kagome said.

"I'm sure," Miroku broke in quietly, "that Kaede wouldn't mind if we remained at the village for the time being."

"Actually, she would," Shippo said, perching on Miruko's shoulder.

"Don't remind me," Inuyasha grumbled.

Miroku frowned, rubbing his chin with his covered hand. "I'm not sure I understand," he said. "Would you mind explaining further?"

"Kaede won't mind if the three of you stay," Kagome said. "But... well, she doesn't really like it when Inuyasha stays there for more than a few days. He tends to get kind of crabby and twitchy -- don't look at me like that, you know it's true -- and so she doesn't want him actually staying IN her house for more than a couple days. He usually spends his time up trees anyway."

Inuyasha leaped up onto a boulder and stared off into the woods. "Suits me. I don't like staying at that hag's hut anyway."

Kagome sighed. She couldn't know for sure, due to his obsessive guarding of his privacy, but she suspected that he was more upset by being left alone than he was about her actually leaving. She watched him as he made a point of ignoring her, his ears twitching slightly. She knew what he'd say when she actually got up to leave: "Just go, already! It's not like it matters to ME!"

You really are a rotten liar, Inuyasha, she thought with a sigh. She glanced over at her bulging backpack and the math textbook she had left on top of it.

"Are you going or not?" Inuyasha demanded.

"Yes," Kagome said, brushing herself off. "I just wanted to ask you something."

"Like what?"

"Wanna come?"


To Be Continued