Hate is Only Skin Deep by Simply Hopeless (FF)/ Assassin's Kiss (AFF)/ Devil_n_Blue (MMPH)/ Hopeless_Blue_Kiss (AO3). I am 1 writer w/ 4 usernames on 4 sites.

Warning: Language, Minor Character Death, Animagus (magical cat girl), Original Character, Het, Abuse, Angst, AU/AR, Pregnancy, WAFF Violence, and Work In Progress. These things may happen now or later as the story progresses. You have been warned.

Disclaimer: I do not own or make any profit from the anime/manga 'Inuyasha' and/or own any of the characters from it. This product is the sole property of Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Media. I am, however, the sole author of this fanfic and owner of the original characters that I created: Terry, Faith, Joy and Hope. So please do not steal them and/or my story. It's happened before. I also don't own the song 'Die Another Day'. That belongs to Madonna.

Author's Note: Hello guys, I'm here with a new story for you. But do you know what today is? It's my birthday today, no lies. I wanted to put up a story on my birthday to mark this special day for me and you can make it perfect by sending me reviews saying what you think of this new story so far. Think of it as a birthday present to me. Lol.

Important: I will be revamping/reediting a lot of my earlier stories and this is one of them. I want to iron out any confusion and/or plot holes that previous readers experienced the first time I published this. Also, I want to reacquaint myself with my stories that I haven't touched in a long time. Finally, I want to enhance the plotline that I had already developed. Since some and/or all of these chapters have been previously published, I will be updating this story, this year until my birthday, every Friday until the original story is finished and/or when I get to the point where I need to add new story material. I honestly do hope you guys enjoy this story and I look forward to any positive reviews you may have in this pursuit to better your reading experience with me. Thank you and enjoy.

Chapter One: The Beginning of the End

"Kikyou, how can you possibly be in love with such a jerk like Inuyasha?" Kagome grumbled out, clearly annoyed. She followed up those words by carefully removing one of her kindergarten students from harm's way by picking him up and holding him to her person. "Shippo, now what have I told you about sticking your hand in there?" she scolded lightly. Then she reassumed her seat facing the playground, out behind the school; the auburn-haired child was now settled comfortably on her lap, thumb squarely in his mouth.

"He's not a jerk," Kikyou swiftly defended. Her pale cheeks and the tips of her ears were soon aflame with her frustration as she began to defend her choice of boyfriend once more, to her stubborn best friend, for what seemed the thousandth time. But any bit of annoyed disappointment, she may have had had towards her friend, quickly dissolved in a soft chuckle as she looked at the identical looks of 'You have to be kidding me' silently mirrored on both Shippo and Kagome's faces.

"Who are you talking about? Because I'm talking about Inuyasha," Kagome said with an unladylike snort tacked at the end. She was about ready to put down Shippo now that she knew he was out of harm's way; but he held tightly to the side of her blouse, an indignant whine coming from between the space left between his thumb-stuffed-mouth. Kagome quickly thought better of the situation, realizing the possible tantrum that would be on the horizon if she let go of the five-year-old. So she allowed the little boy to cuddle closer, only adjusting him so that he now sat sidewise in her lap facing Kikyou.

His small hand still clamped around the fistful of his teacher's blouse. Chubby cheek pressed heavily against her abdomen, even as he looked intently at his teacher's friend over his thumb in his mouth.

"He's so attach to you Kagome. Do you think that is a good thing?" whispered Kikyou cautiously. She had leaned forward in her plastic blue chair. Her eyes flickered nervously to the child below, whose sea-glass green eyes were intent on capturing every one of her movements with wide-eyed curiosity, before she looked back up at her friend. She knew that the boy was an orphan and was worried that the boy might start wanting Kagome for his mother if they got too close.

Kagome, however, pointedly ignored her friend's question of concern as she fondly ruffled Shippo's toffee and crème colored fox tail. It was so soft and fluffy that it took everything in her not to scoop up the child each time he walked pass her in class in order to cuddle or play with him and his tail. But she inwardly dared anyone to resist him whenever he poked out his bottom lip and turned his big sea-glass green eyes up in a silent plea to be held.

"Earth to Kagome, do you hear me Kagome?" Kikyou questioned, a little annoyed. She snapped her well-manicured fingers in front of Kagome's face until the kindergarten teacher finally refocused her attention on her best friend. But even though Kikyou was annoyed, she couldn't help her features softening into a smile as she looked fondly at her befuddled friend. 'She'll make a good mother one day,' she thought knowingly.

"Hmm? Oh I don't mind actually." Kagome said this matter-of-factly after she finally deciphered the statement that she half-heard her friend make earlier. When she noticed that the little one was asleep she continued in a hushed voice. "I might end up adopting him."

It thrilled her to tell someone, out loud, the idea that she had been wrestling with quite a while now. She hadn't even told her 'grandchild obsessed' mother yet. But she and Shippo had grown closer than any normal teacher/student relationship.

She hadn't meant to. She tried to keep her professional indifference. But as she said her last goodbyes to her students and their parents at the end of each school day, she had seen him in the same disposition. Shippo always seemed to have a wistful look on his round, little face whenever his school friends ran off to greet their parents and she knew she wanted that for him.

He deserved to have someone other than a government-mandated guardian come and pick him up. Kagome wanted someone who would read him bedtime stories, allow him to climb into their bed when he had a nightmare, and reassure him when he was afraid of a thunderstorm. She wanted him to have someone who would leave him little notes of encouragement and love in homemade bentos and kiss any little injuries when he decided to be a little daredevil.

But then as she began to think this, she began to realize that it wasn't just any old, caring parent she wanted for this bubbly, little boy. She wanted it to be her who did all these things for him. She honestly couldn't imagine life without Shippo tagging along and being underfoot, which wouldn't last long when he eventually left primary school and consequently left her.

"But Kagome you're so young. They won't be likely to give you Shippo unless you're married or engage to be married. I honestly don't think so… But besides that, I don't think your boyfriend Kouga would want to adopt a child. It's not like going half on a dog." Kikyou insisted this firmly when she noticed her friend lost in probably glamorous ideas of her and Shippo as mother and son.

Kagome sighed heavily in defeat and leaned further back in her chair so that the front legs of her seat came up as she teetered in thought. Her arms instinctively wrapped securely around Shippo to prevent him from harm in case she decided to jerk back down to all fours or her chair toppled over. "I can already hear what Kouga will say now. 'If you're so willing to adopt, then why don't we have a child ourselves.' I honestly think he's already planned out how many children we are going to have. Somewhere in the region of six to seven," said Kagome looking up at the sky. "I told him that he must be the one having the children because there is no way I'm birthing a Little League worth of ki… What is it Kikyou?" Kagome demanded, looking with narrowed eyes of suspicion at her highly amused friend.

"Poor Kagome, you'll have a child for everyday of the week," Kikyou choked out between fits of giggles. She tried to smooth out her face and look sympathetically at her friend; but the way Kagome glowered at her made Kikyou realize she was failing miserably. So the dark-haired beauty just gave in to her weakness and collapsed into a fit of giggles despite, another half-hearted attempt to cover her own mouth and murmur a breathless apology.

"At least my boyfriend doesn't mind the thought of thinking about the future with me in it." Kagome bit this out bitterly as if she had tasted something quite sour before she slammed her chair back down to all fours. She then stuck up her nose pointedly, her temper flaring. "Frankly, I'm surprised Inuyasha ended up as a doctor."

"Well honestly, I was going to come here to talk to you about that." Kikyou announced seriously even as she quickly dabbed her eyes with the edge of her sleeve. She then gave her best friend's hand an apologetic squeeze before her already flushed face, darken even further at the news she had to tell.

It made Kagome bite the inside of her cheek because she knew her best friend looked even prettier when she blushed. "Spit it out. I can't have recess run all day." Kagome said this as she sat up straighter gaining a muffled protest from Shippo, who was already starting to rouse from his impromptu nap.

"Well I think Inuyasha might propose to me soon. I saw him fooling around my jewelry box the other day and he keeps looking at my hands as if he's trying to seize them up," Kikyou breathed out shakily. She couldn't bear to look at Kagome and see the frown that was sure to be imprinted on her face. So instead she looked at her hands sitting demurely in her lap and waited for the explosion that was sure to follow. But when it didn't come after a few minutes, Kikyou had to lift her head up in concern to see Kagome's mouth opening and closing like a fish on land. The poor teacher tried her best to form words before stopping and rethinking about it so Kikyou volunteered to speak up once more. "Kagome, sweetie, are you okay?"

"O… Our Inuyasha?" Kagome choked out, finding her voice after her best friend called her name in concern. At the silent nod from Kikyou, she continued, wetting her lips first. "Th… The same one who'd put worms down our backs when we were in first grade?"

Kikyou nodded silently.

"The same one wh… who couldn't get our name right to save his life, because he said we looked too much alike. But knew to put gum in my hair and try to feed me to his older brother's pet komodo dragon Ah-Un and... and…" Kagome began to frustratingly tick off Inuyasha's offenses on her fingers, getting further upset as she went, until finally Kikyou gently cut her off.

"That was a long time ago sweetie," Kikyou said soothingly. She reached for her friend's hand and held it until Kagome stopped trembling with her resentment at Inuyasha's past actions.

"Well then… well then why is he still so rude, obnoxious, short-tempered and don't forget possessive. I mean really, don't think I don't see how he growls at any male who gives you a second look or smile," Kagome spat out shakily, snatching her hand back. She refused to be calmed like some agitated animal. She had every goddamn right to be reluctant to give her best friend away to that male-chauvinist pig.

"And Kouga isn't possessive?" Kikyou offered civilly, remaining the rational cool-headed one. She didn't bother to remind Kagome that Inuyasha possibly proposing to them after dating for the good part of five years was mostly speculation on her part. She didn't even bother to recapture Kagome's hand again because she knew her hot-tempered friend would just snatch it back and accuse her of trying to treat her like a child throwing a tantrum. "You know you would be lying if you denied he isn't just as possessive, if not even more so, than Inuyasha."

"I never said..." Kagome spluttered out defensively, cheeks coloring. Then she made a point to childishly stick out her tongue at Kikyou as she realized the point Kikyou was trying to make.

"See it doesn't feel so good when you have to constantly defend the one you care about from someone else you care about," Kikyou scolded lightly. Then to soften her words she stood up slightly and carefully gave Kagome a hug. A sigh of relief falling from her lips when her friend only hesitated before pulling her closer in a one-armed hug.

"Okay I get it. So stop acting like your Buddha or something," Kagome grumbled annoyed. But she did look gratefully at her friend for the reality check when Kikyou finally pulled away with a small, amused smile.

With a frustrated sigh Kagome got up carefully so as not to disturb Shippo, who had somehow managed to go back to sleep despite the argument above his head. The child only turned his head towards her in response to the slight jarring. His warm breath tickled her neck as he settled his head back down and held onto her like a little Koala bear. This in turn prompted Kagome to kiss the crown of his head, smiling fondly down at him before she began to walk towards the classroom door. One-handedly she motioned silently for her students to come inside.

Her smile widened amid the groans of the small kindergartners as they regretfully trickled inside. "Come on I'll read you a story before you take your naps," offered Kagome. She was ready to close the door behind her, but paused when she saw that a girl had stayed on one of the swings.

"Kikyou I know it's not your job, but please watch the kids for me while I go handle something really quick, okay?" Kagome asked, her eyes solely focused on the student she had just received a week ago.

"Of course," said Kikyou. She nodded her head in acceptance then walked inside with the last stragglers. She knew that such a passionate Kindergarten teacher, like Kagome, would do everything in her power to resolve the situation outside.

WITH KAGOME

"Hey Rin, what story would you like me to tell?" Kagome asked gently even as she shifted Shippo's weight slightly so that her left arm wouldn't fall asleep. She knew the little girl was having trouble making friends, especially when most of the kids had already formed their own little cliques more than four months ago when the school year started.

"Rin doesn't know," mumbled Rin. She bowed her head low and kicked feebly off the ground so that the swing creaked back and forth twice before stopping.

"Come on Rin. I know you must have a favorite?" Kagome coaxed, giving Rin an encouraging smile.

"Does Ms. Kagome know the fairytale about the school girl who fell into the feudal era? Rin likes that one," Rin shyly admitted, finally looking up.

"I know that one very well because it's my favorite too. So let's both go inside and I'll tell you and the others the story before you guys take your nap," Kagome offered. Then she smiled encouragingly when Rin boldly took up her free hand before they walked inside.

TWO DAYS LATER, LATE AFTERNOON

"It would be nice if you two stopped glaring at each other long enough to eat. Or at least stop glaring long enough to answer me," Sango stated baldly. She waved her fry in frustration in front of Kagome's face until the woman had reluctantly focused her attention back on her other best friend.

"Then tell the big idiot to stop staring at me," Kagome snapped. Then she rewarded herself with the fry that had been waved in her face. A smug look crossing her features as she sat back in her seat in the booth they shared in the chic little diner.

"Honestly…" Sango rolled her eyes in exasperation before lightly smacking Kagome's hand when she tried to reach for another ketchup soaked fry off her plate. "And Miroku if you don't get your hand from my ass, right now, I'll break it in four different places." Sango hissed this out as she glared at her lecherous boyfriend.

"But Sango we are girlfriend and boyfriend," Miroku reasoned, smiling innocently. Although when he realized his winning smile wasn't working he then slowly raised his hands up onto the table so that she could see them.

"That doesn't give you the right to grope me in public," Sango whispered dangerously low. Her cheeks were slightly flushed as the passing waitress paused at that very moment to freshen up her diet Coke.

"Well then let's go," Miroku insisted. He stood up with some difficulty in the middle of the booth.

"Why?" Sango asked suspiciously, even as she carelessly smacked at Kagome's sneaky fingers roaming once more on her plate.

"So I can grope you in a private place. How about we go to the park?" Miroku offered with yet another patented winning smile.

"Idiot," Inuyasha muttered under his breath. Only to receive a perplexed look from his best friend Miroku seconds before Sango let him have it.

"Birds of a feather flock together." Kagome quipped looking from the unconscious Miroku, whose body had sagged against the booth and a little under the table, to the bane of her existence that sat directly across from her. Sure, Inuyasha sitting across from her afforded the greatest distance between the feuding pair; but it almost ruined her appetite having to glance up and see that silver-haired fur ball each time she wanted to address one of her friends.

"Feh," Inuyasha said indifferently. Half of the time he realized arguing with Kagome was a losing battle in and of itself, besides expending too much energy each time he got riled up. But that wench did have this certain knack of getting under his skin that made him want to grit fanged canines before spitting out insults as good as she gave back.

"That's not even a word and what's with your obsession with ramen." Kagome snapped back, hating when he used that annoying response instead of giving her a real retort.

"Like I care what your opinion is wench. People in comas have better things to say than you do." Inuyasha snorted, before he took a savage bite of his miso pork ramen.

Kagome's eyebrow twitched as she stood up and reached over to grab Inuyasha's shirt. "Stop calling me wench, doctor. Or one of your colleagues will have to arrange your face back after I finish messing it up," growled Kagome. A promised was laced in her words that bespoke of her rebellious days.

"And here I thought that today would be the day that you two would hold hands and wave the banner of friendship," Kikyou sighed out, off-handedly. Then she offered the surprise Inuyasha and Kagome a sweet smile for their trouble at her unusual words, before making a request of Kagome. "Kagome you should really remove your hand from inside of Miroku's sweet and sour soup."

Kagome looked down at her hand, which had been used to balance her on the table, and flushed in embarrassment. She then gruffly pushed Inuyasha one-handedly away from her in disgust. Sat down timidly and began the task of properly cleaning her hand. "Sorry Miroku," Kagome apologized softly. Shame washed her voice and darkened her face a light pink at ruining his lunch. She smiled sheepishly at him when he waved her apologies away before looking scathingly at the pitying Inuyasha.

"It's okay Kagome. I'll just order another one," Miroku said. He had finally regained consciousness and was slowly pulling himself up from being halfway under the booth after Sango's powerful blow.

"I'll pay. I... It's the least I can do," Kagome quickly offered. She wouldn't hear of him paying for her mistake as she waved away his protests and motioned for their server's help.

"If you actually acted like a mature adult instead of the immature wench you are, then none of this would have happened in the first place," Inuyasha said with a sigh of disappointment. He carefully smoothed the shirt wrinkles that were left behind when Kagome had tried to manhandle him. His long, capable fingers followed up by making quick work of straightening his tie. When he completed his grooming process and chastisement, he then proceeded to offer a smug smile to a sullen Kagome.

"I wouldn't even like Inuyasha even when hell opens up a skating rink because it finally froze over." Kagome muttered this more to herself than anyone else under her breath. Then she forced herself to give a sweetened smile as she glanced up at the helpful waitress that had just walked up to her. Calmly, she began to explain that they would need another sweet and sour soup with dumplings; the added dumplings were an apology gift for everyone but Inuyasha for her earlier rudeness.

Kagome smile dropped as soon as the waitress left the group. A look of growing irritation suddenly marring her brow as she took a napkin from the table and was about to finish cleaning her hand before someone took it from her.

"I'll clean it for you." Kouga offered suavely, announcing his arrival to the ragtag group. He smiled when his longtime girlfriend stood up, flustered, to make room for him. He slid into the booth and was shifting slightly so that he could pull Kagome closer so that she sat sideways in his lap. He then sat her napkin aside and began to pointedly lick off the hot and sour soup's broth that had dirtied her fingers.

Kagome immediately sucked in her breath in surprise before proceeding to press herself closer to him as she closed her eyes in embarrassment. "Kouga please… w… we should… you should stop. This is a family restaurant," Kagome softly pleaded. Her cheeks were flushed with color when she saw her boyfriend purposely draw another finger into his warm mouth to lick and suck the broth off the newest digit.

"I think the soup is off her hands and besides I'm trying to eat, not puke here!" Inuyasha snarled out at Kouga's over the highly unsanitary display of affection.

"Like you'd stop eating even when the moon and stars fell out of the sky to leave craters on your lawn," Kagome snapped, irritated. But she did silently acknowledge that this was inappropriate to do at the dinner table and gently pulled her hand away from Kouga's all too eager lips. Kouga, not missing a beat, switched to her neck to nibble his affections on the flushed column.

"Maybe these two would like to be left alone," Kikyou tactfully offered. She was already scooting from her end of the booth, trying to pull her irate boyfriend along. But he wouldn't budge an inch.

"How is it that they can show displays of affection and Kagome doesn't hurt Kouga; but when I do it, then I'm automatically called a lecher and slapped?" Miroku demanded to know, a frown and the beginning of a hand-printed bruise marring his otherwise handsome features.

"Cause you do it too much and at the wrong possible times, you masochist. Not that what Kouga is doing is at the right time, but whatever floats Kagome's boat, ne?" Sango said dismissively. She was sadly wishing they weren't sitting in the middle of the booth so that they would be out of harm's way of the fireworks that were sure to fly.

Just then a thin sliver of pork hit Kouga in the face so that Kouga stopped nuzzling and kissing on his girlfriend's neck in order to glare at Inuyasha. "Why'd you do that mutt face?" Kouga growled out, showing his sharp canines even as he peeled off the offensive meat item.

"Who said I did it?" Inuyasha asked innocently. He shrugged his shoulders as if he didn't realize that he was the only one with a pork dish, even if it was ramen.

"Do you really want me to bash your face in with your girl watching? " Kouga questioned between ground teeth, his hackles thoroughly raised.

"Feh, like you can," Inuyasha snorted, a challenge in his eyes. He had been itching to fight since Kagome and he had gotten into it earlier, but he was raised better than to lay a hand on a girl. No matter if that girl was an infuriating wench.

Kagome and Kikyou both realized they needed to do quick damage control or risk losing yet another restaurant they liked. So they turned to face their respective boyfriends and began to argue with them in hushed tones. Words such as 'be a bigger man', and 'you are causing a scene here' could be heard clearly by the human buffers, Sango and Miroku, who could only bide their time until someone moved.

"Okay, I'm only doing this for you," Kouga finally relented. He was already dragging his eyes away from the exasperating Inuyasha to look lovingly at Kagome.

Kagome, in turn, blushed once more in embarrassment at the fact that Kouga loved her so much each time he looked at her like that. She felt suddenly content and willing to call things a draw and continue her meal in peace. But then she found herself frowning suddenly at Inuyasha's next words.

"Well then you're fighting for a worthless cause," Inuyasha quipped. He barely felt Kikyou smacking his shoulder in reproach. Even if Kikyou was weak when it came to fighting, he wouldn't have felt it because he was smug in his petty victory as Kouga practically knocked Kagome off his lap in his eagerness to launch himself over the table and wring the good doctor's neck.

"Another normal dinner," Sango sighed out under her breath. She had successfully managed to sink under the booth by this point without any of their friends noticing; so she barely saw Kagome practically gripping the end of the booth out of self-preservation to stop herself from landing face first onto the unforgiving floor. No, she was carefully climbing from under it with her boyfriend close behind to avoid the chaos above them.

"Yes when it concerns Inuyasha and Kagome or even Inuyasha and Kouga there is sure to be a good show with your meal," Miroku replied back sagely. He ogled Sango's ass as she crawled in front of him. Before he even realized it he had paused in his escape to fondle her ample derriere, only to feel a familiar slap against his cheek. "But what else is new," he murmured with a fond smile at his glowering girlfriend as they finally stood up together on the other side.

A LITTLE LATER

"It's okay Inuyasha your job is just as important." Kikyou quickly said this before her boyfriend could let out another apology as he glared at his beeper. An understanding smile plastered onto her lips when he looked at her, once more apologetic.

"But this is the third time I've missed your concert. I'll just find somebody to take my place and..." Inuyasha insisted but Kikyou shook her head firmly 'no'.

She didn't deny inwardly that she was sad her boyfriend would miss one of her concerts, but she had known what she was getting into when she decided to date such a wonderful doctor like Inuyasha. "Go ahead," Kikyou ordered gently, "Kagome can take me to work later on since she's coming to see me perform."

Inuyasha frowned as he heard Kagome's name mentioned, but nodded his head reluctantly in agreement. He knew well enough that they would not let him off of work. "Okay I'll make it up to you tomorrow. I promise. I'll take you to your favorite fancy restaurant and buy white lilies for you. Plus, I have something important I want to ask you." Inuyasha said, suddenly finding a reason to smile.

"What do you have to ask me Inuyasha?" Kikyou said curiously. She turned those quiet, thoughtful brown eyes on him.

The same eyes that made his heart skip a beat every time they focused on him. 'How did I end up with her?' he thought for the hundredth time. He knew he had to be the luckiest man on earth.

"Come on tell me," Kikyou insisted. She plucked playfully at his shirt collar as she pouted up at him.

"Tomorrow, I promise," Inuyasha said hurriedly. He tried his best not to look into her eyes because he knew he'd cave if he did. So he blindly gave her lips a quick peck in farewell before he took long strides to his car.

"Of course tomorrow," Kikyou replied back. Although she knew he couldn't hear her as she watched her boyfriend fumble and curse to fit his key into the car's door.

"I think I'm about to be sick," Kagome offered into the quiet, cold night's air.

Her wry statement and the face Kagome made promptly afterwards made Kikyou laugh. Only her best friend could tickle her funny bone even when she wasn't trying. "Sometimes I think you're my little sister and I'm your older sister," Kikyou said, chuckling. She gave her older friend a small, fond smile that was a step up from her usual polite ones reserved for people outside her group of close-knit friends.

"I don't even want to hear the reason why," Kagome mumbled. She pretended to frown but the corner of her lips refused to turn downward even as her brow crinkled together.

"How long have you been standing there?" Kikyou asked, tactfully changing the subject.

"Too long," Kagome grimaced.

"Like I said two days ago Kagome, he isn't that bad," Kikyou insisted.

"Poor, naïve Kikyou," said Kagome letting out an exaggerated sigh.

"Why do you say that?" said Kikyou raising an elegant brow.

"It's because you actually believe the garbage that you're saying." Kagome readily replied, throwing a companionable arm around her best friend's shoulder.

Kikyou gave an uncharacteristic snort before they fell into relaxing silence. All that was heard was the soft clicking of their high heeled shoes against the hard pavement as they made their way to Kagome's car.

The kindergarten teacher expertly twirled her car keys around her index finger. Her big brown eyes occasionally looked up at the sky sprinkled with stars as if seeking counsel before coming to a final decision. "I know what his surprise is," Kagome said, finally breaking the silence.

"What is it?" Kikyou asked curiously over the arm still draped around her bony shoulders.

"I'm surprise he even did it. I never thought..." Kagome began then stopped with a thoughtful frown. She retracted her arm from around Kikyou in order to cross her arms across her own chest; a thoughtful look was turned to Kikyou, who had stopped in response to her friend's own action. "Are you sure you're in love with him? I mean because if you want, I can fix you on a blind date as soon as tomorrow and..." Kagome began to ramble off, realizing she shouldn't have said anything.

"And tell me," Kikyou insisted. She quickly grabbed Kagome's wrist in both her small hands to prevent her friend from walking off like it looked like she was ready to do.

"I think he must have had Sango with him to pick it out because he has no taste when it comes to jewelry," Kagome said off-handedly. She bit the inside of her cheek from making a snarky comment when Kikyou's reserved features lit up in eagerness to hear more about her boyfriend.

"So he bought me a necklace or a tennis bracelet? My birthday's has already past and it's too soon to be thinking about Valentines presents, right? What did he buy me?" Kikyou babbled out excitedly, her grip tightening slightly on her friend's wrist as she bounced slightly in her eagerness.

"You'd think it was Christmas the way you are acting," Kagome stated dryly. She looked down her nose at Kikyou as if she was above that kind of childish stuff. But then she couldn't help smiling grudgingly as she deadpanned, "He got you an engagement ring."

"Oh, my Kami! Are you serious? No… Wait… You shouldn't have told me," Kikyou groaned out in horror. Everything seemed to click together. Inuyasha's nervousness all this week and Kagome's hatred of Inuyasha rising to an all time high. 'If his beeper didn't go off, would he have proposed to me tonight?' she thought feeling both frightened and giddy at the same time. Butterflies knocked around in her stomach as she released Kagome's wrist to spin around and shout to the heavens, "Oh my Kami!" Then she collapsed against Kagome, hugging the irritated school teacher in order to stop herself from trying to call Inuyasha up now and tell him 'yes'.

"Didn't you say earlier that you already thought Inuyasha was going to propose to you? That he was probably looking at your things trying to find your ring size?" Kagome grumbled, wrinkling her nose in distaste at her best friend's overly excited response. If someone was telling her that Inuyasha was going to propose to her, she would be preparing to flee the country, not shout with unbridled glee.

"I was guessing and then when it didn't happen the day before yesterday I thought maybe I was misreading things. B… But this is great!" Kikyou practically squealed before doing a perfect pirouette. She would have done a flying leap if Kagome was willing to catch her but Kagome, being the rational one in this situation, put a stop to Kikyou's parking lot performance.

"Who is acting like the little sister now?" Kagome said somewhat smugly as Kikyou blushed slightly in embarrassment. She then frowned cautiously when Kikyou quickly latched on her arm and tried shaking it as she realized something.

"I just realized that since I don't have parents and you're my best friend, practically my own sister, Inuyasha will have to ask you for permission to marry me," she declared with wide-eyed finality.

"Do you really think that's a good idea? I mean do you really think I will accept that pompous ass taking your hand in marriage?" Kagome asked in disbelief as she raised a questioning brow at Kikyou's sanity.

Kikyou's face sobered up quite quickly but her eyes were still bright with the thought of what Inuyasha would ask her tomorrow. "I know that you hate him and the both of you would probably be in intensive care if anyone leaves you two alone for too long. But Kagome I love him and I care about you and I wish that one day one of the two people I care about must would make amends and really try to be friends." Kikyou said this almost wistfully, looking up at the stars and away from Kagome's critical gaze.

"All right I do it as long as I am your maid of honor and he can make his request from me while remaining civil throughout. No backhanded compliments or immediate reversions to his old ways as soon as he wrings out my acceptance," Kagome said warningly. She did not like how this night had turned out for her, but she couldn't deny her best friend her happiness.

"Of course and thank you Kagome," Kikyou said softly. She would have hugged her friend again if she hadn't given off the unpleasant hostility of a prickly cactus. So instead she offered her a grateful smile before she quickly walked to the other side of the car to get in. Kagome unlocked the car doors before slipping inside and turned on the car

"I always thought you would be a nurse not a ballerina." Kagome announced off-handedly as she waited for the car door on Kikyou's side to shut.

"Why do you say that?" Kikyou asked perplexed even as she turned her head to make sure her seatbelt buckle went in on the first try.

"Hmm, maybe it's because you always wanted to play doctor with us when we were little. Though Miroku wanted a little more than for you to wrap him up in bandages. I, honestly, can't believe he was a lecher at the age of seven," Kagome exclaimed in begrudging amazement. Then looked behind her as she began to back out the parking lot of the diner they had had their meal.

"At first yes, that was what I wanted to do. But when I dance it likes... I don't really know how to describe it except I feel free. Like even if I don't have wings I can fly in some way," Kikyou tried her best to explain. Her eyes closed as she tried to conjure the feeling of dancing that left her heart throbbing in excitement and her limbs eager to form the familiar positions of her profession.

"You're so beautiful out there when you dance. I have two left feet compared to you," Kagome confessed.

The school teacher thoughtfully made her way through the silent streets. She didn't begrudge her friend her dream in any way, shape or form. If that was what gave her friend joy then she would support Kikyou. Just as Kikyou supported her decision to become a kindergarten teacher instead of some high paying position that would have filled her pockets but left a hole in her heart.

"But you have a way with children that I don't," Kikyou insisted giving Kagome a reassuring smile. "I thought the other day when you were holding Shippo that you would one day make the perfect mother. You also have a way of making someone want to smile with barely any effort and I admire that."

"Some twins we seem to be, huh? We are as different as night and day," said Kagome. She smiled ruthlessly at her words wondering, not for the first time, if those visible and invisible differences were the reason she had been treated so differently than Kikyou by Inuyasha and others at large.

She was more than a head taller than Kikyou, even without her heels on. Her sun-kissed flesh would never bare the creamy paleness that made Kikyou such a dark-haired beauty. She was brash and given to speaking before thinking, instead of handling things with an outward calmness and measured words. Even in high school she was the outdoorsy type, loving to play volleyball, softball, hiking and soccer while Kikyou took to more ladylike activities like archery, tea ceremonies and flower arranging. 'How are we even friends? We're so different?' She thought, almost mournfully, hands tightening on her steering wheel.

"I wish you were my sister." Kikyou murmured, her words served as a cool balm to her best friend's troubling thoughts as she rested her head against Kagome's shoulder. "Besides Inuyasha, you seem to see that just because I look like I hold back it doesn't mean that I don't want to talk... Want to feel more than what I look capable of handling."

"I wish you were mine too." Kagome confessed, remembering that it was the ease they felt with each other that made them steadfast friends. But despite the warm, nostalgic feeling that seemed to cloak the car as Kikyou continued to lay her head on her shoulder, Kagome determined it was time to lighten her once darkened mood by turning on the radio. She frowned as she flipped through the channels, unsatisfied with the snippets she received each time she paused on a particular station before Kikyou straightened up and took over.

"You're just as bad as Inuyasha." Kikyou chuckled softly, trying her best to hide smiling at Kagome's immediate wry face. But then Kikyou's attention was soon taken up by the radio as she finally came to one of their favorite songs. The corners of her lips quirked up in triumphant satisfaction as her dark head leaned back against her own headrest. Her eyes falling closed as she began to sing along to Madonna's song 'Die Another Day.'

'I'm gonna break the cycle/

I'm gonna shake up the system/

I'm gonna destroy my ego/

I'm gonna close my body now/'

Kagome joined in as the song began to say 'uh, uh' before continuing on with the rest of the lyrics. She smiled at Kikyou's surprise look at how sweet her voice was before they both poured themselves into the song. Their voices tried to sync up with both one another and Madonna's voice on the radio:

'I think I'll find another way/

There's so much more to know/

I guess I'll die another day/

It's not my time to go/

For every sin, I'll have to pay/

I've come to work, I've come to play/

I think I'll find another way/

It's not my time to go/

I'm gonna avoid the cliché/

I'm gonna suspend my senses/

I'm gonna delay my pleasure/

I'm gonna close my body now/

I guess, die another day/

I guess I'll die another day/

I guess, die another day/

I guess I'll die another day/

I think I'll find another way/

There's so much more to know/

I guess I'll die another day/

It's not my time to go.'

Kagome tapped her fingers against the steering wheel to the beat of the music as she waited for the red light, which was in front of her, to change from red to green.

"We are going to be late." Kikyou announced nervously as the song continued to repeat the same words over and over again. She nibbled nervously on her bottom lip as she looked once more down at her watch wrapped around her delicate wrist.

Kagome came to a sudden decision as she looked both ways across the empty intersection and saw that there was no one there. Not bothering to alert her friend to her decision, Kagome gently pressed her foot against the gas pedal even as she lifted up the pressure on her brake pedal. She was more than sure that if she took this rash decision slowly enough than if a car did come on the right side of the street than she could stomp down on her brake and avoid a collision. But as she reached the middle of the intersection and Kikyou let out a nervous laugh at her friend's daring, they both suddenly heard the screech of tires. Kikyou and she looked up simultaneously to see the blinding light of headlights and a baboon mask covering the driver's face before they felt the unavoidable impact of the car hitting the passenger's side.

It was instantaneous. The impact of the car meeting the passenger's door rocked the car so hard that it pin wheeled the vehicle to the left. Beforehand, Kagome instinctively released the steering wheel to brace for impact. She knew at any moment that her bag would deploy from her steering wheel and that she had little to no time to escape the collision with how fast the other driver was going.

Her frightened eyes looked over to Kikyou to see if she was all right and that was when she caught a glimpse of the driver letting his mask fall down so that she stared for a few seconds at his cruel, laughing eyes. But just as her heart rate began to speed up, Kagome's head suddenly jerked to the left like a rag doll's as soon as metal hit metal. Her head made a loud thud against the door's window, flooding her system with intense pain before everything went dark. And that was when the last bit of the song ended:

'I guess, die another day/

I guess I'll die another day/

I guess, die another day/

I guess I'll die another day/

Another day.'

Next Chapter Summary: 'Sorry Won't Bring her Back,' is the next chapter if you review me. Kagome can barely remember what happened to her in the car. But she can feel the guilt that curled around her so that she wishes that she was the one that died instead of Kikyou. Yet when Inuyasha feels the same way, can she possibly bear having him for her doctor? Well review and see.