Disclaimer: Apart from merchandise with his logo, I do not own Inu-Yasha.

Author's Note: After finding myself hooked on them, I've decided to start my own little ficlet corner (500 words or less in each installment) for my baby ideas that I don't have time to nurse into full blown plot lines. They will have no rhyme or reason or order- some may be AU, others not. I just felt like this would be fun to try.

Please enjoy!


It had started as a little game. Just a bit of fun to pass the time. The Inu-tachi stood in a circle just off the road, singing loudly with smiles on their faces- still chuckling over Sango and Miroku's previous exploits.

"You're not supposed to grope the person in the middle!" Kagome cried in mild exasperation, though she had to work to hide her grin as Sango angrily whirled around and slapped the 'holy' man across the cheek, winning the round. "You gave yourself away, Miroku-sama!"

"Sorry, Kagome-sama," he apologized with a cheerful beam, rubbing his injury. "But I couldn't help it. Now- why don't you have a turn?" She shot him a warning glare, but had to giggle when the monk made the 'scout's honor' sign she had taught him a few days ago. Inu-Yasha simply rolled his eyes at their antics- secretly monitoring the lech's every move as the girl from the future gave in and took her place in the center of the ring of friends, closing her eyes.

"Okay!" she chirped when she was ready. "Go!"

And so Shippo, Inu-Yasha, Miroku, and Sango once again began circling around her, singing the children's song that bared her name.

"Kagome, Kagome

Kago no naka no tori wa

Itsu itsu deyaru?"

Kagome grinned to herself and hummed along, trying to mentally follow her friends' progress so she could correctly guess who stood behind her when the time came. Just a few more lines to go. . . ! Her excitement grew with each second, though she tried her best to contain it.

"Yoake to ban ni

Tsuru to kame ga subetta

Ushiro no shoumen dare?"

"Ah!" she squealed as the melody ended, shooting up from her crouch so fast- - - "It's- - eep!" - - -That she tripped on a slippery stone underfoot; falling backwards-

Into the strong arms of the one behind her.

Blinking gingerly and breathing hard from the scare, the teen girl slowly lifted her head- - -

To find herself staring into a pair of concerned golden eyes. Her face colored instantly as she felt herself stiffen, her head gently pressed against the hanyou's chest as his arms cradled her back. "Inu. . . Yasha. . ." she whispered, still pink. "Inu-Yasha's. . . got my back. . ."

He smiled slightly, helping Kagome back to her feet as Shippo pouted, muttering darkly about cheating- and as the half demon lowered his lips to her ear.

"And I always will. . ."

It had started as a little game. Just a bit of fun to pass the time. It had ended as something much more.