Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha and I will not attempt to steal him at anytime...don't sue me, I need to go to college still and there's never enough money anyway... trust me...it wouldn't be worth it!

Author's Notes: Ok...this story comes from my being a science buff...I like science, particularly biological science. So i had a revelation the other day...Hanyou...hanyou...hmmm...and I dedcided to write about it becuase that's what I do besides go to school, whine about my ex-boyfriend, and complain about not having any good clothes to wear...(my life sucks...) anyway, this is JUST the prologue to the story that I WANT to tell...I made time pass and explanation happen and such...did what I needed to do as far as background goes...next chapters the real story begins...REVIEW (please!) I love knowing someone read it and liked it and all (whimpers pleadingly...)

Prologue: Where Are We Now?

Kagome awoke with the rising of the sun. It was still far too early for her to attempt getting up, but nevertheless she was awake. The air was chilly around her face and moist with dew, she couldn't understand why she wasn't asleep still or wasn't the least bit sleepy. They'd traveled long and hard the day before, and they'd be traveling early this day as well, though she knew it'd be long before noon when they finally reached Kaede's village. Inuyasha wasn't usually one to delay, even when the journey they were undertaking wasn't one he liked.

If only they could've stayed with Miroku and Sango. Kagome could hardly restrain the giggles that wanted to come rushing out of her at the thought of those two. The lecherous monk and the demon slayer, what a couple! Years ago, Kagome knew, Miroku had proposed to Sango, and not only had the tough demon slayer accepted it, she'd also agreed to bear as many children as Miroku wanted. Certainly the poor thing would be bust forever at that rate! But many children, Kagome mused thoughtfully, would make Sango a new family...replacing those she'd had so terribly ripped from her.

The thought of the demon slayer's past unhappiness sobered Kagome, banishing the thought of resumed sleep completely. Although the group had defeated their arch-nemesis Naraku, freeing his minions and ending his legacy of treachery, more than a month ago, Sango had been unable to recover her little brother Kahaku. After the final confrontation that'd rid them of Naraku they'd all been wounded and hadn't had the time, let alone the strength, to search for him. Kagura, indignant, proud and endlessly rebellious as she always was, had insisted that Naraku's castle and land were now hers—not his killers'. The group, all too tired with the exception of Inuyasha who was, as always, too proud to back out of a fight, hadn't fought her. Kaede's village was security enough for them generally.

Kohaku, if he was alive, was now free from Naraku's influence, yet still alone without his sister to care for him. That troubled Sango a great deal as the group had made its way back toward the village. It seemed that searching for Kohaku would be the next thing on the group's agenda, until, that is, Miroku, elated with the loss of his Wind Tunnel, had decided to make his move on Sango. The couple had decided to marry and settle in the demon slayer's village, to rebuild it. If Kohaku were alive, Sango and Miroku reasoned, he would likely do as Sango had in the past, return to his old home, and if he did they'd be waiting for him there.

Looking back on all the years Kagome couldn't help but sigh, still lying awake in the gray gloom of the last minutes before the sun truly rose. It'd been five years since she'd fallen down the Bone Eater's Well and discovered her future in the Feudal Era, far, far from her home in the 21st-century. The Jewel shards had been collected, and the Jewel therefore restored, and now Naraku was finally gone...in a way Kagome wished that he were still alive, still a constant threat looming on the horizon.

What reason was there for her to stay in the Feudal Era with Sango, Shippo, Kilala, Miroku and Inuyasha if Naraku and the Shikon Jewel weren't threats anymore? She'd have to go home...for good...

Next to her, still fast asleep inside the warmth of the sleeping bag, Shippo squeaked, happily dreaming. Kagome knew that the little kitsune thought of her as his mother. What would he do when she was gone? Who would care for him? Surely Inuyasha wouldn't be able to handle such a responsibility.

Thinking of the hanyou, Kagome gently, without waking the kitsune if she could avoid it, tried to sit up and crane her neck to view where Inuyasha had been sitting the night before. Across the charred ashes of the remains of the last night's fire, Kagome saw that the hanyou's spot, leaning against a large maple's trunk, was empty. Sighing, she lifted her gaze higher, searching. Sure enough, there, amidst the flashes of color in the fall leaves, she saw the half-demon, camouflaged by his bright red haori.

And he was staring right at her, amber eyes unwavering, watchful as always. The expression on his face seemed to be nervousness, or worry. At any rate he looked pointedly away from her a small moment after their gazes met. Why was he always like that?! When they'd both been five years younger she could've passed it off on immaturity. Now, when they were both considerably older...

Kagome lied back down, sighing. Beside her Shippo shifted, his little fox toes flicking like a dog's with his dream. He started to mutter incoherently about chasing a rabbit. Very much like a puppy, she thought, amused.

There was a sound of billowing robes coming from the maple tree—Inuyasha moving. Was it time for him to get her and kit moving again? Off to Kaede's village, the sooner the better for you Kagome, you'll be through the well and into your own century again and we'll finally have you out of our hair. She frowned at her own thoughts; Inuyasha isn't like that...I'm wanted here...

Why doesn't he ask you to stay? Or to come and visit then?

"...Kagome..." the hanyou's voice but through her internal debate and Kagome sighed, irritated.

"Inuyasha, Shippo's still sleeping...it's too cold and dark to get up still...leave us—"

"Shh!" he hissed, suddenly appearing crouched at her side, his hair flowing, amber eyes wide and annoyed, "You'll wake him!"

"That's what you were going to do, weren't you?" she asked, confused.

Inuyasha frowned, an ear flicked, "No, baka!"


"I just wanted to..." he shifted on all fours nervously, "...talk to you..."

Speak of the devil.

"About what?" she whispered, trying to shift so she could see him better and yet not leave the warmth of the sleeping bag or wake the kit at her side.

"Not here..." well, she thought, intrigued, that was interesting...

Cautiously, praying that Shippo's dreams of hunting rabbits would be more attractive to him than what she and Inuyasha were up to, Kagome pulled herself out of the sleeping bag and into the frigid morning air. Immediately she started shivering, her breath whistling between her lips roughly.

"It's cold out here!" she crossed her arms and stamped her legs, softly so as not to wake Shippo, though the motion did nothing to relieve her from the cold.

Inuyasha rose to his feet and regarded her shivering with amusement. "Humans..." he shook his head, grinning.

"What about us?" she whispered and started following him as he led the way toward the maple tree.

"You're so weak."

"Don't make me..."

He whirled on her; ears turned back, eyes bright with some emotion she couldn't read. "Don't sit me, Kagome..." he warned.

Kagome bit her lip, unsure as to why he was suddenly so hostile, and unsure as to why she'd left the sleeping bag's warmth to be with him...well actually, I do know why I did that, I love him.

Wordlessly now, with some unseen but most certainly felt tension between them, the couple moved passed the maple tree and into the brush beyond their campsite. As they walked anxiety built up in Kagome like water behind a dam. What was he going to say to her? What was it about? Why so far from Shippo? Could it be...no, she'd never dare to dream that he would tell her how he felt, ask her to keep coming to visit him...

Inuyasha, a short distance ahead of her, stopped momentarily and scuffed at the ground with one foot. She noticed that he wasn't looking at her, and she suspected that it was deliberate...what was going on? After a moment she heard him sigh and make a low grunting sound, probably of frustration. The white ears that topped his handsome head flickered and turned backward, aiming themselves at her, or perhaps displaying a foul mood. Finally he turned round to face her, his eyes downcast, his lips held tight.

Kagome waited for him to speak, tense and uncertain. What would he do? Scream for her to leave and never return? Ask her to help him find Kikyo? Involuntarily her brow furrowed and she frowned at such thoughts, angry. Inuyasha, watching her as always from the corner of one eye, caught the expression and abruptly his head jerked up, ears flat against his skull.

"What's wrong?" it was less of a question and more of a demand.

Kagome sighed. "I...I'm wondering why you bothered to call me out of my warm sleeping bag if you're just going to yell at me!" as the words flew from her mouth she found that she felt more and more angry about it, confusion being an emotion that easily leads to other, more volatile feelings. She hadn't meant the words to be as angry as they'd been, especially when she saw how the hanyou's face clouded and suddenly saddened.

"Kagome..." he scowled and turned his eyes away, frustrated again. Why was there such strife between the two of them? He didn't want it to be like that...he wanted...happiness...family. Kagome was his family, and she was heading to Kaede's village and to the well there to go home. Then she'll never come back to us. How can I ask her to visit? It's so dangerous here...we're not reason enough for her to leave the safety of her home...right?

"I'm going to go back to sleep." she muttered, tired of his games. He'd been particularly odd with her since Miroku and Sango's wedding. It'd been, well, it was supposed to have been a great time for their group, a time of triumph. They'd defeated Naraku, collected the Shards, they'd succeeded with almost everything they'd set out to do. Better still two of their number were finally going to come to terms with their emotions and join as one family together, husband and wife, man and woman, mother and father. Yet for the girl from the future and the half-demon from the past such a thing as happiness seemed so far away.

"Kagome—wait." He reached out, clawed hand fast as lightening, and caught her wrist, gently and yet so tight that Kagome understood in a second that her presence was important to him. If she left he would be hurt. She'd never get another chance if she left now.

"Inuyasha..." she sighed and, shivering anew from the cold, turned to face him. To her embarrassment her eyes seemed to be burning, she was fighting tears, though she wasn't even sure why she felt so terrible. Inuyasha hadn't really been cruel to her, yet she couldn't stop herself from feeling so wretched, from turning away from him. Am I trying to push him away? Why? I don't want to leave him...No, she didn't want to leave him, but she was afraid that he wouldn't care about her if she did. That was why...

Lost in her thoughts she hadn't noticed for several moments that Inuyasha had reached out and put one hand to her neck, the other was still on her wrist, the strong grip struggling to pull her closer to him. Kagome looked up at him quickly, she was surprised to see that his amber eyes had grown concerned, or at least she thought that was what she saw there. Staring at him for a moment longer and she wasn't so sure...was that need in his eyes? Longing?

"Kagome, I need to ask you something."

"What is it, Inuyasha?" she looked away from his gaze then—it was just too intense. Instead she stared at the place where his neck and shoulders came together and his haori's undershirt could be seen, cream colored like butter...and the skin underneath, smooth, just begging her to touch it, yet her hands didn't move, only her thoughts spun her desires wildly, dreams destined never to come true.

"When we reach Kaede's village...will you go through the well for good now that Naraku's dead...?" she hadn't missed the wavering of fear and uncertainty in his voice. She couldn't believe it was happening!

When she opened her mouth to answer him her voice had fled her and for a moment Kagome choked, unable to speak. Inuyasha waited, patient for once in his life, still staring at her face, a thing he loved above all others. When her voice returned to her he found that he could hardly control his breathing and his heart—it was pounding away in his ears like a drum! If she told him nothing could keep her in the Feudal Era now...he felt the muscles in his knees spasm, weakening at the very thought.

"I have to see my family Inuyasha, but..." she searched his face, irritated with herself for not having the courage and the confidence to just say everything she felt, trying to explode straight out of her heart. "I consider you like my family too...all of you..." she stuttered nervous, ready to run away from his and bury her head in the sand for her stupidity. That wasn't the right thing to say! There was so much more inside her, waiting to be whispered into his ears.

She felt his hands slide to her shoulders, gripping her hard. "Your family?" he asked, eyes glued to her, "So what does that make me? Like Souta?"

There wasn't even a waver in his voice. She couldn't believe it and hadn't the slightest idea what to say in return. He'd pinned her, like an insect underneath his powerful claws, and she had nowhere to flee...

For a moment her mouth worked the air as she stared at his amber eyes, scared of what she felt she was being coerced into admitting, what if he didn't feel the same way? "No...I...wouldn't call you a brother to me..."

His face seemed to collapse and suddenly Kagome was fumbling, stuttering for the right words, her heart fluttering and skipping around inside of her like a trapped butterfly. "...I don't dream of kissing my little brother."

The hanyou's eyes flicked immediately to hers again—she'd never seen them so alight before! As she registered the joy he felt she broke out into a grin, which Inuyasha took quick advantage of. With his hands still on her shoulders he pulled her to him so fast that Kagome hadn't even had time to comprehend what was happening before suddenly her lips were on his.

She couldn't breathe, her heart was pounding, her mind dizzy. Was it the same for him? How foolish she'd been to hold back for so long!

His hands slid to the small of her back, pulling her body to his own, possessing her, claiming her. Shivers raced through Kagome at his touch, at his closeness. She wrapped her hands around his waist, relishing in the powerful muscles of his back that she could feel underneath the deep red folds of his haori.

Inuyasha ran his lips along her jaw, feeling how soft her skin was, just as everything about her was perfect, and he knew he'd made his decision. He reached her ear and, pulling her as close as he could without pulling her off her feet, he breathed his question into her ear, making her shiver with delight.

"Will you be my mate?"

Endnote: ending eh? review and tell me...hey...anyone got any idea as to what I'm going to throw in to spoil his/her/their happy ending? SERIOUSLY! I do so solemnly swear to anyone reading this that there will be no evil enemy to kill someone...just the gang. Guess! I dare you!!!! Haha, and the name of the prologue, (snickers to herself) someone I know actually asked me that question, trying to figure out whether we were going to date each other or not...so I just thought it was appropriate. Oh well...more stuff soon I guess...PLEASE REVIEW! (gets on her knees and begs, "PLEASE!")