Please don't kill me. This just came out of nowhere, and I've come to realize that there's nothing I can do about that. I have been working on Kagome's Decision though, I promise! This is just a little tidbit along the way.

Disclaimer: I don't own Inu Yasha, because apparently I had to have been the one to create it to do that. Feh!


Her favorite color was gold.

Somehow, it had to be that way. The color reminded her of so many good things. Fresh honey discovered on a trip through one of the many forests; the sun rising over clean, unpolluted landscapes, then sunset as the day wore thin.

But most of all, it reminded her of his eyes.

She sighed as she thought of him, steeling herself against the fluttering in her stomach. It seemed impossible to sit through two straight minutes without turning her thoughts to him. She'd been trying to keep herself busy for the past four years so she didn't have to think of him so often. She was successful for short periods at a time, then it would all come back to her.

She had never said goodbye.

That had to be it. Without any sort of closure, how could she move on with her life?

She closed her eyes and leaned back against the wall, not at all surprised when tears slid down her cheeks. It seemed like she would never stop crying about it. She didn't even feel the tears coming anymore; they just fell of their own accord.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang. She cursed-a habit she had picked up from him-and quickly brushed away the tears. She tucked some loose strands of hair behind her ears, remembering with some resentment that her hair had never been as soft as his.

Maybe silver should be her favorite color.

She didn't have any time to contemplate that at the moment. The doorbell rang again.

It was Hojo.

Somehow, the boy had managed to grow into a man and still remain exactly the same. He was an inch taller maybe than he had been back then, but he was still lean and had the same merry brown eyes.

"Hey, Higurashi," he said warmly as he kissed her on the cheek.

She hadn't been able to hold him off forever, after all. She smiled and let him in, thanking him for the fresh flowers that he brought with him. They were pink and red blossoms, and very pretty. Too bad they weren't gold. Then again, he didn't know what her favorite color was, did he?

"How are you feeling today?" he asked out of habit. She shook her head impatiently and went to get a vase for the flowers. It had taken a long time for everyone to believe that she had truly and miraculously recovered from the myriad of illnesses her late grandfather had bestowed upon her. And still, everyone watched her.

"I'm fine," she answered when she returned, a vase in one hand and the bouquet in the other. "Like I have been for the past four years."

"I'm sorry," Hojo mumbled, staring at his hands. "It's just a habit to ask."

Kagome looked at him and her eyes softened. "No, I'm sorry, Hojo. I'm just in a bad mood, is all. I shouldn't take it out on you." She placed the flowers carefully and smiled at her handiwork.

"Not bad, huh?" she smiled, placing the finished product on the kitchen table. It would brighten up the quiet room a little, anyway.

The young man nodded. "Very lovely," he said. "You have a wonderful touch, Kagome." Then he looked down at his hands again nervously.

"Hojo?" Kagome looked at him curiously. He was never this quiet. "What's the matter?"

He looked like he was considering something, and it had to be difficult for him to decide by the look on his face. She suddenly regretted asking him.

He looked up at her with a determined expression and took her hands in his. "Kagome," he said softly, bringing her hands up to his lips and kissing them softly. "I've been thinking about something lately, and I wanted to ask you something."

Her stomach dropped. "Yes?"

He looked at their hands, and absently rubbed his thumbs over hers. "Well, you know I just got promoted," he started.

She nodded, smiling at him. He worked for his father, but the man was strict. Hojo's promotion was well-earned, and she couldn't help but feel proud of him.

"And you'll be going to college soon," he added, a note of sadness lacing his words.

That was true, too. She had decided to go out of town for her schooling, mostly to get away from memories that haunted her. Hojo had encouraged her unselfishly, despite the fact that she knew he didn't want her to go.

"So," he continued, and hesitated briefly. He suddenly reached into his pocket, and Kagome felt her mouth go dry.

He produced, from the depths of his jacket pocket, a black velvet box. She knew what was inside before he flipped it open.

It was such a beautiful ring, and she'd never seen a bigger diamond. He must have been saving up for a long time to buy it.

"Will you marry me, Higurashi?"

Her head spun, and she had to brace herself against the back of a chair. Hojo, alarmed at the sight of her pale face, reached forward to steady her, but she waved him away.

"I'm okay," she said weakly. "You just took me by surprise, that's all."

He looked worried. "I didn't mean to, it's just that I…I couldn't wait to ask you anymore," he finished sheepishly. Then, he placed the ring on the table.

"I'll give you time to think about it, Kagome," he said softly. "Just please, don't make me wait too long."

"Hojo," she started, but he silenced her with a chaste kiss.

"Just think about it thoroughly, Higurashi," he said with his usual upbeat voice. "I'll come see you again tomorrow. Right now I have a ton of work to finish up at home. I'll let myself out."

So he left, leaving her in the kitchen with a diamond ring and a vase of fresh flowers on the table before her.

Slowly, she lowered herself onto the chair and rested her face on her arms at eye level with the ring. She could see herself reflected in the gold band. The image was contorted, drawn out and thin. It reflected her emotions perfectly, she decided. And it was such a lovely color.

She should accept. Her mind screamed for it, for some stability and progress. Her heart even wavered, craving the love she knew without a doubt that he would provide. In the same instant, it snapped against the idea. It would never be satisfied with anyone but the one she had lost.

To accept Hojo's proposal would be a lie. Sure, she loved him; it just wasn't the sort of love he deserved from her.

Then again, he had been so good to her. He'd been after her doggedly, until at last she tired of rejecting him. He was the model boyfriend. All her friends loved him, and even Souta had admitted that he was a good guy. That had to be something, for the boy to betray his hero.

It was obvious that everyone thought her happiness was by this noble young man's side.

Suddenly, she was running outside across the cold stone paths to the old well house, her heart beating painfully in her ears. It was dark, and tears blurred her vision, but she had no trouble finding the old wooden structure.

She could have found it blindfolded from the other side of town, if she had to.

She threw the door open and almost took a tumble down the steps in her hurry. She flung herself on the ground beside it and broke down in a torrent of sobs such as she had not indulged in for years after she had left that world behind. At first, they were incoherent cries, but gradually the name rose from her and left in anguished calls from her lips.

"Inuyasha," she sobbed, curling on her side against the stone structure. "Inuyasha!"

She didn't want to marry Hojo! She didn't want what everyone wanted for her, even her own treacherous mind. There was no one else she wanted, if she couldn't have him. He was the only one she ever thought about, and it broke her heart; but worse still was the thought of having to promise herself to another man.

No. She just couldn't.

From the depths of the well and across time, a heart began to beat.


Okay, this turned out to be a little too much for a one-shot, so I'm thinking two-shot…if there is such a thing…

Tell me what you think!