Disclaimer: I still don't own Inuyasha.

A/N: This is an Alternate Universe One-shot. So sit back, and enjoy.

A Simple Circle

Up above, the sky was an opaque ebony, and the stars were fairly visible, but not as bright as the countryside. Beneath the crisscrosses of power lines and tree branches, the mysterious heavens seemed like a giant, dark looking glass of opportunity to the two teenagers sitting on the rooftop of house in their quiet neighborhood in, Urbandale, Iowa—which wasn't a very impacted city at all.

The twinkling starlight was a comfort as the raven-haired girl snuggled close to the boy next to him, his arm draped easily around her shoulders. She smiled softly as night clouds rolled pacifically over the sky. Slipping an arm around his waist, she turned silvery-blue eyes onto the boy. "Graduation sure was long."

The teenage boy's molten eyes flickered down to meet her gaze with a light smirk. "Yeah. I never thought Miroku would finish with his impromptu speech."

"According to Sango, you put him up to it, Inuyasha." The girl gave him a playful frown as he chuckled.

His dog ears twitched when the girl sat up enough and blew in one of the, ruffling the finite hairs within. "Hey, it was his idea, Kagome. I just told him not to get cold feet." Inuyasha pulled her a little closer, his sneakers scuffing the shingles of the overhang his feet were lightly resting on. He and Kagome were perched above his bedroom, and right across the way was Kagome's bedroom, as it had been for the past ten years.

Since they were seven, they had been inseparable. Her little brother Souta was only a year old then, but Inuyasha had actually grown used to having the little boy trot after him and idolize him as the years went on. It was strange that this fall he was going off to college, all the way in Colorado, and would be away from, not only Souta and the rest of the Higurashi family that he'd considered his own after all this time, but Kagome.

His Kagome.

They had gone to school together since the third grade, which was the same year they both met Miroku and Sango, although Miroku was a grade above them. (He had been a guest speaker, and alumna of their high school). And for all those years, the four of them would get into all sorts of idiotic trouble...though it was more than likely Inuyasha and Miroku's faults most of the time. Even so, while Miroku continued to show Sango his care in rather interesting ways—such as 'accidentally' having his hand pat her rump, as they entered middle school—Inuyasha had harbored a deep crush on Kagome since day one.

Day one had been her first day at the little parochial school—a Missouri-Synod Lutheran school, to be exact. She was sitting up in a tree, crying, because an older boy had splashed paint on her shirt and she had lost the charm bracelet her father had given her. Through tearful hiccups she had managed to say, "It was the last thing he gave me before he died..."

It was when Kagome had looked at him with those sad cobalt eyes that a weird feeling of absolute caring and protectiveness had taken over. Coincidentally, as fate had smiled upon the little hanyou this day, he had discovered a bracelet lying innocently on the sidewalk when he'd entered school-- late that day.

Ever since, either child was easily welcomed into the other's home. First, it had started out with their own club house, and spending the night and staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing video games, until finally, in their eighth grade year, Inuyasha mustered up his courage and kissed Kagome.

It hadn't been overly romantic and passionate like the romance novels his grandmother read, but it was enough for Kagome to understand his feelings. It hadn't been long after that he'd asked her to go out with him and she'd happily said yes.

Surprisingly, telling Kagome how much he loved her had actually proven to be easier for Inuyasha.

So, here they were now, four years later, sitting on his rooftop and very much in love.

Kagome smiled again at him. "You wanna go for a walk, dog boy?"

Inuyasha smirked at the nickname, replying with hers. "Sure, bitch." He chuckled once more when she gently nudged him with her elbow and said, "Be nice." He laid a cheek on her head for a moment. "Aren't I always nice? I'm nice."

"Sure," she laughed. "Sure--you are."

He snorted once. "Around the neighborhood?"

"Yeah." Kagome nodded into her boyfriend's chest. "Are we going to take the easy way down?"

Wrapping an arm around her, "One half-demon elevator going down." Inuyasha leapt off the roof with Kagome tucked safely in his embrace. Touching feather-light onto the ground, the couple began to proceed down the sidewalk.

Kagome smiled like a fool when Inuyasha put his arm over her shoulders again. She snaked her arms around his torso and enjoyed the warmth he gave off and the delightful scent of Old Spice as they promenaded along. The streetlamps glowed serenely in the coming-summer air.

To be honest, Kagome owed a lot to Inuyasha. Sure, people said she depended on him, but he did depend on her as well. When she first met him, Inuyasha wasn't exactly one to be overly affectionate, but when he was, it always gave her a fuzzy feeling inside. (She had always had the slight desire to start reciting lines from The Princess Bride whenever he embraced her longer than necessary. Sometimes she wondered if that was a bit of a theme for their relationship, though she didn't think of herself as flippant as Buttercup).

Now, Inuyasha was her personal puppy, but only when they were alone like this. Otherwise, he would be a macho man—wrestling with Miroku in the backyard, swearing enough to make any military man proud, and eat pretty much any food item in sight, especially instant ramen and a can of Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke.

Their footfalls fell evenly on the concrete sidewalk as they walked up hill.

"You're going to be gone for a while," Kagome said quietly.

"I know," replied Inuyasha in a tone just as hushed with one hand shoved into the pocket of his jeans, fiddling with something residing in the compartment of denim. "But hey," he stopped to move a hand to tilt her chin up, "I'll visit when I can."

She smiled lightly. "Yeah, I know. I'm happy you're going into the Air Force Academy—you're very lucky, but I'm still going to miss you a lot when you're gone." She would be staying here in Iowa to become an English teacher.

"I'll keep in touch. I'll try and call you whenever possible." Inuyasha half-smiled at her, a fang slipping over his bottom lip.

"You'd better. And, Inuyasha?"

"Yeah?" he asked as his hand retreated back into his pocket.

Kagome grasped hold of his silver forelocks of hair, pulling his face down to hers with a teasing grin on her lips. "Don't go chasing after any girls while there."

He blinked once before smirking at her. "What? I'm not Miroku."

Giggling, Kagome replied, "I know." Then she pulled his lips down to hers and kissed him softly.

She released his hair when she felt him lay both hands over her small waist and draw her closer to him. Her arms encircling his neck, Kagome melted as Inuyasha kissed her deeply, making her heart flutter in her chest as he kissed with a passion that burned hot and true, yet at the same time was respectful and tentative—a kiss that would never lie, one that came from the heart.

Inuyasha gently dipped Kagome once for a few seconds before bringing her upright again and pulling away; he smiled with satisfaction as his girlfriend stood breathless and almost ethereal-looking in his arms. She was his personal angel, and the hanyou treasured her, this dark haired guardian.

He cupped her cheek, feeling her smooth skin held in his calloused palm. His thumb moved down to brush her full, sakura petal-soft lips. He felt her petite mouth form into another infectious smile, and he smiled along.

Should I do it now...? Inuyasha asked himself. Her inviting eyes were so soulful and bright, like the moonlight that illuminated them in an ethereal reflection; it made his heart thump with rather painful angst at her loving look. He smiled and shook his head. No, not now... Taking her hand and lacing his fingers with hers, Inuyasha continued their walk together.

Inuyasha growled lightly as they paced by another house with its neat little yard and cobblestone walk. "Fucking bastard..."

"Don't be so jealous," admonished Kagome. "Kouga is my friend."

"I don't think he just wants to be friends, Kagome," her boyfriend sniffed.

She rolled her eyes. "Get past it, would you? I know Kouga had a crush on me before, but just drop it. He's got Ayame now, so you should be happy for him."

"Yeah, yeah—thrilled," said the hanyou flatly. "As long as he stays away from you, I don't care what he does. He should be happy I didn't kick his sorry ass sophomore year."

"Ugh...men." The girl shook her head again. "Come on, you," she said, dragging him away from Kouga's home.

"I still wanna kill him..." Inuyasha muttered as he obediently trotted after her.

They reminisced some more as they made their way to the local park, a place they had frequented quite often. Large blossoms and blooms of deep reds, pale pinks, and pure whites budded on the trees and in the flowers that ringed genially around the banks of the small creek.

"Remember that time you and Miroku filled your water guns with—what was it?—coke syrup?" Kagome asked after a bit as they crossed to the center of the bridge.

Chuckling, Inuyasha nodded. "Yeah. But it was worth it to watch Kouga fall and get covered with grass for the rest of the school picnic."

Shaking her head, Kagome chided, "What kind of influence will you be on our children, Inuyasha?"

"The kind that schools dread," he replied breezily, earning a smack on the arm from his girlfriend. "Besides, whoever said we're having kids?"

"I said so." The girl smiled as she released his hand and folded her arms on the high white railing; Kagome still remembered a time when she was below the highest guard bar. A large crabapple tree stood overlooking the left side of their bridge, and Kagome thought back to how Inuyasha would lift her into one of the branches and hop up beside her, making sure she didn't fall in.

"So, because you saying we're having pups, you think I automatically have to do what you say?" Inuyasha retorted with a smirk, coming up beside her and poking her side once.

Kagome laughed. "Yes. Females are the alphas in dog packs, so, Inuyasha, you have to listen to what I say."

"Yeah, whatever." He poked her again with his claw tip. "Besides, aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself, Kagome?"

Her gaze panned from the silvery surface of the stream to her boyfriend's face. "Oh, really?"

"Yeah. I haven't asked you to marry me yet." Inuyasha crossed his arms over his chest.

"I see..." she said quietly, her smile just as soft.

Inuyasha glanced around the empty park, and his earlier smirk turned into a smile. Now is the time... "Kagome," he began, getting her attention. Her hair danced darkly over her periwinkle shirt. "I turned eighteen this month."

She nodded. "May eighteenth—your golden birthday—I know." Kagome peered at him quizzically while she turned away from the bridge. "So?"

"So—" Inuyasha dug in his pocket, clasping something tightly in his fist, "we have some unfinished business before I can head off to the academy."

Tilting her head curiously to one side, Kagome leaned towards him as he backed away slightly. "What do you mean 'unfinished business'?"

Smirking at the befuddlement etched on his girlfriend's beatific face, Inuyasha began, "Kagome...we've known each other for years now. And you've helped me through a lot. If it weren't for you, I don't know how I would've turned out."

"Inuyasha, it was no—"

"Let me finish," the hanyou interjected gently. "Kagome, I don't know what I'd be like in the future, and I know as long as I have you by my side, I can face anything—unafraid. So, Kagome Higurashi," he knelt to one knee, carefully popping open the box in his hand, "will you marry me?"

Kagome stared, acutely dumbstruck for a moment, her eyes flickering from the simple, but elegant, ring to Inuyasha's anxious face—he tried to hide it behind a mask of indifference and neutrality, but the girl knew well enough that her boyfriend was about ready to go into a nervous rage if she didn't answer soon.

"Inuyasha.... Yes, I'll marry you."

Inuyasha had winced as soon as Kagome had said his name, but when she said "yes" he'd about died from sheer disbelief. "You...you mean that?" he stammered while she nodded her head with a bright smile on her face. "Yes? As in you want to marry me and endure me for the rest of your life?" She nodded again. "You really want to spend the years together with our pups and—"

"Inuyasha!" laughed Kagome. "I said yes! I'll keep saying it till you believe me—yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!"

He lingered there for a moment before leaping up and grabbing Kagome, twirling her around once. Letting her feet touch the ground, Inuyasha couldn't stop himself from beaming like a complete fool. "Now, for the ring...." Going to snatch the ring from the box still held tightly in his hand, Inuyasha saw, to his horror, the evidence of his rashness. The silver and white gold band he'd had made especially for Kagome had, no doubt, fallen into the stream.

Now, he really was a fool.

"What's wrong?" the girl asked at the look of distress on his face.

"Aw, shit...I lost the ring."

Kagome belted out laughing, giggling first until it was a full-out belly laugh. "You lost the ring...?" she managed between snickers.

"It's not funny..." he said dryly, clicking his tongue. His keen eyes scanned the surface of the stream. Thankfully for him, his hanyou-eyesight enabled him to see the engagement ring resting innocently in the shallow water. He crouched down and slipped his hand under the lowest guardrail and felt for the precious circle. With a noise of success, Inuyasha retrieved it and promptly wiped it off on his shirt. Taking Kagome's hand, he slid the ring over her left ring finger.

Smiling, Kagome reached around and hugged him. "I love you, Inuyasha."

"I love you, too." His arms snaked around as they had so often before, yet this time, their little embrace was so much more meaningful. They were starting a new chapter in their life, and this hug reminded he even more of the symbol his love now bore. I don't feel like I deserve you, he thought, having told Kagome this before. The girl had only rebuked him, and said that she was thankful to have him, and he should never feel that way—that she loved him just as he was.

Kagome's heart lifted even more as he gave her chaste kiss, telling her they'd get married after their first year of college, and she could go to school in Colorado—or whenever she wanted. "As long as it is soon, damn it!" he'd said, making her giggle at his passionate impatience.

As they walked back, hand-in-hand, Kagome was perfectly fine with the fact that Inuyasha wasn't exactly Prince Charming. Even so, she knew he'd always be there for her and that the ending to their little fairytale would be "happily ever after".


A/N: This is a slight tribute to my characters. I hope you all liked it. This is also to Erin, to make up for the fight we had. I'm getting back to "On a Leash".

Moonlight Shadow